ment, and I think with every probability of truth. Like all other portions of the Mexican army which came in our way, the officers were gaudily dressed in very bad taste, and the men looked more like footpads than soldiers.
And now the scene of the fashionable promenade changes to the portales, where some hundreds of dames and gallants form into two dense lines, from which, when once entangled, you can hardly extricate yourself; and continue defiling up and down with monotonous regularity and at a funeral pace, for half an hour or more; while the dirty steps at the doorways of the shops opening under the arcades, upon which the beggars and lepers have been reclining during the day, are now, to your astonishment, crowded by luxuriously dressed females, chatting and smoking with their beaux. This is perfect Mexican—just as an acquaintance described to me his morning visit to a noble lady to whom the preceding evening he had been presented at the opera, where she shone in lace and diamonds—when he found her in the most complete dishabille; all her French finery thrown aside; without stockings, and eating tortillas and Chile, out of the common earthenware plate of the country. I must do the Mexican gallants the credit to say that some time ago a proposal was started to provide chairs. The offer, however, was indignantly refused by the belles; and there they squat to this very day, according to the custom of their mothers and grandmothers.
At this hour the mantilla was almost universally laid aside. The females of this country cannot be said to be distinguished for personal beauty. They are short in person, and seldom the possessors of elegant form or features. The eyes are commonly fine, and the majesty of their gait, which is remarkable, is characteristic of the admixture of Spanish and Indian blood. In their style of dress, they have now adopted the French fashion; always preserving the mantilla, however, as before mentioned, in the earlier part of the day.
I regret to see national costumes on the wane, here and elsewhere; most following the vile fashions of France