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BUT yesterday the summer still was here.
A sky of cloudless blue, a little thin,
O'erarched a world gone color-mad, wherein
Each tree and bush and vine, or far or near,

Flamed royal scarlet, gold, and bronze,-save where
A restful note amid that restless scene,

Steadfast and grave and still, an evergreen
Aspired heavenwards, as though in prayer.
From the still surface of each lake and stream,
Veiling the glory of its borrowed dyes
Palely arose a shimmering blue haze.
The earth was lovely as a poet's dream,
Fair as an eremite's foretaste of paradise
O past delight! O vanished golden days!

A day has passed, and lo! the world is old.
Gray clouds fleet past across dim somber skies.
The brown and beggared earth all mutely lies
Naked and shivering with grief and cold;
Rent is her purple garment, trod in the mold.
The bare, black trees their withered branches raise,-
Harps whereupon the wailing west wind plays
"L'envoi" unto a story that is told.

VOL. XX-53.

Yet has the scene a strange charm of its own.
The breath of dying leaves, the misty lines

Of crimson and dull orange in the west,

The strong rush of the wind with raindrops sown,-
The soul their kindred burden half divines,

Of joy in pain, and yearning vague unrest.

Neith Boyce.


It will probably never be known at what period in the history of our race man first made objects of clay. In the very dawn of intellect his own tracks, or those of animals in the mud, may have suggested to him that other forms could be made o the same material. It required no exalted reasoning powers to conclude that if the heat of the sun would harden objects clay, that a greater heat would produce a greater hardness. It is no wonder then that we find the production of pottery among the first, if not the very first manufacture in the world. As similar articles of this manufacture appear among widely separated, and so far as we know totally unconnected peoples, so also each nation or race has developed peculiarities of its own, and some of these among the Mexicans is the purpose of this paper to briefly describe. The ordinary domestic utensils are made on every hacienda and in every hamlet over the whole country, while in the towns are large factories which turn out vast quantities of articles in daily use among all classes of people. As a rule there is nothing distinctive in this ware, or in any way differing from that found all over the world. The Mexican olla of today is identical with the water jars of all tropical countries, as far back as we have any knowledge from pictured representations or pre-historic ruins. In most cases there is little attempt at art either in form or decoration. But as might be expected among so many workers, one occasionally develops an original idea of his own, or improves upon those of his fellows, so that in the course of generations new and distinctive forms have arisen in different localities, and in some instances have attained to a high degree of art.

Guadalajara, the second city of the republic, easily takes first rank in really artistic work in clay. There is found a peculiar clay not known elsewhere, of a very fine texture, of a sweetish taste, and when wet, of a peculiarly pleasant odor. The artisans are true descendants of the Aztecs, and may truly be called a race of potters; it having been the custom for hundreds of years for the son to follow the calling of his father, and thus many have attained to great skill in its

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liar silver-bearing clay. The natural color of the clay when dry is a light gray or ashes of roses, but is often colored a deep rich red or an intense black by a process known only to themselves. The finer specimens are often elaborately decorated in many quaint designs in gold, silver, and bright colors, the effect of which is very striking.

Many of the forms are strikingly beautiful, and when we consider that dextrous fingers and a few little wooden paddles are the only tools used, the result is wonderful. One class of workmen confine themselves entirely to figures, animal and human, singly or in groups, representing the occupations, customs, and dress of every class of society. Many of these figures are firstclass works of art; the pose, expression, and absolute faithfulness in every detail, are truly remarkable, and if produced in marble or bronze would be the wonder of the world.

Occasionally one among the multitude of artisans will develop wonderful artistic ability. Such an one is Jesus. Marie Panduro, whose remarkable talent in modeling busts of his visitors, "while you wait," has become celebrated far and wide. He seldom requires more than one sitting of about thirty minutes,

and generally completes your bust with every feature and expression so perfect as to excite universal admiration, in one hour. For this work of art he used to charge one dollar. Perhaps ncreasing fame may have increased his price.

No inducement has hitherto been sufficient to take him from the city where he was born. Even President Diaz could not prevail on him to visit the New Orleans Exhibition and there practice his art. I understand efforts are now being made to include him in the Mexican exhibit at the Columbian Exposition.

Öther districts produce wares possessing distinctive features, such as the Guadalupe, made in the mountains near Cuatillan, which is profusely ornamented with figures of the Virgin, and of the roses which sprang from the naked rock at the apparition of the angel to Juan Diego. It is in great demand at the fiesta grande in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe, and is used in drinking water from the holy well, and in transporting it to he homes of those residing at a distance.

The Dolores-Hidalgo ware has no marked peculiarities, but is much sought after because it is made at "the place which must forever remain famous above all others as the cradle of Mexican independence." The patriot-priest him

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self was superintending a factory of this ware at Dolores, when called to lead in the beginning of the struggle against Spanish tyranny which resulted years afterward in Mexican independence.

From a scientific point of view the most interesting articles of clay are those called Iridescent. There is nothing peculiar in the structure of this ware itself; its beauty and rarity are con fined to the glaze, the secret of which is said to be confined to a single family.

It is usually found in small round or rectangular plaques, but may sometimes be obtained in the form of small vases and pitchers. This is one of the lost arts of the old world strangely preserved in the new. Fragments exhumed from Spanish ruins centuries old are found. to possess the peculiar and beautiful luster of the recent production.

Charles Dudley Warner, in speaking of this ware, says: "The luster is the true Saracenic, Alhambra, or Gubbio luster; the rea iridescence, shimmering, shifting colors in changing lights, ruby, green, blue. The luster seems to be metallic, of copper, and the effect produced by subjecting the ware to an exceedingly high temperature, a firing so fierce that the clay is apparently disintegrated, and has lost its ringing quality."

Good specimens of this art are rare, and the unsuspecting tourist is often imposed upon with articles colored with cheap pigments and then varnished.

Another very interesting and beautiful class of work may with propriety be mentioned in this connection. Although



of a different material, it is often mistaken by the hasty observer for the clay figures mentioned above. It is known. in the country as figuras de trapo. The name literally translated "rag figures," gives an entirely erroneous impression of the character of these beautiful little puppets. The artisans of this class of work are Indians, and nothing could better illustrate their marvelous imitative faculty. The materials used are a viscid gum, similar to crude rubber, and a hard black wax, mixed in suitable proportions to render it rigid when cold, but retaining sufficient flexibility to allow considerable bending without injury; an obvious advantage over similar work of wax alone. These figures are usually very small, not more than four to ten inches high, though they may sometimes be obtained of more pretentious size. Even the smallest specimens are modeled with the most lifelike accuracy in the minutest details; even the finger nails are perfectly distinct.

The modeling completed, glass eyes are inserted, and the entire body covered

with cloth of fine texture, and of a color to represent different shades of the human skin. This cloth fits as tight as the skin, so that every detail of the model is as distinct and lifelike as before. The figure is then costumed, conforming in the minutest particulars in material and style of dress with the original of the type it is intended to represent. The subjects represented cover a wide range, and include all classes of artisans and laborers at their work, women engaged in their various domestic occupations, priests, gentlemen on horseback, bull fights, etc. This work is entirely peculiar to these people.

Whatever may be said of the development of high art in Mexico, there is probably no nation in the world among whom the true artistic sense is so generally diffused, especially among the low er classes. In proof of which, in addition to the foregoing, may be cited the beautiful work done with gold, silver, leather, feathers, straw, wood, and stone, by perfectly illiterate artisans, and with the simplest and crudest tools. E. P. Bancroft.

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