When we contemplated the number of populous towns so closely situated in regard to each other, some on the water, and others on the firm ground, we could not help comparing this wonderful country to the enchanted scenes we read of in Amadis de Gaul, so magnificent were the towers and temples and other superb edifices of stone and lime, which seemed everywhere to rise out of the water. Many of us were disposed to doubt the reality of the scene before us, and to suspect we were in a dream; and my readers must excuse the manner of my expressions, as never had any one seen, heard, or even dreamt of any thing which could compare to the magnificence of the scene we now beheld. On approaching Iztapalapan, we were received by several of the highest nobles of the Mexican empire, relations of Montezuma, who conducted us to the lodgings appointed for us in that place, which were magnificent palaces of stone, the timber work of which were cedar, having spacious courts and large halls, furnished with canopies of the finest cotton. After contemplating the magnificence of the buildings, we walked through splendid gardens, containing numerous alleys planted with a variety of fruit trees, and filled with roses, and a vast variety of beautiful and aromatic flowers. In these gardens there was a fine sheet of clear water, communicating with the great lake of Mexico by a canal, which was of sufficient dimensions to admit the largest canoes. The apartments of the palace were everywhere ornamented with works of art, admirably painted, and the walls were beautifully plastered and whitened; the whole being rendered delightful by containing great numbers of beautiful birds. When I beheld the delicious scenery around me, I thought we had been transported by magic to the terrestrial paradise. But this place is now destroyed, and a great deal of what was then a beautiful expanse of water, is now converted into fields of maize, and all is so entirely altered that the natives themselves would hardly know the place where Iztapalapan stood.
Arrival of the Spaniards in Mexico, Description of that Court and City, and Transactions there, till the Arrival of Narvaez on the coast to supersede Cortes, by order of Velasquez.