Page:The Rambler in Mexico.djvu/80

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74
REAL DEL MONTE.

dollars monthly. The energy and skill of our country-men in the construction of new shafts, and the substitution of steam for animal power—the great roads constructed to Regla and to Vera Cruz, whence all their heavy machinery has been transported on its arrival from England; and the order and wisdom evident in all the operations, are not unworthy of the British name.

At the same time, there is something about mining speculations in any country, and more than all in a country like New Spain, where justice and reason have so little sway, which would make me advise any friend of mine to take a slower but surer mode of seeking his fortune.

In consequence of the number of artificers and miners transported hither, an English colony has sprung up in Real del Monte, and it was moving for me to see the flaxen hair and blue eyes, and hear the prattle of many English children, gambolling in close vicinity to the swarthy offspring of the mixed races of the country.

From the eminence to the south of Real del Monte, an excellent bird's eye view is attained of the general disposition of the works.

The great vein runs through this elevated mountain mass, nearly in a direction of east and west underlying south, with a variation of 24 degrees. All the works are to the south of the town, and are seen disposed up the slope of the main ridge.

The lowest shaft is the Dolores, 330 varas[1] deep, then follow San Cyetano, 347 varas; Santa Teresa, 335; Terrero, 370; Guadaloupe, 210. Santa Agatha and San Francisco are the highest shafts in the series. The great adit, to the level of which the water is brought up by powerful steam engines from the bottom of the mines, lies 242 varas below the mouth of the Terrero shaft. It is throughout 2½ varas high, and 1½ wide, and runs for two miles and a half with a very gentle fall, to its opening in the vale of Moran below. Hitherto, steam power has only been applied to the purpose here stated,

  1. Vara, or Mexican yard, is two feet nine inches English.