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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/432

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410 LETTERS OF CORTES. work to build a fortress in the water on one side of the ^ city, within which the brigantines might be secure, and from which the whole city could be attacked if necessary ; and that by means of it I might have the power to go out, or come in, as often as I wished ; it was accordingly built. Although I have seen some arsenals and fortres- ses, I have never seen any equal to this ; and many others who have inspected it say the same. It is constructed in the following manner : the part that is situated towards the lake consists of two towers of great strength, with their embrasures in the appropriate places ; one of these towers projects on one side beyond the curtain, and is filled with embrasures that sweep the curtain ; the other tower is situated in the same manner on the other side. Between the two towers rises the main building, within which the brigantines enter, having a door of exit and en- trance between the two towers towards the water ; and the whole main building is also provided with embrasures, and on its summit towards the city there is another very large tower, with many apartments above and below, from which the city can be attacked or defended. But as I shall send your Majesty a drawing of this structure, for the better understanding of it, I shall mention no more particulars, except that its character is such as to place in our power peace or war, which ever we may desire, the ships as well as artillery being contained within it. This being completed, it appeared to me that I could now safely settle our people in the city, as I was desirous of doing, and I therefore removed to it with my whole com- pany. The ground was distributed among the house- holders ; and to each of the conquerors I gave in the name of your royal Highness an additional lot, (which they had merited by their exertions,) besides whal^was