Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/135

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129
THE BOY'S HIGH SCHOOL.

les of the originals. In the Music Hall, the pupils gave us the opera of Ernani in as grand style as it is usually given by the regular opera companies of the United States, the part of Ernani being sung by a little Miss fourteen years of age, with a wonderfully powerful and highly cultivated voice.

On leaving this beautiful retreat, once the shade of darkness and superstition and bigotry, now so justly the pride and the hope of the State, Mr. Seward remarked, "Why, in Heaven's name, do people talk of 'Protectorate' for a country capable of such things as these."

Next, we visited the Boy's High School. This establishment, originally built by Bishop Parades, but now under civil control, contains nearly four hundred students, and will soon have five hundred. It is almost a counterpart of the girl's High School, the system of tuition, cost to those able to pay—board, &c., &c.—being the same. It is admirably conducted, and is as creditable to the town as the other. The professors teach gratuitously, or for very small salaries. One teacher of four classes gets but eighty dollars per month, and Señor Matute and others teach classes gratuitously. We saw a gymnasium, art gallery, considerable scientific apparatus, and other adjuncts of a first-class school of this grade, in the building. One great feature of this school is its library of thirty thousand volumes, mainly the spoils of the confiscated monasteries. This, in New York, Boston, or England would be an immense feature. There are thousands on thousands of volumes three centuries old and more, printed or illuminated by hand, and as perfect in their parchment coverings as on the day they issued from the press. Most of them