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.

From Bernal Díaz del Castillo, Historia Verdadera, Volume 2, Chapter 115

After issuing the order, Cortés promised to give three thousand pesos to the soldier who first laid hand on Narváez, and to the second two thousand, and one thousand to the third, and he said that what he was promising was as a reward, so that we could easily see the riches that were within our reach. Then he chose Juan Velásquez de Leon to arrest the young Diego Velásquez with whom he had had the quarrel, and gave him another sixty soldiers, and he likewise named Diego de Ordás to arrest Salvatierra and gave him another sixty soldiers, and Cortés himself was ready for an emergency with another twenty soldiers, to hasten to where he was most needed, although he intended to be present at the capture of Narváez and Salvatierra.

As soon as the lists were given to the Captains, as I have related, Cortés said, “I well know that the followers of Narváez are in altogether four times as numerous as we are, but they are not used to arms, and as the greater part of them are hostile to their captain, and many of them are ill, and we shall take them by surprise, I have an idea that God will give us the victory, and that they will not persist much in their defense, for we shall procure them more wealth than their Narváez can. So, gentlemen, our lives and honor depend, after God, on your courage and your strong arms, I have no other favor to ask of you or to remind you than that this is the touchstone of our honor and our glory for ever and ever, and it is better to die worthily than to live dishonored.”

And as at that time it was raining and was late he said no more.