The Conquest of Mexico Volume 2/Notes to Vol II
Page 4 (1).—Solís regards this ceremony as supplying what was before defective in the title of the Spaniards to the country. The remarks are curious, even from a professed casuist: "Being as it were a supernatural sanction to the title afterwards established by right of arms, after just provocation, as we shall presently see. This was a remarkable circumstance, which contributed to the conquest of Mexico and helped to justify it, quite apart from those general considerations which in other regions have rendered war not only just but even legitimate and rational, as supplying the necessary opportunity for the introduction of the Gospel."—Conquista, lib. 4, cap. 3.
Page 6 (1).—Peter Martyr, distrusting some extravagance in this statement of Cortés, found it fully confirmed by the testimony of others: "The accounts are incredible. Nevertheless we must believe them when a man of such calibre dares to send written descriptions to the Emperor and to the Councillors of our College of the Indies. Besides, he adds that he omits much lest he become wearisome by reporting in such detail. Those who return to us from that country supply confirmation."—De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 3.
Page 7 (1).—Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 99. This estimate of the royal fifth is confirmed (with the exception of the four hundred ounces) by the affidavits of a number of witnesses cited on behalf of Cortés, to show the amount of the treasure. Among these witnesses, we find some of the most respectable names in the army, as Olid, Ordaz, Avila, the priests Olmedo and Diaz,—the last, it may be added, not too friendly to the general. The instrument, which is without date, is in the collection of Vargas Ponze.—Probanza fecha á pedimento de Juan de Lexalde, MS.
Page 8 1).—The quantity of silver taken from the American mines has exceeded that of gold in the ratio of forty-six to one. (Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. iii. p. 401.) The value of the latter metal, says Clemencin, which, on the discovery of the New World, was only eleven times greater than that of the former, has now come to be sixteen times. (Memorias de la Real Acad, de Hist., tom. vi. Ilust. 20.) This does not vary materially from Smith's estimate made after the middle of the last century. (Wealth of Nations, book i. chap. 11.) The difference would have been much more considerable, but for the greater demand for silver for objects of ornament and use.
Page 8 (2).—Dr. Robertson preferring the authority, it seems, of Diaz, speaks of the value of the treasure as 600,000 pesos. (History of America, vol. ii. pp. 296, 298.) The value of the peso is an ounce of silver, or dollar, which, making allowance for the depreciation of silver, represented, in the time of Cortés, nearly four times its value at the present day. But that of the peso de oro was nearly three times that sum, or eleven dollars sixty-seven cents. (See ante, book ii. chap. 6, p. 199, note.) Robertson makes his own estimate, so much reduced below that of his original, an argument for doubting the existence, in any great quantity, of either gold or silver in the country. In accounting for the scarcity of the former metal in this argument, he falls into an error in stating that gold was not one of the standards by which the value of other commodities in Mexico was estimated.—Comp. ante, vol. i. p. 96. Page 8 (3).—Many of them, indeed, could boast little or nothing in their coffers, Maximilian of Germany, and the more prudent Ferdinand of Spain, left scarcely enough to defray their funeral expenses. Even as late as the beginning of the next century, we find Henry IV. of France embracing his minister Sully with rapture, when he informed him, that, by dint of great economy, he had 36,000,000 livres, about 1,500,000 pounds sterling, in his treasury.—See Mémoires du Due de Sully, tom. iii. liv. 27.
Page 8 (4).—"Because it was so small, many soldiers did not wish to take it."—Bernal Diaz, Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 105.
Page 10 (1).—Ibid., cap. 105, 106.—Gomara, Crónica, cap. 93.—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 8, cap. 5.
Page 10 (2).—"From lawyer, Cortés became theologian," says Martyr in his pithy manner.— De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 4.
Page 10 (3).—According to Ixtlilxochitl, Montezuma got as far on the road to conversion, as the Credo and the Ave Maria, both of which he could repeat; but his baptism was postponed, and he died before receiving it. That he ever consented to receive it is highly improbable.
Page 11 (1).—This transaction is told with more discrepancy than usual by the different writers. Cortés assures the emperor that he occupied the temple, and turned out the false gods by force, in spite of the menaces of the Mexicans. (Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 106.) The improbability of this Quixotic feat startles Oviedo, who nevertheless reports it. (Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 10.) It looks, indeed, very much, as if the general was somewhat too eager to set off his militant zeal to advantage in the eyes of his master. The statements of Diaz, and of other chroniclers, conformably to that in the text, seem far the most probable.—Comp. Diaz, Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 107.—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 8, cap. 6.—Argensola, Anales, lib. i, cap. 88.
Page 12 (1).—According to Herrera, it was the devil himself who communicated this to Montezuma, and he reports the substance of the dialogue between the parties. (Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. g, cap. 6.) Indeed, the apparition of Satan in his own bodily presence, on this occasion, is stoutly maintained by most historians of the time.
Page 14 (1).—"I may say without vaunting," observes our stout-hearted old chronicler, Bernal Diaz, " that I was so accustomed to this way of life, that since the conquest of the country I have never been able to lie down undressed, or in a bed; yet I sleep as sound as if I were on the softest down. Even when I make the rounds of my encomienda, I never take a bed with me; unless, indeed, I go in the company of other cavaliers, who might impute this to parsimony. But even then I throw myself on it with my clothes on. Another thing I must add, that I cannot sleep long in the night without getting up to look at the heavens and the stars, and stay awhile in the open air, and this without a bonnet or covering of any sort on my head. And, thanks to God, I have received no harm from it. I mention these things, that the world may understand of what stuff we, the true Conquerors, were made, and how well drilled we were to arms and watching." —Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 108.
Page 15 (1).—In the collection of MSS., made by Don Vargas Ponce, former President of the Academv of History, is a memorial of this same Benito Martin to the emperor, setting forth the services of Velasquez, and the ingratitude and revolt of Cortés and his followers. The paper is without date; written after the arrival of the envoys, probably at the close of 1519, or the beginning of the following year.
Page 16 (1).—Sandoval, indeed, gives a singular reason,—that of being near the coast, so as to enable Chiévres, and the other Flemish blood-suckers, to escape suddenly, if need were, with their ill-gotten treasures, from the country.—Hist, de Cárlos Quinto, tom. i. p. 203, ed. Pamplona, 1634. Page 16 (2).— See the letter of Peter Martyr to his noble friend and pupil, the Marquis de Mondejar, written two months after the arrival of the vessel from Vera Cruz.—Opus Epist., ep. 650.
Page 17 (2).— Velasquez, it appears, had sent home an account of the doings of Cortés and of the vessel which touched with the treasures at Cuba, as early as October, 1 5 1 9.—Carta de Velasquez al Lic. Figueroa, MS., Nov. 17, 1519.
Page 18 (1).— The instrument was dated at Barcelona, Nov. 13, 1518. Cortés left St. Jago the 18th of the same month.—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 3, cap. 11.
Page 18 (2).— Gomara (Crónica, cap. 96) and Robertson (History of America, vol. ii. pp. 304, 466) consider that the new dignity of adelantado stimulated the governor to this enterprise. By a letter of his own writing in the Muñoz collection, it appears he had begun operations some months previous to his receiving notice of his appointment.—Carta de Velasquez al senor de Xêvres, Isla Fernandina, MS., Octubre 12, 1519.
Page 18 (3).— Carta de Velasquez al Lie. Figueroa, MS., Nov. 17, 1519.
Page 18 (4).— The person of Narvaez is thus whimsically described by Diaz: " He was tall, stout-limbed, with a large head and red beard, an agreeable presence, a voice deep and sonorous, as if it rose from a cavern. He was a good horseman and valiant."—Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 205.
Page 19 (1).—The danger of such a result is particularly urged in a memorandum of the licentiate Ayllon.—Carta al Emperador, Guaniguanico, Marzo 4, 1 520, MS.
Page 20 (1).— The great fleet under Ovando, 1501, in which Cortés had intended to embark for the New World.—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 1, lib. 4, cap. 11.
Page 21 (1).—This report is to be found among the MSS. of Vargas Ponce, in the archives of the Royal Academy of History. It embraces a hundred and ten folio pages, and is entitled, "El Processo y Pesquiza hecha por la Real Audiencia de la Española é tierra nuevamente descubierta. Par el Consejo de su Majestad."
Page 23 (1).—Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind, MS., lib. 33, cap. 47.—Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 117-120.
Page 23 (2).—"Our commander said so many kind things to them," says Diaz, "and anointed their fingers so plentifully with gold, that, though they came like roaring lions, they went home perfectly tame."—Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 111.
Page 24 (1).— Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 112.
Page 25 (1).—Ibid., cap. 111. Oviedo says that Montezuma called a council of his nobles, in which it was decided to let the troops of Narvaez into the capital, and then to crush them at one blow, with those of Cortés! (Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 47.) Considering the awe in which the latter alone were held by the Mexicans, a more improbable tale could not be devised. But nothing is too improbable for history,—though, according to Boileau's maxim, it may be for fiction.
Page 27 (1).—In the Mexican edition of the letters of Cortés, it is called five hundred men. (Rel. Seg. ap. Lorenzana, p. 122.) But this was more than his whole Spanish force. In Ramusio's version of the same letter, printed as early as 1565, the number is stated as in the text. (Navigation et Viaggi, fol. 244.) In an instrument without date, containing the affidavits of certain witnesses as to the management of the royal fifth by Cortés, it is said there were one hundred and fifty soldiers left in the capital under Alvarado. (Probanza fecha en la neuva España del mar océano á pedimento de Juan Ochoa de Lexalde, en nombre de Hernando Cortés, MS.) The account in the Mexican edition is unquestionably an error.
Page 28 (1).—So says Oviedo—and with truth: "If this captain, Juan Velasquez de Leon, had not been on bad terms with his relative, Diego de Velasquez, and had passed over with the 150 men, whom he had brought to Guaçacalco, to the cause of Panfilo de Narvaez, brother-in-law of Velasquez, the enterprise of Cortés would have been ruined."—Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 12.
Page 30 (1).—Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 123-124.—Bernal Diaz, Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 11 5-1 17.—Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 12.
Page 30 (2).—But, although irresistible against cavalry, the long pike of the German proved no match for the short sword and buckler of the Spaniard, in the great battle of Ravenna, fought few years before this, 1512. Machiavelli makes some excellent reflections on the comparative merit of these arms.—Arte della Guerra, lib. 2, ap. Opere, tom. iv. p. 67.
Page 32 (1).—More than one example of this ruse is mentioned by Mariana in Spanish history, though the precise passages have escaped my memory.
Page 40 (1).—Oviedo says that military men discussed whether Velasquez de Leon should have obeyed the commands of Cortés rather than those of his kinsman, the governor of Cuba. They decided in favour of the former, on the ground of his holding his commission immediately from him.
Page 41 (1).—This ascendancy the thoughtful Oviedo refers to his dazzling and liberal manners, so strongly contrasted with those of the governor of Cuba. "For the rest he had a very gallant personality; and his desire for authority, added to the fact that he was generous and open-handed towards those who joined him, while, on the other hand, Diego de Velasquez was extremely unpopular, contributed to Cortés' success in carrying out his plans and retaining his authority and leadership."—Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 12.
Page 42 (1).—It was in a conversation with Oviedo himself, at Toledo, in 1525, in which Narvaez descanted with much bitterness, as was natural, on his rival's conduct. The gossip, which has never appeared in print, may have some interest for the Spanish reader. "In the year 1535, when the Emperor was in the city of Toledo, I saw there the aforesaid Narvaez, who said publicly that Cortés was a traitor, and if he had His Majesty's permission, he would inform His Majesty of the character of Cortés, how he was a man incapable of truth. And he made many other ugly statements, calling Cortés traitor and tyrant, and ingrate to his lord and to him who at his own expense had sent him to New Spain, namely the Adelantado Diego Velasquez, who had been drained of lands, followers, and money; and many other charges which had an ill sound. And with regard to his arrest, he said much in contradiction of the accepted account. My comment on this is that, with all I heard from Narvaez (and so I told him), I could not acquit him of carelessness, for there had been no need for him to have dealings with Cortés without taking far greater precautions than he had. To this he replied that he had been sold by those in whom he confided and that Cortés had suborned them."—Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 12.
Page 43 (1).—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 6.—Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 47.—Bernal Diaz, Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 123.
Page 43 (2).—Diaz, who had often listened to it, thus notices his eloquence. "Then he began a speech, in such charming style, with sentences so neatly turned, that I assuredly am unable to write the like, so delightful was it, and so full of promises."—Ibid. cap. 121. Page 44 (1).—Captain Diaz had secured for his share of the spoil of the Philistines, as he tells us, a very good horse, with all his accoutrements, a brace of swords, three daggers, and a buckler,— a very beautiful outfit for the campaign. The general's orders were, naturally enough, not at all to his taste.—Ibid., cap. 124.
Page 44 (2).—Narvaez alleges that Cortés plundered him of property to the value of 100,000 castellanos of gold! (Demanda de Zavallos en nombre de Narvaez, MS.) If so, the pillage of the leader may have supplied the means of liberality to the privates.
Page 45 (1).—Demanda de Zavallos en nombre de Narvaez, MS.—Bernal Diaz, Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 124. —0viedo. Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 47.—Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 130.—Camargo, Hist, de Tlascala, MS. The visit of Narvaez left melancholy traces among the natives, that made it long remembered. A negro in his suite brought with him the small-pox. The disease spread rapidly in that quarter of the country, and great numbers of the Indian population soon fell victims to it.—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 6.
Page 47 (1).—Gomara, Crónica, cap. 103.—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 7. Bernal Diaz raises the amount to 1300 foot and 96 horse. (Ibid., cap. 125.) Cortés diminishes it to less than half that number. (Rel. Seg., ubi supra.) The estimate cited in the text from the two preceding authorities corresponds nearly enough with that already given from official documents of the forces of Cortés and Narvaez before the junction.
Page 48 (1).—(And they provided them with guides who should conduct them by way of) the lofty ranges of Tetzcuco, and show them [the view] from the highest peak of those wooded slopes and mountains of Tlallocan, which are of great altitude and thickly forested. And I myself have been there and have seen, and can bear witness that they are of such height that from them may be descried both hemispheres. For they are the greatest and loftiest passes in this New Spain, clad with woods and forests of mighty growth, cedars, cypresses, and pines.—Camargo, Hist, de Tlascala, MS.
Page 48 (2).—The historian partly explains the reason. "In that same city of Tezcuco there were many devoted relations and friends of those whom Pedro de Alvarado and his companions had killed in Mexico."—Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 88.
Page 52 (1).—See Alvarado's reply to queries of Cortés, as reported by Diaz (Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 125), with some additional particulars in Torquemada (Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 66), Solís (Conquista, lib. 4, cap. 12), and Herrera (Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 8), who all seem content to endorse Alvarado's version of the matter. I find no other authority, of any weight, in the same charitable vein.
Page 52 (2).—Oviedo mentions a conversation which he had some years after this tragedy with a noble Spaniard, Don Thoan Cano, who came over in the train of Narvaez, and was present at all the subsequent operations of the army. He married a daughter of Montezuma, and settled in Mexico after the Conquest. Oviedo describes him as a man of sense and integrity. In answer to the historian's queries respecting the cause of the rising, he said, that Alvarado had wantonly perpetrated the massacre from pure avarice; and the Aztecs, enraged at such unprovoked and unmerited cruelty, rose, as they well might, to avenge it. (Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 54.)
Page 52 (3).—Such, indeed, is the statement of Ixtlilxochitl, derived, as he says, from the native Tezcucan annalists. According to them, the Tlascalans, urged by their hatred of the Aztecs and their thirst for plunder, persuaded Alvarado, nothing loth, that the nobles meditated a rising on the occasion of these festivities. The testimony is important, and I give it in the author's words: "Certain malicious Tlascaltecas (according to the histories of Tezcuco which I follow, and the letter to which I have previously referred), some of whom remembered that on similar festival occasions the Mexicans were in the habit of sacrificing great numbers of Tlascalteca captives, while others realised that this was the best possible opportunity for filling their hand with spoil and satisfying their avarice, and taking vengeance upon their enemies (for until that time they had had no chance for wreaking their hatred, Cortés refusing to give them licence and declining to listen to their suggestions, for he always acted In a correct manner), brought this invented story to Captain Pedro de Alvarado, who took the place of Cortés in the latter's absence; the Captain readily hastened to the tale of the Tlascaltecas, for his sword was always ready and he was of the same warlike inclination as they, and moreover seeing all the Lords and Chiefs of the Empire gathered together he reasoned that when they were dead he would be spared the trouble of subduing them."—Hist. Chich, MS., cap. 88.
Page 52 (4).—Martyr well recapitulates these grievances, showing that they seemed such in the eyes of the Spaniards themselves—of those, at least, whose judgment was not warped by a share in the transactions. "They decided that it was better to die than to endure such guests any longer, guests who held their king in captivity under the pretence of protection, who occupied their realm, who at their hosts' expense cherished the Tlascaltecs their ancient foes and others as well, Insultingly before their eyes. . . who further had shattered the images of their gods and had abolished their ancient rites and ceremonies."—De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 5.
Page 53 (1).—Camargo, Hist, de Tlascala, MS.—Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 13, 47.—Gomara, Crónica, cap. 105.
Page 54 (1).—He left in garrison, on his departure from Mexico, 140 Spaniards and about 6500 Tlascalans, including a few Cempoallan warriors.—Supposing five hundred of these—a liberal allowance—to have perished In battle and otherwise, it would still leave a number, which, with the reinforcement now brought, would raise the amount to that stated in the text.
Page 56 (1).—The scene Is reported by Diaz, who was present. (Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 126.) See, also, the Chronicle of Gomara, the chaplain of Cortés. (Cap. 106.) It is further confirmed by Don Thoan Cano, an eye-witness, in his conversation with Oviedo.
Page 56 (2).—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 8.
Page 66 (1).—No wonder that they should have found some difficulty in wading through the arrows, if Herrera's account be correct, that forty cart-loads of them were gathered up and burnt by the besieged every day!—Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 9.
Page 66 (2).—The enemy presented so easy a mark, says Gomara, that the gunners loaded and fired with hardly the trouble of pointing their pieces. "So bold were they, that to shoot them down it was not necessary for the gunners to take aim."—Crónica, cap. 106.
Page 66 (3).—"Slings, the most powerful weapons that the Mexicans possessed."—Camargo, Hist, de Tlascala, MS.
Page 71 (1).—Carta del Exército, MS.
Page 72 (1).—"The Mexicans fought with such ferocity," says Diaz, " that, If we had had the assistance on that day of ten thousand Hectors, and as many Orlandos, we should have made no impression on them! There were several of our troops," he adds, "who had served In the Italian wars, but neither there nor in the battles with the Turk had they ever seen anything like the desperation shown by these Indians."—Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 126.—See, also, for the last pages, Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 135.—Ixtlilxochitl, Relaciones, MS.—Brobanza á pedimento de Juan de Lexalde, MS.—Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 13.—Gomara, Cronica, cap. 196.
Page 72 (2).—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 9.—Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 69. Page 80 (1).—Bernal Diaz, Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 126.—Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., MS. lib. 33, cap. 13.—Gomara, Crónica, cap. 107.
Page 80 (2).—Cortés sent Marina to ascertain from Montezuma the name of the gallant chief who could be easily seen from the walls animating and directing his countrymen. The emperor informed him that it was his brother Cuitlahuac, the presumptive heir to his crown, and the same chief whom the Spanish commander had released a few days previous.—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 10.
Page 82 (1).—Acosta reports a tradition, that Guatemozin, Montezuma's nephew, who himself afterwards succeeded to the throne, was the man that shot the first arrow.—Lib. 7, cap. 26.
Page 82 (2).—I have reported this tragical event, and the circumstances attending it, as they are given in more or less detail, but substantially in the same way, by the most accredited writers of that and the following age,—several of them eye-witnesses. (See Bernal Diaz, Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 126.—Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 47.—Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 136.—Camargo, Hist, de Tlascala, MS.—Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 88.— Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 10.—Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 70.— Acosta, ubi supra.—Martyr, De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 5.) It is also confirmed by Cortés in the instrument granting to Montezuma's favourite daughter certain estates by way of dowry. Don Thoan Cano, indeed, who married this princess, assured Oviedo that the Mexicans respected the person of the monarch so long as they saw him; and were not aware, when they discharged their missiles, that he was present, being hid from sight by the shields of the Spaniards. This improbable statement is repeated by the chaplain Gomara. (Crónica, cap. 107.) It is rejected by Oviedo, however, who says that Alvarado, himself present at the scene, in a conversation with him afterwards, explicitly confirmed the narrative given in the text. (Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 47.) The Mexicans gave a very different account of the transaction. According to them, Montezuma, together with the lords of Tezcuco and Tlatelolco, then detained as prisoners in the fortress by the Spaniards, were all strangled by means of the garrote, and their dead bodies thrown over the walls to their countrymen.
It is hardly necessary to comment on the absurdity of this monstrous imputation, which, however, has found favour with some later writers. Independently of all other considerations, the Spaniards would have been slow to compass the Indian monarch's death, since, as the Tezcucan Ixtlilxochitl truly observes, it was the most fatal blow which could befall them, by dissolving the last tie which held them to the Mexicans.—Hist. Chich., MS., ubi supra.
Page 83 (1).—"I went out from the fortress, although my left hand was crippled by a wound that I had received on the first day; tying my shield to this arm I marched to the tower with some Spanish followers."—Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 138.
Page 84 (1).—See ante, vol. i. p. 44. I have ventured to repeat the description of the temple here, as it is important that the reader, who may perhaps not turn to the preceding pages, should have a distinct image of it in his own mind, before beginning the combat.
Page 85 (1).—Many of the Aztecs, according to Sahagun, seeing the fate of such of their comrades as fell into the hands of the Spaniards, on the narrow terraces below, voluntarily threw themselves headlong from the lofty summit and were dashed in pieces on the pavement. "And those (Mexicans) upon the summit, seeing the slaughter of those who were below, and the killing of their comrades who climbed up, began to throw themselves down from the temple; all these died, dashed to pieces, with broken arms and legs, for the temple was very lofty; those who did not jump were thrown down by the Spaniards, and thus everyone of the Mexicans who reached the summit died a cruel death."—Sahagun, Hist, de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 22.
Page 85 (2).—Among others, see Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 9.—Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 69.—and Solís, very circumstantially, as usual, Conquista, lib. 4, cap. 16. The first of these authors had access to some contemporary sources, the chronicle of the old soldier, Ojeda, for example, not now to be met with. It is strange, that so valiant an exploit should not have been communicated by Cortés himself, who cannot be accused of diffidence in such matters.
Page 86 (1).—Captain Diaz, a little loth sometimes, is emphatic in his encomiums on the valour shown by his commander on this occasion. "Here Cortés showed himself very much of a man, as he always was. O, what a fight! What a desperate battle we won there, and what a memorable thing it was to see all of us streaming with blood, covered with wounds, and with more than forty of our men slain." (Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 126.) The pens of the old chroniclers keep pace with their swords in the display of this brilliant exploit;—"colla penna e colla spada," equally fortunate.—See Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 138.—Gomara, Crónica, cap. 106.—Sahagun, Hist, de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 22.—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2. lib. 10, cap. 9.—Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 13.—Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 69.
Page 86 (2).—Archbishop Lorenzana is of opinion that this image of the Virgin is the same now seen in the church of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios! (Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 138, nota.) In what way the Virgin survived the sack of the city, and was brought to light again, he does not inform us. But the more difficult to explain, the more undoubted the miracle.
Page 86 (3).—No achievement in the war struck more awe into the Mexicans than this storming of the great temple, in which the white men seemed to bid defiance equally to the powers of God and man. Hieroglyphical paintings minutely commemorating it were to be frequently found among the natives after the Conquest. The sensitive Captain Diaz intimates that those which he saw made full as much account of the wounds and losses of the Christians as the facts would warrant. (Ibid., ubi supra.) It was the only way in which the conquered could take their revenge.
Page 86 (4).—In the number of actions and their general result, namely, the victories, barren victories of the Christians, all writers are agreed. But as to time, place, circumstance, or order, no two hold together. How shall the historian of the present day make a harmonious tissue out of these motley and many-coloured threads?
Page 88 (1).—It is the name by which she is still celebrated in the popular minstrelsy of Mexico. Was the famous Tlascalan mountain, sierra de Malinche,—anciently " Mattalcueye,"—named in compliment to the Indian damsel? At all events, it was an honour well merited from her adopted countrymen.
Page 88 (2).—According to Cortés, they boasted, in somewhat loftier strain, they could spare twenty-five thousand for one, "twenty-five thousand of their men might die for every one of ours."—Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 139.
Page 88 (3).—"That all the roads leading to the city were destroyed, as in fact they were."— Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 139.—Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 13.
Page 90 (1).—Notwithstanding this, in the petition or letter from Vera Cruz, addressed by the army to the Emperor Charles V., after the Conquest, the importunity of the soldiers is expressly stated as the principal motive that finally induced their general to abandon the city.—Carta del Exército, MS.
Page 90 (2).—"Food was so scarce that the Indians were given only one tortilla as a daily ration, the Spaniards receiving fifty grains of maize apiece."—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2 lib. 10, cap. 9. Page 91 (1).—Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 135.—Gomara, Crónica, cap. 106. Dr. Bird, in his picturesque romance of Calavar, had made good use of these mantas, better, indeed, than can be permitted to the historian. He claims the privilege of the romancer; though it must be owned he does not abuse this privilege, for he has studied with great care the costume, manners, and military usages of the natives. He has done for them what Cooper has done for the wild tribes of the North,—touched their rude features with the bright colouring of a poetic fancy. He has been equally fortunate in his delineation of the picturesque scenery of the land. If he has been less so in attempting to revive the antique dialogue of the Spanish cavalier, we must not be surprised. Nothing is more difficult than the skilful execution of a modern antique. It requires all the genius and learning of Scott to execute it so that the connoisseur shall not detect the counterfeit.
Page 92 (1).—Carta del Exército, MS.—Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 140.—Gomara, Cr6mca, cap. 109.
Page 92 (2).—Clavigero is mistaken in calling this the street of Iztapalapan. (Stor. del Messico, tom. iii., p. 129.) It was not the street by which the Spaniards entered, but by which they finally left the city, and is correctly indicated by Lorenzana, as that of Tlacopan,—or rather, Tacuba, into which the Spaniards corrupted the name.
Page 93 (1).—It is Oviedo who finds a parallel for his hero in the Roman warrior; the same, to quote the spirit-stirring legend of Macaulay,
""who kept the bridge so well
In the brave days of old."
"Worthy indeed is Cortés that his deeds of that day should be compared with that of Horatius Cocles, sung of yore; for by his sole efforts and with his single lance he kept open a passage for the horsemen, brought about the restoration of the bridge, and escaped, despite all the work of his enemies, although with much labour."—Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 13.
Page 93 (2).—It was a fair leap for a knight and horse in armour. But the general's own assertion to the Emperor (Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 142) is fully confirmed by Oviedo, who tells us he had it from several who were present. "According to what I have learned from some who were present, in addition to overcoming the resistance of his foes, he had to jump his horse from one point to another, amidst a continual shower of stones and blows. And though, since both he and his horse were in armour, they received no wound, he was grievously hampered by the blows which they aimed at him."—Hist, de las Ind., MS., ubi supra.
Page 94 (1).—Truly, "dignus vindice nodus! "The intervention of the celestial chivalry on these occasions is testified in the most unqualified manner by many respectable authorities. It is edifying to observe the combat going on in Oviedo's mind between the dictates of strong sense and superior learning, and those of the superstition of the age. It was an unequal combat, with odds sorely against the former, in the sixteenth century.
Page 94 (2).—Camargo, the Tlascalan convert, says, he was told by several of the Conquerors, that Montezuma was baptised at his own desire in his last moments, and that Cortés and Alvarado stood sponsors on the occasion. "Many of the conquistadores whom I knew have told me that, being at the point of death, he asked to receive the baptismal water, and that he was baptised and died a Christian: but there are many opinions and serious doubts concerning this. But, as I say, many credible persons from among the foremost of the conquerors of this land have informed us, and we have learnt from them, that he died a baptised Christian, and that his godfathers were Fernando Cortés and Don Pedro de Alvarado." (Hist, de Tlascala, MS.) According to Gomara, the Mexican monarch desired to be baptised before the arrival of Narvaez. The ceremony was deferred till Easter, that it might be performed with greater effect. But in the hurry and bustle of the subsequent scenes it was forgotten, and he died without the stain of infidelity having been washed away from him. (Crónica, cap. 107.) Torquemada, not often a Pyrrhonist where the honour of the faith is concerned, rejects these tales as irreconcilable with the subsequent silence of Cortés himself, as well as of Alvarado, who would have been loud to proclaim an event so long in vain desired by them. (Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 70.) The criticism of the father is strongly supported by the fact, that neither of the preceding accounts is corroborated by writers of any weight, while they are contradicted by several, by popular tradition, and, it may be added, by one another.
Page 96 (1).—Aunque no le pesaba dello; literally, " although he did not repent of it." But this would be rather too much for human nature to assert; and it is probable the language of the Indian prince underwent some little change, as it was sifted through the interpretation of Marina. The general adds, that he faithfully complied with Montezuma's request, receiving his daughters, after the Conquest, into his own family, where, agreeably to their royal father's desire they were baptised, and instructed in the doctrines and usages of the Christian faith. They were afterwards married to Castilian hidalgos, and handsome dowries were assigned them by the government.— See note 4, p. 98, of this Chapter,
Page 96 (2).—I adopt Clavigero's chronology, which cannot be far from truth. (Stor. del Messico, tom. iii. p. 131.) And yet there are reasons for supposing he must have died at least a day sooner.
Page 96 (3).—"He loved the Christians," says Herrera, "as well as could be judged from appearances." (Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 10.) "They say," remarks the general's chaplain, "that Montezuma, though often urged to it, never consented to the death of a Spaniard, nor to the injury of Cortés, whom he loved exceedingly. But there are those who dispute this "(Gomara, Crónica, cap. 107.) Don Thoan Cano assured Oviedo, that, during all the troubles of the Spaniards with the Mexicans, both in the absence of Cortés, and after his return, the emperor did his best to supply the camp with provisions. And finally, Cortés himself, in an instrument already referred to, dated six years after Montezuma's death, bears emphatic testimony to the goodwill he had shown to Spaniards, and particularly acquits him of any share in the late rising, which, says the Conqueror, "I had trusted to suppress through his assistance." The Spanish historians, in general,—notwithstanding an occasional intimation of a doubt as to his good faith towards their countrymen,—make honourable mention of the many excellent qualities of the Indian prince. Solís, however, the most eminent of all, dismisses the account of his death with the remark, that "his last hours were spent in breathing vengeance and maledictions against his people: until he surrendered up to Satan—with whom he had frequent communication in his lifetime—the eternal possession of his soul! " (Conquista de Mexico, lib. 4, cap. 15.) Fortunately, the historiographer of the Indies could know as little of Montezuma's fate in the next world, as he appears to have known of it in this. Was it bigotry, or a desire to set his own hero's character in a brighter light, which led him thus unworthily to darken that of his Indian rival?
Page 97 (1).—One other only of his predecessors, Tizoc, is shown by the Aztec paintings to have belonged to this knightly order, according to Clavigero.—Stor. del Messico, tom. ii. p. 140.
Page 98 (1).—The whole address is given by Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 68.
Page 98 (2).—"For craft is weaker far than destiny. Who then can guide destiny in its course? The three Fates, and the unforgetting Furies. Is Zeus himself, then, weaker than these? Yea, for he may not escape Destiny."—jÆschyl. Prometh., v. 514-518.
Page 98 (3).—Señor de Calderon, the late Spanish minister at Mexico, informs me, that he has more than once passed by an Indian dwelling, where the Indians in his suite made a reverence saying it was occupied by a descendant of Montezuma.
Page 98 (4).—This son, baptized by the name of Pedro, was descended from one of the royal concubines. Montezuma had two lawful wives. By the first of these, named Teçalco, he had a son, who perished in the flight from Mexico; and a daughter named Tecuichpo, who embraced Christianity, and received the name of Isabella. She was married, when very young, to her cousin Guatemozin; and lived long enough after his death to give her hand to three Castilians, all of honourable family. From two of these, Don Pedro Gallejo, and Don Thoan Caño, descended the illustrious families of the Andrada and Caño Montezuma. Montezuma, by his second wife, the princess Acatlan, left two daughters, named after their conversion, Maria and Leonor. The former died without issue. Dona Leonor married with a Spanish cavalier, Cristoval de Valderrama, from whom descended the family of the Sotelos de Montezuma. To which of these branches belonged the counts of Miravalle, noticed by Humboldt (Essai Politique, tom. ii. p. 73, note), I am ignorant. The royal genealogy is minutely exhibited in a Memorial, setting forth the claims of Montezuma's grandsons to certain property in right of their respective mothers. The document, which is without date, is among the MSS. of Muñoz.
Page 98 (5).—It is interesting to know that a descendant of the Aztec emperor, Don Joseph Sarmiento Valladares, Count of Montezuma, ruled as viceroy, from 1697 to 1701, over the dominions of his barbaric ancestors. (Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. ii. p. 73, note.) Solís speaks of this noble house, grandees of Spain, who intermingled their blood with that of the Guzmans and the Mendozas. Clavigero has traced their descent from the emperor's son lohualicahua, or Don Pedro Montezuma, as he was called after his baptism, down to the close of the eighteenth century. (See Solís, Conquista, lib. 4, cap. 15.—Clavigero, Stor del Messico, tom. i. p. 302, tom. iii. p. 132.) The last of the line, of whom I have been able to obtain any intelligence, died not long since in North America. He was very wealthy, having large estates in Spain,—but was not, as it appears, very wise. When seventy years old or more, he passed over to Mexico, in the vain hope that the nation, in deference to his descent, might place him on the throne of his Indian ancestors, so recently occupied by the presumptuous Iturbide. But the modern Mexicans, with all their detestation of the old Spaniards, showed no respect for the royal blood of the Aztecs. The unfortunate nobleman retired to New Orleans, where he soon after put an end to his existence by blowing out his brains, not for ambition,—however, if report be true—but disappointed love!
Page 100 (1).—Gomara, Crónica, cap. 107.—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 10.
Page 100 (2).—Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 7.
Page 103 (1).—Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 47. The astrologer predicted that Cortés would be reduced to the greatest extremity of distress, and afterwards come to great honour and fortune. (Bernal Diaz, Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 128.) He showed himself as cunning in his art, as the West Indian sybil who foretold the destiny of the unfortunate Josephine.
Page 103 (2).—The disposition of the treasure has been stated with some discrepancy, though all agree as to its ultimate fate. The general himself did not escape the imputation of negligence, and even peculation, most unfounded, from his enemies. The account in the text is substantiated by the evidence, under oath, of the most respectable names in the expedition, as given in the instrument already more than once referred to.
Page 104 (1).—Captain Diaz tells us that he contented himself with four chalchivitl,—the green stone so much prized by the natives,—which he cunningly picked out of the royal coffers before Cortés' major domo had time to secure them. The prize proved of great service, by supplying him the means of obtaining food and medicine, when in great extremity afterwards, from the people of the country.
Page 104 (2).—Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 47.
Page 105 (1).—There is some difficulty in adjusting the precise date of their departure, as, indeed, of most events in the Conquest; attention to chronology being deemed somewhat superfluous by the old chroniclers. Ixtlilxochitl, Gomara, and others, fix the date at July 10th. But this is wholly contrary to the letter of Cortés, which states, that the army reached Tlascala on the eighth of July, not the tenth, as Clavigero misquotes him (Stor. del Messico, tom. lii. pp. 135, 136, nota); and from the general's accurate account of their progress each day, it appears that they left the capital on the last night of June, or rather the morning of July ist. It was the night, he also adds, following the affair of the bridges in the city.—Comp. Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, pp. 142-149.
Page 109 (1).—"The Allies, seeing this great deed, were struck with amazement, and on the instant threw themselves prostrate on the ground as a sign of homage before an act so heroic, astonishing and strange that they could not have imagined it; they made obeisance to the Sun, eating handfuls of earth and tearing up the grass of the fields, and crying out loudly that Alvarado was indeed the Child of the Sun."—(Camargo, Hist, de Tlascala, MS.) This writer consulted the process instituted by Alvarado's heirs, in which they set forth the merits of their ancestor, as attested by the most valorous captains of the Tlascalan nation, present at the conquest. It may he that the famous leap was among these "merits," of which the historian speaks. M. de Humboldt, citing Camargo, so considers it. (Essai Politique, tom. ii. p. 75.) This would do more than anything else to establish the fact. But Camargo's language does not seem to me necessarily to warrant the inference.
Page 109 (2).—The spot is pointed out to every traveller. It is where a ditch, of no great width, is traversed by a small bridge not far from the western extremity of the Alameda. As the place received its name in Alvarado's time, the story could scarcely have been discountenanced by him. But, since the length of the leap, strange to say, is nowhere given, the reader can have no means of passing his own judgment on its probability.
Page 113 (1).—"Tacuba," says that interesting traveller, Latrobe, "lies near the foot of the hills, and is at the present day chiefly noted for the large and noble church which was erected there by Cortés. And hard by, you trace the lines of a Spanish encampment. I do not hazard the opinion, but it might appear by the coincidence, that this was the very position chosen by Cortés for his entrenchment, after the retreat just mentioned, and before he commenced his painful route towards Otumba." (Rambler in Mexico, Letter 5.) It is evident, from our text, that Cortés could have thrown up no entrenchment here at least on his retreat from the capital.
Page 113 (2).—Lorenzana, Viage, p. xiii.
Page 115 (1).—The table below may give the reader some idea of the discrepancies in numerical estimates, even among eye-witnesses, and writers who, having access to the actors, are nearly of equal authority.
|Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 145,||150||2000||killed and missing.|
|Cano, ap. Oviedo, lib. 33, cap. 54,.||1170||8000||""|
|Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., lib. 33, cap. 13,||150||2000||""|
|Gomara, cap. 109,||450||4000||""|
|Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., cap. 88,||450||4000||""|
|Sahagun, lib. 12, cap. 24,||350||2000||""|
|Herrera, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 12,||150||4000||""|
Bernal Diaz does not take the trouble to agree with himself. After stating that the rear, on which the loss fell heaviest, consisted of 120 men, he adds, in the same paragraph, that 150 of these were slain, which number swells to 200 in a few lines further! Falstaff's men in buckram!—See Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 128. Cano's estimate embraces, it is true, those—but their number was comparatively small—who perished subsequently on the march. The same authority states, that 270 of the garrison, ignorant of the proposed departure of their countrymen, were perfidiously left in the palace of Axayacatl, where they surrendered on terms, but were subsequently all sacrificed by the Aztecs! The improbability of this monstrous story, by which the army with all its equipage could leave the citadel without the knowledge of so many of their comrades,—and this be permitted, too, at a juncture which made every man's co-operation so important,—is too obvious to require refutation. Herrera records, what is much more probable, that Cortés gave particular orders to the captain, Ojeda, to see that none of the sleeping or wounded should, in the hurry of the moment, be overlooked in their quarters.—Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. II.
Page 115 (2).—"Thus of the troops of Narvaez, the majority fell upon the bridge, burdened by their loads of gold."—Bernal Diaz, Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 128.
Page 115 (3).—According to Diaz, part of the gold intrusted to the Tlascalan convoy was preserved. (Hist, de, la Conquista, cap. 136.) From the document already cited,—Probanza de Villa Segura, MS., it appears that it was a Castilian guard who had charge of it.
Page 116 (1).—Gomara, Crónica,cap. 109.—Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 13.— Probanza en la Villa Segura, MS.—Bernal Diaz, Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 128.
Page 117 (1).—Lorenzana, Viage, p. xiii.
Page 118 (1).—The last instance, I believe, of the direct interposition of the Virgin in behalf of the metropolis was in 1833, when she was brought into the city to avert the cholera. She refused to pass the night in town, however, but was found the next morning in her own sanctuary at Los Remedios, showing, by the mud with which she was plentifully bespattered, that she must have performed the distance—several leagues—through the miry ways on foot!—See Latrobe, Rambler in Mexico, Letter 5.
Page 118 (2).—The epithet by which, according to Diaz, the Castilians were constantly addressed by the natives; and which—whether correctly or not—he interprets into gods, or divine beings. (See Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 48, et alibi.)
Page 119 (1).—Herrera mentions one soldier who had succeeded in carrying off his gold to the value of 3000 castellanos across the causeway, and afterwards flung it away by the advice of Cortés. "The devil take your gold," said the commander bluntly to him, "if it is to cost you your life."— Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. II.
Page 119 (2).—Gomara, Crónica, cap. 110.
Page 119(3).—The meaning of the word Tlascala, and so called from the abundance of maize raised in the country.—Boturini, Idea, p. 78.
Page 120 (1).—The pyramid of Mycerinos is 280 feet only at the base, and 162 feet in height. The great pyramid of Cheops is 728 feet at the base, and 448 feet high. See Denon, Egypt Illustrated (London, 1825), p. 9.
Page 121 (1).—"It requires a particular position," says Mr. Tudor, "united with some little faith, to discover the pyramidal form at all." (Tour in North America, vol. ii. p. 277.) Yet Mr. Bullock says, "The general figure of the square is as perfect as the great pyramid of Egypt." (Six Months in Mexico, vol. ii. chap. 26.) Eye-witnesses both! The historian must often content himself with repeating, in the words of the old French lay,—" And I will tell you the truth even as I have found it written."
Page 121 (2).—This is M. de Humboldt's opinion. (See his Essai Politique, tom. ii. pp. 66-70.) He has also discussed these interesting monuments in his Vues des Cordillères, p. 25 et seq. Page 121 (3).—Latrobe gives the description of this cavity, into which he and his fellow travellers penetrated.—Rambler in Mexico, Let. 7.
Page 121 (4).—The dimensions are given by Bullock (Six Months in Mexico, vol. ii. chap. 26), who has sometimes seen what has eluded the optics of other travellers.
Page 122 (1).—Such is the account given by the cavalier Boturini.—Idea, pp. 42, 43.
Page 122 (2).—Both Ixtlilxochitl and Boturini, who visited these monuments, one, early in the seventeenth, the other, in the first part of the eighteenth century, testify to their having seen the remains of this statue. They had entirely disappeared by 1757, when Veytia examined the pyramid.—Hist. Antig. tom. i. cap. 26.
Page 122 (3).—"The husbandman, labouring the earth with his curved plough, will turn up the pike-heads eaten away with rust," etc.—Georg., lib. 1.
Page 124 (1).—Camargo, Hist, de Tlascala, MS.—Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 14.—-Bernal Diaz, Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 128.—Sahagun, Hist, de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 27. Cortés might have addressed his troops, as Napoleon did his in the famous battle with the Mamelukes: "From yonder pyramids forty centuries look down upon you." But the situation of the Spaniards was altogether too serious for theatrical display.
Page 125 (1).—It is Sahagun's simile. "The Spaniards stood like a little island in the sea, buffeted by the waves in all directions." (Hist, de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 27.) The venerable missionary gathered the particulars of the action, as he informs us, from several who were present in it.
Page 127 (1).—The brave cavalier was afterwards permitted by the emperor Charles V. to assume this trophy on his own escutcheon, in commemoration of his exploit.—Bernal Diaz, Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 128.
Page 127 2).—The historians all concur in celebrating this glorious achievement of Cortés; who, concludes Gomara, "by his single arm saved the whole army from destruction."—See Crónica, cap. 110. Also, Sahagun, Hist, de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 27.—Camargo, Hist, de Tlascala, MS.—Bernal Diaz, Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 128.—Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 47.—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 13. —Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS. cap. 89. The brief and extremely modest notice of the affair in the general's own letter forms a beautiful contrast to the style of panegyric by others. "This struggle engaged us nearly all the day, until it pleased God that a great personage of theirs should be killed, a man of such importance that upon his death all the fighting ceased."—Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 148.
Page 127 (3).—"As for us," says the doughty Captain Diaz, " we felt neither wounds, hunger, nor thirst, and it seemed as though we had neither suffered nor passed through any hardship. We followed up our victory, killing and wounding. Then our friends the Tlascalans were very lions, and with their swords and broadswords and other weapons which they bore, they behaved very well and valiantly."—Hist, de la Conquista, loc cit.
Page 127 (4).—Ibid., ubi supra.
Page 127 (5).—The beligerent apostle St. James, riding, as usual, his milk-white courser, came to the rescue on this occasion; an event commemorated by the dedication of a hermitage to him, in the neighbourhood. (Camargo, Hist, de Tlascala.) Diaz, a sceptic on former occasions admits his indubitable appearance on this. (Ibid., ubi supra.) According to the Tezcucan chronicler, he was supported by the Virgin and St. Peter. (Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 89.) Voltaire sensibly remarks, "Those who have given accounts of these strange events have wished to dignify them by introducing miracles, which in fact only served to depreciate them. The true miracle was the behaviour of Cortés."—Voltaire, Essai sur les Mœurs, chap. 147.
Page 127 (6).—See Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 47.—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 13.—Gomara, Crónica, cap. 110.
Page 129 (1).—Is it not the same fountain of which Toribio makes honourable mention in his topographical account of the country.? "There rises in Tlaxcala an important spring, towards the north, five leagues from the chief city. It rises in a village which is called Azumba, which means in their language head; and so it is, since this spring is the head and source of the largest river of all those flowing into the South Sea. Its mouth is near Zacatula."—Hist, de los Indios, MS., Parte 3, cap. 16.
Page 130 (1).—Bernal Diaz, Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 128. Thoan Cano, however, one of the army, denies this, and asserts that the natives received them like their children, and would take no recompense.
Page 131 (1).—"And thus I remained crippled in two fingers of my left hand"—is Cortés' own expression in his letter to the Emperor. (Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 152.) Don Thoan Cano, however, whose sympathies—from his Indian alliance, perhaps—seem to have been quite as much with the Aztecs as with his own countrymen, assured Oviedo, who was lamenting the general's loss, that he might spare his regrets, since Cortés had as many fingers on his hand, at that hour, as when he came from Castile. May not the word manco, in his letter, be rendered by "maimed"?
Page 132 (1).—Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 150.—Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., MS, lib. 33, cap. 15.—Herrera gives the following inscription, cut on the bark of a tree by some of these unfortunate Spaniards. "By this road passed Juan Juste and his wretched companions, who were so much pinched by hunger, that they were obliged to give a solid bar of gold, weighing eight hundred ducats, for a few cakes of maize bread."—Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 13.
Page 133 (1).—One is reminded of the similar remonstrance made by Alexander's soldiers to him, on reaching the Hystaspis,—but attended with more success; as, indeed, was reasonable. For Alexander continued to advance from the ambition of indefinite conquest, while Cortés was only bent on carrying out his original enterprise. What was madness in the one, was heroism in the other.
Page 134 (1).—This reply, exclaims Oviedo, showed a man of unconquerable spirit, and high destinies.
Page 135 (1).—Oviedo has expanded the harangue of Cortés into several pages, in the course of which the orator quotes Xenophon, and borrows largely from the old Jewish history, a style of eloquence savouring much more of the closet than the camp. Cortés was no pedant, and his soldiers were no scholars.
Page 135(2).—For the account of this turbulent transaction, see Bernal Diaz, Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 129.—Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 152.—Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 15.—Gomara, Crónica, cap. 112, 113.—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 14. Diaz is exceedingly wroth with the chaplain, Gomara, for not discriminating between the old soldiers and the levies of Narvaez, whom he involves equally in the sin of rebellion. The captain's own version seems a fair one, and I have followed it, therefore, in the text.
Page 137 (1).—Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 15.—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 14.—Sahagun, Hist, de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 29. Page 137 (2).—Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 47.—Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 166.—Sahagun, Hist, de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 27, 29. Or rather it was "at the instigation of the great devil, the captain of all the devils, called Satan, who regulated everything in New Spain by his free will and pleasure, before the coming of the Spaniards," according to Father Sahagun, who begins his chapter with this eloquent exordium.
Page 139 (1).—Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 88.—Sahagun, Hist, de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 29.—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 19.
Page 140 (1).—The proceedings in the Tlascalan senate are reported in more or less detail, but substantially alike, by Camargo, Hist, de Tlascala, MS.—Sahagun, Hist, de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 29.—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 12, cap. 14.—See, also, Bernal Diaz, Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 129.—Gomara, Crónica, cap. iii.
Page 142 (1).—The Indian name of the capital,—the same as that of the province,—Tepejacac, was corrupted by the Spaniards into Tepeaca. It must be admitted to have gained by the corruption.
Page 143 (1).—The chroniclers estimate his army at 50,000 warriors; one-half, according to Toribio, of the disposable military force of the Republic. "Which city (Tlascala), as I have said already, was wont to muster a hundred thousand fighting men."—Hist, de los Indios, MS., Parte 3, cap. 16.
Page 143 (2).—"That night," says the credulous Herrera, speaking of the carouse that followed one of their victories, "the Indian allies had a grand supper of legs and arms; for, besides an incredible number of roasts on wooden spits, they had fifty thousand pots of stewed human flesh!! " (Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 15.) Such a banquet would not have smelt savoury in the nostrils of Cortés.
Page 144 (1).—Called by the Spaniards Huacachula, and spelt with every conceivable diversity by the old writers, who may be excused for stumbling over such a confusion of consonants.
Page 144 (2).—This cavalier's name is usually spelt Olid by the chroniclers. In a copy of his own signature, I find it written Oli.
Page 145 (1).—"I should have been very glad to have taken some alive," says Cortés, " who could have informed me of what was going on in the great city, and who had been lord there since the death of Montezuma. But I succeeded in saving only one,—and he was more dead than alive."—Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 159.
Page 146 (1).—The story of the capture of this strong post is told very differently by Captain Diaz. According to him. Olid, when he had fallen back on Cholula, in consequence of the refusal of his men to advance, under the strong suspicion which they entertained of some foul practice from their allies, received such a stinging rebuke from Cortés, that he compelled his troops to resume their march, and, attacking the enemy, "with the fury of a tiger," totally routed them. (Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 1 32.) But this version of the affair is not endorsed, so far as I am aware, by any contemporary. Cortés is so compendious in his report that it is often necessary to supply the omissions with the details of other writers. But where he is positive in his statements,—unless there be some reason to suspect a bias,—his practice of writing on the spot, and the peculiar facilities for information afforded by his position, make him decidedly the best authority.
Page 146 (2).—Cortés, with an eye less sensible to the picturesque than his great predecessor in the track of discovery, Columbus, was full as quick in detecting the capabilities of the soil. "Here was a circular valley, very productive of fruits and cotton, which are not found in any part of the higher passes owing to the extreme cold. These are the warm lands, because they are well sheltered by the mountains. All this valley is watered by very good canals, excellently devised and regulated."—Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 164. Page 146 (3).—So numerous, according to Cortés, that they covered hill and dale, as far as the eye could reach, mustering more than a hundred and twenty thousand strong. (Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 162.) When the Conquerors attempt anything like a precise numeration, it will be as safe to substitute "a multitude," "a great force," etc., trusting the amount to the reader's own imagination.
Page 149 (1).—Bernal Diaz, Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 131.
Page 150 (1).—Bernal Diaz, Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 131, 133, 136.—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 19.—Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 154, 167.—Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 16.
Page 151 (1).—It was dated at "Villa Segura de la Frontera of this New Spain on the thirtieth of October 1520." But, in consequence of the loss of the ship intended to bear it, the letter was not sent till the spring of the following year; leaving the nation still in ignorance of the fate of the gallant adventurers in Mexico, and the magnitude of their discoveries.
Page 151 (2).—The state of feeling occasioned by these discoveries may be seen in the correspondence of Peter Martyr, then residing at the court of Castile. See, in particular, his epistle, dated March, 1521, to his noble pupil, the Marques de Mondejar, in which he dwells with unbounded satisfaction on all the rich stores of science which the expedition of Cortés had thrown open to the world.—Opus Epistolarum, ep. 771.
Page 152 (1).—This memorial is in that part of my collection made by the former President of the Spanish Academy, Vargas Ponce. It is signed by four hundred and forty-four names; and it is remarkable that this roll, which includes every other familiar name in the army, should not contain that of Bernal Diaz del Castillo. It can only be accounted for by his illness; as he tells us he was confined to his bed by a fever about this time.—Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 134.
Page 152 (2).—Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 179.—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 18. Alonso de Avila went as the bearer of despatches to St. Domingo. Bernal Diaz, who is not averse, now and then, to a fling at his commander, says that Cortés was willing to get rid of this gallant cavalier, because he was too independent and plain spoken.—Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 136.
Page 153 (1).—Bernal Diaz, Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 136.—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 19.
Page 153 (2).—Ibid., ubi supra.—Says Herrera, "And he dubbed and accoutred him as a knight after the fashion of Castille. And since knighthood was a Christian order, he caused him to be baptized and named him Don Lorençar Maxiscatzin."
Page 154 (1).—For an account of the manner in which this article was procured by Montane and his doughty companions, see ante, vol. i. p. 318.
Page 154 (2).—"Thus were constructed thirteen brigantines in the ward of Atempa, near a hermitage called St. Buenaventura; these were built by Martin Lopez, one of the first conquistadores, with the assistance of Neguez Gomez."—Hist, de Tlascala, MS.
Page 155 (1).—Solís dismisses this prince with the remark, "that he reigned but a few days; long enough, however, for his indolence and apathy to efface the memory of his name among the people." (Conquista, lib. 4, cap. 16.) Whence the historiographer of the Indies borrowed the colouring for this portrait I cannot conjecture; certainly not from the ancient authorities, which uniformly delineate the character and conduct of the Aztec sovereign in the light represented in the text. Cortés, who ought to know, describes him "as held to be very wise and valiant."—Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. i66.—See, also, Sahagun, Hist, de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap 29.— Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 19.—Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 88.—Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 16.—Gomara, Crónica, cap. 118.
Page 156 (1).—The Spaniards appear to have changed the Qua, beginning Aztec names into Gua, in the same manner as, in the mother country, they changed the Wad at the beginning of Arabic names into Guad. (See Condé, El Nubiense, Descripcion de España, notas, passim.) The Aztec tzin was added to the names of sovereigns and great lords, as a mark of reverence. Thus Cuitlahua was called Cuitlahuitzin. This termination, usually dropped by the Spaniards, has been retained from accident, or, perhaps, for the sake of euphony, in Guatemozin's name.
Page 158 (1).—Bernal Diaz, Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 134.
Page 158 (2).—One may call to mind the beautiful invocation which Racine has put into the mouth of Joad: " Come, dear scion of a valiant race, fill your defenders with new courage, come before their eyes crowned with the diadem, and perish, if you must perish, as a king."—Athalie, acte 4, scène 5.
Page 158 (2).—Rel. Tercera de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 183. Most, if not all, of the authorities—a thing worthy of note—concur in this estimate of the Spanish forces.
Page 160 (1).—Lucio Marineo, who witnessed all the dire effects of this national propensity at the Castilian court, where he was residing at this time, breaks out into the following animated apostrophe against it. "The gamester is a man capable of seeking and procuring the death of his parents, of swearing falsely by God and by the life of his King and Lord, a man who slays his own soul and casts it into hell; of what is the gamester not capable when he has no shame in losing his money, his time, his sleep, his good fame, his honour, and finally his life? For the reason that a great part of mankind always and everywhere gambles continually, it appears to me that the opinion of those who say that hell is filled with gamesters is correct."—Cosas Memorables de Espagna (ed. Sevilla, 1539), fol. 165.
Page 161 (1).—These regulations are reported with much uniformity by Herrera, Solís, Clavigero, and others, but with such palpable inaccuracy, that it is clear they never could have seen the original instrument. The copy in my possession was taken from the Muñoz collection.
Page 162 (1).—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 10, cap. 20.—Bernal Diaz, Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 127. The former historian states the number of Indian allies who followed Cortés, at eighty thousand; the latter at ten thousand! ¿ Quien sabe?
Page 163 (1).—This mountain, which, with its neighbour Popocatepetl, forms the great barrier—the Herculis columna—of the Mexican Valley, has been fancifully likened, from its long dorsal swell, to the back of a dromedary. (Tudor's Tour in North America, let. 22.) It rises far above the limits of perpetual snow in the tropics, and its huge crest and sides, enveloped in its silver drapery, form one of the most striking objects in the magnificent coup d'œil presented to the inhabitants of the capital.
Page 166 (1).—The skins of those immolated on the sacrificial stone were a common offering in the Indian temples, and the mad priests celebrated many of their festivals by publicly dancing with their own persons enveloped in these disgusting spoils of their victims.—See Sahagun, Hist, de Nueva España, passim.
Page 166 (2).—Rel, Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 187.—Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 19. Page 166 (3).—Tezcuco, a Chichemec name, according to Ixtlilxochitl, signifying "place of detention or rest," because the various tribes from the North halted there on their entrance into Anahuac.—Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 10.
Page 167 (1).—The historian Ixtlilxochitl pays the following high tribute to the character of his royal kinsman, whose name was Tecocol. Strange that this name is not to be found—with the exception of Sahagun's work—in any contemporary record! "He was the first man to be regretted by the Spaniards, on account of his noble character and devotion to their interests. Don Fernando Tecocoltzin was a true gentleman, tall, with a skin as white as that of any Spaniard, a fact which demonstrated his high lineage. He understood Spanish, and nearly every night after supper he and Cortés discussed plans for carrying on the war."—Ixtlilxochitl, Venida de los Esp., ppP 12, 13.
Page 168 (1).—The accession of Tecocol, as indeed, his existence, passes unnoticed by some historians, and by others is mentioned in so equivocal a manner,—his Indian name being omitted— that it is very doubtful if any other is intended than his younger brother Ixtlilxochitl. The Tezcucan chronicler, bearing this last melodious name, has alone given the particulars of his history. I have followed him, as, from his personal connections, having had access to the best sources of information; though, it must be confessed, he is far too ready to take things on trust, to be always the best authority.
Page 169 (1).—Among other anecdotes recorded of the young prince's early development is one of his having, when only three years old, pitched his nurse into a well, as she was drawing water, to punish her for certain improprieties of conduct of which he had been witness. But I spare the reader the recital of these astonishing proofs of precocity, as it is very probable, his appetite for the marvellous may not keep pace with that of the chronicler of Tezcuco.
Page 181 (1).—The general's own Letter to the emperor is so full and precise, that it is the very best authority for this event. The story is told also by Bernal Diaz, Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 138.—Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 18.—Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 92.—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. i, cap. 2, et auct. aliis.
Page 185 (1).—Rel. Terc, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 204, 205.—Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 19.
Page 186 (1).—Oviedo, in his admiration of his hero, breaks out in the following panegyric on his policy, prudence, and military science, which, as he truly predicts, must make his name immortal. It is a fair specimen of the manner of the sagacious old chronicler: "Undoubtedly the wisdom and energy and prudence of Hernando Cortés are worthy of admiration; the cavaliers and soldiers of our day highly esteemed him, and posterity will never forget. I think very often of all that has been written of our Captain Viceroy, Spaniard and man of Estremadura; and because of the deeds of Hernando Cortés I understand better the tireless energy of that mirror of knighthood Julius Cæsar, as shown in his Commentaries, and by Suetonius and Plutarch and others who likewise wrote of his great deeds. But those of Hernando Cortés were performed in a New World, far from European lands, with great labour and few resources and little aid, amongst a people thronging in immense numbers, barbarous and warlike, delighting in human flesh, at least that of their enemies, which they considered an excellent and healthful diet; Cortés and his soldiers lacked bread and wine and all other supplies to which they were accustomed in Spain, while living in strange and varied regions and climates, far away from succour and from their Sovereign; a wonderful and admirable record! "—Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 20.
Page 186 (2).—Among other chiefs, to whom Guatemozin applied for assistance in the perilous state of his affairs was Tangapan, lord of Michuacan, an independent and powerful state in the west, which had never been subdued by the Mexican army. The accounts which the Aztec emperor gave him, through his ambassadors, of the white men, were so alarming, according to Ixtlilxochitl, who tells the story, that the king's sister voluntarily starved herself to death, from her apprehensions of the coming of the terrible strangers. Her body was deposited, as usual, in the vaults reserved for the royal household, until preparations could be made for its being burnt. On the fourth day, the attendants who had charge of it, were astounded by seeing the corpse exhibit signs of returning life. The restored princess, recovering her speech, requested her brother's presence. On his coming, she implored him not to think of hurting a hair of the heads of the mysterious visitors. She had been permitted, she said, to see the fate of the departed in the next world. The souls of all her ancestors she had beheld tossing about in unquenchable fire; while those who embraced the faith of the strangers were in glory. As a proof of the truth of her assertion, she added, that her brother would see, on a great festival near at hand, a young warrior, armed with a torch brighter than the sun, in one hand, and a flaming sword, like that worn by the white men, in the other, passing from east to west over the city. Whether the monarch waited for the vision, or ever beheld it, is not told us by the historian. But relying, perhaps, on the miracle of her resurrection, as quite a sufficient voucher, he disbanded a very powerful force, which he had assembled on the plains of Avalos, for the support of his brother of Mexico. This narrative, with abundance of supernumerary incidents, not necessary to repeat, was commemorated in the Michuacan picture-records, and reported to the historian of Tezcuco himself, by the grandson of Tangapan. (See Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 91.) Whoever reported it to him, it is not difficult to trace the same pious fingers in it, which made so many wholesome legends for the good of the Church on the Old Continent, and which now found in the credulity of the New, a rich harvest for the same godly work.
Page 188 (1).—Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 207. Bernal Diaz says sixteen thousand. There is a wonderful agreement between the several Castilian writers as to the number of forces, the order of march, and the events that occurred on it.
Page 189 (1).—Two memorable examples of a similar transportation of vessels across the land are recorded, the one in ancient, the other in modern history; and both, singularly enough, at the same place, Tarentum, in Italy. The first occurred at the siege of that city by Hannibal (see Polybius, lib. 8); the latter some seventeen centuries later, by the Great Captain, Gonsalvo de Cordova. But the distance they were transported was inconsiderable. A more analogous example is that of Balboa, the bold discoverer of the Pacific. He made arrangements to have four brigantines transported a distance of twenty-two leagues across the Isthmus of Darien, a stupendous labour, and not entirely successful, as only two reached their point of destination. (See Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 2, cap. 11.) This took place in 15 16, in the neighbourhood, as it were, of Cortés, and may have suggested to his enterprising spirit the first idea of his own more successful, as well as more extensive, undertaking.
Page 189 (2).—"And they told me that they had great desire to come to grips with those of Calúa, and that I should see who would be the better, and that they with all their tribe came earnestly wishing to revenge themselves or to die with us. And I thanked them and told them to rest, and that soon I would give them their hands full."—Rel. Terc. ap. Lorenzna, p. 208.
Page 191 (1).—Rel. Terc. ap. Lorenzana, loc. cit.—Bernal Diaz. Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 141.—-Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 20.—Ixtlilxochitl, Venida de los Esp., pp. 13, 14, —Idem, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 92.—Gomara, Crónica, cap. 125.
Page 192 (1).—These towns rejoiced in the melodious names of Tenejoccan, Quauhtitlan, and Azcapozalco. I have constantly endeavoured to spare the reader, in the text, any unnecessary accumulation of Mexican names, which, as he is aware by this time, have not even brevity to recommend them.
Page 193 (1).—They burned this place, according to Cortés, in retaliation of the injuries inflicted by the inhabitants on their countrymen in the retreat. "Directly dawn appeared our Indian friends began to loot and burn all the city, only excepting the region where we were lodged, and were in fact so eager in the task that one-fourth of this also was burned; this they did because at the time when we marched defeated from Temixtatan, and passed through this city, the natives of it, together with those of Temixtatan, made ferocious war upon us and killed many of us Spaniards"—Rel. Terc. ap. Lorenzana, p. 210
Page 196 (1).—For the particulars of this expedition of Cortés, see, besides his own commentaries so often quoted, Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 20.—Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4. Cap.85. —Gomara, Crónica, cap. 125..—Ixtlilxochitl, Venida de los Esp., pp. 13, 14.—Bernal Diaz. Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 141.
Page 198 (1).—The distinguished naturalist, Hernandez, has frequent occasion to notice this garden, which furnished him with many specimens for his great work. It had the good fortune to be preserved after the conquest, when particular attention was given to its medicinal plants, for the use of the great hospital established in the neighbourhood.—See Clavigero, Stor. Del Messico, tom. Ii. p. 153.
Page 199 (1).—So says the Conquistador. (Rel. Terc. ap. Lorenzana, p. 215) Diaz, who will allow no one to hyperbolize but himself, says "For as long as one may take to say one Ave Maria!" (Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 122). Neither was present.
Page 199 (2).—The gallant Captain Diaz, who affects a sobriety of his own estimates, which often leads him to disparage those of Captain Gomara, says, that the force consisted of 20,000 warriosrs in 2000 canoes.—Ibid., loc. cit.
Page 200 (1).—Besides the authorities already quoted for Sandoval's expedition see Gomara, Crónica, cap. 126. —Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich. MS. cap. 92.—Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4. Cap. 86.
Page 201 (1).—Cortés speaks of these vessels as coming at the same time, but does not intimate from what quarter. (Rel. Terc, ap. Lorenzana p. 216.) Bernal Diaz who notices only one says it came from Castile. (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 143 ) But he old soldier who wrote long after the events he commemorates, and may have be confused the true order of things. It seems hardly probable that so important a reinforcement should have arrived from Castile, considering that Cortés had yet received none of the royal patronage, or even sanction, which would stimulate adventurers in the mother country to enlist under his standard.
Page 201 (2).—Bernal Diaz, Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 143.—Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind. MS. lib. 33, cap. 21. —Herrera Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 1, cap. 6.
Page 205 (1).—For the assault on the rocks,—the topography of which it is impossible to verify from the narratives of the conquerors.—See Bernal Diaz. Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 144.—Rel. Terc. ap. Lorenzana, pp. 218-221.—Gomara, Crónica, cap. 127.—Ixtlilxochitl, Venida de los Esp., pp. 16, 17.—-Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 27.
Page 205 (2).—Cortés, according to Bernal Diaz, ordered the troops who took possession of the second fortress "not to meddle with a grain of maize belonging to the besieged" Diaz giving this a very liberal interpretation, proceeded forthwith to load his Indian tamanes with everything but maize, as fair booty. He was interrupted in his labours, however, by the captain of the detachment, who gave a more narrow construction to his general's orders much to the dissatisfaction of the latter, if we may trust the doughty chronicler.—Ibid., ubi supra
Page 206 (1).—This barbarous Indian name is tortured into all possible variations by the old chroniclers. The town soon received from the Spaniards the name which it now bears of Cuernavaca, and by which it is indicated on modern maps. What can Clavigero mean by saying, that it is commonly called by his countrymen Cucinahuaca? —Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. iii. p. 185 nota. Page 207 (1).—The stout-hearted Diaz was one of those who performed this dangerous feat, though his head swam so, as he tells us, that he scarcely knew how he got on: "For my part, I own that of a truth when I crossed over and saw the way very dangerous and difficult to traverse, my head swam; and yet I got across, with twenty or thirty other soldiers and many Tlascaltecas." —Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, ubi supra.
Page 208 (1).—For the preceding account of the capture of Cuernavaca, see Bernal Diaz, ubi supra.—Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 21.—Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 93.— Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. i, cap. 8.—Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 87.—Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 223, 224.
Page 208 (2).—The city of Cuernavaca was comprehended in the patrimony of the dukes of Monteleone, descendants and heirs of the Conquistador.—The Spaniards, in their line of march towards the north, did not deviate far, probably, from the great road which now leads from Mexico to Acapulco, still exhibiting in this upper portion of it the same characteristic features as at the period of the Conquest.
Page 209 (1).—Ciavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. iii. p. 187, nota.
Page 210 (1).—Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 226.—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. I, cap. 8.—Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 21. This is the general's own account of the matter. Diaz, however, says, that he was indebted for his rescue to a Castilian, named Olea, supported by some Tlascalans, and that his preserver received three severe wounds himself on the occasion. (Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 145.) This was an affair, however, in which Cortés ought to be better informed than any one else, and one, moreover, not likely to slip his memory. The old soldier has probably confounded it with another and similar adventure of his commander.
Page 213 (1).—Diaz, who had an easy faith, states, as a fact, that the limbs of the unfortunate men were cut off before their sacrifice. This is not very probable. The Aztecs did not, like our North American Indians, torture their enemies from mere cruelty, but in conformity to the prescribed regulations of their ritual. The captive was a religious victim.
Page 214 (1).—For other particulars of the actions at Xochimilco, see Oviedo, Hist, de las Ind., MS., lib. 23, cap. 21.—-Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. i, cap. 8, 11.—Ixtlilxochitl, Venida de los Esp., p. 18.—Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 87, 88.—Bernal Diaz, Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 145. The Conqueror's own account of these engagements has not his usual perspicuity, perhaps from its brevity. A more than ordinary confusion, indeed, prevails in the different reports of them, even those proceeding from contemporaries, making it extremely difficult to collect a probable narrative from authorities, not only contradicting one another, but themselves. It is rare, at any time, that two accounts of a battle coincide in all respects; the range of observation for each individual is necessarily so limited and different, and it is so difficult to make a cool observation at all in the hurry and heat of conflict. Any one who has conversed with the survivors will readily comprehend this, and be apt to conclude that, wherever he may look for truth, it will hardly be on the battle-ground.
Page 214 (2).—This place, recommended by the exceeding beauty of its situation, became, after the Conquest, a favourite residence of Cortés, who founded a nunnery in it, and commanded in his will that his bones should be removed thither from any part of the world in which he might die. "As to my bones, they are to be taken to my town of Coyoacan, and there given to the earth in the convent of nuns which I order to be built and established in that said city of mine."— Testamento de Hernan Cortés, MS.
Page 214 (3).—This, says Archbishop Lorenzana, was the modern calzada de la Piedad. (Rel. Terc. de Cortés, p. 229, nota.) But it is not easy to reconcile this with the elaborate chart which M. de Humboldt has given of the valley. A short arm, which reached from this city in the days of the Aztecs, touched obliquely the great southern avenue, by which the Spaniards first entered the capital. As the waters which once entirely surrounded Mexico have shrunk into their narrow basin, the face of the country has undergone a great change, and, though the foundations of the principal causeways are still maintained, it is not always easy to discern vestiges of the ancient avenues.
Page 216 (1).—Diaz gives the opening redondillas of the romance, which I have not been able to find in any of the printed collections:—
"En Tacuba esta Cortés,
co su esquadron esforçado,
triste estaus, y muy penoso,
triste, y con gran cuidado,
la vna mano en la mexilla,
y la otra en el costado," etc.
It may be thus done into pretty literal doggerel:—
In Tacuba stood Cortés,
With many a care opprest,
Thoughts of the past came o'er him.
And he bowed his haughty crest.
One hand upon his cheek he laid.
The other on his breast,
While his valiant squadrons round him, etc.
Page 219 (1).—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. i, cap. 15.—Relacion de Alonso de Verzara, Escrivano Publico de Vera Cruz, MS., dec. 21.
Page 224 (1).—The brigantines were still to be seen, preserved as precious memorials long after the Conquest, in the dockyards of Mexico.—Toribio, Hist, de los Indios, MS., Parte 1, cap. 1.
Page 225 (1).—Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 234.
Page 225 (2).—Bernal Diaz, Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 147.
Page 225 (3).—Ibid., ubi supra. Hidalguia, besides its legal privileges, brought with it some fanciful ones to its possessor; if, indeed, it be considered a privilege to have excluded him from many a humble, but honest calling, by which the poor man might have gained his bread. (For an amusing account of these, see Doblado's Letters from Spain, Let. 2.) In no country has the poor gentleman afforded so rich a theme for the satirist, as the writings of Le Sage, Cervantes, and Lope de Vega, abundantly show.
Page 226 (1).—"And their banners unfurled, and the white bird which they had for cognisance, which was like an eagle with extended wings." (Bernal Diaz, Hist, de la Conquista, cap. 149.) A spread eagle of gold, Clavigero considers as the arms of the Republic. (Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. ii. p. 145.) But as Bernal Diaz speaks of it as "white," it may have been the white heron, which belonged to the house of Xicotencatl.
Page 226 (2).—The precise amount of each division, as given by Cortés, was,—in that of Alvarado, 30 horse, 168 Castilian infantry, and 25.000 Tlascalans; in that of Olid, 33 horse, 178 infantry, 20,000 Tlascalans; and in Sandoval's, 24 horse, 167 infantry, 30,000 Indians. (Rel. Terc, ap. Lorenzana, p. 236.) Diaz reduces the number of native troops to one-third.—Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 150. Page 227 (1).—Oviedo expands what he nevertheless calls the "short and pithy speech" of Cortés, into treble the length of it, as found in the general's own pages; in which he is imitated by most of the other chroniclers.—Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 22.
Page 227 (2).—.According to Diaz, the desire to possess himself of the lands of his comrade Chichemecatl, who remained with the army (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 150); according to Herrera, it was an amour that carried him home. (Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 1, cap. 17.) Both and all agree on the chief's aversion to the Spaniards, and to the war.
Page 228 (1).—So says Herrera, who had the Memorial of Ojeda in his possession, one of the Spaniards employed to apprehend the chieftain. (Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 1, cap. 17, and Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 90.) Bernal Diaz, on the other hand, says, that the Tlascalan chief was taken and executed on the road. (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 150.) But the latter chronicler was probably absent at the time with Alvarado's division, in which he served. Soils, however, prefers his testimony, on the ground that Cortés would not have hazarded the execution of Xicotencatl before the eyes of his own troops. (Conquista, lib. 5, cap. 19.) But the Tlascalans were already well on their way towards Tacuba. A very few only could have remained in Tezcuco, which was occupied by the citizens and the Castilian army,-—neither of them very likely to interfere in the prisoner's behalf. His execution there would be an easier matter than in the territory of Tlascala, which he had probably reached before his apprehension.
Page 228 (2).—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 1, cap. 17.—Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 90.
Page 229 (1).—The Tepanec capital, shorn of its ancient splendours, is now only interesting from its historic associations. "These plains of Tacuba," says the spirited author of Life in Mexico, "once the theatre of fierce and bloody conflicts, and where, during the siege of Mexico, Alvarado 'of the leap' fixed his camp, now present a very tranquil scene. Tacuba itself is now a small village of mud huts, with some fine old trees, a few very old ruined houses, a ruined church, and some traces of a building, which assured us had been the palace of their last monarch; whilst others declare it to have been the site of the Spanish encampment."—Vol. i. Let. 13.
Page 230 (1).—Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 237-239.—Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 94.—Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 22.—Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 50.—Gomara, Crónica, cap. 130. Clavigero settles this date at the day of Corpus Christi, May 30th. (Clavigero, Stor. del. Messico, tom. iii. p. 196.) But the Spaniards left Tezcuco, May 10th, according to Cortés: and three weeks could not have intervened between their departure and their occupation of Cojohuacan. Clavigero disposes of this difficulty, it is true, by dating the beginning of their march on the 20th, instead of the 10th of May; following the chronology of Herrera, instead of that of Cortés. Surely, the general is the better authority of the two.
Page 231 (1).—"It was a beautiful victory," exclaims the Conqueror. "And we broke in upon them in such a manner that not one of them escaped except the women and children; in that skirmish twenty-five of my Spaniards were wounded. But it was a fine victory."—Rel. Terc. ap. Lorenzana, p. 241
Page 232 (1).—About five hundred boats, according to the general's own estimate (Ibid., loc. cit.); but more than four thousand, according to Bernal Diaz (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 150); who, however, was not present.
Page 233 (1).—Rel. Terc. ap. Lorenzana, p. 243.—Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS, lib. 33, cap. 48.—Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 32. I may be excused for again quoting a few verses from a beautiful description in "Madoc," and one as pertinent as it is beautiful:—
"Their thousand boats, and the ten thousand oars
From whose broad bowls the waters fall and flash,
And twice ten thousand feather'd helms, and shields,
Glittering with gold and scarlet plumery.
Onward they come with song and swelling horn;
. . . On the other side
Advance the British barks; the freshening breeze
Fills the broad sail; around the rushing keel
The waters sing, while proudly they sail on.
Lords of the water."
Madoc, Part 2, canto 25.
Page 236 (1).—Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 32.—Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 95.—Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 23.—Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 247, 248.
Page 236 (2).—Ibid., ubi supra.—Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 95. Here terminates the work last cited of the Tezcucan chronicler; who has accompanied us from the earliest period of our narrative down to this point in the final siege of the capital. Whether the concluding pages of the manuscript have been lost, or whether he was interrupted by death, it is impossible to say. But the deficiency is supplied by a brief sketch of the principal events of the siege, which he has left in another of his writings. He had, undoubtedly, uncommon sources of information in his knowledge of the Indian languages and picture-writing, and in the oral testimony which he was at pains to collect from the actors in the scenes he describes. All these advantages are too often counterbalanced by a singular incapacity for discriminating—I will not say, between historic truth and falsehood (for what is truth.?)—but between the probable, or rather the possible, and the impossible. One of the generation of primitive converts to the Romish faith, he lived in a state of twilight civilisation, when, if miracles were not easily wrought, it was at least easy to believe them.
Page 237 (1).—Ixtlilxochitl, in his Thirteenth Relation, embracing among other things a brief notice of the capture of Mexico, of which an edition has been given to the world by the industrious Bustamante, bestows the credit of this exploit on Cortés himself: "In the great temple was the figure of Huitzilopoxctli, where Cortés and Ixtlilxuchitl, arriving together, both beheld it. Cortés seized the mask of gold which the idol wore, with a number of precious stones inlaid in it."—Venida de los Esp., p. 29.
Page 239 (1).—The great mass of the Otomies were an untamed race, who roamed over the broad tracts of the plateau, far away to the north. But many of them, who found their way into the valley became blended with the Tezcucan, and even with the Tlascalan nation, making some of the best soldiers in their armies.
Page 239 (2).—"Istrisuchil (Ixtlilxochitl), who was twenty-three or twenty-four years of age, a man of great vigour, feared and loved by all." (Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 251.) The greatest obscurity prevails among historians in respect to this prince, whom they seem to have confounded very often with his brother and predecessor on the throne of Tezcuco. It is rare that either of them is mentioned by any other than his baptismal name of Hernando; and, if Herrera is correct in the assertion that this name was assumed by both, it may explain in some degree the confusion. (Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 1, cap. 18.) I have conformed in the main to the old Tezcucan chronicler, who gathered his account of his kinsman, as he tells us, from the records of his nation, and from the oral testimony of the contemporaries of the prince himself.— Venida de los Esp., pp. 30, 31. Page 242 (1).—Rel. Terc. ap. Lorenzana, p. 259.
Page 243 (1).—Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 151. According to Herrera, Alvarado and Sandoval did not conceal their disapprobation of the course pursued by their commander in respect of the breaches. "Alvarado and Sandoval, for their part, also did this work very well, but they blamed Cortés for his constant withdrawals, desiring earnestly that he would maintain himself at the points gained, and avoid returning to do the same thing over and over again."— Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 1, cap. 19.
Page 247 (1).—I recollect meeting with no estimate of their numbers; nor, in the loose arithmetic of the Conquerors, would it be worth much. They must, however, have been very great, to enable them to meet the assailants so promptly and efficiently on every point.
Page 247 (2).—Defensa, MS., cap. 28.—Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva Esp., MS., lib. 12, cap. 34. The principal cities were Mexicaltzinco, Cuitlahuac, Iztapalapan, Mizquiz, Huitzilopochco, Colhuacan.
Page 248 (1).—The greatest difficulty under which the troops laboured, according to Diaz, was that of obtaining the requisite medicaments for their wounds. But this was in a great degree obviated by a Catalan soldier, who, by virtue of his prayers and incantations, wrought wonderful cures both on the Spaniards and their allies. The latter, as the more ignorant, flocked in crowds to the tent of this military Æsculapius, whose success was doubtless in a direct ratio to the faith of his patients.—Hist. de la Conquista, ubi supra.
Page 248 (2).—Diaz mourns over this unsavoury diet. (Ibid., loc. cit.) Yet the Indian fig is an agreeable, nutritious fruit; and the tortilla, made of maize-flour, with a slight infusion of lime, though not precisely a morceau friand, might pass for very tolerable camp fare. According to the lively author of Life in Mexico, it is made now precisely as it was in the days of the Aztecs. If so, a cooking receipt is almost the only thing that has not changed in this country of revolutions.
Page 248 (3).—"The more extensive," says Martyr, " was the slaughter, the more plentifully and sumptuously did the Huexotzincans and Tlaxcalans, and the other auxiliaries from the provinces, banquet. For they are wont to bury in their bellies their foes who fall in battle, and Cortés did not dare to forbid the practice." (De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 8.) "And the others showed them victims from the city, cut up into pieces, telling them that they had to sup upon this food that night, and to breakfast next day, and this they actually did." (Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 256.) Yet one may well be startled by the assertion of Oviedo, that the carnivorous monsters fished up the bloated bodies of those drowned in the lake to swell their repast! "The eyes of the Catholic Christians could never behold a more horrifying and hateful thing than the sight in the camp of the Confederate Allies of the constant practice of eating the flesh boiled or roasted, of their Indian enemies, and even of the bodies of those killed in the canoes, or, drowned, which afterwards rose to the surface of the lake or were cast ashore, to be fished out and devoured."—Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 24.
Page 251 (1).—Such is the account explicitly given by Cortés to the Emperor. (Rel. Terc. ap. Lorenzana, p. 264.) Bernal Diaz, on the contrary, speaks of the assault as first conceived by the general himself. (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 151.) Yet Diaz had not the best means of knowing; and Cortés would hardly have sent home a palpable misstatement that could have been so easily exposed.
Page 251 (2).—This punctual performance of mass by the army, in storm and in sunshine, by day and by night, among friends and enemies, draws forth a warm eulogium from the archiepiscopal editor of Cortés. "In camp, upon the highway, or among enemies, working day and night, the celebration of mass was never omitted, since all that they accomplished was to be attributed to God; they were even more pious in hard times, as when during some months rain fell heavily and incommoded them in their badly built hovels."—Lorenzana, p. 266, nota.
Page 251 (3).—In the treasurer's division, according to the general's Letter, there were 70 Spanish foot, 7 or 8 horse, and 15,000 or 20,000 Indians; in Tapia's, 80 foot, and 10,000 allies; and in his own, 8 horse, 100 infantry, and "an infinite number of allies." (Lorenzana, ubi supra.) The looseness of the language shows that a few thousands, more or less, were of no great moment in the estimate of the Indian forces.
Page 255 (1).—Ixtlilxochitl, who would fain make his royal kinsman a sort of residuary legatee for all unappropriated, or even doubtful, acts of heroism, puts in a sturdy claim for him on this occasion. A painting, he says, on one of the gates of a monastery of Tlatelolco, long recorded the fact that it was the Tezcucan chief who saved the life of Cortés. (Venida de los Esp., p. 38.) But Camargo gives the full credit of it to Olea, on the testimony of "a famous Tlascalan warrior," present in the action, who reported it to him. (Hist. de Tlascala, MS.) The same is stoutly maintained by Bernal Diaz, the townsman of Olea, to whose memory he pays a hearty tribute, as one of the best men and bravest soldiers in the army. (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 152, 204.) Saavedra, the poetic chronicler,—something more of chronicler than poet,—who came on the stage before all that had borne arms in the Conquest had left it, gives the laurel also to Olea, whose fate he commemorates in verses, that, at least, aspire to historic fidelity.
Page 256 (1).—It may have been the same banner which is noticed by Mr. Bullock as treasured up in the Hospital of Jesus, "where," says he, "we beheld the identical embroidered standard, under which the great captain wrested this immense empire from the unfortunate Montezuma."— Six Months in Mexico, vol. i. chap. 10.
Page 257 (1).—For this disastrous affair, besides the Letter of Cortés, and the Chronicle of Diaz, so often quoted, see Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva Esp., MS., lib. 12, cap. 33;—Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.;—Gomara, Crónica, cap. 138;—Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 94;— Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 26, 48.
Page 258 (1).—This renowned steed, who might rival the Babieca of the Cid, was named Motilla, and, when one would pass unqualified praise on a horse, he would say, "He is as good as Motilla." So says that prince of chroniclers, Diaz, who takes care that neither beast nor man shall be defrauded of his fair guerdon in these campaigns against the infidel. He was of a chestnut colour, it seems, with a star in his forehead, and, luckily for his credit, with only one foot white.— See Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 152-205.
Page 258 (2).—The cavaliers might be excused for not wantonly venturing their horses, if, as Diaz asserts, they could only be replaced at an expense of eight hundred, or a thousand dollars apiece. "Because at that time a horse cost eight hundred pesos, some of them even costing more than a thousand."—-Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 151.
Page 260 (1).—At least, such is the honest confession of Captain Diaz, as stout-hearted a soldier as any in the army. He consoles himself, however, with the reflection, that the tremor of his limbs intimated rather an excess of courage than a want of it, since it arose from a lively sense of the great dangers into which his daring spirit was about to hurry him!
Page 264 (1).—"Que no era bien, que Mugeres Castellanas dexasen á sus Maridos, iendo a la Guerra, i que adonde ellos muriesen, moririan ellas." (Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 1, cap. 22.) The historian has embalmed the names of several of these heroines in his pages, who are, doubtless, well entitled to share the honours of the Conquest; Beatriz de Palacios, Maria de Estrada, Juana Martin, Isabel Rodriguez, and Beatriz Bermudez.
Page 264 (2).—Ibid., ubi supra. Page 265 (1).—And yet the priests were not so much to blame, if, as Solís assures us, "the devil went about very industriously in those days, insinuating into the ears of his flock, what he could not into their hearts."—Conquista, lib. 5, cap. 22.
Page 266 (1).—"God knows," says the general, " the peril in which we all stood; but since it was necessary for us to show more energy and spirit than ever, and to die fighting, we concealed our weakness from our friends as much as from our enemies."—Ibid., p. 275.
Page 266 (2).— Tapia's force consisted of 10 horse and 80 foot; the chief alguacil, as Sandoval was styled, had 18 horse and 100 infantry.—Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, loc. cit.—Also Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 26.
Page 266 (3).—"Powder and balls, of which we had very great need." (Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 278.) It was probably the expedition in which Ponce de Leon lost his life; an expedition to the very land which the chivalrous cavalier had himself first visited in quest of the Fountain of Health. The story is pleasantly told by Irving, as the reader may remember, in his "Companions of Columbus."
Page 267 (1).—Yet we shall hardly credit the Tezcucan historian's assertion, that a hundred thousand Indians flocked to the camp for this purpose! "The labourers came with all speed for this purpose, bearing their hoes. . . there came more than a hundred thousand of them."— Ixtlilxochitl, Venida de los Esp., p. 42.
Page 267 (2).—Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 153.
Page 268 (1).—The flesh of the Christians failed to afford them even the customary nourishment, since the Mexicans said It was intolerably bitter: a miracle, considered by Captain Diaz, as expressly wrought for this occasion.—Ibid., cap. 153.
Page 268 (2).—Ibid., ubi supra. When dried in the sun, this slimy deposit had a flavour not unlike that of cheese, and formed part of the food of the poorer classes at all times, according to Clavigero, Stor. del. Messico, tom. ii. p. 222.
Page 268 (3).—Bernal Diaz, Ibid., cap. 154.
Page 272 (1).—"And it is true and I swear it, that all the lake and the houses and platforms were full of corpses and the heads of dead men, so that I do not know how to describe the scene." (Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 156.) Clavigero considers that it was a scheme of the Mexicans to leave the dead unburied, in order that the stench might annoy and drive off the Spaniards. (Stor. del. Messico, tom. ii. p. 231, nota.) But this policy would have operated much more to the detriment of the besieged than of the besiegers, whose presence in the capital was but transitory. It is much more natural to refer it to the same cause which has led to a similar conduct under similar circumstances elsewhere, whether occasioned by pestilence or famine.
Page 274 (1).—Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 29.-—Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 155.—Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 287-289.
Page 276 (1).—Toribio, Hist. de los Ind., MS., Parte 3, cap. 7. The remains of the ancient foundations may still be discerned in this quarter, while in every other etiam periére ruinæ!
Page 277 (1).—Vestiges of the work are still visible, according to M. de Humboldt, within the limits of the porch of the chapel of St. Jago. Essai Politique, tom. ii. p. 44.
Page 277 (2).—Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 155.—Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 290.—Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, MS., lib. 12, cap. 37. Page 278 (1).—Torquemada had the anecdote from a nephew of one of the Indian matrons, then a very old man himself.—Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 102.
Page 278 (2).—Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 102.—Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 156.
Page 279 (1).—"There did not remain a single child, for the fathers and mothers had eaten them (a very grievous thing to see, and much worse to suffer)." (Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva Esp., MS., lib. 12, cap. 39.) The historian derived his accounts from the Mexicans themselves, soon after the event.—One is reminded of the terrible denunciations of Moses: "The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward. . . her children which she shall bear; for she shall eat them for want of all things, secretly, in the siege and straitness wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates."—Deuteronomy, chap. 28, verses 56, 57.
Page 282 (1).—The testimony is most emphatic and unequivocal to these repeated efforts on the part of Cortés to bring the Aztecs peaceably to terms. Besides his own Letter to the Emperor, see Bernal Diaz, cap. 155;—Herrera, Hist. General, lib. 2, cap. 6, 7;—Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 100;—Ixtlilxochitl, Venida de los Esp., pp. 44-48;—Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 29, 30.
Page 283 (1).—"The wailing and weeping of the children and women was such that everyone who heard it was heartbroken." (Rel. Terc. ap. Lorenzana, p. 296.) They were a rash and stiff-necked race, exclaims his reverend editor, the archbishop, with a charitable commentary: "They were a stiff-necked people, a people without forethought." Nota.
Page 288 (1).—For the preceding account of the capture of Guatemozin, told with little discrepancy, though with more or less minuteness by the different writers, see Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 156;—Rel. Terc. de Cortés, p. 299;—Gonzalo de las Casas, Defensa, MS.;— Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 30;—Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 101.
Page 288 (2).—The general, according to Diaz, rebuked his officers for their ill-timed contention, reminding them of the direful effects of a similar quarrel between Marius and Sylla, respecting Jugurtha. (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 156.) This piece of pedantry savours much more of the old chronicler than his commander. The result of the whole,—not an uncommon one in such cases,—was, that the Emperor granted to neither of the parties, but to Cortés, the exclusive right of commemorating the capture of Guatemozin, by placing his head, together with the heads of seven other captive princes, on the border of his shield.
Page 288 (3).—Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva Esp., lib. 12, cap. 40, MS.
Page 289 (1).—For the portrait of Guatemozin, I again borrow the faithful pencil of Diaz, who knew him—at least his person—well: "Guatemuz was of very graceful make, both in figure and features. His face was rather long, but cheerful, and when his eyes looked at you they appeared rather grave than gentle, and there was no waver in them; he was twenty-three or twenty-four years of age, and his colour inclined more to white than to the colour of the brown Indians."— Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 156.
Page 289 (2).—Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 156.—Also Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 48,—and Martyr (de Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 8), who, by the epithet of magnanimo regi, testifies the admiration which Guatemozin's lofty spirit excited in the court of Castile.
Page 289 (3).—The ceremony of marriage, which distinguished the "lawful wife" from the concubine, is described by Don Thoan Cano, in his conversation with Oviedo. According to this, it appears that the only legitimate offspring which Montezuma left at his death, was a son and a daughter, this same princess. Page 289 (4).— For a further account of Montezuma's daughter, see Book VII. Chapter III. of this History.
Page 292 (1).—The event is annually commemorated, or rather was, under the colonial government, by a solemn procession round the walls of the city. It took place on the 13th of August, the anniversary of the surrender, and consisted of the principal cavaliers and citizens on horseback, headed by the viceroy, and displaying the venerable standard of the Conqueror.
Page 292 (2).—Toribio, Hist. de las Ind., MS., Parte 3, cap. 7.—Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva Esp., MS., lib. 12, cap. 42.—Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 156. "The lord of Mexico having surrendered," says Cortés, in his letter to the Emperor, "the war, by the blessing of Heaven, was brought to an end, on Wednesday, the 13th day of August, 1521. So that from the day when we first sat down before the city, which was the 30th of May, until its final occupation, seventy-five days elapsed." (Rel. Terc. ap. Lorenzana, p. 300.) It is not easy to tell what event occurred on May 30th, to designate the beginning of the siege. Clavigero considers it the occupation of Cojohuacan by Olid. (Stor. del Messico, tom. iii. p. 196.) But I know not on what authority. Neither Bernal Diaz, nor Herrera, nor Cortés, so fixes the date. Indeed,. Clavigero says that Alvarado and Olid left Tezcuco, May 20, while Cortés says May 10. Perhaps Cortés dates from the time when Sandoval established himself on the northern causeway, and when the complete investment of the capital began.—Bernal Diaz, more than once, speaks of the siege as lasting three months, computing, probably, from the time when his own division, under Alvarado, took up its position at Tacuba.
Page 292 (3).—It did not, apparently, disturb the slumbers of the troops, who had been so much deafened by the incessant noises of the siege, that, now these had ceased, "we felt," says Diaz, in his homely way, "like men suddenly escaped from a belfry, where we had been shut up for months with a chime of bells ringing in our ears! "—Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 156.
Page 292 (4).—Herrera (Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 2, cap. 7) and Torquemada (Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 101) estimate them at 30,000. Ixtlilxochitl says that 60,000 fighting men laid down their arms (Venida de los Esp., p. 49); and Oviedo swells the amount still higher, to 70,000. (Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 48.)--After the losses of the siege, these numbers are startling
Page 293 (1).—Cortés estimates the losses of the enemy in the three several assaults at 67,000, which, with 50,000, whom he reckons to have perished from famine and disease, would give 117,000 (Rel. Terc. ap. Lorenzana, p. 298, et alibi.) But this is exclusive of those who fell previously to the commencement of the vigorous plan of operations for demolishing the city. Ixtlilxochitl, who seldom allows any one to beat him in figures, puts the dead, in round numbers, at 240,000, comprehending the flower of the Aztec nobility. (Venida de los Esp., p. 51.) Bernal Diaz observes, more generally, "I have read the story of the destruction of Jerusalem, but I doubt if there was as great mortality there as in this siege; for there was assembled in the city an immense number of Indian warriors from all the provinces and towns subject to Mexico, the most of whom perished." (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 156.) "I have conversed," says Oviedo, "with many hidalgos and other persons, and have heard them say that the number of the dead was incalculable,—greater than that at Jerusalem, as described by Josephus." (Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 30, cap.30.) As the estimate of the Jewish historian amounts to 1,100,000 (Antiquities of the Jews, Eng. tr., Book vii. chap, xvii.), the comparison may stagger the most accommodating faith. It will be safer to dispense with arithemetic, where the data are too loose and slippery to afford a foothold for getting at truth.
Page 293 (2).—Ixtlilxochitl, Venida de los Esp., p. 51.
Page 293 (3).— Rel. Terc. ap. Lorenzana, p. 301. Oviedo goes into some further particular» respecting the amount of the treasure, and especially of the imperial fifth, to which I shall have occasion to advert hereafter.—Hist. de las Ind, MS., lib. 33, cap. 31. Page 296 (1).—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 2, cap. 8.—Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 156.—Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva Esp., MS., lib. 12, cap. 42.—Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 30.—Ixtlilxochitl, Venida de los Esp., pp. 51, 52.
Page 300 (1).—By none has this obloquy been poured with such unsparing hand on the heads of the old Conquerors as by their own descendants, the modern Mexicans. Ixtlilxochitl's editor, Bustamante, concludes an animated invective against the invaders with recommending that a monument should be raised on the spot,—now dry land,—where Guatemozin was taken, which, as the proposed inscription itself intimates, should "devote to eternal execration the detested memory of these banditti!" (Venida de los Esp., p. 52, nota.) One would suppose that the pure Aztec blood, uncontaminated by a drop of Castilian, flowed in the veins of the indignant editor and his compatriots; or, at least, that their sympathies for the conquered race would make them anxious to reinstate them in their ancient rights. Notwithstanding these bursts of generous indignation, however, which plentifully season the writings of the Mexicans of our day, we do not find that the Revolution, or any of its numerous brood of pronunciamientos, has resulted in restoring them to an acre of their ancient territory.
Page 306 (1).—"In the Ninth book, which treated of the Conquest, there were certain defects, that is to say, some things were mentioned in the story which should have had no place there, while other things were absent concerning which it was necessary to speak. For this reason, in this year 1585, the book has been amended."—MS.
Page 310 (1).—"¿Estoi yo en algun deleite, ó baño.?" (Gomara, Crónica, cap. 145.) The literal version is not so poetical as "the bed of flowers," into which this exclamation of Guatemozin is usually rendered.
Page 310 (2).—The most particular account of this disgraceful transaction is given by Bernal Diaz, one of those selected to accompany the lord of Tacuba to his villa. (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 157.) He notices the affair with becoming indignation, but excuses Cortés from a voluntary part in it.
Page 312 (1).—Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 308. The simple statement of the Conqueror contrasts strongly with the pompous narrative of Herrera (Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 3, cap. 3), and with that of Father Cavo, who may draw a little on his own imagination. "Cortés took the King Vehichilze and the nobles of Michoacan to Mexico, in a richly draped canoe. Here is one of the palaces of Moctheuzoma, he told them; there is the great temple of Huitzilopuctli; these are the ruins of the great edifice of Quauhtemoc, and there are the remains of the great market place. Vehichilze was so moved by this spectacle that tears flowed from his eyes."— Los Tres Siglos de Mexico (Mexico, 1836), tom. i. p. 13.
Page 314 (1).—Ante, p. 270.
Page 314 (2).—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 4, cap. 8.—Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 32.—Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.—Gomara, Crónica, cap. 162. "During the first years of the rebuilding of the city more people were employed than in the erection of the temple of Jerusalem, for the crowds of workers were so great that although the streets are very wide, it was only by certain paths that one could force a way through."—(Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 1, cap. 1.) Ixtlilxochitl supplies any blank which the imagination might leave, by filling it up with 400,000, as the number of natives employed in this work by Cortés!—Venida de los Esp., p. 60.
Page 314 (3).—"They presented to the king many stones, among them a fine emerald, as broad as the palm of a hand, but square, which terminated in a point like a pyramid." (Gomara, Crónica, cap. 146.) Martyr confirms the account of this wonderful emerald, which, he says, "was reported to the king and council to be nearly as broad as the palm of the hand, and which those who had seen it thought could not be procured for any sum."—De Orbe Novo, dec. 8, cap. 4. Page 314 (4).—Ibid., ubi supra.—Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 169.
Page 315 (1).—The instrument also conferred similar powers in respect to an inquiry into Narvaez's treatment of the licentiate Ayllon. The whole document is cited in a deposition drawn up by the notary, Alonso de Vergara, setting forth the proceedings of Tapia and the municipality of Villa Rica, dated at Cempoalla, Dec. 24th, 1521. The MS. forms part of the collection of Don Vargas Ponce, in the archives of the Academy of History at Madrid.
Page 316 (1).—Relacion de Vergara, MS.—Rel. Terc. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 309-314.— Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 158. The regidores of Mexico and other places remonstrated against Cortés' leaving the valley to meet Tapia, on the ground that his presence was necessary to overawe the natives. (MS., Coyoacan, Dec. 12, 1521.) The general acquiesced in the force of a remonstrance, which, it is not improbable, was made at his own suggestion.
Page 317 (1).—The Muñoz collection of MSS. contains a power of attorney given by Cortés to his father, authorising him to manage all negotiations with the emperor and with private persons, to conduct all lawsuits on his behalf, to pay over and receive money, etc.
Page 317 (2).—Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 158.
Page 317 (3).—Sayas, Annales de Aragon (Zaragoza, 1666), cap. 63, 78. It is sufficient voucher for the respectability of this court, that we find in it the name of Dr. Galindez de Carbajal, an eminent Castilian jurist, grown grey in the service of Ferdinand and Isabella, whose confidence he enjoyed in the highest degree.
Page 319 (1).—Sayas, Annales de Aragon, cap. 78.—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 4, cap. 3.—Probanza en la Villa Segura, MSS.—Declaraciones de Puertocarrero y de Montejo, MSS.
Page 320 (1).—The character of Fonseca has been traced by the same hand which has traced that of Columbus. (Irving's Life and Voyages of Columbus, appendix. No. 32.) Side by side they will go down to posterity in the beautiful page of the historian, though the characters of the two individuals have been inscribed with pens as different from each other as the golden and iron pen which Paolo Giovio tell us he employed in his compositions.
Page 320 (2).—Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 158.
Page 322 (1).—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 4, cap. 8.
Page 322 (2).—Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. i. p. 271.—Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. ii. p. 58.
Page 322 (3).—Herrera, Hist. General, ubi supra.
Page 323 (1).—Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. ii. p. 72.
Page 323 (2).—Rel. d'un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. iii. fol. 309.
Page 323 (3).—Ibid., ubi supra.
Page 323 (4).—Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 177.
Page 323 (5).—Rel. Quarta de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 376, nota.
Page 323 (6).—For an account of this singular enterprise, see ante, vol. i. p. 318. Page 324 (1).—Cortés, reckoning only the Indian population, says treinta mil vecinos. (Rel. Quarta, ap. Lorenzana, p. 375.) Gomara, speaking of Mexico some years later, estimates the number of Spanish householders as in the text.—Crónica, cap. 162.
Page 324 (2).—Toribio, Hist. de los Indies, MS., Parte 3, cap. 7. Yet this is scarcely stronger language than that of the Anonymous Conqueror: "So well laid out and with such fine squares, and streets, the equal of any city in the world."—Rel. d'un gent., ap. Ramusio, tom. iii. fol. 309.
Page 324 (3).—"And I am convinced that this town is bound to become, after this city (Mexico) the finest in all New Spain." (Rel. Quarta, ap. Lorenzana, p. 382.) The archbishop confounds this town with the modern Vera Cruz. But the general's description of the port refutes this supposition, and confirms our confidence in Clavigero's statement, that the present city was founded by the Conde de Monterey, at the time mentioned in the text.—See vol. i. p. 196, note.
Page 325 (1).—Ordenanzas Municipales, Tenochtitlan, Marzo, 1524, MS. The Ordinances made by Cortés, for the government of the country during his vice-royalty, are still preserved in Mexico; and the copy in my possession was transmitted to me from that capital. They give ample evidence of the wise and penetrating spirit which embraced every object worthy of the attention of an enlightened ruler; and I will quote, in the original, the singular provisions mentioned in the text. "Item.—In order that the intention of the dwellers in these regions to reside here permanently may be proved, I command that all persons who possess Indians, and who were married in Castile or in other parts, shall bring their wives within a year and a half following the promulgation of this decree, under penalty of losing their Indians and all other goods acquired; and since many men might put forward the pretext that they had not sufficient money to send for their wives, such persons must present themselves before the Reverend Father Juan de Teto or before Alonso de Estrada, the Treasurer of His Majesty, to give information of their necessities, so that these facts may be communicated to me and their needs supplied; and if some persons are married and, not having their wives in this country, wish to bring them, be it known that they will be helped in this manner, giving pledges. Item.—Since there are in this land many persons, possessing Indians, who are not married, I command, in order to benefit the health of their consciences by correct living, as well as to populate and to improve their estates, that such men shall marry, and shall bring and maintain their wives in this country within a year and a half from the promulgation of these decrees, and in default they shall be deprived of the Indians that they hold."
Page 325 (2).—Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 137.
Page 325 (3).—Ante, vol. i. p. 137.
Page 325 (4).—Of asthma, according to Bernal Diaz (Hist. de la Conquista, ubi supra); but her death seems to have been too sudden to be attributed to that disease. I shall return to the subject hereafter.
Page 326 (1).—Rel. Terc. ap. Lorenzana, pp. 319, 320.
Page 326 (2).—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 5, cap. 1.
Page 326 (3).—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 4, lib. 6, cap. 5.—Ordenanzas, MS. The ordinances prescribe the service of the Indians, the hours they may be employed, their food, compensation, and the like. They require the encomendera to provide them with suitable means of religious instruction and places of worship.—But what avail good laws, which, in their very nature, imply the toleration of a great abuse?
Page 326 (4).—The whole population of New Spain, in 1810, is estimated by Don Francisco Navarro y Noriega at about 6,000,000; of which more than half were pure Indians. The author had the best means for arriving at a correct result. See Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. i. pp. 318, 319, note.
Page 327 (1).—Rel. Quarta, ap. Lorenzana, pp. 391-394. The petition of the Conquerors was acceded to by government, which further prohibited "attorneys and men learned in the law from setting foot in the country, on the ground that experience had shown, they would be sure by their evil practices to disturb the peace of the community." (Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 5, cap. 2.) These enactments are but an indifferent tribute to the character of the two professions in Castile.
Page 327 (2).—Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 1, cap. 1.—Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.
Page 327 (3).—Toribio, Hist. de los Indios, MS., Parte 3, cap. 1. Father Sahagun, who has done better service in this way than any other of his order, describes with simple brevity the rapid process of demolition. "We took the children of the caciques," he says, "into our schools, where we taught them to read, write, and to chant. The children of the poorer natives were brought together in the courtyard, and instructed there in the Christian faith. After our teaching, one or two brethren took the pupils to some neighbouring teocalli, and, by working at it for a few days, they levelled it to the ground. In this way they demolished, in a short time, all the Aztec temples, great and small, so that not a vestige of them remained." (Hist. de Nueva España, tom. iii. p. 77.) This passage helps to explain why so few architectural relics of the Indian era still survive in Mexico.
Page 328 (1).—Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. i. p. 43.—Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. iii pp. 115, 145.—Esposicion de Don Lucas Alaman (Mexico, 1828), p. 59.
Page 329 (1).—"Much as I esteem Hernando Cortés," exclaims Oviedo, "for the greatest captain and most practised in military matters of any we have known, I think such an opinion shows he was no great cosmographer." (Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 41.) Oviedo had lived to see its fallacy.
Page 330 (1).—Martyr, Opus Epist., ep. 811.
Page 330 (2).—Rel. Quarta, ap. Lorenzana, p. 385.
Page 330 (3).—The illusion at home was kept up, in some measure, by the dazzling display of gold and jewels remitted from time to time, wrought into fanciful and often fantastic forms. One of the articles sent home by Cortés was a piece of ordnance, made of gold and silver, of very fine workmanship, the metal of which alone cost 25,500 pesos de oro. Oviedo, who saw it in the palace, speaks with admiration of this magnificent toy.—Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 41.
Page 331 (1).—Among these may be particularly mentioned the Letters of Alvarado and Diego de Godoy, transcribed by Oviedo in his Hist. de las Ind., MS. (lib. 33, cap. 42-44), and translated by Ramusio, for his rich collection, Viaggi, tom. iii.
Page 331 (2).—See, among others, his orders to his kinsman, Francis Cortés,—"Instruction Civil y Militar por la Expedicion de la Costa de Colima." The paper is dated in 1524, and forms part of the Munñz collection of MSS.
Page 331 (3).—Rel. Quarta, ap. Lorenzana, p. 371. "Well may we wonder," exclaims his archiepiscopal editor, " that Cortés and his soldiers could have overrun and subdued, in so short a time, countries, many of them so rough and difficult of access, that, even at the present day, we can hardly penetrate them! "—Ibid., nota. Page 332 (1).—Carta Quinta de Cortés, MS.
Page 333 (1).—Carta de Albornos, MS., Mexico, Dec. 15, 1525.—Carta Quinta de Cortés MS.—The authorities do not precisely agree as to the numbers, which were changing, probably, with every step of their march across the tableland.
Page 333 (2).—Among these was Captain Diaz, who, however, left the pleasant farm, which he occupied in the province of Coatzacualco, with a very ill grace, to accompany the expedition. "But Cortés commanded it, and we dared not say No," says the veteran.—Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 175.
Page 333 (3).—This celebrated Letter, which has never been published, is usually designated as the Carta Quinta, or " Fifth Letter," of Cortés. It is nearly as long as the longest of the printed letters of the Conqueror; is written in the same clear, simple, business-like manner; and is as full of interest as any of the preceding. It gives a minute account of the expedition to Honduras, together with events that occurred in the year following. It bears no date, but was probably written in that year from Mexico. The original manuscript is in the Imperial Library at Vienna, which, as the German sceptre was swayed at that time by the same hand which held the Castilian, contains many documents of value for the illustration of Spanish history.
Page 334 (1).—I have examined some of the most ancient maps of the country, by Spanish, French, and Dutch cosmographers, in order to determine the route of Cortés. An inestimable collection of these maps, made by the learned German, Ebeling, is to be found in the library of Harvard University. I can detect on them only four or five of the places indicated by the general. They are the places mentioned in the text, and, though few, may serve to show the general direction of the march of the army.
Page 336 (1).—Carta Quinta de Cortés, MS.
Page 337 (1).—Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 177.
Page 337 (2).—According to Diaz, both Guatemozin and the prince of Tacuba had embraced the religion of their conquerors, and were confessed by a Franciscan friar before their execution. We are further assured by the same authority, that "they were, for Indians, very good Christians, and believed well and truly." (Ibid., loc. cit.) One is reminded of the last hours of Caupolican, converted to Christianity by the same men who tied him to the stake. See the scene, painted in the frightful colouring of a master hand, in the Araucana, Canto 34.
Page 337 (3).—Guatemozin's beautiful wife, the princess Tecuichpo, the daughter of Montezuma, lived long enough after his death to give her hand to three Castilians, all of noble descent. (See ante, p. 289, note3.) She is described as having been as well instructed in the Catholic faith as any woman in Castile, as most gracious and winning in her deportment, and as having contributed greatly, by her example, and the deference with which she inspired the Aztecs, to the tranquillity of the conquered country.—This pleasing portrait, it may be well enough to mention, is by the hand of her husband, Don Thoan Cano.
Page 339 (1).—The Indian chroniclers regard the pretended conspiracy of Guatemozin as an invention of Cortés. The informer himself, when afterwards put to the torture by the cacique of Tezcuco, declared that he had made no revelation of this nature to the Spanish commander. IxtlilxochitI vouches for the truth of this story. (Venida de los Esp., pp. 83-93.) But who will vouch for IxtlilxochitI.'
Page 340 (1).—Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 178. Page 341 (1).—Diaz, who was present, attests the truth of this account by the most solemn adjuration. "And all this which I have said I know very certainly, and I swear it. Amen."— Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 37.
Page 341 (2).—Life in Mexico, Let. 8. The fair author does not pretend to have been favoured with a sight of the apparition.
Page 342 (1).—Villagutierre says, that the Itzaes, by which name the inhabitants of these islands were called, did not destroy their idols while the Spaniards remained there. (Historia de la Conquista de la Provincia de el Itza [Madrid, 1701], pp. 49, 50.) The historian is wrong, since Cortés expressly asserts that the images were broken and burnt in his presence.—Carta Quinta, MS.
Page 342 (2).—The fact is recorded by Villagutierre, Conquista de el Itza, pp. 100-102, and Cojullado, Hist. de Yucathan, lib. 1, cap. 16.
Page 343 (1).—"If any unhappy wretch had become giddy in this transit," says Cortés, "he must inevitably have been precipitated into the gulf and perished. There were upwards of twenty of these frightful passes."—Carta Quinta, MS.
Page 346 (1).—Carta Quinta de Cortés, MS.—Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 185.— Relacion del Tesorero Strada, MS., Mexico, 1526.
Page 347 (1).—Carta Quinta de Cortés, MS.
Page 347 (2).—Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 184 et. seq.—Carta Quinta de Cortés, MS.
Page 348 (1).—Carta Quinta de Cortés, MS.—Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 189, 190.—Carta de Cortés al Emperador, MS., Mexico, Sept. 11, 1526.
Page 348 (2).—Carta de Ocaño, MS., Agosto 31, 1526.—Carta Quinta de Cortés, MS.
Page 348 (3).—"What Cortés suffered," says Dr. Robertson, "on this march, a distance, according to Gomara, of 3000 miles"—(the distance must be greatly exaggerated)—"from famine, from the hostility of the natives, from the climate, and from hardships of every species, has nothing in history parallel to it, but what occurs in the adventures of the other discoverers and conquerors of the New World. Cortés was employed in this dreadful service above two years; and, though it was not distinguished by any splendid event, he exhibited, during the course of it, greater personal courage, more fortitude of mind, more perseverance and patience, than in any other period or scene in his life." (Hist. of America, note 96.) The historian's remarks are just; as the passages, which I have borrowed from the extraordinary record of the Conqueror, may show. Those who are desirous of seeing something of the narrative told in his own way, will find a few pages of it translated in the Appendix, Part 11. No. 4.
Page 349 (1).—Memorial de Luis Cardenas, MS.—Carta de Diego de Ocaña, MS.—Herrera, Hist. Gen., dec. 3, lib. 8, cap. 14, 15.
Page 349 (2).—Carta del Emperador, MS., Toledo, Nov. 4, 1525.
Page 350 (1).—Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 192.—Carta de Cortés al Emp., MS., Mexico, Set. 11, 1526.
Page 350 (2).—Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 194.—Carta de Cortés al Emp., MS., Set. 11, 1526.
Page 352 (1).—Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 194.—Carta de Ocaña, MS., Agosto 31, 1526. Page 352 (2).—The Pope, who was of the joyous Medici family, Clement VII., and the cardinals, were greatly delighted with the feats of the Indian jugglers, according to Diaz; and his Holiness, who, it may be added, received at the same time from Cortés a substantial donative of gold and jewels, publicly testified, by prayers and solemn processions, his great sense of the services rendered to Christianity by the Conquerors of Mexico, and generously requited them by bulls, granting plenary absolution from their sins.—Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 195.
Page 352 (3).—"Y en fin venia como gran Señor."—Hist. Gen., dec. 4, lib. 3, cap. 8.
Page 353 (1).—Herrera, Hist. Gen., dec. 4, lib. 4, cap. i.—Cavo, Los Tres Siglos de Méx., tom, i., p. 78.
Page 353 (2).—Pizarro y Orellana, Varones Ilustres, p. 121.
Page 353 (3).—See the conclusion of Rogers' Voyage of Columbus.
Page 353 (4).—Bernal Diaz says, that Sandoval was twenty-two years old, when he first came to New Spain, in 1519.—Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 205.
Page 354 (1).—Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 195,
Page 356 (1).—Gomara, Crónica, cap. 183.—Herrera, Hist. Gen., dec. 4, lib. 4, cap. 1.—Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 195.
Page 356 (2).—Titulo de Marques, MS., Barcelona, 6 de Julio, 1529.
Page 356 (3).—Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. ii. p. 30, note. According to Lanuza, he was offered by the emperor the Order of St. Jago, but declined it, because no encomienda was attached to it. (Hist. de Aragon, tom. i. lib. 3, cap. 14.) But Caro de Torres, in his History of the Military Orders of Castile, enumerates Cortés among the members of the Compostellan fraternity.—Hist. de las Ord. Militaires (Madrid, 1629), fol. 103 et seq.
Page 356 (4).—Merced de Tierras Immediatas á Mexico, MS., Barcelona, 23 de Julio, 1529.— Merced de los Vasallos, MS., Barcelona, 6 de Julio,1529.
Page 357 (1).—"The benignant reception which I experienced on my return, from your Majesty," says Cortés, "your kind expressions and generous treatment, make me not only forget all my toils and sufferings, but even cause me regret that I have not been called to endure more in your service." (Carta de Cortés al Lic. Nuñez, MS., 1535.) This memorial, addressed to his agent in Castile, was designed for the emperor.
Page 358 (1).—Titulo de Capitan General de la Nueva España y Costa del Sur, MS., Barcelona, 6 de Julio, 1529.
Page 358 (2).—Doña Juana was of the house of Arellano, and of the royal lineage of Navarre, Her father was not a very wealthy noble.—L. Marineo Siculo, Cosas Mem., fol. 24, 25.
Page 358 (3).—One of these precious stones was as valuable as Shylock's turquoise. Some Genoese merchants in Seville offered Cortés, according to Gomara, 40,000 ducats for it. The same author gives a more particular account of the jewels, which may interest some readers. It shows the ingenuity of the artist, who, without steel, could so nicely cut so hard a material. One emerald was in the form of a rose; the second in that of a horn; a third, like a fish, with eyes of gold; the fourth was like a little bell, with a fine pearl for the tongue, and on the rim was the inscription, in Spanish, Blessed is He who created thee. The fifth, which was the most valuable, was a small cup with a foot of gold, and with four little chains, of the same metal, attached to a large pearl as a button. The edge of the cup was of gold, on which was engraven this Latin sentence, "Of those born of women, no greater exists."—Gomara, Crónica, cap. 184.
Page 360 (1).—Carta de Cortés al Emperador, MS., Tezcuco, 10 de Oct., 1530.
Page 362 (1).—Doña Catalina's death happened so opportunely for the rising fortunes of Cortés that this charge of murder by her husband has found more credit with the vulgar than the other accusations brought against him. Cortés, from whatever reason, perhaps from the conviction that the charge was too monstrous to obtain credit, never condescended to vindicate his innocence. But, in addition to the arguments mentioned in the text for discrediting the accusation generally, we should consider that this particular charge attracted so little attention in Castile, where he had abundance of enemies, that he found no difficulty, on his return there, seven years afterwards, in forming an alliance with one of the noblest houses in the kingdom; that no writer of that day (except Bernal Diaz, who treats it as a base calumny), not even Las Casas, the stern accuser of the Conquerors, intimates a suspicion of his guilt; and that, lastly, no allusion whatever is made to it in the suit, instituted, some years after her death, by the relatives of Doña Catalina, for the recovery of property from Cortés, pretended to have been derived through her marriage with him,— a suit conducted with acrimony, and protracted for several years. I have not seen the documents connected with the suit, which are still preserved in the archives of the house of Cortés, but the fact has been communicated to me by a distinguished Mexican, who has carefully examined them; and I cannot but regard it as of itself conclusive, that the family, at least, of Doña Catalina, did not attach credit to the accusation. Yet so much credit has been given to this in Mexico, where the memory of the old Spaniards is not held in especial favour, at the present day, that it has formed the subject of an elaborate discussion in the public periodicals of that city.
Page 361 (2).—This remarkable paper, forming part of the valuable collection of Don Vargas Ponce, is without date. It was doubtless prepared in 1529, during the visit of Cortés to Castile. The following Title is prefixed to it:
"Relation of the charges resulting from the secret enquiry against Don Hernando Cortés, of which no copy nor details were given to the said Don Hernando, on account of the nature of the charges, and on account of the absence of Don Hernando. I, Gregorio de Saldana, Secretary of His Majesty and Secretary of the said Proceedings, derived these charges from the said Secret Enquiry, by order of the members, President and Judges of the Audience and Royal Chancellery, which resides in New Spain by command of His Majesty. These details are sent by the Members, President and Judges to His Majesty so that they may be examined and such action taken as may be convenient."—MS.
Page 362 (1).—MS., Tordelaguna, 22 de Marzo, 1530.
Page 362 (2).—The principal grievance alleged was, that slaves, many of them held temporarily by their masters, according to the old Aztec usage, were comprehended in the census. The complaint forms part of a catalogue of grievances embodied by Cortés in a memorial to the emperor. It is a clear and business-like paper.—Carta de Cortés á Nuñez, MS.
Page 362 (3).—Carta de Cortés á Nuñez, MS.
Page 363 (1).—The palace has crumbled into ruins, and the spot is now only remarkable for its natural beauty and its historic associations. "It was the capital," says Madame de Calderon, "of the Tlahuica nation, and, after the Conquest, Cortés built here a splendid palace, a church, and a convent for Franciscans, believing that he had laid the foundation of a great city. . . . It is, however, a place of little importance, though so favoured by nature; and the Conqueror's palace is a half-ruined barrack, though a most picturesque object, standing on a hill, behind which starts up the great white volcan. There are some good houses, and the remains of the church which Cortés built, celebrated for its bold arch."—Life in Mexico, vol. ii. let. 31. Page 363 (2).—These particulars respecting the agricultural economy of Cortés, I have derived, in part, from a very able argument, prepared in January, 1828, for the Mexican Chamber of Deputies, by Don Lucas Alaman, in defence of the territorial rights possessed at this day by the Conqueror's descendant, the Duke of Monteleone.
Page 363 (3).—Navarrete, Coleccion de los Viages y Descubrimientos (Madrid, 1837), tom, v., Viages al Maluco.
Page 363 (4).—Instruccion que dió Marques del Valle á Juan de Avellaneda, etc., MS.
Page 364 (1).—Provision sobre los Descubrimientos del Sur. MS., Setiembre, 1534.
Page 364 (2).—The river Huasacualco furnished great facilities for transporting, across the isthmus, from Vera Cruz, materials to build vessels on the Pacific.—Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. iv. p. 50.
Page 365 (1).—Instruccion del Marques del Balle, MS. The most particular and authentic account of Ulloa's cruise will be found in Ramusio. (Tom. iii. pp. 340-354.) It is by one of the officers of the squadron.—My limits will not allow me to give the details of the voyages made by Cortés, which, although not without interest, were attended with no permanent consequences. A good summary of his expeditions in the Gulf has been given by Navarrete in the Introduction to his Relacion del Viage hecho por las Goletas Sutil y Mexicana (Madrid, 1802), pp. vi.-xxvi.; and the English reader will find a brief account of them in Greenhow's valuable Memoir on the North-west Coast of North America (Washington, 1840), pp. 22-27.
Page 365 (2).—Memorial al Rey del Marques del Valle, MS., 25 de Junio, 1540.
Page 365 (3).—Provision sobre los Descubrimientos del Sur, MS.
Page 366 (1).—See the map prepared by the pilot Diego del Castillo, in 1541, ap. Lorenzana, p. 328.
Page 366 (2).—In the collection of Vargas Ponçe is a petition of Cortés, setting forth his grievances, and demanding an investigation of the vice-king's conduct. It is without date. Peticion contra Don Antonio de Mendoza Virrey, pediendo residencia contra él, MS.
Page 367 (1).—Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 200.
Page 367 (2).—Gomara, Crónica, cap. 237.
Page 367 (3).—Sandoval, Hist. de Cárlos V., lib. 12, cap. 25.—Ferreras (trad. d'Hermilly), Hist. d'Espagne, tom. ix., p. 231.
Page 368 (1).—Voltaire tells us, that one day Cortés, unable to obtain an audience of the emperor, pushed through the press surrounding the royal carriage, and mounted the steps; and when Charles inquired "Who that man was," he replied, "One who has given you more kingdoms than you had towns before." (Essai sur Ies Mœurs, chap. 147.) For this most improbable anecdote I have found no authority whatever. It served, however, very well to point a moral,—the main thing with the philosopher of Ferney.
Page 370 (1).—This is the argument controverted by Las Casas in his elaborate Memorial addressed to the government, in 1542, on the best method of arresting the destruction of the aborigines.
Page 371 (1).—This interesting document is in the Royal Archives of Seville; and a copy of it forms part of the valuable collection of Don Vargas Ponce. Page 371 (2).—Zuñiga, Annales de Sevilla, p. 504.—Gomara, Crón., cap. 237. In his last letter to the emperor, dated in February, 1544, he speaks of himself as being "sixty years of age." But he probably did not mean to be exact to a year. Gomara's statement, that he was born in the year 1485 (Crónica, cap. 1), is confirmed by Diaz, who tells us, that Cortés used to say, that, when he first came over to Mexico, in 1519, he was thirty-four years old. (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 205.) This would coincide with the age mentioned in the text.
Page 371 (3).—Noticia del Archivero de la Santa Eclesia de Sevilla, MS.
Page 372 (1).—The full particulars of the ceremony described in the text may be found in Appendix, Part II., No. 5, translated into English, from a copy of the original document existing in the Archives of the Hospital of Jesus, in Mexico.
Page 372 (2).—Essai Politique, tom. ii. p. 60.
Page 373 (1).—Don Martin Cortés, second Marquess of the Valley, was accused, like his father, of an attempt to establish an independent sovereignty in New Spain. His natural brothers, Don Martin and Don Luis, were involved in the same accusation with himself, and the former—as I have elsewhere remarked—was in consequence subjected to the torture. Several others of his friends, on charge of abetting his treasonable designs, suffered death. The marquess was obliged to remove with his family to Spain, where the investigation was conducted; and his large estates in Mexico were sequestered until the termination of the process, a period of seven years, from 1567 to 1574, when he was declared innocent. But his property suffered irreparable injury, under the wretched administration of the royal officers, during the term of sequestration.
Page 375 (1).—The comparison to Hannibal is better founded than the old soldier probably imagined. Livy's description of the Carthaginian warrior has a marvellous application to Cortés,—better, perhaps, than that of the imaginary personage quoted a few lines below in the text. "He showed the greatest boldness in undertaking dangerous enterprises, and the greatest resource in critical moments. No physical labour could tire his body or blunt his spirit. Heat and cold he endured with equal fortitude. In eating and drinking he was guided by his physical needs, not by his pleasure. No regular hours of day or night did he set aside for sleeping or waking. He gave to sleep such time as was not required for action. Many, on frequent occasions, have seen him lying on the ground, wrapped in his military cloak, among the sentries and pickets. In dress he was not conspicuous among his peers, but in the matter of equipment and horseflesh he excelled. Whether mounted or on foot he was by far the first. Foremost in the attack, he was the last to leave the field." (Hist., lib. xxi. sec. 5.) The reader, who reflects on the fate of Guatemozin, may possibly think that the extract should have embraced the "Treachery more base that of the Carthaginians," in the succeeding sentence.
Page 375 (2).—Testamento de Hernan Cortés, MS.
Page 378 (1).—Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. ii. p. 267.
Page 378 (2).—An extraordinary anecdote is related by Cavo, of this bigotry (shall we call it policy }) of Cortés. "In Mexico," says the historian, "it is commonly reported, that, after the Conquest, he commanded, that on Sundays and holidays all should attend, under pain of a certain number of stripes, to the expounding of the Scriptures. The general was himself guilty of an omission, on one occasion, and, after having listened to the admonition of the priest, submitted, with edifying humility, to be chastised by him, to the unspeakable amazement of the Indians! "— Hist. de los Tres Seglos, tom. i. p. 151.
Page 378 (3).—"To the King, infinite lands; to God, infinite souls," says Lope de Vega, commemorating in this couplet the double glory of Cortés. It is the light in which the Conquest was viewed by every devout Spaniard of the sixteenth century. Page 379 (1).—Ante, vol. i. p. 146.
Page 379 (2).—He dispensed a thousand ducats every year in his ordinary charities, according to Gomara.
Page 380 (1).—Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 203.
Page 383 (1).—The names of many animals in the New World, indeed, have been frequently borrowed from the Old: but the species are very different. "When the Spaniards landed in America," says an eminent naturalist, "they did not find a single animal they were acquainted with; not one of the quadrupeds of Europe, Asia, or Africa."—Lawrence, Lectures on Physiology, Zoology, and the Natural History of Man (London, 1819), p. 250.
Page 383 (2).—Acosta, lib. i, cap. 16.
Page 383 (3).—Count Carli shows much ingenuity and learning in support of the famous Egyptian tradition, recorded by Plato, in his "Timæus,"—of the good faith of which the Italian philosopher nothing doubts.—Lettres Améric, tom. ii. let. 36-39.
Page 384 (1).—Garcia, Origen de los Indios de el Nuevo Mundo (Madrid, 1729), cap. 4.
Page 384 (2).—Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 1, cap. 8.
Page 384 (3).—Pritchard, Researches into the Physical History of Mankind (London, 1826), vol. i. p. 81 et seq. He may find an orthodox authority of respectable antiquity, for a similar hypothesis, in St. Augustine, who plainly intimates his belief, that, "as by God's command, at the time of the creation, the earth brought forth the living creature after his kind, so a similar process must have taken place after the deluge, in islands too remote to be reached by animals from the continent."—De Civitate Dei, ap. Opera (Parisiis, 1636), tom. v. p. 987.
Page 384 (4).—Beechey, Voyage to the Pacific and Behring's Strait (London, 1831), Part 2, Appendix.—Humboldt, Examen Critique de I'Histoire de la Géographie du Nouveau Continent (Paris, 1837), tom. ii. p. 58.
Page 384 (5).—Whatever scepticism may have been entertained as to the visit of the Northmen, in the eleventh century, to the coasts of the great continent, it is probably set at rest in the minds of most scholars, since the publication of the original documents, by the Royal Society at Copenhagen. (See, in particular, Antiquitates Americanse, Hafnise, 1837, pp. 79-200.) How far south they penetrated is not so easily settled.
Page 384 (6).—The most remarkable example, probably, of a direct intercourse between remote points, is furnished us by Captain Cook, who found the inhabitants of New Zealand not only with the same religion, but speaking the same language, as the people of Otaheite, distant more than 2000 miles. The comparison of the two vocabularies establishes the fact.—Cook's Voyages (Dublin, 1784), vol. i. book i., chap. 8.
Page 384 (7).—The eloquent Lyell closes an enumeration of some extraordinary and well attested instances of this kind with remarking, "Were the whole of mankind now cut off, with the exception of one family, inhabiting the old or new continent, or Australia, or even some coral islet of the Pacific, we should expect their descendants, though they should never become more enlightened than the South-Sea Islanders or the Esquimaux, to spread, in the course of ages, over the whole earth, diffused partly by the tendency of population to increase beyond the means of subsistence in a limited district, and partly by the accidental drifting of canoes by tides and currents to distant shores."—Principles of Geology (London, 1832), vol. ii. p. 121. Page 386 (1).—"The general question of the first origin of the inhabitants of a continent is beyond the limits assigned to History; perhaps it is not even a problem for philosophy."—Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. i. p. 349.
Page 386 (2).—Ante, vol. i. p. 39.
Page 386 (3).—The fanciful division of time into four or five cycles or ages was found among the Hindoos (Asiatic Researches, vol. ii. mem. 7), the Thibetians (Humboldt, Vues des Cordillères, p. 210), the Persians (Bailly, Traité de I'Astronomie [Paris, 1787], tom. i. discours préliminaire), the Greeks (Hesiod, Works and Days, v. 108 et seq.), and other people, doubtless. The five ages in the Grecian cosmogony had reference to moral rather than physical phenomena,—a proof of higher civilisation.
Page 386 (4).—The Chaldean and Hebrew accounts of the Deluge are nearly the same. The parallel is pursued in Palfrey's ingenious Lectures on the Jewish Scriptures and Antiquities (Boston, 1840), vol. ii. lect. 21, 22. Among the Pagan writers, none approach so near to the Scripture narrative as Lucian, who, in his account of the Greek traditions, speaks of the ark, and the pairs of different kinds of animals. (De Dea Syria, sec. 12.) The same thing is found in the Bhagawatn Purana, a Hindoo poem of great antiquity. (Asiatic Researches, vol. ii. mem. 7.) The simple tradition of a universal inundation was preserved among most of the aborigines, probably, of the Western World.—See M'Culloh, Researches, p. 147.
Page 387 (1).—This tradition of the Aztecs is recorded in an ancient hieroglyphical map, first published in Gemelli Carreri's Giro del Mondo. (See tom. vi. p. 38, ed. Napoli, 1700.) Its authenticity, as well as the integrity of Carreri himself, on which some suspicions have been thrown (see Robertson's America [London, 1796], vol. iii. note 26), has been successfully vindicated by Boturini, Clavigero, and Humboldt, all of whom trod in the steps of the Italian traveller. (Boturini, Idea, p. 54.—Humboldt, Vues des Cordillères, pp. 223, 224.—Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. i. p. 24.) The map is a copy from one in the curious collection of Siguenza. It has all the character of a genuine Aztec picture, with the appearance of being retouched, especially in the costumes, by some later artist. The painting of the four ages, in the Vatican Codex, No. 3730, represents, also, the two figures in the boat, escaping the great cataclysm.—Antiq. of Mexico, vol. i. pli. 7.
Page 387 (2).—I have met with no other voucher for this remarkable tradition than Clavigero (Stor. del Messico, dissert, 1); a good, though certainly not the best, authority, when he gives us no reason for our faith. Humboldt, however, does not distrust the tradition. (See Vues des Cordillères, p. 226.) He is not so sceptical as Vater, who, in allusion to the stories of the Flood, remarks, "I have purposely omitted noticing the resemblance of religious notions, for I do not see how it is possible to separate from such views every influence of Christian ideas, if it be only from an imperceptible confusion in the mind of the narrator."—Mithridates, oder allgemeine Sprachenkunde (Berlin, 1812), theil iii. abtheil 3, p. 82, note.
Page 387 (3).—This story, so irreconcilable with the vulgar Aztec tradition, which admits only two survivors of the Deluge, was still lingering among the natives of the place, on M. de Humboldt's visit there. (Vues des Cordillères, pp. 31, 32.) It agrees with that given by the interpreter of the Vatican Codex (Antiq. of Mexico, vol. vi. p. 192 et seq.); a writer,-—probably a monk of the sixteenth century,—in whom ignorance and dogmatism contended for mastery. See a precious specimen of both, in his account of the Aztec chronology, in the very pages above referred to.
Page 387 (4).—A tradition, very similar to the Hebrew one, existed among the Chaldeans and the Hindoos. (Asiatic Researches, vol. iii. mem. 16.) The natives of Chiapa, also, according to the bishop Nuñez de la Vega, had a story, cited as genuine by Humboldt (Vues des Cordillères, p. 148), which not only agrees with the Scripture account of the manner in which Babel was built, but with that of the subsequent dispersion, and the confusion of tongues. A very marvellous coincidence! But who shall vouch for the authenticity of the tradition? The bishop flourished towards the close of the seventeenth century. He drew his information from hieroglyphical maps, and an Indian MS., which Boturini in vain endeavoured to recover. In exploring these, he borrowed the aid of the natives, who, as Boturini informs us, frequently led the good man into errors and absurdities; of which he gives several specimens. (Idea, p. 116 et seq.)—Boturini himself has fallen into an error equally great, in regard to a map of this same Cholulan pyramid; which Clavigero shows, far from being a genuine antique, was the forgery of a later day. (Stor. del Messico, tom. i. p. 130, nota.) It is impossible to get a firm footing in the quick sands of tradition. The further we are removed from the Conquest, the more difficult it becomes to decide what belongs to the primitive Aztec, and what to the Christian convert.
Page 387 (5).—Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. i, cap. 6; lib. 6, cap. 28, 33. Torquemada, not content with the honest record of his predecessor, whose MS. lay before him, tells us, that the Mexican Eve had two sons, Cain and Abel. (Monarch. Ind., lib. 6, cap. 31.) The ancient interpreters of the Vatican and Tellerian Codices add the further tradition, of her bringing sin and sorrow into the world by plucking the forbidden rose (Antiq. of Mexico, vol. vi., explan. of PI. 7, 20); and Veytia remembers to have seen a Toltec or Aztec map, representing a garden with a single tree in it, round which was coiled the serpent with a human face! (Hist. Antig., lib. i, cap. I.) After this we may be prepared for Lord Kingsborough's deliberate conviction, that the "Aztecs had a clear knowledge of the Old Testament, and, most probably of the New, though somewhat corrupted by time and hieroglyphics!"—Antiq. of Mexico, vol. vi. p. 409.
Page 387 (6).—Ante, vol. i. p. 38.
Page 388 (1).—Veytia, Hist. Antig., lib. i, cap. 15.
Page 388 (2).—Ibid., lib. i, cap. 19. A sorry argument, even for a casuist. See, also, the elaborate dissertation of Dr. Mier (apud Sahagun, lib. 3, Suplem.), which settles the question entirely to the satisfaction of his reporter, Bustamente.
Page 388 (3).—See, among others. Lord Kingsborough's reading of the Borgian Codex, and the interpreters of the Vatican (Antiq. of Mexico, vol. vi., explan. of PI. 3, 10, 41), equally well skilled with his Lordship,—and Sir Hudibras,—in unravelling mysteries:
"Whose primitive tradition reaches.
As far as Adam's first green breeches."
Page 388 (4).—Antiquites Mexicaines, exped. 3, PI. 36. The figures are surrounded by hieroglyphics of most arbitrary character, perhaps phonetic. (See also, Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 3, cap. I;—Gomara, Crónica de la Nueva España, cap. 15, ap. Barcia, tom. ii.) Mr. Stephen considers that the celebrated "Cozumel Cross," preserved at Merida, which claims the credit of being the same originally worshipped by the natives of Cozumel, is, after all, nothing but a cross that was erected by the Spaniards in one of their own temples in that island after the Conquest. This fact he regards as "completely invalidating the strongest proof offered at this day, that the Cross was recognised by the Indians as a symbol of worship." (Travels in Yucatan, vol. ii. chap. 20.) But admitting the truth of this statement, that the Cozumel Cross is only a Christian relic, which the ingenious traveller has made extremely probable, his inference is by no means admissible. Nothing could be more natural than that the friars in Merida should endeavour to give celebrity to their convent by making it the possessor of so remarkable a monument as the very relic which proved, in their eyes that Christianity had been preached at some earlier date among the natives. But the real proof of the existence of the Cross, as an object of worship in the New World, does not rest on such spurious monuments as these, but on the unequivocal testimony of the Spanish discoverers themselves. Page 388 (5).—"They received it with extraordinary reverence, with humility and tears, saying that they were eating the flesh of their God."—Veytia, Hist. Antig., hb. i, cap. 18.— Also, Acosta, lib. 5, cap. 24.
Page 389 (1).—Ante, vol. i. p. 40.—Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 6, cap. 37. That the reader may see for himself, how like, yet how unlike, the Aztec rite was to the Christian, I give the translation of Sahagun's account, at length. "When everything necessary for the baptism had been made ready, all the relations of the child were assembled, and the midwife, who was the person that performed the rite of baptism, was summoned. At early dawn, they met together in the courtyard of the house. When the sun had risen, the midwife, taking the child in her arms, called for a little earthen vessel of water, while those about her placed the ornaments which had been prepared for the baptism in the midst of the court. To perform the rite of baptism, she placed herself with her face towards the west, and immediately began to go through certain ceremonies. . . . After this she sprinkled water on the head of the infant, saying, 'O, my child! take and receive the water of the Lord of the world, which is our life, and is given for the increasing and renewing of our body. It is to wash and to purify. I pray that these heavenly drops may enter into your body, and dwell there; that they may destroy and remove from you all the evil and sin which was given to you before the beginning of the world; since all of us are under its power, being all the children of Chalchivitlycue ' (the goddess of water). She then washed the body of the child with water, and spoke in this manner: ' Whencesoever thou comest, thou that art hurtful to this child; leave him and depart from him, for he now liveth anew, and is born anew; now is he purified and cleansed afresh, and our mother Chalchivitlycue again bringeth him into the world.' Having thus prayed, the midwife took the child in both hands, and lifting him towards heaven, said, 'O Lord, thou seest here thy creature, whom thou hast sent into this world, this place of sorrow, suffering, and penitence. Grant him, O Lord, thy gifts, and thine inspiration, for thou art the Great God, and with thee is the great goddess.' Torches of pine were kept burning during the performance of these ceremonies. When these things were ended, they gave the child the name of some one of his ancestors, in the hope that he might shed a new lustre over it. The name was given by the same midwife, or priestess, who baptized him."
Page 389 (2).—Among Egyptian symbols, we meet with several specimens of the cross. One, according to Justus Lipsius, signified "life to come." (See his treatise, De Cruce [Lutetiæ Parisiorum, 1598], lib. 3, cap. 8.) We find another in Champollion's catalogue, which he interprets, "support or Saviour." (Précis, tom, ii. Tableau Gén., Nos. 277, 348.) Some curious examples of the reverence paid to this sign by the ancients have been collected by M'Culloh (Researches, p. 330 et seq.), and by Humboldt, in his late work. Geographic du Nouveau Continent, tom. ii. p. 354 et seq.
Page 389 (3).—"Aforetime there was grain, which possessed the virtue of winning divine favour for mankind," says Ovid. (Fastorum, lib. I., v. 337.) Count Carli has pointed out a similar use of consecrated bread, and wine or water, in the Greek and Egyptian mysteries. (Lettres Améric, tom, 1, let. 27.) See, also, M'Culloh, Researches, p. 240 et seq.
Page 389 (4).—Water for purification and other religious rites is frequently noticed by the classical writers. Thus Euripides: "First will I cleanse him with purificatory ablutions. The sea washes away all the evil of mortal men."—Iphig. in Taur., vv. 1192, 1194. The notes on this place, in the admirable Variorum edition of Glasgow, 1821, contain references to several passages of similar import in different authors.
Page 389 (5).—The difficulty, of obtaining anything like a faithful report from the natives is the subject of complaint from more than one writer, and explains the great care taken by Sahagun, to compare their narratives with each other.—See Hist. de Nueva España, Prólogo; Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., Pról.;—Boturini, Idea, p. 116. Page 389 (6).—The parallel was so closely pressed by Torquemada, that he was compelled to suppress the chapter containing it, on the publication of his book.—See the Proemio to the edition of 1723, sec. 2.
Page 389 (7).—"The Devil," says Herrera, " chose to imitate, in everything, the departure of the Israelites from Egypt, and their subsequent wanderings." (Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 3, cap. 10.) But all that has been done by monkish annalist and missionary, to establish the parallel with the children of Israel, falls far short of Lord Kingsborough's learned labours, spread over nearly two hundred folio pages. (See Antiq. of Mexico, tom. vi. pp. 282-410.) Quantum inane!
Page 389 (8).—Interp. of Cod. Tel.-Rem., et Vat., Antiq., of Mexico, vol. vi.—Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 3, Suplem.—Veytia, Hist. Antig. lib. 1, cap. 16.
Page 389 (9).—This opinion finds favour with the best Spanish and Mexican writers, from the Conquest downwards. Soils sees nothing improbable in the fact "that the malignant influence, so frequently noticed in sacred history, should be found equally in profane."—Hist. de la Conquista, lib. 2, cap. 4.
Page 390 (1).—The bridal ceremony of the Hindoos, in particular, contains curious points of analogy with the Mexican. (See Asiatic Researches, vol. vii. mem. 9.) The institution of a numerous priesthood, with the practices of confession and penance, was familiar to the Tartar people. (Maundeville, Voiage, chap. 23.) And monastic establishments were found in Thibet and Japan, from the earliest ages.—Humboldt, Vues des Cordillères, p. 179.
Page 390 (2).—"Doubtless," says the ingenious Carli, "the fashion of burning the corpse, collecting the ashes in a vase, burying them under pyramidal mounds, with the immolation of wives and servants at the funeral, all remind one of the customs of Egypt and Hindostan."— Lettres Améric, tom. 2, let. 10.
Page 390 (3).—Marco Polo notices a civilised people in South-eastern China, and another in Japan, who drank the blood and ate the flesh of their captives; esteeming it the most savoury food in the world,—" la più saporita et migliore, che si possa truovar al mondo." (Viaggi, lib. 2, cap. 75; lib. 3, 13, 14.) The Mongols, according to Sir John Maundeville, regarded the ears "sowced in vynegre," as a particular dainty.—Voiage, chap. 23.
Page 390 (4).—Marco Polo, Viaggi, lib. 2, cap. 10.—Maundeville, Voiage, cap. 20, et alibi. See also a striking parallel between the Eastern Asiatics and Americans, in the Supplement to Ranking's "Historical Researches"; a work embodying many curious details of Oriental history and manners, in support of a whimsical theory.
Page 390 (5).—Morton, Crania Americana (Philadelphia, 1839), pp. 224-246. The industrious author establishes this singular fact, by examples drawn from a great number of nations in North and South America.
Page 390 (6).—Gomara, Crónica de la Nueva España, cap. 202, ap. Barcia, tom. ii.—Clavigero, Stor. del Messico, tom. i. pp. 94, 95.—M'Culloh (Researches, p. 198), who cites the Asiatic Researches. Dr. M'Culloh, in his single volume, has probably brought together a larger mass of materials for the illustration of the aboriginal history of the continent, than any other writer in the language. In the selection of his facts, he has shown much sagacity, as well as industry; and, if the formal and somewhat repulsive character of the style has been unfavourable to a popular interest, the work must always have an interest for those who are engaged in the study of Indian antiquities. His fanciful speculations on the subject of Mexican mythology may amuse those whom they fail to convince.
Page 391 (1).—Ante, vol. i. p. 64 et seq. Page 391 (2).—This will be better shown by enumerating the zodiacal signs, used as the names of the years by the Eastern Asiatics. Among the Mongols, these were—1, mouse; 2, ox; 3, leopard; 4, hare; 5, crocodile; 6, serpent; 7, horse; 8, sheep; 9, monkey; 10, hen; 11, dog; 12, hog. The Mantchou Tartars, Japanese, and Thibetians, have nearly the same terms, substituting, however, for No. 3, tiger; 5, dragon; 8, goat. In the Mexican signs, for the names of the days, we also meet with hare, serpent, monkey, dog. Instead of the "leopard," "crocodile," and "hen,"—neither of which animals were known in Mexico at the time of the Conquest,—we find the ocelotl, the lizard, and the eagle. The lunar calendar of the Hindoos exhibits a correspondence equally extraordinary. Seven of the terms agree with those of the Aztecs, namely, serpent, cane, razor, path of the sun, dog's tail, house. (Humboldt, Vues des Cordillères, p. 152.) These terms, it will be observed, are still more arbitrarily selected, not being confined to animals; as, indeed, the hieroglyphics of the Aztec calendar were derived indifferently from them, and other objects, like the signs of our zodiac. These scientific analogies are set in the strongest light by M. de Humboldt, and occupy a large, and, to the philosophical inquirer, the most interesting, portion of his great work. (Vues des Cordillères, pp. 125-194.) He has not embraced in his tables, however, the Mongol calendar, which affords even a closer approximation to the Mexican, than that of the other Tartar races.—Conf. Ranking, Researches, pp. 370, 371, note.
Page 391 (3).—There is some inaccuracy in Humboldt's definition of the ocelotl, as "the tiger," "the jaguar." (Ibid., p. 159.) It is smaller than the jaguar though quite as ferocious, and is as graceful and beautiful as the leopard, which it more nearly resembles. It is a native of New Spain, where the tiger is not known. (See Buffon, Histoire Naturelle [Paris An. 8], tom. ii., vox, Ocelotl.) The adoption of this latter name, therefore, in the Aztec calendar, leads to an inference somewhat exaggerated.
Page 391 (4).—Both the Tartars and the Aztecs indicated the year by its sign; as the "year of the hare," or "rabbit," etc. The Asiatic signs, likewise far from being limited to the years and months, presided, also, over days and even hours. (Humboldt, Vues des Cordillères, p. 165.) The Mexicans had also astrological symbols appropriated to the hours.—Gama, Descripcion, Parte 2, p. 117.
Page 391 (5).—Ante, vol. i. p. 69.
Page 391 (6).—Achilles Tatius notices a custom of the Egyptians,—who, as the sun descended towards Capricorn, put on mourning; but, as the days lengthened, their fears subsided, they robed themselves in white, and, crowned with flowers, gave themselves up to jubilee, like the Aztecs. This account, transcribed by Carli's French translator, and by M. de Humboldt, is more fully criticised by M. Jomard in the Vues des Cordillères, p. 309 et seq.
Page 391 (7).—Jefferson (Notes on Virginia [London 1787], p. 164), confirmed by Humboldt (Essai Politique, tom. i. p. 353). Mr. Gallatin comes to a different conclusion. (Transactions of American Antiquarian Society [Cambridge, 1836], vol. ii. p. 161.) The great number of American dialects and languages is well explained by the unsocial nature of a hunter's life, requiring the country to be parcelled out into small and separate territories for the means of subsistence.
Page 392 (1).—Philologists have, indeed, detected two curious exceptions, in the Congo and primitive Basque; from which, however, the Indian languages differ in many essential points.— See Duponceau's Report, ap. Transactions of the Lit. and Hist. Committee of the Am. Phil. Society, vol. i.
Page 392 (2).—Vater (Mithridates, theil iii. abtheil 3, p. 70), who fixes on the Rio Gila and the Isthmus of Darien, as the boundaries, within which traces of the Mexican language were to be discerned. Clavigero estimates the number of dialects at thirty-five. I have used the more guarded statement of M. de Humboldt, who adds, that fourteen of these languages have been digested into dictionaries and grammars.—Essai Politique, tom. i. p. 352. Page 392 (3).—No one has done so much towards establishing this important fact, as that estimable scholar, Mr. Duponceau. And the frankness with which he has admitted the exception that disturbed his favourite hypothesis, shows that he is far more wedded to science than to system. See an interesting account of it, in his prize essay before the Institute.—Mémoire sur le Système Grammatical des Langues de quelques Nations Indiennes de I'Amèrique. (Paris, 1838.)
Page 392 (4).—The Mexican language, in particular, is most flexible; admitting of combinations so easily, that the most simple ideas are often buried under a load of accessories. The forms of expression, though picturesque, were thus made exceedingly cumbrous. A "priest," for example, was called notlazomabuizteopixcatatzin, meaning "venerable minister of God, that I love as my father." A still more comprehensive word is amatlacuilolitquitcatlaxtlahuitli, signifying " the reward given to a messenger who bears a hieroglyphical map conveying intelligence."
Page 392 (5).—See, in particular, for the latter view of the subject, the arguments of Mr. Gallatin, in his acute and masterly disquisition (on the Indian tribes; a disquisition) that throws more light on the intricate topics of which it treats, than whole volumes that have preceded it.— Transactions of the American Antiquarian Society, vol. ii., Introd., sec. 6.
Page 392 (6).—This comparative anatomy of the languages of the two hemispheres, begun by Barton (Origin of the Tribes and Nations of America [Philadelphia, 1797]), has been extended by Vater (Mithridates, theil iii. abtheil 1, p. 348 et seq.). A selection of the most striking analogies may be found, also, in Malte-Brun, book 75, table.
Page 392 (7).—Othomi from otho, "stationary," and mi, "nothing." (Najera, Dissert., ut infra.) The etymology intimates the condition of this rude nation of warriors, who, imperfectly reduced by the Aztec arms, roamed over the high lands north of the Valley of Mexico.
Page 392 (8).—See Najera's Dissertatio De Lingua Othomitotom, ap. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, vol. 5, New Series. The author, a learned Mexican, has given a most satisfactory analysis of this remarkable language, which stands alone among the idioms of the New World, as the Basque—the solitary wreck, perhaps, of a primitive age—exists among those of the Old.
Page 393 (1).—Barton, p. 92.—Heckewelder, chap, 1., ap. Transactions of the Hist. and Lit. Committee of the Am. Phil. Soc, vol i. The various traditions have been assembled by M. Warden, in the Antiquités Mexicaines, part 2, p. 185 et seq.
Page 393 (2).—The recent work of Mr. Delafield (Inquiry into the Origin of the Antiquities of America [Cincinnati, 1839]), has an engraving of one of these maps, said to have been obtained by Mr. Bullock, from Boturini's collection. Two such are specified on page 10 of that antiquary's Catalogue. This map has all the appearance of a genuine Aztec painting, of the rudest character. We may recognise, indeed, the symbols of some dates and places, with others denoting the aspect of the country, whether fertile or barren, a state of war or peace, etc. But it is altogether too vague, and we know too little of the allusions, to gather any knowledge from it of the course of the Aztec migration. Gemelli Carreri's celebrated chart contains the names of many places on the route, interpreted, perhaps, by Siguenza himself, to whom it belonged (Giro del Mondo, tom. vi. p. 56); and Clavigero has endeavoured to ascertain the various localities with some precision. (Stor. del Messico, tom. i. p. 160 et seq.) But, as they are all within the boundaries of New Spain, and, indeed, south of the Rio Gila, they throw little light, of course, on the vexed question of the primitive abodes of the Aztecs.
Page 393 (3).—This may be fairly inferred from the agreement of the traditionary interpretations of the maps of the various people of Anahuac, according to Veytia; who, however, admits that it is "next to impossible," with the lights of the present day, to determine the precise route taken by the Mexicans. (Hist. Antig., tom. i. cap. 2.) Lorenzana is not so modest. "The Mexicans traditionally came from the North," says he, "and know their ancestry very well." (Hist. de Nueva España, p. 81, nota.) There are some antiquaries who see best in the dark.
Page 393 (4).—Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 2, et seq.—Idem, Relaciones, MS.— Veytia, Hist. Antig., ubi supra.—Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., tom. i. lib. 1.
Page 393 (5).—In the province of Sonora, especially along the Californian Gulf. The Cora language, above all, of which a regular grammar has been published, and which is spoken in New Biscay, about 30° north, so much resembles the Mexican, that Vater refers them both to a common stock.—Mithridates, thell iii. abtheil 3, p. 143.
Page 393 (6).—On the southern bank of this river are ruins of large dimensions, described by the missionary Pedro Font, on his visit there, in 1775. (Antiq. of Mexico, vol. vi. p. 538.) At a place of the same name, Casas Grandes, about 33° north, and, like the former, a supposed station of the Aztecs, still more extensive remains are to be found; large enough, indeed, according to a late traveller, Lieut. Hardy, for a population of 20,000 or 30,000 souls. The country for leagues is covered with these remains as well as with utensils of earthenware, obsidian, and other relics. A drawing, which the author has given of a painted jar or vase, may remind one of the Etruscan. "There were, also, good specimens of earthen images in the Egyptian style," he observes, "which are, to me, at least, so perfectly uninteresting, that I was at no pains to procure any of them." (Travels in the Interior of Mexico [London, 1829], pp. 464-466.) The Lieutenant was neither a Boturini nor a Belzoni.
Page 393 (7).—Vater has examined the languages of three of these nations, between 50° and 60° north, and collated their vocabularies with the Mexican, showing the probability of a common origin of many of the words in each.—Mithridates, theil iii. abtheil 3, p. 212.
Page 393 (8).—The Mexicans are noticed by M. de Humboldt, as distinguished from the other aborigines, whom he had seen, by the quantity both of beard and moustaches. (Essai Politique, tom. i. p. 361.) The modern Mexican, however, broken in spirit and fortunes, bears as little resemblance, probably, in physical, as in moral characteristics, to his ancestors, the fierce and independent Aztecs.
Page 393 (9).—Prichard, Physical History, vol. i. pp. 167-169, 182 et seq.—Morton, Crania Americana, p. 66.—M'Culloch, Researches, p. 18.—Lawrence, Lectures, pp. 317, 565.
Page 393 (10).—Thus we find, amidst the generally prevalent copper or cinnamon tint, nearly all gradations of colour, from the European white, to a black, almost African; while the complexion capriciously varies among different tribes. In the neighbourhood of each other. See examples In Humboldt (Essai Politique, tom. I. pp. 358, 359), also Prichard (Physical History, vol. II. pp. 452, 522 et alibi), a writer, whose various research and dispassionate judgment have made his work a text-book In this department of science.
Page 394 (1).—Such is the conclusion of Dr. Warren, whose excellent collection has afforded him ample means for study and comparison. (See his Remarks before the British Association for the Advancement of Science, ap. London Athenasum, Oct., 1837.) In the specimens collected by Dr. Morton, however, the barbarous tribes would seem to have a somewhat larger facial angle, and a greater quantity of brain, than the semi-civilised.—Crania Americana, p. 259.
Page 394 (2).—"One cannot refuse to admit that the human species offers no examples of racial types more closely allied than those of the Americans, Mongols, Manchus and Malays."—Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. I. p. 367.—Also, Prichard, Physical History, vol. i. pp. 184-186; vol. II. pp. 365-367;—Lawrence, Lectures, p. 365.
Page 394 (3).—Dr. Morton's splendid work on American crania has gone far to supply the requisite information. Out of about one hundred and fifty specimens of skulls, of which he has ascertained the dimensions with admirable precision, one-third belong to the cemi-civilised races; and of them thirteen are Mexican. The number of these last is too small to found any general conclusions upon, considering the great diversity found in individuals of the same nation, not to say kindred.—Blumenbach's observations on American skulls were chiefly made, according to Prichard (Physical History, vol. i. pp. 183, 184), from specimens of the Carib tribes, as unfavourable, perhaps, as any on the continent.
Page 394 (4).—Yet these specimens are not easy to be obtained. With uncommon advantages for procuring these myself in Mexico, I have not succeeded in obtaining any specimen of the genuine Aztec skull. The difficulty of this may be readily comprehended by any one who considers the length of time that has elapsed since the Conquest, and that the burial-places of the ancient Mexicans have continued to be used by their descendants. Dr. Morton more than once refers to his specimens, as those of the "genuine Toltec skull, from cemeteries in Mexico, older than the Conquest." (Crania Americana, pp. 152, 155, 231 et alibi.) But how does he know that the heads are Toltec? That nation is reported to have left the country about the middle of the eleventh century, nearly eight hundred years ago,—according to Ixtlilxochitl, indeed, a century earlier; and it seems much more probable, that the specimens now found in these burial places should belong to some of the races who have since occupied the country, than to one so far removed. The presumption is manifestly too feeble to authorise any positive inference.
Page 394 (5).—The tower of Belus, with its retreating stories, described by Herodotus (Clio, sec. 181), has been selected as the model of the teocalli; which leads Vater somewhat shrewdly to remark, that it is strange no evidence of this should appear in the erection of similar structures by the Aztecs, in the whole course of their journey to Anahuac. (Mithridates, theil iii. abtheil 3, pp. 74, 75.) The learned Niebuhr finds the elements of the Mexican temple in the mythic tomb of Porsenna. (Roman History, Eng trans. [London, 1827], vol. i. p. 88.) The resemblance to the accumulated pyramids, composing this monument, is not very obvious. Conf. Pliny (Hist. Nat., lib. 36, sec. 19). Indeed, the antiquarian may be thought to encroach on the poet's province, when he finds in Etruican fable,—" cum omnia excedat fabulositas," as Pliny characterises this,—the origin of Aztec science.
Page 394 (6).—See the powerful description of Lucan, Pharsalia, lib. 9, v. 966. The Latin bard has been surpassed by the Italian, in the beautiful stanza, beginning Giace l' alta Cartago (Gierusalemme Liberata, C. 1 5, a. 20), which may be said to have been expanded by Lord Byron into a canto,—the fourth of Childe Harold.
Page 394 (7).—The most remarkable remains on the proper Mexican soil are the temple or fortress of Xochicalco, not many miles from the capital. It stands on a rocky eminence, nearly a league in circumference, cut into terraces faced with stone. The building on the summit is seventy-five feet long, and sixty-six broad. It is of hewn granite, put together without cement, but with great exactness. It was constructed in the usual pyramidal, terraced form, rising by a succession of stories, each smaller than that below it. The number of these is now uncertain; the lower one alone remaining entire. This is sufficient, however, to show the nice style of execution, from the sharp, salient cornices, and the hieroglyphical emblems with which it is covered, all cut in the hard stone. As the detached blocks found among the ruins are sculptured with bas-reliefs in like manner, it is probable that the whole building was covered with them. It seems probable, also, as the same pattern extends over different stones, that the work was executed after the walls were raised. In the hill beneath, subterraneous galleries, six feet wide and high, have been cut to the length of one hundred and eighty feet, where they terminate in two halls, the vaulted ceilings of which connect by a sort of tunnel, with the buildings above. These subterraneous works are also lined with hewn stone. The size of the blocks, and the hard quality of the granite of which they consist, have made the buildings of Xochicalco a choice quarry for the proprietors of a neighbouring sugar-refinery, who have appropriated the upper stories of the temple to this ignoble purpose! The Barberini at least built palaces, beautiful themselves, as works of art, with the plunder of the Coliseum. See the full description of this remarkable building, both by Dupaix and Alzate. (Antiquités Mexicaines, tom. i. Exp. 1, pp. 1 5-20; tom. iii. Exp. 1, PI. 33.) A recent investigation has been made by order of the Mexican government, the report of which differs, in some of its details, from the preceding.—Revista Mexicana, tom. i. mem. 5.
Page 394 (8).—Ante, vol. i. p. 102.
Page 394 (9).—It is impossible to look at Waldeck's finished drawings of buildings, where Time seems scarcely to have set its mark on the nicely chiselled stone, and the clear tints are hardly defaced by a weather-stain, without regarding the artist's work as a restoration; a picture, true, it may be, of those buildings in the day of their glory, but not of their decay.—Cogolludo, who saw them in the middle of the seventeenth century, speaks of them with admiration, as works of "accomplished architects," of whom history has preserved no tradition. Historia de Yucatan (Madrid, 1688), lib. 4, cap. 2.
Page 395 (1).—In the original text is a description of some of these ruins, especially of those of Mitla and Palenque. It would have had novelty at the time in which it was written, since the only accounts of these buildings were in the colossal publications of Lord Kingsborough, and in the Antiquités Mexicaines, not very accessible to most readers. But it is unnecessary to repeat descriptions, now familiar to every one, and so much better executed than they can be by me, in the spirited pages of Stephens.
Page 395 (2).—See, in particular, two terra-cotta busts with helmets, found in Oaxaca, which might well pass for Greek, both in the style of the heads, and the casques that cover them.—Antiquités Mexicaines, tom. iii. Exp. 2, PI. 36.
Page 395 (3).—Dupaix speaks of these tools, as made of pure copper. But doubtless there was some alloy mixed with it, as was practised by the Aztecs and Egyptians; otherwise, their edges must have been easily turned by the hard substances on which they were employed.
Page 395 (4).—Wilkinson, Ancient Egyptians, vol. iii. pp. 246-254.
Page 395 (5).—Ante, vol. i. p. 80.
Page 396 (1).—Waldeck, Atlas Pittoresque, p. 73. The fortress of Xochicalco was also coloured with a red paint (Antiquités Mexicaines, tom. i. p. 20); and a cement of the same colour covered the Toltec pyramid at Teotihuacan, according to Mr. Bullock.—Six Months in Mexico, vol. ii. p. 143.
Page 396 (2).—Description de I'Egypte, Antiq., tom. ii. cap. 9, sec. 4. The huge image of the Sphinx was originally coloured red. (Clarke's Travels, vol. v. p. 202.) Indeed, many of the edifices, as well as statues, of ancient Greece, also, still exhibit traces of having been painted.
Page 396 (3).—The various causes of the stationary condition of art in Egypt, for so many ages, are clearly exposed by the Duke di Serradifalco, in his Antichita della Sicilia* (Palermo, 1834, tom. ii. pp. 33, 34); a work in which the author, while illustrating the antiquities of a little island, has thrown a flood of light on the arts and literary culture of ancient Greece.
Page 396 (4).—"The ideal is not always the beautiful," as Winckelmann truly says, referring to the Egyptian figures. (Histoire de I'Art chez les Anciens, liv. 4, chap. 2, trad. Fr.) It is not impossible, however, that the portraits mentioned in the text may be copies from life. Some of the rude tribes of America distorted their infants' heads into forms quite as fantastic, and Garcilaso de la Vega speaks of a nation discovered by the Spaniards in Florida, with a formation apparently not unlike that of the Palenque. "They had heads incredibly long, and very slender in the upper part, a form obtained artificially by bandaging the babies from the day of birth until they reach the age of nine or ten years."—La Florida (Madrid, 1723), p. 190. Page 397 (1).—For a notice of this remarkable codex, see ante, vol. i. p. 62. There is indeed, a resemblance, in the use of straight lines and dots, between the Palenque writing and the Dresden MS. Possibly these dots denoted years, like the rounds in the Mexican system.
Page 397 (2).—The hieroglyphics are arranged in perpendicular lines. The heads are uniformly turned towards the right, as in the Dresden MS.
Page 397 (3).—"Those nameless ruins," says the enthusiastic chevalier Le Noir, "which are now called Palenque, may date back, like the most ancient known ruins of the world, three thousand years. This is not my opinion only; it is the opinion of all travellers who have seen these remains, of all the archaeologists who have examined these designs or have read descriptions of them, as well as that of historians who have made researches, finding nothing in the records of the world which sheds light upon the epoch of the foundation of these monuments, whose origin is lost in the mists of time." (Antiquités Mexicaines, tom, ii., Examen, p. 73.) Colonel Galindo, fired with the contemplation of the American ruins, pronounces this country the true cradle of civilisation, when it passed over to China, and latterly to Europe, which, whatever "its foolish vanity" may pretend, has but just started in the march of improvement I—See his Letter on Copan, ap. Trans, of Am. Ant. Soc, vol. ii.
Page 397 (4).—From these sources of information, and especially from the number of the concentric rings in some old trees, and the incrustation of stalactites found on the ruins of Palenque, Mr. Waldeck computes their age at between two and three thousand years. (Voyage en Yucatan, p. 78.) The criterion, as far as the trees are concerned, cannot be relied on in an advanced stage of their growth; and as to the stalactite formations, they are obviously affected by too many casual circumstances to afford the basis of an accurate calculation.
Page 397 (5).—Waldeck, Voyage en Yucatan, ubi supra.
Page 397 (6).—Antiquités Mexicaines, Examen, p. 76. Hardly deep enough, however, to justify Captain Dupaix's surmise of the antediluvian existence of these buildings; especially considering that the accumulation was in the sheltered position of an interior court.
Page 398 (1).—Waldeck, Voyage en Yucatan, p. 97.
Page 398 (2).—The chaplain of Grijalva speaks with admiration of the "lofty towers of stone and lime, some of them very ancient," found in Yucatan. (Itinerario, MS. .) Bernal Diaz, with similar expressions of wonder, refers the curious antique relics found there to the Jews. (Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 2, 6.) Alvarado, in a letter to Cortés, expatiates on the "maravillosos et grandes edificios," to be seen in Guatemala. (Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 42.) According to Cogolludo, the Spaniards, who could get no tradition of their origin, referred them to the Phœnicians or Carthaginians. (Hist. de Yucatan, lib. 4, cap. 2.) He cites the following emphatic notice of these remains from Las Casas:—"Ciertamente la tierra de Yucathan da á entender cosas mui especiales, y de mayor antiguedad, por las grandes, admirables, y excesivas maneras de edificios, y letreros de ciertos caracteres, que en otra ninguna parte se hallan." (Loc. cit.) Even the inquisitive Martyr has collected no particulars respecting them, merely noticing the buildings of this region with general expressions of admiration. (De Insulis nuper Inventis, pp. 334-340.) What is quite as surprising is the silence of Cortés, who traversed the country forming the base of Yucatan, in his famous expedition to Honduras, of which he has given many details we would gladly have exchanged for a word respecting these interesting memorials.— Carta Quinta de Cortés, MS. I must add, that some remarks in the above paragraph in the text would have been omitted, had I enjoyed the benefit of Mr. Stephen's researches, when it was originally written. This is especially the case with the reflections on the probable condition of these structures at the time of the Conquest, when some of them would appear to have been still used for their original purposes. Page 398 (3).—"Thus the Toltecs who escaped fled to the coasts of the Sea of the South and of the North, settling in Huatimala, Tecuantepec, Cuauhzacualco, Campechy, Tecolotlan, and on the islands and shores of one sea and the other, where afterwards they multiplied."—Ixtlilxocbitl, Relaciones, MS., No. 5.
Page 398 (4).—Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 4, lib. 10, cap. 1-4.—Cogolludo, Hist. de Yucatan, lib. 4, cap. 5.—Pet. Martyr, De Insulis, nuper Inventis, pp. 334-340. M. Waldeck comes to just the opposite inference, namely, that the inhabitants of Yucatan were the true sources of the Toltec and Aztec civilisation. (Voyage en Yucatan, p. 72.) "Doubt must be our lot in everything," exclaims the honest Captain Dupaix,—"the true faith always excepted."—Antiquités Mexicaines, tom. i. p. 21.
Page 398 (5).—"Not one of all those writers makes it plain who were the builders; wherein fate is just, which has decreed that the authors of such vainglorious works should be forgotten."— Pliny, Hist. Nat., lib. 36, cap. 17.
Page 398 (6).—Ante, vol. i. p. 104.
Page 399 (1).—At least, this is true of the etymology of these languages, and, as such, was adduced by Mr. Edward Everett, in his Lectures on the aboriginal civilisation of America, forming part of a course delivered some years since by that acute and highly accomplished scholar.
Page 399 (2).—The mixed breed, from the buffalo and the European stock, was known formerly in the north-western counties of Virginia, says Mr. Gallatin (Synopsis, sec. 5); who is, however, mistaken in asserting, that "the bison is not known to have ever been domesticated by the Indians." (Ubi supra.) Gomara speaks of a nation, dwelling in about the 40th degree north latitude, on the north-western borders of New Spain, whose chief wealth was in droves of these cattle (buyes con una giba sobre la cruz, " oxen with a hump on the shoulders"), from which they got their clothing, food, and drink, which last, however, appears to have been only the blood of the animal.—Historia de las Indias, cap. 214, ap. Barcia, tom. ii.
Page 399 (3).—The people of parts of China, for example, and, above all, of Cochin China, who never milk their cows, according to Macartney, cited by Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. iii. p. 58, note.—See also, p. 118.
Page 399 (4).—The native regions of the buffalo were the vast prairies of the Missouri, and they wandered over the long reach of country east of the Rocky Mountains, from 55° north, to the head-waters of the streams between the Mississippi and the Rio del Norte. The Columbia plains, says Gallatin, were as naked of game as of trees. (Synopsis, sec. 5.) That the bison was sometimes found, also, on the other side of the mountains, is plain from Gomara's statement. (Hist. de las Ind., cap. 214, ap. Barcia, tom. ii.) See, also, Laet, who traces their southern wanderings to the river Vaquimi (?), in the province of Cinaloa, on the Californian Gulf.-—Novus Orbis (Lug. Bat. 1633), p. 286.
Page 400 (1).—Ante, vol. i. p. 91. Thus Lucretius, "The use of bronze was known before that of iron, since its nature is more ductile, and it occurs in greater plenty. With bronze alone they laboured the fields, and with bronze they aroused the billows of war."— De Rerum, Natura, lib. 5. According to Carli, the Chinese were acquainted with iron 3000 years before Christ. (Lettres Améric, tom. .ii. p. 63.) Sir J. C. Wilkinson, in an elaborate inquiry into its first appearance among the people of Europe and Western Asia, finds no traces of it earlier than the sixteenth century before the Christian era. (Ancient Egyptians, vol. iii. pp. 241-246.) The origin of the most useful arts is lost in darkness. Their very utility is one cause of this from the rapidity with which they are diffused among distant nations. Another cause is, that in the first ages of the discovery, men are more occupied with availing themselves of it than with recording its history; until time turns history into fiction. Instances are familiar to every schoolboy.