He Proposed To Them Therefore, To Destroy Their Senseless Idols,
And To Erect An Altar And Cross In Their Stead.
The latter was immediately
complied with, but Father Olmedo advised him to postpone the former to a
more favourable opportunity, from a due consideration of our uncertain and
Cholula was then a large and populous city, much resembling Valladolid,
situated on a fertile plain which was thickly inhabited, and all its
surrounding district was well cultivated with maize, maguey, and pepper.
There were above a hundred lofty white towers in the city, belonging to
different idol temples, one of which was held in very high estimation,
that principal temple being more lofty even than the great temple of
Mexico. An excellent manufacture of earthen ware was carried on at this
place, the various articles of which were curiously painted in different
patterns, in red, black, and white, and from which the city of Mexico and
all the surrounding countries were supplied, as Castile is from Talavera
and Placencia. In the numerous temples of this city there were many cages;
which were filled with men and boys, fattening up for sacrifice, all of
which Cortes caused to be destroyed, sending the miserable captives home
to their respective houses. He likewise gave positive orders to the
priests to desist in future from this most abominable custom, which they
promised to refrain from, but they forgot their promises as soon as the
authority of our irresistible arms was removed.
On hearing the melancholy fate of their companions in Cholula, the Mexican
troops who were posted in ambush, with trenches and barricades to oppose
our cavalry, made a precipitate retreat to Mexico, whether they carried an
account to Montezuma of the failure of his plot for our destruction; but
he had already heard the news of his misfortunes from two of his
ambassadors, whom Cortes had dismissed for the purpose.
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