join in the dance as lightsome as any. The ladies would say, "What wonderful people you must be! Here you are, prisoners in a foreign land, having already passed many dangers, and you must expect to fall into hands who will treat you unkindly - for all Mexicans are not what they should be - and still you appear as if nothing had befallen you."
How delightful it is to witness the salutations of Mexican female friends! they trip across the room to meet each other with a gait superior to our women, and instead of grasping the hand, they embrace with a bewitching, gossamer, ethereal touch, which cannot be properly described.4 In their balldress they look like winged creatures, and the moscheto  hawk, in stooping after its tiny prey, does not appear more lightsome than they when swinging through their delightful dances.5
Most of the Mexican dances are exceedingly beautiful; there is a luxury in the music, and a fascinating swing in their women peculiarly winning. Nothing can exceed the grace of their quadrilles and contra-dances. Their waltzes and gallopades are too much of a good thing for my unsophisticated taste. Among their other dances, they have one called the zopilote, or turkey-buzzard dance. This is performed somewhat after the manner of the bull-dance in old Virginia, a dance well known to the young men of that good old state at the conclusion of their balls, after the retirement of the ladies. Their fandango is a lively operation, mostly danced by the more common people, in which the gentleman leads his partner to the centre of the room; here they move face to face, the gentleman beating his feet against the floor in admirable time to the music, while the lady faces him in a regular monotonous hitch-up and back-down step, as uniform as the oscillation of a pendulum. Thus it is kept up until each party is relieved by some other groups.
As the lady is thus relieved, her caballero, in compliment to her performance, serves her with either coffee, chocolate, or aguardiente and a cigarrito; the latter she invariably takes between the middle and forefinger, and occasionally indulges with infinite grace the luxury of inhaling its delicious aroma.  Unlike the prodigal Virginian, who puffs it out upon the high pressure principle, after keeping the smoke some time in her mouth, she suffers it to escape from her nasal organ with such quiet gentleness as to allow of the full enjoyment of its odour, while its fumes settle under the olfactories of her beau, giving him a second benefit of the well-nursed incense.
To one like myself, who had never smoked a cigar, this fumigation was made sufferable through the channel whence it came; but my politeness had been put to a severer test.
On one occasion, the fair señorita with whom I danced, seeing that I did not smoke, took from her reticule a cigarrito, lighted it with the one she was smoking by first placing the new one in her own rosy lips, and then offered it to me.