Page:Narrative of the Proceedings of Pedrarias Davila (Haklyut, 34).djvu/54

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6
NARRATIVE OF

Nicuesa was lost, and it was never known what became of him.[1] When the people, whom he had left in Nombre de Dios, found that their captain did not return, obliged by necessity, they followed him, and, arriving at Darien, submitted to the authority of the others.

The Admiral Colon discovered these coasts, both the one and the other.[2]

Pedrarias arrived at Darien in the end of July of the said year 1514, where he was received by the people who were there, and where he landed all his troops. The settlement was small, and there were few resources in the land. The provisions which were on board the ships were disembarked, and divided amongst all the people. The flour and other stores were injured by the sea, and this, added to the evil nature of the land, which is woody, covered with swamps, and very thinly iuhabited, brought on so much sickness among the people, that they could not be cured, and in one month seven hundred men died of sickness and hunger. Our arrival weighed so much on those who were already settled at Darien, that they would do no act of charity for any one. As in united enterprises, until experience has shown the way, the correct method of acting is very seldom adopted, so now Pedrarias was appointed jointly with

the the previous operation of driving the oakum well in with a sharp one had been neglected, and that therefore the seams were easily forced open afterwards.

  1. Oviedo says that the last words he was heard to utter as he left the shore were—Ostende faciem tuam et salvi erimus ("Show thy face, O Lord, and we shall be saved"). Quoted by Helps, i, p. 133.

    He set sail on March 1st, 1511, with seventeen faithful companions.

  2. This was in his memorable fourth voyage in 1502. Columbus first sighted the coast a few leagues to the east of the gulf of Honduras, and on September 14th rounded the Cape, which he called Gracias a Dios, in search of a straight. He sailed along the coasts of the Mosquito, Costa Rica, and Veragua, and reached a harbour in November, which he called Porto Bello. He went on for eight leagues to the point since named Nombre de Dios, and returned thence to Veragua. He thus discovered the whole coast from the gulf of Honduras nearly to that of Darien.