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MEXICO.

rattles, and required both hands to wield. Many of the stalls in the Plaza Mayor were devoted to their sale alone; while others dealt in nothing but effigies of Judas Iscariot, varying in size and monstrosity, from a doll of a foot long, to the size of the human figure. Hundreds of them were seen tied together by the neck, and dangling from long poles by twenty and thirty in a cluster, over the heads of the mob.

At the corner of the market, nearest the plaza, where it happened that the principal rattle venders had ensconced themselves, if you shut your eyes, you might imagine yourself after sunset in the depth of a forest in the Floridas, where a few million grasshoppers, cicada, and wood bugs were at their serenade.

And so it continued from sunrise to sunset. I believe myself within bounds when I assert that we saw fifty thousand people collected in the great square morning and evening. Sometimes the mass was so dense that the booths were threatened with an overturn; and you were glad to gain the step of one of the palaces, from which you might look over the sea of heads at your ease, and descry the bunches of Judases hideously besmeared with red and blue paint, bobbing about over the level of the multitude. Then would come a stir at the other end of the square: and, with a long-drawn train of crucifixes, decorated banners and tapers, the clergy of one of the great churches to the westward would defile into the crowded area; clearing their uninterrupted way, as though by magic, to the great entrance of the cathedral, through a press where, a moment before, a dog could hardly have wormed his way. Some of these processions on the afternoon of Good Friday were more gorgeous and splendid in their aspect than any I had seen in Italy itself, and apparently interminable. They were revolting from the hideous and disgusting representations which they comprised, of the sacred scenes of the Passion. During the passage, the whole mass of human beings collected on the Plaza Mayor remained kneeling in silence. To what divinity? My brain swims with the recollection of the press and glare, and the confused and