may be effected by the fal gemma of Cordova when mingled with a certain portion of earth; and it is highly probable that this fofile falt, like many others, contains earthy parts in no small quantity. Nay, fuppofing it exempt from earthy parts, it might, perhaps, produce the decompofition in question by the mere intermixture of its parts with those of the faltpetre, without any action of the marine acid in this operation. Mr. B. ought to have confidered, that the marine acid of the fal gemma cannot unite itself with the fixed alkali of nitre, because it is itself united with a fixed alkali, which is its natural basis.

Thefe flight inadvertencies are not pointed out to diminish the esteem that is due to the work of MR. BOWLES, which is highly recommendable on account of the curious materials, and the great number of interefting obfervations, with which it abounds. Among others, the Naturalifts will read, certainly, with great pleasure, our Author's ample and curious account of the cinnabar mine of Almaden-the mine of Guadalcanal, and many of the other articles, of which we gave an enumeration in our laft Appendix. This work in reality is the first general and accurate inventory, hitherto published of the natural productions of Spain; and, indeed, works of this kind are real treasures for Princes and Minifters, who have fenfe and virtue enough to make use of them. If instead of blundering out ftupid manifeftoes, and involving his fubjects in an unprovoked war, without any vifible motive but the iniquitous defire of rapine, or a filly complaifance for the perfidious Gaul, of whom he has fo often been the dupe, the Spanish monarch would work his mines, cultivate his country, render his people induftrious, and consequently happy, he would then fhew the man and the patriot in the king: characters fo rarely united in our days!


Correspondance de Fernand Cortes avec l'Empereur Charles-Quint fur la Conquite de Mexique, &c.-Letters of Fernando Cortes to the Emperoi Charles V. concerning the Conqueft of Mexico, tranflated from the original Spanish by the Vifcount de FLAVIGNY, Knight of the Royal and Military Order of St. Lewis. 12mo. Paris. 1778. Price Livres.

HE character and conduct of Cortes form one of those contradictions, that give pain, and a kind of vexation, to a generous mind. The man was rather mild and humane, than fanguinary and cruel; and yet the prejudices of his time, and the barbarous dictates of a fuperftitious priesthood, to which he fubmitted with all the tranquillity of a deluded confcience and all the reluctance of a good heart, led him to actions that make humanity fhudder. Thefe horrid deeds of Spanish perfidy and


cruelty are well known; they have long excited the indignation of all candid and generous minds; but if we dare caft an eye of conjecture into the dark receffes of futurity, the time, we fear, is coming, when every violation, even the moft unprovoked, of honour, juftice, equity and good faith, will be contemplated without horror, as ordinary things. We have only to open our eyes on the shameless perfidy of the fame court that murdered the Mexicans, and the frontlefs iniquity of the Gallic Carthagi ́nian, of whom that court has been fo often the dupe, and we fhall then fee that this conjecture is not entirely groundless.

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However that may be, the relation of Cortes, notwithstanding the infamous celebrity of the facts which it contains, is truly interefting. It is comprehended in three letters, written to Charles V. without any anfwer from that Prince; fo that M. de Flavigny, to whom the Public is much indebted for their publication, has rather improperly called them a Correfpondence. Nothing, indeed, can furpafs the modefty and fimplicity with which these letters are compofed. Their manner is a fentimental proof of the veracity of their Author. It does not appear that he had the fmalleft reflex view turned towards himself in the course of his relation; it does not even appear that he either altered facts, or modified circumstances, to redeem his name from the execration of fucceeding ages. His accounts of murders, affaffinations, and perfidious ftratagems, bis enumeration of the victims that fell in Mexico, to the thirft of gold, covered with a bloody veil of religion, are minute, accurate, infernal. In a word, thefe letters are intitled to a place among the valuable records of history and literature. They were four in number, but the first has been miflaid; fo that M. de Flavigny could only tranflate the three laft, which, alone, have been publifhed in Spain, by the Archbishop of Toledo, who was formerly Archbishop of Mexico. A few extracts will give our Readers fome idea of the contents and manner of these letters.

It is well known, that, without the affiftance of the vile Indians of Ttlafcala (which our Author calls Tafcalteta), who perfevered in their fidelity and attachment to Cortes, the Spaniards would never have finifhed the conqueft of Mexico. The noble refolution of that unfortunate people' (the Mexicans) to perish, rather than furvive their defeat and outlive their independence, appears from the following paffage in one of these letters reprefented to them, fays Cortes, that every day my troops killed many of them, and deftroyed a part of their city,that in cafe they perfevered in their obftinacy, I would not order hoftilities to ceafe, until their city and its inhabitants were totally deftroyed. They acknowledged the truth of what I faid, but at the fame time declared, that they were all determined to die, in order to put an end to us; they told me that I might



fee, how their terraffes, their ftreets, and their public places fwarmed with people, and that they had reckoned, that by facrificing five and-twenty thousand Mexicans to procure the death of one Spaniard, we should be the first deftroyed. They obferved farther, that, all the roads that led to Mexico being ruined, and rendered impaffable, we should be obliged to retreat by water-that we fhould foon want provifions, and fresh water, and thus, if we efcaped from the dangers of war, would perifh by hunger and thirst.'

Their notion was not groundless: in a little time famine deftroyed a confiderable number of Spaniards whom the sword had spared. But Cortes perfevered; and no obftacle or difcouraging circumftance, not even objects the most naturally adapted to inspire terror and difmay, could vanquish his conftancy of mind, or turn him from the execution of his purpose. Mexico had charms every way proper to inflame the luft of avarice, rapine and conqueft. These letters of Cortes give us ftill a more pompous idea of the opulence and luxury of Mexico and its Emperor, than we receive from the descriptions of the late eminent hiftorian of America and his predeceffors. We may judge of this by the following defcription of the court of Mon


Montezuma's court was every morning frequented by fix hundred Caciques or Lords, whofe attendants filled feveral of the inner courts, and even the great street which was terminated by the palace. When the Emperor dined, the whole court was entertained at the fame time, and every attendant or fervant received his portion: there were lodges open for all who were inclined to eat or drink. Four hundred different difhes were Served up at the Emperor's table every day; all the productions of land and water were fought after with ardour, that his Majefty might be regaled with unexampled profufion. As the country is cold, each difh had its particular chafing-dish, and they were all ferved up at once in a spacious room magnificently hung and furnished, Montezuma placed himself at one end of the room in a small arm-chair of leather, of exquifite workmanfhip;-he fent a portion of every difh, of which he ate himfelf, to five or fix old lords, whofe e table was ferved in another apartment; the dishes, pans, and chang-difhes, which had been once used, never made their appearance a fecond time. The Emperor changed his clothes four times a day, and never put on the fame twice.'

We have no circumftantial account, in thefe letters, of the death of Montezumą. Cortes only tells us, that this unfortunate Prince, when he became his prisoner, and his friend too, at least in appearance, went out by his order to fupprefs the mutiny of the revolted Indians, and the very moment he had


addreffed himself to them from the battlements of his palace, he received a blow of a ftone, which was fo violent, that in three days it put an end to his life. The fcenes of carnage that followed upon this were terrible. Defpair feized upon the Mexi cans, and the Spanish tygers redoubled their barbarous efforts to fubdue them. It appears that Cortes fuffered deeply during this odious scene; and if any thing can hinder us from detefting a man that led on thefe tygers to fuch abominable exploits, it must be the fentiments he discovers, in the paffage of these letters that follows:

• We reduced them (the Mexicans) to fuch an extremity, that they had no fculking-place or retreat but behind the dead bodies of their fellow-citizens.-The Indians who were our friends, made fuch a dreadful flaughter among them, both by land and water, that there were above forty thousand Mexicans killed, or taken prifoners. On that day the piercing cries of the women and children were heard at a distance, and were sufficient to melt the hardest heart: we were more intent on reftraining the barbarity of the Indians our auxiliaries, than in combating the enemy. After prefenting to your fancy all the cruel abominations of which a depraved nature is capable, your Imperial Majefty would ftill be as unable to comprehend, as I am to defcribe, the effects of the barbarity of thofe American nations. Our allies made, that day, a horrible carnage and a confiderable booty: we could neither prevent the maffacre nor the plunder; for we were scarcely nine hundred Spaniards against an hundred and fifty thousand Indians. I forefaw what actually happened, and our inability to prevent it. I had retarded the execution of our defign to proceed by ftorm, as I apprehended nothing fo much as the confequences of taking the place by force.'

If the Reader is defirous to know, what opinion Cortes (who with all his faults was a man of veracity and honour) had of the Spanish Bishops of his times, who differed little, if at all, from those of the present age, he will find it given with frankness to the Spanish Monarch in the following terms: If your Majefty. (fays Cortes to Charles V.) fends us Bithops, they will employ themselves intirely in heaping donations on their creatures: they will grafp at employments for their children (natural we fuppofe from what follows, rather than fpiritual); they will fquander away their riches in vain pomp, and in the irregularities of a fcandalous and licentious life;-their manners will difqualify them from converting to the faith thofe Mexicans who reflect, and compare the conduct of our Priefts and Ecclefiaftics, with the aufterity, the felf-denial, and regular lives of the Minifters of the American idols, who punish with death the members of their fraternity for the smalleft faults. If the Mexicans knew, that they, whom we call Minifters of the living God,



are chargeable with intemperance, profanation, and with going the moft licentious and indecent lengths in the gratification of their paffions, they would certainly defpife our holy religion, as well as its minifters: it would lofe, in their eyes, a great part of its divine majefty, and excite ideas very different from those which the epifcopal envoys would preach and inculcate.-Inftead therefore of fending bifhops into New-Spain, which, however, had been the first opinion of Cortes, he advised the emperor to defire the pope to chufe legates from among the Francifcans and Dominicans, and to give them the most extenfive powers for the exercife of their miniftry in those Countries.


Grammatica Indoftana a mais Vulgar que fe Practica no Imperio do Grand Mogol, offerecida aos Muitos Reverendos Padres Miffionarios, &c.— A Grammar of the Language of Indoltan, as it is spoken in the Empire of the Grand Mogul, prefented to the Reverend Fathers the Miffionaries in that Empire. 8vo. Rome. 1778.

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OW far this Grammar will contribute to promote the cause of Christianity in the empire of the Mogul, we pretend not to determine; but its authors have undoubtedly done an important fervice to the cause of oriental literature, by facilitating the study of a language, which, before M. Bailly, placed the cradle of fcience in the Eaft, and was fuppofed to be the language of the firft inftructors of mankind. This Grammar is the fruit of the long and united labours of several learned miffionaries, and is looked upon as more perfect in many respects than that which was published fome years ago by the English East India Company. It is more especially preten led, that the declinations and conjugations are more amply and diftinctly pointed out in this new Grammar, and that the method of pronouncing the language of Indoftan is more clearly explained. It is alfo enriched with a catalogue of nouns, verbs, and particles, which may, in fome degree, fupply the place of a dictionary, and a lift of feventeen emperors, including Mohamudxa, the prefent monarch,


F Vincents, Foffini O. P. in Pifano Athenao Sacrarum Literarum P. P. Divine Libri Apocalypfeos Auctoritatis Vindicia ex Monumentis Græcis, adverfus Nuperas Exceptiones Firmini Abauzitii, Genevenfis. 8vo. Pifa. 1778.


R. Abauzit, the worthy and learned librarian of Geneva, whom this more learned than candid Writer calls an infidel, because he was a friend to religious liberty, carried, rather too boldly, his pruning-knife into the vineyard of Reve


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