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mass of Indian women, with red headdresses; and leaning against the pillars, and standing up in the background, were Indians wrapped in black chamars. We waited till mass was over, and then accompanied the ladies to the house and breakfasted. Sunday though it was, the occupations for the day were a cockfight in the morning and bullfight in the afternoon. Our party was increased by the arrival of a distinguished family from Guatimala, and we all set out for the former. It was in the yard of an unoccupied house, which was already crowded; and I noticed, to the honour of the Indians and the shame of the better classes, that they were all Mestitzoes or white men, and, always excepting Carrera's soldiers, I never saw a worse looking or more assassin-like set of men. All along the walls of the yard were cocks tied by one leg, and men running about with other cocks under their arms, putting them on the ground to compare size and weight, regulating bets, and trying to cheat each other. At length a match was made; the ladies of our party had seats in the corridor of the house, and a space was cleared before them The gaffs were murderous instruments, more than two inches long, thick, and sharp as needles, and the birds were hardly on the ground before the feathers of the neck were ruffled and they flew at each other. In less time than had been taken to gaff them, one was lying on the ground with its tongue hanging out, and the blood running from its mouth, dead. The eagerness and vehemence, noise and uproar, wrangling, betting, swearing, and scuffling of the crowd, exhibited a dark picture of human nature and a sanguinary people. I owe it to the ladies to say, that in the city they never are present at such scenes. Here they went for no other reason that I could see than because they were
away from home, and it was part of the fête. We must make allowances for an education and state of society every way different from our own. They were not wanting in sensibility or refinement; and though they did not turn away with disgust, they seemed to take no interest in the fight, and were not disposed to wait for a second. Leaving the disgusting scene, we walked around the suburbs, one point of which commands a noble view of the plain and city of Guatimala, with the surrounding mountains, and suggests a wonder that, amid objects so grand and glorious, men can grow up with tastes so grovelling. Crossing the plaza, we heard music in a large house belonging to a rich muleteer; and entering, we found a young harpist, and two mendicant friars with shaved crowns, dressed in white, with long white mantles and hoods, of an order newly revived in Guatimala, and drinking agua ardiente. Mantas and hats were thrown off, tables and seats placed against the wall, and in a few moments my friends were waltzing; two or three cotillons followed, and we returned to the posada, where, after fruit of various kinds had been served, all took seats on the back piazza. A horse happened to be loose in the yard, and a young man, putting his hands on the hind quarters, jumped on his back. The rest of the young men followed suit, and then one lifted the horse up by his fore legs; when he dropped him another took him up, and all followed, very much to the astonishment of the poor animal. Then followed standing on the piazza and jumping over each other's heads; then one leaned down with his hands resting on the piazza, and another mounted on his back, and the former tried to shake him off without letting go his hands. Other feats followed, all impromptu, and each
more absurd than the one before it; and the whole concluded with a bullfight, in which two young men mounted on the backs of other two as matadors, and one, with his head between his shoulders, ran at them like a bull. Though these amusements were not very elegant, all were so intimate with each other, and there was such a perfect abandonment, that the whole went off with shouts of laughter. This over, the young men brought out the ladies' mantas, and again we sallied for a walk; but, reaching the plaza, the young men changed their minds; and seating the ladies, to whom I attached myself, in the shade, commenced prisoner's base. All who passed stopped, and the villagers seemed delighted with the gayety of our party. The players tumbled each other in the dust, to the great amusement of the lookers-on ; and this continued till we saw trays coming across the plaza, which was a sign of dinner. This over, and thinking that I had seen enough for one Sunday, I determined to forego the bullfight; and in company with Don Manuel and another prominent member of the Assembly, and his family, I set out on my return to the city. Their mode of travelling was primitive. All were on horseback, he himself with a little son behind him; his daughter alone; his wife on a pillion, with a servant to support her; a servant-maid with a child in her arms, and a servant on the top of the luggage. It was a beautiful afternoon, and the plain of Guatimala, with its green grass and dark mountains, was a lovely scene. As we entered the city we encountered a religious procession, with priests and monks all bearing lighted candles, and preceded by men throwing rockets. We avoided the plaza on account of the soldiers, and in a few minutes I was in my house, alone.
ON Tuesday, the seventeenth of December, I set out on an excursion to La Antigua Guatimala and the Pacific Ocean. I was accompanied by a young man who lived opposite, and wished to ascend the Volcano de Agua. I had discharged Augustin, and with great difficulty had procured a man who knew the route. Romaldi had but one fault: he was married ; like some other married men, he had a fancy for roving ; but his wife set her face against this propensity; she said that I was going to El Mar, the sea, and might carry him off, and she would never see him again, and the affectionate woman wept at the bare idea; but upon my paying the money into her hands before going, she consented. My only luggage was a hammock and pair of sheets, which Romaldi carried on his mule, and each had a pair of alforgas. At the gate we met Don José Vidaury, whom I had first seen in the president's chair of the Constituent Assembly, and who was going to visit his hacienda at the Antigua. Though it was only five or six hours' distant, Señor Vidaury, being a very heavy man, had two led horses, one of which he insisted on my mounting; and when I expressed my admiration of the animal, he told me, in the usual phrase of Spanish courtesy, that the horse was mine. It was done in the
same spirit in which a Frenchman, who had been entertained hospitably in a country house in England, of. fered himself to seven of the daughters, merely for the compliment. And my worthy friend would have been very much astonished if I had accepted his offer. The road to Mixco I have already described. In the village I stopped to see Chico. His hand had been cut off, and he was doing well. Leaving the village, we ascended a steep mountain, from the top of which we had a fine view of the village at its foot, the plain and city of Guatimala, and the Lake of Amatitan, enclosed by a belt of mountains. Descending by a wild and rugged road, we reached a plain, and saw on the left the village of San Pablo, and on the right, at some distance, another village. We then entered a piece of woodland, and first ascending, then again descended by the precipitous side of a mountain, with a magnificent ravine on our right, to a beautiful stream. At this place mountains rose all around us; but the banks of the stream were covered with delicate flowers, and parrots with gay plumage were perched on the trees and flying over our heads, making, in the midst of gigantic scenery, a fairy spot. The stream passed between two ranges of mountains so close together that there was barely room for a single horsepath by its side. As we continued the mountains turned to the left, and on the other side of the stream were a few openings, cultivated with cochineal, into the very hollow of the base. Again the road turned and then ran straight, making a vista of more than a mile between the mountains, at the end of which was the Antigua, standing in a delightful valley, shut in by mountains and hills that always retain their verdure, watered by two rivers that supply numerous fountains, with a climate in which heat