and its neighbour the Coffre de Perote, the volcano of Tlascala, the great volcano of Puebla or Popocatepetl, the valley of Mexico with its innumerable cones, the Ajusco, the Nevada of Toluca, and the active volcanoes of Jorullo and Colima; while report would incline you to pursue the same general direction over the Pacific ocean, for upward of three hundred miles, to the islands of Revillagigedo, which are said to be attributable to the same cause. Of the central group, Popocatepetl, the Ajusco, and the volcano of Toluca, are exactly upon the same line. I do not name Iztaccihuatl, "the Indian with snowy breasts;" because, though supposed to be, and generally called a volcano, I have heard the fact of its possessing a crater repeatedly denied on such respectable authority, that I almost doubt whether it has been justly named such.
Of these volcanoes, that of Tuxtla was in eruption about the commencement of the century. Orizaba, or Citlat tepetl—"the star mountain" was in violent eruption, according to Humboldt, between 1545—1566. Of the eruptions of the Coftre de Perote, and of the volcano of Tlascala, no tradition exists to my knowledge. Popocatepetl, "the mountain casting out smoke," has shown signs of slight combustion at times during the present century, and was in active eruption at the time of the Spanish invasion, when Diego Ordaz, a Spanish officer, attempted to ascend it. The Nevada of Toluca has been long extinct. The crater, if report says true, contains a lake abounding in fish.
The eruptions of the Ajusco, and the long chain of volcanic heights to the southward, are without record: though tradition says that the Chicli, signifying, in the Indian language, "the hill that casts up sparks," an inferior cone at its base, from which the huge stream of the Pedrigal probably proceeded, was in partial eruption at the emigration of the Aztecs into Anahuac, in the beginning of the fourteenth century.
The two last upon my list, those of Colima and Jorullo, are still active, and were, in fact, the only active volcanoes in Mexico at the time of our visit.