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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/314

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292 LETTERS OF CORTES. added because I knew from the character of the men that they would face any difficulty in obedience to my orders, though the}'" knew it would cost them their lives. Having despatched these two servants of mine with this message, they proceeded to the camp and found there the alguazil mayor and Pedro de Alvarado, to whom they communicated the whole plan as concerted in our own camp. As they would have to act against one quarter only of the city, while I had many different points to assail, I desired them to send me seventy or eighty infantry, to add to the force with which I should enter the city on the following day ; these troops accor- dingly came in company with my tvi^o servants the same night, and lodged in our camp. The next day after mass,* in pursuance of the arrange- ments already mentioned, the seven brigantines with more than three thousand canoes of our allies left our encamp- ment ; and I with twenty-five horse and all the other force I had, including the seventy men from the division at Tacuba, took up the line of march and entered the city, where I distributed the troops in the following man- ner : there were three streets leading from where we entered to the market-place, called by the Indians Tian- guizco, and the whole square on which it is situated they call Tlaltelulco; one of these streets w^as the principal avenue to the market-place, which I ordered your Ma- jest}'"' s treasurer and auditor to take, with seventy men and more than fifteen or twenty thousand of our allies ; the rearguard consisting of seven or eight horse. I also

  • Archbishop Lorenzana, in his note on this passage, greatly extols the pious

fervor of Cortes, who, he says, " whether in the field or on the causeway, in the midst of the enemy or toiling by night or day," never omitted the celebration of the mass.