Page:Notes of the Mexican war 1846-47-48.djvu/227

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Puebla is about half as large as Philadelphia, and contains a population of nearly one hundred thousand. I was really surprised to think that Gen. Worth, with four thousand soldiers and a few pieces of artillery, could enter such a large city without some opposition from its hostile population. But these people have heard that our gallant and bold little army, under Gen. Scott, had safely landed without opposition on their shores and captured the city of Vera Cruz and its strong fortress of San Juan de Ulloa, the great and triumphant victory over their favorite Gen. Santa Anna, at the battle of Cerro Gordo, the capturing of Jalapa and Castle of Perote, all this was constantly before their minds, and, no doubt, thought it was no use to make a stand or show any hostile opposition to the bold invaders.

The houses are mostly two and three stories high, built principally of stone and some rough cast. Some have their fronts neatly ornamented with fine carvings, and painted.

Most all have balconies, which, in the evening, is mostly occupied with senoritas and umbres, laughing and talking, and of course smoking their puros and cigaritos; puros means a cigar, and cigaritos means a little fine cut tobacco, nicely rolled up in a piece of white paper, about the length and thickness of a child's little finger. One cigar has more tobacco in it than ten or fifteen cigaritos, and don't cost half as much.

The streets are about the same width as those in Philadelphia, with the exception that the gutters, which run through the middle of the streets, which I think is an improvement. The side-walks are paved with large flag stones. The streets are kept clean and the city is generally healthy.

Outside of the city it is like all large cities, being built up with huts and ranches, where the poor class dwell. The city is filled with mendicants (beggars); some with little or no clothing on them, both men and women, all they have is a little dingy old blanket or a piece of rag to cover their nakedness, and some standing on the corners of streets with old hats in their hands, asking for clacos (pennies), and at the same time stealing anything they could get their hands on.