428 LETTERS OF CORTES. churches,* paying the curates and sacristans, and in pro- viding decorations and other things required for the churches ; and an account of the whole will be taken by the auditor and treasurer of your Majesty. The trea- surer will receive the money, more of which will be paid out without an order from the auditor and myself. I have been informed, most Catholic Sire, by persons who have lately arrived from the islands, that your Ma- jesty's judges and officers of the island of Espanola have made proclamation in that and all the other islands, of an ordinance prohibiting the exportation to New Spain of any mares or other breeding animals, under pain of death ; which has been done in order to compel us to purchase our cattle and beasts of burthen on the islands, where they are sold at an exorbitant price. This is manifestly wrong and injurious to your Majesty's service, by throwing obstacles in the way of settling and civiliz- ing this country ; and the islanders well know that they are depriving us of the means of sustaining what we have acquired, and of extending our conquests, notwith- standing the substantial benefits the islands have received from this New Spain, and the little use they have for what they deny us the liberty of exporting. I therefore entreat your Highness to issue your royal order to these islands, requiring them to permit all persons to export whatever they please without any penalty or restriction ; since besides its occasioning no loss to them, it would prove of serious disadvantage to your Majesty's interests,
- The appropriation for this purpose was accordingly made, and from the time
of Cortes a number of fine edifices have been preserved in good condition ; as, for example, those of Tepozthan, Ayacapistla, Tula, Mestitlam, Molango, Cuer- nabaca, Oculman, &c^ which are adorned with the paintings of distinguished masters. — L.