336 LETTERS OF CORTES. SO wonderful a character that language will not convey an idea of them, nor could a correct conception be formed of their rare excellence without seeing them. These, it appeared to me, ought not to be divided into fifths or distributed, but the whole presented to your Ma- jesty ; for this purpose I called together all the Spaniards and asked them to consent that the parts which might fall to them and to me should be offered to your Majesty ; and they were pleased and most willing to make such a disposition of the articles. So we sent the offering to your Majesty by the agents whom the council of this New Spain had deputed. As the city of Temixtitan was so distinguished and well known throughout this part of the world, it appears that it had come to the knowledge of the cacique of a very extensive province, seventy leagues from Temix- titan, called Mechuacan,* that we had destroyed and razed it to the ground ; and considering the greatness and strength of that city, it occurred to the cacique of this province, that since it had been unable to protect itself against us, nothing could withstand us. So from fear, or because it pleased him, he sent messengers to me, who on his behalf, by means of interpreters of their language, informed me that their lord had heard we were the subjects of a great prince, and that if I was willing, both he and his subjects would also like to become so, and to form a firm alliance with us. I answered them, that it was true we were all subjects of a great prince, who was your Majesty, and that we should make war on all who refused his allegiance ; and that their lord and them- selves had done well in this matter. As I a short time
- Now the department of JVIichoacan, west of the city of Mexico, bordering on
the Pacific Ocean.