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He entered the lowly door; and, behold,stretched on the bed of sickness, lay the mother of six clamorous infants, demanding with the voice of importunity, food to satiate their hunger; she replied only with tears. Magiscatzin sought the cause of her distress: grief is communicative: she informed him, that "the iron hand of death had but lately cut down her husband, the trunk upon which she and her babes leaned for support. He, by his daily and laborious toil, earned for them the scanty pittance, which fed the lamp of life. But now, friendless and unpitied, unknown and unrelieved, famine preyeth upon my children (said she), while sorrow eateth up my heart! How many of the great and the wealthy, whose tables are loaded by the hands of profusion and plenty, dream little of necessity like ours; and care not to diffuse the offals of their feasts, which would suffice to preserve us from the resistless severity of hunger! Not far hence (continued she), lives the great Magiscatzin; wealth and felicity take up their abode in his happy dwelling, and his meanest domestics are the envied children of peace. The very crumbs from his table could more than satiate our wishes; would give gladness to the heart of the disconsolate widow, and wipe away the tears
from the hollow and half-famished eyes of the orphan."
Magiscatzin heard, and was abashed. "No more (said he to the woman); the angel of consolation will visit thy cottage. Fear not: the clouds are dispersing, and the cheerful sun will speedily brighten the heavens." Thus speaking, with hasty steps he left the house of mourning, fearing to be discovered; and " Oh, mighty Tlalock (said he), I had no need of thy emerald to teach me this wisdom. Son of Alibudah, cease thy search, acknowledge thy error; and be glad to drink of the waters of thy own clear fountain!" Immediately he issued his commands to relieve the wants of the widow, and to feed the hungry orphans. And in that command the glow of benevolence warmed his bosom; he felt that to bless was to be blessed! Cheerfulness resumed her seat on his forehead, and his eye sparkled again with vivacity and delight. “I will get me to the mountains (said he) early on the morrow; I will restore, without a desire to repossess, the wondrous jewel which the venerable priest hath committed to my trust. Let the false glare of honour allure; the destructive pursuit of riches bewilder; mine shall be a nobler aim-sovereign Tlalock, I adore thee! The temple of human happiness is
founded on the adamantine rock of benevolence and virtue."
Early he sought the mountains of Tlaslacan. The sage appeared; "Take back thy jewel (said Magiscatzin), it availeth not; by its aid, I discovered only the unsuspected haunts of misery and woe; without its aid, I have. found the unerring path, which leads to the immortal dome of happiness." Charge not the jewel, but thyself (said the priest); thou mightest well have found that path long before; but without the jewel, know that thou wouldst never have found it. The chief cause of human discontent is the envious eye, which, looking to the loftier state, longs for the pleasures, which, as it deems, dwell plenteous there; while it contemns and neglects the satisfactions in its own power; and judges them worthless and inconsiderable, in comparison of the blazing glories above it! Erring mortals! how false, how vain is your estimate of things! The jewel hath enabled thee to know, what otherwise, Magiscatzin, little else than experience could have taught; that the heart full often is a stranger to joy, where the face wears the constant sunshine of smiles: that the serenity of peace dwells not always, where the outward triumphs of splendour exult; that the breast, not
rarely, is torn with the tempest of cares, which seems hushed with the profoundest calm.
Yet, mistake not; happiness, in a degree, though not in perfection, is a flower that will flourish in almost every soil. It withered in the garden of Curdistan; but it withered because Curdistan gave it not a proper culture. It requireth not to be fostered with the dews of honour, it wisheth not to grow beneath a shelter of gold; even the fair tendance of the hand of beauty is not peculiarly needful; it often is found in fresher verdure in the gardens of the homely. Yet neither will it fade because beauty tends it, honour fosters it with her dew, or wealth spreads over it the alcove of gold if the former is virtuous, the latter beneficent, diffusive, humane-the heart-felt joy, which enlivens and immortalises, will lift up the soul, and make it divine.
For know, Magiscatzin, the eternal powers that dwell beyond the sun, are perfect. in unutterable bliss, because they are perfect in unchangeable goodness. Wouldst thou be exalted to a participation of the joys which they share, conform thy soul to some similitude with theirs: to be immortal hereafter, labour to be god-like here. The nearer approaches thou makest to the temper of the
gods, the nearer approaches wilt thou make to their happiness. The more thou dost cultivate the virtues of divine original, and cast forth from thine hand the blessings of benevolence, while the generous sensations of humanity expand thy heart; the more wilt thou find of serenity in this world; the more lightly will the unavoidable difficulties of morality lie upon thee; the more cheerful will be thy resignation; and hereafter, in the world of eternity, thou shalt quaff perennial delight, in full draughts, from the inexhausted fountain, which pours streams of pleasure through the boundless realms of Paradise."
The writer of this history adds, in the eastern Manuscript whence we have taken it, that "the fame of Magiscatzin's humanity, after this, was borne upon every breeze through the territories of the great Itztapalapa; that sorrow never went from his gate, with a tear in her eye; that distress and desolation never sought his roof, but they found a comforter. That, as he passed through the streets of Zocathlan, the blessings of age and infirmity, of sickness and hunger, of the orphan and the widow, fell upon him. That he lived long in the favour of the gods and left many wise maxims to his children; two of which were, "Wouldst thou, Oh my