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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/53

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INTRODUCTION. 35 Velasquez and Francisco de Garay, censuring their past pro- ceedings, and commanding them to desist from any future interference with the affairs of New Spain. These despatches were all dated the 22d of October, 1522. A more signal triumph could not have been achieved, which, while it gave additional lustre to the victorious career of Cortes, carried dismay to the minds of his great opponents, Fonsdca and Velasquez, both of whom died not long after in comparative disgrace. Having thus brought this preliminary sketch of the early ex- peditions to the Mexican coast, and of the career of the con- queror, down to the time when the narrative is taken up by his own pen, it only remains to add a list of the principal articles already mentioned, which the Spaniards received on their first landing in Mexico, being for the most part presents from Mon- tezuma through his governor Teuthlili. They were sent to Charles V. by the first commissioners Puertocarrero and Mon- tejo, in 1519, and a description of them was soon after pub- lished by Peter Martyr, the learned Italian who had long en- joyed the confidence of the Spanish court, and is well known for his friendship towards Columbus, and the interest he took in his voyages. A list of them is also contained in Gomara's Chronicles of New Spain. They consisted of the following specimens of Mexican art and bijouterie : — A gold necklace composed of seven pieces, with a hundred and eighty-three small emeralds set in it, and two hundred and thirty-two gems similar to small rubies, from which hung twen- ty-seven little bells of gold, and some pearls. Another necklace of four pieces of gold, with one hundred and two red gems like small rubies, one hundred and seventy- two emeralds, and ten fine pearls set in it, with twenty-six little bells of gold.* Two wheels, one of gold with the image of the sun, and the other of silver with the image of the moon upon it ; both formed of plates of those metals, each twenty-eight hands in circum-

  • " The gems most common among the Mexicans were emeralds, amethysts, cor-

nelians, turquoises, and some others not known in Europe. * * * When Cortes returned the first time to Spain, (in 1528,) he brought along with him, amongst