A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 04 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 764 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 04.
sick, though he omitted no opportunity to boast of his courage.  Once, while we were besieging Mexico, he went up to the top of a high temple, as he said to see how the natives fought; and by some means which we could never find out, he was killed that day by some of the Indians.  Those who had known him in Hispaniola, said it was a just judgment, for having procured the death of his wife, a beautiful and honourable woman, by means of false witnesses.

All the timber for our vessels being in readiness, and every thing prepared for our expedition against Mexico, it was debated in our council of war in what place we should establish our head-quarters, in order to prepare our measures for investing that city.  Some strongly recommended Ayotcingo as most convenient for that purpose, on account of its canals.  Cortes and others preferred Tezcuco, as best adapted for making incursions into the Mexican territory, and that place was accordingly fixed upon.  We accordingly began our march from Tlascala immediately after the junction of our last reinforcement from Villa Rica, consisting of the soldiers who came with Medel and De Burgos.

[1] A long digression is here omitted, in which Diaz severely reprehends
    the account given by Gomara of this and other transactions in his
    history of the conquest of Mexico, altogether uninteresting to the
    English reader.—­E.

[2] Clavigero, II. 132, mentions about this time an expedition against
    Tochtepec, a considerable town on the river of Papaloapan, in which
    Salcedo and a detachment of 80 Spaniards were entirely cut off.—­E.

[3] This must have been a very considerable treasure.  On one occasion,
    Clavigero reckons a load of gold at 800 ounces.  The eighty Tlascalans
    might therefore carry off 64,000 ounces, which at L4 the ounce, is
    worth L256,000 Sterling, and of considerably more efficacious value in
    those days than a million is now.—­E.


Transactions of Cortes and the Spaniards from their March against Mexico, to the Commencement of the Siege of that City.

We began our March from Tlascala on the 26th of December 1520, with the whole of our Spanish force, and accompanied by ten thousand of our Tlascalan allies[1], and halted that night within the territories of the state of Tezcuco, the inhabitants of which place supplied us with provisions.  We marched about three leagues on the 27th, when we halted at the foot of a ridge of mountains, finding the weather extremely cold.  Early next day we began to ascend the mountains, the bad roads having been made more difficult by the enemy, by means of ditches and felled trees, which were removed by the exertions of our allies.  We proceeded with the utmost order and precaution, having an advanced guard of musketeers and crossbow-men, and our allies cleared the way to enable our cavalry to advance. 

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