the windows and balconies, and the colouring, the eye recognises an endless variety at every turn. Whether the style of embellishment is always in good taste or not, it is often very curious and always striking. Most of the facades are painted in distemper, white, orange, crimson, blue, and green or red; and many are overlaid with glazed and stained porcelain tiles of extremely beautiful design.
Such is the number of the churches, convents, and public buildings in the central part of the city, that you can hardly move without commanding a view of one or more edifices of this character, rising above the general line, and rearing a pile of stately architecture, with painted dome and towers in brilliant relief against the sky.
For the accommodation of a population estimated at one hundred and sixty thousand, you enumerate fity-six churches within the bounds of the city, in addition to the cathedral. The convents and monasteries are thirty-eight in number. Some of these are of very great extent. That of the San Francisco contains five churches within its walls.
Many of the ecclesiastical edifices are of very great size, and all more or less highly wrought and embellished interiorly, though the number of those which are distinguished for really good design and good taste is comparatively small. Santa Teresa, the Antigua, the Professa, San Augustin, the Incarnation, and one or two others, might be named as having some claim to be exempt from the general stricture of bad taste, false and gaudy ornament, tinsel and glitter, which applies to the majority, and which in many becomes absolutely offensive. Statuary, painting, and carving, are lavished upon all, but rarely of a character over mediocrity. In actual riches, display of gold, silver, and embroidery, Mexico far surpasses every city in Europe; and the value of precious metals which you have sometimes before you, in the shape of candelabras, vases, balustrades, shrines, and consecrated vessels, is incalculable.
The signs of the domination of the papal religion are