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RUINS OF UXMAL. In our volume for 1843, p. 22, we gave some account of the interesting discoveries made by Messrs. Stephens and Catherwood in the state of Honduras, where they had succeeded in clearing from the forest in which they had been buried for ages, the ruins of one of those ancient cities which have of late years excited so much interest throughout the civilized world. These gentlemen have been since carrying on their researches in the adjoining republic of Yucatan, a peninsula jutting out northward from the great isthmus connecting North and South America, and forming the South-eastern limit of the Gulph of Mexico.
Of these ruined cities, few possess more interest than Uxmal, a general view of which is given in our engraving. Mr. Norman, the publication of whose narrative preceded, by a short period, the more complete and beautiful volumes of Mr. Stephens, thus speaks of it:
Preferring to be near the place where I intended to spend my time, I ordered our trappings to be removed to the ruins, whither I followed. I was at a loss which of the splendid structures to appropriate to my use; but the Governor's House (as it is called by the people of the
country) had the appearance of being more tenable than all the rest, or perhaps more conspicuous. I chose that for my future place of residence, so I wended my way towards it-passing a grand and lofty pyramid on the right, and scrambled up the broken steps of the south-east angle of my prospective domicile. I took possession of three rooms: one for my kitchen, the others for my parlour and bed, or rather sleeping, room.
“From our door we could see, on our right, beautiful hills undulating like the ground swell of the sea; on the left, the Cordilleras, looking down with an air of great complaisance upon the plain beneath. Nature was renewing the fields far as the eye could reach; while in the foreground were the time-defying monuments of other days, garlanded with luxuriant shrubs and flowers, to sustain which they had been compelled to give up their own symmetry and beauty. It was nature in her second childhood.
“ The Governor's House is a vast and splendid pile of ruins. It stands upon three ranges of terraces : the first of which is a slight projection, forming a finish. The great platform, or terrace above it, measures upwards of five hundred feet long, and four hundred and fifteen broad. It is encompassed by a wall of fine hewn stone thirty feet high, with angles rounded, still in good preservation. Upon the north-west corner of this platform is an edifice, which was probably connected with the Governor's House. Its ornaments are few and plain ; the most remarkable of which is a continuous line of turtles, cut from stone of about a foot square, arranged under the cornices.”
The extensive pile of ruins designated the Nun’s House, is situated a short distance from the Governor's House, in a northerly direction. The pyramid is situated about two rods easterly from the latter building, with which it appears, in some way, to have been connected. It presents a fine exterior of hewn stones, large at the base, and their sizes