plot of land may be held as long as the occupant wishes; and in case no gold, or very little, should be found there, a request for a fresh square of like dimensions is presented, and the parcel of abandoned land reverts to the common demesne. This is the order followed by the colonists of Darien who are engaged in gold-seeking. I think it is the same for the others, but I have not questioned all of them. Sometimes such a parcel of twelve paces square has netted its possessor the sum of eighty castellanos. Such is the life people lead to satisfy the sacred hunger for gold; but the richer one becomes by such work, the more does one desire to possess. The more wood is thrown on the fire, the more it crackles and spreads. The sufferer from dropsy, who thinks to appease his thirst by drinking, only excites it the more. I have suppressed many details to which I may later return if I learn that they afford pleasure to Your Holiness, charged with the weight of religious questions and sitting at the summit of the honours to which men may aspire. It is in no sense for my personal pleasure that I have collected these facts, for only the desire to please Your Beatitude has induced me to undertake this labour.
[Note 10: Sic vivitur in sacra fame auri explenda.]
May Providence, which watches over this world, grant to Your Holiness many happy years.