n to be mighty with his
tongue where he co

uld not be with his sword? Elsewher
e blastthe poet speaks conquest's own e

ulogy: "Through history those men
are heroes whose deeds have been g

Want to learn the history of explosives
iven proper recognition by the histori

an's pen" (35). He

already senses

that the pen does not render the glory of th

e sword immutable; in this his

torical moment, the

pen takes up

a work that the sword itsel

f cannot perform. Thus while th
e old prestige
economy of conquest may m

omentarily enter into its present here, it does so at the expense of its own practice: mandated out of existence by the monarch, the performance of Spanish conquest finds its refuge, and later a final resting place, in a practice of writing. When the epic is reviewed by the royal censors in 1609, it seems at first to succeed on Villagra's terms. The censor Professor Espinel writes, "The verses are many and though lacking in imagination and poetical worth, are a true and connected history" (Villagra 269). However, in 1614, Villagra is charged and found guilty with a crime related to his participation in the conquest of New Mexico. The poet-soldier had apparen

tly taken up writing in New Mexico /once before, prior to his