Page:Notes of the Mexican war 1846-47-48.djvu/485

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and there is no such rattling of heavy articles as they pour in at the front door. There is no such scenes in all this city of the Aztecs as they are in our cities in the United States.

But again, the city of Mexico in its prominent aspects is a striking and attractive capital. Its architecture, and particularly in its churches and public edifices, cannot fail to impress the stranger. Its beautiful and spacious streets; its open plaza, flanked on one side by the Cathedral, on the other side by the ample proportioned palace or halls of the Montezumas; its beautiful and charming Alameda Park, with its shady and flowered avenues and winding walks, together with its far reaching smoothly graded passo, where beauty and chivalry daily meet, vieing with each other in richness of display and genuine courtesy, are all most inviting and imposing.

There are in our camp and in the city of Mexico a great many blacklegs from New York, New Orleans, Philadelphia and other cities. Faro tables are plenty enough and seem to be thronged with customers. The billiard saloons are here, too, and roulette tables are plenty enough, and everything in fact to carry on the damning vice of gambling. The shops in the towns and cities are mostly kept by women, and I entertain myself sometimes when in town in walking around and dropping into these shops ogling pretty black-eyed senoritas. I don't wish for you to understand by me saying dropping into these gambling hells, that I take an interest in playing these damning vices. Nay, not at all, for I never did attempt to play more than once, and that time the blacklegs broke me in less than twenty minutes, after which I left in disgust and swore that I would sin no more, nor follow this kind of business. But enough of this, and I will come to a close by saying that we have fine and healthy quarters, in full view of the volcanic mountains.

If words were balls and gas were powder,
I pledge the price of my bandanna
That I would sooner be home, eating buckwheat cakes and sausage,
Than fighting General Anton Lopez de Santa Anna.

Yours, &c., J. J. O.

McVeytown, Mifflin county, Pa.