Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/324

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ing less care than a horse, and capable of enduring more fatigue. Carratelas, open at the sides, with glass windows, were filled with ladies in full toilet, without mantillas, their heads uncovered and generally coiffées with flowers as jewels. Equestrians, on fine horses and handsome Mexican asses, passed and repassed the carriages without stopping for conversation. Her favorite promenade was the Viga, where, as in Montezuma's time and long before, in Humboldt's, in our own, the Indians, early in the morning, brought flowers and vegetables to market by the canal. There was profusion of sweet peas, double poppies, blue-bottles, stock gilly-flowers and roses. Each Indian woman in her canoa looked as if seated in a floating flower-garden, crowned with garlands of roses or poppies. "Those who sit in the market," she says, "selling their fruit or vegetables, appear as if in bowers formed of fresh green branches and many-colored flowers. In the poorest village church the floor is strewed with flowers, and with flowers are adorned the baby at its christening, the bride at the altar, the dead body upon the bier."

In answer to questions about the society women of Mexico, Madame Calderon writes: "I must put aside exceptions, which are always rising up before me, and write en masse. Generally speaking, the Mexican señoras and señoritas write, read, and play a little; sew, and take care of their houses and children. When I say they read, I mean they know how to read; when I say they write, I do not mean that they can always spell, and when I say they play, I do not assert that they have a general knowledge of