Page:Notes of the Mexican war 1846-47-48.djvu/461

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NOTES OF THE MEXICAN WAR.

There are, I think, seven theatres, including the Plaza d'Toro (Bull Pit). The principal theatres are the National, Santa Anna, some call it. The second theatre in size is the Iturbide. This theatre is devoted to opera comique. The National seats three thousand, with a parquet, four circles and a gallery. They are lighted with some kind of oil, gas not having been introduced in this country.

I have read a great deal about Mexico, but I never read or heard of such temples and such fountains. What an Eden is this? To see such palaces, such portals, such Alameda parks and a host of other things, and how little it is appreciated by the thousands who daily behold and enjoy its beauties. Governed by good men and inhabited by an educated people, it would be the garden of the earth; but, at the same time, of all this richness staring you in the face, I would particularly request all new comers from the United States to fill their pockets with good gold and silver, and a good supply of it, for we are suffering awfully, and in particular us privates and corporals.

I see that Mr. Bensley's circus company has been augmented by a ballet and pantomime corps. It is pleasant place for passing an afternoon or evening for those who are in the city. The bull fights on Sundays are the best of the season; Plaza de Toros is crowded, animals furious, matadores ditto, bulls second best. I was at this place of amusement on Sunday last. It is over four hundred feet in diameter, with an area of three hundred feet, and sitting and standing room for from eight to ten thousand spectators. The assailants are called picadores, and are on horseback, provided with a spear.

How odd it is and how odd it looks to see Mexicans and American soldiers mingling together in the streets and Alameda Passo, each observing every courtesy towards the other; that is amongst the respectable class; ladrones and leperos our men don't associate with. In fact it seems strange how quickly the people have forgotten their former queer notions in regard to our barbarians towards one another. It is strange, indeed, but such is the fact. As I mentioned in my former letters, that