Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/80

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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 better 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 sympathies 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