whence he is turned into the army, while one upon the suspicion of theft in our army would find his head shaved and himself drummed out of the ranks, to the music of the Rogues' March. "An honourable discharge" from our army is the highest boast of its owner; he prizes it as the richest jewel he can leave to his posterity; and while with pride his heart swells over it as a matter of patriotism, it is the foundation of his land-title. Not so in Mexico; neither land nor patriotism enters into the account; honourable discharges are not known; and while a bad criminal is kept in the service as a punishment, a good soldier is too valuable to be spared the service. In their ranks, good and bad alike wear out a premature existence upon a scanty pittance, which poorly serves him from day to day; and without the expectation of future reward, he seeks every opportunity of deserting from this unthankful service.
Nowhere, upon my long march through Mexico,  except in the valley of the Rio Grande, was the least sign of improvement, either public or private, either in building or agriculture. The withering hand of decay appears to be fastened upon the land; everything seems to be in its downward tendency, as fast as time and neglect will carry it. The subject, so long debased, is sinking lower and faster, if possible. Their ages of vice and misery have entailed upon them diseases, which follow from generation to generation, sickening to contemplate, and disgusting to behold. Lunacy, blindness, deformity, and many libidinous diseases are the hereditary entailments of the multitude, and carry off thousands yearly when in the prime age of manhood.
At San Luis Potosi I was quartered in a hospital, and in the room adjoining that in which I was confined there were forty out of forty-three of its inmates inflicted with lewd diseases, most of whom were considered to be incurable. During my short stay at this place, several died the most horrible deaths. This, I was informed by an intelligent Mexican officer, was a fair proportion of the diseases of the country, and that it was hereditary in families. When, with astonishment, I asked him if the disease extended to the better classes of society, he replied in the affirmative, but said "that people, of late, were getting more particular, and now its non-existence entered into the marriage contract: that it was one of the first inquiries of parents before they bestowed the hand of a daughter, and vice versa with  the parents of the son." What a monstrous state of society! and how shocking it must appear to the public ear of the United States! that community which looks with such horror at the possible existence of it, even in the very small proportion of the lowest dregs of a city population.
I saw families, a large proportion of whom were blind, and one, in particular, wretchedly deformed, without any other use of their legs than to crawl upon their all fours, with a kind of jumping gait, much resembling the motion of the mud turtle. These miserable creatures, who appeared as destitute of reason as of physical power, were huddled together in the greatest destitution, and