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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/61

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 39 Lord, called Muteczuma,* who, according to their com- putation of distances, dwelt ninety or a hundred leagues from the coast and the port where I had disembarked ; and that, trusting in the greatness of God, and the con- fidence inspired by the royal name of your HighnesSj I proposed to go and see him wherever he might be. I also recollect having engaged to do more than was in my power in regard to the demand I intended to make of this personage ; for I assured your Highness that he should be taken either dead or alive, or become a subject to the royal throne of your Majesty. With this deter- mination I departed from the city of Cempoal, to which I gave the name of Se villa, on the 16th of August, with fifteen horse and three hundred infantry, all in the best condition for war in which I was able, or the time per- mitted me to render them. I left in the town of Vera Cruz one hundred and fifty men and two horses, occupied in building a fort, which was already nearly finished ; and I also left the whole province of Cempoal, and all the mountainous region adjacent to the town, containing fifty thousand warriors, and fifty towns and fortresses, in peace and security, and firm in their allegiance to your Majesty, as they have remained to the present time.t Although they were subjects of Muteczuma, yet according to the information I received, they had been reduced to that condition by force, within a short period ; and when they had obtained through me some knowledge of your Highness, and of your great regal power, they declared their desire to become vassals of your Majesty,

  • Thus the name is uniformly written by Cortes.

t Cempoal still retains the same name ; it is situated four leagues from Vera Cru2, and the extent of its ruins indicates its former greatness. It must not be confound ed with another Zeropoal, in the jurisdiction of the^ Archbishop of Mexico, twelve leagues distant from the former. — L.