Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/113

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Notes respsc?g the Isthmus of Panama. mean height of the river/s nearly that of the ocean, no locks would be reclulred , and the supply of water would be certain and econo- mical. Once on the Chugres, the navigation, as has been already noticed, is easy to the Trinidad; from which, to Chorrera and Panam?t, Mr. Lloyd's lines are across the interval between the several portions of the cordilleras, where the country is, almost without interruption, low and fiat. The present roads, on the contrar% are not merely objection- able for the reasons already stated, but also from the mountainous nature of the country which they traverse.. That between nam? and Porto-Bello is, in this respect, greatly the worst of the two, being in many places almost impassable in the rainy season, from the steepness of tho ascents and descents, none of which are sought to be avoided. But the roads to Cruces and Gorgons also lead across a mountainous country, and are extremely difficult in bad weather: a considerable portion of the latter, indeed, being merely the bed of what is in winter a considerable stream. Panam&.--The site of Panama has been once changed. Where the old city stood, which is about three miles east of. the present situation, was already, when the Spaniards first reached it in 1515, occupied by an Indian population, attracted to it by the abund- ance of fish on the coast, and who are said to have named it �Panam?t' from this circumstance,--the word signifying, in their language, ' much fish.' They, however, were speedily dispos-. sessed; and even so early as in 1591, the rifle and privileges of a cit?r were conferred on the Spanish town by the Emperor Charles V. In the year 1(}70, it was sacked and reduced to ashes by the buccaneer Morgan; and was only after this built where it now stands. Its present position is in latitude 8 � N., longitude 79 � W. of Greenwich, on a tongue of land shaped nearly like a spear head, extending a considerable distance out to sea, and gradually swelling towards the middle. Its harbour is protected by a num- ber of islands, a little way from the main-land, some of which are of considerable size, and highly cultivated. There is good an- chorage under them all, and supplies of ordinary kinds, including excellent water, may be obtained from most of them. The plan of the city is not strictly regular, but the principal streets extend across the little peninsula from sea to sea, and a current of air is thus preserved, and more cleanliness than is usually found in the Spanish American towns. The fortifications are also irregular, and not strong, though the walls are high,--the bastions having been constructed, from time to time, as the menaces of pirates or other enemies have suggested. The buildings are of stone, generally most substantial, and the larger with courts or patio? The style is the old Spanish. Of public edifices there are