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Mota, A. Teixeira da (Avelino Teixeira); Hair, P. E. H. (Paul Edward Hedley) / Jesuit documents on the Guinea of Cape Verde and the Cape Verde Islands, 1585-1617: in English translation

25,   pp. [unnumbered]-4 ff.

Page 1


Cape Verde,11 June 1607
/f.90/   We reached this Island of Cape Verde on the eve of Ash
Wednesday, 1607. We were received with great affection, both by the
captain-governor, who is very attached to the Society, and by the whole
of the Council and people. Althoug~h the clergy here are not as keen
supporters of the Society as they might be, because they see that we
desire to set on a new path those who for long have lived in the local
style, nevertheless in their outward attitudes they dare not dissent
greatly, which they doubtless would do if it were not for their fear
of the governor. May God grant him the years of life that all on this
island desire for himl
Our regular duties are to preach each holy day, to hear confessions
at all hours, to give religious instruction, to teach Latin to children
and to expound moral casuistry to any who wish to hear this, and lastly,
to carry out any tasks in the service of the Lord that are given us.
Although they beg us not to undertake too much, because they fear that
we may pay for it with our lives, since the land is very sultry and
relaxing and does not permit the amount of work in fact we have in hand,
we must consider it better to risk our lives serving the Lord than to
safeguard them by failing in any of these duties. In order that Your
Reverence may appreciate some of the things that have been achieved,
I am going to refer to them, even though the ship (taking this letter)
is weighing anchor to sail away.
In relation to our material living conditions, the padres had
taken some houses here for which they were paying rent, and these were
kept for us until we reached the island. They were a little exposed
to view, and the road which goes up a slope (?) to them was troublesome
on account of the heat of the land every time we had to return from
church /f.90v/ and at midday was very distressing and could cause
sickness. Having noted this, I saw to it that, by order of His Majesty,
we regained possession of the seminary (site) which, on account of the
death of Father Manuel de Barros, the clergy had taken over without any
permission; and for our residence I had a double-storied house built on
this site. This we find very suitable for our retiral as it hag a
capacious vestibule covered with thatch and is therefore cool by the
standards of this country, and all (of us) like to go there to read.
the spiritual works kept in it. Because we now (also) have a very


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