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by the Indians of San Andres Xecul, it is related that when Montezuma was made prisoner, he sent a private ambassador to Kicah Tanub, to inform him that some white men had arrived in his state, and made war upon him with such impetuosity that the whole strength of his people was unable to resist them; that he was himself a prisoner, surrounded by guards; and hearing it was the intention of his invaders to pass on to the kingdom of Quiché, he sent notice of the design, in order that Kicah Tanub might be prepared to oppose them. On receiving this intelligence, the King of Quiché sent for four young diviners, whom he ordered to tell him what would be the result of this invasion. They requested time to give their answers; and, taking their bows, discharged some arrows against a rock; but, seeing that no impression was made upon it, returned very sorrowfully, and told the king there was no way of avoiding the disaster; the white men would certainly conquer them. Kicah, dissatisfied, sent for the priests, desiring to have their opinions on this important subject; and they, from the ominous circumstance of a certainstone, brought by their forefathers from Egypt, having suddenly split into two, predicted the inevitable ruin of the kingdom. At this time he received intelligence of the arrival of the Spaniards on the borders of Soconusco to invade his territory; but, undismayed by the auguries of diviners or priests, he prepared for war. Messages were sent by him to the conquered kings and chiefs under his command, urging them to co-operate for the common defence; but, glad of an opportunity to rebel, Sinacam, the king of Guatimala, declared openly that he was a friend to the Teules or Gods, as the Spaniards were called by the Indians; and the King of the Zutugiles answered haughtily that he was able to defend his kingdom alone against a more numerous and less famished army than that which was approaching Quiché. Irritation, wounded pride, anxiety, and fatigue, brought on a sickness which carried Tanub off in a few days. His son Tecum Umam succeeded to his honours and troubles. In a short time intelligence was received that the captain (Alvarado) and his Teules had marched to besiege Xelahuh (now Quezaltenango), next to the capital the largest city of Quiché. At that time it had within its walls eighty thousand men; but such was the fame of the Spaniards that Tecum Umam determined to go to its assistance. He left the capital, at the threshold of which we stood, borne in his litter on the shoulders of the principal men of his kingdom, and preceded by the music of flutes, cornets, and drums, and seventy thousand men, commanded by his general Ahzob, his lieutenant Ahzumanche, the grand shield-bearer Ahpocob, other officers of dignity with still harder names, and numerous attendants bearing parasols and fans of feathers for the comfort of the royal person. An immense number of Indian carriers followed with baggage and provisions. At the populous city of Totonicapan the army was increased to ninety thousand fighting men. At Quezaltenango he was joined by ten more chiefs, well armed and supplied with provisions, displaying all the gorgeous insignia of their rank, and attended by twentyfour thousand soldiers. At the same place he was re-enforced by forty-six thousand more, adorned with plumes of different colours, and with arms of every description, the chiefs decorated with the skins of lions, tigers, and bears, as distinguishing marks of their bravery and warlike prowess. Tecum Umam marshalled under his banners on the plain of Tzaccapa two hundred and thirty thousand warriors, and fortified his camp with a wall

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of loose stones, enclosing within its circuit several imountains. In the camp were several military machines, formed of beams on rollers, to be moved from place to place. After a series of desperate and bloody battles, the Spaniards routed this immense army, and entered the city of Xelahuh. The fugitives rallied outside, and made a last effort to surround and crush the Spaniards. Tecum Umam commanded in person, singled out Alvarado, attacked him three times hand to hand, and wounded his horse; but the last time Alvarado pierced him with a lance, and killed him on the spot. The fury of the Indians increased to madness; in immense masses they rushed upon the Spaniards; and, seizing the tails of the horses, endeavoured by main force to bring horse and rider to the ground; but, at a critical moment, the Spaniards attacked in close column, broke the solid masses of the Quichés, routed the whole army, and slaying an immense number, became completely masters of the field. But few of the seventy thousand who marched out from the capital with Tecum Umam ever returned; and, hopeless of being able to resist any longer by force, they had recourse to treachery. At a council of war called at Utatlan by the king, Chinanivalut, son and successor of Tecum Umam, it was determined to send an embassy to Alvarado, with a valuable present of gold, suing for pardon, promising submission, and inviting the Spaniards to the capital. In a few days Alvarado, with his army, m high spirits at the prospect of a termination of this bloody war, encamped upon the plain. This was the first appearance of strangers at Utatlan, the capital of the great Indian kingdom, the ruins of which were now under our eyes, once the most populous and opulent city, not only of Quiché, but of the Vol. II.—Z

whole kingdom of Guatimala. According to Fuentes, who visited it for the purpose of collecting information, and who gathered his facts partly from the remains and partly from manuscripts, it was surrounded by a deep ravine that formed a natural fossé, leaving only two very narrow roads as entrances, both of which were so well defended by the castle of Resguardo, as to render it impregnable. The centre of the city was occupied by the royal palace, which was surrounded by the houses of the nobility; the extremities were inhabited by the plebeians; and some idea may be formed of its vast population from the fact, before mentioned, that the king drew from it no less than seventy-two thousand fighting men to oppose the Spaniards. It contained many very sumptuous edifices, the most superb of which was a seminary, where between five and six thousand children were educated at the charge of the royal treasury. The castle of the Atalaya was a remarkable structure, four stories high, and capable of furnishing quarters for a very strong garrison. The castle of Resguardo was five stories high, extending one hundred and eighty paces in front, and two hundred and thirty in depth. The grand alcazar, or palace of the kings of Quiché, surpassed every other edifice; and in the opinion of Torquemada, it could compete in opulence with that of Montezuma in Mexico, or that of the Incas in Cuzco. The front extended three hundred and seventy-six geometrical paces from east to west, and it was seven hundred and twenty-eight paces in depth. It was constructed of hewn stones of various colours. There were six principal divisions. The first contained lodgings for a numerous troop of lancers, archers, and other troops, constituting the royal body-guard. The second

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was assigned to the princes and relations of the king; the third to the monarch himself, containing distinct suites of apartments for the mornings, evenings, and nights. In one of the saloons stood the throne, under four canopies of feathers; and in this portion of the palace were the treasury, tribunals of the judges, armory, aviaries, and menageries. The fourth and fifth divisions were occupied by the queen and royal concubines, with gardens, baths, and places for breeding geese, which were kept to supply feathers for ornaments. The sixth and last division was the residence of the daughters and other females of the blood royal. Such is the account as derived by the Spanish historians from manuscripts composed by some of the caciques who first acquired the art of writing; and it is related that from Tanub, who conducted them from the old to the new Continent, down to Tecum Umam, was a line of twenty monarchs. Alvarado, on the invitation of the king, entered this city with his army; but, observing the strength of the place; that it was well walled, and surrounded by a deep ravine, having but two approaches to it, the one by an ascent of twenty-five steps, and the other by a causeway, and both extremely narrow; that the streets were but of trifling breadth, and the houses very losty; that there were neither women nor children to be seen, and that the Indians seemed agitated, the soldiers began to suspect some deceit. Their apprehensions were soon confirmed by Indian allies of Quezaltenango, who discovered that the people intended that night to fire their capital, and while the flames were rising, to burst upon the Spaniards with large bodies of men concealed in the neighbourhood, and put every one to death. These tidings were found to be in accordance with the

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