ABSTRACT

I HAVE observed that the moSl: celebrated chroniclers, before they begin to write their hiSl:ories, firSl: set forth a Prologue and Preface with the argument expressed in lofty rhetoric in order to give luSl:re and repute to their Sl:atements, so that the Sl:udious readers who peruse them may partake of their melody and flavour. But I, being no Latin scholar, dare not venture on such a preamble or prologue, for in order lroperly to extol the adventures which we met with an the heroic deeds we accomplished during the ConqueSl: of New Spain and its provinces in the company of that valiant and doughty Captain, Don Hernando Cortes (who later on, on account of his heroic deeds, was made Marques del Valle) there would be needed an eloquence and rhetoric far beyond my powers. That which I have myself seen and the fighting I have gone through, with the help of God, I will describe quite simply, as a fair eye witness without twiSl:ing events one way or another. I am now an old man, over eighty-four years of age, and I have loSl: my sight and hearing, and, as luck would have it, I have gained nothing of value to leave to my children and descendants but this my true Sl:ory, and they will presently find out what a wonderful story it is.