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and completely surrounded by a wall, which, with the edifices, was all constructed of stone.
The work was so finely executed that a Spaniard, who saw it in its glory, assures us he could call to mind only two edifices in Spain, which, for their workmanship, were at all to be compared with it. Yet this substantial, and, in some respects, magnificent structure, was thatched with straw!
The interior of the temple was the most worthy of admiration. It was literally a mine of gold. On the western wall was emblazoned a representation of the deity, consisting of a human countenance looking forth from innumerable rays of light, which darted out from it in every direction. The figure was engraved on a massive plate of gold of enormous dimensions, thickly powdered with emeralds and other precious stones.
It was so situated in front of the great eastern portal, that the rays of the morning sun fell directly upon it at its rising, lighting up the whole apartment with a brilliancy that seemed more than natural, and which was reflected back from the golden ornaments with which the walls and ceiling were every-where incrusted.
Gold was said by the peoplo to be “the tears wept by the sun,” and every part of the interior of the temple glowed with burnished plates and studs of the precious metal. The cornices, which surrounded the walls of the sanctuary, were of the same costly material; and a broad belt or frieze of goid, let into the stone-work, surrounded the whole exterior of the edifice.
Adjoining the principal structure were several chapels of smaller dimensions. One of them was
consecrated to the Moon, the deity held next in reverence, as the mother of the Incas.
Her effigy was represented in the same manner as that of the Sun, on a vast plate that nearly covered one side of the apartment. But this plate, as well as all the decorations of the building, was of silver, as suited to the pale silvery light of the beautiful planet.
There were three other chapels, one of which was dedicated to the host of Stars, that formed the bright court of the Sister of the Sun; another was consecrated to his dread ministers of vengeance, the Thunder and the Lightning; and a third to the Rainbow, whose many-colored arch spanned the walls of the edifice with hues almost as radiant as its own. There were besides several other buildings, or isolated apartments, for the accommodation of the numerous priests who conducted the services of the temple.
All the plate, the ornaments, the utensils of every description, appropriated to the uses of religion, were of gold and silver. Twelve immense vases of the latter metal stood on the floor of the great saloon, filled with grain of the Indian corn; the censers for the perfumes, the ewers which held the water for sacrifice, the pipes which conducted it through subterraneous channels into the buildings, the reservoirs that received it, even the agricultural implements used in the gardens of the temple, were all of the same rich materials.
The gardens sparkled with flowers of gold and silver, and various imitations of the vegetable kingdom. Animals, also, were to be found there,-among which the llama, with its golden fleece, was most prominent,-executed in the same style, and with a degree of skill, which, in this instance, probably, did not surpass the excellence of the material.
Perhaps the most magnificent of all the national solemnities was the feast of Raymi, held at the period of the summer solstice,' when the Sun, having touched the southern extremity of his course, retraced his path, as if to gladden the hearts of his chosen people by his presence. On this occasion the Indian nobles from the different quarters of the country thronged to the capital to take part in the great religious celebration.
For three days previous, there was a general fast, and no fire was allowed to be lighted in the dwellings. When the appointed day arrived, the Inca and his court, followed by the whole population of the city, assembled at early dawn in the great square to greet the rising of the sun.
They were dressed in their gayest apparel, and the Indian lords vied with one another in the display of costly ornaments and jewels on their persons, while canopies of gaudy feather-work and richly tinted stuffs, borne by the attendants over their heads, gave to the great square and the streets that emptied into it, the appearance of being spread over with one vast and magnificent awning.
Eagerly they watched the coming of their deity, and, no sooner did his first yellow rays strike the turrets and loftiest buildings of the capital, than a shout of joy broke forth from the assembled multitude, accompanied by songs of triumph, and the wild melody of barbaric instruments, that swelled louder and louder as his bright orb, rising above the mountain range toward the east, shone in full splendor on his worshipers,
After the usual ceremonies of adoration, a libation was offered to the great deity by the Inca, from a huge golden vase, filled with the fermented liquor of maize or of maguey, which, after the monarch had tasted it himself, he distributed among his royal kindred. These ceremonies completed, the vast assembly was arranged in order of procession, and took its way toward the Coricancha.
WILLIAM H. PRESCOTT.
Biography.– William Hickling Prescott (1796-1859) was a native of Salem, Massachusetts, and a graduate of Harvard College.
After a visit to Europe, he married and decided to adopt a literary life. His determination in 1819 was to devote ten years to study and ten years to composition. His first work, History of Ferdinand and Isabella,” was published in 1837, and met with great success. “History of the Conquest of Mexico" appeared in 1843; “Conquest of Peru” in 1847, and “History of Philip II.” in 1855-8.
His writings have been much admired, and are translated into French, Spanish, and German. Prescott was very methodical in his habits. Every day he devoted five hours to literary work and two hours to reading novels.
Note. –The summer solstice, in Peru, occurs on Dec. 21, when the farthest point south of the equator is touched by the sun.
It was not long after the complete dispersion of the ill-starred Penobscot expedition that General Peleg Wadsworth succeeded in entering the British fort on the hill at Bagaduce. He had more difficulty in leaving it.
After the disbanding of his militia, the general made his quarters at Thomaston, Maine, where he lived with his wife in apparent security. A young lady, named Fenno, and a guard of six militia-men completed his garrison, General Campbell, commanding at Bagaduce, was well informed of Wadsworth's defenseless condition, and resolved to send him an invitation to come and reside in the fortress.
A lieutenant nd twenty-five men arrived at dead of night with the message at Wadsworth's house. The sentinel challenged and fled. General Wadsworth defended himself with Spartan bravery. Armed with a brace of pistols, a fusee,N and a blunderbuss, he fought his assailants away from the windows and the door, through which they had followed the retreating sentinel. Arrayed in his night-clothes, with his bayonet only, he disdained to yield for some time longer, until a shot disabled his left arm. Then, with five or six men lying wounded around him, the windows shattered, and the house on fire, Peleg Wadsworth was able to say, “I surrender."
They took him, exhausted with his exertions, and benumbed with cold, to the fort, where he was kept close prisoner. Some time after, Major Burton, who had served with the general, was also made prisoner and lodged in the same room with him. Wadsworth applied for a parol. It was refused. Governor Hancock sent a cartel with an offer of exchange. It was denied. One day he was visited by Miss Fenno, who in a few words gave him to