Newspaper Page Text
138 MEXICO AND THE MEXICANS.
rect these misconceptions, in a measure, and show Mexi can home-life as it really exists. It is now seen that, except among the lower classes, a virtue, intelligence and refinement exists that is actually superior to that of our own country that the Mexican wife is a model wife and a model mother; that at the theatre, the ball, the church, the Mexican young lady does not smoke cigarettes, as she has been painted ; that life with her does not consist of a sad melange of church going and intrigue, as the Foreign Mission Reports indicate, but that she is truly pious, gentle, generous and happy. It is needlessto say that she is attractive. The Mission Reports in variably admit that the Spanish blood Mexican young woman is beautiful. Neither is she ignorant. The peon population, it is true, has, in general attained no higher degree of culture, but the great majority of upper class Mexicans could enlighten not a few of our public school "professors" on many subjects. The public school itself is not unknown in Mexico, there being nearly eight thousand of them in the republic, and aside from these, nearly two thousand that are, and have been for years, under the auspices of the Church. In all the schools there is an attendance of something above 500,000, according to the latest' census. That this culture is not wholly external is amply proven by the fact that Mexico has nearly eighty pub lic libraries, seventy-four institutions devoted to preparing students in art and science, twenty-two devoted to giving a literary training, twenty to art, ten to literary publications, twenty scientific, and thirty-one religious and literary. Does this argue an ignorant, benighted civilization? We never hear of Mexican novels, Mexican poets, it is true, but it must be admitted that, even in literature, there are many things we never hear of, until some of our fashionable critics take a notion to go on a voyage of discovery. Why, some years ago, as all will remember, few of us knew anything whatever about the existence of Tolstoi, Turgenieff, Bjorn sterne, Hendrik, Ibsen, and a host of other Russian, Nor wegian and Danish prophets. One fine morning we arose