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our serrasses on.
SCENES IN MEXICO.
pearance of the enemy, when the sentries an
nounced that they distinctly heard the tramp of From the United Service Magazine.
cavalry. They were all called in, and we took THE WILD INDIAN.
our station in silence within the huts, while about "Have you ever been in the northern provin- twenty men were concealed among the pineces ?" I asked an old gentleman at one of our
trees io act as sharp-shooters. In the meantime Tertulias.
we had cut down branches from the trees, and “Oh, si! muchas veces; I have often travers- fortified the entrances to the huts with palisades, ed Oonora, Chihuahua, and the regions border-) as well as the shortness of the time would pering on the wild Indians.”
mit. 1 briefly addressed the men, telling them * Then you have been among the Apaches ?" they must expect no quarter, but must resolve I exclaimed, eagerly.,
either to beat off the Indians or die, for their "Yes, I have seen them very often; but I have lives. We soon heard the enemy advancing in never visited their country, because they are a circle, uttering wild shrieks and cries: they muy barbaros.'
They used to come down then rushed upon the huts, wheeling round and amongst us, but this was only very rarely, and round. then generally for the purpose of plunder: they
“I had ordered my men to reserve their fire are a fine race of men, but' muy barbaros.' till they were close upon us, and had actually
“ I was at that time a soldier in the Spanish commenced hostilities; for the night being very army, and have often followed in their track; clear, we could distinctly recognize the Indians but they are by no means a pleasant enemy to at some distance. Several now alighted, and encounter, for they use their bow and arrow with attempted to enter the corral by breaking down surprising skill; their horses, too, are inconceiv- the palisades. At that instant'I gave the order ably swift, they appear and disappear like light to fire, and many an Indian staggered and fell, ning.
while in the act of rushing upon us with yells " They are bold and desperate in their forages, and shouts. Another volley from our musketry as I have good cause to remember. On one oc- for an instant checked their advance, while the casion I had the command of fifty men in an in- sharp-shooters, concealed in the woods, fired in cursion into their country. At nightfall we amongst them, and made great havoc by their bivouacked in some deserted huts on the verge unexpected assault. After a desperate conflict, of a pine forest, with a vast savannah of high they retired, carrying off with them the bodies grass before us. We placed our mules and of their dead and wounded comrades. As they horses in the corral,* and retired to sleep with retreated, they discharged clouds of arrows
I had just tallen asleep, when among us; we, however, lost but three men, I was roused by a very peculiar faint moan, though many were severely wounded. Had they which came swelling through the air. I started had firearms, they would quickly have driven up, and on going out of the hut, found our sen- us from our post, for they fought with despetries at their post. Again we heard the cry,
rate courage." which was now louder, and appeared to issue
As the old soldier spoke, his countenance was from the corral. I approached closer; nothing lighted for a moment with the fire of war, and but our animals met my view ;-once more the then gradually sunk back into its wonted quiet harsh cry sounded through the air, but it was not expression. the noise either of mules or the neighing of hors
HORSES AND Mules. I instantly ordered our sentries to beat the alarm, and my men were quickly assembled.
The Mexican mules are smaller than the hors“Can any of you tell me the meaning of these es, and particularly adapted for travelling; they strange sounds ?' I inquired.
rarely make a false step, on which account the “ No one replied; but all continued anxiously traveller willingly resigns himself to their guidlistening till the noise was again repeated. An ance in abrupt or dangerous mountain passes ; old Indian, who acted as our guide, now stepped if speed, however, be an object, the mules will forward, and said, “The Indians are hovering not be urged beyond their usual trot, and you near us:-it is the cry of the mules when they must therefore resort to horses. The Mexican smell the Indians.'
horses are also smaller than the European, but “Much struck with what he said, I questioned in general stronger and more capable of endurhim more closely on the subject; he told me, in ing fatigue. It is well known that, previous to the same words, that the mules scented the In the conquest, Mexico possessed neither mules, dians at many leagues distant, and always inti-horses, nor cattle; all these having been intromated their terror by these strange cries. He duced by the Spaniards; they are now extremeobserved that the only way in which they could !y numerous, and on the northern plains of Mexbe accounted for, was from the fact that the In- ico, they are to be met with in large herds, living dians eat mules fesh, and that there was proba- almost in a wild state. Many hundreds of these bly some connection between their scent and the mules and horses are caught every year, and odor of the Indians. I thought it much more sent for sale to Mexico and to the mines. By purlikely that they discerned the far-off
' tramp of the chasing a large number of these horses before mounted Indians. I accordingly gave the neces- they are broken in, you may get a horse in Zasary directions, and placed scouts among the catecas at the rate of ten or twelve piastres (fifty long grass in advance of the huts.
or sixty shillings,) each, while the mules fetch 6 About an hour passed away without any ap
from twenty to twenty-four piastres, (five to six
pounds.) In Mexico, the capital, the price is * A fenced village or settlement. higher, on account of the expense of transport,
yet even there you may buy a very fair horse, I children, and the rest of the inmates, sleep on the which has been already ridden, for sixty to eigh- ground on hides. A chair or table is an appendty piastres, (fifteen to twenty pounds.) For a age of rare occurrence. A small painted chest very fine horse, however, you must pay from commonly holds the best apparel of the family three to four hundred piastres, (seventy-five to a and the valuables of the mistress. Over it you hundred pounds,) according to its qualities ; but generally see a picture of the Virgin and other large and strong mules generally fetch a higher saints. A shelf displays the glasses, cups, and sum than horses.
other utensils. This, with a large pan for holdThe Mexican horses and mules are distinguish- ing water, and a saddle and bridle, completes ed for their paces. Many have the " sobre pas- the furniture of a Mexican of the poorer class. 80," a species of pace wherein the animal lifts up The houses of the middling ranks, in the warm and puts down his two right or left feet at the districts along the coast, are indeed better, but same time, but raising the fore-foot more than comparatively as limited in accommodation as the hinder, which produces a quicker, and yet those of the lower class. They are generally gentler motion than trotting: If the horse is to built of plaster, have wooden doors, but only be used for the saddle, its price is determined by sliding shutters, without glass windows, and conthe rapidity and smoothness of this pace. The tain seldom more than one large sitting-room animal can acquire the “sobre passo" only on and a bed-room. The furniture is very plain, tolerably smooth roads; but with it, a horse can though frequently set off with a display of silver perform, without much exertion, a journey of utensils
. This is the ordinary style of building; twelve to fifteen leagues (thirty or forty miles,) yet in some places we may observe fine stone per diem. The Mexican horses are fed much houses, which bespeak the opulence of the ownbelow ours, both at home and on journeys, and ers. yet, with all our superior training, ours are de
The Native INDIANS. cidedly inferior as it regards the endurance of fatigue. The Mexican horse has scarcely reach- Gautla is a large village, inhabited almost ened the end of its day's journey when the saddle tirely by Indians. We found the market-place and bridle are removed, without any regard to thronged with them; many had come from a its being in a heat; it is then turned into an open great distance to attend the celebration of high court without any covering being thrown over mass, this being a festival. The church was it , and frequently left exposed, without food, to small, and filled to overflowing. The whole the scorching sun or rain. It is then taken to congregation were on their knees during the drink, and has a large ration of maize-straw or greater part of the lengthy ceremonial, the somaize-leaves, (rastrojo,) sufficient both for its lemnity of which was continually disturbed by evening and morning feed. It is very seldom the violent manner in which the people struck that the Mexican takes the trouble of dividing their breasts, making the sign of the cross, &c. the food, and giving half in the evening and the There was no organ; but such music as could rest on the following morning. The beast is not fail to recall to earth the thoughts of the saddled in the morning, without any more drink most devout worshipper. till nine or ten o'clock, unless they happen to On the elevation of the host I was startled by meet with water; nor does it have any more food the sudden noise of a small drum and fife, intertill the close of the day's journey. It is necessa- rupted by frequent pauses, during which the mury to be very careful not to give your horse drink sicians gathered fresh strength for their performearly in the morning immediately after a feed of ance. I was the more struck by this attempt at maize; this produces diarrhea, which weakens music, as I had generally believed the Indians it so much that it is unable to pursue its journey. to possess some taste for the art. In the course MEXICAN DWELLINGS.
of my journeys I had often seen them with a
small guitar in their hands; and on my way from The dwellings of the poorer classes are ex- Tampico several times fell asleep in my hamtremely simple; for in this warm climate it is mock, while our muleteers and guide amused more agreeable to them to enjoy a free circula- themselves by singing and dancing with the peotion of air. A single room suffices for the wants ple of the house. It seems that the skill of the of a family, both by day and night. The kitchen, Indians on the guitar is confined to a few chords; which forms a detached hut, is occupied by the yet are they passionately fond of the song and kervants. Four upright posts support the light dance. roof
, which is composed of bamboo-laths, covered The women wear a red or blue woollen skirt, with palm-leaves, without any other fastening bound at the edge with a broad piece of white than cords made of the leaves of the American calico; it reaches to the ankles, and is tied at the aloe, (maguey,) or thongs of undressed hides. waist.' The upper part of their persons is covThe walls are in like manner formed of bamboo, ered with a handkerchief, resembling the Spanbaving a bamboo cornice running all round to 'ish mantilla; it is made of blue and white, or support the roof. These sort of huts have no black and white striped cotton, and the length is window; the door is made of bamboo canes, tied treble the width. They have a string of blue together, and hung upon leather straps. The glass beads round the neck, and their hair is floor is nothing more than the soil well trodden fastened behind in a tuft or numerous braids, or down.
sometimes left to hang unconfined over the The furniture is as simple as the construction shoulders. of the hut. Four posts, held together by crossbeams, and covered over with bamboo, consti
The Public Malls in Mexico. tute the bed of the master of the family; the Mexico abounds in public walks and promenades; the most frequented are the “ Alameda,” |vested with a leathern coat of mail (anquera,) the “ Pasco Nuevo," and the "Pasco de las Vi- which reaches down to the shanks. The anquegas;" each has its stated hours and seasons of ra is also embroidered, and bordered with a fringe the year. The Alameda lies in the western part of iron, brass, or silver, which produces a loud of the city ; it has a large basin in the centre, jingling at every step. The original design of from which radiate the various walks, which are the anquera was, probably, to defend the horse thickly planted with trees and shrubs; the whole from arrows; its present object is to prevent the is inclosed with a low wall, along the inner part animal from beating about its tail, and compel it of which is a fine drive.
to raise its forefeet by pressing upon the hinder The Pasco Nuevo is not far from the Alameda, parts. extending from the San Cosme canal almost as The armas de agua are two dressed call, bear, far as to that of Chapollepec; but being less or tiger skins, the fur turned outwards, which shady, and at the same time very large, it always are tastened on each side of the pommel, and, as looks desolate.
their name implies, drawn over the legs during The Pasco de las Vigas is not much more in- rain, so as completely to cover the lower part of viting; it is nearly half a league in length, plant- the rider. The armas de agua are considered ed with a double avenue of trees, and runs along a very ornamental part of the Mexican saddle, the canal of Chaleo. Its fashionable season lasts the top being bordered with red or yellow mofrom Easter to Whitsuntide; that of the Pasco rocco, and embroidered with gold or silver. Nuevo till autumn; and that of the Alameda The costume of the rider is as grotesque as during the winter; at all other periods of the that of his horse; the indescribable, of the most year they are quite deserted.
undescribable cut and shape, and accompanied Towards five o'clock in the afternoon, every by sundry.strange appendages. Below the knee one hastens to the promenades, especially on he wears a stag skin to protect his leg against Sundays and holidays. Whoever wishes to ob- thorns; yet his nether equipment is, on the whole, tain a sight of the fashionable world of Mexico, highly ornamental, and sometimes costs from must visit the Pasco de las Vigas on Easter Mon- seventy to eighty piastres, (fourteen to twenty day; there he will see, crowded in close ranks, pounds.) the numerous, multiform carriages of the capital, The hat is of a reddish brown, broad brimmed, heavy, but highly varnished, and profusely orna- but the crown very shallow; both brim and mented with silver, each drawn by two beautiful crown are trimmed with gold lace, the under side mules, whose harness and trappings are equally of the brim, which is green, is further decorated decorated with silver or brass, and stand out ex- with gold lace, about two inches wide. The eftremely well on their dark skins. The fair ceno- fect of this costume is heightened by the cloak, ras of Mexico, attired in their richest apparel, (manga or frazada.) The manga is a piece of pass in slow procession before the gaze of the woollen cloth, five or six yards in length, generaladmiring crowd. Every description of carriage ly of a light blue color, rounded at the corners, is put in requisition, from the splendid equipage and has a square hole cut in the centre to admit to the humble hackney, in their colors and orna- the head. li is often lined with red or yellow ments presenting as great a variety as the com- calico, and bordered with sundry trimmings of plexion and costume of the ladies, of every grade ribbons and fringe, interwoven with glass beads. of society. The European stranger, however, This trimming is generally of black silk, and is struck, not so much by the mules and their very frequently of gold tissue. The manga furtrappings, as by the grotesque leathern bag, nished in this style, the laced hai, the richly emgenerally ornamented ith a brass plaie, into broidered brieches, and the botas, sometimes which the tail of each animal is forced, as into a cost as much as three hundred piastres, (seventy hair-bag. The coachman does not occupy the pounds or more ;) yet we see them worn by perbox, but is mounted on one of the mules, to give sons who have expended their whole fortune in him more command over them.
the purchase-a fortune. perhaps, just acquired The equestrians are no less numerous and re- at the gaming-table: while others, such as mulemarkable in their appearance than the carriages. teers, &c., gladly deny themselves many positive A horse intended for the promenades (pasco) necessaries, and give up their hard-earned savmust be well fed, but not too large, and have a ings to become the happy owners of a manga. long thick mane; but its chief recommendation The frazada is a large woollen covering, disis raising the foreseet very high, with an incli- playing a gay pattern, and furnished, like the nation outwards; on account of this motion it manga, with a hole for the head; it is principalcalled brazeador. Only a single rein is used, ly worn on horseback, and is almost impervious generally of white leather, thickly studded with to rain. silver, with a sharp Arabian bit. Along the up- The rapidly increasing progress of European per part of the frontlet runs a slip of fur, three or manners and fashions has had the effect of throwfour fingers wille, embroidered at both ends with ing this costume much into disuse; and we fregold or silver. It is made to draw down, so as quently see the Mexican caballero attired in the to cover up the left eye of the horse in mounting. Spanish mantle or capa, an enormous pair of The saddle is a kind of Hungarian affair, circu- clattering spurs, weighing, with their various lar behind, and terminating in a pommel in front; etceteras, from two to three pounds; a large cotevery part is thickly mounted with eilver. The ton cloth, fastened on the right shoulder and carsaddle is covered with a richly embroidered fur ried under the left arm; in very hot weather he covering; the armas de agua are suspended puts it over his head, below the hat, as a protecfrom the pommel, and to complete this ridiculous tion against the sun. This is the sun cloth, (el accoutrement, the back part of the horse is in- pano de sol, often embroidered at the four cor
If you have
ners by some fair hand, and bestowed as a token At the depth of a few yards we came to the of favor.
image of the Virgin, around which some candles THE TERTULIAS-FEMALE SMOKING.
were burning in her honor. Having paid the
requisite obeisance and muttered a few prayers, The Tertulias are frequented by ladies as well the Indian guide conducted me deeper and as gentlemen, who meet for the purpose of pass- deeper into the subterranean galleries and ing away their time in smoking, chatting, danc-chambers of this rich and extensive mine. The ing, and singing. The custom of smoking has descent, for many hundred yards, was formed of spread to a most remarkable extent in Mexico, large broad slabs of stone, similar to those of a among both sexes. If you stop a friend in the well-made staircase; the vaulted domes of the street, instantly he offers you a cigar; if you passage and galleries leaving sufficient space make a call, the first inquiries after your health for the miner to pursue his laborious operations are followed by a similar offer; and the ladies with convenience and comfort. Owing to the feel not the slightest hesitation in taking out their great depth of the mine, it was a considerable little cigar case and joining you. If you go to a time ere we reached the more important works. Tertulia, you are sure to find cigars there, for Here we found several hundred Indian miners, every one smokes. If you go to the theatre or a in a state of almost perfect nudity, following their ball, you must provide yourself with cigars, for toilsome tasks. it is etiquette to present them to the ladies and
At one end of the first gallery there were any business to trans
some planks slightly laid across poles, which act with an acquaintance, a cigar must be light-supported three or four miners, who were drived before it can be settled, for the Mexican thinks ing iron punches into the hard matrix of the ore; and arranges best while enveloped in fumes; in in another direction twelve or fifteen blasts had short, it is impossible to do any thing, or go any been preparing and just completed. The cavern where, without being called on to smoke, and it
was very deep and extensive, and the glare of is considered unpolite to refuse a proffered cigar, the few burning torches shed a fajnt and sickly even if you dislike smoking ; you must accept it
, light over the crowd of human beings, whose although you are not obliged to make use of it. dusky forms could be distinguished from the ore
Both men and women would dread losing against which they leant, only by the occasional such an amusement; they would forfeit a pleas- movement of their almost naked persons. ant mode of passing their time, and break down
Every one being ordered to retire, we ascenda sort of contenance in society, if they were noted a higher portion of the cavern, where we to smoke. The true-hearted Mexican fair thinks could obtain a full view of the blasts without that she is destitute of one of her attractions if the slightest danger. The signal was at length she has not a cigar in her mouth; she wasts given, and the solitary miner who fired the last honied words to her lover from her rosy lips, in match bounded up from the cavern. An ebbing eildying fumes, and extends her dimpled arm Hash of light instantaneously burst forth,-and from beneath the envious concealment of the then a deafening crash of falling fragments of miantilla, to light a paper cigar, or to adjust that rock resounded through the cavern. The fumes of her lover. How could she fill up the time, of the exploded powder hung for a moment heaviwhich she now whiles away in smoking, or how ly on the ground, till a current of air rushing in retain the gracious offices of her duenna without from the adjoining levels, carried them away in such an occasional mark of her favor ?. If you undulating wreaths. endeavor to convince her of its unseemliness for
We returned to the cavern, which was thickly so fair a sex, she has a thousand things to say, strewn with the glittering ore and pieces of rock. in its defence; yet, to the honor of the ladies of Bodies of miners were immediately appointed, Mexico be it' said, they have been the first to some to reduce the mere bulky masses, others yield to the remonstrances of strangers, so that to carry them to the dispacho, an office where it is daily becoming more rare to see young la- their weight and estimated value are registered; dies smoking in public; it is beginning also to after which the whole was conveyed to the surdisappear at the theatre, and the balls in the cap- face of the mine, either on the backs of the Indiital, whence it is no longer necessary to have a ans or by means of machinery. separate smoking-room for the ladies. A pipe
The grand dispacho is placed near the tiro is never seen in Mexico, for every one uses ci- general, or general shaft; the arched passage gars. These, however, are of two sorts, the leading to it from the interior of the mine graduPuros, made of pure tobacco, and the Cigarros, ally increases in magnitude towards the tiro, till which contain only a small quantity of tobacco at a short distance from the dispacho it expands wrapped in paper. The women smoke the Ci- into an immense hall, beautifully arched with garros, which are only half the size of the Puros. masonry. The enormous sums which have VALENCIANA-Lights AND SHADOWS OF A
been expended in giving adequate security to
every part of the mine, by means of vaulted pasMINER'S LIFE.
sages, excited our astonishment; and, as I Time rolled on-I became a resident in the paused beneath the splendid dome leading to celebrated mining city of Guanaxuato, and was, the tiro, and reflected upon the untiring labors at length, enabled to look upon those vast reposi- of the poor Indians, I could not help remarking tories of glittering ore, from whence had issued to myself, “ The European may vent his contreasures such as Ophir had never produced in tempt elsewhere than on the head of the Indi its highest fame. Having equipped myself in a an!" mining dress, I descended the stairs leading into Passing on to the verge of the shaft, I supported the interior of the celebrated Valenciana mine. I myself by a beam with one hand, and in the May, 1844.
other held a flaming torch over the yawning The echoes yet the notes prolong, abyss; some were descending, others making When one, who oft o'er bill and dell the ascent-this was all that met the eye, till, in Had sought the spots where flowrets dwell, its endeavors to penetrate still further down,
And know their names and functions well,
And could of all their changes tell, every object was lost in impenetrable obscurity.
Thus answered to their song : The tiro is of an octagonal shape, and is about six or seven hundred yards in depth, and thir
" Loveliest children of earth, teen or fourteen yards across. Tracing its
Of more than each rainbow hue, downward course by means of the faint flicker
Of beauty coeval with birth ing light, I paused for an instant, and felt an
And fragrance found only in you ! involuntary shudder, as the thought of falling into it flashed across my mind. I started back, “Oh! that like you I could live, and, seizing the arm of my Indian guide, return- Free from all malice and strife, ed to the cavern.
That each thought and each pulse I could
Forth from my bulbous dwelling
I leapt at the summons of spring,
So gorgeous a tabard could bring?
timidly, Till the wooing winds of March came whispering
such a tale, That I op'd my balmy storex to enrich their health
Oh! tell me not of sorrow,
My heart's too young for care,
My heart to spurn delight,
As long as winter night :
The singing birds, the flow'rs,
Enjoys life's sunny hours.
She loves to see me gay,
A merry band we meet,
How swiftly moments fleet!
While yet untouch'd by care,
When Time has snow'd my hair.
Near to a prattling stream,
Or under the hedgerow trees,
And list to the passing breeza.
When the village school is o'er,
And the happy children free,
Haunts that are perfum'd by me.
Where the wild bee comes with a murmuring
song, Pilfering sweets as he roams along,
uprear my purple bell : List’ning the free-born eagle's cry, Marking the heathcock's glancing eye,
On the mountain-side I dweli.
With golden suns above me,
And flow’rs heneath my feet,
That never hated me?
Dance o'er a summer sea :
My heart's too young for care ;
Than this shall bind my hair.