Incidents of Travel in Central America: Chiapas, and Yucatan

Harper & Brothers, 1841

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John Stephens was an American diplomat sent by the U.S. government in the 1840s to establish contact with the people of Central America and Southern Mexico, and in many cases was the first white ... Läs hela recensionen

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Sidan 103 - ... or a temple for the worship of the God of peace? or did the inhabitants worship the idols made with their own hands, and offer sacrifices on the stones before them? All was mystery, dark, impenetrable mystery, and every circumstance increased it. In Egypt the colossal skeletons of gigantic temples stand in the unwatered sands in all the nakedness of desolation; here an immense forest shrouded the ruins, hiding them from sight, heightening the impression and moral effect, and giving an intensity...
Sidan 408 - Granada, for the purpose of effectually protecting, by suitable treaty stipulations with them, such individuals or companies as may undertake to open a communication between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans by the construction of a ship canal acros> the isthmus which connects North and South America, and of securing forever by such stipulations the free and equal right of navigating such canal to all nations...
Sidan 103 - It lay before us like a shattered bark in the midst of the ocean; her masts gone, her name effaced, her crew perished, and none to tell whence she came, to whom she belonged, how long on her voyage, or what caused her destruction — her lost people to be traced only by some fancied resemblance in the construction of the vessel, and, perhaps, never to be known at all.
Sidan 117 - At one time we stoppedto cut away branches and vines which concealed the face of a monument, and then to dig around and bring to light a fragment, a sculptured corner of which protruded from the earth. I leaned over with breathless anxiety while the Indians worked, and an eye, an ear, a foot, or a hand was disentombed...
Sidan 100 - Diverging from the base, and working our way through the thick woods, we came upon a square stone column, about fourteen feet high, and three feet on each side, sculptured in very bold relief, and on all four of the sides, from the base to the top. The front was the figure of a man curiously and richly dressed, and the face, evidently a portrait, solemn, stern, and well fitted to excite terror. The back was of a different design, unlike any thing we had ever seen before, and the sides were covered...
Sidan 158 - I shall not pretend to convey any idea. Often the imagination was pained in gazing at them. The tone which pervades the ruins is that of deep solemnity. An imaginative mind might be infected with superstitious feelings. From constantly calling them by that name in our intercourse with the Indians, we regarded these solemn memorials as ' idols ' — deified kings and heroes — objects of adoration and ceremonial worship.
Sidan 103 - the world's great mistress on the Egyptian plain." But architecture, sculpture, and painting, all the arts which embellish life, had flourished in this overgrown forest: orators, warriors, and statesmen, beauty, ambition, and glory had lived and passed away, and none knew that such things had been, or could tell of their past existence. Books, the records of knowledge, are silent on this theme.
Sidan 358 - Juan, not directly opposite, but nearly at right angles to each other; so that we saw them without turning the body. In a right line over the tops of the mountains neither was more than twenty miles distant, and from the great height at which we stood they seemed almost at our feet; It is the only point in the world which commands a view of the two seas...
Sidan 93 - Jose, the guide, clearing a path before us with a machete. Soon we came to the bank of a river, and saw directly opposite a stone wall, perhaps a hundred feet high, with furze growing out of the top, running north and south along the river, in some places fallen, but in others entire.
Sidan 102 - ... like wandering spirits of the departed race guarding the ruins of their former habitations. We returned to the base of the pyramidal structure, and ascended by regular stone steps, in some places forced apart by bushes and saplings, and in others thrown down by the growth of large trees, while some remained entire. In parts they were ornamented with sculptured figures and rows of death's heads. Climbing over the ruined top, we reached a terrace overgrown with trees, and, crossing it, descended...

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