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The Cathedral Of Mexico

The Cathedral Of Mexico image
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- - - - - i - i t i ■ i ' í 411 iAA V X V v-' The Cmhedral occupies the site of the great dol temple of Montczumn. It is five hundred 'eet long !■ fonr hundred and iwinty wide - t would be 9urper(luou3 to add onother 10 the ninny doacriptions of tliis fanious building which ïave alrcady been fiúbl;íhe'd. LiUc all oiher burches in Mexico, it is built in ;he Gotltic lyle. Thó walls, of several feet ihickncss, are mnde of unhewn sionc and lime. Úpori erí.'crig it, 011e is apt to rccall the wild ficlions of the irabian Nights; it secms fis if tho weollh of cmree .vas colk'cied there. The elergy of Mexico o not, for obvious reasons, desire that their vealth sbould be made known to its full extern ; ïey ore, thercfore. not disposed to give very uil informatinn upou the subject, or to exhibit 10 gold and silvor vcísels, vases, precious toiR'.s. and oiher forms of wejhh. quite enough a exhibited to stnxc the bcholJcr with wonder, 'lic first object thnt presents iiself, on entering ie calliedrnl, U the altnr, near the centre of the uilding: it 6 maíte of higTiiy-wroughiand high. ' polished silver. and covcrud .with á profusión f oriiamenis of pure gold. On each' t':dc of the itarrun8a balustrade, cnclo3Íng a spaco about glit ftet wide, and cigl,ty or a hundred feet oog. The balusters are about (out feet high, nd four inches thicl; in the largest puri; the mnd-rail fron: six to eiaht inches wide. Upon he top of this hand rail. al the di&tance of six jr eight feet apart, are human images, becuiifully vrought, and about iwo )eet high. All tr.cse, he balusirade, hond-rail, and imacs, are made of a coíiipound of gold, süvcr. and cjpper - inore valuuble than siU-er. 1 was told that an offer huil beei made to tako thia balustrade, nnd replacu wuh anoihcr of exactly the sizc and rvorktnanöhip, of pu.osilver, audto give half a inilhon of dallara bcbidcs. Tliere is inuch more of the same balustrnde :n other parta of :lie cliuich; 1 ahould thit.k in ,ii! of i;, not lesa than threc'l.undred cct. As you walk through the building, on either sideihere are different aparimcnis, ali fiücd from the fljor to the ceiling, wiih paintiiigs, siatucs. vnsos. huge caiidk-sticks, waners, ini a ihousand other orticlcs, made of gold or ailver. ThU, toois on!y the everyduy display of articlus of least valut;; the more coslly are slored away in chests and closets. IVhat muát it be, when all these irc brongiit out, wiih tlie immense rjuantitiee óf precious stones which the Church is known to posses3? And thls is only one of the churciics of the ciiy cf Mexico, where there are botweeii sixir and eigluy oihcri. and somo of tlieni possessing linie lesa wcalth than the cathedral; and 11 must also be remetnbercd, tont &!1 the othei large citiea, such a3 Puebla, Gaudul.ij.ira, Guanajuato, Zacatecas, Durongo, San Lou s, Potosi, have eaCh a proportionaie nuniber of equaily gorgeous cstabüshmcnts. it would bc the wüdest and most r.indoin c'onjtcturc, to attempt an estimate of the amount of the precious metala ihus wiihdrawn Irom the useful purposes of :he currency of the world, and wusted iri these barbarie ornaments, as incomtíatible wiih good taste as thcy are with the humiliiy which was tho most Btnkïhg fenure in the character of the Founder of our religión, whosc chosen instrumento were rhelowlynnd humble, and who himself regarded as the higliest cviderice of his divine rnission, the fdct that "{o tl.e peor iJie G.sp.l was preached." I do not doubt but there is enough of the precious metala in the different churches of Mexico, toiélieve, scnsibly, ihe pressurc npon thecurrtney of the world which has rcsulted (rotn the diminished production of the m nes, and theincreased rjuantiiy wbich has been apprjpriated to purpost-s of lüxury, and to pay the cot of much mdre uscful decorations in architéctiire and ctatuary, niade of ruahognny ar.d marble. But the immeiue wealih whith ís thus coüected in the, is nol by any tnea'ns all, or even the largcst portion of the wealth of the Mexican cliurch and clergy. They ovrn very niany of the linest hcuses in Mexico, and other citics. (the rtntê of which must bc enonnous.) bceides valuable real est.iics, all over the republic. Al most every person leaves a bcijuest in his will ior iiKis.-rs lor his soul, which constitutis an incumbrance upon the cstato, anc' ihus neaily al! the estates of iho sriull proprietos are rnorVgáíjed to tho Church. Tlic prCptrly held in the Church in niortmain ia ijsu:natcd at fi'ty niilltjns.