De Orbe Novo, Volume 1 (of 2) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 449 pages of information about De Orbe Novo, Volume 1 (of 2).

“Listen to me, Christians; we people who go naked are not tormented by covetousness, but we are ambitious, and we fight one against the other for power, each seeking to conquer his neighbour.  This, therefore, is the source of frequent wars and of all our misfortunes.  Our ancestors have been fighting men.  Our father, Comogre, likewise fought with his neighbouring caciques, and we have been both conquerors and conquered.  Just as you see prisoners of war amongst us, as for instance those seventy captives I have presented to you, so likewise have our enemies captured some of our people; for such are the fortunes of war.  Here is one of our servants who was once the slave of the cacique who possesses such treasures of gold, and is the ruler beyond the mountains; there this man dragged out several years of a wretched existence.  Not only he, but many other prisoners as well as freemen, who have traversed that country and afterwards come amongst us, know these particulars as far back as they can remember; nevertheless to convince you of the truth of my information and to allay your suspicions, I will myself go as your guide.  You may bind me, and you may hang me to the first tree if you find I have not told you the exact truth.  Summon, therefore, a thousand soldiers, well armed for fighting, in order that, by their help, and assisted by the warriors of my father Comogre armed in their style, we may shatter the power of our enemies.  In this way you will obtain the gold you want, and our reward for guiding and helping you will be our deliverance from hostile attacks and from the fear under which our ancestors lived; and which destroys our enjoyment of peace.”

After speaking thus the wise son of Comogre kept silence; and the love of gain and the hope of gold fairly made our men’s mouths water.


The Spaniards remained several days in that place, during which they baptised the cacique Comogre, giving him the name of Charles, after the Spanish prince, and likewise all his family with him.  They then rejoined their companions at Darien, promising, however, to send the soldiers his son desired to assist him in crossing the sierra and reaching the southern ocean.  Upon their arrival at their village they learned that Valdivia had returned six months after his departure but with very few stores, because his ship was a small one.  He did bring, however, the promise of speedy reinforcements and provisions.  The Admiral-Viceroy and the other government officials of Hispaniola admitted that they had thus far taken little thought for the colonists at Darien, because they supposed the judge, Enciso, had already sailed with a well-freighted ship.  They assured the colonists that for the future they would have care for their needs.  For the time being they had no vessel larger than the one they had lent to Valdivia and which sufficed to relieve their present wants.

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De Orbe Novo, Volume 1 (of 2) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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