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dolence. Accordingly in the torrid zone the Europeans have most completely established their dominion in America.
Conspicuous as this distinction may appear between the inhabitants of those different regions, it is not universal. There are some tribes in the tórrid zone hardly inferior to the natives of more temperate climates. Thus this law of climate, more universal, perhaps, in its operation than any that af fects the human species, cannot be applied, in judging of their conduct, without many exceptions.
History of the Conquest of New Spain. Hernanda Cortes has the Command of the Expedition. Velasquez's Jealousy. Battle with, and Victory over, the Indians. Cortes lands at St. Juan de Ulua. Receives Officers from Montezuma. Presents brought from the Prince. Marches to Mexico. Tradition of the Mexicans, Grandeur of the City. Cortes makes Montezuma Prisoner. Cruel Death of his Son. Acknowledges himself Vassal of the King of Castile. Attempts to convert him to Christianity. Orders Cortes to depart. Narvaez sent to seize Cortes. Fights Is conquered and taken Prisoner. The Mexicans attack Cortes. Montezuma's Disgrace and Death. Spaniards retreat from Mexico with great Loss. New Resources arrive. March again to Mexico. Quetlavaca dies of the Small-pox. Cortes lays siege to and takes Mexico. Takes the King. Tortures him to find his Wealth. Cortes appointed Governor-General of New Spain. Lays the Foundation, of a magnificent City. His savage Cruelty to the conquered Mexicans. Returns to Spain. Ennobled. Goes back to America. Discovers California. Returns to Spain. Is neglected. Dies.
WHEN Grijalva returned to Cuba, he found
the armament destined to attempt the conquest of that rich country which he had discovered almost complete. Not only ambition but avarice had urged Velasquez to hasten his preparations; and having such a prospect of gratifying both, he had
had advanced considerable sums out of his private fortune towards defraying the expense of the expedition. He exerted his influence as governor in engaging the most distinguished persons in the colony to undertake the service. A number of soldiers were found eager to embark in any daring enterprise, but it was not so easy to find a person qualified to take the command in an expedition of such great importance. At length, after much deliberation, Hernando Cortes was pitched on for the purpose. He had not hitherto acted in high command, but had displayed such qualities in several scenes of difficulty and danger as raised universal expectation, and turned the eyes of his countrymen towards him, as one capable of performing great things. Neither the rank nor fortune of Cortes was such as to create sentiments of jealousy in the breast of Velasquez. He received his commission with gratitude, and immediately erected his standard before his own house. He soon after set sail from St. Jago de Cuba, and proceeded to Trinidad, a small settlement on the same side of the island, where he was joined by a multitude of adventurers, and received a supply of provisions and military stores. From Trinidad he sailed for the Havanna, in order that he might raise more soldiers, and complete the victualling of his fleet. While he was at this place Velasquez formed a plan of taking the command out of the hands of Cortes, of whom he became violently jealous. Cortes, forewarned of his danger, took precautions for his own safety. He appealed to his troops, whether the honour of their general, and their sanguine hopes of wealth and glory, ought to be sacrificed to the illiberal insinuations and groundless jealousies of Velasquez. With one voice they entreated
treated that he would not abandon the important station to which he had so good a title, offering, at the same time, to shed in his behalf the last drop of their blood. Cortes was easily induced to comply with what he himself so ardently wished. He swore that he would never desert soldiers who had given him such a signal proof of their attachment, and promised instantly to conduct them to that rich country, which had been so long the object of their thoughts and wishes. This declaration was received with transports of military applause, accompanied with imprecations against all who should presume to call in question the jurisdiction of their general, or to obstruct the execution of his designs.
With a slender and ill-provided train did Cortes set sail, to make war upon a monarch whose dominions were more extensive than all the kingdoms subject to the Spanish crown. As religious enthusiasm always mingled with the spirit of adventure in the New World, and united with avarice in prompting the Spaniards to all their enterprises, a large cross was displayed in their standards, with this inscription: "Let us follow the cross, for under this sign we shall conquer." As Cortes had determined to touch at every place which Grijalva had visited, he steered directly towards the island of Cozumel; there he had the good fortune to redeem Jerome de Aguilar, a Spaniard, who had been eight years a prisoner among the Indians, and who proved hereafter extremely useful as an interpreter. From Cozumel, Cortes proceeded to the river Tabasco; but after repeated endeavours to conciliate the good-will of the inhabitants, he was constrained to have recourse to violence. The forces of the enemy were numerous; and though they ad
vanced with extraordinary courage, they were routed with great slaughter in several successive actions. The loss which they sustained, and the terror excited by the destructive effect of the firearms, and the dreadful appearance of the horses, humbled their fierce spirits, and induced them to sue for peace. They acknowledged the king of Castile as their sovereign, and granted Cortes a supply of provisions, with a present of cotton garments, some gold, and twenty female slaves.
Cortes continued his course to the westward, but could discover no proper place for landing until he arrived at St. Juan de Ulua, by the inhabitants of which he was addressed in a most respectful manner, but in a language altogether unknown to Aguilar. Cortes was in the utmost perplexity and distress at an event of which he instantly foresaw the consequences: a fortunate accident, however, extricated him. One of the female slaves whom he had received from the cazique of Tabasco perfectly understood the Mexican language, and explained what had been said in the Yucatan tongue, with which Aguilar was acquainted. This woman, known afterwards by the name of Donna Marina, was born in a Mexican province, and having been sold as a slave in the early part of her life, fell into the hands of the Tabascans, and had resided long enough among them to acquire their language, without losing the use of her own. From her Cortes learned that the two persons whom he had received on board his ship were deputies from Teutile and Pilpatoe, officers entrusted with the government of that province by a great monarch whom they called Montezuma, and that they were sent to inquire what his intentions were in visiting their coast, and