Open main menu

Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/89

This page needs to be proofread.


CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 67 who chose to become your subjects were honored and favored, but those who rebelled were punished as justice required. The next day nearly all of the nobles of that city came, and declared to me, that if they had not ap- peared before, the reason was that the people of this pro- vince were their enemies, and that they dared not enter their territory, as it was dangerous for them ; and that they fully believed the Tlascalans had spoken of them in such a way as to prevent my giving them credit, for they had spoken as enemies and not according to the truth ; that I should visit their city, where I would learn the falsity of what those persons had told me and the truth of their own statements ; that from henceforth they would do homage as vassals of your sacred Majesty, and would ever remain so, rendering service and contributing what- ever your Highness should command them ; to all which the notary, through my interpreters, took their formal ac- knowledgment. I determined to go with them, as well for the purpose of showing no weakness as because from their city I thought it would be easier to communicate with Muteczuma, since it adjoins his dominions, as I have already stated, and the people of both places were in the habit of coming and going to and from that city, there being no examination or search of travellers. When the Tlascalans saw my determination it grieved them much, and they repeatedly said to me, that I had committed an error ; but that since they had become the vassals of your Majesty and my friends, they would ac- company me and give me their assistance in whatever was required. But when I protested against their going, and begged that they would think of it, as there was no ne- cessity for it, they nevertheless followed me with a force of one hundred thousand men well versed in war, and