118 LETTERS OF CORTES. them offerings of the hearts of other victims, which they sacrifice to them, and besmear their faces with the blood. For every thing they have an idol, consecrated by the use of the nations that in ancient times honored the same gods. Thus they have an idol that they petition for vic- tory in war ; another for success in their labors ; and so for every thing in which they seek or desire prosperity, they have their idols, which they honor and serve. This noble city contains many fine and magnificent houses y which may be accounted for from the fact, that all the nobility of the country, who- are the vassals of Muteczuma, have houses in the city, in which they reside a certain part of the year y and besides, there are numer- ous wealthy citizens who also possess fine houses. All these persons, in addition to the large and spacious apart- ments for ordinary purposes, have others, both upper and lower, that contain conservatories of flowers. Along one of the causeways that lead into the city are laid two pipes, constructed of masonry, each of which is two paces in width, and about five feet in height. An abun- dant supply of excellent water, forming a volume equal in bulk to the human body, is conveyed by one of these pipes, and distributed about the city, where it is used by the inhabitants far drinking and other purposes. The other pipe, in the mean time, is kept empty until the former requires to be cleansed, when the water is let into it and continues to be used till the cleansing is finished. As the water is necessarily carried over bridges on account of the salt water crossing its route, reservoirs resembling canals are constructed on the bridges, through which the fresh water is conveyed. These reservoirs are of the breadth of the body of an ox, and of the same length as the bridges. The whole
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