Page:Notes of the Mexican war 1846-47-48.djvu/52

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everybody seems to be in good cheer and good nature, which is the best feature in the face.

Wit may raise admiration, judgment command respect, knowledge attention, beauty inflame the heart with love, but good nature has a more powerful effect, it adds a thousand attractions to the charms of beauty, and gives an air of beneficence to the most homely face.

Friday, January 22, 1847.—This morning we find that the demon had been conquered, and the storm and wind ceased.

At noon the sky became bright and clear, which had the effect of bringing nearly all the soldiers, well and sick, on the deck. John Newman and I went up into the rigging of the ship, where we stayed for several hours, looking over the broad water. Now and then we could see sails afar off, no doubt loaded with munitions of war, or with soldiers. Below us we could see the sick, who were enjoying the pure air and glowing sky with relish. A light breeze waves us along slowly. The gulf looks magnificent, and I was surprised to see the color of the water, which was as blue as if colored with indigo. Some of our fellows could be seen catching a sort of a shellfish, called Portugueres (man-of-war), which swims the Gulf of Mexico. This evening one of our mess caught one of these fishes by throwing a bucket down the side of the ship and scooping it into the bucket. It was really a curiosity for me to see this kind of fish.

To-night is a beautiful night, all the soldiers are on deck and the long hours are whiled away by singing, dancing, telling stories and other pastimes.

Saturday, January 23, 1847.—This morning we find the wind dead against us, and could not make any headway, much to the dissatisfaction of all the soldiers, and most of them again got sea-sick, and were anxious to get on dry land again. At dinner-time I was amused at seeing several of our men (sick) emptying their stomachs of the fat pork and bean soup, just relished, over the side of the ship.

One of our fellows teased the sick by having a piece of fat