1. Extensive indeed, if we may trust Archbishop Lorenzana, who tells us, "It is doubtful if the country of New Spain does not border on Tartary and Greenland;--by the way of California, on the former, and by New Mexico, on the latter!" Historia de Nueva España, (México, 1770,) p. 38, nota.

2. I have conformed to the limits fixed by Clavigero. He has, probably, examined the subject with more thoroughness and fidelity than most of his countrymen, who differ from him, and who assign a more liberal extent to the monarchy. (See his Storia Antica del Messico, (Cesena, 1780,) dissert. 7.) The Abbé, however, has not informed his readers on what frail foundations his conclusions rest. The extent of the Aztec empoire is to be gathered from the writings of historians since the arrival of the Spaniards, and from the picture-rolls of tribute paid by the conquered cities; both sources extremely vague and defective. See the MSS. of the Mendoza collection, in Lord Kingsborough's magnificent publication (Antiquities of Mexico, comprising Facsimiles of Ancient Paintings and Hieroglyphics, together with the Monuments of New Spain. London, 1830). The difficulty of the inquiry is much increased by the fact of the conquests having been made, as will be seen hereafter, by the united arms of three powers, so that it is not always easy to tell to which party they eventually belonged. The affair is involved in so much uncertainty, that Clavigero, notwithstanding the positive assertions in his text, has not ventured, in his map, to define the precise limits of the empire, either towards the north, where it mingles with the Tezcucan empire, or towards the south, where, indeed, he has fallen into the egregious blunder of asserting, that, while the Mexican territory reached to the fourteenth degree, it did not include any portion of Guatemala. (See tom. I. p. 29, and tom. IV. dissert. 7.) The tezcucan chronicler, Ixtlilxochitl, puts in a sturdy claim for the paramount empire of his own nation. Historia Chichemeca, MS., cap. 39, 53, et alibi.

3. Eighteen to twenty thousand, according to Humboldt, who considers the mexican territory ot have been the same with that occupied by the modern intendancies of Mexico, Puebla, Vera Cruz, Oaxaca, and Valladolid. (Essai Politique sur le Royaume de Nouvell Espagne, (Paris, 1825,) tom. I. p. 196.) This last, however, was all, or nearly all, included in the rival kingdom of Mechoacan, as he himself more correctly states in another part of his work. Comp. tom. II. p. 164.

4. The traveller, who enters the country across the dreary sand-hills of Vera Cruz, will hardly recognise the truth of the above description. He must look for it in other parts of the tierra caliente. Of recent tourists, no one has given a more gorgeous picture of the impressions made on his senses by these sunny regions than Latrobe, who came on shore at Tampico; (Rambler in Mexico, (New York, 1836) chap. 1;) a traveller, it may be added, whose descriptions of a man and nature, in our own country, where we can judge, are distinguished by a sobriety and fairness that entitle him to confidence in his delineation of other countries.

5. This long extent of country varies in elevation from 5570 to 8856 feet,--equal to the height of the passes of Mount Cenis, or the Great St. Bernard. The table-land stretches still three hundred leagues further, before it declines to a level of 2624 feet. Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. I. pp. 157, 255.

6. About 62° Fahrenheit, or 17° Réaumur. (Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom I. p. 273.) The more elevated plateaus of the table-land, as the Valley of Toluca, about 8500 feet above the sea, have a stern climate, in which the thermometer, during a great part of the day, rarely rises beyond 45° F. Idem, (loc. cit.,) and Malte-Brun, (Universal Geography, Eng. Trans., book 83,) who is, indeed, in this part of his work, but an echo of the former writer.

7. The elevation of the Castiles, according to the authority repeatedly cited, is about 350 toises, or 2100 feet above the ocean. (Humboldt's Dissertation, apud Laborde, Itinéraire Descriptif de l'Espagne, (Paris, 1827,) tom. I. p. 5.) It is rare to find plains in Europe of so great a height.

8. Archbishop Lorenzana estimates the circuit of the Valley at ninety leagues, correcting at the same time the statement of Corté, which puts it at seventy, very near the truth, as appears from the result of M. de Humboldt's measurement, cited in the text. Its length is about eighteen leagues, by twelve and a half in breadth. (Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. II. p. 29.--Lorenzana, Hist. de Neuva España, p. 101.) Humboldt's map of the Valley of Mexico forms the third in his "Atlas Geographique et Physique," and, like all the others in the collection, will be found of inestimable value to the traveller, the geologist, and the historian.

9. Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. II. pp. 29, 44-49.--Malte Brun, book 85. This latter geographer assigns only 6700 feet for the level of the Valley, contradicting himself, (Comp. book 83,) or rather, Humboldt, to whose pages he helps himself, plenis manibus, somewhat too liberally, indeed, for the scanty references at the bottom of his page.

10. Torquemada accounts, in part, for this diminution, by supposing, that, as God permitted the waters, which once covered the whole earth, to subside, after mankind had been nearly exterminated for their iniquities, so he allowed the waters of the Mexican lake to subside in token of good-will and reconciliation, after the idolatrous races of the land had been destroyed by the Spaniards! (Monarchía Indiana, (Madrid, 1723,) tom. I. p. 309.) Quite as probable, if not as orthodox an explanation, may be found in the active evaporation of these upper regions, and in the fact of an immense drain having been constructed, during the lifetime of the good father, to reduce the waters of the principal lake, and protect the capital from inundation.

11. Anahuac, according to Humboldt, comprehended only the country between the 14th and 21st degrees of N. latitude. (Essai Politique, tom. I. p. 197.) According to Clavigero, it included nearly all since known as New Spain. (Stor. del Messico, tom. I. p. 27.) Veytia uses it, also, as synonymous with New Spain. (Historia Antigua de Méjico, (Méjico, 1836,) tom. I. cap. 12) The first of these writers probably allows too little, as the latter do too much, for its boundaries. Ixtlilxochitl says it extended four hundred leagues south of the Otomie country. (Hist. Chichemeca, MS., cap. 73.) The word Anahuac signifies near the water. It was, probably, first applied to the country around the lakes in the Mexican Valley, and gradually extended to the remoter regions occupied by the Aztecs, and the other semicivilized races. Or, possibly, the name may have been intended, as Veytia suggests, (Hist. Antig., lib. 1, cap. 1) to denote the land between the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific.

12. Clavigero talks of Boturini's having written "on the faith of the Toltec historians." (Stor. del Messico, tom. I. p. 128.) But that scholar does not pretend to have ever met with a Toltec manuscript, himself, and had heard of only one in the possession of Ixtlilxochitl. (See his Idea de una Nueva Historia de la América Septentrional, (Madrid, 1746,) p. 110.) The latter writer tells us, that his account of the Toltec and Chichemec races was "derived from interpretation," (probably, of the Texcucan paintings,) "and from the traditions of old men"; poor authority for events which had passed, centuries before. Indeed, he acknowledges that their narratives were so full of absurdity and falsehood, that he was obliged to reject nine-tenths of them. (See his Relaciones, MS., no. 5.) The cause of truth would not have suffered much, probably, if he had rejected nine-tenths of the remainder.

13. Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 2.--Idem, Relaciones, MS., no. 2.--Sahagun, Historia General de las Cosas de Nueva España, (México, 1829,) lib. 10, cap. 29.--Veytia, Hist. Antig., lib. 1, cap. 27.

14. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 10, cap. 29.

15. Idem, ubi supra.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 1, cap. 14.

16. Description de l'Egypte, (Paris, 1809,) Antiquités, tom. I. cap. 1. Veytia has traced the migrations of the Toltecs with sufficient industry, scarcely rewarded by the necessarily doubtful credit of the results. Hist. Antig., lib. 2, cap. 21-33.

17. Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich. MS., cap. 73.

18. Veytia, Hist. Antig., lib. 1, cap. 33.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 3.--Idem, Relaciones, MS., no. 4, 5.--Father Torquemada--perhaps misinterpreting the Texcucan hieroglyphics--has accounted for this mysterious disappearance of the Toltecs, by such fee-faw-fum stories of giants and demons, as show his appetite for the marvellous was fully equal to that of any of his calling. See his Monarch. Ind., lib. 1, cap. 14.

19. Texcuco signifies "place of detention"; as several of the tribes who successively occupied Anahuac were said to have halted some time at the spot. Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 10.

20. The historian speaks, in one page, of the Chichemecs' burrowing in caves, or, at best, in cabins of straw;--and, in the next, talks gravely of their señoras, infantas, and caballeros! Ibid., cap. 9, et seq.--Veytia, Hist. Antig., lib. 2. cap. 1-10.--Camargo, Historia de Tlascala, MS.

21. Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich. MS., cap. 9-20.--Veytia, Hist. Antig., lib. 2, cap. 29-54.

22. These were the Colhuans, not Acolhuans, with whom Humboldt, and most writers since, have confounded them. See his Essai Politique, tom. I. p. 414, II. p. 37.

23. Clavigero gives good reasons for preferring the etymology of Mexico above noticed, to various others. (See his Stor. del Messico, tom. I. p. 168, nota.) The name Tenochtitlan signifies tunal (a cactus) on a stone. Esplicacion de la Col. de Mendoza, apud Antiq. of Mexico, vol. IV.

24. "Datur hæc venia antiquitati," says Livy, "ut, miscendo humana divinis, primordia urbium augustiora faciat." Hist., Præf.--See, for the above paragraph, Col. de Mendoza, plate 1, apud Antiq. of Mexico, vol. I.,--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 10,--Toribio, Historia de los Indios. MS., Part 3, cap. 8,--Veytia, Hist. Antig., lib. 2, cap. 15.--Clavigero, after a laborious examination, assigns the following dates to some of the prominent events noticed in the text. No two authorities agree on them; and this is not strange, considering that Clavigero--the most inquisitive of all--does not always agree with himself. (Compare his dates for the coming of the Acolhuans; tom. I. p. 147, and tom. IV. dissert. 2.)--

........................................................................................ A.D.
The Toltecs arrived in Anahuac. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .648
They abandoned the country. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1051
The Chichemecs arrived. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1170
The Acolhuans arrived about. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1200
The Mexicans reached Tula. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  1196
They founded Mexico. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1325

See his dissert. 2, sec. 12. In the last date, the one of most importance, he is confimed by the learned Veytia, who differs from him in all the others. Hist. Antig., lib. 2, cap. 15.

25. The loyal Tezcucan chronicler slaims the supreme dignity for his own sovereign, if not the greatest share of the spoil, by this imperial compact. (Hist. Chich., cap. 32.) Torquemada, on the other hand, claims one half of all the conquered lands for Mexico. (Monarch. Ind., lib. 2, cap. 40.) All agree in assigning only one fifth to Tlacopan; and Veytia (Hist. Antig., lib. 3, cap. 3) and Zurita (Rapport sur lex Différentes Classes de Chefs de la Nouvelle Espagne, trad. de Ternaux, (Paris, 1840,) p. 11), both very competent crtitcs, acquiesce in an equal division between the two principal states in the confederacy. An ode, still extant, of Nezahualcoyotl, in its Castilian version, bears testimony to the singular union of the three powers.
            "solo se acordarán en las Naciones
            lo bien que gobernáron
            las tres Cabezas que el Imperio honráron."

26. See the plans of the ancient and modern capital, in Bullocks' "Mexico," first edition. The original of the ancient map was obtained by that traveller from the collection of the unfortunate Boturini; if, as seems probable, it is the one indicated on page 13 of his Catalogue, I find no warrant for Mr. Bullock's statement, that it was the same prepared for Cortés by the order of Montezuma.

27. Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. I. lib. 2.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., tom. I. lib. 2.--Boturini, Idea, p. 146.--Col. of Mendoza, Part 1, and Codex Telleriano-Remensis, apud Antiq. of Mexico, vols. I., VI.
      Machiavelli has noticed it as one great cause of the military successes of the Romans, "that they associated themselves, in their wars, with other states, as the principal"; and expresses his astonishment that a similar policy should not have been adopted by ambitious republics in later times. (See his Discorsi sopra T. Livio, lib. 2, cap. 4, apud Opere (Geneva, 1798).) This, as we have seen above, was the very course pursued by the Mexicans.


1. Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich. MS., cap. 36.

2. This was an exception.--In Egypt, also, the king was frequently taken from the caste, though obliged afterwards to be instructed in the mysteries of the priesthood: ο δε εκ μαχιυων. Plutarch, de Isid. et Osir., sec. 9.

3. Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 2, cap. 18; lib. 11, cap. 27.--Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. II. p. 112.--Acosta, Naturall and Morall Historie of the East and West Indies, Eng. trans. (London, 1604.)
      According to Zurita, an election by the nobles took place only in default of heirs of the deceased monarch. (Rapport, p. 15.) The minute historical investigation of Clavigero may be permitted to outweigh this general assertion.

4. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 6, cap. 9, 10, 14; lib. 8, cap. 31, 34.--See, also, Zurita, Rapport, pp. 20-23.
      Ixtlilxochitl stoutly claims this supremacy for his own nation. (Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 34.) His assertions are at variance with facts stated by himself elsewhere, and are not counte­nanced by any other writer whom I have consulted.

5. Sahagun, who places the elective power in a much larger body, speaks of four senators, who formed a state council. (Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 8, cap. 30.) Acosta enlarges the council beyond the number of the electors. (Lib. 6, ch. 26.) No two writers agree.

6. Zurita enumerates four orders of chiefs, all of whom were exempted from imposts, and en­joyed very considerable privileges. He does not discriminate the several ranks with much precision. Rapport, p. 47, et seq.

7. See, in particular, Herrera, Historia General de los Hechos de los Castellanos en las Islas y Tierra Firme del Mar Oceano, (Madrid, 1730,) dec. 2, lib. 7, cap. 12.

8. Carta de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, Hist. de Nueva España, p. 110.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 2, cap. 89; lib. 14, cap. 6.--Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. II. p. 121.--Zurita, Rap­port, pp. 48, 65.
      Ixtlilxochitl (Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 34) speaks of thirty great feudal chiefs, some of them Tezcucan and Tlacopan, whom he styles "grandees of the empire!" He says nothing of the great tail of 100,000 vassals to each, mentioned by Torquemada and Herrera.

9. Macehual,--a word equivalent to the French word roturier. Nor could fiefs originally be held by plebeians in France. See Hallam's Middle Ages, (London, 1818,) vol. II. p. 207.

10. Ixlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., ubi supra.--Zurita, Rapport, ubi supra.--Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. II. pp. 122-124.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 14, cap. 7.-Gomara. Cronica de Nueva Espania, cap. 199, ap. Barcia, tom. II.
      Boturini (Idea, p. 165) carries back the origin of fiefs in Anahuac, to the twelfth century. Carli says, "Le système politique y étoit féodal." In the next page he tells us, "Personal merit alone made the distinction of the nobility!" (Lettres Americaines, trad. Fr., (Paris, 1788,) tom. I, let. 11.) Carli was a writer of a lively imagination.

11. This magistrate, who was called cihuacoatl, was also to audit the accounts of the collectors of the taxes in his district. (Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. II. p. 127.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 11, cap. 25.) The Mendoza Collection contains a painting of the courts of justice, under Montezuma, who introduced great changes in them. (Antiq. of Mexico, vol. I., Plate 70.) According to the interpreter, an appeal lay from them, in certain cases, to the king's council. Ibid., vol. VI. p. 79.

12. Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. II. pp. 127, 128.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., ubi supra.
      In this arrangement of the more humble magistrates we are reminded of the Anglo-­Saxon hundreds and tithings, especially the latter, the members of which were to watch over the conduct of the families in their districts, and bring the offenders to justice. The hard penalty of mutual responsibility was not known to the Mexicans.

13. Zurita, so temperate, usually, in his language, remarks, that, in the capital, "Tribunals were instituted which might compare in their organization with the royal audiences of Castile." (Rapport, p. 93) His observations are chiefly drawn from the Tezcucan courts, which, in their forms of procedure, he says, were like the Aztec. (Loc. cit.)

14. Boturini, Idea, p. 87. Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 11, cap. 26.
      Zurita compares this body to the Castilian córtes. It would seem, however, according to him, to have consisted only of twelve principal judges, besides the king. His meaning is some­what doubtful. (Rapport, pp. 94, 101, 106.) M. de Humboldt, in his account of the Aztec courts, has confounded them with the Tezcucan. Comp. Vues des Cordillères et Monument des Peuples Indigènes de l'Amérique, (Paris, 1810,) p. 55, and Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. II. pp. 128, 129.

15. "Ah! si esta se repitiera hoy, que bueno seria!" exclaims Sahagun's Mexican editor. Hist. de Nueva España, tom. II. p. 304, nota.--Zurita, Rapport, p. 102.-Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., ubi supra.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 67.

16. Zurita, Rapport, pp. 95, 100, 103.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, loc. cit.--Humboldt, Vues des Cordillères, pp. 55, 56.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 11, cap. 25.
      Clavigero says, the accused might free himself by oath; Il reo poteva purgarsi col giuramento." (Stor. del Messico, tom. II. p. 129.) What rogue, then, could ever have been con­victed?

17. Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 36.
      These various objects had a symbolical meaning, according to Boturini, Idea, p. 84.

18. Paintings of the Mendoza Collection, Pl. 72, and Interpretation, ap. Antiq. of Mexico, vol. VI. p. 87.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., ab. 12, cap. 7.--Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. II. pp. 130-134.--Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.
      They could scarcely have been an intemperate people, with these heavy penalties hang­ing over them. Indeed, Zurita bears testimony that those Spaniards, who thought they were, greatly erred. (Rapport, p. 112.) Mons. Ternaux's translation of a passage of the Anonymous Conqueror, "aucun peuple n'est aussi sobre." (Recueil de Pièces Relatives á la Conquête du Mexique, ap. Voyages, &c., (Paris, 1838,) p. 54,) may give a more favorable impression, how­ever, than that intended by his original, whose remark is confined to abstemiousness in eat­ing. See the Relatione, ap. Ramusio, Raccolta delle Navigationi et Viaggi. (Venetia, 1554-1565.)

19. In Ancient Egypt the child of a slave was born free, if the father were free. (Diodorus, Bibl. Hist., lib. 1, sec. 80.) This, though more liberal than the code of most countries, fell short of the Mexican.

20. In Egypt the same penalty was attached to the murder of a slave, as to that of a freeman. (Ibid., lib. 1, sec. 77.) Robertson speaks of a class of slaves held so cheap in the eye of the Mex­ican law, that one might kill them with impunity. (History of America, (ed. London, 1776,) vol. III. p. 164.) This, however, was not in Mexico, but in Nicaragua, (see his own authority, Herrera, Hist. General, des. 3, lib. 4, cap. 2,) a distant country, not incorporated in the Mexi­can empire, and with laws and institutions very different from those of the latter.

21. Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 12, cap. 15; lib. 14, cap. 16, 17.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva Es­paña, lib. 8, cap. 14.--Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. II. pp. 134-136.

22. Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 38, and Relaciones, MS.
      The Tezcucan code, indeed, as digested under the great Nezahualcoyotl, formed the basis of the Mexican, in the latter days of the empire. Zurita, Rapport, p. 95.

23. In this, at least, they did not resemble the Romans; of whom their countryman could boast, "Gloriari licet, nulli gentium mitiores placuisse pœnas." Livy, Hist., lib. 1, cap. 28.

24. The Tezcucan revenues were, in like manner, paid in the produce of the country. The vari­ous branches of the royal expenditure were defrayed by specified towns and districts; and the whole arrangements here, and in Mexico, bore a remarkable resemblance to the financial reg­ulations of the Persian empire, as reported by the Greek writers; (see Herodotus, Clio, sec. 192;) with this difference, however, that the towns of Persia proper were not burdened with tributes, like the conquered cities. Idem, Thalia, sec. 97.

25. Lorenzana, Hist. de Nueva España, p. 172.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 2, cap. 89; lib. 14, cap. 7.--Boturini, Idea, p. 166.--Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.--Herrera, Hist. Gen­eral, dec. 2, lib. 7, cap. 13.
      The people of the provinces were distributed into calpulli or tribes who held the lands of the neighborhood in common. Officers of their own appointment parcelled out these lands among the several families of the calpulli; and, on the extinction or removal of a family, its lands reverted to the common stock, to be again distributed. The individual proprietor had no power to alienate them. The laws regulating these matters were very precise, and had ex­isted ever since the occupation of the country by the Aztecs. Zurita, Rapport, pp. 51-62.

26. The following items of the tribute furnished by different cities will give a more precise idea of its nature:--20 chests of ground chocolate; 40 pieces of armor, of a particular device; 2400 loads of large mantles, of twisted cloth; 800 loads of small mantles, of rich wearing apparel; 5 pieces of armor, of rich feathers; 60 pieces of armor, of common feathers; a chest of beans; a chest of chian; a chest of maize; 8000 reams of paper; likewise 2000 loaves of very white salt, refined in the shape of a mould, for the consumption only of the lords of Mexico; 8000 lumps of unrefined copal; 400 small baskets of white refined copal; 100 copper axes; 80 loads of red chocolate; 800 xicaras, out of which they drank chocolate; a little vessel of small turquoise stones; 4 chests of timber, full of maize; 4000 loads of lime; tiles of gold, of the size of an oys­ter, and as thick as the finger; 40 bags of cochineal; 20 bags of gold dust, of the finest quality; a diadem of gold, of a specified pattern; 20 lip-jewels of clear amber, ornamented with gold; 200 loads of chocolate; 100 pots or jars of liquid-amber; 8000 handfuls of rich scarlet feath­ers; 40 tiger-skins; 1600 bundles of cotton, &c., &c. Col. de Mendoza, part 2, ap. Antiq. of Mexico, vols. I., VI.

27. Mapa de Tributos, ap. Lorenzana, Hist. de Nueva España.--Tribute-roll, ap. Antiq. of Mex­ico, vol. I., and Interpretation, vol. VI., pp. 17-44.
      The Mendoza Collection, in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, contains a roll of the cities of the Mexican empire, with the specific tributes exacted from them. It is a copy made after the Conquest, with a pen, on European paper (See Foreign Quarterly Review, No. XVII. Art. 4.) An original painting of the same roll was in Boturini's museum. Lorenzana has given us engravings of it, in which the outlines of the Oxford copy are filled up, though somewhat rudely. Clavigero considers the explanations in Lorenzana's edition very inaccurate, (Stor. del Messico, tom. I. p. 25,) a judgment confirmed by Aglio, who has transcribed the entire col­lection of the Mendoza papers, in the first volume of the Antiquities of Mexico. It would have much facilitated reference to his plates, if they had been numbered ;--a strange omis­sion!

28. The caciques, who submitted to the allied arms, were usually confirmed in their authority, and the conquered places allowed to retain their laws and usages. (Zurita, Rapport, p. 67.) The conquests were not always partitioned, but sometimes, singularly enough, were held in common by the three powers. Ibid., p. 11.

29. Collec. of Mendoza, ap. Antiq. of Mexico, vol. Vl. p. 17.--Carta de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, Hist. de Nueva España, p. 110.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 14, cap. 6, 8.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 7, cap. 13.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 8, cap. 18, 19.

30. The Hon. C. A. Murray. whose imperturbable good-humor under real troubles forms a con­trast, rather striking, to the sensitiveness of some of his predecessors to imaginary ones, tells us, among other marvels, that an Indian of his party travelled a hundred miles in four and twenty hours. (Travels in N. America, (New York, 1839,) vol. I, p. 193.) The Greek, who ac­cording to Plutarch, brought the news of victory to Plataea, a hundred and twenty-five miles, in a day, was a better traveller still. Some interesting facts on the pedestrian capabilities of man in the savage state are collected by Buffon, who concludes, truly enough, "L'homme civilisé ne connait pas ses forces." (Histoire Naturelle; De la Jeunesse.)

31. Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 14, cap. 1.
      The same wants led to the same expedients in ancient Rome, and still more ancient Per­sia. "Nothing in the world is borne so swiftly," says Herodotus, "as messages by the Persian couriers"; which his commentator, Valckenaer, prudently qualifies by the exception of the carrier pigeon. (Herodotus, Hist., Urania, sec. 98, nec non Adnot. ed. Schweighäuser.) Couri­ers are noticed, in the thirteenth century, in China, by Marco Polo. Their stations were only three miles apart, and they accomplished five days' journey in one. (Viaggi di Marco Polo, lib. 2, cap. 29, ap. Ramusio, tom. II.) A similar arrangement for posts subsists there at the present day, and excites the admiration of a modern traveller. (Anderson, British Embassy to China, (London, 1796,) p. 282.) In all these cases, the posts were for the use of government only.

32. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 3, Apend., cap. 3.

33. Zurita, Rapport, pp. 68, 120.--Col. of Mendoza, ap. Antiq. of Mexico, vol. I. Pl. 67; vol. VI. p. 74.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 14, cap. 1.
      The reader will find a remarkable resemblance to these military usages, in those of the early Romans. Comp. Liv., Hist., lib. l, cap. 32; lib. 4, cap. 30. et alibi.

34. Ibid., lib. 14, cap. 4, 5.--Acosta, lib. 6, ch. 26.--Collec. of Mendoza, ap. Antiq. of Mexico, vol. I. Pl. 65; vol. VI. p. 72.--Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.

            "Their mail, if mail it may be called, was woven
            Of vegetable down, like finest flax,
            Bleached to the whiteness of new-fallen snow.
            Others, of higher office, were arrayed
            In feathery breastplates, of more gorgeous hue
            Than the gay plumage of the mountain-cock,
            Than the pheasant's glittering pride. But what were these,
            Or what the thin gold hauberk, when opposed
            To arms like ours in battle?"
                  MADOC, P. 1, CANTO 7.
      Beautiful painting! One may doubt, however, the propriety of the Welshman's vaunt, be­fore the use of fire-arms.

36. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 2, cap. 27; lib. 8, cap. 12.--Relatione d'un gentil' huomo, ap. Ramusio, tom. III. p. 305.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., ubi supra.

37. Relatione d'un gentil' huomo, ubi supra.

38. Col. of Mendoza, ap. Antiq. of Mexico, vol. I. Pl. 65, 66; vol. VI. p. 73.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 8, cap. 12.--Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte I. cap. 7.--Torque­mada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 14, cap. 3.--Relatione d'un gentil' huomo, ap. Ramusio, loc. cit.
      Scalping may claim high authority, or, at least, antiquity. The Father of History gives an account of it among the Scythians, showing that they performed the operation, and wore the hideous trophy, in the same manner as our North American Indians. (Herodot., Hist., Melpomene, sec. 64.) Traces of the same savage custom are also found in the laws of the Visigoths, among the Franks, and even the Anglo-Saxons. See Guizot, Cours d'Histoire Mo­derne, (Paris, 1829) tom. I. p. 283.

39. Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 67.

40. Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 12, cap. 6; lib. 14, cap. 3.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 36.

41. Zurita is indignant at the epithet of barbarians bestowed on the Aztecs; an epithet, he says, "which could come from no one who had personal knowledge of the capacity of the people, or their institutions, and which, in some respects, is quite as well merited by the European nations." (Rapport, p. 200, et seq.) This is strong language. Yet no one had better means of knowing than this eminent jurist, who, for nineteen years, held a post in the royal audiences of New Spain. During his long residence in the country he had ample opportunity of ac­quainting himself with its usages, both through his own personal observation and intercourse with the natives, and through the first missionaries who came over after the Conquest. On his return to Spain, probably about 1560, he occupied himself with an answer to queries which had been propounded by the government, on the character of the Aztec laws and institutions, and on that of the modifications introduced by the Spaniards. Much of his treatise is taken up with the latter subject. In what relates to the former he is more brief than could be wished, from the difficulty, perhaps, of obtaining full and satisfactory information as to the details. As far as he goes, however, he manifests a sound and discriminating judgment. He is very rarely betrayed into the extravagance of expression so visible in the writers of the time; and this temperance, combined with his uncommon sources of information, makes his work one of highest authority on the limited topics within its range.--The original manuscript was con­sulted by Clavigero, and, indeed, has been used by other writers. The work is now accessible to all, as one of the series of translations from the pen of the indefatigable Ternaux.


1. ποιησαντες θεογονιην Ελλησι. Herodotus, Euterpe, sec. 53.--Heeren hazards a remark equally strong, respecting the epic poets of India, "who," says he, "have supplied the nu­merous gods that fill her Pantheon." Historical Researches, Eng. trans., (Oxford, 1833,) vol. III. p. 139.

2. The Hon. Mountstuart Elphinstone has fallen into a similar train of thought, in a compari­son of the Hindoo and Greek Mythology, in his "History of India," published since the re­marks in the text were written. (See Book I. ch. 4.) The same chapter of this truly philosophic work suggests some curious points of resemblance to the Aztec religious institutions, that may furnish pertinent illustrations to the mind bent on tracing the affinities of the Asiatic and American races.

3. Ritter has well shown, by the example of the Hindoo system, how the idea of unity suggests, of itself, that of plurality. History of Ancient Philosophy, Eng. trans., (Oxford, 1838,) book 2, ch. 1.

4. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 6, passim.--Acosta, lib. 5, ch. 9.--Boturini, Idea, p. 8, et seq.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 1.--Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.
      The Mexicans, according to Clavigero, believed in an evil Spirit, the enemy of the human race, whose barbarous name signified "Rational Owl." (Stor. del Messico, tom. II. p. 2.) The curate Bernaldez speaks of the Devil being embroidered on the dresses of Columbus's Indi­ans, in the likeness of an owl. (Historia de los Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 131.) This must not be confounded, however, with the evil Spirit in the mythology of the North American Indi­ans, (see Heckewelder's Account, ap. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, vol. I. p. 205,) still less, with the evil Principle of the Oriental nations of the Old World. It was only one among many deities, for evil was found too liberally mingled in the natures of most of the Aztec gods,-in the same manner as with the Greek,--to admit of its personification by any one.

5. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 3, cap. 1, et seq.--Acosta, lib. 5, ch. 9.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 6, cap. 21.--Boturini, Idea, pp. 27, 28.
      Huitzilopotchli is compounded of two words, signifying "humming-bird," and "left," from his image having the feathers of this bird on its left foot; (Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. If. p. 17;) an amiable etymology for so ruffian a deity.--The fantastic forms of the Mex­ican idols were in the highest degree symbolical. See Gama's learned exposition of the de­vices on the statue of the goddess found in the great square of Mexico. (Descripcion de las Dos Piedras, (México, 1832,) Parte 1, pp. 34-44.) The tradition respecting the origin of this god, or, at least, his appearance on earth, is curious. He was born of a woman. His mother, a devout person, one day, in her attendance on the temple, saw a ball of bright-colored feath­ers floating in the air. She took it, and deposited it in her bosom. She soon after found herself pregnant, and the dread deity was born, coming into the world, like Minerva, all armed,­with a spear in the right hand, a shield in the left, and his head surmounted by a crest of green plumes. (See Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. II. p. 19, et seq.) A similar notion in respect to the incarnation of their principal deity existed among the people of India beyond the Ganges, of China, and of Thibet. "Budh," says Milman, in his learned and luminous work on the History of Christianity, "according to a tradition known in the West, was born of a vir­gin. So were the Fohi of China, and the Schakaof of Thibet, no doubt the same, whether a mythic or a real personage. The Jesuits in China, says Barrow, were appalled at finding in the mythology of that country the counterpart of the Virgo Deipara." (Vol. I. p. 99, note.) The existence of similar religious ideas in remote regions, inhabited by different races, is an in­teresting subject of study; furnishing, as it does, one of the most important links in the great chain of communication which binds together the distant families of nations.

6. Codex Vaticanus, Pl. 15, and Codex Telleriano-Remensis, Part 2, Pl. 2, ap. Antiq. of Mexico, vols. I., VI.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 3, cap. 3, 4, 13, 14.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 6, cap. 24.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 1.--Gomara, Crónica de la Nueva España, cap. 222, ap. Barcia, Historiadores Primitivos de las Indias Occidentales, (Madrid, 1749,) tom. II.
      Quetzalcoatl signifies "feathered serpent." The last syllable means, likewise, a "twin"; which furnished an argument for Dr. Siguenza to identify this god with the apostle Thomas, (Didymus signifying also a twin,) who, he supposes, came over to America to preach the gospel. In this rather startling conjecture he is supported by several of his devout country­men, who appear to have as little doubt of the fact as of the advent of St. James, for a similar purpose, in the mother country. See the various authorities and arguments set forth with be­coming gravity in Dr. Mier's dissertation in Bustamante's edition of Sahagun, (lib. 3, Su­plem.,) and Veytia, (tom. I. pp. 160-200.) Our ingenious countryman, McCulloh, carries the Aztec god up to a still more respectable antiquity, by identifying him with the patriarch Noah. Researches, Philosophical and Antiquarian, concerning the Aboriginal History of America, (Baltimore, 1829,) p. 233.

7. Cod. Vat., Pl. 7-10, ap. Antiq. of Mexico, vols. I., VI.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap 1.
      M. de Humboldt has been at some pains to trace the analogy between the Aztec cos­mogony and that of Eastern Asia. He has tried, though in vain, to find a multiple which might serve as the key to the calculations of the former. (Vues des Cordilleres, pp. 202-212.) In truth, there seems to be a material discordance in the Mexican statements, both in regard to the number of revolutions and their duration. A manuscript before me, of Ixtlilxochitl, re­duces them to three, before the present state of the world, and allows only 4394 years for them; (Sumaria Relacion, MS., No. 1;) Gama, on the faith of an ancient Indian MS., in Bo­turini's Catalogue, (VIII. 13,) reduces the duration still lower; (Descripcion de las Dos Piedras, Parte 1, p. 49, et seq.;) while the cycles of the Vatican paintings take up near 18,000 years.--It is interesting to observe how the wild conjectures of an ignorant age have been con­firmed by the more recent discoveries in geology, making it probable that the earth has expe­rienced a number of convulsions, possibly thousands of years distant from each other, which have swept away the races then existing, and given a new aspect to the globe.

8. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 3, Apend.--Cod. Vat., ap. Antiq. of Mexico, Pl. 1-5.--­Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 13, cap. 48.
      The last writer assures us, "that, as to what the Aztecs said of their going to hell, they were right; for, as they died in ignorance of the true faith, they have, without question, all gone there to suffer everlasting punishment!" Ubi supra.

9. It conveys but a poor idea of these pleasures, that the shade of Achilles can say, "he had rather be the slave of the meanest man on earth, than sovereign among the dead." (Odyss. A. 488-490.) The Mahometans believe that the souls of martyrs pass, after death, into the bod­ies of birds, that haunt the sweet waters and bowers of Paradise. (Sale's Koran, (London, 1825,) vol. I., p. 106).--The Mexican heaven may remind one of Dante's, in its material enjoy­ments; which, in both, are made up of light, music, and motion. The sun, it must also be re­membered, was a spiritual conception with the Aztec;
            "He sees with other eyes than theirs; where they
            Behold a sun, he spies a deity."

10. It is singular that the Tuscan bard, while exhausting his invention in devising modes of bod­ily torture, in his "Inferno," should have made so little use of the moral sources of misery. That he has not done so might be reckoned a strong proof of the rudeness of the time, did we not meet with examples of it in a later day; in which a serious and sublime writer, like Dr. Watts, does not disdain to employ the same coarse machinery for moving the conscience of the reader.

11. Carta del Lic. Zuazo, (Nov., 1521,) MS.-Acosta, lib. 5, cap. 8.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 13, cap. 45.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 3, Apend.
      Sometimes the body was buried entire, with valuable treasures, if the deceased was rich. The "Anonymous Conqueror," as he is called, saw gold to the value of 3000 castellanos drawn from one of these tombs. Relatione d' un gentil' huomo, ap. Ramusio, tom. III. p. 310.

12. This interesting rite, usually solemnized with great formality, in the presence of the assem­bled friends and relatives, is detailed with minuteness by Sahagun, (Hist. de Nueva Espana, lib. 6, cap. 37,) and by Zuazo, (Carta, MS.,) both of them eyewitnesses. For a version of part of Sahagun's account, see Appendix, Part 1. note 26.

13. "¿Es posible que este azote y este castigo no se nos da para nuestra correccion y enmienda, sino para total destruccion y asolamiento?" (Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 6, cap. 1.) "Ye esto por sola vuestra liberalidad y magnificencia lo habeis de hater, que ninguno es digno ni merecedor de recibir vuestras larguezas por su dignidad y merecimiento, sino que por vuestra benignidad." (Ibid., lib. 6, cap. 2.) "Sed sufridos y reportados, que Dios bien os vé y responderá por vosotros, y é1 os vengarà (á) sed humildes con todos, y con esto os hará Dios merced y tambien honra." (Ibid., lib. 6, cap. 17.) "Tampoco mires con curiosidad el gesto y disposition de la gente principal, mayormente de las mugeres, y sobre todo de las casadas, porque dice el refran que él que curiosamente mira á la muger adultera con la vista." (Ibid., lib. 6, cap. 22.)

14. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 2, Apend.; lib. 3, cap. 9.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 8, cap. 20; lib. 9, cap. 3, 56.--Gomara, Crón., cap. 215, ap. Barcia, tom. II.--Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 1, cap. 4.
      Clavigero says that the high-priest was necessarily a person of rank. (Stor. del Messico, tom. II. p. 37.) I find no authority for this, not even in his oracle, Torquemada, who expressly says, "There is no warrant for the assertion, however probable the fact may be." (Monarch. Ind., lib. 9, cap. 5.) It is contradicted by Sahagun, whom I have followed as the highest au­thority in these matters. Clavigero had no other knowledge of Sahagun's work than what was filtered through the writings of Torquemada, and later authors.

15. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, ubi supra.--"Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 9, cap. 25.­Gomara, Crón., ap. Barcia, ubi supra.-Acosta, lib. 5, cap. 14, 17.

16. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva Espana, lib. 1, cap. 12; lib. 6, cap. 7.
      The address of the confessor, on these occasions, contains some things too remarkable to be omitted. "O merciful Lord," he says in his prayer, "thou who knowest the secrets of all hearts, let thy forgiveness and favor descend, like the pure waters of heaven, to wash away the stains from the soul. Thou knowest that this poor man has sinned, not from his own free will, but from the influence of the sign under which he was born." After a copious exhortation to the penitent, enjoining a variety of mortifications and minute ceremonies by way of penance, and particularly urging the necessity of instantly procuring a slave for sacrifice to the Deity, the priest concludes with inculcating charity to the poor. "Clothe the naked and feed the hungry, whatever privations it may cost thee; for remember, their flesh is like thine, and they are men like thee." Such is the strange medley of truly Christian benevolence and heathenish abominations which pervades the Aztec litany,--intimating sources widely different.

17. The Egyptian gods were also served by priestesses. (See Herodotus, Euterpe, sec. 54.) Tales of scandal similar to those which the Greeks circulated respecting them, have been told of the Aztec virgins. (See Le Noir's dissertation, ap. Antiquités Mexicaines, (Paris, 1834,) tom. II. p. 7, note.) The early missionaries, credulous enough certainly, give no countenance to such reports; and father Acosta, on the contrary, exclaims, "In truth, it is very strange to see that this false opinion of religion hath so great force among these young men and maidens of Mexico, that they will serve the Divell with so great rigor and austerity, which many of us doe not in the service of the most high God; the which is a great shame and confusion." Eng. Trans., lib. 5, cap. 16.

18. Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 1, cap. 9.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva Espana, lib. 2, Apend.; lib. 3, cap. 4-8.--Zurita, Rapport, pp. 123-126.--Acosta, lib. 5, cap. 15, 16.--Torque­mada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 9, cap. 11-14, 30, 31.
      "They were taught," says the good father last cited, "to eschew vice, and cleave to virtue,--according to their notions of them; namely, to abstain from wrath, to offer violence and do wrong to no man,--in short, to perform the duties plainly pointed out by natural reli­gion."

19. Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 8, cap. 20, 21.--Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.
      It is impossible not to be struck with the great resemblance, not merely in a few empty forms, but in the whole way of life, of the Mexican and Egyptian priesthood. Compare Herodotus (Euterpe, passim) and Diodorus (lib. 1, sec. 73, 81). The English reader may con­sult, for the same purpose, Heeren, (Hist. Res., vol. V. chap. 2,) Wilkinson, (Manners and Cus­toms of the Ancient Egyptians, (London, 1837,) vol. I. pp. 257-279,) the last writer especially,--who has contributed, more than all others, towards opening to us the interior of the social life of this interesting people.

20. Rel. d' un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 307.--Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.--Acosta, lib. 5, cap. 13.--Gomara, Crón., cap. 80, ap. Barcia, tom. II.--Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 1, cap. 4.--Carta del Lic. Zuazo, MS.
      This last writer, who visited Mexico immediately after the Conquest, in 1521, assures us that some of the smaller temples, or pyramids, were filled with earth impregnated with odor­iferous gums and gold dust; the latter, sometimes in such quantities as probably to be worth a million of castellanos! (Ubi supra.) These were the temples of Mammon, indeed! But I find no confirmation of such golden reports.

21. Cod. Tel.-Rem., Pl. 1, and Cod. Vat., passim, ap. Antiq. of Mexico, vols. I., VI.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 10, cap. 10, et seq.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 2, passim.
      Among the offerings, quails may be particularly noticed, for the incredible quantities of them sacrificed and consumed at many of the festivals.

22. The traditions of their origin have somewhat of a fabulous tinge. But, whether true or false, they are equally indicative of unparalleled ferocity in the people who could be the subject of them. Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. I. p. 167, et seq.; also Humboldt, (who does not ap­pear to doubt them,) Vues des Cordillères, p. 95.

23. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 2, cap. 2, 5, 24, et alibi.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 2, cap. 16.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 7, cap. 19; lib. 10, cap. 14.--Rel. d' un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 307.--Acosta, lib. 5, cap. 9-21--Carta del Lic. Zuazo, MS.--Rela­cion por el Regimiento de Vera Cruz, (Julio 1519,) MS.
      Few readers, probably, will sympathize with the sentence of Torquemada, who concludes his tale of woe by coolly dismissing "the soul of the victim, to sleep with those of his false gods, in hell!" Lib. 10, cap. 23.

24. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 2, cap. 10, 29.--Gomara, Crón., cap. 219, ap. Barcia, tom. II.--Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 1, cap. 6-11.
      The reader will find a tolerably exact picture of the nature of these tortures in the twenty-first canto of the "Inferno." The fantastic creations of the Florentine poet were nearly realized, at the very time he was writing, by the barbarians of an unknown world. One sacri­fice, of a less revolting character, deserves to be mentioned. The Spaniards called it the "glad­iatorial sacrifice," and it may remind one of the bloody games of antiquity. A captive of distinction was sometimes furnished with arms, and brought against a number of Mexicans in succession. If he defeated them all, as did occasionally happen, he was allowed to escape. If vanquished, he was dragged to the block and sacrificed in the usual manner. The combat was fought on a huge circular stone, before the assembled capital. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 2, cap. 21.--Rel. d'un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. III, fol. 305.

25. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 2, cap. 1, 4, 21, et alibi.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 10, cap. 10.--Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. II. pp. 76,82.

26. Carta del Lic. Zuazo, MS.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 7, cap. 19.--Herrera, Hist. Gen­eral, dec. 3, lib. 2, cap. 17.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 2, cap. 21, et alibi.--Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 1, cap. 2.

27. To say nothing of Egypt, where, notwithstanding the indications on the monuments, there is strong reason for doubting it. (Comp. Herodotus, Euterpe, sec. 45.) It was of frequent occur­rence among the Greeks, as every schoolboy knows. In Rome, it was so common as to require to be interdicted by an express law, less than a hundred years before the Christian era,--a law recorded in a very honest strain of exultation by Pliny; (Hiss. Nat., lib. 30, sec. 3, 4;) notwith­standing which, traces of the existence of the practice may be discerned to a much later pe­riod. See, among others, Horace, Epod., In Canidiam.

28. See Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. II, p. 49.
      Bishop Zumarraga, in a letter written a few years after the Conquest, states that 20,000 victims were yearly slaughtered in the capital. Torquemada turns this into 20,000 infants. (Monarch. Ind., lib. 7, cap. 21.) Herrera, following Acosta, says 20,000 victims on a specified day of the year, throughout the kingdom. (Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 2, cap. 16.) Clavigero, more cautious, infers that this number may have been sacrificed annually throughout Anahuac. (Ubi supra.) Las Casas, however, in his reply to Sepulveda's assertion, that no one who had visited the New World put the number of yearly sacrifices at less than 20,000, de­clares that "this is the estimate of brigands, who wish to find an apology for their own atroc­ities, and that the real number was not above 50!" (Œuvres, ed. Llorente, (Paris, 1822,) tom. I. pp. 365, 386.) Probably the good Bishop's arithmetic, here, as in most other instances, came more from his heart than his head. With such loose and contradictory data, it is clear that any specific number is mere conjecture, undeserving the name of calculation.

29. I am within bounds. Torquemada states the number, most precisely, at 72,344. (Monarch. Ind., lib. 2, cap. 63.) Ixtlilxochitl, with equal precision, at 80,400. (Hist. Chich., MS.) ¿Quien sabe? The latter adds, that the captives massacred in the capital, in the course of that memorable year, exceeded 100,000! (Loc. cit.) One, however, has to read but a little way, to find out that the science of numbers--at least, where the party was not an eyewitness--is any thing but an exact science with these ancient chroniclers. The Codex Tel.-Rememsis, written some fifty years after the Conquest, reduces the amount to 20,000. (Antiq. of Mexico, vol. I. Pl. 19; vol. VI. p. 141, Eng. note.) Even this hardly warrants the Spanish interpreter in calling king Ahuit­zotl a man "of a mild and moderate disposition," templada y benigna condicion! Ibid., vol. V. p. 49.

30. Gomara states the number on the authority of two soldiers, whose names he gives, who took the trouble to count the grinning horrors in one of these Golgothas, where they were so arranged as to produce the most hideous effect. The existence of these conservatories is at­tested by every writer of the time.

31. The "Anonymous Conqueror" assures us, as a fact beyond dispute, that the Devil introduced himself into the bodies of the idols, and persuaded the silly priests that his only diet was human hearts! It furnishes a very satisfactory solution, to his mind, of the frequency of sac­rifices in Mexico. Rel. d' un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 307.

32. The Tezcucan priests would fain have persuaded the good king Nezahualcoyotl, on occasion of a pestilence, to appease the gods by the sacrifice of some of his own subjects, instead of his enemies; on the ground, that, not only they would be obtained more easily, but would be fresher victims, and more acceptable. (Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 41.) This writer mentions a cool arrangement entered into by the allied monarchs with the republic of Tlas­cala and her confederates. A battlefield was marked out, on which the troops of the hostile nations were to engage at stated seasons, and thus supply themselves with subjects for sacrifice. The victorious party was not to pursue his advantage by invading the other's territory, and they were to continue, in all other respects, on the most amicable footing. (Ubi supra.) The historian, who follows in the track of the Tezcucan Chronicler, may often find occasion to shelter himself, like Ariosto, with
            "Bettendolo Turpin, lo metto anch'io."

33. Rel. d'un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. Fol. 307.
      Among other instances, is that of Chimalpopoca, third king of Mexico, who doomed himself, with a number of his lords, to this death, to wipe off an indignity offered him by a brother monarch. (Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 2, cap. 28) This was the law of honor with the Aztecs.

34. Voltaire, doubtless, intends this, when he says, "Ils n'étaient point anthropophages, comme un très-petit nombre de peuplades Américaines." (Essai sur les Mœurs, chap. 147.)

35. Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 45, et alibi.

36. No doubt the ferocity of character engendered by their sanguinary rites greatly facilitated their conquests. Machiavelli attributes to a similar cause, in part, the military successes of the Romans. (Discorsi sopra T. Livio, lib. 2, cap. 2.) The same chapter contains some inge­nious reflections--much more ingenious than candid--on the opposite tendencies of Chris­tianity.


1. "An Egyptian temple," says Denon, strikingly, "is an open volume, in which the teachings of science, morality, and the arts are recorded. Every thing seems to speak one and the same lan­guage, and breathes one and the same spirit." The passage is cited by Heeren, Hist. Res., vol. Vp.178.

2. Divine Legation, ap. Works, (London, 1811,) vol. IV b. 4, sec. 4.
      The bishop of Gloucester, in his comparison of the various hieroglyphical systems of the world, shows his characteristic sagacity and boldness by announcing opinions little credited then, though since established. He affirmed the existence of an Egyptian alphabet, but was not aware of the phonetic property of hieroglyphics,--the great literary discovery of our age.

3. It appears that the hieroglyphics on the most recent monuments of Egypt contain no larger infusion of phonetic characters than those which existed eighteen centuries before Christ; showing no advance, in this respect, for twenty-two hundred years! (See Champollion, Pré­cis du Système Hiéroglyphique des Anciens Egyptiens, (Paris, 1824,) pp. 242, 281.) It may seem more strange that the enchorial alphabet, so much more commodious, should not have been substituted. But the Egyptians were familiar with their hieroglyphics from infancy, which, moreover, took the fancies of the most illiterate, probably in the same manner as our children are attracted and taught by the picture-alphabets in an ordinary spelling-book.

4. Descripcion Histórica y Cronológica de las Dos Piedras, (Mexico, 1832,) Parte 2, p. 39.

5. Ibid., pp. 32, 44.--Acosta, lib. 6, cap. 7.
      The continuation of Gama's work, recently edited by Bustamante, in Mexico, contains, among other things, some interesting remarks on the Aztec hieroglyphics. The editor has rendered a good service by this further publication of the writings of this estimable scholar, who has done more than any of his countrymen to explain the mysteries of Aztec science.

6. Gama, Descripcion, Parte 2, p. 32.
      Warburton, with his usual penetration, rejects the idea of mystery in the figurative hieroglyphics. (Divine Legation, b. 4, sec. 4.) If there was any mystery reserved for the initiated, Champollion thinks it may have been the system of the anaglyphs. (Précis, p. 360.) Why may not this be true, likewise, of the monstrous symbolical combinations which represented the Mexican deities?

7. Boturini, Idea, pp. 77-83.--Gama, Descripcion, Parte 2, pp. 34-43.
      Heeren is not aware, or does not allow, that the Mexicans used phonetic characters of any kind. (Hist. Res., vol. V. p. 45.) They, indeed, reversed the usual order of proceeding, and, instead of adapting the hieroglyphic to the name of the object, accommodated the name of the object to the hieroglyphic. This, of course, could not admit of great extension. We find phonetic characters, however, applied, in some instances, to common, as well as proper names.

8. Boturini, Idea, ubi supra.

9. Clavigero has given a catalogue of the Mexican historians of the sixteenth century,--some of whom are often cited in this history,--which bears honorable testimony to the literary ardor and intelligence of the native races. Stor. del Messico, tom. I., Pref.--Also, Gama, De­scripcion, Parte 1, passim.

10. M. de Humboldt's remark, that the Aztec annals, from the close of the eleventh century, "ex­hibit the greatest method, and astonishing minuteness," (Vues des Cordillères, p. 137,) must be received with some qualification. The reader would scarcely understand from it, that there are rarely more than one or two facts recorded in any year, and sometimes not one in a dozen or more. The necessary looseness and uncertainty of these historical records are made ap­parent by the remarks of the Spanish interpreter of the Mendoza codex, who tells us that the natives, to whom it was submitted, were very long in coming to an agreement about the proper signification of the paintings. Antiq. of Mexico, vol. VI. p. 87.

11. Gama, Descripcion, Parte 2, p. 30.--Acosta, lib. 6, cap. 7.
      "Tenian para cada género," says Ixtlilxochitl, "sus Escritores, unos que trataban de los Anales, poniendo por su órden las cosas que acaecian en cada un año, con dia, mes, y hora; otros tenian á su cargo las Genealogías, y descendencia de los Reyes, Señores, y Personas de linaje, asentando por cuenta y razon los que nacian, y borraban los que morian con la misma cuenta. Unos tenian cuidado de las pinturas, de los términos, límites, y mojoneras de las Ciu­dades, Provincias, Pueblos, y Lugares, y de las suertes, y repartimiento de las tierras cuyas eran, y á quien pertenecian; otros de los libros de Leyes, ritos, y seremonias que usaban." Hist. Chich., MS., Prólogo.

12. According to Boturini, the ancient Mexicans were acquainted with the Peruvian method of recording events, by means of the quippus,--knotted strings of various colors,--which were afterwards superseded by hieroglyphical painting. (Idea, p. 86.) He could discover, however, but a single specimen, which he met with in Tlascala, and that had nearly fallen to pieces with age. McCulloh suggests that it may have been only a wampum belt, such as is common among our North American Indians. (Researches, p. 201.) The conjecture is plausible enough. Strings of wampum, of various colors, were used by the latter people for the similar purpose of registering events. The insulated fact, recorded by Boturini, is hardly sufficient--unsup­ported, as far as I know, by any other testimony--to establish the existence of quippus among the Aztecs, who had but little in common with the Peruvians.

13. Pliny, who gives a minute account of the papyrus reed of Egypt, notices the various manu­factures obtained from it, as ropes, cloth, paper, &c. It also served as a thatch for the roofs of houses, and as food and drink for the natives. (Hist. Nat., lib. 11, cap. 20-22.) It is singular that the American agave, a plant so totally different, should also have been applied to all these var­ious uses.

14. Lorenzana, Hist. de Nueva España, p. 8.--Boturini, Idea, p. 96.--Humboldt, Vues des Cordil­lères, p. 52.--Peter Martyr Anglerius, De Orbe Novo, (Compluti, 1530,) dec. 3, cap. 8; dec. 5, cap. 10.
      Martyr has given a minute description of the Indian maps, sent home soon after the in­vasion of New Spain. His inquisitive mind was struck with the evidence they afforded of a positive civilization. Ribera, the friend of Cortés, brought back a story, that the paintings were designed as patterns for embroiderers and jewelers. But Martyr had been in Egypt, and he felt little hesitation in placing the Indian drawings in the same class with those he had seen on the obelisks and temples of that country.

15. Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., Prológo.--Idem, Sum. Relac., MS.
      Writers are not agreed whether the conflagration took place in the square of Tlatelolco or Tezcuco. Comp. Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. II. p. 188, and Bustamante's Pref. to Ixtlilxochitl, Cruantés des Conquérans, trad. de Ternaux, p. xvii.

16. It has been my lot to record both these displays of human infirmity, so humbling to the pride of intellect. See the History of Ferdinand and Isabella, Part 2, Chap. 6.

17. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 10, cap. 27.--Bustamante, Mañanas de Alameda, (Mé­xico, 1836,) tom. II., Prólogo.

18. The enlightened governor, Don Lorenzo Zavala sold the documents in the archives of the Audience of Mexico, according to Bustamante, as wrapping-paper, to apothecaries, shop­keepers, and rocket-makers! Boturini's noble collection has not fared much better.

19. The history of this famous collection is familiar to scholars. It was sent to the Emperor Charles the Fifth, not long after the Conquest, by the viceroy Mendoza, Marques de Mon­dejar. The vessel fell into the hands of a French cruiser, and the manuscript was taken to Paris. It was afterwards bought by the chaplain of the English embassy, and, coming into the possession of the antiquary Purchas, was engraved, in extenso, by him, in the third volume of his "Pilgrimage." After its publication, in 1625, the Aztec original lost its importance, and fell into oblivion so completely, that, when at length the public curiosity was excited in regard to its fate, no trace of it could be discovered. Many were the speculations of scholars, at home and abroad, respecting it, and Dr. Robertson settled the question as to its existence in En­gland, by declaring that there was no Mexican relic in that country, except a golden goblet of Montezuma. (History of America, (London, 1796,) vol. III. p. 370.) Nevertheless, the identi­cal Codex, and several other Mexican paintings, have been since discovered in the Bodleian library. The circumstance has brought some obloquy on the historian, who, while prying into the collections of Vienna and the Escurial, could be so blind to those under his own eyes. The oversight will not appear so extraordinary to a thorough-bred collector, whether of manu­scripts, or medals, or any other rarity. The Mendoza Codex is, after all, but a copy, coarsely done with a pen on European paper. Another copy, from which Archbishop Lorenzana en­graved his tribute-rolls in Mexico, existed in Boturini's collection. A third is in the Escurial, according to the Marques of Spineto. (Lectures on the Elements of Hieroglyphics, (London,) lect. 7.) This may possibly be the original painting. The entire Codex, copied from the Bodleian maps, with its Spanish and English interpretations, is included in the noble compi­lation of Lord Kingsborough. (Vols. I., V., VI.) It is distributed into three parts; embracing the civil history of the nation, the tributes paid by the cities, and the domestic economy and dis­cipline of the Mexicans; and, from the fulness of the interpretation, is of much importance in regard to these several topics.

20. It formerly belonged to the Giustiniani family; but was so little cared for, that it was suffered to fall into the mischievous hands of the domestics' children, who made sundry attempts to burn it. Fortunately it was painted on deerskin, and, though somewhat singed, was not de­stroyed. (Humboldt, Vues des Cordillères, p. 89, et seq.) It is impossible to cast the eye over this brilliant assemblage of forms and colors without feeling how hopeless must be the at­tempt to recover a key to the Aztec mythological symbols; which are here distributed with the symmetry, indeed, but in all the endless combinations, of the kaleidoscope. It is in the third volume of Lord Kingsborough's work.

21. Humboldt, who has copied some pages of it in his "Atlas Pittoresque," intimates no doubt of its Aztec origin. (Vues des Cordillères, pp. 266, 267.) M. Le Noir even reads in it an exposi­tion of Mexican Mythology, with occasional analogies to that of Egypt and of Hindostan. (Antiquités Mexicaines, tom. II., Introd.) The fantastic forms of hieroglyphic symbols may afford analogies for almost any thing.

22. The history of this Codex, engraved entire in the third volume of the "Antiquities of Mex­ico," goes no further back than 1739, when it was purchased at Vienna for the Dresden li­brary. It is made of the American agave. The figures painted on it bear little resemblance, either in feature or form, to the Mexican. They are surmounted by a sort of headgear, which looks something like a modern peruke. On the chin of one we may notice a beard, a sign often used after the Conquest to denote a European. Many of the persons are sitting crosslegged. The profiles of the faces, and the whole contour of the limbs, are sketched with a spirit and freedom, very unlike the hard, angular outlines of the Aztecs. The characters, also, are delicately traced, generally in an irregular, but circular form, and are very minute. They are arranged, like the Egyptian, both horizontally and perpendicularly, mostly in the former manner, and, from the prevalent direction of the profiles, would seem to have been read from right to left. Whether phonetic or ideographic, they are of that compact and purely conventional sort which belongs to a well-digested system for the communication of thought. One cannot but regret, that no trace should exist of the quarter whence this MS. was obtained; perhaps, some part of Central America; from the region of the mysterious races who built the monuments of Mitla and Palenque. Though, in truth, there seems scarcely more resemblance in the symbols to the Palenque bas-reliefs, than to the Aztec paintings.

23. There are three of these; the Mendoza Codex; the Telleriano-Remensis,--formerly the property of Archbishop Tellier,--in the Royal library of Paris; and the Vatican MS., No. 3738. The interpretation of the last bears evident marks of its recent origin; probably as late as the close of the sixteenth, or the beginning of the seventeenth century, when the ancient hieroglyphics were read with the eye of faith, rather than of reason. Whoever was the commentator, (comp. Vues des Cordillères, pp. 203, 204; and Antiq. of Mexico, vol. VI. pp. 155, 222,) he has given such an exposition, as shows the old Aztecs to have been as orthodox Christians, as any subjects of the Pope.

24. The total number of Egyptian hieroglyphics discovered by Champollion amounts to 864; and of these 130 only are phonetic, notwithstanding that this kind of character is used far more frequently than both the others. Précis, p. 263;--also Spineto, Lectures, lect. 3.

25. Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., Dedic.
      Boturini, who travelled through every part of the country, in the middle of the last cen­tury, could not meet with an individual who could afford him the least clue to the Aztec hi­eroglyphics. So completely had every vestige of their ancient language been swept away from the memory of the natives. (Idea, p. 116.) If we are to believe Bustamante, however, a com­plete key to the whole system is, at this moment, somewhere in Spain. It was carried home, at the time of the process against father Mier, in 1795. The name of the Mexican Champollion who discovered it is Borunda. Gama, Descripcion, tom. II p. 33, nota.

26. Teoamoxtli, "the divine book," as it was called. According to Ixtlilxochitl, it was composed by a Tezcucan doctor, named Huèmatzin, towards the close of the seventh century. (Relaciones, MS.) It gave an account of the migrations of his nation from Asia, of the various stations on their journey, of their social and religious institutions, their science, arts, &c., &c., a good deal too much for one book. Ignotum pro magnifico. It has never been seen by a European. A copy is said to have been in possession of the Tezcucan chroniclers, on the taking of their capital. (Bustamante, Crónica Mexicana, (México, 1822,) carta 3.) Lord Kingsborough, who can scent out a Hebrew root, be it buried never so deep, has discovered that the Teoamoxtli was the Pen­tateuch. Thus,--teo means "divine," amotl, "paper" or "book," and moxtli "appears to be Moses,"--"Divine Book of Moses"! Antiq. of Mexico, vol. VI. p. 204, nota.

27. Boturini, Idea, pp. 90-97.--Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. II. pp. 174-178.

28. "Los cantos con que las observaban Autores muy graves en su modo de ciencia y facultad, pues fuéron los mismos Reyes, y de la gente mas ilustre y entendida, que siempre observáron y adquiriéron la verdad, y esta con tanta, y razon, quanta pudiéron tener los mas graves y fidedignos Autores." Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., Prólogo.

29. See Chap. 6, of this Introduction.

30. See some account of these mummeries in Acosta, (lib. 5, cap. 30,)--also Clavigero (Stor. del Messico, ubi supra). Stone models of masks are sometimes found among the Indian ruins, and engravings of them are both in Lord Kingsborough's work, and in the Antiquités Mexi­caines.

31. Gama, Descripcion, Parte 2, Apend. 2.
      Gama, in comparing the language of Mexican notation with the decimal system of the Eu­ropeans, and the ingenious binary system of Leibnitz, confounds oral with written arithmetic.

32. Ibid., ubi supra.
      This learned Mexican has given a very satisfactory treatise on the arithmetic of the Aztecs, in his second part.

33. Herodotus, Euterpe, sec. 4.

34. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 4, Apend.
      According to Clavigero, the fairs were held on the days bearing the sign of the year. Stor. del Messico, tom. II. p. 62.

35. The people of Java, according to Sir Stamford Raffles, regulated their markets, also, by a week of five days. They had, besides, our week of seven. (History of Java, (London, 1830,) vol. I., pp. 531, 532.) The latter division of time, of general use throughout the East, is the oldest monument existing of astronomical science. See La Place, Exposition due Système du Monde, (Paris, 1808,) lib. 5, chap. 1.

36. Veytia, Historia Antigua de Méjico, (Méjico, 1806,) tom. I. cap. 6, 7.--Gama, Descripcion, Parte l, pp. 33, 34, et alibi.--Boturini, Idea, pp. 4, 44, et seq.--Cod. Tel.-Rem., ap. Antiq. of Mexico, vol. VI. p. 104.--Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.--Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 1, cap. 5.

37. Sahagun intimates doubts of this. "Otra fiesta hacian de cuatro en cuatro años á honra de fuego, y en esta fiesta es verosimil, y hay congeturas que hacian su visiesto contando seis dias de nemontemi"; the five unlucky complementary days were so called. (Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 4, Apend.) But this author, however good an authority for the superstitions, is an indifferent one for the science of the Mexicans.

38. The Persians had a cycle of one hundred and twenty years, of three hundred and sixty-five days each, at the end of which they intercalated thirty days. (Humboldt, Vues des Cordil­lères, p. 177.) This was the same as thirteen after the cycle of fifty-two years of the Mexicans; but was less accurate than their probable intercalation of twelve days and a half. It is obvi­ously indifferent, as far as accuracy is concerned, which multiple of four is selected to form the cycle; though, the shorter the interval of intercalation, the less, of course, will be the tem­porary departure from the true time.

39. This is the conclusion to which Gama arrives, after a very careful investigation of the sub­ject. He supposes that the "bundles," or cycles, of fifty-two years,-by which, as we shall see, the Mexicans computed time,-ended, alternately, at midnight and midday. (Descripcion, Parte 1, p. 52, et seq.) He finds some warrant for this in Acosta's account (lib. 6, cap. 2) though contradicted by Torquemada, (Monarch. Ind., lib. 5, cap. 33,) and, as it appears, by Saha­gun,-whose work, however, Gama never saw,-(Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 7, cap. 9,) both of whom place the close of the year at midnight. Gama's hypothesis derives confirmation from a circumstance I have not seen noticed. Besides the "bundle" of fifty-two years, the Mexicans had a larger cycle of one hundred and four years, called "an old age." As this was not used in their reckonings, which were carried on by their "bundles," it seems highly prob­able that it was designed to express the period which would bring round the commencement of the smaller cycles to the same hour, and in which the intercalary days, amounting to twenty-five, might be comprehended without a fraction.

40. This length, as computed by Zach, at 365d. 5h. 48m. 48sec., is only 2m. 9sec. longer than the Mexican; which corresponds with the celebrated calculation of the astronomers of the Caliph Almamon, that fell short about two minutes of the true time. See La Place, Exposition, p. 350.

41. "El corto exceso de 4hor. 38min. 40seg., que hay de mas de Ins 25 dias en el periodo de 104 años, no puede componer un dia entero, hasta que pasen mas de cinco de estos períodos ma­ximos ó 538 años." (Gama, Descripcion, Parte 1, p. 23.) Gama estimates the solar year at 365d. 5h. 48m. 50sec.

42. The ancient Etruscans arranged their calendar in cycles of 110 solar years, and reckoned the year at 365d. 5h. 40m.; at least, this seems probable, says Niebuhr. (History of Rome, Eng. trans., (Cambridge, 1828,) vol. I. pp. 113, 238.) The early Romans had not wit enough to avail themselves of this accurate measurement, which came within nine minutes of the true time. The Julian reform, which assumed 365d. 5/4h. as the length of the year, erred as much, or rather more, on the other side. And when the Europeans, who adopted this calendar, landed in Mexico, their reckoning was nearly eleven days in advance of the exact time,--or, in other words, of the reckoning of the barbarous Aztecs; a remarkable fact.
      Gama's researches lead to the conclusion, that the year of the new cycle began with the Aztecs on the ninth of January; a date considerably earlier than that usually assigned by the Mexican writers. (Descripcion, Parte 1, pp. 49-52.) By postponing the intercalation to the end of fifty-two years, the annual loss of six hours made every fourth year begin a day earlier. Thus, the cycle commencing on the ninth of January, the fifth year of it began on the eighth, the ninth year on the seventh, and so on; so that the last day of the series of fifty-two years fell on the twenty-sixth of December, when the intercalation of thirteen days rectified the chronology, and carried the commencement of the new year to the ninth of January again. Torquemada, puzzled by the irregularity of the new year's day, asserts that the Mexicans were unacquainted with the annual excess of six hours, and therefore never intercalated! (Monarch. Ind., lib. 10, cap. 36.) The interpreter of the Vatican Codex has fallen into a series of blunders on the same subject, still more ludicrous. (Antiq. of Mexico, vol. VI. Pl. 16.) So soon had Aztec science fallen into oblivion, after the Conquest!

43. These hieroglyphics were a "rabbit," a "reed," a "flint," a "house." They were taken as sym­bolical of the four elements, air, water, fire, earth, according to Veytia. (Hist. Antig., tom. 1. cap. 5.) It is not easy to see the connexion between the terms "rabbit" and "air," which lead the respective series.

44. The following table of two of the four indictions of thirteen years each will make the text more clear. The first column shows the actual year of the great cycle, or "bundle." The sec­ond, the numerical dots used in their arithmetic. The third is composed of their hieroglyph­ics for rabbit, reed, flint, house, in their regular order.
      By pursuing the combinations through the two remaining indictions, it will be found that the same number of dots will never coincide with the same hieroglyphic.
      These tables are generally thrown into the form of wheels, as are those, also, of their months and days, having a very pretty effect. Several have been published, at different times, from the collections of Siguenza and Boturini. The wheel of the great cycle of fifty-two years is encompassed by a serpent, which was also the symbol of "an age," both with the Persians and Egyptians. Father Toribio seems to misapprehend the nature of these chronological wheels; "Tenian rodelas y escudos, y en ellas pintadas las figuras y armas de sus Demonios con su blason." Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 1. cap. 4.

45. Among the Chinese, Japanese, Moghols, Mantchous, and other families of the Tartar race. Their series are composed of symbols of their five elements, and the twelve zodiacal signs, making a cycle of sixty years' duration. Their several systems are exhibited, in connection with the Mexican, in the luminous pages of Humboldt, (Vues des Cordillères, p. 149,) who draws important consequences from the comparison, to which we shall have occasion to re­turn hereafter.

46. In this calendar, the months of the tropical year were distributed into cycles of thirteen days, which, being repeated twenty times,--the number of days in a solar month,--completed the lunar, or astrological, year of 260 days; when the reckoning began again. "By the contrivance of these trecenas (terms of thirteen days) and the cycle of fifty-two years," says Gama, "they formed a luni-solar period, most exact for astronomical purposes." (Descripcion, Parte 1, p. 27.) He adds, that these trecenas were suggested by the periods in which the moon is visible before and after conjunction. (Loc. cit.) It seems hardly possible that a people, capable of constructing a calendar so accurately on the true principles of solar time, should so grossly err as to suppose, that, in this reckoning, they really "represented the daily revolutions of the moon." "The whole Eastern world," says the learned Niebuhr, "has followed the moon in its calendar; the free scientific division of a vast portion of time is peculiar to the West. Connected with the West is that primeval extinct world which we call the New." History of Rome, vol. I. p. 239.

47. They were named "companions," and "lords of the night," and were supposed to preside over the night, as the other signs did over the day. Boturini, Idea, p. 57.

48. Thus, their astrological year was divided into months of thirteen days, there were thirteen years in their indictions, which contained each three hundred and sixty-five periods of thirteen days, &c. It is a curious fact, that the number of lunar months of thirteen days, contained in a cycle of fifty-two years, with the intercalation, should correspond precisely with the number of years in the great Sothic period of the Egyptians, namely, 1491; a period, in which the seasons and festivals came round to the same place in the year again. The coincidence may be accidental. But a people employing periodical series, and astrological calculations, have generally some meaning in the numbers they select and the combinations to which they lead.

49. According to Gama, (Descripcion, Parte 1, pp. 75, 76,) because 360 can be divided by nine without a fraction; the nine "companions" not being attached to the five complementary days. But 4, a mystic number much used in their arithmetical combinations, would have answered the same purpose, equally well. In regard to this, McCulloh oberves, with much shrewdness, "It seems impossible that the Mexicans, so careful in constructing their cycle, should abruptly terminate it with 360 revolutions, whose natural period of termination is 2340." And he supposes the nine "companions" were used in connection with the cycles of 260 days, in order to throw them into the larger ones, of 2340; eight of which, with a ninth of 260 days, he ascertains to be equal to the great solar period of 52 years. (Researches, pp. 207, 208.) This is very plausible. But in fact the combinations of the two first series, forming the cycle of 260 days, were always interrupted at the end of the year, since each new year began with the same hieroglyphic of the days. The third series of the "companions" was in­termitted, as above stated, on the five unlucky days which closed the year, in order, if we may believe Boturini, that the first day of the solar year might have annexed to it the first of the nine "companions," which signified "lord of the year"; (Idea, p. 57;) a result which might have been equally well secured, without any intermission at all, by taking 5, another favorite number, instead of 9, as the divisor. As it was, however, the cycle, as far as the third series was concerned, did terminate with 360 revolutions. The subject is a perplexing one; and I can hardly hope to have presented it in such a manner as to make it perfectly clear to the reader.

50. Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 4, Introd.

51. "Dans les pays les plus différents," says Benjamin Constant, concluding some sensible reftec­tions on the sources of the sacerdotal power, "chez les peuples de mœurs les plus opposées, le sacerdoce a dû au culte des éléments et des astres un pouvoir dont aujourd'hui nous con­cevons à peine l'idée." De la Religion, (Paris, 1825,) lib. 3, ch. 5.

            52. "It is a gentle and affectionate thought,
            That, in immeasurable heights above us,
            At our first birth the wreath of love was woven
            With sparkling stars for flowers."
                        COLERIDGE, Translation of Wallenstein, Act 2, sec. 4.
      Schiller is more true to poetry than history, when he tells us, in the beautiful passage of which this is part, that the worship of the stars took the place of classic mythology. It existed long before it.

53. Gama has given us a complete almanac of the astrological year, with the appropriate signs and divisions, showing with what scientific skill it was adapted to its various uses. (Descrip­cion, Parte 1, pp. 25-31; 62-76.) Sahagun has devoted a whole book to explaining the mystic import and value of these signs, with a minuteness that may enable one to cast up a scheme of nativity for himself. (Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 4.) It is evident he fully believed the magic wonders which he told. "It was a deceitful art," he says, "pernicious and idolatrous; and was never contrived by human reason." The good father was certainly no philosopher.

54. See, among others, the Cod. Tel.-Rem., Part 4, Pl. 22, ap. Antiq. of Mexico, vol. I.

55. "It can hardly be doubted," says Lord Kingsborough, "that the Mexicans were acquainted with many scientifical instruments of strange invention, as compared with our own; whether the telescope may not have been of the number is uncertain; but the thirteenth plate of M. Du­paix's Monuments, Part Second, which represents a man holding something of a similar na­ture to his eye, affords reason to suppose that they knew how to improve the powers of vision." (Antiq. of Mexico, vol. VI. p. 15, note.) The instrument alluded to is rudely carved on a conical rock. It is raised no higher than the neck of the person who holds it, and looks--­to my thinking--as much like a musket as a telescope; though I shall not infer the use of firearms among the Aztecs from this circumstance. (See vol. IV. Pl. 15.) Captain Dupaix, however, in his commentary on the drawing, sees quite as much in it as his Lordship. Ibid., vol. V. p. 241.

56. Gama, Descripcion, Parte l, sec. 4; Parte 2, Apend.
      Besides this colossal fragment, Gama met with some others, designed, probably, for sim­ilar scientific uses, at Chapoltepec. Before he had leisure to examine them, however, they were broken up for materials to build a furnace! A fate not unlike that which has too often be­fallen the monuments of ancient art in the Old World.

57. In his second treatise on the cylindrical stone, Gama dwells more at large on its scientific construction, as a vertical sun-dial, in order to dispel the doubts of some sturdy skeptics on this point. (Descripcion, Parte 2, Apend. 1.) The civil day was distributed by the Mexicans into sixteen parts; and began, like that of most of the Asiatic nations, with sunrise. M. de Humboldt, who probably never saw Gama's second treatise, allows only eight intervals. Vues des Cordillères, p. 128.

58. "Un calendrier," exclaims the enthusiastic Carli, "qui est réglé sur la révolution annuelle du soleil, non seulement par l'addition de cinq jours tous les ans, mais encore par la correction du bissextile, doit sans doute être regardé comme une opération déduite d'une étude réfléchie, et d'une grande combinaison. Il faut donc supposer chez ces peuples une suite d'ob­servations astronomiques, une idée distincte de la sphère, de la déclinaison de l'écliptique, et l'usage d'un calcul concernant les jours et les heures des apparitions solaires." Lettres Améri­caines, tom. I. let. 23.

59. La Place, who suggests the analogy, frankly admits the difficulty. Système du Monde, lib. 5, ch. 3.

60. M. Jomard errs in placing the new fire, with which ceremony the old cycle properly con­cluded, at the winter solstice. It was not till the 26th of December, if Gama is right. The cause of M. Jomard's error is his fixing it before, instead of after, the complementary days. See his sensible letter on the Aztec calendar, in the Vues des Cordillères, p. 309.

61. At the actual moment of their culmination, according to both Sahagun (Hist. de Nueva Es­paña, lib. 4, Apend.) and Torquemada (Monarch. Ind., lib. 10, cap. 33, 36). But this could not be, as that took place at midnight, in November; so late as the last secular festival, which was early in Montezuma's reign, in 1507. (Gama, Descripcion, Parte 1, p. 50, nota.--Humboldt,Vues des Cordillères, pp. 181, 182.) The longer we postpone the beginning of the new cycle, the greater still must be the discrepancy.

            62. "On his bare breast the cedar boughs are laid;
            On his bare breast, dry sedge and odorous gums
            Laid ready to receive the sacred spark,
            And blaze, to herald the ascending Sun,
            Upon his living altar."
                        SOUTHEY'S MADOC, PART 2, CANTO 26.

63. I borrow the words of the summons by which the people were called to the ludi seculares, the secular games of ancient Rome, "quos nec spectâsset quisquam, nec spectaturus esset." (Suetonius, Vita Tib. Claudii, lib. 5.) The old Mexican chroniclers warm into something like eloquence in their descriptions of the Aztec festival. (Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 10, cap. 33.­--Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 1, cap. 5.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 7, cap. 9-12. See, also, Gama, Descripcion, Parte 1, pp. 52-54,--Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. II. pp. 84-86.) The English reader will find a more brilliant coloring of the same scene in the canto of Madoc, above cited.--“On the Close of the Century."


1. This latter grain, according to Humboldt, was found by the Europeans in the New World, from the South of Chili to Pennsylvania; (Essai Politique, tom. II. p. 408;) he might have added, to the St. Lawrence. Our Puritan fathers found it in abundance on the New England coast, wherever they landed. See Morton, New England's Memorial, (Boston, 1826,) p. 68.--­Gookin, Massachusetts Historical Collections, chap. 3.

2. Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 13, cap. 31.
      "Admirable example for our times," exclaims the good father, "when women are not only unfit for the labors of the field, but have too much levity to attend to their own household!"

3. A striking contrast also to the Egyptians, with whom some antiquaries are disposed to iden­tify the ancient Mexicans. Sophocles notices the effeminacy of the men in Egypt, who stayed at home tending the loom, while their wives were employed in severe labors out of doors.
                  "Ω παντ εκεινω τοις εν Αιγυπτω νομοις
                  Φυσον κατεικασθεντε και βιου τροφας.
                  Εκεο γαρ οι μεν αρσενεςκατα στεγας
                  Θακουσιν ιστουργουντες αι δε συννομος
                  Ταξω βιου τροφεια ποσυνουσ αει."
                              SOPHOCL., Œdip. Col., v. 337-341.

4. Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 13, cap. 32.--Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. II. pp. 153-155.
      "Jamas padeciéron hambre," says the former writer, "sino en pocas ocasiones." If these famines were rare, they were very distressing, however, and lasted very long. Comp. Ixtlil­xochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 41, 71, et alibi.

5. Oviedo considers the musa an imported plant; and Hernandez, in his copious catalogue, makes no mention of it at all. But Humboldt, who has given much attention to it, concludes, that, if some species were brought into the country, others were indigenous. (Essai Politique, tom. II. pp. 382-388.) If we may credit Clavigero, the banana was the forbidden fruit, that tempted our poor mother Eve! Stor. del Messico, tom. I. p. 49, nota.

6. Rel. d' un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 306.--Hernandez, de Historiâ Plantarum Novæ Hispaniæ, (Matriti, 1790,) lib. 6, cap. 87.

7. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 8, cap. 13, et alibi.

8. Carta del. Lic. Zuazo, MS.
                  He extols the honey of the maize, as equal to that of the bees. (Also Oviedo, Hist. Na­tural de las Indias, cap. 4, ap. Barcia, tom. I.) Hernandez, who celebrates the manifold ways in which the maize was prepared, derives it from the Haytian word, mahiz. Hist. Plantarum, lib. 6, cap. 44, 45.

9. And is still, in one spot at least, San Angel,--three leagues from the capital. Another mill was to have been established, a few years since, in Puebla. Whether this has actually been done I am ignorant. See the Report of the Committee on Agriculture to the Senate of the United States, March 12, 1838.

10. Before the Revolution, the duties on the pulque formed so important a branch of revenue, that the cities of Mexico, Puebla, and Toluca alone, paid $817,739 to government. (Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. II. p. 47.) It requires time to reconcile Europeans to the peculiar flavor of this liquor, on the merits of which they are consequently much divided. There is but one opinion among the natives. The English reader will find a good account of its manufacture in Ward's Mexico, vol. II. pp. 55-60.

11. Hernandez enumerates the several species of the maguey, which are turned to these mani­fold uses, in his learned work, De Hist. Plantarum. (Lib. 7, cap. 71 et seq.) M. de Humboldt considers them all varieties of the agave Americana, familiar in the southern parts, both of the United States and Europe. (Essai Politique, tom. II. p. 487 et seq.) This opinion has brought on him a rather sour rebuke from our countryman, the late Dr. Perrine, who pronounces them a distinct species from the American agave; and regards one of the kinds, the pita, from which the fine thread is obtained, as a totally distinct genus. (See the Report of the Committee on Agriculture.) Yet the Baron may find authority for all the properties ascribed by him to the maguey, in the most accredited writers, who have resided more or less time in Mexico. See, among others, Hernandez, ubi supra.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 9, cap. 2; lib. 11, cap. 7.--Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 3, cap. 19.--Carta del Lic. Zuazo, MS. The last, speaking of the maguey, which produces the fermented drink, says expressly, "De lo que queda de las dichas hojas se aprovechan, como de lino mui delgado, ó de Olanda, de que hacen lienzos mui primos para vestir, é bien delgados." It cannot be denied, however, that Dr. Perrine shows himself intimately acquainted with the structure and habits of the tropical plants which, with such patriotic spirit, he proposed to introduce into Florida.

12. The first regular establishment of this kind, according to Carli, was at Padua, in 1545. Lettres Améric., tom. I, chap. 21.

13. P. Martyr, De Orbe Novo, Decades, (Compluti, 1530,) dec. 5, p. 191.--Acosta, lib. 4, cap. 3.--Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. III. pp. 114-125.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 13, cap. 34. "Men wrought in brass," says Hesiod, "when iron did not exist."
                  Χαλκω δ εργαζοντο μελας δ ουκ εσκε σιδηρος.
                              HESIOD, Εργα και Ημεραι.
      The Abbé Raynal contends that the ignorance of iron must necessarily have kept the Mexicans in a low state of civilization, since without it "they could have produced no work in metal, worth looking at, no masonry nor architecture, engraving, nor sculpture." (History of the Indies, Eng. trans., vol. III. b. 6.) Iron, however, if known, was little used by the Ancient Egyptians, whose mighty monuments were hewn with bronze tools, while their weapons and domestic utensils were of the same material, as appears from the green color given to them in their paintings.

14. Gama, Descripcion, Parte 2, pp. 25-29.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., ubi supra.

15. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 9, cap. 15-17.--Boturini, Idea, p. 77.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., loc. cit.
      Herrera, who says they could also enamel, commends the skill of the Mexican goldsmiths in making birds and animals with movable wings and limbs, in a most curious fashion. (Hist. General, dec. 2. lib. 7, cap. 15.) Sir John Maundeville, as usual,
                                    "with his hair on end.
                        At his own wonders,"
notices the "gret marvayle" of similar pieces of mechanism, at the court of the grand Chane of Cathay. See his Voiage and Travaile, chap. 20.

16. Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 7, cap. 11.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 13, cap. 34.--­Gama, Descripcion, Parte 2, pp. 27, 28.

17. "Parece, que permitia Dios, que la figura de sus cuerpos se asimilase á la que tenian sus almas, por el pecado, en que siempre permanecian." Monarch. Ind., lib. 13, cap. 34.

18. Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. II. p. 195.

19. Gama, Descripcion, Parte 1, p. 1. Besides the plaza mayor, Gama points out the Square of Tlatelolco, as a great cemetery of ancient relics. It was the quarter to which the Mexicans re­treated, on the siege of the capital.

20. Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 13, cap. 34.--Gama, Descripcion, Parte 2, pp. 81-83.
      These statues are repeatedly noticed by the old writers. The last was destroyed in 1754, when it was seen by Gama, who highly commends the execution of it. Ibid.

21. This wantonness of destruction provokes the bitter animadversion of Martyr, whose en­lightened mind respected the vestiges of civilization wherever found. "The conquerors," he says, "seldom repaired the buildings that were defaced. They would rather sack twenty stately cities, than erect one good edifice." De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 10.

22. Gama, Descripcion, Parte 1, pp. 110-114.--Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. II. p. 40.
      Ten thousand men were employed in the transportation of this enormous mass, ac­cording to Tezozomoc, whose narrative, with all the accompanying prodigies, is minutely transcribed by Bustamante. The Licentiate shows an appetite for the marvellous, which might excite the envy of a monk of the Middle Ages. (See Descripcion, nota, loc. cit.) The English traveller, Latrobe, accommodates the wonders of nature and art very well to each other, by suggesting that these great masses of stone were transported by means of the mastodon, whose remains are occasionally disinterred in the Mexican Valley. Rambler in Mexico, p. 145.

23. A great collection of ancient pottery, with various other specimens of Aztec art, the gift of Messrs. Poinsett and Keating, is deposited in the Cabinet of the American Philosophical So­ciety, at Philadelphia. See the Catalogue, ap. Transactions, vol. III, p. 510.

24. Hernandez, Hist. Plantarum, lib. 6, cap. 116.

­ 25. Carta del Lic. Zuazo, MS.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 7, cap. 15.--Boturini, Idea, p. 77.
      It is doubtful how far they were acquainted with the manufacture of silk. Carli supposes that what Cortés calls silk was only the fine texture of hair, or down, mentioned in the text. (Lettres Améric., tom. I. let. 21.) But it is certain they had a species of caterpillar, unlike our silkworm, indeed, which spun a thread that was sold in the markets of ancient Mexico. See the Essai Politique, (tom. III. pp. 66-69,) where M. de Humboldt has collected some inter­esting facts in regard to the culture of silk by the Aztecs. Still, that the fabric should be a matter of uncertainty at all shows that it could not have reached any great excellence or ex­tent.

26. Carta del Lic. Zuazo, MS.--Acosta, lib. 4, cap. 37.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 9, cap. 18-21.--Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 1, cap. 15.--Rel. d' un gent., ap. Ramu­sio, tom. III. fol. 306.
      Count Carli is in raptures with a specimen of feather-painting which he saw in Stras­bourg. "Never did I behold any thing so exquisite," he says, "for brilliancy and nice gradation of color, and for beauty of design. No European artist could have made such a thing." (Let­tres Améric., let. 21, note.) There is still one place, Patzquaro, where, according to Busta­mante, they preserve some knowledge of this interesting art, though it is practised on a very limited scale, and at great cost. Sahagun, ubi supra, nota.

27. "O felicen monetam, quæ suavem utilemque præbet humano generi potum, et a tartareâ peste avaritiæ suos immunes servat possessores, quod suffodi aut diu servari nequeat!" De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 4.--(See, also, Carta de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 100 et seq.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 8, cap. 36.--Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 3, cap. 8.--­Carta del Lic. Zuazo, MS.) The substitute for money throughout the Chinese empire was equally simple in Marco Polo's time, consisting of bits of stamped paper, made from the inner bark of the mulberry-tree. See Viaggi di Messer Marco Polo, gentil' huomo Venetiano, lib. 2, cap. 18, ap. Ramusio, tom. II.

28. "Procurad de saber algun oficio honroso, como es el hacer obras de pluma y otros oficios mecánicos...... Mirad que tengais cuidado de lo tocante á la agricultura...... En ninguna parte he visto que alguno se mantenga por su nobleza." Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 6, cap. 17.

29. Col. de Mendoza, ap. Antiq. of Mexico, vol. I. Pl. 71; vol. VI. p. 86.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 2, cap. 41.

30. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 9, cap. 4, 10-14.

31. Ibid., lib. 9, cap. 2.

32. Ibid., lib. 9, cap. 2, 4.
      In the Mendoza Codex is a painting, representing the execution of a cacique and his fam­ily, with the destruction of his city, for maltreating the persons of some Aztec merchants. Antiq. of Mexico, vol. I. Pl. 67.

33. Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 2, cap. 41.
      Ixtlilxochitl gives a curious story of one of the royal family of Tezcuco, who offered, with two other merchants, otros mercaderes, to visit the court of a hostile cacique, and bring him dead or alive to the capital. They availed themselves of a drunken revel, at which they were to have been sacrificed, to effect their object. Hist. Chich. MS., cap. 62.

34. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 9, cap. 2, 5.
      The ninth book is taken up with an account of the merchants, their pilgrimages, the re­ligious rites on their departure, and the sumptuous way of living on their return. The whole presents a very remarkable picture, showing they enjoyed a consideration, among the half-­civilized nations of Anahuac, to which there is no parallel, unless it be that possessed by the merchant-princes of an Italian republic, or the princely merchants of our own.

35. Sahagun, Hist de Nueva España, lib. 6, cap. 23-37.--Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.
      These complimentary attentions were paid at stated seasons, even during pregnancy. The details are given with abundant gravity and minuteness by Sahagun, who descends to partic­ulars, which his Mexican editor, Bustamante, has excluded, as somewhat too unreserved for the public eye. If they were more so than some of the editor's own notes, they must have been very communicative indeed.

36. Zurita, Rapport, pp. 112-134.
      The Third Part of the Col. de Mendoza (Antiq. of Mexico, vol. I.) exhibits the various in­genious punishments devised for the refractory child. The flowery path of knowledge was well strewed with thorns for the Mexican tyro.

37. Zurita, Rapport, pp. 151-160.
      Sahagun has given us the admonitions of both father and mother to the Aztec maiden, on her coming to years of discretion. What can be more tender than the beginning of the mother's exhortation? "Hija mia muy amada, muy querida palomita: ya has oido y notado las palabras que tu señor padre te ha dicho; ellas son palabras preciosas, y que raramente se dicen ni se oyen, las quales han procedido de las entrañas y corazon en que estaban atesoradas; y to muy amado padre bien sabe que eres su hija, engendrada de él, eres su sangre y su carne, y sabe Dios nuestro señor que es así; aunque eres muger, é imágen de tu padre ¿ que mas te puedo decir, hija mia, de lo que ya esta dicho?" (Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 6, cap. 19.) The reader will find this interesting document, which enjoins so much of what is deemed most es­sential among civilized nations, translated entire in the Appendix, Part 2, No. 1.

38. Yet we find the remarkable declaration, in the counsels of a father to his son, that, for the mul­tiplication of the species, God ordained one man only for one woman "Nota, hijo mio, lo que te digo, mira que el mundo ya tiene este estilo de engendrar y multiplicar, y para esta ge­neracion y multiplicacion, ordenó Dios que una muger usase de un varon, y una varon de una muger." Ibid. lib. 6, cap. 21.

39. Ibid., lib. 6, cap. 21-23; lib. 8, cap. 23.--Rel. d' un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 305.--Carta del Lic. Zuazo, MS.

40. As old as the heroic age of Greece, at least. We may fancy ourselves at the table of Penelope, where water in golden ewers was poured into silver basins for the accommodation of her guests, before beginning the repast.
                  "Χερνιβα δ αμφιπολος προχοω επεχευε φερουσα
                  Καλη χρυσειη, υπερ αργυρεοιο λεβητος,
                  Νιψασθαι παρα δε ξεστην ετανυσσε τραπεζαν."
                              ΟΔΥΣΣ. Α.
The feast affords many other points of analogy to the Aztec, inferring a similar stage of civ­ilization in the two nations. One may be surprised, however, to find a greater profusion of the precious metals in the barren isle of Ithaca, than in Mexico. But the poet's fancy was a richer mine than either.

41. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 6, cap. 22.
      Amidst some excellent advice of a parent to his son, on his general deportment, we find the latter punctiliously enjoined not to take his seat at the board till he has washed his face and hands, and not to leave it till he has repeated the same thing, and cleansed his teeth. The di­rections are given with a precision worthy of an Asiatic. "Al principio de la comida labarte has las manos y la boca, y donde te juntares con otras á comer, no te sientes luego; mas antes tomarás el agua y la jícara para que se laben los otros, y echarles has agua á los manos, y des­pues de esto, cojerás lo que se ha caido por el suelo y barrerás el lugar de la comida, y tambien despues de comer lavarás te las manos y la boca, y limpiarás los dientes." Ibid., loc. cit.

42. Rel. d' un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 306.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 4, cap. 37.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 13, cap. 23.--Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. II. p. 227.
      The Aztecs used to smoke after dinner, to prepare for the siesta, in which they indulged themselves as regularly as an old Castilian.--Tobacco, in Mexican yetl, is derived from a Haytian word, tobaco. The natives of Hispaniola, being the first with whom the Spaniards had much intercourse, have supplied Europe with the names of several important plants.--To­bacco, in some form or other, was used by almost all the tribes of the American continent, from the North-west Coast to Patagonia. (See McCulloh, Researches, pp. 91-94.) Its mani­fold virtues, both social and medicinal, are profusely panegyrized by Hernandez, in his Hist. Plantarum, lib. 2, cap. 109.

43. This noble bird was introduced into Europe from Mexico. The Spaniards called it gallopavo, from its resemblance to the peacock. See Rel. d' un gent., ap. Ramusio, (tom. III. fol. 306); also Oviedo, (Rel. Sumaria, cap. 38,) the earliest naturalist who gives an account of the bird, which he saw soon after the Conquest, in the West Indies, whither it had been brought, as he says, from New Spain. The Europeans, however, soon lost sight of its origin, and the name "turkey" intimated the popular belief of its Eastern origin. Several eminent writers have maintained its Asiatic or African descent; but they could not impose on the sagacious and better in­structed Buffon. (See Histoire Naturelle, Art. Dindon.) The Spaniards saw immense numbers of turkeys in the domesticated state, on their arrival in Mexico, where they were more com­mon than any other poultry. They were found wild, not only in New Spain, but all along the continent, in the less frequented places, from the North-western territory of the United States to Panama. The wild turkey is larger, more beautiful, and every way an incomparably finer bird, than the tame. Franklin, with some point, as well as pleasantry, insists on its pref­erence to the bald eagle, as the national anthem. (See his Works, vol. X. p. 63, in Sparks's ex­cellent edition.) Interesting notices of the history and habits of the wild turkey may be found in the Ornithology both of Buonaparte and of that enthusiastic lover of nature, Audubon, vox Meleagris, Gallopavo.

44. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 4, cap. 37; lib. 8, cap. 13; lib. 9, cap. 10-14.--Torque­mada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 13, cap. 23.--Rel. d' un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 306.
      Father Sahagun has gone into many particulars of the Aztec cuisine, and the mode of preparing sundry savory messes, making, all together, no despicable contribution, to the noble science of gastronomy.

45. The froth, delicately flavored with spices and some other ingredients, was taken cold by it­self. It had the consistency almost of a solid; and the "Anonymous Conqueror" is very care­ful to inculcate the importance of "opening the mouth wide, in order to facilitate deglutition, that the foam may dissolve gradually, and descend imperceptibly, as it were, into the stomach." It was so nutritious that a single cup of it was enough to sustain a man through the longest day's march. (Fol. 306.) The old soldier discusses the beverage con amore.

46. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 4, cap. 37; lib. 8, cap. 13.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 13, cap. 23.--Rel. d' un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 306.

47. Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 7, cap. 8.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 14, cap. II.
      The Mexican nobles entertained minstrels in their houses, who composed ballads suited to the times, or the achievements of their lord, which they chanted, to the accompaniment of instruments, at the festivals and dances. Indeed, there was more or less dancing at most of the festivals, and it was performed in the court-yards of the houses, or in the open squares of the city. (Ibid., ubi supra.). The principal men had, also, buffoons and jugglers in their service, who amused them, and astonished the Spaniards by their feats of dexterity and strength; (Acosta, lib. 6, cap. 28;) also Clavigero, (Stor. del Messico, tom. II, pp. 179-186,) who has designed several representations of their exploits, truly surprising. It is natural that a people of limited refinement should find their enjoyment in material, rather than intellectual pleasures, and, consequently, should excel in them. The Asiatic nations, as the Hindoos and Chinese, for example, surpass the more polished Europeans in displays of agility and legerdemain.

48. "Y de esta manera pasaban gran rato de la noche, y se despedian, é iban á sus casas, unos alabando la fiesta, y otros murmurando de las demasías, y excesos; cosa mui ordinaria en los que á semejantes actos se juntan." Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 13, cap. 23.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 9, cap. 10-14.


1. For a criticism on this writer, see the Postscript to this Chapter.

2. See Chapter First of this Introduction, p. 20.

3. Ixtlilxochitl, Relaciones, MS., No. 9.--Idem, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 19.

4. The adventures of the former hero are told with his usual spirit by Sismondi (Républiques Italiennes, chap. 79). It is hardly necessary, for the latter, to refer the English reader to Cham­bers's "History of the Rebellion of 1745"; a work which proves how thin is the partition in human life, which divides romance from reality.

5. Ixtlilxochitl, Relaciones, MS., No. 10,

6. Idem, Relaciones, MS., No. 10.--Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 20-24.

7. Idem, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 25. The contrivance was effected by means of an extraordinary personal resemblance of the parties; a fruitful source of comic,--as every reader of the drama knows,--though rarely of tragic interest.

8. It was customary, on entering the presence of a great lord, to throw aromatics into the censer. "Hecho en el brasero incienso, y copal, que era use y costumbre donde estaban los Reyes y Señores, cada vez que los criados entraban con mucha reverencia y acamiento echaban sahumerio en el brasero; y así con este perfume se obscurecia algo la sala." Ixtlilxochitl, Rela­ciones, MS., No. 11.

9. Idem, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 26.--Relaciones, MS., No. 11.--Veytia, Hist. Antig., lib. 2, cap. 47.

10. "Nezahualcoiotzin le dixo, que si viese á quien buscaban, si lo iría á denunciar? respondió, que no; tornándole á replicar diciéndole, que harìa mui mal en perder una muger hermosa, y lo demas, que el rey Maxtla prometia, el mancebo se rió de todo, no haciendo caso ni de lo uno, ni de lo otro." Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 27.

11. Ibid., MS., cap. 26, 27.--Relaciones, MS., No. 11.--Veytia, Hist. Antig., lib. 2, cap. 47, 48.

12. Ixtlilxochitl, MSS., ubi supra.--Veytia, ubi supra.

13. Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 28-31.--Relaciones, MS., No. 11--Veytia, Hist. Antig., lib. 2, cap. 51-54.

14. See page 23 of this volume. [end of Chapter I]

15. "Que venganza no es justo la procuren los Reyes, sino castigar al que lo mereciere." MS., de Ixtlilxochitl.

16. See Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. I. p. 247.
      Nezahualcoyotl's code consisted of eighty laws, of which thirty-four only have come down to us, according to Veytia. (Hist. Antig., tom. III. p. 224, nota.) Ixtlilxochitl enumerates several of them. Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 38, and Relaciones, MS., Ordenanzas.

17. Nowhere are these principles kept more steadily in view than in the various writings of our adopted countryman, Dr. Lieber, having more or less to do with the theory of legislation. Such works could not have been produced before the nineteenth century.

18. Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 36.--Veytia, Hist. Antig., lib. 3, cap. 7.
      According to Zurita, the principal judges, at their general meetings every four month constituted also a sort of parliament or córtes, for advising the king on matters of state. See his Rapport, p. 106; also Ante, p. 40.

19. Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 36.--Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. II. p. 137.--Vey­tia, Hist. Antig., lib. 3, cap. 7.
      "Concurrian á este consejo las tres cabezas del imperio, en ciertos dias, á oir cantar las poesías históricas antiguas y modernas, para instruirse de toda su historia, y tambien cuando habia algun nuevo invento en cualquiera facultad, para examinarlo, aprobarlo, ó reprobarlo. Delante de las sillas de los reyes habia una gran mesa cargada de joyas de oro y plata, pedrería, plumas, y otras cosas estimables, y en los rincones de la sala muchas de mantas de todas cal­idades, para premios de las habilidades y estímulo de los profesores, las cuales alhajas repart­ian los reyes, en los dias que concurrian, á los que se aventajaban en el ejercicio de sus facultades." Ibid.

20. Veytia, Hist. Antig., lib. 3, cap. 7.--Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. I. p. 247.
      The latter author enumerates four historians, some of much repute, of the royal house of Tezcuco, descendants of the great Nezahualcoyotl. See his Account of Writers, tom. I. pp. 6-21.

21. "En la ciudad de Tezcuco estaban los Archivos Reales de todas las cosas referidas, por haver sido la Metrópoli de todas las ciencias, usos, y buenas costumbres, porque los Reyes que fuéron de ella se preciáron de esto." (Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., Prólogo.) It was from the poor wreck of these documents, once so carefully preserved by his ancestors, that the histo­rian gleaned the materials, as he informs us, for his own works.

22. "Aunque es tenida la lengua Mejicana por materna, y la Tezcucana por mas cortesana y pulida." (Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.) "Tezcuco," says Boturini, "donde los Señores de la Tierra embiaban á sus hijos para aprehender lo mas pulido de la Lengua Nàhautl, la Poesía, Filosofia Moral, la Theología Gentilica, la Astronomía, Medicina, y la Historia." Idea, p.142.

23. "Compuso LX. cantares," says the author last quoted, "que quizas tambien havrán perecido en las manos incendiarias de los ignorantes." (Idea, p. 79.) Boturini had translations of two of these in his museum, (Catálogo, p. 8,) and another has since come to light

24. Difficult as the task may be, it has been executed by the hand of a fair friend, who, while she has adhered to the Castilian with singular fidelity, has shown a grace and flexibility in her poetical movements, which the Castilian version, and probably the Mexican original, cannot boast. See both translations in Appendix, Part 2, No. 2.

25. Numerous specimens of this may be found in Condé's "Dominacion de los Arabes en España." None of them are superior to the plaintive strains of the royal Abderahman on ­the solitary palm-tree, which reminded him of the pleasant land of his birth. See Parte 2, cap. 9.

            26. "Io tocaré cantando
            El músico instrumento sonoroso,
            Tú de flores gozando
            Danza, y festeja á Dios que es poderoso;
            O gozemos de esta gloria,
            Porque la humana vida es transitoria."
                  MS. DE IXTLILXOCHITL.
      The sentiment, which is common enough, is expressed with uncommon beauty by the English poet, Herrick;
         "Gather the rosebud while you may,
            Old Time is still a flying;
         The fairest flower that blooms to-day,
            To-morrow may be dying."
And with still greater beauty, perhaps, by Racine;
            "Rions, chantons, dit cette troupe impie;
            De fleurs en fleurs, de plaisirs en plaisirs,
                  Promenons nos désirs.
            Sur 1'avenir insensé qui se fie.
            De nos ans passagers le nombre est incertain.
            Hâtons-nous aujourd'hui de jouir de la vie;
            Qui sait si nous serous demain?"
                  ATHALIE, ACTE 2.
      It is interesting to see under what different forms the same sentiment is developed by dif­ferent races, and in different languages. It is an Epicurean sentiment, indeed, but its univer­sality proves its truth to nature.

27. Some of the provinces and places thus conquered were held by the allied powers in common; Tlacopan, however, only receiving one fifth of the tribute. It was more usual to annex the van­quished territory to that one of the two great states, to which it lay nearest. See Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 38.--Zurita, Rapport, p. 11.

28. Ixtlilxoclitl, Hist. Chich, MS., cap. 41. The same writer in another work, calls the popula­tion of Tezcuco, at this period, double of what it was at the Conquest; founding his esti­mate on the royal registers, and on the numerous remains of edifices still visible in his day, in places now depopulated. "Parece en las historias que en este tiempo, antes que se destruyesen, havia doblado mas gente de las que halló al tiempo que vino Cortés, y los demas Españoles: porque yo hallo en los padrones reales, que el menor pueblo tenia 1100 vecinos, y de allí para arriba, y ahora no tienen 200 vecinos, y aun en algunas partes de todo punto se han acabado...... Como se hecha de ver en las ruinas, hasta los mas altos montes y sierras tenian sus sementeras, y casas principales para vivir y morar." Relaciones, MS., No. 9.

29. Torquemada has extracted the particulars of the yearly expenditure of the palace from the royal account-book, which came into the historian's possession. The following are some of the items, namely; 4,900,300 fanegas of maize; (the fanega is equal to about one hundred pounds;) 2,744,000 fanegas of cacao; 8000 turkeys; 1300 baskets of salt; besides an incredible quantity of game of every kind, vegetables, condiments, &c. (Monarch. Ind., lib. 2, cap 53.) See, also, Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 35.

30. There were more than four hundred of these lordly residences. "Así mismo hizo edificar mu­chas casas y palacios para los señores y cavalleros, que asistian en su corte, cada uno conforme á la calidad y méritos de su persona, las quales llegáron á ser mas de quatrocientas casas de señores y cavalleros de solar conocido." Ibid., cap. 38.

31. Ibid., cap. 36. "Esta plaza cercada de portales, y tenia así mismo por la parte del poniente otra sala grande, y muchos quartos á la redonda, que era la universidad, en donde asistian todos los poetas, históricos, y philósophos del reyno, divididos en sus claves, y academias, conforme era la facultad de cada uno, y así mismo estaban aquí los archivos reales."

32. This celebrated naturalist was sent by Philip II. to New Spain, and he employed several years in compiling a voluminous work on its various natural productions, with drawings illustrat­ing them. Although the government is said to have expended sixty thousand ducats in effecting this great object, the volumes were not published till long after the author's death. In 1651 a mutilated edition of the part of the work relating to medical botany appeared at Rome. The original MSS. were supposed to have been destroyed by the great fire in the Escurial, not many years after. Fortunately, another copy, in the author's own hand, was detected by the indefatigable Muñoz, in the library of the Jesuits' College at Madrid, in the latter part of the last century; and a beautiful edition, from the famous press of Ibarra, was published in that capital, under the patronage of government, in 1790. (Hist. Plantarum, Præfatio.--Nic. Antonio, Bibliotheca Hispana Nova, (Matriti, 1790,) tom. II. p. 432.)
      The work of Hernandez is a monument of industry and erudition, the more remarkable f as being the first on this difficult subject And after all the additional light from the labors later naturalists, it still holds its place as a book of the highest authority, for the perspicui(Y fidelity, and thoroughness, with which the multifarious topics in it are discussed.

33. Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 36.

34. "Some of the terraces on which it stood," says Mr. Bullock, speaking of this palace, "are still entire, and covered with cement, very hard, and equal in beauty to that found in ancient Roman buildings..... The great church, which stands close by, is almost entirely built of the materials taken from the palace, many of the sculptured stones from which may be seen in the walls, though most of the ornaments are turned inwards. Indeed, our guide informed us, that whoever built a house at Tezcuco made the ruins of the palace serve as his quarry." (Six Months in Mexico, chap. 26.) Torquemada notices the appropriation of the materials to the same purpose. Monarch. Ind., lib. 2, cap. 45.

35. Ixtlilxochitl, MS., ubi supra.

36. Thus, to punish the Chalcas for their rebellion, the whole population were compelled, women as well as men, says the chronicler so often quoted, to labor on the royal edifices, for four years together; and large granaries were provided with stores for their maintenance, in the mean time. Idem. Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 46.

37. If the people in general were not much addicted to polygamy, the sovereign, it must be con­fessed,--and it was the same, we shall see, in Mexico,--made ample amends for any self-denial on the part of his subjects.

38. Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 37.

39. The Egyptian priests managed the affair in a more courtly style, and, while they prayed that ­all sorts of kingly virtues might descend on the prince, they threw the blame of actual delinquencies on his ministers; thus, "not by the bitterness of reproof," says Diodorus, "but by the allurements of praise, enticing him to an honest way of life." Lib. 1, cap. 70.

40. Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 42.

41. "Quinientos y veynte escalones." Davilla Padilla, Historia de la Provincia de Santiago, (Madrid, 1596,) lib. 2, cap. 81.
      This writer, who lived in the sixteenth century, counted the steps himself. Those which were not cut in the rock were crumbling into ruins, as, indeed, every part of the establishment was even then far gone to decay.

42. On the summit of the mount, according to Padilla, stood an image of a coyotl,--an animal re­sembling a fox,--which, according to tradition, represented an Indian famous for his fasts. It was destroyed by that stanch iconoclast, Bishop Zumarraga, as a relic of idolatry. (Hist. de Santiago, lib. 2, cap. 81.) This figure was, no doubt, the emblem of Nezahualcoyotl himself, whose name, as elsewhere noticed, signified "hungry fox."

43. "Hecho de un peña un leon de mas de dos brazas de largo con sus alas y plumas: estaba hechado y mirando á la parte del oriente, en cuia boca asomaba un rostro, que era el mismo retrato del Rey." Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 42.

44. Bullock speaks of a "beautiful basin, twelve feet long by eight wide, having a well five feet by four, deep in the centre," &c., &c. Whether truth lies in the bottom of this well is not so clear. Latrobe describes the paths as "two singular basins, perhaps two feet and a half in diameter, not large enough for any monarch bigger than Oberon to take a duck in." (Comp. Six Months in Mexico, chap. 26; and Rambler in Mexico, let. 7.) Ward speaks much to the same purpose, (Mexico in 1827, (London, 1828,) vol. II. p. 296,) which agrees with verbal accounts I have re­ceived of the same spot.

45. "Gradas hechas de la misma peña tan bien gravadas y lizas que parecian espejos." (Ixtlilxo­chitl, MS., ubi supra.) The travellers just cited notice the beautiful polish still visible in the porphyry.

46. Padilla saw entire pieces of cedar among the ruins, ninety feet long, and four in diameter. Some of the massive portals, he observed, were made of a single stone. (Hist. de Santiago, lib. 11, cap. 81.) Peter Martyr notices an enormous wooden beam, used in the construction of the palaces of Tezcuco, which was one hundred and twenty feet long by eight feet in diameter! The accounts of this and similar huge pieces of timber were so astonishing, he adds, that he could not have received them except on the most unexceptionable testimony. De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 10.

47. It is much to be regretted that the Mexican government should not take a deeper interest in the Indian antiquities. What might not be effected by a few hands drawn from the idle garrisons of some of the neighbouring towns, and employed in excavating this ground, "the Mount Palatine" of Mexico! But, unhappily, the age of violence has been succeeded by one of apathy.

48. "They are, doubtless," says Mr. Latrobe, speaking of what he calls, "these inexplicable ruins,"--"rather of Toltec than Aztec origin, and, perhaps, with still more probability, attributable to a people of an age yet more remote." (Rambler in Mexico, let. 7.) "I am of the opinion," says Mr. Bullock, "that these were antiquities prior to the discovery of America and erected by a people whose history was lost even before the building of the city of Mexico.--Who can solve this difficulty?" (Six Months in Mexico, ubi supra.) The reader who takes Ixtlilxochitl for his guide will have no great trouble in solving it. He will find here, as he might, probably, in some other instances, that one need go little higher than the Conquest, for the origin of antiquities, which claim to be coeval with Phœnicia and Ancient Egypt.

49 Zurita, Rapport, p. 12.

50. Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 43.

51. Idem, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 43.

52. Idem, ubi supra.

53. "En traje de cazador, (que lo acostumbraba á hacer muy de ordinario,) saliendo á solas, y disfrazado para que no fuese conocido, á reconocer las faltas y necesidad que havia en la república para remediarlas." Idem, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 46.

54. "Un hombresillo miserable, pues quita á los hombres lo que Dios á manos llenas les da." Ibid., loc. cit.

55. Ibid., cap. 46.

56. "Porque las paredes oian." (Ibid.) A European proverb among the American Aborigines looks too strange, not to make one suspect the hand of the chronicler.

57. "Le dijo, que con aquello poco le bastaba, y viviria bien aventurado; y é1, con toda la máquina que le parecia que tenia arto, no tenia nada; y así lo despidió." Ibid.

58. Ibid.

59. "Verdaderamente los Dioses que io adoro, que son ídolos de piedra que no hablan, ni sienten, no pudiéron hacer ni formar la hermosura del cielo, el sol, luna, y estrellas que lo hermosean, y dan luz á la tierra, rios, aguas, y fuentes, árboles, y plantas que la hermosean, las gentes que la poseen, y todo lo criado; algun Dios muy poderoso, oculto, y no conocido es el Criador de todo el universo. El solo es él que puede consolarme en mi afliccion, y socorrerme en tan grande angustia como mi corazon siente." MS. de Ixtlilxochitl.

60. MS. de Ixtlilxochitl.
      The manuscript here quoted is one of the many left by the author on the antiquities of his country, and forms part of a voluminous compilation made in Mexico by father Vega, in 1792, by order of the Spanish government. See Appendix, Part 2, No. 2.

61. Al Dios no conocido, causa de las causas." MS. de Ixtlilxochitl.

62. Their earliest temples were dedicated to the Sun. The Moon they worshipped as his wife, and the Stars as his sisters. (Veytia, Hist. Antig., tom. 1, cap. 25.) The ruins still existing at Teotihuacan, about seven leagues from Mexico, are supposed to have been temples, raised by this ancient people, in honor of the two great deities. Boturini, Idea, p. 42.

63. MS. de Ixtlilxochitl.
      "This was evidently a gong," says Mr. Ranking, who treads with enviable confidence over the "suppositos cineres," in the path of the antiquary. See his Historical Researches on the Conquest of Peru, Mexico, &c., by the Mongols, (London, 1827,) p. 310.

64. "Toda la redondez de la tierra es un sepulcro: no hay cosa que sustente que con título de piedad no la esconda y entierre. Corren los rios, los arroyos, las fuentes, y las aguas, y ningu­nas retroceden para sus alegres nacimientos: aceleranse con ansia para los vastos dominios de Tlulóca [Neptuno], y cuanto mas se arriman á sus dilatadas márgenes, tanto mas van labrando las melancólicas urnas para sepultarse. Lo que fué ayer no es hoy, ni lo de hoy se afi­anza que será mañana."

65. Aspiremos al cielo, que allí todo es terno y nada se corrompe."

66. "El horror del sepulcro es lisongera cuna para é1, y las funestas sombras, brillantes luces para los astros."
      The original text and a Spanish translation of this poem first appeared, I believe, in a work of Granados y Galvez. (Tardes Americanas, (México, 1778,) p. 90 et seq.) The origi­nal is in the Otomie tongue, and both, together with a French version, have been inserted by M. Ternaux-Compans in the Appendix to his translation of Ixtlilxochitl's Hist. des Chichimêques (tom. I. pp. 359-367.) Bustamante, who has, also, published the Spanish ver­sion in his Galería de Antiguos Príncipes Mejicanos, (Puebla, 1821, (pp. 16, 17),) calls it the "Ode of the Flower," which was recited at a banquet of the great Tezcucan nobles. If this last, however, be the same mentioned by Torquemada, (Monarch. Ind., lib. 2, cap. 45,) it must have been written in the Tezcucan tongue; and, indeed, it is not probable that the Otomie, an Indian dialect, so distinct from the languages of Anahuac, however well under­stood by the royal poet, could have been comprehended by a miscellaneous audience of his countrymen.

67. An approximation to a date is the most one can hope to arrive at with Ixtlilxochitl, who has entangled his chronology in a manner beyond my skill to unravel. Thus, after telling us that Nezahualcoyotl was fifteen years old when his father was slain in 1418, he says he died at the age of seventy-one, in 1462. Instar omnium. Comp. Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 18, 19, 49.

68. MS. de Ixtlilxochitl,--also, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 49.

69. "No consentiendo que haya sacrificios de gente humana, que Dios se enoja de ello, castigando con rigor á los que lo hicieren; que el dolor que llevo es no tener luz, ni conocimiento, ni ser merecedor de conocer tan gran Dios, el qual tengo por cierto que ya que los presentes no lo conozcan, ha de venir tiempo en que sea conocido y adorado en esta tierra." MS. de Ixtlilxochitl.

70. Idem, ubi supra; also Hist. Chich., cap. 40.

71. Hist. Chich., cap. 49.

72. "Solia amonestar á sus hijos en secreto que no adorasen á aquellas figuras de ídolos, y que aquello que hiciesen en público fuese solo por cumplimiento." Ibid.

73. Idem, ubi supra.

74. The name Nezahualpilli signifies "the prince for whom one has fasted,"--in allusion, no doubt, to the long fast of his father previous to his birth. (See Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 45.) I have explained the meaning of the equally euphonious name of his parent, Nezahualcoyotl. (Ante, ch. 4.) If it be true, that
                  "Cæsar or Epaminondas
            Could ne'er without names have been known to us."
it is no less certain that such names as those of the two Tezcucan princes, so difficult to be pronounced or remembered by a European, are most unfavorable to immortality.

75. "De las concubinas la que mas privó con el rey, fué la que llamaban la Señora de Tula, no por linage, sino porque era hija de un mercader, y era tan sabia que competia con el rey y con los mas sabios de su reyno, y era en la poesía muy aventajada, que con estas gracias y dones nat­urales tenia al rey muy sugeto á su voluntad de tal manera que lo que queria alcanzaba de é1, y así vivia sola por sí con grande aparato y magestad en unos palacios que el rey le mandó edificar." Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 57.

76. Ibid., cap. 67.
      The Tezcucan historian records several appalling examples of his severity;--one in par­ticular, in relation to his guilty wife. The story, reminding one of the tales of an Oriental harem, has been translated for the Appendix, Part 2, No. 3. See also Torquemada, (Monarch. Ind., lib. 2, cap. 66,) and Zurita (Rapport, pp. 108, 109). He was the terror, in particular, of all unjust magistrates. They had little favor to expect from the man who could stifle the voice of nature in his own bosom, in obedience to the laws. As Suetonius said of a prince who had not his virtue, "Vehemens et in coercendis quidem delictis immodicus." Vita Galbæ, sec. 9.

77. Torquemada saw the remains of this, or what passed for such, in his day. Monarch. Ind., lib. 2, cap. 64.

78. Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 73, 74.
      This sudden transfer of empire from the Tezcucans, at the close of the reigns of two of their ablest monarchs, is so improbable, that one cannot but doubt if they ever possessed it,­--at least, to the extent claimed by the patriotic historian. See Ante, Chap. 1, note 25, and the corresponding text.

79. Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 72.
      The reader will find a particular account of these prodigies, better authenticated than most miracles, in a future page of this History.

80. Ibid., cap. 75.--Or, rather, at the age of fifty, if the historian is right, in placing his birth, as he does, in a preceding chapter, in 1465. (See cap. 46) It is not easy to decide what is true, when the writer does not take the trouble to be true to himself.

81. His obsequies were celebrated with sanguinary pomp. Two hundred male and one hundred female slaves were sacrificed at his tomb. His body was consumed, amidst a heap of jewels, precious stuffs, and incense, on a funeral pile; and the ashes, deposited in a golden urn, were placed in the great temple of Huitzilopotchli, for whose worship the king, notwithstanding the lessons of his father, had some partiality. Ibid.


1. The following passage--one among many--from that faithful mirror of the times, Peter Martyr's correspondence, does ample justice to the intemperance, avarice, and intolerable arrogance of the Flemings. The testimony is worth the more, as coming from one who, though resident in Spain, was not a Spaniard. "Crumenas auro fulcire inhiant; huic uni studio invigilant. Nec detrectat ju venis Rex. Farcit quacunque posse datur; non satiat tamen. Quæ qual­isve sit gens hæc, depingere adhuc nescio. Insufflat vulgus hic in omne genus hominum non arctoum. Minores faciunt Hispanos, quam si nati essent inter eorum cloacas. Rugiunt jam Hispani, labra mordent, submurmurant taciti, fatorum vices tales esse conqueruntur, quod ipsi domitores regnorum ita floccifiant ab his, quorum Deus unicus (sub rege temperato) Bac­chus est cum Citherea." Opus Epistolarum, (Amstelodami, 1610,) ep. 608.

2. Yet the nobles were not all backward in manifesting their disgust. When Charles would have conferred the famous Burgundian order of the Golden Fleece on the Count of Benavente, that lord refused it, proudly telling him, "I am a Castilian. I desire no honors but those of my own country, in my opinion, quite as good as--indeed, better than those of any other." Sandoval, Historia de la Vida y Hechos del Emperador Cárlos V., (Ambéres, 1681,) tom. I. p. 103.

3. I will take the liberty to refer the reader, who is desirous of being more minutely acquainted with the Spanish colonial administration and the state of discovery previous to Charles V., to the "History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella," (Part 2, ch. 9, 26,) where the subjects treated in extenso.

4. See the curious document attesting this, and drawn up by order of Columbus, ap. Nava­rrete, Coleccion de los Viages y de Descubrimientos, (Madrid, 1825,) tom. II. Col. Dip., No. 76.

5. The island was originally called by Columbus, Juana, in honor of prince John, heir to the Castilian crown. After his death, it received the name of Fernandina, at the king's desire. The Indian name has survived both. Herrera, Hist. General, Descrip., cap. 6.

6. "Erat Didacus, ut hoc in loco de eo semel tantum dicamus, veteranus miles, rei militaris gnarus, quippe qui septem et decem annos in Hispania militiam exercitus fuerat, homo probus, opibus, genere et fama clarus, honoris cupidus, pecuniæ aliquanto cupidior." De Rebus Gestis Ferdinandi Cortesii, MS.

7. The story is told by Las Casas in his appalling record of the cruelties of his countrymen in the New World, which charity--and common sense--may excuse us for believing the good father has greatly overcharged. Brevíssima Relacion de la Destruycion de las Indias, (Vene­tia, 1643,) p. 28.

8. Among the most ancient of these establishments we find in Havana, Puerto del Principe, Trinidad, St. Salvador, and Matanzas, or the Slaughter, so called from a massacre of the Spaniards there by the Indians. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 8.

9. Gomara, Historia de las Indias, cap. 52, ap. Barcia, tom. II.
      Bernal Diaz says the word came from the vegetable yuca, and tale the name for a hillock in which it is planted. (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 6.) M. Waldeck finds a much more plausi­ble derivation in the Indian word Ouyouckatan, "listen to what they say." Voyage Pittoresque, p. 25.

10. Two navigators, Solís and Pinzon, had described the coast as far back as 1506, according to Herrera, though they had not taken possession of it. (Hist. General, dec. 1, lib. 6, cap. 17.) It is, indeed, remarkable it should so long have eluded discovery, considering that it is but two degrees distant from Cuba.

11. Oviedo, General y Natural Historia de las Indias, MS., lib. 33, cap. 1.--De Rebus Gestis, MS.--Carta de Cabido de Vera Cruz, (July 10, 1519,) MS.
      Bernal Diaz denies that the original object of the expedition, in which he took part, was to procure slaves, though Velasquez had proposed it. (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 2.) But he is contradicted in this by the other contemporary records above cited.

12. Itinerario de la isola de Iucha than, novamente ritrovata per il signor Joan de Grijalva, per il suo capellano, MS.
      The chaplain's word may be taken for the date, which is usually put at the eighth of April.

13. De Rebus Gestis, MS.--Itinerario del Capellano, MS.

14. According to the Spanish authorities, the cacique was sent with these presents from the Mex­ican sovereign, who had received previous tidings of the approach of the Spaniards. I have followed Sahagun, who obtained his intelligence directly from the natives. Historia de la Conquista, MS., cap. 2.

15. Gomara has given the per and contra of this negotiation, in which gold and jewels, of the value of fifteen or twenty thousand pesos de oro, were exchanged for glass beads, pins, scissors, and other trinkets common in an assorted cargo for savages. Crónica, cap. 6.

16. Itinerario del Capellano, MS.--Carta de Vera Cruz, MS.

17. "Hombre de terrible condicion," says Herrera, citing the good Bishop of Chiapa, "para los que le servian, i aiudaban, i que facilmente se indignaba contra aquellos." Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 3, cap. 10.

18. At least, such is the testimony of Las Casas, who knew both the parties well, and had often conversed with Grijalva upon his voyage. Historia General de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 113.

19. Itinerario del Capellano, MS.--Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 113.


1. Gomara, Crónica, cap. 1.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 203. I find no more precise notice of the date of his birth; except, indeed, by Pizarro y Orellana, who tells us "that Cortés came into the world the same day that that infernal beast, the false heretic Luther, entered it,--by way of compensation, no doubt, since the labors of the one to pull down the true faith were counterbalanced by those of the other to maintain and extend it"! (Varones Ilustres del Nuevo Mundo, (Madrid, 1639,) p. 66.) But this statement of the good cavalier, which places the birth of our hero in 1483, looks rather more like a zeal for "the true faith," than for historic.

2. Argensola, in particular, has bestowed great pains on the prosapia of the house of Cortés; which he traces up, nothing doubting, to Narnes Cortés, king of Lombardy and Tuscany. Anales de Aragon, (Zaragoza, 1630,) pp. 621-625.--Also, Caro de Torres, Historia de las Órdenes Militares, (Madrid, 1629,) fol. 103.

3. De Rebus Gestis, MS.
      Las Casas, who knew the father, bears stronger testimony to his poverty than to his noble birth. "Un escudero," he says of him, "que yo concí harto pobre y humilde, aunque Chris­tiano, viejo y dizen que hidalgo." Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 27.

4. Argensola, Anales, p. 220.
      Las Casas and Bernal Diaz both state that he was Bachelor of Laws at Salamanca. (Hist. de las Indias, MS., ubi supra.--Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 203.) The degree was given proba­bly in later life, when the University might feel a pride in claiming him among her sons.

5. De Rebus Gestis, MS.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 1.

6. De Rebus Gestis, MS.--Gomara, Ibid.
      Argensola states the cause of his detention concisely enough; "Suspendió el viaje, por en­amora, do y por quartanario." Anales, p. 621.

7. Some thought it was the Holy Ghost in the form of this dove; "Sanctum esse Spiritum, qui, in illius alitis specie, ut mœstos et afflictos solaretur, venire erat dignatus"; (De Rebus Gestis, MS.;) a conjecture which seems very reasonable to Pizarro y Orellana, since the expedition was to "redound so much to the spread of the Catholic faith, and the Castilian monarchy!" Varones Ilustres, p. 70.

8. Gomara, Crónica, cap. 2.

9. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 203.

10. De Rebus Gestis, MS.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 3, 4.--Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 27.

11. Hist. de las Indias, MS., loc. cit.
      "Res omnes arduas difficilesque per Cortesium, quem in dies magis magisque amplecte­batur, Velasquius agit. Ex eo ducis favore et gratiâ magnâ Cortesio invidia est orta." De Rebus, Gestis, MS.

12. Solís has found a patent of nobility for this lady also,--"doncella noble y recatada." (His­toria de la Conquista de Méjico, (Paris, 1838,) lib. 1, cap. 9.) Las Casas treats her with less ceremony. "Una hermana de un Juan Xuarez, gente pobre." Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 17.

13. Gomara, Crónica, cap. 4.--Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., ubi supra.--De Rebus Gestis, MS.--Memorial de Benito Martinez, capellan de D. Velasquez, contra H. Cortés, MS.

14. Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., ubi supra.

15. Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., loc. cit.--Memorial de Martinez, MS.

16. Gomara, Crónica, cap. 4.
      Herrera tells a silly story of his being unable to swim, and throwing himself on a plank, which, after being carried out to sea, was washed ashore with him at flood tide. Hist. Gen­eral, dec. 1, lib. 9, cap. 8.

17. Gomara, Crónica, cap. 4.
      "Cœnat cubatque Cortesius cum Velasquio eodem in lecto. Qui postero die fugæ Cortesii nuntius venerat, Velasquium et Cortesium juxta accubantes intuitus, miratur." De Reb Gestis, MS.

18. Las Casas, who remembered Cortés at this time "so poor and lowly that he would have gladly received any favor from the least of Velasquez' attendants," treats the story of the bravado, with contempt. "Por lo qual si él [Velasquez] sintiera de Cortés una puncta de alfiler de cerviguillo ó presuncion, ó lo ahorcara ó á lo menos lo echara de la tierra y lo sumiera en ella sin que alzara cabeza en su vida." Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 27.

19. "Pecuariam primus quoque habuit, in insulamque induxit, omni pecorum genere ex Hispania petito." De Rebus Gestis, MS.

20. "Los que por sacarle el oro muriéron Dios abrá tenido mejor cuenta que yo." Hist. de las In­dias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 27. The text is a free translation.

21. "Estando conmigo, me lo dixo que estava tan contento con ella como si fuera hija de una Duquessa." Hist. de las Indias, MS., ubi supra.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 4.

22. The treasurer used to boast he had passed some two and twenty years in the wars of Italy. He was a shrewd personage, and Las Casas, thinking that country a slippery school for morals, warned the governor, he says, more than once "to beware of the twenty-two years in Italy." Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 113.

23. "Si él no fuera por Capitan, que no fuera la tercera parte de la gente que con él fué." Declaracion de Puertocarrero, MS. (Coruña, 30 de Abril, 1520.)

24. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 19.--De Rebus Gestis, MS.--Gomara, Crónica, cap 7.--Las Casas, Hist. General de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 113.

25. Declaracion de Puertocarrero, MS.--Carta de Vera Cruz, MS.--Probanza en la Villa Segura, MS. (4 de Oct., 1520.)

26. The letter from the Municipality of Vera Cruz, after stating that Velasquez bore only one third of the original expense, adds, "Y sepan Vras. Magestades que la mayor parte de la dicha tercia parte que el dicho Diego Velasquez gastó en hacer la dicha armada fué, emplear sus dineros en vinos y en ropas, y en otras cosas de poco valor para nos lo vender acá en mucha mas cantidad de lo que á él le costó, por manera que podemos decir que entre nosotros los Españoles vasallos de Vras. Reales Altezas ha hecho Diego Velasquez su rescate y granosea de sus dineros cobrandolos muy bien." (Carta de Vera Cruz, MS.) Puertocarrero and Mon­tejo, also, in their depositions taken in Spain, both speak of Cortés' having furnished two thirds of the cost of the flotilla. (Declaracion de Puertocarrero, MS.--Declaracion de Montejo, MS. (29 de Abril, 1520.).) The letter from Vera Cruz, however, was prepared under the eye of Cortés; and the two last were his confidential officers.

27. The instrument is often referred to by writers who never saw it, as the Agreement between Cortés and Velasquez. It is, in fact, only the instructions given by this latter to his officer, who was no party to it.

28. Declaracion de Puertocarrero, MS.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 7.
      Velasquez soon after obtained from the crown authority to colonize the new countries, with the title of adelantado over them. The instrument was dated at Barcelona, Nov. 13th, 1518. (Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 3, cap. 8.) Empty privileges! Las Casas gives a caus­tic etymology of the title of adelantado, so often granted to the Spanish discoverers. "Adelan­tados porque se adelantaran en hazer males y daños tan gravisimos á gentes pacificas." Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 117.


1. "Deterrebat," says the anonymous biographer, "eum Cortesii natura imperii avida, fiducia sui ingens, et nimius sumptus in classe parandâ. Timere itaque Velasquius cœpit, si Cortesius cum eâ classe iret, nihil ad se vel honoris vel lucri rediturum." De Rebus Cestis, MS.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 19.--Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., cap. 114.

2. "Cortés no avia menester mas para entendello de mirar el gesto á Diego Velasquez segun su astuta viveza y mundana sabiduría." Hist. de las Indias, MS., cap. 114.

3. Las Casas had the story from Cortés' own mouth. Hist. de las Indias, MS., cap. 114.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 7.--De Rebus Cestis, MS.

4. Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., cap. 114.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 3, cap. 12.
      Solís, who follows Bernal Diaz in saying that Cortés parted openly and amicably from Ve­lasquez, seems to consider it a great slander on the character of the former to suppose that he wanted to break with the governor so soon, when he had received so little provocation. (Conquista, lib. 1, cap. 10.) But it is not necessary to suppose that Cortés intended a rupture with his employer by this clandestine movement; but only to secure himself in the command. At all events, the text conforms in every particular to the statement of Las Casas, who, as he knew both the parties well, and resided on the island at the time, had ample means of infor­mation.

5. Hist. de las Indias, MS., cap. 114.

6. Las Casas had this, also, from the lips of Cortés in later life. "Todo esto me dixo el mismo Cortés, con otras cosas çerca dello despues de Marques; ..... reindo y mofando é con estas formales palabras, Á la mi fée andube por alli como un gentil cosario." Hist. de las Indias, MS., cap. 115.

7. De Rebus Gestis, MS.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 8.--Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., cap. 114, 115.

8. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 24.--De Rebus Gestis, MS.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 8.--Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., cap. 115.
      The legend on the standard was, doubtless, suggested by that on the labarum,--the sacred banner of Constantine.

9. The most minute notices of the person and habits of Cortés are to be gathered from the nar­rative of the old cavalier Bernal Diaz, who served so long under him, and from Gomara, the general's chaplain. See in particular the last chapter of Gomara's Crónica, and cap. 203 of the Hist. de la Conquista.

10. Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., cap. 115.

11. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 24.

12. Ibid., loc. cit.

13. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 26.
      There is some discrepancy among authorities, in regard to the numbers of the army. The Letter from Vera Cruz, which should have been exact, speaks in round terms of only four hundred soldiers. (Carta de Vera Cruz, MS.) Velasquez himself, in a communication to the Chief Judge of Hispaniola, states the number at six hundred. (Carta de Diego Velasquez al Lic. Figueroa, MS.) I have adopted the estimates of Bernal Diaz, who, in his long service, seems to have become intimately acquainted with every one of his comrades, their persons, and private history.

14. Incredibly dear indeed, since, from the statements contained in the depositions at Villa Se­gura, it appears that the cost of the horses for the expedition was from four to five hundred pesos de oro each! "Si saben que de caballos que el dicho Señor Capitan General Hernando Cortés ha comprado para servir en la dicha Conquista, que som diez é ocho, que le han costado á quatrocientos cinquenta é á quinientos pesos ha pagado, é que deve mas de ocho mil pesos de oro dellos." (Probanza en Villa Segura, MS.) The estimation of these horses is sufficiently shown by the minute information Bernal Diaz has thought proper to give of every one of them; minute enough for the pages of a sporting calendar. See Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 23.

15. "Io vos propongo grandes premios, mas embueltos en grandes trabajos; pero la virtud no quiere ociosidad." (Gomara, Crónica, cap. 9.) It is the thought so finely expressed by Thomson;
                  "For sluggard's brow the laurel never grows;
                   Renown is not the child of indolent repose."

16. The text is a very condensed abridgment of the original speech of Cortés,--or of his chaplain, as the case may be. See it, in Gomara, Crónica, cap. 9.

17. Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., cap. 115.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 10.--De Rebus Gestis, MS.
      "Tantus fuit armorum apparatus," exclaims the author of the last work, "quo alterum ter­rarum orbem bellis Cortesius concutit; ex tam parvis opibus tantum imperium Carolo facit; aperitque omnium primus Hispanæ genti Hispaniam novam!" The author of this work is un­known. It seems to have been part of a great compilation "De Orbe Novo," written, probably, on the plan of a series of biographical sketches, as the introduction speaks of a life of Colum­bus preceding this of Cortés. It was composed, as it states, while many of the old Conquerors were still surviving, and is addressed to the son of Cortés. The historian, therefore, had ample means of verifying the truth of his own statements, although they too often betray, in his par­tiality for his hero, the influence of the patronage under which the work was produced. It runs into a prolixity of detail which, however tedious, has its uses in a contemporary docu­ment. Unluckily, only the first book was finished, or, at least, has survived; terminating with the events of this Chapter. It is written in Latin, in a pure and perspicuous style; and is con­jectured with some plausibility to be the work of Calvet de Estrella, Chronicler of the Indies. The original exists in the Archives of Simancas, where it was discovered and transcribed by Muñoz, from whose copy that in my library was taken.


1. See Appendix, Part 1, Note 27.

2. Carta de Vera Cruz, MS.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 25, et seq.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 10, 15.--Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 115.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 4, cap. 6.--Martyr, de Insulis nuper inventis, (Coloniæ, 1547,) p. 344.
      While these pages were passing through the press, but not till two years after they were written, Mr. Stephens' important and interesting volumes appeared, containing the account of his second expedition to Yucatan. In the latter part of the work, he describes his visit to Cozumel, now an uninhabited island covered with impenetrable forests. Near the shore he saw the remains of ancient Indian structures, which he conceives may possibly have been the same that met the eyes of Grijalva and Cortés, and which suggest to him some important inferences. He is led into further reflections on the existence of the cross as a symbol of worship among the islanders. (Incidents of Travel in Yucatan, (New York, 1843,) vol. II. chap. 20.) As the discussion of these matters would lead me too far from the track of our narrative, I shall take occasion to return to them hereafter, when I treat of the architectural remains of the country.

3. See the biographical sketch of the good bishop Las Casas, the "Protector of the Indians," in the Postscript at the close of the present Book.

4. "Fuese que el Demonio se les aparecia como es, y dejaba en su imaginacion aquellas es­pecies; con que seria primorosa imitacion del artífice la fealdad del simulacro." Solís, Con­quista, p. 39.

5. Carta de Vera Cruz, MS.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 13.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 4, cap. 7.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 78.
      Las Casas, whose enlightened views in religion would have done honor to the present age, insists on the futility of these forced conversions, by which it is proposed in a few days to wean men from the idolatry which they had been taught to reverence from the cradle. "The only way of doing this," he says, "is, by long, assiduous, and faithful preaching, until the heathen shall gather some ideas of the true nature of the Deity and of the doctrines they are to embrace. Above all, the lives of the Christians should be such as to exemplify the truth of these doctrines, that, seeing this, the poor Indian may glorify the Father, and acknowledge him, who has such worshippers, for the true and only God."

6. "Muy gran misterio y milagro de Dios." Carta de Vera Cruz, MS.

7. They are enumerated by Herrera with a minuteness which may claim, at least, the merit of giving a much higher notion of Aguilar's virtue than the barren generalities of the text. (Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 4, cap. 6-8.) The story is prettily told by Washington Irving. Voyages and Discoveries of the Companions of Columbus (London, 1883,) p. 263, et seq.

8. Camargo, Historia de Tlascala, MS.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 1.--Martyr, De Insulis, p. 347.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 29.--Carta de Vera Cruz, MS.--Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 115, 116.

9. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 31.--Carta de Vera Cruz, MS.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 18.--Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 118.--Martyr, De Insulis, p. 348.
      There are some discrepancies between the statements of Bernal Diaz, and the Letter from Vera Cruz; both by parties who were present.

10. Carta de Vera Cruz, MS.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 31.

11. "See," exclaims the Bishop of Chiapa, in his caustic vein, "the reasonableness of this 'requisition,' or, to speak more correctly, the folly and insensibility of the Royal Council, who could find, in the refusal of the Indians to receive it, a good pretext for war." (Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 118.) In another place, he pronounces an animated invective against the iniquity those who covered up hostilities under this empty form of words, the import of which utterly incomprehensible to the barbarians. (Ibid., lib. 3, cap. 57.) The famous formula, used by the Spanish conquerors on this occasion, was drawn up by Dr. Palacios Reubios, a man of letters, and a member of the King's council. "But I laugh at him and his letters," exclaims Oviedo, "if he thought a word of it could be comprehended by the untutored Indians!" (Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 29, cap. 7.) The regular Manifesto, requirimiento, may be found translated in the concluding pages of Irving's "Voyages of the Companions of Columbus."

12. "Halláronlas llenas de maiz é gallinas y otros vastimentos, ore ninguno, de lo que ellos no resciviéron mucho plazer." Hist. de las Ind., MS., ubi supra.

13. Peter Martyr gives a glowing picture of this Indian capital. "Ad fluminis ripam protentum di­cunt esse oppidum, quantum non ausim dicere: mille quingentorum passuum, ait Alaminus nauclerus, et domorum quinque ac viginti millium: stringunt alij, ingens tamen fatentur et celebre. Hortis intersecantur domus, quæ sunt egregiè lapidibus et calce fabrefactœ, maximâ indus­triâ et architectorum arte." (De Insulis, p. 349.) With his usual inquisitive spirit, he gleaned all the particulars from the old pilot Alaminos, and from two of the officers of Cortés who re­visited Spain in the course of that year. Tabasco was in the neighborhood of those ruined cities of Yucatan, which have lately been the theme of so much speculation. The encomiums of Martyr are not so remarkable as the apathy of other contemporary chroniclers.

14. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 31, 32.-Gomara, Crónica, cap. 18.--Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 118, 119.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 78, 79.

15. According to Solís, who quotes the address of Cortés on the occasion, he summoned a coun­cil of his captains to advise him as to the course he should pursue (Conquista, cap. 19.) It is possible; but I find no warrant for it anywhere.

16. Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 119.--Gomara, Crónica, cap 19, 20.--Her­rera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 4, cap. 11--Martyr, De Insulis, p. 350.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 79.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 33, 36.--Carta de Vera Cruz, MS.

17. Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 79. "Cortés supposed it was his own tutelar saint, St. Peter," says Pizarro y Orellana; "but the common and indubitable opinion is, that it was our glorious apostle St. James, the bulwark and safeguard of our nation." (Varones Ilustres, p. 73.) "Sinner that I am," exclaims honest Bernal Diaz, in a more skeptical vein, "it was not permitted to me to see either the one or the other of the Apostles on this occasion" Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 34.

18. It was the order--as the reader may remember--given by Cæsar to his followers in his bat­tle with Pompey;
                  "Adversosque jubet ferror confundere vultus."
                               LUCAN, Pharsalia, lib. 7, v. 575.

19. "Equites," says Paolo Giovio, "unum integrum Centaurorum specie animal esse existimar­ent." Elogia Virorum Illustrium, (Basil, 1696,) lib. 6, p. 229.

20. Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. III. p. 11.

21. "Crean Vras. Reales Altezas por cierto, que esta batalla fué vencida mas por voluntad de Dios que por nras. fuerzas, porque para con quarenta mil hombres de guerra, poca defensa fuera quatrozientos que nosotros eramos." (Carta de Vera Cruz, MS.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 20.--­Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 35.) It is Las Casas, who, regulating his mathematics, as usual, by his feelings, rates the Indian loss at the exorbitant amount cited in the text. "This," he concludes dryly, "was the first preaching of the Gospel by Cortés in New Spain!" Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 119.

22. Gomara, Crónica, cap. 21, 22.--Carta de Vera Cruz, MS.--Martyr, De Insulis, p. 351.--Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., ubi supra.


                  1. "Cata Francia, Montesinos,
                  Cata Paris la ciudad,
                  Cata las aguas de Duero
                  Do van á dar en la mar."
They are the words of the popular old ballad, first published, I believe, in the Romancero de Ambéres, and lately by Duran, Romances Caballerescos é Históricos, Parte 1, p. 82.

2. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 37.

3. Las Casas notices the significance of the Indian gestures as implying a most active imagina­tion. "Señas é meneos con que Ins Yndios mucho mas que otras generaciones entienden y se dan á entender, por tener muy bivos los sentidos exteriores y tambien los interiores, mayor­mente ques admirable su imaginacion." Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 120.

4. "Hermosa como Diosa," beautiful as a goddess, says Camargo of her. (Hist. de Tlascala, MS.) A modern poet pays her charms the following not inelegant tribute;
                  Admira tan lúcida cabalgada
                  Y espectáculo tal Doña Marina,
                  India noble al caudillo presentada,
                  De fortuna y belleza peregrina
                  Con despejado espíritu y viveza
                  Gira la vista en el concurso mudo;
                  Rico manto de extrema sutileza
                  Con chapas de oro autorizarla pudo,
                  Prendido con bizarra gentileza
                  Sobre los pechos en ayroso nudo;
                  Reyna parece de la Indiana Zona,
                  Varonil y hermosísima Amazona."
                              MORATIN, Las Naves De Cortés Destruidas.

5. Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 120.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 25, 26.--Clav­igero, Stor. del Messico, tom. III. pp. 12-14.--Oviedo, Hist de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 1.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 79.--Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 37, 38.
      There is some discordance in the notices of the early life of Marina. I have followed Bernal Diaz,--from his means of observation, the best authority. There is happily no differ­ence in the estimate of her singular merits and services.

6. The name of the Aztec monarch, like those of most persons and places in New Spain, has been twisted into all possible varieties of orthography. Modern Spanish historians usually call him Motezuma. But as there is no reason to suppose that this is correct, I have preferred to conform to the name by which he is usually known to English readers. It is the one adopted by Bernal Diaz, and by no other contemporary, as far as I know.

7. Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 79.--Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. III. p. 16.
      New Vera Cruz, as the present town is called, is distinct, as we shall see hereafter, from that established by Cortés, and was not founded till the close of the sixteenth century, by the Conde de Monterey, viceroy of Mexico. It received its privileges as a city from Philip III. in 1615. Ibid., tom. III. p. 30, nota.

8. The epidemic of the matlazahuatl, so fatal to the Aztecs, is shown by M. de Humboldt to be essentially different from the vómito, or bilious fever of our day. Indeed, this disease is not noticed by the early conquerors and colonists; and, Clavigero asserts, was not known in Mexico, till 1725. (Stor. del Messico, tom. I. p. 117 nota.) Humboldt, however, arguing that the same physical causes must have produced similar results, carries the disease back to a much higher antiquity, of which he discerns some traditional and historic vestiges. "Il ne faut pas confondre 1'époque," he remarks with his usual penetration, "á laquelle une maladie a été décrite pour la première fois, parce qu'elle a fait de grands ravages dans un court espace de temps, avec 1'époque de sa première apparition." Essai Politique, tom. IV. p. 161 et seq., and 179.

9. Gomara, Crónica, cap. 26.

10. Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 119.

11. Ixtlilxochitl, Relaciones, MS., No. 13.--Idem, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 79.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 25, 26.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 38.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 5, cap. 4.--Carta de Vera Cruz, MS.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 13-15.--Tezozomoc, Crón. Mexicana, MS., cap. 107.


1. His name suited his nature; Montezuma, according to Las Casas, signifying, in the Mexican, "sad or severe man." Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 120.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 70.--Acosta, lib. 7, cap. 20.--Col. de Mendoza, pp. 13-16; Codex Tel.-Rem., p. 143, ap. Antiq. of Mexico, vol. VI.

2. For a full account of this prince, see Book I., chap. 6.

3. The address is fully reported by Torquemada, (Monarch. Ind., lib. 3, cap. 68,) who came into the country little more than half a century after its delivery. It has been recently republished by Bustamante. Tezcuco en los Últimos Tiempos, (México, 1826,) pp. 256-258.

4. Acosta, lib. 7, cap. 22.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 8, Prólogo, et cap. 1.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 3, cap. 73, 74, 81.--Col. de Mendoza, pp. 14, 85, ap. Antiq. of Mexico, vol. VI.

5. Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. I. pp. 267, 274, 275.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 70-76.--Acosta, lib. 7, cap. 21.

6. Ante, Book I., chap. 3, pp. 38, 39, and note 6.

7. Tezozomoc, Crón. Mexicana, MS., cap. 107--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 1.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 14; lib. 6, cap. 24.--Codex Vati­canus, ap. Antiq. of Mexico, vol. VI.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 8, cap. 7.--Ibid., MS., lib. 12, cap. 3, 4­.

8. "Tenia por cierto," says Las Casas of Montezuma, "segun sus prophetas ó agoreros le avian certificado, que su estado é rriquezas y prosperidad avia de perezer dentro de pocos años por çiertas gentes que avian de venir en sus dias, que de su felicidad lo derrocase, y por esto vivia siempre con temor y en tristeça y sobresaltado." Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 120.

9. Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.--The Interpreter of the Codex Tel.-Rem. in­timates that this scintillating phenomenon was probably nothing more than an eruption of one of the great volcanoes of Mexico. Antiq. of Mexico, vol. VI. p. 144.

10. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 1.--Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.--Acosta, lib. 7, cap. 23.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 5, cap. 5.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 74.

11. I omit the most extraordinary miracle of all,--though legal attestations of its truth were furnished the Court of Rome, (see Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. I. p. 289,)--namely, the resurrection of Montezuma's sister, Papantzin, four days after her burial, to warn the monarch of the approaching ruin of his empire. It finds credit with one writer, at least, in the nineteenth century! See the note of Sahagun's Mexican editor, Bustamante, Hist. de Nueva España, tom. II. p. 270.

12. Lucan gives a fine enumeration of such prodigies witnessed in the Roman cap­ital in a similar excitement. (Pharsalia, lib. 1, v. 523, et seq.) Poor human nature is much the same everywhere. Machiavelli has thought the subject worthy of a sep­arate chapter in his Discourses. The philosopher intimates a belief even in the ex­istence of beneficent intelligences who send these portents as a sort of premonitories, to warn mankind of the coming tempest. Discorsi sopra Tito Livio, lib. 1, cap. 56.

13. Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 120.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 80.--Idem, Relaciones, MS.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 3, 4.--Tezozomoc, Crón. Mexicana, MS., cap. 108.

14. Tezozomoc, Crón. Mexicana, MS., loc. cit.--Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.­--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 80.

15. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 39.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 27, ap. Barcia, tom. II.

16. Ante, Book 1, Chap. 2, p. 29.

17. From the chequered figure of some of these colored cottons, Peter Martyr infers, the Indians were acquainted with chess! He notices a curious fabric made of the hair of animals, feathers, and cotton thread, interwoven together. "Plumas illas et concinnant inter cuniculorum villos interque gosampij stamina ordiuntur, et intexunt operose adeo, ut quo pacto id faciant non bene intellexerimus." De orbe Novo, (Parisiis, 1587,) dec. 5, cap. l0.

18. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 39.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 1.--Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 120.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 27, ap. Barcia, tom. II.--Carta de Vera Cruz, MS.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 5, cap. 5.       Robertson cites Bernal Diaz as reckoning the value of the silver plate at 20,000 pesos, or about £5,000. (History of America, Vol. II. note 75.) But Bernal Diaz speaks only of the value of the gold plate, which he estimates at 20,000 pesos de oro, a different affair from the pesos, dollars, or ounces of silver, with which the his­torian confounds them. As the mention of the peso de oro will often recur in these pages, it will be well to make the reader acquainted with its probable value.
      Nothing is more difficult than to ascertain the actual value of the currency of a distant age; so many circumstances occur to embarrass the calculation, besides the general depreciation of the precious metals, such as the adulteration of specific coins, and the like.
      Señor Clemencin, the Secretary of the Royal Academy of History, in the sixth volume of its Memorias, has computed with great accuracy the value of the differ­ent denominations of the Spanish currency at the close of the fifteenth century, the period just preceding that of the conquest of Mexico. He makes no mention of the peso de oro in his tables. But he ascertains the precise value of the gold ducat, which will answer our purpose as well. (Memorias de la Real Academia de Historia, (Ma­drid, 1821,) tom. VI. Ilust. 20.) Oviedo, a contemporary of the Conquerors, informs us that the peso de oro and the castellano were of the same value, and that was pre­cisely one third greater than the value of the ducat. (Hist. del Ind., lib. 6, cap. 8, ap. Ramusio, Navigationi et Viaggi, (Venetia, 1565,) tom. III.) Now the ducat, as appears from Clemencin, reduced to our own currency, would be equal to eight dollars and seventy-five cents. The peso de oro, therefore, was equal to eleven dol­lars and sixty-seven cents, or two pounds, twelve shillings, and six-pence sterling. Keeping this in mind, it will be easy for the reader to determine the actual value, in pesos de oro, of any sum that may be hereafter mentioned.

19. "Cierto cosas de ver!" exclaims Las Casas, who saw them with the Emperor Charles V. in Seville, in 1520. "Quedáron todos los que viéron aquestas cosas tan ricas y tan bien artifiçiadas y ermosísimas como de cosas nunca vistas," &c. (Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 120.) "Muy hermosas"; says Oviedo, who saw them in Valladolid, and describes the great wheels more minutely; "todo era mucho de ver!" (Hist. de las Indias, MS., loc. cit.) The inquisitive Martyr, who examined them carefully, remarks, yet more emphatically, "Si quid unquam honoris humana ingenia in huiuscemodi artibus sunt adepta, principatum iure merito ista consequen­tur. Aurum, gemmasque non admiror quidem, quâ industriâ, quó studio superet opus materiam, stupeo. Mille figuras et facies mille prospexi quæ scribere nequeo. Quid oculos hominum suâ pulchritudine æque possit allicere meo iudicio vidi nun­quam." De Orbe Novo, dec. 4, cap. 9.

20. Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 121.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 39.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 80.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 27, ap. Barcia, tom. II.

21. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 40.
      Father Sahagun thus describes these stones, so precious in Mexico that the use of them was interdicted to any but the nobles. "Las chalchuites son verdes y no trans­parentes mezcladas de blanco, usanlas mucho los principales, trayéndolas á las muñecas atadas en hilo, y aquello es señal de que es persona noble el que las trae." Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 11, cap. 8.

22. Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.--Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 121.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 40, 41.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 5, cap. 6.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 29, ap. Barcia, tom. II.


1. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 41.--Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 121.--Gomara Crónica, cap. 28.

2. The letter from the cabildo of Vera Cruz says nothing of these midnight confer­ences. Bernal Diaz, who was privy to them is a sufficient authority. See Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 42.

3. Gomara, Crónica, cap. 30.--Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 121.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 80.--Bernal Diaz, Ibid., loc. cit.--Declaracion de Puertocarrero, MS.
      The deposition of a respectable person like Puertocarrero, taken in the course of the following year after his return to Spain, is a document of great authority.

4. Sometimes we find the Spanish writers referring to "the sovereigns," sometimes to "the emperor"; in the former case, intending queen Joanna, the crazy mother of Charles V., as well as himself. Indeed, all public acts and ordinances ran in the name of both. The title of "Highness," which, until the reign of Charles V., had usually--not uniformly, as Robertson imagines (History of Charles V., vol. II. p. 59)--been applied to the sovereign, now gradually gave way to that of "Majesty," which Charles affected after his election to the imperial throne. The same title is occasionally found in the correspondence of the Great Captain, and other courtiers of the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella.

5. According to Robertson, Cortés told his men that he had proposed to establish a colony on the coast, before marching into the country; but he abandoned his de­sign at their entreaties to set out at once on the expedition. In the very next page, we find him organizing this same colony. (History of America, vol. II. pp. 241, 242.) The historian would have been saved this inconsistency, if he had followed either of the authorities whom he cites, Bernal Diaz and Herrera, or the letter from Vera Cruz, of which he had a copy. They all concur in the statement in the next.

6. Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 122.--Carta de Vera Cruz, MS.--Declaracion de Montejo, MS.--Declaration de Puertocarrero, MS.
      "Our general, after some urging, acquiesced," says the blunt old soldier, Bernal Diaz; "for, as the proverb says, 'You ask me to do what I have already made up my mind to.'" Tu me lo ruegas, é yo me lo quiero. Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 42.

7. According to Bernal Diaz, the title of "Vera Cruz" was intended to commemor­ate their landing on Good Friday. Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 42.

8. Solís, whose taste for speech-making might have satisfied even the Abbé Mably, (See his Treatise, "De la Manière d'écrire l'Histoire,") has put a very flourishing harangue on this occasion into the mouth of his hero, of which there is not a ves­tige in any contemporary account. (Conquista, lib. 2, cap. 7.) Dr. Robertson has transferred it to his own eloquent pages, without citing his author, indeed, who, considering he came a century and a half after the Conquest, must be allowed to be not the best, especially when the only voucher for a fact.

9. "Lo peorde todo que le otorgémos," says Bernal Diaz, somewhat peevishly, was, "que le dariamos el quinto del oro de lo que se huuiesse, despues de sacado el Real quinto." (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 42.) The letter from Vera Cruz says nothing of this fifth.

10. Carta de Vera Cruz, MS.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 30, 31.--Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap.122.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 80.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 42.--Declaraciones de Montejo y Puertocarrero, MSS.
      In the process of Narvaez against Cortés, the latter is accused of being possessed with the Devil, as only Lucifer could have gained him thus the affections of the soldiery. (Demanda de Narvaez, MS.) Solís, on the other hand, sees nothing but good faith and loyalty in the conduct of the general, who acted from a sense of duty! (Conquista, lib. 2, cap. 6, 7.) Solís is even a more steady apologist for his hero, than his own chaplain, Gomara, or the worthy magistrates of Vera Cruz. A more impartial testimony than either, probably, may be gathered from honest Ber­nal Diaz, so often quoted. A hearty champion of the cause, he was by no means blind to the defects nor the merits of his leader.

11. This may appear rather indifferent logic to those who consider that Cortés ap­pointed the very body, who, in turn, appointed him to the command. But the af­fectation of legal forms afforded him a thin varnish for his proceedings, which served his purpose, for the present, at least, with the troops. For the future, he trusted to his good star,--in other words, to the success of his enterprise,--to vindicate his conduct to the Emperor. He did not miscalculate.

12. The name of the mountain is not given, and probably was not known, but the minute description in the MS. of Vera Cruz leaves no doubt that it was the one mentioned in the text, "Entre las quales así una que excede en mucha altura á todas las otras y de ella se vee y descubre gran parte de la mar y de la tierra, y es tan alta, que si el dia no es bien claro, no se puede divisar ni ver lo alto de ella, porque de la mitad arriba está toda cubierta de nubes; y algunos veces, cuando hace muy claro dia, se vee por cima de las dichas nubes lo alto de ella, y está tan blanco, que lo jusgamos por nieve." (Carta de Vera Cruz, MS.) This huge volcano was called Citlaltepetl, or "Star-mountain," by the Mexicans, perhaps from the fire which once issued from its conical summit, far above the clouds. It stands in the intendancy of Vera Cruz, and rises, according to Humboldt's measurement, to the enormous height of 17,368 feet above the ocean. (Essai Politique, tom. I. p. 265.) It is the highest peak but one in the whole range of the Mexican Cordilleras.

13. Carta de Vera Cruz, MS.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 44.

14. Gomara, Crónica, cap. 32, ap. Barcia, tom. II.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 5, cap. 8.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 1.
      "Mui hermosas vegas y riberas tales y tan hermosas que en toda España no pue­den ser mejores ansí de apaçibles á la vista como de fructíferas." (Carta de Vera Cruz, MS.) The following poetical apostrophe, by Lord Morpeth, to the scenery of Cuba, equally applicable to that of the tierra caliente, will give the reader a more animated picture of the glories of these sunny climes, than my own prose can. The verses, which have never been published, breathe the generous sentiment character­istic of their noble author.
                  "Ye tropic forests of unfading green,
                    Where the palm tapers and the orange glows,
                   Where the light bamboo weaves her feathery screen,
                    And her far shade the matchless ceiba throws!

                  "Ye cloudless ethers of unchanging blue,
                    Save where the rosy streaks of eve give way
                  To the clear sapphire of your midnight hue,
                    The burnished azure of your perfect day.

                  "Yet tell me not my native skies are bleak,
                    That flushed with liquid wealth no cane fields wave;
                  For virtue pines and Manhood dares not speak,
                    And Nature's glories brighten round the Slave."

15. "The same love of flowers," observes one of the most delightful of modern trav­ellers, "distinguishes the natives now, as in the times of Cortçs. And it presents a strange anomaly," she adds, with her usual acuteness; "this love of flowers having existed along with their sanguinary worship and barbarous sacrifices." Madame Cal­deron de la Barca, Life in Mexico, vol. I. let. 12.

16. "Con la imaginacion que llevaban, i buenos deseos, todo se les antojaba plata i oro to que relucia." Gomara, Crónica, cap. 32, ap. Barcia, tom. II.

17. This is Las Casas' estimate. (Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 3, cap. 121.) Torque­mada hesitates between twenty, fifty, and one hundred and fifty thousand, each of which he names at different times! (Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. III. p. 26, nota.) The place was gradually abandoned, after the Conquest, for others, in a more favorable position, probably, for trade. Its ruins were visible at the close of the last century. See Lorenzana, Hist, de Nueva España, p. 39, nota.

18. "Porque viven mas política y rasonablemente que ninguna de las gentes que hasta oy en estas partes se ha visto." Carta de Vera Cruz, MS.

19. Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib, 3, cap. 121.--Carta de Vera Cruz, MS.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 33, ap. Barcia, tom. II.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap 1.

20. The courteous title of doña is usually given by the Spanish chroniclers to this accomplished Indian.

21. "No venia, sino á deshacer agravios, i favorecer los presos, aiudar á los mez­quinos, i quitar tiranías." (Gomara, Crónica, cap. 33, ap. Barcia, tom. II.) Are we reading the adventures--it is the language--of Don Quixote, or Amadis de Gaula?

22. Ibid., cap. 36.
      Cortés, in his Second Letter to the emperor Charles V., estimates the number of fighting men at 50,000. Relacion Segunda, ap. Lorenzana, p. 40.

23. Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 121.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 81.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 1.

24. The historian, with the aid of Clavigero, himself a Mexican, may rectify fre­quent blunders of former writers, in the orthography of Aztec names. Both Rob­ertson and and Solís spell the name of this place Quiabislan. Blunders in such a bar­barous nomenclature must be admitted to be very pardonable.

25. "Grande artífice," exclaims Solís, "de medir lo que disponia con lo que recelaba; y prudente capitan él que sabe caminar en alcance de las contingencias"! Conquista, lib. 2, cap. 9.

26. Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 81.--Rel. Seg. de Cortés ap. Lorenzana, p. 40.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 34-36, ap. Barcia, tom. II.--Bernal Diaz, Conquista, cap. 46, 47.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 5, cap. 10, 11.

27. Carta de Vera Cruz, MS.--Bernal Diaz, Conquista, cap. 48.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 1.--Declaracion de Montejo, MS.
      Notwithstanding the advantages of its situation, La Villa Rica was abandoned in a few years for a neighboring position to the south, not far from the mouth of the Antigua. This second settlement was known by the name of Vera Cruz Vieja, "Old Vera Cruz." Early in the 17th century this place, also, was abandoned for the pres­ent city, Nueva Vera Cruz, or New Vera Cruz, as it is called. (See Ante, chap. 5, note 7.) Of the true cause of these successive migrations we are ignorant. If, as is pretended, it was on account of the vómito, the inhabitants, one would suppose, can have gained little by the exchange. (See Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. II. p. 210.) A want of attention to these changes has led to much confusion and inaccuracy in the ancient maps. Lorenzana has not escaped them in his chart and topographical account of the route of Cortés.


1. "Teniendo respeto á que tiene por cierto, que somos los que sus antepassados les auian dicho, que auian de venir á sus tierras, æ que deuemos de ser de sus linajes." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 48.

2. Gomara, Crónica, cap. 37.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 82.

3. “De buena gana recibirian las Doncellas como fuesen Christianos; porque de otra manera, no era permitido á hombres, hijos de la Iglesia de Dios, tener comercio con idólatras." Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 5, cap. 13.

4. Ibid., dec. 2, lib. 5, cap. 13.--Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 122.
      Herrera has put a very edifying harangue, on this occasion, into the mouth of Cortés, which savors much more of the priest than the soldier. Does he not con­found him with father Olmedo?

5. "Esto habemos visto," says the Letter of Vera Cruz, "algunos de nosotros, y los que lo han visto dizen que es la mas terrible y la mas espantosa cosa de ver que jamas han visto." Still more strongly speaks Bernal Diaz. (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 51.) The Letter computes that there were fifty or sixty persons thus butchered in each of the teocallis every year, giving an annual consumption, in the countries which the Spaniards had then visited, of three or four thousand victims! (Carta de Vera Cruz, MS.) However loose this arithmetic may be, the general fact is appalling.

6. Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 122.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 51, 52.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 43.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 5, cap. 13, 14.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 83.

7. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 53.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 82.--Carta de Vera Cruz, MS.
A complete inventory of the articles received from Montezuma is contained in the Carta de Vera Cruz.--The following are a few of the items.
      Two collars made of gold and precious stones.
      A hundred ounces of gold ore, that their Highnesses might see in what state the gold came from the mines.
      Two birds made of green feathers, with feet, beaks, and eyes of gold,--and, in the same piece with them, animals of gold, resembling snails.
      A large alligator's head of gold.
      A bird of green feathers, with feet, beak, and eyes of gold.
      Two birds made of thread and feather-work having the quills of their wings and tails, their feet, eyes, and the ends of their beaks, of gold,--standing upon two reeds covered with gold, which are raised on balls of feather-work and gold embroidery, one white and the other yellow, with seven tassels of feather-work hanging from each of them.
      A large wheel of silver weighing forty marks, and several smaller ones of the same metal.
      A box of feather-work embroidered on leather, with a large plate of gold, weigh­ing seventy ounces, in the midst.
      Two pieces of cloth woven with feathers; another with variegated colors; and another worked with black and white figures.
      A large wheel of gold, with figures of strange animals on it, and worked with tufts of leaves; weighing three thousand, eight hundred ounces.
      A fan of variegated feather-work, with thirty-seven rods plated with gold.
      Five fans of variegated feathers--four of which have ten, and the other thirteen, rods embossed with gold.
      Sixteen shields of precious stones, with feathers of various colors hanging from their rims.
      Two pieces of cotton very richly wrought with black and white embroidery.
      Six shields, each covered with a plate of gold, with something resembling a golden mitre in the centre.

8. "Una muy larga Carta," says Gomara, in his loose analysis of it. Crónica, cap. 40.

9. Dr. Robertson states that the Imperial Library at Vienna was examined for this document, at his instance, but without success. (History of America, vol. II. note 70.) I have not been more fortunate in the researches made for me in the British Museum, the Royal Library of Paris, and that of the Academy of History at Ma­drid. The last is a great depository for the colonial historical documents; but a very thorough inspection of its papers makes it certain that this is wanting to the col­lection. As the emperor received it on the eve of his embarkation for Germany, and the Letter of Vera Cruz, forwarded at the same time, is in the library of Vienna, this would seem, after all, to be the most probable place of its retreat.

10. "En una nao," says Cortós, in the very first sentence of his Second Letter to the emperor, "que de esta Nueva España de Vuestra Sacra Magestad despaché á 16 de Julio de el año 1519 embié á Vuestra Alteza muy larga y particular Relacion de las cosas hasta aquella sazon despues que yo á ella vine en ella sucedidas." (Rel. Seg. de Cortæs, ap. Lorenzana, p. 38.) "Cortés escriuió," says Bernal Diaz, "segun él nos dixo, con recta relacion, mas no vímos su carta." (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 53.) (Also, Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 1, and Gomara, ut supra.) Were it not for these positive testimonies, one might suppose that the Carta de Vera Cruz had suggested an imaginary letter of Cortés. Indeed, the copy of the former docu­ment, belonging to the Spanish Academy of History,--and perhaps the original at Vienna,--bears the erroneous title of "Primera Relacion de Cortés."

11. This is the imputation of Bernal Diaz, reported on hearsay, as he admits he never saw the letter himself. Ibid., cap. 54.

12. "Fingiendo mill cautelas," says Las Casas, politely, of this part of the letter, "y afirmando otras muchas falsedades é mentiras"! Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 122.

13. This document is of the greatest value and interest, coming as it does from the best instructed persons in the camp. It presents an elaborate record of all then known of the countries they had visited, and of the principal movements of the army, to the time of the foundation of the Villa Rica. The writers conciliate our confidence by the circumspect tone of their narration. "Querer dar," they say, "á Vuestra Magestad todas las particularidades de esta tierra y gente de ella, podria ser que en algo se errase la relacion, porque muchas de ellas no se han visto mas de por informaciones de los naturales de ella, y por esto no nos entremetemos á dar mas de aquello que por muy cierto y verdadero Vras. Reales Altezas podrán mandar tener." The account given of Velasquez, however, must be considered as an ex parte testi­mony, and, as such, admitted with great reserve. It was essential to their own vin­dication, to vindicate Cortés. The letter has never been printed. The original exists, as above stated, in the Imperial Library at Vienna. The copy in my possession, cov­ering more than sixty pages folio, is taken from that of the Academy of History at Madrid.

14. "Á nuestra parecer se debe creer, que ai en esta tierra tanto quanto en aquella de donde se dize aver llevado Salomon el oro para el templo." Carta de Vera Cruz, MS

15. Peter Martyr, preëminent above his contemporaries for the enlightened views he took of the new discoveries, devotes half a chapter to the Indian manuscripts, in which he recognized the evidence of a civilization analogous to the Egyptian. De Orbe Novo, dec. 4, cap. 8.

16. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 54-57.-- Gomara, Crónica, cap. 40.--­Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 5, cap. 14.--Carta de Vera Cruz, MS.
      Martyr's copious information was chiefly derived from his conversations with Alaminos and the two envoys, on their arrival at court. De Orbe Novo, dec. 4, cap. 6, et alibi; also Idem, Opus Epistolarum, (Amstelodami, 1670,) ep. 650.

17. See Ante, p. 133.

18. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 57.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 2.--Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 122.--Demanda de Nar­vaez, MS.--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 41.
      It was the exclamation of Nero, as reported by Suetonius. "Et cum de supplicio cujusdam capite damnati ut ex more subscriberet, admoneretur, 'Quam vellem,' in­quit, 'nescire literas!'" Lib. 6. cap. 10.

19. "Y porque," says Cortés, "demas de los que por ser criados y amigos de Diego Velasquez tenian voluntad de salir de la Tierra, habia otros, que por verla tan grande, y de tanta gente, y tal, y ver los pocos Españoles que eramos, esta ban del mismo propósito; creyen do, que si allí los navíos dejasse, se me alzarian con ellos, y yéndose todos los que de esta voluntad estavan, yo quedaria casi solo."

20. "Mostró quando se lo dixéron mucho sentimiento Cortés, porque savia bien haçer fingimientos quando le era provechoso, y rrespondióles que mirasen vien en ello, é que si no estavan para navegar que diesen gracias á Dios por ello, pues no se podia hacer mas." Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 122.

21. "Decian, que los queria meter en el matadero." Gomara, Crónica, cap. 42.

22. "Al cavo lo oviéron de sentir la gente y ayna se le amotinaran muchos, y esta fué uno de los peligros que pasáron por Cortæs de muchos que para matallo de los mis­mos Españoles estuvo." Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 122.

23. "Que ninguno seria tan cobarde y tan pusilánime que queria estimar su vida mas que la suya, ni de tan debil corazon que dudase de ir con él á México, donde tanto bien le estaba aparejado, y que si acaso se determinaba alguno de dejar de hacer este se podia ir bendito de Dios á Cuba en el navóo que habia dexado, de que antes de mucho se arrepentiria, y pelaria las barbas, viendo la buena ventura que esperaba le sucederia." Ixtlihxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 82.

24. Perhaps the most remarkable of these examples is that of Julian, who, in his unfortunate Assyrian invasion, burnt the fleet which had carried him up the Tigris. The story is told by Gibbon, who shows very satisfactorily that the fleet would have proved a hinderance rather than a help to the emperor in his further progress. The History of the Decline and Fall, (vol. IX, p. 177,) of Milman's excellent edition.

25. The account given in the text of the destruction of the fleet is not that of Bernal Diaz, who states it to have been accomplished, not only with the knowledge, but entire approbation of the army, though at the suggestion of Cortés. (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 58). This version is sanctioned by Dr. Robertson (History of America­ vol. II. pp. 253, 254). One should be very slow to depart from the honest rec­ord of the old soldier, especially when confirmed by the discriminating judgment of the Historian of America. But Cortés expressly declares in his letter to the em­peror, that he ordered the vessels to be sunk, without the knowledge of his men, from the apprehension, that, if the means of escape were open, the timid and dis­affected might, at some future time, avail themselves of them. (Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 41.) The cavaliers Montejo y Puertocarrero, on their visit to Spain, stated, in their depositions, that the general destroyed the fleet on informa­tion received from the pilots. (Declaraciones, MSS.) Narvaez in his accusation of Cortés, and Las Casas, speak of the act in terms of unqualified reprobation, charg­ing him, moreover, with bribing the pilots to bore holes in the bottoms of the ships, in order to disable them. (Demanda de Narvaez, MS.--Hist. de las Indias, MS., lib. 3, cap. 122.) The same account of the transaction, though with a very different commentary as to its merits, is repeated by Oviedo, (Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 2,) Gomara, (Crónica, cap. 42,) and Peter Martyr, (De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 1,) all of whom had access to the best sources of information.
      The affair, so remarkable as the act of one individual, becomes absolutely in­credible, when considered as the result of so many independent wills. It is not im­probable, that Bernal Diaz, from his known devotion to the cause, may have been one of the few to whom Cortés confided his purpose. The veteran, in writing his nar­rative, many years after, may have mistaken a part for the whole, and in his zeal to secure to the army a full share of the glory of the expedition, too exclusively appropriated by the general, (a great object, as he tells us, of his history,) may have distributed among his comrades the credit of an exploit which, in this instance, at least, properly belonged to their commander.--Whatever be the cause of the discrepancy, his solitary testimony can hardly be sustained against the weight of con­temporary evidence from such competent sources.


1. "Cabra coxa no tenga siesta."

2. Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 1.--Rel. Seg. de Cortæs, ap. Lorenza­na, pp. 42-45.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 59, 60.

3. Gomara, Crónica, cap. 44.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 83.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 61.
      The number of the Indian auxiliaries stated in the text is much larger than that allowed by either Cortés or Diaz. But both these actors in the drama show too obvio­us a desire to magnify their own prowess, by exaggerating the numbers of their foes, and diminishing their own, to be entitled to much confidence in their estimates.

4. "No teniamos otro socorro, ni ayuda sino el de Dios; porque ya no teniamos nauíos para ir á Cuba, salvo neustro buen pelear, y coraçones fuertes." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 59.

5. "Y todos á vna le respondímos, que hariamos lo que ordenasse, que echada estaua la suerte de la buena, ó mala ventura." Loc. cit.

6. Jalap, Convolvulus jalapœ. The x and j are convertible consonants in the Castilian.

7. The heights of Xalapa are crowned with a convent dedicated to St. Francis, erected in later days by Cortés, showing, in its solidity, like others of the period built under the same auspices, says an agreeable traveller, a military as well as religious design. Tudor's Travels in North America, (London, 1834,) vol. II. p. 186.

8. Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 1.--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenza­na, p. 40.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 44.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 83.
      "Every hundred yards of our route," says the traveller last quoted, speaking of this very region, "was marked by the melancholy erection of a wooden cross, denot­ing, according to the custom of the country, the commission of some horrible murder on the spot where it was planted." Travels in North America, vol. II. p. 188.

9. El Paso del Obispo. Cortés named it Puerto del Nombre de Dios. Viaje, ap. Lorenzana, p. ii.

10. The Aztec name is Nauhcampatepetl, from nauhcampa, "any thing square," and tepetl, "a mountain."--Humboldt, who waded through forests and snows to its summit, ascertained its height to be 4,089 metres - 13,414 feet, above the sea. See his Vues des Cordillères, p. 234, and Essai Politique, vol. I. p. 266.

11. The same mentioned in Cortés' Letter as the Puerto de la Leña. Viaje, ap. Lor­enzana, p. iii.

12. Now known by the euphonious Indian name of Tlatlauqnitepec. (Viaje, ap. Lorenzana, p. iv.) It is the Cocotlan of Bernal Diaz. (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 61.) The old Conquerors made sorry work with the Aztec names, both of places and persons, for which they must be allowed to have had ample apology.

13. "Puestos tantos rimeros de calaueras de muertos, que se podian bien contar, segun el concierto con que estauan puestas, que me parece que eran mas de cien mil, y digo otra vez sobre cien mil." Ibid., ubi supra.

14. "El qual casi admirado de lo que le preguntaba, me respondió, diciendo; ?que quien no era vasallo de Muctezuma? quieriendo decir, que allí era Señor del Mundo." Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 47­.

15. "Tiene mas de 30 Príncipes á sí subjectos, que cada uno dellos tiene cient mill hombres é mas de pelea." (Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 1.) This marvellous tale is gravely repeated by more than one Spanish writer, in their accounts of the Aztec monarchy, not as the assertion of this chief, but as a veritable piece of statistics. See, among others, Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 7, cap. 12,--Solís, Conquista, lib. 3, cap. 16.

16. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 61.
      There is a slight ground-swell of glorification in the Captain's narrative, which may provoke a smile, not a sneer, for it is mingled with too much real courage, and simplicity of character.

17. For the preceding pages, besides authorities cited in course, see Peter Martyr, De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 1,--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 83,--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 44,--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 26.

18. The general clearly belonged to the church militant, mentioned by Butler;
                  "Such as do build their faith upon
                  The holy text of pike and gun;
                  And prove their doctrines orthodox
                  By apostolic blows and knocks."

19. "Arbol grande, diche ahuhuete." (Viaje, ap. Lorenzana, p. iii.) The cupressus disticha of Linnæus. See Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. II. p. 54, note.

20. It is the same taste which has made the Castiles, the table-land of the Peninsula, so naked of wood. Prudential reasons, as well as taste, however, seem to have operated in New Spain. A friend of mine on a visit to a noble hacienda, but un­commonly barren of trees, was informed by the proprietor that they were cut down to prevent the lazy Indians on the plantation from wasting their time by loitering in their shade!

21. It confirms the observations of M. de Humboldt. "Sans doute lors de la première arrivée des Espagnols, toute cette côte, depuis la rivière de Papaloapan (Alvarado) jusqu'à Huaxtecapan, était plus habitée et mieux cultivée qu'elle ne l'est aujourd'hui. Cependant à mesure que les conquérans montèrent au plateau, ils trouvèrent les villages plus rapprochés les uns des autres, les champs divisés en portions plus petites, le peuple plus policé." Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. II. p. 202.

22. The correct Indian name of the town, Yxtacamaxtitlan, Yztacmastitan of Cor­tés, will hardly be recognised in the Xalacingo of Diaz. The town was removed, in 1601, from the top of the hill to the plain. On the original site are still visible re­mains of carved stones of large dimensions, attesting the elegance of the ancient fortress or palace of the cacique. Viaje, ap. Lorenzana, p. v.

23. "Estas cosas y otras de gran persuasion contenia la carta, pero como no sabian leer no pudiéron entender lo que contenia," Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.

24. For an account of the diplomatic usages of the people of Anahuac, see Ante, p. 30.

25. "Mira, señores compañeros, ya veis que somos pocos, hemos de estar siempre tan apercebidos, y aparejados, como si aora viessemos venir los contrarios á pelear, y no solamente vellos venir, sino hazer cuenta que estamos ya en la batalla con ellos." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 62.

26. According to the writer last cited, the stones were held by a cement so hard that the men could scarcely break it with their pikes. (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 62.) But the contrary statement, in the general's letter, is confirmed by the present appearance of the wall. Viaje, ap. Lorenzana, p. vii.

27. Viaje, ap. Lorenzana, p. vii.
      The attempts of the Archbishop to identify the route of Cortés have been very successful. It is a pity, that his map illustrating the itinerary should be so worthless.

28. Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.-Gomara, Crónica, cap. 44, 45. Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich,, MS., cap. 83.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 6, cap. 3.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 2.--Peter Martyr, De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 1.


1. The Indian chronicler, Camargo, considers his nation a branch of the Chicheme­c. (Hist. de Tlascala, MS.) So, also, Torquemada. (Monarch. Ind., lib. 3, cap. 9.) Clavigero, who has carefully investigated the antiquities of Anahuac, calls it one of the seven Nahuatlac tribes. (Stor. del Messico, tom. I. p. 153, nota.) The fact is not of great moment, since they were all cognate races, speaking the same tongue, and, probably, migrated from their country in the far North at nearly the same time.

2. The descendants of these petty nobles attached as great value to their pedigrees, as any Biscayan or Asturian in Old Spain. Long after the Conquest, they refused, however needy, to dishonor their birth by resorting to mechanical or other plebeian occupations, oficios viles y bajos. "Los descendientes de estos son estimados por hombres calificados, que aunque sean probrísimos no usan oficios mecánicos ni tratos bajos ni viles, ni jamas se permiten cargar ni cabar con coas y azadones, diciendo que son hijos Idalgos en que no han de aplicarse á estas cosas soeces y bajas, sino servir en guerras y fronteras, como Idalgos, y morir como hombres pe­leando." Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.

3. "Cualquier Tecuhtli que formaba un Tecalli, que es casa de Mayorazgo, todas aquellas tierras que le caian en suerte de repartimiento, con montes, fuentes, rios, ó lagunas tomase para la casa principal la mayor y mejor suerte ó pagos de tierra, y luego las demas que quedaban se partian por sus soldados amigos y parientes, igual­mente, y todos estos están obligados á reconocer la casa mayor y acudir á ella, á alzarla y repararla, y á ser continuos en re conocer á ella de aves, caza, flores, y ramos para el sustento de la casa del Mayorazgo, y el que lo es está obligado á sustentarlos y á regalarlos como amigos de aquella casa y parientes de ella." Ibid., MS.

4. Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.

5. "Los grandes recibimientos que hacian á los capitanes que venian y alcanzaban victoria en las guerras, las fiestas y solenidades con que se solenizaban á manera de triunfo, que los metian en andas en su puebla, trayendo consigo á los vencidos; y por eternizar sus hazañas se las cantaban publicamente, y ansí quedaban memoradas y con estatuas que les ponian en los templos." Ibid., MS.

6. The whole ceremony of inauguration, it seems, has especial reference to the merchant-knights.

7. "Ha bel paese," says the Anonymous Conqueror, speaking of Tlascala, at the time of the invasion, "di pianure et motagne, et è provincia popolosa et vi si racco­glie molto pane." Rel. d'un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. p. 308.

8. A full account of the manners, customs, and domestic policy of Tlascala is given by the national historian, throwing much light on the other states of Anahuac, whose social institutions seem to have been all cast in the same mould.

9. Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind. lib. 2, cap. 70.

10. Camargo (Hist. de Tlascala, MS.) notices the extent of Montezuma's con­quests,--a debatable ground for the historian.

11. Torquemada, Monarch, Ind., lib. 3, cap. 16.--Solís says, "The Tlascalan territo­ry was fifty leagues in circumference, ten long, from east to west, and four broad, from north to south." (Conquista de Méjico, lib. 3, cap. 3.) It must have made a curious figure in geometry!

12. Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.

13. "Los Señores Mejicanos y Tezcucanos en tiempo que ponian treguas por algun­as temporadas embiaban á los Seéores de Tlaxcalla grandes presentes y dádivas de oro, ropa, y cacao, y sal, y de todas las cosas de que carecian, sin que la gente plebya lo entendiese, y se saludaban secretamente, guardándose el decoro que se debian: mas con todos estos trabajos la órden de su república jamas se dejaba de gobernar con la rectitud de sus costumbres guardando inviolablemente el culto de sus Dioses." Ibid., MS.

14. "The Tlascalan chronicler discerns in this deep-rooted hatred of Mexico the hand of Providence, who wrought out of it an important means for subverting the Aztec empire. Hist. de Tlascala, MS.

15. "Si bien os acordais, como tenemos de nuestra antiguedad como han de venir gentes á la parte donde sale el sol, y que han de emparentar con nosotros, y que hemos de ser todos unos; y que han de ser blancos y barbudos." Ibid., MS.

16. To the ripe age of one hundred and forty! if we may credit Camargo. Solís, who confounds this veteran with his son, has put a flourishing harangue in the mouth of the latter, which would be a rare gem of Indian eloquence,--were it not Castilian. Conquista, lib. 2, cap. 16.

17. Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 6, cap. 3.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 27.
      There is sufficient contradiction, as well as obscurity, in the proceedings reported of the council, which it is not easy to reconcile altogether with subsequent events.

18. "--Dolus an virtus, quis in hosta requirat?"

19. "I les matáron dos Caballos, de dos cuchilladas, i segun algunos, que lo viéron, cortáron á cercen de un golpe cada pescueço, con riendas, i todas." Gomara, Crónica, cap. 45.

20. Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 50.--Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.--­Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 62.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 45.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 3, 41.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 10.

21. “Que quando rompiessemos por los esquadrones, que lleuassen las lanças por las caras, y no parassen á dar lançadas, porque no les echassen mano dellas." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 62.

22. "Entonces dixo Cortés, 'Santiago, y á ellos.'" Ibid., cap. 63.

23. "Una gentil contienda," says Gomara of this skirmish. Crónica, cap. 46.

24. Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 51. According to Gomara, (Crónica, cap. 46,) the enemy mustered 80,000. So, also, Ixtlilxochitl. (Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 83.) Bernal Diaz says, more than 40,000. (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 63.) But Herrera (Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 6, cap. 5) and Torquemada (Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 20) reduce them to 30,000. One might as easily reckon the leaves in a forest, as the numbers of a confused throng of barbarians. As this was only one of several armies kept on foot by the Tlascalans, the smallest amount is, probably, too large. The whole population of the state, according to Clavigero, who would not be likely to underrate it, did not exceed half a million at the time of the invasion. Stor. del Messico, tom. I. p. 156.

25. "La divisa y armas de la casa Y cabecera de Titcala es una garga blanca sobre un peñasco." (Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.) "El capitan general," says Bernal Diaz, "que se dezia Xicotenga, y con sus diuisas de blanco y colorado, porque aquella diuisa y librea era de aquel Xicotenga." Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 63.

26. "Llaman Teponaztle ques de un trozo de madero concavado y de una pieza rollizo y, como decimos, hueco por de dentro, que suena algunas veces mas de media legua y con el atambor hace estraña y suave consonancia." (Camargo, Hist. de Tlas­cala, MS.) Clavigero, who gives a drawing of this same drum, says it is still used by the Indians, and may be heard two or three miles. Stor. del Messico, tom. II. p. 179.

27. "Una illis fuit spes salutis, desperâsse de salute." (P. Martyr, De Orbe Novo, dec. 1, cap. 1.) It is said with the classic energy of Tacitus.

28. "Respondióle Marina, que no tuviese miedo, porque el Dios de los Christianos, que es muy poderoso, i los queria mucho, los sacaria de peligro." Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 6, cap. 5.

29. Ibid., ubi supra.

30. Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib, 33, cap. 3, 45.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 83.--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 51.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 63.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 40­.

31. Viaje de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. ix.

32. According to Cortés not a Spaniard fell,--though many were wounded,--in this action so fatal to the infidel! Diaz allows one. In the famous battle of Navas de Tolosa, between the Spaniards and Arabs, in 1212, equally matched in military science at that time, there were left 200,000 of the latter on the field; and, to balance this bloody roll, only five and twenty Christians! See the estimate in Alfonso IX.'s veracious letter, ap. Mariana (Hist. de España, lib. 2, cap. 24). The official returns of the old Castilian crusaders, whether in the Old World or the New, are scarcely more trustworthy than a French imperial bulletin in our day.


1. Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 52.
      Oviedo, who made free use of the manuscripts of Cortés, writes thirty-nine houses. (Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 3.) This may, perhaps, be explained by the sign for a thousand, in Spanish notation, bearing great resemblance to the figure 9. Martyr, who had access, also, to the Conqueror's manuscript, confirms the larger, and, a priori, less probable number.

2. "Que fuessemos á su pueblo adonde está su padre, q allá harian las pazes co hartarse de nuestras carnes, y honrar sus dioses con nuestros coraçones, y sangre, é que para otro dia de mañana veriamos su respuesta." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 64.

3. More than one writer repeats a story of the Tlascalan general's sending a good supply of provisions, at this time, to the famished army of the Spaniards; to put them in stomach, it may be, for the fight. (Gomara, Crónica, cap. 46.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 83.) This ultra-chivalrous display from the barbarian is not very probable, and Cortés' own account of his successful foray may much better explain the abundance which reigned in his camp.

4. Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 52.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 83.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 46, 47.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 3.-­-Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 64.

5. Through the magnifying lens of Cortés, they appeared to be 150,000 men; (Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 52;) a number usually preferred by succeeding writers.

                  6. "Not half so gorgeous, for their May-day mirth
                  All wreathed and ribanded, our youths and maids,
                  As these stern Tlascalans in war attire!
                  The golden glitterance, and the feathermail
                  More gay than glittering gold; and round the helm
                  A coronal of high upstanding plumes,
                  Green as the spring grass in a sunny shower;
                  Or scarlet bright, as in the wintry wood
                  The clustered holly; or of purple tint;
                  Whereto shall that be likened? to what gem
                  Indiademed, what flower, what insect's wing?
                  With war songs and wild music they came on;
                  We, the while kneeling, raised with one accord
                  The hymn of supplication."
                              SOUTHEY'S Madoc, Part 1, canto 7.

7. The standards of the Mexicans were carried in the centre, those of the Tlascal­ans in the rear of the army. (Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, vol. II. p. 145.) Acco­rding to the Anonymous Conqueror, the banner staff was attached to the back of the ensign, so that it was impossible to be torn away. "Ha ogni copagnia il sue ere con la suo Alfiere con la sua insegna inhastata, et in tal modo ligata sopra le spalle, che non gli da alcun disturbo di poter combattere ne far ció che vuole, et la porta cosi ligata bene al corpo, che se no fanno del suo corpo pezzi, non se gli puo sligare, ne torgliela mai." Rel. d'un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 305.

8. Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 6, cap. 6.--­Gomara, Crónica, cap. 46.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 64.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 45.
      The two last authors speak of the device of "a white bird like an ostrich," as that of the republic. They have evidently confounded it with that of the Indian general. Camargo, who has given the heraldic emblems of the four great families of Tlascala, notices the white heron, as that of Xicotencatl.

9. The accounts of the Tlascalan chronicler are confirmed by the Anonymous Con­queror and by Bernal Diaz, both eyewitnesses; though the latter frankly declares, that, had he not seen them with his own eyes, he should never have credited the existence of orders and badges among the barbarians, like those found among the civilized nations of Europe. Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 64, et alibi.--Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.--Rel. d'un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 305.

10. "Portano in testa," says the Anonymous Conqueror, "per difesa una cosa come teste di serpeti, ò di tigri, ò di leoni, ò di lupi, che ha le mascelle, et è la testa dell' huomo messa nella testa di qsto animale com se lo volesse diuorare: sono di legno, et sopra vi é a pena, et di piastra d'oro et di pietro preciose copte, che è cosa marauigliosa da vedere." Rel d'un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 305.

11. "Io viddi che cobattedosi un dì, diede un Indiano una cortellata a un cauallo sopra il qual era un caualliero co chi cobatteua, nel petto, che glielo aperse fin alle iteriora, et cadde icotanete morto, et il medesimo giorno viddi che un altro Indiano diede un altra cortellata a un altro cauallo su il collo che se lo gettó momo a i piedi." Rel. d'un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 305.

12. Particular notices of the military dress and appointments of the American tribes on the plateau may be found in Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.,--Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. II, p. 101, et seq.,--Acosta, lib. 6, cap. 26,--Rel. d'un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 305, et auct. al.

13. "Que granizo de piedra de los honderos! Pues flechas todo el suelo hecho parva de varas todas de á dos gajos, que passan qualquiera arma, y las entrañas adonde no ay defensa." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 65.

14. So says Bernal Diaz; who, at the same time, by the epithets, los muertos, los cuerpos, plainly contradicts his previous boast that only one Christian fell in the fight. (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 65.) Cortés has not the grace to acknowledge that one.

15. Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 3.--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana p. 52.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 6, cap. 6.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 83.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 46.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 32.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 65, 66.
      The warm chivalrous glow of feeling, which colors the rude composition of the last chronicler, makes him a better painter than his more correct and classical rivals. And, if there is somewhat too much of the self-complacent tone of the quorum pars magna fui in his writing, it may be pardoned in the hero of more than a hundred battles, and almost as many wounds.

16. The Anonymous Conqueror bears emphatic testimony to the valor of the Indians, ­specifying instances in which he had seen a single warrior defend himself for a time against two, three, and even four Spaniards! "Sono fra loro di valetissimi huomini et che ossano morir ostinatissimamete. Et io ho veduto un d'essi difendersi valetemente da duoi caualli leggieri, et un altro da tre, et quattro." Rel. d'un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 305.

17. The appalling effect of the cavalry on the natives reminds one of the confusion into which the Roman legions were thrown by the strange appearance of the ele­phants in their first engagements with Pyrrhus, as told by Plutarch in his life of that prince.

18. Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 53, 54.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 3.--P. Martyr, De Orbe Novo, dec. 2, cap. 2.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 32.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 6, cap. 8.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 66.

19. "Digamos como Doña Marina, con ser muger de la tierra, que esfuerço tan varonil tenia, que con oir cada dia que nos auian de matar, y comer nuestras carnes, y auernos visto cercados en las batallas passadas, y que aora todos estauamos heridos, y dolientes, jamas vímos flaqueza en ella, sino muy mayor esfuerço que de muger." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 66.

20. Ibid., cap. 67.--Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 83


1. The effect of the medicine--though rather a severe dose, according to the precise Diaz­--was suspended during the general's active exertions. Gomara, however, does not consider this a miracle. (Crónica, cap. 49.) Father Sandoval does. (Hist. de Cárlos Quinto, tom. I. p. 127.) Solís, after a conscientious inquiry into this perplexing matter, decides--strange as it may seem--against the father! Conquista, lib. 2, cap. 20.

2. "Dios es sobre natura." Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 54.

3. Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 64.
      Not so Cortés, who says boldly, "Quemé mas de diez pueblos." (Ibid., p. 52.) His reverend commentator specifies the localities of the Indian towns destroyed by him, in his forays. Viaje, ap. Lorenzana, pp. ix-xi.

4. The famous banner of the Conqueror, with the Cross emblazoned on it, has been preserved in Mexico to our day.

5. "É como trayamos la Bandera de la Cruz, y puñabamos por nuestra Fe, y por servicio de Vuestra Sacra Magestad, en su muy Real ventura nos dió Dios tanta victoria, que les matámos mucha gente, sin que los nuestros recibiessen daño." Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 52.

6. "Y fué cosa notable," exclaims Herrera, "con quanta humildad, i devocion, bolvian todos alabando á Dios, que tan milagrosas victorias les daba; de donde se conocia claro, que los fa­vorecia con su Divina asistencia."

7. "Porque entrar en México, teníamoslo por cosa de risa, á causa de sus grandes fuerças." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 66.

8. Diaz indignantly disclaims the idea of mutiny, which Gomara attached to this proceeding. "Las palabras que le dezian era por via de acosejarle, y porque les parecia que eran bien dichas, y no por otra via, porque siempre le siguiéron muy bien, y lealmete; y no es mucho que en los exércitos algunos buenos soldados aconsejen á su Capitan, y mas si se ven tan tra­bajados como nosotros andauamos." Ibid., cap. 71.

9. This conference is reported, with some variety, indeed, by nearly every historian. (Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 55.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 3.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 51, 52.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 80.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 6, cap. 9.--P. Martyr, De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 2.) I have abridged the account given by Bernal Diaz, one of the audience, though not one of the parties to the dialogue,--for that reason, the better authority.

10. Diaz says only seventeen lost their hands, the rest their thumbs. (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 70.) Cortés does not flinch confessing, the hands of the whole fifty. "Los mandé tomar á todos cincuenta, y cortarles las manos, y los embié, que dixessen é su Señor, que de noche, y de dia, y cada, y quando él viniesse, verian quien eramos." Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Loren­zana, p. 53.

11. "De que los Tlascaltecas se admiráron, entendiendo que Cortés les entendia sus pensamientos­." Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 83.

12. Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 56, 57.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 3.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 53.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 71, et seq.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 11.

13. "Cortés recibió con alegría aquel presente, y dixo que se lo tenia en merced, y que él pa­garia al señor Monteçuma en buenas obras." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 73.

14. He dwells on it in his letter to the Emperor. "Vista la discordia y desconformidad de los unos y de los otros, no huve poco placer, porque me pareció hacer mucho á mi propósito, y que podria tener manera de mas aýna sojuzgarlos, é aun acordéme de una autoridad Evangélica, que dice: Omne Regnum in seipsum divisum desolabitur: y con los unos y con los otros maneaba, y á cada uno en secreto le agradecia el aviso, que me daba, y le daba crédito de mas amistad que al otro." Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 61.

15. Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 6, cap. 10.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 4.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 54.--Martyr, De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 2.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 72-74.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 83.


1. "A distancia de un quarto de legua caminando á esta dicha ciudad se encuentra una barranca honda, que tiene para pasar un Puente de cal y canto de bóveda, y es tradicion en el pueblo de San Salvador, que se hizo en aquellos dias, que estubo allí Cortés paraque pasasse." (Viaje, ap. Lorenzana, p. xi.) If the antiquity of this arched stone bridge could be established, it would settle a point much mooted in respect to Indian architecture. But the construction of so solid a work in so short a time is a fact requiring a better voucher than the villagers of San Sal­vador.

2. Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. III. p. 53.
      "Recibimiento el mas solene y famoso que en el mundo se ha visto," exclaims the enthu­siastic historian of the republic. He adds, that "more than a hundred thousand men flocked out to receive the Spaniards; a thing that appears impossible," que parece cosa imposible! It does indeed. Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.

3. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 11.--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 59--Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 54.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 6, cap. 11.

4. "La qual ciudad es tan grande, y de tanta admiracion, que aunque mucho de lo, que de ella podria decir, dexe, lo poco que diré creo es casi increible, porque es muy mayor que Granada, y muy mas fuerte, y de tan buenos Edificios y de muy mucha mas gente, que Granada tenia al tiempo que se ganó." Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 58.

5. "En las Ruinas, que aun hoy se vé en Tlaxcala, se conoce, que no es ponderacion." Ibid., p. 58. Nota del editor, Lorenzana.

6. "Nullum est fictile vas apud nos, quod arte superet ab illis vasa formata." Martyr, De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 2.

7. Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 59.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 4.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 83.
      The last historian enumerates such a number of contemporary Indian authorities for his narrative, as of itself argues no inconsiderable degree of civilization in the people.

8. Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 6, cap. 12.
      The population of a place, which Cortés could compare with Granada, had dwindled by the beginning of the present century to 3,400 inhabitants, of which less than a thousand were of the Indian stock. See Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. II. p. 158.

9. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 11.--Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 54, 55.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 6, cap. 13.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 75.

10. Camargo notices this elastic property in the religions of Anahuac. "Este modo de hablar y decir que les querrá dar otro Dios, es saber que cuando estas gentes tenian noticia de algun Dios de buenas propiedades y costumbres, que le rescibiesen admitiéndole por tal, porque otras gentes advenedizas trujéron muchos idolos que tubiéron por Dioses, y á este fin y propósito decian, que Cortés las traia otro Dios." Hist. de Tlascala, MS.

11. Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 84.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 56.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 76, 77.
      This is not the account of Camargo. According to him, Cortés gained his point; the no­bles led the way by embracing Christianity, and the idols were broken. (Hist. de Tlascala, MS.) But Camargo was himself a Christianized Indian, who lived in the next generation after the Conquest; and may very likely have felt as much desire to relieve his nation from the re­proach of infidelity, as a modern Spaniard would to scour out the stain--mala raza y mancha--of Jewish or Moorish lineage, from his escutcheon.

12. The miracle is reported by Herrera, (Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 6, cap. 15,) and believed by Solís. Conquista de Méjico, lib. 3, cap. 5.

13. To avoid the perplexity of selection, it was common for the missionary to give the same names to all the Indians baptized on the same day. Thus, one day was set apart for the Johns, another for the Peters, and so on; an ingenious arrangement, much more for the convenience of the clergy, than of the converts. See Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.

14. Ibid., MS.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 74, 77.
      According to Camargo, the Tlascalans gave the Spanish commander three hundred damsels to wait on Marina; and the kind treatment and instruction they received led some of the chiefs to surrender their own daughters, "con propósito de que si acoso algunas se em­preñasen quedase entre ellos generacion de hombres tan valientes y temidos."

15. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 80.--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 60.--Mar­tyr, De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 2.
      Cortés notices only one Aztec mission, while Diaz speaks of three. The former, from brevity, falls so much short of the whole truth, and the latter, from forgetfulness perhaps, goes so much beyond it, that it is not always easy to decide between them. Diaz did not compile his narrative till some fifty years after the Conquest; a lapse of time, which may excuse many errors, but must considerably impair our confidence in the minute accuracy of his details. A more intimate acquaintance with his chronicle does not strengthen this confidence.

16. Ante, p. 170.

17. "Si no viniessen, iria sobre ellos, y los destruiria, y procederia contra ellos como contra per­sonas rebeldes; diciéndoles, como todas estas Partes, y otras muy mayores Tierras, y Señorios eran de Vuestra Alteza." (Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 63.) "Rebellion" was a very convenient term, fastened in like manner by the countrymen of Cortés on the Moors, for de­fending the possessions which they had held for eight centuries in the Peninsula. It justified very rigorous reprisals.--(See the History of Ferdinand and Isabella, Part I. Chap. 13, et alibi.)

18. Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 62, 63.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 4.­--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 84.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 58.--Martyr, De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 2.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 6, cap. 18.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva Es­paña, MS., lib. 12, cap. 11.


1. Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 67.
      According to Las Casas, the place contained 30,000 vecinos, or about 150,000 inhabitants. (Brevissima Relatione della Distrutione dell' Indie Occidentale (Venetia, 1643).) This latter, being the smaller estimate, is a priori the most credible; especially--a rare occurrence--when in the pages of the good bishop of Chiapa.

2. Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. III. p. 159.

3. Veytia carries back the foundation of the city to the UImecs, a people who preceded the Toltecs. (Hist. Antig., tom. I. cap. 13, 20.) As the latter, after occupying the land several cen­turies, have left not a single written record, probably, of their existence, it will be hard to dis­prove the licentiate's assertion,--still harder to prove it.

4. Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 7, cap. 2.

5. Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 58.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 3, cap. 19.

6. Veytia, Hist. Antig., tom. I. cap. 15, et seq.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 1, cap. 5; lib. 3.

7. Later divines have found in these teachings of the Toltec god, or high-priest, the germs of some of the great mysteries of the Christian faith, as those of the Incarnation, and the Trin­ity, for example. In the teacher himself, they recognize no less a person than St. Thomas, the Apostle! See the Dissertation of the irrefragable Dr. Mier, with an edifying commentary by Señor Bustamante, ap. Sahagun. (Hist. de Nueva España, tom. I. Suplemento.) The reader will find further particulars of this matter in Appendix, Part 1, of this History.

8. Such, on the whole, seems to be the judgment of M. de Humboldt, who has examined this in­teresting monument with his usual care. (Vues des Cordillères, p. 27, et seq. Essai Politique, tom. II. p. 150, et seq.) The opinion derives strong confirmation from the fact, that a road, cut some years since across the tumulus, laid open a large section of it, in which the alternate lay­ers of brick and clay are distinctly visible. (Ibid., loc. cit.) The present appearance of this monument, covered over with the verdure and vegetable mould of centuries, excuses the skepticism of the more superficial traveller.

9. Several of the pyramids of Egypt, and the ruins of Babylon, are, as is well known, of brick. An inscription on one of the former, indeed, celebrates this material as superior to stone. (Herodotus, Euterpe, sec. 136.)--Humboldt furnishes an apt illustration of the size of the Mexican teocalli, by comparing it to a mass of bricks covering a square four times as large as the place Vendôme, and of twice the height of the Louvre. Essai Politique, tom. II. p. 152.

10. A minute account of the costume and insignia of Quetzalcoatl is given by father Sahagun, who saw the Aztec gods before the arm of the Christian convert had tumbled them from "their pride of place." See Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 1, cap. 3.

11. They came from the distance of two hundred leagues, says Torquemada. Monarch. Ind., lib. 3, cap. 19.

12. "Hay mucha gente pobre, y que piden entre los Ricos por las Calles, y por las Casas y Mer­cados, como hacen los Pobres en España, y en otras partes que hay Gente de razon." Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, pp. 67, 68.

13. Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 3, cap. 19.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 61.--Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.

14. Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 7, cap. 2.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., ubi supra.

15. "È certifico á Vuestra Alteza, que yo conté desde una Mezquita quatrocientas, y tantas To­rres en la dicha Ciudad, y todas son de Mezquitas." Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 67.

16. The city of Puebla de los Angeles was founded by the Spaniards soon after the Conquest, on the site of an insignificant village in the territory of Cholula, a few miles to the east of that capital. It is, perhaps, the most considerable city in New Spain, after Mexico itself, which it rivals in beauty. It seems to have inherited the religious preeminence of the ancient Cholula, being distinguished, like her, for the number and splendor of its churches, the multitude of its clergy, and the magnificence of its ceremonies and festivals. These are fully displayed in the pages of travellers, who have passed through the place on the usual route from Vera Cruz to the capital. (See in particular, Bullock's Mexico, vol. I. chap. 6.) The environs of Cholula, still irrigated as in the days of the Aztecs, are equally remarkable for the fruitfulness of the soil. The best wheat lands, according to a very respectable authority, yield in the proportion of eighty for one. Ward's Mexico, vol. II. p. 270.--See, also, Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. II. p. 158; tom. IV. p. 330.

17. According to Cortés, a hundred thousand men offered their services on this occasion! "È puesto que yo ge lo defendiesse, y rogué que no fuessen, porque no habia necesidad, todavía me siguiéron hasta cien mil Hombres muy bien aderezados de Guerra, y llegáron con migo hasta dos leguas de la Ciudad: y desde allí, por mucha importunidad mia se bolviéron, aunque todavía quedáron en mi compañía hasta cinco ó seis mil de ellos." (Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 64.) This, which must have been nearly the whole fighting force of the republic, does not startle Oviedo, (Hist. de las Ind., MS., cap. 4,) nor Gomara, Crónica, cap. 58.

18. The words of the Conquistador are yet stronger. "Ni un palmo de tierra hay, que no esté labrada." Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 67.

19. "Los honrados ciudadanos de ella todos trahen albornoces, encima de la otra ropa, aunque son diferenciados de los de África, porque tienen maneras; pero en la hechura y tela y Ins ra­pacejos son muy semejables." Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 67.

20. Ibid., p. 67.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 84.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 4.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 82.
      The Spaniards compared Cholula to the beautiful Valladolid, according to Herrera, whose description of the entry is very animated. "Saliéronle otro dia á recibir mas de diez mil ciudadanos en diversas tropas, con rosas, flores, pan, aves, i frutas, i mucha música. Llegaba vn esquadron á dar la bien llegada á Hernando Cortés, i con buena órden se iba apartando, dando lugar á que otro llegase........ En llegando á la ciudad, que pareció mucho á los Castellanos, en el asiento, i perspectiva, á Valladolid, salió la demas gente, quedando mui es­pantada de ver las figuras, talles, i armas de los Castellanos. Saliéron los sacerdotes con vestiduras blancas, como sobrepellices, i algunas cerradas por delante, los braços defuera, confluecos de algodon en las orillas. Unos llevaban figuras de ídolos en las manos, otros sahumerios; otros tocaban cornetas, atabalejos, i diversas músicas, i todos iban cantando, i lle­gaban á encensar á los Castellanos. Con esta pompa entráron en Chulula." Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 7, cap. 1.

21. Cortés, indeed, noticed these same alarming appearances on his entering the city, thus sug­gesting the idea of a premeditated treachery. "Y en el camino topámos muchas señales, de las que los Naturales de esta Provincia nos habian dicho: por que hallámos el camino real ce­rrado, y hecho otro, y algunos hoyos aunque no muchos, y algunas calles de la ciudad tapi­adas, y muchas piedras en todas las Azoteas. Y con esto nos hiciéron estar mas sobre aviso, y á mayor recaudo." Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 64.

22. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 83.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 59.--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 65.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 39.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 83, cap. 4.--Martyr, De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 2.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 7, cap. 1.--Argensola, Anales, lib. 1, cap. 85.

23. "Las horas de la noche las regulaban por las estrellas, y tocaban los ministros del templo que estaban destinados para este fin, ciertos instrumentos como vocinas, con que hacian conocer al pueblo el tiempo." Gama, Descripcion, Parte 1, p. 14.


1. "Usáron los de Tlaxcalla de un aviso muy bueno y les dió Hernando Cortés porque fueran conocidos y no morir entre los enemigos por yerro, porque sus armas y divisas eran casi de una manera;.....y ansí se pusiéron en las cabezas unas guirnaldas de esparto á manera de torzales, y con esto eran conocidos los de nuestra parcialidad que no fué pequeño aviso." Ca­margo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.

2. Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 4, 45.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 40.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 84.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 60.

3. "Matáron casi seis mil personas sin tocar á niños ni mugeres, porque así se les ordenó." Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 7, cap. 2.

4. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 83.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., ubi supra.

5 Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 83.
      The descendants of the principal Cholulan cacique are living at this day in Puebla, accord­ing to Bustamante. See Gomara, Crónica, trad. de Chimalpain, (México, 1826,) tom. I. p. 98, nota.

6. Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, 66.--Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 84.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 4, 45.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 83.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 60.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 11.
      Las Casas, in his printed treatise on the Destruction of the Indies, garnishes his account of these transactions with some additional and rather startling particulars. According to him, Cortés caused a hundred or more of the caciques to be impaled or roasted at the stake! He adds the report, that, while the massacre in the courtyard was going on, the Spanish general re­peated a scrap of an old romance, describing Nero as rejoicing over the burning ruins of Rome;
                  "Mira Nero de Tarpeya,
                  Á Roma como se ardia.
                  Gritos dan niños y viejos,
                  Y él de nada se dolia."
                              (Brevísima Relacion, p. 46.)
      This is the first instance, I suspect, on record, of any person being ambitious of finding a parallel for himself in that emperor! Bernal Diaz, who had seen "the interminable narrative," as he calls it, of Las Casas, treats it with great contempt. His own version--one of those chiefly followed in the text--was corroborated by the report of the missionaries, who, after the Conquest, visited Cholula, and investigated the affair with the aid of the priests and sev­eral old survivors who had witnessed it. It is confirmed in its substantial details by the other contemporary accounts. The excellent bishop of Chiapa wrote with the avowed object of moving the sympathies of his countrymen in behalf of the oppressed natives; a generous ob­ject, certainly, but one that has too often warped his judgment from the strict line of historic impartiality. He was not an eyewitness of the transactions in New Spain, and was much too willing to receive whatever would make for his case, and to "over-red," if I may so say, his ar­gument with such details of blood and slaughter, as, from their very extravagance, carry their own refutation with them.

7. For an illustration of the above remark the reader is referred to the closing pages of chap. 7, Part II., of the "History of Ferdinand and Isabella," where I have taken some pains to show how deep settled were these convictions in Spain, at the period with which we are now occupied. The world had gained little in liberality since the age of Dante, who could coolly dispose of the great and good of Antiquity in one of the circles of Hell, because--no fault of theirs, certainly--they had come into the world too soon. The memorable verses, like many others of the immortal bard, are a proof at once of the strength and weakness of the human understanding. They may be cited as a fair exponent of the popular feeling at the beginning of the sixteenth century.
                  "Ch' ei non peccaro, e, s'egli hanno mercedi,
                            Non basta, perch' e' non ebber battesmo,
                      Ch' á porta della fede che tu credi.
                  E, se furon dinanzi al Cristianesmo,
                      Non adorar debitamente Dio;
                      E di questi cotai son io medesmo
                  Per tai difetti, e non per altro rio,
                      Semo perduti, e sol di tanto offesi
                      Che sanza speme vivemo in disio."
                                    Inferno, canto 4.

8. It is in the same spirit that the laws of Oleron, the maritime code of so high authority in the Middle Ages, abandon the property of the infidel, in common with that of pirates, as fair spoil to the true believer! "S'ilz sont pyrates, pilleurs, ou escumeurs de mer, ou Turcs, et autres con­traires et ennemis de nostredicte foy catholicque, chascun peut prendre sur telles manieres de gens, comme sur chiens, et peut l'on les desrobber et spolier de lurs bins sans pugnition. C'est le judgment." Jugemens d'Oleron, Art. 45, ap. Collection de Lois Maritimes, par J. M. Pardessus, (ed. Paris, 1828,) tom. I. p. 351.

9. The famous bull of partition became the basis of the treaty of Tordesillas, by which the Castilian and Portuguese governments determined the boundary line of their respective dis­coveries; a line that secured the vast empire of Brazil to the latter, which from priority of oc­cupation should have belonged to their rivals. See the History of Ferdinand and Isabella, Part I., chap. 18; Part II., chap. 9,--the closing pages of each.

10. It is the condition, unequivocally expressed and reiterated, on which Alexander VI., in his fa­mous bulls of May 3d and 4th, 1493, conveys to Ferdinand and Isabella full and absolute right over all such territories in the Western World, as may not have been previously occupied by Christian princes. See these precious documents, in extenso, apud Navarrete, Colleccion de los Viages y Descubrimientos, (Madrid, 1825,) tom. II. Nos. 17, 18.

11. The ground on which Protestant nations assert a natural right to the fruits of their discover­ies in the New World is very different. They consider that the earth was intended for culti­vation; and that Providence never designed that hordes of wandering savages should hold a territory far more than necessary for their own maintenance, to the exclusion of civilized man. Yet it may be thought, as far as improvement of the soil is concerned, that this argument would afford us but an indifferent tenure for much of our own unoccupied and uncultivated territory, far exceeding what is demanded for our present or prospective support. As to a right founded on difference of civilization, this is obviously a still more uncertain criterion. It is to the credit of our Puritan ancestors, that they did not avail themselves of any such interpretation of the law of nature, and still less rely on the powers conceded by King James' patent, asserting rights as absolute, nearly, as those claimed by the Roman See. On the contrary, they established their title to the soil by fair purchase of the Aborigines; thus forming an honor­able contrast to the policy pursued by too many of the settlers on the American continents. It should be remarked, that, whatever difference of opinion may have subsisted between the Roman Catholic,--or rather the Spanish and Portuguese nations,--and the rest of Europe, in regard to the true foundation of their titles in a moral view, they have always been content, in their controversies with one another, to rest them exclusively on priority of discovery. For a brief view of the discussion, see Vattel, (Droit des Gens, sec. 209,) and especially Kent, (Commentaries on American Law, vol. III. lec. 51,) where it is handled with much perspicu­ity and eloquence. The argument, as founded on the law of nations, may be found in the cel­ebrated case of Johnson v. McIntosh. (Wheaton, Reports of Cases in the Supreme Court of the United States, vol. VIII. p. 543, et seq.) If it were not treating a grave discussion too lightly, I should crave leave to refer the reader to the renowned Diedrich Knickerbocker's History of New York, (book 1, chap. 5,) for a luminous disquisition on this knotty question. At all events, he will find there the popular arguments subjected to the test of ridicule; a test, showing, more than any reasoning can, how much, or rather how little, they are really worth.

12. Los Dioses blancos.--Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 40.

13. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 11.
      In an old Aztec harangue, made as a matter of form on the accession of a prince, we find the following remarkable prediction. "Perhaps ye are dismayed at the prospect of the terri­ble calamities that are one day to overwhelm us, calamities foreseen and foretold, though not felt, by our fathers!....When the destruction and desolation of the empire shall come, when all shall be plunged in darkness, when the hour shall arrive in which they shall make us slaves throughout the land, and we shall be condemned to the lowest and most degrading offices!" (Ibid., lib. 6, cap. 16.) This random shot of prophecy, which I have rendered literally, shows how strong and settled was the apprehension of some impending revolution.

14. Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 7, cap. 3.

15. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 83.

16. Veytia, Hist. Antig., tom. I. cap. 13.

17. Humboldt, Vues des Cordillères, p. 32.

18. Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 69.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 63.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 5.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 84.

19. The language of the text may appear somewhat too unqualified, considering that three Aztec codices exist with interpretations. (See Ante, Vol. I. pp. 60, 61.) But they contain very few and general allusions to Montezuma, and these strained through commentaries of Spanish monks, oftentimes manifestly irreconcilable with the genuine Aztec notions. Even such writ­ers as Ixtlilxochitl and Camargo, from whom, considering their Indian descent, we might ex­pect more independence, seem less solicitous to show this, than their loyalty to the new faith and country of their adoption. Perhaps the most honest Aztec record of the period is to be obtained from the volumes, the twelfth book, particularly, of father Sahagun, embodying the traditions of the natives soon after the Conquest. This portion of his great work was rewrit­ten by its author, and considerable changes were made in it, at a later period of his life. Yet it may be doubted if the reformed version reflects the traditions of the country as faithfully as the original, which is still in manuscript, and which I have chiefly followed.

20. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 84, 85.--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 67.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 60.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 5.


1. "Andauamos," says Diaz, in the homely, but expressive Spanish proverb, "la barba sobre el ombro." Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 86.

2. Ibid., ubi supra.--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 70.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 41.

3. "Llamaban al volcan Popocatépetl, y á la sierra nevada Iztaccihuatl, que quiere decir la sierra que humea, y la blanca muger." Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.

4. "La Sierra nevada y el volcan los tenian por Dioses; y que el volcan y la Sierra nevada eran marido y muger." Ibid., MS.

5. Gomara, Crónica, cap. 62.
                  "Ætna Giganteos nunquam tacitura triumphos,
                Enceladi bustum, qui saucia terga revinctus
                  Spirat inexhaustum flagranti pectore sulphur."
                              CLAUDIAN, De Rapt. Pros., lib. 1, v. 152.

6. The old Spaniards called any lofty mountain by that name, though never having given signs of combustion. Thus, Chimborazo was called a volcan de nieve, or "snow volcano"; (Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. I, p. 162;) and that enterprising traveller, Stephens, notices the volcan de agua, "water volcano," in the neighborhood of Antigua Guatemala. Incidents of Travel in Chiapas, Central America, and Yucatan, (New York, 1841,) vol. I. chap. 13.

7. Mont Blanc, according to M. de Saussure, is 15,670 feet high. For the estimate of Popocate­petl, see an elaborate communication in the Revista Mexicana, tom. II. No. 4.

8. Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 70.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 5.­--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 78.
      The latter writer speaks of the ascent as made when the army lay at Tlascala, and of the attempt as perfectly successful. The general's letter, written soon after the event, with no mo­tive for misstatement, is the better authority. See, also, Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 6, cap. 18.--Rel. d'un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. p. 308.--Gomara, Cronica, cap. 62.

9 Rel. Ter. y Quarta de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 318, 380.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 3, cap. 1.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 41.
      M. de Humboldt doubts the fact of Montaño's descent into the crater, thinking it more probable that he obtained the sulphur through some lateral crevice in the mountain. (Essai Politique, tom. I. p. 164.) No attempt--at least, no successful one--has been made to gain the summit of Popocatepetl, since this of Montaño, till the present century. In 1827 it was reached in two expeditions, and again in 1833 and 1834. A very full account of the last, con­taining many interesting details and scientific observations, was written by Federico de Gerolt, one of the party, and published in the periodical already referred to. (Revista Mexi­cana, tom. I. pp. 461-482.) The party from the topmost peak, which commanded a full view of the less elevated Iztaccihuatl, saw no vestige of a crater in that mountain, contrary to the opinion usually received.

10. Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. IV. p. 17.

11. The lake of Tezcuco, on which stood the capital of Mexico, is 2277 metres, nearly 7500 feet, above the sea. Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. II. p. 45.

12. It is unnecessary to refer to the pages of modern travellers, who, however they may differ in taste, talent, or feeling, all concur in the impressions produced on them by the sight of this beautiful valley.

13. Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 41.
      It may call to the reader's mind the memorable view of the fair plains of Italy which Han­nibal displayed to his hungry barbarians, after a similar march through the wild passes of the Alps, as reported by the prince of historic painters. Livy, Hist., lib. 21, cap. 35.

14. Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., ubi supra.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 7, cap. 3.­--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 64.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 5.

15. A load for a Mexican tamane was about fifty pounds, or eight hundred ounces. Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. III. p. 69, nota.

16. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 12.--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 73.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 7, cap. 3.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 64.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 5.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 87.

17. This was not the sentiment of the Roman hero.
                  "Victrix causa Diis placuit, sed victa Catoni!"
                              LUCAN, lib. 1, v. 128.

18. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 13.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 44.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 63.

19. "El señor de esta provincia y pueblo me dió hasta quarenta esclavas, y tres mil castellanos; y dos dias que alli estuye nos proveyó may cumplidamente de todo lo necessario para nuestra comida." Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 74.

20. "De todas partes era infinita la gente que de un cabo é de otro concurrian á mirar á los Es­pañoles, é maravillábanse mucho de los ver. Tenian grande espacio é atencion en mirar los caballos; decian, 'Estos son Teules,' que quiere decir Demonios." Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 45.

21. Cortés tells the affair coolly enough to the emperor. "É aquella noche tuve tal guarda, que assí de espías, que venian por el agua en canoas, como de otras, que por la sierra abajaban, á ver si habia aparejo para executar suvoluntad, amaneciéron casi quince, ó veinte, que las nuestras las habian tomado, y muerto. Por manera que pocas bolviéron á dar su respuesta de el aviso que venian á tomar." Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 74.

22. Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 75.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 64.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 85.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 5.
      "Llegó con el mayor fausto, y grandeza que ningun señor de los Mexicanos auiamos visto traer, . . . . y lo tuuímos por muy gran cosa: y platicámos entre nosotros, que quando aquel Cacique traia tanto triunfo, que haria el gran Monteçuma?" Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Con­quista, cap. 87.

23. "Nos quedámos admirados," exclaims Diaz, with simple wonder, "y deziamos que parecia á las casas de encantamento, que cuentan en libro de Amadis!" (Ibid., loc. cit.) An edition of this celebrated romance in its Castilian dress had appeared before this time, as the prologue to the second edition of 1521 speaks of a former one in the reign of the "Catholic Sovereigns." See Cervantes, Don Quixote, ed. Pellicer, (Madrid, 1797,) tom. I., Discurso Prelim.

24. "Una ciudad, la mas hermosa, aunque pequeña, que hasta entonces habiamos visto, assí de muy bien obradas Casas, y Torres, como de la buena órden, que en el fundamento de ella habia por ser armada toda sobre Agua." (Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 76.) The Spaniards gave this aquatic city the name of Venezuela, or little Venice. Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 2, cap. 4.

25. M. de Humboldt has dotted the conjectural limits of the ancient lake in his admirable chart of the Mexican Valley. (Atlas Géographique et Physique de la Nouvelle Espagne, (Paris, 1811,) carte 3.) Notwithstanding his great care, it is not easy always to reconcile his topography with the itineraries of the Conquerors, so much has the face of the country been changed by nat­ural and artificial causes. It is still less possible to reconcile their narratives with the maps of Clavigero, Lopez, Robertson, and others, defying equally topography and history.

26. Several writers notice a visit of the Spaniards to Tezcuco on the way to the capital. (Torque­mada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 42.--Solís, Conquista, lib. 3, cap. 9.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 7, cap. 4.--Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. III. p. 74.) This improbable episode­--which, it may be remarked, has led these authors into some geographical perplexities, not to say blunders--is altogether too remarkable to have been passed over in silence, in the minute relation of Bernal Diaz, and that of Cortés, neither of whom alludes to it.

27. "É me diéron," says Cortés, "hasta tres, ó quarto mil Castellanos, y algunas Esclavas, y Ropa, é me hiciéron muy buen acogimiento." Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 76.

28. "Tiene el Señor de ella unas Casas nuevas, que aun no están acabadas, que son tan buenas como las mejores de España, digo de grandes y bien labradas." Ibid., p. 77.

29. The earliest instance of a Garden of Plants in Europe is said to have been at Padua, in 1545. Carli, Lettres Américaines, tom. I. let. 21.

30. Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ubi supra.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 7, cap. 44.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 13.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 5.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 87.

                  31. "There Aztlan stood upon the farther shore;
                  Amid the shade of trees its dwellings rose,
                  Their level roofs with turrets set around,
                  And battlements all burnished white, which shone
                  Like silver in the sunshine. I beheld
                  The imperial city, her far-circling walls,
                  Her garden groves and stately palaces,
                  Her temples mountain size, her thousand roofs;
                  And when I saw her might and majesty,
                  My mind misgave me then."
                              SOUTHEY'S MADOC, Part 1, canto 6.


1. He took about 6000 warriors from Tlascala; and some few of the Cempoallan and other In­dian allies continued with him. The Spanish force on leaving Vera Cruz amounted to about 400 foot and 15 horse. In the remonstrance of the disaffected soldiers, after the murderous Tlascalan combats, they speak of having lost fifty of their number since the beginning of the campaign. Ante, Vol. I. p. 245.

2. "La calzada d'Iztapalapan est fondée sur cette même digue ancienne, sur laquelle Cortéz fit des prodiges de valeur dans ses recontres avec les assiégés." Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. II. p. 57.

3. Among these towns were several containing from three to five or six thousand dwellings, ac­cording to Cortés, whose barbarous orthography in proper names will not easily be recog­nized by Mexican or Spaniard. Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 78.

4. Father Toribio Benavente does not stint his panegyric in speaking of the neighborhood of the capital, which he saw in its glory. "Creo, que en toda nuestra Europa hay pocas ciudades que tengan tal asiento y tal comarca, con tantos pueblos á la redonda de sí y tan bien asenta­dos." Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 3, cap. 7.

5. It is not necessary, however, to adopt Herrera's account of 50,000 canoes, which, he says, were constantly employed in supplying the capital with provisions! (Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 7, cap. 14.) The poet-chronicler Saavedra is more modest in his estimate.
                  "Dos mil y mas canoas cada dia
                  Bastecen el gran pueblo Mexicano
                  De la mas y la menus niñeria
                  Que es necessario al alimento humano."
                              EL PEREGRINO INDIANO, CANTO 11.

6. "Usaban unos brazaletes de musaico, hechos de turquezas con unas plumas ricas que salian de ellos, que eran mas altas que la cabeza, y bordadas con plumas ricas y con oro, y unas bandas de oro, que subian con las plumas." Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 8, cap. 9.

7 Gonzalo de las Casas, Defensa, MS., Parte 1, cap. 24.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 65.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 88.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 5.--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 78, 79.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 85.

8. Cardinal Lorenzana says, the street intended, probably, was that crossing the city from the Hospital of San Antonio. (Rel. Seg. de Cortés, p. 79, nota.) This is confirmed by Sahagun. "Y así en aquel trecho que está desde la Iglesia de San Antonio (que ellos llaman Xuluco) que va por cave las casas de Alvarado, hacia el Hospital de la Concepcion, salió Moctezuma á recibir de paz á D. Hernando Cortás." Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 16.

9. Carta del Lic. Zuazo, MS.

10. "Toda la gente que estaba en las calles se le humiliaban y hacian profunda reverencia y grande acatamiento sin levantar los ojos á le mirar, sino que todos estaban hasta que él era pasado, tan inclinados como frayles en Gloria Patri." Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 3, cap. 7.

11. For the preceding account of the equipage and appearance of Montezuma, see Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 88,--Carta de Zuazo, MS.,--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 85,--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 65,--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., ubi supra, et cap. 45,­--Acosta, lib. 7, cap. 22,--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 16,--Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 3, cap. 7.
      The noble Castilian, or rather Mexican bard, Saavedra, who belonged to the generation after the Conquest, has introduced most of the particulars in his rhyming chronicle. The fol­lowing specimen will probably suffice for the reader.                   "Yva el gran Moteçuma atauiado
                  De manta açul y blanca con gran falda,
                  De algodon muy sutil y delicado,
                  Y al remate vna concha de esmeralda:
                  En la parte que el nudo tiene dado,
                  Y una tiara á modo de guirnalda,
                  Zapatos que de oro son las suelas
                  Asidos con muy ricas correhuelas."
                              EL PEREGRINO INDIANO, canto 11.

12. "Satis vultu læto," says Martyr, "an stomacho sedatus, et an hospites per vim quis unquam libens susceperit, experti loquantur." De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 3.

13. Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 79.

14. "Entráron en la ciudad de Méjico á punto de guerra, tocando Ins atambores, y con banderas desplegadas," &c. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 15.

15. "Et giardini alti et bassi, che era cosa maravigliosa da vedere." Rel. d'un gent., ap. Rumusio, tom. III. fol. 309.

16. "wQuien podrá," exclaims the old soldier, "dezir la multitud de hombres, y mugeres, y mucha­chos, que estauan en las calles, é açuetas, y en Canoas en aquellas acequias, que nos salian á mirar? Era cosa de notar, que agora que lo estoy escriuiendo, se me representa todo delante de mis ojos, como si ayer fuera quando esto passó." Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 88.

17. "Ad spectaculum," says the penetrating Martyr, "tandem Hispanis placidum, quia diu optatum, Tenustiatanis prudentibus forte aliter, quia verentur fore, vt hi hospites quietem suam Elysiam veniant perturbaturi; de populo secus, qui nil sentit æque delectabile, quàm res novas ante oculos in presentiarum habere, de futuro nihil anxius." De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 3.

18. The euphonious name of Tenochtitlan is commonly derived from Aztec words signifying "the tuna, or cactus, on a rock," the appearance of which, as the reader may remember, was to de­termine the site of the future capital. (Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, Parte 3, cap. 7.--Esplic. de la Colec. de Mendoza, ap. Antiq. of Mexico, vol. IV.) Another etymology derives the word from Tenoch, the name of one of the founders of the monarchy.

19. Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. III. p. 78.
      It occupied what is now the corner of the streets, "Del Indio Triste" and "Tacuba." Hum­boldt, Vues des Cordillères, p. 7, et seq.

20. Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 88.--Gonzalo de las Casas, Defensa, MS., Parte 1, cap. 24.

21. Boturini says, greater, by the acknowledgment of the goldsmiths themselves. "Los plateros de Madrid, viendo algunas Piezas, y Brazaletes de oro, con que se armaban en guerra los Reyes, y Capitanes Indianos, confessáron, que eran inimitables en Europa." (Idea, p. 78.) And Oviedo, speaking of their work in jewelry, remarks, "Io ví algunas piedras jaspes, calcidonias, jacintos, corniolas, é plasmas de esmeraldas, é otras de otras especies labradas é fechas, cabezas de Aves, é otras hechas animales é otras figuras, que dudo haber en España ni en Italia quien las supiera hacer con tanta perficion." Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 11.

22. Ante, Vol. I. p. 258.

23. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 88.--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 80.

24. Bernal Diaz, Ibid., loc. cit.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 5.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 16.

25. "Muchas y diversas Joyas de Oro, y Plata, y Plumajes, y con fasta cinco ó seis mil Piezas de Ropa de Algodon muy ricas, y de diversas maneras texida, y labrada." (Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 80.) Even this falls short of truth, according to Diaz. "Tenia apercebido el gran Monteçuma muy ricas joyas de oro, y de muchas hechuras, que dió á nuestro Capitan, é assí mismo á cada vno de nuestros Capitanes dió cositas de oro, y tres cargas de mantas de labores ricas de pluma, y entre todos los soldados tambien nos dió á cada vno á dos cargas de man­tas, con alegría, y en todo parecia gran señor" (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 89.) "Sex millia vestium, aiunt qui eas vidêre." Martyr, De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 3.

26. Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 85.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 66.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 7, cap. 6.--Bernal Diaz, Ibid., ubi supra.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 5.

27. "La noche siguiente jugáron la artillería por la solemnidad de haber llegado sin daño á donde deseaban; pero los Indios como no usados á los truenos de la artillería, mal edor de la pólvora, recibiéron grande alteracion y miedo toda aquella noche." Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 17.

28. "C'est là que la famille construisit le bel édifice dans lequel se trouvent les archives del Es­tado, et qui est passfi avec tout l'héritage au duc Napolitain de Monteleone." (Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. II. p. 72.) The inhabitants of modern Mexico have large obligations to this inquisitive traveller, for the care he has taken to identify the memorable localities of their capital. It is not often that a philosophical treatise is, also, a good manuel du voyageur.

29. "Et io entrai più di quattro volte in una casa del gran Signor non per altro effetto che per ve­derla, et ogni volta vi camminauo tanto che mi stancauo, et mai la fini di vedere tutta." Rel. d'un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 309.

30. Gomara,.Crónica, cap. 71.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 7, cap. 9.
      The authorities call it "tiger," an animal not known in America. I have ventured to sub­stitute the "ocelotl," tlalocelotl of Mexico, a native animal, which, being of the same family, might easily be confounded by the Spaniards with the tiger of the Old Continent.

31. Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 3, cap. 7.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 7, cap. 9.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 71.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 91.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 5, 46.--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 111-114.

32. "Para entrar en su palacio, á que ellos llaman Tecpa, todos se descalzaban, y los que entraban á negociar con él habian de llevar mantas groseras encima de sí, y si eran grandes señores ó en tiempo de frio, sobre las mantas buenas que llevaban vestidas, ponian una manta grosera y pobre; y para hablarle, estaban muy humiliados y sin levantar los ojos." (Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 3, cap. 7.) There is no better authority than this worthy missionary, for the usages of the ancient Aztecs, of which he had such large personal knowledge.

33. The ludicrous effect--if the subject be not too grave to justify the expression--of a literal belief in the doctrine of Transubstantiation in the mother country, even at this day, is well il­lustrated by Blanco White, Letters from Spain, (London, 1822,) let. 1.

34. "Y en esso de la creacion del mundo assí lo tenemos nosotros creido muchos tiempos passa­dos." (Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 90.) For some points of resemblance between the Aztec and Hebrew traditions, see Book 1, Ch. 3, and Appendix, Part 1, of this History.

35. "É siempre hemos tenido, que de los que de él descendiessen habian de venir á sojuzgar esta tierra, y á nosotros como á sus Vasallos." Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 81.

36. "Y luego el Monteçuma dixo riendo, porque en todo era muy regozijado en su hablar de gran señor: Malinche, bien sé que te han dicho essos de Tlascala, con quien tanta amistad aueis tomado, que yo que soy como Dios, ó Teule, que quanto ay en mis casas es todo oro, é plata, y piedras ricas." Bernal Diaz, Ibid., ubi supra.

37. "É por tanto Vos sed cierto, que os obedecerémos, y ternémos por señor en lugar de esse gran señor, que decis, y que en ello no habia falta, ni engaño alguno; é bien podeis en toda la tierra, digo, que en la que yo en mi Señorío poseo, mandar á vuestra voluntad, porque será obede­cido y fecho, y todo lo que nosotros tenemos es para to que Vos de ello quisieredes disponer." Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ubi supra.

38. Martyr, De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 3.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 66.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 5.--Gonzalo de las Casas, MS., Parte 1, cap. 24.
      Cortés, in his brief notes of this proceeding, speaks only of the interview with Montezuma in the Spanish quarters, which he makes the scene of the preceding dialogue.­--Bernal Diaz transfers this to the subsequent meeting in the palace. In the only fact of importance, the dialogue itself, both substantially agree.

39. "Assí nos despedímos con grandes cortesías dél, y nos fuýmos á nuestros aposentos, é ibamos platicando de la buena manera é criança que en todo tenia, é que nosotros en todo le tu­uiessemos mucho acato, é con las gorras de armas colchadas quitadas, quando delante dél passassemos." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 90.

40. "Y assí," says Toribio de Benavente, "estaba tan fuerte esta ciudad, que parecia no bastar poder humano para ganarla; porque ademas de su fuerza y municion que tenia, era cabeza y Señoría de toda la tierra, y el Señor de ella (Moteczuma) gloriábase en su silla y en la fortaleza de su ciudad, y en la muchedumbre de sus vassallos." Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 3, cap. 8.

41. "Many are of opinion," says Father Acosta, "that, if the Spaniards had continued the course they began, they might easily have disposed of Montezuma and his kingdom, and introduced the law of Christ, without much bloodshed." Lib. 7, cap. 25.


1. The lake, it seems, had perceptibly shrunk before the Conquest, from the testimony of Motilinia, who entered the country soon after. Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 3, cap. 6.

2. Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. II. p. 95.
      Cortés supposed there were regular tides in this lake. (Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 101.) This sorely puzzles the learned Martyr; (De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 3;) as it has more than one philosopher since, whom it has led to speculate on a subterraneous communication with the ocean! What the general called "tides" was probably the periodical swells caused by the prevalence of certain regular winds.

3. Humboldt has given a minute account of this tunnel, which he pronounces one of the most stupendous hydraulic works in existence, and the completion of which, in its present form, does not date earlier than the latter part of the last century. See his Essai Politique, tom. II. p. 105, et seq.

4. Ibid., tom. II. p. 87, et seq.--Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. II. p. 153.

5. Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 3, cap. 8.
      Cortés, indeed, speaks of four causeways. (Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 102.) He may have reckoned an arm of the southern one leading to Cojohuacan, or possibly the great aqueduct of Chapoltepec.

6. Ante, Vol. I. p. 17.

7. Martyr gives a particular account of these dwellings, which shows that even the poorer classes were comfortably lodged. "Populares vero domus cingulo virili tenus lapidæ sunt et ipsæ, ob lacunæ incrementum per fluxum aut fluviorum in ea labentium alluvies. Super fundamentis illis magnis, lateribus tum coctis, tum æstivo sole siccatis, immixtis trabibus reli­quam molem construunt; uno sunt communes domus contentæ tabulato. In solo parum hospitantur propter humiditatem, tecta non tegulis sed bitumine quodam terreo vestiunt; ad solem captandum commodior est ille modus, breviore tempore consumi debere credendum est." De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 10.

8. Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 3, cap. 8.--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 108.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 10, 11.--Rel. d'un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 309.

9. Martyr was struck with the resemblance. "Uti de illustrissima civitate Venetiarum legitur, ad tumulum in ea sinus Adriatici parte visum, fuisse constructam." Martyr, De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 10.

10. May we not apply, without much violence, to the Aztec capital, Giovanni della Casa's spir­ited sonnet, contrasting the origin of Venice with its meridian glory?
                  "Questi Palazzi e queste logge or colte
                     D'ostro, di marmo e di figure elette,
                     Fur poche e basse case insieme accolte,
                     Deserti lidi e povere Isolette.
                  Ma genti ardite d'ogni vizio sciolte
                     Premeano il mar con picciole barchette,
                     Che qui non per domar provincie molte,
                     Ma fuggir servitù s' eran ristrette
                  Non era ambizion ne' petti loro;
                     Ma 'l mentire abborrian più che la morte,
                     Nè vi regnava ingorda fame d' oro.
                  Se 'l Ciel v' ha dato più beata sorte,
                     Non sien quelle virtù che tanto onoro,
                     Dalle nuove ricchezze oppresse emorte."

11. "Le lac de Tezcuco n'a généralement que trois à cinq mètres de profondeur. Dans quelques endroits le fond se trouve même déjà à moins d'un mètre." Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. II. p. 49.

12. "Y cada dia entran gran multitud de Indios cargados de bastimentos y tributos, así por tierra como por agua, en acales ó barcas, que en lengua de las Islas llaman Canoas." Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 3, cap. 6.

13. "Esta la cibdad de Méjico ó Teneztutan, que será de sesenta mil vecinos." (Carta de Lic. Zuazo, MS.) "Tenustitanam ipsam inquiunt sexaginta circiter esse millium domorum." (Martyr, De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 3.) "Era Méjico, quando Cortés entró, pueblo de sesenta mil casas." (Gomara, Crónica, cap. 78.) Toribio says, vaguely, "Los moradores y gente era innumerable." (Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 3, cap. 8.) The Italian translation of the "Anonymous Con­queror," who survives only in translation, says, indeed, "meglio di sessanta mila habitatori"; (Rel. d'un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 309;) owing, probably, to a blunder in rendering the word vecinos, the ordinary term in Spanish statistics, which, signifying householders, corre­sponds with the Italian fuochi. See, also, Clavigero. (Stor. del Messico, tom. III. p. 86, nota.) Robertson rests exclusively on this Italian translation for his estimate. (History of America, vol. II. p. 281.) He cites, indeed, two other authorities in the same connection; Cortés, who says nothing of the population, and Herrera, who confirms the popular statement of "sesenta mil casas." (Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 7, cap. 13.) The fact is of some importance.

14. "En las casas, por pequeñas que eran, pocas veces dexaban de morar dos, quatro, y seis veci­nos." Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 7, cap. 13.

15. Rel. d'un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 309.

16. "C'est sur le chemin qui mène à Tanepantla et aux Ahuahuetes que l'on peut marcher plus d'une heure entre les ruines de I'ancienne ville. On y reconnâit, ainsi que sur la route de Tacuba et d'Iztapalapan, combien Mexico, rebâti par Cortés, est plus petit que l'était Tenochtitlan sous le dernier des Montezuma. L'énorme grandeur du marché de Tlatelolco, dont on reconnâit encore les limites, prouve combien la population de l'ancienne ville doit avoir été considérable." Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. II. p. 43.

17. A common food with the lower classes was a glutinous scum found in the lakes, which they made into a sort of cake, having a savor not unlike cheese. (Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista cap. 92.)

18. One is confirmed in this inference by comparing the two maps at the end of the first edition of Bullock's "Mexico"; one of the modern City, the other of the ancient, taken from Bo­turini's museum, and showing its regular arrangement of streets and canals; as regular, in­ deed, as the square on a chessboard.

19. Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. I. p. 274.

20. "Era tan barrido y el suelo tan asentado y liso, que aunque la planta del pie fuera tan delicada como la de la mano no recibiera el pie detrimento ninguno en andar descalzo." Toribio, Hist. de Ins Indios, MS., Parte 3, cap. 7.

21. Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 108.--Carta del Lic. Zuazo, MS.--Rel. d'un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 309.

22. These immense masses, according to Martyr, who gathered his information from eyewit­nesses, were transported by means of long files of men, who dragged them with ropes over huge wooden rollers. (De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 10.) It was the manner in which the Egyp­tians removed their enormous blocks of granite, as appears from numerous reliefs sculptured on their buildings.

23. Rel. d'un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 309.

24. "Ricos edificios," says the Licentiate Zuazo, speaking of the buildings in Anahuac generally, "ecepto que no se halla alguno con boveda." (Carta, MS.) The writer made large and careful observation, the year after the Conquest. His assertion, if it be received, will settle a question much mooted among antiquaries.

25. "Tenia dentro de la ciudad sus Casas de Aposentamiento, tales, y tan maravillosas, que me pareceria casi imposible poder decir la bondad y grandeza de ellas. É por tanto, no me porné en expresar cosa de ellas, mas de que en España no hay su semejable." Rel. Seg., ap. Loren­zana, p. 111.

26. Herrera's account of these feathered insects, if one may so style them, shows the fanciful er­rors into which even men of science were led in regard to the new tribes of animals discov­ered in America. "There are some birds in the country of the size of butterflies, with long beaks, brilliant plumage, much esteemed for the curious works made of them. Like the bees, they live on flowers, and the dew which settles on them; and when the rainy season is over, and the dry weather sets in, they fasten themselves to the trees by their beaks and soon die. But in the following year, when the new rains come, they come to life again"! Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 21.

27. "Pues mas tenian," says the honest Captain Diaz, "en aquella maldita casa muchas Viboras, y Culebras emponçoñadas, que traen en las colas vnos que suenan como cascabeles; estas son las peores Viboras de todas." Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 91.

28. "Digamos aora," exclaims Captain Diaz, "las cosas infernales que hazian, quando bramauan los Tigres y Leones, y aullauan los Adiues y Zorros, y silbauan las Sierpes, era grima oirlo, y parecia infierno." Ibid., loc. cit.

29. Ibid., ubi supra.--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 111-113.--Carta del Lic. Zuazo, MS.--Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 3, cap. 7.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 11, 46.

30. Montezuma, according to Gomara, would allow no fruit-trees, considering them as unsuit­able to pleasure-grounds. (Crónica, cap. 75.) Toribio says, to the same effect, "Los Indios Señores no procuran árboles de fruta, porque se la traen sus vasallos, sino árboles de floresta, de donde cojan rosas, y adonde se crian aves, así para gozar del canto, como para las tirar con Cerbatana, de la cual son grandes tiradores." Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 3, cap. 6.

31. Ibid., loc. cit.--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ubi supra.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 11.

32. Gama, a competent critic, who saw them just before their destruction, praises their execu­tion. Gama, Descripcion, Parte 2, pp. 81-83.--Also, Ante, Vol. I. p. 82.

33. No less than one thousand, if we believe Gomara; who adds the edifying intelligence, "quo huvo vez, yue tuvo ciento i cincuenta preñadas à un tiempo!"

34. "Vestíase todos los dias quarto maneras de vestiduras todas nuevas, y nunca mas se las vestia otra vez." Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 114.

35. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 91.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 67, 71, 76.--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 113, 114.--Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 3, cap. 7.
      "Á la puerta de la sala estaba vn patio mui grande en que habia cien aposentos de 25 ó 30 pies de largo cada vno sobre sí en torno de dicho patio, é allí estaban los Señores principales aposentados como guardas del palacio ordinarias, y estos tales aposentos se llaman galpones, los quales á la contina ocupan mas de 600 hombres, que jamas se quitaban de allí, é cada vno de aquellos tenian mas de 30 servidores, de manera que á lo menos nunca faltaban 3000 hom­bres de guerra en esta guarda cotediana del palacio." (Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 46.) A very curious and full account of Montezuma's household is given by this author, as he gathered it from the Spaniards who saw it in its splendor. Oviedo's history still remains in manuscript.

36. Bernal Diaz., Ibid., loc. cit.--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ubi supra.

37. "Y porque la Tierra es fria, trahian debaxo de cada plato y escudilla de manjar un braserico con brasa, porque no se enfriasse." Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 113.

38. Bernal Diaz has given us a few items of the royal carte. The first cover is rather a startling one, being a fricassee or stew of little children! "carnes de muchachos de poca edad." He admits, how­ever, that this is somewhat apocryphal. Ibid., ubi supra.

39. "Lo que yo ví," says Diaz, speaking from his own observation, "que traian sobre cincuenta ja­rros grandes hechos de buen cacao con su espuma, y de lo que bebia." Ibid., cap. 91.

40. Ibid., ubi supra.--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 113, 114.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 11, 46.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 67.

41. "Tambien le ponian en la mesa tres cañutos muy pintados, y dorados, y dentro traian liq­uidámbar, rebuelto con vnas yervas que se dize tabaco." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 91.

42. The feats of jugglers and tumblers were a favorite diversion with the Grand Khan of China, as Sir John Maundeville informs us. (Voiage and Travaille, chap. 22.) The Aztec mountebanks had such repute, that Cortés sent two of them to Rome to amuse his Holiness, Clement VII. Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. II. p. 186.

43. "Ninguno de los Soldanes, ni otro ningun señor infiel, de los que hasta agora se tiene noticia, no creo, que tantas, ni tales ceremonias en servicio tengan." Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Loren­zana, p. 115.

44. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 91.--Carta del Lic. Zuazo, MS.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., ubi supra.--Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 3, cap. 7.--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 110-115.--Rel. d'un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 306.

45. If the historian will descend but a generation later for his authorities, he may find materials for as good a chapter as any in Sir John Maundeville or the Arabian Nights.

46. "Referre in tanto rege piget superbam mutationem vestis, et desideratas humi jacentium adulationes." (Livy, Hist., lib. 9, cap. 18.) The remarks of the Roman historian in reference to Alexander, after he was infected by the manners of Persia, fit equally well the Aztec emperor.


1. "La Gente de esta Ciudad es de mas manera y primor en su vestido, y servicio, que no la otra de estas otras Provincias, y Ciudades: porque como allí estaba siempre este Señor Muteczuma, y todos los Señores sus Vasallos ocurrian siempre á la Ciudad, habia en ella mas manera, y policía en todas las cosas." Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 109.

2. Zuazo, speaking of the beauty and warmth of this national fabric, says, "Ví muchas de á dos haces labradas de plumas de papos de aves tan suaves, que trayendo la mano por encima á pelo y á pospelo, no era mas que vna manta zebellina mui bien adobada: hice pesar vna de­llas no peso mas de seis onzas. Dicen que en el tiempo del Ynbierno una abasta para encima de la camisa sin otro cobertor ni mas ropa encima de la cama." Carta, MS.

3. "Sono lunghe & large, lauorate di bellisimi, & molto gentili lauori sparsi per esse, co le loro frangie, ò orletti ben lauorati che compariscono benissimo." Rel. d'un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 305.

4. Ibid., fol. 305.

5. Ibid., fol. 309.

6. "Quivi concorrevano i Pentoai, ed i Giojellieri di Cholulla, gli Orefici d' Azcapozalco, i Pit­tori di Tezcuco, gli Scarpellini di Tenajocan, i Cacciatori di Xilotepec, i Pescatori di Cuit­lahuac, i fruttajuoli de' paesi caldi, gli artefici di stuoje, e di scranne di Quauhtitlan ed i coltivatori de' fiori di Xochimilco." Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. II. p. 165.

7. "Oro y plata, piedras de valor, con otras plumajes é argenterías maravillosas, y con tanto pri­mor fabricadas que excede todo ingenio humano para comprenderlas y alcanzarlas." (Carta del Lic. Zuazo, MS.) The licentiate then enumerates several of these elegant pieces of mech­anism. Cortés is not less emphatic in his admiration; "Contrahechas de oro, y plata, y piedras y plumas, tan al natural lo de Oro, y Plata, que no hay Platero en el Mundo que mejor lo hi­ciesse, y lo de las Piedras, que no baste juicio comprehender con que Instrumentos se hiciesse tan perfecto, y lo de Pluma, que ni de Cera, ni en ningun broslado se podria hacer tan ma­ravillosamente." (Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 110.) Peter Martyr, a less prejudiced critic than Cortés, and who saw and examined many of these golden trinkets afterwards in Castile, bears the same testimony to the exquisite character of the workmanship, which, he says, far sur­passed the value of the material. De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 10.

8. Herrera makes the unauthorized assertion, repeated by Solís, that the Mexicans were unac­quainted with the value of the cochineal, till it was taught them by the Spaniards. (Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 4, lib. 8, cap. 11.) The natives, on the contrary, took infinite pains to rear the insect on plantations of the cactus, and it formed one of the staple tributes to the crown from certain districts. See the tribute-rolls, ap. Lorenzana, Nos. 23, 24.--Hernandez, Hist. Plantarum, lib. 6, cap. 116.--Also, Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. I. p. 114, nota.

9 Ante, Vol. I. p. 82.

10. Zuazo, who seems to have been nice in these matters, concludes a paragraph of dainties with the following tribute to the Aztec cuisine. "Vendense huebos asados, crudos, en tortilla, é di­versidad de guisados que se suelen guisar, con otras cazuelas y parteles, que en el mal coci­nado de Medina, ni en otros lugares de Tlamencos dicen que hai ni se pueden hallar tales trujamanes." Carta, MS.

11. Ample details--many more than I have thought it necessary to give--of the Aztec market of Tlatelolco may be found in the writings of all the old Spaniards who visited the capital. Among others, see Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 103-105.--Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 3, cap. 7.--Carta del Lic. Zuazo, MS.--Rel. d'un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 309.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 92.

12. Zuazo raises it to 80,000! (Carta, MS.) Cortés to 60,000. (Rel. Seg., ubi supra.) The most mod­est computation is that of the "Anonymous Conqueror," who says from 40,000 to 50,000. "Et il giorno del mercato, che si fa di cinque in cinque giorni, vi sono da quaranta ò cinquanta mila persone", (Rel. d'un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 309;) a confirmation, by the by, of the supposition that the estimated population of the capital, found in the Italian version of this author, is a misprint. (See the preceding chapter, note 13.) He would hardly have crowded an amount equal to the whole of it into the market.

13. Ante, Vol. I. p. 84.

14. Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 3, cap. 7.--Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 104.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 10.--Bernal Diaz, Hist de la Conquista, loc. cit.

15. "Entre nosotros," says Diaz, "huuo soldados que auian estado en muchas partes del mundo, y en Constantinopla, y en toda Italia y Roma, y dixéron, que plaça tan bien compassada, y con canto concierto, y tamaña, y llena de tanta gente, no la auian visto." Ibid., ubi supra.

16. Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. II. p. 27.

17. Ante, Vol. I. p. 65.

18. "Et di più v'hauea vna guarnigione di dieci mila huomini di guerra, tutti eletti per huomini valenti, & questi accompagnauano & guardauano la sua persona, & quando si facea qualche rumore o ribellione nella città ò nel paese circumuicino, andauano questi, ò parte d'essi per Capitani." Rel. d'un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 309.

19. Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. II. p. 40.
      On paving the square, not long ago, round the modern cathedral, there were found large blocks of sculptured stone buried between thirty and forty feet deep in the ground. Ibid., loc. cit.

20. Clavigero calls it oblong, on the alleged authority of the "Anonymous Conqueror." (Stor. del Messico, tom. II. p. 27, nota.) But the latter says not a word of the shape, and his contemptible woodcut is too plainly destitute of all proportion, to furnish an inference of any kind. (Comp. Rel. d'un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 307.) Torquemada and Gomara both say, it was square; (Monarch. Ind., lib. 8, cap. 11;--Crónica, cap. 80;) and Toribio de Benavente, speak­ing generally of the Mexican temples, says, they had that form. Hist. de los Ind., MS., Parte 1, cap. 12.

21. See Appendix, Part 1.

22. Clavigero, calling it oblong, adopts Torquemada's estimate,--not Sahagun's, as he pretends, which he never saw, and who gives no measurement of the building,--for the length, and Go­mara's estimate, which is somewhat less, for the breadth. (Stor. del. Messico, tom. II. p. 28, nota.) As both his authorities make the building square, this spirit of accommodation is whimsical enough. Toribio, who did measure a teocalli of the usual construction in the town of Tenayuca, found it to be forty brazas, or two hundred and forty feet square. (Hist. de los Ind., MS., Parte 1, cap. 12.) The great temple of Mexico was undoubtedly larger, and, in the want of better authorities, one may accept Torquemada, who makes it a little more than three hundred and sixty Toledan, equal to three hundred and eight French feet, square. (Monarch. Ind., lib. 8, cap. 11.) How can M. de Humboldt speak of the "great concurrence of testimony" in regard to the dimensions of the temple? (Essai Politique, tom. II. p. 41.) No two authorities agree.

23. Bernal Diaz says he counted one hundred and fourteen steps. (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 92.) Toribio says that more than one person who had numbered them told him they exceeded a hundred. (Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 1, cap. 12.) The steps could hardly have been less than eight or ten inches high, each; Clavigero assumes that they were a foot, and that the building, therefore, was a hundred and fourteen feet high, precisely. (Stor. del Messico, tom. II. pp. 28, 29.) It is seldom safe to use any thing stronger than probably in history.

24. "Tornámos á ver la gran plaça, y la multitud de gente que en ella auia, vnos comprado, y otros vendiendo, que solamente el rumor, y zumbido de las vozes, y palabras que allí auia, sonaua mas que de vna legua!" Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 92.

25. "Y por honrar mas sus templos sacaban los caminos muy derechos por cordel de una y de dos leguas que era cosa harto de ver, desde lo Alto del principal templo, como venian de todos los pueblos menores y barrios; salian los caminos muy derechos y iban á dar al patio de los teocallis." Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 1, cap. 12.

26. "No se contentaba el Demonio con los [Teucales] ya dichos, sino que en cada pueblo, en cada barrio, y á cuarto de legua, tenian otros patios pequeños adonde habia tres ó cuatro teocallis, y en algunos mas, en otras partes solo uno, y en cada Mogote ó Cerrejon uno ó dos, y por los caminos y entre los Maizales, habia otros muchos pequeños, y todos estaban blancos y encalados, que parecian y abultaban mucho, que en la tierra bien poblada parecia que todo es­taba lleno de casas, en especial de los patios del Demonio, que eran muy de ver." Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., ubi supra.

27. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, ubi supra.

28. Ante, Vol. 1. p. 38.

29. "Y tenia en las paredes tantas costras de sangre, y el suelo todo bañado dello, que en los mataderos de Castilla no auia tanto hedor." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, ubi supra.--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 105, 106.--Carta del Lic. Zuazo, MS.--See, also, for notices of these deities, Sahagun, lib. 3, cap. 1, et seq.,--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 6, cap. 20, 21,--Acosta, lib. 5, cap. 9.

30. Bernal Diaz, Ibid., ubi supra.
      Whoever examines Cortés' great letter to Charles V. will be surprised to find it stated, that, instead of any acknowledgment to Montezuma, he threw down his idols and erected the Christian emblems in their stead. (Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 106.) This was an event of much later date. The Conquistador wrote his despatches too rapidly and concisely to give heed al­ways to exact time and circumstance. We are quite as likely to find them attended to in the long-winded, gossiping,--inestimable chronicle of Diaz.

31. "Quarenta torres muy altas y bien obradas." Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 105.

32. "Delante de todos estos altares habia braçeros que toda la noche hardian, y en las salas tam­bien tenian sus fuegos." Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 1, cap. 12.

33. Bernal Diaz, Ibid., ubi supra.
      Toribio, also, notices this temple with the same complimentary epithet.
      "La boca hecha como de infierno y en ella pintada la boca de una temerosa Sierpe con terribles colmillos y dientes, y en algunas de estas los colmillos eran de bulto, que verlo y en­trar dentro ponia gran temor y grima, en especial el infierno que estaba en México, que pare­cia traslado del verdadero infierno." Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 1, cap. 4.

34. Bernal Diaz, ubi supra.
      "Andres de Tapia, que me to dijo, i Gonñalo de Umbria, las contáron vn Dia, i halláron ciento i treinta i seis mil Calaberas, en las Vigas, i Gradas." Gomara, Crónica, cap. 82.

35. Three collections, thus fancifully disposed, of these grinning horrors--in all 230,000--are noticed by Gibbon! (Decline and Fall, ed. Milman, vol. I. p. 52; vol. XII. p. 45.) A European scholar commends "the conqueror's piety, his moderation, and his justice!" Rowe's Dedica­tion of "Tamerlane."

36. Ante, Vol. I. pp. 43, 44.
      The desire of presenting the reader with a complete view of the actual state of the cap­ital, at the time of its occupation by the Spaniards, has led me in this and the preceding chap­ter into a few repetitions of remarks on the Aztec institutions in the Introductory Book of this History.

37. Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte l, cap. 12.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 80.--Rel. d'un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 309.

38. "Es tan grande que dentro del circuito de ella, que es todo cercado de Muro muy alto, se podia muy bien facer una Villa de quinientos Vecinos." Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 105.

39. "Todas estas mugeres," says father Toribio, "estaban aquí sirviendo al demonio por sus pro­pios intereses; las unas porque el Demonio las hiciese modestas," &c. Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 1, cap. 9.

40. See Appendix, Part 1.

41. "Y luego to supímos entre todos los demas Capitanes, y soldados, y to entrámos á ver muy secretamente, y como yo to ví, digo que me admiré, é como en aquel tiempo era mancebo, y no auia visto en mi vida riquezas como aquellas, tuue por cierto, que en el mundo no deuiera auer otras tantas!" Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 93.

42. Ibid., loc. cit.


1. "Los Españoles," says Cortés frankly, of his countrymen, "somos algo incomportables, é im­portunos." Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 84.

2. Gomara, Crónica, cap. 83.
      There is reason to doubt the truth of these stories. "Segun una carta original que tengo en mi poder firmada de las tres cabezas de la Nueva España en donde escriben á la Magestad del Emperador Nuestro Señor (que Dios tenga en su Santo Reyno) disculpan en ella á Mote­cuhzoma y á los Mexicanos de esto, y de lo demas que se les argulló, que lo cierto era que fué invencion de los Tlascaltecas, y de algunos de los Españoles que veian la hora de salirse de miedo de la Ciudad, y poner en cobro innumerables riquezas que habian venido á sus manos." Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 85.

3. Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 84.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 85.--P. Mar­tyr, De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 3.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 6.
      Bernal Diaz gives a very different report of this matter. According to him, a number of officers and soldiers, of whom he was one, suggested the capture of Montezuma to the gen­eral, who came into the plan with hesitation. (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 93.) This is contrary to the character of Cortés, who was a man to lead, not to be led, on such occasions. It is con­trary to the general report of historians, though these, it must be confessed, are mainly built on the general's narrative. It is contrary to anterior probability; since, if the conception seems almost too desperate to have seriously entered into the head of any one man, how much more improbable is it, that it should have originated with a number! Lastly, it is contrary to the positive written statement of Cortés to the Emperor, publicly known and circulated, confirmed in print by his chaplain, Gomara, and all this when the thing was fresh, and when the parties interested were alive to contradict it. We cannot but think that the captain here, as in the case of the burning of the ships, assumes rather more for himself and his comrades, than the facts will strictly warrant; an oversight, for which the lapse of half a century--to say nothing of his avowed anxiety to show up the claims of the latter--may furnish some apology.

4. Even Gomara has the candor to style it a "pretext"--achaque. Crónica, cap. 83.

5. Bernal Diaz states the affair, also, differently. According to him, the Aztec governor was en­forcing the payment of the customary tribute from the Totonacs, when Escalante, interfer­ing to protect his allies, now subjects of Spain, was slain in an action with the enemy. (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 93.) Cortés had the best means of knowing the facts, and wrote at the time. He does not usually shrink from avowing his policy, however severe, towards the na­tives; and I have thought it fair to give him the benefit of his own version of the story.

6. Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 5.--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 83, 84.
      The apparition of the Virgin was seen only by the Aztecs, who, it is true, had to make out the best case for their defeat they could to Montezuma; a suspicious circumstance, which, however, did not stagger the Spaniards. "Y ciertamente, todos los soldados que passámos con Cortés tenemos muy creido, è assí es verdad, que la misericordia diuina, y Nuestra Señora la Virgen Maria siempre era con nosotros." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 94.

7. "Pase#243;se vn gran rato solo, i cuidadoso de aquel gran hecho, que emprendia, i que aun á é1 mesmo le parecia temerario, pero necesario para su intento, andando." Gomara, Crónica, cap. 83.

8. Diaz says, they were at prayer all night. "Toda la noche estuuimos en oracion con el Padre de la Merced, rogando á Dios que fuesse de tal modo, que redundasse para su santo servicio." Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 95.

9. According to Ixtlilxochitl, it was his own portrait. "Se quitó del brazo una rica piedra, donde está esculpido su rostro (que era lo mismo que un sello Real)." Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 85.

10. Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 86.

11. "Quando Io lo consintiera, los mios no pasarian por ello." Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS, cap. 85.

12 "¿Que haze v. m. ya con tantas palabras? Ó le lleuemos preso, ó le darémos de estocadas, por esso tornadle á dezir, que si da vozes, ó haze alboroto, que le mataréis, porque mas vale que desta vez asseguremos nuestras vidas, ó las perdamos." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 95.

13. Oviedo has some doubts whether Montezuma's conduct is to be viewed as pusillanimous or as prudent. "Al coronista le parece, segun lo que se puede colegir de esta materia, que Mon­tezuma era, ó mui falto de ánimo, ó pusilánimo, ó mui prudente, aunque en muchas cosas, los que le viéron lo loan de mui señor y mui liberal; y en sus razonamientos mostraba ser de buen juicio." He strikes the balance, however, in favor of pusillanimity. "Un Principe tan grande como Montezuma no se habia de dexar incurrir en tales términos, ni consentir set detenido de tan poco número de Españoles, ni de otra generacion alguna; mas como Dios tiene ordenado lo que ha de ser, ninguno puede huir de so juicio." Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 6.

14. The story of the seizure of Montezuma may be found, with the usual discrepancies in the details, in Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 84-86,--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 95,--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 85,--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 6,--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 83,--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 8, cap. 2, 3,--Martyr, De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 3.

15. "Siempre que ante él passauamos, y aunque fuesse Cortés, le quitauamos los bonetes de armas ó cascos, que siempre estauamos armados, y él nos hazia gran mesura, y honra á todos...... Digo que no se sentauan Cortés, ni ningun Capitan, hasta que el Monteñuma les mandaua dar sus assentaderos ricos, y les mandaua assentar." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 95, 100.

16. Herrera, Hist General, dec. 2, lib. 8, cap. 3.

17. On one occasion, three soldiers, who left their posts without orders, were sentenced to run the gantlet,--a punishment little short of death. Ibid., ubi supra.

18. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 97.

19. "Y despues que confesáron haber muerto los Españoles, les hice interrogar si ellos eran Vasa­llos de Muteczuma? Y el dicho Qualpopoca respondió, que si habia otro Señor, de quien pu­diesse serlo? casi diciendo, que no habia otro, y que si eran." Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 87.

20. "É assimismo les pregunté, si lo que allí se habia hecho si habia sido por su mandado? y dijéron que no, aunque despues, al tiempo que en ellos se executó la sentencia, que fuessen que­mados, todos á una voz dijéron, que era verdad que el dicho Muteczuma se lo habia embiado á mandar, y que por su mandado lo habian hecho." Ibid., loc. cit.

21. Gomara, Crónica, cap. 89.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 6.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 95.
      One may doubt whether pity or contempt predominates in Martyr's notice of this event. "Infelix tunc Muteczuma re adeo noua perculsus, formidine repletur, decidit animo, neque iam erigere caput audet, aut suorum auxilia implorare. Ille vero pœnam se meruisse fassus est, vti agnus mitis. Æquo anima pati videtur has regulas grammaticalibus duriores, imber­bibus pueris dictatas, omnia placide fert, tie seditio ciuium et procerum oriatur." De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 3.

22. Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 88.

23. Bernal Diaz, Ibid., ubi supra.

24. Archbishop Lorenzana, as late as the close of the last century, finds good Scripture warrant for the proceeding of the Spaniards. "Fué grande prudencia, y Arte militar haber asegurado á el Emperador, porque sino quedaban expuestos Hernan Cortés, y sus soldados á perecer á traycion, y teniendo seguro á el Emperador se aseguraba á sí mismo, pues los Españoles no se confian ligeramente: Jonathas fué muerto, y sorprendido por haberse confiado de Triphon." Rel. Seg. de Cortés, p. 84, nota.

25. See Puffendorf, De Jure Naturæ et Gentium, lib. 8, cap. 6, sec. 10.--Vattel, Law of Nations, book 3, chap. 8, sec. 141.

26. "Osar quemar sus Capitanes delante de sus Palacios, y echalle grillos entre tanto que se hazia la Justicia, que muchas vezes aora que soy viejo me paro á considerar las cosas heroicas que en aquel tiempo passámos, que me parece las veo presentes: Y digo que nuestros hechos, quo no los haziamos nosotros, sino que venian todos encaminados por Dios...... Porque ay mucho que ponderar en ello." Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 95.


1. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 96.

2. Ibid., cap. 97.

3. Gomara, Crónica, cap. 84.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 8, cap. 4.

4. Ibid., dec. 2, lib. 8, cap. 5.

5. "En esto era tan bien mirado, que todos le queriamos con gran amor, porque verdaderamente era gran señor en todas las cosas que le viamos hazer." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 100.

6. "Y él bien conocia á todos, y sabia nuestros nombres, y aun calidades, y era tan bueno que á todos nos daua joyas, á otros mantas é Indias hermosas." Ibid., cap. 97.

7. Ibid., cap. 98.

8. According to Solís, the Devil closed his heart against these good men; though, in the histo­rian's opinion, there is no evidence that this evil counsellor actually appeared and conversed with Montezuma, after the Spaniards had displayed the Cross in Mexico. Conquista, lib. 3, cap. 20.

9. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 99.--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 88.

10. He sometimes killed his game with a tube, a sort of air-gun, through which he blew little balls at birds and rabbits. "La Caça á que Monteçuma iba por la Laguna, era á tirar á Pá­jaros, i á Conejos, con Cebratana, de la qual era diestro." Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 8, cap. 4.

l l. Ante, Book I. Chap. 6.

12. "É llámase esta Ciudad Tezcuco, y será de hasta treinta mil Vecinos." (Rel. Seg., ap. Loren­zana, p. 94.) According to the licentiate Zuazo, double that number,--sesenta mil Vecinos. (Carta, MS.) Scarcely probable, as Mexico had no more. Toribio speaks of it as covering a league one way by six another! (Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 3, cap. 7.) This must include the environs to a considerable extent. The language of the old chroniclers is not the most precise.

13. A description of the capital in its glory is thus given by an eye-witness. "Esta Ciudad era la segunda cosa principal de la tierra, y así habia en Tezcuco muy grandes edificios de templos del Demonio, y muy gentiles casas y aposentos de Señores, entre los cuales, fué muy cosa de ver la casa del Señor principal, así la vieja con su huerta cercada de mas de mil cedros muy grandes y muy hermosos, de los cuales hoy dia están los mas en pie, aunque la casa está aso­lada, otra casa tenia que se podia aposentar en ella un egército, con muchos jardines, y on muy grande estanque, que por debajo de tierra solian entrar á él con barcas." (Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 3, cap. 7.) The last relics of this palace were employed in the fortifi­cations of the city in the revolutionary war of 1810. (Ixtlilxochitl, Venida de los Esp., p. 78. nota.) Tezcuco is now an insignificant little place, with a population of a few thousand in­habitants. Its architectural remains, as still to be discerned, seem to have made a stronger im­pression on Mr. Bullock than on most travellers. Six Months in Mexico, chap. 27.

14. "Cacama reprehendió asperamente á la Nobleza Mexicana porque consentia hacer seme­jantes desacatos á quatro Estrangeros y que no les mataban, se escusaban con decirles les iban á la mano y no les consentian tomar las Armas para libertarlo, y tomar sí una tan gran deshonra como era la que los Estrangeros les habian hecho en prender á su señor, y quemar á Quauhpopocatzin, los demas sus Hijos y Deudos sin culpa, con las Armas y Municion que tenian para la defenza y guarda de la ciudad, y de su autoridad tomar para sí los tesoros del Rey, y de Ins Dioses, y otras libertades y desvergüenzas que cada dia pasaban, y aunque todo esto vehian lo disimulaban por no enojar á Motecuhzoma que tan amigo y casado estaba con ellos." Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 86.

15. It is the language of Cortés. "Y este señor se rebeló, assí contra el servicio de Vuestra Alteza, á quien se habia ofrecido, como contra el dicho Muteczuma." Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 95.­--Voltaire, with his quick eye for the ridiculous, notices this arrogance in his tragedy of Alzire.
                  "Tu vois de ces tyrans la fureur despotique:
                  Ils pensent que pour eux le Ciel fit l'Amérique,
                  Qu'ils en sont nés les Rois; et Zamore à leurs yeux,
                  Tout souverain qu'il fut, n'est qu'un séditieux."
                              ALZIRE, Act 4, sc. 3.

16. Gomara, Crónica, cap. 91.

17. "I que para reparar la Religion, i restituir Ins Dioses, guardar el Reino, cobrar la fama, i li­bertad á é1, i á México, iria de mui buena gana, mas no las manos en el seno, sino en la Es­pada, para matar Ins Españoles, que tanta mengua, i afrenta havian hecho á la Nacion de Culhúa." Ibid., cap. 91.

18. "Pero que él tenia en su Tierra de el dicho Cacamazin muchas Personas Principales, que vi­vian con é1, y les daba su salario." Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 95.

19. Ibid., pp. 95, 96.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 8.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 86.
      The latter author dismisses the capture of Cacama with the comfortable reflection, "that it saved the Spaniards much embarrassment, and greatly facilitated the introduction of the Catholic faith."

20. Cortés calls the name of this prince Cucuzca. (Rel. Seg. ap. Lorenzana, p. 96.) In the or­thography of Aztec words, the general was governed by his ear; and was wrong nine times out of ten.--Bustamante, in his catalogue of Tezcucan monarchs, omits him altogether. He probably regards him as an intruder, who had no claim to be ranked among the rightful sov­ereigns of the land. (Galería de Antiguos Principes, (Pueblo, 1821,) p. 21.) Sahagun has, in like manner, struck his name from the royal roll of Tezcuco. Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 8, cap. 3.

21. The exceeding lenity of the Spanish commander, on this occasion, excited general admira­tion, if we are to credit Solís, throughout the Aztec empire! "Tuvo notable aplauso en todo el imperio este género de castigo sin sangre, que se atribuyó al superior juicio de los Españoles, porque no esperaban de Motezuma semejante moderacion." Conquista, lib. 4, cap. 2.

22. Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 91.

23. "Damus quæ dant," says Martyr, briefly, in reference to this valuation. (De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 3.) Cortés notices the reports made by his people, of large and beautiful edifices in the province of Oaxaca. (Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 89.) It is here, also, that some of the most elaborate specimens of Indian architecture are still to be seen, in the ruins of Mitla.


1. "Y mucho os ruego, pues á todos os es notorio todo esto, que assí como hasta aquí á mí me habeis tenido, y obedecido per Señor vuestro, de aquí adelante tengais, y obedescais á este Gran Rey, pues él es vuestro natural Señor, y en su lugar tengais á este su Capitan: y todos los Tributos, y Servicios, que fasta aquí á mí me haciades, los haced, y dad á él, porque yo as­simismo tengo de contribuir, y servir con todo lo que me mandaré." Rel. Seg. de Cortís, ap. Lorenzana, p. 97.

2. "Lo qual todo les dijo llorando, con las mayores lágrimas, y suspiros, que un hombre podia manifestar; é assimismo todos aquellos Señores, que le estaban oiendo, lloraban tanto, que en gran rato no le pudiéron responder." Ibid., loc. cit.

3. Solís regards this ceremony as supplying what was before defective in the title of the Spaniards to the country. The remarks are curious, even from a professed casuist. "Y siendo una como insinuacion misteriosa del título que se debió despues al derecho de las armas, sobre justa provocacion, como lo verémos en su lugar: circunstancia particular, que concu­rrió en la conquista de Méjico para mayor justificacion de aquel dominio, sobre las demas consideraciones generales que no solo hiciéron lícita la guerra en otras partes, sino legítima y razonable siempre que se puso en términos de medio necesario para la introduccion del Evangelio." Conquista, lib. 4, cap. 3.

4. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 101.--Solís, Conquista, loc. cit.--Herrera, Hist. Ge­neral, dec. 2, lib. 9, cap. 4.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 87.
      Oviedo considers the grief of Montezuma as sufficient proof that his homage, far from being voluntary, was extorted by necessity. The historian appears to have seen the drift of events more clearly than some of the actors in them. "Y en la verdad si como Cortés lo dice, ó escrivió, pasó en efecto, mui gran cosa me parece la conciencia y liberalidad de Montezuma en esta su restitucion é obediencia al Rey de Castilla, por la simple ó cautelosa informacion de Cortés, que le podia hacer para ello; Mas aquellas lágrimas con que dice, que Montezuma hizo su oracion, é amonestamiento, despojándose de su señorio, é las de aquellos con que les respondiéron aceptando lo que les mandaba, y exortaba, y á mi parecer su llanto queria decir, ó enseñar otra cosa de lo que é1, y ellos dixéron; porque las obediencias que se suelen dar á los Príncipes con riza, é con camaras; é diversidad de Música, é leticia, enseñales de placer, se suele hacer; é no con lucto ni lágrimas, é sollozos, ni estando preso quien obedece; porque como dice Marco Varron: Lo que por fuerza se da no es servicio sino robo." Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 9.

5. Gomara, Crónica, cap. 92.--Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. II. p. 256.

6. "Pareceria que ellos comenzaban á servir, y Vuestra Alteza tendria mas concepto de las vo­luntades, que á su servicio mostraban." Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 98.

7. Peter Martyr, distrusting some extravagance in this statement of Cortés, found it fully con­firmed by the testimony of others. "Referunt non credenda. Credenda tamen, quando vir talis ad Cæsarem et nostri collegii Indici senatores audeat exscribere. Addes insuper se multa prætermittere, ne tanta recensendo sit molestus. Idem affirmant qui ad nos inde regrediuntur." De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 3.

8. "Las quales, demas de su valor, eran tales, y tan maravillosas, que consideradas por su novedad, y estrañeza, no tenian precio, ni es de creer, que alguno de todos los Príncipes del Mundo de quien se tiene noticia, las pudiesse tener tales, y de tal calidad." Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 99.--See, also, Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 9,--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 104.

9. "Dezilde en vuestros anales y cartas: Esto os embia vuestro buen vassallo Monteçuma." Bernal Diaz, ubi supra.

10.                   "Fluctibus auri
            Expleri calor ille nequit."
                              CLAUDIAN, In Ruf., LIB. 1.

11. "Y quado aquello le oyó Cortés, y todos nosotros, estuvímos espantados de la gran bondad, y liberalidad del gran Monteçuma, y con mucho acato le quitámos todos las gorras de armas, y le dixímos, que se lo teniamos en merced, y con palabras de mucho amor," &c. Bernal Diaz, ubi supra.

12. Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 99.
      This estimate of the royal fifth is confirmed (with the exception of the four hundred ounces) by the affidavits of a number of witnesses cited on behalf of Cortés, to show the amount of the treasure. Among these witnesses we find some of the most respectable names in the army, as Olid, Ordaz, Avila, the priests Olmedo and Diaz,--the last, it may be added, not too friendly to the general. The instrument, which is without date, is in the collection of Vargas Ponçe. Probanza fecha á pedimento de Juan de Lexalde, MS.

13. "Eran tres montones de oro, y pesado huvo en ellos sobre seiscientos mil peso, como adelante diré, sin la plata, é otras muchas riquezas." Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 104.

14. The quantity of silver taken from the American mines has exceeded that of gold in the ratio of forty-six to one. (Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. III. p. 401.) The value of the latter metal, says Clemencin, which, on the discovery of the New World, was only eleven times greater than that of the former, has now come to be sixteen times. (Memorias de la Real Acad. de Hist., tom. VI. Ilust. 20.) This does not vary materially from Smith's estimate made after the middle of the last century. (Wealth of Nations, book 1, chap. 11.) The difference would have been much more considerable, but for the greater demand for silver for objects of ornament and use.

15. Dr. Robertson, preferring the authority, it seems, of Diaz, speaks of the value of the treasure as 600,000 pesos. (History of America, vol. II. pp. 296, 298.) The value of the peso is an ounce of silver, or dollar, which, making allowance for the depreciation of silver, represented, in the time of Cortés, nearly four times its value at the present day. But that of the peso de oro was nearly three times that sum, or eleven dollars, sixty-seven cents. (See Ante, Book II. chap. 6, note 18.) Robertson makes his own estimate, so much reduced below that of his original, an argument for doubting the existence, in any great quantity, of either gold or silver in the country. In accounting for the scarcity of the former metal in this argument, he falls into an error in stating that gold was not one of the standards by which the value of other com­modities in Mexico was estimated. Comp. Ante, p. 84.

16. Many of them, indeed, could boast little or nothing in their coffers. Maximilian of Germany, and the more prudent Ferdinand of Spain, left scarcely enough to defray their funeral ex­penses. Even as late as the beginning of the next century, we find Henry IV of France embracing his minister Sully, with rapture, when he informed him, that, by dint of great economy, he had 36,000,000 livres, about 1,500,000 pounds sterling, in his treasury. See Mé­moires du Duc de Sully, tom. III. liv. 27.

17. "Por ser tan poco, muchos soldados huuo que no lo quisiéron recebir." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 105.

18. "Palabras muy melifluas; ..... razones mui bien dichas, que las sabia bien proponer." Ibid, ubi supra.

19. Ibid., cap. 105, 106.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 93.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 8, cap. 5.

20. "Ex jureconsulto Cortesius theologus effectus," says Martyr, in his pithy manner. De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 4.

21. According to Ixtlilxochitl, Montezuma got as far on the road to conversion, as the Credo and the Ave Maria, both of which he could repeat; but his baptism was postponed, and he died before receiving it. That he ever consented to receive it is highly improbable. I quote the historian's words, in which he further notices the general's unsuccessful labors among the Indians. "Cortés comenzó á dar órden de la conversion de los Naturales, diciéndoles, que pues eran vasallos del Rey de España que se tornasen Cristianos coma él lo era, y así se comenzáron á Bautizar algunos aunque fuéron muy pocos, y Motecuhzoma aunque pidió el Bautismo, y sabia algunas de las oraciones como eran el Ave María, y el Credo, se dilató por la Pasqua siguiente, que era la de Resurreccion, y fué tan desdichado que nunca alcanzó tanto bien y los Nuestros con la dilacion y aprieto en que se viéron, se descuidáron, de que pesó á todos mucho muriese sin Bautismo." Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 87.

22. "O Malinche, y como nos quereis echar á perder á toda esta ciudad, porque estarán mui eno­jados nuestros Dioses contra nosotros, y aun vuestras vidas no sé en que pararán." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 107.

23. This transaction is told with more discrepancy than usual by the different writers. Cortés as­sures the Emperor that he occupied the temple, and turned out the false gods by force, in spite of the menaces of the Mexicans. (Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 106.) The improbability of this Quixotic feat startles Oviedo, who nevertheless reports it. (Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 10.) It looks, indeed, very much as if the general was somewhat too eager to set off his militant zeal to advantage in the eyes of his master. The statements of Diaz, and of other chroniclers, conformably to that in the text, seem far the most probable. Comp. Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, ubi supra.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 8, cap. 6.--Argensola, Anales, lib. 1, cap. 88.

24. "Para mí yo tengo por marabilla, é grande, la mucha paciencia de Montezuma, y de los In­dios principales, que assí viéron tratar sus Templos, é Ídolos: Mas su disimulacion adelante se mostró ser otra cosa viendo, que vna Gente Extrangera, é de tan poco número, les prendió su Señor é porque formas los hacia tributarios, é se castigaban é quemaban los principales, é se aniquilaban y disipaban sus templos, é hasta en aquellos y sus antecesores estaban. Recia cosa me parece soportarla con tanta quietud; pero adelante, como lo dirá la Historia, mostró el tiempo lo que en el pecho estaba oculto en todos los Indios generalmente." Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 10.

25. According to Herrera, it was the Devil himself who communicated this to Montezuma, and he reports the substance of the dialogue between the parties. (Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 9, cap. 6.) Indeed, the apparition of Satan in his own bodily presence, on this occasion, is stoutly maintained by most historians of the time. Oviedo, a man of enlarged ideas on most subjects, speaks with a little more qualification on this. "Porque la Misa y Evangelio, que predicaban y decian los christianos, le [al Diablo] daban gran tormento; y débese pensar, si verdad es, que esas gentes tienen tanta conversacion y comunicacion con nuestro adversario, como se tiene por cierto en estas Indias, que no le podia á nuestro enemigo placer con los misterios y sacramen­tos de la sagrada religion christiana." Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 47.

26. "É Cortés proveió de maestros é personas que entendiesen en la labor de los Navíos, é dixo despues á los Españoles desta manera: Señores y hermanos, este Señor Montezuma quiere que nos vamos de la tierra, y conviene que se hagan Navíos. Id con estos Indios é córtese la madera; é entretanto Dios nos proveherá de gente é socorro; por tanto, poned tal dilacion que parezca que haceis algo y se haga con ella lo que nos conviene; é siempre me escrivid éavisad que tales estáis en la Montaña, é que no sientan los Indios nuestra disimulacion. É así se puso por obra." (Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 47.) So, also, Gomara, (Crónica, cap. 95.) Diaz denies any such secret orders, alleging that Martin Lopez, the principal builder, assured him they made all the expedition possible in getting three ships on the stocks. Hist. de la Con­quista, cap. 108.

27. "I may say without vaunting," observes our stout-hearted old chronicler, Bernal Diaz, "that I was so accustomed to this way of life, that since the conquest of the country I have never been able to lie down undressed, or in a bed; yet I sleep as sound as if I were on the softest down. Even when I make the rounds of my encomienda, I never take a bed with me; unless, indeed, I go in the company of other cavaliers, who might impute this to parsimony. But even then I throw myself on it with my clothes on. Another thing I must add, that I cannot sleep long in the night without getting up to look at the heavens and the stars, and stay a while in the open air, and this without a bonnet or covering of any sort on my head. And, thanks to God, I have received no harm from it. I mention these things, that the world may understand of what stuff we, the true Conquerors, were made, and how well drilled we were to arms and watching." Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 108.


1. In the collection of MSS., made by Don Vargas Ponçe, former President of the Academy of History, is a Memorial of this same Benito Martin to the Emperor, setting forth the services of Velasquez, and the ingratitude and revolt of Cortés and his followers. The paper is with­out date; written after the arrival of the envoys, probably at the close of 1519 or the begin­ning of the following year.

2. Sandoval, indeed, gives a singular reason,--that of being near the coast, so as to enable Chiévres, and the other Flemish blood-suckers, to escape suddenly, if need were, with their ill-gotten treasures, from the country. Hist. de Cárlos Quinto, tom. I. p. 203, ed. Pamplona, 1634.

3. See the letter of Peter Martyr to his noble friend and pupil, the Marquis de Mondejar, writ­ten two months after the arrival of the vessel from Vera Cruz. Opus Epist., ep. 650.

4. Zuñiga, Anales Eclesiçsticos y Seculares de Sevilla, (Madrid, 1677,) fol. 414.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 5, cap. 14; lib. 9, cap. 17, et alibi.

5 Velasquez, it appears, had sent home an account of the doings of Cortés and of the vessel which touched with the treasures at Cuba, as early as October, 1519. Carta de Velasquez al Lic. Figueroa, MS., Nov. 17, 1519.

6. "Con gran música," says Sandoval, bitterly, "de todos los ministriles y clarines, recogiendo las áncoras, diéron vela al viento con gran regozijo, dexando á la triste España cargada de due­los, y desventuras." Hist. de Cárlos Quinto, tom. I. p. 219.

7. The instrument was dated at Barcelona, Nov. 13, 1518. Cortés left St. Jago the 18th of the same month. Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 3, cap. 11.

8. Gomara (Crónica, cap. 96) and Robertson (History of America, vol. II. pp. 304, 466) consider that the new dignity of adelantado stimulated the governor to this enterprise. By a letter of his own writing in the Muñoz collection, it appears he had begun operations some months pre­vious to his receiving notice of his appointment. Carta de Velasquez al señor de Xêvres, Isla Fernandina, MS., Octubre 12, 1519.

9. Carta de Velasquez al Lic. Figueroa, MS., Nov. 17, 1519.

10. The person of Narvaez is thus whimsically described by Diaz. "He was tall, stout limbed, with a large head and red beard, an agreeable presence, a voice deep and sonorous, as if it rose from a cavern. He was a good horseman and valiant." Hist. de la Conquista cap. 205.

11. The danger of such a result is particularly urged in a memorandum of the licentiate Ayllon. Carta al Emperador, Guaniguanico, Marzo 4, 1520, MS.

12. Processo y Pesquiza hecha pot la Real Audiencia de la Española, Santo Domingo, Diciembre 24, 1519, MS.

13. Parecer del Lic. Ayllon al adelantado Diego Velasquez, Isla Fernandina, 1520, MS.

14 Relacion del Lic. Ayllon, Santo Domingo, 30 de Agosto, 1520, MS.--Processo y Pesquiza por la R. Audiencia, MS.
      According to Diaz, the ordnance amounted to twenty cannon. Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 109.

15 The great fleet under Ovando, 1501, in which Cortés had intended to embark for the New World. Herrera, Hist. General, dec. l, lib. 4, cap. 11.

16 "De allí seguímos el viage por toda la costa de la Isla de Yucatan." Relacion del Lic. Ay­llon, MS.

17. "La cual tierra sabe é ha visto este testigo, que el dicho Hernando Cortés tiene pacífica, é le sirven é obedecen todos los Indios; é que cree este testigo que lo hacen por cabsa que el dicho Hernando Cortés tiene preso á un Cacique que dicen Montesuma, que es Señor de lo mas de la tierra, á lo que este testigo alcanza, al cual los Indios obedecen, é facen lo que les manda, é los Cristianos andan por toda esta tierra seguros, é un solo Cristiano la ha atravesado toda sin temor." Processo y Pesquiza por la R. Audiencia, MS.

18. Relacion del Lic. Ayllon, MS.--Demanda de Zavallos en nombre de Narvaez, MS.

19. This report is to be found among the MSS. of Vargas Ponçe, in the archives of the Royal Academy of History. It embraces a hundred and ten folio pages, and is entitled, "El Processo y Pesquiza hecha por la Real Audiencia de la Española é tierra nuevamente descubierta. Para el Consejo de su Majestad."

20. "É iban espantados de que veian tatas ciudades y pueblos grandes, que les traian de comer, y vnos los dexavan, y otros los to mavan, y andar por su camino. Dize que iban pensando si era encantamiento, ó sueño." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. III.--Demanda de Zavallos, MS.

21. "Ya auia tres dias que lo sabia el Monteçuma, y Cortés no sabia cosa ninguna." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 110.

22. Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 47.--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 117-120.

23. "Our commander said so many kind things to them," says Diaz, "and anointed their fingers so plentifully with gold, that, though they came like roaring lions, they went home perfectly tame"! Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 111.

24. Ibid., cap. 112.

25. Ibid., cap. 111.
      Oviedo says that Montezuma called a council of his nobles, in which it was decided to let the troops of Narvaez into the capital, and then to crush them at one blow, with those of Cortés! (Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 47.) Considering the awe in which the latter alone were held by the Mexicans, a more improbable tale could not be devised. But nothing is too improbable for history,--though, according to Boileau's maxim, it may be for fiction.

26. In the Mexican edition of the letters of Cortés, it is called five hundred men. (Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 122.) But this was more than his whole Spanish force. In Ramusio's version of the same letter, printed as early as 1565, the number is stated as in the text. (Navigationi et Viaggi, fol. 244.) In an instrument without date, containing the affidavits of certain witnesses as to the management of the royal fifth by Cortés, it is said, there were one hundred and fifty soldiers left in the capital under Alvarado. (Probanza fecha en la nueva España del mar océano á pedimento de Juan Ochoa de Lexalde, en nombre de Hernando Cortés, MS.) The account in the Mexican edition is unquestionably an error.

27. Carta de Villa de Vera Cruz á el Emperador, MS. This letter without date was probably writ­ten in 1520.--See, also, for the preceding pages, Probanza fecha á pedimento de Juan Ochoa, MS.,--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 9, cap. 1, 21; lib. 10, cap. 1,--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 119, 120,--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 112-115,-Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 47.


1. So says Oviedo--and with truth; "Si aquel capitan Juan Velasquez de Leon no estubiera mal con su pariente Diego Velasquez, é se pasara con los 150 Hombres, que havia llevado á Guaçacalco, á la parte de Pánfilo de Narvaez su cuñado, acabado oviera Cortés su oficio." Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 12.

2 Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 123, 124.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 115-117.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 12.

3. But, although irresistible against cavalry, the long pike of the German proved no match for the short sword and buckler of the Spaniard, in the great battle of Ravenna, fought a few years before this, 1512. Machiavelli makes some excellent reflections on the comparative merit of these arms. Arte della Guerra, lib. 2, ap. Opere, tom. IV. p. 67.

4. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 118.
      "Tambien quiero dezir la gran necessidad que teniamos de armas, que por vn peto, ó ca­pacete, ó casco, ó babera de hierro, dieramos aquella noche quato nos pidiera por ello, y todo quato auiamos ganado." Cap. 122.

5. "Yo les respondí, que no via provision de Vuestra Alteza, por donde le debiesse entregar la Tierra; é que si alguna trahia, que la presentasse ante mí, y ante el Cabildo de la Vera Cruz, segun órden, y costumbre de España, y que yo estaba presto de la obedecer, y cumplir; y que hasta tanto, por ningun interese, ni partido haria lo que él decia; ántes yo, y los que conmigo estaban, moririamos en defensa de la Tierra, pues la habiamos ganado, y tenido por Vuestra Magestad pacífica, y segura, y por no ser Traydores y desleales á nuestro Rey ..... Con­siderando, que morir en servicio de mi Rey, y por defender, y amparar sus Tierras, y no las dejar usurpar, á mí, y á los de mi Compañía se nos seguia farta gloria." Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 125-127.

6. Such are the natural reflections of Oviedo, speculating on the matter some years later. "É tambien que me parece donaire, ó no bastante la escusa que Cortés da para fundar é justificar su ne gocio, que es decir, que el Narvaez presentase las provisiones que llevaba de S. M. Como si el dicho Cortés oviera ido á aquella tierra por mandado de S. M. ó con mas, ni tanta au­toridad como llebaba Narvaez; pues que es claro é notorio, que el Adelantada Diego Ve­lasquez, que embió á Cortés, era parte, segun derecho, para le embiar á remover, y el Cortés obligado á le obedecer. No quiero decir mas en esto por no set odioso á ninguna de las partes." Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 12.

7. More than one example of this ruse is mentioned by Mariana in Spanish history, though the precise passages have escaped my memory.

8. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 119.

9. "É assimismo mandaba, y mandé por el dicho Mandamiento á todas las Personas, que con el dicho Narvaez estaban, que no tubiessen, ni obedeciessen al dicho Narvaez por tal Capitan, ni Justicia; ántes, dentro de cierto término, que en el dicho Mandamiento señalé, pareciessen ante mí, para que yo les dijesse, lo que debian hater en servicio de Vuestra Alteza: con protestacion, que lo contrario haciendo, procederia contra ellos, como contra Traydores, y aleves, y malos Vasallos, que se rebelaban contra su Rey, y quieren usurpar sus Tierras, y Señoríos." Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 127.

10. "Y aun llouia de rato en rato, y entonces salia la Luna, que quado allí llegámos hazia muy es­curo, y llouia, y tambien la escuridad ayudó." Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 122.

l l. The Attorney of Narvaez, in his complaint before the Crown, expatiates on the diabolical enormity of these instructions. "El dho Fernando Corttés como traidor aleboso, sin apercibir al dho mi partte, con un diabólico pensamto é Infernal osadía, en contemtto é menosprecio de V. M. ó de sus provisiones R.s, no mirando ni asattando la lealtad qe debia á V. M., el dho Corttés dio un Mandamientto al dho Gonzalo de Sandobal para que prendiese al dho Pán­filo de Narvaez, é si se defendiese qe lo mattase." Demanda de Zavallos en nombre de Nar­vaez, MS.

12. Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 12, 47.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 122.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 1.

13. "Que hazeis, que estais mui descuidado? pensais que Malinche, y los Teules que trae Cosigo, que son assí como vosotros? Pues yo os digo, que quado no os cataredes, será aquí, y os matará." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 121.

14. Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 128.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 47.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 2, 3.

15. "Ya que se acercaban al Aposento de Narvaez, Cortés, que andaba reconociendo, i ordenando á todas partes, dixo á la Tropa de Sandoval: Señores, arrímaos á las dos aceras de la Calle, para que las balas del Artillería pasen por medio, sin hacer daño." Ibid., dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 3.

16. Demanda de Zavallos en nombre de Narvaez, MS.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 47.

17. "Como hazia tan escuro auia muchos cocayos (ansí los llaman en Cuba) que relumbrauan de noche, é los de Narvaez creyéron que era muchas de las escopetas." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 122.

18. Narvaez, or rather his attorney, swells the amount of slain on his own side much higher. But it was his cue to magnify the mischief sustained by his employer. The collation of this ac­count with those of Cortés and his followers affords the best means of approximation to truth. "É allí le mattáron quince hombres qe muriéron de las feridas qe les diéron é les quemáron seis hombres del dho Incendio qe despues pareciéron las cabezas de ellos que­madas, é pusiéron á sacomano todo quantto ttenian los que benian con el dho mi partte como si fueran Moros y al dho mi partte robáron é saqueáron todos sus vienes, oro, é Platta é Joyas." Demanda de Zavallos en nombre de Narvaez, MS.

19. "Entre ellos venia Andres de Duero, y Agustin Bermudez, y muchos amigos de nuestro Capita, y assí como venia, ivan á besar las manos á Cortés, q estaua sentado en vna silla de caderas, con vna ropa larga de color como narajada, co sus armas debaxo, acopañado de nosotros. Pues ver la gracia con que les hablaua, y abraçaua, y las palabras de tatos cumplimietos que les dezia, era cosa de ver que alegre estaua: y tenia mucha razon de verse en aquel pu to tan señor, y pujate: y assí como le besaua la mano, se fuéro cada vno á su posada." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 122.

20. Ibid., loc. cit.
"Díxose que como Narvaez vido á Cortés estando así preso le dixo: Señor Cortés, tened en mucho la ventura que habeis tenido, é lo mucho que habies hecho en tener mi persona, ó en tomar mi persona. É que Cortés le respondió, e dixo: Lo menos que yo he hecho en esta tierra donde estais, es haberos prendido; é luego le hizo poner á buen recaudo é le tubo mucho tiempo preso." Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 47.

21 Oviedo says, that military men discussed whether Velasquez de Leon should have obeyed the commands of Cortés rather than those of his kinsman, the governor of Cuba. They decided in favor of the former, on the ground of his holding his commission immediately from him. "Visto he platicar sobre esto á caballeros é personas militares sobre si este Juan Velasquez de Leon hizo lo que debia, en acudir ó no á Diego Velasquez, ó al Pánfilo en su nombre; É combienen los veteranos mílites é á mi parecer determinan bien la question, en que si Juan Ve­lasquez tubo conducta de capitan para que con aquella Gente que él le dió ó toviese en aquella tierra como capitan particular le acudiese á él ó á quien le mandase. Juan Velasquez faltó á lo que era obligado en no pasar á Pánfilo de Narvaez siendo requerido de Diego Velasquez, mas si le hizo capitan Hernando Cortés, é le dió él la Gente, á él havia de acudir, como acudió, excepto si viera carta, á mandamiento expreso del Rey en contrario." Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 12.

22. This ascendency the thoughtful Oviedo refers to his dazzling and liberal manners, so strongly contrasted with those of the governor of Cuba. "En lo demas valerosa persona ha seido, é para mucho; y este deseo de mandar juntamente con que fué mui bien partido é gratificador de los que le viniéron, fué mucha causa juntamente con ser mal quisto Diego Ve­lasquez, para que Cortés se saliese con lo que emprendió, é se quedase en el oficio, é governacion." Ibid., MS., lib. 33, cap. 12.

23. It was in a conversation with Oviedo himself, at Toledo, in 1525, in which Narvaez descanted with much bitterness, as was natural, on his rival's conduct. The gossip, which has never ap­peared in print, may have some interest for the Spanish reader. "Que el año de 1525, estando Cesar en la cibdad de Toledo, ví allí al dicho Narvaez, é publicamente decia, que Cortés era vn traidor: É que dándole S. M. licencia se lo haria conocer de su persona á la suya, é que era hombre sin verdad, é otras muchas é feas palabras llamándole alevoso é tirano, é ingrato á su Señor, é á quien le havia embiado á la Nueva España, que era el Adelantado Diego Velasquez á su propia costa, é se le havia alzado con la tierra, é con la Gente é Hacienda, é otras muchas costa que mal sonaban. Y en la manera de su prision la contaba mui al reves de lo que está dicho. Lo que yo noto de esto es, que con todo lo que oí á Narvaez, (como yo se lo dixe) no puedo hallarle desculpa para su descuido, porque ninguna necesidad tenia de andar con Cortés en pláticas, sino estar en vela mejor que la que hizo. É á esto decia él que le havian vendido aquellos de quien se fiaba, que Cortés le havia sobornado." Ibid., lib. 33, cap. 12.


1. Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 6.--Oviedo, Hist de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 47.­--Bernal Diaz, Hist de la Conquista, cap. 123.

2. Diaz who had often listened to it, thus notices his eloquence. "Comenzó vn parlamento por tan lindo estilo, y plática, tabie dichas cierto otras palabras mas sabrosas, y llenas de ofertas, q yo aquí no sabré escriuir." Ibid., cap. 122.

3. Captain Diaz had secured for his share of the spoil of the Philistines, as he tells us, a very good horse with all his accoutrements, a brace of swords, three daggers, and a buckler,--a very beautiful outfit for the campaign. The general's orders were naturally enough, not at all to his taste. Ibid., cap. 124.

4. Narvaez alleges that Cortés plundered him of property to the value of 100,000 castellanos of gold! (Demanda de Zavallos en nombre de Narvaez, MS.) If so, the pillage of the leader may have supplied the means of liberality to the privates.

5. Demanda de Zavallos en nombre de Narvaez, MS.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 124.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 47.--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 130.--Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.
      The visit of Narvaez left melancholy traces among the natives, that made it long remembered. A Negro in his suite brought with him the small-pox. The disease spread rapidly in that quarter of the country, and great numbers of the Indian population soon fell victims to it. Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 6.

6. "Se perdia la mejor, y mas Noble Ciudad de todo lo nuevamente descubierto del Mundo; y ella perdida, se perdia todo lo que estaba ganado, por ser la Cabeza de todo, y á quien todos obedecian." Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 131.

7. Ibid., ubi supra.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 13, 14.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 124, 125.--Peter Martyr, De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 5.--Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.

8. Gomara, Crónica, cap. 103.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 7.
      Bernal Diaz raises the amount to 1300 foot and 96 horse. (Ibid., cap. 125.) Cortés diminishes it to less than half that number. (Rel. Seg., ubi supra.) The estimate cited in the text from the two preceding authorities corresponds nearly enough with that already given from offi­cial documents of the forces of Cortés and Narvaez before the junction.

9. "Las sierras altas de Tetzcuco á que le mostrasen desde la mas alta cumbre de aquellas mon­tañas y sierras de Tetzcuco, que son las sierras de Tlallocan altísimas y humbrosas, en las cuales he estado y visto y puedo decir que son bastante para descubrir el un emisferio y otro, porque son los mayores puertos y mas altos de esta Nueva España, de árboles y montes de grandísima altura, de cedras, cipreses y pinares." Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.

10. The historian partly explains the reason. "En la misma Ciudad de Tescuco habia algunos apasionados de los deudos y amigos de los que matáron Pedro de Alvarado y sus compañeros en México." Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 88.

11. "En todo el camino nunca me salió á recibir ninguna Persona de el dicho Muteczuma, como ántes lo solian facer; y toda la Tierra estaba alborotada, y casi despoblada: de que concebí mala sospecha, creyendo que los Españoles que en la dicha Ciudad habian quedado, eran muertos." Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 132.

12. "Y como asomó á la vista de la Ciudad de México, parecióle que estaba toda yerma, y que no parecia persona por todos los caminos, ni casas, ni plazas, ni nadie le salió á recibir, ni de los suyos, ni de los enemigos; y fué esto señal de indignacion y enemistad por lo que habia pasado." Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 19.

13. "Pontes ligneos qui tractim lapideos intersecant, sublatos, ac vias aggeribus munitas reperit." P. Martyr, De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 5.

14. Probanza á pedimento de Juan de Lexalde, MS.,--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 133.
      "Esto causó gran admiracion en todos los que venian, pero no dejáron de marchar, hasta entrar donde estaban los Españoles acorralados. Venian todos muy casados y muy fatigados y con mucho deseo de llegar á donde estaban sus hermanos; los de dentro cuando los viéron, recibiéron singular consolacion y esfuerzo y recibiéronlos con la artillería que tenian, saludándolos, y dándolos el parabien de su venida." Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 22.

15. "É así los Indios, todos Señores, mas de 600 desnudos é con muchas joyas de oro é hermosos penachos, é muchas piedras preciosas, é como mas aderezados é gentiles hombres se pudiéron é supiéron aderezar, é sin arma alguna defensiva ni ofensiva bailaban é cantaban é hacian su areito é fiesta segun su costumbre." (Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 54.) Some writers carry the number as high as eight hundred or even one thousand. Las Casas, with a more modest exaggeration than usual, swells it only to two thousand. Brevíssima Re­latione, p. 48.

16. "Sin duelo ni piedad Christiana los acuchilló, i mató." Gomara, Crónica, cap. 104.

17. "Fué tan grande el derramamiento de Sangre, que corrian arroyos de ella por el Patio, como agua cuando mucho llueve." Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 20.

18. "Y de aquí á que se acabe el mundo, ó ellos del todo se acaben, no dexarán de lamentar, y can­tar en sus areytos, y bayles, como en romances, que acá dezimos, aquella calamidad, y per­dida de la sucession de toda su nobleza, de que se preciauan de tantos años atras." Las Casas, Brevíssima Relatione, p. 49.

19. See Alvarado's reply to queries of Cortés, as reported by Diaz, (Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 125,) with some additional particulars in Torquemada, (Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 66,) Solís, (Conquista, lib. 4, cap. 12,) and Herrera, (Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 8,) who all seem content to endorse Alvarado's version of the matter. I find no other authority, of any weight, in the same charitable vein.

20. Oviedo mentions a conversation which he had some years after this tragedy with a noble Spaniard, Don Thoan Cano, who came over in the train of Narvaez, and was present at all the subsequent operations of the army. He married a daughter of Montezuma, and settled in Mexico after the Conquest. Oviedo describes him as a man of sense and integrity. In answer to the historian's queries respecting the cause of the rising, he said, that Alvarado had wan­tonly perpetrated the massacre from pure avarice; and the Aztecs, enraged at such unprovoked and unmerited cruelty, rose, as they well might, to avenge it. (Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 54.)

21. "Verdaderamente dió en ellos por metelles temor." Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 125.

22. Such, indeed, is the statement of Ixtlilxochitl, derived, as he says, from the native Tezcucan annalists. According to them, the Tlascalans, urged by their hatred of the Aztecs and their thirst for plunder, persuaded Alvarado, nothing loth, that the nobles meditated a rising on the occasion of these festivities. The testimony is important, and I give it in the author's words. "Fué que ciertos Tlascaltecas (segun las Historias de Tescuco que son las que Io sigo y la carta que otras veces he referido) por embidia lo uno acordándose que en semejante fiesta los Mexicanos solian sacrificar gran suma de cautivos de los de la Nacion Tlascalteca, y lo otro que era la mejor ocasion que ellos podian tener para poder hinchir las manos de despojos y hartar su codicia, y vengarse de sus Enemigos, (porque hasta entonces no habian tenido lugar, ni Cortés se les diera, ni admitiera sus dichos, porque siempre hacia las cosas con mucho acuerdo) fuéron con esta invencion al capitan Pedro de Albarado, que estaba en lugar de Cortés, el qual no fué menester mucho para darles crédito porque tan buenos filos, y pen­samientos tenia como ellos, y mas viendo que allí en aquella fiesta habian acudido todos los Señores y Cabezas del Imperio y que muertos no tenian mucho trabajo en sojuzgarles." Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 88.

23. Martyr well recapitulates these grievances, showing that they seemed such in the eyes of the Spaniards themselves,--of those, at least, whose judgment was not warped by a share in the transactions. "Emori statuerunt malle, quam diutius ferre tales hospites qui regem suum sub tutoris vitæ specie detineant, civitatem occupent, antiquos hostes Tascaltecanos et alios præterea in contumeliam ante illorum oculos ipsorum impensa conseruent; ..... qui demum simulachra deorum confregerint, et ritus veteres ac ceremonias antiquas illis abstulerint." De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 5.

24. Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 13, 47.--Gomara. Crónica. cap. 105.

25. He left in garrison, on his departure from Mexico, 140 Spaniards and about 6500 Tlascalans, including a few Cempoallan warriors. Supposing five hundred of these--a liberal al­lowance--to have perished in battle and otherwise, it would still leave a number, which, with the reinforcement now brought, would raise the amount to that stated in the text.

26. "Y viendo que todo estaua muy al contrario de sus pensamientos, q au de comer no nos dauan, estaua muy airado, y sobervio co la mucha gete de Españoles que traia, y muy triste, y mohino." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 126.

27. The scene is reported by Diaz, who was present. (Ibid., cap. 126.) See, also, the Chronicle of Gomara, the chaplain of Cortés. (Cap. 106.) It is further confirmed by Don Thoan Cano, an eyewitness, in his conversation with Oviedo.

28. Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 8.

29 "El qual Mensajero bolvió dende á media hora todo descalabrado, y herido, dando voces, que todos los Indios de la Ciudad venian de Guerra y que tenian todas las Puentes alzadas; é junto tras él da sobre nosotros tanta multitud de Gente por todas partes, que ni las calles ni Azoteas se parecian con Gente; la qual venia con los mayores alaridos, y grita mas espantable, que en el Mundo se puede pensar." Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 134.--Oviedo, Hist de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 13.


1. "Eran tantas las Piedras, que nos echaban con Hondas dentro en la Fortaleza que no parecia sino que el Cielo las llovia; é las Flechas, y Tiraderas eran tantas, que todas las paredes y Pa­tios estaban llenos, que casi no podiamos andar con ellas." (Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 134.) No wonder that they should have found some difficulty in wading through the arrows, if Herrera's account be correct, that forty cart-loads of them were gathered up and burnt by the besieged every day! Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 9.

2. "Luego sin tardanza se juntáron los Mexicanos, en gran copia, puestos á punto de Guerra, que no parecia, sino que habian salido debajo de tierra todos juntos, y comenzáron luego á dar grita y pelear, y los Españoles les comenzáron á responder de dentro con toda la artillería que de nuebo habian trarido, y con toda la gente que de nuevo habia venido, y los Españoles hi­ciéron gran destrozo en los Indios, con la artillería, arcabuzes, y ballestas y todo el otro arti­ficio de pelear." (Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 22.) The good father waxes eloquent in his description of the battle scene.

3. The enemy presented so easy a mark, says Gomara, that the gunners loaded and fired with hardly the trouble of pointing their pieces. "Tan recio, que los artilleros sin asestar jugaban con los tires." Crónica, cap. 106.

4. "Hondas, que eran la mas fuerte arma de pelea que los Mejicanos tenian." Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.

5. "En la Fortaleza daban tan recio combate, que por muchas partes nos pusiéron fuego, y por la una se quemó mucha parte de ella, sin la poder remediar, hasta que la atajámos, cortando las paredes, y derrocando un pedazo que mató el fuego. É si no fuera por la mucha Guarda, que allí puse de Escopeteros, y Ballesteros, y otros tiros de pólvora, nos entraran á escala vista, sin los poder resistir." Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 134.

6. Ibid., ubi supra.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 106.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 13--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 22.--Gonzalo de las Casas, Defensa, MS., Parte 1, cap. 26.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 126.

7. Carta del Exército, MS.

8. "Están todas en el agua, y de casa á vna puente leuadiza, passalla á nado, era cosa muy peli­grosa; porque desde las açuteas tirauan tanta piedra, y cantos, que era cosa perdida ponernos en ello. Y demas desto, en algunas casas que les poniamos fuego, tardaua vna casa é se que­mar vn dia entero, y no se podia pegar fuego de vna casa á otra; lo vno, por estar apartadas la vna de otra el agua en medio; y lo otro, por ser de açuteas." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 126.

9. "The Mexicans fought with such ferocity," says Diaz, "that, if we had had the assistance on that day of ten thousand Hectors, and as many Orlandos, we should have made no impres­sion on them! There were several of our troops," he adds, "who had served in the Italian wars, but neither there nor in the battles with the Turk had they ever seen any thing like the des­peration shown by these Indians." Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 126.
      See, also, for the last pages, Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 135,--Ixtlilxochitl, Relaciones, MS.,--Probanza á pedimento de Juan de Lexalde, MS.,--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 13,--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 196.

10. Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 9.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 69.

11 Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 126.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 13.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 107.

12. Cortés sent Marina to ascertain from Montezuma the name of the gallant chief, who could be easily seen from the walls animating and directing his countrymen. The emperor in­formed him that it was his brother Cuitlahua, the presumptive heir to his crown, and the same chief whom the Spanish commander had released a few days previous. Herrera, Hist. Ge­neral, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 10.

13. "¿Que quiere de mí ya Malinche, que yo no deseo viuir ni oille? pues en tal estado par su causa mi ventura me ha traido." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 126.

14. Ibid., ubi supra.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 88.

15. Acosta reports a tradition, that Guatemozin, Montezuma's nephew, who himself afterwards succeeded to the throne, was the man that shot the first arrow. Lib. 7, cap. 26.

16. I have reported this tragical event, and the circumstances attending it, as they are given, in more or less detail, but substantially in the same way, by the most accredited writers of that and the following age,--several of them eyewitnesses. (See Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 126.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 47.--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 136.--Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 88.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 10.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 70.--Acosta, ubi supra.--Martyr, De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 5.) It is also confirmed by Cortés in the instrument granting to Montezuma's favorite daughter certain estates by way of dowry. Don Thoan Cano, indeed, who married this princess, assured Oviedo that the Mexicans respected the person of the monarch so long as they saw him, and were not aware, when they discharged their missiles, that he was present, being hid from sight by the shields of the Spaniards. This improbable statement is repeated by the chaplain Gomara. (Crónica, cap. 107.) It is rejected by Oviedo, however, who says, that Alvarado, himself present at the scene, in a conversation with him afterwards, explicitly confirmed the narrative given in the text. (Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 47.) The Mexicans gave a very different account of the transaction. According to them, Montezuma, together with the lords of Tezcuco and Tlatelolco, then detained as prisoners in the fortress by the Spaniards, were all strangled by means of the garrote, and their dead bodies thrown over the walls to their countrymen. I quote the original of father Sahagun, who gathered the story from the Aztecs themselves.
      "De esta manera se determináron los Españoles á morir ó vencer varonilmente; y así habláron á todos los amigos Indios, y todos ellos estuviéron firmes en esta determinacion: y lo primero que hiciéron fué que diéron garrote á todos los Señores que tenian presos, y los echáron muertos fuera del fuerte: y antes que esto hiciesen les dijéron muchas cosas, y les hi­ciéron saber su determinacion, y que de ellos habia de comenzar esta obra, y luego todos los demas habian de ser muertos á sus manos, dijéronles, no es posible que vuestros Idolos os li­bren de nuestras manos. Y desque les hubiéron dado Garrote, y viéron que estaban muertos, mandáronlos echar por las azoteas, fuera de la casa, en un lugar que se llama Tortuga de Piedra, porque alli estaba una piedra labrada á manera de Tortuga. Y desque supiéron y viéron los de á fuera, que aquellos Señores tan principales habian sido muertos por las manos de los Españoles, luego tomáron los cuerpos, y les hiciéron sus exequias, al modo de su Idolatría, y quemáron sus cuerpos, y tomáron sus cenizas, y las pusiéron en lugares apropiadas á sus dignidades y valor." Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 23.
      It is hardly necessary to comment on the absurdity of this monstrous imputation, which, however, has found favor with some later writers. Independently of all other considerations the Spaniards would have been slow to compass the Indian monarch's death, since, as the Tezcucan Ixtlilxochitl truly observes, it was the most fatal blow which could befall them, by dissolving the last tie which held them to the Mexicans. Hist. Chich., MS., ubi supra.


1. "Salí fuera de la Fortaleza, aunque manco de la mano izquierda de una herida que el primer dia me habian dado: y liada la rodela en el brazo fuý á la Torre con algunos Españoles, que me siguiéron." Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 138.

2. See Ante, pp. 332-334.
      I have ventured to repeat the description of the temple here, as it is important that the reader, who may perhaps not turn to the preceding pages, should have a distinct image of it in his own mind, before beginning the combat.

3. Many of the Aztecs, according to Sahagun, seeing the fate of such of their comrades as fell into the hands of the Spaniards, on the narrow terrace below, voluntarily threw themselves headlong from the lofty summit and were dashed in pieces on the pavement. "Y los de arriba viendo á los de abajo muertos, y á los de arriba que los iban matando los que habian subido, comenzáron á arrojarse del cu abajo, desde lo alto, los cuales todos morian despeñados, quebrados brazos y piernas, y hechos pedazos, porque el cu era muy alto; y otros los mesmos Es­pañoles los arrojaban de lo alto del cu, y así todos cuantos allá habian subido de los Mexi­canos muriéron mala muerte." Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 22.

4. Among others, see Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 9,--Torquemada, Mo­narch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 69,--and Solís, very circumstantially, as usual, Conquista, lib. 4, cap. 16.
      The first of these authors had access to some contemporary sources, the chronicle of the old soldier, Ojeda, for example, not now to be met with. It is strange, that so valiant an exploit should not have been communicated by Cortés himself, who cannot be accused of diffidence in such matters.

5. Captain Diaz, a little loth sometimes, is emphatic in his encomiums on the valor shown by his commander on this occasion. "Aquí se mostró Cortés mui varo, como siepre lo fué. O que pelear, y fuerte batalla q aquí tuuímos! era cosa de notar vernos á todos corriendo sangre, y llenos de heridas, é mas de quarenta soldados muertos." (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 126.) The pens of the old chroniclers keep pace with their swords in the display of this brilliant ex­ploit;--"colla penna e colla spada," equally fortunate. See Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 138.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 106.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 22.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 9.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 13.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 69.

6. Archbishop Lorenzana is of opinion that this image of the Virgin is the same now seen in the church of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios! (Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 138, nota.) In what way the Virgin survived the sack of the city, and was brought to light again, he does not inform us. But the more difficult to explain, the more undoubted the miracle.

7. No achievement in the war struck more awe into the Mexicans, than this storming of the great temple, in which the white men seemed to bid defiance equally to the powers of God and man. Hieroglyphical paintings minutely commemorating it were to be frequently found among the natives after the Conquest. The sensitive Captain Diaz intimates that those which he saw made full as much account of the wounds and losses of the Christians as the facts would war­rant. (Ibid., ubi supra.) It was the only way in which the conquered could take their revenge.

8. "Sequenti nocte, nostri erumpentes in vna viarum arci vicina, domos combussêre ter­centum: in altera plerasque e quibus acri molestia fiebat. Ita nunc trucidando, nunc diru­endo, et interdum vulnera recipiendo, in pontibus et in viis, diebus noctibusque multis laboratum est utrinque." (Martyr, De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 6.) In the number of actions and their general result, namely, the victories, barren victories, of the Christians, all writers are agreed. But as to time, place, circumstance, or order, no two hold together. How shall the historian of the present day make a harmonious tissue out of these motley and many­-colored threads?

9. It is the name by which she is still celebrated in the popular minstrelsy of Mexico. Was the famous Tlascalan mountain, sierra de Malinche,--anciently "Mattalcueye,"--named in com­pliment to the Indian damsel? At all events, it was an honor well merited from her adopted countrymen.

10. According to Cortés, they boasted, in somewhat loftier strain, they could spare twenty-five thousand for one, "á morir veinte y cinco mil de ellos, y uno de los nuestros." Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 139.

11. "Que todas las calzadas de las entradas de la ciudad eran deshechas, como de hecho passaba." Ibid., loc. cit.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 13.

12. "Pues tambien quiero dezir las maldiciones que los de Narvaez echauan á Cortés, y las pa­labras que dezian, que renegauan dél, y de la tierra, y aun de Diego Velasquez, que acá les embió, que bien pacíficos estauan en sus casas en la Isla de Cuba, y estavan embelesados, y sin sentido." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, ubi supra.

13. Notwithstanding this, in the petition or letter from Vera Cruz, addressed by the army to the Emperor Charles V., after the Conquest, the importunity of the soldiers is expressly stated as the principal motive that finally induced their general to abandon the city. Carta del Exército, MS.

14. "La hambre era tanta, que á los Indios no se daba mas de vna Tortilla de racion, i á los Castellanos cinquenta granos de Maiz." Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 9.

15. Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 135.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 106.
      Dr. Bird, in his picturesque romance of "Calavar," has made good use of these mantas, bet­ter, indeed, than can be permitted to the historian. He claims the privilege of the romancer; though it must be owned he does not abuse this privilege, for he has studied with great care the costume, manners, and military usages of the natives. He has done for them what Cooper has done for the wild tribes of the North,--touched their rude features with the bright col­oring of a poetic fancy. He has been equally fortunate in his delineation of the picturesque scenery of the land. If he has been less so in attempting to revive the antique dialogue of the Spanish cavalier, we must not be surprised. Nothing is more difficult than the skilful execu­tion of a modern antique. It requires all the genius and learning of Scott to execute it so that the connoisseur shall not detect the counterfeit.

16. Carta del Exército, MS.--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 140.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 109.

17. Clavigero is mistaken in calling this the street of Iztapalapan. (Stor. del Messico, tom. III., p. 120.) It was not the street by which the Spaniards entered, but by which they finally left the city, and is correctly indicated by Lorenzana, as that of Tlacopan,--or rather, Tacuba, into which the Spaniards corrupted the name. See p. 140, note.

18. It is Oviedo who finds a parallel for his hero in the Roman warrior; the same, to quote the spirit-stirring legend of Macaulay,
                              "who kept the bridge so well
                  In the brave days of old."
"Mui digno es Cortés que se compare este fecho suyo desta jornada al de Oracio Cocles, que se tocó de suso, porque con su esfuerzo, é lanza sola dió tanto lugar, que los caballos pudieran pesar, é hizo desembarazar la puente é pasó, á pesar de los Enemigos, aunque con harto tra­bajo." Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 13.

19. It was a fair leap, for a knight and horse in armor. But the general's own assertion to the Emperor (Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 142) is fully confirmed by Oviedo, who tells us he had it from several who were present. "Y segun lo que yo he entendido de algunos que presentes se halláron, demas de la resistencia de aquellos havia de la vna parte á la otra casi vn estado de saltar con el caballo sin le faltar muchas pedradas de diversas partes, é manos, é por ir él, é su caballo bien armados no los hiriéron; pero no dexó de quedar atormentado de los golpes que le diéron." Hist. de las Ind., MS., ubi supra.

20. Truly, "dignus vindice nodus"! The intervention of the celestial chivalry on these occasions is testified in the most unqualified manner by many respectable authorities. It is edifying to observe the combat going on in Oviedo's mind between the dictates of strong sense and superior learning, and those of the superstition of the age. It was an unequal combat, with odds sorely against the former, in the sixteenth century. I quote the passage as characteristic of the times. "Afirman que se vido el Apóstol Santiago á caballo peleando sobre vn caballo blanco en favor de los Christianos; é decian los Indios que el caballo con los pies y manos é con la boca mataba muchos dellos, de forma, que en poco discurso de tiempo no pareció Indio, é reposáron los Christianos lo restante de aquel dia. Ya sé que los incrédulos ó poco devotos dirán, que mi ocupacion en esto destos miraglos, pues no los ví, es superflua, ó perder tiempo novelando, y yo hablo, que esto é mas se puede creer; pues que los gentiles é sin fé, é Idólatras escriben, que ovo grandes misterios é miraglos en sus tiempos, é aquellos sabemos que eran causados é fechos por el Diablo, pues mas fácil cosa es á Dios é á la in­maculata Virgin Nuestra Señor é al glorioso Apóstol Santiago, é á los santos é amigos de Jesu Christo hacer esos miraglos, que de suso estan dichos, é otros maiores." Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 47.

21. "Multi restiterunt lapidabus et iaculis confossi, fuit et Cortesius grauiter percussus, pauci eva serunt incolumes, et hi adeò languidi, vt neque lacertos erigere quirent. Postquam veto se in arcem receperunt, non commodè satis conditas dapes, quibus reficerentur, inuenerunt, nec fortè asperi maiicii panis bucellas, aut aquam potabilem, de vino aut carnibus sublata erat curs." (Martyr, De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 6.) See also, for the hard fighting in the last pages, Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 13,--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 140-142,--Carta del Exército, MS.,--Gonzalo de las Casas, Defensa, MS., Parte 1, cap. 26,­ Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 9, 10,--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 107.

22. The sentiment is expressed with singular energy in the verses of Voltaire;
                  "Mais renoncer aux dieux que l'on croit dans son cœur,
                  C'est le crime d'un lâche, et non pas une erreur;
                  C'est trahir à la fois, sous un masque hypocrite,
                  Et le dieu qu'on préfère, et le dieu que l'on quitte:
                  C'est mentir au Ciel même, à l'univers, à soi."
                              ALZIRE, Acte 5, sc. 5.

23. Camargo, the Tlascalan convert, says, he was told by several of the Conquerors, that Mon­tezuma was baptized at his own desire in his last moments, and that Cortés and Alvarado stood sponsors on the occasion. "Muchos afirman de los conquistadores que yo conocì, que estando en el artículo de la muerte, pidió agua de batismo é que fué batizado y murió Cris­tiano, aunque en esto hay grandes dudas y diferentes paresceres; mas como digo que de per­sonas fidedignas conquistadores de los primeros desta tierra de quien fuímos informados, supímos que murió batizado y Cristiano, é que fuéron sus padrinos del batismo Fernando Cortés y Don Pedro de Alvarado." (Hist. de Tlascala, MS.) According to Gomara, the Mex­ican monarch desired to be baptized before the arrival of Narvaez. The ceremony was de­ferred till Easter, that it might be performed with greater effect. But in the hurry and bustle of the subsequent scenes it was forgotten, and he died without the stain of infidelity having been washed away from him. (Crónica, cap. 107.) Torquemada, not often a Pyrrhonist where the honor of the faith is concerned, rejects these tales as irreconcilable with the subsequent silence of Cortés himself, as well as of Alvarado, who would have been loud to proclaim an event so long in vain desired by them. (Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 70.) The criticism of the fa­ther is strongly supported by the fact, that neither of the preceding accounts is corroborated by writers of any weight, while they are contradicted by several, by popular tradition, and, it may be added, by one another.

24. "Respondió, Que por la media hora que le quedaba de vida, no se queria apartar de la reli­gion de sus Padres." (Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 10.) "Ya he dicho," says Diaz, "la tristeza que todos nosotros huví, mos por ello, y aun al Frayle de la Merced, que siempre estaua con é1, y no le pudo atraer á que se bolviesse Christiano." Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 127.

25. Aunque no le pesaba dello; literally, "although he did not repent of it." But this would be rather too much for human nature to assert; and it is probable the language of the Indian prince underwent some little change, as it was sifted through the interpretation of Marina. The Spanish reader will find the original conversation, as reported by Cortés himself, in the re­markable document (Appendix, Part 2, No. 12).--The general adds, that he faithfully complied with Montezuma's re­quest, receiving his daughters, after the Conquest, into his own family, where, agreeably to their royal father's desire, they were baptized, and instructed in the doctrines and usages of the Christian faith. They were afterwards married to Castilian hidalgos, and handsome dowries were assigned them by the government. See note 36 of this Chapter.

26. I adopt Clavigero's chronology, which cannot be far from truth. (Stor. del Messico, tom. III. p. 131.) And yet there are reasons for supposing he must have died at least a day sooner.

27. "De suerte que le tiráron una pedrada con una honda y le dieron en la cabeza de que vino á morir el desdichado Rey, habiendo gobernado este nuevo Mundo con la mayor prudencia y gobierno que se puede imaginar, siendo el mas tenido y reverenciado y adorado Señor que en el mundo ha habido, y en su linaje, como es cosa pública y notoria en toda la maquina deste Nuevo Mundo, donde con la muerte de tan gran Señor se acabáron los Reyes Culhuaques Mejicanos, y todo su poder y mando, estando en la mayor felicidad de su monarquía; y ansí no hay de que fiar en las cosas desta vida sino en solo Dios." Hist. de Tlascala, MS.

28. "Y Cortées lloró por é1, y todos nuestros Capitanes, y soldados: é hombres huvo entre nosotros de los que le conociamos, y tratauamos, que tan llorado fué, como si fuera nuestro padre, y no nos hemos de maravillar dello, viendo que tan bueno era." Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 126.

29. "He loved the Christians," says Herrera, "as well as could be judged from appearances." (Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 10.) "They say," remarks the general's chaplain, "that Montezuma, though often urged to it, never consented to the death of a Spaniard, nor to the injury of Cortés, whom he loved exceedingly. But there are those who dispute this." (Gomara, Crónica, cap. 107.) Don Thoan Cano assured Oviedo, that, during all the troubles of the Spaniards with the Mexicans, both in the absence of Cortés, and after his return, the emperor did his best to supply the camp with provisions. And finally, Cortés himself, in an instrument already referred to, dated six years after Montezuma's death, bears emphatic testimony to the good­ will he had shown to Spaniards, and particularly acquits him of any share in the late rising, which, says the Conqueror, "I had trusted to suppress through his assistance."
      The Spanish historians, in general,--notwithstanding an occasional intimation of a doubt as to his good faith towards their countrymen,--make honorable mention of the many excellent qualities of the Indian prince. Solís, however, the most eminent of all, dismisses the account of his death with the remark, that "his last hours were spent in breathing vengeance and maledictions against his people; until he surrendered up to Satan--with whom he had frequent communication in his lifetime--the eternal possession of his soul!" (Conquista de México, lib. 4, cap. 15.) Fortunately, the historiographer of the Indians could know as little of Montezuma's fate in the next world, as he appears to have known of it in this. Was it bigotry, or a desire to set his own hero's character in a brighter light, which led him thus unworthily to darken that of his Indian rival?

30. "Dicen que venció nueve Batallas, i otros nueve Campos, en desafío vno á vno." Gomara, Crónica, cap. 107.

31. One other only of his predecessors, Tizoc, is shown by the Aztec Paintings to have belonged to this knightly order, according to Clavigero. Stor. del Messico, tom. II. p. 140.

32. "Era mas cauteloso, y ardidoso, que valeroso. En las Armas, y modo de su govierno, fué muy justiciero; en las cosas tocantes á ser estimado y tenido en su Dignidad y Majestad Real de condicion muy severo, aunque cuerdo y gracioso." Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 88.

33. The whole address is given by Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 68.

34. "Τεχνη δ αναγκης ασθενεστρα μακρω.
Τις ουν αναγκης εστιν οιακστροφος;
Μοιραι τριμορφοι, μνημονες τ 'Εριννυες.
Τουτων αρ ο Ζευς εστιν ασθενεστερος;
Ουκουν αν εκφυγοι γε την πεπρωμενην."
                  ÆSCHYL., Prometh., v. 514-518.

35. Señor de Calderon, the late Spanish minister at Mexico, informs me, that he has more than once passed by an Indian dwelling, where the Indians in his suite made a reverence, saving it was occupied by a descendant of Montezuma.

36. This son, baptized by the name of Pedro, was descended from one of the royal concubines. Montezuma had two lawful wives. By the first of these, named Teçalco, he had a son, who perished in the flight from Mexico; and a daughter named Tecuichpo, who embraced Chris­tianity, and received the name of Isabella. She was married, when very young to her cousin Guatemozin; and lived long enough after his death to give her hand to three Castilians, all of honorable family. From two of these, Don Pedro Gallejo, and Don ?h?an Cano, descended the illustrious families of the Andrada and Cano Montezuma.
      Montezuma, by his second wife, the princess Acatlan, left two daughters, named, after their conversion, Maria and Leonor. The former died without issue. Doña Leonor married with a Spanish cavalier, Cristóval de Valderrama, from whom descended the family of the Sotelos de Montezuma. To which ?f these branches belonged the counts of Miravalle, no­ticed by Humboldt, (Essai Politique, tom. ??. ?. 73, note,) ? am ignorant.
      The royal genealogy is minutely exhibited in a Memorial, setting forth the claims of Montezuma's grandsons to certain property in right of their respective mothers. The docu­ment, which is without date, is among the MSS. of Muñoz.

37. It is interesting to know that a descendant of the Aztec emperor, Don Joseph Sarmiento Va­lladares, Count of Montezuma, ruled as viceroy, from 1697 to 1701, over the dominions of his barbaric ancestors. (Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. II. p. 93, note.) Solís speaks of this noble house, grandees of Spain, who intermingled their blood with that of the Guzmans and the Mendozas. Clavigero has traced their descent from the emperor's son Iohualicahua, or Don Pedro Montezuma, as he was called after his baptism, down to the close of the eighteenth cen­tury. (See Solís, Conquista, lib. 4, cap. 15.--Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. I. p. 302, tom. III. p. 132.) The last of the line, of whom I have been able to obtain any intelligence, died not long since in this country. He was very wealthy, having large estates in Spain,--but was not, as it ap­pears, very wise. When seventy years old or more, he passed over to Mexico, in the vain hope, that the nation, in deference to his descent, might place him on the throne of his Indian ances­tors, so recently occupied by the presumptuous Iturbide. But the modern Mexicans, with all their detestation of the old Spaniards, showed no respect for the royal blood of the Aztecs. The unfortunate nobleman retired to New Orleans, where he soon after put an end to his existence by blowing out his brains,--not for ambition, however, if report be true, but disappointed love!

38. Gomara, Crónica, cap. 107.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 10.

39. Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 7.


1. Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 47.
      The astrologer predicted that Cortés would be reduced to the greatest extremity of dis­tress, and afterwards come to great honor and fortune. (Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 128.) He showed himself as cunning in his art, as the West Indian sybil who foretold the destiny of the unfortunate Josephine.

2. "Pues al astrólogo Botello, no le aprouechó su astrología, que tambien allí murió." Ibid., ubi supra.

3. The disposition of the treasure has been stated with some discrepancy, though all agree as to its ultimate fate. The general himself did not escape the imputation of negligence, and even peculation, most unfounded, from his enemies. The account in the text is substantiated by the evidence, under oath, of the most respectable names in the expedition, as given in the in­strument already more than once referred to. "Hizo sacar el oro é joyas de sus Altezas é le dió é entregó á los otros oficiales Alcaldes é Regidores, é les dixo á la rason que así se lo entregó, que todos viesen el mejor modo é manera que habia para lo poder salvar, que él allí estaba para por su parte hacer lo que fuese posible é poner su persona á qualquier trance é riesgo que sobre lo salvar le viniese...... El qual les dió para ello una muy buena yegua, é quatro ó cinco Españoles de mucha confianza, á quien se encargó la dha yegua cargado con el otro oro." Probanza á pedimento de Juan de Lexalde.

4. "Desde aquí se o doi, como se ha de quedar aquí perdido entre estos perros." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 128.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 47.

5. Captain Diaz tells us, that he contented himself with four chalchivitl,--the green stone so much prized by the natives,--which he cunningly picked out of the royal coffers before Cortés' majordomo had time to secure them. The prize proved of great service, by supply­ing him the means of obtaining food and medicine, when in great extremity, afterwards, from the people of the country. Ibid., loc. cit.

6. Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., ubi supra.

7. Comara, Crónica, cap. 109.--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 143.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 13, 47.

8. There is some difficulty in adjusting the precise date of their departure, as, indeed, of most events in the Conquest; attention to chronology being deemed somewhat superfluous by the old chroniclers. Ixtlilxochitl, Gomara, and others fix the date at July 10th. But this is wholly contrary to the letter of Cortés, which states, that the army reached Tlascala on the eighth of July, not the tenth, as Clavigero misquotes him; (Stor. del Messico, tom. III, pp. 135, 136, nota;) and from the general's accurate account of their progress each day, it appears that they left the capital on the last night of June, or rather the morning of July 1st. It was the night, he also adds, following the affair of the bridges in the city. Comp. Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, pp. 142-149.

9. Ibid., p. 143.--Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 128.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 13, 47.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 24.--Martyr, De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 6.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 4.--Probanza en la Villa Segura, MS.

l0. "Pues la grita, y lloros, y lástimas q dezia demadando socorro: Ayudadme, q me ahogo, otros: Socorredme, q me mata, otros demadando ayuda á N. Señora Santa María, y á Señor Santi­ago." Bernal Diaz, Ibid., cap. 128.

11. "Y asimismo se mostró mui valerosa en este aprieto, y conflicto María de Estrada, la qual con vna Espada, y vna Rodela en las Manos, hiço hechos maravillosos, y se entraba por los Enemigos con tanto corage, y ánimo, como si fuera vno de los mas valientes Hombres de el Mundo, olvidada de que era Muger...... Casó esta Señora con Pedro Sanchez Farfan, y diéronle en Encomienda el Pueblo de Tetela." Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 72.

12. Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 128.
"Por la gran priesa que daban de ambas partes de el camino, comenzáron á caer en aquel foso, y cayéron juntos, que de Españoles, que de Indios y de caballos, y de cargas, el foso se hinchó hasta arriba, cayendo los unos sobre los otros, y los otros sobre los otros, de manera que todos los del bagage quedáron allí ahogados, y los de la retaguardia pasáron sobre los muertos." Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 24.

13. "É los que habian ido con Narvaez arrojáronse en la sala, é cargáronse de aquel oro é plata quanto pudiéron; pero los menos lo gozáron, porque la carga no los dexaba pelear, é los In­dios los tomaban vivos cargados; é á otros llevaban arrastrando, é á otros mataban allí; É así no se salváron sino los desocupados é que iban en la delantera." Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 47.

14. Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 11.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. ­13.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 128.

15. "Luego encontráron con Pedro de Alvarado bien herido con vna lança en la mano á pie, que la yegua alaçana ya se la auian muerto." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 128.

16. "Y los amigos vista tan gran hazaña quedáron maravillados, y al instante que esto viéron se arrojáron por el suelo postrados por tierra en señal de hecho tan heroico, espantable y raro, que ellos no habian visto hacer á ningun hombre, y ansi adoráron al Sol, comiendo puñados de tierra, arrancando yervas del campo, diciendo á grandes voces, verdaderamente que este hombre es hilo del Sol." (Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.) This writer consulted the process instituted by Alvarado's heirs, in which they set forth the merits of their ancestor, as attested by the most valorous captains of the Tlascalan nation, present at the Conquest. It may be that the famous leap was among these "merits," of which the historian speaks. M. de Humboldt, citing Camargo, so considers it. (Essai Politique, tom. II. p. 75.) This would do more than any thing else to establish the fact. But Camargo's language does not seem to me necessarily to warrant the inference.

17. "Se llama aora la puente del salto de Alvarado: y platicauamos muchos soldados sobre ello, y no hallavamos razon, ni soltura de vn hombre que tal saltasse." Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 128.

18. Gomara, Crónica, cap. 109.--Camargo, Ibid., ubi supra.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 47.--Which last author, however, frankly says, that many, who had seen the place, de­clared it seemed to them impossible. "Fué tan estremado de grande el salto, que á muchos hombres que han visto aquello, he oido decir que parece cosa imposible haberlo podido saltar ninguno hombre humano. En fin él lo saltó é ganó por ello la vida, é perdiéronla muchos que atras quedaban."

19. The spot is pointed out to every traveller. It is where a ditch, of no great width, is traversed by a small bridge not far from the western extremity of the Alameda. As the place received its name in Alvarado's time, the story could scarcely have been discountenanced by him. But, since the length of the leap, strange to say, is nowhere given, the reader can have no means of passing his own judgment on its probability.

20. "Fué Dios servido de que los Mejicanos se ocupasen en recojer los despojos de los muertos, y las riquezas de oro y piedras que llevaba el bagage, y de sacar los muertos de aquel acequia, y á los caballos y otros bestias. Y por esto no siguiéron el alcanze, y los Españoles pudiéron ir poco á poco por su camino sin tener mucha molestia de enemigos." Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 25.

21. Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 47--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS. cap. 89.--Go­mara, Crónica, cap. 109.

22. Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 12.

23. "Tacuba," says that interesting traveller, Latrobe, "lies near the foot of the hills, and is at the present day chiefly noted for the large and noble church which was erected there by Cortés. And hard by, you trace the lines of a Spanish encampment. I do not hazard the opinion, but it might appear by the coincidence, that this was the very position chosen by Cortés for his intrenchment, after the retreat just mentioned, and before he commenced his painful route towards Otumba." (Rambler in Mexico, letter 5.) It is evident, from our text, that Cortés could have thrown up no intrenchment here, at least on his retreat from the capital.

24. Lorenzana, Viage, p. xiii

25. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 24.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 128.--Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 89.

26. The table below may give the reader some idea of the discrepancies in numerical estimates, even among eyewitnesses, and writers who, having access to the actors, are nearly of equal authority.
Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 145,150 Spaniards, 2000 Indians, killed and missing.
Cano, ap. Oviedo, lib. 33, cap. 54,11708000
Probanza, &c.,2002000
Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., lib. 33, cap. 13,1502000
Camargo,450 4000
Gomara, cap. 109,4504000
Ixtlilxochitl, Hist Chich., cap. 88,4504000
Sahagun, lib. 12, cap. 24,3002000
Herrera, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 12,1504000

      Bernal Diaz does not take the trouble to agree with himself. After stating that the rear, on which the loss fell heaviest, consisted of 120 men, he adds, in the same paragraph, that 150 of these were slain, which number swells to 200 in a few lines further! Falstaff's men in buck­ram! See Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 128.
      Cano's estimate embraces, it is true, those--but their number was comparatively small ­who perished subsequently on the march. The same authority states, that 270 of the garrison, ignorant of the proposed departure of their countrymen, were perfidiously left in the palace of Axayacatl, where they surrendered on terms, but were subsequently all sacrificed by the Aztecs! The improbability of this monstrous story, by which the army with all its equipage could leave the citadel without the knowledge of so many of their comrades,--and this be permitted, too, at a juncture, which made every man's coöperation so important,--is too ob­vious to require refutation. Herrera records, what is much more probable, that Cortés gave particular orders to the captain, Ojeda, to see that none of the sleeping or wounded should, in the hurry of the moment, be overlooked in their quarters. Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 11.

27. "Pues de los de Narvaez, todos los mas en las puentes quedáron, cargados de oro." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 128.

28. According to Diaz, part of the gold intrusted to the Tlascalan convoy was preserved. (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 136.) From the document already cited,--Probanza en la Villa Segura, MS.,--it appears, that it was a Castilian guard who had charge of it.

29. Gomara. Crónica, cap. 109.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 13.--Probanza en la Villa Segura, MS.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 128.


1. Lorenzana, Viage, p. xiii.

2. The last instance, I believe, of the direct interposition of the Virgin in behalf of the metrop­olis was in 1833, when she was brought into the city to avert the cholera. She refused to pass the night in town, however, but was found the next morning in her own sanctuary at Los Remedios, showing, by the mud with which she was plentifully bespattered, that she must have performed the distance--several leagues--through the miry ways on foot! See Latrobe, Rambler in Mexico, letter 5.

3. The epithet by which, according to Diaz, the Castilians were constantly addressed by the na­tives; and which--whether correctly or not--he interprets into gods, or divine beings. (See Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 48, et alibi.) One of the stanzas of Ercilla intimates the existence of a similar delusion among the South American Indians,--and a similar cure of it.
                  "Por dioses, como dixe, eran tenidos
                  de los Indios los nuestros; pero oliéron
                  que de muger y hombre eran nacidos,
                  y todas sus flaquezas entendiéron
                  viéndolos á miserias sometidos,
                  el error ignorante conociéron,
                  ardiendo en viva rabia avergonzados
                  por verse de mortales conquistados."
                              LA ARAUCANA, Parte 1, Canto 2

4. Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 147.
      Hunger furnished them a sauce, says Oviedo, which made their horse-flesh as relishing as the far-famed sausages of Naples, the delicate kid of Avila, or the savory veal of Saragossa! "Con la carne del caballo tubiéron buen pasto, é se consoláron ó mitigáron en parte su ham­bre, é se lo comiéron sin dexar cuero, ni otra cosa dél sino los huesos é las vñas, y el pelo; é aun las tripas no les pareció de menos buen gusto que las sobreasados de Nápoles, ó los gen­tiles cabritos de Abila, ó las sabrosas Terneras de Zaragosa, segun la estrema necesidad que llevaban; por que despues que de la gran cibdad de Temixtitan havian salido, ninguna otra cosa comiéron sino mahiz tostado, é cocido, é yervas del campo, y desto no tanto quanto quisieran ó ovieran menester." Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 13.

5. Herrera mentions one soldier who had succeeded in carrying off his gold to the value of 3,000 castellanos across the causeway, and afterwards flung it away by the advice of Cortés. "The devil take your gold," said the commander bluntly to him, "if it is to cost you your life." Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 11.

6. Gomara, Crónica, cap. 110.

7. The meaning of the word Tlascala, and so called from the abundance of maize raised in the country. Boturini, Idea, p. 78.

8. "Empero la Nacion nuestra Española sufre mas hambre que otra ninguna, i estos de Cortés mas que todos." Gomara, Crénica, cap. 110.

9. For the concluding pages, see Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.,--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 128,--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 13,--Gomara, Crónica, ubi supra,--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 89,--Martyr, De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 6,--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 147, 148,--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 25, 26.

10. "Su nombre, que quiere decir habitacion de los Dioses, y que ya por estos tiempos era ciudad tan famosa, que no solo competia, pero excedia con muchas ventajas á la corte de Tollan." Vey­tia, Hist. Antig., tom. I. cap. 27.

11. The pyramid of Mycerinos is 280 feet only at the base, and 162 feet in height. The great pyra­mid of Cheops is 728 feet at the base, and 448 feet high. See Denon, Egypt Illustrated, (Lon­don, 1825,) p. 9.

12. "It requires a particular position," says Mr. Tudor, "united with some little faith, to discover the pyramidal form at all." (Tour in North America, vol. II. p. 277.) Yet Mr. Bullock says, "The general figure of the square is as perfect as the great pyramid of Egypt." (Six Months in Mex­ico, vol. II. chap. 26.) Eyewitnesses both. This historian must often content himself with re­peating, in the words of the old French lay,­--
                  "Si com je l'ai trové escrite,
                  Vos conterai la verité"

13. This is M. de Humboldt's opinion. (See his Essai Politique, tom. II. pp. 66-70.) He has also discussed these interesting monuments in his Vues des Cordillères, p. 25, et seq.

14. Latrobe gives the description of this cavity, into which he and his fellow-travellers pene­trated. Rambler in Mexico, let 7.

15. "Et tot templa de251;m Romæ, quot in urbe sepulcra
Heroum numerare licet: quos fabula manes
Nobilitat, noster populus veneratus adorat."
                  PRUDENTIUS, Contra Sym., lib. 1.

16. The dimensions are given by Bullock, (Six Months in Mexico, vol. II. chap. 26,) who has sometimes seen what has eluded the optics of other travellers.

17. Such is the account given by the cavalier Boturini. Idea, pp. 42, 43.

18. Both Ixtlilxochitl and Boturini, who visited these monuments, one, early in the seventeenth, the other in the first part of the eighteenth century, testify to their having seen the remains of this statue. They had entirely disappeared by 1757, when Veytia examined the pyramid. Hist. Antig., tom. I. cap. 26.

19. "Agricola, incurvo terram molitus aratro,
Exesa inveniet scabra rubigine pila," &c.
                  GEORG., lib. 1

20. "Y como iban vestidos de blanco, parecia el campo nevado." Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 13.

21. "Vistosa confusion," says Solís, "de armas y penachos, en que tenian su hermosura los ho­rrores." (Conquista, lib. 4, cap. 20.) His painting shows the hand of a great artist,--which he certainly was. But he should not have put fire-arms into the hands of his countrymen, on this occasion.

22. "Y cierto creímos ser aquel el último de nuestros dias." Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 148.

23. Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 14.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 128.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 27.
      Cortés might have addressed his troops, as Napoleon did his in the famous battle with the Mamelukes: "From yonder pyramids forty centuries look down upon you." But the situation of the Spaniards was altogether too serious for theatrical display.

24. It is Sahagun's simile. "Estaban los Españoles como una Isleta en el mar, combatida de las olas por todas partes." (Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 27.) The venerable mission­ary gathered the particulars of the action, as he informs us, from several who were present in it.

25. The epic bard Ercilla's spirited portrait of the young warrior Tucapél may apply without vi­olence to Sandoval, as described by the Castilian chroniclers.
                  "Cubierto Tucapél de fina malla
                  saltó como un libero y suelto pardo
                  en medio de la tímida canalla,
                  haciendo plaza el bárbaro gallardo:
                  con silvos grita en desigual batalla:
                  con piedra, palo, flecha, lanza y dardo
                  le persigue la gente de manera
                  como si fuera toro, ó brava fiera."
                              LA ARAUCANA, Parte 1, Canto 8.

26. Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 13.
      "Este caballo harriero," says Camargo, "le sirvió en la conquista de Méjico, y en la última guerra que se dió se la matáron." Hist. de Tlascala, MS.

27. The brave cavalier was afterwards permitted by the Emperor Charles V. to assume this tro­phy on his own escutcheon, in commemoration of his exploit. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Con­quista, cap. 128.

28. The historians all concur in celebrating this glorious achievement of Cortés; who, concludes Gomara, "by his single arm saved the whole army from destruction." See Crónica, cap. 110.--­Also Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 27.--Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 128.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 47.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 13.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 89.
      The brief and extremely modest notice of the affair in the general's own letter forms a beautiful contrast to the style of panegyric by others. "É con este trabajo fuímos mucha parte de el dia, hasta que quiso Dios, que murió una Persona de ellos, que debia ser tan Principal, que con su muerte cesó toda aquella Guerra." Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 148.

29. "Pues á nosotros," says the doughty Captain Diaz, "no nos dolian las heridas, ni teniamos hambre, ni sed, sino que parecia que no auiamos auido, ni passado ningun mal trabajo. Seguí­mos la vitoria matando, é hiriendo. Pues nuestros amigos los de Tlascala estavan hechos vnos leones, y con sus espadas, y montantes, y otras armas que allí apañáron, hazíanlo muy bie y esforçadamente." Hist. de la Conquista, loc. cit.

30. Ibid., ubi supra.

31. The belligerent apostle St. James, riding, as usual, his milk-white courser, came to the rescue on this occasion; an event commemorated by the dedication of a hermitage to him, in the neighborhood. (Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala.) Diaz, a skeptic on former occasions, admits his indubitable appearance on this. (Ibid., ubi supra.) According to the Tezcucan chronicler, he was supported by the Virgin and St. Peter. (Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 89.) Voltaire sensibly re­marks, "Ceux qui ont fait les relations de ces étranges événemens les ont voulu relever par des miracles, qui ne servent en effet qu'à les rabaisser. Le vrai miracle fut la conduite de Cortés." Voltaire, Essai sur les Mœurs, chap. 147.

32. See Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 47.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 13--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 110.


1. Is it not the same fountain of which Toribio makes honorable mention in his topographical ac­count of che country? "Nace en Tlaxcala una fuente grande á la parte del Norte, cinco leguas de la principal ciudad; nace en un pueblo que se llama Azumba, que en su lengua quiere decir cabeza, y así es, porque esta fuente es cabeza y principio del mayor rio de los que entran en la mar del Sur, el cual entra en la mar por Zacatula." Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 3, cap. 16.

2. "El qual pensamiento, y sospecha nos puso en tanta afliccion, quanta trahiamos viniendo pe­leando con los de Culúa." Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 149.

3. "Y mas dixo, que tenia esperança en Dios que los hallariamos buenos, y leales; é que si otra cosa fuesse, lo que Dios no permita, que nos han de tornar á andar los puños con coraçones fuertes, y braços vigorosos, y que para esso fuessemos muy apercibidos." Bernal Díaz, Hist de la Conquista, cap. 128.

4. Called Gualipan by Cortés. (Ibid., p. 149.) An Aztec would have found it hard to trace the route of his enemies by their itineraries.

5. Ibid., ubi supra.
      Thoan Cano, however, one of the army, denies this, and asserts that the natives received them like their children, and would take no recompense. (See Appendix, Part 2, No. 11.)

6. Y que tubiesse por cierto, que me serian muy ciertos, y verdaderos Amigos, hasta la muerte." Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 150.

7. Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, ubi supra.--"So­breviniéron las mugeres Tlascaltecas, y todas puestas de luto, y llorando á donde estaban los Españoles, las unas preguntaban por sus maridos, las otras por sus hijos y hermanos, las otras por sus parientes que habian ido con los Españoles, y quedaban todos allá muertos: no es menos, sino que de esto llanto causó gran sentimiento en el corazon del Capitan, y de todos los Españoles, y él procuró lo mejor que pudo consolarles por medio de sus Intérpretes." Sa­hagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 28.

8. "Yo assimismo quedé manco de dos dedos de la mano izquierda"--is Cortés' own expression in his letter to the emperor. (Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 152.) Don Thoan Cano, however, whose sympathies--from his Indian alliance, perhaps--seem to have been quite as much with the Aztecs as with his own countrymen, assured Oviedo, who was lamenting the gen­eral's loss, that he might spare his regrets, since Cortés had as many fingers on his hand, at that hour, as when he came from Castile. May not the word manco, in his letter, be rendered by "maimed"?

9. "Hiriéron á Cortés con Honda tan mal, que se le pasmó la Cabeça, ó porque no le curá­ron bien, sacándole Cascos, ó por el demasiado trabajo que pasó." Gomara, Crónica, cap. 110.

10. Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 13.--Bernal Diaz, Ibid., ubi supra.

11. Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 150.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 15.
      Herrera gives the following inscription, cut on the bark of a tree by some of these unfortunate Spaniards. "By this road passed Juan Juste and his wretched companions, who were so much pinched by hunger, that they were obliged to give a solid bar of gold, weighing eight hundred ducats, for a few cakes of maize bread." Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 13.

12. One is reminded of the similar remonstrance made by Alexander's soldiers to him, on reach­ing the Hystaspis,--but attended with more success; as, indeed, was reasonable. For Alexan­der continued to advance from the ambition of indefinite conquest, while Cortés was only bent on carrying out his original enterprise. What was madness in the one was heroism in the other.

13. "Acordándome, que siempre á los osados ayuda la fortuna, y que eramos Christianos y con­fiando en la grandíssima Bondad, y Misericordia de Dios, que no permitiria, que del todo pereciessemos, y se perdiesse tanta, y tan noble Tierra." Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 152.

14. This reply, exclaims Oviedo, showed a man of unconquerable spirit, and high destinies. "Paréceme que la respuesta que á esto les dió Hernando Cortés, é lo que hizo en ello, fué vna cosa de ánimo invencible, é de varon de mucha suerte é valor." Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 15.

15. "É no me hable ninguno en otra cosa; y él que desta opinion no estubiere váyase en buen hora, que mas holgaré de quedar con los pocos y osados, que en compañía de muchos, ni de ninguno cobarde, ni desacordado de su propia honra." Hist. de las Ind., MS., loc. cit.

16. Oviedo has expanded the harangue of Cortés into several pages, in the course of which the orator quotes Xenophon, and borrows largely from the old Jewish history, a style of elo­quence savoring much more of the closet than the camp. Cortés was no pedant, and his sol­diers were no scholars.

17. For the account of this turbulent transaction, see Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap 129,--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 152,--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 15,--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 112, 113,--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 14.
      Diaz is exceedingly wroth with the chaplain, Gomara, for not discriminating between the old soldiers and the levies of Narvaez, whom he involves equally in the sin of rebellion. The captain's own version seems a fair one, and I have followed it, therefore, in the text.

18. Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 15.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 14.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 29.

19. Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 47.--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 166.--­Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 27, 29.
      Or rather, it was "at the instigation of the great Devil, the captain of all the devils, called Satan, who regulated every thing in New Spain by his free will and pleasure, before the com­ing of the Spaniards," according to father Sahagun, who begins his chapter with this eloquent exordium.

20. lxtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 88.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 29--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 19.

21. The proceedings in the Tlascalan senate are reported in more or less detail, but substantially alike, by Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.,--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 29,--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 12, cap. 14.
      See, also, Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 129,--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 111.


1. The Indian name of the capital,--the same as that of the province,-- Tepejacac, was corrupted by the Spaniards into Tepeaca. It must be admitted to have gained by the corruption.

2. "Y como aquello vió Cortés, comunicólo con todos nuestros Capitanes, y soldados: y fué acordado, que se hiziesse vn auto por ante Escriuano, que diesse fe de todo lo passado, y que se diessen por esclauos." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 130.

3. The chroniclers estimate his army at 50,000 warriors; one half, according to Horibio, of the disposable military force of the republic. "De la cual, (Tlascala,) como ya tengo dicho, solian salir cien mil hombres de pelea." Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 3, cap. 16.

4. "That night," says the credulous Herrera, speaking of the carouse that followed one of their victories, "the Indian allies had a grand supper of legs and arms; for, besides an incredible number of roasts on wooden spits, they had fifty thousand pots of stewed human flesh!!" (Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 15.) Such a banquet would not have smelt savory in the nostrils of Cortés.

5. "Y allé hiziéron hazer el hierro con que se auian de herrar los que se tomauan por esclauos, que era una G., que quiere decir guerra." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 130.

6. Solís, Conquista, lib. 5, cap. 3.

7. Called by the Spaniards Huacachula, and spelt with every conceivable diversity by the old writers, who may be excused for stumbling over such a confusion of consonants.

8. "Y toda la Ciudad está cercada de muy fuerte Muro de cal y canto, tan alto, como quatro es­tados por de fuera de la Ciudad: é por de dentro está casi igual con el suelo. Y por toda la Mu­ralla va su petril, tan alto, como medio estado, para pelear, tiene quatro entradas, tan anchas, como uno puede entrar á Caballo." Rel. Seg., p. 162.

9. This cavalier's name is usually spelt Olid by the Chroniclers. In a copy of his own signature, I find it written Oli.

10. "I should have been very glad to have taken some alive," says Cortés, "who could have in­formed me of what was going on in the great city, and who had been lord there since the death of Montezuma. But I succeeded in saving only one,--and he was more dead than alive." Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 159.

11. "Y á ver que cosa era aquella, los quales eran mas de treinta mil Hombres, y la mas lúcida Gente, que hemos visto, porque trahi an muchas Joyas de Oro, y Plata y Plumajes." Ibid., p 160.

12. "Alcanzando muchos por una Cuesta arriba muy agra; y tal, que quando acabámos de en­cumbrar la Sierra, ni los Enemigos, ni nosotros podiamos ir atras, ni adelante: é assí caiéron muchos de ellos muertos, y ahogados de la calor, sin herida ninguna." Ibid., p. 160.

13. "Porque demas de la Gente de Guerra, tenian mucho aparato de Servidores, y fornecimiento para su Real." Ibid., p. 160.

14. The story of the capture of this strong post is told very differently by Captain Diaz. Ac­cording to him, Olid, when he had fallen back on Cholula, in consequence of the refusal of his men to advance, under the strong suspicion which they entertained of some foul practice from their allies, received such a stinging rebuke from Cortés, that he compelled his troops to resume their march, and, attacking the enemy, "with the fury of a tiger," totally routed them. (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 132.) But this version of the affair is not endorsed, so far as I am aware, by any contemporary. Cortés is so compendious in his report, that it is often nec­essary to supply the omissions with the details of other writers. But where he is positive in his statements,--unless there be some reason to suspect a bias,--his practice of writing on the spot, and the peculiar facilities for information afforded by his position, make him de­cidedly the best authority.

15. Cortés, with an eye less sensible to the picturesque than his great predecessor in the track of discovery, Columbus, was fully as quick in detecting the capabilities of the soil. "Tiene un Valle redondo muy fertil de Frutas, y Algodon, que en ninguna parte de los Puertos arriba se hace por la gran frialdad: y allí es Tierra caliente, y caúsalo, que está muy abrigada de Sie­rras; todo este Valle se riega por muy buenas Azequias, que tienen muy bien sacadas, y con­certadas." Ibid., pp. 164, 165.

16. So numerous, according to Cortés, that they covered hill and dale, as far as the eye could reach, mustering more than a hundred and twenty thousand strong! (Ibid., p. 162.) When the Conquerors attempt any thing like a precise numeration, it will be as safe to substitute "a multitude," "a great force," &c., trusting the amount to the reader's own imagination.

17. For the hostilities with the Indian tribes, noticed in the preceeding pages, see, in addition to the Letter of Cortés, so often cited, Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 15,--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 15, 16,--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 90,--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 130, 132, 134,--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 114-117,--P. Mar­tyr, De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 6,--Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.

18. "La primera fué de viruela, y comenzó de esta manera. Siendo Capitan y Governador Her­nando Cortés al tiempo que el Capitan Pánfilo de Narvaez desembarcó en esta tierra, en uno de sus navíos vino un negro herido de viruelas, la cual enfermedad nunca en esta tierra se habia visto, y esta sazon estaba esta nueva España en estremo muy llena de gente." Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS, Parte 1, cap. 1.

19. "Morian como chinches  montones." (Ibid., ubi supra.) "Eran tantos los difuntos que morian de aquella enfermedad, que no habia quien los enterrase, por lo cual en México los echaban en las azequias, porque entónces habia muy grande copia de aguas y era muy grande hedor el que salia de los cuerpos muertos." Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 8, cap. 1.

20. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 136.

21. Ibid., ubi supra.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 19.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 39.

22. Bernal Diaz, Ibid., cap. 131.

23. Ibid., cap. 131, 133, 136.--Herrera, Hist. General, ubi supra.--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Loren­zana, pp. 154, 167.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 16.

24. Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 156.

25. Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. 3, p. 153.

26. "É creo, como ya á Vuestra Magestad he dicho, que en muy breve tomará al estado, en que antes yo la tenia, é se restaurarán las pérdidas pasadas." Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 167.

27. "Me pareció, que el mas conveniente nombre para esta dicha Tierra, era llamarse la Nueva España del Mar Océano: y assí en nombre de Vuestra Magestad se le puso aqueste nombre; hu­mildemente suplico á Vuestra Alteza lo tenga por bien, y mande, que se nombre assí." (Ibid., p. 169.) The name of "New Spain," without other addition, had been before given by Grijalva to Yucatan. Ante, Book 2, Chapter 1.

28. It was dated, "De la Villa Segura de la Frontera de esta Nueva España, á treinta de Octubre de mil quinientos veinte años." But, in consequence of the loss of the ship intended to bear it, the letter was not sent till the spring of the following year; leaving the nation still in ignorance of the fate of the gallant adventurers in Mexico, and the magnitude of their discoveries.

29. The state of feeling occasioned by these discoveries may be seen in the correspondence of Peter Martyr, then residing at the court of Castile. See, in particular, his epistle, dated March, 1521, to his noble pupil, the Marques de Mondejar, in which he dwells with unbounded sat­isfaction on all the rich stores of science which the expedition of Cortés had thrown open to the world. Opus Epistolarum, ep. 771.

30. This memorial is in that part of my collection made by the former President of the Spanish Academy, Vargas Ponçe. It is signed by four hundred and forty-four names; and it is remark­able that this roll, which includes every other familiar name in the army, should not contain that of Bernal Diaz del Castillo. It can only be accounted for by his illness; as he tells us he was confined to his bed by a fever about this time. Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 134.

31. Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 179.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 18.
      Alonso de Avila went as the bearer of despatches to St. Domingo. Bernal Diaz, who is not averse, now and then, to a fling at his commander, says, that Cortés was willing to get rid of this gallant cavalier, because he was too independent and plain-spoken. Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 136.

32. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 136.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 19

­33. Ibid., ubi supra.
      "Híçolo," says Herrera, "i armóle caballero, al vso de Castilla: i porque lo fuese de Jesu­-Christo, le hiço bautiçar, i se llamó D. Lorenço Maxiscatzin."

34. For an account of the manner in which this article was procured by Montaño and his doughty companions, see Ante, p. 285.

35. "Ansí se hiciéron trece bergantines en el barrio de Atempa, junto á una hermita que se llama San Buenaventura, los quales hizo y otro Martin Lopez uno de los primeros conquistadores, y le ayudó Neguez Gomez." Hist. de Tlascala, MS.


1. Solís dismisses this prince with the remark, "that he reigned but a few days; long enough, however, for his indolence and apathy to efface the memory of his name among the people." (Conquista, lib. 4, cap. 16.) Whence the historiographer of the Indies borrowed the coloring for this portrait I cannot conjecture; certainly not from the ancient authorities, which uni­formly delineate the character and conduct of the Aztec sovereign in the light represented in the text. Cortés, who ought to know, describes him "as held to be very wise and valiant." Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 166.--See, also, Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap 29,--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 19,--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap 88,--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 16,--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 118.

2. The reader of Spanish will see, that, in the version in the text, I have condensed the original, which abounds in the tautology and repetitions characteristic of the compositions of a rude people.
      "Señor nuestro! ya V. M. sabe como es muerto nuestro N.: ya lo habeis puesto debajo de vuestros pies: ya está en su recogimiento, y es ido por el camino que todos hemos de ir y á la casa donde hemos de morar, casa de perpetuas tinieblas, donde ni hay ventana, ni luz al­guna: ya está en el reposo donde nadie le desasosegará...... Todos estos señores y reyes rigiéron, gobernáron, y gozáron del señorío y dignidad real, y del trono y sitial del imperio, los cuales ordenáron y concertáron las cosas de vuestro reino, que sois el universal señor y emperador, por cuyo albedrio y motivo se rige todo el universo, y que no teneis necesidad de consejo de ningun otro. Ya estos dichos dejáron la carga intolerable del gobierno que tragéron sobre sus hombros, y lo dejáron á su succesor N., el cual por algunos pocos dias tuvo en pie su señoría y reino, y ahora ya se ha ido en pos de ellos al otro mundo, porque vos le mandásteis que fuese y le llamásteis, y por haberle descargado de tan gran carga, y quitado tan gran trabajo, y haberle puesto en paz y en reposo, está muy obligado á daros gracias. Al­gunos pocos dias le lográmos, y ahora para siempre se ausentó de nosotros para nunca mas volver al mundo...... ¿Quien ordenará y dispondrá las cosas necesarias al bien del pueblo, señorío y reino? ¿Quien elegirá á los jueces particulares, que tengan carga de la gente baja por los barrios? ¿Quien mandará tocar el atambor y pílfano para juntar gente para la guerra? ¿Y quien reunirá y acaudillará á los soldados viejos, y hombres diestros en la pelea? Señor nuestro y amparador nuestro! tenga por bien V. M. de elegir, y señalar alguna persona sufi­ciente para que tenga vuestro trono, y lleve á cuestas la carga pesada del régimen de la república, regocige y regale á los populares, bien así como la madre regala á su hijo, ponién­dole en su regazo...... O señor nuestro humanísimo! dad lumbre y resplandor de vuestra mano á esto reino! ..... Hágase como V. M. fuere servido en todo, y por todo." Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 6, cap. 5.

3. The Spaniards appear to have changed the Qua, beginning Aztec names, into Gua, in the same manner as, in the mother country, they changed the Wad at the beginning of Arabic names into Guad. (See Condé, El Nubiense, Descripcion de España, notas, passim.) The Aztec tzin was added to the names of sovereigns and great lords, as a mark of reverence. Thus Cuitlahua was called Cuitlahuatzin. This termination, usually dropped by the Spaniards, has been re­tained from accident, or, perhaps, for the sake of euphony, in Guatemozin's name.

4. "Mancebo de hasta veynte y cinco aços, bien gentil hombre para ser Indio, y muy esforçado, y se hizo temer de tal manera, que todos los suyos temblauan dél; y estaua casado con vna hija de Monteçuma, bien hermosa muger para ser India." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 130.

5. Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 19.

6. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 134.

7. One may call to mind the beautiful invocation which Racine has put into the mouth of Joad;
                  "Venez, cher rejeton d'une vaillante race,
                  Remplir vos défenseurs d'une nouvelle audace;
                  Venez du diadême à leurs yeux vous couvrir,
                  Et périssez du moins en roi, s'il faut périr."
                              ATHALIE, acte 4, scène 5.

8. Rel. Tercera de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 183.
      Most, if not all, of the authorities,--a thing worthy of note,--concur in this estimate of the Spanish forces.

9. "Y como sin causa ninguna todos los Naturales de Colúa, que son los de la gran Ciudad de Temixtitan, y los de todas las otras Provincias á ellas sujetas, no solamente se habian rebelado contra Vuestra Magestad." Ibid., ubi supra.

10. Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 184.
      "Porque demas del premio, que les davia en el cielo, se les seguirian en esto mundo grandíssima honra, riquezas inestimables." Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chichimeca, MS., cap. 91.

11. "Cosa muy de ver," says father Sahagun, without hazarding any precise number, "en la can­tidad y en los aparejos que llevaban." Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 30.

12. Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 20.

l3. Ibid., ubi supra.

14. Ibid., loc. cit.

15. "Que su principal motivo é intencion sea apartar y desarraigar de las dichas idolatrías á todos los naturales destas partes y reducidos ó á lo menos desear su salvacion y que sean reducidos al conocimiento de Dios y de su Santa Fe católica: porque si con otra intencion se hiciese la dicha guerra seria injusta y todo lo que en ella se oviese Onoloxio é obligado á restitucion." Ordenanzas Militares, MS.

16. "É desde ahora protesto en nombre de S. M. que mi principal intencion é motivo es facer esta guerra é las otras que ficiese por traer y reducir á los dichos naturales al dicho conocimiento de nuestra Santa Fe é creencia; y despues por los sozjugar é supeditar debajo del yugo é do­minio imperial é real de su Sacra Magestad, á quien juridicamente el Señorío de todas estas partes." Ordenanzas Militares, MS.

17. "Ce n'est qu'en Espagne et en Italie," says the penetrating historian of the Italian Republics, "qu'on rencontre cette habitude vicieuse, absolument inconnue aux peuples protestans, et qu'il ne faut point confondre avec les grossiers juremens que le peuple en tout pays mêle á ses discours. Dans rous les accès de colère des peuples du Midi, ils s' attaquent aux objets de leur culte, ils les menacent, et ils accablent de paroles outrageantes la Divinité elle-même, le Rédempteur ou ses saints." Sismondi, Républiques Italiennes, cap. 126.

18. Lucio Marineo, who witnessed all the dire effects of this national propensity at the Castilian court, where he was residing at this time, breaks out into the following animated apostrophe against it: "El jugador es el que dessea y procura la muerte de sus padres, el que jura falso por Dios y por la vida de su Rey y Señor, el que mata á su ánima, y la echa en el infierno: ¿y que no hará el jugador q no averguença de perder sus dineros, de perder el tiempo, perder el sueño, perder la fama, perder la honra, y perder finalmente la vida? Por lo cual como ya gran parte de los hombres siempre y donde quiera continuamente juegan, parésceme verdadera la opinion de aquellos que dizen el infierno estar lleno de jugadores." Cosas Memorables de Es­pagña, (ed. Sevilla, 1539,) fol. 165.

19. These regulations are reported with much uniformity by Herrera, Solís, Clavigero, and oth­ers, but with such palpable inaccuracy, that it is clear they never could have seen the original instrument. The copy in my possession was taken from the Muñoz collection. As the document, though curious and highly interesting, has never been published, I have given it entire in the Appendix, Part 2, No. 13.

20. Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 20.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 127. The former historian states the number of Indian allies who followed Cortés, at eighty thou­sand; the latter at ten thousand! ¿Quien sabe?

21. This mountain, which, with its neighbor Popocatepetl, forms the great barrier--the Herculis columnœ--of the Mexican Valley, has been fancifully likened, from its long dorsal swell, to the back of a dromedary. (Tudor's Tour in North America, let. 22.) It rises far above the limits of perpetual snow in the tropics, and its huge crest and sides, enveloped in its silver drapery, form one of the most striking objects in the magnificent coup d'œil presented to the inhabitants of the capital.

22. "Y prometímos todos de nunca de ella salir, sin Victoria, ó dejar allí las vidas. Y con esta de­terminacion ibamos todos tan alegres, como si fueramos á cosa de mucho placer." Rel. Terc., ap. Lorenzana, p. 188.

23. "Y yo torné á rogar, y encomendar mucho á los Españoles, que hiciessen, como siempre habian hecho y como se esperaba de sus Personas; y que nadie no se desmandasse, y que fuessen con mucho concierto, y órden por su Camino." Ibid., ubi supra.

24. "É como la Gente de pie venia algo cansada, y se hacia tarde, dormímos en una Poblacion, que se dice Coatepeque...... É yo con diez de Caballo comenzé la Vela, y Ronda de la prima, y hice, que toda la Gente estubiesse muy apercibida." Ibid., pp. 188, 189.

25. For the preceding pages, giving the account of the march, besides the Letter of Cortés, so often quoted, see Gomara, Crónica, cap. 121,--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 18,--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 137,--Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.,--­Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 20,--Ixtlilxochitl, Relacion de la Venida de los Es­pañoles y Principio de la Ley Evangélica, (México, 1829,) p. 9.

26. See Ante, p. 469.
      The skins of those immolated on the sacrificial stone were a common offering in the In­dian temples, and the mad priests celebrated many of their festivals by publicly dancing with their own persons enveloped in these disgusting spoils of their victims. See Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, passim.

27. Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 187.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 19.

28. Tezcuco, a Chichemec name, according to Ixtlilxochitl, signifying "place of detention or rest," because the various tribes from the North halted there on their entrance into Anahuac. Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 10.

29. "La qual es tan grande, que aunque fueramos doblados los Españoles, nos pudierarnos aposentar bien á placer en ella." Rel. Terc., ap. Lorenzana, p. 191.

30. "De tal manera que se quemáron todos los Archivos Reales de toda la Nueva España, que fué una de las mayores pérdidas que tuvo esta tierra, porque con esto toda la memoria de sus an­tiguayas y otras cosas que eran como Escrituras y recuerdos pereciéron desde este tiempo. La obra, de las Casas era la mejor y la mas artificiosa que hubo en esta tierra." Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 91.

31. The historian Ixtlilxochitl pays the following high tribute to the character of his royal kins­man, whose name was Tecocol. Strange that this name is not to be found--with the excep­tion of Sahagun's work--in any contemporary record! "Fué el primero que lo fué en Tezcoco, con harta pena de los Españoles, porque fué nobilísimo y los quiso mucho. Fué D. Fernando Tecocoltzin muy gentil hombre, alto de cuerpo y muy blanco, tanto cuanto podia ser cualquier Español por muy blanco que fuese, y que mostraba su persona y término des­cender, y ser del linage que era. Supo la lengua Castellana, y así casi las mas noches despues de haber cenado, trataban él y Cortés de todo lo que se debia hacer acerca de las guerras." Ixtlilxochitl, Venida de los Esp., pp. 12, 13.

32. The accession of Tecocol, as, indeed, his existence, passes unnoticed by some historians, and by others is mentioned in so equivocal a manner,--his Indian name being omitted,--that it is very doubtful if any other is intended than his younger brother Ixtlilxochitl. The Tezcu­can chronicler, bearing this last melodious name, has alone given the particulars of his his­tory. I have followed him, as, from his personal connections, having had access to the best sources of information; though, it must be confessed, he is far too ready to take things on trust, to be always the best authority.

33. "Él respondió, que era por demas ir contra lo determinado por el Dios Criador de todas las cosas, pues no sin misterio y secreto juicio suyo le daba tal hijo al tiempo y quando se acer­caban las profecías de sus Antepasados, que havíase venir nuevas Gentes á poseer la Tierra, como eran los hijos de Quetzalcoatl que aguardaban suvenida de la parte oriental." Ixtlilxo­chitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 69.

34. "Con que el Rey no supo con que ocacion poderle castigar, porque lo pareciéron sus razones tan vivas y fundadas que su parte no habia hecho cosa indebida ni vileza para poder ser cas­tigado, mas tan solo una ferocidad de ánimo; pronóstico de lo mucho que habia de venir á saber por las Armas, y así el Rey dijo, que se fuese á la mano." Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 69.

35. Ibid., ubi supra.
      Among other anecdotes recorded of the young prince's early development is one of his having, when only three years old, pitched his nurse into a well, as she was drawing water, to punish her for certain improprieties of conduct of which he had been witness. But I spare the reader the recital of these astonishing proofs of precocity, as it is very probable, his appetite for the marvellous may not keep pace with that of the chronicler of Tezcuco.

36. Ante, p. 170.


1. "Así mismo hizo juntar todos los bastimentos que fuéron necesarios para sustentar el Exército y Guarniciones de Gente que andaban en favor de Cortés, y así hizo traer á la Ciudad de Tezcuco el Maiz que habia en las Troxes y Graneros de las Provincias sugetas al Reyno de Tezcuco." lxtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 91.

2. "No era de espantar que tuviese este recelo, porque sus Enemigos, y los de esta Ciudad eran todos Deudos y Parientes mas cercanos, mas despues el tiempo lo desengañó, y vido la gran lealtad de Ixtlilxochitl, y de todos." Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 92.

3. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 137.

4. Ibid., ubi supra.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 91.

5. "Los principales, que habian sido en hacerme la Guerra pasada, eran ya muertos; y que lo pasado fuesse pasado, y que no quisiessen dar causa á que destruyesse sus Tierras, y Ciu­dades, porque me pesaba mucho de ello." Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 193.

6. "Muriéron de ellos mas de seis mil ánimas, entre Hombres, y Mugeres, y Niños; porque los Indios nuestros Amigos, vista la Victoria, que Dios nos daba, no entendian en otra cosa, sino en matar á diestro y á siniestro." Ibid., p. 195.

7. "Estándolas quemando, pareció que Nuestro Señor me inspiró, y trujo á la memoria la Calzada, ó Presa, que habia visto rota en el Camino, y representóseme el gran daño, que era." Ibid., loc. cit.

8. "Y certifico á Vuestra Magestad, que si aquella noche no pasaramos el Agua, ó aguardaramos tres horas mas, que ninguno de nosotros escapara, porque quedabamos cercados de Agua, sin tener paso por parte ninguna." Ibid., ubi supra.

9. The general's own Letter to the Emperor is so full and precise, that it is the very best author­ity for this event. The story is told also by Bernal Diaz, Hist de la Conquista, cap. 138.--­Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 18,--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap 92.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 1, cap. 2, et auct. aliis.

10. Lorenzana, p. 199, nota.

11. "Porque ciertamente sus antepassados les auian dicho, que auian de señorear aquellas tierras hombres que vernian con barbas de hazia donde sale el Sol, y que por las cosas que han visto, eramos nosotros." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 139.

12. Ibid., ubi supra.--Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 200.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 122.--­Ixtlilxochitl, Venida de los Esp., p. 15.

13. "Y certifico á Vuestra Magestad, allende de nuestro trabajo y necesidad, la mayor fatiga, que tenia, era no poder ayudar, y socorrer á los Indios nuestros Amigos, que por ser Vasallos de Vuestra Magestad, eran molestados y trabajados de los de Culúa." Rel Terc., ap. Lorenzana, p.204.

14. Ibid., pp. 204, 205.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 19.

15. Oviedo, in his admiration of his hero, breaks out into the following panegyric on his policy, prudence, and military science, which, as he truly predicts, must make his name immortal. It is a fair specimen of the manner of the sagacious old chronicler.
      "Sin dubda alguna la habilidad y esfuerzo, é prudencia de Hernando Cortés mui dignas son que entre los cavalleros, é gente militar en nuestros tiempos se tengan en mucha estima­cion, y en los venideros nunca se desacuerden. Por causa suya me acuerdo muchas veces de aquellas cosas que se escriven del capitan Viriato nuestro Español y Estremeño; y por Her­nando Cortés me ocurren al sentido las muchas fatigas de aquel espejo de caballería Julio César dictador, como parece por sus comentarios, é por Suetonio é Plutarco é otros autores que en conformidad escriviéron los grandes hechos suyos. Pero los de Hernando Cortés en un Mundo nuevo, é tan apartadas provincias de Europa, é con tantos trabajos é necesidades é pocas fuerzas, é con gente tan innumerable, é tan bárbara é bellicosa, é apacentada en carne humana, é aun habida por excelente é sabroso manjar entre sus adversarios; é faltándole á él ó á sus mílites el pan é vino é los otros mantenimientos todos de España, y en tan diferenci­adas regiones é aires é tan desviado é léjos de socorro é de su príncipe, cosas son de admira­cion." Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 20.

16. Among other chiefs, to whom Guatemozin applied for assistance in the perilous state of his affairs, was Tangapan, lord of Michuacan, an independent and powerful state in the West, which had never been subdued by the Mexican army. The accounts which the Aztec emperor gave him, through his ambassadors, of the white men, were so alarming, according to Ixtlil­xochitl, who tells the story, that the king's sister voluntarily starved herself to death, from her apprehensions of the coming of the terrible strangers. Her body was deposited, as usual, in the vaults reserved for the royal household, until preparations could be made for its being burnt. On the fourth day, the attendants, who had charge of it, were astounded by seeing the corpse exhibit signs of returning life. The restored princess, recovering her speech, requested her brother's presence. On his coming, she implored him not to think of hurting a hair of the heads of the mysterious visitors. She had been permitted, she said, to see the fate of the de­parted in the next world. The souls of all her ancestors she had beheld tossing about in un­quenchable fire; while those who embraced the faith of the strangers were in glory. As a proof of the truth of her assertion, she added, that her brother would see, on a great festival, near at hand, a young warrior, armed with a torch brighter than the sun, in one hand, and a flam­ing sword, like that worn by the white men, in the other, passing from east to west over the city.
      Whether the monarch waited for the vision, or ever beheld it, is not told us by the histo­rian. But relying, perhaps, on the miracle of her resurrection, as quite a sufficient voucher, he disbanded a very powerful force, which he had assembled on the plains of Avalos, for the sup­port of his brother of Mexico.
      This narrative, with abundance of supernumerary incidents, not necessary to repeat, was commemorated in the Michuacan picture-records, and reported to the historian of Tezcuco himself, by the grandson of Tangapan. (See Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 91.)--Who­ever reported it to him, it is not difficult to trace the same pious fingers in it, which made so many wholesome legends for the good of the Church on the Old Continent, and which now found, in the credulity of the New, a rich harvest for the same godly work.

17. "Aquí estuvo preso el sin ventura de Jua Iuste co otros muchos que traia en mi compañía." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 140.

18. Ibid., ubi supra.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 19.--Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 206.

19. "Y despues de hechos por órden de Cortés, y probados en el rio que llaman de Tlaxcalla Za­huapan, que se atajó para probarlos los bergantines, y los tornáron á desbaratar por llevarlos á cuestas sobre hombros de los de Tlaxcala á la ciudad de Tetzcuco, donde se echáron en la laguna, y se armáron de artillería y municion." Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.

20. Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 207.
      Bernal Diaz says sixteen thousand. (Ibid., ubi supra.) There is a wonderful agreement be­tween the several Castilian writers as to the number of forces, the order of march, and the events that occurred on it.

21. "Estendíase tanto la Gente, que dende que los primeros comenzáron á entrar, hasta que los postreros hobiéron acabado, se pasáron mas de seis horas; sin quebrar el hilo de la Gente." Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 208.

22. "Dando vozes y silvos y diziendo: Viua, viua el Emperador, nuestro Señor, y Castilla, Castilla, y Tlascala, Tlascala." (Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 140.) For the particulars of Sandoval's expedition, see, also, Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 19,--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 124,--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 84,--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 92,--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 1, cap. 2.

23. "Que era cosa maravillosa de ver, y assí me parece que es de oir, llevar trece Fustas diez y ocho leguas por Tierra." (Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 207.) "En rem Romano pop­ulo," exclaims Martyr, "quando illustrius res illorum vigebant, non facilem!" De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 8.

24. Two memorable examples of a similar transportation of vessels across the land are recorded, the one in ancient, the other in modern history; and both, singularly enough, at the same place, Tarentum, in Italy. The first occurred at the siege of that city by Hannibal; (see Polyb­ius, lib. 8;) the latter some seventeen centuries later, by the Great Captain, Gonsalvo de Cor­dova. But the distance they were transported was inconsiderable. A more analogous example is that of Balboa, the bold discoverer of the Pacific. He made arrangements to have four brig­antines transported a distance of twenty-two leagues across the Isthmus of Darien, a stu­pendous labor, and not entirely successful, as only two reached their point of destination. (See Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 2, cap. 11.) This took place in 1516, in the neighbor­hood, as it were, of Cortés, and may have suggested to his enterprising spirit the first idea of his own more successful, as well as more extensive, undertaking.

25. "Y ellos me dijéron, que trahian deseo de se ver con los de Culúa, y que viesse lo que man­daba, que ellos, y aquella Gente venian con deseos, y voluntad de se vengar, ó morir con nosotros; y yo les dí las gracias, y les dije, que reposassen, y que presto les daria las manos llenas." Rel. Terc., ap. Lorenzana, p. 208.


1. "De lejos comenzáron á gritar, como lo suelen hacer en la Guerra, que cierto es cosa espan­tosa oillos." Rel. Terc., ap. Lorenzana, p. 209.

2. Ibid., loc. cit.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 141.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 20.--Ixtlilxochitl, Venida de los Esp., pp. 13, 14.--Idem, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 92.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 125.

3. These towns rejoiced in the melodious names of Tenajoccan, Quauhtitlan and Azcapozalco. I have constantly endeavoured to spare the reader, in the text, any unnecessary accumulation of Mexican names, which, as he is aware by this time, have not even brevity to recommend them.

4. They burned this place, according to Cortés, in retaliation of the injuries inflicted by the in­habitants on their countrymen in the retreat. "Y en amaneciendo los Indios nuestros Amigos comenzáron á saquear, y quemar toda la Ciudad, salvo el Aposento donde estabamos, y pusiéron tanta diligencia, que aun de él se quemó un Quarto; y esto se hizo, porque quando salímos la otra vez desbaratados de Temixtitan, pasando por esta Ciudad, los Naturales de ella juntamente con los de Temixtitan nos hiciéron muy cruel Guerra, y nos matáron mu­chos Españoles." Rel. Terc., ap. Lorenzana, p. 210.

5. "Luego mandó, que todos se retraxessen; y con el mejor concierto que pudo, y no bueltas las espaldas, sino los rostros á los contrarios, pie contra pie, como quien haze represas." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 141.

6. "Desta manera se escapó Cortés aquella vez del poder de México, y quando se vió en tierra firme, dió muchas gracias á Dios." Ibid., ubi supra.

7. "Pensais, que hay agora otro Muteczuma, para que haga todo, lo que quisieredes?" Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 211.

8. "Y peleaban los unos con los otros muy hermosamente." Ibid., ubi supra.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 20.

9. "Y comenzámos á lanzear en ellos, y duró el alcanze cerca de dos leguas todas llanas, como la palma, que fué muy hermosa cosa." Rel. Terc., ap. Lorenzana, p. 212.

10. For the particulars of this expedition of Cortés, see, besides his own Commentaries so often quoted, Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 20,--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 85,--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 125,--Ixtlilxochitl, Venida de los Esp., pp. 13, 14,--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 141.

11. Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 214, 215.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 146.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 142.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 21.

12. "La qual Huerta," says Cortés, who afterwards passed a day there, "es la mayor, y mas her­mosa, y fresca, que nunca se vió, porque tiene dos leguas de circuito, y por medio de ella va una muy gentil Ribera de Agua, y de trecho á trecho, cantidad de dos tiros de Ballesta, hay Aposentamientos, y Jardines muy frescos, y infinitos Árboles de diversas Frutas, y muchas Yervas, y Flores olorosas, que cierto es cosa de admiracion ver la gentileza, y grandeza de toda esta Huerta." (Rel. Terc., ap. Lorenzana, pp. 221, 222.) Bernal Diaz is not less emphatic in his admiration. Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 142.

13. The distinguished naturalist, Hernandez, has frequent occasion to notice this garden, which furnished him with many specimens for his great work. It had the good fortune to be pre­served after the Conquest, when particular attention was given to its medicinal plants, for the use of a great hospital established in the neighborhood. See Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. II. p. 153.

14. "É como esto vió el dicho Alguacil Mayor, y los Españoles, determináron de morir, ó subilles por fuerza á lo alto del Pueblo, y con el apellido de Señor Santiago comenzáron á subir." Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 214,--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind.; MS., lib. 33, cap. 21.

15. So says the Conquistador. (Rel. Terc., ap. Lorenzana, p. 215.) Diaz, who will allow no one to hy­perbolize but himself, says, "For as long as one might take to say an Ave Maria!" (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 142.) Neither was present.

16. The gallant Captain Diaz, who affects a sobriety in his own estimates, which often leads him to disparage those of the chaplain, Gomara, says, that the force consisted of 20,000 warriors in 2000 canoes. Ibid., loc. cit.

17. "El Cortés no le quiso escuchar á Sandoual de enojo, creyendo que por su culpa, ó descuido, recibia mala obra nuestros amigos los de Chalco; y luego sin mas dilacion, ni le oyr, le mandó bolver." Ibid., ubi supra.

18. Besides the authorities already quoted for Sandoval's expedition, see Gomara, Crónica, cap. 126,--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 92,--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 86.

19. "Ixtlilxochitl procuraba siempre traer á la devocion y amistad de los Cristianos no tan sola­mente á los de el Reyno de Tezcuco sino aun los de las Provincias remotas, rogándoles que todos se procurasen dar de paz al Capitan Cortés, y que aunque de las guerras pasadas algunos tuviesen culpa, era tan afable y deseaba tanto la paz que luego al punto los reciviria en su amistad." Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 92.

20. Cortés speaks of these vessels, as coming at the same time, but does not intimate from what quarter. (Rel. Terc., ap. Lorenzana, p. 216.) Bernal Diaz, who notices only one, says it came from Castile. (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 143.) But the old soldier wrote long after the events he commemorates, and may have confused the true order of things. It seems hardly proba­ble that so important a reinforcement should have arrived from Castile, considering that Cortés had yet received none of the royal patronage, or even sanction, which would stimu­late adventurers in the mother country to enlist under his standard.

21. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 143.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 21.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 1, cap. 6.


1. "Viniéron tantos, que en todas las entradas que yo auia ido, despues que en la Nueua España entré, nunca ví tanta gente de guerra de nuestros amigos, como aora fuéron en nuestra com­pañía." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 144.

2. "Todos descalabrados, y corriendo sangre, y las vanderas rotas, y ocho, muertos." Ibid., ubi supra.

3. For the assault on the rocks,--the topography of which it is impossible to verify from the narratives of the Conquerors,--see Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 144,--Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 218-221,--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 127,--Ixtlilxochitl, Venida de los Esp., pp. 16, 17,--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 21.

4. Cortés, according to Bernal Diaz, ordered the troops, who took possession of the second fortress, "not to meddle with a grain of maize belonging to the besieged." Diaz, giving this a very liberal interpretation, proceeded forthwith to load his Indian tamanes with everything but maize, as fair booty. He was interrupted in his labors, however, by the captain of the de­tachment, who gave a more narrow construction to his general's orders, much to the dissat­isfaction of the latter, if we may trust the doughty chronicler. Ibid., ubi supra.

5. "Adonde estaua la huerta que he dicho, que es la mejor que auia visto en toda mi vida, y ansí lo torno á dezir, que Cortés, y el Tesorero Alderete, desque entonces le viéron, y passeáron algo de ella, se admiráron, y dixéron, que mejor cosa de huerta no auian visto en Castilla." Ibid., loc. cit.

6. This barbarous Indian name is tortured into all possible variations by the old chroniclers. The town soon received from the Spaniards the name which it now bears, of Cuernavaca, and by which it is indicated on modern maps. "Prevalse poi quello di Cuernabaca, col quale é presentemente conosciuta dagli Spagnuoli" Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. III. p. 185, nota.

7. The stout-hearted Diaz was one of those who performed this dangerous feat, though his head swam so, as he tells us, that he scarcely knew how he got on. "Porque de mí digo, que ver­daderamete quando passaua, q lo ví mui peligroso, é malo de passar, y se me desvanecia la cabeça, y todavía passé yo, y otros veinte, ó treinta soldados, y muchos Tlascatecas." Ibid., ubi supra.

8. For the preceding account of the capture of Cuernavaca, see Bernal Diaz, ubi supra,--­Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 21,--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 93,--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 1, cap. 8,--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 87,--Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 223, 224.

9. "Una Tierra de Pinales, despoblada, y sin ninguna agua, la qual y un Puerto pasámos con grandíssimo trabajo, y sin beber: tanto, que muchos de los Indios que iban con nosotros pere­ciéron de sed." Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 224.

10. The city of Cuernavaca was comprehended in the patrimony of the dukes of Monteleone, descendants and heirs of the Conquistador.--The Spaniards, in their line of march towards the north, did not deviate far, probably, from the great road which now leads from Mexico to Acapulco, still exhibiting in this upper portion of it the same characteristic features as at the period of the Conquest.

11. Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. III. p. 187, nota.

12. Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 226.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 1, cap. 8.--­Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 21.
      This is the general's own account of the matter. Diaz, however, says, that he was indebted for his rescue to a Castilian, named Olea, supported by some Tlascalans, and that his pre­server received three severe wounds himself, on the occasion. (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 145.) This was an affair, however, in which Cortés ought to be better informed than any one else, and one, moreover, not likely to slip his memory. The old soldier has probably con­founded it with another and similar adventure of his commander.

13. "Otra Dia buscó Cortés al Indio, que le socorrió, i muerto, ni vivo no pareició; i Cortés, por la devocion de San Pedro, juzgê que él le avia aiudado." Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 1, cap. 8.

14. "Por el Agua á una muy grande flota de Canoas, que creo, que pasaban de dos mil; y en ellas venian mas de doce mil Hombres de Guerra; é por la Tierra llegó tanta multitud de Gente, que todos los Campos cubrian." Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 227.

15. "Y acordóse que huviesse mui buena vela en todo nuestro Real, repartida á los puertos, é aze­quias por donde auian de venir á desembarcar, y los de acauallo mui á punto toda la noche ensillados y enfrenados, aguardando en la calçada, y tierra firme, y todos los Capitanes, y Cortés con ellos, haziendo vela y ronda toda la noche." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 145.

16. Diaz, who had an easy faith, states, as a fact, that the limbs of the unfortunate men were cut off before their sacrifice. "Manda cortar pies y braços á los tristes nuestros compañeros, y las embia por muchos pueblos nuestros amigos de los q nes auian venido de paz, y les embia á dezir, que antes que bolvamos á Tezcuco, piensa no quedará ninguno de nosotros á vida, y con los coraçones y sangre hizo sacrificio á sus ídolos." (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 145.) This is not very probable. The Aztecs did not, like our North American Indians, torture their enemies from mere cruelty, but in conformity to the prescribed regulations of their ritual. The captive was a religious victim.

17. "Y al cabo dejándola toda quemada y asolada nos partímos; y cierto era mucho par ver, porque tenia muchas Casas, y Torres de sus Ídolos de cal y canto." Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 228.

18. For other particulars of the actions at Xochimilco, see Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 23, cap. 21,--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 1, cap. 8, 11,--Ixtlilxochitl, Venida de los Esp., p. 18,--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 87, 88,--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 145.
      The Conqueror's own account of these engagements has not his usual perspicuity, per­haps from its brevity. A more than ordinary confusion, indeed, prevails in the different re­ports of them, even those proceeding from contemporaries, making it extremely difficult to collect a probable narrative from authorities, not only contradicting one another, but them­selves. It is rare, at any time, that two accounts of a battle coincide in all respects; the range of observation for each individual is necessarily so limited and different, and it is so difficult to make a cool observation at all, in the hurry and heat of conflict. Any one, who has con­versed with the survivors, will readily comprehend this, and be apt to conclude, that, wher­ever he may look for truth, it will hardly be on the battle-ground.

19. This place, recommended by the exceeding beauty of its situation, became, after the Con­quest, a favorite residence of Cortés, who founded a nunnery in it, and commanded in his will, that his bones should be removed thither, from any part of the world in which he might die. "Que mis huesos--los lleven á la mi Villa de Coyoacan, y allí les den tierra en el Mo­nesterio de Monjas, que mando hacer y edificar en la dicha mi Villa." Testamento de Hernan Cortés, MS.

20. This, says archbishop Lorenzana, was the modern calzada de la Piedad. (Rel. Terc. de Cortés, p. 229, nota.) But it is not easy to reconcile this with the elaborate chart which M. de Hum­boldt has given of the Valley. A short arm, which reached from this city in the days of the Aztecs, touched obliquely the great southern avenue, by which the Spaniards first entered the capital. As the waters, which once entirely surrounded Mexico, have shrunk into their nar­row basin, the face of the country has undergone a great change, and, though the foundations of the principal causeways are still maintained, it is not always easy to discern vestiges of the ancient avenues.

21. "Y llegámos á una Albarrada, que tenian hecha en la Calzada, y los Peones comenzáronla á combatir; y aunque fué muy re cia, y hubo mucha resistencia, y hiriéron diez Españoles, al fin se la ganáron, y matáron muchos de los Enemigos, aunque los Ballesteros, y Escopeteros quedáron sin Pólvora, y sin Saetas." Ibid., ubi supra.

22. "Y estando en esto viene Cortés, con el qual nos alegrámos, puesto que él venia muy triste y como lloroso." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 145.

23. "Pues quando viéron la gran ciudad de México, y la laguna, y tanta multitud de canoas, que vnas ivan cargadas con bastimentos, y otras ivan á pescar, y otras valdías, mucho mas se es­pantáron, porque no las auian visto, hasta en aquella saçon: y dixéron, que nuestra venida en esta Nueua España, que no eran cosas de hombres humanos, sino que la gran misericordia de Dios era quie nos sostenia." Ibid., ubi supra.

24. "En este instante suspiró Cortés co vna muy gra tristeza, mui mayor q la q de antes traja." Ibid., loc. cit.

25. "Y Cortés le dixo, que ya veia quantas vezes auia embiado á México á rogalles con la paz, y que la tristeza no la tenia por sola vna cosa, sino en pensar en los grandes trabajos en que nos auiamos de ver, hasta tornar á señorear; y que con la ayuda de Dios presto lo porniamos por la obra." Ibid., ubi supra.

26. Diaz gives the opening redondillas of the romance, which I have not been able to find in any of the printed collections.
                  "En Tacuba está Cortés,
                  co su esquadron esforçado,
                  triste estaua, y muy penoso,
                  triste, y con gran cuidado,
                  la vna mano en la mexilla,
                  y la otra en el costado," &c.

It may be thus done into pretty literal doggerel:
                        In Tacuba stood Cortés,
                        With many a care opprest,
                  Thoughts of the past came o'er him,
                        And he bowed his haughty crest.
                  One hand upon his cheek he laid,
                        The other on his breast,
                  While his valiant squadrons round him, &c.


1. Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 1, cap. 15.--Relacion de Alonso de Verzara, Escrivano Público de Vera Cruz, MS., dec. 21.

2. "Hazia Alguazil mayor é Alférez, y Alcaldes, y Regidores, y Contador, y Tesorero, y Ueedor, y otras cosas deste arte, y aun repartido entre ellos nuestros bienes, y cauallos." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 146.

3. Ibid., loc. cit.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 48.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 1, cap. 1.

4. Ibid., ubi supra.

5. So says M. de Barante in his picturesque rifacimento of the ancient chronicles, "Les procès du connétable et de monsieur de Némours, bien d'autres révélations, avaient fait éclater leur mauvais vouloir, on du moins leur pen de fidélité pour le roi; ils ne pouvaient donc douter qu'il désirât ou complotât leur ruine." Histoire des Ducs de Bourgogne, (Paris, 1838,) tom. XI. p. 169.

6. "Y desde allí adelante, aunque mostraua gran voluntad á las personas que eran en la cojuracio, siempre se rezelaua dellos." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 146.

7. Ixtlilxochitl, Venida de los Esp., p. 19.--Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 234.
      "Obra grandíssima," exclaims the Conqueror, "y mucho para ver."--"Fuéron en guarde de estos bergantines," adds Camargo, "mas de diez mil hombres de guerra con los maestros dellas, hasta que los armáron y echáron en el agua y laguna de Méjico, que fué obra de mucho efecto para tomarse Méjico." Hist. de Tlascala, MS.

8. The brigantines were still to be seen, preserved, as precious memorials, long after the Con­quest, in the dockyards of Mexico. Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 1, cap. 1.

9. "Deda la señal, soltó la Presa, fuéron saliendos los Vergantines, sin tocar vno á otro, i apartán­dose por la Laguna, desplegáron las Vanderas, tocó la Música, disparáron su Artillería, re­spondió la del Exército, así de Castellanos, como de Indios." Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 1, cap. 6.

10. Ibid., ubi supra.--Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 234.--Ixtlilxochitl, Venida de los Esp., p. 19.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 48.
      The last-mentioned chronicler indulges in no slight swell of exultation at this achievement of his hero, which in his opinion throws into shade the boasted exploits of the great Sesostris. "Otras muchas é notables cosas, cuenta este actor que he dicho de aqueste Rey Sesori, en que no me quiero detener, ni las tengo en tanto como esta tranchea, ó canja que es dicho, y los Vergantines de que tratamos, los quales diéron ocasion á que se oviesen mayores Thesoros é Provincias, é Reynos, que no tuvo Sesori, para la corona Real de Castilla por la industria de Hernando Cortés." Ibid., lib. 33, cap. 22.

11. Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 234.

12. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 147.

13. Ibid., ubi supra.
      Hidalguia, besides its legal privileges, brought with it some fanciful ones to its possessor; if, indeed, it be considered a privilege to have excluded him from many a humble, but honest, calling, by which the poor man might have gained his bread. (From an amusing account of these, see Doblado's Letters from Spain, let. 2.) In no country has the poor gentleman afforded so rich a theme for the satirist, as teh writings of Le Sage, Cervantes, and Lope de Vega abundantly show.

14. "Y los Capitanes de Tascaltecal con toda su gente, muy lúcida, y bien armada,.....y segun la cuenta, que los Capitanes nos diéron, pasaban de cinquenta mil Hombres de Guerra." (Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 236.) "I toda la Gente," adds Herrera, "tardó tres Dias en entrar, segun en sus Memoriales dice Alonso de Ojeda, ni con ser Tezcuco tan gran Ciudad, cabian en ella." Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 1, cap. 13.

15. "Y sus vaderas tedidas, y el aue blaca q tienen por armas, q parece águila, con sus alas tendidas." (Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 149.) A spread eagle of gold, Clavigero considers as the arms of the republic. (Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. II. p. 145.) But, as Bernal Diaz speaks of it as "white," it may have been the white heron, which belonged to the house of Xicotencatl.

16. The precise amount of each division, as given by Cortés, was,--in that of Alvarado, 30 horse, 168 Castilian infantry, and 25,000 Tlascalan; in that of Olid, 33 horse, 178 infantry, 20,000 Tlascalans; and in Sandoval's, 24 horse, 167 infantry, 30,000 Indians.--(Rel. Terc., ap. Loren­zana, p. 236.) Diaz reduces the number of native troops to one third. Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 150.

17. "Que se alegrassen, y esforzassen mucho, pues que veian, que nuestro Señor nos encaminaba para haber victoria de nuestros Enemigos: porque bien sabian, que quando habiamos entrado en Tesaico, no habiamos trahido mas de quarenta de Caballo, y que Dios nos habia socorrido mejor, que lo habiamos pensado." Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 235.

18. Oviedo expands, what he, nevertheless, calls the "brebe é substancial oracion" of Cortés, into treble the length of it, as found in the general's own pages; in which he is imitated by most of the other chroniclers. Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 22.

19. "Y con estas últimas palabras cesó; y todos respondiéron sin discrepancia, é á una voce di­centes: Sirvanse Dios y el Emperador nuestro Señor de tan bien capitan, y de nosotros, que así lo harémos todos como quien somos, y como se debe esperar de buenos Españoles, y con tanta voluntad, y deseo, dicho que parecia que cada hora les era perder vn año de tiempo por estar y á las manos con los Enemigos." Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., ubi supra.

20. According to Diaz, the desire to possess himself of the lands of his comrade Chichemecatl, who remained with the army; (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 150;) according to Herrera, it was an amour that carried him home. (Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 1, cap. 17.) Both and all agree on the chief's aversion to the Spaniards, and to the war.

21. "Y la respuesta que le embió á dezir fué, que si el viejo de su padre, y Masse Escaci le huvieran creido, que no se huvieran señoreada tanto dellos, que les haze hazer todo lo que quiere: y por no gastar mas palabras, dixo, que no queria venir." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 150.

22. So says Herrera, who had the Memorial of Ojeda in his possession, one of the Spaniards em­ployed to apprehend the chieftain. (Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. l, cap. 17, and Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 90.) Bernal Diaz, on the other hand, says, that the Tlascalan chief was taken and executed on the road. (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 150.) But the latter chroni­cler was probably absent at the time with Alvarado's division, in which he served.--Solís, however, prefers his testimony, on the ground, that Cortés would not have hazarded the ex­ecution of Xicotencatl before the eyes of his own troops. (Conquista, lib. 5, cap. 19.) But the Tlascalans were already well on their way towards Tacuba. A very few only could have re­mained in Tezcuco, which was occupied by the citizens and the Castilian army,--neither of them very likely to interfere in the prisoner's behalf. His execution there would be an easier matter than in the territory of Tlascala, which he had probably reached before his appre­hension.

23. Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 1, cap. 17.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 90.

24. "Y sobre ello ya auiamos echado mano á las armas los de nuestra Capitanía contra los de Christóual de Oli, y aun los Capitanes desafiados." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 150.

25. Ibid., loc. cit.--Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 237.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 130.--­Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 22.

26. The Tepanec capital, shorn of its ancient splendors, is now only interesting from its historic associations. "These plains of Tacuba," says the spirited author of "Life in Mexico," "once the theatre of fierce and bloody conflicts, and where, during the siege of Mexico, Alvarado "of the leap" fixed his camp, now present a very tranquil scene. Tacuba itself is now a small village of mud huts, with some fine old trees, a few very old ruined houses, a ruined church, and some traces of a building, which ------------ assured us had been the palace of their last monarch; whilst others declare it to have been the site of the Spanish encampment." Vol. I. let. 13.

27. Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 237-239.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 94.--­Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 22.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 50.--­Gomara, Crónica, cap. 130.
      Clavigero settles this date at the day of Corpus Christi, May 30th. (Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. III. p. 196.) But the Spaniards left Tezcuco, May 10th, according to Cortés: and three weeks could not have intervened between their departure, and their occupation of Co­johuacan. Clavigero disposes of this difficulty, it is true, by dating the beginning of their march on the 20th, instead of the 10th of May; following the chronology of Herrera, instead of that of Cortés. Surely, the general is the better authority of the two.


1. "It was a beautiful victory," exclaims the Conqueror. "É entrámoslos de tal manera, que ninguno de ellos se escapó, excepto las Mugeres, y Niños; y en este combate me hiriéron veinte y cinco Españoles, pero fué muy hermosa Victoria." Rel. Terc., ap. Lorenzana, p.241.

2. About five hundred boats, according to the general's own estimate; (Ibid., loc. cit.;) but more than four thousand, according to Bernal Diaz; (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 150;) who, however, was not present.

3. "Y como yo deseaba mucho, que el primer reencuentro, que con ellos obiessemos, fuesse de mucha victoria; y se hiciesse de manera, que ellos cobrassen mucho temor de los bergan­tines, porque la llave de toda la Guerra estaba en ellos." Rel. Terc., ap. Lorenzana, pp. 241, 242.

4. "Plugo á nuestro Señor, que estándonos mirando los unos á los otros, vino un viento de la Tierra muy favorable para embestir con ellos." Ibid., p. 242.

5. Ibid., loc. cit.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 48.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva Es­paña, MS., lib. 12, cap. 32.
      I may be excused for again quoting a few verses from a beautiful description in "Madoc," and one as pertinent as it is beautiful.
                  "Their thousand boats, and the ten thousand oars
                  From whose broad bowls the waters fall and flash,
                  And twice ten thousand feathered helms, and shields,
                  Glittering with gold and scarlet plumery.
                  Onward they come with song and swelling horn;
                  . . . . . On the other side
                  Advance the British barks; the freshening breeze
                  Fills the broad sail; around the rushing keel
                  The waters sing, while proudly they sail on,
                  Lords of the water."                               MADOC, Part 2, canto 25

6. "Y era tanta la multitud," says Cortés, "que por el Agua, y por la Tierra no viamos sino Gente, y daban tantas gritas, y alaridos, que parecia que se hundia el Mundo." Ibid., p. 245.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 23.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 95.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 32.

7. Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 246, 247.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 150.--Herrera, Hist. de las Ind., dec. 3, lib. 1, cap. 17.--Gonzalo de las Casas Defensa, MS., cap. 28.

8. "Así como fué de dia se dixo vna misa de Espíritu Santo, que todos los Christianos oyéron con mucha devocion; é aun los Indios, como simples, é no entendientes de tan alto misterio, con admiracion estaban atentos notando el silencio de los cathólicos y el acatamiento que al altar, y al sacerdote los Christianos toviéron hasta receivia la benedicion." Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 24.

9. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 32.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap.95.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 23.--Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 247, 248.

10. Ibid., ubi supra.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 95.
      Here terminates the work last cited of the Tezcucan chronicler; who has accompanied us from the earliest period of our narrative down to this point in the final siege of the capital. Whether the concluding pages of the manuscript have been lost, or whether he was inter­rupted by death, it is impossible to say. But the deficiency is supplied by a brief sketch of the principal events of the siege, which he has left in another of his writings. He had, undoubt­edly, uncommon sources of information in his knowledge of the Indian languages and picture-writing, and in the oral testimony which he was at pains to collect from the actors in the scenes he describes. All these advantages are too often counterbalanced by a singular in­capacity for discriminating--I will not say, between historic truth and falsehood (for what is truth?)--but between the probable, or rather the possible, and the impossible. One of the generation of primitive converts to the Romish faith, he lived in a state of twilight civiliza­tion, when, if miracles were not easily wrought, it was at least easy to believe them.

11. "I con todo eso no se determinaban los Christianos de entrar en la Plaça; por lo qual diciendo Hernando Cortés, que no era tiempo de mostrar cansancio, ni cobardía, con vna Rodela en la mano, apellidando Santiago, arremetió el primero." Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 1, cap. 18.

12. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 32.

13. Ixtlilxochitl, in his Thirteenth Relation, embracing among other things a brief notice of the capture of Mexico, of which an edition has been given to the world by the industrious Bus­tamante, bestows the credit of this exploit on Cortés himself. "En la capilla mayor donde es­taba Huitzilopoxctli, que llegáron Cortés é Ixtlilxochitl á un tiempo, y ambos embistiéron con el ídolo. Cortés cogió la máscara de oro que tenia puerta este idolo con ciertas piedras preciosas que estaban engastadas en ella." Venida de los Esp., p. 29.

14. "Los de Caballo revolvian sobre ellos, que siempre alanceaban, ó mataban algunos; é como la Calle era muy larga, hubo lugar de hacerce esto quatro, ó cinco veces. É aunque los Ene­migos vian que recibian daño, venian los Perros tan rabiosos, en ninguna manera los podi­amos detener, ni que nos dejassen de seguir." Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 250.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 1, cap. 18.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 32.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 23.

15. The great mass of the Otomies were an untamed race, who roamed over the broad tracks of the plateau, far away to the north. But many of them, who found their way into the Valley, became blended with the Tezcucan, and even with the Tlascalan nation, making some of the best soldiers in their armies.

16 "Istrisuchil, [Ixtlilxochitl,] que es de edad de veinte y tres, ó veinte y quarto años, muy es­forzado, amado, y temido de todos." (Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 251). The great­est obscurity prevails among historians in respect to this prince, whom they seem to have confounded very often with his brother and predecessor on the throne of Tezcuco. It is rare, that either of them is mentioned by any other than his baptismal name of Hernando; and, if Herrera is correct in the assertion, that this name was assumed by both, it may explain in some degree the confusion. (Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 1, cap. 18.) I have conformed in the main to the old Tezcucan chronicler, who gathered his account of his kinsman, as he tells us, from the records of his nation, and from the oral testimony of the contemporaries of the prince himself. Venida de los Esp., pp. 30, 31.

17. "Daban ocasion, y nos forzaban á que totalmente les destruyessemos. É de esta postrera tenia mas sentimiento, y me pesaba en el alma, y pensaba que forma ternia para los atemorizar, de manera, que viniessen en conocimiento de su yerro, y de el daño, que podian recibir de nosotros, y no hacia sinc quemalles, y derrocalles las Torres de sus Ídolos, y sus Casas." Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 254.

18. "Y desde las azoteas deshonrarle llamándole de traidor contra su patria y deudos, y otras ra­zones pesadas, que á la verdad á ellos les sobraba la razon; mas Ixtlilxuchitl callaba y peleaba, que mas estimaba la amistad y salud de los Cristianos, que todo esto." Venida de los Esp., p. ­32.

19 Ibid. p. 29.

20. For the preceding pages relating to this second assault, see Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Loren­zana, pp. 254-256,--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva Esp., MS., lib. 12, cap. 33,--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 24.--Gonzalo de las Casas, Defensa, MS., cap. 28.

21. Rel. Terc., ap. Lorenzana, p. 259.

22. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 151.
      According to Herrera, Alvarado and Sandoval did not conceal their disapprobation of the course pursued by their commander in respect to the breaches. "I Alvarado, i Sandoval, por su parte, tambien lo hiciéron mui bien, culpando á Hernando Cortés por estas retiradas, queriendo muchos que se quedara en lo ganado, por no bolver tantas veces á ello." Hist General, dec. 3, lib. 1, cap. 19.

23. "Porque como era de noche, no aguardauan mucho, y desta manera que he dicho velauamos, que ni porque llouiesse, ni vientos, ni frios, y aunque estauamos metidos en medio de grandes lodos, y heridos, allí auiamos de estar." Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 151.

24. "Porque nouenta y tres dias estuuímos sobre esta tan fuerte ciudad, cada dia é de noche teni­amos guerras, y combates; é no lo pongo aqué por capítulos lo que cada día haziamos, porque me parece que seria gran proligidad, é seria cosa para nunca acabar, y pareceria á los libros de Amadis, é de otros corros de caualleros." Ibid., ubi supra.

25. Ibid., ubi supra.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva Esp., MS., lib. 12, cap. 33.

26. Ibid., loc. cit.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva Esp., MS., lib. 12, cap. 34.

27. I recollect meeting with no estimate of their numbers; nor, in the loose arithmetic of the Conquerors, would it be worth much. They must, however, have been very great, to enable them to meet the assailants so promptly and efficiently on every point.

28. Gonzalo de las Casas, Defensa, MS., cap. 28.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva Esp., MS., lib. 12, cap. 34.
      The principal cities were Mexicaltzinco, Cuitlahuac, Iztapalapan, Mizquiz, Huitzilopochco, Colhuacan.

29. "Y como aquel dia llevabamos mas de ciento y cincuenta mil Hombres de Guerra." Rel. Terc., ap. Lorenzana, p. 280.

30. "Y vea Vuestra Magestad," says Cortés to the Emperor, "que tan ancha puede ser la Calzada, que va por lo mas hondo de la Laguna, que de la una parte, y de la otra iban estas Casas, y quedaba en medio hecha Calle, que muy á placer á pie, y á caballo ibamos, y veniamos por ella." Ibid., p. 260.

31. The greatest difficulty, under which the troops labored, according to Diaz, was that of ob­taining the requisite medicaments for their wounds. But this was in a great degree obviated by a Catalan soldier, who, by virtue of his prayers and incantations, wrought wonderful cures both on the Spaniards, and their allies. The latter, as the more ignorant, flocked in crowds to the tent of this military Æsculapius, whose success was doubtless in a direct ratio to the faith of his patients. Hist. de la Conquista, ubi supra.

32. Diaz mourns over this unsavory diet. (Ibid., loc. cit.) Yet the Indian fig is an agreeable, nutri­tious fruit; and the tortilla, made of maize flour, with a slight infusion of lime, though not pre­cisely a morceau friand, might pass for very tolerable camp fare. According to the lively Author of "Life in Mexico," it is made now, precisely as it was in the days of the Aztecs.--If so, a cooking receipt is almost the only thing that has not changed in this country of revo­lutions.

33. "Quo strages,"says Martyr, "erat crudelior, eo magis copisoe ac opipare cœnabant Guazuzin­gui & Tascaltecani, cæterique prouinciales auxiliarii, qui soliti sunt hostes in prœlio cadentes intra suos ventres sepelire; nec vetare ausus fuisset Cortesius." (De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 8). "Y los otros les mostraban los de su Ciudad hechos pedazos, diciéndoles, que los habian de cenar aquella noche, y almorzar otro dia, como de hecho lo hacian." (Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 256.) Yet one may well be startled by the assertion of Oviedo, that the car­niverous monsters fished up the bloated bodies of those drowned in the lake to swell their repast! "Ni podian ver los ojos de los Christianos, é Cathólicos, mas espantable é aborrecida cosa, que ver en el Real de los Amigos confederados el continuo exercicio de comer carne asada, ó cocida de los Indios enemigos, é aun de los que mataban en las canoas, ó se ahogabhan, é despues, el agua los echaba en la superficie de la laguna, ó en la costa, no los dexaban de pescar, é aposentar en sus vientres." Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 24.

34. "Y sin duda el dia pasado, y aqueste yo tenia por cierto, que vinieran de Paz, de la qual yo siempre con Victoria, y sin ella hacia todas las muestras, que podia. Y nunca por esso en ellos hallabamos alguna señal de Paz." Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 261.


1. Such is the account explicitly given by Cortés to the Emperor. (Rel. Terc., ap Lorenzana, p. 264.) Bernal Diaz, on the contrary, speaks of the assault as first conceived by the general him­self. (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 151.) Yet Diaz had not the best means of knowing; and Cortés would hardly have sent home a palpable misstatement that could have been so easily ex­posed.

2. This punctual performance of mass by the army, in storm and in sunshine, by day and by night, among friends and enemies, draws forth a warm eulogium from the archiepiscopal ed­itor of Cortés. "En el Campo, en una Calzada, entre Enemigos, trabajando dia, y noche nunca se omitia la Missa, páraque toda la obra se atribuyesse á Dios, y mas en unos Meses, en que incomodan las Agua las Habitaciones, ó malas Tiendas." Lorenzana, p 266, nota.

3. In the treasurer's division, according to the general's Letter, there were 70 Spanish foot, 7 or 8 horse, and 15,000 or 20,000 Indians; in Tapia's, 80 foot, and 10,000 allies; and in his own, 8 horse, 100 infantry, and "an infinite number of allies." (Ibid., ubi supra.) The looseness of the language shows that a few thousands, more or less, were of no great moment in the estimate of the Indian forces.

4. "Otro dia de mañana acordé de ir á su Real para le reprehender lo pasador......Y visto, no les imputé tanta culpa, como antes parecia tener, y platicado cerca de lo que habia de hacer, yo me bolví á nuestro Real aquel dia." Ibid., pp. 263, 264.

5. "Y hallé, que habian pasado una quebrada de la Calle, que era de diez, ó doce pasos de ancho; y el Agua, que por ella pasaba, era de hondura de mas de dos estados, y al tiempo que la pasáron habian echado en ella madera, y cañas de carrizo, y como pasaban pocos á pocos, y con tiento, no se habia hundido la madera y cañas." Ibid., p. 268.--See also Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 48.

6. Gomara, Crónica, cap. 138.--Ixtlilxochitl, Venida de los Esp., p. 37.--Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 26.
      Guatemozin's horn rung in the ears of Bernal Diaz, for many a day after the battle. "Guatemuz y manda tocar su corneta, q era vna señal q quando aquella se tocasse, era q auian de pelear sus Capitanes de manera, q hiziessen presa, ó morir sobre ello; y retumbaua el sonido, q se metia en los oidos, y de q lo oyéro aquellos sus esquadrones, y Capitanes: saber yo aquí dezir aora, con q ra bia, y esfuerço se metian entre nosotros á nos echar mano, es cosa de espanto." Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 152.

7. "É como el negocio fué tan de súpito, y ví que mataban la Gente, determiné de me quedar allí, y morir peleando." Rel. Terc., ap. Lorenzana, p. 268.

8. Ixtlilxochitl, who would fain make his royal kinsman a sort of residuary legatee for all unap­propriated, or even doubtful, acts of heroism, puts in a sturdy claim for him on this occasion. A painting, he says, on one of the gates of a monastery of Tlatelolco, long recorded the fact, that it was the Tezcucan chief who saved the life of Cortés (Venida de los Esp., p. 38.) But Ca­margo gives the full credit of it to Olea, on the testimony of "a famous Tlascalan warrior," present in the action, who reported it to him. (Hist. de Tlascala, MS.) The same is stoutly maintained by Bernal Diaz, the townsman of Olea, to whose memory he pays a hearty trib­ute, as one of the best men and bravest soldiers in the army. (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 152, 204.) Saavedra, the poetic chronicler,--something more of chronicler than poet,--who came on the stage before all that had borne arms in the Conquest had left it, gives the laurel also to Olea, whose fate he commemorates in verses, that, at least, aspire to historic fidelity.
                  "Túvole con las manos abraçado,
                  Y Francisco de Olea el valeroso,
                  Vn valiente Español, y su criado,
                  Le tiró vn tajo brauo y riguroso:
                  Las dos manos á cercen le ha cortado
                  Y él le libró del trance trabajoso.
                  Huuo muy gran rumor, porque dezian,
                  Que ya en prision amarga le tenian.


                  "Llegáron otros Indios arriscados,
                  Y á Olea matáron en vn punto,
                  Cercáron á Cortés por todos lados,
                  Y al miserable cuerpo ya difunto:
                  Y viendo sus sentidos recobrados,
                  Puso mano á la espada y daga junto.
                  Antonio de Quiñones llegó luego,
                  Capitan de la guarda ardiendo en fuego."
                              EL PEREGRINO INDIANO, Canto 20.

9. "É aquel Capitan que estaba con el General, que se decia Antonio de Quiñones, díxole: Vamos, Señor, de aquí, y salvemos vuestra Persona, pues que ya esto está de manera, que es morir desperado atender; é sin vos, ninguno de nosotros puede escapar, que no es esfuerzo, sino poquedad, porfiar aquí otra cosa." Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 26.

10. It may have been the same banner which is noticed by Mr. Bullock, as treasured up in the Hospital of Jesus, "where," says he, "we beheld the identical embroidered standard, under which the great captain wrested this immense empire from the unfortunate Montezuma." Six Months in Mexico, vol. I, chap. 10.

11. For this disastrous affair, besides the Letter of Cortés, and the Chronicle of Diaz, so often quoted, see Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva Esp., MS., lib. 12, cap. 33,--Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.,--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 138,--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 94,--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 26, 48.

12. "El resonido de la corneta de Guatemuz."--Astolfo's magic horn was not more terrible.
                  "Dico che 'l corno é di sì orribil suono,
                  Ch' ovunque s' oda, fa fuggir la gente.
                  Non può trovarsi al mondo un cor sì buono,
                  Che possa non fuggir come lo sente.
                  Rumor di vento e di tremuoto, e 'l tuono,
                  A par del suon di questo, era niente."
                              ORLANDO FURIOSO, Canto 15, st. 15.

13. "Por q yo lo sé aqui escriuir q aora q me pongo á pensar en ello, es como si visiblemente lo viesse, mas bueluo á dezir, y ansí es verdad, q si Dios no nos diera esfuerço, segun estauamos todos heridos: él nos saluó q de otra manera no nos podiamos llegar á nuestros ranchos." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 152.

14. This renowned steed, who might rival the Babieca of the Cid, was named Motilla, and, when one would pass unqualified praise on a horse, he would say, "He is as good as Motilla." So says that prince of chroniclers, Diaz, who takes care that neither beast nor man shall be defrauded of his fair guerdon in these campaigns against the infidel. He was of a chestnut color, it seems, with a star in his forehead, and, luckily for his credit, with only one foot white. See Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 152, 205.

15. The cavaliers might be excused for not wantonly venturing their horses, if, as Diaz asserts, they could only be replaced at an expense of eight hundred, or a thousand dollars apiece. "Porque costaua en aquella sazon vn cauallo ochocientos pesos, y aun algunos costauan á mas de mil." Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 151. See, also, Ante, Book II, chap. 3, note 14.

16. "Mira pues veis que yo no puedo ir á todas partes, á vos os encomiendo estos trabajos, pues veis q estoy herido y coxo; ruego os pongais cobro en estos tres reales; bien sé q Pedro de Aluarado, y sus Capitanes, y soldados aurán batallado, y hecho como caualleros, mas temo el gran poder destos perros no les ayan desbaratado." Ibid., cap. 152.

17. "Vn atambor de muy triste sonido, enfin como instrumento de demonios, y retumbaua tanto, que se oia dos, ó tres leguas." Ibid., loc. cit.

18. Ibid., ubi supra.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 48. "Sacándoles los corazones, sobre una piedra que era como un pilar cortado, tan grueso como un hombre y algo mas, y tan alto como medio estadio; allí á cada uno echado de espal­das sobre aquella piedra, que se llama Techcatl, uno le tiraba por un brazo, y otro por el otro, y tambien por las piernas otros dos, y venia uno de aquellos Sátrapas, con un pedernal, como un hierro de lanza enhastado, en un palo de dos palmos de largo, le daba un golpe con ambas manos en el pecho; y sacando aquel pedernal, por la misma llaga metia la mano, y arrancábale el corazon, y luego fregaba con él la boca del Ídolo; y echaba á rodar el cuerpo por las gradas abajo, que serian como cinquenta ó sesenta gradas, por allí abajo iba quebrando las piernas y los brazos, y dando cabezasos con la cabeza, hasta que llegaba abajo aun vivo." Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva Esp., MS., lib. 12, cap. 35.

19. At least, such is the honest confession of Captain Diaz, as stout-hearted a soldier as any in the army. He consoles himself, however, with the reflection, that the tremor of his limbs in­timated rather an excess of courage than a want of it, since it arose from a lively sense of the great dangers into which his daring spirit was about to hurry him! The passage in the origi­nal affords a good specimen of the inimitable naïveté of the old chronicler. "Digan agora todos aquellos caualleros, que desto del militar entienden, y se han hallado en trances peligrosos de muerte, á que fin echarán mi temor, si es á mucha flaqueza de ánimo, ó á mucho esfuerço, porque como he dicho, sentia yo en mi pensamiento, que auia de poner por mi persona, bata­llando en parte que por fuerga, auia de temer la muerte mas que otras vezes, y por esto me temblaua el coragon, y temia la muerte." Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 156.

20. Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 2, cap. 20.--Ixtlilxochitl, Venida de los Esp., pp. 41, 42.
­      "Y nos dezian, que de ai á ocho dias no auia de quedar ninguno de nosotros á vida, porque assí se lo auian prometido la noche antes sus Dioses." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap 153.

21. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva Esp., MS., lib. 12, cap. 36.--Ixtlilxochitl, Venida de los Esp., pp. 41,42.
      The Castilian scholar will see that I have not drawn on my imagination for the picture of these horrors. "Digamos aora lo que los Mexicanos hazian de noche en sus grandes, y altos Cues; y es, q tañian su maldito atambor, que dixe otra vez que era el de mas maldito sonido, y mas triste q se podia inuétar, y sonaua muy lexos; y tañian otros peores instrumentos. En fin, cosas diabólicas, y tenia grandes lumbres, y daua gradíssimos gritos, y siluos, y en aquel instate estauan sacrificando de nuestros copañeros, de los q tomáro á Cortés, que supímos q sacrificáron diez dias arreo, hasta que los acabáron, y el postrero dexáro á Christonal de Guz­man, q viuo lo tuuiéron diez y ocho dias, segun dixéro tres Capitanes Mexicanos q predímos." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 153.

22. "Que no era bien, que Mugeres Castellanas dexasen á sus Maridos, iendo á la Guerra, i que adonde ellos muriesen, moririan ellas." (Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 1, cap. 22.) The historian has embalmed the names of several of these heroines in his pages, who are, doubt­less, well entitled to share the honors of the Conquest; Beatriz de Palacios, María de Estrada, Juana Martin, Isabel Rodriguez, and Beatriz Bermudez.

23. Ibid, ubi supra.


l. And yet the priests were not so much to blame, if, as Solís assures us, "the Devil went about very industriously in those days, insinuating into the ears of his flock, what he could not into their hearts." Conquista, lib. 5, cap. 22.

2. "Y teniamos necesidad antes de ser socorridos, que de dar socorro." Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 272.

3. "God knows," says the general, "the peril in which we all stood; pero como nos convenia mostrar mas esfuerzo y ánimo, que nunca, y morir peleando, disimulabamos nuestra flaqueza assí con los Amigos como con los Enemigos." Ibid., p. 275.

4. Tapia's force consisted of 10 horse and 80 foot; the chief alguacil, as Sandoval was styled, had 18 horse and 100 infantry. Ibid., loc. cit.--Also Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 26.

5. "Pólvora y Ballestas, de que teniamos muy estrema necesidad." (Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 278.) It was probably the expedition in which Ponce de Leon lost his life; an ex­pedition to the very land which the chivalrous cavalier had himself first visited in quest of the Fountain of Health. The story is pleasantly told by Irving, as the reader may remember, in his "Companions of Columbus."

6. The calm and simple manner, in which the Conquistador, as usual, states this in his Commen­taries, has something appalling in it from its very simplicity. "Acordé de tomar un medio para nuestra seguridad, y para poder mas estrechar á los Enemigos; y fué, que como fuessemos ganando por las Calles de la Ciudad, que fuessen derrocando todas las Casas de ellas, del un lado, y del otro; por manera, que no fuessemos un paso adelante, sin lo dejar todo asolado, y lo que era Agua, hacerlo Tierra-firme, aunque hobiesse toda la dilacion, que se pudiesse seguir." Rel. Terc., ap. Lorenzana, p. 279.

7. "Porque era la mas hermosa cosa del Mundo." Ibid., p. 278.

8. "Mas antes en el pelear, y en todos sus ardides, los hallabamos con mas ánimo, que nunca." Ibid., p. 279.

9. Yet we shall hardly credit the Tezcucan historians' assertion, that a hundred thousand Indi­ans flocked to the camp for this purpose! "Viniesen todos los labradores con sus coas para este efecto con toda brevedad:..... llegáron mas de cien mil de ellos." Ixtlilxochitl, Venida de los Esp., p. 42.

10. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 153.

11. Sahagun, who gathered the story from the actors, and from the aspect of the scene, before the devastation had been wholly repaired, writes with the animation of an eye-witness. "La guerra por agua y por tierra fué tan por fiada y tan sangrienta, que era espanto de verla, y no hay posibilidad, para decir las particularidades que pasaban; eran tan espesas las saetas, y dar­dos, y piedras, y palos, que se arrojavan los unos á los otros, que quitavan la claridad del sol; era tan grande la vocería, y grita, de hombres y mugeres, y niños que voceaban y lloraban, que era cosa de grima; era tan grande la polvareda, y ruido, en derrocar y quemar casas, y robar lo que en ellas habia, y cautivar niños y mugeres, que parecia un juicio." Hist. de Nueva Esp., MS., lib. 12, cap. 38.

12. The flesh of the Christians failed to afford them even the customary nourishment, since the Mexicans said it was intolerably bitter; a miracle, considered by Captain Diaz, as expressly wrought for this occasion. Ibid., cap. 153.

13. Ibid., ubi supra.
      When dried in the sun, this slimy deposit had a flavor not unlike that of cheese, and formed part of the food of the poorer classes at all times, according to Clavigero. Stor. del Messico, tom. 2, p. 222.

14. Bernal Diaz, Ibid., cap. 154.

15. "Mas como el Guatemuz era mancebo, y muy gentil-hombre y de buena disposicion." Ibid., loc. cit.

16. "Mira primero lo que nuestros Dioses te han prometido, toma buen consejo sobre ello y no te fies de Malinche, ni de sus palabras, que mas vale que todos muramos en esta ciudad pele­ando, que no vernos en poder de quie nos harán esclauos, y nos atormentarán." Ibid., ubi supra.

17. "Y entonces el Guatemuz medio enojado les dixo: Pues assí quereis que sea guardad mucho el maiz, y bastimentos que tenemos, y muramos todos peleando: y desde aquí adelante ninguno sea osado á me demander pazes, si no yo le mataré: y allí todos prometiéron de pe­lear noches, y dias, y morir en la defensa de su ciudad." Ibid., ubi supra.

18. "Los de la Ciudad como veian tanto estrago, por esforzarse, decian á nuestros Amigos, que no ficiessen sino quemar, y destruir, que ellos se las harian tornar á hacer de nuevo, porque si ellos eran vencedores, ya ellos sabian, que habia de see assí, y si no, que las habian de hacer para nosotros." Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 286.

19. Ibid., pp. 282-284.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 1, cap. 22; lib. 2, cap. 2.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 140.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 28.--Ixtlilxochitl, Venida de los Esp., p. 43.

20. "No se entendió sino en que mar, y hallanar Casas, que era lástima cierto de lo ver; pero como no nos convenia hacer otra cosa, eramos forzado seguir aquella órden." Ibid., p. 286.

21. "No tenian agua dulce para beber, ni para de ninguna manera de comer; bebian del agua sa­lada y hedionda, comian ratones y lagartijas, y cortezas de árboles, y otras cosas no co­mestibles; y de esta causa enfermáron muchos, y muriéron muchos." Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva Esp., MS., lib. 12, cap. 39.--Also Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 289.

22. "Y es verdad y juro amen, que toda la laguna, y casas, y barbacoas estauan llenas de cuerpos, y cabeças de hombres muertos, que yo no sé de que manera lo escriua." (Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 156.) Clavigero considers that it was a scheme of the Mexicans to leave the dead unburied, in order that the stench might annoy and drive off the Spaniards. (Stor. del Messico, tom. III. p. 231, nota.) But this policy would have operated much more to the detriment of the besieged than of the besiegers, whose presence in the capital was but tran­sitory. It is much more natural to refer it to the same cause which has led to a similar conduct under similar circumstances elsewhere, whether occasioned by pestilence or famine.

23. Gonzalo de las Casas, Defensa, MS., cap. 28.--Martyr, De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 8.--Ixtlil­xochitl, Venida de los Esp., p. 45.--Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 289.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 29.

24. "Muchas cosas acaeciéron en este cerco, que entre otras generaciones estobieran discantadas é tenidas en mucho, en especial de las Mugeres de Temixtitan, de quien ninguna mencion se ha fecho. Y soy certificado, que fué cosa maravillosa y para espantar, ver la prontitud y con­stancia que tobiéron en servir á sus maridos, y en curar los heridos, é en el labrar de las piedras para los que tiraban con hondas, é en otros oficios para mas que mugeres." Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 48.

25. Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 29.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 155.--­Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 287-289.

26. Ante, p. 328.
      The tianguez still continued of great dimensions, though with faded magnificence, after the Conquest, when it is thus noticed by father Sahagun. "Entráron en la plaza ó Tianguez de este Tlaltilulco (lugar muy espacioso mucho mas de lo que ahora es) el cual se podia lla­mar emporio de toda esta nueva España: al cual venian á tratar gentes de toda esta nueva Es­paña, y aun de los Reinos a ella contiguos, y donde se vendian y compraban todas cuantas cosas hay en toda esta tierra, y en los Reinos de Quahtimalla y Xalisco, (cosa cierto mucho de ver,) yo lo ví por muchos años morando en esta Casa del Señor Santiago, aunque ya no era tanto como antes de la Conquista." Hist. de Nueva Esp., MS., lib. 12, cap. 37.

27. "É yo miré dende aquella Torre, lo que teniamos ganado de la Ciudad, que sin duda de ocho partes teniamos ganado las siete." Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 289.

28. Toribio, Hist. de los Ind., MS., Parte 3, cap. 7.
      The remains of the ancient foundations may still be discerned in this quarter, while in every other etiam peri234;re ruinœ!

29. Bustamante, the Mexican editor of Sahagun, mentions that he has now in his possession sev­eral of these military spoils. "Toda la llanura del Santuario de nuestra Señor de los Ángeles y de Santiago Tlaltilolco se ve sembrada de fragmentos de lanzas cortantes, de macanas, y fle­chas de piedra obsidiana, de que usaban los Mexicanos ó sea Chinapos, y yo he recogido no pocos que conservo en mi poder." Hist. de Nueva Esp., lib. 12, nota 21.

30. "Y como comenzó á arder, levantóse una llama tan alta que parecia llegar al cielo, al espec­táculo de esta quema, todos los hombres y mugeres que se habian acogido á las tiendas que cercaban todo el Tianguez comenzáron á llorar á voz en grito, que fué cosa de espanto oir­los; porque quemado aquel delubro satánico luego entendiéron que habian de ser del todo destruidos y robados." Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva Esp., MS., lib. 12, cap. 37.

31. Vestiges of the work are still visible, according to M. de Humboldt, within the limits of the porch of the chapel of St. Jago. Essai Politique, tom. II. p. 44.

32. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 155.--Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 290.--­Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 37.


1. "Estaban los tristes Mejicanos, hombres y mugeres, niños y niñas, viejos y viejas, heridos y enfermos en un lugar bien estrecho, y bien apretados los unos con los otros, y con grandísima falta de bastimentos, y al calor del Sol, y al frio de la noche, y cada hora esperando la muerte." Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva Esp., MS., lib. 12, cap. 39.

2. Torquemada had the anecdote from a nephew of one of the Indian matrons, then a very old man himself. Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 102.

3. Ibid., ubi supra.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 156.

4. "De los niños, no quedó nadie, que las mismas madres y padres los comian (que era gran lás­tima de ver, y mayormente de sufrir)." (Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva Esp., MS., lib. 12, cap. 39.) The historian derived his accounts from the Mexicans themselves, soon after the event. ­One is reminded of the terrible denunciations of Moses: "The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for deli­cateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward ..... her children which she shall bear; for she shall eat them, for want of all things, secretly, in the siege and straitness wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates." Deuteronomy, chap. 28, vs. 56, 57.

5. "No podiamos andar sino entre cuerpos, y cabeças de Indios muertos." Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 156.

6. "No tenian donde estar sino sobre los cuerpos muertos de los suyos." Rel. Terc., ap. Loren­zana, p. 291.

7. Bernal Diaz, Ibid., ubi supra.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 2, cap. 8.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva Esp., MS., lib. 12, cap. 41.--Gonzalo de las Casas, Defensa, MS., cap. 28.

8. "Un torbellino de fuego como sangre embuelto en brasas y en centellas, que partia de hacia Tepeacac (que es donde está ahora Santa María de Guadalupe) y fué haciendo gran ruido, hacia donde estaban acorralados los Mejicanos y Tlaltilulcanos; y dió una vuelta para enrededor de ellos, y no dicen si los empeció algo, sino que habiendo dado aquella vuelta, se entró por la laguna adelante; y allí desapareció." Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva Esp., MS., lib. 12, cap. 40.

9. "Inclinatis ad credendum animis," says the philosophic Roman historian, "loco ominum etiam fortuita." Tacitus, Hist., lib. 2, sec. 1.

10. "Y como lo lleváron delante de Guatimucin su Señor, y él le comenzó á hablar sobre la Paz, dizque luego lo mandó matar y sacrificar." Rel. Terc., ap. Lorenzana, p. 293.

11. "Que pues ellos me tenian por Hijo del Sol, y el Sol en tanta brevedad como era en un dia y una noche daba vuelta á todo el Mundo, que porque yo assí brevemente no los acababa de matar, y los quitaba de penar tanto, porque ya ellos tenian deseos de morir, y irse al Cielo para su Ochilobus, [Huitzilopochtli,] que los estaba esperando para descansar." Ibid., p. 292.

12. "Y yo les torné á repetir, que no sabia la causa, porque él se recelaba venir ante mí, pues veia que á ellos, que yo sabia q habian sido los causadores principales de la Guerra, y que la habian sustentado, les hacia buen tratamiento, que los dejaba ir, y venir seguramente, sin recibir enojo alguno; que les rogaba, que le tornassen á hablar, y mirassen mucho en esto de su venida, pues á él le convenia, y yo lo hacia por su provecho." Ibid., pp. 294, 295.

13. The testimony is most emphatic and unequivocal to these repeated efforts on the part of Cortés to bring the Aztecs peaceably to terms. Besides his own Letter to the Emperor, see Bernal Diaz, cap. 155,--Herrera, Hist. General, lib. 2, cap. 6, 7,--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 100,--Ixtlilxochitl, Venida de los Esp., pp. 44-48,--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 29, 30.

14. "Corrian Arroios de Sangre por las Calles, como pueden correr de Agua, quando llueve, y con ímpetu, y fuerça." Torquemada, Monarch, Ind., lib. 4, cap. 103.

15. "Era tanta la grita, y lloro de los Niños, y Mugeres, que no habia Persona, á quien no que­brantasse el corazon." (Rel. Terc., ap. Lorenzana, p. 296.) They were a rash and stiff-necked race, exclaims his reverend editor, the archbishop, with a charitable commentary! "Gens duræ cervicis, gens absque consilio." Nota.

16. "Como la gente de la Cibdad se salia á los nuestros habia el general proveido, que por todas las calles estubiesen Españoles para estorvar á los amigos, que no matasen aquellos tristes, que eran sin número. É tambien dixo á todos los amigos capitanes, que no consintiesen á su gente que matasen á ninguno de los que salian." Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 30.

17. "La qual crueldad nunca en Generacion tan recia se vió, ni tan fuera de toda órden de naturaleza, como en los Naturales de estas partes." Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p.296.

18. Ibid., ubi supra.--Ixtlilxochitl says, 50,000 were slain and taken in this dreadful onslaught. Venida de los Esp., p. 48.

19. "Adonde estauan retraidos el Guatemuz con toda la flor de sus Capitanes, y personas mas no­bles que en México auia, y le mandó que no matasse, ni hiriesse á ningunos Indios, saluo si no le diessen guerra, é que aunque se la diessen, que solamente se defendiesse." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 156.

20. "Y al fin me dijo, que en ninguna manera el Señor vernia ante mí; y antes queria por allá morir, y que á él pesaba mucho de esto, que hiciesse yo lo que quisiesse; y como ví en esto su determinacion, yo le dije; que se bolviesse á los supos, y que él, y ellos se aparejassen, porque los queria combatir, y acabar de matar, y assí se fué." Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p, 298.

21. Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 30.--Ixtlilxochitl, Venida de los Esp., p. 48.--Her­rera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 2, cap. 7.--Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 297, 298.--­Gomara, Crónica, cap. 142.

22. Ixtlilxochitl, Venida de los Esp., p. 49.
      "No me tiren, que yo soy el Rey de México, y desta tierra, y lo que te ruego es, que no me llegues á mi muger, ni á mis hijos; ni á ninguna muger, ni á ninguna cosa de lo que aquí traygo, sino que me tomes á mí, y me lleues á Malinche." (Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 156.) M. de Humboldt has taken much pains to identify the place of Guatemozin's capture,--now become dry land,--which he considers to have been somewhere between the Garita del Peralvillo, the square of St. Iago de Tlaltelolco, and the bridge of Amaxac. Essai Politique, tom. II, p. 76.

23. For the preceding account of the capture of Guatemozin, told with little discrepancy, though with more or less minuteness by the different writers, see Bernal Diaz, Ibid., ubi supra,--Rel. Terc. de Cortés, p. 299,--Gonzalo de las Casas, Defensa, MS.,--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 30,--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 101.

24. The general, according to Diaz, rebuked his officers for their ill-timed contention, remind­ing them of the direful effects of a similar quarrel between Marius and Sylla, respecting Jugurtha. (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 156.) This piece of pedantry savors much more of the old chronicler than his commander. The result of the whole--not an uncommon one in such cases--was, that the Emperor granted to neither of the parties, but to Cortés, the exclusive right of commemorating the capture of Guatemozin, by placing his head, together with the heads of seven other captive princes, on the border of his shield.

25. Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva Esp., MS., lib. 12, cap. 40.

26. For the portrait of Guatemozin, I again borrow the faithful pencil of Diaz, who knew him--at least his person--well. "Guatemuz era de muy gentil disposicion, assí de cuerpo, como de fayciones, y la cata algo larga, y alegre, y los ojos mas parecian que quando miraua, que eran con grauedad, y halagüeños, y no auia falta en ellos, y era de edad de veinte y tres, ó veinte y quatro años, y el color tiraua mas á blanco, que al color, y matiz de essotros Indios morenos." Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 156.

27. "Llegóse á mi, y díjome en su lengua: que ya él habia hecho todo, lo que de su parte era obli­gado para defenderse á sí, y á los suyos, hasta venir en aquel estado; que ahora ficiesse de él lo que yo quisiesse; y puso la mano en un puñal, que yo tenia diciéndome, que le diesse de puñaladas, y le matasse." (Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 300.) This remarkable ac­count by the Conqueror himself is confirmed by Diaz, who does not appear to have seen this letter of his commander. Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 156.

28. Ibid., cap. 156.--Also Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 48,--and Martyr, (De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 8,) who, by the epithet of magnanimo regi, testifies the admiration which Guatemozin's lofty spirit excited in the court of Castile.

29. The ceremony of marriage, which distinguished the "lawful wife" from the concubine, is de­scribed by Don Thoan Cano, in his conversation with Oviedo. According to this, it appears that the only legitimate offspring, which Montezuma left at his death, was a son and a daugh­ter, this same princess.

30. For a further account of Montezuma's daughter, see Book VII., Chapter III, of this History.

31. The event is annually commemorated, or rather was, under the colonial government, by a solemn procession round the walls of the city. It took place on the 13th of August, the an­niversary of the surrender, and consisted of the principal cavaliers and citizens on horseback, headed by the viceroy, and displaying the venerable standard of the Conqueror.

32. Toribio, Hist. de los Ind., MS., Parte 3, cap. 7.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva Esp., MS., lib. 12, cap. 42.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 156.
      "The lord of Mexico having surrendered," says Cortés, in his letter to the Emperor, "the war, by the blessing of Heaven, was brought to an end, on Wednesday, the 13th day of August, 1521. So that from the day when we first sat down before the city, which was the 30th of May, until its final occupation, seventy-five days elapsed." (Rel. Terc., ap. Lorenzana, p. 300.) It is not easy to tell what event occurred on May 30th, to designate the beginning of the siege. Clavigero considers it the occupation of Cojohuacan by Olid. (Stor. del Messico, tom. III. p. 196.) But I know not on what authority. Neither Bernal Diaz, nor Herrera, nor Cortés, so fixes the date. Indeed, Clavigero says, that Alvarado and Olid left Tezcuco May 20, while Cortés says May 10. Perhaps Cortés dates from the time when Sandoval established himself on the northern causeway, and when the complete investment of the capital began.--Bernal Diaz, more than once, speaks of the siege as lasting three months, computing, probably, from the time when his own division, under Alvarado, took up its position at Tacuba.

33. It did not, apparently, disturb the slumbers of the troops, who had been so much deafened by the incessant noises of the siege, that, now these had ceased, "we felt," says Diaz, in his homely way, "like men suddenly escaped from a belfry, where we had been shut up for months with a chime of bells ringing in our ears!" Ibid., ubi supra.

34. Herrera (Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 2, cap. 7) and Torquemada (Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 101) estimate them at 30,000. Ixtlilxochitl says that 60,000 fighting men laid down their arms; (Venida de los Esp., p. 49;) and Oviedo swells the amount still higher, to 70,000 (Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 48.)--After the losses of the siege, these numbers are startling.

35. "Digo que en tres dias con sus noches iban todas tres calçadas llenas de Indios, é Indias, y muchachos, llenas de bote en bote, que nunca dexauan de salir, y tan flacos, y suzios, é ama­rillos, é hediondos, que era lástima de los ver." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 156.

36. Cortés estimates the losses of the enemy in the three several assaults at 67,000, which, with 50,000, whom he reckons to have perished from famine and disease, would give 117,000. (Rel. Terc., ap. Lorenzana, p. 298, et alibi.) But this is exclusive of those who fell previously to the commencement of the vigorous plan of operations for demolishing the city. Ixtlilxochitl, who seldom allows any one to beat him in figures, puts the dead, in round numbers, at 240,000, comprehending the flower of the Aztec nobility. (Venida de los Esp., p. 51.) Bernal Diaz observes, more generally, "I have read the story of the destruction of Jerusalem, but I doubt if there was as great mortality there as in this siege; for there was assembled in the city an immense number of Indian warriors from all the provinces and towns subject to Mexico, the most of whom perished." (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 156.) "I have conversed," says Oviedo, "with many hidalgos and other persons, and have heard them say that the number of the dead was incalculable,--greater than that at Jerusalem, as described by Josephus." (Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 30, cap. 30.) As the estimate of the Jewish historian amounts to 1,100,000, (Antiquities of the Jews, Eng. tr., Book VII. chap. XVII.,) the comparison may stagger the most accommodating faith. It will be safer to dispense with arithmetic, where the data are too loose and slippery to afford a foothold for getting at truth.

37. Ibid., ubi supra.

38. Rel. Terc., ap. Lorenzana, p. 301.
      Oviedo goes into some further particulars respecting the amount of the treasure and especially of the imperial fifth, to which I shall have occasion to advert hereafter. Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 31.

39. Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 2, cap. 8.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 156.--­Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva Esp., MS., lib. 12, cap. 42.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 30.--Ixtlilxochitl, Venida de los Esp., pp. 51, 52.

40. By none has this obloquy been poured with such unsparing hand on the heads of the old Conquerors, as by their own descendants, the modern Mexicans. Ixtlilxochitl's editor, Bustamante, concludes an animated invective against the invaders with recommending that a monument should be raised on the spot,--now dry land,--where Guatemozin was taken, which, as the proposed inscription itself intimates, should "devote to eternal execration the detested memory of these banditti!" (Venida de los Esp., p. 52, nota.) One would suppose that the pure Aztec blood, uncontaminated by a drop of Castilian, flowed in the veins of the indignant editor and his compatriots; or, at least, that their sympathies for the conquered race would make them anxious to reinstate them in their ancient rights. Notwithstanding these bursts of generous indignation, however, which plentifully season the writings of the Mexicans of our day, we do not find, that the Revolution, or any of its numerous brood of pronunciamientos, has resulted in restoring them to an acre of their ancient territory.


1. "¿Estoi yo en algun deleite, ó baño?" (Gomara, Crónica, cap. 145.) The literal version is not so poetical as "the bed of flowers," into which this exclamation of Guatemozin is usually ren­dered.

2. The most particular account of this disgraceful transaction is given by Bernal Diaz, one of those selected to accompany the lord of Tacuba to his villa. (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 157.) He notices the affair with becoming indignation, but excuses Cortés from a voluntary part in it. 3. Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 308.
      The simple statement of the Conqueror contrasts strongly with the pompous narrative of Herrera, (Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 3, cap. 3,) and with that of father Cavo, who may draw a little on his own imagination. "Cortés en una canoa ricamente entapizada, llevó á el Rey Vehichilze, y á los nobles de Michoacan á México. Este es uno de los palacios de Moc­theuzoma (les decia); allí está el gran templo de Huitzilopuctli; estas ruinas son del grande edificio de Quauhtemoc, aquellos de la gran plaza del mercado. Conmovido Vehichilzi de este espectáculo, se le saltáron las lágrimas." Los Tres Siglos de México, (México, 1836,) tom. I, p. 13.

4. "Que todos los que tienen alguna ciencia, y experiencia en la Navegacion de las Indias, han tenido por muy cierto, que descubriendo por estas Partes la Mar del Sur, se habian de hallar muchas Islas ricas de Oro, y Perlas, y Piedras preciosas, y Especería, y se habian de descubrir y hallar otros muchos secretos y cosas admirables." Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp 302, 303.

5. "Y crea Vuestra Magestad, que cada dia se irá ennobleciendo en tal manera, que como antes fué Principal, y Señora de todas estas Provincias, que lo será tambien de aquí adelante." Ibid., p. 307.

6. Ante, p. 590.

7. Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 4, cap. 8.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 32.--­Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 162.
      "En la cual (la edificacion de la ciudad) los primeros años andaba mas gente que en la edi­ficacion del templo de Jerusalem, porque era tanta la gente que andaba en las obras, que apé­nas podia hombre romper por algunas calles y calzadas, aunque son muy anchas." (Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 1, cap. 1.) Ixtlilxochitl supplies any blank which the imagina­tion might leave, by filling it up with 400,000, as the number of natives employed in this work by Cortés! Venida de los Esp., p. 60.

8. "Sirviéron al Emperador con muchas piedras, i entre ellas con una esmeralda fina, como la palma, pero quadrada, i que se remataba en punta como pirámide." (Gomara, Crónica, cap. 146.) Martyr confirms the account of this wonderful emerald, which, he says, "was reported to the king and council to be nearly as broad as the palm of the hand, and which those, who had seen it, thought could not be procured for any sum." De Orbe Novo, dec. 8, cap. 4.

9. Ibid., ubi supra.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 169.

10. The instrument also conferred similar powers in respect to an inquiry into Narvaez's treat­ment of the licentiate Ayllon. The whole document is cited in a deposition drawn up by the notary, Alonso de Vergara, setting forth the proceedings of Tapia and the municipality of Villa Rica, dated at Cempoalla, Dec. 24th, 1521. The MS. forms part of the collection of Don Vargas Ponçe, in the archives of the Academy of History at Madrid.

11. Relacion de Vergara, MS.--Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 309-314.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 158.
      The regidores of Mexico and other places remonstrated against Cortés' leaving the valley to meet Tapia, on the ground that his presence was necessary to overawe the natives. (MS., Coyoacan, Dec. 12, 1521.) The general acquiesced in the force of a remonstrance, which, it is not improbable, was made at his own suggestion.

12. "Como ya (loado nuestro Señor) estaba toda la Provincia muy pacífica, y segura." Rel. Quarta de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 367.

13. The Muñoz collection of MSS. contains a power of attorney given by Cortés to his father, authorizing him to manage all negotiations with the emperor, and with private persons, to conduct all lawsuits on his behalf, to pay over and receive money, &c.

14. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 158.

15. Sayas, Annales de Aragon, (Zaragoza, 1666,) cap. 63, 78.
      It is sufficient voucher for the respectability of this court, that we find in it the name of Dr. Galindez de Carbajal, an eminent Castilian jurist, grown grey in the service of Ferdinand and Isabella, whose confidence he enjoyed in the highest degree.

16. Sayas, Annales de Aragon, cap. 78.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 4, cap. 3.--Probanza en la Villa Segura, MS.--Declaraciones de Puertocarrero y de Montejo, MSS.

17. Nombramiento de Governador y Capitan General y Justicia Mayor de Nueva España, MS.--Also Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 168.

18. The character of Fonseca has been traced by the same hand which has traced that of Colum­bus. (Irving's Life and Voyages of Columbus, Appendix, No. 32.) Side by side they will go down to posterity in the beautiful page of the historian, though the characters of the two in­dividuals have been inscribed with pens as different from each other as the golden and iron pen which Poalo Giovio tells us he employed in his compositions.

19. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 158.


1. Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 4, cap. 8.

2. Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. I. p. 271.--Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. II. p. 58.

3. Herrera, Hist. General, ubi supra.

4. Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. II. p. 72.

5. Rel. d' un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 309.

6. Ibid., ubi supra.

7. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 177.

8. Rel. Quarta de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 376, nota.

9. For an account of this singular enterprise, see Ante, p. 285.

10. Cortés, reckoning only the Indian population, says treinta mil vecinos. (Rel. Quarta, ap. Loren­zana, p. 375.) Gomara, speaking of Mexico some years later, estimates the number of Span­ish householders as in the text. Crónica, cap. 162.

11. Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 3, cap. 7.
      Yet this is scarcely stronger language than that of the Anonymous Conqueror; "Così ben ordinato et di si belle piazze et strade, quanto d' altre città che siano al mondo." Rel. d' un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 309.

12. "Y tengo por cierto, que aquel Pueblo ha de ser, despues de esta Ciudad, el mejor que obiere en esta Nueva España." (Rel. Quarto, ap. Lorenzana, p. 382.) The archbishop confounds this town with the modern Vera Cruz. But the general's description of the port refutes this sup­position, and confirms our confidence in Clavigero's statement, that the present city was founded by the Conde de Monterey, at the time mentioned in the text. See p. 191, note.

13. Ordenanzas Municipales, Tenochtitlan, Marzo, 1524, MS.
      The Ordinances made by Cortés, for the government of the country during his viceroy­alty, are still preserved in Mexico; and the copy in my possession was transmitted to me from that capital. They give ample evidence of the wise and penetrating spirit which embraced every object worthy of the attention of an enlightened ruler; and I will quote, in the original, the singular provisions mentioned in the text.
      "Item. Por que mas se manifieste la voluntad que los pobladores de estas partes tienen de residir y permanecer en ellas, mando que todas las personas que tuvieren Indios, que fueren casados en Castilla ó en otras partes, que traigan sus mugeres dentro de un año y medio primero siguientes de como estas ordenanzas fueren pregonadas, so pena de perder los In­dios, y todo lo con ellos adquirido é grangeado; y por que muchas personas podrian poner por achaque aunque tuviesen aparejo de decir que no tienen dineros para enviar por ellas, por hende las tales personas que tuvieran esta necesidad parescan ante el Ro. Pe. Fray Juan de Teto y ante Alonso de Estrada, tesorero de su Magestad, á les informar de su necesidad, para que ellos la comuniquen á mí, y su necesidad se remedie; y si algunas personas hay que casa­dos y no tienen sus mugeres en esta tierra, y quisieran traerlas, sepan que trayéndolas serán ayudadas así mismo para las traer dando fianzas.
      "Item. Por quanto en esta tierra hay muchas personas que tienen Indios de encomienda y no son casados, por hende por que conviene así para la salud de sus conciencias de los tales por estar en buen estado, como por la poblacion é noblecimiento de sus tierras, mando que las tales personas se casen, traigan y tengan sus mugeres en esta tierra dentro de un año y medio, des pues que fueren pregonadas estas dichas Ordenanzas, é que no haciendo lo por el mismo caso sean privados y pierdan los tales Indios que así tienen."

14. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 160.

15. Ante, p. 134.

16. Of asthma, according to Bernal Diaz; (Hist. de la Conquista, ubi supra;) but her death seems to have been too sudden to be attributed to that disease. I shall return to the subject here­after.

17. Rel. Terc., ap. Lorenzana, pp. 319, 320.

18. Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 5, cap. 1.

19. Ibid., dec. 4, lib. 6, cap. 5.--Ordenanzas, MS.
      The ordinances prescribe the service of the Indians, the hours they may be employed, their food, compensation, and the like. They require the encomendero to provide them with suitable means of religious instruction and places of worship.--But what avail good laws, which, in their very nature, imply the toleration of a great abuse?

20. The whole population of New Spain, in 1810, is estimated by Don Francisco Navarro y No­riega at about 6,000,000; of which more than half were pure Indians. The author had the best means for arriving at a correct result. See Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. I. pp. 318, 319, note.

21. Rel. Quarta, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 391-394.
      The petition of the Conquerors was acceded to by government, which further prohibited "attorneys and men learned in the law from setting foot in the country, on the ground that experience had shown, they would be sure by their evil practices to disturb the peace of the community." (Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 5, cap. 2.) These enactments are but an indifferent tribute to the character of the two professions in Castile.

22. Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 1, cap. 1.--Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala. MS.

23. "Cuyo hecho del rotísimo y humilde recebimiento fué uno de los heroicos hechos que este Capitan hizo, porque fué documento para que con mayor fervor los naturales desta tierra viniesen á la conversion de nuestra fee." (Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.--See also Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 171.) Archbishop Lorenzana falls nothing short of the Tlas­calan historian in his admiration of the religious zeal of the great Conquistador, which, he as­sures us, "entirely overwhelms him, as savoring so much more of the apostolic missionary than of the soldier!" Lorenzana, p. 393, nota.

24. Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 3, cap. 1.
      Father Sahagun, who has done better service in this way than any other of his order, describes with simple brevity the rapid process of demolition. "We took the children of the caciques," he says, "into our schools, where we taught them to read, write, and to chant. The children of the poorer natives were brought together in the court-yard, and instructed there in the Christian faith. After our teaching, one or two brethren took the pupils to some neigh­boring teocalli, and, by working at it for a few days, they levelled it to the ground. In this way they demolished, in a short time, all the Aztec temples, great and small, so that not a vestige of them remained." (Hist. de Nueva España, tom. III. p. 77.) This passage helps to explain why so few architectural relics of the Indian era still survive in Mexico.

25. "De manera que á mi juicio y verdaderamente serán bautizados en este tiempo que digo, que serán quince años, mas de nueve millones de ánimas de Indios." Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 2, cap. 3.

26. Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. I. p. 43.--Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. III. pp. 115, 145.--Esposicion de Don Lúcas Alaman, (México, 1828,) p. 59.

27. "Páraque cada Navío traiga cierta cantidad de Plantas, y que no pueda salir sin ellas, porque será mucha causa para la Poblacion, y perpetuacion de ella." Rel. Quarta de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 397.

28. "Item, que cualquier vesino que tubiere Indios de repartimiento sea obligado á poner en ellos en cada un año con cada cien Indios de los que tuvieren de repartimiento mil sarmientos, encogiendo la mejor que pudiese hallar." Ordenanzas Municipales, año de 1524, MS.

29. Ordenanzas Municipales, año de 1524, MS.

30. "Tengo de ser causa, que Vuestra Cesarea Magestad sea en estas partes Señor de mas Reynos, y Señoríos que los que hasta hoy en nuestra Nacion se tiene noticia." Rel. Quarta de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 374.

31. "Much as I esteem Hernando Cortés," exclaims Oviedo, "for the greatest captain and most practised in military matters of any we have known, I think such an opinion shows he was no great cosmographer." (Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 41.) Oviedo had lived to see its fal­lacy.

32. Martyr, Opus Epist., ep. 811.

33. Rel. Quarta, ap. Lorenzana, p. 385.

34. The illusion at home was kept up, in some measure, by the dazzling display of gold and jewels remitted from time to time, wrought into fanciful and often fantastic forms. One of the articles sent home by Cortés was a piece of ordnance, made of gold and silver, of very fine workmanship, the metal of which alone cost 25,500 pesos de oro. Oviedo, who saw it in the palace, speaks with admiration of this magnificent toy. Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 41.

35. Among these may be particularly mentioned the Letters of Alvarado and Diego de Godoy, transcribed by Oviedo in his Hist. de las Ind., MS., (lib. 33, cap. 42-44,) and translated by Ra­musio, for his rich collection, Viaggi, tom. III.

36. See, among others, his orders to his kinsman, Francis Cortés,--"Instruccion Civil y Militar por la Expedicion de la Costa de Colima." The paper is dated in 1524, and forms part of the Muñoz collection of MSS.

37. Rel. Quarta, ap. Lorenzana, p. 371.
      "Well may we wonder," exclaims his archiepiscopal editor, "that Cortés and his soldiers could have overrun and subdued, in so short a time, countries, many of them so rough and difficult of access, that, even at the present day, we can hardly penetrate them!" Ibid., nota.


1. Carta Quinta de Cortés, MS.

2. Carta de Albornos, MS., Mexico, Dec. 15, 1525.--Carta Quinta de Cortés, MS.
      The authorities do not precisely agree as to the numbers, which were changing, proba­bly, with every step of their march across the table-land.

3. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 174.

4. Among these was Captain Diaz, who, however, left the pleasant farm, which he occupied in the province of Coatzacualco, with a very ill grace, to accompany the expedition. "But Cortés commanded it, and we dared not say no," says the veteran. Ibid., cap. 175.

5. This celebrated Letter, which has never been published, is usually designated as the Carta Quinta, or "Fifth Letter," of Cortés. It is nearly as long as the longest of the printed letters of the Conqueror, is written in the same clear, simple, businesslike manner, and is as full of in­terest as any of the preceding. It gives a minute account of the expedition to Honduras, to­gether with events that occurred in the year following. It bears no date, but was probably written in that year from Mexico. The original manuscript is in the Imperial Library at Vi­enna, which, as the German sceptre was swayed at that time by the same hand which held the Castilian, contains many documents of value for the illustration of Spanish history.

6. "Es tierra mui baja y de muchas sienegas, tanto que en tiempo de invierno no se puede andar, ni se sirve sino en canoas, y con pasarla yo en tiempo de seca, desde la entrada hasta la salida de ella, que puede aver veinti leguas, se hiziéron mas de cinquenta puentes, que sin se hazer, fuera imposible pasar." Carta Quinta de Cortés, MS.

7. I have examined some of the most ancient maps of the country, by Spanish, French, and Dutch cosmographers, in order to determine the route of Cortés. An inestimable collection of these maps, made by the learned German, Ebeling, is to be found in the library of Harvard University. I can detect on them only four or five of the places indicated by the general. They are the places mentioned in the text, and, though few, may serve to show the general direction of the march of the army.

8. "Donde se ponian los pies en el suelo açia arriba la claridad del cielo no se veia, tanta era la espesura y alteza de los árboles, que aunque se subian en algunos, no podian descubrir un tiro de piedra." Carta Quinta de Cortés, MS.

9. "Porque lleva mas que mil bigas, que la menor es casi tan gorda como un cuerpo de un hom­bre, y de nueve y diez brazas en largo." Carta Quinta de Cortés, MS.

10. "Pasada toda la gente y cavallos de la otra parte del alcon dímos luego en una gran çienega, que durava bien tres tiros de ballesta, la cosa mas espantosa que jamas las gentes viéron, donde todos los cavallos desençillados se sumiéron hasta las orejas sin parecerse otra cosa, y querer forçejar á salir, sumianse mas, de manera que allí perdímos toda la esperanza de poder escapar cavallos ningunos, pero todavía comenzámos á trabajar y componerles hañes de yerba y ramas grandes de bajo, sobre que se sostuviesen y no se sumiesen, remediávanse algo, y an­dando trabajando y yendo y viniendo de la una parte á la otra, abrióse por medio de un calejon de agua y çieno, que los cavallos comenzáron algo á nadar, y con esto plugo á nuestro Señor que saliéron todos sin peligro ninguno." Carta Quinta de Cortés, MS.

11. Carta Quinta de Cortés, MS.

12. Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 177.

13. Ibid., ubi supra.

14. According to Diaz, both Guatemozin and the prince of Tacuba had embraced the religion of their conquerors, and were confessed by a Franciscan friar before their execution. We are fur­ther assured by the same authority, that "they were, for Indians, very good Christians, and believed well and truly." (Ibid., loc. cit.) One is reminded of the last hours of Caupolican, con­verted to Christianity by the same men who tied him to the stake. See the scene, painted in the frightful coloring of a master hand, in the Araucana, Canto 34.

15. Guatemozin's beautiful wife, the princess Tecuichpo, the daughter of Montezuma, lived long enough after his death to give her hand to three Castilians, all of noble descent. (See Ante, p. 438, 439, note 36.) She is described as having been as well instructed in the Catholic faith as any woman in Castile, as most gracious and winning in her deportment, and as having con­tributed greatly, by her example, and the deference with which she inspired the Aztecs, to the tranquillity of the conquered country.--This pleasing portrait, it may be well enough to mention, is by the hand of her husband, Don Thoan Cano.

16. The Indian chroniclers regard the pretended conspiracy of Guatemozin as an invention of Cortés. The informer himself, when afterwards put to the torture by the cacique of Tezcuco, declared that, he had made no revelation of this nature to the Spanish commander. Ixtlilxochitl vouches for the truth of this story. (Venida de los Esp., pp. 83-93.) But who will vouch for Ixtlilxochitl?

17. "Y fué esta muerte que les diéron muy injustamente dada, y pareció mal á todos los que ibamos aquella jornada." Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 177.

18. "Guatemozin, Señor que fué de esta Ciudad de Temixtitan, á quien yo despues que la gané he tenido siempre preso, teniéndole por hombre bullicioso, y le llevé conmigo." Carta Quinta, MS.

19. "Y le hacian aquella mesma reverencia, i ceremonias, que á Motecçuma, i creo que por eso le llevaba siempre consigo por la Ciudad á Caballo, si cavalgaba, i sino á pie como él iba." Crónica, cap. 170.

20. "I Cortés debiera guardarlo vivo, como Oro en paño, que era el triumpho, i gloria de sus Vic­torias." Crónica, cap. 170.

21. Hist. de la Conquista, ubi supra.

22. Ibid., cap. 178.

23. Diaz, who was present, attests the truth of this account by the most solemn adjuration. "Y todo esto que digo, se lo oí muy certificadamente y se lo juro amen." Ibid., cap. 37.

24. Life in Mexico, let. 8.
      The fair author does not pretend to have been favored with a sight of the appari­tion.

25. Villagutierre says, that the Iztacs, by which name the inhabitants of these islands were called, did not destroy their idols while the Spaniards remained there. (Historia de la Con­quista de la Provincia de el Itza, (Madrid, 1701,) pp. 49, 50.) The historian is wrong, since Cortés expressly asserts, that the images were broken and burnt in his presence. Carta Quinta, MS.

26. The fact is recorded by Villagutierre, Conquista de el Itza, pp. 100-102, and Cojullado, Hist. de Yucathan, lib. 1, cap. 16.

27. "Y querer dezir la aspereza y fragosidad de este Puerto y sierras, ni quien lo dixese lo sabria significar, ni quien lo oyese podria entender, sino que sepa V. M. que en ocho leguas que duró hasta este puerto estuvímos en las andar doze dias, digo los postreros en llegar al cabo de él, en que muriéron sesenta y ocho cavallos despeñados y desxaretados, y todos los demas viniéron heridos y tan lastimados que no pensámos aprovecharnos de ninguno." Carta Quinta de Cortés, MS.

28. "If any unhappy wretch had become giddy in this transit," says Cortés, "he must inevitably have been precipitated into the gulf and perished. There were upwards of twenty of these frightful passes." Carta Quinta, MS.

29. "Espantáronse en gran manera, y como supiéron que era Cortés q tan nombrado era en todas estas partes de las Indias, y en Castilla, no sabia que se hazer de placer." Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 179.

30. Ibid., cap. 179, et seq.--Herrera, Hist. Gen., dec. 3, lib. 8, cap. 3, 4.--Carta Quinta de Cortés, MS.


1. Carta Quinta de Cortés, MS.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 185.--Relacion del Tesorero Strada, MS., México, 1526.

2. Carta Quinta de Cortés, MS.

3. Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 184, et seq.--Carta Quinta de Cortés, MS.

4. Carta Quinta de Cortés, MS.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 189, 190--Carta de Cortés al Emperador, MS., México, Set. 11, 1526.

5. Carta de Ocaño, MS., Agosto 31, 1526.--Carta Quinta de Cortés, MS.

6. "What Cortés suffered," says Dr. Robertson, "on this march, a distance, according to Gomara, of 3000 miles,"--(the distance must be greatly exaggerated,)--"from famine, from the hos­tility of the natives, from the climate, and from hardships of every species, has nothing in his­tory parallel to it, but what occurs in the adventures of the other discoverers and conquerors of the New World. Cortés was employed in this dreadful service above two years; and, though it was not distinguished by any splendid event, he exhibited, during the course of it, greater personal courage, more fortitude of mind, more perseverance and patience, than in any other period or scene in his life." (Hist. of America, Note 96.) The historian's remarks are just; as the passages, which I have borrowed from the extraordinary record of the Conqueror, may show. Those, who are desirous of seeing something of the narrative told in his own way, will find a few pages of it translated in the Appendix, Part 2, No. 14.

7. "Y esto yo lo oí dezir á los del Real Consejo de Indias, estando presente el señor Obispo Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, que se descuidó mucho Cortés en ello, y se lo tuviéron á floxedad." Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 190.

8. Memorial de Luis Cardenas, MS.--Carta de Diego de Ocaña, MS.--Herrera, Hist. Gen., dec. 3, lib. 8, cap. 14, 15.

9. Carta del Emperador, MS., Toledo, Nov. 4, 1525.

10. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 192.--Carta de Cortés al Emp., MS., México, Set. 11, 1526.

11. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 194.--Carta de Cortés al Emp., MS., Set. 11, 1526.

12. Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 4, lib. 2, cap. 1; and lib. 3, cap. 8.

13. "Todas estas entradas están ahora para partir casi á una, plega á Dios de los guiar como él se sirva, que yo aunque V. M. mas me mande desfavoreçer no tengo de dejar de servir, que no es posible, que por tiempo V. M. no conosca mis servicios, y ya que esto no sea, yo me satisfago con hazer lo que debo, y con saber que á todo el mundo tengo satisfecho, y les son notorios mis servicios y ealdad, con que los hago, y no quiero otro mayorasgo sino este." Carta Quinta, MS.

14. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 194.--Carta de Ocaña, MS., Agosto 31, 1526.

15. The Pope, who was of the joyous Medici family, Clement VII., and the cardinals, were greatly delighted with the feats of the Indian jugglers, according to Diaz; and his Holiness, who, it may be added, received at the same time from Cortés a substantial donative of gold and jew­els, publicly testified, by prayers and solemn processions, his great sense of the services ren­dered to Christianity by the Conquerors of Mexico, and generously requited them by bulls, granting plenary absolution from their sins. Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 195.

16. "Y en fin venia como gran Señor." Hist. Gen., dec. 4, lib. 3, cap. 8.

17. Herrera, Hist. Gen., dec. 4, lib. 4, cap. 1.--Cavo, Los Tres Siglos de Méx., tom. I. p. 78.

18. Pizarro y Orellana, Varones Ilustres, p. 121.

19. See the conclusion of Rogers' Voyage of Columbus.

20. Bernal Diaz says, that Sandoval was twenty-two years old, when he first came to New Spain in 1519.--Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 205.

21. Ibid., cap. 195.

22. "Vino de las Indias despues de la conquista de México, con tanto acompañamiento y magestad, que mas parecia de Príncipe, ó señor poderosíssimo, que de Capitan y vasallo de algun Rey ó Emperador." Lanuza, Historias Ecclesiásticas y Seculares de Aragon (Zaragoza, 1622,) lib. 3, cap. 14.

23. Gomara, Crónica, cap. 183.--Herrera, Hist. Gen., dec. 4, lib. 4, cap. 1.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 195.

24. Título de Marques, MS., Barcelona, 6 de Julio, 1529.

25. Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. II. p. 30, note.
      According to Lanuza, he was offered by the emperor the Order of St. Jago, but declined it, because no encomienda was attached to it. (Hist. de Aragon, tom. I. lib. 3, cap. 14.) But Caro de Torres, in his History of the Military Orders of Castile, enumerates Cortés among the members of the Compostellan fraternity. Hist. de las Ord. Militares, (Madrid, 1629,) fol. 103, et seq.

26. Merced de Tierras Immediatas á México, MS., Barcelona, 23 de Julio, 1529.--Merced de los Vasallos, MS., Barcelona, 6 de Julio, 1529.

27. É nos habemos recibido y tenemos de vos por bien servido en ello, y acatando los grandes provechos que de vuestros servicios han redundado, ansí para el servicio de Nuestro Señor y aumento de su santa fe católica, y en las dichas tierras que estaban sin conocimiento ni fe se han plantado, como el acrecentamiento que dello ha redundado á nuestra corona real destos reynos, y los trabajos que en ello habeis pasado, y la fidelidad y obediencia con que siempre nos habeis servido como bueno é fiel servidor y vasallo nuestro, de que somos ciertos y con­fiados." Merced de los Vasallos, MS.

28. "The benignant reception which I experienced, on my return, from your Majesty," says Cortés, "your kind expressions and generous treatment, make me not only forget all my toils and sufferings, but even cause me regret that I have not been called to endure more in your service." (Carta de Cortés al Lic. Nuñez, MS., 1535.) This memorial, addressed to his agent in Castile, was designed for the emperor.

29. Título de Capitan General de la Nueva España y Costa del Sur, MS., Barcelona, 6 de Julio, 1529.

30. Asiento y Capitulacion que hizo con el Emperador Don H. Cortés, MS., Madrid, 27 de Oct., 1529.

31. "Que, segun se dezia, excedia en las hazañas á Alexandro Magno, y en las riquezas á Crasso." (Lanuza, Hist. de Aragon, lib. 3, cap. 14.) The rents of the marquess of the Valley, according to L. Marineo Siculo, who lived at the court at this time, were about 60,000 ducats a year. Cosas Memorables de España, (Alcalá de Henares, 1539,) fol. 24.

32. Doña Juana was of the house of Arellano, and of the royal lineage of Navarre. Her father was not a very wealthy noble. L. Marineo Siculo, Cosas Mem., fol. 24, 25.

33. One of these precious stones was as valuable as Shylock's turquoise. Some Genoese mer­chants in Seville offered Cortés, according to Gomara, 40,000 ducats for it. The same author gives a more particular account of the jewels, which may interest some readers. It shows the ingenuity of the artist, who, without steel, could so nicely cut so hard a material. One emer­ald was in the form of a rose; the second in that of a horn; a third, like a fish, with eyes of gold; the fourth was like a little bell, with a fine pearl for the tongue, and on the rim was this inscription, in Spanish, Blessed is he who created thee. The fifth, which was the most valuable, was a small cup with a foot of gold, and with four little chains, of the same metal, attached to a large pearl as a button. The edge of the cup was of gold, on which was engraven this Latin sentence, Inter natos mulierum non surrexit major. Gomara, Crónica, cap. 184.


1. Carta de Cortés al Emperador, MS., Tezcuco, 10 de Oct., 1530.

2. Doña Catalina's death happened so opportunely for the rising fortunes of Cortés, that this charge of murder by her husband has found more credit with the vulgar than the other ac­cusations brought against him. Cortés, from whatever reason, perhaps from the conviction that the charge was too monstrous to obtain credit, never condescended to vindicate his in­nocence. But, in addition to the arguments mentioned in the text for discrediting the accu­sation generally, we should consider, that this particular charge attracted so little attention in Castile, where he had abundance of enemies, that he found no difficulty, on his return there, seven years afterwards, in forming an alliance with one of the noblest houses in the kingdom; that no writer of that day, (except Bernal Diaz, who treats it as a base calumny,) not even Las Casas, the stern accuser of the Conquerors, intimates a suspicion of his guilt; and that, lastly, no allusion whatever is made to it in the suit, instituted, some years after her death, by the relatives of Doña Catalina, for the recovery of property from Cortés, pretended to have been derived through her marriage with him,--a suit conducted with acrimony, and protracted for several years. I have not seen the documents connected with this suit, which are still pre­served in the archives of the house of Cortés, but the fact has been communicated to me by a distinguished Mexican, who has carefully examined them, and I cannot but regard it as of itself conclusive, that the family, at least, of Doña Catalina, did not attach credit to the accu­sation.
      Yet so much credit has been given to this in Mexico, where the memory of the old Spaniards is not held in especial favor, at the present day, that it has formed the subject of an elaborate discussion in the public periodicals of that city.

3. This remarkable paper, forming part of the valuable collection of Don Vargas Ponçe, is without date. It was doubtless prepared in 1529, during the visit of Cortés to Castile. The following Title is prefixed to it.
                        "Pesquisa secreta.
      Relacion de los cargos que resultan de la pesquisa secreta contra Don Hernando Cort&$233;s, de los quales no se le dió copia ni translado á la parte del dicho Don Hernando, así por ser los dichos cargos de la calidad que son, como por estar la persona del dicho Don Hernando ausente como está. Los quales you Gregorio de Saldaña, escribano de S. M. y escribano de la dicha Residencia, saqué de la dicha pesquisa secreta por mandado de los Señores, Presidente y Oidores de la Audiencia y Chancillería Real que por mandado de S. M. en esta Nueva España reside. Los quales dichos Señores, Presidente y Oidores, envian á S. M. para que los mande ver, y vistos mande proveer lo que á su servicio convenga." MS.

4. MS., Tordelaguna, 22 de Marzo, 1530.

5. The principal grievance alleged was, that slaves, many of them held temporarily by their masters, according to the old Aztec usage, were comprehended in the census. The complaint forms part of a catalogue of grievances embodied by Cortés in a memorial to the emperor. It is a clear and business-like paper. Carta de Cortés á Nuñez, MS.

6. Ibid., MS.

7. The palace has crumbled into ruins, and the spot is now only remarkable for its natural beauty and its historic associations. "It was the capital," says Madame de Calderon, "of the Tlahuica nation, and, after the Conquest, Cortés built here a splendid palace, a church, and a convent for Franciscans, believing that the had laid the foundation of a great city. . . . . . It is, however, a place of little importance, though so favored by nature; and the Conqueror's palace is a half-ruined barrack, though a most picturesque object, standing on a hill, behind which starts up the great white volcano. There are some good houses, and the remains of the church which Cortés built, celebrated for its bold arch." Life in Mexico, vol. II. let. 31.

8. These particulars, respecting the agricultural economy of Cortés, I have derived in part, from a very able argument, prepared in January, 1828, for the Mexican Chamber of Deputies, by Don Lúcas Alaman, in defence of the territorial rights possessed at this day by the Conqueror's descendant, the duke of Monteleone.

9. Navarrete, Coleccion de los Viages y descubrimientos, (Madrid, 1837,) tom. V., Viages al Maluco.

10. Instruccion que dió Marques del Valle á Juan de Avellaneda, &c., MS.

11. Provision sobre los Descubrimientos del Sur, MS., Setiembre, 1534.

12. The river Huasacualco furnished great facilities for transporting, across the isthmus, from Vera Cruz, materials to build vessels on the Pacific. Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. IV. p. 50.

13. Instruccion del Marques del Valle, MS.
      The most particular and authentic account of Ulloa's cruise will be found in Ramusio. (tom. III. pp. 340-354.) It is by one of the officers of the squadron.--My limits will not allow me to give the details of the voyages made by Cortés, which, although not without interest, were attended with no permanent consequences. A good summary of his expeditions in the Gulf has been given by Navarete in the Introduction to his Relacion del Viage hecho por las Goletas Sutil y Mexicana, (Madrid, 1802,) pp. vi.-xxvi.; and the English reader will find a brief account of them in Greenhow's valuable Memoir on the Northwest Coast of North America, (Washington, 1840) pp. 22-27.

14. Memorial al Rey del Marques del Valle, MS., 25 de Junio, 1540.

15. Provision sobre los Descubrimientos del Sur, MS.

16. See the map prepared by the pilot Domingo del Castillo, in 1541, ap. Lorenzana, p. 328.

17. In the collection of Vargas Ponçe is a petition of Cortés, setting forth his grievances, and demanding an investigation of the vice-king's conduct. It is without date. Peticion contra Don Antonio de Mendoza Virrey, pediendo residencia contra él, MS.

18. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 200.

19. Gomara, Crónica, cap. 237.

20. Sandoval, Hist. de Cárlos V., lib. 12, cap. 25.--Ferreras, (trad. d'Hermilly,) Hist. d'Espagne, tom. IX. p. 231.

21. Voltaire tells us, that, one day, Cortés, unable to obtain an audience of the emperor, pushed through the press surrounding the royal carriage, and mounted the steps; and, when Charles inquired "who that man was," he replied, "One who has given you more kingdoms than you had towns before." (Essai sur les Mœurs, chap. 147.) For this most improbable anecdote I have found no authority whatever. It served, however, very well to point a moral,--the main thing with the philosopher of Ferney.

22. The Letter is dated February 3, 1544, Valladolid.

23. "Item. Porque acerca de los esclavos naturales de la dicha Nueva España, así de guerra como de rescate, ha habido y hay muchas dudas y opiniones sobre si se han podido tener con buena conciencia ó no, y hasta ahora no está determinado: Mando que todo aquello que generalmente se averiguare, que en este caso se debe hacer para descargo de las conciencias en lo que toca á estos esclavos de la dicha Nueva Españ, que se haya y cumpla entodos los que yo tengo, é encargo. Y mando á D. Martin mi hijo subcesor, y á los que despues dél subcedieren en mi Estado, que para averiguar esto hagan todas las diligencias que combengan al descargo de mi conciencia y suyas." Testamento de Hernan Cortés, MS.

24. This is the argument controverted by Las Casas in his elaborate Memorial addressed to the government, in 1542, on the best method of arresting the destruction of the Aborigines.

25. This interesting document is in the Royal Archives of Seville; and a copy of it forms part of the valuable collection of Don Vargas Ponçe.

26. Zuñiga, Annales de Sevilla, p. 504.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 237.
      In his last letter to the emperor, dated in February, 1544, he speaks of himself as being "sixty years of age." But he probably did not mean to be exact to a year. Gomara's statement, that he was born in the year 1485, (Crónica, cap. 1,) was confirmed by Diaz, who tells us, the Cortés used to say, that, when he first came over to Mexico, in 1519, he was thirty-four years old. (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 205.) This would coincide with the age mentioned in the text.

27. Noticia del Archivero de la Santa Eclesia de Sevilla, MS.

28. The full particulars of the ceremony described in the text may be found in a copy of the original document, existing in the Archives of the Hospital of Jesus, in Mexico.

29. Essai Politique, tom. II. p. 60.

30. Don Martin Cortéz, second marquess of the Valley, was accused, like his father, of an attempt to establish an independent sovereignty in New Spain. His natural brothers, Don Martin and Don Luis, were involved in the same accusation with himself, and the former--as I have elsewhere remarked--was in consequence subjected to the torture. Several others of his friends, on charge of abetting his treasonable designs, suffered death. The marquess was obliged to remove with his family to Spain, where the investigation was conducted; and his large estates in Mexico were sequestered until the termination of the process, a period of seven years, from 1567 to 1574, when he was declared innocent. But his property suffered irreparable injury, under the wretched administration of the royal officers, during the term of sequestration.

31. "Yo me ofresco á descubrir por aqué to da la espeçería, y otras Islas si huviere cerca de Moluco, ó Melaca, y la China, y aun de dar tal órden que V. M. no aiga la espeçería por via de rescate, como la ha el Rey de Portugal, sino que la tenga por cosa propria, y los naturales de aquellas Islas le reconoscan y sirvan como á su Rey y señor natural, porque yo me ofresco con el dicho additamento de embiar á ellas tal armada, ó ir yo con mi persona por manera que la sojusge y pueble." Carta Quinta de Cortés, MS.

32. The comparison to Hannibal is better founded than the old soldier probably imagined. Livy's description of the Carthaginian warrior has a marvellous application to Cortés,--better, perhaps, than that of the imaginary personage quoted a few lines below in the text. "Plurimum audaciæ ad pericula capessenda, plurimum consilii inter ipsa pericula erat: nullo labore aut corpus fatigari, aut animus vinci poterat. Caloris ac frigoris patientia par: cibi potionisque desiderio naturali, non voluptate, modus finitus: vigiliarum somnique nec die, nec nocte discriminata tempora. Id, quod gerendis rebus superesset, quieti datum; ea neque molli strato, neque silentio arcessita. Multi sæpe militari sagulo opertum, humi jacentem, inter custodias stationesque militum, conspexerunt. Vestitus nihil inter æquales excellens; arma atque equi conspiciebantur. Equitum peditumque idem longe primus erat; princeps in prœlio excedebat." (Hist., lib. xxi. sec. 5.) The reader, who reflects on the fate of Guatemozin, may possibly think that the extract should have embraced the "perfidia plus quám Punica," in the succeeding sentence.

33. Testamento de Hernan Cortés, MS.

34. Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. II. p. 267.

35. An extraordinary anecdote is related by Cavo, of this bigotry (shall we call it policy?) of Cortés. "In Mexico," says the historian, "it is commonly reported, that, after the Conquest, he commanded, that on Sundays and holidays all should attend, under pain of a certain number of stripes, to the expounding of the Scriptures. The general was himself guilty of an omission, on one occasion, and, after having listened to teh admonition of the priest, submitted, with edifying humility, to be chastised by him, to the unspeakable amazement of the Indians!" Hist de los Tres Siglos, tom. I. p. 151.

36. "Al Rey infinitas tierras,
      Y á Dios infinitas almas,"
says Lope de Vega, commemorating in this couplet the double glory of Cortés. It is the light in which the Conquest was viewed by every devout Spaniard of the sixteenth century.

37. Ante, p. 142.

38. So Gomara: "Vestia mas pulido que rico. Era hombre limpísimo." Crónica, cap. 238.

39. "Fué mui gran comedor, i templado en el beber, teniendo abundancia. Sufria mucho la hambre con necesidad." Ibid., ubi supra.

40. He dispensed a thousand ducats every year in his ordinary charities, according to Gomara. "Grandísimo limosnero; daba cada un año mil ducados de limosna ordinaria." Ibid., ubi supra.

41. Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 203.