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The Aztec Account of the Spanish Conquest of Mexico
 
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 Preparations Ordered by Motecubzoma

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PostSubject: Preparations Ordered by Motecubzoma   Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:39 am

After a long silence, Motecuhzoma finally spoke: "You are the chiefs of my own house and palace and I can place more faith and credit in you than in anyone else because you have always told me the truth. Go with the petlacalcati and bring me the man who is locked up in the jail, the macehual who came as a messenger from the coast." They went to the jail, but when they opened the doors, they could not find him anywhere. They hurried back to tell Motecuhzoma, who was even more astonished and terrified than they were. He said: "It is a natural thing, for almost everyone is a magician. But hear what I tell you now, and if you reveal anything of what I am about to command, will bury you under my halls, and your wives and children will be killed, and your property seized. Your houses will be destroyed to the bottom of their foundations, until the water seeps up, and your parents and all your kin will be put to death. Now bring me in secret two of the best artists among the silversmiths, and two lapidaries who are skillful at working emeralds."'

They went and returned and said to him: "Our lord, here are the craftsmen you commanded us to bring you."Motecuhzomasaid: "Tell them to enter." They entered, and he said to them:"Come here to me, my fathers. You are to know that I have called for you to have you make certain objects. But take care that you do not reveal this to anyone, for if you do, it will mean the ruin of your houses to their foundations, and the loss of your goods, and death to yourselves, your wives, your children and your kin, for all shall die. Each of you is to make two objects, and you are to make them in my presence, here in secret in this palace."

He told one craftsman: "Make a throat-band or chain of gold, with links four fingers wide and very thin, and let each piece and medallion bear rich emeralds in the center and at the sides, like earrings, two by two. Then make a pair of gold bracelets,with chains of gold hanging from them. And do this with all the haste in the world."

He ordered the other craftsman to make two great fans with rich feathers, in the center of one side a half-moon of gold, on the other a gold sun, both well burnished so that they would shine from far away. He also told him to make two gold armletsrich with feathers. And he ordered each of the lapidaries to make two double bracelets-that is, for both wrists and both ankles-of gold set with fine emeralds.

Then he ordered his petlacalcatltl to bring in secret many canutos of gold, and plumage of the noblest sort, and many emeralds and other rich stones of the finest quality. All of this was given to the artisans and in a few days they had finished their work. One morning, after the king had risen, they sent a palace hunchback to the king Motecuhzoma, to beg him to come to their workroom.

When he entered, they showed him great reverence and said: "Our lord, the work is finished. Please inspect it."Motecuhzoma saw that the work was excellent, and he told them that all had been done to his satisfaction and pleasure. He called for his petlacalcatl and said: "Give each of these, my grandfathers, a portion of various rich cloths; and huipiles and skirts for my grandmothers; and cotton, chiles, corn, squashseeds and beans, the same amount to each." And with this the craftsmen returned to their homes contented....
Posted by Steel Here at 13:23
Labels: First Reports of the Spaniards' Arrival
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