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HAPULTEPEC CASTLE occu- The Aztecs, who christened it Chapultepies the most commanding posi- pec (the hill of the grasshopper), occupied tion in the great rock-hemmed it some two hundred years before America
valley in which the City of Mex- was discovered. Yet it was only after the ico is built. Tenochtitlan was the name most bitter struggles with other tribes given to the city by the wandering warrior that the Aztecs gained permanent possestribe that built it on piles in the marsh- sion of this eminence and built a temple lands of Lake Texcoco, for here they found its summit. These warrior braves did the sign for which they long had looked- not wish their deeds to be forgotten, for the golden eagle perched on a cactus, with on the outcropping rock at the eastern a serpent in its claws.
base of the hill they carved their effigies. The Mexicans of to-day, in having Cha- Here the imperial Montezuma and his pultepec the summer home of their ruler, proud courtiers deliberated on what course President Diaz, are but utilizing a place to take when the intrepid Cortes, fresh whose natural attractions appealed to the from the slaughter at Cholula, was rapidly tribes of old. In former times it was an approaching the gates of their city. What island in Lake Texcoco, though now the a sight must have burst upon the conlake has withdrawn itself fully four miles. queror's eyes as he reigned his horse on Chapultepec Castle, Mexico City. the mountain road and looked from afar at Even at that time, the towering cypress the fair cities and shimmering lakes that trees that dignify the castle grounds were lay unfolded beneath the turquoise blue probably centuries old. Many of them of matchless skies. And when the clang- have lived to see the Castle of Chapultepec ing battles had been fought, when the pass from ruler to ruler. They have whisquiver had been emptied against the stub- pered softly to one another as at twilight born steel, Cortes chose Chapultepec as the shadowy form of the gentle Marina, his own.
through the woods and gardens that she plates the heroic statue of a former leader, loved; they have seen the caterpillar-like Cuauhtemoctzin, or "The 'Tzin." aqueducts wind their sinuous course off to chief, a nephew of Montezuma, reorgan. the city, bearing the pure waters from the ized the native troops and strengthened springs of the Montezumas; and from Ala- the defenses of the city after the expulsion meda, the heart of that city, they have of Cortes on the “Dismal Night." When seen the imperial boulevard, the Paseo de the conqueror returned and laid siege to la Reforma, with its stately statues and the place, it was famine that forced open glorietas, extended to the base of this the gates, not the Spaniards. Immediacrag. They have trembled with the roar ately on rendering thanks for the victoriof American can nonading at Molino del ous entrance, Cortes demanded the royal Rey; they have spread their mournful treasure, but being refused, he subjected branches over the graves of the Mexican Cucuhtemactzin to a cunningly graduated boy-cadets who fell at the foot of Cha- series of tortures. He bound "The 'Tzin” pultepec, while struggling to defend it with his feet but a few inches from a braagainst foreign troops. They have nodded zier of glowing coals, and then waited in a sad welcome to the ill-fated Empress vain for the young chieftain to reveal the Carlotta and the dreamer Maximilian; secret. they have seen the old order of things Foiled in this attempt, he later, as changing and yielding to the new, under a political necessity, hanged “The 'Tzin” the far-sighted, firm-handed Porfirio Diaz, at the dead of night on a limb of a griza ruler of integrity, dignity and courage. zled ceiba tree in the jungles of Honduras. President Diaz, like many
On the anniversary of his torture, August vious rulers of Mexico, has Indian blood 21st, the natives gather round this statue in his veins. But he surely feels no shame to reverence his memory and to chant the for this when on the Paseo he contem- traditions of their race.