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loose himself from their grasp, and the two heroic youths were dashed to pieces by the tall.
8. He next contrived to obtain possession of the person of Montezuma, the emperor, who was so wrought upon by the insidious promises of Cortez, that he removed his residence to the Spanish quarters, and became a voluntary prisoner. While in this situation he was killed by his own subjects, while attempting to appease the fury of their attacks upon the Spanish camp. His brother, who succeeded him. died soon after of the small pox, which terrible disease was unknown amongst the natives of the new world until the invasion of the Spaniards.
9. Guatemozin, a nephew of Montezuma, succeeded to the throne, and determined to defend the city with vigor, and drive the Spaniards from his country ; while Cortez who had just been reinforced by a large body of troops, which were sent by the governor of Cuba to seize him, but which he had persuaded to join him, now advanced to obtain the reward of all his labours or put a period to them.
10. The contest was dreadful, and Guatemozia, after giving proofs of valor and skill which deserved a better fate, fell into the hands of the conquerors. The city was plundered, but the booty obtained fell so far short of their expectations, that the soldiers, supposing the emperor had concealed his treasures, persuaded Cortez to torture the unfortunate monarch, to force from him a confession of the place of concealment.
11. Accordingly the wretched Guatemozin with his prime minister were stretched on burning coals. The emperor bore the torture with firmness, but his fellow sufferer, overcome by excessive anguish, turning a dejected eye towards his master, seemed to implore his permission to reveal all he knew. The bigh spirited prince, with a look of authority and scorn, replied, " Am I, think you, on a bed of roses ?” Awed by this reproach, the minister persevered in his dutiful silence until he expired.
12. The empire was speedily reduced under the dominion of Spain, and became the most important of its foreign possessions ; but Cortez, after enduring so many hardships, and procuring so important an acquisition for his country, lived long enough to experience its neglect and ingratitude, and ended his active life in poverty and obscurity.
DIALOGUE BETWEEN FERNANDO CORTEZ AND WILLIAM PENN.
Cortez. Is it possible, William Penn, that you should seriously compare your glory with mine! The planter of a small colony in North America presume to vie with the conqueror of the great Mexican empire?
Penn. Friend, I pretend to no glory; far be it from me to glory. But this I say, that I was instrumental in executing a more glorious work than that performed by thee; incomparably more glorious.
Cort. Dost thou not know, William Penn, that with less than six hundred Spanish foot, eighteen horse, and a few small pieces of cannon, I fought and defeated innumerable armies of very brave men; dethroned an emperor who excelled all his countrymen in the science of war, as much as they excelled the rest of the West-India nations? That I made him my prisoner in his own capital: and after he had been deposed and slain by his subjects, vanquished and took Guatemozin, his successor, and accomplished my conquest of the whole Mexican empire, which I loyally annexed to the Spanish crown? Dost thou not know, that, in doing these wonderful acts, I showed as much courage as Alexander the great, and as much prudence as Cæsar?
Penn. I know very well that thou wast as fierce as a lion, and as subtle as a serpent. The prince of darkness may, perhaps, place thee as high upon his black list of heroes as Alexander or Cæsar. It is not my business to interfere with him in settling thy rank. But hark thee, friend Cortez ; what right hadst thou, or had the king of Spain himself, to the Mexican empire? Answer me that, if thou canst.
Cort. The pope gave it to my master.
Penn. Suppose the high priest of Mexico had taken it into his head to give Spain to Montezuma; would his right have been good?
Cort. These are questions of casuistry, which it is not the business of a soldier to decide. We leave that to gownsmen. But pray, Mr. Penn, what right had you to the colony you settled?
Penn. An honest right of fair purchase. We gave the native Indians a variety of articles which they wanted; and they, in return, gave us lands which they did not want. All was amicably agreed on; and not a drop of blood shed to stain our acquisition.
Cont. I am afraid there was a little fraud in the purchase. Thy followers, William Penn, are said to think that cheating, in a quiet and sober way, is no moral sin.
Penn. The righteous are always calumniated by the wicked. But it was a sight which an angel might contemplate with delight, to behold the colony which I settled! To see us living with the Indians like innocent lambs, and taming the ferocity of their manners by the gentleness of ours! To see the whole country, which before was uncultivated wilderness, rendered as fair and as fertile as the garden of Eden! O Fernando Cortez! Fernando Cortez! didst thou leave the great Mexican empire in that state? No, thou didst turn those delightful and populous regions into a desert, a desert flooded with blood. Dost thou not remember that most infernal scene, when the noble emperor Guatemozin was stretched out by the soldiers upon hot burning coals, to make him discover in what part of the lake of Mexico he had thrown the royal treasures? Are not his groans ever sounding in the ears of thy conscience? Do they not rend thy hard heart, and strike thee with more horror than the yells of the furies?
Cort. Alas, I was not present when that direful act was done! Had I been there, the mildness of my nature never would have suffered me to endure the sight. I certainly should have forbidden it.
Penn. Thou wast the captain of that band of robbers, who did this horrid deed. The advantage they had drawn from thy counsels and conduct enabled them to commit it; and thy skill saved them afterwards from the vengeance which was due to so enormous a crime. The enraged Mexicans would have properly punished them for it, if they had not had thee for their general, thou hard-hearted, bloodthirsty wretch.
Cort. The righteous I find can rail, William Penn. But how do you hope to preserve this admirable colony you have settled? Your people, you tell me, live like innocent lambs
Are there no wolves in America to devour those lambs ? Do you expect the natives will always continue in peace with your successors ? Or, if they should make war, do you expect to oppose them by prayers and presents ? If this be your policy, your devoted colony will soon become an easy prey to the savages of the wilderness.
Penn. We leave that to the wise Disposer of events, who governs all nations at his will. If we conduct with strict justice tovards the Indians, He will doubtless defend us against all their invasions.
Cort. Is this the wisdom of a great legislator! I have heard some of your countrymen compare you to Solon ! Did Solon, think you, give laws to a people, and leave those laws and that people to the mercy of every invader? The first business of a legislator is to provide a military strength which may defend the whole system. The world, William Penn, is a land of robbers. Any state or commonwealth erected therein must be well fenced and secured by good military institutions ; the happier it is in all other respects, the greater will be its danger, the more speedy its destruction. Your plan of government must be changed ; these Indian nations must be extirpated, or your colony will be lost.
Penn. These are suggestions of human wisdom. The doctrines I held were inspired. They came from above.
Cort. It is blasphemy to say that any folly could come from the fountain of wisdom. Whatever is inconsistent with The great laws of nature, cannot be the effect of inspiration. Self-defence is as necessary to nations as to men. And shall individuals have a right which pations have not? True religion, William Penn, is never inconsistent with reason and the great laws of nature.
Penn. Though what thou sayest should be true, it does not come well from thy mouth. A tyrant talk of reason ! Go to the inquisition, and tell them of reason, and the great laws of nature. They will broil thee, as thy soldiers broiled the unhappy Guatemozin. Why dost thou turn pale? Is it the name of the inquisition, or the name of Guatemozin, which troubles and affrights thee? O wretched man!
wonder not that dost tremble and shake, when thou thinkest of the many murders thou hast committed, the many thousands of those innocent Indians thou hast butchered, without an accusation of a crime! Remember there is a day coming when thou must answer for all thy barbarities ! What wouldst thou give to part with the renown of thy conquest, and to have a conscience as pure and undisturbed as mine?
Cort. I feel the force of thy words. They pierce me like daggers. I can never, never be happy, while I retain any memory of the ills I have caused !
WHEN I was a child at seven years old, says Dr. Franklin, my friends on a holiday filled my little pockets
coppers. I went directly to a shop where they sold toys for children ; and being charmed with the sound of a whistle, which I met by the way, in the hands of another boy, I voluntarily offered, and gave all my money for one.
2. I then came home, and went whistling all over the house, much pleased with my Whistle ; but disturbing all the family. My brothers, and sisters, and cousins, understanding the bargain I had made, told me, I had given four times as much for it, as it was worth.
3. This put me in mind of what good things I might have bought with the rest of the money. And they laughed at me so much for my folly, that I cried with vexation ; and the reflection gave me more chagrin than the Whistle gave me pleasure.
4. This, however, was afterwards of use to me; the impression continuing on my mind, so that often when I was tempted to buy some unnecessary thing, I said to myself Don't give too much for the Whistle. And so I saved my money.
5. As I grew up and came into the world, and observed the actions of men, I thought I met with many, very many, who
gave too much for the Whistle. 6. When I saw one too anubitious of court favours, sacrifacing his time in attendance at levees, his repose, his liberty,