and the propagation of the faith, not without great
benefit and honour to her kingdoms and dominions.
That, should any other prince accept the offer of Columbus,
the injury which her crown would sustain was very
obvious; and that then she would justly incur much
blame from her friends and servants, and would be
reproached by her enemies, and all the world would
say that she deserved the misfortune and disappointment;
and, although she might never be sensible of the evil
consequences of her refusal, her successors must.
That, since the proposal seemed well grounded in reason
and sound argument, and was made by a man of wisdom
and knowledge, who demanded no other reward but what
might arise from his discoveries, and who was willing
to bear a proportion of the charges, and to adventure
his own personal safety on the event, her majesty
ought certainly to make the attempt. That she
ought not to believe the undertaking was such an impossibility
as had been alleged by those learned men to whom the
proposal had been referred, neither to consider its
possible failure as any reflection upon her wisdom;
for in his opinion it would be universally looked upon
as a mark of generous magnanimity to attempt discovering
the secret wonders of the world, as had been done
by other monarchs to their great honour and advantage.
That, however uncertain the event might be, even a
considerable sum of money would be well employed in
the endeavour to ascertain the certainty of so very
important an affair; whereas the admiral only required
2500 crowns to fit out a fleet for the discovery; and
that therefore she ought not to allow it to be said
hereafter that the fear of losing so small a sum had
kept her from patronizing the enterprise.
The queen was much impressed by these representations
of Santangel, of whose sincere attachment to her service
and honour she was extremely sensible. She thanked
him for his good counsel, and said that she was willing
to accede to the proposed enterprise, providing that
the execution were delayed until she might have a
little time to recruit her finances after the conclusion
of the present war. Yet, if he thought it necessary
to proceed immediately, she was willing that the requisite
funds should be borrowed on the credit of her jewels.
Upon this condescension to his advice which she had
refused to all other persons, Santangel immediately
replied, that there was no necessity to pawn her jewels
on the occasion, as he would readily advance his own
money to do such a service to her majesty. Upon
this resolution, the queen immediately sent an officer
to bring the admiral back, who had already reached
the bridge of Pinos, two leagues from Granada.
Though much mortified at the difficulties and delays
he had met with hitherto, yet, on receiving intimation
of the queens willingness to comply with his proposals,
he returned immediately to the camp of St Faith, where
he was honourably received by their majesties.
The dispatch of the articles of agreement was commited
to John Coloma the secretary, and every thing which
he had demanded, as has been mentioned before, without
alteration or diminution, was granted under the hands
and seals of their Catholic majesties.