Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/136

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
130
THE SCHOOL OF USEFUL ARTS.

are in Spanish, but there are many in French and some in English.

I saw a dictionary in Spanish and Aztec, printed in Mexico in 1571, and another, equally perfect, printed in Michoacan in 1559, long enough before we had printing offices in English America. There are many works printed years earlier in Spain and France. A large number of these books are in duplicate, and five thousand volumes of the most rare, carefully selected and exposed for sale in New York or Boston, would attract all the old book-fanciers on the Continent, and bring money enough to provide this school with what it most needs; viz: a large and complete modern library in Spanish, English and French. An antiquarian book-dealer might make a fortune, and benefit mankind, by coming to Guadalajara and purchasing such of these works as the authorities would be willing to sell.

The last institution of learning which we visited was the School of Useful Arts. This School is unique, and deserves more extended notice than I can give it. It is located in the old monastery of San Augustine, which, like the other establishments of the kind, now belongs to the Federal Government. We found four hundred boys, from eight to eighteen years of age, learning every trade from shoemaking to blacksmithing, carpentering, weaving, tailoring, etc., etc. There is a great desire to enter this school among the youth of Jalisco, and if there were accommodations and funds provided for them, there would be one thousand students instead of four hundred. The boys are first taught to read, write and keep accounts, and then go into the workshops.

All the clothing and boots and shoes worn in the establishment are made by the boys, the cloth being