Page:Narrative of an Official Visit to Guatemala.djvu/232

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212
[CH. XIV.
OFFICIAL VISIT

the sweatings and loppings which they had evidently undergone, continued to pass, for their nominal value, with such good faith on the part of the people, that I had frequently pieces given back into my hands, as being only of the value of half reals, whilst others, of half the size, were selected as being known to represent whole ones. It is not to be wondered at, that the new coinage was eagerly sought after. Doña Vicente, my kind hostess, was particularly anxious to take a quantity down with her to Sonsonate; and I procured her some for that purpose, in exchange for golden ounces.

The Mint, as at present established, is quite sufficient for the little work which it has to perform. There had been some talk of erecting a steam-engine instead of the clumsy apparatus which, like that in Mexico, is put into action by the power of mules; but, as there is a good supply of water within two hundred yards of the place, I pointed out the cheapness and facility of employing that element in lieu of the pre-