Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/115

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We now come to the tribe best known among those who lived on the great plateau of Anahuac, the Aztecs, also called Mexicans. The latter name has come so generally to include the inhabitants of the whole country, that a distinction must be made.

This people was one of those which formed the great family of the Nahuas; its emigration from the mysterious regions of the northeast towards Anahuac, like that of the other tribes which recognize the same traditions, rests on the same authority. Their origin is no clearer than that of the rest. It seems certain that previous to migrating they dwelt in a land far to the northeast of Lake Chapala. This region, hallowed in their traditions with all the memories and all the attractions of a far-off, long lost home, they called Aztlan, and from this name were they called Aztecs.

Why they abandoned this delightful home is entirely unknown, except to conjecture and the probabilities of human life; the date is equally uncertain, but to it has been assigned the middle of the seventh century, and even the year 648 of our era is given.

The Aztecs having left their old habitations wan-