the earth, I was greatly pleased to see each new fence
The Indians, always as willing to submit as to revolt, submitted, and the good fathers `prirent le parti de faire un coup d'autorite/, qui leur re/ussit,' as Charlevoix relates.
They decoyed the chief, his nephew, and son, into another district, where they seized and shipped them off two hundred leagues to a remote reduction across the Uruguay. The Spaniards used to say of Ferdinand VII., when he had committed any great barbarity, `He is quite a King' (`Es mucho Rey'), and the Indians of the Itatines esteemed the Jesuits for their `coup d'autorite' in the same manner as the Spaniards their King.
His usual luck attended Cardenas in his exile in Corrientes. This town formed part of the diocese of Buenos Ayres, which happened to be vacant at the time. He therefore took upon himself to act just as he had acted in Paraguay -- appointed officers of justice, held ordinations, and instituted a campaign against the Jesuits of the town.
Whilst he was thus occupied in his favourite pastime of usurping other people's functions, two citations were sent him to appear before the High Court of Charcas. He disregarded them, and sent a statement of his case by the hands of his nephew to the Bishop of Tucuman. In the letter he set forth all his complaints against the Governor of Paraguay, calling him a violator of the Church, a heretic, and generally applying to him all those terms in which a thwarted churchman usually exhales his rage. Mixed up with this was a detailed accusation of the Jesuits, to whose account he laid all his misfortunes whilst in Paraguay. Lastly, he called upon the Bishop of Tucuman to summon a provincial council to condemn the monstrous heresies which he attributed to the Jesuits, reminding him that the Council of Trent had recommended the holding of frequent provincial councils, and stating his opinion that, unless a council were called at once, the Bishop would incur a mortal sin.
The answer Cardenas received from Tucuman was most ironically couched in the best style that his long-suffering friend was able to command. After addressing Cardenas as `your illustrious lordship', he proceeded to demolish all his statements in such a manner as to argue that he had had much practice with refractory priests in his own diocese. He told him that the Jesuits were the only Order in Paraguay that really worked amongst the Indians. He reminded him that from that Order the `second Paul', i.e., St. Francis Xavier, had himself issued. He asked him whether, as a churchman, he thought the yearly sum of twelve thousand crowns given by the King out of the treasury of Buenos Ayres towards the Jesuits' work was better saved, or that the thousands of Indians whom the Jesuits had converted should be lost to God. And as to heresy, he said he was no judge, leaving such matters to the Pope; but that no one accused the Jesuits of corruption in their morals, or of any of the greater crimes to which the great fragility of human nature renders us liable. He reminded him the Jesuits had made no accusation on their part, but always spoke of him with moderation and respect. And as to a provincial council, he said that it was impossible, for the following good cause: The Bishop of Misque* was too infirm to travel; the Bishop of La Paz was lately dead, and the see still vacant; the Bishop of Buenos Ayres only just arrived, and too much occupied to leave his diocese. Therefore, the only Bishops available were himself and Cardenas, and that they never would agree.
-- * Misque is at least fifteen hundred miles from Tucuman. --
`Moreover,' he remarked, `what is it that your illustrious lordship wishes me to do?
`God has only given me the charge of my own sheep. Your lordship knows as well as I do how a Bishop should comport himself.'
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