Page:Travels in Mexico and life among the Mexicans.djvu/532

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TRAVELS IN MEXICO.

contains the richest land and largest sugar plantations, and its city is the most considerable south of Puebla and the capital. The valleys, all of them, present a delightful blending of the vegetation and productions of different regions, for the high altitude of the upper lands (5,000 feet) combines with the almost tropical climate in such a manner that the TLM D532 Coffee plant.jpgCOFFEE. fruits of every zone may be gathered here,—cotton in the southern borders, alfalfa, arnatto, rice, sweet potatoes, cacao, sugarcane, beans, pulse, maguey, corn, potatoes, wheat, vanilla, pecans, almonds, oranges, coffee,—in fact, there is little doubt that the whole list of tropic, of semi-tropic, and of temperate fruits and vegetables may be well represented between the southern and northern valleys. It is claimed that the hills are covered with valuable woods, such as mahogany, cedar, rosewood, royal palm, and an infinite number of plants valuable to the materia medica. But though all these trees may have been indigenous here, most of them have long since been cut down and destroyed; for in above one thousand miles of wanderings we did not see any extensive forests of valuable timber or cabinet woods.

From the hills immediately above the city of Oaxaca one looks down upon as fair a scene as he could wish,—upon smooth and verdant fields of cane and corn, dotted with white stone haciendas and with Indian hamlets springing up at the base of every