Los gringos: or, An inside view of Mexico and California, with wanderings in Peru, Chili, and Polynesia

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R. Bentley, 1849 - California - 406 pages
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Page 359 - In all the lighter sketches upon Polynesia, I cannot resist paying the faint tribute of my own individual admiration to Mr. Melville. Apart from the innate beauty and charming tone of his narratives, the delineations of Island life and scenery, from my own personal observation, are most correctly and faithfully drawn.
Page 405 - There, when the sounds of flute and fiddle Gave signal sweet in that old hall Of hands across and down the middle, Hers was the subtlest spell by far Of all that set young hearts romancing: She was our queen, our rose, our star; And then she danced — oh, Heaven, her dancing!
Page 377 - Rated servant, greeted guest, Flow of wine, and flight of cork, Stroke of knife, and thrust of fork ; But where'er the board was spread, Grace, I ween, was never said ! Pulling and tugging the fisherman...
Page 170 - Thieving and pilfering were practiced among the lower orders, in an almost equal degree to knife combats. Leperos are thieves and liars by profession, and their coarse scrapes serve to conceal all their peccadillos . . . and as the leperos, as a body, are not fond of work, they exercised their ingenuity in appropriating property of others. I had escaped their depredations so long, that I fancied there was nothing worth niching in my possession, or innocently supposed there was some kind of freemasonry...
Page 316 - Sometimes unite; the Indian nut* alone Is clothing, meat and trencher, drink and can, Boat, cable, sail, and needle, all in one.
Page vii - Gringos," with which this volume has been christened, is the epithet — and rather a reproachful one — used in California and Mexico to designate the descendents of the Anglo-Saxon race. The definition of the word is somewhat similar to that of ' greenhorns,' in modern parlance, or ' Mohawks,' in the days of the Spectator.
Page 21 - When peril has numbed the sense and will. Though the hand and the foot may struggle still : Wilder far was the Abbot's glance, Deeper far was the Abbot's trance...
Page 360 - ... nut-brown" damsel, named Fayaway, from that valley, who apparently was maid of all work to a French commissary to the garrison. She was attired in a gaudy yellow robe de chambre, ironing the Crapeau's browsers! Credat Judeus! There was also a diminutive young oui oui tumbling about the mats, so it is presumable she had become childish of late; yet the proof is not strong, for it is quite as much in vogue among these southern groups to change names and give away infants, as the fashion in the...
Page 150 - ... soil, good climate, and excellent harbor of the area, Dana concluded that "nothing but the character of the people prevents Monterey from becoming a great town."11 Reporting on Mazatlan, a seaport on the west coast of Mexico, during the Mexican War, Lieutenant HA Wise wrote of the people that they were "beyond comparison the laziest and most ignorant set of vagabonds the world produces.
Page 47 - I'm not weak in the jints, but it's no joke to hold the heft of twenty-three pounds on a sight for above ten minits on a stretch; so Pete and me scrouched down, made a little smoke with some sticks, and then we moved off, a few rods, whar we got a clar peep. For better than an hour we see'd nothin'; but on a suddin I see'd the chap — I know'd him by his paintin' — that driv the arrer in my hide : he was peerin...

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