Page:Notes of the Mexican war 1846-47-48.djvu/233

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Return from the War." I wished it was me returning home in place of them playing it in the teatro; it would then be reality. The performance was good and elicited frequent applause. The scenery was mostly all new, and the mounting appropriate and exceedingly handsome. After it was over we returned to camp.

Tuesday, July 20, 1847.—This morning after almuerzo Joseph C. Taylor, Alburtus Welsh and myself again took a walk around the city and visited the principal churches and public buildings, and wound up in a billiard saloon, kept by an old Spaniard. Here we saw the prettiest and most curious kind of balls and tables that I ever saw before. The tables are made of solid mahogany, and the pockets are lions' heads of brass; the lower jaw, which works on a spring, opens when the ball is pocketed, and shuts up again when the ball is taken out. After playing several games we returned to our quarters, where we again heard the mournful strain of a soldier's funeral passing. With dirges dire and sad array, slowly through the streets, I saw him borne away.

Wednesday, July 21, 1847--—This morning I followed a Mexican funeral, that of a child, which, no doubt, belonged to a wealthy family. It was carried by four little boys, and it was exposed to full view. The funeral was followed by the priests and their gang with lighted candles. They took it into the church and had the grave dug in the middle of the aisle. They put artificial flowers in the grave. They then laid the child in the coffin and put a shovelful of dirt on the imparts of the face and then closed its coffin and filled up the grave. During all this time the priest was sprinkling the grave and coffin with water and had incense burning. The organ, which is a beautiful one, was playing a tune, similar to "Old Hundred," until the whole ceremony was over; but what beat me, I saw no mourning, or any person crying or in distress.

At noon I went to the Alameda Park, where I had a long talk with one of the South Carolina soldiers. Suddenly he jumped up and said that he had forgot something at his