Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/359

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 337 before had received some information concerning the South Sea. I inquired of them whether it could be reached by going through their country ; they answered, yes ; and I then asked them if they would take along with them two Spaniards that I should send for the pur- pose of obtaining information for your Majesty respecting that sea and their province ; they replied that it would give them great pleasure, but that in order to go to the sea it would be necessary to enter the territory of a great lord with whom they were at war ; and that for this reason they would not now be able to reach the sea. These messensrers of Mechuacan remained with me here three or four days ; and I caused the cavalry to manoeu- vre before them, that they might describe it at home. Having presented them with some trinkets, I despatched them and the two Spaniards to the province of Mechua- can. I had received not long before, most powerful Sire, as I have already mentioned, some account of another sea to the south, and learned that at two or three points it M^as twelve, thirteen, and fourteen days' journey distant from this city. The information gave me much pleasure, for it appeared to me that the discovery would prove a great and signal service to your Majesty ; especially as all who possess any knowledge or experience in naviga- tion to the Indies have considered it certain that the dis- covery of the South Sea in these parts would bring to light many islands rich in gold, pearls, precious stones, and spiceries, together with many other unknown and choice productions ; and the same has been ajS&rmed also by persons versed in learning, and skilled in the science of cosmography. With such views, and a desire that I might be able to render your Majesty a distinguished and