Page:Guatimala or the United Provinces of Central America in 1827-8.pdf/141

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136

corruptions of Scripture does Papacy permit and sanction.

November 22. Padre — in conversation today, when heated by some paragraphs he had seen in the newspaper, declared, that if he had the power he would at once extinguish the art of printing, and forbid education. To the instruction of the Indians he always objects, as calculated to make them ungovernable. That this is a general, although suppressed feeling, there can be no doubt, and it might be a question worth discussing, how far an exclusive Papal establishment can possibly exist without impairing the liberties of an infant republic, and whether the genius of the one is not directly opposed to the prosperity of the other. The Italian republics might be adduced as a proof of the practicability of their union; but at that time religious opinions did not clash, besides which, they were governed altogether by an aristocracy. Louisiana and Georgia may be said to be Catholic States, but they have no exclusive establishment.

November 24. Padre — wishing to convert me, asked what penalty would be indicted upon me on my return to England, if I went to mass and conformed to the Catholic ceremonies here? I assured him, none; at which he expressed his surprise that I did not conform when in a Catho-