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lower cornice, to the top. A great part of this façade has fallen; toward the north end, however, a portion of about twenty-five feet remains, which, though not itself entire, shows the gorgeousness of decoration with which this façade was once adorned. The ornaments are of the same character with those at Uxmal, alike complicated and incomprehensible, and from the fact that every part of the façade was ornamented with sculpture, even to the portion now buried under the lower cornice, the whole must have presented a greater appearance of richness than any building at Uxmal. The cornice running over the doorways, tried by the severest rules of art recognised among us, would embellish the architecture of any known era, and, amid a mass of barbarism, of rude and uncouth conceptions, it stands as an offering by American builders worthy of the acceptance of a polished people.

"The lintels of the doorways were of wood; these are all fallen, and of all the ornaments which decorated them not one now remains. No doubt they corresponded in beauty of sculpture with the rest of the façade. The whole now lies a mass of rubbish and ruin at the foot of the wall."

The objects of their worship appear to have closely corresponded with the barbarian idols already described among the remains of ancient Mexico, and indeed there is no doubt that the races of the two countries were of the same stock, and closely allied to each other in creed, national customs, and religious rites. Mr. Stephens thus describes a huge idol discovered by him among the ruins of Uxmal. "Near the centre of the platform, at a distance of eighty feet from the foot of the steps, is a square enclosure, consisting of two layers of stones, in which stands, in an oblique position, as if falling, or, perhaps, as if an effort had been made to throw it down, a large round stone, measuring eight feet above the ground and five

feet in diameter. This stone is striking for its uncouth and irregular proportions, and wants conformity with the regularity and symmetry of all around. From its conspicuous position, it doubtless had some important use, and, in connexion with other monuments found at this place, induces the belief that it was connected with the ceremonial rites of an ancient worship known to have existed among all Eastern nations. The Indians call this stone the Picote, or whipping-post.

"At a distance of sixty feet in a right line beyond this was a rude circular mound, about six feet high. We had used it as a position from which to take a Daguerreotype view of the front of the building, and, at the instance of the Cura Carillo, who came to pay us a visit, we determined to open it. It was a mere mass of earth and stones; and, on digging down to the depth of three or four feet, a sculptured monument was discovered. It is carved out of a single block of stone, and measures three feet two inches in length and two feet in height. It seems intended to represent a double-headed cat or lynx, and is entire with exception of one foot, which is a little broken. The sculpture is rude. It was too heavy to carry away. We had it raised to the side of the mound for Mr. Catherwood to draw, and probably it remains there still.

"Why this monument had been consigned to the strange place in which it was discovered we were at a loss to conjecture. This could never have been its original destination. It had been formally and deliberately buried. In my opinion, there is but one way of accounting for it. It had been one of the many idols worshipped by the people of Uxmal; and the probability is, that when the inhabitants abandoned the city they buried it, that it might not be desecrated; or else the Spaniards, when they drove out the inhabitants and depopulated the city, in order to destroy all the reverential feelings of the Indians toward

it, followed the example of Cortez at Cholula, and threw down and buried the idols."

It is fortunate that this enterprising traveller visited the scene of such singular discoveries at the time he did. For since then political convulsions, civil war, famine, and disease, have all combined to change the face of the country, and it may be long before another traveller shall be able to follow in his track, or pursue similar investigations with equal facilities. Meanwhile time is rapidly effacing these traces of ancient art. Mr. Stephen's thus describes the destruction of a singular ruin not far from those previously referred to. "It is called the Casa de las Tortugas, or the House of the Turtles, which name was given to it by a neighbouring cura, from a bead or row of turtles which goes round the cornice.

"This building is ninety-four feet in front, and thirtyfour feet deep, and in size and ornaments contrasts strikingly with the Casa del Gobernador.. It wants the rich and gorgeous decoration of the former, but is distinguished for its justness and beauty of proportions, and its chasteness and simplicity of ornament. Throughout there is nothing that borders on the unintelligible or grotesque, nothing that can shock a fastidious architectural taste; but, unhappily, it is fast going to decay. On our first visit Mr. Catherwood and myself climbed to the roof, and selected it as a good position from which to make a panoramic sketch of the whole field of ruins. It was then trembling and tottering, and within the year the whole of the centre part had fallen in. In front the centre of the wall is gone, and in the rear the wooden lintel, pressed down and broken in two, still supports the superincumbent mass, but it gave us a nervous feeling to pass under it. The interior is filled up with the ruins of the fallen roof.

"This building, too, has the same peculiar feature, want of convenient access. It has no communication, at

least by steps or any visible means, with the Casa del Gobernador, nor were there any steps leading to the terrace below. It stands insolated and alone, seeming to mourn over its own desolate and ruinous condition. With a few more returns of the rainy season it will be a mass of ruins, and perhaps on the whole continent of America there will be no such monument of the purity and simplicity of aboriginal art."

Now that new interest has been excited in these long forgotten relics of the aboriginal arts and civilization of America, it is found that much information may be recovered regarding the design aimed at by their builders, and the objects to which they were applied. Some of these are associated with the barbarous and bloody rites of their strange religion, and are the least calculated to excite sympathy on behalf of those whom the Spaniards supplanted. Were it not indeed for the terrible history of persecution, oppression, and priestly despotism which the history of Spanish America reveals, it would be difficult to sympathize with a people, the magnificent ruins of whose ancient cities are linked to associations such as attach to a huge pyramid at Uxmal, surmounted by what is sometimes called the House of the Dwarf. It is by no means singular among the ruins of Yucatan, the rites with which it is still associated, having been common to the whole Indian race of the kingdoms of Mexico and Yucatan. "It was also known by the name of la Casa del Adivino, or the House of the Diviner, from its overlooking the whole city, and enabling its occupant to be cognizant of all that was passing around him.

"The courtyard of this building is one hundred and thirty-five feet by eighty-five. It is bounded by ranges of mounds from twenty-five to thirty feet thick, now covered with a rank growth of herbage, but which, perhaps, once formed ranges of buildings. In the centre is

a large circular stone, like those seen in the other courtyards, called the Picote.

"The base is so ruined and encumbered with fallen stones that it is difficult to ascertain its precise dimensions, but, according to our measurement, it is two hundred and thirty-five feet long, and one hundred and fiftyfive wide. Its height is eighty-eight feet, and to the top of the building it is one hundred and five feet. Though diminishing as it rises, its shape is not exactly pyramidal, but its ends are rounded. It is encased with stone, and apparently solid from the plain.

"At the height of sixty feet is a solid projecting platform, on which stands a building loaded with ornaments more rich, elaborate, and carefully executed, than those of any other edifice in Uxmal. A great doorway opens upon the platform. The sapote beams are still in their places, and the interior is divided into two apartments; the outer one fifteen feet wide, seven feet deep, and nineteen feet high, and the inner one twelve feet wide, four feet deep, and eleven feet high. Both are entirely plain, without ornament of any kind, and have no communication with any part of the mound.

"The steps or other means of communication with this building are all gone, and at the time of our visit we were at a loss to know how it had been reached; but, from what we saw afterward, we are induced to believe that a grand staircase upon a different plan from any yet met with, and supported by a triangular arch, led from the ground to the door of the building, which, if still in existence, would give extraordinary grandeur to this great mound.

"The crowning structure is a long and narrow building measuring seventy-two feet in front, and but twelve feet deep.

"The front is much ruined, but even in its decay presents the most elegant and tasteful arrangement of orna

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