Page:Notes of the Mexican war 1846-47-48.djvu/439

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NOTES OF THE MEXICAN WAR.

still bear marks of the time, as its front is all defaced by cannon balls, grape and canister, musket balls, etc. Oh, I tell you, George, these Mexicans are a great people, but it takes us Yankees to drill them. We are now quartered in a large building at San Angel, six miles from the city, in the midst of splendid scenery. Among the sights are the famous volcanic mountains, Popocatepetl and Iscotafelt, the former occasionally throwing out smoke and ashes.

When our army first came into this city it was impossible to get a lady to go to any place of amusement. They had been told so many stories about us, that they almost believed us to be barbarians, but now they go to the theatre or circus on evenings just the same as at home. They stroll through the Alameda Park as thoughtless as in Franklin or Washington squares in Philadelphia; drive out on the paseo, play ten-pins, cricket, and a thousand other things so homelike that I sometimes forget that I am in the land of the Aztec, surrounded by enemies. If one could only get out of sight of the horde of loathsome leperos and greasers, who form two thirds of the inhabitants of this city, Mexico would be in every sense an American city. You cannot enter a respectable hotel without meeting a number of foreigners. Laurents, Eagle, Union and Progress are of an evening like the St. Charles Hotel, of New Orleans. The best drive is on a Sunday afternoon, when you will see a general turnout of the wealth and fashion of the city.

I spent my Christmas in the city of Mexico, and I find that a dinner can be gotten up here as well as at home, or anywhere else in the United States. The markets are well supplied with fine meats, fish, fowl and vegetables, but no person's ambition seems to reach above a fine roasted turkey, with the fixtures and appurtenances properly belonging to it. I had the pleasure of dining off a superb gobbler, stuffed with bread, and eggs, and a bunch of venison with apple sauce, in this benighted land of the Aztecs. Is this not evidence of the progress of civilization? While we were paying attention to