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The Rome criterion of low back pain for more than 3 months is very useful. Our study showed the clinical history screening test for AS to be moderately sensitive, but it might be better in clinical practice. As a modification of the New York criteria, substitution of the Rome pain criterion for the New York pain criterion is proposed.
Volume 27 , Issue 4. If you do not receive an email within 10 minutes, your email address may not be registered, and you may need to create a new Wiley Online Library account. If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username. Article Free Access. Department of Rheumatology, Inselspital, Berne, Switzerland.
Hans A. Search for more papers by this author. Tools Request permission Export citation Add to favorites Track citation. Share Give access Share full text access. Share full text access. Please review our Terms and Conditions of Use and check box below to share full-text version of article. Abstract The New York and the Rome diagnostic criteria for ankylosing spondylitis AS and the clinical history screening test for AS were evaluated in relatives of AS patients and in population control subjects.
Citing Literature. Volume 27 , Issue 4 April Pages Nevertheless Bernal was not discouraged by ex- perience ; his poverty, which, of necessity, increased daily, impelled him to seek his fortune even at the risk of losing his life, and his youth made him naturally impatient ; he did not care to wait for the Indians which Diego Velasquez had promised to give him as soon as there were some unemployed, and he at once enlisted in a second expedition, composed of four ships and two hundred soldiers, under the command of Juan de Grijalva, which weighed anchor in the port of Matanzas on the 8th April, 1 Bernal again enlisted, as at this time he found himself much in debt.
Cortes set out from the Port of Trinidad on the i8th February, 15 The author had started eight days earlier in the company of Pedro de Alvarado. Tuxtla was passed before reaching the Isla de Sacriiicios. And some of our soldiers even asked whether the things that we saw were not all a dream.
Many times the Mexican sovereign had contemplated attacking the Spaniards, but weighed down by superstition and rendered powerless by a timid and vacillating character, he now conducted them into the great Tenochtitlan, only to deliver it up to them at once. The autocrat felt himself fatally conquered before beginning the struggle. XVll him, I doffed my helmet to him with the greatest respect.
Diego Velasquez had sent him to punish Cortes and his followers as traitors, because they had rebelled against him without reason. However, as Cortes was immensely rich, and there is no power greater than riches, he soon won over almost all the soldiers of Narvaez with ingots and jewels of gold, in such a way that when the fight took place at Cempoala, Narvaez was the only man who fought in earnest, until he was wounded and lost an eye.
The Tlaxcalans received them, lodged them and attended to them with affection. XIX resolved to return to Mexico to recover their lost treasure, and they forthwith took the road to Tetzcoco. They took with them many thousands of native allies. Meanwhile, he attacked the neighbouring towns with fire and sword. The author did not join in these earlier combats as he was still ill from his dangerous wound, but as soon as it healed, he again took up arms, and accompanied Cortes, who went to assist the natives of Chalco, and distinguished himself among the most intrepid soldiers.
The siege began on the 21st May, , and lasted eighty-five days. In this manner only did they die. XXI land was divided from the beginning into three sections. It fell to the lot of the author to serve in that of Tlacopan, commanded by Pedro de Alvarado. As soon- as Cortes was master of the Great Tenochtitlan, he got together, for the second time, a great quantity of gold, although it was not as much as he had acquired before.
As a reward for his heroic conduct Luis Marin gave him in allotment this town of Chamula, a place of great importance. On the return to Espiritu Santo he fought [a duel] of swords with Godoy in a most noble cause, and both were wounded. Bernal did not enjoy his ease for long, for in obedience to an order from Cortes, whom all the Conquistadores greatly feared, he found himself forced to follow Rodrigo Rangel to the conquest of the Zapotecs ; it is fair to say that, although he did so unwillingly, for he already felt wearied, and Rangel did not inspire sympathy, he acquitted himself with great efficiency throughout the expe- dition, for which he gained honourable praise.
When Cortes arrived at Coatzacoalcos he ordered all the settlers to go with him to the Hibueras, and it was owing to this that the author had to accom- pany him : nobody would have then dared to disobey Cortes. XXVll lulco, crossed a neighbouring estuary after throwing across it " a bridge which was nearly half a quarter of a league long, an astonishing feat, in the way they did it," and he went along the great river Mazapa to the towns of Iquinuapa where he rejoined the author.
Together, they soon passed through the towns of Copilco, Nacaxuxuyca, Zaguatan, Tepetitan and Itztapa. The author consented and generously invited him to partake of that which he had reserved for himself and the natives from the towns of his encamtendas. Pillars of Hercules. They went on to Tania, a town surrounded by rivers and streams, from which they were unable to get out, for once more they lost their way. Cortes despatched several Spaniards to find it again, but without result.
Nevertheless, before returning to Mexico, he wished to leave his rule established in that far off district, his boundless ambition making the vast territory of New Spain appear small to him. XXXI and their property, and even cursed Cortes and Salazar, "and our hearts throbbed with anger," Cortes, formerly energetic, prompt and venture- some to rashness, now weak, irresolute and timid, confined himself to weeping disconsolately, shutting himself up for long hours in his room, and permit- ting no one to see him : overmuch power had weakened his character.
Selfishly abandoning the bulk of his army, he set out on the sea with a few followers.
The author had begged him very urgently to take him in his company ; he had an abundant right to ask this and other much greater favours, but Cortes, ever deaf to gratitude, left him there to return by land. So by land he went, once more suffering daily hardships, and having also to fight against the natives. The arrangement could not have been more opportune nor more agreeable for Bernal, who could now believe with good reason that his labours and his poverty were soon going to cease.
He set out in all haste for Espiritu Santo, and was successful in arranging that the settlers should entrust him with their authority, and he returned at once to Mexico. However, the much talked of division came to nothing, and the judges, far from favouring Bernal, imprisoned him twice on despicable pretexts, together with other old Con- quistadores. However, if adversity and deception never ceased to lay in wait for and wound the author, he, on the other hand, never gave way to their blows, and always knew how to preserve his energy undi- minished.
By this marriage Bernal had several sons and daughters, the eldest being Francisco, who was born a year after the wedding. Bernal had already born to him other children by a native woman, who was perhaps that beautiful girl he had begged from Montezuma through the good offices of the page Orteguilla. The author proved to be an excellent father of a family, the greatest, in fact the chief, anxiety throughout his life, was not having the means with which to secure the future of his wife and children ; he constantly mentions this subject in all his letters, as well as in the True History.
As Bernal's difficulties necessarily increased with his growing family, and he knew by sad experience that he could hope for nothing from those governing New Spain, he resolved to go to Court to beg for justice from the Lords of the Royal Council. Cortes and the Viceroy gave him letters of recommen- dation to them with which, and the authenticated record of his merits and services, he arrived in Spain about Once there, he presented his petition in [proper] form.
XXXVll wherever they could most promptly be granted. Provided with these two Decrees he returned immediately to the New World. As the promise was never realised, Bernal never escaped from his life of poverty. On the I St September, , the author exhibited his new Decree before the Licentiate Lopez Zerrato, who unfortunately did not execute it, in spite of having that very day taken it in his hands, examined it and placed it above his head as was the custom, to show that he would obey it and carry it out.
Here he nevertheless remained, for he did not succeed in being admitted into the number of his Majesty's servants. He had not ceased to be a Magistrate, and this same year he was elected " arbitrator and executor," and he had been named the previous year to carry the banner on the feast of Santa Cecilia, an honour which was again conferred on him in , on the occasion of the feast of Saint James the Apostle.
His work was now and then interrupted by visits to the towns assigned to him, sometimes accompanied by friends. Probably this did not happen before , for Bernal knew no Latin, and could not, therefore, understand the Chronicle of Giovio until Baeza published his translation in Spanish. However that may be, it is clear that in the year he made the fair copy of the True History, We know nothing more of his life. All three soon went through several editions. The original manuscript of the Trm History forms a large folio volume, containing leaves in an old leather binding. Although it is generally in a fairly good condition, there are some leaves partly destroyed, principally those at the beginning and at the end.
All the writing, which covers both sides of the leaves, is in the handwriting of the author ; on some pages it is well done and normal, on others careless and irregular. The author could not have preserved the same composure throughout the long time occupied in writing his work. His work begins within the year 15 14 and ends with that of The binder who bound up the manu- script understood little of the composition of ancient writings, and attached to the last folio the leaf which contained the signature of the author.
OUR eye-witnesses of thediscovery and conquest of Mexico have left , written records : — Hernando Cortes, who wrote five letters known as the Cartas de Re- lacion to the Emperor Charles V. The First of these letters, despatched from Vera Cruz, has never been found, but its place is supplied by- a letter written to the Emperor at the same time by the Municipality of Vera Cruz, dated "loth July, The Third letter was written from Coyoacan, and dated 15th May, Mexico , dated 3rd September, , deals with the march to Honduras.
The Anonymous Conqueror whose identity has never been ascertained. The original of this document is lost, and its contents are preserved to us in an Italian trans- lation. It deals only with the customs, arms, food, religion, buildings, etc. This document was only brought to light during the last century.
Bemal Diaz del Castillo, whose stirring and picturesque narrative is given in the following pages. To these may be added the Itinerario de Grijalva, an account written by the chaplain who accom- panied Grijalva on his expedition when the coast of Mexico was first discovered ; but this account ends with the return of the expedition to Cuba, and does not deal with the conquest of the country. The original of this document has been lost, and it comes down to us in an Italian translation. If the title is correct, it must have been written by the priest Juan Diaz who accompanied the expedition.
It seems to be written in a hostile spirit, and its statements should be received with caution. A great range of volcanic mountains runs almost continuously through Mexico and the greater part of Central America, near the Pacific Coast and parallel to it. A second range of mountains, not so continuous and distinct, runs almost parallel to the Atlantic coast.
The whole of the interior of the country between these two ranges may be said to be mountainous but intersected by many high- lying plains from to feet above sea level, which form one of the most characteristic features of the country. In common speech the land is divided into the tierra caliente, the tierra templada, and the tierra fria, the hot, temperate and cold lands. As the slope of the mountains is rather more gradual towards the Atlantic than towards the Pacific, the tierra caliente is more extensive in the former direction.
Three volcanic peaks, Orizaba, Popocatepetl and Ixtacihuatl, almost in the middle of Southern Mexico, rise above the line of per- petual snow and reach a height of about 17, feet, and several of the somewhat lower peaks are snow-capped during some months of the year. None of the rivers of Mexico west of the Isthmus of Tehuan tepee are navigable in the sense of being highways of commercial importance. Passing to the east of the Isthmus of Tehuan tepee the country of Chiapas and Guatemala does not differ materially in its general characteristics from that already de- scribed, with the exception that the rivers are relatively of greater importance, and the waters of the Usumacinta and Grijalva form innumerable lagoons and swamps before entering the Gulf of Mexico.
North and west of the Usumacinta and its tribu- taries, the land, with the exception of the Cockscomb range in British Honduras, is all low, and the peninsula of Yucatan appears to be little more than a coral reef slightly raised above sea level.
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The sea round the north and west coast of the peninsula is very shallow, the lOO fathom line being in some parts as much as ninety miles distant from the shore. The wet season in Mexico and Central America may subject to local variations be said to extend from June to October, but it lasts somewhat longer on the Atlantic than on the Pacific slope. During these months the rainfall is often very heavy, the States of Tabasco and Vera Cruz probably receiving the larger amount.
During the winter months occasional strong cold gales sweep the Gulf of Mexico from the North, the dreaded Norte so often mentioned in Bernal Diaz's narrative. The first question always asked regarding the Conquest is, "Who were the Mexicans, and how did they get to Mexico? Mexicans belong came from the north-west coasts which is generally assumed to have been the earliest home of the American race.
Whether the people came from Asia at a time when the Northern continents were continuous is a question not easily settled, but if such were the case, the migration must have taken place before the cul- tivation of cereal crops or the smelting of iron ore was known to the Northern Asiatics, for no iron implements were found in America, and na cereal was found there that was known in the East, the only cereal cultivated in America being the Indian corn or maize, and this is clearly of indigenous origin. It is, therefore, not necessary to consider further such a very distant connection, if such existed, between the extreme east and west.
It seems natural to speak of a wave of migration, and to treat it as though it followed the laws governing a flow of water ; but to make the simile more complete we must imagine not a flow of water, but of a fluid liable to marked chemical change due to its surroundings, which here may slowly crystallise into a stable form, and there may boil over with noticeable energy, re- dissolving adjacent crystals and mixing again with a neighbouring stream.
There is no reason to suppose that this process had not been going on in America as long as it had in other parts of the world, but there we are often helped to understand the process by written or carved records, which go back for hundreds and even thousands of years, whereas in America written records are almost non-existent, and carved records are confined to a small area, and both are almost undecipherable.
In Mexico and Central America accepted tra- dition appears to begin with the arrival of the Toltecs, a branch of the Nahua race, and history with that of the later Nahua tribes, but as to who the people were whom the Toltecs found in pos- session of the country, tradition is silent.
I am not, however, myself able to accept this explanation of the facts known to us. The monu- ments and architectural remains of Guatemala and Yucatan are undoubtedly the work of the Mayas, who, although nearly related to the Nahuas, are admitted to be a distinct race, speaking a different language ; and I am inclined to believe that the Maya race formerly inhabited a considerable por- tion of Central and Southern Mexico, and it is to it that we must give credit for Tula, Cholula and, possibly, Teotehuacan, all lying within Central Mexico, as well as for the highest culture ever attained by natives on the continent of North America.
Driven from their Mexican homes by the pres- sure of Nahua immigrants, they doubtless took refuge in the high lands of Chiapas and Guate- mala, and along the banks of the Rivers Usuma- cinta and Motagua, and pressed on as far as the present frontier of Guatemala and Honduras ; but it must be admitted that, so far, no account of this migration and settlement is known to us. The passes through the great volcanic barrier which runs parallel to the Pacific Coast could have been easily defended, while a road was left open along the lowlands between the mountains and the sea, of which the Nahua hordes apparently availed themselves, for Nahua names and dialects are found as far east as Nicaragua, Judging from the architectural remains and the sculptured stones, it may be safely assumed that it was in Central America that the Mayas reached the highest point of their culture, and that they there developed their peculiar script.
No Maya hiero- glyphic inscriptions have yet been found in Central Mexico, and it is only within the last few years that attention has been called to what appears to be a somewhat crude form of Maya 'script unearthed as far west as Monte Alban in the State of Oaxaca. Yucatan was still Maya, but the influence of its powerful Nahua neighbours was strongly felt, and civil wars had caused the destruction and abandon- ment of most of the old towns. There is yet one Maya area which has so far not been mentioned, the land of the Huastecs around the mouth of the Rio Panuco the river dividing the modern States of Vera Cruz and Tamaulipas.
It seems probable that the Huastecs, and possibly also their neighbours the Totonacs, were the remnant of the Maya race left behind when the main body was driven to the south-east. If they were a Maya colony from the south, as has some- times been asserted, they would certainly have brought with them the Maya script, but no Maya hieroglyphs have, so far as I know, ever been found in the Huastec country. It should be noted that Tula, the reputed capital of the Toltecs, stands on the head waters of the Rio Panuco, and it may be that if such people existed, on occupying Tula they acquired something of the Maya culture, and thus gained their reputation of great builders and the teachers of the later Nahua immigrants.
The exact reason for the disappearance of the earlier races who inhabited Mexico, and of the abandonment of the Central American cities, may never be known, but religious differences cannot be left out of the question, and one way of regarding the change is as the triumph of the ruthless and sanguinary War God Huitzilopochtli over the mild and civilising cult of Quetzalcoatl or Kukulcan. Were I asked to give definitely all my reasons in support of the foregoing statements, which differ very considerably from those made by such a recent authority as Mr.
Payne in his history of the American people, I must own that I should be at a loss how to do so. In my own case, a somewhat intimate acquaint- ance with the sculptures and ruined buildings both in Central America and Mexico has left impressions on my mind as to their relation to one another which it is not always easy to express in definite terms. In the story of Bernal Diaz, we shall meet with the Mayas in the early pages describing the dis- covery of Yucatan and the passage of the three expeditions along the coast of the peninsula, and then again we shall come in touch with them after the conquest of Mexico on Cortes' journey across the base of the peninsula to Honduras.
No attempt was made to subdue the Mayas until , six years after the fall of Mexico, and such redouHtable warriors did they prove them- selves to be that, although Francisco de Montejo landed his forces and marched right across the northern part of the peninsula, he was eventually obliged to retreat, and by every Spaniard was driven out of the country. John Murray, London, Iv that the Spaniards brought the Mayas into sub- jection.
To turn now to the time of the Spanish conquest we find Mexico peopled by a number of different tribes more or less nearly alike in habits and customs, and not differing greatly from each other in race, but speaking different languages and dialects. Some of these peoples or tribes, such as the Zapotecs and Mixtecs of Oaxaca and the Tarascos of Michoacan, extended over a consider- able extent of country ; they were not however homogeneous nations acting under the direction of one chief or of a governing council.
The main factor in the situation at the time when the Spaniards landed was the dominance of the Pueblo of Tenochtitlan or Mexico.
The Mexicans or Astecs were a people of Nahua race who, after many years of wandering on their way from the North, finally settled in the high plain, or valley, which still retains their name. By their own warlike prowess and diplomatic alliances with neighbouring towns they gradually increased in power until they gained the hegemony of the tribes and peoples of the valley, and then carried their warlike enterprises into distant parts of the country, even as far as Tabasco and Guatemala. In fact, they became the head of a military and predatory empire, dependent for their food, as well as their wealth, on tribute drawn from subject tribes and races.
They were not a civilising power, and as long as the tribute was paid, they did not appear to concern themselves with the improvement of the local government of their dependencies. The education of the sons and daughters of the upper classes was carefully attended to under the direction of the priesthood, but, as was only natural in a society so constituted, soldierly qualities were those most valued in the men, and the highest reward went to those who showed the greatest personal bravery in battle.
It is not a Mexican but a Cuban word. They are the Macana or Maquahuitl, called by the Spaniards a sword, a flat blade of wood three to four feet long, and three inches broad, with a groove along either edge, into which sharp-edged pieces of flint or obsidian were inserted, and firmly fixed with some adhesive compound. Bows and stone-tipped arrows. Long Spears with heads of stone or copper. It is worth noting that no bows or arrows are shown on any of the Maya sculptures, but in the stone carvings in Yucatan on which weapons are always prominent all the men are represented as armed with short spears or javelins and an Atlatl.
It may be that bows and arrows were unknown to the Mayas until they were introduced by the Nahua races. Such representations appear to be confined to the iienzos painted cloths and picture writings, but I am not now able to verify this statement. Sometimes they were oblong in shape, and large enough to cover the whole body ; these latter could be folded up when not in use. A Mexican army in battle array must have been both a beautiful and imposing spectacle, a blaze of colour and barbaric splendour.
This is not the place to discuss fully the moral aspects of the Conquest, but in considering the conduct of the Conquistadores and their leader we must always keep in mind the traditions that influenced them and the laxity of the moral code of the time in which they lived. He dared to cheat these men out of part of their hard-earned spoil that he might have gold with which to bribe the leaders of the force which he must always have known would be sent in pursuit of him.
It was only too probable that the Mexicans, longing to return to their homes, were plotting against the Spaniards to effect it. Had such a plot been successful the Spaniards were inevitably lost. That Cortes was not in a state of mind propitious to the careful weighing of evidence may at once be admitted ; a long, dangerous and toilsome march through a tropical forest is not conducive to unruffled temper.
From our point of view the Spaniards were cruel and ruthless enough ; an army of unbaptized Indians was no more to them than a herd of swine, but their callous cruelty can be no more surprising to us than their childlike belief in the miraculous power of the images and crosses which they sub- stituted for the native idols, or their firm belief in the teaching of their Church, which did not admit that an Indian had the rights of a human being until he was baptized.
Neither in the sixteenth nor the twentieth century would troops that have seen their companions-in- arms captured and led to execution to grace the festival of a heathen god, and afford material for a cannibal feast, be likely to treat their enemies with much consideration, but the fate of the vanquished Mexicans was humane to what it would have been had the victors been Tlaxcalans or other tribes of their own race and religion.
These concluding remarks are not made with the intention of whitewashing the character of the ConquistadoreSy their faults are sufficiently evident, but to impress on the reader the necessity of taking all the factors of the case into consideration when forming a judgment. Censure without stint has been heaped on Cortes and his followers for their treatment of the Indians, but no one has ever ventured to question the spirit and resource of that great leader nor the daring courage and endurance shown both by him and his followers.
I gladly take this opportunity of thanking Don Genaro Garcia for permission to make the Tran- slation from his Edition of the True History and for his unfailing courtesy and encouragement during the progress of the work, and of thanking Don Jose Romero of the Mexican Foreign Office for the loan of books of reference from his valuable collec- tion and for other acts of kindness. In the original text a native name has often several variants, and each one of these may differ from the more generally-accepted form. In the Translation a purely arbitrary course has been adopted, but it is one which will probably prove more acceptable to the general reader.
At the end of each volume a list of names is printed, arranged alphabetically, showing the variants in the original text, the usually-accepted forms, the spelling of place-names generally found in modern maps, and when possible the form now used by modem Maya and Nahuatl scholars. Spanish names are always printed in the Translation in the generally-accepted forms : thus Xpvl de Oli of the text is printed as Cristobal de Olid.
The names of certain Spanish offices, such as Alguacil, Regidor, are retained in the Translation, as well as the " Fraile or Padre de la Merced " for the " Friar of the Order of Mercy," but all foreign words used in the Translation are printed in italics when they first occur, and are referred to in foot-notes, and a Glossary is given at the end of each volume.
Square brackets [ ] enclose words inserted by the translator. Santiago de Cuba. Axaruco Jaruco. Gran Cairo, Yucatan near Cape Catoche. Return Voyage. Estero de los Lagartos. Los Martires — The Shoals of the Martyrs. Puerto de Carenas the modem Havana. Puerto de Carenas Havana 22 April, 15 Cape San Anion. The day of Santa Cozumel Santa Cruz.
Cruz, 3rd May. Bahia de la Asuncion. Deseado or P. Rio de Grijalva Tabasco. Sighted Ayagualulco La Rambla. Sighted Rio de Coatzacoalcos. Sighted Sierra de San Martin. Rio de Papaloapan Rio de Alvarado and Tlacotlalpan. Isla de Sacrificios. John's day, 24th June. Return Voyage San Juan de Ulua. Sighted the Sierra de Tuxpan. Rio de Canoas R.
Tanguijo Cape Rojo. Puerto de Carenas Havana Jaruco. Santiago de Cuba June. Sailed from Trinidad loth Feb. Arrived at Rio de Grijalva or Tabasco. Palm Sunday. January, 15 These dates will be found on the right-hand column. Places not mentioned by Bernal Diaz as stopping-places of the expedition are printed in italics.
From the only exact copy made of the Original Manuscript. That which I have myself seen and the fighting I have gone through, with the help of God I will describe, quite simply, as a fair eye witness without twisting events one way or another. The Cedula is dated Barcelona, 6th July, Story, and they will presently find out what a wonderful story it is. I will do no more now than give evidence of my nationality and birthplace, and note the year in which I set out from Castille and the names of the captains in whose company I went as a soldier, and state where I am now settled and have my home.
BOOK I. The beginning of the story.
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As soon as we had the country pacified and settled by Spaniards, we thought it to be our duty as good and loyal subjects of His Majesty, with much respect for our King and natural Lord, to hand the country over to him. I shall also tell about all the good results that came of it, and about the large number of souls which have been saved, and are daily being saved, by conversion to the faith, all of which souls were formerly lost in Hell. I shall tell in this story who was the first discoverer of the province of Yucatan, and how we went to the discovery of New Spain and who were the Captains and soldiers who conquered and settled it and many other things which happened during the conquest, which are worth knowing and should not be forgotten ; all this I shall relate as briefly as possible, and above all with the assured truth of an eye witness.
When the meaning is not clear the spaces are maikcd with asterisks. After this first warlike expedition, I set out a second time from this same Island of Cuba under another captain, named Juan de Grijalva, and we again had great warlike encounters with these same Indians of the Pueblo of Chanpoton, and in this second battle many of our soldiers were killed. From that Pueblo we went on along the coast, exploring, until we arrived at New Spain and then kept on our way until we reached the province of Panuco. Then a second time we had to turn back to the Island of Cuba, baffled and exhausted both from hunger and thirst, and from other reasons which I will set forth in the chapter which treats of this expedition.
I repeat that no other captain or soldier went to New Spain three times in succession on one expedition after another as I did, so that I am the earliest discoverer and conqueror who has ever lived or is now living in New Spain. Although many soldiers went twice on voyages of discovery, the first time with Juan de Grijalva whom I have already mentioned, and the second time with the gallant captain Cortes, yet they never went three times in succession. If they went the first time with Francisco Hernandez de Cordova, they did not go the second time with Grijalva, nor the third time with the valiant Cortes.
God has been pleased to preserve me through many risks of death, both during this laborious discovery, and in the very bloody Mexican wars and I give God many thanks for it , in order that I may tell and declare the events that happened in those wars, so that studious readers may give them attention and thought. I was twenty-four years old when Diego Velasquez, the Governor of the Island of Cuba, who was my kinsman, promised to give me some Indians as soon as there were any available, but I did not care to be kept waiting until this should happen.
So as to shorten the story, I will not relate what happened on the voyage, more than to say sometimes with good weather and other times with bad weather, we arrived at N ombre de Dios, for so it was named. Some three or four months after the settlement was formed, there came a pestilence from which many soldiers died, and in addition to this, all the rest of us fell ill and suffered from bad ulcers on the legs. But it seems that after marriage, he grew suspicious of his son-in- law, believing that he would rise in rebellion and lead a body of soldiers towards the South Sea, so he gave orders that Balboa should have his throat cut and certain of the soldiers should be punished.
Indeed the country under his rule is small and thinly peopled, and his son-in-law Vasco Nunez de Balboa had already conquered it and ensured peace. As soon as leave was granted we embarked in a good ship and with fair weather reached the Island of Cuba. On landing we went at once to pay our respects to the Governor, who was pleased at our coming, and promised to give us Indians as soon as there were any to spare.
See letter from the Municipality of Vera Cruz, dated loth July, 15 Usually known as Cortes' first letter. Certain inquisitive gentlemen have asked me why I have written down these words which Diego Velasquez uttered about selling us the ship, and they say they have an ugly look and should not have been inserted in this history.
I reply that I write them here because it is desirable on account of the law suits which Diego Velasquez and the Bishop of Burgos and Arch- bishop of Rosano, whose name is Juan Rodriguez de Fonscca, brought against us. Islands near the coast of Honduras. Made from the root of Manihoc utilissima. We also engaged the necessary number of sailors and procured the best supply that we could afford of ropes, cordage, cables, and anchors, and casks for water and other things needed for the voyage, and this all to our own cost and regret.
In order that our voyage should proceed on right principles we wished to take with us a priest named Alonso Gonzalez who was then living in the said town of San Cristobal, and he agreed to come with us. After all was arranged and we had heard Mass, we commended ourselves to God our Lord, and to Our Lady, the sainted Virgin Mary, His blessed Mother, and set out on our voyage in the way I will now relate.
The name of Havana at this time appears to have applied to the district San Cristobal was on the south coast of the Island, which is here about eight leagues across from sea to sea. How we discovered the Province of Yucatan. On the eighth day of the month of February in the year fifteen hundred and seventeen, we left the Havana from the port of Axaruco, which is on the North coast, and in twelve days we doubled Cape San Antonio, which is also called in the Island of Cuba the land of the Guanaha- taveyes, who are Indians like savages.
When the weather moderated, we kept on our course, and twenty-one days after leaving port, we sighted land, at which we rejoiced greatly and gave thanks to God. This land had never been discovered before and no report of it had reached us. From the ships we could see a large town standing back about two leagues from the coast, and as we had never seen such a large town in the Island of Cuba nor in Hispaniola, we named it the Great Cairo. We arranged that the two vessels which drew the least water should go in as near as possible to the Coast, to examine the land and see if there was an anchorage near the shore.
The canoes were large ones made like hollow troughs cleverly cut out from huge single logs, and many of them would hold forty Indians.
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They approached quite fearlessly and more than thirty of them came on board the flagship, and we gave them each a present of a string of green beads, and they passed some time examining the ships. The chief man among them, who was a Cacique, made signs to us that they wished ,to embark in their canoes and return to their town, and that they would come back again another day with more canoes in which we could go ashore.
When the Cacique saw us all on shore, but showing no intention of going to his town, he again made signs to our captain that we should go with him to his houses, and he showed such evidence of peace and good-will, that our captain asked our advice whether we should go on or no, and most of the soldiers were of opinion that with the precaution of taking all our arms with us we should go on, and we took with us fifteen crossbows and ten muskets, so with the Cacique as our guide, we began our march along the road, accompanied by many Indians.
We moved on in this way until we approached some brush-covered hillocks, when the Cacique began to shout and call out to some squadrons of warriors who were lying in ambush ready to fall upon us and kill us. On hearing the Cacique's shouts, the warriors attacked us in great haste and fury, and began to shoot with such skill that the first flight of arrows wounded fifteen soldiers. These warriors wore armour made of cotton reaching to the knees and carried lances and shields, bows and arrows, slings and many stones.
After the flight of arrows, the warriors, with their feathered crests waving, attacked us hand to hand, and hurling their lances with all their might they did us much damage. However, thank God, we soon put them to flight when they felt the sharp edge of our swords, and the effect of our guns and crossbows, and fifteen of them fell dead. Within the houses were some small wooden chests, and in them were some other Idols, and some little discs made partly of gold but more than half of copper, and some necklaces and three diadems, and other small objects in the form of fish and others like the ducks of the country, all made of inferior gold.
While we were fighting with the Indians, the priest Gonzalez had accompanied us, and he took charge of the chests and the gold, and the Idols, and carried them to the ship. In these skirmishes we took two Indians prisoners, and later on, when they were baptized, one was named Julian and the other Melchior, both of them were cross-eyed. When the fight was over we returned to our ships, and went on exploring along the coast towards the setting sun, we set sail as soon as the wounded were cared for, and what else happened I will tell later on. Believing this land to be an Island, as the Pilot, Anton de A [aminos, had assured us that it was, we travelled with the greatest caution, sailing only by day and anchoring by night.
After voyaging in this manner for fifteen days, we descried from the ship, what appeared to be a large town near to a great bay or creek, and we thought that there might be a river or stream there, where we could pro- vide ourselves with water of which we had great need, because the casks and other vessels which we had brought with us, were not watertight. It was because our fleet was manned by poor men who had not money enough to purchase good casks and cables, that the water ran short.
In order that we could all of us land at the same time, we agreed to approach the shore in the smallest of the vessels, and in the three boats, with all our arms ready, so as not to be caught as we had been at Cape Catoche. In these roadsteads and bays, the water shallows very considerably at low tide, so that we had to leave our ships anchored more than a league from the shore. We went ashore near the town where there was a pool of good water, used by the people of the place for drinking water, for as far as we had seen there were no rivers in this country.
We landed the casks, intending to fill them with water, and return to our ships. I9 ful manner from the town. From their appearance we believed them to be Caciques, and they asked us by signs what it was we were looking for, and we gave them to understand that we had come for water, and wished to return at once to our ships. They then made signs with their hands to find out whether we came from the direction of the sunrise, repeating the word " Castilan " " Castilan " and we did not understand what they meant by Castilan, They then asked us by signs to go with them to their town, and we took council together as to what we should do, and decided to go with them, keeping well on the alert and in good formation.
They led us to some large houses very well built of masonry, which were the Temples of their Idols, and on the walls were figured the bodies of many great serpents and snakes and other pictures of evil-looking Idols. These walls surrounded a sort of Altar covered with clotted blood.
On the other side of the Idols were symbols like crosses, and all were coloured. At all this we stood wondering, as they were things never seen or heard of before. It seemed as though certain Indians had just offered sacrifices to their Idols so as to ensure victory over us. However, many Indian women moved about us, laughing, and with every appearance of good will, but the Indians gathered in such numbers that we began to fear that there might be some trap set for us as at Catoche.
While this was happening, many other Indians approached us, wearing very ragged mantles and carrying dry reeds, which they deposited upon the plain, and behind them came two squadrons of Indian archers in cotton armour, carrying lances and shields, slings and stones, and each captain drew up his squadron at a short distance from where we stood. Indians clad in long white cotton cloaks, reaching to their feet, and with their long hair reeking with blood, and so matted together, that it could never be parted or even combed out again, unless it were cut.
After ordering fire to be put to the reeds, the priests withdrew without further speech. Then the warriors who were drawn up in battle array began to whistle and sound their trumpets and drums. When we perceived their menacing appearance and saw great squadrons of Indians bearing down on us we remembered that we had not yet recovered from the wounds received at Cape Catoche, and had been obliged to throw overboard the bodies of two soldiers who had died, and fear fell on us, so we determined to retreat to the coast in good order, and began to march along the shore towards a large rock which rose out of the sea, while the boats and the small bark laden with the water casks coasted along close in shore.
We had not dared to embark near the town where we had landed, on account of the great press of Indians, for we felt sure they would attack us as we tried to get in the boats. As soon as we had embarked and got the casks on board the ships, we sailed on for six days and nights in good weather, then we were struck by a norther which is a foul wind on that coast and it lasted four days and nights, and so strong was the storm that it nearly drove us ashore, so that we had to drop anchor, but we broke two cables, and one ship began to drag her anchor.
Then we kept on our course along the coast, going ashore whenever we were able to do so to get water, for, as I have already said, the casks we carried were not only leaky, but were gaping open, and we could not depend upon them, and we hoped that by keeping near the coast we should be able to find water, whenever we landed, either in pools or by digging for it. As we were sailing along on our course, we came in sight of a town, and about a league on the near side of it, there was a bay which looked as though it had a river or stream running into it ; so we determined to anchor.
On this coast the tide runs out so far that there is danger of the ships being stranded, so for fear of this we dropped anchor at the distance of a league from the shore, and we landed in that bay from the vessel of least draught and from the boats, carrying all our casks along with us to fill them with water. We landed soon after mid-day, well armed with crossbows and guns.
This landing place was about a league from the town, near to some pools of water, and maize plantations, and a few small houses built of masonry. The town is called Potonchan. In modem maps it is called Champoton. There is a further difficulty about the name of this town, because the town at the mouth of the Rio de Grijalva Sta. Maria de la Victoria was also called Potonchon or Potonchan.
We filled our casks with water, but we could not carry them away on account of the great number of warriors who fell on us. I will stop now and tell later on about the attack they made on us. Their faces were painted black and white, and ruddled and they came in silence straight towards us, as though they came in peace, and by signs they asked whether we came from where the sun rose, and we replied that we did come from the direction of the sunrise. Series II. After a drawing by Miss Adda Breton. Reproduced and printed for tin. Plate 2. To face page While we were keeping watch during the night we heard a great squadron of Indian warriors approaching from the town and from the farms, and we knew well that their assembly boded us no good, and we took council together as to what should be done.
Yo vi la piedra que mató a Moctezuma Spanish Edition Rolando Keller T Books Reviews
Some of the soldiers were of opinion that we should embark without delay ; however as always happens in such cases, some said one thing and some said another, but the Indians being in such numbers it seemed to most of my companions that if we made any attempt to embark they would be sure to attack us, and we should run great risk of losing our lives. Some others were of opinion that we should fall upon the Indians that very night, for, as the proverb says " who attacks conquers ".
On the other hand we could see that there were about two hundred Indians to every one of us. While we were still taking council the dawn broke, and we said one to the other " let us strengthen our hearts for the fight, and after commend- ing ourselves to God let us do our best to save our lives. We gave them a good return of thrusts and cuts and the guns and crossbows never ceased their work, some being loaded while the others were fired.
At last feeling the effects of our sword. All the other soldiers were wounded by spear thrusts and two of them were carried off alive, one named Alonzo Boto, and the other an old Portuguese man. Our captain then saw that our good fighting availed us nothing ; other squadrons of warriors were approaching us fresh from the town, bringing food and drink with them and a large supply of arrows. All our soldiers were wounded with two or three arrow wounds, three of them had their throats pierced by lance thrusts, our captain was bleeding from many wounds and already fifty of the soldiers were lying dead.
Feeling that our strength was exhausted we determined with stout hearts to break through the battalions sur- rounding us and seek shelter in the boats which awaited us near the shore, and proved to be a great assistance to us ; so we formed in close array and broke through the enemy. Then another danger befell us ; as we all sought shelter in the boats at the same time and there were so many of us they began to sink, so in the best way we could manage hanging on to the waterlogged boats and half swimming, we reached the vessel of lightest draught which came in all haste to our assistance.
Many of us were wounded while we embarked, especially those who were sitting in the stern of the boats, for the Indians shot at them as targets, and even waded into the sea with their lances and attacked us with all their strength. Thank God! When we got on board the ships we found that over fifty of our soldiers were missing, among them two who had been carried off alive. Within a few days we had to cast into the sea five others who died of their wounds and of the great thirst which we suffered. The whole of the fighting occupied only one hour.
When we were safely out of that affray we gave hearty thanks to God. As the wounds of the soldiers were being dressed, some of them complained of the pain they felt, for they began to be chilled and the salt water caused considerable swelling, and some of them began to curse the pilot Anton de Alaminos and his voyage and discovery of the Island, for he always maintained that it was an Island and not the main land.
Here I must leave off and I will tell what happened to us later on. How we agreed to return to the Island of Cuba and of the great hardships we endured before arriving at the Port of Havana. As soon as we got on board ship again, in the way I have related, we gave thanks to God, and after we had attended to the wounded and there was not a man among us who had not two, three or four wounds, and the Captain was wounded in ten places and only one soldier escaped without hurt we decided to return to Cuba.
As almost all the sailors also were wounded we were shorthanded for tending the sails, so we abandoned the smallest vessel and set fire to her after removing the sails, cables and anchors, and we divided the sailors who were unwounded between the two larger vessels.
Hispania. Volume 78, Number 4, December | Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes
However, our greatest trouble arose from the want of fresh water, for owing to the attack made on us at Chanpoton, and the haste with which we had to take to the boats, we could not carry away with us the casks and barrels which we had filled with water, and they were all left behind. So great was our thirst that our mouths and tongues were cracked with the dryness, and there was nothing to give us relief. However, bad as the water was, they filled the casks with it and brought it on board, but no one could drink such water and it did harm to the mouths and bodies of the few soldiers who attempted to drink it.
There were so many large alligators in that creek that it has always been known as the estero de los Lagartos and so it is marked on the charts. While the boats went ashore for water there arose such a violent gale from the North East that the ships began to drag their anchors and drift towards the shore, for on that coast contrary winds prevail from the North or North East.
Then we got up anchor and set sail continuing our voyage back to the island of Cuba. The pilot Alaminos then took council with the other two pilots, and it was settled that from the place we then were we should cross over to Florida, for he judged from his charts and observations that it was about seventy leagues distant, and that having arrived in Florida they said that it would be an easier voyage and shorter course to reach Havana than the course by which we had come. We did as the pilot advise. After four days' sail we came in sight of the land of Florida, and what happened to us there I will tell next.
How twenty- of us soldiers went ashore in the Bay of Florida, in company with the Pilot Alaminos, to look for water, and the attack that the natives of the land made on us, and what else happened before we returned to Havana. When we reached Florida it was arranged that twenty of the soldiers, those whose wounds were best healed, should go ashore. As the Captain was very badly wounded, and much weakened by the great thirst he had endured, he prayed us on no account to fail in bringing back fresh water as he was parching and dying of thirst, for, as I have already said, the water we had on board was salt and not fit to drink.
We landed near a creek which opened towards the sea, and the Pilot Alaminos carefully examined the coast and said that ,he had been at this very spot when he came on a voyage of discovery with Juan Ponce de Leon and that the Indians of the country had attacked them and had killed many soldiers, and that it behoved us to keep a very sharp look out. We at once posted two soldiers as sentinels while we dug deep holes on a broad beach where we thought we should find fresh water, for at that hour the tide had ebbed. It pleased God that we should come on very good water, and so overjoyed were we that what with satiating our thirst, and washing out cloths with which to bind up wounds, we must have stayed there an hour.
These Indians carried very long bows and good arrows and lances, and some weapons like swords, and they were clad in deerskins and were very big men. They came straight on and let fly their arrows and at once wounded six of us, and to me they dealt a slight arrow wound. However, we fell on them with such rapidity of cut and thrust of sword and so plied the crossbows and guns that they left us to ourselves and set off" to the sea and the creek to help their companions who had come in the canoes and were fighting hand to hand with the sailors, whose boat was already captured and was being towed by the canoes up the creek, four of the sailors being wounded, and the Pilot Alaminos badly hurt in the throat.