A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies/Chapter 11

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Chapter XI: A farther discourse of New Spain: And some account of Panuco and Xalisco

After the perpetration of all the Cruelties rehearsed in New Spain and other places, there came another Rabid and Cruel Tyrant to Panuco, who acted the part of a bloody Tragedian as well as the rest, and sent away many Ships loaden with these Barbarians to be sold for Slaves, made this Province almost a Wilderness, and which was deplorable, Eight Hundred Indians, that had Rational Souls were given in Exchange for a Burthen-bearing-Beast, a Mule, or Camel. Well, He was made Governour of the City of Mexico, and all New Spain, and with him many other Tyrants had the Office of Auditors confer'd upon them: Now they had already made such a progress toward the Desolation of this Region, that if the Franciscans had not vigorously opposed them, and that by (the King's Council, the best and greatest Encourager of Vertue) it had not speedily bin prevented, that which hapned to Hispaniola in Two Years, had bin the Fate of Hispania nova, namely to be unpeopled, deferred, and intomb'd in its own Rules. A Companion of this Governour employed Eight Thousand Indians in Erecting a wall to inclose his Garden, but they all dyed, having no Supplies, nor Wages from him, to support themselves, at whose Death he was not in the least concern'd.

After the first Captain before spoken of had absolutely profliaged and ruin'd the Panuconians, Fifteen Thousand whereof perished by carrying their Bag and Baggage: At length he arriv'd at the Province of Machuacan, which is Forty Miles Journey from Mexico, and as Fertile and Populous: The King to honour him in the Rencounter, with a Multiple of People, marcheth toward him, from whom he had received One Thousand Services and Civilities very considerable, who gratefully requited him with Captivity, because Fame had nois'd it abroad, that he was a most Opulent Prince in Gold and Silver; and to the end he might export from, and purge him of his Gold, he was cruciated with Torments after this manner; his Body was extended, Hands bound to a Post, and his Feet put into a pair of Stocks, they all the while applying burning Coals to his Feet at a tormenting distance, where a Boy attended, who by little and little sprinkled them with Oyl, that his Flesh might roast the better: Before him there stood a Wicked Fellow, presenting a Bow to his Breast charged with a Mortal Arrow, (if let fly) behind him, another with Dogs held in with Chains, which he threatned to let loose at him, which if done, he had bin torn to pieces in a moment; and with these kind of Torments they racked him to extort a Confession, where his Treasures lay; till a Franciscan Monk came and deliver'd him from his Torments, but not from Death, for he departed this miserable Life not long after: And this was the severe Fate of many Cacics and Indian Lords, who dyed with the same Torments which they were expos'd to by the Spaniards, in order to the engrossing of their Gold and Sliver to themselves.

At this very time, A certain Visiter of Purses rather than Souls hapned to be here present, who (finding some Indian Idols which were hid; for they were no better instructed in the Knowledge of the true God by reason of the Wicked Documents and Dealings of the Spaniards) detain'd Grandees as Slaves, till they had deliver'd him all their Idols, for he phancied they were made of Gold or Silver, but his Expectation being frustrated, he chastised them with no less Cruelty than Injustice; and that he might not depart bubbled out of all his hopes, constrain'd them to redeem their Idols with Money, that so they might, according to their Custom, Adore them. These are the Fruits of the Spanish Artifices and Juggling Tricks among the Indians, and thus they promoted the honour and worship of God.

This Tyrant from Mechuacam arrives at Xalisco, a Country abounding with People very fruitful, and the Glory of the Indians in this respect, that it had some Towns Seven Miles long; and among other Barbarisms equal to what you have read, which they acted here, this is not to be forgotten, that Women big with Child, were burthen'd with the Luggage of Wicked Christians, and being unable to go out their usual time, through extremity of Toil and Hunger, were necessitated to bring them forth in the High-wayes, which was the Death of many Infants.

At a certain time a profligate Christian attempted to devirginate a Maid, but the Mother being present, resisted him, and endeavouring to free her from his intended Rape, whereat the Spaniard enrag'd, cut off her Hand with a short Sword, and stab'd the Virgin in several places, till she Expir'd, because she obstinately opposed and disappointed his inordinate Appetite.

In this Kingdom of Xalisco (according to report) they burnt Eight Hundred Towns to Ashes, and for this Reason the Indians growing desperate, beholding the dayly destruction of the Remainders of their matchless Cruelty, made an Insurrection against the Spaniards, slew several of them justly and deservedly, and afterward fled to the insensible Rocks and Mountains (yet more tender and kind than the stony-hearted Enemy) for Sanctuary; where they were miserably Massacred by those Tyrants who succeeded, and there are now few, or none of the Inhabitants to be found. Thus the Spaniards being blinded with the Lustre of their Gold, deserted by God, and given over to a Reprobate Sense, not undrestanding (or at least not willing to do so) that the Cause of the Indians is most Just, as well by the Law of Nature, as the Divine and Humane, they by Force of Arms, destroying them, hacking them in pieces, and turning them out of their own Confines and Dominions, nor considering how unjust those Violences and Tyrannies are, wherewith they have afflicted these poor Creatures, they still contrive to raise new Wars against them: Nay they conceive, and by Word and Writing testifie, that those Victories they have obtain'd against those Innocents to their ruine, are granted them by God himself, as if their unjust Wars were promoted and managed by a just Right and Title to what they pretend; and with boasting Joy return Thanks to God for their Tyranny, in imitation of those Tyrants and Robbers, of whom the Prophet Zechariah part of the Forth and Fifth Verses. Feed the Sheep of the slaughter, whose Possessors slay them, and hold themselves not guilty, and they that sell them say, Blessed by the Lord, for ye are rich.