Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/259

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HUMBOLDT.

furniture, candelabra, and bronze ornaments; admission was free to all; class, colors, and races were mingled together; the Indian beside the white boy, the son of the poorest mechanic beside that of the richest lord. In 1839 all this was changed. Madame Calderon described the casts as mutilated, the engravings injured, and the building in disorder and abandoned. In this state it remained until the return to power of Juarez, since when, with an annual allowance of $35,000, the institution is doing fairly well. The name is changed to the "National School of Fine Arts"; prizes are given for good work; all teaching is free.

The equestrian statue of Charles IV. was completed just at the time of Humboldt's visit. He was present when it was cast, and saw it on its way to the plaza.

The Cathedral was then new, and its massive towers, with the fine plaza in front of it, excited the admiration of the enthusiastic traveller. A few years only before his visit, the great idol, Teoyamiqui, had been discovered, in the time of the eccentric Viceroy Revillagigedo; he would have placed it in the University, but the professors there were unwilling to have it seen by Mexican youths, and they buried it again in one of the corridors of the Colegio. They were persuaded to dig it up in order that Humboldt should see and make a sketch of it.

The Aztec calendar, the stone of sacrifice, and the manuscripts in hieroglyph much interested the great man, but more the natural attractions of the city.