comparison to whose sublime and majestic stature, the elevated mountains which cluster round its feet appear but as pigmies. To the right and left, extending along the mountains' sides, at the height of between four and five thousand feet above the sea, lies a delicious and salubrious region, covered with magnificent forests, and diversified with some of the most beautiful towns in New Spain; a country, smiling with an eternal spring, under the kindly influence of the heavy mists and dews, which, rising thus midway up the steep cordillera from the bosom of the gulf, pause here in midair, and promote that rich verdure, which is equally grateful to the inhabitants of the arid and steril table land, or of the fervid sands of the seaboard.
To this "city of refuge" flies the unacclimated European from the port below, as soon as that dreaded sickness, the vomito prieto, makes its annual appearance within the narrow walls, forgetting the thirst of gain, in sudden solicitude to preserve dear life. To this point, the moment he lands, the panting traveller presses up the steep mountains with might and main; and blesses God when he feels the fresh air of the mountains, and sees the white walls of the convent of San Francisco crowning the steep: and here the inhabitant of the table land, or the departing stranger, pauses and lingers, ere he descend into the infected tierra caliente, and ventures to inhale the hot and subtile breath of fever and disease.
Our view of Jalapa was but a glance, but it was one which has left on my mind a delightful impression of beauty; and I often linger in fancy among its low, red tiled, broad-eaved habitations, or exuberant gardens, and muse upon the marvellous beauty of its convent-crowned hill, and the freshness of its gushing waters, lakes, and shady woods.
In architecture, the town affords a delightful example of the old Spanish style, and many of the country seats in the vicinity are delicious retreats.
The population amounts to thirteen thousand. We here met with the majority of the gentlemen who were