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and the surface as smooth as if coated with enamel. It is twelve inches high, and the interior is hollow, including the arms and legs. In his report to the government, Don Miguel calls it Cabuahuil, or one of the deities of the ancient inhabitants of Quiché. I do not know upon what authority he has given it this name, but to me it does not seem improbable that his supposition is true, and that to this earthen vessel human victims have been offered in sacrifice. The heads in the engraving were given me by the cura. They are of terra cotta; the lower one is hollow and the upper is solid, with a polished surface. They are hard as stone, and in workmanship will compare with images in the same material by artists of the present day. In our investigation of antiquities we considered this place important from the fact that its history is known and its date fixed. It was in its greatest splendour when Alvarado conquered it. It proves the character of the buildings which the Indians of that day constructed, and in its ruins confirms the glowing accounts given by Cortez and his companions of the splendour displayed in the edifices of Mexico. The point to which we directed our attention was to discover some resemblance to the ruins of Copan and Quirigua; but we did not find statues, or carved figures, or hieroglyphics, nor could we learn that any had ever been found there. If there had been such evidences we should have considered these remains the works of the same race of people, but in the absence of such evidences we believed that Copan and Quirigua were cities of another race and of a much older date. The padre told us that thirty years before, when he first saw it, the palace was entire to the garden. He was
then fresh from the palaces of Spain, and it seemed as if he was again among them. Shortly after his arrival a small gold image was found and sent to Zerabia, the president of Guatimala, who ordered a commission from the capital to search for hidden treasure. In this search the palace was destroyed; the Indians, roused by the destruction of their ancient capital, rose, and threatened to kill the workmen unless they left the country; and but for this, the cura said, every stone would have been razed to the ground. The Indians of Quiché have at all times a bad name; at Guatimala it was always spoken of as an unsafe place to visit; and the padre told us that they looked with distrust upon any stranger coming to the ruins. At that moment they were in a state of universal excitement; and coming close to us, he said that in the village they stood at swords' points with the Mestitzoes, ready to cut their throats, and with all his exertions he could barely keep down a general rising and massacre. Even this information he gave us with a laugh. We asked him if he had no fears for himself. He said no ; that he was beloved by the Indians; he had passed the greater part of his life among them; and as yet the padres were safe : the Indians considered them almost as saints. Here he laughed. Carrera was on their side; but if he turned against them it would be time to fly. This was communicated and received with peals of laughter; and the more serious the subject, the louder was our cachinnation. And all the time the padre made continual reference to books and manuscripts, showing antiquarian studies and profound knowledge. Under one of the buildings was an opening which the Indians called a cave, and by which they said one could reach Mexico in an hour. I crawled under, and found a pointed-arch roof formed by stones lapping over each other, but was prevented exploring it by want of light, and the padre's crying to me that it was the season of earthquakes; and he laughed more than usual at the hurry with which I came out; but all at once he stopped, and grasping his pantaloons, hopped about, crying, “a snake, a snake.” The guide and Bobon hurried to his relief; and by a simple process, but with great respect, one at work on each side, were in a fair way of securing the intruder; but the padre could not stand still, and with his agitation and restlessness tore loose from their hold, and brought to light a large grasshopper. While Bobon and the guide, without a smile, restored him, and put each button in its place, we finished with a laugh outrageous to the memory of the departed inhabitants, and to all sentiment connected with the ruins of a great city. As we returned to the village the padre pointed out on the plain the direction of four roads, which led, and which, according to him, are still open, to Mexico, Tecpan Guatimala, Los Altos, and Vera Paz.
Interior of a Convent.—Royal Bird of Quiché.-Indian Languages.—The Lord's Prayer in the Quiché Language.—Numerals in the same.—Church of Quiché. —Indian Superstitions.—Another lost City.—Tierra de Guerra.-The Aboriginals.-Their Conversion to Christianity.—They were never conquered.—A living City.—Indian Tradition respecting this City.—Probably has never been visited by the Whites.—Presents a noble Field for future Enterprise.—Departure.— San Pedro.—Wirtue of a Passport.—A difficult Ascent.—Mountain Scenery.—Totonicapan.—An excellent Dinner.—A Country of Aloes.—“River of Blood.”—Arrival at Quezaltenango.
It was late when we returned to the convent. The good padre regretted not being at home when we arrived, and said that he always locked his room to prevent the women throwing things into confusion. When we entered it was in what he called order, but this order was of a class that beggars description. The room contained a table, chairs, and two settees, but there was not a vacant place even on the table to sit down or to lay a hat upon. Every spot was encumbered with articles, of which four bottles, a cruet of mustard and another of oil, bones, cups, plates, sauce-boat, a large lump of sugar, a paper of salt, minerals and large stones, shells, pieces of pottery, sculls, bones, cheese, books, and manuscripts formed part. On a shelf over his bed were two stuffed quezales, the royal bird of Quiché, the most beautiful that flies, so proud of its tail that it builds its nest with two openings, to pass in and out without turning, and whose plumes were not permitted to be used except by the royal family.
Amid this confusion a corner was cleared on the table for dinner. The conversation continued in the same unbroken stream of knowledge, research, sagacity, and satire on his part. Political matters were spoken of in
whispers when any servants were in the rooms. A laugh was the comment upon everything, and in the evening we were deep in the mysteries of Indian history. Besides the Mexican or Aztec language; spoken by the Pipil Indians along the coast of the Pacific, there are twenty-four dialects peculiar to Guatimala. Though sometimes bearing such a strong resemblance in some of their idioms that the Indians of one tribe can understand each other, in general the padres, after years of residence, can only speak the language of the tribe among which they live. This diversity of languages had seemed to me an insuperable impediment in the way of any thorough investigation and study of Indian history and traditions; but the cura, profound in everything that related to the Indians, told us that the Quiché was the parent tongue, and that, by one familiar with it, the others are easily acquired. If this be true, a new and most interesting field of research is opened. During my whole journey, even at Guatimala, I had not been able to procure any grammar of an Indian language, nor any manuscripts. I made several vocabularies, which I have not thought it worth while to publish; but the padre had a book prepared by some of the early fathers for the church service, which he promised to have copied for me and sent to a friend at Guatimala, and from which I copied the Lord's prayer in the Quiché language. It is as follows: Cacahan chicah lae coni Vtzah. Veahaxtizaxie mayih Bila Chipa ta pa Cani ahauremla Chibantah. Ahuamla Uaxale Chiyala Chiqueeh hauta Vleus quehexi Caban Chicah. Uacamic Chiyala. Chiqueeh hauta. Eihil Caua. Zachala Camac quehexi Cacazachbep qui. Mac Xemocum Chiqueeh; moho Estachcula maxa Copahic