Page:Travels in Mexico and life among the Mexicans.djvu/336

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TRAVELS IN MEXICO.

material, and the merchants who dealt in gold had the metal in grains as it came from the mines, in transparent quills, and the gold was valued at so many mantles or so many xiquipils of cocoa according to the size of the quills. The entire square was enclosed in piazzas, under which great quantities of grain were stored, and where were also shops for various kinds of goods."

Behind the Palace, south of the long pile of buildings occupied by the President of Mexico and his troops, is now the principal market of the city. It is enclosed by high stone walls, and there are entrances through four gates leading from as many streets.

TLM D336 Scene in the market.jpg

SCENE IN THE MARKET.

As in the time of Bernal Diaz, the outer portion of this enclosed square is occupied by shops and projecting piazzas, beneath which are exposed for sale the different products and manufactures of Mexico; and the central portion is occupied by natives, squatted beneath the shade of squares of matting stretched over frameworks, and each square supported by a single pole, like a rude umbrella. Slaves, and gold, and precious jewels, and feather-work, are no longer sold in the market; for the articles vended here are confined within the range of those desired for the table and for