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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/441

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 419 success by the discovery of the strait ! A consumma- tion the most desirable, and in which I have the greatest confidence, since nothing can be denied to the good for- tune of your Majesty, and on my part no efforts, atten- tion, or zeal will be spared in the undertaking. I also propose to get ready the ships I have had built on the South Sea, so that if it please our Lord, they may sail at the expiration of the month of July, in this year, 1524, on a voyage down the coast in quest of the same strait ; since if it exists, it must be discovered by those on the South Sea, as well as the others on the North Sea, for the former will run along the coast until they either find the strait, or reach the land discovered by Magal- lanes ; and the latter will proceed to the north, as I have stated, until they arrive at the Bacallaos. Thus on the one side or the other, I shall not fail to ascertain the truth. I assure your Majesty, that according to the information I have of the lands situated on the upper coasts of the South Sea, it would be of great service to my- self, and likewise to your Majesty, to send these ships in that direction ; but being well aware of the great desire of your Majesty to know concerm"ng the sup- posed strait, and of the great advantage the crown would derive from its discovery, I have laid aside all other schemes more obviously tending to promote my interests in order to pursue this object alone : May our Lord so guide me, that his service may be advanced and the desires of your Majesty accomplished, while at the same time my own wishes of rendering good service are gratified. > The commissioners sent by your Majesty to take an account of the royal revenue and domain have arrived, and commenced the examination of the returns made by