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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
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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.
Excursion to La Antigua and the Pacific Ocean.—San Pablo.—Mountain Scene ry.—El Rio Pensativo.—La Antigua.—Account of its Destruction.—An Octogenarian.— The Cathedral. — San Juan Obispo.—Santa Maria.—Volcano da Agua.—Ascent of the Mountain.—The Crater.—A lofty Meeting-place.—The Descent.— Return to La Antigua.—Cultivation of Cochineal.—Classic Ground. —Ciudad Vieja.—Its Foundation.—Visit from Indians.—Departure from Ciudad Vieja.—First Sight of the Pacific.—Alotenango.—Volcan del Fuega.—Escuintla.—Sunset Scene.—Masagua.—Port of lstapa.—Arrival at the Pacific.
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 Jos6 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, Senor 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 mountaims, 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 Vol. I.-L. L. 23
or cold never predominates; yet this city, surrounded by more natural beauty than any location I ever saw, has perhaps undergone more calamities than any city that was ever built. We passed the gate and rode through the suburbs, in the opening of the valley, on one side of which was a new house that reminded me of an Italian villa, with a large cochineal plantation extending to the base of the mountain. We crossed a stream bearing the poetical name of El Rio Pensativo; on the other side was a fine fountain, and at the corner of the street was the ruined church of San Domingo, a monument of the dreadful earthquakes which had prostrated the old capital, and driven the inhabitants from their home.
On each side were the ruins of churches, convents, and private residences, large and costly, some lying in masses, some with fronts still standing, richly ornamented with stucco, cracked and yawning, roofless, without doors or windows, and trees growing inside above the walls. Many of the houses have been repaired, the city is repeopled, and presents a strange appearance of ruin and recovery. The inhabitants, like the dwellers over the buried Herculaneum, seemed to entertain no fears of renewed disaster. I rode up to the house of Don Miguel Manrique, which was occupied by his family at the time of the destruction of the city, and, after receiving a kind welcome, in company with Senor Vidaury walked to the plazau The print opposite will give an idea, which I cannot, of the beauty of this scene. The great volcanoes of Agua and Fuego look down upon it; in the centre is a noble stone fountain, and the buildings which face it, especially the palace of the captain general, displaying on its front the armorial bearings granted by the Em