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Index:Pictures of life in Mexico Vol 1.djvu

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Pictures of life in Mexico Vol 1.djvu

 








CONTENTS OF VOL. I.

CHAPTER I.
INTRODUCTORY.
Aspect of the country—Its different temperature and atmosphere—Principal cities—Plan of houses—State of society—Power of the priests—Middle and lower classes of people—Upper classes—Costumes—Mineral and vegetable productions—Scenery of Vera Cruz—Route to Xalapa—Town and suburbs—Gorgeous scene—Puebla
page 1
CHAPTER II.
A MESON, OR BOARDING HOTEL.
A traveller's greeting on entering the city of Mexico—Narrow escape—Lassoing—Apathy of the authorities—Suburb of San Lazaro—A shocking sight—"The Hotel of the Blood of Christ"—The host's welcome—Don Concho—A meson, or boarding-house—A "spare room" and its contents—A swarm of beggars—The public room—Dancing girls and other visitors—The Fonda—Mexican cookery—Tortilla cakes—Adventure of an Indian beggar
12
CHAPTER III.
A VISIT TO THE MONTE PIO.
Public buildings of the Capital—The Mineria, or school of mines—Academy of Fine Arts—Palace of the President—The Plaza Mayor—Visit to the Monte Pio—Articles in Pawn—Motley groups—A young cavalier and a stately dame—"Bringing out" a daughter—A miscellaneous lot—A daughter's sacrifice—A needy tradesman—Apprehension of a robber
30
CHAPTER IV.
GRADES OF SOCIETY.
Population—Different classes—Characteristics of the Mexicans—The two dominant powers—Mode of recruiting the army—System of education—Roman Catholic clergy—Mexican women—Pursuits of fine gentlemen—Smugglers and Inspectors—Aguadores, or water-carriers—Postilions—The Lasso—Market people and store-keepers—Watchmen—Léperos and other classes of people—Insecurity of life and property
46
CHAPTER V.
THE LEPEROS.
The léperos: their character and habits—Prayers and curses—Quaking prairies of Attakapas—A lépero's story—A duel—Murderous revenge—The victim accused—Pursuit of the assassin—His fate.
59
CHAPTER VI.
DOMESTIC MATTERS.
Domestic habits—Separation of the sexes—Effects of national isolation and civil war—Courtship and marriage—Want of social meetings—Hospitality—Drives and visits—Treatment of servants—Priestly intermeddling and extortion—Gossip and scandal—A persecuted family.
75
CHAPTER VII.
A TERTULIA, OR EVENING PARTY.
The streets at evening—Mexican cries—Grand saloon arranged for a party—Ceremonies of salutation and introduction—Superb costumes of the guests—Bishop and priests—A blonde beauty—Mexican belles—A vocal performance—Music and dances—Cards and forfeits—Mexican carvings of the Nativity and Life of Christ—A bishop's soliloquy—His account of the ancient worship of Mexico—Party breaking up.
93
CHAPTER VIII.
RELIGION.
Religion in Mexico—System of Priestcraft—Ignorance and recklessness of the people—Immorality of the clergy—Trafficking in crime—Priestly extortion—Sale of indulgences—A rake's penitence—A coquette at the confessional—A tradesman's restitution—A lépero's devotion.
108
CHAPTER IX.
PRIESTLY DOINGS.
Spanish process of conversion—Apprenticeship to religion—Indian girl's filial piety—The chain of indulgence—Inquisitorial spirit in Mexico—Wealth of the church—Number of ecclesiastics and religious establishments—Priestly methods of making money—Pursuits of the priests—Scene in the market-place—Procession of the host—Adoration—Priest's visit to a sick man—Costly Viaticum—A bereaved family
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CHAPTER X.
MEXICAN CATHEDRALS.
Splendour of their interiors—Sacrilege of rare occurrence—Great cathedral of Mexico—Gold and silver altar-piece and balustrade—Cathedral of Puebla—Jewelled image of the Virgin—"Miraculous" altar-piece—Provincial churches—Perversion of property—Indulgences—Form of an indulgence—Removal of church treasures—The caravan plundered—Confession of the leader of the ladrones—Recovery of the valuables—Alarms and suspicions—The treasures concealed—Ecclesiastical watchmen—Church sacked by a mob—Three holy fathers buried alive
130
CHAPTER XI.
A PRIESTS'S ESTABLISHMENT.
Visit to the house of a priest—Its situation and appearance—Equipage in waiting—The azotea, or flat roof—Priest's daughters—Furniture of apartment—Father Perez—Priestly interrogations—Unintentional offence—Rude expulsion
145
CHAPTER XII.
MEXICAN AMUSEMENTS.
Character of amusements—Government duty—Cock-fighting and its patrons—The combat—Scene in an arena—A bull-fight—Further anticipations—Battle between a bull and bear—Horrible catastrophe—Gambling booths—The Fandango—Minor amusements.
152
CHAPTER XIII.
WILD FOWL SHOOTING.
Mexican rivers and lakes—The salt marshes—Wild ducks—Formidable shooting-machines—A sporting party—A biped dog—Señor Stiazza and his gun Bolo—A half-caste bravo—Ragged comrades—Sunlight on the lake—The game started—Wild ducks slaughtered—Zambo lost in the mud—Rescue—A sporting supper and encampment—Pleasant anticipations—An attack—Flight of the bravo—The party robbed of their spoil
166
CHAPTER XIV.
THE ACCORDADA, OR CHIEF PRISON.
Obstreperous conduct of prisoners—Entrance offices—Corridor—Court-yard and fountain—Prisoners in the second story—Want of provision for the destitute—Misery of lower classes—Chapel—Custom before an execution—Prisoners employed as scavengers—Prison for females—Groups in court-yard—A mock priest—A jail instructor—Quarrel in the water—An aged gamester—An ignorant devotee—Obscene singing—The basket-maker—Obtrusive mendicants—Officers' salaries—Prison statistics for one year.
179
CHAPTER XV.
A POOR FUNERAL.
Alacranes, or spider-scorpions—Scorpion-hunters—Indian costume—Indian huts and villages—Woman stung by alacranes—Contrast of burial-places—Masses for the wealthy—Contemptuous treatment of the poor—An Indian funeral—An unpopular priest—Dead-house of the capital—Melancholy street scenes—Grief of a mother and daughters—Father Miguel in the Morgue.
194
CHAPTER XVI.
THE AMERICANS IN MEXICO.
Adage respecting Americans—Various effects of inter-communication—Suspicious character of the Mexicans—Commercial policy—Restrictions and duties—Taxation—Consequences of exclusiveness—Productions of the country—Agricultural implements—Habits of trading—Changes in manners—Education—Anecdote of a travelling pedlar—Mexican impressions of the American army—Generals Scott and Taylor.
205
CHAPTER XVII.
A SILVER-MINE IN THE NORTH.
Moonlight among the mountains—City of Zacatecas—A hot spring—A convent—Monkish legend—Indian discoveries—Protection by the Government—Regulations for mining—Different kinds of mines—Processes for purifying ore—Lawyers—Unjust treatment of Indian labourers—Payment in advance—Indian custom on receiving wages—Correction of offenders—A thief self-punished.
217
CHAPTER XVIII.
AN AYUNTAMIENTO, OR TOWN COUNCIL.
Municipal governors—Chairman of the party—An important councillor—A Mexican dandy's costume—An energetic speaker—Stolid gentlemen—A dirty millionaire—A victim of oppression—The assembly dissolved. 231
231
CHAPTER XIX.
SCENES BEFORE THE ADMINISTRADORES.
Mexican magistrates—A narrative before the bench—A mountain pathway—Indian adventurers—A journey to the capital—Clouds and sunshine—The city in prospect—Abrupt change in conversation—An oath extorted—Plunder and accidental death of the young Indian—A remorseless comrade—Narrative of a poor wanderer—Houses in Quito—Tornadoes—Description of an earthquake—Distressing situation—The sole survivor—A committal to the Accordada—Appalling sights in the city—Victims of vitriol-throwing—A child's face obliterated—Scavengers from the Accordada—Vitriol-throwing in Mexico—An officer's story—A criminal's revenge.
239
CHAPTER XX.
ANECDOTES OF GENERAL SANTA ANNA.
His power and popularity as President of the Republic—His characteristics and conduct—His capabilities as a general—Insurrections against his government—Anecdote of his perfidy—His fall and banishment—An Indian beggar's adventure—Indian superstition—Visit of the President to the Academy of Fine Arts—A lucky accident.
259
CHAPTER XXI.
OUTBREAKS DURING THE WAR.
The war in Mexico—Fondness for political changes—Treatment of prisoners by the Mexicans—Priestly exertions—Generosity of the Americans—The cumanche and the priest—An execution—A holy father's attempted revenge.
275