Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/126

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ber. This usurper, jealous of the growing power of his vassal, and afraid of its results, caused the death of the little son and daughter of the Mexican monarch. "The king, Huitzilihuitl," says the authority, "dissimulated this cruel offence, considering that this was no time to expose his people to open war with the Tepanecs, thus giving proof of a patriotism equal to personal sacrifice."

This was however not the end of the matter for after the death of his father, Chimalpopoca, who reigned in his stead became implicated in a conspiracy against Maxtla. It was discovered, and the punishment that the young king had to endure was to assume certain garments of the style worn by women sent him by Maxtla, as signs of effeminacy and cowardice, while Maxtla carried off and took to himself one of his wives. Chimalpopoca, waited to avenge these insults, and life being insupportable to him, resolved to sacrifice himself to the great god of his fathers, Huitzilopochtli; but Maxtla anticipated his intention, and seizing him, shut him up in a wooden case, such as was used for common criminals. The Mexican king, however, succeeded in his intent, by hanging himself from a bar of his disgraceful prison.

This chief had reigned but ten years; during this time he had an aqueduct constructed to bring clear water from Chapultepec to the city, and built a fine calzada, or paved road, to make direct communication between Tenochtitlan and Tlacopan.

This was the period of the usurpation of Tezozomoc, king of Atzcapotzalco, who wrested the throne of the Chichimecs from Ixtlilxochitl, and