Page:Travels in Mexico and life among the Mexicans.djvu/501

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TLASCALA, PUEBLA, AND CHOLULA.

ings, on the walls of which is the Titulo, or title of freedom, presented the Tlascalans by the king of Spain, besides the capote, or cape, of the first Indian chieftain who received baptism in New Spain. In a glass case is that war-worn banner of Cortés, which has remained in Tlascalan possession ever since the subjugation of the Aztecs. It is of a faded tea-colored silk, rent in many places, with the arms of Spain in the upper corner; TLM D501 El Pulpito.jpgEL PULPITO. the banner-staff is gone, but the pike-head that once topped this proud emblem remains.

Above the town, on a little hill, is the very old convent of San Francisco, one of the first of four erected by the frailes, in 1524. Its roof and rafters are great beams from Tlascalan forests, which produced the timber for the brigantines used at the siege of Mexico, but which, like the builders of those boats, have disappeared, and its ceiling is studded with golden stars. Entering the cool sanctuary, leaving outside all noise, and light, and merriment, I find that more than one hundred paintings yet adorn the walls of this venerable building, one of which bears date Año 1677, and the finest is of one of the Spanish queens. Securely glassed, we see fragments of the bones of three holy saints, sent from Rome in 1754. Alas that these relics should have survived their possessors, and have fallen into such sacrilegious hands! Everything points to the first years of Spanish supremacy; even the old bell, hanging by precarious clutch in