Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/445

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THE GREAT PYRAMID OF CHOLULA.

the strict high church party, as is the Marseillaise to Napoleon III. The tall form of Mr. Nelson, the United States Minister, towered above the crowd behind; by his side walked General Slaughter—late of the Confederate army—or of the late Confederate army—and after them came a crowd of Californians whose devotion to the cause of liberty is undoubted, but whose religious convictions of any kind, never deprived them of their capacity for imbibing champagne, nor kept them awake at night. A thousand curious natives followed, and seemed to heartily enjoy the entertainment.

After a half-hour spent in viewing the old church, the party started to ascend the great pyramid, which stands on the outskirts of the town, but five minutes' walk from the church. All the world knows at this day all that anybody knows, of the history of this pyramid. That it dates back to the days when the people of Egypt were erecting the pyramids which still form the land-marks in the Valley of the Nile, cannot be doubted, and that it upheld a heathen temple, and was drenched with the blood of thousands on thousands of the human race, offered up as sacrifices to savage gods, is, unfortunately, too well authenticated. The pictures I have seen of the pyramid give no clear idea of it, as they represent the sides and angles of the terraces, as too sharp and well defined. I think, that at no time since the conquest has the pyramid presented an appearance much different from what it does at present.

One of the gentlemen in attendance on the Governor told me that the pyramid covered a space equal to a little more than forty-three acres at the base, and that its height was one hundred and seventy-nine feet, English, or thereabouts. I should, at a venture, have esti-