a few lines, when he called Mr. Van Ness to him, and asked him who that man was that cursed him, and to say to him that if he did so again he would have him shot: "that I am a man of but one word." The doctor replied, "If he wishes to shoot, let him shoot; I am ready to be shot." This reply so vexed the old fellow that he made an attempt to draw his sword, but putting it back, he rode up and struck the doctor upon the face, at which several of our party hallooed out to the doctor to give him his whip. Dr. S. told him that that was Mexican valour - muy valiente, very brave - to strike a prisoner, and that, if he was upon an equality of circumstances, he would not dare it. The colonel, who understood English well, seemed sensible of the rebuke, and rode off. Language fails me in expressing my contempt of a transaction so supremely mean and cowardly - that one wearing the insignia of honour and bravery should strike his equal whose hands were tied. Two leagues farther brought us to Tepec, where we were quartered for the night.
March 14th. Seven leagues to-day brought us to Guarticlan,8 where we were quartered, as usual, in a filthy apartment.
March 15th. At 3 o'clock A.M. the bugle sounded the march, and we had seven leagues to go before reaching Tacubaya, a small town upon an elevation in the Valley of Mexico, about four miles southwest of the city. At broad daylight we commenced descending into the Valley of Mexico, and the prospect was sublimely beautiful. It looked as if we were entering into Elysium. With tremendous high mountains surrounding the valley, which is a basin of about thirty by sixty English miles, and laid off in labours, beautifully ditched, and highly cultivated with the schinus, osiers, and other evergreens growing upon the ditches, and overlapping the roads with their luxurious foliage in every direction - with a magnificent city in the centre, and numerous smaller towns filled with spires, and scattered over the plain wherever the eye could reach, gave the view an air of enchantment, which to be enjoyed must be seen. When we reached the plain below, it was not difficult to imagine that we were on the highest and most choice spot upon the earth, surrounded by a tremendous high wall, for such is the appearance of the porphyritic mountain sides which surround the valley; but when we looked up to the eternal snow-mountains of Popocatepetl and Istazihuatl far above us, we could as easily imagine we were far into the earth's cavity. However, it is not for me  to give life to this scene. I write "with a running pen"* and in a tyrant's chains; and though I may have viewed the ancient valley of Anahuac and the place of Tenochtitlan as did Humbolt, Poinsett, Ward, Prescott, Myer,9 and others, they were in better humour, and had more leisure to do justice to this classic panorama.
Thus, after years of fond hope that peace and competence would enable me
* I should have said, with a pen running. The common application of the currente calamo would betray a vanity which belongs not to this hurried scribbling.