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WHAT IS IT MAKES ME HAPPIEST?
simplicity that reminds us of Dr. Watts' songs for children.
GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE STAR.
Good night, little star;
What is it makes me happiest ?
Is it my last new play?
I follow every day?
My pleasant solitaire ?
My flowers fresh and fair ?
It is not one of these;
And never fail to please.
From those I love the best,
These make me happiest !
We make one more quotation, and take leave of this little book, recommending it to all our young readers, who will find it at all the bookstores.
JUNE is the first of the summer ligion of the ancients, claimed June as months, and it is, in our climate, the her month, and it is said, therefore, to brightest and pleasantest of the year. have been named after her. Now, The poet Thomson describes it as the though the story of Jupiter and Juno is season when
mainly a fiction, there is perhaps some -Heaven descends
truth in it. Very likely some old king In universal bounty, shedding herbs,
had a headstrong wife, who tormented And fruits, and flowers in Nature's ample lap. him very much. After many years, the
It is said that Juno, the goddess, who poets began to write verses about them, was wife of Jupiter, in the fantastic re- and called one a god and the other a goddess. Thus, no doubt, it was, that of the young. Whether this was the the people learnt to believe in them as origin of the name or not, we believe it divine beings. Still, according to all is the favorite season of children. The accounts, Juno was a pretty selfish kind two girls, and even the little dog, at the of a person, and it is very likely that, if beginning of this article, seem to think she took a notion to have a month, or a that everything is made for them—the year, to herself, she would have teased sunshine, the green grass, the blushing Jupiter till he had given it to her. Thus flowers. How happy is that period of it may seem very likely that June is life, when everything gives pleasure ! named after Juno, as being her month. How happy is childhood, the June of life,
But there is another story about the when the heart is as bright as the seaname of this favorite month. Some son, and the mind as full of flowers as writers say that it comes from a Latin the meadow. Sweet June-blest childword, junioribus, as if it was the month hood-farewell!
Mexicans of the present day. Sketches of the Manners, Customs, &c., of the Indians of America. CHAPTER XVII.
run a race with them, they were sure to
be beaten; but in wrestling, they were Personal appearance of the Mexicans.— Dress.
generally the victors. Houses.-Floating gardens.—Hunting.—Com
The Mexicans are, by nature, of a -Music and dancing.–Games.—Painting
silent and serious disposition, and seldom
allow their emotions to appear in their In appearance the Mexican Indians
countenances; while as a nation they much resemble the other aborigines of are cruel in their wars and their punishAmerica. They are tall and well made, ments, and very superstitious in matters with bright black eyes, high cheek-bones, of religion. They are extremely genand thick, coarse, black hair, which they erous, but do not always appear grateful commonly wear long. Their skin is of an for favors. According to some, the reaolive color. They are very active, but son of their apparent want of gratitude not so strong as most Europeans; so that, is this: the Indians say, “ If you give whenever the Spaniards attempted to me this, it is because you have no need of it yourself; and as for me, I never ues and paintings, a regular government, part with that which I think is necessary and a method of writing by pictures. to me." This also accounts for their Indeed, they were nearly equal to the great liberality; for, as their wants are Chinese of the present day, whom they few, and they never think of hoarding, much resembled.
Since the conquest, they can always give away everything they have altered greatly, and not much they receive, without feeling as though for the better. They have lost many they conferred a favor.
arts which they once possessed, and as We have said before, that, at the time they have been taught few others to supof the arrival of the Spaniards, the ply their place, they must be sunk in the Mexican nation was the most civilized grossest ignorance.
We intend to give of all in North America. They had a short account of them as they were large cities, splendid temples, fine stat- before the Spanish invasion.
The dress of the Mexicans was very hands and arms. Many of these jewels simple. The men wore commonly only were beautifully wrought of pearls, ema large girdle or zone tied about their eralds, and other precious stones, set in middle, and a cloak ormantle fastened gold. round the shoulders. The women wore The houses of the common people a square piece of cloth, which was wrap- were mere huts, built of reeds or unped around them, and descended to the burnt bricks, and thatched with straw. middle of the leg. Over this, they wore They had commonly but one room, in a short gown, or vest, without sleeves. which the whole family, with all the The cloth used by the rich was made of animals belonging to it, were huddled the finest cotton, embroidered with fig- together. The dwellings of the higher ures of animals or flowers.
classes were built of stone and lime. The Mexicans were very fond of They were generally of two stories, and finery, and took great delight in adorn- had many chambers. The roofs were ing their persons with jewels and other flat, with terraces, on which the inhabiornaments. They wore ear-rings, pen- tants could enjoy the cool evening air, dants at the under lip, and some even in after the parching heat of the day in the nose-necklaces, and bracelets for the those torrid regions. So great was the
honesty of the people, that they had no The Mexican historians say
that while doors to their houses; but considered the Aztecs were only an insignificant themselves sufficiently secure with only tribe, living on the borders of the lake, a screen of reeds hung before the en- having no land to cultivate, they were trance; and through this no one would obliged to take whatever fare the marshdare to pass without permission. The es round the lake produced. Thus they palaces of their kings were of stone, and learned to eat roots of marsh-plants, so magnificent, that Cortez could hardly frogs, snakes, and other reptiles, and a find words to express his admiration. sort of scum which they found loating One of them was so large that all his on the water. They retained their relarmy, consisting of several thousand ish for this wretched food in the season men, was conveniently quartered in it. of their greatest plenty.
They made their bread of maize or eight rods long and three wide, upon Indian corn, in the following manner. which they raised all kinds of herbs, They first boiled it with a little lime, to and especially flowers, of which the make it soft, and then ground it on a Mexicans were extremely fond. Whensmooth, hollow stone. They next kneadever the owner of the garden wished to ed it up with a little water, and made it change his situation, either to get rid of into flat round cakes, like pancakes; a troublesome neighbor, or to be nearer these they baked on large flat stones, as his family, he got into a little vessel, to they were ignorant of the use of iron. which the garden was attached, and The bread is said to have been very dragged it after him to the desired spot. palatable.
The Mexicans had a method of huntAlthough the Mexicans, at first, had ing on a grand scale, which was also very little land of their own to cultivate, practised by the Peruvians of South they discovered a very ingenious method America. A great number of men colof supplying this want. They platted lected together, and formed an immense and tied together branches of willows circle, enclosing some forest in which and other plants which are light and the animals to be hunted were very nustrong, and upon these they laid a cov- merous. They then gradually diminering of earth about a foot deep. They ished the circle, driving the animals bethus had a little floating field, about fore them towards the centre, and takin
care that none escaped through the line. their god, under whose protection they By this means, they killed vast numbers hoped to accomplish their journey in of wild beasts every year.
safety. Every five days, markets or The commerce of Mexico was princi- fairs were held in all the chief cities of pally carried on by travelling merchants, Mexico, to which these travelling merwho journeyed from town to town, carry- chants repaired from all parts of the ing their wares with them. They com- kingdom, to sell or exchange their mermonly travelled in companies, like the chandise. For money, they used the caravans of the East, for security, and chocolate berry, which they put up in each one bore in his hand a smooth black small sacks, and, for greater purchases, stick, which they said was the image of gold dust enclosed in quills.
The musical instruments of the Mexi- They placed the musicians in the centre; cans were few and simple. They had a the aged nobles were in a circle around drum, made very much like those used them, in single file; by the side of these by us in our armies, but much longer. was placed another circle of the younger It was set up on end, on the ground, and nobles, and next others of lower rank. beat with the fingers. Much art and They then began to dance in a circle, practice were required to play upon it pro- those near the centre very slowly, but perly. They had also another long, round those who were on the outside very instrument, made entirely of wood, and fast, because they were obliged to keep nollow within. It had two small slits up with those within. The music now made on one side, between which the struck up a livelier tune, the singing player struck with two drum-sticks. It became more animated and joyful, and gave a deep, melancholy sound, like those the dancers whirled in a swifter round. of our bass drums.
The outermost circle moved so rapidly The Mexicans had several dances, that they hardly seemed to touch the which they used on different occasions; ground. Thus they continued, until some of them were very graceful and they were exhausted by their efforts, pleasing. But the grand dance, which when a new set of dancers took their was performed on all occasions of great places. It is related that, while Cortez national festivity, was the most singular. was absent from the city after his first