Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/380

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366
THE WOMEN OF MEXICO.

earth, have I seen such affectionate treatment of parents by children and children, by parents, as in Mexico. As a rule, the influence and control of parents over their children never fully ceases save with death, and after death their memory is cherished, it seems to me, with more fondness than elsewhere in the world.

I am proud of the daughters of my own loved land and here in this world of tropical beauty, still longed to walk once more among them, to hear the music, of their voices, and mark the air of independent self-possession which freedom gives, the bold, free step and proud grace of carriage which characterizes the haughty daughters of our conquering race. But there is one thing in which the children of Mexico far excel those of the United States, and that is, filial devotion. "Honor thy Father and thy Mother that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee," is a command which the daughters of Mexico obey with a whole-souled earnestness that is beautiful to witness. But freedom of action outside of the family circle, there is little of any for them. An unmarried lady cannot go out upon the street alone in broad daylight; nay, she cannot even go out for a single block, in company of a gentleman, though he be the oldest friend of the family, married, and known to every man and woman on the street, according to the strict idea of social propriety in the capital. A married woman, or at least an old one, must always accompany her.

I rode out one day to Tacubuya, with a married lady friend and a young unmarried lady. Returning, we came first to the residence of the married lady, and as the carriage stopped I sprang out to help her alight; but she drew back with the remark: