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With these two quarters, one of Hotels, the other of houses, the third feature of aspect presented by the city was a long zone of abbeys, which bordered it in nearly the whole of its circumference, from the rising to the setting sun, and, behind the circle of fortifications which hemmed in Paris, formed a second interior enclosure of convents and chapels.

Whether I owe this grace to my own prayers or to those of the convents which have shielded me without knowing me, it is the case that for some time past my brain has been silent and my flesh calm.

Hence more than one half of the Mexican clergy are monks, and wear the cowl; for at the time of the census of 1793, as we have seen, there were in the city of Mexico 1646 monks, besides lay brothers, against 550 secular priests, while in the fifteen convents for nuns there were 923 of these female monks.

Now and then talk of Whistler and "the boys" reminded Duveneck of his own student days, and would lead him into personal reminiscences, when the stories were of his adventures; sometimes on Bavarian roads, singing and fiddling his way from village to village, or in Bavarian convents, teaching drawing to pretty novices, receiving commissions from stern Reverend Mothers; and sometimes in American towns painting the earliest American mural decoration that prepared the way, through various stages, for the latest American series of all at the San Francisco Exposition where Duveneck was acclaimed as the American master of to-day.

Instead of preaching first, as I was advised, in the little convents, I preached on Ascension, Corpus Christi Day, etc., before the Queen and the whole Court, which assurance gained me a good character from the Cardinal; for, when he was told how well I had performed, he said, "There is no judging of things by the event; the man is a coxcomb."

Several monks who endeavoured to evade this strict order were pitilessly mutilated, while a number of them, rebelling against the payment of the tax, retired into convents, thinking they could safely defraud the treasury. Assama, however, sent his soldiers to search these retreats, and all the monks found without rings were beheaded or put to death by the bastinado.

Others go, after the lessons are over, to get food by begging. There are also many persons in easy circumstances who support those children who seek for instruction without the help of their parents. Nearly all the great men send their children into convents to learn reading, and to repeat the psalms from memory; this is all the instruction they receive.

The churches, the convents, the public buildings, constructed with that solidity which is peculiarly Spanish, formed each of them a fortress. The broad streets, crossing each other at right angles, rendered concentration at any threatened point an easy matter, and beyond the walls were broad ditches and a deep canal. Nor was the strength of the city the greatest of Scott's difficulties.

The secretary displayed a very considerable share of knowledge in the political state of Europe, furnished probably by the extensive correspondence these fathers preserve with the three hundred and sixty subordinate convents, dispersed throughout all those countries where the court of Rome still maintains its influence.

In her miniatures she learned to be careful, precise, and delicate; in her work from nature she was human; and in her studies of illuminating she gained a perfect understanding of ornamental painting and forms; and the subtle ambiance of the beautiful old churches and convents where she worked and pored over the ancient missals, and softly talked with the princely robed Monsignori, no doubt did much to develop her love for the Beautiful Story, the delicate myth of Christianity and all this, all these rare qualities and honest efforts we find in her last picture, The Virgin.

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