Page:Narrative of the Proceedings of Pedrarias Davila (Haklyut, 34).djvu/35

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xix
INTRODUCTION.

to your Highness 500 pesos of gold from the mines, in very beautiful grains, and as the voyage is somewhat dangerous for small vessels, I now send to your Highness, by Sebastian del Campo, 370 pesos of gold frop the mines. I would have sent more if it had not been for the impossibility of collecting it during the short time the vessels were here. With respect to all that I have said, I beseech your Highness to do that which is best for your service. May the life and royal estate of your Highness prosper by the addition of many more kingdoms and lordships to your sacred rule, and may all that is discovered in these parts increase the power of your Highness, as your most Royal Highness may desire; for there are greater riches here than in any other part of the world. From the town of Santa Maria del Antigua, in the province of Darien, in the gulf of Uraba, to-day this Thursday the 20th of January in the year 1513. The making and creation of your Highness, who kisses your most royal hands and feet, Vasco Nuñez de Balboa."[1]

This interesting letter gives a clear insight into the position and designs of Vasco Nuñez two years after he had taken command of the colony at Darien. He bad headed numerous exploring expeditions, had formed alliances with Indian tribes, and was then preparing his expedition to discover the South Sea, concerning which he had collected correct and detailed information. But his appeal to the king for reinforcements and supplies met with no response, while the crushing

  1. Navarrete, Coll., tom, iii, No. v, p. 375. The original is in the Indian Archives at Seville. Vasco Nuñez addressed another letter to the Emperor, after the arrival of Pedrarias, from which I have quoted in the notes to Andagoya's narrative. It is dated October 16th, 1515.