native and foreign, have the same lust of gain; they only differ in their mode of following it, the one striving for it by hook and crook, the others waiting till it drops before their noses.
While I am scrawling these general outlines upon paper, I may at once say that the tone of society is neither creditable to the superior education of European residents, nor to the lofty pretensions of the Mexican employés, who form the nucleus of native society here. The latter are ignorant and debased, insufferably bigoted and proud: jealous of foreigners, and, I believe, the majority here, as throughout the country, thoroughly unprincipled. Extraordinary indeed must the virtue be, which will make the possessor sensible to stern justice, and insensible to a bribe.
As to religion—name it not: the God of the South is Mammon. There is nothing in the degraded ultra-Catholicism of New Spain which can touch the heart and elevate human nature; and unfortunately the majority of the young European merchants who resort here to drive their gainful commerce, evince by word and deed, that the lessons of their youth, and the God of their fathers, are alike forgotten. Had there been more family men among them, one might perhaps have met with more honourable exceptions. Like many mauvais sujets all the world over, they were in general good-tempered, serviceable fellows; and, personally, we had nothing to complain of, as far as our slight intercourse with them went.
I have summarily mentioned the two principal classes of the inhabitants, forming, as it were, the elite of the town. It may be observed of the common people, that, little as can be said in their favour as a mass, individually they are by far the most picturesque in form, manner, and clothing. Their characters and costumes are as various as their blood. The poor Indian is distinguished by his sandalled foot, miserable attire, and subdued air. He, at least, seems to have gained nothing by the change of masters. How should he! He was the slave of the few, now he is the slave of the many. If the Spaniard