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or such rude representations of the objects of sense, as village children chalk on walls and barn doors, are the first and rudest
efforts to record ideas, and the ale-scores of a village landlady the first approach to symbolic writing; and with both of these, even the wild , Hottentots called Bosjesmans, the very lowest, perhaps, of the human race, appear to be acquainted. They draw on the sides of their caverns representations of the Dutch boors, whom they characterize by horses, large hats, muskets, and tobacco pipes, and near them are often seen scores or strokes, supposed ic be intended as information for their countrymen of the numbers that are out in pursuit of them. These people too, though always roving, mark the revolution of a year by the flowering of the Uyntjes, or the iris edulis, the bulb of which, while in season, constitutes the principal article of their food; while the moon affords them the intermediate periods of months. The Mexicans may have advanced, but, wé believe, not a great way beyond the village children, the landlady, or the Bosjesmans, "In them,' says Robertson,' every figure of men, of quadrupeds, of birds, as well as every representation of inanimated nature, is extremely rude and awkward. The hardest Egyptian style, stiff and imperfect as it was, is more elegant. The scrawls of children delineate objects almost as accurately. Whatever therefore may have been their condition in the tenth century, when,' our author says, ' they were more advanced in civilization than Denmark, Sweden, and Russia, they were sunk low enough in the fifteenth century. But it is time to leave the regions of fancy and fiction for those of reality, and proceed to notice some of the few remaining monuments of the Mexicans and Peruvians.
M. de Humboldt observes that the only American tribes, among whom we find remarkable monuments, are the inhabitants of mountains. Isolated in the region of clouds, on the most elevated plains of the globe, surrounded by volcanoes, the craters of which are encircled by eternal snows, they appear to have admired, in the solitude of their deserts, those objects only which strike the imagination by the greatness of their masses; and their productions bear the stamp of the savage nature of the Cordilleras. We shall not stop to offer any objections to a theory by no means new-that the local character of a country, its climate, soil, and scenery, possesses a commanding influence on the progress and style of the arts--it is, however, liable to many, and to one in particular-it is not borne out by facts. The greatest monument that exists of Mexican industry, for it exhibits no skill, is the Pyramid of Cholula; and that of Peru, which most deserves notice, is the cause. way that leads over the Paramo del Assuay. The
general form of those edifices which, by the inhabitants of the Mexican territory, were called Teocallis, or Houses of the Gods,
was pyramidal, rising not by steps, but by a succession of four or five lofty terraces: they were surrounded by walled enclosures, which contained the dwellings of the priests, with gardens and fountains; they were sometimes appropriated as arsenals, or forti. fied places, like the ancient temple, so says our author, of Baal Berith, burnt by Abimelech. On the summit were erected the temples, serving at the same time as watch towers, in which were placed the colossal idols of the divinity to whom the Teocalli was dedicated; and a grand staircase externally led to this platform. Within these pyramids were the burial places of the kings and no bles. "It is impossible,' says our author, 'not to be struck with the resemblance of the Babylonian temple of Jupiter Belus to the Teocallis of Anahuac.'
The pyramids of Teotihuacan are situated in the valley of Mexico, eight leagues north-east of the capital, on a plain called Micoat)--the path of the dead. Two large ones, dedicated to the sun and the moon, are surrounded by several hundred smaller ones, forming streets in straight lines from north to south, and from east
Each side of the base of the largest is 208 metres (682 feet); the perpendicular height, 55 metres (180 feet). The small pyramids are not more than 9 or 10 metres high, and are supposed to be the tombs of the chiefs. The two great ones had each four terraces; the nucleus is a mixture of clay and small stones, and the casing a wall of porous amygdaloid or mandelstein. On the tops were colossal statues of the sun and moon, said to have been made of stone and covered with plates of gold, of which they were stripped by the soldiers of Cortez; the idols were destroyed by a Franciscan monk of the name of Zumaraga.
The pyramid of Papantla was discovered, scarcely more than thirty years ago, by some Spanish hunters, in a thick forest called Tajin, on the descent of the Cordillera on the east of Teotihuacang and between it and the gulf of Mexico. It is more tapering than the others, being 18 metres high with only 25 of base, built entirely with hewn stones of large dimensions and regularly shaped ; it is covered with hieroglyphical sculpture, and small niches, to the number of 318, are cut in its sides and arranged with great symmetry
But the most ancient, and most celebrated (says M. de Humboldt) of the pyramidal monuments of Anahuaca, is the Teocalli of Cholula. It stands on the east side of the city of the same name, which Cortez compared with the most populous cities of Spain, but which scarcely contains, at present, 16,000 inhabitants. Our author says he measured it carefully, and ascertained that its perpendicular height is only 50 metres (164 feet), but that each side of its base is 439 metres (1440 feet), the latter being twice as broad as that of the pyramid of Cheops, and the height little more. than that of Mycerinus, M. de Humboldt observes, that while in the three great pyramids of Geeza, the heights are to the bases as 1 to 1.7; the ratio in that of Cholula is as 1 to 7.8: this is a mistake ; if his own data be correct, the height of Cholula is to the side of the base as 1 to 8.78. It is built of unbaked bricks alternating with layers of clay. A few years ago a road from Puebla to Mexico was carried through the first terrace, insulating about one-eighth part of it. This laid open a square room in the interior, built of brick and supported by beams made of the wood of the deciduous cypress. It contained two human skeletons, several idols in basalt, and a great number of vases curiously varnished and painted. It had no outlet, and the bricks were stepped over each other, the upper overreaching the lower so as to meet in a point and form a kind of Gothic arch, a mode of structure not uncommon in Egypt and in India. The bricks were generally 8 centimetres thick and 40 in length (3 inches by 154.) On the platform a catholic chapel, dedicated to the Virgin de los remedios, has supplanted the temple of the God of the Air; in this an ecclesiastic of the Indian race celebrates mass every day; and M. de Humboldt tells us that the people assemble there in crowds from distant quarters. A mysterious dread, a religious awe, fills the soul of the Indian at the sight of this immense pile of bricks, covered with shrubs and perpetual verdure !
The Peruvian monuments are many of them works of obvious utility.
The lofty plains that stretch along the back of the Cordilleras from the equator to the third degree of south latitude, end where a mass of mountain rises from 4500 to 4800 metres (14,764 to 15,749 feet) of height, which, like an enormous dike, unites the eastern to the western ridge of the Andes of Quito. This group of mountains, in which porphyry covers mica slate an
other works of primitive formations, is known by the name of the Paramo del Assuay.'
The road which crosses this mountain is nearly as high as Mount Blanc, and in winter, M. de Humboldt says, the travellers are exposed to a cold so excessive that several perish every year from its effects.
. We were surprised to find in this place, and at heights, which greatly surpass the top of the peak of Teneriffe, the magnificent remains of a road constructed by the Incas of Peru. This causeway, lined with free-stone, may be compared to the finest Roman roads I have seen in Italy, France, or Spain; it is perfectly straight, and keeps the same direction for six or eight thousand metres. We observed the continuation of this road near Caxamarca, 120 leagues to the south of Assuay; and it is believed in the country that it led as far as the city of Cousco.'
vol. i. p. 242.) Near this road, and at the height of 4042 metres (13,262 feet,) are the remains of a palace of the Inca Zupaynpangi, and in descending towards the south, another monument of ancient Peruvian architecture, known by the name of the fortress of Cannar. It is a hill terminated by a platform, which is surrounded by a wall 17 or 18 feet high, built of large blocks of free-stone; its shape is oval, and the larger diameter nearly 130 feet. It has a house in the centre, which served as a lodging to the Incas in their journeys from Peru to Quito; and the foundations of edifices surrounding it, indicate that there was room enough at Cannar to lodge a small army like manner, at certain distances from station to station along this great public road, were houses built for the Incas, remarkable for their simplicity, symmetry, and solidity. The stone is a trappean porphyry of great hardness, cut into parallelopipedons with such perfection, that M. de Humboldt confirms the remark of M. de la Condamine, that the joints would be imperceptible if the outer surface of each stone was not designedly made convex, and cut slantingly towards the edge, so that the joints may form small flutings by way of ornament. None of the stones seen by M. de Humboldt at Cannar exceeded 8 feet in length, bút Acosta mentions hewn stones at Traquanaco of 38 feet long, 18 feet broad, and 6 feet thick; and Pedro Cieca, in the Chronica del Peru,' notices his having seen some of similar dimensions in the ruins of Tiahuanaco. Such a stone of porphyry would weigh about 293
Among the ruins of the houses of the Incas, along the great causeway, that of Callo is in the best state of preservation; M. de Humboldt says, that the stones of it are beautifully cut, and not, as Robertson asserts, used just as they were raised out of the quarries: but Robertson was not here speaking of Callo, but of Peruvian buildings in general, and Ulloa confirms the observation. Condamine saw in some of these edifices, stones of porphyry worked into the heads of animals, in the perforated noses of which were moveable rings of the same stone. Hatchets of flints could not have accomplished this; and M. de Humboldt tells us that in viewing the masses of porphyry extracted from the quarries of Pullal, he conjectured that the Peruvians must have been acquainted with the compound metal of copper mixed with tin, in which it seems he was justified by the discovery of an ancient Per ruvian chisel found in a silver mine near Cuzco, which was worked in the time of the Incas. The metal being analyzed by M. Vauquelin, Tras feund to consist of 0.94 of copper, and 0.06 of'tin. Had
it escaped M. de Humboldt that copper uxes are mentioned by Ulloa as common among the Peruvians ?
The other monuments described in these volumes, the statue of a Mexican priestess, the axe with engraved characters, the granite yases, found on the Mosquito shore, if the latter be not European, have little deserving of admiration, except, like the Şarcophagi of Egypt, the useless labour that has been bestowed upon them. We proceed therefore to that which is incomparably the best part of these yolumes--the description of those magnificent and savage scenes of nature-those Cordilleras of the Andes, which bear about the same proportion to the chain of the Alps as these do to that of the Pyrenees. Into these wild regions of eternal ice and snow, on which the direct rays of a cloudless sun fail to make the slightest impression; to these colossal summits, looking down on the most exuberant vegetation that the bountiful earth produces, we accompany M. de Humboldt with the greatest pleasure ; confident of our security in trusting to him as a steady and well-informed guide to the botanical, geological, and physiological treasures of the equinoctial regions of the new continent."
The most stupendous of these mountainous summits are those which aise out of the two parallel chains into which the Cordilleras of the Andes are separated by a longitudinal valley, which commencing about the equator, melt again into one mass to the southward of Quito. This elevated valley, or succession of plains, is thus described by M. de Humboldt.
• In these plains the population of this marvellous country is concentrated, towns are there built which contain from thirty to fifty thousand inhabitants. When we have lived for some months on this elevated spot, where the barometer keeps at twenty inches high, we feel the irresistible influence of an extraordinary illusion ; we forget, by degrees, that every thing which surrounds the observer-those villages which proclaim the industry of a mountainous people ; those pastures covered at the same time with lamas, and flocks of European sheep ; those orchards bounded by hedges of duranta and barnadesia; those fields cultivated with care, and promising the richest harvests ; hang as it were suspended in the lofty regions of the atmosphere :-we scarcely recollect that the soil we inhabit is more elevated above the neighbouring coasts of the Pacific Ocean, than the summit of Canigou above the basin of the Mediterranean.'-(vol. i. p. 232.)
The most active volcanoes in the kingdom of Quito are those on the eastern Cordillera, or that which is farthest from the sea coast;
* We must not, however, forget that the way had been well cleared for M. de Humboldt by Ulloa and John George Juau, Bouguer, and Condamine, who, with inadequate means, undertook and accomplished more for science than the most sanguine could have expected.