ity of the English consul general, had neither been forgotten nor forgiven by the people and present government.
The transportation of criminals to the presidios of Sonora and California, was known to be a perfect farce; as, however they might set out, they were never known to arrive there—unless they chose. Assassinations were frequent in the city; and to meet a bleeding body carried dangling from a litter, was no unusual event. A murder took place in the very house where we lodged. Thousands of drunken and gambling leperos lay about the churches and piazzas of the city.
Safety to person or property on the public roads—that was most doubtful. Many were robbed within a stone-cast of the gates; and the diligence from Vera Cruz was, for a number of weeks successively, pillaged, as a matter of course, in the Piñal between Pueblo and Mexico, or near Perote.
After the defeat of Canalizza, the villages were hardly safe, such was the number of lawless ruffians dispersed about the country to the eastward: and all this was winked at by the government. What a blessing a Bonaparte would be for Mexico!
In matters of religion, nothing could be more bigoted and intolerant than the reform government of the country. The Roman Catholic religion in its blindest and most revolting form, was the only one tolerated by law; and whatever there may be in other Roman Catholic countries, here there would seem to be no medium between the grossest and most debasing superstition and idolatry, and skepticism and infidelity. The few Protestant residents are not permitted to have a place of worship; and were it not stipulated by the treaty with Great Britain, they would not be allowed a place of sepulture for their dead.
- It is said that there are five hundred and fifty secular, and sixteen hundred and forty-six regular clergy in the capital; that in twenty-three monasteries there are twelve hundred individuals: and in fifteen convents, about two thousand souls, of which nine hundred are professed nuns. See "Notes on Mexico."