Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/88

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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 Tezcotzinco. 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 garden 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-gardens below.

The country all about is full of artificial embankments, reservoirs and aqueducts for leading water about, and developing the attractions of the place. A magnificent grove of lofty ahuehuetes, at some distance from the central part of the grounds, surrounds a large quadrangle, now dry, which was probably 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 judicious management of domestic industry, and so was justified in indulging his taste for magnificence in architecture. The ruins of Tezcotzinco faintly attest the truth of the descriptions of this royal residence, which tell of hanging gardens approached by steps of porphyry, reservoirs sculptured with the achievements of the monarch, and adorned with mar-