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particular objects of our visit, with great earnestness and haste told the padre that the minister of New-York had heard in his country of a remarkable stone, and the provesor and Carrera were anxious for him to see it. The padre said that it was in the church, and lay on the top of the grand altar; the cup of the sacrament stood upon it; it was covered up, and very sacred; he had never seen it, and he was evidently unwilling to let us see it, but said he would endeavour to do so when we returned from the ruins. He sent for a guide, and we went out to the courtyard of the church; and while Mr. Catherwood was attempting a sketch, I walked up the steps. The interior was lofty, spacious, richly ornamented with stuccoed figures and paintings, dark and solemn, and in the distance was the grand altar, with long wax candles burning upon it, and Indians kneeling before it. At the door a man stopped me, and said that I must not enter with sword and spurs, and even that I must take off my boots. I would have done so, but saw that the Indians did not like a stranger going into their church. They were evidently entirely unaccustomed to the sight of strangers, and Mr. Catherwood was so annoyed by their gathering round him that he gave up his drawing; and fearing it would be worse on our return, I told Don Saturnino that we must make an effort to see the stone now. Don Saturmino had a great respect for the priests and the Church. He was not a fanatic, but he thought a powerful religious influence good for the Indians. Nevertheless, he said we ought to see it; and we went back in a body to the padre, and Don Saturnino told him that we were anxious to see the stone now, to prevent delay on our return. The good padre's heavy body was troubled. He asked for the provesor's letter again, read it over,

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went out on the corridor and consulted with a brother about as old and round as himself, and at length told us to wait in that room and he would bring it. As he went out he ordered all the Indians in the courtyard, about forty or fifty, to go to the cabildo and tell the alcalde to send the guide. In a few minutes he returned, and opening with some trepidation the folds of his large gown, produced the stone. Fuentes, in speaking of the old city, says, “To the westward of the city there is a little mount that commands it, on which stands a small round building about six feet in height, in the middle of which there is a pedestal formed of a shining substance resembling glass, but the precise quality of which has not been ascertained. Seated around this building, the judges heard and decided the causes brought before them, and their sentences were executed upon the spot. Previous to executing them, however, it was necessary to have them confirmed by the oracle, for which purpose three of the judges left their seats and proceeded to a deep ravine, where there was a place of worship containing a black transparent stone, on the surface of which the Deity was supposed to indicate the fate of the criminal. If the decision was approved, the sentence was executed immediately; if nothing appeared on the stone, the accused was set at liberty. This oracle was also consulted in the affairs of war. The Bishop Francisco Marroquin having obtained intelligence of this slab, ordered it to be cut square, and consecrated it for the top of the grand altar in the Church of Tecpan Guatimala. It is a stone of singular beauty, about a yard and a half each way.” The “Modern Traveller” refers to it as an “interesting specimen of ancient art;” and in 1825 concludes, “we may hope, before long, to receive some more distinct account of this oracular stone.” The world—meaning thereby the two classes into which an author once divided it, of subscribers and non-subscribers to his work—the world that reads these pages is indebted to Don Saturnino for some additional information. The stone was sewed up in a piece of cotton cloth drawn tight, which looked certainly as old as the thirty-five years it had been under the cura's charge, and probably was the same covering in which it was enveloped when first laid on the top of the altar. One or two stitches were cut in the middle, and this was perhaps all we should have seen; but Don Saturnino, with a hurried jargon of “strange, curious, sacred, incomprehensible, the provesor's letter, minister of NewYork,” &c., whipped out his penknife, and the good old padre, heavy with agitation and his own weight, sunk into his chair, still holding on with both hands. Don Saturnino ripped till he almost cut the good old man's fingers, slipped out the sacred tablet, and left the sack in the padre's hands. The padre sat a picture of self-abandonment, helplessness, distress, and self-reproach. We moved toward the light, and Don Saturmino, with a twinkle of his eyes and a ludicrous earnestness, consummated the padre's fear and horror by scratching the sacred stone with his knife. This oracular slab is a piece of common slate, fourteen inches by ten, and about as thick as those used by boys at school, without characters of any kind upon it. With a strong predilection for the marvellous, and scratching it most irreverently, we could make nothing more out of it. . Don Saturnino handed it back to the padre, and told him that he had better sew it up and put it back; and probably it is now in its place on the top of the grand altar,

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with the sacramental cup upon it, an object of veneration to the fanatic Indians. But the agitation of the padre destroyed whatever there was of comic in the scene. Recovering from the shock, he told us not to go back through the town; that there was a road direct to the old city; and concealing the tablet under his gown, he walked out with a firm step, and in a strong, unbroken voice, rapidly, in their own unintelligible dialect, called to the Indians to bring up our horses, and directed the guide to put us in the road which led direct to the molina. He feared that the Indians might discover our sacrilegious act; and as we looked in their stupid faces, we were well satisfied to get away before any such discovery was made, rejoicing more than the padre that we could get back to the molina without returning through the town. We had but to mount and ride. At the distance of a mile and a half we reached the bank of an immense ravine. We descended it, Don Saturnino leading the way; and at the foot, on the other side, he stopped at a narrow passage, barely wide enough for the mule to pass. This was the entrance to the old city. It was a winding passage cut in the side of the ravine, twenty or thirty feet deep, and not wide enough for two horsemen to ride abreast; and this continued to the high table of land on which stood the ancient city of Patinamit. This city flourished with the once powerful kingdom of the Kachiquel Indians. Its name, in their language, means “the city.” It was also called Tecpan Guatimala, which, according to Vasques, means “the Royal House of Guatimala,” and he infers that it was the capital of the Kachiquel kings; but Fuentes supposes that Tecpan Guatimala was the arsenal of the kingdom, and not the royal residence, which honour belonged to Gua

timala, and that the former was so called from its situation on an eminence with respect to the latter, the word Tecpan meaning “above.” According to Fuentes, Patinamit was seated on an eminence, and surrounded by a deep defile or natural fosse, the perpendicular height of which, from the level of the city, was more than one hundred fathoms. The only entrance was by a narrow causeway terminated by two gates, constructed of the chay stone, one on the exterior and the other on the interior wall of the city. The plane of this eminence extends about three miles in length from north to south, and about two in breadth from east to west. The soil is covered with a stiff clay about three quarters of a yard deep. On one side of the area are the remains of a magnificent building, perfectly square, each side measuring one hundred paces, constructed of hewn stones extremely well put together; in front of the building is a large square, on one side of which stand the ruins of a sumptuous palace, and near to it are the foundations of several houses. A trench three yards deep runs from north to south through the city, having a breastwork of masonry rising about a yard high. On the eastern side of this trench stood the houses of the nobles, and on the opposite side the houses of the maseguales or commoners. The streets were, as may still be seen, straight and spacious, crossing each other at right angles. When we rose upon the table, for some distance it bore no marks of ever having been a city. Very soon we came upon an Indian burning down trees and preparing a piece of ground for planting corn. Don Saturnino asked him to go with us and show us the ruins, but he refused. Soon after we reached a hut, outside of which a woman was washing. We asked her to ac

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