Page:Narrative of an Official Visit to Guatemala.djvu/175

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CH. XI.]

tains rising abruptly from the deep imbedded valleys at their base: here there were copses hanging over craggy ravines, whose abysses appeared bottomless, as hid from our inquiring gaze: and there, plots of ground delicately cultivated, and smiling with the harvest. On the left, I was still more struck with the appearances which the prospect presented to our observation. It was as if, in the midst of her happiest efforts, Nature had fitfully thrown up her task, prodigally wasteful of materials so choice and abundant.

Amatitañ, the village to which we were going, was situated amidst forests of trees of the most exhilarating verdure. Its red tiled houses, awakening the ideas of peaceful domesticity and social comfort, heightened the refreshing effect of the scene. Above the whole, a lofty woody mountain flung its partial shade over the fair face of the lake which reposed at its feet. The descent of the wood seemed difficult, and would have appeared impossible, but from