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and the castle of S. Juan d'Ulua is thenceforth interrupted. These north wind hurricanes generally remain for three or four days, and sometimes for ten or twelve. If the north wind change into a south breeze, the latter is very inconstant, and it is then probable that the tempest will recommence; but if the north veers to east by the north-east, then the breeze or fine weather is durable. During winter we may reckon on the breeze continuing for three or four successive days, an interval more than sufficient for allowing any vessel leaving Vera Cruz to get out to sea and escape the sand banks adjoining to the coast. Sometimes even in the months of May, June, July and August, very strong hurricanes are felt in the gulf of Mexico. They are called nortes de hueso Colorado; but fortunately they are not very common. The periods in which the black vomiting (yellow fever) and tempests from the north prevail at Vera Cruz do not coincide, consequently the European who arrives in Mexico, and the Mexican whose affairs compel him to embark, or to descend from the table-land of New Spain to the coast, have both to make their election between the danger of navigation, and a mortal disease.

The western coast of Mexico is of very dangerous navigation during the months of July and August, when terrible hurricanes blow from the south-west. At that time, and even in September and October, the ports of Sah Blas and Acapulco are of very difficult access. Even in the fine season, from the month of October to the month of May (verano de la mar del SurJ, the tranquillity of the Pacific Ocean is interrupted on this coast by impetuous winds from the north-east and the north-north-east, known by the names of papagallo and tehuantepec.

Having myself experienced one of these tempests, I shall in another place proceed to examine whether these purely local winds are the effect of the neighbouring volcanos, as some navigators seem to think, or whether they proceed from the narrowness of the Mexican isthmus. We might be led to believe that the equilibrium of the atmosphere being disturbed in the months of January and February on the coast of the Atlantic, the agitated air flows back with impetuosity towards the Great Ocean. According to this supposition, the Tehuantepec is merely the effect, or rather the continuation of the north wind of the Mexican gulf and the brisottes of St. Martha. It renders the coast of Solinas and la Ventosa almost as inaccessible as that of Nicaragua and Guatimala, where violent south-west winds pre* vail during the months of August and September, known by the name of tapayaguas.

These south-west winds are accompanied with thunder and excessive rains, while the tehuantepec and papagallos* exert their violence during a clear and azure sky. Thus at certain periods almost all the coasts of New Spain are dangerous for navigators.


* The papagallos blow particularly from Cape Blanc de Nicoya (latitude 9° 30) to l'Ensenada de S. Catharina (latitude 10° 45').




General enumeration in 1793. Progress of the population in the ten following years. Proportion of births to burials.

Thi physical view which we have been rapidly sketching proves, that in Mexico, as elsewhere, nature has very unequally distributed her benefits. But men, unable to appreciate the wisdom of this distribution, neglect the riches which are within their reach. Collected together on a small extent of territory, in the centre of the kingdom, on the very ridge of the Cordillera, they have allowed the regions of the greatest fertility and the nearest to the coast to remain waste and uninhabited.

The population of the United States is concentrated in the Atlantic division, that is to say, the long and narrow district between the sea and the Alleghany mountains. In the capitania general of Caraccas, the only inhabited and well cultivat

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