354 LETTERS OF CORTES. in no little danger. The Indians considered it a very great undertaking to go where the Spaniards had been. I have informed your Majesty in my letter, that the natives of these parts possessed more capacity than those of the other islands,* appearing to us to have as much understanding and intelligence as persons not above me- diocrity ; and for this reason it seemed to me a serious matter to compel them to serve the Spaniards in the sapie manner as the natives of those islands, although with- out their services the conquerors and settlers here would not be able to sustain life. In order to impose no con- straint on the Indians, and that the Spaniards may have some compensation for being deprived of their services, it seems to me that your Majesty should command the rents that pertain to jour Majesty to be applied in part to their expenses and support ; and on this head such provision should be made as would best subserve the service, as I shall more fully inform your Majesty. See- ing the many and constant expenses of your Majesty up to this time, and that we ought to increase the rents by every means before we add to them ; and seeing also the great length of time that we have been engaged in these wars, and the wants and necessities to which we have all been exposed, and the delay that must arise be- fore the commands of your Majesty are known ; and above all, considering the great importunity of your Ma- jesty's officials and all the Spaniards, and the impossi- bility of excusing myself to them, I was almost compelled to place the caciques and natives of the country in the hands of the Spaniards, on account of the services they have rendered your Majesty here ; and in the mean time some other arrangement may be hereafter made, or
- " Las otras islas."