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movements of the Utatlans; and on examining the houses, the Spaniards discovered that there were no preparations of provisions to regale them, as had been promised, but everywhere was a quantity of light dry fuel and other combustibles. Alvarado called his officers together, and laid before them their perilous situation, and the immediate necessity of withdrawing from the place ; and pretending to the king and his caciques that their horses were better in the open fields, the troops were collected, and without any appearance of alarm, marched in good order to the plain. The king, with pretended courtesy, accompanied them, and Alvarado, taking advantage of the opportunity, made him prisoner, and after trial and proof of his treachery, hung him on the spot. But neither the death of Tecum nor the ignominious execution of his son cou'd quell the fierce spirit of the Quichés. A new ebullition of animosity and rage broke forth. A general attack was made upon the Spaniards; but Spanish bravery and discipline increased with danger; and after a dreadful havoc by the artillery and horses, the Indians abandoned a field covered with their dead, and Utatlan, the capital, with the whole kingdom of Quiché, fell into the hands of Alvarado and the Spaniards. As we stood on the ruined fortress of Resguardo, the great plain, consecrated by the last struggle of a brave people, lay before us grand and beautiful, its bloodstains all washed out, and smiling with fertility, but perfectly desolate. Our guide leaning on his sword in the area beneath was the only person in sight. But very soon Bobon introduced a stranger, who cane stumbling along under a red silk umbrella, talking to Bobon and looking up at us. We recognised him as the cura, and descended to meet him. He laughed to see us grope

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our way down; by degrees his laugh became infectious, and when we met we all laughed together. All at once he stopped, looked very solemn, pulled off his neckcloth, and wiped the perspiration from his face, took out a paper of cigars, laughed, thrust them back, pulled out another, as he said, of Habaneras, and asked what was the news from Spain. Our friend's dress was as unclerical as his manner, viz., a broad-brimmed black glazed hat, an old black coat reaching to his heels, glossy from long use, and pantaloons to match; a striped roundabout, a waistcoat, flannel shirt, and under it a cotton one, perhaps washed when he shaved last, some weeks before. He laughed at our coming to see the ruins, and said that he laughed prodigiously himself when he first saw them. He was from Old Spain; had seen the battle of Trafalgar, looking on from the heights on shore, and laughed whenever he thought of it; the French fleet was blown sky high, and the Spanish went with it; Lord Nelson was killed—all for glory—he could not help laughing. He had left Spain to get rid of wars and revolutions: here we all laughed; sailed with twenty Dominican friars; was fired upon and chased into Jamaica by a French cruiser: here we laughed again; got an English convoy to Omoa, where he arrived at the breaking out of a revolution; had been all his life in the midst of revolutions, and it was now better than ever. Here we all laughed incontinently. His own laugh was so rich and expressive that it was perfectly irresistible. In fact, we were not disposed to resist, and in half an hour we were as intimate as if acquainted for years. The world was our butt, and we laughed at it outrageously. Except the Church, there were few things which the cura did not laugh at; but politics was his fa

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vourite subject. He was in favour of Morazan, or Carrera, or el Demonio: “vamos adelante,” “go ahead,” was his motto; he laughed at them all. If we had parted with him then, we should always have remembered him as the laughing cura; but, on farther acquaintance, we found in him such a vein of strong sense and knowledge, and, retired as he lived, he was so intimately acquainted with the country and all the public men, as a mere looker on his views were so correct and his satire so keen, yet without malice, that we improved his title by calling him the laughing philosopher. Having finished our observations at this place, stopping to laugh as some new greatness or folly of the world, past, present, or to come, occurred to us, we descended by a narrow path, crossed a ravine, and entered upon the table of land on which stood the palace and principal part of the city. Mr. Catherwood and I began examining and measuring the ruins, and the padre followed us, talking and laughing all the time; and when we were on some high place, out of his reach, he seated Bobon at the foot, discoursing to him of Alvarado, and Montezuma, and the daughter of the King of Tecpan Guatimala, and books and manuscripts in the convent; to all which Bobon listened without comprehending a word or moving a muscle, looking him directly in the face, and answering his long low laugh with a respectful “Si, señor.” The plan in the division of the last engraving marked A, represents the topography of the ground in the heart of the city which was occupied by the palace and other buildings of the royal house of Quiché. It is surrounded by an immense barranca or ravine, and the only entrance is through that part of the ravine by which we reached it, and which is defended by the fortress before

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referred to, marked B in the plate. The cura pointed out to us one part of the ravine which, he said, according to old manuscripts formerly existing in the convent, but now carried away, was artificial, and upon which forty thousand men had been employed at one time. The whole area was once occupied by the palace, seminary, and other buildings of the royal house of Quiché, which now lie for the most part in confused and shapeless masses of ruins. The palace, as the cura told us, with its courts and corridors, once covering the whole diameter, is completely destroyed, and the materials have been carried away to build the present village. In part, however, the floor remains entire, with fragments of the partition walls, so that the plan of the apartments can be distinctly made out. This floor is of a hard cement, which, though year after year washed by the floods of the rainy season, is hard and durable as stone. The inner walls were covered with plaster of a finer description, and in corners where there had been less exposure were the remains of colours; no doubt the whole interior had been ornamented with paintings. It gave a strange sensation to walk the floor of that roofless palace, and think of that king who left it at the head of seventy thousand men to repel the invaders of his empire. Corn was now growing among the ruins. The ground was used by an Indian family which claimed to be descended from the royal house. In one place was a desolate hut, occupied by them at the time of planting and gathering the corn. Adjoining the palace was a large plaza or courtyard, also covered with hard cement, in the centre of which were the relics of a fountain. The most important part remaining of these ruins is that which appears in the engraving, and which is call

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ed El Sacrificatorio, or the place of sacrifice. It is a quadrangular stone structure, sixty-six feet on each side at the base, and rising in a pyramidal form to the height, in its present condition, of thirty-three feet. On three sides there is a range of steps in the middle, each step seventeen inches high, and but eight inches on the upper surface, which makes the range so steep that in descending some caution is necessary. At the corners are four buttresses of cut stone, diminishing in size from the line of the square, and apparently intended to support the structure. On the side facing the west there are no steps, but the surface is smooth and covered with stucco, gray from long exposure. By breaking a little at the corners we saw that there were different layers of stucco, doubtless put on at different times, and all had been ornamented with painted figures. In one place we made out part of the body of a leopard, well drawn and coloured. The top of the Sacrificatorio is broken and ruined, but there is no doubt that it once supported an altar for those sacrifices of human victims which struck even the Spaniards with horror. It was barely large enough for the altar and officiating priests, and the idol to whom she sacrifice was offered. The whole was in full view of the people at the foot. The barbarous ministers carried up the victim entirely naked, pointed out the idol to which the sacrifice was made, that the people might pay their adorations, and then extended him upon the altar. This had a convex surface, and the body of the victim lay arched, with the trunk elevated and the head and feet depressed. Four priests held the legs and arms, and another kept his head firm with a wooden instrument made in the form of a coiled serpent, so that he was prevented

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