By the will of God, and the sacred Christianity of the emperor Don Carlos of glorious memory, and our present most fortunate sovereign the invincible Don Philip, all the natives of this great country have been baptised to the salvation of their souls, formerly sunk and lost in the bottomless pit. We have many fathers of the different orders, who go about preaching and baptizing, by which means the knowledge of the holy Evangile is firmly planted in the hearts of the natives, who confess yearly, and those who have sufficient knowledge in the faith, participate in the holy eucharist. The churches and their altars are richly adorned with all requisites for holy worship; as crosses, candlesticks, wax-candles, chalices, cups, plates, and vessels for incense, all of silver. The ornaments of the altars and crosses are of velvet, and damask, and other rich materials, of various colours and splendid workmanship, adorned with embroidery of gold, silk and pearls. Each town has its bells according to its ability. The chapels have choirs of good voices which sing in concert, tenors, trebles, and counter-tenors. In some places there are organs; but most have lutes, sackbuts, dulcimers, and bass and treble trumpets. This one province of Guatimala has more than my native county, old Castille. It is edifying and wonderful to see the devotion of the natives at the holy mass, especially when performed by the fathers of the orders of St Francis and of Mercy, who have the cures of the parishes. All the natives, men, women, and children, are taught the holy prayers in their own tongue; and always on passing a cross, crucifix, or altar, they fall on their knees repeating a pater noster or an ave Maria. We, the conquerors, taught them to burn wax candles before the holy altars and crosses, and to behave respectfully to the reverend fathers, going out to meet them when they came to the towns, with lighted candles, ringing of bells, and providing them abundantly with provisions. On Lady Day and Corpus Christi, and other solemn fasts of the church, when we make processions, most of the natives of this city of Guatimala go likewise in procession, with crosses and lighted candles, bearing the images of their patron saints as richly dressed as they can afford, and singing litanies and other holy prayers to the sound of flutes and trumpets.
The natives also of these countries have learnt all the trades used among us in Spain, having their shops, manufactories, and work-people. Their goldsmiths and silversmiths, both those who make cast work or who use the hammer, are excellent. Their lapidaries or engravers on precious stones, especially emeralds, execute the nicest representations of the holy acts and passion of our blessed Saviour, in such a manner as could not be believed from Indians. Three of our native Mexican artists, named Andres de Aquino, Juan de la Cruz, and El Crispillo, have in my humble judgment executed paintings which may vie with those