Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 69.djvu/70

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66
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Though Agua had been quiescent for centuries and its rampages were known only by the dim recitation of Indian tradition, still that tradition was strong enough in the hearts of the natives to cause them to warn the Spaniards who came to that country in 1524 that unless they shunned the influences of this 'flower' they would surely be slain by the volcano, whose long quiescent throat had permitted the ' roses ' to see the light of day as a warning to human beings that, though he slept, he was by no means dead, and if aroused the Indians would suffer as well as the white man. Despite this warning, the Spaniards called their council under the shade of one of the very trees which bore these 'flowers,' and there decided to found the city of Antigua which was to be the capitol of the new state of Guatemala. Everything flourished in the new city until 1541, when Agua suddenly burst forth in terrific defense of his invaded sovereignty, deluging the beautiful valley with fifty million cubic yards of water and mud, completely burying the city from view and warning the people to no longer trespass upon the evil ground. The warning was again unheeded, the city rebuilt upon the old site and apparent prosperity experienced until 1773, when it was shaken to ruins by the great earthquake. The capitol was then removed to the new town of Guatemala, beyond the influences of the fateful 'flower' and has therefore never been molested since. This

 

PSM V69 D070 Citrus medica.png

Fig. 1. A Branch of Citrus medica, showing the cup-like, delicately carved 'petals of the 'wooden flowers.'