The challenges of living in our city of Ceuta, separated from Iberia by the Strait of Gibraltar, have proven worthwhile for our family these past many years. Most Portuguese have no wish to leave the comforts of home to abide in this rough port city, but we have managed to take advantage of the Mediterranean’s changing tides to the enrichment of our house. When the holy see of Saint Andrew fell to Mehmed the Conqueror, many throughout Christendom were shaken. However, as Portuguese sailors began exploring, out of necessity, paths to the west, our family and our business were well-positioned to profit from Ceuta’s advantageous position. As I have worked diligently to secure wealth and position for the house of Ferreira da Fonseca, so must you work to ensure the stability and growth of our business. We have assets enough to extend credit to our most valued and trusted clients, but you must always cultivate new resources by maintaining relationships with our closest and most influential neighbors. For instance, the Wattasid sultan, who rose during my tenure, desires trade. I have been careful to offer trade with our Islamic friends to our benefit. Finally, you should consider continuing trade with the less lawful Barbary sailors. Not only do they regularly require supplies for the operation of their ships, but they can offer trade goods at fairly low rates if we can compete with merchants in Tangier.
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