Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/283

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251
MORELOS.

which his eyes were bandaged on the 22d of December, 1815. Over the door is inscribed:

Morelos the illustrious!
Immortal Hero.
In this house, honored by thy presence,
Salute you the-grateful people of Morelia.

For the grateful people of his birth-place changed the time-honored name of their city to Morelia in honor of their patriotic citizen, thus paying a worthy tribute to his memory, although slighting that of the good viceroy who established its foundations.

The parents of Morelos dedicated him to the career of a muleteer, as the local history expresses it, and a muleteer he remained until he was thirty years old. At that advanced age he had the courage to enter the Colegio de San Nicholas, where Hidalgo was then superintendent. It is easy to see that other lessons were taught there besides those of the school curriculum; Morelos made rapid progress in all branches of education, was ordained to the church, and obtained several successive curacies. Thus employed, when the Grito de Dolores sounded over Anahuac, he offered his services to the Generalissimo Hidalgo on the side of independence. He was sent to raise the standard of liberty on the Pacific coast, and starting from his village with twenty-five men, arrived at Acapulco with a thousand.

In various encounters with the royalists, Morelos and his men were successful. He showed great perception in the management of troops, and marched