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Wu Ting
How would you explain this sentence in the context? Cortés let Moteczuma go free again and they were still friends, which seems strange. He showed Cortés the buildings and marketplaces, fine as any in Spain, and stone temples higher than the great church of Seville. Inside some, the walls were covered with the blood of human sacrifice. But the people had great culture and politeness of manners, with good government everywhere maintained, and stone pipes to bring water down from the mountains. Moteczuma had a grand palace and lattice houses where he kept every manner of bird, waterfowl to eagle. It took three hundred men to look after them all. But really Cortés wanted a tour of the gold mines. Playing dumbdora, he told Moteczuma the land looked very fertile, so the Great King(in the previous passages, Cortes had said he was sent to there by a Great King) should like to have a farm there (over the gold mine). They fixed it up with maize fields, a big house for His Majesty, even a pond with ducks. Crafty Cortés.How would you explain the second to last sentence in the second passage: They fixed it up with maize fields, a big house for His Majesty, even a pond with ducks? What does ‘fix it up’ mean here? And what does ‘His Majesty’ refer to? Thanks!
Feb 3, 2014 2:07 PM
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Answers · 2
The Great King refers to the Spanish king though his listeners had no knowledge of Spain or its rulers except what Cortés told them. His Majesty then refers to the Spanish king who might then sail across the ocean to live on the land over the gold fields. Fix up simply means that they created a working farm over the area that Cortés wanted for his gold mining operation. Cortés proved that he was not a dumbdora (stupid), hence the adjective crafty because he made a clever plan.
February 3, 2014
"Fix up" means to decorate, to arrange, to put into order and bring it back to a habitable status (fertile status in this case). "His Majesty," I believe, is a reference to the Great King if following traditional English pronoun transition rules. The last mentioned pronoun is the same pronoun being referenced in the coming sentences.
February 3, 2014
Wu Ting
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French
Learning Language
English