Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/123

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CHAPTER V.

 
 

THE strange, ancient, aristocratic, and haughty City of Guadalajara, held us a full week from the prosecution of our journey, and after seeing its sights from morning till night, during all that time, we were as loth to leave it as ever. Every morning we went out to see some one of the dozens of beautiful ancient churches with which the City is adorned, attend early mass, and examine the quaint old pictures with which each abounds. One of the finest of these, perhaps the finest excepting the great Cathedral, is the Church of Our Lady of Guadaloupe, which is half convent, as well as church. There is attached to this church a "Retreat," with two hundred cells. To this place the pious citizens of the City, repair to spend nine days of Lent, in monastic retirement, for the good of their souls. Each cell has a table, chair, and cot-bed, and meals are served to the temporary occupants by servants, thus enabling them to pass their time in absolute seclusion from the world. For the nine days' board and lodging, and spiritual comfort, those able, pay four or five dollars, the others nothing. More women than men resort here and the cells are filled every year.

All these churches have beautiful chimes of bells, cast in the city centuries ago, and the air is at times filled with their music. By the municipal laws, they are now