Page:Notes of the Mexican war 1846-47-48.djvu/561

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heaven; and in this tradition probably originated the revolting custom of human sacrifices to this deity. It was at the city of Carthage that over two hundred of the healthiest children of the most influential and wealthiest citizens were sacrificed at one time. In time of war prisoners also were sacrificed in the same manner, which practice was continued until the defeat of the Carthagenians by the Romans, where a solemn curse was pronounced upon the spot where once rose the city of Dido—which city was built by a lady named Dido, a daughter of the king of Tyre, who was driven away from that city by the cruelty and avarice of her brother, named Pygmalion. It was built in the year 878 B.C., or one hundred and twenty-five years before the foundation of Rome was laid.

After the fall of Carthage it is supposed that most of its wealthiest people fled in ships then lying in their harbor, sailed away and settled somewhere in South America and Mexico, and from them originated the sacrifice of human lives.

After Montezuma had reigned some sixteen or seventeen years his troubles commenced; he received news from his princes of a large fleet, loaded with men hostile to his kingdom, and that munitions of war were being landed near the island of Sacrificios. He called his princes and councillors together to take some action to prevent their intrusion on the city of Mexico.

Cortez arrived in the valley of Mexico in the early part of October, 1519. Here King Montezuma met Cortez at Tlapisahua; and, after they had several interviews in regard to the Spaniards wanting to occupy the city of Mexico, King Montezuma and nearly all his tribe strongly protested against letting Cortez or any of his followers enter the city of Mexico. Finally, by persevering and making great promises, the Spaniard succeeded in getting into the city of Mexico November 8, 1519. This generous kindness, bestowed upon Cortez by King Montezuma, made the Mexicans jealous, and losing confidence in Montezuma as a ruler. The Spaniards and Mexicans finally got to street-fighting. This enraged Cortez so