Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/122

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the pitiful raids of one savage tribe against another, their title of Emperor, no longer hereditary, although, it is admitted, kept in one family, is reduced to that of chief; their capital city is a pueblo, their palaces as low buildings of adobe, their teocallis are mounds.

For the sake of preserving the succession hitherto accepted, and to avoid confusion in the mind of the reader, we will continue the narration of the kings of Mexico, as if they still retained that title, shorn as it is of its rays.

Tenoch died in 1363, thirty-eight years after the foundation of the city. As his name forms part of the word Tenochtitlan, some authorities give, as explanation, that the city was named after the chief, rather than for reason of the nopal, the eagle, and the snake. But the valuable legend remains, and is preserved on the national banner of the Mexicans to-day.

Mexitzin succeeded Tenoch in command, who, as by this time the people had greatly grown in importance, counselled them to follow the example of the nations round about them, and choose a ruler to rule over them, after the manner of their neighbors, the Tepanecs, and those of Texcuco, across the lake. The proposal was favorably accepted, and Acamapichtli was made king—the first monarch of the Mexican dynasty, in Tenochtitlan, in 1376, fifty years after the foundation of the city. He was Mexican upon his father's side, Chichimec, through his mother's family. He was, according to the account of his chroniclers, one of the most prudent and illustrious personages of his time. He mar-