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1543]

HUGUENOT COLONY IN FLORIDA.

59

In these they descended the Mississippi, and about half the original number finally reached the Mexican coast in safety.

86. It has been mentioned that a party of French Huguenots had settled in Florida. Philip II., remembering that possession had been taken of the country in the name of the Spanish crown, resolved to drive them out, and in 1565 commissioned Melendez [ma-len'-deth] for that purpose. Melendez undertook to subjugate the country in three years, to plant a colony, and to introduce the sugar-cane. He reached Florida on St. Augustine's [aw'-gus-teenz] day, and gave the name of that saint to the river up which he sailed, and the town that he founded on its bank (see Map, p. 151]. This was the first permanent settlement within the present limits of the United States, being more than forty years older than

any other.

was

Ribeault [re-bo'], the French commander, immediately prepared to attack the Spaniards, but a storm wrec vessels and left him entirely at their mercy.

Melendez not long in taking advantage of his helplessness. Leading a strong force by land against the French fort, he took it, and caused a general massacre of all it contained, including even women and children, old and sick, declaring that he killed them,“ not as Frenchmen, but as Lutherans”.

This wanton cruelty was not to go unavenged. De Gourgues (goorg'], a brave adventurer of Gascony, fitted out three ships with the aid of his friends, for the express purpose of punishing the murderers. He succeeded in surprising the Spanish settlement, and hanged his prisoners on trees, placing over them the inscription, “I do not this as unto Spaniards or mariners, but as unto traitors, robbers, and murderers.”

Too weak to maintain his position, De Gourgues returned to France, and the whole country was left under the domin

surviving Spaniards ? 86. Where had a party of French Huguenots settled ? Whom did Philip II. send to drive them out? What did Melendez undertake to do? Where did he land, and on what day? [See Map. p. 151. How is St. Augustine situated? In what direction from the St. John's River ?] How does St. Augustine compare in age with the other permanent settlements ? What did the French commander do? Relate what followed. How and by whom was this cruel act

ion of Spain. Cuba henceforth formed the centre of the Spanish West Indian possessions; which included, not only the surrounding islands, but all that portion of the continent that lay on the Ca-rib-be'an Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.

CHAPTER III.

CONQUEST OF MEXICO AND PERU.—VOYAGE OF MAGELLAN.

87. GRIJALVA [gre-hahl-vah), on a visit to the Mexican coast in 1517, first heard of a rich empire in the interior under the dominion of Montezuma (mon-te-zoo'ma]. Velasquez [-lah'-sketh], then governor of Cuba, resolved to attempt its conquest, and selected Fernando Cortez as commander of the expedition. Cortez was a man of great energy and courage, though unprincipled, rapacious, and cruel. Devoting all his powers to the enterprise, he soon raised 617 men, 16 of whom were mounted. Fire-arms had not at this period come into general use, and only thirteen muskets and ten small field-pieces could be procured. The arms of the greater part consisted of cross-bows, swords, and spears. Thus prepared, Cortez landed where Vera Cruz [vā'ra kroos] now stands, in April, 1519.

88. The natives had never before seen horses, and thought that the horse and rider were one and the same animal. When they looked at these formidable creatures and the floating fortresses in which the Spaniards had come, when they heard the thunder of the muskets and cannon, and witnessed the terrible effects of their discharge, they thought the strangers must indeed be the children of the gods. News of their arrival was soon conveyed to the emperor, who sent back orders that they should leave the country. But to these

avenged? What became of De Gourgues? What henceforth were included in the Spanish possessions ?

87. Who first heard of Montezuma's empire? Who was governor of Cuba at the time? What did he resolve to do? Whom did he select as commander ? What kind of a man was Cortez ? How large a force did he raise? How were they armed? Where did they land ? 88. Whom did the natives take the strangers

1519]

CORTEZ AND MONTEZUMA.

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Cortez paid no heed, particularly as they were accompanied with rich presents which allured him onward.

Having suppressed a threatened mutiny, and destroyed his ships that there might be no temptation to return, Cortez advanced into the country. He met with little opposition on his march, induced the Tlascalans [tlah-skah-lanz], a tribe hostile to Mexico, to join him, and at last came in sight of the great Az'-tec city. With rapture he beheld evidences of civilization that he had found in no other part of the continent. Temples and palaces, stately structures and gilded domes, glittered in the sunlight. A populous and magnificent city lay before him, on a picturesque island, surrounded by a region teeming with the richest vegetation.

89. Montezuma, alarmed by what he had heard respecting the invaders, received them hospitably. Gorgeously attired and borne in a chair on the shoulders of four men, he welcomed them to his capital. There was a belief among his people, he told the Spanish leader, that strangers from the east would at some time visit them. The great chief who had brought the Aztecs to that spot had gone to a distant land, but promised that he or his descendants would return.

As you come,” continued the emperor, “ from that region where the sun rises, I doubt not that the king who sends you is the royal master of the Mexicans.”

Cortez took advantage of this superstitious feeling, and, not contented with the rich presents he had received, resolved to gain possession of the whole country. He formed alliances with several neighboring caciques [ka-seeks'], or chiefs, who were enemies to Montezuma, and soon began to meddle with the affairs of the empire. Destroying the idols to which human sacrifices were offered in their temples, he placed in their stead images of the Virgin Mary and the saints. At last, Montezuma, though afraid of the Spaniards, secretly ordered one of his generals to attack them. Cortez

to be? Why? What message did the emperor send to Cortez? With what success? Give an account of the march of Cortez. Describe the Aztec or Mexican capital. 89. How did Montezuma receive the invaders? What belief was cur. rent among his people? What did he tell Cortez! What did Cortez resolve to do? What changes did he try to make in their religion? At last what secret

was not unprepared. Marching to the palace, he seized the general and fifty of his men, and burned them alive, after carrying off Montezuma in irons to his camp. The promise of liberty induced the captive emperor to give large sums of gold to the perfidious Cortez, who received them, but under various pretexts refused to release his prisoner.

The Mexicans at length took up arms in a body against their oppressors; and, with the view of appeasing them, Cortez compelled Montezuma to appear before them, and urge them to submission. When he showed himself on the battlements in his royal robes, the multitude bowed in respectful silence. But when they heard him argue

for

peace with the perfidious foe, violent reproaches and threats burst forth on every side. In a moment, a shower of arrows and stones fell round the unfortunate monarch. A blow from a heavy stone prostrated him, and he died soon after from its effects.

90. A fierce and sudden attack enabled the Mexicans to drive the Spaniards from their capital. Guatimozin [gwahte-mo'zin] was placed on the throne, and proved a brave and skilful leader ; but he was no match for Cortez, with his horses and artillery. Having received a reënforcement of his countrymen and induced a native tribe to join his standard, the Spanish chief laid siege to the city, and after seventy-five days' hard fighting succeeded in taking it, August 13th, 1521. The royal family and the chief personages of the empire thus fell into his hands.

Guatimozin was treated with the greatest barbarity. To compel him to tell into what part of the lake he had thrown the royal treasure, Cortez ordered him to be stretched on a bed of burning coals; but he bore his sufferings with the fortitude of an American warrior. One of his favorites, who was subjected to the same tortures, overcome by agony,

order did Montezuma give? What course did Cortez take? How did he afterwards perfidiously break his promise? What were the Mexicans at length driven to do? How did Cortez try to appease them? What followed ? 90. With what reverse did the Spaniards now meet? Who succeeded Montezuma? What kind of a leader did he make? What aid did Cortez receive? With this what did he succeed in doing? How was Guatimozin treated? What incident happened

1521]

END OF THE CAREER OF CORTEZ,

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turned a dejected eye on his master, which seemed to implore permission to reveal the secret. The monarch with a look of authority and scorn replied, “ Am I reposing on a bed of flowers ?” No further complaint escaped the faithful attendant, who soon died under the torture. The emperor was spared, only to suffer death shortly afterwards with the princes and chief nobles of his country. This was a fatal blow to Mexican power, and henceforth the supremacy of the Spanish was acknowledged.

91. The king of Spain had by this time become jealous of the renown of Cortez. Commissioners were sent to inquire into his conduct, who seized his property and imprisoned his officers. Cortez made his way to Spain and was received with honor, though not restored to his former position. He made another expedition to the new world, and explored Lower California. Returning a second time to Spain, he was treated with coldness and neglect. On one occasion desiring an audience with the king, he was obliged to force his way through the crowd and place his foot on the step of the carriage before he could gain attention. “Who are you?” said the king. “I am a man,” answered Cortez, “ who has gained you more provinces than your father left you towns.” Cortez passed the rest of his life in solitude, and died at the age of sixty-two.

92. Among the bravest and most distinguished Spanish, adventurers of this period, was Pizarro. Rumors of its wealth and splendor attracted his attention to the Peruvian empire. He started from Panama on his first expedition in 1524, but effected nothing more than the discovery of some islands on the coast.

93. A second attempt was made two years later. The interior of the country was visited, but with incredible labor and suffering. On one occasion, worn out by fatigue and

during his torture? What finally became of Guatimozin ? What was the consequence? 91. What obliged Cortez to return to Spain? What expedition did he afterwards make? How was he treated at court? How did he rebuke the king on one occasion? At what age did he die ? 92. What distinguished adventurer is next mentioned ? To what empire did he turn his attention? What is said of his first expedition ? 93. Give an account of his second expedition. What story

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