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The whole structure extends 1332 feet in one direction, and 936 in another.
Some of the ornamental parts are finished with an elegance entitled to the admiration of the most ingenious artists.”1 The only article of precise information which we obtain from this passage is the great size of the building.
In the middle was raised an immense solid building of greater length than breadth, covered with square equal pieces of pavement.
The building consisted of five bodies, nearly equal in height, but different in length and body, or basis of the building, was more than fifty perches long from east to west, and about forty-three in breadth from north to south.
These were properly the sanctuaries, where, upon an altar of stone five feet high, were placed the tutelary idols.”1 The Tlascalans, as a rampart against the Mexican troops, erected a wall, “six miles in length, between two mountains; eight feet in height, besides the breast-work; and eighteen feet in thickness.”2 Garcilasso de la Vega informs us, that “the Incas, who were kings of Peru, erected many wonderful and stately edifices; their castles, temples, and royal palaces,” says he, “their gardens, store-houses, and other fabrics, were buildings of great magnificence, as is apparent by the ruins of them.
The work of greatest ostentation, and which evidences most the power and majesty of the Incas, was the fortress of Cozco, whose greatness is incredible to any who have not seen it, and such as have viewed it with great attention cannot but admire it, and believe that such a work was raised by enchantment, or the help of spirits, being that which surpasses the art and power of man.
As for the vague terms of general eulogy, bestowed upon the ornaments, they are almost entirely without significance—the loose and exaggerated expressions, at second hand, of the surprise of the early travellers at meeting with an object, which they were not prepared to expect.
Another structure still more remarkable than that of Chillambrum, the Pagoda of Seringham, situated in an island of the river Cavery, is thus described by Mr. “It is composed of seven square inclosures, one within the other, the walls of which are twenty-five feet high, and four thick.
The art, accordingly, of fetching out the brilliancy of the precious for the person; the art, in fine, of jewellery, appears at an early period in the progress of a rude people.
Unless the spontaneous productions of the soil supplied him with food, the means of ensnaring, or killing the animals fit for his use, by clubs or stones, and afterwards by his bow and arrows, would first engage his attention.
How to shelter himself from the inclemency of the weather would be his second consideration; and where cavities of the earth or hollow trees supplied not his wants, the rude construction of a hut would be one of his earliest operations.
These three, architecture, weaving, and jewellery, are the only arts for which the Hindus have been celebrated; and even these, with the exception of weaving, remained in a low state of improvement.
In a few places in Hindustan are found the remains of ancient buildings, which have attracted the attention of Europeans; and have, where there existed a predisposition to wonder and admire, been regarded as proofs of a high civilization. Robertson, “to the Pagoda of Chillambrum, is by a stately gate under a pyramid 122 feet in height, built with large stones above forty feet long, and more than five feet square, and all covered with plates of copper, adorned with an immense variety of figures neatly executed.