Brookes’ Universal Gazetteer, page 353
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has a stately cathedral, 138 m. N. E. of Lisbon.

Guardafui. See Gardefan.

Guastalla, a fortified town of Italy, capital of a
small duchy, included in that of Parma, with an
ancient decayed castle. It is seated near the river
Po, 19 rn. N. E. of Parma.

Guasteca. See Panuco.

Guatemala, a province of South America, hav-
ing about 400 m. of sea-coast on the shore of the
Pacific Ocean, between the lat. of 14. and 17. N.,
being from 30 to 50 in breadth ; it forms part of
the chain of territory which connects the two
great divisions of the western hemisphere, and
was formerly with several other provinces included
in the government of Mexico; but, since the
subversion of Spanish authority in the western
world, it has been formed into an independent re-
public, by the name of
Central America. This re-
public is bounded N. by Chiapa and Yucatan in
Mexico, and the bay of Honduras; E. by the
Gulf of Nicaragua and Colombia, and S. and W.
by the Pacific Ocean. It contains about 150,000
sq. m. It is divided into 5 states. Guatemala,
Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa'Rica:
these are subdivided into 45 districts.

The name of Guatemala, or more correctly
Quauhitemallan, that is to say, the place full of
trees, originally belonged to a single district. The
Spaniards applied it to a Captain-Generalship,
which bore liie fit!e of kingdom, and toone single
province, comprehended within this kingdom.

The province of Guatemala, properly so called,
?xtends from the confines of Guaxaca to those of
Nicaragua, along the Pacific Ocean. The climate
in general is hxc2xab>t and nioist. The plains are fertile,
both in American and European fruit of a delight-
ful flavour. The maize produces 300 for one, as
well as the cocoa. Indigo of a superior quality is
produced there, and the annotto is cultivated.
The forests with which the mountains are covered
give shelter and food to animals that are still im-
perfectly known; and many nondescript shrubs
are met with, from which the}' distil valuable bal-
sams. Many ports on the South Sea afford this
province great facility for carrying on an advan-
tageous commerce with Peru, Terra Firma, and
New Spain. The coasts abound with fish, but
fishing is not followed with any considerable ac-
tivity. They like wise neglect their silver mines,
which are said to be rich; but they collect the
ill?.* floats on the surface of several lakes.
The whole province is filled with volcanoes, and
exce'-fling'.v soVect to earthquakes.

Guatemala is the capital, and is the see of an
archbishin. end the sent of a University. The
ancient citv was destroyed on the 7th June, 1777,
by on? rfi t a? most tremendous earthquakes of
which we kwe anv record. From the 3d of June
the agitated > -a had risen from its bed; the two
volcanoes adjacent to the town appeared to boil;
one of the n sh.-: out torrents of winter, the other,
waves of bhzir.g On, every side the earth
was seen to giro ::i deep fissures. At length, after
five davs of wr.'it* rib'e anguish, the abyss opened,
and the town, with a!! its riches, and 8.000 fam-
ilies, was instantly swallowed up, while torrents
of mud and sulphur, rushing over the ruins, ob-
literated forever ail vestiges of its former existence.
The spot is now indicated by a frightful desert.
The new city is built at the distance of four leagues
from the site of the old towin. We must not omit
Amatitlan, or the town of letters, so call-
ed in consequence of the talent which the Indians,
its inhabitants, displayed for carving hieroglyphics
on the bark of trees. The district of
Soconusco, of
which the chief place is
Guaguetlan, produces the
best cocoa of all America; but very little of it is
met with in commerce. In the district of
very fine alum and sulphur are found.
Solola produces the best figs in the kingdom, and
a good deal of cotton is spun there. Two volca-
noes are met with in the vicinity, the one called
Atitun, and the other Solola. The district of Such-
fertile in annotto, is subject to excessive

In the forests very large trees are met with,
from which a fragrant odour is diffused, and odori
ferous resin distils. Different varieties of gum,
balsam, incense, and dragon’s blood are also col-
lected. Canes of a hundred feet long are found,
and of such a thickness, that from one knot to
another twenty-five pounds of water are contained.
The bees of this region make a very liquid honey,
which, after becoming acid, is made use of, they
say, instead of orange juice. The forests are in-
fested with wild animals, amongst which Alcedo
distinguishes the
Tapir or Danta. When enraged
the animal shows his teeth like the wild boar, and
it is asserted, cuts through the strongest tree. Its
skin is six fingers thick, and when dried, resists
every kind of weapon. Very large bears are also
met with.

The province of Honduras is very little known
It extends from that of Vera Paz to that of Nica-
ragua. The first Spanish navigators perceiving
a great number of pompions floating down the
banks of the river, called it the Coast of
that is to say, the Coast of Pompions. The most
western part of this province contains the little
Spanish towns of
Comayaguaand of Truxillo. The
latter of these has been built near a lake, where
floating islands, covered with, large trees, move
from place to place at the discretion of the wind.
Near the river
Sibun, caverns have been discovered,
or rather immense subterranean galleries, which
run under several mountains, and appear to have
been hollowed out by ancient currents. The in-
terior of the country is inhabited by a savage and
ferocious nation, the
Mosquito-Sambos. The coasts,
especially near Cape
Gracias a Dios, are occupied
by another tribe of Indians, whom the English
navigators denominate the
Coast Mosquitoes

This appellation originates in the insupportable
cloud of mosquitoes, or stinging flies, that here
torment the wretched inhabitants, and compel
them to pass one part of the year in boats on the
river. The Mosquito Indians of the coast, a tribe
governed by aristocratic chiefs, do not reckon
more than fifteen hundred warriors. We are un
acquainted with their notions of religion; but, ac-
cording to the older voyagers, they divided the
year into eighteen months and twenty days; ana
2 g 2

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Brookes' Universal Gazetteer of the World (1850)


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