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Si possunt homines, proinde ac sentire videntur
Did men but think, and oft to think they seem,
DISCONTENT had long taken up
her dwelling in the house of Magiscatzin. He made his abode in the populous city of Zocathlan, the capital of the large and wealthy province, known through India by the same appellation ; and the seat of the great Itztapalapa, brother of the sun ; on whom two hundred lords wait bare-foot in silence, with their eyes fixed on the ground : and who sacrificeth yearly a thousand of his enemies on the
green stone, in the temple of the God Vitzliputzli.
* See the Religious Ceremonics by Picart.
Magiscatzin saw thousands live in the smile of Itztapalapa, refreshed with the dew of his favour, and blossoming in the sun-shine of his magnificence. He courted that smile, but it beheld him not; he waited long for that dew, but it fell not on his branch. He grew pale with envy, and the fiend of malevolence fixed a cockatrice at his heart. The bosom of his wife, once the seat of delight, was no longer pleasing to him; nor would he drink more of the cup of felicity! refusing the draught from the homely shell of the.cocoa, because he could not quaff it from that golden vase which the right hand of Itztapalapa held forth to his favourites.
As, one morning, he wandered in solitude amidst the desert mountains of Tlaslacan, a personage, habited like one of the priests of the God Tlalock, approached; who, touching the ground with his right hand, and laying it to his mouth, accosted him in the language of friendship.
Magiscatzin returned the salutation. They stood silent a moment; the priest began : - Few feet, my son, traverse these lone and gloomy mountains, but those of devotion and disquietude. The placidity which resteth on the brow of the true worshipers of the ineffable
Tlalock is not discoverable on thine Too plainly do thine eyes bespeak a discomposure of mind. Fear not, my son, to unbosom thy solicitude. The key of secresy is on my lips : and Tlalock hath entrusted me with that invaluable gem, which emits the rich perfume of consolation."
“ Father (replied Magiscatzin), thou art as an angel of the god; he hath endued thee with his own penetration. My soul is disturbed within me, and I find no rest; for the bounty of Itztapalapa shineth on the undeserving ; while Merit and Fidelity cover their heads in obscurity, or wander through the mountains of Tlaslacan; their necks unadorned with the chains of gold; their helms void of the variegated feathers due to them from the brother of the sun.”
“Tremble (said the venerable sage), to breathe the least murmur against the mighty lord of Zocathlan, the ruler of ten thousand provinces, the powerful brother of the sun! whom every element is proud to obey; and to whom, if the rulers of the air (who are privy to every voice of mortals) should bear thy complainings, minevitable misery thou wouldst fall an unpitied victim in the temple of the dread Vitzliputzli.But hearken, oh my son. Thy mind is deluded by the sorceress Error ; Disappointment hath spread her sable veil before thy sight; and thou canst not either discern the splendour of the great Itztapalapa's wisdom, or the plain and unperplexed path which leadeth to the temple of felicity. Dazzled with the lustre of greatness, thou hast treasured up in thy mind false notions of its bliss; and, disappointed in thy pursuits of it, fondly deemest thyself disappointed of real happiness.—The evil genii, who delight to distress the sons and worshippers of the beneficent Tlalock, triumphing over thy heart-corroding anxiety, have commissioned their busiest instruments to promote thy misery; and to render thee in truth what thou art in imagination only. The ideal blessings denied thee, are, by their agency, turned into real evils ; and the loss of fancied gratifications prevents thee from enjoying those of which thou art possessed.—But hearken to the voice of wisdom ; obey, and thou shalt be blessed. Tell me, Magiscatzin, point out the man, who buildeth his nest on the towering cedar of felicity.”
“ Curdistan (replied he in a moment) “ Curdistan dwells secure on its topmost bough. He sits in his prince's favour, like the proud city of Mexico, empress of the world, in the midst of the lakes. Curdistan is happy.--Nor
less so is Tabuca; honour and wealth wave, like yellow fields of ripe maize, around him, and the fairest beauty of Zocathlan encircles him with the snow of her arms. And not less blessed, for not less honourable, is Xicoltencal; for he gives the golden cup, enamelled with the topaz and the sapphire, into the hands of Itztapalapa, and reclineth on the same carpet to play at the royal game of tololoque with the brother of the Sun.—Yucatan, also”
“No more (said the priest, interrupting him); it is enough my son; mark this emerald. Take it, and preserve it with the utmost attention. It was the gift of Tlalock himself, who descended in thunder while the earth trembled at his approach-the gift of the sovereign Tlalock to my immortal father, who now drinks out of the ruby bowls which Halicasti hands round to the lords of Paradise.-Bind it next to thy heart, and it will render thee invisible to every mortal eye; and haste thee away; enter every dwelling where thy desires long chiefly to dwell; and, in the name of the mighty deity, whose sacrifices I perform, and whose incense I burn, I swear to thee, that thou shalt be the man, whom thou thyself shalt confess the happy one. Finish thy inquiries with all speed; and, when the sun