THERE was a custom-house at the Buena Vista station. Part of its profits are national, part municipal. The capital is in a Federal District, ruled by a governor, not unlike the District of Columbia. There is little inter-state comity as yet among the different parts of the republic. Each state still collects dues at its own frontiers, and the towns take tolls (the alcabalas) on merchandise and food entering their gates.
Mexico is not a cheap city of abode. Its hackney-coaches, as in European countries as well, are an exception to the general rule; but even these, with the various commissionaires, who zealously aid you in putting your baggage upon them, after getting it through the custom-house, are dear for the first time. Travelling is like so many other things in the world: you pay a bonus, or initiation fee, in the beginning, after which the charges are in a declining series. The particular hackney-coach which conveyed us, a travelling companion and myself, may have been a trifle dearer on account of a driver who aspired to a few words of English. Not that we greatly wanted it. The injury to one's feelings in these cases of the indifferent reception by the native of your first overtures in his own language (as if his own language were not good enough for him, forsooth), is sufficient, without