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).
done this, that Your Beatitude might be convinced of the docility of this race, and the ease with which they might be instructed in the ceremonies of our religion.  Their conversion is not to be accomplished from one day to another, and it is only little by little that they will accept the evangelical law, of which you are the dispenser.  Thus shall you see the number of the sheep composing your flock increased each day.  But let us return to the story of the envoys from Darien.


The journey from Darien to Hispaniola may be made in eight days or even less, if the wind is astern.  Because of storms the envoys occupied a hundred days in crossing.  They stopped some days at Hispaniola where they transacted their business with the Admiral and the other officials, after which they embarked on the merchant vessels which lay ready freighted and plied between Hispaniola and Spain.  It was not, however, till the calends of May of the year after their departure from Darien, that they arrived at the capital.  Quevedo and Colmenares, the two envoys of the colonists of Darien, arrived there on the fifteenth of May, of the year 1513.  Coming as they did from the Antipodes, from a country hitherto unknown and inhabited by naked people, they were received with honour by Juan de Fonseca, to whom the direction of colonial affairs had been entrusted.  In recognition of his fidelity to his sovereigns, other popes have successively bestowed on him the bishoprics of Beca, afterwards Cordova, Palencia, and Rosano; and Your Holiness has just now raised him to the bishopric of Burgos.  Being the first Almoner and Counsellor of the King’s household, Your Holiness has in addition appointed him commissary general for the royal indulgences, and the crusade against the Moors.

Quevedo and Colmenares were presented by the Bishop of Burgos to the Catholic King, and the news they brought pleased his Majesty and all his courtiers, because of their extreme novelty.  A look at these men is enough to demonstrate the insalubrious climate and temperature of Darien, for they are as yellow as though they suffered from liver complaint, and are puffy, though they attribute their condition to the privations they have endured.  I heard about all they had done from the captains Zamudio and Enciso; also through another bachelor of laws, called Baecia, who had scoured those countries; also from the ship’s captain Vincent Yanez [Pinzon], who was familiar with those coasts; from Alonzo Nunez and from a number of subalterns who had sailed along those coasts, under the command of these captains.  Not one of those who came to Court failed to afford me the pleasure, whether verbally or in writing, of reporting to me everything he had learned.  True it is that I have been neglectful of many of those reports, which deserved to be kept, and have only preserved such as would, in my opinion, please the lovers of history.  Amidst such a mass of material I am obliged necessarily to omit something in order that my narrative may not be too diffuse.

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