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Anahuac, or, Mexico and the Mexicans : ancient and modern /

Anahuac, or, Mexico and the Mexicans : ancient and modern / 22500876004 1 Tr/JBeZLEsq jbJ?h4footjuS/L %9 & / AAAH17AC: MEXICO AND THE MEXICANS, ANCIENT AND MODERN. EDWAKD B. TYLOE. LONDON: LONGMAN, GREEN, LONGMAN, AND ROBERTS. [T7ie Right of Translation is reserved .] yf.l-st 2-J Cz) — — INTRODUCTION. Mexico which have originated journey and excursions in The this volume were made narrative and remarks contained in the and June of for the in the months of March, April, May, 1856, The author and his fellow-traveller most part on horseback. the enjoyed many advantageous opportunities of studying coun- try, the people, and the antiquities of Mexico, owing to the which they received there. friendly assistance and hospitality With this enabled to accomplish much more than aid they were usually falls to the lot of travellers in so limited a period and they had the great advantage too, of being able to substantiate or correct their own observations by the local knowledge and ex- perience of their friends and entertainers. Visiting Mexico during a lull in the civil turmoil of that lamentably disturbed Republic, they were fortunate in being able to avail themselves of that peaceable season in making ex- cursions to remarkable places and ruins, and examining the national collection of antiquities, and other objects of interest, an opportunity that cannot have occurred since owing to the recommencement of civil war in its worst form. The following are some of the chief points of interest in these Notes on Mexico, which are either new or treated more fully than hitherto 1. The evidence of an immense ancient population, shewn by the abundance of remains of works of art (treated of at pages 146—150), is fully stated here.—2. The notices and drawings of Obsidian knives and weapons (at page 95, &c., and in the Ap- pendix) are more ample than any previously given. 3. The treatment of the Mexican Numerals (at page is partly 108) new - J • The proofs of the highly probable sophistication of the document in the Library at Paris, relative to Mexican eclipses, IV. have not previously been advanced (see Appendix). 5. The notices of objects of Mexican art, &c., in the chapter on Antiqui- the Appendix), ties, and elsewhere (including are for the most part to the public.—6. The remarks on the connection be- new that of tween pure Mexican art and Central America, in the chapter on Xochicalco, are in great part new.— 7. The singular is another native bridge at Tezcuco (page novelty. 153) The order in which places and things were visited is shewn sketch of the journeys and excur- in the annexed Itinerary, or sions described. ITINERARY. Isles of Pines. Nueva Havana. Batabano. 1.—Cuba. Journey Back to Havana. Banos de Santa Fe. Gerona. Pages 1—14. 15—18. Vera Cruz. Pages 2.—Havana. Sisal. Huamantla. Cruz. Cordova. Orizaba. 3.—Vera }> Pages 18—38. Otumba. Guadalupe. Mexico. Chapultepec, and back. 4. Mexico to Tacubaya and Pages — 58. 5. Anita and back. Pages — 65. —Mexico to Santa ,, 6. Mexico. Guadalupe. Pacbuca. Real del Monte. Regia. Atotonilco el Grande. Soquital and back to Real del Monte. Real del Monte to Mount Jacal and Cerro de Navajas (obsidian-pits), and back to Real del Monte. Pacbuca. Guadalupe. Mexico. Pages 72—105. —Mexico to Tisapan. Ravine of Magdalena. ,, Pedri- gal (lava-field), and 118 back. Pages —120. —Mexico to Tezcueo. Pages 129— Tezcuco to Pyramids of Teotihuacan and back. Pages —146. Tezcuco to Tezcotzinco (tbe so-called Montezuma’s Bath,” &c.). Aztec Bridge, and back to Tezcuco. Pages —153. Tezcuco to Bosque del Contador (the grove of ahue- huetes, where excavations were made.) Pages 154—156. Tezcuco to Mexico. Page 9. Mexico. San >> Juan de Dios. Da Guarda. Cuerna-' vaca. Temisco. Xochicalco. Miacatlan. Cocoytla, Pages 172—195. VI. and Cocoytla to village cave of Cacalmamilpan and back. Pages 190 205. to Chalma. Cocoytla Oculan. El Desierto. Ten- ancingo. Toluca. Lerma. Las Cruzes. Mexico. Pages 214 220. —Mexico to Tezcuco. Mirafiores. Amecameca. Popocatepetl. San Nicolas de los Ranchos. Cko- lula. Puebla. Amozoque. Nopaluca. San Antonio de abajo. Orizaba. Amatlan. El Potrero. Cordova. San Andres. Ckalckicomula. La Junta. Vera Indies and Home. Jalapa. Cruz. West Pages 260—327. vn. CONTENTS. OF TABLE 1—14 I. CHAP. Passports. Isle of Railway. Voyage. Yolantes. A Cuban Cuba. Alligators. Baths of Santa Fe. Runaway slaves. Mosquitos. Pirates. Pines. the West Indies. Colonists. Blacks in Missionary Priest. Florida The Cura. and African slaves. Chinese 15—38. CHAP. II. Slave-trade in Voyage. Yucatan. Players and Political Adventurers. Ignacio Comonfort. Mexican Natives. The Ten Tribes. Vera Cruz. Don Northers. of the Dead. Turkey-buzzards. Politics. Casualties. The City The “cold region.” The “temperate region.” Cordova. The Chipi-chipi. Plundered passengers. Robber- Mirage. Sand-pillars. The rainy season. mud-hricks. Huts of aloes. priest. Aztec Aloe-fields. Houses of remains. pulque. Mexican churches. Mexican roads. Making CHAP. III. 39—68. Palace-hotel of Mexico. Changes in the of Yturbide. Site and building Valley of Mexico. Dearth of Trees. Architecture. Drunkenness. Fights. Rattles. in Holy Week. Judas’s Bones. Burning Judas. Churches Streets. Barricades. People. Women. The cypress of Chapultepec. Old-fashioned coaches. The canal of Chaleo. Canoe-travelling. Reasonable people.” Taste for flowers. The Promenade. Flooded streets. Floating Gardens.” Earthquakes. 69—110. CHAP. IV. Tacubaya. Humming-birds and butterflies. Aztec feather-work. Bull- fight. Lazoing and colearing. English in Mexico. Hedge of organ-cactus. Pachuca. Cold in the hills. Rapid evaporation. Mountain-roads. Real del Monte. Guns and pistols. - Regia. The father-confessor in Mexico. Morals of servitude. Cornish miners. Dram-drinking. Salt-trade. The Indian market. Indian Conservatism. Sardines. Account-keeping. The great Barranca. “ Tropical fruits. Prickly pears. Their use. The Water- Throat.” Silver-works. Volcano of “ Jorullo. Cascade of Regia. Eyes of Water.” Fires. The Hill of Knives. Obsidian implements. Obsidian mines. The Stone-age. The loadstone-mountain of Mexico. Unequal Civilization of the Aztecs. Silver and commerce of Mexico. Effect of Protection-duties. Silver- mines. The Aztec numerals. Vlll. CHAP. V. Ill—128. A Revolution. and Siege Capitulation of Puebla. Military Statistics. Highway-robbery. Reform in Mexico. The American war. Mexican army. Our Lady of Guadalupe. Miracles. The rival Virgins. Sacred lottery-ticket. Literature in The clergy Mexico. and their system of Education in Mexico. The Holy Office. Indian Notions of Christianity. CHAP. VI. 129—161. To Tezcuco. Indian Canoes. Sewer-canal. Water-snakes. Salt-lakes. A storm on the lake. Glass-works. Casa Grande. Quarries. Stone Ham- mers. Use of Bronze in stone-cutting in Mexico and Pears. Egypt. Prickly Temple - pyramids of Teotihuacan. Sacrifice of Spaniards. Old Mexico. Market of Antiquities. Police. Bull-dogs. Accumulation of Alluvium. Tezcotziuco. Ancient baths and bridge. Salt and salt-pans. Fried flies’-eggs. Water-pipes. Irrigation. Agriculture in Mexico. History repeats itself. 162—195. CHAP. VII. and The Courier. Leather Horses and their training. Saddles bits. clothes. The Serape. The Rag-fair of Mexico, Thieves. Gourd water- Travelling by Diligence. Indian carriers. Mules. bottles. Ploughing. Cuernavaca. Tropical Vegeta- Breakfast. Bragadocchio. Robbers. Escort. The Temisco. Sugar-hacienda. Indian labourers. even- tion. Sugar-cane. of the Indians. Xochicalco. Ruins of the song. The Raya. Strength of Mexico and Sculptures. Common ornaments. The people Pyramid. Miacatlan. Their civilization. Pear-shaped heads. Central America. VIII. 196—220. CHAP. Condition of the Indians. Indian Indian labourers. Political Cocoyotla. Alcalde. Great Cave of Cotton-spinning. The Indian Village and huts. Monk on horseback. Religion of the Optical phenomenon. Cacahuamilpan. Village amusements. Dancing. Baptism by wholesale. Indians. Idols. miller’s the convent. Church-dances. The The meson and Chalma. Drums. Sacred cypress-tree. Oculan. friar. The Hill of daughter. Young Tenancingo. of Mexico. The Desierto. climate. Grain-districts Change of Robbers. Toluca. Lerma. 221—259. CHAP. IX. Stone. Mexican War-God. Sacrificial of Antiquities. Museum. Fate Art. V ooden of Horrors. Aztec Chamber naturalized in Europe, &c. words Mr. Uhde’s Collec- The “Man-flaying” Picture-writings. Aztec Drums. Armour. Mexican of Giants. Cortes’ Collection. Bones Christy’s tion. Mr. of Aztec Calendar. Peculiarities Mongol Aztec Astromony. Calendar-stone. “ class.” Prison-discipline. No Criminal at Mexico. The Prison Civilization. Lcperos The Corapadrazgo. law-courts. Statistics. Mexican Garotte. The Gambling. Monte. The Cockfighting. the bull. Lazoing and Lepers. Miners. fortunate IX. 260—280. CHAP. X. their wits. Jackal-masks, companion. Mexicans who live by A travelling United States. Miraflores. Cotton-factory. Mexican words used in the &c. of Popocatepetl. The and Cypress-tree. Rainy Season. Ascent Sacred Mount from Popocatepetl. Plain of Puebla. View of Anahuac. Descent Crater. Hospitable Shopkeeper. Morality of Smuggling. Pyramid Snow-blindness. of and Antiquities of Cholula. Hybrid Legends Mexico. Genuine Legends. among the Aztecs. Old-world analogies CHAP. XI. 281—309. Revolutions Puebla. The Pasadizos. in Mexico. Festival of Corpus Christi. Mexican clergy. Then incomes and morals. Scourging. Religion of of the People. Anomalous constitution the Republic. The horse-bath. Debt- slaves or peons. Great fortunes in Mexico. Amozoque. Spurs. Nopalucan. Orizaba. Robbers. Locusts. Indian village. Inroads of Civilization. Law- suits. Native Aristocracy. The vapour-bath. Scanty population. Its expla- nation. Unhealthy habits. Epidemics. Intemperance. Pineapples. Potrero. Negros. Mixed Painted men.” races. CHAP. XII. 310—330. Barrancas. Indian trotting. Flowers. Armadillo. Fire-flies. Singular Fandango. Epiphytes. The Junta. Indian Life. Decorative Art. Horses. Jalapa. Anglo-Mexicans. Insect-life. Monte. Fate of Antonio. Scorpion. White Negress. Cattle. Artificial lighting. Vera Cruz. Further Journey. St. Thomas’s. Voyage to England. Future destinies of Mexico. APPENDIX. I. The Manufacture of Obsidian Knives. II. On the Solar Eclipses recorded in the Le Tellier MS. III. Table of Aztec roots. IV. Glossary. V. Ancient Mexican mosaic work (in Mr. Christy's Collection). VI. Dasent’s Essay on the Ethnographical value of Popular Tales and Legends. LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. Plates. Cascade of Regia. From a photograph hy J. Bell, Esq. (To title-page.) face Porter and Baker in Mexico. (To face page 55.) Indians bringing Country Produce to Market. (To page face 174.) Indians in a Rancho, making and baking Tortillas. (To face page 201.^ Map to illustrate Messrs. Tylor and Christy’s journeys and ex- cursions in Mexico. Woodcuts. (The cuts smaller objects antiquity, and of of articles at present in use have been specimens drawn from in the Collection Henry Christy, of Esq.) PAGE. Tlacliiquero, collecting Indian juice of the Agave for Pulque View of Part of the Valley of Mexico Mexican Water-carrier and Woman at the Fountain Group of Mexican Ecclesiastics Stone Spear-heads, and Obsidian Knives and Arrow-heads, Mexico from 96 Fluted Prism of Obsidian, and Knife-flakes Obsidian Mexican Arrow-heads of 101 Stone -knife, with wooden handle, inlaid with mo- Aztec saic work 101 Head in Terra-cotta 110 Aztec Rebozo and the Serape Ill, 130 The Bridge near Tezcuco 153 Aztec Spanisli-Mexican Saddle and appendages 162 with ring and chain 167 Spanish-Mexican Bit, Panel, from Xochicalco. (After Nehel) 185 Sculptured Terra-cotta 195 Aztec Head in Small ) ) XI. PAGE. Ixtacalco Church. Spanisli-Mexican Spurs 220 Goddess of War. (After Nebelj 221 carved Three Views of a Sacrificial Collar or Clamp, out of hard stone To page face 225 Two Views of a Mask, carved out of hard stone. To 226 face p. Ancient Bronze Bells 236 Spanish-Mexican Cock-spurs 254 Leather Sandals Mexican Costumes. (After Nebel View of Orizaba Indians of the Plateau. (After Nebel 310 ERRATA. Page line 5, for verandahs read verandahs. 2, 12, for il read el. „ 8, „ for part read port. 17, 17, „ „ for pronunciamento read pronunciamiento. ,, 20, 8, I could read one can. 22, 10, for „ „ Mexicana read Americana. 27, for „ „ 2, read the . Heading, for the hlans . hubmantea . rains , huamantla 31, line for molina de viente read molino de viento. 31, 4, in description of woodcut. Delete bone. 101, line hands read hand. 216, for , ,, 9, % ift/ the f'ou/ih 'four Map ofpart of, Ur. vico to i/lustra-to ? MrxtitJa txmuprilpan 'n/fratal . l/n/a/rtm 'Naxxda A* Genera/. 'Map «U' Loup mill- 100 90 '/.am linn unpango Ohanlia Jalancii XA,C>nlnJ.<r^^ sS’cbi otorinco ' Tlnxm Lxtlahun. Niuihrjimpatrp ell Junta la Simn ]Quanuintla Tohtoi Jfaliitihr I Jun i Jr Vhta Nrv.uLi Chcdclucornula ifilatlorcs\ .<lr Ins Sarrhirioj Jr. To him I Izt accilituCt Omluhi Aniccamrai S. drains Siiltrper Zaainlpi Chabnu/ 1 Tcpryacac jlthsrn' jurvr or' CnrMubimilpi TeJinaran Jr las Granada,' Longitude ANAHUAC, &c. CHAP. I. OF PINES. THE ISLE spring of I met with Mr. Christy acci- In the 1856, dentally in an omnibus at Havana. He had been in Cuba adventurous for some months, leading an life, visiting sugar-plantations, copper-mines, and coffee-estates, de- scending into caves, and botanizing in tropical jungles, cruising for a fortnight in an open boat among the coral- reefs, hunting turtles and manatis, and visiting all sorts of people from whom information was to be had, from foreign consuls and Lazarist missionaries down to retired slave- dealers and assassins. As for myself, I had been travelling for the best part of year in the a United States, and had but a short time since left the live-oak forests and sugar-plantations of Louisiana. We agreed to go to Mexico together; and the present notes are principally compiled from our memorandum-books, and from letters written home on our journey. B 2 anahuac. Before we left Cuba, however, we made one last ex- cursion across the island, and to the Isla de Pinos —the Isle of Pines —off the southern coast. A volante took us to the railway-station. The volante is the vehicle which the Cubans specially affect it is like a Hansom cab, but the wheels are much taller, six and a half feet high, and the black driver sits postillion-wise upon the horse. Our man had a laced jacket, black leather leggings, and a pair of silver spurs fastened upon his bare feet, which seemed at a little distance to have well polished hoots on, they were so black and shiny. The railway which took us from Havana to Batabano had some striking peculiarities. For a part of the way the track passed between two walls of tropical jungle. The Indian fig trees sent down from every branch suckers, like smooth strings, which rooted themselves in the ground to draw more mimosas, up water. Acacias and the seiba and the mahagua, with other hard-wood trees innumerable, crowded close to one another while epiphytes perched on every branch, and creepers bound the whole forest into mass of vegetation, through which no bird could a compact with fly. We could catch the strings of convolvulus our walking-sticks, as the tram passed through the jungle. swamp, where clusters of Sometimes we came upon a growing, crowned with tufts of pointed bamboos were of a group of royal had a glimpse for a moment leaves or palms upon the rising ground. their wide cane- passed sugar-plantations with We the bal- sugar-houses with tall chimneys, and fields, the administrador, keeping a sharp look conied house of the in double the village of negro-cabins, arranged out over lines. where we stopped, near the stations In the houses Men, universal occupation. seemed to be the cigar-making 3 VOYAGE. PINES—THE OF ISLE tables hard at round were sitting children and women, oiling up men 1 the black laugh to see us It made work. natuie has which thighs, of their the hollow cigars upon process. to this suited curve exactly into a fashioned the pier, and waiting at was the steamer Batabano At by examined carefully were and ourselves our passports offices, passport paradise of is the captain, for Cuba the everybody For once visa. without a one cannot stir and my com- scene as had no such and we was en regie, days before. a few had witnessed panion in Cuba, you cannot man resident a married If you are without your wufe’s the next town passport to go to get a happened that a respect- writing. Now it so permission in wanted to go Santiago de Cuba, brazier, who lived at able consent so he either His wife would not to Trinidad. stratagem, or, what is more likely, her signature by got something to get him a passport under gave somebody false pretences. At any rate he was safe on board the steamer, when a evidently middle-aged female, well dressed, but arrayed in haste, and wdth a face crimson with hard running, came panting down to the steamer, and rushed on board. Seizing upon the captain, she pointed out her husband, who had other passengers taken refuge behind the at a respectful distance she declared that she had never consented to his that his body going away, and demanded should be in- stantly delivered up to her. The husband was appealed preferred staying to, but where he was. The captain pro- duced the passport, perfectly en regie, and the lady made a rush at the document, which was torn in half in the scuffle. All other means failing, she made a sudden dash at her husband, probably intending to carry him off by main force. He ran for his life, and there was a steeple- chase round the deck, among benches, bales, and coils of — ANAHUAC. rope while the passengers and the ci'ew cheered first one and then the other, till they could not speak for laughing. The husband was all caught but once but a benevolent passenger kicked a camp-stool in the lady’s way, and he got a fresh start, which he utilized by climbing up the ladder to the paddle-box. His wife tried to follow him, shouts but the of laughter which the black men raised at seeing her performances were too much for her, and she came down again. Here the captain interposed, and put her Susan till the ashore, where she stood like black-eyed lily hand, vessel was far from the wharf, not waving her however, shaking her clenched fist in the direction of but the fugitive. the Isle of Pines. To return to our voyage to her way cau- All the afternoon the steamer threaded almost the coral-reefs which rose to tiously among the scarcely room to pass surface. Sometimes there seemed been and night navigation would have between them, by in the place where Columbus impossible. We were just then expedition along the companions arrived on and his lay beyond. They what countries coast, to find out Cuban night, till their patience was and lay to at sailed by day, of sailing would have day or two Another worn out. coast trends northwards but where the them to ; brought died in the belief that and Columbus back, they turned continent of Asia. of the extremity was the eastern Cuba we have cayos,” and reefs Spaniards call these The “ in Florida, as Key West keys,” such the name to altered off* Belize. Ambergris Key and phosphorescent animals and the after sunset, was It when we like molten metal, sea glitter making the were the river, slowly up and steamed Isle of Pines, the reached village the fringe the banks, to that mangroves the among consisted of It of the island. the port Gerona, Nueva of PIRATES. 5 —MOSQUITOS, OF PINES ISLE and sur- with palm-leaves, thatched rows of houses two them a street and between wide verandalis rounded by unmitigated mud. of could in the dusk, we through the place As we walked thatched in their inhabitants sitting dimly discern the gossipping, white dresses, the thinnest of verandalis, in and singing tinkling guitars, and love-making, smoking, American scene out of quite a Spanish seguidillas. It was romance about the mosquitos, There was no a romance. I was new alive with them. When however. The air was European fashion and I used to go to bed in the to Cuba, inches too short, my feet used to as the beds were all six came their way out in the night, and the mosquitos find taught us that it down and sat upon them. Experience half-dressed, that only our faces was better to lie down so and hands were exposed to their attacks. The Isle of Pines used to be the favourite resort of the of Spanish main indeed there no other pirates the were inhabitants. The creeks and rivers being lined with the densest vegetation, a few yards up the winding course of such a creek, they were lost in the forest, and a cruiser might pass within a few yards of their liu'king-place, and no see traces of them. Captain Kyd often came here, and stories of his buried treasures are still told among the inhabitants. Now the island serves double a purpose it is a place of resort for the Cubans, who come to rusticate and bathe, and it serves as a settlement for those free black inhabitants of Florida who chose to leave that country when it was given up to the United States. One of these Floridanos accompanied us as our guide next day to the Banos de Santa Fd. When we left the village we passed near the mangrove trees, which were growing not only near the water but in it, and like to spread their roots among the thick black 6 ANAHUAC. slime which accumulates so fast in this country of rapid vegetable growth, and as rapid decomposition. In Cuba, the mangoe is the abomination the of planters, for they supply the runaway slaves with food, upon which they have been known to subsist for months, whilst the man- groves give them shelter. A little further inland we found the guava, a thick-spreading tree, with smooth green leaves. From its fruit is made guava-jelly, but as yet it was not ripe enough to eat. In the middle of the island we came upon marble- quarries. They are hardly worked now but when they were first established, a number of emancipados were em- ployed there. What emancipados are, it is worth while to explain. They are Africans taken from captured slavers, under inspection and are set to work government for a limited number of years, on a footing something like that apprentices in Jamaica, in the interregnum between of the slavery and emancipation. In Cuba it is remarked that mortality among the emancipados is frightful. They the probation. The explanation seldom outlive their years of of statistics is curious. The fact is that every of this piece old man dies, they bury him and then, when an as now emancipados, whose register is sent in to the one of the while the negro himself Government as dead goes to some out-of-the-way plantation where work as a slave in are told. no tales and rode for miles over a We left the marble-quarries, and sandy and full of savannah. The soil was loose wide and in the watercourses were fi’agments of flakes of mica, down from the hills. Here flourished brought granite, acacias, mimosas, and cactuses, and palmettos, palm trees and the guava tree preferred the the mangoe while the coast. The hills were co- patches nearer to damper has its from which the island the pine-trees vered with OF PINES—THE BATHS. 7 ISLE ground at their base we saw the tlie rising name and on side palms and fir trees growing by- spectacle of strange side. the change in the vege- Where we came upon a stream, from It was a sudden transition tation was astonishing. the jungle of the English plantation of fir trees into an lancewood, and great tropics, full of Indian figs, palms, knotted together by endless creepers mahagua* trees, all while the parrots kept up a continual chat- and parasites tree-tops. tering and screaming in the The moment we the narrow strip of tropical forest that lined the stream left we were in the pine wood. Here the first two or three feet of the trunks of the pine trees were scorched and blackened by the flames of the tall dry savannah-grass, which grows close round them, and catches fire several times every year. Through the pine forest the conflagra- tion spreads unobstructed, as in an American prairie but it only runs along the edge of the dense river- vegetation, which it cannot penetrate. The Banos de Santa Fe are situated in a cleared space among the fir trees. The baths themselves are nothing but a cavity in the rock, into which a stream, at a temperature of about 80°, continually flows. A partition in the middle divides the ladies from the gentlemen, but allows them to continue them conversation while they sit and splash in their respective compartments. The houses are even more quaint than the bathing- establishment. I he whole settlement consists of a square field surrounded by little houses, each with its roof of palm leaves and indispensable verandah. Here the Cubans The mahagua tree furnishes that curious fibrous network which is known as bast, and used to wrap bundles of cigars in. The mahogany tree is called caoba in Spanish, apparently the original Indian name, as the Spaniards pro- bably first became acquainted with it in Cuba. “ Is our word mahogany” tho result of a confusion of words, and corrupted “ ?” from mahagua 8 ANAHUAC. come to stay for months, bathing, smoking cigarettes, flirt- ing, gossiping, playing cards, and strumming guitars and they seemed to be all agreed on one point, that it was a delightful existence. We left them to their tranquil en- joyments, and rode back to Nueva Gerona. Next morning we borrowed a gun from the engineer of the steamboat, and I bought some powder and shot at a shop where they kept two young alligators under the counter for the children to play with. The creeks and lagoons of the island are full of them, and the negroes told us that in a certain lake not far off there lived no less a ”— personage than “the crocodile king “il rey los cro- de codilos but we had no time to pay his majesty a visit. Two of the Floridan negroes rowed us up the river. Even at some distance from the mouth, sting-rays jelly-fish and floating were about. As we rowed upwards, the banks were overhung with the densest vegetation. There were mahogany trees with their curious lop-sided leaves, the copal-plant with its green egg-like fruit, from which copal when it is cut, like opium from a poppy-head, palms oozes oily palmettos, and guavas. with clusters of nuts, When a palm-tree on the river-bank would not grow freely for of other trees, it would strike out in a slant- the crowding the clear i*iver, ing direction till it reached space above the straight upwards with its crown of leaves. and then shoot and took them shot a hawk and a woodpecker, We many minutes after we had laid them on home but, not aware that we were tiled floor of our room, we became the The ants were upon us. They were coming by invaded. line of march up our window-sill thousands in a regular When again inside, straight towards the birds. and down window, there was a black stripe we looked out of the whole army of the court-yard on the flags, a lying across the skins it was impossible to get coming. We saw them ; ; PINES—THE CURA. 9 ISLE OF window, and threw them out of the the the birds, so of them. faced about and followed advanced guard village the Castor-oil plant sand in front of the On the its little nuts were ripe, flourished, the Palma Christi innocent that, undeterred by the example and tasted so in the Swiss Family Robinson, I ate several, of the boy and was handsomely punished for it. In the evening I recounted my ill-advised experiment to the white-jacketed and loungers in the verandah of the inn, was assured that I must have eaten an odd number The second nut, they told me with much gravity, counteracts the first, the fourth neutralizes the third, and so on ad infini tum . We made two clerical acquaintances in the Isle of Pines. One was the Cura of New Gerona, and his parent- age was the only thing remarkable him. about He was not merely the son of a priest, but his grandfather was a priest also. The other was a middle-aged ecclesiastic, with a plea- sant face and an unfailing supply of good-humoured fun. Everybody seemed to get acquainted with him directly, and to become quite confidential after the first half-hour and a drove of young men followed him about every- where. His reverence kept up the ball of conversation continually, and showed considerable skill bis in amusing auditors and drawing them out in their turn. It is true the jokes which passed seemed to us mild, but they ap- peared to suit the public exactly and indeed, the Padre was quite capable of providing better ones when there was a market for them. We found that though Spaniard by birth, he had been brought up at the Lazarist College in Paris, which we know as the training-school of the French missionaries in China and we soon ; made friends with him, as everyone else did. A day or two afterwards we went to see him in c ; ANAHUAC. Havana, and found him hard at his work, which was the superintendence of several of the charitable institutions of the city—the Foundling Hospital, the Lunatic Asylum, and others. His life was one of incessant labour, and in- deed people said he was killing him self with over-work, but he seemed always in the same state of chronic hilarity and when he took us to see the hospitals, the children and patients received him with demonstrations of great delight. I should not have said so much of our friend the Padre, were it not that I think there is a moral got of to be out him. I believe he may be taken as a type, not indeed of Roman Catholic missionaries in general, but of a certain class among them, who are of considerable importance in the missionary world, though there are not many of them. sample his class, I think Taking the Padre as a of as we may judging from the accounts of them we meet with in notice, how the point in which their books, it is curious to system is strongest is just that in which the Protestant that is, in social training and deport- system is weakest, men to India with the best ment. What a number of go work at once, flinging then- doctrines intentions, and set to learnt in the least to under- natives before they have at the said natives’ minds are like, or how they stand what the their pet prejudices, mortally dropping at once upon work,— arguing with preliminary step towards offending them as a cat of society backwards short, stroking the them and in they have manner. By the time most conscientious in the man like our Cuban this satisfactory result, a accomplished preached argued but little and though he may have Padre, natives bound to him by would have a hundred less, even anything and ready to accept personal attachment, strong of teaching. him in the way from Floridan round of visits to the paid a regular We pleasant simple delighted with their and were settlers, FLORIDA COLONISTS. 11 OF PINES— ISLE than thirty years since they It is not much more ways. since have of the children born Florida, and many left cultivated land English. The patches of learnt to speak little labour, enough produce, with but round their cottages and to sell, procuring vegetables for then- subsistence, care for. They seemed clothing and such luxuries as they and to govern their little to live happily among themselves, after manner of the Patriarchs. colony the Whether any social condition can be better for the Indies, than that of these black inhabitants of the West settlers, I very much doubt. They are not a hard-working- people, it is true but hard work in the climate of the tropics is unnatural, and can only be brought about by unnatural means. That sunk they are not in utter lazi- ness one can see by their neat cottages and trim gardens. Their state does not correspond with the idea of prosperity of the political economist, who would have them work hard to produce sugar, rum, and tobacco, that they might earn money to spend in crockery and Manchester goods but it is suited to the race and to the climate. If we measure prosperity by the enjoyment of life, their condi- tion is an enviable one. I think no unprejudiced observer can visit the West Indies without seeing the absurdity of expecting the free blacks to work like slaves, as though any inducement but the strongest necessity would ever bring it about. There are only two causes which can possibly make the blacks industrious, in our sense of the word, —slavery, or a popu- lation so crowded as to make labour necessary to supply their wants. In one house in the Floridan colony we found a manage which was surprising to me, after my experience of the United States. The father of the family was a white man, Spaniard, and his wife a black woman. They received 12 ANAHUAC. us with the greatest hospitality, and we sat in the porch for a long time, talking to the family. or One two of the mulatto daughters were very handsome and there were some visitors, young white men from the neighbouring village, who were apparently come to pay then’ devoirs to the young ladies. Such marriages are not uncommon in Cuba and the climate of the island is not unfavourable for the mixed negro and European race, while to the pure whites it is deadly. The creoles of the country are a poor degenerate race, and die out in the fourth generation. It is only by intermarriage with Europeans, and continual supplies of emigrants from Europe, that the white popula- tion is kept up. On the morning of our high departiu-e we climbed a hill of limestone, covered in places with patches of a lime- stone-breccia, cemented with sandstone, and filling the cavities in the rock. All over the hill we found doubly re- Iceland-spar in in fracting quantities. Euphorbias, Europe mere shrubs, were here smooth-limbed trees, with large From the top of the hill, the character of the flowers. savannahs was well displayed. Every water-course could by its narrow line of deep green forest, contrast- be traced ing with the scantier vegetation of the rest of the plain. out of the river, rows of brilliant red As we steamed fishing, and were standing in the shallow water, flamingos his ungainly beak. Our here and there a pelican with when we were having then' meal of rice Chinese crew were hard at walked forward, and the national chopsticks all talked to several of them. They could work. We intelligent. a little Spanish, and were very speak curious of these Chinese emigrants is a The history out, and Agents in China persuade them to come one. for eight years, receiving sign a contract to work they food and five dollars a month, with their three to from AND AFRICANS. 13 PINES—CHINESE ISLE OF them but, when a fortune to sum seems The ; clothing. cost that the value find to their Cuba, they they come to They what it will buy. estimated by money must be of thirty dollars a labourer is value of a black find that the themselves for practically sold and they have month, the masters who no one to prevent for there is slaves their work from treating contract for have bought the The value of such a con- respects as slaves. them in all himself, was from <£30 to that is, of the Chinaman tract— for them, in the island. Fortunately £40 when we were plantation-work. Some die bear the severe they cannot and exposure, and many after a few days of such labour and the utter indifference with more kill themselves commit suicide, as soon as life seems not worth which they their having, contributes to moderate the exactions of in Cuba had a Chinese servant masters. A friend of ours and who was impertinent one day, his master turned him of the room, dismissing him with a kick. The out other servants woke then master early next morning, with the intelligence that the Chinese had killed himself in the night, received. to expiate the insult he had Of African slaves brought into the island, the yearly number is about 15,000. All the details of the trade are matter general of notoriety, even to the exact sum paid to each official as hush-money. It costs a hundred dollars for each negro, they say, of winch a gold ounce (about £3 16s.) is the share of the Captain-general. To this must be added the cost of the slave in Africa, and the ex- pense of the voyage but when the slave is once fairly ; on a plantation he is worth eight hundred dollars so it may be understood how profitable the trade still is, if only one slaver out of three gets through. The island itself with its creeks and mangrove-trees is most favourable for their landing, if they can once make 14 ANAHUAC. the shore; and the Spanish cruisers will not catch them if they can help it. If a British cruiser captures them, the negroes are made emancipados in the way I have already explained. Hardly any country in the world is thoroughly in a so false position as England in her endeavours to keep down the Cuban slave-trade, with the nominal concurrence of the Spanish government, and the real vigorous opposition of every* Spaniard on the island, from the Captain-General downwards. Even the most superficial observer who lands for an hour or two in Havana, while his steamer is taking in coals, can have evidence of the slave-trade brought before his eyes in the tattooed faces of native Africans, young and middle-aged, in the sti'eets and markets just backs of the negroes, what as he can guess, from the scored sort of discipline is kept up among them. board the steamboat off the pier of Bata- We slept on Havana next bano, and the railway took us back to morning. CHAP. II. HAVANA TO VEEA CRUZ—VERA CRUZ TO MEXICO. On the 8th of March, we went on board the Mejico” and retaining her American en- steamer, American-built, gineers, but in other respects converted into a Spanish vessel, and now lying in the harbour of Havana bound for Vera Cruz, touching at Sisal in Yucatan. At eight o’clock we weighed anchor, and were piloted through the narrow passage which leads out of the harbour past the castle of El Morro and the fort of Cabanas, the view of whose ram- parts and batteries caused quite a flourish of trumpets among our Spanish fellow-passengers, who firmly believe in their hnpregnability. Among our fellow-passengers were a company of fifth- rate comedians, going to Merida by way of Sisal. There was nothing interesting to us about them. Theatrical people and green-room slang vary but little over the whole civilized world. There were two or three Spanish and French tradesmen going back to Mexico. They talked of nothing but the dangers of the road, and not without reason as it proved, for they were all robbed before they got home. Several of the rest were gamblers or political adven- turers, or both, for the same person very often unites the two professions out here. Spain and the Spanish American Republics produce great numbers of these people, just as Missouri breeds border-ruffians and sympathizers. But the ruffian is a good fellow in compai'ison with these well- ; ANAHUAC. dressed, polite scoundrels, wlio could have given Fielding a hint or two lie would have been glad of for the charac- ters of Mr. Jonathan Wild and his friend the Count. On the morning of the third day of our voyage we reached Sisal, and as soon as the captain would let us we went ashore, in a canoe that was like a flat wooden box. This said captain was a Catalan, and a surly fellow, and did not take the trouble to disguise the utter contempt he felt for our inquisitive ways, which he seemed quite to take pleasure in thwarting. It was the only place we were in to see Yucatan, a country whose name is associated with ideas of tropical fruits, where you must cut your forest-path with a machete, and of vast ruins of de- serted temples and cities, covered with up a mass of dense vegetation. But here there was nothing of this kind. Sisal is a miserable little town, standing on the shore, with a great salt-marsh behind it. It has a sort of little jetty, which constitutes its claim to the title of port and two or three small merchant-vessels were lying there, taking in cargoes of logwood (the staple product of the district), hides, deerskins. The sight of these latter mahogany, and surprised us but we found on enquiry that numbers of well horned cattle inhabit the thinly-peopled deer as as flourish districts round the shores of the Mexican Gulf, and climate, except when a year of in spite of the burning comes, which kills them off by thousands. drought examined as closely One possible article of export we inhabit- would allow, namely, the Indian as opportunity the right article ants. There they are, in every respect : them- —brown-slcinned, incapable of defending for trade industrious and the creeks selves, strong, healthy, and sail off. mangrove-swamps of Cuba only three days’ and thou- that one hundred The plantations and mines want and swallow them into full work, sand men to bring THE TEN TRIBES. 17 IN NATIVES : SLAVE-TRADE negroes indifferently—anything Chinese, and aborigines, work—would skin, and can be made to has a dark that and pay well for Yucatecos in any quantity, take these or down a mine, when And once on a sugar-estate them. are regularly made out, and the their sham registers passing his ounce of gold apiece for Governor has had who his subordinates their respective rights, them, and them ? shall get them out again, or even find sat looking at the Indians This idea struck us as we hard at work, loading and unloading and finding an in- telligent Spaniard, we fell to talking with him. Indians very none had been carried off to Cuba, he said, but few, since when two Englishmen came the coast with 1854, to a schooner on pretence of trading, and succeeded in getting off with clear a cargo of seventy-two natives on board. But being caught in a heavy gale of wind, they put in for safety of — all places in the world—into the British part of Belize. There some one found out what them cargo consisted of, the vessel was seized, the Indians sent back, and the two adventurers condemned to hard labour, one for four years, the other for two and a half. In a place where the fatigue and exposure of drill and mounting guard is death to a European soldier, this was most likely a way of inflicting capital punishment, slow, but pretty sure* When the Spaniards came to these countries, as soon as they had leisure to ask themselves what could be the origin of the people they found there, the answer came at once, the lost tribes of Israel,” of course. And as we looked at these grave taciturn men, with then- brown Wo heard talk elsewhere, however, of a war going on in the interior of the country between the white inhabitants and the Indian race; the apparent object of the whites being to tako Indian prisoners, and ship them oil for slaves to Cuba. D 18 ANAHITAC. complexions, bright eyes, and strikingly acquiline noses, it did not seem strange that this should belief have been generally held, considering the state of knowledge on such matters in those days. We English found the ten tribes in the Red men of the north Jews have written books in Hebrew for their own people, to make known to them that the rest of their race had been found in the moun- tains of Chili, retaining unmistakeable traces of their origin and conversing fluently in Hebrew and but lately they turned up, collected together and converted to Chris- tianity, on the shores of the Caspian. The last two theo- ries have their supporters at the present day. Crude as most of these ideas are, one feels a good deal of interest in men thinking seriously about the the first inquiry that set origin of races, and laid the foundation of the science of ethnology. affair, for there was a Our return on board was a long in our teeth and oiu' unwieldy craft stiff breeze, almost before we could reach obliged to make tack after tack was floating Portuguese men-of-war were the steamer. Great and we passed through patches waiting for prey about, into long ropes. The gulf-weed, trailing out stringy of 84° thermometer standing at when we hot, the water was the side. it over dipped deck, the 12tlx, when we went on morning of On the before us. No shore sight displayed a grand there was horizon and, of clouds on the heavy bank visible, but a ; snowy into the sky, the towering up above them, high miles off. a hundred and fifty of Orizaba, summit harbour of Vera Cruz. we are entering the Before noon, just oppo- fort of San Juan de Ulua island and little The farther to of Sacrificios a little the island wharfs, site the water’s edge of city-wall along the level line ; the left. and the roofs of the houses, it, the flat above visible and, ] 9 MEXICAN POLITICS. VERA C'RUZ: grey stone, All churches. of many and cupolas towers on the church- Spanish tiles colored the relieved by only of Not a scrap the harbour. two in a flag or roofs, and sun poui- of a tropical the rays seen, and to be vegetation upon us. down ing deliberated Diligencias, we Casa de Established in the the capital, The diligences to Mexico. our ourney to as to account of the some months on stopped for having been run had just begem to the country, disturbed state of besieged. We which was being avoiding Puebla, again, sagaciously but Mr. Christy anxious to be off at once were know of the arrival of robbers would remarking that the take the first diligence and would probably the steamer, day booked our places for the afterwards, we that came after. the English mer- were very kindly received by We companion had letters, and we set chants to whom my of things in to learn what was the real state ourselves Mexico. an average, the Presidency of the Republic of On Mexico had changed hands once every eight months for the last ten years and Don Ignacio Comonfort had stepped into the office in the previous December, on the nomina- tion of his predecessor the mulatto general Alvarez, who had retired to the southern provinces with his army. President Comonfort, with empty coffers, and scarcely had any real political power, felt it necessary to make some great effort to get popularity for himself and his government. He had therefore adopted the policy of attacking the the fueros, extraordinary privileges of the two classes of priests and soldiers, which had become part of the constitution under the first viceroys, and which not even the war of independence, and the adoption of republican forms, ever did away with. Neither class is 20 ANAHUAC. amenable to the civil tribunals for debt or for any offences.* The clergy have immense revenues, and much spiritual influence among the lower classes and as soon as they discovered the disposition of the new President, they took one Don Antonio Haro Tamirez, him set up as a counter- President, and installed him at Puebla, the second city of the Republic, where priests swarm, and priestly influence is unbounded. At the same time, they tried pronuncia- mento in the capital but the President got the better of them after a slight struggle, and marched all his regular soldiers on Puebla. At the moment of our arrival in the country, the siege of this city was going on quite briskly, commanded forty- ten thousand men being engaged, by general officers. three disagreeable is happening in the Whenever anything Cruz is sure to get its full share. A month country, Vera who was a prisoner in the our arrival, one Salcedo, before with the Juan de Ulua, talked matters over castle of San them to make a pronunciamento and persuaded garrison, They then summoned the of the insurgents. in favour their cause, which it declined doing for the to join town fire upon it, knocking about and the castle opened present deal of principal buildings, and doing a good of the some through the wall of our 30-pound shot went damage. waiter who was leg of an unfortunate off the hotel, taking own body, belong to their courts whose members * must be judged by They of justice is meted out imagine what sort special tribunals one can in these and the mass of was to conciliate creditors. Comonfort’s hope complainants and to he abuse. I beb'eve relieve them of this enormous attempting to people by the already had to do unfortunately the people had intentions, but. honest in his was inaugurate a their wrongs and politicians who were to redress many too with but such movements, found very little to como of They had liberty. reign of were before, which left them worse off than they civil war, and extra-taxation unprincipled than rather more greedy and turned out patriots generally the and forward to give that no one came be wondered at was not to so it others; the new President. support to the energetic very any 21 —THE CLIMATE. VERA CRUZ patio, or inner court. falling into the knives, and cleaning our bedroom door in- plaster just outside daub of fresh had a British Consul’s office spot; and the dicated the city could offer Governor of the similar decoration. The the supplies from the but he cut off no active resistance, Salcedo—finding himself three or four days island, and in water—surrendered in a ammunition, and short of out of ended. neat speech, and the revolution Vera Cruz, had a short time to stay in so We have but quickly for when we come better make our observations again there will be a sun nearly in the zenith, and back moment hardly showing itself yellow fever—at the present for the summer under those circum- —will have come stances, the unseasoned foreigner had better lie on his back in a cool room, with a cigar in his mouth, and read novels, than about hunting for useful information. go There are streets of good Spanish houses in Vera Cruz, built of white coral-rock from the reefs near the shore, but they are mildewed and dismal-looking. Outside the walls is the Alameda and close by is a line of houses, unin- habited, mouldy, and in ruins. We asked who built them. Los Espanoles,” they said. Even now, when the “nortes” are blowing, and the city is comparatively healthy, Vera Cruz is a melan- choly place, with a plague-stricken look about it but it is from June to October that its name, “the city of the dead” —la ciudad de los muertos—is really deserved. In that season comes an accumulation of evils. The smi is at its height there is no north wind ; to clear the air and the heavy tropical rains —more than three times as much in quantity as falls in England in the whole year —come down in a short rainy season of four months. The water filters through the sand-hills, and forms great stagnant lagoons a rank tropical ; vegetation springs up, and the 22 ANAHUAC. air is soon filled with pestilential vapours. Add to this that the water is unwholesome the city too is placed in a sand-bath which keeps up a regular temperature, by accumulating heat by day and giving it out into the air by night, so that night gives no relief from the stifling closeness of the day. No wonder that Mr. Bullock, the Mexican traveller, as he sat in his room here in the hot season, heard the church-bells tolling for the dead from morning to night without intermission for weeks and weeks, I could hardly even look into the street without seeing funeral. We turned back through the city, and walked along watching the Zopilotes — great turkey-buzzards with their bald heads and foul dingy-black plumage. They were sitting in compact rows on parapets of houses and churches, and seemed specially affect the cross of the to cathedral, where they perched, two on each arm, and some on the top. When some offal was thrown into the streets, they came down leisurely upon it, one after another their appearance and deportment reminding us of the under- in England coming down from the hearse at taker’s men In all the public-house door, when the funeral is over. America these birds are the general scavengers, tropical killing them* and there is a heavy fine for any one is about in the streets this afternoon, Scarcely dragging their heavy except a gang or two of convicts mending the streets. This is chains along, sweeping and Mexican authori- a punishment much approved of by the combining terror evil-doers with advantage to ties, as to criminals on a level, the community. That it puts all * when anything one ill uses them but the dogs, who drive them away No circle, waiting and they have to stand round in a better than usual is met with, for their turn. — —INDIAN SOLDIER. 23 CRUZ VERA does not seem to be vagrants, murderers down to from consequence. matter of much considered as a thing sentry—the strangest city-gate stands a At the Indian of guise of a soldier—a brown saw in the I ever uniform once, in some rags that were a the coast, dressed with an amazing filthy in the extreme, and armed shoeless, to look at, in all con- flint-lock. He is bad enough old than he looks, for—no doubt science, and really worse will, and into the service against his he has been pressed with all his heart. Of hates white men and their ways run away when he gets a chance and, course he will though he will be no great loss to the service, he will add mite that has growing his to the feeling of hatred been up many years among the brown Indians against for these so the whites and the half-cast Mexicans. But more of this hereafter. One step outside the gate, and we are among the sand- hills that stretch for miles and miles round Vera Cruz. They are mere shifting sand-mounds and, though some of them are fifty feet high, the fierce north wind moves them about bodily. The Texans know these winds well, and call them “northers.” They come from Hudson’s Bay to the Gulf of Mexico, right down the Continent of North America, over a level plain with hardly a hill to obstruct their comse, the Kocky Mountains and the Alleglianies forming “ a sort of trough for them. When the norte” blows fiercely you can hardly keep your feet in the streets of Vera Cruz, and vessels drag their anchors or break from their moorings in the ill-protected harbour, and are blown out to sea—lucky if they escape the ugly coral-reefs and sand-banks that fringe the coast. There are a few bushes growing outside the walls, and there we found the Nopal bush, the great prickly pear the same that has established itself all round the — shores of the < r Mediterranean srowin O O 24 ANAHUAC. in crevices of rocks, and cracks in lava-beds, and barren places where nothing else will live. But what made us notice these Nopals was, that they were covered with what looked like little white cocoons, out of which, when they were pressed, came a drop of deep crimson fluid. This is the cochineal insect, but only the wild variety the fine kind, which is used for dye, and comes from the province of Oajaca, miles off, is covered only with a mealy powder. There the Indians cultivate great plantations of Nopals, and spread the insects over -them with immense care, even removing them, and carrying them up into the mountains in baskets when the rainy season begins in the plains, and bringing them back when it is over. On Friday, the 14tli of March, three o’clock in at the morning, we took our places in a strong American-built diligence, holding nine inside, and began our journey by being dragged along the railroad—which was commenced with great energy some time ago, and got fifteen miles on its way to the capital, at which point it has stopped ever since. When day broke we had left the railroad, and were jolting along through a parched sandy plain, thinly nopals, and other kinds of cactus, covered with acacias, bignonias, and the great tree-euphorbia, with which we with its smooth limbs and had been so familiar in Cuba, white flowers. At last we reached the first hill, huge The change was wonderful. and began gently to ascend. of a tropical the plain, we are in the midst Once out of together, and the con- forest. The trees are crowded close impassable jungle, volvulus binds their branches into an and creepers weave themselves into a dense while ferns some deep mass below and here and there a glimpse up standing tree-ferns, thirty feet high, ravine shows great and nourishing the brink of a mountain-stream, close to damp shade. in the ; CORDOVA. frequent as we ascend become more Indian Ranchos or leaning on the ground, inhabitants—squatting and the glance at us as -just condescend to against the door-posts meditations, and their then return to their we pass, and These ranchos are cigarettes, if they happen to have any. with palm-leaves and the merest huts of canes, thatched of ground is enclosed by a close by each a little patch prickly cactus, within which are growing plan- fence of of tains, with their large smooth leaves and heavy ropes tierra caliente.” fruit, the great staple of the Our road winds along valleys and through pass after pass and now and then a long zig-zag brings us out of a valley, higher up to a level. The air grows cooler, we are rapidly changing our climate, finds in and afternoon us the region of the sugar-cane and the coffee-plant. We pass immense green cane-fields, protected from the visits of passing muleteers and peasants by a thick hedge of thorny coffee-bushes. The young cane is but yet but the coffee-plant, with its brilliant white flowers, like little stars, is a beautiful feature in the landscape. At sunset we are rattling through the streets of the little town of Cordova. There is such a thoroughly Spanish air about the place, that it might be a suburb of the real Cordova, were it not for the crowds of brown Indians in their scanty cotton dresses and great flat- brimmed hats, and the Mexican costumes of the whiter folks. Low whitewashed houses, with large windows to the street, protected by the heavy iron-gratings, like cages, that are so familiar to travellers in Southern Europe. Inside the grating are the ladies of the family, outside stand theii male acquaintance, and energetic gossiping is going on. The smoky little lamp inside gives us a full view of the interior. Four whitewashed walls a table ; ; few stiff-backed chairs a virgin or saint ; resplendent 2G ANAH LTAC. in paint and tinsel and, perhaps, two or three coloured engravings, l’ed, blue, and yellow. A few hours in the dark, and we reach Orizaba. We have changed our climate for the last time to-day, and have reached that district where tobacco flourishes at an altitude of 4000 feet above the sea. But of this we see nothing, for we are off* again long before daylight and by the time that external objects can be made out we find ourselves in a new region. A valley floored with rich alluvial soil from the hills that rise steeply on both sides, their tops shrouded in clouds. Signs of wonderful fertility in the fields of maize The and barley along the roadside. ah’ warm, but full of mist, which has already penetrated our clothes and made them feel damp and sticky. Splen- did country, this, Senores,” said an old Mexican, when he himself round on his seat get a good stare had twisted to at us. It seems so,” said I, “judging by the look of the it is very unpleasantly damp just now.” Just fields, but “it is now,” said the old gentleman, echoing my words, damp here. You see that drizzling mist that is always it the chipi-chipi. Never heard of the chipi-chipi ! Why and blessing of the country. Sometimes we is the riches it rains a never see the sun here for weeks at a time, and day nearly but look at the fields, we get little every where have but one on crops a year from them you three And it is healthy, too look at the fields just above. “ When get up to the fellows at work there. we those difference.” Llanos you will see the and at last, valley grew narrower as we drove on The end in a great ravine, we began to it seemed to when the ah' grows steep hill by a zig-zag road. Soon climb the and sunshine appears and gets brighter again, the clearer are among left the mist behind, and brighter, we have the peculiar vege- grand steep hills, covered with ranges of TIERRA TIERRA CALIENTE TO FRIA. 27 FROM Opuntia, and the the plateau,—Cactus, Agave tation of trough of the valley lies a regular Mexicana. In the white clouds, hiding the fields and cot- opaque layer of from our view. We have already passed the zone tages and of perpetual moisture, whose incessant clouds showers stratum of hot air charged with water are caused by the — evaporated from the gulf—striking upon the mountains, and there depositing part of the aqueous vapour it con- tains. You may see the same thing happening in almost every mountainous district but seldom on so grand scale as here, or with so little disturbance from other agents. Yesterday was passed in the “tierra caliente,” the hot country our journey of to-day and to-morrow is the through “tierra templada” and the “tierra fria,” the temperate and the cold country. Here a change of a few hundred feet in altitude above the sea, brings with it a change of climate as great as many degrees of latitude will cause, and in one day’s travel it is possible to descend from the region of eternal snow to the utmost heat of the tropics. Our ascent is more gradual but, though ; we are three days on the road, we have sometimes scarcely time to notice the different zones of vegetation we pass through, before we change again. To make the account of the ourncy from the coast j to Mexico somewhat clearer, a few words must be said about the formation of the country, as shown in a profile-map or section. The interior of Mexico consists of a mass of vol- canic rocks, thrust up to a great height above the sea-level. The plateau of Mexico is 8000 feet high, and that of Puebla feet. This central mass consists principally of a grey- ish trachytic porphyry, in some places rich in veins of silver- ore. Idie tops of the hills are often crowned with basaltic columns, and a soft porous amygdaloid abounds on the 28 ANAHUAC. outskirts of the Mexican valley. Besides this, traces of more recent volcanic action abound, in the shape of nu- merous extinct craters in the high plateaus, and immense pedrigals or fields of lava not enough for their yet old surface to have been disintegrated into soil. Though sedimentary rocks occur in Mexico, they are not the pre- dominant feature of the country. Ridges of limestone hills lie on the slopes of the great volcanic mass toward the coast and at a still lower level, just in the rise from the flat coast-region, there are strata of sandstone. On our road from Vera Cruz we came upon sandstone imme- diately after leaving the sandy plains and a few miles further on we reached the limestone, very much as it is represented in Burkart’s profile from Tam- of the country pico upwards towards San Luis Potosi. The mountain- and Puebla, are plateaus, such as the plains of Mexico hollows filled up and floored with horizontal strata of ter- deposits, which again are the constantly tiary covered by accumulating layers of alluvium. Our heavy pull up the mountain-side has brought us the snow lies into a new scene. Every one knows how the valleys of the Alps, forming a plain which slopes in such a gradually downward towards the outlet. Imagine not valley ten miles across, with just such a sloping plain, been no rain for months, of snow but of earth. There has cracked all the surface of the ground is parched and and seen except clumps of over. There is hardly a tree to be vegetation but wood on the mountain-sides miles off,—no of disconsolate- tufts of coarse grass, among which herds are looking cattle are roaming the vaqueros, (herdsmen) their horses, with cantering about after them on their lean now and then hanging in coils on their left arms, and lazos to get beast who tries to order some refractory calling over his horns by sending the loop from the herd, away a ROADS. 29 NATRON—MEXICAN he runs, and hitching it up fall before liiin as or letting it within his hind legs as he steps it. jerk round with a and dispirited just are too thirsty But the poor creatures first touch of the cord is any sport, and the now to give back them allegiance. enough to bring them to mountains car- decomposed porphyry of the From the the valleys. of soda comes down in solution to bonate into natron by the organic Much of this is converted soil, and forms a white crust on the earth. matter in the mixed in various propor- More of the carbonate of soda, common salt, drains continually out in the tions with streams, or filters into the ground and crystallizes there. This is why there is not a field to be seen, and the land is pasture. But when the rains fit for nothing but come on in a few months, say our friends in the diligence, this dis- mal waste will be a luxuriant prairie, and the cattle will be here thousands, for by most of them are dispersed now in the lower regions of the tierra tefuplada where grass and water are to be had. My companion and I climb upon the top of the dili- gence to spy out the land. The grand volcano of Orizaba had been hidden from us ever since that morning when we saw it from far out at sea, but now it rises on our left, its upper half covered with snow of dazzling whiteness, regular cone, for from this side the crater cannot be seen. It looks as though one could walk half a mile or so across the valley and then straight go up to the summit, but it is full tliirty miles off. The air is heated as by a furnace, and as we jolt along the road the clouds of dust are suf- focating. We go full gallop along such road as there is, banging into holes, and across the trenches left by last year’s watercourses, until we begin to think that it must end in a general smash. We came to understand Mexican roads and Mexican drivers better, even before we got to the capital. ; ANAHUAC. Before us and behind lay wide lakes, stretching from side to side of the valley but the lake behind followed us as steadily as the one before us receded. It was only the mirage that tantalizes travellers in these scorched val- leys, all the long eight months of the rainless season. It seemed beautiful at first, then monotonous and long be- fore the day was out we hated it with a most cordial and ixnaffected hatred. Soon a new appearance attracted our attention. First, clouds of dust, which gradually took a well-defined shape, and formed themselves into immense pillars, rapidly spin- ning round upon themselves, and travelling slowly about the plain. At one place, where several smaller valleys opened upon us, these sand-pillars, some small, some large, were promenading about by dozens, looking much like the genie when the fisherman had just let him out of the bottle, and saw him with astonishment beginning to shape giant of monstrous size. Indeed I himself into a doubt was thinking of such sand-pillars not that the story-teller description. when he wrote that wonderful You may see the East by thousands. As they moved along, them in dust, and leaves and our sucked up small stones, they that they had been known to take the driver declared air houses, and carry flocks of sheep into the roofs off see now,” said he, “are no great “but these that you size of the largest at about estimated the matter.” We diameter and and thirty in hundred feet in height, <four ; against a house, most pillar, walking by chance this very worst of it, and had its lower limbs decidedly got the all to pieces. knocked the grows hot, the bare earth heats When the sun that an upward current rises upon it so much that lies air its place of the valley and to supply whole face from the ; open into it pour in and ravines that little valleys the IiUEMANTLA. 31 THE HLANS. wherever two of these air and stream of cooler each its strike one another, different directions, flowing in streams, manifest makes itself as a whirlwind ensues, and a little viente,” as he “molina de sand-pillar. The coachman’s but it must have well have happened, called it, may very caused by the meeting on a large scale, been a whirlwind by the little apparatus great atmospheric currents, not of we saw at work. hardly a village in the plain and There seems to be herdsmen’s the only buildings we see for miles are the inside, and uninviting in houses of stone, flat-roofed, dark the great cattle-pens, the corrals, their appearance, and which seem absurdly too large for the herds that we have will rain, yet seen but in two or three months there be rank grass, the corrals the ground will be covered with will crowded with cattle every evening the mirage be will depart when real water comes, dust and sand-pillars will no and all the nine horses be longer to be seen, and mules of the diligence-team, floundering, splashing, and kicking, will hardly keep the heavy coach from settling inextricably down in the mire. And so on until October, and then the season of water, la estacion de las aguas,” will cease, and things will be again as they are now. In the usual course of travel to the capital, the second night would have been passed at Puebla. This is the second city of the Republic, and numbers some 70,000 in- habitants. As it was then in revolt, and besieged by the President and his army, we made a detour to the north when about 20 miles from it, in order to sleep for a few hours at Huamantla, a place with a most evil reputation for thieves and vermin and about ten at night we drove into the court-yard of a dismal-looking inn. Three or four dirty -fellows stood round as we alighted, wrapped in their serapes great woollen blankets, the universal — 32 ANAHUAC. wear of the Mexicans of the plateaus. One end of the serape was thrown across from shoulder to shoulder, and hid the part lower of their faces and the broad-brimmed Mexican sombrero was slouched over their eyes we par- ticularly disliked the look of them as they stood watch- our baggage ing us and going into the inn. A few minutes after, we returned to the court-yard to complete our observation of them, but they were all gone. Spaniards A party of and Mexicans were at the other table in the sala when we marched in, and as soon as we had taken off the edge of our fierce hunger, we began to compare notes with them. Had a pleasant journey from all answered at once, delighted to find Mexico?” They an audience to whom to tell their sorrows, as men always circumstances. It appeared that they had are under such their reached Huamantla an hour or two before us, and to delight no robbers had appeared. But be- surprise and and the inn, the cords tween the outskirts of the town of lug- diligence were cut, and every particle behind the At the imi-gate they got out and gage had disappeared. They upon the Administrador their loss. set discovered diligence-company, who sympathized deeply with of the substantial comfort to offer. They had no more them, but and the driver must have been an accomplice, declared the them to wreak their fury upon. sent for, for driver was and told them, his mouth full of beans, appeared with He that they ought to be very he could speak, as soon as looking at them come off so easily, and, thankful they had disgust, returned to his an expression of infinite with seemed to have at followed his example, and supper they wine. It in hot dishes and Catalan consolation last found the fine things that were in to hear of the wonderful was the rou- the rings, the gold watches, portmanteaus,— lost of the utmost importance.” the “papers of dollars, leaux THE INNKEEPER. 33 OF PEACE. THE COUNCIL American has not always a very Spanish am afraid the for truth. strict regard easily, as the had indeed got off These gentlemen Vera Cruz, with for the last diligence from driver said; in it, had been stopped just steamboat acquaintances oiu’ Huamantla as they left it before outside this very town of morning. The robbers were but three, daylight in the as but they had plundered the unfortunate travellers Now, all this was effectually as thirty could have done. hear as a tale, but not satisfactory to tra- very pretty to vellers who were going by the same road the next morn- ing and in the disagreeable barrack-room where our beds stood in long lines, we, the nine passengers of the “up” diligence, held a council, standing, like Mr. Macaulay’s senators, and there decided on a most Christian line of conduct—that when the three bore down upon us, and the muzzle of the inevitable escopeta was poked in at our window, we would descend meekly, and at the command of “boca abajo,” (“mouth downwards,”) we would humi- liate ourselves with our noses in the dirt, and be robbed quietly. Having thus decided beforehand, according to the etiquette of the road, whether we were to fight or submit, and being tired with a long day’s journey, we all turned in, and were fast asleep in a moment. It seemed that almost directly afterwards the dirtiest man possible came round, and shook us till we were con- scious and we washed in the customary ; saucers, by the light of a real, flaring, smoking, Spanish lamp with a beak, exactly what the Romans used in Pompeii, except that this is of brass, not bronze. With our eyes still half-shut we crawled into the kit- chen for our morning chocolate, and demanded our bill. Such a bill 1 One of us, a stout Spaniard, sent for the landlord and abused him in a set speech. The “patron” F 3-4 ANAHUAC. divested his countenance of every trace of expression, scratched his head through his greasy nightcap, and stood listening patiently. The stout man grew fiercer and fiercer, and wound up with a climax. If we meet with the robbers,” said he, rolling himself up in his great cloak, we must tell them that we .have passed through your worship’s hands, and there is none left for them.” The landlord bowed gravely, saw us into the diligence, and hoped we should have a fortunate journey, and meet with no novelty on the road. A “novelty” in Spanish coun- tries means a misfortune. We met with no “novelty,” though, when looked we out of the window in the early men dawn and spied three muskets, following with us at a short distance, we thought our time had come, and watches valuables were and plunged into boots and under seats, and through slits into the padding of the diligence but the three men came no nearer, and we supposed them to be an escort of soldiers. When it was light the difficulty was to recover the valu- matter, securely had they been hidden. ables—no easy so We heard afterwards of a little peculiarity which dis- robbers of that tinguished the Huamantla. It seems no personage than the parish priest was accustomed to less a parson lead his parishioners into action, like the Cornish times when a ship went ashore on the coast. What in old I know. He is has become of his reverence since, do not still in his parish, carrying on his double pro- very likely whether fession, unless somebody has shot him. I wonder highwayman, it is saci’ilege to shoot a priest who is also a used to be to kill a bishop on the field of battle. as it last on the high lands of Mexico, the dis- We are at chosen to which at least three different races have tricts the fertile country below. A sharp in, neglecting settle plain and road brings us fairly out into the turn in the ; ; OF MEXICO. HIGHLANDS that lie at mountains snowy are tlie two our left then on and Iztac- Popocatepetl of Mexico, valley edge of the the ol Like Orizaba books. all Mexican famous in cihuatl, us the plain close to rise from seem to they yesterday, upon there pours down them valley between and from the are though windows wind, that, flood of icy us such a throats, we buttoned round our great-coats pulled up and till we get teeth fairly chatter and our shiver piteously, comes hot sunshine air; and then the river of cold out of and dust again. into the have really got to make sure that we Anxious from the Mr. Christy gets down land of Aztec civilization, minutes by the hunting about for a few diligence, and with a broken arrow-head returns in triumph road-side, gives cut by a water-course of obsidian. A deep channel these plateaus of the depth of the soil for us our first idea among the mountains, were once nothing but deep hollows melted snow, bringing down fragments which rain and of porphyry and basalt partly in their original state and filled and formed into plains. partly decomposed—have up Signs of volcanic action are abundant. To say nothing of the two great mountains we have just left behind, there is a hill of red volcanic tufa just beyond us; and still fur- ther on, though this is anticipating, our road passes over the lava-field at the foot of the little volcano of Santa Barbara. There is a population here at any rate, village after village and between them are great plantations of maize and aloes for tliis is the district where the best pulque in Mexico is made, the “llanos de Apam.” It is the Agave Americana, the same aloe that is so common in southern Europe, where indeed it flowers, and that grows in our gardens and used to have the reputation of flowering once in a hundred years. I do not exaggerate when 1 say that 36 ANAHUAC. we saw hundreds of thousands of them that day, planted in long regular lines. Among them were walking the Indian tlachiqueros,” each with his pigskin on his back, and his long calabash in his hand, milking such plants as were in season. The fine buildings of the haciendas, and more especially the churches, contrast strongly with the generality of houses, all of one story, built of adobes (mud-bricks dried in the sun), with flat roofs of sand and lime resting on wooden rafters, and the naked ground for a floor, all dark, dirty, and com- fortless. There are even many huts built entirely of the universal aloe. The stems of wild aloes which have been allowed flower are stuck into the to side ground, by side, and pieces of leaves tied on outside them with aloe-fibre. These leaves are like tiles to cut set grow form a roof, and pegged down with the thorns which at their extremities. and cheap, though hardly Picturesque the comfortable, for we are in the tierra fria” now, and and evenings bitterly cold. mornings in winter are often belong But the churches ! Is it possible that they can wretched filthy little black Stun, to these cottages. As looked a runaway Texan slave, suggested, it our driver, houses and though the villagers might pull down their as We and then families in their churches. themselves locate DRIVER. PULQUE. 37 OUR ROUGH ROADS. has somewhere expressed an Mr. Ruskin, who of thought that England money and energy desire that all the earnest spent in build- railroads, had been in making has wasted had been here to see his or we wished he in churches and carried out. principles time, but on rough roads in my I have travelled on for a this never. My companion refused such a road as oiir thorough- award the premium of badness to time to discussing the question and but, just while we were fare highways, recounting experience of bone-smashing our consisted of a series of reached a pass where the road we in depth, down which steps we went steps, nearly a foot trot, holding on for our lives, in terror lest at a swinging the next jerk should fairly wrench our arms out of their sockets, while we could plainly hear the inside passengers shot against roof howling for mercy, as they were up the which knocked them back into their seats. Aching all over, we reached level ground again, and Mr. Christy withdrew his claims, and agreed that no road anywhere else could possibly be so bad as a Mexican road a decision which later experiences only confirm. served to Our start, every time we changed horses, was a sight to Nine see. half-broken horses and mules, in a furious state of excitement, were harnessed to our unwieldy ma- chine the helpers let go, and off they went, kicking, plunging, rearing, biting, and screaming, into ruts and watercourses that were like the trenches they make for gas-pipes in London streets, with our wheels on one side on a stone wall, and in a pit on the other, and Black Sam leaning back with his feet on the board, waiting with per- fect tranquillity until the animals had got rid of their Superfluous energy and he could hold them in. We were always just going to have some frightful accident, and always just missed it. The last stage before we reached 38 ANAHUAC. Otumba, a small dusky urchin ran across the road just before us. How Black contrived pull up I Sam to cannot tell, though, indeed, his arms were about the size of an ordinary man’s thighs but he did, and they got the child out from the horses’ feet quite unhurt. It was at the inn where we stopped to breakfast that made our first we acquaintance with the great Mexican institutions—tortillas and pulque. The pulque was being brewed on a large in scale an adjoining building. The vats were made of cow-skins (with the hair inside), sup- ported a frame of sticks and in them was pulque in by every stage, beginning with the sweet aguamiel—honey- water—the fresh juice of the aloe, and then the same in of fermentation till the madre different degrees we come to 'pulque, the mother pulque, a little of which is used like fermentation, and which has a com- yeast, to start the drains. bined odour of gas-works and Pulque, as you drink looks like milk and water, and has a mild smell it, Tortillas are like oat-cakes, but and taste of rotten eggs. of Indian corn meal, not crisp, but soft and leathery. made dreadfully nasty for a day or two then We thought both just endure them then we came to like them we could ; ; country wondered how we and before we left the we without them. should do III. CHAP. MEXICO. OF CITY Some thirty Don years ago, Agustin Yturbide, the first and last Emperor that he wanted of Mexico, found wherein to house his newly-fledged dignity and a palace of build one accordingly, in the high street began to the great convent Francisco. It Mexico, close to of San could not have been nearly finished when its founder was shot: and it became the Hotel cT Yturbide. We are now in it, in very is a settled comfortable quarters. There down below, restaurant where the son of the late Ytur- bide dines daily, and everybody us, and points him out to him. moralises over ; ANAHUAC. Mr. Christy's drawer-full of letters of introduction has produced an immediate crop of pleasant acquaintances, whose hospitality is boundless. We are not idle, far from it and a long day’s woi'k is generally followed by a social dinner, and an evening spent in noting down the results of our investigations. Prescott’s Conquest Mexico has been more read in of England than most historical works and Mexico the of Montezuma has a well-defined idea attached to it. The amphitheatre of dark hills surrounding the level plain, snowy mountain-peaks, covering the two the five lakes nearly half the valley, the city rising out of the midst of the waters, miles from the shore, with which it was con- nected by its four causeways, the straight streets of low the numbers of canals crowded with flat-roofed houses, the float- canoes of Indians going to and from the market, from place to place, on which vege- ing gardens moved great pyramid up tables and flowers were cultivated, the army saw their captured companions which the Spanish sacrificed on the top—all in solemn procession, and led the mental picture. these are details in Spaniards first saw of this has changed since the Much ordinary means to overcome the des- it. Cortes tried all defended their obstinacy with which the Aztecs perate went conquered wherever they The Spaniards capital. Mexicans closed in again forward, the but, as they moved arrows, showers of darts, and from every hoose-top behind, Cortes re- poured down upon them. and stones were was the city. He the utter demolition of solved upon most beautiful said, for it was the grieved to destroy it, he alternative. there was no the whole world but thing in his fifty thou- the great teocalli, moved slowly towards He down every him, throwing allies following sand Tlascalan When the with the ruins. filling the canals house, and BUILDING OF SITE AND MEXICO. 41 one district of the city was conquest was finished, but left and in it were crowded a quarter of the popula- standing, tion, miserable famished wretches, who had surrendered taken. All that was left when their king was besides with was a patch of swampy ground strewed fragments of walls, a few pyramids large for present destruction, too and such great heaps of dead bodies that it was impossible to get from place to place without walking over them. Cortes had resolved that a new city should be built, but it was not so easy to decide where it was to be. The Aztecs, it seemed, had not originally established themselves on the spot where Mexico was built. When they came down from the north country, and across the hills into the valley of Mexico, they were but an insignificant tribe, and as yet mere savages. They settled down in one place after another, and were always driven out by the persecu- tions of the neighbouring tribes. At last they took pos- session of a little group of swampy islands in the lake of Tezcuco and then at last, safe from their enemies, ; they in- creased and multiplied, and became a great and powerful nation. The first beginnings of Mexico, a cluster of huts built on wooden piles, must have borne some likeness to those curious settlements of early tribes in the shallow part of the lakes of Switzerland and the British Isles, of which numerous remains are still to be found. As the nation in- creased in numbers, Tenochtitlan, as the inhabitants called their city (they called themselves Tenochques came to be ), a great city of houses built on piles, with canals running thiough the straight streets, along which the natives poled their flat-bottomed canoes. The name which the Spaniards gave to the city, the “Venice of the New World,” was ap- propriate, not only to its situation in the midst of the water, with canals for thoroughfares, but also to the his- 42 ANAHUAC. tory of the causes which led to its being built in such a situation. The habit of building houses upon piles, which was first forced upon the people by the position they had chosen, was afterwards followed as a matter of taste, just as it is in Holland. Even after the Aztecs became mas- ters of the surrounding country, they built towns round the lake, partly on the shore, and partly on piles in the water. The Spanish chroniclers mention Iztapalapan, and many other towns, as built in this way. Like the Swiss tribes, the early inhabitants of Mexico depended much upon their fishing, for which their position gave them great facilities. If look you at the arms of the Mexican Republic, on a passport or a silver dollar, you will see a representation of a rock surrounded by water. On the rock grows a cactus, and on the cactus sits an eagle with a serpent in his beak. The story is that the wandering tribe preserved a tradition should find an of an oracle which said that when they eagle, holding a serpent, and perched on a cactus growing should cease their wanderings. out of a rock, then they island in the lake of Tezcuco, they found eagle, On an rock, as described, and they settled serpent, cactus, and hidden in course. What fragment of truth is there in due Tenochtitlan means The myth it is hard to say. this ex- and the Aztec picture-writings Stone -cactus place prickly pear growing name by a hieroglyph of a press its question, the history out of the on a rock. Putting this this peculiar site excellent reasons for choosing Aztecs had equally valid in these reasons were not their city but for For them the surrounding of the new invaders. the case was merely not needed as a protection, and salt-water was the place when the lake rose, Every year, nuisance. of property damage to the with enormous was flooded, 43 MEXICO. REBUILDING OF THE of greater an inundation and sometimes inhabitants the ; a destruction as as complete usual threatened than depth times, At the best of had made. Tlascalans Cortes and the build upon. ugly place to an was a salt-swamp, the site from the must be brought fresh water And, lastly, all the cut off without an enemy would hills which by aqueducts, done during themselves had the Spaniards difficulty, as ignorant of all was certainly not siege. Now Cortes the on the rising ground of many places this, and he knew under more found his new city where he could close by, four or five circumstances. He deliberated favourable decided in favour of the the matter, and at last months on that the city of Tenochtit- site, giving as Iris reason old position was wonderful, and lan had become celebrated, its been considered as the capital and mis- in all times it had of all these provinces.” tress slave-driving, and The invaders were old hands at so they drive the conquered Mexicans, that in four hard did years there had arisen a fine Spanish city, with massive stone houses of several storeys, having the indispensable in- ner courts, flat roofs, and grated windows,—every man’s house literally his castle, when once the great iron entrance- gates were closed. The Indians had, of course, been con- en verted masse, and churches were being built in all direc- tions. The great pyramid where Huitzilopochtli, the God of war, was worshipped, had been razed to the ground, and its great sculptured blocks of basalt were sunk in the earth as a foundation for a cathedral. The old lines of the streets, running toward the four points of the compass, were kept to and to this it is that the present ; Mexico is indebted for much of its beauty. Most of the smaller canals were filled up, and the thoroughfares widened for carriages, things of course unknown to the Mexicans, who had no beasts of burden. In the suburbs the natives a ANAHUAC. settled themselves after their own fashion, baking adobes, large mud bricks, in the sun, and building with them one- storey houses with flat roofs, much as they do at the pre- sent day. And thus a new Mexico, nearly the same as that we are now exploring, came to be planted in the midst of the waters. Three centuries have elapsed since the city has grown larger, churches, convents, and public buildings have increased, but the architectural character of the place has scarcely altered. It is the situation that has changed. The lake of Tezcuco is four miles off, though the causeways which once connected the city with the dry land still exist, and have even enlarged. They been look like railway-embankments crossing the low ground, and serve as dykes when there is a flood, a casualty which still often happens. This change is interesting to the student of physical Humboldt’s geography and account of the causes which have brought it about is full and explicit. When Mexico had been built a few years, the frightful inundations which threatened its very existence at length awoke the Spani- of the mistake that had been made ards to a sense in placing themselves but a few feet above the lowest level valley, in such a way that, from whatever point of the benefit of the flood might come, they were sure to get the Spanish authorities at home, with their usual it. The that the city should sagacity, sent over peremptory orders new capital built at Tacubaya— be abandoned, and a inhabitants of proposal something like intimating to the their position, at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, Naples that leave it and set- most dangerous, and that they must was ' com- else. In those days the valley was a tle somewhere outlet—at least not one worth men- basin, with no plete the heavy tropical rains and the melted tioning and of water mountains, poured vast quantities snow from the OF MEXICO. 45 THE VALLEY at the level of the sea, it Had the valley been into it. surrounded by become a great lake, simply have would the atmosphere three thousand feet higher, hills but at on with such rapidity as rarefied, and evaporation goes is affair of water in check. So the to keep the accumulation the five this wise, that the land and had adjusted itself in them. should divide the valley about equally between lakes things, and a It became necessary to alter this state of place where the hills were but little passage was cut at a this above the level of the highest lake. The history of is instruct- passage, the famous Desague de Huehuetoca,” ive enough, but it has been written so threadbare that I cannot touch it. Suffice it to say, that by this means a made for the constant outlet was lake of Zumpango, the highest of the five, and for the Rio de Guatitlan, a stream which formerly ran into it. So much for one cause of the change in the present ap- pearance of the city. Then the Spaniards were great cutters down of forests. They rather liked to make then- new country bear a resemblance to the arid plains of Castile, where, when you arrive in Madrid, people ask you whether you noticed the tree on the road and moreover, as they wanted wood, they cut it, without troubling themselves to plant for the benefit of future generations. Now, when the trees were cut down, the small plants which grew in their shade died too, and left the bare earth to serve as a kind of natural evaporating apparatus. And, between these two causes, it has come to pass that the extent of the lakes has been so much reduced, and that Mexico stands on the dry land— if, indeed, that may be called dry land, where you cannot dig a foot without coming to water. During the Tertiary period the whole valley of Mexico was one great lake. Whether the proportion of water to 46 ANAHUAC. land had adjusted itself before the country was inhabited, or whether during historical times the lakes were still gradually diminishing by the excess of evaporation over the quantity of water supplied rain by and snow, is an open question. At any rate the two causes I have men- tioned will account for the changes which have taken place since the conquest. Taking it as a whole, Mexico is a grand city, and, as Cortes truly said, its situation is marvellous. But as for the buildings, I should be sorry to inflict upon any one who may read these sketches, a detailed description of any one of them. It is a thousand pities that, just at the time in when the Italians and Spaniards were most zealous church-building, so very questionable an architectural taste should have been prevalent. The churches and convents in Mexico belong to that style that began flourish in southern kind of renaissance to Europe in the sixteenth century, and has held its ground High aboimd, with pilasters there ever since. fagades forming curi- by elaborate Corinthian capitals, a crowned the mean little buildings crouched be- ous contrast with churches outside, the tall front. In the doors of the hind within, one is constantly coming upon and the chapels of what would peculiar construction which consists that pillars, were not the keystone an arch, resting on two be sculptured, and Columns with shafts elaborately wanting. are to be the bed-post pattern, marble pillars of twisted and work- very expensive in material seen by hundreds, numbers ugly while the but unfortunately very manship, Englishman inside and out, remind the puffy cherubs, of Paid’s. monuments of St. the of richer the churches, the decoration of to the interior As to a won- incongruous ornaments with are crowded ones marbles, jewels, stucco, silver, costly Gold, degree. derful 47 HOLY WEEK. BUILDINGS. in the up together all mixed frippery are tinsel, and paint, churches to inside of the found the We wildest manner. for Cathedral, them. The worst part of generally the be when seen from grand building really a very instance, is be- and its cupola two high towers distance, with its little in the finding it described greatly edified by hind. I was built in the read, as Mexican travels I have last book of Doric style. purest fine building, or School of Mines, is a The Mineria, something manner of Somerset House on a small after the the famous Plaza Mayor, the great square, scale. As for very great square indeed, large enough to review an it is a the effect army in, and large enough to damage by its size dwarf the other buildings that of the cathedral, and to surround it into mere insignificance. However, one thing is certain, that we have not come all this way to see Spanish architecture and great squares, but must look for something more characteristic. I have said we arrived in Mexico on the eve of Palm Sunday, and next morning we proceeded to consult with one of our newly-made acquaintances as to our prospects for the ensuing Holy Week. This gentleman, a man who took a practical view of things, mentioned a circumstance winch led him to expect that the affair would go off with <iclat. The Mexicans, both the nearly white Mestizos and the Indians of pure race, delight in pulque. The brown people are grave and silent in their sober state, but pulque stirs up their sluggish blood, and they get into a condition of positive enjoyment. But very soon after this comes a state of furious intoxication, and a general scuffle is a common termination to a drinking-bout. Fortunately, the Indians are not a bloodthirsty people and, though every man carries a knife or machete, or— if he can get nothing better a bit of hoop-iron tempered, sharpened, H ; ANAHUAC. and fixed into a handle, yet nothing more serious than cuffs and scratches generally ensues. Even if severe wounds are given, the Indian has many chances in his favor, for his organization is somewhat different from that of white men, and he recovers easily .from wounds that would kill any European outright. The lower orders of the half-breed population are also given to pulque-drinking, but with far more serious con- sequences. Unlike the pure Indians, they are a hot-blooded and excitable race, and drunkenness with them is hitter madness while it lasts. Knives are at the very drawn beginning of a squabble, and scarcely an evening passes without one or two bodies of men killed in these drunken carried Police in meldes being to the Cuartel the great square. On Sundays and holidays the number increases but on this Palm Sunday there were fourteen, not killed in one great battle, but brought in by ones and twos, from of the city. It was this little different parts piece of statistics that induced our friend to conclude that the citi- had made up their minds to enjoy zens of Mexico them- Holy Week selves thoroughly, and that would be a grand Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of the Semana affair. only this to distinguish them from ordinary Santa have that the churches are crowded with men and women days, turn at the confessional and that in the waiting their the old promenade of Las Vigas, down in the afternoons of Chaleo, is patronized by Indian quarter by the canal Mexico, which, except on some four or five fashionable frequents the now Alameda. The sight of special days, confessionals, so constantly filled, prompts one to these before Easter? Just after would be more why just ask— for as we find the Glasgow people much appropriate than on week-days, so the Mexican on Sundays worse very virtuous at the best of times, are population, not *,,/• e V RATTLES AND JUDAS’S BONES. specially and particularly wicked when the great Church- come round. The festivals name of Shrove Tuesday sur- vives in our Calendar, to remind us of the time when we also used to go to be shriven before Easter. On Thursday at noon mass is over, the bells cease to ring, the organs in the churches are silent, and all car- riages disappear from the streets, except the dusty Dili- gence which, like French law, "est athde,” and cares nothing for fasts or festivals. Now we come to under- stand^ the wonderful wooden machine like a water-wheel, which was put up yesterday on one tower of the Cathe- dral. We had asked people in the great square, just below, what it was, but could get no answer except that it was la Matraca, the rattle, for to-morrow. And now we found that, the church bells being incapacitated, this rattle does duty instead, striking the hours, and occasionally going off into furious fits of clattering, without apparent reason, for ten minutes at a time, till the two men who worked it, who were either convicts or soldiers in fatigue- dress, were tired out. It was not this one rattle only that was disturbing the public peace that day and the next. Everybody was walking about with a rattle, and working it like mad, and all over the city there was a noise like the sound of the back-scratchers at Greenwich Faff, or of an American forest when the woodpeckers are busy. These little rattles stand for Judas’s bones, and all good Catholics express in this odd way their desire to break them. They do the same thing in Italy, but it is not so prominent part of the celebration as in Mexico, where old and youno-, rich and poor, all do their part in it. As soon as we found out what it all meant, we bought matracas for ourselves and joined the rest of the world in their noisy occupation! ie nea i of his bones is g but preliminary measure, the square a fair is being held, in the booths of which 50 ANAHUAC. the great articles of trade now are Judas’s bones, of many patterns, at all prices, and Judas himself in pasteboard, who is to he carried about and insulted till Saturday morn- ing, and then, hanging up by a string, is to burst asunder by means of a packet of powder and a slow match in Ills inside, and finally to perish in a bonfire. The first sight of these pasteboard Judases convinced us of one thing, that we had unexpectedly come upon the old custom, of which our processions and burning of Guy Fawkes in England are merely an adaptation. After giving up the old custom as a Popish rite, what a bright idea to revive it in this new shape, and to give the boys something to carry about, bang, blow up, and make a final bonfire of, and all in the Protestant interest ! There was another thing to be noticed about the Judases. The makers had evidently tried to vary them as much as they could and, by that very means, had shown how impos- sible it was to them to strike out anything new. There the Neapolitan were two types one was Polichinello, have naturalised as Punch and the other the whom we and hoofs, and tail, whom the God Pan, with his horns, world has recognised as the devil, for whole Christian took one type and some the these many ages. Well, some spoil- tried to combine the two, of course other and a few this, then- power of invention But, beyond ing both. trying conceal the They were always to could not go. more than to distort it. We and could do no old idea, originality, their flimsy pretensions to could see through the extracts from the schoolmaster recognises much as a his boys’ essays. encyclopaedia in im- so it is with other more with this Judas trade, As The old types sciences in this country. arts and portant generation. from generation to almost unchanged, descend, or either Aztec really Mexican is that is Everything MEXICAN DISHES. 51 LADIES AND MEXICAN Spanish types we may separate the Among the Spanish. not sufficient knowledge of Mexico is to Moorish. Our civilization, so we must be analyse the Aztec enable us to three classes. I will not go further content with these question here, for occasions will continually occur into the how—for three centuries at least—the inhabitants to show of Mexico, both white and brown, have taken their ideas at second-hand, always copying but never developing anything. All tins time my companion and I have been walking about the streets in evening-dress, as the etiquette of the place demands, on these three days, from the “better The classes.” Mexican ladies may be advantageously studied just now in their church-going black silk dress and mantilla, one of the most graceful costumes in the world. It is not often that one has the chance of seeing them out of doors, except hurrying to and from Mass in the morning, or in carnages on the Alameda; but on these festival days one meets them by hundreds. They do not con- trast favorably with the ladies of Cadiz and Seville. The mixture of Aztec blood seems to have detracted from the beauty of the Spanish race the dryness of the atmosphere spoils their complexions and the monstrous quantity of capsicums that are consumed at every meal cannot possibly leave the Mexican digestion in its proper state. We dined that day with Don Josd de A., who, though Spanish-American birth, by was English by education and feeling, and had known my companion’s family well. Our dinner was half English, half Mexican and the favourite dishes of the country were there, to aid in our initiation into Mexican manners and customs. The cooks at the inns, mindful of our foreign origin, had dealt out the red pepper with a sparing hand but to-day the dish ; of “mole” was the genuine article, and the first mouthful 52 ANAHUAC. set us coughing and gasping for breath, while the tears streamed down our faces, and Don Pepe and Don Pancho gravely continued their dinner, assuring us that we should get quite to like it in time. Pepe and Pancho, by the way, are short for Josb and Francisco. Dinner over, it was time to visit the churches, to which people crowd by thousands, this evening and to-morrow, to see the monu- ments, as they are called. Pancho departed, being on duty as escort to his sisters and we having, by Pepe’s advice, left our watches and valuables in his room, and put our handkerchiefs in our breast-pockets, started with liim. Mr. Christy, always on the look-out for a new seed or plant, had taken possession of the seeds of two mameis, which are fleshy fruits—as big as cocoa-nuts each — con- taining a hard smooth seed as large as a hen’s egg. These not being of great value, he put one in each tail-pocket of his coat. When we got out, we found the streets full of hurrying from one church people, to another, anxious to get as many as possible visited in the evening. We went monastery of San Francisco, close first to the to our hotel, the largest, and perhaps the richest convent in the country. Entering through a great gate, we find our- full of selves in a large coiu-tyard, people, who are visiting one after another—the four churches which the estab- in door and lishment contains, going at one out at the door of the largest church, stands a tall other. At the soliciting customers for the rosaries of olive-wood, monk, Jerusalem, which are displayed crosses, and medals from stall close by—shouting in a stentorian voice, every on a minutes, He who gives alms to Holy two or three deliver one shall receive plenary indulgence, and Church, purgatory.” We bought some, but there did not soul from found, be many other purchasers. Indeed, we / seem to pence in the country, that a few had been longer when we HOLY WEEK. CHURCHES IN 53 of church indulgences, from the per- buy all sorts would eat meat on fast-days up to plenary absolution mission to flourishing the hour of death and the trade, once so in The churches were hung with here, is almost used up. lighted up and in each was a monument,” a black, and kind of bower of green branches decorated with flowers, mirrors, and gold and silver church-plate, and supposed to stand for the Garden of Gethsemane. Inside was reclin- ing a wax figure of our Saviour, gaudily silk dressed in and velvet and there were also representations of the Last Supper, with wax-work figures as large as life. To visit and criticise these “monuments” was the object of the sort of pilgrimage people were making from church to church, and they seemed thoroughly to enjoy it. It was not a superfluous precaution that we had taken, in leaving our valuables in a place of safety, for, on our exit from the first church, we found that Pepe had lost his handkerchief and a cigar-case, which he had stowed away in an inner pocket, and Mr. Christy had been relieved of one of his marnei “ seeds by some lepero” who probably took it for a snuff-box. His feelings must have been like those of the English pickpocket in Paris, when he robbed the French- man of the article he had pocketed wdth so much care, and found it was a lump of sugar. And so relieved of further care for our worldly goods, we went through with the work of seeing monuments, till we were tired and dis- gusted with the whole affair, and at last went home to bed. Next day, appropriate sermons in the churches, proces- sions in the afternoon, in which wax figures of Christ and the Virgin Mary were carried by men got up in fancy dresses as soldiers and centurions, and so’ called penitents, walking covered with black shrouds and veils, with small round holes to look through, or in the yellow dress and 54 ANAHUAC. extinguisher cap, both with flames and devils painted on them. These are exactly the costumes worn in old times, the first by tbe familiars of the Inquisition, and the second by the criminals it condemned; and the sight of them set us thinking of the processions they used to figure in, when the Holy Office was flourishing at Santo Domingo, a little way down the street where we are standing. In the evening the Crucifixion is represented in wax in the churches, and the visiting goes on as the night be- fore; and the next morning is the Sabado de Gloria, the Saturday which ends Lent. We go to the Jesuits’ church in the morning to hear the last sermon. Since Thursday at noon, as the organs have been silenced, harps and violins have taken their places. The sermon is long and prosy, and we rejoice that it is the last. Then the service of the day goes on until they come to the Gloria in excelsis.” the The organ peals out again, black curtain—which has hidden the high altar parts in the middle, and displays perfect blaze of gold and jewels: all the bells in the city begin ring : the carriages, which have been waiting ready to yards, pour out into the harnessed in court streets: the racing to the great lumbering hackney coaches go square, the first fare for luck : the Judases, which striving to get morning out of windows and have been hanging all the are set light to as the first bell begins to across streets, burst all to pieces, and then ring, and fizzing and popping bonfire into in the street, where a is are thrown a heap join hands and dance made of them, and the children round it. So Holy Week ends. arrangement of the day in Mexico is this. Early The your servant knocks your door, and in the morning at or roll, in a little- cup of coffee chocolate and a small brings —literally breakfast you discuss while which desayuno into the courtyard, you find your Going down dressing. To Tom 55. WWe*> /rnr J. SitLtihanv fUL. MEXICO. BAKER. IN THE AND n-IK PORTER Artiste .Native made by l-'rom Models ( ) ; STREETS AND PEOPLE. horse waiting for yon, and off you go for an hour or two’s ride, and back to a dejeuner-a-la-fourchette somewhere be- tween ten and one o’clock. Then you have seven or eight hours before dinner, so that a good deal of work may be got into a day so divided. Things are managed very differently in country places, but this is the fashion in the capital among the higher class, that is, of course, the class of people who put on dress-coats in the evening. When we had been a day or two in Mexico, we took our first ride to Tacubaya and Chapultepec. Mexican saddles and bridles were novelty to us, but when we come to describe our Mexican and his appurtenances it will be time enough to speak of them. The barricades in the streets constructed during the last revolution of two or three weeks back had not yet been removed, but an opening at one side allowed men and horses to get past. Carriages had to go round, an easy matter m a city built as this is in squares like chess-board. The barricades mount two guns each and as the streets are quite straight they can sweep them in both directions, to the whole length of their range. As in Tunn, you can look backward and forward along the straight streets from every part of the city, and see moun- tains at each end. The suburbs of the city are quite as repulsive as our first glimpse of them led us to expect and, as far as one could judge by the appearance of the half- caste inhabitants, it is not good to go there alone after ' ar Her “ th<3 6nd °f the ^^uct of Chapultepec, , ? q 1 i the Salto del Agua; and-crowded round it-a thoroughly characteristic group of women and water-carriers, fflW leir great earthen jars with water, which they carry about from house to house. The women are simply and cheaply dressed, and though not generally pretty are very graceful in their movements. Their LL consi i ; 56 ANAH UAC. of a white cotton under-dress, a coloured cotton skirt, generally blue, brown, or grey, with some small pat- tern upon it, never brilliant in but colour, and a re- bozo, which is a small sober-coloured cotton shawl, long and narrow. This rebozo passes over the back of the head, it is somehow fixed hair-comb, where to a back in front and the two ends hang down over the shoulders or, more often, one end is thrown over the opposite shoulder. picture in a face is set in it, like a young lady’s that the so peculiarly uncon- to this a springy step, the Add frame. of living in walking which comes movement in strained pale dress, a pleasant and wearing a loose air the open and feet, bright eyes, small hands features, small face, good a and you have as no stockings, slippers and little book give. A half-caste girl as I can Mexican of a picture CYPRESS-GROVE. TACUBAYA. 57 however, will give a much better Mexican engravings, of her. Then we went past the great prison, the idea of and out at the gate (we had purposely gone out Acordada, into great of our way to see more of the city), and so the Alameda. The latter is the promenade, the Paseo or Spanish name for this necessary appendage to every town. It comes from alamo, which means a poplar. Imagine a long wide level road, a mile or so long, generally so chosen as to have a fine view, with footpaths on each side, lines of poplar ti'ees, a fountain at each end and a statue in the middle, and this description will stand pretty nearly for almost every promenade of the kind I have seen in Spain or Spanish America. Tacubaya is a pleasant place on the side of the first hills that begin to rise towards the mountain-wall of the valley. Here rich Mexicans have country-houses in large gardens, which are interesting from the immense variety of plants which grow there, though badly kept up, and systematically stripped by the gardeners of the fruit as it gets ripe—for their own benefit, of course. From Tacu- baya we go to Chapultepec (Grasshopper Mountain), which is a volcanic hill of porphyry rising from the plain. On the top is the palace on which the viceroy Galvez expend- ed great sums of money some seventy years ago, making it into a building winch would serve either as a palace or as a fortress in cases of emergency. Though the Americans chaiged up the hill and carried it easily in it would 47, be a very strong place in proper hands. It is a military schooT now. On the hill is the famous grove of cy- presses ahuehuetes* — as they are called, grand trees with their branches hung with fringes of the long grey Spanish moss —barba Espanola —Spanish beard. I do Ahuehuete, pronounced a-hwe-liwete. Thus, Anahuac is pronounced Ana-Kumc; and Chihuahua, Chi-hwa-hwa. 58 ANAHUAC. not know wliat painters think of the effect of this moss, trailing in long festoons from the branches of the trees, but to me it is beautiful and I shall never forget where I first saw it, on a bayou the of Mississippi, winding through the depths of a great forest in the swamps of Louisiana. In this grove of Chapultepec, there were sculptured on the side of the hill, in the solid porphyry, likenesses of the two Montezumas, colossal in size. For some reason or other, I forget now what, one of the last Spanish viceroys thought it desirable to dastroy them, and tried to blow them up with gunpowder. He only par- tially succeeded, for the bas-reliefs were still two great very distinguishable as we rode past, though noseless and considerably knocked about. We went home to breakfast with our friends, and looked at the title-deeds of their house in crabbed Spanish of the sixteenth century, and the great Chinese treasure ehest, still the strong-box of the firm, with an used as immense lock, and a key like the key of Dover castle. Fine old Chinese jars, and other curiosities, are often to be found in Mexico and they date from the time when the from Manila, which was called el nao” the great galleon — ship—to distinguish it from all other ships, came once a Acapulco. year to After breakfast, business hours begin so we took our- of Chaleo, and the famous selves off’ to visit the canal floating gardens— they are called. On our way we as our ancestors had a chance of studying the conveyances in, availed ourselves of it. In books on used to ride and of this cen- Spanish America, written at the beginning sea, there is In tlic Swiss Alps, between 4000 and 5000 feet above tbe a only fringing tbe branches of the pine-trees; but it similar plant to be seen comparison to the length of a few inches, and will hardly bear grows to the in length. Spanish moss, often fifteen or twenty feet trailing festoons of the long — ;; OF CHALCO. 59 CANAL COACH. OLD-FASHIONED of the gilt coaches, wonderful descriptions there are tury, the great folks used to mules, in which six or eight with the They are exactly on the promenades. drive in state ambition to the height of a lady’s that it was carriages Grandison, and Mr. Tom of Sir Charles ride in, in the days still be found, after Here, in Mexico, they were to Jones. habitable globe they had disappeared from the rest of the carriages are all of a and even now, though the private are still left a few of these more modern type, there amazing vehicles, now degraded to the cab-stand and we sculptured Cupids got into one that was embellished with their much mutilated the Montezumas — faces as as two and with the remains of the painting and gilding, which once covered the whole affair, just visible in corners, like the colouring of the ceilings of the Alhambra. We had to climb up three high and steps, hard ourselves into the body of the coach, which hung on strong leather straps springs belong later to a period. By the time we had got to the Paseo de las Yigas we were glad enough to get out, wondering at the sacrifice of comfort to dignity those highly respectable grandees must have made, and not sur- prised at the fate of some inquisitive travellers who have done as we did, and have been obliged to stop by the qualms of sea-sickness. At the bridge we chartered a canoe to Santa Anita. Tins Santa Anita is a little Indian village on the canal of Chaleo, and to-day there is to be a festival there. For this, however, we shall be too early, as we have to be back in time to see Mexico turn out for a promenade on the Paseo de las Vigas, and then to go out to dinner. So we must just take the opportunity of look- ing at the Indian population as they go up and down the canal in canoes, and see their gardens and their houses. However, as the Indian notion of a festival consists in going to mass in the morning, and getting drunk and GO ANAHUAC. fighting in the afternoon, we are perhaps as well out of it. We took our passage to Santa Anita and hack in a canoe —a mere flat-bottomed box with sloping sides, made of hoards put together with wooden pegs. There was a mat at the stern for us to squat upon, and an awning over our heads. An old Indian and his son were the crew and they had long poles, which they set against the banks or the bottom of the shallow canal, and so pushed us along. Besides these two, an old woman with two little girls got in, as we were starting—without asking our leave, by the way—and sat down at the other end of the canoe. Of course, the old woman began to busy herself with the two little girls, in the usual occupation of old women here, off during their idle moments and though she left at our earnest request, she evidently thought us veiy crotchety people for objecting. The scene on the canal was a curious one. There were numbers of boats going up and down and the Indians, as soon as they caught sight of an acquaintance, began to complimentary phrases, sometimes shout out a long string of in Spanish and sometimes in Mexican : How is your ?” “I trust that I have the happi- worship this morning health their, is ness seeing your worship in good If of honour doing your wor- anything I can have the for of forth till they are out of pray dispose me,” and so ship, of hats, is accompanied by a taking-off of hearing. All this complimentary grimaces. and a series of low bows and of cere- far as could ascertain, it is all mere matter As we the formal, compli- mony. It may be an exaggeration of talk of the Spaniards, but its origin probably mentary dates further back. dull, Indians here no longer appeared the same The quarter whom we had seen the richer melancholy men in of feeling There they were under a strong of the town. — DRESS. INDIAN INDIANS. understood by the is not language for their constraint, part, know but for their and they, mestizos and whites ; little sympathy there is very besides, Spanish and little shew this clearly One thing will classes. the two between the Indians line of demarcation, distinct By a enough. are at population, who rest of the separated from the are “ gente call themselves These latter partly white. least themselves to distinguish people of reason,— de razon” reason. In who are people without the Indians, from is made thus : the whites parlance the distinction common “gente” people,—the brown men and mixed breed are all. Indios”—Indians—and not people at being merely own in their own quarter, and among their Here, tell people, they seem talkative enough. We can only chattering about when they happen to what they are Spanish, either for our benefit, or to show off their speak proficiency in that tongue. People who can speak the then- Aztec language say that way of forming compound words gives constant occasion for puns and quibbles, and that the talk of the Indians is full of such small jokes. In this respect they differ exceedingly from the Spaniards, whose jests are generally about things, and seldom about their names, as one sees by their almost always bearing translation into other languages. Most of the canoes were tastefully decorated with flowers, for the Aztecs have not lost their old taste for ornamenting themselves, and everything about them, with garlands and nosegays. The fruits and vegetables they were carrying to market were very English in their ap- pearance. Mexico is supplied with all kinds of tropical finits, which come from a distance but the district we are now in only produces plants which might grow in our own country barley, potatoes, cabbages, parsnips, apples, pears, plums, peaches, and so forth, but scarcely anything — G2 ANAHUAC. tropical in its character. One thing surprises us, that the Indians, in a climate where the mornings and evenings are often very chilly, should dress so scantily. The men have a general appearance of having outgrown their clothes for the sleeves of the kind of cotton-shirt they only wear reach to their elbows, and their trousers, of the same material, only fall to their knees. To these two garments add a sort of blanket, thrown over the shoul- ders, a pair of sandals, and a palm-leaf hat, and the man is dressed. His skin is brown, his limbs muscular especially his legs—his lips thick, his nose Jewish, his hair coarse, black, and hanging woman’s straight down. The dress is as simple as the man’s. She has on a kind of sack, very short in the sleeves, and very open at cotton the shoulders, and some sort of a skirt or petticoat be- folded cotton cloth on her sides. Sometimes she has a head, like a Roman contadina but, generally, nothing which hangs down behind in covers her thick black hair, long twisted tails. Mexico was in the middle of a great In old times, when strong enough to hold and the inhabitants were not lake, they were driven to strange shifts to land on the shores, making food. Among other expedients, they took to get consisted of rafts of reeds and little floating islands, which from the shores of which they heaped mud brushwood, on mud the lake of Tezcuco the On the banks of the lakes. good for culti- and soda to be was, at first, too full of salt upon it, and of the lake pom’ing the water vation but by most of the through, they dissolved out letting it soak splen- cultivation, and bore the island was fit for salts, and were called chi- These islands did crops of vegetables* the pro- large enough for they were often nampas, and with live in it hut in the middle, and build a prietor to even this to do. lake, and here they had not freshwater * Chaleo was and is a ; SANTA ANITA. 63 GARDENS. the Mexicans came to be later times, when family. In his neighbours, the chinampas were afraid of their longer no off, and when the water was drained of much use and not have supposed that on dry land, one would the city stood arrangement would have troublesome and costly such a The Mexican, however, is hard to move been abandoned. customs of his ancestors and we have Humboldt’s from the of these arti- word for it, that in his time there were some which the owners ficial islands still in the lake of Chaleo, about with a rope, or pushed with a long pole. towed though the name They are all gone now, at any rate, of chinampa is still applied to the gardens along the canal. These gardens very much resemble the floating islands in thefr construction of mud, heaped on a foundation of reeds and branches they and though are not the real thing, and do not float, they are interesting, as the present represent- atives of the famous Mexican floating gardens. They are narrow strips of land, with a frontage of four or five yards to the canal, and a depth of one hundred, or a hun- dred and fifty yards. Between the strips are open ditches and one principal occupation of the proprietor seems to be bringing up mud from the bottom of the ditch with a wooden shovel, and throwing it on the garden, in places where it has sunk. The reason of the narrowness of the strips is that he may be able to throw mud all over them from the ditches on either side. While we are busy observing all these matters, and questioning our boatmen about them, we reach Santa Anita. Here there are swampy lanes and more swampy gardens, a little village of Indian houses, three or four pulque-shops, and church. Outside the pulque-shops are fresco-paintings, representing Aztec warriors carous- ing, and draining great bowls of pulque. These were no specimens of Aztec art, however, but seemed to be copied 64 ANAHUAC. (by some white or half-caste sign-painter, probably) from the French coloured engravings which represent the events of the Conquest. These extraordinary works of art are to be seen everywhere in this countiy, where, of all places in the world, one would have thought that people would have noticed that the artist had not the faintest idea of what an Aztec was like, but supposed that his limbs and face and hair were like an European’s. Here, with the real Aztec standing underneath, the difference was strik- ing enough. One ought not to be too critical about these things, however, when one remembers the pictures of shepherds and that shepherdesses adorn our English farm- houses. We drank pulque at the sign of The Cacique and liked it, for we had now quite got over our aversion to its putrid taste and smell. wonder that our new faculty of pulque-drinking did not make us able to relish the suspicious eggs that abound in Mexican inns, but it had no such effect, unfortunately. us back to the Promenade of Las Our canoe took planted with Vigas, which is a long drive, rows of trees, extends along the last mile or two of the canal. In- and from the beam (Viga) which swings deed, its name comes across the canal at the place where the canoes pay toll. promenade, once upon a time but the This was the great Alameda has taken away all the promenaders to a new quarter, except on certain festival days, more fashionable year, when it is the correct or four times in the three to make a display of itself—on horse- thing for society neglected Indian quarter. or in carriages—in this back happened upon one of these festival days so, We had the side-path, tired and dusty, we crawled along as we Mexican beau opportunity of seeing the had a good ex- of really good carriages was The display monde. recollected that many fami- it must be traordinary but ; — INUNDATIONS. EQUESTRIANISM. enough at home, live miserably content to here are lies at the thea- appear in good style can manage to they if is one reason why so promenade. This and on the tre are so friendly with you out Mexicans who many of the letting you are so very shy of doors, and in the cafe's, of and very likely of them houses. They say, see the inside it is customary to true, that among the richer classes, it is the marriage-contracts, that the hus- put a stipulation in carriage and pair, and a box at the band shall keep a The horsemen turned theatre, for his wife’s benefit. out and the foreigners were fully represented in great style, among them. It was noticeable that while these latter generally adopted the high-peaked saddle, and the jacket, felt hat country, and broad-brimmed of the and looked as though the new arrangements quite suited them, the native dandies, on the other hand, were prone to dressing in European fashion, and sitting upon English saddles in which they looked neither secure nor comfortable. We walked home past the old Bull-ring, now replaced by a new one near the new promenade, and found, to our surprise, that in this quarter of the town many of the streets were under water. We knew that the level of the lake of Tezcuco had been raised by a series of three very wet seasons, but had no idea that things had got so far as this. Of course the ground-floors had to be abandoned, and the people had made a raised pathway of planks along the street, and adopted various contrivances for getting dryshod up to them first floors; and in some places canoes were floating in the street. The city looked like this some two hundred years ago, when Martinez the en- gineer tried an unfortunate experiment with his draining tunnel at Huehuetoca, and flooded the whole city for five years. It was by the interference, they tell us, of the pa- troness of the Indians, our Lady of Guadalupe, who was brought from her own temple on purpose, that the city was 66 ANAHUAC. delivered from the impending destruction. A number of earthquakes took place, which caused the ground to split in large fissures, down which the superfluous water disap- peared. For none of her many miracles has the Virgin of Guadalupe got so much credit as for this. To be sure, it is not generally mentioned in orthodox histories of the aflafr, that she was brought to the capital a year or two before the earthquakes happened. Talking of earthquakes, it is to be remembered that we are in a district where they are of continual occurrence. If looks one carefully at a line of houses in is a street, it curious to see how some walls slope inwards, and some outwards, and some are cracked from to bottom. top There is hardly a church-tower in Mexico that is not visibly out of the perpendicular. Anyone who has no- ticed how the walls of the Cathedral of Pisa have been thrown of the out perpendicular by the settling down of the foundations, will have an idea of the general appear- ance of the larger buildings of Mexico. On different oc- casions the destruction caused by earthquakes has been very great. By the way, the liability of Mexico to these shocks, explains the peculiarity of the building of the houses. A modern English town with two -or -three- laid storied houses, with their thin brick walls, would be in ruins a shock which would hardly affect Mexico. by walls of Here, the houses of several storeys have stone resist by sheer strength and the such thickness that they low to suffer one-storey mud houses, in the subiu’bs, are too much by being shaken about. A few days before we and were playing arrived here, oiu- friends Pepe Pancho and billiards in the the Merchants’ Exchange; at Lonja,J “ Spanish America. The Lonja” is a featuro in the commercial towns of and Exchange, but their club, billiard-room, It is not only the Merchants’ words are con- in fact, their “lounge,’’ and I fancy the two smoking-room; one another. nected with AND EARTHQUAKES. 67 SAN JOSE utter astonishment to us the feeling of described Pepe ball, after striking the other, go which he saw Iris with absurd angle into a pocket. The shock suddenly off at an had tilted the table up on one side. of an earthquake was a slight shock, which While we were in Mexico there swinging, but we did not even notice set the chandeliers April, solemn procession goes from the Cathe- it. In a dral, on a day marked in the Calendar as the Patro- cinio de Senor San Josd,” to implore the “Santissimo Patri- protect the city from earthquakes arca” to (temblores). In connection with this subject there is an opinion, generally received in Mexico that so it is worth no- tice. Everybody there, even the most educated people, will tell you that there is an earthquake-season, which occurs in January or February; and that the shocks are far more frequent than at any other time of the year. My impression is that this is all nonsense but I should like to test it with a list of the shocks that have been felt, if such a thing were to be had. It does not follow that, because the Mexicans have such frequent opportunities of trying the question, they should therefore have done so. In fact, experience as to popular beliefs in similar matters rather points the other way. I recollect that in the earth- quake districts of southern Italy, when shocks were of al- most daily occurrence, people believed that they were more frequent in the middle four hours of the night, from ten to two, than at other times. Of course, this proved on ex- amination to be quite without foundation. To take one more case in point. How many of our almanack-books, even the better class of them, contain prophecies of wet and fine weather, deduced from the moon’s quarters How long will it be before we get rid of this queer old astro- logical superstition ? 68 ANAHUAC. We made a few rough observations the thermometer of and during Mexico. The barometer our stay in barometer stands at about inches, and our thermometer gave the 22i boding point of water at 199 degrees. We could never in this, get eggs well boded the high lands, and attributed whether rightly or not I cannot say, to the low tempera- ture of boding water. Ecclesiastics, Mexico. Group of IV. CHAPTER REAL DEL MONTE. TACUBAYA. PACHUCA. morning to the house of our friend Don We went one entered the informed by the servant as we Pepe, and were was up stairs waiting courtyard that the nino, the child, “ ” seemed an odd term to apply to a for us. The Child in the young man of five and twenty. The young ladies, the appellation same way are called the ninas, and keep until they marry. We went off with the nino to his uncle’s house at Tacubaya, on the rising ground above Mexico. In the garden there such one would find we found a vegetation as in southern Europe—figs, olives, peaches, roses, and many other European trees and flowers growing luxuriantly, hut among them the passion-flower, which produces one of the most delicious of fruits, the granadita, and other semi-tropical plants. The live creatures in the garden, however, were anything hut European in them character. There were numbers of immense butterflies of the most brilliant colours and the garden was full of humming- birds, darting backwards and forwards with wonderful swiftness, and dipping them long beaks into the flowers. They call them chupa-mirtos— myrtle-suckers, and the Indians take them by blowing water upon them from a cane, and catching them before they have recovered from the shock. One day we bought a cage-full of them, and tried to keep them alive in our room by feeding them with sugar and water, but the poor little things pined away. 70 ANAHUAC. In old times the Mexicans were famous for their orna- ments of humming-bird’s feathers. The taste with which they arranged feathers of many shades of colour, excited the admiration of the conquerors and the specimens we may still see in museums are beautiful things, and their great age has hardly impaired the brilliancy of their tints. This curious art was practised by the highest nobility, and held in great esteem, just as working tapestry used to be in Europe, only that the feather-work was mostly done by men. It is a lost art, for one cannot take much account of such poor things as are done now, in which, moreover, the designs are European. In this garden at Tacubaya saw for the first time the praying Mantis, and we caught him as he sat in his usual devotional attitude. His name is el predicador,” the preacher. Spanish We got back to Mexico in time for the Corrida de The bull-ring was a large one, and there were Toros. the spectacle many thousands of people there but as to whether one took it upon its merits, or merely com- itself, bull-fights of Old Spain, it was disgust- pared it with the and cowardly, and could The bulls were cautious ing. to fight. and the matadors almost always hardly be got partly through want of skill, in killing them failed bull than really harder to kill a quiet partly because it is straight at his assailant. To fill up who runs a fierce one iniquitous proceeding, they the whole measure of the a dagger, white jacket with to in a wretch in a brought matador could not unfortunate beasts which the finish the quite the way. It was evidently in the legitimate kill it. expressed no surprise at thing, for the spectators regular finished, there came bull-fight proper was After the which were supplementary performances, three or two very well worth seeing. A Mexican, and very genuinely lazadores, into the ring, where two was turned wild bull THE COLEAR. 71 THE BULL-RING. him. The bull horses, were waiting for beautiful little on the riders, who cantered full speed after one of set off at untying his and the other, leisurely ahead of him easily then, taking the end hung it over his left arm, and lazo, fall through the loop into a in his right hand, let the cord round which he whirled two or three times running noose, gently and threw it so neatly that it settled his head, end of down over the bull’s neck. In a moment the other wound times round the pummel of the cord was several the saddle, and the little horse set off at full speed to get rider had wheeled round, ahead of the bull. But the first thrown his lazo upon the ground, and just as the bull stepped within the noose, whipped it up round his hind leg, and galloped off in a contrary direction. Just as the first lazo tightened round Ins neck, the second jerked him by the leg, and the beast rolled helplessly over in the sand. Then they lazos off, no got the easy matter when one isn’t accustomed to it, and him off catching set again, .him by hind legs or fore legs just as they pleased, and inevitably bringing him down, till the bull was tired out and no longer resisted. Then they both lazo’d him over the horns, and galloped him out, amid the cheers of the specta- tors. The amusements finished with the colear.” This is quite peculiar to Mexico, and is done on this wise. The coleador rides after the bull, who has an idea that some- thing is going to happen, and gallops off as fast as he can go, throwing out his hind legs in his awkward bullish fashion. Now, suppose you are the coleador, sitting in your peaked Mexican saddle, that rises behind and before, and keeps you in your seat without an effort on your part. You gallop after the bull, and when you come up with him, you pull as hard as you can to keep your horse back for, if he is used to the sport, as almost all Mexican horses are, he is wild to get past, not noticing that his rider has got L 72 ANAHUAC. no hold of the toro. Well, you are just behind the bull, little to the left of him, and out of the way of his hind legs, which will trip your horse up if you dont take care take right you your foot out of the stirrup, catch hold of the end of the bull’s tail (which is very long), throw your leg over it, and so twist the end of the tail round your leg below the knee. You have either got the bridle between teeth or have let it your go altogether, and with your left hand you give your horse a crack with the whip he goes forward with a bound, and the bull, losing Ins balance by the sudden jerk behind, rolls over on the ground, and gets up, looking very uncomfortable. The faster the bull gal- the easier it is throw him over and two boys of lops, to twelve or fourteen years of age coleared a couple of young bulls in the arena, in great style, pitching them over in all The farmers and landed are im- directions. proprietors mensely fond of both these sports, which the bulls— the by seem to dislike most thoroughly but this exhibi- way— better than what one generally tion in the bull-ring was the leperos were loud in then' expressions of sees, and delight. we had been a week or two in the city of Mexico, When making an excursion to the great silver- we decided upon del Some of our district of the Real Monte. mining leaving for England, and had en- English friends were to Pachuca, going from whole of the Diligence gaged the Tampico, with all and thence to thence up to the Real, and an a train of carriages and circumstance of the pomp with them as far We were invited to go armed escort. early on the accordingly we rose very Pachuca and as under difficulties, and got some chocolate 28th of March, and a baby, Diligence, seven grown-up people, started in the leoucito.” to as very good, and was spoken of and who was European of of Mexico, the children the high plateaus On MEXICO. CACTUS-HEDGE. 73 ENGLISH IN strong as at home it is grow up as healthy and parents the a lower elevation above sea, on hr the districts at only do not thrive. Mr. G., who for instance, that they the coasts great merchant- the head of a leaving Mexico, was was and Mrs. G. that compliment to him house, and it was as a horsemen for party of English we were accompanied by a take much more three leagues. Englishmen the first two or horses than the Mexicans easily to Mexican ways about ours, and a finer turn-out of horses and riders than do to hardly have been found in Mexico. oui' amateur escort could There was our friend Don Guillermo, who rode a beau- tiful horse that had once belonged to the captain of a band of robbers, and had not its equal in the city for swiftness and Don Juan on his splendid little brown horse Pancho, lazoing mules he stray as went, and every now and then galloping into a meadow by the roadside after a bull, who was off like a shot the moment he heard the sound of hoofs. I wonder whether I shall ever see them again, those jovial open-heai’ted countrymen of ours. At last our companions said good-bye, and loaded pistols were carefully arranged on the centre cushion in of case an attack, much to the edi- fication of my companion and myself, it as rather implied that, if fighting were to be done, we two should have to sit inside to be shot at without a chance of hitting any- body in return. The hedges of the Organ Cactus are a feature in the landscape of the plains, and we first saw them to perfec- tion on the road between Mexico and Pachuca. This plant, the Cereus hexagonus, grows in Italy in the open air, but seems not to be turned to account anywhere except in Mexico for the purpose to which it is particularly suited. In its wild state it grows like a candelabrum, with a thick trunk a few feet high, from the top of which it sends out shoots, which, as soon as they have room, rise straight up- 74 ANAHUAC. wards in fluted pillars fifteen or twenty feet in height. Such a plant, with pillars rising side by side and almost touching one another, has a curious resemblance to an organ with its pipes, and thence its name organo.” To make a fence, they break off the straight lateral shoots, of the height required, and plant them closely side by side, in a trench, sufficiently deep to ensure their standing firmly and it is a curious sight to see a labourer bearing on his shoulder one of these vegetable pillars, as high as himself, and carefully guarding himself against its spines. A hedge perfectly impassable is obtained at once the cactus rooting so readily, that it is rare to see a gap where one has died. The villagers surround their gardens with these fences of cactus, which often line the road for miles together. Foreigners used to point out such villages to us, and remai'k that they seemed well organ- ized, a small joke which unfortunately bears translation into all languages, and was inflicted ordinary European without mercy upon us as new comers. We reached Pachuca early in the afternoon, and took friends went on up our quarters in the inn there, and our to Real del Monte. Tins little town has long been a place of of Pachuca some importance in the world, as regards mining-opera- tions. The Aztecs worked silver-mines here, as well as Spaniards came, and they knew at Tasco, long before the how to smelt the ore. It is true that, if no better process of the mines would than smelting were known now, most ex- scarcely be worth working but still, to know how to silver at all was a great step and indeed at that tract after Conquest, there was no better time, and for long the very place known in Europe. It was in this method Medina by name, discovered the process that a Spaniard, some amalgamation with mercury, in the year 1557, of 75 IN THE HILLS. UP see the place We went to the invasion. years after forty it still process, and found his new first worked where he ” for ex- “ (establishment de beneficio as a hacienda used discoveries in the ore.) So few silver from the tracting indeed out of any out of Mexico, or have come arts really the most of this that we must make Spanish colony, used which is more 'extensively important method, very America. As in North and South than any other, both produces, comparatively, so rest of the world, it for the is scarcely worth taking into account. little silver, that it bed, that we had forgotten, when we went to We feet higher than Mexico but were nearly seven hundred to our remembrance by waking had the fact brought and finding in the middle of the night, feeling very cold, marking degrees Fahr. whereupon we our thermometer 40 covered ourselves with cloaks, and the cloaks with the strips of carpet at our bedsides, and went to sleep again. We had hired, of the French landlord, two horses and a mozo to guide us, and sorry hacks they were when we saw them in the morning. It was delightful to get a little circulation into our at the veins by going best gallop our horses woidd agree for fresh from to we were hot countries, and not at all prepared for having our hands and feet numbed with cold, and being as hoarse as ravens—for the sore throat which is the nuisance of the district, and is very severe upon new comers, had not spared us. Evapor- ation is so rapid at this high altitude that if you wet the back of your hand it dries almost instantly, leaving a smart sensation of cold. One may easily suppose, that when people have been accustomed to live under the ordinary pressure of the air, their throats and lungs do not like being dried up at this rate besides their having, on account of the rarity of the air, to work harder in breath- ing, in order to get in the necessary quantity of oxygen. 70 ANAHUAC. Couglis seem very common here, especially among the children, though people look strong and healthy, but in the absence of proper statistics one cannot undertake to say whether the district is a healthy one or not. For a wonder we have a good road, and this simply be- cause the Real del Monte Company wanted one, and made it for themselves. How unfortunate all Spanish countries are in roads, one of the most important first steps towards civil- ization ! When one has travelled in Old Spain, one can imagine that the colonists did not bring over very enlight- ened ideas on the subject and as the Mexicans were not allowed to hold intercourse with any other country, it is easy to explain why Mexico is all but impassable for carriages. But if the money been —or half of it—that has spent in building and endowing churches and convents had been devoted to road-making, this might have been a great and prosperous country. For some three hours we rode among porphyritic along mountains, getting higher at every turn, and enjoying the clear bright air. Now and then met passed a we or long recua (train) of loaded mules, taking care to keep the safe side of the road till we were rid of them. It is not great drove of cattle in an pleasant to meet a homed Alpine pass, but I really think a recua of loaded mules is worse. A knowing old beast goes first, among the Andes the come tumbling after him anyhow, with their and rest or two on either side, and loads often projecting a foot Then, wherever the banging against anybody or anything. two particularly narrow, and there is a precipice of road is one or two of them or three hundred feet to fall over, block up fall down, or get their packs loose, and so will scrimmage of kicking and road, and there is a general the things straight till the arrieros can get shoving behind, the of a ridge, and see At last we reach the top again. i 77 SILVER-MINES. THE us. It is more del Monte below of Real settlement little else but than anything mining village Cornish ; like a and mine-sheds, chimneys, the engine-houses, course of fashion, go a long in true Cornish by Cornishmen built village is The making up the resemblance. way towards possible, up and of ground on the awlcwardest bit built house apparently ravine, one down on the side of a steep mile it takes half a roof of another and standing on the the town from the bottom of of real hard climbing to get to the top. neat little inn kept by an We put up our horses at a the Com- walked or climbed up to old Englishwoman, and acquaintances at the pany’s house. We made several new within few horns, intending to see Real, though we left a the place thoroughly on our return. One peculiarity of the Casa Grande—the great house appearance of everybody of the Company—was the warlike in it. The clerks were posting up the ledgers with loaded revolvers on the desk before them the manager’s room was a small arsenal, and the gentlemen rode out for exer- cise, morning and evening, armed the to teeth. Not that there is anything apprehended from to be robbers—indeed I should like to see any of the Mexican ladrones interfer- ing with the Cornish miners, who would soon teach them better manners. I am inclined to think there is a positive pleasure in possessing handling and guns and pistols, whe- ther they are likely to be of any use or not. Indeed, while travelling through the western and southern States of America, where such things are very generally carried, I was the possessor of a five-barrelled revolver, and admit that I derived an amount of mild satisfaction from carry- ing it about, and shooting at a mark with it, that amply compensated for the loss of two dollars I incurred sell- by ing it to a Jew at New Orleans. a ANAHUAC. We rode on to Regia, soon finding that our guide had never been there before so, next morning, we kept the two horses and dismissed him with ignominy. A fine road leads from the Real to Regia, for all the silver-ore from the mines is conveyed thei’e to have the silver separated from it. My notes of our ride mention a great water- wheel : sections of porphyritic rocks, with enormous masses of alluvial soil lying upon them : steep ravines : arroyos, cut by mountain -streams, and forests of pine-trees— thoroughly Alpine district altogether. At Regia it became evident that our letter of introduction was not a mere complimentary affair. There is not even a village there it is only a great hacienda, belonging to the Company, with the huts of the workmen built it. near The Company, represented by Mr. Bell, received us with the greatest hospitality. Almost before the letter was opened our horses and mozo were off the to stables, our room was ready, and our dinner being prepared as fast as might be. evening had, What a pleasant we after our long day’s work ! We had a great wood-fire, and sat by it, talking and looking at Mr. Bell’s photographs and minerals, which amusement in his leisure-hours. The Com- serve as an pany’s Administrador leads rather a peculiar life here. responsibility he has two or There is no want of work or three hundred Indians to manage, almost all of whom will the slightest scruple, if they can steal and cheat without ores, superintend get a chance he has to assay the a but which require the greatest skill and variety of processes property the value of judgment, and he is in charge of to hundred thousand poimds. Then a man must several of iron live in where the air have a constitution to a place rarefied, and where the temperature varies thirty and is so between morning and noon. As for society, forty degrees family; the better must find it in his own for even he ; AND THEIR PRIEST. 79 THE MINERS level, intellectually, are on so different a of Mexicans class him that then- society bores educated Englishman, from an than have to rather be left in solitude utterly, and he had travellers is a great advantage to talk to them. Well, it fix pleasant people in such out-of-the- that circumstances way places. The One necessary part of a hacienda is a church. and pay the proprietors are compelled by law to build one, priest’s fees for mass on Sundays and feast-days. Now, almost all the English one meets with engaged in business, managing or mines and plantations, are Scotch, and one may well suppose there is between that not much love lost them and the priests. The father confessor plays an im- portant part in the great system of dishonesty that pre- vails to so monstrous an extent throughout the country. He hears the particulars of the thefts and cheatings that have been practised on the proprietor who builds his clnu-ch and pays for his services, and he complacently ab- solves his penitents in consideration of a small penance. Not a word about restitution; and just a formal injunction to go and sin no more, which neither priest nor penitent is very sincere about. The various evils of the Roman Catholic system have been reiterated till the subject has become tiresome, but this particular practice is so con- trary to the simplest notions of morality, and has pro- duced such fearful effects on the character of this nation, that one cannot pass it by without notice. If the Superintendent should roast the parish priest in front of the oxidising furnace, till he confessed all he knew about the thefts of his parishioners from the Company, he would tell strange stories, how Juan Fernandez carried off sixpennyvvorth of silver in each ear every day for a month and how Pedro Alvarado (the Indian names have almost disappeai ed except in a few families, and Spanish names ; ANAHUAC. have been substituted) bad hammer a with a hollow handle, like the stick that Sancho Panza delivered his famous judgment about, and carried away silver in it every day when he left work; and how Vasco Nunez stole the iron key from the gate (which cost two dollars to replace), walking twenty miles and losing a day’s work in sell it, and eventually order to getting but twopence for it and plenty more stories of the same kind. The Padre at Regia, we heard, was not given to preaching sermons, but had lately favoured his congregation with striking a very one, to the effect that the Company paid him only three dollars time for saying mass, and that he ought have a to four. Almost every traveller who visits Mexico enlarges on dishonesty which is rooted in the character of the the are worse now in this people. That they respect than were before the Conquest is highly probable. Their they and enslaved people, position as a conquered tended, as it always does, to foster the slavish vices of dissimulation The religion brought into the country by and dishonesty. missionaries concerned itself with tlieir the Spanish be- morals shift and left their to for themselves, as it lief, does still stealing is the mining-districts universal. Public In the Indians does not condemn it in the least, feeling among steal successfully is contrary. To considered a quite the found out is no disgrace. Theft is not triumph, and to be times a thief might be put in punishable. In old even but Burkart, who was a mining-inspector for the stocks his time, some twenty years ago, years, says that in many abolished, and I believe the law has not been was this miserable sight the Indian It is a to see altered since. mines. They as they como out of the searched labourers ore packs in sucli a small com- but rich almost naked, are 81 SERVITUDE. MORALS OF stowing it away, that in ingenious are so and they pass, and their and ears, their mouths examine doorkeepers the secieted, have been pieces that constantly find and hair, this system of It is escapes. greater quantity while a far of certain little existence for the that accounts thieving Company, who works of the to the smelting-sheds, close may be imagined. feelings as such at them with look little one or two ore from places profess to smelt These is no their real object neighbourhood, but mines in the ore from the bits of rich buy the stolen secret. They the value for it. exactly half Indian labourers, giving these Mexican labourers must not judge Of course, we of honesty at though we had a very high standard as searched habitually home. That we should see workmen national dock-yards, in England, at the doors of our dis- much greater disgrace us. And not merely a is a to honest grace, but a serious moral evil, for to expose an him half a thief man to such a degradation is to make already. People who know the Indian population best assure us that their lives are a perpetual course of intrigue and dissimulation. Always trying to practise some small fraud upon their masters, and even upon their own people, they are in constant fear that every one is trying to overreach them. They are afraid answer to the simplest question, lest it should be a trap laid to catch them. They ponder over every word and action of their European employers, to find out what hidden intrigue lies beneath, and to devise some counter-plot. Sartorius says that when he has met an Indian and asked his name, the brown man always gave a false one, lest the enquirer should want to do him some harm. Never did any people show more clearly the effects of ages of servitude and oppression but, hopeless as the ; 82 ANAHUAC. moral condition of this mining population seems, there is one favourable circumstance to be put on record. The Cornish miners, wlio have been living among them for years, have worked quite perceptibly upon the Indian character by the example of their persevering industry, their love of saving, and their utter contempt for thieves and liars. Instead of squandering their wages, or burying them in the ground, many of the Indian miners take their savings to the Banks and the opinions of the foreigners are gradually—though very slowly—altering the popular standard of honesty, the first towards the step moral im- provement of the Mexican population. In the morning we went off for an excursion, having hacienda in exchange got a lively young fellow from the for our stupid mozo. There was hoar frost on the ground, intense at first but the sun and the feeling of cold was began to warm the ground about eight o’clock, and we glad fasten our great coats and shawls to our were soon to town of Atotonilco* saddles. Three leagues took us to the Grande, which gives its name to the plateau we were el in the valley of Mexico, crossing. Here we are no longer mountains of is separated from tins plain by the which Monte. We rode on two leagues more to the the Real del it being Sunday, we found the of Soquitalf where, village — — themselves by Indians amusing inhabitants mostly I can hardly say “doing the sun, doing nothing. standing in or shop, and went into the tienda, nothing,” though, for we in spirits. Tienda, trade going on in raw found a brisk shops were booth. The first Spanish, means a tent or thence market-places and booths at fairs or in tents or a derivation “ mean a shop in general tienda came to in the * “ called from tlie hot springs Hot-water-place,” so Atotonilco, neighbourhood. in the clay which abounds from the potter’s Soquital, “Clay-place,” manufacture here. is the staple district. Earthenware 83 SALT-TRADE. DRAM-DRINKING. word “shop” itself. that of the with which corresponds drop in at money seemed to population as had of the Such of a small di'am, which consisted intervals for a regular chinguerito. We white-corn-brandy, called wine-glassfull of were frying eggs the people at the shop tasted some, while and found it so beans for our breakfast and boiling the tears into our eyes, to strong that a small sip brought everybody bystanders. It seemed that amusement of the the old men and drinking who could afford it from was mothers’ arms everybody women to the babies in their share, except those who were hard up, and they had a drinkers. stood about the door looking stolidly at the like gaiety in the whole affair only a There was nothing of satisfaction appeared in the face of each as he took sort his dose. It is the drinkers of pulque who get furiously drunk, and fight here it is different. These drinkers of spirits much are not given to that enormous excess that kills off the Red Indians indeed, they are seldom drunk enough to lose their wits, and they never have delirium tremens, which would come upon a European with much less provocation. They get into a habit of daily—almost hotnly —dram-drinking, and go on, year after year, in this way seeming, as far as we could judge, to live a long while, such a life as it is. As we mounted our horses and rode on, we agreed that we had seldom seen a more melancholy and depressing sight. We met some arrieros, who had brought up salt from the coast and they, seeing that we were English judged we had something to do with mines, and proposed to sell us their goods. The price of salt here is actually three- pence per lb., in a district where its consumption is im- mense, as it is used in refining the silver ore. It must be said, however, that this is an unusual price for the mule- teers have been so victimised by their nudes being seized, — ANAHUAC. either by the government or the rebels (one seems about as bad as the other in this respect), that they must have a high price to pay them for the risk. Generally seven reals, or 3s. 6d. per arroba of 251bs., is the price. This salt is evaporated in the salinas of Campeche, taken by water to Tuzpan, and then brought up the country on mules’ backs—each beast carrying 3001bs. Of course, tills salt is very coarse and very watery all salt made in this way is. It suits the New Orleans people better to import salt from England, than to make it in this in of way the Gulf Mexico, though the water there is veiy salt, and the sun very hot. The fact, that it pays to cany salt on mules’ tells the backs, volumes about the state of the country. At lowest computation, the mules would do four or five times much work if they were any kind of cart as set to draw however rough—on a carriageable road. It is true that there is some sort of road from here to Tampico, but an that name English waggoner would not acknowledge it by all and the muleteers are still in possession of most of at over almost the traffic in this district, as indeed they are the country. all mid-day by this time and, as we could not It was taking chance for the to the Rio Grande without our get Indian rancho, we turned back. The heat night in some took off our coats and become so oppressive that we had his shirt-sleeves and holding a white Mr. Christy, riding in further protected over his head, which he had umbrella not that even in the East he had with a turban, declared Soquital, and so fatiguing a ride. We passed through had spirits as natives were idling and drinking there the since we left. and seemed hardly to have moved before, shortness of Atotonilco el Grande, called for This plateau Mexico, composed is, like most of the high plains of Grande, up with and obsidian, a valley filled of porphyry mostly 85 GRANDE. MARKET AT INDIAN which are all mountains, surrounding from tlie debris The mountain- in reddish earth. embedded volcanic, all speak, comes down the water, so to —in which torrents year round stream all the flowing in a steady once, not at immense power evidences of their England—have left as in the hills, from their which the sides of the ravines with in downward, are fluted. very tops resemble the Kamms These fluted mountain-ridges Alps, called so from their toothed (combs) of the Swiss appearance. numbers of Indians, bringing their wares We had met of Atotonilco the Sunday market in the great square el to reached the town on our way Grande and when we still going on briskly so we put up home, business was our horses, and spent an hour or two in studying the peo- ple and the commodities they dealt in. It was a real very much old-fashioned Indian market, such as the Spaniards found when they first penetrated into the country. A large proportion of the people could speak no Spanish, or only a few words. The unglazed pot- tery, palm-leaf mats, ropes and bags of aloe-fibre, dressed skins, &c., were just the same wares that were made three centuries ago and there is no improvement in their manu- facture. This people, who rose in three centuries from the condition of wandering savages to a height of civilization that has no equal in history —considering the shortness of the time in which it grew up—have remained, since the Conquest, without making one step in advance. They hardly understand any reason for what they do, except that then- ancestors did things so—they therefore must be right. They make then' unglazed pottery, and carry it five and twenty miles to market on their heads, just as they used to do when there were no beasts of burden in the country. The same with then- fruits and ; 8G ANAIIUAC. vegetables, which they have brought great distances, up the most difficult mountain-paths, at a ruinous sacii- fice of time and trouble, considering what a miserable sum they will get for them after all, and how much even of this will be spent in brandy. By working on a hacienda they would get double what their labour produces in this way, but they do not understand this kind of reasoning. They cultivate their little patches of maize, by putting a sharp stick into the ground, and dropping the seed into the hole. They carry pots of water to irrigate their ground with, instead of digging trenches. Tins is the more curious, as at the time of the Conquest irrigation was much practised by the Aztecs in the plains, and remains water-canals still of exist, showing that they had earned the art to great perfection. They bring logs of wood over mountains harnessing horses mules the by or to them, and dragging them with immense labour over the rough The idea of wheels or rollers ground. has either not oc- curred to them, or is considered as a pernicious novelty. is very striking to see how, while Europeans are It machinery and the most bringing the newest advanced into the country, there is scarcely any symptom of im- arts the people, who still hold provement among firmly to the their ancestors. An American author, Mayer, wisdom of people in Italy, as an illustra- a story of a certain quotes of the Indians in Mexico respecting im- tion of the feeling he says that the peasants provements. In this district, panniers with vegetables on one side, and loaded their filling it with stones the opposite pannier by balanced a traveller pointed out the advantage to be and when panniers with vegetables, he was by loading both gained immemorial had that then- forefathers from time answered market, they were wise then- produce to that carried so very little and that a stranger showed good men, and 87 ACCOUNT-KEEPING. SARDINES. established in the interfered who or decency understanding the Indians say that need hardly of a country. customs to a great course accounts and this of ignorant utterly are ; conservatism. obstinate then extent for at market-place round the several shops There were much as going on was brandy-drinking Grande, and the general small towns are in these The shops Soquital. at England. andiron-districts in in coal- like “the shop” stores, retail -trades the different towns that only in large It is in these is very noticeable One thing are separated. great stock of sar- certainty of finding a country stores, the of finding Sardines tin boxes. The idea dines in bright but the odd enough Indian villages seemed cl Vhuile in ; the coast of getting fish up from is, that the difficulty fact dearer than these sardines are not much is so great that Montezuma’s else, and they go a long way. anything from the gulf, method of supplying his table with fresh fish with it, is by having relays of Indian porters to run up for general and there is no efficient sub- too expensive use, stitute. It is in consequence of this scarcity of fish, that Church-fasts have never been very strictly kept in Mexico. The method of keeping accounts in the shops—which, it is to be remembered, are ahnost always kept by white or half-white people, hardly ever by Indians—is primitive enough. Here is a score which I copied, Li - 0- the hieroglyphics standing for dollars, half-dollars, meclios or half-reals, cuartillos or quarter-reals, and tlacos or — clacos—which are eighths of a real, or about d. While account-keeping among the comparatively edu- cated trades-people is in this condition, one can easily understand how very limited the Indian notions of calcu- lation are. They cannot realize any number much over ten and twenty—cempoalli —is with them the symbol of a great number, as a hundred was with the Greeks. There is in N 88 ANAHUAC. Mexico a mountain “ called in this indefinite way Cem- poatepetl” —the twenty-mountain. Sartorius mentions the Indian name of the many-petaled marigold “ cempo- axochitl” —the twenty-flower. We traded for some trifles of aloe-fibre, but soon had to count up the reckoning with beans. I have delayed long enough for the present over the Indians and then’ market so, though there is much more to be said about them, I will only add a few words respect- ing the commodities for sale, and then leave them for awhile. There seemed to be a large business doing in costales (bags) made of aloe-fibre, for carrying ore about in the mines. True to the traditions of his ancestors, the Indian much prefers putting his load in a bag on his back, to the far easier method of wheeling it about. Lazos sold at one to four reals, (6d. to 2s.) according to quality. There are two kinds of aloe-fibre one coarse, ichtli, the other much finer, the first made from the great aloe that pro- pito other from smaller duces pulque, the a much species of the same genus. The stones with which the boiled maize is the paste of which the universal tortillas are ground into were to be had here indeed, they are made in the made the basalt and lava which abound in the neighbourhood, of The metate is a sort of little table, hewn out of district. little feet, and its surface is curved basalt, with four the metalpile is of the the middle. The from the ends to rolling-pin. The old-fashioned material, and like a same It is beauti- pottery I have mentioned already. Mexican cheap. They only asked us nine- made, and very fully olla, or boiling-pot, that held four or five pence for a great was double the market-price. and no doubt this gallons, climate is al- thoroughly realized before how never so the sea in noticing the fruits altitude above as by tered ; OF REGLA. 89 GRANDE. BARRANCA MARKET AT at this little market, vegetables that were being sold and miles of which they were all fifteen or twenty within were wheat and barley, and the pinones grown. There fruit of the stone-pine, which grows in Italy, and is (the represent- largely used instead of almonds); and from these bananas atives of temperate climates the list extended to and zapotes, grown at the bottom of the great barrancas, 3000 or 4000 feet lower in level than the plateau, though in distance but a few miles off. Three or four thousand miles latitude of would not give a greater difference. It woidd never do to be late, and break our necks in one of the awkward water-courses that the cut plateau in about all directions so we started homewards, soon having to unfasten great-coats and shawls from our saddles, to keep out the cold of the approaching sunset and so we got back to the hospitable hacienda, and were glad to warm ourselves at the fire. Next morning, we went off to get a view of the great barranca of Regia. A ride over the hills brought us to a wood of oaks, with their branches fringed with the long grey Spanish moss, and a profusion of epiphytes clinging to their bark, some splendidly in flower, showing the fan- tastic shapes and brilliant colours one sees in Enoiish orchid-houses. Cactuses of many species complete the picture of the vegetation in this beautiful spot. This is at the top of the barranca. Then imagine a valley a mile or two in width, with sides almost perpendicular and capped with basaltic pillars, and at the bottom a strip of land whei e the vegetation is of the deepest green of the tropics, with a river winding along among palm-trees and bananas. This great barranca is between two and three thousand feet deep, and the view is wonderful. We went down a considerable way by a zig-zag road, my companion collect- ing armfuls of plants by the way, but unfortunately losing 90 ANAHUAC. liis thermometer, which could not be found, though a long hunt for it produced a great many more plants, and so the trouble was not wasted. The prickly pear was covered with ripe purple fruit a little way down, and we refreshed ourselves with them, I managing —in my clumsiness —to get into my fingers two or three of the little sheaves of needles which are planted on the outside of the fruit, and thus providing myself with occupation for leisure moments for three or four days after in taking them out. Many species of cactus, and the nopal, or prickly pear, especially, are full of watery sap, which trickles out in a stream when they are pierced. In these thirsty regions, when springs and brooks are dry, the cattle bite them to get at the moisture, regardless of the thorns. On the north coast of Africa the camels delight in crunching the juicy leaves of the same plant. I have often been amused in watching the camel-drivers’ efforts to get their trains of beasts along the narrow sandy lanes of Tangier, laden be- tween hedges of prickly pears, where the camels with then' sides long necks could reach the tempting lobes on both of the way. while the cattle in the Mexican In this thirsty season, plains derive moisture from the cactus, the aloe provides It frequently happened for man a substitute for water. from rancho to rancho asking for water in vain, to us to go abundance. pulque was to be had in though of the varied forms of To attempt any description In the Mexico would be out of the question. cactus in have described above northern provinces alone, botanists met with hundred species. The most striking we eight the opuntia), the organo, the prickly pear (cactus were dome- cereus, the various mamillarias night-blowing diameter thorns, varying in mounds covered with shaped — greybeard, six or eight feet and the an inch to from upright called them, “ the old man,” as our guide el viejo, FOR PULQUE. 91 COLLECTED ALOE-JUICE with grey wool-like and covered street-posts, like pillars filaments. ravine again, we found an the top of the Getting to flourishes here, though milking an aloe, which old Indian is too hot for it to pro- further down the climate a little the gentleman had a long gourd, of pulque. This old duce very club, but hollow inside, and shape and size of a great in among small end of this gourd was pushed light. The made scooping out the the aloe-leaves into the hollow by and in which the sweet juice, the inside of the plant, aguamiel, collects. By having a little hole at each end of the gourd, and sucking at the large end, the hollow of the plant emptied itself into the Acocote, (in proper Mexican, Water-throat), this queer implement is called. Acocotl, as Then the Indian stopped the hole at the end he had been sucking at, with Iris finger, and dexterously emptied the contents of the gourd into a pig-skin which he carried at his went up back. We with the old man to his rancho, and tasted Iris pulque, which was very good, though we could not say the same of his domestic arrangments. It puzzled us not a little to see people living up at this height in houses built of sticks, such as are used in the hot lands, and hardly affording any protection from the weather, severe as it is here. The pulque is taken to market in pig-skins, which, though the pig himself is taken out of them, still retain his shape very accurately and when nearly full of liquor, they roll about on their backs, and kick up the little dumpy legs that are left them, in the most comical and life-like way. When we went away we bought the old man’s acocote, and carried it home in triumph, and is it not in the Museum at Kew Gardens to this day (See the illustration ? at page 36./ At the hacienda of Regia are to be seen on a large scale most of the processes which are employed in the extraction 92 ANAHUAC. of silver from the ore—the benejicio, or making good, as it is called. In the great yard, numbers of men and horses were walking round and round upon the tortas,” tarts or pies, as they are called, consisting of powdered ore mixed with water, so as to form a circular bed of mud a foot deep. To this mud, sulphate of copper, salt, and cpiicksilver are added, and the men and mules walk round and round in it, mixing it thoroughly together, a process which is kept up, with occasional intervals of rest, for nearly two months. time the By that whole of the silver has formed an amal- gam with the mercury, and this amalgam is afterwards separated from the earth by being trampled under water in troughs. We were surprised to find that men and horses their lives in wading through could pass mud containing mercury in a state of fine division without absorbing it them bodies, but neither men nor horses suffer from it. into We happened to visit the melting-house one evening, lead being separated oxidizing while silver and were by lead in a reverberatory furnace. Here we noticed a the melted litharge ran from the mouth curious effect. The furnace upon a floor of damp sand, and spread over of the the heat of the mass vaporized it in a sheet. Presently, as still in the sand below, the sheet of litharge, the water heave and swell, and a number of slightly fluid, began to from its surface. Some of these cones small cones rose burst at the the height of four inches, and then reached re- red-hot fragments. I sending out a shower of top, was cool. It one of these cones when the litharge moved Vesu- funnel-shaped crater, like that which a regular had four had until three or years ago. vius little cones is complete between these The analogy the volcano of on the lava-field at the foot of those and “hornitos;” the concentric struc- the celebrated Jorullo, 93 OF REGLA. CASCADE JORULLO. that they proves Burkart, described by as of which, ture Until lately, manner. the same precisely formed in were was attributed of Jorullo cone of the great formation the tra- but later the hornitos, action as same kind of to the One is incorrect. fact that this established the vellers have few years Mexico a who was in Saussure family, of the De terraces of of three as consisting describes Jorullo back, another from a one above which have flowed basaltic lava, surmounted by a cone of being orifice, the whole central also opening, from which from the same lapilli tin-own up issued. streams of lava have later behind the of Regia is just The celebrated cascade enclosed on three sides There is a sort of basin, hacienda. basaltic columns, some eighty perpendicular wall of by a the side opposite the opening, a mountain- feet high. On has cut a deep notch in this wall, and pours down stream in a cascade. The basaltic pillars rest upon an undis- thick, and turbed layer of basaltic conglomerate five feet bed clay. The place is very picturesque that upon a of and great Yuccas which project over the waterfall, two crowned with their star-like tufts of pointed leaves, have a strange effect. These basalt-columns are very regular, with from five eight to sides and are almost black in colour. They have a curiously well-defined circular core in the middle, five or six inches in diameter. This core is light grey, almost white. The Indians bring down num- bers of short lengths or joints of the columns, and they are used at the hacienda in making a primitive kind of ore-crushing mill, in which they are dragged round and round by mule-power, on a floor also of basalt. When we had visited the falls we took leave of our hospitable friend, and set off to return to the Real. We stopped at San Miguel, another of the haciendas of the Company, where the German barrel-process is worked. 94 ANAHUAC. Just behind the hacienda is the Ojo de Agua—the Eye of Water— a beautiful basin, surrounded by a green sward and a wood of oaks and fir-trees. A little stream takes its rise from the spring which bubbles up into this basin, and the name Ojo de Agua,” is a general term applied to such fountain-heads. When one looks down from high hill upon one of these Eyes of Water, one sees how the name came to be given, and indeed, the idiom is thou- sands of years older than the Spanish tongue, and belongs as well to the Hebrew and Arabic. A Mexican calls a lake atezcatl, Water -Mirror, an expressive word, which reminds one of the German Wasserspiegel. Soon after nightfall we got back to the English inn, and went to bed without any further event happening, except the burning of some outhouses, which we went out to see. The custom of roofing houses with pine-shingles (“ tacu- general use of wood for building all meniles”), and the the best houses, make fires very common here. Dtuing the spent in the Real district, I find in my note- few days we book mention of three fires which we saw. We spent the resting, and in visiting the mine-works near next day in at hand. The day after, an Englishman who had lived the Real offered to take us out for a many years at ride and the Company’s Administrador lent us two day’s for the poor beasts from Pachuca could of his own horses, visited was hardly have gone so far. The first place we rocks.” Riding through a Penas Cargadas, the “loaded suddenly in view wood of oaks and pines, we came thick some three hundred feet high, of several sugar-loaf peaks, one crowned almost to a point at the top, and each tapering which seem to have been balanced with a mass of rocks as though equilibrium on its point,—looking in unstable would bring them doAvn. The pillars puff of wind the first been disin- conglomerate, which had of porphyritic were IMPLEMENTS. 95 OBSIDIAN DE NAVAJAS. CERRO while wind and rain the worn away by and ; tegrated solid porphyry, them, probably of resting on great masses It was the these influences. less affected by had been of rocks that we example of the weathering most curious we rode on to the From Penas Cargadas had ever seen. has forests, and Guajalote, where the Company farm of and the refin- cuts wood and burns charcoal for the mines tenant of the farm, was a ing works. Don Alejandro, the good fellow. He could not go on with Scotchman, and a us, for he had invited a party of neighbours to eat up a in hole in the kid that had been cooked a ground, with embers upon it, after Sandwich Island fashion. This *ls called a barbacoci—a barbecue. We should have liked to be at the feast, but time was short, so we rode on to the top of Mount Jacal, 12,000 feet above the sea, where there was a view of mountains and valleys, and heat that was positively melting. Thence down the to Cerro de Navajas, the “hill of knives.” It is on the sides of this hill that obsidian is found in enormous quantities. Before the conquerors introduced the use of iron, these deposits were regularly min ed, and this place was the Sheffield of Mexico. We were curious to see all that was to be seen; for Mr. Christy’s Mexican collection, already large before our visit, and destined to become much larger, contained numbers of implements and weapons of this very peculiar material. Any one who does not know obsidian may imagine great masses of bottle-glass, such as our orthodox ugly wine- bottles are made of, very hard, very brittle, and— if one breaks it with any ordinary implement going, as glass does, in every direction but the right one. We saw its resemblance to this portwine-bottle-glass in an odd way at the Ojo de Agua, where the wall of the hacienda was armed at the top, after our English fashion, apparently o J ANAHUAC. witli bits of old bottles, but which turned out to be chips of obsidian. Out of this rather unpromising stuff the Mexi- cans made knives, razors, arrow- and spear-heads, and MEXICO. FROM ARROW-HEADS, AND KNIVES OBSIDIAN AND SPEAR-HEADS STONE Arrow-head; obsidian: Teteuhuacan. obsidian: Te Ieoh varan. 1. Flame-shaped 2. Arrow-head opake shown two Javelin-head; obsi- •). Knife or Razor oj Obsidian; in aspects; Mexico. 4. Leaf-shaped Knife or Spears State: dian from Real del Monte. 5. Spear-head of chalcedony; one a pair supposed to be of : of at concre- excavating for the Casa Grande Tezcuco. (This peculiar opalescent ehalcedony occurs found in , large size, in the trachyiic lavas Mexico tions, sometimes of of 97 STONE KNIVES. OF MANUFACTURE nothing of the beauty. I say of great some things, other of the nor even and ornaments, mirrors obsidian polished be seen in that are to human face of the curious masks and polished laboriously cut only for these were collections, process. common-place us a jewellers’ sand, to with market of Tlate- the great the barbers at Cortes found razors, and he with such shaving the natives lolco busy of the same of other uses his men had experience and arrows which obsidian-headed material in the flights of and the more deadly sky,” as they said, “darkened the and of with obsidian points, maces stuck all over wooden after. These knives too, not long the priests’ sacrificial by chipping cut and polished, but made things were not cracking off pieces from a lump. This one can see by or all show. traces of conchoidal fracture which they the for it perished soon The art is not wholly understood, when iron came in but, as far as the after the Conquest, theory is concerned, I think I can give a tolerably satis- factory account of the process of manufacture. In the first place, the workman who makes gun-flints could pro- make some of the simpler bably obsidian implements, which were no doubt chipped off in the same way. The section of a gun-flint, with its one side flat for sharpness and the other side ribbed for strength, is one of the characteristics of obsidian knives. That the flint knives of Scandinavia were made by chipping off strips from a mass is proved by the many-sided prisms occasion- ally found there, and particularly by that one which was discovered just where it had been worked, with the knives chipped off it lying close by, and fitting accurately into their places upon it. Now to make the case complete, we ought to find such prisms in Mexico; and accordingly, some months ago, 98 ANAHUAC. when I examined the splendid Mexican collection of Mr, Uhde at Heidelberg, I found one or two. No one seemed to have suspected their real nature, and they had been classed as maces, or the handles of some kind of weapon. I should say from mem- ory that they were seven or eight inches long, and as large as one could con- veniently grasp and one or both of them, as if to remove all doubt as to what they were, had the stripping off of ribbons not carried quite round them, but leaving an in- termediate strip rough. There is another point about the obsidian knives which requires confirma- tion. One can often see. Aztec Knives or Razors. Long nor- Fluted Prism Obsidian: of nT1 onrla nf +V10 UU LUe CUUS L1IU U1 row Flakes Obsidian, having a of th' core from which Jlakes 'W have been struck *“* off. Scandinavian f1 i n t ZnZoZ. the bruise made the knives, by blow of the hard stone with which they were knocked off. I did not think of looking to this point when at Mr. Ulide’s museum, but the thus only obsidian knife I have seen since seems to be the end. bruised at workman Once able to break his obsidian straight, the long in his trade, for a large proportion of has got on a way intersect- articles he has to make are formed by planes the another in various directions. But the Mexican ing one the end, are generally not pointed, but turned up at knives a druggist’s This peculiar one may bend up spatula as 99 MINES. OBSIDIAN but results from purpose, to answer a not given is shape stone. fracture of the natural the or several implements making then, the way of Even obsidian got several clear. We is not entirely weapons which inches long— one about ten or lance-heads— maces with taper and covered base to point, were taper from present great things which and there are other flutings that some- on good authority, difficulties. I have heard of working the Indians still have a way where in Peru, the surface of a piece, laying a bone wedge on obsidian by may cracks. Such a process and tapping it till the stone Mexico. have been used in little articles made in museums beautiful We may see the mirrors anct masks in this intractable material, such as and cups. But, as I I have mentioned, and even rings lapidaries’ work. have said, these are mere situation of the mines was picturesque grand hills The of porphyritic rock, and pine-forest everywhere. Not far off is the broad track of a hurricane, which had walked miles, knocking the great trees down like through it for ninepins, and leaving them to rot there. The vegetation gave evident proof of a severe climate and yet the heat and glare of the sun were more intolerable than we had ever felt it in the region of sugar-canes and bananas. About here, some of the trachytic porphyry which forms the substance of the hills had happened to have cooled, under suitable conditions, from the molten state into a sort of slag or volcanic glass, which is the obsidian in question and, in places, this vitreous lava—from one layer having flowed over another which was already cool—was regu- larly stratified. The mines were mere wells, not very deep with hori- zontal workings into the obsidian where it was very good — ANAHUAC. and in thick layers. Round about were heaps of frag- ments, hundreds of tons of them; and it was clear, from the shape of these, that some of the manufacturing was done on the spot. There had been great numbers of pits worked and it was from these minillas,” little mines, as they are called, that we first got an idea how important an element this obsidian was in the old Aztec civilization. In exclusions made since, we travelled over whole dis- tricts in the plains, where fragments of these arrows and knives were to be found, literally every at step, mixed with morsels of pottery, and here and there a little clay idol. Among the heaps of fragments were many that had become weathered on the upper side, and had a remark- able lustre, like silver. Obsidian is called bizcli by the Indians, and the silvery sort is known as bizcli platera* They often find bits of it in the fields and go with great secrecy and mystery to Mr. Bell, or some other authority in mining matters, and confide to him their discovery of a silver-mine. They go away angry and unconvinced when told what their silver really is and generally come to the conclusion that he is deceiving them, with a view of off the scent, that he may find the place throwing them for himself, and cheat them of then- share of the profits just what their own miserable morbid cunning would under such circumstances. lead them to do the tools The family-likeness that exists among stone in many parts of the world is very and weapons found so obsidian itztli, a word which seems to mean origin- The book-name for is “ to the material ally sharp thing, knife,” and thence to have been applied But no made of. Obsidian was also called ilztetl, knife-stone. knives are existence I spoke on the subject wonld ever acknowledge the Indian to whom which obsidian, insisted that it was called bizcli, such a word as itztli for but of for the the corrupt modern pronunciation of another old name is apparently mineral, petztli, shiny-stone. same 101 OF MEXICO. IMPLEMENTS STONE North America, such of Hint-arrows The remarkable. Longfellow’s arrow Mr. as in the used to work at maker Dacotahs, and land of the northern which, in the wild of Mexico, the Apa- states use to ches and Comanches this day, might be easily mis- Obsidian. Mexican Arrow-heads of taken for the weapons of our It on the banks of the Thames. British ancestors, dug up implements is true that the finish of the Mexican obsidian flin t weapons of far exceeds that of the chipped and agate Scandinavia, and still more of England, Switzerland, those and Italy, where they are dug up in such quantities, in deposits of alluvial soil, and in bone-caves in the limestone rocks. But this higher finish we may attribute partly to superiority the of the material for the Mexicans also used flint to some extent, and their flint weapons are as hard to distinguish by inspection as those from other parts of the world. We may reasonably suppose, moreover, that the skill of the Mexi- can artificer increased when he found a bet- i i Aztec Knife Chalcedony mounted on a wooden handle, which is shaped -j of like a lid lllciWl lcll human figure with its face appearing through an eagle-head mask and has been nlaid With mo4a *c WOr^ malachite bone, shell, and turquoise. Length I2£ °f t til'll! flillt tO work upon. Be this as it may, an inspection of any good collection of such articles shows the much higher finish of the obsidian implements than of those of flint, agate, and rock-crystal. They say there is an ingenious artist who makes flint arrow-heads and stone axes for the benefit of English antiquarians, and earns good profits by it : I 102 ANAHUAC. should like to give him an order for ribbed obsidian razors and spear-heads I don’t think he would make much of them. The wonderful similarity of character among the stone weapons found in different parts of the world has often been used by ethnologists as a means of supporting the theory that this and other arts were carried over the world by tribes migrating from one common centre of creation of the human species. The argument has not much weight, and a larger view of the subject quite super- sedes it. We may put the question in this way. In Asia and of in Europe the use stone tools and weapons has always characterized a very low state of civilization and such implements are only found among savage tribes living by the chase, or just beginning to cultivate the ground and from the condition of mere barbarians. to emerge Now, if the Mexicans got their civilization from Europe, it must some people unacquainted with the use of have been from iron, if not of bronze. Iron abounds in Mexico, not only in but occurring nearly pure in aerolites of the state of ore, Cholula, and at Zacatecas, far from great size, as at not great ruins there so that the only reason for their not the been ignorance of its qualities. using it must have The Arabian Nights’ story of the mountain which con- sisted of a single loadstone finds its literal fulfilment in far from Huetamo, on the road towards the Mexico. Not Pacific, there is a conical hill composed entirely of mag- iron-ore. The blacksmiths in the neighbourhood, netic with no other apparatus than their common forges, make into wrought iron, which all ordi- it directly they use for nary purposes. civilization from Now, in supposing to be transmitted height to another, we must measure it by the one country 103 AZTEC CIVILIZATION. of a chain measure the strength point, as we lowest its of link. The only civiliza- the weakest of strength by the received from the Old Mexicans can have the tion that whose cutting some people have been from must World as we must stone, consequently, of sharp implements were barbarous and ignorant some very analogy, conclude by tribe. admit that the inhabitants we must From this point independently, to the extra- raised themselves, of Mexico distinguished them when culture which degree of ordinary aware of their existence. The became Europeans first plainly of their knowledge shows distribution curious themselves, and did not receive it found it for that they find a wonderful acquaintance with transmission. We by details as the real cause of astronomy, even to such length of the year given by intercala- eclipses,—and the surprising accuracy and, at the same time, no tions of knowledge whatever of the art of wilting alphabetically, hieroglyphics are nothing but suggestive for their pic- tures. They had carried the art of gardening to a high degree of perfection but, though there were two kinds of ox, and the buffalo at no great distance from them, in the countries they had already passed through in then- migra- tion from the north, they had no idea of the employment of milk. beasts of burden, nor of the use of They were a great trading people, and had money of several kinds in general use, but the art of weighing was utterly unknown to them while, on the other hand, the Peruvians habitu- ally used scales and weights, but had no idea of the use of money. To return to the stone knives the Mexicans may very well have invented the art themselves, as they did so many others or they may have received it from ; the Old World. The things themselves prove nothing either way. p 104 ANAHUAC. The real proof of their having, at some early period, communicated with inhabitants of Europe or Asia rests upon the traditions current among them, which are re- corded by the early historians, and confirmed by the Aztec picture-writings and upon several extraordinary coinci- dences in the signs used by them in reckoning astrono- mical cycles. Further on I shall allude to these tra- ditions. On the whole, the most probable view of the origin of the Mexican tribes seems to be the one ordinarily held, that they really came from the Old bringing with World, them several legends, evidently the same as the histories recorded in the book of Genesis. This must have been, however, at a time when they were quite a barbarous, nomadic tribe and we must regard their civilization as of independent and far later growth. We rode back through the woods to Guajalote, where the Mexican had the manner cook made us a feast after of the country, and from her experience of foreigners had learnt to temper throats. the child to our susceptible Decidedly the Mexicans are not without ideas in the matter of cookery. We stayed talking with the hospi- table Don Alejandro and his sister till it was all but dark, and then rode back to Real, admiring the fire-flies the to that were darting about by thousands, and listening our companion’s stories, which turned on robberies and after murders— as stories are apt to do in wild places But, save from being robbed some dark. an escape who was twenty years back, and the history of an Indian few murdered just here by some of his own people, for a had not much shillings he was taking home, our friend give for the two huge horse-pistols he carried, reason to a German ready for action. His story of the death of was worth here. He engineer in these parts is recording 105 OF MEXICO. AND COMMERCE SILVER companion and, night, with a home one dark riding country, tried a short cut knowledge of the trusting to his open mines near the the woods, among the old through passed all the dangerous Regia road. They had quite and gave his horse the spur, places, he thought, so he His down a shaft, hundreds of feet deep. plunged sheer pulled up in time, and got home safely. friend and then went We had one more day among the mines, Mexico in the Diligence. back to Pachuca, and next day to and good-natured in- Everywhere the same hospitality terest in us and our doings, often shown by people with Travelling whom we had hardly the slightest acquaintance. here is very different from what it is in a country on which the shadow of Murray’s Handbook has fallen. Almost all the interest Eru’ope takes in Mexico, politi- cally and commercially, turns upon the exportation of silver. The gold, cochineal, and vanilla are of small ac- count. It is the silver dollars that pay for the Manchester goods, woollens, hardware, and many other things those ubiquitous boxes of sardines a l’huile, for instance. The Mexicans send to Europe some five millions sterling in silver every year, that is, about twelve shillings apiece for all the population. It is just about what their government spends annually in promoting the maladministration of the coun- try (and, looking at the matter in that point of view, they don’t do their work badly for the money). The income of the Mexican church is not quite so much, but not far off. Baron Humboldt has expressed a hope that, at some future day, the Mexicans will turn their attention to producing articles of real intrinsic value, and not those which are merely a sign to represent it. He tells us, quite feelingly, how the Peace of Amiens stopped the working of the iron-mines that had been opened when t 106 ANAHUAC. they could get no iron from abroad for, when trade was reopened, people preferred buying in Europe pro- bably a better article at one-third the price. He even hopes an enlightened government will encourage (that is, protect) more useful industries. This was writ- ten fifty years ago, though. If an enlightened govern- ment will give people some security for life and property, and make reasonable laws, and execute them,—leaving men of business to find out for themselves how it suits them to employ their capital, it seems probable that the balance between articles of real value and articles of ima- ginary value will adjust itself, perhaps better than an en- lightened government could do it. The Mexican govern- ment has, unfortunately, followed Humboldt’s advice in some respects. Cotton goods, woollens, and hardware We may sum up the are thus protected. statistics of the Mexican cotton-manufacture in a rough way thus,—taking question the coarse cotton cloth called merely into 'manta, and used principally by the Indians. We may reckon this article alone the Mexicans have to roughly that for annually more than they could pay a million sterling get were no protection-duty. The only advan- it for if there that certain part of the tage anybody gets by this is a employed in a manufacture unsuited to the population is from work that may be and is thus taken away country, in The actual amount of money paid done profitably. forced into existence the class of operatives thus wages to forfeits than the amount which the country is much less home. Thus a sum the sake of making its manta at for taxation of amounting to a third of the amiual actually and away upon this one article country is thrown the ; similar unprofitable same way, to encourage more goes the manufactures. com- is stated, on respect to the silver-mines, it With are States of Mexico the northern authority, that petent 107 SILVER-MINES. MEXICAN any population, but there is scarcely in silver very rich of Red Indians who will not consisting mostly that and the United district becomes a territory of When this work. will, no doubt, almost certain, this silver States—as seems periods in the history of We may make three be worked. the Conquest, the Aztecs Mexican silver-mining. Before were Tasco and other places and woi’ked the silver-ore at value it very familiar with silver, though they did not working of silver became much. Under the Spaniards, the industry of the country and, until the the prominent Mexican Independence, the production steadily increased. The Spaniards invented amalgamation by the patio-pro- cess, a most important improvement. Then came above twenty years of confusion, when little was done. But when the Republic had fairly got under way, and the country was in some measure open to foreigners, Europe, especially England, in hot haste to take advantage of the opportunity, sent over engineers and machinery, and great sums of money, much of which was quite wasted, to the hopeless ruin of a great part of the adventurers. The improvements and the machinery remained, how- ever and the mines passed into other hands. Of late years the companies have been doing very well, and now export nearly as much silver as during the latter years of the Spanish government—nearly, but not quite. The finan- cial history of the Real del Monte Company is worth put- ting down. The original English company spent nearly one million sterling on it, without getting any dividend. They sold it to two or three Mexicans for about twenty- seven thousand pounds, and the Mexicans spent eighty thousand more on it, and then began to make profits. The annual profit is now some d?200,000. have said that the modern Mexican Indian has but little idea ol arithmetic. This was not the case with his — ANAHUAC. Ancestors, who had a curious notation, serving for the high- est numbers. The Indians of the present day use the old Aztec numerals, and from these there is something to be learnt. Baron Humboldt, speaking of the Muysca Indians of South America, says that their word for eleven is quihicha ;” ata, that is, foot one meaning that they have counted all then- fingers, and are beginning their toes. He pro- ceeds to compare the Persian words, pentcha, hand, and five, penclj, as being connected with one another, and gives various other curious instances of finger-numeration. We may carry the theory further. The Zulu language reck- ons from one up to five, and then goes on with tatisitupe (“ take the take the thumb”), meaning six tatukornba (“ pointer,” or forefinger), meaning seven, and so on. The Yei from nineteen, and for twenty language counts one up to says mo bancle “a person is finished”—that is, both fingers Eichhoff and toes. I venture to add another suggestion. Sanskrit word for finger, “daupni” (taken appar- gives a - forefinger), and which corres- from pra dec;ini, ently curiously with dacjan,” ten and we have the same ponds runnin through many of the Indo-European resemblance and SciktvXoc, decern and digitus languages, as $cka and on. Zehn and Zehe, so German, Mexican numerals will afford us a new illus- Here the first four of them ge, the meaning of the tration. Of can give no idea, any more than I nahui—I can ome, yei, three, four, which of the words one, two, of the meaning the Mexican for is macuilli, to them but correspond five in the dark as far Then we go on “hand-depicting.” it is matlactli, hand-half,” as I think which as ten, not the (from tlactli, half) and this would mean, means, which the half of the whole person, of a hand, but halving ma, The syllable his hands only. by counting you get ; NUMERALS. “ its appearance in the words makes means hand,” which else just as it should do. and no where and ten, five ; “one we have cempoalli, come to twenty, When we and toes cor- one whole man, fingers — that is, counting “a person is the Yei word for twenty, responding to finished.” more examples to show that I think we need no all countries—reckon by fives, tens, or people—in almost merely because they began to count upon their twenties, fingers and toes. If the strong man who had six fingers and six toes on each foot, had invented on each hand, a system of numeration, it would have gone in twelves, nearly like the duodecimals which our carpenters use unless, indeed, he had been stupid after the manner of very strong men, and not gone beyond sixes. We see how the Romans, though they inherited from their Eastern ancestors a numeration by tens up to decern, and then be- ginning again undecim, &c., yet when they began to write a notation could get no farther than five — II., in., rv., I., v. and then on again, vi., vii, up to ten, from ten to fifteen, and so on. There is a very curious vulgar error which prevails, even among people who have a good practical acquaint- ance with arithmetic. It is that the number ten has some special virtue which fits it for counting up to. The fact is that ten .is not the best number for the purpose you can halve it, it is true, but that is about all you can do with it, for its being divisible by five is of hardly any use for practical pm'poses. Eight would be a much better num- ber, for you can halve it three times in succession and twelve is perhaps the most convenient number possible, as it wfil divide by two, three, and four. It is this conve- nient property that leads tradesmen to sell by dozens, and grosses, rather than by tens and hundreds. If we used ; 110 ANAHUAC. eights or twelves numeration, we might instead of tens for of course preserve all the advantages of the Indian or Arabic numerals should discard the in the first case, we in the ciphers 8 and and reckon and second 9, 5, 6, 7, 10 case, we should want two new ciphers for ten and eleven and 10 would stand for twelve, and 11 for thirteen. Our happening really us into a rather to have ten fingers has led inconvenient numerical system. IN TERRA COTTA. AZTEC HEAD, OFFERINC.) A HOUSEHOLD-COD OR A VOTIVE (PROBABLV EITHER NOTE. with a masks incrusted 101 and two unique Knife figured at page The s collection; are in Mr. Christy (of turquoise and obsidian) similar mosaic work Copen- in the collection at workmanship are mask and head of similar and a art. style of Aztec examples of this advanced are the only known hagen. These after soon brought to Europe probably to one set, The whole once belonged a convent obtained at two at Copenhagen were of Mexico. The the Conquest at in a collection for a long period three, two were and, of the other in Rome; most probably where it was obtained at Bruges, other was Florence, and the Countries. in the Low during their rule the Spaniards brought by CHAP. V. GUADALUPE. MEXICO. the Serape worn by the Men. The Rebozo worn by the Women oj Mexico; and the news While we were away at the Real del Monte, had reached that Puebla had capitulated, and that Mexico the rebel leader had fled. The victory was celebrated in the capital with the most triumphal entries, harangues, bull-fights, and illuminations done to order. If had yon house in one of the principal streets, the police would make you illuminate it, whether you liked or not. The newspapers loudly proclaimed the triumph of the consti- tutional principle, and the inauguration of a reign of law and order that was never to cease. As for the newspapers, indeed, one looked in vain in them for any free expression of public opinion. They were all either suppressed, or converted into the merest mouth- Q 112 ANAHUAC. pieces of the government. The telegraph was under the strictest surveillance, and were no messages allowed to be sent which the government did not consider favourable to their interests a precaution which rather defeated itself, as the people soon ceased believe to any public news at all little all. In these mean shifts, which we in England consider as the special property of despotic governments, the authorities of the Mexican Republic showed themselves great proficients. We were left, therefore, to form what idea we could of affairs, the real state of Mexican from the private informa- tion received by our friends. Just for once it may be while give a few details, not because the worth to people engaged were specially interesting, but because the affair give an idea of the condition of the country. may serve to President Comonfort, not a bad sort of man, as it not strong enough for the place,” and with seemed, but against the an empty treasury, tried to make a stand army, who stood firm against any attempt clergy and the instinct, that, if any reform—knowing, with a certain at began, then’ own unreasonable privileges real reform once part of the be attacked. So the clergy and would soon anti-president, one Haro; and he installed army set up an the Re- Puebla, which is the second city of himself at Comonfort besieged him. So far public, and there reaccionarios.” described the doings of the have already wonderful accounts of attacks newspapers gave The at killed on both sides repulses, and reckoned the and and 10,000 were 10,000 regular troops, 2,500. There these were indeed) and (very irregular troops irregulars ; officers, and forty by a complete regiment of commanded on pretty sides but as, This is reckoning both generals. in the troops (Tejada’s statistical table), authority good the doubt no are only reckoned at 12,000, Republic the ; OF PUEBLA. CAPITULATION AND SIEGE As for the 2,500 exaggerated. much are numbers above a mere farce and, the siege was is that ; the fact killed, and soon in Mexico, heard at the time what we judging by more correct was a much in Puebla itself, 25 afterwards it, by one facetious people reduced and some estimate : The President had two and a half. division, to more in borrow some money desperate efforts, to managed, by and at sixty per cent. on the credit of the State, Mexico, ; that it was this money, judiciously ad- seems certain it about some of Haro’s generals, that brought ministered to the capitulation of flight of the anti-president, and the termination of the affair, according to the Puebla. The were incorporated newspapers, was, that the rebel army constitutional troops that their officers—500 in with the number—were reduced to the ranks for a term of years that a hot pursuit was made after the fugitive Haro and that, as it was notorious that the clergy had found the money for the rebellion, it was considered suitable that they should pay the expenses of the other side too and an order was made on the church-estates of the district to that effect. Of course, it was an understood tiling that the officers thus degraded would desert at the first oppor- tunity, and thus the Government would be rid of them. As for Haro, it is not probable that they ever intended to catch him and they were very glad when he disguised himself in sailor’s clothes, and shipped himself off somewhere. When the Mexicans first took to civil wars, the victorious leader used to finish the contest by having his adversary shot. At the time of our visit, this fashion had gone out and the victor treated the vanquished with great leniency, not unmindful of the time when he might be in a like situation himself. Whether the President ever got much of the forced contribution from the clergy, I cannot say. At any rate, 114 ANAHUAC. they have turned him out since and for a very poor government have substituted mere chaotic anarchy, as Mr. Carlyle would call it. While the siege was going on, all the commerce between Vera Cruz and the capital was in- terrupted, and, of course, trade and manufacturing felt the effects severely. Nothing shews the capabilities of the country more clearly than the fact that, in spite of its dis- tracted state and continual wars, its industrial interests seem to be gaining ground steadily, though very slowly. The evil of these ceaseless wars and revolutions is not that great battles are here fought, cities destroyed, and men sacri- ficed by thousands. Perhaps in no country in the world “ “ are decisive victories,” sanguinary engagements,” bril- liant attacks,” and the like, got over with less loss of life. Incredible as it may seem to any one who knows how many civil wars and revolutions in history occur the of the country for the last four or five years, I should not wonder if the number of persons killed during that time in actual battle was less than the number of those delibe- assassinated, or killed in private quarrels. rately Cheap as Mexican revolutions are in actual bloodshed, must recollect what they bring with them. Thousands we the country, robbing and mur- of deserters prowling about dering, and spreading everywhere the precious lessons barracks. We know something in they have learnt in of the good moral influence that garrisons and England with them and can recruiting sergeants carry about spreading of what must be the result of the judge a little country where there is numbers of these fellows over a As for the soldiers to restrain then- excesses ! nothing deserting, for one does not wonder at their themselves, their pressed men, earned off from are in great part they been drilled, shut up in barracks till they have homes, and pay, and moreover their considered to be tamed and are ; 115 STATISTICS. MILITARY of the military general state judge from the may one as understand People who regular. anything hut is finances, make very good Mexicans that the matters, say such well trained and steadily when fight well and and soldiers, surprising distances, able to march They are well officered. the very minimum live cheerfully on after day, to day could judge for our- anyhow. This we of food, and to sleep however, that they strongly thing there is, selves. One the range moved much beyond and that is to be object to, of the plains are as sus- climate. The men of their own the ill effects of the climate of ceptible as Europeans to caliente and the men of the hot lands cannot the tierra cold of the high plateaus. bear the great fun of the Travellers in the United States make profusion of colonels and generals, and tell ludicrous stories on the subject. There is also talk of the absurd number of armies, should not, officers in the Spanish-American but we by any means, confound the two things. In the United States it is merely a harmless exhibition of vanity, and an amusing comment on their own high-minded abnegation of mere titles. In Spanish America it indicates a very real and serious evil indeed. Don Miguel Lerdo de Tejada, in his statistical chart for 1856, quoted above, estimates the soldiers in the Re- public at 12,000, and the officers at 2,000, not counting those on half-pay. One officer to every six men and among them sixty-nine generals. These are not mere militia heroes, walking about in fine uniforms, but have actual commissions from some one of the many govern- ments that have come and gone, and are entitled to their pay, which they get or do not get, as may happen. Only fraction of them know anything whatever about the art of wax'. They were political adventurers, friends or rela- tives of some one in power, or simply speculators who 11G ANAHUAC. bought their commissions as a sort of illegitimate Govern- ment Annuities. The continual rebellions or pronuncia- mientos have increased the number of officers still further. Comonfort’s notion of degrading all the officers of the rebel army was a new and bold experiment. A very common course had been, when a pronunciamiento had been made anywhere against the then existing govern- ment, and a revolutionary army had been raised, for an amalgamation to take place between the two forces in- trigue and bribery and mutual disinclination to fight bringing matters to this peaceful kind of settlement. In this case, it was usual for the rebel officers to retain them self-conferred dignities. I think this body of soldierless officers is one of the most troublesome political elements at work in the Republic. The political agitators are mostly among them and it is they, more than any other class, who are continu- ally stining up factions and making pronunciamientos thing (what a pleasant it is that we have never had to make an English word for “ pronunciamiento”). Several times, efforts have been made to reduce the Army List to decent proportions, but a fresh crop always springs up. In the “lowest depth” of mismanagement which to Mexican military affairs have sunk, the newspapers still refer to countries which surpass them in triumphantly this respect, and, at the time of our arrival, were citing Republic, where there are a the statistics of the Peruvian general and twenty officers to every, sixty soldiers, and as many naval officers as seamen. administration These officers are not subject to the civil they may do. They have then* fuero, at all, whatever own their private charter, and are only amenable to their are theirs. To the ill effects tribunals, just as the clergy to coim- such armies and such officers in the of the presence of 117 REFORM IN MEXICO. continual interruptions to commerce must add the we tiy, distracted state of the republic, and the from the arising holds his property, tenure by which every one uncertain this, in its effect on the morale of say his life and not to is worse than the positive suffering they the whole country, inflict. So' much for soldiering, for the present. We leave or- the President trying, with the aid of his Congress, to ganize the government, and set things straight generally. This august assembly is selected from the people by univer- manner, sal suffrage, in the most approved and ought to be a veiy important and useful body, but unfortunately can do nothing but talk and issue decrees, which no one else cares about. In consequence of the alarming increase of highway- robbery, steps are taken to diminish the evil. It is made lawful to punish such offenders on the spot, by Lynch law. This is all. You may do justice on him when caught, but really you must catch him yourself. Sober citizens are even regretting the days of Santa Ana (recollect, I speak now of and 1856, they might regret him still more in 1860.) He was a great scoundrel, it is true but he sent down detachments of soldiery to where the robbers prac- tised their profession, and garotted them in pairs, till the roads were as safe as ours are in England. A President who sells states and pockets the money may have even that forgiven him in consideration of roads kept free from robbers, and some attempt at an effectual police. There is a lesson in this for Mexican rulers. The Congress professed to be hard at work cleaning out the Augean stable of laws, rescripts, and proclama- tions, and making a working constitution. We went to see them one day, and heard talking going on, but it all came to nothing. Of one thing we may be quite sure, that if this unlucky country ever does get set straight, it 118 ANAHUAC. will not be done by a Mexican Congress sitting and cack- ling over it. On our return from the Real, we spent two days at the house of an English friend at Tisapan, at the edge of the great Pedrigal, or lava-field, which lies south of the capi- tal. It was across this lava-field that a part of the American army marched in ’47, and defeated a division of the Mexican forces encamped at Contrevas. On the same day the American army attacked the Mexicans who held a strongly fortified position at Churubusco, some four miles nearer Mexico, and routed the main army there. They beat them again at Molino del Rey, carried the hill of Chapultepec by storm, and then entered the city without meeting with further resistance though the Mexicans, after they had formally yielded possession of the city, disgraced themselves by assassinating stray Americans, stabbing them in the streets, and lazoing them from the of the low mud houses in the suburbs. tops An acquaintance of ours in Mexico met some American soldiers, with corporal, in the street close to his house, and asked them in. Presently the corporal sent one of men off into the next street to execute some commis- the sion but half an hour elapsed, and the man not returning, what was the matter. He the corporal went out to see of those back presently, and remarked that some came the man as he was turning cursed Mexicans had stabbed lying there. So,” of the street, and left him the corner “ and as well finish Ins brandy said the corporal, I may and the men went water for him he did so accordingly, home to their quarters. imagine, The American soldiers were, as one may born the smaller part of them were rough lot. Only judge Europe to the rest were emigrants from Americans, in and them—both in the States what we heard of by 119 ARMY. MEXICAN scoundrels in the Re- of all the very refuse —the Mexico rigid discipline officered, and were well hut they public kept in order, effectually were they So maintained. was was a smaller evil to that it Mexicans confessed that the the country, forces marching through the enemy’s have army. than their own American invasion is given elaborate account of the An who do not care for details Mayer’s Mexico.’ To those in in there are still points of interest of military operations, Americans should have history. That ten thousand the the mountain-passes, and to been able to get through capital at all, is an astonishing thing and after reach the that, their successes in the valley of Mexico follow as a matter of course. They could never have crossed the mountains but for a combination of circumstances. The inhabitants generally displayed the most entire in- difference possibly preferring to sell their provisions to the Americans, instead of being robbed of them by their own countrymen. Add to this, that the Mexican officers showed themselves grossly ignorant of the art of war and that the soldiers, though they do not seem to have been defi- cient in courage, were badly drilled and insubordinate. One would not have wondered the at army being in such a condition—in a country that had long been in a state of profound peace but in Mexico a standing army had been maintained for years, at a great expense, and continual civil wars ought to have given people some ideas about soldiering. We may judge, from the events of this war, that Mexico might be kept in good order by a small number of American troops. The mere holding of the country is not the greatest difficulty in the question of American annexation. One thing that struck our friends at Tisapan, among their experiences of the war, was the number of dead R 120 ANAHUAC, bodies of women and children that were found on the battle-fields. A crowd of women follow close in the rear of a Mexican army almost every soldier having some woman who belongs to him, and who carries a heavy load of Indian corn and babies, and cooks tortillas for her lord and master. The number of these poor creatures who perished in the war was very great. We spent much of our time at Tisapan in collecting plants, and exploring the lava-field, and the Canada, or ravine, that leads up into the mountains that skirt the valley of Mexico. I recollect one interesting spot we came to in riding through the pine-forest on the northern slope of the mountains, where the course of a torrent, now dry, ran along a mere narrow trench in the hard porphyritic rock, some ten or fifteen feet wide, until it had suddenly entered a bed of gravel, where it had hollowed out a vast ravine, four hundred feet wide and two hundred deep, the inlet of the water being, in proportion, as small as the that serves to fill a cistern. pipe enough in the south of Europe, Such places are common seldom on so grand a scale as one finds them in this but the floods come down from the hills with country, where had astounding suddenness and violence. Mr. L. expe- this one day, when he had got inside his water- rience of inspect its condition, the water being securely wheel, to However, an aversada—one of off, as he thought. shut notice freshets—came down, quite without these sudden into the channel to set the wheel enough water got and and ex- to afford its proprietor a very curious going, so as the manner of a squirrel in a revolving citing ride, after the water. until the people succeeded in drawing oft’ cage, return from Tisapan that we paid It was after our rather important per- Lady of Guadalupe, an visit to Our The of Mexican church -matters. the history sonage in SANTA MARIA DE GUADALUPE. J 21 past Santo Domingo, the church lies of the Holy way Office, and down a long street where live the purveyors things for of all the muleteers. Here one may buy mats, ropes, pack-saddles—which the arrieros delight to have ornamented with fanciful designs and inscriptions, lazos, and many other things of the same kind. Passing out through the city-gate, we ride along a straight causeway, which extends to Guadalupe. A dull road enough in itself, but the interminable strings of mules and donkeys, bringing in pig-skins full of pulque, are worth seeing for once and the Indians, trudging ; out and in with then- various commodities, are highly picturesque. On a building at the side of the causeway we notice “Estacion de Mejico” (Mexico Station) painted in large letters. As far as we could observe, this very suggestive sign-board is the whole plant of the Railway Company at this end of the line. range of hills ends abruptly in the plain, at a place which the Indians called Tepeyacac, “end of the hill” (literally “at the hill’s nose”). Our causeway leads to this spot; and there, at the foot and up the slope of the hill, are built the great cathedral and other churches and chapels, altogether a vast and imposing collection of buildings and round these ; a considerable town has grown up, for this is the great place of pilgrim- age in the country. The Spaniards had brought a miraculous picture with them, Nuestra Senora de Remedios, which is still in the country, and many pilgrims visit it; but Our Lady of Guadalupe is a native Mexican, and decidedly holds the first rank in the veneration of the people. In the great church there is a picture mounted in a gold frame of great value. Its distance from the altar-rails and the pane of glass which covers it, prevent one’s see- ing it very well. This was the more unfortunate, as, 122 ANAHUAC. according to my history, the picture is in itself evidently of miraculous origin, for the best artists are agreed that no human hand could imitate the drawing or the colour ! It appears that the Aztecs, long before the arrival of the Spaniards, had been in the habit of worshipping— in this very place— goddess, who was known as Teoten- antzin, motlier-god,” or Tonantzin, our mother.” Ten years after the Conquest, a certain converted Indian, Juan Diego (John James) byname, was passing that way, and to him appeared the Virgin Mary. She told him to go to the bishop, and tell him to build her a temple on the place where she stood, giving him a lapful of flowers as a token. When the flowers were poured out of the gar- ment, in presence of the bishop, the miraculous picture appeared underneath, painted on the apron itself. The bishop accepted the miracle with great unction the tem- ple was built, and the miraculous image duly installed in it. Its name of Santa Maria de Guadalupe,” was not, as one might imagine, taken from the Madonna of that name in Spain (of course not but was communicated by Our !), Lady herself to another converted Indian. She told him that her Tequatlanopeuh, title was to be Santa Maria de Saint Mary of the rocky hill,” of which hard word the Spaniards made “Guadalupe,” -just as they had turned Quauhnahuac into Cuernavaca, and Quauhaxallan into Spanish form Guadalajara, substituting the nearest word of least is for the unpronounceable Mexican names. Tliis at author, the Bache- the ingenious explanation given by my Astrology, lor Tanco, Professor of the Aztec language, and of University of hi 1666. The bishop hi the Mexico, the year person than who authenticated the miracle was no less a Mex- known hi Fray Juan de Zumarraga, whose name is well the all history, for it was he who collected together ican moun- “ quite a picture-writings that he could find, Aztec 123 DE REMEDIOS. VIRJEN and made a solemn the chroniclers, them,” say of tain The square of Tlatelolco. in the great of them bonfire Guadalupe, and by Virgin of worked by the miracles the faith which the innumerable and of it, are copies ; is Indians have in it of Mexicans and the lower orders boundless. the the Anniversary of On the 12th of December, the faith- kept, and an amazing concourse of Apparition is German traveller fid repair to the sanctuary. Heller, a in saw an Indian taken to the who was in Mexico 1846, which had not even been chinch he had broken his leg, simply expected Our Lady to cure him with- set, and he out any human intervention at all. Unluckily, the author had no opportunity of seeing what became of him. The great miracle of all was the deliverance of Mexico from the great inundation of and the fact is established thus. 1626, The city was under water, the inhabitants in despair. The picture the was brought to Cathedral in a canoe, through the streets of Mexico and between one and two years afterwards the inundation subsided. Ergo, it was the picture that saved the city ! For centuries fierce a rivalry existed between the Spanish Virgin, called de Remedios,” and Our Lady of Guadalupe the Spaniards supporting the first, and the native Mexicans the second. A note of Humboldt’s illus- trates this feeling perfectly. He relates that whenever the country was suffering from drought, the Virjen de Remedios was carried into Mexico in procession, to bring rain, till it came to be said, quite as a proverb, Hccsta el agua nos — clebe venir de la Gaehv/pina “We must get even our water from that Spanish creature.” If it hap- pened that the Spanish Madonna produced no effect after a long trial, the native Madonna was allowed to be brought solemnly in by the Indians, and never failed in bringing ; ANAHUAC. the wished-for rain, which always came sooner or later. It is remarkable that the Spanish party, who were then all-powerful, should have allowed their own Madonna to be placed at such a disadvantage, in not having the last innings. I need hardly say that the shrine of Guadalupe is monstrously rich. The Chapter has been known to lend thing such a as a million or two of dollars at a time, though most of their property is invested on landed security. They are allowed to have lotteries, and make something handsome out of them and they even sell medals and prints of their patroness, which have You great powers. may have plenary indulgence in the hour of death for six- pence or less. We drank of the water of the chalybeate which turned out spring, bought sacred lottery-tickets, blanks, and tickets for indulgences, which, I greatly fear, valuable and rode home along the will not prove more so dusty causeway to breakfast. of learning what sort of books the poorer As means overhauled with great dili- classes in Mexico preferred, we especially gence the book-stalls, of which there are a few, (Portales) near the great square. The under the arcades public have not much cheap literature to read Mexican of such popular works is half filled with and the scanty list miracle-books of the Lady of Guadalupe, and other Our cir- Father Ripalda’s Catechism has a large same kind. hi general use in the and is apparently the one culation, containing speaks of this catechism as country. Zavala but my maxims of blind obedience to king and pope the about has scarcely anything to say more modern edition Of the government. and nothing at all about the Pope, for much, the Pope has not counted late years, indeed, Holiness occasion his in Mexico and on one politically, church -benefices, he tried to intei-fere about found, when On the rather nominal than real. authority was that his 125 LITERATURE. MEXICAN much as the me so Catechism struck in the nothing whole, astonish- my unspeakable which, to multiplication-table, of book a table middle of the in the tinned up ; ment, the Holy again with then it began followed and fractions Trinity. almanacks, there are the continue our catalogue To by the foretelling the weather contain rules for which fooleries which we none of the other moon’s quarters, but in England among the less those that circulate find in the taste for It is curious to notice how educated classes. beginnings sonnets and other dreary poems at the putting in these Spanish coun- ends of books has survived and known in England as a copy of tries. What used to be still appreciated here, and almanacks, news- verses” is papers, religious books, even programmes of plays and such dismal bull-fights, are full of compositions. We ought to be thankful that the fashion has long since gone out with us (except in the religious tract, where it still survives). It is not merely apropos of sonnets, but of thousands of other things, that in these countries one is brought, in a manner, face to face with England as it used to be and veiy trifling matters become interesting when viewed in this fight. The last item in the fist comprises translations, principally of French novels, those being pre- ferred “ in which the agony is piled up” to the highest point. German literature is represented by the Sorrows of Werter.” Of course, Uncle Tom’s Cabin” is widely circulated here, as it is everywhere in countries not given to “ the particular vanity” attacked in it. One need hardly say that both literature and educa- tion are at a very low ebb in Mexico. Referring to Tejada again, I find that he reckons that in the capital, out of a population of 185,000, there are 12,000 scholars at primary schools but of course, as in other countries, ; a large pro- 126 ANA H UAC. portion of these children attend so irregularly that they can hardly learn anything. For the country generally, he estimates one child receiving instruction out thirty- of seven inhabitants, a very significant piece of statistics. Efforts are being made, especially in the capital, to raise the population out of this state. Mr. Christy took much trouble in investigating the subject, with the assistance of our friend Don Josd Miguel Cervantes, the head of the Ayuntamiento, or Municipal Council. This gentleman, with a few others, has been doing much up-hill work of this kind for years past, establishing schools, and trying to make head against the opposition of the priests and the indifference of the people, with as yet but small success. It seems hard to be always attacking the Roman Catholic clergy, but of one thing we cannot remain in doubt, that their influence has had — more to do than any- thing else with the doleful ignorance which reigns supreme in Mexico. For centuries they had the education of the country in their hands, and even at this day they retain the The training which the priests them- greater share of it. selves receive will therefore give one some idea of what they teach their scholars. Unluckily, then course of in- ago, when learned men de- struction was stereotyped ages voted themselves to writing huge books on divinity, concealing then igno- casuistry, logic, and metaphysics clouds facts under an affectation of wisdom and rance of how many millions of of long words demonstrating writing treatises angels could dance on a needle’s point “ unknow- on a good many things cle omni re and the art of able also and teaching their admiring scholars they sham arguments on any subject, whether building up it This is a very vicious know anything about or not. more especially of training for a man’s mind, the system of superior to set him up with a stock when it is supposed 127 IN MEXICO. EDUCATION clergy the Roman Catholic is what and this knowledge in Mexico after generation, generation learning, been have plenty of exceptions, there are Ot course, elsewhere. and I have but, so far as the higher clergy among particularly ; schools has in clerical ascertain, education able to been to talk a kind. It is instructive been of this generally doing, to finds an opportunity of as one occasionally little, speaking out of these colleges. I recollect some youth just left the Seminario of man who had just to a young been through a long course of theo- Mexico, where he had philosophy. He was astonished to hear that logy and were not universally practised bull-fighting and colearing his father began to question me in Europe and, when war, the young gentleman’s remarks about the Crimean showed that he had not the faintest idea where England and France were, nor how far they were from one another. long ago, I happened, not to visit a celebrated monas- tic college in South Italy, where they educated, not ordi- nary mortals, but only young men of noble birth and here I took particular care in inspecting the library, judg- ing that, though the scholars need not learn all that was there, yet that no department of knowledge would be taught there that was not represented on the library- shelves. What I saw fully confirmed all that I had pre- viously seen and heard about the monastic learning of the present day. There were to be seen many fine manu- scripts, and black-letter books, and curious old editions of great value, good store of classics (mostly Latin, however), works of the Fathers by the hundred-weight, and quartos and folios of canon-law, theology, metaphysics, and such like, by the ton. But it seemed that, in the estimation of the librarians, the world had stood still since the time of Duns Scotus for, of what we call ; positive knowledge, except little arithmetic and geometry, and a few very s 128 ANAHUAC. poor histories, I saw nothing. It is easy to see how one result of the clerical monopoly of education has therefore come about—that the intellectual standard is veiy low in Mexico. The Holy Office, too, has had its word to say in the matter. This institution had not much work to do in burning Indians, who were anything sceptical in but their turn of mind, and, indeed, were too much like Theodore Hook, and would believe forty, if you pleased.” They even went further, and were apt to believe not only what the missionaries taught them, but to cherish the memory of their old gods into the bargain. It was three centuries after the that Mr. Bullock the goddess Conquest, got Teoyaomiqui dug up in Mexico and the old Indian remarked to him that it was true the Spaniards had given it rather hard to them three very good new gods, but was take away all their old ones. At any rate, the functions working of the Inquisition were mostly confined to the suppressing knowledge gene- Index Expv/rgatorius, and long rally, which they did with great industry until not ago. Mexican ignorance, and a Here, then, are two causes of the this that Mexico was a colony to which third may be them fortunes, with a Spaniards generally came to make of returnin their own land and this state view of to as regards the unfavourable to the country things was in other things. progress of knowledge, as well as CHAP. VI. TEZCUCO. Tezcuco itself, a great lake of Tezcuco is Across the kingdom at the time of the the capital of a city and learned men. for its palaces and its Conquest, and famous built, indeed, to a insignificant Spanish town, Now it is an of the old buildings. Mr. extent, of the stones great evaporating-works at the edge of the Bowring, who has in the “Casa Grande”—the Great House, lake, and fives outside Tezcuco, has invited us to pay him a visit just drive so we get up early one April morning, and down to the Solitude of Holy Cross (Calle de la Sole- the street of dad de Santa Cruz). There we find Mr. Millard, a French- man, who is an employ^ of Mr. Bowring’s, and is going back to Tezcuco with us and we walk down to the canal with him, half a dozen Indian porters with baskets follow- ing us, and trotting along in the queer shuffling way that is habitual to them. At the landing-place we find a number of canoes, and a crowd of Indians, men and women, in scanty cotton garments which show the dirt in an un- pleasant manner. A canoe is going to Tezcuco, a sort of regular packet-boat, in fact and of this canoe Mr. Millard has retained for us three the stem half, over which is stretched an awning of aloe-fibre cloth. The canoe itself is merely a large shallow box, made of rough planks, with sloping prow and stem, more like a bread-tray in shape than anything else I can think of. There is no attempt at 130 ANAHUAC. making the bows taper, and indeed the Indians stoutly resist this or any other innovation. In the fore part of the canoe there is already a heap of other passengers, lying like bait in a box, and when we arrive the voyage begins. The crew are ten in number the captain, eight men, and an old woman in charge of the tortillas and the pulque-jar. All these are brown people in fact, the navi- gation of the lakes is entirely in the hands of the Indians, and “reasonable people” have nothing to do with it. Reasonable people “gente de razon”—being, as I have said before, those who have any white blood in them and republican institutions have not in the least effaced the distinction. it comes to that So pass the canoe-traffic is earned on in much the same way as it was in Montezuma’s time. There is one curious difference, however. These canoes are all poled about the lakes and canals and I do not think we saw an Indian oar or paddle in the whole valley Mexico. In the ancient picture-writings, however, the of Indians are paddling then canoes with a kind of oar, at the end like one of our fire-shovels. But, as we shaped has' have seen, the distribution of land and water altered those days and the lakes, far greater in extent, were since and of course several feet deeper all over the present beds distance from the city poling would have even at a short originally impossible. I suspect that the Aztecs been paddles, that the latter went out used both poles and and enough for the pole use when the water became shallow of that all purposes. Otherwise, we must suppose to serve introduced a Mexicans, since the Spanish Conquest, the which is not easy to believe. new invention and fairly out had first to get out of the canal, We canal This was the more desirable, as the the lake. into it fills badly of the city, an office that is one of the drains DE LOS BANOS. 131 LAKE. PENON TEZCUCO there is scarcely any fall of water from seeing that enough, of the city to the lake. never saw lower quarters the to compare with those in the in numbers water-snakes side of it. They were swimming in the and by the canal, wriggling in and out and on the banks they were water, writhing in heaps, like our passengers forward. Two of our crew tow us along, and we are soon clear of the canal, that and of the salt-swamp extends on both sides of it, where the bottom of the lake was in old times. Once fairly out, we look round us. We see Mexico from a new point of view, and begin to understand why the Spaniards called it the Venice of the New World. Even the now, though lake is so much smaller than it was then, the city, with its domes and battlemented roofs, seems to rise from the water itself, for the intervening flat is soon foreshortened into nothing. At the present moment it is evident that the level of the lake is much higher than usual. A little way off, on our right, is the Penon de los Banos “ the rock of baths” — porphyritic lull forced up by volcanic agency, where there are hot springs. It is generally possible to reach this hill by land, but the water is now so high that the rock has become an island as it used to be. When the first two brigantines were launched on the Lake of Tezcuco by the Spaniards, Cortes took Montezuma with him to sail upon the lake, soon leaving the Aztec canoes far behind. They went to a Penon or rocky hill where Montezuma preserved game for his own hunting and not even the highest nobility were allowed to hunt there on pain of death. The Spaniards had regular battue there; killing deer, hares, and rabbits till they were tired. This Penon may have been the Penon de los Banos which we are just passing, but was more probably simi- lar bill a little further off, of larger extent, now fortified 132 ANAHUAC. and known as El Pehon, the Hill. Both were in those days complete islands at some distance from the shore. Now that are we out of the canal, our Indians begin to pole along, us thrusting their long poles to the bottom of the shallow lake, and walking on two narrow planks which extend along the sides of the canoe from the prow to the middle point. Four walk on each plank, each man throwing up his pole as he gets to the end, and running back up the middle to begin again at the prow. The dex- terity with which they swing the poles about, and keep them out of each other’s way, is wonderful and, as seen from our end of the canoe, looks like a kind of exaggerated quarter-staff playing, only nobody is ever hit. The great peculiarity of the lake of Tezcuco is that it is lake, containing much a salt salt and carbonate of soda. The water is quite brackish and undrinkable. How it be is plain enough. The streams has come to so from the surrounding mountains bring down salt and soda in solu- derived from the decomposed porphyry and as tion, the water of the lake is not drained off into the sea, but the solid constituents are left to accumulate evaporates, in the lake. In England, I think, we have no example of this; but the the Dead Sea, the Caspian, Great Salt Lake of Utah, Mediterranean, have various salts accumu- and even the solution in the same way. It seems to me, that, lated in account the proportion of soluble material by taking into moun- contained in the water that flows down from the down in tains, the probable quantity of water that flows itself, and the proportion of salt in the lake the year, guess might be made as to the time this state some vague lasting. I have data, unfortunately, has been no of things like rough calculation as this, or I should even for such a to try it. 133 THE SOIL. OF CONDITION SALINE of the great portion climate, a splendid of the spite In the soil is fertile for but is anything of Mexico ; alley many places are which in and soda, with salt impregnated white evaporates, a the water form, when abundant as to so tequesquite, is called which on the ground, efflorescence of it is Indians. Some collected by the regularly and by the the higher ground, way down from stopped on its it and some that was carrying of the water evaporation ; floodings of the itself, in its frequent left by the lake is of small is the difference in its neighbourhood. So ground surrounds it, lake and the plain that level between the water makes an slightest rise in the height of the that the and even a immense difference in the size of the lake over great tracts of strong wind will drive the water it retires when the gale ceases. It ground, from which have been this, or something similar, that set Cortes must in- upon writing home to Spain that the lakes were like like the ocean. land seas, and even had tides Of course, this ruinous impregnation with salts is to the soil, which will produce nothing in such places but tufts of coarse grass and the shores of the lake are the most dis- mal districts one can imagine. All the lakes, however, are not so salt as Tezcuco Chaleo, for instance, is a fresh- water lake, and there the fertility of the shores is very great, as I have already had occasion to notice. As soon as the novelty of this kind of travelling had worn off, we began to find it dull, and retired imder our awning to breakfast and bitter beer which latter luxury, thanks to a suitable climate and an English brewer, is very well understood in Mexico, and is even accepted as a great institution by the Mexicans themselves. We were just getting into a drowsy state, when an unusual bustle among the crew brought us out of our den, and we found that three hours of assiduous poling had ; ANAHUAC. taken us half-way across the lake, just six miles — good test of the value of the Aztec system of navigation. Here was a wooden cross set up in the water and here, from time out of mind, the boatmen have been used to sing a little hymn to the Madonna, by whose favour we had got so far, and hoped to get safe to the end of our voyage. Very well they sang it too, and the scene was as striking as it was imexpected to us. It seemed to us, however, to be making a great matter of crossing a piece of water only a few feet deep but Mr. Millard assured that us, when a sudden gale came on, it was a particularly unpleasant place to be afloat in a Mexican canoe, which, being flat- bottomed, has no hold at all on the water, and from its shape is quite unmanageable in a wind. He himself was once caught in this way, and kept out all night, with a “heavy sea” on the lake, the boat drifting helplessly, and threatening to overturn every moment, and that in the water enough drown places where was quite deep to them all. The Indians lost their heads entirely, and tin-ow- fell on their knees, and joined in the ing down their poles chorus with the women and children and the rest of the beating tlieir breasts, and present- helpless brown people, medals and prints of our Lady of Guadalupe to each ing into them. The wind dropped, how- wave as it dashed morning Mr. Millard got safe to Tezcuco next ever, and receiving sympathy for his misfortunes but, instead of tempest on he got there, found that the idea of a when mere joke, and that the drawing- the lake was reckoned a decorated with a fancy the Casa Grande had been room of his with himself, hanging to the half-way cross, portrait of description underneath, a poetical the water, and legs in va-t-cn to the tune of Malbrouke s’en his sufferings of reviendra." sais quand guerre, ne 135 CASA GRANDE. GLASS-WORKS. then another little across the Lake, and More poling the diminishing of the water constructed since canal, also the city), and came close to lake (which once of the Then came a short Indians towed us. which our along Grande, where which brought us to the Casa ride, overflowing hospitality. Bowring received us with Mrs. see the glass- We went off presently into the town, to all things imported have to works. In a country where be carried in rough waggons, or on nudes’ backs, and over did not make bad roads, it would be hard if it pay to and, accordingly, found the works in full opera- glass we tion. The soda is produced at Mr. Bowring’s works close by, the fuel is charcoal from the mountains, and for sand have a they substitute, which I never heard of or saw anywhere else. It seems that a short distance from Tezcuco there is a deposit of hydrated silica, winch is brought down in great blocks by the Indians and this, when calcined, answers the purpose perfectly, as there is scarcely any iron in it. In its natural state it resembles beeswax in colour. It is worth while to describe the Casa Grande, which is strikingly different from our European notions of the great house” of the village. As we enter by the gate, we find ourselves in a patio— an open quadrangle sur- rounded by a covered walk—a cloister in fact, into which open the rooms inhabited by the family. The second quadrangle, which opens into the first, is devoted to stables, kitchen, &c. The outer wall which surrounds the whole is very thick, and the entire building is built of mud bricks baked in the sun, and has no upper storey at all. It is a Pompeian house on a large scale, and suits the climate perfectly. The Aztec palaces we read so much of weie built in just the same way. The roofs slope inwards from the sides of the quadrangle, and drain into the open T 136 ANAI-IUAC. space in the middle. One afternoon, a tremendous tro- pical rain-storm showed us how necessary it was to have the covered walk round the quadrangle raised consider- ably above this open square in the middle, which a few minutes of such rain converted into a pond. As for ourselves, we spent many very pleasant days at the Casa Grande, and thoroughly approved of the arrangement of the house, except that the four corners of the patio were provokingly alike, and the doors of the rooms also, so that we were as much bothered as the cap- tain of the forty thieves to find our own doors, or any door except Mr. Millard’s, whose name was indicated with more regard to pronunciation than spelling—with a 1 and nine 0’s chalked on it. In spite of a late evening spent in very pleasant so- ciety, we were up early next morning, ready for an excur- sion to the Pyramids of Teotihuacan, some sixteen miles off, or so, under the guidance of one of Mr. Bowring’s men. The road lies through the plain, between great planta- tions of magueys, for this is the most renowned dis- trict in the Republic for the size of its aloes, and the quality of the pulque that is made from them. We sometimes to examine a particularly large speci- stopped men, which might measure 30 feet round, and to see the in night, the juice, which had collected the drawn out of great hollow that had been cut to receive it, in the heart for making of the plant. The Indians have a great fancy crosses, and the aloe lends itself particularly to this kind off six or eight of decoration. They have only to cut inches of one leaf, and impale the piece on the sharp point aloe of another, and the cross is made. Every good-sized or three of these primitive religious emblems has two it. upon over torrent-beds crossed the road, and Several little as bridges, were thrown old-fashioned Spanish stone them 137 STONE HAMMERS. QUARRIES. willow-patterned the bridge on or the Rialto, as tlie steep plates. visited the caves pyramids, we the going to see Before was the stone them, whence far from hill-side not the in amyg- the porous tetzontli, them. It is to build brought beau- porphyritic hills, a the abounds among daloid which There durable. worked, and easily tiful building-stone, quarried have been that seemed to large space was a caves. We opened numerous into this out bodily, and hour or two entrance, and spent an horses at the left our was covered with place over. The ground in hunting the arrow-heads, and fragments obsidian knives and pieces of been larger tools or weapons seemed to have of what ; large and numbers of hammer-heads, and we found but most made of greenstone, some whole, small, mostly broken. stone hammers in Europe. Solid We find two sorts of earliest period. They are made of hammers belong to the rolled pebbles some are shaped a little artificially, longish and are grooved round to hold the handle, which was a with flexible twig bent double and the two ends tied toge- ther, the stone head in its so as to keep place. The ham- mers of a later peiiod of the “stone age” are shaped more like the won ones our smiths use at the present day, and in they have a hole bored the middle for the handle. In^s, Brittany, where Celtic remains are found in such abundance, it is not uncommon to see stone hammers of the latter kind hanging up in the cottages of the peasants, who use them to drive in nails with. They have an odd way of pro- viding them with handles, by sticking them tight upon branches of young trees, and when the branch has grown larger, and has thus rivetted itself tightly on both sides of the stone head, they cut it off, and carry home the ham- mer ready for use. 138 ANAHUAC. Though the Mexicans carried the arts of knife and an’ow-making and sculpturing hard stone to such perfec- tion, I do not think, they ever discovered the art of making a hole in a stone hammer. The handles of the axes shown in the picture-writings are clumsy sticks swelling into large knob at one end, and the axe-blade is fixed into a hole in this knob. Some of the Mexican hammers seem to have had their handles fixed in this way while others were made with a groove, in the same manner as the earlier kind of European stone hammers just described. When consider the we beauty of the Mexican stone- cutter’s work, it seems wonderful that they should have been able to do it wuthout iron tools. It is quite clear that, at the time of the Spanish Conquest, they used bronze hatchets, containing that very small proportion of tin which gives the alloy nearly the hardness of steel. We saw many of these hatchets in museums, and Mr. Christy bought some good specimens in a collection of antiquities which had belonged an old Mexican, who got them to principally from the suburb of Tlatelolco, in the neighbour- of the ancient market-place of the city. Such axes hood were certainly common among the ancient Mexicans. One tribute-roll in the Mendoza of the items of the hieroglyphic is eighty bronze hatchets. Codex He says A story told by Bernal Diaz is to the point. of and his companions, noticing that the Indians that he the material the coast generally carried bright metal axes, as like gold of a low quality, got as many of which looked of three six hundred such axes from them in the course glass-beads in ex- days’ bartering, giving them coloured their bar- Both sides were highly satisfied with change. relates chronicler gain but it all came to nothing, as the be out to considerable disgust, for the gold turned with the trash when and the beads were found to be copper, 139 BRONZE AXES. them better. Such bard to understand began Indians have been found at Mitla, in the State as these copper axes to form a con- the ruined temples seem Oajaca, where of monuments of Teotihuacan and link between the necting cities of Yucatan and Chiapas. Xochicalco and the ruined more link in the chain to show the use We want one kind tools from Mexico down to Yucatan, of the same of this link we can supply. In Lord Kingsborough’s and great work on Mexican Antiquities there is one picture- Dresden Codex, which is not of Aztec origin writing, the at all. Its hieroglyphics are those of Palenque and Uxmal and in this manuscript we have drawings of hatchets like those of Mexico, and fixed in the same kind of handles, but of much neater workmanship. But here we come upon a difficulty. It is supposed that the pyramids of Teotihuacan, as well as most of the great architectural works of the country, were the work of the Toltec race, who quitted this part of the country several centuries before the Spanish Conquest. It seems incredible that bronze should have in been use in the country for so long a time, and not have superseded so bad a material as stone for knives and weapons. We have good evidence to show that in Europe the introduction of bronze was almost simultaneous with the complete disuse of stone for such purposes. It is true that Herodotus describes the embalmers, in his time, as cutting open the bodies with an Ethiopic stone” though they were familiar with the use of metal. Indeed the flint knives winch he probably meant may be seen in museums. But this peculiar usage was most likely kept up for some mystical reason, and does not affect the general question. Almost as soon as the Spaniards brought iron to Mexico, it superseded the “ old material. The bronze age” ceased within a year or two, and that of iron began. * ANAIIUAC. The Mexicans called copper or bronze “tepuztli,” word of rather uncertain etymology. Judging from the analogous words in languages allied to the Aztec, it seems not unlikely that it meant originally hatchet or breaker, just as itztli,” or obsidian, appears to have meant origi- nally knife When the Mexicans saw iron in the hands of the Spaniards, they called it also tepuztli,” which thus became a general word for metal and then they had to distinguish iron from copper, as they do at the present day, calling by “ ;” them tliltic tepuztli,” and chichiltic tepuztli that is, black metal,” and red metal.” When the subject of the use of bronze in stone-cutting is discussed, as it so often is with special reference to Egypt, one may doubt whether people have not underrated its capabilities, when the proportion of tin is accurately adjusted to give the maximum hardness and especially when a minute portion of iron enters into its composition. Sir Gardner Wilkinson relates that he tried the of one edge of the Egyptian mason’s chisels upon the very stone it had been once used to cut, and found that its evidently edge was turned directly and therefore he wonders that such have been used for the purpose, of course sup- a tool could posing that the tool as he found it was just as the mason is not quite certain. If we bmy a left it. This, however, be brass tool in a damp place for a few weeks, it will and found to have undergone a ciuious molecular change, quite soft and weak, or, as the workmen to have become lying call it, dead. We ought to be quite sure whether under ground may not have made some for centuries similar change in bronze. “ ” which may * an Aztec word puztequi (to break sticks, Ac.J There is “ “ tepuztli.” The first syllable te” may be te-tl belong to the same root as (stone ). 141 PYRAMIDS. CACTUSES. in different places, but prickly pears many have seen growing among that were specimens as those such never had gnarled and quarry. They this old stones in the as big as pollard- hard wood, and were trunks of knotted immense but, unfor- must have been their age oaks ; or it would have been could not measure it, one tunately, the quarry, which had not criterion of the age of good but abandoned before their time. In been excavated only was a human skeleton, blanched white one of the caves has stuck a cross, made of and near it sfime one and clean, the crevices of a heap of stones. bits of stick, in two Upturnin to the entrance of the quarry, well loaded stone hammers and knives, we sat down to break- with fast, in a cave, where our man had established himself part to with the horses. An attempt on my cut German with an obsidian knife proved a decided failure. sausage We had already been struck by the appearance of the two pyramids of Teotihuacan, when we passed by Otumba our way to Mexico. on The hills which skirt the plain are near them as to diminish so their apparent size but even at a distance they are con- spicuous objects. Now, when we came close them, to and began by climbing to their summits, and walk- ing round their terraces, to measure ourselves against them, we began gradually to realize their vast bulk and this feeling continually grew upon us. Modern architec- ture strives to unite the greatest possible effect with the least cost and the modern churches of southern Europe and Spanish America, with their fine tall facades fronting the street, and insignificant little buildings behind, show this idea in its fullest development. Pyramids are built with no such object, and make but little show in pro- portion to their vast mass of material but then one gets from them a sense of solid magnitude that no other ; ANAH UAC. building gives, however vast its proportions may be. Neither of us had ever seen the Egyptian pyramids. Even in Mexico these of Teotihuacan are not the largest for, though pyramid the of Cholula is no higher, it covers far more ground. Were these monuments in Egypt, they would only rank, from their size, in the second class. As has often been remarked, such buildings as these can only be raised under peculiar social conditions. The ruler must be a despotic sovereign, and the mass of the people slaves, whose subsistence and whose lives are sacri- ficed without scruple to execute the fancies of the monarch, who is not so much the governor as the unrestricted owner of the country and the people. The population must be very dense, or it would not bear the loss of so large a proportion of the working class and vegetable food must the country, them be exceedingly abundant in to feed while engaged in this unprofitable labour. influence the priestly We know how great was the of in Egypt, though the pyramids there, being rather classes In Mexico, however, tombs than temples, do not prove it. pyramids themselves were the temples, serving only the their size proves that—as re- incidentally as tombs and the priestly influence—the resemblance between spects out. people is fully carried two fronted the four Egyptian pyramids, these Like the accurately pyramidal, points. Their shape was not cardinal three to summit was broken by for the line from base completely round them or perhaps four, running terraces, ; stood the flat square space, where and at the top was a This construction closely the sacrificial altars. idols and Egyptian pyramids. of some of the smaller resembled that to led straight up from terrace stone steps Flights of made the procession of priests and victims and the terrace, above. to the one before they ascended of each circuit — TEMPLE-PYRAMIDS. dedicated to the Sun, the two teocallis is The larger of feet, and is about 170 feet high. base of about 640 has a smaller. dedicated to the Moon, is rather The other, not because they These monuments were called teocallis, were temples “Teocalli” were pyramids, but because they calU, house), a name means “god’s house” (teotl, god, with which the traveller hears explained for the first time adverting to some wonder and Humboldt cannot help correspondence with 6tov aXia, clei cella. its curious <c the Another odd coincidence is found in Aztec name for which is papa, (the their priests, papahua, the root of hua, is merely a termination). In the Old World the word Papa, Pope, or Priest, was connected with the idea of the Aztec father or grandfather, but word has no such origin. When the Aztecs abandoned their temples, and began to build Christian churches, they called them also teo- callis,” and perhaps do so to tins day. The heavy tropical rains have to a great extent broken the sharpness of the outline of these structures, and brought them more nearly to the shape of real pyramids than they were originally but, as we climbed up their sides, we could trace the ten-aces without any difficulty, and even flights of steps. The pyramids consist of an outer casing of hewn stone, faced and covered with smooth stucco, which has resisted the effects of time and bad usage in a wonderful manner. Inside this casing were adobes, stones, clay, and mortar, as one may in see places where the exterior has been damaged, and by creeping into the small passage which leads into the Temple of the Moon. Both pyra- mids are nearly covered with a coating of debris, full of bits of obsidian arrows and knives, and broken pottery. On the teocalli of the moon we found a number of recent u ; ANAHUAC. sea-sliells, which mystified us extremely and the only explanation we could give of their presence there was that they might have been brought up as offerings. A passage in Humboldt, which I met with long after, seems to clear up the mystery. Speaking of the great teocalli of the city of Mexico, he says, quoting an old description, that the Moon had a little temple in the great courtyard, which was built of shells. Those that we found may be the remains of a similar structure on the top of the pyramid. Prickly pears, aloes, and mesquite bushes have over- grown the pyramids in all directions, as though they had been mere natural hills. In Sicily one may see the lava- fields of Etna planted with prickly pears : in the ordinary course of things, it requires several centuries before even the lava will disintegrate surface of this hard into soil but the roots of the cactus soon crack it, and a few years suffice to break it up to a sufficient depth to allow of vineyards being planted upon it. Here the same plant has in the same way affected the porous amygdaloid pyramids are faced, and has cut up the with which the surface sadly but the vegetation which covers them rate defend them from the rains, and now will at any little change in the appearance of centuries will make but remarkable buildings. these hill which gives a wonderfully Near Nice there is a the terraced teocallis of idea of the appearance of correct the have looked before time effaced Mexico, as they must the valley of the Pagli- of their lines. Where sharpness them Andre meet, the hill between one and that of St. the angle of which lies to- terminates in a half pyramid, custom is south and the inhabitants—as then ward the ac- the two slopes to southern Europe, have turned in prevent the them up into terraces, to count, by building being swept carried up from have laboriously soil they 145 OF SPANIARDS. SACRIFICE the proper Seen from heavy rain. the first by down is complete. the resemblance of view point runs of the Moon the Temple the south side of From of the “the path the Micaotli, of burial-mounds, avenue an pyra- foot of the round the these mounds, and dead.” On great of the once population themselves, the whole mids congre- used to and its neighbourhood city of Teotihuacan the victims march round the priests and the gate, to see them all. stairs in full view of ten-aces and up the scene that Cortes one could imagine the Standing here, that outside Mexico, on and his men saw from their camp, their retreat the Mexicans had cut off dreadful day when than sixty Spanish along the causeways, and taken more how prisoners. Bernal Diaz was there, and tells the tale of Huitzilo- they heard from the city the great drum sound, that could pochtli sending forth a strange and awful be heard for miles, and with it many horns and trumpets and how, when they had looked towards the great teo- calli, they saw the Mexicans dragging the up prisoners, pushing and beating them as they went, till they had got them up to the open space at the top, where the cursed idols stood.” Then they put plumes of feathers on their heads, and fans in their hands, and made them dance be- fore the idol and when they had danced, they threw them on their backs the on sacrificial stone that stood there, and, sawing open their breasts with knives of stone, they tore out their hearts, and offered them up in sacri- fice and the bodies they flung ; down the stairs to the bottom. More than this the Spaniards cannot have seen, though Diaz describes the rest of the proceedings as though they had been done in his sight but it was not the first time they had witnessed such things, and they knew well enough what was happening down — below, how the butchers were waiting to cut up the carcases as they came — ; ; ANAHUAC. down, that they might he cooked with child, and eaten in the solemn banquet of the evening. The day was closing in by this time and our man was waiting with the horses at the foot of the great pyramid and with him an Indian, whom we had caught half an hour before, and sent off with a real to buy pidque, and to collect such obsidian ainows and clay heads as were to be found at the ranchos in the neighbourhood. Near the place we started from, two or three Indians were diligently at work at their stone-quarry, that is to say, they were laboriously bringing out great hewn stones from the side of the pyramid, to build their walls with and indeed we could see in every house for miles round stones that had come from the same source, as was proved by the stucco still remaining upon them, smoothed like polished marble, and painted dull red with cinnabar. As I write this, it brings to my recollection an old Roman trophy in North Italy, built —like these pyramids of a shell of hewn stone, filled with rough stones and now as hard as the rock itself. cement, There I saw the inhabitants of the town which stands at its foot, carrying the great limestone blocks, but first cutting off them up that they could into pieces of a size move about, and build houses. Here and there, in this little Italian into their town, there were to be seen in the walls letters of the old which were once upon the trophy and the inscription age of the houses shewed that the monument had served as a centuries. quarry for As we rode home, we noticed by the sides of the road, ditches had been cut, numbers of old Mexican and where accumu- stone-floors covered with stucco. The earth has them to the depth of two or three feet, so that lated above like that of the pavements so often position is Roman thefr saw Europe and we may guess, from what we found in ; 147 MEXICO. OLD such remains of the number must be great how exposed, must once have in- population how vast hidden, and still deserted. almost plain, now this habited ploughed back. In the came afterwards we days Two repeated trials made we neighbourhood in the fields where any spot still in possible to stand it was whether but our reach Mexico within of old ; was no relic there full of ground was Everywhere the not do. this we could arrows we even found obsidian and pottery and unglazed ; for a museum. good enough figures that were and clay the accounts of we both doubted we left England, When that they had ex- the Conquest, believing the historians of size of population, and the the numbers of the aggerated of their natural desire to make the most the cities, from a history as they to write as wonderful a victories, and But our examination historians are prone to do. could, as induced us to withdraw this of Mexican remains soon made us inclined to blame the accusation, and even chroniclers for having had no eyes for the wonderful things that surrounded them. not mean by this that we felt inclined to swallow I do the monstrous exaggerations of Solis and Gomara and other Spanish chroniclers, who seemed to think that it easy thousand was as to say a as a hundred, and that it sounded much better. But when this class of writers are set aside, and the more valuable authorities severely criti- cised, it does not seem to us that the history thus ex- tracted from these sources is much less reliable than European history of the same period. There is, perhaps, no better way of expressing this opinion than to say that what we saw of Mexico tended generally to confirm Pres- History cott’s of the Conquest, and but seldom to make his statements appear to us improbable. There are other mounds near the pyramids, besides the Micaotli. Two sides of the Pyramid of the Sun are sur- 148 ANAHUAC. rounded by them and there are two squares of ; mounds at equal distances, north and south of it, besides innume- rable scattered hillocks. There are some sculptured blocks of stone lying near the pyramids, and inside the smaller one is buried what appears to be a female bust of colossal size, with the mouth like an oval ring, so common in Mexican sculptures. The same abundance of ancient remains that we found here characterizes the neighbourhood of all the Mexican monuments in the country, with one curious exception. Burkart declares that in the vicinity of the extensive re- mains of temples known as Los Edificios, near Zacatecas, no traces of pottery or of obsidian were to be found. Before going away, we held a solemn market of an- tiquities. We sat cross-legged on the ground, and the Indian women and children brought us many curious articles in clay and obsidian, which we bought and de- posited in two great bags of aloe-fibre which our man carried at his saddle-bow. Among the articles we bought were various pipes or whistles of pottery, pitos, as they are called in Spanish, and just as we were mounting our horses to ride off, a lad ran to the top of one of the pipes a long mounds, and blew on one of these dismal note that could be heard a mile off. Our friends had filled our heads so full of robbers and ambushes, that we made sure signal for some one who was waiting for us, and it was a soon as he had blown his the more so as the boy ran off as blast and when we looked round for the people whose had been buying, they had all disappeared. antiquities we back Tezcuco. But nothing came of it, and we got safely to spent a capital evening, and separated late. As usual, we spending the The owner of the glass-works, who had been He had an adventure on his road home. evening with us, along, when men rushed out peaceably riding two was 149 BULL-DOGS. POLICE AND and shouted alto of the street, the corner behind from robbers, and they were He thought (halte-hY). aid!" and the men sent flew off, gallop. His hat started at a which sent him on past his head, bullets singing two There he his house. till he reached quicker than ever, fetch armed to the teeth to pistols, and came back got his supposed it had fallen. The the hat, which lay where have been enquiry next day, to robbers turned out, on street but certainly their guards, patrolling the national rather questionable. proceedings were night. The custom had an unpleasant visit the same We dark watchman patrolled ofthe Casa Grande was that after a long blast every quarter of an hour on all night, giving a that one of these same doleful Mexican whistles, to show This was for the out- he was not sleeping on his rounds. Inside the house, pour surcroit cle precaution, a side. servant came round to see that every one was in his room and having satisfied himself of this, let loose in the court- yard enormous bulldogs, which were the terror of the two household and of the whole neighbourhood. On tins par- ticular night, noise a at our own door woke me from a sound sleep and I had the pleasure of seeing a creature walk deliberately in, looking huge and terrific in the moonlight. The beast had been into the stable two nights before, and had pinned a cow which was there, keeping his hold upon her till next morning, when he was got off by the keeper. With tins specimen of the bulldog’s abilities fresh in my recollection, I preferred not making any attempt to resent Ins impertinent intrusion, but lay still, till he had satisfied himself with walking about the room and sniffing at our beds, when he lay down on my carpet I soon fell asleep again, and next morning he was gone. The foreigners in Mexico seem to delight in fierce bull-dogs. The Casa Grande at Tezcuco is not by any means the only place ; ANAHUAC. where they form part of the garrison. One English ac- quaintance of ours in the Capital kept two of these beasts up in his rooms, and not even the servants dared go up, unless the master was there. Every one who has read Prescott’s ‘Mexico’ will recollect Nezahualcoyotl, the king of Tezcuco and the palaces he built there for his wives, and his poets, and the rest of his great court. These palaces were built chiefly of mud bricks and time and the Spaniards have dealt so hardly with them, that even their outlines can no longer be traced. Traces of two large teocallis are just visible, and Mr. Bow- ring has some burial mounds in his grounds which will be examined some day. There is a Mexican calendar built into the wall of one of the churches and, as we walked about the streets of the present town, noticed we stones that must have been sculptured before the Spaniards brought in their broken-down classic style, and so stopped the development of native art. As for the rest of old Tezcuco, it has “become heaps.” Wherever they dig or lay the foundations of houses, you may the ditches see ground full of its remains. speaking of the stuccoed floors As I said before, when near Teotihuacan, the accumulation of alluvial soil goes on regularly all over the plains of very rapidly and very deposit Mexico and Puebla, where everything favours its preserved hi it are so numerous and the human remains noticed this in its age may readily be seen. We that in instance so well as between Tez- many places, but no a long ditch, and the hacienda of Miraflores. There cuco of had been cut in anticipation some five feet deep, just dry, as we walked rainy season. As yet it was and, the history dis- three periods of Mexican along it, we found came other. First traceable from one end to the tinctly just above, without human remains. Then, alluvium, mere 151 OF ALLUVIUM. ACCUMULATION of unglazed knives and bits of obsidian fragments came in which the a third layer, Above this again, pottery. pottery was still un- much of the ceased, and obsidian glazed, and bore the many fragments were glazed but and yellow. Spanish patterns in black unmistakeable deposits, which give It is a pity that these alluvial the order in which different such good evidence as to another different states of society succeeded one peoples or means of calcu- on the earth, should be so valueless as a then* duration but one can easily see lating the time of must always be so, by considering how the that they thickness of the deposits is altered by such accidents as the formation of a mud-bank, or the opening of a new channel,—things that must continually occurring in be districts where this very accumulation is going on. The only place where any calculation can be based upon its thickness is on the banks of the Nile, where its accumu- lations round the ancient monuments may perhaps give a criterion as to the time which has elapsed since man ceased to clear away the deposits of the river.* As an instance of the tendency of alluvial deposits to entomb such monuments of former ages, I must mention the temple of Segeste, which stands on a gentle slope among the hills of northern Sicily. I had heard talk of the graceful proportions of tins Doric temple, built by the Greek colonists and great was my surprise, on fii'st ; com- ing in sight of it, to see a pediment supported by two rows of short squat columns, without bases, and rising directly from the ground. A nearer inspection showed the cause of this extraordinary distortion. The whole slope had risen fall six feet during the years, 2500 or so, that have The researches instituted by Mr. L. Horner in tho alluvium near Heliopolis and Memphis (Philos. Transact., 1855 & 1856), although very elabo- rate, still leave much to bo desired before we can arrive at definito conclusions. 152 ANA1IUAC. elapsed since its desertion and the temple now stands in a large oblong pit, which has lately been excavated. As we left the spot, and turned to see it again a few yards off, the beautiful symmetry of the whole had disappeared again. To return to Tezcuco. Some three or four miles from the town stands the hill of Tezcotzinco, Nezahual- where coyotl had his pleasure-gardens and to this hill we made an excursion early one morning, with Mr. Bowring for our guide. We did not go first to Tezcotzinco itself, but to another hill which is connected with it by an aqueduct of immense size, along which walked. The mountains we in this part are of porphyry, and the channel of the aque- duct was made principally of blocks of the same material, on which the smooth stucco that had once covered the and whole, inside out, still remained very perfect. The channel was carried, not on arches, but on a solid embank- ment, a hundred and fifty or two hundred feet high, and wide enough for a carriage-road. hill brushwood, aloes, The itself was overgrown with and prickly pears, but numerous roads and flights of steps cut in the rock were distinguishable. Not far below the top of the hill, a terrace runs completely round it, whence a great part of his little king- the monarch could survey of dom. On the summit itself I saw sculptured blocks of the hill are two little circular stone and on the side the has a baths, cut in the solid rock. The lower of two the flight of steps to it the seat for the bather, and down are still quite perfect. stone pipe which brought the water, majesty used to spend his afternoons here on the shady His sitting his middle in water, side of the hill, apparently up to little seat frog, if one may judge by the height of the like a tanks some writers say, these were only in the bath. If, as at all, why of running water, and not baths with streams ; ! OLD BRIDGE. BATHS. OLD just large enough which are in tlieir sides, cut the steps has come in No water man to sit ? enough for a high and sun nearly the morning- now and for centuries there excavated in the of cave, got into a sort us, till we broiled treasure. It seems of finding said, with an idea hill, it is in the rock at this Mexican calendar cut was once a there interested in such people who were spot and some white it, and poke curiously about used to come to see matters, enough, the antiquities. Naturally in search of other find treasure and that they expected to Indians thought the first chance themselves, they with view of getting and made this large excavation cut down the calendar', behind it. Here sat in the shade, breakfasting, and hearing we Mr. Bowring’s stories of the art of medicine as practised in where decoction of shirt is the northern states of Mexico, considered an invaluable specific when administered in- ternally and the recognised remedy for lumbago is to rub the patient with the drawers of a man named John. No doubt the latter treatment answers very well There is an old Mexican bridge near Tezcuco which seems to be the original Puente cle las Bergantinas, the bridge where Cortes had the brigantines launched on the lake of Tezcuco. This bridge has a span of about twenty feet, and OLD MEXICAN BRIDCE 'NEAR TEZCUCO, 154 ANAHUAC. is curious as showing how nearly the Mexicans had arrived at the idea of the arch. It is made in the form of a roof resting on two buttresses, and composed of slabs of stone with the edges upwards, with mortar in the interstices; the slabs being sufficiently irregular in shape to admit of their holding together, like the stones of a real arch. One may now and then see in Europe the roofs of small stone hovels made in the same way but twenty feet is an immense span for such a construction. I have seen such buildings in North Italy, in places where the limestone is so stratified as to furnish rough slabs, three or four inches thick, with very little labour’ in quarrying them out. In Kerry there are ancient houses and churches roofed in the same way. What makes the Tezcuco bridge more curious is that it is set askew, which must have made its construc- tion more difficult. The brigantines which the Spaniards made, and trans- ported over the mountains in such a wonderful manner, fully answered their purpose, for without them Mexico could hardly have been taken. After the Conquest they were kept for years, for the good service they had done such size do not seem have been used but vessels of to upon the lake since then and I believe the only sailing- Bowling’s boat, which the Indians craft at present is Mr. look at askance, and decidedly decline to imitate. It is near the city, there is moored a little true that, somewhere never steamer, looking quite civilized at a distance. It anywhere, however and I have a sort of impression goes made they got up of having heard that when it was first once, but the conduct of the machinery under the steam and frantic that these circumstances was so extraordinary ventured to repeat the experiment. no one has in boat to explore we left Tezcuco, we went a Before like the salines Bowrincr’s salt-works, which are rather Mr. O 155 SALT-PANS. SALT AND the lake are walled off, Patches of of France. South of the it does very evaporate, which allowed to water the and three-fourths of the and with only hot sun, under a rapidly the sea-level. The that we have at of air upon it pressure tanks. into smaller concentrated is run lake-water thus and sesquicarbonate of soda, carbonate and contains It the sesqui- of lime converts salt. The addition common this is sepa- into simple carbonate, and carbonate of soda advantage of their different the salt by taking rated from The salt is partly consumed, of crystallization. points in the extraction of silver from the ore, partly used and is bought by the soap-makers. and the soda consumption of salt in Humboldt’s remarks on the small The average amount used with food Mexico are curious. small fraction the European average. While is only a of Tlascalans were at war with the Aztecs, they had to do the without salt for many years, as it was not produced in their Humboldt thinks that the child which district. the Indians consume in such quantities acts as a substitute. It is to be remembered that the soil is impregnated with both salt in and natron many of these upland districts, and the in- habitants may have earth eaten containing these ingre- dients, as they do for the same purpose in several places in the Old World. We disembarked after sailing to the end of these great evaporating pans, and found horses waiting to take us to the Bosque del Contador. This is a grand square, looking towards the cardinal points, and composed of ahueliuetes, grand old deciduous cypresses, many of them forty feet round, and older than the discovery of America. My companion, not content with buying collections at second- hand, wished to have some excavations made on his own account, and very judiciously fixed on this spot, where, though there were no buildings standing, the appearance 156 ANAHUAC. of the ground and the mounds in the neighbourhood, to- gether with the historical notoriety of the place, made it probable that sometliing would be found to repay a dili- gent search. This expectation was fully realized, and some fine idols of hard stone were found, with an infini- tude of pottery and small objects. When I look through my notes about Tezcuco, I do not find much more to mention, except that a favourite dish here consists of flies’ eggs fried. These eggs are deposited at the edge of the lake, and the Indians fish them out and sell them in the market-place. So large is the quantity of these eggs, that at a spot where a little stream deposits of lime, peculiar kind of travertine carbonate a is forming which consists of masses ofthem imbedded in the calcareous deposit. The flies* which produce these eggs are called by the Mexicans axccyaccctl” or water-face”. There was a cele- brated Aztec king who was called Axayacatl and his is indicated in the picture-writings by a drawing of name with water. The eggs themselves a man’s face covered sold in cakes in the market, pounded and cooked, and are forming a substance like the roe also in lumps cm naturel, characteristic name of fish. This is known by the of a is water-wheat.”-f* ahuauhtli,” that Tezcuco, was to witness the last tiring we did at The the salt- new line of water-pipes for laying down of a because of the pipes, which were This I mention works. Moors and introduced into Spain by the exactly those These pipes are of glazed here by the Spaniards. brought * Notonccla according to MM. Meneville Corixa femorata, and uiiifasciata, granular or oolitic traver- in a Paper on the subject of the Virlet d’Aoust, and Bulletin of the Geological Society of France. Tezcuco in the (1859) tine of which grain abounding in Miclioacan, for is an indigenous Huauhtli un- European wheat was, of course, “ equivalent I can give. is the best wheat” the Conquest. country until after known in the 157 IRRIGATION. WATER-PIPES. and each fitting into the at one end, taper earthenware, mixture of lime, cement is a the next. The end of large firm when cold, hut gets hard and hair, which and fat, application of heat. a very slight he loosened hy can of alteration in the way years has made no thousand the ground is so these pipes. Here, however, making of Moorish waterworks that one great characteristic level I mean the water-columns which are is not to he seen. Palermo, and in other feature in the country round such a the system of irrigation introduced hy the places where Moorish invaders is still kept up. These are square pil- lars twenty or thirty feet high, with a cistern at the top from the higher level of each, into wlfich the water flowed, which other pipes carried it on; the sole and from object of the whole apparatus being to break the column of water, and reduce the pressure to the thirty or forty feet which the pipes of earthenware would hear. Tins subject of irrigation is very interesting with refer- ence to the future of Mexico. We visited two or three in country-houses the plateaux, where the gardens are regularly watered hy artificial channels, and the result is vegetation of wonderful exuberance and beauty, con- verting these spots into oases in the desert. On the lower levels of the tierra templada where the sugar-cane is culti- vated, a costly system of water-supply has been estab- lished in the haciendas with the best results. Even in the plains of Mexico and Puebla, the grain-fields are irrigated to some small degree. But notwithstanding this progress in the right direction, the face of the country shows the most miserable waste of one of the chief elements of the wealth and prosperity of the country, the water. In this respect, Spain and the high lands of Mexico may be compared together. There is no scarcity of rain in either country, and yet both are dry and parched, 158 ANAHUAC. while the number and size of their torrent-beds show with what violence the mountain-streams descend into lakes or rivers, rather agents of destruction than of benefit to the land. Strangely enough, both countries have been in possession of races who understood that water was the very life-blood of the land, and worked hard to build sys- tems of arteries to distribute it over the surface. In both countries, the warlike Spaniards overcame these races, and irrigating works already constructed were allowed to fall to ruin. When the Moriscos were expelled from their native provinces of Andalusia and Granada, them places were but slowly filled with other settlers, that a great part of up so their within aqueducts and watercourses fell into decay a few years. These new colonists, moreover, came from the of culture Northern provinces, where the Moorish system was little understood and, incredible as it may seem, had ocular evidence of the advan- though they must have keep tages of artificial irrigation, they even neglected to on then’ own ground. Now in repair the water-channels Spain, may see in traveller, riding through Southern the valleys remains of the Moorish works desolate barren grain-fields and which centuries ago brought fertility to country the garden of Europe. orchards, and made the have far sur- another nation who seem to There was of their Aztecs hi the magnitude both Moors and passed The Peruvians cut for this purpose. engineering-works carried whole valleys, and mountains, filled up through irrigate them thirsty in artificial channels to rivers away works as of these water- The historians’ accounts soil. ruins descriptions of the even travellers’ were, and they It seems with astonishment. remain, fill us that still nation too that this strange fatality like some almost of race, the ruin by the same conquered have been should MEXICO. 159 AGRICULTURE IN immediately upon the following national works great its Conquest. long centuries of degrada- rising again after Spain is which seem and resources and is developing energies tion, nations, and the high among European likely to raise it own again among are beginning to hold their Spaniards But they have had to pay dearly the peoples of Europe. of their ancestors in the great days for the errors of the Fifth. Charles were not, it is true, to be com- The ancient Mexicans Peruvians in their pared with the Spanish Arabs or the and the art of irrigation but knowledge of agriculture both history and the remains still to be found in the country prove that in the more densely populated parts of plains they had made considerable progress. The the ruined aqueduct of Tetzcotzinco which I have just men- grand tioned was a work, serving to supply the great gardens of Nezahualcoyotl, which covered a large space of ground and excited the admiration of the Conquerors, who soon destroyed them, it is said, in order that they might not remain to remind the conquered inhabitants of their days of heathendom. Such works as these seem, however, not to have ex- tended over whole provinces as they did in Spain. In the thinly peopled mountain-districts, the Indians broke up their little patches of ground with a hoe, and watered them from earthen jars, as indeed they do to this day. The Spaniards improved the agriculture of the country by introducing Eiu'opean grain and fruit-trees, and by bringing the old Roman plough, which is used to this day in Mexico as in Spain, where two thousand years have not superseded its use or even altered it. Against these im- piovements we must set a heavy account of injury done to the country as regards its cultivation. The Conquest cost w 160 ANAHUAC. the lives of several hundred thousand of the labouring class and numbers more were taken away from the culti- vation of the land to work as slaves for the conquerors in building houses and churches, and in the silver -mines. When the inhabitants were taken away, the ground went out of cultivation, and much of it has relapsed into desert. Even before the Conquest, Mexico had been suffering for many years from incessant wars, in which not only thou- sands perished on the field of battle, but the prisoners sacrificed annually were to be counted by thousands more, while famine carried off whose the women and children husbands and fathers had perished. But the slaughter and famine of the first years of Spanish Conquest far the exceeded anything that the country had suffered before. At the time of the Conquest of Mexico the Spaniards let the native irrigating -works fall into decay; and they deprive the took still more active measures to land of its necessary water, by their indiscriminate de- struction of hills that surround the the forests on the undergrowth plains. When the trees were cut down, the soon perished, and the soil which had served to check the descending waters in their course was soon swept away. shower sends During the four rainy months, each heavy down a flood along the torrent-bed which flows into a river, Mexican valley, into a and so into the ocean, or, as in the surrounding where it only serves to injure the salt lake, in utter waste. land. In both cases it runs away the soil had the In later years the Spanish owners of force of impressed upon them by necessity of the system the con- were spent upon circumstances and large sums the outlying struction of irrigating channels, even in states of the North. from acquired In the American territory recently way. curious repeated itself in a most history has Mexico IRRIGATION. 161 NEGLECT OF traveller, from Froebel, the German that the learn We not take kindly to the system American settlers did new which they found at work in the country. irrigation of it interfered with their were not used to it, and They placing restrictions upon their doing ideas of liberty by what they pleased on their own land. So they actually allowed many of the water-canals to fall into ruins. Of course they soon began to find out their mistake, and are probably investing heavily in water-supply by this time. ought not to We be too severe upon the Spaniards of the sixteenth century for an economical mistake which we find the Americans falling into under similar circum- stances in the nineteenth. VII. CHAP. XOCHICALCO. TEMISCO. CUERNAVACA. we when came the day thought, soon, as we too Much to Mexico, return to and leave Tezcuco to arranged had the On caliente. ticrra into the journey for a prepare little was a there the capital return to of our evening 163 THEIR TRAINING. HORSES AND noticed it and thus we lost neither of us but earthquake, ; without having returned to England chance, and one our peculiar sensation. with that acquaintance made equip- saddles and other purchase of horses and The of poking us an opportunity for our journey, gave ments city, and seeing corners of the into out-of-the-way about certainly we made phases of Mexican life and some new made acquaintance with most of the chance. We the in the court- who brought us horses to try horse-dealers, friends the English mer- yard of the great house of our Seminario, and there showed off then- chants in the Calle To trot is con- walking, pacing, and galloping. paces, vice in a Mexican horse and the sidered a disgusting substitute for it here is the paso, a queer shuf- universal fling run, first, the two legs on one side together, and then jolt and down the other two. You gently up without rising in the stirrups and when once you are used to it the paso is not disagreeable, and it is well suited to long mountain-journeys. Horses in the United States are often trained to this gait, and are known as “pacing” horses. Another peculiarity in the training of Mexican horses is, that many of them are taught to rayar,” that is, to put then- fore-feet out after the manner of mules going down a pass and slide a short distance along the ground, so as to stop suddenly in the midst of a rapid gallop. To practise the horses in this feat, the jockey draws a line (“ raya on ”) the ground, and teaches them to stop exactly as they reach it, and whirl round in the opposite direction. This per- formance is often to be seen on the paseo, and other places, where smart young gentlemen like to show off themselves and then- horses but it is only a fancy trick, ; and they acknowledge that it spoils the animal’s fore-legs. After much bargaining and chaffering we bought three horses for ourselves and our man Antonio, giving eight, \G4> ANAHUAC. seven, and four pounds for them. This does not seem much to give for good hackneys, as these were hut they were not particularly cheap for Mexico. While we were at Tezcuco, Mr. Christy used to ride oAe of Mr. Bowring’s horses, a pretty little chestnut, which carried him beauti- fully, and had cost just eleven dollars, or forty-six shil- lings. It had been bought of the horse-dealers who come down every year from the almost uninhabited states of Chihuahua, Durango, and Cohahuila, on the American frontier, where innumerable herds of horses, all but wild, roam over boundless prairies, feeding on the tall coarse grass. Their keep costs so little, that the breeders are not compelled, as in England, to break them in and sell them at the earliest possible moment, and they let the young colts roam untamed till they are five or six years old. Their great strength and power of endurance in propor- tion to their size is in great measure to be ascribed to this early indulgence. It is very clear that when a horse is to be sold for somewhere between two and six pounds, the breeder can- him in. not afford to spend much time in breaking The rough-rider lazos him, puts on the bridle with its severe upon his back in spite of kicking and bit, and springs plunging. The horse gallops furiously off across country but when his pace begins to flag, of Ins own accord, into requisition, and in great vaquero spurs come the he comes back to the corral dead beat and an hour or two teach him his paces conquered once for all. It is easy to The anquera—as it is called—is put on his afterwards. and teach him the haunches, to cure him of trotting, to iron It is a leather covering fringed with paso instead. saddle, and allows the which is put on behind the tags, the least ap- without annoying him but horse to pace his rattling upon to a trot brings the pointed tags proach SADDLES. 165 MEXICAN HORSES. anqueras at Puebla. one of these We bought haunches. ornamented with carved old, and curiously was very It were a these anqueras In the last century, patterns. but now, except horse-equipment regular part of Mexican curiosity-shops, they are horse-breaking yards or old in seldom to be seen. Almost all Mexican horses descend from the Arab the breed—the gentlest and yet the most spirited in the world, the Spaniards brought which have not degenerated since over in the early days of the Conquest, but retain them small graceful shape, their swiftness, and unchanged their their power of bearing fatigue. There seem really to be no large horses bred in the country. Instead of jolting about in a carriage drawn by eight or ten mules, with harness covered with silver and gold—as rich Mexicans used to do, the proper thing now is to have a pair of tall carriage-horses, like ours in England and these are brought at great expense from the United States, and by the side of the graceful little Mexicans they look as big and as clumsy as elephants. Our saddles were of the old Moorish pattern, of mon- strous size and weight, very comfortable for the rider, but, fear, much less so for the horse, whose back often gets sadly galled, in spite of the thick padding and the two or three blankets that are put on underneath. These sad- dles run into high peaks behind and before, so that you can hardly fall out ofthem, even when you go to sleep in the sad- dle on a longjourney, as many people habitually do. In front, the saddle rises into a pummel which is made of hard wood, and is something like a large mushroom with its stalk. Round this the end of the lazo is wound, after the noose has been thrown. All Mexican saddles are provided with these heads in front, and have, moreover, several pairs of little thongs attached to them on each side, which serve to ; 1C6 ANAHUAC. tie on bags, whips, water-gourds, and other odds and ends. Behind the seat of the saddle are more straps, where cloaks and serapes are fastened and in of case need even a carpet-bag will travel there. We were in the habit of returning from our expeditions with our horses so covered with the plants and curiosities we had collected, that it became no easy matter to get our legs safely over the horses’ backs, into their proper places among the clusters of miscellanea. Our acquaintances used to compare us to the perambulating butchers’ shops, which are feature in Mexican streets, and consist of a horse with a long saddle covered with hooks, and on every hook a joint. The flaps spatterdashes that of our saddles, the great stirrup- protected our feet from the mud, and the broad straps were covered with carved and embossed patterns indeed almost all leather-work is decorated in this way, their wares and the saddle-makers delight in ornamenting that it was not surpris- with silver plates and bosses so bridles should have cost, though ing that our saddles and second-hand, nearly as much as the horses. beginning of of travels in Mexico up to the In books of the staple articles of wondering the present century, one the horses, and the gorgeous trappings of description was of gold and silver. The cos- the spurs, bits, and stirrups but the taste for such not changed much, tumes have hardly respect- abated and it is now costly ornaments has bullion on pounds worth of have more than a few able to a hundred or around one’s hat, or to wear one’s saddle or one’s leather the sides of of buttons of solid gold down so un- cotton calzoncillo questionable trousers, with a very derneath. pinches with a ring, which horses’ bits are made The causes tightened, and the bridle is under-lip when the it first sight pulled at all hard. At it is great pain when 107 COURIER. THE BITS. use such to cruel seems system but the bits, and well very works ; the knowing horses, the rider has their power mis- rarely them, over themselves. One behave with the rides along the the end of loop at -hah' bri- twisted horse loose on dle hanging finger, so that the one BIT, SPANISH-MEXIGAN and chains. Length 9 inches, width inches. with its ring 5\ horse’s mouth is much the bridles we are accus- less pulled about than with When it is necessary to guide tomed to in England. the horse, the least pressure is enough but, as a general ride, the little fellow can find his way as well as his rider reins can. We used continually to let our drop on our horses’ careless of pits and stumbling- necks, and jog on blocks. I have even seen my companion take out his pocket-book, and improve the occasion by making notes and sketches as he went. The distance from Mexico to Vera Cruz is about two hundred and fifty mdes, and what the roads are I have in some measure described. Rafael Beraza, the courier of the English Mission at Mexico, used to ride this with despatches regularly once a month in forty horn's, and occa- sionally in thirty-five. He changed horses about every ten or fifteen miles and now and then, when overcome by sleep, he would let the boy who accompanied him to the next stage ride first, his own horse following, and the rider comfortably dozing as he went along. As for our own equipment, Mr. Christy adopted the attributes of the eastern traveller when he came into the x 108 ANAHUAC. country, the great umbrella, the veil, and the felt hat with a white handkerchief over it. As for me, my wardrobe was scanty so, when my travelling coat wore out at the elbows and my trousers were sat through—like the little bear’s chair in the story, I replaced the garments with a jacket of chamois leather, and a pair of loose trousers the made of same, after the manner of the country. Then came a grey felt hat, as stiff as a boiler-plate, and of more than quakerish lowness of crown and broadness of brim, but secularized by a silver serpent for a hatband also, a red silk sash, which—fastening round the waist—held my trousers, and interfered with my digestion lastly, up a woollen serape to sleep under, and to wear in the morn- evenings. This is the genuine ranchero ings and costume, and it did me good service. Indeed, ever since my Mexi- I have considered that George Fox decidedly can journey showed his good sense by dressing himself in a suit of the leather much more so than people who laughed at him for it. high wear In the country, all Mexicans— and low— and in this they are distinguished this national dress and Indians, who keep to the cotton shirts from the straw hats of their ancestors. In the and the drawers, in the only the lower classes who dress towns, it is nous autres wear European gar- costume, for ranchero the last Paris fasliion, with these excep- ments and follow calzoneras riding, people wear jackets and tions—that for made of cloth, and that the national cut, though of the adopt no is often worn even by people who Mexican hat There never were such hats parts of the costume. other passers- awkwardness. The flat sharp brims of these for as the to cut head oft’ in threatening your are always by hat on, get into a carriage with your You cannot streets. riding in. for walking and when you are But there nor sit 169 SERAPE. THE than anything better are perhaps snn, they a fierce under can be used. that else national insti- —is a the scrape blanket— Mexican The nearly as long, plaid, and Scotch wider than a It is tution. in the same is woven and it in the middle a slit with ; on the are to be seen which Oriental patterns gaudy day. It is to this Turkey and Palestine prayer-carpets of shoulder, flung over the left with the end worn as a cloak, half the face when muffling up Spanish capa, and like the to be recognized. or does not wish owner is chilly its horseback, and he is on rain comes down, When a heavy middle, and be- the slit in the his head through he puts in it, At night he rolls himself up comes a moving tent. in the board, or on the stones and sleeps on a mat or a open air. much tabooed it is, the serape is as Convenient as cities as the rest of among the respectable” classes in the going one evening after the national costume. I recollect of our friends in the Calle Seminario dark to the house with my on, and nearly having to fight it out with serape the great dog Nelson, who was taking charge of his mas- ter’s room. Nelson knew me perfectly well, and had sat that very morning at the hotel-gate for half an hour, holding my horse, while a crowd of leperos stood round, admiring his size and the gravity of his demeanour as he sat on the pavement, with the bridle in his mouth. But that a man in a serape should come into his master’s room at dusk was a thing he could not tolerate, till the master himself came in, and satisfied his mind on the subject. As I said, the equipment of ourselves and our three horses took us into a vaxiety of strange places, for we bought the things we wanted piece by piece, when we saw anything that suited us. Among other places we went to the Baratillo, which is the Bag-Fair and Petticoat Lane of — ANAHUAC. Mexico, and moreover the emporium for whips, bridles, bits, old spurs, old iron, and odds and ends generally. The little shops are arranged in long lines, after the manner of the eastern bazaar and the shopkeepers, when they are smoking cigarettes not outside, are sitting in their little dens, within arms-length of all the wares they have to sell. Here we found what we had come for, and much more too, in the way of wonderful old spurs, combs, boxes, and ornaments so that came we several times more be- fore we left the country, and never without carrying away some curious old relic. Mexico, as everybody knows, is decidedly a thievish all place. The shops are shut at dark, after the Oration, thieves. Ladies used to wear immense for fear of tortoise- shell combs at the back of then’ heads, where the mantilla on but, when it became a regular trade for is fastened to ride on horseback through the streets, and pull thieves they went, the fashion had to be given the combs as out curiously carved and ornamented combs are up. These and bought several of preserved as curiosities, we still them. they knocked a man down were in Mexico, "While we noon-day, robbed him, and left him the great square at in the sun was The square is so large, and there for dead. head-quarters are under the the police—whose hot, that so walk across square—could not possibly in that very arches moral, if you will have the was going on see what to you largest square in the world, of having the distinction consequences. take the must for is general, the market course, where thieving so Of considerable trade, and must be a place of goods stolen wares. the principal depots for such is one of BaratiHo this in the old the story of the citizen, realize here may One walk beginning of his wig stolen at the had his book, who ; WATER-BOTTLES. THIEVING. for sale a little it hanging up and found London, through sell his uniform deserter comes to Here the further on. Small blame to him. I flintlock. his ricketty old and and were in his place, myself if I were would do the same adventurer rascally political serve under one compelled to say no- political adventurer—to another rascally against and not like a dog, half-starved, of being treated thing license to plunder. a sort of half paid at all, except by “ them, you know, and soldiers ! we can’t pay Those poor must live somehow.” they Mexicans for being thieves, and not I have abused the reason, though, as regards ourselves personally, without water- never lost anything except a great brand-new we brought with him, proof coat which my companion had promising to himself that under its shelter he should bid the daily rain-storms of the wet season. As defiance to dismounted from the Diligence in Mexico, in the court- we yard of the hotel, some one relieved him of it. We did the Baratillo in those not know of days, or would have gone to look for it there. At the time of our visit it was too late, for if it ever had been there, the Mexicans under- stand too well the value of an English ulli,” as they call them, let it hang long to for sale. Ulli” is not a bor- rowed word, but the genuine Aztec name for India-rub- ber, which was used to make playing-balls with, long before the time of Columbus. I mentioned the water-bottles as part of our equip- ment. They are gourds, which are throttled with band- ages while young, so as to make them grow into the shape of bottles with necks. Then they are hung up to dry and the inside being cleaned out through a small hole near the stalk, they are ready for use, holding two or three pints of water. A couple of inches of a corn-cob (the inside of a ear of Indian corn) makes a capital cork and the bottle ; — ANAHUAC. is hung by a loop of string to the pummel of the saddle, where it swings about without fear of breaking. One may see gourds, prepared in just the same way, in Italy, hang- ing up under the eaves of the little farm-houses, among the festoons of red and yellow ears of Indian corn and in- deed the gourd-bottle is a regular institution of Southern Europe. We sent Antonio on with the horses to Cuernavaca, and started by the Diligence early one morning, accom- panied by one of our English friends, whom will I call as every-one else did —Don Guillermo. It is the regular thing here, as in Spain, to call everybody his her by or Christian name. You may have known Don Antonio or Don Felipe for weeks before you happen to hear their sur- names. The road ran at first over the plain, among great water-meadows, with herds of cattle pasturing, and fields after of wheat and maize. Ploughing was going on, the primitive fashion of the country, with two oxen yoked to each plough. The yoke is fastened to the boms of the centre of the yoke a pole is attached. At oxen, and to the which con- the other end of this pole is the plough itself, stake with an iron point and a handle. sists of a wooden goad in The driver holds the handle in one hand and his iron point), and so they toil the other (a long reed with an a long scratch as they go. A man follows along, making grains of Indian corn, the plough, and drops in single from apart. The furrows are three feet about three feet some nine square another, so that each stalk occupies one dig are growing up they feet of ground. When the plants stalk a little them, and heap up round each between of earth. mound of one square many little houses consisting We passed of mud-mortar stuck frill mud-bricks, with room, built of 173 DILIGENCE. IN THE generally possessing windows, but without stones little forming an of bricks chimney, with a couple of a luxury the of men rain. Glimpses keep out the over it to arch children doors, half-naked brown cigarettes at the smoking inside, hard women on them knees in the dirt, and rolling tortillas. corn for those eternal work grinding the at the top Dios Mr. Christy climbed to At San Juan de sat with a Diligence, behind the conductor, who of the stones on the footboard be- leather bag full of large black dis- of the nine mules showed a fore him. Whenever one flying at shirk his work, a heavy stone came position to for long prac- him, always hitting him in a tender place, almost as good a shot as the tice had made the conductor mountains, who are said to able to goat-herds in the be them goats on whichever horn they please, and so to hit steer them straight when they seem inclined to stray. But our conductor simply threw the stones, whereas the goat- herd aloe-fibre honda, or sling, uses the that one sees hanging by dozens in the Mexican shops. We pass near Churubusco, and along the line by which the American army reached Mexico. The field of lava which they crossed is close at our right hand and just on the other side of it lie Tisapan and our friend Don Ale- jandro’s cotton-factory. On our left are the freshwater- lakes of Xocliimilco and Chaleo, which had risen several feet, and flooded the valley in their neighbourhood. Be- tween us and the great mountain-chain that forms the rim of the valley, lies a group of extinct volcanos, from one of which descends the great lava-field. Passing in full view of these picturesque craters, now mostly covered with trees and brushwood, we begin to ascend, and are soon among the porphyritic range that forms a wall between us and the land of sugar-canes and palms. Along the road towards Mexico came long files of 174 ANAHUAC. Indians, dressed in the national white cotton shirts and short drawers and sandals, made like Montezuma’s, though not with plates of gold on the soles, such that as monarch’s sandals had. Some of these Indians are bringing on their backs wood and charcoal from the pine-forest higher up among the mountains, and some have fastened to their backs light crates full of live fowls or vegetables others are carrying up tropical fruits from the tierra caliente be- mameis, low, zapotes and nisperos and granaditas, tama- rinds and fresh sugar-canes. These people are walking with their thirty forty miles market but their loads or to : race have been used as beasts of burden for ages, and they don’t mind it. Bright blue and birds, and larger and more bril- red in Europe, show that, liant butterflies than are seen though we are among fields of wheat and maize, we are in views of the the tropics after all. As the road rises we get valley, with its lakes and green meadows, and the broad with their clumps of willows, their great white haciendas chm’ch-towers, and the clusters of adobe huts surrounding in feudal Europe, crowd- them—like the peasants’ cottages the baron’s castle. ing up to flag as we toil up the steep ascent; Our mules begin to and conductor rattles the stones in his black bag, but the reaches then- ears, they stax-t off the ominous sound as vil- vigour. We pass San Mateo, a again with renewed a large and splendid stone charcoal-burners, where lage of among the tall dark cypresses, stands church, with its that form the village. of reeds and pine-shingles huts with their mules are continually passing Trains of bar- bales of goods and loads of wood and charcoal, heavy made from de cana, which is rum of aguardiente rels comes to like that which but not coloured the sugar-cane, backwards are continually rushing The men England. 1 fact ji '/TV. To ** mmr-*'- 1,1 rVWfjti fnu> !fnU<n dalu'nu INDIANS * BRINGING CIIARCOAI, be. TO MEXICO. ( From MikIhIb in ;wie by a NaUvo Artisl .) — BREAKFAST. MULES. which are not content among tlieir beasts, forwards and against one another, and banging and biting, with kicking the road and one of to lie down in but are always trying an arriero is constantly to keep duties of the the principal one pre- once, and, when he sees on all his beasts at eye and drive down, to be beforehand with him, paring to He kicks, and curses. furious shower of blows, him on by a the finest and strongest Certainly, the Mexican mules are though they are just as obstinate here in the world and, times much as elsewhere, they are worth two or three as as horses. Our road lies through a forest of pines and oaks, which reaches to the summit of the pass, where stands a wretched little village, La Guarda. There we had a thoroughly Mexican breakfast, with pulque in tall tumblers, and end- less successions of tortillas, coming in hot and hot from the kitchen, where we could see brown women with bare arms, and black hair plaited in long tails, kneeling by the char- coal fire, and industriously patting out fresh supplies, and baking them rapidly on a hot plate. The piece cle resist- ance was a stew, bright red with tomatas, and hot as fire with chile and then came the frijoles—the black beans without which no Mexican, high or low, considers a meal complete. The walls of the room were decorated with highly coloured engravings, one of which represented an engagement between a Spanish and an English fleet, in which the English ships are being boarded by the victori- ous Spaniards, or are being blow up in the background. Where the engagement was I cannot recollect. People in Mexico, to whom I mentioned this remarkable histori- cal event, assured me that there are still to be seen pic- tures of the destruction of the English fleet by the French and Spaniards in the Bay of Trafalgar Y ! ANAHUAC. Mexico was always, until the establishment of the republic, profoundly ignorant of European affairs. In the old times, when the intercourse with the mother- country was by the great ship, el nao,” which came once a year, the government at home could have just such news circulated through the country as seemed proper and con- venient to them. We in see our own times how despotic governments can mystify their subjects, and distort con- temporary history into what shape they please. But in Spanish America the system was worked to a greater ex- tent than in any other country I have heard of and the undercurrent of popidar talk, which spreads in France and Russia things and opinions not to be found in the news- papers, had in Mexico but little influence. Scarcely any visited Mexican travelled, scarcely any foreigner the coun- try, and the Spaniards who came to hold offices and make the interest of the old country so fortunes were all in the Mexicans went on, until the beginning of this century, occupied the same position among believing that Spain still in the days of nations of Europe that it had held the Charles the Fifth. the Diligence, Don While my companion was outside an left to the conversation of Guillermo and I were finds such characters in fellow-passenger. One Italian the reality. before or since have I seen but never books, original of the great Braggadocchio. have been the He might of the autobio- like a chapter out conversation was His countryman Alfieri. graphy of his nobleman who was the Italian had accompanied He year's Mexican robbers, some affray with the killed in an most heroic. his defence had been on that occasion ago, and till at last, the robber's shot several of himself had ; He the yielded to the rest of the party being killed, friend his ran off to brigands, and he numbers of the overwhelming assistance fetch 177 ROBBERS. BRAGGADOCCHIO. a Mexican road, and riding along he was Whenever for a light, his asked him person suspicious-looking any in the muzzle of him his cigar stuck hand habit was to and “ the hint,” he said, they always take pistol and he had with us.” Alone, to interfere that it won’t do see with a pistol in armed men, but attacked by three been retreat. But this compelled them to hand he had each well victorious in love as our champion was was not all Alfieri, to whom I have com- in arms. Like the great as most where he travelled, the pared him, in every country waited for him distinguished ladies hardly beautiful and at his feet. Refusing ask before they cast themselves to offered them, they declared that the rich jewels that he himself alone. they loved him for Weeks after, we were talking to our friend Mr. Del Pozzo, the Italian apothecary in the Calle Plateros, and happened to ask him if he were acquainted with his heroic the countryman. Whereupon apothecary went off into fits of unextinguishable laughter, and told us how our friend really had been in the skirmish he described, and had nobly rim away almost before a shot was fired, leav- ing his friends fight it to out. An hour or two after, he was found shaking with terror in a ditch. To return to our road. The forest is on both sides of the Sierra but it is on the southern slope, over which we look down from the pass, that the pines attain their fullest size beauty here and for they are as grand as in the Scandinavian forests, with all the beauty of the pine-trees on Italian the hills. The pass, with its deep forest skirt- ing the road, has been a resort of robbers for many years and the driver pointed out to my companion a little grassy dell by the road-side, from which forty men had rushed out and plundered the Diligence just ten days before. With his mind just prepared, one may imagine his feelings ; ANAHUAC. wlien lie cauglit sight of some twenty wild-looking fellows in all sorts of strange garments, with the bright sunshine gleaming on the barrels of then- muskets. A man was riding a little in front of us, and as he approached the others they descended, and ranged themselves by the side of the road. They were only the guard, after all, and such a guard ! Their thick matted black hair hung about over their low foreheads and wild brown faces. Some had shoes, some had none, and some had sandals. They had straw hats, glazed hats, no hats, leather jackets and trousers, cotton skirts and drawers, or drawers without any shirt at all and—what looked worst of all —some had ragged old uniforms on, like deserters from the army, and there are no worse robbers than they. When the Dilig ence reached them, the guard joined us some gallop- ing on before, some following behind, whooping and yelling, brandishing dashing them arms, and in among the trees and out into the road again. Every now and then my friend outside glimpse down the muzzle of a mus- got a ket, which did not add to his peace of mind. At last we got through the and then made a subscrip- dangerous pass, we tion the forest ring for the guard, who departed making again with tiling off them muskets in our war-whoops, and honour until we were out of hearing. The feet above the sea, but the top of the pass is 12,000 the swallows clouds seemed high as ever above us, and as Three thousand feet lower were flying far up in the air. and arbutus region, among oaks we were in a warmer the climate is far hot- and here, as in our higher latitudes, height. slope at the same ter than on the northern feet, of 9000 are to be found at an elevation Bananas the eastern at which they ceased on three times the height difference be- Cruz. This we came up from Vera slope, as different the depends, in part, on tween the two slopes 179 SUGAR-CANE. VEGETATION. TROPICAL which is of some im- they receive, of sunshine quantity But the within the tropics. although we are portance, the chilling winds sides from of the southern sheltering to give their vege- further contributes the north still fi-om really tropical character. tation a intense as more and more We felt the heat becoming lay and when we reached Cuernavaca we we descended, orange- in the beautiful garden of the inn, among down listening the pleasant cool trees and cocoanut-palms, to running water, and looking down into the great sound of rock, and the barranca with its perpendicular walls of the tierra caliente covering the luxuriant vegetation of banks of the stream that flowed far below us. We could easily shout to the people on the other edge of the ravine, but it would have taken hours of toiling down the steep paths again and up before we could have reached them. Here our horses were waiting for us and an hour or two’s ride brought us to the great sugar-hacienda of Temisco, where we were to pass the night, for towns and inns are few and far between in Mexico when one leaves the more populous mountain-plateaus. So much the bet- ter, for my companion had provided himself with letters of introduction, and we had already seen something of hacienda life, and liked it. As we approached Temisco, we saw upon the slopes, immense fields of sugar-cane, now grown into a dense mass, five or six feet high, most pleasant to look upon for the delicate green tint of the leaves that belongs to no other plant. The colour of our English turf is beautiful, and so are the tints of our English woods in spring, but our fields of grain have a dull and dingy green compared to the sugar-cane and the young Indian corn. In this beautiful valley we cannot charge the inhabitants with entirely neg- lecting the irrigation of the land. Indeed, the culture of the 180 ANAHUAC. sugar-cane cannot be carried on without it, and the cost of the watercourses on the large estates has been very great. Unfortunately, even here agriculture is not flourishing. The small number of the white inhabitants, and the dis- tracted state of the country make both life and property very insecure and the brown people are becoming less and less disposed to labour on the plantations. It is true that most of these channels were made in old times little new is done now, and I could make a long list of estates that were once busy and prosperous, giving employment to thousands of the Indian inhabitants, and that are now over-grown with weeds and falling to ruin. Entering the iron gate of the hacienda, we found our- selves in an immense courtyard, into which open all the buildings of the house principal estate, the of the proprie- tor, the church—which forms a necessaiy part of every hacienda—the crushing-mill, and the boiling-houses. Into great patio the same open the immense stables for the many riding-horses and the many hundreds of mules that carry the sugar and rum over the mountains to market, the tienda, the shop of the estate, through which and the labourers comes back to almost all the money paid to proprietor in exchange for goods. A mountain of the door of trapiche (the fresli-cut canes stood near the the and a gang of Indians were constantly crushing-mill) carrying them in by arm- going backwards and forwards bring- whil e a succession of mules were continually fulls replenish the in fresh supplies from the plantation to ing knee- court-yard was littered all over, great heap. The just freed from with dry cane-trash and mules, deep, in it, saddles, were rolling on them backs their galling evidently in a state with all their legs at once, and kicking was a of one side of the square high enjoyment. Part of tables. and cloister, and in it stood chairs sort of wide LABOURERS. 181 AND HACIENDA transacted, and the the place was business of the Here his ledger, and see look up from could Adininistrador over the establishment. was going on all well what pretty haciendas owners of these common for the It is very of their the entire control absentees, and to leave be to which is administradors but at Temisco, to the estates others, this is not the better managed than most much proprietor generally lives there. and the son of the case, our horses to the stable, and He was out riding, so we sent eating sugar-canes till he should return. lounged about broad Mexican hat Presently he came, a young man in a jacket and trousers, mounted on a splendid and white little horse, with his saddle glittering with silver, every inch a planter. He welcomed us hospitably, and we sat down together in the cloister looking out on the courtyard. Evening was closing in, and all at once the church-bell rang. Crowds of Indian labourers in their white dresses came flocking in, hardly distinguishable in the twilight, and the sound of their footsteps deadened as they walked over the dry stubble that covered the ground. All work ceased, every one uncovered and knelt down while, through the open church-doors, we heard the Indian choir chanting the vesper hymn. In the haciendas of Mexico every day ends thus. Many times I heard the Oracion chanted at nightfall, but its effect never diminished by repetition, and to my mind it has always seemed the most impressive of religious services. Then the Administrador seated himself behind a great book, “ ” and the calling over the raya began. Every man in turn was called by name, and answered in a loud voice, praise God ! then saying how much he had earned in the day, for the Administrador to write down. “Juan Fernandez! “Alabo “1 d Dios, tres veciles medio:” praise — God, one and ninepence.” “Josd Valdes!” “I 182 ANAHUAC. praise God, eighteen pence, and sixpence for the boy and so on, through a couple of hundred names. Then came, not unacceptably, a little cup of pasty chocolate and a long roll for each of us. Then Don Guil- lermo and our host talked about their mutual acquaintances in Mexico, and we asked questions about sugar-planting, and walked about the boiling-liouse, where the night-gang of brown men were hard at work stirring and skimming at the boiling-pans, and ladling out coarse unrefined sugar into little earthen bowls to cool. This common sugar in bowls is very generally used by the poorer Mexicans. The sugar-boilers were naked excepting a cotton girdle. These men were very strong, and with great powers of endur- ance, but they did not at all resemble the strong men of Europe with their great muscles standing up under their skin, the men in Michael Angelo’s pictures, or the Famese Hercules. They are equally unlike the thin why Arabs, whose strength seems disproportionate then- lean so to little bodies. The pure Mexican Indian is short and sturdy and, of the race, you until yo'u have observed the peculiarities say he was too stout and flabby to be strong. But would immense thickness of his this appearance is caused by the in which conceals the play of his muscles and skin, great, especially in the legs and reality his strength is very action in in the muscles that are brought into thighs, and observe the Indian carrying burdens. Sartorius used to up a loads of above five-hundred-weight miners bringing trunks mine-ladders, which consist of hundred fathoms of in notches cut fixed slanting across the shaft, with of trees them for steps. of mere training have said before, it is not the As I develop- has produced this remarkable individual that the before The centuries power of carrying loads. ment of the INDIANS. XOCHICALCO. THE 183 Conquest, when there were no beasts of burden, the had gradually produced a race whose bodies were admirably for such work; the fitted and persistency with which they have clung to their old habits has done much to prevent their- losing this peculiarity. To complete the description of the Indians which I have been led into by speaking of the sugar- boilers,—they are chocolate-brown in colour, with curved noses, straight black hah- hanging flat round their heads and covering their wonderfully low foreheads, and occasionally a scanty black beard. Their faces are broadly oval, their eyes far apart, and they have wide mouths with coarse lips. Not bad faces on the whole, but heavy and unexpressive. At ten o’clock came a heavy supper, the substantial meal of the day, and immediately afterwards we went to bed, and dreamt such dreams as may be imagined. We were off early in the morning with a wizened old mestizo to guide us to the ruins of Xochicalco, which are on this very estate of Temisco. The estate is forty miles across, however, and it is a long ride to the ruins. After we leave the fields of sugar-cane, we see scarcely hut, nor patch of cultivated ground. At last we get to Xochicalco, and find ourselves at the foot of a lull, some four hundred feet in height, extraordinarily regular in its conical shape, moie so than any natural hill could be, unless it were the cone of a volcano. At different heights upon this hill, we could see from below broad ten-aces running round and round it. A little nearer we came upon great ditch. The sides had fallen in, in many places sometimes ; it was qrnte filled up, and everywhere it was overgrown with thick brushwood, as was the hill itself. It seems that this ditch inns quite round the base of the hill, and is three miles long. Climbing up through the thicket of thorny bushes and out upon the terraces, it became quite evident z 184 ANAHUAC. that the hill had been artificially shaped. The terraces were built up with blocks of solid stone, and paved with the same. On the neighbouring hilts we could discern traces of more terrace-roads of the same kind there mast be many miles of them still remaining. But it was when we reached the summit, that we found the most remarkable part of the structure. The top has been cut away so as to form a large level space, which was surrounded by a stone wall, now in ruins. Inside the in- closure are several moimds of stone, doubtless burial-places, and all that is left of the pyramid. Ruined and defaced as it is, I shall never forget our feelings of astonishment and admiration as pushed we our way through the bashes, and suddenly came upon it. We were quite unprepared for anything of the kind all we knew of the place when we started that morning being that there were some curious old ruins there. The pyramid was composed of blocks of hewn stone, so accurately fitted together hardly the joints, as to show and the carving goes on without interruption from one eight feet block to another. Some of these blocks are long, and nearly three feet wide. They were laid to- from the construction gether without mortar, and indeed, is of the building, none was required. The first storey plinth the bottom. about sixteen feet high, including the at figures, sculptured group of Above the plinth comes a the pyramid, twice which is repeated in panels all round long Each panel occupies a space thirty feet on each side. three or four ten in height, and the bas-reliefs project by with a chief, dressed in a girdle, and inches. There is a the Red Indians of of feathers just like those of head-dress scroll. In the girdle he terminates hi a the north. Below perhaps be a palm- the group is what may the middle of and foot. Close to the tree, a rabbit at its tree, with 185 AT XOCHICALCO. SCULPTUKES is a figure with a the same height, nearly to reaching and with drapery in wearing a crown, crocodile’s head the Assy- of the creatures in lines, like the wings parallel likely he a conven- Indeed this may very rian bas-reliefs. featlier-work so charac- representation of the robes of tional teristic of Mexico. three and Above these bas-reliefs is a frieze between another sculptured panel- repeated four feet high, with each side of the pyramid. This remarkable eight times on SCULPTURED PANEL, the Pyramid Xochicalco. (After Nehel.) from ruined of sculpture represents a man sitting barefoot and cross- legged. On his head is a kind of crown or helmet, with plume of feathers and from the front of tins helmet there protrudes a serpent, just where in the Egyptian sculptures the royal basilisk is fixed on the crowns of kings and queens. The eyes of this personage are protected by round plates with holes in the middle, held on by a strap round the head, like the coloured glasses used in the United States to keep off the glare of the sun, and known as “goggles.” In front of this figure are sculptured a rabbit and some unintelligible ornaments “ or weapons. Rabbit” may have been his name. 180 ANAHUAC. The frieze is surmounted by a cornice and above the cornice of the second storey enough remains to show that it was covered with reliefs, in the same way as the first. There were five storeys originally: the others have only been destroyed about a century. The former proprietor of the hacienda of Temisco pulled down the upper storeys, and carried away the blocks of stone to build walls and dams with. The perfect execution of the details in the bas-reliefs and the accuracy with which they are repeated show clearly that it was not so much want of skill as the neces- sity of keeping to the conventional mode of representing objects that has given so grotesque a character to the Mexican sculptures. Certain figures became associated with religion and astrology in Mexico, as in many other countries and the sculptor, though his facility in details shows that he could have far made better figures if he had had a chance, never had the opportunity, for he was not depart from the original rude of the allowed to type sacred object. Humboldt remarks that the same undevi- is striking in the ating reproduction of fixed models as Mexican sculptures done since the Conquest. The clumsy of saints brought from Europe outlines of the rude figures the 16th century were adopted as models by the native in change to this day. sculptors, and have lasted without Xochicalco answered several pm'- It is evident that strength, also a It was a fortified hill of great poses. whose burial-place for men of note, sacred shrine, and a ruined cairns near the no doubt, still lie under the bodies, terraces/ of the ditch and the pyramid. The magnitude up blocks of stone brought the great size of the as well as indicate a of beasts of burden, hill without the aid the The beauty and a despotic government. population large who that the people sculpture show of the masonry and 187 ORNAMENTS. COMMON no small progress in the monument had made this erected had no iron, too, that they must remember, We arts. hardest granite and cut and polished the laboriously but and bronze we can with instruments of stone porphyry ; tell how. hardly Assyrian which people find between The resemblances monuments Egyptian sculptures and the American and ground little value, and do not seem sufficient to are of When slightly civilized races copy argument upon. any animals in their rude way, it would be men, trees, and if there were not some resemblance among the hard then- they produce. With reference to ornamenta- figures that what is called the key-border” is tion, it is true common in Mexico and Yucatan, and that on this quite very pyramid the panels are divided by a twisted border, which would not be noticed as peculiar in a renaissance building. But the model of this border may have been suggested—on either side of the globe— creepers twined by together in the forest, or by a cord doubled and twisted, such as is represented in one of the commonest Egyptian hieroglyphs. The cornice which finishes the first storey of the pyra- mid is a familiar pattern, but nothing can be concluded from these simple geometrical designs, which might be in- vented over and over again by different races when they began to find pleasure in tracing ornamental devices upon their buildings. Upon the tattooed skins of savages such designs may be seen, and the patterns were certainly in use among them before they had any intercourse with white men. This is the view Humboldt takes of these coincidences. That both the Egyptian king and the Mexican chief should wear a helmet with a serpent stand- ing out from it just above the forehead, is somewhat ex- traordinary. 188 ANAHUAC. Now, who built Xochicalco? Writers on Mexico are quite ready with their answer. They tell us that, accord- ing to the Mexican tradition, the country was formerly inhabited by another race, who were called Toltecd, or, as we say, Toltecs, from the name of their city, Tollan, the Reed-swamp and that they were of the same race as the Aztecs, as shown by the names of their cities and their kings being Aztec words that they were a highly civilized people, and brought into the country the arts of sculpture, hieroglyphic painting, great improvements in agriculture, many of the peculiar religious rites since practised by other nations who settled after them in Mexico, and the famous astronomical calendar, of which I shall speak afterwards. The particular Toltec king to whom the Mexican histo- rians ascribe the building of Xochicalco was called Nauhyotl, that is to say, Four Bells,” and died A.D. 915. We are further told that just about the time of our were driven from the Norman Conquest, the Toltecs out Mexican plateau by famine and pestilence, and migrated remained, from again southward. Only a few families and Chichemecs, and other barbarous tribes by them the Aztecs, that knowledge whom the country was re-peopled, derived sciences upon which their own civilization of the arts and the Mexi- was founded. It was by this Toltec nation—say monuments of Xocliichalco, Teotihua- can winters—that the architecture the Cholula were built. In their can, and their the works left by Aztecs did little more than copy Indians call a this day, the Mexican predecessors and, to toltecatl or Toltec. builder a any- circumstantial account to be If we consider this question naturally but a mere tissue of fables, the thing when of the remains of the Toltecs —what became arises has been high plains of Mexico ? A theory they left the settled in question, that they to answer this propounded 189 AND CENTRAL AMERICA. MEXICO PEOPLES OF Palenque, Copan, and and built ancl Yucatan, Chiapas of which lie imbed- the other cities, the ruins and TJxmal, tropical forest. in the ded Prescott wrote his History of the the time that At the new a theory was quite tenable, but Conquest, such the Abbd Brasseur matter lately made known by historic different aspect to the question. Bourbourg has given a de attempting to maintain the credibility of this Without history as a whole, I cannot but think that he has writer’s given us satisfactory grounds for believing that the ruined America were built by cities of Central a race which flourished long before the Toltecs that they were already declining in power and civilization in the seventh century, when the Toltecs began to flourish in Mexico; and that the present Mayas of Yucatan are their degenerate de- scendants. What I have seen of Central American and Mexican antiquities, and of drawings of them in books, tends to support the Abbd Brasseur de Botubourg’s view of the history of these countries. Traces of communication be- tween the two peoples are to be found in abundance, but nothing to warrant our holding that either people took its civilization bodily from the other. My excuse for entering into these details must be that some of the facts I have to offer are new. bas-relief at Kabah, described in Mr. Stephens’ ac- count of his second journey, bears considerable resem- blance to that on the so-called “sacrificial stone” of Mexico and the warrior has the ; characteristic Mexican maquahuitl, or “Hand-wood,” a mace set with rows of obsidian teeth. A curious ornament is met with in the Central Ameri- can sculptures, representing a serpent with a man’s face looking out from between its distended jaws; and we find — ANAHUAC. similar design in tlie Aztec picture-writings, sculptures, and pottery. A remarkable peculiarity in the Aztec picture-writings is that the personages represented often have one or more figures of tongues suspended in mid-air near their mouths, indicating that they are speaking, or that they are persons in authority. Such tongues are to be seen on the Yucatan sculptures. One of the panels on the Pyramid of Xochicalco seems to have a bearing upon this subject, I mean that of the cross-legged chief, of which I have just spoken. In the first place, sitting cross-legged is not an Aztec custom. I do not think, we ever saw Indian an in Mexico sitting cross-legged. In the picture-writings of the Aztecs, the men sit doubled up, with them chins almost touching their knees while the women have them legs tucked under them, and them feet sticking out on the left side. On the other hand, this attitude is characteristic of the quite Yucatan sculptures. At Copan there is an altar, with six- teen chiefs sitting cross-legged round it and, moreover, one of them has a head-dress very much like that of the serpent), others Xochicalco chief (except that it has no and are more or less similar while I do not recollect anything like it in the Mexican picture-writings. The curious peifio- of the Xochicalco chief, which he wore rated eye-plates out ofhis eyes, are apparently—to keep arrows and javelins the equipment of the Aztec warrior in the picture- part of afford no writings, while Palenque and Copan seemed to remark- them that in two peculiarities the instance of so rather to Yucatan sculpture before us seems to belong able to Mexico, and in one to Mexico rather than than to Yucatan. Central possible in all cases to distinguish It is not even origin. Among from those of Mexican American sculptures 191 CENTRAL AMERICA. OF CIVILIZATION Christy’s museum, some in Mr. figures numerous stone the and some as American origin, Central of unmistakeably are are many which these, there but beside Mexican certainly handled hun- though we had and myself, them owner both on the debate- obliged to leave such things, were dreds of classes. between the two able ground are But the differences resemblances. So much for the most pear-shaped heads of greater weight. The of much peculiar configura- figures, whose the Central American of caricatures of Louis approached by the wildest tion is only So are the hieroglyphics Philippe, are perfectly distinctive. Central found on the sculptures of arranged in squares, is the general and in the Dresden Codex. So America sculpture, as any one may character of the architecture and see at a glance. so-called Aztec Astronomical It is quite true that the Calendar was in use in Central America, and that many of the religious observances in both countries, such as the and method of sacrificing the human victims, the practice of the worshippers drawing blood from themselves in hon- our of the gods, are identical. But there were several ways in which this might have been brought about, and it is no real proof that the civilization of either country was an offshoot from that other. of the To consider it as such would be like arguing that the negroes of Cuba and the Indians of Yucatan had derived them civilization one from the other, because both peoples are Boman Catholics, and use the same almanac. On the whole I am disposed to conclude that the civilizations of Mexico and Central America were originally independent, but that they came much into contact, and thus modified one another to no «• small extent. At the risk of being prosy, I will mention the a priori grounds upon which we may argue that the civilization of A A 192 ANAHUAC. Central America did not grow up there, hut was brought ready-made by a people who emigrated there from some other country. There is a theory afloat, that it is only in temperate climates that barbarous nations make much pro- gress in civilizing themselves. In tropical countries the intensity of the heat makes man little disposed for exer- tion, and the luxuriance of the vegetation supplies him with the little he requires. In such climates —say the advocates of this theory —man acknowledges the supre- macy of nature over himself, and gives up the attempt to shape her to his own purposes and thus, in these coun- tries, the inhabitants go on from generation to generation, their making effort, and indeed lazily enjoying existence, no feeling no desire to raise themselves in the social scale. theory, therefore, when we find a high civiliza- Upon this plains of India, have to tion in hot countries, as in the we account for it by supposing an immigration of races bring- civilization with them from more temperate ing their climates. This theory of civilization favours the idea of having been built by a people the Central American cities highlands, Mexico. The climate of the Mexican from taken in a rough way to correspond which may be suited a nation’s that of North Italy, is well to with Chia- But the cities of Yucatan and development. removed from the geographically not far pas, though by their small elevation plateau, are brought Mexican climate. They are in a very different the sea into above in rankest vegetation, land of tropical heat and the the fevers and where pestilential midst of dense forests the for almost impossible lassitude make it overwhelming Indians who still and where the to live, Europeans the ruined cities are neighbourhood of the the inhabit lazy igno- lowest depths of savages sunk in the merest rance. — AND ITS SHRINES. XOCHICALCO progress have any truth in it, climate-theory of If this in such a have raised itself tribe could barbarous no indicated by the ruins state which is the social country to They must have been settlers and cities. such temples of region. some more temperate from came about the hill of Xochicalco we While wandering spot that strongly excited our curiosity. It was upon a one simply a small paved oval space with a little altar at lying round about it, some fragments of what end, and, to have been a hideous grotesque idol of baked clay. seemed shrine dedicated to one Perhaps it was a of the inferior deities, such as often surrounded the greater temples for, in Mexico, astronomy, astrology, and religion had become together, as they have mixed up been in other quarters of the globe, and even the astronomical signs of days and months had temples of their own. Xochicalco means “In the House of Flowers.” The word flower,” xochitl,—is often a part of the names of Mexican places and people, such as the lake of Xochimilco “ In the Flower-plantation.” Tlilxochitl, literally “black flower,” is the Aztec name for vanilla, so that the name of that famous Mexican historian, Ixtlilxochitl, whose name sticks in the throats of readers of Prescott, means “Vanilla- face.” Why the place was called “In the House of Flowers” is not clear. The usual explanation seems not unlikely, that it was because offerings of flowers and first- fruits were made upon its shrines. The Toltecs, say the Mexican chroniclers, did not sacrifice human victims and it was not until long after other tribes had taken possession of their deserted temples, that the Aztecs introduced the custom by sacrificing their prisoners of war. It seems odd, however, that one of the Toltec kings should have been called Topiltzin, which was the title of the chief priest among the Aztecs, whose duty it was to cut open the breasts of the human victims and tear out their hearts. ; 194 ANAHUAC. The Indians always delighted in carrying flowers in their solemn processions, crowning themselves with gar- lands, and decorating their houses and temples with them and, while they worshipped their gods according to the sim- which tradition says then- ple rites prophet, Quetzalcoatl, (“Feathered Snake,”) appointed, before he left them and embarked in his canoe on the Eastern ocean, name could no more appropriate for have been their temple. This plea- sant custom did not disappear after the Conquest and to in the Indian districts are beautiful this day the churches with their brilliant garlands and nosegays, and are as houses of flowers as were the temples in emphatically ages long past. notice of the Pyramid of Since writing the above piece of evidence, Xochicalco, I have come upon a new about the be depended on, proves more which, if it may monument than all the rest put history of this remarkable ruins at Xochi- Dupaix made a drawing of the together. Kingsborough’s found in Lord which is to be calco in 1805, the sculptures of of Mexico,’ and among ‘Antiquities reed, with its is represented a tier of blocks the upper three small circles under- in square frame, with leaves set a unmistakeable way, in the most whole forming, neath the Astronomical the Mexican Cane) of sign 3 Acatl (3 the Calendar. of Dupaix’s drawing admitted that it must be Now still no amount incorrect but most grossly these ruins is ; in suppos- will justify us an artist carelessness in of mere head of his own and put in out invented him to have ing not even this. It does generis as so entirely sui design may the sign because the drawing is wrong that follow and upper tier, was in an now for it there be found not ; for since 1805, been removed stones have many no doubt building-purposes. 195 MIACATLAN. OF XOCHICALCO. BUILDERS of the sign 3 Acatl on the pyramid the existence If it will fit in perfectly with considered as certain, be may Mexican historians, who state that accounts of the the race, and also was built by a king of the Toltec Xochicalco astronomical calendars of the Aztecs adopted the that the Toltecs. years and days in use among was afternoon when we left Xochicalco and rode on It over a gently undulating country, crossing streams here and had our breakfast at Miacatlan and there, under a shed in front of the village shop, where all the activity of the little Indian town seemed to be concentrated. By the were beautiful tamarind-trees road-side with their dark green foliage, and the mamei-tree as large as a fine Eng- fish horse-chestnut, and not unlike it at a distance. On the branches were hanging the great mameis, just like the inside of cocoa-nuts when the inner shell has been cracked off. It appeared that Nature was not acquainted with M. De La Fontaine’s works, or she would probably have got a hint from the fable of the acorn and the pumpkin, and not have hung mameis and cocoa-nuts at such a dan- gerous height. AZTEC HEAD IN TERRA-COTTA, (Frum Mr. Christy's Collection.) CHAP. VIII. COCOYOTLA. CAC AHUAMILPAN. CHALMA. OCULAN. TENANCINGO. TOLUCA. IXTACALCO CHURCH A little before dark we came to the hacienda of Santa Rosita de Cocoyotla, another sugar-plantation which was to be our head-quarters for some days to come. We pre- sented our letter of introduction from the owner of the estate, and the two administradors received us with open arms. We were conducted into the strangers’ sleeping- room, a long barrack-like apartment with stone walls and a stone floor that seemed refreshingly dark and cool we could look out through its barred -windows into the garden, rapid where a little stream of water running along the channel just outside made a pleasant gurgling sound. were delusive, however, and it was only the Appearances change from the outside that made us feel the inside cool O 197 LABOURERS. INDIAN HACIENDA. us as if we clothes clung to our For days pleasant. and pocket-handkerchiefs with and the drowned, been had on cliair-backs to be hung our faces had we mopped which no cool- there was morning, Except in the early dry. to place. in that sweltering ness of brown toad discerned a one corner of our room I In damp on the in great comfort monstrous size squatting looked chicken, and big as a trussed flags. He was as him out hin twilight. We pointed somet like one in the fierce watch- who brought in two to the administrador, acrid back and spirted his but the toad set up his dogs, We could not be got to go near him. liquor, and the dogs into the gar- him up with a bamboo and drove him stirred in slime upon our den, but he left his portrait painted floor. The Indian choir chanted the Oracion as we had heard the calling it the night before at Temisco, and then came over of the raya. After that walked about the place, we and sat talking in the open corridor. Owners of estates, and indeed all white folks living in this part of the coun- try were beginning to feel very anxious about them posi- tion, and not without reason. Ordinary political events excite but little interest in these Indian districts, and so . trifling a matter as a revolution and a change of people in power does not affect them perceptibly. The Indians are absolutely free, and have their votes and their civil privi- leges like any citizens. All that the other owners of the plantations ask of them is to work for high wages, and hitherto they have done this, but for years it has been be- coming more and more difficult to get them to work. All they with do the money when they get it, is to spend it in drinking and gambling, if they are of an extravagant turn of mind or to bury it in some out-of-the-way place, if they are given to saving. If they were whites or half- 198 ANAHUAC. caste Mexicans they would spend their money upon fine clothes and horses, but the Indian keeps to the white cotton dress of his fathers, and is never seen on horse- back. Now this being the case, it does not seem un- reasonable that they should not much care about working hard for money that is of so little use to them when they have got it, and that they should prefer living in their little huts walled with canes and thatched with palm- leaves, and cultivating the little patch of garden-ground that lies round it which — will produce enough fruit and vegetables for their own subsistence, and more besides, which they can sell for clothes and tobacco. A day or two of this pleasant easy work at then' own ground will provide this, and they do not why they see should labour as hired servants to get more. This is bad enough, think the hacendados, but there is worse behind. The Indians of late years have been becoming gradually aware that the government of the country is quite rotten and powerless, and that in their own districts at least, the power is very much in their own hands, for the few scattered offer but slight resistance. The doctrine whites could of America for the Americans” is rapidly spreading among and active emissaries are going about reminding them, them that the Spaniards only got their lands by the right strongest, and that now is the time for them to re- of the assert their rights. name of Alvarez is circulated among them, as the The coming struggle—Alvarez man who is to lead them in the mulatto general, whose hideous portrait is in eveiy the President before Comon- print-shop in Mexico. He was Indian regiments in and is now established with his fort, of the Pacific coast. hot pestilential regions the wliicli the Indians undisguised contempt with The the whites and the mestizos treated for ages by have been 199 THE INDIANS. CONDITION OF POLITICAL revolution, and the effect. The without its been not has still left the In- distinctions of caste all legal abolition of of creatures in the eyes unreasoning mere senseless dians get the original race once and, if the whiter races the and their the whites will go hard with hand, it upper we came day or two before these parts. Only a estates in endeavoured to the government had from Mexico, down towns which in one of the little Indian quarter some troops in- Temisco. But the through on our way from we passed from the with volleys of stones habitants saluted them had to retreat the house-tops, and they church-steeple and quarters among “reason- ignominiously into their old most able people.” down our notions on the Indian I have put they presented themselves to us at the Question,” just as time. The dismal forebodings of the planters seem to for heard, have been fulfilled to some extent at least, we long after our return to Em-ope, that the Indians had not plundered and set fire to numbers of the haciendas of the south country, and that our friends the administradors of Cocoyotla had escaped with their lives. The hacienda itself, if our information is correct, which I can hardly doubt, is now a blackened deserted ruin. supper At appeared two more guests besides ourselves, apparently traders carrying goods to sell at the villages and haciendas on the road. In such places the hacienda offers its hospitality to all travellers, and there was room in our caravanserai for yet more visitors if they had come. Our beds were like those in general use in the tropics, where mattresses would be unendurable, and even the pillows become a nuisance. The frame of the bed has a piece of coarse cloth stretched tightly over it a sheet is laid upon this, and another sheet covers the sleeper. This compro- mise between a bed and a hammock answers the purpose 200 ANAHUAC. better than anything else, and admits of some circulation of air, especially when you have kicked off the sheet and lie fully exposed to the air and the mosquitos. I cannot say that it is pleasant to wake an hour or two after going to bed, with your exact profile depicted in a patch wet on the pillow nor is it agreeable to become con- scious at the same time of an intolerable itching, and to find, on lighting a candle, that an army of small ants are walking over you, and biting furiously. These were my experiences during my first night at Cocoyotla and I finished the night, lying half-dressed my bed, with the on ends of my trousers-legs tied close with handkerchiefs to keep the creatures out. But when we got into our saddles miseries, in the early morning, we forgot all these little and started merrily on our expedition to the great stalac- titic cave of Cacahuamilpan. Our day’s journey had two objects one was to see the cave, and the other to visit the village close by,—one of the genuine unmixed Indian communities, where even the Alcalde and Cura, the temporal and spiritual heads of the white in- the society, are both of pure Indian blood, and much felt. fluence has never been brought A ride of two or three hours from the hacienda and there we found the vil- us into a mountainous district, In the midst lage of Cacahuamilpan on the slope of a hill. the the little white church, and of neat trim gardens stood room, with ranchos of the inhabitants, cottages of one direc- can through in all walls of canes which one see smoothed and and roofs of thatch, with the ground tions, clean and floor. Everything seemed trodden hard for a look about the and there was a bright sunny prosperous, innu- Englishmen, accustomed to the place but to whole how surprising appliances of civilized life, it seems merable people. The are the wants of these and simple very few To Tool 201. p. l** I* Wa> ./*/ Sm&tJuutL T0R.T1U.AS. MAKING & BAKING INDIANS made a Native Artist.) (_At’Ler Models by — COTTON-SPINNING. HUTS. INDIAN will only occupy possessions their whole of inventory down the or rubbing for grinding The nutate lines. few calabashes for tortillas, a few patted out into to' be maize and cups, prettily for bowls pieces of calabashes and bottles, the on pegs round and hanging and painted, ornamented upon, (petates) to sleep palm-leaf mats A few walls. the cooking, earthenware for thin unglazed some pots of middle of the floor. wood-fire in the is done over a which the houses which are like not necessary in chimney is wooden principally of holes. A coat, consisting Irishman’s of the family such of the clothes somewhere, contains box, hardly anything I can wear. There is really as are not in except the agricultural to add to this catalogue, think of of a wooden spade, a hoe, some implements, which consist machete to make the drills with, and the sharp stakes for pruning, wood- which is an iron bill-hook, and serves then for less peaceful purposes. cutting, and now and Sometimes one sees women weaving cotton-cloth, or manta, simplest as it is called, in a loom of the possible construc- them doors in groups, spinning cotton- tion or sitting at thread with the malacates, and apparently finding as much . material for gossip here as elsewhere. The Mexicans spun and wove their cotton-cloth just in this way before the Conquest, and malacates of baked clay are found in great numbers in the neighbourhood of the old Mexican cities. They are simple, like very large button-moulds, and a thin wooden skewer stuck in the hole in the middle makes them ready for use. Such spindles used were by the lake-men of Switzerland, but the earthen heads were not quite the same in shape, being like balls pierced with a hole, as are those at present used in Mexico. The Indians here had not the dull sullen look we saw among those who inhabit the colder regions and, though ; 202 ANAI-IUAC. belonging to the same race, they were better formed and had a much freer bearing than their less fortunate coun- trymen of the districts. colder Our business in the village was to get guides for the cavern. While some men were gone to look for the Alcalde, we walked about the village, and finally en- camped under a tree. One of our men had got us a bag full of fruit,—limes, zapotes, and nisperos, which last are a large kind of medlar, besides a number of other kinds of fruit, which we ate without knowing what they were. Though rather insipid, the limes are deliciously refreshing in this thirsty country and they no harm, however do enormously one may indulge in them. The whole neigh- bourhood abounds in fruit, and its name Cacahuamilpan means the plantation of cacaliuate nuts.” It soon became evident that the Alcalde was keeping us waiting that, though as a matter of dignity, and to show the white men might held in great estimation else- be where, in this free they did not think so much of them and independent last a man came to summon village. At the Alcalde, us to a solemn audience. In a hut of canes, a little lame Indian, was sitting on a mat spread on the ground in or secretary at the middle, with his escribano his left hand. Other Indians were standing outside at the take any door. The little man scarcely condescended to upright, notice of when saluted him, but sat bolt us we and the escri- positively bursting with suppressed dignity, We bano inquired in loud voice what our business was. as knew told him we wanted guides to the cave, which he talk began to well as we did but instead of answering, he must it the Alcalde. We quite appreciated the pleasure to us off before have been to the two functionaries to show at on assembled countrymen, who were looking and their minded not great respect and we had the proceedings with ; CACAHUAMILPAN. 203 CAVE OF GREAT at last the cheap satisfaction; but joke them this affording proceeded some to sit and getting stale, so we to be seemed and to go on eating limes lie down at full length, to some they company. Thereupon presence of the august in the candles, the cost of guides and informed us what would be started bargain with them and and we eventually made a on foot. of Mexico, there is looking at the map of the State On stops suddenly on reaching the to be seen a river which mountains of Cacahuamilpan, and begins again on the itself through other side, having found a passage for caves mountain for six or seven miles. Not far from the in the place where this river flows out of the side of the hill, is a path which leads to the entrance of the cave. A long into the first great downward slope brought us vaulted chamber, perhaps a quarter of a mile long and eighty feet high then a long scramble through narrow passage, and another hall still grander than the first. At the end of this hall is another passage leading on into another chamber. Beyond this it we did not go. As was, we must have walked between one and two miles into the cavern, but people have explored it to twice this distance, always find- ing a repetition of the same arrangement, great vaulted chambers alternating with long passages almost choked by fallen rocks. In one of the passages, I think the last we came to, the roaring of the river in its subterranean bed was distinctly audible below us. Excepting the great cave of Kentucky, I believe there is no stalactitic cavern known so vast and beautiful as this. The appearance of the largest hall was wonderful when some twenty of our Indian guides stationed themselves on pinnacles of stalagmite, each one holding up a blazing torch, while two more climbed upon a great mass at one end called the altar, and biu’nt Bengal lights there the ; ; ANAHUAC. rest stood at the other extremity of the cave sending up rockets in rapid succession into the vaulted roof, and mak- ing the millions of grotesque incrustations glitter as if they had been masses of diamonds. All the quaint shapes that are found in such caverns were to be seen here on the grandest scale, columns, arched roof, organ-pipes, trees, altars, and squatting monsters ranged in long lines like idols in a temple. There may very well be some truth in the notion that the origin of Gothic architecture was in stalactites of a limestone cavern, so numerous and perfect are the long slender columns crowned with pointed Gothic arches. Our procession through the cave was a picturesque one. We carried long wax altar-candles, and our guides huge torches made of threads of aloe-fibre soaked in resin and wrapped round with cloth, in appearance and texture exactly like the legs and arms of mummies. As we went, the Indians sang Mexican songs to strange, monotonous, or plaintive tunes, raced about into dark corners shouting with laughter. They talked about adventures in the cave, of course the great phenomenon of the to them whole world but it did not seem, as far as we could hear, that any recollections the they associated with it of old Aztec divinities and the mystic rites performed in their honour. have been found in the cavern, nor No fossil bones remains except in one of the passages far within, human wooden cross still marks the spot where the where a little of an Indian was found. Whether he went alone skeleton explore the cave, or, what is more for mere curiosity to known with an idea of finding treasure, is not likely, but that his candle was burnt out while is certain nothing there. I far from the entrance, and that he died he was still floors been found, but the level fossil remains had said no raised by fresh are continually being great halls of the HORSEBACK. 205 PHENOMENON. PRIEST ON OPTICAL from the roof, the water dropping stalagmite from layers of them. These floors what may lie under no one knows and loose concretions many places covered with little hi are in the course of time marbles, and these concretions like material. layers of the same imbedded in the horizontal are hall and began to ascend the As we left the entrance an optical sloping passage that leads to daylight, we saw it with our own eyes, appearance which, had we not seen never have believed to be a natural effect of we could light and shade. To us, still far down in the cave, the en- reflected light the trance was only illuminated by but as Indians reached it, the direct rays of sunlight fell upon them, and their white dresses shone with an intense phos- phoric light, as though they had been self-luminous. It is just such an effect that is wanting in our pictures of the Transfiguration, but I fear it is as impossible to paint it upon canvas as to.describe it in words. Next morning our friend Don Guillermo said good-bye to us, and started to return post-haste to his affairs in the capital. We stayed a few days longer at Cocoyotla, never thing of the beautiful garden with its groves of orange- trees and cocoanut- palms, and the river which, run- ning through it, joins the stream that we heard rushing along in the cavern, to flow down into the Pacific. On Sunday morning the priest arrived on an ambling mule, the favourite clerical animal. They say it is impos- sible to ride a mule unless you are either an arriero or priest. Not that it is by any means necessary, however, that he should ride a mule. I shall not soon forget the jaunty young monk we saw at Tezcuco, just setting out for a country festival, mounted on a splendid little horse, with his frock tucked up, and a pair of hairy goat-skin chaparreros underneath, broad Mexican hat, a pair of monstrous silver spurs, and a very large cigar in his 206 ANAHUAC. mouth. The girls came out of the cottage doors to look at him, as he made the fiery little beast curvet and prance along the road and he was evidently not insensible to the looks of admiration of these young ladies, as they muffled in up their faces their blue rebozos and him looked at through the narrow opening. Nearly two hundred Indians crowded into the church to mass, and went through the seiwice with evident devo- tion. There are no more sincere Catholics in the world Indians, I than the though, as have said, they are apt to keep up some of their old rites in holes and corners. The administradors did not trouble themselves to attend mass, but went on posting up their books just outside the in this, as in a great many other little church-door mat- ters, showing their contempt for the brown men, and adding something every day to the feeling of dislike they are regarded with. of the Indians still keeping up then' ancient We speak superstitious rites in secret, as we often heard it said so in never saw anything of it. Mexico, though we ourselves Clavigero, who wrote in the last century, de- The Abbd untrue, except perhaps in a few the charge to be clares idolatry,” he says, The few examples of isolated cases. are partly excusable; since it is “which can be produced uncultured men should wondered at that rude “not to be idolatrous worship of a rough able to distinguish the “not be rightly paid to from that which is “figure of wood or stone quite people who would (There are “the holy images.” is rather a that the distinction agree with the good Abbd “ prejudice often has to make.) But how difficult one were really be idols which them declared things to “against 1754 I ones ! In saints, though shapeless of the “images to thought cave, which were images found in a “saw some re- were figures doubt that they but I had no “be idols; Nativity.” mystery of the Holy presenting the : AMUSEMENTS. 207 VILLAGE BAPTISM. INDIAN in which wholesale way the of illustration A good the work of -went about missionaries Catholic early the Clavigeros. There is remark of in a is given conversion thus which proceeds baptism the order of part of one spittle thumb with his right “ Priest, wetting Then the form of a in the touching therewith mouth, and from his The baptized, &c.” of the person to be the right ear cross cere- to leave out this missionaries, it seems, had Mexican the requi- provide enough of sheer inability to mony, from their crowds of converts. material for site had attracted we rode out to a mound that After mass before, and which proved to be attention a day or two our probably both combined. There were fort or temple, or be found there except the usual fragments no remains to pottery and obsidian. Then we returned to the haci- of enda to say good-bye to our friends there, before starting on our journey back to Mexico. All the population were work amusing themselves, and the shop was doing hard at a roaring trade in glasses of aguardiente. The Indian who guide for had been our some days past had opened a Montd bank with the dollars we had given him, and was sitting on the ground solemnly dealing cards one by one from the bottom of a dirty pack, a crowd of gamblers stand- ing or sitting in semicircle a before him, silently watching the cards and keeping a vigilant eye upon their stakes which lay on the ground before the banker. Other parties were busy at the same game in other parts of the open space before the shop, which served as the great square for the colony. Under the arcades in front of the shop a fandango was going on, though it was quite early in the afternoon. man and a woman stood facing each other, an old man tinkled a guitar, producing a strange, endless, monotonous tune, and the two dancers stamped with their feet, and 208 ANAHUAC. moved their arms and bodies about in time to the music, throwing themselves into affected and voluptuous atti- tudes which evidently met with the approval of the by- standers, though to us, did who not see with Indian eyes, they seemed anything but beautiful. When the danseuse had tired out one partner, another took his place. An admiring crowd stood round or sat on the stone benches, smoking cigarettes, and looking gravely on and silently, with evident enjoyment. Just as we saw it, it would go on probably through half the night, one couple, or perhaps two, keeping it up constantly, the rest looking on and re- freshing themselves from time to time with raw spirits. Though inferior to the Eastern dancing, it resembled it most strikingly, my companion said. It has little to do with the really beautiful dancing and artistic of Old Spain, but seems to be the same that the people delighted in long before they ever saw a white man. Montezuma’s palace contained a perfect colony of professional dancers, to entertain him with then per- whose sole business was formances, which only resembled those of the Old World nature is similar everywhere, and the same because human wants and instincts often find their development in the totally separated from each same way among nations other. amusement, and started on We left the natives to then had miles ride. By the time the evening our twenty crest of a fairly begun to close in upon us, we crossed the there of valley below us, but hill and lia^l a dim view a We let our signs of Chalma or its convent. were no the as well as they could along horses find their way light be- path, and got down into the valley. A rocky sight. round, and we saw a grand made us turn hind us the valley on a large hill further down The coarse grass stretched band of flame fire to, and a broad had been set 209 THE MESON AND THE CONVENT. CHALMA. the hill, and was slowly moving the base of right across throwing a lurid glare over the towards its top, upwards country, and upon the clouds of smoke that surrounding then rising from the flames. Every now and we were it rose higher and tinned to watch the line of fire as together at the summit with higher, till at last it closed in final blaze, and in the darkness. We dis- one left us mounted and stumbled along, leading our horses down the precipitous sides of the deep ravines that run into the valley, mounting again to cross the streams at the bottom, and clambering up on the other side to the level of the road. At last a turn in the valley showed lights just be- fore us, and entered we the village of Chalma, which was illuminated with flaring oil-lamps in the streets, where men were hard at work setting up stalls and booths of planks. It seemed there was to fair be a next day. They showed us the way to the meson* and there we left Antonio with the horses, while the proprietor sent an idiot boy to show us the way to the convent, for our in- spection of the meson decided us at once on seeking the hospitality of the monks for the night. We climbed up the hill, went in at the convent-gate, across a courtyard, along a dim cloister, and through another door where our guide made his way out by a different opening, leaving us standing in total darkness. After a time another door opened, and a good-natured-looking friar came in with lamp in his hand, and conducted us upstairs to his cell. think our friend was the sub-prior of the convent. His cell was a very comfortable bachelor’s apartment, in a plain way, vaulted and whitewashed, with good chairs and a table and a very comfortable-looking bed. The meson of Mexico is a lineal descendant of the Eastern Caravanserai, and has preserved its peculiarities unchanged for centuries. It consists of two court-yards, one surrounded by stabling and the other by miserable rooms for the travellers, who must cook their food themselves, or go elsewhere for it. 210 ANAHUAC. We sat talking with him for a long while, and heard that the fair next day would be attended by numbers of Indians from remote places among the mountains, and that at noon there would be an Indian dance in the church. It is not the great festival, however, he said. That is once a year and then the Indians come from fifty miles round, and stay here several days, living in the caves in the rock just by the town, buying and selling in the fair, attending mass, and having solemn dances in the church. We asked him about the ill feeling between the Indians and the whites. He said that among the planters it might be as we said, but that in the neighbourhood of Iris convent the respect and affection of the Indians for the clergy, whether white or Indian, was as great as ever. Then we gossipped about horses, of which our friend was evidently an ama- teur, and when the conversation flagged, he turned to the table in the middle of the room and handed us little bowls made of calabashes, prettily decorated and carved, and full of sweetmeats. There were ten or twelve of these little the table, each with a diffei’ent kind of tuck bowls on in it. We inquired where all those good things came from, and learnt that making them was one of the favourite occupations of the Mexican nuns, who keep their brethren well supplied. At last the good monk in the monasteries away to his duties and left us, when I could not went having the little books resist the temptation of a look at the and green paper covers which were lying on in blue venerable old table with the sweetmeat-bowls and the into They proved to be all French novels done missal. was lying open Spanish, and “Notre-Dame de Paris” visit had sheet of paper) so I conclude that our (under a that improving the sub-prior while deep in interrupted work. the us down into Presently a monk came to conduct good they gave us an uncommonly and there refectory, 211 DANCES. CONVENT. CHURCH THE red-liot as usual, and stews, wonderful Mexican of supper The great dignita- Spanish wine withal. good plenty of fifteen or appear, but some cloister did not of the ries never tired of with us, and monks were at table twenty fashion that the ladies in the same questioning us—exactly We delighted questioned Doha Juana. the harem of Easter fire at Jerusa- the miraculous them with stones of Peter’s, of the Sistine chapel and the illumination of St. lem, night in high good and we parted for the and the Pope, humour. morning a monk attached himself to us as our Next a fine young fellow with a handsome face, and no cicerone, end of fun in him. dayfight, we were Now that we saw the convent by the beauty of its situation. The broad fer- delighted with tile valley grows narrower and narrower until it becomes built, a gorge in the mountains and here the convent is running through its beautiful with the mountain-stream gardens, wheel of the convent-mill and turning the before it flows on into the plain to fertilize the broad lands of the reverend fathers. When had we visited the gardens and the stables, our young monk brought us back to the great clmrch of the convent, where we took our places near the monks, who had mustered in full force to be present at the dancing. Presently the music arrived, an old man with a harp, and woman with a violin and then came the dancers, eight Indian boys with short tunics and head-dresses of feathers, and as many girls with white dresses, and garlands of flowers on their heads. The costumes were evidently in- tended to represent the Indian dresses of the days of Monte- zuma, but they were rather modernized by the necessity of wearing various articles of dress which would have been supei’fluous in old times. They stationed themselves in the 212 ANAHUAC. middle of the church, opposite the high altar, and, to our unspeakable astonishment, began to dance the polka. Then came a waltz, then a scliottisch, then another waltz, and finally a quadrille, set to unmitigated English tunes. They danced exceedingly well, and behaved as though they had been used to European ball-rooms all their lives. The spectators looked on as though it were all a matter of course for these brown-skinned boys and girls to have acquired so singular an accomplishment in their out-of-the-way village among the mountains. As for us we looked on in open- mouthed astonishment and when, in the middle of the quadrille, the harp and violin struck up no less a time than The King of the Cannibal Islands,” we could hardly help bursting out into fits of laughter. We restrained ourselves, however, and kept as grave a countenance as the rest of the lookers-on, had the faintest idea that anything who not in odd was happening. The quadrille finished perfect order each dancer took his partner by the hand and led her forward and forming a line in front of the high altar, so, congregation fol- they all knelt down, and the rest of the in lowed their example there was a dead silence the an Ave Maria, then eveiyone church for about the space of the ceremony was over rose, and permission of his superior to Our young monk asked the walk, and we went down together to take us out for a mill, which was primi- convent-mill. There we saw the dances as * before the Conquest, to perform The Aztecs were accustomed, and the missionaries allowed , celebration of their religious festivals, part of the church, after their conversion. The dance in a them to continue the practice genuine Indian ceremony by Mr. Bullock in was a much more described 1822, than the one which we saw. The at the present day. Church-dancing may be seen in Europe even me, by an eye- in Seville cathedral were described to solemn Advent dances dances, stately old-fashioned consisting of minuets, or some such witness, as surplices, with the the high altar by boys in white performed in front of gravity and decorum. greatest friar. 213 daughter, young miller’s burly and also something miller, who was and the tive, ; young acquaint- at least to our worth seeing, more much briskly up a ladder his skirts and ran who tucked up ance, him. A door calling to us to follow the upper regions, into house, and the granary into the miller’s led from the entirely by chance, daughter happened, of course miller’s A very pretty girl she coming through that way. to be in my life saw anything more in- was too, and I never that passed than the looks of intelligence tensely comic presented us. between her and the young friar when he good monastic discipline it is It was decidedly contrary to and ought to have been shocked, but it was so true, we intolerably laughable that my companion bolted into the the wheat, and in granary to examine I took refuge a violent fit of coughing. Our nerves had been already rudely shaken by the King of the Cannibal Islands, and this little scene of convent-life fairly finished us. young friend We asked our what his day’s work con- sisted of, and how he liked convent-life. He yawned, and intimated that it was very slow. We enquired whether the monks had not some parochial duties to perform, such as visiting the sick and the poor in their neighbourhood. He evidently wondered whether we were really ignorant, or whether we were “chaffing” him, and observed that that no business of their’ the was curas of the villao-es did s, ?” all that sort of thing. Then, what have you to do we said. “Well,” he said, “there are so many services every “day, and high mass on Sundays and holidays; and besides “that, there’s—well, there isn’t anything particular. It’s dull life. “rather a I myself should like uncommonly to go “and travel and see the world, or go and fight somewhere.” We were quite sorry for the young fellow when we shook hands with him at parting, and he left us to go back to his convent. 214 ANAHUAC. We had been clambering about the hill, seeing the caves with which it is honeycombed, but at present they were uninhabited. At the time of the great festival, when they are full of Indian families, the scene must be a curi- ous one. The monks had hospitably pressed us to stay till their mid-day meal, but we preferred having it at the shop down in the village, so as to start directly afterwards. Here the people gave us a regular reception, entertained us with their best, and could not be prevailed upon to accept any payment whatever. The proprietor of the meson sat down before the barley-bin which served him for a desk, and indited a long of and eloquent letter intro- duction for us to a friend of his in Oculan, who was to find a night’s lodging for us. Before he sealed up the despatch he read it to us in a loud voice, sentence by sentence. It might have been an autograph letter from King Philip to important mis- some foreign potentate. Armed with this sive, we mounted our horses, shook hands with no end of well-wishers, and rode off up the valley. For little while our path lay through a sort of suburb each surrounded of Chalma, houses lying near one another, pleasant garden, and both houses and people looking by a finding the prosperous and cheerful. Our directions for enough. We were to go up the valley way were simple the hill of drums,” and the Cerra de los Atambores, past Atambores What the Cerra de los the great ahuehuete. had followed might be, we could not tell, but when we On the it came into view. the valley for an hour or so, precipitous cliff, several side of the stream rose a other perpendicular wall high, and near the top a hundred feet People have sup- was carved with rude designs. of rock drums, and carvings represented posed, it seems, that these hence the name. 215 OLD CYPRESS. OCULAN. HILL OF DRUMS. before, we should have known of the place Had we it, and copy the sculptured de- effort to explore made an the other side of it was too late, and from hut now signs ; than that there we could not make out more the valley seemed to be a figure of the sun among them. the “Ahuehuete.” The A little further on we came to common tree in Mexico, name means a deciduous cypress, a and of which we had already seen such splendid specimens hi the grove near Tezcuco, and in the wood of Chapoltepec. This was a remarkable tree as to size, some sixty feet round at the lower part where the roots began to spread out. A copious spring of water rose within the hollow trunk itself, and ran down between the roots into the little river. All over its spreading branches were fastened votive offerings of the Indians, hundreds of locks of coarse black hair, teeth, bits of coloured cloth, rags, and morsels of ribbon. The tree was many centuries old, and had proba- bly had some mysterious influence ascribed to it, and been decorated with such simple offerings long before the dis- covery of America. In Brittany the peasants still keep up the custom of hanging up locks of then hair in certain chapels, to charm away diseases; and there it is certain that the Christians only appropriated to their own worship places already held sacred in the estimation of the people. Oculan is a dismal little place. We found the great man of the village standing at his door, but our letter to him was dishonoured in the most decided manner. He read the epistle, carefully folded it up and pocketed it, then pointed in the direction of two or three houses on the other side of the way, and saying he supposed we might get a lodging over there, he wished us good-day and retii ed into his own “ premises. The landlord of over there” was very civil. He had a shed for the horses, and could give us palm-mats to sleep upon on the floor, or D D 216 ANAHUAC. on the shop-counter, which was veiy narrow, hut long enough for us both and this latter alternative we chose. We walked up to the top of a hill close by the village, and were surveying the country from thence, sharp keeping a look-out all the while for Mexican re- mains in the furrows. For a wonder, we found nothing but some broken spindle -heads but, while we were thus occupied, two Indians suddenly made their appear- ance, each with his machete in his hands, and wanted to know what we were doing on then land. We pacified them by politeness and a cigar apiece, but we were still evidently objects of suspicion, and they were quite re- lieved to see us return to the village. There, an old woman cooked us hard-boiled eggs and tortillas, and then went tranquilly to bed on our counter, with our we saddles for pillows, and our serapes for bed-clothes. All the way from Cocoyotla our height above the sea had been gradually increasing; and soon after we started next morning, we came to the foot of one of from Oculan the grand passes that lead up into the high lands, where zig-zag turns through a splendid the road mounts by forest of pines and oaks, and at the top of the ascent we plain high the were in a broad fertile as or higher than of Mexico. It was like England to ride between valley blackberries large fields of wheat and barley, and to pick It was only April, and yet the grain was in the hedges. blackberries were ready for the sickle, and the almost Fresh green grass was growing in the woods fully ripe. with under the oak-trees, and the banks were covered Alpine strawberries. Wheat in the great grain-district of the Republic. We are for supply and barley grown for the of the large towns, is for the Green barley is the favourite fodder the horses. hotter dis- the Mexican highlands, and in the horses in GRAIN-DISTRICTS OF MEXICO. 217 Indian corn. Oats are to be leaves of young tricts the chance among other grain, but they are growing by seen much grown upon Though wheat is so never cultivated. climate are more plains, it is not because the soil and the culture. In the plains favourable than elsewhere for such the yield of wheat is less than of Toluca and Tenancingo 25- 30-fold, average of the Republic, which is from to the and in the cloudy valleys we passed through near Orizaba tolerably cheap and plenti- it is much greater. Labour is however and then each large town must draw ful here, for, in its supplies of grain from the neighbouring districts, it pays carry goods on mules’ backs, it a country where to is clear that grain cannot be earned far to market. In the question of the population of Mexico, one begins to speculate why—in a country with a splendid climate, a fertile soil, and almost unlimited space to spread in, the inhabitants not increase one-half in do so fast as England, and about one-sixth as fast as their neighbours of the United States. One of the most important causes which tend to bring about this state of things is the impossibility of conveying grain any to distance, except by doubling and trebling its price. The disastrous effects of a failure of the crop in one district cannot be remedied by a plenti- ful harvest fifty miles off for the peasants, already ruined by the loss of their own harvest, can find neither money nor credit to buy food brought from a distance at so great an expense. Next year may be fruitful again, but num- bers die in the interval, and the constitutions of a great proportion of the children never recover the effects of that one year’s famine. We left the regular road and struck up still higher into the hills, riding amongst winding roads with forest above and below us, and great orchids of the most brilliant colours, blue, white, and crimson, shining among the ; — ANAHUAC. branches of the oak-trees. The boughs were often break- ing down with the bulbs of such epiphytes but as yet it was early in the season, and only here and there one was in flower. At the top of the hill, still in the midst of the woods, is the Desierto, “the desert,” the place we had selected for our noon-day halt. There are many of these Desiertos in Mexico, founded by rich people in old times. They are a kind of convent, with some few resident ecclesiastics, and numbers of cells for laymen who retire for a time into this secluded place and are received gratuitously. They spend a week or two in prayer and fasting, then confess them- selves, receive the sacrament, and return into the world. The situation of this quiet place was well chosen in the midst of the forest, and once upon a time the cells used to be full of penitents but now saw we no one but the old poi’ter, as walked we about the gardens and explored the quadrangle and the rows of cells, each with a hideous little wood-cut of a martyr being tortured, upon the door. Thence we rode down into the plain, looking down, as we descended, upon a hill which seemed to be an old crater, rising from the level ground and then our path lay ploughing, and across among broad fields where oxen were marshes covered with coarse grass, until we came to the found the quaint little town of Tenancingo. There we and the landlord handed us the key of our room, meson with a tiled floor. which was square, whitewashed, and There no window, so we had to keep the door open was articles, for light. The furniture consisted of three low tables on four legs, made of rough planks, and two were beds after a bracket to stick a candle in. The tables attention to manner of the country but, as a special the the first sight us, the patron produced two old mattresses with enough for us, and we expelled them of them was a shop in the of execration. We had to go to shouts AND ROBBERS. 219 HAMS. LERMA TOLUCA AND and on our return, about nine supper to get some square ; that he was going to Antonio remarked our man o’clock, following manner. He at once in the which he did sleep, nail, tied hung it on a his broad-brimmed hat and took off himself up his head, rolled red cotton handkerchief round courtyard out- the flags in the in his serape, lay down on instant. We retired was asleep in an side our dooi', and his example. our planks inside and followed to afternoon reached Toluca, a large and The next we in it except the prosperous town, but with little noticeable streets, and the hams which arcades (portales) along the cured with sugar, and are famous all oyer the Republic. are Toluca, an extinct Our road passed near the Nevado de volcano, nearly feet above the sea. snow-covered 15,000 It consists entirely of grey and red porphyry, and in the interior of its crater are two small lakes. We were not sorry to take up our quarters in a comfortable European- looking hotel again, for roughing it is much less pleasant in these high altitudes—where the nights and mornings are bitterly cold—than in the hotter climate of the lower levels. Our next day’s ride brought us back to Mexico, cross- ing the corn-land of the plain of Lerma, where the soil consists of disintegrated porphyry from the mountains around, and is very fertile. Lerma itself is the worst den of all robbers in Mexico and, as we rode through the street of dingy adobe houses, and saw the rascally -looking fellows who were standing at the doors in knots, with them horses ready saddled and bridled close by, we got a very strong impression that the reputation of the place was no worse than it deserved. After Lerma, there still remained the pass over the mountains which border the valley of Mexico and here in the midst of a dense ; pine- forest is Las Cruzes, the crosses,” a place with an ugly 220 ANAIIUAC. name, where several robberies are done every week. We waited for the Diligence at some little glass-works at the entrance of the pass, and then let it go on first, as a sop to should out that those gentlemen if they be day. I sup- pose they knew pretty accurately that no one had much to lose, for they never made their appearance. SPURS. SPANISH-MEXICAN embossed instep^trap The broad of in diameter. to 3 inches inch's long with ranch from from 5 to 6 , 2J Collection.) Mr. Christy's is also shewn. (From leather CHAP. IX. SPORTS. PRISON. ANTIQUITIES. STATUE OF THE MEXICAN COODESS OF WAR (OR OF DEATH), TEOYAOMIQUI. (After Nebel.J Height the original about of Nine Feet. It was like getting home again to reach Mexico, we had so many friends there, though our stay had been so short. We were fully occupied, for weeks of hard sight-seeing 222 ANAHUAC. ai'e hardly enough to investigate the objects of interest to be found in the city. We saw these things under the best auspices, for Mr. Christy had letters to the Minister of Public Instruction and other people in authority, who were exceedingly civil, and did all they could to put us in the way of seeing everything we wished. Among the places we visited, the Museum must have some notice. It is in part of the building of the University but we were rather surprised, when we reached, the gate leading into the court-yard, to be stopped by a sentry who demanded what we wanted. The lower storey had turned been into a barrack the by Government, there being a want of quarters for the soldiers. As the ground-floor under the cloisters is used for the heavier pieces of the sculpture, scene was curious. somewhat The soldiers had laid several of the smaller idols down on their faces, and were sitting on the comfortable seat on the small of them backs, busy playing at cards. An enterprising soldier had built up a hutch sculptured stones against the statue of the with idols and rabbits great war-goddess Teoyaomiqui herself, and kept there. The state which the whole place was in when thus Mexican regiment may left the tender mercies of a be to any one who knows what a dirty and des- imagined by soldier is. tructive animal a Mexican it even guardians of the Museum have treated The often the curators of the worse. People who know how sell anything southern Europe are ready to Museums of missed will not be astonished to hear not very likely to be some six or thing being done to a great extent of the same eight years before our visit. war-goddess is a known as the statue of the The stone anti- covered with sculptures. The block of basalt huge per- for different that the figures on it stand quaries think god —Huitzilopoclitli the that it is three gods, sonages, and 223 sacrificial stone. war-idol and the Mictlanteuctli the god his wife, and Teoyaomiqui war, of and alternate hearts dead necldaces of It has of hell. central ornament. heads for a with death’s man’s hands, sprawling figure, the block is a strange bottom of At the which rests it is the base cannot see now, for which one from shoulders projecting ground; but there are two on the stand on the plainly that it did not the idol, which show the tops of two pil- was supported aloft on ground, but upon the bottom represents a The figure carved lars. while others hang a skull in each hand, monster holding elbows. His mouth is a mere oval his knees and from feature of Mexican idols, and four tusks ring, a common just above it. The new moon laid down like a project and star is placed on each bridge forms his forehead, a side This thought to have been the conventional re- of it. is presentation of Mictlanteuctli (Lord of the Land of the which Dead), the god of hell, was a place of utter and darkness. Probably each victim as he eternal was led to altar could look up between the two pillars the and see the hideous god of hell staring down upon him from above. is little doubt that this There is the famous war-idol which stood on the great teocalli of Mexico, and before which so many thousands of human victims were sacri- ficed. It lay undisturbed underground in the great square, close to the very site of the teocalli, until sixty years ago. For many after that years it was kept buried, lest the sight of one of their old deities might be too exciting for the Indians, who, as I have mentioned before, had cer- tainly not forgotten it, and secretly ornamented it with garlands of flowers while it remained above ground. The sacrificial stone,” so called, which also stands in the court-yard of the Museum, was not one of the ordinary altars on which victims were sacrificed. These altars seem to have been raised slabs of hard stone with a protuberant E E 224 ANAIIUAC. part near one end, ao that the breast of the victim was raised into an arch, which made it more easy for the priest to cut across it with his obsidian knife. The Breton altars, where the slab was hollowed into the outline of a human figure, have some analogy to this but, though there were very many of these altars in different cities of Mexico, none are now known to exist. The stone we are now ob- serving is quite a different thing, a cylindrical block of basalt nine feet across and three feet high and : Humboldt considers it to be the stone described by early Spanish writers, and called temalaccctl (spindle-stone) from its cir- cular shape, something like a distaff-head. Upon this the captive chiefs stood in the gladiatorial fights which took place within the space smrounding the great teo- calli. Slightly armed, they stood upon this raised platform in the midst of the crowd of spectators and six champions armed with better came fight in succession, weapons, up to with them. If the captive worsted his assailants in this he was set free with presents; but this unequal contest, success was the lot of but few, and the fate of most was dragged off ignominiously to be to be overpowered and sacrificed like ordinary prisoners. On the top of the stone an outline of the sun with its eight rays, and is sculptured whence a groove runs to the edge a hollow in the centre, probably to let the blood ran down. All of the stone, repeated several an appropriate bas-relief round it is warrior is giving up his stone-sword times. A vanquished is tearing the plumed spears to his conqueror, who and his crest from his head. is a plausible one. above explanation by Humboldt The and with America altars not unlike this, in Central But of the great stone the top, stand in front grooves upon nothing monument may have been and this curious idols small birds and ordinary altar to sacrifice all but an after animals upon. COLLAR, SACRIFICIAL VIEWS OF A THREE Collection.; Christy's (In Mr. greenstone. mottled nut hard Curved of inches and b are * inches msde arms midth. The inches in U to .6 varies from long, and n »*. Th is i, their length. at about halt inches apart are B drey and ; — MEXICO. MUSEUM AT had come to tire the curator, Leon Ramirez, Senor collection of over the and we went to meet us, Museum in glass-cases, kept up stairs which are smaller objects, of the soldiers. out of the way at any rate like the letter clamps shaped Here are the stone |j, and ancles of the victims, over the wrists which were put sacrificial stone. They are them down on the to hold heavy and covered with carvings. of hard stone, very human sacri- though the altars for It is remarkable that, these accessory stone no longer to be found, fices are collars, are not uncommon. A fine one clamps, or yoke-like Christy’s collection is figured. (See opposite page.) from Mr. good, but The obsidian knives and arrow-heads are very well of the stone these I have spoken of already, as as and chisels of stone are so exactly hammers. The axes like those found in Europe that it is quite impossible to distinguish them. The bronze hatchet-blades are thin slightly thickened at the sides give them and flat, to strength, and mostly of a very peculiar shape, something like a but still more resembling the section of a mush- y, room cut vertically through the middle of the stalk. The obsidian mask is an extraordinary piece of work, considering the difficulty of cutting such a material. It was chipped into a rude outline, and finished into its exact shape by polishing with jeweller’s down sand. The polish is perfect, and there is hardly a scratch upon it. At least one of the old Spanish writers on Mexico gives the details of the process of cutting precious stones and polish- ing them with teoxalli or “ god’s sand.” Masks in stone, wood, and terra-cotta are to be seen in considerable num- ber in museums of Mexican antiquities. Their use is explained by passages in the old Mexican writers, who mention that it was customary to mask the idols on the occasion of the king being sick, or of any other public ; ANAHUAC. calamity and that men and ; women wore masks in some of the religious ceremonies. A fine mask of brown lava (from Mr. Christy’s collection), which has been coloured, is here figured. (See illustration.) The mirrors of obsidian have the same beautifully polished surface as the obsidian mask shows and those made of nodules of pyrites, ; cut and polished, are worth notice. The Mexicans were very skilful in making pottery and of course there is a good collection here of terra-cotta vases, little altars - and incense dishes, rattles, flageolets, and whistles, tobacco-pipes and masks. Some of the large vases, which were formerly filled with skulls and bones, are admirable in their designs and decorations many and specimens are to be seen of the red and black ware of Cliolula, which was famous at the time of the Conquest, and all was sent to parts of the country. The art of glazing pottery seems only to have been introduced by the Spaniards, and to this day the Indians hardly care to use it. The terra-cotta rattles are very characteristic. They have little balls in them which shake about, and they puzzled us much as the apple-dumpling did good Kin George, for could not make out very easily how we the balls got inside. They were probably attached very inside, and baked and then broken loose. slightly to the so marbles, among often got little balls like schoolboys’ We the Mexican antiquities, and these were most likely lots of balls out of broken rattles. the Burni n always an important part of incense was white men were on their Mexican ceremonies. When the out to capital, the inhabitants used to come march to the saw here, and bum them with such plates as we meet this the leaders and in Indian villages to copal before complete not be procession on saints’ days would day the but censers, burning incense, not in regular without men used. such as their forefathers earthen platters in unglazed WORDS. 227 MEXICAN copalli. There are a copal is the Mexican Our word which have been naturalized in Mexican words few other indicating that the languages, of course European our Mexico. Ocelotl is ocelot; represent came from things they and is the Spanish chile our Tomatl is tomata; Chilli is cacao or cocoa and Chocolatl, the chili Cacahuatl ; ; mixture of beverage made from the cacao-bean with a vanilla, is our chocolate. used by the Mexicans as money. Cacao-beans were Even in Humboldt’s time, when there was no copper small change, six for half- coinage, they were used as a penny and Stephens says the Central Americans use them to this day. A mat in Mexican is petlatl, and thence a basket made of matting was called petlacalli “mat- house.” The name passed to the plaited grass cigar-cases that are exported Europe and now in Spain to any kind of cigar-case is called a petaca. The pretty little ornamented calabashes—used, among other purposes, for drinking chocolate out of—were called by the Mexicans xicalli, a word which the Spaniards made into jicarct, and now use to mean a chocolate-cup and even the Italians have taken to it, and call a tea-cup a chiccherci. There is a well-known West Indian fruit which we call an avocado or alligator-pear, and which the French call avocat and Spaniards the agucicate. All these names are corruptions of the Aztec name of the fruit, ahuacatl. Vanilla and cochineal were first found in Mexico but the Spaniards did not adopt the unpronounceable native names, tlilxochitl and nocheztli. Vanilla, vainilla, means a little bean, from vainct, which signifies a scabbard or sheath, also a pod. Cochinilla is from coccus, a berry, as it was at first supposed to be of vegetable origin. The Aztec “ name for cochineal, nocheztli, means cactus-blood,” 228 ANAHUAC. and is a very apt description of the insect, which has in it a drop of deep crimson fluid, in which the colouring matter of the dye is contained. The turkey, wliich was introduced into Europe from Mexico, was called huexolotl from the gobbling noise it makes. (It must be remembered that x and in Spanish are not the same letters as in English, but a hard guttural aspirate, like the German ch). The name, slightly altered into guajalote, is still used in Mexico but when these birds were brought to Europe, the Spaniards called them peacocks (pavos). To get rid of the confusion, it became necessary to call the real peacock ” pavon (big peacock), or “pavo real" (royal peacock). The German name for a turkey, Wdlscher Hahn,” Italian fowl,” is reasonable, for the Germans got them from Italy; but our name “turkey” is wonderfully absurd. There may be other Mexican words to be found in our language, but not many. The Mexicans cultivating were maize and tobacco when the Spaniards invaded the country, and had done for ages but these vegetables had been so found already in the West India islands, and had got their of Hayti, and tabaco the name from the language maliiz latter word, it seems, meaning not the tobacco itself, but of it. the cigars made that I do not recollect anything else worthy of note Ancient Mexico, except Botanic Europe has borrowed from dinner-time, Gardens, and dishes made to keep hot at having a pan of burn ing which the Aztecs managed by charcoal underneath them. are stamps in terra- To return to the Museum. There lines and geometrical patterns, for making cotta with for baked, and on the vases before they .were ornaments of one the cotton cloth which was stamping patterns upon Connected manufactures, as it is now. their principal -" 229 TERRA-COTTA FIGURES. ANTIQUE malacates, or winders, which I art are the the same with heads made of Little grotesque already described. have as being found in have mentioned clay, like those I baked of old Mexican cities, numbers on the sites such immense think there were, besides, by hundreds. I are here in terra-cotta, in which they of the moulds, also some that at any rate, they are to be seen, so were formed have been a regular making the little heads must is not so easy to say. Some trade. What they were for and are made with flat backs to stand have bodies, probably idols. The an- against a wall, and these were read, had household-gods in great cient Mexicans, we and called them Tepitotons, “little ones.” The numbers, greatest proportion, however, are mere heads which never will not stand anyhow. They had had bodies, and could have been personal ornaments, for there is nothing not to fasten them on by. They are rather a puzzle. I have suggestion somewhere, that seen a when a man was buried, each surviving member of his family put one of these heads into his grave. This sounds plausible enough, male and especially as both female heads are found. One shelf in the museum is particularly instructive. We called it the Chamber of Horrors,” after the manner of Marlborough House, and it contains numbers of the sham antiquities, the manufacture of which is a regular thing in Mexico, as it is in Italy. They are principally vases and idols of earthenware, for the art of working ob- sidian is lost, and there can be no trickery about that;* and as to the hammers, chisels, and idols in green jade, serpen- tine, and such like hard materials, they are decidedly This assertion must be- qualified by a remark of the Abbd Brasseur de Bourbourg, who tells us that in some places the Indians still use lancets of ob- sidian to bleed themselves with. I believe there is nothing of the kind to be found in the part of Mexico which we visited. — ; ANAHUAC. cheaper to find than to make. The Indians in Mexico make their unglazed pottery just as they did before the Conquest, so that, if they imitate real antiques exactly, there is no possibility of detecting the fraud but when they begin to work from their own designs, or even to copy from memory, they are almost sure to put in some- thing that betrays them. As soon as the Spaniards came, they began to introduce drawing as it was understood in Europe and from that moment the peculiarities of Mexican art began to disappear. The foreheads of the Mexican races are all very low, and their painters and sculptors even exaggerated this pecu- liarity, to make the faces they depicted more beautiful, so producing an effect which to us Europeans seems hide- ously ugly, but which is not more unnatural than the ideal type of beauty we see in the Greek statues. After the era of the Spaniards we see more no of such foreheads and the eyes, which were drawn in profiles as one sees them in the full face, are put in their natural position. The short squat figures become slim and tall and in number- less little details of dress, modelling, and ornament, the acquaintance of the artist with European types is shown and it is very seldom that the modern counterfeiter can the old standard. keep clear of these and get back to Among the things on the condemned shelf were men’s animals faces too correctly drawn to be genuine, grotesque artist would ever have designed who had not seen that no were European and a horse, head-dresses and drapery that not Mexican. Among the figures in Mayer’s Mexico, think, is one vase is represented as a real antique, -which, I head the worst cases I ever noticed. There is a man’s of pointed and clun, a long upon it, with long projecting nose and a cap. thin pendant moustache, an eye drawn in profile, have mous- It is true the pure Mexican race occasionally — AZTEC DRUMS. 231 slight, not like this, which but they are very falls taches, mouth and no Mexican in a curve on both sides of the of ever had such a nose and chin, which pure Indian race must have been modelled from the face of some toothless old Spaniard. Mention must of drums tepo- be made the wooden naztli—of which some few specimens are still to be seen in Mexico. Such drums figured in the religious ceremonies the Aztecs, and of one often hears of them in Mexican his- tory. I have mentioned already the great drum which Bernal Diaz saw when he went up the Mexican teocalli with Cortes, and which he describes hellish as a instru- ment, made with skins of great serpents and which, when it was struck, gave a loud and melancholy sound, that could be heard at two leagues’ distance. Indeed, they did afterwards hear it from their camp a mile or two off, when them unfortunate companions were being sacrificed on the teocalli. The Aztec drums, winch are still to be seen, are alto- gether of wood, nearly cylindrical, but swelling out in the middle, and hollowed out of solid logs. Some have the sounding-board made unequally thick in different parts, so as to give several notes when struck. All are elaborately carved over with various designs, such as faces, head- dresses, weapons, suns with rays, and fanciful patterns, among which the twisted cord is one of the commonest. Besides the drums which are preserved in museums, there are others, carefully kept in Indian villages, not as curiosities, but as instruments of magical power. Heller mentions such a tBponciztH, which is still preserved among the Indians of Huatusco, an Indian village near Mirador in the tierra templada, where the inhabitants have had their customs comparatively little altered by intercourse with white men. They keep this drum as a sacred instru- 232 AH AN CJAC. ment, and beat it only at certain times of the year, though they have no reason to give for doing so. It is to be re- gretted that Heller did not take a note of the particular days on which this took place for the times of the Mexi- can festivals are well known, and this information would have settled the question whether the Indians of the present day have really any definite recollection of their old customs. Drums of this kind do not belong exclusively to Mexico. Among all the tribes of North America they were one of the principal “properties” used by the Medicine-men in their ceremonies and among the tribes which have not been christianized they are still to be found in use. After we left Mexico, Mr. Christy visited some tribes in the Hudson’s Bay Territory and on one occasion, happening to assist at a festival in which just such a wooden drum was used, he bought it of the Medicine-man of the tribe, and j>acked it off triumphantly to his museum. A few picture-writings are still to be seen in the Museum, which, with the few preserved in Europe, are all we bave left of these interesting records, of which there were thousands upon thousands in Mexico and Tezcuco. Some were burnt or destroyed during the sieges of the cities, some perished by mere neglect, but the great mass was destroyed archbishop Zumarraga, when he made an by attempt—and, to some extent, a successful one—to ob- literate every trace of heathenism, destroying all the by monuments and records in the country. One of the hanging on the is very probably the picture-writings wall same that was sent up from Vera Cruz to Montezuma, figures of the newly-arrived white men, then- ships with issuing and horses, and their cannons with fire and smoke Another shows a white man being from tlieu mouths. The one of the Spanish prisonei*s. sacrificed, of course 233 AZTEC riCTURE-WRITINGS. migration of the Aztecs is here, and history of the pictorial the dif- paid to the Mexican sovereign of tributes a list ; numbers against each, articles being drawn with ferent paid, as in the Egyptian in- show the quantities to be to Kingsborougli’s great work contains scriptions. Lord in Hum- fac-similes of several Mexican manuscripts, and most remarkable boldt’s Vues cles CordilUres some of the are figured and described. One of the most curious of the Aztec picture-writings is in the Bodleian Library, and in fac-simile in Lord In it shown, Kingsborough’s Antiquities Mexico. are of in a series of little pictures, the education of Mexican boys and girls, as prescribed by law. The child four days old being sprinkled with water, and receiving is its name. At foui- years old they are to be allowed one tortilla a meal, which is indicated by a drawing above their heads, of four circles representing years, and one cake and the father sends the son to carry water, while the mother shows the daughter how to spin. A tortilla is like an oat-cake, but is made of Indian corn. At seven years old the boy is taken to learn to fish, while the girl spins and so on with different occupations for one year after another. At nine years old the father is allowed to punish his son for disobedience, by sticking aloe-points all over his naked body, while the daughters only have them stuck into their hands and at eleven years old, both boy and girl were to be punished by hold- ing their faces in the smoke of burning capsicums. At fifteen the youth is married by the simple process of tying the corner of his shirt to the comer of the bride’s petticoat (thus literally “splicing” them, as my companion remarked). And so on after scenes of cutting ; wood, visit- ing the temples, fighting and feasting, we come to the last ; ANAIIUAC. scene of all, headed seventy years," and see an old man and woman reeling about helplessly drunk with pulque for drunkenness, which was severely punished up to that age, was tolerated afterwards as a compensation for the sorrows and infirmities of the last period of life. Astrological charts formed a large proportion of these picture-writings. Here, as elsewhere, we may trace the origin of astrology. The signs of the days and years were represented, for convenience sake, by different ani- mals and objects, like the signs of the Zodiac which we still retain. The signs remained after the history of their origin was lost; and then—what more natural than to imagine that the symbols handed down by then’ wise an- cestors had some mysterious meaning, connected with the days and years they stood for and then, that a man’s destiny had to do with the names of the signs that “ pre- birth vailed” at his ? There is little to be seen here or elsewhere, of one kind perhaps of work in winch the Mexicans excelled more any other, the goldsmith’s work. Where are the than in big as great wheels, calendars of solid gold and silver—as pud with hieroglyphics, and the cups and collars, the covered The Spaniards who golden birds, beasts, and fishes ? saw how admirable their workmanship was, and them record such matters. Benvenuto Cel- were good judges of they admira- some of these things, and was filled with lini saw the melting-pot centuries They have all gone to tion. accounted important the goldsmith’s trade was ago ! How strange Aztec law. It was no times is shown by a in old inals con- offence to steal gold and silver. Crim ordinary thieves, treated as common this offence were not victed of goldsmiths cele- till the time when the were kept but solemnly and were then annual festival,, brated their 235 MEXICAN ANTIQUITIES. their priests flaying Xipe ;* the their god to sacrificed walking about them, and and eating cooking bodies, which was called ceremony their skins, a in dressed man-flaying.” “the tlacaxipehualiztli, much alike, are so Mexican antiquities Museums of all of them. Mr. will do for one description that, in general, one than that is a far finer Museum at Heidelberg Uhde’s I was regards the pictrne-writings. Mexico, except as at of stone idols, deli- the enormous quantity astonished at even in various hard stones and worked trinkets in cately and astro- tobacco-pipes, figures, obsidian, terra-cotta there. calendars, &c., displayed nomical other in is richer than any Mr. Christy’s collection It con- figures from Central America. small sculptured brown lava, like squatting female figure in hard tains a is drawn in Hum- the one in black basalt which and there called (I cannot boldt’s Vues des Cordilleres, contains imagine why) an Aztec priestess. Above all, it specimens of Aztec what I believe to be the three finest world. One of these is decorative art which exist in the gives some faint the knife of which the figure at page 101 the other two being a wooden mask overlaid with idea, mosaic, and a human skull decorated in the same manner, of which a more particular description will be found in the Appendix. There are two kinds of Aztec articles in Mr. Christy’s collection which I did not observe either at Mexico or Heidelberg. These are bronze needles, resem- bling our packing-needles, and little cast bronze bells, called in Aztec yotl, not unlike small - horse bells made in The Aztecs had bat one word to denote both gold and silver, as they afterwards made one serve for both iron and copper. This curious word leocuillatl “ we may translate as Precious Metal,” but it means literally Dung of the Gods.” Gold was “Yellow Precious Metal,” and silver “White Precious Metal.” Lead they called temetztli, “ ;” Moon-stone and when the Spaniards showed them quicksilver, they gave it the name of yoli “ amuchitl, Live Tin.” 236 ANAHUAC. England at the present day these are figured in the tribute -lists in the picture-writings. ANTIQUE BRONZE BELLS FROM MEXICO. Such as arc often sculptured on Aztec Images. Apropos of the mammoth bones preserved in the Mexi- can Museum, I must insert a quotation from Bernal Diaz. It is clear that the traditions of giants which exist in almost every country had their origin in the discovery of fossil bones, whose real character was not suspected until a century ago but I never saw so good an example of this in Tlascalan tradition, which as the my author relates as follows. “ And they” (the Tlascalan chiefs) said that their ancestors had told them that, in times past, there lived amongst them in settlements men and women of with huge bones and, as they were great size, wicked and of evil dispositions, they (the ancestors of the Tlascalans) them and killed them and those who fought against were left died out. And that we might see what stature they a bone of one of them, and it were of, they brought was very big, and its height was that of a man of reasonable it a thigh-bone, and I (Bernal Diaz) mea- stature was sured myself against it, and it was as tall as I am, who reasonable stature and they brought other am a man of already eaten “ bones like the first, but they were pieces of by the earth and we were all amazed through and rotted ; MEXICAN CALENDAR. 237 CORTES’ ARMOUR. certain there had been “ and held that for see tliose bones, to our captain, Cortes, said to us in that land and “ giants “ hone to Castile, well to send the great that it would he did send it by His Majesty might see it; and so we “ that the first messengers who went.” the Spanish period is Among other things belonging to the banner, with the picture of the Virgin, which accom- panied the Spanish army during the Conquest. Authentic suit or not, it is certainly very well painted. There is a of armour said to have belonged to Cortes. Its genuineness has been doubted but I think its extreme smallness seems to towards proving that it is a true relic, for go Bullock saw the tomb of Cortes opened some thirty years ago, and was surprised at the small proportions of his skeleton. Specimens of the pottery and glass now made in the country, and other curiosities, complete the cata- logue of this interesting collection. The Mexican calendar is not in the Museum, but is built into the wall of the cathedral, in the Plaza Mayor. It is sculptured on the face of a single block of basalt, which weighs between twenty and thirty tons, and must have been transported thirty miles by Mexican labourers, for the stone is not found nearer than that distance from the city and this transportation was, of course, ; managed by hand-labour alone, as there were no beasts of burden. We know pretty well the whole system of Mexican astronomy from this calendar-stone and a few manuscripts which still exist, and from the information given in the work of Gama the astronomer and other writers. The Aztecs and Tezcucans who used it, did not claim its in- vention as them own, but said they had received it from the Toltecs, them predecessors. The year consisted of 365 days, with an intercalation of 13 days for each cycle of 52 years, which brought it to the same length as the £ ANAHUAC. Julian year of 365 days 6 hours. The theory of Gama, that the intercalation was still more exact, namely, days instead of 1 seems to be erroneous. 3, Our reckoning only became more exact than this when we adopted the Gregorian calendar in and 1752, the people marched about the “ streets in procession, crying Give ms !” back our eleven days Perhaps this is not quite a fair way of putting the case, however, for the new style would have been adopted in our country long before, had it not been a Romish institution. It was the deliberate opinion of the English, as of people in other Protestant countries, that it was much better to have the almanack a few days wrong than to adopt a Popish innovation. One often hears of the Papal Bull which settles the question of the earth’s standing still. The history of the Gregorian calendar is not a bad set-off against it on the other side. any rate, the At new style was not introduced any- where until sixty or seventy years after the discovery of Mexico, and five hundred years after the introduction of the Toltec calendar in Mexico. The Mexican calendar-stone should be photographed on it has a large scale, and studied yet more carefully than been, for only a part of the divided circles which surround explained. It should be photographed, be- it have been my certain knowledge, Mayer’s drawing gives the cause, to of the sun which indicates the date year, above the figure on his calendar, quite wrongly and yet, presuming of the another writer of leaving out the own accuracy, he accuses much more hieroglyph of the winter solstice. What is Humboldt’s drawing in the small edition strange is, that both points. The Vues des Gordilleres is wrong in of the As Nebel’s great work is probably the best. drawing in bought in models which Mr. Christy and I to the wax of our hearts, a nearer inspection the innocence Mexico, in 230 MEXICAN CALENDAR. the circle of days observing that the artist, that showed parts than into neatly into sixteen divide more would appa- accordingly his divisions had arranged ; twenty, he consi- hieroglyphics which out the four rently leaving ugliest. dered the calendar are as at present on the The details made out the spring summer and winter solstices, follows:— the over equinoxes, the two passages of the Sun and autumn which possibly zenith of Mexico, and some dates the The dates of the two zenith- belong- to religious festivals. vary with especially interesting for, as they transits are made out by actual latitude, they must have been the itself, and not borrowed from some observation in Mexico civilised people in the distant countries through more Mexicans migrated. This fact alone is sufficient which the prove a considerable practical knowledge of astronomy. to Besides this, the Mexican cycle of fifty -two years indicated in the circle seems to be outside the signs of days, and also the days in the priestly year of 260 days but to make these numbers, we must allow for the com- partments supposed to be hidden by the projecting rays of the sun. The arrangement of the Mexican cycle of fifty-two years is very curious. They had four signs of years, tochtli, acatl, tecpatl, and colli, rabbit, canes, and flint, house; against and these signs they ranged numbers, from 1 to so that a cycle exactly 13, corresponds to a pack of cards, the four signs being the four suits, thirteen of each. Now, any one would suppose that in making such a reck- oning, they would first take one suit, count one, two, three, &c. in it, up to and then begin 13, another suit. This is not the Mexican idea, however. Their reckoning is 1 tochtli, 2 acatl, tecpatl, 3 &c., just as it may be made with the cards thus : ace of hearts, two of diamonds, 3 of G G 240 ANAHUAC. spades, 4 of clubs, 5 of hearts, of 6 diamonds, and so on through the pack. The correspondence between the cycle ot 52 years, divided among 4 signs, and our year of weeks, divided among 4 seasons, is also curious, though as entirely accidental as the resemblance to the pack of cards, for the Mexican week (if we may call it so) consisted of days instead of which to a great 7, extent nullifies the comparison. The reckoning of days is still more cumbrous. It con- sists of the days of the week written in succession from to underneath these the 13, 20 signs of days, and under- neath these again another series of signs 9 so that each day was distinguished by a combination of a number and two signs, which combination could not belong to any other day. The date of the year at the top of the calendar is 13 acatl canes), which for (13 stands 1479, 1427, 1375, 1323, and so on, subtracting years each time. Now, 52 why was this year chosen ? It was not the beginning of a cycle, but the 26th year and so, in ascertaining the meaning of the dates on the calendar, allowance has to be made for six days which have been gained by the leap- adjusted at the years only being end of the cycle but this certainly offers no advantage whatever and if an ar- chosen start the bitrary date had been to calendar with, course it would have been the first year of a cycle. The of in commemoration of the found- year may have been chosen or Tenoclititlan, which historians give as ation of Mexico The sign 13 acatl would somewhere about 1324 or 1325. It is more likely that the date merely stand for 1323. calendar was put up. As to the year in which the refers elaborate piece of sculpture could only such a massive and the Aztec empire, most flourishing period of belong to the the be nine years before indicated would 1279, the year pyramid close by. building of the great 241 CALENDAR. MONGOLIAN the to prove argument celebrated Humboldt’s Baron founded upon is principally Mexicans tlie origin of Asiatic cycles in system of of this resemblance remarkable the of parts in different in use those found years to reckoning Hue by described take that we may For instance, Asia* which Thibet, and in Tartary still existing and Gabet as &c., combined earth, ivood, fire, one set of signs, consists of The tiger, &c. mouse, ox, animals, of names of with a set way as the same exactly in made almost combination is numbers, their signs and combine which the Aztecs that in iron-hare, &c. firevpig, the the year of the for instance, as if, or even of counting years, simple systems If these were to offer, we some advantages difficult, they had although in want of a system different races suppose that two might them independently. had devised count their years by, to are the Mexican cycles both the Asiatic and But, in fact, but by and troublesome to work, only most intricate not with another, confound one cycle the constant liability to that the Mongols, mistakes. Hue says they lead to endless special name to all the over this difficulty, affix a to get for instance, the year Tao- years of each king’s reign, as fire-ram apparently not seeing that to Kouang of the the special name and the number of the year of the give reign, and call it the 44th year of Tao-Kouang, would of the trouble. answer the same purpose, with one-tenth the Mexican and Asiatic systems alike in Not only are the singular principle they go upon, but there are resem- blances in the signs used that seem too close for chance* It is curious that these latter resemblances (as far as I have been able to investigate the subject) disappear in the signs of the Yucatan calendar, though its arrangement is precisely that of the Mexican. Any one interested in the theory of the Toltecs being the builders of Palenque and Copan will see the im- portance of this point. If the Toltecs ever took the original calendar, with the traces Asiatic origin fresh of its upon it, down into Yucatan with them, it is at any rate not to he found there now. 242 ANAHUAC. The other arguments which tend to prove that the Mexicans either came from the Old World or had in some way been brought into connexion with tribes from thence, are principally founded on coincidences in customs and traditions. We must be careful to eliminate from them all such as we can imagine to have originated from the same outward causes at work in both hemispheres, and from the fact that man is fundamentally the same everywhere. To take an instance from Peru. We find the Incas there calling themselves Cliild of the Sun,” and marrying their own sisters, just as the Egyptian kings did. But this proves nothing whatever connexion as to between the two people. The worship of the Sun, the giver of light and easily spring up among different people without heat, may any external teaching and what more natural, among civilized tribes, than that the monarch should imperfectly claim relationship with the divinity? And the second that the royal race might be kept custom was introduced unmixed. the Aztecs burning incense before Thus, when we find propitiating then- kings, and great men, and their gods, can conclude nothing deities with human sacrifices, we find them baptizing their children, from this. But we sprinkling them with holy then kings, and anointing stoning the the crime of adultery by water, punishing several other Old World death, and practising criminals to already spoken. We must give of which I have usages these coincidences. weight to some have Bible-traditions I of the supposed Aztec Of some There is another very high terms. spoken in no already unimpeachable evidence, however, resting upon tradition, destructions occurrence of a series of relates the which most recalls in the of the world, and regenerations and added cosmogony and, when the Indian manner striking ; — AZTEC CIVILIZATION. PECULIARITIES OF of the systems of as- from the similarity argument to tlie and Asia, goes far towards notation of Mexico tronomical the in- connection between a more or less remote proving continents. habitants of the two question, however, as another side to the There is could the Mexicans have been stated already. How has customs from the Old World, had these traditions and knowledge of some of the com- and not have got the monest arts of life from the same source? As I have known the proper way said, they do not seem to have putting the handle on to a stone-hammer and, though of making they used bronze, they had not applied it to knives and spear-heads. They had no such things as beasts of burden and, though there were animals in the country which they probably might have domesticated and milked, they had no idea of anything of the kind. They had oil, and employed it for various purposes, but had no notion of using it or wax for burning. They lighted their houses with pine-torches and in fact the Aztec name for a pine-torch ocotl—was transferred to candles when they were introduced. Though they were a commercial people, and had several substitutes for money such — as cacao-grains, quills of gold- dust, and pieces of tin of a particular shape, they had no knowledge of the art of weighing anything, but sold en- tirely by tale and measure. This statement, made by the best authorities, their language tends to confirm. After the Conquest they made the word tlapexouia out of the Spanish “peso,” and also gave the meaning of weighing to two other words which mean properly to measure and to divide equally. Had they had a proper word of their own for the process, we should find it. The Mexicans scarcely ever adopted a Spanish word even for Spanish animals or implements, if they could possibly > > ANAHUAC. make their own language serve. They called a sheep an ichcatl, literally a tkreacl-ihincj” or cotton a gun fire-trumpet and sulphur “fire-trumpet-earth.” And yet, a people ignorant of some of the commonest arts had extraordinary knowledge of astronomy, and even knew the real cause of eclipses,* and represented them in their sacred dances. Set the difficulties on one side of the question against those on the other, and they will nearly balance. We must wait for further evidence. Our friend Don Jose Miguel Cervantes, the President of the Ayuntamiento, took us one day to see the great prison of Mexico, the Acordada. As to the prison itself, it is a great gloomy building, with its rooms and corridors arranged round two courtyards, one appropriated to the men, the other to the women. A few of the men were at work making shoes and baskets, but most were sitting and lying about in the sun, smoking cigarettes and talking together in knots, the young ones hard at work taking in villainy from the older hands; just the old stoiy. lessons Offenders of all orders, from drunkards and vagrants highway robbers and murderers, all were mixed in- up to discriminately together. But we should remember that twenty years ago it was usual for prisons to be in England model pri- such places as this and even now, in spite of our severe discipline, the miserable results of sons and when we prison-system show, as plainly as can be, that how criminal not in the least know have caught our we do refused him him, now that our colonists have to reform he ever had. only chance the * They remark. name for an eclipse of the sun is worthy of The Aztec “ expression qualo literally the sun’s being eaten.” The it tonatiuli called , and had phenomenon, to a time when they knew less about the seems to belong occasionally was of the Asiatic nations who thought the sun idea like that some dragon. by the great swallowed up 245 AT MEXICO. THE PRISON these men under the to mix together bad enough It is for corrupting one another. circumstances most favourable he went in bat worse than must come out Every man ; untried pri- as that which the wrong is not so great this of condemned forced into the society soners suffer in being from session to ses- while their trials drag on criminals, technicalities and quibbles of sion, through the endless Spanish law. curious observation in this prison. We made rather a one enters such a place in Europe, one expects to When demeanour of the occu- see in a moment, by the faces and that most of them belong to a special criminal class, pants, brought up to a life of crime which is their only possible career, belonging naturally to police-courts and prisons, herding together when out of prison in their own districts and their own streets, and carefully avoided by the rest of society. You may know a London thief when you see him he carries his profession in his face and in the very curl his hair. Now of in this prison there was nothing of the kind to seen. be The inmates were brown Indians and half-bred Mexicans, appearing generally to belong to the poorest class, but just like the average of the people in the streets outside. As my companion said, If these “fellows are thieves and murderers, are so our servants, and so is every man in a serape we meet in the streets, for all we can tell to the contrary.” There was positively nothing at all peculiar about them. If they had been all Indians we might have been easily deceived. Nothing can be more true than Hum- boldt’s observation that the Indian face differs so much from ours that it is only after years of experience that European can learn to distinguish the varieties of feature by which character can be judged of. He mistakes pecu- liarities which belong to the race in general for personal ; ANAHUAC. characteristics and the thickness of the skin serves still more to mask the expression of their faces. But the greater part of these men were Mexicans of mixed Indian and Spanish blood, and their faces are pretty much Euro- pean. The only explanation we could give of this identity of character inside the prison and outside is not flattering to the Mexican people, hut I really believe it to he true. We came to the conclusion that the prisoners did not belong to a class apart, hut that they were a tolerably fair speci- men of the poorer population of the table-lands of Mexico. They had been more tempted than others, or they had been more unlucky, and that was why they were here. There were perhaps a thousand prisoners in the place, men to one woman. Them crimes were—one-third, two rob- drunken disturbance and vagrancy another third, fourth, wounding and homicides, beries of various kinds a for mostly arising out of quarrels leaving a small residue all other crimes. many foreigners who had Our idea was confirmed by brought into per- in the country and had been lived long Every Mexican, they said, sonal contact with the people. slightest a miu'derer in him, which the has a thief and of course is an exagger- will bring out. This provocation The crimes deal of truth in it. but there is a great ation, to the popu- belong as characteristics in the prison-calendar wound- cutting and general. Highway-robbery, lation in assassination, are and deliberate in drunken brawls, ing Mexicans half-white which prevail among the offences the pure Indian to them and stealing is common while bigamy, a instances of We noticed several population. upon. As far as law is very severe which Mexican crime it is punishment inflicted, the amount of judge by we could men. kill two women than to marry two greater crime to a 247 PRISON-DISCIPLINE. criminals condemned to cells for gallery are the In one freely with allowed to mix were the occupants death, but comfortable they seemed prisoners, and rest of the the enough. the condi- much in England knows how Everybody of the gover- the disposition of prisoner depends on tion a for the moment. in vogue in office and the system nor indicate at all what sentence do not The mere words of his under Sir John—to light He comes in— his fate will be. chaplain, and the expecta- much schoolmaster and labour, is ex- when a fraction of his time tion of a ticket-of-leave John, and once Sir James supersedes Sir pired. All at short rations, him in a regime of hard work, with comes in” month sooner, the black hole. If he had been a and with those more fortunate he would have been out” now his companions. criminals, late Things ought not to be so in England, but we need hardly wonder at their being still worse in Mexico in this respect as in all others. There have been twenty changes in of government ten years, and sometimes extreme se- verity has been the rule, which may change at a day’s notice into the extreme of mildness. In Santa Ana’s time the utmost rigour of the law prevailed. Our friends in the Calle Seminario, as they came back from their morn- ing’s ride in the Paseo, had to pass through the great square and used to see there, day after day, pairs of ga- rotted malefactors sitting bolt upright in the high wooden chairs they had just been executed in, with a frightful calm look on their dead faces. For the last year or so all this had ceased, and there had scarcely been an execution. It seems that one prin- cipal reason of this lenity is that the government is too weak to support its judges; and that the ministers of jus- tice are actually intimidated by threats mysteriously con- H 248 ANAHUAC. veyed to witnesses and authorities, that, if such or such a criminal is executed, his friends have sworn to avenge his death, and are on the look-out, every man with his knife ready. To political offences the same mercy is ex- tended. In the early times of the war of independence, and for years afterwards, when one leader caught an offi- cer on the other side, he had him tried by a drum-head court-martial, and shot. Since then it has come to be better understood that civil war is waged for the benefit of individuals who wish for their turn of power and their pull at the public purse and the successful leader spares his opponent, not caring establish to a precedent which might prove so very inconvenient to himself. the garotte President, We were taken to see by the who took it out of its little mahogany case, into which it like any other surgical instrument. noticed was fitted We that it was rusty, and indeed it had not been used for It worth while describe it. many months. is not to Mexican law well administered is bad enough, not es- quibbles and sentially unjust, but hampered with endless quite justifying the Spanish proverb, Mas technicalities, pleito,”—a bad vale una mala composition que un buen than a good lawsuit. As tilings compromise is better item in the the law of any case is the least stand now, of working upon judges account, there are so many ways and—if that Bribery first and foremost and witnesses. political influence, private personal intimidation, fails have Naturally, if you friendship, and the compadrazgo. should lay a good or are tried for a crime, you a lawsuit de done working upon the Juez foundation. This is by degree to the instancia, who corresponds in some primera functionary is wretch- instruction in France. This Juge cV him and, small sum is acceptable to paid, so that a edly ; form tried by him, records of the case, as the moreover, — AND STATISTICS. 249 LAW-COURTS MEXICAN litigation, so that it is very bad of all future basis the If you not, into proper order. do not to get him economy afterwards. If your times as much will cost you three it the ordinary tribunals or a priest, suit is with a soldier —the most influen- help you. These two classes will not their their special tial in the community—have fuero, unfortunate civilian who at- jurisdiction and woe to the courts ! tacks them in their own Lerdo de Tejada, whose sense of humour Don Miguel his statistics, remarks occasionally peeps out from among has its special legislation, which gravely that the clergy the Sacred Volumes, the decision of General “consists of “and Provincial Councils, the Pontifical Decretals, and “doctrines of the Holy Fathers.” Of what sort of justice is dealt out in that court, one may form some faint idea. had One of our friends in Mexico a house which was large for him, and in a moment of weakness he too let part of it to a priest. Two years afterwards, when we made his acquaintance, he was hard at work trying, not his to get rent, he had given up that idea long before, but to get the priest out. I believe that, eventually, he gave him something handsome to take his departure. have often quoted Don Miguel Lerdo de Tejada, and shall do so again. His statistics of the country for are given in a broad sheet, and seem to be generally re- liable. The annual balance-sheet of the country he sums up in three lines Annual Expenditure . . . 25,000,000 dollars. Annual Kevenue . 15,000,000 Annual Deficit 10,000,000 The President of the Ayuntamiento was a pleasant person to know, among the dishonest, intriguing Mexican 250 ANAHUAC. officials. He received but little pay in return for a great deal of hard work but he liked to be in office ; for the opportunities it afforded him of improving the condition of the poor of the city. It was a sight to see the prisoners crowd round him as he entered the court. They all knew him, and it was quite evident they all considered him as a friend. In what little can be done for the ignorant and destitute under the unfavourable circumstances of the country, Don Miguel has had a large share but until an orderly government, that is, a foreign one, succeeds to the present anarchy, not very much can be done. I mentioned the word compadrazgo” a little way back. The thing itself is curious, and quite novel to an Englishman the of present day. The godfathers and god- mothers of a child become, their by participation in the ceremony, relations to one another and to the priest who baptizes the child, and call one another ever afterwards compadre and comadre. Just such a relationship was once expressed by the word “gossip,” “God-sib,” that is “akin Gossip has quite from its old mean- in God.” degenerated ing, and even “sib,” though good English in Chaucer’s is only to be found in provincial dialects but time, now “ “ in German sipp still means kin.” and In Mexico this connexion obliges the compadres and honesty and all sorts of good comadres to hospitality offices towards one another and it is wonderful how con- is kept even by people who scientiously this obligation to, conscience all for the rest of the world. A man have no at son will keep who will cheat his own father or his own with his compadre. such an extent does this in- faith To affairs, and so fluence become mixed up with all sorts of it count it among the important is it, that is necessary to in the alter course of justice things that tend to the country. ” ; LEPROSY. LEPERS AND and commh'e the words compare have The French is the name of compare observe that curious to and it is stands among juggler, who of the to the confederate given of the trick. the performance helps in the crowd, and slily San Lazaro. I Hospital of one day to the We went applied to the poor lepero as mentioned the word have is only a term of Mexicans. It and idle class of half-caste of corresponding to the Ictzzarone” reproach, exactly in his social who resembles the Mexican lepers Naples, same thing for, of and whose name implies the condition, ; patron saint of lepers and foul course, Saint Lazarus is the some few real lepers in Mexico, who are beggars. There are rather shut up in this hospital. We obliged by law to be of the expected to see something like what one reads until treatment of lepers which prevailed in Europe a few dismal from years ago—shutting them up in dens cut off with other human beings. We were agree- commimication ably disappointed. They were confined, it is true, but in a spacious building, with comb-yard and garden their nurses and attendants appeared to be very kind to them and it that many charitable people seems come to visit the inmates, and bring them cigars and other small luxu- ries, to relieve the monotony of their dismal lives. Some had their faces horribly distorted by the falling of the coiners of the and mouth, eyes and the disappearance of the cartilage of the nose and a few, in whom the disease had terminated in a sort of gangrene, were frightful ob- with their jects, features scarcely distinguishable but in the majority of cases the leprosy had caused a gradual disappearance of the ends of the fingers and toes, and even of the whole hands and feet. The limbs thus mutilated looked as though the parts which were wanting had been amputated, and the wound had quite healed over, but it is caused by a gradual absorption without wound and 252 ANAll UAC. without pain. As every one knows, leprosy of these kinds was held until quite lately to be dangerously contagious; but, fortunately for the poor creatures themselves, this is quite clearly proved to false, and the be lepers are only shut up that they may have no children, for the affection appears to be hereditary. It was early one morning, when we were going out to breakfast at Tisapan, that Don Juan recounted to us his experience of garrotted malefactors sitting dead in their chairs in the great square across which we were riding. It was really almost enough to spoil a fellow’s break- fast,” he added pathetically. Though an Englishman, and only arrived in the country a few years before, Don Juan was as clever with the lazo as most Mexicans, and could colear a bull in great style. Indeed, we had started early that morning in order to have time enough look at the to bulls in the potreros—the great grass-meadows—that lie for miles outside the city, and which are made immensely from time time. saw fertile by flooding to Wherever we bull in the distance, Don Juan and Iris grand little horse over a bank and through a gap, and we Pancho plunged him. No one ever leaps anything in this country, after indeed the form of the saddle puts it out of the question. looked up as we entered the enclosure, One or two bulls into other fields, pushing in among the thorns and bolted hedges of fixed bayonets the aloes which formed close of At last Don Juan cut off the re- round the meadows. like mad, an old bull, and galloping after him treat of the over his horns, at the running loop of lazo flung pum- time winding the other end round the the same standing on all his saddle. The bull was still mel of Gal- with all might against Pancho. legs, pulling its four the lazo, so as to slacken the end of after him, loping to Juan’s saddle transfer it from Don contrived to we 253 BULL. LAZOING THE lame, happened to be a little my own horse mine. Now beast whose bones poor little black riding a and I was Our acquaintances rattle in his skin. really seemed to facetious about him, re- had been quite in the Paseo to smoke up against us to be careful and not commending over, and otherwise fear we should blow him him, for He acquitted himself very whetting their wit upon him. pull when the bull began to creditably, however, and if he had leant over on the other side, as ao-ainst him, he the bull could not been galloping round a circus and evident that it was not move him an inch. It was quite the mean time Don Juan had his first experiment. In dropped the noose of my lazo just before the bull’s nose, and presently that animal incautiously put his foot into it, his and went off when Don Juan whipped it up round leg full gallop. My little black horse knew perfectly well at what had happened, though his head was exactly in the opposite direction; and he tugged with all his might, and leant over more than ever. The two lazos tightened with twang, though had a as they been guitar-strings and in a moment the unfortunate bull rolling was with all his legs in the air, in the midst of a whirlwind of Havi ng dust. thus humiliated him we let him go, and off he went at full speed. All this time the proprietor of the field was tran- quilly standing on a bank, looking on. Far from raging at us for treating his property in this free and easy manner, he returned our salutation when we rode up to him, and, addressing our sporting countryman, said, “Well done, old fellow, come another day and try again.” Our whole ride to Tisapan was enlivened by a series of Don Juan’s exploits. He raced after bulls, got hold of their tails, and coleared them over into the dust. He lazo’d eveiything in the road, from milestones and trunks of trees upwards and I shall never forget our meeting ; 254 ANAHUAC. with a great mule which was trotting along the road without a burden, -just as he passed us, our companion slipped the noose round his hind leg, and the beast went down as if he had been shot, the muleteers pulling up on purpose to have a good open-mouthed laugh at the inci- dent. We seemed to be in rather a sporting line that day, for, after our return from Tisapan, Don Juan and I went to see a cockfight. In Mexico, as in Cuba and all Spanish America, this is the favom'ite sport of the people. In Cuba, the principal shopkeeper in every village keeps the cockpit—the “plaza de gallos.” The people from the whole district round about come in on Sunday to the vil- lage, with a triple object to hear mass secondly, first, to ; ; for the ensuing buy then’ supplies week and thirdly, to spend the afternoon in cockfighting, at which amusement or three hundred it is easy to win or lose two pounds in an afternoon. The custom that the cockpit brings to the proprietor for the shop more than repays the expense and it. In Cuba, the spurs of the cock are trouble of keeping with penknife, artificially pointed by paring a but the arming them is even more abominable. Mexican way of inches imaj, WITH SHEATH AND PAOOINC. STEEL COCK-SPURS a IN MEXICO. 255 COCKFIGHTING sharp steel knife three or four inches long, bird has a Eacli the natural spur little scythe-blade, fastened over just like a leather sheath covers the the fight commences. A before being put into the ring, and weapon while the cocks are touching till they are furi- held with then- beaks almost Then are drawn back to opposite sides of the ous. they ring, the sheaths are taken off, and they fly at one another, giving desperate cuts with the steel blades. small round wooden shed, with the The cockpit was a in the middle, and circular benches round it, rising one ring above another. The place was full of people, mostly Mexi- cans of the lower orders, smoking, betting, and talking sport- The betting surprising, ing-slang. was when one compared its amount with the appearance of the spectators, among whom there was hardly a decent coat to be seen. Every dirty now and then, a scoundrel in a shabby leather jacket would walk round the ring with a handful of gold, offer- ing the odds—ten to five, ten to seven, ten to nine, or whatever they might be, in gold ounces, which coins are worth above three pounds apiece. Cockfighting is such a passion here that we thought it as well to see it for once. Santa Ana, now he has retired from politics, spends his time at Carthagena pretty much entirely in this his favourite sport, which forms one of the great items among the pleasures and excitements of a Mexican life. We saw a couple of mains fought, in which the victorious birds were dreadfully mangled, while the vanquished were literally cut to pieces as much money changed hands as we should have thought sufficient to buy up the whole of the people present, cockpit and all. Then, being both agreed that it was a disgusting sight, we went away. Before we left Mexico we were taken by our man Antonio to a cutler’s shop, where the principal trade 25 ANAHUAC. seemed to be the making of these cuchillos to arm the cocks with. We bought a couple of pairs of them, and had them carefully fitted up. The old cutler was quite delighted, and remarked that foreigners must acknowledge that there were some things winch were done better in Mexico than anywhere else. I fear we left him under the pleasing impression that we were taking home the blades to introduce as models in our own benighted country. The Mexican is a great gambler. Bad fortune he bears with the greatest equanimity. You never hear of his committing suicide after being ruined at play; he just goes away, and sets to work to earn enough for a fresh stake. The government have tried to put down gam- bling in the State of Mexico, but not with much success. For three days in the year, however, at the festival of San Agustin de las Cuevas, public gambling-tables are tole- soldiers and officials are strictly forbidden rated, though play, an injunction which they carefully set at nought. to the government, while doing all it could to Oddly enough, own functionaries away from the monte table, keep its military escort to convoy the did not scruple to send a with their bags of gold from Mexico to San bankers of the three days, Mr. Christy and I Agustin. On one There was a great crowd, this time mostly a went there. was on a large scale. one, and the cockpit well-dressed which attraction wasv the monte of course the great But , stakes in some places played everywhere, the was being silver, while more aristocratic coppers, in others being under a gold ounce. would allow no stake establishments places, and the players silence prevailed in these Dead the slight- themselves upon not showing to pride seemed won or countenances, whether they in their change est has some itself is very simple, and game lost. The in lansquenet, known to that of resemblance points of say a four cards in the pack, first two The Europe. 257 IN MEXICO. GAMBLING and on the table, face up, laid down, king, are and a one or the money against their put down gamblers the out slowly deals the cards croupier Then the other. their names calling out after another, solemnly one and — king when say to a fall, until he comes as they ; their stakes the king have have betted on those who The banker has a lose theirs. and the others doubled, and him for his expense compensate great advantage to thrown out be one of the first card which is risk. If the the banker withholds a quarter numbers on the table, two only a otherwise have lost, paying of the stake he would stakes. Now, as three-quarters, instead of two stake and pack, two of which are forty cards in a Spanish there out, the chances for a throw have been already thrown the banker are about one in six, so that he favourable to may reckon on an average profit of about two per cent, on all the money staked. As for the players, they sat round the table, carefully noticing the of the games, and regulating their play course accordingly, as they do at Baden-Baden and Hombourg. I suppose that now and then these scientific calculators must be told that their whole theory of chances is the most baseless delusion, but they certainly do not believe it and at any rate this curious pseudo-science of winning by skill at games of pure chance will last our time, if not longer. On some tables there were as much as three or four thousand gold ounces. This struck us the more because we had often tried to get gold coin for our own use, in- stead of the silver dollars, the general currency of the country, of which twenty pounds’ worth to carry home on a hot day was enough to break one’s heart. We often tried to get gold, but the answer was always that what little there was in the country was in the hands of the gamblers, whose operations could not be worked on a large scale without it. 258 ANAIIUAC. The prevalence of mining, as a means of getting wealth, has contributed greatly to make the love of gambling an important part of the national character. Silver-mining in the old times was a most hazardous speculation, and engaged in it people used to make and lose great fortunes a dozen times in then- lives. The miners worked not on fixed wages, but for a share of the produce, and so every man became a gambler on his own account. To a great extent the same evils prevail now, but two things have tended to lessen them. Poor ores are now worked profit- ably which used to be neglected by the minei's and, as these ores occur in almost inexhaustible masses, then’ mining is a much less speculative affair than the old system of mining for rich veins. Moreover, the men are, in some of the largest mines, paid by the day, so that more regular. In many places, their life has become how- ever, the work is still done on shares by the miners, who alternations of excessive riches and all pass their lives in kinds of extravagance, succeeded by times of extreme poverty. of ours was telling us one day about An acquaintance of three miners the lives of these men. One week, a party very rich bit of ore, and went away had come upon a handkerchief full of dol- the rayci, each man with a from evening. On Monday morn- lars. This was on Saturday and on the road he went out for a ride, ing our informant old men, dressed in some dirty haggard-looking met three taking off the sort of three came forward, rags one of the morn- and said, “Good for a hat which he had on, apology the favour of you mind doing us Senor Doctor, would ing, ?” They something to eat half a dollar to get lending us when, a few days successful miners and three were the ; came asked for the money man who had afteiwards, the happened. inquired what had return it, the Doctor back to 259 GAMBLING MINERS. soon as they had received that the three, as It seemed got a lift to the nearest town, money on Saturday, their new clothes, silver rigged themselves out with and there horse for each, with buttons, five-pound serapes, and a the saddle and spurs. magnificent silver mountings to dinner, and lots of pulque, and swagger Here they have the door, smoking cigarettes. There, quite about outside by chance, an acquaintance meets them, and admires the their tried little horses, but would like to see paces a out- they pace and gallop along for side the town. So half a when, also quite accidentally, they find mile or so two men sitting outside a rancho, playing at cards. The two men— strangely enough— are old acquaintances of the produce curious friend, and they a bowl of cool pulque from within, which our miners find refresh ing quite after the ride. Thereupon they sit down to have a little game at monte, then more pulque, then more cards and when next they awake the morning, they find them- selves possessed of a suit of old rags, with no money in the pockets. They had dim recollections of losing— first money, then horses, and lastly clothes, the night before but— they informed as were by the old woman, who was the only occupant of the place besides themselves —their friends had been obliged to go away on urgent business, and could not impolite as be so to disturb them. So they walked back to the mines, ragged and hungry, and bor- rowed the doctor’s half-dollar. LEATHER SANDALS, WORN BY THE NATIVE INDIANS. CHAP. X. TEZCUCO. MIRAFLOREs! POPOCATEPETL. CHOLULA. The wet season was fast coming on when we left Mexico for the last time. We had to pass through Vera Cruz, where the rain and the yellow fever generally set in together so that to stay longer would have been too great a risk. Our first stage was to Tezcuco, across the lake in a had been before. We noticed our canoe, just as we on the canoes, a church, apparently from one to two way to 261 ON HIS WITS. DEPENDENT doggrel inscription in with the following centimes old, which shows that the dogma letters over the portico, huge no means a recent in- of the Immaculate Conception is by stitution in Mexico : con tu vida, Antes de entrar afirma Maria sin pecado concebida : S. fue quality, Which may be translated into verse of equal Confess on thy life before coming in, 1 hat blessed Saint Mary was conceived without sin. Nothing particular happened on our journey, except that a well-dressed Mexican turned up at the landing-place, wanting a passage, and had taken a canoe for our- as we selves, we offered to let him come with us. He was a well-bred young man, speaking one or two languages be- sides his own and he presently informed us that he was going on a visit to a rich old lady at Tezcuco, whose name was Dona Maria Lopez, or something the of kind. When we drove away from the other end of the lake, towards Tezcuco, we took him as far as the road leading to the old lady’s house when rather he astonished us by hinting that he should like to go on with us to the Casa Grande, and could walk back. At the same time, it struck us that the youth, though so well dressed, had no luggage and we began to understand the queer expression of the coachman’s face when he saw him get into the carriage with us. So we stopped at the corner of the road, and the young gentleman had to get out. At the Casa Grande, our Mends laughed at us im- mensely when we told them of the incident, and offered us twenty to one that he would come to ask for money within twenty-four hours. He came the same evening, and brought a wonderful story about his passport not being en regie, and that unless we could lend him ten dollars to bribe the police, he should be in a dreadful 262 ANAIIUAC. scrape. We referred him to the master of the house, who said something to him which caused him to depart preci- pitately, and we never saw him again hut we heard afterwards that he had been to the other foreigners in the neighbourhood with various histories. We made more en- quiries about him in the town, and it appeared that his expedition to Tezcuco was improvised when he saw us going down to the boat, and of course the visit to the rich old lady was purely imaginary. Now this youth was not more than eighteen, and looked and spoke like a gentle- man. They say that the class he belonged to is to be counted rather by thousands than by hundreds in Mexico. They are the children of white creoles, or nearly white mestizos they superficial get a education and the art of dressing, and with this slender capital go out into the world live to by their wits, until they get a government appointment or set up as political adventurers, and have so a chance of helping themselves out of the public purse, which is naturally easier and more profitable than mere sponging upon individuals. One gets to understand the affairs better knowing what course of Mexican much by of raw material the politicians are recruited from. sort collection of an- We saw some good things in a small this second visit to Tezcuco. Among them tiquities, on four or five feet was a nude female figure in alabaster, of high artistic merit. high, and—comparatively speaking— they are are not common in Mexico, and Such figures Venus, who was called supposed to represent the Aztec figure, labo- of Pleasure.” A Tlazolteocihua, “Goddess man wearing a riously cut in hard stone, representing a figurative supposed to be a jackal’s head as a mask, was Tezcuco, Keza- of the celebrated king of representation history jackal,” of whom Mexican “hungry hualcoyotl, his capital in about the streets of relates that he walked JACKAL-MASKS, ETC. 263 THE Caliph in the Arabian after the manner of the disguise, is plausible, but I think not Nights. The explanation jackal was a sacred animal among correct. The coyote or Egyptians. Aztecs, as the Anubis-jackal was among the the coyote, which Humboldt foimd in Mexico the tomb of a earthen vase, and a had been carefully interred with an number of the cast-bronze bells which I noticed in little the last chapter. The Mexicans used actually to make a kind of fetish—or charm—of a jackal’s skin, prepared in a peculiar way, and called by the same name, nezahualcoyotl, and very likely they do so still. From this fetish the king’s name was, no doubt, borrowed and it is not im- probable that the whole story of the king’s walking in dis- guise may have grown up out of his name being the same as that of the figure we saw, muffled up in a jackal’s skin. It is curious that the jackal, or the human figure in a jackal-mask, should have been an object of superstitious veneration both in Mexico and in Egypt. This, the ex- traordinary serpent-crown of Xochicalco, and the pyramids, are the three most striking resemblances to be found be- tween the two countries all probably accidental, but not the less noteworthy on that account. The collection contained a number of spherical beads in green jade, highly polished, and some as large as pigeon’s eggs. They were found in an alabaster box, of such elaborate and beautiful workmanship that the owner deemed it worthy to be presented as a sort of peace-offer- ing to the wife of President Santa Ana. The word coyotl in the name of the Tezcucan king is the present word coyote— jackal. Though unknown a in English, it has passed, with several Spanish words, into what we may call the American dialect of our language. Prairie-hunters and Californians have introduced several other words in this way, such as ranch, gulch, corral, &c. K K ; ANAHUAC. The word lariat one is constantly meeting with in books about American prairies. A horse-rope, or a lazo, is called in Spanish reata and, by absorbing the article, la reata is made into lariat, just as such words as alligator, alcove, and pyramid were formed. The flexible leather riding- whip or cuarta is apparently the quirt that some Ameri- can politicians use in arguing with their opponents. Our last day at Tezcuco was spent in packing up anti- quities to be sent to England, the express orders of the Government against such exportation to the contrary not- withstanding. Next morning we rode off to Miraflores, passing on our way the curious stratum of alluvial soil containing pottery, which &c., I have described already. Miraflores is a cotton-factory, in the opening of a pictu- the resque gorge just at edge of the plain of Mexico. The machinery is American, for the mill dates from the time considered expedient when it was to prohibit the export- ation of cotton-mill machinery from England and having begun with American work, it naturally suits them to go with it. It is driven by a great Barker’s mill, which on into the valley, works in a sort of well, having an outlet and roars as though it would tear the place down. It is not common to see this kind of machine working on a here, with a great fall of water, it does large scale but ordinary well. Otherwise the place was like an very cannot surprised at people cotton- factory, and one be that such establishments are a source of pros- thinking population hard at perity to the country. They see a px*o- wages, masters making great work and getting good off to town and do not and no end of bales going fits, and that half the pi'ice of the cloth is wasted, consider people to work which protection-duty sets the that the them away advantage, while it takes cannot do to they country is fit for. which their from occupations ! AMECAMECA. 265 SACKED MOUNT AT morning took ns to Amecameca, a town in a Next the foot of Popocatepetl, whose snow-covered little plain at like Mont Blanc over towers high up in the clouds, top one time cherished hopes of get- Sallanches. We had at the top of this grand volcano, but had heard such ting to frightful reports of difficulties and dangers that we had concluded not to do more than look at it from a distance, heavy the more especially as there had been a fall of snow upon it a day or two before. We presented our letter to the Spaniard who kept the great shop at Amecameca, and asked him, casually, about the mountain. He assured us that the surface of the snow would be frozen over, and that instead of being a disadvantage the fall of snow was in our favour, for it was easier to climb over frozen snow than up a loose heap of volcanic ashes. So we sent for the guide, a big man, who used to manage the sulphur- workings in the crater until that undertaking was given up. He set to work to get things ready for the expedition, and we strolled for out a walk. Close by the town is a “sacred mount,” with little stations, and on one day in the year numbers of pilgrims come to visit the place. Near the top, the Indian lad who came with us showed us the mouth of a cavern, which leads by subterranean passages under the sea to Rome —as caverns not unfrequently do in Roman Catholic countries What was more worth noticing was that here there was a cypress-tree, covered with votive offerings, like the great ahuehuete in the valley above Chalma so that it is likely that the place was sacred long before chapels and stations were built upon it. Our guide told us that whenever a man touched the tree, all feeling of weariness left him. How characteristic this superstition is of a nation of car- riers of burdens ! ;; 2G6 ANAHUAC. In the afternoon we started —ourselves, our guide, and an Indian to carry cloaks, &c. up the mountain. We soon left the cultivated region, and entered upon the pine-forest, which we never left during our afternoon journey. One of the first showers of the rainy season came down upon us as we rode through the forest. It only lasted half an hour, but it was a deluge. In a shower of the same kind at Tezcuco, a day or two before, rain to the amount of 1 TV inches fell in the hour. By dusk we reached the highest habitation in North America, the place where the sulphur used to be sublimed from the pumice brought down from the crater. This place was shut up, for the undertaking has been abandoned but in a rancho close by we found some Indian women and children, and there took up we our quarters. The rancho was a circular hut, built and thatched with reeds, though in the midst of a pine-forest and presently a smart shower began, which came in upon had been a sieve. us as though the roof The Indian women were kneeling all the evening round centre of the hut, baking tortillas and the wood-fire in the and coffee in earthen pots. The wood was boiling beans full of suffocating smoke, except green, and the place was inches of the ground, where lay a stratum within eighteen lie down at once, upon air. We were obliged to of purer could not exist in the smoke and serapes, for we mats posture, raised ourselves into a sitting and as often as we of half suffocated. The line dive down again, we had to that it was like the was so accurately drawn demarcation reversed. del Cane, only Grotto bowls, we lay primitive supper in earthen After a and the the talk of our men fire, listening to round the with adventures was mostly about women. It Indian now discon- sulphur-workings, about the and wolves, we lay we could had cleared, and as weather tinued. The 267 POPOCATEPETL. ASCENT OF roof. About three in in through the stars shining see the feeling bruised all over, as was I awoke, the morning Moreover, on the ground. after sleeping on a mat natural cold, as well it it was horribly the fire had gone out, and I shook some one above the sea. might be at 13,000 feet open air. out into the up to make up the fire, and went very dif- but the moonlight was It was nearly full moon the can see in England, even on ferent from what we rarity and clearest nights. On the plateau of Mexico, the distant objects are seen dryness of the air are such that distinctly than at the level of the sea, and the far more European traveller’s measurements of distance by the eye moonlight, for the are always too small. The sunlight and than lower levels. Here, same reason, are more intense at of the at about the same elevation as the top Jungfrau, effect far more striking, and I shall never forget the was the brilliant flood of light that illuminated that grand scene. Far down below I could see the plain, with houses dimly visible. the bottom of and fields At the slope began the dark pine-forest, which enveloped the mountains up to the level at which I stood, and there broke into an uneven line, with straggling patches running up a few hundred feet higher in sheltered crevices. Above the forest came a region of bare volcanic sand, and then began the snow. The highest peak no longer looked steep and pointed as from below, but seemed to rise from the darker line of sand in a gentle swelling curve up into the sky. There did not seem to be a speck or a wrinkle on this smooth snowy dome, the brilliant whiteness of which contrasted so wonderfully with the dark pine-forest below. About seven in the morning we started on horseback, rode up across the sandy district, and entered upon the snow. After we left the pines, small bushes and tufts of coarse Alpine grass succeeded. Where rocks of basaltic 268 ANAHUAC. lava stood out from the heaps of crumbling ashes, after the grass had ceased, lichens —the occupants of the highest zone—were still to be seen. Before we reached the snow, we were in the midst of utter desolation, where no sign of life was visible. From this point we sent back the horses, and started for the ascent of the cone. On our yesterday’s ride we had cut young pine-trees in the forest, for alpenstocks and we tied silk handkerchiefs com- pletely over our faces, to keep off the glare of the sun. Our guide did the same but the Indian, who had been many times before up to the crater to get sulphur, had brought no protection for his face. We marched in a line, the guide first, sounding the depth of the snow with lus pole, and keeping as nearly he as could along ridges just covered with snow, where we did not sink far. It was from the lower part of the snow that we began to under- stand the magnificent proportions of Iztaccihuatl—the “White Woman,” the twin mountain which is connected with Popocatepetl by an immense col, which stretches across below the snow-line. This mountain is not conical like Popocatepetl, but its shoulders are broader, and break into grand like the of Switzerland, peaks, some of Dents and it has no crater.* Indeed, the two mountains, joined they had been together like Siamese twins, look as though up, side side, to illustrate the two contending theo- set by and Humboldt ries of the formation of volcanos. Yon Buch might have made Iztaccihuatl on the upheaval theory,” breaking by a force pushing up from below, without crater while Poulett Scrope through the crust to form a theory,” was building Popocatepetl on the accumulation * among the active volcanos in I was surprised to find Iztaccihuatl classed really been Physical Atlas, and supposed at first that a crater had Johnston’s mistake, by the name of Volcan found. But it is likely to be only a caused in a very mountains by the Mexicans, who used the word being given to both loose way. 269 —THE CRATER. POPOCATEPETL volcanic ashes out of an open lava and throwing up by five a conical heap some thou- he had formed vent, until the top. great crater at feet high, with a sand took off our veils up the snow, we As we toiled slowly The clearly' about us. time, to look more from time to in- was dazzling, and its glare of the sun upon the snow cloudless wonderfully with the tense whiteness contrasted indigo-blue of the sky. Between twelve and one we dark above the sea. reached the edge of the crater, 17,884 feet stood was only a few feet wide, The ridge upon which we covered with snow but it seemed that there was still and the crater itself clear, for none lay on heat enough to keep or in clefts on the steep sides. the bottom, The crater was oval, full a mile in its longest diameter, and perhaps 700 to 800 feet in depth and its almost per- basaltic lava are covered with pendicular walls of red and yellow patches of sublimed sulphur. We climbed a little way down into it to get protection from the wind, but to descend farther unassisted was not possible, so we sat there, with our legs dangling down into the abyss. Part of the mcilacate, or winder, used the Indians by in descend- ing, was still there but it was not complete, and even if it had been, so many months had elapsed since it was last used that we should not have cared to try it. It consisted of a rope of hide, descending into the bottom of the crater in a slanting direction and the sulphur-collectors were lowered and drawn up it by a windlass, in a basket to which another rope was attached. A few years back, the volcano used to send up showers of ashes, and even large stones but now it has sunk to the ; condition of a mere solfatcira, sending out, from two crevices in the floor, great volumes of sulphurous acid and steam, with a loud roar- ing noise. The sulphur- working merely consisted in look- ing for places where the pumice-stone was fully impreg- ; ANAHUAC. nated with sulphur, and breaking out pieces, which were hauled up in the basket. The chief x’isk which the labourers ran was from the terrific snow-storms, which come on suddenly and without the slightest notice. Men at work collecting sulphur have once or twice been caught by such storms in parts of the crater at a distance from the rope, and buried in the snow. The appearance of the “White Woman,” but little lower than the point where we stood, was very grand, but all other objects looked small. The two great plains of Mexico and Puebla, with their lakes and towns, were laid out like a map and the ranges of mountains which hem them them in made look like Roman encampments sur- rounded by earthworks. Even now that the lakes have fraction size, shrunk to a of them former we could see the fitness of the name given in old times to the Valley of that is, “By the Water-side.” The Mexico, Anahuac, peaks of Orizaba and Perote were conspicuous to the east silver-mountains of Pacliuca and to the north lay the to the south-west a darker shade of green indicated the plantations of the tierra caliente, below Cuer- forests and navaca. sensation to be at an altitude where the It was a novel at inches, so that the pressure on barometer stands 15 one-half what we are lungs was hardly more than our expeiience in England but we did not accustomed to The last thousand feet or so inconvenience from it. much stop work, and we were obliged to had been very hard comparatively level edge of few steps, but on the every felt no difficulty in moving about. the crater we “Smoking Mountain,” The In- Popocatepetl means the abode of enough considered it to be dians naturally they his companions that and told Cortes and evil spirits, Spaniards, Diego One of the never reach the top. could 271 DESCENT FROM POPOCATEPETL. summit, and got as far as the tried to climb to the Ordaz, he returned, and got permission to put snow whereupon in commemora- burning mountain in his coat of arms, a high wind was tion of the exploit ! If, as he declared, ashes falling, his turning back blowing, and showers of was excusable, though his bragging was not. He seems the to have afterwards told Bernal Diaz that he got to top, which letters Spain, was not we know, by Cortes’ to true. A few years later, Francesco Montano went up, and was lowered into the crater to get sulphur. When Hum- boldt relates the story, in his New Spain, he seems incre- dulous about this but since the Essai Politique was written the same thing has been regularly done the by Indians, as the merest matter of business, until the crater has been fairly worked out. We took our last look at Mexico from the ridffe of the crater, and, descending twenty feet at stride, a soon reached the bottom of the cone. As far as we could see, the substance of the hill seemed to be of basaltic lava, which was mostly covered with the lapilli which I have spoken of before as ashes and volcanic sand. Even before we reached the pine-forest there was evidence of the action of water, which had covered the slope of the mountain with beds of thick compact tufa, composed of these lapilli mixed with fragments of lava. The water-courses had cut deep channels through these beds, and down into the rock be- low so that the streams from the melted 5 snow rushed down between walls of lava, in which traces of columnar structure were observable. The snow we had travelled over was sometimes dry and powdery, and sometimes hard and compact. There were no glaciers, and no glacier-ice, properly so called. It never rains at this elevation and, though ; evaporation goes on rapidly with half the pressure taken off the air, L L 272 ANAHUAC. and a great increase in the intensity of the sun’s rays, the snow either passes directly into vapour, or carries the water off instantaneously, as it is formed. Ordy so much water seems to be produced and re-frozen as suffices to make the snow hard, and in some favourable places near form lumps the rocks to of ice, and some of those great icicles which the Spaniards brought down from the moun- tain on their first expedition, so greatly astonishing them companions. When we reached the rancho we thought of passing another night there but the Indians who had gone down the valley for corn had not returned, and everything to was eaten up except beans, winch are all very well as ac- to dinner, but our English digestions could cessories not them stand living upon so we started at once for San de los Ranchos. Our ride was down a deep ravine, Nicolas mountain-torrent coming the side of a down from the by Popocatepetl and, when we stopped now and snows of then to look behind us, we had one of the grandest views ever witnessed. The elements of the picture which I have gorge at our feet, were simple enough. A deep with a rushing down it, dark pine-trees all round us, fierce torrent snow-covered above us—on either side—a mountain and into the sky. We were just in the track of towering up likely Spanish invaders, who crossed most by this very the the two volcanos and they record the road between which they felt that in the tropics snow should amazement mountains. unmelted upon the be hours riding down the steep descent, and we A few plain of Puebla. There were our two in the flat were behind us, but now they looked as we had so mountains The power of them before from a distance. often seen size was gone, and with it most of their their realizing a vivid beauty. Nothing was left us but grandeur and SHOPKEEPER. 273 HOSPITABLE OF PUEBLA. PLAIN that were before us a wonderful scenes of the recollection likely to be ever effaced from impressions not hours ago, few cone seen the great snowy where the picture of oiu’ minds, the the descent between bright moonlight, and in the types of all impressed as the remain indelibly mountains, of lofty impressive in the scenery is most grand! and that mountains. Nicholas slept at San Nicolas de los Ranchos, St. We had a the shopkeeper, to whom we of the huts,” where for us, letter, insisted upon turning out of his own room The reason of our often being and treated us like princes. with letters to the shopkeepers in small places, provided that they are the only people who have houses fit for was, entertaining travellers. Many of them are very rich, and mer- in the United States they would call themselves chants. Next morning our Indian carrier, who had as- cended the mountain without a veil, was brought in by our guide, a pitiful object. All the skin of his face was peeling off, and his eyes were frightfully iuflamed, so that he was all but blind, and had led to be about. Fortunately, this blindness only lasts for a time, and no doubt he got in well a few days. We rode through the plain to Cholula. Our number was now four for, besides Antonio, had we engaged another servant a few days before. We wanted some one who knew this district well and when a friend of ours mentioned that there was a young man to be had who had a good horse and was a smuggler by profession, we engaged him directly, and he proved a great acquisition. Of course, from the nature of his trade, he knew every by- path between Mexico and the tobacco-districts towards which we were going he was always ready ; with an ex- pedient whenever there was a difficulty, he was never tired and never out of temper. As for the morality of his — ANAHUAC. peculiar profession, it probably does barm to the honesty ol the people but, considering it as a question of abstract justice, we must remember that almost the whole of the taxes which the Mexicans are compelled to pay to the general government are utterly wasted upon paying offi- cials who do nothing but intrigue, and keeping up armies which— far from being a protection life to and property are a permanent and most destructive nuisance. The con- tract between government and subject ought to be a two- sided one and when the government so entirely misuses the taxes paid by the people, I am quite inclined to sym- pathize with the subjects who will not pay them if they can help it. We scarcely entered the town of Cholula, which is a poor place now, though it was a great city at the time of the Spanish Conquest. The Spanish city of Puebla, only a few miles off, quite ruined it. We went straight to the great pyramid, which lies close to the town, and which had been rising before us hill during the miles of like a last our journey. This ex- traordinary structure is perhaps the oldest ruin in Mexico, certainly the largest. A close examination and of its structure in places where the outline is still to some ex- comparison of it with tent preserved, and a better pre- structures of the same kind, make it quite clear served resembling the drawing that it was a terraced teocalli, Pyramid of Cholula,” in Humboldt’s Vues cles called the But let no one imagine that the well-defined Cordilleres. represented in that drawing is and symmetrical structure least like what we saw, and from which Humboldt in the sketch, which he and his artist afterwards made the rough for his great work. At the present day, the “idealized” that of shapeless tree- of the structure is a appearance it the traveller comes quite close to hill and until grown ; ; OF CHOLULA. ANTIQUITIES PYRAMID AND it is an artificial not believing that excused for may be he all. mound at baked in the of bricks built of rows pyramid is The in which had with mortar cemented together sun, and fragments of pottery, small stones, stuck quantities of been Between rows knives and weapons. and bits of obsidian four It was built in alternate layers of clay. of bricks are and still to be distinguished of which traces are terraces, ; stand the platform at the top about 200 feet high. Upon is the four car- church. The sides front some trees and a of immense length, over points, and the base line is dinal that the ascent is very gradual. thirteen hunched feet, so When we reached Cholula we sent the two men to en- which num- quire in the neighbourhood for antiquities, of every ploughed field round. At bers are to be found in pyramid we held a market, and got some the top of the curious things, all of small size however. Among them was a mould for making little jackal-heads in the clay, ready for baking the little earthen heads which are found in such quantities in the country being evidently made by wholesale in moulds of this kind, not modelled separately. We got also several terra-cotta stamps, used in old times for stamping coloured patterns upon the native cloth, and perhaps also for ornamenting vases and other articles of earthenware. Cholula used to be a famous place for making pottery, and its red-and-black ware was famous at the time of the Conquest, but the trade now seems to have left it. We were struck by observing that, though there was plenty of coloured pottery to be found in the neighbourhood of the pyramid, the pyramid itself had only fragments of uncoloured ware imbedded in its structure which seems to prove that it was built before the art of colouring pottery was invented. They have cut a road through one comer of the pyra- mid, and this cutting exposed a chamber within. Hum- — 27G ANAIIUAC. boldt describes this chamber as roofed with blocks, each overlapping the one before, till they can be made to meet by a block of ordinary size. This is the false arch so com- in mon Egypt and Peru, and in the ruined cities of Central America. Every child who builds houses with a box of bricks discovers it for himself. The bridge at Tezcuco, already described, is much more remarkable in its struc- ture. "Whether our inspection was careless, or whether the chamber has fallen in since Humboldt’s time, I cannot say, but missed this peculiar we roof. There are several legends about the Pyramid of Cho- lula. That recorded by Humboldt on the authoiity of a certain Dominican friar, Pedro de los Rios, I mention of its intrinsic value, which is very slight, not because but because it will enable us to see the way in which legends grew under the hands of the early missionaries, who up were delighted to find fragments of Scripture- history of the Ancient Mexicans, and who among the traditions converts, to have taken down from the lips of then- seem very Bible-stories that they had as native traditions, the them, mixed however with other details, been teaching whether they were imagined on which it is hard to say of whether they were fill gaps in the story, or purpose to up traditional origin. really of native land of Ana- Rios’ story tells us that the Pedro de los that there was a great inhabited by giants liuac was the inhabit- the earth that all deluge, which devastated seven who took refuge turned into fishes, except ants were after the with their wives). Years cave (apparently in a had been re-peopled and the earth waters had subsided, build a vast their leader began to seven men, these by built it heaven. He top should reach to pyramid, whose brought from a the sun, which were baked in of bricks a file hand to hand by passing them from distance, great MEXICO. 277 LEGENDS OF HYBRID enraged at the presumption of gods were men. Tho of heaven upon the sent down fire from men, and they these building to be discontinued. which caused its pyramid, the Spanish Conquest, the is stated that at the time of It with great veneration a inhabitants of Cholula preserved they said was the thunderbolt that large aerolite, which upon the of the pyramid when the fire struck it. fell top The history of the confusion of tongues seems also to after the Conquest, have existed in the country, not long probably been learnt from the missionaries having veiy it does not seem to have been connected with the but Tower-of-Babel legend of Cholula. Something like it at least appears in the Gemelli table of Mexican migrations, reproduced in Humboldt, where a bird in a tree is sending down a number of tongues to a crowd of men standing below. I think we need not hesitate in condemning the legend of Cholula, which I have just related, as not genuine, or at least as partly of late fabrication. But we fortunately possess another version of it, which shows the legend to have developed itself farther than was quite discreet. A MS. history, written by Duran in 1579, and quoted by the Abbd Brasseur de Bourbourg, relates that people built the pyramid to reach heaven, finding clay or mud (“terre glciise”) and a veiy sticky bitumen (“ bitume fort glu- ant” with which they began at once to ), build, &c. This is evidently the slime or bitumen of the Book of Genesis but I believe I may safely assert that the Mexicans never used bitumen for any such purpose, and that it is not found anywhere near Cholula. The Aztec historians ascribe the building of the Pyra- mid of Cholula to the prophet Quetzalcoatl. The legends which relate to this celebrated personage are to be found in writers on Mexican history, and, more fully than else- where, in the Abbd Brasseur de Bourboursr’s work 278 ANAHUAC. I am inclined to consider Quetzalcoatl a real person- age, and not a mythical one. He is said to have been white, bearded man, to have come from the East, to have reigned in Tollan, and to have been driven out from thence by the votaries of human sacrifices, which he op- posed. He took refuge in Cholollan, now called Cliolula (which “ means the place of the fugitive”), and taught the inhabitants to work in metals, to observe various fasts and festivals, use the to Toltec calendar of days and years, and to perform penance to appease the gods. relic of the father of Quetzalcoatl is A said to have been kept until after the Spanish Conquest, when it was found to contain a quantity of fair human opened, and hair. The prophet himself departed from Cholula, and sea in a canoe, promising to return. So strong was put to the belief in the tradition of these events among the when the Spaniards appeared on the coast, Aztecs, that of the race of the prophet, and they were supposed to be conduct of Montezuma to Cortes is to be as- the strange to the influence of this belief. cribed singular legend, mentioned by the Abbd There is a Bourbourg, of a white man, with a hooded Brasseur de bearing in his hand, who white beard, a cross robe and (on the Pacific coast of Mexico), and at Tehuantepec lands confession, pen- among the Indians auricular introduces chastity. vows of ance, and men from the East, cen- of white, bearded The coming 16th century, invasion in the before the Spanish turies and rites by them in introduction of new arts the and which we historical events of as certain as most Mexico, is who they were knowledge. As to only legendary have one or two There are, however, an opinion. cannot offer of the Irish and with the presence connected points centuries and following America in the 9th in Northmen ) AND CUSTOMS. 279 ANALOGIES IN WORDS FOREIGN from that ascribed to Quetzal- not very far — period worthy of notice. coatl—which are make the “white-man’s The Scandinavian antiquarians down as far as Florida, land” (Hvitmmannaland) extend Mexico. It is curious to notice the on the very Gulf of of Bernal Diaz, that the coincidence between the remark Mexicans called their priests papa (more properly papa- hua), and that in the old Norse Chronicle, which tells of the first colonization of Iceland the Northmen, and by re- lates that they found living there Christian men whom .” “the Northmen call Papa These latter are shown by the context to have been Irish priests. The Aztec root teo (teo-tl, Gocl comes nearer to the Greek and Latin, but is not unlike the Irish dia and the Norse ty-r. The Aztec root col (charcoal) is exactly the Norse Jcol (our word coed), but not so near to the Irish gual. It is desi- rable to notice such coincidences, even when they are too slight to ground an argument upon. This seems to be the proper place to mention the many Christian analogies to be found in the customs of the ancient Aztecs. Children were sprinkled with water when their names were given to them. This is certainly true, though the statement that they believed that the process purified them from original sin is probably monkish fiction. Water was consecrated by the priests, and was supposed thus to acquire magical qualities. In the coronation of kings, anointing was part of the ceremony, as well as the use of holy water. The festival of All Souls’ Day reminds us of the Aztec feasts of the Dead in the autumn of each year and in Mexico the ; Indians still keep up some of their old rites on that day. There was a singular rite ob- served by the Aztecs, which they called the teoqualo, that is, “the eating of the god.” A figure of one of their gods M M 280 ANAHUAC. was made in dough, and after certain ceremonies they made a pretence of killing it, and divided it into morsels, which were eaten by the votaries as a kind of sacred food. We may add to the list the habitual use of incense in the ceremonies : the existence of monasteries and nunne- in which the ries, monks wore long hah', but the nuns had then- hah’ cut off : and the use of the cross as a religious emblem in Mexico and Central America. Less certain is the recorded use of knotted scourges in performing penance, and the existence of a peculiar kind of auricular confession. It is difficult ascribe this mass coincidences to of to mere chance, and not to see in them traces of connexion, less remote, with Christians. Perhaps these more or pecu- liar rites came, with the Mexican system of astronomy, from Asia perhaps the white, bearded men from the East or true such a supposition may have brought them. It is that counter to the argument founded on the igno- runs quite known in Europe rance of the Mexicans of common arts mission- should have expected Christian and Asia. We with them the knowledge of the use aries have brought to increasing know- the alphabet. Perhaps our of iron, and Mexicans may some day allow us to of the ancient ledge the merit of which shall at least have adopt a theory present this seems with itself but at being consistent impossible. CHAP. XI. PUEBLA. NOPALUCAN. ORIZABA. POTRERO. We reached Puebla in the afternoon, and found it a fine Span- ish city, with straight of handsome streets stone houses, and paved with flag-stones. We rather wondered at the of pcisadizos, a kind stone-pavement arched at across the streets intervals, very short impeding the pro- much of the carriages, gress up and which had to go upon in- down them In the clined planes. VIEW OF THE VOLCANO ORIZABA. we saw the use evening of them however, rain came down which for a shower of minutes turned every street into river within five a furious after the first the pasadizos drop fell. For half an hour did them duty, letting underneath, the water pass through while passengers could dryshod. At get across the streets last, the flood swept clear and all but along, over bridges this only lasted a few the way was minutes, and then practicable again. The bridges on wheels, moveable iron which are to be of Sicilian seen standing in the streets 282 ANAHUAC. cities, ready to be wheeled across them for the benefit of foot-passengers whenever the carriage-way is flooded, are on the whole a better arrangement. We should never have thought, from looking at Puebla, that it had just been undergoing a siege for, beyond a few patches of whitewash in the great square, where the cannon-balls had knocked the houses about, there were no traces of it. We made many enquiries about the siege, and found nothing to invalidate our former estimate of twenty-five killed, —one per cent, of the number stated in the govern- ment manifestos. Among the casualties we heard of an Englishman who went out to see the fun, and was wounded in a particularly ignominious manner he as was going back to his house. Revolutions and sieges form curious episodes in the life of the foreign merchants in the Republic. Their trade is flourishing, perhaps, plenty of buyers and good prices — ; and hundreds of mules are on the road, bringing up their from the coast. All at once there is a pronuncia- wares are covered with proclamations. miento. The street-walls Half the army takes one side, half the other and crowds officers join them, in the hope of volunteers and self-made pillage or future emolument. Barricades appear of present there is to be heard the the streets and at intervals in cannon, and desultory filing of musketry from roaring of then, roofs, killing a peaceable citizen now and the flat on the enemy. but doing little execution merchant gets his comes to a dead stop. Our Trade outer furnished with provisions, shuts the house well retires into seclu- locks up the great gates, and shutters, may a fortnight, or a month or two, as a week or sion for run no great we were there he used to At the time be. stray was hostile to him and if a neither party risk, for ; 283 AND CIVIL WAR, MERCHANTS FOREIGN or tbe insurgents shot bis liis bouse, did bit cannon-ball in search of fresh beef, it out on an expedition cook going by accident. was only counting-liouse would to do, tbe Having no business wlien tbe books but stock, and balance probably take practice little to be done but to tbis is finished there is court-yard, and bold tournaments in tbe pistol-shooting tbe bead of tbe and to teach tbe horses to rayar; while bis arm-chair, reckoning up house sits moodily smoking in bow many of bis debtors would be ruined, and wondering bis bad into whether tbe loaded mules with goods got or bad been seized by one party or tbe other. shelter, At last tbe revolution is over. Tbe new president is inaugurated with pompous speeches. The newspapers reign announce that now tbe glorious of justice, order, and prosperity has begun at last. If tbe millennium bad come, they could not make much more talk about it. Our un- fortunate friend, coming out of bis den only to bear dis- mal news of runaway debtors and confiscated bales, has to illuminate bis bouse, and set to getting bis affairs into something like order again. Since we left tbe country things have got even worse. Formerly, all that the foreign merchants bad to suffer were tbe incidental miseries of a state of civil war. Now, tbe revolutionary leaders put them in prison and, if threats are not sufficient, they get forced loans out of them, much as King John did out of his Jews. Even in times of peace, foreign goods must be dear in Mexico. In a country where they have to be carried nearly three hundred miles on mules’ backs, and where credit is so long that the merchant can never hope to see bis money again in less than two years, be cannot be expected to sell very cheaply. But tbe continual revolutions and the insecurity of property make things far worse, and one almost wonders bow foreign trade can go on at all. 284 ANAHUAG, One of our friends in Mexico had three or four hun- dred mules coming up the country laden with American cotton for his mill, just when Haro’s revolution began. He got off much better than most people, however for, greatly to the disgust of the legitimate authorities, he went the down into enemy’s camp, and gave the revolutionary chief a dollar a bale to let them go. As may be supposed, commercial transactions have often very curious features here. Strange things happen in the eastern states but people there say that they are nothing to the doings on the Pacific coast, where the mer- chants get up a revolution when their ships appear in the offing, and turn out the Custom-house officers, who do not enter upon their functions again until the rich cargos have started for the interior. One little incident, which happened—I think—at Vera rather amused When Cruz, us. the Government is hard- up, a favourite way of raising ready money is to sell—of course at a very low price—orders upon the Custom-house, pass certain quantities of goods, duty-free. Such a to concluded between the Minister transaction as this was of Finance and a merchant’s house who gave hard dollars in pass many hundred bales exchange for an order to so of free of duty. When the ship arrived at port, how- cotton, brought in his manifest with a ever, the Yankee captain grin upon his face. The inspectors went down to broad aghast. There were the bales of cot- the ship, and stood They had to be shoved and coaxed ton, but such bales ! hatchways at all. The Custom- get them up through the to protested in vain. The order was for so house officials overgrown monsters were bales of cotton, and these many the merchants sent them up to Mexico of cotton, and bales in triumph. It was was not an interesting city. us, Puebla To los A ngeles, Spaniards, and called Puebla de built by the PUEBLA. 285 AFFAIRS AT ECCLESIASTICAL the cathedral, which in building angels assisted because orna- taste. Its costly to then’ good no great credit does marbles, are and variegated gold, silver, jewels, ments of which to won- does not know most extraordinary. One materials, or the and beauty of the der at most, the value unmitigated ugliness of the designs. while we were We saw the festival of Corpus Christi extent disappointed in the in Puebla but were to a certain clergy, display jewelled vestments for the of plate and government had whose attempt to overthrow Comonfort’s heavily fined, and who only resulted hi themselves being were in consequence keeping their wealth in the back- ground, and making as little display as possible. The most interesting part of the ceremonial to us was to see the processions Indians villages, of from the surrounding walking crowned with flowers, and carrying Madonnas in bowers of green branches and blossoms. At the head of each procession walked an Indian beat- ing a drum, tap, tap, tap, without a vestige of time. The other processions with stoles and canopies, and the officials of the city in dress-coats and yellow kid gloves, were paltry affairs enough. Neither during this ceremonial, nor at Easter in the Capital were any miracles exhibited, like the performances of the Madonna at Palermo, which the coachmen of the city carry about at Easter, weeping real tears into a cam- bric pocket-handkerchief nor is anything done in the country like the lighting of the Greek fire, or the melting of the blood of St. Januarius. Puebla pretty much belongs to the clergy, who are paramount there. A population of some sixty thousand has seventy-two churches, some of them very large. It is the focus of the church-party, whose steady powerful resist- ance to reform is one of the causes of the unhappy political 286 ANAHUAC. state of the country. As is usual in cathedral-towns, the morality of the people is rather lower than elsewhere. have said already that the revenues of the Mexican Church are very large. Tejada estimates the income at twenty millions of dollars yearly, more than the whole revenue of the State but this calculation far exceeds that given j by any other authority. He remarks that the Church has always tried as much as possible to conceal its riches, and probably he makes a very large allowance for this. At any rate, I think we may reasonably estimate the annual income of the Church at or $10,000,000, <£2,000,000, two- thirds of the income of the State. There is nothing extraordinary in the Church having become very rich by the accumulations of three centuries in a Spanish colony, where the manners and customs re- mained in the 18 th century to a great extent as they were in the 16th, and the practice of giving and leaving great properties to the Church was in full vigour—long after it had declined in Europe. It is considered that half the city of Mexico belongs to the Church. This seems an ex- traordinary statement but, if we remember that in Philip the Second’s time half the freehold property of Spain be- the Church, we shall cease to wonder at this. longed to The extraordinary feature of the case is that, counting regular clergy, there are only 4600 eccle- both secular and steadily in the country. The number has been siastics it was in 1844 it decreasing for years. In 1826 6000 giving, fallen in 1856 to on the had to 5200, 4600, of over <£200 a year for each lowest reckoning, an average is probably and monk. A great part of this income priest remember that the pay left to accumulate but, when we than curas is very small, often not more of the country fine left for the church- there must be incomes £30 to £50, suppose monks. Now any one would dignitaries and the AND GOOD. 287 MEXICAN CLERGY—BAD such prizes to give away would be- profession with that a I cannot crowded. Why it is not so come more and more ecclesiastics are any- that the lives of the tell. It is true the profession is in such bad tliing but respectable, and that Catholics, of^families, though good odour that many fathers not will not let a priest enter tlierr houses but we do reputation generally find Mexicans deterred by a little bad influence are to from occupations where much money and be had for little work. very The ill conduct of the Mexican clergy, especially of the monks, is and every writer matter of common notoriety, on Mexico mentions it, from the time of Father Gage—the English friar—who travelled with a number of Spanish monks through Mexico in and described the clergy 1625, and the people as he saw them. He was disgusted with their ways, and, going back to England, turned Protestant, and died Vicar of Deal. To show what monastic discipline is in Mexico, I will tell one story, and only one. An English acquaintance of mine was coming down the Calle San Francisco late one night, and saw a man who had been stabbed in the street close to the convent-gate. People sent into the convent to fetch a confessor for the dying man, but none was to be had. There was only one monk in the place, and he was bed-ridden. The rest were enjoying themselves in the city, or fast asleep at their lodgings in the bosom of their families. In condemning the Mexican clergy, some exception must be made. There are many of the country curas who lead most exemplary lives, and do much good. So do the priests of the order of St. Vincent de Paule, and the Sis- ters of Charity with whom they are associated but then, few of these, either priests or sisters, are Mexicans. N N — ANAHUAC. Among the curious odds and ends which we came upon in Puebla, in the shop of a dealer in old iron and things in general, were two or three very curious old scourges, made of light chains with iron projecting points on the links terrific instruments, once in very general use. Up to the present time, there are certain nights when penitents as- semble in churches, in total darkness, and kneeling on the pavement, scourge themselves, while a monk in the pulpit screams out fierce exhortations to strike harder. The de- scription carries us back at once to the Egyptian origin of this custom and think strange we of the annual festival of Isis, where the multitudes scourged themselves in of the sufferings of Osiris. A story memory is told of a sceptical individual who got admission to this ceremony making great professions of devotion, and did terrific by his kneeling execution on the backs of fellow -penitents. Before he began, the place was resounding with doleful he noticed that the cry which arose cries and groans but when he struck was not like these other sounds, but- had The practice of devotional quite a different accent. scourging is still kept up in Rome, but in a very mild appears that the penitents keep their coats on, form, as it miniature cat-o’-nine-tarils of thin only use a kind of and morsel of lead at the end of each tail, and cord, with a bloodthirsty implements as those we found at not such Puebla. priests to us that the great influence of the It seemed the women of all classes, the Indians, in Mexico was among The poorer and less educated half-castes. men of and the especially the younger ones, did not ap- higher classes, the respect priests or for religion, have much for the pear to the seemed to be sceptical, after the manner of indeed, and, quite curious to school of freetliinking. It was French at dandies, dressed in their finest clothes, young see the ; OF THE PEOPLE. THE RELIGION on Sunday morning. the fashionable churches the doors of mass, but they simply went of them seemed to go to None had to run who, as they came out, to stare at the ladies, these critical young the gauntlet through a double line of however, they did not gentlemen. As far as we could see, mestizos and Indians, mind being looked at. The poorer on the other still zealous churchmen, and spend hand, are their time and money on masses and religious duties so religion which perseveringly that one wishes they had a was of some use to them. As it is, I cannot ascertain that Christianity has produced any improvement in the Mexi- can people. They no longer sacrifice and eat their enemies, it is true, but against this we must debit them with great increase of dishonesty and general immorality, which will pretty well square the account. - Practically, there is not much difference between the old heathenism and the new Christianity. We may put the dogmas out of the question. They bear them and believe in them devoutly, and do not understand them in the least. They had just received the Immaculate Con- ception, as they had received many mysteries before it and were not a little delighted to have a new occasion for decorating themselves and them churches with flowers, marching in procession, dancing, beating drums, and let- ting off rockets by daylight, as them manner is. The real essence of both religions is the same to them. They had gods, to whom they built temples, and in whose honour they gave offerings, maintained priests, danced and walked in processions— much as they do now, that them divini- ties might be favourable to them, and give them good crops and success in their enterprises. This is pretty mucli what them present Christianity consists of. As a moral influence, working upon the character of the people, it seems scarcely to have had the slightest effect, except, 290 ANAHUAC. as I said, in causing them to leave off human sacrifices, which were probably not an original feature of their wor- ship, but were introduced comparatively at a late time, and had already been almost abolished by one king. The Indians still show the greatest veneration for priest and Heller well illustrates this feeling when he tells us how he happened to ride through the country in a long black cloak, and the Indians he met on the road used their to fall on knees as he passed, and ask for his blessing, regardless of the deep mud and their white trousers. However, this was ten years before we were in the coun- try, and I doubt whether the cloak would get so much veneration now. The best measure of the influence of the Church is the fact that when Mexico adopted a republican constitution, in imitation of that of the United States, it Church but that was settled that no of Rome should be tolerated in the country and this law still remains one fundamental principles of the State, in wliich uni- of the liberty and equality, freedom of the press, and versal intolerance form rather a jumble. absolute religious strange curious to observe that, though the Independence It is authority of the Roman Catholic religion, it confirmed the reduced the church-revenues, by making the considerably matter of mere option. The Church—of payment of tithes a paying diligently preaches the necessity of tithes, course— in the catechism, between the ten putting their obligation and the seven sacraments, and they still commandments deal in this way. get a good Puebla. This is our horses to the bath at We sent We in the cities of Mexico. done once a week usually in the capital, see the process while we were went once to the much amused. The horses had been to very and were own accord through turned in of then' before, and place got into back street and when they in a shabby gateway ; 291 DEBT-SLAVERY. HORSE-BATH. in such a frantic dance about began to courtyard, the hold them in while mozos could hardly that the manner taken off. Then they bridles were being their saddles and with into a large shed, down, and bolted put their heads which six or inches deep, in floor of dust several a sort of prancing, rushing about, kicking, eight other horses were delight. I will not plunging, and literally screaming with horse stand upon positively assert that I saw an old white kick with all his four legs 'at his head in a corner and he certainly did something very much like it. once, but into the with his Presently the old mozo walked shed, carelessly flung the noose across. lazo over his arm, and Of course it fell over the right horse’s neck, when the ani- mal was quiet in a moment, and walked out after the old man in quite a subdued frame of mind. One horse came out after another in the same way, took his swim obedi- ently across a great tank of water, rubbed was down, and went off home in high spirits. Though slavery has long been abolished in the Repub- lic, there still exists a curious “domestic institution” which is nearly akin to it. It is not peculiar to the plains of Puebla, but flourishes there more than elsewhere. It is called 'peonage," and its operation is in this wise. If a debtor owes money and cannot pay it, his creditor is allowed by law to make a slave or peon of him until the debt is liquidated. Though the name is Spanish, I believe the origin of the custom is to be found in an Aztec usao-e which prevailed before the Conquest. A peon means a man on foot, that is, a labourer, journeyman, or foot-soldier. We have the word Ena-- in lish as ” “pioneer” and as the pawn among chessmen; but I think not with any meaning like that it has come to bear in Mexico. On the great haciendas in the neighbourhood of Puebla, the Indian labourers are very generally in this condition. 292 ANAH [JAC. They owe money to their masters, and are slaves nomi- nally till they can work off' the sum they owe, but practi- cally for their whole lives. Even should they earn enough to be able to pay their debt, the contract cannot be can- celled so easily. A particular day is fixed for striking balance, generally, I believe, Easter Monday, just after a season when the custom of centuries has made it incum- bent upon the Indians to spend all that they have and all that they can borrow upon church -fees, wax-candles, and rockets, for the religious ceremonies of the season, and the drunken debauches which form an essential of part the festival. The masters, or at least the achninistradors, are accused of mystifying the annual statement of accounts the labourer and the estate, and it is certain between that the Indian’s feeble knowledge of arithmetic leaves him helpless in the hands of the bookkeeper but whether quite this is mere slander or not, we never had any means of ascertaining. Long servitude has obliterated every feeling of in- the minds of these Indians. Their fathers dependence from slaves, and they are quite content to be so too. were in self-restraint, they cannot resist the Totally wanting into debt and they are not temptation to rim slightest miserable advantage which a slave enjoys insensible to the master, having a pecuniary labourer, that his over a free let him starve. They haye a cat- interest in him, will not live in and to be ex- to the places they like attachment turned out they were born on, and from the estate pelled living, we are told by writers on world to get a into the inflicted punishment that can be is the greatest Mexico, upon them. in the appearance nothing that we could see There was free In- distinguish them from ordinary to these peons of dis- hastily through the having travelled and our dians ; EFFECT. 293 ITS CAUSE AND OF PEONS : SLAVERY not give us a right to system prevails does where the trict but compare the opinions working. We can judge of its speak of it in it, and who who have studied of writers deliberately using reprobation, as terms of the strongest means of reducing weakness of the Indians as a the moral side, however, takes the other them to slavery. Sartorius, improvi- whole blame upon the careless and throws the masters are dent character of the brown men, whose supply their pressing obliged to lend them money to must take the only security they can get. He wants, and wretphedly says, and truly enough, that the system works labourers. Any one who knows the both for masters and working of the common English system of allowing work- men to run into debt with the view of retaining them per- manently in them master’s service may form some faint idea of the way in which this Mexican slavery cle- debt stroys the energy and self-reliance of the people. But in one essential particular Sartorius mis-states the case. It is not the money which the masters lend the peons to help them in distress and sickness that keeps them in slavery. It is the money spent in wax-candles and rockets, and such like fooleries, for Easter and All Saints in the reckless profusion of drunken feasts on the days of them patron saints, and on the occasion of births, deaths, and marriages. These feasts are as utterly clisproportioned to the means of the givers as the Irish wakes which reduce whole families to beggary. The sums of money spent upon them are provided by the owners of the estates, who know exactly how they are to be spent. If they preferred that their labourers should be free from debt, they could with- hold this money and their not doing so proves that ; it is their desire to keep the peons in a state of slavery, and throws the whole blame of the system upon them. I have spoken of the peons as Indians, and so they are for the most part in the districts we visited but travellers ; 204 ANAHUAC. who have been in Chihuahua and other northern states tell stories of creditors travelling through the country to collect their debts, and, where money was not forthcoming, collecting their debtors instead,— not merely brown In- dians, but also nearly white mestizos. Mexico is one of the countries in which the contrast between great riches and great poverty is most striking. No traveller ever enters the country without making this remark. The mass of the people are hardly even with the world and there are some few capitalists whose incomes can scarcely be matched in England or Russia. Yet this state of things has not produced a permanent aristocracy. . The general history of great fortunes repeats itself with monotonous regularity. Fortunate miners or clever specu- lators, who have happened to possess the gift of accumu- lating in addition to that of getting, often make colossal fortunes. Miners have made the greatest sums, and made them most rapidly. Fortunes of two or three millions with sterling are not uncommon now, and we often meet them in the history of the last century. They never seem Before the Independence, the to have lasted many years. used to buy a patent of nobility, and leave great capitalist maintain the new dignity; but sums to his children to squander ever seem to have done anything but they hardly find the family returning away their inheritance, and we poverty by the third or fourth generation. to its original money in, in spite of is an easy place to make Mexico mining-dis- that prevail. In the the continual disorders The time or other. most men make money at some tricts no train- in keeping it. There seems to be difficulty lies life of than the suited for making a capitalist ing better neighbourhood of a especially in the retail shopkeeper, the and all that is won share of all the money mine. A good hit makes a lucky his till. Whoever lost stops in that is 295 SPURS. CAPITALISTS. profits, and of the a share he has mining-speculation, in a the spot to ” he is on going, “ good thing is a when there it. profit by are many capitalist, there man becomes When once a money. Mines his employing ways of very profitable the in cattle-haciendas well, so do cotton-factories pay and to manage can be got administradors when honest north, is a lucrative merchants’ bills discounting them and ordinary investments than these far better business. But tobacco- farming of the such as the monopolies, are the transactions with mysterious and those duty, the mints, exchanged for or- ready cash is government in which the and the other at the Custom-house, ders to pass goods those who know the shifts familiar to financial transactions astonishing institution, the of that and mystifications Finance-department of Mexico. Orizaba. Amozoque, the first We rode from Puebla to a famous place for spurs, and we bought town on the road, is They are of blue steel inlaid with strips of silver, and some. inch the rowel is a sort of cogged wheel, from an and a half to three inches in diameter. (See page 220.) They look terri- really the or points of the fic instruments, but cogs rowels quite blunt, and they keep the horse going less by hurt- are ing him than by their incessant jingling, which is increased the purpose. Monstrous by bits of steel put on for as the are, they are small in comparison spurs now used with those of a century or two ago. One reads of spurs, of gold and silver, with rowels in the shape of five-pointed stars six inches in diameter. These have quite gone out now, and seem to have been melted up, for they are hardly ever to be seen but we bought at the baratillo of Mexico spurs of steel quite as large as this. My companion sent to the Aid-exhibition at Manches- ter a couple of pairs of the ordinary spurs of the country, o o ! ANAHUAC. such as we ourselves and everybody else wore. They were put among the mediaeval armour, and excited great admi- ration in that capacity We slept at Nopalucan that night, and rode on next day to San Antonio de Abajo, a little out-of-the-way vil- lage at the foot of the mountain of Orizaba. Our principal adventure in the day’s ride was that, finding that our road made a detour of a mile or so round a beautiful piece of green turf, boldly we struck across it, and nearly lamed our horses thereby for the ground was completely under- mined by moles, and at every third step the horses’ feet went into a deep hole. We had to get off and lead them back to the road. Orizaba is the great feature in the scenery of this dis- It is one point in trict of Mexico. the line of volcanos which stretches across the continent from east to west. It is a conical mountain, like Popocatepetl, and about the height measurements vary from twenty feet same higher sixty feet lower. The crater has fallen in on one side, to notch clearly visible from below. At leaving a deep pre- hear from travellers who have ascended it, the sent, as we Popocatepetl, is in the crater, like that of condition of a sending out jets of steam and sulphurous acid solfatara, centuries ago its eruptions were fre- About three gas. Mexican name, Citlaltepetl, Mountain of quent and its the time when it showed carries us back to in the Star,” light from its crater, like that of a star-like the darkness from present time, when one sees it a Stromboli at the distance. Abajo is a quaint little village, fre- Antonio de San Tobacco, the prin- muleteers and smugglers. by quented is in the plains just below; article, grown cipal contraband among the mountains, into the paths carried up and, once it officer to catch sight of any custom-house hard for it is 297 ROBBERS. SMUGGLING. used sometimes to there a government, there was When and the smug- revenue-officers between the fighting he a few dollars will is a meeting, now, if there glers; but the satisfaction of both question to the disputed settle is though profitable, contraband trade, parties, so that the used to be. exciting as it by no means so ancient re- San Antonio we saw the road towards On had no time for the road-side, but mains in the banks by on damp mattresses in examination. We slept a regular fowls roosted on the rafters the inn, where the a room of walked over our faces in the early above our heads, and unpleasant manner. We started before morning in an through and a descent down a winding road, a daybreak, in the morn- forest of pines and oaks, brought us by seven barley down the district ing from the region of pines and to the sugar-cane flourish, at the level of where tobacco and 3000 to 4000 feet above the sea. party We met a aunty-looking in the valley, two women and five or six men, all on good horses, and dressed in the extreme of fashion which the Mexican ranchero affects—broad-brimmed hats with costly gold and silver serpents for hat-bands, and clothes and saddles glittering with silver. Martin rode up to us as they passed, and said he knew them well for the boldest highwaymen in Mexico. Had we started an hour or two later we should have met them in the forest, and have had an adventure to tell of. As it was, the descent of three thousand feet had brought us from a land of thieves to a region where high- way robbery is never known, unless when a party from the high lands come down on a marauding expedition. It is an unquestionable fact that the Mexican robbers, whose exploits have become a matter of world-wide notoriety, all belong to the cold region of the plateaus, the tierra fria. Once down in the tierra templacla, or the tierra caliente, 298 ANAHUAC. the temperate or the hot regions, you hear no more of them or at least this is the case in the parts ; of Mexico we visited. The reason is clear it is only on the plateaus that the whites, preferring a region where the climate was not unlike that of Castile, settled in large numbers so that it is there that creoles and mestizos predominate, and they are the robbers. We rode over great beds of gravel, cut up in deep trenches by the mountain -streams then along the banks of the river, among plantations of tobacco, looking like beds of lettuces. As we were riding along the valley, we saw before us a curious dark cloud, hanging over some fields near the river. Our men, who had seen the appear- ance before, recognized it at once as a flight of locusts, and, turning out of the high-road, came we upon them just as they had settled on a clump of trees in a meadow. They covered the branches and foliage until only the outline of the trees was visible, while the rest of the swarm des- cended on a green hedge, and on the grass. As for us, we went and knocked them down with oui' riding-whips, and carried away specimens in our hats but the survivors no manner of notice of us, and in about ten minutes took they left the trees mere skeletons, leafless and stripped of moved across the field in a dense mass to- their bark, and after wards some fruit-trees a little way off! For days road, or stopped this, when we met with travellers on the to of a cottage to get a light or something at the door with the inhabitants, we drink, and chatted a few minutes brought our descent of the mountain-pass had found that the government into a new set of interests. News of us —talk revolutionary party excited no curiosity, and of the the question was, still less. At every house of robbers ?” from, gen- Seiiores “Where are you Be donde vienen, ?” “ estaban alii las and when we told them, < Y tlemen — 299 VILLAGE. INDIAN LOCUSTS. “ whole locusts there?” The were the langostas?” "And and the large re- by them being devastated country was ; though they caused the peasants, offered for them to wards hardly to tons, seemed brought by dead locusts to be slight Firing guns had some their numbers. diminish locusts and in some driving off the swarms of effect in short were to be heard, at places the reports of muskets destruction long. Some idea of the intervals, all day from the fact that in the locusts may be formed caused by the price of grain in the district. six weeks they doubled only appear in such numbers about once Fortunately, they in half a century. over a rough country We had ridden a hundred miles hours, and were glad to get a rest in the last forty-eight on the morning of the third day we were at Orizaba but in the saddle again, accompanied by a new friend, the cotton-mill at Orizaba. Until English administrador of the country seemed well cultivated, we left the high-road, the with plantations of tobacco, coffee, and sugar-cane but as soon as we turned into by-paths and struck across coun- try, we found woods and grassy patches, but little tilled ground, until arrived at the Indian we village which we had gone out of our way to visit, Amatlan, that is to say, The place paper.” of In its arrangement this village was like the one that I have already described, with its scattered huts of canes and palm-leaf thatch but the vegetation indicated a more tropical climate. Large fields, the joint property of the community, were cultivated with pine -apples in close rows, now just ripening and bananas, with broad leaves and heavy clusters of fruit, were growing in the little gar- den belonging to each hut. The inhabitants stared at us sulkily, and gave short answers to our questions. We went to the cottage of the Indian alcalde, who declared 300 ANAHTJAC. that there was nothing to eat or drink in the village, though we were standing in his doorway and could see the strings of plantains hanging to the roof, and the old women were hard at woi’k cooking. However, when Mr. G. explained who he was, the old man became more plac- able and we were soon sitting on mats and benches in- side the hut, on the best of terms with the whole village. The life of these people is simple enough, and not un- suited to their beautiful climate. The white men have never interfered much with them and it has been their pride for centuries to keep as much as possible from asso- ciating with Europeans, whom they politely speak of as coyotes, jackals. The priest was a and, mestizo, as the Alcalde the said, he was only coyote in the settlement but his sacred office neutralized the dislike that his parishion- ers felt for his race. Indian communities always rejoiced in being These able to produce for themselves almost everything neces- simple wants but of late years the law of sary for their demand has begun to undermine this principle, supply and home, yielding and the cotton-cloth, spun and woven at is cheaper material supplied by the factories. Though to the Europeans among them, they do not averse to receiving so themselves to work for good wages on the object to go place, however, plantations. Those who leave their native them tastes and wants hitherto unknown, bring back with way of life. inconsistent with their primitive and of brings them into contact with Another habit theirs advantage. They people,” not to their the “reasonable take their continual law-suits excessively litigious, and are of justice are large towns where the courts them to the fees swallow up a large propor- where lawyers’ held, and connexion be- savings. There is a natural of their tion and the taste for writs and law-suits and tween farming ; ; INDIANS. HOT-BATII. AND PLEBEIAN NOBLE this agricultural remarkable among swearing is as hard small farmers in England. among our own people as it is their villages live under Theoretically, the Indians in for, since any other citizens general government, like the ; disabilities the republic, the civil the establishment of centuries were all kept them down for three which had people have their abolished at a sweep, and the brown for any office. Practically, these votes, and are eligible not come to much at present, for custom, advantages do which is stronger than law, keeps them under the govern- aristocracy, composed of certain families ment of their own nobility dates beyond the Conquest, and was always whose recognized by the Spaniards. These noble Indians seem much dirty, ignorant, to be pretty as as and as idle as the “ ” the ordinary field-labourers or plebeians— earth-hands tlalmaitl as they were called in ancient times, —and a ), stranger cannot recognize their claims to superiority by anything in their houses, dress, language, or bearing nevertheless, they are the patrician families, and repub- licanism has not yet deprived them of their power over the other Indians. In early times, when men of white or mixed blood were few in the country, it suited the Spanish government to maintain the authority of these families, who collected the taxes and managed the estates of the little communities. The common people were the sufferers by this arrangement, for the Alcaldes of their own race cheat- ed them without mercy, and were harder upon them than even their white rulers, just as on slave-estates a black driver is much severer than a white one. Near some of the houses we noticed that curious insti- tution—the iemazcalU, which corresponds exactly to the Russian vapour-bath. It is a sort of oven, into which the bather creeps on all fours, and lies down, and the stones at one end are heated by a fire outside. Upon these stones 302 ANAHUAC. the bather sprinkles cold water, which fills the place with suffocating steam. When he feels himself to have been sufficiently sweated, he crawls out again, and has jars of cold water poured over him whereupon he dresses him- self (which is not a long process, as he only wears a shirt pair and a of drawers), and so in goes to supper, feeling much refreshed. If he would take the cold bath only, and keep the hot one for his clothes, which want it sadly, it would be all the better for him, for the constant indul- gence in this enervating luxury weakens him veiy much. One would think the bath would make the Indians cleanly in their persons, but it hardly seems so, for they look rather dirtier after they have been in the temazcalli than as the author of A before, just Journey due North says of the Russian peasants. To us the most interesting question about the Mexican Indians of this district was this, Why are there so few of them ? There are five thousand square leagues in the State Vera Cruz, and about fifty inhabitants to the square of league. Now, let us consider half the State, which is at a low level above the sea, as too hot and unhealthy for men the whole population concen- to flourish in, and suppose on the other half, which lies upon the rising ground trated six thousand feet above the from three thousand to sea. very far from the troth, and gives us one hundred This is not about one-sixth of the inhabitants to the square league— which the plains of Puebla, in a climate may population of North Italy, and where the chief compared to that of be are maize and European grain. products temperate region, which we In the district of the lower have done speaking of, nature would seem to are now popula- the formation of a dense to encourage everything region the banana lower part of this favoured In the tion. cul- requires scarcely any labour in its This plant grows. POPULATION. 303 FOOD AND moderate and, according to the most estimate, tivation an of bananas, the taking an acre of wheat against acre times as many people as the bananas will support twenty taste, Though it a fruit of sweet, rather luscious wheat. is small item of and only acceptable to us Europeans as one who have been brought our complicated diet, the Indians in the districts where it flourishes can live almost en- up tirely upon it, just as the inhabitants of North Africa live upon dates. In the upper portion of this district, where the banana no longer flourishes, nutritious plants produce an immense yield with easy cultivation. The yucca which produces cassava, rice, the sweet potato, yams, all flourish here, and maize produces 200 to 300 fold. According to the accepted theoiy among political economists, where the soil produces with slight labour an abundant nutriment for man, there we ought to find a teeming population, unless other coun- teracting causes are to be found. The history of the countiy, as far as we can get at it, indicates a movement in the opposite direction. Judging from the numerous towns the Spanish invaders found in the district, the numbers of armed men they could raise, and the abundance of provisions, we must reckon the population at that time to have been more dense than at present; and the numerous ruins of Indian settlements that exist in the upper temperate region are unquestion- able evidence of the former existence of an agricultural people, perhaps ten times as numerous as at present. The ruins of their fortifications and temples are still to be seen in great numbers, and the soil all over large districts is full of the remains of them pottery and weapons. How far these settlements were depopulated by wars before the Spanish Conquest, it is not easy to say. During the Conquest itself they did not offer much resistance to p p 304 ANAHUAC. the European invaders, and consequently they escaped the wholesale destruction which fell upon the more patriotic inhabitants of the higher regions. Since that time the country has been peaceable enough and even since the Mexican Independence, the wars and revolutions which have done so much injury to the inhabitants of the plateaus have not been much felt here. In reasoning upon Mexican statistics we have to go to a great extent upon guess-work. A very slight investiga- tion, however, shows that the calculation made in Mexico, that the population increases between one and two per cent, annually, is incorrect. The present population of the country is reckoned at a little under eight millions and in it seems, from the best authorities we can get, to 1806, a little under six millions. this rate of have been Even increase, one-third every half-century, is far above the rate since the Conquest for, that rate, a popula- of increase at have tion a little over a million and a quarter would number at present, and we brought up the to what it is inhabitants cannot at the lowest estimation suppose the Mexico to have been less than three or after the siege of going on millions. So that, badly as Mexico is now four per the increase of its population, about with regard to per over per annum, while England increases H cent, may still United States twice as much, we cent., and the the Spanish an improvement upon the times of discern stationary. when it was almost dominion, only a beautiful country Why then has this fertile and that formerly of the number of inhabitants small fraction being the climate in it ? That it is not caused by lived from is free man is clear, for this district unfavourable to lands low the fevers of the heat and pestilential the intense the sea. lie nearer which settle- old that the remains of the a noticeable fact It is banana where the lie above the district ments generally POPULATION. 305 PAUCITY OF PRESENT above the sea, the more higher we rise and the grows; population, until signs of ancient we find the abundant do little higher. The 8000 feet or a reach the level of we are distributed ac- the present day actual inhabitants at in numbers, according the same rule, increasing cording to which the 8000 feet, after to the elevation, from 3000 to a rapid decrease. severity of the climate causes out of the ques- these observations, I leave In making of the tierrco caliente, tion the hot unhealthy coast-lands the tierra comparatively sterile plains of and the cold and the country which and confine myself to that part of frici, 3000 and 8000 feet, between lies between the altitudes of the European races flourish under circum- which limits of climate which also suited the various Mexican stances country. races, who probably came from a colder northern begin descend from the level of the Mexican Now, if we to plateau—say 8000 feet above the sea—we find that less and less labour will provide nourishment for the cultivator of the soil, until we reach the limit of the banana, where the inhabitants ought to be crowded together like Chi- nese on their rice-grounds, or the inhabitants of Egypt in the time of Herodotus. Exactly the opposite rule takes effect the banana-country is a mere wilderness, and the higher the traveller rises the more abundant become both present population and the remains of ancient settlements. I suppose the reason of this is to be found in the habits and constitution of the tribes who colonized the country, and preferred to settle in a climate resembling that of their native land, without troubling themselves about the extra labour it would cost them to obtain their food. The European invaders have acted precisely in the same way and the distribution of the white and ; partly white inhabitants of the country follows the same rule as that of the Indians. 306 ANAHUAC. So far the matter is intelligible, on the principle that the constitution and habits of the races which have suc- cessively taken up their residence in the country have been strong enough to prevail over the rule which regu- lates the supply of men by the abundance of food but this does not explain the fact of an actual diminution of the inhabitants of the lower temperate districts. They were not mere migratory tribes, staying for a few years before moving forward. They had been settled in the country long enough to be perfectly acclimatized and yet, under circumstances apparently so favourable to their in- crease, they have been diminishing for centuries, and are perhaps even doing so now. The only intelligible solution I can find for this pro- blem is that given by Sartorius, whose work on Mexico is well known Germany, in and has been translated and published in England. This author’s remarks on the con- dition the Indians are very valuable of and, as he was for years a planter in this very district, he may be taken as an excellent authority on the subject. He considers the if evil to lie principally in the diet and habits of the people. weaned till very late, and then The children are not are allowed to feed all day without restriction on boiled maize, other vegetable diet may be eaten or beans, or whatever the family. The climate does not dispose them to take by this unwholesome cramming with much exercise so that has nothing to counteract its evil effects, vegetable food miserably pot-bellied and and the poor little children get observation of which we can confirm the scrofulous,—an the die young, and A great proportion of children truth. up have their constitutions impaired. those that grow and many in-and- live in close communities, Then they effect of unhealthy living becomes strength- that the in,” so intemperance disease and habitual ened into hereditary ; NEGROS. 307 INDIANS. MORTALITY OF THE GREAT quanti- though the their constitutions, work upon does its produce scarcely appear to they consume raw spirits ties of this bodily con- a race in effect. Among any immediate cholera, country— epidemics of the the ordinary dition, Whole fearful havoc. dysentery—make small-pox, and days by in a few have often been depopulated villages appear fever which used to these diseases and a deadly until the last among the Indians, from time to time twen- thousand and sometimes carried off ten century, while to It seemed to me worth ty thousand at once. a view of remarks about this question, with make some relation between food showing that the theory as to the true, is not wholly so and and population, though partly of which we have been speaking it can that in the region be clearly shown to fail. Indians and After spending a long morning with the their curci, took quite an affectionate leave of them. we Their last words were apology for making us pay an threepence apiece for the pineapples which we loaded our horses with. In the season, they said, twelve for sixpence is the price, but the fruit was scarce and dear as yet. Our companion, besides being engaged in the Orizaba cotton -mill, was one of the owners of the sugar-hacienda of the Potrero, below Cordova, and we all rode down there together from the Indian village, and spent the evening in walking about the plantation, and inspecting the new machinery and mills. It was a pleasant sight to see the people coming to the well with their earthen jars, after their work was done, in an unceasing procession, laughing and chattering. They were partly Indian, but with a considerable admixture of negro blood, for many black slaves were brought into the countiy in old times by the Spanish planters. Now, of course, they and their descend- ants are ffe'e, and the hotter parts of Mexico are the para- 308 ANAHUAC. dise of runaway slaves from Louisiana and Texas for, so far from their race being despised, the Indian women seek them as husbands, liking their liveliness and good- humour better than the quieter ways of their own coun- tiymen. Even Europeans settled in Mexico sometimes take wives of negro blood. I have never noticed in any country so large a number of mixed races, whose parentage is indicated by their features and complexion. In Europe, the parent races are too nearly alike for the children of such mixed marriages to be strikingly different from either parent. In America and the West Indies we are familiar with the various mixtures of white and negro, mulatto, quadroon, &c. but in Mexico we have three races, Spanish, pure Mexican, and Negro, which, with their combinations, make list a of twenty-five varieties of human the race, distinguishable from one another, and with regular names, which Mayer gives in his work on Mexico, such as mulatto, mestizo, zambo, chino, and so forth. Here all the brown Mexican Indians of Indians are taken as one race, and the Red the frontier-states are not included at all. If we come to or still dividing out the various tribes which have been existing in the country, we can count over a hundred are hundred distinct languages and fifty, with from fifty to a them. among tribes, we can make Out of' this immense variety of The men of one race are brown one great classification. cultivators of the complexion, and have been for ages in civiliza- among them only that the Mexican land. It is country, hav- sprang up, and they still remain in the tion and to a the authority of the Europeans, acquiesced in ing marriage. This class mingled with them by great extent Zapotecs, &c., Acolhuans, Chichemecs, the Aztecs, includes Central America, present Indians of the old Toltecs, the PINTOS. 309 RED INDIANS. the same race, the consider them to be and, if we may cities of Palenque, who built the now ruined nations The other race is that of Copan, Uxmal, and so forth. North the Red Indians inhabit the prairie-states of who and Navajos. Mexico, such the Apaches, Comanclies, as they will never They are hunters, as they always were, and adopting agriculture as their preserve their existence by regular means of subsistence, and settling in peace among the white men. As it has been with their countrymen further north, it will be with them a few years so more, and the Americans will settle Chihuahua and Sonora, and shall only know we these tribes by specimens of their flint arrow-heads and them pipes in collections of curiosities, and their skulls in ethnological cabinets. One of the strangest races (or varieties, I cannot say which) are the Pintos of the low lands towards the Pacific coast. A short time before we were in the country General Alvarez had quartered a whole regiment of them in the capital but when we were there they had returned with their commander into the tierra caliente towards Aca- pulco. They are called “Pintos” or painted men, from their faces and bodies being marked with great daubs of deep blue, like our British ancestors but here the deco- ration is natural and cannot be effaced. They have the reputation of being a set of most fero- cious savages and, badly armed as they are ; with ricketty flint- or match-locks, and sabres of hoop-iron, they are the teiTor of the other Mexican soldiery, especially when the war has to be carried on in the hot pestilential coast-re- gion, their native country. ; CHAP. XII. CHALCHICOMULA. JALAPA. VERA CRUZ. CONCLUSION. The - mountain slopes which descend from the SierraMadre eastward toward the sea are furrowed by barrancas —deep ra- vines with perpendi- cular sides, and with streams flowing at the bottom. But here all these barrancas run almost due east and west, that so our journey from Vera Cruz to Mexico was made, as far as I recollect, without can INDIANS OF THE PLATEAU. Nebeu crossing one. JNow, (After the case was quite different. had to go from the We Potrero to the the city of Jalapa, about fifty miles on map, nearly northward, and to get over these fifty miles us two days cost and a half of hard riding. By the road it cannot than eighty miles be much less war, but people used to tell us that, during the American an Indian went from Orizaba Jalapa with despatches to -four mountain- within the twenty hours, probably by quite paths which made it a little shorter. He came 1 31 l BARRANCAS. CROSSING THE which he had same shuffling trot Jalapa at the easily into for the whole dis- without intermission kept up almost pace when he is on a This is the Indian’s regular tance. Red Indians of the north journey, and I believe that the have a similar gait. three or a village or a house We used sometimes to see hour. four miles off, and count upon reaching it in half an would barranca, in- But a few steps further on there be a visible till came close to it, perhaps not more than a we few hundred feet wide, so that it was easy to talk to people on the other bank. But the bottom, of the chasm might be five hundred or a thousand feet below us and the only way to cross was to ride along the bank, often for miles, until we reached a place where it had been pos- make bridle-path zigzagging sible to a steep down to the stream below, and up again on the other side. It is only here and there that even such paths can made, be for the walls of rock are generally too steep even for any vegeta- tion,^except grass and climbing plants in the crevices. Our half-hour’s ride, as we supposed it would be, would often extend to two or three hours, for on these slopes two or three barrancas—large and small—have sometimes to be crossed within as many miles. If our journey had been even slower and more difficult, we should have not regretted it the country through which we were riding was so beautiful. There were but few inhabitants, and the landscape was much as nature The had left it. great volcano of Orizaba came into view now and then with its snowy cone,* mountain- streams came rushing along the ravines, and the forests of oaks were covered with innumerable species of orchids and creepers, breaking down the branches with their weight. Many See the illustration at page 28 . 312 AN AimAC, kinds wore already in flower, and their great blossoms of white, purple, blue, and yellow, stood out against the dark green of the oak-leaves. Wherever a mountain-stream ran down some shady little valley, there were tree-ferns thirty feet high, with the new fronds forming a tuft at the top of the old scarred trunk. Round the Indian cottages were cactuses with splendid crimson flowers, daturas with brilliant white blossoms, palm- and fruit-trees of fifty kinds. We stopped at one of the cottages, and bought an armadillo that had just been caught in the woods close by, while routing among his favourite ants’ nests. He was put into a palm-leaf basket, which held him all but the tip of his long taper tail, which, like the rest of his body, was covered with rings of armour fitting beautifully into one another. One of our men carried him thus in his arms to Jalapa. The Mexicans call an armadillo ayotochtli,” that is, tortoise-rabbit,” a name which will be appreciated by any one who knows the appearance of the little animal. The villages and towns we passed were dismal places enough, and the population scanty but that this had not always been the case was evident from the numerous re- mains of ancient Indian mound-forts or temples which we passed on our road, indicating the existence of large towns at some former period. There is a drawing in Lord Kings- work of a teoccdli or pyramid at San Andres Chal- borough’s chicomula, which we seem to have missed on account of the reached the town. We darkness having come on before we several times deceived that evening by the fireflies, were for lights moving about in some village which we took of us and we became so incredulous at hist just ahead our journey’s end we would not believe we had reached that houses. made out the dim outlines of the until we could we could have inn San Andres we found that At the at ; BARRANCA. ORCHIDS. 313 COUNTRY-INN. dens were occupied all the little windowless no rooms, as who had come in for a people from the country by good many men loafing about There were indeed a fiesta. could any women, and we the courtyard, but scarcely without them. hardly understand a fandango happening presently, hearing They thought otherwise, however; and out and saw two great the tinkling of a guitar, we went fellows in broad hats, jackets, and serapes, solemnly dan- cing opposite to one another while more men looked on, smoking cigarettes, and an old fellow with a face like a baboon was squatting in one corner and producing the music had heard. To I we do them justice, must say that we found, on further enquiry, they had not come from their respective ranchos merely to make fools of them- selves in this way, but that there was to be some horse- fair in the neighbourhood next day, and they were going there. Our not being able to get any supper but eggs and bread, and having to sleep - on the supper table after- wards, confirmed us in the theory we were beginning to adopt, that nature and mankind vary in an inverse ratio and we were off at daybreak, delighted ; to get into the forest again. We rode over hill and dale for four or five hours, and then along the edge of a barranca for the rest of the day. This was one of the grandest chasms we had ever seen, even in Mexico. It was four or five miles wide, and two or three thousand feet deep, and its floor was a mass of tropical verdure, with here and there an Indian rancho and a patch of cultivated ground on the bank of the rapid river, whose sound we heard when we approached the edge of the barranca. There were more orchids and epidendrites than ever in the forest. In some places they had killed every third tree, by forming so >u*l close a covering over its branches as to destroy its life 314 ANAHUAC. theyVere flourishing unimpaired on the rotting branches of trees which they had brought down to the ground years before. *The rainy season had not yet set-in in this part of the country and, though we could hear the rush- ing of the torrent below, we looked in vain for water in the forest, until our man Martin showed us the bromel/iae in the forks of the branches, in the inside of whoso hollow leaves nature has laid up a supply of water for the thirsty . ti’aveller. We loaded our horses with the bulbs of such orchids as were still in the dry state, and would travel safely to Europe. Sometimes we climbed into the trees for pro- mising specimens, but oftener contented ourselves with tearing them from the branches as we rode below. When saddle-bags and pockets were full, for we were a time at fault, for there seemed no place for new treasures, when suddenly I remembered a pair of old trousers. We tied the up ends of the legs, which we filled with orchids and the garment travelled to Jalapa sitting in its natural posi- tion across my saddle, to the amazement of such Mexican society as we met. The contents of the two pendant legs splendid flowers in several English are now producing hothouses. place where the By evening we reached the Junta, a joined by a smaller one, arid a long slant- great ravine was of the river. There descent brought us to the edge ing In- consisting of a raft of logs which the was a ferry here, stout rope. The dian ferxyman hauled across along a and so the raft by their halters, horses were attached to land between the two across. On the point of swam there we spent the Indians had their huts, and rivers the of the turkey-pen, We chose the fattest guajalote night. great earthen he was simmering in the and in ten minutes for cut into many pieces fire, having been pot over the ; THE FER11Y. LIFE AT grind- women were busy and the of cooking, convenience tortillas. While out into be patted corn to ing Indian Christy’s day’s collec- and Mr. getting ready, was supper had been country we pressed (the plants was being tion of gathered the new specimens rich that passing through is so had a good of paper), we filled several quires that day could all speak brown people, who of talk with the deal the two old people Some years before, a little Spanish. the ferry. Besides this, they there, and set up had settled and culti- much fish in the river, made nets and caught point of little piece of ground which formed the vated the descendants went no fur- the promontory. While their the colony had done very well ther than grandchildren great-grandchildren had begun to arrive, and but now form a settlement up they would soon have to divide, and river, or upon some patch of in the woods across the ground at the bottom of one of the barrancas. We were interested in studying the home-life of these people, so different from what we are accustomed to among oiu- peasants of Northern Europe, whose hard continuous labour is quite unknown here. For the men, an occasional pull at the balsas (the rafts of the ferry), a little fishing, and now and then—when they are in the humour for it— a little digging in the garden-ground with a wooden spade, or dibbling with a pointed stick. The women have a harder life of it, with the eternal grinding and cooking, cotton-spinning, mat-weaving, and tending of the crowds of babies. Still it is an easy lazy fife, without much trou- ble for to-day or care for to-morrow. When the simple occupations of the day are finished, the time does not seem to hang heavy upon their hands. The men lie about, thinking of nothing at all and the women—old and young—gossip by the hour, in obedience to that beneficent law of nature which provides that their talk shall increase G ANAHUAC. inversely in proportion to what they have to talk about. We find this law attaining to its most complete fulfilment when they shut themselves in up nunneries, to escape as much as possible from all sources of worldly interest, and gossip there more industriously than anywhere else, as we are informed on very good authority. Like all the other Mexican Indians whose houses we visited, the people here showed but little taste in adorn- ing their dwellings, their dresses and their household im- plements. Beyond a few calabashes scraped smooth and ornamented with coloured devices, and the blue patterns on the women’s cotton skirts, there was scarcely anything to be seen in the way of ornament. How great was the skill of the Mexicans in work ornamental at the time of the Conquest, we can tell from the carved work in wood and stone preserved in museums, the graceful designs on the pottery, the tapestry, and the beautiful feather-work disappeared in the country. Just but this taste has almost in the same way, contact with Europeans has almost de- most barbarous stroyed the little decorative arts among people, as, for example, the Red Indians and the natives little skill in these things of the Pacific Islands and what than is left among them is employed less for themselves white people, and even in in making curious trifles for the mixed with that European patterns have these we find superseded them. the old designs, or totally cane-hut, where Indians lodged us in an empty The pillows ground, and we made they spread mats upon the looking up at the We were soon tired of of our saddles. till long in the roof, and slept stars through the chinks the rafted us across Then the Indians after sunrise. having accom- rode to Jalapa, river and we on second hundred nearly three horseback journey of plished our the four- the death of a horse, one accident, miles with but 317 JALA PA. overworked, but would been rather He had pound one. not stopped the last got through, had wo likely have most where there was no forage Indian ranchos, night at the not accus- our beasts were maize leaves, a food but green much of this, men gave him too tomed to. It seems our and next allowed him to drink excessively and then weaker, and died not long- morning he grew weaker and Our other two horses were after we reached Jalapa. thin, but otherwise in good condition and the rather horse-dealers, after no end of diplomacy on both sides, our threat of sending them back to knocked under to Mexico in charge of Antonio, and gave us within a pound had cost us. There is a or two of what they good deal of in horses done at Jalapa, where travellers trading coming down from Mexico sell their beasts, which are disposed of at great prices to other travellers coming up from the coast. Between here and Vera Cruz, people prefer travelling in the Diligence, or in some covered carriage, to exposing themselves to the sun in the hot and pestilential region of the coast. Jalapa is a pleasant city among the hills, in a country of forests, green turf, and running streams. It is the very paradise of botanists and its products include a wonder- ful variety of trees and flowers, from the apple- and pear- trees of England to the mameis and zapotes of tropical America, and the brilliant orchids which are the ornament of our hot-houses. The name of the town itself has a botanical celebrity, for in the neighbouring forests grows the Purga cle Jalapa, which we have shortened into jalap. A day’s journey above it, lies the limit of eternal snow, upon the peak of Orizaba a day’s journey below ; it is Vera Cruz, the city of the yellow fever, surrounded by burning sands and poisonous exhalations, in a district 318 ANAHUAC. where, during the hot months now commencing, the ther- mometer scarcely ever descends below 80°, day or night. Jalapa hardly knows summer or winter, heat or cold. The upper current of hot air from the Gulf of Mexico, highly charged with aqueous vapour, strikes the mountains about this level, and forms the belt of clouds that we have already crossed more than once during our journey. Jalapa is in this cloudy zone, and the sky is seldom clear there. It is hardly hotter in summer than in England, and not even hot enough for the mosquitoes, which are not to be found here though they swarm in the plain below. This warm damp climate changes but little in the course of the year. There are no seasons, in our sense of the word, for spring lasts through the year. We walked out on the first afternoon of our arrival; and sat on stone seats on a piece of green turf surrounded by trees, that reminded us pleasantly of the village-greens of England. There we talked with the children of an English acquaintance who had been settled for many years in the town, and had married a Mexican lady. They were fine lads as very often happens in they but, such cases, could only speak the language of the country. Nothing more clearly how thoroughly a foreigner yields can show to the influences around him, when he settles in a country and among its people. An Englishman’s own marries character, for instance, may remain to some extent but scarcely English in language or in feeling, his children are foreign about and in the next generation there is nothing the name. his descendants but about sunset, and When we reached our hotel it was had had wetted us through, as though we the heavy dew exceptional occur- in the rain. This was no been walking and round such dews fall morning rence. All the year of rain. The well as almost daily showers evening, as 319 SCORPIONS. ARMADILLO. INSECTS. health, this dampness to injure too warm for climate is us, who had just in our colder regions. To as it would close plateaus, it seemed bracing air of the high left the strong and are certainly and relaxing but the inhabitants which the one can imagine the enjoyment healthy, and feel, when they can white inhabitants of Vera Cruz must city of pestilence into the pure air of get away from that the mountains. were at the Veracruzctna, where we occu- Our quarters pied a great whitewashed room. A large grated window into the garden, where the armadillo was fastened opened to a tree by a long string, and had soon dug a deep hole as the manner of the with his powerful fore-claws, creature necessity of supplying the little man in armour” is. The with insects for his daily food gave us some idea of the and variety of the insects amazing abundance of the dis- trict. We caught creeping things innumerable in the gar- den, but narrowly escaped being stung by a small scorpion delegated the task an and therefore to old Indian, who walked out into the fields with an earthen pot, and re- it full of insects in turned with about half an hour. We reckoned that there were over fifty species in the pot. Many of the houses and Indian huts were adorned with collections of insects pinned on the walls in patterns, among which figured scorpions some three inches long and the centre-ornament was usually a tarantula, said to be one of the most poisonous creatures of the tropics, a monstrous spider, whose datk grey body and legs are covered with hairs. A fine specimen will have a body about as large as a small hen’s egg, and, with his legs in their natural posi- tion, will just stand in a cheese-plate. The Boots of the hotel went out and caught a fine scorpion for our amuse- ment he brought it into our room wrapped in ; a piece of brown paper, and was on the point of letting it out on our R R — ANAHUAC. table for us to see it run. We protested against this, and bad it put into a tumbler and covered it up with a book. The inner patio of the hotel was surrounded with the usual which arcade, into the rooms opened. Close to our door was a long table, with a green cloth, where the Jalapenians were constantly playing monte, from nine in the morning till late at night. All classes were repre- sented from there, the muleteer who came to lose his hard-earned dollars, to the rich shopkeepers and planters of the town and neighbourhood. early one afternoon to I went the house of the princi- pal agent for the Vera Cruz carriers, to arrange for send- heavy packages to the ing down our coast. There was no office a girl. enquired one at the but I for the master ,” is “ JSsta jugando “He playing,” she said. I need not have gone so far to look for him, for he was sitting just bedroom door, and indeed outside our had been there all he condescended to arrange our business, he day. Before fate of the dollar he had down, waited to see the just put which I was glad to see he lost. and not always the stagnant place it is Jalapa was now. and gardens date from pleasant bouses a period when Its of some importance. In old times the only it was a town from Vera Cruz to Mexico passed this practicable road Jalapa was the entrepot where the merchants way and warehouses, and from whence the trains of their had the distributed the European merchandise from mules different markets of the country. By this to the coast from the coast was done by a arrangement, the carrying cli- number of muleteers, who were seasoned to the small the great mass of traders and carriers were while mate, from the healthy region. This was to descend obliged not importance, because, though the pure Indians more the of of yellow fever, the disease is to the attacks not liable are 321 ANTONIO. MARTIN AND the high lands as to inhabitants of the other as deadly to the the mestizos who have even those of Europeans and to it. Of late are subject admixture of white blood least from the carriers given up, and years, this system has been their loads, to fetch to the coast the hied! lands down ao the number in of their they leave some and every year while many others, of the Dead churcli-yards of the City tlieir never regain recover from the fever, though they Mexico The high-road to former health and strength. importance of Jalapa as Orizaba, so that the now goes by ceased. trading-place has almost all but finished, and I Mexican journey was now Our and took the Diligence to Vera left my companion here, Christy West India Mail-packet. Mr. Cruz, to meet the United or two later, and went to the followed a day our servants, Martin and An- States. We dismissed two Martin invested his wages in a package of to- tonio. bacco, which he proposed to carry home on his horse, unfrequented mountain-paths, travelling by night along where custom-house officers seldom penetrate. We never him he home, heard any more of but no doubt got safe he was perfectly competent to take care of himself, and for he probably made a very good thing of his journey. It was quite with regret that we parted from him, for he was a useful fellow, with a continual flow most sensible, of high spirits, and no end of stories of his experiences in smug- and hunting wild cattle in gling, the tierra caliente, in which two adventurous occupations most of his life had passed. In his dealings with been us, he was honesty it- notwithstanding his equivocal self, profession. Antonio We offered a cheque on Mexico for his wages, as he was going back there, but he said he would rather hard dollars. have We paid his fare to Mexico by the Diligence, and gave him his money, telling him at the 9 9 AN AII UAC. same time, that he was a fool for his pains. He started next morning and we heard, a month or two litter, that the coach was stopped the same afternoon in the plains of Perote, and Antonio was robbed not only of his money but even of his jacket and serape, and reached Mexico penniless and half-naked. He was always a silly fellow, and his last exploit was worthy of him. Mr. Christy sat up till daybreak fillin to see me off, his time up by writing letters and pressing plants. When I was gone, he lay down in his bed, in rather a dreamy state of mind, looking up at the ceiling. There was a large beam just above his head, and at one side of it a hole, which struck him as being a suitable place for a scorpion to come out of. This idea had come into his head from the sight of the specimen in the tumbler on the table, who had with great difficulty been drowned in aguardiente. Presently something moved in the hole, below instantly became wide awake. and the spectator Then came out a claw and a head, and finally the body and tail of a very fine scorpion, two inches and a half long. It was rather an awkward moment, for it was not move suddenly, for fear of startling the creature, safe to anything secure and if he fell, footing seemed but whose natm-ally sting whatever he might come in con- he would no accident with. However, he met with on his way, tact another hole, about a yard off, he drew and getting into disappeared. Mr. Christy slip- his tail after him and up considerable relief and his bed with a sense of ped out of in the ceiling that there were no holes having ascertained of the room, he turned in bed on the other side above the went comfortably to sleep. there, and companion in the Diligence was a German only My sociable, but not of an Vera Cruz, who was shopman from When we had descended turn of conversation. instructive 323 AND VAQUEROS. NEGRESS. CATTLE WHITE Scarcely any became intolerable. the heat for a few hours, the way-side, Indian cane-huts by but a few habitation about thi’ee stopped, palm-trees. We with bananas and and did not in a small village, the afternoon, at a rancho in day-break. morning, a little before start again until next in began to abound people of negro descent Negroes and waiting- especially the this congenial climate. I remember as they the rancho, who was a white negress,” maid at showed her African are called. Her hair and features origin her hair was like white wool, and her face and but were colourless as those of a dead body. This hands as healthy enough, however and this animated corpse was peculiarity of the skin is, it seems, not very uncommon. The coast-regions through which I was passing abound cattle, but they are mostly far away from in horned the high-roads. In spite of the intense heat of the climate they thrive as well as in the higher lands. Some are tolerably tame, and are kept within bounds by the but the vaqueros greater proportion, numbering tens of thousands, roam wild about the country. In comparison with these cattle of the tierra caliente, the fiercest beasts of the plateaus are safe and quiet creatures. The only way of bringing them into the corral is by using tame animals for decoys, just as wild elephants are caught. Our man Martin, had who once been a vaquero on the Vera Cruz coast, used to look upon the bulls of the high lands with great contempt. If you chase them they run away, he said. If you lazo a bull of the hot country, you have to gallop off with all your might, with the toro close at your heels and, if the horse falls, it may cost his ; life or his rider’s. We thus find the horned cattle flourishing at every elevation, from the sea-level to the mountain-pastures ten thousand feet above it. Horses and sheep show less 4L 324 ANAHUAC. adaptability to this variety of climates. The horses and mules come mostly from the States of the North, at a level of from 5000 to 8000 feet that remarkable country of which Humboldt’s observation gives us the best idea, when he that, says although there are no made roads, wheel carriages can travel distances of a thousand miles over gently-undulating prairies, without meeting any ob- struction on the way. Numbers of sheep are reared in the mountains, princi- pally for the sake of the tallow, for the consumption of tallow- candles in the mines is enormous. The owners scarcely care at all for the rest of the animal and popular scandal accuses the sheep-farmers of driving their flocks into the melting -coppers, without going through straight the preliminary ceremony of killing them. People told tallow made in the cold regions loses its us that the climates, but consistency when brought down into hotter means of ascertaining the truth of this. we had no tallow was not known Artificial lighting by means of Mexicans, who could not indeed have pro- to the ancient and smaller ani- tallow except from the fat of deer cured mals. Spanish invaders used to Diaz tells how the Bernal He ex- with Indian Ointment.” dress their wounds in another place. nature of this preparation plains the nor any- oil in the country, Spaniards could get no The fat they took some make salve with, so else to thing and simply killed in battle, had just been Indian who him down. boiled the jour- a few hours, next morning was but Our ride may passengei-s in order that the so divided ney being begins. We of the day Cruz before the heat Vera reach any- too dry for district, generally a dreary passed over when and then, and acacias, but now thino- but cactus to 325 AND ARMADILLO. COCKROACHES CRUZ. VERA clumps of bam- displaying to be found, water was little railway Then the feathery tufts. elegant with their boos swamps and with their dismal downs, through the took us Vera Cruz. sand-hills, and so into made acquaint- had already merchants we The English ever, and and hospitable as with were as kind ance going known before, whom we had found an Englishman, fever The yellow the same packet. as far as Havana by had begun, and, though June unusually late this year, was afterwards that it cases. We heard there were but few departure, and by its ex- week or two after our set in a ample amends for the lateness traordinary severity made of its arrival. and the air was alive with mosquitos, After sunset, The the floors of the hotel swarmed with cockroaches. the latter creatures, and armadillo took quite naturally to crunched them up as fast as we could catch them for him. I was surprised to find that our word cockroaches does not come from the German stock, like most of our names for insects small and creatures, but from the Latin side of the house. The Spanish waiter called them cucarachas, and the French ones coqueraches. The history of the armadillo ends unfortunately : for some days he seemed to take quite kindly to the diet of bits of meat which we had to put him on, on shipboard, but he fell sick at Havana, and died. My late companion travelled up into the Northern States, went to the Indian assembly at Manitoulin Island, paid a visit to various tribes of Red Men in the Hudson’s Bay Territory—as yet unmissionized, carried away in tri- umph the big medicine-drum I have already spoken of, and saw and did many other things not to be related here. One sight that he saw, some months later, reminded him of the wild country where we had travelled together. He was ; 32G ANAHUAC. in Iowa City, a little town of a year or two’s growth, out in the prairie States of the Far West. As he stood one morning in the outskirts, among the plank-houses and half-made roads, there came a solitary horseman riding in. Evidently he had come from the Mexican frontier, a thou- sand miles and more away across the plains and no doubt, his waggons and the rest of his party were behind him on the road, beyond the distant horizon of the prairie. By his face he was American, but his costume was the dress of old Mexico, the leather jacket and trowsers, the broad white hat and huge jingling spurs. His lazo hung in front of his high-peaked saddle, and his well-worn serape was rolled up behind him like a trooper’s cloak. As he ap- proached the town, he spurred his jaded beast, who broke into the old familiar paso of the Mexican plains. It was sight of Mexico,” said my my last companion. He saluted the horseman in Spanish, and the well-known words of grim welcome made the man’s haggard sunburnt features smile as he returned the salutation relax into a and rode on. As for myself, my voyage home was short and unad- From Vera Cruz to Havana, most of my com- venturous. been turned panions were Mexican refugees who had out being mixed up with Haro’s revolution of the country for showily got-up men, Ana’s intrigues. They were or Santa and with much to say for themselves elaborately polite, remark showed what every now and then some casual but of, and I pitied more than ever the stuff they were made destinies depend on countries whose political unfortunate intrigues of these adventurers. the Thomas’s we, with land-locked bay of St. In the hot more steamers, were shifted of eight or nine the contents I went ashore bound homeward. the great steamer into the and walked about German gentleman, an old with island, and a free is a Danish St. Thomas’s streets. 327 VOYAGE HOME. the West for the rest of smuggling depot is, a port, that the Mediterranean. Gibraltar is for much as islands, India and yellow fever, of mosquitos place, full is a stifling It more than there even tongues reigns confusion of and the three streets all speak blacks in the Gibraltar, for the in shopkeepers six or seven. and the or four languages, over on board the Atrato’, were a strange mixture We from across Peruvians and Chilians hundred of us. two black gentlemen from Spaniards and Cubans, the isthmus, Martinique, but English pre- French colonists from Hayti, all other nationalities. One or two ponderating above families, maintaining governors of small islands, with their at least as far as the dignity of Government House, unapproachable by common mortals. Southampton, and Army men from West India stations, who appeared to spend their mornings in ordering the wine for dinner, and their evenings in abusing it when they had drunk it. West India planters, who thought it was rather hard that the Anti -slavery Society, after ruining them and their plantations, should moreover insist on their believing themselves to be great gainers by the change. We were all crowded, hot, and uncomfortable, and showed our worst side, but as we neared England better influences got the ascendant again. It was pleasant to breathe a cooler air, and to feel that I was getting back to my own country and my own people but with this feeling there was mixed ; some regret for the beautiful scenes I had left. The evenings of our latitudes seemed poor when we lost the gorgeous sunsets of the tropics, and the sea alive with luminous creatures. When I came on deck one evening and missed the bright- est ornament of the sky— the Southern Cross, I felt that I had left the tropics, and that all my efforts to realize 328 ANAHUAC. the life of the last half-year would produce but a vague and shadowy picture. Since we left Mexico, I have not cared to follow very accurately even the newspaper intelligence of what has been and still is going on there. It is a pitiable history. Continual wars and revolutions, utter insecurity of life and property, the Indians burning down the haciendas in the South and turning out the white people, the roads on the plains impassable on account of deserters and robbers sometimes no practical government at all, then two or three at once, who raise armies and fight a little some- times, but generally confine themselves to plundering the peaceable inhabitants. An army besieges the capital for months, but appears nothing to do but cut the water off from the aqueducts, shoot stragglers, and levy contribu- tions. One leader raises a forced loan among the foreign residents, and imprisons or expels those who do not sub- the same in mit. The leader on the other side does his part of the country, putting the British merchant in pri- life sons where a fortnight would be a fair average for an European, and threatening him with summary court- pay. martial and execution if he does not newspapers dwell on these details, and tell us London condition of tins unfortunate may learn from the that we are democratic forms among a people country how useless governments can of liberty, and that very weak incapable with impunity, from the fact all sorts of crimes commit foreign powers official existence which they have no that other weighty moral lessons, and various can recognize countrymen in the highly edifying to our must be which for much to shift are meanwhile left pretty Kepublic, who themselves. ; OF MEXICO. 329 FUTURE advancing; United States are steadily this time the All gradually accomplishing the country is and the destiny of must come, sooner or its total absorption itself. That chief difficulty seems to later, we can hardly doubt. The will not exactly suit the be that the American constitution the right of each citizen to case. The Kepublic laid down his share in the government of the country as a universal humanity, funda- law, founded on indefeasible rights of mental laws of nature, and what not, making, it is true, some slight exceptions with regard to red and black men. The Mexicans, or at least the white and half-caste Mexi- cans, will a difficulty. Then- claims to citizenship be are unquestionable, if Mexico were made a State of the Union and, as everybody knows, they are totally incapable of governing themselves, which they must be left to do under the constitutional system of the United States moreover, it is certain that American citizens would never allow even the whitest of the Mexicans to be placed on a footing of equality with themselves. Supposing these difficulties got over by a Protectorate, an armed occupation, or some similar contrivance, Mexico will undergo a great change. There will be roads and even rail-roads, some security for life and property, liberty of opinion, a flourishing com- merce, a rapidly increasing population, and a variety of good things. Every intelligent Mexican must wish for an event so greatly to the advantage of his country and of the world in general. Some of our good friends in Mexico have bought land on the American frontier by the hundred square leagues, and can point out patches upon the map of the world as large as Scotland or Ireland —as their private property. What their gains will be when enterprising western men begin to bring the country under cultivation, it is not an easy matter to realize. 330 ANAHUAC. As for ourselves individually, we may be excused for cherishing a lurking kindness for the quaint, pictui’esque manners and customs of Mexico, as yet un-American- ized for rejoicing that it was our fortune to travel and coming change, when its most curious there before the peculiarities and its very language must yield before foreign influences. ; APPENDIX. OBSIDIAN KNIVES, ETC. Note to 97 . I. THE MANUFACTURE OF p. Mexico give a tolerably full account of the Some of the old Spanish writers on the Aztecs. It will be seen manner in which the obsidian knives, &c., were made by inspection only modifies in one particular the theory we had formed by mere that it they which these objects were made, which is given at p. 97 that is, as to the way in ; as conjectured, by blow of some hard were cracked off by pressure, and not, we a substance. Torquemada Monarquia Indiana, Seville, 1615) says (free translation) ( ; They had, and still have, workmen who make knives of a certain black stone flint, which it is most wonderful and admirable thing to see them make out of or a “ much praised. the stone and the ingenuity which invented this art is to be They are made and got out of the stone (if one can explain it) in this manner. One of down the ground, and takes piece of this black “these Indian workmen sits upon a stone, which is like jet, and hard as flint, and is a stone which might be called pre- cious, more beautiful and brilliant than alabaster or jasper, so much so that of it tablets* and mirrors. The piece they take is about 8 inches long or rather are made rather more, and as thick as one’s leg or less, and cylindrical they have a stick as large as the shaft of a lance, and 3 cubits or rather more in length and at the end of it they fasten firmly another piece of wood, 8 inches long, to give more weight to part; then, pressing their naked feet together, they hold the stone “this as with a “ of carpenter’s bench. They pair of pincers or the vice a take the stick (which is cut off smooth at the end) with both hands, and set it well home against the edge of “the front of the stone ponenlo avesar con el canto de la rente de piedra) (y f la which “ smooth in that part and then also is cut ; they press it against their breast, and with “ there flies the force of the pressure off a knife, with its point, and edge on each side, as neatly as if one were to make them of a turnip with a sharp knife, or of iron in fire. Then they sharpen it on a stone, using a hone the to give it a very fine edge “ short time these workmen will and in a very make more than twenty knives in the aforesaid manner. They come out of the same shape as our barbers’ lancets, ex- cept that they have a rib up the middle, and have a slight graceful curve towards They will cut and the point. shave the hair the first time they are used, at the first cut nearly as well as a steel razor, but they lose their edge at the second cut and to finish sliavingjone’s beard or hair, one after so, another has to be used though * In the original, aras. In the Latin of Hernandez, ane I suppose to be tlie little polished stone slabs which are Catholic churches, set on the altars in Roman and in which their sacred quality is, so to speak, contained. : APPENDIX. Indeed they are cheap, and spoiling them is of no consequence. Many Spaniards, “both regular and secular clergy, have been shaved with them, especially at the be- ginning of the colonization of these realms, when there was no such abundance as now of the necessary instruments, and people who gain their livelihood by practis- >ng this occupation. But I conclude by saying that it is an admirable thing to see “them made, and no small argument for the capacity of the men who found out such an invention.” Yetancurt (Teatro McjicanoJ gives an account, taken from the above. Hernandez (Rerum Med. Nov. Ilisp. Thes.: Rome, 1651) gives a similar account of the process. He compares the wooden instrument used to a cross-bow. It was evi- dently a T-shaped implement, and the workman held the cross-piece with his two hands against his breast, while the end of the straight stick rested on the stone. He furthermore gives description a of the making of the well-known maquahultl, or Aztec war-club, which was armed on both sides with a row of obsidian knives, or teeth, stuck into holes with a kind of gum. With this instrument, he says, a man could cut in half be at a blow—an absurd statement, which has been repeated by more modern writers. II. ON THE SOLAR ECLIPSES RECORDED IN THE LE TELLIER MS. The curious Aztec Picture-writing, known as the Codex Telleriano-Remenensis, preserved in the Royal Library of Paris, contains list or calendar of a a long series of years, indicated by the ordinary signs of the Aztec system of notation of cycles of years. Below the signs of the number hieroglyphic years are a of pictures, convey- ing the record of remarkable events which happened in them, such as the succession and death of kings, the dates of wars, pestilences, &c. The great work of Lord Kingsborough, which contains a fac-simile of this curious document, reproduces also in evidently an ancient interpretation of the matters contained it, the work of a per- son who not only understood the interpretation of the Aztec picture-writings, but had access to some independent source of information,—probably the more ample oral traditions, for the recalling of which the picture-writing appears only to have served as a sort of artificial memory. It is not necessary to enter here into a fuller of the MS., which has also been described by Humboldt and Gallatin. description the events recorded in the Codex are four eclipses of the sun, depicted as Among years 1510. Humboldt, in quoting these having happened in the 1476, 1496, 1507, record tends to prove the veracity of the dates, makes a remark to the effect that the in those years, according to the list Aztec history, for solar eclipses really happened Dates, as follows well-known chronological work, L’Art de Verifier les in the quoted, however, 8 Aug., 1496 13 Jan., 1507 8 May, 1510. The work 28 Feb., 1476 ; ; ; reference eclipses visible in Europe, Asia, and Africa, and not to those in has only to therefore arises, whether all these four eclipses recorded in America. The question visible in Mexico. As to the last three, I have no L’Art de Verifier les Dates, were that Gama, a Mexican astronomer means of answering the question but it appears for totally distinct purpose about standing, made a series of calculations a of some no eclipse the sun the last century, and found that in 1476 there teas of the end of and another but that there was a great one on the 13th Feb., 1477, visible in Mexico, on the 28th May, Gama made no mistake in his calculations, the idea at once sug- Supposing that few compiled or copied the Le Tellier Codex, some gests itself, that the person who APPENDIX. 333 Conquest of Mexico, inserted under the date of 1476 (long years after the Spanish an eclipse which could not have been recorded the time of the Spaniards) before Aztec Calendar as, though visible in Europe, had the document been a genuine there ; compiler having merely inserted not visible in Mexico. The supposition of the it teas that from a European table of eclipses is strengthened by the fact the great this date in Mexico, but not in Europe, is not to be found there. eclipse 1477, which was visible of the undoubtedly in great part a These two facts tend to prove that Codex, though copy or compilation from genuine native materials, has been deliberately sophisti- it greater appearance of historical accuracy, by some cated with a view of giving a properly. person who was not quite clever enough to do his work It may, however, be urged as a proof that the mistake is merely the result of carelessness, that find in the no notice of the eclipse of 28th May, which we MS. 1481, in Europe, and ought to was visible both in Mexico and so have been in the record. This supposition would be consistent with the Codex being really a document in which the part relating to the events before the Spanish Conquest in 1521 is of genuine ancient and native origin, though the whole is compiled in a very grossly careless manner. It would be very desirable to verify the years of all the four eclipses with reference their being to visible in Mexico, as this might probably clear up the difficulty. III. TABLE OE AZTEC BOOTS COMPARED WITH SANSCRIT, ETC. Several lists of Aztec words compared with those of various Indo-European languages have been given by philologists. The present is larger than any I have met with several words in it are ; taken from Buschmann’s work on the Mexican languages. It is desirable in a philological point of view that comparative lists of words of this kind should be made, even when, in as the present instance, they are not of sufficient extent to found any theory upon. As the Aztec alphabet does not contain nearly all the Sanscrit consonants, many of them must be compared with the nearest Aztec sounds, as: Sanscrit, th, t, d, dh, &c. Aztec, t. I Sanscrit, 1, r. Aztec, 1. k, kh, gh, &c. I „ g, c q. b, bh, „ v. v. or u. „ „ The Aztec c is soft (as s) before e and i, hard k) before fas a, o, u. The Aztec ch as in cheese. I have followed Molina’s orthography in writing such words as uel or vel (English, well) instead of the more modern, but I think less correct way, hud. 1. negative a-, prefix (as qualli, good; aqualli, bad). Sans., a-; Greek, a-, &c. 2 . o-, preterite augment (as nitemachtia, I teach; onitemachti, I taught); Sans., a-; compare Greek c-. 3. pal, prep, by: compare Sans. prep, parfi, bach; pari, circum; pra, before; Greek, napa Lat., per. 4. ce- cen-, cem-, prefix collective (as tlalia, to place, centlalia, to collect)-. Sans., sa-, san-, sam- Greek, ; <tw Eat., ; syn. ce, cen-, cem-, one. Sans., sa (in sa-krit, once: comp. Bopp, Gloss., p. 362.) Lat., se-mel, si-mul, sim-plex. 6. metz (metz-tli), moon. Sans., mas. 7. tlal (tlal-li), earth. Sans., tala, dhara. Lat., terra, tellus. 8. citlal (citlal -in), star. Sans., stri, stfira. Lat., stella. Eng., star. 9. atoya (atoya-tl), river. Sans., udya. ; ; APPENDIX. 10. teuh (teuh-tli.), dtist. Sans., dhfi-li (from dhQ, to drivo about.) 11. teo (teo-tl), god. Sans., deva. Greek, fleov. Lat., deus. 12. qual fqual-li), good. Sans., kalya, lcalyuna. Greek, naXor. uel, well. Sans., vara, excellent; vli, to choose. Lat., veils. Icel., vel. Eng., well. uel, power, brave, <kc., (uel-e, tla-uel-e.) Sans., bala, strength. Lat., valeo, valor. 15. auil, vicious, wasteful. Sans., Avila, guilty; sinful, abala, weal;. Eng., evil. miec, much. Sans., mahat, great; manli or mah, to grow. Icel., miok, much. much. Eng., 17. vey, great. Sans., bahu, much. 18. -pol, augmentative (as tepe-tl. mountain; affix tepepol, great mountain.) Sans., puru, much pula, great, ample. Greek, iroXur. 19. naua fnaua-c), near, by the side of. Sans., nah, to join or connect. German, nah, near. 20. ten (ten-qui),/«W. Sans., tun, to fill. 21. izta (izta-c), white. Sans., sita. 22. cuz (cuz-tic), red. Sans., kashaya, kasftya. 23. ta (ta-tli), father. Sans., t&ta. 24. cone (cone-tl), child. Compare Sans., jan, to beget. Lat., gen-itus. German, kin-d. Eng., kin. 26. pil (pil-li), child. Compare Sans., bala, boy, child; bhri, to bear children, etc. Greek, ?rwXor. Lat., pullus, filius. ENO.,/oal, &c., foal. &c. 26. cax (cax-itl), Sans., chashaka. cup. paz a-paz-tli), vase, basin. Sans., bajana. Compare Lat., 27. vas. ENG.,vase. (?) f 28. (com-itl pot. kumbha. com earthen Sans., ), 29. xuma (xuma-tli), spoon. Sans., chamasa; from Sans., cham, to eat. 30. mich (Ta\c\x-m),fish. Sans., machcha. 31. zaca (zaca-tl), grass. Sans., saka. 32. (te-col-li, col-ceuia, &c.), charcoal. Sans., jval, to burn, Icel., kol col flame ; coal Irish, gual. Eng., grain. 33. cen (cen-tli), grain, maize. Sans., kana, 34. ehe (ehe-catl), wind. Sans., vayu. 35. mix (mix-tli), cloud. Sans., megha Icel., and Eng., mist. cal (cal-li), house. Sans., saia. Greek, sa\ia Lat., cella. 36. ; (qua-itlj, Sans., ka. 37. qua head. Sans., aksha, eye; usya, 38. ix (ix-tli), eye, face. face. ganda Lat., gena. 39. can (can-tli), cheek. Sans., 40. chichi fchichi-tl), teat. Sans., chuchuka. nene(nene-tl pupil eye. Sans., nayana. 41. ), of to run or leap. Sans., char. 42. choloa, Sans., kach, to sound. 43. caqui (caqui-ztlij, sound. hurt, 44. xin (xi-xin-ia), to cut, ruin, destroy. Sans., ksin, to kill tlac? (tlac9-ani), to run. Sans., triks, to go GaEEk, Tpex<o. 45. ; to Sans., pat. 46. patlani, fly. Sans., medh, to understand; mati, thought, mind; Greek 47. mati, to know. root pad . vid See . Lat., Tideo. (it-ta), to see. Sans., Greek root <<5, eibogat, ; 48. it ; mill. to trickle. Sans., 49. meya, flow, to kill. Sans., ml, mith. 50. mic (mic-tia), kflj, to siwj, as birds, &c. 5 1 . cuica, to sing. Sans. , ; APPENDIX. Sans., chflsli. suck. 52. chichi to Sans. uks. : compare to sprinkle aliuaohia, 53 . Sans., kutt. (cotou-a), to cut. coton niteo. Sans., nad; Lat., to shine. nex (nex-tia), call. Sans., nad. notz (notz-a), to such, to wail. scream; kuch, to cry aloud, cry. Sans., (choc-a), to lament, 57. choc m(i, mava. bind. Sans., -thing, chain ?) to me-catl, binding 53. me (in (?) chah, to bruize; bite, gnaw; charv, to chew, bite: compare Sans, qua, to eat, to chew. German, kauen Eng., khad, to eat. ; Lat., tu. thou. Sans., tvam; 60. tS, 7iO!0? Sans kena. 61. quen, , are and European languages between the Aztec curious resemblances Other Icel., popel. poplar. Lat., populus pepeyol, ; papilio. butterfly Lat., papal (papal-otl), ; Lat., oleum used as oilfor anointing, Ac. the India-rubber tree, ul (ul-li), juice of Eng., oil, &c. GLOSSARY. IV. mountain-torrent. “By the water-side.” Arroyo, a rivulet, Anahuac. Aztec, applied to the Valley Atambor, a drum. The name at first atolli), porridge. the Atole (Aztec, of Mexico, from the situation of Aversada, a freshet. towns on the banks of the lakes after- of wards used to denote a great part Rag-fair, market of odds the present Republic of Mexico. Baratillo, a and ends; seep. Acocote {Aztec, acocotl, water-throat), Barbacoa, whence English barbecue;” gourd 91. seep. 95 a native Haitian words^ aloe-sucker’s ; seep. ; mud-brick, baked in the Barranca, Aoobe, a sun. a ravine. (Perhaps Moorish -Spanish word. Ancient Egyptian, tobe, a mud-brick; Calzoncillos, drawers. Arabic, toob, pronounced with the ar- Capa, a cloak. ticle at-toob, whence adobe Cayo, a coral-reef. ?) Aguamtel (honey-water), unfermented Chaparheros, over-trousers of goatskin the hair aloe-juice. with on, used in riding. Aguardiente (burning- water), ardent Chinampa (Aztec, a place fenced in)," a Mexican “floating garden;” spirits. seep. 62. Chinguerito, Ahuehdete (Aztec, ahuehuetl), the deci- Indian-corn brandy. duous cypress. Cnipi-cnipi (Aztec, chipini), drizzling Alameda (poplar-avenue), public pro- rain; seep. 26. Chupa-mirto (myrtle-sucker), menade; seep. 57. a hum- magistrate ming-bird. Alcalde, a (Moorish-Spanish, the al cadi, cadi”). Colear, to throw a bull over by the tail Anqdera (hauncher), covering for horses’ (cola); seep. 71. haunches; seep. 164 (and cut,p. 260). Compadre, comadre French, ; compare, Abriero, a muleteer. commfere see 250. ; p. T 330 APPENDIX. Corral, an enclosure for cattle. Ichtli (Aztec, thread), thread or string Costal, a bag, or sack. of aloe- fibre. Coyote (Aztec, coyotl), a jackal. Itztli (Aztec), obsidian; seep. 100. Ccarta, leather a horse-whip; seep. 2G4. Cuartel, a barrack. Lazador, one who throws the lazo. Cocaracha, a cockroach. Lazo, a running noose. Cuchillo, knife. a Lepero, a lazzarone, or prolGtaire see Cora, a parish-priest. p. Llanos, plains. Desagoe, a draining-cut. Desayuno, breakfast. Machete, a kind of bill-hook. Malacate (Aztec, malacatl), spindle, Emancipado ( emancipated negro); seep. G. spindle-head, windlass, &c. Escopeta, a musket. Manta, cotton-cloth. Escribano, a scribe or secretary. Matraca, a rattle see 49. p. Meson, a Mexican caravansery; see p. Fandango, a dance. 209. Fiesta, a church-festival. Mestizo (mixtus) a Mexican of mixed Frijoles, beans. Spanish and Aztec blood. Fuero, a legal privilege see 249. Metate used pp. 19, (Aztec, metlatl) the stone for rubbing down Indian corn into Gachupin, native of Spain. Supposed paste; seep. 88. be an Aztec epithet, cac-chopina, Metalpile (Aztec, metlapilli, i.e. little to that is, “ prickly shoes,” applied to the metlatl), the stone rolling-pin used in Spanish conquerors from their wear- the same process. ing spurs, which to the Indians were Mole (Aztec, mulli), Mexican stew. strange and incomprehensible append- Molino de viento (literally a windmill), ages. a whirlwind; seep. Garrote, an for strangling mountain), the favour- instrument Monte (literally a criminals. ite Mexican game see 256. ; p. de razon ("reasonable people), Mozo, lad, servant, groom. Gente a half-breed Mexicans, white men and Gl. but not Indians; seep. Nino, a child. prickly pear. Gcajalote (Aztec, huexolotl), a turkey; Nopal (Aztec, nopalli), the seep. 228. Norte, the north wind seep. 21. Gclche, a ravine. pine- Ocote (Aztec, ocotlj, a pine-tree, Hacendado, a planter, landed proprie- torch. tor, from Olla, a boiling-pot. Hacienda (literally doing,” from hacer, to do). An estate, establish- a passage; seep. 281. orfacer, Pasadizo, &c. Hacienda de beneficio, an public promenade. ment, Paseo, a establishment for benefiting” silver, kind of amble; seep. 1G3. Paso, a inner for extracting it from the ore. court-yard, especially the i.e., Patio, a sling. court of a house. Honda, a the (little ovens), the small cones method of extracting Hornitos Patio-fbocess, its Jorullo, called from near the volcano of which silver from the ore, so paved yards; see formerly emitted steam see p. 92. being carried on in (Aztec, ulli, India-rubber ?) a water- 92. H ule p. landlord. coat. Patron, a master, proof 337 APPENDIX. (Aztec, god’s house), an Aztec Teocalli lava-field. Pediuoal, a pyramid-temple. see p. 291. 1>eon, a debt-slave; wooden drum. Teponaztli, Indian palm-leaf mat. (Aztec, petlatl), a Petate tequesquitl), an al- Teqdesqoite (Aztec, aloe-fibre whistle, pipe; 2, Pito, 1, a on the efflorescence abundant kalino thread. for soap-making, soil in Mexico, used water-meadow. Potrero, a &c. from the juice of Pdlqoe, a drink made porous amygdaloid lava, (It is a corrup- Tetzontli, the aloe see 38. ; p. for building in American stone much used tion of a native South Mexico. introduced into Mexico by the word, Tienda, shop seep. 82. a ; Spaniards.) caliente, the hot region. Tiebba region. yeoman. mi a, the cold R^nchero, a cottager, temperate region. templada, the Rancho, a hut. an over- the paying of Tlachiquebo (Aztec, tlachiqui, Raya (literally a line), labourer &c. from tlachia, to see), a workmen at a hacienda, seer, short at a line aloe-field, who draws the juice Ratab, to pull a horse up ; in an 163. for pulque see 36. see p. ; p. horse-rope see 264. Toro, a bull. Reata, a ; p. shawl 56. (literally, cake) seep. 92. Rebozo, a woman’s ; see p. Tobta a ; made of Indian Recua, a train of mules, Tortillas, thin cakes com, resembling oat-cakes seep. 38. Sala, a hall, dining-room. Tbapiche, a sugar-mill. Mexican blanket see 169. Serape, a ; p. Ulli, see Hule. Sombbebo, a hat. a cow-herd. Vaquero, pine-shingles for roofing. Tacumeniles, Temazcalli, Indian vapour-bath see p. Zopilote (Aztec, zopilotl), a turkey-buz- zard. V. DESCRIPTION OF THREE VERY RARE SPECIMENS OF ANCIENT MEXICAN MOSAIC-WORK (IN THE COLLECTION OF HENRY CHRISTY, ESQ.). These Specimens, two Masks and a Knife, (seepage are interesting 101.) as presenting examples of higher art than has been supposed to have been attained to by the ancient Mexicans, or any other of the native American peoples. Their distinctive feature is an incrustation of Mosaic of Turquoise, cut and polished, and fitted with extreme nicety,— a work of great labour, time, and in cost any country, and especially so amongst a people to whom the use of iron was un- known,—and carried out with a perfection which suggests the idea that the art must have been long practised under the fostering of wealth and power, few although so examples of it have come down to us. Although considerably varied, they are all three of one family of work, so to speak the predominant feature being the use ; of turquoise and the question which presents itself at the outset is—what are the evidences that this unique work is of Aztec origin ? 338 APPENDIX. The proofs are so interwoven with the style and structure of the specimens that their appearance and nationality are best treated of together. The Mask of wood is covered with minute pieces of turquoise—cut and polished, accurately fitted, many thousands in number, and set on a dark gum or cement. The eyes, however, arc acute-oval patches of mother-of-pearl and ; there are two small square patches of the same on the temples, through which a string passed to suspend the mask and the teeth are of hard white ; shell. The eyes are perforated, and so are the nostrils, and the upper and lower teeth are separated by a transverse chink thus a wearer of the mask which ( sits easily on one’s face) can see, breathe, and speak with ease. The features bear that remarkably placid and contemplative expression which distinguishes many so of the Aztec works, in common with those of the Egyp- tians, whether in their massive stone sculptures, or in the smallest and commonest heads of baked earth. The face, which is well-proportioned, pleasing, and of great symmetry, is studded also with numerous projecting pieces of turquoise, rounded and polished. In addition to the character the of work and the style of face, the evidence of the Aztec origin of this mask is confirmed by the wood being of the fragrant cedar or cypress of Mexico. It may be remarked also that the inside is painted red, as are the wooden masks of the Indians of the North-west coast of America at the pre- sent day. The Knife presents, both in form and substance, more direct evidence of its Aztec origin for, in addition to its incrustation with the unique mosaic of turquoise, blended (in this case) with malachite and white and red shell, its handle is sculp- tured in the form of a crouching human figure, covered with the skin of an eagle, and presenting the well-known and distinctive Aztec type of the human head issuing from the mouth of an animal. (See cut, 101.) Beyond this there is in the stone p. blade the curious fact of a people which had attained to so complex a design and such an elaborate ornamentation remaining in the Stone-age and, somewhat curi- ously, the locality of that stone blade is fixed, by its being of that semi-transparent opalescent calcedony which Humboldt describes as occurring in the volcanic districts silex of the trachytic lavas. of Mexico—the concretionary distinctive. The incrustation of turquoise-mosaic The second Mask is yet more human skull, the back part of which is placed on the forehead, face, and jaws of a thongs which has been cut away to allow of its being hung, by the leather still re- mask their main, over the face of an idol, as was the custom in Mexico thus to gods three broad The mosaic of turquoise is interrupted by transverse on state-occasions. forehead, face, and chin, of a mosaic of obsidian, similarly cut (but in bands, on the highly polished,—a very unusual treatment of this difficult and larger pieces) and which in any artistic way appears to have been con- intractable material, the use of perhaps, of the Egyptians). fined the Aztecs (with the exception, to hemispherically and highly polished, are nodules of iron-pyrites, cut The eye-balls that forming the teeth circles of hard white shell, similar to and are surrounded by of the wooden mask. only people their mirrors of iron-pyrites polished, and are the The Aztecs made put this material to ornamental use. are known to have who barbarism which the hideous aspect of this mixture of art, civilization, and The with the condition of Mexico at the time black skull-mask presents accords green and sacrifices on a gigantic scale were coincident under which human of the Conquest, in arts and manners. much refinement with the somewhat curious. With of these three specimens is European history The many years ago by at Copenhagen, obtained in the Museum exception of two 339 APPENDIX. dilapidated, and, though greatly convent in Rome, Thomsen from a Professor they are believed to be same kind of ornamentation, traces of the presenting some unique. at Florence. known in a collection the Knife were long The Wooden Mask and irom that city, as Egyptian: brought into England years ago the mask was Thirty from Venice. later, the knife was obtained and, somewhat scalp, was found at of hair said to be a the Skull-mask, with a wig Subsequently brought from that the mask was leads to the presumption Bruges; a locality which expulsion of the Spaniards in and prior to the Mexico soon after the Conquest 1521, of the Low Countries in from Flanders consequent on the revolt curious old work, Aldrovandus, . It happens singularly enough, that a Note — knife and wooden mask Bologna, 1G48, contains drawings of a Museum Metalliciim, as those mosaic-work of stone, made just in the same way ornamented with them in the design. What became of described above, and only differing from them tell. I cannot on the ethnographical value of popular vi. dasent’s essay TALES AND LEGENDS. with Ethnography, Whilst treating of legendary lore in connection we must not forget to refer the reader to the highly useful and philosophical remarks on this sub- ject in Dasent’s Introduction to his Popular Talesfrom the Norse. Here we see that only are the popular tales of any nation indicative of its early condition not and its later progress, but also that the legends, fables, and tales of the Indo-European nations, at least, bear internal evidence of their having grown out of a few simple notes—of having sprung from primaeval germs originating with the old Aryan family, from whom successive migrations carried away the original myth to be degraded elaborated or according to the genius and habits of the people. Thus other means of resolving the relations of the early races of Man'are added to those previously afforded by ethnographical and philological research. * Popular Tales from the Norse. (Translated from Asbjomsen and Moe*s Collection.) By George Webbe Dascnt, D.C.L. With an Introductory Essay on the Origin and Diffusion of Popular Tales. Second Edition. Edinburgh: 1859. INDEX. Account-keeping . . .87 Baratillo .... 169—171 Acodada 57 Barometer, height of . 68 Africans and Chinese . . 13 Barrancas . 179 89, 310, 313 Agriculture, 26, 61, 63,89, 157—161, Barricades . 55 172, Batabano Ahuehuetes . 265 Baths of Santa Fd 57, 155, 215, . 7 Alameda Bells, ancient . 57 . 235 Alluvial Deposits . . Bits .150 .... . 167 Aloes .... Books 35, 136 .... . 124 huts built of . . .36 „ Bronze-age . 139 Aloe-fibre, manufacture of. . 88 Bronze, stone-cutting with, 138—140 Aloe-juice, collected for Pulque 91 36, hatchets . 225 ,, Amatlan ..... 299 bells and needles . . 235 ,, Amecaineca .... 265 Bull-fights . 70 American War. . . 118—120 Bull-dogs in Mexico . 149 Amozoque . . . .295 Bull, lazoing the , 253, 323 Anahuac ... 270 Cacahuamilpan 200—205 57, Antiquities, collections of, 222-236, 262 Cacao-beans . 227 Antonio, our man . . .321 Cactuses . . 90 144 73, 140, Ants 8 Calendar-stone of Mexico . 237—240 Aqueduct of Chapultepec . . 55 Canals .... 130 58, Arch,*Aztec . . . 276 Canoes . . 129 134 153, 60, 132, Armadillo . . 325 Capitalists . 295 312, 319, Cascade of Regia 93 Arms of Mexico ... 42 . 114 9 Army, Mexican . . — 119 Castor-oil plant Arrow-heads . . . .137 Casa Grande 135 77, . 316 Cattle ... 323 Art, Aztec . 186, 230, 16, 31, 237— 244 of Cacahuamilpan 203—205 Astronomy, Aztec . 241, Cave 189-193 Atotonilco . . . 82, 85 Central American Antiquities 141 95—100 Aztec Antiquities, — 148, Cerro de Navajas 35, 137, . 58 183—195, 222—244, Chaleo, Canal of 150—156, . 173 274—280 Lake . 262—264, 208—214 103 •Ckalma .... Aztec Civilization . . . Chacultepec 55, 57 Language, 235, 243, Aztec 143, 227, Chinampas 279, 178 Chinese in Cuba Bananas 341 INDEX. • 73, Mexico . in English 2G Chipi-cliipi Mejico . de Estacion 274—278 Cholula 102— 187 195, 104, Ethnology, 17, 285—290 113,213 the Church, 276—280 241—244, Church-danccs • .75 rapid Evaporation, 36, Mexico in Churches Feather-work • H2 283, :, Civil-war eggs Flies’ Cigar-making . gardens Floating 7, 79, of Mexico Clergy streets Flooded 229, figures Clay 10—12 from free blacks 5, Florida, old-fashioned Coach, Spaniards, destruction of by Forests, Cochineal-insect . . 19 Fueros . 254, Cockfighting • • of Mexico . Future Cockroaches 256—258, Gambling, . 15, 207, . 196 Cocoyotla • • Glass-works . . 71 Colear-ing .... 4 Glossary Columbus . • 222 of War . Goddess Presidenl 19, Comonfort, work . . Gold and Silver Compadrazgo . • .171 Gourd-bottles . . . 105 Mexico Commerce of Cypresses . . Grove of 46, Convents in Mexico 120—224 Guadalupe (Our Lady of), 66, Convicts . . 219 Hams, Toluca . . 25 Cordova Havana 1, . 70 Corrida de Toros . 73 Hedges of Cactus Costumes 51, 62, Highlands of Mexico . 35 167, Courier Drums . 215 245—249 Hill of . Criminals 47—54 2 Holy Week Cuba . 290 . 179 Horse -bath Cuernavaca Horses . 163—165,317 Gerona 9 Cura of New Hotel d’Yturbide . 39 . 265 Cypress-trees 57, 5, 215, 211 Houses 172 207, 25, 36, 91, 135, Dancing built on piles . 41 Popular Legends. i, &c., 339 Dasent on „ . . 291 Huamantla . . . .31 Debt-slavery travelling by 173 Huehuetoca, draining-cut of . 45 Diligence, 37, 80—82 Dishonesty of Mexicans Humming-birds ... 69 83 Indian Baptism Dram-drinking . . . 207 Indians 61 Indian Dress of the . Ointment . . . 324 Drums 231 Indians of Mexico 47, 60-64, 80-88, . 66 Earthquakes 173, 182, 197-199, 200-208, 299- Eclipses observed in Mexico 333 314-316 309, Education 125-128 Indian Soldiers . 122 23, 120, Emancipados . 14 Indulgences . . 6, . 52, 124 INDEX. . . 149 . 128 Mexican Police . Inquisition, the United States, 118 . 319 War with Insects 41—44,111 307 Mexico, City of . Intemperance . 47, 83, ... 147 123 Old Inundations 44, 65, 140 Formation of the country of 27 . 102, Iron Future of • . 329 157-161, 179 Irrigation 86, of . . . 55 4 People of Pines Isle „ of 40—46, 270 . 268 Valley . Iztaccihuatl ,, . 115 Statistics • . 95 Military Jacal, Mount . 317-321 • 79, 258 . Miners Jalapa 92 . . . Miraflores Jorullo . 47 or School of Mines 50 Mineria, Judas . 30 49 Mirage Bones . . Judas’s . 241 Calendar . • 314 Mongolian La . Junta, 205, 209, 246 Monks Administration of —248, Justice, . 81, Morals of Servitude 101, 110, Mosaic work . Mexico, 44-46, 65, Lakes in Yalley of Mosquitos 5, 130—134, • . Mules, Mexican . . 28,35, Lava-fields 222—237 . . Museum of Mexico . . 249 Law-courts of Mexico • . white . Negress, 252— 323 Lazoing . 71, 254, • 13, in Mexico Negros 276—279, 340 Legends . . 236, • . Toluca Nevado de . • .251 Leper Hospital • . 24 Plantations of Nopals, • • .251 . . Leperos • . 219 Nopalucan ..... Lerma • 21, 332 Nortes on Eclipses . Tellier MS., Le . 121 de Remedioa Nuestra Sonora Mexico . Machinery in • . 4,8 Gerona . Nueva . .102 Iron-ore . Magnetic 107—110 &c • Mexican, Numerals, Knives 97, 331 of Obsidian Manufacture * 99 of . 95, mines Obsidian, Pines 6 in the Isle of Marble Quarries 95--102, 137, knives, &c., . . mountain ,, Loadstone 229, . 298 Locusts . Oculan . 66 Lonja . 147 Mexico 89 Old 85, Indian Market, . 153 near Tezcuco Baths . . 273, „ servant Martin, our . . near Tezcuco Bridge 235, „ • HO, 226, Masks . Organ-cactus Matracas of town Orizaba, 48, 61, Mestizos . of . .18, 29, volcano Orizaba, • 88 Metate of . common styles Ornament, Dishes Mexican 69, Pachuca . 51 Ladies Cliristi . 263 Palma . 227, Words „ . INDEX. . 32,117,170,297 Robbers . . . .57 or Alameda Paseo, Priest-captain of . . 3 (Cuba) . „ Passport-system . . .215, 265 Sacred trees . . .131 de los Banos Penon . 145 Sacrifice of Spaniards . 291—294 .... Peons . . 225 Sacrificial Clamps . . • .55 People of Mexico • 223 Stone . . 232—234 104, 130, Picture-writings, „ 162— . . 167 Saddles, &c. . Pintos . . 327 Thomas’s, W. Indies . 5 St. the Spanish Main Pirates of . . 84 .172 Salinas of Campeche . • Ploughing . soil .133 Saline condition of the .149 , Mexican . . Police, .... 294, Salt 83, 217, 264, Political Economy, 105, Salt-pans . . . 302—309, 111— Salto del Agua ... . 19, 118, Politics of Mexico Sand-pillars .... 30 282—284, 290, . 312 of . 265—273 San Andres Chalchicomula ascent Popocatepetl, 302—309 Antonio de Abajo . .296 217, San Population . 307 Josd and Earthquakes. . 67 San Potrero . 275 San Nicolas . . . Pottery . . 88 151, 226, 85, 285—290 Santa Anita .... 63 . 9 79, Priests . . 244—248 Santa Maria de Guadalupe . Prisons . . 64 Santa Rosita de Cocoyotla . 196 Promenade of Las Vigas Sardines . . . . .87 . 264 Protective duties 105, 281—291 School of Mines . .47 Puebla 113, Scorpions . . .319, Pulque . 37, 91 322 35, -Sculptures at Xochicalco . . 63 . 185 Pulque-shops . 141-148 274-278 Serape 169 Pyramids, 43, 190, Sheep ..... Quarries in the Isle of Pines 6 324 of obsidian 99 Shrines of Xochicalco . . 193 ,, of Silver-mines, &c. Teotihuacan . . 137 . 107 „ 74, 92, 105, Siege & Capitulation Rag-fair in Mexico . . 169 of Puebla, 282 113, Railway . . 121 Sisal . . . 2, 24, . .16 Rain . 266 Skull decorated 136, with mosaic work, Rainy Region . . 26 Slave-trade 13, Ranchos . 299 Smuggling 25, 266, . 296 273, Rattles . 49 Solar Eclipses observed in Mexico, 331 Real del Monte 77 Soldiers . 23, 114, Rebozo . 56 Soquital . . 82 Reform in Mexico . ii7 Spanish-moss . . 57 Regia 78 Spurs . 295 cascade of . 93 Stalactitic Cave „ . 200 Revolutions . 282—284 20, 114, Statistics of Mexico 115, 249, 286 Roads in Mexico . 76 29, 37, Stone-hammers . 137 — 4.4 3 INDEX. Stone knives and weapons . 103 Tezcuco, Lake of 95, 65, 138 129, Streets of Mexico 55 Thieves . 41, 52, 245 170, Sugar-canes . 179 Tisapan . 118—120 Sugar-hacienda of Santa Rosita . 196 Toluca 219 Tortillas of Temisco. . 180 . . Sugar-plantations of Havana 2 Tropical Vegetation . 24, 179 2, Tacubaya 69 Turkey-buzzards . 57, 22 Tallow .... . Valley of Mexico 324 . 45 Tasco, Silver-mines at Vapour-bath, native . 301 . 74 Temisco Vegetation, zones of 21 —27 216 .... . 179 178, Vera 325 Temple-pyramids, see Pyramids. Cruz . 18—21, Tenancingo 218 Virjen de Remedios . . 123 Tenochtitlan 41 Virgins, the rival . 123 Ten Tribes, Volantes 2 the. . 17 War-idol . 222 Teocallis, see Pyramids. Water-bottles . 171 Teotihuacan, Pyramids of 141—148 . Water-pipes . 157 Quarries of . 141 137, Xochimilco, Lake of Tequesquite . 133 . 173 183—195 Tezcozinco . 152 Xochicalco, Ruins of Tezcuco . 260—264 Yucatan . . . 129, 150, . . 22 Aztec Bridge at . . 153 Zopilites t v mEt L Jr ,. J ^ggSk jjt http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png

Anahuac, or, Mexico and the Mexicans : ancient and modern /

Jan 1, 1861

Anahuac, or, Mexico and the Mexicans : ancient and modern /

Abstract

22500876004 1 Tr/JBeZLEsq jbJ?h4footjuS/L %9 & / AAAH17AC: MEXICO AND THE MEXICANS, ANCIENT AND MODERN. EDWAKD B. TYLOE. LONDON: LONGMAN, GREEN, LONGMAN, AND ROBERTS. [T7ie Right of Translation is reserved .] yf.l-st 2-J Cz) — — INTRODUCTION. Mexico which have originated journey and excursions in The this volume were made narrative and remarks contained in the and June of for the in the months of March, April, May, 1856, The author and his fellow-traveller most part on horseback. the enjoyed many advantageous opportunities of studying coun- try, the people, and the antiquities of Mexico, owing to the which they received there. friendly assistance and hospitality With this enabled to accomplish much more than aid they were usually falls to the lot of travellers in so limited a period and they had the great advantage too, of being able to substantiate or correct their own observations by the local knowledge and ex- perience of their friends and entertainers. Visiting Mexico during a lull in the civil turmoil of that lamentably disturbed Republic, they were fortunate in being able to avail themselves of that peaceable season in making ex- cursions to remarkable places and ruins, and examining the national collection of

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22500876004 1 Tr/JBeZLEsq jbJ?h4footjuS/L %9 & / AAAH17AC: MEXICO AND THE MEXICANS, ANCIENT AND MODERN. EDWAKD B. TYLOE. LONDON: LONGMAN, GREEN, LONGMAN, AND ROBERTS. [T7ie Right of Translation is reserved .] yf.l-st 2-J Cz) — — INTRODUCTION. Mexico which have originated journey and excursions in The this volume were made narrative and remarks contained in the and June of for the in the months of March, April, May, 1856, The author and his fellow-traveller most part on horseback. the enjoyed many advantageous opportunities of studying coun- try, the people, and the antiquities of Mexico, owing to the which they received there. friendly assistance and hospitality With this enabled to accomplish much more than aid they were usually falls to the lot of travellers in so limited a period and they had the great advantage too, of being able to substantiate or correct their own observations by the local knowledge and ex- perience of their friends and entertainers. Visiting Mexico during a lull in the civil turmoil of that lamentably disturbed Republic, they were fortunate in being able to avail themselves of that peaceable season in making ex- cursions to remarkable places and ruins, and examining the national collection of antiquities, and other objects of interest, an opportunity that cannot have occurred since owing to the recommencement of civil war in its worst form. The following are some of the chief points of interest in these Notes on Mexico, which are either new or treated more fully than hitherto 1. The evidence of an immense ancient population, shewn by the abundance of remains of works of art (treated of at pages 146—150), is fully stated here.—2. The notices and drawings of Obsidian knives and weapons (at page 95, &c., and in the Ap- pendix) are more ample than any previously given. 3. The treatment of the Mexican Numerals (at page is partly 108) new - J • The proofs of the highly probable sophistication of the document in the Library at Paris, relative to Mexican eclipses, IV. have not previously been advanced (see Appendix). 5. The notices of objects of Mexican art, &c., in the chapter on Antiqui- the Appendix), ties, and elsewhere (including are for the most part to the public.—6. The remarks on the connection be- new that of tween pure Mexican art and Central America, in the chapter on Xochicalco, are in great part new.— 7. The singular is another native bridge at Tezcuco (page novelty. 153) The order in which places and things were visited is shewn sketch of the journeys and excur- in the annexed Itinerary, or sions described. ITINERARY. Isles of Pines. Nueva Havana. Batabano. 1.—Cuba. Journey Back to Havana. Banos de Santa Fe. Gerona. Pages 1—14. 15—18. Vera Cruz. Pages 2.—Havana. Sisal. Huamantla. Cruz. Cordova. Orizaba. 3.—Vera }> Pages 18—38. Otumba. Guadalupe. Mexico. Chapultepec, and back. 4. Mexico to Tacubaya and Pages — 58. 5. Anita and back. Pages — 65. —Mexico to Santa ,, 6. Mexico. Guadalupe. Pacbuca. Real del Monte. Regia. Atotonilco el Grande. Soquital and back to Real del Monte. Real del Monte to Mount Jacal and Cerro de Navajas (obsidian-pits), and back to Real del Monte. Pacbuca. Guadalupe. Mexico. Pages 72—105. —Mexico to Tisapan. Ravine of Magdalena. ,, Pedri- gal (lava-field), and 118 back. Pages —120. —Mexico to Tezcueo. Pages 129— Tezcuco to Pyramids of Teotihuacan and back. Pages —146. Tezcuco to Tezcotzinco (tbe so-called Montezuma’s Bath,” &c.). Aztec Bridge, and back to Tezcuco. Pages —153. Tezcuco to Bosque del Contador (the grove of ahue- huetes, where excavations were made.) Pages 154—156. Tezcuco to Mexico. Page 9. Mexico. San >> Juan de Dios. Da Guarda. Cuerna-' vaca. Temisco. Xochicalco. Miacatlan. Cocoytla, Pages 172—195. VI. and Cocoytla to village cave of Cacalmamilpan and back. Pages 190 205. to Chalma. Cocoytla Oculan. El Desierto. Ten- ancingo. Toluca. Lerma. Las Cruzes. Mexico. Pages 214 220. —Mexico to Tezcuco. Mirafiores. Amecameca. Popocatepetl. San Nicolas de los Ranchos. Cko- lula. Puebla. Amozoque. Nopaluca. San Antonio de abajo. Orizaba. Amatlan. El Potrero. Cordova. San Andres. Ckalckicomula. La Junta. Vera Indies and Home. Jalapa. Cruz. West Pages 260—327. vn. CONTENTS. OF TABLE 1—14 I. CHAP. Passports. Isle of Railway. Voyage. Yolantes. A Cuban Cuba. Alligators. Baths of Santa Fe. Runaway slaves. Mosquitos. Pirates. Pines. the West Indies. Colonists. Blacks in Missionary Priest. Florida The Cura. and African slaves. Chinese 15—38. CHAP. II. Slave-trade in Voyage. Yucatan. Players and Political Adventurers. Ignacio Comonfort. Mexican Natives. The Ten Tribes. Vera Cruz. Don Northers. of the Dead. Turkey-buzzards. Politics. Casualties. The City The “cold region.” The “temperate region.” Cordova. The Chipi-chipi. Plundered passengers. Robber- Mirage. Sand-pillars. The rainy season. mud-hricks. Huts of aloes. priest. Aztec Aloe-fields. Houses of remains. pulque. Mexican churches. Mexican roads. Making CHAP. III. 39—68. Palace-hotel of Mexico. Changes in the of Yturbide. Site and building Valley of Mexico. Dearth of Trees. Architecture. Drunkenness. Fights. Rattles. in Holy Week. Judas’s Bones. Burning Judas. Churches Streets. Barricades. People. Women. The cypress of Chapultepec. Old-fashioned coaches. The canal of Chaleo. Canoe-travelling. Reasonable people.” Taste for flowers. The Promenade. Flooded streets. Floating Gardens.” Earthquakes. 69—110. CHAP. IV. Tacubaya. Humming-birds and butterflies. Aztec feather-work. Bull- fight. Lazoing and colearing. English in Mexico. Hedge of organ-cactus. Pachuca. Cold in the hills. Rapid evaporation. Mountain-roads. Real del Monte. Guns and pistols. - Regia. The father-confessor in Mexico. Morals of servitude. Cornish miners. Dram-drinking. Salt-trade. The Indian market. Indian Conservatism. Sardines. Account-keeping. The great Barranca. “ Tropical fruits. Prickly pears. Their use. The Water- Throat.” Silver-works. Volcano of “ Jorullo. Cascade of Regia. Eyes of Water.” Fires. The Hill of Knives. Obsidian implements. Obsidian mines. The Stone-age. The loadstone-mountain of Mexico. Unequal Civilization of the Aztecs. Silver and commerce of Mexico. Effect of Protection-duties. Silver- mines. The Aztec numerals. Vlll. CHAP. V. Ill—128. A Revolution. and Siege Capitulation of Puebla. Military Statistics. Highway-robbery. Reform in Mexico. The American war. Mexican army. Our Lady of Guadalupe. Miracles. The rival Virgins. Sacred lottery-ticket. Literature in The clergy Mexico. and their system of Education in Mexico. The Holy Office. Indian Notions of Christianity. CHAP. VI. 129—161. To Tezcuco. Indian Canoes. Sewer-canal. Water-snakes. Salt-lakes. A storm on the lake. Glass-works. Casa Grande. Quarries. Stone Ham- mers. Use of Bronze in stone-cutting in Mexico and Pears. Egypt. Prickly Temple - pyramids of Teotihuacan. Sacrifice of Spaniards. Old Mexico. Market of Antiquities. Police. Bull-dogs. Accumulation of Alluvium. Tezcotziuco. Ancient baths and bridge. Salt and salt-pans. Fried flies’-eggs. Water-pipes. Irrigation. Agriculture in Mexico. History repeats itself. 162—195. CHAP. VII. and The Courier. Leather Horses and their training. Saddles bits. clothes. The Serape. The Rag-fair of Mexico, Thieves. Gourd water- Travelling by Diligence. Indian carriers. Mules. bottles. Ploughing. Cuernavaca. Tropical Vegeta- Breakfast. Bragadocchio. Robbers. Escort. The Temisco. Sugar-hacienda. Indian labourers. even- tion. Sugar-cane. of the Indians. Xochicalco. Ruins of the song. The Raya. Strength of Mexico and Sculptures. Common ornaments. The people Pyramid. Miacatlan. Their civilization. Pear-shaped heads. Central America. VIII. 196—220. CHAP. Condition of the Indians. Indian Indian labourers. Political Cocoyotla. Alcalde. Great Cave of Cotton-spinning. The Indian Village and huts. Monk on horseback. Religion of the Optical phenomenon. Cacahuamilpan. Village amusements. Dancing. Baptism by wholesale. Indians. Idols. miller’s the convent. Church-dances. The The meson and Chalma. Drums. Sacred cypress-tree. Oculan. friar. The Hill of daughter. Young Tenancingo. of Mexico. The Desierto. climate. Grain-districts Change of Robbers. Toluca. Lerma. 221—259. CHAP. IX. Stone. Mexican War-God. Sacrificial of Antiquities. Museum. Fate Art. V ooden of Horrors. Aztec Chamber naturalized in Europe, &c. words Mr. Uhde’s Collec- The “Man-flaying” Picture-writings. Aztec Drums. Armour. Mexican of Giants. Cortes’ Collection. Bones Christy’s tion. Mr. of Aztec Calendar. Peculiarities Mongol Aztec Astromony. Calendar-stone. “ class.” Prison-discipline. No Criminal at Mexico. The Prison Civilization. Lcperos The Corapadrazgo. law-courts. Statistics. Mexican Garotte. The Gambling. Monte. The Cockfighting. the bull. Lazoing and Lepers. Miners. fortunate IX. 260—280. CHAP. X. their wits. Jackal-masks, companion. Mexicans who live by A travelling United States. Miraflores. Cotton-factory. Mexican words used in the &c. of Popocatepetl. The and Cypress-tree. Rainy Season. Ascent Sacred Mount from Popocatepetl. Plain of Puebla. View of Anahuac. Descent Crater. Hospitable Shopkeeper. Morality of Smuggling. Pyramid Snow-blindness. of and Antiquities of Cholula. Hybrid Legends Mexico. Genuine Legends. among the Aztecs. Old-world analogies CHAP. XI. 281—309. Revolutions Puebla. The Pasadizos. in Mexico. Festival of Corpus Christi. Mexican clergy. Then incomes and morals. Scourging. Religion of of the People. Anomalous constitution the Republic. The horse-bath. Debt- slaves or peons. Great fortunes in Mexico. Amozoque. Spurs. Nopalucan. Orizaba. Robbers. Locusts. Indian village. Inroads of Civilization. Law- suits. Native Aristocracy. The vapour-bath. Scanty population. Its expla- nation. Unhealthy habits. Epidemics. Intemperance. Pineapples. Potrero. Negros. Mixed Painted men.” races. CHAP. XII. 310—330. Barrancas. Indian trotting. Flowers. Armadillo. Fire-flies. Singular Fandango. Epiphytes. The Junta. Indian Life. Decorative Art. Horses. Jalapa. Anglo-Mexicans. Insect-life. Monte. Fate of Antonio. Scorpion. White Negress. Cattle. Artificial lighting. Vera Cruz. Further Journey. St. Thomas’s. Voyage to England. Future destinies of Mexico. APPENDIX. I. The Manufacture of Obsidian Knives. II. On the Solar Eclipses recorded in the Le Tellier MS. III. Table of Aztec roots. IV. Glossary. V. Ancient Mexican mosaic work (in Mr. Christy's Collection). VI. Dasent’s Essay on the Ethnographical value of Popular Tales and Legends. LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. Plates. Cascade of Regia. From a photograph hy J. Bell, Esq. (To title-page.) face Porter and Baker in Mexico. (To face page 55.) Indians bringing Country Produce to Market. (To page face 174.) Indians in a Rancho, making and baking Tortillas. (To face page 201.^ Map to illustrate Messrs. Tylor and Christy’s journeys and ex- cursions in Mexico. Woodcuts. (The cuts smaller objects antiquity, and of of articles at present in use have been specimens drawn from in the Collection Henry Christy, of Esq.) PAGE. Tlacliiquero, collecting Indian juice of the Agave for Pulque View of Part of the Valley of Mexico Mexican Water-carrier and Woman at the Fountain Group of Mexican Ecclesiastics Stone Spear-heads, and Obsidian Knives and Arrow-heads, Mexico from 96 Fluted Prism of Obsidian, and Knife-flakes Obsidian Mexican Arrow-heads of 101 Stone -knife, with wooden handle, inlaid with mo- Aztec saic work 101 Head in Terra-cotta 110 Aztec Rebozo and the Serape Ill, 130 The Bridge near Tezcuco 153 Aztec Spanisli-Mexican Saddle and appendages 162 with ring and chain 167 Spanish-Mexican Bit, Panel, from Xochicalco. (After Nehel) 185 Sculptured Terra-cotta 195 Aztec Head in Small ) ) XI. PAGE. Ixtacalco Church. Spanisli-Mexican Spurs 220 Goddess of War. (After Nebelj 221 carved Three Views of a Sacrificial Collar or Clamp, out of hard stone To page face 225 Two Views of a Mask, carved out of hard stone. To 226 face p. Ancient Bronze Bells 236 Spanish-Mexican Cock-spurs 254 Leather Sandals Mexican Costumes. (After Nebel View of Orizaba Indians of the Plateau. (After Nebel 310 ERRATA. Page line 5, for verandahs read verandahs. 2, 12, for il read el. „ 8, „ for part read port. 17, 17, „ „ for pronunciamento read pronunciamiento. ,, 20, 8, I could read one can. 22, 10, for „ „ Mexicana read Americana. 27, for „ „ 2, read the . Heading, for the hlans . hubmantea . rains , huamantla 31, line for molina de viente read molino de viento. 31, 4, in description of woodcut. Delete bone. 101, line hands read hand. 216, for , ,, 9, % ift/ the f'ou/ih 'four Map ofpart of, Ur. vico to i/lustra-to ? MrxtitJa txmuprilpan 'n/fratal . l/n/a/rtm 'Naxxda A* Genera/. 'Map «U' Loup mill- 100 90 '/.am linn unpango Ohanlia Jalancii XA,C>nlnJ.<r^^ sS’cbi otorinco ' Tlnxm Lxtlahun. Niuihrjimpatrp ell Junta la Simn ]Quanuintla Tohtoi Jfaliitihr I Jun i Jr Vhta Nrv.uLi Chcdclucornula ifilatlorcs\ .<lr Ins Sarrhirioj Jr. To him I Izt accilituCt Omluhi Aniccamrai S. drains Siiltrper Zaainlpi Chabnu/ 1 Tcpryacac jlthsrn' jurvr or' CnrMubimilpi TeJinaran Jr las Granada,' Longitude ANAHUAC, &c. CHAP. I. OF PINES. THE ISLE spring of I met with Mr. Christy acci- In the 1856, dentally in an omnibus at Havana. He had been in Cuba adventurous for some months, leading an life, visiting sugar-plantations, copper-mines, and coffee-estates, de- scending into caves, and botanizing in tropical jungles, cruising for a fortnight in an open boat among the coral- reefs, hunting turtles and manatis, and visiting all sorts of people from whom information was to be had, from foreign consuls and Lazarist missionaries down to retired slave- dealers and assassins. As for myself, I had been travelling for the best part of year in the a United States, and had but a short time since left the live-oak forests and sugar-plantations of Louisiana. We agreed to go to Mexico together; and the present notes are principally compiled from our memorandum-books, and from letters written home on our journey. B 2 anahuac. Before we left Cuba, however, we made one last ex- cursion across the island, and to the Isla de Pinos —the Isle of Pines —off the southern coast. A volante took us to the railway-station. The volante is the vehicle which the Cubans specially affect it is like a Hansom cab, but the wheels are much taller, six and a half feet high, and the black driver sits postillion-wise upon the horse. Our man had a laced jacket, black leather leggings, and a pair of silver spurs fastened upon his bare feet, which seemed at a little distance to have well polished hoots on, they were so black and shiny. The railway which took us from Havana to Batabano had some striking peculiarities. For a part of the way the track passed between two walls of tropical jungle. The Indian fig trees sent down from every branch suckers, like smooth strings, which rooted themselves in the ground to draw more mimosas, up water. Acacias and the seiba and the mahagua, with other hard-wood trees innumerable, crowded close to one another while epiphytes perched on every branch, and creepers bound the whole forest into mass of vegetation, through which no bird could a compact with fly. We could catch the strings of convolvulus our walking-sticks, as the tram passed through the jungle. swamp, where clusters of Sometimes we came upon a growing, crowned with tufts of pointed bamboos were of a group of royal had a glimpse for a moment leaves or palms upon the rising ground. their wide cane- passed sugar-plantations with We the bal- sugar-houses with tall chimneys, and fields, the administrador, keeping a sharp look conied house of the in double the village of negro-cabins, arranged out over lines. where we stopped, near the stations In the houses Men, universal occupation. seemed to be the cigar-making 3 VOYAGE. PINES—THE OF ISLE tables hard at round were sitting children and women, oiling up men 1 the black laugh to see us It made work. natuie has which thighs, of their the hollow cigars upon process. to this suited curve exactly into a fashioned the pier, and waiting at was the steamer Batabano At by examined carefully were and ourselves our passports offices, passport paradise of is the captain, for Cuba the everybody For once visa. without a one cannot stir and my com- scene as had no such and we was en regie, days before. a few had witnessed panion in Cuba, you cannot man resident a married If you are without your wufe’s the next town passport to go to get a happened that a respect- writing. Now it so permission in wanted to go Santiago de Cuba, brazier, who lived at able consent so he either His wife would not to Trinidad. stratagem, or, what is more likely, her signature by got something to get him a passport under gave somebody false pretences. At any rate he was safe on board the steamer, when a evidently middle-aged female, well dressed, but arrayed in haste, and wdth a face crimson with hard running, came panting down to the steamer, and rushed on board. Seizing upon the captain, she pointed out her husband, who had other passengers taken refuge behind the at a respectful distance she declared that she had never consented to his that his body going away, and demanded should be in- stantly delivered up to her. The husband was appealed preferred staying to, but where he was. The captain pro- duced the passport, perfectly en regie, and the lady made a rush at the document, which was torn in half in the scuffle. All other means failing, she made a sudden dash at her husband, probably intending to carry him off by main force. He ran for his life, and there was a steeple- chase round the deck, among benches, bales, and coils of — ANAHUAC. rope while the passengers and the ci'ew cheered first one and then the other, till they could not speak for laughing. The husband was all caught but once but a benevolent passenger kicked a camp-stool in the lady’s way, and he got a fresh start, which he utilized by climbing up the ladder to the paddle-box. His wife tried to follow him, shouts but the of laughter which the black men raised at seeing her performances were too much for her, and she came down again. Here the captain interposed, and put her Susan till the ashore, where she stood like black-eyed lily hand, vessel was far from the wharf, not waving her however, shaking her clenched fist in the direction of but the fugitive. the Isle of Pines. To return to our voyage to her way cau- All the afternoon the steamer threaded almost the coral-reefs which rose to tiously among the scarcely room to pass surface. Sometimes there seemed been and night navigation would have between them, by in the place where Columbus impossible. We were just then expedition along the companions arrived on and his lay beyond. They what countries coast, to find out Cuban night, till their patience was and lay to at sailed by day, of sailing would have day or two Another worn out. coast trends northwards but where the them to ; brought died in the belief that and Columbus back, they turned continent of Asia. of the extremity was the eastern Cuba we have cayos,” and reefs Spaniards call these The “ in Florida, as Key West keys,” such the name to altered off* Belize. Ambergris Key and phosphorescent animals and the after sunset, was It when we like molten metal, sea glitter making the were the river, slowly up and steamed Isle of Pines, the reached village the fringe the banks, to that mangroves the among consisted of It of the island. the port Gerona, Nueva of PIRATES. 5 —MOSQUITOS, OF PINES ISLE and sur- with palm-leaves, thatched rows of houses two them a street and between wide verandalis rounded by unmitigated mud. of could in the dusk, we through the place As we walked thatched in their inhabitants sitting dimly discern the gossipping, white dresses, the thinnest of verandalis, in and singing tinkling guitars, and love-making, smoking, American scene out of quite a Spanish seguidillas. It was romance about the mosquitos, There was no a romance. I was new alive with them. When however. The air was European fashion and I used to go to bed in the to Cuba, inches too short, my feet used to as the beds were all six came their way out in the night, and the mosquitos find taught us that it down and sat upon them. Experience half-dressed, that only our faces was better to lie down so and hands were exposed to their attacks. The Isle of Pines used to be the favourite resort of the of Spanish main indeed there no other pirates the were inhabitants. The creeks and rivers being lined with the densest vegetation, a few yards up the winding course of such a creek, they were lost in the forest, and a cruiser might pass within a few yards of their liu'king-place, and no see traces of them. Captain Kyd often came here, and stories of his buried treasures are still told among the inhabitants. Now the island serves double a purpose it is a place of resort for the Cubans, who come to rusticate and bathe, and it serves as a settlement for those free black inhabitants of Florida who chose to leave that country when it was given up to the United States. One of these Floridanos accompanied us as our guide next day to the Banos de Santa Fd. When we left the village we passed near the mangrove trees, which were growing not only near the water but in it, and like to spread their roots among the thick black 6 ANAHUAC. slime which accumulates so fast in this country of rapid vegetable growth, and as rapid decomposition. In Cuba, the mangoe is the abomination the of planters, for they supply the runaway slaves with food, upon which they have been known to subsist for months, whilst the man- groves give them shelter. A little further inland we found the guava, a thick-spreading tree, with smooth green leaves. From its fruit is made guava-jelly, but as yet it was not ripe enough to eat. In the middle of the island we came upon marble- quarries. They are hardly worked now but when they were first established, a number of emancipados were em- ployed there. What emancipados are, it is worth while to explain. They are Africans taken from captured slavers, under inspection and are set to work government for a limited number of years, on a footing something like that apprentices in Jamaica, in the interregnum between of the slavery and emancipation. In Cuba it is remarked that mortality among the emancipados is frightful. They the probation. The explanation seldom outlive their years of of statistics is curious. The fact is that every of this piece old man dies, they bury him and then, when an as now emancipados, whose register is sent in to the one of the while the negro himself Government as dead goes to some out-of-the-way plantation where work as a slave in are told. no tales and rode for miles over a We left the marble-quarries, and sandy and full of savannah. The soil was loose wide and in the watercourses were fi’agments of flakes of mica, down from the hills. Here flourished brought granite, acacias, mimosas, and cactuses, and palmettos, palm trees and the guava tree preferred the the mangoe while the coast. The hills were co- patches nearer to damper has its from which the island the pine-trees vered with OF PINES—THE BATHS. 7 ISLE ground at their base we saw the tlie rising name and on side palms and fir trees growing by- spectacle of strange side. the change in the vege- Where we came upon a stream, from It was a sudden transition tation was astonishing. the jungle of the English plantation of fir trees into an lancewood, and great tropics, full of Indian figs, palms, knotted together by endless creepers mahagua* trees, all while the parrots kept up a continual chat- and parasites tree-tops. tering and screaming in the The moment we the narrow strip of tropical forest that lined the stream left we were in the pine wood. Here the first two or three feet of the trunks of the pine trees were scorched and blackened by the flames of the tall dry savannah-grass, which grows close round them, and catches fire several times every year. Through the pine forest the conflagra- tion spreads unobstructed, as in an American prairie but it only runs along the edge of the dense river- vegetation, which it cannot penetrate. The Banos de Santa Fe are situated in a cleared space among the fir trees. The baths themselves are nothing but a cavity in the rock, into which a stream, at a temperature of about 80°, continually flows. A partition in the middle divides the ladies from the gentlemen, but allows them to continue them conversation while they sit and splash in their respective compartments. The houses are even more quaint than the bathing- establishment. I he whole settlement consists of a square field surrounded by little houses, each with its roof of palm leaves and indispensable verandah. Here the Cubans The mahagua tree furnishes that curious fibrous network which is known as bast, and used to wrap bundles of cigars in. The mahogany tree is called caoba in Spanish, apparently the original Indian name, as the Spaniards pro- bably first became acquainted with it in Cuba. “ Is our word mahogany” tho result of a confusion of words, and corrupted “ ?” from mahagua 8 ANAHUAC. come to stay for months, bathing, smoking cigarettes, flirt- ing, gossiping, playing cards, and strumming guitars and they seemed to be all agreed on one point, that it was a delightful existence. We left them to their tranquil en- joyments, and rode back to Nueva Gerona. Next morning we borrowed a gun from the engineer of the steamboat, and I bought some powder and shot at a shop where they kept two young alligators under the counter for the children to play with. The creeks and lagoons of the island are full of them, and the negroes told us that in a certain lake not far off there lived no less a ”— personage than “the crocodile king “il rey los cro- de codilos but we had no time to pay his majesty a visit. Two of the Floridan negroes rowed us up the river. Even at some distance from the mouth, sting-rays jelly-fish and floating were about. As we rowed upwards, the banks were overhung with the densest vegetation. There were mahogany trees with their curious lop-sided leaves, the copal-plant with its green egg-like fruit, from which copal when it is cut, like opium from a poppy-head, palms oozes oily palmettos, and guavas. with clusters of nuts, When a palm-tree on the river-bank would not grow freely for of other trees, it would strike out in a slant- the crowding the clear i*iver, ing direction till it reached space above the straight upwards with its crown of leaves. and then shoot and took them shot a hawk and a woodpecker, We many minutes after we had laid them on home but, not aware that we were tiled floor of our room, we became the The ants were upon us. They were coming by invaded. line of march up our window-sill thousands in a regular When again inside, straight towards the birds. and down window, there was a black stripe we looked out of the whole army of the court-yard on the flags, a lying across the skins it was impossible to get coming. We saw them ; ; PINES—THE CURA. 9 ISLE OF window, and threw them out of the the the birds, so of them. faced about and followed advanced guard village the Castor-oil plant sand in front of the On the its little nuts were ripe, flourished, the Palma Christi innocent that, undeterred by the example and tasted so in the Swiss Family Robinson, I ate several, of the boy and was handsomely punished for it. In the evening I recounted my ill-advised experiment to the white-jacketed and loungers in the verandah of the inn, was assured that I must have eaten an odd number The second nut, they told me with much gravity, counteracts the first, the fourth neutralizes the third, and so on ad infini tum . We made two clerical acquaintances in the Isle of Pines. One was the Cura of New Gerona, and his parent- age was the only thing remarkable him. about He was not merely the son of a priest, but his grandfather was a priest also. The other was a middle-aged ecclesiastic, with a plea- sant face and an unfailing supply of good-humoured fun. Everybody seemed to get acquainted with him directly, and to become quite confidential after the first half-hour and a drove of young men followed him about every- where. His reverence kept up the ball of conversation continually, and showed considerable skill bis in amusing auditors and drawing them out in their turn. It is true the jokes which passed seemed to us mild, but they ap- peared to suit the public exactly and indeed, the Padre was quite capable of providing better ones when there was a market for them. We found that though Spaniard by birth, he had been brought up at the Lazarist College in Paris, which we know as the training-school of the French missionaries in China and we soon ; made friends with him, as everyone else did. A day or two afterwards we went to see him in c ; ANAHUAC. Havana, and found him hard at his work, which was the superintendence of several of the charitable institutions of the city—the Foundling Hospital, the Lunatic Asylum, and others. His life was one of incessant labour, and in- deed people said he was killing him self with over-work, but he seemed always in the same state of chronic hilarity and when he took us to see the hospitals, the children and patients received him with demonstrations of great delight. I should not have said so much of our friend the Padre, were it not that I think there is a moral got of to be out him. I believe he may be taken as a type, not indeed of Roman Catholic missionaries in general, but of a certain class among them, who are of considerable importance in the missionary world, though there are not many of them. sample his class, I think Taking the Padre as a of as we may judging from the accounts of them we meet with in notice, how the point in which their books, it is curious to system is strongest is just that in which the Protestant that is, in social training and deport- system is weakest, men to India with the best ment. What a number of go work at once, flinging then- doctrines intentions, and set to learnt in the least to under- natives before they have at the said natives’ minds are like, or how they stand what the their pet prejudices, mortally dropping at once upon work,— arguing with preliminary step towards offending them as a cat of society backwards short, stroking the them and in they have manner. By the time most conscientious in the man like our Cuban this satisfactory result, a accomplished preached argued but little and though he may have Padre, natives bound to him by would have a hundred less, even anything and ready to accept personal attachment, strong of teaching. him in the way from Floridan round of visits to the paid a regular We pleasant simple delighted with their and were settlers, FLORIDA COLONISTS. 11 OF PINES— ISLE than thirty years since they It is not much more ways. since have of the children born Florida, and many left cultivated land English. The patches of learnt to speak little labour, enough produce, with but round their cottages and to sell, procuring vegetables for then- subsistence, care for. They seemed clothing and such luxuries as they and to govern their little to live happily among themselves, after manner of the Patriarchs. colony the Whether any social condition can be better for the Indies, than that of these black inhabitants of the West settlers, I very much doubt. They are not a hard-working- people, it is true but hard work in the climate of the tropics is unnatural, and can only be brought about by unnatural means. That sunk they are not in utter lazi- ness one can see by their neat cottages and trim gardens. Their state does not correspond with the idea of prosperity of the political economist, who would have them work hard to produce sugar, rum, and tobacco, that they might earn money to spend in crockery and Manchester goods but it is suited to the race and to the climate. If we measure prosperity by the enjoyment of life, their condi- tion is an enviable one. I think no unprejudiced observer can visit the West Indies without seeing the absurdity of expecting the free blacks to work like slaves, as though any inducement but the strongest necessity would ever bring it about. There are only two causes which can possibly make the blacks industrious, in our sense of the word, —slavery, or a popu- lation so crowded as to make labour necessary to supply their wants. In one house in the Floridan colony we found a manage which was surprising to me, after my experience of the United States. The father of the family was a white man, Spaniard, and his wife a black woman. They received 12 ANAHUAC. us with the greatest hospitality, and we sat in the porch for a long time, talking to the family. or One two of the mulatto daughters were very handsome and there were some visitors, young white men from the neighbouring village, who were apparently come to pay then’ devoirs to the young ladies. Such marriages are not uncommon in Cuba and the climate of the island is not unfavourable for the mixed negro and European race, while to the pure whites it is deadly. The creoles of the country are a poor degenerate race, and die out in the fourth generation. It is only by intermarriage with Europeans, and continual supplies of emigrants from Europe, that the white popula- tion is kept up. On the morning of our high departiu-e we climbed a hill of limestone, covered in places with patches of a lime- stone-breccia, cemented with sandstone, and filling the cavities in the rock. All over the hill we found doubly re- Iceland-spar in in fracting quantities. Euphorbias, Europe mere shrubs, were here smooth-limbed trees, with large From the top of the hill, the character of the flowers. savannahs was well displayed. Every water-course could by its narrow line of deep green forest, contrast- be traced ing with the scantier vegetation of the rest of the plain. out of the river, rows of brilliant red As we steamed fishing, and were standing in the shallow water, flamingos his ungainly beak. Our here and there a pelican with when we were having then' meal of rice Chinese crew were hard at walked forward, and the national chopsticks all talked to several of them. They could work. We intelligent. a little Spanish, and were very speak curious of these Chinese emigrants is a The history out, and Agents in China persuade them to come one. for eight years, receiving sign a contract to work they food and five dollars a month, with their three to from AND AFRICANS. 13 PINES—CHINESE ISLE OF them but, when a fortune to sum seems The ; clothing. cost that the value find to their Cuba, they they come to They what it will buy. estimated by money must be of thirty dollars a labourer is value of a black find that the themselves for practically sold and they have month, the masters who no one to prevent for there is slaves their work from treating contract for have bought the The value of such a con- respects as slaves. them in all himself, was from <£30 to that is, of the Chinaman tract— for them, in the island. Fortunately £40 when we were plantation-work. Some die bear the severe they cannot and exposure, and many after a few days of such labour and the utter indifference with more kill themselves commit suicide, as soon as life seems not worth which they their having, contributes to moderate the exactions of in Cuba had a Chinese servant masters. A friend of ours and who was impertinent one day, his master turned him of the room, dismissing him with a kick. The out other servants woke then master early next morning, with the intelligence that the Chinese had killed himself in the night, received. to expiate the insult he had Of African slaves brought into the island, the yearly number is about 15,000. All the details of the trade are matter general of notoriety, even to the exact sum paid to each official as hush-money. It costs a hundred dollars for each negro, they say, of winch a gold ounce (about £3 16s.) is the share of the Captain-general. To this must be added the cost of the slave in Africa, and the ex- pense of the voyage but when the slave is once fairly ; on a plantation he is worth eight hundred dollars so it may be understood how profitable the trade still is, if only one slaver out of three gets through. The island itself with its creeks and mangrove-trees is most favourable for their landing, if they can once make 14 ANAHUAC. the shore; and the Spanish cruisers will not catch them if they can help it. If a British cruiser captures them, the negroes are made emancipados in the way I have already explained. Hardly any country in the world is thoroughly in a so false position as England in her endeavours to keep down the Cuban slave-trade, with the nominal concurrence of the Spanish government, and the real vigorous opposition of every* Spaniard on the island, from the Captain-General downwards. Even the most superficial observer who lands for an hour or two in Havana, while his steamer is taking in coals, can have evidence of the slave-trade brought before his eyes in the tattooed faces of native Africans, young and middle-aged, in the sti'eets and markets just backs of the negroes, what as he can guess, from the scored sort of discipline is kept up among them. board the steamboat off the pier of Bata- We slept on Havana next bano, and the railway took us back to morning. CHAP. II. HAVANA TO VEEA CRUZ—VERA CRUZ TO MEXICO. On the 8th of March, we went on board the Mejico” and retaining her American en- steamer, American-built, gineers, but in other respects converted into a Spanish vessel, and now lying in the harbour of Havana bound for Vera Cruz, touching at Sisal in Yucatan. At eight o’clock we weighed anchor, and were piloted through the narrow passage which leads out of the harbour past the castle of El Morro and the fort of Cabanas, the view of whose ram- parts and batteries caused quite a flourish of trumpets among our Spanish fellow-passengers, who firmly believe in their hnpregnability. Among our fellow-passengers were a company of fifth- rate comedians, going to Merida by way of Sisal. There was nothing interesting to us about them. Theatrical people and green-room slang vary but little over the whole civilized world. There were two or three Spanish and French tradesmen going back to Mexico. They talked of nothing but the dangers of the road, and not without reason as it proved, for they were all robbed before they got home. Several of the rest were gamblers or political adven- turers, or both, for the same person very often unites the two professions out here. Spain and the Spanish American Republics produce great numbers of these people, just as Missouri breeds border-ruffians and sympathizers. But the ruffian is a good fellow in compai'ison with these well- ; ANAHUAC. dressed, polite scoundrels, wlio could have given Fielding a hint or two lie would have been glad of for the charac- ters of Mr. Jonathan Wild and his friend the Count. On the morning of the third day of our voyage we reached Sisal, and as soon as the captain would let us we went ashore, in a canoe that was like a flat wooden box. This said captain was a Catalan, and a surly fellow, and did not take the trouble to disguise the utter contempt he felt for our inquisitive ways, which he seemed quite to take pleasure in thwarting. It was the only place we were in to see Yucatan, a country whose name is associated with ideas of tropical fruits, where you must cut your forest-path with a machete, and of vast ruins of de- serted temples and cities, covered with up a mass of dense vegetation. But here there was nothing of this kind. Sisal is a miserable little town, standing on the shore, with a great salt-marsh behind it. It has a sort of little jetty, which constitutes its claim to the title of port and two or three small merchant-vessels were lying there, taking in cargoes of logwood (the staple product of the district), hides, deerskins. The sight of these latter mahogany, and surprised us but we found on enquiry that numbers of well horned cattle inhabit the thinly-peopled deer as as flourish districts round the shores of the Mexican Gulf, and climate, except when a year of in spite of the burning comes, which kills them off by thousands. drought examined as closely One possible article of export we inhabit- would allow, namely, the Indian as opportunity the right article ants. There they are, in every respect : them- —brown-slcinned, incapable of defending for trade industrious and the creeks selves, strong, healthy, and sail off. mangrove-swamps of Cuba only three days’ and thou- that one hundred The plantations and mines want and swallow them into full work, sand men to bring THE TEN TRIBES. 17 IN NATIVES : SLAVE-TRADE negroes indifferently—anything Chinese, and aborigines, work—would skin, and can be made to has a dark that and pay well for Yucatecos in any quantity, take these or down a mine, when And once on a sugar-estate them. are regularly made out, and the their sham registers passing his ounce of gold apiece for Governor has had who his subordinates their respective rights, them, and them ? shall get them out again, or even find sat looking at the Indians This idea struck us as we hard at work, loading and unloading and finding an in- telligent Spaniard, we fell to talking with him. Indians very none had been carried off to Cuba, he said, but few, since when two Englishmen came the coast with 1854, to a schooner on pretence of trading, and succeeded in getting off with clear a cargo of seventy-two natives on board. But being caught in a heavy gale of wind, they put in for safety of — all places in the world—into the British part of Belize. There some one found out what them cargo consisted of, the vessel was seized, the Indians sent back, and the two adventurers condemned to hard labour, one for four years, the other for two and a half. In a place where the fatigue and exposure of drill and mounting guard is death to a European soldier, this was most likely a way of inflicting capital punishment, slow, but pretty sure* When the Spaniards came to these countries, as soon as they had leisure to ask themselves what could be the origin of the people they found there, the answer came at once, the lost tribes of Israel,” of course. And as we looked at these grave taciturn men, with then- brown Wo heard talk elsewhere, however, of a war going on in the interior of the country between the white inhabitants and the Indian race; the apparent object of the whites being to tako Indian prisoners, and ship them oil for slaves to Cuba. D 18 ANAHITAC. complexions, bright eyes, and strikingly acquiline noses, it did not seem strange that this should belief have been generally held, considering the state of knowledge on such matters in those days. We English found the ten tribes in the Red men of the north Jews have written books in Hebrew for their own people, to make known to them that the rest of their race had been found in the moun- tains of Chili, retaining unmistakeable traces of their origin and conversing fluently in Hebrew and but lately they turned up, collected together and converted to Chris- tianity, on the shores of the Caspian. The last two theo- ries have their supporters at the present day. Crude as most of these ideas are, one feels a good deal of interest in men thinking seriously about the the first inquiry that set origin of races, and laid the foundation of the science of ethnology. affair, for there was a Our return on board was a long in our teeth and oiu' unwieldy craft stiff breeze, almost before we could reach obliged to make tack after tack was floating Portuguese men-of-war were the steamer. Great and we passed through patches waiting for prey about, into long ropes. The gulf-weed, trailing out stringy of 84° thermometer standing at when we hot, the water was the side. it over dipped deck, the 12tlx, when we went on morning of On the before us. No shore sight displayed a grand there was horizon and, of clouds on the heavy bank visible, but a ; snowy into the sky, the towering up above them, high miles off. a hundred and fifty of Orizaba, summit harbour of Vera Cruz. we are entering the Before noon, just oppo- fort of San Juan de Ulua island and little The farther to of Sacrificios a little the island wharfs, site the water’s edge of city-wall along the level line ; the left. and the roofs of the houses, it, the flat above visible and, ] 9 MEXICAN POLITICS. VERA C'RUZ: grey stone, All churches. of many and cupolas towers on the church- Spanish tiles colored the relieved by only of Not a scrap the harbour. two in a flag or roofs, and sun poui- of a tropical the rays seen, and to be vegetation upon us. down ing deliberated Diligencias, we Casa de Established in the the capital, The diligences to Mexico. our ourney to as to account of the some months on stopped for having been run had just begem to the country, disturbed state of besieged. We which was being avoiding Puebla, again, sagaciously but Mr. Christy anxious to be off at once were know of the arrival of robbers would remarking that the take the first diligence and would probably the steamer, day booked our places for the afterwards, we that came after. the English mer- were very kindly received by We companion had letters, and we set chants to whom my of things in to learn what was the real state ourselves Mexico. an average, the Presidency of the Republic of On Mexico had changed hands once every eight months for the last ten years and Don Ignacio Comonfort had stepped into the office in the previous December, on the nomina- tion of his predecessor the mulatto general Alvarez, who had retired to the southern provinces with his army. President Comonfort, with empty coffers, and scarcely had any real political power, felt it necessary to make some great effort to get popularity for himself and his government. He had therefore adopted the policy of attacking the the fueros, extraordinary privileges of the two classes of priests and soldiers, which had become part of the constitution under the first viceroys, and which not even the war of independence, and the adoption of republican forms, ever did away with. Neither class is 20 ANAHUAC. amenable to the civil tribunals for debt or for any offences.* The clergy have immense revenues, and much spiritual influence among the lower classes and as soon as they discovered the disposition of the new President, they took one Don Antonio Haro Tamirez, him set up as a counter- President, and installed him at Puebla, the second city of the Republic, where priests swarm, and priestly influence is unbounded. At the same time, they tried pronuncia- mento in the capital but the President got the better of them after a slight struggle, and marched all his regular soldiers on Puebla. At the moment of our arrival in the country, the siege of this city was going on quite briskly, commanded forty- ten thousand men being engaged, by general officers. three disagreeable is happening in the Whenever anything Cruz is sure to get its full share. A month country, Vera who was a prisoner in the our arrival, one Salcedo, before with the Juan de Ulua, talked matters over castle of San them to make a pronunciamento and persuaded garrison, They then summoned the of the insurgents. in favour their cause, which it declined doing for the to join town fire upon it, knocking about and the castle opened present deal of principal buildings, and doing a good of the some through the wall of our 30-pound shot went damage. waiter who was leg of an unfortunate off the hotel, taking own body, belong to their courts whose members * must be judged by They of justice is meted out imagine what sort special tribunals one can in these and the mass of was to conciliate creditors. Comonfort’s hope complainants and to he abuse. I beb'eve relieve them of this enormous attempting to people by the already had to do unfortunately the people had intentions, but. honest in his was inaugurate a their wrongs and politicians who were to redress many too with but such movements, found very little to como of They had liberty. reign of were before, which left them worse off than they civil war, and extra-taxation unprincipled than rather more greedy and turned out patriots generally the and forward to give that no one came be wondered at was not to so it others; the new President. support to the energetic very any 21 —THE CLIMATE. VERA CRUZ patio, or inner court. falling into the knives, and cleaning our bedroom door in- plaster just outside daub of fresh had a British Consul’s office spot; and the dicated the city could offer Governor of the similar decoration. The the supplies from the but he cut off no active resistance, Salcedo—finding himself three or four days island, and in water—surrendered in a ammunition, and short of out of ended. neat speech, and the revolution Vera Cruz, had a short time to stay in so We have but quickly for when we come better make our observations again there will be a sun nearly in the zenith, and back moment hardly showing itself yellow fever—at the present for the summer under those circum- —will have come stances, the unseasoned foreigner had better lie on his back in a cool room, with a cigar in his mouth, and read novels, than about hunting for useful information. go There are streets of good Spanish houses in Vera Cruz, built of white coral-rock from the reefs near the shore, but they are mildewed and dismal-looking. Outside the walls is the Alameda and close by is a line of houses, unin- habited, mouldy, and in ruins. We asked who built them. Los Espanoles,” they said. Even now, when the “nortes” are blowing, and the city is comparatively healthy, Vera Cruz is a melan- choly place, with a plague-stricken look about it but it is from June to October that its name, “the city of the dead” —la ciudad de los muertos—is really deserved. In that season comes an accumulation of evils. The smi is at its height there is no north wind ; to clear the air and the heavy tropical rains —more than three times as much in quantity as falls in England in the whole year —come down in a short rainy season of four months. The water filters through the sand-hills, and forms great stagnant lagoons a rank tropical ; vegetation springs up, and the 22 ANAHUAC. air is soon filled with pestilential vapours. Add to this that the water is unwholesome the city too is placed in a sand-bath which keeps up a regular temperature, by accumulating heat by day and giving it out into the air by night, so that night gives no relief from the stifling closeness of the day. No wonder that Mr. Bullock, the Mexican traveller, as he sat in his room here in the hot season, heard the church-bells tolling for the dead from morning to night without intermission for weeks and weeks, I could hardly even look into the street without seeing funeral. We turned back through the city, and walked along watching the Zopilotes — great turkey-buzzards with their bald heads and foul dingy-black plumage. They were sitting in compact rows on parapets of houses and churches, and seemed specially affect the cross of the to cathedral, where they perched, two on each arm, and some on the top. When some offal was thrown into the streets, they came down leisurely upon it, one after another their appearance and deportment reminding us of the under- in England coming down from the hearse at taker’s men In all the public-house door, when the funeral is over. America these birds are the general scavengers, tropical killing them* and there is a heavy fine for any one is about in the streets this afternoon, Scarcely dragging their heavy except a gang or two of convicts mending the streets. This is chains along, sweeping and Mexican authori- a punishment much approved of by the combining terror evil-doers with advantage to ties, as to criminals on a level, the community. That it puts all * when anything one ill uses them but the dogs, who drive them away No circle, waiting and they have to stand round in a better than usual is met with, for their turn. — —INDIAN SOLDIER. 23 CRUZ VERA does not seem to be vagrants, murderers down to from consequence. matter of much considered as a thing sentry—the strangest city-gate stands a At the Indian of guise of a soldier—a brown saw in the I ever uniform once, in some rags that were a the coast, dressed with an amazing filthy in the extreme, and armed shoeless, to look at, in all con- flint-lock. He is bad enough old than he looks, for—no doubt science, and really worse will, and into the service against his he has been pressed with all his heart. Of hates white men and their ways run away when he gets a chance and, course he will though he will be no great loss to the service, he will add mite that has growing his to the feeling of hatred been up many years among the brown Indians against for these so the whites and the half-cast Mexicans. But more of this hereafter. One step outside the gate, and we are among the sand- hills that stretch for miles and miles round Vera Cruz. They are mere shifting sand-mounds and, though some of them are fifty feet high, the fierce north wind moves them about bodily. The Texans know these winds well, and call them “northers.” They come from Hudson’s Bay to the Gulf of Mexico, right down the Continent of North America, over a level plain with hardly a hill to obstruct their comse, the Kocky Mountains and the Alleglianies forming “ a sort of trough for them. When the norte” blows fiercely you can hardly keep your feet in the streets of Vera Cruz, and vessels drag their anchors or break from their moorings in the ill-protected harbour, and are blown out to sea—lucky if they escape the ugly coral-reefs and sand-banks that fringe the coast. There are a few bushes growing outside the walls, and there we found the Nopal bush, the great prickly pear the same that has established itself all round the — shores of the < r Mediterranean srowin O O 24 ANAHUAC. in crevices of rocks, and cracks in lava-beds, and barren places where nothing else will live. But what made us notice these Nopals was, that they were covered with what looked like little white cocoons, out of which, when they were pressed, came a drop of deep crimson fluid. This is the cochineal insect, but only the wild variety the fine kind, which is used for dye, and comes from the province of Oajaca, miles off, is covered only with a mealy powder. There the Indians cultivate great plantations of Nopals, and spread the insects over -them with immense care, even removing them, and carrying them up into the mountains in baskets when the rainy season begins in the plains, and bringing them back when it is over. On Friday, the 14tli of March, three o’clock in at the morning, we took our places in a strong American-built diligence, holding nine inside, and began our journey by being dragged along the railroad—which was commenced with great energy some time ago, and got fifteen miles on its way to the capital, at which point it has stopped ever since. When day broke we had left the railroad, and were jolting along through a parched sandy plain, thinly nopals, and other kinds of cactus, covered with acacias, bignonias, and the great tree-euphorbia, with which we with its smooth limbs and had been so familiar in Cuba, white flowers. At last we reached the first hill, huge The change was wonderful. and began gently to ascend. of a tropical the plain, we are in the midst Once out of together, and the con- forest. The trees are crowded close impassable jungle, volvulus binds their branches into an and creepers weave themselves into a dense while ferns some deep mass below and here and there a glimpse up standing tree-ferns, thirty feet high, ravine shows great and nourishing the brink of a mountain-stream, close to damp shade. in the ; CORDOVA. frequent as we ascend become more Indian Ranchos or leaning on the ground, inhabitants—squatting and the glance at us as -just condescend to against the door-posts meditations, and their then return to their we pass, and These ranchos are cigarettes, if they happen to have any. with palm-leaves and the merest huts of canes, thatched of ground is enclosed by a close by each a little patch prickly cactus, within which are growing plan- fence of of tains, with their large smooth leaves and heavy ropes tierra caliente.” fruit, the great staple of the Our road winds along valleys and through pass after pass and now and then a long zig-zag brings us out of a valley, higher up to a level. The air grows cooler, we are rapidly changing our climate, finds in and afternoon us the region of the sugar-cane and the coffee-plant. We pass immense green cane-fields, protected from the visits of passing muleteers and peasants by a thick hedge of thorny coffee-bushes. The young cane is but yet but the coffee-plant, with its brilliant white flowers, like little stars, is a beautiful feature in the landscape. At sunset we are rattling through the streets of the little town of Cordova. There is such a thoroughly Spanish air about the place, that it might be a suburb of the real Cordova, were it not for the crowds of brown Indians in their scanty cotton dresses and great flat- brimmed hats, and the Mexican costumes of the whiter folks. Low whitewashed houses, with large windows to the street, protected by the heavy iron-gratings, like cages, that are so familiar to travellers in Southern Europe. Inside the grating are the ladies of the family, outside stand theii male acquaintance, and energetic gossiping is going on. The smoky little lamp inside gives us a full view of the interior. Four whitewashed walls a table ; ; few stiff-backed chairs a virgin or saint ; resplendent 2G ANAH LTAC. in paint and tinsel and, perhaps, two or three coloured engravings, l’ed, blue, and yellow. A few hours in the dark, and we reach Orizaba. We have changed our climate for the last time to-day, and have reached that district where tobacco flourishes at an altitude of 4000 feet above the sea. But of this we see nothing, for we are off* again long before daylight and by the time that external objects can be made out we find ourselves in a new region. A valley floored with rich alluvial soil from the hills that rise steeply on both sides, their tops shrouded in clouds. Signs of wonderful fertility in the fields of maize The and barley along the roadside. ah’ warm, but full of mist, which has already penetrated our clothes and made them feel damp and sticky. Splen- did country, this, Senores,” said an old Mexican, when he himself round on his seat get a good stare had twisted to at us. It seems so,” said I, “judging by the look of the it is very unpleasantly damp just now.” Just fields, but “it is now,” said the old gentleman, echoing my words, damp here. You see that drizzling mist that is always it the chipi-chipi. Never heard of the chipi-chipi ! Why and blessing of the country. Sometimes we is the riches it rains a never see the sun here for weeks at a time, and day nearly but look at the fields, we get little every where have but one on crops a year from them you three And it is healthy, too look at the fields just above. “ When get up to the fellows at work there. we those difference.” Llanos you will see the and at last, valley grew narrower as we drove on The end in a great ravine, we began to it seemed to when the ah' grows steep hill by a zig-zag road. Soon climb the and sunshine appears and gets brighter again, the clearer are among left the mist behind, and brighter, we have the peculiar vege- grand steep hills, covered with ranges of TIERRA TIERRA CALIENTE TO FRIA. 27 FROM Opuntia, and the the plateau,—Cactus, Agave tation of trough of the valley lies a regular Mexicana. In the white clouds, hiding the fields and cot- opaque layer of from our view. We have already passed the zone tages and of perpetual moisture, whose incessant clouds showers stratum of hot air charged with water are caused by the — evaporated from the gulf—striking upon the mountains, and there depositing part of the aqueous vapour it con- tains. You may see the same thing happening in almost every mountainous district but seldom on so grand scale as here, or with so little disturbance from other agents. Yesterday was passed in the “tierra caliente,” the hot country our journey of to-day and to-morrow is the through “tierra templada” and the “tierra fria,” the temperate and the cold country. Here a change of a few hundred feet in altitude above the sea, brings with it a change of climate as great as many degrees of latitude will cause, and in one day’s travel it is possible to descend from the region of eternal snow to the utmost heat of the tropics. Our ascent is more gradual but, though ; we are three days on the road, we have sometimes scarcely time to notice the different zones of vegetation we pass through, before we change again. To make the account of the ourncy from the coast j to Mexico somewhat clearer, a few words must be said about the formation of the country, as shown in a profile-map or section. The interior of Mexico consists of a mass of vol- canic rocks, thrust up to a great height above the sea-level. The plateau of Mexico is 8000 feet high, and that of Puebla feet. This central mass consists principally of a grey- ish trachytic porphyry, in some places rich in veins of silver- ore. Idie tops of the hills are often crowned with basaltic columns, and a soft porous amygdaloid abounds on the 28 ANAHUAC. outskirts of the Mexican valley. Besides this, traces of more recent volcanic action abound, in the shape of nu- merous extinct craters in the high plateaus, and immense pedrigals or fields of lava not enough for their yet old surface to have been disintegrated into soil. Though sedimentary rocks occur in Mexico, they are not the pre- dominant feature of the country. Ridges of limestone hills lie on the slopes of the great volcanic mass toward the coast and at a still lower level, just in the rise from the flat coast-region, there are strata of sandstone. On our road from Vera Cruz we came upon sandstone imme- diately after leaving the sandy plains and a few miles further on we reached the limestone, very much as it is represented in Burkart’s profile from Tam- of the country pico upwards towards San Luis Potosi. The mountain- and Puebla, are plateaus, such as the plains of Mexico hollows filled up and floored with horizontal strata of ter- deposits, which again are the constantly tiary covered by accumulating layers of alluvium. Our heavy pull up the mountain-side has brought us the snow lies into a new scene. Every one knows how the valleys of the Alps, forming a plain which slopes in such a gradually downward towards the outlet. Imagine not valley ten miles across, with just such a sloping plain, been no rain for months, of snow but of earth. There has cracked all the surface of the ground is parched and and seen except clumps of over. There is hardly a tree to be vegetation but wood on the mountain-sides miles off,—no of disconsolate- tufts of coarse grass, among which herds are looking cattle are roaming the vaqueros, (herdsmen) their horses, with cantering about after them on their lean now and then hanging in coils on their left arms, and lazos to get beast who tries to order some refractory calling over his horns by sending the loop from the herd, away a ROADS. 29 NATRON—MEXICAN he runs, and hitching it up fall before liiin as or letting it within his hind legs as he steps it. jerk round with a and dispirited just are too thirsty But the poor creatures first touch of the cord is any sport, and the now to give back them allegiance. enough to bring them to mountains car- decomposed porphyry of the From the the valleys. of soda comes down in solution to bonate into natron by the organic Much of this is converted soil, and forms a white crust on the earth. matter in the mixed in various propor- More of the carbonate of soda, common salt, drains continually out in the tions with streams, or filters into the ground and crystallizes there. This is why there is not a field to be seen, and the land is pasture. But when the rains fit for nothing but come on in a few months, say our friends in the diligence, this dis- mal waste will be a luxuriant prairie, and the cattle will be here thousands, for by most of them are dispersed now in the lower regions of the tierra tefuplada where grass and water are to be had. My companion and I climb upon the top of the dili- gence to spy out the land. The grand volcano of Orizaba had been hidden from us ever since that morning when we saw it from far out at sea, but now it rises on our left, its upper half covered with snow of dazzling whiteness, regular cone, for from this side the crater cannot be seen. It looks as though one could walk half a mile or so across the valley and then straight go up to the summit, but it is full tliirty miles off. The air is heated as by a furnace, and as we jolt along the road the clouds of dust are suf- focating. We go full gallop along such road as there is, banging into holes, and across the trenches left by last year’s watercourses, until we begin to think that it must end in a general smash. We came to understand Mexican roads and Mexican drivers better, even before we got to the capital. ; ANAHUAC. Before us and behind lay wide lakes, stretching from side to side of the valley but the lake behind followed us as steadily as the one before us receded. It was only the mirage that tantalizes travellers in these scorched val- leys, all the long eight months of the rainless season. It seemed beautiful at first, then monotonous and long be- fore the day was out we hated it with a most cordial and ixnaffected hatred. Soon a new appearance attracted our attention. First, clouds of dust, which gradually took a well-defined shape, and formed themselves into immense pillars, rapidly spin- ning round upon themselves, and travelling slowly about the plain. At one place, where several smaller valleys opened upon us, these sand-pillars, some small, some large, were promenading about by dozens, looking much like the genie when the fisherman had just let him out of the bottle, and saw him with astonishment beginning to shape giant of monstrous size. Indeed I himself into a doubt was thinking of such sand-pillars not that the story-teller description. when he wrote that wonderful You may see the East by thousands. As they moved along, them in dust, and leaves and our sucked up small stones, they that they had been known to take the driver declared air houses, and carry flocks of sheep into the roofs off see now,” said he, “are no great “but these that you size of the largest at about estimated the matter.” We diameter and and thirty in hundred feet in height, <four ; against a house, most pillar, walking by chance this very worst of it, and had its lower limbs decidedly got the all to pieces. knocked the grows hot, the bare earth heats When the sun that an upward current rises upon it so much that lies air its place of the valley and to supply whole face from the ; open into it pour in and ravines that little valleys the IiUEMANTLA. 31 THE HLANS. wherever two of these air and stream of cooler each its strike one another, different directions, flowing in streams, manifest makes itself as a whirlwind ensues, and a little viente,” as he “molina de sand-pillar. The coachman’s but it must have well have happened, called it, may very caused by the meeting on a large scale, been a whirlwind by the little apparatus great atmospheric currents, not of we saw at work. hardly a village in the plain and There seems to be herdsmen’s the only buildings we see for miles are the inside, and uninviting in houses of stone, flat-roofed, dark the great cattle-pens, the corrals, their appearance, and which seem absurdly too large for the herds that we have will rain, yet seen but in two or three months there be rank grass, the corrals the ground will be covered with will crowded with cattle every evening the mirage be will depart when real water comes, dust and sand-pillars will no and all the nine horses be longer to be seen, and mules of the diligence-team, floundering, splashing, and kicking, will hardly keep the heavy coach from settling inextricably down in the mire. And so on until October, and then the season of water, la estacion de las aguas,” will cease, and things will be again as they are now. In the usual course of travel to the capital, the second night would have been passed at Puebla. This is the second city of the Republic, and numbers some 70,000 in- habitants. As it was then in revolt, and besieged by the President and his army, we made a detour to the north when about 20 miles from it, in order to sleep for a few hours at Huamantla, a place with a most evil reputation for thieves and vermin and about ten at night we drove into the court-yard of a dismal-looking inn. Three or four dirty -fellows stood round as we alighted, wrapped in their serapes great woollen blankets, the universal — 32 ANAHUAC. wear of the Mexicans of the plateaus. One end of the serape was thrown across from shoulder to shoulder, and hid the part lower of their faces and the broad-brimmed Mexican sombrero was slouched over their eyes we par- ticularly disliked the look of them as they stood watch- our baggage ing us and going into the inn. A few minutes after, we returned to the court-yard to complete our observation of them, but they were all gone. Spaniards A party of and Mexicans were at the other table in the sala when we marched in, and as soon as we had taken off the edge of our fierce hunger, we began to compare notes with them. Had a pleasant journey from all answered at once, delighted to find Mexico?” They an audience to whom to tell their sorrows, as men always circumstances. It appeared that they had are under such their reached Huamantla an hour or two before us, and to delight no robbers had appeared. But be- surprise and and the inn, the cords tween the outskirts of the town of lug- diligence were cut, and every particle behind the At the imi-gate they got out and gage had disappeared. They upon the Administrador their loss. set discovered diligence-company, who sympathized deeply with of the substantial comfort to offer. They had no more them, but and the driver must have been an accomplice, declared the them to wreak their fury upon. sent for, for driver was and told them, his mouth full of beans, appeared with He that they ought to be very he could speak, as soon as looking at them come off so easily, and, thankful they had disgust, returned to his an expression of infinite with seemed to have at followed his example, and supper they wine. It in hot dishes and Catalan consolation last found the fine things that were in to hear of the wonderful was the rou- the rings, the gold watches, portmanteaus,— lost of the utmost importance.” the “papers of dollars, leaux THE INNKEEPER. 33 OF PEACE. THE COUNCIL American has not always a very Spanish am afraid the for truth. strict regard easily, as the had indeed got off These gentlemen Vera Cruz, with for the last diligence from driver said; in it, had been stopped just steamboat acquaintances oiu’ Huamantla as they left it before outside this very town of morning. The robbers were but three, daylight in the as but they had plundered the unfortunate travellers Now, all this was effectually as thirty could have done. hear as a tale, but not satisfactory to tra- very pretty to vellers who were going by the same road the next morn- ing and in the disagreeable barrack-room where our beds stood in long lines, we, the nine passengers of the “up” diligence, held a council, standing, like Mr. Macaulay’s senators, and there decided on a most Christian line of conduct—that when the three bore down upon us, and the muzzle of the inevitable escopeta was poked in at our window, we would descend meekly, and at the command of “boca abajo,” (“mouth downwards,”) we would humi- liate ourselves with our noses in the dirt, and be robbed quietly. Having thus decided beforehand, according to the etiquette of the road, whether we were to fight or submit, and being tired with a long day’s journey, we all turned in, and were fast asleep in a moment. It seemed that almost directly afterwards the dirtiest man possible came round, and shook us till we were con- scious and we washed in the customary ; saucers, by the light of a real, flaring, smoking, Spanish lamp with a beak, exactly what the Romans used in Pompeii, except that this is of brass, not bronze. With our eyes still half-shut we crawled into the kit- chen for our morning chocolate, and demanded our bill. Such a bill 1 One of us, a stout Spaniard, sent for the landlord and abused him in a set speech. The “patron” F 3-4 ANAHUAC. divested his countenance of every trace of expression, scratched his head through his greasy nightcap, and stood listening patiently. The stout man grew fiercer and fiercer, and wound up with a climax. If we meet with the robbers,” said he, rolling himself up in his great cloak, we must tell them that we .have passed through your worship’s hands, and there is none left for them.” The landlord bowed gravely, saw us into the diligence, and hoped we should have a fortunate journey, and meet with no novelty on the road. A “novelty” in Spanish coun- tries means a misfortune. We met with no “novelty,” though, when looked we out of the window in the early men dawn and spied three muskets, following with us at a short distance, we thought our time had come, and watches valuables were and plunged into boots and under seats, and through slits into the padding of the diligence but the three men came no nearer, and we supposed them to be an escort of soldiers. When it was light the difficulty was to recover the valu- matter, securely had they been hidden. ables—no easy so We heard afterwards of a little peculiarity which dis- robbers of that tinguished the Huamantla. It seems no personage than the parish priest was accustomed to less a parson lead his parishioners into action, like the Cornish times when a ship went ashore on the coast. What in old I know. He is has become of his reverence since, do not still in his parish, carrying on his double pro- very likely whether fession, unless somebody has shot him. I wonder highwayman, it is saci’ilege to shoot a priest who is also a used to be to kill a bishop on the field of battle. as it last on the high lands of Mexico, the dis- We are at chosen to which at least three different races have tricts the fertile country below. A sharp in, neglecting settle plain and road brings us fairly out into the turn in the ; ; OF MEXICO. HIGHLANDS that lie at mountains snowy are tlie two our left then on and Iztac- Popocatepetl of Mexico, valley edge of the the ol Like Orizaba books. all Mexican famous in cihuatl, us the plain close to rise from seem to they yesterday, upon there pours down them valley between and from the are though windows wind, that, flood of icy us such a throats, we buttoned round our great-coats pulled up and till we get teeth fairly chatter and our shiver piteously, comes hot sunshine air; and then the river of cold out of and dust again. into the have really got to make sure that we Anxious from the Mr. Christy gets down land of Aztec civilization, minutes by the hunting about for a few diligence, and with a broken arrow-head returns in triumph road-side, gives cut by a water-course of obsidian. A deep channel these plateaus of the depth of the soil for us our first idea among the mountains, were once nothing but deep hollows melted snow, bringing down fragments which rain and of porphyry and basalt partly in their original state and filled and formed into plains. partly decomposed—have up Signs of volcanic action are abundant. To say nothing of the two great mountains we have just left behind, there is a hill of red volcanic tufa just beyond us; and still fur- ther on, though this is anticipating, our road passes over the lava-field at the foot of the little volcano of Santa Barbara. There is a population here at any rate, village after village and between them are great plantations of maize and aloes for tliis is the district where the best pulque in Mexico is made, the “llanos de Apam.” It is the Agave Americana, the same aloe that is so common in southern Europe, where indeed it flowers, and that grows in our gardens and used to have the reputation of flowering once in a hundred years. I do not exaggerate when 1 say that 36 ANAHUAC. we saw hundreds of thousands of them that day, planted in long regular lines. Among them were walking the Indian tlachiqueros,” each with his pigskin on his back, and his long calabash in his hand, milking such plants as were in season. The fine buildings of the haciendas, and more especially the churches, contrast strongly with the generality of houses, all of one story, built of adobes (mud-bricks dried in the sun), with flat roofs of sand and lime resting on wooden rafters, and the naked ground for a floor, all dark, dirty, and com- fortless. There are even many huts built entirely of the universal aloe. The stems of wild aloes which have been allowed flower are stuck into the to side ground, by side, and pieces of leaves tied on outside them with aloe-fibre. These leaves are like tiles to cut set grow form a roof, and pegged down with the thorns which at their extremities. and cheap, though hardly Picturesque the comfortable, for we are in the tierra fria” now, and and evenings bitterly cold. mornings in winter are often belong But the churches ! Is it possible that they can wretched filthy little black Stun, to these cottages. As looked a runaway Texan slave, suggested, it our driver, houses and though the villagers might pull down their as We and then families in their churches. themselves locate DRIVER. PULQUE. 37 OUR ROUGH ROADS. has somewhere expressed an Mr. Ruskin, who of thought that England money and energy desire that all the earnest spent in build- railroads, had been in making has wasted had been here to see his or we wished he in churches and carried out. principles time, but on rough roads in my I have travelled on for a this never. My companion refused such a road as oiir thorough- award the premium of badness to time to discussing the question and but, just while we were fare highways, recounting experience of bone-smashing our consisted of a series of reached a pass where the road we in depth, down which steps we went steps, nearly a foot trot, holding on for our lives, in terror lest at a swinging the next jerk should fairly wrench our arms out of their sockets, while we could plainly hear the inside passengers shot against roof howling for mercy, as they were up the which knocked them back into their seats. Aching all over, we reached level ground again, and Mr. Christy withdrew his claims, and agreed that no road anywhere else could possibly be so bad as a Mexican road a decision which later experiences only confirm. served to Our start, every time we changed horses, was a sight to Nine see. half-broken horses and mules, in a furious state of excitement, were harnessed to our unwieldy ma- chine the helpers let go, and off they went, kicking, plunging, rearing, biting, and screaming, into ruts and watercourses that were like the trenches they make for gas-pipes in London streets, with our wheels on one side on a stone wall, and in a pit on the other, and Black Sam leaning back with his feet on the board, waiting with per- fect tranquillity until the animals had got rid of their Superfluous energy and he could hold them in. We were always just going to have some frightful accident, and always just missed it. The last stage before we reached 38 ANAHUAC. Otumba, a small dusky urchin ran across the road just before us. How Black contrived pull up I Sam to cannot tell, though, indeed, his arms were about the size of an ordinary man’s thighs but he did, and they got the child out from the horses’ feet quite unhurt. It was at the inn where we stopped to breakfast that made our first we acquaintance with the great Mexican institutions—tortillas and pulque. The pulque was being brewed on a large in scale an adjoining building. The vats were made of cow-skins (with the hair inside), sup- ported a frame of sticks and in them was pulque in by every stage, beginning with the sweet aguamiel—honey- water—the fresh juice of the aloe, and then the same in of fermentation till the madre different degrees we come to 'pulque, the mother pulque, a little of which is used like fermentation, and which has a com- yeast, to start the drains. bined odour of gas-works and Pulque, as you drink looks like milk and water, and has a mild smell it, Tortillas are like oat-cakes, but and taste of rotten eggs. of Indian corn meal, not crisp, but soft and leathery. made dreadfully nasty for a day or two then We thought both just endure them then we came to like them we could ; ; country wondered how we and before we left the we without them. should do III. CHAP. MEXICO. OF CITY Some thirty Don years ago, Agustin Yturbide, the first and last Emperor that he wanted of Mexico, found wherein to house his newly-fledged dignity and a palace of build one accordingly, in the high street began to the great convent Francisco. It Mexico, close to of San could not have been nearly finished when its founder was shot: and it became the Hotel cT Yturbide. We are now in it, in very is a settled comfortable quarters. There down below, restaurant where the son of the late Ytur- bide dines daily, and everybody us, and points him out to him. moralises over ; ANAHUAC. Mr. Christy's drawer-full of letters of introduction has produced an immediate crop of pleasant acquaintances, whose hospitality is boundless. We are not idle, far from it and a long day’s woi'k is generally followed by a social dinner, and an evening spent in noting down the results of our investigations. Prescott’s Conquest Mexico has been more read in of England than most historical works and Mexico the of Montezuma has a well-defined idea attached to it. The amphitheatre of dark hills surrounding the level plain, snowy mountain-peaks, covering the two the five lakes nearly half the valley, the city rising out of the midst of the waters, miles from the shore, with which it was con- nected by its four causeways, the straight streets of low the numbers of canals crowded with flat-roofed houses, the float- canoes of Indians going to and from the market, from place to place, on which vege- ing gardens moved great pyramid up tables and flowers were cultivated, the army saw their captured companions which the Spanish sacrificed on the top—all in solemn procession, and led the mental picture. these are details in Spaniards first saw of this has changed since the Much ordinary means to overcome the des- it. Cortes tried all defended their obstinacy with which the Aztecs perate went conquered wherever they The Spaniards capital. Mexicans closed in again forward, the but, as they moved arrows, showers of darts, and from every hoose-top behind, Cortes re- poured down upon them. and stones were was the city. He the utter demolition of solved upon most beautiful said, for it was the grieved to destroy it, he alternative. there was no the whole world but thing in his fifty thou- the great teocalli, moved slowly towards He down every him, throwing allies following sand Tlascalan When the with the ruins. filling the canals house, and BUILDING OF SITE AND MEXICO. 41 one district of the city was conquest was finished, but left and in it were crowded a quarter of the popula- standing, tion, miserable famished wretches, who had surrendered taken. All that was left when their king was besides with was a patch of swampy ground strewed fragments of walls, a few pyramids large for present destruction, too and such great heaps of dead bodies that it was impossible to get from place to place without walking over them. Cortes had resolved that a new city should be built, but it was not so easy to decide where it was to be. The Aztecs, it seemed, had not originally established themselves on the spot where Mexico was built. When they came down from the north country, and across the hills into the valley of Mexico, they were but an insignificant tribe, and as yet mere savages. They settled down in one place after another, and were always driven out by the persecu- tions of the neighbouring tribes. At last they took pos- session of a little group of swampy islands in the lake of Tezcuco and then at last, safe from their enemies, ; they in- creased and multiplied, and became a great and powerful nation. The first beginnings of Mexico, a cluster of huts built on wooden piles, must have borne some likeness to those curious settlements of early tribes in the shallow part of the lakes of Switzerland and the British Isles, of which numerous remains are still to be found. As the nation in- creased in numbers, Tenochtitlan, as the inhabitants called their city (they called themselves Tenochques came to be ), a great city of houses built on piles, with canals running thiough the straight streets, along which the natives poled their flat-bottomed canoes. The name which the Spaniards gave to the city, the “Venice of the New World,” was ap- propriate, not only to its situation in the midst of the water, with canals for thoroughfares, but also to the his- 42 ANAHUAC. tory of the causes which led to its being built in such a situation. The habit of building houses upon piles, which was first forced upon the people by the position they had chosen, was afterwards followed as a matter of taste, just as it is in Holland. Even after the Aztecs became mas- ters of the surrounding country, they built towns round the lake, partly on the shore, and partly on piles in the water. The Spanish chroniclers mention Iztapalapan, and many other towns, as built in this way. Like the Swiss tribes, the early inhabitants of Mexico depended much upon their fishing, for which their position gave them great facilities. If look you at the arms of the Mexican Republic, on a passport or a silver dollar, you will see a representation of a rock surrounded by water. On the rock grows a cactus, and on the cactus sits an eagle with a serpent in his beak. The story is that the wandering tribe preserved a tradition should find an of an oracle which said that when they eagle, holding a serpent, and perched on a cactus growing should cease their wanderings. out of a rock, then they island in the lake of Tezcuco, they found eagle, On an rock, as described, and they settled serpent, cactus, and hidden in course. What fragment of truth is there in due Tenochtitlan means The myth it is hard to say. this ex- and the Aztec picture-writings Stone -cactus place prickly pear growing name by a hieroglyph of a press its question, the history out of the on a rock. Putting this this peculiar site excellent reasons for choosing Aztecs had equally valid in these reasons were not their city but for For them the surrounding of the new invaders. the case was merely not needed as a protection, and salt-water was the place when the lake rose, Every year, nuisance. of property damage to the with enormous was flooded, 43 MEXICO. REBUILDING OF THE of greater an inundation and sometimes inhabitants the ; a destruction as as complete usual threatened than depth times, At the best of had made. Tlascalans Cortes and the build upon. ugly place to an was a salt-swamp, the site from the must be brought fresh water And, lastly, all the cut off without an enemy would hills which by aqueducts, done during themselves had the Spaniards difficulty, as ignorant of all was certainly not siege. Now Cortes the on the rising ground of many places this, and he knew under more found his new city where he could close by, four or five circumstances. He deliberated favourable decided in favour of the the matter, and at last months on that the city of Tenochtit- site, giving as Iris reason old position was wonderful, and lan had become celebrated, its been considered as the capital and mis- in all times it had of all these provinces.” tress slave-driving, and The invaders were old hands at so they drive the conquered Mexicans, that in four hard did years there had arisen a fine Spanish city, with massive stone houses of several storeys, having the indispensable in- ner courts, flat roofs, and grated windows,—every man’s house literally his castle, when once the great iron entrance- gates were closed. The Indians had, of course, been con- en verted masse, and churches were being built in all direc- tions. The great pyramid where Huitzilopochtli, the God of war, was worshipped, had been razed to the ground, and its great sculptured blocks of basalt were sunk in the earth as a foundation for a cathedral. The old lines of the streets, running toward the four points of the compass, were kept to and to this it is that the present ; Mexico is indebted for much of its beauty. Most of the smaller canals were filled up, and the thoroughfares widened for carriages, things of course unknown to the Mexicans, who had no beasts of burden. In the suburbs the natives a ANAHUAC. settled themselves after their own fashion, baking adobes, large mud bricks, in the sun, and building with them one- storey houses with flat roofs, much as they do at the pre- sent day. And thus a new Mexico, nearly the same as that we are now exploring, came to be planted in the midst of the waters. Three centuries have elapsed since the city has grown larger, churches, convents, and public buildings have increased, but the architectural character of the place has scarcely altered. It is the situation that has changed. The lake of Tezcuco is four miles off, though the causeways which once connected the city with the dry land still exist, and have even enlarged. They been look like railway-embankments crossing the low ground, and serve as dykes when there is a flood, a casualty which still often happens. This change is interesting to the student of physical Humboldt’s geography and account of the causes which have brought it about is full and explicit. When Mexico had been built a few years, the frightful inundations which threatened its very existence at length awoke the Spani- of the mistake that had been made ards to a sense in placing themselves but a few feet above the lowest level valley, in such a way that, from whatever point of the benefit of the flood might come, they were sure to get the Spanish authorities at home, with their usual it. The that the city should sagacity, sent over peremptory orders new capital built at Tacubaya— be abandoned, and a inhabitants of proposal something like intimating to the their position, at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, Naples that leave it and set- most dangerous, and that they must was ' com- else. In those days the valley was a tle somewhere outlet—at least not one worth men- basin, with no plete the heavy tropical rains and the melted tioning and of water mountains, poured vast quantities snow from the OF MEXICO. 45 THE VALLEY at the level of the sea, it Had the valley been into it. surrounded by become a great lake, simply have would the atmosphere three thousand feet higher, hills but at on with such rapidity as rarefied, and evaporation goes is affair of water in check. So the to keep the accumulation the five this wise, that the land and had adjusted itself in them. should divide the valley about equally between lakes things, and a It became necessary to alter this state of place where the hills were but little passage was cut at a this above the level of the highest lake. The history of is instruct- passage, the famous Desague de Huehuetoca,” ive enough, but it has been written so threadbare that I cannot touch it. Suffice it to say, that by this means a made for the constant outlet was lake of Zumpango, the highest of the five, and for the Rio de Guatitlan, a stream which formerly ran into it. So much for one cause of the change in the present ap- pearance of the city. Then the Spaniards were great cutters down of forests. They rather liked to make then- new country bear a resemblance to the arid plains of Castile, where, when you arrive in Madrid, people ask you whether you noticed the tree on the road and moreover, as they wanted wood, they cut it, without troubling themselves to plant for the benefit of future generations. Now, when the trees were cut down, the small plants which grew in their shade died too, and left the bare earth to serve as a kind of natural evaporating apparatus. And, between these two causes, it has come to pass that the extent of the lakes has been so much reduced, and that Mexico stands on the dry land— if, indeed, that may be called dry land, where you cannot dig a foot without coming to water. During the Tertiary period the whole valley of Mexico was one great lake. Whether the proportion of water to 46 ANAHUAC. land had adjusted itself before the country was inhabited, or whether during historical times the lakes were still gradually diminishing by the excess of evaporation over the quantity of water supplied rain by and snow, is an open question. At any rate the two causes I have men- tioned will account for the changes which have taken place since the conquest. Taking it as a whole, Mexico is a grand city, and, as Cortes truly said, its situation is marvellous. But as for the buildings, I should be sorry to inflict upon any one who may read these sketches, a detailed description of any one of them. It is a thousand pities that, just at the time in when the Italians and Spaniards were most zealous church-building, so very questionable an architectural taste should have been prevalent. The churches and convents in Mexico belong to that style that began flourish in southern kind of renaissance to Europe in the sixteenth century, and has held its ground High aboimd, with pilasters there ever since. fagades forming curi- by elaborate Corinthian capitals, a crowned the mean little buildings crouched be- ous contrast with churches outside, the tall front. In the doors of the hind within, one is constantly coming upon and the chapels of what would peculiar construction which consists that pillars, were not the keystone an arch, resting on two be sculptured, and Columns with shafts elaborately wanting. are to be the bed-post pattern, marble pillars of twisted and work- very expensive in material seen by hundreds, numbers ugly while the but unfortunately very manship, Englishman inside and out, remind the puffy cherubs, of Paid’s. monuments of St. the of richer the churches, the decoration of to the interior As to a won- incongruous ornaments with are crowded ones marbles, jewels, stucco, silver, costly Gold, degree. derful 47 HOLY WEEK. BUILDINGS. in the up together all mixed frippery are tinsel, and paint, churches to inside of the found the We wildest manner. for Cathedral, them. The worst part of generally the be when seen from grand building really a very instance, is be- and its cupola two high towers distance, with its little in the finding it described greatly edified by hind. I was built in the read, as Mexican travels I have last book of Doric style. purest fine building, or School of Mines, is a The Mineria, something manner of Somerset House on a small after the the famous Plaza Mayor, the great square, scale. As for very great square indeed, large enough to review an it is a the effect army in, and large enough to damage by its size dwarf the other buildings that of the cathedral, and to surround it into mere insignificance. However, one thing is certain, that we have not come all this way to see Spanish architecture and great squares, but must look for something more characteristic. I have said we arrived in Mexico on the eve of Palm Sunday, and next morning we proceeded to consult with one of our newly-made acquaintances as to our prospects for the ensuing Holy Week. This gentleman, a man who took a practical view of things, mentioned a circumstance winch led him to expect that the affair would go off with <iclat. The Mexicans, both the nearly white Mestizos and the Indians of pure race, delight in pulque. The brown people are grave and silent in their sober state, but pulque stirs up their sluggish blood, and they get into a condition of positive enjoyment. But very soon after this comes a state of furious intoxication, and a general scuffle is a common termination to a drinking-bout. Fortunately, the Indians are not a bloodthirsty people and, though every man carries a knife or machete, or— if he can get nothing better a bit of hoop-iron tempered, sharpened, H ; ANAHUAC. and fixed into a handle, yet nothing more serious than cuffs and scratches generally ensues. Even if severe wounds are given, the Indian has many chances in his favor, for his organization is somewhat different from that of white men, and he recovers easily .from wounds that would kill any European outright. The lower orders of the half-breed population are also given to pulque-drinking, but with far more serious con- sequences. Unlike the pure Indians, they are a hot-blooded and excitable race, and drunkenness with them is hitter madness while it lasts. Knives are at the very drawn beginning of a squabble, and scarcely an evening passes without one or two bodies of men killed in these drunken carried Police in meldes being to the Cuartel the great square. On Sundays and holidays the number increases but on this Palm Sunday there were fourteen, not killed in one great battle, but brought in by ones and twos, from of the city. It was this little different parts piece of statistics that induced our friend to conclude that the citi- had made up their minds to enjoy zens of Mexico them- Holy Week selves thoroughly, and that would be a grand Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of the Semana affair. only this to distinguish them from ordinary Santa have that the churches are crowded with men and women days, turn at the confessional and that in the waiting their the old promenade of Las Vigas, down in the afternoons of Chaleo, is patronized by Indian quarter by the canal Mexico, which, except on some four or five fashionable frequents the now Alameda. The sight of special days, confessionals, so constantly filled, prompts one to these before Easter? Just after would be more why just ask— for as we find the Glasgow people much appropriate than on week-days, so the Mexican on Sundays worse very virtuous at the best of times, are population, not *,,/• e V RATTLES AND JUDAS’S BONES. specially and particularly wicked when the great Church- come round. The festivals name of Shrove Tuesday sur- vives in our Calendar, to remind us of the time when we also used to go to be shriven before Easter. On Thursday at noon mass is over, the bells cease to ring, the organs in the churches are silent, and all car- riages disappear from the streets, except the dusty Dili- gence which, like French law, "est athde,” and cares nothing for fasts or festivals. Now we come to under- stand^ the wonderful wooden machine like a water-wheel, which was put up yesterday on one tower of the Cathe- dral. We had asked people in the great square, just below, what it was, but could get no answer except that it was la Matraca, the rattle, for to-morrow. And now we found that, the church bells being incapacitated, this rattle does duty instead, striking the hours, and occasionally going off into furious fits of clattering, without apparent reason, for ten minutes at a time, till the two men who worked it, who were either convicts or soldiers in fatigue- dress, were tired out. It was not this one rattle only that was disturbing the public peace that day and the next. Everybody was walking about with a rattle, and working it like mad, and all over the city there was a noise like the sound of the back-scratchers at Greenwich Faff, or of an American forest when the woodpeckers are busy. These little rattles stand for Judas’s bones, and all good Catholics express in this odd way their desire to break them. They do the same thing in Italy, but it is not so prominent part of the celebration as in Mexico, where old and youno-, rich and poor, all do their part in it. As soon as we found out what it all meant, we bought matracas for ourselves and joined the rest of the world in their noisy occupation! ie nea i of his bones is g but preliminary measure, the square a fair is being held, in the booths of which 50 ANAHUAC. the great articles of trade now are Judas’s bones, of many patterns, at all prices, and Judas himself in pasteboard, who is to he carried about and insulted till Saturday morn- ing, and then, hanging up by a string, is to burst asunder by means of a packet of powder and a slow match in Ills inside, and finally to perish in a bonfire. The first sight of these pasteboard Judases convinced us of one thing, that we had unexpectedly come upon the old custom, of which our processions and burning of Guy Fawkes in England are merely an adaptation. After giving up the old custom as a Popish rite, what a bright idea to revive it in this new shape, and to give the boys something to carry about, bang, blow up, and make a final bonfire of, and all in the Protestant interest ! There was another thing to be noticed about the Judases. The makers had evidently tried to vary them as much as they could and, by that very means, had shown how impos- sible it was to them to strike out anything new. There the Neapolitan were two types one was Polichinello, have naturalised as Punch and the other the whom we and hoofs, and tail, whom the God Pan, with his horns, world has recognised as the devil, for whole Christian took one type and some the these many ages. Well, some spoil- tried to combine the two, of course other and a few this, then- power of invention But, beyond ing both. trying conceal the They were always to could not go. more than to distort it. We and could do no old idea, originality, their flimsy pretensions to could see through the extracts from the schoolmaster recognises much as a his boys’ essays. encyclopaedia in im- so it is with other more with this Judas trade, As The old types sciences in this country. arts and portant generation. from generation to almost unchanged, descend, or either Aztec really Mexican is that is Everything MEXICAN DISHES. 51 LADIES AND MEXICAN Spanish types we may separate the Among the Spanish. not sufficient knowledge of Mexico is to Moorish. Our civilization, so we must be analyse the Aztec enable us to three classes. I will not go further content with these question here, for occasions will continually occur into the how—for three centuries at least—the inhabitants to show of Mexico, both white and brown, have taken their ideas at second-hand, always copying but never developing anything. All tins time my companion and I have been walking about the streets in evening-dress, as the etiquette of the place demands, on these three days, from the “better The classes.” Mexican ladies may be advantageously studied just now in their church-going black silk dress and mantilla, one of the most graceful costumes in the world. It is not often that one has the chance of seeing them out of doors, except hurrying to and from Mass in the morning, or in carnages on the Alameda; but on these festival days one meets them by hundreds. They do not con- trast favorably with the ladies of Cadiz and Seville. The mixture of Aztec blood seems to have detracted from the beauty of the Spanish race the dryness of the atmosphere spoils their complexions and the monstrous quantity of capsicums that are consumed at every meal cannot possibly leave the Mexican digestion in its proper state. We dined that day with Don Josd de A., who, though Spanish-American birth, by was English by education and feeling, and had known my companion’s family well. Our dinner was half English, half Mexican and the favourite dishes of the country were there, to aid in our initiation into Mexican manners and customs. The cooks at the inns, mindful of our foreign origin, had dealt out the red pepper with a sparing hand but to-day the dish ; of “mole” was the genuine article, and the first mouthful 52 ANAHUAC. set us coughing and gasping for breath, while the tears streamed down our faces, and Don Pepe and Don Pancho gravely continued their dinner, assuring us that we should get quite to like it in time. Pepe and Pancho, by the way, are short for Josb and Francisco. Dinner over, it was time to visit the churches, to which people crowd by thousands, this evening and to-morrow, to see the monu- ments, as they are called. Pancho departed, being on duty as escort to his sisters and we having, by Pepe’s advice, left our watches and valuables in his room, and put our handkerchiefs in our breast-pockets, started with liim. Mr. Christy, always on the look-out for a new seed or plant, had taken possession of the seeds of two mameis, which are fleshy fruits—as big as cocoa-nuts each — con- taining a hard smooth seed as large as a hen’s egg. These not being of great value, he put one in each tail-pocket of his coat. When we got out, we found the streets full of hurrying from one church people, to another, anxious to get as many as possible visited in the evening. We went monastery of San Francisco, close first to the to our hotel, the largest, and perhaps the richest convent in the country. Entering through a great gate, we find our- full of selves in a large coiu-tyard, people, who are visiting one after another—the four churches which the estab- in door and lishment contains, going at one out at the door of the largest church, stands a tall other. At the soliciting customers for the rosaries of olive-wood, monk, Jerusalem, which are displayed crosses, and medals from stall close by—shouting in a stentorian voice, every on a minutes, He who gives alms to Holy two or three deliver one shall receive plenary indulgence, and Church, purgatory.” We bought some, but there did not soul from found, be many other purchasers. Indeed, we / seem to pence in the country, that a few had been longer when we HOLY WEEK. CHURCHES IN 53 of church indulgences, from the per- buy all sorts would eat meat on fast-days up to plenary absolution mission to flourishing the hour of death and the trade, once so in The churches were hung with here, is almost used up. lighted up and in each was a monument,” a black, and kind of bower of green branches decorated with flowers, mirrors, and gold and silver church-plate, and supposed to stand for the Garden of Gethsemane. Inside was reclin- ing a wax figure of our Saviour, gaudily silk dressed in and velvet and there were also representations of the Last Supper, with wax-work figures as large as life. To visit and criticise these “monuments” was the object of the sort of pilgrimage people were making from church to church, and they seemed thoroughly to enjoy it. It was not a superfluous precaution that we had taken, in leaving our valuables in a place of safety, for, on our exit from the first church, we found that Pepe had lost his handkerchief and a cigar-case, which he had stowed away in an inner pocket, and Mr. Christy had been relieved of one of his marnei “ seeds by some lepero” who probably took it for a snuff-box. His feelings must have been like those of the English pickpocket in Paris, when he robbed the French- man of the article he had pocketed wdth so much care, and found it was a lump of sugar. And so relieved of further care for our worldly goods, we went through with the work of seeing monuments, till we were tired and dis- gusted with the whole affair, and at last went home to bed. Next day, appropriate sermons in the churches, proces- sions in the afternoon, in which wax figures of Christ and the Virgin Mary were carried by men got up in fancy dresses as soldiers and centurions, and so’ called penitents, walking covered with black shrouds and veils, with small round holes to look through, or in the yellow dress and 54 ANAHUAC. extinguisher cap, both with flames and devils painted on them. These are exactly the costumes worn in old times, the first by tbe familiars of the Inquisition, and the second by the criminals it condemned; and the sight of them set us thinking of the processions they used to figure in, when the Holy Office was flourishing at Santo Domingo, a little way down the street where we are standing. In the evening the Crucifixion is represented in wax in the churches, and the visiting goes on as the night be- fore; and the next morning is the Sabado de Gloria, the Saturday which ends Lent. We go to the Jesuits’ church in the morning to hear the last sermon. Since Thursday at noon, as the organs have been silenced, harps and violins have taken their places. The sermon is long and prosy, and we rejoice that it is the last. Then the service of the day goes on until they come to the Gloria in excelsis.” the The organ peals out again, black curtain—which has hidden the high altar parts in the middle, and displays perfect blaze of gold and jewels: all the bells in the city begin ring : the carriages, which have been waiting ready to yards, pour out into the harnessed in court streets: the racing to the great lumbering hackney coaches go square, the first fare for luck : the Judases, which striving to get morning out of windows and have been hanging all the are set light to as the first bell begins to across streets, burst all to pieces, and then ring, and fizzing and popping bonfire into in the street, where a is are thrown a heap join hands and dance made of them, and the children round it. So Holy Week ends. arrangement of the day in Mexico is this. Early The your servant knocks your door, and in the morning at or roll, in a little- cup of coffee chocolate and a small brings —literally breakfast you discuss while which desayuno into the courtyard, you find your Going down dressing. To Tom 55. WWe*> /rnr J. SitLtihanv fUL. MEXICO. BAKER. IN THE AND n-IK PORTER Artiste .Native made by l-'rom Models ( ) ; STREETS AND PEOPLE. horse waiting for yon, and off you go for an hour or two’s ride, and back to a dejeuner-a-la-fourchette somewhere be- tween ten and one o’clock. Then you have seven or eight hours before dinner, so that a good deal of work may be got into a day so divided. Things are managed very differently in country places, but this is the fashion in the capital among the higher class, that is, of course, the class of people who put on dress-coats in the evening. When we had been a day or two in Mexico, we took our first ride to Tacubaya and Chapultepec. Mexican saddles and bridles were novelty to us, but when we come to describe our Mexican and his appurtenances it will be time enough to speak of them. The barricades in the streets constructed during the last revolution of two or three weeks back had not yet been removed, but an opening at one side allowed men and horses to get past. Carriages had to go round, an easy matter m a city built as this is in squares like chess-board. The barricades mount two guns each and as the streets are quite straight they can sweep them in both directions, to the whole length of their range. As in Tunn, you can look backward and forward along the straight streets from every part of the city, and see moun- tains at each end. The suburbs of the city are quite as repulsive as our first glimpse of them led us to expect and, as far as one could judge by the appearance of the half- caste inhabitants, it is not good to go there alone after ' ar Her “ th<3 6nd °f the ^^uct of Chapultepec, , ? q 1 i the Salto del Agua; and-crowded round it-a thoroughly characteristic group of women and water-carriers, fflW leir great earthen jars with water, which they carry about from house to house. The women are simply and cheaply dressed, and though not generally pretty are very graceful in their movements. Their LL consi i ; 56 ANAH UAC. of a white cotton under-dress, a coloured cotton skirt, generally blue, brown, or grey, with some small pat- tern upon it, never brilliant in but colour, and a re- bozo, which is a small sober-coloured cotton shawl, long and narrow. This rebozo passes over the back of the head, it is somehow fixed hair-comb, where to a back in front and the two ends hang down over the shoulders or, more often, one end is thrown over the opposite shoulder. picture in a face is set in it, like a young lady’s that the so peculiarly uncon- to this a springy step, the Add frame. of living in walking which comes movement in strained pale dress, a pleasant and wearing a loose air the open and feet, bright eyes, small hands features, small face, good a and you have as no stockings, slippers and little book give. A half-caste girl as I can Mexican of a picture CYPRESS-GROVE. TACUBAYA. 57 however, will give a much better Mexican engravings, of her. Then we went past the great prison, the idea of and out at the gate (we had purposely gone out Acordada, into great of our way to see more of the city), and so the Alameda. The latter is the promenade, the Paseo or Spanish name for this necessary appendage to every town. It comes from alamo, which means a poplar. Imagine a long wide level road, a mile or so long, generally so chosen as to have a fine view, with footpaths on each side, lines of poplar ti'ees, a fountain at each end and a statue in the middle, and this description will stand pretty nearly for almost every promenade of the kind I have seen in Spain or Spanish America. Tacubaya is a pleasant place on the side of the first hills that begin to rise towards the mountain-wall of the valley. Here rich Mexicans have country-houses in large gardens, which are interesting from the immense variety of plants which grow there, though badly kept up, and systematically stripped by the gardeners of the fruit as it gets ripe—for their own benefit, of course. From Tacu- baya we go to Chapultepec (Grasshopper Mountain), which is a volcanic hill of porphyry rising from the plain. On the top is the palace on which the viceroy Galvez expend- ed great sums of money some seventy years ago, making it into a building winch would serve either as a palace or as a fortress in cases of emergency. Though the Americans chaiged up the hill and carried it easily in it would 47, be a very strong place in proper hands. It is a military schooT now. On the hill is the famous grove of cy- presses ahuehuetes* — as they are called, grand trees with their branches hung with fringes of the long grey Spanish moss —barba Espanola —Spanish beard. I do Ahuehuete, pronounced a-hwe-liwete. Thus, Anahuac is pronounced Ana-Kumc; and Chihuahua, Chi-hwa-hwa. 58 ANAHUAC. not know wliat painters think of the effect of this moss, trailing in long festoons from the branches of the trees, but to me it is beautiful and I shall never forget where I first saw it, on a bayou the of Mississippi, winding through the depths of a great forest in the swamps of Louisiana. In this grove of Chapultepec, there were sculptured on the side of the hill, in the solid porphyry, likenesses of the two Montezumas, colossal in size. For some reason or other, I forget now what, one of the last Spanish viceroys thought it desirable to dastroy them, and tried to blow them up with gunpowder. He only par- tially succeeded, for the bas-reliefs were still two great very distinguishable as we rode past, though noseless and considerably knocked about. We went home to breakfast with our friends, and looked at the title-deeds of their house in crabbed Spanish of the sixteenth century, and the great Chinese treasure ehest, still the strong-box of the firm, with an used as immense lock, and a key like the key of Dover castle. Fine old Chinese jars, and other curiosities, are often to be found in Mexico and they date from the time when the from Manila, which was called el nao” the great galleon — ship—to distinguish it from all other ships, came once a Acapulco. year to After breakfast, business hours begin so we took our- of Chaleo, and the famous selves off’ to visit the canal floating gardens— they are called. On our way we as our ancestors had a chance of studying the conveyances in, availed ourselves of it. In books on used to ride and of this cen- Spanish America, written at the beginning sea, there is In tlic Swiss Alps, between 4000 and 5000 feet above tbe a only fringing tbe branches of the pine-trees; but it similar plant to be seen comparison to the length of a few inches, and will hardly bear grows to the in length. Spanish moss, often fifteen or twenty feet trailing festoons of the long — ;; OF CHALCO. 59 CANAL COACH. OLD-FASHIONED of the gilt coaches, wonderful descriptions there are tury, the great folks used to mules, in which six or eight with the They are exactly on the promenades. drive in state ambition to the height of a lady’s that it was carriages Grandison, and Mr. Tom of Sir Charles ride in, in the days still be found, after Here, in Mexico, they were to Jones. habitable globe they had disappeared from the rest of the carriages are all of a and even now, though the private are still left a few of these more modern type, there amazing vehicles, now degraded to the cab-stand and we sculptured Cupids got into one that was embellished with their much mutilated the Montezumas — faces as as two and with the remains of the painting and gilding, which once covered the whole affair, just visible in corners, like the colouring of the ceilings of the Alhambra. We had to climb up three high and steps, hard ourselves into the body of the coach, which hung on strong leather straps springs belong later to a period. By the time we had got to the Paseo de las Yigas we were glad enough to get out, wondering at the sacrifice of comfort to dignity those highly respectable grandees must have made, and not sur- prised at the fate of some inquisitive travellers who have done as we did, and have been obliged to stop by the qualms of sea-sickness. At the bridge we chartered a canoe to Santa Anita. Tins Santa Anita is a little Indian village on the canal of Chaleo, and to-day there is to be a festival there. For this, however, we shall be too early, as we have to be back in time to see Mexico turn out for a promenade on the Paseo de las Vigas, and then to go out to dinner. So we must just take the opportunity of look- ing at the Indian population as they go up and down the canal in canoes, and see their gardens and their houses. However, as the Indian notion of a festival consists in going to mass in the morning, and getting drunk and GO ANAHUAC. fighting in the afternoon, we are perhaps as well out of it. We took our passage to Santa Anita and hack in a canoe —a mere flat-bottomed box with sloping sides, made of hoards put together with wooden pegs. There was a mat at the stern for us to squat upon, and an awning over our heads. An old Indian and his son were the crew and they had long poles, which they set against the banks or the bottom of the shallow canal, and so pushed us along. Besides these two, an old woman with two little girls got in, as we were starting—without asking our leave, by the way—and sat down at the other end of the canoe. Of course, the old woman began to busy herself with the two little girls, in the usual occupation of old women here, off during their idle moments and though she left at our earnest request, she evidently thought us veiy crotchety people for objecting. The scene on the canal was a curious one. There were numbers of boats going up and down and the Indians, as soon as they caught sight of an acquaintance, began to complimentary phrases, sometimes shout out a long string of in Spanish and sometimes in Mexican : How is your ?” “I trust that I have the happi- worship this morning health their, is ness seeing your worship in good If of honour doing your wor- anything I can have the for of forth till they are out of pray dispose me,” and so ship, of hats, is accompanied by a taking-off of hearing. All this complimentary grimaces. and a series of low bows and of cere- far as could ascertain, it is all mere matter As we the formal, compli- mony. It may be an exaggeration of talk of the Spaniards, but its origin probably mentary dates further back. dull, Indians here no longer appeared the same The quarter whom we had seen the richer melancholy men in of feeling There they were under a strong of the town. — DRESS. INDIAN INDIANS. understood by the is not language for their constraint, part, know but for their and they, mestizos and whites ; little sympathy there is very besides, Spanish and little shew this clearly One thing will classes. the two between the Indians line of demarcation, distinct By a enough. are at population, who rest of the separated from the are “ gente call themselves These latter partly white. least themselves to distinguish people of reason,— de razon” reason. In who are people without the Indians, from is made thus : the whites parlance the distinction common “gente” people,—the brown men and mixed breed are all. Indios”—Indians—and not people at being merely own in their own quarter, and among their Here, tell people, they seem talkative enough. We can only chattering about when they happen to what they are Spanish, either for our benefit, or to show off their speak proficiency in that tongue. People who can speak the then- Aztec language say that way of forming compound words gives constant occasion for puns and quibbles, and that the talk of the Indians is full of such small jokes. In this respect they differ exceedingly from the Spaniards, whose jests are generally about things, and seldom about their names, as one sees by their almost always bearing translation into other languages. Most of the canoes were tastefully decorated with flowers, for the Aztecs have not lost their old taste for ornamenting themselves, and everything about them, with garlands and nosegays. The fruits and vegetables they were carrying to market were very English in their ap- pearance. Mexico is supplied with all kinds of tropical finits, which come from a distance but the district we are now in only produces plants which might grow in our own country barley, potatoes, cabbages, parsnips, apples, pears, plums, peaches, and so forth, but scarcely anything — G2 ANAHUAC. tropical in its character. One thing surprises us, that the Indians, in a climate where the mornings and evenings are often very chilly, should dress so scantily. The men have a general appearance of having outgrown their clothes for the sleeves of the kind of cotton-shirt they only wear reach to their elbows, and their trousers, of the same material, only fall to their knees. To these two garments add a sort of blanket, thrown over the shoul- ders, a pair of sandals, and a palm-leaf hat, and the man is dressed. His skin is brown, his limbs muscular especially his legs—his lips thick, his nose Jewish, his hair coarse, black, and hanging woman’s straight down. The dress is as simple as the man’s. She has on a kind of sack, very short in the sleeves, and very open at cotton the shoulders, and some sort of a skirt or petticoat be- folded cotton cloth on her sides. Sometimes she has a head, like a Roman contadina but, generally, nothing which hangs down behind in covers her thick black hair, long twisted tails. Mexico was in the middle of a great In old times, when strong enough to hold and the inhabitants were not lake, they were driven to strange shifts to land on the shores, making food. Among other expedients, they took to get consisted of rafts of reeds and little floating islands, which from the shores of which they heaped mud brushwood, on mud the lake of Tezcuco the On the banks of the lakes. good for culti- and soda to be was, at first, too full of salt upon it, and of the lake pom’ing the water vation but by most of the through, they dissolved out letting it soak splen- cultivation, and bore the island was fit for salts, and were called chi- These islands did crops of vegetables* the pro- large enough for they were often nampas, and with live in it hut in the middle, and build a prietor to even this to do. lake, and here they had not freshwater * Chaleo was and is a ; SANTA ANITA. 63 GARDENS. the Mexicans came to be later times, when family. In his neighbours, the chinampas were afraid of their longer no off, and when the water was drained of much use and not have supposed that on dry land, one would the city stood arrangement would have troublesome and costly such a The Mexican, however, is hard to move been abandoned. customs of his ancestors and we have Humboldt’s from the of these arti- word for it, that in his time there were some which the owners ficial islands still in the lake of Chaleo, about with a rope, or pushed with a long pole. towed though the name They are all gone now, at any rate, of chinampa is still applied to the gardens along the canal. These gardens very much resemble the floating islands in thefr construction of mud, heaped on a foundation of reeds and branches they and though are not the real thing, and do not float, they are interesting, as the present represent- atives of the famous Mexican floating gardens. They are narrow strips of land, with a frontage of four or five yards to the canal, and a depth of one hundred, or a hun- dred and fifty yards. Between the strips are open ditches and one principal occupation of the proprietor seems to be bringing up mud from the bottom of the ditch with a wooden shovel, and throwing it on the garden, in places where it has sunk. The reason of the narrowness of the strips is that he may be able to throw mud all over them from the ditches on either side. While we are busy observing all these matters, and questioning our boatmen about them, we reach Santa Anita. Here there are swampy lanes and more swampy gardens, a little village of Indian houses, three or four pulque-shops, and church. Outside the pulque-shops are fresco-paintings, representing Aztec warriors carous- ing, and draining great bowls of pulque. These were no specimens of Aztec art, however, but seemed to be copied 64 ANAHUAC. (by some white or half-caste sign-painter, probably) from the French coloured engravings which represent the events of the Conquest. These extraordinary works of art are to be seen everywhere in this countiy, where, of all places in the world, one would have thought that people would have noticed that the artist had not the faintest idea of what an Aztec was like, but supposed that his limbs and face and hair were like an European’s. Here, with the real Aztec standing underneath, the difference was strik- ing enough. One ought not to be too critical about these things, however, when one remembers the pictures of shepherds and that shepherdesses adorn our English farm- houses. We drank pulque at the sign of The Cacique and liked it, for we had now quite got over our aversion to its putrid taste and smell. wonder that our new faculty of pulque-drinking did not make us able to relish the suspicious eggs that abound in Mexican inns, but it had no such effect, unfortunately. us back to the Promenade of Las Our canoe took planted with Vigas, which is a long drive, rows of trees, extends along the last mile or two of the canal. In- and from the beam (Viga) which swings deed, its name comes across the canal at the place where the canoes pay toll. promenade, once upon a time but the This was the great Alameda has taken away all the promenaders to a new quarter, except on certain festival days, more fashionable year, when it is the correct or four times in the three to make a display of itself—on horse- thing for society neglected Indian quarter. or in carriages—in this back happened upon one of these festival days so, We had the side-path, tired and dusty, we crawled along as we Mexican beau opportunity of seeing the had a good ex- of really good carriages was The display monde. recollected that many fami- it must be traordinary but ; — INUNDATIONS. EQUESTRIANISM. enough at home, live miserably content to here are lies at the thea- appear in good style can manage to they if is one reason why so promenade. This and on the tre are so friendly with you out Mexicans who many of the letting you are so very shy of doors, and in the cafe's, of and very likely of them houses. They say, see the inside it is customary to true, that among the richer classes, it is the marriage-contracts, that the hus- put a stipulation in carriage and pair, and a box at the band shall keep a The horsemen turned theatre, for his wife’s benefit. out and the foreigners were fully represented in great style, among them. It was noticeable that while these latter generally adopted the high-peaked saddle, and the jacket, felt hat country, and broad-brimmed of the and looked as though the new arrangements quite suited them, the native dandies, on the other hand, were prone to dressing in European fashion, and sitting upon English saddles in which they looked neither secure nor comfortable. We walked home past the old Bull-ring, now replaced by a new one near the new promenade, and found, to our surprise, that in this quarter of the town many of the streets were under water. We knew that the level of the lake of Tezcuco had been raised by a series of three very wet seasons, but had no idea that things had got so far as this. Of course the ground-floors had to be abandoned, and the people had made a raised pathway of planks along the street, and adopted various contrivances for getting dryshod up to them first floors; and in some places canoes were floating in the street. The city looked like this some two hundred years ago, when Martinez the en- gineer tried an unfortunate experiment with his draining tunnel at Huehuetoca, and flooded the whole city for five years. It was by the interference, they tell us, of the pa- troness of the Indians, our Lady of Guadalupe, who was brought from her own temple on purpose, that the city was 66 ANAHUAC. delivered from the impending destruction. A number of earthquakes took place, which caused the ground to split in large fissures, down which the superfluous water disap- peared. For none of her many miracles has the Virgin of Guadalupe got so much credit as for this. To be sure, it is not generally mentioned in orthodox histories of the aflafr, that she was brought to the capital a year or two before the earthquakes happened. Talking of earthquakes, it is to be remembered that we are in a district where they are of continual occurrence. If looks one carefully at a line of houses in is a street, it curious to see how some walls slope inwards, and some outwards, and some are cracked from to bottom. top There is hardly a church-tower in Mexico that is not visibly out of the perpendicular. Anyone who has no- ticed how the walls of the Cathedral of Pisa have been thrown of the out perpendicular by the settling down of the foundations, will have an idea of the general appear- ance of the larger buildings of Mexico. On different oc- casions the destruction caused by earthquakes has been very great. By the way, the liability of Mexico to these shocks, explains the peculiarity of the building of the houses. A modern English town with two -or -three- laid storied houses, with their thin brick walls, would be in ruins a shock which would hardly affect Mexico. by walls of Here, the houses of several storeys have stone resist by sheer strength and the such thickness that they low to suffer one-storey mud houses, in the subiu’bs, are too much by being shaken about. A few days before we and were playing arrived here, oiu- friends Pepe Pancho and billiards in the the Merchants’ Exchange; at Lonja,J “ Spanish America. The Lonja” is a featuro in the commercial towns of and Exchange, but their club, billiard-room, It is not only the Merchants’ words are con- in fact, their “lounge,’’ and I fancy the two smoking-room; one another. nected with AND EARTHQUAKES. 67 SAN JOSE utter astonishment to us the feeling of described Pepe ball, after striking the other, go which he saw Iris with absurd angle into a pocket. The shock suddenly off at an had tilted the table up on one side. of an earthquake was a slight shock, which While we were in Mexico there swinging, but we did not even notice set the chandeliers April, solemn procession goes from the Cathe- it. In a dral, on a day marked in the Calendar as the Patro- cinio de Senor San Josd,” to implore the “Santissimo Patri- protect the city from earthquakes arca” to (temblores). In connection with this subject there is an opinion, generally received in Mexico that so it is worth no- tice. Everybody there, even the most educated people, will tell you that there is an earthquake-season, which occurs in January or February; and that the shocks are far more frequent than at any other time of the year. My impression is that this is all nonsense but I should like to test it with a list of the shocks that have been felt, if such a thing were to be had. It does not follow that, because the Mexicans have such frequent opportunities of trying the question, they should therefore have done so. In fact, experience as to popular beliefs in similar matters rather points the other way. I recollect that in the earth- quake districts of southern Italy, when shocks were of al- most daily occurrence, people believed that they were more frequent in the middle four hours of the night, from ten to two, than at other times. Of course, this proved on ex- amination to be quite without foundation. To take one more case in point. How many of our almanack-books, even the better class of them, contain prophecies of wet and fine weather, deduced from the moon’s quarters How long will it be before we get rid of this queer old astro- logical superstition ? 68 ANAHUAC. We made a few rough observations the thermometer of and during Mexico. The barometer our stay in barometer stands at about inches, and our thermometer gave the 22i boding point of water at 199 degrees. We could never in this, get eggs well boded the high lands, and attributed whether rightly or not I cannot say, to the low tempera- ture of boding water. Ecclesiastics, Mexico. Group of IV. CHAPTER REAL DEL MONTE. TACUBAYA. PACHUCA. morning to the house of our friend Don We went one entered the informed by the servant as we Pepe, and were was up stairs waiting courtyard that the nino, the child, “ ” seemed an odd term to apply to a for us. The Child in the young man of five and twenty. The young ladies, the appellation same way are called the ninas, and keep until they marry. We went off with the nino to his uncle’s house at Tacubaya, on the rising ground above Mexico. In the garden there such one would find we found a vegetation as in southern Europe—figs, olives, peaches, roses, and many other European trees and flowers growing luxuriantly, hut among them the passion-flower, which produces one of the most delicious of fruits, the granadita, and other semi-tropical plants. The live creatures in the garden, however, were anything hut European in them character. There were numbers of immense butterflies of the most brilliant colours and the garden was full of humming- birds, darting backwards and forwards with wonderful swiftness, and dipping them long beaks into the flowers. They call them chupa-mirtos— myrtle-suckers, and the Indians take them by blowing water upon them from a cane, and catching them before they have recovered from the shock. One day we bought a cage-full of them, and tried to keep them alive in our room by feeding them with sugar and water, but the poor little things pined away. 70 ANAHUAC. In old times the Mexicans were famous for their orna- ments of humming-bird’s feathers. The taste with which they arranged feathers of many shades of colour, excited the admiration of the conquerors and the specimens we may still see in museums are beautiful things, and their great age has hardly impaired the brilliancy of their tints. This curious art was practised by the highest nobility, and held in great esteem, just as working tapestry used to be in Europe, only that the feather-work was mostly done by men. It is a lost art, for one cannot take much account of such poor things as are done now, in which, moreover, the designs are European. In this garden at Tacubaya saw for the first time the praying Mantis, and we caught him as he sat in his usual devotional attitude. His name is el predicador,” the preacher. Spanish We got back to Mexico in time for the Corrida de The bull-ring was a large one, and there were Toros. the spectacle many thousands of people there but as to whether one took it upon its merits, or merely com- itself, bull-fights of Old Spain, it was disgust- pared it with the and cowardly, and could The bulls were cautious ing. to fight. and the matadors almost always hardly be got partly through want of skill, in killing them failed bull than really harder to kill a quiet partly because it is straight at his assailant. To fill up who runs a fierce one iniquitous proceeding, they the whole measure of the a dagger, white jacket with to in a wretch in a brought matador could not unfortunate beasts which the finish the quite the way. It was evidently in the legitimate kill it. expressed no surprise at thing, for the spectators regular finished, there came bull-fight proper was After the which were supplementary performances, three or two very well worth seeing. A Mexican, and very genuinely lazadores, into the ring, where two was turned wild bull THE COLEAR. 71 THE BULL-RING. him. The bull horses, were waiting for beautiful little on the riders, who cantered full speed after one of set off at untying his and the other, leisurely ahead of him easily then, taking the end hung it over his left arm, and lazo, fall through the loop into a in his right hand, let the cord round which he whirled two or three times running noose, gently and threw it so neatly that it settled his head, end of down over the bull’s neck. In a moment the other wound times round the pummel of the cord was several the saddle, and the little horse set off at full speed to get rider had wheeled round, ahead of the bull. But the first thrown his lazo upon the ground, and just as the bull stepped within the noose, whipped it up round his hind leg, and galloped off in a contrary direction. Just as the first lazo tightened round Ins neck, the second jerked him by the leg, and the beast rolled helplessly over in the sand. Then they lazos off, no got the easy matter when one isn’t accustomed to it, and him off catching set again, .him by hind legs or fore legs just as they pleased, and inevitably bringing him down, till the bull was tired out and no longer resisted. Then they both lazo’d him over the horns, and galloped him out, amid the cheers of the specta- tors. The amusements finished with the colear.” This is quite peculiar to Mexico, and is done on this wise. The coleador rides after the bull, who has an idea that some- thing is going to happen, and gallops off as fast as he can go, throwing out his hind legs in his awkward bullish fashion. Now, suppose you are the coleador, sitting in your peaked Mexican saddle, that rises behind and before, and keeps you in your seat without an effort on your part. You gallop after the bull, and when you come up with him, you pull as hard as you can to keep your horse back for, if he is used to the sport, as almost all Mexican horses are, he is wild to get past, not noticing that his rider has got L 72 ANAHUAC. no hold of the toro. Well, you are just behind the bull, little to the left of him, and out of the way of his hind legs, which will trip your horse up if you dont take care take right you your foot out of the stirrup, catch hold of the end of the bull’s tail (which is very long), throw your leg over it, and so twist the end of the tail round your leg below the knee. You have either got the bridle between teeth or have let it your go altogether, and with your left hand you give your horse a crack with the whip he goes forward with a bound, and the bull, losing Ins balance by the sudden jerk behind, rolls over on the ground, and gets up, looking very uncomfortable. The faster the bull gal- the easier it is throw him over and two boys of lops, to twelve or fourteen years of age coleared a couple of young bulls in the arena, in great style, pitching them over in all The farmers and landed are im- directions. proprietors mensely fond of both these sports, which the bulls— the by seem to dislike most thoroughly but this exhibi- way— better than what one generally tion in the bull-ring was the leperos were loud in then' expressions of sees, and delight. we had been a week or two in the city of Mexico, When making an excursion to the great silver- we decided upon del Some of our district of the Real Monte. mining leaving for England, and had en- English friends were to Pachuca, going from whole of the Diligence gaged the Tampico, with all and thence to thence up to the Real, and an a train of carriages and circumstance of the pomp with them as far We were invited to go armed escort. early on the accordingly we rose very Pachuca and as under difficulties, and got some chocolate 28th of March, and a baby, Diligence, seven grown-up people, started in the leoucito.” to as very good, and was spoken of and who was European of of Mexico, the children the high plateaus On MEXICO. CACTUS-HEDGE. 73 ENGLISH IN strong as at home it is grow up as healthy and parents the a lower elevation above sea, on hr the districts at only do not thrive. Mr. G., who for instance, that they the coasts great merchant- the head of a leaving Mexico, was was and Mrs. G. that compliment to him house, and it was as a horsemen for party of English we were accompanied by a take much more three leagues. Englishmen the first two or horses than the Mexicans easily to Mexican ways about ours, and a finer turn-out of horses and riders than do to hardly have been found in Mexico. oui' amateur escort could There was our friend Don Guillermo, who rode a beau- tiful horse that had once belonged to the captain of a band of robbers, and had not its equal in the city for swiftness and Don Juan on his splendid little brown horse Pancho, lazoing mules he stray as went, and every now and then galloping into a meadow by the roadside after a bull, who was off like a shot the moment he heard the sound of hoofs. I wonder whether I shall ever see them again, those jovial open-heai’ted countrymen of ours. At last our companions said good-bye, and loaded pistols were carefully arranged on the centre cushion in of case an attack, much to the edi- fication of my companion and myself, it as rather implied that, if fighting were to be done, we two should have to sit inside to be shot at without a chance of hitting any- body in return. The hedges of the Organ Cactus are a feature in the landscape of the plains, and we first saw them to perfec- tion on the road between Mexico and Pachuca. This plant, the Cereus hexagonus, grows in Italy in the open air, but seems not to be turned to account anywhere except in Mexico for the purpose to which it is particularly suited. In its wild state it grows like a candelabrum, with a thick trunk a few feet high, from the top of which it sends out shoots, which, as soon as they have room, rise straight up- 74 ANAHUAC. wards in fluted pillars fifteen or twenty feet in height. Such a plant, with pillars rising side by side and almost touching one another, has a curious resemblance to an organ with its pipes, and thence its name organo.” To make a fence, they break off the straight lateral shoots, of the height required, and plant them closely side by side, in a trench, sufficiently deep to ensure their standing firmly and it is a curious sight to see a labourer bearing on his shoulder one of these vegetable pillars, as high as himself, and carefully guarding himself against its spines. A hedge perfectly impassable is obtained at once the cactus rooting so readily, that it is rare to see a gap where one has died. The villagers surround their gardens with these fences of cactus, which often line the road for miles together. Foreigners used to point out such villages to us, and remai'k that they seemed well organ- ized, a small joke which unfortunately bears translation into all languages, and was inflicted ordinary European without mercy upon us as new comers. We reached Pachuca early in the afternoon, and took friends went on up our quarters in the inn there, and our to Real del Monte. Tins little town has long been a place of of Pachuca some importance in the world, as regards mining-opera- tions. The Aztecs worked silver-mines here, as well as Spaniards came, and they knew at Tasco, long before the how to smelt the ore. It is true that, if no better process of the mines would than smelting were known now, most ex- scarcely be worth working but still, to know how to silver at all was a great step and indeed at that tract after Conquest, there was no better time, and for long the very place known in Europe. It was in this method Medina by name, discovered the process that a Spaniard, some amalgamation with mercury, in the year 1557, of 75 IN THE HILLS. UP see the place We went to the invasion. years after forty it still process, and found his new first worked where he ” for ex- “ (establishment de beneficio as a hacienda used discoveries in the ore.) So few silver from the tracting indeed out of any out of Mexico, or have come arts really the most of this that we must make Spanish colony, used which is more 'extensively important method, very America. As in North and South than any other, both produces, comparatively, so rest of the world, it for the is scarcely worth taking into account. little silver, that it bed, that we had forgotten, when we went to We feet higher than Mexico but were nearly seven hundred to our remembrance by waking had the fact brought and finding in the middle of the night, feeling very cold, marking degrees Fahr. whereupon we our thermometer 40 covered ourselves with cloaks, and the cloaks with the strips of carpet at our bedsides, and went to sleep again. We had hired, of the French landlord, two horses and a mozo to guide us, and sorry hacks they were when we saw them in the morning. It was delightful to get a little circulation into our at the veins by going best gallop our horses woidd agree for fresh from to we were hot countries, and not at all prepared for having our hands and feet numbed with cold, and being as hoarse as ravens—for the sore throat which is the nuisance of the district, and is very severe upon new comers, had not spared us. Evapor- ation is so rapid at this high altitude that if you wet the back of your hand it dries almost instantly, leaving a smart sensation of cold. One may easily suppose, that when people have been accustomed to live under the ordinary pressure of the air, their throats and lungs do not like being dried up at this rate besides their having, on account of the rarity of the air, to work harder in breath- ing, in order to get in the necessary quantity of oxygen. 70 ANAHUAC. Couglis seem very common here, especially among the children, though people look strong and healthy, but in the absence of proper statistics one cannot undertake to say whether the district is a healthy one or not. For a wonder we have a good road, and this simply be- cause the Real del Monte Company wanted one, and made it for themselves. How unfortunate all Spanish countries are in roads, one of the most important first steps towards civil- ization ! When one has travelled in Old Spain, one can imagine that the colonists did not bring over very enlight- ened ideas on the subject and as the Mexicans were not allowed to hold intercourse with any other country, it is easy to explain why Mexico is all but impassable for carriages. But if the money been —or half of it—that has spent in building and endowing churches and convents had been devoted to road-making, this might have been a great and prosperous country. For some three hours we rode among porphyritic along mountains, getting higher at every turn, and enjoying the clear bright air. Now and then met passed a we or long recua (train) of loaded mules, taking care to keep the safe side of the road till we were rid of them. It is not great drove of cattle in an pleasant to meet a homed Alpine pass, but I really think a recua of loaded mules is worse. A knowing old beast goes first, among the Andes the come tumbling after him anyhow, with their and rest or two on either side, and loads often projecting a foot Then, wherever the banging against anybody or anything. two particularly narrow, and there is a precipice of road is one or two of them or three hundred feet to fall over, block up fall down, or get their packs loose, and so will scrimmage of kicking and road, and there is a general the things straight till the arrieros can get shoving behind, the of a ridge, and see At last we reach the top again. i 77 SILVER-MINES. THE us. It is more del Monte below of Real settlement little else but than anything mining village Cornish ; like a and mine-sheds, chimneys, the engine-houses, course of fashion, go a long in true Cornish by Cornishmen built village is The making up the resemblance. way towards possible, up and of ground on the awlcwardest bit built house apparently ravine, one down on the side of a steep mile it takes half a roof of another and standing on the the town from the bottom of of real hard climbing to get to the top. neat little inn kept by an We put up our horses at a the Com- walked or climbed up to old Englishwoman, and acquaintances at the pany’s house. We made several new within few horns, intending to see Real, though we left a the place thoroughly on our return. One peculiarity of the Casa Grande—the great house appearance of everybody of the Company—was the warlike in it. The clerks were posting up the ledgers with loaded revolvers on the desk before them the manager’s room was a small arsenal, and the gentlemen rode out for exer- cise, morning and evening, armed the to teeth. Not that there is anything apprehended from to be robbers—indeed I should like to see any of the Mexican ladrones interfer- ing with the Cornish miners, who would soon teach them better manners. I am inclined to think there is a positive pleasure in possessing handling and guns and pistols, whe- ther they are likely to be of any use or not. Indeed, while travelling through the western and southern States of America, where such things are very generally carried, I was the possessor of a five-barrelled revolver, and admit that I derived an amount of mild satisfaction from carry- ing it about, and shooting at a mark with it, that amply compensated for the loss of two dollars I incurred sell- by ing it to a Jew at New Orleans. a ANAHUAC. We rode on to Regia, soon finding that our guide had never been there before so, next morning, we kept the two horses and dismissed him with ignominy. A fine road leads from the Real to Regia, for all the silver-ore from the mines is conveyed thei’e to have the silver separated from it. My notes of our ride mention a great water- wheel : sections of porphyritic rocks, with enormous masses of alluvial soil lying upon them : steep ravines : arroyos, cut by mountain -streams, and forests of pine-trees— thoroughly Alpine district altogether. At Regia it became evident that our letter of introduction was not a mere complimentary affair. There is not even a village there it is only a great hacienda, belonging to the Company, with the huts of the workmen built it. near The Company, represented by Mr. Bell, received us with the greatest hospitality. Almost before the letter was opened our horses and mozo were off the to stables, our room was ready, and our dinner being prepared as fast as might be. evening had, What a pleasant we after our long day’s work ! We had a great wood-fire, and sat by it, talking and looking at Mr. Bell’s photographs and minerals, which amusement in his leisure-hours. The Com- serve as an pany’s Administrador leads rather a peculiar life here. responsibility he has two or There is no want of work or three hundred Indians to manage, almost all of whom will the slightest scruple, if they can steal and cheat without ores, superintend get a chance he has to assay the a but which require the greatest skill and variety of processes property the value of judgment, and he is in charge of to hundred thousand poimds. Then a man must several of iron live in where the air have a constitution to a place rarefied, and where the temperature varies thirty and is so between morning and noon. As for society, forty degrees family; the better must find it in his own for even he ; AND THEIR PRIEST. 79 THE MINERS level, intellectually, are on so different a of Mexicans class him that then- society bores educated Englishman, from an than have to rather be left in solitude utterly, and he had travellers is a great advantage to talk to them. Well, it fix pleasant people in such out-of-the- that circumstances way places. The One necessary part of a hacienda is a church. and pay the proprietors are compelled by law to build one, priest’s fees for mass on Sundays and feast-days. Now, almost all the English one meets with engaged in business, managing or mines and plantations, are Scotch, and one may well suppose there is between that not much love lost them and the priests. The father confessor plays an im- portant part in the great system of dishonesty that pre- vails to so monstrous an extent throughout the country. He hears the particulars of the thefts and cheatings that have been practised on the proprietor who builds his clnu-ch and pays for his services, and he complacently ab- solves his penitents in consideration of a small penance. Not a word about restitution; and just a formal injunction to go and sin no more, which neither priest nor penitent is very sincere about. The various evils of the Roman Catholic system have been reiterated till the subject has become tiresome, but this particular practice is so con- trary to the simplest notions of morality, and has pro- duced such fearful effects on the character of this nation, that one cannot pass it by without notice. If the Superintendent should roast the parish priest in front of the oxidising furnace, till he confessed all he knew about the thefts of his parishioners from the Company, he would tell strange stories, how Juan Fernandez carried off sixpennyvvorth of silver in each ear every day for a month and how Pedro Alvarado (the Indian names have almost disappeai ed except in a few families, and Spanish names ; ANAHUAC. have been substituted) bad hammer a with a hollow handle, like the stick that Sancho Panza delivered his famous judgment about, and carried away silver in it every day when he left work; and how Vasco Nunez stole the iron key from the gate (which cost two dollars to replace), walking twenty miles and losing a day’s work in sell it, and eventually order to getting but twopence for it and plenty more stories of the same kind. The Padre at Regia, we heard, was not given to preaching sermons, but had lately favoured his congregation with striking a very one, to the effect that the Company paid him only three dollars time for saying mass, and that he ought have a to four. Almost every traveller who visits Mexico enlarges on dishonesty which is rooted in the character of the the are worse now in this people. That they respect than were before the Conquest is highly probable. Their they and enslaved people, position as a conquered tended, as it always does, to foster the slavish vices of dissimulation The religion brought into the country by and dishonesty. missionaries concerned itself with tlieir the Spanish be- morals shift and left their to for themselves, as it lief, does still stealing is the mining-districts universal. Public In the Indians does not condemn it in the least, feeling among steal successfully is contrary. To considered a quite the found out is no disgrace. Theft is not triumph, and to be times a thief might be put in punishable. In old even but Burkart, who was a mining-inspector for the stocks his time, some twenty years ago, years, says that in many abolished, and I believe the law has not been was this miserable sight the Indian It is a to see altered since. mines. They as they como out of the searched labourers ore packs in sucli a small com- but rich almost naked, are 81 SERVITUDE. MORALS OF stowing it away, that in ingenious are so and they pass, and their and ears, their mouths examine doorkeepers the secieted, have been pieces that constantly find and hair, this system of It is escapes. greater quantity while a far of certain little existence for the that accounts thieving Company, who works of the to the smelting-sheds, close may be imagined. feelings as such at them with look little one or two ore from places profess to smelt These is no their real object neighbourhood, but mines in the ore from the bits of rich buy the stolen secret. They the value for it. exactly half Indian labourers, giving these Mexican labourers must not judge Of course, we of honesty at though we had a very high standard as searched habitually home. That we should see workmen national dock-yards, in England, at the doors of our dis- much greater disgrace us. And not merely a is a to honest grace, but a serious moral evil, for to expose an him half a thief man to such a degradation is to make already. People who know the Indian population best assure us that their lives are a perpetual course of intrigue and dissimulation. Always trying to practise some small fraud upon their masters, and even upon their own people, they are in constant fear that every one is trying to overreach them. They are afraid answer to the simplest question, lest it should be a trap laid to catch them. They ponder over every word and action of their European employers, to find out what hidden intrigue lies beneath, and to devise some counter-plot. Sartorius says that when he has met an Indian and asked his name, the brown man always gave a false one, lest the enquirer should want to do him some harm. Never did any people show more clearly the effects of ages of servitude and oppression but, hopeless as the ; 82 ANAHUAC. moral condition of this mining population seems, there is one favourable circumstance to be put on record. The Cornish miners, wlio have been living among them for years, have worked quite perceptibly upon the Indian character by the example of their persevering industry, their love of saving, and their utter contempt for thieves and liars. Instead of squandering their wages, or burying them in the ground, many of the Indian miners take their savings to the Banks and the opinions of the foreigners are gradually—though very slowly—altering the popular standard of honesty, the first towards the step moral im- provement of the Mexican population. In the morning we went off for an excursion, having hacienda in exchange got a lively young fellow from the for our stupid mozo. There was hoar frost on the ground, intense at first but the sun and the feeling of cold was began to warm the ground about eight o’clock, and we glad fasten our great coats and shawls to our were soon to town of Atotonilco* saddles. Three leagues took us to the Grande, which gives its name to the plateau we were el in the valley of Mexico, crossing. Here we are no longer mountains of is separated from tins plain by the which Monte. We rode on two leagues more to the the Real del it being Sunday, we found the of Soquitalf where, village — — themselves by Indians amusing inhabitants mostly I can hardly say “doing the sun, doing nothing. standing in or shop, and went into the tienda, nothing,” though, for we in spirits. Tienda, trade going on in raw found a brisk shops were booth. The first Spanish, means a tent or thence market-places and booths at fairs or in tents or a derivation “ mean a shop in general tienda came to in the * “ called from tlie hot springs Hot-water-place,” so Atotonilco, neighbourhood. in the clay which abounds from the potter’s Soquital, “Clay-place,” manufacture here. is the staple district. Earthenware 83 SALT-TRADE. DRAM-DRINKING. word “shop” itself. that of the with which corresponds drop in at money seemed to population as had of the Such of a small di'am, which consisted intervals for a regular chinguerito. We white-corn-brandy, called wine-glassfull of were frying eggs the people at the shop tasted some, while and found it so beans for our breakfast and boiling the tears into our eyes, to strong that a small sip brought everybody bystanders. It seemed that amusement of the the old men and drinking who could afford it from was mothers’ arms everybody women to the babies in their share, except those who were hard up, and they had a drinkers. stood about the door looking stolidly at the like gaiety in the whole affair only a There was nothing of satisfaction appeared in the face of each as he took sort his dose. It is the drinkers of pulque who get furiously drunk, and fight here it is different. These drinkers of spirits much are not given to that enormous excess that kills off the Red Indians indeed, they are seldom drunk enough to lose their wits, and they never have delirium tremens, which would come upon a European with much less provocation. They get into a habit of daily—almost hotnly —dram-drinking, and go on, year after year, in this way seeming, as far as we could judge, to live a long while, such a life as it is. As we mounted our horses and rode on, we agreed that we had seldom seen a more melancholy and depressing sight. We met some arrieros, who had brought up salt from the coast and they, seeing that we were English judged we had something to do with mines, and proposed to sell us their goods. The price of salt here is actually three- pence per lb., in a district where its consumption is im- mense, as it is used in refining the silver ore. It must be said, however, that this is an unusual price for the mule- teers have been so victimised by their nudes being seized, — ANAHUAC. either by the government or the rebels (one seems about as bad as the other in this respect), that they must have a high price to pay them for the risk. Generally seven reals, or 3s. 6d. per arroba of 251bs., is the price. This salt is evaporated in the salinas of Campeche, taken by water to Tuzpan, and then brought up the country on mules’ backs—each beast carrying 3001bs. Of course, tills salt is very coarse and very watery all salt made in this way is. It suits the New Orleans people better to import salt from England, than to make it in this in of way the Gulf Mexico, though the water there is veiy salt, and the sun very hot. The fact, that it pays to cany salt on mules’ tells the backs, volumes about the state of the country. At lowest computation, the mules would do four or five times much work if they were any kind of cart as set to draw however rough—on a carriageable road. It is true that there is some sort of road from here to Tampico, but an that name English waggoner would not acknowledge it by all and the muleteers are still in possession of most of at over almost the traffic in this district, as indeed they are the country. all mid-day by this time and, as we could not It was taking chance for the to the Rio Grande without our get Indian rancho, we turned back. The heat night in some took off our coats and become so oppressive that we had his shirt-sleeves and holding a white Mr. Christy, riding in further protected over his head, which he had umbrella not that even in the East he had with a turban, declared Soquital, and so fatiguing a ride. We passed through had spirits as natives were idling and drinking there the since we left. and seemed hardly to have moved before, shortness of Atotonilco el Grande, called for This plateau Mexico, composed is, like most of the high plains of Grande, up with and obsidian, a valley filled of porphyry mostly 85 GRANDE. MARKET AT INDIAN which are all mountains, surrounding from tlie debris The mountain- in reddish earth. embedded volcanic, all speak, comes down the water, so to —in which torrents year round stream all the flowing in a steady once, not at immense power evidences of their England—have left as in the hills, from their which the sides of the ravines with in downward, are fluted. very tops resemble the Kamms These fluted mountain-ridges Alps, called so from their toothed (combs) of the Swiss appearance. numbers of Indians, bringing their wares We had met of Atotonilco the Sunday market in the great square el to reached the town on our way Grande and when we still going on briskly so we put up home, business was our horses, and spent an hour or two in studying the peo- ple and the commodities they dealt in. It was a real very much old-fashioned Indian market, such as the Spaniards found when they first penetrated into the country. A large proportion of the people could speak no Spanish, or only a few words. The unglazed pot- tery, palm-leaf mats, ropes and bags of aloe-fibre, dressed skins, &c., were just the same wares that were made three centuries ago and there is no improvement in their manu- facture. This people, who rose in three centuries from the condition of wandering savages to a height of civilization that has no equal in history —considering the shortness of the time in which it grew up—have remained, since the Conquest, without making one step in advance. They hardly understand any reason for what they do, except that then- ancestors did things so—they therefore must be right. They make then' unglazed pottery, and carry it five and twenty miles to market on their heads, just as they used to do when there were no beasts of burden in the country. The same with then- fruits and ; 8G ANAIIUAC. vegetables, which they have brought great distances, up the most difficult mountain-paths, at a ruinous sacii- fice of time and trouble, considering what a miserable sum they will get for them after all, and how much even of this will be spent in brandy. By working on a hacienda they would get double what their labour produces in this way, but they do not understand this kind of reasoning. They cultivate their little patches of maize, by putting a sharp stick into the ground, and dropping the seed into the hole. They carry pots of water to irrigate their ground with, instead of digging trenches. Tins is the more curious, as at the time of the Conquest irrigation was much practised by the Aztecs in the plains, and remains water-canals still of exist, showing that they had earned the art to great perfection. They bring logs of wood over mountains harnessing horses mules the by or to them, and dragging them with immense labour over the rough The idea of wheels or rollers ground. has either not oc- curred to them, or is considered as a pernicious novelty. is very striking to see how, while Europeans are It machinery and the most bringing the newest advanced into the country, there is scarcely any symptom of im- arts the people, who still hold provement among firmly to the their ancestors. An American author, Mayer, wisdom of people in Italy, as an illustra- a story of a certain quotes of the Indians in Mexico respecting im- tion of the feeling he says that the peasants provements. In this district, panniers with vegetables on one side, and loaded their filling it with stones the opposite pannier by balanced a traveller pointed out the advantage to be and when panniers with vegetables, he was by loading both gained immemorial had that then- forefathers from time answered market, they were wise then- produce to that carried so very little and that a stranger showed good men, and 87 ACCOUNT-KEEPING. SARDINES. established in the interfered who or decency understanding the Indians say that need hardly of a country. customs to a great course accounts and this of ignorant utterly are ; conservatism. obstinate then extent for at market-place round the several shops There were much as going on was brandy-drinking Grande, and the general small towns are in these The shops Soquital. at England. andiron-districts in in coal- like “the shop” stores, retail -trades the different towns that only in large It is in these is very noticeable One thing are separated. great stock of sar- certainty of finding a country stores, the of finding Sardines tin boxes. The idea dines in bright but the odd enough Indian villages seemed cl Vhuile in ; the coast of getting fish up from is, that the difficulty fact dearer than these sardines are not much is so great that Montezuma’s else, and they go a long way. anything from the gulf, method of supplying his table with fresh fish with it, is by having relays of Indian porters to run up for general and there is no efficient sub- too expensive use, stitute. It is in consequence of this scarcity of fish, that Church-fasts have never been very strictly kept in Mexico. The method of keeping accounts in the shops—which, it is to be remembered, are ahnost always kept by white or half-white people, hardly ever by Indians—is primitive enough. Here is a score which I copied, Li - 0- the hieroglyphics standing for dollars, half-dollars, meclios or half-reals, cuartillos or quarter-reals, and tlacos or — clacos—which are eighths of a real, or about d. While account-keeping among the comparatively edu- cated trades-people is in this condition, one can easily understand how very limited the Indian notions of calcu- lation are. They cannot realize any number much over ten and twenty—cempoalli —is with them the symbol of a great number, as a hundred was with the Greeks. There is in N 88 ANAHUAC. Mexico a mountain “ called in this indefinite way Cem- poatepetl” —the twenty-mountain. Sartorius mentions the Indian name of the many-petaled marigold “ cempo- axochitl” —the twenty-flower. We traded for some trifles of aloe-fibre, but soon had to count up the reckoning with beans. I have delayed long enough for the present over the Indians and then’ market so, though there is much more to be said about them, I will only add a few words respect- ing the commodities for sale, and then leave them for awhile. There seemed to be a large business doing in costales (bags) made of aloe-fibre, for carrying ore about in the mines. True to the traditions of his ancestors, the Indian much prefers putting his load in a bag on his back, to the far easier method of wheeling it about. Lazos sold at one to four reals, (6d. to 2s.) according to quality. There are two kinds of aloe-fibre one coarse, ichtli, the other much finer, the first made from the great aloe that pro- pito other from smaller duces pulque, the a much species of the same genus. The stones with which the boiled maize is the paste of which the universal tortillas are ground into were to be had here indeed, they are made in the made the basalt and lava which abound in the neighbourhood, of The metate is a sort of little table, hewn out of district. little feet, and its surface is curved basalt, with four the metalpile is of the the middle. The from the ends to rolling-pin. The old-fashioned material, and like a same It is beauti- pottery I have mentioned already. Mexican cheap. They only asked us nine- made, and very fully olla, or boiling-pot, that held four or five pence for a great was double the market-price. and no doubt this gallons, climate is al- thoroughly realized before how never so the sea in noticing the fruits altitude above as by tered ; OF REGLA. 89 GRANDE. BARRANCA MARKET AT at this little market, vegetables that were being sold and miles of which they were all fifteen or twenty within were wheat and barley, and the pinones grown. There fruit of the stone-pine, which grows in Italy, and is (the represent- largely used instead of almonds); and from these bananas atives of temperate climates the list extended to and zapotes, grown at the bottom of the great barrancas, 3000 or 4000 feet lower in level than the plateau, though in distance but a few miles off. Three or four thousand miles latitude of would not give a greater difference. It woidd never do to be late, and break our necks in one of the awkward water-courses that the cut plateau in about all directions so we started homewards, soon having to unfasten great-coats and shawls from our saddles, to keep out the cold of the approaching sunset and so we got back to the hospitable hacienda, and were glad to warm ourselves at the fire. Next morning, we went off to get a view of the great barranca of Regia. A ride over the hills brought us to a wood of oaks, with their branches fringed with the long grey Spanish moss, and a profusion of epiphytes clinging to their bark, some splendidly in flower, showing the fan- tastic shapes and brilliant colours one sees in Enoiish orchid-houses. Cactuses of many species complete the picture of the vegetation in this beautiful spot. This is at the top of the barranca. Then imagine a valley a mile or two in width, with sides almost perpendicular and capped with basaltic pillars, and at the bottom a strip of land whei e the vegetation is of the deepest green of the tropics, with a river winding along among palm-trees and bananas. This great barranca is between two and three thousand feet deep, and the view is wonderful. We went down a considerable way by a zig-zag road, my companion collect- ing armfuls of plants by the way, but unfortunately losing 90 ANAHUAC. liis thermometer, which could not be found, though a long hunt for it produced a great many more plants, and so the trouble was not wasted. The prickly pear was covered with ripe purple fruit a little way down, and we refreshed ourselves with them, I managing —in my clumsiness —to get into my fingers two or three of the little sheaves of needles which are planted on the outside of the fruit, and thus providing myself with occupation for leisure moments for three or four days after in taking them out. Many species of cactus, and the nopal, or prickly pear, especially, are full of watery sap, which trickles out in a stream when they are pierced. In these thirsty regions, when springs and brooks are dry, the cattle bite them to get at the moisture, regardless of the thorns. On the north coast of Africa the camels delight in crunching the juicy leaves of the same plant. I have often been amused in watching the camel-drivers’ efforts to get their trains of beasts along the narrow sandy lanes of Tangier, laden be- tween hedges of prickly pears, where the camels with then' sides long necks could reach the tempting lobes on both of the way. while the cattle in the Mexican In this thirsty season, plains derive moisture from the cactus, the aloe provides It frequently happened for man a substitute for water. from rancho to rancho asking for water in vain, to us to go abundance. pulque was to be had in though of the varied forms of To attempt any description In the Mexico would be out of the question. cactus in have described above northern provinces alone, botanists met with hundred species. The most striking we eight the opuntia), the organo, the prickly pear (cactus were dome- cereus, the various mamillarias night-blowing diameter thorns, varying in mounds covered with shaped — greybeard, six or eight feet and the an inch to from upright called them, “ the old man,” as our guide el viejo, FOR PULQUE. 91 COLLECTED ALOE-JUICE with grey wool-like and covered street-posts, like pillars filaments. ravine again, we found an the top of the Getting to flourishes here, though milking an aloe, which old Indian is too hot for it to pro- further down the climate a little the gentleman had a long gourd, of pulque. This old duce very club, but hollow inside, and shape and size of a great in among small end of this gourd was pushed light. The made scooping out the the aloe-leaves into the hollow by and in which the sweet juice, the inside of the plant, aguamiel, collects. By having a little hole at each end of the gourd, and sucking at the large end, the hollow of the plant emptied itself into the Acocote, (in proper Mexican, Water-throat), this queer implement is called. Acocotl, as Then the Indian stopped the hole at the end he had been sucking at, with Iris finger, and dexterously emptied the contents of the gourd into a pig-skin which he carried at his went up back. We with the old man to his rancho, and tasted Iris pulque, which was very good, though we could not say the same of his domestic arrangments. It puzzled us not a little to see people living up at this height in houses built of sticks, such as are used in the hot lands, and hardly affording any protection from the weather, severe as it is here. The pulque is taken to market in pig-skins, which, though the pig himself is taken out of them, still retain his shape very accurately and when nearly full of liquor, they roll about on their backs, and kick up the little dumpy legs that are left them, in the most comical and life-like way. When we went away we bought the old man’s acocote, and carried it home in triumph, and is it not in the Museum at Kew Gardens to this day (See the illustration ? at page 36./ At the hacienda of Regia are to be seen on a large scale most of the processes which are employed in the extraction 92 ANAHUAC. of silver from the ore—the benejicio, or making good, as it is called. In the great yard, numbers of men and horses were walking round and round upon the tortas,” tarts or pies, as they are called, consisting of powdered ore mixed with water, so as to form a circular bed of mud a foot deep. To this mud, sulphate of copper, salt, and cpiicksilver are added, and the men and mules walk round and round in it, mixing it thoroughly together, a process which is kept up, with occasional intervals of rest, for nearly two months. time the By that whole of the silver has formed an amal- gam with the mercury, and this amalgam is afterwards separated from the earth by being trampled under water in troughs. We were surprised to find that men and horses their lives in wading through could pass mud containing mercury in a state of fine division without absorbing it them bodies, but neither men nor horses suffer from it. into We happened to visit the melting-house one evening, lead being separated oxidizing while silver and were by lead in a reverberatory furnace. Here we noticed a the melted litharge ran from the mouth curious effect. The furnace upon a floor of damp sand, and spread over of the the heat of the mass vaporized it in a sheet. Presently, as still in the sand below, the sheet of litharge, the water heave and swell, and a number of slightly fluid, began to from its surface. Some of these cones small cones rose burst at the the height of four inches, and then reached re- red-hot fragments. I sending out a shower of top, was cool. It one of these cones when the litharge moved Vesu- funnel-shaped crater, like that which a regular had four had until three or years ago. vius little cones is complete between these The analogy the volcano of on the lava-field at the foot of those and “hornitos;” the concentric struc- the celebrated Jorullo, 93 OF REGLA. CASCADE JORULLO. that they proves Burkart, described by as of which, ture Until lately, manner. the same precisely formed in were was attributed of Jorullo cone of the great formation the tra- but later the hornitos, action as same kind of to the One is incorrect. fact that this established the vellers have few years Mexico a who was in Saussure family, of the De terraces of of three as consisting describes Jorullo back, another from a one above which have flowed basaltic lava, surmounted by a cone of being orifice, the whole central also opening, from which from the same lapilli tin-own up issued. streams of lava have later behind the of Regia is just The celebrated cascade enclosed on three sides There is a sort of basin, hacienda. basaltic columns, some eighty perpendicular wall of by a the side opposite the opening, a mountain- feet high. On has cut a deep notch in this wall, and pours down stream in a cascade. The basaltic pillars rest upon an undis- thick, and turbed layer of basaltic conglomerate five feet bed clay. The place is very picturesque that upon a of and great Yuccas which project over the waterfall, two crowned with their star-like tufts of pointed leaves, have a strange effect. These basalt-columns are very regular, with from five eight to sides and are almost black in colour. They have a curiously well-defined circular core in the middle, five or six inches in diameter. This core is light grey, almost white. The Indians bring down num- bers of short lengths or joints of the columns, and they are used at the hacienda in making a primitive kind of ore-crushing mill, in which they are dragged round and round by mule-power, on a floor also of basalt. When we had visited the falls we took leave of our hospitable friend, and set off to return to the Real. We stopped at San Miguel, another of the haciendas of the Company, where the German barrel-process is worked. 94 ANAHUAC. Just behind the hacienda is the Ojo de Agua—the Eye of Water— a beautiful basin, surrounded by a green sward and a wood of oaks and fir-trees. A little stream takes its rise from the spring which bubbles up into this basin, and the name Ojo de Agua,” is a general term applied to such fountain-heads. When one looks down from high hill upon one of these Eyes of Water, one sees how the name came to be given, and indeed, the idiom is thou- sands of years older than the Spanish tongue, and belongs as well to the Hebrew and Arabic. A Mexican calls a lake atezcatl, Water -Mirror, an expressive word, which reminds one of the German Wasserspiegel. Soon after nightfall we got back to the English inn, and went to bed without any further event happening, except the burning of some outhouses, which we went out to see. The custom of roofing houses with pine-shingles (“ tacu- general use of wood for building all meniles”), and the the best houses, make fires very common here. Dtuing the spent in the Real district, I find in my note- few days we book mention of three fires which we saw. We spent the resting, and in visiting the mine-works near next day in at hand. The day after, an Englishman who had lived the Real offered to take us out for a many years at ride and the Company’s Administrador lent us two day’s for the poor beasts from Pachuca could of his own horses, visited was hardly have gone so far. The first place we rocks.” Riding through a Penas Cargadas, the “loaded suddenly in view wood of oaks and pines, we came thick some three hundred feet high, of several sugar-loaf peaks, one crowned almost to a point at the top, and each tapering which seem to have been balanced with a mass of rocks as though equilibrium on its point,—looking in unstable would bring them doAvn. The pillars puff of wind the first been disin- conglomerate, which had of porphyritic were IMPLEMENTS. 95 OBSIDIAN DE NAVAJAS. CERRO while wind and rain the worn away by and ; tegrated solid porphyry, them, probably of resting on great masses It was the these influences. less affected by had been of rocks that we example of the weathering most curious we rode on to the From Penas Cargadas had ever seen. has forests, and Guajalote, where the Company farm of and the refin- cuts wood and burns charcoal for the mines tenant of the farm, was a ing works. Don Alejandro, the good fellow. He could not go on with Scotchman, and a us, for he had invited a party of neighbours to eat up a in hole in the kid that had been cooked a ground, with embers upon it, after Sandwich Island fashion. This *ls called a barbacoci—a barbecue. We should have liked to be at the feast, but time was short, so we rode on to the top of Mount Jacal, 12,000 feet above the sea, where there was a view of mountains and valleys, and heat that was positively melting. Thence down the to Cerro de Navajas, the “hill of knives.” It is on the sides of this hill that obsidian is found in enormous quantities. Before the conquerors introduced the use of iron, these deposits were regularly min ed, and this place was the Sheffield of Mexico. We were curious to see all that was to be seen; for Mr. Christy’s Mexican collection, already large before our visit, and destined to become much larger, contained numbers of implements and weapons of this very peculiar material. Any one who does not know obsidian may imagine great masses of bottle-glass, such as our orthodox ugly wine- bottles are made of, very hard, very brittle, and— if one breaks it with any ordinary implement going, as glass does, in every direction but the right one. We saw its resemblance to this portwine-bottle-glass in an odd way at the Ojo de Agua, where the wall of the hacienda was armed at the top, after our English fashion, apparently o J ANAHUAC. witli bits of old bottles, but which turned out to be chips of obsidian. Out of this rather unpromising stuff the Mexi- cans made knives, razors, arrow- and spear-heads, and MEXICO. FROM ARROW-HEADS, AND KNIVES OBSIDIAN AND SPEAR-HEADS STONE Arrow-head; obsidian: Teteuhuacan. obsidian: Te Ieoh varan. 1. Flame-shaped 2. Arrow-head opake shown two Javelin-head; obsi- •). Knife or Razor oj Obsidian; in aspects; Mexico. 4. Leaf-shaped Knife or Spears State: dian from Real del Monte. 5. Spear-head of chalcedony; one a pair supposed to be of : of at concre- excavating for the Casa Grande Tezcuco. (This peculiar opalescent ehalcedony occurs found in , large size, in the trachyiic lavas Mexico tions, sometimes of of 97 STONE KNIVES. OF MANUFACTURE nothing of the beauty. I say of great some things, other of the nor even and ornaments, mirrors obsidian polished be seen in that are to human face of the curious masks and polished laboriously cut only for these were collections, process. common-place us a jewellers’ sand, to with market of Tlate- the great the barbers at Cortes found razors, and he with such shaving the natives lolco busy of the same of other uses his men had experience and arrows which obsidian-headed material in the flights of and the more deadly sky,” as they said, “darkened the and of with obsidian points, maces stuck all over wooden after. These knives too, not long the priests’ sacrificial by chipping cut and polished, but made things were not cracking off pieces from a lump. This one can see by or all show. traces of conchoidal fracture which they the for it perished soon The art is not wholly understood, when iron came in but, as far as the after the Conquest, theory is concerned, I think I can give a tolerably satis- factory account of the process of manufacture. In the first place, the workman who makes gun-flints could pro- make some of the simpler bably obsidian implements, which were no doubt chipped off in the same way. The section of a gun-flint, with its one side flat for sharpness and the other side ribbed for strength, is one of the characteristics of obsidian knives. That the flint knives of Scandinavia were made by chipping off strips from a mass is proved by the many-sided prisms occasion- ally found there, and particularly by that one which was discovered just where it had been worked, with the knives chipped off it lying close by, and fitting accurately into their places upon it. Now to make the case complete, we ought to find such prisms in Mexico; and accordingly, some months ago, 98 ANAHUAC. when I examined the splendid Mexican collection of Mr, Uhde at Heidelberg, I found one or two. No one seemed to have suspected their real nature, and they had been classed as maces, or the handles of some kind of weapon. I should say from mem- ory that they were seven or eight inches long, and as large as one could con- veniently grasp and one or both of them, as if to remove all doubt as to what they were, had the stripping off of ribbons not carried quite round them, but leaving an in- termediate strip rough. There is another point about the obsidian knives which requires confirma- tion. One can often see. Aztec Knives or Razors. Long nor- Fluted Prism Obsidian: of nT1 onrla nf +V10 UU LUe CUUS L1IU U1 row Flakes Obsidian, having a of th' core from which Jlakes 'W have been struck *“* off. Scandinavian f1 i n t ZnZoZ. the bruise made the knives, by blow of the hard stone with which they were knocked off. I did not think of looking to this point when at Mr. Ulide’s museum, but the thus only obsidian knife I have seen since seems to be the end. bruised at workman Once able to break his obsidian straight, the long in his trade, for a large proportion of has got on a way intersect- articles he has to make are formed by planes the another in various directions. But the Mexican ing one the end, are generally not pointed, but turned up at knives a druggist’s This peculiar one may bend up spatula as 99 MINES. OBSIDIAN but results from purpose, to answer a not given is shape stone. fracture of the natural the or several implements making then, the way of Even obsidian got several clear. We is not entirely weapons which inches long— one about ten or lance-heads— maces with taper and covered base to point, were taper from present great things which and there are other flutings that some- on good authority, difficulties. I have heard of working the Indians still have a way where in Peru, the surface of a piece, laying a bone wedge on obsidian by may cracks. Such a process and tapping it till the stone Mexico. have been used in little articles made in museums beautiful We may see the mirrors anct masks in this intractable material, such as and cups. But, as I I have mentioned, and even rings lapidaries’ work. have said, these are mere situation of the mines was picturesque grand hills The of porphyritic rock, and pine-forest everywhere. Not far off is the broad track of a hurricane, which had walked miles, knocking the great trees down like through it for ninepins, and leaving them to rot there. The vegetation gave evident proof of a severe climate and yet the heat and glare of the sun were more intolerable than we had ever felt it in the region of sugar-canes and bananas. About here, some of the trachytic porphyry which forms the substance of the hills had happened to have cooled, under suitable conditions, from the molten state into a sort of slag or volcanic glass, which is the obsidian in question and, in places, this vitreous lava—from one layer having flowed over another which was already cool—was regu- larly stratified. The mines were mere wells, not very deep with hori- zontal workings into the obsidian where it was very good — ANAHUAC. and in thick layers. Round about were heaps of frag- ments, hundreds of tons of them; and it was clear, from the shape of these, that some of the manufacturing was done on the spot. There had been great numbers of pits worked and it was from these minillas,” little mines, as they are called, that we first got an idea how important an element this obsidian was in the old Aztec civilization. In exclusions made since, we travelled over whole dis- tricts in the plains, where fragments of these arrows and knives were to be found, literally every at step, mixed with morsels of pottery, and here and there a little clay idol. Among the heaps of fragments were many that had become weathered on the upper side, and had a remark- able lustre, like silver. Obsidian is called bizcli by the Indians, and the silvery sort is known as bizcli platera* They often find bits of it in the fields and go with great secrecy and mystery to Mr. Bell, or some other authority in mining matters, and confide to him their discovery of a silver-mine. They go away angry and unconvinced when told what their silver really is and generally come to the conclusion that he is deceiving them, with a view of off the scent, that he may find the place throwing them for himself, and cheat them of then- share of the profits just what their own miserable morbid cunning would under such circumstances. lead them to do the tools The family-likeness that exists among stone in many parts of the world is very and weapons found so obsidian itztli, a word which seems to mean origin- The book-name for is “ to the material ally sharp thing, knife,” and thence to have been applied But no made of. Obsidian was also called ilztetl, knife-stone. knives are existence I spoke on the subject wonld ever acknowledge the Indian to whom which obsidian, insisted that it was called bizcli, such a word as itztli for but of for the the corrupt modern pronunciation of another old name is apparently mineral, petztli, shiny-stone. same 101 OF MEXICO. IMPLEMENTS STONE North America, such of Hint-arrows The remarkable. Longfellow’s arrow Mr. as in the used to work at maker Dacotahs, and land of the northern which, in the wild of Mexico, the Apa- states use to ches and Comanches this day, might be easily mis- Obsidian. Mexican Arrow-heads of taken for the weapons of our It on the banks of the Thames. British ancestors, dug up implements is true that the finish of the Mexican obsidian flin t weapons of far exceeds that of the chipped and agate Scandinavia, and still more of England, Switzerland, those and Italy, where they are dug up in such quantities, in deposits of alluvial soil, and in bone-caves in the limestone rocks. But this higher finish we may attribute partly to superiority the of the material for the Mexicans also used flint to some extent, and their flint weapons are as hard to distinguish by inspection as those from other parts of the world. We may reasonably suppose, moreover, that the skill of the Mexi- can artificer increased when he found a bet- i i Aztec Knife Chalcedony mounted on a wooden handle, which is shaped -j of like a lid lllciWl lcll human figure with its face appearing through an eagle-head mask and has been nlaid With mo4a *c WOr^ malachite bone, shell, and turquoise. Length I2£ °f t til'll! flillt tO work upon. Be this as it may, an inspection of any good collection of such articles shows the much higher finish of the obsidian implements than of those of flint, agate, and rock-crystal. They say there is an ingenious artist who makes flint arrow-heads and stone axes for the benefit of English antiquarians, and earns good profits by it : I 102 ANAHUAC. should like to give him an order for ribbed obsidian razors and spear-heads I don’t think he would make much of them. The wonderful similarity of character among the stone weapons found in different parts of the world has often been used by ethnologists as a means of supporting the theory that this and other arts were carried over the world by tribes migrating from one common centre of creation of the human species. The argument has not much weight, and a larger view of the subject quite super- sedes it. We may put the question in this way. In Asia and of in Europe the use stone tools and weapons has always characterized a very low state of civilization and such implements are only found among savage tribes living by the chase, or just beginning to cultivate the ground and from the condition of mere barbarians. to emerge Now, if the Mexicans got their civilization from Europe, it must some people unacquainted with the use of have been from iron, if not of bronze. Iron abounds in Mexico, not only in but occurring nearly pure in aerolites of the state of ore, Cholula, and at Zacatecas, far from great size, as at not great ruins there so that the only reason for their not the been ignorance of its qualities. using it must have The Arabian Nights’ story of the mountain which con- sisted of a single loadstone finds its literal fulfilment in far from Huetamo, on the road towards the Mexico. Not Pacific, there is a conical hill composed entirely of mag- iron-ore. The blacksmiths in the neighbourhood, netic with no other apparatus than their common forges, make into wrought iron, which all ordi- it directly they use for nary purposes. civilization from Now, in supposing to be transmitted height to another, we must measure it by the one country 103 AZTEC CIVILIZATION. of a chain measure the strength point, as we lowest its of link. The only civiliza- the weakest of strength by the received from the Old Mexicans can have the tion that whose cutting some people have been from must World as we must stone, consequently, of sharp implements were barbarous and ignorant some very analogy, conclude by tribe. admit that the inhabitants we must From this point independently, to the extra- raised themselves, of Mexico distinguished them when culture which degree of ordinary aware of their existence. The became Europeans first plainly of their knowledge shows distribution curious themselves, and did not receive it found it for that they find a wonderful acquaintance with transmission. We by details as the real cause of astronomy, even to such length of the year given by intercala- eclipses,—and the surprising accuracy and, at the same time, no tions of knowledge whatever of the art of wilting alphabetically, hieroglyphics are nothing but suggestive for their pic- tures. They had carried the art of gardening to a high degree of perfection but, though there were two kinds of ox, and the buffalo at no great distance from them, in the countries they had already passed through in then- migra- tion from the north, they had no idea of the employment of milk. beasts of burden, nor of the use of They were a great trading people, and had money of several kinds in general use, but the art of weighing was utterly unknown to them while, on the other hand, the Peruvians habitu- ally used scales and weights, but had no idea of the use of money. To return to the stone knives the Mexicans may very well have invented the art themselves, as they did so many others or they may have received it from ; the Old World. The things themselves prove nothing either way. p 104 ANAHUAC. The real proof of their having, at some early period, communicated with inhabitants of Europe or Asia rests upon the traditions current among them, which are re- corded by the early historians, and confirmed by the Aztec picture-writings and upon several extraordinary coinci- dences in the signs used by them in reckoning astrono- mical cycles. Further on I shall allude to these tra- ditions. On the whole, the most probable view of the origin of the Mexican tribes seems to be the one ordinarily held, that they really came from the Old bringing with World, them several legends, evidently the same as the histories recorded in the book of Genesis. This must have been, however, at a time when they were quite a barbarous, nomadic tribe and we must regard their civilization as of independent and far later growth. We rode back through the woods to Guajalote, where the Mexican had the manner cook made us a feast after of the country, and from her experience of foreigners had learnt to temper throats. the child to our susceptible Decidedly the Mexicans are not without ideas in the matter of cookery. We stayed talking with the hospi- table Don Alejandro and his sister till it was all but dark, and then rode back to Real, admiring the fire-flies the to that were darting about by thousands, and listening our companion’s stories, which turned on robberies and after murders— as stories are apt to do in wild places But, save from being robbed some dark. an escape who was twenty years back, and the history of an Indian few murdered just here by some of his own people, for a had not much shillings he was taking home, our friend give for the two huge horse-pistols he carried, reason to a German ready for action. His story of the death of was worth here. He engineer in these parts is recording 105 OF MEXICO. AND COMMERCE SILVER companion and, night, with a home one dark riding country, tried a short cut knowledge of the trusting to his open mines near the the woods, among the old through passed all the dangerous Regia road. They had quite and gave his horse the spur, places, he thought, so he His down a shaft, hundreds of feet deep. plunged sheer pulled up in time, and got home safely. friend and then went We had one more day among the mines, Mexico in the Diligence. back to Pachuca, and next day to and good-natured in- Everywhere the same hospitality terest in us and our doings, often shown by people with Travelling whom we had hardly the slightest acquaintance. here is very different from what it is in a country on which the shadow of Murray’s Handbook has fallen. Almost all the interest Eru’ope takes in Mexico, politi- cally and commercially, turns upon the exportation of silver. The gold, cochineal, and vanilla are of small ac- count. It is the silver dollars that pay for the Manchester goods, woollens, hardware, and many other things those ubiquitous boxes of sardines a l’huile, for instance. The Mexicans send to Europe some five millions sterling in silver every year, that is, about twelve shillings apiece for all the population. It is just about what their government spends annually in promoting the maladministration of the coun- try (and, looking at the matter in that point of view, they don’t do their work badly for the money). The income of the Mexican church is not quite so much, but not far off. Baron Humboldt has expressed a hope that, at some future day, the Mexicans will turn their attention to producing articles of real intrinsic value, and not those which are merely a sign to represent it. He tells us, quite feelingly, how the Peace of Amiens stopped the working of the iron-mines that had been opened when t 106 ANAHUAC. they could get no iron from abroad for, when trade was reopened, people preferred buying in Europe pro- bably a better article at one-third the price. He even hopes an enlightened government will encourage (that is, protect) more useful industries. This was writ- ten fifty years ago, though. If an enlightened govern- ment will give people some security for life and property, and make reasonable laws, and execute them,—leaving men of business to find out for themselves how it suits them to employ their capital, it seems probable that the balance between articles of real value and articles of ima- ginary value will adjust itself, perhaps better than an en- lightened government could do it. The Mexican govern- ment has, unfortunately, followed Humboldt’s advice in some respects. Cotton goods, woollens, and hardware We may sum up the are thus protected. statistics of the Mexican cotton-manufacture in a rough way thus,—taking question the coarse cotton cloth called merely into 'manta, and used principally by the Indians. We may reckon this article alone the Mexicans have to roughly that for annually more than they could pay a million sterling get were no protection-duty. The only advan- it for if there that certain part of the tage anybody gets by this is a employed in a manufacture unsuited to the population is from work that may be and is thus taken away country, in The actual amount of money paid done profitably. forced into existence the class of operatives thus wages to forfeits than the amount which the country is much less home. Thus a sum the sake of making its manta at for taxation of amounting to a third of the amiual actually and away upon this one article country is thrown the ; similar unprofitable same way, to encourage more goes the manufactures. com- is stated, on respect to the silver-mines, it With are States of Mexico the northern authority, that petent 107 SILVER-MINES. MEXICAN any population, but there is scarcely in silver very rich of Red Indians who will not consisting mostly that and the United district becomes a territory of When this work. will, no doubt, almost certain, this silver States—as seems periods in the history of We may make three be worked. the Conquest, the Aztecs Mexican silver-mining. Before were Tasco and other places and woi’ked the silver-ore at value it very familiar with silver, though they did not working of silver became much. Under the Spaniards, the industry of the country and, until the the prominent Mexican Independence, the production steadily increased. The Spaniards invented amalgamation by the patio-pro- cess, a most important improvement. Then came above twenty years of confusion, when little was done. But when the Republic had fairly got under way, and the country was in some measure open to foreigners, Europe, especially England, in hot haste to take advantage of the opportunity, sent over engineers and machinery, and great sums of money, much of which was quite wasted, to the hopeless ruin of a great part of the adventurers. The improvements and the machinery remained, how- ever and the mines passed into other hands. Of late years the companies have been doing very well, and now export nearly as much silver as during the latter years of the Spanish government—nearly, but not quite. The finan- cial history of the Real del Monte Company is worth put- ting down. The original English company spent nearly one million sterling on it, without getting any dividend. They sold it to two or three Mexicans for about twenty- seven thousand pounds, and the Mexicans spent eighty thousand more on it, and then began to make profits. The annual profit is now some d?200,000. have said that the modern Mexican Indian has but little idea ol arithmetic. This was not the case with his — ANAHUAC. Ancestors, who had a curious notation, serving for the high- est numbers. The Indians of the present day use the old Aztec numerals, and from these there is something to be learnt. Baron Humboldt, speaking of the Muysca Indians of South America, says that their word for eleven is quihicha ;” ata, that is, foot one meaning that they have counted all then- fingers, and are beginning their toes. He pro- ceeds to compare the Persian words, pentcha, hand, and five, penclj, as being connected with one another, and gives various other curious instances of finger-numeration. We may carry the theory further. The Zulu language reck- ons from one up to five, and then goes on with tatisitupe (“ take the take the thumb”), meaning six tatukornba (“ pointer,” or forefinger), meaning seven, and so on. The Yei from nineteen, and for twenty language counts one up to says mo bancle “a person is finished”—that is, both fingers Eichhoff and toes. I venture to add another suggestion. Sanskrit word for finger, “daupni” (taken appar- gives a - forefinger), and which corres- from pra dec;ini, ently curiously with dacjan,” ten and we have the same ponds runnin through many of the Indo-European resemblance and SciktvXoc, decern and digitus languages, as $cka and on. Zehn and Zehe, so German, Mexican numerals will afford us a new illus- Here the first four of them ge, the meaning of the tration. Of can give no idea, any more than I nahui—I can ome, yei, three, four, which of the words one, two, of the meaning the Mexican for is macuilli, to them but correspond five in the dark as far Then we go on “hand-depicting.” it is matlactli, hand-half,” as I think which as ten, not the (from tlactli, half) and this would mean, means, which the half of the whole person, of a hand, but halving ma, The syllable his hands only. by counting you get ; NUMERALS. “ its appearance in the words makes means hand,” which else just as it should do. and no where and ten, five ; “one we have cempoalli, come to twenty, When we and toes cor- one whole man, fingers — that is, counting “a person is the Yei word for twenty, responding to finished.” more examples to show that I think we need no all countries—reckon by fives, tens, or people—in almost merely because they began to count upon their twenties, fingers and toes. If the strong man who had six fingers and six toes on each foot, had invented on each hand, a system of numeration, it would have gone in twelves, nearly like the duodecimals which our carpenters use unless, indeed, he had been stupid after the manner of very strong men, and not gone beyond sixes. We see how the Romans, though they inherited from their Eastern ancestors a numeration by tens up to decern, and then be- ginning again undecim, &c., yet when they began to write a notation could get no farther than five — II., in., rv., I., v. and then on again, vi., vii, up to ten, from ten to fifteen, and so on. There is a very curious vulgar error which prevails, even among people who have a good practical acquaint- ance with arithmetic. It is that the number ten has some special virtue which fits it for counting up to. The fact is that ten .is not the best number for the purpose you can halve it, it is true, but that is about all you can do with it, for its being divisible by five is of hardly any use for practical pm'poses. Eight would be a much better num- ber, for you can halve it three times in succession and twelve is perhaps the most convenient number possible, as it wfil divide by two, three, and four. It is this conve- nient property that leads tradesmen to sell by dozens, and grosses, rather than by tens and hundreds. If we used ; 110 ANAHUAC. eights or twelves numeration, we might instead of tens for of course preserve all the advantages of the Indian or Arabic numerals should discard the in the first case, we in the ciphers 8 and and reckon and second 9, 5, 6, 7, 10 case, we should want two new ciphers for ten and eleven and 10 would stand for twelve, and 11 for thirteen. Our happening really us into a rather to have ten fingers has led inconvenient numerical system. IN TERRA COTTA. AZTEC HEAD, OFFERINC.) A HOUSEHOLD-COD OR A VOTIVE (PROBABLV EITHER NOTE. with a masks incrusted 101 and two unique Knife figured at page The s collection; are in Mr. Christy (of turquoise and obsidian) similar mosaic work Copen- in the collection at workmanship are mask and head of similar and a art. style of Aztec examples of this advanced are the only known hagen. These after soon brought to Europe probably to one set, The whole once belonged a convent obtained at two at Copenhagen were of Mexico. The the Conquest at in a collection for a long period three, two were and, of the other in Rome; most probably where it was obtained at Bruges, other was Florence, and the Countries. in the Low during their rule the Spaniards brought by CHAP. V. GUADALUPE. MEXICO. the Serape worn by the Men. The Rebozo worn by the Women oj Mexico; and the news While we were away at the Real del Monte, had reached that Puebla had capitulated, and that Mexico the rebel leader had fled. The victory was celebrated in the capital with the most triumphal entries, harangues, bull-fights, and illuminations done to order. If had yon house in one of the principal streets, the police would make you illuminate it, whether you liked or not. The newspapers loudly proclaimed the triumph of the consti- tutional principle, and the inauguration of a reign of law and order that was never to cease. As for the newspapers, indeed, one looked in vain in them for any free expression of public opinion. They were all either suppressed, or converted into the merest mouth- Q 112 ANAHUAC. pieces of the government. The telegraph was under the strictest surveillance, and were no messages allowed to be sent which the government did not consider favourable to their interests a precaution which rather defeated itself, as the people soon ceased believe to any public news at all little all. In these mean shifts, which we in England consider as the special property of despotic governments, the authorities of the Mexican Republic showed themselves great proficients. We were left, therefore, to form what idea we could of affairs, the real state of Mexican from the private informa- tion received by our friends. Just for once it may be while give a few details, not because the worth to people engaged were specially interesting, but because the affair give an idea of the condition of the country. may serve to President Comonfort, not a bad sort of man, as it not strong enough for the place,” and with seemed, but against the an empty treasury, tried to make a stand army, who stood firm against any attempt clergy and the instinct, that, if any reform—knowing, with a certain at began, then’ own unreasonable privileges real reform once part of the be attacked. So the clergy and would soon anti-president, one Haro; and he installed army set up an the Re- Puebla, which is the second city of himself at Comonfort besieged him. So far public, and there reaccionarios.” described the doings of the have already wonderful accounts of attacks newspapers gave The at killed on both sides repulses, and reckoned the and and 10,000 were 10,000 regular troops, 2,500. There these were indeed) and (very irregular troops irregulars ; officers, and forty by a complete regiment of commanded on pretty sides but as, This is reckoning both generals. in the troops (Tejada’s statistical table), authority good the doubt no are only reckoned at 12,000, Republic the ; OF PUEBLA. CAPITULATION AND SIEGE As for the 2,500 exaggerated. much are numbers above a mere farce and, the siege was is that ; the fact killed, and soon in Mexico, heard at the time what we judging by more correct was a much in Puebla itself, 25 afterwards it, by one facetious people reduced and some estimate : The President had two and a half. division, to more in borrow some money desperate efforts, to managed, by and at sixty per cent. on the credit of the State, Mexico, ; that it was this money, judiciously ad- seems certain it about some of Haro’s generals, that brought ministered to the capitulation of flight of the anti-president, and the termination of the affair, according to the Puebla. The were incorporated newspapers, was, that the rebel army constitutional troops that their officers—500 in with the number—were reduced to the ranks for a term of years that a hot pursuit was made after the fugitive Haro and that, as it was notorious that the clergy had found the money for the rebellion, it was considered suitable that they should pay the expenses of the other side too and an order was made on the church-estates of the district to that effect. Of course, it was an understood tiling that the officers thus degraded would desert at the first oppor- tunity, and thus the Government would be rid of them. As for Haro, it is not probable that they ever intended to catch him and they were very glad when he disguised himself in sailor’s clothes, and shipped himself off somewhere. When the Mexicans first took to civil wars, the victorious leader used to finish the contest by having his adversary shot. At the time of our visit, this fashion had gone out and the victor treated the vanquished with great leniency, not unmindful of the time when he might be in a like situation himself. Whether the President ever got much of the forced contribution from the clergy, I cannot say. At any rate, 114 ANAHUAC. they have turned him out since and for a very poor government have substituted mere chaotic anarchy, as Mr. Carlyle would call it. While the siege was going on, all the commerce between Vera Cruz and the capital was in- terrupted, and, of course, trade and manufacturing felt the effects severely. Nothing shews the capabilities of the country more clearly than the fact that, in spite of its dis- tracted state and continual wars, its industrial interests seem to be gaining ground steadily, though very slowly. The evil of these ceaseless wars and revolutions is not that great battles are here fought, cities destroyed, and men sacri- ficed by thousands. Perhaps in no country in the world “ “ are decisive victories,” sanguinary engagements,” bril- liant attacks,” and the like, got over with less loss of life. Incredible as it may seem to any one who knows how many civil wars and revolutions in history occur the of the country for the last four or five years, I should not wonder if the number of persons killed during that time in actual battle was less than the number of those delibe- assassinated, or killed in private quarrels. rately Cheap as Mexican revolutions are in actual bloodshed, must recollect what they bring with them. Thousands we the country, robbing and mur- of deserters prowling about dering, and spreading everywhere the precious lessons barracks. We know something in they have learnt in of the good moral influence that garrisons and England with them and can recruiting sergeants carry about spreading of what must be the result of the judge a little country where there is numbers of these fellows over a As for the soldiers to restrain then- excesses ! nothing deserting, for one does not wonder at their themselves, their pressed men, earned off from are in great part they been drilled, shut up in barracks till they have homes, and pay, and moreover their considered to be tamed and are ; 115 STATISTICS. MILITARY of the military general state judge from the may one as understand People who regular. anything hut is finances, make very good Mexicans that the matters, say such well trained and steadily when fight well and and soldiers, surprising distances, able to march They are well officered. the very minimum live cheerfully on after day, to day could judge for our- anyhow. This we of food, and to sleep however, that they strongly thing there is, selves. One the range moved much beyond and that is to be object to, of the plains are as sus- climate. The men of their own the ill effects of the climate of ceptible as Europeans to caliente and the men of the hot lands cannot the tierra cold of the high plateaus. bear the great fun of the Travellers in the United States make profusion of colonels and generals, and tell ludicrous stories on the subject. There is also talk of the absurd number of armies, should not, officers in the Spanish-American but we by any means, confound the two things. In the United States it is merely a harmless exhibition of vanity, and an amusing comment on their own high-minded abnegation of mere titles. In Spanish America it indicates a very real and serious evil indeed. Don Miguel Lerdo de Tejada, in his statistical chart for 1856, quoted above, estimates the soldiers in the Re- public at 12,000, and the officers at 2,000, not counting those on half-pay. One officer to every six men and among them sixty-nine generals. These are not mere militia heroes, walking about in fine uniforms, but have actual commissions from some one of the many govern- ments that have come and gone, and are entitled to their pay, which they get or do not get, as may happen. Only fraction of them know anything whatever about the art of wax'. They were political adventurers, friends or rela- tives of some one in power, or simply speculators who 11G ANAHUAC. bought their commissions as a sort of illegitimate Govern- ment Annuities. The continual rebellions or pronuncia- mientos have increased the number of officers still further. Comonfort’s notion of degrading all the officers of the rebel army was a new and bold experiment. A very common course had been, when a pronunciamiento had been made anywhere against the then existing govern- ment, and a revolutionary army had been raised, for an amalgamation to take place between the two forces in- trigue and bribery and mutual disinclination to fight bringing matters to this peaceful kind of settlement. In this case, it was usual for the rebel officers to retain them self-conferred dignities. I think this body of soldierless officers is one of the most troublesome political elements at work in the Republic. The political agitators are mostly among them and it is they, more than any other class, who are continu- ally stining up factions and making pronunciamientos thing (what a pleasant it is that we have never had to make an English word for “ pronunciamiento”). Several times, efforts have been made to reduce the Army List to decent proportions, but a fresh crop always springs up. In the “lowest depth” of mismanagement which to Mexican military affairs have sunk, the newspapers still refer to countries which surpass them in triumphantly this respect, and, at the time of our arrival, were citing Republic, where there are a the statistics of the Peruvian general and twenty officers to every, sixty soldiers, and as many naval officers as seamen. administration These officers are not subject to the civil they may do. They have then* fuero, at all, whatever own their private charter, and are only amenable to their are theirs. To the ill effects tribunals, just as the clergy to coim- such armies and such officers in the of the presence of 117 REFORM IN MEXICO. continual interruptions to commerce must add the we tiy, distracted state of the republic, and the from the arising holds his property, tenure by which every one uncertain this, in its effect on the morale of say his life and not to is worse than the positive suffering they the whole country, inflict. So' much for soldiering, for the present. We leave or- the President trying, with the aid of his Congress, to ganize the government, and set things straight generally. This august assembly is selected from the people by univer- manner, sal suffrage, in the most approved and ought to be a veiy important and useful body, but unfortunately can do nothing but talk and issue decrees, which no one else cares about. In consequence of the alarming increase of highway- robbery, steps are taken to diminish the evil. It is made lawful to punish such offenders on the spot, by Lynch law. This is all. You may do justice on him when caught, but really you must catch him yourself. Sober citizens are even regretting the days of Santa Ana (recollect, I speak now of and 1856, they might regret him still more in 1860.) He was a great scoundrel, it is true but he sent down detachments of soldiery to where the robbers prac- tised their profession, and garotted them in pairs, till the roads were as safe as ours are in England. A President who sells states and pockets the money may have even that forgiven him in consideration of roads kept free from robbers, and some attempt at an effectual police. There is a lesson in this for Mexican rulers. The Congress professed to be hard at work cleaning out the Augean stable of laws, rescripts, and proclama- tions, and making a working constitution. We went to see them one day, and heard talking going on, but it all came to nothing. Of one thing we may be quite sure, that if this unlucky country ever does get set straight, it 118 ANAHUAC. will not be done by a Mexican Congress sitting and cack- ling over it. On our return from the Real, we spent two days at the house of an English friend at Tisapan, at the edge of the great Pedrigal, or lava-field, which lies south of the capi- tal. It was across this lava-field that a part of the American army marched in ’47, and defeated a division of the Mexican forces encamped at Contrevas. On the same day the American army attacked the Mexicans who held a strongly fortified position at Churubusco, some four miles nearer Mexico, and routed the main army there. They beat them again at Molino del Rey, carried the hill of Chapultepec by storm, and then entered the city without meeting with further resistance though the Mexicans, after they had formally yielded possession of the city, disgraced themselves by assassinating stray Americans, stabbing them in the streets, and lazoing them from the of the low mud houses in the suburbs. tops An acquaintance of ours in Mexico met some American soldiers, with corporal, in the street close to his house, and asked them in. Presently the corporal sent one of men off into the next street to execute some commis- the sion but half an hour elapsed, and the man not returning, what was the matter. He the corporal went out to see of those back presently, and remarked that some came the man as he was turning cursed Mexicans had stabbed lying there. So,” of the street, and left him the corner “ and as well finish Ins brandy said the corporal, I may and the men went water for him he did so accordingly, home to their quarters. imagine, The American soldiers were, as one may born the smaller part of them were rough lot. Only judge Europe to the rest were emigrants from Americans, in and them—both in the States what we heard of by 119 ARMY. MEXICAN scoundrels in the Re- of all the very refuse —the Mexico rigid discipline officered, and were well hut they public kept in order, effectually were they So maintained. was was a smaller evil to that it Mexicans confessed that the the country, forces marching through the enemy’s have army. than their own American invasion is given elaborate account of the An who do not care for details Mayer’s Mexico.’ To those in in there are still points of interest of military operations, Americans should have history. That ten thousand the the mountain-passes, and to been able to get through capital at all, is an astonishing thing and after reach the that, their successes in the valley of Mexico follow as a matter of course. They could never have crossed the mountains but for a combination of circumstances. The inhabitants generally displayed the most entire in- difference possibly preferring to sell their provisions to the Americans, instead of being robbed of them by their own countrymen. Add to this, that the Mexican officers showed themselves grossly ignorant of the art of war and that the soldiers, though they do not seem to have been defi- cient in courage, were badly drilled and insubordinate. One would not have wondered the at army being in such a condition—in a country that had long been in a state of profound peace but in Mexico a standing army had been maintained for years, at a great expense, and continual civil wars ought to have given people some ideas about soldiering. We may judge, from the events of this war, that Mexico might be kept in good order by a small number of American troops. The mere holding of the country is not the greatest difficulty in the question of American annexation. One thing that struck our friends at Tisapan, among their experiences of the war, was the number of dead R 120 ANAHUAC, bodies of women and children that were found on the battle-fields. A crowd of women follow close in the rear of a Mexican army almost every soldier having some woman who belongs to him, and who carries a heavy load of Indian corn and babies, and cooks tortillas for her lord and master. The number of these poor creatures who perished in the war was very great. We spent much of our time at Tisapan in collecting plants, and exploring the lava-field, and the Canada, or ravine, that leads up into the mountains that skirt the valley of Mexico. I recollect one interesting spot we came to in riding through the pine-forest on the northern slope of the mountains, where the course of a torrent, now dry, ran along a mere narrow trench in the hard porphyritic rock, some ten or fifteen feet wide, until it had suddenly entered a bed of gravel, where it had hollowed out a vast ravine, four hundred feet wide and two hundred deep, the inlet of the water being, in proportion, as small as the that serves to fill a cistern. pipe enough in the south of Europe, Such places are common seldom on so grand a scale as one finds them in this but the floods come down from the hills with country, where had astounding suddenness and violence. Mr. L. expe- this one day, when he had got inside his water- rience of inspect its condition, the water being securely wheel, to However, an aversada—one of off, as he thought. shut notice freshets—came down, quite without these sudden into the channel to set the wheel enough water got and and ex- to afford its proprietor a very curious going, so as the manner of a squirrel in a revolving citing ride, after the water. until the people succeeded in drawing oft’ cage, return from Tisapan that we paid It was after our rather important per- Lady of Guadalupe, an visit to Our The of Mexican church -matters. the history sonage in SANTA MARIA DE GUADALUPE. J 21 past Santo Domingo, the church lies of the Holy way Office, and down a long street where live the purveyors things for of all the muleteers. Here one may buy mats, ropes, pack-saddles—which the arrieros delight to have ornamented with fanciful designs and inscriptions, lazos, and many other things of the same kind. Passing out through the city-gate, we ride along a straight causeway, which extends to Guadalupe. A dull road enough in itself, but the interminable strings of mules and donkeys, bringing in pig-skins full of pulque, are worth seeing for once and the Indians, trudging ; out and in with then- various commodities, are highly picturesque. On a building at the side of the causeway we notice “Estacion de Mejico” (Mexico Station) painted in large letters. As far as we could observe, this very suggestive sign-board is the whole plant of the Railway Company at this end of the line. range of hills ends abruptly in the plain, at a place which the Indians called Tepeyacac, “end of the hill” (literally “at the hill’s nose”). Our causeway leads to this spot; and there, at the foot and up the slope of the hill, are built the great cathedral and other churches and chapels, altogether a vast and imposing collection of buildings and round these ; a considerable town has grown up, for this is the great place of pilgrim- age in the country. The Spaniards had brought a miraculous picture with them, Nuestra Senora de Remedios, which is still in the country, and many pilgrims visit it; but Our Lady of Guadalupe is a native Mexican, and decidedly holds the first rank in the veneration of the people. In the great church there is a picture mounted in a gold frame of great value. Its distance from the altar-rails and the pane of glass which covers it, prevent one’s see- ing it very well. This was the more unfortunate, as, 122 ANAHUAC. according to my history, the picture is in itself evidently of miraculous origin, for the best artists are agreed that no human hand could imitate the drawing or the colour ! It appears that the Aztecs, long before the arrival of the Spaniards, had been in the habit of worshipping— in this very place— goddess, who was known as Teoten- antzin, motlier-god,” or Tonantzin, our mother.” Ten years after the Conquest, a certain converted Indian, Juan Diego (John James) byname, was passing that way, and to him appeared the Virgin Mary. She told him to go to the bishop, and tell him to build her a temple on the place where she stood, giving him a lapful of flowers as a token. When the flowers were poured out of the gar- ment, in presence of the bishop, the miraculous picture appeared underneath, painted on the apron itself. The bishop accepted the miracle with great unction the tem- ple was built, and the miraculous image duly installed in it. Its name of Santa Maria de Guadalupe,” was not, as one might imagine, taken from the Madonna of that name in Spain (of course not but was communicated by Our !), Lady herself to another converted Indian. She told him that her Tequatlanopeuh, title was to be Santa Maria de Saint Mary of the rocky hill,” of which hard word the Spaniards made “Guadalupe,” -just as they had turned Quauhnahuac into Cuernavaca, and Quauhaxallan into Spanish form Guadalajara, substituting the nearest word of least is for the unpronounceable Mexican names. Tliis at author, the Bache- the ingenious explanation given by my Astrology, lor Tanco, Professor of the Aztec language, and of University of hi 1666. The bishop hi the Mexico, the year person than who authenticated the miracle was no less a Mex- known hi Fray Juan de Zumarraga, whose name is well the all history, for it was he who collected together ican moun- “ quite a picture-writings that he could find, Aztec 123 DE REMEDIOS. VIRJEN and made a solemn the chroniclers, them,” say of tain The square of Tlatelolco. in the great of them bonfire Guadalupe, and by Virgin of worked by the miracles the faith which the innumerable and of it, are copies ; is Indians have in it of Mexicans and the lower orders boundless. the the Anniversary of On the 12th of December, the faith- kept, and an amazing concourse of Apparition is German traveller fid repair to the sanctuary. Heller, a in saw an Indian taken to the who was in Mexico 1846, which had not even been chinch he had broken his leg, simply expected Our Lady to cure him with- set, and he out any human intervention at all. Unluckily, the author had no opportunity of seeing what became of him. The great miracle of all was the deliverance of Mexico from the great inundation of and the fact is established thus. 1626, The city was under water, the inhabitants in despair. The picture the was brought to Cathedral in a canoe, through the streets of Mexico and between one and two years afterwards the inundation subsided. Ergo, it was the picture that saved the city ! For centuries fierce a rivalry existed between the Spanish Virgin, called de Remedios,” and Our Lady of Guadalupe the Spaniards supporting the first, and the native Mexicans the second. A note of Humboldt’s illus- trates this feeling perfectly. He relates that whenever the country was suffering from drought, the Virjen de Remedios was carried into Mexico in procession, to bring rain, till it came to be said, quite as a proverb, Hccsta el agua nos — clebe venir de la Gaehv/pina “We must get even our water from that Spanish creature.” If it hap- pened that the Spanish Madonna produced no effect after a long trial, the native Madonna was allowed to be brought solemnly in by the Indians, and never failed in bringing ; ANAHUAC. the wished-for rain, which always came sooner or later. It is remarkable that the Spanish party, who were then all-powerful, should have allowed their own Madonna to be placed at such a disadvantage, in not having the last innings. I need hardly say that the shrine of Guadalupe is monstrously rich. The Chapter has been known to lend thing such a as a million or two of dollars at a time, though most of their property is invested on landed security. They are allowed to have lotteries, and make something handsome out of them and they even sell medals and prints of their patroness, which have You great powers. may have plenary indulgence in the hour of death for six- pence or less. We drank of the water of the chalybeate which turned out spring, bought sacred lottery-tickets, blanks, and tickets for indulgences, which, I greatly fear, valuable and rode home along the will not prove more so dusty causeway to breakfast. of learning what sort of books the poorer As means overhauled with great dili- classes in Mexico preferred, we especially gence the book-stalls, of which there are a few, (Portales) near the great square. The under the arcades public have not much cheap literature to read Mexican of such popular works is half filled with and the scanty list miracle-books of the Lady of Guadalupe, and other Our cir- Father Ripalda’s Catechism has a large same kind. hi general use in the and is apparently the one culation, containing speaks of this catechism as country. Zavala but my maxims of blind obedience to king and pope the about has scarcely anything to say more modern edition Of the government. and nothing at all about the Pope, for much, the Pope has not counted late years, indeed, Holiness occasion his in Mexico and on one politically, church -benefices, he tried to intei-fere about found, when On the rather nominal than real. authority was that his 125 LITERATURE. MEXICAN much as the me so Catechism struck in the nothing whole, astonish- my unspeakable which, to multiplication-table, of book a table middle of the in the tinned up ; ment, the Holy again with then it began followed and fractions Trinity. almanacks, there are the continue our catalogue To by the foretelling the weather contain rules for which fooleries which we none of the other moon’s quarters, but in England among the less those that circulate find in the taste for It is curious to notice how educated classes. beginnings sonnets and other dreary poems at the putting in these Spanish coun- ends of books has survived and known in England as a copy of tries. What used to be still appreciated here, and almanacks, news- verses” is papers, religious books, even programmes of plays and such dismal bull-fights, are full of compositions. We ought to be thankful that the fashion has long since gone out with us (except in the religious tract, where it still survives). It is not merely apropos of sonnets, but of thousands of other things, that in these countries one is brought, in a manner, face to face with England as it used to be and veiy trifling matters become interesting when viewed in this fight. The last item in the fist comprises translations, principally of French novels, those being pre- ferred “ in which the agony is piled up” to the highest point. German literature is represented by the Sorrows of Werter.” Of course, Uncle Tom’s Cabin” is widely circulated here, as it is everywhere in countries not given to “ the particular vanity” attacked in it. One need hardly say that both literature and educa- tion are at a very low ebb in Mexico. Referring to Tejada again, I find that he reckons that in the capital, out of a population of 185,000, there are 12,000 scholars at primary schools but of course, as in other countries, ; a large pro- 126 ANA H UAC. portion of these children attend so irregularly that they can hardly learn anything. For the country generally, he estimates one child receiving instruction out thirty- of seven inhabitants, a very significant piece of statistics. Efforts are being made, especially in the capital, to raise the population out of this state. Mr. Christy took much trouble in investigating the subject, with the assistance of our friend Don Josd Miguel Cervantes, the head of the Ayuntamiento, or Municipal Council. This gentleman, with a few others, has been doing much up-hill work of this kind for years past, establishing schools, and trying to make head against the opposition of the priests and the indifference of the people, with as yet but small success. It seems hard to be always attacking the Roman Catholic clergy, but of one thing we cannot remain in doubt, that their influence has had — more to do than any- thing else with the doleful ignorance which reigns supreme in Mexico. For centuries they had the education of the country in their hands, and even at this day they retain the The training which the priests them- greater share of it. selves receive will therefore give one some idea of what they teach their scholars. Unluckily, then course of in- ago, when learned men de- struction was stereotyped ages voted themselves to writing huge books on divinity, concealing then igno- casuistry, logic, and metaphysics clouds facts under an affectation of wisdom and rance of how many millions of of long words demonstrating writing treatises angels could dance on a needle’s point “ unknow- on a good many things cle omni re and the art of able also and teaching their admiring scholars they sham arguments on any subject, whether building up it This is a very vicious know anything about or not. more especially of training for a man’s mind, the system of superior to set him up with a stock when it is supposed 127 IN MEXICO. EDUCATION clergy the Roman Catholic is what and this knowledge in Mexico after generation, generation learning, been have plenty of exceptions, there are Ot course, elsewhere. and I have but, so far as the higher clergy among particularly ; schools has in clerical ascertain, education able to been to talk a kind. It is instructive been of this generally doing, to finds an opportunity of as one occasionally little, speaking out of these colleges. I recollect some youth just left the Seminario of man who had just to a young been through a long course of theo- Mexico, where he had philosophy. He was astonished to hear that logy and were not universally practised bull-fighting and colearing his father began to question me in Europe and, when war, the young gentleman’s remarks about the Crimean showed that he had not the faintest idea where England and France were, nor how far they were from one another. long ago, I happened, not to visit a celebrated monas- tic college in South Italy, where they educated, not ordi- nary mortals, but only young men of noble birth and here I took particular care in inspecting the library, judg- ing that, though the scholars need not learn all that was there, yet that no department of knowledge would be taught there that was not represented on the library- shelves. What I saw fully confirmed all that I had pre- viously seen and heard about the monastic learning of the present day. There were to be seen many fine manu- scripts, and black-letter books, and curious old editions of great value, good store of classics (mostly Latin, however), works of the Fathers by the hundred-weight, and quartos and folios of canon-law, theology, metaphysics, and such like, by the ton. But it seemed that, in the estimation of the librarians, the world had stood still since the time of Duns Scotus for, of what we call ; positive knowledge, except little arithmetic and geometry, and a few very s 128 ANAHUAC. poor histories, I saw nothing. It is easy to see how one result of the clerical monopoly of education has therefore come about—that the intellectual standard is veiy low in Mexico. The Holy Office, too, has had its word to say in the matter. This institution had not much work to do in burning Indians, who were anything sceptical in but their turn of mind, and, indeed, were too much like Theodore Hook, and would believe forty, if you pleased.” They even went further, and were apt to believe not only what the missionaries taught them, but to cherish the memory of their old gods into the bargain. It was three centuries after the that Mr. Bullock the goddess Conquest, got Teoyaomiqui dug up in Mexico and the old Indian remarked to him that it was true the Spaniards had given it rather hard to them three very good new gods, but was take away all their old ones. At any rate, the functions working of the Inquisition were mostly confined to the suppressing knowledge gene- Index Expv/rgatorius, and long rally, which they did with great industry until not ago. Mexican ignorance, and a Here, then, are two causes of the this that Mexico was a colony to which third may be them fortunes, with a Spaniards generally came to make of returnin their own land and this state view of to as regards the unfavourable to the country things was in other things. progress of knowledge, as well as CHAP. VI. TEZCUCO. Tezcuco itself, a great lake of Tezcuco is Across the kingdom at the time of the the capital of a city and learned men. for its palaces and its Conquest, and famous built, indeed, to a insignificant Spanish town, Now it is an of the old buildings. Mr. extent, of the stones great evaporating-works at the edge of the Bowring, who has in the “Casa Grande”—the Great House, lake, and fives outside Tezcuco, has invited us to pay him a visit just drive so we get up early one April morning, and down to the Solitude of Holy Cross (Calle de la Sole- the street of dad de Santa Cruz). There we find Mr. Millard, a French- man, who is an employ^ of Mr. Bowring’s, and is going back to Tezcuco with us and we walk down to the canal with him, half a dozen Indian porters with baskets follow- ing us, and trotting along in the queer shuffling way that is habitual to them. At the landing-place we find a number of canoes, and a crowd of Indians, men and women, in scanty cotton garments which show the dirt in an un- pleasant manner. A canoe is going to Tezcuco, a sort of regular packet-boat, in fact and of this canoe Mr. Millard has retained for us three the stem half, over which is stretched an awning of aloe-fibre cloth. The canoe itself is merely a large shallow box, made of rough planks, with sloping prow and stem, more like a bread-tray in shape than anything else I can think of. There is no attempt at 130 ANAHUAC. making the bows taper, and indeed the Indians stoutly resist this or any other innovation. In the fore part of the canoe there is already a heap of other passengers, lying like bait in a box, and when we arrive the voyage begins. The crew are ten in number the captain, eight men, and an old woman in charge of the tortillas and the pulque-jar. All these are brown people in fact, the navi- gation of the lakes is entirely in the hands of the Indians, and “reasonable people” have nothing to do with it. Reasonable people “gente de razon”—being, as I have said before, those who have any white blood in them and republican institutions have not in the least effaced the distinction. it comes to that So pass the canoe-traffic is earned on in much the same way as it was in Montezuma’s time. There is one curious difference, however. These canoes are all poled about the lakes and canals and I do not think we saw an Indian oar or paddle in the whole valley Mexico. In the ancient picture-writings, however, the of Indians are paddling then canoes with a kind of oar, at the end like one of our fire-shovels. But, as we shaped has' have seen, the distribution of land and water altered those days and the lakes, far greater in extent, were since and of course several feet deeper all over the present beds distance from the city poling would have even at a short originally impossible. I suspect that the Aztecs been paddles, that the latter went out used both poles and and enough for the pole use when the water became shallow of that all purposes. Otherwise, we must suppose to serve introduced a Mexicans, since the Spanish Conquest, the which is not easy to believe. new invention and fairly out had first to get out of the canal, We canal This was the more desirable, as the the lake. into it fills badly of the city, an office that is one of the drains DE LOS BANOS. 131 LAKE. PENON TEZCUCO there is scarcely any fall of water from seeing that enough, of the city to the lake. never saw lower quarters the to compare with those in the in numbers water-snakes side of it. They were swimming in the and by the canal, wriggling in and out and on the banks they were water, writhing in heaps, like our passengers forward. Two of our crew tow us along, and we are soon clear of the canal, that and of the salt-swamp extends on both sides of it, where the bottom of the lake was in old times. Once fairly out, we look round us. We see Mexico from a new point of view, and begin to understand why the Spaniards called it the Venice of the New World. Even the now, though lake is so much smaller than it was then, the city, with its domes and battlemented roofs, seems to rise from the water itself, for the intervening flat is soon foreshortened into nothing. At the present moment it is evident that the level of the lake is much higher than usual. A little way off, on our right, is the Penon de los Banos “ the rock of baths” — porphyritic lull forced up by volcanic agency, where there are hot springs. It is generally possible to reach this hill by land, but the water is now so high that the rock has become an island as it used to be. When the first two brigantines were launched on the Lake of Tezcuco by the Spaniards, Cortes took Montezuma with him to sail upon the lake, soon leaving the Aztec canoes far behind. They went to a Penon or rocky hill where Montezuma preserved game for his own hunting and not even the highest nobility were allowed to hunt there on pain of death. The Spaniards had regular battue there; killing deer, hares, and rabbits till they were tired. This Penon may have been the Penon de los Banos which we are just passing, but was more probably simi- lar bill a little further off, of larger extent, now fortified 132 ANAHUAC. and known as El Pehon, the Hill. Both were in those days complete islands at some distance from the shore. Now that are we out of the canal, our Indians begin to pole along, us thrusting their long poles to the bottom of the shallow lake, and walking on two narrow planks which extend along the sides of the canoe from the prow to the middle point. Four walk on each plank, each man throwing up his pole as he gets to the end, and running back up the middle to begin again at the prow. The dex- terity with which they swing the poles about, and keep them out of each other’s way, is wonderful and, as seen from our end of the canoe, looks like a kind of exaggerated quarter-staff playing, only nobody is ever hit. The great peculiarity of the lake of Tezcuco is that it is lake, containing much a salt salt and carbonate of soda. The water is quite brackish and undrinkable. How it be is plain enough. The streams has come to so from the surrounding mountains bring down salt and soda in solu- derived from the decomposed porphyry and as tion, the water of the lake is not drained off into the sea, but the solid constituents are left to accumulate evaporates, in the lake. In England, I think, we have no example of this; but the the Dead Sea, the Caspian, Great Salt Lake of Utah, Mediterranean, have various salts accumu- and even the solution in the same way. It seems to me, that, lated in account the proportion of soluble material by taking into moun- contained in the water that flows down from the down in tains, the probable quantity of water that flows itself, and the proportion of salt in the lake the year, guess might be made as to the time this state some vague lasting. I have data, unfortunately, has been no of things like rough calculation as this, or I should even for such a to try it. 133 THE SOIL. OF CONDITION SALINE of the great portion climate, a splendid of the spite In the soil is fertile for but is anything of Mexico ; alley many places are which in and soda, with salt impregnated white evaporates, a the water form, when abundant as to so tequesquite, is called which on the ground, efflorescence of it is Indians. Some collected by the regularly and by the the higher ground, way down from stopped on its it and some that was carrying of the water evaporation ; floodings of the itself, in its frequent left by the lake is of small is the difference in its neighbourhood. So ground surrounds it, lake and the plain that level between the water makes an slightest rise in the height of the that the and even a immense difference in the size of the lake over great tracts of strong wind will drive the water it retires when the gale ceases. It ground, from which have been this, or something similar, that set Cortes must in- upon writing home to Spain that the lakes were like like the ocean. land seas, and even had tides Of course, this ruinous impregnation with salts is to the soil, which will produce nothing in such places but tufts of coarse grass and the shores of the lake are the most dis- mal districts one can imagine. All the lakes, however, are not so salt as Tezcuco Chaleo, for instance, is a fresh- water lake, and there the fertility of the shores is very great, as I have already had occasion to notice. As soon as the novelty of this kind of travelling had worn off, we began to find it dull, and retired imder our awning to breakfast and bitter beer which latter luxury, thanks to a suitable climate and an English brewer, is very well understood in Mexico, and is even accepted as a great institution by the Mexicans themselves. We were just getting into a drowsy state, when an unusual bustle among the crew brought us out of our den, and we found that three hours of assiduous poling had ; ANAHUAC. taken us half-way across the lake, just six miles — good test of the value of the Aztec system of navigation. Here was a wooden cross set up in the water and here, from time out of mind, the boatmen have been used to sing a little hymn to the Madonna, by whose favour we had got so far, and hoped to get safe to the end of our voyage. Very well they sang it too, and the scene was as striking as it was imexpected to us. It seemed to us, however, to be making a great matter of crossing a piece of water only a few feet deep but Mr. Millard assured that us, when a sudden gale came on, it was a particularly unpleasant place to be afloat in a Mexican canoe, which, being flat- bottomed, has no hold at all on the water, and from its shape is quite unmanageable in a wind. He himself was once caught in this way, and kept out all night, with a “heavy sea” on the lake, the boat drifting helplessly, and threatening to overturn every moment, and that in the water enough drown places where was quite deep to them all. The Indians lost their heads entirely, and tin-ow- fell on their knees, and joined in the ing down their poles chorus with the women and children and the rest of the beating tlieir breasts, and present- helpless brown people, medals and prints of our Lady of Guadalupe to each ing into them. The wind dropped, how- wave as it dashed morning Mr. Millard got safe to Tezcuco next ever, and receiving sympathy for his misfortunes but, instead of tempest on he got there, found that the idea of a when mere joke, and that the drawing- the lake was reckoned a decorated with a fancy the Casa Grande had been room of his with himself, hanging to the half-way cross, portrait of description underneath, a poetical the water, and legs in va-t-cn to the tune of Malbrouke s’en his sufferings of reviendra." sais quand guerre, ne 135 CASA GRANDE. GLASS-WORKS. then another little across the Lake, and More poling the diminishing of the water constructed since canal, also the city), and came close to lake (which once of the Then came a short Indians towed us. which our along Grande, where which brought us to the Casa ride, overflowing hospitality. Bowring received us with Mrs. see the glass- We went off presently into the town, to all things imported have to works. In a country where be carried in rough waggons, or on nudes’ backs, and over did not make bad roads, it would be hard if it pay to and, accordingly, found the works in full opera- glass we tion. The soda is produced at Mr. Bowring’s works close by, the fuel is charcoal from the mountains, and for sand have a they substitute, which I never heard of or saw anywhere else. It seems that a short distance from Tezcuco there is a deposit of hydrated silica, winch is brought down in great blocks by the Indians and this, when calcined, answers the purpose perfectly, as there is scarcely any iron in it. In its natural state it resembles beeswax in colour. It is worth while to describe the Casa Grande, which is strikingly different from our European notions of the great house” of the village. As we enter by the gate, we find ourselves in a patio— an open quadrangle sur- rounded by a covered walk—a cloister in fact, into which open the rooms inhabited by the family. The second quadrangle, which opens into the first, is devoted to stables, kitchen, &c. The outer wall which surrounds the whole is very thick, and the entire building is built of mud bricks baked in the sun, and has no upper storey at all. It is a Pompeian house on a large scale, and suits the climate perfectly. The Aztec palaces we read so much of weie built in just the same way. The roofs slope inwards from the sides of the quadrangle, and drain into the open T 136 ANAI-IUAC. space in the middle. One afternoon, a tremendous tro- pical rain-storm showed us how necessary it was to have the covered walk round the quadrangle raised consider- ably above this open square in the middle, which a few minutes of such rain converted into a pond. As for ourselves, we spent many very pleasant days at the Casa Grande, and thoroughly approved of the arrangement of the house, except that the four corners of the patio were provokingly alike, and the doors of the rooms also, so that we were as much bothered as the cap- tain of the forty thieves to find our own doors, or any door except Mr. Millard’s, whose name was indicated with more regard to pronunciation than spelling—with a 1 and nine 0’s chalked on it. In spite of a late evening spent in very pleasant so- ciety, we were up early next morning, ready for an excur- sion to the Pyramids of Teotihuacan, some sixteen miles off, or so, under the guidance of one of Mr. Bowring’s men. The road lies through the plain, between great planta- tions of magueys, for this is the most renowned dis- trict in the Republic for the size of its aloes, and the quality of the pulque that is made from them. We sometimes to examine a particularly large speci- stopped men, which might measure 30 feet round, and to see the in night, the juice, which had collected the drawn out of great hollow that had been cut to receive it, in the heart for making of the plant. The Indians have a great fancy crosses, and the aloe lends itself particularly to this kind off six or eight of decoration. They have only to cut inches of one leaf, and impale the piece on the sharp point aloe of another, and the cross is made. Every good-sized or three of these primitive religious emblems has two it. upon over torrent-beds crossed the road, and Several little as bridges, were thrown old-fashioned Spanish stone them 137 STONE HAMMERS. QUARRIES. willow-patterned the bridge on or the Rialto, as tlie steep plates. visited the caves pyramids, we the going to see Before was the stone them, whence far from hill-side not the in amyg- the porous tetzontli, them. It is to build brought beau- porphyritic hills, a the abounds among daloid which There durable. worked, and easily tiful building-stone, quarried have been that seemed to large space was a caves. We opened numerous into this out bodily, and hour or two entrance, and spent an horses at the left our was covered with place over. The ground in hunting the arrow-heads, and fragments obsidian knives and pieces of been larger tools or weapons seemed to have of what ; large and numbers of hammer-heads, and we found but most made of greenstone, some whole, small, mostly broken. stone hammers in Europe. Solid We find two sorts of earliest period. They are made of hammers belong to the rolled pebbles some are shaped a little artificially, longish and are grooved round to hold the handle, which was a with flexible twig bent double and the two ends tied toge- ther, the stone head in its so as to keep place. The ham- mers of a later peiiod of the “stone age” are shaped more like the won ones our smiths use at the present day, and in they have a hole bored the middle for the handle. In^s, Brittany, where Celtic remains are found in such abundance, it is not uncommon to see stone hammers of the latter kind hanging up in the cottages of the peasants, who use them to drive in nails with. They have an odd way of pro- viding them with handles, by sticking them tight upon branches of young trees, and when the branch has grown larger, and has thus rivetted itself tightly on both sides of the stone head, they cut it off, and carry home the ham- mer ready for use. 138 ANAHUAC. Though the Mexicans carried the arts of knife and an’ow-making and sculpturing hard stone to such perfec- tion, I do not think, they ever discovered the art of making a hole in a stone hammer. The handles of the axes shown in the picture-writings are clumsy sticks swelling into large knob at one end, and the axe-blade is fixed into a hole in this knob. Some of the Mexican hammers seem to have had their handles fixed in this way while others were made with a groove, in the same manner as the earlier kind of European stone hammers just described. When consider the we beauty of the Mexican stone- cutter’s work, it seems wonderful that they should have been able to do it wuthout iron tools. It is quite clear that, at the time of the Spanish Conquest, they used bronze hatchets, containing that very small proportion of tin which gives the alloy nearly the hardness of steel. We saw many of these hatchets in museums, and Mr. Christy bought some good specimens in a collection of antiquities which had belonged an old Mexican, who got them to principally from the suburb of Tlatelolco, in the neighbour- of the ancient market-place of the city. Such axes hood were certainly common among the ancient Mexicans. One tribute-roll in the Mendoza of the items of the hieroglyphic is eighty bronze hatchets. Codex He says A story told by Bernal Diaz is to the point. of and his companions, noticing that the Indians that he the material the coast generally carried bright metal axes, as like gold of a low quality, got as many of which looked of three six hundred such axes from them in the course glass-beads in ex- days’ bartering, giving them coloured their bar- Both sides were highly satisfied with change. relates chronicler gain but it all came to nothing, as the be out to considerable disgust, for the gold turned with the trash when and the beads were found to be copper, 139 BRONZE AXES. them better. Such bard to understand began Indians have been found at Mitla, in the State as these copper axes to form a con- the ruined temples seem Oajaca, where of monuments of Teotihuacan and link between the necting cities of Yucatan and Chiapas. Xochicalco and the ruined more link in the chain to show the use We want one kind tools from Mexico down to Yucatan, of the same of this link we can supply. In Lord Kingsborough’s and great work on Mexican Antiquities there is one picture- Dresden Codex, which is not of Aztec origin writing, the at all. Its hieroglyphics are those of Palenque and Uxmal and in this manuscript we have drawings of hatchets like those of Mexico, and fixed in the same kind of handles, but of much neater workmanship. But here we come upon a difficulty. It is supposed that the pyramids of Teotihuacan, as well as most of the great architectural works of the country, were the work of the Toltec race, who quitted this part of the country several centuries before the Spanish Conquest. It seems incredible that bronze should have in been use in the country for so long a time, and not have superseded so bad a material as stone for knives and weapons. We have good evidence to show that in Europe the introduction of bronze was almost simultaneous with the complete disuse of stone for such purposes. It is true that Herodotus describes the embalmers, in his time, as cutting open the bodies with an Ethiopic stone” though they were familiar with the use of metal. Indeed the flint knives winch he probably meant may be seen in museums. But this peculiar usage was most likely kept up for some mystical reason, and does not affect the general question. Almost as soon as the Spaniards brought iron to Mexico, it superseded the “ old material. The bronze age” ceased within a year or two, and that of iron began. * ANAIIUAC. The Mexicans called copper or bronze “tepuztli,” word of rather uncertain etymology. Judging from the analogous words in languages allied to the Aztec, it seems not unlikely that it meant originally hatchet or breaker, just as itztli,” or obsidian, appears to have meant origi- nally knife When the Mexicans saw iron in the hands of the Spaniards, they called it also tepuztli,” which thus became a general word for metal and then they had to distinguish iron from copper, as they do at the present day, calling by “ ;” them tliltic tepuztli,” and chichiltic tepuztli that is, black metal,” and red metal.” When the subject of the use of bronze in stone-cutting is discussed, as it so often is with special reference to Egypt, one may doubt whether people have not underrated its capabilities, when the proportion of tin is accurately adjusted to give the maximum hardness and especially when a minute portion of iron enters into its composition. Sir Gardner Wilkinson relates that he tried the of one edge of the Egyptian mason’s chisels upon the very stone it had been once used to cut, and found that its evidently edge was turned directly and therefore he wonders that such have been used for the purpose, of course sup- a tool could posing that the tool as he found it was just as the mason is not quite certain. If we bmy a left it. This, however, be brass tool in a damp place for a few weeks, it will and found to have undergone a ciuious molecular change, quite soft and weak, or, as the workmen to have become lying call it, dead. We ought to be quite sure whether under ground may not have made some for centuries similar change in bronze. “ ” which may * an Aztec word puztequi (to break sticks, Ac.J There is “ “ tepuztli.” The first syllable te” may be te-tl belong to the same root as (stone ). 141 PYRAMIDS. CACTUSES. in different places, but prickly pears many have seen growing among that were specimens as those such never had gnarled and quarry. They this old stones in the as big as pollard- hard wood, and were trunks of knotted immense but, unfor- must have been their age oaks ; or it would have been could not measure it, one tunately, the quarry, which had not criterion of the age of good but abandoned before their time. In been excavated only was a human skeleton, blanched white one of the caves has stuck a cross, made of and near it sfime one and clean, the crevices of a heap of stones. bits of stick, in two Upturnin to the entrance of the quarry, well loaded stone hammers and knives, we sat down to break- with fast, in a cave, where our man had established himself part to with the horses. An attempt on my cut German with an obsidian knife proved a decided failure. sausage We had already been struck by the appearance of the two pyramids of Teotihuacan, when we passed by Otumba our way to Mexico. on The hills which skirt the plain are near them as to diminish so their apparent size but even at a distance they are con- spicuous objects. Now, when we came close them, to and began by climbing to their summits, and walk- ing round their terraces, to measure ourselves against them, we began gradually to realize their vast bulk and this feeling continually grew upon us. Modern architec- ture strives to unite the greatest possible effect with the least cost and the modern churches of southern Europe and Spanish America, with their fine tall facades fronting the street, and insignificant little buildings behind, show this idea in its fullest development. Pyramids are built with no such object, and make but little show in pro- portion to their vast mass of material but then one gets from them a sense of solid magnitude that no other ; ANAH UAC. building gives, however vast its proportions may be. Neither of us had ever seen the Egyptian pyramids. Even in Mexico these of Teotihuacan are not the largest for, though pyramid the of Cholula is no higher, it covers far more ground. Were these monuments in Egypt, they would only rank, from their size, in the second class. As has often been remarked, such buildings as these can only be raised under peculiar social conditions. The ruler must be a despotic sovereign, and the mass of the people slaves, whose subsistence and whose lives are sacri- ficed without scruple to execute the fancies of the monarch, who is not so much the governor as the unrestricted owner of the country and the people. The population must be very dense, or it would not bear the loss of so large a proportion of the working class and vegetable food must the country, them be exceedingly abundant in to feed while engaged in this unprofitable labour. influence the priestly We know how great was the of in Egypt, though the pyramids there, being rather classes In Mexico, however, tombs than temples, do not prove it. pyramids themselves were the temples, serving only the their size proves that—as re- incidentally as tombs and the priestly influence—the resemblance between spects out. people is fully carried two fronted the four Egyptian pyramids, these Like the accurately pyramidal, points. Their shape was not cardinal three to summit was broken by for the line from base completely round them or perhaps four, running terraces, ; stood the flat square space, where and at the top was a This construction closely the sacrificial altars. idols and Egyptian pyramids. of some of the smaller resembled that to led straight up from terrace stone steps Flights of made the procession of priests and victims and the terrace, above. to the one before they ascended of each circuit — TEMPLE-PYRAMIDS. dedicated to the Sun, the two teocallis is The larger of feet, and is about 170 feet high. base of about 640 has a smaller. dedicated to the Moon, is rather The other, not because they These monuments were called teocallis, were temples “Teocalli” were pyramids, but because they calU, house), a name means “god’s house” (teotl, god, with which the traveller hears explained for the first time adverting to some wonder and Humboldt cannot help correspondence with 6tov aXia, clei cella. its curious <c the Another odd coincidence is found in Aztec name for which is papa, (the their priests, papahua, the root of hua, is merely a termination). In the Old World the word Papa, Pope, or Priest, was connected with the idea of the Aztec father or grandfather, but word has no such origin. When the Aztecs abandoned their temples, and began to build Christian churches, they called them also teo- callis,” and perhaps do so to tins day. The heavy tropical rains have to a great extent broken the sharpness of the outline of these structures, and brought them more nearly to the shape of real pyramids than they were originally but, as we climbed up their sides, we could trace the ten-aces without any difficulty, and even flights of steps. The pyramids consist of an outer casing of hewn stone, faced and covered with smooth stucco, which has resisted the effects of time and bad usage in a wonderful manner. Inside this casing were adobes, stones, clay, and mortar, as one may in see places where the exterior has been damaged, and by creeping into the small passage which leads into the Temple of the Moon. Both pyra- mids are nearly covered with a coating of debris, full of bits of obsidian arrows and knives, and broken pottery. On the teocalli of the moon we found a number of recent u ; ANAHUAC. sea-sliells, which mystified us extremely and the only explanation we could give of their presence there was that they might have been brought up as offerings. A passage in Humboldt, which I met with long after, seems to clear up the mystery. Speaking of the great teocalli of the city of Mexico, he says, quoting an old description, that the Moon had a little temple in the great courtyard, which was built of shells. Those that we found may be the remains of a similar structure on the top of the pyramid. Prickly pears, aloes, and mesquite bushes have over- grown the pyramids in all directions, as though they had been mere natural hills. In Sicily one may see the lava- fields of Etna planted with prickly pears : in the ordinary course of things, it requires several centuries before even the lava will disintegrate surface of this hard into soil but the roots of the cactus soon crack it, and a few years suffice to break it up to a sufficient depth to allow of vineyards being planted upon it. Here the same plant has in the same way affected the porous amygdaloid pyramids are faced, and has cut up the with which the surface sadly but the vegetation which covers them rate defend them from the rains, and now will at any little change in the appearance of centuries will make but remarkable buildings. these hill which gives a wonderfully Near Nice there is a the terraced teocallis of idea of the appearance of correct the have looked before time effaced Mexico, as they must the valley of the Pagli- of their lines. Where sharpness them Andre meet, the hill between one and that of St. the angle of which lies to- terminates in a half pyramid, custom is south and the inhabitants—as then ward the ac- the two slopes to southern Europe, have turned in prevent the them up into terraces, to count, by building being swept carried up from have laboriously soil they 145 OF SPANIARDS. SACRIFICE the proper Seen from heavy rain. the first by down is complete. the resemblance of view point runs of the Moon the Temple the south side of From of the “the path the Micaotli, of burial-mounds, avenue an pyra- foot of the round the these mounds, and dead.” On great of the once population themselves, the whole mids congre- used to and its neighbourhood city of Teotihuacan the victims march round the priests and the gate, to see them all. stairs in full view of ten-aces and up the scene that Cortes one could imagine the Standing here, that outside Mexico, on and his men saw from their camp, their retreat the Mexicans had cut off dreadful day when than sixty Spanish along the causeways, and taken more how prisoners. Bernal Diaz was there, and tells the tale of Huitzilo- they heard from the city the great drum sound, that could pochtli sending forth a strange and awful be heard for miles, and with it many horns and trumpets and how, when they had looked towards the great teo- calli, they saw the Mexicans dragging the up prisoners, pushing and beating them as they went, till they had got them up to the open space at the top, where the cursed idols stood.” Then they put plumes of feathers on their heads, and fans in their hands, and made them dance be- fore the idol and when they had danced, they threw them on their backs the on sacrificial stone that stood there, and, sawing open their breasts with knives of stone, they tore out their hearts, and offered them up in sacri- fice and the bodies they flung ; down the stairs to the bottom. More than this the Spaniards cannot have seen, though Diaz describes the rest of the proceedings as though they had been done in his sight but it was not the first time they had witnessed such things, and they knew well enough what was happening down — below, how the butchers were waiting to cut up the carcases as they came — ; ; ANAHUAC. down, that they might he cooked with child, and eaten in the solemn banquet of the evening. The day was closing in by this time and our man was waiting with the horses at the foot of the great pyramid and with him an Indian, whom we had caught half an hour before, and sent off with a real to buy pidque, and to collect such obsidian ainows and clay heads as were to be found at the ranchos in the neighbourhood. Near the place we started from, two or three Indians were diligently at work at their stone-quarry, that is to say, they were laboriously bringing out great hewn stones from the side of the pyramid, to build their walls with and indeed we could see in every house for miles round stones that had come from the same source, as was proved by the stucco still remaining upon them, smoothed like polished marble, and painted dull red with cinnabar. As I write this, it brings to my recollection an old Roman trophy in North Italy, built —like these pyramids of a shell of hewn stone, filled with rough stones and now as hard as the rock itself. cement, There I saw the inhabitants of the town which stands at its foot, carrying the great limestone blocks, but first cutting off them up that they could into pieces of a size move about, and build houses. Here and there, in this little Italian into their town, there were to be seen in the walls letters of the old which were once upon the trophy and the inscription age of the houses shewed that the monument had served as a centuries. quarry for As we rode home, we noticed by the sides of the road, ditches had been cut, numbers of old Mexican and where accumu- stone-floors covered with stucco. The earth has them to the depth of two or three feet, so that lated above like that of the pavements so often position is Roman thefr saw Europe and we may guess, from what we found in ; 147 MEXICO. OLD such remains of the number must be great how exposed, must once have in- population how vast hidden, and still deserted. almost plain, now this habited ploughed back. In the came afterwards we days Two repeated trials made we neighbourhood in the fields where any spot still in possible to stand it was whether but our reach Mexico within of old ; was no relic there full of ground was Everywhere the not do. this we could arrows we even found obsidian and pottery and unglazed ; for a museum. good enough figures that were and clay the accounts of we both doubted we left England, When that they had ex- the Conquest, believing the historians of size of population, and the the numbers of the aggerated of their natural desire to make the most the cities, from a history as they to write as wonderful a victories, and But our examination historians are prone to do. could, as induced us to withdraw this of Mexican remains soon made us inclined to blame the accusation, and even chroniclers for having had no eyes for the wonderful things that surrounded them. not mean by this that we felt inclined to swallow I do the monstrous exaggerations of Solis and Gomara and other Spanish chroniclers, who seemed to think that it easy thousand was as to say a as a hundred, and that it sounded much better. But when this class of writers are set aside, and the more valuable authorities severely criti- cised, it does not seem to us that the history thus ex- tracted from these sources is much less reliable than European history of the same period. There is, perhaps, no better way of expressing this opinion than to say that what we saw of Mexico tended generally to confirm Pres- History cott’s of the Conquest, and but seldom to make his statements appear to us improbable. There are other mounds near the pyramids, besides the Micaotli. Two sides of the Pyramid of the Sun are sur- 148 ANAHUAC. rounded by them and there are two squares of ; mounds at equal distances, north and south of it, besides innume- rable scattered hillocks. There are some sculptured blocks of stone lying near the pyramids, and inside the smaller one is buried what appears to be a female bust of colossal size, with the mouth like an oval ring, so common in Mexican sculptures. The same abundance of ancient remains that we found here characterizes the neighbourhood of all the Mexican monuments in the country, with one curious exception. Burkart declares that in the vicinity of the extensive re- mains of temples known as Los Edificios, near Zacatecas, no traces of pottery or of obsidian were to be found. Before going away, we held a solemn market of an- tiquities. We sat cross-legged on the ground, and the Indian women and children brought us many curious articles in clay and obsidian, which we bought and de- posited in two great bags of aloe-fibre which our man carried at his saddle-bow. Among the articles we bought were various pipes or whistles of pottery, pitos, as they are called in Spanish, and just as we were mounting our horses to ride off, a lad ran to the top of one of the pipes a long mounds, and blew on one of these dismal note that could be heard a mile off. Our friends had filled our heads so full of robbers and ambushes, that we made sure signal for some one who was waiting for us, and it was a soon as he had blown his the more so as the boy ran off as blast and when we looked round for the people whose had been buying, they had all disappeared. antiquities we back Tezcuco. But nothing came of it, and we got safely to spent a capital evening, and separated late. As usual, we spending the The owner of the glass-works, who had been He had an adventure on his road home. evening with us, along, when men rushed out peaceably riding two was 149 BULL-DOGS. POLICE AND and shouted alto of the street, the corner behind from robbers, and they were He thought (halte-hY). aid!" and the men sent flew off, gallop. His hat started at a which sent him on past his head, bullets singing two There he his house. till he reached quicker than ever, fetch armed to the teeth to pistols, and came back got his supposed it had fallen. The the hat, which lay where have been enquiry next day, to robbers turned out, on street but certainly their guards, patrolling the national rather questionable. proceedings were night. The custom had an unpleasant visit the same We dark watchman patrolled ofthe Casa Grande was that after a long blast every quarter of an hour on all night, giving a that one of these same doleful Mexican whistles, to show This was for the out- he was not sleeping on his rounds. Inside the house, pour surcroit cle precaution, a side. servant came round to see that every one was in his room and having satisfied himself of this, let loose in the court- yard enormous bulldogs, which were the terror of the two household and of the whole neighbourhood. On tins par- ticular night, noise a at our own door woke me from a sound sleep and I had the pleasure of seeing a creature walk deliberately in, looking huge and terrific in the moonlight. The beast had been into the stable two nights before, and had pinned a cow which was there, keeping his hold upon her till next morning, when he was got off by the keeper. With tins specimen of the bulldog’s abilities fresh in my recollection, I preferred not making any attempt to resent Ins impertinent intrusion, but lay still, till he had satisfied himself with walking about the room and sniffing at our beds, when he lay down on my carpet I soon fell asleep again, and next morning he was gone. The foreigners in Mexico seem to delight in fierce bull-dogs. The Casa Grande at Tezcuco is not by any means the only place ; ANAHUAC. where they form part of the garrison. One English ac- quaintance of ours in the Capital kept two of these beasts up in his rooms, and not even the servants dared go up, unless the master was there. Every one who has read Prescott’s ‘Mexico’ will recollect Nezahualcoyotl, the king of Tezcuco and the palaces he built there for his wives, and his poets, and the rest of his great court. These palaces were built chiefly of mud bricks and time and the Spaniards have dealt so hardly with them, that even their outlines can no longer be traced. Traces of two large teocallis are just visible, and Mr. Bow- ring has some burial mounds in his grounds which will be examined some day. There is a Mexican calendar built into the wall of one of the churches and, as we walked about the streets of the present town, noticed we stones that must have been sculptured before the Spaniards brought in their broken-down classic style, and so stopped the development of native art. As for the rest of old Tezcuco, it has “become heaps.” Wherever they dig or lay the foundations of houses, you may the ditches see ground full of its remains. speaking of the stuccoed floors As I said before, when near Teotihuacan, the accumulation of alluvial soil goes on regularly all over the plains of very rapidly and very deposit Mexico and Puebla, where everything favours its preserved hi it are so numerous and the human remains noticed this in its age may readily be seen. We that in instance so well as between Tez- many places, but no a long ditch, and the hacienda of Miraflores. There cuco of had been cut in anticipation some five feet deep, just dry, as we walked rainy season. As yet it was and, the history dis- three periods of Mexican along it, we found came other. First traceable from one end to the tinctly just above, without human remains. Then, alluvium, mere 151 OF ALLUVIUM. ACCUMULATION of unglazed knives and bits of obsidian fragments came in which the a third layer, Above this again, pottery. pottery was still un- much of the ceased, and obsidian glazed, and bore the many fragments were glazed but and yellow. Spanish patterns in black unmistakeable deposits, which give It is a pity that these alluvial the order in which different such good evidence as to another different states of society succeeded one peoples or means of calcu- on the earth, should be so valueless as a then* duration but one can easily see lating the time of must always be so, by considering how the that they thickness of the deposits is altered by such accidents as the formation of a mud-bank, or the opening of a new channel,—things that must continually occurring in be districts where this very accumulation is going on. The only place where any calculation can be based upon its thickness is on the banks of the Nile, where its accumu- lations round the ancient monuments may perhaps give a criterion as to the time which has elapsed since man ceased to clear away the deposits of the river.* As an instance of the tendency of alluvial deposits to entomb such monuments of former ages, I must mention the temple of Segeste, which stands on a gentle slope among the hills of northern Sicily. I had heard talk of the graceful proportions of tins Doric temple, built by the Greek colonists and great was my surprise, on fii'st ; com- ing in sight of it, to see a pediment supported by two rows of short squat columns, without bases, and rising directly from the ground. A nearer inspection showed the cause of this extraordinary distortion. The whole slope had risen fall six feet during the years, 2500 or so, that have The researches instituted by Mr. L. Horner in tho alluvium near Heliopolis and Memphis (Philos. Transact., 1855 & 1856), although very elabo- rate, still leave much to bo desired before we can arrive at definito conclusions. 152 ANA1IUAC. elapsed since its desertion and the temple now stands in a large oblong pit, which has lately been excavated. As we left the spot, and turned to see it again a few yards off, the beautiful symmetry of the whole had disappeared again. To return to Tezcuco. Some three or four miles from the town stands the hill of Tezcotzinco, Nezahual- where coyotl had his pleasure-gardens and to this hill we made an excursion early one morning, with Mr. Bowring for our guide. We did not go first to Tezcotzinco itself, but to another hill which is connected with it by an aqueduct of immense size, along which walked. The mountains we in this part are of porphyry, and the channel of the aque- duct was made principally of blocks of the same material, on which the smooth stucco that had once covered the and whole, inside out, still remained very perfect. The channel was carried, not on arches, but on a solid embank- ment, a hundred and fifty or two hundred feet high, and wide enough for a carriage-road. hill brushwood, aloes, The itself was overgrown with and prickly pears, but numerous roads and flights of steps cut in the rock were distinguishable. Not far below the top of the hill, a terrace runs completely round it, whence a great part of his little king- the monarch could survey of dom. On the summit itself I saw sculptured blocks of the hill are two little circular stone and on the side the has a baths, cut in the solid rock. The lower of two the flight of steps to it the seat for the bather, and down are still quite perfect. stone pipe which brought the water, majesty used to spend his afternoons here on the shady His sitting his middle in water, side of the hill, apparently up to little seat frog, if one may judge by the height of the like a tanks some writers say, these were only in the bath. If, as at all, why of running water, and not baths with streams ; ! OLD BRIDGE. BATHS. OLD just large enough which are in tlieir sides, cut the steps has come in No water man to sit ? enough for a high and sun nearly the morning- now and for centuries there excavated in the of cave, got into a sort us, till we broiled treasure. It seems of finding said, with an idea hill, it is in the rock at this Mexican calendar cut was once a there interested in such people who were spot and some white it, and poke curiously about used to come to see matters, enough, the antiquities. Naturally in search of other find treasure and that they expected to Indians thought the first chance themselves, they with view of getting and made this large excavation cut down the calendar', behind it. Here sat in the shade, breakfasting, and hearing we Mr. Bowring’s stories of the art of medicine as practised in where decoction of shirt is the northern states of Mexico, considered an invaluable specific when administered in- ternally and the recognised remedy for lumbago is to rub the patient with the drawers of a man named John. No doubt the latter treatment answers very well There is an old Mexican bridge near Tezcuco which seems to be the original Puente cle las Bergantinas, the bridge where Cortes had the brigantines launched on the lake of Tezcuco. This bridge has a span of about twenty feet, and OLD MEXICAN BRIDCE 'NEAR TEZCUCO, 154 ANAHUAC. is curious as showing how nearly the Mexicans had arrived at the idea of the arch. It is made in the form of a roof resting on two buttresses, and composed of slabs of stone with the edges upwards, with mortar in the interstices; the slabs being sufficiently irregular in shape to admit of their holding together, like the stones of a real arch. One may now and then see in Europe the roofs of small stone hovels made in the same way but twenty feet is an immense span for such a construction. I have seen such buildings in North Italy, in places where the limestone is so stratified as to furnish rough slabs, three or four inches thick, with very little labour’ in quarrying them out. In Kerry there are ancient houses and churches roofed in the same way. What makes the Tezcuco bridge more curious is that it is set askew, which must have made its construc- tion more difficult. The brigantines which the Spaniards made, and trans- ported over the mountains in such a wonderful manner, fully answered their purpose, for without them Mexico could hardly have been taken. After the Conquest they were kept for years, for the good service they had done such size do not seem have been used but vessels of to upon the lake since then and I believe the only sailing- Bowling’s boat, which the Indians craft at present is Mr. look at askance, and decidedly decline to imitate. It is near the city, there is moored a little true that, somewhere never steamer, looking quite civilized at a distance. It anywhere, however and I have a sort of impression goes made they got up of having heard that when it was first once, but the conduct of the machinery under the steam and frantic that these circumstances was so extraordinary ventured to repeat the experiment. no one has in boat to explore we left Tezcuco, we went a Before like the salines Bowrincr’s salt-works, which are rather Mr. O 155 SALT-PANS. SALT AND the lake are walled off, Patches of of France. South of the it does very evaporate, which allowed to water the and three-fourths of the and with only hot sun, under a rapidly the sea-level. The that we have at of air upon it pressure tanks. into smaller concentrated is run lake-water thus and sesquicarbonate of soda, carbonate and contains It the sesqui- of lime converts salt. The addition common this is sepa- into simple carbonate, and carbonate of soda advantage of their different the salt by taking rated from The salt is partly consumed, of crystallization. points in the extraction of silver from the ore, partly used and is bought by the soap-makers. and the soda consumption of salt in Humboldt’s remarks on the small The average amount used with food Mexico are curious. small fraction the European average. While is only a of Tlascalans were at war with the Aztecs, they had to do the without salt for many years, as it was not produced in their Humboldt thinks that the child which district. the Indians consume in such quantities acts as a substitute. It is to be remembered that the soil is impregnated with both salt in and natron many of these upland districts, and the in- habitants may have earth eaten containing these ingre- dients, as they do for the same purpose in several places in the Old World. We disembarked after sailing to the end of these great evaporating pans, and found horses waiting to take us to the Bosque del Contador. This is a grand square, looking towards the cardinal points, and composed of ahueliuetes, grand old deciduous cypresses, many of them forty feet round, and older than the discovery of America. My companion, not content with buying collections at second- hand, wished to have some excavations made on his own account, and very judiciously fixed on this spot, where, though there were no buildings standing, the appearance 156 ANAHUAC. of the ground and the mounds in the neighbourhood, to- gether with the historical notoriety of the place, made it probable that sometliing would be found to repay a dili- gent search. This expectation was fully realized, and some fine idols of hard stone were found, with an infini- tude of pottery and small objects. When I look through my notes about Tezcuco, I do not find much more to mention, except that a favourite dish here consists of flies’ eggs fried. These eggs are deposited at the edge of the lake, and the Indians fish them out and sell them in the market-place. So large is the quantity of these eggs, that at a spot where a little stream deposits of lime, peculiar kind of travertine carbonate a is forming which consists of masses ofthem imbedded in the calcareous deposit. The flies* which produce these eggs are called by the Mexicans axccyaccctl” or water-face”. There was a cele- brated Aztec king who was called Axayacatl and his is indicated in the picture-writings by a drawing of name with water. The eggs themselves a man’s face covered sold in cakes in the market, pounded and cooked, and are forming a substance like the roe also in lumps cm naturel, characteristic name of fish. This is known by the of a is water-wheat.”-f* ahuauhtli,” that Tezcuco, was to witness the last tiring we did at The the salt- new line of water-pipes for laying down of a because of the pipes, which were This I mention works. Moors and introduced into Spain by the exactly those These pipes are of glazed here by the Spaniards. brought * Notonccla according to MM. Meneville Corixa femorata, and uiiifasciata, granular or oolitic traver- in a Paper on the subject of the Virlet d’Aoust, and Bulletin of the Geological Society of France. Tezcuco in the (1859) tine of which grain abounding in Miclioacan, for is an indigenous Huauhtli un- European wheat was, of course, “ equivalent I can give. is the best wheat” the Conquest. country until after known in the 157 IRRIGATION. WATER-PIPES. and each fitting into the at one end, taper earthenware, mixture of lime, cement is a the next. The end of large firm when cold, hut gets hard and hair, which and fat, application of heat. a very slight he loosened hy can of alteration in the way years has made no thousand the ground is so these pipes. Here, however, making of Moorish waterworks that one great characteristic level I mean the water-columns which are is not to he seen. Palermo, and in other feature in the country round such a the system of irrigation introduced hy the places where Moorish invaders is still kept up. These are square pil- lars twenty or thirty feet high, with a cistern at the top from the higher level of each, into wlfich the water flowed, which other pipes carried it on; the sole and from object of the whole apparatus being to break the column of water, and reduce the pressure to the thirty or forty feet which the pipes of earthenware would hear. Tins subject of irrigation is very interesting with refer- ence to the future of Mexico. We visited two or three in country-houses the plateaux, where the gardens are regularly watered hy artificial channels, and the result is vegetation of wonderful exuberance and beauty, con- verting these spots into oases in the desert. On the lower levels of the tierra templada where the sugar-cane is culti- vated, a costly system of water-supply has been estab- lished in the haciendas with the best results. Even in the plains of Mexico and Puebla, the grain-fields are irrigated to some small degree. But notwithstanding this progress in the right direction, the face of the country shows the most miserable waste of one of the chief elements of the wealth and prosperity of the country, the water. In this respect, Spain and the high lands of Mexico may be compared together. There is no scarcity of rain in either country, and yet both are dry and parched, 158 ANAHUAC. while the number and size of their torrent-beds show with what violence the mountain-streams descend into lakes or rivers, rather agents of destruction than of benefit to the land. Strangely enough, both countries have been in possession of races who understood that water was the very life-blood of the land, and worked hard to build sys- tems of arteries to distribute it over the surface. In both countries, the warlike Spaniards overcame these races, and irrigating works already constructed were allowed to fall to ruin. When the Moriscos were expelled from their native provinces of Andalusia and Granada, them places were but slowly filled with other settlers, that a great part of up so their within aqueducts and watercourses fell into decay a few years. These new colonists, moreover, came from the of culture Northern provinces, where the Moorish system was little understood and, incredible as it may seem, had ocular evidence of the advan- though they must have keep tages of artificial irrigation, they even neglected to on then’ own ground. Now in repair the water-channels Spain, may see in traveller, riding through Southern the valleys remains of the Moorish works desolate barren grain-fields and which centuries ago brought fertility to country the garden of Europe. orchards, and made the have far sur- another nation who seem to There was of their Aztecs hi the magnitude both Moors and passed The Peruvians cut for this purpose. engineering-works carried whole valleys, and mountains, filled up through irrigate them thirsty in artificial channels to rivers away works as of these water- The historians’ accounts soil. ruins descriptions of the even travellers’ were, and they It seems with astonishment. remain, fill us that still nation too that this strange fatality like some almost of race, the ruin by the same conquered have been should MEXICO. 159 AGRICULTURE IN immediately upon the following national works great its Conquest. long centuries of degrada- rising again after Spain is which seem and resources and is developing energies tion, nations, and the high among European likely to raise it own again among are beginning to hold their Spaniards But they have had to pay dearly the peoples of Europe. of their ancestors in the great days for the errors of the Fifth. Charles were not, it is true, to be com- The ancient Mexicans Peruvians in their pared with the Spanish Arabs or the and the art of irrigation but knowledge of agriculture both history and the remains still to be found in the country prove that in the more densely populated parts of plains they had made considerable progress. The the ruined aqueduct of Tetzcotzinco which I have just men- grand tioned was a work, serving to supply the great gardens of Nezahualcoyotl, which covered a large space of ground and excited the admiration of the Conquerors, who soon destroyed them, it is said, in order that they might not remain to remind the conquered inhabitants of their days of heathendom. Such works as these seem, however, not to have ex- tended over whole provinces as they did in Spain. In the thinly peopled mountain-districts, the Indians broke up their little patches of ground with a hoe, and watered them from earthen jars, as indeed they do to this day. The Spaniards improved the agriculture of the country by introducing Eiu'opean grain and fruit-trees, and by bringing the old Roman plough, which is used to this day in Mexico as in Spain, where two thousand years have not superseded its use or even altered it. Against these im- piovements we must set a heavy account of injury done to the country as regards its cultivation. The Conquest cost w 160 ANAHUAC. the lives of several hundred thousand of the labouring class and numbers more were taken away from the culti- vation of the land to work as slaves for the conquerors in building houses and churches, and in the silver -mines. When the inhabitants were taken away, the ground went out of cultivation, and much of it has relapsed into desert. Even before the Conquest, Mexico had been suffering for many years from incessant wars, in which not only thou- sands perished on the field of battle, but the prisoners sacrificed annually were to be counted by thousands more, while famine carried off whose the women and children husbands and fathers had perished. But the slaughter and famine of the first years of Spanish Conquest far the exceeded anything that the country had suffered before. At the time of the Conquest of Mexico the Spaniards let the native irrigating -works fall into decay; and they deprive the took still more active measures to land of its necessary water, by their indiscriminate de- struction of hills that surround the the forests on the undergrowth plains. When the trees were cut down, the soon perished, and the soil which had served to check the descending waters in their course was soon swept away. shower sends During the four rainy months, each heavy down a flood along the torrent-bed which flows into a river, Mexican valley, into a and so into the ocean, or, as in the surrounding where it only serves to injure the salt lake, in utter waste. land. In both cases it runs away the soil had the In later years the Spanish owners of force of impressed upon them by necessity of the system the con- were spent upon circumstances and large sums the outlying struction of irrigating channels, even in states of the North. from acquired In the American territory recently way. curious repeated itself in a most history has Mexico IRRIGATION. 161 NEGLECT OF traveller, from Froebel, the German that the learn We not take kindly to the system American settlers did new which they found at work in the country. irrigation of it interfered with their were not used to it, and They placing restrictions upon their doing ideas of liberty by what they pleased on their own land. So they actually allowed many of the water-canals to fall into ruins. Of course they soon began to find out their mistake, and are probably investing heavily in water-supply by this time. ought not to We be too severe upon the Spaniards of the sixteenth century for an economical mistake which we find the Americans falling into under similar circum- stances in the nineteenth. VII. CHAP. XOCHICALCO. TEMISCO. CUERNAVACA. we when came the day thought, soon, as we too Much to Mexico, return to and leave Tezcuco to arranged had the On caliente. ticrra into the journey for a prepare little was a there the capital return to of our evening 163 THEIR TRAINING. HORSES AND noticed it and thus we lost neither of us but earthquake, ; without having returned to England chance, and one our peculiar sensation. with that acquaintance made equip- saddles and other purchase of horses and The of poking us an opportunity for our journey, gave ments city, and seeing corners of the into out-of-the-way about certainly we made phases of Mexican life and some new made acquaintance with most of the chance. We the in the court- who brought us horses to try horse-dealers, friends the English mer- yard of the great house of our Seminario, and there showed off then- chants in the Calle To trot is con- walking, pacing, and galloping. paces, vice in a Mexican horse and the sidered a disgusting substitute for it here is the paso, a queer shuf- universal fling run, first, the two legs on one side together, and then jolt and down the other two. You gently up without rising in the stirrups and when once you are used to it the paso is not disagreeable, and it is well suited to long mountain-journeys. Horses in the United States are often trained to this gait, and are known as “pacing” horses. Another peculiarity in the training of Mexican horses is, that many of them are taught to rayar,” that is, to put then- fore-feet out after the manner of mules going down a pass and slide a short distance along the ground, so as to stop suddenly in the midst of a rapid gallop. To practise the horses in this feat, the jockey draws a line (“ raya on ”) the ground, and teaches them to stop exactly as they reach it, and whirl round in the opposite direction. This per- formance is often to be seen on the paseo, and other places, where smart young gentlemen like to show off themselves and then- horses but it is only a fancy trick, ; and they acknowledge that it spoils the animal’s fore-legs. After much bargaining and chaffering we bought three horses for ourselves and our man Antonio, giving eight, \G4> ANAHUAC. seven, and four pounds for them. This does not seem much to give for good hackneys, as these were hut they were not particularly cheap for Mexico. While we were at Tezcuco, Mr. Christy used to ride oAe of Mr. Bowring’s horses, a pretty little chestnut, which carried him beauti- fully, and had cost just eleven dollars, or forty-six shil- lings. It had been bought of the horse-dealers who come down every year from the almost uninhabited states of Chihuahua, Durango, and Cohahuila, on the American frontier, where innumerable herds of horses, all but wild, roam over boundless prairies, feeding on the tall coarse grass. Their keep costs so little, that the breeders are not compelled, as in England, to break them in and sell them at the earliest possible moment, and they let the young colts roam untamed till they are five or six years old. Their great strength and power of endurance in propor- tion to their size is in great measure to be ascribed to this early indulgence. It is very clear that when a horse is to be sold for somewhere between two and six pounds, the breeder can- him in. not afford to spend much time in breaking The rough-rider lazos him, puts on the bridle with its severe upon his back in spite of kicking and bit, and springs plunging. The horse gallops furiously off across country but when his pace begins to flag, of Ins own accord, into requisition, and in great vaquero spurs come the he comes back to the corral dead beat and an hour or two teach him his paces conquered once for all. It is easy to The anquera—as it is called—is put on his afterwards. and teach him the haunches, to cure him of trotting, to iron It is a leather covering fringed with paso instead. saddle, and allows the which is put on behind the tags, the least ap- without annoying him but horse to pace his rattling upon to a trot brings the pointed tags proach SADDLES. 165 MEXICAN HORSES. anqueras at Puebla. one of these We bought haunches. ornamented with carved old, and curiously was very It were a these anqueras In the last century, patterns. but now, except horse-equipment regular part of Mexican curiosity-shops, they are horse-breaking yards or old in seldom to be seen. Almost all Mexican horses descend from the Arab the breed—the gentlest and yet the most spirited in the world, the Spaniards brought which have not degenerated since over in the early days of the Conquest, but retain them small graceful shape, their swiftness, and unchanged their their power of bearing fatigue. There seem really to be no large horses bred in the country. Instead of jolting about in a carriage drawn by eight or ten mules, with harness covered with silver and gold—as rich Mexicans used to do, the proper thing now is to have a pair of tall carriage-horses, like ours in England and these are brought at great expense from the United States, and by the side of the graceful little Mexicans they look as big and as clumsy as elephants. Our saddles were of the old Moorish pattern, of mon- strous size and weight, very comfortable for the rider, but, fear, much less so for the horse, whose back often gets sadly galled, in spite of the thick padding and the two or three blankets that are put on underneath. These sad- dles run into high peaks behind and before, so that you can hardly fall out ofthem, even when you go to sleep in the sad- dle on a longjourney, as many people habitually do. In front, the saddle rises into a pummel which is made of hard wood, and is something like a large mushroom with its stalk. Round this the end of the lazo is wound, after the noose has been thrown. All Mexican saddles are provided with these heads in front, and have, moreover, several pairs of little thongs attached to them on each side, which serve to ; 1C6 ANAHUAC. tie on bags, whips, water-gourds, and other odds and ends. Behind the seat of the saddle are more straps, where cloaks and serapes are fastened and in of case need even a carpet-bag will travel there. We were in the habit of returning from our expeditions with our horses so covered with the plants and curiosities we had collected, that it became no easy matter to get our legs safely over the horses’ backs, into their proper places among the clusters of miscellanea. Our acquaintances used to compare us to the perambulating butchers’ shops, which are feature in Mexican streets, and consist of a horse with a long saddle covered with hooks, and on every hook a joint. The flaps spatterdashes that of our saddles, the great stirrup- protected our feet from the mud, and the broad straps were covered with carved and embossed patterns indeed almost all leather-work is decorated in this way, their wares and the saddle-makers delight in ornamenting that it was not surpris- with silver plates and bosses so bridles should have cost, though ing that our saddles and second-hand, nearly as much as the horses. beginning of of travels in Mexico up to the In books of the staple articles of wondering the present century, one the horses, and the gorgeous trappings of description was of gold and silver. The cos- the spurs, bits, and stirrups but the taste for such not changed much, tumes have hardly respect- abated and it is now costly ornaments has bullion on pounds worth of have more than a few able to a hundred or around one’s hat, or to wear one’s saddle or one’s leather the sides of of buttons of solid gold down so un- cotton calzoncillo questionable trousers, with a very derneath. pinches with a ring, which horses’ bits are made The causes tightened, and the bridle is under-lip when the it first sight pulled at all hard. At it is great pain when 107 COURIER. THE BITS. use such to cruel seems system but the bits, and well very works ; the knowing horses, the rider has their power mis- rarely them, over themselves. One behave with the rides along the the end of loop at -hah' bri- twisted horse loose on dle hanging finger, so that the one BIT, SPANISH-MEXIGAN and chains. Length 9 inches, width inches. with its ring 5\ horse’s mouth is much the bridles we are accus- less pulled about than with When it is necessary to guide tomed to in England. the horse, the least pressure is enough but, as a general ride, the little fellow can find his way as well as his rider reins can. We used continually to let our drop on our horses’ careless of pits and stumbling- necks, and jog on blocks. I have even seen my companion take out his pocket-book, and improve the occasion by making notes and sketches as he went. The distance from Mexico to Vera Cruz is about two hundred and fifty mdes, and what the roads are I have in some measure described. Rafael Beraza, the courier of the English Mission at Mexico, used to ride this with despatches regularly once a month in forty horn's, and occa- sionally in thirty-five. He changed horses about every ten or fifteen miles and now and then, when overcome by sleep, he would let the boy who accompanied him to the next stage ride first, his own horse following, and the rider comfortably dozing as he went along. As for our own equipment, Mr. Christy adopted the attributes of the eastern traveller when he came into the x 108 ANAHUAC. country, the great umbrella, the veil, and the felt hat with a white handkerchief over it. As for me, my wardrobe was scanty so, when my travelling coat wore out at the elbows and my trousers were sat through—like the little bear’s chair in the story, I replaced the garments with a jacket of chamois leather, and a pair of loose trousers the made of same, after the manner of the country. Then came a grey felt hat, as stiff as a boiler-plate, and of more than quakerish lowness of crown and broadness of brim, but secularized by a silver serpent for a hatband also, a red silk sash, which—fastening round the waist—held my trousers, and interfered with my digestion lastly, up a woollen serape to sleep under, and to wear in the morn- evenings. This is the genuine ranchero ings and costume, and it did me good service. Indeed, ever since my Mexi- I have considered that George Fox decidedly can journey showed his good sense by dressing himself in a suit of the leather much more so than people who laughed at him for it. high wear In the country, all Mexicans— and low— and in this they are distinguished this national dress and Indians, who keep to the cotton shirts from the straw hats of their ancestors. In the and the drawers, in the only the lower classes who dress towns, it is nous autres wear European gar- costume, for ranchero the last Paris fasliion, with these excep- ments and follow calzoneras riding, people wear jackets and tions—that for made of cloth, and that the national cut, though of the adopt no is often worn even by people who Mexican hat There never were such hats parts of the costume. other passers- awkwardness. The flat sharp brims of these for as the to cut head oft’ in threatening your are always by hat on, get into a carriage with your You cannot streets. riding in. for walking and when you are But there nor sit 169 SERAPE. THE than anything better are perhaps snn, they a fierce under can be used. that else national insti- —is a the scrape blanket— Mexican The nearly as long, plaid, and Scotch wider than a It is tution. in the same is woven and it in the middle a slit with ; on the are to be seen which Oriental patterns gaudy day. It is to this Turkey and Palestine prayer-carpets of shoulder, flung over the left with the end worn as a cloak, half the face when muffling up Spanish capa, and like the to be recognized. or does not wish owner is chilly its horseback, and he is on rain comes down, When a heavy middle, and be- the slit in the his head through he puts in it, At night he rolls himself up comes a moving tent. in the board, or on the stones and sleeps on a mat or a open air. much tabooed it is, the serape is as Convenient as cities as the rest of among the respectable” classes in the going one evening after the national costume. I recollect of our friends in the Calle Seminario dark to the house with my on, and nearly having to fight it out with serape the great dog Nelson, who was taking charge of his mas- ter’s room. Nelson knew me perfectly well, and had sat that very morning at the hotel-gate for half an hour, holding my horse, while a crowd of leperos stood round, admiring his size and the gravity of his demeanour as he sat on the pavement, with the bridle in his mouth. But that a man in a serape should come into his master’s room at dusk was a thing he could not tolerate, till the master himself came in, and satisfied his mind on the subject. As I said, the equipment of ourselves and our three horses took us into a vaxiety of strange places, for we bought the things we wanted piece by piece, when we saw anything that suited us. Among other places we went to the Baratillo, which is the Bag-Fair and Petticoat Lane of — ANAHUAC. Mexico, and moreover the emporium for whips, bridles, bits, old spurs, old iron, and odds and ends generally. The little shops are arranged in long lines, after the manner of the eastern bazaar and the shopkeepers, when they are smoking cigarettes not outside, are sitting in their little dens, within arms-length of all the wares they have to sell. Here we found what we had come for, and much more too, in the way of wonderful old spurs, combs, boxes, and ornaments so that came we several times more be- fore we left the country, and never without carrying away some curious old relic. Mexico, as everybody knows, is decidedly a thievish all place. The shops are shut at dark, after the Oration, thieves. Ladies used to wear immense for fear of tortoise- shell combs at the back of then’ heads, where the mantilla on but, when it became a regular trade for is fastened to ride on horseback through the streets, and pull thieves they went, the fashion had to be given the combs as out curiously carved and ornamented combs are up. These and bought several of preserved as curiosities, we still them. they knocked a man down were in Mexico, "While we noon-day, robbed him, and left him the great square at in the sun was The square is so large, and there for dead. head-quarters are under the the police—whose hot, that so walk across square—could not possibly in that very arches moral, if you will have the was going on see what to you largest square in the world, of having the distinction consequences. take the must for is general, the market course, where thieving so Of considerable trade, and must be a place of goods stolen wares. the principal depots for such is one of BaratiHo this in the old the story of the citizen, realize here may One walk beginning of his wig stolen at the had his book, who ; WATER-BOTTLES. THIEVING. for sale a little it hanging up and found London, through sell his uniform deserter comes to Here the further on. Small blame to him. I flintlock. his ricketty old and and were in his place, myself if I were would do the same adventurer rascally political serve under one compelled to say no- political adventurer—to another rascally against and not like a dog, half-starved, of being treated thing license to plunder. a sort of half paid at all, except by “ them, you know, and soldiers ! we can’t pay Those poor must live somehow.” they Mexicans for being thieves, and not I have abused the reason, though, as regards ourselves personally, without water- never lost anything except a great brand-new we brought with him, proof coat which my companion had promising to himself that under its shelter he should bid the daily rain-storms of the wet season. As defiance to dismounted from the Diligence in Mexico, in the court- we yard of the hotel, some one relieved him of it. We did the Baratillo in those not know of days, or would have gone to look for it there. At the time of our visit it was too late, for if it ever had been there, the Mexicans under- stand too well the value of an English ulli,” as they call them, let it hang long to for sale. Ulli” is not a bor- rowed word, but the genuine Aztec name for India-rub- ber, which was used to make playing-balls with, long before the time of Columbus. I mentioned the water-bottles as part of our equip- ment. They are gourds, which are throttled with band- ages while young, so as to make them grow into the shape of bottles with necks. Then they are hung up to dry and the inside being cleaned out through a small hole near the stalk, they are ready for use, holding two or three pints of water. A couple of inches of a corn-cob (the inside of a ear of Indian corn) makes a capital cork and the bottle ; — ANAHUAC. is hung by a loop of string to the pummel of the saddle, where it swings about without fear of breaking. One may see gourds, prepared in just the same way, in Italy, hang- ing up under the eaves of the little farm-houses, among the festoons of red and yellow ears of Indian corn and in- deed the gourd-bottle is a regular institution of Southern Europe. We sent Antonio on with the horses to Cuernavaca, and started by the Diligence early one morning, accom- panied by one of our English friends, whom will I call as every-one else did —Don Guillermo. It is the regular thing here, as in Spain, to call everybody his her by or Christian name. You may have known Don Antonio or Don Felipe for weeks before you happen to hear their sur- names. The road ran at first over the plain, among great water-meadows, with herds of cattle pasturing, and fields after of wheat and maize. Ploughing was going on, the primitive fashion of the country, with two oxen yoked to each plough. The yoke is fastened to the boms of the centre of the yoke a pole is attached. At oxen, and to the which con- the other end of this pole is the plough itself, stake with an iron point and a handle. sists of a wooden goad in The driver holds the handle in one hand and his iron point), and so they toil the other (a long reed with an a long scratch as they go. A man follows along, making grains of Indian corn, the plough, and drops in single from apart. The furrows are three feet about three feet some nine square another, so that each stalk occupies one dig are growing up they feet of ground. When the plants stalk a little them, and heap up round each between of earth. mound of one square many little houses consisting We passed of mud-mortar stuck frill mud-bricks, with room, built of 173 DILIGENCE. IN THE generally possessing windows, but without stones little forming an of bricks chimney, with a couple of a luxury the of men rain. Glimpses keep out the over it to arch children doors, half-naked brown cigarettes at the smoking inside, hard women on them knees in the dirt, and rolling tortillas. corn for those eternal work grinding the at the top Dios Mr. Christy climbed to At San Juan de sat with a Diligence, behind the conductor, who of the stones on the footboard be- leather bag full of large black dis- of the nine mules showed a fore him. Whenever one flying at shirk his work, a heavy stone came position to for long prac- him, always hitting him in a tender place, almost as good a shot as the tice had made the conductor mountains, who are said to able to goat-herds in the be them goats on whichever horn they please, and so to hit steer them straight when they seem inclined to stray. But our conductor simply threw the stones, whereas the goat- herd aloe-fibre honda, or sling, uses the that one sees hanging by dozens in the Mexican shops. We pass near Churubusco, and along the line by which the American army reached Mexico. The field of lava which they crossed is close at our right hand and just on the other side of it lie Tisapan and our friend Don Ale- jandro’s cotton-factory. On our left are the freshwater- lakes of Xocliimilco and Chaleo, which had risen several feet, and flooded the valley in their neighbourhood. Be- tween us and the great mountain-chain that forms the rim of the valley, lies a group of extinct volcanos, from one of which descends the great lava-field. Passing in full view of these picturesque craters, now mostly covered with trees and brushwood, we begin to ascend, and are soon among the porphyritic range that forms a wall between us and the land of sugar-canes and palms. Along the road towards Mexico came long files of 174 ANAHUAC. Indians, dressed in the national white cotton shirts and short drawers and sandals, made like Montezuma’s, though not with plates of gold on the soles, such that as monarch’s sandals had. Some of these Indians are bringing on their backs wood and charcoal from the pine-forest higher up among the mountains, and some have fastened to their backs light crates full of live fowls or vegetables others are carrying up tropical fruits from the tierra caliente be- mameis, low, zapotes and nisperos and granaditas, tama- rinds and fresh sugar-canes. These people are walking with their thirty forty miles market but their loads or to : race have been used as beasts of burden for ages, and they don’t mind it. Bright blue and birds, and larger and more bril- red in Europe, show that, liant butterflies than are seen though we are among fields of wheat and maize, we are in views of the the tropics after all. As the road rises we get valley, with its lakes and green meadows, and the broad with their clumps of willows, their great white haciendas chm’ch-towers, and the clusters of adobe huts surrounding in feudal Europe, crowd- them—like the peasants’ cottages the baron’s castle. ing up to flag as we toil up the steep ascent; Our mules begin to and conductor rattles the stones in his black bag, but the reaches then- ears, they stax-t off the ominous sound as vil- vigour. We pass San Mateo, a again with renewed a large and splendid stone charcoal-burners, where lage of among the tall dark cypresses, stands church, with its that form the village. of reeds and pine-shingles huts with their mules are continually passing Trains of bar- bales of goods and loads of wood and charcoal, heavy made from de cana, which is rum of aguardiente rels comes to like that which but not coloured the sugar-cane, backwards are continually rushing The men England. 1 fact ji '/TV. To ** mmr-*'- 1,1 rVWfjti fnu> !fnU<n dalu'nu INDIANS * BRINGING CIIARCOAI, be. TO MEXICO. ( From MikIhIb in ;wie by a NaUvo Artisl .) — BREAKFAST. MULES. which are not content among tlieir beasts, forwards and against one another, and banging and biting, with kicking the road and one of to lie down in but are always trying an arriero is constantly to keep duties of the the principal one pre- once, and, when he sees on all his beasts at eye and drive down, to be beforehand with him, paring to He kicks, and curses. furious shower of blows, him on by a the finest and strongest Certainly, the Mexican mules are though they are just as obstinate here in the world and, times much as elsewhere, they are worth two or three as as horses. Our road lies through a forest of pines and oaks, which reaches to the summit of the pass, where stands a wretched little village, La Guarda. There we had a thoroughly Mexican breakfast, with pulque in tall tumblers, and end- less successions of tortillas, coming in hot and hot from the kitchen, where we could see brown women with bare arms, and black hair plaited in long tails, kneeling by the char- coal fire, and industriously patting out fresh supplies, and baking them rapidly on a hot plate. The piece cle resist- ance was a stew, bright red with tomatas, and hot as fire with chile and then came the frijoles—the black beans without which no Mexican, high or low, considers a meal complete. The walls of the room were decorated with highly coloured engravings, one of which represented an engagement between a Spanish and an English fleet, in which the English ships are being boarded by the victori- ous Spaniards, or are being blow up in the background. Where the engagement was I cannot recollect. People in Mexico, to whom I mentioned this remarkable histori- cal event, assured me that there are still to be seen pic- tures of the destruction of the English fleet by the French and Spaniards in the Bay of Trafalgar Y ! ANAHUAC. Mexico was always, until the establishment of the republic, profoundly ignorant of European affairs. In the old times, when the intercourse with the mother- country was by the great ship, el nao,” which came once a year, the government at home could have just such news circulated through the country as seemed proper and con- venient to them. We in see our own times how despotic governments can mystify their subjects, and distort con- temporary history into what shape they please. But in Spanish America the system was worked to a greater ex- tent than in any other country I have heard of and the undercurrent of popidar talk, which spreads in France and Russia things and opinions not to be found in the news- papers, had in Mexico but little influence. Scarcely any visited Mexican travelled, scarcely any foreigner the coun- try, and the Spaniards who came to hold offices and make the interest of the old country so fortunes were all in the Mexicans went on, until the beginning of this century, occupied the same position among believing that Spain still in the days of nations of Europe that it had held the Charles the Fifth. the Diligence, Don While my companion was outside an left to the conversation of Guillermo and I were finds such characters in fellow-passenger. One Italian the reality. before or since have I seen but never books, original of the great Braggadocchio. have been the He might of the autobio- like a chapter out conversation was His countryman Alfieri. graphy of his nobleman who was the Italian had accompanied He year's Mexican robbers, some affray with the killed in an most heroic. his defence had been on that occasion ago, and till at last, the robber's shot several of himself had ; He the yielded to the rest of the party being killed, friend his ran off to brigands, and he numbers of the overwhelming assistance fetch 177 ROBBERS. BRAGGADOCCHIO. a Mexican road, and riding along he was Whenever for a light, his asked him person suspicious-looking any in the muzzle of him his cigar stuck hand habit was to and “ the hint,” he said, they always take pistol and he had with us.” Alone, to interfere that it won’t do see with a pistol in armed men, but attacked by three been retreat. But this compelled them to hand he had each well victorious in love as our champion was was not all Alfieri, to whom I have com- in arms. Like the great as most where he travelled, the pared him, in every country waited for him distinguished ladies hardly beautiful and at his feet. Refusing ask before they cast themselves to offered them, they declared that the rich jewels that he himself alone. they loved him for Weeks after, we were talking to our friend Mr. Del Pozzo, the Italian apothecary in the Calle Plateros, and happened to ask him if he were acquainted with his heroic the countryman. Whereupon apothecary went off into fits of unextinguishable laughter, and told us how our friend really had been in the skirmish he described, and had nobly rim away almost before a shot was fired, leav- ing his friends fight it to out. An hour or two after, he was found shaking with terror in a ditch. To return to our road. The forest is on both sides of the Sierra but it is on the southern slope, over which we look down from the pass, that the pines attain their fullest size beauty here and for they are as grand as in the Scandinavian forests, with all the beauty of the pine-trees on Italian the hills. The pass, with its deep forest skirt- ing the road, has been a resort of robbers for many years and the driver pointed out to my companion a little grassy dell by the road-side, from which forty men had rushed out and plundered the Diligence just ten days before. With his mind just prepared, one may imagine his feelings ; ANAHUAC. wlien lie cauglit sight of some twenty wild-looking fellows in all sorts of strange garments, with the bright sunshine gleaming on the barrels of then- muskets. A man was riding a little in front of us, and as he approached the others they descended, and ranged themselves by the side of the road. They were only the guard, after all, and such a guard ! Their thick matted black hair hung about over their low foreheads and wild brown faces. Some had shoes, some had none, and some had sandals. They had straw hats, glazed hats, no hats, leather jackets and trousers, cotton skirts and drawers, or drawers without any shirt at all and—what looked worst of all —some had ragged old uniforms on, like deserters from the army, and there are no worse robbers than they. When the Dilig ence reached them, the guard joined us some gallop- ing on before, some following behind, whooping and yelling, brandishing dashing them arms, and in among the trees and out into the road again. Every now and then my friend outside glimpse down the muzzle of a mus- got a ket, which did not add to his peace of mind. At last we got through the and then made a subscrip- dangerous pass, we tion the forest ring for the guard, who departed making again with tiling off them muskets in our war-whoops, and honour until we were out of hearing. The feet above the sea, but the top of the pass is 12,000 the swallows clouds seemed high as ever above us, and as Three thousand feet lower were flying far up in the air. and arbutus region, among oaks we were in a warmer the climate is far hot- and here, as in our higher latitudes, height. slope at the same ter than on the northern feet, of 9000 are to be found at an elevation Bananas the eastern at which they ceased on three times the height difference be- Cruz. This we came up from Vera slope, as different the depends, in part, on tween the two slopes 179 SUGAR-CANE. VEGETATION. TROPICAL which is of some im- they receive, of sunshine quantity But the within the tropics. although we are portance, the chilling winds sides from of the southern sheltering to give their vege- further contributes the north still fi-om really tropical character. tation a intense as more and more We felt the heat becoming lay and when we reached Cuernavaca we we descended, orange- in the beautiful garden of the inn, among down listening the pleasant cool trees and cocoanut-palms, to running water, and looking down into the great sound of rock, and the barranca with its perpendicular walls of the tierra caliente covering the luxuriant vegetation of banks of the stream that flowed far below us. We could easily shout to the people on the other edge of the ravine, but it would have taken hours of toiling down the steep paths again and up before we could have reached them. Here our horses were waiting for us and an hour or two’s ride brought us to the great sugar-hacienda of Temisco, where we were to pass the night, for towns and inns are few and far between in Mexico when one leaves the more populous mountain-plateaus. So much the bet- ter, for my companion had provided himself with letters of introduction, and we had already seen something of hacienda life, and liked it. As we approached Temisco, we saw upon the slopes, immense fields of sugar-cane, now grown into a dense mass, five or six feet high, most pleasant to look upon for the delicate green tint of the leaves that belongs to no other plant. The colour of our English turf is beautiful, and so are the tints of our English woods in spring, but our fields of grain have a dull and dingy green compared to the sugar-cane and the young Indian corn. In this beautiful valley we cannot charge the inhabitants with entirely neg- lecting the irrigation of the land. Indeed, the culture of the 180 ANAHUAC. sugar-cane cannot be carried on without it, and the cost of the watercourses on the large estates has been very great. Unfortunately, even here agriculture is not flourishing. The small number of the white inhabitants, and the dis- tracted state of the country make both life and property very insecure and the brown people are becoming less and less disposed to labour on the plantations. It is true that most of these channels were made in old times little new is done now, and I could make a long list of estates that were once busy and prosperous, giving employment to thousands of the Indian inhabitants, and that are now over-grown with weeds and falling to ruin. Entering the iron gate of the hacienda, we found our- selves in an immense courtyard, into which open all the buildings of the house principal estate, the of the proprie- tor, the church—which forms a necessaiy part of every hacienda—the crushing-mill, and the boiling-houses. Into great patio the same open the immense stables for the many riding-horses and the many hundreds of mules that carry the sugar and rum over the mountains to market, the tienda, the shop of the estate, through which and the labourers comes back to almost all the money paid to proprietor in exchange for goods. A mountain of the door of trapiche (the fresli-cut canes stood near the the and a gang of Indians were constantly crushing-mill) carrying them in by arm- going backwards and forwards bring- whil e a succession of mules were continually fulls replenish the in fresh supplies from the plantation to ing knee- court-yard was littered all over, great heap. The just freed from with dry cane-trash and mules, deep, in it, saddles, were rolling on them backs their galling evidently in a state with all their legs at once, and kicking was a of one side of the square high enjoyment. Part of tables. and cloister, and in it stood chairs sort of wide LABOURERS. 181 AND HACIENDA transacted, and the the place was business of the Here his ledger, and see look up from could Adininistrador over the establishment. was going on all well what pretty haciendas owners of these common for the It is very of their the entire control absentees, and to leave be to which is administradors but at Temisco, to the estates others, this is not the better managed than most much proprietor generally lives there. and the son of the case, our horses to the stable, and He was out riding, so we sent eating sugar-canes till he should return. lounged about broad Mexican hat Presently he came, a young man in a jacket and trousers, mounted on a splendid and white little horse, with his saddle glittering with silver, every inch a planter. He welcomed us hospitably, and we sat down together in the cloister looking out on the courtyard. Evening was closing in, and all at once the church-bell rang. Crowds of Indian labourers in their white dresses came flocking in, hardly distinguishable in the twilight, and the sound of their footsteps deadened as they walked over the dry stubble that covered the ground. All work ceased, every one uncovered and knelt down while, through the open church-doors, we heard the Indian choir chanting the vesper hymn. In the haciendas of Mexico every day ends thus. Many times I heard the Oracion chanted at nightfall, but its effect never diminished by repetition, and to my mind it has always seemed the most impressive of religious services. Then the Administrador seated himself behind a great book, “ ” and the calling over the raya began. Every man in turn was called by name, and answered in a loud voice, praise God ! then saying how much he had earned in the day, for the Administrador to write down. “Juan Fernandez! “Alabo “1 d Dios, tres veciles medio:” praise — God, one and ninepence.” “Josd Valdes!” “I 182 ANAHUAC. praise God, eighteen pence, and sixpence for the boy and so on, through a couple of hundred names. Then came, not unacceptably, a little cup of pasty chocolate and a long roll for each of us. Then Don Guil- lermo and our host talked about their mutual acquaintances in Mexico, and we asked questions about sugar-planting, and walked about the boiling-liouse, where the night-gang of brown men were hard at work stirring and skimming at the boiling-pans, and ladling out coarse unrefined sugar into little earthen bowls to cool. This common sugar in bowls is very generally used by the poorer Mexicans. The sugar-boilers were naked excepting a cotton girdle. These men were very strong, and with great powers of endur- ance, but they did not at all resemble the strong men of Europe with their great muscles standing up under their skin, the men in Michael Angelo’s pictures, or the Famese Hercules. They are equally unlike the thin why Arabs, whose strength seems disproportionate then- lean so to little bodies. The pure Mexican Indian is short and sturdy and, of the race, you until yo'u have observed the peculiarities say he was too stout and flabby to be strong. But would immense thickness of his this appearance is caused by the in which conceals the play of his muscles and skin, great, especially in the legs and reality his strength is very action in in the muscles that are brought into thighs, and observe the Indian carrying burdens. Sartorius used to up a loads of above five-hundred-weight miners bringing trunks mine-ladders, which consist of hundred fathoms of in notches cut fixed slanting across the shaft, with of trees them for steps. of mere training have said before, it is not the As I develop- has produced this remarkable individual that the before The centuries power of carrying loads. ment of the INDIANS. XOCHICALCO. THE 183 Conquest, when there were no beasts of burden, the had gradually produced a race whose bodies were admirably for such work; the fitted and persistency with which they have clung to their old habits has done much to prevent their- losing this peculiarity. To complete the description of the Indians which I have been led into by speaking of the sugar- boilers,—they are chocolate-brown in colour, with curved noses, straight black hah- hanging flat round their heads and covering their wonderfully low foreheads, and occasionally a scanty black beard. Their faces are broadly oval, their eyes far apart, and they have wide mouths with coarse lips. Not bad faces on the whole, but heavy and unexpressive. At ten o’clock came a heavy supper, the substantial meal of the day, and immediately afterwards we went to bed, and dreamt such dreams as may be imagined. We were off early in the morning with a wizened old mestizo to guide us to the ruins of Xochicalco, which are on this very estate of Temisco. The estate is forty miles across, however, and it is a long ride to the ruins. After we leave the fields of sugar-cane, we see scarcely hut, nor patch of cultivated ground. At last we get to Xochicalco, and find ourselves at the foot of a lull, some four hundred feet in height, extraordinarily regular in its conical shape, moie so than any natural hill could be, unless it were the cone of a volcano. At different heights upon this hill, we could see from below broad ten-aces running round and round it. A little nearer we came upon great ditch. The sides had fallen in, in many places sometimes ; it was qrnte filled up, and everywhere it was overgrown with thick brushwood, as was the hill itself. It seems that this ditch inns quite round the base of the hill, and is three miles long. Climbing up through the thicket of thorny bushes and out upon the terraces, it became quite evident z 184 ANAHUAC. that the hill had been artificially shaped. The terraces were built up with blocks of solid stone, and paved with the same. On the neighbouring hilts we could discern traces of more terrace-roads of the same kind there mast be many miles of them still remaining. But it was when we reached the summit, that we found the most remarkable part of the structure. The top has been cut away so as to form a large level space, which was surrounded by a stone wall, now in ruins. Inside the in- closure are several moimds of stone, doubtless burial-places, and all that is left of the pyramid. Ruined and defaced as it is, I shall never forget our feelings of astonishment and admiration as pushed we our way through the bashes, and suddenly came upon it. We were quite unprepared for anything of the kind all we knew of the place when we started that morning being that there were some curious old ruins there. The pyramid was composed of blocks of hewn stone, so accurately fitted together hardly the joints, as to show and the carving goes on without interruption from one eight feet block to another. Some of these blocks are long, and nearly three feet wide. They were laid to- from the construction gether without mortar, and indeed, is of the building, none was required. The first storey plinth the bottom. about sixteen feet high, including the at figures, sculptured group of Above the plinth comes a the pyramid, twice which is repeated in panels all round long Each panel occupies a space thirty feet on each side. three or four ten in height, and the bas-reliefs project by with a chief, dressed in a girdle, and inches. There is a the Red Indians of of feathers just like those of head-dress scroll. In the girdle he terminates hi a the north. Below perhaps be a palm- the group is what may the middle of and foot. Close to the tree, a rabbit at its tree, with 185 AT XOCHICALCO. SCULPTUKES is a figure with a the same height, nearly to reaching and with drapery in wearing a crown, crocodile’s head the Assy- of the creatures in lines, like the wings parallel likely he a conven- Indeed this may very rian bas-reliefs. featlier-work so charac- representation of the robes of tional teristic of Mexico. three and Above these bas-reliefs is a frieze between another sculptured panel- repeated four feet high, with each side of the pyramid. This remarkable eight times on SCULPTURED PANEL, the Pyramid Xochicalco. (After Nehel.) from ruined of sculpture represents a man sitting barefoot and cross- legged. On his head is a kind of crown or helmet, with plume of feathers and from the front of tins helmet there protrudes a serpent, just where in the Egyptian sculptures the royal basilisk is fixed on the crowns of kings and queens. The eyes of this personage are protected by round plates with holes in the middle, held on by a strap round the head, like the coloured glasses used in the United States to keep off the glare of the sun, and known as “goggles.” In front of this figure are sculptured a rabbit and some unintelligible ornaments “ or weapons. Rabbit” may have been his name. 180 ANAHUAC. The frieze is surmounted by a cornice and above the cornice of the second storey enough remains to show that it was covered with reliefs, in the same way as the first. There were five storeys originally: the others have only been destroyed about a century. The former proprietor of the hacienda of Temisco pulled down the upper storeys, and carried away the blocks of stone to build walls and dams with. The perfect execution of the details in the bas-reliefs and the accuracy with which they are repeated show clearly that it was not so much want of skill as the neces- sity of keeping to the conventional mode of representing objects that has given so grotesque a character to the Mexican sculptures. Certain figures became associated with religion and astrology in Mexico, as in many other countries and the sculptor, though his facility in details shows that he could have far made better figures if he had had a chance, never had the opportunity, for he was not depart from the original rude of the allowed to type sacred object. Humboldt remarks that the same undevi- is striking in the ating reproduction of fixed models as Mexican sculptures done since the Conquest. The clumsy of saints brought from Europe outlines of the rude figures the 16th century were adopted as models by the native in change to this day. sculptors, and have lasted without Xochicalco answered several pm'- It is evident that strength, also a It was a fortified hill of great poses. whose burial-place for men of note, sacred shrine, and a ruined cairns near the no doubt, still lie under the bodies, terraces/ of the ditch and the pyramid. The magnitude up blocks of stone brought the great size of the as well as indicate a of beasts of burden, hill without the aid the The beauty and a despotic government. population large who that the people sculpture show of the masonry and 187 ORNAMENTS. COMMON no small progress in the monument had made this erected had no iron, too, that they must remember, We arts. hardest granite and cut and polished the laboriously but and bronze we can with instruments of stone porphyry ; tell how. hardly Assyrian which people find between The resemblances monuments Egyptian sculptures and the American and ground little value, and do not seem sufficient to are of When slightly civilized races copy argument upon. any animals in their rude way, it would be men, trees, and if there were not some resemblance among the hard then- they produce. With reference to ornamenta- figures that what is called the key-border” is tion, it is true common in Mexico and Yucatan, and that on this quite very pyramid the panels are divided by a twisted border, which would not be noticed as peculiar in a renaissance building. But the model of this border may have been suggested—on either side of the globe— creepers twined by together in the forest, or by a cord doubled and twisted, such as is represented in one of the commonest Egyptian hieroglyphs. The cornice which finishes the first storey of the pyra- mid is a familiar pattern, but nothing can be concluded from these simple geometrical designs, which might be in- vented over and over again by different races when they began to find pleasure in tracing ornamental devices upon their buildings. Upon the tattooed skins of savages such designs may be seen, and the patterns were certainly in use among them before they had any intercourse with white men. This is the view Humboldt takes of these coincidences. That both the Egyptian king and the Mexican chief should wear a helmet with a serpent stand- ing out from it just above the forehead, is somewhat ex- traordinary. 188 ANAHUAC. Now, who built Xochicalco? Writers on Mexico are quite ready with their answer. They tell us that, accord- ing to the Mexican tradition, the country was formerly inhabited by another race, who were called Toltecd, or, as we say, Toltecs, from the name of their city, Tollan, the Reed-swamp and that they were of the same race as the Aztecs, as shown by the names of their cities and their kings being Aztec words that they were a highly civilized people, and brought into the country the arts of sculpture, hieroglyphic painting, great improvements in agriculture, many of the peculiar religious rites since practised by other nations who settled after them in Mexico, and the famous astronomical calendar, of which I shall speak afterwards. The particular Toltec king to whom the Mexican histo- rians ascribe the building of Xochicalco was called Nauhyotl, that is to say, Four Bells,” and died A.D. 915. We are further told that just about the time of our were driven from the Norman Conquest, the Toltecs out Mexican plateau by famine and pestilence, and migrated remained, from again southward. Only a few families and Chichemecs, and other barbarous tribes by them the Aztecs, that knowledge whom the country was re-peopled, derived sciences upon which their own civilization of the arts and the Mexi- was founded. It was by this Toltec nation—say monuments of Xocliichalco, Teotihua- can winters—that the architecture the Cholula were built. In their can, and their the works left by Aztecs did little more than copy Indians call a this day, the Mexican predecessors and, to toltecatl or Toltec. builder a any- circumstantial account to be If we consider this question naturally but a mere tissue of fables, the thing when of the remains of the Toltecs —what became arises has been high plains of Mexico ? A theory they left the settled in question, that they to answer this propounded 189 AND CENTRAL AMERICA. MEXICO PEOPLES OF Palenque, Copan, and and built ancl Yucatan, Chiapas of which lie imbed- the other cities, the ruins and TJxmal, tropical forest. in the ded Prescott wrote his History of the the time that At the new a theory was quite tenable, but Conquest, such the Abbd Brasseur matter lately made known by historic different aspect to the question. Bourbourg has given a de attempting to maintain the credibility of this Without history as a whole, I cannot but think that he has writer’s given us satisfactory grounds for believing that the ruined America were built by cities of Central a race which flourished long before the Toltecs that they were already declining in power and civilization in the seventh century, when the Toltecs began to flourish in Mexico; and that the present Mayas of Yucatan are their degenerate de- scendants. What I have seen of Central American and Mexican antiquities, and of drawings of them in books, tends to support the Abbd Bras