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A mountain town called Guaccachiulla secretly sent to treat with Cortes and to offer assistance against the inhabitants of the province of Colua who were allies of Temistitan, and of whom they had reason to complain because of various outrages and assaults; they had even carried off their women. Guaccachiulla is on this side of the mountains while their enemies of the province of Colua are on the other side. Cortes was informed that in the regions beyond the range an ambuscade of thirty thousand soldiers had learned that the Spaniards were advancing with the intention of entering the territory of Colua. Taking with him only two hundred foot-soldiers, thirteen horsemen, three thousand allies, and some cannon, Cortes marched against Guaccachiulla. The commanders of the ambuscade, who were sound asleep in the town, were either all killed or captured. The town of Guaccachiulla is surrounded by strong walls furnished with towers and is protected by the mountains. The soil is fertile; the town numbers about six thousand houses, built of stone and mortar, and two rivers water the plain in which it stands.
There is one other town, four leagues distant from Guaccachiulla, whose inhabitants proposed to surrender to Cortes, but their cacique fled with the Coluans and would not give his submission when invited to do so. Cortes appointed his brother in his place and promised the inhabitants that he would not revoke his decision.
Some days later Cortes marched by another road to a city called Izzuccan, also four leagues distant from Guaccachiulla. He learned that an army of Coluans was awaiting him on the road not far from the frontiers of that town. Their number was reported to be twenty thousand men, who felt certain of repulsing the invasion of their territory. Six thousand men defended the town from within, and the others were scattered in groups amongst the villages and hamlets. The women and all men incapable of fighting had been sent, together with their treasure, into the forests and mountains. Both its situation and its defences render Izzuccan a formidable place; but I weary myself by enumerating all these fortified towns. Let it suffice to say that this city was taken by assault, and that the greater part of its defenders, fearing to be captured, sprang from the walls and fled towards the neighbouring river. The town once captured, Cortes gave quarter to the inhabitants, but ordered them to bring back the fugitives with all their treasure. They quickly returned, each to his own home, and the town was repopulated. Two messengers were sent to the cacique who had fled with the people of Temistitan and Colua, but he refused to come, preferring exile. This cacique had a bastard brother older than himself, and also a grandson ten years old, who was of the legitimate line. Cortes named the latter king, but appointed his great uncle as his tutor, associating also in the government three inhabitants of Guaccachiulla, who were noted for their fidelity and loyalty. These counsellors were to administer the country for their people, until the youth became of age and able to govern in person. This town of Izzuccan numbers three thousand houses and about a hundred temples, consecrated to various gods. Human victims are sacrificed in these temples. Cortes counted them from a lofty place, and ordered every one of them, together with the statues in them, to be burned. He forbade the celebration of any such ceremonies, declaring that God, who made the heavens and the earth, detested homicide, and that the killing of man by man was repugnant both to the law of God and of Nature. Izzuccan is dominated by a fortress and surrounded by hills which protect it against the winds, so the temperature is warm. Cotton grows there in abundance. The soil is well watered, and during the summer the irrigation
canals keep the fields green. Fruits are numerous and vegetables are not wanting. There are many towns and hamlets. With the occupation of Guaccachiulla and the fall of Izzucca, the news that Fortune once more showed herself a tender mother to the Spaniards spread through the country. At this turn of her wheel the natives abandoned the people of Temistitan, and hastened to come back to Cortes. Messengers arrived from every direction, offering submission, saying that the only reason they had not sooner ventured to render the homage due to the great sovereign power the Spaniards possessed, was because they feared the reprisals of the Coluans and the great lords of Temistitan; but seeing that, thanks to their protection, there was nothing more to fear from the tyranny of the neighbouring caciques, they came to offer their submission. It is time to bring this overlong narrative to an end. Some prisoners informed Cortes that after Muteczuma's death, his brother, Hastapalappa, had been named king at Temistitan, but after a reign of four months had died of a smallpox and had been succeeded by his sister's son, Catamazin"; of Muteczuma's three sons, the first had been killed at the bridges, during the retreat; the second was mad, and the third paralysed. Quauhtemotzin employed all his resources in collecting weapons, especially very long lances, with which it was hoped to strike the horses from a distance, for an attack by the cavalry is what they most fear. The new sovereign expected that Cortes would take the offensive, for he understood that all the neighbouring country was falling away from him and asking help from the Spaniards against himself. In this he was not mistaken, for Cortes had ordered thirteen of those boats having two banks of oars, which
"Quauhtemotzin: the proper name of this ruler will be henceforth used in the text.
are called brigantines, to be constructed, intending with them to ravage the country bordering the great salt lake. He hoped that when Temistitan was deprived of provisions and its water supply was cut off, the city would be reduced to the necessity of accepting the yoke of the King of Spain. Moreover, he sent four ships to Hispaniola to obtain horses, a sufficient number of musketeers, and a quantity of powder. Cortes writes that this region, with its mountains, rivers, and valleys well grown with fruit trees, resembles Spain; and he therefore asks the Emperor to confirm the name, New Spain, which he has given to the part he has discovered. He likewise, at the close of his most important report, begs his Majesty to send a man eminent for his virtues and experience to visit and report upon the conquered country. This letter" is dated the thirtieth day of October, 1520, and was written at the fortress he founded and named Segura de la Frontera.
* This is the Second Letter of Relation. It was first published by Cromberger in Seville in 1522.
HILE these writings lay ready in my cabinet V V awaiting the absent secretaries from whom distance and insecure roads separate me, behold the pregnant ocean produces a new, recently born progeny. I shall therefore conclude this work with two appendices exceeding in interest anything preceding it. In the beginning I shall speak of the journey round the world, the discovery of the spice islands, and the most extraordinary and almost incredible events. In the second place I will state by what means, by what stratagems, force of arms, and courage Fernando Cortes, assisted by the Tascaltecans and the people of Guazuzingo and other peoples hostile to Muteczuma, captured the great city of Temistitan, annihilated and almost destroyed it from top to bottom. This conquest notably increases the number of states subject to Your Holiness, and especially the extent of the kingdoms of Great Castile. I shall begin with the journey round the world and the description of the spiceries; but I must go back somewhat in my narrative. It was, if you remember, while the Emperor was presiding over the Cortes of Catalonia at Barcelona, and Your Holiness directed the affairs of our Imperial Indian Council, that the Portuguese, Ferdinand Magellan, who had quit the Portuguese service, was commissioned to visit the Moluccan archipelago, where spices grow. Magellan had, in fact, passed seven years at Cochin, Cananor, at Calicut in the Chersonesus, other