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Spain; and relating the cause of our com- and, when received, to order the apprehenplaint, we say, that, on a certain day and sion of the said D. Hernando Cortes, etc. month in the year 1522, the said Hernando And we swear by God and this cross † that Cortes, being legally married according to this complaint is not made maliciously, but the requirements of Holy Mother Church to purely for the ends of justice.” my sister, Doña Catalina Suares, in his house in Coyoacan ; the said Doña Catalina The reply of Cortes’attorney is very short, being in good health, and without having and amounts simply to this, that it is a most said or done any thing for which she should atrocious lie (la mayor falcedad y maldad receive hurt or damage, and being with her que ay en el mundo)—the greatest falsehood said husband, whose duty it was to see after and wickedness in the whole world, got up and take care of her, not only because he was out of spite, because there is a lawsuit beher husband, but still more as the administrator of justice,--the said Don Hernando tween the parties about some two hundred Cortes, the criminal by our denouncement and odd thousand dollars; and that it is and complaint, with little fear of God and only one of the many malicious devices reof his King and Lord, under whose protec- sorted to for the purpose of obscuring the tion we all live, with malice prepence, in merit of his signal services. The judges their sleeping apartment, did hand-bind the then allow a proof, and a List of Interrogasaid Doña Catalina when it was out of her tories are given in, which Juan Xuares depower to call for aid except of God Our Lord and Holy Mary his Mother, Our Lady, and mands shall be asked of his witnesses. The tie certain cords round her throat, and tight- first witness is Ana Rodriguez, Doña Cataened them until she was strangled and nat- lina's lady’s-maid and the wife of Juan Rodurally died; and after dead, he put her down, riguez, mason. and called his servants, and ordered one To the first three questions, which were Villanueva, his valet, to tell me, Juan Suarez, whether the witness knew the parties and to remain quiet in my room. That Villan- believed them to be married, etc., she replied ueva, knowing or suspecting what had hap- in the affirmative. The style of the Interpened, sent a neighbor, Esidro Moreno, to deliver the message, which he did, accompa- rogatories is the following. For instance, nied by many threats, in case I should ven- take the next, the 4th:ture where my sister was. That the said Don Hernando Cortes then covered her face
“ If she knew, believed, had seen, or heard and neck, and with indecent haste caused tell whether, on a certain occasion, in 1522, her to be nailed up in a coffin, so that no one when Cortez and his wife gave a feast, at should see her or know the cause of her which many people of both sexes were presdeath. That it was immediately rumored ent, and stayed to supper, and when they abroad in Coyoacan that D. Hernando Cortes had a very pleasant party and a good time had killed her, because on the evening pre- generally, the said Doña Catalina Suarez vious, she had been very merry and in high was in good health, strength, and spirits, spirits, not only with her husband, but with without any symptom of illness. Let the the gentlemen and ladies who had been at witness say and declare what she knows." the house. That, in consequence of this To this and other questions, propounded rumor, a friar of the order of San Francisco said to him, “Señor, for the sake of your
in the same leading fashion, she replied :own honor, I tell you that they say publicly “ That on the night of the death of Doña in the city that you have killed your wife.' Catalina Suarez, the date of which she does To which he haughtily replied, "Who are not remember, she saw that Don Fernando the traitor knaves who say so?' That the gave a feast in the city of Coyoacan, at which friar answered: 'I only mention it to rec- Doña Catalina was very happy and in high ommend that the coffin be opened, and the spirits (alegre y regocijada), and to all appeople allowed to see the body and satisfy pearance in perfect health, and at night, themselves that your worship had no hand when about to retire to bed, she went to in her death.' That the first Alcalde, Diego pray in a chapel (oratorio), which she had in de Ocanpo, then stept forward, and said, the house, and when she came out this wit•Go to, father! Let them be for fools. ness saw her, with her color changed, and No one can suppose such a thing of D. Her- asked her what was the matter; to which nando Cortes, the Captain-General,'-and she replied, that she wished God would take that he ordered the funeral to proceed, which her from this world ; also that she heard her it did, accompanied by a large concourse of pray to God in the chapel to take her away. people. Therefore, we pray your majesty to On being asked if she knew why Doña Catáreceive the evidence required in such cases, lina made this prayer, and what was the rea
son of her unhappiness, since she had so but of their own free will. That, after being recently joined her husband after such a laid out, Doña Catalina was put on a bier, lengthened absence, in the island of Cuba, until morning; and at dawn they put her in · where she had received ill treatment at the a coffin and carried her off to be buried.” hands of the Courts, and now she was with
Then follow two fine specimens of leading her husband and in prosperity, the witness replied, that she believed she was jealous, questions, viz., 10th :and was unhappy because Don Fernando
“ If she knows that after the coffin was feasted other ladies and women in the neigh-closed, two San Franciscan friars went early borhood. That on the same night she saw in the morning to see Don Fernando Cortes, Don Fernando and Doña Catalina, in very and said to him, “Señor, all the city says good humor, retire to their chamber, and that you have killed your wife ; for the love this witness being the lady's-maid of Doña of God see and have that coffin opened, so Catalina, undressed her and saw her to bed, that the people may see that there is no apparently in good health ; then went to her truth in the report, and that your own honor own room to sleep, as usual, leaving the two may be vindicated, otherwise everybody will in bed as she was wont. That a short time believe it.”” after this, on the same night, this witness being already asleep, an Indian woman came
And 11th: to call her and told her that Don Fernando wanted her ; that she got up and dressed Cortes answered and said, “Whoever says
“ Item, if she knows that Don Fernando and went to his room, when he told her to fetch a light, for it was dark; that she did so, let him go to the Devil ; I am not obliged so, and on entering the room he said to her, the first Alcalde, Diego Ocanpo, being pres
to render an account to any one.' And that “I think my wife is dead,' and this witness and the wife of Soria went to the bed and ent, said, “Such a thing is not to be prefound her resting on the arm of Don Fer
sumed of your worship, and let those who nando, dead, and him calling on her think- say it be considered evil speakers.” ing she had swooned (for she was subject to To this curious style of hearsay interrogafainting fits). There was also present Alonzo tory, Ana Rodriguez consistently replies :de Villanueva, his valet, and Violante Rodriguez, who came along with this witness
“ That she heard the matter in this ques. when she brought the candle. That Don tion publicly mentioned at the time, and Fernando's body-guard used to be in the that in reply to the remark, - IIave a care, ante-chamber, but she does not remember señor, for they say that you killed your whether the guard was set that night or not. wife,' he replied, “She went to bed in good She knows, however, that he did not call health, and in the morning she was dead.'” any others but this witness and his servants, The next interrogatory is,who came into this room before Doña Catalina was laid out. That owing to her
“ If she knows, believes, has seen, or heard
perturbation on entering the room she did not tell, that immediately after her death, on the take notice of the beads, * but, in the morn
same night, about twelve o'clock, Cortes sent ing an Indian woman gave her some gold Alonzo de Villanueva, his valet, to tell Juan beads, which Doña Catalina had been in the Suarez, her brother, not to leave his room on habit of wearing round her neck, saying that pain of death, which message the said Alonzo she had found them in the room, and fur. de Villanueva did not like to deliver, but sent ther that she saw some black marks on her instead one Isidro Moreno to do so.” throat ; and suspecting that Don Fernando To this she replies :had strangled his wife, she asked what marks those were, and he replied, that he had taken
“That she heard that Don Fernando, after hold of her there in trying to rouse her when her death, but before her burial, sent word to she fainted; but this witness and the other Juan Suarez, her brother, that he had been servants present suspected him of having misunderstanding he had had with him.”
the cause of her death, on account of some strangled her, and murmured among themselves to that effect. That she and Maria de
Elvira Hernandez answers most of the Vera and others present covered the body leading questions simply in the affirmative. with a shawl, not by order of Don Fernando, The only additional circumstances mentioned
* This is in answer to a leading question (the by her are : 7th), whether on entering the room they found Doña C. Suarez dead, and the beads of her neck - died she saw her in church at a funeral ser
“That on the day when Doña Catalina lace strewed over the bed, some of them broken, the bed wet, and the body showing marks of vio- vice in perfect health, and that from the lence on the throat.
church she invited a number of ladies to her house; * that this witness had heard it said and this witness and the other servants of that on that evening she had been very merry the house went to sleep. In two or three and in great spirits, and had gone very late hours afterwards, as near as this witness can to bed; and that one Bartolome, a friar of judge, they came to call the mayor-domo himthe order of Our Lady of Mercies, told this self and the other servants, saying that Doña witness that before going to bed Doña Cata- Catalina was dead ; and that this witness lina had gone into the chapel, and had cried and Diego de Soto, the mayor-domo, went to and sobbed much, and that Don Fernando Don Fernando's room, and found him with had asked her why she cried, and that she two pages, one called Salazar, and the other had replied, to let her alone, that she wished Villareal, cousin of Antonio de Villareal, to die, and that in the morning she was dead. now mayor of this city. That when they That she remembers hearing Maria de Vera came into the room, where A. de Villanueva [another witness] say, that when she went had arrived a minute before them, they found into the room and found the deceased cov- Don Fernando shouting and beating himself ered with a shawl, she was about to remove against the wall, and the two pages endeavit, when Don Fernando told her to let it oring to restrain him ; that this was the room alone, that it was well enough, and that she where Don Fernando and his wife slept; had seen marks of violence on her throat, that after they were in the room as above and a stain of blood on her forehead, and related, they sent this witness to call a friar some beads of her necklace broken. Asked of the order of Mercy named Fray Bartoloif she knows or believes that Don Fernando meo, and to tell him to come and console Don killed his wife. Replies that the whole town Fernando, for his wife was dead, and also to said so publicly at the time, and that she tell Juan Suarez of Doña Catalina's death, suspected it, because she had gone to bed and that he was not to go there, for that his well and was dead in the morning, and also importunities had been the cause of his sisbecause at that time there arrived one Juan ter's death. That he was sent to deliver Bono with proposals of marriage with a lady these messages by A. de Villanueva, the in Castile, and that the day previous he had valet, and D. de Soto, the mayor-domo, who been shut up with this Juan Bono in a pri- said they were the orders of Don Fernando. vate interview the whole day, and they say Being asked what were the words which that this marriage was the subject of discus- passed at table between Don Fernando and sion."
Doña Catalina, which caused her to get up Anton Hernandez, wife of Balthazar Rod- and go to her room weeping or in a pet, he riguez, and Violante Rodriguez, wife of replied, that when Don Fernando and Dona Diego de Soria, do little more than answer Catalina, and other ladies and gentlemen, as the leading questions in the affirmative. alina said to Solis, then a captain of artillery,
above mentioned, were at supper, Doña CatIsidro Moreho knows of the party at Don . Nothing will serve you, Solis, but you must Fernando's house,
employ my Indians in other matters than “ because he was a servant in the house, and what I order, and I cannot get what I want had accounts with the mayor-domo relative to done;' and that to these words Solis replied, house expenses, and saw Doña Catalina well ‘I, señora, do not employ them; there is his and merry in the feast given that day. That worship who orders and employs them ;'and after the entertainment, and at the supper
that she replied, 'I promise you that before table, the cloth being already removed, in many days I shall arrange matters so that consequence of some remark 'made by Don nobody shall interfere with what is mine;' Fernando, Doña Catalina rose from the table, and that Don Fernando answered and said, and, having made her obeisance (acatami
With what is yours, señora? I do not want ento), left the room in a pet, while Don Fer- any thing of yours;' and this he said as in nando remained with the visitors. After joke, but the other ladies laughed, and Doña awhile, the
Catalina felt ashamed (se avergonso), and reand he went
up, into another room to undress, as was his tired as above stated." custom. He remained for an hour or two Maria de Vera merely corroborates the talking with some of the people of the house, others. Maria Hernandez, wife of Francisco and then with his page retired to go to bed, de Quevedo, says :
* This is inconsistent with the statement in the previous witness' evidence, that she said she was
“ That on one of the days in the month of jealous because her husband feasted other ladies, October, about All Saints' Day, in the year the invitation, in this instance, having come from 1522, Francisco de Quevedo, the bushand of her, not from her husband; but the inconsistency this witness, told her that Doña Catalina may have been in Dona Catalina's own statement, Suarez had gone to church, that day a very not in the evidence of the witnesses;-a jealous, passionate woman is not bound or expected to be genteel woman, muy gentil muger (ie, very consistent.
well got up), more than on other days, and that that same night, being in the city of protruding from their sockets, as of a perCoyoacan at the feast at Don Fernando's son who had been strangled, and that her house, the said Doña Catalina had danced lips were thick and black, and that she had and enjoyed herself until a matter of 10 also two flecks of foam in her mouth, one on o'clock at night, and that at 11 o'clock of each side, and a drop of blood on the shawl the same night it was said that the said where it had covered her forehead, and a Doña Catalina was dead, and that this was scratch between her eyebrows, all of which told to this witness by Christopher Corral, appeared to this witness and to Gallarda to Captain of the Guard of Don F. Cortes. be signs that Doña Catalina had been stranThat the day on which Doña Catalina Suarcz gled and had not died a natural death; and was found dead in the morning, this witness so it was publicly said that Don Fernando heard the bells toll, and asked for whom Cortes had killed Doña Catalina Suarez, his they tolled, and seeing a servant of Don wife, in order to marry another woman of Fernando Cortes pass, who was his maestre higher station, and that the said Christr. sala (the servant who announces visitors and Corral, Captain of the Guard of Don Fershows them the way out, but in a household nando, told this witness that Don Fernando like that of Cortes probably an official of after the death of Doña Catalina had gone some importance], who was called Manuel, into an orchard one day, dressed in a velwho was dressed in a mourning cloak, and vet coat, and walking up and down in the this witness asked him for whom he was in orchard said to Corral, . What think you, mourning and for whom the bells were toll- may a man now narry whom he pleases ? ing, and he told her that Doña Catalina was And for this reason this witness suspected dead, and that this witness, suspecting that and still suspects that Don Fernando Cortes Don Fernando Cortes had killed her, said to killed Doña Catalina, his wife, and so it is Gallarda, a neighbor of hers, who was a mid- held for certain in this New Spain.” wife, that they should go and see Doña Cata
Here the evidence closes. There is none lina Suarez how she had died, and that this
tendered on behalf of Cortes ; the witness suspected and held it for certain that
process Don Fernando Cortes had killed Doña Cata- seems to have gone no further, and we are lina, his wife, for Doña Catalina had much left to form our conclusions from the oneconversation and friendship with this wit- sided materials brought against him. Is he ness, because they had known each other in innocent or guilty ? Not-innocent or guilty Cuba, and Doña Catalina, oftentimes telling according to human laws; but in our hearts this witness of the unhappy life which she do we think that he did the deed or not? passed secretly with Don Fernando Cortes, The presumption of law is that every man is and how he often pitched her out of bed at night and otherwise maltreated her, said to innocent until he is proved guilty. No such this witness, ' Ah! señora, wife of Quevedo, presumption can be imported into the judgone day you will find me dead in the morn- ments of posterity—all legal rules are by it ing, judging by the life I pass with Don Fer- disregarded, and the moral evidence, or innando,—and that she held him in terror, and tuitive conviction, is the test by which, also, because in this city it was publicly stated whether we like it or not, our actions will that one Juan Bono, master of a ship, came be judged of by posterity. Disregarding, one day to where Don Fernando was, having come from Castile, and said to Don Fer- then, all the objections which a lawyer could nando, ' Ah! captain, if you were not mar- bring against the Interrogatories as leading ried, you might marry the niece of the Bishop questions against the answers as hearsay, and of Burgos,'-—and they say that he brought let against the whole procedure as contrary to ters from the bishop; and that, owing to this all principles of fair play, let us address oursuspicion, this witness and Gallarda went to selves to it as it stands, and see what it is the house of Don Fernando at 8 o'clock, and found Doña Catalina Suarez, shrouded' and worth. And, first, is the testimony of the placed on a bier in a room, and that this wit- witnesses true or false? To this, notwithness, with the said suspicion, went to her and standing the long delay in bringing the felt her feet, which were uncovered, the which charge-seven years, and notwithstanding were not yet cold ; that she appeared to be the family party of which they seem to be recently dead; and this witness told Gallarda composed, two Rodriguezes and three Herto examine her well, for it appeared to her nandezes, who besides seem to have married that she was not yet dead; and that this interchangeably, we have no hesitation in women who were there, removed the shawl expressing our conviction that it is more true which Doña Catalina had over her face and than false. Some portions are obviously saw that her eyes were open and stiff and either untrue or irrelevant ; for instance, the
black marks upon the throat must be untrue Even the black marks on the throat now beif they are to be attributed to Cortes’ manip- come intelligible ; they are the gorged veins ulation that night, because it is inconsist of the throat standing out in relief; and ent with physiological experience that an these, as we have pointed out, as well as the ecchymosis, or black mark, would show it- flecks of foam, are inconsistent with stranself so rapidly as within an hour from such gling. If to this we add, that Ana Rodripressure as strangulation. · A sharp blow on guez, her lady's-maid, says in connection à bony part, such as the cheekbone, will with her supposition that she had swooned, raise a black mark instantly, but the effects “ for she was subjeci to fainting fits,” we of mere pressure on a soft surface like the have it all before us as clear as day. The neck ought not, in such a short period, fainting fits were epileptic fits, one of which, to have gone further than redness, or if at last, carried her off. The whole of Corthe squeeze had been excessive, redness tes' behavior is to us also symbolic of innotending to brownness with excoriation. If, cence; his lively badinage at supper, his attherefore, black marks on the neck were titude, supporting his wife on his arm, when present, they regarded not Cortes, who could the witnesses enter, his grief at her death, his not have made them at the time speci- haughty refusal (particularly when prompted fied. But, taken as a whole, the evidence and supported by the first Alcalde, obviously reads as truthful ; the very futility of the a toady and flatterer) to pay heed to the evil grounds of suspicion, often going no further tongues of the city, knowing his innocence than, " they say,” “it was everywhere said,” as he did, all bear to our minds the perfect etc., indicate a gossiping, credulous nature, stamp of naturalness and innocence. “Not but not a false or designing one. Taking, guilty, upon our honor!” then, the details given as in the main truth- Cortes was peculiarly lucky, or unlucky, ful, what do they indicate ? Is it strangula- in having his enemies die off at periods crittion? Were it not for two trilling and ically fortunate for him, but after so comincidentally mentioned circumstances, we plete a disproval of the most circumstantial might have had to reply, the symptoms are and by far the most heinous charge for no all those of strangulation. Most fortunately, one would think of comparing, in enormity, the last witness adds to her description of the “wiping out” of a rival or an enemy the gorged countenance, protruding eyes, with the deep damnation of throttling his and black lips of the deceased, “ she had two wife in his very bed, while sleeping in his flecks of foamgn her mouth, one on each side.” arms, in all the confidence of love and affecHere is the key to the whole case. This is tion,—we are ready to accept Prescott's verno symptom of strangling, but it is the al- dict with more confidence. In fact, we canmost constant accompaniment of a disease not help thinking the publication of these which simulates most of the tokens of death “ Archives " a most fortunate circumstance, by strangling; namely, epilepsy. There is were it for nothing but the clear, unwitting .not a symptom mentioned which does not (and, therefore, more valuable) acquittal accord better with epilepsy than strangling. upon this the most serious charge.
While the Emperor Louis Napoleon was at “Your majesty of course does not remember Vichy lately he was taking a walk on the banks me, but you were once the cause of my passing of the Sichon and lost bis way. A laborer two days in the black holo; for when you was chancing to pass at the time, his majesty made at Ham I was a soldier there, and was punished the necessary inquiry of him. “ Second to the
for passing you in a pound of tobacco.”
Well," said the emperor," it shall be my turn right and then first to the left, sire," said the now," and in a few days afterwards the man
“ What, you know me?" “ Yes, and was installed in a well-stocked tobacconist's have had the honor for years past.” “ Where?” I shop.