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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/370

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348 LETTERS OF CORTES. depart. At first I pretended not to know their design, but afterwards I apprehended some of those who had been concerned in it. In this way the coming of the said Tapia, and his want of knowledge respecting the country and its inhabitants, excited sedition, and his stay would have led to serious evils, if God had not interposed to prevent it. Much greater service would have been ren- dered to your Majesty,' if, while he was in the island of Espanola, instead of coming hither, he had first advised with your Majesty, after informing you of the situation of affairs in this country, which he had learned from the ships I had sent to that island for succors ; and he had also known well the discomfiture of the mischievous de- signs that prompted the expedition of Panfilo de Narvaez, which had been chiefly set on foot by the governors and royal council of your Majesty. But what is of greater moment, the said Tapia had been often advised by the admiral, judges, and other officials of your Majesty, re- siding in the island of Espanola, not to come into these parts until your Majesty had first been informed of all that had taken place here ; and on this account they had prohibited his coming under certain penalties ; which prohibition, however, by means in his power, looking more at his individual interest than the service of your Majesty, he had succeeded in getting removed. I have prepared this account of every thing in relation to this matter for your Majesty, because, when the said Tapia departed, neither the deputies nor myself drew up any statement, as he would not have been a suitable bearer of our letters ; and also that your Majesty may see and believe, that by not receiving the said Tapia, your Majesty was well served, as will be more fully established when- ever it shall be necessary.