Page:The Rambler in Mexico.djvu/86

This page has been validated.
80
MEXICO.

thicken around him, with their streets cheered and beautified, amid the general sterility, by groups of the graceful Peruvian pepper tree; and the roads are seen crowded by long strings of laden mules, and gay cavaliers—and the stupendous works of human design, harmonize with those of nature, and prepare him for the sight of the most extraordinary scenes in the world, whether we regard the works of men, or those of God, the artificer of all. And such is the valley and city of Mexico.

 

 

LETTER V.

My last letter closed with the entry of our travel soiled and battered train into the city of Mexico. Such epithets may be well applied to us, for we were covered with white dust from head to foot; our faces were excoriated by the reflection of the sun's rays from the heated plains; and, contrasted with the splendour around us, it was impossible not to feel that there was something humiliating in our undisguisable shabbiness.

All things considered, we were not sorry to find ourselves speedily in possession of quarters in a species of lodging, gaming, eating, and club house, called the Gran Sociedad, at the corner of the two great streets, Espiritu Santo and del Refugio, and near the centre of the city. Here we hired badly furnished apartments, and eventually settled down for a month's residence.

A few days, and you may imagine us fairly inured to our new position.

Espindola having loyally performed his contract, and given up his charge, had clattered out of the gateway with his mules and bag of dollars; and, in high good humour with his late employers and himself, had set off to seek another engagement among the merchants of the