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Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 652 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 03.

[2] This is probably an error for the Sierra Nevada, or Snowy
    Mountains.—­E.

* * * * *

CHAPTER V.

HISTORY OF THE DISCOVERY AND CONQUEST OF MEXICO, WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1568, BY CAPTAIN BERNAL DIAZ DEL CASTILLO, ONE OF THE CONQUERORS.

INTRODUCTION.

Although the present chapter may not, at first sight, appear strictly conformable to the plan of this work, which professes to be a Collection of Voyages and Travels, it is, notwithstanding, very intimately connected with our plan, as every step of the conquerors, from their first landing on the coast of the Mexican empire, to the final completion of the conquest and reduction of the numerous dependent provinces, must be considered as discoveries of kingdoms, provinces, and people before utterly unknown.  In our endeavours to convey a clear view of this important event to our readers, we have preferred the original narrative of Bernal Diaz, one of the companions of Cortes, who accompanied him during the whole of his memorable and arduous enterprise, an eye-witness of every thing which he relates, and whose history, notwithstanding the coarseness of its style, has been always much esteemed for the simplicity and sincerity of the author, everywhere discoverable_[1].  Those who are desirous of critically investigating the subject, as a matter of history, will find abundant information in the History of Mexico by Clavigero, and in Robertson’s History of America.  In our edition of the present article we have largely availed ourselves of The true History of the Conquest of Mexico by Bernal Diaz, translated by Maurice Keating, Esq. and published in 1800; but which we have not servilely copied on the present occasion.  This history is often rather minute on trivial circumstances, and somewhat tedious in its reprehensions of a work on the same subject by Francisco Lopez de Gomara; but as an original document, very little freedom has been assumed in lopping these redundancies.  The whole has been carefully collated with the history of the same subject by Clavigero, and with the recent interesting work of Humbolt, so as to ascertain the proper orthography of the Mexican names of persons, places, and things, and to illustrate or correct circumstances and accounts of events, wherever that seemed necessary.  Diaz commences his work with his own embarkation from Spain in 1514, and gives an account of the two previous expeditions of Hernandez de Cordova, and Juan de Grijalva, to the coast of New Spain, both already given in the preceding chapter, but which it would have been improper to have expunged in this edition of the original work of Diaz.

[Illustration:  Sketch of Mexico and its Environs]

[1] Clavigero, History of Mexico, translated by C. Cullen, I. xiii.

PREFACE BY THE AUTHOR.

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