424 LETTERS OF CORTES. was unable to credit it ; although, on the other hand, recollecting the artifices by means of which Diego Ve- lasquez has always sought to injure and embarrass me, even, when he could do nothing else, laboring to prevent people from coming into these parts — I was induced to believe it to be true. As he rules that island, he seizes upon those who go there from this country, oppresses them in various ways, and deprives them of much of what they carry with them ; after being subjected to a sort of trial, they do and say whatever he requires of them, in order to get out of his power. I shall inform myself of the truth of this matter, and if I find it to be as represented, I propose to send for Diego Velasquez, place him under arrest, and have him carried a prisoner to your Majesty 5 since by striking at this man, who is the root of all these evils, the branches will wither, and I shall be able with greater freedom to complete the ser- vices I have begun, or think of undertaking. Every time I have written to your sacred Majesty, I have mentioned to your Highness the disposition that exists in some of the natives of these parts to embrace our holy catholic faith and become Christians ; and I have begged your imperial Majesty to direct that reli- gious persons of good life and example be provided. As very few, or almost none, have yet come, and it is cer- tain that they would gather much fruit from their labors, I again call the attention of your Highness to the subject, and beg you to make this provision with all speed ; for by this means God our Lord will be greatly served, and the desire of your Highness in this case as a good Catho- lic fulfilled. By the deputies, Antonio de Quinones and Alonso Davila, the councils of the towns of New Spain and myself did send to supplicate your Majesty to supply
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