Page:Guatimala or the United Provinces of Central America in 1827-8.pdf/266

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


anxious to know how far the degree of advancement to which they had arrived, was local or universal. In point of civilization the Indians of Guatimala do not seem to have been far removed from their northern or more southern neighbours

It appears that while Cortes was pursuing his conquests in Mexico, civil war was raging in Guatimala between two of the most powerful nations of the country, the Kachiquels, and the Zutugils. The fame of his exploits having spread far and wide, the king of the Kachiquels sent deputies to him, asking his assistance. and offering submission to Spain. Cortes immediately despatched Pedro Alvarado, with three hundred Spaniards, and a large body of Mexican auxiliaries to subdue the kingdom, and render it tributary to the Spanish crown. He arrived in the beginning of the year 1524, and immediately commenced an attack upon the Quichés, the most numerous and warlike of the thirty tribes, which at this time inhabited the kingdom. These different nations like their Mexican countrymen, were too jealous of each other, to unite against the common enemy, and one by one fell under the “heroic Spaniards unrelenting sword.” Notwithstanding this disunion, the resistance made in some parts was very formidable, and if the accounts of the numbers engaged be not grossly exaggerated, Alvarado and his troops performed