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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/187

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 165 SO that they might be able to have support in walking, and the horses and Spanish soldiers be left free to fight the ene- my. And it seemed as if the Holy Ghost had enlightened my mind to adopt this precaution, from what occurred on the following day ;* since, having left our quarters in the morning, and advanced a league and a half on our way, we encountered so great a multitude of Indians that they completely covered the ground in front and rear, and on our flanks, not leaving a single spot unoc- cupied. They attacked us with such violence on all sides, that they became mingled with our own people, and it was difficult for us to distinguish them from our allies. We thought it certain that our last day was come, so great was the force of the enemy and so feeble our own, exhausted as we were by fatigue, and reduced by hunger, and nearly all of us suffering from wounds. But it pleased the Lord to show his great power and mercy towards us, so that we were enabled to humble the pride and arrogance of our enemies, great numbers of whom perished, including some of their most distinguished men and principal leaders ; for the multitude of them was so great that they were in each other's way, and unable either to fight or to fly. We were engaged during the greater part of the day, until it pleased God that one should fall who must have been a leading personage amongst them, as at his death the battle ceased. After this we were somewhat relieved, although still suffering from hunger, until we reached a small house on a plain, in which and the fields we lodged that night. From this

  • This is right, as God alone could have performed such miracles ; and this

ought to cover with confusion those who detract from the merit of the conquest. Cortes was another Moses when he said, " The Lord will fight for us ;" Exod. 14. — L. The reader will not, we hope, be displeased by these characteristic ex- pressions of the pious archbishop. 22