The Monarchs of the Main (of 3) Volume II
Excerpt: ... which birds of all sizes, and of the most gorgeous plumage, are perpetually glancing, while a monkey every here and there sits grimacing and chattering overhead. The small, open savannahs gradually grow larger, and the clear spaces widen, until the forest you have been travelling under breaks into beautiful clumps of trees, like those of a gentleman's park, and every here and there are placed clear pieces of water, spreading out full of pond-turtle, and short grass, that sparkles in the dew." As you approach the town, the open spaces become more frequent, until at length you gain a rising ground, about three miles from Panama, where the view is enchanting. Below lies the city, and the broad Pacific, dotted with ships, lies broad and glassy beyond. Basil Hall, an accurate but less poetical observer, sketches the bay of Panama, its beach fringed with plantations shaded by groves of oranges, figs, and limes, the tamarinds surmounting all but the feathery tops of the cocoa-nut trees; the ground hidden 158 with foliage, among which peep cane-built huts and canoes pulling to shore. Tavoga he describes as a tangle of trees and flowers. "The houses of the city, very curious and magnificent," says Esquemeling, "and richly adorned with paintings and hangings, of which a part only had been removed." The buildings were all stately, and the streets broad and well arranged. There were within the walls eight monasteries, a cathedral, and an hospital, attended by the religious. The churches and monasteries were richly adorned with paintings, and in the subsequent fire may have perished some of the masterpieces of Titian, Murillo, or Velasquez. The gold plate and fittings of these buildings the priests had concealed. The number of rich houses was computed at 2000, and the smaller shops, &c., at 5000 additional. The grandest buildings in the town were the Genoese warehouses connected with the slave trade; there were also long rows of stables, where the horses...
- 189 x 246 x 3mm | 118g
- 13 Sep 2013
- United States
- black & white illustrations