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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/80

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58 LETTERS OF CORTES. heard it said in a hut where several lodged together, (being where they could not see me,) that I was without doubt a madman, and would plunge myself into diffi- culties from which I could not be extricated ; that they should return to the sea, and if I chose to accompany them, well — ^but if not, they would leave me behind. And oftentimes I was entreated to return with renewed importunity, when I revived their courage by exhorting them to reflect, that they were the subjects of your High- ness, and Spaniards had never been known to falter in their allegiance; that we had it in our power to acquire for your Majesty greater kingdoms and provinces than were to be found in any other part of the world. And besides, we were only doing what as Christians we were under obligations to do, by warring against the enemies of our faith — by which means we secured to ourselves glory in another world, and gained greater honor and rewards in this life than had fallen to the lot of any other generation at any former period ; that they should also reflect that God was on our side, and that to him nothing is impossible, as they might see in the victories we had gained, when so many of the enemy were killed without any loss on our part. These and similar things I said to them, by means of which, and the royal favor of your Highness, they recovered their spirits, and were induced to do what I desired, in order to complete what I had already begun. At ten o'clock on the following day, Sicutengal, [Xico- tencatl], Captain General of this Province, with about fifty of the principal persons belonging to it, came to me and solicited on the part of himself and of Magiscatzin,* who is the most important personage of the whole pro-

  • €rovemor of the Republic of Tlascala.