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THE SUN, SUNDAY, MAY 17, 1914.
CHARACTER OF THE MEXICAN PROPER AND IMPROPER Account of His Oriental Nature the Mexican's Is a Puzzle to the Foreigner Strong Drink Their Curse Mind T pfon "nr. In pill -pan r an ili.-in to t'i lhat ran ttat'i nrm JU!l m!nil u. T Thi .r Am i f pan a' A- .11 a ly n no ' M(M. they " ' im n .i im ii'n th.' C : t)u ' ' nin'li l: i: are only two kinds of .ins outside tho few nrla ,its, the good and the ImicJ, n other word the Indian 'i despicable hnlf castes or .icordlng to Hamilton Fyfc i ntitled "The Heal Mexico," y Mctlrldp, Nnst and Com- one key, and one only, to ..indlng of the Mexican In--ay In the chapter devoted I, -t. That key Is to rrallzo .1iritnnd him fully one never - nut a (Mrndox. It Ik n plain ' fact. To Europcnns (of i '.mlo Americans In thnt Mexican mind Is a mystery: h a mystery nB the Chinese V'latlcs are a puzzle to do not reason ns we do. N are divided Into compart ..ppcar. Whether the In- peopled Mexico before the une were descended from n i: rants or whether Asia 1 ii the twilight of the world hii the American continent, '. ct tell. Hut clearly the n Asiatic In the sense thnt peoples of Asia had com- i lo forced to this conclu- prevalence In Mexico of and Japanese and Burmese When I saw the Twenty tuent, the most trusted of nil. n i trade In Mexico city I cried nut a' i ' Hrltlsh olllccr wtio wats viit'i m f-'t at the same Instant the cime i., 'ue of speech "They might ! J.i, use" Beetle browed, with l.r vv.' "et In expressionless faces: rt of stature, firmly set upon tiny proclaimed an unmls . '.iMonshlp. It la not often f( so many of the same tier, hut In almost nil parts ritry one notices frequently . might le Orientals. A Tc w.iman smoking a cigar .. i.isily for "the Burmese girl n the road to Mandalay. .I'u.rcrs In linen drawers trot ;u their tasks with n sullen you could fancy yourself In r Japan. r Jtocky -llit.r ( tak.it that .n typo t - rf ('. Itfur." hu.in'. i rou M , ' tin? a at.vr : Ch -,i T!n trusted Mexicans are generally pur. l.U.ins. They may not he nlUe tow or read. They may keep their mar - accounts by tying knots In a p.. of string. They may bo botlr Ijrnrr nt and Incurious of all that lies I 1 the range of their dally expe rlc Hut, partly because they arc itt.ii ' od to their masters, partly tie- .111!-. "iey believe that any delinquency s , . . n to be found out by "white mi. prove themselves good ' . n ints. "Leave their r. I , i in. r v, nun alone, treat them 1 .i. ill a' ie nil Justly, keep .! iv i fr them, don't excite 'via ' firing Into their heads Ideas i t'uy are not ready, then the - ir. as good creatures ns you i anywhere." That Is what n 1 me who has lived nmong ml employed them for a great ars. Pi r. s their cure. Pulque, mcs- il 'i. . y spirit distilled from n cac u ri . aguardiente, the brandy that 'mm? : Khulla (tekeela), which Is fer luntt l i I'que men and women nUke ' . fur all these poisons. They rtdiUn i mselves nlso with a drug V.'.td i. ir.hunnn. This lias otrange am t. n ii. effects. It appears to mitke (hof swallow It do whatever Is uppetn in their thouglits. At EI I'as.. on came across the Internal.-" i ise firing a rifle at all and .unln Mm. h talk ngalnst the American- 1 . doc of marihuana had de eldcl t.i invade the United States y Thf, brldgekecper quickly I1"' ' in the poor wretch. TV t.ition of mental grasp Is t'trm. ' their having very little "n't -no or distance and by their Inattcn- . to anything which does not iwrn , concern them. I asked n "ountrv ,y who was guiding me the nanus ' several birds we aw. lie r"M tell me one of them. At "nothf a.-o a dam was being built: I'fcn v.ng close by knew nothing hatt. ,),mlt ti a,, n a sucn "c ' an-wer was a humble "How "uM T now. senor?" Yet he knew f'j : at about the habits of the "lid f we were after. Like animals, e and t. kind are often quick and 'vr r the processes -which win 'htm food. Ukc mals too they only do work nn'ip --npply their simplest needs. p iid very little, thnt Is true. "eil not be pitied on thnt r dwellings are of "adobe" I or of bamboo, mere huts en feet by twelve: tho roof i wooden shingles or roughly 'ied; the floor of earth, sslons are n stove, n few ns, n pestle and mortar, n nd a platter for the, making They need little money for "e eondltlons, and few of my desire for change. If i "id more they work less. " 1 to get more out of them i y their needs, Induce them r gramophones and sewing t the fashion among them '"thes, boots, watches; per- I" sleep In beds, .sit on ff plates and live In houses f-Kglng It" in hovels. That -s glibly called civilization: wdl U- applied In course of ui t nr. 'tniuli rfl. m ' overt'' rush Their ; I'ots folllnt- f tnr life r 'htm '.() Th, , tu 1) tO F... Tl.1i h iimli 'hain. nstcn s t , ho do I'carp A r, ,, laUr it They are often clever artisans, mechan ics, masons, cnrjienters, electricians, nnd so on. Their children wear shoes nnd stockings, mny he sent to some third rnte school In the United States, grow up Into the middle class. Hut of the mass of town Indlnns It may be said that their last stute Is worse In every They practise fraud In the smallest ns well as In the largest affairs- Hon est Ministers and Government officials arc exceptional. Neither Spaniards nor Indians Inck courage. They can die bravely. At Monterey I saw peon soldiers wnlk calmly across n lire swept square. They knew, no doubt, what bad shots the men relx-1 commando. They took no pre cautions, sent nhend no scouts. Sud denly they were fired on nt very close range from the roadside nnd several were killed. Then were only a few rebels, but the Iturales galloped ibnck nnd told how they had fought desper ately ngalnst tremendous oddsl Worse than cownrdly was the be havior of another troop of Hurnles sent to guard n mine In the Htate of Jalisco. When n band of Insurrectos came In sight, an Kngllshmnu tunned Harrison, who was In charge of the property, asked them whether they would stay and tight or run. They snld they would run. Mr. Hnrrlson therefore met tho The Good Traits in the Indian Peon and the Lack of Them in the Despicable Half Breed "Greaser" with elaborate enro nnd sometimes with taste. Their hair Is dressed to perfec tion. In n small town with no other evidence of wealth, this Is surprising. Hut If you could follow them home you would find that many of them lived In conditions not fnr removed from squalor. The Mexican woman usually spends tho earlier part of the day the whole tlon lietween classes. In Mexico the relations between nil soils nnd condi tions of men are fnr more human thnn In the United States or In Knglnnd. A cabman has no hesitation In nsking his fare for n cigarette if he wants one. I have wen a train "auditor," who corresponds roughly to nil Kngllsh "guard," sit down by nn olllcer In a tlieiiiBtUt-M in the scale of a higher standard of living. La Ley Fuga, or the fugitive law, providing that any prisoner attempting to escape from a guard shall be shot, hides many a plain murder in Mexico. Any man, a common thief or bandit, not worth bringing to trial, or even a rich ranch owner in political disfavor, may be arrested by the Rurales on some small pretext or none at all. They set out with him across country, supposedly to some prison, but arriving without him, give out the stereotyped report, "Shot for attempted escape." way t'han that from which they were taken. It Is no use supposing that In dians enn bo developed en mnsso Into Europeans by being "educated": still leBS can they be. expected for many years, to como either to understand or to mako use of ft constitution on Euro pcan lines. Between tho mass of Indian peons in Mexico nnd the few aristocrats who still claim pure Spanish descent come tho half castes. If nt this time of day any persuasion wcro needed, they would persuade one that tho ming ling of rnccs Is a. crime. They havo in herited tho vices of both Spaniard and Indian without nny of their virtues. They havo neither tho Spaniard's dig nity nor tho Indian's simplicity. They nro proud without having anything to Im proud of; punctilious oven trifles, but cnsunl In matters of moment: cow ards lioth physical nnd moral, In spite of their braggadocio: mean and crafty nnd "crooked" lieyond belief. "A Mex ican would ulways rather earn BO cents by a trick than a dollar by honest work." That sums them up not unfairly. on tho other sldo were, hut still, when bullets aro zipping through the air It Is not easy to bo unconcerned. A liner quality of courage, than thnt was dis played by a group of boys of good Spanish families In Monterey, who were captured by Orosco and shot lie cause they would not cry "Viva Car ranza" and nbjuro their cause. It was not lack of Imagination, but sheer grit which made them brave. The mestizo, on the other hnnd, Is usunlly afraid. In a train one day a few rebels came through demanding thnt revolvers shnu I lie given up; they needed them. Tho Mexicans who wore them could not unbuckle tho cases from their hips fast enough. A short, squnro American rail way man sat nmong them. "Have you a pistol, senor7" Ire. was asked. "Yes," ho said grimly, "nnd If you want It you'll have to toko It." Tho robels looked at him and left him alone. Along with this unreadiness to rlBk their skins goes a bombastic exaggera tion -of dangers. From a place called Wndley in the State of San Luis I'otosl there rode out one day a body of Hu rii'ts (mllltnry police) to hunt out a rebels when they arrived nnd was mak ing terms with them when the Hurnles opened tiro from a hill above nnd killed four men. Never was man nearer death than the Englishman In that hour. Fortunately he was known to some of the rebels, who vouched for him, say ing that ho could not bo Involved In such trenchery. His life was thereforu spared. The Rurales were chased Into tho woods, sevcrn) were killed, tho rest were deprived of their rifles nnd ammu nition nnd even of their clothes. Then they sent In a report saying they had defeated the rebels severely: nnd that report appeared In the newspapers. So Is the country deceived, The Oriental nature of the Mexican appears In h's treatment of women. They are regarded as ministers to his comfort nnd his pleasure, nnd they seem contented enough. They go out very little. In the plnzas on Sunday evening, und In mnny towns on a week night ns well, they walk round nnd round, or sit In the lamplight, listening to the bond, which, ns n rule, is good, for to this extent the Mexicans are a musical people. Their luileU are made day If she does not go out or receive visitors in n slovenly wrapper. In well to do families the girls are usually without any occupation, They sit about for hours unemployed, not wanting employment. Their thouglits run nnd their talk pivots upon men. Marriage is their ono Idea. After mnr rlugo they cease to trouble about their uppeu ranee. They age quickly nnd grow stout. How fnr off fhey remain from the habits of American and Euro pean women may bo Judged by their mourning customs. For nt leust six months, usually for a year, after her husband's death a widow Is not seen In the streets. For twelve months sho wears heavy crape, then for another year lighter black, then for a further period black and white, Mnny women still keep tip the prac tice, of driving In closed carriages, which in the glorious Mexican climate must be torture. Yet one can sec n bright side even to the Mexican's unwillingness to c "opt the standards which civilization Im poses. In more civilized countries thc-re Is ,1 pretty clear line of eepara- throngh. The same Is true of Hitssla an additional argument In favor of the suggestion 1 have already made that these two countries are, beneath a thin crust of modernity. In much the .nmc stage of development the stage through which Britain passed during the Wars of the Hoses, live and a half centuries ngo. No Mexican house Is untidy I speak now of what would in England be called "gentlemen's houses." The Indlnns live, mostly In wooden shacks or flimsy huts which they make themselves. Let me quote 11 description from "Viva Mexico," one of the best books ever written about this or nny other country: "A sm.tll inclosure of bamboo, four teen feet by twelve perhaps, the steep, pointed roof covered with rough hand made shingles of n soft wood that soon rots nnd lenks. The bamboo, being no inoie than u lattice, nffnrdr, but alight protection from a slanting rain and none whatever from the wind; the dirt floor, therefore, Is damp everywhere, nnd near the walls muddy. At one end Is n 'brnscro,' not the neat, tiled affair for charcoal, with holes on top and draughts )n the side, that one sees In towns, but a kind of box made of logs, raised from the ground on rough, leg nnd filled with hard earth. A small tiro of green wood smoulders In the ccntro of this, filling the room from time to time with blinding smoke, nnd nrnund It are three or four Jars of coarse brown pottery nnd n thin round platter of un glazed carthenwnrc on which are baked tho tortillas. Near by Is 11 black stono with a slight concavity on Its upper sur face and n primitive rolling pin of tho name substance resting upon It. On the floor In the corner nre some framed pe tutes, thin mats woven of palm or rushes. This Is nil, nnd this Is home. At night the family huddles together fur warmth with nothing but the 'pctntcs' between them nnd the damp ground. They sleep In their clothes and try to cover themselves wl:h their well worn sa rapes (blankets)." That conveys. I think, on exaggerated Impression of discomfort. In a cold or damp climate such a dwelling uould bo utter misery. The climate of Mexico Is during the greater part of the year hot and dry. Un the high tablelands tho nights, It is true, nre chilly, but I hnvo slept In huts with only n light rnlncont around me and not felt the need of any other covering. The Indlnns, like all other peoples In a state of nature, adapt their houses to their conditions of ex istence. Yet there Is one unfailing charm about Mexican houses. Thnt Is tho charm of flowers. All Mexican love flowers. Their homes usually present to the street bare, unlovely walls, but very often you get a glimpse of n patio where the sunlight flickers on green leaves nnd vivid blossoms. Always yo.t may count upon such un Interior even If you cannot see it. These peeps Into gay garden courtyards nre what 1 re member when I think of Mexican streets. It Is the custom to build houses round n green plot open to the sky. Sometimes there Is n loggia round this, n loggln Into which all the rooms open (there being no "upstairs"), and when) the household lives In warm weather, cooled by the plash and tinkle of n foun tain In the centre. Or else the ground floor mny be given up to olllces or stabling, nnd, mounting a stairway, you come to n broad balcony screened from the sun by thick trails of flowering creeper. Delicious to wake up at half past 7 of a November morning nnd luxuriate In hot sunshine ns you gn across the patio or round the bnlcony to your bath. Mont hotels nre built more or less on this plan, which almost makes up for the hardness of their pillows. Tho Mexican Idea of a pillow Is that It should by Its extreme discomfort pre vent you for ns long ns possible from falling asleep. Otherwise hotels nre tolerable. The food Is usunlly pleasant enough. Mexican dishes nre alwayw highly seasoned, sometimes painfully "hot 1' the mouth." Hut a "mole," which Is n fowl or n turkey served with a thick, dark brown, slightly sweet sauce nil over It, Is a good as nny curry. They have attractive modm of cooking pork, for those who aro hardy enough to cat It, In Mexico. There Is nlwnys fruit nnd nlwuys drink able coffee. Woman servants nro called "crladas" and wear their hair down, either In tails or falling loose around their shoul ders. They con be trained into clever cooks, neat waitresses and careful housemaids, but It is not often that they are so trained. Much patience Is needed. It is useless to expect too much of them. If they are scolded or worried, they simply leave without warning. They must be allowed to do their work more or less In their own way. Certain habits have to bo checked. 1 suppoe nearly all cooks life their fingers to test the tempera ture of soup. Mexican servants prac tise even more unpleasant trick until they nre taken in liaml, They are sometimes Inclined to pil fer, mole from curiosity, I believe, than from n thieving propensity. Hut It Is n libel to call them nil dishonest, ns mnny people In Mexico do, They have odd Ideas which may mnke them appear dishonest when they nre not so. For Instance, a woman who washed for an acquaintance of mine In Mexico City told him one day she was going to live In Tolttea. lie 'p.ild her nnd said goodby. A little later he discov er! il that Ills !in 'i press was short of several sheets, pillow cases, Ac; hi also 1.1 ssed ni. tie sh.i'ts. Naturally he concluded that the washerwoman had stolen them. Three months nfterward she called nt his olllce and snld that she had left the missing articles at his rooms nnd would he please pay her? She had taken them to Toluca, washed them, and kept them until she had an opportunity to bring them back. Time meant nothing to her. Besides, "lie had so many." T railway carriage, and neither think nny thlng of It, There Is scarcely any snob- lierv In AffVh'o: thnt Ik one rtnHiiti for Its being such a pleasant land to trnrrTt1' '"""" vines ""e ceiu Barbers of the World HE barber shops of the United States nnd Canada are the finest in the world nnd charge tho highest prices. Comparatively few cities of Europe use Ameiican chairs and many of these run their barber shops In connection with men's furnishing stores. In most European cities n haircut and a shampoo costs d cents, nnd In parts of London n shave costs four is charged for a shave and two cents for 11 haircut, and In Turkey barbers take their entire pay In tips. Many Clerman barbers make wigs nnd switches while waiting for customers and many French barbers do Indies' hair dressing. Austilan barbers urn com pelled to serve apprenticeships of four years, on pay beginning nt 41 cents a week nnd ending nt $1.02 a week, before they can own their shops. Syrian barbers seat their customers In straight backed chairs before tiny wnll mirrors, nnd tlx queer shnped pans about their throats. Then they rub on with their lingers lather made from cheap soap, In India your barber calls nt your bouse and shnves you every morning for $2 a month. In China the barbers carry stools, fmall tubs, razors nnd scissors about the streets, slopping on the sidewalks to perform their work, Just ns scissors grinders do In America.