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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/206

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184 LETTERS OF CORTES. of the lord of Guacachula, descended in a legitimate line from the old caciques of the province, should inherit the government ; since the other claimant being an ille- gitimate son was not entitled to the heirship. Homage was accordingly rendered in my presence to Muchacho, (the name of the young prince,) then about ten years of age ; and because he was too young to administer the government, his illegitimate uncle and three other princi- pal citizens, one from the city of Guacachula, and the two others of Izucan, were appointed regents, who were also entrusted with the care of Muchacho until he was of an age to govern. The city of Izucan contains about three or four thou- sand families ; its streets and places of trade are well disposed ; it had a hundred temples, and very substan- tial oratories with towers, all of which were consumed. It stands on a plain sloping from a moderate eminence, on which there is a good fortification ; and on the other side beyond the plain, it is washed by a deep river which runs near the wall ; and a ravine, formed by the lofty banks of the river, passes round it. Above the ravine there is constructed a breastwork, completely enclosing the city, about five feet in height, and a great quantity of stones are collected in piles throughout its whole cir- cuit. The city had in its environs a valley, extremely fertile in fruits and in cotton, which does not grow in any of the mountainous tracts on account of the severity of the cold ; here the climate is warm, from its being sheltered by the mountains. All this valley is watered by excel- lent conduits, which are well formed and arranged. I remained in this city until I saw its inhabitants re- settled in peace ; and while I was there the lord of a city called Guajocingo, and another from another city