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12 o'clock at night the corpse was moved from the dwelling house to the Monte house, kept by the father, accompanied by the violin and all the company.  There it was laid out in form, and the company danced to the violin all night.  This morning tickets of invitation were issued to the citizens to attend the funeral.  M. Cortenoz is popular with the American population for the part he lately took in some Indian affairs, and many of the Americans attended the funeral, which is an unusual mark of respect with them.[13]

The poor, unconscious infant was sumptuously arrayed in costly apparel, a full dress, even to shoes, a nosegay in its clasped hands, and its head and other parts decorated with numerous artificial flowers and gaudy ribbons, which were made up and adjusted by the Mexican women, in public, while they chatted and laughed with as much glee as if it had been a country quilting.  A silver crucifix dagger was placed in the bosom of the corpse, and it was carried to the grave by six young females in a recumbent and almost upright position.  There was no priest, but a Sacristan officiated and chaunted the service.  The procession was accompanied by a drum, fife and two violins, playing lively tunes.  A crucifix was carried before the corpse; the persons in the procession were all uncovered.  Some of them, twenty or thirty, carried spermaceti candles in their hands, all burning, and others of the Mexicans carried guns, which they fired off from time to time during the procession to the grave.  Amidst all the preparation, merriment and noise, the wailing, screaming, howling of the mother was heard from time to time, until the procession left the house; she remained behind.  In the interior, I am told by Dr. Cameron, rockets are discharged during the procession, instead of the firing of guns.  It is indeed considered by them an especial occasion for every demonstration of rejoicing, as they think the deceased has gone to Heaven.  The mother alone permits the animal affections to predominate over her religious faith, and she seems to feel bound to make all possible demonstrations of outrageous grief.  The following day, I am told, she goes about her business, or dances like other women, and shows no signs of mourning.  Such are some of the inconsistencies and vagaries which poor human nature exhibits, under perverted religious influences, and deprived of proper mental and moral culture.

Left Nacogdoches about noon, in company with Dr. Herndon.  Rode to Col. John Durst's,[14]  on the Angelina, eighteen miles, before sunset.  This is a beautiful farm, and the best house that I have yet seen in Texas.  Col. Durst is a native Texean.  His parents came here from Louisiana, but were of Scotch origin.  He speaks French and Spanish better than English.  Has a small library, some good books, mostly relating to Mexican and Texas history, laws, etc., and nearly all in Spanish.  The honeysuckles, which clustered about the pillars of the piazza or gallery, were just blooming.  Found here Don Vincente Alderete,


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The Diary of William Fairfax Gray, from Virginia to Texas, 1835-1837
Copyright 1997 William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas