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THE THIRD VOLUME.
IN issuing this third volume, I take the
tunity of making a statement, which perhaps it would have been well to have made before.
The reader will observe that there is scarcely any allusion in this work to the kindred works of modern writers on the same subject. This is not from any want of respect for the able historians who have written upon the discovery, or the conquest, of America. I felt, however, from the first, that my object in investigating this portion of history was different from theirs; and I wished to keep my mind clear from the influence which these eminent persons might have exercised upon it.
Moreover, while admitting fully the advantage to be derived from the study of these modern
writers, I thought that it was better, upon the whole, to have a work composed from independent sources, which would convey the impression that the original documents had made upon another mind.
Here and there I have accidentally become acquainted with what some modern writer has said upon a particular point; and I have endeavoured to confirm or refute his views. But, with the exception of the historical fragment of Muñoz and the biographies of Quintana, I have not read thirty pages of all that has been written by modern writers on the Spanish Conquest.
It is seldom worth while, I think, to explain how any book has been written, except in such a case as the present, when the explanation may altogether remove any appearance even of discourtesy to persons who should receive nothing but gratitude and honour from a fellow-labourer.
CONTENTS OF THE THIRD VOLUME.
THE ADMINISTRATION OF CORTES.