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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/54

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36 INTRODUCTION, ference, with various figures of animals and other things, in basso relievo, finished with great ingenuity and skill.* A headpiece of wood carved with gold, and adorned with gems, from which hung twenty-five little bells of goldĀ ; in- stead of a plume it had a green bird with eyes, beak, and feet of gold. A bracelet of gold. A little rod like a sceptre, with two rings of golds at its extremities, set with pearls. Four tridents, adorned with feathers of various colors, with pearl points tied with gold thread. Several shoes of the skin of the deer, sewed with gold thread, the soles of which were made of blue and white stones, of a brilliant appearance. A shield of wood and leather, with little bells banging to it, and covered with plates of gold in the middle, on which was cut the image of the god of war between four heads of a lion, a tiger, an eagle, and an owl, represented alive with their hair and feathers. Several dressed skins of quadrupeds and birds with their plumage and hair. Twenty-four curious and beautiful shields of gold, of fea- thers, and very small pearls, and four others of feathers and sil- ver only. Four fishes, two ducks, and some other birds, of molten gold. Two sea-shells of gold, and a large crocodile girt with threads of gold. A large min-or adorned with gold, and many small mirrors. Several mitres and crowns of feathers and gold, ornamented with pearls and gems. other inestimable jewels, five emeralds, which, as Gomara, who was then living, bears testimony were valued at a hundred thousand ducats, and for one of them some Genoese merchants offered him forty thousand, in order to sell it again to the grand seignior; and also two emerald vases, valued as the celebrated P. Miariana, [in his History of Spain,] says, at 300,000 ducats." Clavigero. These five emeralds were exquisitely wrought by the Mexicans, at the order of Cortes, into various forms, and presented by him to his second wife, daughter of the count de Aguilar; jewels, says Gomara who saw them, superior to those of any other lady in Spain. '

  • The Mexicans represented their divisions of time by the figure of a wheel;

Clavigero considers these to have been intended for that purpose. i