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before my expedition; Popocatepetl, 5400 metres (or 2771 toises); Iztaccihuatl, or the white woman, 4786 metres (or 2455 toises); Citlaltepetl, or the Pic d'Otizaba, 5295 metres (or 2717 toises); and Nauhcampatepetl, or the Cofre de Perote, 4089 metres (or 2089 toises)*. This groupe of volcanic mountains bears a strong analogy with that of the kingdom of Quito. If the height attributed to Mount St. Elief be exact, we may admit that it is only under the 19° and 60° of latitude that mountains in the northern hemisphere reach the enormous elevation of 5400 metres above the level of the ocean.
Farther to the north of the parallel of 19°, near the celebrated mines of Zimapan and the Doctor, situated in the intendancy of Mexico, the Cordillera takes the name of Sierra Madre; and then
iztac white, and ciuatl woman. Citlaltepetl signifies a mountain brilliant as a star, from citlaltine star, and tepetlmountain; for the Pic d'Orizaba appears at a distance like a star when it emits fire. Nauhcampatepetl is derived from Nauhcampa, any thing square. It alludes to the form of the small porphyritical rock at the summit of the mountain of Perote, which the Spaniards compare to a coffer (See the Vocabulary of the Aztec Language by Father Alonzo de Molina, published at Mexico in 1571, p. 6103).
* 17716, 15/00, 17371, and 13414 feet. Trans.
.f The Spanish navigators found, in 1791, by precise means, its height above the level of the sea to be 27Q3 toises (17875 English feet), while it is said in the account of the voyage of La Perouse to be only 1980 toises (12672 feet).
leaving the eastern part of the kingdom it runs to the north-west, towards the cities of San Miguel el Grande and Guanaxuato. To the north of this last city, considered as the Potosi of Mexico, the Sierra Madre becomes of an extraordinary breadth. It divides immediately into three branches, of which the most eastern runs in the direction of Charcas and the Real de Catorce, and loses itself in the new kingdom of Leon. The western branch occupies a part of the intendancy of Guadalaxara. After passing Bolahos it sinks rapidly, and stretches by Culiacan and Arispe, in the intendancy of Sonora, to the banks of the Rio Gila. However, it acquires again a considerable degree of height under the 30° of latitude in Tarahumara, near the gulf of California, where rt forms the mountains de la Primeria alta, celebrated for the gold washed down from them. The third branch of the Sierra Madre, which may be considered as the central chain of the Mexican Andes, occupies the whole extent of the intendancy of Zacatecas. We may follow it through Durango and the Parral in New Biscay, to the Sierra de los Mimbres (situated to the west of the Rio grande del Norte). From thence it traverses New Mexico, and joins the crane mountains (Montagnes de la Grue) and the Sierra Verde. This mountainous country, situated under the 40° of latitude, was examined in 1777 by Fathers Escalante and Font. The Rio VOL. i. p
Gila rises here, of which the sources are near those of the Rio del Norte. It is the crest of this central branch of the Sierra Madre which divides the waters between the PacificandAtlanticOcean. It was a continuation of this branch which Fidler and the intrepid Mackenzie examined under the 50° and 558 of north latitude.
We have thus sketched a view oftheCordilleras of New Spain. We have remarked that the coasts alone of this vast kingdom possess a warm climate .adapted for the productions of the West Indies. The intendancy of Vera Cruz, with the exception of the plain which extends from Perote to the Pic d'Orizaba, Yucatan, the coast of Oaxaca, the maritime provinces of New Santander and Texas, the new kingdom of Leon, the province of Cohahuila, the uncultivated country called Bolson de Mapimi, the coast of California, the western part of Sonora, Cinaloa, and New Gallicia, the southern regions of the intendancies of Valladolid, Mexico, and La Puebla, are low grounds intersected with very inconsiderable hills. The mean temperature of these plains, of those at least situated within the tropics, and whose elevatjon above the level of the sea does not exceed 300* metres, is from 25° to 26°t of the centigrade thermometer; that is tosay,from 8° to 9° % greater than the mean heat of Naples.
* 984. feet. Trans. f ?7° of Fahrenheit's. Trans. X From 14° to 16° of Fahrenheit. Trans^