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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/431

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 409 deavored to confer on them honor and favor ; and they exerted themselves with such effect that there are at this time thirty thousand householders in the city, and as much order in their markets and places of business as was wont to prevail. I allowed them so many liberties and privi- leges, that every day accessions were made to the popu- lation ; for they lived very much as they pleased. Those who practised the mechanic arts, of whom there were great numbers, subsisted on the wages they obtained from the Spaniards ; such as carpenters, masons, stonecutters, silversmiths, &c. The merchants were in the secure possession of their goods, and succeeded in selling them ; some people obtained a livelihood as fishmongers, which is a great business in this city ; others cultivate the ground, many of whom have their gardens in which they raise all the garden-stuff of Spain, so far as they have been able to obtain the seeds. And I assure your im- perial Majesty that if they had the plants and seeds of Spain, and your Highness were pleased to order us to supply them, as in my former despatch I begged you to do, so fond are the natives of these parts of cultivating the earth and raising plants, that in a short time there would be a great abundance, from which I think no little advantage would result to the imperial crown of your Highness ; for it would be the cause of perpetuating your authority in this land, increasing the rents of your sacred Majesty, and rendering more extensive the dominions which your Highness in the name of God our Lord already possesses ; to effect which your Highness may be as- sured no exertions will be wanting on my part, but that I shall labor for it with all the strength and power that I can command. A^ soon as the city was taken, I immediately set to