Page:Narrative of an Official Visit to Guatemala.djvu/151

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CH. IX.]

property. As we approached still nearer to the city, we passed some small country villas and gardens, with tracts cultivated with cochineal, and surrounded by small dikes or mud walls. It was about four in the evening, the air was fresh and balmy, the climate resembling a bright English day in the beginning of June. The tract over which we passed was varied with hill and dale: the turf, green and tender, seemed sprouting under our feet as we advanced. In the front, lay the city, with its white domes and spires glittering in the sun, and appearing larger than it really was by the interspersion of the shade and foliage of the fine trees with which it was, on all sides, intersected and environed. On the right, were shaded groves, and cultivated slopes, and knolled hills, rising upon each other in progressive grandeur, till their summits became, as it were, the base of the tender gray streak which marked the distant outline of the Andes;—whilst on the left, the country was a series of table