Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/326

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music. The climate inclines every one to indolence, both physical and moral. One cannot pore over a book when the blue sky is constantly smiling in at the open windows." She says that there are no women in the world more affectionate in their manners than the Mexicans, and that they invariably make excellent wives, if they are settled at home with their husbands.

Madame Calderon describes the appearance of the Plaza on Good-Friday:

"The most beautiful and original scene was presented towards sunset in the great square, and it is doubtful whether any other city in the world could present a coup d'œil of equal brilliancy. The Plaza itself, even on ordinary days, is a noble square, and but for its one fault, a row of shops called the Parian, which breaks its uniformity, would, be nearly unrivalled. Every object is interesting. The eye wanders from the Cathedral to the house of Cortés (the Monte de Piedad), and from thence to a range of fine buildings, with lofty arcades to the west. From a balcony we could see all the different streets that branch out from the square covered with gay crowds pouring in that direction to see a great procession which was expected to pass in front of the palace. Booths, filled with refreshments and covered with green branches and garlands of flowers, were to be seen in all directions, surrounded by a crowd quenching their thirst with orgeat, lemonade, or pulque. The whole square, from the Cathedral to the portales, was covered with thousands and tens of thousands of figures, all in their gayest dresses,