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present system, into States, of which the Federal government is composed. These states are nineteen in number, and commence to the South, with the Peninsula of Yucatan or Merida to the East ; and Tabasco, Las Chiapas, and Oaxaca to the South and West; which are followed in regular succession towards the North by Veracruz, Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosi, New Leon, Cohahuila, and Texas, which comprise the whole territory to the frontiers of the United States, on the Gulph side: La Puebla, Mexico, Valladolid, Guadalajara, Sonora, and Cinaloa, the Western extremities of which border on the Pacific; and Queretaro, Guanajuato, Zacatecas, Durango, Chihuahua, and New Mexico, which occupy the centre of the country, and extend, between the two oceans, towards the Northern frontier. Beyond these again, are old and New California, (which in some maps is called New Albion,) and the Indian territory, the extent and inhabitants of which are almost equally unknown. The two Californias and New Mexico are not yet admitted to the rank of independent States, their population not entitling them to be represented in the Congress. Each of the others returns a quota of deputies, in proportion to the number of its inhabitants."
In general terms, the constitution of government of the “United States of Mexico," as even the preceding extract will have led the reader to anticipate, is formed upon the exact model of that of the “United States of North America ;" but the strenuousness with which the exclusive toleration of the Roman Catholic religion is asserted in the former makes an important difference. The state of the Mexican church is therefore at this moment a subject of internal difficulty. Upon the breaking out of the Revolution, the Creole, or inferior clergy, were found to be its most active promoters, and even, in several distinguished instances, its military leaders.
“ Hidalgo, Morelos, Matamoros, and numberless others, who perished during the war, were all Curas, or Parish priests ; and the facility with which they induced the lower classes to follow their standards, at a time when, out of twenty of their adherents, nineteen knew nothing of the rights of the cause in which they were engaged, is no mean proof of the advantages which the Crown might have derived from their support, had it been secured by a timely participation in the honours of their profession."
The point at present to be accomplished is, that the Court of Rome should consent to co-operate with the Mexican Government in the manner of its ancient co-operation with the Court of Madrid ; but here arises the difficulty. Shall the Court of Rome acknowledge, as an independent state, the country which the Most Catholic King still denominates a dependence upon his crown? The present sentiments of the Court of Rome, in the mean time, upon the general question of the relation between the Church and all Civil governments, have been unequivocally declared to be hostile to temporal sovereignty. See page 328, vol. i.
Mr. Ward, indeed, anticipates that the Mexican Government will not wait much longer upon the pleasure of the papal chair!—But we can afford no farther space for this part of the subject.
The subjects of Revenue and Trade are treated in detail by our author; and, with respect to both, he looks to the future with an entire confidence. Connected with these interests, too, is the question of the permanent independence of the crown of Spain ; and this is considered by Mr. Ward as certain.
IV. The four sections on the “ Mines of Mexico” will command the most critical attention from that numerous class of English readers, the safety of whose own fortunes and prospects, or the cheerfulness of whose hopes, have become connected with the success of the extensive operations of which, with the aid of English capital, they are now the scene ; and here, too, Mr. Ward's anticipations of the future are eminently favourable.
The mineralogy of Mexico is indeed an important part of its history. To it belongs, in addition to that of its agriculture, the consideration of one of its main sources of national wealth ; and to it also belongs a leading feature of the geography of the country. To the south of Mexico belongs its agriculture, and to the north its mines; and, in like manner, the agriculture is
proper to the lowlands, and to the parts adjacent either to the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans; and the mines are seated upon the lofty table-land which is embraced by the Cordilleras of the Andes. A specimen of the favourable views entertained by Mr. Ward of the prospect of the English Mining Companies, occurs in the following.
* There is, perhaps, no British Company to which so little justice has been done by the Mexicans as that of Real del Monte; a circuinstance which is to be attributed entirely to a misconception of the system pursued there. Many people imagined that Captain Vetch, the Director, having it in his power to make the Mines pay at once, had not done so, in order to allow time for the completion of surfaceworks, which, though highly advantageous at a more advanced stage of the negotiation, were not essential in the first instance. Indeed, I had myself heard this statement so often repeated, that I could not but conceive that there must be some foundation for what so many agreed in affirming. Upon this point my visit to Real del Monte completely undeceived me, by enabling me to convince myself that the delay which has occurred was owing entirely to the immense scale upon which the undertaking was carried on, and to the impossibility of effecting the drainage of any of the principal mines before the arrival of the steam-engines, the departure of which from England had been unfortunately retarded."
It is nevertheless admitted, that
“ There is hardly a single Company amongst those now formed, that has not expended considerable sums upon mines, which, had they been better acquainted with the country, they would never have attempted to work. This is not be attributed entirely to the Directors in Mexico. In 1825, the rage for taking up mining contracts was such, that many adventurers, who presented themselves in London for that pur. pose, disposed of mines (the value of which was, to say the least, very questionable) to the Boards of Management in England, without the agents of the Company upon the spot having been either consulted, or even apprised of the purchase, until it was concluded. Others were contracted for in Mexico without proper inquiry or precaution; and large sums were often paid down for mere pits, which, upon investigation, it was found impossible to work. In some cases, operations were actually commenced, and all the preliminary parts of a mining establishment formed, without sufficient data to afford a probability of repayment. In many of the districts immediately about the Capital (as Zimapan, El Doctor, Capula, Chico, Temascaltepec, &c.) this has been the case ; and although these desultory experiments have been subsequently abandoned, still they have been a drain upon the Companies, which is the more to be regretted, because it never could have been productive of any great result.
is În general, the selection of mines amongst the first adventurers was determined by a reference to Humboldt. Any mine not mentioned in his • Essai Politique' was rejected as unworthy of attention, while those which were favourably spoken of were eagerly sought for.
“ In this respect, the work in question has exercised an influence highly prejudicial to British interests, not from any fault of the author's, but from the conclusions imprudently drawn from the facts which he has recorded.
“ Humboldt never asserted, or meant to assert, that a mine, because it was highly productive in 1802, must be equally so in 1824. A general impression of the mining capabilities of Mexico was all that he wished to convey : and how could he illustrate their importance better than by presenting statements of what had been done, as the best criterion of what might still be effected in a country, the mineral treasures of which he regarded as almost unexplored ?
•“ I do not wish to enumerate the individual instances of these failures that have come to my knowledge, but there is one very generally known, that of Mr. Bullock's mine at Temascaltepec, which was purchased of him by the Houses of Baring and Lubbock, and upon which I should think that 20,0001. must have been expended before their agent (Mr. Bullock) could convince himself of the injudiciousness of his choice. What induced him, in the first instance, to fix upon this particular spot, I am unable to state, for I have never discovered any record, or even tradition, respecting the former produce of the mine. Certain it is, however, that it does not now contain the slightest vestige of a vein, nor has one ounce of ore (rich or poor) been raised from it."
July.--VOL. XXIII. NO. XCI.
“ Unfortunately, the consequence of these statements was to direct the attention of the world exclusively to spots which, from the enormous quantity of mineral wealth that they have already yielded, may fairly be supposed to have seen their best days.
“ I do not mean to say that the great mines taken up by our Companies are ex. hausted ; on the contrary, I believe that they will still amply repay the adventurers for the stake invested in them ; but I have, certainly, little doubt that, in many instances, the same capital might have been laid out elsewhere with a much more immediate prospect of advantage.”
The Mines are so important a part of the national resources of the country, that, according to Mr. Ward, all its riches, public and private, depend upon them; and these are the sole springs of its agriculture and trade. To these, all the wealthy families are indebted for their fortunes; and from those fortunes have proceeded all public improvements.
“ Melancholy, indeed, would be the fate of Mexico, if the source from which all her 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 de crease 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 ;-districts, formerly amongst the richest in the known world, would be thrown for ever out of cultiva. tion ;-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 majority 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 whose 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 woollen manu. factures ;_living 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 gra. tifying them, and grows industrious in proportion as the advantages which he de. rives from the fruits of his labour increase; his mind opens to the advantages of European 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 civilization, a more important member himself of the civilized world! Who can see this, as Í 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 importance in the scale of nations. The mar. kets of the Table-land must be home-markets, and these the mines alone can supply. On the Coasts, indeed, the productions of the Tropics, which we term Colonial Pro. duce, 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 Eu. ropean 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 mono. poly); 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 has been taken in exploring 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 ascer. tain; and of this, from the moment that a sufficient capital is invested in mining operations, I have no scruple in stating that there can be no doubt.”
It is to be regretted, upon the other hand, that events have occurred to moderate, toward the conclusion of the work, the tone of confidence in which, thus far, Mr. Ward had spoken of the Mexican future. In the Fourth Book, he had said
“ As the mines improve, these remittances will increase : we have, at present, but little more than the proceeds of that capital, by which the regeneration of the mines is to be effected, in conjunction with a produce, not exceeding one-third of the average standard before the Revolution. When the mines begin to pay, the case will be very different ; for, in addition to the half, which I suppose to be absorbed by the expenses, one moiety of the remaining half will go to the Mexican proprietor, and consequently remain in the country, until it is exchanged there for the produce of European industry.
“Upon the amount of that produce consumed, the most important branch of the Revenue depends ; and it is to the increase or diminution of the Revenue again, that the creditors of Mexico must look for regularity in the payment of the inte rest due upon the loans contracted in this country.”
It was evident, even here, that Mr. Ward felt the force of certain secret misgivings;
but, in subsequent pages, he “speaks” very fully, and very strongly. The evil, and the danger, in short, consists in the violence of domestic parties, the Escoceses and the Yorkinos, of the respective principles of whose politics, and the origin of whose names, Mr. Ward gives us a very distinct account.
V. The “ Personal Narrative" of our author forms, as may be expected, the “ light reading” of his book, and abounds in passages of pleasing and useful interest. In the narrative of the author's first visit to Mexico, in 1825, we meet, in juxta-position, the contrasted descriptions of human poverty and natural riches.
“We found at Santa Fe the first specimen of the sort of accommodations that we were to expect on our journey through the Tierra Caliente of Mexico. The village was composed of five or six Indian huts, rather more spacious than some which we afterwards met with, but built of bamboos, and thatched with palm-leaves, with a portico of similar materials before the door. The canes of which the sides are composed, are placed at so respectable a distance from each other as to admit both light and air : this renders windows unnecessary. A door there is, which leads at once into the principal apartment, in which father and mother, brothers and sisters, pigs and poultry, all lodge together in amicable confusion. In some instances, a subdivision is attempted, by suspending a mat or two in such a manner as to partition off a corner of the room ; but this is usually thought superfluous. The kitchen occupies a separate hut. The beds are sometimes raised on a little framework of cane, but much oftener consist of a square mat placed upon the ground; while a few gourds for containing water, some large glasses for orangeade, a stone for grinding maize, and a little coarse earthenware, compose the whole stock of domestic utensils. We found, however, provisions in abundance ; fowls, rice, tortillas, (thin maize cakes,) and pine-apples, with a copious supply of orangeade, furnished an excellent supper, after which we commenced our preparations for the night. We had all taken the precaution of providing ourselves with brass camp-beds, which, in America, are one of the necessaries of life: they pack into so small a compass that two of them make a light load for a mule; while, when put together, which requires but little time or trouble, they ensure to the traveller the means of resting after the fatigues of the day with every possible convenience and comfort. Above all, the musquito-net should not be forgotten; for without it there are few parts of the New World in which those troublesome insects do not make such an example of a nouveau debarqué, as not only to deprive him of rest, but to throw him into a fever for some days. We put up our beds in the open air, under the shed which projected from the front of the inn, while Dr. Mair and Mr. Thompson, whose baggage was not come up, slung two cots, which they had brought from on board, to the rafters above us.
Our horses were picketed close round the shed, with an ample provision of Zacate, (dried maize stalks ;) the servants slept on the outside, wrapped up in cloaks, with our saddles for pillows; and beyond them again the men and horses of the escort were stationed, with a large watch-fire, and two or three sentinels, to prevent robberies during the night. Upon the whole, I have seldom witnessed a more curious scene, and we could none of us help remarking, as we contemplated it, that if this were a fair specimen of the introduction to American Diplomacy, there would be few candidates for the Missions to the New States amongst his Majesty's older diplomatic servants in Europe."
To the foregoing is presently subjoined,
“Nothing can be more monotonous than the general character of the country from Veracruz to the Puente; the sand-hills do not indeed extend above three miles into the interior, but for some leagues there seems to be a struggle between vegetation and sterility. Patches of a rich and luxuriant green are intersected by long intervals of rocks and sand, nor is it until you reach Paso de Ovejas, that any thing like regular cultivation is discovered. There we passed the ruins of a large Sugar Hacienda, which had been abandoned during the Revolution, and saw evident traces of a rich and productive soil. But on leaving the river to which this fertility is due, we again found ourselves in a sandy desert, where little but the Mimosa was to be seen, except in spots where some apparently insignificant stream called into existence, at once, the luxuriant vegetation of the Tropics. In these we were quite bewildered by the variety of plants, all new to the European eye, and generally thrown together in such fanciful confusion, that the most experienced botanist would have had some difficulty in classing them ; for, as each tree supports two or three creepers, the fruits and flowers of which bear no sort of proportion in point of size to the slender branches of the mother plant, it is not easy to distinguish them, at first sight, from the produce of the tree to which they cling. The air is quite perfumed at times with this profusion of flowers, many of which are most delicately coloured, (particularly the varieties of the Convolvulus kind ;) while the plumage of the birds, of which, in some places, the woods are full, is hardly less brilliant than the Aowers themselves. Flocks of Parrots and Macaws are seen in every direction, with Cardinals, Censontlis, or mocking-birds, and a thousand others, the names of which, in any language, 1 cannot pretend to give; Deer, too, occasionally bounded across the road ; but of the Jaguars, (Mexican Ti. ger,) and other wild animals, we saw none, although their skins are to be met with in great abundance. Throughout the Tierra Caliente, not one hundredth part of the soil has been brought into cultivation ; yet in the Indian cottages, many of which I entered, I always found a plentiful supply of Indian Corn, Rice, Bananas, Oranges, and Pine-apples, which, though certainly not equal to those of the Havanna in flavour, seemed to us, when heated with travelling, a most delicious fruit. Of the Banana I am not an admirer; its taste reminded me of sweet pomatum, and I up after a very short trial. All these fruits are produced, with little or no labour, on a spot of ground in the vicinity of the cottage, which, though apparently too small to support a single individual, is usually sufficient, with the addition of a few Frijoles, (beans,) and a little Chile from the Interior, to provide for the subsistence of the whole family. For this, indeed, not much is required. They seldom partake of animal food : their fowls supply them abundantly with eggs, and enable them, when sent to the market of the nearest town, to purchase a little clothing: this, however, the beauty of the climate, and a sufficiently primitive notion of what decency requires, enable them, in a great measure, to dispense with. If a horse be added to the establishment, which is indispensable where there is any mixture of white blood, the forest furnishes abundant pasturage, and it causes no additional expense. A saddle, and a Machete, a long cut and thrust sword, which is almost always worn, are indeed costly articles ; but these are transmitted, as heir-looms in the family, from one generation to another; and the young man who obtains possession of such treasures, during his father's life-time, by any exertions of his own, may be said to have established his independence at once.”
The reader will here be beforehand with us in our concluding remark, that the whole of these volumes display, in the most advantageous point of view, the talents, the industry, and the temper of their author.
The volumes are adorned and illustrated by numerous lithographic prints, executed from the drawings of Mrs. Ward. They do credit to the lady's