met with in society, at the houses of the European residents, where of course they behaved with the proper reserve, staid decorum, and cool nonchalance of civilized and well-bred men: and the greatest attention which we met with during our stay, from any individual—with the exception of one single family connected by marriage with Europeans—was an occasional impromptu invitation to come and sit for an hour in an evening, "quite in a family way." This was laughable; and the more so, as we found that it was the general experience among foreigners of all grades.
There were those among the diplomatic corps, whose object it has been from the commencement of their residence in this city, to cultivate a friendly and social spirit with the families of natives of so-called education, attached to whatever party they might be; but a series of the most ludicrous vexations and disappointments showed them the total impossibility—the chimerical nature of the scheme; and we found the society at their houses literally reduced to the superior class of Europeans, and half a dozen Mexicans, whose visits to Europe had rendered them a little more susceptible of the advantages of a different state of society, from that afforded by their own country.
The European merchants were equally unfortunate, and found in the constant display of jealousy, and in the low intrigues of their rivals among the natives, no opening for a more liberal state of feeling and conversation. Consequently, they kept aloof from each other.
Then came the lower orders of foreign speculators. All found themselves the subject of jealous hatred in Mexico. "How does monsieur like Mexico?" said a garrulous French barber to me, the very morning of my arrival. "Fine streets, fine houses, fine churches, fine clothes!—but the people—they are all, all, all, from the president to the leper, what we in France call canaille, monsieur." "Ma foi, qu'ils sont betes ces Mexicans," said the Belgian host of a meson at Tacubaya: "all, from the highest to the lowest, are as ignorant as that