to visit this place, so celebrated as the site of aboriginal refinement in the New World, and more celebrated still as the place of the most remarkable conquests in the annals of mankind, here am I a prisoner and in rags, treated with the contumely and cruelty of a felon, because we dared to war for our country, and fight her enemy in a manner she expected of us: thus, I say, to be compelled to view the city of the Montezumas - to be able to give but a passing glimpse at the aqueducts, calzadas,10 and teocallis11 of that remarkable people - to glance at the bloody paths of Cortes and Alvarado, is what I could not have preferred. However, it is a tribute which some have to pay to liberty, and it is as well that it should have fallen upon us as upon better men: it is the fate of war, and we bear it with the fortitude of men.
We reached the western suburbs of the city, where we halted a few minutes in front of a large church,  and purchased some bread and fruit for our breakfast. From this place we veered to the right, and fell into a road which led to Tacubaya, which place we reached about noon, where the regiment were quartered in a portion of the archbishop's palace, which had formerly been used as a convent.12 This is an extensive building, adjoining a church, to which is attached a spacious enclosure of fruit-trees and evergreens. The portion of the building occupied by the regiment contained a great many rooms both upon the lower and upper floors, a number of which were appropriated to the use of the officers and soldiers. In the centre of the building was an open court, surrounded by a double corridor. The sides of this parallelogram, both below and above, were covered with large-sized scriptural paintings upon canvass, representing every stage of the crucifixion of Christ. The artist must have been a Mexican, for he has mixed in several of his pieces a rare combination of Mexican taste. In one piece, for instance, after our Saviour was nailed to the cross, and surrounded by the unbelieving Israelites, he has a Jew in full ranchero's costume, mounted upon a bushy-maned, long-tailed mustang, spear in hand, charging upon him. The blood flowing from his side, with forgiveness upon his countenance, and unrelenting persecution in the surrounding multitude, is a melancholy sight, and enough to make Mexicans hate Jews. The gray-bearded followers of the cross, looking down upon us in every direction,  admonished how perishable are the things of this world, while the benign and angelic beauty of the Holy Virgin, just above, whose eyes appeared bent upon our lowly couch, seemed to pity our condition. Just beyond, one of the fathers is blessing the young Messiah, whose cherub beauty, surrounded by a halo of glory, showed that he was coming to illume a benighted world. The effect of these numerous paintings upon a Catholic population is calculated to inspire reverence for their religion: it made us Protestants feel like better men.
In the centre of this court is a water spout, emptying an ample supply of the delicious liquid, fresh from the aqueduct of Chapultepec, into a large stone