Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/200

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194
SEVERE ON THE CLERGY.

it would hardly have been believed by a visitor twenty years ago, that at this time the holy fathers would be forbidden by law to walk the streets of Guanajuato in their clerical robes and broad hats; but such is the case. About the time we were there, some of them, becoming over-confident, ventured to disobey the law, and appeared in their black robes on the streets. Thereupon, General Antillon issued an order requiring the police to arrest all such offenders, and gave notice that they would be punished with a fine of five hundred dollars, and thirty days in the chain-gang, with double the penalty for each repetition of the offence. Next day there was not a black gown or shovel-hat to be seen in the streets of Guanajuato: and this was the city in which the Church condemned the Padre Hidalgo to death.

Education is by no means neglected or despised by the people of Guanajuato at this time. While there, we attended the annual examination and distribution of prizes at the State College. Governor Antillon presided and distributed the premiums. The College has nearly three hundred students, and is, partly, self-sustaining. It appears to be well managed, and a model institution in its way. The graduating class, with few exceptions, were in full dress black suits, with white kid gloves; but I noticed with not a little pleasure, that some of the highest prizes were carried off by young men of almost unmixed Indian blood, in clean but coarse leather pantaloons and roundabout jackets, who were, apparently, treated with as much consideration by the faculty and their fellow-students as any one there. There was an abundance of exceedingly fine operatic music, some superior declamations, and when all the prizes, consisting of elegantly bound books of practical value—not merely