Page:Travels in Mexico and life among the Mexicans.djvu/358

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his discoveries, the figures being of heroic size. In the second space the foundation is laid for a statue of Guatemotzin, the last Aztec Emperor, and in the third it is proposed to place that of Cortés, his conqueror and persecutor. There is said to be no statue or enduring effigy of Cortés in the republic, such has been the intense bitterness of the people toward the conquerors of Mexico. That they accept a proposition to erect one to his memory is a proof that they are becoming civilized, and are willing no longer to endure the reproach of Humboldt, that "we nowhere in the Spanish colonies meet with a national monument erected by the public gratitude to the glory of Christopher Columbus and Hernan Cortés." The three remaining circles are not yet spoken for, but they will be occupied by the marbles or bronzes of men famous in Mexican history. Carved seats of stone surround the semicircles about the statues, and long rows of trees, composed of eucalyptus and ash planted alternately, line the sidewalks.

This avenue, then, with its broad macadamized road-bed, its shaded walks, and its beautiful statuary, driven straight across the emerald fields of the valley, is the chosen resort of the wealth and fashion of Mexico. It is the only place, in fact, to which they can repair for a drive since the Avenue de Bucarelli, running almost parallel, is no longer fashionable; fortunately, they need no other. The centre of the drive is for equestrians, while the carriages roll along the sides, up one side and down the other. On Sundays and holidays the "Grand Paseo" is in its glory, though a great crowd frequents it every afternoon of the week; mounted policemen are stationed at every one hundred yards; gayly caparisoned horsemen gallop swiftly past, in broad sombreros, embroidered jackets, leggings decorated with silver braid and buttons, and massive spurs of silver. A more picturesque panorama than this cannot be seen in any other city in America. As the sun goes down behind the hills beyond Chapultepec, this assemblage turns toward the city, and the Paseo is left to the seclusion of the verdant pastures which environ it.

What the citizen of the United States feels most in need of