• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Advertising
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 Map of Mexico
 The subject
 Shadowy tribes
 Toltecs
 Chichimecs
 Nezahualcoyotl, the hungry fox
 Texcuco
 Mihoacan
 Mayas
 Aztecs
 Mexicans
 Aztec character
 The last of the Montezumas
 Cortés
 Malintzi
 Tlaxcalla
 La noche triste
 Conquest
 Doña Marina
 Indians
 The first of the viceroys
 Fray Martin de Valencia
 Other viceroys
 Humboldt
 Revolutions
 Hidalgo
 Morelos
 Yturbide
 Santa Anna
 Still Santa Anna
 Society
 Rumors of war
 War begun
 Puebla lost
 Chapultepec taken
 Benito Juarez
 French intervention
 The empire under protection
 The unprotected empire
 Maximilian
 End of the episode
 The last of Santa Anna
 Porfirio Diaz
 Physical advantages
 Future
 Index
 Advertising
 Back Cover
 Spine






Group Title: Story of the nations ; v. 23
Title: The story of Mexico
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00082765/00001
 Material Information
Title: The story of Mexico
Series Title: Story of the nations
Alternate Title: Mexico
Physical Description: xvi, 428, 4 p. : ill. (some col.), col. map (folded), port. ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Hale, Susan, 1833-1910
Unwin, T. Fisher ( Thomas Fisher ), 1848-1935 ( Publisher )
G.P. Putnam's Sons
Knickerbocker Press ( Printer )
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
T. Fisher Unwin
Place of Publication: New York
London
Manufacturer: Electrotyped, printed and bound by Knickerbocker Press
Publication Date: 1894, c1888
Copyright Date: 1888
 Subjects
Subject: Indians of North America -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Toltecs -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Mayas -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Aztecs -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
War -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Spaniards -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Colonists -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
History -- Juvenile literature -- Mexico   ( lcsh )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1894   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1894
Genre: Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
England -- London
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Susan Hale.
General Note: Includes index.
General Note: Publisher's advertisements follow text.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00082765
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002230999
notis - ALH1366
oclc - 35777817

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Front Matter
    Advertising
        Advertising
    Frontispiece
        Frontispiece
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
        Page xi
        Page xii
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
    List of Illustrations
        Page xv
        Page xvi
    Map of Mexico
        Page xvii
    The subject
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Shadowy tribes
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
    Toltecs
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
    Chichimecs
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
    Nezahualcoyotl, the hungry fox
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
    Texcuco
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
    Mihoacan
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
    Mayas
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
    Aztecs
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
    Mexicans
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
    Aztec character
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
    The last of the Montezumas
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
    Cortés
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
    Malintzi
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
    Tlaxcalla
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
    La noche triste
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
    Conquest
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
    Doña Marina
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
    Indians
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
    The first of the viceroys
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
    Fray Martin de Valencia
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
    Other viceroys
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
    Humboldt
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
    Revolutions
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
    Hidalgo
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
    Morelos
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
    Yturbide
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
    Santa Anna
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
    Still Santa Anna
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
    Society
        Page 290
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
        Page 300
    Rumors of war
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
        Page 310
    War begun
        Page 311
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
        Page 315
        Page 316
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 319
        Page 320
        Page 321
        Page 322
    Puebla lost
        Page 323
        Page 324
        Page 325
        Page 326
        Page 327
        Page 328
        Page 329
        Page 330
        Page 331
        Page 332
    Chapultepec taken
        Page 333
        Page 334
        Page 335
        Page 336
        Page 337
        Page 338
        Page 339
        Page 340
        Page 341
    Benito Juarez
        Page 342
        Page 343
        Page 344
        Page 345
        Page 346
        Page 347
    French intervention
        Page 348
        Page 349
        Page 350
        Page 351
        Page 352
        Page 353
        Page 354
        Page 355
        Page 356
    The empire under protection
        Page 357
        Page 358
        Page 359
        Page 360
        Page 361
        Page 362
        Page 363
        Page 364
    The unprotected empire
        Page 365
        Page 366
        Page 367
        Page 368
        Page 369
        Page 370
        Page 371
        Page 372
    Maximilian
        Page 373
        Page 374
        Page 375
        Page 376
        Page 377
        Page 378
        Page 379
        Page 380
        Page 381
        Page 382
    End of the episode
        Page 383
        Page 384
        Page 385
    The last of Santa Anna
        Page 386
        Page 387
        Page 388
        Page 389
        Page 390
        Page 391
    Porfirio Diaz
        Page 392
        Page 393
        Page 394
        Page 395
        Page 396
        Page 397
        Page 398
        Page 399
        Page 400
        Page 401
    Physical advantages
        Page 402
        Page 403
        Page 404
        Page 405
        Page 406
        Page 407
        Page 408
        Page 409
        Page 410
        Page 411
    Future
        Page 412
        Page 413
        Page 414
        Page 415
        Page 416
        Page 417
        Page 418
        Page 419
        Page 420
    Index
        Page 421
        Page 422
        Page 423
        Page 424
        Page 425
        Page 426
        Page 427
        Page 428
    Advertising
        Page 429
        Page 430
        Page 431
        Page 432
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
Full Text











a L





-~ "' 1.i ,
.. ~ _.
I* -a"-











a

.r i
.t" '' ,*
'h-a *.~
~~'-a-












..a. .~ ..
'-s **


















'-a'


Fa'



















I ,
~~-/-4 .
1''-



















a~.. .a, ,- .







THE STORY OF THE NATIONS


12MO, ILLUSTRATED, PER VOL., $1.50 ; LEATHER, GILT TOP, $1-75

THE EARLIER VOLUMES ARE

THE STORY OF GREECE. By Prof. JAS. A. HARRISON
THE STORY OF ROME. By ARTHUR GILMAN
THE STORY OF THE JEWS. By Prof. JAS. K. HOSMER
THE STORY OF CHALDEA. By Z. A. RAGOZIN
THE STORY OF GERMANY. ByS. BARING-GOULD
THE STORY OF NORWAY. By Prof. H. H. BOYESEN
THE STORY OF SPAIN. By E. E. and SUSAN HALE
THE STORY OF HUNGRY. By Prof. A. VAMBeRY
THE STORY OF CARTHAGE. By Prof. ALFRED J. CHURCH
THE STORY OF THE SARACENS. By ARTHUR GILMAN
THE STORY OF THE MOORS IN SPAIN. By STANLEY LANE-POOLR
THE STORY OF THE NORMANS. By SARAH 0. JEWETT
THE STORY OF PERSIA. By S. G. W. BENJAMIN
THE STORY OF ANCIENT EGYPT. By GEO. RAWLINSON
THE STORY OF ALEXANDER'S EMPIRE. By Prof. J. P. MAHAFFY
THE STORY OF ASSYRIA. By Z. A. RAGOZIN
THE STORY OF IRELAND. By Hon. EmILY LAWLESS
THE STORY OF THE GOTHS. By HENRY BRADLEY
THE STORY OF TURKEY. By STANLEY LANE-POOLE
THE STORY OF MEDIA, BABYLON, AND PERSIA. By Z. A. RAGOZIN
THE STORY OF MEDIEVAL FRANCE. By GUSTAVE MASSON
THE STORY OF MEXICO. By SUSAN HALE
THE STORY OF HOLLAND. By JAMES E. THOROLD ROGERS.
THE STORY OF PHCENICIA. By GEORGE RAWLINSON
THE STORY OF THE HANSA TOWNS. By HELaFN ZIMMERN
THE STORY OF EARLY BRITAIN. By Prof. ALFRED J. CHURCH
THE STORY OF TIE BARBARY CORSAIRS. By STANLEY LANE-POOLIE
THE STORY OF RUSSIA. By W. R. MoI.IILL
THE STORY OF THE JEWS UNDER ROME. By W. D. MORRISON
THE STORY OF SCOTLAND. By JOIN MACKINTOSH
THE STORY OF SWITZERLAND. By R. SrIAn anlId MRS. A. Hu,;
THE STORY OF PORTUGAL. By H. MORSE ST'rHINS
THE STORY OF THE BYZANTINE EMPIRE. By C. W. C. OMAN
THE STORY OF SICILY. By E. A. FREEMAN
THE STORY OF THF TUSCAN REPUBLICS. By BELLA DUFFY
TIE STORY OF POLAND. By W. R. MoRFI.L
THE STORY OF PARTHIA. By GEORGE RAWLINSON
TIE STORY OF JAPAN. By DAVID MURRAY
THE STORY OF THE CHRISTIAN RECOVERY OF SPAIN. By H. E. WATTS
THE STORY OF AUSTRALASIA. By GREVILLE THEGARTHEN
THE STORY OF SOUTHERN AFRICA. By GEO. M. THEAL
THE STORY OF VENICE. By ALETHIA WI, EL
THE STORY OF THE CRUSADES. By T. S. ARCHER and C. L. KINGSFORD
THE STORY OF VEDIC INDIA. By Z. A. RAGOZIN
THE STORY OF BOHEMIA. By C. E. MAURICE
THE STORY OF CANADA. By J. G. BOURINOT
THE STORY OF BRITISH RI LE IN INDIA. By R. W. FRAZER
TIE STORY OF THE FRANKS. By Liwis SERGEANT
For prospectus of the series see end of this volume
G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS, NEW YORK AND LONDON























S -




























........ ...












NATIONAL FLAG OF MEXICO



Frontispiece






he atorL of, llh itdaions




THE



STORY OF MEXICO





BY


SUSAN HALE











NEW YORK
G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS
LONDON: T. FISHER UNWIN
1894




























COPYRIGHT
BY G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS
1888

Entered at Stationers' Hall, London
B- T. FISHER UNWIN



















Electrotyped, Printed, and Bound by
'be lfnichcebocier tress, 1Rew Lorl
G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS
















CONTENTS.


I.
PAGE
THE SUBJECT I-II
View from a steamer, I-Seen by Fernando Cortds, 2 ; his
ambition, 3-Inhospitable coast, 3-Vera Cruz, 4-Depart-
ure, 4-Climate we leave, 5-Climate we are seeking, 5-
Three climates of Mexico, 6-Anahuac. 6 ; Tierra fcmplada,
7-Scenery of the plateau, 7-Its early inhabitants, 8-De-
stroyed by Cortes, S-Traditions of Anahuac, g-Teocallis
changed to cathedrals. 9-The Conuquistadores, 1o-Span-
ish rulers, Io-Two emperors, Io-Mexico a republic, I ;
its past and future, ri.

II.
SHADOWY TRIBES 12-23
Meaning of Anahuac, 12-Tula, formerly Tollan, 13-The
Toltecs, 13-Cholula: its legends, 14, 15, 16, 17, IS, 19,
2o-Mound builders, 21-Legends of the Nahuas, 21-
Huehue-Tlapallan, 22-Atlantis, 22-Noah of the Mexi-
can tribes, 22-Universal fable of the deluge, 23.

III.

TRADITIONS OF THE TOLTECS 24-37
Their wanderings, 24; ruins of their capital, 26 ; their re-
sources, 26 ; language, 27; early faith, 27-Cuernavaca, 28
-Toluca, 28-Power of their ruler, 29-Quetzalcoatl,
The Shining Snake, 29; legends of his career, 30;
possible facts, 32 ; mystery of his departure, 32 ; image in the
museum, 33 ; his attributes, 33--Evil days of the Toltecs,
34-The Agave Americana, 34 ; its properties, 35-Maguey,
35-Xochitl, 36 ; her beverage, 36--Deterioration of the
Toltecs, 37 ; dates of their wanderings, 37.
iii





THE STORY OF MEXICO.


IV.
PAGE
CHICHIMECS 38-44
A new dynasty, 38-The Chichimecs, 39 ; occupations and
customs, 39-The mark of a warrior, 39-The Serpent of
the Clouds, 4o-The invasion of Xolotl, 40-Fall of Tol-
lan, 41-Territory of Xolotl, 41-New waves of emigration,
42-Wise rulers, 42-Texcuco, 42-The Aztecs, 43-War
with Atzcapotzalco, 44-Kingdom of Texcuco, 44.

V.
NEZAHUALCOYOTL 45-52
The young prince, 45 ; in captivity, 45; a faithful friend,
46-Tlaxcaza, 46-The plateau to-day, 46-The Malinche,
46-The Land of Bread, 47-A wise tutor, 47-Maxtla,
48-The homage of Nezahualcoyotl, 48-Maxtla's plot, 48
-Open enmity, 49-Nezahualcoyotl's escape, 49; his
hiding, 50-Tyranny of Maxtla, 5o-The true prince
triumphant, 51-Maxtla defeated and killed, 51-The
kingdom of Texcuco Acolhuacan, 52.

VI.
TExcco 53-61
The Golden Age, 53-The government, 53-Council of
Music, 53-Texcucan literature, 54-Lost treasures, 54-
A royal poet, 55-The Laughing Hill, 56-Artificial lakes,
56-Ruins of Tezcotzinco, 56-Baths of Montezuma, 57-
A blot on Nezahualcoyotl's fame, 57 ; a Mexican Haroun
al Raschid, 58 ; his religion, 59-From anarchy to civiliza-
tion, 59-Nezahualpilli, 59-Decline of Texcuco, 60-A
Texcucan historian, 60-Legend or fact ? 61.

VII.
MICHOACAN 62-69
The Land of Fish, 62-Lonely lakes, 62-Patzcuaro, 63-
The Place of Delights, 64-The first settlers, 64-Ird
Titatacam6, 65-A dusky princess, 65-Tixiacuri, the first
king of Michoacan, 66-The kingdom divided, 66-Tzint-
zuntzan, 67-The glorious reign of Zovanga, 67-A city of
birds, 67-Fruitless excavations, 68-The Tarascans, 68.







CONTENTS.


VIII.
PAGE
MAYAS 70-82
The first wave of migration, 7o-Traces of Mayas in
Yucatan, 70-A great empire, 7--Nachan, the town of ser-
pents, 72 ; its ruins discovered, 72-Palace at Palenque, 72-
Lofty chambers and strange bas-reliefs, 73-The Temple of
the Cross, 74-An emblem of Christian faith, 75-Meaning
of the tablets, 75-Chichen-Itza, 76-A religious centre, 77
-Paintings and bas-reliefs, 78-Chaak Mool, the tiger-
chief, 78-The beautiful Kinich, 78-Tomb of Chaak
Mool, 78-Paved roads of Yucatan, 79-Votan and Zamna,
8o-Mayan legends, 80-Weapons and armor, 8I-War
with the Toltecs, 82.

IX.
AZTECS 83-95
Best known of the Anahuac tribes, 83-Aztlan, 83-The
migration, 84-Six centuries of wanderings, 84-The name
Mexican, 84,-Their adopted home, 84-Chapultepec, 86-
Driven to the islands, 87-A wretched life, 87-Valor of
the slaves, 87-An abiding city, 87-Tenochtitlan, or
Mexico, 88-Advances in civilization, SS-Results of mod-
ern research, 89-A king chosen, 90o-Early years of the
kingdom, g9-The Princess of Cloth, 92-Canoas, 92-
Chimalpopoca, 94-The usurpation, 94-Maxtla, 95.

X.
MEXICANS 96- o10
Itzcoatl, 96-Alliance with Texcuco, 96-War with Max-
tla, 96-Victory of the allies, 97-Fall of the Tepanec
monarchy, 97-" The Valley Confederates," 98-Reign of
Motecuhzoma, 98-Height of the Mexican power, 98-
Conquest of the Chalcas, 99-Inundation and famine, 99-
Raid upon neighboring provinces, Ioo-Laws of Motecuh-
zoma, Ioo; his successor, IoI-Tizoc, lor-The Drinking-
cup of the Eagle, 10o-Human sacrifice, 102-Temple
built by Tizoc, Io5-Dikes, Io5-A despot, Io6-Extent of
the kingdom, o16-Religious fanaticism, o08-Doubtful
records, 109.






THE STORY OF MEXICO.


XI.
PAGE
AZTEC CHARACTER -I23
Unreliable testimony, II--Hieroglyphics, III-Paintings,
112-" Wanderings of the Aztecs," 112-Religion, 114-A
future life, II4-I'uneral customs, 114-Domestic life, 115
-Laws, II5-Music, 115--The Aztec calendar, IIg-Divi-
sions of time, II6-Names of days, etc., 117-Opinions of
antiquarians, 117-The cycle, II8-Unlucky days, 118-
Agriculture, II9-Irrigation, Ig-A gentle race, 120-The
Priestesses, I21-Coatlicue, the goddess of the earth, 122
-Source of Aztec greatness, 122-A fatal policy, 123.

XII.

THE LAST OF THE MONTEZUMAS 124-134
Motecuhzoma Xocoyotzin, 124; his character, 124-A
coronation festival, 125-Royal robes, 125-The life of
an Aztec king, 126 ; his capital, I26-Diaz's description, 127
-A life of pleasure, 128-State correspondence, 128-Cha-
pultepec, 129-Montezuma's cypress, 129-Clouds on the
horizon, 130-Sinister predictions, 130-The coming of the
white men, 131-An unhappy monarch, 131--Landing of
the strangers, 132--Velasquez de Leon, 132 ; his expedi-
tion to Yucatan, 133-Grijalva visits Mexico, 133--Monte-
zuma's embassy, 133.

XIII.
CORTES -I44
Birth, 135; enters the army, 135; visits Cuba, 135-An
attractive portrait, 135-Defects of character, 136-Velas-
quez and Grijalva's expedition, 136-A love story, 137-
Cortes receives a commission, 137 ; his companions, 137-
Jealousy of Velasquez, 137-The squadron, 138-Jerome
d' Aguilar, 138-First conflict with the Aztecs, 139-Palm
Sunday, 139-A happy people, 140-Rumors of danger,
140-Presents to the strangers, 14--Cort6s as Quetzalcoatl,
141-Easter, 141-A perplexed council, 142-Mistaken
policy, 142-Vera Cruz, 142-Cortes visits Cempoallan,
143-Tlaxcalla, 143-The ships destroyed, 144.







CONTENTS.


XIV.
PAGE
MALINTZI 145-150
Her birthplace, 145-The little duchess is made a slave,
I45-Life in Tabasco, 146-Arrival of Cortes, 146-Treaty
of alliance, 146--The heiress-slave becomes a Christian, 146
-Marina or Malinche, 146-A new interpreter, 147-A
beautiful picture, 147-Splendid gifts, 148-Malintzi's
beauty, 149 ; her devotion to Cortes, 149; its result, 149.

XV.
TLAXCALLA 151-157
An isolated province, 15I-Exaggerated reports, 151-
Efforts for the friendship of the Tlaxcallans, 152-A trap
for the Spaniards, r52-A battle, 152-Defeat of the Tlax-
callans, 153-Peace concluded, 153-Christianity intro-
duced, 153-Cholula, 154-Slaughter of the Cholultecas,
154-Alliance with Ixtlilxochitl, 154-Cacamatzin impris-
oned, 155-Cortes reaches Mexico, I56-Cortes and Monte-
zuma, 157-A lesson and a vow, 157.

XVI.
LA NOCHE TRISTE 158-165
Overtures of friendship, 158-Bold measures, 159-Monte-
zuma in the power of the Spaniards, 159-A rival in the
field, 159--Alvarado, 60o-The feast of Iluitzilopochtli,
16o-The Spaniards in danger, 6o--Death of Montezuma,
161-Mexican traditions, G12-Cortes abandons the city,
163-A desperate struggle, 163-La NAoche Triste, 164-
The scene of the battle, 164 ; the losses, 165.

XVII.
CONQUEST 166-179
An interval of peace, 166-The new emperor, 166-A
legacy of the Spaniards, 167-Cortis in extremes, 167-The
Aztec army, 168-Battle at Otumba, 17o-The Spaniards
victorious, 170-Preparations for defence, 171-The Span-
iards in Tlaxcalla, 171-Ixtlilxochill, 171-Cortds at
Texcuco, 172-A new army and a new fleet, 172-The
campaign against Mexico, 173-Suffering in the city, 174-






THE STORY OF MEXICO.


PAGE
Surrender, 174-The city destroyed, 175-Cortes at
Coyoacan, 175-Search for treasures, I75-The kings
tortured, 175-Military rule, 176-Subjugation of Michoa-
can, 176-Later conquests, 177-Death of the Aztec kings,
178-Later life of Cortes, 178 ; return to Spain, 178 ; death,
178 ; burial in Mexico, 179.

XVIII.
DORA MARINA 180-183
Her position in the camp, 18o-After the victory, 180-
Life at CoyoacAn, I8o-Arrival of Dofia Catalina, 181;
her death, 182-Insurrection in Honduras, 182-Marriage
of Marina, 183 ; her later life and her death, 183-Cortes
visits Spain, 183-A second marriage, 183.

XIX.
INDIANS 184-190
The conquest complete, 184-The name Indian, 184-
Origin of the Nahuatl tribes, IS5-Distinguished from the
North American Indian, 186-Military government, 188-
The Ayuntamiento, IS8-The Audiencia, IS8-Nuiio de
Guzman, 189 ; his cruelty to the natives, 189-Guadalajara
founded, I89-A second Audiencia, 189--A viceroy ap-
pointed, 19o-Extent of New Spain, 190.

XX.

THE FIRST OF THE VICEROYS 191-202
Antonio de Mendoza, 191 ; his family and character, I91-
Reforms instituted, 191-Industries encouraged, 192-The
Franciscans, 192-Fray Pedro, 192-Foundation of schools
and colleges, 193-Guadalajara and Valladolid, 193-
Michoacan and its people, 194-The founding of a city,
g95-Spanish families in Mexico, 196-Jews and Moors
banished, 196-Vasco de Quiroga, 197 ; his life in Tarasco,
197 ; his church at Tzintzuntzan, 198-A wonderful picture,
9g8-The cathedral at Morelia, 199-Cortis goes to Spain,
200-Popularity of the viceroy, 200-First Mexican book,
202-Departure of Mendoza, 202.







CONTENTS. ix

XXI.
PAGE
FRAY MARTIN DE VALENCIA 203-213
Don Luis de Velasco, second viceroy, 203-New institutions
and industries, 203-Puebla de los Angeles, 204 ; the
tradition of its founding, 204 ; the situation, 206-The early
ecclesiastics, 207-The worship of the Virgin, 207-The
"twelve apostles of Mexico," 208--Fray Martin of
Valencia, 2oS ; his life in Amecameca, 209 ; his death, 210
-Relics of Fray Martin, 21 I-An object of reverence, 212-
Death of Velasco, 212-A well-regulated government, 213.

XXII.

OTHER VICEROYS 214-223
Events in Spain, 214-Philip II., 214-The character of the
viceroys, 215-The Inquisition, 216-The Quenzadero, 216-
Death of Philip, 217-Inundations, 217-Martinez and his
canal, 218-Successors of Philip, 219-Wars of succession,
22o-Revillagigedo, 220; anecdotes of his administration,
221.

XXIII.

HUMBOLDT 224-232
A distinguished visitor, 224; he arrives in Mexico, 225-Re-
marks on the carving, 225-Academy of fine arts, 226 ; its
later history, 227-The cathedral, 227--Humboldt at
Chapultepec, 228; The market, 228-Teotihuacan, 229-
Mexican mines, 229-Valenciana, 229-At Patzcuaro, 230
-The birth of a volcano, 231.


XXIV.

REVOLUTIONS 233-237
Charles III. of Spain, 233 ; his successor, 233-Branciforte
and the statue of Charles IV., 234-Napoleon invades
Spain, 235-A change of government, 235--Juntas, 235-
The Bourbons restored, 235-Iturrigaray and his adminis-
tration, 236-Revolt in the air, 237-The policy of Spain,
237-Venegas, 237.






THE STORY OF MEXICO.


XXV.
PAGE
HIDALGO 238-249
Birth and education, 238-Colegio de San Nicholas, 238-
He takes orders, 238 ; life at Dolores, 240; bold schemes,
240-Ignacio Allende, 241 ; An important step, 241-The
Grito de Dolores, 242-A new army, 242-Attack on
Guanajuato, 243-A brave boy, 243-The new viceroy,
243-Hidalgo excommunicated, 244-Valladolid taken,
245-Monte de la Cruces, 245-The insurgents defeated at
Aculco, 246-Hidalgo declared Generalissimo, 246-Battle
of Calderon, 247-Capture and death of the chiefs, 248-
End of the struggle for independence, 248.

XXVI.

MORELOS 250-257
Birth and family, 250-Morelia, 25 i-Muleteer and student,
25r-Morelos joins Hidalgo, 251-Siege of Cuautla, 252-
Acapulco, 252-First Mexican Congress, 252-Declaration
of independence, 253-Attack on Valladolid, 253-Mis-
haps, 254-Morelos a prisoner, 254-Death of Morelos,
255 ; his character and aims, 255 ; his object achieved, 256.

XXVII.

YTURBIDE 258-271
The close of Calleja's administration, 258-The insurgents
dispersed, 258-Apodaca and Guerrero, 259-Affairs in
Spain, 259-Agustin de Yturbide, 260; early services,
260; meets Guerrero, 261-" Plan of Iguala," 261-The
three guaranties," 261-Advance of the insurgents, 262-
The viceroy deposed, 262-A successful campaign, 263-
O'Donojil, 263-Treaty of Cordova, 264-Yturbide enters
the capital, 264-The Regency, 264-The Mexican Empire
founded, 265-Work of the new government, 265-Second
Mexican Congress, 265-Yturbide proclaimed Emperor,
266-Signs of dissatisfaction, 267-Santa Anna, 267-The
Casa-Mata, 268-Yturbide banished, 268; his return to
Mexico, 270; his execution, 270 ; character of Yturbide,
271.






CONTENTS.


XXVIII.
PAGE
SANTA ANNA 272-280
A confused story, 272-Santa Anna, 273 ; his connection
with Yturbide, 273-The Constitution, 273-" Guada-
lupe" Victoria, 273-Expulsion of the Spanish, 274-A
presidential election, 274-Mutiny in the capital, 275-
Colonization of Texas, 276-Pedraza, 276-A Spanish in-
vasion, 277-Santa Anna made Commander-in-Chief, 277
-Bustamente, 278-Guerrero betrayed and shot, 278-
Santa Anna becomes President, 278-Farias, 279-Insur-
rection in Texas, 279.

XXIX.

STILL SANTA ANNA 281-289
Louis Philippe, 281-Reclamacion de los asteles, 28I-The
French repelled, 281-Santa Anna's home, 282-Busta-
mente recalled, 282-Trouble again, 283-Mejia, 283-A
revolution described, 284-Bustamente resigns, 288-Santa
Anna triumphant, 288.

XXX.
SOCIETY 290-300
Madame Calderon's journal, 29o-An ambassador from
Spain, 290-State of society, 291-The Paseo, 291-The
Viga, 292--Women in Mexico, 292 -Good-Friday in
Mexico, 294-Robbers, 297-Guardias Ruraies, 298-A
monarchy proposed, 299.

XXXI.
RUMORS OF WAR 30-310
Results of the Spanish rule, 30o-Playing at independence,
30o-The appeal to arms, 302-The country exhausted, 302
-Misfortunes, 3o4-The United States, 304-Spread of its
territory, 304-Colonization of Texas, 305-Moses Austin,
304-Revolt against Mexico. 3o5 Houston and Santa
Anna, 305 Texas independent, 305 Annexed to the
United States, 306-Herrera, Farias, and Paredes, 307-
The Mexican army, 308.






THE STORY OF MEXICO.


XXXII.
PAGZ
WAR BEGUN 1-322
The beginning of hostilities, 3r1-Palo Alto and Resaca de
la Palma, 311-The war carried into Mexico, 312-Diffi-
culty of negotiation, 312-" Indemnity for the past," 313-
California, 313-Policy of the United States, 313-Monte-
rey taken, 314-Fremont enters the capital, 316-Taylor's
campaign, 316-Siege of Monterey, 318-Ampudia's proc-
lamation, 319-Paredes and his Plan," 319-Santa Anna
again, 32o-Fall of Paredes, 321-Santa Anna at the capi-
tal, 321-A new army, 321.

XXXIII.
PUEBLA LOST .323-332
Scott before Vera Cruz, 323-Buena Vista, 323-Raising
money, 323-The religious orders and their influence, 324-
Wealth of the Church, 326-Ecclesiastical property seized,
327-Bombardment of Vera Cruz, 328-The city surrenders,
328-Cerro Gordo, 330-Santa Anna at Puebla, 330-Pue-
bla occupied by the Americans, 331-Guadalupe and its
surroundings, 33I-Santa Anna as Dictator, 332-Patriot-
ism aroused, 332.
XXXIV.
CHAPULTEPEC TAKEN 333-341
The approach to the capital, 333-Churubusco, 333-Docile
Indians, 333-Another victory for the Americans, 334-
Molino de Rey, 334-Chapultepec taken, 336-Occupation
of the capital, 336-Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, 338-
Discovery of gold, 338-Effects of the war, 339-Attempts
to capture Santa Anna, 340-Santa Anna retires to Jamaica,
341-Grant in the Mexican war, 341,
XXXV.
BENITO JUAREZ 342-347
Peace restored, 342-Herrera and his administration, 342-
Santa Anna again Dictator: 344-An epoch of reform, 344
-C and liberals, 344-Benito Juarez, 344 ; his early
life, 345 ; governor and exile, 345 ; restored to office, 346-
A new Constitution, 346-Juarez becomes President, 346-
Foreign intervention, 347.







CONTENTS. Xiii

XXXVI.
PAGE
FRENCH INTERVENTION 348-356
A foreign squadron, 348-The pretext and the cause, 348-
Spain and England withdraw, 349-The policy of Napoleon
III., 349-A proposed empire, 349-Maximilian, 350;
dreams of the right divine," 352-The French troops
advance on the capital, 353-Divisions in Mexico 353-
The Cinco de Mayo, 354-A bold attack, 355-Defence of
Puebla, 356.
XXXVII.

THE EMPIRE UNDER PROTECTION 357-364
The sovereigns arrive, 357-The imperialist party, 357-
Reception of Maximilian, 358-Relics of royalty, 359-
Military affairs, 360-The new government, 362-Chapul-
tepec restored, 363-Society at the capital, 363-Apparent
prosperity, 364.

XXXVIII.

THE UNPROTECTED EMPIRE 365-372
Action of the United States, 365-Responsibility for the
intervention, 366-The final word of Napoleon, 367-Car-
lotta goes to Europe, 36S-11cr interview with Napoleon,
369-Maximilian leaves the capital, 370-At Orizaba, 371-
Father Fischer, 371-The Emperor's manifesto, 372.

XXXIX.

MAXIMILIAN 373-382
The French army withdrawn, 373-Advance of Juarez, 374
-The Emperor and his attendants, 374-Investment of
Quer'taro, 375-MArquez and Diaz, 375-Personal appear-
ance of the Emperor, 376-The treachery of Lopez, 377-
Maximilian a prisoner, 378 ; his death, 380.
XL.

END OF THE EPISODE 383-385
General Vidaurri, 383-The escape of Marquez, 384-
General Diaz, 384-Puebla, 385-Vigor of the liberal gov-
ernment, 385.







THE STORY OF MEXICO.


XLI.
PAGE
THE LAST OF SANTA ANNA 386-391
Juarez enters the capital, 3S6-Peace established, 387-
Santa Anna in retirement, 387 ; his exile and death, 388-
Character of Juarez, 389-Civil war again, 390-Death of
Juarez, 39o-Lerdo becomes President, 391.

XLII.
PORFIRIO DIAZ 392-401
A new "Plan," 392-Birthplace of Diaz, 392-Scenery of
Oaxaca, 393-The Zapotecas, 393-Ruins of Mitla, 394-
Early life of Diaz, 394 ; his military achievements, 395-
An escape from hostile troops, 396-Triumph of the oppo-
sition, 396-Diaz proclaimed President, 397-Presidency
of Gonsalez, 398-Policy of Diaz, 399-Chapultepec at the
present day, 399-Hope for the Indian, 400-Prospects of
development, 401.

XLIII.

PHYSICAL ADVANTAGES 402-411
Climate and vegetation, 402-Mexican flora, 403-The
market-place, 4o4-A family group, 404-Native pottery,
405-The cargador, 405-Wearing apparel, 406-Serape
and rebozo, 406, 407-The cotton industry, 408-The
source of Mexican wealth, 409.

XLIV.

FUTURE 412-419
Influence of the Catholic Fathers, 412 -Extinction of
monasteries, 412-The parish priest, 413-The Mozarabic
liturgy, 413-A missionary field, 4r4-The policy of the
government, 414-Schools, 415-Literature in modern
Mexico, 416-The Mexican-Spaniard, 417-Railways, 48-
Brighter days to come, 419.


INDEX


421
















LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


PAGE
MEXICAN FLAG Frontisiece.
VALLEY OF TULA 15
COLUMN FROM TULA 24
RUINS FOUND AT TULA 25
QUETZALCOATL 31
PORTICO AT KIABO 43
VASE IN THE NATIONAL MUSEUM, WASHINGTON .63
CASA DEL GOBERNADORUXMAL 71
STATUE FROM PALENQUE .73
TABLET OF CROSS AT PALENQUE .74
MAYAN BAS-RELIEF 77
STATUE OF CHAAK MOOL 79
ZAMNA 8 SI
ORGAN CACTUS 85
IDOL IN TERRA-COTTA .89
CANAL OUTSIDE THE CITY OF MEXICO 93
STONE OF Tzo. 03
SCULPTURE REPRESENTING HUMAN SACRIFICE 107
COURT OF THE MUSEUM AT MEXICO 113
VASE. MUSEUM AT MEXICO 120
PYRAMID AT TEOTIHUACAN 169
EARLY POTTERY 87
CATHEDRAL AT MORELIA 201
PUEBLA DE LOS ANGELES 205
TEMPLE OF XOCHICALCO 225
CACTUS HEDGE 239
XV






THE STORE Y OF MEXICO.


PAGE
PANORAMA OF PUEBLA 269
INDIAN HUT IN THE TIERRA CALIENTE 283
CATHEDRAL, CITY OF MEXICO .289
THE VIGA 293
VALLEY OF MEXICO .303
MONTEREY, MEXICO .315
GENERAL TAYLOR 317
GENERAL SCOTT 325
SIEGE OF VERA CRUZ 329
BATTLE OF MOLINO DEL REY 335
STORMING OF CHAPULTEPEC 337
BENITO JUAREZ 343
ARCHDUKE MAXIMILIAN 351
SAN LUIS POTOSI 359
CHAPULTEPEC IN THE TIME OF MAXIMILIAN 361
HEAD-QUARTERS OF JUAREZ AT SAN LUISDE POTOSI 379
THE CONVENT OF CAPUCHINAS 381
ZAPOTEC ORNAMENT 393
IMAGE OF A ZAPOTEC CHIEF 394
PRESIDENT PORFIRIO DIAZ 397
AQUEDUCT IN THE CITY OF MEXICO 410
From The Fall of Maximilian's Empire." By permission of
the author, Scaton Schrocder, Lieut. U. S. N.

For a number of these illustrations the publishers are indebted to
the courtesy of Messrs. Hochette & Co., publishers of Le Voyage
an Mexique," by Jules Leclercq.


I




























































MAP OF

MEXICO
-------- Scale of English Miles
0 100 200 800 400


.'ILL.L
LE i.0-


1. ,


L'~


'LL ')
8~Ei


"' LLFJ1 POTOSI


s''-''LANAJU,




1. IL'S1LI
-, j, 'K.
C'LII I LLLhS
r.JILLO


V- L



-OTO LA
IAARINO"'

0VICTOF A
x ;


TO ju



FA.: I-









C c


xE x


RAY O.


OfE


LI r--


0 YF


xi c















THE STORY OF MEXICO.



I.

THE SUBJECT.

THE steamer stops, and we are lying off Vera
Cruz, in the Gulf of Mexico. Half a mile off, the
long, low shore stretches north and south, with the
white town upon it, flat roofs making level lines on
the houses glaring in the morning sunlight, domes
and church towers rising above the rest; glimpses of
bright green tree-tops are to be seen, but outside the
city all is barren and waste. The plain behind rolls
up, however, and the background is the peak of
snow-capped Orizaba, silent, lofty, 17,356 feet above
our level.
This is what we see to-day, leaning over the bul-
wark of our large luxurious steamer which has
brought us, easily, from Havana in a few days, over
the smooth, green waters of the Gulf. Our only
anxiety has been the possible chance of a Norther,"
which may break loose at any time in that region,
sweeping over the waters with fury and driving the
stoutest vessels away from the coast they would ap-





THE STORY OF MEXICO.


proach. Our only exertion has been to keep cool
upon the pleasant deck, and to take enough exercise
to be able to enjoy the frequent food provided by
the admirable czhf of the steamer.
The scenery is the same that Fernando Cort6s
looked upon, some three hundred years ago, when
he, too, cast anchor about half a mile from the coast,
and scanned the shore with an anxious eye, to find a
suitable landing. Orizaba rose before him, as now we
see it, stately, majestic, cold and forbidding, under its
mantle of snow.
We must envy the adventurer, in spite of our ad-
vantages in the way of ease and comfort. He stood
upon the cramped deck of his little vessel, sur-
rounded by a handful of men, with a limited amount
of provisions, and great uncertainty about the next
supply. No town stretched out its sheltering walls
before him; there was scarcely harborage for his
ships. Yet he had the advantage of absolute novelty
in his undertaking from the moment he himself, with
his little band, led the way up the steep slope to
Anahuac.
Every true traveller has some of the instincts of
the explorer in him, and these instincts must make us
envy the prospect which lay before Cort6s as he ap-
proached in the Bay of Vera Cruz the real beginning
of his enterprise. There was the shore of the new
country, where he might plant his "rich city of the
true cross." There was the cold mountain which
might contain in its depths the treasure he was seek-
ing, and beyond it was the rumored Empire he
longed to conquer. At that moment, no fear, no





THE SUBJECT.


discouragement, held back the eager steps with which
he sprang into his boat, and beckoned his compan-
ions to follow him.
Cort6s fulfilled his ambition, achieved his task,
with what difficulties, through what straits and fail-
ures, we shall have later to see. He scaled the sides
of Orizaba, reached the lofty plateau, and seized the
ancient citadel of the Montezumas. Civilization has
trodden smooth the rough path he first opened, and
railroads now make it easy to climb the pass so ar-
duous for him. If our journey lacks the element of
constant discovery which belonged to his, we have
gained that of wonder and amazement at the diffi-
culties he surmounted. Moreover, he came in igno-
rance of what he was to find, with a blind desire for
conquest, investing the region he approached with
imaginary attractions. We know beforehand, as we
begin to explore the country, that its legends and
romances are as fascinating as its mines are deep;
that its story is as picturesque as the lofty ranges
and deep rolling valleys which make the charm of its
scenery.
An inhospitable coast borders the treacherous,
though beautiful, Gulf of Mexico. Its waters look
smiling and placid, but at any season the furious
" Norther may break loose, sweeping with fearful
suddenness over its surface, lashing its lately smiling
waves into fury, threatening every vessel with de-
struction. Low sand-bars offer little shelter from the
blast. Ships must stand off the coast until the
tempest shall be past.
The country offers nothing better to its landed





THE STORY OF MEXICO.


guests. Vomito lurks in the streets of Vera Cruz to
seize upon strangers and hurry them off to a wretched
grave. All the pests of a tropical region infest the
low lands running back from the sea. Splendid
vegetation hides unpleasant animals, and snakes are
lurking among the beautiful blue morning-glories
that festoon the tangled forests. Let us hasten
away from these dangers, and climb the slope that
leads to a purer air.
We have escaped the terrors of the custom-house
at Vera Cruz, from which, by the way, Cort6s was
exempt, and after a doubtful night in the hotel,
serenaded by swarms of Vera Cruz mosquitoes, at
early dawn we creep stealthily from our chambers,
not to disturb the few misguided guests who mean
to stay a little longer, and follow the dusky carga-
dores, bearing our baggage on their backs, down into
the silent street. In Mexico there is no effort on
the part of an hotel proprietor to speed the parting
guest. He signs the bill overnight and betakes
himself to repose, undisturbed by the exodus in
early morning. The cargadores who have agreed to
attend to the luggage rouse their sleeping prey and
lead them through a wide, straight street to the
railroad station. There is no sign of breakfast at
the hotel. Nobody is stirring but one sleepy inn-
keeper. Hard by the station, as in every Mexican
town, is a caf6, where excellent hot coffee is fur-
nished, with plenty of boiled milk and good bread
in many and various forms. Here we may sit and
refresh ourselves with cup after cup, if we like, until
the short, sharp whistle of the steam-engine warns





THE SUBJECT.


us to take the train. Heavy baggage was, or should
have been, weighed and registered overnight.
It is but six o'clock as we move out of the station.
A big sun is slowly rising over the dry, hot chappar-
ral outside the city. Although it is early April, all
is parched like midsummer. Soon, however, we
begin to climb, and, as we ascend, pass through
forests of wonderful growth. Sugar-cane and coffee
plantations now appear; and the trees are hung with
orchids, tangled with vines bright with blossoms,
many of them fruit-trees now in flower, one mass of
white or pink. The road crosses water-falls, winds
round ravines, under mountains, through tunnels,
climbing ever higher and higher, until C6rdoba is
reached at an elevation of over 2,000 feet. This
town is surrounded and invaded by coffee plan-
tations and orange groves. At the station baskets
of delicious fruits are offered us-oranges, bana-
nas, grenaditas, mangoes. Here we bid farewell to
the tropics, and forget the snakes and the fear of
volmzio.
The climate we are seeking is not a tropical one.
Whoever associates Mexico with the characteristics
of heat, malaria, venomous reptiles, has received a
wrong impression of it. Such places, with their
drawbacks, exist within the geographical limits of
the country, but it is wholly unnecessary to seek
them; for the towns of historical and picturesque
interest are above the reach of tropical dangers, for
the most part, while there are seasons of the year
when even the warmer portions can be visited with
safety and delight. At Orizaba the climate is tem-





THE STORY OF MEXICO.


operate, fresh, and cool, beginning to have the ele-
ments of mountain altitudes. It is well to stop
here for a day or two to become accustomed to the
rarer air. It is a summer place of recreation for the
inhabitants of Vera Cruz, while in winter it is a
favorite excursion from the places higher up on the
plateau.
As we are travelling only in imagination, we may
safely, without pause, press upward to the great
plateau where most of the scene is laid of our story.
For Mexico, with the exception of the narrow border
of sea-coast we have just crossed, is a lofty table-
land between two oceans, a mountain ridge continued
up from the Andes in South America, contracted at
the Isthmus of Panama to a narrow chain of granite,
to grow broad in Mexico as it stretches to the north-
west, until it spreads, at an elevation from 4,000 to
8,000 feet, almost from ocean to gulf. This is Ana-
huac, the so-called table-land of Mexico, a broad
plateau upon which the picturesque romantic drama
of Mexican history has been played. Upon this
high plateau, which is by no means level, rise the
crests of the great volcanic ridges, of which the
highest are Popocatep6tl and Istaccihuatl. The
table-land rolls off northward at first, keeping its
high level, growing narrower, gradually sinking as it
approaches the Rio Grande, until at the boundary
line of the United States it has fallen to 3,000 feet.
Thus Mexico possesses three well defined climates,
due to variation in altitude : the tierra caliente, or
hot lands of the coast ; the tierra templada, or tem-
perate region ; and the tierrafria, the cold regions






THE SUBJECT.


of the mountain tops, more than 6,000 feet above the
level of the sea. These climates, moreover, are
modified by the latitude, so that between the cold
altitudes of the northern portions, and the warm
tropical levels of the south, there is a vast range of
atmospheric change.
Our story has its stage, for the most part in the
tierra templada, where the year is divided into two
seasons: the dry season, from November to May;
the rainy one, from June to October. The pleasant-
er one is the rainy one, in spite of its name. The
rains are not continuous, but fall usually late in the
afternoon and during the night, leaving the morning
bright and clear, and the air deliciously fresh and
cool. All the year roses bloom in the city of Mex-
ico, and there are places where you may eat straw-
berries every day in the three hundred and sixty
five.
Spreading over the greater part of this lofty
region, there are broad, level plains of rich verdure,
bright with all imaginable wild-flowers growing in
profusion; large lakes, as picturesque as those of
Northern Italy, surrounded by hills that are moun-
tains, reckoning from the sea level; lofty mountain
peaks, eternally snow-covered, barren and rocky be-
low their snow-summits, then clothed with pine, and
nearer at hand with fine oaks and other trees of tem-
perate climates. Brawling streams water the valleys,
and at the edge of the plateau make deep barrancas,
whose depths reach to the lower level, their danger-
ous chasms hidden by rich growths.
On this elevated plateau, which with all its va-





THE STORY OF MEXICO.


riety seems a world of its own, until within the
period of modern inventions all but inaccessible to
the lower country and the ocean beyond, we find the
traces of an ancient civilization, reaching backward
until it is lost in legend. Long before the invasion
of Anahuac by Cort6s, it was inhabited by intelligent
races of men. The mystery which hangs about
these people makes the search for their history full
of interest. In the present native population, we
seek to find some clue to the manners and customs
of the first inhabitants, by which to read the mean-
ing of the monuments they have left. They are
gone, their institutions overthrown by a power
stronger than they were, by reason of the resources
of advancing civilization, their idols and temples
overturned by the zealots of another belief.
Outraged by the human sacrifices of the Mexican
tribes, Cort6s destroyed, with a reckless hand, all the
evidences of what he regarded heathen worship. In
so doing, the records of the race were lost, together
with carved images of gods. It is unfortunate that
his zeal was not tempered with discrimination, for it
is now difficult, through the clouds of exaggeration
surrounding the Spanish Conquistadores, to find out
what sort of people they were, who preceded them
on Anahuac.
Empires and palaces, luxury and splendor fill the
accounts of the Spaniards, and imagination loves to
adorn the halls of the Montezumas with the glories
of an Oriental tale. Later explorers, with the fatal
penetration of our time, destroy the splendid vision,
reducing the emperor to a chieftain, the glittering





THE SUBJECT.


retinue to a horde of savages, the magnificent capi-
tal of palaces to a pueblo of adobe. The discouraged
enthusiast sees his magnificent civilization devoted
to art, literature, and luxury, reduced to a few hand-
fuls of pitiful Indians, quarrelling with one another for
supremacy, and sighs to think his sympathies may
have been wasted on the sufferings of an Aztec
sovereign dethroned by the invading Spaniard.
Yet perseverence, after brushing away the spark-
ling cobwebs of exaggerated report, finds enough
fact left to build up a respectable case for the early
races of Mexico. Visible proofs of their importance
exist in the monuments, picture writings, and, above
all, their traditions, which, at all events, remain a
pretty story, with a sediment of facts the student
may precipitate for himself. These traditions make
of the early settlers of Anahuac a very interesting
study, all the more from their shadowy nature, leav-
ing still much margin for fancy.
They were overwhelmed by the Spaniards, but not
destroyed, for the descendants of the conquered races
still form a large proportion of the population of
Mexico. Their tcocallis and hideous carved gods
gave way to Roman Catholic cathedrals and images
of the Holy Virgin. Spanish viceroys, after the first
atrocities of military discipline, ruled the gentle de-
scendants of the Aztecs with a control for the most
part mild and beneficent. The Catholic fathers who
crossed the ocean to labor for the spiritual welfare of
the natives, wisely engrafted upon the mysteries of
their own faith the legends and superstitions of the
older belief. Thus we find in many of the religious






THE STORY OF MEXICO.


ceremonies in Mexico, a wild, picturesque element,
which is lacking in the church festivals of the Old
World.
When the Conquistadores took possession of the
New Spain in the name of their royal master, the
Emperor Charles V., he was one of the most power-
ful of earthly monarchs. His son, Philip II., re-
ceived the country as a part of his inheritance, along
with realms which made him even greater than his
father. But the successors of Philip II. knew not
how to hold the possessions their fathers had won.
Piece by piece their distant provinces were lost to
them. Mexico, after two hundred years of neglect
and mismanagement, shook herself free from Spanish
rule; since the early part of this century she has
called herself independent, with the exception of the
two brief periods when the ambition of two men,
differing widely from each other in their antecedents
and aims, caused them to attempt the rl1e of Em-
peror of Mexico." Iturbide was the former of these;
the latter, the ill-advised Maximilian. For the last
twenty years, since the fall of Maximilian, Mexico
has been a republic, with all the varying fortunes
that attend a young institution struggling with in-
experience and difficulty. A native population with
an inheritance of superstition, prejudice, and oppres-
sion, mixed with a race whose traditions are all in
favor of arbitrary government, supplemented by
immigrants from every other nation who have come,
often with lawless intent, seldom with disinterested
motives, and never inspired by any feeling that
could be called patriotism, must wait long for that






THE SUBJECT.


unanimity of public opinion and harmony of interest
which ensure good government.
At times it has seemed that no good could emerge
from such opposing elements; yet nature has fur-
nished to Mexico material for a long siege; broad
territory with a faultless climate, mountains rich in
every mineral resource, valleys well adapted for
cultivation and grazing, a land where every industry
may, under a stable government, be pursued with
success. The character of the descendant of the
Aztecs is mild and docile, capable, as many people
think, of high development by education ; such bad
qualities as Mexicans have developed from Spanish
inheritance are, it is hoped, giving way before the
progress of civilization and education.
The past of the people who live upon Anahuac is
wrapped in mystery. So is their future. Both are
interesting problems, to be worked out from the
legends of old time, and the narrative of the
present.















SHADOWY TRIBES.

ANAHUAC means "by the water." It is the ancient
name for the great tract of land surrounding the
lakes in the lofty valley of Mexico,-Chalco and
Xochimilco, which are but one lake, properly speak-
ing, the large Lake of Texcuco, and the smaller
ones Zumpango and San Christobal. At first the
name Anahuac was applied only to the neighbor-
hood of the lakes, but later it came to be applied to
the whole plateau.
The Conquistadores, according to their own glow-
ing account, found upon the shores of these lakes a
busy population, with all the evidences of industry
and prosperity. Temples, erected for worship, con-
taining the images of strange gods, stood in the
lofty places. Their monarch lived in a palace of
luxury, surrounded by his guards; he controlled a
large army, which did battle for him against his
enemies. His swift-footed messengers, without
steam, without even horses, did his bidding even
to the shores of the distant sea. Without printing,
or telegraph, he received prompt information of
distant events by pictures made on the spot by his
special artist. Here was a civilization which had re-





SHADOWY TRIBES.


ceived nothing from the courts of Europe, whose
forms and ceremonies, while as rigid and as grand,
borrowed nothing from the traditions of the royal
house of Spain.
Whence came this proud people which had con-
quered for itself a place in that valley of the perfect
climate ?
About fifty miles from the city of Mexico is a
town named Tula, formerly Tollan, which means
perhaps the place of many people." A road,
shaded by great ash-trees leads across the river Tula,
through a narrow pass to some ruins of an ancient
civilization, ruins already when the city of Monte-
zuma, which Cort6s found flourishing, arose. A
building of ancient stone is still there, laid in mud
and covered with hard cement of a ruddy tint, with
which the floors are also covered. The largest room
in the building is not more than fifteen feet square.
Another building farther on, larger than the first, is
called the Casa Grande ; it contains about thirty
small rooms, connected by stairways, as their height
above the ground varies. The plaza of the little
town Tula contains the portion of a column and
the lower half of a colossal statue, which belong,
as well as the buildings just described, to the period
of the Toltecs, whose capital was the ancient Tol-
lan. Their city was abandoned a hundred years be-
fore the Aztecs entered it, and its founders scat-
tered. Whence came the shadowy race whose
history vaguely underlies that of later Mexican
races ?
The great mound which since Humboldt's time has





THE STORY OF MEXICO.


been called the pyramid of Cholula, of which every
child has seen a pic'-are in his geography, has now
all the appearance of a natural hill. It is overgrown
with verdure and trees; torrents of water in the
rainy seasons have cut crevices in its sides, and laid
bare wide spaces. A good paved road now leads to
the summit, where a pretty modern church looks
down upon the little town of Cholula huddled
round the base of the pyramid. The church and
the road leading to it are the work of the Spaniards,
but examination proves the whole mound to be
built by men out of earth, broken limestone, little
pebbles, and small bits of lava. Sun-dried bricks
were employed, of varying sizes and different make,
which aids the idea that the mound was built
slowly and by differing methods. On the platform
at the top, which was reached by five successive ter-
races, Cortes found a temple, which he caused to be
destroyed. The dates fixed for the erection of this
pyramid vary from the seventh to the tenth century
of our era. Conjecture only offers explanation of
the purpose for which it was erected. Legends
which the neighboring Indians preserve say that it
was built in preparation for a second deluge. An-
other version is that men dazzled by the splendor of
the scene sought to erect a tower which should reach
the firmament; the heavenly powers, wroth with their
audacity, destroyed the edifice and dispersed the
builders. Cholula was one of the important cities
of the Toltecs, but its construction is attributed to
an earlier people.
Another monument of the ancient civilization is





S *~-~.- -' -
A . -~ ., -


^^^^@%%^^~Y1.:S^'S%--; -1-a=%'-


-. W
-I.ii,iiP.' A" -r,'I"' -.
0 : ::-H-ca


VALLEY OF TULA.





THE STORY OF MEXICO.


Xochicalco, seventy-five miles southwest of the city
of Mexico. In the middle of a plain rises a cone-
shaped height from three to four hundred feet
high, whose base has an oval form two miles in
circumference. Two tunnels piercing the side of
the mound open towards the north; the first has
been explored only eighty-two feet. The second
penetrates the calcareous hill by a large gallery nine
feet and a half high, with several branches in differ-
ent directions. The ground is paved. The walls
are supported by mason-work cemented and covered
with red ochre. The principal gallery leads to a hall
eighty feet long, whose ceiling is kept in place by
the aid of two pilasters. In one corner of this hall
is a little recess, excavated like the rest out of the
solid rock, with an ogival dome of Gothic aspect.
So much for the interior. Outside are five suc-
cessive terraces of mason-work sustained by walls
surmounted by parapets. At the summit stand
upon a broad platform the ruins of the temple for
which the mound was apparently destined; it is a
rectangular building constructed of blocks of por-
phyritic granite placed on each other without the aid
of mortar, with such skill that the joining were
scarcely visible. In 1755 the temple still preserved
five stories; at the top was a stone, which might
have served as a seat, covered like the rest of the
building with strange ornaments carved in the stone.
Works evidently for defence testify to the con-
stant fighting which must have been waged over
Anahuac. In the province of Vera Cruz, at Huatusco,
there are traces of fortifications stretching towards





SHADOWY TRIBES.


the north. Ceutla seems to have been one of the
chief points chosen for defence. The plain is cov-
ered with ruins. A forest conceals and at the same
time protects several pyramids of stone bound with
mortar. These pyramids are the most striking fea-
ture of this ancient architecture. The teocallis or
palaces at Palenque and Copan, ruins found in
Yucatan and Honduras, are erected on truncated
pyramids like those of Anahuac. They are all of
one primitive type, although differing in details of
material and form.
These ruins, still left to attest the power of the
great vanished nations who erected them, are rapidly
disappearing. The Spanish conquerors were amazed
at their size and importance--so much so that in
their description they often exaggerated their splen-
dor. Some of them Cort6s destroyed; whatever he
spared, gradually falls away, through neglect, theft,
or other ravage of time. Forests of tropical growth
have hidden the wonders of Palenque from destruc-
tion. Other such places may yet exist all undiscov-
ered; and it is probable that the researches of sci-
entific explorers will in time bring to light much
information about the builders of these monuments.
Meanwhile we must again turn to conjecture, and in
the absence of facts to keep it within bound, we may
indulge our imagination, and play with legend.
Far away from some distant home, early in the
dim traditional annals of Anahuac, men came to
settle upon its plains. They found there a race of
giants-strange, fierce men, of immense strength,
-whose ancestors perhaps had struggled with pre-





THE STORY OF MEXICO.


historic beasts, of which the bones lie buried deep
below the present surface. This race of giants was
wild and rude; they lived by hunting, and devoured
raw the flesh of the game they secured with bows
and arrows; they were brave, daring, and agile, but
were given over to the vice of drunkenness.
We cannot stop to be very much interested in this
rudimentary people, called Quinames, who have left
us scarcely more than a name, and little even of le-
gend to charm us. The pyramid of Cholula and that
of Teotihuacan are ascribed to them, rather by way
of pushing back these monuments to an ancient pe-
riod. Their conception and execution show ambi-
tion, perhaps veneration, as well as determination
and perseverance.
Whence they came, therefore, it is vain to specu-
late: how long they were there, what manner of
men they were. A wave of life more civilized swept
down upon them from the north and exterminated
the whole race, so that we have nothing more to tell
about them. The tribes which have the credit of
destroying the giants bear the names of Xicalancas
and Ulmecas. They paused a while upon the pla-
teau, and passed on to people the coasts of the Gulf
of Mexico.
Next came the Mayas, still always from the north.
Although they left some traces upon Anahuac, they
too moved farther on, to establish in Yucatan and the
territory between Chiapas and Central America their
greatly advanced civilization. Of this great family
the many different branches speak dialects varying
from the mother tongue, but allied to each other.





SHADOW WY TRIBES.


The Otomis, still with the same northern origin,
spread themselves very early over the territory which
is now occupied by the states of San Luis, Potosi,
Guanajuato, and Quer6taro, reaching Michoacan, and
spreading still farther. These were a rough people
who lurked among the mountains, avoiding the life
of large communities. They have left no record of
progressive civilization. Their descendants are still
traced in the regions which they chiefly occupied,
by peculiarities of dialect. Mixtecas and Zapotccas
are names of other peoples who came to occupy Ana-
huac, but the Toltecs are the first of these ancient
tribes distinguished for the advancement of their
arts and civilization, of which their monuments and
the results of excavation give abundant proof.
The legends of those tribes who came to Mexico
over the broad path leading down from the north
refer to an ancient home, of which they retained a
sad, vague longing, as the Moor still dreams of the
glories of Granada. They preserved the tradition of
their long migrations in their hieroglyphics and pic-
tured writings. These traditions bear a strong re-
semblance to each other, and the dialects of the suc-
cessive races which appeared in Mexico are so similar
that it is probable they all belong to the same lan-
guage, which is called Nahuatl. All these races are
generalized as the Nahuas.
One of the traditions relates that seven families
alone were saved from the Deluge. Their descend-
ants, after long and weary wanderings, fixed them-
selves at Huehue-Tlapallan (the Old, Old, Red Rock),
a fertile country and agreeable to live in, near a broad





THE STORY OF MEXICO.


and endless river, flowing from mountains far away
to an ever distant sea. On the shore of the river
were broad plains where cattle grazed. The moun-
tains, with summits reaching to the heavens, were
full of game. The winters were long, but the sum-
mers mild and agreeable. There the parents of the
Nahuas dwelt long and happily, but at last enemies,
whose attacks they had been obliged from time to
time to resist, overcame them, and drove them from
their homes. It was then they descended towards
the south, seeking a land which should remind them
of their favored home. Only when they reached the
plateau of Auahuac, near the great lakes which
reminded them of their mighty river, could they rest.
Such legends as these, and the forms of the pyra-
mids found in Mexico and Yucatan, lead naturally
to the guess that these races were the descendants of
the Mound Builders of the Mississippi Valley, Ohio,
and Missouri. The monuments of these prehistoric
men are not unlike the teocallis and pyramids of the
Nahuas. The mounds" are artificial hills of earth,
constructed with mathematical regularity, round,
oval, or square. They are finished at the top by
platforms, destined, apparently, to religious rites.
Like those in Mexico, the Mounds, in their form and
the great number of them, bear evidence to the pro-
longed existence of the race who built them, to long
years of labor, and thousands of workmen employed
in their construction. Excavation has brought to
light implements of war and household use, which
show both taste and skill, and these objects are
much alike in their general aspect, whether found in





SHADOWY TRIBES.


the valley of the Mississippi or of Mexico. Such
conjectures are full of attraction ; but they have, as
yet, no solid foundation. As for the Mound Builders,
their name, by which we now designate them, is but
a modern label. Their own is effaced from the
memory of men. Their origin is equally lost, and
the time of their existence, the date of their monu-
ments, are vanished in a vague past.
To associate, then, these Mound Builders with
the early wandering tribes who descended to the
plateau of Anahuac, is no help, at present, to the
student of Mexican antiquity. Yet the idea is
pleasing to the imagination; and it is even reason to
hope that future discoveries in either region may
throw light upon the early stay of the other.
Had we sure knowledge that the Mound Builders
and the Nahuas were of the same race, we should
still have to inquire whence came they all before
they settled in the Mississippi valley, were driven
out by their enemies, and migrated to the Mexican
plateau? Such speculations are the pastime of the
student of lost races. For him to dream of the pos-
sible homes of a set of people where traces are but
faintly to be discerned, is as fascinating as building
airy castles in Spain.
The theory of a submerged continent beneath the
Azores, opposite the mouth of the Mediterranean,
which might be the island described by Plato, At-
lantis, the region where man first emerged from a
condition like that of beasts to a constantly advan-
cing state of civilization, plays a part in the fancies of
those who are wondering about the origin of the
Nahuatl tribes of Anahuac.





THE STORY OF MEXICO.


The distant home of which they all preserved the
legend under one name or another, one of which was
Aztlan, the musical title given it by the Mexicans,
was, perhaps, Atlantis, the broad and mighty realm
where mankind in its childhood lived for generations
in tranquillity and happiness. Huehue-Tlapallan,
Aztlan, Atlantis, these names represent the universal
tradition of this early home. The world before the
Deluge, the Garden of Eden, the Garden of the
Hesperides, the Elysian Fields, Olympus, Asgard,-
all these are but different terms to express the vague
vision in men's minds of a happy past. If the
theory of Atlantis could be true, these were not
mere visions but traditions preserving a consistent
recollection of real historical events, of a populous
and mighty cradle of nations which peopled the
shores of the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi, the
Amazon, and the Pacific coasts of South America,
as well as the older world.
Atlantis, according to the story, perished in a ter-
rible convulsion of nature, in which the whole island
sank into the ocean with nearly all its inhabitants.
Only a few persons escaped in ships and rafts to
lands east and west of the catastrophe. Each of
these separate survivors became, in the legend of
his descendants, the solitary Noah or Coxcox of a
tradition representing the destruction of an entire
world. The Nahuatl legend helps out the theory of
Atlantis to willing minds. The Noah of the Mexi-
can tribes was Coxcox, who, with his wife Xochi-
quetzal, alone escaped the deluge. They took ref-
uge in the hollow trunk of a cypress (a/kue/iete),






SHADOW Y TRIBES.


which floated upon the water, and stopped at last
on top of a mountain of Culhuacan. They had
many children, but all of them were dumb. The
great spirit took pity on them, and sent a dove, who
hastened to teach them to speak. Fifteen of the
children succeeded in grasping the power of speech,
and from these the Toltecs and Aztecs are descended.
Another account describes a deluge in which men
perished and were changed to fish ; the earth disap-
peared, and the highest mountain tops were covered
with water. But before this happened, one of the
Nahua gods, called Tezcatlipoca, spoke to a man
named Nata and his wife Nana, saying: Do not busy
yourselves any longer making piZlquze, but hollow out
for yourselves a large boat of an ahuekuete tree, and
make your home in it when you see the waters rising
to the sky." The Mexican historian, Ixtlilxochitl,
has conceived that after the dispersion of the human
race, which succeeded the attempt to build the
Tower of Babel, seven Toltecs reached America, and
became the parents of that race. Thus having learned
of the Tower of Babel from his Catholic instructors,
Ixtlilxochitl skilfully pieces the Hebrew legend upon
the Toltec fabric.
The friends of the Atlantis theory in like manner
seize upon the universal fable of the deluge to weave
into their tissue. It remains for every reader to
decide for himself whether to regard these theories
as the airy fabric of a vision, or made up out of the
whole cloth.

















TOLTECS.

A SOMEWHAT connected chain of events begins
with the traditions of the Toltecs upon the plateau
of Anahuac. Their farthest ancestors, they sup-
posed, founded the city of Huehue-Tlapallan far to
the north, perhaps on the shores of the Colorado
River. There they lived from genera-
tion to generation, nobody knows how
long, until great civil wars broke out in
their nation, and a part, deserting their
ancient homes, wandered down towards
the south. This was in the year 544 of
our era.
I..- Guided by their great chief Iucmat-
zin, the Toltecs wandered over the
sandy plains in the north of Mexico till
they came to the land near the water,"
fertile and promising, and finally settled
Sin a place they called Tollanzinco. Not
Sfar off, in the course of time, they found-
ed their great city of Tollan, now Tula,
Which became the centre of the Toltec
COLUMN FROM nation.
TULA. These people built so well and so
24












































RUINS FOUND AT TULA.





THE STORY OF MEXICO.


much that the name became the word to mean
builders. The few ruins left of their capital attest
their skill. They felt themselves to be a superior
race to that they found in their new home. The
Toltecs were tall, robust, and well-formed, of light-
sallow complexion, with but little hair on their face.
They were wonderful for running, and could run at
the greatest speed for hours. Their manners were
gentle and refined, as well as their tastes. Yet they
were cruel in war as well as brave.
Arrived in their new country, they set themselves
to work to till the ground and plant it with all the
crops the favorite climate permits. They had Indian
corn, chile, frijoles, the beans so beloved to this day
by the Mexicans, and other vegetables; these they
cultivated with better processes than the former in-
habitants had known. Nevertheless, and although
the proud Toltecas must have looked down on the
native tribes, they took a step dictated by a wise
diplomacy, in order to preserve harmony and good-
fellowship with their neighbors. They invited the
ruler of the Chichemecs, a tribe to the north of them,
to provide them a chief from his family, and, much
flattered, he sent them his second son.
Some Toltec Richelieu must have planned this
scheme, with the intention of keeping the real power
in his own hands.
Precious-stone-who-shines (Chalchiuhtlatonac),well
pleased to sparkle in a new setting, came to them
from the powerful neighboring tribe of the Chiche-
mecs, and governed peacefully for the space of fifty-
two years, while the Toltecs planted and reaped, and
pursued their gentle way.






TOL TECS.


They spoke the tongue Nahuatl, giving to it their
own dialect. They wrote, and studied the stars, by
which they regulated their division of time. It is
said they were the first in all Anahuac who knew
geography. How much they knew we never shall
know, still less how little those before them knew.
They knew the properties of plants, how to heal the
sick by using them, how to keep well. They were
excellent carpenters; they worked precious stones
with skill; they wove their garments out of strong
or delicate fabrics in many colors and designs, de-
manding and creating for themselves not only the
necessities of life, but the adornments of art and
taste. In fact, the Toltecs were a worthy people,
averse to war, allied to virtue, to cleanliness, courtesy,
and good manners. They detested falsehood and
treachery, and held their gods in reverence.
The early faith of the Toltecs was the adoration
of the sun, moon, and stars. Especially the power
(tecuhtli) which warmed the earth and made it fruit-
ful, giving them thus their chief blessings, they wor-
shipped under the name Tonacatecuhtli, to whom
they offered flowers, fruits, and sacrifices of small
animals. Polytheism, and the sacrifice of human be-
ings, which was later engrafted on this simple belief
by other tribes, had no part in the early religion of
the Toltecs.
At the end of the tenth century, when in England
the Danes were beginning to trouble the Anglo-Sax-
ons, and Ethelreds and Edreds were retreating before
Canutes and Hardicanutes; when across the channel
Hugh Capet had put an end to the feeble dynasties
of the Carlovingian kings, and was taking for him-






28 THE STORY OF MEXICO.

self the crown of France, began to rule Tecpancalt-
zin, the eighth of the Toltec chiefs. We cannot
tell what manner of court he held, whether rude or
splendid. His territory stretched over large dis-
tances, and counted many flourishing cities, among
them Teotihuacan, Cholollan, Cuernavaca, and
Toluca.
Cuernavaca, "where the eagle stops," at an
elevation of nearly five thousand feet above the
sea, is built upon a headland projecting into a
valley between two sharp barrancas. The region is
richly watered, and produces now, as in the time of
the Toltecs, abundant crops. Fruits also abound
there. The winter climate is delightful. The place
was captured by Cort6s before he laid siege to the city
of Mexico. It became his favorite resort, and the
valley was included in the royal reward he received
for his Mexican conquests. It was here that he be-
gan in Mexico the cultivation of the sugar-cane, and
here the Conquistador passed the last years of his
life. Traces of the ancient civilization are still to be
seen. Behind a house in the town called the Casa
de Cortes is a solitary rock upon which are prehis-
toric carvings ; on the crest of a little hill near by is
a lizard about eight feet long carved in stone. Eigh-
teen miles from Cuernavaca are the ruins of Xochi-
calco, before mentioned.
Toluca is forty-five miles west of the city of Mex-
ico, at an elevation of 8,600 feet above the level of
the sea. The scenery all the way from Mexico is of
the finest description. The two volcanoes which dom-
inate the valley, covered with snow, are behind, and


. ,> A






TOL TE CS.


before us is the equally beautiful Nevada de Toluca,
nearly as high as they. It is an extinct volcano, the
crater of which is now a lake with a whirlpool in the
middle of it. Here the Toltecs had a palace of
stone decorated with hieroglyphics. Such was the
broad territory over which ruled Tecpancaltzin. The
lakes in the valley, much larger than they are now,
were his, and all the fertile valleys around them,
which his people knew well how to cultivate. His
swift runners brought him from sunny Cuernavaca
fruits of the tropics. Snow from the Nevadas, even
in the hot days of summer, was at his disposition.
His warriors kept his neighbors in proper awe, and
he lived at peace with all men.
It was then, according to some reckonings, that
the mysterious Quetzalcoatl appeared in Tollan. He
must have been a real personage, for the tale is deeply
rooted in the traditions of the country, of the white
man with a long beard who came from the East, and
disappeared as mysteriously as he had come, over the
Atlantic Ocean. The Toltecs were dark, with scanty
beards and short ; this stranger was absolutely unlike
them. He remained with them twenty years, teach-
ing them the arts of a better civilization. Recent
study has busied itself with extinguishing the beams
which surround the bright image of this wonderfulbe-
ing. Before the traditions of.his greatness are thus
swept away, we will preserve them for a little longer.
Quetzalcoatl (The Shining Snake) is sometimes de-
scribed as one of the four principal gods who shared
with the terrible Huitzilopochtli the work of the first
creation. Elsewhere he is represented as a man who





THE STORY OF MEXICO.


came to live among the Toltecs, and who disap-
peared as mysteriously as he came. Between the
two accounts of him, then, is every shade of matter-
of-fact and miraculous in the tales that are preserved
of him. One, shown in an ancient painted writing,
now lost, depicted him a youth, fasting seven years
alone among the hills, and drawing his blood, be-
cause the gods made of him a great warrior, showed
how he became chief of Tula, selected by the inhab-
itants on account of his bravery, and how he built
them a great temple. "While he was doing this,
Tezcatlipoca came to him, and said that towards
Honduras, in a place called Tlapalla, he was to es-
tablish his home, and that he must leave Tula and
go thither to live and die, and there he should be held
to be a god. To this he replied that the heavens and
the stars had told him to go within four years. So,
after four years were past, he left, taking along with
him all the able-bodied men of Tula. Some of these
he left in the City of Cholula, and from these the in-
habitants are descended. Reaching Tlapalla, he fell
sick the same day, and died the following one.
Tula remained waste and without a chief nine years."
A legend adds that his ashes were carried to
heaven by handsome birds; the heart followed, and
became the morning star."
Baudelier concludes him to have been a prominent
gifted Indian leader, perhaps of Toltec origin, per-
haps Olmec. He suggests that his career began in
the present state of Hidalgo, in which are the ruins
of ancient Tula, and that his first stay was there, af-
ter which he left that people and moved farther


































































QUETZALCOATL.





77J7 STORYY OF MEXICO.


south, and ssettled at Cholula; perhaps founding
there tlie Air, settlement, perhaps elevating the tune
of the village Indians already settled there. The
beneficial effects of the coming of Quetzalcoatl
were the introduction, or improvement, of the arts
of pottery, weaving, stonework, and feather-work;
the organization of government of a higher type, and
the introduction of a mode of worship free from hu-
man sacrifice. Perhaps his aversion to this bloody
custom madle him withdraw to the mythical Tlapal-
la, a place on no map and only known to tradition,
which puts it on the sea-coast, and generally on the
Gulf of Mexico.
The mystery of his departure and death led to his
deification, and the worship of his person became the
leading feature of the religion at Cholula.
It is likely that The Shining Serpent developed, if
he did not originate, many of the gentle and grace-
ful forms of worship, which still have a great part of
the religion of the simple Indians of Mexico, of sac-
rificing the fruits and i1.. .rs of each season to its
appropriate divinity and festival.
In Holy YW\eek, now, in the city of Mexico, the
shores of the canal leading to the town are decorated
with flowers. Native boats float over the water
heaped with bright blossoms, and the dark heads of
the Indian girls are crowned with wreaths of pop-
pies. They bring these blossoms in masses to dec-
orate the altars of Nucstra Seiora in the churches.
Her image is the symbol of their divinity transferred
from the earlier idols their remote ancestors wor-
shipped,





TOL TECS.


In the National Museum in Mexico is an image in
the form of a coiled serpent in pyramidal form-its
body covered with feathers-carved of basaltic por-
phyry. This model, which appears in many of the
old monuments, is regarded as the symbol of the
mysterious Shining Serpent.
Whatever were his serious claims to distinction, his
worshippers invested him with wonderful attributes.
His sojourn in their land marked its most prosper-
ous period. In his time the seasons were the fairest,
the earth the most productive. Flowers blossomed,
fruits ripened without the toil of the gardener. The
cotton in its pod turned blue, red, or yellow without
the trouble of the dyer, so that the fabrics lightly
woven and without fatigue took on rich and har-
monious tints. The air was continually filled with
perfumes and the songs of sweet birds. Every man
loved his neighbor, and all dwelt in peace and har-
mony together. These were the halcyon days of
Anahuac. For twenty years the Toltecs knew no
disaster, but flourished and spread under the influ-
ence of their strange protector. And then, one day
the strange god disappeared from among them, de-
scending to the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, where
he bade farewell to the crowd that had followed him,
promising, as he did so, that in the fulness of time
his descendants, white men like himself, with full
beards, should return and instruct them. Then he
stepped into a magic bark made of the skins of
serpents, and sailed away over an ocean unknown
to these simple men towards the fabled land of
Tlapalla.





TIH S TORY OF MEXICO.


So Lohengrin vanished to the upper air, and as
with those he left behind, all their good luck was
over for the Toltecs.
They did their best to preserve the memory of
Quetzalcoatl. On the top of the pyramid of Cho-
lula, which perhaps their fathers found standing
when they reached the haven of their pilgrimage,
the Toltecs raised an image of their deity, with fea-
tures of ebony, although he was white; with a mitre
on its head waving with plumes of fire ; with a re-
splendent collar of gold around its neck, turquoise
ear-rings, a sceptre all jewelled in one hand, and in
the other a strange shield. Such is the description
of the Conquistadores, who saw it; and as they de-
stroyed it, and tumbled it down from its lofty site,
they should know.
Evil days were coming to the Toltecs.
The traveller in Mexico to-day sees growing all
along the sides of the railway huge stiff bunches
of the Agave Americana. The leaves are long and
pointed with prickles along the edge, growing in a
tuft like huge artichokes. Their blue, rather than
green, surface has a whitish bloom over it, which
makes the plants look as if they had been made of
tin and painted some time ago. Sometimes the
leaves are very large, and the bunches enormous.
When the time comes a stem shoots up from the
heart of the tuft to a great height, putting out
branches at the top, which blossom in a cluster of
yellowish flowers. These branches are symmetrical,
and the effect is like a lofty branched candlestick,
sometimes forty feet high. The blossoms fade; the





TOL TECS.


dying stalk, like the framework of last year's fire-
works, remains a long time; and when these plants,
as they often are, are set along the railways, the line
of tall bare stems looks not unlike a row of telegraph
poles. The blue tin leaves are ever green, and last
through many a year.
This agave, or American aloe, is the century-plant,
so called from the popular error that it blossoms
only once in a hundred years. It is only true so far that
each plant blossoms only once and then dies. In
tropical regions this process proceeds rapidly; in
colder countries, where it is raised artificially, it
takes a long time to complete its perfect growth.
The agave is native in the whole region between
the tropics of America, where it flourishes from the
sandy soil by the sea to table-lands and mountain
altitudes. From its natural region it has been trans-
planted everywhere, and even in cold climates it is
cultivated as a green-house plant. In Spain, where
it was early transplanted, among the other novelties
which the Conquistadores introduced from their new
land, it is absolutely at home. Its lofty candelabra
are an ornament to Andalusian roadsides, and a bar-
rier for wandering cattle. In Spain it is called pita,
which must be a different variety, if not a totally dis-
tinct genus from the common plant of Mexico, for
the use of its juices for a beverage is totally unknown
in the old country, and this certainly would have
been discovered there if such properties had not
been wanting in the Spanish plant.
For the agave of the Mexicans is their maguey,
from which they extract pulque, the national bever-





THE STORY OF MEXICO.


age. The agave has served them for many other
purposes, from the earliest times. Its bruised
leaves, properly dressed and polished, make a sort of
paper; its leaves furnish a strong protecting thatch
for the roofs of houses; thread can be drawn from its
long fibrous texture ; the thorns furnish a fair sub-
stitute for the pin and needle; and the root, well
prepared, is nutritious and palatable as food.
Of all these properties of the agave the Toltecs
were cognizant. If their wise friend, The Shining
Serpent, knew of other attributes it had, he kept si-
lent. It was reserved for a woman to reveal to her
race the fatal gift which lay hidden in the blue-green
stubborn leaves of the prickly plant.
Xochitl was the name of the woman who showed
to the king, Tecpancaltzin, how to extract from the
heart of the maguey a sweet honey to drink, which,
from that time to this, has been the delight and the
curse of Mexicans. The plains of Apan are cele-
brated for the production of the finest pulque, in it-
self a thoroughly wholesome drink, suited to the
climate of high regions, and beneficial when taken
in moderation. From the root of the maguey, how-
ever, strong distilled liquors can be made, called
mezcal and tequila, and of these it is best not to
drink to much.
The new beverage found favor with the chief of
the Toltec tribe, and spread its cheerful influence
over his people. He married Xochitl, the-woman
who had offered him honey extracted from maguey.
The result of this discovery, and the consequence
of the marriage, were ruin and dispersion for the
proud race of the Toltecs. Meconetzin, (Son of





TOL TECS.


Maguey) ruled at first with prudence and practical
wisdom, but his habits deteriorated little by little;
he became vicious, and revealed himself to be an in-
supportable tyrant. The honey in the maguey had
begun to ferment.
The Toltecs thenceforth deteriorated in the inoct
disastrous manner. Famines and pests fell upon
the land, and invasions of strange peoples. The
population was thinned, harried, scattered. Its last
chieftain was Topiltzin-Meconetzin (Son of Maguey),
who, with his wife, Xochitl, was slain in a sanguinary
battle against overpowering enemies. And this was
the end of the Toltecs. This may have been in the
year I 116 of our era, after a duration of about five
hundred and fifty years.
Some historians consider that the Toltecs were
not a great race, but simply a tribe of sedentary
Indians, more advanced than their neighbors, whose
traditions have become with time exaggerated into
the tale of a great and powerful nation. How this
may be, the tourist at Tula may judge, according to
his disposition, romantic or prosaic, by the import-
ance of the ruins left by the vanished race.
The excellent compcndios of history written by
Payne and Zarate for the use of schools in Mexico
still give the dynasties of the kings of Tula, as well
as of the other early tribes, as if they were sovereigns
of a well-established monarchy, accompanied by a list
of the royal succession. According to this, the king-
dom of the Toltecs lasted from 720 A.D., the date fixed
for the end of their wanderings from Huehue-Tlapal-
lan to Tollan, until I 16 A.D., when their destruction
was accomplished and their people dispersed.
















CHICHIMECS.

ACCORDING to the old version of Anahuac story,
the proud, brilliant dynasty of the Toltecs shone
like a jewel upon the background of the savage
tribes surrounding it, who remained during the pe-
riod it flourished in the same condition as when the
Toltecs came. It was from one of these less culti-
vated races that the Toltecs took their first chief,
Chalchiuhtlatonac, son of the so-called Emperor of
the Chichimecs, to whose account is attributed a
line of fourteen monarchs, and a duration of over
two hundred years, but all this is very uncertain
and vague; on the other hand, Baudclier is of opin-
ion that there was no Chichimecan period in Mexico.
The word Chichimecatl signifies indiscriminately a
savage, a good hunter, or a brave warrior. The far-off
region from which they immigrated like the other
tribes upon Anahuac, called by them Amaquemecan,
like the Huehue-Tlapallan of the Toltecs, was a
fertile country of their dreams, pleasant to work in,
and free from earthly disasters.
Probably they came from the same region as the
Toltecs; their language is classed with the Nahuatl,
though their dialect was their own. They called





CHICHIMECS.


themselves the Eagles. They not only had no cul-
ture, but scorned it, preferring the advantages of bar-
barism. Their occupation was hunting, which was
fully furnished them by the game in the mountain
regions, which they found unclaimed, and took
possession of. They lived upon the flesh of wolves
and pumas,-their smaller dishes were weasels, moles,
and mice, without objecting to lizards, snakes, grass-
hoppers, and earthworms,
The Chichimecs seem to have wandered about
completely naked, with skins of beasts to protect
them from the occasional cold of their mild climate.
Their houses were, for the most part, caves or cracks
in the rocks, but they knew how to build rude huts,
roofed with palm leaves. Gourds were their drink-
ing vessels, and they could make a rude sort of pot-
tery, out of which they fashioned jugs, and also little
balls used for bullets in war, which could make dan-
gerous wounds. They were always at war with their
neighbors, and protected their own territory from in-
cursions with their bows and arrows, and clubs,
which they handled with great vigor.
Each warrior of the Chichimecs wore a bone at
his waist, which carried a mark for every enemy he
had killed. Competition was sure to keep these
bones well marked, as it was a distinction to bear the
record of the most victims. Their battles were
bloodthirsty. Prisoners were scalped upon the field
of battle, and their heads carried in triumph back to
camp, while dances of victory were performed. They
had the reputation of eating the flesh and drinking
the blood of their victims.





THE STORE Y OF MEXICO.


The several tribes of the Chichimecs acknowl-
edged no authority, other than obedience to the war-
rior they themselves selected to lead them to battle.
Their wives were their slaves; and though they lim-
ited themselves to one wife at a time, they reserved
to themselves the liberty of changing one for another
at any moment. The women prepared the food, cut
down trees, brought wood and water, and made the
pottery-bullets as well as pots and pans. The Chi-
chimecs feared and worshipped the sun as a supreme
deity, and the spirit of the thunder and lightning,
whom they rudely depicted with bolts in his hands,
like Jupiter, and called Nixcoatl, (the Serpent of the
Clouds).
These were the people who lived side by side with
the Toltecs, their better-behaved neighbors, despised
as inferiors, and regarded with disgust for their
coarseness and horror for their bloody practices. By
these, the Toltecs were conquered and destroyed.
Xolotl, the leader of the Chichimecs, to use the
greatly exaggerated reports gathered from historic
paintings, which depicted these things, came to in-
vade the realm of the Toltecs with a million warriors
under six great chiefs, and twenty thousand or so
of inferior officers. He had under his command
more than three million men and women, not count-
ing the children who came along with their mothers.
The Toltecs were much deteriorated since their
proud days. Allies whom they had oppressed had
deserted them; a religious sect which differed from
the prevailing belief had sought elsewhere a place of
independent worship ; the sovereign and his favorites





CCHIHIME CS.


were delivered over to dissipation. But even the
royal family gave proof of energy and resolution
when the hour of danger came.
An old chief, named Ayaxitl, called the country to
arms, inspiring them with tales of the deeds of their
ancestors. Old men and young boys took up arms;
and old Xochitl herself, the mother of the inefficient
king, led forth to battle a legion of Amazons, and
was slain at their front. But all this show of bravery
came too late. The Toltecs were entirely defeated
after a prolonged conflict, which was renewed for
several days. Tollan was taken, the whole country
surrendered, and its ruling race entirely exterminated.
The Toltecs were no more, and the Chichimecs
ruled in their stead. But these people, recovering
from their barbarism in a measure, took on the ad-
vanced customs of their conquered enemies, entered
into their palaces, and enjoyed the fruits of their
civilization.
Xolotl took the title of Chichimecatl Tecuhtli, the
great chief of the Chichimecs; and his descendants
added to this the name IIuactlatohani (Lord of
the Whole World). The territory claimed for him
included a large part of the present Mexico, the
states Morelos and Puebla, a portion of Vera Cruz,
the greater part of Hidalgo, the whole of Tlaxcalla,
and the valley of Mexico. He strengthened his
power by marrying his son to a daughter of the late
Toltec sovereign, saved from the destruction of the
race, and altogether showed wisdom and judgment
not to be expected from the antecedents of his
people. Such conduct inclines students of this re-






THE STORY OF MEXICO.


mote period to think that these Chichimecs were
not the barbarous tribe who lived in caves and
ate lizards, but a later arrival from the mysterious
north.
During the reign of Xolotl new tribes came wan-
dering down from these remote regions. These
successive waves of emigration give the idea of a
constantly renewed struggle for supremacy far off in
the unknown Amaquemecan, resulting in the migra-
tion of the conquered side. Xolotl received these
new arrivals with benign hospitality, gave them
lands to plant, and encouraged them to settle in his
realm. Among these were the Aculhuas and Te-
panecs, who founded the kingdoms, afterwards
important, of Atzcapotzalco and Tlacopan.
Xolot! had the credit of reigning from 1120 to 1232,
when he died. This would make him at least one
hundred and twenty years old at his death. And
some people from this imagine that there were sev-
eral Xolotls that succeeded one another. Let us
believe that he lived to this great age. The name
means Eye of great vigilance."
For three generations his immediate successors
ruled the kingdom with firmness and judgment, com-
pelling their people to cultivate the land, thus pro-
tecting agriculture, which was their chief source of
wealth, and building towns to put an end to wander-
ing habits inherited from the men who lived in caves
on the mountain side.
Quinatzin, in the beginning of the thirteenth
century, established the capital of the kingdom of
the Chichimecs in Texcuco. It was during his





CHICHIMECS.


reign that the Aztecs, or Mexicans, whom we now
hear of for the first time, established themselves in
Tenochtitlan, which was on the site of what is now
the city of Mexico, though their arrival made but


PORTICO AT KABOH.


little stir in the neighborhood. The Chichimecs
were troubled by quarrels with the new kingdom of
Atzcapotzalco, but for a century they maintained
their good standing, always advancing in civilization
and the arts of peace, and it was not until 1409 that






THE STO RY OF MEXICO.


one of their kings, Ixtlilxochitl, found these rising
neighbors too strong for him. The Tepanecs and
the Aztecs united, and swore together a conspiracy
to overwhelm him. He was assassinated, and his
throne was usurped by Tezozomoc, the king of
Atzcapotzalco.
The Chichimecs may be said to come to an end
here; for, after the return of the legitimate line,
their realm was called the kingdom of Texcuco,
where their capital was already established. This
city was occupied by the invaders, who made it their
principal seat. The usurper at his death was suc-
ceeded upon his stolen throne by his wicked son
Maxtla. The adventures of Nezahualcoyotl, the
rightful heir, are told by a native historian descend-
ed in a direct line from the sovereigns of Texcuco,
Ixtlilxochitl, whose writings, though probably not
over accurate, are more tangible evidence than the
faint reports of previous legends.
















NEZAHUALCOYOTL, THE HUNGRY FOX.

WHEN the city of Texcuco was seized, the young
prince Nezahualcoyotl, the heir to the crown, was
but fifteen years old. He fled before the turbulent
crowd of Tepanecs as they rushed into the palace
gardens, and hid himself in the branches of a tree
which most luckily happened to come in his way.
From his hiding-place among its thick leaves he saw
his father, Ixtlilxochitl, left alone for the moment
turn and face his furious enemies. They seized and
killed him on the spot, and the frightened boy saw
the bleeding body carried off, a victim, as he well
knew, for future sacrifice. Filled with horror and
burning with thoughts of vengeance, he fled from
the spot, seeking safety for the moment, with the
firm resolve of turning later upon the assassins of
his father and the usurpers of his inheritance.
As the country was full of the triumphant army,
in a few days the young prince fell into the hands of
his pursuers, who knew too much to leave him at
large. He was seized and imprisoned temporarily,
until some decision should be taken as to his fate.
The prison was a strong place guarded by the same
governor who had held it in the previous reign, for





THE STORY OF MEXICO.


the new government had not yet had time to change
such offices. This old man knew the prince well,
and was devoted to his line. He helped him to es-
cape and took his place in the dungeon cell. It was
long enough before the change was discovered for
the prince to be far out of reach of pursuit. The
good old governor lost his head, but Nezahualcoyotl
found shelter in the neighboring province of Tlax-
calla, whose rulers were for the moment friendly to
his family.
This is the place which later offered to Cort6s pro-
tection and aid in his enterprise of conquest. Pres-
cott calls it a republic in the midst of many small
monarchies, dwelling apart on a system of govern-
ment wholly independent.
Climbing by rail the ascent from Vera Cruz, the
modern traveller, after reaching the barren plateau
of the cold region, and crossing a dreary, dismal
country, strikes an insensibly downward grade,
which gradually leads him to the central basin of
Mexico. The Malinche presides over the landscape,
an isolated peak, which all the year conceals beds of
snow in the crevices of its summit, though unseen
below, rising more than thirteen thousand feet
above the level of the sea. Less majestic than the
two great volcanoes, it yet has wonderful beauty of
outline, and from its solitary position gains im-
portance.
This mountain was long the object of worship for
the tribes who lived around its base, among them
the Tlaxcallans, whose home lies to the northwest
of it, in a deep valley surrounded by barren ridges.





NEZAHUALCOYOTL, THE HUNGRY FOX. 47

Their so-called social organization and mode of gov-
ernment, which have given their country the name
of a kind of Mexican Switzerland, is now thought to
have differed little from those of their neighbors.
Their chiefs were elected from an hereditary house
of rulers, and two of them formed the nominal head
of the tribe, while the true power lay in a council.
Their territory consisted of narrow valleys spreading
into fertile fields, where they maintained long their
independence, subject to the attacks of neighboring
tribes. Tlaxcalla means the land of bread." Its
rich products naturally were tempting to the neigh-
boring tribes, whose limits included land not so
good for cultivation. Their next neighbors were
the Cholulans, who dwelt under the great pyramid.
The Tlaxcallans had the reputation of triumphing
over their foes in battle, for they were both bold
and strong.
It was with the friendly Tlaxcallans that the wan-
dering prince lived, unmolested in the companion-
ship of a brave man who followed the fortunes of his
young master. He had been the family preceptor
ever since the birth of the prince. This tutor was
wise as well as learned; although he was strongly
prejudiced in favor of the legitimate family and
against the usurpation of the fierce Tepanec, he coun-
selled restraint and patience, and caused his pupil to
lead a quiet life without attracting attention, while
he was giving him lessons in the art of governing
and training in all the qualities good for a monarch
to possess.
Meanwhile, the son of the usurper grew up un-





THE STORY OF MEXICO.


trained and indulged in the royal palace, humored
but feared by all who surrounded him. Maxtla was
born of a race of no gentle attributes ; he cared little
for study, and knew no discipline. He knew the
rightful prince, and hated him on account of his bet-
ter claim to the throne, while he despised his reserve
and modesty, which he set down to weakness, knowing
nothing of the qualities of self-restraint and reserved
force. When Tezozomoc died, he bequeathed his
empire to his son Maxtla. On the accession of the
new sovereign, all the great families hastened to do
him homage, and among them came Nezahualcoyotl,
then twenty-three years old, with a present of
flowers, which he laid at the feet of the young king.
Maxtla sprang up and spurned the flowers with his
foot, and then turned his back upon the true
prince, who had self-control enough to withdraw
quietly, admonished by signs from all the royal
attendants, with whom he was a favorite. He lost
no time in leaving the royal palace, and hastened
back to the deserted one at Texcuco.
But Maxtla could not fail to see that the sympa-
thies even of his own followers were with his rival,
whose manners, indeed, were those to win, while his
own repelled the affection of courtiers and inferiors.
He resolved to do away with him, and formed a plan
which failed through the vigilance of the wily old
tutor. When the prince was invited to an evening
entertainment by Maxtla, the tutor was sure that
more was meant than a friendly attention. He
could not permit his pupil to go, but accepted the
invitation for him, and sent in his stead a young man





NEZAHUALCOYOTL, THE HUNGRY FOX. 49

he had at hand who singularly resembled Nezahual-
coyotl. This youth, perhaps, was pleased to attend
a royal feast, dressed in the rich robes which the son
of a king, even if lacking a throne, might wear; but
there must have been a moment, just as he felt the
deadly iztli weapon at his throat, when he perceived
the game was not worth the candle; for the guest
was assassinated as he came to the table, before the
substitution could be perceived; and thus the true
prince escaped. His descendant, who tells us the
story, does not let us know whether Nezahualcoyotl
was a party to the deception. We will leave the
blame on the shoulders of the wily old tutor, in
order to preserve the honor of our hero unsullied.
When Maxtla found that his rival was not dead,
like a prince in a fairy tale, he gave up secret plots,
and boldly sent a band of armed soldiers to the old
palace at Texcuco, to seize the young man whose
popularity he feared. The tutor, always on the watch,
arranged everything as usual, and when the emissaries
of Maxtla arrived, they found the prince playing ball in
the court of the palace. HIe received them cour-
teously, as if he thought they came on a friendly
visit, and invited them to come in, while he stepped
into a room which opened on the court, as if to give
orders for refreshments for them. They seemed to
be seeing him all the time, but, by the directions of
the old tutor, a censer which stood in the passage was
so fed and stirred by the servants that it threw up
clouds of incense between the guests and their host,
between which Nezahualcoyotl disappeared into a
secret passage which communicated with a great





THE STORY OF MEXICO.


pipe made of pottery, formerly used to carry water
into the palace. He stayed there till after dark,
when he could escape without being seen, and found
safety in a cottage belonging to an old subject loyal
to his father's name. A price was set upon his head,
and a reward offered to him who should take him
dead or alive, in the shape of a marriage with some
lady of birth and broad possessions. This bride
never came to her wedding, for the prince was not
found. Too many faithful vassals watched over him,
in spite of the temptation of such a brilliant match;
they hid him under heaps of magueys, and furnished
him with every means of escape. They turned their
heads away when they saw him pass, lest they should
be forced to betray the knowledge; they put food
for him in places where he might steal forth and find
it. They hid him once in a large thing like a drum,
around which they were dancing as if to amuse them-
selves. In fact, no one would give him up; the
whole population connived to protect him and hide
him from his half-hearted pursuers, forced to the
task by their sovereign. It was a poor sort of life
he led, and his own sufferings were increased by his
tender heart for the difficulties these caused his loyal
protectors.
Most of the chiefs of the regions round about
were, from policy, allied to the usurper, but the de-
throned prince had friends, and the party on his
side grew large as the tyranny of Maxtla and his op-
pressions caused defections among his followers.
When the time came for a general rising, Nezahual-
coyotl found himself at the head of a courageous





NEZAHUALCOYOTL, THE HUNGRY FOX. 51

band which gained in size and strength, until it
seemed safe to attack the regular forces of Maxtla.
In the battle which took place the tyrant was
routed, and the true prince triumphant. As soon as
this was known all the chiefs flocked to do him
homage, and he entered his capital in triumph,
crossing to the sound of military music the spot
where he had passed an evening under a drum, and
entering by the royal gates the palace he had left
through a water-pipe. Horses were not known in
Anahuac until after the advent of the Conquista-
dores. The young victor was borne in a sort of
palanquin by four of the chief nobles of the kingdom.
Thus did Nezahualcoyotl return to the throne of
his fathers. The Mexicans, who had helped his
former enemies to overthrow the rule of his father,
now joined forces with him, abandoning without
hesitation Maxtla, whose oppression and exaction
made him an uncomfortable ally. A league of the
other neighboring tribes, combining with the Mexi-
cans, under the lead of the true prince of Texcuco,
utterly routed the forces of Maxtla, and this tyrant
who himself assassinated the father was slain by the
hand of the son.
Maxtla was killed in 1428. The usurpation of
the throne of the Chichimecs by Tezozomoc first,
and afterwards by Maxtla, his son, had lasted ten
years. By this event the kingdom of Atzcapotzalco
came to an end, having lasted not more than two
hundred and sixty years.
The kingdom which Nezahualcoyotl regained
from the usurpers, whose kings traced their lineage






52 THE STORY OF MEXICO.

back to the Chichimec Xolotl (Eye of great
Vigilance), now became the kingdom of Texcuco
Aculhuacan, by which it was known when Cort6s,
with his conquering legions, appeared on the plains
of Anahuac.
















TEXCUCO.

Now followed the Golden Age of Texcuco. The
Fox, no longer hungry nor hunted, proved himself a
very Lion, a King of Beasts; he ruled his kingdom
with wisdom, as he had fought with bravery, and
endured adversity with patience.
On coming to the throne, he proclaimed a general
amnesty, pardoned the rebels, and even gave some
of them posts of honor. He repaired the ruin
wrought by the usurper, and revived what was worth
revival in the old form of government. He made a
code of laws well suited to the demands of his time,
which was written in blood. It was accepted by
the two other powers with whom he now entered
into alliances, Mexico and Tlacopan. His adjust-
ment of the different departments of government
was remarkable for the time, or indeed for any time,
providing councils for every emergency; of these
the most peculiar was the Council of Music, de-
voted to the interests of all arts and science. Its
members were selected from the best instructed
persons of the kingdom, without much reference to
their ranks. They had the supervision of all works
of art, all writings, pictorial or hieroglyphic, and had
53





THE STORY OF MEXICO.


an eye on all professors to keep them up to their
work. This Council of Music had sessions when it
listened to poems and historical compositions recited
by their authors, who received prizes according to
the merit of their work.
The literary men of Texcuco became celebrated
throughout the country, and its archives were pre-
served with the greatest care in the palace. These
records, which would have told us all we want to
know of the early story of the people of Anahuac,
were, for the most part, inscribed upon a fine fabric,
made of the leaves of the American aloe, the maguey
which also gave them their favorite beverage. The
sheets made from it were something like the Egyp-
tian papyrus, and furnished a smooth surface like
parchment, upon which the picture-writings were
laid in the most brilliant tints. These manuscripts
were done up in rolls sometimes, but were often
folded like a screen, and enclosed in wooden covers,
not very unlike our books. Quantities of such
manuscripts were stored up in the country, not only
by the Texcucans, but by all the inhabitants of the
different kingdoms. Probably no race has made
better provision for handing down its traditions and
history than these people who wandered from the
mysterious North. All this is lost to us by the in-
fatuation of the Spanish Conquistadores, as we shall
see later on.
As if barbarians, ignorant of types and bindings,
should descend upon the British Museum or Biblio-
teque Nationale, and, perceiving therein countless
parallelograms of calf containing wicked little dots





TEXCUCO.


upon countless white leaves, should order them to
be destroyed, as foolishness or blasphemy. So the
first priests of the Christian religion arriving in New
Spain destroyed these playthings of the idolaters,
which they conceived to be probably precious, but
at all events useless.
Only chance specimens of these wonderful pic-
ture-writings escaped the general destruction, and
from which is gleaned whatever is surmised of the
earliest life of the tribes of Anahuac.
Texcuco led all the other nations in its literary
culture, or rather pictorial skill, since letters were
unknown. The Texcucan idiom was the purest of
all the many dialects from the Nahuatl root.
Among its poets, the king himself, Nezahualcoyotl,
was distinguished. He not only belonged to the
Council of Music, but appeared before it with other
competitors. Perhaps some folded screen enclosing
an ode by his hand lies hidden yet somewhere in
Mexico, or even among the dusty archives of Old
Spain. Some few have come to light, and one
of them exists in Spanish, translated by a Mexi-
can. It is hard to be sure of the import of
the original through the change of expression in-
evitable in translating, but we may guess something
of it.
"Rejoice," he says, 0 Nezahualcoyotl, in the
enjoyable, which now you grasp. With the flowers
of this lovely garden crown thy illustrious brows,
and draw pleasure from those things from which
pleasure is to be drawn."
This garden of the nd longer hungry Fox was a





THE STORY OF MEXICO.


wonderful Place of Delights, and the remains of it
may be seen to this day. About three miles from
the capital rises the Laughing Hill of Tezcot-
zinco. Here are left the remains of terraced
walls, and stairways wind around the hill from the
bottom to the top. In shady nooks among the rocks
seats are hollowed out of the stone, and ingenious
contrivances can be traced on all sides for enhancing
the natural advantages of the situation. The most
curious of all the vestiges of Nezahualcoyotl's gar-
den is a round reservoir for water at an elevation of
eighty or one hundred feet. It is about five feet
across and three feet deep. Channels led from it in
all directions to water and refresh the terrace-gar-
dens below.
The country all about is full of artificial embank-
ments, reservoirs and aqueducts for leading water
about, and developing the attractions of the place.
A magnificent grove of lofty ahuecluetes, at some
distance from the central part of the grounds, sur-
rounds a large quadrangle, now dry, which was prob-
ably an artificial lake in the time of the great king,
for whose pleasure these things were planned. He
was rich enough to pay for all the costly works he
commanded, by reason of successful wars and judi-
cious management of domestic industry, and so was
justified in indulging his taste for magnificence in
architecture. The ruins of Tezcotzinco faintly at-
test the truth of the descriptions of this royal resi-
dence, which tell of hanging gardens approached by
steps of porphyry, reservoirs sculptured with the
achievements of the monarch, and adorned with mar-





TEXCUCO.


ble statues. There stood a lion of solid stone more
than twelve feet long, with wings and feathers
carved upon them. He was placed to face the east,
and in his mouth he held a stone face, which was the
very likeness of the king himself. This was his
favorite portrait, although many other representa-
tions of him had been made in gold, wood, or
featherwork. On the summit of the hill was the
carved representation of a coyotl, the hungry fox
which gave to the monarch his name so tedious to
us to pronounce.
The remains of Tezcotzinco are now shown as the
Baths of Montezuma; but this is a purely modern
application of the title of a chief more commonly
known. The baths belonged to Nezahualcoyotl,
and if by chance any Montezuma made use of them,
it was only as a passing guest.
Nezahualcoyotl, this wise, good, aesthetic king,
committed a deed which his descendant and histor-
ian regards as a great blot upon his fame. He
remained unmarried for a long time, on account of
an early disappointment in love, and was no longer
young when he conceived a violent passion for a noble
maiden whom he met at the house of one of his
vassals. This vassal wished the fair lady for his own
bride; he had in fact brought her up with that in-
tent, but the king, regardless of the laws of honor,
caused the old man to be killed by his own men in a
battle with the Tlaxcallans, which he set on foot chief-
ly for this purpose. The young princess was then
invited to the royal palace, where she received in due
form and time an offer of marriage from the monarch.





THE STORY OP MEXICO.


The wedding was celebrated with great pomp, not
long after the funeral of the vassal.
This is the only anecdote that reflects discredit
on the monarch, and there are many which tell to
his advantage. It was his custom, as with the East-
ern Khalif, to go about in disguise among his people
to find out their wants in order to alleviate them.
One day as he was walking through a field with one
of his friends he met a small boy picking up sticks
here and there. There are many more in the forest
yonder," he said; why do not you go there to get
them? "
"The forest belongs to the king," said the boy,
" and it would be worth mylife to take his property."
The king advised him to disregard the law and go
and take what wood he wanted, as nobody would
find him out, but the boy was too honest or too cau-
tious to follow the advice, and steadily went a glean-
ing as he could in the open field.
When the king returned to the palace he sent for
the boy and his parents. The parents were praised
for bringing up such a boy, the boy was praised and
rewarded, and the king passed a law allowing unlimi-
ted picking up chips.
In short, Nezahualcoyotl was a model monarch.
He pardoned all his enemies, was humane and clem-
ent; he formed a code of wise and just laws, and
instituted tribunals for the prompt administration of
justice; he established schools and academies for the
diffusion of all sorts of knowledge, and generously
encouraged science and art. As for his religious
belief, he abjured the barbarous creed which pre-





TEXCUCO.


vailed at the time, and announced his conviction of
the existence of one God, author of the universe.
He erected a superb temple to this deity, and com-
posed hymns in his praise.
Nezahualcoyotl died in 1472. It was nearly half
a century since he had rescued his throne from the
usurper. He had raised his kingdom from the anarchy
in which he found it to a brilliant station, and saw it,
at the close of his life, growing stronger and going
farther in the path of advanced civilization. He had
brought this about by his wise and judicious rule
and might well contemplate with satisfaction the
results of his wisdom and judgment.
His only legitimate son was about eight years old
at the time of his father's death. His name was
Nezahualpilli. He became as learned as his father,
was liberal and charitable; even more severe in the
administration of justice, going so far as to condemn
to death two of his own sons who had infringed the
law. In his time he was held to be the wisest mon-
arch of the epoch, and amongst his subjects he had
moreover the reputation of being a magician.
He reigned forty-four years, and died in 1516,
leaving the kingdom to the oldest of his four legiti-
mate sons.
The reign of Nezahualcoyotl is the most glorious
period of the kingdom of Texcuco, and of all the
kingdoms of Anahuac.
Its splendors have been confounded with those
of the Aztec Court, and, as we see in the names now
given to the ruins of the king's garden, even the
name of the Montezumas is mixed up with the Tex-





THE STORY OF MEXICO.


cucan annals. It is well, however, to keep the
different dynasties distinct, in order to understand,
when we come to the Conquest, the various parts
these distinct peoples played in that exciting drama.
Texcuco maintained for some time its place and
distinction, but never surpassed the height it reached
in the fifteenth century. After that it began to
diminish; family dissensions in the royal house, and
external warfare, together with too much prosperity
and the relaxation that comes with it, were preparing
this nation for the tempest and change already
gathering afar off.
This glowing account of the splendors of Texcuco
is gathered by Prescott from the writings of Fer-
nando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl, who traced his descent,
in direct line, from the royal house of Texcuco. He
lived in the sixteenth century, occupying the position
of interpreter to the Viceroy, being familiar with the
Indian dialects, and of course with the Spanish
language.
He was in other respects a man of cultivation
and learning, had a library of his own, and pursued
diligently the study of the picture-writings, hiero-
glyphics, and legends of his ancestors, with the
object of throwing light on the obscure places of
their story. He wrote, in Spanish, various books
about the primitive races of Anahuac, among them
the Historia Chichimeca," which has been used as a
source of authority since it was first written.
As a Christian, Ixtlilxochitl has given to the
legends of the Quetzalcoatl and other mysteries of
the early Mexican races, a color evidently borrowed
from the light of Christian traditions, and the author





TEXCUCO.


has cast over his picture of the Golden Age a
glow which is hardly justified by the cold light of
modern research. His story is now regarded as
unreliable in many particulars. Yet as a legend
it retains its charm; and as history the graceful
fabric need not be utterly destroyed while the monu-
ments at Texcuco and the manuscripts of Nezahual-
coyotl attest the existence of such a king and such
a court. Until the diligent research of those ex-
plorers who are now busy in searching for the facts
of early Mexican history, have fully established
them, we may enjoy the tale of past magnificence
upon the plateau of Anahuac.
The period of the Golden Age of Texcuco is as-
cribed to the fifteenth century; the date assigned
to Nezahualcoyotl's accession being 1430. The
Spanish invasion took place in 15 6 A.D.
During that century the red rose of Lancaster
was warring with the white rose of York; Joan of
Arc, in France, grew up in her village home, to win
back for the French king his lost provinces. Isa-
bella and Ferdinand, by uniting the two houses of
Castile and Aragon, made Spain the powerful king-
dom, which was to discover the New World.
All these princes and potentates, busy with their
own wars and marriages, lived their lives without
thought of any form of high civilization across an
untravelled ocean. Even Columbus, as he urged upon
the queen his longing to cross that ocean to find out
what was beyond it, did not suggest to her the
vision of a cultivated court with a king who wrote
poetry in an unknown tongue, and had carved lions
upon his marble stairways.













VII.


MICHOACAN.

WEST of the city of Mexico and the state of the
same name lies Michoacan, one of the largest of the
present divisions of the country. It begins on the
plateau, but stretches down the steep western slope
to the shores of the Pacific Ocean, seamed with
deep barrancas between the upper and the lower
portions, so steep and impassable that the railway
which is already engineered to connect the capital
with Colima on the western coast, waits long to
gather courage for the leap. On the higher land
mountain-peaks divide fertile lofty valleys, in which
large lakes sparkle in the soft light of the climate.
Michoacan signifies in Tarascan Land of Fish.
These broad sheets of water are even now as still
and lonely as when the early wanderers from the
unknown North settled upon their borders, except
when the shriek of a modern steam-engine disturbs
their silence, and frightens the many birds who live
there. As the train passes along the edge of Lake
Cuitzao, eighteen miles long, clouds of winged crea-
tures start up surprised, but not much frightened
from the rushes by the water. Perhaps a rose-col-
ored flamingo may be seen standing on one leg,





MICHOA CAN.


undisturbed by the noise, because he is unaccus-
tomed to fear. Across the lake glows a brilliant
scarlet behind graceful mountain outlines. By the
many curves of the road these forms appear, vanish,
and recur, till the day has faded.


VASE IN THE NATIONAL MUSEUM, WASHINGTON.


Farther from the capital, Patzcuaro and its lake
have hidden their charms still longer. It was only
in 1886 that the railroad penetrated to them. They
are nearer the middle of the upper part of Micho-
acan, at an elevation of seven thousand feet above





THE STORY OF MEXICO.


the sea. The heights in this region, though they
seem hills, because their base is on so high a level,
attain to numbers of measurement belonging to
mountains. The Place of Delights, as the name of
Patzcuaro is translated from the Tarascan language
of its old inhabitants, is a lonely little city now, con-
taining no more than eight thousand natives, many
of whom are descended from the first inhabitants,
and speak the Tarascan tongue. The town is built
on hilly broken ground, with narrow crooked streets,
from which glimpses are constantly to be had of
the beautiful lake stretching out below. Abundant
springs water the town and flow through the fountains
in the market-place, an open square surrounded by
noble ash-trees. Just outside the town stone seats
have been placed at a point overlooking a lovely
view of the clustering town, the long irregular lake
with jutting points clothed throughout the year
with verdure, and dotting islands upon its surface.
This place of delights was long the seat of the
native chiefs of Michoacan, who, though they did
not attain such a reputation for learning and culti-
vation as Ixtlilxochitl the Texcucan narrator has
given his ancestors, had yet taste and intelligence
enough to enjoy the beauty of their home.
In the beginning, wandering tribes may have set-
tied on the borders of the lake for the mere casual
advantages of satisfying their hunger, for the lake
abounds with fish, and feathered game frequent its
shores from time immemorial. The first have been
supposed to be Chichimecs, either before or after
their dealings with the Toltecs. The region was





MICHOA CAN.


too attractive for one tribe to possess it unmolested.
Other men, perhaps fresh from the same mysterious
North, perhaps driven out by force or discontent
from former homes upon Anahuac, came to dispute
the fruitful territory. Such contests were decided by
the triumph of the stronger; intermarriages healed
the wound, and brief peace settled on the shore of
the lake, to be broken by and by with similar in-
cursions, followed by similar results. Out of such
sequence, a name and date emerge as pegs to hang
some facts on, in the hitherto accepted story.
Ire-Titatacam6 was this first chief of this first people
with a name which could last. He made friends
with a neighboring chief, and married his daughter,
the Princess of Naranjan. We may imagine her,
like her remote descendants, a dusky maiden, rather
small, with straight black hair, which she knew how
to braid in two long tresses to hang along her back.
Did her grandmother learn the art from the same
coiffeur that prepared the mother of Ramses for her
morning care ? Her eyes were intelligent, piercing,
but soft, two rows of brilliant white teeth lighted
her face when she smiled, as she gathered herself pop-
pies for a wreath on the borders of the Lake of De-
lights.
This princess became the mother of Sicuiracha,
who was born in 1202, they say, about the time
that the little English prince, Arthur, was being mur-
dered at Rouen by the order of his wicked uncle.
The little prince of Naranjan-Chichimeca was not
ten years old when a tribe of Tarascans assaulted his
father's city, and slew that monarch. He grew





THE STORY OF MEXICO.


up to console his mother, avenge the deed, and to
control his own subjects and the conquered tribe,
which however impressed its language and dialect
upon the nation, so that in that region, Tarascan
survived.
Sicuiracha lived to a good old age, and in peace.
He died at the close of the thirteenth century, leav-
ing two sons.
One of these married an island woman of the lake,
and her son preserved the royal line ; for his father
and uncle were put to death by a chieftain of the
neighborhood who desired the fair Place of Delights
for his own. But Tixiacuri was hidden by priests,
who taught him the great art of war, so that in due
time he came forth at the head of armies, destroyed
his enemies, took to himself all the territory of the
king who slew his father, and extended his own
even beyond these, thus first really governing the
wide kingdom of Michoacan, which goes down to
the sea.
Tixiacuri, at his death, divided the territory, giv-
ing parts of it to two nephews, one of whom, Hicux-
ax6, got Patzcuaro, and called himself king of it.
Tangoxoan, the son of the late king summoned his
court to Tzintzuntzan, fifteen miles up the lake. He
is counted the fifth of the chiefs of Michoacan, and
leaves no other record but that all his sons died
violent deaths.
In the next period the provinces given to Tixia-
curi's nephews came together again under one head,
and the tribes thus united grew and prospered.
Zovanga, the seventh ruler, held sway over the whole





MICHOA CAN.


extent of Michoacan. Its capital was Tzintzuntzan,
and its fullest limit touched the waters of the
western ocean. This king constructed the cele-
brated walls of Michoacan to shut in his terri-
tories; he advanced agriculture, and brought his
army to such excellence that it triumphed over
his enemies, even the Mexicans, who, by this
time powerful rivals, undertook an expedition into
Michoacan in 1481. In a bloody battle which
lasted two whole days the Mexicans were utterly
routed.
The reign of Zovanga is described as long and
glorious, and he left his country in a state of peace
and prosperity when he died, near the beginning of
the sixteenth century. The eighth and last Taras-
can monarch of Michoacan, Tangoxoan II., was
the contemporary of Montezuma; like him, un-
fortunate enough to live to see the invasion of the
Conquistadores. He was called by them Calzonzi,
which is only the Tarascan word for any chief or
leader.
His capital was at Tzintzuntzan, a city with a
population of forty thousand inhabitants, it is said,
at the time of the conquest. Its name is an imita-
tion of the noise of humming birds, which, in the
Tarascan days, as now, darted in multitudes over the
gay flowers that border the lake in profusion. This
people loved birds as they did flowers, and excelled
in the delicate feather-work still practised in Mexico,
in which bright-colored plumage is daintily made to
serve instead of paints. The monarch of Michoacan
held court at Tzintzuntzan, but his pleasure-house





THE STORY OF MEXICO.


was at Patzcuaro, eighteen miles away. Legend says
that when he chose to have a collation there, a line
of servants was stationed all along the way between
the two palaces, to pass the dishes from the royal
kitchen to the royal table. However this may be,
there are traces of a subterranean passage which per-
haps connected the capital with the other town.
Some years ago an excavation was attempted at
Tzintzuntzan, with the hope of discovering this
passage, but the natives quietly resisted this work
by always filling up the place as soon as it was dug
out. From generation to generation these people
transmit the traditions of the ancient grandeur of
their race, and silently preserve what they can of its
traces. They have no written language of their
own, and no orators. What they know of the past
they do not wish to tell to outsiders: but their vil-
lages are full of legends, which the old people hand
down to the younger ones in their strange Tarascan
speech. They are tenacious of their manners and
customs, and preserve in their church festivals the
forms and rites which the early priests allowed them
to transfer from their old religion to the ceremonials
of the newly acquired Catholic faith. The Taras-
cans are skilful in carving in bone. They make tiny
boxes, neatly fitted with lock and key, of wood.
Their canoes are dug out of tree-trunks, and they
kill the wild fowl which swarm and herd in quantities
upon their lake, with a long wooden javelin hurled
with skill. Their pottery, like that of all the Mexi-
cans, is simple in design, graceful in form, and taste-
ful in color. From time immemorial they have






MICHOA CAN. 69

possessed the knowledge of handling clay and
making their utensils of it.
Such are the descendants of the old Tarascan
tribes, little changed as yet by the changes of gov-
ernment that have swept over their country since
the invasion of the Conquistadores.






ve i
''~T
I -.f -


VIII.


MAYAS.

THERE is another race of which something must be
said before we begin upon the Aztecs, that branch of
the Nahuati family which took the leading part in
the struggle with the Conquistadores.
Although the Mayan civilization was established
outside the limits of the present Mexico, it is neces-
sary to know something of it in connection with the
other tribes who built up the civilization of Ana-
huac.
The Mayas are thought to have been the earliest
of the Nahuatl family to migrate from their northern
home. Their I1iii: i :._ differs from the other Nahua
dialects, and so do their traditions, monuments, and
hieroglyphics, but these differences were probably
caused by the difference in time in the departure of
these races from their common starting-point. The
resemblance outweighs the disparity, and we can
only imagine that the deviations were caused by a
long separation from the original stock. Their
descendants live in Yucatan, and the early monu-
ments of the Mayas are found in that country and
its neighborhood.
They are supposed to have migrated from the





MA YA S.


shores of the Atlantic to the region now the state
of Chiapas, the farthest south of all the states, ad-
joining Guatemala, in the midst of a rich and fertile
country. Their empire grew to be one of great im-


CASA DEL GOBERNADOR, UXMAJL.


portance, so that at one time even the proud Tula
was tributary to it. It extended over the greater
part of Central America. Mayapan and Copan were
the other chief tribes of their confederacy, of which





TIHE STORY OF MEXICO.


Nachan, or Town of Serpents, was the capital or
chief.
This great city was already in ruins, buried in the
thick wilderness, its site and very existence forgot-
ten before the arrival of the Conquistadores. Cortes
must have marched close to it once when he was on
his way to Honduras, but he probably had no notion
of its existence. The ruins were discovered by chance
in the middle of the eighteenth century, by a curate
of the little town Palenque in the neighborhood.
In 1764, the Spanish government sent explorers to
visit these ruins, and since then they have been care-
fully studied. The importance and extent of the
buildings seem to show that the ancient city was
once the capital and centre of the ancient state of
Mayapan. Traces of streets extend for a length of
six leagues or more, following the course of moun-
tain streams, which doubtless furnished the inhabi-
tants with water.
The most important building at Palenque is the
Palace. It rests on a truncated pyramid about fifty
feet high, of which the base measures three hundred
and ten feet by two hundred and sixty. Subter-
ranean galleries penetrated the interior of the pyra-
mid. It is made of earth, with external faces of large
slabs; steps lead up to the top, on which is the chief
building, a quadrilateral of two hundred and twenty-
eight feet by one hundred and eighty ; the walls are
from two to three feet thick, ornamented with a frieze
between two double cornices, covered with painted
stucco, either red, blue, black, or white. There are
fourteen entrances in the eastern front, which is the





MA YA S.


principal one, separated by
pillars ornamented with
figures more than six feet
in height. Over their heads
are hieroglyphics which
contain the key to their
meaning, still hidden to us.
The inside of the palace
corresponds with the out-
side, galleries run all round
the court, and the lofty
chambers are decorated
with strange bas-reliefs in
granite thirteen feet high
or more, strange and gro-
tesque to us, but full of
meaning and expression
to the race which under-
stood them.
Over the palace rises a
tower of three stories, thir-
ty feet square at the base,
decorated profusely with
symbols no longer sug-
gestive. A strange thing
about the palace is that
the staircases look new,
the steps whole and un-
worn, as if the people who
built it had suddenly taken
flight soon after they erect-
ed their chief buildings.


STATUE FROM PALENQUE.





THE STORY OF MEXICO.


One other of the monuments of Palenque should
be mentioned, the Temple of the Cross. It rises
from a truncated pyramid, and forms a quadrilateral
separated by pilasters, ornamented with hieroglyphics
and human figures. The openings lead through an
inside gallery to three little rooms, of which the mid-
dle one contains an altar, ornamented with a frieze.
Above this altar until recently stood three marble
slabs, of which one is now in the Smithsonian Insti-
tute at Washington, the central stone at the National
Museum in the city of Mexico, and the third still
remains at Palenque. They are six feet four inches
in height, four feet wide, and six inches thick, of
cream-colored stone of a fine grain. The central
stone now in Mexico gives a striking representation
of the Christian cross on a pedestal in the midst of a
tangle of hieroglyphics, with a priestly figure, nearly
life size, which in the stone still at Palenque is con-
tinued by another figure of a priest and six rows of
hieroglyphics running from top to bottom. The
piece at Washington is covered with similar rows of
hieroglyphics, and contains ornaments to match the
human figure on the left of the central stone. The
startling resemblance to a cross on this tablet has
excited much discussion ; it is said that the presence
of the emblem of the Christian faith caused it to be
torn down and cast forth into the forest, which
crowds around the ruins of the ancient city. But
such representations of the symbol of an earlier date
than the Christian era, have been found elsewhere
in America. The cross was looked upon by the
Mayas as the sign of the creative and fertilizing





MA YA S.


powers of nature, and has no affinity with the Chris-
tian one. Some attempts have been made to deci-
pher the meaning of the Palenque tablets, consider-


TABLET OF CROSS AT PALENQUE.


ing the three pieces as a whole. The figure on the
left (still at Palenque) is said to be the Sun with his
grand mitre. He presents an offering in his hand,





THE STORY OF MEXICO.


and appears to be blowing with his mouth or breath-
ing incense. At his back are two astronomical signs,
representing, one the four phases of the moon, and
the other the great Period of the Sun. The figure at
the right (in the museum at Mexico) is larger than
the other. It stands erect with outstretched arms
offering a child before the cross. This priest differs
from the other in being without the sacred mask and
the robe of ocelotl skin. Both figures open their lips
in prayer to the deity, the cross, here united with
the sign Acatl, an arrow thrust through the upper
half making another smaller cross. At the right of
the cross are the signs of the four seasons of the
year, vernal equinox, summer solstice, autumnal
equinox, and winter solstice. The bird above the
cross is the star of the morning, and the strange fig-
ure below may be a skull, to represent the star of the
evening. According to this explanation the famous
tablet of Palenque, with its accidental likeness to
the Christian cross, was dedicated to the Sun as the
great creative power, and to the Year with its four
seasons, and change of morning and evening. Pa-
lenque is by no means the only monument of the
ancient people in this region. Yucatan is covered
with interesting ruins, the remains of different
branches of the mighty Mayan race. It can hardly
be doubted, moreover, that extensive ruins lie yet
hidden in the unexplored regions of the peninsula.
Chichcn-Itza is one of the few towns which has pre-
served its ancient Mayan name, from chicken, open-
ing of a well, and Itza, one of the chief branches of
Mayapan confederacy. Itza maintained its inde-





MAYAS.


pendence, after the destruction of the confederacy,
for two centuries after the Conquest. It was then
taken by the Spaniards and completely destroyed.
Over an extent of several miles are seen masses of
rubbish, broken sculptures, overturned columns, of
which nearly five hundred bases have been counted.
Chichen was one of the religious centres of Yuca-


MAYAN BAS-RELIEF.


tan, which accounts for the number and mag-
nificence of its temples. The walls, in many cases,
are covered with paintings, in black, red, yellow, and
white; they represent processions of warriors or
priests, with black heads, strange head-dresses, and
wide tunics on their shoulders. The faces on the
bas-reliefs are remarkable as giving a different type





THE STORY OF MEXICO.


from the pointed heads and retreating foreheads
of those at Palenque. The heads on the Yucatan
monuments as those of the present inhabitants are
better developed. The sculpture is rich; the bas-
reliefs give an idea of the head-dress of the natives.
A flight of steps is ornamented with a balustrade
of interlaced serpents.
Chaak Mool, also known under the name of Balam,
the tiger-chief, was one of three brothers who shared
between them the government of Yucatan. He was
married to Kinich Katm6, a woman of marvellous
beauty.
Now Aak, the brother of Chaak Mool, fell in love
with the fair Kinich, the wife of his brother. In
order to possess her, he caused her husband to be as-
sassinated, hoping thus to win the hand of the widow.
But Kinich, far from yielding to the persuasions of
Aak, remained faithful to the memory of Chaak, and
out of conjugal devotion caused his statue to be
made. Moreover she caused her palace to be adorned
with paintings representing the chief events in the
life of her departed spouse, and the sad scene of his
death. In one of these paintings we may see the
wicked Aak, holding in his hand three spears, to
symbolize the three wounds, by means of which his
brother was despatched.
The painting is accompanied by hieroglyphics,
which an explorer in 1875, Dr. Le Plongeon, suc-
ceeded in deciphering far enough to learn that the
tomb of Chaak Mool was to be found at a place some
four hundred yards from the palace. He at once
set about excavations at this spot. At first were




University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs