Published Date

May 1, 2004

Resource Type

Primary Source

This resource was developed in 2004 as part of “The Conquest of Mexico” by Nancy Fitch.

Motecuhzoma was distraught and bewildered; he was filled with terror, not knowing what would happen to the city. The people were also terrified, debating the news among themselves. There were meetings and arguments and gossip in the street; there was weeping and lamenting. The people were downcast: they went about with their heads bowed down and greeted each other with tears.

But there were some who attempted to encourage their neighbors, and the children were caressed and comforted by their fathers and mothers. The chiefs said to Motecuhzoma, to fortify his heart: “The strangers are accompanied by a woman from this land, who speaks our Nahuatl tongue. She is called La Malinche, and she is from Teticpac. They found her there on the coast. . .

It was also at this time that the Spaniards asked so many questions about Motecuhzoma. They asked the villagers: “Is he a young man, or mature, or in his old age? Is he still vigorous, or does he feel himself to be growing old? Is he an old man now, with white hair?” The villagers replied: “He is a mature man, slender rather than stout, or even thin. Or not thin but lean, with a fine straight figure.”