Page:Narrative of the Proceedings of Pedrarias Davila (Haklyut, 34).djvu/21

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INTRODUCTION.

order of your most Royal Highness, for there has been no difference made with them, any more than if they had come here on the first day. As soon as they arrived here they were given their pieces of land for building and planting in a very good situation, close to those occupied by the men who came with me to this town, for the land was not yet divided, and they arrived in time to receive some of the best pieces. I have to inform your most Royal Highness that both the governors, as well Diego de Nicuesa as Alonzo de Ojeda, performed their duties very ill, and that they were the causes of their own perdition, because they knew not how to act, and because, after they arrived in these parts, they took such presumptuous fancies into their thoughts that they appeared to be lords of the land. They imagined they could rule the land and do all that was necessary from their beds; and thus they acted, believing that they had nothing further to do. But the nature of the land is such that if he who has charge of the government sleeps, he cannot awake when he wishes, for this is a land that obliges the man who governs to be very watchful. The country is difficult to travel through, on account of the numerous rivers and morasses and mountains, where many men die owing to the great labour they have to endure, for every day we are exposed to death in a thousand forms. I have thought of nothing, by day or by night, but how to support myself and the handful of men whom God has placed under my charge, and how to maintain them until your Highness sends reinforcements. I have taken care that the Indians of this land are not ill-treated, permitting no man to injure them, and giving them many things from Castile, whereby they may be drawn into friendship with us. This honourable treatment of the Indians has been the cause of my learning great secrets from them, through the knowledge of which large quantities of gold may be obtained, and your Highness will thus be well served. I have often thought how it will be