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TAMPICO.

did little to raise the character of the conquered vassal, the Mexican does less, if possible, to instruct the darker skin whom he pretends to consider politically as his equal, but whom, in fact, he always treats as his inferior. They are as they ever were—governed by the priests, and kept in utter ignorance. They supply the market with fruits, water, and vegetables.

You have here the modern Mexican of every degree, from the substantial ranchero, or proprietor, bespurred, and bedizzened in the full and showy Mexican costume of stamped leather, embroidered vest, and gaudy serape and curbing a wild horse loaded with furniture; or the trusty arriero, with his long string of mules, his precious cargo of specie, and his train of assistant mozos; down to the poor adventurer whose whole wardrobe consists of a pair of faded velveteen trousers silt halfway up the leg, and a tawdry cloak, haunting the gambling table, and living upon what fortune sends.

The costumes are extremely picturesque from their diversity of colour and pattern, and the brilliant hues in fashion. I have omitted to mention the soldiery, than which a more shabaroon, cutthroat set, whether officers or men, I never beheld. It is said that they fight well. I do not dispute the on dit, but from all the evidence I could ever collect, I have considerable difficulty in believing it. I think they would run better; and I know that on most occasions, they do so with very slight provocation. As to costume, nothing could be more diverting. There was an orderly in attendance on a general officer dwelling in our vicinity, who used to shamble past our quarters every morning at a certain hour, garbed in a short coatee, richly embroidered with worsted, a clumsy sword, a cap and sash, and never a strap or shred upon his lower limbs—saving your presence.

The Fonda de la Bolza, where you have seen us lodged, was, at the time of our visit, in the hands of a Frenchman. He was on the point of retiring with a handsome independence drawn from divers sources: to wit, the gleanings of the billiard tables below stairs—the proceeds of the miserable lodgings above, let to gen-