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A notable discourse of M. John Chilton, touching the people, maners, mines, cities, riches, forces, and other memorable things of New Spaine, and other provinces in the West Indies, seene and noted by himselfe in the time of his travels, continued in those parts, the space of seventeene or eighteene yeeres.

IN the yeere of our Lord 1561, in the moneth of July, I John Chilton went out of this city of London into Spaine, where I remained for the space of seven yeres, & from thence I sailed into Nova Hispania, and so travelled there, and by the South Sea, unto Peru , the space of seventeene or eighteene yeeres: and after that time expired, I returned into Spaine, and so in the yere 1586 in the moneth of July, I arrived at the foresayd city of London : where perusing the notes which I had taken in the time of my travell in those yeeres, I have set downe as followeth.

In the yeere 1568, in the moneth of March, being desirous to see the world, I embarked my selfe in the bay of Cadiz in Andaluzia, in a shippe bound for the Isles of the Canaries, where she tooke in her lading, & set forth from thence for the voyage, in the moneth of June, the same yere. Within a moneth after, we fell with the Isle of S. Domingo, and from thence directly to Nova Hispania, and came into the port of S. John de Ullua, which is a litle Island standing in the sea, about two miles from the land, where the king mainteineth about 50 souldiers, and captaines, that keepe the forts, and about 150 negroes, who all the yeere long are occupied in carying of stones for building, & other uses, and to helpe to make fast the ships that come in there, with their cables. There are built two bulwarkes at ech ende of a wall, that standeth likewise in the sayde Island, where the shippes use to ride, made fast to the sayd wall with their cables, so neere, that a man may leape ashore. From this port I journeyed by land to a towne called Vera Cruz, standing by a rivers side, where all the factours of the Spanish merchants dwell, which receive the goods of such ships as come thither, and also lade the same with such treasure and merchandize as they returne backe into Spaine. They are in number about foure hundred, who onely remaine there, during the time that the Spanish fleet dischargeth, and is loden againe, which is from the end of August to the beginning of April following. And then for the unwholesomnesse of the place they depart thence sixteene leagues further up within the countrey, to a towne called Xalapa, a very healthfull soile. There is never any woman delivered of childe in this port of Vera Cruz: for so soone as they perceive themselves conceived with child, they get them into the countrey, to avoid the perill of the infected aire, although they use every morning to drive thorow the towne above two thousand head of cattell, to take away the ill vapours of the earth. From Xalapa seven leagues I came to another place, named Perota, wherein are certaine houses builded of straw, called by the name of ventas, the inhabitants whereof are Spaniards, who accustome to harbour such travellers as are occasioned to journey that way up into the land. It standeth in a great wood of Pine and Cedar trees, the soile being very colde, by reason of store of snow which lieth on the mountaines there all the yere long. There are in that place an infinite number of deere, of bignesse like unto great mules, having also homes of great length. From Perota nine leagues, I came to the Fuentes of Ozumba, which fuentes are springs of water issuing out of certeine rocks into the midst of the high wayes, where likewise are certaine ranges, and houses, for the uses before mentioned. Eight leagues off from this place I came to the city of the Angels, so called by that name of the Spanyards, which inhabit there to the number of a thousand, besides a great number of Indians. This city standeth in very plaine fields, having neere adjoyning to it many sumptuous cities, as namely the city of Tlaxcalla, a city of two hundred thousand Indians, tributaries to the king, although he exacteth no other tribute of them then a handfull of wheat a piece, which amounteth to thirteene thousand hanneges yeerely, as hath appeared by the kings books of account. And the reason why he contenteth himselfe with this tribute, onely for them, is, because they were the occasion that he tooke the city of Mexico, with whom the Tlaxcallians had warre at the same time when the Spanyards came into the countrey. The governour of this city is a Spanyard, called among them The Alcalde mayor, who administreth chiefest causes of justice both unto the Christians and Indians, referring smaller and lighter vices, as drunkennesse and such like, to the judgement and discretion of such of the Indians as are chosen every yeere to rule amongst them, called by the name of Alcaldes. These Indians from foureteene yeeres olde upwards, pay unto the king for their yerely tribute one ounce of silver, and an hannege of maiz, which is valued among them commonly at twelve reals of plate. The widowes among them pay halfe of this. The Indians both of this city, and of the rest, lying about Mexico, goe clothed with mantles of linnen cloth made of cotton wooll, painted thorowout with works of divers and fine colours. It is distant from the city of the Angels foure leagues to the Northward, & foureteene from Mexico. There is another city a league from it, called Chetula, consisting of more then sixty thousand Indians, tributaries, and there dwell not above twelve Spanyards there. From it, about two leagues, there is another, called Acassingo, of above fifty thousand Indians, and about eight or twelve Spanyards, which standeth at the foot of the Vulcan of Mexico, on the East side. There are besides these, three other great cities, the one named Tepiaca, a very famous city, Waxazingo, and Tichamachalcho: all these in times past belonged to the kingdome of Tlaxcalla: and from these cities they bring most of their Cochinilla into Spaine. The distance from the city of the Angels, to the city of Mexico is twenty leagues. This city of Mexico is the city of greatest fame in all the Indies, having goodly and costly houses in it, builded all of lime and stone, and seven streets in length, and seven in breadth, with rivers running thorow every second street, by which they bring their provision in canoas. It is situated at the foot of certaine hilles, which conteine in compasse by estimation above twenty leagues, compassing the sayd city on the one side, and a lake which is foureteene leagues about on the other side. Upon which lake there are built many notable and sumptuous cities, as the city of Tescuco, where the Spanyards built sixe frigats, at that time when they conquered Mexico, and where also Fernando Cortes made his abode five or six moneths in curing of the sicknesse of his people, which they had taken at their comming into the countrey. There dwell in this city about sixty thousand Indians, which pay tribute to the king. In this city the sayd Fernando built the finest church that ever was built in the Indies, the name whereof is S. Peters.

After I had continued two yeeres in this city, being desirous to see further the countreys, I imployed that which I had, and tooke my voyage towards the provinces of California , in the which was discovered a certeine countrey, by a Biscaine, whose name was Diego de Guiara, and called it after the name of his countrey, New Biscay, where I solde my merchandise for exchange of silver, for there were there certaine rich mines discovered by the aforesayd Biskaine. Going from Mexico I directed my voyage somewhat toward the Southwest, to certaine mines, called Tamascaltepec, and so travelled forward the space of twenty dayes thorow desert places unhabited, till I came to the valley of S. Bartholomew, which joyneth to the province of New Biscay. In all these places the Indians for the most part go naked, and are wilde people. Their common armour is bowes and arrowes: they use to eate up such Christians as they come by. From hence departing, I came to another province named Xalisco, and from thence to the port of Navidad, which is 120 leagues from Mexico, in which port arrive alwayes in the moneth of April, all the ships that come out of the South sea from China , and the Philippinas, and there they lay their merchandise ashore. The most part whereof is mantles made of Cotton wooll, Waxe, and fine platters gilded, made of earth, and much golde.

The next Summer following, being in the yeere 1570 (which was the first yeere that the Popes Buls were brought into the Indies) I undertooke another voyage towards the province of Sonsonate, which is in the kingdome of Guatimala, whither I caried divers merchandize of Spaine, all by land on mules backs. The way thitherward from Mexico is to the city of the Angels, and from thence to another city of Christians 80 leagues off, called Guaxaca, in which there dwelt about 50 Spanyards, and many Indians. All the Indians of this province pay their tribute in mantles of Cotton wooll, and Cochinilla, whereof there groweth abundance thorowout this countrey. Neere to this place there lieth a port in the South sea, called Aguatulco, in the which there dwell not above three or foure Spanyards, with certaine Negroes, which the king mainteineth there: in which place Sir Francis Drake arrived in the yeere 1579, in the moneth of April, where I lost with his being there above a thousand duckets, which he tooke away, with much other goods of other merchants of Mexico from one Francisco Gomes Rangifa, factour there for all the Spanish merchants that then traded in the South sea: for from this port they use to imbarke all their goods that goe for Peru , and to the kingdome of Honduras . From Guaxaca I came to a towne named Nixapa, which standeth upon certaine very high hilles in the province of Sapotecas, wherein inhabit about the number of twenty Spanyards, by the King of Spaines commandement, to keepe that country in peace: for the Indians are very rebellious: and for this purpose hee bestoweth on them the townes & cities that be within that province. From hence I went to a city called Tecoantepec, which is the farthest towne to the Eastward in all Nova Hispania, which some time did belong to the Marques de Valle, and because it is a very fit port, standing in the South sea, the king of Spaine, upon a rebellion made by the sayd Marques against him, tooke it from him, and doth now possesse it as his owne. Heere in the yeere 1572 I saw a piece of ordinance of brasse, called a Demy culverin, which came out of a ship called the Jesus of Lubec, which captaine Hawkins left in S. John de Ullua, being in fight with the Spanyards in the yeere 1568; which piece they afterwards caried 100 leagues by land over mighty mountaines to the sayd city, to be embarked there for the Philippinas. Leaving Tecoantepec, I went still along by the South sea about 150 leagues in the desolate province of Soconusco, in which province there groweth cacao, which the Christians cary from thence into Nova Hispania, for that it will not grow in any colde countrey. The Indians of this countrey pay the king their tribute in cacao, giving him four hundred cargas, and every carga is 24000 almonds, which carga is worth in Mexico thirty pieces of reals of plate. They are men of great riches, and withall very proud: and in all this province thorowout, there dwell not twenty Christians. I travelled thorow another province called Suchetepec; and thence to the province of Guasacapan : in both which provinces are very few people, the biggest towne therein having not above two hundred Indians. The chiefest merchandise there, is cacao. Hence I went to the city of Guatimala, which is the chiefe city of all this kingdome: in this city doe inhabit about 80 Spanyards: and here the king hath his governours, & councell, to whom all the people of the kingdome repaire for justice. This city standeth from the coast of the South sea 14 leagues within the land, and is very rich, by reason of the golde that they fetch out of the coast of Veragua. From this city to the Eastward 60 leagues lieth the province Sonsonate, where I solde the merchandize I caried out of Nova Hispania. The chiefest city of this province is called S. Salvador, which lieth 7 leagues from the coast of the South sea, and hath a port lying by the sea coast, called Acaxutla, where the ships arrive with the merchandize they bring from Nova Hispania; and from thence lade backe againe the cacao: there dwell heere to the number of threescore Spanyards. From Sonsonate I travelled to Nicoia, which is in the kingdome of Nicaragua, in which port the king buildeth all the shipping that travell out of the Indies to the Malucos. I went forward from thence to Costa rica, where the Indians both men and women go all naked, and the land lieth betweene Panama, and the kingdome of Guatimala: and for that the Indians there live as warriers, I durst not passe by land, so that here in a towne called S. Salvador I bestowed that which I caried in annile (which is a kinde of thing to die blew withall) which I caried with me to the port of Cavallos, lying in the kingdome of Honduras , which port is a mighty huge gulfe, and at the comming in on the one side of it there lieth a towne of little force without ordinance or any other strength, having in it houses of straw: at which towne the Spanyards use yeerely in the moneth of August to unlade foure ships which come out of Spaine laden with rich merchandise, and receive in heere againe their lading of a kinde of merchandise called Annile and Cochinilla (although it be not of such value as that of Nova Hispania), and silver of the mines of Tomaangua, and golde of Nicaragua, and hides, and Salsa perilla, the best in all the Indies: all which merchandize they returne, and depart from thence alwayes in the moneth of April following, taking their course by the Island of Jamaica, in which Island there dwell on the West side of it certeine Spanyards of no great number. From this place they go to the cape of S. Anthony, which is the uttermost part of the Westward of the Island of Cuba, and from thence to Havana lying hard by, which is the chiefest port that the king of Spaine hath in all the countreys of the Indies, and of greatest importance: for all the ships, both from Peru , Hunduras, Porto rico, S. Domingo, Jamaica , and all other places in his Indies, arrive there in their returne to Spaine, for that in this port they take in victuals and water, and the most part of their lading : here they meet from all the foresayd places alwayes in the beginning of May by the kings commandement: at the entrance of this port it is so narrow, that there can scarse come in two ships together, although it be above sixe fadome deepe in the narrowest place of it. In the North side of the comming in there standeth a tower, in which there watcheth every day a man to descrie the sailes of ships which hee can see on the sea; and as many as he discovereth, so many banners he setteth upon the tower, that the people of the towne (which standeth within the port about a mile from the tower) may understand thereof. Under this tower there lieth a sandy shore, where men may easily go aland; and by the tower there runneth a hill along by the waters side, which easily with small store of ordinance subdueth the towne and port. The port within is so large that there may easily ride a thousand saile of ships without anker or cable, for no winde is able to hurt them. There inhabit within the towne of Havana about three hundred Spanyards, and about threescore souldiers, which the king mainteineth there for the keeping of a certeine castle which hee hath of late erected, which hath planted in it about twelve pieces of small ordinance, and is compassed round with a small ditch, wherethorow at their pleasure they may let in the sea. About two leagues from Havana there lieth another towne called Wanabacoa, in which there is dwelling about an hundred Indians, and from this place 60 leagues there lieth another towne named Bahama, situate on the North side of the Island. The chiefest city of this Island of Cuba (which is above 200 leagues in length) is also called Sant Iago de Cuba, where dwelleth a bishop & about two hundred Spanyards; which towne standeth on the South side of the Island about 100 leagues from Havana . All the trade of this Island is cattell, which they kill onely for the hides that are brought thence into Spaine: for which end the Spanyards mainteine there many negroes to kil their cattell, and foster a great number of hogs, which being killed, and cut into small pieces, they dry in the Sun, and so make it provision for the ships which come for Spaine.

Having remained in this Island two moneths, I tooke shipping in a frigat, and went over to Nombre de Dios, and from thence by land to Panama, which standeth upon the South sea. From Nombre de Dios to Panama is 17 leagues distance: from which towne there runneth a river which is called the river of Chagre, which runneth within 5 leagues of Panama, to a place called Cruzes, thorow which river they cary their goods, and disimbarke them at the sayd Cruzes, and from thence they are conveyed on mules backs to Panama by land; where they againe imbarke them in certeine small ships in the South sea for all the coast of Peru . In one of these ships I went to Potossi, and from thence by land to Cusco , and from thence to Paita.

Here I remained the space of seven moneths, and then returned into the kingdome of Guatimala, and arrived in the province of Nicoia, and Nicaragua. From Nicaragua I travelled by land to a province called Nicamula (which lieth toward the North sea in certaine high mountaines) for that I could not passe thorow the kingdome of Guatimala at that time for waters, wherewith all the Low countreys of the province of Soconusco, lying by the South sea, are drowned with the raine that falleth above in the mountaines, enduring alwayes from April to September: which season for that cause they call their Winter. From this province I came into another called De Vera Paz, in which the chiefest city is also called after that name, where there dwelleth a bishop and about forty Spanyards. Among the mountaines of this countrey toward the North sea, there is a province called La Candona, where are Indian men of war which the king can not subdue, for that they have townes and forts in a great lake of water above in the sayd mountaines : the most part of them goe naked, and some weare mantles of cotton wooll. Distant from this about 80 leagues, I came into another province called the province of Chiapa, wherein the chiefest city is called Sacatlan, where there dwelleth a bishop and about an hundred Spanyards. In this countrey there is great store of Cotten wooll, whereof the Indians make fine linnen cloth, which the Christians buy and cary into Nova Hispania. The people of this province pay their tribute to the king all in Cotton wooll and Feathers. Foureteene leagues from this city there is another called Chiapa, where are the finest gennets in all the Indies, which are caried hence to Mexico, 300 leagues from it. From this city I travelled still thorow hilles and mountaines, till I came to the end of this province, to a hill called Ecatepec, which in English signifieth The hill of winde: for that they say, it is the highest hill that ever was discovered: for from the top of it may be discovered both the North and the South seas; and it is in height supposed to be nine leagues. They which travell over it, lie alwayes at the foot of it over night, and begin their journey about midnight, to travell to the top of it before the Sunne rise the next day, because the winde bloweth with such force afterwards, that it is impossible for any man to goe up: from the foot of this hill to Tecoantepec, the first towne of Nova Hispania, are about fifteene leagues. And so from hence I journeyed to Mexico.

By and by after I came to Mexico (which was in the yere 1572) in the company of another Spanyard, which was my companion in this journey, we went together toward the province of Panuco, which lieth upon the coast of the North sea , and within three dayes journey we entred a city called Mestitlan, where there dwelt twelve Spanyards: the Indian inhabitants there were about thirty thousand. This city standeth upon certaine hie mountaines, which are very thicke planted with townes very holesome and fruitfull, having plentifull fountaines of water running thorow them. The high wayes of these hilles are all set with fruits, and trees of divers kindes, and most pleasant. In every towne as we passed thorow, the Indians presented us with victuals. Within twenty leagues of this place there is another city called Clanchinoltepec, belonging to a gentleman, where there inhabit about fourty thousand Indians; and there are among them eight or nine friers of the Order of Saint Augustine, who have there a Monastery. Within three dayes after we departed from this place, and came to a city called Guaxutla, where there is another Monastery of friers of the same Order: there dwell in this towne about twelve Spanyards. From this place forwards beginneth a province called Guastecan, which is all plaine grounds without any hilles. The first towne we came unto is called Tancuylabo, in which there dwell many Indians, high of stature, having all their bodies painted with blew, and weare their haire long downe to their knees, tied as women use to doe with their haire-laces. When they goe out of their doores, they cary with them their bowes and arrowes, being very great archers, going for the most part naked. In those countreys they take neither golde nor silver for exchange of any thing, but onely Salt, which they greatly esteeme, and use it for a principall medicine for certaine wormes which breed in their lips and in their gummes. After nine dayes travell from this place, we came to a towne called Tampice, which is a port towne upon the sea, wherein there dwell, I thinke, forty Christians, of which number whilest wee abode there, the Indians killed foureteene, as they were gathering of Salt, which is all the trade that they have in this place: it standeth upon the entrie of the river of Panuco, which is a mighty great river; and were it not for a sand that lieth at the mouth of it, ships of five hundred tunne might goe up into it above three score leagues. From hence we went to Panuco, foureteene leagues from Tampice, which in times past had bene a goodly city, where the king of Spaine had his governour: but by reason that the Indians there destroyed the Christians, it lieth in a maner waste, conteining in it not above tenne Christians with a priest. In this towne I fell sicke, where I lay one and forty dayes, having no other sustenance then fruit and water, which water I sent for above sixe leagues off within the countrey. Here I remained till my companion came to me, which had departed from me another way, reteining in my company onely a slave, which I brought with me from Mexico. And the last day in Easter weeke my companion came to me, finding me in a very weake state, by reason of the unholesomenesse of the place. Notwithstanding my weakenesse, I being set on an horse, and an Indian behinde mee to holde mee, wee went forward on our voyage all that day till night. The next day in the morning we passed over the river in a canoa; and being on the other side, I went my selfe before alone: and by reason there met many wayes traled by the wilde beasts, I lost my way, and so travelled thorow a great wood about two leagues: and at length fell into the hands of certaine wilde Indians, which were there in certaine cottages made of straw; who seeing me, came out to the number of twenty of them, with their bowes and arrowes, and spake unto mee in their language, which I understood not: and so I made signes unto them to helpe mee from my horse; which they did by commandement of their lord, which was there with them; and lighted downe. They caried me under one of their cottages, and layed me upon a mat on the ground: and perceiving that I could not understand them, they brought unto mee a little Indian wench of Mexico, of fifteene or sixteene yeeres of age, whom they commanded to aske me in her language from whence I came, and for what intent I was come among them: for (sayth she) doest thou not know Christian, how that these people will kill and eat thee? To whom I answered, let them doe with me what they will; heere now I am. Shee replied, saying, thou mayest thanke God thou art leane; for they feare thou hast the pocks; otherwise they would eate thee. So I presented to the king a little wine which I had with me in a bottle; which he esteemed above any treasure: for for wine they will sell their wives and children. Afterwards the wench asked me what I would have, and whether I would eat any thing. I answered that I desired a little water to drinke, for that the countrey is very hote: and shee brought me a great Venice glasse, gilded, full of water. And marvelling at the glasse, I demanded how they came by it. She tolde me that the Casique brought it from Shallapa, a great towne distant 30 leagues from this place on the hilles, whereas dwelt certeine Christians, and certeine friers of the Order of S. Augustine, which this Casique with his people on a night slew; and burning the friers monasterie, among other things reserved this glasse: and from thence also brought me. Having now bene conversant with them about three or foure houres, they bid her aske me if I would goe my way. I answered her, that I desired nothing els. So the Casique caused two of his Indians to leade me forward in my way; going before me with their bowes and arrowes, naked, the space of three leagues, till they brought me into an high way: and then making a signe unto me, they signified that in short time I should come to a towne where Christians inhabited, which was called S. Iago de los valles, standing in plaine fields, walled about with a mud wall: the number of the Christians that dwelt therein, were not above foure or five and twenty, unto which the king of Spaine giveth Indians and townes, to keepe the countreys subject unto him. Heere the Christians have their mighty mules, which they cary for all the parts of the Indies, and into Peru , for that all their merchandize are caried by this meanes by land. In this towne aforesayd, I found my company, which I had lost before, who made no other account of me but that I had beene slaine: and the Christians there likewise marvelled to heare that I came from those kinde of Indians alive, which was a thing never seene nor heard of before: for they take a great pride in killing a Christian, and to weare any part of him where he hath any haire growing, hanging it about their necks, and so are accounted for valiant men. In this towne I remained eighteene dayes, till I recovered my health, and in the meane space there came one Don Francisco de Pago, whom the viceroy Don Henrico Manriques had sent for captaine generall, to open and discover a certeine way from the sea side to the mines of Sacatecas, which were from this place 160 leagues, for to transport their merchandize by that way, leaving the way by Mexico, which is seven or eight weeks travell. So this captaine tooke me and my company, with the rest of his souldiers, to the number of forty, which he had brought with him, and five hundred Indians, which we tooke out of two towns in this province called Tanchipa, and Tamaclipa, all good archers, and naked men, and went thence to the river de las Palmas, which is of great bignesse, parting the kingdome of Nova Hispania and Florida : and going still along by this river the space of three dayes, seeking passage to passe over; and finding none, we were at length inforced to cut timber to make a balsa or raft, which when we had made, we sate on it, the Indians swimming in the water, and thrusting it before them to the other side. Within thirty dayes after, travelling thorow woods, hilles, and mountaines, we came to the mines of Sacatecas, which are the richest mines in all the Indies, and from thence they fetch most silver: at which mines there dwelt above three hundred Christians: and there our captaine gave us leave to depart. So we came to the valley of S. Michael toward Mexico; and from thence to Pueblo novo; and from that place to the province of Mechuacan, after which name the chiefest city of that place is called: where there dwelles a bishop, and above an hundred Spanyards in it: it aboundeth with all kind of Spanish fruits, and hath woods full of nut trees, and wild vines. Heere are many mines of copper, and great store of cattell. It lieth 60. leagues from Mexico, whither we came within foure dayes after. The Indians of this countrey are very mighty and big men.

Afterwards I returned another way to the province of Sonsonate by Vera cruz, and so to Rio Alvarado, and from thence to the province of Campeche , which lieth on the South side of the bay of Mexico: the chiefe towne of this province is called Merida , in which is a bishop and almost 100 Spanyards. The Indians of this province pay all their tribute in mantles of cotton wooll and cacao. There is no port in all this province for a ship of 100 tun to ride in, but onely in the river of Tabasco, by which river this city of Merida standeth. The chiefest merchandize which they lade there in small frigats, is a certeine wood called campeche, (wherewith they use to die) as also hides and annile. By this there lieth the province of Iucatan, nere the Honduras by the North sea coast, where there is also another bishop, and a towne likewise named Iucatan, where there dwell a few Spanyards. They have no force at all in all this coast to defend themselves withall, save only that the land is low, and there is no port to receive any shipping, unlesse they be frigats, which cary from thence to the port of S. John de Ullua, waxe, cacao, hony, and also mantles of cotton wool, whereof they make there great store, and of which kind of merchandize there is great trade thence to Mexico: of the same also they pay their tribute to the king.

The king hath tribute brought him yerely out of the Indies into Spaine betweene nine and ten millions of gold and silver: for he receiveth of every Indian which is subject unto him (excepting those which do belong to the Incommenderos, which are the children of those Spanyards, who first conquered the land, to whom the king gave and granted the government of the cities and townes subdued for three lives) twelve reals of plate, and a hannege of maiz, which is a wheat of the countrey, (five of them making a quarter of English measure) and of every widow woman he hath sixe reals, & halfe a hannege of maiz. And so if any Indian have twenty children in his house, he payeth for every one of them, being above fifteene yeres old, after that rate. This Wheat being duely brought to the governour of every province and city, is sold in Mexico by the kings governours there every yeere; so that the money received for it, is put into the kings Treasurie there, and so is yeerely caried from thence into Spaine. Of the Spanyards which are owners of the mines of gold and silver, he receiveth the fift part of it, which he calleth his quintas, which being taken out of the heape, there is his armes set on it; for otherwise it may not be brought out of the land into Spaine, under paine of death. The marke of silver, which is eight ounces, when it commeth out of the mines, not having the kings seale upon it, is woorth three and forty reals of plate, and so it is current: and when they will bring it for Spaine, they cary it to the kings Treasure house, where his scale is set upon it; and so it is raised in value thereby to threescore and foure reals of plate: and so the king hath for his custome of every marke of plate one and twentie reals.

From the yere of 1570, which was the yeere that the Popes buls came into the Indies, as is afore mentioned he hath received both of the Indians which are tributaries unto him, and also of all others belonging to the Incommenderos, of every one being above twelve yeeres of age, foure reals of every bull. Also they cary other pardons with them into the Indies, for such as be dead, although an hundred yeres before the Spanyards came into the countrey: which pardons the friers in their preachings perswaded the poore Indians to take, telling them that with giving foure reals of plate for a Masse, they would deliver their soules out of purgatory. Of the Christians likewise dwelling there he hath foureteene reals for every bull: and there be certeine buls brought thither for the Christians besides the former, which serve for pardoning all such faults wherein they have trespassed either against the king, by keeping backe his customes, or one against another by any other injury; for every hundred crownes whereof a mans conscience doth accuse him that he hath deceived the king or any other, he must give ten for a bull, and so after that rate for every hundred which he hath any way stollen, and so is pardoned the fault. The revenue of his buls after this maner yeeldeth unto his treasury yeerely above three millions of gold, as I have bene credibly informed, although of late both the Spanyards and Indians do refuse to take the buls; for that they perceive he doth make a yeerely custome of it: onely ech Indian taketh one pardon for all his householde, (whereas in former time every Indian used to take one for every person in his house) and teareth the same into small pieces, and giveth to every one of his householde a little piece, saying thus, they need now no more, seeing in that which they bought the yeere before they had above ten thousand yeres pardon. These pieces they sticke up in the wall of the houses where they lie. Both the Christians & Indians are weary with these infinite taxes and customes, which of late he hath imposed upon them, more then in the yeeres before: so as the people of both sorts did rebell twise in the time that I was among them, and would have set up another king of themselves; for which cause the king hath commanded upon paine of death, that they should not plant either wine or oile there, but should alwayes stand in need of them to be brought out of Spaine, although there would more grow there in foure yeeres, then there groweth in Spaine in twenty, it is so fertile a countrey.

And the king to keepe the countrey alwayes in sub jection, and to his owne use, hath streightly provided by lawe, upon paine of death, and losse of goods, that none of these countreys should traffique with any other nation, although the people themselves doe much now desire to trade with any other then with them, and would undoubtedly doe, if they feared not the perill ensuing thereupon.

About Mexico, and other places in Nova Hispania, there groweth a certeine plant called magueis, which yeeldeth wine, vinegar, hony, and blacke sugar, and of the leaves of it dried they make hempe, ropes, shooes which they use, and tiles for their houses: and at the ende of every leafe there groweth a sharpe point like an awle, wherewith they use to bore or pearce thorow any thing.

Thus to make an end, I have heere set downe the summe of all the chiefest things that I have observed and noted in my seventeene yeres travell in those parts.

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