State Library of NSW
Thirteenth in the series of fourteen known Quirós' presentation memorials. Quirós wrote about fifty memorials addressed to the King Philip III of Spain describing the wonders of the lands he had discovered and requesting Royal support to organize a new expedition to the Southern hemisphere. The majority of them were manuscripts, but fourteen were printed between 1607 and 1614 at Quirós' expense for presentation at the Council of the Indies. These so-called "presentation memorials" - to be distinguished from later derivative printings which appeared throughout Europe after the leaking of one of the original Memorials - are among the most valuable of all printed Australiana. According to Kelly this thirteenth presentation memorial Quirós reminds "the king that he has twice ordered his dispatch - the second time to his satisfaction, on the understanding that he would leave the matter in abeyance for a year, but now two years had gone by. He had already spent 18 years in an endeavour to bring the Christian faith to the natives and had now spent 72 months at Court to secure an acceptable dispatch. He points out again the greatness of his discovery and urges that the justice of his claims be recognised - in this cause he has already navigated 20,000 leagues. He also proposes various possible ways by which the expedition could be financed."
My Lord I, Captain Pedro Fernández de Quirós, was sent for by Your Majesty twice – the second time to my satisfaction – then told to wait for one year and almost two have passed. I should remind Your Majesty of two things, both of them worthy of living memory and to be mourned eternally for the little esteem in which they are held. The first one is that what I have represented so many times, and so many times has been put on hold, is worth no less than starting many Kingdoms of concerted government, founding cities, opening businesses, communicating riches, accommodating vassals, assuring states, discovering the remaining lands, teaching all their peoples to leave bestial life and to enter politics, together with other useful skills, all of them for Y.M. and nothing for me, except for the travails I will endure with twice as much joy, for what it is said in the next chapter, which is about the second promise – for which I represent my justice and remind you of my obedience.
My justice is based on the very strong and firm principles of God Our Lord’s hour, upon which I intend to base it, and that His Church will spread all over the rest of the world, and in the glorious triumphs that will ensue from the effects of Catholicism in the conversion of infinite numbers of people who expect it, with their right to universal Redemption, and in the salvation of their condemned souls, on Ecclesiastical and secular people’s merits, both from here and there, who in value of the Southern hemisphere, both known and unknown, temporally and eternally for God and men. For this reason I spent my poverty and despised profits, sailed and walked twenty‐ general and in particular by any means will favour them and help them to leave their miserable and pitiful state, preaching the Gospel, exalting the Catholic faith or to die a martyr for it, in the hundreds of temples, convents, seminaries, schools and hospitals that will be founded and dedicated to God, Lord of the heavens, earth, sea and of the men who will go and live in them, each one to his ministry, the natives participating in the aspect of justice owed to them, and in the continuous services of different kinds that all at once will be rendered to the same Lord, on the thousands of altars to be erected and in the millions of masses that will be celebrated, being the most acceptable sacrifices to His Divine Majesty in the use of the holy sacraments and all their fruit, in the divine services, praises and gratitude given to God for being who He is, and for all the received and expected benefits from his goodness and providence, and in the prayers, petitions, rogations, processions, solemn and double celebrations that will be given to the honour and glory of Christ, Our God and human Saviour, of his Holy Mother Our Lady the Virgin Mary and of all the celestial Court Angels and Saints, in all the alms and goodness, piety, mercy, charity and justice deeds, and in all other virtuous acts that in general will be infinitely performed in all those lands, and to banish the old possession from them as well as the continuous adoration that those simple peoples under Y.M.’s rule bestow upon the devil (the worst of all miseries) because they do not have anybody who teaches them all about their Maker and Saviour, whom they must adore, serve and love all their lives with all their strengths, and in my eighteen years of great travail and persistence, and in the wishes I have that everything is exactly as represented, and does not stop there but continues further and further, from improvement to improvement, to the possible perfection and to the end of the world.
Sir, this is my justice. My justice is in all that was said and in what I do not know how to say: the current and future dispatch me in some way, with or without money, or be upfront with me. Y.M., I have been at this court for seventy‐two months, weaving like a silkworm, whom I envy for sparkling while making thousand leagues, risked my life and honour many times, and endured suffering for what I leave to God. Behold, Y.M., if my justice is good, or if its truth and clarity can be denied to me, or if it is reasonable that I should lose it being Y.M.’s vassal, because I say with the respect I owe that I do not want to lose it. Again I say, Sir, that I do not want to lose such high favours as those that Our Lord has bestowed upon me, and that since He helped me, and since nobody wants to lose what God has bestowed upon them, I do not mean all of mine, nor his great greatnesses, but the smallest share, and I offer all of them together to Y.M., with such great love that by itself it would be enough for Y.M. not to reject them. To sum up, my justice is the charity for this deed, with a solemn vow to the eternal God to represent it as many times as I can and in as many ways as I know, and wherever Y.M. happens to be, until Your Majesty says yes or no to me. I say that by keeping so silent, even the stones would scream.
I ask for justice, and I remember that what is already owed to me cannot be satisfied, but if what I have referred to is considered with attention, as well as at the eighteen years that from start to finish I wasted arguing for a remedy without stopping for a day and a few hours, and it will be seen that if I spent all of them, or even twelve (years) in your benefit, that my work would have produced fruits for heaven and earth, the loss of which represent a continuous torment for me, without remedy or relief. Y.M. should pursue such a venture on your own and with promptness, or ask me to make an attempt at achieving it on God’s account, whose divine providence I have pledged. Y.M. must the best out of his work; Y.M. please consider that I have been pining, persisting and waiting, and that even hope is denied to me. Y.M., be aware that this deed will be lost, and that your smallest part is priceless, and if you wish to find a remedy, it is as simple as the following. I have always been firm in my conviction, giving more than enough reasons for Your Majesty to spend five hundred thousand ducats only once to set it all up, in the way I have explained, and it is convenient to apply the remedy – lest there should greater evil, damage and loss, as well as no less financial and human expense.
Since the monies that Y.Majesty organised to be given to me were not given to me, and the greater good of those peoples awaiting for it is delayed, I considered it my duty to come up with a decision with haste – a brief, non prejudicial one that would not cost Your Majesty’s coffers a single maravedí1 , of good credit because Y. Majesty spends and can spend, and will not allow the loss of such a great venture that Your Majesty started due to a small shortage of monies. To sum up, I have no excuse in front of God, Y.M. and the peoples. In Perú’s City of Kings there is copper that was brought from Chile, what is more, it is possible to request as much as it is necessary. Close to this city, there are many mines full of this metal that were discovered by a Xerez born there. In each vacant mint, it is possible to create another in the fashion of that from Segovia, and for this purpose there is a river next to the village, and an irrigation ditch full of water both within and without the city. If Your Majesty wishes, it is possible to mint seven hundred thousand or more ducats, one hundred to buy the copper, another one hundred for all the expenses and labour involved in minting the ducats, and the remaining five hundred thousand to send me off.
To speed up the process, it is possible to take two hundred and fifty, or one hundred and twenty‐ five thousand old or new ducats with a countermark, and doubling their value, they will be used for funding the trip, taking into consideration that increasing their value twofold is financially sustainable in that city, for a real2 is the same as a cuarto3 , thus eight maravedísfrom here would become thirty‐two there, making it possible to mint a lower amount – either here or there – and from a good estimate, if they are taken from Spain, they will not cost more than twenty‐thousand ducats in the new world, and if they are minted in Perú, they will not cost more than a sheet of paper. These monies will not be excessive in that city, where they are very necessary to trade vegetables and the like which are sold by indigenous and mulatto women, in whose hands they will be as if they were deposited in a bank, until the above mentioned seven hundred ducats are sent from the first silver, gold or pearls from the Southern lands, to recover the monies and stop their circulation. Your Majesty will not have to use his own or other people’s funds; he will have rescued his own service to God as well as those magnificent lands, all their very many peoples and the possibility that they can rescue themselves. I beg Y.M. not to deny them such a brief and inexpensive remedy, or such a favour to me as a reward to my (former) services and to my wishes of being of further service. I believe that those citizens who would provide the funds with good will may be able to clearly see the unique service that they will render to God and Y. Majesty, without any cost to them, together with the glory of becoming the main agents of a deed of such greatnessin new lands, as well as for the great comforts and benefits that they will reap from the trade, and because they certainly know through what they have experienced themselvesthat they can send their children without dowry to marry and to live there, and because the sooner that such a venture is carried out, the greater the promised benefits.
And since it will be a two‐year loan, together with other good reasons I can show, I again say that there are so many benefits and interests that will result from such a good deed that I understand that if they were to lend the above mentioned amount – or even more – they will provide it later, even if they undertook such a venture by themselves, I am of the idea that if Your Majesty spends his own funds promptly and spends them with good will, the returns will be prompter, more certain, more secure and more substantial. I beg Your Majesty to kindly agree to any of these strategies. Another plan could be that the Franciscans or Capuchins beg for alms in Spain and in the Indies for the same purpose, or grant me letters empowering me to search for Y.M.’s vassals in the Indies and in Spain with whom I could undertake such an honourable and necessary journey, which would be so profitable for Y.M., and to estimate the care, generosity and spirit with which I am willing to undertake the dangers that are not unknown to me, as well as the certainty of hard work and thousands of other unbearable things, so that Y.M. can make his empire twice as large and secure and enjoy all the certain promise of the Southern lands.
And if in order to dispatch me, if it were necessary to sell the fountains, large candlesticks, braziers and cups – I do not mean the gold and silver ones that are of no use – but those made of brass, tin and copper, as well as iron grilles and door knockers, half of the bells and even more, it would look excellent in God’s eyes and in the eyes of the zealous, and if for want of something much better, the flints from Madrid were to be used for minting, or if money could be made from lead or soles – as it was done on other occasions of greater poverty and scarcity, so as not to charge a quarter of the world – this would become a deed worthy of praise and celebration for generations to come. If Your Majesty will spend neither a lot nor a little money, nor agree to any of the above mentioned suggestions, nor persuade some to help the rest, nor unite all into one, nor confirm with certainty that I will be sent in Março’s galleons, it is a fact that Your Majesty is not interested in the Southern venture, a fact that will astonish the world, as well as your great courage and dignity, since I have shown Y.M. how to achieve such a venture for the cost of a sheet of paper. It is also certain that Your Majesty does not want my person at his service, for this reason Y.M. must give me the permission that I requested and request to leave this Court. It is enough to repress my wishes, enough to have suffered in a thousand different ways, more than enough to be in debt to sustain Y.M.’s service and to suffer for them, and what I do not say is also enough.
I have the spirit to give Y.M. everything I have worked for and acquired all my life, as well as to offer the rest of it for nothing, and the protection of a new world, populated, rich, splendid, full of different things – the smallest of them incalculable – and that there is someone who does not have them so that Y.M. can receive them all, someone who knows how a loss feels as well as I know how suffering feels. All of these grave burdens I leave on the shoulders of Your Majesty’s Royal conscience, advising that the best of my services is that of speaking clear truths to Y.M., and that the best I can do for such an incalculable venture is to die in it or for it.