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which was larger, stronger, and better built than the castle of Burgos. Of the different people whom they saw, the Indians of the province of Tamazalapa, appeared to them to possess the most intelligence, and were much better dressed than any they had seen.
The second division who went on this discovery, traversed the province of Malinaltebeque, which is on the sea coast, seventy leagues from Mexico; these likewise brought me some specimens of gold from a great river which waters that country.
The third division went into the province of Tenis, whose inhabitants speak a different language from those of Chulua. The cacique, or prince of this province, is called Coatelicamat; his territory is situated on a chain of high and steep mountains; his subjects are very warlike, and make use of lances of an immense length. As he is not dependant on Montezuma, the Mexicans who were with my men, dared not enter the country until they had obtained his leave. They in consequence requested him, in behalf of their master Montezuma, and myself, to permit the Spaniards to see the golden mines which were worked in his country. This permission he granted to the Spaniards, but refused to the subjects of Montezuma, whom he considered as enemies. The Spaniards were for some time undecided whether to enter the province alone, especially as their companions did all they could to dissuade them; they at length, however, ventured to proceed, and were received with much hospitality by the cacique and his people, who showed them seven or eight rivulets, from whence they saw them take the gold, specimens of which they brought to me.
On their return they were accompanied by an embassador from Coatelicamat, who brought me several presents of pieces of cloth, the manufacture of his country, and some golden ornaments, and in his name made me a proffer of his lands and his person.
The fourth division crossed the province of Suchitebeque, situated near the sea, at twelve leagues distance from that of Ma. linaltebeque. They were showed two rivers, from whence gold was taken in their presence, specimens of which they likewise brought.
As from the report of the Spaniards I understood that there were a number of places in the province of Malinaltebeque, well situated for establishments for digging gold, I desired Montezuma to have one formed. He immediately issued orders for this purpose, which were so promptly executed, that within two months, seventy fanegas of wheat and ten of white beans for seed, with two thousand sets of cocoa plants were collected; this last article is held in such estimation, that it serves for exchange and purchase in all bargains instead of silver. Montezuma likewise established four other plantations or settlements, in one of which a pond was constructed capable of supporting five hundred ducks, whose feathers the Mexicans employ in their clothing. Another
contained more than fifteen hundred fowls, without reckoning many other things, which were estimated at the value of twenty thousand golden crowns.
I afterwards requested Montezuma to point out to me some river or harbour on the sea coast, where ships might anchor in safety. He accordingly sent me a cloth,* upon which was painted a chart of the whole coast belonging to his empire, and at the same time offered to send persons to examine such places as corresponded with my views. On this charı I observed the mouth of a river, much broader than any of the others, situated in a range of mountains formerly called Sanmyn, but at present St. Martin and St. Antony. I sent thither ten sailors, under an escort furnished by Montezuma. These took their departure from the harbour of St. John where I first landed, and proceeded along the coast upwards of sixty leagues, without finding a single harbour or river that would admit a ship. At length they came to the mouth of the river of Guacalca, the same that I had noticed on the chart, where they were well received by the cacique of the province, named Tuchintecla, who furnished them with canoes to examine the river. This they found to be not less than two fathoms and a half deep at its mouth. They ascended it for twelve leagues, and uniformly found in the channel from five to six fathoms of water, and from the best information they could obtain, it continues of the same depth for upwards of thirty leagues; its shores are reported to be thickly peopled, and the province through which it flows, level, fertile, and abounding with every production. The inhabitants are not subject to Montezuma, but on the contrary inimical to him; and the cacique while he permitted the entrance of the Spaniards, prohibited that of the Mexican escort which accompanied them. He sent me embassadors loaded with ornaments of gold, tiger skins, plumes, precious stones and cloth, with orders to tell me that their master, Tuchintecla, had long since heard me spoken of by his friends, the people of Putunchan, who, after having attempted to prevent my entering their country, had submitted and obtained my friendship. They said that Tuchintecla bimself, as well as his subjects, would submit themselves wholly to me, if I would prevent the people of Chulua from entering his country; that all that it produced was at my disposal, and that he would pay me annually such tribute as I should think proper to impose.
* Bernal Diaz says, that “ the Tlascalan chiefs then produced for our inspection large cloths of nequen, whereon were painted representations of their various battles.”
A dispute happened to arise between two Mexican nobles, relative to the boundaries of some land. The affair was brought before the tribunal of the Licentiale Zuazo. The papers of the province, according to Oviedo, were nothing but a painting, on which were marks, a kind of cypber, characters and õigures, which represented the fact as well as it could have been detailed by one of our best writers. Lettere Americane.
From the information I had received of the situation and population of this province, and more particularly the discovery of a good harbour which has been the principal object of my wishes since my landing, I sent back with the envoys of Tuchintecla several experienced men, to ascertain the soundings of the harbour and river, the population of the province, and the disposition of the inhabitants, and also to select places suitable for forming establishments. They took with them some presents for the cacique, by whom they were well received, and succeeded in the fullest manner in completing their object. From the confirmation I received by them of the former accounts, and of Tuchintecla's friendly disposition, I determined to send an officer with a hundred and fifty men into this province to erect a fort, in consequence of the offers of the cacique who expressed the strongest inclination to gratify all my wishes, and to have me form an establishment in his country.
I have already observed that before I arrived at Temixtitlan a great lord,* nearly related to Montezuma, had come to meet me on the part of that prince; he was the owner of a province contiguous to that of Mexico, called Haculuacan.
Just within this province, six leagues distant by water from Temixtitlan and ten by land, near the shore of a salt lake, is a large city called Tezcuco, containing thirty thousand inhabitants, with beautiful public buildings, elegant houses, oratories splendidly decorated, and large markets; there are also upon it two other cities, which contain three or four thousand inhabitants, one at three and the other at six leagues distance from the first. This province which borders on that of Tascaltecal, likewise comprizes a great number of towns and villages, with numerous farms and lands under high cultivation. The cacique, named
† Bernal Diaz says, that Tezcuco is the largest city in the empire next to Mexico.
Besides Tlascala, Cholula, Mexico, and the other cities on the lake, there appears from the accounts given by officers cotemporary with the conquest, who were sent on different expeditions, to have been in some of the remote provinces, cities little inferior to those in magnitude and splendour. Pedro St. Alvarado, in his account of his expedition to the South Sea, among other cities that he had seen, gives a description of that of Yapulan, which he declares to have been as large as that of Mexico. It contained large buildings solidly constructed of stone and lime, the tops of which were terminated by terraces. Nugnez de Guzman, who succeeded Cortez in 1528, in the account given by him to the emperor of the vam rious countries which he traversed in his expedition into New Gallicia, describes the cities of Amecand of Tuliacan, the latter, a very strong place, where there are magnificent edifices, large palaces, and other houses similar to those of Mexico. The courts of the palaces were very spacious, and contained beautiful fountains of excellent water. Lettere Americane.
Cacamazin, after the capture of Montezuma revolted, and withdrew himself both from his authority and that of your majesty, notwithstanding his previous submission. Montezuma in vain issued his orders to him, and I to as little purpose sent to him in your majesty's name; he constantly replied that we might come ourselves if we wished to give him orders, and that we should then see what services he had to perform. Not being able to obtain any thing from him, either by command or entreaty, and knowing that he was guarded by a numerous and warlike body of soldiers, I consulted with Montezuma on the measures proper to be pursued for punishing his rebellion.
Montezuma declared that there would be great danger in attempting to seize openly by force, a powerful cacique who had an army under his command, but that it might be done by means of stratagem, which would be more easy, as he had in his pay some men of distinction who were on terms of intimacy with Cacamazin. Montezuma indeed pursued his measures so well, that these men, who were devoted to his service, persuaded Cacamazin to meet them at one of his houses, situated on the border of the lake, under pretence of conferring with him on the state of public affairs, having previously placed in readiness several canoes filled with soldiers, in case Cacamazin should attempt to defend hiinself. During the conference the men employed by Montezuma seized him, and without being discovered by his people, forced him into a canoe, and brought him to me at Temixtitlan. I had him put in irons and securely confined; after which, on advising with Montezuma, I appointed his brother Cucuscazin to his government, and ordered all the nobles and inhabitants of the province to obey him as their cacique. My orders in this respect were punctually executed, and I have had no cause to complain of his conduct.
Some days after the imprisonment of Cacamazin, Montezuma assembled all the caciques of the city and its vicinity in his apartment. When they were convened he sent for me and thus addressed them in iny presence. “ Brothers, and friends! for a long time your ancestors, were subject to my progenitors, as you also have been to me. We always treated you with favour and distinction, and you have always served us with loyalty. You well know, from the traditions of our ancestors, that we were not aborigines of this country, but that our forefathers were brought hither by a king who left them. That this monarch, returning long after, either for the purpose of taking back his subjects, or of reigning over them, found our ancestors, who in the mean time had greatly multiplied, so opposed to either of these views that he quitted them, and returned to his country, threatening to send an army against them sufficient to compel them to submit to his rule. Hitherto our ancestors and ourselves have expected them in vain; but from what we are told by this chief, of the king his
master, who sent him hither, and by comparing the quarter from whence he came with that announced by our ancient predictions, I am convinced, and you must also be so, that he comes hither as the representative of that master whom we have so long expected. Since then our ancestors failed in rendering to their sovereign that obedience which they owed him, let us do it, and thank the Gods that they have permitted that arrival to take place in our days which our predecessors looked for so long in vain. Obey then, hereafter, this great king, your natural sovereign, and the chief who represents him as you have hitherto obeyed me. Pay to him those taxes which you have till now paid to me, and serve him as you have served me. By doing this you will not only do your duty, but will give me the greatest pleasure possible.”
Montezuma pronounced this discourse with tears and sighs. His nobles participated in his feelings so far that they were at first unable to reply; and all the Spaniards present were moved with compassion. After some minutes silence, the caciques replied, that they had ever considered him as their master, and had always promised to execute his orders; that in consequence they consented to submit to the king of Spain, and pledged themselves in general, and each one individually, as good and loyal subjects, to do whatever I should require of them, to pay all the taxes which I should demand, and to serve my master as they had served him. This act of submission was drawn up by a notary public, and signed by all of them in presence of a number of Spaniards who were witnesses.
When this agreement was completed I informed Montezuma that I had occasion for a supply of gold to complete different works that had been undertaken for your majesty's service, and requested him to send messengers in his name to the several caciques for that purpose, and that I would at the same time send some Spaniards to them in mine to persuade them to comply with my master's wishes in this respect, and furnish him with a proof of their loyalty. I then persuaded him to set the example himself.
The Spaniards, whom I selected for the purpose, having been separated by Montezuma into divisions of two or five, he sent them under escorts of his own people to all the provinces and large cities of his empire, some of which were from eighty to one hundred leagues from Mexico, with orders to the caciques to fill a certain measure, which I gave them, with gold,
His orders were punctually obeyed, and the amount required sent to me in jewels, ornaments, and thin plates of gold and silver.
On melting what was proper for the crucible, the king's fifth was found to amount to upwards of thirty-two thousand four hundred gold crowns, without taking into the estimate the gold and