Page:Mexico, California and Arizona - 1900.djvu/134

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116
OLD MEXICO AND HER LOST PROVINCES.

IV.

Though so much more be still proposed, there are certainly some reasons for self-complacency in the country even from the American point of view. Education is found to be provided for in a manner that awakens admiration and surprise. The primary schools are least looked after, but the pupils who pass through these with a disposition to go farther have an array of advantages open to them at the capital superior to anything of a parallel sort in the United States. The Government maintains national schools respectively of engineering, law, medicine, agriculture, mechanic arts, and trades (for both sexes), a conservatory of music, an academy of fine arts, and a library, provided with an edifice that New York well might envy. It maintains a museum, institutions for blind, deaf and dumb, and insane, for orphans, and young criminals, and a long list besides of the usual charities of enlightened communities. The schools are open without money and without price to all, and there are even funds to provide board, lodging, and pocket-money for students from a distance, who are selected on certain easy conditions.

The students in agriculture pass some months of the year at the haciendas to observe different crops and climates. The graduates of the School of Arts and Measures go out into the world prepared to make their living as carpenters, masons, photographers, electro-platers, and at numerous other trades. Before an opinion is passed upon Mexican civilization the accommodations and neat uniforms of the pupils of the blind institute should be seen; the noble building erected in the last century for the School of Mines; the beautifully clean, wide corridors,