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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 03 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 652 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 03.
he exclaimed, Paremos aqui en el nombre de Dios, Let us stay here in the name of God.  He immediately landed and began to erect a fortress, which was named Nombre de Dios, from the above mentioned expression.  He had not been long here till he found himself as much straitened for provisions as at Bethlehem, on which account he sent one of his ships to St Domingo to request assistance from the governor.  Scarcely was this vessel out of the port, before that with Colmenares arrived from the river Darien, with the invitation to take the command of the Spanish colony at that place.  Colmenares and his men were so astonished to see the miserable condition of Nicuessa and seventy of his people, who were all that remained with him at Nombre de Dios, that they shed tears.  They were lean, ragged, and barefooted, and excited pity by the recital of the intolerable distresses they had undergone, and the numbers of their companions who had already died.

Colmenares did all he could to comfort Nicuessa, telling him that the people of Darien wished him to come and assume the government of that colony, which was situated in a fine country abounding in provisions, and which did not want gold.  Nicuessa began to recover his spirits, by the seasonable supply of provisions, and the comfortable intelligence brought by Colmenares, and gave thanks to God for this merciful relief.  But he soon forfeited the reputation for prudence which he had formerly enjoyed among the colonists of Hispaniola; as, forgetting the miserable condition from which he was so recently relieved, and not considering that the people of Darien had submitted to his authority of their own free will, he foolishly declared in public that he would take all their gold from them on his arrival, and would even punish them for encroaching on his province.  This news soon spread abroad, and heaven had the imprudence to send a caravel before him to Darien, having a desire to examine some islands which lay in the way thither.  That same night, Olano, who still remained a prisoner, conversed with some of the people who came from Darien, to incense them against Nicuessa; and when Nicuessa was embarking, he said to some of those who were in his confidence, “Nicuessa fancies he will be as well received by Hojedas men, as by us after his shipwreck at Veragua, but he will probably find a considerable difference.”  James Albetes and the bachelor Corral were in the caravel which went before, and gave notice to the colonists at Darien of the threats which Nicuessa had made, of taking away their gold and punishing them; saying that his misfortunes had rendered him peevish and cruel, abusing all who were under his authority.  From the little islands which he had stopped to explore, Nicuessa sent one Juan de Cayzedo to acquaint the colony at Darien of his approach; and this man being privately his enemy, still farther exasperated the people against him, so that they came to a resolution not to admit him into the colony.  This resolution was principally forwarded by Balboa, who secretly advised all the principal people to exclude him, yet declared in public that he was for receiving Nicuessa, and even got the public notary to give him a certificate to that effect[1].

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