Page:Narrative of an Official Visit to Guatemala.djvu/290

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270
[CH. XIX.
OFFICIAL VISIT

to witness the rejoicings which were going on in the town in honour of the birth-day of the gefe politico: groups of the inhabitants were dancing in the street, and, amidst the discharge of salvos of fire-works were heard the brazen jargon of the war-inspiring trumpet mingled with the peaceful tinkling of the guitar: a partial illumination added to the brilliancy of the scene: the night was fair and calm: hardly a breath of air was felt: the luxuriant groves, which surrounded with their barriers of evergreens this romantic city, were as motionless as the mountains on which they grew. The moon was perpendicular in the blue canopy of the cloudless sky, and no perceptible shade was cast on the objects it enlightened; it was suspended in its airy dome like a sinumbra lamp over the theatre of these festivities. I had strolled away from the company to muse upon the beautiful scene: the distant buzz of life contrasted itself strangely with the solemn stillness of the countless unknown graves, on which I trod: every footstep seemed a warning of dissolution;—