MOST SERENE AND Noble Senate,
[1r] I, Brother Nicola Agostino Cima da Rimini, a priest of the order of St. Augustine most humbly present myself to this Serene and Talented Senate as an apostolic missionary of the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith (Propaganda Fide) sent to the kingdoms of China, Tonkin, Cochinchina and Siam starting in 1696, where, having lived for some time there, and having travelled through many lands, I observed carefully the things and happenings in those countries, and finally I came to Trincobar [Tranquebar], Danish fortress on the Malabar coast close to Leilan [Ceylon] in order to return with likewise (parimenti) Danish ships to Copenhagen, capital of Denmark, from where by way of Germany I ended up in this power (Dominante) and, inspired with my great desire and great affection, devotion, and service that I feel and have always felt towards this the Most Serene Republic, where I have lived for many years, to promote the trade and commerce in those parts, not only for the great utility and advantage which it would bring to the public well-being [1v], but also for the easier facility which the Missionaries Apostolic would enjoy in reaching those parts without which great inconveniences and difficulties occur, which they suffer in passing through England and Holland in their ships.
To Reinvigorate Italy, and Particularly Venice
The great vigour of the Most Serene Republic in times gone by is well known; with this she communicated and traded with those parts of the world via Alexandria in Egypt, Cairo, and the Red Sea. Then, as a result of the Dutch, who largely took over the Portuguese territories in India, that vigour failed, in such a way that one can say that today it is extinct. By which not just this state, but all of Italy feels it and witnesses the loss (il danno).
The way European nations have established themselves via factories and consuls, and constructed fortresses and territories, and such great commerce with an intrepid heart, as the English, Dutch, French, Danish, Swedes, Portuguese, and Spanish have done, is worthy of the greatest admiration and also a thing of the greatest [2r] confusion for us Italians. Given their very great utility, they [the English, Dutch, French, Danes, Swedes, Portuguese, and Spanish] continuously seek to increase, and send ever more ships there.