Page:Narrative of the Proceedings of Pedrarias Davila (Haklyut, 34).djvu/23

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been obtained, up to the present day, shall be properly divided, as well the gold and the pearls (the shares of your most Royal Highness being put on one side) as the clothing and eatables; but up to the present time we have valued the eatables more than the gold, for we have more gold than health, and often have I searched in various directions, desiring more to find a sack of corn than a bag of gold; and I can certify the truth of this to your most Royal Highness, for we have been more in want of food than of gold. I assure your most Royal Highness that if I had not personally gone in front of my men, searching for food for those who went with me, as well as for those that remained in this town, there would have been no one left in the town or in the land, unless our Lord had miraculously taken pity upon us. The way I have adopted in dividing the gold that has been procured, is to give a proper share to each man who has been engaged in finding it. All receive shares of the food, although some have not gone in search of it.

"I desire to give an account to your most Royal Highness of the great secrets and marvellous riches of this land of which God has made your most Royal Highness the Lord, and me the discoverer before any other, for which I give many thanks and much praise for all the days of the world, and I hold myself to be the most fortunate man that has been born in the world, seeing that our Lord has been served at my hands rather than at those of another. As so propitious a commencement has been made, I beseech your most Royal Highness that I may be permitted to complete this great enterprise, and I am bold to make this supplication to your most Royal Highness, because I know that you will thus be well served, for I venture to say that, with the help of God, and with industry, I shall be able to conduct the enterprise in such a way that your most Royal Highness will be thereby well served. But for this purpose your most Royal Highness should order that 500 or more men be presently sent from