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TAMPICO.

their confraternity, not to be described; and at the end of the term indicated, what between the attacks of the garapatos without, and the nightly wounds inflicted within doors by myriads of moschetoes—which are here very large and sanguinary, not quite as large as a jack-snipe. I was upon the verge of a fever, and solemnly abjured my occupation. It was nearly three weeks before I lost all the consequences of my imprudence, for such it was, and never can I sufficiently appreciate the real merit of those patient, indefatigable, and rhinoceros-skinned men, who have succeeded in enriching our European collections with the wonders of the torrid zone.

Such was the terror which the torment I had been subjected to inspired, that, as long as we were in the tiérres calientes, to which these pests are fortunately confined, I never ran unnecessary risks; and after any accidental contact with tree or shrub, instituted the ordinary patient search to which all must submit.

Meantime the season advanced. About the close of the month we had begun to hope that the Halcyon might make its appearance, and frequently climbed up to the mirador, in one of the tallest houses, to sweep the sea-line beyond the white bar with the telescope; but alas, on the 1st of February another norte set in, and another week was spent in doubt and uncertainty. At length, on the morning of the 7th, a favourable wind of a couple of days' duration enabled a small fleet of inward-bound vessels to approach the port; and among these, the English packet, for the arrival of which a heavy cargo of specie had been for some time collecting from the interior at the consul's office; and, late in the evening, the Halcyon was announced without the bar. The following day we learned that she had been buffeted to and fro in the interval by two successive nortes, destitute of water, but what could be gathered from the clouds; with the loss of their boat, and one of their hands; and with cabins overrun by most loathsome vermin, from the vile habits of most of those on board. Further, that all communication with the shore was interdicted by the