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a very comely sight to look upon, and
in smartness of attire may vie with the
muchacha of the Valley of Hicho y Ansรณ
or even with the famous Maja of Seville.
A white chemise of the manta, or fine
cotton cloth woven at Tepic, and trimmed
with lace round the neck and sleeves, which
last are plaited; a short petticoat of two
colours, scarlet and black stuff beneath,
and amber satin above; a crimson satin
jacket embroidered with gold, open in
front and without sleeves; the hair plaited
in two long tails behind, which are turned
up and passed through a golden ring; long
earrings of gold hammered into rude
patterns, and at least four necklaces of
coral, and amber, and mock pearls,
interspersed with crosses and blessed medals
these are the principal portions of the
Poblana's attire. Nor must a long broad
sash of bright colours be forgotten, tied
behind, and into the front of which is stuck
a dirty cigar-case. Then, a small striped
handkerchief of silk is fastened at the
throat by a silver brooch. The Poblana
seldom wears the mantilla, so dear, and
indeed so essential, to the costume of a
Castilian dame. The Mexican substitute
for the mantilla is the riboso*—a scarf,
generally, of some very dark colour and of a
striped pattern. The thread is almost as fine
as that of a Cashmere shawl, butlet it not
be told in Gathit is from cotton thread
only that this scarf is woven. I brought a
riboso home with me as a present to a lady.
She was exceedingly disgusted when I
confessed to the cotton of the fabric, but was
somewhat mollified when I mentioned the
fact that her riboso had cost me five ounces
of gold, or nearly twenty pounds. I have
seen, in Mexico City, ribosos worth a
hundred pounds. This picture, however, of
the Poblana would be sadly incomplete
did I omit to mention her dainty shoes
and stockings. The invariable gear for
her graceful extremities is composed of
pink silk stockings, open-worked in front,
and white satin shoes, sandalled. Her
ankles, as a rule, look as though they had
been turned in a lathe, and the insteps of
her feet are most delicately arched. Her
satin shoes have no heels; it is only the
flat-footed who require artificial heels.
* The riboso is the universal head and shoulder
covering of the Mexican female, from the highest to the
lowest grades. It is not exactly in accordance with
etiquette to make any early morning calls in Mexico;
but should you happen to have the honour to be
received, during the forenoon, either by a countess or a
shopkeeper's wife, you may, on entering the saloon of
the senora, reckon on four things; that the senora will
be mal peinnda; or unkempt; that her uncombed locks
will be shrouded by a riboso; that she will be smoking
a papolito; and that, at no great distance from her,
there will be a cup of chocolate

Crowds of these Poblanas and their
attendant cavaliers were gathered round the
Fonda de las Diligencias when our carriage
drew up. The costume of the attendant
cavaliers wasif I may use an expression
unsanctified by the authority of either
Johnson or Richardson, Webster or
Worcestergenerally "grubby." The Mexican
cavalier appears to the best advantage
under the influence of photography. He
makes a capital carte de visite. His oval
face, high cheek bones, flashing black eyes,
and long drooping moustaches; his gaily
braided jacket and chappareros, or overalls
of leather, with puffs of the white linen
drawers beneath bulging through the
slashes of the trousers; his sash full of
daggers and pistols; his striped blanket
cloak, which, in the day time, hangs over
his left shoulder, but which has a hole
in the centre through which, at night, he
puts his head; his huge plated spurs, and,
finally, his coach-wheel hat of enormous
circumference, with a "pudding" round
the low crown to protect him from
sunstroke; all these give him, in photography,
a dashing, devil-may-care, and essentially
romantic appearance, which claims for him
at once a place in the picture-gallery of
theatrical scoundrels. But he shouldn't be
seen out of a photograph. His lights and
shades, translated only in black and white,
leave nothing to be desired on the score
of picturesqueness; but when you come
to look at him in the flesh, and examine
his attire in its hues and textures, you will
discover your Mexican caballero to be a
dirty, ragged, sooty, unsavoury varlet.
His leathern jacket and overalls will be
found torn by briers, patched, and smirched
by stains of pulque, and sometimes of
blood. His coach-wheel hat turns out to
be battered as regards the brim, and
"caved in" about the region of the crown.
His sash is a greasy old rag, and his toes
are peeping through his upper-leathers.
You have seen an Italian brigand on the
stage? Yes; and there are photographers
in the Via Condotti, Rome, who persuade
more or less genuine highwaymen
from Terracina or Albano to come and sit
to them, in order that they may sell their
effigies to the Forestieri at three pauls
apiece. How very picturesque they look,
both at the theatres royal and in the print-
shops in the Corso, with their peaked hats,
their velvet smalls, their medals of the