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Return of Cortes to Mexico; occurrences there. Return
of the author to


AFTER five days refreshment at the Havannah, Cortes embarked, and in twelve days arrived at the Port of Medellin, opposite to the Island De los Sacrificios, where he disembarked with twenty soldiers, and proceeding to the town of San Juan de Ulua, which was distant about half a league, it was his fortune to light upon a string of horses and mules which had conveyed travellers to the coast, and which he engaged to take him to Vera Cruz. He ordered those about him to give no hint to any one, who he was, and two hours before day break arriving at the town, he went direly to the church the doors of which were just opened. When the sacristan saw the church filled with people whom he did not know, he became alarmed and ran into the street, calling to the civil power to assist him. The alcaldes, three alguazils and some of the neighbours came with arms in consequence of the noise. Cortes was squalid, and the white habit of the reverend father was dirty from the sea voyage, nor did any one recollect them until Cortes began to speak; but as soon as he was recognized by them, they all fell upon their knees, kissed his hands, and bid him and his attendants welcome. All his old fellow soldiers assembled around him, and after mass, escorted him to the quarters of Pedro Moreno Medrano, where he remained for eight days, during which time he was feasted and entertained by the inhabitants. Intelligence was also sent to Mexico to give the people there the joyful tidings, and Cortes wrote to his friends to the fame effect. The Indians of the neighbourhood brought him

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abundant presents, and when he set out for the city of Mexico every preparation was made for his accommodation. The inhabitants of Mexico, and of all the places round the lake celebrated his return with festivals, and those of Tlascala did the same.

When he arrived at Tescuco, where the contador came to wait upon him, he thought it proper to remain there for that night, and on the next morning but one he entered the city, being met by all the officers, cavaliers, and other inhabitants, in great state. The natives in their best dresses, and armed as warriors, filled the lake with their canoes; the dancing continued in every street during the day, and at night the city was illuminated with lights at every door. Immediately on his arrival he went to the monastery of St. Francisco, to return thanks to God for all his mercies to him. From that he went to his magnificent palace, where he was served and esteemed, and feared, as a sovereign prince, all the provinces making their submissions, and sending presents and congratulations to him. The entry of Cortes into Mexico was in the month of June. He immediately ordered the arrest of those who had been most eminent for sedition, and faction, and caused an enquiry to be instituted into the conduct of the two great culprits. He also arrested one Ocampo, who had been concerned in defamatory libels, and a person of the name of Ocana a scrivener. This man who was very old was called the body and soul of the factor. He now intended to proceed immediately to bring the veedor and factor to justice for their crimes, and if he had done so no one could have said against it, and it would have met his Majesty’s approbation. This I heard said by some members of the royal council of the Indies, the Bishop de las Casas being present, in the year of our Lord one thousand five hundred and forty, when I was attending on my own affairs; but in this instance Cortes may be justly taxed with feebleness of conduct.

The reader has already been informed of the charges brought against Cortes in Castille, and of the orders issued to the admiral of St. 

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Domingo, of the interposition of the Duke of Bejar, and the appointment of Luis Ponce de Leon. The licentiate at this period of which I am writing, had arrived at Medellin. The suddenness of his coming rather surprised Cortes, who when he received the intelligence, was performing his devotions in the church of St. Francis. He earnestly prayed to the Lord to guide him as seemed best to his holy wisdom, and on coming out of the church sent an express to bring him information of all particulars. In two days after, the licentiate sent him his Majesty’s orders to receive him as resident judge in Mexico, and Cortes in consequence thereof dispatched a person with a message of compliment, and desiring to know which of the two roads to the city he intended to take, that he might make such preparations as were proper for the reception of a person of his rank. The licentiate sent him back an answer, thanking him for his polite offers, and declaring his intention to repose after the fatigues of his voyage for a little time, where he was. This interval was busily employed by the enemies of Cortes, who represented to the licentiate that it was his determination to put the factor and veedor to death, before his arrival, and that it was necessary for him to take good care as to his own person, for as to all these civilities of Cortes, they were only intended, by ascertaining the road that he intended to take, under the colour of preparation to do him honour, the more effectually to succeed in his intention to assassinate him. They also misrepresented every transaction in which Cortes had been concerned.

The persons whom the licentiate principally consulted were the alcalde major Proano, a native of Cordova, and his brother the alcalde of the citadel; named Salazar de la Pedrada, who shortly after his arrival died of a pleurisy, Marcos de Aguilar a licentiate or bachelor, a soldier named Bocanegra de Cordova, and certain fathers of the order of St. Domingo, the provincial of whom was one Fray Thomas Ortiz. He had been a prior some where that I do not now recollect, and all those who came with him described him to be a man more fit for worldly affairs than those which particularly concerned his holy office. With

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these persons the licentiate consulted as to his proceeding to Mexico, which they all were of opinion should not be delayed an instant. Accordingly, the last messengers dispatched by Cortes met him on the road at Iztapalapa. A sumptuous banquet was here prepared for them, at which, after several abundant and magnificent services, some cheesecakes and custards were placed upon the table, as great delicacies. They were so much approved of, and some of the company eat of them in such quantities, that they made them sick; but those who eat of them in moderation were not at all affected. However this prior, Fray Thomas Ortiz, asserted that they had been poisoned with arsenic, and that he had not eaten of them from a suspicion that they were so; but others who were present declared, that he stuffed himself heartily with them, and said that they were the hest he had ever tasted. This new charge was immediately seized on and circulated by the enemies of Cortes, to throw an odium upon him.

During this time Cortes remained in Mexico; report said that he had sent a good present of gold to the licentiate; this I cannot warrant; but as he had persons stationed to bring him intelligence, on his quitting Iztapalapa Cortes set out to meet him, with a grand and numerous retinue of all the officers and gentlemen of the city. When, the two parties met, many civilities passed between the great men; the licentiate seemed to me to be well acquainted with the rules of politeness. It was with great difficulty that Cortes could prevail upon him to take the right hand. On his entry into the city he proceeded to the monastery of St. Francisco, business being deferred till the ensuing day. Cortes attended the licentiate to the palace prepared for him, where he entertained him most sumptuously, but his politeness and grandeur of manner was more striking than all the rest, insomuch that the licentiate observed privately to his friends, that Cortes must have been for a long time past exercising himself in the manners of a great man.

On the ensuing day, the council of Mexico, and all the civil and

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military officers, and the veteran soldiers, were assembled by order; and in their presence the licentiate Ponce de Leon produced his authority from his Majesty, which Cortes having kissed, and placed upon his head in token of submission, they all declared our obedience to, as in duty bound. The licentiate then received and returned back the rod of justice, in token of the surrender of the government into his hands, saying to Cortes, “General, this government I receive from you by his Majesty’s orders, wherein however it is by no means implied that you are not most worthy of this, or higher trusts.” To which the general replied, that he was always happy in obeying his Majesty’s commands, and that it was also a satisfaction to him, that he would be thereby enabled to prove the falsehood and malice of his enemies. The licentiate in answer said, that where were good men, there were also bad, and such was the world; but that to each would be repaid in kind. This was all the material business of the day. On the next, Cortes attended the summon of the new governor, who sent it with much respect, and they had a conference, at which no one was present except the prior Thomas Ortiz; but it is said and believed that the licentiate addressed Cortes to the following effect. He first observed that it had been his Majesty’s intention, that those who had most merit in the conquest of this country, should be well provided for in the distribution of plantations, considering more especially the soldiers who first came thither from Cuba; and that it had been understood, that this was not the case, for that they had been neglected, while others newly arrived had wealth heaped upon them, without any just pretensions. Cortes, to this, replied, that all had got shares, but that some of these it was true turned out much inferior to others; however it was in his power as governor now to rectify that. The governor then asked him how it happened that he had left Luis de Godoy to perish for want in a distant settlement, when the veterans ought to have been suffered to remain and enjoy the comforts of established possessions in Mexico, and the new colonizations have been assigned to new corners. He also enquired how Captain Luis Marin, Bernal Diaz del Castillo, and the others of his approved soldiers

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had been taken care of. Cortes replied, that for business of danger it was useless to employ any but his veterans; but that they would soon he expected return to Mexico, being then upon their road thither. The governor next asked him, rather sharply, about his imprudent march against Christoval de Oli, undertaken without his Majesty’s orders or permission. To which Cortes answered, that he considered it to be necessary for his Majesty’s service, as the dangerous effects of such example among officers intrusted with separate commands might be very extensive, and that he had, previous to setting out, reported to his Majesty his intention so to do. He then questioned Cortes as to the affairs of Narvaez, Garay, and Tapia, to all which Cortes gave such satisfactory answers that the governor seemed to be well contented therewith.

After Cortes had retired, Fray Thomas Ortiz called on three persons intimate friends of the general, and with great earnestness told them the same which he on the ensuing morning told to Cortes himself; for coming to him at that time, and desiring to speak to him in private, he then assured, him with many protestations of friendship, and wishes to serve him, that the governor had secret orders from his Majesty, immediately to behead him, and that he had thought it proper, in conformity with the duty of his sacred function, as well as from his privates regard, to give him early intelligence. This friendly communication. it may be supposed gave Cortes a good deal to reflect upon; he had been informed of the intriguing and simulating character of the friar, and was induced to think that this might be done to induce him to give a bribe for his intercession. Others said afterwards that Ortiz acted by the directions of the governor. Cortes, however, received his pretended friendly information with many thanks, declaring his hopes that his Majesty had a different opinion of his services, than to proceed against him in that manner, and that he had too high an opinion of the governor, to suppose he would do any thing without warrant. When the friar found that his tricks were not attended by the effect

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that he had flattered himself with, he remained much confused, and did not know what to say.

The new governor issued public notice, that all who had complaints to make against the former administration of the country, should bring them forward, whether they were concerning Cortes, the civil, or the military officers. In consequence of this a host of accusers, litigants, and claimants, started up. All the general’s private enemies brought accusations against him; others who had really justice on their side laid claim to what was due to them. Some alledged that they had not received their proper shares of gold, others that they had not been sufficiently rewarded, and others demanded remuneration for their horses killed in the wars, although they had gotten ten times the value in gold; and some demanded satisfaction for personal injuries. Just at the period when the governor had opened his court to give a hearing to all the parties, it was God’s will, and for our sins and misfortunes, that he should be taken suddenly ill of a fever, and a lethargy coming on him he remained in that state four days. His three physicians then advised him to confess and receive the sacrament, which he did with great devotion, and appointed as his successor in the government, Marcos de Aguilar who had come with him from Castille. Some said that the latter was only a bachelor and not a licentiate, and therefore incapable of acting; however the governor left him orders not to proceed further with the business of the court, but that all should be laid before his Majesty. On the ninth day from the time he was taken ill, the governor gave up his breath to our Lord. The whole city went into mourning on the occasion. The military deplored his loss with particular reason, for he certainly intended to redress all abuses, and to reward us according to our merits.

I heard an anecdote of him, at the time of his death, and it was this. He was of a gay disposition and fond of music; to divert his lethargy, his attendants brought a lute, and played upon it in his apart-

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ment; and they said that while they played him a favourite air, he beat time to it, and just as it was finished he expired. What malignities and Flanders were now circulated against Cortes, by his enemies in Mexico! they said that he and Sandoval had poisoned the governor, as he had before done Garay. The most busy in this malicious affair was the friar Ortiz. It appeared as if the vessel which brought them had been infected with the disease of which the governor died; above a hundred of those who came in it having died at sea or after landing. All the friars except a very few were swept off, and the contagion pervaded the city of Mexico.

It was the wish of those who were enemies to Cortes, that the enquiry should be proceeded on in the same manner as was intended before the death of the late governor. Cortes asserted his readiness, provided that the new governor Aguilar would take upon him the responsibility of acting contrary to the testament of his predecessor. The council of Mexico however insisted that Aguilar was ineligible to that high situation, on account of his age, infirmities, and other incapacities, which indeed were pretty evident. They therefore recommended that Cortes should be associated with him, but he insisted on adhering strictly to the letter of the testament of his predecessor, and Cortes was also entirely adverse to taking any share of the authority, for private reasons, so that the whole weight rested on this poor hectic old man, who was obliged to drink goat’s milk, and to be suckled by a Castillian woman to keep him alive.

I will now go to a distance both in time and place, to relate that which happened to us on our journey to Mexico from Naco, where we were waiting to hear from Sandoval, who was to send us notice of the sailing of Cortes, which intelligence we never received, Saavedra, I have already mentioned, maliciously suppressing the letters with which he was intrusted.

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When our captain Marin and the rest of us found that we were disappointed, in the receipt of our expected intelligence, we determined to send a party to Truxillo to learn the truth. Accordingly ten of the cavalry, of which I was one, set out, and on our arrival at a place named Olancho, we learned from some Spaniards that Cortes had sailed. This intelligence was soon after confirmed to us in a communication we had with Saavedra; we therefore returned to our Captain Marin with the good news, and soon after we all set out with joyful hearts for Mexico. I recollect we threw stones at the country we left behind us.

On our way, at a place called Maniani, we met five soldiers who had been sent by Alvarado in search of us. They were commanded by one of our veterans named Diego de Villanueva, a brave soldier. As soon as we had recognized each other and saluted, we enquired for his Captain Alvarado, who, he informed us was not far distant, and whom accordingly, after two days march farther, we fell in with. Our meeting took place at the town of Cholulteca Malalaca, and a third party joined us there, composed of captains under Pedro Arias de Avila, who met Alvarado’s party to adjust some difference about bounds. We remained here together for three days. Alvarado at this time sent one Gaspar Arias de Avila, a confidential friend of his to treat with Captain Pedro Arias, about some particular business, I believe relative to a marriage; for Captain P. A. de Avila seemed much devoted to Alvarado.

Continuing out march, we crossed a hostile country where the natives killed one of our soldiers, and wounded three others. The want of time prevented our punishing them as they deserved. Further on, in Guatimala, they had also manned the passes against us, and we were detained three days in forcing our way; here I received a wound of an arrow, but it was of little consequence. We then arrived at the valley where the city of Guatimala is now built, the people of which 

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were all hostile; I recollect that here we had a number of shocks of an earthquake, very long in their duration, and so violent as to throw several of the soldiers to the ground.

When we passed old Guatimala, the natives had assembled to give us an hostile reception, but we drove them away before us, and took possession of their magnificent dwellings and quadrangles, for that night, and on the ensuing day we hutted ourselves on the plain, where we halted for ten days; during which time Alvarado sent summons to the neighbouring Indians, to come in and submit. We delayed here to receive their answers, which none of them thought proper to send. We then proceeded on our journey by long marches, until we reached the station of Alvarado’s main force, at Olintepeque. After halting there for some days we proceeded on towards Mexico, by Soconuzco, and Teguantepeque. On this march we lost two of our Spaniards, and the Mexican lord Juan Velasquez who had been a chief under Guatimotzin.

When we arrived at Guaxaca, we learned the news of the death of the governor Ponce de Leon. Anxiously pressing forward for Mexico, we arrived at Chalco, from whence we sent forward messengers to Cortes to inform him of our approach, and requesting that he would provide us good quarters, which we much required, for it was now two years and three months since we set out upon our expedition. As Cortes knew of our approach, he rode out with many cavaliers to meet us on the causeway, and accompany us into the city. We went on our arrival, to the great church, to return our thanks to God. From thence we attended the general to his palace, where he had a sumptuous entertainment provided for us. Alvarado went to his residence in the fortress, of which he had been appointed alcalde. Luis Marin went to lodge with Sandoval, and I and another friend named Captain Luis Sanchez, were taken by Andrez de Tapia to his house. Sandoval

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and all our friends, and Cortes among the rest, sent us presents of necessaries, as also gold and cocoa for our expences.

On the next day my friend and I, accompanied by Sandoval and Andres de Tapia, proceeded to wait upon the governor Aguilar, who received us with much politeness, but declared his inability to make any new arrangements, the whole being left to his Majesty’s arbitration; but that if he was authorised, he would do every thing that lay in his power to give us satisfa1ion. At this time arrived from the Island of Cuba, Diego de Ordaz whom I have already mentioned as the circulator of the report of our deaths; he was severely taxed for his impropriety, but most solemnly denied it to us, averring that he had only written an account of the unfortunate affair at Xicalonga as it really happened, and any misrepresentation that was made, the factor was accountable for; and for the truth of what he asserted he referred to his letters. Cortes had at this time too much business on his hands to embarrass himself any further with this; he therefore thought proper to drop it, and endeavour to rescue his property, which had been disposed of upon the supposition of his death. A great part of it had been appropriated to the expences of celebrating his funeral service, and to the saying masses for his soul and ours, to give credit to the report; and these perpetual masses which had been so purchased out of the property of Cortes upon the supposition of his death, and for the good of his soul, were now that he was found to be alive, and no longer to be in need of them, purchased by one Juan de Caceres, for the benefit of his own foul, whenever he was to die; so that Cortes was more removed from the re-attainment of his property than ever.

Ordas who was a wise man and one of experience in worldly affairs, seeing that Cortes was neglected and had fallen in public estimation since his being superceded by the governor Ponce de Leon, advised him to assume more consequence and a more stately appearance than his natural disposition prompted him to, in order to maintain the respect that 

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was due to him; but such was his natural plainness of manners, that he never at any time liked to be called otherwise than simply, Cortes, and truly it was a great and noble name in itself, and as much revered as Caesar’s and Pompey’s in the time of the Romans, Hannibal’s among the Carthaginians, or in our time that of Gonzalo. Hernandez, or the molt valiant and ever invincible Diego Garcia de Paredes. Ordaz also informed Cortes of the report that was circulated through Mexico, of its being his intention to put the factor to death privately in jail; and he warned him of the man being powerfully patronised.

The treasurer Estrada at this time married off two of his daughters; one to Jorge de Alvarado, another to Don Luis de Guzman son to the Count De Castellar. It was then settled that Pedro de Alvarado should go to Castille to solicit the government of Guatimala, and he in the mean time sent his brother Jorge to that province with a force of our allies of different nations, to reduce it. The governor also about that period sent a force against the province of Chiapa under the command of Don Juan Enriquez de Guzman, a near relation of the duke of Medina Sidonia; an other to the province of Tabasco under Balthasar Ossorio, and a third against the Zapotecan mountaineers under Alonzo de Herrera, one of our veterans.

After lingering for eight months, the governor Marcos de Aguilar gave up the ghost, leaving by testament the treasurer Alonzo de Estrada his successor. At this time, the council of Mexico and many principal Spaniards were solicitous that Cortes should be associated with the treasurer in. the government, the latter appearing entirely incompetent at the present juncture, more particularly for the following reason. Nuno de Guzman who had for two years governed the province of Panuco, was a man of a most furious and tyrannical disposition, arbitrarily extending the bounds of his jurisdiction, and putting to death all who, dared to oppose his will. Thus Pedro Gonzalez, de Truxillo, a person of noble condition, asserting with truth that his district was a dependency of 

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Mexico, the other without any ceremony ordered him to be immediately hanged, which was accordingly done, contrary to all justice. He also put many other Spaniards to death, apparently for no reason except to make himself feared, and set the authority of the governor of Mexico at defiance. In order therefore to curb the insolence of Guzman, it was the wish of many that Cortes should take a share in the government, but he was utterly adverse to it, knowing the difficulties, and the dangerous power and more dangerous malignity of his enemies, for as usual, upon the death of Aguilar the story was again industriously circulated, that it was owing to poison given him by Cortes.

It was determined on the peremptory refusal of the latter, that Sandoval who was alguazil major, should at conjointly with the treasurer, and he was willingly accepted as an associate by him. His first business on entering into office was, to endeavour to bring to justice one Ruano, who had fled from Mexico for some crime. He since became a rich man, for, escaping for the present, he eluded justice altogether, though Sandoval did his utmost to apprehend him.

Certain persons, the inveterate and active enemies of Cortes, now persuaded the treasurer to write to Castille, to represent at court, that he had been compelled by the influence of Cortes, to associate Sandoval with him in the government, contrary to his inclination, and to his Majesty’s service. They by the same opportunity transmitted a volume of malignant falsehoods, which they had raked up against the general, such as that he had poisoned Luis Ponce de Leon, and Marcos de Aguilar the governors, as also the Adelantado Garay, and that he had endeavoured to administer arsenic in cheesecakes to a number of people at a feast. Also that he was plotting the secret murders of the veedor and factor in jail. All which lies were supported by the industry of the contador Albornoz, who was then in Castille. He was also charged strongly as to the death of his first wife, and these things being thus urged, Cortes was in part judged unheard, an order being sent to release 

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the veedor and factor, and an officer named Don Pedro de la Cueva commendador major of Alcantara, was ordered to go with three hundred soldiers, at the cost of Cortes, and in case of his guilt being proved, to inflict the punishment of death upon him, and distribute his property amongst the veteran conquerors of Mexico. This was however to be done under the judgment of a royal court of audience, to be present upon the spot for the purpose. All these preparations however ended in nothing; for neither Don Pedro de la Cueva, nor the court of royal audience ever arrived.

The treasurer was now greatly elevated by the countenance which he received at court, and which he attributed to his being considered a son of the catholic king. He disposed of governments at his pleasure, sending his relation Mazariejos to make enquiry into the conduct of Don Juan Enriquez de Guzman in Chiapa, where they say more pillage and plunder took place than ought to have done. He also sent a force against the Zapotecans and Minxes under one De Barrios, said to be a brave soldier, and who had served in Italy. I do not mean Barrios of Seville, the brother-in-law of Cortes. This officer marched against them with a hundred soldiers, but the natives surprised him one night, and killed him with seven more of the party. Such was the difference between us the veteran conquerors, and these raw half formed soldiers, who did not know the arts and stratagems of the enemy. The governor also sent a hundred of the new soldiers, under the command of a particular friend named Figuero, to the province of Guaxaca. On his route by the Zapotecans, Figuero fell in with a captain left in command there by Marcos de Aguilar, named Alonzo Herrera, and some dispute arising between them, swords were drawn, Herrera wounding Figuero, and three other soldiers who were with him. Figuero finding himself not able to go into the field, and his soldiers not being fit for expeditions in the mountains, thought proper to search for and break open the sepulchres, in which the ancient chiefs of those countries were interred, to make prize of the gold, which according to

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custom was buried with them. In this manner he collected to the value of above one hundred thousand crowns, and with this wealth, which was increased by presents, he set off for Mexico, leaving the provinces in a worse state than he found them. From Mexico he went to Vera Cruz, and embarking for Castille, the vessel in which he sailed was lost in a gale of wind, and he and all his wealth went to the bottom. The business of subjecting these Indians was finally left to us, the conquerors of Guacacualco, who at length brought them to peace, for their custom was to submit during the summer, and to break into rebellion as soon as the torrents made their country inaccessible, I was on three expeditions against them. The town of St. Alfonso is now built there, to keep them in subjection.

When the governor heard how his friend had been maltreated by Herrera, he sent the officers of justice to apprehend him; he however escaped to the rocks and woods, but they took a soldier who used to accompany him, and brought him prisoner to Mexico, where, without a hearing, the governor ordered his right hand to be struck off. His name was Cortejo, and by birth he was a gentleman.

A servant of Sandoval also at this time wounded a servant of the treasurer, in a quarrel. The treasurer had him arrested, and commanded his right hand to be cut off. Cortes and Sandoval were at this time at a place called Quernavaca, partly from motives of prudence. On hearing of this insult they posted off to Mexico, and it is said that Cortes used such expressions to the treasurer upon the subject, as to put the latter in fear of his life. He called his friends about him to form a guard for his person, and immediately released the veedor and factor from jail. By their advice the governor was then induced to issue an order, for the instant expulsion of Cortes from Mexico. This being represented to Cortes, he declared his readiness to obey, since it was the will of God, that he who had gained that city, at the expence of his best blood, by day and by night, should be banished from it, by the

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base and unworthy: and that he would set out immediately, and demand justice from his Majesty.

Instantly therefore quitting the city, he went to one of his country residences at Cuyoacan, from whence in a few days he proceeded towards the coast. At this time the lady of the treasurer, a person well worthy of memory for her many virtues, seeing the dangerous consequences likely to result from his absurd and arbitrary conducts expostulated with him on it, reminding him of the many favours he had received from Cortes, the ingratitude with which he had repaid him, and the many friends that Cortes had. These representations are said to have operated on the mind of the treasurer, so as to cause sincere repentance of the steps that he had taken.

At this time arrived in New Spain Fray Julian Garrios, first bishop of Tlascala, and who in honour to our lord the most christian Emperor was named Carolense. When this reverend prelate heard of the proceedings of the governor against Cortes, he was highly displeased with them, and two days after his arrival in Mexico where he was received with great pomp, at the request of the governor, he undertook to mediate betwixt them. Many of these seditious persons such as there are in all societies, knowing the dissatisfaction of Cortes, offered him their services if he would set himself up as an independent monarch, in New Spain. These people he immediately arrested, threatening to put them to death, and he wrote directly to the bishop of Tlascala, to inform him of the treason. He had also received similar offers from Mexico, which he treated in the same manner. The reports of what was going on however, so terrified the veedor and factor, who did not know to what extent Cortes might be induced to go, that they became incessant in their solicitations to the governor to accelerate the departure of the bishop of Tlascala. This prelate having waited upon Cortes, and found every part of his conduct perfectly to his satisfaction, wrote back to Mexico to inform the government there of the result of his observations;

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the unalterable determination of Cortes to go to Old Spain, and a severe censure from himself, upon the misconduct of those who had been the cause of his quitting Mexico. I do not know whether Cortes returned to that city in order to arrange his private concerns, but he appointed several agents for that purpose, the principal of whom was the licentiate Altamirano. He brought with him from Mexico many curiosities of the country for his Majesty, such as various kinds of birds unknown in Europe, two tigers, many barrels of ambergris and indurated balsam, and another kind that resembled oil, four Indians expert at playing the stick with their feet, other Indian dancers who had a manner of appearing as if they flew in the air, three humpbacked dwarfs of extraordinary deformity, and also some male and female Indians whose skins were remarkable for their whiteness, and who have a natural defect of vision. He was also attended by several young chiefs of the Tlascalan and Mexican nations, whom he consented to take to Europe with him, at their own requests.