vicinity of Tacuba, and the road leading to it: the scene of the disastrous flight of Cortez, with his handful of troops and allies, on the night of the first of July, 1520, long known and deplored as La Noche Triste.
It was not unusual among the European residents in Mexico, to ride at an early hour out to the village of San Cosmo, to an olive garden attached to a meson, situated two miles from the west gate, and probably on the very verge of what was once the lake, and the termination of the ancient causeway, on which the roused vengeance of the Mexican cost the invader half his comrades. Within the bounds of the city, and close to the foreign cemetery, you are shown the dike over which Alvarado made his celebrated leap in his extremity. It is now a ditch of about three yards across, and is still called the Salto de Alvarado.
The views along this route towards Chapultepec on the left, and Guadaloupe on the right, are exquisitely beautiful.
Another hamlet, Apopotla, which you pass half a mile before you reach Tacuba, contains, within the enclosure of its churchyard, one of those noble cypresses of the country, which you still find scattered here and there, of a size which warrants their being considered monuments of an age anterior to the earliest traditions of the continent. That at Apopotla is a mighty wreck, with a bole fifty feet in diameter at the height of a man, and of much greater girth above.
The size to which this noble species, the cupressus disticha, attains in some parts of New Spain, is almost incredible. There is one at Atlixco, in the intendency of Puebla, measuring seventy-six feet in circumference; and the largest known, is to be seen at Mitla, in Oaxaca; which, still in its prime, is no less than ninety-two feet round the trunk. The largest in the vicinity of Mexico, are those in the ancient garden, at the foot of Chapultepec, of which the most remarkable may be sixty feet in circumference.
Tacuba lies near the foot of the hills, and is at the