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never be certain of the permanent enjoyment of constitutional freedom, unless she has, by her representatives, a proportional share in the legislature of the superior kingdom.'
“ A few days before I left Paris to return home, this great man fell sick; and, though I did not imagine, from the nature of his complaint, that it was likely to be fatal, I quitted him, however, with the utmost regret, and with that sort of fores boding, which sometimes precedes misfortunes. Scarcely was I arrived in England, when I received a letter from one whom I desired to send me the most particular accounts of him, communicating to me the melancholy news of his death; and assuring me, what I never doubted, that he had died as he lived, like a real philosopher; and what is more, with true christian resignation. What his real sentiments, with regard to religion, were, I cannot exactly say. He certainly was not a papist; but I have no reason to believe that he was not a christian : in all our conversations, which were perfectly free, I never heard him utter the slightest hint, the least word, which savoured of profaneness ; but, on the contrary, whene. ever it came in his way to mention christianity, he always spoke of its doctrine and of its precepts with the utmost respect and reverence : so that, did I not know that he had too much wisdom and goodness to wish to depreciate the ruling religion, from his general manner of expressing himself I should make no scruple freely to declare him a perfect christian. At his death the priests, as usual, tormented him, and he bore their exhortations with the greatest patience good humour, and decency; till at length, fatigued by their obstinate and tiresome pertinacity, he told them that he was much obliged for their comfort, but that, having now a very short time to live, he wished to have those few minutes to himself, as he had lived long enough to know how to die. A day or two before his death, an unlucky circumstance happened, by which the world has sustained an irreparable loss. He had written the history of Louis the Eleventh, including the transactions of Europe during the very important and interesting period of that prince's reign. The work was long and laborious, and some, who had seen parts of it, have assured me that it was superior even to his other writings. Recollecting that he had two manuscripts of it, one of them perfect and the other extremely mutilated, and fearing that this imperfect copy might fall into the hands of some ignorant and avaricious bookseller, he gave his valet de chambre the key of his escritoir, and desired him to burn that manuscript, which hc described to him. The unlucky valet burnt the fair copy, and left that from which it was impossible to print.
« There is nothing more uncommon than to see, in the same man, the most ardent glow of genius, the utmost liveliness of fancy, united with the highest degree of assiduity and of laboriousness. The powers of the mind seem in this to resemble those of the body. The nice and ingenious hand of the oculist was never made to heave the sledge, or to till the ground. In Montesquieu, however, both these talents were eminently conspicuous. No man ever possessed a more lively, a more fanciful genius. No man was ever more laborious. His Esprit des Loixis, perhaps, the result of more reading than any treatise ever yet composed. M. de Secondat, son to the president, has now in his possession forty folio volumes in his father's hand writing, which are nothing more than the common-place books, from whence this admirable work was extracted. Montesquieu, indeed, seems to have possessed the difficult art of contracting matter into a small compass, without tendering it obscure, more perfectly than any man who ever wrote. His Grandeur et Decadence des Romains is a rare instance of this talent; a book in which there is more matter than was ever before crammed together in so small a space. One circumstance with regard to this last-mentioned treatise has often struck me, as a sort of criterion by which to judge of the materialness of a book. The index contains nearly as many pages as the work itself.”
ANECDOTES OF THE MEXICANS, INCLUDING A DESCRIPTION OF
MEXICO, ITS LAKES, &c.
[From Walton's State of the Spanish Colonies.) ANAHUAC was the original name given to the vale of Mexico, and signifies near to the water. The city of Mexico was anciently called Tenochtitlan; it was founded A. D. 1325, and is, beyond a doubt, much the largest and most beautiful city in the New World. It is situated in latitude 20° 2' north, and in longitude 100° 34' west, from the meridian of London.
The finest district in the kingdom of Mexico is the vale itself of Mexico, crowned by beautiful and verdant moun. tains, whose circumference, measured at their base, exceeds one hundred and twenty miles. A great part of this vale is occupied by two lakes; the water of Chalco, the upper lake, iş sweet; that of Tezcuco, the lower lake, is brackish. They communicate by a canal. In the lower lake, (on account of its lying in the very bottom of the valley,) all the waters run
ning from the mountains collect; from thence, when extraordinary abundance of rains raised the waters of the lake of Tezcuco over its bed, it overflowed the city of Mexico, which is situated on an island in the lake of Tezcuco. These inundations happened not less frequently under the Mexican monarchy, than since it has been in possession of the Spapiards.
These two lakes, the circumference of which united is not less than ninety miles, represent the figure of a camel, the head and neck of which are formed by the lake of sweet water, or Chalco; the body, by the lake of brackish water, or Tezcuco; the legs and feet are represented by the rivulets and torrents which run from the mountains into the lakes. Between these there is the little peninsula of Iztapalapan, which divides them.
The mountains make the air delightfully cool and pleasant, with gentle breezes descending and spreading themselves all around, so that its climate is one of the finest
and most salubrious that nature ever formed; so remarkably temperate, and the variation of the season so very small, that the slightest precautions are sufficient to prevent inconvenience from either heat or cold, and woollen clothing is worn there all the year round. Charles V., who was at the same time Emperor of Germany and King of Spain, asked a witty Spanish gentleman, on his arrival at court from Mexico, how long the interval was in the city of Mexico between summer and winter? “ Just as long,” replied the Spaniard, with great truth and humour, as it takes to pass out of sunshine into the shade.”
The circumference of the island on which the city stands, is about twelve miles. For the convenience of passing from this island to the main land, there are three great causeys, formed of earth, stone and timber, raised in the lake. The causey of Iztapalapan, towards the south, is about seven miles in length. The causey of Tepejacac, towards the north, is about three miles in length. The causey of Tlacapan, towards the west, is about two miles in length. They are each about thirty feet in breadth. Besides them, there is another, or fourth causey, a little narrower, in continuation of the double aqueduct of Chapoltepec, two miles distant, by which the fresh water is brought to the entrance of the city, and from thence distributed to the fountains, and all parts of the city, and the island.
All the water which collects in the lake of Tezcuco, is sweet when it first enters; but it afterwards becomes so very brackish and unwholesome, that if drank, or used in cooking,
by the inhabitants, it gives them fluxes and complaints in the bowels. This bad property arises from the salt and nitrous bed of this lake; hence the island entirely depends on this double aqueduct of Chapoltepec for its supplies of fresh water.
The churches and houses are built of stone and of bricks, and the houses in general, where the ground will bear their weight, are three stories high. The foundations of the large houses of the capital, as at first built by the Mexicans, were laid upon a floor of large beams of cedar, fixed in the earth, on account of the want of solidity in the soil, which example the Spaniards have found it necessary to imitate and adopt. The great square is in the centre of the city, from whence the streets run quite through the whole in a direct line, either north and south, or east and west, crossing each other at right angles, so that the length and breadth of the city may be plainly discerned at the corner of any of the streets, all of which are wide and well paved. There is a public walk with a jet d'eau, where eight avenues meet, which is very grand, and the principal squares have each a fountain of water in their centre.
Every morning at sunrise, innumerable boats, canoes, and craft of various descriptions, laden with a vast variety of fruits, herbs, flowers, garden-stuff of all kinds, fish, fowls, turkeys, geese, ducks, venison, game of all kinds, fleshmeat of all kinds, and a variety of other provisions, are seen arriving by the lake at the great market-place of the city, where the inhabitants are supplied with the greatest abundance, and at moderate prices.
The natural strength of the city is great, there being no approaches to it but by the causeys, which may easily be obstructed, by breaking them down at intervals, or by destroying the whole of the causeys, if necessary.
All other modes of capture must be by boats, canoes, &c. and cutting off their supplies of provisions, and fresh water, &c. which they receive by the aqueduct of Chapoltepec.
Mexico is an archbishop's see, and contains one most magnificent cathedral, thirty-four public churches, thirty-six monasteries of men, and twenty-nine nunneries of women, with each a church. The cathedral possesses a revenue of ninety thousand pounds sterling per annum, of which the archbishop receives thirty thousand pounds, besides casual fines, which make him fifteen to twenty thousand pounds a year more.
The remainder, amounting to sixty thousand pounds, is divided amongst the dignitaries and other clergy
belonging to this cathedral, which amount to upwards of four hundred, without including organists, musicians, singers, &c.
The cathedral is built in the form of a cross, is lofty and spacious, the windows numerous, the paintings, gilding, and carving, are in a heavy style, and it contains a great number of chapels and superb altars. The high altar stands in the middle of the choir; the riches and treasures therein are great beyond description. The custodia is made of silver, and contains thirty thousand ounces of that metal; it took sixty-four ounces of pure gold to gild it. It contains a great number of silver pillars, and one hundred little images of different saints, all of most rare workmanship. In the centre of the cathedral stands the image of St. Hypolito, the patron of Mexico, as large as life, made of pure gold, and placed on a shrine of silver. In another silver shrine stands an image of the infant Jesus, made of pure gold, and adorned with eight hundred precious stones ; likewise a grand silver throne, on which is placed the image of the Blessed Virgin, made of silver, wearing a superb crown, and adorned with a profusion of valuable and precious stones, the whole weighing sixty arrobas of silver, which, at twenty-five pounds in each arroba, make fifteen hundred pounds weight. In the chapel of the Blessed Virgin is a beautiful altar, made of silver and richly inlaid with gold, worked in the most curious manner, by an ingenious artist.
In this cathedral, there are forty-eight candlesticks, all made of silver, each measuring six feet in height, and of curious workmanship. There are three hundred masses said every day in this cathedral. They consume annually at the altars and in the processions, eight hundred arrobas of oil, making 2,500 Spanish gallons; twelve hundred arrobas of wax, making 30,000 Spanish pounds; one thousand arrobas of wine, making 3,125 Spanish gallons. Ten large gold lamps, and thirty large silver lamps, burn oil both night and day. The vestments and other ornaments of the archbishop and the rest of the clergy, as likewise the ornaments exhibited on the altars, are beautiful beyond description, and as rich as can be made, with gold and silver, covered with diamonds, rubies, emeralds, pearls, and other precious stones of dazzling lustre : gold and silver stuffs, embroidered velvets, satins, silks, &c. are the richest and most valuable that money can purchase and procure, in any part of the world, and were brought from Europe by the register ships. The rest of the churches, the monasteries, and the nunneries, are proportionably rich and splendid, and their revenues are great.
Their warehouses and shops, from their great display of