Page:Narrative of an Official Visit to Guatemala.djvu/334

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314
[CH. XXII.
OFFICIAL VISIT

impracticable if I delayed it till later in the season, there was little choice left between returning immediately or remaining in the country until the end of the year. The political state of affairs was at that moment every thing that could be deemed favourable; I was, therefore, induced to adopt the former resolution, and all my arrangements were made accordingly.

In looking over the information I had acquired, I was led to consider the nature and pretensions of the more influential, I mean the richer, classes of society; and having, casually, heard in conversation the ascribed amount of property and fortune which some of them possessed, I took great pains to ascertain the respective interests and fortunes of the rest. For this purpose I made a vocabulary of the names of the leading families in the country; and, after collecting the opinions of persons best informed upon the subject, annexed a statement of their respective properties, the nature of them, and the sources whence they