« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
lowing list amounts to a sum total of 2,695,000 francs “:
Revenues of the Archbishop of Double Mexico 130,000 piastres. Bishop of la Puebla 110,000 Valladolid 100,000 Guadalaxara 90,000 Durango 35,000 Monterey 80,000
- Oaxaca 18,000
Sonora 6,000 539,000f
The bishop of Sonora, the poorest of them all, does not draw tithes. He is paid like the bishop of Panama immediately by the king (de Caras reales). His income amounts only to the 20th part of that of the bishops of Valladolid and Mechoacan; and, what is truly distressing in the diocese of an archbishop whose revenue amounts to the sum of 650,000 francs", there are clergymen of Indian villages whose yearly income does not exceed five or six hundred francs f. The bishop and chapter of Walladolid sent, at different times, to the king as a voluntary contribution, particularly during the last war against France, the sum of 810,000 francs f. The lands of the Mexican clergy (bienes raices) do not exceed the value of 12 or 15 millions of francs $; but the clergy possess immense capitals hypothecated on the property of individuals. The whole of these capitals (capitales de Capellanias y obras pias, fondos lotales de Communidades religiosas), of which we shall give a detail in the sequel, amounts to the sum of 44 millions and a half of double piastres ||, or 233,625,000 francs T. Cortez, from the very
has been led to extend the same proportion over all Spain. Yet he afterwards, in the Statistical Analysis, states it as a peculiar merit in M. de La Borde, that he had first proved that the proportion of Spanish clergy to the population was less than that of the French clergy to the population before the revolution, which was 460,078 : 25,000,000=1 : 54,444, say 54.1% (and not 1 : 52, as La Borde calculates;) but a clergy of 228,000 in a population of 11 millions would be more numerous in proportion than that of France before the revolution.—Trans.
* 112,300l. sterling. Trans.
t This, at the rate of conversion which the author lays down in a note in the following page, namely five francs five sous per double piastre, does not amount to the sum of 2,695,000, but 2,829,750 francs = 117,915l.—Trans.
* 27,085l. sterling. Trans. + From 20l. to 25l. sterling. Trans. f 33,752l. sterling. Trans. § From 500,040l. to 625,050l. sterling. Trans. | 13,485,453l. sterling. Trans. * I have followed the data contained in the Representacion de los vecinos de Valladolid al Excellentissimo Senor Wirey (dated 24th October, 1805), a manuscript memoir of great value. I compute in the course of this work the double piastre at 5 livres 5 sous. Its intrinsic value is 5 livres 8+ sous,
commencement of the conquest, dreaded the great opulence of the clergy in a country where ecclesiastical discipline is difficult to maintain. He says very frankly in a letter to Charles the Fifth, “ that he beseeches his majesty to send out to the Indies religieur and not canons, because the latter display an extravagant luxury, leave great wealth to their natural children, and give great scandal to the newly converted Indians.” This advice, dictated by the frankness of an old soldier, was not followed at Madrid. We have transcribed this curious passage from a work published several years ago by a cardinal". It is not for us to accuse the conqueror of New Spain of predilection for the regular clergy, or antipathy towards the canons. The rumour spread up and down Europe of the immensity of the Mexican wealth has given rise to very exaggerated ideas relative to the abundance of gold and silver employed in New Spain in plate, furniture, kitchen utensils, and harness. A traveller, whose imagination has been heated by stories of keys, locks, and hinges of massy silver, will be very much surprised on his arrival at Mexico at seeing no more of the precious metals employed for domestic uses there than in Spain, Portugal, and the rest of the south of Europe; and he will be as much astonished at seeing in Mexico, Peru, or at Santa Fe, people of the lowest order barefooted with enormous silver spurs on, or at finding silver cups and plates a little more common there than in France and England. The surprise of the traveller will cease when he reflects that porcelain is very rare in these newly civilized regions, that the nature of the roads in the mountains renders the carriage of it extremely difficult; and that in a country of little commercial activity, it is equally indifferent whether a few hundred piastres be possessed in specie or in plate. Notwithstanding, however, the enormous difference of wealth between Peru and Mexico, considering merely the fortunes of the great proprietors, I am inclined to believe that there is more true comfort at Lima than at Mexico. The inequality of fortunes is much less in the former; and if it is very rare, as we have already observed, to find individuals there who possess a revenue of 50 or 60,000 francs", we meet, however, with a great number of mulatto artisans and free negros, who, by their industry alone, procure much more than the necessaries of life. Capitals of 10 and 15000 piastres* are very common among this class, while the streets of Mexico swarm with from twenty to thirty thousand wretches (Saragates, Guachinangos), of whom the greatest number pass the night sub dio, and stretch themselves out to the sun during the day with nothing but a flannel covering. These dregs of the people bear much analogy to the Lazaroni of Naples. Lazy, careless, and sober like them, the Guachinangos have nothing, however, ferocious in their character, and they never ask alms; for if they work one or two days in the week, they earn as much as will purchase their pulque, or some of the ducks with which the Mexican lakes are covered, which are roasted in their own fat. The fortune of the Saragates seldom exceeds two or three reals, while the lower people of Lima, more addicted to luxury and pleasure, and perhaps also more industrious, frequently spend two or three piastres in one day. One would say that the mixture of the European and the negro every where produces a race of men more active and more assiduously industrious than the mixture of the whites with the Mexican Indian. The kingdom of New Spain is, of all the European colonies under the torrid zone, that in
We must not confound the pezo, which is sometimes called pezo sencillo or commercial piastre, which is a fictitious money, with the double piastre of America, or te duro, or te pezo duro. The double piastre contains 20 reals of vellon, or 170 quartos, or 680 maravedis, while the pezo sencillo, which is
equal to 3 livres 15 sous, contains only 15 reals of yellop, or 510 maravedis.
* Archbishop Lorenzana.