Page:Queen Moo and the Egyptian Sphinx.djvu/57

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xxxv
INTRODUCTION.

fore the invaders ventured into the interior of the country. Fearing that if they pleaded ignorance of the history it might be ascribed to unwillingness on their part to answer the questions; dreading also to alienate the goodwill of the men with long gowns, who defended them against the others that handled the thunderbolts — those strangers covered with iron, now masters of the country and of their persons, who on the slightest provocation subjected them to such terrible punishments and atrocious torments — they recited the nursery tales with which their mothers had lulled them to sleep in the days of their childhood. These stories were set down as undoubted traditions of olden times.

Later on, when the Conquest was achieved, some of the natives who really possessed a knowledge of the myths, traditions, and facts of history contained in the books that those same men with long gowns had wilfully destroyed by feeding the flames with them, notwithstanding the earnest prot- estations of the owners, invented plausible tales when questioned, and narrated these as facts, unwilling, as they were, to tell the truth to foreigners who had come to their country uninvited, arms in hand, carrying war and desolation wherever they went; [1] slaughtering the men ; [2] outraging the wives and the virgins; [3] destroying their homes, their farms, their cities ; [4] spreading ruin and devastation throughout the land; [5] dese-

  1. Cogolludo, Historia de Yucathan, lib. ii., chap. vi., p. 77.
  2. Landa, Las Cosas de Yucatan, chap. xv., p. 84, et passim. Bernal Diez de Castillo[A], Historia de la Conquista de Mexico, chap. 83.
  3. Landa, Las Cosas de Yucatan, chap. xv., p. 84. Bartholome de las Casas, Tratado de la Destruccion de las Indias, Reyno de Yucathan, lib. viii., cap. 27, p. 4.
  4. Cogolludo, Hist., de Yucathan, lib. iii., chap, xi., p. 151. Landa, Las Cosas, ch. iv.
  5. Ibid.

Comment (Wikisource)

A.^  A person named Bernal Diez de Castillo with a work called "Historia de la Conquista de Mexico" could not be found in biographies, but according to research this probably refers to Bernal Díaz del Castillo who accompanied Hernán Cortés and wrote Historia verdadera de la conquista de la Nueva España.