Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/89

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57
TEXCUCO.

ble statues. There stood a lion of solid stone more than twelve feet long, with wings and feathers carved upon them. He was placed to face the east, and in his mouth he held a stone face, which was the very likeness of the king himself. This was his favorite portrait, although many other representations of him had been made in gold, wood, or feather-work. On the summit of the hill was the carved representation of a coyotl, the hungry fox which gave to the monarch his name so tedious to us to pronounce.

The remains of Tezcotzinco are now shown as the Baths of Montezuma; but this is a purely modern application of the title of a chief more commonly known. The baths belonged to Nezahualcoyotl, and if by chance any Montezuma made use of them, it was only as a passing guest.

Nezahualcoyotl, this wise, good, æsthetic king, committed a deed which his descendant and historian regards as a great blot upon his fame. He remained unmarried for a long time, on account of an early disappointment in love, and was no longer young when he conceived a violent passion for a noble maiden whom he met at the house of one of his vassals. This vassal wished the fair lady for his own bride; he had in fact brought her up with that intent, but the king, regardless of the laws of honor, caused the old man to be killed by his own men in a battle with the Tlaxcallans, which he set on foot chiefly for this purpose. The young princess was then invited to the royal palace, where she received in due form and time an offer of marriage from the monarch.