Page:Narrative of the Proceedings of Pedrarias Davila (Haklyut, 34).djvu/32

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xvi
INTRODUCTION.

to Christian settlements, whence they can be taken to Cuba, Jamaica, and other islands inhabited by Christians, to be exchanged for other Indians, of which there are many in those islands. Thus by sending the warlike Indians far from their homes, the natives of these parts will labour well in the islands, and those of the islands here. I must inform your Highness that permission to take the Indians of the islands to the main land would be very conducive to your service, and I must make known to your Highness that, for a distance of two hundred leagues round this town there is no inhabited island, except one in Carthagena, where the people defend themselves well.

"As regards the gold that is collected from the Indians by barter or during war, it will conduce to your service to give permission that henceforth a fifth may be given to your Highness of all that may be obtained; and the reason why this will conduce to the service of your Highness is that, the share being a fourth, it is looked upon as hard service to discover land and to march in war through great hardships, for in truth they are so great as to be intolerable. The men prefer to seek for gold, and there are very good mines near here, rather than to go and die. And if I, or the governor who may succeed me, have to make the Christians go inland on expeditions of discovery, they will never go willingly, and a thing done against the will is never so well done as it should be; while, when it is done willingly, all will be done well and according to our desire. I, therefore, assure your Highness that if the Royal share of gold is a fifth, it will be collected in much larger quantity than when it is a fourth, besides which the country will be discovered according to your Highness's desire.

"With respect to the arms and the means of building brigantines, and the shipwrights, these are important points, because without them no good work can bo done. If your Highness should order them to be sent, it would be entirely