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DOING THE HONOUIIS. 335
posite corridor, where the sight of our loose traps might not tempt them to their undoing, and selecting a place for that purpose, the catres were set up immediately, and, with all the comforts of home, the padres lay down for an hour's rest. I had no ill-will toward these worthy men; on the contrary, the most friendly feeling; but, to do the honours of the palace, I invited them to dine with us. Catherwood and Pawling objected, and they would have done better if left to themselves; but they appreciated the spirit of the invitation, and returned me muchas gratias. After their siesta I escorted them over the palace, and left them in their apartment. Singularly enough, that night there was no rain; so that, with a hat before a candle, we crossed the courtyard and paid them a visit; we found the three reverend gentlemen sitting on a mat on the ground, winding up the day with a comfortable game at cards, and the Indians asleep around them.
The next morning, with the assistance of Pawling and the Indians to lift and haul them, I escorted them to the other buildings, heard some curious speculations, and at two o'clock, with many expressions of good-will, and pressing invitations to their different convents, they returned to the village.
Late in the afternoon the storm set in with terrific thunder, which at night rolled with fearful crashes against the walls, while the vivid lightning flashed along the corridors. The padres had laughed at us for their superior discrimination in selecting a sleepingplace, and this night their apartment was flooded. From this time my notebook contains memoranda only of the arrival of the Indians, with the time that the storm set in, its violence and duration, the deluges of rain, and the places to which we were obliged to move
our beds. Every day our residence became more wet and uncomfortable. On Thursday, the thirtieth of May, the storm opened with a whirlwind. At night the crash of falling trees rang through the forest, rain fell in deluges, the roaring of thunder was terrific, and as we lay looking out, the aspect of the ruined palace, lighted by the glare of lightning such as I never saw in this country, was awfully grand; in fact, there was too much of the sublime and terrible. The storm threatened the very existence of the building; and, knowing the tottering state of the walls, for some moments we had apprehensions lest the whole should fall and crush us. In the morning the courtyard and the ground below the palace were flooded, and by this time the whole front was so wet that we were obliged to desert it and move to the other side of the corridor. Even here we were not much better off; but we remained until Mr. Catherwood had finished his last drawing; and on Saturday, the first of June, like rats leaving a sinking ship, we broke up and left the ruins. Before leaving, however, I will present a description of the remaining buildings.
PLAN OF THE RUINS. 337
Plan of the Rain*.—Pyramidal Structure.—A Building.—Stucco Ornaments.— Human Figures.—Tablets.—Remarkable Hieroglyphics.—Range of Pillars.— Stone Terrace.—Another Building.—A large Tablet.—A Cross.—Conjectures in regard to this Cross.—Beautiful Sculpture.—A Platform.—Curious Devices.—A Statue.—Another Pyramidal Structure, surmounted by a Building.— Corridors.—A curious Bas-relief.—Stone Tablets, with Figures in Bas-relief.— Tablets and Figures.—The Oratorio.—More Pyramidal Structures and Buildings.—Extent of the Ruins.—These Ruins the Remains of a polished and peculiar People.—Antiquity of Palenque.
The plan opposite indicates the position of all the buildings which have been discovered at Palenque. There are remains of others in the same vicinity, but so utterly dilapidated that we have not thought it worth while to give any description of them, nor even to indicate their places on the plan.
From the palace no other building is visible. Passing out by what is called the subterraneous passage, you descend the southwest corner of the terrace, and at the foot immediately commence ascending a ruined pyramidal structure, which appears once to *p *e had steps on all its sides. These steps have been itirown down by the trees, and it is necessary to clamber over stones, aiding the feet by clinging to the branches. The ascent is so steep, that if the first man displaces a stone it bounds down the side of the pyramid, and wo to those behind. About half way up, through openings in the trees, is seen the
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