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The Quakers were unarmed, and but a hand
8. When the sachems were all seated, William Penn is said to have addressed the chief of them in the following words. "The Great Spirit, who made us and thee, and who rules in heaven and earth, knows that I and my friends have a hearty desire to live in friendship with thee, and to serve thee to the utmost of our power.
9. "It is not our custom to use hostile weapons* against our fellow-creatures, for which reason we have come unarmed. Our object is not to do injury, and thus provoke the Great Spirit, but to do good. We are now met on the broad path-way of good faith and good will, so that no advantage is to be taken on either side."
10. The great elm-tree, under which this treaty was made, became celebrated on that account, and, when the British were quartered near it, during the war of American independence, their general so respected it, that, when his soldiers were cutting down every tree for firewood, he placed a senti nel under it, that not a branch of it might be touched.
11. A few years ago it was blown down, when it was split into wood, and many cups, bowls and other articles made of it, to be kept as memorials. As to the roll of parchment, it was shown to governour Keith at a conference in 1722, about forty years after it was signed; and a respectable missionary informs us, that, between the years 1770 and 1780, the Indians mi-nūte ́ly related to him what had passed between William Penn and their forefathers.
SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF FERNANDO CORtez.
HE was born in the year 1485, and was one of the most able, as well as the most daring adventurers, who sought the new world, soon after its discovery by Columbus. His courage and enterprise recommended him to the governour of Cuba who gave him the command of an expedition, which he was fitting out for the discovery and conquest of the neighbouring continent.
2. With this fleet, which consisted of only eleven small * Pronounced wep'pnz.
vessels, the burden of the largest not exceeding one hundred tons, he landed in the dominions of the Mexican emperor. His forces, when mustered on the shore, scarcely amounted to six hundred, including seamen, and of these, only thirteen were 'armed with muskets, the rest having cross-bows and spears. Besides these, however, they had ten pieces of artillery and eighteen horses, which animals until then were unknown in Mexico.
3. Having no authority from the king of Spain, and having quarrelled with the governour of Cuba, he could not reasonably expect any reënforcement; yet, with this inconsiderable force, the genius of Cortez formed the apparently absurd project of subduing a kingdom considerably advanced in the arts of civilization, and possessing a population of several millions.
4. There was a tradition amongst the Mexicans, that a people would one day come from the east, and finally bring them into subjection; and when, in the first battle with the invaders, not a Spaniard was injured, while thousands of their countrymen were slain, superstition was mingled with their traditionary fears, and the Spaniards were looked upon as a superior race of beings.
5. Cortez encouraged this belief; but, foreseeing that there were many obstacles to be overcome, and fearing the desertion of his followers, he adopted the bold design of burning his fleet, which rendered success or death inevitable. After many engagements with petty princes, some of whom followed his standard, he finally approached the city of Mexico, the residence of the emperour, who, with all his nobles, came forth to meet him, bringing with them many costly presents, and showing the most profound respect for the children of the sun, as they called the Spaniards.
6. Cortez concealed his real design from the devoted Mexicans; but the encroachments of the Spaniards often provoked them to make tumultuous attacks, which were always repulsed with immense slaughter. In one instance, they took possession of a high tower, which overlooked the Spanish camp, and three times repulsed a considerable party which was sent to dislodge them.
7. At last, Cortez rushed forward himself, and gained the top of the tower, when two young Mexicans of high rank seized upon him in a moment, and threw themselves headlong over the battlement. Cortez was so fortunate as to loose
himself from their grasp, and the two heroick youths were dashed to pieces by the fall.
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, when 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 vigour, and drive the Spaniards from his country; while Cortez, who had just been reënforced by a large body of troops, which were sent by the governour 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 Guatemozin, after giving proofs of valour 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 and 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 high-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 seri
ously 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; incom'parably 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?
* Pronounced sut'tle.
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.
Cort. 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 contem'plate 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 an 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 popuious 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 thy 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 horrour 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