Open main menu

Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/108

This page needs to be proofread.

86 LETTERS OF CORTES. was the same nobleman who, as I have mentioned, came to meet me in a litter ; and the other was the brother of Muteczuma, lord of the city of Iztapalapa, which I had left the same day ; all three were dressed in the same manner, except that Muteczuma wore shoes, while the others were without them. He was supported on the arms of both, and as we approached, I alighted and advanced alone to salute him ; but the two attendant lords stopped me to prevent my touching him, and they and he both performed the ceremony of kissing the ground ; after which he directed his brother who accom- panied him to remain with me ; the latter accordingly took me by the arm, while Muteczuma, with his other attendant, walked a short distance in front of me, and after he had spoken to me, all the other nobles also came up to address me, and then went away in two proces- sions with great regularity, one after the other, and in this manner returned to the city. At the time I ad- vanced to speak to Muteczuma, I took off from myself a collar of pearls and glass diamonds,* and put it around his neck. After having proceeded along the street, one of his servants came bringing two collars formed of shell fish, enclosed in a roll of cloth, which were made from the shells of colored prawns or periwinkles, held by them in high estimation ; and from each collar depended eight golden prawns, finished in a very perfect manner, about a foot and a half in length.t When these were brought, Muteczuma turned towards me and put them round my neck ; he then returned along the street in the

  • Pearls and glass crystals, of great estimation with the Indians, who had

never seen glass or crystal. — L. i They are still called prawns (camazones,) corresponding in some degree to strings pf cofal. — L.