Montezuma: A Poem

Montezuma: A Poem

Montezuma: A Poem

Montezuma: A Poem

Excerpt

In perusing the history of this remarkable people, we are impressed with the idea that, whatever motives of avarice may have originally instigated their conquest, the Spaniard would seem to have been the mere instrument in the hand of Providence. Perhaps it may be regarded as one of those rare instances in which the means justified the ends; and the strongest passion in man -- the love of gold -- was the most powerful incentive for him to undergo the hardships incident to the work of heathen salvation. For the degree of cruelty to which the Aztecs had carried the fearful rite of human sacrifice, would seem to have been all-sufficient to call down the vengeance of heaven upon their infamy; and the salvation of the people could only, apparently, be accomplished by their utter subjugation and consequent conversion to Christianity. For, that so insignificant a force as eleven ships, about seven hundred men, and sixteen horses, should have subjugated so vast an empire as was ruled over by Montezuma, would seem to indicate that the Divinity, in its just indignation at the atrocities of these people, had given them over into the hands of the Christian invaders, in order that they might be purged of their iniquities.

The exceptional and remarkable sagacity -- amounting almost to inspiration -- of the venerable Nezahualcoyotl, king of Tezcuco, reminds us forcibly of the prophet Daniel, predicting the fates of Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar. And, when we find him pleading, in vain, with his obdurate people, to abandon their cruel abominations . . .

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