The harbour of Medelin is fifteen or twenty miles
south from Vera Cruz;
but I suspect the place named St Juan de Ulua in the text is the
modern town of Vera Cruz, the harbour of which is protected by the
island and castle of St Juan de Ulua. The ancient town of Villa Rica
de la Vera Cruz, now called Antigua, is about twenty-five miles north
from modern Vera Cruz.—E.
 Diaz is frequently inattentive to dates, and does
not on this occasion
inform us of the year: By reference to Robertsons History of America,
II. 266, 12mo. ed Lond. 1800, it certainly apoears to have been in the
 It may be proper to remark in this place, that
the cacao nuts were
used by the Mexicans before the conquest as a medium for purchases of
small value instead of money, and the practice was continued under the
Spanish dominion, as the markets were supplied by the original natives.
Clavigero, I. 366. says that the Mexicans used five substitutes for
money. 1. Cacao, which they counted by xiquipils, or in sacks
containing each three xiquipils, or 24,000 nuts. 2. Small cotton
cloths, called patolquachtli. 3. Gold dust in goose quills. 4.
Pieces of copper in the form of the letter T. 5. Thin pieces of
Narrative of Occurrences, from the Departure of Cortes to Europe till his Death.
About this time likewise, Cortes received letters from the president of the council of the Indies, the Duke of Bejar, and several others of his friends in Spain; strongly urging the necessity of his appearance at court to counteract the malignant accusations of his numerous enemies. By the same conveyance, he received notice of the death of his father. Having performed funeral obsequies in memory of his father, he ordered two ships to be purchased, which he stored so abundantly with provisions of all kinds, that after his arrival in Spain the overplus might have served for a voyage of two years. I am uncertain whether Cortes returned to Mexico in order to arrange