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that the resources of the country being fully adequate, if properly nursed, to enable the government to meet even extravagant expenditure, we must look either to the unskilful management of the receipts, or to the dishonesty of the subordinate agents, for the causes of the existing pecuniary embarrassments. Retrenchments too, not merely of the apparently indispensable expenditures for the support of the military establishments as now organized, but of the obviously uncalled for extravagancies to be noted on the civil list, will be found necessary. Hitherto the treasury reports have shown annually a deficit of about a million of dollars, which the Secretary, most unsuccessfully in one instance, attempted to palliate, by introducing into his table of receipts two millions on account of the foreign loans. Under these circumstances, and with the fact staring them in the face, that it is impossible to obtain further assistance from abroad, an immediate retrenchment of unnecessary expenses would seem to be a natural measure. The estimates for the year 1828, state, that the probable expenditures of the year will be no less than thir. teen millions, and enumerate among the items many which are plainly superfluous. The salaries now paid to the ministers to Tacubaya, gentlemen who, whatever may be their desert, and however important their duties, are entitled to little compensation for great expenses or active service, the enormous charges of the special mission to London, nominally exceeding, (we wish to be understood to refer not to the actual receipts, of which we know nothing,) the remuneration of any republican minister in the world, the enfeebling drain of a heavy pension system, and the extravagant salaries either paid directly or indirectly by the government to the officers of the customs, are some among many items of wasteful expenditure which seem to demand reform. At this distance, and with necessarily inadequate information, we cannot pretend to judge of that peculiarity of circumstance, which doubtless affects the community and influences the admi. nistration of its pecuniary concerns.
But we think no one will deny, that in this case the necessity of rigid economy is obvious. The national credit at the lowest ebb, the commerce of the nation by which that credit can only be restored, rapidly declining, the mines still barren, all these are cheerless prognostics of an important crisis, the result of which, the most earnest friends of the cause of America dread to anticipate.
The second volume of Mr. Ward's book contains the personal narrative of his travels in different parts of the country, but more particularly of an arduous journey through the internal provinces and principal mining districts to Durango. The result of his observations on the mines is far more favourable than, judging from general rumour, we had been led to expect. Whilst he admits that many egregious blunders have occurred in the course of the English operations, and that there have been many instances of gross ignorance and culpable extravagance, he resolutely clings to the hope that the vast investment of English capital has not been made in vain. From the following extract it will be seen, that this belief is not expressed without hesitation, and that when stating the conclusion at which his mind had arrived, he admits the uncertainty of all reasoning on the subject, and his great liability to mistake :
“Melancholy, indeed, would be the fate of Mexico, if the source from which all lier riches have hitherto been derived, were, as some suppose, exhausted and dried up! She could not only find no substitute for her mines in her foreign trade, of which they furnish the great staple, silver, but her resources at home would decrease, in exactly the same proportion as her means of supplying her wants from abroad. Her agriculture would be confined to such a supply of the necessaries of life, as each individual would have it in his power to raise ;-dis. tricts, formerly amongst the richest in the known world, would be for ever thrown out of cultivation ;-the great mining towns would become, what they were during the worst years of the Revolution, the picture of desolation ; and the country would be so far thrown back in the career of civilization, that the great majo. rity of its inhabitants would be compelled to revert to a nomade life, and to seek a precarious subsistence amidst their flocks and herds, like the Gaucho of the Pampas, of wliose Indian habits Captain Head has given us so spirited and so faithful a picture. I desire no better proof of this than the contrast, which exists, at the present day, in every part of New Spain, between the degraded situation of the husbandman, or small landed proprietor, in any district without an outlet, and that of a proprietor, (however small,) in the vicinity of the mines. The one is, without wants, and almost without an idea of civilized life ; clothed in a leather dress, or in the coarsest kind of home made woollen manufactures ;-liv. ing in primitive simplicity perhaps, but in primitive ignorance, and brutality too ; sunk in sloth, and incapable of exertion, unless stimulated by some momentary excitement : while the other acquires wants daily, with the means of gratifying them; and grows industrious, in proportion as the advantages which he derives from the fruits of his labonr increase, his mind opens to the advantages of Eu. ropean arts; he seeks for his offspring, at least, that education which had been denied to himself; and becomes gradually, with a taste for the delights of civili. zation, a more important member, bimself, of the civilized world! Who can see this, as I have seen it, without feeling, as I have felt, the importance, not only to Mexico, but to Europe, of a branch of industry capable of producing such beneficial effects? and alone capable of producing them: for Mexico, without her mines, (I cannot too often repeat it,) notwithstanding the fertility of her soil, and the vast amount of her former agricultural produce, can never rise to any importance in the scale of nations. "The markets of the Table-land must be home-markets, and these the mines alone supply. On the coasts, indeed, the productions of the Tropics, which we term colonial produce, might serve as an object of barter ; but these, supposing their cultivation to be carried to the greatest possible extent, could never cover the demand upon European industry, which the wants of a population of eight millions, will, under more favourable circumstances, occasion, as their value must decrease in proportion to the superabundance of the supply, until they reach the point, at which their price, when raised, would cease to repay the cost of raising them. Thus the trade of Mexico would be confined to her Vanilla, and Cochineal, (of which she has a natural monopoly :) while the number of those who consume European manufactures in the interior, (which does not yet include one half of the population,) would be reduced probably to one-tenth. Fortunately, there is no reason whatever to apprehend the approach of that scarcity of mineral productions, with which many seem to think that New Spain is menaced. Hitherto, at least, every step that bas been taken in esploring the country, has led to fresh indications of wealth, which, in the north, appears to be really inexhaustible. To the European manufacturer, it is a matter of indifference, whether the silver, which is transmitted to him in return for the produce of his labour, proceeds from Guanajuato or Durango, from the centre of the Table-land or the fastnesses of the Sierra Madre. The capability of the country to produce it in sufficient quantities to ensure a constant market, and an equally constant return, is the only point which it can be of importance for him to ascertain ; and of this, from the moment that there is a sufficient capital in mining operations, I have no scruple in stating that there can be no doubt.
“ There is, therefore, so little reason to question the producing powers of the country, that, were it necessary to adopt one of two extreme suppositions, there would rather be cause to fear a depreciation in the value of our present circulat. ing medium, from the probability of too great an increase in the average annual produce, than to apprehend any great falling off in its amount.
"It may, and I fear it will be said, that the chain of evidence is here incomplete, and that I am assuming a fact favourable to Mexico in the first instance, in order to draw from it iny own conclusions afterwards. This is by no means my wish; but, at the same, I confess that, (in common, I believe, with all those who have had an opportunity of inquiring into the resources of New Spain,) I do regard it as so well ascertained a fact, that her mineral riches are almost unexplored, that I am willing to rest upon it my whole calculation with regard to her future importance as a country. I have not formed this opinion hastily, or without endeavouring to collect all the data respecting it, that it is possible to obtain in the present unsettled state of the country ; but having formed it, (whether correctly or erroneously, time alone can determine,) I cannot lay it aside at pleasure, in an investigation, the result of which it must materially influence. I need not, how. ever, remind my readers, that I am here only canvassing probabilities, nor again urge upon their attention, the fact, that, whatever be the capabilities of the country, their developement depends upon the general course of events, which may advance or retard the moment, at which the extent of the resources of Mexico can alone be fully known.”
of Mr. Ward's work, generally, we have already expressed decided approbation; as far as relates to its execution, unqualified approbation. To some of the opinions we do not subscribe, but to all yield that deference to which the talent and experience of the author entitle them. We believe that there is occa. sionally a suppression of irrefragable facts in relation to the morals of the nation, which we regret; and we discern throughout a timidity or overwrought delicacy in regard to other subjects, which however excusable under the peculiar circumstances of the case, are manifest blemishes in a work professing to give an impartial account of manners and habits: Great Britain has too much reason to preserve the good will of the new republics, to permit her diplomatic agents to point out their vices freely. We may therefore not unnaturally suppose, that Mr. Ward has suppressed many unwelcome truths.
The opinions expressed in a former number of our journal, resulted from an attentive and we believe unbiassed consideration of the subject before us, and are still adhered to, from a settled conviction that they are perfectly tenable. We never wished to do injustice; on the contrary our sympathies were with the Mexicans; we had in common with the mass of our countrymen, watched their revolutionary career with solicitude, and seen its result with exultation; but the conviction derived from
the concurrent testimony of all travellers was irresistible, that now that the period of feeling had passed, unless we were resolutely to shut our eyes to the perception of defects, great and glaring blemishes were discernible. We believed that in the absence of individual morality, the essential principle of national strength is impaired: we could not be blind to the fact which no one seems to controvert, that in Mexico a high tone of moral sensibility, secured by the operation of healthy public opinion, might be said to have no existence. Believing this, we could not, in justice to ourselves, when attempting to delineate Mexican society and manners, sketch in bold relief the few good traits, and leave the rest obscured in the shade. To the justification which is found in the colonial servitude and degradation of the late Spanish dominions, and to the argument that it is too soon to expect the moral and intellectual improvement we are supposed to require, we are willing to allow all the importance which may be desired. But it is an argument with which we have nothing to do. The degraded condition of the former dependencies of Spain was never referred to, as matter of surprise. We never expected better things from them. Our object simply has been to enable our fellow-citizens to judge of the reality, and not to indicate the causes of the results we have developed ; to show them Mexico as it is, and not to inquire why Mexico is as it is. To that inquiry they are fully competent.
We may be asked whether with our present opinions of the limited capacity and degraded state of our neighbours, we do not look forward to a change. We reply that we regard such a change as inevitable. The genius of free institutions, more extended intercourse with foreign nations, and an increasing liberality on the score of religion will ensure it. Seminaries of learning are springing up in different parts of the country, the direction of which has been given to foreign teachers; and, what is still more favourable, very many of the Mexican young men have been sent to Europe and this country to receive their education. Should a political calm succeed the recent confusion, we may anticipate from the operation of all these causes the most happy consequences; and the reviewer of the next generation will have to perform a far less invidious task than the one which we have executed.
Having already transgressed our proper limits, we are able to make only the following extracts, with a view to enable our readers to judge of the condition of Mexican society, and of Mr. Ward's powers of description. The first refers to the annual festival at San Augustin de las Cuevas, a village a few miles from the capital. —
" As the season was advancing, and the heat increasing daily in the Tierra Caliente, I resolved not to defer my expedition, and commenced my journey within
a very few days after returning from Chapingo. The distance from Mexico to Cuernavaca does not exceed twenty leagues, (fifty miles,) but it is difficult to perform it in a single day on account of the passage of the mountains to the south of the valley, both the ascent and descent being exceedingly rocky and precipitous; I therefore left the capital on the evening of the 25th of February, and slept at the village of San Augustin, where I was again indebted for lodgings to the hospitality of the Marquis of Vivanco. San Augustin was formerly the favourite residence of the nobility and great merchants of the capital, whose houses and gardens formed by degrees a village, which, in 1803, Humboldt describes as singularly beautiful. It was abandoned during the revolution, being exposed to the attacks of insurgent parties from the mountains, and is now only frequented during the great fair, which is held there annually in the month of May. The object of this fair being merely amusement, it is attended by every creature in Mexico that can save, beg, or borrow a dollar for the occasion. The houses at San Augustin are taken many months beforehand, and from three to five hundred dollars is frequently paid for the three days. Amongst the ladies, it is the etiquette to change their dresses four or five times in the course of the day; once for the early promenade before breakfast ; again for the cockpit, which opens at ten o'clock; a third time for dinner; a fourth for the Calvario," (Mount Calvary, a small hill in the neighbourhood, whither in the afternoon the company repair,) "where a circle is usually formed for dancing; and a fifth for the public ball, which commences at eight o'clock, and lasts till twelve. Immense sums of money are won and lost, in the course of the day, by the men, both in betting upon their cocks, and at the monte tables, one of which is to be found in almost every house. There are silver montes for the lower classes, but at all respectable tables nothing but gold is seen, and no smaller stake than a doubloon" (worth at the time of the feast 16 dollars 50 cents,) " allowed. The bank at these varies from 1,500 to 3,000 doubloons. Fifty or sixty of these are an ordinary stake upon the turn of a card; but I have seen as many as six hundred and twenty, (about ten thousand dollars,) risked and won. There is no limit to the stake, and unfair play is out of the question ; but the chances are so much in favour of the table, that few persons continue winners any length of time.
“During the wbole fair, the streets and squares of San Augustin are filled, by day and by night, with crowds of people, who sleep à la belle etoile, or take shelter under carriages, with which the Plaza is crowded; borses and mules are picketed in every direction round the town; temporary huts are raised with boughs and mats, and as a profusion of flowers is used in all these structures, no. thing can be more variegated than the appearance of this motley scene. In the evening, the cockpit is carpeted, and lighted up with chandeliers; cushions are placed upon the benches, looking-glasses suspended froin the wooden pillars, and, as the roof, which is of shingles, is concealed in part by a quantity of green boughs, the whole forms a pretty circular ball room, in which all the elite and all the refuse of Mexican society may be seen at the same time. The lower classes are, however, excluded from the centre of the house, into which no one improperly dressed is admitted, and forced to take their seats upon the higher tiers of benches. Here they exercise the usual privilege of the one shilling gallery, by applauding most vociferously the performances of any lady, whose style of dancing happens to please them, and by calling occasionally for the Jarave, the Peti. nera, or other dances of the country, with an exhibition of which they are not unfrequently gratified.”
The following description of the capital is interesting. It relates principally to the internal appearance of Mexico, and does not include the majestic scenes with which it is surrounded :
“The general appearance of the town at the period of our arrival was dull ; except at an early hour of the morning, when the great streets presented a very lively scene, particularly those near the Cathedral, and the Plaza Mayor, where the Parian, and the principal shops are siluated. In these we found many arti. cles of domestic manufacture ; bats, with cotton and woollen cloths, from La