Saturday 26th – beautiful weather – light winds. Saw Orizaba this morning and as the day advanced the low country. At 5.30 P.M. came to anchor before Vera Cruz, where we remained all night. Here two of our passengers disembarked, of whom I shall now proceed to give you my opinion. Their names were M.Robert Foularton & M.Malley.

When I saw M.Foularton come on board at Falmouth, I was particularly struck with his phiz. To my eyes it expressed something sinister & unprepossessing – and from the very first, I could not look upon him but with dislike, & thought that this feeling would last if not increase during the whole voyage. As time wore on, and the characters, talents and dispositions of our passengers gradually unfolded themselves, I found to my surprise that I could then observe no traces of blackguardism which I had considered as so unequivocally displayed in M.F. On the contrary I began to look upon his countenance as rather handsome, and if not conveying the idea of loveableness, at least free from scowling malignity and impudent forwardness. This change in my opinions was brought about by my frequent intercourse with him, which enabled me to perceive that he far surpassed our other passengers in intellect and extent of information. I infinitely preferred the energy and fervour of his conversation to the insipidity of M.Levison or the plain merchant-like discourse of M.Malley. Every day we were in the habit of taking long walks, and beguiling the tedious hours in discussing topics of classical and Philosophical interest. Unfortunately for him the bias of his mind was towards scepticism & his standard was Hume, to Claire & Bolinbroke with some ideas peculiar to himself. Of course I avoided as much as I could the subject of religion – but this at all times could not be done. Neither my own firm conviction of the truth of Christianity, nor the inference which he might draw from my silence when he attacked its sacred principles with sneers and derision would permit me to be altogether silent. As might be expected our arguments left us both in statu quo antea. I plainly perceived the sophistry & speciousness of his reasoning, while he attributed all I urged on my side to the prejudice of education & habit. I verily believe that if a startling thought should enter his soul that Christianity might be true & that the vengeance of the Almighty might visit him for ever with the punishment of everlasting fact, he would dismiss it as a nonsensical relict of superstition and priestcraft which had been instilled into him when others had the guidance of his thoughts and held the reins of his realm. Surely his opinions are the delusions of a soul which spurned the wholesome restraints imposed on our passions and appetites – by our own holy and uncompromising religion. Anxious to throw off the iron yoke he grasped with eagerness at every point which seemed to afford him a satisfactory of his conduct – and at once in an effort of desperation, settled himself down in the belief that a religion which was encompassed with so many difficult mysteries could not be true. The truths of the bible were indeed hard sayings to him – and of this he was glad. From his own lips I have heard him pronounce sentence of condemnation against himself in as much as he owned to vices and immoralities, expressly denounced in the scriptures. These, if he were a Christian, would often have awoke the strings of conscience as their indulgence was not only sinful & unsanctioned, but productive of the greatest misery to followers, & if  universally pursued would involve the whole frame work of society in disorder and ruin. But whilst he acknowledged not the truth and obligations of religion he falsely imagined that he might revel in every sinful delight & delightful vice, provided he did not outstep the limits of legal permission, and render himself the object of punishment. T’would require no great stretch of foresight to see how boundless would be the evil if his sentiments were adopted by men in general, destroying all social order & harmony – turning every one against his neighbour & erecting will and might as the sole arbiters of our actions.

M.Foularton has decidedly the features of a North Briton, viz. the high cheek-bones & carroty poll. I have heard him say that the Carnegies who live in Warrieston Crescent were his cousins, as also the Taylors of Greenock. He went to see in the East Indian Comp.y service, but as he said he was kicked out of it for his impudent tricks. He has frequently commanded vessels, owned by his father, who I think he told me had been one of the commissioners of the Board of Trade. He was much in Domingo during the time of Christophe and most likely had his infidel opinions confirmed, if they were not imbibed there. He has been otherwise a great traveller, & originally purchased for a Company the United Kingdomsteamer. [3] I rather imagine he can use a travellers privilege when occasion serves, or in other words can draw a long bow. Notwithstanding all his bravery of language he was very nervous, and as timid as a maiden when a slight illness attacked him. When I charged him with this he faintly denied it, and then said that he was uneasy only on account of his wife & child, whom he has left in England, who would be left destitute should he be taken from them.

M.Foularton was going to one of the mines in Mexico, but in what capacity I could never learn altho’ he told us of his own accord that he had 30 shillings a day. He had with him a great number of guns & pistols, with all the apparatus complete to sell in the country, & expected to realise a large profit which I doubt. He had besides many nick nacks and curiosities for the same market with the same hopes.

M.r Malley

Monsieur Malley was a native of Germany where his father follows the business of watchmaker and jeweller, altho’ he had originally come from Geneva. His Mother is a native of Leipsic. M.Malley in his appearance was soft and mild with a foreign look. Like all his countrymen he was a complete merchant – knew the value of every commodity and indeed only considered any article in reference to its value and not to its ability and beauty. When very young he had attended watchmaking but having lost the sight of one eye, & his health suffering from the sedentary confinement of the business, he became a clerk and went out to Mexico – was there faithful, industrious & sober – slaved year after year until now he is the principal partner in the firm.

M.Malley is about 35 years of age, of remarkably mild ands soft manners – He was always contented and pleased – and when I remarked this to him, he very oddly said that when he was a young man he laboured hard and had much trouble & anxiety, but now when he was comfortable, why should he disquiet himself with petty evils, and thereby shorten his life which he wished to prolong as long as possible. He seemed very nervous when he had a slight cold. His great fear was that now when he had acquired sufficient to purchase for himself those pleasures after which he had so ardently panted, death might slip in and spoil all his long indulged anticipations. I was much amused with his proposed schemes of enjoyment – they were so simple and inexpensive. To combine pleasure and economy was now his whole study and he seemed seriously to adopt some hints which I had merely uttered in jest. He had travelled all thro’ Germany – had been in Russia England & France. All his observations on these countries were concerned in the very spirit of a trader – he knew to ___slle their produce and exports but was totally ignorant of their public buildings, their institutions & their literature. His simplicity was an excellent foil to the affectation of Levison, and the powerful intellect of Foularton. In short I liked him very much. He could converse very well in French English and German. I ought not to forget that one of the pleasures of this life consisted in eating. How often have I left off munching myself to observe the intense devotion with which he applied himself to his trencher. He never lifted up his eyes or uttered a word until the contents had disappeared & his tongue only gave utterance in asking for more grub. When you asked him to take wine with you, and this you had to do in a loud voice, he would look up with a sudden start, and hasten to make amends for the unwelcome interruption. With all this strong propensity to gourmandising, he had a most righteous regard to his health – and it was only to hint that such and such an article was not good, and not any persuasion would induce him to touch it. He entertained a high idea “de regularitate intestinaum,” and used to observe us all, envying those in particular who had been so happy as to have duas dejectiones serigulis diebus.

Notwithstanding all M.Malley’s oddities, infirmities and whimsicalities, I say may success attend him – & may he live many years to enjoy the paradise of delights, of which his imagination is now so full. Sic preatur amicus ejus firmis semies Jacobus W.mson.

Read on … State of Mexico