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Title: A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 02 - Arranged in Systematic Order: Forming a Complete History of the - Origin and Progress of Navigation, Discovery, and Commerce, - by Sea and Land, from the Earliest Ages to the Present Time
Author: Kerr, Robert, 1755-1813
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 02 - Arranged in Systematic Order: Forming a Complete History of the - Origin and Progress of Navigation, Discovery, and Commerce, - by Sea and Land, from the Earliest Ages to the Present Time" ***

Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions

[Transcriber's Note: The spelling inconsistencies of the original have
been retained in this etext.]












PART. I.--(Continued.)

XX. Account of various early Pilgrimages from England to the Holy Land,
    between the years 1097, and 1107.

XXI. Discovery of Madeira

XXII. Account of the Discovery and Conquest of the Canary Islands


General Voyages and Travels, chiefly of Discovery; from the era of Don
Henry Prince of Portugal, in 1412, to that of George III. in 1760.

BOOK I. History of the Discoveries of the Portuguese along the Coast of
    Africa, and of their Discovery of and Conquests in India, from 1412 to

[A] This title was omitted to be inserted in its proper
    place, and may be supplied in writing on the blank page opposite to
    page 23 of this volume.

I. Summary of the Discoveries of the World, from their first original, to
    the year 1555, by Antonio Galvano

II. Journey of Ambrose Contarini, Ambassador from the Republic of Venice,
    to Uzun-Hassan King of Persia, in the years 1473, 4, 5, and 6; written
    by himself

III. Voyages of Discovery by the Portuguese along the Western Coast of
    Africa, during the life, and under the direction of Don Henry

IV. Original Journals of the Voyages of Cada Mosto, and Pedro de Cintra,
    to the Coast of Africa; the former in the years 1455 and 1406, and the
    latter soon afterwards

V. Continuation of the Portuguese Discoveries along the Coast of Africa,
    from the death of Don Henry in 1463, to the Discovery of the Cape of
    Good Hope in 1486

VI. History of the Discovery and Conquest of India by the Portuguese,
    between the years 1497 and 1505, from the original Portuguese of
    Hernan Lopez de Castaneda

VII. Letters from Lisbon in the beginning of the Sixteenth Century,
    respecting the then recent Discovery of the Route by Sea to India, and
    the Indian trade

_Note_. In p. 292 of this volume, 1, 2 and 18, the date of 1525
ought to have been 1505.





_Account of Various early Pilgrimages from England to the Holy Land;
between the years 1097 and 1107_[1].


The subsequent account of several English pilgrimages to the Holy Land.

[1] Hakluyt, I. p. 44. et sequ.


_The Voyage of Gutuere, or Godwera, an English Lady, towards the Holy
Land, about 1097._

While the Christian army, under Godfrey of Buillon, was marching through
Asia Minor from Iconium, in Lycaonia, by Heraclea, to Marasia, or
Maresch[1], Gutuere, or Godwera, the wife of Baldwin, the brother of the
Duke of Lorain, who had long laboured under heavy sickness, became so
extremely ill, that the army encamped on her account near Marash, for
three days, when she expired. This lady is said to have been of noble
English parentage, and was honourably interred at Antioch in Syria[2].

[1] Now Konieh, Erekli, and Marash; the two former in Karamania,
the latter in Syria or Room.--E.

[2] For this story, Hakluyt quotes Hist Bel. Sacr. lib. iii. c.
xvii. and Chron. Hierosol. lib. iii c. xxvii.


_The Voyage of Edgar Aethling to Jerusalem, in 1102_[1].

Edgar, commonly called Aethling, was son of Edward, the son of Edmond
Ironside, who was the brother of Edward the Confessor, to whom
consequently Edgar was nephew; Edgar travelled to Jerusalem in 1102, in
company with Robert, the son of Godwin, most valiant knight. Being
present in Rama, when King Baldwin was there besieged by the Turks, and
not being able to endure the hardships of the siege, he was delivered
from that danger, and escaped through the midst of the hostile camp,
chiefly through the aid of Robert; who, going before him, made a lane
with his sword, slaying numbers of the Turks in his heroic progress.
Towards the close of this chivalric enterprize, and becoming more fierce
and eager as he advanced, Robert unfortunately dropt his sword; and while
stooping to recover his weapon, he was oppressed by the multitude, who
threw themselves upon him, and made him prisoner. From thence, as some
say, Robert was carried to Babylon in Egypt, or Cairo; and refusing to
renounce his faith in CHRIST, he was tied to a stake in the market-place,
and transpierced with arrows. Edgar, having thus lost his valiant knight,
returned towards Europe, and was much honoured with many gifts by the
emperors both of Greece and Germany, both of whom would gladly have
retained him at their courts, on account of his high lineage; but he
despised all things, from regard to his native England, into which he
returned: And, having been subjected to many changes of fortune, as we
have elsewhere related, he _now_ spends his extreme old age in private

[1] Hakluyt. I. 44. W. Malmsb. III. 58.


_Some Circumstances respecting the Siege of Joppa, about the year_

In the second year of Baldwin, king of Jerusalem, Joppa was besieged by
the Turks of Cairo; and Baldwin embarked from the town of Assur, in a
vessel called a _buss_, commanded by one Goderic an English freebooter,
intending to proceed to the relief of the besieged. Fixing the royal
banner aloft on a spear, that it might be seen of the Christians, they
sailed boldly towards Joppa, with but a small company of armed men. The
king knew that the Christians in Joppa were almost hopeless of his life
and safety, and he feared they might shamefully abandon the defence of
the place, or be constrained to surrender, unless revived by his presence.
On perceiving the approach of the royal banner of King Baldwin, the naval
forces of the Turks, to the number of twenty gallies and thirteen ships,
usually called _Cazh_, endeavoured to surround and capture the single
vessel in which he was embarked. But, by the aid of GOD, the billows of
the sea raged against them, while the kings ship glided easily and
swiftly through the waves, eluding the enemy, and arrived in safety into
the haven of Joppa, to the great joy of the Christians, who had mourned
him as if dead.

While the Saracens continued the siege of Joppa, 200 sail of Christian
vessels arrived there, with pilgrims who wished to perform their
devotions at Jerusalem. Of these, the chief leaders were Bernard Witrazh
of Galatia, Hardin of England, Otho of Roges, Haderwerck, one of the
principal nobles of Westphalia, and others. This power, by the blessing
of God, arrived to succour the distressed Christians then besieged in
Joppa, on the 3d of July 1102, in the second year of Baldwin king of
Jerusalem. When the numerous army of the Saracens saw that the Christians,
thus reinforced, boldly faced them without the walls, they removed their
tents, during the night, above a mile from the town, that they might
consider whether to retreat to Ascalon, or to continue to harass the
citizens of Joppa with frequent assaults. But they confided in their
numbers, and continued to annoy the Christians by severe and repeated

Having allowed three days rest and refreshment to this powerful
reinforcement, Baldwin issued out from Joppa early in the morning of the
sixth of July, to the martial sound of trumpets and cornets, with a
strong force, both of foot and horse, marching directly toward the
Saracens, with loud shouts, and attacked their army with great spirit.
The land attack was assisted by the Christian navy, which approached the
shore, making a horrible noise, and distracting the attention of the
Saracens, who feared to be attacked in flank and rear. After a sharp
encounter, the Saracens fled towards Ascalon, many being slain in the
battle and pursuit, and others drowned, by leaping into the sea to avoid
being slain. In this battle 3000 of the Saracens perished, with a very
small loss on the side of the Christians; and the city of Joppa was
delivered from its enemies.

[1] Hakluyt, I.45. Chron. Hierosol. IX. ix. xi. xii.


_Of the Transactions of certain English, Danish, and Flemish Pilgrims in
the Holy Land, in 1107_[1].

In the seventh year of King Baldwin, a large fleet from England,
containing above 7000 men, many of whom were soldiers, arrived at the
harbour of Joppa, along with whom came other warriors from Denmark,
Flanders, and Antwerp. Having received permission and safe conduct from
King Baldwin, together with a strong band of armed men as a safeguard,
they arrived in safety at Jerusalem and all the other places of devotion,
free from all assaults and ambushes of the Gentiles; and having paid
their vows unto the Lord in the church of the Holy Sepulchre, they
returned with great joy, and without molestation, to Joppa[2]. Finding
King Baldwin in that place, they made offer to assist him in any military
enterprize; for which offer he gave them great commendations, saying,
That he could not give an immediate answer, without consulting the
patriarch and barons, of his kingdom.

He therefore called together the Lord Patriarch, Hugh of Tabaria, Gunfrid
the governor of the Tower of David, and the other principal officers of
the kingdom of Jerusalem, to consult together in the city of Rames, how
best to employ this proferred assistance of so considerable a body of

In that assembly, it was agreed upon to lay siege to the city of Sagitta,
otherwise called Sidon; upon which, having directed every one of the
nobles to go home, that they might provide armour and all other
necessaries for the siege, he sent messengers to the English, requiring
them not to remove their fleet and army from Joppa, but to wait there for
his farther commands; informing them, that he and his nobles had resolved,
with their aid, to lay siege to the city of Sidon, but it would require
some time to provide the necessary engines and warlike instruments, for
assaulting the walls of that place. The pilgrims answered, that they
would attend his orders at Joppa, promising to be obedient to him in all
things, even unto death. The king went soon afterwards, with the
patriarch and all his attendants to the city of Acre; where, during forty
days, he was busily employed in the construction of engines, and many
different kinds of warlike instruments, and of every thing necessary for
the intended siege.

When this intended expedition came to the knowledge of the inhabitants of
Sidon, and they understood that a powerful army of pilgrims lay in
readiness at Joppa, to assist the king of Jerusalem, they were afraid of
being subdued and destroyed by the Christians, as Caesaria, Assur, Acre,
Cayphas, and Tabaria had already been; and they sent secret emissaries to
the king, offering a large sum of money in gold byzants, and a
considerable yearly tribute, on condition that he would spare their lives
and refrain from the intended siege. After a lengthened negotiation,
during which the inhabitants of Sidon rose considerably in their offers,
the king, being in great straits for means to discharge the pay of his
soldiers, hearkened willingly to the offers of the Sidonians; yet, afraid
of reproach from the Christians, he dared not openly to consent to their

In the meantime, Hugh of Tabaria, who was a principal warrior among the
Christians of Palestine, and indefatigable in assaulting the pagans on
all occasions, having gathered together 200 horse and 400 infantry,
suddenly invaded the country of a great Saracen lord, named Suet, on the
frontiers of the territory of Damascus, where he took a rich booty of
gold and silver and many cattle, which would have proved of great
importance in assisting the army at the siege of Sidon. On his return
with this prey by the city of Belinas, otherwise called Caesaria Philippi,
the Turks of Damascus, with the Saracen inhabitants of the country,
gathered together in great numbers, and pursued the troops of Hugh, that
they might recover the booty. Coming up with them in the mountains, over
which the infantry belonging to Hugh of Tabaria were driving their prey,
the Turks prevailed over the Christians, and the plunder was recovered.
On receiving this intelligence, Hugh, who happened to be at some distance,
hastened with his cavalry to succour his footmen, and to recover the
spoil: But happening to fall in with the Turks in a strait and craggy
place, and rushing heedlessly among the enemy, unprovided with his armour,
he was shot in the back by an arrow, which pierced his liver, and he died
on the spot. His soldiers brought back the dead body of Hugh to the city
of Nazareth near Mount Thabor, where he was honourably interred. Gerard,
the brother of Hugh, lay at this time sick of a dangerous illness, and
died within eight days afterwards.

Taking advantage of the death of these two famous princes, King Baldwin
agreed to receive the money which had been offered to him by the city of
Sidon, yet kept his intentions of making peace private, and sent to Joppa,
desiring the chiefs of the English, Danes, and Flemings, to come with
their fleet and army to Acre, as if he had meant to prosecute the siege.
When they arrived, he represented to their chiefs the great loss he had
sustained by the death of two of his chief warriors, on which account, he
was constrained to defer the siege to a more convenient opportunity, and
must now dismiss his army. On this the strangers saluted the king very
respectfully, and, embarking in their ships, returned to their own

[1] Hakluyt, I. 47. Chron. Hierosol. lib. x.

[2] Though not mentioned in the text, it seems presumable that these
pilgrims deemed it necessary for them to proceed unarmed in execution of
their devotions, under an escort.--E.


_The Expedition of William Longespee, or Long-sword, Earl of Salisbury,
in the year 1248, under the Banners of St Louis, King of France, against
the Saracens_[1].

When Louis, King of France, went against the Saracens in 1248, William
Earl of Salisbury, with the Bishop of Worcester, and other great men of
the realm of England, accompanied him in the holy warfare[2]. About the
beginning of October 1249, the French king assaulted and took the city of
Damietta, which was esteemed the principal strong-hold of the Saracens in
Egypt; and having provided the place with a sufficient garrison, under
the Duke of Burgundy, he removed his camp, to penetrate farther eastwards.
In this army William Earl of Salisbury served, with a chosen band of
Englishmen under his especial command; but the French entertained a great
dislike to him and his people, whom they flouted upon all occasions,
calling them English _tails_[3], and other opprobrious names, insomuch,
that the King of France had much ado to keep peace between them. This
quarrel originated from the following circumstance: Not far from
Alexandria there was a strong castle belonging to the Saracens[4], in
which they had placed some of their principal ladies, and much treasure;
which fortress the earl and his English followers had the good fortune to
take, more by dexterous policy than by open force of arms, through which
capture he and his people were much enriched; and when the French came to
the knowledge of this exploit, which had not been previously communicated
to them, they were much enraged against the English, and could never
speak well of them afterwards.

Not long after this, the earl got secret intelligence of a rich caravan
of merchants belonging to the Saracens, who were travelling to a certain
fair which was to be held near Alexandria, with a multitude of camels,
asses, and mules, and many carts, all richly laden with silks, precious
jewels, spices, gold, silver, and other commodities, besides provisions
and other matters of which the soldiers were then in great want. Without
giving notice of this to the rest of the Christian army, the earl
gathered all the English troops, and fell by night upon the caravan,
killing many of the people, and making himself master of the whole carts
and baggage cattle with their drivers, which he brought with him to the
Christian camp, losing only one soldier in the skirmish, and eight of his
servants, some of whom were only wounded and brought home to be cured.
When this was known in the camp, the Frenchmen, who had loitered in their
tents while the earl and his people were engaged in the expedition, came
forth and forcibly took to themselves the whole of this spoil, finding
great fault with the earl and the English for leaving the camp without
orders from the general, contrary to the discipline of war; though the
earl insisted that he had done nothing but what he would readily justify,
and that his intentions were to have divided the spoil among the whole
army. But this being of no avail, and very much displeased at being
deprived in so cowardly a manner of what he had so adventurously gained,
he made his complaint to the king; and being successfully opposed there
by the pride of the Count of Artois, the kings brother, who thwarted his
claims with disdainful spite, he declared that he would serve no longer
in their army, and bidding farewell to the king, he and his people broke
up from the army and marched for Achon[5]. Upon their departure, the
Count d'Artois said that the French army was well rid of these tailed
English; which words, spoken in despite, were ill taken by many good men,
even of their own army. But not long after, when the governor of Cairo,
who was offended with the Soldan, offered to deliver that place to the
French king, and even gave him instructions now he might best conduct
himself to accomplish that enterprize, the king sent a message in all
haste to the Earl of Salisbury, requesting him to return to the army,
under promise of redressing all his grievances; on which he came back and
rejoined the French army.

The king of France now marched towards Cairo, and came to the great river
Nile, on the other side of which the Soldan had encamped with his army,
on purpose to dispute the passage. At this time, there was a Saracen in
the service of the Count of Artois, who had been lately converted to the
Christian faith, and who offered to point out a shallow ford in the river,
by which the army might easily cross over. Upon receiving this
intelligence, Artois and the master of the Knights Templars, with about a
third of the army, crossed to the other side, and were followed by
Salisbury and the English. These being all joined, made an assault upon a
part of the Saracen army which remained in the camp, and overthrew them,
the Soldan being then at some distance with the greater part of his army.

After this easy victory, Artois was so puffed up with pride and elated by
success, that he believed nothing could withstand him, and would needs
advance without waiting for the coming up of the main body of the army
under the king of France, vainly believing that he was able with the
power he had to conquer the whole force of the Saracens. The master of
the Templars, and other experienced officers, endeavoured to dissuade him
from this rash conduct; advising him rather to return to the main army,
satisfied with the signal advantage he had already achieved; that thereby
the whole army of the Christians might act in concert, and be the better
able to guard against the danger of any ambushes or other stratagems of
war, that might have been devised for their destruction. They represented
to him that the horses of this vanguard were already tired, and the
troops without food; and besides, that their numbers were utterly unable
to withstand the vastly superior multitude of the enemy; who besides,
having now obviously to fight for their last stake, the capital of their
dominions, might be expected to exert their utmost efforts. To this
salutary counsel, the proud earl arrogantly answered with opprobrious
taunts; reviling the whole Templars as dastardly cowards and betrayers of
their country, and even alleged that the Holy Land of the Cross might
easily be won to Christendom, if it were not for the rebellious spirit of
the Templars and Hospitallers, and their followers: which, indeed, was a
common belief among many. To these contumelious remarks, the master of
the Templars angrily desired him, in his own name and that of his
followers, to display his ensign when and where he dared, and he should
find them as ready to follow as he to lead. The Earl of Salisbury now
remonstrated with Artois, advising him to listen to these experienced
persons, who were much better acquainted with the country and people than
he could be; and endeavoured to convince him that their advice was
discreet and worthy to be followed. He then addressed his discourse to
the master of the Templars, prudently endeavouring to sooth his anger
against the arrogance of the Count of Artois. But Artois cut him short,
exclaiming in anger with many oaths, "Away with these cowardly Englishmen
with tails; the army would be much better rid of these tailed people;"
and many other scandalous and disdainful expressions. To this the English
earl replied, "Well, Earl Robert, wherever you dare set your foot, my
steps shall go as far as yours; and I believe we shall go this day where
you shall not dare to come near the tails of our horses."

And it so happened as Earl William said: For Earl Robert of Artois
persisted to march forward against the Soldan, vainly hoping to win all
the glory to himself, before the coming up of the main body of the host.
His first enterprize was ordering an attack on a small castle, or
fortified village, called Mansor; whence a number of the villagers ran
out, on seeing the approach of the Christians, making a great outcry,
which came to the ears of the Soldan, who was much nearer with his army
than had been supposed. In the mean time, the Christians made an assault
on Mansor with too little precaution, and were repulsed with considerable
loss, many of them being slain by large stones, thrown upon them as they
entered the place; by which the army not only lost a considerable number
of men, but was much dispirited by this unexpected repulse.

Immediately on the back of this discomfiture, the Soldan came in sight
with his whole army; and seeing the Christians in this divided state,
brother separated from brother, joyfully seized the opportunity he had
long wished for, and inclosing them on all sides, that none might escape,
attacked them with great fury. In this situation, the Earl of Artois sore
repented of his headstrong rashness, when it was too late; and, seeing
Earl William Longespee fighting bravely against the chief brunt of the
enemy, he called out to him in a cowardly manner to flee, as God fought
against them. But William bravely answered, "God forbid that my father's
son should flee from the face of a Saracen." Earl Robert turned out of
the fight, and fled away, thinking to escape from death or captivity by
the swiftness of his horse; and taking the river Thafnis[6], sank through
the weight of his armour, and was drowned. On the flight of Earl Robert,
the French troops lost heart, and began to give ground: But William
Longespee, bearing up manfully against the whole force of the enemy,
stood firm as long as he was able, slaying and wounding many of the
Saracens. At length, his horse being killed, and his legs maimed, he fell
to the ground; yet he continued to mangle their legs and feet, till at
last he was slain with many wounds, being finally stoned to death by the
Saracens. After his death, the Saracens set upon the remainder of the
army, which they had surrounded on every side, and destroyed them all, so
that scarce a single man remained alive. Of the whole, only two templars,
one hospitaller, and one common soldier escaped, to bring the melancholy
tidings to the king of France. Thus by the imprudent and foolish rashness
of Earl Robert, the French troops were utterly discomfited, and the
valiant English knight overpowered and slain, to the grief of all the
Christians, and the glory of the Saracens; and, as it afterwards fell out,
to the entire ruin of the whole French army.

[1] Hakluyt, I. 70.

[2] Hakluyt dates this expedition in the 32d year of the reign of Henry
    III. of England. He mentions, in a former passage, I. p. 59. that the
    same Earl of Salisbury, accompanied Richard Earl of Cornwall, in the
    23d year of the same kings reign into Syria against the Saracens, with
    many other English of note, where they performed good service against
    the unbelievers, but gives no relation of particulars.--E.

[3] The meaning of this term of reproach does not appear; unless,
    from some after circumstances, it may have proceeded from their horses
    having long tails, while those of the French were dockt.--E.

[4] Probably Aboukir.--E.

[5] St John d'Acre.--E.

[6] This is probably meant for that branch of the Nile which
    they had previously crossed on their way to Mansor.--E.

       *       *       *       *       *


_Discovery of Madeira_[1].

Although the Era of modern discovery certainly commenced under the
auspicious direction of Don Henry of Portugal, who first conceived and
executed the sublime idea of extending the knowledge and commerce of the
globe, by a judicious series of maritime, expeditions expressly for the
purpose of discovery; yet as Madeira is said to have been visited, and
the Canaries were actually discovered and settled before that era, it
appears necessary to give a previous account of these discoveries, before
proceeding to the second part of this work.

Several authors have left accounts of the real or pretended original
discovery of this island of Madeira, all of whom concur in asserting that
it was first discovered by an Englishman. Juan de Barros, the Livy of
Portugal, mentions it briefly in the first decade of his Asia. The
history of this discovery was written in Latin, by Doctor Manoel Clemente,
and dedicated to Pope Clement V. Manoel Tome composed a Latin poem on the
subject, which he intitled _Insulana_. Antonio Galvano mentions it in a
treatise of discoveries, made chiefly by the Spaniards and Portuguese
previously to the year 1550[2]. Manoel de Faria y Sousa, the illustrious
commentator of Camoens, cites Galvano in illustration of the fifth stanza
in the fifth book of the immortal Lusiad, and likewise gives an account
of this discovery in his Portuguese Asia. But the earliest and most
complete relation of this discovery was composed by Francisco Alcaforado,
who was esquire to Don Henry the _infant_ or prince of Portugal, the
first great promoter of maritime discoveries, and to whom he presented
his work. No person was more capable of giving an exact account of that
singular event than Alcaforado, as he was one of those who assisted in
making the second discovery. His work was first published in Portuguese
by Don Francisco Manoel, and was afterwards published in French at Paris
in 1671[3]. From this French edition the following account is extracted,
because the original Portuguese has not come to our knowledge, neither
can we say when that was printed; but as the anonymous French translator
remarked, that "Don Francisco _keeps_ the original MS. with great care,"
it may be concluded, that the Portuguese impression did not long precede
the French translation. The French translator acknowledges that he has
altered the style, which was extremely florid and poetical, and has
expunged several useless and tedious digressions, etymologies,
reflections, and comparisons; but declares that he has strictly presented,
the truth and substance of the history, so as not to vary from it in the
least, or to omit the smallest material circumstance.

It is remarkable that there is no mention whatever in any of the English
histories of Machin, Macham, or Marcham, the supposed author of this
discovery; so that Hakluyt was beholden to Antonio Galvano for the
imperfect account he gives of that transaction[4]. By the following
abstract the complete history becomes our own, and we shall be no longer
strangers to an event which has for several ages, rendered an Englishman
famous in foreign countries, while wholly unknown in his own. It must not,
however, be omitted to observe, that some objections may be stated
against the authenticity of this history, on account of certain
circumstances which do not quadrate with the time assigned for Machin's
voyage by the author. From these it is obvious, either that the relation
given by Alcaforado is not genuine, or that it has been interpolated. How
far this objection may be admitted, without prejudice to the authority of
the whole story, must be left to the judgment of our readers; we shall
only add, that so far as relates to Macham it agrees with the tradition
of the inhabitants of Madeira.

According to Alcaforada, Juan Gonsalvo Zarco, a gentleman of the
household of Don Henry, being sent out by that prince upon an expedition
of discovery to the coast of Africa, made prize, in the year 1420, of a
Spanish vessel filled with redeemed captives, on their way from Morocco
to Spain. In this vessel there was one John de Morales, an experienced
and able pilot, whom he detained as an acceptable present to his master
Don Henry, and set all the rest at liberty. Morales on being made
acquainted with the cause of his detention, entered freely into the
service of the prince, and gave an account to Gonsalvo of the adventures
of Machin, and the situation and land-marks of the new discovered island,
all of which he had learnt from certain English captives in the jails of
Morocco, who had accompanied Macham, or Machin, in his expedition.

The year of this extraordinary adventure is not mentioned by Galvano, who
only says, that in 1344, Pedro IV. reigning in Arragon, the chronicles of
his age reported, that about this time the island of Madeira was
discovered by one Macham, an Englishman. It must be confessed that an
objection arises against this history which is not easily removed. We are
told that, immediately after the death of Macham, his companions sailed
over to Morocco, and that Morales was in prison when they arrived.
Supposing the discovery by Macham to have been made about 1344, as
related by Galvano, from the Castilian chronicles, Morales must have been
no less than seventy-six years a prisoner when redeemed, and when he was
detained by Gonsalvo in 1420. Herbert places the adventure of Macham in
1328, which would increase the captivity of Morales to ninety-two years.
Alcaforado places the event in the reign of Edward III. of England, which
began in 1327 and ended in 1378; Even supposing it to have happened in
the last year of Edward, Morales must have remained forty-two years in
captivity; which is not only highly improbable, but is even contrary to
the sense of the historian, who supposes but a small space to have
elapsed between the two events; besides, the records quoted by Galvano
are said expressly to assert that Macham went himself into Africa, whence
he was sent to the king of Castile. This last circumstance may have been
invented by the Spaniards, to give them a better title to the island of
Madeira: But the former objection remains in full force, and can only be
obviated by supposing that either Morales advanced a falsehood in
asserting, that he had the account of this discovery from the English
themselves, instead of learning it from the other slaves, among whom the
tradition might have been current for many years after the event; or
Alcaforado may have mistaken the report of Morales in this particular.
The following is the substance of the narrative, as given by Alcaforado.

In the glorious reign of Edward III. Robert a Machin, of Macham, a
gentleman of the second degree of nobility, whose genius was only
equalled by his gallantry and courage, beheld and loved the beautiful
Anna d'Arfet[5]. Their attachment was mutual, but the pleasing indulgence
of ardent hope gratified and betrayed the secret of their passion. The
pride of the illustrious family of d'Arfet was insensible to the
happiness of their daughter, and they preferred the indulgence of their
own ambition to the voice of love. The feudal tyranny of the age was
friendly to their cruelty, and a royal warrant seemed to justify the
vanity of her parent. The consolation of an ingenious mind supported
Machin under confinement, and enabled him to seek after redress without
yielding to despondency. On his releasement from prison, he learned that
the beloved cause of his persecution had been forced to marry a nobleman,
whose name he could not discover, but who had carried her to his castle
near Bristol. The friends of Machin made his misfortune their own, and
one of them had the address to get introduced into the service of the
afflicted Anna under the character of a groom. The prospect of the ocean
during their rides, suggested or matured the plan of escape and the hope
of a secure asylum counteracted the imagined dangers of a passage to the
coast of France. Under pretence of deriving benefit from the sea air, the
victim of parental ambition was enabled to elude suspicion, and embarked
without delay, in a vessel procured for the purpose, along with her lover.

In the successful completion of this anxious design, Machin was alike
insensible to the unfavourable season of the year, and to the portentous
signs of an approaching storm, which in a calmer moment he would have
duly observed. The gradual rising of a gale of wind, rendered the
astonished fugitives sensible of their rashness; and, as the tempest
continued to augment, the thick darkness of night completed the horrors
of their situation. In their confusion, the intended port was missed, or
could not be attained, and their vessel drove at the mercy of the winds
and waves. In the morning they found themselves in the midst of an
unknown ocean, without skill to determine their situation, and destitute
of knowledge or experience to direct their course towards any known land.
At length, after twelve anxious mornings had dawned without sight of land,
with the earliest streaks of day an object dimly appeared to their eager
watchfulness in the distant horizon, and when the grey haze, which had
alternately filled them with hope and despondency was dissipated by the
rising sun, the certainty of having discovered land was welcomed by a
general burst of joy. A great luxuriancy of trees of unknown species,
was soon observed to overspread the land, whence unknown birds of
beautiful plumage came off in flocks to the vessel, and gave the
appearance of a pleasing dream to their unexpected deliverance.

[Illustration: Chart of North Western Africa]

The boat was hoisted out to examine the new found island, and returned
with a favourable account. Machin and his friends accompanied their
trembling charge on shore, leaving the mariners to secure the vessel at
an anchor. The wilderness and rich scenery of the adjacent country
possessed great charms to these thankful guests, just escaped from
apparently inevitable destruction. An opening in the extensive woods,
which was encircled with laurels and other flowering shrubs, presented a
delightful retreat to the tempest-worn voyagers; a venerable tree, of
ancient growth, offered its welcome shade on an adjoining eminence, and
the first moments of liberty were employed in forming a romantic
residence, with the abundant materials which nature supplied all around.
The novelty of every object they beheld, induced curiosity to explore
their new discovery, and they spent three days in wandering about the
woods, when the survey was interrupted by an alarming hurricane, which
came on during the night, and rendered them extremely anxious for the
safety of their companions, who had been left in charge of the vessel.
The ensuing morning destroyed all prospect of being ever enabled to get
away from the island; the vessel had broke from her moorings by the
violence of the storm, and was wrecked on the coast of Morocco, where all
on board were immediately seized as slaves.

The afflicted Machin found this last calamity too severe for his
terrified and afflicted companion to endure. Her susceptible mind and
tender frame, overcome by the severity of the scenes she had gone through,
and oppressed by consciousness of having deviated from her duty, sunk
under her afflictive situation. From the moment it was reported that the
vessel had disappeared, she became dumb with sorrow, and expired after a
few days of silent despair. This heavy stroke was too much for the
inconsolable lover to support; though watched over with the utmost
solicitude by his afflicted friends, all attempts to administer
consolation were entirely fruitless, and he expired on the fifth day
after the death of his beloved mistress. With his parting breath, he
earnestly enjoined his surviving companions, to deposit his body in the
same grave, under the venerable tree, which they had so recently made for
the victim of his temerity; and where the altar which had been raised to
celebrate their deliverance, would now mark their untimely tomb.

Having performed this painful duty, the surviving companions of these
unfortunate lovers fixed a large wooden cross over the grave, on which
they carved the inscription which Machin had composed to record their
melancholy adventures; and added a request, that if any Christians should
hereafter visit the spot, they might erect a church in the same place,
and dedicate it to Christ. Having thus accomplished the dictates of
friendship and humanity, the survivors fitted out the boat, which had
remained ashore from their first landing, and put to sea with the
intention of returning if possible to England; but either from want of
skill, or owing to the currents and unfavourable winds, they likewise
were driven on the coast of Morocco, and rejoined their former shipmates
in slavery among the Moors.

This story is reported in a somewhat different manner by Galvano already
mentioned. According to him, one Macham, an Englishman, fled from his
country, about the year 1344, with a woman of whom he was enamoured,
meaning to retire into Spain; but the vessel in which the lovers were
embarked, was driven by a storm to the island of Madeira, then
altogether unknown and uninhabited. The port in which Macham took
shelter is still called Machico. His mistress being sea-sick, Macham
landed with her and some of the people, and the ship putting to sea,
deserted them. Oppressed with sickness and grief at seeing herself in
this hopeless state of exile, the lady died; and Macham, who was
extremely fond of her, constructed a chapel or hermitage dedicated to
Jesus the Saviour, in which he deposited her remains, and engraved both
their names, and the cause of their arrival, on a rude monument which he
erected to her memory. He afterwards constructed a boat or canoe, which
he hollowed out from the trunk of a large tree, in which he, and those of
his companions who had been left on shore along with him, passed over to
the opposite coast of Africa, without the aid of oars, sails, or rudder.
He was made prisoner by the Moors, who presented him to their king, by
whom he was sent to the king of Castile.

Madeira, in the Portuguese language, or Madera in Spanish, signifies
_wood_; and this island derived its name from the immense quantity of
thick and tall trees with which it was covered when first discovered. One
of the two capitanias, or provinces, into which this island is divided,
is named Machico, as is likewise the principal town of that district,
supposed to have originated from the traditionary story of the misfortunes
of Macham; the other capitania, with its principal town, the capital of
the island, is named Funchal, from _Funcho_, the Portuguese term for
Fennel, which abounds on the adjoining rocks.

[1] Astley, I. 11. and 586. Clarke, Progress of Maritime Discovery, I. 167.
    Although in our opinion a mere romance, we have inserted this story,
    because already admitted into other general collections.--E.

[2] This work was printed in 1560, and was translated by Hakluyt: There is
    an abstract of it in Purchas his Pilgrims, II. 1671, and it will be
    found at the commencement of the second part of this Collection.--E.

[3] In small duodecimo and large print, under the title of Relation
    Historique de la Decouverte de l'Isle de Madere: containing 185 pages,
    besides twelve pages of preface.--Clarke.

[4] Clarke, Progress of Maritime Discovery, I. 167.

[5] In a note, Mr Clarke says the name of this lady has been supposed by
    some writers to have been Dorset, corrupted by a foreign orthography
    into D'Orset, and thence into D'Arfet. It may have been D' Arcy.--E.

       *       *       *       *       *


_Account of the Discovery and Conquest of the Canary Islands_[1].

The island of Nivaria, and others mentioned by Pliny, as known to Juba
king of Mauritania, were most probably Teneriffe and the other Canary
Islands; for Pliny notices that the summit of Nivaria was generally
covered with snow, which is frequently the case with the peak of
Teneriffe, and from this circumstance the name of Nivaria is obviously
derived. They appear likewise to have been known in the middle ages to
the Arabs of Morocco; as the Nubian geographer mentions two islands,
under the names of Mastahan and Lacos, as among the six fortunate islands
described by Ptolemy; these probably were Lancerota and Fuertaventura,
the latter of which may be seen in clear weather from the nearest coast
of Africa. All knowledge, however, of these islands had ceased in Europe,
till some time between the years 1326 and 1334, when a French ship
happened to be driven among them by a storm. Upon this discovery, Don
Luis de la Cerda, count of Claramonte, whose father, Don Alonzo, had been
deprived of his right to the inheritance of the crown of Castile,
procured a grant of these islands, with the title of king, from Pope
Clement VI., on condition of causing the gospel to be preached to the
natives[2]. Don Luis equipped a fleet from some of the ports of the
Spanish kingdom of Arragon, in order to take possession of his new
kingdom, but the design failed, and he died soon after.

In 1385, some Biscayners and inhabitants of Seville joined in the
equipment of five ships at Cadiz, in order to make descents for the sake
of plunder upon the Canary islands, and the adjacent coast of Africa.
After coasting along the African shore, they sailed westwards, and fell
in with the island now called Lancerota, where they landed; and after a
skirmish with the natives, plundered the town, front which they carried
off a large booty of goat-skins, tallow, and sheep, and 170 of the
inhabitants, whom they sold into slavery. Among these were Guanareme,
king of the island, and his wife Tingua-faya. A similar expedition in
quest of plunder and captives was made to Lancerota from Seville in 1393.

In the year 1400, John de Betancour, a gentleman of Normandy, and Gadifer
de Sala, a person of considerable fortune, fitted out three small vessels
from Rochelle in France, containing 200 persons, exclusive of the
mariners, and made a descent upon Lancerota, where they erected a fort at
a harbour, to which they gave the name of Rubicon. Leaving there a small
garrison, they passed over to the island of Fuertaventura; but being
opposed by the natives, they prudently retired without fighting.
Betancour afterwards applied to Don Henry III. king of Arragon, for
assistance to enable him to make a conquest of these islands; who made
him a grant of them in due form, with the title of king, and supplied him
with money to defray the expence of an armament to accomplish their
subjugation. He easily effected the conquest of Lancerota, and divided
its lands among the French and Spanish adventurers who had assisted him
in the expedition.

After the death of John de Betancour, his nephew, Mason de Betancour,
sold the Canary Islands to Don Henry de Guzman, Count of Niebla; who
afterwards conveyed them to Guillen Paraza, and from whom they fell by
inheritance to Diego de Herrera, who died in 1485. In 1487, the
sovereignty was resumed by the crown of Castile, with the title of a

[1] Glas. Disc. and Conqu. passim.

[2] The Author of the History of the Canaries, omits the date of this
    grant. Clement VI. was Pope from 1343 to 1352, between which years the
    papal grant must have been made.--E.

[3] A more extended account or these islands will be found in Part III. of
    this work.--E.





_Summary Deduction of the Discoveries of the World, from their first
Original, to the year 1555, by Antonio Galvano_[1].


This treatise was written in the Portuguese language, by Antonio Galvano,
who had been governor of Ternate, the chief of the Molucca Islands, and
was first translated into English by the celebrated Richard Hakluyt, who
dedicated it to Sir Robert Cecil, Principal Secretary of State to Queen
Elizabeth. It was afterwards inserted in Osbornes, or the Oxford
Collection of Voyages and Travels, and forms an appendix to the first
volume of Clarke's Progress of Maritime Discovery; and from these sources
the present edition has been carefully prepared. Of Richard Hakluyt, the
original translator, the following notice is worthy of being preserved.
"The _great_ Richard Hakluyt was descended from an ancient family at
Yetton in Herefordshire, and was educated at Westminster School, from
whence he was elected a student of Christ Church, in the University of
Oxford, where he took the degrees of Bachelor and Master of Arts.
Entering into holy orders, he was first made a prebendary of Bristol, and
afterwards of Westminster, and rector of Witheringset in Suffolk. Besides
this translation, he illustrated the eight decades of Peter Martyr
Angelericus _de Novo Orbe_ with curious notes. He also translated from
the Portuguese, _Virginia_, richly valued by the description of Florida,
her next neighbour; and wrote notes of certain commodities, in good
request in the East Indies, Molucca, and China; but what has most
deservedly perpetuated his name, is his great pains, and judgment, in
collecting _English Voyages, Navigations, Trafficks, and Discoveries_[2]."

Both from the nature of this treatise on the origin and progress of
maritime discovery, and from respect to the memory of Hakluyt, the father
of our English collections of voyages and travels, it has been selected
for insertion in this place, as an appropriate introduction to the
_Second Part_ of our arrangement; because its author may be considered as
almost an original authority for the early discoveries of the Portuguese
and Spaniards. Although it may be considered in some measure as not
precisely conformable with our plan, yet one portion of this summary is
directly in point; and, the whole being curious, and in no respect
tedious, it is here given entire; changing the antiquated English of
Hakluyt into modern language. Although said in its title to extend to the
year 1555, the chronological series of Galvano properly ends in 1545; and
the only subsequent incident, is a very slight notice of the voyage of
Sir Hugh Willoughby and Richard Chancellor, towards the White Sea, in
1553. In the original translation, and in the Oxford collection, this
treatise is preceded by a dedication from Hakluyt to _Sir Robert Cecil_;
and another dedication from the Portuguese editor, Francis de Sousa
Tavares, to Don John, Duke of Aveira; both of which are here omitted, as
having no directly useful tendency, except so much of the latter as
refers to the history of Galvano. Besides the present discourse, Galvano
composed a history of the Molucca Islands, of which he had been governor,
which work has unfortunately been lost, or at least is unknown in this
country. He is likewise said to have published at Lisbon in 1555, an
account of the different routes by which the merchandize of India had
been conveyed into Europe at different periods.

Antonio Galvano, the author of the following Summary of the Discoveries
of the World, was a Portuguese gentleman, who was several years governor
of the Molucca Islands, and performed signal service to his country in
that honourable station, by dissipating a formidable league, which had
been entered into by the native princes of these islands, for the
expulsion of the Portuguese; and, though possessing very inadequate
resources for the protection of so important a commercial establishment,
he confirmed and extended the dominion and influence of Portugal in these
islands. When first appointed to the command in the Moluccas, Galvano
carried with him a private fortune of 10,000 crusadoes, all of which he
expended in the public service. Though he added a clear revenue to the
crown of 500,000 crusadoes, in consequence of his successful, vigilant,
and pure administration, he was so zealous in patronizing the propagation
of the Christian religion among the islands belonging to his government,
that, on his return to Lisbon in 1540, he was reduced to such extreme
poverty, as to be under the necessity of taking refuge in the _hospital_,
where he died in 1557.

Francis de Sousa Tavares, the original Portuguese editor of this treatise,
in a dedication of the work to Don John Duke of Aveira, gives the
following account of the work, and of its author:

"Antonio Galvano, when on his death-bed, left me this book, along with
his other papers, by his testament; and, as I am certain he designed that
it should be presented to your highness, I have thought proper to fulfil
his intentions in that respect. It was fitting that this treatise should
be written by a native of Portugal, as it treats of the various ways in
which the spiceries and other commodities of India were formerly brought
to our part of the world, and gives an account of all the navigations and
discoveries of the ancients and moderns, in both of which things the
Portuguese have laboured above all other nations. In this treatise, and
in nine or ten other books, concerning India and the Moluccas, this true
Portuguese described the unfortunate and sorrowful times, before our day,
in which he had been engaged. When he was appointed to the command of the
islands and fortresses of the Moluccas, all the kings and chiefs of these
islands had agreed to make war against our nation, and to drive them out
of the country. Yet he fought against them all in Tidore, though he had
only 130 Portuguese soldiers, against their whole united power, and gave
them a signal overthrow, in which their king, and one Ternate, the
principal author of the war, were both slain; besides which, he conquered
their fortresses, and compelled them all to submit to the obedience and
service of our sovereign. In this war, two great and wonderful events
took place: the _first_, that all the chiefs and kings of these islands
united against us, who used ever to be at variance among themselves; and
_secondly_, that Galvano, with only the ordinary garrison, should obtain
the victory against so great a combination. It has happened to other
governors of the Moluccas, with an extraordinary number of European
troops, and assisted by all the other native lords, to go to war with one
king only, and to come back with loss; whereas he, with a small and
inadequate force, successfully waged war against a confederacy of all the
lords of these islands.

"Three brilliant exploits have been performed in India, beyond all others.
The capture of Muar by Emanuel Falcon; the winning of Bitam by Peter
Mascarenas; and this victory obtained by Galvano. Besides this great
exploit, his father and four brothers were all slain in the kings service;
and he, being the last of his lineage, carried with him about 10,000
crusadoes into the Moluccas, all of which he expended in propagating our
holy faith, and in preserving these valuable islands, using all his power
and influence to bring all the cloves into the kings coffers, by which he
added 500,000 crusadoes yearly to the royal revenue. Had he gathered
cloves on his own account, as other governors of the Moluccas have done,
he might have come home very rich; but returning poor, and, in the
simplicity of his nature, expecting to be rewarded for his honest
services, he was entirely neglected, and had to take refuge in an
hospital, where he remained seventeen years, till his death, when he was
2000 crusadoes in debt; partly for demands upon him from India, and
partly borrowed from his friends to maintain him in the hospital. After
his death, the cardinal desired me to give his other writings to Damien
de Goes, promising to content me for them, which otherwise I should not
have done; yet hitherto I have not received any thing with which to
execute his will. Yet, for all this, as in the prosperity of his
victories he made no boast, so, in his adversity, he always preserved an
unabated spirit. Your grace, therefore, may perceive, that this treatise,
and his other works, were written under great afflictions; yet was he not
willing to use the remedy of Zelim, the son of the great Turk Mahomet,
who took Constantinople, and died in Rome, who used to make himself drunk,
that he might forget the high estate from which he had fallen. Neither
would he follow the councils of many of his friends, in withdrawing from
the kingdom; saying, he had rather resemble Timocles the Athenian, than
the Roman Coriolanus. For all which, this treatise ought to receive
favour from your grace, allowing for any oversights of the author, if
there be any such, as I am unfit to detect or correct then. God prosper
your grace with long life, and increase of honour."

[1] Oxford Collection, II. 353. Clarke, Progr. of Marit. Disc. I. App 1.

[2] Oxford Collection, I. viii.


_Epitome of the Ancient and Modern Discoveries of the World, chiefly by
means of Navigation, from the Flood to the close of the Fifteenth

When I first desired to compose an account of the ancient and modern
discoveries by sea and land, with their true dates and situations, these
two principal circumstances seemed involved in such difficulty and
confusion, that I had almost desisted from the attempt. Even in regard to
the date of the flood, the Hebrews reckon that event to have happened
1656 years after the creation: while the seventy interpreters make it
2242; and St Augustine extends the time to 2262 years[1]. In regard to
geographical situations, likewise, there are many differences; for there
never sailed ten or an hundred pilots in one fleet, but they made their
reckonings in almost as many different longitudes. But considering that
all these difficulties might be surmounted, by just comparison, and the
exercise of judgment, I at length resolved to persist in my undertaking.

Some allege that the world was fully known in ancient times; for, as it
was peopled and inhabited, it must have been navigable and frequented;
and because the ancient people were of longer lives, and had all one law
and one language, they could not fail to be acquainted with the whole
world. Others again believe, that though the world might be once
universally known by mankind, yet, by the wickedness of man, and the want
of justice among nations, that knowledge has been lost. But as all the
most important discoveries have been made by sea, and that chiefly in our
own times, it were desirable to learn who were the first discoverers
since the flood. Some allege the Greeks, others the Phenicians, while
others say the Egyptians. The inhabitants of India, on the contrary,
pretend that they were the first navigators; particularly the Tabencos,
whom we now call Chinese; and allege in proof of this, that they were
lords of all the Indies, even to Cape Bona Speranca, and the island of St
Lawrence[2], which is inhabited by them; as likewise all the coasts of
the Indian seas, also the Javas, Timores, Celebes, Macassar, the Moluccas,
Borneo, Mindanao, Luçones, Lequeos, the Japans, and many other islands;
also the countries of Cochin-China, Laos, Bramas[3], Pegu, Arracones[4],
till you come quite to Bengala. Besides all these, New Spain, Peru,
Brazil, the Antilles, and all the adjoining lands, are possessed by the
same race, as appears by the fashions and manners both of the men and
women, who have small eyes, flat noses, with other proportions resembling
the Chinese. And to this day, many of these islands and countries are
called by such names, as Bato-China, Bocho-China, and the like,
indicating the countries of, or belonging to China.

It farther appears, that the ark of Noah rested upon the north part of
the mountains of Armenia, in 40 degrees of latitude or upwards; and that
Scythia, being a high land, and the first that appeared out of the
universal deluge, was first peopled. And as the province or country of
the Tabencos, or Chinese, is one of the chiefest of all Tartary, its
inhabitants may be considered as the most ancient nation, and the oldest
navigators. Their seas are calm; and, as lying between the tropics, their
days and nights are nearly equal, and their seasons differ little in
temperature; and as no outrageous winds swell their seas into storms,
navigation among them is safe and easy. Their small barks called
catamorans have only a large bough of a tree set up in the middle,
serving as mast and sail; the master steers only with an oar, and the
passengers sit on poles fastened to the bark.

It is said that the people of China were anciently lords of almost all
Scythia, and were in use to sail along that coast, which reaches from
east to west, in seventy degrees of north latitude. Cornelius Nepos says,
that, in the time when Metellus, the colleague of Afranius, was proconsul
of Gaul, the king of the Suevi sent to him certain Indians, who came to
his country in a ship by the north and the flats of Germany[5]. These
people probably came from China; as in that country, in the latitudes of
20, 30, and 40 degrees, they have strong and well-fastened ships, which
can bear the seas and encounter the severity of the northern climate.
Cambaia also has ships, and its inhabitants are said to have long used
the seas; but it is not likely they should have gone to Gaul; for they
only trade to Cairo, and are indeed a people of little trade and less

Those who escaped from the flood kept the hills, not daring for a long
time to descend into the plains and low countries; and Nimrod, an hundred
and thirty years afterwards, built the tower of Babel, intending it as a
refuge in case of any future deluge[6]. Upon the whole, it seems probable
that the inhabitants of China and the east were the first sailors; though
others think the inhabitants of the west, particularly of Syria, were the
first to use the sea[7]. This contest about the antiquity of navigation,
I leave to the Scythians and Egyptians, who each challenge the honour to
themselves. But leaving all contested points in this matter, I now apply
to my proposed deduction, resting only upon what has been recorded in
authentic histories. Ancient history says that Tubal, in the hundred and
forty-third year after the flood, came by sea into Spain[8]; whence it
appears that in these early times navigation was usual from Ethiopia to
our parts of western Europe. It is also said, that Semiramis invaded the
country on the river Indus, whence the Indians derive their name, and
gave battle to king Stabrobates, in which he lost a thousand ships[9]; by
which it clearly appears there were then many ships in those parts; and
that the seas were much frequented.

In the six hundred and fiftieth year after the flood, there was a king in
Spain named Hesperus[10]; and Gonsalvo Fernandez de Oviedo, the
chronicler of antiquities[11], affirms that he made discoveries by sea as
far as Cape Verde and the Isle of St Thomas, of which he was prince, and
that in his time the islands of the West Indies were discovered, and
called the Hesperides, after his name. He alleges many reasons in proof
of this assertion, and even says particularly, that these early
navigators sailed in forty days from Cape Verde to these islands. Others
say, that the islands of St Thomas and de Principe are the Hesperides,
and not the Antilles; which is the more probable, as these ancient
navigators only sailed along the coast, not daring to pass through the
main ocean, having no compass, nor any means of taking altitudes for
their guidance. It is not to be denied that many countries, islands,
capes, isthmuses, and points, the names of which are found in histories,
are now unknown; because, in course of ages, the force of the waters has
wasted and consumed them, and has separated countries from each other
formerly joined, both in Europe, Asia, Africa, New Spain, Peru, and other

In his dialogue called Timaeus, Plato says there was anciently a great
country and large islands in the Atlantic, named Atlantides, greater than
Europe and Africa, and that the kings of these parts were lords of a
great part of Spain; but that, by the force of great tempests, the sea
had overflowed the country, leaving nothing but banks of mud and gravel,
so that no ships could pass that way for long after. It is also recorded
by Pliny[12], that close by the island of Cadiz, there was a well
inhabited island called Aphrodisias, towards the Straits of Gibraltar,
abounding in gardens and orchards; but we have now no knowledge of this
island, except from the bare mention of it in ancient authors. The Isle
of Cadiz is said to have been anciently so large as to join the continent
of Spain. The Açores are held to have been a continuation of the
mountains of Estrella, which join the sea coast beside the town of Cintra;
and the Sierra Verde, or Green-mountains, which reach the coast, near the
city of _Sasin_ in the land of _Cucu_, or the island of Moudim in which
Algarbe is situated, are supposed to have reached to Porto Santo and
Madeira. For it is considered as an indubitable fact, that all islands
derive their roots from the firm land or continent, however distant, as
otherwise they could not stand firm. Other authors say, that from Spain
to Ceuta in Barbary, people sometimes travelled on foot on dry land; that
the islands of Corsica and Sardinia were once joined; that Sicily was
united with Italy, and the Negropont with Greece[13]. We read also of the
hulls of ships, iron anchors, and other remnants of shipping, having been
found on the mountains of Susa, far inland, where there is now no
appearance of the sea having ever been. Many writers affirm, that in
India and Malabar, which now abounds in people, the sea once reached the
foot of the mountains; and that Cape Comorin and the island of Ceylon
were once united; also that Sumatra once joined with Malacca, by the
shoals of Caypasia; and not far from thence there is a small island which,
only a few years ago, was joined to the opposite coast. Ptolemy advances
the point of Malacca three or four degrees to the south of the line;
whereas its most southerly point, now called Jentana, is in one degree of
north latitude, by which people pass daily the straits of Cincapura to
the coasts of Siam and China; and the island of Aynan is said to have
formerly joined the land of China; the southern extremity of which
Ptolomey placed far to the south of the line, though it now only reaches
to twentieth degree of north latitude.

It may even have been that Malacca and China, as Ptolemy sets forth,
extended beyond the line to the south; as Malacca might join with the
land called Jentana, and the islands of Bintam, Banca, and Salistres, and
the land might be all slime and ouze; likewise China might be united with
the Luçones, Borneo, Lequeuo, Mindanao, and others. Some are of opinion,
that Sumatra joined with Java, across what is now the Straits of Sunda;
and that Java also joined with the islands of Bali, Anjave, Cambava,
Solor, Hogalcao, Maulva, Vintara, Rosalaguin, and others in that range,
all of which are so near as to appear continuous, when seen from a small
distance; and they still are so near together, that in passing through
the channels which divide them, the boughs of the trees on each side may
be touched by the hands. It is not long since several of the islands of
Banda in the east were drowned by the sea overflowing them; and in China,
about 180 miles of firm land are said to have become a lake. All these
things are to be considered as coming within the limits of probability,
especially when we take into account what has been related of similar
events by Ptolemy and others, but which I here omit to return to my

About 800 years after the deluge, the city of Troy was built by the
Dardanians; and even before that time, spices, drugs, and many other
kinds of merchandize, which were then more abundant than now, were
brought from India to Europe, by the Red Sea. Hence, if credit can be
given to these accounts, we may conclude, that the sea of old was much
frequented, those of the east bringing their commodities to the haven of
Arsinoe in the Arabian Gulf, now called Suez[14], in lat. 30° N. and at
the northern extremity of the Arabian Gulf; from whence the goods were
carried by caravans, upon camels, asses, and mules, to Cassou, a city on
the coast of the Levant sea, in lat. 32° N. Allowing seventeen leagues
and a half to every degree of latitude, these two cities are said to have
been 35 leagues, or 105[15] miles distant from each other. On account of
the heat, these caravans, or great companies of carriers, travelled only
in the night, directing themselves by the stars, and by land-marks fixed
in the ground for that purpose. But finding this journey attended with
many inconveniencies, the course was twice altered in search of a more
commodious route[16]. About nine hundred years after the flood, and
previous to the destruction of Troy, Egypt was ruled by a king named
Sesostris, who caused a canal to be cut from the Red Sea to that arm of
the Nile which flows past the city of Heroum, that ships might pass and
repass between India and Europe, to avoid the expence and trouble of
carrying merchandize by land across the isthmus of Suez; and Sesostris
had large caraks or ships built for this purpose[17]. This enterprize,
however, did not completely succeed; for, if it had, Africa would have
been converted into an island, as there are even now only twenty leagues
or sixty miles of land between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.

About this time the Grecians gathered a fleet and army, called the
Argonautic expedition, under the command of Jason and Alceus[18]. Some
say they sailed from Crete, and others from Greece; but they passed
through the Propontis and the _sleeve_ of St George into the Euxine,
where some of the vessels perished, and Jason returned back to Greece.
Alceus reported that he was driven by a tempest to the Palus Maeotis,
where he was deserted by all his company; and those who escaped had to
travel by land to the German ocean, where they procured shipping; and
sailing past the coasts of Saxony, Friesland, Holland, Flanders, France,
Spain, and Italy, returned to the Peloponnesus and Greece, after
discovering a great portion of the coast of Europe.

Strabo, on the authority of Aristonicus the grammarian, says, that king
Menelaus, after the destruction of Troy, sailed from the Grecian sea to
the Atlantic, coasted along Africa and Guinea, doubled the Cape Bona
Sperança, and arrived in India[19]; concerning which voyage many other
particulars might be collected from the writings of the ancients. This
Mediterranean Sea was sometimes called the Adriatic, the Aegean, and the
Herculean Sea; and had other names, according to the lands, coasts, and
islands, which it skirted, till, running through the Straits of Hercules,
between Spain and Africa, it communicated with the great Atlantic Ocean.
Thirteen hundred years after the flood, Solomon caused a navy to be
constructed at Ezion-geber on the Red Sea, which sailed to Tharsis and
Ophir, which some believe to have been islands in the East Indies. This
fleet was three years on its voyage, and on its return brought gold,
silver, cypress-wood, and other commodities[20]. The islands to which the
navy of Solomon traded were probably those we now call the Luçones, the
Lequeos, and China; for we know of few other places whence some of the
things mentioned as forming their cargoes can be had, or where navigation
has been so long practised.

Necho, one of the kings of Egypt, was desirous to have joined the Red Sea
with the Mediterranean, and is said in history to have commanded some
Phenicians to sail from the Red Sea by the Straits of Mecca, and to
endeavour to return to Egypt by the Mediterranean[21]. This they
accomplished, and sailed along the coast of Melinda, Quiloa, and Sofala,
till they reached the Cape of Good Hope, which they doubled; and,
continuing their course to the north, they sailed along the coast of
Guinea all the way to the Mediterranean, and returned to Egypt after two
years absence, being the first who had circumnavigated Africa.

In the year 590 before the Incarnation, a fleet belonging to Carthaginian
merchants sailed from Cadiz through the ocean, to the west, in search of
land[22]. They proceeded so far that they came to the islands now called
the Antilles, and to New Spain[23]. This is given on the authority of
Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo, in his General History, who says that these
countries were then discovered; and that Christopher Columbus, by his
voyages in after times, only acquired more exact knowledge of them, and
hath left us a more precise notice of their situation, and of the way to
them. But all those historians who formerly wrote concerning the Antilles,
as of doubtful and uncertain existence, now plainly allow them to be the
same with New Spain and the West Indies. In the year 520 before Christ,
Cambyses, king of Persia, conquered Egypt, and was succeeded by Darius,
the son of Hystaspes. This latter prince determined upon completing the
projects of Sesostris and Necho, by digging a canal between the Red Sea
and the Nile: But, being assured that the Red Sea was higher than the
Nile, and that its salt water would overflow and ruin the whole land of
Egypt, he abandoned his purpose, lest that fine province should be
destroyed by famine and the want of fresh water[24]; for the fresh water
of the Nile overflows the whole country, and the inhabitants have no
other water to drink.

It may not be too great a digression from the subject, to say a few words
concerning Egypt. The natives allege that they have in their country
certain animals, of which one half of their bodies seem earth, and the
other like rats, one species of which keeps continually in the water,
while another species lives on the land. In my opinion, it is these
animals which break the serpents eggs, of which there are many in the
Nile, but which serpents are also called crocodiles. It is said, that in
ancient times these animals were inchanted, so that they could not do
harm to any one: But since they have been freed from the power of
inchantment, by the arts and learning of the Egyptians decaying, they
have done much hurt, by killing people, wild beasts, and cattle, more
especially those which live in the water and come often on land. Those
that live continually on the land become strongly venomous[25]. The
people beyond the city of Cairo used to catch these animals, and even to
eat them, setting up their heads on the walls of the city. Concerning
these crocodiles, it is related[26] that they often lie along the shores
of the river with their mouths wide open; on which occasion, certain
white birds, little larger than our thrushes, fly into the mouths of the
crocodiles, and pick out the filth from between his teeth, to the great
delight of the crocodile; which, however, would surely close his mouth
and devour the bird, had not nature provided the bird with a sharp sting,
growing from the top of his head, which pricks the roof of the crocodiles
mouth, and forces him to gape, so that the bird flies away unhurt. In
this manner, by means of a succession of these birds, the crocodiles get
their teeth cleansed. In this same river, there are many beasts
resembling horses; and upon the land, there are certain birds like our
cranes, which continually make war upon the serpents, which come thither
out of Arabia: Which birds, and likewise the rats, which eat the eggs of
the crocodiles, are held in great reverence and estimation, by the

But now, to return to my subject of discoveries. In the year 485 before
Christ, Xerxes, king of Persia, sent his nephew Sataspis to discover
India; who sailed from the Mediterranean through the Straits of Hercules,
and passed the promontory of Africa, which we now call the Cape of Good
Hope; but, wearying of the length of the voyage, he returned back again,
as Bartholomew Diaz did in our days[27]. In 443 A. C. Hamilco and Hanno,
two Carthaginian commanders who governed that part of Spain now called
Andalusia, sailed from thence with two squadrons. Hamilco, sailing
towards the north, discovered the coasts of Spain, France, England,
Flanders, and Germany; and some allege that he sailed to Gothland, and
even to Thule or Iceland, standing under the Arctic circle, in 64 degrees
north, and continued his voyage during two years, till he came to that
northern island, where the day in June continues for twenty-two hours,
and the nights in December are of a similar length; on account of which
it is there wonderfully cold. His brother, Hanno, took his course to the
south, along the coast of Africa and Guinea, and discovered the Fortunate
Islands, now the Canaries, and the Orcades, Hesperides, and Gorgades, now
called the Cape de Verde islands. Proceeding onwards, Hanno doubled the
Cape of Good Hope, and went along the eastern coast of Africa to another
cape, called Aromaticum, now called Gardafu, and thence to the coast of
Arabia, and was five years employed in this voyage before his return to
Spain[28]. Others allege, that Hanno proceeded no farther than Sierra
Leona, which he colonized, and afterwards discovered as far as the
equinoctial line; but it would rather appear, from the length of time he
employed, that he must have accomplished the more extended navigation.

It is reported that the inhabitants of the country at the Cape of Good
Hope are great witches, and by inchantment bring certain serpents so much
under command, that they preserve their churches, churchyards, gardens,
orchards, barns, and cattle, both from wild beasts and thieves. When
these serpents see any person doing or intending to do harm, they wind
themselves in such a manner around them as to make them prisoners, and
then command their young ones to give notice to their masters, that they
may come and secure the thieves. But if the thieves be numerous, or the
wild beasts of too much strength, so that the serpents dare not encounter
them, they go to their masters house, and if it happen to be in the
night, they give many strokes with their tails, so as to awaken their
masters, that they may provide for their defence[29].

A certain Italian, named Aloisius Cadamosta, relates, that when he was
upon the discovery of Guinea, and resided in the house of Bisboral, the
grandson of king Budomel, he heard one night, when in bed, a great noise
and many blows given about the house, upon which Bisboral arose and went
out; and, upon his return, Cadamosta demanded of him where he had been,
and he answered that he had been with his cobras or snakes, which called
him[30]. In the Indies there are many snakes, and some of them very full
of poison; yet the Indians carry them about their necks, and put them in
their bosoms, and under their arms, without fear or injury; and at
certain sounds, the snakes will dance, and do many other strange things
at command.

I was informed by a certain Portuguese, who had been beyond the Cape of
Good Hope, towards Sofala, Quiloa, and Melinda, that there were certain
birds in that country, which would come to the negroes on a call, and as
the negroes moved on through the woods, the birds would do the same from
tree to tree, till at length they would alight on a tree whence they
would not remove: And, on examining that tree, the negroes were sure to
find wax and honey, but knew not whether it grew there naturally or
not[31]. In the same country, they find much wax and honey in ant-holes,
made by the ants, but somewhat bitter. In the seas of that coast, there
are certain fish, known to the fishermen, which commonly swim upright in
the water, having the faces and breasts of women[32].

In the year 355 before Christ, the Spaniards are said to have gone by sea
to the flats of India, Arabia, and the adjoining coasts, to which they
carried various merchandizes in great ships; and sailing to the north-
west they came to certain flats which are covered by the tide, and left
bare by the ebb, where they caught many _tunnies_ of great size; which
fishing turned out to their great profit, as they were very abundant and
much esteemed[33].

Alexander, who flourished 324 years before Christ, travelled from Europe
into Asia and Africa, passed through Armenia, Assyria, Persia, and
Bactria; whence he descended by the mountains of Imaus and the vallies of
Parapomissus, into India, and prepared a navy on the river Indus, with
which he passed into the ocean. He there turned by the lands of Gedrosia,
Caramania, and Persia, to the great city of Babylon, leaving the command
of his fleet to Onesicratus and Nearchus, who sailed through the straits
of the Persian Sea and up the river Euphrates, discovering the whole
coast between the Indus and that river.

After the death of Alexander, Ptolemy became king of Egypt, who by some
was reputed to have been the bastard son of Philip, the father of
Alexander: He, imitating the before named kings, Sesostris and Darius,
caused dig a canal from the branch of the Nile which passed by Pelusium,
now by the city of Damieta[34]. This canal of Ptolemy was an hundred feet
broad and thirty feet deep, and extended ten or twelve leagues in length,
till it came to the _bitter wells_. He meant to have continued it to the
Red Sea; but desisted on the idea that the Red Sea was three cubits
higher than the land of Egypt, and would have overflowed all the country,
to its entire ruin.

Ptolemy Philadelphus, in the year 277 before Christ, changed the
direction of the Indian traffic. The goods from Europe, by his orders,
were carried up the Nile from Alexandria to the city of Coptus, and
conveyed across the desert from thence to the sea-port of Myos-Hormos on
the Red-sea[35]. To avoid the excessive heat, the caravans travelled only
in the night, directing their course by the stars; and water being very
scarce in the desert, they had to carry a sufficient quantity with them
for the journey. Afterwards, to avoid this trouble, deep wells were dug
at certain intervals; and in other places large cisterns or reservoirs
were constructed for the reception of rain water. Still later, in
consideration of the dangers attending the port of Myos-Hormos, on
account of flats and islands, Philadelphus sent an army into Troglodytica,
where he constructed a haven called Berenice, in which the ships engaged
in the Indian commerce took shelter, as a place of greater security. From
thence the goods were transported to the city of Coptus, and afterwards
to Alexandria, which became rich and famous, through its trade with India,
beyond any other city in the world; insomuch that it is asserted that the
customs of Alexandria yielded every year to Ptolemy Auletes, the father
of Cleopatra, seven millions and a half of gold, though the traffic had
then scarcely subsisted in that direction for twenty years[36]. After the
reduction of Egypt and Alexandria under the power of the Romans, the
customs are said to have advanced to double that amount; and the trade
was so great, that 120 ships used to be sent yearly from Myos-Hormos to
India. The ships set sail every year from Myos-Hormos about the middle of
July, and returned back within the year[37]. The merchandize they carried
amounted to the value of one million two hundred thousand crowns; and the
returns were an hundred for one; and through this prodigious increase of
wealth, the matrons and noble ladies of those days in Alexandria, were
exceedingly profuse in decorating themselves with purple, pearls, and
precious stones, and in the use of musk, amber, and other rich perfumes
of various kinds; of all which the historians and other writers of that
age treat at great length[38].

Pliny[39], on the authority of Cornelius Nepos, says that one Eudoxus,
flying from Ptolemy Lathyrus, passed by sea through the gulf of Arabia,
and sailing along the eastern coast of Africa, doubled the cape of Bona
Sperança arrived by the Atlantic at Cadiz; and it would appear that this
navigation was as often used in those days as it now is. Caius Caesar,
the son of Augustus, going into Arabia, found in the Red Sea certain
pieces of the ships which had gone thither from Spain.

Long after these days it was usual to pass to India by land. This was
done by the kings of the Sogdians, the princes of Bactria, and other
famous captains and many merchants, who travelled thither and into
Scythia by land. Marcus Paulus Venetus writes largely of these countries;
and though his book at first was reckoned fabulous, yet what he and
others have reported is now found true, by the experience of travellers,
and merchants who have since been to the same parts.

It is reported that the Romans sent an army by sea to India, against the
great khan of Cathaia, 200 years before the Incarnation; which, passing
through the Straits of Gibraltar, and running to the north-west, found
ten islands opposite to Cape Finisterre; producing large quantities of
tin, which perhaps may have been those afterwards called the Cassiterides.
Being come to 50 degrees of latitude, they found a strait passing to the
west, through which they arrived in India, and gave battle to the king of
Cathaia, after which they returned to Rome. Whether this story may appear
possible or not, true or false, I can only say that I give it as I found
it written in the histories of these times.

In the year 100 after the incarnation of Christ, the emperor Trajan
fitted out a fleet on the rivers Tigris and Euphrates, whence he sailed
to the islands of Zyzara; and passing the straits of Persia, entered
into the ocean, by which he sailed along the coast to India, till he came
to the place where Alexander had been. He there took some ships which
came from Bengal, and learned the state of the country from the mariners.
But being in years, and weary of the sea, and because he found it
difficult to procure necessaries for his army, he returned back to

After the Romans had subdued most part of the world, many notable
discoveries were made. But then came the Goths, Moors, and other
barbarous nations, who destroyed all A.D. 412, the Goths took the city
of Rome. Thereafter the Vandals went out of Spain, and conquered Africa.
In 450, Attila destroyed many cities in Italy, at which time Venice began;
and in this age the Franks and Vandals entered into France. In 474, the
empire of Rome was lost, and fell from the Romans to the Goths. In 560,
the Lombards came into Italy. About this time the sect of the Arians
prevailed greatly, and Merlin the English prophet flourished. In 611,
the Mahometan sect sprung up, and the Moresco government, which invaded
both Africa and Spain. By this it may appear that all the world was in a
state of war, and all places so very tumultuous, that traffic and
merchandize ceased, no nation daring to trade with another by sea or
land; nothing remaining stedfast, neither in kingdoms, signories,
religions, laws, arts, sciences, or navigation. Even the records and
writings of these things were burnt and destroyed by the barbarous power
of the Goths, who proposed to themselves to begin a new world, and to
root out the memory and knowledge of all other nations.

Those who succeeded in the government of Europe, perceiving the great
losses of the Christian world by want of traffic and the stoppage of
navigation, began to devise a way of passing into India, quite different
from the route of the Nile and the Red Sea, and much longer and more
costly[41]. The goods of India were brought up the river Indus as far as
it was navigable. They were then carried by land in caravans through the
country of Parapomissus into the province of Bactria, and shipped on the
river Oxus, which falls into the Caspian, and thence across that sea to
the haven of Citracan, or Astracan, on the river Rha, or Volga. Thence up
that river, and to the city of Novogrod, in the province of Resan, which
now belongs to the great duke of Muscovy, in lat. 54° N. The goods were
carried thence overland to the province of Sarmatia and the river Tanais
or Don, which is the division between Europe and Asia. Being there loaded
in barks, they were carried down the stream of that river into the Paulus
Maeotis to the city of Caffa, anciently called Theodosia, which then
belonged to the Genoese, who came thither by sea in _galliasses_, or
great ships, and distributed Indian commodities through Europe.

In the reign of Commodita, emperor of Armenia, a better course was
provided for this traffic: The goods being transported by land from the
Caspian, through the country of Hiberia, now Georgia, and thence by the
Phasis into the Euxine, and to the city of Trebisond, they were thence
shipped for the various parts of Europe[42]. It is recorded that
Demetrius Nicanor determined, or actually began, to open a canal of
above 120 miles in length between the Caspian and Euxine, for the greater
convenience of the Indian trade. But he was slain by Ptolemy Ceraunos,
and this famous enterprize fell to nothing[43].

All other ways being lost, by reason of the wars of the Turks, the
spiceries of the Indian Islands, particularly of Java, Sumatra, and the
city of Malacca, were carried up the river Ganges, in Bengal, to the city
of Agra; thence they were carried by land to another city near the Indus,
named Boghar, where they were discharged, because the city of Cabor, or
Laor, the principal city of the Mogores, stands too far within the land.
From thence they were carried to the great city of Samarcand in Bactria,
in which the merchants of India, Persia, and Turkey met together with
their several commodities, as cloth of gold, velvets, camblets, scarlet
and woollen cloths, which were carried to Cathay and the great kingdom of
China; whence they brought back gold, silver, precious stones, pearls,
silk, musk, rhubarb, and many other things of great value.

In after times these merchandizes, drugs, and spiceries, were carried in
ships from India to the Straits of Ormus, and the rivers Euphrates and
Tigris, and were unladen at the city of Basora; from whence they were
carried overland to Aleppo, Damascus, and Barutti; and there the Venetian
galliasses, which transported pilgrims to the Holy Land, came and
received the goods.

In the year 1153, in the time of the emperor Frederick Barbarossa, it is
said there came to the city of Lubeck, in Germany, a canoe like a long
barge, with certain Indians, who were supposed to have come from the
coast of Baccalaos[44], which is in the same latitude with Lubeck. The
Germans greatly wondered to see such a boat and strange people, not
knowing whence they came, nor being able to understand their language,
especially as there was then no knowledge of their country. Although the
boat was small in comparison with the seas it had to cross, it is yet
possible that it might have been conveyed by the winds and waves; for in
our days the _almadias_ of the negroes, which are very small boats,
venture to navigate from Quiloa, Mosambique, and Sofala, around the
Cape of Good Hope, even to the island of St Helena, a very small spot in
the ocean, at a great distance from land.

In the year 1300 after Christ, the great soldan of Cairo restored the
trade of spiceries, drugs, and merchandize from India, by the Red Sea; at
which time they unloaded the goods at the port of Judea[45], and carried
them to Mecca; whence they were distributed by the Mahometan pilgrims[46],
so that each prince endeavoured to increase the honour and profit of
his own country. The soldans translated this trade to their own city of
Cairo; whence the goods were carried to the countries of Egypt, Lybia,
Africa, Tunis, Tremessen, Fez, Morocco, and Suz; and some of them were
carried beyond the mountains of Atlas, to the city of Tombuto, and the
kingdom of the Jalophos; till afterwards the Portuguese brought the
Indian trade round the Cape of Good Hope to Lisbon, as we propose to shew
more at large in a convenient place.

A.D. 1344, Peter IV. reigned in Arragon, and the chronicles of his reign
report that Don Lewis de Cerda, grandson of Don John de Corda, requested
his aid to go and conquer the Canary Islands, which had been gifted to
him by Pope Clement VI. a Frenchman. About this time, too, the island of
Madeira is said to have been discovered by an Englishman named Macham;
who, sailing from England into Spain with a lady whom he loved, was
driven out of his course by a tempest, and arrived in a harbour of that
island, now called Machico, after his name. The lady being oppressed
with seasickness, Macham landed with her on the island, accompanied by
some of his people; but in the mean time the ship weighed anchor and
stood to sea, leaving them behind. On this the lady died of grief, and
Macham, who was passionately fond of her, erected a chapel or hermitage
on the island, which he named the chapel of Jesus, and there deposited
her remains, engraving both their names and the cause of their coming to
this place on a monumental stone. After this, he and his companions made
a boat or canoe out of a large tree, and putting to sea without sails or
oars, got over to the coast of Africa. The Moors among whom he arrived,
considering their passage as miraculous, sent him to their king, who
transmitted both him and his company to the king of Castile.

In 1395, while Henry III. reigned in Castile, in consequence of
information given by Macham respecting this island, many persons of
France and Castile were induced to attempt its discovery, and that of the
Grand Canary. Those who went on this expedition were principally from
Andalusia, Biscay, and Guipuscoa, who carried thither many men and
horses; but I know not whether this was done at their own charge, or that
of the king. But however that might be, these people seem to have been
the first discoverers of the Canaries; where they took 150 of the
islanders prisoners. There is some difference among authors respecting
the time of this discovery, as some affirm that it did not take place
till the year 1405.

[1] August. de Civit. Dic. I. 15. c. 20.

[2] The Cape of Good Hope, and the island of Madagascar--E.

[3] Birmahs

[4] Arracan

[5] Pompon. Mela, I. 3. Plin. I. 2. c. 67.

[6] Joseph: Ant. Jud. I. 1. c. 5.

[7] Justin, I. 1.

[8] Berosus.

[9] Diod. Sic. I. 2. c. 5.

[10] Berosus.

[11] Gons. Fern. I. 2. c. 3. Plin. I. 6. c. 31.

[12] Plin. I. 4. c. 22.

[13] Eratosth. ap. Strab. I. 1. p. 26.

[14] Plin. I. 6. c. 29.

[15] The miles here used are three to the league; but the league of the
    text is nearly equal to four English miles, and the assumed distance
    of these two ports 140 of our miles--E.

[16] Strab. I. 17. p. 560.

[17] Plin. I. 6. c. 29.

[18] Diod. Sic. I. 4. c. 4.

[19] Strab. I. 1. p. 26.

[20] Kings, I. 9. Chron. II. 8.

[21] Herodot. I. 4.

[22] Arist. de Mirand.

[23] Gonz. Fern. Ovied. I. 2. c. 3.

[24] Plin. I. 9. c. 58. de Maribus Nili.

[25] Joan. Leo Afric. I. 9. de Nilo.--Our author has got into a strange
    dilemma, by confounding crocodiles and serpents under one denomination.

[26] Plin. and Leo, ub. cit.

[27] Plin. I. 2. c. 67.

[28] Plin. I. 6. c. 31. This subject will be discussed in the _Fifth_ Part
    of our work; being much too extensive to admit of elucidation in a

[29] Hasty readers will have the justice to give the honour of this story
    to Galvano.--E.

[30] This story will be found hereafter very differently related by Cada
    Mosto himself, but with a sufficient spice of the marvellous.--E.

[31] The Honey-guide, or Cuculus Indicator, will be noticed more
    particularly in the Travels through the Colony of the Cape.--E.

[32] The Philosophers of the _nineteenth_ century have _fortunately_
    rediscovered the _Mermaid_ in the north of Scotland! Hitherto,
    wonderful things used to be confined to barbarous regions and ignorant

[33] Arist. de Mirand. Strabo, I. 2. p. 68.

[34] Plin. I. 6. c. 29.

[35] Strabo, I. 17. p. 560, 561.

[36] Strab. I. 17. p. 549.

[37] Plin. I. 6. c. 23.

[38] Id. I. 12. c. 18.

[39] Id. I. 2. c. 67.

[40] Ziphilin. in vit. Traj.

[41] Ramusio, V. f. 372. p. 2

[42] Strabo, I. 11.

[43] Plin. I. 6. c. 11.

[44] Newfoundland?

[45] Jidda.

[46] Leo Afric. Ramus. v. 1. f. 373.


_Summary of Portuguese Discoveries, from the Commencement of the
Fifteenth Century, to the Discovery of America by Columbus_[1].

According to the chronicles of Portugal, John I. went from Lisbon in 1415,
attended by his sons Don Duarte, or Edward, Don Peter, and Don Henry, and
other lords and nobles of his realm, into Africa, where he took the great
city of Ceuta, which was one of the principal causes of extending the
dominions of Portugal. After their return, Don Henry, the king's
_third_[2] son, being then in Algarve, and desirous to enlarge the
kingdom by the discovery of unknown regions, gave directions for
discovering the coast of Mauritania; for in those days none of the
Portuguese had ever gone beyond Cape Non, in lat. 29°. N.[3]. For the
better accomplishment of this purpose, Don Henry prepared a fleet, and
commanded the officers whom he employed to proceed in making discoveries
to the south of that cape, which they did; but when they came to another
cape, named Bajador, none of them dared for a long time to go beyond it,
at which cowardice the prince was much displeased.

In 1417, in the reign of John II. of Castile, and while his mother the
lady Catharine was regent of the kingdom, Ruben de Bracamonte, the
admiral of France, craved a grant of the Canary Islands, and the title of
king, for his kinsman John de Betancourt; which being conceded, he
departed from Seville with an armament to attempt the conquest. The
principal motive of this enterprize was to make a perfect discovery of
Madeira, of which Macham had before given so much information; yet he
went to the Canaries, where he carried a friar named Mendo as bishop, who
had received that dignity from Pope Martin V. He reduced Lançerota,
Fuerteventura, Gomera, and Ferro; whence he sent into Spain many slaves,
and considerable quantities of honey, wax, camphire, hides, orchill, figs,
dragons-blood, and other merchandize, of which he made good profit. This
armament is said to have likewise discovered Porto Santo. The island
first occupied by Betancourt was Lançerota, where he built a castle of
stone for the better defence of the new settlers.

In the year 1418, John Gonzales Zarco, and Tristram Vaz Teixera,
gentlemen of the household to Don Henry, perceiving the great desire of
their master to discover new countries, requested and obtained a bark to
proceed to the coast of Africa; where they were overtaken by a violent
tempest, and driven into a haven of the island now called Porto Santo,
where they remained two years. In 1420, they discovered the island of
Madeira, where they found the chapel, tomb, and stone on which Macham had
engraved his name. Others write, that a Castilian had informed Don Henry
of having made the discovery of Porto Santo; and that he sent
Bartholomew Perestrello, John Gonzales Zarco, and Tristram Vaz Teixera,
purposely in search of that island, according to the signs and directions
indicated by the Castilian; and that these persons afterwards discovered
Madeira in 1420, where they found the memorial and monument left by
Macham the Englishman.

Betancourt, who begun the conquest of the Canaries, was slain in a war
with the natives, leaving one Menante his heir; who afterwards sold the
islands to one Peter Barba of Seville. But others say, that John de
Betancourt went to France to procure reinforcements, to enable him to
complete his conquests, and left the command of Lançerota with his
nephew; who, hearing nothing of his uncle, and being unable to continue
the contest with the natives, sold the Canaries to Don Henry, for an
estate in the island of Madeira.

It is related that, in 1424, Don Henry sent a squadron with some land
forces, under Don Ferdinando de Castro, on purpose to make a conquest of
these islands; but, being repulsed by the bravery of the natives, de
Castro prudently desisted from the enterprize and returned home; and
that Don Henry afterwards resigned his claim to these islands in favour
of the crown of Castile. The Castilian writers, however, assert that both
Don Henry and the king of Portugal refused to give up these islands,
until the dispute was ended by the judgment of Pope Eugenius IV. who
awarded them to the king of Castile. These islands, anciently called the
Insulae Fortunatae, or Fortunate Islands, are seven in number, in lat.
28° N. where the longest day is thirteen hours, and the longest night the
same. They are 200 leagues distant from the coast of Spain, and 18
leagues from the coast of Africa. The people were idolaters, and eat raw
flesh for want of fire. They had no iron, but raised or tilled the ground
with the horns of oxen and goats, for want of better implements of
husbandry. Every island spoke a separate language, and many pagan customs
prevailed among the natives; but now the Christian religion is planted
among them. The commodities of these islands are wheat, barley, sugar,
wine, and Canary-birds, which are much esteemed for the sweetness and
variety of their song. In the island of Ferro they have no water but what
proceeds in the night from a tree, encompassed by a cloud, whence water
issues, and serves the whole inhabitants and cattle of the island[4].

In the year 1428, Don Pedro, the king's _eldest_[5] son, who was a great
traveller, went into England, France, and Germany, and thence into the
Holy Land and other places, and came home by Italy, through Rome and
Venice. He is said to have brought a map of the world home with him, in
which all parts of the earth were described, by which the enterprizes of
Don Henry for discovery were much assisted. In this map the Straits of
Magellan are called the _Dragons-tail_, and the Cape of Good Hope the
_Front of Africa_, and so of the rest[6]. I was informed by Francis de
Sosa Tavares, that in the year 1528, Don Fernando, the king's eldest son,
shewed him a map which had been made 120 years before, and was found in
the study of Alcobaza, which exhibited all the navigation of the East
Indies, with the cape of Bona Sperança, as in our latter maps; by which
it appears that there was as much discovered, or more, in ancient times
as now[7].

Though attended with much trouble and expence, Don Henry was unwearied in
prosecuting his plan of discoveries. At length Gilianes, one of his
servants, passed Cape Bojador, a place terrible to all former navigators,
and brought word that it was by no means so dangerous as had been
represented, he having landed on its farther side, where he set up a
wooden cross in memorial of his discovery.

In the year 1433 died John king of Portugal, and was succeeded by his
eldest son Duarte or Edward. In 1434, Don Henry sent Alphonso Gonzales
Balduja and Gillianes, who penetrated from Cape Bajador to another cape,
where they found the country to be inhabited, and went forward to another
point of land, whence they returned to Portugal. In 1438 king Duarte died,
and his son Alphonso being young, the kingdom was governed during his
minority by his uncle Don Pedro. In 1441, Don Henry sent out two ships
under Tristan and Antonio Gonzales, who took a prize on the coast, and
sailed to Cape Blanco, or the White Cape in lat. 20° N.[8]. From thence
they brought home some Moors, from whom Don Henry learned the state of
the country. Don Henry sent an account of these discoveries to Pope
Martin, by one Fernan Lopez de Savado; and the Pope granted indulgences
and everlasting pardon of sins to all who should die in attempting the
discovery of the land of the infidels. In the year 1443, Don Henry
commanded Antonio Gonzales to carry back the Moors to their own country,
where they were ransomed for black Moors with curled hair, or negroes,
and some gold; owing to which that place is now called Rio de Oro, or the
Golden River, that thereby the desire of discovery might be the more
increased. He sent soon afterward one named Nunnez Tristan, who
discovered the islands of Arguin, who brought more slaves from thence to
Portugal in 1444. One Lancarote, a groom of Don Henrys chamber, and
three others, armed certain ships, with which they sailed along the coast
to the islands of Garze, where they took 200 slaves, which were the first
that were brought from thence to Portugal.

In 1445, Gonsalvo de Syntra, an esquire belonging to Don Henry, went
captain of a bark into these parts; and landing on the coast, was taken
by the natives, with six or seven of his people The place where he was
cut off got the name of Angra de Gonsalvo de Syntra from him; and this
was the first loss sustained by the Portuguese in their discoveries. In
1446, three caravels were sent out under Antonio Gonsales, Diego Aloizio,
and Gomes Perez; who were ordered to refrain from going to Rio de Oro, to
carry themselves peaceably to the natives, to traffic with them peaceably,
and to endeavour to convert as many infidels as possible to Christianity;
but in this they had no success. In the same year, Dennis Fernandes of
Lisbon, an esquire to the king, entered upon these discoveries, more to
acquire fame than for profit. In the course of his voyage he discovered
the river _Sanaga_ or Senegal, between 15 and 16 degrees of latitude[9];
and proceeding onwards, discovered Cape Verde, in 14 degrees[10], upon
which he erected a wooden cross, and then returned, much elated at the
success of his voyage. In 1447 Nunnez Tristan passed beyond Cape Verde to
Rio Grande, and went beyond that river to another in twelve degrees[11].
He was here taken and slain, with eighteen other Portuguese, and the ship
was brought home in safety by four or five of the crew who escaped the
hands of the negroes.

In this year 1447, a Portuguese ship, in coming through the Straits of
Gibraltar, was forced a great way to the westwards by a violent tempest,
and came to an island having seven cities, the inhabitants of which spoke
the Portuguese language, and they inquired of our mariners if the Moors
still infested Spain, whence their ancestors had fled to avoid the
distresses which occurred subsequent to the death of Don Roderigo, king
of Spain. The boatswain of this ship brought home some of the sand from
this island, and sold it to a goldsmith in Lisbon, who procured from it a
good quantity of gold. Don Pedro, who then governed the realm, being made
acquainted with this circumstance, caused the whole to be recorded in the
house of justice[12]. Some think that this island belonged to what is now
called the Antilles or New Spain; but though their reasons for this
opinion are good, I omit them here, as not connected with my present

In the year 1449, King Alphonso granted license to his uncle, Don Henry,
to colonize the Açores, which had been formerly discovered. In the year
1458, this king went into Africa, where he took the town of Alcaçer; and
in the year 1461, he commanded Signior Mendez to build the castle of
Arguin, in the island of that name, on the coast of Africa. In the year
1462, three Genoese gentlemen, of whom Antonio de Noli was the chief, the
others being his brother and nephew, got permission from Don Henry to
take possession of the Cape de Verde islands, which some believe to be
those called Gorgades, Hesperides, and Dorcades, by the ancients. But
they named them Mayo, Saint Jago, and Saint Philip, because discovered on
the days of those saints. Some call them the islands of Antonio. In the
year following, 1463, that excellent prince, Don Henry, died; having
discovered, by his exertions, the whole coast of Africa, from Cape Non to
the mountain of Sierra Liona, which is on this side of the line, in lat.
8° 30' N. where no man had been before.

In 1469, the king of Portugal let out the trade of Guinea, afterwards
called the Minas, to Fernan Gomez, for five years, at the yearly rent of
200,000 rees[13]; and under the express condition that he was every year
to discover 100 leagues farther along the coast of Africa to the south.
In 1470, this king went into Africa, accompanied by his son Prince John,
where he took the town of Arzila; and the inhabitants of Tangier having
fled from fear, he took possession of it also. In the year 1471, John de
St Aren and John de Scovar, under the orders of Fernan Gomez, continued
the discovery of the coast of Guinea as far as St George del Mina, in lat.
5° N. and 2° W. long.; the coast from Cape Verde to Cape Palmas trending
S.E. after which it goes to the east, with even a small northerly
inclination for about twelve degrees of longitude. In 1472, one Fernando
da Poo discovered the island now called after his name, beyond Cape
Formosa, in lat. 3° 40' N. and about the same time the islands del
Principe and St Thomas were discovered, the latter of which is situated
under the equinoctial line. The firm land also was explored at the same
time, all the way from the kingdom of Benin to Cape St Catherina, in lat.
1° 40' S. This last discovery was made by Sequetra, a person in the king's
immediate service. Many suppose that then were these countries and
islands discovered which had never been before known since the flood.

In the year 1480, the valiant King Don Alphonzo died, and was succeeded
by his son Don John II. who, in 1481, gave orders to Diego d'Azambuxa to
construct the castle of St George del Mina, on the African coast. In 1484,
Diego Caon, a knight belonging to the court, discovered the coast as far
as the river Congo, on the south side of the line, in seven or eight
degrees of latitude[14], where he erected a stone pillar, with the royal
arms and titles of Portugal, with the date of his discovery. He proceeded
southwards from thence along the coast, all the way to a river near the
tropic of Capricorn, setting up similar stone pillars in convenient
places. He afterwards returned to Congo, the king of which country sent
ambassadors by his ship into Portugal. In the next year, or the year
following, John Alonzo d'Aveiro brought home from Benin pepper with a
tail[15], being the first of the kind ever seen in Portugal.

In 1487, King John sent Pedro de Covillan and Alphonzo de Payva, both of
whom could speak Arabic, to discover India by land. They left Lisbon in
the month of May, and took shipping in the same year at Naples for the
island of Rhodes, and lodged there in the hotel of the Knights of St John
of Jerusalem, belonging to Portugal. From thence they went to Alexandria
and Cairo, and then along with a caravan of Moors to the haven of Toro.
There they embarked on the Red Sea, and proceeded to Aden, where they
separated; de Payva going into Ethiopia, while Covillan proceeded to
India. Covillan went to the cities of Cananor and Calicut, and thence to
Goa, where he took shipping for Sofala, on the eastern coast of Africa.
He thence sailed to Mosambique, and the cities of Quiloa, Mombaza, and
Melinda, returning back to Aden, where he and Payva had formerly
separated. Thence he proceeded to Cairo, where he hoped to have rejoined
his companion; but he here learnt by letter from the king his master,
that de Payva was dead, and he was farther enjoined by the king to travel
into the country of Abyssinia[16] He returned therefore, from Cairo to
Toro, and thence to Aden; and hearing of the fame of Ormuz, he proceeded
along the coast of Arabia by Cape Razalgate to Ormuz. Returning from the
Gulf of Persia to the Red Sea, he passed over to the realm of the
Abyssinians, which is commonly called the kingdom of Presbyter John, or
Ethiopia, where he was detained till 1520, when the ambassador, Don
Roderigo de Lima, arrived in that country. This Pedro de Covillan was the
first of the Portuguese who had ever visited the Indies and the adjacent
seas and islands.

In the year 1490, the king sent Gonzalo de Sosa to Congo with three ships,
carrying back with him the ambassador of the king of Congo, who had been
brought over to Portugal in 1484, by Diego Caon. During his residence in
Portugal, this ambassador and others of his company had been instructed
in the Christian religion, and baptized. Gonzalo de Sosa died during the
outward-bound voyage; and Ruy de Sosa, his nephew, was chosen to the
command of the expedition in his stead. Arriving in Congo, the king of
that country received them with much joy, and soon yielded himself and
the greater part of his subjects to be baptized; to the infinite
satisfaction of the Portuguese, who by these means converted so many
infidels from paganism to Christianity.

[1] The only quotations used in this Section in the original translation
    by Hakluyt, are from the Asia of John de Barros, Decade 1. which it
    has not been deemed necessary to refer to here more particularly.--E.

[2] It is singular that a Portuguese should not be more correct. Henry was
    the _fifth_ son.--Clarke.

[3] More accurately 28° 40'.--E.

[4] Opportunities will occur hereafter, in particular voyages, to discuss
    the circumstances of this wonderful tree.

[5] Galvano is again mistaken. Edward or Duarte was the _eldest_ son;
    Pedro the _third_.--Clarke.

[6] Dr Vincent, in his Periplus, considers this as a copy of the map of
    Marco Polo, which was exhibited in the church of St Michael de Murano,
    at Venice.--Clarke.

[7] Even if this were fact, it proves nothing, as the Cape of Good Hope
    must have been inserted merely by the fancy of the draughtsman.--
    Clarke.--It may be added, that in 1528, it was no difficult matter to
    wrong date a forged map, on purpose to detract from the merit of the
    actual discoverers.--E.

[8] More correctly in lat. 20° 54' N. There is another Cape Blanco in
    Morocco in lat. 33° 10' N. and this more southerly cape on the great
    desert is named Branca in our best charts.--E.

[9] The mouth of the Senegal is in lat. 15° 45' N.--E.

[10] More correctly, 14° 45' N.--E.

[11] It is difficult to ascertain these two rivers: The Rio Grande here
    meant is properly named Gambia. The river in 12° N. may be the
    Casamansa, the Santa Anna, or the St Dominico: which last is exactly
    in 12° N. the two others a little farther north, and nearer the Gambia.

[12] This is one of the many palpable and clumsy fables which were
    advanced to defraud Columbus of the honour of having discovered the
    new world, and is even more ridiculous, if possible, than the voyages
    of Zeno, adverted to in our _First_ Part.--E.

[13] Equal to L.138: 17: 9-1/4 d. English money.--Halk.

[14] Only 6° 45' S.--E.

[15] Mr Clarke explains this as _long pepper_; but besides that this by no
    means answers the descriptive name in the text, long pepper certainly
    is the production of the East Indies. The article here indicated was
    probably one of the many species, or varieties of the Capsicum; called
    Guinea pepper, Cayenne pepper, Bird pepper, and various other names.

[16] In the original this is called the country of Prester or Presbyter
    John. We have formerly, in the _First_ Part of this work, had occasion
    to notice the strange idea of a Christian prince and priest, who was
    supposed to have ruled among the pagan nations of eastern Tartary.
    Driven from this false notion, by a more thorough knowledge of Asia,
    the European nations fondly transferred the title of Prester John to
    the half Christian prince or Negus of the semi-barbarous Abyssinians.


_Summary of Discoveries made by the Spaniards and Portuguese, from the Era
of Columbus, in 1492, to the year 1555_.

In the year 1492, when Don Ferdinand king of Castile[1] was engaged in
the siege of Granada, he sent _one_ Christopher Columbus, a Genoese, with
three ships, for the discovery of Nova Spagna. This Columbus had first
offered his service lot a western discovery to John king of Portugal, who
refused to employ him. Being sufficiently furnished for his enterprize,
Columbus set out from the town of Palos on the third of August 1492,
having with him, as captains and pilots, Martin Alionzo Pinzon, Francis
Martinez Pinzori, Vincent Yannes Pinzon, and Bartholomew Columbus his
brother[2] with an hundred and twenty other persons in the three ships.
Some persons affirm, that this was the first voyage which was ever
conducted by the observation of latitudes[3]. They took the Canaries in
their way, whence shaping their course for Cipango, or towards Japan,
they were much amazed to find the sea all full of weeds, and with great
fear arrived at the Antilles on the tenth day of October; the first
island they descried, called Guanahany by the natives, they named San
Salvador. This island is in 25° N. latitude. After that they found many
islands, which they called the Princes. The savages of those parts call
these islands by the name of Lucaios, having indeed several names for
them, and they stand on the north side of the line, almost under the
tropic of Cancer. The island of St James, or Jamaica, lies between the
16th and 17th degrees of northern latitude[4]. Thence they went to the
island which the natives call Cuba, named Ferdinando by the Spaniards,
after the king, which is in 22 degrees; from whence they were conducted
by the Indians to another island called Hayti, named Isabella by the
Spaniards, in honour of the queen of Castile, and afterwards Hispaniola,
or Little Spain.

In that island the admirals ship was wrecked, and Columbus caused a fort
to be constructed of her timbers and planks, in which he left Roderigo de
Arana with a garrison of thirty-eight men, to learn the language and
customs of the country. Columbus then returned to Spain, carrying with
him samples of gold and pearls, and other productions of the country,
with ten Indians, six of whom died on the voyage; the rest were brought
to Spain and baptized. On their way home, Columbus touched at the Açores;
and on the fourth of March 1493, entered the port of Lisbon. This
discovery gave much discontent to the king of Portugal. Immediately on
his arrival, Columbus went into Castile, where he informed the king of
his discoveries and of the dissatisfaction of the king of Portugal. On
this he and his queen Isabella sent word of the recent discovery to Pope
Alexander VI, at which information he and all the Italians were much
astonished, as they marvelled that there should be any land besides what
had been known to the Romans. Alexander made a grant of all these
countries to the crowns of Castile and Leon, under condition that they
should labour to extirpate idolatry, and establish the holy faith of
Christ among the natives.

On the report of this discovery, so universal a desire of travelling
arose among the Spaniards, that they were ready as it were to leap into
the sea, that they might swim if possible to the newly discovered islands.
After receiving the authority of the Pope, King Ferdinando sent Columbus
a second time to the newly-discovered country, of which he made him
admiral, giving him many other honours, and a particular coat of arms,
having this motto,

  For Castile and for Leon
  A new world discovered Colon[A].

[A] Gomara, I. 1. c. 15.

Columbus set out on his second voyage to the Antilles on the 25th October
1493, taking his course from Cadiz, with seventeen ships and fifteen
hundred men, accompanied by his brothers Bartholomew and Diego Columbus,
with many other knights, gentlemen of the law, and priests; having
chalices, crosses, and other rich religious ornaments, and with great
power and dignity from the Pope. The tenth day after commencing their
voyage, they reached the Canaries; and from thence, in twenty-five or
thirty days, they sailed to the Antilles, the first island they saw being
in 14° N. due west from Cape de Verd in Africa. They called this island
Deseada[5], or the _desired island_, which is said to be 800 leagues from
the Canaries. They afterwards discovered many more islands, which they
called the Virgins, but which are named the Caribbee islands by the
natives, from a nation of that name, who are bold warriors, and excellent
marksmen with bows and arrows. They poison their arrows with the juice of
a certain herb, and whoever is wounded with these is sure to die, biting
himself like a mad dog. From thence they went to the principal island in
these parts, named Boriquen by the natives, and St John by the Spaniards;
and thence to Hispaniola, or Isabella, where they found all the men dead
whom they had left on returning from the former voyage. Columbus left
most of his people here to establish a colony, under the command of his
brothers; and went with two ships to continue his discovery of Cuba and
Jamaica. All these islands are between 16 and 20 degrees of northern
latitude[6]. While the admiral was sailing in quest of discoveries, his
brethren and those who were left in Hispaniola, were much incommoded by
an insurrection among the savages; and Columbus went back to Spain, to
give an account of his proceedings to the king and queen.

In January 1494, a congress of ambassadors from Spain and Portugal was
held at Tordesillas, for the settlement of all disputes between the two
countries respecting the new discoveries. The plenipotentiaries from
Spain were Don Henry Henriques, Don John de Cardenas, and the Doctor
Maldonado; those from Portugal, Ruy de Sosa, his son Don John, and the
doctor Ayres de Almada. After some conference, these plenipotentiaries
divided the world between the two crowns, by a meridian line drawn from
north to south, 300 leagues to the west of the islands of Cape Verd, all
to the east of this line being appropriated to Portugal, and all to the
west to Spain; leaving, however, the liberty of navigation equally to
both[7]. In 1495, John II. King of Portugal, died, and was succeeded by
his cousin Emanuel.

In the year 1496, a Venetian named John Cabota, or Gabota, went to
England; and having acquired a knowledge of the new discoveries, and
perceiving by the globe that the islands of the Antilles were almost in
the same latitude with his own country, and lay much nearer to England
than Spain and Portugal, he acquainted Henry VII. with this circumstance,
and offered his services to make discoveries for the crown of England.
Henry was much pleased with the proposal, and furnished him with two
ships and three hundred men, with which he set sail in the spring of that
year, and sailed west till he came in sight of land, in lat. 45°N. Whence
he sailed northwards till he came into the latitude of 60 degrees, where
the day is 18 hours long, and the night is very clear and bright. He
there found the air very cold, with great islands of ice, and found no
bottom with a line of 100 fathoms. From thence, finding the land turn
eastwards, he coasted along it, discovering all the bay and river named
Deseado[8], to see if it passed on to the other side of the land. Cabot
afterwards sailed down the coast to the lat. of 38°N. though some people
allege that he reached Cape Florida, in 25°N.

In the year 1497, Columbus was again sent out on discovery, with six
ships furnished by the crown of Spain, and two others fitted out at his
own expence. Sending his brother before, he sailed from Cadiz, taking his
son Don Diego along with him. It was then reported, that he meant to take
the island of Madeira, because he distrusted the Frenchmen, and therefore
sent three ships thither; others say, that his object was for the
Canaries. However this may be, he went with four ships to the Cape de
Verd islands, whence he ran along a parallel, finding great rains and
calms, and the first land he came to in the Antilles was an island in
nine degrees of north latitude, called Trinidada,[9] which lies close to
the main land. Here he entered the Gulf of Paria, and came out by the
Bocca de Dragone, or Dragons-mouth. Holding his course westwards along
the coast of Paria, he came to the islands called Los Testigos, or the
Witnesses, beyond which is the island of Cubagua, where there is a great
fishing for pearl-muscles, and where also there is a well of rock oil.
Beyond that he came to the Frailes islands, named Roques, Aruba, and
Curaçoa, and other small islands, along the coast of the main land, and
to the point of land named Cabo de Vela, having discovered 200 leagues of
coast. He thence crossed over the Caribbean Sea, directly north for
Hispaniola, passing by the island Beata.

In this same year[10] 1497, on the 20th day of June[11], King Emanuel
sent a squadron of three ships for India, commanded by one Vasques de
Gama, having under his command his brother Paulus de Gama and Nicolas
Coello, as captains of the other two ships, the whole having a complement
of 120 men. They were accompanied by a fourth ship laden with provisions.
In fourteen days they reached the island of St Jago, one of the Cape
Verds, whence they went along the coast beyond the Cape of Good Hope,
erecting pillars of stone in proper places, as marks of discovery and
possession, and came to Mosambique in lat. 15° S. After staying only a
short time there, de Gama went to Mombaza and Melinda, the king of which
last place gave him pilots, who conducted him to India, in which passage
he discovered Los Baxos do Padua, or the Flats of Padua. In the month of
May 1498, de Gama came to anchor before the city of Calicut, _and
Panama_[12], where they remained till the first day of September, when
they sailed towards the north, discovering all the coast till they came to
the island of Angediva, on the western side of India, in 15° N. where they
came to an anchor in the beginning of October. They remained here till
February 1499, when they departed on their voyage homewards; coming first
to Melinda, and so by Mosambique and along the coast to the Cape of Good
Hope, and by the islands of Cape de Verd, and lastly to the city of Lisbon,
in September of that year, having been absent on their voyage for twenty-
six months.

On the 13th of November 1499, Vincent Yannez Pinzon, who had sailed with
Columbus in his first voyage of discovery, and his nephew Aries Pinzon,
departed from the port of Palos with four well appointed ships, fitted
out at their own cost, having a license from the king of Spain to
prosecute discoveries in the new world, but with express orders not to
touch anywhere that had been visited by Columbus. Going first to the
islands of Cape de Verd, they passed the line and stood over towards the
new world, which they fell in with at Cape St Augustine, in lat. 8° 30' S.
where they carved on the barks of trees the date of their arrival, and
the names of the king and queen of Spain. They had several skirmishes
with the inhabitants of Brazil, but got no advantage. Following the coast
westwards[13], they entered the river named Maria Tambal, by which time
they had made above thirty prisoners. The chief places where they touched
were Cape St Augustine, Cape St Luke, Tierra de los Humos; the rivers of
Marannon and of the Amazons, and the Rio Dolce, or Sweet river[14], and
other places along the coast. At last, being come to 10° N. they lost two
of their ships with their crews, and returned home, after having employed
ten months and fifteen days in their voyage.

In March 1500, Pedro Alvarez Cabral sailed from Lisbon with thirteen
ships for India, being ordered not to go near the coast of Africa, that
he might shorten the voyage. Losing sight of one of his ships, he
deviated from his course in hopes to rejoin it, and sailed till he
unexpectedly fell in with the coast of Brazil, where he sent a bark in,
search of a safe harbour, which they found in 17° S. and called it Puerto
Seguro. From thence they made sail for the Cape of Good Hope and Melinda,
whence they crossed over to the river of Cochin, which was not before
known. Here they loaded with pepper; and on their return Sancho de Thovar
discovered the city of Sofala, on the eastern coast of Africa.

It is reported, that in the year 1500, one Gaspar Cortereal got a general
license from King Emanuel to make discoveries in the new world. He fitted
out two stout ships at his own cost, from the island of Tercera, and
sailed to that part of the new world which is in 50° N. which has been
since known by his name, and came home in safety to Lisbon. In a second
voyage, his own immediate vessel was lost, and the other came home. Upon
this, his brother Michael Cortereal went to seek him with three ships,
fitted out at his own charges; and finding many creeks and rivers on the
coast, the ships divided for the more effectual search, agreeing that
they should all meet again at an appointed time and place. The other two
ships did so; but after waiting a reasonable rime for Michael Cortereal,
it was concluded that he was also lost, on which the other two ships
returned to Lisbon, and no news was ever afterwards heard of the two
brothers; but the country where they were lost is still called the land
of Cortereal[15].

In March 1501, John de Nova sailed from Lisbon with four ships for India.
In his outward-bound voyage he discovered an island in the Atlantic, in
lat. 8° S. to which he gave the name of Ascension[16]. On his return from
India, he fell in with another island in the Atlantic in 17° S. called St
Helena, which, though very small, is yet of great importance from its
situation. In the month of May of the same year 1501, three ships were
sent from Lisbon by King Emanuel, to make a discovery of the coast of
Brazil, which had been accidentally fallen in with, by Cabral: Passing by
the Canaries, they stopped for refreshments at the town of Bezequiche in
the Cape Verds; and passing southwards from thence beyond the line, they
fell in with Brazil in five degrees of south latitude, at Cape St Roquo,
and sailed along the coast southwards, till they reckoned themselves to
have reached 32° S. Finding the weather cold and tempestuous, they turned
back in the month of April 1502, and got to Lisbon In September of that
year, having been out fifteen months on their voyage.

In the same year 1502, Alfonso Hojeda went to discover the Terra Firma,
and followed its coast till he came to the province of Uraba I7. In 1503,
Roderigo Bastidas of Seville went with two caravels at his own cost, to
the Antilles, where he first came to the Isla Verde, or the Green island,
close by Guadaloupe; whence he sailed westwards to Santa Martha and Cape
do la Vela, and to the Rio Grande or Great river. He afterwards
discovered the haven of Zamba, the Coradas, Carthagena, the islands of S.
Bernard de Baru, the Islas de Arenas, Isla Fuerta, and the Point of
Caribana, at the end of the Gulf of Uraba, where he had sight of the
Farrallones, close by the river of Darien. From Cape de la Vela to this
last place, which is in lat. 9° 40' N. is 200 leagues. From thence he
stood over to Jamaica for refreshments. In Hispaniola he had to lay his
ships on the ground to repair their bottoms, because a certain species of
worms had eaten many holes in the planks. In this voyage Bastidas
procured _four hundred marks_[18] of gold; though the people were very
warlike, and used poisoned arrows.

In the same year 1502, Columbus entered upon his fourth voyage of
discovery, with four ships, taking with him his son Don Ferdinando. The
particular object of this voyage, by command of King Ferdinand, was to look
out for the strait which was supposed to penetrate across the continent
of the new world, and by which a route to India by the west was expected
to be discovered. He sailed by Hispaniola and Jamaica to the river Azua,
Cape Higueras, the Gamares islands, and to Cape Honduras, which signifies
the Cape of the Depths. From thence he sailed eastwards to Cape Garcias a
Dios, and discovered the province and river of Veragua, the Rio Grande,
and others, which the Indians call Hienra. Thence to the river of
Crocodiles, now called Rio de Chagres, which rises near the South Sea,
within four leagues of Panama, and runs into the Caribbean Sea. He went
next to the Isle of Bastimentos, or of Provisions, and after that to
Porto Bello; thence to Nombre de Dios and Rio Francisco, and the harbour
of Retreat. Then to the Gulf of Cabesa Cattiva, the islands of Caperosa
and Cape Marmora; having discovered two hundred leagues along the coast.
He thence returned to the island of Cuba, and from that to Jamaica, where
he laid his ships aground, on account of their bottoms being much eaten
by the worms.

On the tenth of February 1S02, Don Vasques de Gama, now admiral, sailed
from Lisbon for India, with nineteen or twenty caravels. On the last day
of February he reached Cape de Verd, whence he went to Mosambique, and
was the first who crossed over from thence to India. In this passage he
discovered the islands of Amirante, in four degrees of south latitude.
Having taken in a cargo of pepper and drugs, de Gama returned to Lisbon,
leaving Vincent Sodre to keep the coast of India, with four stout ships.
These were the first of the Portuguese who navigated the coast of Arabia
Felix, which is so barren, that the inhabitants are forced to support
their camels and other cattle on dried fish. The sea on that coast is so
abundant in fish, that the cats are in use to take them. One Antonio de
Saldania is reported to have discovered Socotora, formerly named Coradis,
and the Cape of Guardafu in 1503.

In 1504, Roderigo de Bastidas, formerly mentioned, with the aid of John
de Ledesma, and others of Seville, fitted out two ships, and taking John
de Cosa as his pilot, went on discovery to the Terra Firma of America,
where Carthagena now stands. He is said to have here met with Lewis de la
Guerra, and they in conjunction landed in the island of Codego, where
they made prisoners of 600 savages. Going a little farther along the
coast, they entered the Gulf of Uraba, where they found sand mingled with
gold, being the first of that kind which was brought to Spain. From
thence they sailed for St Domingo, loaded with slaves, but almost
famished for want of victuals, as the natives refused to traffic with
them for any. In the end of this year Isabella, queen of Castile, died.
While she lived, no subject of Arragon, Catalonia, Valencia, or any other
of the provinces, depending on her husband King Ferdinand, was allowed to
sail to any of the newly-discovered countries; but only her own subjects
of Castile and Biscay, by whom all these lands were discovered; excepting
only such of her husbands subjects as might be in a servile capacity to
her own, or a few that could procure special licenses.

In 1505, on the twenty-fifth of March, Francisco de Almeida, the viceroy
of India, sailed from Lisbon with a fleet of twenty-two sail. On his way
to India, he stopped at Quiloa, where he built a fort, appointing Peter
Fereira to command it. From beyond Melinda he passed over to the island
of Anguediva, of which he appointed Emanuel Passavia to be captain. He
built a fort also at Cananor, of which he gave the command to Laurence de
Brito; and one at Cochin, which was given in charge to Alphonso de
Noronha. This year likewise, Peter de Anahay built a fort at Sofala, of
which he was made captain. In the latter end of this year the viceroy
commanded his son Laurenço to go to the islands of Maldivia. Beating up
against contrary winds, he arrived at these islands which in ancient
times were called Traganæ[19], but Ytterubenero by the Moors, and by us
Ceilan. Here he went on shore, and entered into treaty with the people,
and returned to Cochin. In the middle of this island there is a high rock,
having the print of a mans foot, said to have been that of Adam when he
ascended to heaven, which the Indians hold in great reverence.

In 1506, after the death of Isabella, King Philip and Queen Joan came to
take possession of the crown of Castile, and. King Ferdinand retired into
his own dominions of Arragon. In that same year Philip died, and
Ferdinand resumed the government, giving license to all Spaniards to go
to the new discovered countries; but not allowing the Portuguese to go
there. In this year, likewise, Christopher Columbus died, in the month of
May, and was succeeded in his dignities by his son Don Diego.

In March 1506, Tristan de Acunha and Alphonso de Albuquerque went to
India with fourteen ships, and refreshed by the way at Bezequiche, in the
Cape de Verd islands. Before reaching the Cape of Good Hope they
discovered certain islands, in 37° S. which are now called the islands of
Tristan de Acunha. During this voyage, the fleet was dispersed by a
tempest, and Alvaro Teliz ran so far that he came to Sumatra, whence he
returned to Cape Guardafu, having discovered many islands, seas, and
countries, not known before that time to the Portuguese. At the same time,
Emanuel Telez de Meneses was driven on the outside of the great island of
St Lawrence, or Madagascar, and having surveyed its coasts, came to
Mosambique, where he met with Tristan de Acunha, who was the first
captain that wintered there. Meneses, having reported that there was
plenty of ginger, cloves, and silver in Madagascar, was sent back there,
and traversed a considerable part of the island; but not finding any
thing of value, returned to Mosambique, whence he went to Melinda, and
Brava, and thence to Socotora, where he built a fort, of which he
appointed one Antonio de Noronha to be captain. In 1507, Tristan de
Acunha returned to Europe, and Alphonso de Albuquerque remained in India
with five or six ships, to keep the command of the sea. In the course of
that year or the next, Albuquerque stood over to discover the coast of
Arabia, which he explored, and doubled the Cape of Rosalgate, which is
under the tropic of Cancer.

In 1509, Diego Lopez de Sequiera went from Lisbon for India with four
ships; and stopping at the island of Madagascar was almost a year on his
voyage. Arriving at Cochin in the month of May, the viceroy gave him
another ship, in which he went to Malacca in September passing between
the islands of Nicubar and many others. He went also to Sumatra; to the
cities of Pedir and Pacem; and all along that coast to the island of
Puloreira, and the fiats of Capacia; thence he stood over to the city of
Malacca, in lat. 2° N. where the people took and slew some of his men.
After this he returned to Cochin, having discovered five hundred leagues
in this voyage. The island of Sumatra is the first land in which we knew
of mens flesh being eaten, by certain people in the mountains called
Bacas, who gild their teeth. In their opinion the flesh of the blacks is
sweeter than that of the whites. The flesh of the oxen, kine, and hens in
that country is as black as ink. A people is said to dwell in that
country, called _Daraqui-Dara_, having tails like sheep[20]. There are
likewise springs of rock oil or bitumen. In the kingdom of Pedir,
likewise, there is said to be a river of oil; which is not to be wondered
at, as we are assured there is also a well of oil in Bactria. It is
further said that there is a tree in that country, the juice of which is
a strong poison if it touch a mans blood; but if drank, it is a sovereign
antidote against poison. They have here also certain gold coins, called
drachms, brought, as they say, into their country by the Romans[21],
which seems to have some resemblance to truth, because beyond that
country there are no gold coins.

In 1508, Alphonso de Hojeda went with the license of King Ferdinand, but
at his own charges, to conquer the province of Darien, in the Terra Firma
of the new world. Landing in the country of Uraba, he called it Castilia
del Oro, or Golden Castile, because of the gold found in the sand along
its coast. He went first from the city of San Domingo, in Hispaniola,
with four ships and three hundred soldiers, leaving behind him the
bachelor Anciso, who afterwards compiled a book of these discoveries. He
was followed by a fourth ship with provisions and ammunition, and a
reinforcement of 150 Spaniards. Hojeda landed at Carthagena, where the
natives took, slew, and devoured seventy of his men, by which his force
was much weakened. Some time after but in the same year, Diego de Niquesa
fitted out seven ships in the port of Beata, intending to go to Veragua
with 800 men; but coming to Carthegana, where he found Hojeda much
weakened by his losses, they joined their forces, and avenged themselves
of the natives. In this voyage Niquesa discovered the coast called Nombre
de Dios, and went into the sound of Darien, on the river Pito, which he
named Puerto de Misas. Coming to Veragua, Hojeda went on shore with his
soldiers, and built there the town of Caribana, as a defence against the
Caribbees; being the first town built by the Spaniards on the continent
of the new world. He also built another at Nombre de Dios, and called it
Nuestra Seniora de la Antigua. A town was built at Uraba, in which
Francis Pisarro was left with the command, who was there much annoyed by
the natives. They likewise built other towns, the names of which I omit.
In this enterprize the Spaniards did not meet with the success they

In 1509, Don Diego Columbus, the second admiral of New Spain, went to the
island of Hispaniola with his wife and household; and she, being a noble
woman, carried with her many ladies of good families, who were there
married; by which means the Spaniards began to multiply in their new
colony, and Hispaniola became famous and much frequented. Columbus
likewise reduced Cuba into order, and took measures for its colonization,
where he placed one Diego Velasques as his lieutenant, who had
accompanied his father in his second voyage of discovery.

In April 1511, Alphonso de Albuquerque went to Malacca from Cochin; and
finding certain Chinese about to return from Malacca into their own
country, he sent a Portuguese along with them, named Duarte Fernandes,
with letters for the king of the Mantias, now called Siam. They passed
through the Straits of Cincapura, and sailed northwards along the coast
of Patane to the city of Cuy, and thence to Odia, the chief city of the
kingdom, in 14° N.[22]. The king of this country received Duarte with
great honour, as he was the first Portuguese who had been in these parts,
and sent back ambassadors along with him to Albuquerque. They travelled
overland to the westwards, till they came to Tanacerim, on the Bay of
Bengal, in 12° N. where they embarked in two ships and sailed to Malacca.
The inhabitants of Siam, through which they travelled, eat of all kinds
of beasts, and even of what we repute to be vermin. The people of this
country are reputed the most virtuous and honest of any in those parts of
the world, and pride themselves much on their poverty and chastity; yet
have a strange practice of carrying round bells within their foreskins,
which is not permitted to the king and priests. They do not rear any
poultry or pigeons about their houses. The kingdom is 250 leagues in
length and 80 in breadth[23].

Elephants are so numerous in this country, that on going to war, the king
is said to carry 30,000 into the field, besides others which are left in
the several garrisons. This king has great pride in the possession of a
white elephant, having red eyes, which glare like a flame of fire. In
this country there is a certain species of small vermin, which attaches
itself to the trunks of the elephants, to suck their blood, by which many
elephants die. The skull of this insect[24] is so hard as to be
impenetrable to a musket shot. They have on their livers the figures of
men and women, which the natives call Toketa, resembling a mandrake; and
it is affirmed, that whoever has one of these about him cannot be killed
by an iron weapon. They have also wild kine in this country, in the heads
of which certain stones are found, which have the virtue to bring good
fortune to merchants.

After the return of Duarte Fernandes from Siam, Albuquerque sent a knight
named Ruy Nunnez de Acunha, as ambassador to the king of the Sequies, the
country we now call Pegu. He went in a junk of the country, passing Cape
Rachado, and thence to the city of Pera, on the river Salano, on which
river are many other villages, where Duarte had been before; and he
afterwards went by Tanaçerim to the city of Martavan, in 15° N. and the
city of Pegu in 17° N. This was the first Portuguese who travelled in
that kingdom, and who brought back a good account of the country and

In the end of 1511, Albuquerque sent three ships to the islands of Banda
and Molucca, under command of Antonio de Breu and Francis Serrano, with
an hundred and twenty men. Passing through the Straits of Saban, and
along the island of Sumatra, and other islands on their left, named the
Salites, they came to the islands of Palimbang and Lu-Suparam, whence
they sailed by the noble island of Java, and eastwards between it and the
island of Madura. In this last island the men are strong and warlike, and
care little for their lives, even their women going out to war. These
people are almost continually engaged in war and mutual slaughter, like
the Mocos, and seem to place their only delight in bloodshed. Beyond Java
they came to another island called Bali, and afterwards to Avajave,
Sambaba, Solor, Galao, Malva, Vitara, Rosalanguin, and Arus; whence are
brought beautiful birds, in much estimation on account of their
feathers[25]. Beyond these islands they came to numbers of others, lying
in 7 or 8 degrees of south latitude, all so close together as to appear
like one entire mainland, and stretching near 500 leagues in length. The
ancient cosmographers describe all these islands by one general name, the
_Javos_; but more recent knowledge has found that they have all separate
names. Beyond these, and more to the north, there are other islands, which
are inhabited by a whiter people, clothed in shirts, doublets, and
trowsers, something like the Portuguese dress, and who also have silver
money. Their magistrates carry red staves in their hands, as badges of
command, and seem to have some affinity in this respect with the people of
China. There are other islands in these parts, or which the inhabitants
are red; and it is reported they are the same people with the Chinese.

De Breu went northwards to the small island of Gumnape or Ternate, from
the highest part of which flakes or streams like fire fell continually
into the sea. He went thence to the islands of Burro and Amboyna, and
came to anchor in the haven of Guliguli, where, in a village near a river,
they found dead men hanging up in the houses, as the people are cannibals.
Here they burnt the ship of Serrano, as she was old and rotten; and going
to a place on the other side of the island, in 8° S. they loaded cloves,
nutmegs, and mace, in a junk or barque, which Serrano bought. It is said,
that in an island not far from Banda, there are immense quantities of
snakes, especially in a cave in the centre of the island. The same is
said of Formentera, in the Mediterranean, anciently Ophiusa, between
Majorca and Minorca. On their return from Banda towards Malacca, in 1512,
Francis Serrano perished with his junk on the flats called Baxos de
Luçapinho, nine or ten of the Portuguese crew escaping to the island of
Mindanao, who were sent for by the kings of the Moluccas. These were the
first of the Portuguese who came to the Islands of Cloves, which are in
lat. 1° N. and they remained there seven or eight years. Some Portuguese
and princes of the Moors once endeavoured to go near that part of the
isle of Ternate which throws out fire, but could not accomplish it. But
Antonio Galvano accomplished this enterprise, and found a spring so cold
that he could not bear his hand in the water, nor suffer any of it in his
mouth, though almost directly under the line.

In these Molucca islands, there are certain men who have spurs on their
ancles like cocks; and I was told by the king of Tidore, that in the
islands of Batochina, there are people with tails, who have a lactiferous
nipple on the scrotum. There are small hens also in these parts, many of
which are black in the flesh, and lay their eggs, larger than those of
ducks, in holes above nine feet under ground. They have likewise hogs
with horns, and excellent talking parrots, which they call _Noris_. There
is also a river so very hot that it takes off the skin of any living
creature that bathes in its waters, and yet contains living fish. Their
crabs are very sweet to eat, yet their claws are so strong that they will
break the iron of a pickax; and there are small hairy crabs in the sea
which are rank poison, as whoever eats of them immediately dies. In these
seas are certain oysters, called _Bras_, having shells of so great size,
that they might serve as fonts for baptizing children. In these seas
there are certain living stones, which grow and increase like plants, of
which excellent lime may be made by burning in the usual manner, when
taken fresh from the sea; but, if allowed to remain long in the air, it
loses all its strength, and will not afterwards burn into line. There is
a tree which bears flowers only at sunset, which fell off immediately
when blown. There is likewise a certain fruit, whereof if a woman who has
conceived shall eat, the child by and by moves. There is, farther, a
certain herb which followeth the sun, and removes after it, which is a
strange and marvellous thing.

In 1512, while on the voyage from Malacca to Goa, the ship in which
Albuquerque embarked was lost. Simon de Andrada and a few Portuguese were
driven among the Maldivia islands, where they remained till they learnt
the fate of the viceroy. These islands are low, small, and very numerous,
and are full of palm trees, or _Cocoas_, which are good against all kinds
of poison.

In this year 1512, John de Solis, a native of Lisbon, and chief pilot to
King Ferdinand, went from Spain by license to discover the coast of
Brazil. Following the course of the Pinsons, he went to Cape St Augustine,
and thence sailed along the whole coast to the harbour of De Lagoa; and
in lat. 35° S. he discovered a river called Parana-guaçu, or the Great
River, and from signs of silver he gave it the name of Rio de la Plata,
or the River of Silver. It is even said that he went farther at this time;
and returning into Spain, gave an account of his discovery to King
Ferdinand, from whom he demanded and obtained leave to colonize the
country, and received the appointment of governor. On this he provided
three ships, and returned to that country in 1515, but was slain by the
natives. The family of de Solis produced several great discoveries in
these parts[26].

In the same year 1512, John Ponce de Leon, who had been governor of the
island of St John in the Antilles, armed two ships, with which he went in
search of the island of Boyuca, where it was reported there was a spring
which made old men young again; but after searching for six months he
could not find it. In 25° N. he discovered a point of the continent upon
Easter-day, which he called the country of Florida; and because he
expected the land would yield gold and silver, he begged it from King
Ferdinand, but died in the discovery of the country, as many had done

In the year 1513, Vasco Nunnes de Valboa, or Balboa, hearing of the
_South Seas_, determined to go thither; and being a man of courage,
though strongly dissuaded by several of his company, he marched on the
enterprize with 290 men. Leaving Darien on the first of September, and
taking some Indians along with him as guides, he marched directly across
the isthmus, sometimes without opposition, and having at other times to
fight his way. In a certain place called Careca, he found some negroes
with curled hair, who were captives among the Indians. At length, on the
25th of the same month of September, being the festival of St Michael, he
came in sight of the South Sea: He there embarked in a canoe, much
against the will of _Chiapes_, the cacique of that part of the coast, who
endeavoured to persuade him that the navigation was very dangerous; but
he persisted in his design, that he might be the first who had navigated
this new discovered sea, and came back in safety. He returned thence to
Darien, bringing with him a good store of gold, silver, and pearls, which
he had taken during the march; and for this good service, he was much
honoured and favoured by King Ferdinand.

In February 1513, Alphonsus de Albuquerque went from Goa towards the
Straits of Mecca with twenty ships, and arriving at the city of Aden,
battered it with his cannon, and passing the Straits entered the Red Sea,
and wintered at the island of Camaran. This was the _first_ Portuguese
captain who gave an account of the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, which
are of great importance in regard to trade.

In May 1514, Pedro Arias de Avila was sent out from St Lucar, as governor
of Castilia del Oro, or the Golden Castile, for so the Spaniards named
the countries of Darien, Carthagena, and Uraba. He carried with him
fifteen hundred men and seven ships; and Vasco Nunnes de Balboa, who
discovered the South Seas, was sent out at the same time as admiral of
the coasts of that newly discovered sea. In the beginning of the year
1515, de Avila sent Gaspar Morales with 150 men to the Gulf of St Michael,
to discover the islands of Tararequi[27], Chiapes, and Tumaccus. A
cacique, the friend of Balboa, gave him many canoes, or boats made of one
tree, with which they passed to the Isle of Pearls, where they were at
first resisted; but Chiapes and Tumaccus pacified the cacique of that
island, who submitted himself, and received baptism, taking the name of
the governor, Pedro Arias, and presented Morales with a basket of pearls
weighing 110 pounds, some of which were as large as hazel nuts, weighing
20, 25, 26, and even 31 carats, each of four grains; and one of these
pearls was sold for 1200 ducats. In March 1515, de Avila sent Gonsalva de
Badajos, with 80 soldiers, to discover new lands, who went to Nombre de
Dios, where he was joined by Lewis de Mercado with a reinforcement of 50
men. They resolved to proceed to the south, as the richest country; and
taking some Indians as guides, they found some slaves along the coast
marked with the irons used by the Portuguese. They marched a considerable
way through the country with much difficulty, but made a considerable
booty in gold, and took forty serviceable slaves. But a caçique, named
Pariza, attacked them and slew or took most of the party. After this the
governor sent out his son, John Arias de Avila, to be revenged and to
explore the country. This party went westwards to Cape de Guerra, in
little more than 6° N. and thence to Punta de Borica, and to Cape Blanco,
in 8° 30' N. having, as they affirm, discovered 250 leagues; and besides
this they founded the city of Panama.

In the month of May 1515, Alphonsus de Albuquerque, the Portuguese
viceroy of India, sent Fernando Gomes de Limos from Ormus, as ambassador
to the Xec or Shah Ismael, king of Persia; and it is said they travelled
300 leagues through a country as pleasant as France. This Xec, or Shah
Ismael, went much a-hunting, and was fond of trout fishing, which are
abundant in the rivers of his kingdom. The women of Persia are the most
beautiful in the world; insomuch that Alexander the Great used to call
them the _golden-eyed women_. In this year died the viceroy Alphonsus de
Albuquerque, who was succeeded by Lopez Suares.

In 1516, Fernando Perez de Andrada was commanded by the king of Portugal
to pass to the great kingdom of China and likewise to Bengala, with a
dispatch to John Coelo, who was the first Portuguese who drank of the
waters of the Ganges. In April 1517, Andrada took in a loading of pepper
at Cochin, as the principal merchandize for sale in China, for which
country he sailed with eight ships, four Portuguese and four Malayans. On
his arrival in China, finding he could not be allowed to land without an
embassy, he dispatched Thomas Perez, with instructions for that purpose,
from the city of Canton, where they came to anchor. The embassy travelled
400 leagues by land to the city of Pekin, where the king resided; for
China is the largest kingdom in the world. From Sailana in the south,
which is in 20° N. it reaches to the latitude almost of 50° N. which must
be 500 leagues in length, and it is said to be 300 leagues in breadth[28].
Fernando Perez was fourteen months in the isle of Veniaga, endeavouring
to acquire as much knowledge as he could of the country; and although one
Raphael Perestrello had formerly been there, in a junk belonging to some
merchants of Malacca, yet Perez certainly deserves the merit of this
discovery; as well because he acted by the command of the king his master,
as in discovering so much by land by means of Thomas Perez, and by sea
through George Mascarenhas, who sailed to the city of Foquiam, in 24° N.

In the year 1517, in which Charles, afterwards emperor, came into Spain,
Francis Fernandes de Cordova, Christopher Morantes, and Lopez Ochoa,
armed three ships from Cuba, at their own expence, having also with them
a barque belonging to the governor Diego Velasques, with which they came
to land in Jucutan, in 20° N. at a place which they called Punta de las
Duennas, which was the first place in which temples and houses of stone
and lime had been seen in the new world. The people here, who were better
clothed than in any other place, had crosses which they worshipped, and
set upon the tombs of their dead, whence it appeared as if they had
formerly been in the faith of Christ; and some suppose that this had been
the situation of the _seven cities_. In this expedition they were upon
the north coast of Jucutan, being the first discovery of New Spain, or
Mexico; and they returned thence to Cuba with some samples of gold, and
some prisoners.

In the year 1518[29], Lopez Suares commanded Don John de Silveira to go
and make peace with the Maldive islands, which he did accordingly. From
thence Silveira went to the city of Chatigam, or Chittigong, on one of
the mouths of the Ganges, under the tropic of Cancer; for it is to be
noted, that this river, and the Indus, which lies 100 leagues beyond Diu,
and the river of Canton in China, all fall into the sea under one
parallel of latitude. Although, before this period, Fernando Perez had
been commanded to sail to Bengal, yet Silveira must be looked upon as the
actual discoverer of that country; for he went as captain-general, and
remained there long, making himself acquainted with the manners of the
people, and the commodities of the country.

In the same year 1518[30], Diego Velasquez, governor of the island of
Cuba, dispatched his nephew, John de Grisalva, on the first of May, with
four ships and two hundred soldiers, to discover Jucutan. On the 3d of
May, he fell in with the island of Cozumel, in 19° north latitude, which
he named Santa Cruz, because discovered on the 3d of May, being the
anniversary of the holy cross. Grisalva coasted along the land, on the
west side of the bay of Honduras, and came to an island, which he named
Ascension, because discovered on Ascension day. They went unto the end of
that island, in 16° of latitude, whence they came back, finding no
passage[31], and proceeded to a river in lat. 17° N. which they called
the river of Grisalva. They were boldly opposed by the people on this
coast; yet they brought thence some gold, silver, and feathers, and
returned to Cuba. In the same year, Francis Garay fitted out three ships
from Jamaica at his own expence, and went to Cape Florida, in lat. 25° N.
which seemed a most pleasant island; and thinking it better to people
islands than the firm land, because more easily conquered and kept under
subjection, he went on land; but the inhabitants of Florida killed a
great many of his people, and he was forced to re-embark and go away.
Sailing from thence he came to the river of Panuco, 500 leagues from Cape
Florida, sailing all the way along the coast, and endeavouring to land in
various places, but the natives repulsed him in every place. Many of his
people were killed and eaten by the savages in Chila, the natives hanging
up their skins in the temples of their gods, as a memorial of their own
valour. Yet Garay visited this place next year, as he had seen some
indications of gold and silver, and even applied to the emperor to be
appointed governor of the coast he had discovered. In February 1519[32],
Fernando Cortez sailed from Cuba for the country now called New Spain,
with eleven ships and 550 Spaniards. He landed first in the island of
Cozumel, where he immediately destroyed all the idols, and planted
crosses and images of the Virgin on all the altars. From thence he went
to the Cabo de las Duennas, on the peninsula of Yucatan, and thence to
the river of Tabasco, where he attacked a city called Potoncion. This
place was surrounded with wood; the houses were built of stone and lime,
and roofed with tiles, and the people resisted the assailants manfully;
but St James appeared on horseback to the assistance of the Spaniards,
and they took the place. This, as the first town subdued by them on the
continent, they named Vittoria. From thence they went to a place named St
Juan de Vilhua, said to be 60 or 70 leagues from Mexico, where one
Tendilli was governor for King Muteçuma. Though the Spaniards and he
could not understand each other, yet Tendilli gave them good
entertainment. Cortes had twenty women along with his expedition, one of
whom, named Marine, was born in the country of the Indians, and was the
first native of New Spain who received baptism. She and Anguilar served
as interpreters between Cortes and the natives. Tendilli sent immediate
intelligence to Muteçuma, that there had arrived in his country a bearded
people, for so they called the Castilians. On the reception of this news,
Muteçuma was greatly troubled, for his gods, or devils rather, had
revealed that a people of the description of these Spaniards was to
overthrow his law and dominion, and to become lords of the country;
wherefore Muteçuma sent gifts to the value of twenty thousand ducats to
Cortes, but refused any interview.

As the ships could not ride in safety at St Juan de Vilhua, Cortes sent
Francis de Montejo, and the pilot Antonio Alaminos, in two brigantines,
to look out for a safe anchorage. They went to Panuco, in lat. 23° N.
whence they came back to Culvacan as a safer harbour. But Cortes went by
land westwards to a city named Zempoallan, where he was well received.
From thence he went to Chiavitztlan, with the lord of which town, and of
all the surrounding country, he entered into a league against Muteçuma.
On the arrival of his ships at the appointed haven, he went there and
built a town, which he named _Villa rica de la Vera Cruz_. From thence he
sent a vessel to Spain with presents, and a letter to the Emperor Charles
V. giving an account of his proceedings, and of his determination to
visit Muteçuma, and soliciting a commission as governor of the

Before proceeding on his march to Mexico, Cortes destroyed all his ships,
lest his men might mutiny, as they seemed disposed; and leaving 150
Spaniards in Vera Cruz, with as many Indians to serve them, he began his
march. Going first to Zempoallan, he learnt that Francis Garay was on the
coast with four ships, and he contrived to inveigle nine of his men, from
whom he understood that Garay, who had been in Florida, was now at the
river Panuco, where he had got some gold, and meant to remain and build a
town, now called Almeria. Cortes destroyed the idols of Zempoallan, and
overthrew the tombs of their kings, whom the people worshipped as gods,
and exhorted them to worship the true God. He set out from Zempoallan for
Mexico on the 16th of August 1519, and after three days march came to the
city of Zalapan, and thence to another named Sicuchimatl; at both of
which places he was well received, and was offered to be conducted to
Mexico, such being the orders of Muteçuma. Going from thence he ascended
a hill three leagues high, on which vines were seen growing; and in
another place he saw above a thousand load of wood ready cut. Beyond this
he passed a plain country, which he named Nombre de Dios. At the foot of
this mountain, he rested his troops at a place called Teuhixuacan; whence,
through a desert country, he came to another mountain, which was covered
with snow and excessively cold, and where the troops rested in a town
named Zacotlan. Marching thus from town to town, he arrived at a
territory called Tlaxcallan, which was at war with Muteçuma; and as the
people were valiant, they fought against Cortes; but at length they
agreed, and formed a league with him against the Mexicans.

Thus, from country to country, he came at length within sight of Mexico;
and Muteçuma, being afraid, received him kindly, giving him and all his
people lodgings in the capital, and all things necessary. After a time,
fearing to be slain, Cortes made Muteçuma prisoner, and brought him to
his own quarters, keeping him under a secure guard. Cortes inquired at
Muteçuma the extent of his dominions, where the mines of gold and silver
were, and the number of kings who dwelt in the land. And joining eight
intelligent Spaniards with an equal number of Indians, he sent them, in
four companies, to travel into four separate countries, Zucolla,
Malinaltepec, Tenich, and Tututepec. The messengers to Zucolla had 80
leagues to travel, and those who went to Malinaltepec 70; both of which
provinces were under subjection to Muteçuma: they found both of these
countries fertile and well peopled, and they brought back samples of gold,
which the natives found in the rivers. The country of Tenich was at war
with Muteçuma, and would not admit the Mexicans into their country; but
they sent ambassadors to Cortes with presents, offering him their amity,
at which Muteçuma was much displeased. Those who went to Tututepec, near
the South Sea, brought back samples of gold, and praised the pleasantness
of the country; reporting that there were many good harbours on the coast,
and they presented to Cortes a beautiful cloth of cotton, on which the
coast, with all its harbours and creeks, was distinctly represented. But
at this time, by the coming of Pamphilus de Narvaez, the whole kingdom of
Mexico was thrown into confusion.

On the 10th August 1519, Fernando de Magellanes went from Seville with
five ships, on a voyage for the islands of, Malacca[34]. Going along the
coast of Brazil, he came to the Rio Plata, which had been previously
discovered by the Spaniards. Thence prosecuting his voyage of discovery,
he came to Port St Julians, in lat. 49° S. where he lost one of his ships.
With the remaining four he came to the straits named after himself, in
52° 80' S. and wintered in that place, where he and his people endured
much distress from snow and ice, and extreme cold. They found the people
of the country of extraordinary stature and great strength, insomuch that
they took men by the legs, and rent them asunder as easily as one of us
could tear a hen in two. These people, named _Pataganes_, but called
_Morcas_ by the Brazilians, live on fruits and by the produce of the
chase. In the beginning of September of the following year, 1520, the
weather became somewhat temperate, and leaving Port St Julian, Magellanes
went to the straits which now bear his name; whence one of the ships
returned to Spain, of which Stephen de Porto, a Portuguese, was captain
and pilot. The other three passed through into a vast sea called the
_Pacific_; where they found no inhabited land till they arrived in lat.
13° N. when they came to certain islands named _Los Jardines_. They
sailed thence to the archipelago of St Lazarus, where, in an island named
_Matan_, Magellanes was slain and his ship burnt. The remaining two ships
went to Borneo, and thence to the Moluccas, leaving many others
discovered, which I do not mention, because I have not seen any exact
account of this voyage[35].

About this time Pope Leo X. sent Paulus Centurio on an embassy to the
great duke of Muscovy, requiring him to send an army along the coast of
Tartary into India; and the duke was almost persuaded to have made the
attempt, if certain inconveniencies had not hindered[36].

In February 1520, Diego Lopez de Sequeira, governor of India, sailed by
the strait of Mecca[37], carrying with him the ambassador of Prester John
and Roderigo de Lima, who was sent ambassador to that prince. They came
to the island of Maçua or Massoua, on the African shore of the Red Sea,
in lat. 17° N. where the ambassadors and their Portuguese attendants were
set on shore. Peter de Covillan had been sent there formerly by John II.
of Portugal; but the best account of that country was furnished by
Francis Alvarez.

In this year 1520, the licentiate Lucas Vasques de Aillon, and others of
St Domingo, sent two ships to procure slaves at the Lucayos or Bahama
islands; but finding none there, they passed on along the continent,
beyond Florida, to certain countries called Chicora and Gualdape, and to
the river Jordan and Cape St Helena, in lat. 32° N.[38]. The Spaniards
landed here, and were hospitably received by the natives, who furnished
them with every thing they needed: but, having inveigled many of the
unsuspecting natives on board their ships, they carried them away for
slaves. In their way back to St Domingo, one of these vessels was lost,
and the other was in great danger. On learning the news of this discovery,
the licentiate Aillon made application to the emperor for the government
of that country, where he expected to find much wealth, and received the

About this time, learning the success of Cortes in Mexico, and that he
had applied to the emperor for the commission of governor, Diego
Velasques, governor of Cuba, who considered that it ought to belong to
him, fitted out an armament of eighteen ships, under the command of
Pamphilus de Narvaez, already mentioned, with a thousand men and eighty
horses, whom he sent to Mexico in order to supersede Cortes. Landing in
the neighbourhood of Vera Cruz, he sent an order to the garrison to
receive him as governor; but they made his messenger prisoner, and sent
him to Cortes, then at Mexico. On this Cortes wrote to Narvaez, desiring
him not to raise any disturbance in the country, and offering to submit
to his authority if he held a commission from the emperor. But Narvaez
corrupted the people of the country; upon which Cortes went from Mexico,
and took Narvaez prisoner in the town of Zempoallan, putting out one of
his eyes. After this the soldiers of Narvaez submitted to Cortes; who
detached two hundred soldiers to the river of Garay or Panuco, and a
similar detachment under John Vasquez de Leon to Cosualco. He sent
likewise a messenger to Mexico with an account of his victory; but the
natives, having risen in rebellion, killed his messenger.

Cortes now set forwards on his return to Mexico, with one thousand foot
soldiers and two thousand horsemen, and found Peter de Alvarado and the
garrison he had left in Mexico in charge of Muteçuma, in safety. But the
Mexicans continued their insurrection, and on one occasion Muteçuma was
killed by a stone thrown by one of his own subjects. They then elected
another king, and the Spaniards were forced to evacuate the city with
great difficulty and danger. Driven out of Mexico, and having only 504
footmen and 40 horse remaining, Cortes retired with much difficulty to
Tlaxcallan, where he was well received. He here mustered a force of 900
Spanish infantry and 80 cavalry, and gathered 200,000 Indians among the
friends and allies whom he had secured, enemies of the Mexicans, and
marched back to Mexico, which he took in August 1521[39].

In October 1521, Cortes sent 200 foot and 35 horse, with a number of his
Indian allies, under the command of Gonsalo de Sandoval, against
Tochtepec and Coazacoalco, which had rebelled, and which Sandoval reduced
to obedience. To retain this country under subjection, he built a town
called _Medelin_, 120 leagues from Mexico, and another named _Santo
Spirito_, on a river four leagues from the sea[40]. In this year 1521,
died Emanuel, king of Portugal, and was succeeded by his son, John III.

In this same year, one of Magellan's ships sailed from Malacca with a
loading of cloves. They victualled at the island of Burro, and went from
thence to Timor, in lat. 11° S.[41]. Beyond this island, about 100
leagues, they came to other islands, all inhabited, one of which was
called _Eude_. Passing on the outside of Sumatra, they found no land till
they arrived at the Cape of Good Hope, where they took in wood and water;
and sailing thence by the islands of Cabo Verde, they arrived at Seville,
where they were received with great honour, both on account of their
valuable cargo of cloves, and because they had circumnavigated the whole

In January 1522, Gil Gonzales fitted out four ships from Tararequi, on
the South Sea, intending to discover the coast of Nicaragua, and
especially to search for a strait or passage, which was said to
communicate between the South and North Seas. Sailing along the coast, he
came to a harbour which he named St Vincent, where he landed with 100
Spaniards, some of whom had horses, and penetrated 200 leagues inland,
whence he brought back to the value of 200 pesoes in gold. On his return
to the harbour of St Vincent, he found his pilot, Andrew Nigno, who had
been to Tecoantepec, in lat. 16° N. and had sailed 300 leagues. From
thence Gonzales returned to Panama, and so overland to Hispaniola[43].

In April 1522, the Trinity, commanded by Gonzala Gomez de Espinosa,
another of the ships of Magellan, sailed from Tidore for New Spain. And,
as the wind was scanty, they steered towards the N. E. in lat. 16° N.
where they found two islands, which they named the Islands of St John. In
lat. 20° N. they came to another island, which they called _la Griega_,
where some of the simple natives came on board, whom they kept to shew in
New Spain. Continuing their course to the N. E. for four months, they
came into lat. 42° N. where they saw numbers of seals, and tunnies; and
the climate appeared to them so cold and inhospitable, that partly on
that account, and partly owing to contrary winds, they returned towards
Tidore, having been the first Spaniards who had been in so high a
northern latitude in these seas. On their return to Tidore, they found
one Antonio de Britto employed in building a fortress, who took their
goods from them, and sent forty-eight of them prisoners to Malacca[44].

In the same year 1522, Cortes was desirous to possess some harbours on
the South Sea, on purpose to open a trade with Malacca, Banda, Java, and
the other spice islands. For this purpose he sent four Spaniards with
Indian guides to Tecoantepec, Quahatemallan, and other harbours, where
they were well received, and whence they brought back some of the natives
to Mexico. These people were much caressed by Cortes; who afterwards sent
ten pilots to examine the coast, but they could find no good harbour,
after a survey of seventy leagues. A cacique, named; Cuchadaquir, used
them hospitably, and sent two hundred of his people to Cortes with
presents of gold and silver; and the people of Tecoantepec did the same.
Not long afterwards, this friendly cacique sent to Cortes, requesting aid
against his neighbours, who warred against him. Cortes accordingly, in
the year 1523, sent Peter de Alvarado to his assistance, with 200 foot
and 40 horse, who built a town called St Jago, in which he left a
garrison. The caciques of Tecoantepec and Quahutemallan inquired at
Alvarado concerning certain _sea monsters_ that had been on their coast
the year before; meaning the ships of Gil Gonzales de Avila, at which
they had been much amazed; and they wondered still more on being informed
that Cortes had many such, and much larger than those they had seen. They
displayed a painting of a mighty carak, having six masts, with sails and
shrouds, and having armed horsemen on board[45]. In May 1523, Antonio de
Britto, the Portuguese governor of the Molucca isles, sent Simon de Bru
to discover the passage from thence by the island of Borneo to Malacca.
They came in sight of the islands of Manada and Panguensara, and thence
through the strait of Treminao and Taquy to the islands of St Michael, in
7° S. and then to the island of Borneo, where they came in sight of
_Pedra Branca_, or the _white stone_; whence, passing through the strait
of Cincapura, they came to the city of Malacca[46].

In the same year 1523, Cortes went with 300 Spanish foot, 150 horse, and
20,000 Mexicans, to make a complete discovery and conquest of Panuco, and
to punish the inhabitants for having killed and devoured the soldiers of
Francis Garay. The natives resisted him, but were overthrown; and to keep
the country under subjection, he built a town on the river, near Chila,
which he named Santo Stephano del Puerta, in which he left a garrison of
100 foot and 30 horse, under the command of Peter de Valleia. In this
expedition he lost many of his people, both Spaniards and Mexicans, and
several horses[47].

In this same year 1523, Francis de Garay, having a commission from the
emperor as governor of all the coast he had discovered from Florida to
Panuco, fitted out nine ships and two brigantines, with 850 soldiers and
150 horses, on purpose to take possession of his government. Some men
joined him from Jamaica, where he had furnished his squadron with warlike
ammunition; and sailing thence to the harbour of Xagua, in the island of
Cuba, he there learnt that Cortes had taken possession of the coast of
Panuco. That he ought not meet with the fate of Narvaez, he sent the
doctor Zuazo to Mexico, to endeavour to enter into treaty with Cortes.
Garay arrived in the Rio de las Palmas on St Jameses day, and sent
Gonçalo de Ocampo up the river to explore the country, who reported, on
his return, that the country was bad and desert. Yet Garay landed with
400 foot soldiers and some horse, and commanded John de Grijalva, to
explore the coast, while he marched by land to Panuco, in which march he
crossed a river to which he gave the name of Rio Montalto. In this march
he came to a large town, in which he found much poultry, to the great
refreshment of his troops. Here, likewise, he took some of the
inhabitants of Chila, whom he employed as messengers to different places.
After a long and difficult march, he arrived at Panuco, but found no
provisions; the country having been exhausted in the war with Cortes, and
by being plundered by the soldiers. From this place he sent Gonçalo de
Ocampo to St Stephano, or Istevan del Puerto, to inquire if the garrison
would submit to his authority. They sent him a favourable answer; but, by
means of an ambush, they made forty of his cavalry prisoners, alleging
that they had come unwarrantably to usurp the government which belonged
to another. Besides this misfortune, Garay lost four of his ships, by
which he was greatly disheartened. While Cortes was preparing an
expedition to Panuco, to resist Garay, Francis de las Casas and Roderigo
de la Paz, brought letters-patent to Mexico, by which the emperor gave
him the government of New Spain, including Panuco. On this he desisted
from going personally on the expedition, but sent Pedro de Alvarado with
a respectable force, both of infantry and cavalry, to defend his
government against aggression, and dispatched Diego de Ocampo to
communicate the letters-patent to Garay; who thought it better for him to
yield himself to Cortes, and went accordingly to Mexico[48].

In the same year, 1523, Gil Gonçales de Avila, discovered and peopled a
town called _San Gil da Buena-vista_, in lat. 14° N. almost in the bottom
of the bay of Ascension or Honduras[49]. Likewise, on the 6th December of
this year, Peter de Alvarado was sent by Cortes from Mexico with 300 foot,
170 horse, four field-pieces, and some Mexican nobles, to discover and
conquer Quahutemallan, Utlatlan, Chiassa, Xochnuxco, and other towns
towards the South Sea. After a most fatiguing march of 400 leagues,
passing by Tecoantepec to Xochnuxco, he discovered and conquered the
whole of that country, where he built a city called St Jago de
Quahutemallan, now Guatimala, of which and of the country he subdued, he
is said to have got the government. In this expedition they passed some
rivers, the water of which was so hot that they could scarce endure to
wade them. They found likewise certain hills which produced alum, and one
out of which a liquor like oil distilled; likewise sulphur in great
abundance, from which the Spaniards made excellent gunpowder[50]. On the
8th December of the same year, Cortes sent Diego de Godoy, with a hundred
foot, thirty horse, two field-pieces, and many friendly Indians, to
Spiritu Santo; where, joining the captain of that town, they went to
Chamolla, the capital of a province of the same name, which they reduced
under subjection[51].

In February 1524, Cortes sent Roderigo Rangel, with 150 Spaniards, and
many Tlaxcallans and Mexicans, against the Zapotecas and Nixtecas, and
other provinces not yet well discovered. They were at first resisted, but
soon defeated the natives, and reduced the country to subjection. In the
same year, Roderigo de Bastidas was sent to discover and reduce the
country of Santa Martha; but refusing to allow the soldiers to plunder a
certain town, he was assassinated in his bed by Peter Villaforte,
formerly his fast friend, who joined in the conspiracy against him. Pedro
de Lugo and his son Don Alfonso were afterward governors of that place,
where they conducted themselves as covetous tyrants, and became much
disliked[52]. In the same year, the licentiate Lucas Vasques de Aillon
obtained the government of Chicora from the emperor, on which he fitted
out some vessels from St Domingo, and proceeded to explore and colonize
that country; but he was lost with all his people. I know not how it
should have happened, except by the righteous judgment of God, that so
little should now remain of all the gold and precious stones which were
got in the Antilles by the Spaniards; but much the greater part has been
dissipated to little purpose, and nothing great or valuable has ensued
from the discovery[53].

In this same year, 1524, Cortes sent a fleet under the command of
Christopher de Olid, to Cuba, to transport provisions and ammunition to
Mexico, which had been purchased there by Alonso de Contreras; and Olid
had orders to discover and colonize the country about Cape Higueras, and
the Coast of Honduras, and likewise to send Diego Hartado de Mendoça by
sea, in search of a strait towards Darien, which was reported to pass
that way into the South Sea, which object of research had been commanded
by the emperor to be attended to. He sent also two ships from Panuco, to
explore the coast from thence to Florida; and he commanded other vessels
to examine the coast of the South Sea, between Zacatullan and Panama. On
the arrival of Olid at Cuba, he entered into a league with Diego
Velasquez against Cortes: and, instead of prosecuting the orders he had
received, he set sail for Puerto de Cavallos, in lat. 10° N. 54, near
which he built a town, which he named _Triumpho de la Cruz_. He made Gil
Gonzales de Avila prisoner, and killed his nephew, and all the Spaniards
who were with him, except one child; thus acting in direct opposition to
Cortes, who had expended, in fitting out the present expedition, the sum
of 80,000 castellans of gold, entirely to gratify Olid[55]. On learning
this treachery, Cortes went by land from Mexico in the month of October
1524, to take revenge on Olid, carrying with him a force of 300 Spaniards,
part foot, and part horse, and accompanied by Quahutimoc, king of Mexico,
and many of the chief Mexican nobles. On coming to the town of Spiritu
Santo, he procured ten guides from the caciques of Tavasco and Xicalanco,
who likewise gave him a map painted on cotton cloth, delineating the
situation of the whole country, from Xicalanco to Naco and Nito, and even
as far as Nicaragua, with their mountains, hills, fields, meadows, rivers,
cities, and towns; and Cortes ordered three ships from the harbour of
Medellin to follow him along the coast[56]. When he had reached the city
of Izancanac, Cortes learned that King Quahutimoc and his Mexicans had
conspired to betray or destroy him and his Spaniards; wherefore he hanged
the king and two of his principal nobles. Cortes then proceeded to
Mazatlan; and from thence to Piaca, which stands in the middle of a lake,
and is the chief city of a province of the same name, and hereabout he
began to learn tidings of the Spaniards under Olid, of whom he was in
search. From thence he proceeded to Zuzullin, and came at length to Nito;
from whence he went to a bay on the coast, called St Andre, where,
finding a good haven, he built a town called Natividad de nuestra Sennora.
He went thence to Truxillo, on the coast of Honduras, where he was well
received by the Spanish settlers. While here, a ship brought intelligence
of an insurrection having broke out in Mexico during his absence; on
which, he ordered Gonsalo de Sandoval to march with his company by land,
from Naco to Mexico, by the ordinary and safest road of Quahutemallan, or
Guatimala, towards the South Sea; and, leaving his cousin Férdinando de
Saavedra to command in Truxillo, he went himself by sea along the coast
of Yucutan to Chalchicocca, now called St Juan de Ullhua, and thence to
Medellin and Mexico, where he was well received. Cortes was absent
eighteen months on this expedition, during which he travelled 500
leagues[57], and suffered many hardships.

In the year 1525; Francis Pizarro, and Diego de Almagro, went from Panama
to discover Peru, on the south of the fine, which they called _Nueva
Castillia_. Pedro Asias, governor of Panama, refused to take any concern
in this expedition, on account of certain evil news which had been
brought to him by Francis Vezerra. Pizarro went first in a ship with 124
soldiers, and was followed by Almagro with seventy men in another ship.
Almagro came to Rio de San Juan, in lat. 3° N., where he got 3000 pezoes
of gold; and not finding Pizarro, of whom he was in search, he lost heart,
and returned to Panama. Pizarro went first to the island of Gorgona, and
thence to the isle of Gallo, from whence he proceeded to the river called
_Rio del Peru_, in lat. 2° N. from which the rich and famous country of
Peru derives its name. He sailed thence to the river of St Francis, and
Cape _Passaos_, where he passed the equinoctial line, and came to _Puerto
Vejo_, in lat. 1° S. and sailed on to the rivers of Chinapanpa, Tumbez,
and Payta, in four or five degrees of southern latitude, where he
received intelligence concerning King Atabalipa, and of the vast riches
of his palace. On receiving this intelligence, Pizarro returned to Panama,
from whence he went to Spain, where he solicited and obtained the
government of the rich country he had discovered; having spent above
three years in the discovery, with much labour and great danger[58].

In the same year, 1525, seven ships were fitted out from Spain, under the
command of Garcia de Loaisa, for a voyage to the Molucca Islands. Sailing
from Corunna, and passing by the Canaries, they came to the coast of
Brasil, where they discovered an island in lat. 2° S. which they named St
Matthew; and, finding orange trees, hogs, and European poultry, they
concluded it to be inhabited; but, by inscriptions oil the bark of trees,
they learnt that the Portuguese had bean there seventeen years before. A
small pinnace of this squadron, commanded by Juan de Resaga, passed the
straits of Magellan, and ran along the whole coast of Peru and New Spain,
carrying the intelligence to Cortes of the expedition of Loaisa to the
Moluccas: But the admiral ship only of this squadron, commanded by Martin
Mingues de Carchova, arrived at its destination, where the Moors of the
Moluccas received the Spaniards hospitably; Loaisa and all the other
captains died by the way.

In the same year Stephen Gomez sailed from Corunna, to endeavour to
discover a strait in the northern parts, by which ships might sail from
Europe to the Moluccas. This person had been refused employment in the
fleet commanded by Loaisa; but the Count Ferdinando de Andrada, with the
Doctor Beltram, and a merchant named Christopher de Sarro; fitted out a
galleon for him at their joint expence. He went first to the island of
Cuba, whence he sailed to Cape Florida, sailing only by day, as he was
ignorant of the coast. He passed Cape Angra, and the river Enseada, and
so went over to the other side; and it is reported that he came to Cape
Razo[59] in lat. 46° N. whence he returned to Corunna with a cargo of
_slaves_. But news spread through Spain that he was come home laden with
_cloves_, which occasioned much joy at the court of Spain, till the
mistake was discovered. Gomez was ten months engaged in this voyage. In
this same year, Don George de Menesses, governor of Molucca, and Don
Henriques, sent a vessel on discovery towards the north, commanded by
Diego de Rocha, having Gomez de Sequiera as pilot. In lat. 9° or 10° N.
they discovered several islands in a group, which were called the islands
of Sequiera; whence they returned to the island of Bato-China. In 1526,
Sebastian Gabota, chief pilot to the emperor, a native of Bristol in
England, whose father was a Venetian, sailed from Seville with four ships,
intending to have gone to the Moluccas by a western course. Gabota came
to Pernambuco in Brasil, where he waited three months for a favourable
wind to get round Cape St Augustine. In the Bay of _Patos_, or of ducks,
the admirals ship was lost; and despairing of being able to accomplish
the voyage to the Moluccas, he built a pinnace for the purpose of
exploring the Rio Plata. Gabota accordingly ran sixty leagues, or 120
miles up that river; when coming to a bar, he left the large ships there,
and went with the boats of the squadron 120 leagues, or 480 miles farther
up the river Parana, which the inhabitants considered to be the principal
river. He here constructed a fort, and remained in that place above a
year; From thence he rowed still farther up the Parana, till he came to
the mouth of another river called _Paragioa_, or Paraguay; and,
perceiving that the country produced gold and silver, he kept on his
course, sending one of the boats in advance, which was taken by the
natives. On this, Gabota thought it more prudent to return to his fort,
after having penetrated 200 leagues or 800 miles up this river. He took
on board the people he had left at the fort, and returning to the ships
at the bar, sailed back to Seville in 1530. He reported that the Rio
Plata was navigable for a great way, and that it rises from a lake named
_Bombo_[60] in the kingdom of Peru, whence, flowing through the valleys
of Xauxa, it receives the rivers Parso, Bulcasban, Cay, Parima, Hiacax,
and several others, by which its waters are greatly increased. It is also
said that the river of San Francesco comes from the same lake, which
likewise is very great; because rivers that flow from lakes are larger
than those which proceed from springs.

In the year 1527, Panfilo de Narvaez sailed from St Lucar de Barameda
with five ships, having 600 soldiers, 100 horses, and great abundance of
provisions, ammunition, and all other necessaries, to take possession of
Florida, as far as the river Palmas, of which he was appointed governor.
Not being able to land at the place he wished, he went on shore with 300
of his soldiers, some horses, and a supply of provisions, nearer Cape
Florida, ordering the ships to proceed to the river Palmas, in which
voyage they were nearly all lost Those who escaped shipwreck, suffered
extreme hardships from hunger and thirst on a dry barren island, called
Xamo by the natives, and which the Spaniards named _Malhada_. In this
island they were attacked by the natives, and many, both of the Spaniards
and natives, were slain.

Narvaez, and his people, saw some gold among the Indians of Florida, who
said they had it from _Apalachen_. He therefore went to that town in
search of gold, where they found abundance of bay trees, and others of
many different kinds, and plenty of beasts and birds, but neither gold
nor silver. From Apalachen, he went to a town called Aute, and from:
thence to Xamo, a poor and barren country. In this place, the natives
requested the Spaniards to cure their sick, of whom they had great
numbers; and the Spaniards being in extreme poverty and distress, prayed
for the sick, and used such endeavours as were in their power, towards
their relief: And it pleased God that many, both of the sick, and those
who were ill from wounds, recovered; nay, even one that was supposed to
be dead, was, by them, restored to life. Owing to this, the Spaniards
were greatly esteemed, and even reputed as gods, so that the people
offered them no injury, and even gave them such things as they had. By
these means, they passed through many countries, and many strange nations,
differing from each other in language, customs, and dress, and came at
length among a people that lived continually among their flocks and herds,
like the Arabs. Many of the tribes through which they travelled were so
poor as to feed on snakes, lizards, spiders, ants, and all kinds of
vermin, yet were well contented with their hard fore, and were much given
to singing and dancing. This people are reported to purchase all their
wives from their enemies, and to kill all their own daughters, lest by
marrying into hostile tribes their enemies should increase in numbers. In
some places, the women continued to suckle their children till they were
ten or twelve years old; and there were certain men, being hermaphrodites,
who married each other. In this manner, the Spaniards penetrated above
800 leagues, or 3200 miles through the country, till at length, not above
seven or eight of the whole armament reached the city of St Michael of
Calvacan, in lat. 23°. N. or higher, on the coast of the South Sea[61].

Learning, as has been formerly mentioned, that Garcia de Louisa had
passed through the Straits of Magellan, on a voyage to the _Islands of
Cloves_, Cortes fitted out three ships from Civitlanejo, now St
Christophers, in lat. 20°. N. on the western coast of New Spain, intending
to send there in search of Loaisa, and that they might discover the way
to the Moluccas, and open up the spice trade with New Spain. Leaving
Civatlanejo, on All Saints day, 1527, under the command of Alvaro de
Saavedra Ceron, the cousin of Cortes, they fell in with the islands
formerly discovered by Magellan, which he had named _the Pleasures_;
whence they sailed to the islands which had been discovered by Gomez de
Sequeira, and called by his name, but not knowing of this previous
discovery, he named them _Islas de los Reyes_, or the Isles of the Kings,
because discovered on Twelfth day. During this part of the voyage, two
ships of the squadron separated from Saavedra, and were never more heard
of. Sailing on from island to island, he arrived at the Island of Candiga,
where he ransomed two Spaniards for seventy ducats, who had belonged to
the crew of Loaisa, who was shipwrecked in that neighbourhood. Saavedra
reached the Moluccas in March 1528, and anchored at the Island of Gilolo,
where he found the sea calm, the winds moderate, and no tempests; and he
estimated the distance from thence to New Spain at 2050 leagues, or 8200
miles. At this period, Fernando de la Torre was governor of the Molucca
islands, and lived in the city of Tidore, having been chosen instead of
Martin Yniguez de Carquiçano, who was recently dead. Torre waged a fierce
war with Don George de Meneses, captain of the Portuguese; and in a fight
of the fourth of May, Saavedra took a Portuguese galliot, and slew
Fernando de Baldaya the captain. In June, Saavedra set sail on his return
towards New Spain, taking with him Simon de Brito, Patalin, and other
Portuguese prisoners; but, after several months sail, he was forced back
to Tidore by contrary winds, where Patalin was beheaded and quartered,
and the rest of the Portuguese prisoners hanged. In this year, 1528,
Cortes sent 200 infantry, and sixty cavalry, with a large force of
Mexicans, to explore and subdue the country of the Chihimecas, which was
reported to be rich in gold. He then took shipping for Spain, where he
landed with great pomp, bringing with him 250,000 marks in gold and
silver. On his arrival at Toledo, where the emperor then resided; he was
very graciously received. The emperor created him marquis _della Valle_,
and married him to the lady Jane de Zuniga, daughter to the Conde de
Aguilar; after which he returned to resume the government of New Spain.

Saavedra, of whom we have lately made mention, returned from the Moluccas
towards New Spain, in May 1529: and, during, the voyage, came in sight of
land, in lat. 2°S. He ran along the coast to the S.S.E. from that time to
the end of August, upwards of 500 leagues, finding a clean coast, free
from shoals and rocks, with good anchoring ground, inhabited by a black
people, with curled hair. The people of the Moluccas named the inhabitants
of this coast _Papuas_ because they are black with frizzled hair and both
Portuguese and Spaniards have adopted the same name. Having reached to
four or five degrees south of the line, he returned northwards; and near
the equinoctial he discovered an island, which he called _de los Pintados_,
or of the painted people, as the inhabitants were of a white complexion,
but marked with a hot iron[62]; and, from various circumstances, he
concluded that they were originally from China. A kind of boat put off
from the shore, containing a number of these islanders, making many
threatening signs and gestures, as if ordering the Spaniards to go away
from their land, and even proceeded to throw stones from slings at the
ship, but, as the stones did no harm, Saavedra would not allow his people
to fire upon them. A little beyond this island, in 10° or 12° of north
latitude, they discovered a group, consisting of many small low islands,
covered with grass, and full of palm trees, to which they gave the name of
_Los Jardines_, or the gardens[63]. Saavedra came to anchor in the midst
of these islands, where he remained several days, and concluded that the
people had come originally from China, but had, by long residence,
degenerated into lawless savages, using no labour or industry. They wear a
species of white cloth, made of grass, and are quite ignorant of fire,
which put them in great terror. Instead of bread they eat cocoas, which
they pull unripe, burying them for some days in the sand, and then laying
them in the sun, which causes them to open. They eat fish also, which they
catch from a kind of boat called _parao_, or _proa_, which they construct
with tools made of shells, from pine wood that is drifted at certain times
to their islands, from some unknown regions. The wind and weather becoming
more favourable for his return to New Spain, Saavedra resumed his voyage
thither, intending to have gone to Panama, to unload the cloves and other
merchandize he had brought from the Moluccas. His purpose was to have
carried this merchandize in carts from Panama, about four leagues, or
sixteen miles overland, to the river Chagre, which is said to be navigable,
and which discharges itself into the North Sea not far from Nombre de Dios,
where the goods could be reshipped for Spain; by which means all kind of
goods might be brought from India in a shorter time, and with less danger,
than by sailing round the Cape of Good Hope, as the voyage from the
Moluccas to Panama is almost a perfectly straight course between the line
and the tropics. But, in the present voyage, they were never able to
procure a favourable wind, and were therefore forced back to the Moluccas,
where they arrived in great affliction, as Saavedra died by the way[64].
Had Saavedra lived, he intended to have opened a navigable communication
from sea to sea, through the land of Castilia del Oro and New Spain, which
might have been done in one or other of the following places:--1. From the
gulph of St Michael to Uraba, which is 25 leagues, or 100 miles. 2. From
Panama to Nombre de Dios, which is 17 leagues, or 68 miles, much the
greater part consisting of the river Chagre, navigable for small craft. 3.
Through the river Xaquator, now St Juan, in the province of Nicaragua,
which springs out of a lake that reaches to within three or four leagues
of the South Sea, and falls into the North Sea, being navigable by large
boats and lighters. 4. The other place is from Tecoantepec, through a
river, to Verdadera Cruz, in the bay of Honduras[65].

In the year 1529, Damiano de Goes, a Portuguese, travelled over all Spain,
and went from Flanders into England and Scotland, being at the courts of
the kings of these countries; after that he returned into Flanders, and
travelled through Zealand, Holland, Brabant, Luxemburgh, Switzerland, and
through the cities of Cologne, Spires, Strasburg, Basil, and other parts
of Germany, and so back to Flanders. He went thence into France, through
Piccardy, Normandy, Champagne, Burgundy, the dukedom of Bourbon, Gascony,
Languedoc, Dauphiny, and Savoy; passing into Italy by Milan, Ferrara, and
Lombardy, to Venice. Turning back, he passed through the territory of
Genoa, the dukedom of Florence, and all Tuscany, to Rome and Naples.
Thence back, through Italy, to Ulm, in Germany, and through Swabia,
Bavaria, Austria, Bohemia, Moravia, and Hungary, to the confines of Greece.
Thence through Poland, Prussia, and Livonia, to the great dukedom of
Moscovy; and thence back into Germany, and through the dominions of the
Landgrave, and the dukedom of Saxony, into Denmark, Gothland, and Norway,
penetrating to lat. 70°.N. In the course of these travels, which occupied
him during 22 years, he saw, spoke to, and was conversant with, all the
kings, princes, nobles, and chief cities of all Christendom; for which
reason, I thought the great extent of his travels was worthy of

In 1529 or 1530, Melchior de Sosa Tavarez went from Ormus to Bassora, and
the islands of Gissara, with some ships of war, and sailed up to where the
Euphrates and Tigris unite together, being the first of the Portuguese who
had sailed so far on the fresh water in these parts. Not long after this,
a Portuguese, named Ferdinando Coutinho, being at Ormus, determined to
return overland from thence to Portugal. For this purpose he went to
Arabia, and up the river Euphrates, for the space of a month, and saw many
countries and kingdoms that had not been before visited by the Portuguese.
He was made prisoner at Damascus; whence he crossed the province of Syria
to the city of Aleppo. He had been at the holy sepulchre in Jerusalem, in
the city of Cairo, and at Constantinople, where the Great Turk resides.
After seeing that Court, he passed over to Venice; and, from thence,
through Italy, France, and Spain, to Portugal, he came back to Lisbon.
This person, and Damiano de Goes, were the most adventurous of the
Portuguese, who, in our time, had seen and discovered the greatest extent
of foreign realms for their own satisfaction.

About the year 1530, Francis Pizarro, who has been already mentioned as
having gone to Spain to obtain the government of Peru, returned to Panama,
having procured all things as he wished, carrying with him four brothers,
Ferdinand, John, Gonsalvo, and Francis Martines de Alcantara[66]. They
were not well received by Diego de Almagro and his friends, because
Pizarro had not sufficiently represented his merits in the discovery of
Peru to the emperor, in which he had lost an eye, but took the whole merit
to himself. In the end, however, they agreed; and Almagro supplied Pizarro
with seven hundred pezoes of gold, providing him likewise with provisions
and ammunition, and other necessaries towards his intended expedition
against Peru. Soon after this arrangement with Almagro, Pizarro, and his
four brothers before-mentioned, set out with such soldiers and horses as
they could procure on their expedition. Being unable, from contrary winds,
to reach Tumbez, where he proposed to have landed, he was under the
necessity of disembarking at the river of Peru; whence he marched along
the coast with great difficulty, on account of many rivers and marshes, in
which some of his men were drowned in crossing. Coming to the town of
Coache, they found much gold and emeralds in that place; some of which
they broke, to see if they were perfect. From thence Pizarro sent twenty
thousand pezoes of gold to Almagro at Panama, to enable him to send
supplies of men, horses, ammunition, and provisions, and went from Coache
to the haven named _Porte Viejo_, where he was joined by Sebastian
Benalcazar, with all the supplies he had sent for. In the year 1531, after
the arrival of these reinforcements, Pizarro passed over from Porto Viejo
to the rich island of Puna, in the bay of Guayaquil, where he was
outwardly well received by the governor, who yet conspired to kill him and
his men; but Pizarro prevented him, and took many of the Indians, whom he
bound with chains of gold and silver. Such was the jealousy of the
governor of Puna, that he caused those who had the charge of his wives to
have their noses and privities cut off. In this place, Pizarro found above
six hundred prisoners belonging to king Atabalipa, who was then at war
with his eldest brother Guascar. Pizarro set these prisoners at liberty,
on promise of procuring him a friendly reception in Peru; but they forgot
their engagements afterwards, and excited the people to war against the
Spaniards. From Puna, Pizarro sent three Spaniards to Tumbez, in Peru, to
treat of amity; but the Peruvians seized them, and put them to death. On
hearing of this cruel action, Pizarro crossed over to the main, and made a
sudden attack, during the night, on the city of Tumbez, killing great
numbers of the inhabitants. The remainder submitted and made peace,
presenting him large gifts of gold and silver, and other riches. Pizarro
then built a town on the river Cira, which he named St Michael of
Tangarara, which was the first habitation of the Christians in these parts;
and he appointed Sebastian de Benalcazar to the command. After this, he
made search for a secure haven on the coast, and found one every way to
his wish at Payta.

In the same year, 1531, Diego de Ordas went, with 600 soldiers and 35
horses, to settle the country on the Maranon, or river of the Amazons; but,
dying on the voyage, this expedition proved fruitless. Afterwards, in the
year 1534, Hierom Artal was sent thither with 130 soldiers, yet he came
not to the river, but formed settlements at _St Michael de Neveri_, and
other places in Paria. Aries d'Acugna, a Portuguese gentleman, went
likewise to the Maranon, with ten ships, 900 men, and 130 horses, where he
spent much, and did little to purpose; but the greatest loser in this
expedition was John de Barros. This great river Maranon is in lat. 3°
S.[67], its mouth being 15 leagues, or 60 miles across, with many inhabited
islands, on which there are many trees producing incense, much larger than
those of Arabia. It produces gold and precious stones, and an emerald was
found there as large as the palm of the hand. The people of that country
make a kind of drink of a species of oats that are as large as quinces.

Nunnez de Gusman was sent from Mexico, in 1531, with 500 soldiers, half of
whom were cavalry, and 6000 Indians to carry his baggage and provisions,
to discover and subdue the countries to the northwest of the kingdom of
Mexico. In this expedition he reduced the countries of Xalisco,
Ceintiliquipac, Ciametlan, Tovalla, Cnixo, Ciamolla, Culhuacan, and other
places. On this expedition he marched through Mechuacan, where he acquired
much gold, and 10,000 marks of silver. To the country of Xalisco he gave
the name of New Galicia, because it was rugged and mountainous, and the
people robust and hardy. He built many towns in the conquered countries;
particularly Compostella, Guadalajara, after the place of his own birth in
Spain, Santo Espirito de la Conception, and St Michael, which last is in
lat. 24° N. In 1532, Cortes sent Diego Hurtado de Mendoça in two ships
from Acapulco, which is 70 leagues from Mexico, on purpose to explore the
coast of the South Sea, as he had been ordered to do by the emperor.
Mendoça sailed from Acapulco to the harbour of Xalisco, or Xalis, on the
river Barania, in lat. 22° N. where he wished to take in wood and water.
But he was resisted there, by the orders of Nunnes de Gusman, and obliged
to proceed on his voyage. Some of his men mutinied, and he put them all on
board one of his ships, that they might return to New Spain. Being in want
of water, these people put in at the bay of Vanderas, not far south from
Xalis, where they were all slain by the Indians. In this voyage of
discovery, Hurtado sailed 200 leagues along the coast, but did nothing
worthy of being recorded.

In 1533, Pizarro went from Tumbez to Caxamalca, where he took king
Atabalipa prisoner, who engaged to pay a vast sum in gold and silver for
his ransom. On purpose to procure this, Pedro de Varco and Ferdinando do
Sotto were sent to the city of Cusco, in lat. 17° S.[68], a journey of 200
leagues, all upon causeways of stone, with bridges wherever necessary, and
having lodging-places at proper distances for the conveniency of the
_Yngas_, by which name the kings of Peru are distinguished. The armies of
the Peruvians are very numerous, as they often bring more than 100,000 men
into the field; and they lodge on these causeways, as already mentioned,
where they always have abundance of provisions and other necessaries, as
is said to be the custom in China. Ferdinando Pizarro went with some
horsemen to Paciacama, 100 leagues from Caxamalca, to discover the country;
and, on his return, he learnt that Guascar, the brother of Atabalipa, had
been put to death by his command; and that Ruminaguy, the general of the
army of Atabalipa, had risen in arms, in the city of Quito, against the
Spaniards. After the reception of this intelligence, Atabalipa was
strangled by the orders of Pizarro[69]. After the death of the two kings
of the Peruvians, Pizarro continually extended his authority over the
dominions of Peru, and built many cities, towns, and forts, in convenient
situations, to hold the country under subjection. He detached Sebastian de
Benalcazar, whom he had before made governor of St Michael de Tangarara,
with 200 infantry and 80 horse, to Quito, against Ruminaguy. Benalcazar
proceeded successfully in reducing the country to subjection from one city
to another, eastwards, for 120 leagues, not far from the equinoctial line;
where Peter Alvarado found certain mountains so cold, and loaded with such
quantities of snow, that 70 of his men were frozen to death. Having
reduced the city of Quito, he established himself and his people in that
place, calling it the city of St Francis; and it seemed very strange to
the Spaniards to find, in that country, abundance of cattle, wheat, barley,
and other plants, similar to those of Spain. After sending Benalcazar to
reduce the city of Quito, Pizarro himself undertook to reduce the royal
residence of Cusco, in about 13° 20' S. in which expedition he was opposed
by Quisquiz, a Peruvian general, whom he easily defeated; and he soon
afterwards took possession of Cusco, the exceedingly rich and wealthy
capital of the Peruvian monarchy. About this time Mango, a brother of
Atabalipa, joined Pizarro, who made him Ynga, or king of the country, in
name only, while he assumed the whole authority and revenues of the
kingdom to himself[70].

In the same year, 1534; Jaques Cartier, a native of Britanny, went with
three ships to the land of Corterealis[71], and the gulf of St Lawrence,
otherwise called _Golfo Quadrato_, or the square gulf, which he fell in
with in lat. 48° 30' N. He proceeded northwards to the latitude of 51°, in
the hope of being able to penetrate in that direction to China, by a north-
west passage, to bring drugs and other merchandize from thence to France.
Next year Cartier made a second voyage to the same regions, and found the
country pervaded by many large rivers, and abounding in provisions. He
sailed 300 leagues up one of these rivers, in a south-west direction, and
named the country New France, now Canada; but finding the water to become
fresh, he was satisfied there could be no passage that way to the South
Sea; and having wintered in the country, he returned next year to France.

About the end of the year 1535, or beginning of 1536, Don Anthony de
Mendoça came from Spain to the city of Mexico, as Viceroy of New Spain,
being appointed to supersede Cortes, the discoverer and conqueror of that
rich and extensive territory. At this time Cortes was absent from the seat
of government, having gone to Tecoantepec, on purpose to fit out two ships
on a voyage of discovery. These he sent out under the command of Fernando
de Grijalva and Diego Bezerra de Mendoça, the former having a Portuguese
pilot, named Acosta, and the pilot to the latter being Fortunio Ximenez, a
Biscayan. On the first night after leaving Tecoantepec, the two ships
separated. Ximenez raised a mutiny against his captain, in which Bezerra
was slain, and many of the crew wounded. Some time afterwards, Ximenez
went on shore in the bay of Santa Cruz, for wood and water, where he, and
more than 20 of his people, were slain by the Indians. Two of the mariners,
who were in the boat, escaped to Xalisco, and told Nunnes de Gusman, who
commanded at that place, that they had seen indications of pearls during
the voyage. Gusman went accordingly with, a ship in search of pearls, and
explored above 150 leagues of the coast[72].

It is said that Grijalva sailed 300 leagues from Tecoantepec, without
seeing any land, except one small island in 20° N. to which he gave the
name St Thomas, as having been discovered on the day of that saint[73].

In the year 1535, Pizarro built the city which he named _Ciudad de los
Reys_, or of the kings, on the river of Lima, in lat. 20° S; to which he
removed the inhabitants of Xauxa, as a more convenient situation for the
residence; of the government, and in a better country[74]. He built also
the city of St Jago in Porto Viejo, and many other towns, both along the
coast and in the inland country; and he procured from Spain horses, asses,
mules, cattle, hogs, goats, and sheep, to stock his territories, and many
kinds of trees and plants, such as rosemary, oranges, lemons, citrons,
vines, and other fruits, wheat, barley, and other grains, with radishes,
and many other kinds of vegetables, which were disseminated all over the
country[75]. in the same year, Diego de Almagro went from the city of
Cusco to the provinces of Arequipa and Chili, in lat. 30° S. The march was
of great length, and he discovered a great extent of country; but he
suffered great extremities of cold, hunger, and fatigue, in consequence of
the ruggedness of the mountains, and the ice and snow, insomuch that many
of his men and horses were frozen to death. About this time Ferdinando
Pizarro came from Spain to the city of Lima, bringing with him the patent
of Marquis of Atanillos, for his brother, Francis Pizarro, and a
commission for Diego de Almagro, by which he was appointed governor of all
the land he had hitherto discovered, and 100 leagues beyond, under the
name of the _New kingdom of Toledo_. Ferdinando Pizarro went to the city
of Cusco, of which he was made governor, and John de Rada went into Chili
to Almagro, carrying with him the orders of the emperor. On receiving the
letters patent of the emperor, Almagro marched directly for Cusco, which
he considered to be included in his government, by which a civil war was
kindled between him and Pizarro. On this march he and his people were
severely oppressed by famine, and were even forced to feed upon their
horses which had died four months and a half before, when on their march
southwards into Chili[76].

In this same year, 1535, Nunnez d'Acunha, who was governor of India for
the crown of Portugal, while building a fortress, in the city of Diu, sent
a fleet, under the command of Vasquez Perez del San Paio, to the river
Indus, which is under the tropic of Cancer, 90 or 100 leagues to the north-
west from Diu. He also sent an army against Badu, the king of Cambaia, or
Guzerat, of which a renegado named Cosesofar was captain[77]. The fleet
came to the bar of the great river Indus in December, where the same
phenomena were observed as were formerly experienced by Alexander,
according to the relation of Quintus Curtius[78].

In the same year, Simon de Alcazava sailed from Seville, with two ships
and 240 men. Some say he was destined for New Spain, others for the
Moluccas, and others again that he meant to have proceeded for China,
where he had formerly been, along with Ferdinando Perez de Andrada.
However this may have been, he went first to the Canaries, and from thence
to the straits of Magellan, without touching at Brazil, or any other part
of the coast of South America, and entered into these straits in the month
of December, having contrary winds, and very cold weather. Under these
difficulties, the soldiers entreated him to turn back, which he refused,
and went into a haven on the south side of the straits, in lat. 53° S.
where he ordered Roderigo de Isla to land, with 60 of the people, to
explore the country; but the people mutinied against Alcazava, and slew
him; and, having appointed such captains and officers as they thought
proper, they returned back. In their voyage homewards, one of the ships
was lost on the coast of Brazil, and such of the Spaniards as escaped
drowning, were killed and eaten by the savages. The other ship went to St
Jago, in the island of Hispaniola, and thence returned to Seville, in
Spain[79]. In the same year, Don Pedro de Mendoça went from Cadiz for the
river Plata, with twelve ships and 2000 men, being the largest armament,
both of ships and men, that had ever been sent from Spain to the new world.
Mendoça died on his return to Spain, but most part of his men remained in
the country on the Rio Plata, where they built a large city, containing
now 2000 houses, in which great numbers of Indians dwell along with the
Spaniards. From this place they discovered and conquered the country to a
great extent, even to the mines of Potosi and the town of La Plata[80],
which is at the distance of 500 miles from Buenos Ayres.

Cortes having learnt, in the year 1536, that his ship, of which Fortunio
Ximenez was pilot, had been seized by Nunnez de Guzman, sent three ships
to Xalisco, while he marched thither by land with a respectable force; and,
on his arrival there, he found his ship all spoiled and rifled. When his
small squadron was come round to Xalisco, he went himself on board, and
left Andrew de Tapia to command his land force. Setting sail from thence,
he came, on the first of May, to a point of land, which he named Cape St
Philip, and, to an island close by this cape, he gave the name of St Jago.
Three days afterwards, he came to the bay where the pilot Ximenez was
killed, which he named Bahia de Santa Cruz, where he went on land, and
sent out Andrew de Tapia to explore the country. Cortes again set sail,
and came to the river now called _Rio de San Pedro y San Paulo_, where the
ships were separated by a tempest. One was driven to the bay of Santa Cruz,
another to the river of Guajaval, and the third was stranded on the coast
near Xalisco, whence the crew went overland to Mexico. After waiting a
long while for his other two ships, Cortes made sail, and entered into the
gulf of California, otherwise called _Mar Vermejo_, or the Vermilion Sea,
and by some, the sea of Cortes. Having penetrated 50 leagues within that
gulf, he espied a ship riding at an anchor, and, on his approach towards
her, had nearly been lost, if he had not received assistance from that
other ship. Having repaired his own ship, he departed from thence with
both ships; and, having procured provisions at a very dear rate, at St
Michael de Culiacan, he went to the harbour of Santa Cruz, where he
received information that Don Antonio de Mendoça had arrived from Spain as
Viceroy of Mexico. He therefore left Francis de Ulloa with the command of
his ships, ordering him to proceed on discoveries; and going to Acapulco,
he received a messenger from Don Antonio de Mendoça, the new viceroy,
certifying his arrival, and the assumption of his authority. Mendoça
likewise sent him the copy of a letter from Francis Pizarro, stating that
Mango, the Inca of Peru, had risen in arms, and assailed the city of Cusco
with 100,000 fighting men, having slain his brother, John Pizarro, and
above 400 Spaniards, with 200 horses; and that he himself, and the Spanish
dominions in Peru, were in imminent danger, unless speedily and
effectually assisted.

Cortes, not yet resolved on submitting to the authority of Mendoça, fitted
out two ships, under the command of Ferdinando de Grijalva and one
Alvarado, on purpose to discover the route to the Moluccas by the way of
the equinoctial line, because the islands of Cloves are under that
parallel. They went first to St Michael de Tangarara, in Peru, where they
landed succours for Pizarro, and thence, all along the line, to the
Moluccas, as they were ordered; and they are said to have sailed above
1000 leagues without sight of land on either side the whole way. At length,
in lat. 2° N. they discovered an island named _Asea_, which was believed
to be one of the islands of Cloves. Five hundred leagues farther, more or
less, they came to another, which they named _Isla de los Pescadores_, or
island of Fishers. Going still in the same course, they saw another island,
called _Hayme_, on the south side of the line, and another named _Apia_,
after which they came in sight of _Seri_. Turning one degree to the north,
they came to anchor at an island named _Coroa_, whence they came to
another under the line named _Memousum_, and thence to _Busu_, still
holding on the same course[81].

The people of all these islands are black, with frizzled hair, whom the
people of the Moluccas call Papuas. Most of them are witches, and eat
human flesh; and are so much given to wickedness, that the devils walk
among them as companions. Yet when these wicked spirits find any of the
Papuas alone, they kill him with cruel blows, or smother him; for which
reason they always go out in companies of two or three together. There is
in this country a bird as large as a crane, which has no wings wherewith
to fly, but runs on the ground with the swiftness of a deer, and, of the
small feathers of this bird, the natives make hair for their idols. They
have likewise a particular herb, the leaf of which, after being washed in
warm water, if laid on any member, and licked with the tongue, will even
draw out the whole blood of a mans body; and, by means of this leaf, the
natives let blood of themselves, when afflicted by sickness.

From these islands they came to others named the _Guellas_, in lat. 1° N.
_east and west_[82], from the island of Ternate, in which the Portuguese
have a fortress. These islands are 124 leagues from the island of _Moro_,
and between forty and fifty leagues from Ternate. From thence they went to
the island of _Moro_[83], and the islands of Cloves, going about from one
island to another; but the natives would not permit them to land, desiring
them to go to the fortress, where captain _Antonio Galvano_, the author of
this work, would receive them in a friendly manner, who was, as they
stiled him, _factor_ of the country, and they could not be allowed to land
without his license. This circumstance is worthy of being noticed, that
the natives were so well affected to the Portuguese as to venture their
lives, with their wives, children, and goods, in their service.

In the year 1537, John de Vadillo, the governor of Carthagena, went with a
powerful armament from the port called _St Sebastian de Buena Vista_, in
the gulf of Uraba, to the Rio Verde, whence he went by land, without
previously knowing any part of the way, and without carriages, to the very
extremity of Peru and the town of La Plata, a distance of 1200 leagues, a
most memorable journey. The whole country, from the Rio Verde to the
mountains of Abibe, is full of rugged hills, thick forests, and many
rivers, through which they had to pierce their way with infinite toil. The
mountains of Abibe are said to be twenty leagues broad, and can only be
passed over in the months of January, February, March, and April, as from
incessant heavy rains at all other times of the year, the rivers are so
swelled as to be quite impassable. In these mountains there are many herds
of swine, many dantes, lions, tigers, bears, ounces, large wild-cats,
monkeys, vast snakes, and other vermin. There are also abundance of
partridges, quails, turtle-doves, pigeons, and other birds of many
different kinds. The rivers also were so full of fish that they killed
them with staves; and they affirmed, if they had been provided with rods
and nets, that a very large company of men might be subsisted, without
ever being in distress for want of food. In this expedition they noted the
diversities of people, languages, dress, and other circumstances, during
the whole way, through many countries, kingdoms, and, provinces, and the
great difficulties and dangers they encountered till their arrival at the
_Villa de la Plata_, and the adjoining sea. This was the most extensive
discovery which has been ever heard of by land, and in so short a time;
insomuch that, if it had not been performed in our own days, it could
hardly have been credited[84].

In 1538, certain friars of the order of St Francis went from Mexico to
preach to the natives in the northern part of New Spain, and to convert
them to the Catholic faith. One Mark de Nizza penetrated farther than any
of the rest.--Passing through Culvacan, or Culiacan, he came into the
province of Sibola, or Cinaloa, where he pretended to have found seven
cities, and that the farther he went the richer was the country in gold,
silver, and precious stones, with many sheep bearing wool of great
fineness. On the fame of this wealth, the viceroy Don Antonio de Mendoça,
and Cortes, determined to send a force to take possession of the country;
but, as they could not agree on this subject, Cortes and his wife went
over to Spain in 1540, where he died seven years afterwards[85].

In 1538, I, Antonio Galvano, being governor of the Molucca islands, sent a
ship, commanded by Francis de Castro, towards the north, with orders to
convert as many as he could to the Christian Faith. Castro himself
baptized many; as the lords of Celebes, Maccassar, Amboina, Moro, Moratax,
and of several other places. On his arrival at the island of Mindanao, six
kings received the water of baptism from de Castro, with their wives,
children, and subjects; and I gave orders that most of these should
receive the name of John, in honour of king John III. who then reigned in

The Portuguese and Spaniards who have been in these islands, affirm that
there are in them a certain species of hogs, which, besides the ordinary
teeth in their jaws, have two others growing out of their snouts, and
other two behind their ears, of a large span and a-half in length[86].
There is likewise said to be a certain tree, that part of which that grows
towards the east is a sure antidote against all kinds of poison, while the
western half of the same tree is itself a deadly poison. The fruit of this
tree is like large pease; of which is made the strongest poison on earth.
There is another tree of a very singular nature, for if any one eat of its
fruit, he becomes twelve hours mad; and, on regaining his senses, cannot
remember any thing that happened during his madness. There are likewise
certain land-crabs, which have the same effect of producing temporary
madness when eaten. The islanders also pretend that there is a certain
stone in these islands of so wonderful a property, that whoever happens to
sit upon it is sure to be afflicted with rupture. It is farther worthy of
remark, that the inhabitants of these islands gild their teeth.

In the year 1539, three ships which had been ordered by Cortes to discover
the coast northwards from Culiacan, and which sailed from Acapulco, under
the command of Francis Ulloa, having touched at _St Jago de Buena
Sperança_, entered into the gulf of California, which Cortes discovered,
and sailed up that gulf till they came almost to the farther end of it, in
lat. 32° N. at a place which they named _Ancon de San Andres_, because
they came there on the day of that Saint. They returned southward along
the other, or western coast of the gulf of California; and, having doubled
the point of that peninsula, called _Cabo de San Lucas_, within certain
islands, they sailed northwards, along the external coast of California,
till they again reached to the same latitude of 32° N. whence they
returned into New Spain; forced to this measure by contrary winds and want
of provisions, after having been absent a whole year on this voyage. In
these discoveries, Cortes expended 200,000 ducats, according to his own
account[87]. Cortes and his captains explored the coast of New Spain, from
the lat. of 12° N. to 32° or 700 leagues; all of which was rather warm
than cold, although snow is found on some of the mountains for the greater
part of every year. From Cabo del Enganno to Cabo de Liampa in China, the
distance is 1000 or 1200 leagues.

In New Spain there are many trees, flowers, and fruits of various kinds,
that are useful to man. The principal tree is named _Metl_, which does not
grow either very tall or very thick. The natives plant and dress this tree
as we do our vines; and they allege that it has forty different kinds of
leaves, resembling woven cloth, which serve for many useful purposes. When
tender, these leaves are made into conserves. From it they make a kind of
paper, and a substance like flax; and it is also manufactured into mantles,
mats, shoes, girdles, and cordage. This tree produces such strong and
sharp prickles, that they are used instead of needles for sewing. The
roots are used as fuel; and their ashes make excellent ley for the
manufacture of soap. The natives open up the earth from the roots of this
tree, and, by scraping or wounding them, they extract a juice which is a
rich syrup. By boiling this juice, it is converted into honey; and, when
purified, it becomes sugar; and may likewise be made into wine and vinegar.
The fruit of this tree is called _Coco_. The rind roasted, crushed, and
applied to sores or wounds, has a most healing quality. The juice of the
roots and tops, mixed with incense, is a sovereign antidote against the
bite of a viper and other poisons. From all these useful properties, this
is the most profitable tree that is known in these parts[88].

There are certain birds in New Spain called Vicmalim, having a long small
bill, which live on dew and the juice of roses and other flowers; their
feathers are very small, and of beautiful colours, and are much esteemed
to work up into ornaments with gold. These birds die, or sleep rather,
every year in the month of October, sitting on a small bough in some warm
and close place; and they revive again in the month of April, when the
flowers appear. There are snakes likewise in this country, which sound as
if they had bells attached to them, when they creep along. There are other
snakes also, which are said to engender by the mouth, as vipers are
reported to do with us. There are likewise certain hogs, which have a
navel on the ridge of the back; which the hunters cut out the moment they
are killed, as otherwise the carcase would corrupt and stink, so as to be
uneatable. Besides which, there are certain fishes which are named
_Snorters_, because they make a snorting noise like hogs[89].

In the year 1538, a civil war broke out in Peru, between Pizarro and
Almagro; in the course of which, Almagro was taken prisoner and beheaded.
After which, in the year 1539, Pizarro sent Peter to Baldivia into Chili;
where he was at first well received, but the people afterwards rose
against him, and sought to put him to death by treason. Notwithstanding
the long and severe war he had to wage against the natives of Chili,
Baldivia explored the country to a great extent, discovering the whole
coast as far as lat. 40° S. and even further. While Baldivia was occupied
in these discoveries, he received intelligence of a king called
_Lucengolma_, who commonly brought 200,000 men into the field, when
engaged in war against another neighbouring king. Lucengolma was likewise
said to have a temple in an island, in which there were 2000 priests. It
was farther reported, that beyond the dominions of this king, there lay a
country inhabited by a nation of Amazons, whose queen was named
_Guanomilla_, which signifies _the golden heaven_. But, hitherto, these
things rest merely on report, and have not been ascertained for truth, by
actual discovery. About this time Gomez de Alvarado reduced the province
of _Guanaco_ to obedience; and Francis de Chavez subdued the _Conchincos_,
who often vexed the town of Truxillo and its adjoining country, by various
inroads. Peter de Vergara reduced the _Bracamores_, a people to the north
of Quito; John Perez de Veragara subdued the _Ciaciapoians_; Alfonsos de
Mercadiglio subdued the people of _Mulubamba_; Ferdinando and Gonsalvo
Pizarro reduced _Collao_, a country rich in gold; the lower part of which
was subdued by Peter de Candia; Peranzures went also on an expedition into
the same country. In this manner the Spaniards dispersed themselves over
the whole country, and conquered an extent of more than 700 leagues; yet
not without much labour, and considerable loss of men[90].

The countries of Brazil and Peru stand east and west from each other,
their coasts being almost 800 leagues distant at the nearest points, which
are the Cape of St Augustine and the harbour of Truxillo, nearly in the
same parallel of latitude. The greatest extent of Peru, measuring from the
river of Peru in the north, to the Straits of Magellan in the south, is
950 leagues. Through the whole of this country certain mountains, called
the Andes, extend from north to south, which divide Brazil on the east,
from Peru, or the empire of the Incas on the west. In the same manner, the
mountains of Taurus and Imaus divide Asia into two parts; which mountains
begin on the Mediterranean, in 36 or 37 degrees of north latitude, over
against the islands of Rhodes and Cyprus, and extend eastwards to the sea
of China. Thus, likewise, the mountains of Atlas in Africa divide the
_tawny_ moors from the _black_ moors, or negroes who have frizzled hair.
These mountains begin at Mount _Moies_, near the desert of Barca, and
extend under the tropic of Cancer to the Atlantic; The mountains of the
Andes are high and rugged, and barren in some places, without trees or
even grass; and it almost always either rains or snows on their highest
ranges, accompanied with sudden and violent tempests of wind. There is so
great a scarcity of wood in these parts, that the inhabitants use turf or
peats for fuel, as is done in Flanders. In these mountains and countries,
the soil is in some places black, in others white, or red, blue, green,
yellow, and violet; and, with some of these earths, the natives dye
various colours, without using any other mixture. From the bottoms of
these mountains, but principally on the east side, there flow many rivers,
both small and great. Among these are the rivers Amazons, St Francis, and
La Plata, and many others, which pervade the country of Brasil[91], which
are much larger than those of Peru, or of Castilia del Oro. The country of
Peru, between the Andes and the western sea or Pacific, is from 15 to 20
leagues in breadth, all of a hot sandy soil, yet fertile, as being well
watered, and produces many excellent trees and fruits. It produces many
turnips, rapes, and other such herbs and roots; likewise abundance of
flags, rushes, herbs, and flowers, of so loose and tender a texture, that
the leaves drop off on the slightest touch. Among these herbs and fresh
flowers, the natives often dwell without beds or houses, even like cattle
in the fields, and some of them have tails[92]. These people are gross,
and wear long hair, but have no beards; and they speak divers languages.
One of the plants of this region called _aipo_, resembles rue, and bears a
yellow flower, which cures all kinds of rotten sores; yet, if applied to
sound flesh, will eat it to the bone.

They say that these mountains abound in tigers, lions, bears, wolves, wild-
cats, foxes, dantes, ounces, hogs, and deer; and with many birds, both
ravenous and others, most of them being black; while under the north, both
birds and beasts are mostly white. There are also great numbers of large
and terrible snakes, which are said to have destroyed a whole army of one
of the Incas, that was marching this way: Yet, according to report, an old
woman did so enchant them, that they became quite harmless and gentle,
insomuch that they would allow people to sit upon them. It is reported
that, from Tumbez to Chili, there are no peacocks, hens, cocks, nor any
eagles, hawks, kites, or other ravenous birds; but there are many ducks,
geese, herns, pigeons, partridges, quails, and many other kinds of birds.
There is likewise a certain fowl like a duck, which has no wings, but is
covered all over with fine thin feathers. A certain species of bitterns
are said to make war upon the sea-wolf or seal; for when this bird finds
them on land, it tries to pick out their eyes, that they may not see their
way back to the water, and then kills them; and the fight between the
bitterns and the seals is said to be a pleasant sight.

Those who live on the tops of the Andes, between the cold and the heat,
are mostly blind of one eye, and some are totally blind; so that hardly
can two men be found but one of them at least is half blind.
Notwithstanding the great heat of the sand in Peru, it yields good crops
of Maize and Potatoes, and an herb called _cocoa_, which the natives carry
continually in their mouths, as those in the East Indies do _Betle_, and
which they say satisfies both hunger and thirst. It is affirmed that, from
Tumbez southwards, for the space of 500 leagues, there is neither rain,
thunder nor lightning, with only some light showers. In Peru, there are
certain animals, called _xacos_[93] by the natives, and sheep by the
Spaniards, because they are covered with wool; but their shape resembles
that of deer, and they have saddle backs like a camel, and are capable of
carrying burdens of about a hundred weight each. The Spaniards ride upon
them; and, when weary, they turn their heads backward, and void a
wonderfully stinking liquor from their mouths. From the rivers La Plata
and Lima, or Rimac, inclusively to the southwards, there are no crocodiles,
lizards, snakes, or other venomous reptiles; but the rivers produce great
store of excellent fish. On the coast of St Michael on the South Sea,
there are many rocks of salt, covered with eggs. At the point of St Helena,
there are springs from which a liquor flows, that serves instead of pitch
and tar. It is said that there is a fountain in Chili which converts wood
into stone. In the haven of Truxillo, there is a lake of fresh water, the
bottom of which is good hard salt; and in the Andes, beyond Xauxa, there
is a fresh water river which flows over a bottom of white salt. It is also
affirmed that there formerly dwelt giants in Peru, of whom statues were
found at Porto Vejo; and that their jaw bones were found in the haven of
Truxillo, having teeth three or four fingers long.

In the year 1540, the viceroy, Don Antonio de Mendoça, sent Ferdinando
Alorchon with two ships, to explore the bottom of the gulph of California,
and divers other countries. In the same year, Gonsalvo Pizarro went from
Quito to discover the _Cinnamon_ country, of which there ran a great fame
in Peru. Taking with him a force of 200 Spaniards, partly horse and part
foot, with 300 Indians to carry the baggage, he marched to _Guixos_, the
most distant place or frontier of the empire of the Incas; in which place
there happened a great earthquake, accompanied with much rain and dreadful
lightning, by which seventy houses were swallowed up. From that place they
passed over a chain of cold and snowy mountains, where they found many
Indians frozen to death, and they wondered much at finding so much snow
immediately under the equinoctial line. From thence they proceeded to a
province called _Cumaco_, where they were detained two months on account
of constant rain; and beyond this, they came to the cinnamon trees, which
are of great size, with leaves resembling those of the bay tree. The
leaves, branches, roots, and every part of this tree, tasted like cinnamon,
but this taste and flavour was particularly strong in the root; yet that
was still stronger in certain knobs, like _alcornoques_, or acorns, which
were good merchandize. This appears to have been of the same nature with
wild cinnamon, of which there is great abundance in the East Indies,
particularly in the island of _Jaoa_, or Java. From this cinnamon country,
they proceeded onwards to the province and city of Coca, where they halted
for fifty days; after which they travelled for sixty leagues along a river,
without being able to find any bridge or ford at which they could pass
over. In one place they found this river to form a cataract of 200 fathoms
in perpendicular fall, making such a noise as was almost sufficient to
deafen any person who stood near. Not far beyond this fall, the river was
found to glide in a smooth channel, worn out of the rock; and at this
place they constructed a bridge by which they passed to the other side,
and entered into a country called Guema, which was so poor, that they
could only get fruit and herbs to subsist upon. Travelling onwards from
that place, they came to a district where the people had some degree of
civilization, and wore cotton clothing of their own manufacture, and used
canoes. They here built a brigantine, in which, and in some canoes,
procured or taken from the natives, they embarked their sick, with their
treasure, provisions, and spare apparel, under the charge of Francis de
Orellana; while Gonsalvo Pizarro marched by land with the rest of the
people along the river, going every night into the boats. In this manner
they proceeded for about 200 leagues; when one night, on coming to the
river side, in hopes of joining the boats as usual, Pizarro could not see
or hear of them. He and his people were reduced, by this unfortunate
incident, to a state of almost utter despair: In a strange, poor, and
barren country, without provisions, clothing, or any other convenience,
and at a vast distance from their friends, with a prodigious extent of
difficult and dangerous road interposed between them and Quito, they were
reduced to the necessity of eating their horses, and even their dogs. Yet
holding a good heart, they proceeded onwards in their journey for eighteen
months, penetrating, as is said, almost 500 leagues, without ever seeing
the sun or any thing else to comfort them. At length, of the 200 men who
had set out from Quito, only ten returned thither; and these so weak,
ragged, and disfigured, that they could not be recognized. Orellana went 5
or 600 leagues down the river, passing through various countries and
nations on both sides, among whom he affirmed that some were Amazons[94].
From the mouth of that river, Orellana went home to Spain, and excused
himself for having deserted Pizarro, and those who marched by land, by
alleging, that he had been forced down the river by the strength of the
current, which he was utterly unable to stem. By some, this river is named
after Orellana, who first navigated its waters; and others call it the
river of the Amazons, on account of a female nation of warriors, who are
said to inhabit its banks[95].

In the year 1541, Don Stephen de Gama, the Portuguese governor of India,
went with a squadron into the Red Sea, by the strait of Mecca, or of
Babelmandel, and came to anchor off the island of Maçua, or Massoua; from
whence he sailed along the coast of Abyssinia, or Ethiopia, to the island
of Suachem, in lat. 20° N. and to the harbour of Cossier, in 27°. From
thence, he crossed over to the Arabian shore, and the city of Toro, and
sailed from that place to Suez, at the farther end of the Red Sea, and
returned from thence to India, having extended the Portuguese knowledge of
that sea farther than had ever been done before. On the way between
Cossier and Toro, Gama is said to have found an island of brimstone, which
had been dispeopled by Mahomet, wherein many crabs are bred, which
increase nature, on which account, they are much sought after by the

It is true that Lopez Suarez, when governor of India, had navigated the
Red Sea, as far as Judda, the haven of Mecca, in lat. 23° N. 150 leagues
from the straits of Babelmandel; but Gama penetrated to the very northern
extremity of the gulph[96]. In the same year, Diego de Almagro killed the
Marquis Francis Pizarro, and his brother Francis Martinez de Alcantara, in
the city of Lima, or _de los Reyes_, and usurped the government of Peru.

In the same year, 1541, Don Antony de Mendça, viceroy of Mexico, sent an
army of Spaniards and Indians from Mexico, under the command of Francis
Vasquez de Coronado, by way of Culiacan, into the province of Sibola, or
Cinaloa, which is in lat. 30° N.[97]. Coronado endeavoured to treat on
friendly terms with the natives, and requested to be furnished with
provisions; but received for answer, that they were not accustomed to give
any thing to those who came unto their country in a warlike manner. Upon
this, the Spaniards assaulted and took the town, to which they gave the
name of New Granada, because the general was a native of Granada in Old
Spain. The soldiers found themselves much deceived by the reports of the
friars who had been in those parts, as already mentioned under the year
1538, who said that the country was rich in gold, silver, and precious
stones. Not being willing, therefore, to return empty-handed to Mexico,
they went to the town of _Acuco_, where they heard of _Axa_ and _Quivira_,
the king of which was reported to worship a golden cross, and the picture
of the Queen of Heaven, or the blessed Virgin. In this journey, the
Spaniards endured many hardships, but the Indians fled every where before
them, and one morning, they found thirty of their horses had died during
the night. From _Cicuic_ they went to _Quivira_, a distance of 200 leagues
in their estimation, the whole way being in a level country; and they
marked their route by means of small hillocks of cow dung, that they might
be the better able to find their way back. At one time they had a storm of
hail, the hailstones being as large as oranges. At length they reached
Quivira, where they found the King _Tatarax_, whose only riches consisted
in a copper ornament, which he wore suspended from his neck. They saw
neither cross, nor image of the virgin, nor any indication whatever of the
Christian religion. This country, according to their report, was very
thinly inhabited, more especially in its champaign or level parts, in
which the whole people wandered about with their cattle, of which they
have great abundance, living much in the same manner with the Arabs in
Barbary, removing from place to place according to the seasons, in search
of pastures for their cattle. The cattle belonging to these Indians are
almost as large as horses, having large horns, and bear fleeces of wool
like sheep, on which account the Spaniards gave them that name. They have
abundance of another kind of oxen or cattle, very monstrous in their form
having hunches on their backs like camels, with long beards, and long
manes like horses. The Indians live by eating these oxen, and by drinking
their blood, and clothe themselves in their skins. Most of their food is
raw, or at least slightly roasted, as they have no pots in which to boil
their food. They cut their meat with certain knives made of flint. Their
fruits are damsons, hazel-nuts, melons, grapes, pines, and mulberries.
They have dogs of such vast strength, that one of them will hold a bull,
be he never so wild. When the Indians remove from place to place, these
dogs carry their wives, children, and household stuff on their backs; and
are so strong as to carry fifty pounds at once[98]. I omit many other
circumstances of this expedition, because the plan I have prescribed
requires brevity[99].

In the year 1542, when Diego de Frietas was in the port of Dodra, in the
kingdom of Siam, three Portuguese of his crew deserted, and went in a junk
towards China. The names of these men were, Antonio de Mota, Francis
Zeimoro, and Antonio Pexoto; who directed their course for the city of
Liampa, in lat. 30° N. or upwards[100]. Having encountered a great storm,
they were driven to a distance from land distance from land, and came in
sight of an island far to the east, in lat. 32° N. which they called Japan,
and which seems to be the isle of Zipangri, mentioned by Marco Polo the
Venetian, which in exceedingly rich in gold and silver, and other valuable

In the same year, 1542, Don Antonio de Mendoça, the viceroy of New Spain,
sent certain sea captains and pilots to explore the Coast of Cape del
Engannon, where a fleet, sent by Cortes, had been before. They sailed as
far as the latitude 40° N. when they came in sight of a range of mountains
covered in snow, which they name _Sierras Nevadas_, or the snowy mountains
in lat. 40°N. They here met with certain merchant ships, which carried on
their stems the images of a kind of birds called _Aleutarsi_, and had
their yards gilded, and their bows laid over with silver. These seemed to
belong to the islands of Japan or to China, as the people said that their
country was within thirty days sail[101]. In the same year, the viceroy
Mendoça sent a fleet of six ships, with 400 Spanish soldiers, and as many
Mexicans, under the command of his brother-in-law, Rui Lopez de Villa
Lobos, a person in high estimation, to the Mindanao islands. They sailed
on the eve of All Saints, from the harbour of Natividad, in lat. 20°N. and
shaping their course towards the west, they came in sight of the island of
St Thomas, which had been before discovered by Hernando de Girijalva; and
beyond that, in 17°N, they got sight of another island, which they named
_La Nebulata_ or the Cloudy Island; and from thence, they came to another
island, which they named _Roca Partalia_, or the cloven rock. On the 3rd.
of December, they discovered certain shoals, having only six or seven
fathoms water. On the fifteenth of the same month, they had sight of the
islands which were discovered by Diego de Roca, Gomez de Sequieira, and
Alvaro de Saavedra, called _Los Reyes_ or islands of the kings, because
discovered on Twelfth day. And beyond these, they found a cluster of
islands, in 10° of latitude, and came to an anchor in the midst of them,
where they took in wood and water. In January 1548 leaving these islands,
they came in sight of certain other islands, from which the natives came
off to them, in a kind of boats, bearing crosses in their hands, and they
saluted the mariners in the Spanish language, saying, _Buenos dias
Matelotes_, or, good day companions. The Spaniards were much surprised at
being thus accosted in their own language, and seeing such indications of
Christianity, at no great a distance from Spain, not knowing that many of
the natives in these parts had been baptised by Francis de Castro, at the
command of me, Antonio Galvano, an formerly mentioned. From these unlooked-
for circumstances, some of the Spaniards named these islands _Islas de los
Cruzos_, or the Islands of Crosses and others called them _Islas de los
Matelotes_, or the Islands of Companions[101]. On the first of February,
Ruy Lopez came in sight of the noble island of Mindanao, in 9º N.[102].
But he could neither double that inland, owing to contrary winds, nor
would the natives permit him to come to anchor on their coast, because the
five or six christened kings and their people had promised obedience to me
Antonio Galvano, and were unwilling to incur my displeasure. On this
account, and constrained by contrary winds, Lopez sailed along the coast
in quest of a place of safety; and, in four or five degrees of latitude,
he found a small island called Sarangam by the natives, which he took
possession of by force, and named it Antonio after the viceroy of Mexico.
Ruy Lopez, and his people remained here a whole year, during which many
things occurred worth notice; but as these are treated of in other
histories, I refrain from mentioning them, confining myself entirely to

In the month of August of the same year, 1548, Ruy Lopez, sent Bartholomew
de la Torre in a small ship to New Spain, to acquaint the viceroy of his
proceedings. Torre went first to the islands named _Siria, Gaonala,
Bisaia_, and many others, in 11° and 12° N. lat. where Magellan and de
Castro had both been formerly, and where the latter baptized many of the
natives; and the Spaniards called these the _Phillipinas_, in honour of
the prince of Spain[104]. In these islands Torre procured provisions, and
wood and water, whence he sailed for several days with a fair wind, edging
towards the north-east, till he came right under the tropic of Cancer. On
the 25th of September, they came in sight of certain islands, which they
named _Malabrigos_, or the evil roads; beyond which they discovered _Las
dos Hermanas_, or the Two Sisters; and beyond these again, four islands
which they called _las Volcanes_. On the second of October they came in
sight of _Farfana_, beyond which there is a high pointed rock, which
throws up fire in five places. Sailing in this manner, for some time, in
16° of north latitude, they were obliged by continual contrary winds, to
bear up again for the Philippine islands, and in their way back, had sight
of six or seven additional islands, but did not anchor at any of them.
They found also an archipelago, or numerous cluster of islands, in 15 or
16 degrees of north latitude, well inhabited by a white people, with
beautiful well-proportioned women, and much better clothed than in any
other of the islands of these parts; and they had many golden ornaments,
which was a sure sign that there was some of that metal in their country.
These people likewise had barks or vessels of forty-three cubits long, by
two fathoms and a half in breadth, constructed of planks five inches broad,
and which were rowed with oars. The people told the Spaniards that they
were in use to sail in these vessels to China, which was not above five or
six days sail from thence, and offered to supply them with pilots, if they
were inclined to go thither. Several of these barks, handsomely decked,
came off to the Spanish ship, in which the master, and other principal
people, sat on a high platform, while the rowers sat underneath, who were
_blackamoors_ or negroes with frizzled hair. Being asked whence they had
these negroes, they answered that they were brought from certain islands
near Sebut, where there were abundance to be had. The Spaniards wondered
much at finding negroes in this place, being above 300 leagues from the
nearest land of the negroes. It is therefore probable that these people
were not originally natives of this part of the world; but that they have
been scattered somehow in various places over the circuit of the earth, as
they are found in the islands of Nicobar and Andaman, in the bay of Bengal.
From thence, for the space of 500 leagues, we do not know of any other
black people: Yet Vasco Nunnez de Valboa pretends to have discovered them,
when he went to explore the coast of the South Sea, in a country which he
named _Quareca_; but there never were any found in New Spain, Castilia del
Oro, or in Peru.

In the year 1544, Don Gutierre de Vargas, bishop of Placenza, the cousin
of Mendoça, sent a fleet from Seville to the straits of Magellan,
instigated by the advice of the viceroy. Some said that this fleet was
destined for the Moluccas, others for China, and others again, that it was
meant only to explore the coast from the straits along Chili to Peru.
However this may have been, the fleet was unable, from contrary winds, to
get through the straits, except one small bark which got into the South
Sea, and sailed along the whole coast, till it came to _Chirimai_ and
_Arequipa_, which is above 500 leagues, which were now explored; all the
rest of the coast having been formerly discovered by Diego de Almagro,
Francis Pizarro, and their people, at various times[105].

In January of the year 1545, Ruy Lopez de Villa Lobos, formerly mentioned,
came with his Spaniards to the isle of _Moro_[106], and the city of
_Camato_, where he was well received by the kings of Gilolo and Tidore,
and the people of the country; for I, Antonio Galvano, had then left the
Moluccas; and they put the governor Don George de Castro to much trouble,
and great expence. In the same year, 1545, Ruy Lopez de Villa Lobos, sent
another ship from Tidore for New Spain, under the command of Ignatius
Ortez de Rotha, and having Jaspar Rico as pilot, with orders to attempt
the passage by the south side of the line. Ortez sailed to the coast of
Papua, which he explored; and, as he knew not that Saavedra had been there
formerly, he challenged the credit and honour of the discovery. Finding
the natives of a black colour, with frizzled hair, he named the country on
that account New Guinea. Thus, the memory of Saavedra was then almost lost,
as every thing is apt to fall into oblivion, unless put upon record, and
illustrated by writing.

In June of this year, 1545, one Pedro Fidalgo, a Portuguese, sailed in a
junk from the city of Borneo; but being driven to the north by contrary
winds, he fell in with a large island, the south extremity of which lay in
nine or ten degrees of north latitude, while it stretched to lat. 22° N.
at its other end, which is called the island of Luçones, from the name of
the nation by which it is inhabited. Perhaps it may have some other name,
of which, as yet, we have not been informed. This island runs from the
north for a great way directly south, and then takes a turn towards the
south-east. It is said that Fidalgo sailed for 250 leagues along the coast
of this island, which is in the midway-between Mindanao and China, and he
reported that the land was fruitful, and well clothed with trees and
verdure; and that the inhabitants will give two pezoes of gold for one of
silver, although so near China, in which the relative value of these
metals is so well understood.

In the year 1553, certain ships were sent out from England, which sailed
to the northward, along the coast of Norway and Finmark, and from thence
east, in seventy or eighty degrees of north latitude, till they came to
Muscovy, to which country one of the ships penetrated; but I have not been
able to learn what became of the rest. From the land of Muscovy, a ship
may sail eastwards to Tartary, at the farthest extremity of which China is
situated. It is reported that there is a wall above 200 leagues in length,
between Tartary and China, in about lat. 50° N.

From all the preceding discoveries, it may be concluded, that, as the
whole earth is 360 degrees, and the ancient writers allow 17-1/2 leagues
for every degree, the entire circuit of the earth would thus be 6300
leagues; but as, in my opinion, each degree is exactly seventeen leagues,
the circuit will then be only 6120 leagues. However this may be, the whole
circuit of the globe has been discovered and sailed over, from east to
west, even almost as it is encompassed and visited by the sun in its
diurnal course. It is quite otherwise, however, in respect to the northern,
and southern parts of the earth. For, towards the north pole, there has
only been discovered hitherto to the latitude of 77° or 78°, which make an
extent of 1347 leagues; and between the equinoctial and the south pole,
there has only been discovered to the latitude of 52° or 53° south, or to
the Straits of Magellan; which amounts to no more than 960 leagues. Now,
adding these two together, their sum is just 2257 leagues: And, deducting
this sum from 6300 leagues, there still remains to be discovered, in the
north and south, 4043 leagues.

[1] Ferdinand was hereditary king of Arragon; but, by marrying Isabella,
    queen of Castile, had united the several monarchies of Spain, under
    one government. Ferdinand had no share whatever in the honour of
    sending out Columbus, the sole charge being defrayed by his consort,
    Isabella, hereditary queen of Castile and Leon; and who had even to
    borrow money for the purpose. The contemptuous notice of _one_
    Christopher Columbus, must be pardoned to the patriotic rivalry of a

[2] Galvano is here inaccurate: It will be seen in the sequel, that
    Bartholomew Columbus did not accompany his brother in this voyage,
    being then in England.--E.

[3] It is certainly possible, that Columbus may have used that mode in his
    course to the Canaries: But as his run across the Atlantic was nearly
    on a parallel, he must have kept that part of his voyage by what is
    called dead reckoning, or by the log.--E.

[4] The middle of Guanahana is in lat. 24° 30' N. The centre of Jamaica in
    18° 10' N. The latitudes of Galvano are generally inaccurate; and he
    never pretends to assign any longitudes whatever. The series, likewise,
    in which he arranges the discoveries of Columbus is very inaccurate.

[5] Cape de Verd is in 14° 30' N. Deseada in 16° 30' N. a difference of
    two degrees of latitude. Dominica, in 15° 30' is the first land said
    to have been discovered by Columbus in his _second_ voyage, in the
    authentic original narrative by his son, which will be found in the

[6] Counting from Dominica to the north side of Cuba, between 15° 30' and
    23° 15'.--E.

[7] The negociators of the two crowns, as here related, seem to have been
    ignorant that this loose division of the globe gave the whole
    reciprocally to each of the parties.--E.

[8] The apparent object seems to have been in search of a passage to the
    East Indies by way of the north-west, a chimera long and anxiously
    sought after. It is needless to make any observations on these
    indistinct notices, as the voyage of Cabot will be afterwards given at
    full length.--E.

[9] The centre of Trinidada is in 10° 30'N. its S.W. point in 10° 12', and
    the N.E. cape in 10º 45' N.--E.

[10] De Barros, Dec. I. 1. 4. c. 2. and to the end of ch. 11.--Hakl.

[11] Osorius says this voyage commenced on the 9th of July.--Clarke.

[12] This Panama seems a blunder of some ignorant copyist, for Panarame.

[13] The coast here is nearly N. and S. and their course must have been to
    the north.--E.

[14] The Marannon and Amazons are the same river. Perhaps by the Rio Dolce
    the Orinoco may be meant; but in these slight notices of discovery it
    is impossible at times to ascertain the real positions, through the
    alteration of names.--E.

[15] From the latitude indicated by Galvano, the land of Cortereal may
    have been somewhere on the eastern side of Newfoundland.--E.

[16] Barros, Dec. 1. I. 5. c. 10.

[17] Gomara, I. 2.

[18] About 8200 ounces, worth about L. 16,000 sterling; equal in modern
    efficacy, perhaps, to L. 100,000.--E.

[19] Probably an error for Taprobana; the same by which Ceylon was known
    to the ancients.--E.

[20] The Cakerlaka of other writers, which can only be large monkeys or
    baboons, called men with tails, through ignorance or imposture.--E.

[21] Rumi still continues the eastern name of the Turkish empire, as the
    successor of the Roman emperors, in Assyria and Egypt. Hence these
    Roman gold coins may have come in the way of trade from Assyria or
    Egypt, or may possibly have been Venetian sequins.--E.

[22] The author must here mean Cochin China by the coast of Patane.--E.

[23] About 1000 by 320 English miles.--E.

[24] This story of the skull of a small insect is quite unintelligible,
    and must have been misunderstood entirely by Hakluyt, the translator:
    It is the Elephant, probably, that is here meant.--E.

[25] Probably the bird of Paradise.--Clarke.

[26] P. Martyr, Dec. 3. c. 10.

[27] The island of Tararequi is in lat. 5° N.

[28] These leagues are elsewhere explained as 17-1/2 to the degree, or
    about 4 English miles: Hence the estimate of Galvano is 2000 miles
    long by 1200 miles broad; certainly a very extensive dominion. China
    Proper may be said to extend in length from lat. 27° to 41° N. and in
    breadth from long. 97° to 121° E. not very inferior to the above
    estimate; but including the immeasurable bounds of its dependencies,
    Chinese Tartary, Thibet, and almost the whole of central Asia, it
    prodigiously exceeds the magnitude here assigned by Galvano.--E.

[29] Castagnada, I. 4. c. 36. 37. Osorius, I. 11. f. 315. p. 2.

[30] Pet. Mart. IV. iv. Gomar. II. xiv. and xvii.

[31] The text is obscure, and seems to indicate that they were unable to
    pass between the island of Ascension and the main of Yucatan. The
    latitudes are extremely erroneous: Cozumel is in lat. 20° N. The
    island of Ambergris, perhaps the Ascension of the text, is in 18° 30'.
    From errors in latitude and alterations of nomenclature, it is often
    impossible to follow distinctly the routes of these early voyagers.--E.

[32] Pet. Mart. IV. vi. Gomar. II. xviii, &c.

[33] Gomar. II. xxi, xxii, xxiii, xxiv.

[34] This certainly ought to be called the Molucca islands; but Galvano
    uniformly applies the same name, Malacca, both to the spice islands
    and the city of Malacca on the Continent.--E.

[35] Gomar. IV. iii. Pet. Mart. V. vii.

[36] Ramusio, I. 874.

[37] This seems to mean the Straits of Babelmandel. Having lost sight of
    Prester John in Tartary, the Portuguese were delighted with the
    discovery of a Christian king in Africa, the Negus of Abyssinia; and
    transferred to him that popular fable.--E.

[38] These countries, with the river and cape mentioned in the text, are
    now unknown, these arbitrary names having merged in the nomenclature
    of more recent settlers. If the latitude be nearly accurate, it may
    have been on the confines of Georgia and South Carolina.--E.

[39] Gomar. II. l.

[40] Id. II. lx.

[41] Malacca of the text ought certainly to be Molucca: Bouro is in lat.
    3° 20' S. Timor between 8° 30' and 10° 20' S.--E.

[42] Gomar. IV. viii.

[43] Id. VI. iv. li.

[44] Gomar. IV. viii, and xii. Castagn. VI. xli.

[45] Gomar. VI. xii.

[46] Castagn. VI. xlii.

[47] Gomar. II. lxi. The text, in Hakluyt's translation, has the absurd
    number of 76,000 Castilians lost in this war; 76 is a more probable
    number, and is considerable out of his small force: yet, the text may
    mean 76,000 _Castellans_ of gold, as the sum expended on the
    expedition; and which Hakluyt, or his printer, changed to that number
    of _Castilians_.--E.

[48] Gomar. Conqu. de Mex. f. 226.

[49] Id. 242. This bay reaches no farther to the S. than 148 10' N.--E.

[50] Id. f. 229. 230.

[51] Id. f. 233.

[52] Gomar. Conqu. f. 234. and Hist. Gen. III. xxi.

[53] Id: Hist. Gen. II. vii.

[54] In this latitude, on the shore of Costa Rica, there is a town now
    called Porto Cartago; but whether that indicated in the text it is
    difficult to say, as Galvano is not always perfectly accurate in his

[55] Gomar. Hist. Gen. II. lxv. and Conqu. f. 243.

[56] Gomar. Hist. Gen. II. lxvi, and Conqu. f. 256-261.

[57] The Spanish leagues are 17-1/2 to the degree of latitude, hence this
    march exceeded 2000 English miles.--E. Gomar. Hist. Gen. II. lxvi. Id.
    Conqu. 246-273.

[58] Gomar. Hist. Gen. V. i. and ii.

[59] The ambiguity of the language is here utterly inexplicable.--E.

[60] Meaning probably the lake of Titicaca in Peru. It is hardly necessary
    to say that this slight survey of the Plata must be erroneous,
    especially in its reports. The Rio San Francisco, alludes to one of
    the sources of the Great Maranon, or river of the Amazons.--E.

[61] Ramusio, III. 310. Ramusio gives a long and minute account of this
    unfortunate expedition, entitled, Relation made by Alvaro Nunez, of
    what befel the armament sent to the _Indies_ (America) under Pamphilo
    Narvaez in the year 1527, to the end of 1536; when he returned to
    Seville with _three_ only of his companions.--Clarke.

[62] The inhabitants of this island were most probably _tatooted_, of
    which custom a particular description will be given hereafter, in the
    particular voyages of discovery in the South Sea.--E.

[63] The longitudes being altogether neglected in these relations by
    Galyano, it is impossible to form any conjecture as to the islands
    indicated in text. They may possibly have belonged to the Carolines of
    modern maps, which extend between long. 135° and 180° E. and about the
    latitudes of the text.--E.

[64] The account which Galvano gives of this voyage is very vague and
    inconclusive. We shall find afterwards that the Spaniards found out
    the means of counteracting the perpetual eastern trade winds of the
    Pacific within the tropics, by shaping a more northerly course from
    the Philippine islands, where they established the staple of their
    Indian commerce, between Acapulco and Manilla.--E.

[65] Galvano certainly mistakes here in assigning Tecoantepec, which is at
    least 340 miles from the nearest part of the bay of Honduras. If a
    navigation were practicable from Tecoantepec, it would more probably
    be towards Tabasco, at the bottom of the bay of Campechy. Perhaps he
    ought to have said from Guatimala to the gulf of Dolse, at the bottom
    of the bay of Honduras. This splendid navigation between the Atlantic
    and Pacific, within the tropics, like that between the Mediterranean
    and Red Sea, still remains an unsolved problem. It will be resumed
    hereafter, among the voyages and travels to Spanish America.--E.

[66] These seem all to have been brothers to Pizarro, and named from the
    town of Alcantara in Spain.--E.

[67] The mouth of the Maranon is exactly under the line.--E.

[68] The latitude of Cusco is only 13° 30' S.--E.

[69] Gomar. Hist. Gen. V. vi. vii. viii. ix

[70] Gomar. Hist. Gen. V. xvi. xviii. xix.

[71] So named from the two brothers, Caspar and Michael Cortereal, who are
    said to have been lost on this coast of North America in 1500, as
    formerly mentioned by Galvano.--E.

[72] Xalis, or Xalisco, the residence of Gusman is in lat. 21°45'N. The
    mouth of the river St Francis, on the north-eastern shore of the gulf
    of California, is in lat. 26° 40' N. so that the discovery on the
    present occasion seems to have comprised about 350 miles to the north
    of Xalis.--E.

[73] Gomar. Hist. Gen. II. Lxxiv. xcviii.

[74] Xauxa or Jauja, stands on the high table land of Peru; Lima, or de
    los Reys, near the coast of the South Sea, in the maritime valley, or
    low country, and on the river Rimac, called Lima in the text.--E.

[75] Gomar. Hist. Gen. IV. xxiii. and V. xxii.

[76] Gomar. H. G. V. xxiv. and xxv. Almagro appears, both on his march to
    Chili and back to Cusco, to have gone by the high mountainous track
    of the Andes, and the carcases of his dead horses must have been
    preserved from corruption amid the ever during ice and snow of that
    elevated region.--E.

[77] The text seems ambiguous, and it appears difficult to say whether
    Galvano means, that Cosesofar, or Coje Sofar, was captain under
    D'Acunha, or general of the Guzerat army, belonging to Badu.--E.

[78] This probably refers to the _Bore_, or great and sudden influx of
    the sea, after a great recession.--E.

[79] Gomar. H. G. IV. xiii.

[80] Probably a mistake for La Paz, the principal town of the north-
    western district, or mining province, belonging to the Viceroyalty of
    La Plata.--E.

[81] The only island mentioned in this voyage, which can be traced by the
    names in our modern maps, is the Piscadores, about lat. 11° N. long.
    167° E.--E.

[82] This strange expression is quite inexplicable, and must have been
    misunderstood by Hakluyt.--E.

[83] Probably Morty, of our present maps.--E.

[84] Chron. del Peru, c. ix, xx.

[85] Ramus. III. 356.

[86] This obviously refers to an inaccurate description of the Babyroussa.

[87] Gomar. H. G. II. lxiv. Ramus. III. 329.

[88] Gomar. H. G. VI. xvii.

[89] In this paragraph we have very vague indications of humming birds,
    rattlesnakes, and of the animal now called Pecari.--E.

[90] Gomar. H. G. V. xxxv. and Chron. del Peru, c. 103.

[91] The word Brazil in the text obviously includes the whole flat country
    to the east of the Andes, Guiana, Brazil, Paraguay, Buenos Ayres, and

[92] This idea, ever since the time of Lord Monboddo, has been renewed,
    and occupies the attention of the explorers of Africa; links may exist,
    in creation, with which we are yet unacquainted.--Clarke.

    The fancy of tailed men has probably arisen from inattentive observers,
    seeing people clothed in the skins of beasts, with the tails hanging
    down. The natives of New South Wales wear tails in imitation of the
    Kangaroo: Yet, having been closely observed, are not described as
    tailed men--E.

[93] This word ought to have been _Pacos_. Of these animals, with the
    Llamas and Vicugnas, different species of the camel genus, a more
    extended account will occur, when we come to the particular travels in

[94] It will be seen afterwards, in the account of the West India Islands,
    and the Continent of Guiana, that there are many warlike tribes of
    Caribs, or Caraibs, constantly engaged in predatory warfare; whose
    women, when their husbands are absent in search of prisoners for
    _food_, take arms for the protection of themselves and children;
    whence they have been reported as nations of female warriors, or

[95] Gomar. H.G.V. xxxvi.

[96] The true latitudes of the places mentioned in the text are, Suakim,
    19º 30', Massoua, 15º 20', Cossier, 26° 16', Judda, 21º 20', Suez, 30°.

[97] The latitude of 30° N. would lead to the idea of Sonora being the
    district, or province, indicated in the text by Sibola; Cinaloa is
    only in 26° N. yet, from the context, appears to be the country
    intended by Galvano--E.

[98] The idea that a dog, even able to bear a load of fifty pounds, should
    carry a woman, is truly absurd. If there be any truth in the story,
    the dogs must have performed the services in the text by drawing
    sledges; yet nothing of the kind has hitherto been found in North
    America, though common in North-east Asia.--E.

[99] Gomar. H.G. VI. xviii. and xix.

[100] In other writers Liampa and Siampa, or Tsiompa, are synonimous; but
    that place is in lat. 12° N. The latitude of the text would lead us to
    the eastern coast of China, between Ningpo and Nankin.--E.

[101] Gomez, H. G. VI. xviii. This story, which Galvano has reported from
    Genoa, seems altogether unworthy of credit.--E.

[102] The Matelots are laid down in our modern maps, in lat. 9° N. Long
    137° E. not far E.N.E. of the Pelew, or Pillelew islands.--E.

[103] This great inland of Mindanao, to the south of the Philippines,
    reaches from 9° 30' N. to 5° 30', and from long. 122° to 126° 20' E.
    being about 300 miles long, by 270 miles broad.--E.

[104] The Philippines, exclusive of Mindanao and Palawa, extend from Lat.
    9° to 18º 40' both N. and are in E. long. 122º but their present
    geographical names, Luzon, Samar, Leyte, Zebu, Negros, Pany, Mindora,
    and several other smaller isles, have no resemblance whatever with
    those of the text.--E.

[105] Gomar. H.G. IV. xiv.

[106] Probably Morty, the most north-easterly of the Moluccas.--E.




This relation of a journey into Persia, between the years 1473 and 1477,
is from a collection of voyages and travels, principally in Asia, made in
the _twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth_, and _fifteenth centuries_, which
was published at the Hague, in the French language, in 1735. That
collection usually goes under the name of _Bergeron_, whose name appears
on the title somewhat equivocally as the author; but who is mentioned in
the advertisement as a writer belonging to the middle of the preceding
century; and the only part of the work that can, be attributed to him, is
a _Treatise of Navigation, and of the Modern Voyages of Discovery and
Conquest, especially those made by the French, &c._ which serves as an
introduction to this compilement. The editor of this collection gives no
account of himself, or of the sources from whence he has derived his
different articles; and only says, that the journal of Contarini was
translated into French, that it might be published along with the other
contents of his volume. From the _Bibliotheque Universelle des Voyages_,
by G. Boucher de la Richarderie, a new work of great research, published
at Paris in 1808, we learn that the journal of Contarini was published in
Italian at Venice, in a duodecimo volume, in 1543. So far as is known to
us, it now appears for the first time in an English translation. This
article might have been more aptly placed towards the close of _first_
part of the present collection, but escaped notice in proper time and it
appears of too much importance, both in itself, and as an early document,
to be omitted from punctilious attention to rigid systematic arrangement.


"The illustrious republic of Venice, having done me the honour to appoint
me ambassador to Uzun-Hassan, king of Persia, I accepted the employment
with much pleasure, both that I might do acceptable service to my own
country and for the general good of Christendom. I neither considered the
difficulties nor the dangers of the journey, but placed my trust solely
on the assistance of God; preferring the interests of my country, and of
the Christian world, to my own ease and safety. On purpose to render my
discoveries useful to the public, I have carefully and briefly recorded
every circumstance deserving of attention, that occurred during my long
and laborious journey; as relative to the provinces, cities, and places
through which I travelled, and the manners and customs of the different
nations among whom I sojourned. In short, I have omitted nothing
deserving of notice, that occurred during my three years journey, having
left Venice on the first day of Lent, in the year 1473, and having
returned to my beloved country on the 24th of February in the year


_The Ambassador, after passing through Germany, Poland, Russia, and the
Tartarian Deserts, or Upper European Sarmatia, arrives at Caffa or

I left Venice on the 23d of February, in the year 1473, accompanied by the
venerable priest Stephen Testa, who acted as my chaplain and secretary,
and by Demetrius de Seze, my interpreter, together with two servants,
Maffei de Bergamo, and John Ungaretti, all of us disguised in ordinary
German dresses, our money being concealed in the clothes of Stephen Testa.
We went by water in the first place to the church of _St Michael in
Murano_, where we heard mass, and received the benediction of the prior;
after which, we mounted our horses, which were there in waiting, and
reached Treviso[2] the same day. I anxiously wished to have procured some
person to accompany us on the journey who knew the road, but could not
meet with any, nor could I even procure a guide for hire. Leaving Treviso
on the 24th, we arrived that day at Cogiensi, now called Cornegliano[3];
and knowing the dangers and difficulties we must experience during our
long journey, we here confessed, and partook of the holy sacrament of the
eucharist, after which we resumed our journey. We fortunately overtook a
German, named Sebastian, who said he knew me and the object of my journey,
and offered to keep us company to Nuremburgh. I gladly accepted of this
person as a companion of our journey, inwardly thanking God for affording
us a guide. We continued our journey to the frontiers of Germany, passing
through several cities and castles, belonging to different princes and
bishops, vassals of the empire, among which the city of Augsburg seemed
one of the most beautiful. Not far from that place our German companion,
Sebastian, left us, taking the road for Francfort. We parted from him with
many embraces, giving him thanks for his numerous attentions, and mutually
wishing each other a good journey.

Having procured a new guide, we arrived at Nuremburg on the 10th of March.
This is a fine city, having a river running through the middle of it, and
is defended by an excellent citadel. While here, I inquired of my landlord
if there were any travellers going our way. He informed me that there were
two ambassadors from the king of Poland then in the city, who, he was
certain, would be happy to receive a visit from me. I therefore sent my
chaplain, Stephen Testa, to inform these gentlemen of my being in
Nuremburg, and of the purpose of my journey, and of my desire to pay them
a visit. They received my message with much civility, and I accordingly
went to wait upon them. These gentlemen were counsellors of state to his
Polish Majesty, one of whom was an archbishop, and the other a knight,
named Paul. After mutual compliments, I informed them that I proposed
paying my respects to their sovereign, and was furnished with a passport.
Notwithstanding the sorry equipage in which I travelled, they received me
with much honour. I remained four days in Nuremburg, during which I formed
a friendly intimacy with the Polish ambassadors, and then resumed my
journey in their company, being likewise accompanied by an ambassador
belonging to the king of Bohemia, eldest son of the king of Poland.

Departing from Nuremburg on the 14th of March, now nearly sixty horsemen
in company, we crossed through Germany, always lodging in good cities or
castles, some of which were extremely beautiful, both in respect to their
situation and the excellence of their fortifications; but I omit
describing them, as they are well known to travellers. The journey across
Germany took us twelve days, during which we passed through the greater
part of the dominions of the Maregrave of Brandenburg, and arrived at the
imperial city of Francfort, a tolerably good and well fortified city on
the Oder. We rested here till the 29th of March. As this city is near the
confines of Poland, we had an escort of cavalry belonging to the Maregrave
of Brandenburg, which accompanied us to the frontiers. These soldiers were
well mounted and armed, and marched in good order. On the last day of
March we arrived at Miedzyrzyez[4], which is a small city, but strong and
pleasant, and is the first place on the frontiers of Poland. From that
place till we reached _Stragone_, or Poznan, which took us three days
journey, we saw no place worth notice. Poznan is particularly remarkable
on account of a great fair, which is resorted to by many merchants.
Leaving Poznan on the 3d of April, we arrived on the 9th at Lenczycz[5],
where Casimir, king of Poland, then resided. In this journey we found
neither cities nor considerable castles, and had much reason to remember
Germany with regret, both on account of bad lodgings and every other
circumstance. When my arrival was announced to the king, he sent two of
his gentlemen to wait upon me, who assigned me a tolerably commodious
lodging. Next day being Easter, when no business of any kind is transacted,
I rested after the fatigues of the journey. On the following morning the
king sent me a robe of black damask, according to the custom of the
country, that I might go to court, which I did, accompanied by several
persons of distinction, and had the honour to pay my respects to the king,
according to the ceremonies of that court; after which I presented the
letters of our illustrious republic to his majesty, and explained to him
the nature of my commission. The king was pleased to invite me to dinner,
which was served much in the same manner as with us, the dishes being in
great abundance, and well dressed. As soon as dinner was over, I asked
permission to retire, which was accordingly granted. Two days afterwards I
was again sent for to court, when the king gave orderly answers to all the
proposals which I had made in the name of our republic, and with so much
benevolent attention towards me, that I learned by experience that he
justly deserved the character of the best king who had reigned in Poland
for a great many years. He was pleased to appoint me two guides, one of
whom was to accompany me through Poland, and the other through lower
Russia, to Kiow[6], or Magrano, which is the key of the kingdom. I humbly
thanked his majesty in the name of the republic, and took my leave.

I left Lenczycz on the 14th of April, on my journey through Poland, which
is a flat country, ornamented with many forests; but the great want of
convenient lodgings is a sure proof that it is not very fertile, nor much
abounding in the necessaries of life. On the 19th I arrived at Lublin, a
tolerable city, defended by a citadel. The three sons of the king resided
there at this time for their education. The eldest of these princes was
about fourteen years of age, and the two others considerably younger.
Learning that they wished to see me, providing that their father had not
forbidden, I waited upon them, and was received with much politeness, the
eldest conversing with me in the most obliging manner, and I observed that
they behaved with much respect to their preceptor. I took my leave of them,
returning thanks for their civilities, and they parted from me with as
much courtesy as I had experienced in my reception. Leaving Lublin, and
continuing our journey through Poland, we arrived on the 20th of April in
lower Russia, which is subject to the king of Poland. In this part of our
journey we travelled five whole days through thick woods, and, except
meeting with a very few castles, we lodged for the most part in country
houses. On the 25th, we came to a town named _Jusch_, which is defended by
a wooden castle. We rested here for some time, yet not without danger, as
the inhabitants were quite mad with drunkenness, on account of celebrating
certain marriages. This country produces no wine, but the natives prepare
a liquor from honey, which is stronger and more intoxicating even than
wine. Leaving this place, we came to another village named _Aitomir_, in
which likewise there is a wooden castle. During the whole of our journey
of the 29th, we travelled through forests, in constant danger of robbers
who infested all the roads, and we knew not where to pass the night, or to
procure any refreshments, insomuch that we had to sleep in the woods,
keeping strict watch lest we might be surprised by the banditti. On the
30th of April we reached _Belligraoch_, which signifies the _white_ fort,
where we were lodged in the royal palace, and passed the night with much

On the first of May we reached the city of _Kiow_[7], or Magraman. The
governor of this city, which stands beyond the frontiers of Polish Russia,
was a Polander and Catholic, named _Pamartin_. Immediately on learning my
arrival from the guides sent along with me by the king, he appointed me a
lodging, which was sufficiently small, considering the size of the city.
He here visited me, and sent me a sufficient supply of provisions. This
city serves as a barrier or frontier garrison against the Tartars, and is
celebrated for a great fair, to which the merchants bring rich furs, and
other goods from Upper Russia. From hence the merchants travel in a large
caravan to Caffa or Theodosia in the Crimea; but are often surprised and
very ill treated by the Tartars during their journey. The country about
Kiow abounds in grain and cattle. The inhabitants of this place occupy the
whole day in their affairs till three o'clock, employing all the rest,
till night, in drinking and quarrels, the natural consequence of
drunkenness. On the day of my arrival, governor Pamartin sent some of his
gentlemen to invite me to dinner, which I accepted with as much politeness
as I could express. He received me very honourably, offering me every
service in his power, in the most obliging manner; saying, that he was
ordered by the king of Poland to treat me in every thing as well as
possible; on which I thanked him for his polite attentions, and
endeavoured to recommend myself to his friendship. From him I was informed
that he was in daily expectation of the arrival of an ambassador from
Lithuania, going with presents to the prince of the Tartars, who was to
have an escort of 200 Tartar horse; and, if I were inclined to take
advantage of this opportunity, by which means I should travel in much
greater safety, I had better wait the arrival of this ambassador. I
accepted of this offer most willingly; and we then sat down to a
magnificent entertainment; at which the bishop of Kiow, who was brother to
the governor, and many other persons of consequence were present. We
wanted nothing which could contribute to make the dinner pleasant. Good
company, good cheer, and music during the repast. The only circumstance I
did not like was, that it lasted too long; as I had more need for sleep
and rest, after my fatiguing journey, than of all the good cheer that
could be offered. In consequence, as soon as dinner was ended, I took my
leave, and retired to my lodgings in the city; the governor living in the
castle, which is only of wood. The city of Kiow stands on the river named
anciently Boristhenes, and Danambre by the natives, which we Italians call
Lerissa, and which falls into the Euxine.

On the 10th of May[8], the ambassador of Lithuania arrived; and, as he was
to set out next day after mass, I went to pay him my compliments,
accompanied by M. Pamartin; who directed him, on the part of the king of
Poland, to take care of me, and to conduct me in perfect safety to
Theodosia. To this the ambassador answered, that he had every respect for
the orders of his majesty, the sovereign arbiter of his life and death,
and would carefully obey his orders. I thanked M. Pamartin for all his
kindnesses, as he had frequently visited me, and had supplied me with
every thing I needed for subsistence during my stay; and, as some token of
my gratitude, I made him a present of a tolerably good German horse, which
had carried me hitherto. We here parted with the rest of our horses, which
were quite unfit for our farther use, and procured horses of the country
for the remainder of our journey; and, on parting with the guides who had
accompanied us to Kiow by orders of the king, I rewarded them for their
attention and good conduct.

I left Kiow on the 11th of May, along with the Lithuanian ambassador; and
as I was unable to travel on horseback, on account of pains in my feet, I
travelled in a carriage, which had served me for that purpose ever since I
left the king of Poland at Lenczycz. The first place we came to was
_Cerca_, belonging to the king of Poland, where we waited till the 15th,
for the Tartar horse who came to escort us on our journey. After their
arrival we set out on our journey through the great desert of Tartary, and
came to the Boristhenes, which separates Tartary from Russia, and which is
some miles broad[9]. As it was necessary to pass the river, our Tartars
cut down some trees, the stems of which they fastened together into a raft,
which was covered over by the branches, and upon which the whole of our
baggage was placed. They fastened their horses by the tails to this raft,
by which means it was dragged across the river, they themselves swimming
along-side of their horses, and holding by their manes. We had likewise to
swim our horses across, in which we succeeded, by the blessing of God, but
in much fear and danger at this, to us, unusual mode of navigation. When
we got over, we had to remain a whole day on the other side to collect and
replace our baggage.

While among the Tartars, their officers eyed me with much attention and
suspicion; and, during our new journey through the desert beyond the river,
the Lithuanian ambassador informed me, by means of the interpreter, that
the Tartar officers had come to a resolution to carry me to their prince,
as they could not allow a person of my appearance to go on to Theodosia
without his permission. I was much alarmed by this intelligence, believing
that I should incur considerable risk of having the purposes of my journey
frustrated by this measure, and, therefore, earnestly recommended to the
ambassador to keep in mind the orders he had received on the part of the
king of Poland respecting me, and the promises he had made to Pamartin;
and I promised to make a present of a sword to the interpreter if he
succeeded to extricate me from my embarrassment. The interpreter reported
my fears and wishes to the ambassador, who succeeded, after drinking with
the Tartars, in persuading them that I was of Genoa; and, by means of a
present of fifteen ducats, he obtained permission for me to go direct for
Theodosia. Our journey through the desert continued till the 9th of June,
during which we suffered many hardships, having, at one time, been a whole
day and night without water. At length it became necessary for us to part
company, the Lithuanian ambassador and his escort taking the direct road
to Bachiserai[10], at which place the prince of the Tartars resided. On
this occasion, a Tartar was appointed to be our guide to Theodosia, and we
parted from the escort, not without considerable apprehensions of some
sudden attack from the Tartars, yet much satisfied at getting rid of that
crew, for they smelt so abominably, from feeding on horse flesh, that it
was quite intolerable to come near them.

Our whole company passed the ensuing night in carts covered with skins, in
which we were soon surrounded by a great number of persons, inquiring who
we were. On being informed by our Tartar guide that I was of Genoa, they
supplied us with milk, and left us. Resuming our journey next morning
early, we arrived that day, which was the 16th of June, at the suburbs of
Theodosia, otherwise called Kaffa. Filled with gratitude for our
preservation through so many dangers, we went privately into a church to
give thanks to God for our safe arrival; and from thence I sent my
interpreter to inform the Venetian consul of my arrival. He immediately
sent his brother to wait upon me, advising me to remain where I was till
night, when he carried me privately to a house belonging to him in the
same suburb, where I was exceedingly well received. I here found Paulus
Omnibamus, who had left Venice three months before me, under the orders of
our illustrious republic.

[1] In the latter part of this journey, the date of his return to Venice
    is the 10th of April.--E.

[2] Called Tarvisin, in the original.--E.

[3] Called Conigiano, in the edition of Bergeron.--E.

[4] This small city stands on a small river which runs into the Werta, at
    the western extremity of what was Poland, about sixty-seven miles from
    Poznan. It is called Messaricie in the original.--E.

[5] Lausicie in the original.--E.

[6] Named Chio in the original. The second name, Magrano, is afterwards
    called Magraman by Contarini, or his French translator.--E.

[7] Named Chio in the original, but which must necessarily be Kiow, or
    Kieu, now belonging to Russia. The three formerly mentioned stages
    Jusch, Aitomir, and Belligraoch, must either be villages of too little
    importance to find a place in geographical maps, or their names are so
    corrupted as to be unintelligible. The direct road from Lublin to Kiow,
    passes through the palatinates of Russia, Wolhynia, and Kiow,
    provinces of ci-devant Poland, now annexed to the Russian empire.--E.

[8] The original says April, but attention to the context distinctly
    points out this necessary correction.--E.

[9] From this circumstance it evidently appears that the journey from Kiow
    had hitherto been on the right or west of the Dnieper or Boristhenes,
    through the country of the Nogais Tartars, now forming the western
    portion of the Russian province of Catharinoslau; and we may suppose
    the wide part of that river they had now to cross to have been
    somewhere about Cherson.--E.

[10] Named Arcercheriher in the French translation of Contarini; but which
    must necessarily be some corruption of Baschiserai, the residence of
    the khan of the Crim Tartars.--E.


_Contarini, leaving Kaffa, crosses the Euxine to the city of Phasis,
whence he pursues his journey through Mingrelia, Georgia, and part of
Armenia, into Persia_.

It is impossible for me to give any exact description of the city of Kaffa,
or Theodosia, or of its government, as the danger of incurring suspicion
obliged me to remain continually at home; on which account I can only
mention such particulars as I learned from others. It is situated on the
Euxine, and is celebrated for a great fair, which is much frequented, on
which account the city is very populous, and is said to be very rich and
powerful. I hired a vessel belonging to Anthony Valdat, which lay in the
Palus Meotis, to carry me to the city of _Phasis_. When I was ready to
embark, I met with two Armenians, one of whom had been on an embassy to
Rome, from Uzun Hassan, and was persuaded by them to prefer disembarking
at _Tina_, about an hundred miles from Trebisond, instead of Phasis,
alleging that from Tina it was only four hours journey to a castle named
_Arrius_, which depended upon the king of Persia, and promising to conduct
us to that place in safety. Although I was by no means satisfied with this
advice, I allowed myself to be guided by the consul and his brother, who
agreed in opinion with the Armenians. I accordingly left Kaffa on the 4th
of June[1], accompanied by the consul, who went with me to the river,
where our vessel was in waiting. I had formerly agreed with the master for
our passage to Phasis at seventy ducats, but on occasion of the change in
our destination, I was now obliged to pay an hundred. Being aware that I
should not be able to meet with any person to serve us at the place we
were going to, I used the precaution to hire nine men from Kaffa, to
assist the mariners of our vessel, and to procure provisions for us in our
journey through Georgia and Mingrelia.

We embarked on the 15th of June, and made sail across the Euxine, direct
for Tina, but had hardly got twenty miles on our voyage, when a contrary
wind sprung up from the east. Observing the mariners consulting together
in an extraordinary manner, I became curious to know the purpose of their
discourse. Accordingly, one Bernard, the brother-in-law of our captain,
said to me that he understood we proposed going to Tina, but advised me by
no means to do so; as a certain _Subassa_ roamed about that neighbourhood
with a band of cavalry, who would certainly make us slaves if we fell into
his hands. On this advice I changed my purpose, and the wind becoming more
favourable, we made sail for Liasi and Phasis, and arrived at _Varsi_ on
the 29th of June, where I disembarked my horses and baggage, and sent them
from thence by land to Phasis, which is sixty miles from that place.
_Varsi_ is a castle, with a small village in Mingrelia, belonging to a
lord named _Gorbola_, to whom likewise _Caltichea_[2], a place of small
importance on the coast of the Euxine, is subject. The inhabitants of this
country are very miserable, and the only productions are hemp, wax, and

On the 1st of July we arrived near Phasis, followed by a vessel filled
with Mingrelians, who seemed all to be fools or drunk. Quitting the vessel,
we went up the river in a boat, passing an island in the mouth of the
river, where Oetes, the father of Medea the enchantress, is said to have
reigned. On this island we spent the night, and were sadly infested by
midges. Next day we went up the river in the boat, passing the city of
Asso, which stands on its banks in the midst of a forest. I here found one
Nicholas Capella, of Modena, who commanded in these parts, and a
Circassian woman named Martha, who had been the slave of a person of Genoa,
but was now married. This Martha received me with much kindness, and with
her I staid two days. Phasis is a city of Mingrelia, subject to prince
Bendian, whose dominions extend only about three days journey in length.
The country is very mountainous, and full of forests. The inhabitants are
so fierce and savage, that they might be accounted wild beasts. Their
principal drink is beer; they have some corn and wine, but in very small
quantities; boiled millet being their ordinary food, which is a very poor
kind of nourishment. They sometimes procure wine and salted fish from
Trebisond, and import salt from Kaffa, without which they could not exist.
Their only productions consist in a small quantity of hemp and wax. If
they were industrious, they might procure abundance of fish, which are
very numerous in their river. They are Christians, according to the Greek
ritual, to which they have added many gross superstitions.

I left Phasis on the 4th of July, accompanied by Nicholas Capella, and
crossed the river _Mare_ on a float. That day and the next, we travelled
through a considerable portion of Mingrelia, always among woods and
mountains. Towards the evening of the 5th, we came to the habitation of
prince Bendian, whom we found, with all his court, reclining on a plain,
under the shade of some trees. I sent Nicholas Capella to inform him of my
quality, and to ask permission to pay him my respects, which was
accordingly granted. I saluted him, therefore, with great respect, as he
sat on the ground with his wife and children, and he made me sit down
beside him. After explaining the purpose of my journey, I requested he
would have the goodness to appoint me a guide. He expressed his
satisfaction at my arrival in his dominions, and granted my request. He
afterwards sent me some bread, a piece of beef, and the head of a sow, but
so under done, that it required the extreme necessity in which we then
were to induce us to eat of his provisions; but when we cannot get what we
like, we must put up with what can be had. We had to wait a whole day for
the promised guide. The plain in which we found prince Bendian, is
surrounded by very fine trees, resembling box, but much more lofty. The
prince seemed about fifty years of age, and had a tolerably handsome
countenance, but his manners were perfectly ridiculous.

On the 7th of July we continued our journey, always among woods and
mountains, and next day passed the river which divides Mingrelia from
Georgia, having to pass the night in the open air, and, what was worse, we
had nothing to eat. On the 9th, we arrived at a small city named
_Cotachis_[3], which is defended by a stone fort, and where we saw a
temple that seemed very ancient. We had here to pass a bridge over a large
river, before reaching the plain in which the huts of Plangion, king of
Georgia, are situated. The fort and city of Cotachis belong to Plangion. I
waited upon the commander of this place who invited me to dinner. He was
seated on the ground, on which I, and those of my suite who accompanied me,
and some friends of the governor, all sat down. Before us was laid a
greasy skin, on which they served us with bread, radishes, some flesh, and
other execrable articles with which I was not acquainted. They continually
offered me wine in large goblets, to fill me drunk, according to their
abominable customs, as they are as foolish and beastly as the Mingrelians.
Finding that I would not join them in deep drinking, they held me in great
contempt, insomuch that I found it extremely difficult to get leave to
retire and to continue my journey. But at length they brought me a guide
to conduct me to the king of Georgia.

I left Cotachis on the 12th of July; and, after travelling the whole day
through woods and mountains, we rested for the night in a meadow at the
foot of a mountain, near a castle named _Scandes_[4], in which king
_Pangrates_[5] resides. My guide here left me on purpose to inform the
king of my arrival; promising to return immediately with another guide to
serve me during the rest of the journey. We had accordingly to pass the
whole night in the wood, starving of hunger, and full of anxiety. The
guide came back early in the morning, accompanied by two of the kings
secretaries, who informed me that the king was gone to Cotachis, and had
ordered them to make an inventory of all our baggage, and of every thing
we had about us; after which we should be provided with a passport, to
travel free from payment of any duties through the whole country. They
proceeded accordingly in their examination and inventory with the most
rigorous exactness, even noting down the very shirts we then wore. After
this they ordered me to mount my horse, and to go along with them to the
king, leaving all my people behind. I used my best endeavours to be
excused from this; but, instead of listening to me, they loaded me with
insolence; and the only favour I could obtain, and that with the utmost
difficulty, was permission to take my interpreter along with me. We
accordingly resumed our journey, without meat or drink, and arrived much
fatigued at Cotachis towards night; where my interpreter and me were left
all night to our repose under a tree, where, indeed, they sent us some
bread and fish.

The remainder of my people were taken to a miserable village, where they
were left in charge of the priest; and our mutual anxiety may be easily

Next morning I was carried before the king, whom I found sitting on the
ground in a hut, surrounded by several of his nobles. After paying my
respects, he asked me a great number of questions, and among the rest, how
many kings there were in the world? It came into my fancy to answer that
there were twelve. On which he signified that I was right, and that he was
one of the number; and that he was much surprised that I should come into
his dominions without bringing him a letter from my sovereign. To this I
answered, that when I left my own country, I did not expect to travel
through his dominions, otherwise my sovereign would assuredly have given
me letters in charge for his majesty; and with this answer he seemed
satisfied. He asked many other extraordinary questions, from which I
conjectured that my guide had maliciously represented me as carrying many
valuable things; and it is probable, if this had been the case, that I had
never been allowed to escape out of their hands. The royal secretaries
endeavoured to persuade me that I ought to make the king a present of any
article that might strike his fancy among my small baggage; but I got off
without making any present, except compliments, and requesting him to
appoint some one to conduct me through his dominions. This he was pleased
to promise, as likewise to give me a free passport, without paying any
duties, as I carried no merchandize. Accordingly, I took my leave of the
king on the 14th of July, returning to the tree I formerly mentioned as my
lodging, where the secretary brought me the promised passport and a guide.
I then returned to my people at the village where they were kept in my
absence, and was received with much joy, as the priest had represented the
king as the cruellest tyrant in the world. My people could not contain
themselves for excess of joy at my safe return, and even the miserable
priest was so touched at the scene, that he provided us with something to
eat, and we slept there that night as well as we could.

Next day, being the 15th of July, we provided ourselves with some bread
and wine, to comfort ourselves on the way, and resumed our journey through
thick forests and terrible mountains, which continued for two days. In the
evening of the 16th, we stopt near a spring, where we remained during the
night in the open air, being obliged to light a fire on account of the
coldness of the weather, though in the middle of summer. On the 17th of
the same month we arrived at _Goride_[6], which belongs to the king of
Georgia. This city is built on a plain, watered by a large river, and is
defended by a citadel which is built upon a rock. Our guide notified our
arrival to the commandant, who ordered us a house for our lodgings,
apparently for the purpose of extorting a present; for shortly afterwards
he informed me that he had letters from the king, by which he was ordered
to receive twenty-six ducats from me for himself, and that I should pay
six to my guide. I endeavoured to evade this demand, by saying that the
king had received me favourably, to whom I had already given seventy
ducats, and could not give any thing more, and urged my free passport. But
he would listen to nothing I could urge, and I was forced to comply with
his extortion. He even detained me till the 19th of the month, and even
then I had extreme difficulty to get leave to depart. The inhabitants of
the city, who deserve rather to be ranked among beasts, looked at us with
as much astonishment as if they had never seen any other men than
ourselves. They told us that, on the top of a high mountain in a
neighbouring forest, there was a great church, in which was an image of
the Virgin, which worked many miracles, and that the church was served by
forty monks, whom they named _Calojeriens_[7]. But our anxiety to get out
of this abominable country, prevented us from paying our devotions at that
famous church. Georgia, indeed, is a somewhat better country than
Mingrelia, but the manners of the people and their way of living is
equally brutal; and such were the distresses and difficulties I
encountered in travelling through both, that it would be tedious to relate
them. On the 20th of July we left the abominable city of Goride, where we
had suffered so many vexations, and continued, our journey through forests
and over mountains, occasionally falling in with villages where we
purchased provisions. We had always to pass the nights on the ground near
some spring or rivulet, during most part of our journey through Mingrelia
and Georgia.

[1] We have already seen that it was the 16th of that month when Contarini
    arrived at Kaffa. Much confusion has occurred in the dates of this
    journey, which we have no means of correcting, and must, therefore, be
    contented with them as they are--E.

[2] The names of places in this journal are so corrupted as to be often
    quite unintelligible. Varsi may possibly be Vardon, in the district to
    the northwest of Mingrelia, named Abkhas; and Caltichea may perhaps be
    Sulhuali, a sea port about 30 miles to the east. Phasis probably
    refers to some town on the river of that name, perhaps Subastei.--E.

[3] Probably Cutais in Imeritia, on the river Riene.--E.

[4] Perhaps Sarassan, about forty miles S. E. from Cutais.--E.

[5] Apparently the same prince named Plangion a little before.--E.

[6] Gori in Georgia, on the river Kur. The journey hitherto must have been
    through Mingrelia, then apparently subject to the prince or king of

[7] Probably Caloyers.--E.


_Arrival of Contarini at Tauris or Ecbatana, the royal city of Uzun-
Hassan, and continuation of his journey through Persia to Ispahan, where
the king then resided._

On the 22d of July we began to ascend a mountain of prodigious height,
insomuch, that when night came on we had scarcely reached the top, where
we had to pass the night without water. Resuming our journey in the
morning, we descended the other side of the mountain, and entered the
province of Armenia, which is under the dominion of Uzun-Hassan[1]. In
the evening we were conducted to a fort named Reo, which stands in the
plain, between a deep river and a high mountain, and which is garrisoned
by Turks in the service of Uzun-Hassan, but the neighbouring village is
inhabited by Armenians. We rested in this place till the 25th of July,
waiting the arrival of a guide to direct us in the remainder of the
journey, and being well treated by the inhabitants, we rewarded them to
their satisfaction. The Armenian who had joined us at Kaffa, under
pretence of being an ambassador from Uzun-Hassan to the Pope, was
recognized by the inhabitants of this village as an impostor and a
notorious robber, and many were astonished how we had escaped from his
machinations: I got rid of him therefore immediately, and made him
restore me a horse which I had lent him for the journey; after which I
procured a priest of an honest character to conduct me to Tauris. Leaving
Reo with my new guide on the 26th of July, we ascended a mountain, and
came on the other side to a plain surrounded by hills, where we found a
village inhabited by Turks, near which we had to pass the night in the
open air, though the inhabitants treated us with decent civility. Next
morning we departed before day, having to pass another mountain, on the
side of which was a village inhabited by Turks, among whom we should have
run extreme hazard of our lives if they had seen us; but by using much
diligence we avoided this danger, and got down into an extensive plain,
full of fine pastures, and travelled with great expedition that we might
pass the night at a respectable distance from the lawless inhabitants of
the hills. On the 29th we passed the mountain of Noah, or _Ararat_, which
is so lofty that it is covered with snow the whole year. We were told
that many who had attempted to reach the top of this mountain had never
been more heard of, while others, on making the same attempt, said, on
their return, that it was quite inaccessible.

From this place forwards we travelled through extensive plains intermixed
with hills, and arrived on the 30th of July at a castle named _Chiagri_,
inhabited by Armenians. Finding abundance of bread, wine, and poultry in
this place, we rested here for a day, and then set out with a new guide
for Ecbatana or Tauris. Leaving Chiagri towards evening of the 1st August,
we came next day to an Armenian village at the foot of a mountain, where
we had to cross a river in boats, and were informed that Uzun-Hassan had
formerly gained a great victory near this place over the Tartars, having
hemmed them into a corner, where their army wasted away with famine and
disease. The ruler of these Tartars, named Sultan _Buzech_[2], was made
prisoner, and was afterwards put to death. We here saw, on our left hand,
eleven Armenian villages, near each other, who were Catholic Christians,
their bishop being under submission to the Roman pontiff. The country is
extremely agreeable, and is the most fertile of all the provinces of
Persia. We arrived on the 3d of August at a large village called Marerich,
near which we passed the night, and had to ride all the next day through
a plain country exposed to great heat, which was greatly aggravated, as
we could not procure a single drop of water for ourselves or our horses.
On the way we met several Turkmans, whose custom it is to encamp here and
there about the country, wherever they can find pasture for their cattle,
and to change their residence as the pastures become exhausted. These
people are abominable robbers, and look upon rapine as their highest
glory; and as we had great reason to be afraid of them, I gave orders to
all my people to tell whoever we met, that I was journeying to wait upon
their sovereign, which was the only expedient for saving us from their

We arrived on the 4th of August at the city of Ecbatana or _Tauris_[3],
which stands in a plain, and is surrounded by an earthen rampart in bad
repair. There are high mountains in its neighbourhood, which are said to
be the Taurus of the ancients. I here lodged with a very good man, who
gave us two sleeping chambers, a convenience we had been long unused to.
He was quite astonished how we should have been able to escape the
dangers of our journey, as all the roads were blocked up; and on asking
him the reason, he told us that Ogurlu Mohammed[4], the eldest son of
Uzun-Hassan, had rebelled against his father, and had taken possession of
_Sylas_[5] or Persepolis, of which he had appointed his younger brother
_Khalil_[6] as governor. Uzun-Hassan had assembled an army to reduce
Persepolis and his sons to obedience; but a certain satrap named
_Zagarli_ who commanded in the neighbouring mountains, favoured the cause
of Ogurlu, and had ravaged the whole country, to the very gates of Tauris,
with a body of 3000 horse, owing to which, all the roads were obstructed
and unsafe. He farther informed us, that the governor of Tauris had one
day issued forth to endeavour to put a stop to the marauders, but had
been defeated by Zagarli, with the loss of most of his troops, and had
even great difficulty in escaping back to the city. I inquired why the
inhabitants of Tauris did not take arms in their own defence, in a time
of so much danger; but he answered, although they were obedient to the
governor, they were quite unused to war. On learning the state of affairs
in this place, I resolved to leave it as soon as possible, that I might
get to the king; but I could neither procure a guide, nor prevail on the
governor to shew me any favour. By the advice of my landlord I kept
myself very much concealed, and employed my interpreter and Augustin of
Pavia, whom I had brought with me from Kaffa because he understood a
little Persian, to purchase our provisions, in which employment they were
exposed to much ill treatment, and were often in hazard of their lives.

Some days afterwards, one of the sons of Uzun-Hassan, named Masu-beg[7],
came to Tauris with 1000 horse, to defend the city from the incursions of
Zagarli. I waited on this prince, having great difficulty to obtain an
audience, telling him that I was sent as ambassador to his father, and had
need of guides, whom I prayed him to provide me; but it was quite
ineffectual, as he hardly deigned to answer me, and took no kind of
interest in me or my affairs, so that I was obliged to return disappointed
to my lodgings. Masu-beg endeavoured to raise money from the inhabitants
of Tauris for the purpose of levying soldiers, but they resisted his
demands, and all the shops of the city were shut up. In this emergency,
being unable to procure provisions, I was obliged to quit my lodgings,
with all my people, taking refuge in an Armenian church, where they gave
us a small place in which to keep our horses; and I ordered all my people
to keep constantly within doors, to avoid meeting with injury. My
apprehensions on this occasion may easily be conceived; but God, who had
already protected us in so many dangers, was mercifully pleased to deliver
us from that which now hung over us. On the 7th of September, _Bertonius
Liompardus_[8], whom I had before seen at Kaffa, and who had been sent by
our illustrious republic, arrived at Tauris. He was accompanied by his
nephew, named _Brancalione_, and having come by way of Trebisond was a
month later than me in reaching Tauris. I now dispatched Augustin de Pavia,
of whom I have before made mention, with letters to the republic of Venice,
in which I gave an account to the senate of all that had happened to us
hitherto. I sent this man by way of Alapia, where he at length arrived in
good health, after having escaped many dangers.

Although I remained in Tauris till the 22d of September, I was not able
to acquire any exact knowledge of the city, having been forced to conceal
myself the whole time. It is a large city, but its territory in some
places is uncultivated, and I believe nowhere very populous; it abounds,
however, in all the necessaries of life, but these are dear. Much silk is
produced in this neighbourhood, which is exported by way of Alapia. A
considerable quantity of cloth is manufactured in the place, which
likewise abounds in various merchandize, but I did not hear of any pearls
or precious stones. Fortunately for us a Cadilaskir, one of the
counsellors of Uzun-Hassan, arrived about this time at Tauris, who
returned from an embassy into Turkey, where he had unsuccessfully
endeavoured to negociate a peace between his master and the Turkish
government. Immediately on learning the arrival of this person, I used
every effort to procure an interview, in which I succeeded, and by means
of a present, I prevailed on him to admit me and my retinue into his
suite. He received me with much civility, and granted all I asked,
assuring me that, with the blessing of God, he would conduct me in safety
to the king. Among his slaves there were two Illyrian renegadoes, who
formed a strict intimacy with my people, to whom they promised to give
every assistance in their power, and to give us due notice of the
departure of their master, which they faithfully performed, and for which
I rewarded them.

On the 22d of September we departed from Tauris with the Persian
counsellor, accompanied likewise by a great many merchants and others,
who took the advantage of travelling under his protection, from fear of
being plundered by the rebels. This country in which we now travelled was
quite level, with very few hills, so dry that we saw no trees except
along the sides of rivers, and having only a few small villages, in which
we purchased what was necessary for our journey, and always rested before
mid-day in the open air, being unable to travel during the height of the
sun, on account of the great heat. Travelling in this manner, we arrived
at _Sultanie_ on the 27th of September. This city appeared to be very
handsome, surrounded by walls, and defended by a good citadel. We saw
here three most curious brazen gates, which had been made at Damascus,
the finest things I ever beheld, which must have cost a great deal of
money. The city of Sultanie stands in a plain at the foot of a range of
mountains, some of which are exceedingly steep and precipitous, and the
inhabitants of which are forced to remove into lower situations during
winter, on account of the severity of the cold. We remained there for
three days, and resumed our journey on the 30th of September, travelling
sometimes in plains, and sometimes among hills, but always taking up our
quarters for the night in the open air.

On the 6th of October we arrived at _Sena_[9], a city without walls,
situated in a plain on the banks of a river, and surrounded by trees, in
which city we passed the night in tolerably bad quarters. We departed
from thence on the 8th, and stopping, according to our usual custom, in
the fields, I was seized with a violent intermittent fever, insomuch that
I could hardly get on horseback next day, and that with infinite distress.
We arrived early next day at Kom, where I was forced to stop, all my
attendants being seized in a similar manner with myself, except our
priest Stephen Testa, who took care of us all. Our fever was so malignant
that we were all delirious during the height of the access or hot fit. I
was afterwards informed that the royal counsellor sent to visit me,
begging my excuse that he could not wait for me, because it was necessary
for him to repair without delay to the king; but that he had left one of
his attendants with me as a guide, and that I need not now be under any
apprehension, as there were none in that part of the country to do me
harm. I remained here a long time sick. The city of Sena or Sava is not
large, and has mud walls, being situated in a champaign country, which is
well peopled, and abounds in every thing necessary to life.

On the 24th of October, being much recovered, we resumed our journey,
though I was still so weak as to find much difficulty in sitting on
horseback. Next day we arrived, at the city of Cashan[10], which very
much resembles Kom, except that it is somewhat handsomer. On the
following day, we came to _Nethas_, or Nathan. This city stands likewise
in a flat country, which produces much wine. I remained here one day,
both to recruit my strength, and because I felt some return of my fever.
On the 28th of October, I prepared as well as I was able to finish my
journey, which was all on plain ground, and arrived at Ispahan, where
Uzun-Hassan then resided, on the 3d of November, having employed twenty-
four days in our journey from Tauris to this place. I immediately sought
out the dwelling of Josaphat Barbaro[11], the ambassador of Venice, and
went to him. He received, me with much joy, and many embraces were
mutually given and received, and we rejoiced together on my safe arrival.
But as I had much need of rest, I very soon went to bed. When the king
heard of my arrival, he sent some of his slaves to congratulate me, who
presented me with some refreshments sent by his majesty.

Early in the morning of the 4th November, some of the kings slaves came
to require that Josaphat Barbaro and I should come to court. On being
introduced to an audience, we found the king attended by eight of his
principal officers. Having made my obeisance after the manner of the
country, I presented the letters of the republic, and explained the
subject of my mission[12]. When I had finished speaking, he answered me
in every point, and in few words; and, among other things, he excused his
conduct in having been obliged to retire to this part of his kingdom.
After this we were ordered to be seated, and his courtiers gave us an
entertainment according to the Persian fashion, which consisted of many
dishes tolerably well dressed. After the repast, we took leave of the
king, and retired to our quarters. Two days afterwards, we were again
sent for to court, when most of the royal apartments were shewn me. The
king then resided in a very pleasant country palace, situated on the
banks of a river. In one of the rooms, there was a painting of Ogurlu-
Mohammed, the kings eldest son, leading the sultan _Busech_, or Abu Saïd,
tied with a rope; and in another picture the decapitation of _Busech_ was
represented. We were again invited to an entertainment, at which many
different kinds of confections were served up. We remained at Ispahan
till the 25th of November, during which period we were frequently invited
to court. The city of Ispahan, like the rest of the Persian cities, is
surrounded by earthen-ramparts. It stands in a plain, and is abundantly
supplied with all the necessaries of life. Having rebelled against the
king, it was besieged and suffered much injury; for, being obstinately
defended, it was subjected to the resentment of the conqueror and the
fury of the soldiers.

Persia is a very flat and arid country, in many parts of which there are
salt lakes. In such parts as can be supplied with water, grain and other
fruits of the earth are produced in abundance, and there are plenty of
beasts of all kinds, as it is everywhere intersected and surrounded by
fertile mountains, but every thing is very dear. The Venetian quart of
wine is sold for three or four ducats; but bread is not so dear in
proportion. A camels load of wood costs a ducat. Flesh is dearer than
with us, and seven hens cost a ducat; but other articles of provisions
are cheaper. The Persians are a civil and humane people; and though
Mahometans, they do not hate the Christians. The women are very modestly
dressed, and ride on horseback with even more grace than the men; and,
judging from the good appearance of the men, the women are probably

[1] Uzun-Hassan in the Turkish language signifies Hassan the long, which
    prince was likewise named Hassan-beg, or Lord Hassan, and Ozun-Azembeg,
    or the long lord Azem or Hassan. By different European writers his
    name has been corrupted into Unsun Cassan, Uxun-Cassan, and Usum-
    Chasan. He was a Turkman emir of the Ak-koyunla dynasty, or white
    sheep tribe, whose ancestor, the governor of a province under the
    descendants of Timor, had rendered himself independent in the north
    and west of Persia.--E.

[2] This prince, whose real name was probably Abu Said, was the emir of
    the Kara-koyunla dynasty, or black sheep tribe of the Turkmans, who
    had risen to independence after the death of Timor, and who had long
    contended with the prince of the white sheep tribe for ascendancy.
    These two tribes derived their distinctive appellations of the black
    and white weathers, from some peculiarity in their ensigns or dress,
    equivalent to the distinguishing uniforms and banners of our European

[3] Called Tebriz in modern times.--E.

[4] In the original this name is corrupted to Gurlumamech; but we learn
    from the Modern Universal History, that his real name was that
    expressed in the text of our translation.--E.

[5] The ruins supposed to be those of Persepolis are situated near Istakar,
    about forty miles north from the modern city of Shiraz, in the
    province of Fars or Persia proper; but the names in the original are
    often so corrupted as to defy even conjecture. Sylas is probably meant
    for Shiras.--E.

[6] Named Chali in the original; but it is to be noted that the _ch_ of
    the Italian is pronounced as _k_ in English.--E.

[7] It is difficult to determine whether Contarini here means Maksud-beg
    or Masih-beg, as Uzun-Hassan had two sons of these names; Maksad was
    the elder, and may have been the person named in the text Masu. Bec or
    Beg signifies Lord or Prince.--E.

[8] The person mentioned before by Contarini as a messenger from Venice,
    and whom he met with at Kaffa, was named on that occasion Paulus
    Omnibamus, totally dissimilar from the name in this part of the text.

[9] Assuredly the Sava of modern maps, a city of Irac-agemi, which stands
    upon one of these extraordinary rivers, so numerous in Persia, which
    lose themselves in the sands, after a short but useful run.--E.

[10] About sixty miles S. S. E. from Kom. I am disposed to think that
    Contarini has slumpt his journey on the present occasion; as it is
    hardly to be believed a person in the weak state he describes himself
    could have travelled with so much rapidity. Besides, so far as we can
    learn from his journal, he travelled always with the same set of
    horses. Indeed the sequel immediately justifies this suspicion, as
    the subsequent dates are more distant than the travelling days of the
    text would warrant.--E.

[11] See Travels of Josaphat Barbaro to Asof in 1436, in our Collection,
    Vol I. p. 501, in the introduction to which article, it will be seen
    that he had been sent on an embassy from Venice to Uzun-Hassan in 1572,
    two years before Contarini; and appears to have remained in the east
    for fourteen years in that capacity, after the departure of Contarini
    on his return to Venice.--E.

[12] This nowhere distinctly appears; but we may easily understand
    incidentally, and from the history of the period, that the Venetian
    republic endeavoured to stir up enemies to the Turkish empire in the
    east, being unable to resist its power, now exerted against them in
    the Morea and the Greek islands; and we may even surmise that Uzun-
    Hassan was subsidized by the Venetians to make war upon the Turks.--E.


_Contarini accompanies Uzun-Hassan from Ispahan to Tauris, where he finds
Ambassadors from the Duke of Burgundy and the Prince of Muscovy, and gets
leave to return to Venice._

The king left Ispahan with all his court on the 25th of November for
Tauris, and we travelled along with him, passing through most of the
places which we had seen in going to Ispahan. In this journey we always
slept in tents in the fields, and the camp was well supplied with
provisions, as many merchants had received orders to provide grain,
victuals of all kinds, and all sorts of necessaries. On the 14th of
November we arrived at Kom, where we remained two days under tents,
exposed to extremely cold weather, and experienced much difficulty to
procure a small house in which to shelter ourselves. We continued at this
place till the 21st of March 1474, during which interval we went
frequently to court, to pay our respects to the king, on which occasions
we were generally invited to dinner. The Persian court is very magnificent,
being attended by many high officers of state, and every day 400 persons
dine along with the king. These are all seated on the ground, and are
served in copper basons with boiled rice, or some other mess made of flesh
and grain boiled together; but the king is served in great magnificence at
a separate table, with a great variety of dishes of different kinds of
meat. During his meals, the king is often served with wine, and then the
musicians sing and play upon flutes such songs and tunes as the king
pleases to order. The king is of a good size, with a thin visage and
agreeable countenance, having somewhat of the Tartar appearance, and
seemed to be about seventy years old. His manners were very affable, and
he conversed familiarly with every one around him; but I noticed that his
hands trembled when he raised the cup to his lips. It is not needful that
I should enumerate all the audiences which I had on the subject of my
mission, of which I shall make occasional mention hereafter.

On the 21st of March the king and all the court left Kom, on their
journey towards Tauris, the baggage being carried by camels and mules.
Each day we hardly exceeded ten or twelve, or at the most twenty Italian
miles, and always stopt at each encampment till the forage in the
neighbourhood was consumed. The Persian mode of travelling is thus: The
women always arrive first at the new camp, where they set up the tents
and cook provisions for their husbands. They are well clothed and ride
upon good horses, which they manage with much dexterity. The Persian
nation is very magnificent, and exceedingly fond of pomp, and shew, and
it is very agreeable to see their march at some distance. They are very
careful of their camels, of which they have great numbers, even the
poorest seldom travelling with less than seven of these animals; by this
means, the prodigious train which attends the court appears to consist of
many more persons than it actually contains. When the king entered
Ecbatana, his suite consisted of about 2000 persons, but many left the
camp on the march, as it suited their fancy or convenience, and the king
never had above 500 horse along with him. The royal tents were
exceedingly beautiful and magnificent, and his bed was ornamented with
scarlet hangings. The merchants who attended the camp sold every thing at
a high price. All of our party were accommodated with tents, as we
belonged to the suite of the king, who often honoured us with an
invitation to supper, and at other times frequently sent us refreshments.
We were always treated with much civility, and never received any
injuries or affronts.

On the 31st of May the king encamped about fifteen miles from Tauris,
when a certain monk of the Boulonnois named Louis, who called himself
patriarch of Antioch, and envoy from the Duke of Burgundy, arrived at the
camp, attended by five horsemen. The king asked if we knew him, and we
accordingly told what we knew without dissimulation. Next day the king
gave him an audience, at which we were present by command. This patriarch
presented to the king three robes of gold tissue, three others of scarlet
silk, and some of fine cloth, and opened his commission, making many
great offers of service from his prince, and many fine promises in very
magnificent terms, which do not appear proper for me to repeat, and which
the king did not seem to care much about. We were all invited to dinner,
during which the king started many questions, to which he gave very
pertinent answers himself. After dinner we returned to our tents.

On the 2d of June we arrived at Tauris, in which place lodgings were
appointed for us. Six days afterwards, Uzun-Hassan sent for the patriarch
and us to court; and although he had three or four times informed me
already that I must prepare to return into Italy, leaving my colleague
Barbaro at his court, I could not reconcile myself to the journey, and
had done every thing in my power to put off my departure. When we went to
court, the king addressed himself first to the patriarch, whom he ordered
to return to his prince, and to say from him, that he, the king, would
very shortly declare war against the Turks, having already taken the
field with that view, and that he never failed in performing his promises.
He then turned to me, saying, "Return to your country, and tell your
masters that I shall very soon make war upon the Ottomans, and desire
them to do their duty as I shall do mine. I know no one better fitted to
carry this message than you, who have accompanied me from Ispahan, and
have seen my preparations; so that you are able to inform the Christian
princes of all that you have seen, and of my good intentions." I offered
several reasons for excusing myself from obeying these commands, which
gave me much vexation; but the king looked at me with a severe expression
of countenance, saying, "It is my pleasure for you to go, and I command
you. I shall give you letters for your masters, which will inform them of
my sentiments and the reasons of your return." In this state of
embarrassment, I was advised by the patriarch and M. Josaphat to comply
with a good grace; on which I replied to the king as follows: "My
departure, Sir, gives me much distress; but since you judge it proper, I
make no more objections, and am ready to obey your orders. Wherever I may
go, I shall speak of your great power and goodness, and the honours I
have received from your majesty, and shall exhort all the princes of
Christendom to join their forces with you against the common enemy." My
speech pleased the king, and he answered me kindly according to his
wonted manner. After retiring from this andienqe, the king sent some
Persian robes to the patriarch and me, made of fine stuff and very
beautifully ornamented, and presented each of us with a horse and some
money to assist us during our journey.

We remained two days at Tauris after the kings departure, and set out on
the 10th of June to rejoin the court, which was then encamped in a
pleasant spot among excellent pastures and plenty of fine wells; about
twenty-five miles from Tauris. We remained there till the pastures were
eaten bare, and then marched about fifteen miles farther. On the 27th of
June the king gave us our final audience, at which he gave us presents
for our respective sovereigns; that is to say, to the patriarch for the
Duke of Burgundy; to myself for the republic; and to one Marcus Ruffus,
who had come with an embassy from the prince of Muscovy. The presents
consisted in certain pieces of workmanship made in the European fashion,
two swords, and certain ornaments for the head, which are usually
fastened to bonnets. There were two Persian ambassadors in the audience-
chamber, one of whom was destined on a mission into Russia. At length the
king turning towards the patriarch and me, addressed us nearly as follows:
"You will return with all speed to your masters, and will tell them and
all the other Christian princes from me, that I have used all diligence
in taking the field to make war on the Turks, as it had been concerted
between them and me. The emperor of the Turks is at present in
Constantinople, and will make no enterprize of importance this year. As
for myself, I propose sending one part of my army to reduce my rebellious
son, and another against the Turkish generals, while I shall remain here
at hand, to act against the enemy as occasion may require." He gave
orders, both to us and to his own ambassadors, to report this to all the
princes of Christendom. I did not receive these orders with more
satisfaction than I had done the former; but I had no means of escape and
must necessarily obey. Wherefore, having taken our leaves, we prepared
for our departure, and were unexpectedly commanded to remain till next
day. In the mean time, he conveyed a great part of his infantry during
the night to the other side of a mountain. Next morning early, the
_Ruiscasson_, or conductor of ambassadors, carried us to the top of the
hill, as meaning to confer with us on some important subject, and on the
appearance of the Persian infantry under march, he pointed them out to us
as if he had been surprised at seeing so many additional troops coming to
the royal camp. The better to favour this deception, some of his slaves
exclaimed as astonished, that there were a great many soldiers, and that
at least 10,000 were coming to reinforce the army. But we easily saw
through the contrivance, and were certain that these pretended new troops
were merely the ordinary royal escort, which had only changed their
position to impose upon us. After this little comedy, the _Ruiscasson_
gave us the royal letters for our masters, and we returned to our tents.
From the information of M. Josaphat and others, the military force of
this king cannot exceed 20,000 cavalry, some of whom have wooden bucklers
about eighteen inches long. Others have a kind of cuirasses made of very
thin plates of steel, which they wear over their ordinary habits. Their
usual arms are bows and arrows, and cimeters, while some have small
leathern targets covered with silk, and others carry helmets and
cuirasses. Their horses are beautiful and vigorous, and very numerous. In
regard to the manners of the Persians, and the state of the kingdom, I
shall mention what I know of these subjects as occasion may offer during
the recital of my travels; but I do not think it proper to weary my
readers with any lengthened detail.


_Journey of Contarini from Persia, through Georgia and Mingrelia, to the
city Phasis._

Being entirely ready to depart on the 1st of July, we took leave of M.
Josaphat Barbaro in his tent, when we mutually shed tears in sincere
grief at our separation. Having recommended myself to the protection of
God, I mounted on horseback, and began my journey, accompanied by the
patriarch of Antioch, Marcus Ruffus the Muscovite, and the two Persian
ambassadors, intending to return by way of Phasis, which is under the
dominion of Uzun-Hassan. To this route we were advised by certain birds
of bad augury, who were omens of the terrible dangers we had to encounter
in the sequel. Coming to the villages of the catholic Armenians, formerly
mentioned, we were well received by their bishops, and attended the mass
regularly during three days that we had to remain here, laying in a stock
of provisions for the journey. From thence we came to the frontiers of
Georgia, travelling through plains interspersed with hills, and arrived
on the 12th of July at _Typsi_[1], which is subject to the king of the
Georgians. This city stands upon a hill, at the foot of which runs the
river _Tigre_, and it is defended by a good castle on the summit of an
eminence. It was formerly a celebrated place, but is at present almost
utterly ruined, though beginning to revive, and contains many good
catholics. In this place we took up our lodgings with a person named
Arminius, of the catholic faith. In travelling through Georgia, we found
a few villages composed of huts, and some castles among the mountains,
but these were rare and distant.

On the 19th of July, being near the frontiers of Mingrelia, we chanced to
meet with Pangratius, king of Georgia, in the midst of a forest
surrounded by mountains, and went to pay our respects to him, when he
invited us to dinner. We had to sit on the ground, having a skin spread
before us instead of a table-cloth, and were served with roasted meat and
fowls, very ill dressed; but, by way of making amends, they frequently
presented us with large goblets of wine, as they seem to place all
dignity and merit in deep drinking. For this reason it is their custom,
at the conclusion of their meals, to challenge one another to drink, and
he who empties the greatest number of goblets, is held in highest esteem.
As the Turks drink no wine, their presence was some restraint that day on
their usual bacchanalian contests, and as we neither could nor would
compete with them, we were held in great contempt. The king was about
forty years old, and of large make, with a strong resemblance to the
Tartar countenance. We parted from the king of Georgia next day, and on
the 22d of July, on the confines of Mingrelia, we fell in with a Georgian
commander at the head of some troops, both cavalry and infantry who was
posted in this place to prevent injury from the disorders that had broke
out in Mingrelia, in consequence of the death of Bendian, prince of that
country. These people stopped, and frightened us with, many cruel menaces;
but at length, after being robbed of two quivers full of arrows, and
having to gratify them with some money, we escaped from them, and made
the best of our way to a distance. Leaving the public road, we struck off
into a thick wood, where we passed the night in prodigious apprehension.

On the following day, while approaching the city of _Cotati_[2], we met
some peasants in a narrow pass, who prevented us for some time from going
forwards, and even threatened to put us to death. After much altercation,
and many threats, they seized three horses belonging to the Turks[3],
which were with great difficulty redeemed for twenty ducats. On the
evening we reached Cutais, which is a royal fortress. While passing a
bridge over a river, early in the morning of the 24th of July, we were
again attacked by robbers, who came upon us suddenly, and, after many
threats, forced us to pay the full value of our horses, before they would
allow us to continue our journey. After passing this bridge, we entered
Mingrelia, where we followed our wonted custom of sleeping under the
canopy of heaven, though we had many worse inconveniencies and dangers to
encounter: for, on the 25th of July, having passed over a river by means
of rafts, we were conducted to the dwelling of a certain lady, named
_Maresca_, sister of the deceased prince Badian, who received us at first
with much civility, and treated us with bread and wine, after which we
were conducted into a field belonging to her, which was close shut on all
sides. On the morrow, when we were about to depart, we offered her a
present of twenty ducats, as a return for her hospitality, which at first
she pretended to refuse; but we soon discovered her treachery, as she
insisted on our paying two ducats as a ransom for each of our horses. We
expressed our astonishment at this rapacity, and endeavoured to represent
our inability to comply with such exorbitant demands, but all to no
purpose, and we were forced to comply, being afraid that she might even
have plundered us of every thing.

Leaving this rapacious dame, we arrived at _Phasis_ on the 27th of July,
some on horseback and others in boats, where we again lodged with
_Martha_ the Circassian lady, whom I formerly mentioned. After having run
many risks in our journey, we here learnt a piece of most afflictive news,
that the Turks had taken possession of Kaffa or Theodosia in the Crimea,
by which we were deprived of our last resource, and shut out apparently
from every hope of continuing our voyage homewards. Our distress on
receiving this intelligence may easily be conceived, and, in fact, we
were so much cast down, as not to know what measures to pursue, or to
which hand to turn us. Louis, the patriarch of Antioch, resolved upon
going through Tartary and Russia, with which route he was acquainted. It
was to no purpose that I urged the promises we had mutually come under at
the beginning of our journey, never to separate on any account. To this
he answered, that the unforeseen circumstances which had occurred, were a
sufficient warrant to every one to consult his own individual safety. I
insisted and beseeched him not to treat me with such unfeeling cruelty,
but all in vain, for he prepared to set off along with the Turkish
ambassador, who had been sent by Uzun-Hassan as his particular companion.
In this extremity I went to Marcus Ruffus, and the Turkish ambassador who
was joined with him by the king of Persia, to whom I mentioned my
intention of returning back to Uzun-Hassan. They pretended to approve my
plan, and even to join me, and we embraced as entering, into promise of
keeping together; but they secretly came to a determination of taking
their journey through the province of _Gorgore_, which is subject to
_Calcicanus_, and to the city of _Vati_,[4] which is on the frontiers of
the Turks, and pays tribute to the Grand Signior.

The patriarch set out on the 6th of August, and the next day Marcus
Ruffus followed him, accompanied by several Russians, partly on horseback,
and partly by means of boats. Their intentions were to travel from Vati,
by Shamaki, anciently Cyropolis, and thence into Tartary. Thus left alone
in a strange land, I leave any reasonable person to think what were the
embarrassments with which I was surrounded. I was unacquainted with a
single individual, having no company but that of my domestics, and had
very little money remaining. In short, I was reduced almost to despair,
of ever being able to get out of the country. In this state of distress I
fell into a violent fever, and could get no other nourishment but bread
and water, and a pullet occasionally with much difficulty; and my fever
increased to such a degree that I became delirious. All my domestics were
attacked soon after with the same fever, the priest Stephen only excepted,
who had to take care of us all. My only bed was a wretched mattress,
which had been lent me by a person named John Volcan; and my life was
despaired of by every one, till the 9th of September, when, by the cares
of Stephen and of Martha, my good hostess, or rather through the mercy of
God, the fever abated, and I soon recovered my former health, to the
astonishment of every one. My domestics likewise recovered, and we began
again to consult on the best means of escaping out of our present
situation. Some proposed to take the road of Syria, but I deemed this too
dangerous; and we at length came to the determination, of going by
Shamaki, into Tartary, and thence by Russia, Poland, and Germany. I got
accordingly on horseback on the 10th of September, but had hardly rode
two miles when I was forced to dismount and rest myself on the ground. I
was, therefore, obliged to return to my lodging in Phasis, where we
remained till the 17th, when, being all of us restored to health and
strength, we again resumed our journey, after having implored the
protection and assistance of God. I now took a certain Greek into my
service, who could speak the Mingrelian language, who occasioned me a
thousand troubles, which it were tedious to recount.

[1] This in all probability is a corruption of Tiflis, or Teffliz, the
    capital of Georgia Georgia, which is situated on the river Kur or
    Cyrus, erroneously named _Tigre_ in the text. The proper name of this
    country is Gurgi-stan, or the country of the Gurgi which has been
    corrupted by the Europeans into Georgia.--E.

[2] Cutais in Imeritia, named Cotachis on a former occasion in the text.

[3] These Turks must have been the Persian ambassadors of Uzun-Hassan;--E.

[4] This proposed route seems to have been through the province of _Guria_
    to Batum; and, from the sequel, to have returned to Georgia and
    Shirvan, passing through Derbent and the Caspian gates, or Daghisten,
    into western Tartary. But the names in the text are too corrupt for
    any certainty. Calcicanus, in the text, is probably a corruption of
    Kalo Johannes, who was then prince, or emperor, of Trebisond.--E.


_Leaving Phasis, Contarini travels through Mingrelia and Georgia, into
Media, and, passing the Caspian, arrives in Tartary._

Leaving Phasis, as before mentioned, on the 17th of September; and taking
the road of Mingrelia, we came to _Cotati_, or Cutais, on the 21st of
that month, extremely worn out through the consequences of our late
illness, and the fatigues of the journey; and as the Greek whom I had
hired never ceased to give me vexation, I here parted with him as
handsomely as I could. We remained two days at Cutais, among people who
knew us not, and whose language we were quite ignorant of. Leaving that
place, and tracing back our former steps, we passed over several
mountains in much fear, and arrived at Tiflis on the 30th of September,
where we took shelter in the chapel of a certain Armenian catholic, who
had more the appearance of a dead person than of a living man, but who
rendered us every possible service. This man had a son who lived with him,
and who, unfortunately for us, was seized with the plague, which had
raged in that part of the country this year. From him one of my servants,
named Maffeo of Bergamo, caught the distemper, who still kept about me
during two days, though ill, as he was my own particular domestic. At
length, growing worse, he had to take to his bed, when the distemper
shewed itself; and as he lay in the same room with me, and the house
could not afford me another, I was forced to take refuge in a hovel where
some cows were kept at night; and as the Armenian refused to allow Maffeo
to remain in his house, I was constrained to take him into the same place
with myself, where Stephen took care of him, till God pleased to take him
out of the world. After the death of Maffeo, I experienced great
difficulty to procure another stable for myself, that I might get away
from the morbid air of that in which my poor servant died. In this
extremity we were utterly abandoned, except by one old man, who
understood a little of our language, and who served us with much

We remained at this place till the 21st October, and on the evening
before our intended departure, the Persian ambassador, who had
accompanied the patriarch, came to Tiflis. He complained grievously of
having been plundered, through the fault of the patriarch, with whom he
had travelled to _Lavógasia_, where he had left him, and was now on his
road to complain to Uzun-Hassan. We agreed to travel in company from
Tiflis, a city belonging to Pancratis[1]. From thence in two days we
entered the territories of Uzun-Hassan, as we took the road towards
Shamaki, or Cyropolis, which is situated in a fertile and pleasant
country. On the 26th of October we separated, as the Persian went to Uzun-
Hassan at Tauris, and I took the road for the dominions of _Sivanse_, in
which Shamaki stands; but by means of the Persian ambassador I procurred
a _molah_, or Mahometan priest, to guide me on the road to Shamaki. This
country is greatly more beautiful and more fertile than the dominions of
Uzun-Hassan, and is ruled over by _Sivanse_, king of Media[2]. Of this
country Shamaki is the capital, at which place I arrived on the 1st
November 1474. This city is not so large as Tauris, but, as far as I
could judge, surpasses that place in the goodness and abundance of every
thing, especially in excellent cattle. It produces great quantities of
excellent silk, of which they manufacture various kinds of very slight
stuffs. While here, I had the good fortune to be rejoined by Marcus
Ruffus, the Muscovite ambassador, who had parted from me at Phasis, as
formerly related. Immediately on learning that I was in the city, he came
to visit me, and we embraced with cordiality. I now earnestly entreated
him to receive me and my domestics into his society for the remainder of
the journey, to which he very readily agreed.

We left Shamaki on the 6th of November, for the city of Derbent, which is
called, in the language of the country, the Caucassian Gates, or the Iron
Gates. This city is under the dominion of _Sivanse_, and stands on the
frontiers of Tartary. On our journey we travelled sometimes over plains
and sometimes on mountains, and were tolerably well treated by the
Turkish inhabitants, with whom we lodged by the way. About mid-way
between these two cities we came to a large village, where we found great
abundance of excellent fruits, particularly admirable apples. We arrived
on the 12th of November at Derbent, and were advised to pass the winter
in that place; as it was necessary, in our way to Russia, to cross the
desert of Tartary, which is much easier in the spring of the year, and
likewise because it was proper for us to cross over the Caspian to the
Tartar city of Citracan. The city of Derbent is situated on the shore of
the Caspian, which the Mardians call the sea of Bachaan or Bacou. This
city is said to have been built by Alexander the Great, and is called the
_Iron Gate_, because it entirely closes up the only passage from Tartary
into Media and Persia, by means of a deep valley reaching from Circassia.
Derbent is fortified with a thick well built wall, reaching from the
castle at the foot of the mountain all the way to the sea; but not above
a sixth part of the space within the walls is inhabited, all that end
nearest the sea being in ruins, among which are several tombs. The
country about this city produces abundance of all kinds of fruits, among
which are plenty of grapes, from which the inhabitants make wine.

The Caspian, or Sea of Hircania, which has no communication whatever with
the ocean, is about the same size with the Euxine or Black Sea, and is
very deep. They catch in this sea great quantities of sturgeons, and sea-
wolves as they are called; and there are prodigious quantities of sea-
dogs, or seals, having the head, feet, and tail like ordinary dogs. The
only other remarkable fish is of a round form, about a yard and a half in
diameter, with no perceptible head or other member, from which the
natives extract a great quantity of oil, which they use in their lamps,
and with which they anoint their camels. The inhabitants of this country,
who are all Mahometans, are neither cruel nor barbarous, and used us
exceedingly well; having once asked us who we were, and being answered
that we were Christians, they troubled us with no farther inquiries. My
dress at this time consisted of coarse and much worn cloth, lined with
lambs skin, above which I wore a leathern robe, and my hat was of skin;
in which dress I frequently went to the market to purchase flesh and
other provisions, which I carried home myself. On one of these occasions
a person eyed me attentively, and, turning to some of his comrades, said,
this man was not born to the employment of carrying meat. Marcus Ruffus,
who happened to be along with me, explained what the man had said; and I
was astonished at being recognized in so shabby a dress, which I thought
must have proved a sufficient concealment: but, in truth, as I have said
before, they are a very good kind of people.

During my residence in Derbent, I was anxious to learn some certain
intelligence respecting the state of affairs at the court of Uzun-Hassan,
for which purpose I sent Demetrius de Seze, my interpreter, with letters
to Josaphat Barbaro at Tauris, which is twenty days journey from Derbent.
He returned at the end of fifty days, bringing answers from Barbaro,
informing me that the king still remained at Tauris, but that he was
utterly ignorant of his affairs.

Spring being arrived, we began to think of pursuing our journey, and
Marcus procured a boat for transporting us to _Curere_[3]. The boats
which are used in this country are drawn up on the shore all winter, as
the sea is then too rough for their use. They are sharp at both ends, and
wide in the middle, their planks being fastened with tree-nails, and
their bottoms payed over with pitch; and as the natives use no compasses,
or other maritime instruments, they always creep along the coast. These
boats, which are very crazy and dangerous, are moved forwards by means of
oars; and the people are very ignorant of navigation, though they believe
themselves the best mariners in the world.

On the 5th of April 1475, we embarked, and departed from Derbent, being
thirty-five persons in all, including the master of the boat and the crew.
The rest of the passengers were merchants, carrying rice, silk, and
silken goods to _Citrarchan_[4], where they proposed to sell their
commodities to the Russians and Tartars, or to barter them for other
articles. Having coasted along during three days, with a favourable wind,
always keeping about fifteen miles from the shore, the wind became
contrary on the third evening, and increased during the night to so
violent a tempest that we expected to have been lost. Although we had all
reason to believe our bark would be dashed to pieces on the shore, we
made every effort to gain the land, and fortunately our vessel ran into a
kind of ditch or dock between sand banks, very near the beach, where she
stuck fast, impelled by the united force of the winds and waves, and of
our oars. Between us and the shore there was a pool, through which we had
to wade, carrying our baggage on our shoulders; and we were almost
perished with cold, owing to the wind, and our being drenched with water;
yet we unanimously agreed to refrain from making a fire, lest that
circumstance might attract the notice of the Tartars, whom we feared to
meet with. At day light we noticed traces of horses having been on the
spot, and the recent fragments of a ruined skiff, from which we were led
to conclude, that some persons must have been here; but some other
circumstances gave us reason to believe that the Tartars were not near
the shore.

We remained undisturbed at this place till the 14th of April, when the
wind and weather becoming favourable, we got our bark from the creek, and
again resumed our voyage, and advanced near thirty miles the same day.
Towards evening the wind became again contrary, but we avoided the
dangers of an impending storm, by taking refuge amidst some reeds, among
which our mariners hauled the boat, so as to be out of danger from the
waves, and we made our way to the land through the reeds, in doing which
we were much fatigued and thoroughly drenched in water. We rested here
all that night and the day following, which was Easter day, having
nothing on which to commemorate that festival, except some butter, and a
few eggs which we fortunately gathered on the sandy beach. The mariners
and passengers were often inquisitive to know who I was; and, pursuant to
the advice of Marcus Ruffus, I passed myself among them as the physician
and servant of _Despima_, the consort of the grand duke of Moscovy, to
whom I was going. A short time after this, one of our mariners happened
to be afflicted by a large boil, and came to consult me in my assumed
character; and as I had the good fortune to discover some oil in our bark,
I made a poultice for him with bread and flour, by which he was soon
cured. From this circumstance they actually believed me to be a physician,
and were very anxious that I should remain among them; but Marcus drew me
out of this difficulty, by saying that I had no medicinal preparations
with me, but would soon return from Russia with a proper assortment.

[1] This name is probably corrupted for Bagration, or Bagrathion, which
    was once the family name of the sovereigns of Georgia, and, if I
    mistake not, there is, or was lately, a prince of that family and name
    in the service of Russia.--E.

[2] The kingdom of Media in the text, is obviously meant to indicate the
    province of Shirvan, on the west of the Caspian.--E.

[3] Perhaps Saray, on the eastern branch of the Wolga.--E.

[4] Probably Astracan is here meant.--E.


_Arrival of Contarini at Citracan, and journey from thence, through
several dangers among the Tartars, to Muscovy along with some merchants_.

On the 15th of April we put again to sea with a favourable wind, and
coasting along a series of reedy islands, we arrived on the 26th of that
month at the mouth of the Wolga, a large river which flows from Russia
into the Caspian. From the mouth of this river it is computed to be
seventy-six miles to the city of Citracan[1], which we reached on the
30th. Near this city there are excellent _salines_[2], from which all the
neighbouring provinces are supplied with salt. The Tartars who commanded
in the city would not permit us to enter that evening, so that we had to
pass the night in a hut without the walls. In the morning three broad-
faced Tartars came and ordered us to go along with them to their prince.
They treated Marcus with respect, saying that he was a friend of their
sovereign; but alleged that I was his slave, as they consider all the
Franks or Christians as their enemies. These news were most cruelly
mortifying for me, and afflicted me severely; but I was obliged to submit
in spite of me, and Marcus advised me to allow him to speak for me.
Forced in this manner to return disconsolate to my hut, I was long
exposed to every indignity and danger, to my great mortification and
distress. The Tartars insisted that I was possessed of pearls, and even
plundered me of some merchandize I had purchased in Derbent, intending to
have bartered it in this place for a good horse to carry me during the
rest of my journey. They informed me afterwards, by means of Marcus, that
they intended to sell us all to certain people whom they waited for, and
who were to go into Muscovy with other merchants. After many
mortifications and distresses, it was resolved to hold a grand
consultation concerning us at a large village named _Alermi_, about two
miles from the city, where their lord resided. At this time I was not
possessed of a single farthing, and was obliged to borrow money from the
Russian and Tartar merchants, at a high interest, to supply our urgent
necessities, for which Marcus became my bondsman.

One day, while Marcus was absent, the khan or prince of the Tartars[3],
broke open the door of our hut, and endeavoured to compel me by threats
to deliver up the pearls which he believed I was possessed of, and I had
infinite difficulty to escape out of his hands, and to persuade him not
to put me to death. The Tartars used often to come to our hut in the
night, when drunk with mead, demanding with loud outcries to deliver up
the Franks to them, and the bravest among us were terrified at the
dangerous situation in which we were among these savages. In this
horrible situation we remained from the 1st of May to the 10th of August.
The city of Citracan belongs to three brothers, who are sons to the
brother of the Tartar emperor, and the inhabitants often make plundering
inroads into the plains of _Cinassia_[4], and along the borders of the
Don. During the height of summer they travel with their flocks in search
of pasturage, to the northern parts of Russia, and hardly spend above a
month every year in Citracan. That city, which stands on the banks of the
Wolga, is by no means large, its houses being built of earth: It is
surrounded by a slight wall, and does not appear to have had any better
buildings for a long time past. It is said to have had a very
considerable fair formerly, and that the perfumes and spiceries which
used to be brought to Venice, came first to this place from the east,
whence they were carried to the Tanais or Don, which is only eight days
journey from the Wolga. The prince of Citracan, whose name is _Casinach_,
sends every year an ambassador to the grand duke of Muscovy, on purpose
to extort a present; and on this occasion, several Tartar merchants
accompany the ambassador, carrying silk, silken vestments, and other
articles of trade, which they barter for saddles, furs, and other things
which are in request among their countrymen.

The only way of travelling into Russia from this place, is through
extensive deserts, on which account travellers have to go in large bands
or caravans for mutual security, and to carry provisions for the journey.
The Tartars care little for the latter precaution, as they have always
plenty of spare horses, and kill one when needed, as they live entirely
on flesh and milk, without caring for any other food. They use no bread,
and only a few of their merchants who have been in Russia know any thing
of this article. Previous to the commencement of our journey[5], we
provided provisions for the journey as well as we could. In this view we
procured some rice with much difficulty, which, boiled in milk, and then
dried in the sun, makes, when afterwards boiled in water, an excellent
and nourishing food. We had likewise some onions, a small quantity of
biscuit, and some other trifles, and I bought, during the journey, the
salted tail of a sheep[6]. The usual road from Citracan to Russia lay
between two branches of the Wolga, but the roads were then exceedingly
dangerous, as the Tartar emperor was then at war with his nephew, who
pretended a right to the throne, as his father had once been emperor. On
this account it was proposed to pass over to the other side of the river,
and to travel towards the straits between the Don and the Wolga, which
are about five days journey from Citracan, after which it was presumed we
should be out of danger. Our baggage was accordingly carried across the
river on rafts, and Marcus desired me to keep always along with him and
the Tartar ambassador, named _Auchioli_. I and my interpreter accordingly
set out about mid-day along with the ambassador, to go to the place where
the boats waited for us, which was about twelve miles from the city, our
other companions having already gone there. On our arrival about sunset,
while I prepared to go into one of the boats on purpose to cross the
river, Marcus seemed suddenly struck with an extraordinary panic, and
commanded the interpreter and me to take to flight instantly to avoid
inevitable danger. We mounted therefore immediately, having likewise a
Russian woman along with us and a Tartar guide of a most horrible aspect,
and set out at full speed. In this manner we followed our guide the whole
of that night and part of the next day, without being ever allowed to
stop. I frequently asked our guide, by means of my interpreter, what was
the reason of all this, and where he proposed to carry me? At length he
explained the cause of Marcus having made us set off, with such
precipitation; as the khan had sent an order to examine all the boats,
and he was apprehensive they would have detained me as a slave if I had
been found.

About mid-day of the 13th of August 1475, we arrived at the banks of the
river, and our Tartar guide endeavoured to find a boat in which to carry
us into an island in which the flocks of Auchioli were kept; but not
finding one, he cut down some branches, which he tied together so as to
form a raft. On this he placed the saddles of our horses, and tying this
raft to his horses tail, he mounted the horse, on which he swam across
the river to the island, which lay a bow-shot from the shore. He then
came back with the raft, on which he carried over the Russian woman;
after which he came back for me, and I stripped myself naked before
trusting myself to the crazy raft, that I might be in readiness to save
myself by swimming, in case of any misfortune. He afterwards returned for
our horses; and my interpreter swam across. The passage of the river
being thus happily effected, the Tartar carried us to a wretched hovel,
covered by a miserable woollen cloth, where he gave us some sour milk,
which we found very refreshing, as we had been long without food, and
were much fatigued. Immediately on our arrival in the island being known,
several Tartars left their flocks to come and see us, seeming infinitely
surprized and much gratified by the sight, as we were probably the first
Christians who had ever been on the island. Being exceedingly fatigued
and distressed in mind, I did not care to speak with them, yet our Tartar
guide treated me with much kindness, and made me as good cheer as he was
able. Next day, being the eve of the festival of the Virgin, he killed a
fat lamb to entertain me, part of which he roasted, and part was boiled;
and though contrary to the rules of our religion to eat meat on that day,
I made a hearty meal, notwithstanding that every thing was disgustingly
dirty. We had likewise sour milk to drink, and the Tartars drank mares
milk, of which they are very fond; but I would not drink this, though I
could easily perceive my dislike did not please the Tartars.

I remained here two days; and at last, on the 26th of August, Marcus and
the rest made their appearance on the other side of the river, and sent a
boat for me in which were two of his servants, a Russian and a Tartar.
Stephen Testa and John Ungaret, my two attendants, were very much
rejoiced at seeing me again, as they believed me entirely lost, and we
rested two days at this place before entering upon the desert. Marcus had
been so attentive as to provide a horse for me, of which I stood in great
need. In this caravan, which was under the command of the Tartar
ambassador, there were about three hundred persons, Russians and Tartars,
who carried with them above two hundred[7] horses, partly intended to
serve as food by the way, and partly for sale in Russia. We arrived in
good order at night on the banks of the river, and we rested every day at
noon during the fifteen days of our journey, as we were now considered to
be out of danger from any attack by the Tartars. I do not recollect the
name of the emperor of the Tartars who inhabit this part of the country
between the Wolga and the Tanais. This nation has no fixed place of abode,
but shift their encampments from place to place, wherever they can find
pasture and water for their cattle, on which they have their whole
dependence, as they subsist entirely on flesh and milk. They have cows,
heifers, and sheep of admirable beauty, the flesh of which is excellent,
as they feed on fine pastures; but these people prefer mares milk to
every other delicacy. Though I have not been in the country of these
Tartars, I have been informed that it is flat and agreeable, having
neither hill nor mountain; but the inhabitants addict themselves
excessively to robbery and plunder, as their sole occupation, and
continually infest the borders of Russia and Circassia by predatory
incursions. Their horses are very wild and unmanageable, and are never
shod. We were told that there is another tribe of Tartars beyond the
Wolga, named wild Tartars, who allow their hair to grow extremely long.
In the middle of winter they often make inroads to the very skirts of the
city of Citracan, whence they carry off cattle, but do no other damage.
These people, like all the Tartars, shift their encampments in search of
pasturage and water.

After travelling for fifteen days along the eastern bank of the Wolga, we
came to a small forest, where the Tartars and Russians of the caravan cut
down trees to construct rafts for crossing the river. While they were at
this work, we discovered a small bark which was by no means in good
repair, by means of which our company proposed to convey our baggage
across. Marcus crossed over with a part of our baggage, leaving me in
charge of the rest, and sent back the boat when he was landed. In my trip
with the remainder of our baggage, the boat began to leak when we were
about half way over, the breadth of the river at this place being about
two miles. Stephen and two Russians accompanied me in the boat, leaving
Demetrius, my interpreter, and John Ungar in charge of the horses. We had
much ado to bale out the water, but by the blessing of God, we got over
in safety. After our baggage was landed, the Russians put off, to go back
for the rest of our people and the horses; but the boat fell to pieces.
This necessarily delayed our other servants and the horses from getting
over till next day, during which interval they were badly off, as all our
provisions were on our side. It was fortunate that I now examined the
state of our provisions, which I found diminished much beyond expectation,
so that we were under the necessity of abridging our allowance for the
remainder of the journey, that we might not run short altogether. Our
principal food consisted of millet, with garlic and onions, and some sour
milk; and we found some wild apples at this place, which we roasted. In
the course of two days, the whole baggage of the caravan was transported
to the western side of the river by means of seven rafts, drawn by horses,
and directed by the Tartars, the horses swimming and having the rafts
tied to their tails. The sight of this was very amusing, but seemed very
dangerous to those who were employed. After resting some time, we quitted
the banks of the river, and resumed our journey. This river Wolga is
certainly the largest and deepest river in the world, being, as well as I
could judge, two miles broad, and has very high banks.

[1] Called Citrarchan in the former section, but certainly what we now
    call Astracan, then the capital of a Tartar principality, which now
    forms one of the provinces of the vast Russian empire.--E.

[2] These are large shallow ponds, in which sea water is exposed to
    evaporation, to procure salt.--E.

[3] In the original this person is called the cham of the _Camercheriens_.
    The Tartar government of Astracan belonged to one of the Mongal tribes
    of Kipschak; but the word used in the original may have been a local
    term, not now explicable.--E.

[4] Perhaps the kingdom or province of Cazan, higher up the Wolga.--E.

[5] Contarini has forgot to give us any account in what manner he procured
    leave to quit Astracan. Perhaps, by means of Marcus, he was permitted
    to pass for one of his attendants.--E.

[6] It may be necessary to remark, that the tails of a peculiar species of
    sheep, O. Platyurus, or the broad-tailed sheep, common among the
    Tartars, and other parts of the world, are said sometimes to weigh
    twenty-five pounds.--E.

[7] Probably an error for 2000.--E.


_Contarini, after crossing European Sarmatia, arrives at Moscow, the
capital of White Russia, and is presented to the Grand Duke._

After recommending ourselves to the protection of God, we continued our
journey, through immense and terrible deserts, sometimes towards the
north, and sometimes westerly[1], always resting at noon, and taking up
our quarters for the night on the bare ground, without any protection
against the weather. To prevent us from being surprized in the night by
the wandering Tartars, outguards were placed every night in three
directions around our resting-place. During the greater part of this long
and dreary journey, we were very ill off for water both for ourselves and
our cattle, and we never saw any wild animals. One day we saw about forty
horses, which we were told had escaped from a caravan of merchants the
year before. We fell in one day with a small horde of Tartars, having
twenty waggons, but I was not able to learn where they were going. As our
provisions decreased rapidly, we were forced to use the remainder very
sparingly, and were consequently reduced to a very short allowance.

On the 22d of September 1475, we entered Russia, and discovered a few
huts in the middle of a wood. On the inhabitants learning that Marcus,
their countryman, was in our caravan, they came to see him that he might
protect them from the Tartars, and brought him a present of honey and wax,
a part of which he gave to us. This was a most providential supply, as we
were so much reduced by fatigue and spare diet, that we were hardly able
to sit on horseback. The first city we came to in this country was
_Rezan_[2], the prince of which place had married a sister of the Grand
Duke of Russia. The castle and all the houses of this city are built of
wood. We here procured bread and meat, and mead in abundance, to our
great comfort and satisfaction. The next city we came to was _Kolomna_,
passing a very large bridge over the _Monstrus_[3] which flows into the
Wolga. At this place, Marcus quitted the caravan, which travelled too
slowly in his opinion, and pushed on for Moscow, where we arrived on the
26th of September, after a journey of forty-seven days through the desert,
from the 10th of August, on which day we left Citracan. In a great part
of this journey we found no wood, and were forced to cook our victuals
with fires made of dried cow dung. We returned thanks to God on our
arrival, for our preservation through so many and great dangers. On our
arrival, Marcus procured a dwelling for us, consisting of a small stove-
room and some chambers, with stabling for our horses. Though small and
mean, I felt as if lodged in a palace, when I compared my present state
of tranquil security with the dangers and inconveniences I had been so
long subjected to.

Marcus made me a visit two days afterwards, and supplied me with some
necessaries, exhorting me, as on the part of his sovereign, to keep a
good heart. I returned his visit next day; and being very desirous to
return home to Venice, I requested him to introduce me to the grand duke,
which he promised to do as soon as possible, and I soon afterwards was
desired to go to court. Immediately on my getting there, I was conducted
to an audience; on which I made my obeisance in due form to the grand
duke, to whom I returned thanks for all the attentions I had received
from his ambassador, Marcus, in the course of my journey, by whose
assistance and advice I had escaped a thousand dangers; assuring his
highness that I attributed these marks of kindness as done to the
republic of Venice, whose ambassador I was, and that the republic would
unquestionably evince a due sense of the obligations, to which I owed my
life and safety. The grand duke interrupted my harangue, by complaining
with much emotion of the conduct of _John Baptista_ of Treviso, and said
a great deal on this subject, which is not proper for me to report. After
a conversation of some length, in which I spoke to his highness about my
departure, he closed my audience, postponing his answers to my requests
to a future opportunity. The grand duke was very shortly to quit Moscow,
on purpose to visit several parts of his dominions, and particularly the
Tartar frontier, where one of his officers was stationed, with the
command of 500 horse[4], to repress the incursions of robbers on that
side: I therefore endeavoured to procure an answer about my departure,
and solicited a second audience for that purpose. On this occasion I was
very politely received by the grand duke, accompanied by three of his
principal barons. At first they expatiated at some length on the subject
of John Baptista, formerly mentioned; but at length I received liberty to
remain or to depart as I thought proper. They dismissed me with this
vague answer, and the grand duke set out from Moscow soon afterwards. I
owed a great deal of money to Marcus, which he had expended for me and my
people, as he had defrayed the whole expences of our journey, and had
supplied me with many things of which I stood in need. I requested
permission from him to go away, giving him the most solemn assurance that
I would transmit full payment to him immediately after my arrival at
Venice. But he declared this was not in his power, as he was under the
necessity of repaying the Tartarian and Russian merchants, who had
advanced all these things for us, and to whom he had become security for
payment. Finding every application to the duke and Marcus on this subject
ineffectual, as I could not procure the necessary funds for my journey
from either, I was under the necessity of sending Stephen Testa to Venice,
to solicit a remittance from our illustrious senate, by which I might be
enabled to pay my debts. Stephen left Moscow on the 7th of October,
accompanied by one _Nicolas Leopolitain_[5], who knew the country.

I became acquainted at Moscow with one Triphon, a goldsmith, a native of
Ascravia or Cathara, who was employed in making several articles of
silver plate for the grand duke. I likewise formed acquaintance with a
very ingenious architect of Bologna, named Aristotle, who was building a
new church in the market-place. As the house in which I lodged was small
and disagreeable, I went to live with this person by the advice of Marcus:
But I was soon after obliged to change my quarters by order from court,
to a house near the castle, in which I remained for the rest of my stay
at Moscow. This city, which is the capital of the Russian dominions, and
the residence of the grand duke, or sovereign, is built on a small
elevation, on the banks of the Mosqua, over which there are several
bridges; the castle and all the houses of the city being built of wood,
which is procured from several thick forests near the place. The soil of
this country is fertile, and produces abundance of corn of all kinds,
which sell here much cheaper than with us; The country abounds in cattle
and swine, and with incredible numbers of poultry, ducks, geese, and
hares; but they have no venison, either because there are no deer, or
because the natives are ignorant of the art of taking them. But they have
no vines, and their only fruits are cucumbers, wild apples, and nuts. The
country is extremely cold, and the inhabitants are under the necessity of
living for nine months of the year in stoves. They provide during winter
for their living in summer[6]. When the whole country is enveloped in
frost and snow, they use sledges drawn by horses, which are very
convenient and useful for travelling; and are even used in summer on
account of the miry bad roads, which are exceedingly difficult and
unpleasant. The river ordinarily freezes over about the end of October,
when the merchants erect booths on the ice, in which they expose their
wares of all kinds for sale, as in a fair or market; and they here sell
great numbers of cattle and swine, and great quantities of corn, timber,
and all other necessaries of life; every thing being procurable in great
abundance all the winter. About the end of November, they kill all the
cattle, sheep, and other animals that are required for winter provision,
and expose them for sale on the river in a frozen state; and the rigour
of the season preserves these provisions for two or three months, without
any risk of spoiling. Fish, poultry, and all other articles of food, are
kept in the same manner. The horses run with great ease and swiftness on
the ice yet they sometimes fell and break their necks. Both men and women
of this country have very good faces, but their manners are exceedingly

The Russian church is ruled over by a patriarch, whose election or
appointment is dependent on the grand duke, and who does not acknowledge
subjection to the Roman pontiff; and they hold all sectaries in
abhorrence, as people doomed to perdition. The natives are much addicted
to drunkenness, and he who excels in drinking is much esteemed among them.
They have no wine, as I have said before, instead of which they drink
mead, made of honey and water, which is very pleasant when sufficiently
kept. It is not allowed to every one to make this liquor, for which
purpose a license or permission must be had from the grand duke; for if
every person had liberty to make mead, they would drink perpetually like
so many beasts, and would kill one another. From morning till noon, they
are employed in the market-place, occupied in their various businesses
and employments, after which they adjourn to the taverns, in which they
spend all the rest of the day. Every winter, great numbers of merchants
come to Moscow from Germany and Poland, who purchase furs of all kinds,
which are indeed exceedingly beautiful. Among these furs, are the skins
of foxes, wolves, martins, sables, ermines, and many others, from Scythia
and the alpine regions, many days journey to the north of Moscow. Many of
these are likewise carried for sale to Novogorod[7], a city towards the
frontiers of Germany, eight days journey west from Moscow. The government
of that city is democratic, and only pays a stipulated yearly tribute to
the grand duke.

The country subject to the grand duke of Russia is of vast extent, and an
infinite number of people are subject to his dominions, but they are by
no means warlike. This empire extends from the north towards the west, to
that part of Germany which is under the dominion of the king of Poland[8];
and some reckon among his subjects a wandering nation of idolaters, who
acknowledge no sovereign, not even submitting to the authority of the
grand duke, but when it suits their own convenience. These wandering
tribes are said to worship during the day whatever first presents itself
to their view, on going out in the morning; many other ridiculous things
are reported of them, which I do not repeat, as I have not seen them, and
can hardly give credit to the reports. The grand duke[9] appeared to be
about thirty-five years of age, was handsomely made, and had very
dignified manners, and an air quite royal. His mother was still alive,
and he had two brothers. By a former wife he had two sons, who did not
agree with Despina, the reigning grand duchess, and were not therefore on
very friendly terms with their father. Despina, his second wife, had
brought him two daughters, and was said to be again with child.

The grand duke returned to Moscow from his journey to the frontiers about
the end of December; and, as I could not reconcile myself to the manners
and mode of life of the Russians, I became exceedingly impatient to leave
the country, and could not persuade myself to stay for the return of
Stephen from Venice with money. For this reason, I made interest with one
of the lords of the court, to prevail on the grand duke to supply me with
money, and to give me leave to depart. A few days afterwards, the grand
duke sent for me to court and invited me to dinner, when he agreed, from
respect to the republic, to lend me as much money as was necessary to
clear all my debts to the Tartarian and Russian merchants, and to enable
me to return to Venice. The dinner was quite magnificent, consisting of
every delicacy, and of abundance of exquisitely dressed dishes. When the
repast was finished, I retired according to custom. Some days afterwards,
I was again invited to court, and the grand duke gave orders his
treasurer to give me all the money necessary for paying my debts, besides
which, he presented me with 1000 ducats, and a magnificent dress of
Scythian squirrels skins, to wear in his presence when I came to court.
Before returning to my quarters, he ordered me to be presented to the
grand duchess, who received me very graciously, and desired me to offer
her respectful salutations to our illustrious republic, which I promised
to do.

[1] This journey appears to have been through the country on the west of
    the Wolga, which they probably passed about Czariein, through the
    provinces of Saratov, Woronez, and Penza, avoiding the Ilafla, to
    Rezan or Riazan.--E.

[2] Rezan or Riazan, in the province of that name, on the Oka. In a
    considerable, part of the track of this journey, there are now towns
    and villages; but the whole of this south-eastern frontier of European
    Russia, appears to have been then entirely waste, and pervaded by the
    wandering Tartars. We are quite in the dark respecting the particulars
    of the route from Astracan to Rezan. It was certainty on the east of
    the Wolga at the first, to avoid the Tartars which occupied the
    country between the Caspian and Euxine. The passage of that vast
    river may have been at Czariein, at its great elbow, in lat. 48° 30'N.
    or about Saratov in 51° 20'N. neither of which towns seem to have then
    existed. From thence they would probably proceed, to avoid the larger
    rivers, between where Penza and Tchenbar now stand, and by the scite
    of Morbansk, towards Riazan.--E.

[3] In the original this large bridge is said to have been at Kolomna,
    which is on the river Mosqua, of very inferior magnitude; and flows
    into the Oka, which most probably is the Monstrus of the text.--E.

[4] In the original, the commander of this body of cavalry is said to have
    been a Tartarian general--E.

[5] The word Leopolitain, may possibly be a corruption for Neopolitan, or
    a native of Naples. Perhaps it may refer to Leopol, in that part of
    Poland now belonging to Austria, and called Galicia.--E.

[6] Such is the expression in the original, which ought perhaps to be
    reversed. Yet Contarini possibly meant to say, that the inhabitants of
    Moscow laid up a sufficient stock of money from the profits of their
    long winter labours, for their subsistence during summer; when, by the
    absence of the court, they had little employment.--E.

[7] There are two cities named Novogrod or Novgorod in Russia, nearly at
    equal distances from Moscow, one to the northwest, and the other to
    the southwest; the latter of which, named Novgorod Sieverskov, is
    probably meant in the text, and which ought rather to have been
    described as towards the frontiers of Poland. The other Novgorod did
    not then belong to the Russian sovereignty.--E.

[8] The geographical ideas of Contarini are very vague and superficial.
    This is perhaps the only instance wherein Poland; a portion of
    European Sarmatia, is considered as belonging geographically to

[9] The reigning sovereign of Russia at the period was John III. who began
    to reign in 1463, and was succeeded in 1505 by Basil IV.--E.


_Contarini leaves Moscow, and having passed through Lithuania, Poland,
and Germany, arrives at Venice._

On the day before that which I had fixed for my departure, I was invited
to dine at court. Before dinner, I was taken into one of the halls of the
palace, where I found the grand duke, accompanied by Marcus and a
secretary. His highness addressed me very graciously, and desired me to
report all the marks of esteem and friendship he had shewn me, from
respect to our illustrious republic, and offered me every thing I could
desire, and which lay in his power to grant. While speaking, I drew back
from respect; but as I retired he always advanced. I answered every thing
to his satisfaction, and humbly offered my most grateful thanks for all
his benevolence to me. He treated me with the utmost politeness and
familiarity, and even condescended to shew me some robes of gold tissue,
magnificently lined with Scythian sables; after which we went to dinner.
The repast was extraordinarily magnificent, at which several of the
barons and great officers of state assisted. When we rose from table, the
grand duke called me to him, and gave me my audience of leave in the most
gracious terms, speaking so loud as to be heard by all the company, and
expressing his high esteem for the illustrious republic of Venice. After
this, by his order, a silver cup was brought to me filled with mead, of
which he made me a present, as a mark of high regard with which he
honours ambassadors, and other persons to whom he shews favour. This
present was to me a matter of very serious consideration, as the
etiquette required me to empty its contents, and the cup was very large.
When I had drained about a quarter of the liquor, knowing the sobriety of
the Italians, and perceiving that I was much difficulted, the grand duke
had the goodness to order the remainder to be emptied, and the goblet
given to me. Having thanked the grand duke in as respectful terms as I
was able, I took my leave and retired, accompanied by several barons and
other persons of rank.

Every thing was now in readiness for my departure, but Marcus would by no
means hear of my leaving Moscow, without taking a dinner with him, and
accordingly gave me a magnificent entertainment. Louis, the patriarch of
Antioch, of whom I have before made mention, came about this time to
Moscow, and was detained there by order of the grand duke; but I made
interest through Marcus for his release, which I obtained, and he was to
have travelled along with me. But as he delayed too long, I set off
without him. At length, on the 21st January 1476, we set out from Moscow
in sledges, made like small huts, each drawn by a horse, and guided by a
driver. In these sledges we carried our baggage and provisions along with
us, and in them, journeys of great length may be made in a wonderfully
short time. By order of the grand duke, I had a guide appointed to
conduct me on the right road, and this was continued from place to place
all, through his dominions. We slept the first night in a small village,
where we found our lodgings exceedingly cold, but that was the smallest
of our inconveniencies, and on this account I hastened our journey as much
as possible. On the 27th of January, we arrived at _Vieseme_, and a few
days afterwards at Smolensk on the frontiers of Lithuania, in the
dominions of Casimir king of Poland. From Smolensk, till we arrived at
_Trach_[1], a city of Lithuania, we travelled continually in a plain
interspersed with some hills, the whole country being covered with wood,
and our only lodgings were in miserable hovels; dining always about noon
wherever we could meet with a fire, which had been left burning by
travellers who had passed before us. We had generally to break the ice to
procure water for our horses; we lighted fires to warm ourselves; and our
sledges served us instead of beds, as without them we must have slept on
the ground. We went with such expedition, over the frozen snow, that we
were assured we had travelled 300 miles in three days and two nights.

Casimir king of Poland, who then resided at _Troki_, immediately on
learning my arrival, sent two of his gentlemen to compliment me in his
name, and to congratulate me on my safe return. They likewise invited me
to dine with his majesty on the following day, which was the 15th of
February, and presented me on the part of the king with a robe of purple
damask, lined with Scythian furs, in which I dressed myself to go to
court. On this occasion, I went in a coach and six, accompanied by four
noblemen and several other persons. The king himself did me the honour to
receive me, and conducted me into a magnificent apartment, where he
introduced me to two of his sons in presence of many nobles, knights, and
gentlemen of the court. A chair was placed for me in the middle of the
room; and when I offered to kneel on one knee while addressing the king,
his majesty had the goodness to insist that I should sit down in his
presence, which I did after some hesitation. I then gave a recital of all
that had occurred in my travels, with some account of the dominions of
Uzun-Hassan, and of the number of his forces, and of the empire and
manners of the Tartars. The king and his courtiers listened to me with
much attention during my whole speech, which lasted more than half an
hour. I then thanked his majesty for the present he had made me, and for
all his kindnesses to me, attributing his attentions to the esteem he
entertained for our illustrious republic. His majesty was pleased, by
means of an interpreter, to express great satisfaction at my safe arrival,
as he hardly expected I should ever have been able to return; and that he
was much pleased with the information I had given him respecting Uzun-
Hassan and the Tartars, which he believed to be more authentic than any
he had received before. After some other discourse, I was conducted to
the hall where the dinner was served; soon after which his majesty came
into the hall with his two sons, preceded by several trumpets. The king
sat down at the head of the table, having his two sons on his right hand;
the primate of the kingdom sat next on his majestys left, and I was
placed next the bishop. The remainder of the table was occupied by about
forty of the nobles. Each service was ushered in with the sound of
trumpets, and all the meats were served on large silver dishes.

After dinner, which lasted two hours, I rose to depart, and asked the
king if he had any farther orders to honour me with; when he was pleased
to say very graciously, that he charged me to assure the senate that his
most anxious desire was to cultivate perpetual friendship and good-will
with our illustrious republic, and he was pleased to make his sons
express the same friendly wishes. Having respectfully taken leave of the
king, I was conducted back to my lodgings by several of the courtiers.

Being supplied with a guide, I departed from Troki on the 16th of
February, and in nine days, passing through the city of _Ionici_, I
arrived at Warsaw on the 1st of March. The country of Poland appeared
very pleasant, and abundant in every, thing except fruit. During our
journey we saw many villages and castles, and were well received
everywhere, but we found no considerable city. After remaining four days
in Warsaw, where I purchased horses for the rest of our journey, we set
out from that place on the 5th of March, and came that day to a town call
_Messarig_, where we began to travel with less assurance of safety, as
this place is on the frontiers towards Germany. On the 9th I arrived at
Frankfort on the Oder, from which place we found more commodious lodgings
in traversing Germany, than we had been accustomed to for a long time.
While passing the city of _Gia_[2], on the 15th of March, I had the good
fortune to meet with Stephen Testa, whom I had sent from Moscow to Venice
for money. I was quite delighted at this meeting, as from him I received
good accounts from home. We now entered the city of _Gia_, where we
rested two days. On the 22d we reached Nurenburgh, where we remained four
days; from whence we went by Augsburgh, and several other fine cities of
Germany, and arrived at Trent on the 4th of April, where we celebrated
the festival of Easter. Being extremely anxious to revisit my beloved
country, I set out from thence after three days stay, and reached _Scala_,
in the dominions of our republic. In discharge of a vow that I had
entered into, I went to visit the church of the blessed Virgin on Mount
Arthon, and presented the offerings which I had promised at her holy
shrine. I had already sent notice to my brother Augustine, that he might
expect me in Venice towards evening of the 10th of April; but my extreme
desire of getting back to my country, made me get home considerably
earlier. Embarking at break of day, I arrived at three in the afternoon
at _Lucafusina_; and, before going to my own house, I went, in the
discharge of another vow, to the church of our _Lady of Grace_, and met
my brother on my way in the Jews street. We embraced with great affection,
and went together to the church. After finishing my devotions, I went to
the palace, as the _Pregadi_ were then assembled, it being on a Thursday.
I was admitted into the council, to which I gave an account of the
success of my embassy; after which, as our serene Doge was indisposed, I
paid my respects to him in his apartment, and gave him a short history of
my travels, and particularly concerning those things on which I had been
commissioned. From thence I went to my own house, where I gave thanks to
God for his infinite mercy, in having permitted me to return in health
and safety, after so many dangers. To conclude: Although I might have
composed this narrative of my travels in a more eloquent style, I have
preferred truth in few words, to falsehood dressed up in ornamented
language. I have been very brief in relation to Germany, as that country
is in our neighbourhood, and is therefore well known to many, on which
account it would have been both superfluous and tiresome to have given a
minute description of what every one knows.

[1] This almost certainty a corruption of Troki--E.

[2] Though this place must assuredly be a town in Germany, between
    Frankfort on the Oder and Nurenburgh, its name is so disguised as to
    be quite unintelligible.--E.


_Recapitulation of some circumstances respecting Persia._

The empire of Uzun-Hassan is very extensive, and is bounded by Turkey and
Caramania, belonging to the Sultan, and which latter country extends to
Aleppo. Uzun-Hassan took the kingdom of Persia from _Causa_[1], whom he
put to death. The city of Ecbatana, or Tauris, is the usual residence of
Uzun-Hassan; Persepolis, or _Shiras_[2], which is twenty-four days
journey from thence, being the last city of his empire, bordering on the
Zagathais, who are the sons of Buzech, sultan of the Tartars, and with
whom he is continually at war. On the other side is the country of Media,
which is under subjection to _Sivansa_, who pays a kind of yearly tribute
to Uzun-Hassan. It is said that he has likewise some provinces on the
other side of the Euphrates, in the neighbourhood of the Turks[3]. The
whole country, all the way to Ispahan, six days journey from Persepolis,
is exceedingly arid, having very few trees and little water, yet it is
fertile in grain and other provisions. The king seemed to me about
seventy years of age, of large stature, with a pleasant countenance, and
very lean. His eldest son, named Ogurlu Mohamed, was much spoken of when
I was in Persia, as he had rebelled against his father. He had other
three sons; Khalil Mirza, the elder of these was about thirty-five years
old, and had the government of Shiras. Jacub beg, another son of Uzun-
Hassan, was about fifteen, and I have forgotten the name of a third
son.[4] By one of his wives he had a son named _Masubech_, or Maksud beg,
whom he kept in prison, because he was detected in corresponding with his
rebellious brother _Ogurlu_, and whom he afterwards put to death.
According to the best accounts which I received from different persons,
the forces of Uzun-Hassan may amount to about 50,000 cavalry, a
considerable part of whom are not of much value. It has been reported by
some who were present, that at one time he led an army of 40,000 Persians
to battle against the Turks, for the purpose of restoring _Pirameth_ to
the sovereignty of Karamania, whence he had been expelled by the

[1] Uzun-Hassan, as formerly mentioned, was prince of the Turkmans of the
    white sheep tribe, and acquired the dominion of western Persia, by the
    defeat of Hassan-ali prince of the black sheep Turkmans, who is
    probably the person named Causa in the text.--E.

[2] This is a mistake, Persepolis is supposed to have been at, or near
    Istakar, above twenty miles N.N.E. from Shiras.--E.

[3] Diarbekir, with the cities of Arzunjan, Mardin, Roha, or Orfa, and
    Siwas, are said to have been committed by Timour to the government of
    Kara Ilug Ozman, the great grandfather of Uzun-Hassan, who may have
    retained the original possessions of his tribe after the acquisition
    of western Persia.--Mod. Univ. Hist. VI. 111.

[4] According to the authors of the Modern Universal History. B. VIII. ch.
    i. sect. 3. Uzun-Hassan had seven sons: Ogurlu Mohammed, Khahil Mirza,
    Maksud beg, Jakub beg, Masih beg, Yusuf beg, and Zegnel. Contarini
    strangely corrupts almost every name that occurs. Uzun-Hassan, he
    makes Unsuncassan; Ogurlu Mohammed, Gurlu mamech; Kalil mirza, Sultan
    chali; Yakub beg, Lacubei; Maksud beg, or Masih beg, Masubech; and
    omits three of the seven.--E.

[5] Uzun-Hassan is said to have been defeated in battle by the Turks, in
    1471, near Arzenjan.--Mod. Univ. Hist. VI. 113.




The knowledge possessed by the ancients respecting India, will be the
subject of discussion in a future portion of this work. We have now to
contemplate the tedious, yet finally successful efforts of the Portuguese
nation, in its age of energetic heroism, to discover a maritime passage
to that long famed commercial region, some general knowledge of which had
been preserved ever since the days of the Persian, Macedonian, and Roman
empires. Of all the great events which have occurred in the modern ages,
previous to our own times, the voyages and discoveries which were made by
the Europeans, in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries of the Christian
era, are justly entitled to preference, whether we appreciate the vast
improvements which they made in navigation, and, consequently, in
commerce,--the astonishing abundance of wealth which they brought into
Europe,--the surprising feats of bravery which were performed in their
various expeditions and conquests,--the extensive, populous, and valuable
territories which were subdued or colonized,--or the extended knowledge,
which was suddenly acquired of the greater part of the earth, till then
either altogether unknown, or very partially and erroneously described.
By these discoveries, we allude to those of the southern and western
hemispheres, a new heaven and a new earth were opened up to the
astonishment of mankind, who may be said to have been then furnished with
wings to fly from one end of the earth to the other, so as to bring the
most distant, and hitherto utterly unknown nations, acquainted with each
other. In the ordinary course of human affairs, it has been observed that
similar events frequently occur; but the transactions of these times
which we now propose to narrate, were as singular in their kind as they
were great, surprising, and unexpected; neither can any such ever happen
again, unless Providence were to create new and accessible worlds for
discovery and conquest, or to replunge the whole of mankind for a long
period into the grossest ignorance.

The merit and glory of these wonderful achievements are unquestionably
due to the Portuguese nation, and the first and principal share to the
sublime genius of their illustrious prince, the infant DON HENRY, _Duke
of Viseo and Grand Master of the order of Christ_, whose enlarged mind
first planned the fitting out of maritime expeditions for discovery, and
by the imitation of whose example all subsequent discoveries have been
accomplished. Every thing of the kind before his time was isolated or
accidental, and every subsequent attempt has been pursued on scientific
or known principles, which he invented and established. Although America
was discovered by Columbus, in the service of Spain, some years before
the Portuguese were able to accomplish their long sought route to India;
and although the discovery of America was performed infinitely quicker
than that of southern Africa and the route to India, Columbus having
accomplished his design at the very first attempt, and even without any
previous knowledge of the countries he went in search of; while the
endeavours of the Portuguese occupied a great number of years in almost
fruitless attempts, and extremely tedious progression; yet Don Henry
first set on foot the navigation of the ocean through unknown seas, and
inspired, other nations with the idea of making discoveries of distant
and unexplored regions; and ultimately great as were the discoveries of
Columbus, they may be said to have been accidentally made in the
erroneous attempt to go by a nearer route to the regions of which Don
Henry and his successors had long been in search.

These attempts of the Portuguese had been continued for nearly fourscore
years before any of their neighbours seem to have entertained the most
distant idea of engaging in foreign discoveries, even viewing their
endeavours as downright knight-errantry, proceeding from a distempered
imagination, as well in the first promoter as in those who continued to
prosecute his scheme. In a word, the relation of these discoveries forms
one of the most curious portions of modern history, as comprizing a great
number of the most extraordinary transactions that ever happened in any
period of the world. For this reason they are well worthy of being
particularly narrated, that the curious may be made acquainted with every
successive step in such important enterprizes, and by what almost
insensible degrees such vast undertakings were ultimately accomplished.
And as the intercourse of Europeans has operated a great change in the
countries to which they penetrated, and upon their original inhabitants,
so that both now appear in a very different light from what they did
before these expeditions and discoveries; therefore, every circumstance
belonging to these transactions deserves the most serious notice.

John 1. of Portugal, married Philippa, the eldest daughter of John of
Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, son to Edward III. of England, by whom he had
several sons, of whom Don Henry was the _fifth_. After serving with great
bravery under his father at the capture of Ceuta, he was raised to the
dukedom of Viseo, and was sent back with a large reinforcement to
preserve the conquest to which his courage had largely contributed.
During his continuance in command at Ceuta, he acquired much information,
by occasional converse with some Moors, relative to the seas and coasts
of Western Africa, which raised and encouraged the project of maritime
discoveries; and these became afterwards the favourite and almost
exclusive pursuit of his active and enlarged mind. From the Moors he
obtained intelligence respecting the Nomadic tribes who border upon and
pervade the great desert, and of the nations of the Jaloofs, whose
territories are conterminous with the desert on the north, and Guinea to
the south. By one ingenious author[2], he has been supposed instigated to
his first attempts at maritime discovery, by the desire of finding a way
by sea to those countries from whence the Moors brought ivory and gold
dust across the desert. It unfortunately happens that we have no record
of the particular voyages themselves, and are therefore reduced to the
necessity of giving the relation of this great discovery historically
from the best remaining sources of information. The writings of Cada
Morto, which will be found in the sequel, form a pleasing exception to
this desideratum in the history and progress of early navigation and

[1] Astley. I. 9. Clarke, I. 140. Purchas, I. 6. Harris, I. 662.

[2] Wealth of Nations, II. 347.


_Commencement of Portuguese Discoveries, from Cape Non to Cape Bojador_

Three years before the reduction of Ceuta, the Duke of Visco had sent a
vessel in 1412 to explore the western coast of Africa, being the first
voyage of discovery undertaken by the Portuguese, or by any other nation
in modern times. The commander was instructed to endeavour to follow the
western coast of Africa, to the southward of Cape Chaunar, called by the
Portuguese mariners Cape Nao, Non, or Nam, which, extending itself from
the foot of Mount Atlas, had hitherto been the _non plus ultra_ or
impassable limit of European navigation, and had accordingly received its
ordinary name from a negative term in the Portuguese language, as
implying that there was no navigation beyond; and respecting which a
proverbial saying was then current, of the following import:

  Whoe'er would pass the Cape of Non
  Shall turn again; or else be gone.

The success of this earliest voyage, fitted out for the purpose of
discovery, is not recorded; but Don Henry continued to send some vessels
every year to the same coast, with the same instructions of endeavouring
to explore the coast beyond Cape Non. Not daring to trust themselves
beyond sight of land, the mariners crept timorously along the coast, and
at length reached Cape Bojador, only sixty leagues, or 180 miles beyond
Cape Non. This cape, which stretches boldly out into the ocean, from
which circumstance it derives its name[1], filled the Portuguese mariners
with terror and amazement; owing to the shoals by which it is environed
for the space of six leagues, being perpetually beaten by a lofty and
tremendous surge, which precluded them, from all possibility of
proceeding beyond it in their ordinary manner of creeping along the coast;
and they dared not to stretch out into the open sea in quest of smoother
water, lest, losing sight of land altogether, they might wander in the
trackless ocean, and be unable to find their way home. It is not
impossible that they might contemplate the imaginary terrors of the
torrid zone, as handed down from some of the ancients, with all its
burning soil and scorching vapours; and they might consider the
difficulties of Cape Bojador as a providential bar or omen, to warn and
oppose them against proceeding to their inevitable destruction. They
accordingly measured back their wary steps along the African coast, and
returned to Portugal, where they gave an account of their proceedings to
Don Henry, in which, of course, the dangers of the newly discovered cape
would not be diminished in their narrative[2].

Returning from Ceuta, where his presence was no longer necessary, and
where he had matured his judgment by intercourse with, various learned
men whom his bounty had attracted into Africa, and having enlarged his
views by the perusal of every work which tended to illustrate the
discoveries which he projected, Don Henry fixed his residence at the
romantic town of Sagres, in the neighbourhood of Cape St Vincent, where
he devoted his leisure to the study of mathematics, astronomy,
cosmography, and the theory of navigation, and even established a school
or academy for instructing his countrymen in these sciences, the parents
of commerce, and the sure foundations of national prosperity. To assist
him in the prosecution of these his favourite studies, he invited, from
Majorca, a person named Diego, or James, who was singularly skilful in
the management of the instruments then employed for making astronomical
observations at sea, and in the construction of nautical charts. Some
traces of nautical discoveries along the western coast of Africa still
remained in ancient authors; particularly of the reported voyages of
Menelaus, Hanno, Eudoxus, and others. From an attentive consideration of
these, Don Henry and his scientific coadjutor were encouraged to hope for
the accomplishment of important discoveries in that direction; and they
were certainly incited in these views by the rooted enmity which had so
long rankled among the Christian inhabitants of Spain and Portugal
against the Moors, who had formerly expelled their ancestors from the
greatest part of the peninsula, and with whom they had waged an incessant
war of several centuries in recovering the country from their grasp.


_Discovery of the Madeira Islands._

After some time usefully employed in acquiring and diffusing a competent
knowledge of cosmopographical, nautical, and astronomical science, Don
Henry resolved to devote a considerable portion of the revenue which he
enjoyed as Grand Master of the Order of Christ, in continuing and
extending those projects of nautical discovery which had long occupied
his attention. Accordingly, about the year 1418, a new expedition of
discovery was fitted out for the express purpose of attempting to
surmount the perils of Cape Bojador. In this expedition Juan Gonzales
Zarco and Tristan Vaz Texeira, two naval officers of the household of Don
Henry, volunteered their services; and, embarking in a vessel called a
_barcha_[3], steered for the tremendous cape. The Portuguese were
hitherto ignorant of the prevailing winds upon the coast of Africa, and
the causes by which their influence is varied or increased. Near the land,
and between the latitudes of 28° and 10° north, a fresh gale almost
always blows from the N.E. Long sand-banks, which extend a great way out
to sea, and which are extremely difficult to be distinguished in the
mornings and evenings, and the prevailing currents, were powerful
obstacles to the enterprise of these navigators. About six leagues off
Cape Bojador, a most violent current continually dashes upon the breakers,
which presented a most formidable obstacle to the brave but inexperienced
mariners. Though their voyage was short, they encountered many dangers;
and, before they could reach the cape, they were encountered by a heavy
gale from the east, by which the billows of the Atlantic became too heavy
to be resisted by their small vessel, and they were driven out to sea. On
losing sight of their accustomed head lands, and being forced into the
boundless ocean for the first time, the ships company gave themselves up
to despair; but, on the abatement of the tempest, they found themselves
unexpectedly within view of an island, situated about 100 leagues west
from the coast of Africa. With extreme joy they beheld the coast of this
island extending about twenty miles in length, to which they gave the
name of Puerto Santo, because first discovered upon the feast of All
Saints. This is the smaller of the Madeiras, being only about two miles
broad; and, as the only roadstead is upon the south-west side, the
Portuguese probably anchored upon that side to be under the lee shelter
of the island from the remnants of the tempest from which they had
happily escaped.

The island of _Puerto Santo_, or of the Holy Haven, is almost directly
west from Cape Cantin; whence it would appear that these Portuguese
navigators could hardly have passed much beyond Cape de Geer, when driven
off the coast by this fortunate easterly tempest. Had they even advanced
as far as Cape Non, they would almost certainly have been driven among
the Canaries. It is perfectly obvious that they never even approached
Cape Bojador in this voyage; unless we could suppose, after having been
driven directly west from that cape, that they shaped a northern course,
after the subsidence of the tempest, and fell in with Puerto Santo while
on their return to Portugal.

Greatly pleased with the soil and climate of this island, and with the
gentle manners of the natives, whom they described as in an intermediate
state of civilization, and entirely destitute of any appearance of savage
ferocity, Zarco and Vaz immediately returned to Portugal, where they made
a report of the incidents of their voyage; and to confirm their opinion
of the value of their discovery, they requested permission from Don Henry
to return for the purpose of establishing a settlement in Puerto Santo.
By this discovery an advanced and favourable station was secured towards
the south, whence any discoveries along the coast of Africa might be
prosecuted with greater ease and safety, and from whence the dangers of
the hitherto formidable cape Bojador might be avoided, by keeping a
southerly or S. W. course from Puerto Santo. From these considerations
Don Henry granted their request; and, yielding to the adventurous spirit
which this accidental discovery had excited, he permitted several persons
to join in a new projected voyage, among whom was Bartholomew Perestrello,
a nobleman of his household.

Three vessels were soon fitted out[4], which were placed under the
respective commands of Zarco, Vaz, and Perestrello. These commanders had
orders to colonize and cultivate the newly discovered island, and were
furnished with a considerable assortment of useful seeds and plants for
that purpose. They happened likewise to take with them a female rabbit
great with young, which littered during the voyage; and which being let
loose with her progeny, multiplied so rapidly, that, in two years, they
became so numerous as to occasion serious injury to the early attempts at
cultivation, and to baffle every hope of rendering Puerto Santo a place
of refreshment for the Portuguese navigators; insomuch that a resolution
was formed to abandon the newly established settlement. After having
landed the different animals and seeds which had been sent out by Don
Henry, and seeing them properly distributed, Perestrello returned into
Portugal to make a report to the prince, and Zarco and Vaz remained to
superintend the infant colony.

Soon after the departure of Perestrello, the attention of Zarco and Vaz
was strongly excited by observing certain clouds or vapours at a great
distance in the ocean, which continually presented the same aspect, and
preserved exactly the same bearing from Puerto Santo, and at length
occasioned a conjecture, that the appearance might proceed from land in
that quarter. Gonsalvo and Vaz accordingly put to sea and sailed towards
the suspected land, and soon discovered that the appearances which had
attracted their notice actually proceeded from a considerable island
entirely overgrown with wood, to which, on that account, they gave the
name of Madeira[5]. After bestowing considerable attention upon the soil
and other circumstances of this island, which was utterly destitute of
inhabitants, Gonzalvo and Vaz returned to Portugal with the welcome
intelligence, and gave so favourable a report of the extent, fertility,
and salubrity of Madeira, that Don Henry determined to colonize and
cultivate it. Accordingly, with the consent of the king of Portugal, the
island of Madeira was bestowed in hereditary property upon Zarco and Vaz;
one division named _Funchal_ being given to Zarco, and the other moiety,
named _Machico_, to Vaz.

In the year 1420 Zarco began the plantation of Madeira, and being much
impeded in his progress by the immense quantity of thick and tall trees,
with which it was then everywhere encumbered, he set the wood on fire to
facilitate the clearing of the surface for cultivation. The wood is
reported to have continued burning for seven years[6], and so great was
the devastation as to occasion great inconvenience to the colony for many
years afterwards, from the want of timber. Don Henry appears to have been
a prince of most uncommonly enlarged and liberal views; not only capable
of devising the means of making maritime discoveries, which had never
been thought of before his time, but of estimating their value when made,
and of applying them to purposes the most useful and important for his
country. Reflecting upon the reported fertility of the soil, and the
excellence of the climate of Madeira, and comparing both with the
judicious foresight of a philosopher, politician, and naturalist, in
reference to the most valuable productions of similar climates and soils,
he wisely conceived, and successfully executed the idea of introducing
the cultivation of sugar and wines into this new colony; For these
purposes, Portugal would readily supply him with vines; and with people
conversant in their management: But he had to procure sugar canes, and
persons experienced in their cultivation, and in the process of
manufacturing sugar from their juice, from the island of Sicily, into
which that article of culture had been introduced by the Arabs.

So great was the success of this new subject of industry in Madeira, that
the fifth part of the produce of one district only, little more than nine
miles in circumference, which proportion the prince reserved as the
patrimony of his military order, amounted, in some years, to 60,000
arobas of twenty-five pounds each; giving the entire acknowledged produce
of one district only, of the island at 7,500,000 pounds, or 2350 tons.
This, at the modern price of eightpence a-pound, amounts to the enormous
sum of L. 250,000 value of merchantable produce, from a district which
could not contain above 5760 English acres; or above the value of L. 43
of average yearly value from every acre of that district. This
astonishingly valuable produce was in the infancy of the sugar trade,
when that bland and wholesome condiment was still an article of luxury,
and not as now almost an indispensable necessary, even in the lowest
cottages of modern Europe. The sugars of Madeira were long famous; but
after the establishment of the sugar plantations in Brazil, and the
destructive ravages of a worm which infested the sugar canes of Madeira,
that article, of cultivation had to be abandoned, and the principal
attention of the islanders was transferred to the grape, which still
continues to supply Europe, America, and the East Indies with the justly
celebrated Madeira wine.

At the same time with the grant of Madeira to Zarco and Vaz, Perestrello
received a donation of the island of Puerto Santo, on condition of
colonizing it and bringing it into culture. But so great was the
multitude of rabbits, all said to have been produced from one doe
transmitted in a pregnant state from Portugal, that cultivation was
attended with peculiar difficulties occasioned by their ravages; insomuch,
that in one islet only, 3000 are reported to have been killed at one time.


_Prosecution of Discovery in Africa, to Cape Branco_.

Partly diverted from the original object of prosecuting discoveries along
the African coast, by the attentions requisite for forming this first
establishment of modern colonization, but chiefly owing to the extreme
difficulties of the navigation in the infancy of that art, fifteen years
were passed from the first discovery of Cape Bojador before that
formidable obstacle could be surmounted. In all ages of the world,
ignorant and indolent men have represented new and unusual enterprises in
scientific pursuits as rash or improper deviations from the established
experience and vaunted wisdom of antiquity; and those who promoted them
have been held out as dangerous, or even impious innovators. It so fared
with Don Henry, who far outstripped the science, or ignorance rather, of
his day. At home, the discontented spirits, ignorant of his enlarged
views, perhaps envious of the reputation his very limited discoveries
had already attained, represented that the tempestuous seas, strong
currents, and whirlpools, which they fancied must prevail on the other
side of Cape Bajadore, would necessarily destroy every vessel which
should attempt to penetrate beyond that absolute limit of human
navigation; they alleged that all the country to the south of that cape
was utterly unfit for the habitation of mankind, sterile, burnt up, and
destitute of soil and water, like the sandy deserts of Lybia; and they
pretended to object on principles of patriotism, that the natives of
Portugal were improvidently wasted on idle discoveries, which, if at all
advisable, would have been undertaken by their former, wise sovereigns;
who, contented with the known world, did not, vainly seek for conquests
in the torrid zone, which was altogether unfit for the habitation of
mankind. They insinuated, that the expences which had been lavished upon
those fruitless and dangerous maritime expeditions, might lave been much
more profitably employed for the improvement of some of the more barren
parts of Portugal. Even the probable profits and advantages derivable
from the new colonies of Madeira and Puerto Santo, as they were only
eventual and contingent, did not satisfy the minds of those discontented
detractors from the merits and enlightened views of the prince. But Don
Henry despised those vain endeavours to misrepresent and counteract the
important enterprise in which he was engaged, and undismayed by the
natural difficulties which had hitherto retarded the progress of his
mariners, continued his laudable endeavours to extend his discoveries
along the coast of Africa. The people, likewise, whom he employed in his
service, frequently made predatory invasions on the coast, taking every
Moorish vessel which they were able to master, and made many slaves, by
the sale of which, the charges attending those maritime expeditions were
partly defrayed.

About the year 1433, one Gilianez, a native of Lagos, whom the prince had
entrusted with the command of a vessel, returned from an unsuccessful
attempt to conquer the invincible obstacles which obstructed the passage
round Cape Bojador. He had been driven by stress of weather into one of
the Canary islands, and had imprudently seized some of the inoffending
natives, whom he brought captives to Sagres. Don Henry was much offended
by this conduct of Gilianez, whom he received with much coldness and
reserve; insomuch that Gilianez, on purpose to retrieve the princes
favour, and to make ample amends for the fault he had committed, made a
vow, that if entrusted with a new expedition, he would perish rather than
return unsuccessful in the enterprize which the prince had so much at
heart. The date of the second expedition of Gilianez, in which he
surmounted the terrors and difficulties of Cape Bajador, is variously
referred by different authors to the years 1433 and 1434[7]. However this
may have been, he succeeded in this herculean labour, as it was then
esteemed, and returned with great exultation to Sagres, where he was
again received into the favour and confidence of Don Henry. Contrary to
the assertions, or suppositions rather, of the discontented opposers of
the patriotic and enlightened efforts of Don Henry, Gilianez reported
that the sea beyond Cape Bojador was perfectly susceptible of navigation,
and that the soil and climate were both excellent.

In the following year Gilianez again sailed for the coast of Africa,
accompanied by Alphonzo Gonzales Baldaya[8], cupbearer to the prince. The
weather continued favourable during the voyage, and they were able to
penetrate ninety miles to the south of Cape Bojador. On landing to take a
view of the country, and in search of inhabitants, they found the former
to consist for the most part of an extended desert plain, and they were
much disappointed in not being able to meet with any of the inhabitants,
though they saw evident traces of them in the sand. To the bay in which
they landed they gave the name of Angra dos Ruyvos, or Bay of Gurnets,
from the great abundance of fish resembling gurnets which were taken by
the seamen.

Gilianez and Baldaya were again ordered in the year 1435 to prosecute
their discoveries, with instructions to prolong their voyage, if possible,
till they should meet with inhabitants. Having proceeded about forty
miles to the southward of the Angra dos Ruyvos, without being able to see
a single inhabitant, they adopted an expedient which had been suggested
by Don Henry, and for which they were provided with the means. Two horses
were landed, and two youths named Hector Homen and Diego Lopez d'Almaida,
who had been educated in the household of Don Henry, and were scarcely
sixteen years of age, were directed to penetrate into the interior of the
country, that they might endeavour to ascertain whether it were inhabited.
They were directed to keep close together, and on no account to leave
their horses, and if possible to bring back some of the Moors; and lest
they should rashly expose themselves to unnecessary danger, they were
only allowed each a sword and spear, without any defensive armour. After
wandering almost a whole day in the barren sandy desert, they at length
descried nineteen Africans, armed with assagays or javelins, whom they
ventured to attack, though contrary to their orders. The natives
retreated into a cave where they were safe from the farther assaults of
the rash Portuguese youths; and as one of them had received a wound in
the foot, they thought it prudent to return to the shore, which they were
unable to reach before the next morning. Gilianez and Baldaya then
dispatched a stronger force to the cave in which the Africans had taken
shelter, where nothing was found but some weapons which had been left by
the fugitives. Owing to this event, the place where the two cavaliers
were landed was named Angra dos Cavallos, or the Bay of Horses; which is
in latitude 24° N.

The navigators proceeded along a rugged coast to the south of the Bay of
Horses, upon which the sea breaks with a terrible noise, and which, on
account of being entirely composed of a hilly shore, faced with rocks and
small rocky islands, is called _Otegado_, or the Rocky Place. At about
twelve leagues distance from the bay of Cavallos they entered the mouth
of a river, where they killed a number of sea wolves or seals, the skins
of which they took on board in defect of any other productions of the
country; these seals were found on an island at the mouth of this river,
on which the mariners are said to have seen at least 5000 asleep on the
shore. The voyage was continued to Punta de Gale, forming the western
head-land of the Rio de Ouro, immediately under the tropic, where a
fishing net was found constructed of twine, made from the inner bark of
some tree of the palm tribe, but no natives were met with; and as
provisions began to grow scarce, the adventurous mariners were
constrained to return into Portugal, after ranging for some time up and
down the rocky coast of Otegado, without making any important discovery.

About this period, or perhaps considerably earlier, Don Henry obtained a
bull from Pope Martin V. by which the sovereign pontiff made a perpetual
donation to the crown of Portugal, of all lands and islands which had
been or might be discovered between Cape Bojador and the East Indies,
inclusively, and granted a plenary indulgence for the souls of all who
might perish in the prosecution of the enterprize, and in achieving the
conquest of these extensive regions from the infidel and pagan enemies of
Christ and the church. In this measure, the philosophical genius and
enlarged political views of Don Henry are plainly evinced; and,
undismayed by the obstacles which had so long opposed his grand project
of discoveries, and the length of time which had been employed in making
so very small progress, he shewed himself to have looked steadily
forwards to the full accomplishment of his hopes of discovering the route
by sea from Europe to India, around the still unknown shores of Southern
Africa. The date of this papal grant does not certainly appear. De Barros
and Lafitau are of opinion that it must have been posterior to 1440;
Purchas places it in 1441; and de Guyon in 1444. But Martin V. died in
1431; and these writers seem to have confounded the original grant from
that pontiff, with subsequent confirmations by his successors Eugenius IV.
Nicholas V. and Sextus IV[9].

The gradual progress of these discoveries were interrupted for a time by
an unsuccessful attempt of Edward I. or _Duarte_, king of Portugal, to
gain possession of Tangier in the kingdom of Fez. But the history of this
war, in which the Portuguese arms suffered much misfortune and dishonour,
are quite irrelevant to the present subject. The plague likewise, which
raged at Lisbon in 1438, contributed to the suspension of the patriotic
enterprizes of Don Henry. At length, in 1440, Don Henry resumed his
project of maritime discovery, and dispatched two caravels from Sagres,
which were forced back by unfavourable weather, apparently without even
reaching the coast of Africa.

In 1441, a young officer named Antonio Gonzales made a voyage in a small
vessel, with a crew of twenty-one men, to the island where so great a
number of sea wolves had been seen in the former voyage of Alphonzo
Gonzales Baldaya in 1435. In this voyage Alphonzo Gotterez, a gentleman
of the bed-chamber to Don Henry, acted as secretary, and the two
adventurers were instructed to endeavour to obtain an account of the
country and its inhabitants, and to procure a cargo of the skins of the
seals or sea wolves, that the voyage might not be entirely destitute of
some commercial advantages. After accomplishing this part of his
instructions, Gonzales determined to use his utmost efforts for procuring
some of the inhabitants of the country to carry back with him to Sagres.
For this purpose, he landed at the beginning of the night with nine
associates, and having advanced about ten miles into the interior,
discovered a native following a camel. The sudden appearance of the
Portuguese rendered the astonished Moor perfectly motionless, and before
he could recover from his surprize he was seized by Gotterez. On their
return to the shore with their prisoner, they traced some recent
footsteps on the sand, which led them in view of about forty natives, who
withdrew to an adjoining hill, but the Portuguese secured a female Moor
who had strayed from the party. With these two prisoners they returned to
their vessel, not choosing to run any unnecessary risk, or to make any
needless attack upon the natives, which was contrary to the express
orders of Don Henry.

When preparing next morning to set sail on their return to Portugal,
another Portuguese ship arrived, which was commanded by Nuno Tristan, a
gentleman of the princes household. Encouraged by this reinforcement, a
second expedition into the interior was immediately resolved upon, in
which Nuno Tristan, Diego de Vigliadores, and Gonzales de Cintra, joined
with Alphonzo Gonzales and Alphonzo Gotterez. Advancing again under night,
they soon perceived a party of the natives whom they immediately attacked,
shouting out Portugal! Portugal! San Jago! San Jago! The Moors were at
first stupified with fear and surprise; but recovering from their panic,
a struggle ensued, in which three of the Moors were slain, and ten made
prisoners, the Portuguese being indebted for their safety to their
defensive armour. After endeavouring, in vain, to establish an
intercourse with the Moors for the redemption of the prisoners, Alphonzo
Gonzales returned to Sagres with a cargo of skins and the Moorish
prisoners, and was honourably rewarded by his discerning master. The
place of this exploit was named Puerto del Cavallero, or the Knights
Harbour, on occasion of Gonzales being there knighted by Nuno Tristan.

After careening his vessel, Nuno Tristan proceeded along the coast
according to his orders, and reached a cape in lat. 20° 50' N. to which
he gave the name of Cabo Branco, or the White Cape, on account of the
whiteness of its cliffs. He there landed and found some fishing nets on
the shore; but after repeated incursions into the country, being unable
to meet with any of the natives, he made a survey of the coast, and
returned to Portugal with an account of his proceedings.

Three of the prisoners carried to Portugal by Gonzales were Moors of some
rank and considerable opulence; who each promised to pay ransoms for
their safe return to their native country, and to give, besides, six or
seven slaves each to the captors. Don Henry, as grand master of the order
of Christ, was eager for the acquisition of so many converts from the
religion of Mahomet, and was in hopes that the favourable report which
the Moors might make on their return to Africa, would induce the natives
to enter into trade with his navigators; and that, among the slaves which
were to be given in exchange, some certain knowledge might be acquired of
the burning regions of Africa, about which such strange reports were then
prevalent. Antonio Gonzales was therefore dispatched on another voyage in
1442, accompanied by a German gentleman named Balthazar, who had
distinguished himself in the late unfortunate attempt on Tangier, and who
was anxious to carry home some account of the newly discovered countries.
After being forced to return to port, to repair the damages they had
sustained in a dreadful tempest, they again sailed, and reached the coast
where the Moors had been made prisoners. The principal Moor was landed,
and was received with great deference and respect by his countrymen; but
he forgot all his promises on regaining his liberty, and never returned
to pay the ransom he had bargained for. It would appear, however, that he
had informed the natives of the return of the other two chiefs; as at the
end of nine days, above an hundred natives appeared on the coast, and
entered into treaty for the ransom of their two countrymen who remained
captives, and for whom ten negroes, natives of different parts of Africa,
were given in exchange. During these transactions, the sight of a
considerable quantity of gold dust in the possession of the Moors,
excited the most lively emotions in the Portuguese, as being the first
intimation of that valuable commodity being procurable on the coast of
their new discoveries. From this circumstance, Gonzales gave the name of
_Rio del Ouro_, or Gold River, to the deep arm of the sea in which he now
lay, which penetrates about six leagues N. N. E. from the tropic of


_Continuation of Discovery to Cape de Verd_.

On the return from this voyage, the sight of gold placed the fame and
advantage of the enterprizes and discoveries of Don Henry beyond the
reach of prejudice and detraction, and the former murmurings and
discontents against his proceedings were changed into admiration and
applause. In 1443 Nuno Tristan was again sent out, with orders to
prosecute, the discovery of a coast which now seemed so likely to prove
advantageous to the commerce of Portugal. He now doubled Cape Blanco, or
Branco, which he had discovered in his former voyage, and, about ten
leagues farther to the south-east, fell in with an island, or rather
cluster of seven islands, called _Adeget_ by the natives, but which have
since, with the bay in which they lie, received the name of Arguim, or
Arguin. The small canoes which were used by the natives of this coast
were at first mistaken for some strange kind of birds, as the people sit
upon them astride, using their feet instead of paddles, to urge them
along. To one of the islands in this bay Tristan gave the name of _De
las_ Garças, on account of the seasonable supply which he there received.
From this place Nuno Tristan returned into Portugal, with some of the
natives of the country.

Don Henry, in 1444, made an exchange with Massiot de Betancour, lord of
the Canary Islands, for the islands of Lancerota, Fuertaventura, and
Ferro, giving him some possessions in the island of Madeira in their
stead; and immediately fitted out a powerful squadron, commanded by the
grand master of his household, Fernand de Castro, to take possession of
this new acquisition, and to subdue the remaining islands, Canaria, Palma,
Gratioso, Inferno, Alegrazze, Santa-Chiara, Rocca, and Lobos. But, as the
king of Castile afterwards laid claim to the Canaries, Don Henry resigned
his conquests, finding the value of these islands by no means answerable
to his expectation.

So greatly had the fame of the new discoveries extended in consequence of
the small quantity of gold which had been procured by Gonzales at the Rio
del Ouro, that several of the inhabitants of Lagos petitioned Don Henry,
in 1444, to be erected into a trading company, engaging to carry on the
discoveries along the coast of Africa at their own expence. The prince
granted their request, and a company was accordingly formed, the
prototype of those celebrated East India companies which have since
carried on trade to such vast amount. Among the partners were, Juan Diaz,
the ancestor of him who afterwards discovered and passed the Cape of Good
Hope, Gilianez, who had so boldly overcome the obstacles of Cape Bajador,
Lançerot, a gentleman of the household of Don Henry, Estevan Alfonso, and
Rodrigo Alvarez. A squadron of six caravels was fitted out under the
command of Lançerot, which sailed from Lagos in the year 1444, and
reached the isle of Garças, in the bay of Arguin, where they captivated
an hundred and fifty Africans, and returned to Lagos, after very slightly
extending their knowledge of the coast of Africa to the desart island of
Tider, in 19° 30' N.

In 1445, the subsequent voyage of Gonzales da Cintra, likewise a
gentleman in the household of Don Henry, in some measure expiated the
wanton outrage which had been committed in that of Lançerot. The merit of
Gonzales had raised him to the rank of a gentleman in the household of
Don Henry, and his character was held in much estimation; but his
confidence was obtained and betrayed by a moor of the Assanhaji tribe[10],
whom he had taken on board to serve as an interpreter with the natives on
the coast of Africa. Misled by this crafty African, who held out great
hopes of acquiring plunder, Gonzales steered for the island of Arguin,
and put into a creek or bay on the coast, in lat. 22° 48' N. about
fourteen leagues to the south of Rio del Ouro, and forty-five to the
north of Cape Branco. The Moor got leave to go on shore, under pretence
of visiting some relations, but escaped in the night with another of his
countrymen. Gonzales was much mortified at allowing himself to be
circumvented by the cunning of his interpreter, and rashly embarked in a
boat with only twelve men, with the intention of pursuing the fugitive.
Pressing onwards with too much eagerness, he neglected to attend to the
tide, which happened then to be on the ebb. His boat stuck fast, and when
the morning broke, he was surrounded by two hundred Moors. Unable to
extricate himself, or to contend against such mighty odds, Gonzales and
seven of his men were slain; the other five made their escape by swimming
to the ship, which immediately set sail for Lagos. The clumsy
denomination of _Angra de Gonzales da Cintra_, to this bay, still
commemorates the death of this commander.

In the subsequent year, 1446, Don Henry sent out a small squadron of
three caravels, under the command of Antonio Gonzales, assisted by Diego
Alfonso, and by Gomez Perez, the kings pilot. They were directed to
proceed for the Rio del Ouro, and were strictly enjoined to cultivate the
friendship of the natives by every possible means, to establish peace
with them and to use their utmost endeavours to convert them to the
Christian religion; among other instructions, they were urged to pass
unnoticed the insults or neglect of honour which they might experience
from the negroes. The Portuguese endeavoured, but ineffectually, to
conciliate the natives, and to remove the angry prejudices which they
entertained. They returned to Lagos with no other fruit from their voyage
except one negro whom they had received in ransom, and an aged Moor who
requested permission to accompany them to Portugal. One of their own
companions, Juan Fernandez, from an ardent desire to procure information
for the prince, got leave to remain among the Assanhaji Arabs.

Next year, 1447, Antonio Mendez was ordered to return in search of Juan
Fernandez, from whose inquisitive disposition much information was
expected. In this expedition he was accompanied by two other caravels,
commanded by Garcia Mendez and Diego Alfonso, but they were separated by
a storm in the early part of the voyage. Alfonso was the first who
reached the coast at Cape Branco, where he landed, and set up a wooden
cross as a signal to his consorts, and then proceeded to the islands of
Arguin, which afforded shelter from the tremenduous surf which breaks
continually on the coast of Africa. While waiting at Arguin for the other
ships, Alfonso paid many visits to the continent, where he made prisoners
of twenty-five of the natives. When the other two ships of the squadron
had joined, they went to the Rio del Ouro in search of their countryman,
Juan Fernandez, who had been several days anxiously looking out for a
vessel to carry him off.

After experiencing many hardships, Fernandez had succeeded in gaining the
friendship of a considerable person among the Moors, and was accompanied
to the shore by that mans slaves in a body. The natives exerted
themselves to procure the release of some of their countrymen who were
prisoners with the Portuguese, to whom they gave nine negroes and a
quantity of gold dust by way of ransom. To the place where this
transaction took place, the navigators gave the name of _Cabo do Resgati_,
or Cape Ransom; where likewise Fernam Tavares, an aged nobleman, received
the honour of knighthood, a distinction he had long been entitled to, but
which he would only receive upon the newly discovered coast. During the
homeward voyage, Gonzales touched at a village near Cape Branco, where he
increased his captives to ninety.

Juan Fernandez described the natives of the coast as wandering shepherds,
of the same race with the Moor who had been brought over to Portugal by
Antonio Gonzales in the former voyage. After he had been conveyed to a
considerable distance inland, he was stripped of all his clothes, and
even deprived of all the provisions he had taken on shore. A tattered
coarse rug, called an _alhaik_, was given him instead of the clothes he
had been deprived of. His food was principally a small farinaceous seed,
varied sometimes by the roots which he could find in the desert, or the
tender sprouts of wild plants. The inhabitants, among whom he lived as a
slave, unless when better supplied by means of the chase, fed on dried
lizards, and on a species of locust or grasshopper. Water was bad, or
scarce, and their chief drink was milk. They only killed some of their
cattle on certain great festivals; and, like the Tartars, they roamed
from place to place in quest of a precarious sustenance for their flocks
and herds. The whole country presented only extensive wastes of barren
sand, or an uncultivated heath, where a few Indian figs here and there
variegated the dreary and extensive inhospitable plain. A short time
before he rejoined his countrymen, Fernandez acquired the protection and
kindness of Huade Meimon, a Moor of distinction, who permitted him to
watch for the arrival of the ships, and even assigned him a guard for his

In the interval between these two voyages of Gonzales, Denis Fernandez, a
gentleman of Lisbon, who had belonged to the household of the late king,
fitted out a vessel for discovery under the patronage of Don Henry, with
a determination to endeavour to penetrate farther to the southwards than
any preceding navigator. He accordingly passed to the southwards of the
Senegal river, which divides the Azanhaji moors from the Jaloffs, or most
northern negroes, and fell in with some almadias or canoes, one of which
he captured, with four natives. Proceeding still farther on, without
stopping to satisfy his curiosity in visiting the coast, he at length
reached the most westerly promontory of Africa, to which he gave the name
of Cabo Verde, or the Green Cape, from the number of palm trees with
which it was covered. Alarmed by the breakers with which the shore was
everywhere guarded, Denis did not venture to proceed any farther,
especially as the season was already far advanced, but returned with his
captives to Portugal, where he met with a flattering reception from Don
Henry, both on account of his discovery of the Cape de Verd, and for the
natives he had procured from the newly discovered coast, without having
been traded for with the Moors.


_Progress of Discovery from Cape de Verd to the Gambia_.

Soon after the return of Denis from the Cape de Verd, Gonzales Pachecos,
a wealthy officer belonging to the household of Don Henry, fitted out a
ship at his own expence, of which he gave the command to Dinisianez da
Gram, one of the princes equerries, who was accompanied by Alvaro Gil, an
essayer of the mint, and Mafaldo de Setubal. After touching at Cape
Branco, they steered along the coast for the isle of Arguin, making
descents in several places, where they made a considerable number of
captives from the Moors. At the isle _De las Garças_ they found another
caravel, commanded by Lourenço Dias, which formed part of a considerable
squadron that had been lately fitted out from Lagos. Two days afterwards,
the admiral of that squadron, Lançarot, and nine other caravels arrived.
Gram informed Lançarot of his success in making fifty prisoners, whom he
had dearly purchased by the loss of seven of his men, who had been
murdered by the Moors. Lançarot immediately sailed for Arguin, bent on
revenge, and sacrificed the lives of eight, and the liberty of four of
the natives, to the memory of Gonzales da Cintra and the mariners of Gram.
On this occasion two of the Portuguese officers were knighted on the
newly discovered coast, which seems then to have been a fashionable
ambition among them, no doubt arising from the prevailing zeal for
maritime discovery. From Arguin Lançarot passed over to the isle of Tider,
whence the inhabitants made their escape to the adjacent continent; but
the Portuguese soon followed, and the astonished Moors fled on all sides,
after a sharp skirmish, in which a good many of them were slain, and
sixty taken prisoners.

The fleet now separated, a part returning home by way of the Canaries,
while Lançarot, with several other caravels, advanced along the coast of
Africa southwards, till he got beyond what the Moors called the Çahara,
or Sahara, of the Assenaji. This Moorish nation is mentioned by Abulfeda
as the ruling tribe in Audagost, or Agadez, and as inhabiting the
southern part of Morocco. They are therefore to be considered as the
peculiar people of the great desert and its environs, at its western
extremity on the Atlantic. The latter part of their name, _aji_, or
rather aspirated _haji_, signifies a pilgrim, and is now the appropriate
title of one who has made the great pilgrimage of Mecca. In the present
case, the name of Assenaji probably signifies the _Wanderers of the
Desert_. The Sanhaga, or Assenaji tribe, is now placed at no great
distance from the African coast, between the rivers Nun and Senegal; and
this latter river has probably received its Portuguese name of Sanaga
from that tribe. Ptolemy likewise probably named Cape Verd _Arsinarium_,
from the same people, from which it may be inferred that they anciently
occupied both sides of the Senegal river, which is named _Dardalus_ by
that ancient geographer.

Twenty leagues beyond the southern boundary of the great desert, Lançarot
came to the mouth of a large river, which had been formerly seen by Denis
Fernandez, and named by him _Rio Portugues_, or the Portuguese river;
which was called _Ouedech_ by the natives, and afterwards got the name of
Canaga, Zanaga, Sanhaga, Sanaga, or Senega, now the Senegal. Lançarot
passed in safety over the bar of this river, and endeavoured to explore
its course upwards, but the weather became unfavourable, and forced him
again to sea, when he proceeded with part of his squadron to Cape Verd,
near which place he took in a supply of water and goats flesh. The fleet
was again dispersed by a second storm, and only three vessels remained
under the command of Lançarot. With these he made a descent on the island
of Tider, where he captured fifty-nine Moors; and with these, and some
natives he had made prisoners on the banks of the Senegal, he returned
into Portugal.

In the year 1447, Nuna Tristan made another voyage to the coast of Africa;
and, advancing beyond _Cabo dos Mastos_, or the Cape of Masts, so named
from some dead palms resembling masts, seen there by Lançarot, who made
this discovery in the former voyage, Nuna Tristan proceeded southwards
along the coast of Africa, 180 miles beyond Cape Verd, where he reached
the mouth of a river which he called Rio Grande, or the Large River,
since called Gamber, Gambra, or Gambia. Tristan came to anchor at the
mouth of this river, and went in his boat with twenty-two armed men on
purpose to explore its course. Having reached to a considerable distance
from his ship, he was environed by thirteen almadias or canoes, manned by
eighty negroes, who advanced with dreadful yells, and poured in continual
vollies of poisoned arrows, by which he, and almost every man in his boat
were wounded before they could regain the ship. Nuno Tristan and all the
wounded men died speedily of the effects of these poisoned weapons,
himself only living long enough to recount the nature of the terrible
disaster to the small remainder of the crew who had been left in charge
of the caravel; which was brought home by only four survivors, after
wandering for two months in the Atlantic, scarcely knowing which way to
steer their course.

There appears some difficulty and contradiction in regard to the river
discovered by Nuna Tristan, from the vague name of Rio Grande. Instead of
the Gambia, in lat. 13° 30' N. some of the Portuguese historians are
inclined to believe that this fatal event took place at another river, in
lat. 10° 15' N. at least 500 nautical miles beyond the Gambia, to the S.S.
E. which was afterwards called Rio de Nuno. This is scarcely probable,
as no notice whatever is taken of the great archipelago of shoals and
islands which extend from Cabo Rosso to beyond the mouth of that river
which is still called Rio Grande. Yet it must be acknowledged that our
remaining information respecting these early Portuguese voyages of
discovery, is unfortunately vague and unsatisfactory.

In the same year, 1447, Alvaro Fernando proceeded to the coast of Africa,
and is said to have advanced forty leagues beyond Tristan, having arrived
at the mouth of a river called Tabite[11], 100 miles to the south of Rio
Nuno. Notwithstanding the appearance of a determined opposition on the
part of the natives, who had manned five almadias, Alvaro resolved to
explore its course in his boat, and proceeded up the river for that
purpose, with the utmost circumspection. One of the almadias stood out
from the rest, and attacked his boat with great bravery, discharging a
number of poisoned arrows, by which Alvaro and several of his men were
wounded, which forced him to desist and return to his ship. Being,
however, provided with _theriac_ and other antidotes against the poison,
Alvaro and all his men recovered from their wounds. He resolved, after
leaving the river Tabite, to proceed along the coast, which he did to a
sandy point; and, apprehending no danger in so open a situation, was
preparing to land, when he was suddenly assailed by a flight of poisoned
arrows, from 120 negroes who started up from a concealment. Alvaro,
therefore, desisted from any farther attempt to explore the coast, and
returned to Lagos to give an account of his proceedings.

In the same year, ten caravels sailed from Lagos for Madeira, the
Canaries, and the coast of Africa, but returned without making any
progress in discovering the coast. Under this year likewise, 1447, the
Antilles, or Caribbee islands, are pretended to have been discovered by a
Portuguese ship driven, thither by a storm. But the fact rests only on
the authority, of Galvano, a Portuguese historian, and is not at all
credible. Indeed the story is an absolute fable; as the inhabitants are
said to have spoken the Portuguese language, and to have had _seven
cities_ in their island. In the same year, Gomez Perez went with two
caravels to Rio del Ouro, whence he carried eighty Moors to Lagos as

About this period the progress of discovery was arrested by political
disputes in Portugal, which ended in a civil war between Don Pedro, Duke
of Coimbra, and King Alphonso V. his nephew and son-in-law, in the course
of which Don Pedro was slain. Don Henry appears to have taken no share in
these disputes, except by endeavouring to mediate between his nephew and
brother; and, after the unhappy catastrophe of Don Pedro, Don Henry
returned to Sagres, where he resumed the superintendence of his maritime

[1] Explained by the celebrated Dr Johnson, as "so named from its
    progression into the ocean, and the circuit by which it must be
    doubled." Introduct. to the World Displayed.--Clarke.

[2] Cape Bojador is imagined to have been the _Canarea_ of Ptolemy.--
    Clarke I. 15

[3] The _barcha_ is a sort of brig with topsails, having all its yards on
    one long pole without sliding masts, as still used by tartans and
    settees. The _barcha longa_ is a kind of small galley, with one mast
    and oars.--Clarke, I. p. 153.

[4] Clarke says in the same year 1418. But this could not well be, as the
    Discovery of Puerto Santo was made so late as the 1st of November of
    that year. The truth is, that only very general accounts of these
    early voyages remain in the Portuguese historians.--E.

[5] Such is the simple and probable account of the discovery of Madeira in
    Purchas. Clarke has chosen to embellish it with a variety of very
    extraordinary circumstances, which being utterly unworthy of credit,
    we do not think necessary to be inserted in this place. See Progress
    of Maritime Discovery, I. 157.--E.

[6] In the Introduction to the World Displayed, Dr Johnson remarks on this
    story, that "green wood is not very apt to burn; and the heavy rains
    which fall in these countries must surely have extinguished the
    conflagration were it ever so violent." Yet in 1800 Radnor forest
    presented a conflagration of nearly twenty miles circumference, which
    continued to spread for a considerable time, in spite of every effort
    to arrest its progress.--E.

[7] De Barros; Lafitan; Vincent, in the Periplus of the Erythrean sea;
    Meikle, in his translation of the Lusiad. Harris, in his Collection,
    Vol. I. p. 663, postpones this discovery to the year 1439.--Clarke.

[8] In Purchas this person is named Antonio Gonsalvo; but the authority of
    Clarke, I. 188, is here preferred.--E.

[9] Progr. of Nav. Disc. I. 184.

[10] This tribe of Assenhaji, or Azanaghi, are the Zenhaga of our maps,
    and the Sanhagae of Edrisi and Abulfeda. They are at present
    represented as inhabiting at no great distance from the coast of
    Africa, between the rivers Nun and Senegal.--Cl.

[11] No such name occurs in the best modern charts, neither is there a
    river of any consequence on the coast which answers to the distance.
    The first large river to the south of the Nuno is the Mitomba, or
    river of Sierra Liona, distant about 130 maritime miles.--E.


_Discovery and Settlement of the Açores_[1].

These nine islands, called the Açores, Terceras, or Western islands, are
situated in the Atlantic, 900 miles west from Portugal, at an almost
equal distance from Europe, Africa, and America. The Flemings pretend
that they were discovered by a navigator of their nation, John Vanderberg,
who sailed from Lisbon in 1445 or 1449. Santa Maria, one of these islands,
250 leagues west from Cape St Vincent, was first seen on the 15th August
1432, by Cabral, who sailed under the orders of Don Henry. San Miguel was
taken possession of by the same navigator on the 8th May 1444; and Ponta
Delgada its capital, received its charter from Emanuel in 1449. Tercera
was given to Jacome de Brujes in 1450, by Don Henry, in which year St
George was discovered. Pico and Gracioso were discovered about the same
time. Perhaps Fayal may actually have been first explored, as many of the
inhabitants are of Flemish descent, under the command and protection of
the Portuguese. Flores and Corvo, which lie seventy leagues west from
Tercera, are not reckoned among the Açores by some writers. In this
latter island, the Portuguese pretend that there was discovered an
equestrian statue made from one block of stone. The head of the man was
bare, his left hand rested on the mane of his horse, and his right
pointed towards the _west_, as if indicating the situation of another
continent. In addition to all this, an inscription appeared to have been
traced on a rock beneath the statue, but in a language which the
Portuguese did not understand.

In the slow progress of discovery, the perils endured by the officers and
men employed by Don Henry, from the Moors and Negroes, frequently
occasioned murmurs against his plans of discovery; but the several
clusters of islands, the Madeiras, Cape Verd, and Açores, formed a
succession of maritime and commercial colonies, and nurseries for seamen,
which took off from the general obloquy attending the tedious and
hitherto unsuccessful attempts to penetrate farther into the southern
hemisphere, and afforded a perpetual supply of navigators, and a stimulus
to enterprize. The original prejudices against the possibility of
navigating or existing in the torrid zone still subsisted, and although
the navigators of Don Henry had gradually penetrated to within ten
degrees of the equator, yet the last successive discovery was always held
forth by the supporters of ignorant prejudice, as that which had been
placed by nature as an insurmountable barrier to farther progress in the
Atlantic. In this situation, the settlement of the Açores was of
considerable importance. In 1457, Don Henry procured the grant of many
valuable privileges to this favourite colony, the principal of which was
the exemption of the inhabitants from any duties on their commerce to the
ports of Portugal and even of Spain.

In 1461, a fort was erected in the isle of Arguin on the African coast of
the Moors, to protect the trade carried on there for gold and negro
slaves. Next year, 1462, Antonio de Noli, a Genoese, sent by the republic
to Portugal, entered into the service of Don Henry, and in a voyage to
the coast of Africa, discovered the islands which are known by the name
of the Cape de Verd Islands, though they lie 100 leagues to the westward
of that Cape. In the same year Pedro de Cintra, and Suera de Costa,
penetrated a little farther along the coast of Africa, and discovered the
river or Bay of Sierra Liona or Mitomba, in lat. 8° 30' N. This
constituted the last of the Portuguese discoveries, carried on under the
direct influence and authority of Don Henry, the founder and father of
modern maritime discovery, as he died next year, 1463, at Sagres, in the
sixty-seventh year of his age; and, for a time, the maritime enterprise
of the Portuguese nation was palsied by his death.

Thus, during a long period of fifty-two years, this patriotic prince
devoted almost his whole attention, and the ample revenues which he
enjoyed as Duke of Viseo end grand master of the military order of Christ,
in extending the maritime knowledge, and consequently the commercial
prosperity of his country. The incidents of the last seven years of the
life of this distinguished prince, are involved in uncertainty, and we
know very little with regard to the progress of his maritime discoveries
from 1456, the date of the second of the voyages of Cada Mosto, of which
we propose to give a separate account, till the year of his death, 1463.
From the year 1412, when he began his operations, at which time he could
scarcely exceed fifteen years of age, the navigators who had been formed
under his auspices and direction, and often instructed by himself in the
theory of navigation and cosmography, gradually explored the western
coast of Africa, from Cape Nam or Non, in lat. 28° 15', certainly to Rio
Grande, in lat. 11° N. or rather to Rio de Nuno, not quite a degree
farther south; but it is highly probable that the southern limit of
discovery in his time extended to Cabo Verga, in lat. 10° N. the northern
boundary of the country usually called the Sierra Liona, or the Ridge of
Lions, perhaps to the gulf of Mitomba, or bay of Sierra Liona, in lat. 8°
30' N. an extent of 29° 15' of latitude, or 1185 nautical miles; a mere
nothing certainly when compared with modern navigation, but a wonderful
effort in the infancy of the science, when even coasting voyages of any
extent along well known shores, and in frequented seas, were looked upon
as considerable efforts. No brilliant discovery, indeed, rewarded the
perseverance of Don Henry, and the courage of his servants; but an
indestructible foundation of useful knowledge was laid, for overthrowing
the ignorant prejudices of the age, and by which, not long afterwards,
his plans were perfected by completing the circumnavigation of Africa,
and by the discovery of the _New_ World. Dr Vincent, the learned editor
and commentator of the Periplus of the Erythrean Sea, is disposed to
limit the discoveries of Don Henry to Cape Verd[2], but Ramusio believed
that the Island of St Thomas was settled in his time; and the ingenious
translator of the Lusiad of Camoens is of opinion that some of his
commanders passed beyond the equator[3]. According to Mickle, it was the
custom of his navigators to leave his motto, _Talent de bien faire_,
wherever they came; and in 1525 Loaya, a Spanish captain, found that
device carved on the bark of a tree in the island of St Matthew, or
Anabon, in the _second_ degree of southern latitude. But this proof is
quite inconclusive, as the navigators long reared in the school of this
great prince might naturally enough continue his impress upon the
countries they visited, even after his lamented death.

About seven years before the decease of Don Henry, two voyages were made
to the African coast by Alvise da Cada Mosto, a Venetian navigator, under
the auspices of the Duke of Viseo; but which we have chosen to separate
from the historical deduction of the Portuguese discoveries, principally
because they contain the oldest nautical journal extant, except those
already given in our First Part from the pen of the great Alfred, and are
therefore peculiarly valuable in a work of this nature. Their
considerable length, likewise, and because they were not particularly
conducive to the grand object of extending the maritime discoveries, have
induced us to detach them from the foregoing narrative, that we might
carry it down unbroken to the death of the great Don Henry. These voyages,
likewise, give us an early picture of the state of population,
civilization, and manners of the Africans, not to be met with elsewhere.

To this we subjoin an abstract of the narrative of a voyage made by Pedro
de Cintra, a Portuguese captain, to the coast of Africa, drawn up for
Cada Mosto, at Lagos, by a young Portuguese who had been his secretary,
and who had accompanied Cintra in his voyage. The exact date of this
voyage is nowhere given; but as the death of Don Henry is mentioned in
the narrative, it probably took place in that year, 1463.

[1] So called from the number of hawks which were seen on these islands
    when first discovered, _Açor_ signifying a hawk in the Portuguese
    language; hence Açores or Açoras, pronounced Azores, signifies the
    Islands of Hawks.--Clarke.

[2] Peripl. of the Erythr. Sea, 193.

[3] Hist. of the Disc. of India, prefixed to the translation of the Lusiad,
    I. 158.




Alvise Da Cada Mosto, a Venetian, in the service of Don Henry of Portugal,
informs us in his preface, that he was the first navigator from the
_noble city of Venice_, who had sailed on the ocean beyond the Straits of
Gibraltar, to the southern parts of Negroland, and Lower Ethiopia. These
voyages at Cada Mosto are the oldest extant in the form of a regular
journal, and were originally composed in Italian, and first printed at
Venice in 1507. This first edition is now exceedingly scarce, but there
is a copy in the kings library, and another in the valuable collection
made by Mr Dalrymple. These voyages were afterward published by Ramusio
in 1613, and by Grynæus in Latin. The latter was misled in regard to the
date; which he has inadvertently placed in 1504, after the death of
Prince Henry, and even subsequent to the discovery of the Cape of Good
Hope by Bernal Diaz. Even Ramusio, in his introduction to the voyages of
Cada Mosto, has made a mistake in saying that they were undertaken by the
orders of John king of Portugal, who died in 1433.

Ramusio imagined that the discoveries of Cada Mosto might tend to great
importance, as he considered the rivers Senegal and Rio Grande to be
branches of the Niger, by which means the Europeans might open a trade
with the rich kingdoms of Tombuto and Melli on that river, and thus bring
gold from the countries of the Negroes, by an easier, safer, and more
expeditious manner, than as conveyed by the Moors of Barbary by land,
over the vast and dangerous deserts that intervene between the country on
the Niger and Senegal rivers, and Barbary. As, by the account of Leo,
salt is the most valuable commodity throughout the countries of the
Negroes, Ramusio proposed that the ships should take in cargoes of salt
at the island of _Sal_, one of the Cape de Verds, and thence supply the
countries on the Niger, which was reported to be navigable for 500 miles
into the interior; and that they should bring back gold and slaves in
return; the latter to be brought to market at St Jago, another of the
Cape de Verd islands, where they would be immediately bought up for the
West Indies. All this fine speculation, however, rested on mistaken
foundations; as the Niger is altogether an inland river, running to the
east, and has no communication with the Senegal and Gambia, which run
west into the Atlantic. Yet time, and the civilization of the natives on
the Senegal and Gambia, may hereafter realize this scheme of a valuable
traffic into the interior of Africa; but it is fervently to be hoped,
that the trade in slaves may never be revived.

In his preface, after an apology for his performance, and making a
declaration of his strict adherence to truth in all the particulars he
relates, Cada Mosto gives some account of the infant Don Henriquez, or
Henry, of Portugal, the great author and promoter of maritime discoveries.
He praises him, as a prince of a great soul and sublime genius, and of
great skill in astronomy; and adds, that he applied himself entirely to
the service of Christ, by making war against the Moors. While on death-
bed, in 1432, Don John, king of Portugal, exhorted his son Don Henry to
pursue his laudable and holy purpose, of _persecuting_ the enemies of the
Christian faith, which he promised to perform; and, accordingly, with the
assistance of his brother Don Duarte, or Edward, who succeeded to the
throne of Portugal, he made war in Fez with success for many years.
Afterwards, the more effectually to harass the Moors, he used to send his
caravels, or ships of war, annually, to scour the coasts of Azafi, or Al
Saffi, and Messa, on the coast of Africa, without the Mediteranean, by
which he did them much damage. But, having in view to make discoveries
along that western coast, he ordered them every year to advance farther
towards the south. They accordingly proceeded till they came to a great
cape, which put a stop to their progress southwards for several years,
being afraid to go beyond it; whence it took the name it still retains of
Cape Non[2]; meaning, that such as went beyond should never return. Don
Henry, however, was of a different opinion, and adding three other
caravels to those which had been at the cape, sent them again next year
to make the attempt. They accordingly penetrated about 100 miles beyond
that cape, where they found only a sandy coast with no habitations, and
returned back to Portugal.

Encouraged by this commencement of successful progress, Don Henry sent
the same fleet back next year, with orders to extend their discoveries
150 miles farther to the south, and even more if they found it proper;
and promised to enrich all who should embark in this navigation. They
went again; and, although they obeyed the instructions of the prince,
they could not improve the discoveries. Yet, firmly persuaded by the
strength of his own judgment, that people and habitations would certainly
be found at length, Don Henry continued to send out his caravels from
time to time, and they came at length to certain coasts frequented by the
Arabs of the desert, and to the habitations of the Azanaghi, a tawny race.
Thus the countries of the negroes were discovered; and different nations
afterwards, which will be mentioned in the following relation.

Thus far the preface of Cada Mosto, as given in the collection of Astley,
from the edition of Ramusio, with which we must be satisfied in this work,
as that in the royal library is inaccessible for our use. The present
version has been carefully formed, by a comparison of Astley, with the
original in Ramusio, and with the summary by the Reverend James Stanier
Clarke, in his curious work on the progress of maritime discoveries,
which only gives a selection of what he considered to be its most
material parts. In this edition, the narrative style of Cada Mosto, in
his own person, is restored as much as possible. It may be noticed, that
Alvise is the Portuguese form of the name Louis, or Lewis.

In addition to the two voyages of Cada Mosto himself, there is a third
voyage included in the present chapter, performed by Piedro de Cintra to
the same coast, the narrative of which was communicated to Cada Mosto by
one who had accompanied Cintra, and had been clerk to Cada Mosto in the
two former voyages.

[1] Astley, Col. of Voy. and Trav. I. 573. Clarke, Prog. of Marit. Disc.
    I. 235.

[2] According to De Faria, as already mentioned in Chap. II. Sect. I Cape
    Non was doubled, and Cape Bojador discovered in 1415, many years
    before the death of King John. The present recapitulation by Cada
    Mosto has been left in his own words, without insisting on the
    exactness of his chronology.--Astley.


_Voyage of Cada Mosto from Venice to Cape St Vincent: He enters into the
service of Don Henry, and sets out for the New Discoveries: Relation of
the Voyage to Madeira and the Canaries; with some Account of these
islands, and their Inhabitants_.

I, Alvise Da Cada Mosto, after visiting many parts of our Mediterranean
Sea, being in our city of Venice in the year 1454, at which time I was
about twenty-two years of age, determined to return into Flanders, a
country which I had formerly visited as a merchant; for my constant
attention was, in the first place to acquire wealth, and secondly to
procure fame. On the 8th of August in that year 1454, I embarked in one
of the gallies belonging to the republic, commanded by Marco Zen, a
Venetian cavalier. Contrary winds detained us for some days off Cape St
Vincent; during which, I learnt that Don Henry, the infant of Portugal,
resided in the adjoining village of Reposera, or Sagres, to which he had
retired in order to pursue his studies without interruption from the
tumult of the world. Hearing of our arrival, the prince sent on board of
our galley Antonio Gonzales his secretary, accompanied by Patricio de
Conti[1], a Venetian, who was consul for the republic in Portugal, as
appeared by his commission, and who also received a salary or pension
from Don Henry. These gentlemen brought on board, and exhibited to us
samples of Madeira sugar, dragons blood, and other commodities of the
countries and islands belonging to the prince, which had been discovered
under his patronage. They asked us many questions, and informed us that
the prince had caused some lately discovered and uninhabited islands to
be settled and cultivated, as a proof of which, they had shewn us the
before-mentioned valuable productions; adding, that all this was next to
nothing, in comparison of the great things which Don Henry had performed;
as he had discovered seas which had never been navigated before, and the
countries of divers strange, and hitherto unknown nations, where many
wonderful things were found. They told us farther, that the Portuguese
who had been in these remote parts, had reaped great advantages by
trading with the inhabitants; having gained as high as 700 or even 1000
per cent, on the capitals employed. We were all much astonished at these
things; and I Cada Mosto in particular, being inflamed with the desire of
visiting these newly discovered regions, inquired if the prince permitted
any person who might be so inclined to embark for these places? To this
they answered in the affirmative; and they likewise stated to me the
conditions on which any one would be allowed to make the adventure. These
were, either to be at the whole expence of fitting out and freighting a
vessel; or at the expence of the freight only, the prince providing a
vessel. In the former case, the adventurer had to allow on his return one
quarter of his cargo, as duty to the prince, the rest remaining his own
entire propriety; in the latter case, the homeward cargo was to be
equally divided between the prince and the adventurer. In case of no
returns, the prince was at the entire expence of the voyage; but that it
was hardly possible to make the voyage without great profit. They added,
that the prince would be much pleased to have any Venetian in his service,
and would shew him great favour, being of opinion that spices and other
rich merchandise might be found in these parts, and knowing that the
Venetians understood these commodities better than any other nation.

Influenced by all this, I accompanied the secretary and consul on shore,
and waited on the prince, who confirmed all those things which they had
said, and encouraged me to embark in the voyage to his new countries, by
promises of honour and profit. Being young, and of a constitution to
endure fatigue, and desirous to visit those parts of the world which had
never been even known to any Venetian, and likewise in hopes to advance
my fortune, I accepted of the invitation. Having, therefore, procured
information respecting the commodities which it was proper to carry with
me on such a voyage, I returned to the gallies, where I disposed of all
the goods I had shipped for the low countries, and carried to land such
things as were necessary for my intended expedition; and leaving the
gallies to pursue their voyage to Flanders, I landed in Portugal. The
prince evinced much satisfaction at my resolution, and entertained me
handsomely at Sagres for a considerable time. At length he ordered me to
fit out a new caravel, of about ninety tons burden, of which Vincent Diaz,
a native of Lagos, about sixteen miles from Sagres, was commander. The
caravel being in readiness, and furnished with every thing necessary for
the voyage, we set sail on the 22d of March 1455, having a favourable
wind at north-east, and by north[2], and steered our course for the
island of Madeira. On the 25th of that month we came to the island of
_Puerto Santo_, which is about 600 miles southward from Cape St Vincent,
whence we took our departure.

Puerto Santo was discovered by the Portuguese on All Saints day, about
the year 1418[3], and Don Henry first sent inhabitants to settle there
under Bartholomew Perestrello, whom he appointed governor. It is about
fifteen miles in circuit[4]. It bears good bread corn, and a sufficiency
of oats for its own use; and abounds with cattle and wild hogs, and
innumerable rabbits[5]. Among other trees, it produces the drago or
dragon tree, the sap or juice of which is drawn out only at certain
seasons of the year, when it issues from cuts or clefts, made with an axe
near the bottom of the tree in the preceding year. These clefts are found
full of a kind of gum; which, decocted and depurated, is the dragons-
blood of the apothecaries[6]. The tree bears a yellow fruit, round like
like a cherry, and well tasted. This island produces the best honey and
wax in the world, but not in any quantity. It has no harbour, but a good
road in which vessels may moor in safety, being well sheltered on all
sides, except the quarters between the south and east, all of which winds
make it unsafe to ride here at anchor. There is plenty of excellent fish
on its shores; such as dentili, gilded fish, and others.

From Puerto Santo, which was discovered twenty-seven years before, we
sailed on the 28th of March, and came the same day to _Monchrico_ or
Machico, one of the ports of the island of Madeira, forty miles distant
from Puerto Santo. In fair weather these islands may be seen from each
other. This latter island was only inhabited within the last twenty-four
years, when the prince appointed two of his gentlemen to be its governors.
Tristan Vaz having the government of that half of the island in which the
port of Monchrico is situated; and the other district of the island, in
which Fonzal, Fonchial, or Funchal stands, is under the government of
John Gonzales Zarcho. The island of Madeira is inhabited in four several
places: Monchrico, Santa Cruz, Fonzal, and Camera-di-Lupi, which are its
principal places, though there are other minor establishments; and is
able to muster about 800 men able to bear arms, of whom an hundred are
horse. There are about eight rivers, which pervade the island in
different places; by means of which they have many saw-mills, from which
Portugal and other places are supplied with boards of many different
sorts. Of these boards, two sorts are in particular estimation, and turn
most to account. The one is cedar, which has a strong odoriferous smell,
and resembles the cypress tree; of this they make fine, large, and long
boards or deals, which they employ for building houses, and for various
other purposes. The other, called nasso[7], is of a red-rose colour, and
extremely beautiful; of which they make excellent and very beautiful bows
and cross-bows, which are sent into the west. In order to clear the land,
the first settlers set fire to the woods, and the fire spread with such
fury, that several persons, with their families, and Gonzales Zarcho
among the rest, were forced to take shelter in the sea to save themselves
from the flames, where they stood up to their necks for two days and two
nights without sustenance. Though this island is mountainous, its soil is
rich and fertile, and it produces yearly 30,000 Venetian _staras_[8] of
bread corn. At first, the newly cultivated land yielded seventy for one,
but has since been reduced to thirty or forty, for want of good husbandry.
Owing to the excellence of its soil and climate, and the abundance of
springs and rivers, Prince Henry procured sugar canes from Sicily, which
he sent to this island, where they have yielded abundant produce;
insomuch, that 400 cantaros of sugar, each containing 112 pounds large
weight of Venice, have been made at one boiling, and the quantity was
likely to increase[9]. They have likewise good wines, considering how
shortly this culture has been introduced; and in such abundance, that
large quantities are exported. Among other kinds of vines, Don Henry sent
thither _Malvasia_ plants, procured from the island of Candia, which have
succeeded well. The soil has turned out so favourable for the vine, that
in general there are more grapes than leaves, and the bundles are very
large, even from two to four spans long. They have likewise the black
_Pergola_ grape, without stones, in great perfection; and so well is the
climate adapted to this culture, that they begin their vintage about
Easter, or at least by the octave after.

We sailed from Madeira, following a southerly course, and arrived at the
Canary islands, which are at the distance of about 320 miles from Madeira.
There are seven of these islands in all, four of which have been settled
by the Christians, Lançerotta, Fuerteventura, Gomera, and Ferro; over
which Herrera[10], a Spanish gentleman, is lord. Large quantities of an
herb called _Oricello_ or Orchel[11], are annually sent from these
islands to Cadiz and Seville, which is used in dying, and is sent from
these places to all parts of Europe. Great quantities of excellent goat
skins are exported from these islands, which likewise produce abundance
of tallow, and good cheese. The original inhabitants of the four islands
that are subject to the Christians, are _Canarians_[12], who speak
various languages or dialects, not well understood between the different
tribes. These people have only open villages, without any fortifications;
except on the mountains, which are exceedingly high, and there they have
a kind of rude walls or redoubts, to flee to in case of need. The passes
of these mountains are so difficult of access, that a few resolute men
might defend them against an army. The other three islands of this group,
Grand Canaria, Teneriffe, and Palma, which are larger and better peopled
than the other four, are still unsubdued and possessed by the aboriginal
idolaters. Grand Canaria has between eight and nine thousand souls, and
Teneriffe, which is the largest of all these islands, is said to contain
fourteen or fifteen thousand, and is divided into nine separate lordships.
Palma, however, has very few inhabitants, yet it appears to be a very
beautiful island. Every lordship seems to have its own mode of religious
worship; as in Teneriffe, there were no less than nine different kinds of
idolatry; some worshipping the sun, others the moon, and so forth. They
practise polygamy, and the lords have the jus primae noctis, which is
considered as conferring great honour. On the accession of any new lord,
it is customary for some persons to offer themselves to die as a
sacrifice to his honour. On this occasion, the lord holds a great
festival on his accession day; when all who are willing to give this
cruel proof of their attachment, are attended to the summit of a high
cliff in a certain valley, where, after some peculiar ceremonies, and
certain words muttered over them, the victims precipitate themselves from
the cliff, and are dashed to pieces. In reward of this sanguinary homage,
the lords consider themselves bound to heap extraordinary honours and
rewards on the parents of the victims.

Teneriffe, which is the largest of these islands, and the best inhabited,
is one of highest islands in the world, and is seen in clear weather from
a great distance; insomuch, that I was informed by some mariners, that it
had been descried at the distance of between sixty and seventy Spanish
leagues, which make about 250 Italian miles. In the middle of the island,
there is a prodigiously high peaked mountain, shaped like a diamond,
which is always burning. I received this account from some Christians,
who had been prisoners in the island, who affirmed that it was fifteen
Portuguese leagues, or sixty Italian miles, from the bottom of the
mountain to the top of the peak.

They have nine lords on this island, who are called dukes, and who do not
succeed by inheritance or descent, but by force; on which account they
have perpetual civil wars among themselves, in which they commit great
slaughter. Their only weapons are stones, maces or clubs, and darts or
lances, some of which are pointed with horn, and others have their points
hardened in the fire. They all go naked, except a few who wear goat skins
before and behind. They anoint their skins with goats tallow, mixed up
with the juice of certain herbs, which thickens the skin, and defends
them against the cold, of which they complain much, although their
country is so far to the south. They have neither walled, nor thatched
houses, but dwell in grottos and caverns of the mountains. They feed on
barley, flesh, and goats milk, of which they have abundance, and some
fruits, particularly figs. As the country is very hot, they reap their
corn in April and May.

We learnt all these things from the Christians of the four settled
islands, who sometimes go over by night to the three other islands, and
make prisoners of the natives, whom they send into Spain to be sold as
slaves. Sometimes the Spaniards are themselves made prisoners on these
expeditions, on which occasions the natives do not put them to death, but
employ them to kill and flea their goats, and to cure the flesh, which
they look upon as a vile employment, and therefore condemn their
Christian prisoners to that labour in contempt. The native Canarians are
very active and nimble, and are exceedingly agile in running and leaping,
being accustomed to traverse the cliffs of their rugged mountains. They
skip barefooted from rock to rock like goats, and sometimes take leaps of
most surprising extent and danger, which are scarcely to be believed.
They throw stones with great strength and wonderful exactness, so as to
hit whatever they aim at with almost perfect certainty, and almost with
the force of a bullet from a musket; insomuch that a few stones thrown by
them will break a buckler to pieces. I once saw a native Canarian, who
had become a Christian, who offered to give three persons twelve oranges
a-piece, and taking twelve to himself, engaged, at eight or ten paces
distance, to strike his antagonists with every one of his oranges, and at
the same time to parry all theirs, so that they should hit no part of him
but his hands. But no one would take up the wager, as they all knew he
could perform even better than he mentioned. I was on land in Gomera and
Ferro, and touched also at the island of Palma, but did not land there.

[1] In Grynaeus, this person is called a patrician or nobleman of Venice,
    and his surname is omitted.--Astley.

[2] _Con Veuto da greco et tramantana in poppe_; literally, having a Greek,
    and _beyond the mountain_ wind in the poop. The points of the compass,
    in Italian maps, are thus named, N. _Tramontana_. N. E. _Greco_. E.
    _Levante_ S. E. _Sirocco_. S. _Mezzoni_. S. W. _Libeccio_. W.
    _Ponente_. N. W. _Maestro_.--Clarke.

[3] This date ought to have been 1413.--Astl.

[4] Barbot says eight leagues; other authors say more, and some less. It
    is about twelve leagues to the north-east of Madeira.--Astl.

[5] When Sir Amias Preston took this island in 1595, it abounded in corn,
    wine, and oil, and had good store of sheep, asses, goats, and kine.
    There was also plenty of fowl, fish, and fruits.--Astl.

[6] From this account it seems to be an inspissated juice.--Astley. This
    tree has probably received its name from the bark being like the
    scales of a serpent. About the full of the moon it exudes a vermilion
    coloured gum. That which grows on the islands and coasts of Africa is
    more astringent than what comes from Goa. It is found on high rocky
    land. Bartholomew Stibbs met with it on the banks of the Gambia river,
    and describes it under the name of _Par de Sangoe_, or blood-wood tree.
    The gum is a red, inodorous, and insipid resin, soluble in alcohol and
    oils; and when dissolved by the former, is used for staining marble.

[7] The woods of Madeira are cedar, vigniatico, laurus Indicus, which has
    a considerable resemblance to mahogany, barbuzano, chesnut, and the
    beautiful mirmulano, and paobranco.--Clark.

[8] This measure is said to weigh about thirty-three English pounds, so
    that the quantity mentioned in the text amounts to 1850 quarters
    English measure.--Astl.

[9] I suppose he means at one crop. The quantity in the text, reduced to
    avoirdupois weight, amounts to twenty-eight hogsheads, at sixteen
    hundred weight each.--Astl.

[10] In Clarke, this person is named Ferrero; perhaps the right name of
    this person was Fernando Pereira, who subdued Gomera and Ferro.--E.

[11] A species of moss, or lichen rather, that grows on the rocks, and is
    used by dyers.--Clarke.

[12] Other authors call the natives of the Canaries _Guanchos_.--E.


_Continuation of the Voyage by Cape Branco, the Coast of Barbary, and the
Fortia of Arguin; with some account of the Arabs, the Azanaghi, and the
Country of Tegazza._

Leaving the Canaries, we pursued our course towards Ethiopia, and arrived
in a few days at Cape Branco, which is about 870 miles from these islands.
In this passage, steering south, we kept at a great distance from the
African shore on our left, as the Canaries are, far-advanced into the sea
towards the west. We stood almost directly south for two-thirds of the
way between the islands and the Cape, after which we changed our course
somewhat more towards the east, or left-hand, that we might fall in with
the land, lest we should have overpassed the Cape without seeing it
because no land appears afterwards so far to the west for a considerable
space. The coast of Africa, to the southwards of Cape Bronco, falls in
considerably to the eastwards, forming a great bay or gulf, called the
_Forna of Arguin_, from a small island of that name. This gulf extends
about fifty miles into the land, and has three other islands, one of
which is named _Branco_ by the Portuguese, or the White Island, on
account of its white sands; the second is called _Garze_, or the Isle of
Herons, where they found so many eggs of certain seabirds as to load two
boats; the third is called _Curoi_, or Cori. These islands are all small,
sandy, and uninhabited. In that of Arguin there is plenty of fresh water,
but there is none in any of the others. It is proper to observe, that on
keeping to the southwards, from the Straits of Gibraltar, the coast of
exterior Barbary is inhabited no farther than Cape Cantin[1], from whence
to Cape Branco is the sandy country or desert, called _Saara_ or
_Saharra_ by the natives, which is divided from Barbary or Morocco on the
north by the mountains of Atlas, and borders on the south with the
country of the Negroes, and would require a journey of fifty days to
cross,--in some places more, in others less. This desert reaches to the
ocean, and is all a white dry sand, quite low and level, so that no part
of it seems higher than any other. Cape _Branco_, or the White Cape, so
named by the Portuguese from its white colour, without trees or verdure,
is a noble promontory of a triangular shape, having three separate points
about a mile from each other.

Innumerable quantities of large and excellent fish of various kinds are
caught on this coast, similar in taste to those we have at Venice, but
quite different in shape and appearance. The gulf of Arguin is shallow
all over, and is full of shoals both of rocks and sand; and, as the
currents are here very strong, there is no sailing except by day, and
even then with the lead constantly heaving. Two ships have been already
lost on these shoals. Cape _Branco_ lies S.W. of Cape Cantin, or rather S.
and by W. Behind Cape Branco there is a place called Hoden, six days
journey inland on camels, which is not walled, but is much frequented by
the Arabs and caravans, which trade between Tombucto,[2] and other places
belonging to the Negroes, and the western parts of Barbary. The
provisions at Hoden are dates and barley, which they have in plenty, and
the inhabitants drink the milk of camels and other animals, as they have
no wine. They have some cows and goats, the former being greatly smaller
than those of Italy; but the number of these is not great, as the country
is very dry. The inhabitants are all Mahometans, and great enemies to the
Christians, and have no settled habitations, but wander continually over
the deserts. They frequent the country of the Negroes, and visit that
side of Barbary which is next the Mediterranean. On these expeditions
they travel in numerous caravans, with great trains of camels, carrying
brass, silver, and other articles, to Tombucto and the country of the
Negroes, whence they bring back gold and _melhegette_, or cardamom
seeds[3]. These people are all of a tawny colour, and both sexes wear a
single white garment with a red border, without any linen next their skins.
The men wear turbans, in the Moorish fashion, and go always barefooted. In
the desert there are many lions, leopards, and ostriches, the eggs of
which I have often eaten, and found them very good.

Don Henry has farmed out the trade of the island of Arguin, under the
following regulations. No person must enter this gulf to trade with the
Arabs, except those who are licensed according to the ordinance, and have
habitations and factors on the island, and have been accustomed to
transact business with the Arabs on that coast. The articles of
merchandize chiefly provided for this trade are, woollen cloth and linen,
silver trinkets, _aldtizeli_ or frocks, and cloaks, and other things, and
above all, wheat; and the Arabs give in return negro slaves and gold. A
castle has been built on the isle of Arguin, by order of the prince, to
protect this trade, on account of which caravels or ships arrive there
every year from Portugal.

The Arabs of this coast have many Barbary horses, which they carry to the
country of the Negroes, which they barter with the great men for slaves,
receiving from ten to eighteen men for each horse, according to their
goodness. They also carry thither silken staffs of Granada and Tunis,
with silver, and many other things, in return for which they receive
great numbers of slaves and some gold. These slaves are brought first to
Hoden in the desert, and thence by the mountains of Barka into Barbary,
whence they are transported across the Mediterranean into Sicily. Part of
them are sold in Tunis, and in other places along the coast of Barbary;
and the rest are brought to Arguin, where they are sold to the licensed
Portuguese traders, who purchase between seven and eight hundred every
year, and send them for sale into Portugal. Before the establishment of
this trade at Arguin, the Portuguese used to send every year four or more
caravels to the bay of Arguin, the crews of which, landing well armed in
the night, were in use to surprise some of the fishing villages, and
carry off the inhabitants into slavery. They even penetrated sometimes a
considerable way into the interior, and carried off the Arabs of both
sexes, whom they sold as slaves in Portugal.

Leaving Arguin we sailed along the coast to the river Senegal[4], which
is very large, and divides the people called Azanaghi, or Azanhaji, from
the first kingdom of the Negroes. The Azanhaji are of a tawny colour, or
rather of a deep brown complexion, and inhabit some parts of the coast
beyond Cape Branco, ranging through the deserts, and their district
reaches to the confines of the Arabs of Hoden. They live on dates, barley,
and the milk of camels; but as they border likewise on the country of the
Negroes, they carry on trade with these people, from whom they procure
millet and pulse, particularly beans. Owing to the scarcity of provisions
in the desert, the Azanhaji are but spare eaters, and are able to endure
hunger with wonderful patience, as a poringer of barley-meal made into
hasty-pudding will serve them a whole day. The Portuguese used to carry
away many of these people for slaves, as they were preferred to the
negroes; but for some time past this has been prohibited by Don Henry,
and peace and trade has been established with them, as he is in hopes
they may be easily brought over to the catholic faith by intercourse with
the Christians, more especially as they are not hitherto thoroughly
established in the superstitions of Mahomet, of which they know nothing
but by hearsay. These Azenhaji have an odd custom of wearing a
handkerchief round their heads, a part of which is brought down so as to
cover their eyes, and even their nose and mouth; for they reckon the
mouth an unclean part, because it is constantly belching and has a bad
smell, and ought therefore to be kept out of sight; even comparing it to
the posteriors, and thinking that both ought alike to be concealed. On
this account they never let their mouths be seen except when eating, as I
have often had occasion to observe. They have no lords among them, but
the rich men are respected somewhat more than the rest. They are of
ordinary stature, and very lean, wearing their black hair frizzled over
their shoulders like the Germans, and grease it daily with fish oil,
which gives them a nasty smell; yet they consider this as modish. They
are extremely poor, egregious liars, the greatest thieves in the world,
and very treacherous. They have never heard of any Christians except the
Portuguese, with whom they had war for thirteen or fourteen years, in
which many of them were carried off as slaves, as has been already
mentioned. Many of these people informed me, that, when they first saw
ships under sail, which had never been beheld by any of their ancestors,
they took them for large birds with white wings, that had come from
foreign parts; and when the sails were furled, they conjectured, from
their length, and swimming on the water, that they must be great fish.
Others again believed that they were spirits, who wandered about by night;
because they were seen at anchor in the evening at one place, and would
be seen next morning 100 miles off, either proceeding along the coast to
the southwards, or put back, according as the wind changed, or the
caravels might happen to steer. They could not conceive how human beings
could travel more in one night than they were able to perform themselves
in three days; by which they were confirmed in the notion of the ships
being spirits. All this was certified to me by many of the Azanhaji who
were slaves in Portugal, as well as by the Portuguese mariners who had
frequented the coast in their caravels.

About six days journey by land from Hoden, there is a place called
Teggazza[5], which in our language signifies a chest or bag of gold. In
this place large quantities of salt are dug up every year, and carried by
caravans on camels to _Tombucto_ and thence to the empire of _Melli_,
which belongs to the Negroes. Oh arriving there, they dispose of their
salt in the course of eight days, at the rate of between two and three
hundred _mitigals_, or ducats, for each load, according to the quantity,
and then return with their gold.

[1] This is erroneous, as there are several towns on the coast of Morocco
    beyond this Cape, as Saffia, Mogadore, Santa Cruz, and others.
    Cape Cantin is in lat. 32°30'N. and the river _Sus_ in 30°25', which
    is 140 miles to the south. There are no towns on the coast beyond that
    river; but the northern limit of the _Sahara_, or great desert, is in
    lat. 27°40', 186 miles to the south of the river _Sus_, and is surely
    inhabited by wandering Arabs. Even the great desert, which extends 750
    miles from north to south, almost to the river Senegal, is thinly
    interspersed by several wandering tribes of the _Azanhaji_.--E.

[2] Called Tombuto in the original, and Ataubat in Grynaeus.--Astl. Hoden
    stands in an _ouasis_, or watered island, in the sea of sand, or great
    desert, about lat. 19°20'N. and W. long. 11°40'.--E.

[3] Under the general name of _Azanhaji_, which probably signifies the
    pilgrims or wanderers of the desert, the Nomadic Arabs or Moors are
    distinguished into various tribes; as Beni-amir, Beni-sabi, Hilil
    Arabs, Ludajas, and Hagi; sometimes called Monselmines, Mongearts,
    Wadelims, Labdessebas, and Trasarts; all named in their order from
    north to south, as occupying the desert towards the Atlantic.--E.

[4] In the text this river is named Senega, and its name probably
    signifies the river of the Azanhaji. It Is called in Ramusio _Oro

[5] The name of this place is explained as signifying a chest or bag of
    gold. There is a place marked in the Saharra, or great sandy desert;
    under the name of _Tisheet_, where there are salt mines, in lat. 17°
    40' N. and long. 6° 40' W. which may possibly be Teggazza. The
    distance of Tisheet from Hoden in our maps is about 375 miles E. S. E.
    But there are other salt mines in the desert still farther to the east.


_Of the Empire of Melli, and some curious particulars of the Salt Trade:
Of the Trade in Gold: Of the, Azanhaji; and concerning swarms of Locusts_.

The empire of Melli, of which some mention has been made in the preceding
Section, is situated in an extremely hot climate, and affords very bad
nourishment for beasts; insomuch, that out of an hundred camels which go
from the desert into that country, scarcely twenty-five return; several
even of the Arabs and Azanhaji, belonging to the caravans, sicken and die
likewise every year. There are no quadrupeds kept by the natives of the
country, as indeed none can live there for any time. It is reckoned to be
forty days journey on horseback from Tegazza to Tombuctu, and thirty from
thence to Melli[1]. Having inquired what use the merchants of Melli made
of this salt, the traders of the desert informed me, that a part of it
was consumed in that country, which lying near the line, where the days
and nights are of equal length, certain seasons of the year are so
excessively hot that the blood of the inhabitants would putrify, if it
were not for the salt, and they would all die. They have no art or
mystery in its use; but every one dissolves a small piece every day in a
porringer of water, and drinks it off, which in their opinion preserves
their health.

The remainder of the salt is carried a long way in pieces on mens heads,
every piece being as large as a man can well bear. As brought from
Teggazza, the salt is in large pieces as taken out of the mine, each
camel being loaded with two pieces, and the negroes break these down into
smaller pieces, for the convenience of carrying them on their heads, and
muster a large number of footmen for this yearly traffic. These porters
have each a long forked stick in their hands; and, when tired, they rest
their loads on these sticks. They proceed in this manner till they arrive
on the banks of a certain water, but whether fresh or salt my informer
could not say, yet I am of opinion that it must be a river, because, if
it were the sea, the inhabitants could not be in want of salt in so hot a
climate. The negroes are hired to carry it in this manner for want of
camels or other beasts of burden, as already mentioned; and, from what
has been said, it may easily be concluded that the number, both of the
carriers and consumers must be very great. When arrived at the water side,
the proprietors of the salt place their shares in heaps in a row, at
small distances, setting each a particular mark on his own heap; and when
this is done, the whole company retires half a days journey from the
place. Then the other negroes, who are the purchasers of the salt, who
seem to be the inhabitants of certain islands, but who will on no account
be seen or spoken to, come in boats to the place where the heaps of salt
are placed, and after laying a sum in gold on each heap as its price,
retire in their turns. After they are gone, the owners of the salt return,
and if the quantity of gold on their heaps is satisfactory to them, they
take it away and leave the salt; if not, they leave both and withdraw
again. In this manner they carry on their traffick, without seeing or
speaking to each other, and this custom is very ancient among them, as
has been affirmed to me for truth by several merchants of the desert,
both Arabs and Azanhaji, and other creditable persons[2].

On inquiring how it came to pass that the emperor of Melli, whom they
represented as a powerful sovereign, did not find means, by friendship or
force, to discover who these people were who would not suffer themselves
to be seen or talked to, I was informed that this emperor, not many years
ago, resolved to procure some of these invisible people, and held a
council on the occasion, in which the following plan was devised and
carried into execution. Before the salt caravan returned the half days
journey from their salt heaps, some of the emperors people made certain
pits by the water side, and near the place where the salt was left, and
when the negroes came to deposit their gold on the salt, those who were
concealed in the pits attacked them suddenly and took four of them
prisoners, all the rest making their escape. Three of those who were thus
taken were immediately set free by the captors, who judged that one would
be quite sufficient to satisfy the curiosity of their emperor, and that
the negroes would be the less offended. But after all, the design proved
abortive; for though spoken to in various languages, the prisoner would
neither speak or take any victuals, and died at the end of four days. On
this account, the Melli negroes concluded that these other negroes were
dumb; but others were of opinion, that being endowed with the human form,
they must necessarily have the power of speech; but, that finding himself
treated in this manner, so contrary to ancient custom, he refused to
speak from indignation. This untoward result was much regretted by the
negroes of Melli, because it prevented them from gratifying the curiosity
of their emperor; who, on being informed of this persons death, was much
dissatisfied, yet asked what manner of men the prisoners were. He was
accordingly informed that they were of a deep black colour, well shaped,
and a span taller than the natives of Melli. That their under lip was
thicker than a mans fist, of a very red colour, and hung down on their
breasts, with something like blood dropping from it; but that their upper
lips were small, like those of other men. That the form of the under lip
exposed their gums and teeth, which were larger than their own, having
great teeth in each corner of their mouth, with large black eyes, and
altogether a terrible appearance, as the gums dropped blood continually,
as well as the great hanging under lip.

This cross accident prevented all the succeeding emperors of Melli from
making any farther attempt of the kind; because, from that time, these
negroes forbore, for three years, from coming to buy salt as usual. It is
believed that their lips began to putrify, through the excessive heat of
the climate; and being no longer able to endure a distemper, of which
some must have died for want of the effectual remedy which they had
experienced from the use of salt, they returned of their own accord to
traffic for that commodity in the old way. All this has established an
opinion that they cannot live without salt; the negroes of Melli judging
of the case of others by their own. As for the emperor of Melli, he cares
not whether these blacks will speak, and be seen or not, so that that he
has the profit of their gold[3]. This is all I could learn on this
subject, which I think may be credited, as so many persons have vouched
for its truth, of which I, who have both seen and heard of many wonderful
things in this world, am perfectly satisfied.

The gold brought to Melli is divided into three parts. One part is sent
by the caravan which goes annually from Melli to _Kokhia_[4], which lies
on the road to Syria and Cairo. The other two parts go first to Tombuctu,
whence one of them goes by _Toet_[5] to Tunis and other ports of the
Barbary coast, and the other portion is carried to Hoden, and from thence
to _Oran_ and _One_[6], towns in Barbary, which are within the Straits of
Gibraltar, and to Fez, Morocco, Arzila, Azafi, and Messa, towns on the
African coast of the Atlantic, where the Italians and other Christians
procure it from the Moors, in return for various commodities. Gold is the
best and principal commodity which comes through the country of the
Azanhaji, and a part of it is brought every year from Hoden to Arguin,
where it is bartered with the Portuguese[7].

No money is coined in the land of the _Tawny Moors_, or Azenhaji; nor is
any money used by them, or in any of the neighbouring countries; but all
their trade is carried on by bartering one commodity against another. In
some of their inland towns, the Arabs and Azanbaji use small white
porcelain shells, or cowries; which are brought from the Levant to Venice,
and sent from thence into Africa. These are used for small purchases. The
gold is sold by a weight named _mitigal_, which is nearly equal in value
to a ducat. The inhabitants of the desert have neither religion nor
sovereign; but those who are richest, and have the greatest number of
retainers and dependents, are considered as chiefs or lords. The women
are tawny, and wear cotton garments, which are manufactured in the
country of the Negroes; but some of them wear a kind of cloaks, or upper
garments, called Alkhezeli, and they have no smocks. She who has the
largest and longest breasts, is reputed the greatest beauty; on which
account, when they have attained to the age of seventeen or eighteen, and
their breasts are somewhat grown, they tie a cord very tight around the
middle of each breast, which presses very hard and breaks them, so that
they hang down; and by pulling at these cords frequently, they grow
longer and longer, till at length in some women they reach as low as the
navel. The men of the desert ride on horseback after the fashion of the
Moors; and the desert being everywhere very hot, and having very little
water, and extremely barren, they can keep very few horses, and those
they have are short lived. It only rains in the months of August,
September and October. I was informed that vast swarms of locusts appear
in this country some years, in such infinite numbers as to darken the air,
and even to hide the sun from view, covering the horizon as far as the
eye can reach, which is from twelve to sixteen miles in compass; and,
wherever they settle they strip the ground entirely bare. These locusts
are like grasshoppers, as long as ones finger, and of a red and yellow
colour. They come every third or fourth year, and if they were to pay
their visits every year, there would be no living in the country. While I
was on the coast, I saw them in prodigious and incredible numbers.

[1] The distance between Tisheet and Tombuctu, according to our best maps,
    is about 560 miles E. and by S. In the same proportion, supposing
    Tisheet to be Teggazza, the distance between Tombuctu and Melli ought
    to be about 420 miles. Of Melli we have no traces in our modern maps,
    but it may possibly be referred to _Malel_, the apparent capital of
    Lamlem; see Pinkert. Geogr. II. 917, as laid down from the Arabian
    geographers, nearly 1200 miles E.S.E. from Tombuctu.--E.

[2] This story is probably a fiction, proceeding upon a trade of barter
    between parties who did not understand the languages of each other.
    The succeeding part of the story seems a mere fable, without the
    smallest foundation whatever.--E.

[3] Few persons, perhaps, will be disposed to think the credit of the
    Africans, however positive, or the belief of the author, however
    strong, sufficient evidence of the truth of this story. Yet it
    certainly is a common report of the country, and not the invention of
    Cada Mosto. Jobson, who was at the Gambra or Gambia in 1620, repeats
    the whole substance of this story; and Movette relates the
    circumstances of the blacks trafficking for salt without being seen,
    which he had from the Moors of Morocco. He leaves out, however, the
    story of the frightful lips. Every fiction has its day; and that part
    is now out of date.--Astl.

[4] Melli being itself unknown, we can hardly look to discover the
    situation of Kokhia or Cochia; but it may possibly be Kuku, a town and
    district to the N.E. of Bornou, which lies in the direction of the
    text; or it may be Dar Kulla, greatly more to the S.W. but still in
    the same track.--E.

[5] In Grynaeus this place is called Ato. As in the direction of the
    caravan from Tombuto towards Tunis, it may possibly be Taudeny, an
    ouasis or island of the great desert, in lat. 21° 30' N.--E.

[6] Called Hona in Grynaeus. What part of Barbary this name may refer to
    does not appear. But the passage ought perhaps to run thus, "_to Oran
    by the Mountain of Wan_," as there is a range mountains of that name
    to the S. E. of Oran, which joins the chain of Atlas, or the Ammer

[7] This is the earliest account of the places from whence gold is brought,
    and of the course of its trade through Africa, and thence into Europe;
    and is even more particular and exact than any that has been given by
    later authors.--Astl.


_Of the River Senegal and the Jalofs, with some Account of the Manners,
Customs, Government, Religion, and Dress of that Nation_.

Leaving Cape Branco, and the Gulf of Arguin, we continued our course
along the coast to the river Senegal, which divides the desert and the
tawny Azanhaji from the fruitful lands of the Negroes. Five years before
I went on this voyage, this river was discovered by three caravels
belonging to Don Henry, which entered it, and their commanders settled
peace and trade with the Moors; since which time ships have been sent to
this place every year to trade with the natives[1]. The river Senegal is
of considerable size, being a mile wide at the mouth, and of sufficient
depth. A little farther on it has another entrance, and between the two,
there is an island which forms a cape, running into the sea, having sand-
banks at each mouth that extend a mile from the shore[2]. All ships that
frequent the Senegal ought carefully to observe the course of the tides,
the flux and reflux of which extend for seventy miles up the river, as I
was informed by certain Portuguese, who had been a great way up this
river with their caravels. From Cape Branco, which is 280 miles distant,
the whole coast is sandy till within twenty miles of the river. This is
called the coast of _Anterota_, and belongs entirely to the Azanhaji or
Tawny Moors. I was quite astonished to find so prodigious a difference in
so narrow a space, as appeared at the Senegal: For, on the south side of
the river, the inhabitants are all exceedingly black, tall, corpulent and
well proportioned, and the country all clothed in fine verdure, and full
of fruit trees; whereas, on the north side of the river, the men are
tawny, meagre, and of small stature, and the country all dry and barren.
This river, in the opinion of the learned, is a branch of the _Gihon_,
which flows from the Terrestrial Paradise, and was named the Niger by the
ancients, which flows through the whole of Ethiopia, and which, on
approaching the ocean to the west, divides into many other branches. The
_Nile_, which is another branch of the Gihon, falls into the
Mediterranean, after flowing through Egypt[3].

The first kingdom of the Negroes is on the banks of the Senegal, and its
inhabitants are called _Gilofi_ or Jalofs. All the country is low, not
only from the north to that river, but also beyond it, as far south as
Cape Verd, which is the highest land on all this coast, and is 400 miles
from Cape Branco. This kingdom of the Jalofs, on the Senegal, is bounded
on the east by the country called _Tukhusor_; on the south by the kingdom
of _Gambra_ or Gambia; on the west by the Atlantic Ocean; and on the
north by the river Senegal and the Azanhaji[4]. The king who reigned in
Senegal in my time was named Zukholin, and was twenty-two years old. This
kingdom is not hereditary; but for the most part, three or four of the
principal lords, of whom there are many in the country, choose a king, in
the event of a vacancy, but always fix their choice on a person of noble
lineage, who reigns only as long as he gives satisfaction to these great
lords. They often dethrone their kings by force; who, on the other hand,
often render; themselves so powerful as to stand on their defence. This
renders the government unsettled, and is productive of civil wars;
similar to Egypt, where the Soldan of Cairo is always in fear of being
killed or banished.

The people are savages, and extremely poor, having no walled towns, and
their villages are entirely composed of thatched cottages. They use
neither lime nor stone in building, not knowing how to make the one, or
to form the other. The kingdom of the Jalofs is small, and, as I was
informed, extends only 300 miles along the coast, and about the same
distance inland. The king has no settled revenue; but the lords of the
country court his favour, by making him yearly presents of horses, which
being scarce, are in high estimation, together with horse furniture, cows,
and goats, pulse, millet, and other things. He likewise increases his
wealth by means of robbery, and by reducing his own subjects, and those
of neighbouring provinces to slavery, employing a part of these slaves to
cultivate the lands which are assigned to him, and selling the rest to
the Arabs and Azanhaji traders, who bring horses and other things for
sale; as likewise to the Christians, since they have established a trade
in these parts.

Every man may keep as many wives as he pleases. The king has always
upwards of thirty, and distinguishes them according to their descent, and
the rank of the lords whose daughters they are. He keeps them in certain
villages of his own, eight or ten in one place, each having a separate
house to dwell in, with a certain number of young women to attend her,
and slaves to cultivate the land which is assigned for her maintenance,
which they sow and reap, and to tend her cows and goats. When the king
comes to any of these villages, he brings no provisions along with him,
as his women are obliged to support him and his retinue whenever he
visits them. Every, morning at sunrise, each of his wives in the village
where he happens to reside, prepares three or four dishes of various
viands, such as flesh, fish, or other dainties, cooked in their fashion;
which are carried by the slaves to the kings pantry; so that in less than
an hour, thirty or forty dishes are provided, and when the king has a
mind to eat, he finds every thing ready at his command. When he has eaten
of such things as he likes best, the remainder is given to his retinue;
but as this, diet is never very plentiful, they are but poorly fed. He
travels about in this manner, from place to place, visiting his several
wives, by which means he has a very numerous issue and whenever one of
his wives happens to fall with child, he visits her no more. The lords or
chiefs of the country live in a similar manner.

These negroes profess me Mahometan religion, but are not even so well
instructed in it as the tawny Moors, more especially the common people.
The lords have always about them some Arabs or Azanhaji for this purpose,
who inculcate on their minds that it would be disgraceful for men of
their quality to live in ignorance of the laws of God, like the common
people who have no religion. They have become Mahometans merely by means
of their intercourse with the Azanhaji and Arabs; for since they became
acquainted with the Christians, they are by no means so fond of the
Mahometan faith. The generality of the negroes go quite naked, except a
piece of goat skin before; but the lords who are able to procure such,
wear cotton shirts, which are spun and manufactured by their women. Their
webs are only a span in width, as they have not sufficient art to
construct and use wider looms; so that they are obliged to sew five, six,
or more of these webs together, when it is required to make any large
piece of work. The shirts reach half way down the thighs, and have wide
sleeves which; cover only half of their arms. They wear also cotton
drawers, reaching to the small of their legs; and these drawers are made
preposterously wide, being often thirty-five or forty palms in
circumference; so that, when tied on, they are full of plaits, and though
like A sack before the hinder part trails on the ground like the train of
a large petticoat. Thus, though making a most ridiculous appearance, they
think nothing comes up to their dress for elegance, and they often ask
the Europeans if they ever saw a finer dress. Their women, both married
and unmarried, go naked from the waist upwards, and wear a piece of
cotton which covers them from the waist to the middle of the legs. Both
sexes go barefooted, and have no coverings to their heads; and weave and
tie their hair, though short, into neat tresses. The men often employ
themselves in womens work, such as spinning, washing clothes, and such
like employments.

This country is extremely hot, the month of January being not so cold as
it is with us in Italy in the month of April; and the farther we went to
the south, the weather became so much the hotter. Both men and women wash
themselves four or five times a-day, and are very cleanly in their
persons; but are by no means so in regard of eating, in which they
observe no rule. Although very ignorant, and extremely awkward in any
thing, to which they have not been accustomed, they are as expert as any
European can be in their own business, and in all things with which they
are acquainted. They are full of words, and extremely talkative, and are
for the most part liars and cheats. Yet they are exceedingly hospitable,
and charitably disposed, as they will most readily give a dinner, or a
supper, or a nights lodging, to any stranger who comes to their houses,
without expecting any remuneration or reward. The chiefs of these negroes
are often at war against each other, or against the neighbouring tribes
or nations; but they have no cavalry, for want of horses. In war, their
only defensive armour is a large target, made of the skin of an animal
called _Danta_, which is very difficultly pierced; and their principal
weapons are _azagays_ or light darts, which they throw with great
dexterity. These darts are pointed with iron, the length of a span, and
barbed in different directions, so that they make dangerous wounds, and
tear the flesh extremely when pulled out. They have also a Moorish weapon,
much-bent like a Turkish sword or cimeter, and made of iron, without any
steel, which they procure from the negroes on the river Gambia, as they
either have no iron in their own country, or want knowledge or industry
in working it. Having but few weapons, or rather no missiles, their wars
are very bloody, as they soon come to close quarters, and their strokes
seldom fall in vain; and, being extremely fierce and courageous, they
will rather allow themselves to be slain as save themselves by flight;
neither are they disheartened by seeing their companions slain. They have
no ships, nor had they ever seen any before the Portuguese came upon
their coast; but those who dwell upon the river Senegal, and some who are
settled on the sea coast, have _zoppolies_ or canoes, called _almadias_
by the Portuguese, which are hollowed out of a single piece of wood, the
largest of which will carry three or four men. They use these almadias
for catching fish, and for transporting themselves up or down the river.
The negroes of this country are the most expert swimmers in the world, as
I can vouch from frequent experience of their dexterity.

[1] Cada Mosto is incorrect in the chronology of this discovery, and even
    de Barros is not quite decided as to the first discovery of the
    Senegal. He says that Denis Fernandez _passed_ it in 1446, and that
    Lancerot _discovered_ it in 1447; the latter of which is eight years
    before the visit of Cada Mosto.--Clarke.

[2] The northern mouth of the Senegal is in lat. 16° 40'. The southern in
    15° 45', both N. so that the distance between them, or the length of
    the island mentioned in the text, is about sixty-two miles.--E.

[3] This fancy of all the great rivers in Africa being branches from one
    principal stream, is now known to be entirely erroneous.--Astl.

[4] Although the first kingdom, or kingdoms of the Negroes lies on the
    Senegal, Senega, or Sanaghas, and others along the Gambia, yet there
    were not properly any kingdoms of these names. On the north, indeed,
    of the Sanagha, lay the country of the Sanhaga, Azanaghi, or Azanhaji,
    from whence the river seems to have taken its name; but was divided
    among various tribes of people, and not under any one sovereign.
    Geographers, however, have since continued to propagate this first

    The Jalofs and Foulahs inhabit the country between the Senegal and
    Gambia, on which latter river the Feloops reside. What is meant by
    _Tukhusor_ in the text does not appear, unless it may obscurely
    indicate Karta.--E.


_Continuation of the Voyage to the country of a King named Budomel, with
some account of his Territory, and the Manners of his People_.

Having passed the river Senegal, we sailed about 800 miles farther south
along the coast, which was all low land without mountains, till we came
to the territory or kingdom of Budomel[1]. As some Portuguese, who had
dealt with Budomel, represented him as a very just person, who paid for
any goods he might receive, and might therefore be confided in, I stopped
at his country, that I might endeavour to dispose of some Spanish horses
I had on board, which are in great request among the Negroes; besides
which, I had some cloth, Moorish wrought silks, and other commodities for
sale. We came, therefore to anchor, at a place on the coast, called Palma
di Budomel, which is only an open roadstead, and not a port. I immediately
dispatched my negro interpreter on shore to inform this lord of my arrival,
and of the goods I had on board for sale. Not long afterwards Budomel came
himself to the beach, attended by about fifteen horsemen and an hundred
and fifty foot, and sent a message desiring me to land, with professions
of a friendly disposition, and promising to render me every attention and
service in his power. I went accordingly on shore immediately, and was
received with great civility. After some discourse, I delivered to him
seven horses, with their furniture; and every other article for which he
expressed an inclination, all of which had cost me 300 ducats, trusting to
his honour for payment, which was to be in slaves, and which he promised
to deliver at his own residence, which was twenty-five miles distant from
the shore, whither he invited me to accompany him. To this invitation I
readily agreed, induced as much by a desire of seeing the country, as on
account of receiving payment. Before setting out however, Budomel made me
a present of a beautiful negress, about twelve years of age, who, he said,
was meant to serve me in the cabin; and I received the gift, and sent her
on board the caravel.

I was furnished by Budomel with horses and every thing necessary for the
journey; and when we arrived within four miles of his residence, he gave
me in charge to his nephew Bisboror, who was lord of a small town or
village at which we stopped. Bisboror took me to his own house, where I
was treated with much civility and attention, during twenty-eight days
which I tarried in that place. This was in November 1455. In that time I
went often to visit Budomel, accompanied by his nephew, and had many
opportunities to observe the produce of the country, and the manners of
the inhabitants, more especially as, on account of the tempestuous
weather, I was under the necessity of travelling back by land to the
river Senegal. For, finding it impossible to get on board at the coast by
reason of the surf, I had to order the ship to return to that river, and
went there by land to re-embark. On this occasion, being very desirous to
transmit instructions to those on board the ship to meet me at the river
Senegal, I inquired among the negroes if any one would undertake to carry
a letter from the shore. Several of them readily offered their services,
though the ship lay three miles from the shore, and, owing to a strong
wind, the sea broke on the shore with a tremendous surf, insomuch that I
thought it impossible for any one to succeed in the attempt. Besides the
surf, there were several sand banks near the shore, and other banks about
half way to the ship, between which there ran a strong current, sometimes
one way and sometimes the other, along shore, so that it was extremely
difficult for any one to swim through without infinite danger of being
carried away by the stream; and the sea broke with such violence on the
banks, that it seemed quite impossible to surmount such complicated
obstacles. Yet two of the negroes offered to go, and only demanded two
_mavulgies_ of tin for each of them, one mavulgi being worth no more than
a _grosso_[2], at which price they engaged to carry my letter in safety
to the ship. I cannot express the difficulties which they encountered in
passing the sand bank. They were sometimes out of sight for a considerable
space, so that I often thought they were both drowned. At last, one of
them, finding himself unable to resist the violence with which the waves
broke over him, turned back; but the other, being stronger, got over the
bank after struggling a whole hour, and, having carried the letter to the
caravel, returned with an answer. This seemed to me very wonderful, and
made me conclude that the negroes of this coast must be the most expert
swimmers in the world.

It has been already observed, that those who are called lords in this
country have neither castles nor cities, the king even having nothing but
villages with thatched houses. Budomel is lord of one part of this kingdom,
yet his place of residence was not a palace, nor even a walled house.
These great men are not lords on account of their riches or treasure, as
they possess neither, nor have they any coin in use among them; but they
are considered as such out of courtesy, and on account of the great
retinues by which they are always attended, being more feared and
respected by their subjects than any of the lords in Italy. Budomel has
several villages appointed for his own habitation and that of his wives,
as he never fixes in one place. The village in which I resided with
Bisboror was one of his habitations, containing between forty and fifty
thatched cottages, built near one another, and surrounded with ditches and
strong pallisades, having only one or two passages left for entering; and
every house had a court-yard, inclosed by a hedge. According to report,
Budomel had nine wives in this place, and more or less in several other
villages. Each of these wives had five or six young negresses to attend
upon her, with all of whom he might sleep when he pleased, without giving
offence to the wives, for such is the custom of the country. Both sexes
are extremely amorous; and Budomel strongly importuned me for philacteries,
in which he had been informed the Europeans were very expert, and offered
any reward within his power for my compliance. They are very jealous, and
suffer no man to enter the houses which are inhabited by the women, not
even their own sons.

Budomel is always attended by a retinue of at least 200 negroes, who are
changed from time to time some going away and others coming back in their
room; besides which, many people repair to wait upon him from the adjacent
places which are under his government. Before arriving at his particular
apartment there are seven large courts, one within the other, having a
tree in the middle of each, where those wait who come to him on business.
His family is distributed in these courts, according to their several
ranks; the most considerable having their station in the court nearest his
dwelling, and the meanest in the outermost court of all. Few people are
allowed to approach his own particular apartment, except the Christians
and Azanhaji, who have free admission and more liberty is allowed to them
than to the negroes. This lord affects great state and gravity in his
deportment, and does not allow himself, to be seen except an hour every
morning, and for a short while in the evening; at which times he appears
near the door of an apartment in the first court, into which only persons
of note are permitted to enter. On these occasions of giving audience,
every person who come to speak to him, however high may be his rank, is in
the first place obliged to strip himself stark naked, except the small
cloth in front formerly mentioned; and, immediately on entering the court,
he falls down on his knees, bows down his head to the ground, and scatters
dust with both hands on his own head and shoulders; neither is even the
nearest relations of the lords exempted from this humiliating expression
of their duty and obedience. The person, who receives an audience
continues in this humble posture a great while, strewing himself with sand
and crawling on his knees, till he approaches the great man; and when
within two paces of his lord, he stops and begins to relate his case,
still continuing on his knees, with his head down, and throwing sand an
his head in token of great humility. All the time the lord scarcely
appears to notice him and continues to discourse with other persons; and
when the vassal has related his story, the lord gives him an answer in two
words, with an arrogant aspect. Such is their affected pride and grandeur,
and such the submission which is shewn him, which, in my opinion, proceeds
from fear, as their lords, for every little fault they commit, take away
their wives and children, and cause them to be sold as slaves.

Budomel treated me with the utmost attention and civility, and used to
carry me in the evenings into a sort of mosque, where the Arab and
Azanhaji priests, whom he had always about his person, used to say prayers.
His manner on these occasions was as follows. Being entered into the
mosque, which was in one of the courts belonging to his residence, and
where he was attended by some of the principal negroes, he first stood
some little time with his eyes lifted up as if it were to heaven, then,
advancing two steps, he spoke a few words in a low tone; after which, he
stretched himself on the ground, which he kissed; the Azanhaji and the
rest of his attendants doing the same. Then rising up, he repeated the
same series of actions repeatedly, for ten or twelve times, which occupied
about half an hour. When all was over, he asked my opinion of their manner
of worship, and desired one to give an account of the nature of our
religion. On this I told him, in the presence of all his doctors, that the
religion of Mahomet was false, and the Romish the only true faith. This
made the Arabs and Azanhaji extremely angry; but Budomel laughed on the
occasion, and said, that he considered the religion of the Christians to
be good, as God alone could have gifted them with so much riches and
understanding. He added, however, that in his opinion the Mahometan law
must be good also; and he believed, that the Negroes were more sure of
salvation than the Christians, because God was just, who had given a
paradise to the Christians in this world, and would certainly give one to
the Negroes in the next, as they possessed scarcely any good in this world
in comparison. In all his discourse he shewed a good understanding, and
took great pleasure in hearing the customs of the Christians described. I
firmly believe he might easily have been converted to Christianity, had it
not been from fear of losing his power, as I was often told by his nephew,
with whom I lodged, and he took great delight in hearing me discourse of
our religion. The table of Budomel, like all other lords and people of
condition in this country, is supplied by his wives, in the same manner as
has been already mentioned in regard to Zukholin, the king of Senegal;
each wife sending him a certain number of dishes every day. He and the
other lords eat on the ground, without any regularity or company, except
the Arabs and Azanhaji, who are their teachers and priests, and one or two
of their principal negro attendants. The inferior people eat in messes of
ten or twelve each, having a basket full of victuals set in the midst,
into which all put their hands at the same time. They eat but little at
one meal, but repeat these four or five times a day.

[1] The text seems corrupted in giving so large a distance between the
    Senegal river and this country of king Budomel, as 800 miles to the
    south, or rather S. S. E. would carry us to what is called the _grain_,
    or windward coast of Guinea, in lat. 6° N. and, from the sequel, Cada
    Mosto does not appear to have passed Cape Verd till after quitting the
    country of Budomel. According to Brue, as quoted by Clarke, the king
    of Kayor or Kayhor was styled Damel. Kayor or Cayor appears on our
    maps above an hundred miles up the Senegal, and on its north side,
    which therefore can have no reference to the place in the text. I am
    disposed to believe, that the distance in the text ought only to have
    been 80 miles, and that the territory of Budomel was in the country of
    the Jalofs, between the Senegal and Cape Verd, at the mouth of a small
    river, on which our charts place two towns, Masaye and Enibaul, in lat.
    15° 20' N.--E.

[2] The grosso, or Venetian groat, is worth about three farthings.--Astl.


_Account of the Country of Budomel continued_.

On account of the great heats in the kingdom of Senegal, and all the
other countries of the Negroes on the coast, no wheat, rye, barley, or
spelt, can grow, neither are vines cultivated, as we knew experimentally
from a trial made with seeds from our ship: For wheat, and these other
articles of culture, require a temperate climate and frequent showers,
both of which are wanting here, where they have no rains during nine
months of the year, from October to June both included. But they have
large and small millet, beans, and the largest and finest kidney beans in
the world, as large as hazle nuts, longer than those of the Venetian
territory, and beautifully speckled with various colours as if painted.
Their beans are large, flat, and of a lively red colour, and they have
likewise white beans. They sow in July, at the beginning of the rains,
and reap in September, when they cease; thus they prepare the soil, sow
the seed, and get in the harvest, all in three months; but they are bad
husbandmen, and so exceedingly averse to labour, that they sow no more
than is barely sufficient to last them throughout the year, and never lay
up any store for sale. In cultivating the ground, four or five of them go
into a field with spades, with which they turn up the soil about four
inches deep; yet such is the fertility of the soil, that it makes ample
returns for this slight culture, without any farther trouble.

The liquors of the Negroes are water, milk, and palm wine, which they
call mighol, or migwol, which is taken from a tree of the palm tribe,
very numerous in this country, somewhat like the date tree, but not the
same, and which furnishes this liquor the whole year round. The trees are
tapped in two or three places near the root, and from these wounds a
brown juice runs out, as thin as skimmed milk, into calabasses that are
placed to receive the liquor, which drops but slowly, as one tree will
only fill two calabasses from morning till night. This migwol, or palm-
wine, is an exceedingly pleasant drink, which intoxicates like wine
unless mixed with water. Immediately after it is drawn from the tree it
is as sweet as any wine whatever; but the luscious taste goes off more
and more as it is kept, and at length it becomes sour. It drinks better
than at first after three or four days, as it depurates by keeping, and
is not so sweet. I have often drank of it, indeed every day that I
remained in the country, and liked it better than the wines of Italy.
This liquor is not so abundant as that every one may have it at
discretion; yet all may have some, especially the chiefs, as the trees
are not planted in gardens, like vines and fruit trees in Europe, but are
found wild in the forests, and are consequently accessible to all.

In this country there are several sorts of fruit which resemble those of
Europe, though not exactly the same, and which are very good, though they
grow wild; and, were they to be cultivated as ours are, would prove much
better than such as are produced in the northern climates, the quality of
the soil and air in this part of Africa being more nutritive. The whole
country is plain and fertile, abounding in good pasture, and is covered
by an infinite number of large and beautiful trees, that are not known in
Europe. It contains several lakes of fresh water, none of them large, but
very deep, and full of excellent fish, which differ much from those that
are caught in Italy, and many water serpents, which the natives call
_Kalkatrici_. They use a kind of oil with their victuals, which tastes
like oil of olives, has a pleasant flavour of violets, and tinges the
food even better than saffron, but I could not learn what it was produced
from[1]. There is likewise a plant which produces large quantities of
small kidney-beans.

In this country there are many kinds of animals, but serpents are
particularly numerous, both large and small, some of which are venomous.
The large ones are more than two paces long[2], but have neither legs nor
wings, as has been reported by some persons, but some of them are so very
thick as to have swallowed a goat at one morsel. These serpents retire in
troops, as the natives report, to certain parts of the country where
white ants are found in prodigious swarms, and which, by a kind of
instinct, are said to build houses for these serpents, of earth which
they carry in their months for that purpose, resembling ovens, and often
to the number of 150 in one place[3]. The Negroes are great enchanters,
and use charms upon almost all occasions, particularly in regard to
serpents, over which they have great power. A Genoese, worthy of credit,
who was in this country the year before my arrival, and who likewise
lodged with Bisboror, the nephew of Budomel, told me he once heard a load
noise of whistling about the house in the middle of the night. Being
awakened by the noise, he saw Bisboror get out of bed and order two
negroes to bring his camel. Being asked where he meant to go at that time
of night, he said he had business which must be executed, but would soon
return. On coming back after some time, and the Genoese expressing
curiosity to learn the object in which he had been engaged, Bisboror
asked if he had heard the hissing noise about the house during the night,
and said that it had been made by the serpents, which would have killed a
great many of his cattle, if he had not sent them back to their quarters
by the employment of certain enchantments. The Genoese was astonished at
this story, but Bisboror said he had no need to wonder at this small
matter, as Budomed could do a great deal more extraordinary things with
the serpents than he could. In particular, when he had a mind to envenom
his weapons, he used to draw a large circle, into which, by means of his
enchantments, he brought all the serpents of the neighbourhood, from
which he selected those he thought most poisonous, and allowed all the
others to go away. With the blood of these serpents, mixed up with the
seeds of a certain tree, he infected his weapons with so deadly a poison,
that, if they drew but the least drop of blood, the person or animal
wounded by them was sure to die in a quarter of an hour. Bisboror farther
offered to shew him an example of the efficacy of this art, but the
Genoese declined witnessing the experiment. This story of the serpents is
the more probable, that I have heard of persons in Italy who could charm
them in a similar manner; but I am apt to believe that the Negroes are
the most expert sorcerers in the world.

The only tame animals in the kingdom of Senegal are oxen, cows, and goats;
having no sheep, which love a temperate or cold air, and could not live
in this hot climate. Nature, however, has provided mankind with
necessaries fitted for their various occasions; having furnished the
Europeans with wool, as they have need of warm clothing, while the
Negroes, who live in such intense heat, have been supplied with cotton by
the Almighty. Owing to the heat, in my opinion, the cattle of this
country are much smaller than those of Italy. It is a great rarity to see
a red cow in this country, as they are all black or white, or mottled
with black and white spots. Beasts of prey, such as lions, leopards, and
wolves, are numerous, and there are plenty of hares. Wild elephants go
about in troops, like the wild swine in Italy, but can never be tamed, as
they are in other parts of the world. As the elephant is a well-known
animal, I shall only observe in general, that those of Africa are of a
very large size, as may be easily conceived by the size of their teeth,
which are imported into Europe. Of these large teeth, or tusks rather,
each elephant has two in the lower jaw, the points of which turn down,
whereas those of the wild boar are turned up. Before my voyage to Africa
I had been told that the elephant could not bend its knee, and slept
standing; but this is an egregious falsehood for the bending of their
knees can be plainly perceived when they walk, and they, certainly lie
down and rise again like other animals. They never shed their large teeth
before death; neither do they do any harm to man unless provoked. In that
case the elephant makes his attack with his trunk, which is a kind of
nose, protruded to a great length. He can contract and extend this
proboscis at pleasure, and is able to toss a man with it as far as a
sling can throw a stone. It is in vain to think of escape by running, let
the person be ever so swift, in case the elephant pursues in earnest, as
his strides are of prodigious length. They are more dangerous when they
have young ones in their company than at any other time; of which the
females have only, three or four at a birth. They feed on the leaves and
fruit of trees, pulling down the large boughs with their trunks, and
bringing them to their mouths. This trunk is composed of a very thick
cartilage, and is pliable in every direction.

There are many kinds of birds in this country, and parrots are
particularly numerous, which are much hated by the negroes, because they
do much damage to their crops of pulse and millet. There are said to be
several kinds of parrots, but I never saw more than two. One of these is
like the kind which is brought into Italy from Alexandria in Egypt, but
rather smaller. The other kind is much larger, having a brown head, neck,
bill, and legs, with a yellow and green body. I procured a considerable
number of both sorts, particularly of the smaller kind, many of which
died; but I brought 150 back to Portugal, where I sold them for half a
ducat each. These birds are very industrious in constructing their nests,
which they build with bulrushes and the small leaves of the palm, and
other trees, in a very curious and ingenious manner. Choosing the
slenderest branch of a tree, the parrot fastens a bulrush of about two
spans long to its outer extremity, at the depending end of which rush it
weaves its nest in a most beautiful manner, suspended like a ball, and
having only one passage for entering. By this means they contrive to
preserve their young from being devoured by the serpents, as the small
twigs from which the nests are suspended are unable to bear the weight of
the serpents. There are likewise abundance of those birds called Pharaoh's
hens[4] in Europe, which come to us out of the Levant. They have
likewise other birds, both large and small, which are quite different
from any that are known in Italy.

As I was long on shore, I went several times to see their markets or
fairs, which were held every Monday and Friday in a meadow, not far from
where I resided. The men and women, from four or five miles around, came
to this place with their various commodities, and those who lived at a
greater distance, went to other markets nearer their habitations. The
great poverty of the natives appeared manifest in the goods they brought
to these fairs; consisting of small quantities of cotton cloth, and
cotton yarn, pulse, oil, millet, wooden tubs, palm matts, and every thing
else useful to life, according to their manners, likewise arms, and some
small quantities of gold. Having no money or coin of any kind, all their
trade was carried on by way of barter, or exchange of one thing for
another, sometimes two or three things for one, according to their
different values. All these blacks used to gaze on me, as if I had been a
prodigy, having never seen a white man before. Some took hold of my hands,
which they rubbed with spittle, to see if the whiteness was natural or
artificial, and expressed their wonder to find that my skin was not
painted. They were as much astonished at my dress, being clothed in the
Spanish fashion, with a black damask waistcoat, and a cloak over it: They
seemed much surprised at the waistcoat, and greatly admired the woollen
cloth, which they had never seen any of before. My chief purpose in going
to these fairs, was to see what quantity of gold was brought thither.

Horses are very scarce, and of great value in the country of the Negroes,
being brought all the way from that part of Barbary which lies nearest to
Europe, by the Arabs and Azanhaji. Owing to the great heat, horses do not
live long here; for they grow so fat that they cannot stale, and so burst.
They are fed with bean leaves, which are gathered after the beans are
brought from the fields; and, being dried like hay, are cut small, and
given to the horses instead of oats. They give millet also, which
contributes greatly to make them fat. A horse and his furniture sells for
from nine to fourteen negroes, according to his goodness and beauty; and
when a negro lord buys a horse, he sends for his horse sorcerers, who
cause a fire to be kindled of the stalks of certain herbs, and hold the
horses head by the bridle over the smoke, while they repeat over some few
words by way of incantation. They afterwards have him anointed all over
with fine oil, and having kept him eighteen or twenty days, without
allowing any one to see him, they affix some Moorish charms to his neck,
which have the appearance of small square billets of writing, folded up
and covered with red leather; and affirm, that, they will go into battle
with greater safety by means of these scrolls or annulets.

The women of this country are very pleasant and merry, especially the
young ones, and delight in singing and dancing, taking this diversion
only at night by moonlight; and their manner of dancing is very different
from that of the Italians. Many things in our ships seemed wonderful to
the Negroes, particularly our cross-bows; but much more our artillery.
When some of them were on board my ship, I caused one of the guns to be
fired off, which threw them into a dreadful panic; and their terror was
much increased on being told that one cannon-shot could kill an hundred
men. On which account, they alleged that it must be something belonging
to the devil. They were likewise greatly astonished at a bag-pipe, which,
one of our sailors played upon to divert them; and, on examining the
several parts and ornaments of the instrument, they conceived that it was
a living animal, which sung in different voices. Observing their
simplicity, I told them it was a musical instrument, and put it into
their hand unblown to examine. They then perceived that it was a work of
art, but believed that it was something supernatural, and could only have
been devised by a superior being, it sounded so sweetly, and in so many
different tones, having never heard any thing which could be compared to
it in their estimation. The ship, also, and its various contrivances, as
its anchors, masts, sails, and shrouds, afforded them great subjects for
admiration and wonder. They looked upon the port-holes in the stern as
real eyes, by which the vessel was able to find her way in the sea; and
observed, that travellers on land found difficulty to find the road from
one place to another, while we were able to travel along the trackless
ocean; and that the whites must therefore be the greatest of sorcerers,
not inferior to the devil himself. They shewed great admiration on seeing
a lighted candle in a candlestick, having themselves no other artificial
light but that proceeding from a fire. They have honey-combs, but when
they find these, they suck out the honey, and throw away the empty comb
as useless. At one time, I bought some honey-combs from a negro, and
shewed him how to extract the honey; after which, on asking him if he
knew what remained, he said it was good for nothing: But he was greatly
astonished on seeing it made into candles, and lighted in his presence;
saying, that the Europeans knew every thing. Their only musical
instruments are two, one of which they have from the Moors, which is like
a large drum[5]; the other is somewhat like a fiddle, having only two
strings, which they play on with their fingers, but gives no sounds that
can be called harmonious.

[1] This is almost certainly palm oil, the origin of which will appear in
    another division of this work.--E.

[2] The text must be here erroneous, as two paces, or ten feet, will
    scarcely suffice in describing the boa constrictor, sometimes near
    thirty feet long.--E.

[3] An account of the termites, or white ants of Africa, will appear
    hereafter. The circumstance of serpents taking up their abode in the
    large anthills, must be entirely accidental.--E.

[4] Probably the Pintado, or Guinea fowl.--E.

[5] This in Ramusio is called Tabacche, and Sambuka in Grynaeus.--Astl.


_Continuation of the Voyage from Senegal, by Cape Verd, the river
Barbasini, and to the river Gambia; and, returns to Portugal._

Having seen a considerable part of the dominions of Budomel, and received
the slaves which, were bargained for, in exchange for my horses and other
merchandize, I resolved to proceed on my voyage, round Cape Verd, and to
prosecute discoveries along this dangerous coast, and in particular, to
go in search of the kingdom of Gambia or Gambia, which Don Henry had
pointed out, on the information of a person who was well acquainted with
the country of the Negroes, as not far from Senegal, and from whence, it
was reported, that considerable quantities of gold might be procured.
Longing to go in quest of this gold, I took my leave of Budomel, and
repaired to the river Senegal, where I went on board the caravel and got
under weigh, as soon as possible. Soon after leaving the river Senegal,
as we were standing onward with a press of sail towards Cape. Verd, we
descried, one morning two ships in the offing. On joining company, we
found that one of these belonged to Antonio, an experienced Genoese
navigator, and the other to some gentlemen in the service of Don Henry,
and that they had sailed in company, with the intention of passing Cape
Verd, to explore the coast beyond it, in search of new discoveries. Our
intentions being similar, I offered to join company, and we accordingly
proceeded together along the coast to the southward, in sight of land.

We came in sight of that cape next day, being about thirty Italian miles
from our last anchorage[1]. Cape Verd was so named by the Portuguese, who
discovered it about a year before[2], because it is covered with trees
which continue green all the year. This is a high and beautiful cape,
which runs a considerable way into the sea, and has two hills or small
mountains at its outer extremity. There are several villages of the
Senegal negroes, or Jalofs, upon and about this promontory, which are
composed of thatched cabins close by the shore, and in sight of those who
sail past. There are also some sand banks, which extend about half a mile
into the sea[3].

Having doubled the cape, we came to three small uninhabited islands, full
of green trees[4]; and being in want of water, we anchored at that which
seemed the largest and most fruitful, in hopes of meeting with a spring,
but could find none to answer our purpose. We met, however, with the
nests and eggs of several kinds of birds, such as we had never seen
before. This was in the month of July 1456, and we continued here all day,
fishing with lines and large hooks, catching a prodigious number of fish,
among which were _dentali_, and gilded fish[5], some of which weighed
from twelve to fifteen pounds each. On the next day we proceeded in our
course, keeping always in sight of land, and found a kind of gulf formed
by the coast on the south side of the cape[6]. This coast is all low, and
full of fine large trees, which are continually green, as the new leaves
grow before the old ones fall off, and they never wither like those in
Europe; and the trees grow so near the shore, that they seem to drink as
it were the water of the sea. The coast is most beautiful, insomuch that
I never saw any thing comparable to it, though I had sailed much both in
the Levant and the western parts of Europe. It is well watered every
where by small rivers, but these are useless for trade, as they do not
admit ships of any size. Beyond this little gulf, the coast is inhabited
by two negro nations, called Barbasini and Serreri, which are not subject
to the king of Senegal, neither have they any king or lord of their own;
but one person is more honoured than another, according to his condition
or quality. They are great idolaters, without laws, and living in almost
a state of nature, and extremely cruel, and refuse to become subjected to
any lord. That their wives and children may not be taken from them and
sold as slaves, as is the custom among all the negro nations which are
under subjection to kings or lords, they use bows and poisoned arrows,
the wounds from which are incurable, if even the smallest blood is drawn,
and the wounded person or animal soon dies. Their colour is jet black,
and their persons are well made. The country is full of woods, lakes,
and streams, from which they derive great security, as they can only be
invaded through narrow defiles, by which means they set the neighbouring
lords at defiance. In former times, the kings of Senegal often attempted
to reduce these two nations under obedience, but were always worsted,
owing to the natural strength of the country, and their arrows. Running
along the coast to the south with a fair wind, we discovered the mouth of
a river about a bow-shot wide, but not deep, to which we gave the name
of the _Barbasini_ river, and have marked it on the chart which I made of
the coast, as sixty miles from Cape Verd[7]. In sailing along the coast,
we only made sail at sun rise, having a man continually on the top, and
two others on the prow or head, to look out for breakers, and always came
to anchor at sun set, about four or five miles from the land, in ten or
twelve fathoms water.

Proceeding on our voyage in this cautious manner, we came to the mouth of
a river which appeared to be as large as the Senegal[8]; and struck by
the fineness of its appearance, and its rich woods which came down to the
very shores, we cast anchor, and determined to send one of our negro
interpreters on shore, to endeavour to establish a friendly intercourse
with the natives. Every ship which sails from Portugal for the coast of
Africa is supplied with some of these negro interpreters, who consist of
slaves that had been sold by the lords of Senegal to the first Portuguese
who touched on the coast, and who have learnt the Portuguese language and
become Christians. These are hired from their masters in Portugal, who
receive, for their hire, a prime slave from the cargo on returning from
the voyage; and when any of these interpreters have thus earned four
slaves for their master, they become free. Having cast lots to determine
which of the three ships should send an interpreter on shore, it fell on
the ship commanded by the Genoese gentleman; on which he sent an armed
boat, ordering the men not to touch the shore, but to push off as soon as
they had landed the interpreter; who was charged to inform himself
respecting the condition and government of the country, and to inquire
whether it produced gold or any other commodity worth coming for. No
sooner was the interpreter landed, and the boat shoved off to some
distance as ordered, than several natives came out of the wood, who had
been in ambush, with bows, arrows, and other weapons, from the time they
saw our ships approach the coast, as if they had been in hopes that some
of our people might land upon the coast. After a short parley with our
interpreter, they furiously assaulted him with their _gomies_, or short
Moorish swords, and slew him; our people in the boat being unable to give
him any assistance. This intelligence was brought to the ships, where it
excited much surprise; and, concluding that these people must be
extremely barbarous, who could treat one of their own race with so much
barbarity, and would consequently use us cruelly if in their power, we
immediately weighed anchor, and stood on our voyage farther to the south,
which improved in the beauty and verdure of the trees as we advanced,
always sailing within sight of the coast, which is everywhere low land
covered with trees.

We came at length to the mouth of a very large river, which is not less
than six or eight miles wide at the entrance, and narrows a little way
within to three or four miles, and finding that it could be safely
entered, we determined to cast anchor for the night; and to endeavour to
learn next day if this were the river and kingdom of Gambra, or Gambia,
of which we were in search[9]. We judged, however, from its noble river,
that we had now attained the so anxiously desired country of Gambia, and
flattered ourselves in the hope of finding a country of vast riches,
where we might make our fortunes at once, by returning laden with gold,
and other rich commodities. Next day, having but little wind, we sent on
the small caravel before, well manned, with directions, as their ship was
small and drew little water, that they were to proceed as far as possible
up the river, observing whether there were any bar or sand banks at its
mouth, and to take the soundings with great care; and if the river were
found navigable, they were to return and make signals to that effect.
Finding four fathoms water at the entrance, the caravel brought to, and
made the concerted signal; on which it was thought proper, as that
caravel was small, to send another boat well armed along with her up the
river, and they were strictly enjoined, in case the natives were hostile,
to enter into no conflict with them, but to return immediately to the
other ships, as the object of our voyage was to cultivate friendship and
trade with the country, which could only be accomplished by policy, not
by force. The boats accordingly proceeded up the river for two miles,
leaving the small caravel at anchor, and found the banks everywhere
beautiful, with sixteen fathoms water. But as the river above this made
several returns or reaches, they did not think it prudent to venture any

When on their way back, they saw three _almadias_ or canoes near the
mouth of a small river which runs into the large one. These almadias
resemble the skiffs used in Italy which are called _zoppoli_, and are
hollowed out of one large piece of wood. Although our boats were strongly
armed, yet, in obedience to their orders, and for fear of being attacked
with poisoned arrows, which the Negroes of Senegal had told us were used
by all the natives of Gambia, they took to their oars, and made all
possible haste back to the ship. By the time they got on board, the
almadias, which followed them close, were within arrow flight. There were
about twenty-five or thirty negroes in these three almadias, who stopped
for some time gazing at the caravel, which was quite a new sight to them;
but would neither speak nor come nearer, notwithstanding every endeavour
by signs, to induce them to approach, and at length they returned to the
shore. About three next morning, the other three caravels that had
remained at anchor without the river, sailed with the rising tide and a
light breeze, into the river, to rejoin the small caravel, and to proceed
up the river, hoping to meet with a more civilized people than had been
seen in the almadias. In this way we sailed up the river, one after the
other, the small caravel leading; and when we had got about four miles up,
we perceived ourselves to be followed by a number of _almadias_, without
knowing whence they came. On this, we tacked about, and bore down towards
the almadias, having first fortified ourselves in the best manner we
could, to defend us against their poisoned arrows, and made every thing
ready for battle, in case of need, though by no means well provided with
arms. Our order of sailing was now reversed, and my ship was foremost in
going down the river. We soon came to the almadias, which separated into
two divisions, having my ship between them, when I had an opportunity to
count their numbers, as they gave over rowing, raised their oars, and
gazed in wonder at our ship: There were in all fifteen almadias of
considerable length, having from 130 to 150 negroes, all well made, of a
good size, and very black. They wore white cotton shirts, having white
caps, like those worn by the Germans, on their heads; but with a wing on
each side, and a feather in the middle, which I supposed to be a
distinguishing mark of their being soldiers. There stood a negro on the
prow of each almadia, having a round target, apparently of leather, on
his arm; and for some time they neither attacked us, nor we them. When
they saw the other caravels bearing down upon them, they dropped their
oars, and taking up their bows, sent a flight of arrows on board. Seeing
this attack, our ships discharged four pieces of cannon, at them, and
they were so stupified by the report, that they threw down their bows,
and stared about in amazement, at the effect which the stones from the
cannon made on the water around them. They continued in this astonishment
for some time; but seeing that the cannon ceased to fire, they plucked up
courage, and renewed the fight, advancing within a stones throw of the
ship. On this our sailors began to use their cross-bows; and the first
shot, which was made by the natural son of the Genoese gentleman, hit a
negro on the breast, who instantly fell down dead. Those in the almadia
where he fell, took up the dart and gazed at it with wonder; yet they
continued the attack with great vigour, and were courageously opposed by
our caravels, insomuch that many of the Negroes were soon killed, without
the loss of one man on our side. The Negroes now changed their mode of
attack, and made a furious united attack on the stern of our smallest
caravel, which was both ill manned, and insufficiently armed. On
observing this, I brought up my ship to her assistance, and the other
large caravel doing the same, we placed the small one between us, and we
all vigorously plied our cannon and cross-bows against the almadias,
which were at last forced to retire. We now linked all the three caravels
together, and dropped one anchor, which was sufficient for us all, as it
was calm weather, and the current by no means strong.

We next endeavoured to enter into some conversation with the Negroes, and
often hailed them by means of our interpreters. At length one of the
almadias drew near, and on being asked the reason of their hostility to
strangers, who came among them only to trade in a friendly manner, as
they had already done with the Negroes of the kingdom of Senegal, and
were desirous of being on the same friendly terms with them, if they
thought proper, and were come from a far distant country, with presents
for their king or lord, from the king of Portugal, who was desirous of
peace and friendship with them. Our interpreters also entreated the
Negroes to inform us what country we were in, who was their king, and
what was the name of the river; and desired them to come freely on board,
and take what goods they pleased; adding, that they might make a return
in any commodities they thought proper, and in any quantities they
pleased, or might have our goods for nothing. To all this they made
answer, "That they had some intelligence of the Christians already, and
of their dealings with the Negroes of Senegal, who must be very wicked
people for entering into friendship with them; as they were well assured
the Christians were meneaters, who bought the Negroes only to devour them,
and, for this reason, they were resolved to have no correspondence with
them, except to destroy them, and then to send their effects to their
lord, who dwelt three days journey up the country." They added, that the
name of their country was Gambra, but I have forgotten the name they gave
the river[10]. At this time a brisk breeze sprung up, and, as we now
thoroughly knew the hostile dispositions of the Negroes, we bore down
upon their almadias; but they fled to the shore, and we dropt down to the
mouth of the river.

While we remained off the mouth of this river, we only once saw the north
star in clear weather, and it was then so low as hardly to appear above
the height of a lance above the sea[11]. We likewise observed, in about
the same elevation, due south by the compass, a constellation of six
large bright stars, in the figure of a cross, in this form:

                             * * * *

We conjectured this to be the _southern chariot_, but could not expect to
observe the principal star, as we had not yet lost sight of the north
pole. In this place, on the _first_ of July, we found the night to be
eleven hours and a half long, and the day twelve hours and a half. The
climate is always hot, and I was told, that even the rain in the inland
parts falls warm, in consequence of the great heat of the air. It is true,
that there is some difference of the heat at different seasons, and when
the heat is a little diminished, the natives call it winter. The rains
begin in July, and continue till the end of October, and fall every day
about noon; at which time certain clouds arise in the N.E. by E. or E.N.E.
which are accompanied by prodigious thunder and lightning, and vast
torrents of rain. In this season, which is in the beginning of July, the
Negroes sow their grain, in the same manner with the people in Senegal.
Their provisions consist of millet, pulse, flesh and milk. There is not
so much dawn at break of day in this southern latitude as with us in
Italy; for, within half an hour after the darkness of the night begins to
dispel, the sun appears, and during all that dawn the atmosphere is
turbid, as if filled with smoke, and the moment the sun appears this mist
is dissipated. I could only account for this phenomenon, by attributing
it to the low and flat surface of this country, which is destitute of
mountains, and my companions were of a similar opinion.

On holding a consultation among the commanders of the three caravels, we
came to a resolution of proceeding about an hundred miles up the river,
in hopes of meeting with a less ferocious, and better disposed people in
the interior, than those we had encountered at the mouth of this river:
But the sailors were impatient to return home, without incurring any
farther dangers, and unanimously and loudly refused their consent to our
determination, declaring that they had already done enough for the
present voyage. Upon this being made known to us, and being well aware
that seamen are of headstrong and obstinate dispositions, we conceded to
their clamours, and steered next day for Cape Verd, on our return to

[1] Cape Verd is about 100 miles from the southern mouth of the river
    Senegal; so that the voyagers probably anchored every night within
    sight of the scarcely known coast.--E.

[2] This is erroneous, as it was discovered in 1446 by Denis Fernandez,
    nine years before.--Clarke.

[3] It is necessary to be cautious with respect to these early voyages,
    which, having gone through various transcriptions and translations,
    are liable to numerous errors. In our best charts, this sand bank,
    intermixed with sunk rocks, extends two miles out to sea.--E.

[4] Called the Birds islands, or the Magdalens.--Clarke.

[5] In Ramusio these fish are called Orate vecchis, and in Grynaeus
    Ostreas veteres.--Astl.

[6] This appears to indicate the gulf between Cape Emanuel, near the isle
    of Goree, and the Red Cape.--E.

[7] The river named Barbasini is above eighty-five miles S.S.E. from Cape
    Verd, measuring to its northern entrance, and forms a small island or
    delta at its mouth, having another entrance about eighteen miles
    farther south. There is a small island named _Fetti_, off its northern
    entrance, of which no notice is taken by Cada Mosto. The natives on
    this part of the coast, to the north of the Gambia, are now called

[8] From the sequel, I am apt to conclude that this second river is the
    Barbasini of our charts; and that the river named Barbasini in the
    text of Cada Mosto, is that named _Joall_ in modern charts.--E.

[9] Cada Mosto betrays strange ignorance of the previous discoveries of
    the Portuguese, considering that he had resided some time with Don
    Henry at Sagres. This fine river was discovered in 1447, nine years
    before, by Nuno Tristan, who ascended it some way, and was slain there
    by the poisoned arrows of the Negroes. Perhaps even Don Henry was
    misled by the name of Rio Grande which it then received, and confused
    the Venetian in his search for the Gambia.--Clarke.

[10] From this it would appear, that Gambra or Gambia is the name of the
    country, not of the river. Johnson says that the natives always call
    it _Gee_, which merely signifies the river.--Astl.

[11] The centre of the mouth of the Gambia is in lat. 13° 30' N.--E.

[12] It may be noticed, that during the whole of his narrative, Cada
    Mosto constantly speaks of Spain, and the Spanish language, as if
    forgetting that the ships and crews were Portuguese.--Clarke.


_The Second Voyage of Cada Mosto, in 1456, to the coast of Africa, in
which the Cape de Verd Islands were Discovered_[1].

As I could say little or nothing about the condition of the country of
Gambia, on my return to Portugal, on account of being obliged to leave it
so suddenly; partly owing to the intractable and fierce disposition of
the natives, and partly through the perversity of our sailors, who
refused to proceed in exploring the river; the Genoese gentleman, Antonio,
who had been with me in the former voyage, and I, resolved next season to
fit out two caravels, in order to return to the river Gambia, and Don
Henry, who was much pleased with our intentions, determined to send one
of his caravels along with us. Every thing being made ready for our
voyage, we sailed from Lagos, near Cape St Vincent, with a favourable
wind, in the beginning of May, and steered for the Canaries, which we
made in a few days; but, as the wind continued favourable, we did not
touch there, and continued our course, to the southward; and, as we were
favoured by a current setting to the S. W. we sailed on at a great rate.
At last we came in sight of Cape Branco, keeping well out at sea, and on
the following night we were assailed by a great storm from the S. W.
which occasioned us to steer W. by N. for two days and three nights, in
order to weather the tempest, rather than turn back. On the third day, to
our great joy and surprise, we descried land, being much astonished to
discover land in a quarter where no person could have expected it[2]. Two
men were immediately sent aloft, who cried out that two large islands
were in sight. This news was communicated through the ships, to our great
satisfaction, as we were sensible these islands were unknown in Portugal.
Judging it probable that these islands might be inhabited, and eager to
try our fortune, we steered towards one of them, which we soon came up
with, and sailed round a part of it, till we found safe anchorage. The
weather being now much calmed, we sent our boat on shore, well manned and
armed. The men landed, and having examined some part of the island,
brought back word that they could meet with no signs of inhabitants

Next morning, to clear up all doubts, I sent ten men to land on the
island, well armed with guns and cross-bows, whom I ordered to go to the
top of some mountains within sight, and to look from thence, not only for
people, but for more islands. These men executed my commands, but found
no appearance of any inhabitants. They found, however, an incredible
number of pigeons, which were so tame, being strangers to man, that they
readily allowed themselves to be caught, and our people brought great
numbers of them to the caravels. But, what was of much more importance,
they brought intelligence of having discovered three other islands; one
of which being to leeward, towards the north, could not be seen from the
ships, while the other two lay to the south, all within sight of each
other. These men likewise noticed something resembling islands towards
the west, but at so great a distance that they could not be clearly
distinguished, neither did I think proper to sail in that direction, lest
I should lose time in visiting uninhabited islands, like this at which we
had touched. The fame of my discovery of these four islands, brought
other navigators afterwards to explore this group; who round them to be
ten in number, both large and small included, and altogether uninhabited,
except by pigeons and other birds, and having a fine fishery[3].

Leaving the first island, we came in sight of the other two, and searched
for an anchoring place near one of them, which was full of trees.
Discovering the mouth of a river, and being in want of water, we came to
anchor, and sent our boats on shore to supply our wants. Some of our
people went a little way up the river, where they found some small lakes
containing remarkably fine white salt, of which they brought large
quantities to the ships, laying in what store was thought necessary, as
we did likewise of water. We found here great numbers of tortoises, or
turtle, the shells of which were larger than a target. The sailors cooked
these into different dishes, as they had done before in the gulf of
Arguin, where these animals are found in plenty, but not so large as here.
Out of curiosity I eat some of the flesh of these tortoises, which seemed
very good, having a good smell and taste, and was not inferior to veal.
We salted a great number of them, which proved a valuable addition to our
stock of provisions during the voyage. We caught likewise a prodigious
quantity of fish, both off the mouth of the river and in the stream; and,
though we knew not the kinds, they were large and well-flavoured. The
mouth of this river is a good arrow-shot across, and it is deep enough to
admit a vessel of 150 tons. We remained two days in this place for
refreshments, taking in a good stock of tortoises and fish, and large
quantities of pigeons, which we killed without number. To the first
island at which we anchored we gave the name of _Bona Vista_, as being
the first we got sight of; and to this other, which seemed the largest of
the four, the name of St Jago, having cast anchor there on the day of St
Philip and St James. Every thing being in readiness for pursuing our
voyage, we took our departure from these islands, and shaped our course
for Cape Verd. We arrived at _Spedegar_, and keeping within sight of land,
we came to a place named the _Two Palms_, which is between Cape Verd and
the river Senegal. Being perfectly acquainted with the coast, we doubled
the Cape next day, and came once more to the river Gambia, into which we
immediately entered; and, finding no opposition from the Negroes or their
almadias, we sailed up the river, always by day, and continually sounding.
Such of the almadias as we saw on the river kept at a distance, close to
the banks of the river, and never ventured to approach. About ten miles
up the river we cast anchor on a Sunday morning, at an island where one
of our sailors was buried who had died of a fever; and as his name
happened to be Andrew, we called it the island of St Andrew[4].

Leaving this island we proceeded up the river, followed by some of the
Negroes in their almadias, yet always keeping at a considerable distance.
Our interpreters often hailed them, and shewed them various trinkets,
which were offered for their acceptance, and endeavoured to entice them to
come near, by telling them that we were good-natured civilized people,
from whom they had nothing to fear. Wrought upon by these representations,
the Negroes at length approached, and came up with my caravel; and at last
one of them, who understood the language of our interpreter, came on board.
He was greatly surprized at every thing he saw in and about the caravel,
especially with the sails and rigging, having no other idea of moving a
vessel on the water but by means of oars. He was no less amazed at our
colour and dress, as his nation mostly go stark naked, or with a single
white cotton shirt as their sole dress. We were exceedingly kind and
attentive to this Negro, and made him many presents of trinkets, and other
things of small value, with which he was much delighted. I asked him many
questions respecting the country, through our interpreter, and at length
learnt that we were in the country of Gambia, of which Forosangoli was
chief lord; and, by what we could learn from him, the residence of
Forosangoli was at the distance of nine or ten days journey, in a
direction between the south and the southwest. He said that Forosangoli
was tributary to the king of Melli, who is the great emperor of the
Negroes; that there were many inferior lords, who dwelt near the river on
both sides, and, if we pleased, he would conduct us to the residence of
one of these lords, named Battimansa, and would endeavour to negociate a
treaty of peace and friendship between him and us. Being much pleased with
this offer, we carried this Negro along with us, and treated him with much
attention; and, sailing up the river, we came to the place where
Battimansa resided, which, in my opinion, was above forty miles from the
mouth of the river. In going up the river, into which several lesser
rivers fall, we sailed to the eastwards, and at the place where we came to
anchor, we found it much narrower than at the mouth, being not above a
mile in breadth, by our estimation[5]. On coming to this place, we sent
one of our interpreters and the native Negro to Battimansa, with a present
of a handsome garment, called an _alzimba_, made of Moorish silk, in the
form of a shirt; and they were desired to inform him of the reason of our
coming into his country, signifying, "That the Christian king of Portugal
had sent us thither, to enter into a treaty of friendship and peace with
him, and that if he had any call for our commodities, our king would
supply him with them every year."

As soon as our messengers had discharged their commission, Battimansa sent
some of his Negroes to the caravel, with whom we entered into friendship,
and bartered several things for Negro slaves and some gold; but gold was
by no means to be had in any thing like the plenty we expected, from the
account given of this country by the natives of Senegal, who, being
themselves extremely poor, consider that to be a large quantity which we
think very trifling. The Negroes value their gold as a very precious thing,
even at a higher rate than the Portuguese, yet we got it in barter very
reasonably for things of very small value. We continued here eleven days,
during which the caravels were continually resorted to by great numbers of
Negroes from both sides of the river, who came to see the novelties, and
to sell their goods, among which there were a few gold rings. Part of
their commodities consisted of cotton cloth and cotton yarn; some of the
pieces being all white, some striped blue and white, and others again with
red, blue, and white stripes, all very well wrought and coloured. They
likewise brought civet for sale, the skins of civet-cats, monkies, large
and small baboons of various sorts; and these last being very plenty they
sold them cheap, or for something not exceeding ten _marquets_ in value,
for each; and the ounce of civet for what was not worth more than forty or
fifty marquets; not that they sold their commodities by weight, but I
judged the quantity to be about an ounce. Other Negroes brought various
sorts of fruit for sale, among which were many small wild dates, which
they seemed to think much of, but which our people thought not good, as
the taste was different from those of Europe: As for me, I would not
venture to eat any of them, lest they might have given me the flux, or
some other distemper. Our ships were every day crowded with people of
different aspects and languages[6], and the natives were continually going
up and down the river from one place to another, both men and women, in
their almadias. They have no sails, and propel their almadias entirely
with oars, which they use on both sides, all the rowers standing up. One
man stands at the stern, who rows sometimes on one side, sometimes on the
other, to keep the almadia steady in her course. They have no pins or row-
locks to steady their oars, but hold them fast with both hands; their oar
being a pole, like a half lance, seven feet and a half long, with a round
board like a trencher fastened to one end, and with these they row with
great safety and swiftness, in the mouths of their rivers, which are very
numerous; but they seldom go out to sea, or to any distance from their own
coasts, lest they should be taken by their neighbours and sold for slaves.

[1] There is some difficulty respecting the date of this second voyage. In
    the former, Cada Mosto sailed from Portugal in March 1455. In the
    course of his proceedings, the month of November is mentioned, and
    some subsequent transactions are said to have happened in July, which,
    on this arrangement, must necessarily have been of the year 1456. If,
    therefore, the dates of the former voyage be accurate, the second
    ought to have been dated in 1457.--E.

[2] This part of the narrative is involved in difficulty, and most be
    erroneous. A storm from the S. W. off Cape Branco, almost in lat. 21°
    N. and a N. W. course, could not possibly lead to the discovery of the
    Cape Verd islands, almost six degrees farther south, and at least six
    degrees farther west. This difficulty may be solved, by supposing the
    storm from the N.E. and that the ships drove to the S.W. from off Cape

[3] This passage alludes to the voyage of Antonio de Noli in 1462. And it
    may be remarked, that de Faria, who mentions the discovery of these
    islands by Noli, takes no notice of the actual discovery by Cada Mosto.

[4] The editor of Astleys Collection considers this as having been St
    Jameses island, which is about twenty miles up the Gambia: But there
    is a small island near the northern bank, now called Charles I. which
    exactly corresponds with the distance in the text.--E.

[5] According to our best maps or charts of the Gambia, this river is
    never less than four miles broad, and generally above five, till we
    get near 100 miles up the river, to the reach which encircles the
    Devils Point, where it still is two miles wide. It is possible that
    the original journal of Cada Mosto may have had leagues of three
    marine miles each, in which case the residence of Battimansa may have
    been at or near the Devils Point, above 100 miles up the river.--E.

[6] Though this country will be amply described in other voyages in our
    Collection, it may be proper to remark, that both sides of the river
    Gambia are inhabited by a mixed population of three nations, the
    Feloops, Foleys, and Mandingoes, each of whom have their own separate
    villages interspersed. This population is divided into many states,
    lordships, or little kingdoms; as Joalli, Barrah, Kolar, Badibu,
    Barsalli, &c. on or near the northern bank; Kumbo, Fonia, Kaen, Jagra,
    Yamini, &c. on the southern.--E.


_Some Account of the Manners and Customs on the Gambia, and of the
Elephant and Hippopotamus._

It now remains for me to relate what I observed and was informed of
concerning this country, during my short stay. The religion of the Negroes
of Gambia consists of various kinds of idolatry; they place great reliance
on sorcery and other diabolical things, yet all believe in God. There are
many Mahometans among them, who trade to many countries, yet are not
settled in houses, because the natives are ignorant[1]. They live very
much in the same manner with the natives of Senegal, and have the same
kinds of provisions; but they cultivate more sorts of rice. They eat dogs
flesh, which I never heard of being used anywhere else. They are clothed
in cotton garments, and have great abundance of cotton in their country,
which may be the reason of the Gambians not going naked, as those of
Senegal do, where cotton is very scarce. The women dress in the same
manner; and, when they are very young, take great delight in delineating
figures on their necks, breasts, and arms, with the point of a hot needle,
which are never obliterated, and which resemble the flowers and ornaments
which are wrought on silk handkerchiefs. The country is excessively hot,
and the heat increases as we go to the south; besides which, we found it
much hotter up the river than at sea, owing to the immense number of trees
with which the country everywhere abounds. Some of these trees are of very
great dimensions. Near a spring where our sailors were in use to fill our
water casks, not far from the banks of the river, there grew an
exceedingly large tree, but its height was by no means proportional to its
thickness; for, though it measured seventeen cubits in girth near the
ground, its height, by estimation, was only twenty paces. This tree was
hollow, but the branches were very large, avid extended to a great
distance, forming a thick and ample shade. But there were many other trees
much larger than this, by which the richness and fertility of the soil may
be easily conceived; and the country is intersected by numerous streams.

There are many elephants in this country, but the natives are ignorant of
the art of taming these animals, as is practised in other countries. One
day, while we lay at anchor in the middle of the river, we observed three
elephants come out from the wood and walk by the river side, on which we
sent our boat with some of the people towards them, but they immediately
returned into the wood. These were all I ever saw alive; but, sometime
afterwards, Guumi-mensa[2], one of the Negro lords, shewed me a dead young
elephant, which he had killed after a chase of two days. The Negroes hunt
on foot in the woods, using only arrows and assagays, or javelins, which
are all poisoned. When they hunt the elephant they conceal themselves
behind trees, and even sometimes mount to their tops, leaping from one
tree to another in pursuit of the elephant, which, being a large unweildy
animal, is often wounded in many places before it can turn round, or place
itself in a posture of defence; but, in an open field, no person dare
attack one, nor could even the swiftest escape from their pursuit, as I
have been informed by many of the Negroes. The teeth of this dead elephant,
which was shewn me by Guumi-Mensa, one of which still remained in the jaw,
did not exceed three spans long, which distinctly shews that it was quite
young in comparison of those whose teeth are from ten to twelve spans in
length; yet, small as it was for an elephant, we computed that the weight
of its carcass was equal to five or six oxen. Guumi-Mensa made me a
present of what part of this elephant I liked best, and gave the remainder
to his huntsmen to feast on. Understanding that elephants flesh was eaten
by the Negroes, I had some both roasted and boiled, of which I tasted,
that I might be able to say that I had fed upon the flesh of an animal
which had never been eaten by any of my countrymen; but I found it hard,
and of an unpleasant relish. I brought one of the legs and a part of the
trunk on board our caravel, together with some of the hair from its body,
which was a span and a half long, of a black colour, and very thick. On my
return to Portugal, I presented this hair to Don Henry, together with a
part of the flesh salted up for that express purpose, which he received
with much satisfaction, as it was the first of the kind that had been
brought from the countries that were discovered under his auspices. The
foot of the elephant is round, like that of a horse, but without hoofs;
instead of which it is covered by a very thick, hard, black skin, and
defended by five nails on the fore part, which are round and of the size
of a _grossone_[3]. Though young, the foot of this elephant measured a
span and a half in diameter. From the same Negro lord I received the foot
of a full-grown elephant, the sole of which was three spans and an inch in
diameter; which, together with a tooth of twelve spans long, I presented
to Don Henry on my return, who sent it afterwards as a great curiosity to
the Dutchess of Burgundy.

In the river Gambia, and in other rivers on this coast, besides the
_Calcatrici_[4] and other animals, there is one called the _river horse_,
or hippopotamus, of the same nature almost with the sea cow, and which
lives both on land and in the water. This animal is as large in the body
as a cow, with very short legs and cloven feet, having a large head like
that of a horse, and two huge teeth like the tusks of a wild boar, some of
which I have seen upwards of two spans long. This animal, when it gets out
of the river, walks on the land like any other fourfooted beast; and, so
far as I know, was never before discovered by any Christian traveller,
except perhaps in the Nile. We saw likewise a number of bats, or rather
owls, upwards of three spans long; and many other birds, quite different
from those of our country, both in appearance and taste, yet very good to

[1] The meaning of this expression is obscure. Perhaps it implies that
    their Mahometan teachers had no mosques, because the Negroes were
    ignorant of the means and method of construction. The knowledge of God
    among the northern Negroes was assuredly due exclusively to the
    Mahometan missionaries.--E.

[2] Called Gnumi-Mensa in Grynaeus. According to Jobson, Mensa, or Mansa,
    signifies a king in the Mandingo language.--Astl.

[3] A Venetian silver coin, not exceeding a silver penny.--Astl.

[4] This animal is nowhere explained. Perhaps the crocodile or


_Continuation of the Voyage from the Gambia to the river Kasa-Mansa, Cape
Roxo, the rivers of St Ann and St Domingo, and the Rio Grande._

Having continued eleven days in the river Gambia, and many of our people
becoming affected by acute fevers, we dropt down the river on the evening
of the eleventh day, departing from the country of Batti-Mansa[1], and
got out of the river in a few days, so stocked with commodities as to
encourage us to proceed farther; and indeed, having been so far
successful, and having a plentiful supply of provisions, and every thing
necessary for prosecuting the voyage, we considered as incumbent on us to
attempt some farther discoveries towards the south. We accordingly
steered southwards with a favourable wind; but finding the land to run a
considerable way to the S.S.W. from the mouth of the Gambia, to a certain
point which we took for a cape[2], we stood out to the west to gain the
open sea, the whole coast to the south of the Gambia being low, and
covered with trees to the waters edge. On gaining an offing, we found
that the beforementioned point was no actual cape or promontory, as the
shore appeared perfectly straight on the other side; yet we kept at some
distance out to sea, as we observed breakers for several miles out to
sea[3]. On this account we had to proceed with great caution, keeping
always two men at the head of the ship, and one in the main-top, to look
out for shoals and breakers; and as a farther precaution, we sailed only
during the day, and came to anchor every night. In this cautious progress,
our caravels sailed always one before the other, having fixed the order of
sailing by lot, and changed the leader every day, in order to avoid all

At the end of two days sail in this manner, always in sight of land, we
discovered on the third day the mouth of a river about half a mile wide[4],
and towards evening we observed a little gulf or inlet, which we
supposed might be the entrance of another river; but as it grew late, we
came to anchor for the night. Next morning we sailed into this gulf, and
found that it was the mouth of a large river, not a great deal less in my
opinion than the Gambia, and both its banks were full of very beautiful
tall trees. We cast anchor within the mouth of this river, and agreed to
send two armed boats on shore with our interpreters to get intelligence
respecting the country, according to our usual practice. This was done
accordingly, and our interpreters, brought back word that the river was
called Kasamansa, from a Negro lord of that name who resided at a place
about thirty miles up the river; but who was absent from his residence,
on a warlike expedition against the lord of a neighbouring territory.

On receiving this intelligence, we sailed from this river next day,
without attempting any traffic with the natives. This river of Kasamansa
is twenty-five leagues, or 100 miles to the south of the Gambia[5].
Standing on about twenty-five miles farther, we came to a cape which is a
little more elevated than the rest of the coast, and as its front had a
red colour, we named it Cape _Roxo_, or _Rosso_. Proceeding forwards, we
came to the mouth of a pretty large river about a crossbow-shot wide,
which we did not enter, but to which we gave the name of the river of St
Ann. Farther on still, we came to the mouth of another river, not less
than the former, which we named St Dominic, or St Domingo[7]; distant
from Cape Rosso, by our estimation, between fifty-five and sixty miles.
In another days sailing, we came to a very large river, which at first
appeared to be a gulf, and was judged to be about twenty miles in breadth;
but we could observe the beautiful trees on the south side, and it took
us a considerable time to sail across to that side. On getting over to
that side, we observed several islands in the sea, and as we wished to
procure some intelligence concerning the country, we came to an anchor.
Next morning two almadias came off to us from the land, one of which was
as long as a caravel, and carried about thirty hands; the other was
smaller, and was manned by sixteen Negroes. They came towards us with
great eagerness; and, not knowing what might be their design, we took
to our arms and waited their approach. As they drew near, they fixed a
white cloth to the end of an oar, which they held up as a signal of peace,
and we answered them in a similar manner. The Negroes then came alongside
of our ships, the largest of the almadias coming up to the caravel in
which I was. They gazed at every thing they saw, examining the form of
the ship, the masts, yards, sails, and rigging with much attention, and
they seemed astonished at seeing the white colour of our people. Our
interpreters spoke to them, in order to learn the name of the country,
but could not understand a word of their language, which was a great
mortification to us, as we were obliged to leave the place without
getting any intelligence; but we purchased a few gold rings from one of
the Negroes, agreeing about the price by signs.

Finding ourselves in a country where our interpreters were of no use, and
considering therefore that it would be to no purpose for us to proceed
any farther, we determined to return. We stayed two days in the mouth of
this large river, which we therefore named Rio Grande[8], and where we
found the north pole very low[9]. In this place we found great
irregularity in the tides; for, whereas at Venice, and all other places
in Europe, the flux and reflux are each of six hours continuance, the
tide here only flows four hours, and ebbs eight, and the violence of the
flowing tide is quite incredible, insomuch that we had great difficulty
to stem it with three anchors a-head. Nay, such was its impetuosity, that
we were sometimes obliged to hoist our sails, and even then it exceeded
the force of the wind.

Taking our departure from the mouth of this vast river, on our way back
to Portugal, we directed our course to two large islands and some small
ones, which lay about thirty miles distance from the continent, which we
found quite low, yet full of large and beautiful green trees, and
inhabited by Negroes[10]. Encountering here the same difficulty of
intercourse, for want of knowing their language, we made no stop, but
took our departure for Portugal, where we arrived in safety.

[1] At this place Grynaeus calls him Batrinense; though he had named him
    rightly Bati-mansa before.--Astl.

[2] This is now called Cape St Mary.--E.

[3] This seems to allude to what is now called Bald Cape, about twenty
    miles south from Cape St Mary, and stretching somewhat farther west;
    from which there extends breakers or sunken rocks a considerable
    distance from the land.--E.

[4] Between the mouth of the Gambia and that of the Casamansa, there are
    three inlets, which appear to be smaller mouths of the latter river.
    The most northern of these is named St Peter, the most southerly
    Oyster river; the intermediate one has no name.--E.

[5] The actual distance is barely a degree of latitude, or less than
    seventy English miles. Cada Mosto probably estimated by the log, the
    more circuitous track by sea.--E.

[6] Cada Mosto does not mention the remarkable change which takes place
    here in the direction of the coast. From the Gambia to Cape Rosso, the
    coast runs direct south; after which its direction is E.S.E. to the
    mouth of the river St Ann.--E.

[7] Called in modern charts, Rio S. Dominica.--E.

[8] According to de Faria, Rio Grande was discovered by Nunez Tristan in
    1447, nine years before it was visited by Cada Mosto.--Astl.

[9] Cada Mosto is exceedingly superficial in his account of the Rio Grande;
    and it even seems dubious if he ever saw or entered this river, as he
    appears to have mistaken the navigable channel between the main and
    the shoals of the Rio Grande for the river itself; which channel
    extends above 150 English miles, from the island of Bulam in the E.S.E.
    to the open sea in the W.N.W. This channel agrees with his description,
    in being twenty miles wide, whereas the real Rio Grande is greatly
    smaller than the Gambia.--E.

[10] These may be the island of Waring and the Marsh islands, at the
    north-western entry of the channel of the Rio Grande, forming part of
    the Bissagos islands.--E.


_The Voyage of Piedro de Cintra to Sierra Leona, and the Windward coast of
Guinea; written by Alvise da Cada Mosto._

The two voyages to the coast of Africa in which Cada Mosto was engaged,
and which have, been narrated in the foregoing Sections of this Chapter,
were followed by others; and, after the death of Don Henry, two armed
caravels were sent out upon discovery by orders from the king of Portugal,
under the command of Piedro de Cintra, one of the gentlemen of his
household, with injunctions to proceed farther along the coast of the
Negroes than had hitherto been effected, and to prosecute new discoveries.
In this expedition, Piedro de Cintra was accompanied by a young
Portuguese who had formerly been clerk to Cada Mosto in his two voyages;
and who, on the return of the expedition to Lagos, came to the house of
his former employer, who then continued to reside at Lagos, and gave him
an account of the discoveries which had been made in this new voyage, and
the names of all the places which had been touched at by Piedro de Cintra,
beginning from the Rio Grande, the extreme point of the former voyage[1].

De Cintra first went to the two large inhabited islands at the mouth of
the Rio Grande which I had discovered in my second voyage, where he
landed, and ordered his interpreters to make the usual inquiries at the
inhabitants; but they could not make themselves understood, nor could
they understand the language of the natives. Going therefore into the
interior, they found the habitations of the Negroes to consist of poor
thatched cabins, in some of which they found wooden idols, which were
worshipped by the Negroes. Being unable to procure any information in
this place, Cintra proceeded, in his voyage along the coast, and came to
the mouth of a large river between three and four miles wide, which he
called Besegue, from a lord of that name who dwelt near its mouth, and
which he reckoned to be about forty miles from the mouth of the Rio
Grande[2]. Proceeding about 140 miles from the river Besegue, along a
very hilly coast; clothed with high trees, and having a very beautiful
appearance, they came to a cape to which they gave the name of Verga[3].
Continuing along the coast, they fell in with another cape, which, in the
opinion of all the seamen, was the highest they had ever seen, having a
sharp conical height in the middle like a diamond, yet entirely covered
with beautiful green trees. After the name of the fortress of Sagres,
which was built by the deceased Don Henry on Cape St Vincent, the
Portuguese named this point Cape Sagres of Guinea. According to the
account of the Sailors, the inhabitants of this coast are idolaters,
worshipping wooden images in the shape of men, before which they make
offerings of victuals as often as they eat or drink. These people are
more of a tawny colour than black, having marks on their faces and bodies
made with hot irons. They go almost entirely naked, except that they wear
pieces of the bark of trees before them. They have no arms, as there is
no iron in their country. They live on rice, millet, beans, and kidney
beans, larger than ours; and have also beef and goats flesh, but not in
any great abundance. Near to Cape Sagres there are several very small
uninhabited islands.

The inhabitants of this river have large almadias, carrying from thirty
to forty men, who row standing, without having their oars fixed to any
thing, as formerly noticed. They have their ears pierced with many holes,
in which they wear a variety of gold rings. Both men and women have also
a hole through the cartilage of the nose, in which they wear a gold ring,
just like that of iron in the noses of our buffalos, which they take out
when eating. The ladies belonging to the kings and great men, by way of
extraordinary grandeur, have gold rings on other parts of their body,
which decorum prevents us from particularizing.

Passing Cape Sagres, they sailed about forty miles farther along the coast,
and came to the Rio de San Vincents, which is about four miles wide; and
about five miles farther they found another, which they called Rio Verde,
larger at the mouth than the former[5]. Both of these rivers were so named
by the sailors in the caravels. About twenty-four miles beyond the Rio
Verde, they came to another cape which they called _Cape Liedo_,
signifying the _cheerful_, because of the beautifully verdant country in
its neighbourhood[6]. From Cape Liedo there extends a large mountain for
about fifty miles along the coast, all of which is very high, and covered
with tall verdant trees. At the end of this mountain, and about eight
miles from the shore, there are three small islands, the largest of which
does not exceed ten or twelve miles in circumference. To these the sailors
gave the name of _Saluezze_[7]; and they named the mountain _Sierra Leona_,
or the Lion Mountain, on account of the continual roaring of thunder on
its summit, which is always enveloped in clouds.

Proceeding beyond Sierra Leona, the coast was quite low, and the shore
full of sand banks running out into the sea. About thirty miles from the
southern extremity of the mountain, they found a river near three miles
wide at the entrance, and because the water had a red colour, they called
it Rio Roxo[8]. And farther on they found a cape, likewise of a red colour,
which they named Cape Roxo[9]. And they gave the same name of Roxo to a
small uninhabited island, about ten miles off at sea, where the north
polar star seemed only the height of a man above the horizon. Beyond Cape
Roxo, the sea forms a gulf, about the middle of which there enters a river,
which the seamen called St Mary del Nievos, or of the snow, as having been
discovered on the day of that Saint. On the other side of the river there
is a cape, with an island close beside it[10]. This gulf is full of sand
banks, running ten or twelve miles along the coast, on which the sea
breaks with considerable violence, and has a strong current both in the
ebb and flow of the tide; and the little island just mentioned is named
_Scauni_, on account of these sand banks. Twenty-four miles distant from
this river is a large cape called St Ann, having been discovered on the
day of that saint; and the whole coast between is low, with very shallow
water. Twenty-four miles beyond this cape is the river of _Palms_, so
named from the abundance of these trees which were seen there. The mouth
of this river, though of sufficient width, is so full of shoals; and sand
banks as to render its entrance very dangerous. About seventy miles
farther on, there is another small river called _Rio de Fumi_, or Smoke
River; so named, because at the time of its discovery, they saw nothing
but smoke along this coast, made by the Negroes[11]. Beyond this river,
about twenty-four miles, there is a cape which runs a great way out into
the sea, on which stands a high mountain, on which account it was called
_Cabo del Monte_, or Cape Mount About sixty miles still farther on, to the
S. E. there is another and smaller cape, on which is a small mountain or
hill, which was named Cape _Cortese_, or _Misurado_. The first night after
their arrival at this place, the voyagers saw many fires among the trees,
made by the Negroes on seeing the ships, as they had never seen such
objects before.

About sixteen miles beyond Cape Misurado, there is a large forest of trees
close to the shore, to which they gave the name of St Mary's Grove. The
caravels came to anchor beyond this wood, and several almadias came off
from the shore towards them. There were two or three naked negroes in each,
having sharp pointed sticks in their hands, which our seamen supposed to
be darts; some of them had small knives, and they had only two targets and
three bows among them all. These Negroes, had their ears and noses pierced,
from which hung some strange ornaments resembling human teeth. The
interpreters spoke to them, but could not understand their language. Three
of these Negroes ventured on board one of the caravels, one of whom was
detained by the Portuguese, and the other two allowed to go away; for
Cintra had been ordered by the king, in case of discovering any country
where the interpreters did not understand the language, that he was to
bring away one of the natives either by force or fair means, that he might
be able to give an account of his country, either by some of the Negroes
in Portugal happening to understand his language, or after he had acquired
the Portuguese.

Piedro de Cintra, having determined to proceed no farther, returned back
to Portugal from Cape Misarado, to which he had traced the coast of Africa
from the Rio Grande. Upon his return, this negro who had been detained off
Cape Misurado, was examined by several Negroes, and at length was
understood by a Negress who belonged to an inhabitant of Lisbon; not
indeed by his own proper language, but by means of another which was known
to them both. Whatever intelligence may have been procured on this
occasion, was not made public, except that there were unicorns in his
country. After this Negro had been kept for some months in Lisbon, and had
been shewn many of the curiosities of Portugal, the king ordered him to be
supplied with clothes, and sent him back in a caravel to his own country.
But from that coast no other ship had arrived before my departure, which
was on the first of February 1463[12].

[1] For this exordium or introduction, we are indebted to the editor of
    Astley's Collection of Voyages and Travels, said to have been a Mr
    John Green. The infant Don Henry of Portugal died in 1463; so that
    there must have been an interval of six or seven years between the
    second voyage of Cada Mosto and this of Piedro de Cintra: Though de
    Faria seems to put this voyage as having been executed before the
    death of that excellent prince, yet Cada Mosto, who then actually
    resided at Lagos, could not be mistaken is this important particular.--

[2] In a note to the second voyage of Cada Mosto, it has been already
    noticed that he seems to have given the name of Rio Grande to the
    channel between the Bissagos islands, or shoals of the Rio Grande and
    the Main. This river Besegue, may possibly be the strait or channel
    which divides the island named particularly Bissagos, or more properly
    Bissao, from that of Bassis or Bussi. Yet, this river Besegue may even
    have been that now called Rio Grande, in which, about twenty-four
    leagues above its mouth, there is an island called Bissaghe.--E.

[3] It is strange that the Rio de Nuno, close by this cape, the estuary
    of which is not less than seven or eight miles wide, should be here
    omitted; but the present voyage is very superficially narrated

[4] The text is here obviously defective, as no river is mentioned before;
    but the allusion must be to the river Pongo, Pongue, or Pougue, at the
    mouth of which Cape Sagres is situated; indeed that cape seems to be
    formed by one of the islands off the mouth of the river.--E.

[5] There are a number of small rivers on the coast, between Cape Sagres
    and Cape Tagrin, such as Tofali, Dania, Buria, Berrea, Tanna, Pogone,
    Cagrance, dos Casas; but our modern charts have none named as in the
    text on this part of the coast.--E.

[6] This is now called Cape Tagrin, and forms the northern point at the
    entrance of the Sierra Leone river, otherwise called the Mitomba or
    Tagrin river. The southern point is named Cape Sierra Leone; and in
    some maps is likewise named Liedo very improperly. It is necessary to
    distinguish carefully between the _Cape_ of Sierra Leone, and the
    mountainous ridge of the same name, which appears to extend a
    considerable way along the coast to the S. E. near fifty miles, to the
    river Kates, or Sa. Ma. della Neue. But, from the baldness of the
    narrative, there is great difficulty in tracing out this voyage.--E.

[7] These are now called Bananas islands, in lat. 8° N.--E.

[8] Perhaps the Camaranca.--E.

[9] Probably that now called Tassa Point, or Cabo de S. Anna.--E.

[10] This account seems again to refer to the river Camaranca and Tassa
    Point; otherwise called Cape St Ann; yet this cape is brought in
    immediately afterwards. Indeed this voyage is inextricably confused,
    probably incorrect or corrupt.--E.

[11] The large island of Sherbro, with Sherbro Strand and Shoals, a very
    prominent feature of this part of the African coast, is here entirely
    overlooked; unless we suppose de Cintra to have gone on the outside of
    that island, considering the sound as a river, and naming the N. W.
    point of Sherbro island Cape St Ann.--E.

[12] We have already seen that Don Henry died in this year, which must,
    therefore, be here an error of the press, either in the original
    publication by Cada Mosto, or in some of the after editions.--E.


HOPE IN 1486[1].


_Progress of Discovery from Cape Verga to Cape St Catherine; from the
Death of Don Henry to that of King Alphonzo V_.

After the decease of Don Henry, the illustrious father of maritime
discovery, the progress of the Portuguese along the coast of Africa
received a considerable check, as the military ardour of Alphonzo the
Fifth was principally directed to the support of his pretensions to the
throne of Castile, the circumstances of which are unconnected with the
plan of this work. King Alphonzo was not however entirely inattentive to
the trade for gold and slaves, which his illustrious uncle Don Henry had
commenced with that part of Africa which is now called Guinea. The origin
of this name of Guinea, or _Ghinney_, is unknown. It is not in use among
the natives, and seems to have been imposed by the Portuguese from the
appellation of _Ghenchoa_, given to a country on the south side of the
Senegal, us first mentioned by Leo and afterwards by Marmol. Ever since
the year 1453, as already mentioned, considerable importations of gold
had been made to Portugal from the coast of Africa; but little or no
progress had been made in extending the discoveries farther south, for
some time previous to the decease of Don Henry. In 1470, King Alphonzo
sailed with a considerable army, in a fleet of above 300 ships, and
carried the strong fort of _Arzila_ on the Atlantic coast of Africa, a
little way to the south of the Straits of Gibraltar. But of his military
exploits in Africa, from which he acquired the appellation of _Africanus_,
and assumed the additional title of _Lord of the coasts on both seas_,
our present purpose does not call for any recital. In 1479, the disputes
between the crowns of Portugal and Castile were compromised by a treaty
entered into by Alphonzo V. king of Portugal, and Ferdinand king of
Castile; by which the trade of Guinea, and the navigation of its coast,
with the proposed conquest of _Fez_, were guaranteed to Portugal, and the
Canary islands were annexed to the crown of Castile.

From the want of any accurate history of the progress of the Portuguese
discoveries, it is utterly impossible to determine the dates or
circumstances of many of the progressive discoveries along the western
coast of Africa, and of its islands. In 1469, Alphonzo farmed the Guinea
trade for five years to Fernando Gomez, for the yearly rent of 500 ducats,
or about 138 pounds; taking, him bound at the same time, to extend the
discoveries for 500 leagues to the southwards during the period of his
exclusive privilege. In 1471, according to Marmol, Juan de Santareu and
Pedro de Escobar, discovered the _Oro de la Mina_, or the _Gold coast_;
and advancing still farther, under the guidance of two experienced pilots,
Martin Fernandez and Alvaro Esteves, they discovered _Cabo Catalina_, or
Cape St Catherine, in lat. 1° 40' S. This promontory, which is thirty-one
leagues to the south of Cabo de Lope Gonzales, derived its name from the
day of the saint on which it was first seen, and forms the northern
boundary of the great kingdom of Congo. The discovery of this cape is
assigned by some writers to Sequiera, a knight belonging to the royal

The celebrated Portuguese historian, Emanuel de Faria, in his _Asia
Portuguesa_, has recorded all the Portuguese voyages, from their first
attempts under Don Henry, to their developement of China and Japan, and
has even left an account of all the ships that sailed from Lisbon for
Africa and Asia, down to the year 1600; but was unable to ascertain the
dates of many important events. Neither he nor De Barros have been able
to remove the uncertainty respecting the first discovery of the island of
St Thomas on the coast of Africa, the south end of which touches the
equinoctial. During the remainder of the reign of Alphonzo, the line of
coast, from Cape Verga in lat. 10° N. to Cape St Catherine in 1° 40' S.
was much frequented by the Portuguese. Of this coast an ample account has
been given by Dapper and Barbot, chiefly following a tract published by
Gotard Artus of Dantzick, which is to be found in De Bry's Collection,
and that of David von Nyendael and others. This was the work of a Dutch
navigator, which was first translated in to German, and thence by Artus
into Latin. But our peculiar department is confined to actual voyages and
travels, and the progress of discovery; and it would both much exceed our
proper limits, and would be an entire deviation from our plan of
arrangement, to admit lengthened geographical and topographical
disquisitions; which, so far as they are at all admissible, must be
reserved for the more particular voyages and travels, after those of
general discovery have been discussed.

There are four principal islands in the Gulf of Guinea, or Bight of
Biafra, as it is usually called by English navigators, Ferdinand Poo,
Princes isle, St Thomas, and Annobon, the discovery of which have been
related as follows by Barbot, and his account seems the most probable[2].
Fernando Lopez discovered the first of these in 1471, in lat. 3° 40' N.
giving it the name of _Ilha formosa_, or the Beautiful Island, which was
afterwards changed to that of _Fernando Poo_, which it still retains. In
an account of the kingdom of Congo, in Churchill's Collection, viii. 527,
more properly named the Oxford Collection, or that of Osborne, v. 2. This
island, and a river on the coast of the continent of Africa, directly
east, now called Cameroon River, are said to have taken their names of
Fernando Poo from their first discoverer. Some writers assign the
discovery of these four islands, and that of St Matthew, to Fernando
Gomez, who formed the Guinea trade. Perhaps they were discovered under
his auspices, by the navigators whom he employed. This island is composed
of very high land, easily seen at a great distance, and the Portuguese
had formerly sugar plantations upon it. The _Ilha do Principe_, or
Princes Island, in lat. 1° 30' N. was either discovered by Fernando Lopez,
or by Santaren and Escobar, about the same period, and probably received
its name in honour of the illustrious prince, Don Henry. This island is
described as consisting of high table mountains, pyramidal at their bases,
and visible at the distance of twenty leagues; being about nine leagues
long by five leagues broad. It is said to abound in oranges, lemons,
bananas, cocoa-nuts, sugar-canes, rice, many species of sallad herbs, and
to be susceptible of producing the European grains. The mandioca, or root
of the cassada plant, is generally used for bread, of which the juice
while raw is said to be a virulent poison; while its meal, or rasped root,
after the malignant juice is carefully pressed out, is used for bread.
The inhabitants also, have sheep, hogs, goats, and an immense number of
poultry; but these have probably been introduced by the Portuguese.

The _Ilha de San Thome_, or island of St Thomas, which is said to have
received its name from the saint to whom the chapel of the great
monastery of _Thomar_ is dedicated, and to which all the African
discoveries are subjected in spirituals, has its southern extremity
almost directly under the equinoctial, and is a very high land of an oval
shape, about fifteen leagues in breadth, by twelve leagues long.

The most southerly of these islands, in lat. 1° 30' S. now called Annobon,
was originally named Ilha d'Anno Bueno, or Island of the Happy Year,
having been discovered by Pedro d'Escovar, on the first day of the year
1472. At a distance, this island has the appearance of a single high
mountain, and is almost always topt with mist. It extends about five
leagues from north to south, or rather from N. N. W. to S. S. E. and is
about four leagues broad, being environed by several rocks and shoals. It
has several fertile vallies, which produce maize, rice, millet, potatoes,
yams, bananas, pine-apples, citrons, oranges, lemons, figs, and tamarinds,
and a sort of small nuts called by the French _noix de medicine_, or
physic nuts[3]. It also furnishes oxen, hogs, and sheep, with abundance
of fish and poultry; and its cotton is accounted excellent.

Including the voyages of Cada Mosto and Pedro de Cintra, which have been
already detailed, as possibly within the period which elapsed between the
death of Don Henry in 1463, and King Alphonzo, which latter event took
place on the 28th August 1481, and the detached fragments of discovery
related in the present Section, we have been only able to trace a faint
outline of the uncertain progress of Portuguese discovery during that
period of eighteen years, extending, as already mentioned, to Cape St
Catherine and the island of Annobon. A considerable advance, therefore,
had been made since the lamented death of the illustrious Don Henry;
which comprehended the whole coast of Guinea, with its two gulfs, usually
named the _Bights_ of Benin and Biafra, with the adjacent islands, and
extending to the northern frontier of the kingdom of Congo[4]. If the
following assertion of de Barros could be relied on, we might conclude
that some nameless Portuguese navigators had crossed the line even before
the death of Don Henry; but the high probability is, that the naval
pupils of that illustrious prince continued to use his impress upon their
discoveries, long after his decease, and that the limits of discovery in
his time was confined to Cape Vergas. Some Castilians, sailing under the
command of Garcia de Loaysa, a knight of Malta, landed in 1525 on the
island of St Matthew, in two degrees of southern latitude[5]. They here
observed that it had been formerly visited by the Portuguese, as they
found an inscription on the bark of a tree, implying that they had been
there eighty-seven years before[6]. It also bore the usual motto of
that prince, _talent de bien faire_.

In the paucity of authentic information respecting these discoveries, it
seems proper to insert the following abstract of the journal of a
Portuguese pilot to the island of St Thomas, as inserted by Ramusio,
previous to the voyage of Vasco de Gama, but of uncertain date; although,
in the opinion of the ingenious author of the Progress of Maritime
Discover, this voyage seems to have been performed between the years 1520
and 1540. In this, state of uncertainty, it is therefore made a section
by itself, detached in some measure from the regular series of the
Portuguese discoveries.

[1] Astley, I. 15. Clarke, I. 290. Purchas, I. Harris, I. 664.

[2] Clarke, I. 295.

[3] These may possibly be the nuts of the Ricinus Palma Christi, from
    which the castor oil is extracted.--E.

[4] Strictly speaking the northern limits of Loango, one of the divisions
    of the extensive kingdom of Congo, is at the Sette river, ten leagues
    S.S. E. from Cape St Catherine.--E.

[5] There is no island of that name in this position; so that the island
    of St Matthew of de Barros must refer to Annobon.--E.

[6] These dates would throw back the discovery of this island, and the
    passage of the line by the mariners of Don Henry, to the year 1438, at
    a time when they had not reached the latitude of 25° N. which is quite


Voyage of a Portuguese Pilot from Lisbon to the Island of St Thomas[1].

Before I left Venice, I was requested by letter from Signior Hieronimo
Fracastro of Verona, that, on my arrival at Conde, I would send, him an
account of my voyage to San Thome, to which island our ships often sail
for cargoes of sugar. The passage of the equinoctial line, under which
that island, is situated, appeared to that gentleman so extraordinary a
circumstance as to merit the attention of men of science; and you
likewise made me a similar request. I began, therefore, immediately after
my return, to draw up an account of my voyage, from those notes which we
pilots usual keep of all occurrences, and I compared it in my progress
with the journals of some friends who had formerly made the same voyage.
When I afterwards attentively perused my manuscript, it did not appear to
me worthy of being communicated to a gentleman of such scientific
character as Signor Hieronimo, whose talents I had duly appreciated, by
the perusal of his publications, which I received from you before my
departure from Venice. I therefore laid my manuscript aside, not wishing
that any one might peruse it; but as you have again urged the performance
of my promise, I now anxiously obey a request, which, as coming from you,
I must always consider a command. Apprehensive, likewise, of appearing
forgetful of your polite attentions, I prefer the danger of exposing my
ignorance, to the possibility of being charged with ingratitude or want
of attention. Being a sailor, and unused to composition, I pretend to
little more than copying the remarks of those who have sailed from our
continent to _Ethiopia_, without attempting to reduce my narrative into
lucid order, or to embellish it with fine writing. You will therefore
have the goodness to destroy this account, after its perusal, that the
errors I have committed, by compliance with your commands, may not draw
upon me the imputation of presumption.

The Portuguese ships which sail to the island of St Thomas from Lisbon,
for cargoes of sugar, usually put to sea in February, though some vessels
make this voyage at every period of the year. Their course is S.S.W.
until they reach the Canary Islands; after which they steer for the
island of Palmas, which is opposite to Cape Bojador on the coast of
Africa, and is about ninety leagues from the kingdom of Castile. This
island has plenty of provisions, and abounds in wine and sugar. The north-
west wind prevails most, and a great sea rages continually on its coast,
particularly in the month of December[2].

If the ships which are bound for the island of St Thomas find it
necessary to obtain a quantity of salt after having taken on board a
sufficient supply at the island of _Sal_, they steer for the coast of
Africa at the Rio del Oro; and, if they have calm weather and a smooth
sea; they catch as many fish in four hours, with hooks and lines, as may
suffice for all their wants during the remainder of the voyage. But, if
the weather is unfavourable for fishing at the Rio del Oro, they proceed
along the coast to Cape Branco; and thence along the coast to the island
of Arguin. The principal sorts of fish on this coast are _pagros_, called
_albani_ by the Venetians; likewise _corvi_ and _oneros_, which latter
are only a larger and darker-coloured species of _pagros_. As soon as
taken, the fish are opened and salted, and serve as an excellent supply
of provisions to navigators. All the coast of Africa, from Cape Bojador,
otherwise called _Cabo della Volta_, as far as Cape Branco and even to
Arguin, is low and sandy. At Arguin, which is inhabited by Moors and
Negroes, and which is situated on the confines between these two nations,
there is a capacious harbour, and a castle belonging to our king of
Portugal, in which some Portuguese always reside with the royal agent.

On leaving the island of Sal, our ships steer next for St Jago, another
of the Cape Verd islands. This island is situated in _fifteen degrees on
the equinoctial and thirty leagues towards the south_[3].It is seventeen
leagues long, and has a city on the coast, with a good harbour called
_Ribiera Grande_, or the Great River, now St Jago. From two high
mountains, one on each side, a large river of fresh water flows into the
harbour; and, from its source, full two leagues above the city, its banks
are lined on each side with gardens, having fine groves of oranges,
cedars, pomegranates, several sorts of figs, and the cocoa-nut palm,
which has been long planted on this island. It produces all kinds of
vegetables in great abundance and perfection; but they do not afford good
seeds, so that it is necessary to procure these every year from Europe.
The city is on the south coast of the island, and is well built of stone,
being inhabited by about 500 families of distinction, Portuguese and
Castilians. Its government is entrusted to a corregidor or governor,
appointed by the king of Portugal; and two judges are chosen annually,
one for the determination of naval and maritime causes, and the other for
regulating the police. This island is very mountainous, and is very
barren in many parts, which are entirely destitute of wood; but its
vallies are fertile and well cultivated. In June, when the sun enters
Cancer, the rains are so incessant that the Portuguese call that month
_La Luna de las Aquas_, or the Water Month. Their seed-time begins in
August, when they sow maize, called _miglio zaburo_. This is a white bean,
which is ready to be gathered in forty days, and is the chief food of
these islanders, and of all the inhabitants of the coast of Africa[4].
They also sow much rice and cotton; the latter of which comes to great
perfection, and is manufactured into striped cloths, which are exported
to the country of the Negroes, and bartered for black slaves.

To give a distinct view of the commercial transactions with the Negroes,
it is proper to inform you, that the western coast of Africa is divided
into several countries and provinces, as Guinea, _Melegote_[5], the
kingdom of Benin, and the kingdom of Manicongo. Over all this extent of
coast, there are many Negro kings or chiefs, whose subjects are
Mahometans and idolaters, and who are continually at war with each other.
These kings are much respected by their subjects, almost to adoration, as
they are believed to have originally descended from heaven. When the king
of Benin dies, his subjects assemble in an extensive plain, in the centre
of which a vast pit or sepulchre is dug, into which the body is lowered,
and all the friends and servants of the deceased are sacrificed and
thrown into the same grave, thus voluntarily throwing away their own
lives in honour of the dead. On this coast there grows a species of
_melegete_, extremely pungent like pepper, and resembling the Italian
grain called _sorgo_. It produces likewise a species of pepper of great
strength, not inferior to any of that which the Portuguese bring from
Calicut, under the name of _Pimienta del rabo_, or _Pepe dalla coda_, and
which African pepper resembles _cubbebs_, but so powerful that an ounce
will go farther than a pound of the common sort; but its exportation is
prohibited, lest it should injure the sale of that which is brought from
Calicut[6]. There is also established on this coast a manufacture of an
excellent kind of soap from palm-oil and ashes, which is carried on for
the king's account. All the trade of this coast, to the kingdom of
_Manicongo_ exclusively, is farmed out every four or five years to the
highest bidder. Great Negro caravans bring gold and slaves to the
stations on the coast. The slaves are either prisoners taken in war, or
children whom their parents have parted with in the hope of their being
carried to a more fertile country. For above ninety years after the first
discovery of this coast, the Portuguese merchants were accustomed to
enter the large rivers by which the country is everywhere intersected,
trading independently with the numerous tribes inhabiting their banks;
but now the whole of this commerce is in the hands of stationary licensed
factors, to whom it is farmed.

On quitting St Jago we steer southerly for the Rio Grande, which is on
the north of Ethiopia, beyond which we come to the high mountain of
Sierra Liona, the summit of which is continually enveloped in mist, out
of which thunder and lightning almost perpetually flashes, and is heard
at sea from the distance of forty or fifty miles. Though the sun is quite
vertical in passing over this mountain, and extremely hot, yet the thick
fog is never dissipated. In our voyage we never lose sight of land, yet
keep always at a considerable distance, carefully observing the
declination of the sun, and keeping a southerly course till we arrive in
_four degrees on the equinoctial_[7], when we suddenly change our course
to the south-east, keeping the Ethiopian coast always on our left hand in
our way to the island of St Thomas. On this coast, between the tropic and
the equinoctial, we never meet with any hard gales, as storms are very
rarely found within the tropics. On nearing the land, the soundings in
many parts of the coast do not exceed fifty _braccia_, but farther out
the depth rapidly increases, and the sea usually runs high at a distance
from the land. When we arrived at Rio del Oro, as mentioned before, we
observed four stars in the form of a cross, of an extraordinary size and
splendour, elevated thirty degrees above the antarctic pole, and forming
the constellation called _il Crusero_. While under the tropic of Cancer,
we saw this constellation very low; and, on directing our _balestra_[8]
to the lowermost of these stars, we found it to be directly south, and
concluded that it must be in the centre of the antarctic polar circle. We
observed the same constellation very high when we were at the island of
St Thomas; and remarked that the moon, after rain, produces a rainbow
similar to that occasioned by the sun during the day, except that the
colours were dim and ill-defined. On leaving the straits of Gibraltar, I
did not observe any sensible change on the ebb and flow of the sea; but
when we approached Rio Grande, which is eleven degrees to the north of
the equinoctial, we observed a considerable tide at the mouth of that
river, and the rise in some places was much the same as on the coast of
Portugal, whereas at the isle of St Thomas it was nearly the same as at

The island of St Thomas was discovered above eighty[9] years ago, by some
captains in the royal navy of Portugal, and was altogether unknown to the
ancients. Its horizon or parallel passes at an equal distance between the
arctic and antarctic poles, and its days and nights are always equal. The
arctic polar star is there invisible, but the _guardiani_ are seen in
some measure to revolve, and the constellation which is known by the name
of _il crusero_, is seen in the heavens at a high altitude. To the
eastwards[10] of St Thomas, and at the distance of 120 miles, the small
island called _Il Principe_ is situated. This latter island is inhabited
and cultivated, the produce of its sugar canes belonging to the revenue
of the kings eldest son, from which circumstance the island derives its
name. To the S. S. W. or S. and by W. and in the latitude of almost 2° S.
is the uninhabited island of Annobon, on which numbers of crocodiles and
venomous serpents are found. Its rocky shores abound in fish, and are
much resorted to by the inhabitants of St Thomas on that account. When
first discovered, the island of St Thomas was an entire forest,
containing a variety of trees, which, though barren, were extremely
verdant. These trees were all remarkably tall and straight, their
branches all drawn close to the stems, and not spreading out as with us.
After clearing away a great part of the forest, the inhabitants built a
principal town called _Pouoasan_, which has an excellent harbour. The
principal dependence of the settlers in this island is upon their sugars,
which they exchange yearly with the merchants who trade thither, for
flour in barrels, wines, oil, cheese, leather, swords, glass beads,
drinking-cups, pater-nosters, and _buzios_, which are a small kind of
shells, called by the Italians _white porcelain_, and which pass in
Ethiopia as money. The Europeans who reside on this island depend much
for provisions on the ships, as they cannot subsist on the fare used by
the Negroes. The slaves employed in their sugar plantations are procured
from Guinea, Benin, and Congo; and some rich planters have from 150 to
300 Negroes. These work five days in every week for their masters, and
are allowed the Saturdays to themselves, when they cultivate various
articles of provision, as the _miglio zaburo_, a species of bean formerly
mentioned, a root called _igname_, and many species of culinary
vegetables, the seeds of which must be imported from Europe, as they do
not come to perfection in this climate.

[Illustration: Chart of North Western Africa]

The soil of St Thomas consists of a red and yellow marl, or clay, of
great fertility, which is kept soft and mellow by the heavy dews which
fall nightly, contributing greatly to vegetation, and preventing it from
being dried up by the great heats; and so great is the luxuriant
fertility of the soil, that trees immediately spring up on any spots left
uncultivated, and will grow as high in a few days as would require as
many months with us. These sprouts are cut down and burnt by the slaves,
and their ashes are used as manure for the sugarcanes. If planted in
January, the canes are ready to be cut in June, and those which are
planted in February become ripe in July; and in this manner they keep up
a succession throughout the whole year. In March and September, when the
sun is vertical, the great rains set in, accompanied with cloudy and
thick weather, which is of great service to the sugar plantations. This
island produces yearly above 150,000 arobas of sugar, each containing
thirty-one of our pounds, of which the king receives the tenth part,
which usually produces from 12,000 to 14,000 arobas, though many of the
planters do not pay this tythe fully. There are about sixty _ingenios_
driven by water, for bruising the canes and pressing out the juice, which
is boiled in vast chaldrons, after which it is poured into pans in the
shape of sugar-loaves, holding from fifteen to twenty pounds each, in
which it is purified by means of ashes. In some parts of the island,
where they have not streams of water, the canes are crushed by machines
worked by the Negroes, and in others by horses. The bruised canes are
given to the hogs, which hardly get any other food, yet fatten
wonderfully, and their flesh is so delicate and wholesome as to be
preferred to that of poultry. Many sugar refiners have been brought here
from Madeira, on purpose to endeavour to manufacture the sugars of St
Thomas more white and harder than its usual produce, but in vain. This is
alleged to proceed from the extreme richness of the soil injuring the
quality of the sugar; just as with us, wines produced in soils of too
great fertility are apt to have a peculiar flavour. Another cause of this
is supposed to proceed from the climate of the island being too hot and
too moist, except in the month of June, July, and August, at which season
a fresh dry wind blows from Ethiopia to this island; and they then make
their best sugars.

The planters are obliged, to ship off their sugars as soon as they can
procure shipping, because they would become liquid if attempted to be
kept for a length of time. At present, not above two-thirds of the island
are appropriated to the cultivation of sugar; but any person who comes to
this island for the purpose of settling, whether from Spain or Portugal,
or any other country, may procure from the royal intendant as much land
as he is able to cultivate, and at a moderate price. The esculent root
which is known in the Spanish islands by the name of _batata_, is here
named ingame by the Negroes, and is their principal food, either boiled
or roasted under the ashes. There are different kinds of this root
produced on the island, but that which is known by the name of _igname
cicorero_ is preferred by the merchant vessels, all of which purchase
considerable quantities as a sea-stock for their homeward voyage, and the
Negroes cultivate them largely for the express purpose of supplying the
ships[11]. This island is distinguished by a high mountain in the middle,
thickly covered by tall, straight, and verdant trees, and its summit is
continually enveloped in clouds, whence water is diffused in numerous
streams all over the island. A large shallow stream flows through the
city of Pouoasan, supplying it with abundance of excellent water, which
the inhabitants reckon of a medicinal quality, and allege that St Thomas
would not be habitable if it were not for this river and its other
numerous springs and rivulets. The native trees are chiefly barren, and
though some olives, peaches, and almonds, were planted by the early
settlers, which soon grew with great luxuriance, they never bore any
fruit, and this has been the case with all stone fruits that have been
tried. But the cocoa-nut palm, brought hither from Ethiopia, has thriven
satisfactorily. Repeated attempts have been made to cultivate wheat, but
always unsuccessfully, though tried at different seasons of the year; as
the ear would never fill, but always ran up to straw and chaff only.

In March and September, the sky is always overcast with clouds and mists,
and continual rains prevail, which season is considered by the
inhabitants as their winter. In May, June, July, and August, which they
call _Mesi di Vento_, or windy months, the prevalent winds are from the
south, southeast, and southwest; but the island is sheltered by the
continent from the north, northeast, and northwest winds; The summer
months are December, January, and February, when the heat is excessive,
and the atmosphere being continually loaded with vapour, occasions the
air to feel like the steam of boiling water. The shores of this island
abound in many kinds of fish, and, during the months of June and July,
the inhabitants catch a kind which they name _le chieppe_, which are
singularly delicate. In the seas between this island and the coast of
Africa, there are prodigious multitudes of whales, both of the large and
small kinds.--Should you, Sir, be unsatisfied with my ill-written and
confused information, I beg of you to consider that I am merely a seaman,
unpracticed in literary composition.

[1] Ramusio. Clarke I. 298. This voyage was communicated by the relator
    to Count Raimond della Torre, a nobleman of Verona.--Clarke.

[2] A description of the islands of Cape Verd, and an account of the
    supply of salt usually taken on board by the Portuguese ships at the
    island of Sal, for the purpose of laying in a sea store of salt fish,
    is here omitted.--Clarke.

[3] This geographical expression is utterly unintelligible, but may be a
    strange mode of denoting its latitude, which is 15° N. but I know not
    what to make of the thirty leagues towards the south, unless the
    author meant that it was thirty leagues in extent from north to south,
    and seventeen leagues from east to west.--E.

[4] The description in the text is not applicable to maize, and must refer
    to some species of bean, or kidney-bean.--E.

[5] Called likewise Maleguette, and named also the Grain-Coast and the
    Pepper-Coast. Manicongo is obviously the kingdom of Congo.--E.

[6] Some of this is smuggled and sold in England.--Clarke.

    This Guinea pepper is probably that now known under the name of
    Jamaica pepper; but the extremely pungent kind must be some of the
    numerous species of capsicums, usually called Cayenne pepper.--E.

[7] This strange expression seems to imply 4° of north latitude.--E.

[8] Called likewise Balestriglia, being the Venetian name for the cross-
    staff, or fore-staff, an astronomical instrument which has been
    superseded by the quadrant and sextant.--E

[9] In an after part of this narrative, the pilot informs us, that his
    first voyage to the island of San Thome was in 1520, and that he made
    five voyages to that place. If, therefore, the date of his present
    voyage were fixed to 1530, it would carry us back to 1450, or even
    earlier, for the date of this discovery, near thirteen years before
    the death of Don Henry.--Clarke.

    In Mr Clarkes note on this passage, he erroneously calculates on the
    above data that the discovery might have been in 1460, which is only
    seventy years back from 1530. But the result of the data in the text
    shews, that either the pilot was mistaken as to the real date of the
    discovery, or that his narrative has been corrupted, so that no
    reliance can be placed on his dates.--E.

[10] The direction of _Il Principe_, or Princes Island, from St Thomas,
    is N. N. E. and the distance does not exceed seventy miles.--Clarke.

[11] These _batatas_ are probably a different species from our potatoes,
    and may be what are called sweet potatoes in the West Indies; perhaps
    the _igname cicorero_ is the West Indian _yam_. Four species of
    _igname_ or _batata_, are mentioned in Barbot as originally from Benin,
    Anwerre, Mani-Congo, and Saffrance. The first of these is remarkably
    sweet, and the second keeps well. A variety of esculent roots might
    prove of high utility to navigators, and are too much neglected. Among
    these, the parsnip and Jerusalem artichoke deserve notice, as being
    very nutritive, and proof against all weathers.--Clarke.


_Continuation of Portuguese Discoveries, from Cape St Catherine to the
kingdom of Congo_.

We are still obliged to continue the account of the Portuguese
discoveries historically, from the want of any regular journals of their
early voyages along the African coast. In the original efforts of the
illustrious Don Henry, although the progress was extremely slow, we have
much to admire in the character of that prince, who possessed genius to
stretch beyond the trammels of custom and authority, boldly thinking for
himself, pointing out the way of extending the knowledge of our globe by
maritime discoveries, and persevering nobly in his renewed efforts, in
spite of the timid ignorance of his unexperienced pilots and mariners.
But it is not easy to explain the continuance of that slow progress,
which was even retarded during the years which elapsed between the demise
of that prince of mariners in 1463, and that of Alphonso in 1481; when
the increased experience of the Portuguese, in their frequent voyages to
the new discovered Atlantic islands and African coast, ought to have
inspired them with fresh vigour and extended views of discovery and
commerce. The military character of Alphonso may, however, explain this
in a great degree, as all his energies were directed towards the
extension of dominion in the Moorish kingdom of Fez; and the business of
discovery was devolved as a burdensome and unprofitable task on the
farmers of the trade to the coast of Africa, which appears to have become
extensive and lucrative, after the discovery of Guinea and its islands,
and the establishment of the sugar colonies in these islands. We learn,
likewise, from the preceding voyage of the Portuguese pilot to the island
of St Thomas, that the mariners still confined themselves almost entirely
to creeping along the coast, from cape to cape, and from island to island,
not daring to trust themselves to the trackless ocean, under the now sure
guidance of the heavenly luminaries; but which they then did not
sufficiently understand, nor did they possess sufficient instruments for
directing their course in the ocean. It would appear that they had then
no other method of computing the longitude but by means of the log, or
dead reckoning, which is liable to perpetual uncertainty from currents
and lee-way, and which a storm, even of short continuance, must have
thrown into total confusion. Their instruments and methods for
determining even the latitudes, appear to have then been imperfect and
little understood. In the sequel of this deduction, we shall find the
first Portuguese squadron which sailed for India, conducted across the
Indian ocean by a Moorish pilot.

On the accession of John II. to the throne of Portugal in 1481, the
discoveries along the coast of Africa were resumed with a new spirit.
While infante or hereditary prince, his principal revenue was derived
from the profits of the Guinea trade, and of the importation of gold from
the haven of Mina; and among the first measures of his reign, he turned
his attention to the improvement and extension of that valuable branch of
commerce. For this purpose, he gave orders to make all necessary
preparations for building a fortress and church at the port of Mina. All
the requisite materials, even to stones and tiles, were accordingly
shipped from Lisbon in a squadron of ten caravels and two transports,
with 500 soldiers and 200 labourers or workmen of various kinds. This
expedition was placed under the command of Don Diego d'Azumbuja, an
experienced officer, under whom were the following naval captains,
Gonçalez da Fonseca, Ruy d'Oliveira, Juan Rodrigues Gante, Juan Alfonso,
Diego Rodrigues Inglez, Bartholomew Diaz, Pedro d'Evora, and Gomez Aires.
This last was a gentleman belonging to the household of Pedro king of
Arragon, all the others being noblemen of the household of King John.
Pedro de Cintra and Fernam d'Alfonso commanded the transports, and a
small vessel attended the squadron as an advice-boat. This squadron
sailed on the 11th December 1481, and reached their destination on the
19th January 1482, at an African village named _Aldea_, where they found
Juan Bernardo, who had previously sailed for the coast in quest of gold.

Bernardo was immediately sent by Azumbuja, to inform Camarança, the Negro
chief of the district, with the arrival of the Portuguese armament, and
to desire a conference, with directions to endeavour to impress that
chief with a high sense of the rank and character of the Portuguese
officers, and of the irresistible power of the armament now upon his
coast. Early next morning, Azambuja landed with all his followers, who
were secretly armed, in case of meeting with any hostilities from the
natives; and moved forwards in great form to a large tree, not far from
the Negro village of Aldea, on a spot which had been chosen as a
convenient situation for the intended fortress. A flag, bearing the royal
arms of Portugal, was immediately displayed upon the tree, and an altar
was placed under the shade of its boughs, at which the whole company
united in assisting at the first mass that was celebrated in Guinea,
offering up their solemn prayers to God for the speedy conversion of the
idolatrous natives, and for the perpetual continuance and prosperity of
the church which was to be erected on this spot. The day on which this
impressive ceremony was performed being dedicated to St Sebastian, that
name was given to the valley on which the tree stood, under which they
were now assembled.

Soon after the completion of this religious ceremony, Camarança
approached with a numerous train. Azambuja, sumptuously dressed, and
ornamented by a rich golden collar, prepared to receive the Negro chief,
seated on an elevated chair, having all his retinue arranged before him,
so as to form an avenue. The Negroes were armed with spears, shields,
bows, and arrows, and wore a kind of helmets made of skins, thickly
studded with fish teeth, giving them a very martial appearance. The
subordinate chiefs were distinguished by chains of gold hanging from
their necks, and had various golden ornaments on their heads, and even on
their beards. After the exchange of presents, and other tokens of mutual
respect and confidence, Azambuja made a speech to Camarança, through the
mediation of an interpreter, in which he explained the purpose of his
embassy and expedition, and used every argument he could think of, to
conciliate the friendship of the Negro chief, to make him fully sensible
of the power of the king of Portugal, and to reconcile him to the
intended permanent establishment upon the toast. Camarança listened to
the harangue, and the explanation of it by the interpreter, in respectful
silence, keeping his eyes steadily fixed on the countenance of Azambuja.
After which, casting his eyes for some time on the ground, as if
profoundly meditating on what he had heard, he is said to have made the
following guarded and judicious answer:

"I am fully sensible of the high honour done me on this occasion by your
sovereign. I have always endeavoured to deserve his friendship, by
dealing strictly with his subjects, and by constantly exerting myself to
procure immediate ladings for their ships. Hitherto the Portuguese, who
have visited my country, were meanly dressed, and easily satisfied with
the commodities we had to give them; and so far from desiring to remain
in the country, were always anxious to complete their cargoes, and to
return whence they came. This day I observe a wonderful difference. A
great number of persons, richly dressed, are eager for permission to
build themselves houses, and to remain among us. But assuredly, persons
of such rank, under the guidance of a commander who claims his descent
from the God who created the day and the night, would never be able to
endure the hardships of our climate, and could not procure in this
country those luxuries they have been accustomed to in their own. Those
passions which are common to all men, will certainly produce disputes
between us; and it were much better that we should continue on the same
footing as hitherto, allowing your ships to come and go as they have
always done before; in which case, the desire of seeing each other
occasionally, and of mutual intercourse in trade, will preserve peace
between you and us. The sea and the land, which are always neighbours,
are continually at variance, contending for the mastery; the sea always
violently endeavouring to subdue the land, which, with equal obstinacy,
defends itself against the encroachments of the sea."

The prudential jealousy and distrust displayed on this occasion by
Camarança, astonished and perplexed the Portuguese commander; and it
required the exercise of much address on his part, to prevail upon the
Negro chief to allow the fulfilment of his orders, and to prevent the
necessity of having recourse to violent measures. When the workmen were
making preparations next day to lay the foundations of the intended
fortress on the coast, they observed a large rock, which lay very
commodious for serving them as a quarry, and accordingly proceeded to
work it for that purpose. This happened unfortunately to be venerated by
the Negroes as one of their Gods, and they immediately flew to arms in
opposition against the sacrilegious violation of the sanctified rock, and
many of the workmen were wounded, before the natives could be pacified by
numerous presents. At length, after the constant labour of twenty days,
the fort began to assume a formidable appearance, and received the name
of _Fortaleza de San Jorge da Mina_, or Fort St George at Mina. In a
church constructed within its walls, a solemn mass was appointed to be
celebrated annually, in honour of Don Henry, Duke of Viseo, of
illustrious memory. Azambuja continued governor of this place during two
years and seven months, and was honoured, on his return to Portugal, with
particular marks of royal favour. In 1486, King John bestowed on this new
establishment all the privileges end immunities of a city.

Impressed with the great advantages that might be derived to his kingdom,
through the prosecution of the maritime discoveries in Africa, and more
especially by opening a passage by sea to India, of which his hopes were
now sanguine, the king of Portugal, who had now added to his titles that
of _Lord of Guinea_, made application to the pope, as universal father
and lord of Christendom, for a perpetual grant of all the countries which
the Portuguese had already discovered, or should hereafter discover,
towards the east, with a strict prohibition against the interference of
any European State in that immense field of discovery, commerce, and
colonization. The pope conceded this enormous grant, probably without the
most distant idea of its extent and importance: not only prohibiting all
Christian powers from intruding within those prodigious, yet indefinite
bounds, which he had bestowed upon the crown of Portugal, but declaring,
that all discoveries that were or might be made in contravention, should
belong to Portugal. Hitherto, the Portuguese navigators, in the course of
their discoveries along the shores of Western Africa, had been in use to
erect _wooden_ crosses, as indications of their respective discoveries.
But the king now ordered that they should erect _stone crosses_, about
six feet high, inscribed with, the arms of Portugal, the name of the
reigning sovereign, that of the navigator, and the date of the discovery.

In the year 1484, Diego Cam or Cano proceeded beyond Cape St Catherine,
in lat. 1° 40' S. the last discovery of the reign of King Alphonso, and
reached the mouth of a considerable river, in lat. 5° 10' S. called
_Zayre_ by the natives, now called Congo river, or the Rio Padron. Diego
proceeded some distance up this river, till he met with some of the
natives, but was unable to procure any satisfactory intelligence from
them, as they were not understood by the Negro interpreters on board his
ship. By means of signs, however, he understood that the country was
under the dominion of a king who resided at a considerable distance from
the coast, in a town or city called Banza, since named San Salvador by
the Portuguese; on which he sent a party of his crew, conducted by the
natives, carrying a considerable present far the king, and meaning to
wait their return. Unavoidable circumstances, however, having protracted
the return of his people far beyond the appointed time, Diego resolved to
return into Portugal with an account of his discovery; and, having gained
the confidence of the natives, he prevailed on four of them to embark
with him, that they might be instructed in the Portuguese language, to
serve as interpreters for future intercourse with this newly discovered
region, and made the natives understand by means of signs, that, after
the expiration of fifteen moons, these persons should be returned in

These Africans were men of some consequence in their own country, and
were of such quick apprehensions, that they acquired a sufficient
knowledge of the Portuguese language during the voyage back to Lisbon, as
to be able to give a competent account of their own country, and of the
kingdoms or regions beyond it, to the southwards. The king of Portugal
was much gratified by this discovery, and treated the Africans brought
over by Diego with much munificence. Next year, Diego Cam returned to the
river of Congo, where he landed the four natives, who carried many
presents from King John to their own sovereign, and were directed to
express his anxious desire that he and his subjects would embrace the
Christian faith.

Having landed the Negroes, and received back his own men whom he had left
on his former voyage, Diego proceeded to discover the coast to the
southwards of the Congo river; leaving a respectful message for the king
of Congo, that he must postpone the honour of paying his respects to him
till his return from the south. The farther progress of Diego is very
indefinitely related by the Portuguese historians; who say, that after a
run of twenty leagues, he erected two stone crosses, as memorials of his
progress, one at a cape called St Augustine, in lat. 13° S. but the other
on Cape Padron, in 22° S. This last latitude would extend the discovery
of Diego between the latitude of the Congo river and this high latitude,
to 280 Portuguese leagues, instead of twenty. Besides, Cape Padron forms
the southern point at the mouth of the river of Congo, and is only in lat.
6° 15' S. The high probability is, that the first cross erected by Diego
Cam in this voyage, was at Cape Palmerinho, in lat. 9° 15' S. and the
other may have been at Rocca Boa, in lat. 13° 20' S. Clarke[1] is
disposed to extend the second cross to Cabo Negro, in lat. 16° S. Either
influenced by his provisions running short, or desirous of forming a
friendly, connection with the king of Congo, Diego measured back his way
to the Congo river, where he was received in a most satisfactory manner
by the sovereign of that country. The reports of his subjects who had
been in Portugal, and the liberal presents which they had brought to him
from King John, had made a deep impression on the mind of this African
monarch. He made many inquiries respecting the Christian religion, and
being highly gratified by its sublime and consolatory doctrines, perhaps
influenced by the reports his subjects had brought him of its magnificent
ceremonies, he appointed one of his principal noblemen, named _Caçuta_ or
_Zazut_, to accompany Diego Cam, as his ambassador to King John;
anxiously requesting the king of Portugal to allow this nobleman and his
attendants to be baptized, and that he would be pleased to send some
ministers of his holy religion to convert him and his subjects from their
idolatrous errors. Diego Cam arrived safely in Portugal with Caçuta; who
was soon afterwards baptized by the name of _John Silva_, the king and
queen of Portugal doing him the honour of attending on him as sponsors at
the holy font; and the splendid ceremonial was closed by the baptism of
his sable attendants.

Some time previous to this event, Alphonso de Aviero carried an
ambassador from the king of Benin to the king of Portugal, requesting
that some missionaries might be sent for the conversion of his subjects;
and, although the artful conduct of that African prince threw many
difficulties in the way of this mission, many of the Negroes of that
country were converted. From the ambassador of Benin, the king of
Portugal received information of a powerful monarch, named _Organe_,
whose territories lay at the distance of 250 leagues beyond the kingdom
of Benin, and who possessed a supremacy over all the adjacent states.
Assuming Cape Lopo Gonçalves, in lat. 1° S. as the southern boundary of
the kingdom of Benin, 250 Portuguese leagues would bring us to the
kingdom of Benguela, or that of Jaa Caconda, about lat. 14° or 15° S. Yet
some persons have strangely supposed that this king _Organe_ or _Ogané_
was a corruption of _Jan_ or _Janhoi_, the title given by the Christians
of the east to the king of Abyssinia. "But it is very difficult to
account for this knowledge of Abyssinia in the kingdom of Benin, not only
on account of the distance, but likewise because several of the most
savage nations in the world, the _Galla_ and _Shangalla_, occupy the
intervening space. The court of Abyssinia did indeed then reside in
_Shoa_, the south-east extremity of the kingdom; and, by its power and
influence, might have pushed its dominion through these barbarians to the
neighbourhood of Benin on the western ocean. But all this I must confess
to be a mere conjecture of mine, of which, in the country itself, I never
found the smallest confirmation[2]." To these observations of the
celebrated Abyssinian traveller, it may be added, that the distance from
Benin to Shoa exceeds six hundred Portuguese leagues.

While the king of Portugal continued to encourage his navigators to
proceed to the southwards in discovering the African coast, he became
anxious lest some unexpected rival might interpose to deprive him of the
expected fruits of these discoveries, which had occupied the unremitting
attentions of his predecessors and himself for so many years. Learning
that John Tintam and William Fabian, Englishmen, were preparing, at the
instigation of the Duke of Medina Sidonia, in 1481, to proceed on a
voyage to Guinea, he sent Ruy de Sousa as his ambassador, to Edward IV.
of England, to explain the title which he held from the pope as lord of
that country, and to induce him to forbid his subjects from navigating to
the coast of Africa, in which negotiation he was completely successful.
He likewise used every exertion to conceal the progress of his own
navigators on the western coast of Africa, and to magnify the dangers of
the voyage; representing that the coast was quite inhospitable,
surrounded by most tremendous rocks, and inhabited by savage cannibals,
and that no vessels could possibly live in those tempestuous seas, in
which every quarter of the moon produced a furious storm, except those of
a peculiar construction, which had been invented by the Portuguese ship-

A Portuguese pilot, who had often made the voyage to Guinea, had the
temerity to assert, that any kind of ship could make this redoubted
voyage, as safely as the royal caravels, and was sent for to court by the
king, who gave him a public reprimand for his ignorance and presumption.
Some months afterwards, the same pilot appeared again at court, and told
the king, "That being of an obstinate disposition, he had attempted the
voyage to Guinea in a different kind of vessel from those usually
employed, and found it to be impossible." The king could not repress a
smile at this solemn nonsense; yet honoured the politic pilot with a
private audience, and gave him money to encourage him to propagate the
deception. About this period, likewise, hearing that three Portuguese
seamen, who were conversant in the navigation of the coast of Africa, had
set out for Spain, intending to offer their services in that country,
John immediately ordered them to be pursued as traitors. Two of them were
killed, and the third was brought a prisoner to Evora, where he was broke
on the wheel. Hearing that the Portuguese seamen murmured at the severity
of this punishment, the king exclaimed, "Let every man abide by his own
element, I love not travelling seamen."

Encouraged by the successful progress of Diego Cam in 1484 and 1485, King
John became sanguine in his hopes of completing the discovery of a
maritime route to India, around the continent of Africa, and determined
upon using every exertion for this purpose. His first views were to
endeavour to procure some information respecting India, by means of a
journey overland; and with this object, _Antonio de Lisboa_, a Franciscan
friar, together with a nameless lay companion, were dispatched to make
the attempt of penetrating into India, through Palestine and Egypt. But,
being ignorant of the Arabic language, these men were unable to penetrate
beyond Jerusalem, whence they returned into Portugal. Though disappointed
in this attempt, by the ignorance or want of enterprise of his agents,
his resolution was not to be repressed by difficulties, and he resolved
upon employing fresh exertions both by sea and land, for the
accomplishment of his enterprise. He accordingly fitted out a small
squadron under Bartholomew Diaz, a knight of the royal household, to
attempt the passage by sea.

[1] Prog, of Mar. Disc. I. 329. note r.

[2] Bruce's Abyssinia, II. 105.


_Discovery of the Cape of Good Hope, by Bartholomew Diaz, in 1486_[1].

For this important enterprise, Bartholomew Diaz was only supplied with
two small caravels of fifty ton each, accompanied by a still smaller
vessel, or tender, to carry provisions. Of these vessels, one was
commanded by Bartholomew Diaz, as commodore, the second caravel by _Juan
Infante_, another cavalier or gentleman of the court, and Pedro Diaz,
brother to the commander in chief of the expedition, had charge of the
tender. The preparations being completed, Bartholomew sailed in the end
of August 1486, steering directly to the southwards.

We have no relation of the particulars of this voyage, and only know that
the first spot on which Diaz placed a stone pillar, in token of discovery
and possession, was at _Sierra Parda_, in about 24°40'S. which is said to
have been 120 leagues farther to the south than any preceding navigator.
According to the Portuguese historians, Diaz sailed boldly from this
place to the southwards, in the open sea, and never saw the land again
until he was forty leagues to the east of the Cape of Good Hope, which he
had passed without being in sight of land. The learned geographer, Major
Rennel, informs us, that Sir Home Popham and Captain Thompson, while
exploring the western coast of Africa in 1786, found a marble cross, on
which the arms of Portugal were engraved, in latitude 26°37'S. near a bay
named Angra Pequena: But, as the Portuguese long continued to frequent
these coasts exclusively, and considered them all as belonging to their
dominions under the papal grant, this latter cross, on which the
inscription was not legible, may have been erected at a considerably
subsequent period. At all events, the track of Diaz was far beyond the
usual adventure of any former navigator, as he must have run a course of
from seven to ten degrees of latitude, and at least between two or three
degrees of longitude, in utterly unknown seas, without sight of land. The
first land seen by Diaz is said to have been forty leagues to the
eastward of the cape, where he came in sight of a bay on the coast, which
he called _Angra de los Vaqueros_, or bay of herdsmen, from observing a
number of cows grazing on the land. The distance of forty Portuguese
leagues, would lead us to what is now called Struys bay, immediately east
of Cabo das Agullias, which latter is in lat. 34° 50' S. and long. 20° 16'
E. from Greenwich. From this place Diaz continued his voyage eastwards,
to a small island or rock in the bay, which is now called Zwartkops or
Algoa, in long. 27° E. on which rocky islet he placed a stone cross or
pillar, as a memorial of his progress, and named it, on that account,
Santa Cruz, or _El Pennol de la Cruz_. In his progress to this place from
the Angra de los Vaqueros, he had set some Negroes on shore in different
places, who had been brought from Portugal for this purpose, and who were
well clothed, that they might be respected by the natives. These Negroes
were likewise provided with small assortments of toys for bartering with
the natives, and were especially charged to make inquiry as to the
situation and distance of the dominions of Prester John. Of the fate of
these Negroes we are nowhere informed, but may be well assured they would
receive no intelligence respecting the subject of their inquiry, from the
ignorant Hottentots and Caffres of Southern Africa.

It would appear that Diaz was still unconscious that he had reached and
overpassed the extreme southern point of Africa, although now nearly nine
degrees to the east of the Cape of Good Hope, and at least one degree
back towards the north of his most southern range; but he may have
supposed himself in a deep bite or bay of the coast, similar to the well-
known gulf of Guinea. Under this impression, that he had not accomplished
the grand object of his enterprize, he was anxious to continue his voyage
still farther towards the east: But, as the provisions on board his two
caravels were nearly exhausted, and the victualling tender under the
command of his brother was missing, the crews of the caravels became
exceedingly urgent to return, lest they might perish with famine. With
some difficulty he prevailed on the people to continue their course about
twenty-five leagues farther on, as he felt exceedingly mortified at the
idea of returning to his sovereign without accomplishing the discovery on
which he was sent. They accordingly reached the mouth of a river, which
was discovered by Juan Infante, and was called from him, _Rio del
Infante_, now known by the name of Great-Fish River, in about lat. 33°27'
N. long. 28°20'E. The coast still trended towards the eastwards, with a
slight inclination towards the north; so that, in an eastern course of
about thirteen degrees, they had neared the north about six degrees,
though still unsatisfied of having absolutely cleared the southern point
of Africa.

From this river, the extreme boundary of the present voyage, Diaz
commenced his return homewards, and discovered, with great joy and
astonishment, on their passage back, the long sought for and tremendous
promontory, which had been the grand object of the hopes and wishes of
Portuguese navigation during _seventy-four_ years, ever since the year
1412, when the illustrious Don Henry first began to direct and incite his
countrymen to the prosecution of discoveries along the western shores of
Africa. Either from the distance which the caravels had been from the land,
when they first altered their course to the eastwards, or from the cape
having been concealed in thick fogs, it had escaped notice in the
preceding part of the voyage. At this place Diaz erected a stone cross in
memory of his discovery; and, owing to heavy tempests, which he
experienced off the high table land of the Cape, he named it _Cabo dos
Tormentos_, or Cape of storms; but the satisfaction which King John
derived from this memorable discovery, on the return of Diaz to Portugal
in 1487, and the hope which it imparted of having opened a sure passage by
sea from Europe through the Atlantic into the Indian ocean, by which his
subjects would now reap the abundant harvest of all their long and arduous
labours, induced that sovereign to change this inauspicious appellation
for one of a more happy omen, and he accordingly ordered that it should in
future be called, _Cabo de boa Esperança_, or Cape of Good Hope, which it
has ever since retained.

Soon after the discovery of the _Cape_, by which shorter name it is now
generally preeminently distinguished, Diaz fell in with the victualler,
from which he had separated nine months before. Of nine persons who had
composed the crew of that vessel, six had been murdered by the natives of
the west coast of Africa, and Fernand Colazzo, one of the three survivors,
died of joy on again beholding his countrymen. Of the circumstances of the
voyage home we have no account; but it is not to be doubted that Diaz and
his companions would be honourably received by their sovereign, after a
voyage of such unprecedented length and unusual success.

[1] Clarke, I. 342.


_Journey overland to India and Abyssinia, by Covilham and de Payva_[1].

Soon after the departure of Diaz, King John dispatched Pedro de Covilham
and Alphonso de Payva, both well versed in the Arabic language, with
orders to travel by land into the east, for the discovery of the country
of _Presbyter_, or _Prester John_, and to trace the steps of the lucrative
commerce then carried on with India by the Venetians for spices and drugs;
part of their instructions being to endeavour to ascertain the
practicability of navigating round the south extremity of Africa to the
famed marts of Indian commerce, and to make every possible inquiry into
the circumstances of that important navigation. Some writers have placed
this journey as prior in point of time to the voyage of Diaz, and have
even imagined that the navigator was directed or instructed by the report
which Covilham transmitted respecting India. Of the relation of this
voyage by Alvarez, which Purchas published in an abbreviated form, from a
translation out of the Italian in the collection of Ramusio, found among
the papers of Hakluyt, Purchas gives the following character: "I esteem it
true in those things which he saith he saw: In some others which he had by
relation of enlarging travellers, or boasting Abassines, he may perhaps
sometimes rather _mendacia dicere_, than _mentiri_." To _tell_ lies rather
than _make_ them.

Covilham, or Covillan, was born in a town of that name in Portugal, and
went, when a boy, into Castile, where he entered the service of Don
Alphonso, duke of Seville. On a war breaking out between Portugal and
Castile, he returned into his native country, where he got into the
household of King Alphonso, who made him a man-at-arms. After the death of
that king, he was one of the guard of King John, who employed him on a
mission into Spain, on account of his knowledge in the language. He was
afterwards employed in Barbary, where he remained some time, and acquired
the Arabic language, and was employed to negotiate a peace with the king
of Tremesen. He was a second time sent into Barbary on a mission to King
_Amoli-bela-gegi_, to procure restitution of the bones of the infant Don
Fernando, in which he was successful.

After his return, he was joined in commission, as before-mentioned, with
Alphonso de Payva, and these adventurous travellers left Lisbon in May
1487. Covilham was furnished with a very curious map for these times, by
the Prince Emanuel, afterwards king of Portugal, which had been copied and
composed, with great care and secrecy, by the licentiate Calzadilla,
afterwards bishop of Viseo, assisted by Doctor Rodrigo, and a Jewish
physician named Moses; which map asserted the practicability of passing by
sea to India round the southern extremity of Africa, on some obscure
information which had been collected by those who constructed it.

With a supply of 500 crowns in money, and a letter of credit, or bills of
exchange, Covilham and De Payva went first to Naples, where their bills of
exchange were paid by the son of _Cosmo de Medici_. From Naples they went
by sea to the island of Rhodes, and thence to Alexandria in Egypt, whence
they travelled as merchants to Grande Cairo, and proceeded with the
caravan to _Tor_[2] on the Red Sea, near the foot of Mount Sinai. They
here received some information respecting the trade which then subsisted
between Egypt and Calicut, and sailed from that place to Aden, a trading
city of Yemen, on the outside of the Straits of Babelmandeb. The
travellers here separated; Covilham embarking in one vessel for India,
while De Payva took his passage in another vessel bound for Suakem on the
Abyssinian coast of the Red Sea, having engaged to rejoin each other at
Cairo, after having carried the directions of their sovereign into effect.

The Moorish ship from Aden in which Covilham had embarked, landed him at
Cananor on the coast of Malabar, whence, after some stay, he went to
Calicut and Goa, being the first of the Portuguese nation who had
navigated the Indian ocean; having seen pepper and ginger, and heard of
cloves and cinnamon. From India he went by sea to Sofala on the eastern
coast of Africa, where he is said to have examined the gold mines, and
where he procured some information respecting the great island of
Madagascar, called by the Moors the _Island of the Moon_. With the
various and valuable information he had now acquired, relative to the
productions of India and their marts, and of the eastern coast of Africa,
he now determined to return to Egypt, that he might be able to
communicate his intelligence to Portugal. At Cairo he was met by
messengers from King John, informing him that Payva had been murdered,
and directing him to go to Ormuz and the coast of Persia, in order to
increase his stock of commercial knowledge. The two messengers from the
king of Portugal whom Covilham met with at Cairo, were both Jewish rabbis,
named Abraham of Beja and Joseph of Lamego. The latter returned into
Portugal with letters from Covilham, giving an account of his
observations, and assuring his master that the ships which sailed to the
coast of Guinea, might be certain of finding a termination of the African
Continent, by persisting in a southerly course; and advising, when they
should arrive in the _eastern ocean_, to inquire for Sofala and the
Island of the Moon.

Covilham and Rabbi Abraham went from Cairo, probably by sea, to Ormuz and
the coast of Persia, whence they returned in company to Aden. From that
place, Abraham returned by the way of Cairo to Portugal with the
additional information which had been collected in their voyage to the
Gulf of Persia; though some authors allege that Joseph was the companion
of this voyage, and that he returned from Bassora by way of the desert to
Aleppo, and thence to Portugal.

From Aden, Covilham crossed the straits of Babelmandeb to the south-
eastern coast of Abyssinia, where he found Alexander the king, or negus,
at the head of an army, levying tribute or contributions from his
rebellious subjects of the southern provinces of his dominions. Alexander
received Covilham with kindness, but more from motives of curiosity than
for any expectations of advantage that might result from any connection
or communication with the kingdom of Portugal. Covilham accompanied the
king to Shoa, where the seat of the Abyssinian government was then
established; and from a cruel policy, which subsists still in Abyssinia,
by which strangers are hardly ever permitted to quit the country,
Covilham never returned into Europe. Though thus doomed to perpetual
exile in a strange and barbarous land, Covilham was well used. He married,
and obtained ample possessions, enjoying the favour of several successive
kings of Abyssinia, and was preferred to some considerable offices in the
government. Frequent epistolary intercourse took place between him and
the king of Portugal, who spared no expence to keep open the interesting
correspondence. In his dispatches, Covilham described the several ports
which he had visited in India; explained the policy and disposition of
the several princes; and pointed out the situation and riches of the gold
mines of Sofala; exhorting the king to persist, unremittingly and
vigorously, in prosecuting the discovery of the passage to India around
the southern extremity of Africa, which he asserted to be attended with
little danger, and affirmed that the cape was well known in India. He is
said to have accompanied his letters and descriptions with a chart, in
which the cape and all the cities on the coast of Africa were exactly
represented, which he had received in India from a Moor. Covilham was
afterwards seen by, and intimately acquainted with Francesco Alvarez, his
historian, who was sent on an embassy into Abyssinia by Emmanuel king of
Portugal. Alvarez, who appears to have been a priest, calls Covilham his
spiritual son, and says that he had been thirty-three years in great
credit with _Prette Janni_, so he calls the king of Abyssinia, and all
the court, during all which time he had never confessed his sins, except
to GOD in secret, because the priests of that country were not in use to
keep secret what had been committed to them in confession. This would
protract the residence of Covilham in Abyssinia, at least to the year
1521, or 1522; but how long he may have lived there afterwards does not

[1] Clarke, i. 384. Purchas, II. 1091.

[2] El Tor is on the Arabian coast of the Red Sea, near the mouth of the
    Bahr Assuez, or Gulf of Suez, in lat. 28° 10' N. long. 33° 36' E.--E.




Although, in strict conformity to chronological arrangement, the
discovery of America by COLUMBUS in 1492, ought to precede our account of
the discovery of the maritime route from Europe to India by the
Portuguese, which did not take place until the year 1498; it yet appears
more regular to follow out the series of Portuguese navigation and
discovery to its full completion, than to break down that original and
vast enterprise into fragments. We might indeed have stopt with the first
voyage of De Gama, which effected the discovery of India: But as the
contents of this Chapter consists of what may be considered an authentic
original record, and carries on the operations of the Portuguese in India
to the year 1525, it seemed preferable to retain this curious original
history entire. It is obvious that Castaneda must have used the original
journals of De Gama, and other early Portuguese commanders, or of some
persons engaged in the voyages and transactions; as he often forgets the
historical language, and uses the familiar diction of a person actually
engaged, as will appear in many passages of this Chapter.

The title of this original document, now first offered to the public in
modern English, is "_The first Booke of the Historie of the Discoverie
and Conquest of the East Indias by the Portingals, in the time of King
Don John, the second of that name. By Hernan Lopes de Castaneda;
translated into English by Nicholas Lichefield, and dedicated to Sir
Fraunces Drake. Imprinted at London by Thomas East, 1582_."

Though the transactions here recorded are limited in the title to the
reign of John II. they occupied the reigns of his immediate successor
Emmanuel, or Manuel, and of John III. Castanedas history was printed in
black letter at Coimbra, in eight volumes folio, in the years 1552, 1553,
and 1554, and is now exceedingly scarce. In 1553, a translation of the
first book was made into French by Nicolas de Grouchy, and published at
Paris in quarto. An Italian translation was published at Venice in two
volumes quarto, by Alfonso Uloa, in 1578[1]. That into English by
Lichefield, employed on the present occasion, is in small quarto and
black-letter. The voyage of De Gama is related by De Barros in his work,
entitled Da Asia, and has been described by Osorius, Ramusio, Maffei, and
de Faria. Purchas gives a brief account of it, I. ii. 26. The beautiful
poem of the Lusiad by Camoens, the Portuguese Homer, is dedicated to the
celebration of this important transaction, and is well known through an
elegant translation into English by Mickle. In the present chapter, the
curious and rare work of Castaneda, so far as his first book extends, is
given entire; and the only freedom employed in this version, besides
changing the English of 229 years ago into the modern and more
intelligible language, has Been to prune a quaint verbosity, mistaken by
Lichefield for rhetorical eloquence. The dedication of the early
translator to the celebrated Sir Francis Drake, is preserved in its
original dress, as a sufficient specimen of the language of England at
the close of the sixteenth century.


    _To the right Worshipfull
    Sir Fraunces Drake, Knight,
    N, L, G, wisheth all prosperitie._

    They haue an auncient custome in Persia (the which is also observed
    throughout all Asia) that none will enterprise to visit the king,
    noble man, or perticularly any other person of countenance, but he
    carieth with him some thing to present him with all worthy of thanks,
    the which is not onely done in token of great humilitie & obedience,
    but also of a zealous loue & friendly affection to their superiours &
    welwillers. So I (right worshipfull following this Persian president)
    hauing taking vpon me this simple translation out of the Portingale
    tongue, into our English language, am bold to present & dedicate the
    same vnto you as a signification of my entire good will. The history
    conteineth the discouerie and conquest of the East Indias, made by
    sundry worthy captaines of the Portengales, in the time of King Don
    Manuel, & of the King Don John, the second of that name, with the
    description, not onely of the country, but also of every harbour
    apperteining to every place whervnto they came, & of the great
    resistance they found in the same, by reson wherof there was sundry
    great battles many times fought, and likewise of the commodities &
    riches that euery of these places doth yeeld. And for that I know your
    worship, with great peril and daunger haue past these monstrous and
    bottomlesse sees, am therfore the more encouraged to desire & pray
    your worships patronage & defence therof, requesting you with all to
    pardon those imperfections, which I acknowledge to be very many, & so
    much the more, by reason of my long & many years continuance in
    foreine countries. Howbeit, I hope to have truly observed the literal
    sence & full effect of the history, as the author setteth it forth,
    which if it may please you to peruse & accept in good part, I shall be
    greatly emboldened to proceede & publish also the second & third booke,
    which I am assured will neither be vnpleasant nor vnprofitable to the
    readers. Thus alwaies wishing your good worship such prosperous
    continuance and like fortunate successe as GOD hath hitherto sent you
    in your dangerous trauaile & affayres, and as maye euery waye content
    your owne heartes desire, doe euen so take my leaue. From London the
    fifth of March. 1582.

    Your worships alwayes to commaund,
    _Nicholas Lichefild._

[1] Bibl. des Voyages, V. 2.

       *       *       *       *       *


    The most high and mighty Prince,
    John III.

    King of Portugal and Algarve,

    It hath seemed to me, most high and mighty prince, our dread king and
    sovereign, so important and weighty a matter to undertake a history of
    the great and valiant actions which our Portuguese have performed in
    the discovery and conquest of India, that I often thought to
    relinquish the attempt. But as these noble deeds were principally
    undertaken and performed for the glory of Almighty God, the conversion
    of the barbarous nations to the Christian faith, and the great honour
    of your highness; and as, by the power and mercy of the Omnipotent,
    such fortunate success has been granted to these famous enterprises, I
    have been encouraged to proceed. I therefore trust entirely to the aid
    and comfort of the divine goodness in publishing this work, giving the
    glory thereof to God alone, and its earthly praise to your excellent
    highness, and the king Don Manuel your father, of famous and happy

    Although these glorious deeds are well known and spread abroad over
    the world, they yet cannot be sufficiently made manifest unless set
    forth in writing, by means of which their memory may endure for ever,
    and remain always as if present to the readers; as history hath
    perpetuated the actions of the Greeks and Romans which are of such
    high antiquity. Of other transactions, nothing inferior to theirs,
    perhaps even far greater, which have been performed by other nations,
    there is little or no memory, because these do not remain recorded by
    history: Such are those of the Assyrians, Medes and Persians; of the
    Africans against the Romans; of the Suevi against Julius Caesar; of
    the Spaniards in recovering their country from the Moors; and
    principally of these invincible and pious kings of Portugal, your
    glorious ancestors, Don Alonso Henriques, Don Sancho his son, and Don
    Alonso, who acquired the kingdoms of Portugal and Algarve by great and
    wonderful deeds of arms. Of all which, there hardly remaineth any
    memory, for want of having been duly recorded by writing. So likewise
    of those actions which have been performed in India, only as it were
    of yesterday, the exact memory of them is confined to four persons;
    and if they were to die, all remembrance of these transactions must
    have ended to their great dishonour. Considering these things, I
    resolved to record these noble deeds which the subjects of your
    highness have performed in the discovery and conquest of India, which
    have never been surpassed in valour, or even equalled, in any age or
    country. Leaving all mention of the conquests of Cyrus and other
    barbarians, and even taking into the account the deeds of Alexander,
    so famous over all the world, which are as nothing compared to what
    has been performed since India became frequented by the Portuguese, no
    more than a dead lion can be likened to one alive. The conquests of
    Alexander were all by land, and achieved by himself in person, against
    nations who were little trained or accustomed to feats of arms. But
    the Portuguese conquest of India was performed by the captains of your
    highness, after a voyage by sea of a year and eight months, going
    almost around the globe, from the utmost limits of the west through
    the vast and bottomless ocean, seeing only the heaven and the water; a
    thing never before attempted by man, and hardly even imagined. After
    surmounting hunger and thirst, and daily exposure to furious storms,
    and a thousand dangers in the voyage; they had to encounter great and
    cruel battles on their arrival in India; not against men armed only
    with bows and spears, as in the time of Alexander, but with people of
    stout and tried courage and experienced in war, having ordinance and
    fire-workers more numerous even than the Portuguese, besides many
    other excellent weapons. The power of these men, against whom the
    subjects of your highness had to contend, was infinitely greater than
    that of King Porus, against whom Alexander had to encounter; yet the
    Portuguese, though few in number, uniformly had the victory, and never
    retired from the war as was done by Alexander.

    Leaving the actions of the Greeks, and considering what was performed
    by the Romans with their innumerable armies and vast fleets, which
    seemed to cover the face of the sea, and by means of which they
    thought to have conquered the whole earth. Yet they never adventured
    beyond the Red Sea; neither was the greatest of their famous victories
    comparable to those battles which have been fought by our men in India;
    in which, most invincible prince, the great prosperity of your father
    and you is well known. As, without moving from your palace,
    discoveries and conquests have been achieved by your captains, more
    extensive than ever were discovered or conquered by any prince in
    person. There never was any conquest, either by the Barbarians, Greeks,
    or Romans, of any thing like equal difficulty with this of India;
    neither any kings or captains of any of these nations equal in valour
    and conduct to those of your father and yourself, as will manifestly
    appear from the whole tenor of the following history.

    The great actions which the subjects of your highness have worthily
    accomplished, must be deemed to have been permitted and appointed by
    the providence of God; that so those barbarians, with their vain idols,
    and the false sectaries of Mahomet, might be brought into the catholic
    faith, as at this time great numbers have been added to the Christian
    religion. For, since these great exploits, your highness, as a most
    godly and Christian prince, hath taken especial care, and hath given
    command that the Christian doctrine of the _brotherhood of the company
    of Jesus_ should be taught in India, which you ordered to be brought
    from Rome, and have always supported at your expence. Thus likewise,
    you have erected, and founded the noble and sumptuous university of
    Coimbra, to augment the honour and reputation of your kingdom; where,
    besides many divines and colleges of poor begging friars to expound
    the evangelical law, there are temporal men also to instruct those of
    your subjects that defend and enlarge the commonwealth by deeds of
    arms, and those who adorn the same by means of learning.

    All these heroic virtues of your highness being well known to me, have
    encouraged me to publish this work and others, which have some taste
    of learning, that they may remain a perpetual memorial of the noble
    deeds of so many gentlemen and knights of Portugal, your subjects. In
    this I have been much forwarded by having been in India, where I
    sojourned with my father, who was sent into that country by your
    highness as a judge. I spent all my youth in the pursuit of learning,
    and in the study of ancient historians. Being in India, I set myself
    with all diligence to learn and understand all that had been done in
    regard to the discovery and conquest of that country by the Portuguese,
    with the intention of making the same known and common to all men. By
    my inquiries, and through the information derived from sundry
    gentlemen and captains, both such as were actually present in the
    various transactions, and employed in their execution, as by others
    who were engaged in counselling and preparing the means of their being
    performed, I have derived much authentic information; as, likewise, by
    the perusal of many letters and memorials, which were written by men
    of credit and reputation, all of which I have examined as evidences of
    the authenticity of my work, both while in India and since my return
    into Portugal. As the matters I meant to write of were many, so it
    became necessary for me to acquire information from many sources; and
    as those whom I examined were upon oath, it is lawful for me to bring
    them forward as sure evidence. In these researches some of these men
    had to be sought after in almost every part of Portugal; and being
    separated in sundry places, my inquiries have occasioned great travel
    of my person, and much expence; to which I have devoted the greater
    part of my life, and have constituted the preparation for this work my
    sole recreation. Since my residence in the university of Coimbra, in
    the service of your highness, I have joined together all these
    informations; which, together with the duties of my office, have
    caused much toil both of body and mind. Having now accomplished the
    composition of this book and others, I most humbly offer the same to
    your highness; and, after many and most fortunate years of governing,
    I pray God to take you from the transitory seignory of this earth, and
    to receive you into the perpetual joys of Heaven.

    _Hernan Lopes de Castaneda._


_Previous steps taken by the King of Portugal, John II. preparatory to
the Discovery of India._

Don John, the second of that name, and thirteenth king of Portugal,
considering that all spices, drugs, precious stones, and other riches
which came from Venice, were brought out of the east, and being a prince
of great penetration, and high emprize, he was greatly desirous to
enlarge his kingdom, and to propagate the knowledge of the Christian
faith to distant regions. He resolved, therefore, to discover the way by
sea to the country whence such prodigious riches were brought, that his
subjects might thereby be enriched, and that his kingdom might acquire
those commodities which had hitherto been brought by way of Venice. He
was much encouraged to this enterprise, by learning that there were
Christians in India, governed by a powerful monarch called Presbyter John,
who was reported to be a Christian prince, and to whom he thought proper
to send ambassadors, that an intercourse of friendship might be
established between them and their subjects. He consulted, therefore,
with the cosmographers of the time, whom he directed to proceed according
to the example already given in sailing along the coast of Guinea, which
had been formerly discovered by command of the prince his uncle, Master
of the order of Christ. Accordingly, Bartholomew Diaz, one of the
officers of the royal storehouse at Lisbon, was sent upon this expedition,
who discovered that great and monstrous cape, now called of Good Hope,
which was unknown to our ancestors. Finding it both terrible and
dangerous, he yet passed 140 leagues beyond, to a river which he named
_Rio del Infante_, whence he returned into Portugal. In this voyage, Diaz
gave those names which they still retain, to the ports, harbours, and
rivers where he took in fresh water, and erected certain marks, with
crosses, and the royal arms of Portugal, the last of which was placed on
a rock named _El pennol de la Cruz_, fifteen leagues on this side of the
before mentioned river. Diaz returned from this voyage without having
procured any intelligence concerning India, as all the inhabitants of the
coast which he visited and discovered were ignorant black savages.

On the return of Diaz, king John resolved to attempt the discovery of
India by land; for which purpose he had formerly sent friar Antonio de
Lisboa by land, in company with a lay person; but as they were ignorant
of the Arabic language, they could not travel into those parts, and went
no farther than Jerusalem, whence they returned into Portugal, without
having acquired any knowledge of the object of their journey. Yet the
king continued to prosecute this discovery of India by land, for which he
employed two of his own servants, Pedro de Covillian and Alonso de Payva,
both versant in the Arabic language, who were instructed to search out
the dominions of Presbyter John, and the country whence the spices and
drugs were brought to Venice, and to inquire whether there were any
navigation from the southern extremity of Africa to India. To these men
he gave a chart, which was extracted from a map of the world, by
Calsadilla, bishop of Viseo, an eminent astronomer. He gave them likewise
a general letter of credit and safe conduct, requiring them to be
assisted and protected, and supplied with money, in whatever kingdoms or
countries they might travel; ordering them to receive 400 crowns from the
chest of the orchard of Almeryn, for their charges. Of this sum, they
took what they deemed necessary to bear their expences till their arrival
at Valentia in Arragon, placing the rest in the bank of Bartholomew of
Florence, to be repaid at Valentia.

Receiving their audience of leave from King John, in presence of Don
Manuel, duke of Viseo, afterwards king, they departed from Santaxen on
the 7th May 1487, and came to Naples on St Johns day of that year; whence
they were forwarded by the sons of Cosmo de Medici, and went to Rhodes,
and thence to Alexandria. From this place they travelled as merchants to
Cairo, whence they went in company with certain Moors of Fez and Tremesen
to Toro, a harbour on the Arabian coast of the Red Sea. They here learned
many things respecting the Indies, and of the trade from the Red Sea to
Calicut; and, going from Toro to a place on the coast of Ethiopia, they
went to the port of Aden. The travellers here separated, Alonso de Payva
passing over to the emperor of Ethiopia, erroneously called Presbyter
John: For he, of whom Marco Polo speaks, under that title, as governing
all the Indies, and whose country joins with the great khan of Kathay,
was vanquished and slain in a battle by that sovereign; at which time his
kingdom was put an end to, and no one of that race or title has since
reigned. Yet Alonso de Payva actually believed that the emperor of
Ethiopia was Presbyter John, having learnt that he was a Christian king
over a Christian nation, as shall be more particularly declared hereafter.
At their separation they agreed to meet again at Cairo, when each had
executed his part of the royal orders.

Pedro de Covillian sailed from Aden for the Indies, in a ship belonging
to the Moors of Cananor, and went to Calicut and the island of Goa, where
he acquired complete information respecting the spices of India, the
commodities which come from other places, and the towns of the Indies;
the names of all which he inserted, but ill written, in his chart. From
India he went to Sofala, where he procured information respecting the
great island of St Lawrence, called the Island of the Moon by the Moors.
Observing that the natives of Sofala were black, like those of Guinea, he
concluded, that all the coast between was under subjection to the Negroes,
and consequently that navigation was practicable from Guinea to Sofala,
and thence to the Indies. Returning from Sofala, he went to Ormus, and
thence to Cairo, where he learnt that Alonso de Payva was dead, and meant
to have returned to Portugal. He chanced to meet at Cairo two Spanish
jews, Rabbi Abraham, a native of Viseo, and Joseph, born in Lamego; who,
after the departure of Covillian and Payva from Portugal, had told the
king that they had been in Cairo, where they had received much
information concerning Ormus, and of its trade with the Indies. From
these Jews Covillian received letters from the king, directed to him and
Payva, ordering them to return along with the Jews, if they had seen all
that he had given them in charge. If they had not executed all his
original instructions, they were now directed to send by the Jews an
exact account of all the knowledge they had acquired, and to use their
utmost efforts to visit Presbyter John, and to give all the information
in their power respecting Ormus, to Rabbi Abraham, who had sworn by his
law not to return to Portugal without visiting that place.

On receiving these letters, Covillian changed his intention of returning
into Portugal, and dispatched Joseph there with letters to the king,
giving an account of all that he had seen and learnt in India and Sofala,
and transmitted the chart on which he had inserted all the places he had
visited. In these letters he informed the king that the emperor of
Ethiopia was assuredly the same with Presbyter John; but my opinion is
that this is an error, as this sovereign has no such name in his own
dominions, as I shall more clearly shew hereafter. On the departure of
Joseph, Covillian and Rabbi Abraham went to Ormus, and thence back to the
Red Sea; whence Covillian sent Abraham into Portugal, with letters to the
king, containing all the information acquired in this part of the
expedition, and intimating his determination to go into the dominions of
Presbyter John. This he accordingly did, and came to the presence of the
then emperor of Ethiopia, named Alexander, to whom he delivered the
letters with which he had been entrusted by the king of Portugal for that
monarch. Alexander received him courteously, and seemed much pleased with
the letters of the king of Portugal, as being from so very distant a
Christian prince, yet did not seem to attach much credit or importance to
them. But he gave all honour, and many gifts to Covillian.

When Covillian was ready to depart from Ethiopia, and awaited leave for
that purpose, which he had solicited, Alexander died, and was succeeded
by a new emperor named _Nahu_, who could never be prevailed on to allow
of his departure; neither could he procure leave for that purpose from
the next emperor, David, the son of Nahu, so that Covillian had to remain
in Ethiopia, and never returned into Portugal. From that time King John
never heard more of him, and therefore concluded that he was dead;
nothing having ever been received from him respecting his travels, except
what was contained in the letters carried by the Jews, as before

There came afterwards to Lisbon, a friar from this country of Presbyter
John, who was received courteously by the king, and on whose reports of
great things concerning that country, the king determined to proceed in
making a discovery of the way to the Indies by sea. He accordingly gave
orders to John de Bragança, his surveyor of the forests, to cut down
timber for building two small ships for that voyage. But King John died,
and was succeeded by King Manuel, of glorious memory, who had been chosen
by Divine Providence to accomplish the discovery of these countries, by
which the Christian faith hath been greatly extended, the royal house of
Portugal much honoured, and the subjects wonderfully enriched.


_Narrative of the first Voyage of Vasco de Gama to India and back, in the
years 1497, 1498, and 1499_.

On the death of King John, he was succeeded by Don Manuel, a prince of a
great mind, bent upon high enterprise, and prone to undertake and execute
things beyond the ordinary reach of human knowledge, even more than was
Alexander the Great. Being exceedingly desirous to prosecute the
discovery of the Indies, which had been begun by his predecessor, and
proceeding upon the information left him by King John, relative to that
navigation, he commanded Fernan Lorenzo, treasurer of the house of Mina,
to cause construct two ships for this voyage, from the timber which had
been provided by King John. These were named the Angel Gabriel and the
San Raphael, the former being of the burden of 120 tons, the latter 100.
In addition to these, a caravel of 50 tons, called the Berrio, and a ship
of 200 tons were purchased. In the year 1497, the king appointed Vasco de
la Gama, as chief captain for the voyage, an experienced navigator, who
had done great service, and a man of great valour, well fitted for
executing the great enterprize intended by the king. Paulo de la Gama,
brother to the captain-general, and Nicholas Coello, both men of valour
and enterprise, were appointed the other captains of the squadron.
Bartholomew Diaz was likewise commanded to accompany the squadron of
discovery in a caravel to the Mirna: And as the three ships of war
appointed for the voyage could not contain a sufficient supply of
provisions for their crews, the ship of 200 tons, which had been
purchased from Ayres Correa, was ordered to accompany de Gama to a place
called St Blaze, at which the squadron was to take in water, where the
victuals with which she was loaded were to be distributed to the other
ships, after which she was ordered to be burnt.

Having received their orders, Vasco de la Gama and the other captains
took their leave of the king at _Monte mayor_, and departed for Lisbon,
where he embarked his company of 148 persons, at Belem, on Saturday the
8th of July 1497. At this embarkation all the religious belonging to the
church of our Lady at Belem, went in procession in their cowls, bare-
headed, and carrying wax candles, praying for the success of the
expedition; accompanied by almost the whole people of Lisbon, weeping and
deploring the fate of those who now embarked, as devoted to certain death
in the attempt of so dangerous a voyage. Thus commended to God and good
fortune, the officers and crews embarked and immediately set sail. Vasco
de la Gama, the captain-general, took the command in the Angel Gabriel,
of which Pedro de Alenquer was pilot, who had been in the same capacity
with Diaz when he passed the Cape of Good Hope, and discovered the _Rio
del Infante_. Paulo de Gama went captain of the San Raphael, Nicholas
Coello of the caravel Berrio, and Gonsalo Gomes[1], a servant of Vasco de
la Gama, commanded the large victualling ship. The captain-general gave
out instructions, that in case of separation, they should keep their
course for Cape Verd, which was appointed as their rendezvous.

Proceeding on the voyage, they came in sight of the Canaries in eight
days, whence steering for Rio de Oro, they were separated by a tempest,
during an exceedingly dark night, on which they all shaped their course
for Cabo Verde. Paulo de la Gama, Nicholas Coello, Bartholomew Diaz, and
Gonsalo Gomes rejoined, and sailed together for eight days, when they
came in sight of the captain-general on Wednesday evening, and saluted
him with many guns, and the sound of trumpets, all heartily rejoicing for
their safe meeting and good fortune in this their first essay of danger.
Next day, being the 20th of July[2], the fleet reached the islands of St
Jago, and came to anchor in the bay of Santa Maria, where it remained
seven days, taking in fresh water, and repairing the yards and other
parts of their rigging which had been damaged in the late storm. On
Tuesday the 3d of August[3], the captain-general went on his voyage,
after taking leave of Diaz, who now returned to Portugal. Proceeding for
the Cape of Good Hope with all his squadron, de la Gama _entered the gulf
into the sea_[4], and sailed all August, September, and October,
suffering many great tempests of violent wind and rain, so that they
often expected instant death. At length, on Saturday the 4th November,
they got sight of land at nine in the forenoon, at which they were
greatly rejoiced; and being all together, the captains saluted the
general, all dressed in their best array, and having their ships all
decorated with flags. Not knowing the coasts they sailed along until the
Tuesday following, when they had a perfect view of a low shore, in which
was a great bay, that appeared convenient for the ships to take in water,
into which they all entered and came to anchor. This place was afterwards
named _Angra de Santa Elena_, or St Helen's bay[5]. The people of the
country, as our men afterwards found, were small, black, ill-favoured
savages, clothed in the skins of beasts, somewhat like French cloaks,
having curious wrought wooden cases for their privities; and in speaking
they seemed always, sighing. These natives were armed with oak staves,
hardened in the fire, pointed with the horns of beasts, somewhat burnt or
hardened with fire, which served them for swords. They lived on the roots
of herbs, and on sea wolves and whales, which are very numerous in this
country, likewise on sea crows and gulls. They also eat of certain beasts,
which they call Gazelas, and other beasts and birds which the land
produces; and they have dogs which bark like those of Portugal. The
general, after the squadron was brought to anchor, sent Coello in a boat
along the shore, in search of water, which he found four leagues from the
anchoring ground, at a place which he named St. Jago,[6] whence all the
ships provided themselves with fresh water.

Next day, the general with the other captains, escorted by some of the
people, went on shore to view the natives, and to endeavour to learn what
distance the Cape of Good Hope was from thence; for the chief pilot, who
had been on the voyage with Diaz, had departed thence on returning, in
the morning, into the open sea, with a fair wind, and had passed it
during the night, and had not come near the shore when outward bound;
wherefore he did not certainly know its situation, nor was he acquainted
with its appearance, but conjectured it might be thirty leagues from
where they then were at the utmost. When the general was on shore, he
overtook one of the natives, who was going to gather honey at the foot of
a bush, where it is deposited by the bees without any hive. With this
person, he returned to the ship, thinking to have got an interpreter, but
no one on board the squadron could understand his language. The general
commanded this man to have meat and drink, and set him on shore next day
well dressed, that he might return satisfied to his countrymen.
Accordingly, the day following, this man came down to the shore abreast
of the ships, with about fifteen more natives, and the general went
ashore, carrying with him spices, gold, and pearls, to try if these
people had any knowledge of these things. But from the little estimation
with which these articles were viewed, it was concluded that the natives
had no knowledge of them. The general distributed among the natives some
small bells, tin rings, counters, and such toys, which they received
joyfully; and from that time till next Saturday morning, great numbers of
the natives resorted to the fleet, whence they went back to their towns.
One Fernan Veloso craved leave of the general to accompany the natives to
their habitations, that he might see their manner of living. On going
along with them, the natives took a sea wolf which they roasted at the
foot of a hill for their supper, after which they made Veloso return to
the fleet, and it appeared to him that the natives had armed themselves,
meaning to attack our people. On his return, Veloso saw that he was
secretly followed, wherefore he hastened to the shore and hailed the
ships. On this, the general who was then at supper, looked out towards
the land, where he saw numbers of the savages following Veloso. He
therefore gave orders for all the ships to be in readiness against an
attack, and went himself on shore with several others unarmed, not
dreading any harm. On seeing our boats coming towards the shore, the
savages began to run away with much clamour; but when our people landed,
they returned and set upon them furiously, throwing their darts, and
using other weapons, which constrained our people to take to their boats
in all haste, taking Veloso along with them; yet in this scuffle the
general and three others were wounded. The Negroes returned to their
towns; and during four days after, while our ships remained in the bay,
they never saw any more of the natives, so that they had no opportunity
to revenge the injury they had done.

"Some commerce took place between the Portuguese and the Hottentot
natives around St Elena Bay, by means of signs and gestures; when the
fleet received plenty of excellent fresh provisions, in exchange for
clothes, hawks bells, glass beads, and other toys; but this friendly
intercourse was interrupted through the imprudence of a Portuguese young
man named Veloso. Delighted with the novelty of the scene, and anxious to
see the manners of the natives more intimately, he obtained permission to
accompany them to their huts, where a sea calf was dressed in the
Hottentot fashion, to his great astonishment. Disgusted at their
loathsome cookery, he rose abruptly, and was impatient to depart, and was
accompanied by the natives on his way back to the ships with the utmost
good humour. Veloso, however, became apprehensive of personal danger, and
horridly vociferated for assistance on his approach to the shore. Coellos
boat immediately put off to bring him on board, and the natives fled to
the woods. These needless apprehensions on both sides were increased by
mutual ignorance of each others language, and led to hostilities. While
De Gama was taking the altitude of the sun with an astrolabe, some
Hottentots sprung from an ambush, and threw their spears, headed with
horn, very dexterously among the Portuguese, by which the general and
several others were wounded. On this occasion, the Portuguese deemed it
prudent to retreat to their ships[7]."

Having taken in fresh water and provisions in St Elena Bay, the squadron
left that place on the forenoon of Thursday the 16th November, with the
wind at S.S.W. and steered for the Cape of Good Hope, and on the evening
of the following Saturday came in sight of that cape. But on account of
the wind being contrary, he had to stand out to sea all day, and turned
towards the land as night set in. In that manner he continued plying to
windward until the following Wednesday, which was the 20th of November[8],
when he doubled the cape with a fair wind, sounding the trumpets of all
the ships, and making every demonstration of joy, but placing the chief
confidence in God, that his providence would guide and protect them in
accomplishing the enterprise in which they were engaged.

"In this part of the voyage the greatest proofs of courage and resolution
were evinced by De Gama. While endeavouring to double this formidable and
almost unknown cape, owing to contrary winds and stormy weather, the
waves rose mountain high. At one time his ships were heaved up to the
clouds, and seemed the next moment precipitated into the bottomless abyss
of the ocean. The wind was piercingly cold, and so boisterous that the
commands of the pilot could seldom be heard amid the din of the warring
elements; while the dismal and almost constant darkness increased the
danger of their situation. Sometimes the gale drove them irresistibly to
the southwards, while at other times they had to lay to, or to tack to
windward, difficultly preserving the course they had already made. During
any gloomy intervals of cessation from the tempest, the sailors,
exhausted by fatigue, and abandoned to despair, surrounded De Gama,
entreating him not to devote himself and them to inevitable destruction,
as the gale could no longer be weathered, and they must all be buried in
the waves if he persisted in the present course. The firmness of the
general was not to be shaken by the pusillanimity and remonstrances of
the crew, on which a formidable conspiracy was entered into against him,
of which he received timely information from his brother Paulo. With his
assistance, and that of a few who remained stedfast to their duty, the
leading conspirators, and even all the pilots, were put in irons; whilst
De Gama, and his small remnant of faithful followers remained day and
night at the helm, undismayed at the dangers and difficulties that
surrounded them. At length, on Wednesday the 20th November, all the
squadron safely doubled the tremendous promontory[9]."

Continuing the voyage along the coast beyond the cape, they saw great
numbers of large and small cattle as they passed, all well grown and fat;
but could perceive no towns, as the villages inhabited by the natives are
all farther inland, the houses being of earth covered with straw. The
natives were all somewhat black, clothed like those they had seen at St
Elena Bay, speaking the same language, and using similar darts, together
with some other kinds of arms, both for defence and assault. The country
is very pleasant, being diversified with wood and water; and adjoining to
the cape on the east side, they found a great harbour now called False
Bay, almost six leagues wide at the mouth, and running about as much into
the land. Having thus doubled the cape, the squadron came, on the Sunday
after, being St Katherine's day, 25th November, to the watering-place of
St Blaze[10], which is sixty leagues beyond the cape, and is a very large
bay, exceeding safe in all winds except the north[11].

The natives here resembled those already seen in dress and arms. The
country produces many large elephants, and numerous oxen, of vast size
and extremely fat, some of which have no horns. On some of the fattest of
these the natives were seen riding, on pannels stuffed with rye straw, as
is used in Spain, and having a frame of wood like a saddle. Such of them
as they choose to sell they mark by means of a piece of wood, like the
shaft of one of their arrows, put through the nose. In this harbour,
about three cross-bow shots from the shore, there is a rock much
frequented by sea wolves, as large as great bears, very wild and fierce,
with long, great teeth. These animals are very dangerous, and will attack
men, and their skins are so hard as not to be pierced with spears, unless
pushed with much force and valour. These animals resemble lions, and
their young bleat like kids. One day that our men went to this rock for
amusement, they saw at least three thousand of these animals, old and
young. On this rock also, there are great numbers of birds as large as
ducks which do not fly, having no feathers in their wings, and which bray
like so many asses[12].

Having thus arrived at the Bay of St Blaze, and lying there at anchor,
the general caused all the provisions to be taken out of the store-ship
and divided among the others, and then burned the store-ship, as the king
had ordered. In this business and other needful employments, for their
safety in the remainder of the voyage, they were occupied in that bay for
ten days. On the Friday after their arrival, about ninety of the natives
made their appearance, some on the shore, and others on the hills, on
which the general and the captains went to the shore, having their boats
crews well armed, and even taking ordinance with them, to avoid the same
accident which had happened at St Elena bay. When near the shore, the
general threw some bells on the land, which the Negroes pickt up, and
some of them came so near as to take the bells out of his hands. He much
wondered at this familiarity, as Diaz had informed him when he was in
those parts, the natives all ran away and would never approach near
enough to be seen and conversed with. Finding them thus gentle, contrary
to his expectation, he went on land with his men, and bartered red night-
caps with the Negroes, for ivory bracelets which they wore on their arms.
Next Saturday, the natives came to the shore to the number of more than
two hundred, including their children, and brought with them twelve oxen,
and four sheep. When our people went on shore, some of the natives began
to play on four flutes, in four several tones, making good music; on
which the general caused the trumpets to be sounded, and the natives
danced with our people. Thus the day passed in mirth and feasting, and in
purchasing their oxen and sheep. On Sunday a still greater number of the
natives came down to the shore, having several women among them, and
bringing a number of oxen for sale. After the sale of one of the oxen,
some of our people noticed some young Negroes hidden among certain bushes,
who had with them the weapons of the older people, from which it was
conjectured that some treason was intended. Upon this, the general caused
our people to remove to a place of greater security, and were followed by
the Negroes to the landing place. The Negroes now gathered together, as
if they meant to fight the Portuguese; on which the general, being
unwilling to harm them, embarked in the boats with all his people, and
then commanded two pieces of brass ordnance to be fired off, on which
they were much amazed and scampered off in confusion, leaving their
weapons behind. After this, the general ordered a cross or pillar, having
the arms of Portugal to be set upon the shore, but the Negroes pulled it
down immediately, even before our people retired.

After remaining ten days here, as before mentioned, the fleet set sail
for the Rio del Infante, on Friday the 8th December, being the Conception
of our Lady, and during this part of the voyage, there arose a great
storm with _forewind_ on the eve of St Lucy, 12th December, that all the
ships run under close reefed courses. During this storm, they parted
company with Nicholas Coello, but rejoined the next night after. On the
16th December, when the gale abated, they discovered land near certain
small rocks, sixty leagues from the harbour of St Blaze, and five leagues
from the Pennon de la Cruz, where Diaz set up his last stone pillar[13],
and fifteen leagues short of the Rio del Infante[14]. This country was
very pleasant, and abounded in cattle, becoming more sightly and with
higher trees the further our fleet sailed towards the east, as could be
easily seen from the ships as they sailed along near the shore. On
Saturday they passed close within sight of the rock _de la Cruz_, and
being loath to pass the _Rio del Infante_, they stood out to sea till
vespers, when the wind came round to the east, right contrary. On this,
the general stood off, and on plying to windward, till Tuesday the 20th
December, at sunset, when the wind changed to the west, which was
favourable. Next day at ten o'clock, they came to the before-mentioned
rock, being sixty leagues a-stern of the place they wished to have

This rock is the cause of the great currents on this coast, which were so
powerful, that the fleet had much ado with a brisk favourable wind to
stem the current between that place and Rio Infante in three or four days;
but at length they joyfully passed these currents without damage, as Diaz
had done formerly, and the general, encouraged by his good fortune, gave
thanks to God, saying, he verily believed it was the good pleasure of God
that they should attain to the discovery of the Indies.

Thus continuing the voyage till Christmas day, they had discovered
seventy leagues to the eastwards, and had arrived in the latitude in
which India was said to be in his instructions. The fleet continued to
sail for so long a time without going to land, as to be in want of water,
insomuch that they had to dress their provisions in sea water, and were
forced to reduce the allowance of drink to one pint of water per man each
day. But on Friday the 11th January 1498, drawing near the land, the
boats were sent out to view the coast, where they saw many Negroes, both
men and women, all of whom were of great stature, and followed our boats
along the coast. As these people appeared quiet and civil, the general
called Martin Alonzo, who could speak many of the Negro languages, and
desired him and another to leap on shore, which they immediately did.
Alonzo and his companion were well received by the natives, especially by
their chief, to whom the general sent a jacket, a pair of breeches, and a
cap, all of a red colour, and a copper bracelet, of which he was very
proud, and returned thanks to the general, saying, "that he might have
any thing he wished for or needed that his country produced." All which,
as Martin Alonzo understood their language[16], he reported to the
general, who was much pleased that by this means an intercourse could be
opened with the natives. Alonzo and another of our people were
accordingly permitted by the general to go for one night along with the
natives to their town, where the chief dressed himself out in his new
garments, and was beheld with much admiration by his people in his finery,
clapping their hands for joy. This salutation was repeated three or four
times on their way to the town, and when there, the chief made the
circuit of the whole village, that all the people might see and admire
his new and strange attire. When this ceremonial was ended, the chief
retired to his own house, where he commanded Alonzo and his companion to
be well lodged and entertained, and gave them for supper a hen exactly
the same as one of ours, and a kind of pap, or porridge, made of a yellow
grain called _Mylyo_[17], of which likewise they made bread. Many of the
Negroes repaired that night to their lodging to have a near view of the
strangers; and next day, the chief sent them back to the ships,
accompanied by some Negroes, laden with hens for the general, who
returned thanks for the same by means of Alonzo his interpreter. During
five days that our ships remained off this coast, no kind of harm was
done or offered by the inhabitants, who seemed quiet and gentle, and to
have many _noble men_, for which reason, he called this place _Terra da
boa gente_, or the land of Good People[18]. The town in which Martin
Alonzo was had its houses constructed of straw, yet well furnished within.
The women were more numerous than the men, as in a company of forty women,
there were only twenty men. These people were armed with long bows and
arrows, and had darts headed with iron, having many copper bracelets, on
their arms and legs, with copper ornaments in their hair. They have also
iron daggers, with pewter handles and ivory sheaths; so that it is
manifest they have plenty of copper and tin. They have likewise abundance
of salt, which they make from sea water, which they carry in gourds to
certain caves where the salt is made. They were so fond of linen, that
they gave a great quantity of copper in exchange for an old shirt, and
were so quiet and civil, that they brought water to our boats from a
river about two cross-bow shots from the landing, which our people named
Rio do Cobre, or Copper River.

"Osorius places the arrival of the Portuguese on this part of the coast a
day earlier than Castaneda, and gives the following additional
information. On the 10th January 1498, they discovered some small islands,
about 230 miles from their last watering-place, having a very beautiful
appearance, and consisting of verdant meadows, intermixed with groves of
lofty trees, where they could see the inhabitants walking on the shore in
great numbers. Here De Gama landed, and sent one of his men, who was well
versant in the Negro languages to visit the king, and who was received
with much civility, receiving presents of the produce of the country on
his dismissal. Before leaving Lisbon, De Gama received ten malefactors on
board who had been condemned to die, but were pardoned on condition of
going on this voyage, for the purpose of being left wherever De Gama
pleased, that they might examine the country, and be enabled to give him
an account of the inhabitants on his return. On setting sail from this
place, De Gama left two of these exiles on shore, to inform themselves of
the character and manners of the natives[19].

From this place our fleet departed on the 15th January, and proceeding on
their voyage, came to another country of very low land, having very thick
tall trees; and proceeding onwards, they found a river which was very
open at the mouth, near which he came to anchor on Thursday the 24th of
January, as the general deemed it proper to examine this country, and to
try if any intelligence could be here procured concerning India. That
same evening, he and his brother Nicholas Coello[20] entered the river;
and, at day-break next morning, the land was observed to be extremely low
and covered with water, having many trees of great height, thickly loaded
with various kinds of fruits, the country appearing very pleasant. They
saw likewise certain boats with some of the natives coming towards the
ship, at which the general was well pleased, as he conceived from their
having some degree of maritime knowledge in these parts, that he could
not now be very far from India, or at least should soon hear news of that
country. The natives were Negroes of good stature, all naked, except each
a small apron of cloth made of cotton. On reaching the ships, they came
on board without hesitation, and behaved themselves as if they had been
long acquainted with our people. They were well received, and were
presented with bells and other toys, but did not understand any of the
languages spoken by Martin Alonzo, or any of the other interpreters on
board, so that the only intercourse was by signs. They departed after
good entertainment, and afterwards they and many others returned to the
ships in their boats, bringing with them such provisions as their country
afforded. The natives seemed much satisfied with their reception; and
besides those who came to the ships by water, many others came by
land[21], among whom were several women who were tolerably handsome,
especially the young maidens; but all were as naked as the men. They have
three holes in their lips, in which they wear small pieces of tin by way
of ornament. The natives took several of our men along with them to make
merry at one of their towns, whence they brought water to our ships.

After the general had been three days in this river, two of the nobles,
or head men of the natives, came on board to visit him, who were naked
like the rest, except that their aprons were much larger, and one of them
had a handkerchief on his head, embroidered with silk, while the other
wore a nightcap of green satin[22]. Observing their cleanliness, or
civility, the general treated these people courteously, and gave them
victuals, apparel, and other things, of which they seemed to make but
small account; and by certain signs, shewn by a young man, it was
understood that his country was at a considerable distance, where he had
seen ships as large as ours. This intelligence gave great hopes to our
people that the Indies were not far off, which was much confirmed by the
chiefs who had been on board, sending off for sale certain cloths made of
cotton, on which there were marks of ochre. In respect of all these
encouraging tokens, the general named this river _Ho rio dos bos Sinaes_,
or River of Good Signs; and called the place San Rafael, after the name
of his own Ship[23].

From the signs of the before-mentioned young men, that the country of the
head men who had been on board was far off, where they had seen large
ships, the general concluded that the Indies were still at a great
distance; and therefore determined, in consultation with the other
captains, to lay the ships aground, to give their bottoms a thorough
repair, which was done accordingly. In this operation they employed
thirty-two days, during which, our people were much afflicted with a
grievous sickness, thought to proceed from the air of the country. Their
hands and feet became swelled, and their gums became so sore and putrid
that they could not eat, and the smell of their breath was quite
intolerable[24]. With this pestilent infection our people were much
discouraged, and many of them died, the survivors being in great trouble
and perplexity. But De Gama took much care, and used much diligence for
their recovery, and to comfort their affliction; continually visiting the
sick, and giving them such wholesome and medicinal things as he had
provided for his own use; through all which many recovered who would have
died, and the rest were thereby greatly comforted, and encouraged.

Having repaired the ships, and provided them with all necessaries that
could be procured at the river of Good Signs, the fleet departed from
thence on Saturday the 24th of February.

"At this period, two accidents occurred which had nearly frustrated all
the hopes of this expedition. De Gama being along side of the ship
commanded by his brother, with whom he wished to speak, had hold of the
chains, when the boat was carried from under him by the force of the
current, but by immediate assistance, he and his boats crew were
providentially saved. Soon afterwards, when the fleet was passing the bar
of the river, the ship of De Gama grounded on a sand bank, and her loss
was for some time considered as inevitable; but she floated again with
the return of the tide, and to their inexpressible joy received no

As there was little or no wind, the fleet stood out to sea to avoid the
shore, and about vespers on Sunday, they descried three small islands out
to sea, about four leagues distant from each other. Two of these were
replenished with trees, but the third was quite bare. Seeing no cause to
delay the voyage in examining these islands, De Gama held on for six days,
coming always to anchor at night. On the evening of Thursday, the first
of March, they came in sight of four islands, two of which were near the
land, and the other two farther out to sea; and the fleet steered through
the channel next morning, the ship commanded by Coello, as being the
smallest, going first. But endeavouring to enter a certain harbour,
between the mainland and one of these islands, Coello missed the channel
and ran aground, on which the other ships put about and went back. They
soon perceived seven or eight boats under sail coming from the island
which was a good league distant from Coello, at which sight they were
much rejoiced, and Coello and his people received them with much
demonstration of friendship and satisfaction, Coello went along with
these people to the general, and presented them, saying, that here was a
quite different kind of people from any they had seen hitherto. Then the
general commanded _to let them go a seaboard with their boats_[26], as he
proposed to go with them to their island to anchor with his ships, that
he might see what kind of a country it was, and if he could learn any
certain intelligence concerning India. But the boats continued to follow
our ships, making signals, and calling to our people to wait for them;
wherefore the ships came to anchor, and the boats came to our fleet. The
people on board were of good stature and somewhat black, clothed in
dresses of cotton, striped with sundry colours; some girdled to their
knees, while others carried their apparel on their shoulders like cloaks.
Their heads were covered with kerchiefs, somewhat wrought with silk and
gold thread, and they were armed with swords and daggers like Moors. In
their boats, also, they had certain musical instruments named _sagbuts_.
They came immediately on board with as much confidence as if they were
long acquainted, and entered into familiar conversation in the language
of Algarve, and would not be known as Moors[27].

The general ordered these people to be well entertained, and they eat and
drank willingly of whatever was set before them; after which, by means of
Fernan Alvarez, who could speak their language, he learned that the
island to which they belonged was called Monsambicke, or Mozambique, on
which was a town full of merchants, who traded with the Moors of India,
who bring them silver, linen cloth, pepper, ginger, silver rings, many
pearls, and rubies; and that, from a country behind, they procure gold.
They offered likewise to conduct our people into the harbour, where they
would learn the truth of these things more fully. On consulting with the
other captains, the general determined upon going into this harbour, to
examine more accurately into these reports, and to procure pilots to
carry them on their voyage, as they had no one in the fleet who knew the
way. Nicholas Coello was therefore ordered to make the first essay, and
to take the soundings of the bar, his ship being the smallest. But in
entering, he touched on the point of the island where he broke his helm,
and was in great danger of being lost; but by good providence he got off
with no farther injury. He now found the bar was quite safe, and got into
the harbour, where he anchored two cross-bow shots from the town, which
is in fifteen degrees towards the south[28]. The harbour is very good,
the town is plentifully supplied with such provisions as the country
produces, the houses being constructed of straw, and the inhabitants
Moors, who trade to Sofala in large vessels that have neither decks nor
nails, their planks being sewed together with _cayro_ or twine, made from
the fibres of the cocoa nut rind, and their sails of mats made of the
leaves of a species of palm. Some of these vessels use compasses of Genoa,
and regulate their voyages by means of quadrants and sea charts. With
these Moors the Moors of India trade, as likewise do those from the Red
Sea, because of the gold which is to be had here. On seeing our people,
the Moors of Mozambique thought the Portuguese had been Turks, whom they
knew of from the Moors who dwell on the Red Sea; and those who were first
at our ships carried intelligence to the xeque, or sheik, which is the
title of the governor of this island for the king of Quiloa, in whose
territories it is situated.

"Though we shall afterwards have occasion to investigate this eastern
coast of Africa more fully, in editing particular voyages to its shores,
some notices seem here to be proper[29]. Owing to his keeping at a
distance from, the shore for security, the present voyage gives little
knowledge of the eastern coast of Africa, and it is even difficult to
assign the many stations at which De Gama touched between the Cape of
Good Hope and Mozambique. We have already noticed the river of Good Signs,
as being probably the northern mouth of the Delta of the Zambeze, now
called _Quilimane_, from a fort of that name on its banks. The mouth of
this branch runs into the sea in lat. 18° 25' S. In his passage from the
_Terra de Natal_, or Christmas Land, so named from having been discovered
on Christmas day, and named, in this account of De Gamas voyage, _the
Land of Good People_, De Gama missed Cape Corientes, forming the S.W.
point of the channel of Mozambique, or _Inner Passage_, as it is now
called, and overshot Sofala, the southern extremity of Covilhams
discoveries, at which he was probably directed to touch, as Covilhams
chart might have been of some use to direct his farther progress to Aden,
and thence to Calicut or Cananor, on the Malabar coast.

"The eastern coast of Africa is hitherto very little known to geography,
its trade being entirely confined to the Portuguese, who have
settlements at Sofala, the river Zambeze, Mozambique, Quiloa, and Melinda,
and conceal all the circumstances respecting their foreign possessions
with infinite jealousy. It is said to have once been in contemplation by
the British government, to employ Sir Home Popham to make a survey of
this coast, but this design was never executed. Commodore Blanket
remained on this station for a considerable time, and much information
may be expected from his journal, some drawings of the coast having been
already made for charts, which are preparing, under the orders of the
Admiralty. About the year 1782, a great mass of geographical information
was collected on the continent of Europe and lodged in the British Museum,
from which information may probably be derived respecting this coast,
when that collection shall have been arranged and submitted to the
public. According to D'Apres, all the eastern coast of Africa, for a
great way south of the equinoctial, is lined by a range of islands,
whence shoals extend to the distance of a league. These islets form an
outer shore, with a winding channel within, and are in some places a
league from the coast of the continent, though very apt to be mistaken
for the real coast. Within this range the boats or almadias of the
country ply backwards and forwards in great safety, in the intervening

"Ptolemy places the _Prasum promontorium_, or Green Cape, the extreme
southern boundary of ancient knowledge of the east coast of Africa, in
lat. 15" 30' S. and the Portuguese universally assume Mozambique as
Prasum, by which classical name it is distinguished in the Lusiad of
Camoens, in reference to the voyage of De Gama, and the near coincidence
of situation gives great probability to this supposition. [Greek:
prason] signifies a leek, and is also used to denote a sea-weed of a
similar green colour, and the name may either have been derived from the
verdure of the point, or from the sea-weeds found in its neighbourhood.
At all events, Prasum cannot be farther south than Cape Corientes, or
farther north than Quiloa or the Zanguebar islands. The harbour of
Mozambique has seldom less than eight or ten fathom water, which is so
clear, that every bank, rock, or shallow can be easily seen.

"The Moors, so often mentioned, are supposed by Bruce to have been
merchants expelled from Spain by Ferdinand and Isabella, who first fixed
their residence on the western coast of Africa, and extending themselves
eastwards, formed settlements in Arabia and Egypt, till the oppressions
of Selim and Soliman, the Turkish emperors, interrupted their commerce,
and obliged them to disperse along the coast of Abyssinia and eastern
Africa. Besides the impossibility, chronologically, for the assigned
causes having produced the supposed effect, there is no necessity for
having recourse to this improbable hypothesis. From being best acquainted
with their Moorish conquerors, the Spaniards and Portuguese have always
been accustomed to name all the Arabians Moors, wherever they found them,
and even gave at first the name of _black_ Moors to the Negroes, whence
our old English term _Black-a-moors_. It is well known that the Arabs,
especially after their conversion to Mahometanism, were great colonizers
or conquerors; even the now half-christian kingdom of Abyssinia was an
early colony and conquest of the pagan Arabs, and its inhabitants are
consequently _white_ Moors in the most extended Portuguese sense. The
Arab, or Moorish kingdoms along the African coast of the Indian ocean,
are branches from the same original stem, and the early Mahometan
missionaries were both zealous and successful in propagating Islaemism
among the most distant pagan colonies of their countrymen. As all zealous
Mussulmen are enjoined the pilgrimage of Mecca, and commerce mixes
largely with religion in the holy journey, by which the faithful from
every distant region often meet at Mecca, and induce each other to extend
their commercial adventures to new regions, it may possibly have been,
that some Moors originally from Spain, may even have reached Mozambique
before the time of De Gama; but it is ridiculous to suppose that all the
Moors on the African coast had been Spaniards. The overthrow of the great
Moorish kingdom of Granada only took place five or six years before the
present voyage.

"The island of Mozambique, which does not exceed a league in
circumference, is described as low and swampy, and was inhabited by Moors
who had come from Quiloa and Sofala. It was afterwards much resorted to
by the Portuguese as a winter station, and became the key of their Indian
trade. The African coast stretches out on both sides of the island into
two points, that on the north-east called Pannoni, off which a shoal with
three islets extends, some way into the sea. The southern point is called

When the Moorish governor of Mozambique[31] was informed of the arrival
of the Portuguese, and that Coello was come to anchor in the harbour, he
fully supposed that they were Turks or Moors from some distant place, and
immediately came to visit him, apparelled in fine silk, with many
attendants. Coello received him very courteously; but as neither he nor
any in his ship could speak their language, the governor soon retired.
Coello gave him, however, a red cap, on which he seemed to set little
value, and presented him likewise with some black beads, which he carried
away in his hand, both being given and received in token of friendship.
On leaving the ship, he required Coello, by signs, to let him have the
boat to carry him on shore, which Coello readily agreed to, and sent some
of his men to the land along with him. These the governor carried to his
house, and feasted them on dates and other things, and sent back with
them a pot of preserved dates to Coello, with which he regaled the
general and his brother when they had entered the harbour. On the arrival
of the other two ships, the governor again sent off some of his people to
visit them, still taking them for Turks, presenting many pleasant and
delicate viands, and asking permission to visit them in person. The
general, in return, sent the governor a present, consisting of red hats,
short gowns, coral, brass basons, hawks bells and many other things,
which he slighted as of no value, and asked why the general had not sent
him scarlet, which he chiefly desired.

Soon afterwards the governor came off to visit the general; who, being
apprized of his coming, ordered all the ships to be dressed out in their
flags. He likewise made all the sick and infirm men to be kept out of
sight, and brought a good many of the most alert men from the other ships,
whom he ordered to be secretly armed, in case of any violence or
treachery on the part of the Moors. The governor came on board,
accompanied with many men, all well apparelled in silk, having many ivory
trumpets and other musical instruments, on which they played almost
without ceasing. The governor was a lean man, of good stature, dressed in
a linen shirt down to his heels, over which he wore a long gown of Mecca
velvet, having a cap of silk of many colours, trimmed with gold, on his
head, at his girdle he wore a sword and dagger, and had silk shoes. The
general received him on entering the ship, and led him to an awning,
trimmed up in the best manner they were able. The general then begged him
not to be offended that no scarlet had been sent, having brought none
with him, and that his ships only contained such merchandize as were fit
to be bartered for victuals for the people; and that his only object at
present was to discover the way to the Indies, for which purpose he had
been sent by a great and mighty king, his master. All this was conveyed
through the interpretation of Fernan Martin[32]. The general then ordered
an entertainment of the best meats and wines which the ship afforded, to
be set before the governor and his principal attendants, of all which
they partook willingly, even drinking wine with good will. The governor
asked whether they came from Turkey, as he had heard say that the Turks
were a fair people like them, and desired to see our country bows, and
the books of our law. To this the general answered, that he and his men
were not from Turkey, but from a kingdom in their neighbourhood; that he
would most willingly shew his bows and other weapons, but had not the
books of our law, as they were not needed at sea. Then some cross-bows
were brought, which were bent, and shot off in presence of the governor,
also some of our harness or defensive armour, with all of which he was
much pleased, and greatly astonished.

During this conference, the general learnt that the port of Calicut in
India was 900 leagues distant from Mozambique; and, as there were many
shoals in the course, that it was very necessary to have a pilot from
this place. He learned also that there were many cities along the coast.
He likewise understood, that the kingdom of Prester John was far from
this place, in the inland country[33]. Considering the expediency of
having a pilot, the general requested to have two from the governor, who
agreed to the demand, on condition that they should be well used. The
reason of wishing to have two was, lest one might die during the voyage,
and our people were much pleased with this promise. The governor came a
second time to visit the general, and brought with him both the pilots
whom he had promised; to each of whom were given thirty crowns and a coat,
each crown being worth five shillings, under this condition, that
whenever one of them should go on shore, the other should remain on board,
that one might always stay by the ship while in harbour.

Notwithstanding these friendly meetings, speeches, and assurances, it
soon appeared, after the departure of the governor, that the Moors had
learned, during their intercourse with our people, that they were
Christians, on which the former friendship and good will of the Moors
towards them was changed to wrath and fury, and they henceforwards used
every endeavour to kill our men, and to take possession of the ships. The
governor, therefore, and his people, used every effort for this
mischievous purpose, and had certainly succeeded, if the Almighty had not
moved the heart of one of the Moorish pilots who had been received into
the Portuguese fleet, to reveal the same to the general; who, fearing
lest the infidels might suddenly execute their purpose, as being numerous
in comparison to his small company, determined to remain no longer in the
harbour. Wherefore, on Saturday the 10th March 1498, being seven days
after his arrival, he quitted the harbour of Mozambique, and cast anchor
close to an island, at the distance of a league from that place;
intending, on Sunday, to hear mass on shore, that they might confess and
receive the sacrament, which had not been done since leaving Lisbon.

After the ships were come to anchor in this place of safety from being
burnt by the Moors, which the general greatly dreaded, he determined to
go back to Mozambique in his boat, to demand the other pilot who had been
promised, but who still remained on shore. Leaving his brother with the
fleet, in readiness to come to his aid if needful, the general went
towards Mozambique with his boat, accompanied by Nicholas Coello, and the
Moorish pilot. On their way they saw six _zambucos_ or boats, filled with
Moors, coming towards them, armed with long bows and arrows, and also
with shields and spears. The Moors called to our people to come along
with them to the town; and the Moorish pilot, who explained their signals,
advised the general to do so, as the governor would not otherwise deliver
the other pilot, who still remained on shore. The general was much
displeased at this advice, believing the pilot only wished him to
approach the shore, that he might be able to run away, and therefore
ordered him to be secured as a prisoner. He likewise gave orders to fire
at the Moorish boats from his ordnance. When Paulo de la Gama heard the
shot, believing the general to be in more danger than he actually was, he
immediately came with the ship Berrio under sail to his aid. On seeing
this, the Moors fled away in such haste that the general could not
overtake them, and therefore returned with his brother to where the other
ships were at anchor.

Next day, being Sunday, the general and all his men went on shore, where
they heard mass, and received the sacrament very devoutly, having
confessed the evening before. After this they re-embarked and set sail
the same day. Having no hope of procuring the other pilot, the general
ordered to release him whom he had confined, and carried him on the
voyage. But he, willing to be revenged for the indignity he had
experienced, determined on carrying the Portuguese fleet to the island of
Quiloa, which was all peopled with Moors; and, as it seemed, intended to
inform the king of that place that our ships belonged to the Christians,
that he might destroy them and kill the crews. For this purpose, he
craftily persuaded the general not to be in trouble for want of the other
pilot, as he would carry him to a great island, on hundred leagues from
thence, which was inhabited half by Moors, and half by Christians, who
were always in war with each other, and where he might easily find pilots
to conduct him to Calicut. Though the general was much pleased with this
information, he yet did not give implicit credit to the Moor, but
promised him high rewards if he carried him in safety to that country,
and so went forward on the voyage with a scant wind.

On the Tuesday the fleet was still in sight of the land from which they
took their departure, and remained becalmed all that day and the next. On
Wednesday night, a gentle breeze sprung up from the eastward, on which
the fleet stood off to seaward, but on Thursday morning, on again making
the land, they were four leagues to leeward of Mozambique, whence plying
to windward, they came back that evening to the island where they had
heard mass on the Sunday before, where they cast anchor and remained
eight days waiting for a fair wind. While here at anchor, a white Moor,
who was a _molah_ or minister among the Moors of Mozambique, came on
board the generals ship, representing that the governor was much grieved
at the breach of peace and friendship between them, which he would now
gladly renew. To this the general made answer, that he would make no
peace with the governor unless he sent him the other pilot whom he had
hired and paid. With this answer the _molah_ departed, and never came
back. After this, while still waiting for a fair wind, there came another
Moor on board, accompanied with his son, a boy, and asked the general to
give him a passage to the city of Melinda, which he said was on his way
to Calicut. He said that he was a native of the country near Mecca,
whence he had piloted a ship to Mozambique, and would gladly go with him,
that he might return to his own country; and farther, he counselled the
general not to remain in expectation of any answer from the _zeque_, who
he was sure would make no peace with him, on account of his hatred to the
Christians. The general was rejoiced at the coming of this Moor,
expecting to acquire information from him concerning the straits of the
Red Sea, and of the towns on the coast between Mozambique and Melinda, by
which he had to sail, and therefore gave orders to receive this Moor and
his son on board.

As the ships were rather short of water, the general and the other
captains determined upon entering the harbour of Mozambique, to take in
what they needed; but ordered strict watch to be kept, lest the Moors
should set the ships on fire. They entered therefore again into the
harbour on Thursday; and when night came, they went in their boats in
search of water, which the Moorish pilot assured them was to be found on
the firm land, and offered to guide them to the place. Leaving Paulo de
la Gama in charge of the ships, and taking Nicholas Coello and the pilot
along with him in the boats, the general went on shore about midnight to
the place where the pilot said that water was to be had. But it could not
be found; whether that the pilot misled them in hope of escaping, or
finding he could not escape, did so out of malice. Having spent the whole
night fruitlessly in search of water, and day beginning to dawn, the
general returned to the ships for more force, lest the Moors might set
upon him and his small company at a disadvantage. Having furnished his
boats with a larger force of armed men, he returned to the shore, still
accompanied by Coello and the Moorish pilot, who, seeing no means of
escaping, now pointed out the watering-place close by the shore. At this
place they observed about twenty Moors armed with darts, who shewed as if
they meant to prevent them from taking water. The general therefore gave
orders to fire three guns, to force them from the shore, that our men
might be able to land unopposed. Amazed and frightened by the noise and
the effect of the shot, the Moors ran away and hid themselves in the
bushes; and our people landed quietly, and took in fresh water, returning
to the ships a little before sunset. On arriving, the general found his
brother much disquieted, because a Negro, belonging to John Cambrayes,
the pilot of Paulo de la Gama, had run away to the Moors, though himself
a Christian.[34]

Upon Saturday the 24th of March, being the eve of the annunciation of our
Lady, a Moor appeared early in the morning on the shore, abreast of the
ships, calling out in a loud and shrill voice, "that if our men wanted
any more water they might now come for it, when they would find such as
were ready to force their return." Irritated at this bravado, and
remembering the injury done him in withholding the promised pilot, and
the loss of the Negro, the general resolved to batter the town with his
ordnance in revenge, and the other captains readily agreed to the measure.
Wherefore they armed all their boats, and came up before the town, where
the Moors had constructed a barricade of boards for their defence on the
shore, so thick that our men could not see the Moors behind. Upon the
shore, between that defence and the sea, an hundred Moors were drawn up,
armed with targets, darts, bows, arrows, and slings, who began to sling
stones at the boats as soon as they came within reach. They were
immediately answered with shot from our ordnance, on which they retired
from the shore behind their barricade, which was soon beaten down, when
they ran into the town, leaving two of their men slain. The general and
his men now returned to the ships to dinner, and the Moors were seen
running from that town to another; and so much were they afraid of the
Portuguese, that they abandoned the island, going by water to another
place on the opposite side. After dinner, our people went with their
captains on shore, to endeavour to take some of the Moors, with the hope
of procuring restitution of the Negro belonging to Cambrayes, who had run
away from the ships, and they were likewise desirous of recovering two
Indians, who were said by the Moorish pilot to be detained as captives in

On this occasion, Paulo de la Gama seized four Moors who were in a boat;
but a great many Moors in other boats escaped, by hastening on shore and
leaving their boats behind, in which our men found much cotton cloth, and
several books of their Mahometan law, which the general ordered to be
preserved. The general and the other captains ranged in their boats along
side of the town, but did not venture on shore, not having sufficient
force, nor could they get any speech of the Moors. Next day they went on
shore at the watering-place, where they took what was needed without any
opposition from the Moors. Being now hopeless of recovering the Negro, or
of procuring the Indian captives, it was determined to depart; but the
general resolved to be revenged on the town and people for their enmity.
For which reason, he went against it next day with ordnance, and
destroyed it in such sort that the Moors had to abandon it, and flee into
another island within the country.[35] This being done, the fleet weighed
anchor on Tuesday the 27th of March, and departed from Mozambique, whence
they proceeded to two little rocks, which they called St George, and
where they came to anchor in waiting for a wind, which was now contrary.
Soon afterwards the wind came fair and they departed, but the wind was so
light, and the currents so strong, that they were forced in a retrograde

The general was much pleased to find that one of the Moors taken by his
brother at Mozambique was a pilot, and was acquainted with the navigation
to Calicut. Proceeding on their voyage, they came, on Sunday the first of
April, to certain islands very near the coast, to the first of which they
gave the name of _Ilha da Açoutado_, because the Moorish pilot of
Mozambique was here severely whipt by order of the general, for having
falsely said that these islands were part of the continent, and likewise
for not shewing the way to the watering-place at Mozambique, as before
related. Being cruelly whipt, the Moor confessed that he had brought them
to this place expressly that they might perish on the rocks and shoals of
these islands, which were so numerous and so close together, that they
could hardly be distinguished from each other. On this the general stood
out to sea, and on Friday the 4th of April,[36] standing to the north-
west, he came in sight, before noon, of a great land, with two islands
near the coast, around which were many shoals. On nearing the shore, the
Moorish pilots recognized it, and said that the Christian island of
Quiloa was three leagues astern; on which the general was much grieved,
believing certainly that the natives of Quiloa had been Christians, as
represented by the pilots, and that they had purposely taken a wrong
course that the ships might not come there. The pilots, to conceal their
treachery, alleged that the winds and currents had carried the ships
farther than they reckoned. But in truth, they were more disappointed in
this than even the general, as they had reckoned upon being here revenged
upon the Portuguese, by having them all slain. In this God preserved our
people from the intended danger most miraculously, for if they had gone
to Quiloa they had all surely perished; as the general was so fully
persuaded of the natives being Christians, as reported by the pilot, that
he would doubtless have landed immediately on his arrival, and have
thereby run headlong to a place where he and all his people would have
been slain. Both parties being thus sorry for having missed Quiloa, the
general because he hoped to have found Christians, and the Moorish pilots
because of their intended treachery, it was determined to put back with
the intention of seeking for it; but still the wind and currents opposed
their purpose, and they tried a whole day in vain. This doubtless
proceeded from the providence of God, and his merciful goodness to our
men, who were thus preserved by miracle from the malicious and devilish
intentions of the two Moorish pilots of Mozambique.

The fleet being thus baffled and tossed to and fro, it was determined to
bear away for the island of Mombaza, in which the pilots said there were
two towns, peopled both by Moors and Christians. But they gave out this
as before to deceive our people, and to lead them to destruction; for
that island was solely inhabited by Moors, as is the whole of that coast.
Understanding that Mombaza was seventy miles distant, they bore away for
that place, and towards evening, they came in sight of a great island
towards the north, in which the Moorish pilots pretended there were two
towns, one of Christians and the other of Moors; making this false
assertion to make our people believe that there were many Christians on
this coast. While pursuing their voyage towards Mombaza for some days,
the ship San Raphael chanced one morning, two hours before day, to get
aground on certain shoals, two leagues from the shore of the continent.
Paulo de Gama immediately made signals to apprize the other ships of his
situation and their danger; on which they had the good fortune to avoid
the shoals and got safely to anchor. The boats from the other ships were
immediately sent off to assist Paulo de Gama in the St Raphael; and, on
seeing that the tide was then low, the general was much rejoiced, as he
well knew she would float again with the tide of flood; whereas, before,
he was much afraid she might be totally lost. He therefore gave orders to
carry all their anchors out to deep water, to prevent her from getting
farther on the shoal. By the time this was done day broke, and soon after
at low water the St Raphael was quite dry on a sand bank, having taken no
harm in striking. While waiting for the tide of flood, our people named
these sands _Os baixos de Sam Rafael_, or the Shoals of St Raphael, and
named certain islands and hills of the continent, then in sight, the
islands and hills of St Raphael.

While the ship remained thus dry, and the people walking about on the
sand, they saw two boats full of Moors, who came to our ships, bringing
many sweet oranges, much better than those of Portugal. These men told
the general not to fear any damage to the ship which was aground, as she
would float uninjured with the next flood; and the general was so much
pleased with this good heartening, that he gave them several presents,
which they accepted with many thanks; and understanding that our fleet
intended to put in at Mombaza, they requested to be carried thither. The
general granted their request, and permitted them to remain on board, the
others returning from our ships to their own country.[37] When it was
full sea, the St Raphael floated and got off the shoal, and the fleet
proceeded on its voyage.

Following the coast to the north-eastwards, the fleet came to anchor
outside of the bar of the harbour of Mombaza, about sunset of Saturday
the 7th of April. Mombaza is on an island very near the shore of the
continent, and has plenty of provisions, such as millet, rice, and cattle,
both large and small, all well grown and fat, especially the sheep, which
are uniformly without tails; and it abounds in poultry. It is likewise
very pleasant, having many orchards, abounding in pomegranates, Indian
figs, oranges, both sweet and sour, lemons, and citrons, with plenty of
pot-herbs, and it has an abundant supply of excellent water. On this
island there is a city having the same name, Momabza, standing in lat.
4°S. which is handsomely built on a rocky hill washed by the sea. The
entrance of the haven has a mark or beacon, and on the very bar there is
a little low fort, almost level with the water.[38]

Most of the houses of this place are built of stone and lime, having the
ceilings finely constructed of plaster, and the streets are very handsome.
This city is subject to a king of its own, the inhabitants being Moors,
some of whom are white and others brown[39]. The trade of this city is
extensive, and its inhabitants are well dressed, especially the women,
who are clothed in silk, and decorated with gold and precious stones. The
harbour is good and much frequented by shipping, and it receives from the
African continent, in its neighbourhood, great quantities of honey, wax,
and ivory.

The general did not enter the harbour that night because it grew late,
but commanded to hoist the flags in compliment, which the people did with
much mirth and joy, in hope that they had come to an island in which
there were many Christians, and that next day they might hear mass on
shore. They had likewise great hope that the sick, who were almost the
whole crews, might here recover their health; though, indeed, they were
much reduced in number, many having died during the voyage. Soon after
our ships came to anchor, although night approached, a large boat,
containing about a hundred men, all armed with swords and targets, was
seen coming towards the fleet. On reaching the generals ship, they would
have all come on board with their weapons, but the general only permitted
four of their principals to come aboard, and even they unarmed; causing
them to be told in their own language, that they must excuse his
precaution, being a stranger, and not knowing therefore whom he might
trust. To those whom he permitted to come on board he gave courteous
entertainment, presenting them with such conserves as he had, of which
they readily partook; and he requested of them not to take ill that he
had thus refused entrance to so many armed men. They said that they had
merely come to see him, as a new and rare thing in their country, and
that their being armed was merely because such was the custom of the
country, whether in peace or war. They also said, that the king of
Mombaza expected his arrival, and would have sent to visit him, if it had
not been so late, but certainly would do so next day. Their king, they
added, was rejoiced at his arrival, and would not only be glad to see him,
but would load his ships with spices. They also said that there were many
Christians on the island, who lived by themselves; at which the general
was much pleased, believing their story, which agreed with what the two
pilots had said. Yet he entertained some jealous doubts, for all their
fair speeches, and wisely suspected the Moors had come to see if they
could lay a train to take our ships. In this he was perfectly right, as
it afterwards appeared that this was their sole intent. The king of
Mombaza had received perfect intelligence that we were Christians, and of
all that we had done at Mozambique, and plotted to be revenged, by taking
our ships and killing our men.

Next day, being Palm Sunday, still prosecuting his wicked purpose, the
king sent some white Moors with a message to the general, declaring his
great joy at our arrival, inviting him into the harbour, and engaging to
supply him with all things he might be in need of; and, in token of amity,
sent him a ring, a sheep, and many sweet oranges, citrons, and sugar
canes. These white Moors were likewise instructed to pretend that they
were Christians, and that there were many Christians in the island. All
this was so well counterfeited, that our people actually believed them to
be Christians, on which account the general received them with much
courtesy, and made them some presents, sending a message to the king that
he would certainly come farther into the harbour next day. He also sent a
present to the king of a fine branch of coral. And, for the greater
security, he sent along with these white Moors, two of our banished men,
who had been embarked expressly for such hazardous undertakings, or for
being left on shore where it might be deemed expedient, to become
acquainted with the circumstances of various places, and to be taken on
board again. These men, and the Moors who had been on board, were met in
landing by a number of people, curious to see and examine them, who
accompanied them all the way to the kings palace, where they had to pass
through three several doors, each guarded by an armed porter, before they
came to the place where the king was. They found the king in no very
great state, yet he received them well, and commanded the Moors who had
brought them on shore to show them the city. In going through the streets,
our men saw many prisoners in irons; but, not knowing the language, they
could not ask who or what these were, yet believed they might be
Christians, us our general was informed by the Moorish pilots, and the
kings two messengers, that there were Christians on the island, and that
the Christians and the Moors had wars together. Our men were likewise
carried to the house in which the merchants of India dwelt, who were said
to be Christians. These people, learning that our men were Christians,
shewed much joy at receiving them, embracing and banqueting them, and
shewed them a piece of paper on which the figure of the Holy Ghost was
painted, which they worshipped on their knees, with great shew of
devotion, as if they had been what they pretended. The Moors then
informed our men by signs, that there were many other Christians at
another place, too far for carrying them there; but that they should be
conducted to see them when our ships came into the harbour. All this was
done craftily to entice our people into the harbour, where they were
determined to destroy them all.

After our two men had seen the city, they were conducted back to the king,
who ordered them to be shewn ginger, pepper, cloves, and wheat, giving
them samples of them all to be carried to the general, with assurance
that he had great store of all these commodities, and would give him his
loading if he desired it. They were likewise told, that he had great
plenty of gold, silver, amber, wax, ivory, and other riches, which he
would sell at lower prices than they could be bought in any other place.
This message was brought off on Monday to the general; who, hearing the
kings offer to furnish him with a loading of these commodities, was much
rejoiced, and was much pleased with the information brought by the two
convicts, and their good report of the people, city, and country, and
more especially on account of the _two_ Christians whom they had seen in
the house of the Indian merchants. After a consultation with the other
captains, it was determined to enter the port next day, and to accept the
spices offered by the king of Mambaza, after which, to continue the
voyage to Calicut; and, if they could not procure similar articles there,
to return contented with what might be got in this place. In the meantime,
several of the Moors visited our ships, conducting themselves with much
gentleness and humility, and evincing an appearance of friendship and
kindness to our people, as if they had been long and familiarly

When the tide of flood was sufficiently advanced on the following morning,
the general gave orders to weigh anchor, intending to carry the ships
into the harbour. But the Almighty Disposer of events, not willing that
he and his company should fall into the snare which the Moors had laid
for their destruction, interposed to avert the danger, and to work their
safety. For, when the generals ship had weighed anchor, and was about to
enter the port, she touched on a shoal by the stern; upon which, he
immediately let fall his anchor again, which was likewise done by the
other captains. Seeing this, the Moors who were on board concluded that
he would not enter the harbour that day, and instantly took to their boat,
which was alongside, and made for the city: At the same time, the pilot
of Mozambique leapt from the stern of the admirals ship into the water,
and was taken into the boat by the Moors. The admiral called out to them
to bring him back, but all in vain; on which he began to suspect that the
Moors and their king had evil intentions towards him and his people, and
was thankful for the accident which had detained him from the harbour,
and preserved him from the purposed treachery. After explaining his
apprehensions to the other captains, he commanded, in the evening of this
day, that two of the Moors who had been made prisoners at Mozambique
should be put to the torture, to endeavour to ascertain whether any
treachery was intended, and to force them to disclose the same. This was
done by dropping melted bacon upon their flesh; and they immediately
confessed that treason was intended, and that the pilots had escaped by
swimming from the ship, as fearing the same had been discovered. On this
confession, the general resolved on no account to enter the harbour; yet
determined to put another Moor to the torture, to learn if he were in
confederacy with the rest. But this Moor, on seeing preparations made for
the purpose, although his hands were bound, leapt into the sea; which was
likewise done by another Moor before day-light.

Having thus discovered the secret mischiefs which had been prepared
against him, the general gave thanks to God, by whose good providence he
and his people had been delivered from imminent hazard of death among the
infidels; whereupon he and his company joined in the _Salve regina_ with
great devotion. After this, lest the Moors might attempt any thing
against their safety during the night, he ordered a strong and vigilant
armed watch to be kept. It is worthy of notice, that all the sick among
our people, who were indeed many, began presently to get well from their
first coming to Mombaza; so that in this time of their great necessity
and danger, they found themselves sound and strong, beyond all human hope,
and far above the ordinary course of nature; for which reason it can only
be attributed to the marvellous and supernatural power of God,
miraculously done at this peculiar instant time of need, for the
preservation of these poor and distressed persons, whose only hope of
safety was in him. After the night watch was set, those of the Berrio
felt the cable by which they lay at anchor swagging, as if shaken by a
great tunny, of which there were many in this place, very large and
excellent food: But, on giving more attention to the circumstance, they
perceived that this was occasioned by their enemies the Moors, some of
whom were swimming about the cable, and were cutting it with knives or
falchions, that the ship might drift on shore and fall a prey to them. On
seeing this, our men scared them away by crying out, and gave notice to
the other ships to be on their guard against similar attempts. Some
people from the San Raphael went immediately to the assistance of the
Berrio, and found some of the Moors about the chains and tacklings of the
foremast, who cast themselves into the sea, and swam, along with those
who had attempted to cut the cable, to certain boats that were in waiting
at a short distance, in which, as our people afterwards learnt, there
were a great number of the Moors, who now rowed away to the city in all

Our fleet still remained off the harbour of Mombaza, all the Wednesday
and Thursday following; during both of which nights the Moors came off in
boats, which always lay close by the shore, whence some of them swam to
the ships, endeavouring to cut our cables: But our men kept such strict
watch, that they were unable to succeed. Our people, however, were always
in much fear and perplexity, lest the Moors might burn our ships; and it
was wonderful they did not make the attempt by means of the ships they
had in the harbour, which, in all human probability, they had succeeded
in, killing and destroying us all. It was conjectured that they were
deterred from making this attempt, from fear of the ordnance in our ships;
but whatever might appear to us as the cause of their not using open
force, it was assuredly the good pleasure and favour of God, that put
their hearts in fear against making an open attack, by which we were
preserved from the execution of their cruel purposes towards us.

The reason of the general remaining during the two days off Mombaza was,
that he might endeavour to procure two pilots from thence to carry him to
Calicut, without which assistance the voyage would have been very
difficult, as our pilots had no knowledge of that country. But finding
none were to be had, he took his departure from that place on Friday
morning, though with a very light wind. On leaving the anchorage, he was
forced to leave one of his anchors behind, as the crew was so completely
exhausted by hauling up the rest, that they were unable to weigh this one.
It was afterwards found by the Moors, and carried into their city, where
it was deposited near the kings palace. When Don Francisco de Almeida,
first viceroy of the Indies, took this place from the Moors, this anchor
was there found, as I shall afterwards relate in the second book of this

Departing thus from Mombaza, the fleet continued its voyage along the
coast to the north-east, and having very light wind, was obliged to come
to anchor in the evening near the shore, about eight leagues from Mombaza.
Towards the dawn of next day, two sambuccos, or little pinnaces, were
seen about three leagues to the leeward of the fleet, and out at sea; on
which, in hope of procuring some pilots who could carry him to Calicut,
the general ordered the anchors to be weighed, and he and the other
captains gave chase to the sambuccos the whole of that day. Towards
vespers, the general came up with and captured one of these pinnaces, but
the other escaped to the land. In the captured pinnace there were
seventeen Moors, among whom was an old man who seemed master over the
rest, and had his young wife along with him. In this boat there was great
store of silver and gold, and some victuals. On the same evening the
fleet came to anchor off Melinda, which is eighteen leagues from Mombaza,
and is in lat. 3° S. This place has no good harbour, being only an almost
open roadstead, having a kind of natural pier or reef of rocks on which
the sea beats with much violence, owing to which the ships have to ride
at a considerable distance from the shore. The city stands in a broad
open plain, along the shore, surrounded with many palms, and other sorts
of trees, which are green the whole year. It has also many gardens and
orchards, abounding with all kinds of herbs and fruits, and many
fountains of good water. Their oranges are particularly excellent, very
large and sweet. They have also abundance of millet and rice, plenty both
of cattle and sheep, and great store of fine poultry, which are very
cheap. Melinda is a large city, with fair streets, and many good houses
of stone and lime, containing several storeys, with windows, and having
terraced roofs made of lime and earth. The native inhabitants are black,
of well proportioned bodies, having curled hair; but many strangers
resort thither and dwell in the city, who are Moors from Arabia, who
conduct themselves in a commendable manner, especially the gentlemen or
better sort. These, from the girdle upwards, go naked; but below the
girdle they are dressed in silk, or fine stuffs of cotton, though some
wear short cotton cloaks, after the old fashion. On their heads they wear
certain cloths embroidered with silk and gold. They wear also rich
daggers, ornamented with silken tassels of many colours, and very
handsome swords. They are all left-handed, and go constantly armed with
bows and arrows, taking great delight in archery, at which they are very
expert. They account themselves good horsemen; yet there is a common
saying on this coast, _the horsemen of Mombaza, and the women of
Melinda_, as in Mombaza they are excellent horsemen, and the women of
Melinda are very handsome, and dress richly.

In this city also there are many Gentiles from the kingdom of Cambaya in
India, who are great merchants and trade to this place for gold, which is
found in this country, as likewise ambergris, ivory, pitch, and wax; all
of which commodities the inhabitants of Melinda exchange with the
merchants of Cambaya for copper, quicksilver, and cotton cloth, to the
profit and advantage of both parties. The king of this city is a Moor,
who is served with far more state than any of the kings on this coast to
the southwards. Being arrived over against this city, the general and all
the people of the fleet were much rejoiced at seeing a city resembling
those of Portugal, and gave thanks to God for their safe arrival. Being
desirous of procuring pilots to navigate the fleet to Calicut, the
general commanded to come to anchor, meaning to use his endeavours for
this purpose. For, hitherto, he could not learn from the Moors he had
lately captured, whether any of them were pilots; and though he had
threatened them with the torture, they always persisted in declaring that
none of them had any skill in pilotage.

Next day, being Easter eve, the old Moor who had been made prisoner in
the pinnace, told the general that there were four ships belonging to
Christians of the Indies at Melinda, and engaged, if the general would
allow him and the other Moors to go on shore, he would provide him, as
his ransom, Christian pilots, and would farther supply him with every
thing he might need. Well pleased with the speeches of the old Moor, the
general removed his ships to within half a league of the city, whence
hitherto no one came off to our fleet, as they feared our men might make
them prisoners; for they had received intelligence that we were
Christians, and believed our ships were men of war. On the Monday morning,
therefore, the general commanded the old Moor to be landed on a ledge, or
rock, opposite the city, and left there, expecting they would send from
the city to fetch him off; which they did accordingly as soon as our boat
departed. The Moor was carried directly to the king, to whom he said, as
instructed by the general, what he chiefly desired to have. He farther
said, that the general desired to have amity with the king, of whom he
had heard a good report, hoping by his aid, and with the will of God, he
might be enabled to discover the route to India. The king received this
message favourably, and sent back the Moor in a boat to the general,
accompanied by one of his own servants and a priest, saying, that he
would most willingly conclude a treaty of amity with him, and should
supply him with what pilots he needed. These messengers likewise
presented the general from the king, with three sheep, and a great many
oranges, and sugar canes, which he thankfully accepted; desiring the
messengers to acquaint their master, that he gladly agreed to the
profered amity, and was ready to confirm the same between them, and
promised to enter their harbour next day. He farther desired them to
inform the king, that he was the subject of a great and powerful
sovereign in the west, who had sent him to discover the way to Calicut,
with orders to enter into peace and amity with all kings and princes on
whose territories he might happen to touch by the way. That it was now
_two years_[40] since he left his own country, and that the king his
master was a prince of such puissance and worth as he was convinced the
king of Melinda would be glad to have for a friend. He then dismissed the
messengers, sending as a present to their king a hat of the fashion of
the time, two branches of coral, three brass basons, two scarfs, and some
small bells.

On the second day after Easter, the general removed his ships nearer the
city. The king knowing this, and believing that the king of Portugal must
be a high-spirited prince, and the general a worthy subject, who had
hazarded himself in so long and dangerous a voyage, became desirous of
seeing such men; wherefore, he sent a more honourable message to the
general, saying, that he proposed next day to visit him in person,
intending that their meeting should be on the water; and sent him a
present of six sheep, with a considerable quantity of cloves, ginger,
pepper, and nutmegs. Upon this message, the general removed his fleet
still nearer the city, and came to anchor close to the four ships of the
Indies, of which the old Moor had made mention as belonging to Christians.
When the owners of these ships learnt that we were Christians, they came
immediately to visit our general, who happened then to be in the ship of
Paulo de la Gama. These men were of a brown colour, but of good stature
and well proportioned, dressed in long white cotton gowns, having large
beards, and the hair of their heads long like women, and plaited up under
their turbans or head-dresses. The general received them with much
kindness and attention, asking, by means of an interpreter, who
understood the language of Algarve, or Arabic, whether they were
Christians. These men had some knowledge of that language, though it was
not their own tongue, but had learnt it in the course of their trade and
conversation with the Moors of Melinda, of whom they advised the general
to beware, lest their inward intentions might be far different from their
outward shew. Willing to make trial if these men were really Christians,
the general caused a picture to be shewn them, on which our Lady was
painted weeping, surrounded by some of the apostles, but without
informing them what this was meant to represent. Immediately on this
being set before them, they fell down and worshipped the picture, praying
for some time. The general then asked if they were of Calicut; on which
they answered they were of Grangalor[41], still farther off, and could
give him no information respecting Calicut. From this time, so long as
our fleet remained at Melinda, these people came every day on board the
ship of Paulo de la Gama, to pay their devotions before this picture,
offering to the images which it represented gifts of pepper and other
things. These Indian Christians, according to their own account, eat no

On the last day of the week after Easter, and in the afternoon, the king
of Melinda came off in a great boat to our fleet. He was dressed in a
cassock of crimson damask lined with green satin, and wore, a rich cloth
or turban on his head. He sat in a chair, of the ancient fashion, very
well made and wrought with wire, having a silk cushion; and on another
chair beside him, there lay a hat of crimson satin. An old man stood by
him as his page, who carried a very rich sword with a silver scabbard. In
the boat there were many sacbuts, and two ivory flutes eight spans long,
on which they played by a little hole in the middle, agreeing and
according well with the music of the sacbuts. The king was likewise
attended by about twenty Moorish gentlemen, all richly dressed. When the
king had nearly attained our ships, the general went to meet him in his
boat, gaily decorated with flags and streamers, himself dressed in his
best apparel, and attended by twelve of the principal officers of the
squadron, leaving his brother in charge of the ships. On the boats
meeting, the two parties made every demonstration of friendship and
respect; and the Moorish king immediately offered to come on board the
generals boat, that he might see him the better. The general accordingly
received him with all respect, and the king shewed as much honour and
courtesy to the general as if he had been likewise a king. The Moorish
king, after examining the dress and appearance of the general and his men
with the utmost attention, asked the general the name of his king, which
he commanded to be immediately written down. He particularly inquired
respecting the power of the king of Portugal, and the general gave the
most satisfactory answers to all his questions; particularly detailing
the reasons of his being sent to discover Calicut, that Portugal might be
thence supplied with spices, which were not to be had in his own country.
The king, after giving him some information on these points, and
respecting the straits of the Red Sea, promised to furnish the general
with a pilot to carry him to Calicut, and then earnestly solicited him to
accompany him to the city, where he might solace and refresh himself in
the palace, after the fatigues and dangers of so long a voyage; and
promised, if the general would do so, that he the king would visit him on
board. To this the general prudently answered that he was not authorised
by his instructions to go on shore, and that he could not answer for
deviating from the orders of his sovereign. On this the king observed,
that if he were to visit the ships, he could not well answer for his
conduct to the inhabitants of his city; yet, he was grieved that the
admiral refused to go into the city, which should be at his will and
pleasure, and that of the king his master, to whom he should either write
or send an ambassador, if the general would call in at Melinda on his
return from Calicut. The general gave the king thanks for his politeness,
and promised to return that way; and, while this conversation was going
on, he sent for the Moors who had been taken in the pinnace, whom he
presented to the king, saying, he would most gladly perform any other
service that lay in his power to the king. The king was greatly pleased
with this gift, which he valued as much as if the admiral had given him
another city equal to Melinda.

Having ended their conversation, and confirmed their mutual friendship,
the king rowed through among our ships, examining them with much pleasure
and admiration, and was saluted in passing by many discharges of the
ordnance, at which he and his attendants seemed much delighted. On this
occasion, the general attended upon him in his own boat out of respect,
and the king observed, that he never was so much pleased with any men as
with the Portuguese, and would most gladly have some of them to help him
in his wars. To this the general answered, that if his highness were to
have experience of what they were able to perform, he would like the
Portuguese still better; and that they should certainly give him aid, if
it should please the king of Portugal to send any of his war ships to
Calicut, which he did not doubt would be the case, if it were Gods will
to permit the discovery of that place. After the king had satisfied his
curiosity, he requested of the general, since he would not go himself
into the city, to permit two of his men to go and see the palace,
offering to leave his own son, and one of his chief priests, which they
named Caçis[42], in pledge for their safe return. To this request the
general consented, and sent two of our men along with the king: He, at
his departure, requested that the general would next day, in his boat,
come close to the shore, when he should be gratified with a sight of the
native horsemen going through their evolutions. After this they separated.

Next day, being Thursday, the general and Nicholas Coello went in their
boats well armed along the shore, according to the invitation of the king,
keeping at a small distance from each other for mutual defence in case of
need, where they saw many men skirmishing on the shore. As our boats
approached the royal palace, certain of the kings attendants brought him
in a chair down some stone stairs which led to the water; and, being then
very near the generals boat, the king entered into friendly conversation
with him, and once more entreated him to land and go to the palace;
saying, that his father, who was lame, was exceedingly desirous to see
him, and even offered, that, while the general remained on shore, he and
his children would go on board the ships as hostages for his security.
But our general, still dreading that some bitter treachery might lurk
beneath this honied speech, continued to excuse himself from landing, as
he had not permission from his own prince to do so, and must obey him, in
all things. After this, taking his leave of the king, he rowed past the
ships of the Indian merchants, which he saluted in passing with his
ordnance; and when they saw us pass, they held up their hands, exclaiming
Christe! Christe!

That night, having obtained leave from the king, our men made them a
great feast, with much diversion, also of squibs, firing of guns, and
loud cries. The fleet remained at anchor for two days without any message
from the shore, on which account the general was much distressed, fearing
the king had taken offence at his refusal to go on shore, and might break
the peace and amity between them, and not send him any pilot. But on
Sunday the 21st of April, a person who was in high credit with the king,
came off to visit the general, who was much disappointed when this person
brought no pilot, and again began to entertain suspicions of the kings
intentions. When the king learnt this, and that the general remained
merely for the purpose of having a pilot, he sent him one who was a
Gentile, called _Gosarate_[43] in their language, and whose name was
_Canaca_, sending an apology at the same time for not having sent this
person sooner. Thus the king and the general remained friends, and the
peace continued which had been agreed between them.

"De Barros and Faria give this pilot the name of _Malemo Cana_, and say
that he belonged to one of the Indian ships of Cambaya, then at Melinda.
De Barros adds, that he shewed De Gama a very small chart of the coast of
India, laid down with meridians and parallels, but without rhumbs of the
winds. This pilot shewed no surprise on seeing the large wooden and metal
astrolabes belonging to the Portuguese, as the pilots of the Red Sea had
long used brass triangular instruments and quadrants for astronomical
observations, and that he and others who sailed from Cambaya, and the
ports of India, navigated by the north and south stars, and the
constellations of the eastern and western hemispheres; and, though they
did not use these instruments in navigation, they employed one made of
three pieces of board, similar to the _balhestillia_, or cross-staff of
the Portuguese.

"In a collection of papers published in 1790, called _Documentos
Arabicos_, from the royal archives of Lisbon, chiefly consisting of
letters between the kings of Portugal and the tributary princes of the
east in the sixteenth century, the _zeque, sheik_, or king of Melinda,
with whom De Gama afterwards made a treaty of alliance, and whose
ambassador he carried into Portugal, was named Wagerage[44]."

Having thus procured a pilot, and provided all things necessary for the
voyage, De Gama departed from Melinda for Calicut, on Friday the 26th of
April 1498[45], and immediately made sail directly across the gulf which
separates Africa from India, which is 750 leagues[46]. This golf runs a
long way up into the land northwards; but our course for Calicut lay to
the east[47]. In following this voyage, our men saw the north star next
Sunday, which they had not seen of a long while; and they saw the stars
about the south pole at the same time. They gave thanks to God, that,
whereas it had been represented to them, that in this season, which was
the winter of the Indies, there were always great storms in this gulf,
they now experienced fair weather. On Friday the 18th of May, twenty-
three days after leaving Melinda, during all which time they had seen no
land, they came in sight of India, at eight leagues distance, the land
seeming very high. Canaca, the pilot, tried the lead and found forty-five
fathoms, upon which he altered his course to the south-east, having
fallen in with the land too far to the north. Upon the Saturday, he again
drew near the land, but did not certainly know it, as the view was
obscured by rain, which, always falls in India at this season, being
their winter. On Sunday the 20th of May, the pilot got view of certain
high hills which are directly behind the city of Calicut, and came so
near the land that he was quite sure of the place; on which he came up
with great joy to the general, demanding his _albrycias_, or reward, as
this was the place at which he and his company were so desirous to arrive.
The general was greatly rejoiced at this news, and immediately satisfied
the pilot, after which, he summoned all the company to prayers, saying
the _salve_, and giving hearty thanks to God, who had safely conducted
them to the long wished-for place of his destination. When prayer was
over, there was great festivity and joy in the ships, which came that
same evening to anchor two leagues from Calicut. Immediately upon
anchoring, some of the natives came off to the ships in four boats,
called _almadias_, inquiring whence our ships came, as they had never
before seen any resembling their construction upon that coast. These
natives were of a brown colour, and entirely naked, excepting very small
aprons. Some of them immediately came on board the general, and the
Guzerat pilot informed him these were poor fishermen; yet the general
received them courteously, and ordered his people to purchase the fish
which they had brought for sale. On conversing with them, he understood
that the town whence they came, which was in sight, was not Calicut,
which lay farther off, and to which they offered to conduct our fleet.
Whereupon the general requested them to do this; and, departing from this
first anchorage, the fleet was conducted by these fishermen to Calicut.

Calicut is a city on the coast of Malabar, a province of the second India,
which begins at the mount of Delhi, and ends at Cape Comory, being sixty-
one leagues in length, and fifteen leagues broad[48]. The whole of this
country is very low, and apt to be covered with water, having many
islands in its rivers, which flow into the Indian Sea. This country of
Malabar is divided from the kingdom of Narsinga by a very high hill. The
Indians report that this land of Malabar was covered by the sea of old,
which then reached to the foot of the hills, and thence to a hill, where
now the islands of the Maldives are found, which were then firm land; and
that in after times it destroyed that latter country, and laid bare the
country of Malabar, in which are many pleasant and rich cities, dependent
upon trade, which they carry on principally with Calicut, which exceeds
all cities of our days in riches and in vice. Its foundation and rise was
as follows: In ancient times, this country of Malabar was entirely ruled
by one king, who dwelt in the city of _Coulan_. In the reign of the last
king of this race, named _Saranaperimal_[49], who died 600 years ago, the
Moors of Mecca discovered India, and came to the province of Malabar,
then inhabited by idolaters, and governed by an idolatrous king. From the
time of the coming of these Moors, they began to reckon their years as we
do, from the birth of our Saviour[50]. After the coming of the Moors into
Malabar, they insinuated themselves so much into the confidence of the
before-mentioned king, that he became a convert to their law, renouncing
the religion of his country, and embracing Mahometism with such zeal,
that he resolved to go and end his days in the temple of Mecca. Having
thus resolved, out of love to the Mahometan sect, to abandon his kingdom,
he called his kindred together, and divided all his territories among
them, reserving only twelve leagues of country near the place where he
intended to embark, not then inhabited, which he bestowed upon one of his
cousins who acted as his page. To this kinsman he gave his sword and
turban, as ensigns of dignity; commanding all the other nobles, among
whom he had distributed the rest of his territories, to obey this person
as their emperor, the kings of Coulan and Cananor only excepted; whom
also, and all the others, he debarred from coining money, which was only
to be done by the king of Calicut. Having thus given away his whole
dignities and possessions, and set every thing in order, he embarked from
the place where Calicut now stands; and because this king embarked from
that place on his pilgrimage to Mecca, the Moors have ever since held
Calicut in so high devotion, that they and all their posterity would
never take their lading from any other port. From that time forwards,
they discontinued trade with the port of Coulan, which they had used
formerly, and that port therefore fell to ruin; especially after the
building of Calicut, and the settlement of many Moors in that place[51].

As the Moors are merchants of most extensive dealings, they have rendered
Calicut, as the centre of their trade, the richest mart of all the Indies;
in which is to be found all the spices, drugs, nutmegs, and other things
that can be desired, all kinds of precious stones, pearls and seed-pearls,
musk, sanders, aguila, fine dishes of earthen ware, lacker[52], gilded
coffers, and all the fine things of China, gold, amber, wax, ivory, fine
and coarse cotton goods, both white and dyed of many colours, much raw
and twisted silk, stuffs of silk and gold, cloth of gold, cloth of tissue,
grain, scarlets, silk carpets, copper, quicksilver, vermilion, alum,
coral, rose-water, and all kinds of conserves. Thus, every kind of
merchandize from all parts of the world is to be found in this place;
which, moreover, is very quiet, being situated along the coast, which is
almost open and very dangerous. Calicut is surrounded by many gardens and
orchards, producing all the herbs and fruits of this country in great
abundance, having also many palms and other sorts of trees, and abounds
in excellent water. This part of India produces but little rice, which is
a principal article of food in these parts, as wheat is with us; but it
procures abundance of that and all other kinds of provisions from other
countries. The city is large, but the dwellings consist only of straw
huts; their idol temples, and chapels, and the kings palace excepted,
which are: built of stone and lime and covered with tiles; for, by their
laws, no others are permitted to build their houses of any other material
than straw. At this time, Calicut was inhabited by idolaters of many
sects, and by many Moorish merchants, some of whom were so rich as to be
owners of fifty ships. These ships are made without nails, their planks
being sewed together with ropes of _cayro_, made of the fibres of the
cocoa-nut husk, pitched all over, and are flat-bottomed, without keels.
Every winter there are at least six hundred ships in this harbour, and
the shore is such, that their ships can be easily drawn up for repairs.

"The subjects of the following digression are so intimately connected
with the first establishment of the Portuguese in India, as to justify
its introduction in this place, which will greatly elucidate the
narrative of Castaneda; and its length did not admit of being inserted in
the form of notes. It is chiefly due to the ingenious and Reverend James
Stanier Clarke, in his Origin and Progress of Maritime Discovery,
extracted by him from various sources."

"The name of this country, Malabar, is said to be derived from _ulyam_,
which signifies, in the original language of that part of India,
_skirting the bottom of the hills_, corrupted into Maleyam or Maleam,
whence probably came Mulievar, and Mala-bar. In a MS. account of Malabar,
it is said that little more than 2300 years ago, the sea came up to the
foot of the _Sukien_ mountains, or the western _gauts_. The emerging of
the country from the waters is fabulously related to have been occasioned
by the piety or penitence of Puresram Rama, who prayed to _Varauna_, the
God of the ocean, to give him a track of land to bestow on the Bramins.
Varauna accordingly commanded the sea to withdraw from the _Gowkern_, a
hill near Mangalore, all the way to Cape Comorin; which new land long
remained marshy and scarcely habitable, and the original settlers were
forced to abandon it on account of the numerous serpents by which it was
infested: But they afterwards returned, being instructed to propitiate
the serpents by worshipping them."

"At first this country was divided into four _Tookrees_ or provinces,
these into _Naadhs_ or districts, and these again into _Khunds_ or small
precincts. The Bramins established a kind of republican or aristocratical
government, under a few principal chiefs; but jealousies and disturbances
taking place, they procured a _Permaul_ or chief governor from the prince
of Chaldesh, a sovereignty in the southern Carnatic: Yet it is more
likely that this sovereign took advantage of the divisions among the
chiefs of Malabar, to reduce them under his authority. These permauls or
viceroys were for a long while changed every twelve years; till at length
one of them, named Sheo-Ram, Cheruma Perumal, or Shermanoo Permaloo, the
Sarana-perimal of Castaneda, became so popular that he set his master
_Kishen Rao_, the rajah of Chaldesh, at defiance, and established his own
authority in Malabar. An army was sent into Malabar to reduce the country
again to obedience, but it was defeated, and from this event, which is
said to have happened 1000 years ago, all the rajahs, chief _nayres_, and
other lords of Malabar, date the sovereignty and independence of their
ancestors in that country."

"After some time, Shermanoo-Permaloo, either became weary of his
situation, or from attachment to the Mahometan religion, resolved to make
a division of Malabar among his dependents, from whom the present
chieftains are descended. Such is the current story among the inhabitants
of Malabar; yet it is more probable that his dependent chieftains,
disgusted with his conversion to the religion of Mahomet, revolted from
his authority, and contrived this story of his voluntary surrender and
division of his dominions, to justify their own assumptions. After this
division of his kingdom, it is said that an _erary_, or person of the
cast of cow-herds, originally from the banks of the Cavery, near Errode
in the Carnatic, who had been a chief instrument of the success of
Shermanoo-Permaloo in the war against rajah Kishen Rao, made application
to Shermanoo for some support. Having very little left to give away,
Shermanoo made him a grant of his own place of abode at Calicut, and gave
him his sword; ankle-rings, and other insignia of command, and presented
him with water and flowers, the ancient symbols of a transfer of property.
It is said that this cowherd rajah was ordained principal sovereign over
the other petty princes among whom Malabar was divided, with the title of
Zamorin, and was authorized by Shermanoo to extend his dominion over all
the other chieftains by force of arms. His descendants have ever since
endeavoured, on all occasions, to enforce this pretended grant, which
they pretend to hold by the tenure of possessing the sword of Shermanoo
Permaloo, and which they carefully preserve as a precious relic."

"From the period of the abdication of Shermanoo, to that of the arrival
of the Portuguese at Calicut, the Mahomedan religion had made
considerable progress in Malabar; and the Arabian merchants received
every encouragement from the Samoories or Zamorins, as they made Calicut
the staple of their Indian trade, and brought large sums of money yearly
to that place, for the purchase of spiceries and other commodities. As
the rajahs of Cochin and other petty sovereignties on the coast, were
exceedingly jealous of the superior riches and power of the zamorins, and
of the monopoly of trade enjoyed by Calicut, they gave every
encouragement to the Portuguese to frequent their ports; from whence
arose a series of warfare by sea and land, which has finally reduced them
all under subjection to the Europeans."

"According to an Arabian author, _Zeirreddien Mukhdom_, who is supposed
to have been sent to assist the zamorins and the Mahomedans in India, in
their wars with the Portuguese, Malabar is then said to have been divided
among a multiplicity of independent princes or rajahs, whom he calls
_Hakims_, some of whom commanded over one or two hundred men, and others
one, ten, fifteen, or even as high as thirty, thousand, or upwards.
The three greatest powers at that time were, the _Colastrian_[53] rajah
to the north, the zamorin of Calicut in the centre, and a rajah in the
south, who ruled from Coulan, Kalum, or Coulim, to Cape Comorin,
comprehending the country now belonging to the rajah of Travancore."

"We now return from this digression, to follow the narrative of the
Portuguese Discovery and Conquest of India, as related by Castaneda."

So great was the trade and population of Calicut and the surrounding
country, and the revenues of its sovereign through these circumstances,
that he was able to raise a force of thirty thousand men in a single day,
and could even bring an hundred thousand men into the field, completely
equipt for war, in three days. This prince, in the language of the
country, was styled the Zamorin, or Samoryn, which signifies Emperor; as
he was supreme over the other two kings of Malabar, the king of Coulan
and the king of Cananor. There were indeed other princes in this country,
who were called kings, but were not so. This zamorin or king of Calicut
was a bramin, as his predecessors had been, the bramins being priests
among the Malabars. It is an ancient rule and custom among these people,
that all their kings must die in a pagoda[54], or temple of their idols;
and that there must always be a king resident in the principal pagoda, to
serve those idols: Wherefore, when the king that serves in the temple
comes to die, he who then reigns must leave his government of temporal
affairs to take his place in the temple; upon which another is elected to
take his place, and to succeed in ruling the kingdom. If the king who is
in possession of the temporal authority should refuse to retire to the
pagoda, on the death of the king who officiated in spirituals, he is
constrained to do so, however unwilling.

The kings and nobles of Malabar are of a brown complexion, and go naked
from the waist upwards, all the under parts of their bodies being clothed
in silk or cotton Vestments; yet they sometimes wear short gowns on their
upper parts, called _basus_, of rich silk, or cloth of gold, or of
scarlet, splendidly ornamented with precious stones, of all which the
zamorin hath great store. They shave their beards, leaving only the hair
on their upper lips, and do not shave the head like the Turks. In general,
the natives of this country, even of the higher ranks, use little state
in their households, and are very sparing in their diet; but the zamorin
is served with considerable splendour. These kings or nobles never marry;
but every one has a mistress of the Nayre cast, which, among the Malabars,
are considered as the gentry; even the zamorin has only a mistress, who
has a house of her own near the palace, and a liberal allowance for the
charges of her household and maintenance at her own disposal. Upon any
dislike or difference, he may always leave her for another. The children
are only considered as the offspring of the mother, and have no right or
title to inherit the kingdom, or any thing else belonging to the father;
and when grown up, are only held in that rank or estimation which belongs
to the blood or parentage of their mother. Brothers succeed to brothers;
and in lack of these, the sons of their sisters, who do not marry, and
have no certainty respecting the fathers of their children; as they are
very free and dissolute in their manners, choosing paramours as they

These sisters of the zamorin, and other kings of Malabar, have handsome
allowances to live upon; and when any of them reaches the age of ten,
their kindred send for a young man of the Nayre cast, out of the kingdom,
and give him great presents to induce him to initiate the young virgin;
after which he hangs a jewel round her neck, which she wears all the rest
of her life, as a token that she is now at liberty to dispose of herself
to any one she pleases as long as she lives.

When these kings are at war with each other, they often go personally
into the field, and even join personally in fight upon occasion. When one
of them dies, the body is carried out into the fields, and burned on a
pile of sanders, and of another sweet smelling wood called _aguila_, all
his brothers and kindred, and all the nobles of the country being present
at the ceremony; which is uniformly postponed to the third day after
death, that all may have time to gather from a distance, and may have an
opportunity of being assured whether his death was natural, or caused by
violence: Since, if he died by the hand of any one, all are bound to
prosecute revenge. After the body is burnt, and the ashes buried, the
whole company shaves every part of their bodies, even to the youngest
child of these idolaters. This is their token of mourning; and during the
ensuing thirteen days, they all refrain from chewing betel, any one
infringing this law being punished by cutting his lips. During this
period of thirteen days, he who is to succeed to the throne must abstain
from all exercise of government, that any one who pleases may have an
opportunity of urging any valid objection why he should not acquire the
vacant government. After, this the successor is sworn before all the
nobles of the country, to preserve and enforce all the laws and customs
of their ancestors, to pay the debts of his predecessor, and to use his
utmost endeavours to recover any portion of the kingdom that may have
been lost. While taking this oath, having his sword in his left hand, he
holds in his right hand a burning candle, on which is a gold ring, which
he touches with his fingers. After this they throw some grains of rice
over him, using many other ceremonies, and numerous prayers, and then
worship the sun three times. When all these ceremonies are gone through,
all the _Caymayles_, or lords of noble birth, taking hold of the candle,
take an oath to be true and faithful subjects to the new king.

After the end of the thirteen days mourning, they all begin to chew betel,
and to eat flesh and fish as formerly, the new king alone excepted. He is
bound to mourn for his predecessor during a whole year, chewing no betel,
eating no flesh or fish, neither shaving his beard nor cutting; his nails
during all that time. He must eat only once a-day, washing himself all
over before this single meal, and devoting certain hours of every day to
prayer. After the expiry of the year, he uses a certain ceremony for the
soul of the king his predecessor, much like our solemn dirge; at which
100,000 persons are often assembled, among whom he distributes large alms.
When this ceremony is ended, the prince is confirmed as inheritor of the
kingdom, and all the people depart.

The zamorin of Calicut, and the other kings of Malabar, have each one
especial officer, to whom the administration of justice is confided, and
whose authority in all matters of government is as ample as that of the
king himself. The soldiers employed by these kings are called _Nayres_,
who are all gentlemen, and who follow no other office or employ but that
of fighting when needed. They are all idolaters, armed with bows, arrows,
spears, daggers of a hooked form, and targets, and they march in a very
regular and warlike manner; but they go entirely naked and barefooted,
wearing only a piece of painted cotton cloth, which reaches from the
girdle to the knees, and a cloth or kerchief on their heads. All these
men live continually at the charge of the king and nobles of the country,
from whom they have small stipends for their maintenance; and they esteem
themselves so highly on account of their gentility of blood, that they
will not touch an husbandman, nor allow any such to enter into their
dwellings. When any husbandman goes through the streets they must
continually call out aloud _hoo hoo_; for if commanded by a nayre to make
way, they may be slain if they refuse. The king cannot raise any one to
the rank of a _nayre_, who are all such by descent. These _nayres_ serve
very faithfully under those who give them their wages, not sparing by day
or night to use their best endeavours to serve their chiefs, nor making
any account of want of food or sleep, or of fatigue, when their service
is required or may be effectual. Their expences are so small, that on
half-a-crown, which is their only monthly pay, they can sufficiently
maintain themselves and a boy, whom each has as a servant.

By the laws of this country, these nayres cannot marry, so that no one
has any certain or acknowledged son or father; all their children being
born of mistresses, with each of whom three or four nayres cohabit by
agreement among themselves. Each one of this confraternity dwells a day
in his turn with the joint mistress, counting from noon of one day to the
same time of the next, after which he departs, and another comes for the
like time. They thus spend their lives without the care or trouble of
wives and children, yet maintain their mistresses well according to their
rank. Any one may forsake his mistress at his pleasure; and in like
manner, the mistress may refuse admittance to any one o£ her lovers when
she pleases. These mistresses are all gentlewomen of the Nayre cast; and
the nayres, besides being prohibited from marrying, must not attach
themselves to any woman of a different rank. Considering that there are
always several men attached to one woman, the nayres never look upon any
of these children born of their mistresses as belonging to them, however
strong a resemblance may subsist, and all inheritances among the nayres
go to their brothers, or the sons of their sisters, born of the same
mothers, all relationship being counted only by female consanguinity and
descent. This strange law prohibiting marriage, was established, that
they might have neither wives or children on whom to fix their love and
attachment; and that being free from all family cares, they might the
more willingly devote themselves entirely to warlike service. And the
more to animate these gentlemen in the service of the wars, and to
encourage them to continue in the order of nayres, they are privileged
from all imprisonments, and from the punishment of death on all ordinary
occasions, except for the following crimes; killing another nayre, or a
cow which is an object of worship, sleeping or eating with an ordinary
woman, or speaking evil of the king. When the king has received authentic
information of any of these offences having been committed, he issues a
written mandate to one of the nayres, commanding him to take two or three
other nayres in his company, and to slay the nayre who has committed this
offence against the laws. In obedience to this warrant, they attack him
with their swords and put him to death where-ever they happen to find him,
and then affix the royal order upon his body, that all may know the
reason of his death.

It is not permitted to any nayre to assume arms, or to enter into any
combat, till he has been armed as a knight. When a nayre becomes seven
years old, he is set to learn the use of all kinds of weapons, their
masters first pulling and twisting their joints to make them supple, and
then teaching them to fence and handle their arms adroitly. Their
principal weapons are swords and targets; and these teachers, who are
graduates in the use of the weapons, are called _Panycaes_, who are much
esteemed among the nayres, and all their former scholars, however
advanced in life or however high their dignity, are bound at all times to
give them due honour and reverence when they meet; likewise, every
_nayre_ is obliged to take lessons from these professors for two months
yearly, all their lives: By this means they are very skilful in the use
of their weapons, in which they take great pride. When a nayre desires to
be armed as a knight, he presents himself before the king, accompanied by
all his kindred and friends, and makes an offering of sixty gold fannoms
[55]. On which he is asked by the king if he is willing to observe and
follow the laws and customs of the nayres, to which he answers in the
affirmative. Then the king commands him to be girt with a sword, and
laying his right hand on his head, utters certain words as if praying in
so low a voice that he is not heard. The king then embraces the young
nayre, saying aloud in their language, "Take good care to defend the
Bramins and their kine." On this the nayre falls down and does reverence
to the king; and from that time he is considered as a knight, or member
of the fraternity of nayres. When any of the nayres enters into the
peculiar service of the king or of any individual noble, he binds himself
to die with and for him, and they keep their oaths. For, if their master
should happen to be slain in any war or otherwise, they will fight till
they are all slain; and if they cannot accomplish their purpose at the
time, or happen to be absent at the slaughter of their master, they go
afterwards in search of the person who has done the deed, and never leave
off till they are themselves slain.

The Malabars are much given to soothsaying, and have lucky and unlucky
days. They worship the sun moon and stars, the fire, cows, and the first
thing they meet on going out of a morning, believing every manner of
vanity. The devil is often in them, but they say it is one of their gods
or _pagods_, as they call him. But whosoever or whatsoever it may be, it
constrains them to utter terrible words, which are believed by the king.
When the devil enters into a nayre, he goes with a naked sword before the
king, shaking and trembling and giving himself many wounds, saying, "I am
such or such a god, and am come to tell thee such and such a thing,"
crying out, and behaving himself like a madman or one possessed. If the
king makes any doubt of what he says, he continues to roar still louder
and to slash himself more severely, till the king gives credit to his
assertions. There are other tribes or lineages of people among the
Malabars, of various sects and divers customs, of whom it were too
tedious to speak in this place, who are all under obedience to the
several kings and nobles. The Moors alone are exempted from this
obedience, on account of the large customs they pay for their merchandize,
owing to which they are held in high estimation at Calicut.

Having come to anchor on the outside of the bar or reef of Calicut, the
general sent one of the Portuguese convicts on shore, in one of the
almadias which had conducted the ships to this port; instructing him to
see what kind of a place it was, and to make trial of what kind of a
reception might be looked for, seeing we were Christians, and as the
general believed that the people were likewise Christians. When this man
landed, he was immediately surrounded by great numbers of the natives,
staring at him as a stranger. These people asked of the fishermen what
man this was whom they had brought on shore? to which they answered, that
they supposed him to be a Moor, and that he belonged to the three ships
which were riding without the bar. But the people of Calicut wondered
much to see a person who was clothed so very differently from the Moors
who came from the Red Sea. Some of these people who had knowledge of
Arabic spoke to this man, but he could not understand or answer them, at
which they were much astonished. Yet, believing him to be a Moor, they
conducted him to a house where two Moors dwelt who came originally from
Tunis and had established themselves in Calicut. On his appearance, one
of these Moors whose name was Bontaybo[56], who could speak Spanish,
immediately recognized him for a Portuguese, having often seen people of
our nation at Tunis in the reign of King John, in a ship named La Reyna
which often traded to that port. As soon as Bontaybo saw the Portuguese,
he exclaimed in Spanish, _Devil take you, what brought you here_? He
farther inquired which way he had travelled so as to arrive at Calicut?
To this the banished man answered, telling how many ships our general had
brought with him; at which Bontaybo was much amazed, wondering how they
could possibly come by sea from Portugal to India. He then asked what
they sought at so great a distance from home? And was answered that they
came in search of Christians and spices. Bontaybo then asked why the
kings of France and Spain and the Doge of Venice had not sent their ships
likewise? Because, said our man, the king of Portugal would not allow
them. To this Bontaybo said, he was much in the right. After some farther
conversation in this way, Bontaybo gave him good entertainment,
commanding certain cakes of wheat flour and honey, called _apes_ by the
Malabars, to be set before him; and then said that he would accompany him
to the ships to wait upon the general.

Bontaybo accordingly came on board our general, whom he immediately
addressed in Spanish, saying, "Good luck! good luck! many rubies, many
emeralds. Thou art bound to give God thanks for having brought thee where
there is abundance of all sorts of spices, precious stones, and all the
other riches of the world." On hearing this, the general and all the
people were greatly astonished, not expecting to meet any one so far from
home who understood their language; and even shed tears of joy for this
happy circumstance, and their safe arrival. They all then joined in
humble and hearty thanks to the Almighty, by whose favour and assistance
alone this great happiness and good fortune had been accorded to them.
The general embraced Bontaybo, whom he made to sit beside him, and
questioned him if he were a Christian, and how he came to Calicut.
Bontaybo told him frankly that he was a Moor from Tunis in Barbary, and
had come to Calicut by way of Cairo and the Red Sea, and explained how he
came to know the Portuguese, as has been already mentioned. He farther
declared, that he had always been well disposed towards the Portuguese
nation, having always found them worthy of confidence and friendship in
all their dealings; and, having been a friend to them in times past, he
would not discontinue his good will, and was ready and willing to do
every thing in his power to serve them, and to assist them in the objects
for which they had now come to Calicut. The general gave him many thanks
for his good will, and promised to reward him liberally for the friendly
aid he might give to him and his expedition, expressing his extreme
satisfaction at being so fortunate as to meet such a person in this place,
believing that God had sent him here to promote the great objects of this
voyage, for which he passed through so many and long continued dangers,
being quite sensible that he must have reaped little profit from all his
labours without such friendly assistance.

The general then requested information from Bontaybo, as to the character
of the king or zamorin of Calicut, and whether, in his opinion, he would
willingly receive him as ambassador from the king of Portugal. Bontaybo
represented the zamorin as a prince of good and honourable dispositions,
who, he was convinced, would gladly receive the general as ambassador
from a foreign king; more especially, if the objects of his voyage were
to establish a trade with Calicut, and if the general had brought with
him any merchandize proper for that purpose; since the advantages which
the zamorin derived from the customs upon trade formed the chief source
of his revenue. He farther informed the general, that the zamorin resided
at this time at Panane, a village on the coast about five leagues from
Calicut; and advised that the general should send a message there to
notify his arrival, and the reasons of his coming. The general was well
pleased with this advice and presented certain gifts to Bontaybo, along
with whom he sent two of his men to Calicut, requesting Bontaybo to
direct them on their way to Panane, which he did accordingly. When these
messengers came into the presence of the zamorin, one of them, named
_Fernan Martyn_, declared to him, by means of an interpreter, "That he
waited upon his highness on the part of his general, who had arrived in
the port of Calicut with three ships, having been sent there by the king
of Portugal with letters to his highness, which the general begged
permission to present to him." On hearing this message, and before giving
any answer, the zamorin commanded each of the two messengers to be
presented with a piece cotton cloth and two pieces of silk, such as he
used in his own apparel; after which he inquired of Fernan Martyn what
king it was who had sent him these letters, and how far his dominions
were from thence. Fernan fully answered these inquiries, adding, that he
was a Christian prince, and that those whom he had sent in the ships now
at Calicut were Christians; and related what great and numerous dangers
they had passed through during their voyage. The zamorin was much amazed
at the incidents of the voyage which Fernan related at some length, and
expressed his satisfaction that so powerful a prince of the Christians
should think of sending an ambassador to him from so great a distance. He
then desired Fernan to inform the general, that he heartily welcomed him
and his people into his dominions, advising him to bring his ships to
anchor near a village called _Pandarane_ some way below where the ships
then lay, as a far better harbour than Calicut which is an open and very
dangerous road for shipping. The zamorin desired likewise that the
general might come by land from that place to Calicut, where he would be
ready to receive him. After this, the zamorin sent a pilot to navigate
the ships to the harbour of Pandarane; but, on coming to the bar of that
port, the general did not think it advisable to enter so far within the
harbour as the pilot proposed, fearing lest he might expose himself to
danger by reposing too great confidence in these people, and placing
himself too much within their power. In this he acted with much prudent
foresight, by which he wisely avoided the injuries which were afterwards
attempted against him at this place.

On his arrival at Pandarane, the general received a message from the
kutwal[57] of Calicut, intimating that he and other nobles awaited him on
shore by order of the zamorin, to conduct him to the city, and that he
had permission to land whenever he pleased[58]. But as the day drew near
a close, the general returned an answer excusing himself from landing
that night. He immediately called a council of the other captains and
principal officers of the fleet, to take their advice on the present
emergency, to whom he intimated his intention of going to visit the king
of Calicut on purpose to settle a treaty of trade and amity. Paulo de
Gama, his brother, strongly objected to his venturing on shore; alleging
that although the natives of the place were Christians, as they still
believed them, yet there were many Moors among them who were much to be
feared as his mortal enemies; since these people at Mozambique and
Mombaza, where they had only passed by their ports, endeavoured to
destroy them all, they were much more to be feared at Calicut where we
had come on purpose to enter into competition with them in trade, by
which their profits would be diminished. It was therefore the more
probable that they would use every effort to destroy the general, on whom
our whole hope of safety and success depended; and, however much the
zamorin might regret the commission of such a deed, he could not restore
him to life: besides which, the Moors were inhabitants of the place,
where they had much interest, whereas the general was an utter stranger.
Likewise, it was quite impossible for them to be assured that the king of
Calicut might not have leagued with the Moors for his death or captivity;
either of which would ruin their voyage and prove the destruction of them
all, and all the toils and dangers they had passed through would prove in
vain. To prevent all this danger, he strongly urged that the general
should on no account go on shore, but should depute one of the captains,
or some other person in the fleet in his stead; alleging that commanders
in chief ought never to subject themselves to personal danger, unless in
cases of the most urgent necessity.

All the officers were of the same opinion. But the general answered, that
even if he were perfectly assured that his landing were to occasion his
instant death, he would not refrain from going to visit the king of
Calicut, to endeavour to settle amity and trade, and that he might
procure some spices and other commodities from the place, by means of
which their discovery of Calicut might be proved on their return into
Portugal: As otherwise, if we returned without any of the productions of
the Indies, their discovery would be discredited, and their honour and
veracity called in question. "Think not therefore," said he, "but I will
rather die, than leave it in hazard that the long time we have already
spent, and may yet employ, shall be lost, and others sent to ascertain
the truth of our discoveries, while envious persons may have it in their
power to discredit our services. Neither do I run into such hazard of
death, nor expose you to such dangers as you suppose; seeing that I am
going to a city inhabited by Christians, and to a king who wishes the
concourse of many merchants in his dominions, as the more of these that
frequent his port so much the greater must be his revenue from the
customs upon trade. It is not my intention to stay long on shore, so as
to give opportunity to the Moors to complot against me; as I propose only
to talk with the king and to return in three days, by which time you may
have every thing in readiness for our departure. If I should have the good
fortune, by the will of God, to establish trade and amity with the king of
Calicut, I would not exchange the honour and credit of that transaction
for any treasure that could be given me; neither can the king of Calicut
settle this affair so well with any other person, as he will honour me the
more for being the captain-general of this fleet and the ambassador of our
king. Should any other go in my stead, the king might look upon himself as
slighted and insulted, under an idea that I do not esteem him worthy to be
visited by myself, or that I do not trust him on his word and assurance.
Besides, it is not possible for me to give sufficiently ample instructions
to any one I might send, to enable him to do what may be necessary under
every circumstance that may arise, as I myself might do. Even if it should
chance that they kill me, it were better this should happen in the
discharge of my duty, than that I should preserve my life by neglecting to
perform it. You, my friends, remain at sea in good ships: And if you hear
of any mischance befalling me, my desire is that you shall immediately
depart and carry home news of our discovery. As for our present subject,
there need be no farther argument; as I am determined, with the blessing
of God, to proceed to visit the king at Calicut."

When this determination was made known the captains made no farther
objections, and chose out twelve persons to accompany him, among whom
were Diego Diaz his secretary, Fernan Martinez the interpreter, John de
Sala who was afterwards treasurer of the Indies, and nine others; and
Paulo de Gama, his brother, was appointed to act as captain-general
during his absence. The general, before going on shore, gave pointed
orders that no person should on any account be permitted to come on board
the ships; but that all who were desirous of any intercourse with them
should remain in their boats or almadias. He likewise directed that
Nicholas Coello should come every day with his boat well armed as near
the shore as he could with safety, on purpose to keep up an intercourse
between the ships and himself. All these things being settled, the
general went on shore with his twelve attendants, all in their best
attire; their boat furnished with much ordnance, dressed out with flags
and streamers, and sounding trumpets all the way from the ships to the
shore. On landing, the general was received with every demonstration of
respect by the kutwal, attended by 200 nayres, and a great concourse of
natives, both of the country and from the city of Calicut. After
compliments were passed, the general was placed in an _andor_ or litter,
which the king of Calicut had sent for his use. In this country it is not
customary to travel on horseback, but in these andors. This vehicle is
like a horse-litter, except that they are very plain with low sides, and
are carried by four men on their shoulders, who run post in this manner,
carrying the king or any noble person when on a journey, and going at a
great rate. The person in the andor may either sit or lie as he pleases;
and certain servants carry umbrellas, which they call _bueys_, to shelter
the person in the andor from the sun and rain. There are other andors
which have a curved cane over them like a bow, and are so light that they
can be carried by two men.

The general being mounted in one andor and the kutwal in another, they
set out for a town called Capocate[59], all the rest being on foot; but
the kutwal appointed certain people of the country to carry the baggage
of our men, which was restored to them at Capocate, where the party
stopped for refreshment, the general and his people being in one house
and the kutwal in another. Our people were here provided with boiled fish,
with rice and butter, and some of the country fruits which are very good,
though quite different from ours. One of these fruits is called _lacas_,
and another Mango, and they have figs likewise. The water was excellent,
and as good as any in Portugal. After resting and refreshing themselves
at Capocate, the general and his suite were embarked in a vessel called
an _ensangada_, consisting of two almadias lashed side by side. The
kutwal and his train embarked in many other boats; and the whole went up
a river which discharges itself into the sea at this place. The numbers
of people that came to the river side to view our men as they passed was
quite countless, by which it appears that the country was well inhabited.
After going about a league up this river, our people came to a place
where many large ships were drawn up on the shore. The whole party here
disembarked and proceeded by land, the general and kutwal in andors as
before, being surrounded by thousands who were curious to see the
strangers, even many women pressing into the crowd with their children
slung at their backs.

From this place the kutwal carried the general to one of their pagodas or
idol temples, into which they entered, and which the kutwal said was a
church of great holiness. This the general believed to be the case,
fancying it to be a church of the Christians; which he the more readily
believed, as he saw seven little bells hung over the principal door. In
front of this entry, there stood a pillar made of wire as tall as the
mast of a ship, on the top of which was a weathercock likewise made of
wire. This church was as large as a moderate convent, all built of
freestone, and covered, or vaulted over with brick, having a fine outward
appearance as if its inside were of splendid workmanship. Our general was
much pleased with this church, as he actually believed himself in a
Christian country, and gladly entered along with the kutwal. They were
received by the priests, who were naked from the waist upwards, having a
kind of petticoats of cotton hanging down from the girdle to their knees,
and pieces of calico covering their arm-pits, their heads legs and feet
bare. They were distinguished by wearing certain threads over their right
shoulders, which crossed over their breasts under their left arms, much
in the way in which our priests used formerly to wear their stoles when
they said mass. These men are called kafrs[60], and are idolaters,
serving as priests in the pagodas of Malabar; and on the general going
into the pagoda, they took holy water with a _sprinkle_ from a font, and
threw it over the kutwal and him and their attendants. After this, they
gave them powdered sandalwood to throw upon their heads, as used to be
done amongst us with ashes; and they were directed to do the same on
their arms. But our people, as being clothed, omitted this latter part of
the ceremony, complying with the other.

In this pagoda they saw many images painted on the walls, some of which
had monstrous teeth projecting an inch from their mouths, and some had
four arms; all of them so ugly that they seemed like devils, which raised
doubts among our people whether they were actually in a Christian church.
In the middle of the pagoda stood a chapel, having a roof or dome of
freestone like a tower, in one part of which was a door of wire, to which
there led a flight of stone steps. On the inside of this tower an image
was observed in a recess of the wall, which our men could not see
distinctly, as the place was somewhat dark, and they were not permitted
to go near, as none were allowed to approach except the priests. But from
certain words and signs, our people understood this to be an image of the
Virgin; on which the general and his attendants went upon their knees to
say their prayers[61]. John de Sala, however, being very doubtful that
this was not a Christian church, owing to the monstrous images on the
walls, said, as he fell on his knees, "_If this be the devil, I worship
God_," on which the general looked at him with a smile. The kutwal and
his people, as they approached the chapel, prostrated themselves three
times on their faces with their hands extended before them, after which
they arose and said their prayers standing.

From this place they went forwards to the city of Calicut, and were taken
at their arrival into another pagoda similar to the former. After this,
on entering the city, the crowd was so great that they could hardly make
their way through the streets. The general was astonished to see such
multitudes, and praised GOD for having brought him in safety to this city,
humbly beseeching his divine mercy so to guide him on his way that he
might accomplish the objects of his expedition, and return safely into
Portugal. At length the pressure of the crowd became so great that the
bearers were unable to get forwards, and the whole company were forced to
take shelter in a house. They were here joined by the kutwals brother, a
nobleman who was sent by the king to accompany the general to the palace,
and had many nayres along with him. The procession again set out,
preceded by many trumpets and sacbuts sounding all the way; and one of
the nayres carried a _caliver_, which he fired off at intervals. After
they were joined by the kutwals brother, the mob gave way for the
procession to pass, and shewed as much reverence as if the king himself
had been present. There went in the procession at least 3000 armed men,
and the multitudes of spectators, in the streets, at the doors and
windows, and on the roofs, were quite innumerable. The general was well
pleased at his honourable reception, and said pleasantly to those of his
company, "_They little think in Portugal how honourably we are received

The procession arrived at the palace an hour before sunset. Though only
constructed of earth, the palace was very extensive and seemed a handsome
structure, having great numbers of trees interspersed among the different
buildings, with pleasant gardens full of fine flowers and odoriferous
plants, and many fountains; as the zamorin never goes out of the palace
while resident in Calicut. On arriving at the palace, several caymals and
other noblemen came out to receive the general, who led him to a large
square immediately in front of the gates, whence they passed through four
several courts, at the gate of each of which there were ten porters who
were obliged to lay about them with sticks among the people to clear the
way. On coming to the gate of the house in which the king resided, they
were met by the chief bramin, or high priest of the royal household, a
little old man, who embraced the general, and conducted him and his
people into the palace. At this time the people pressed forwards with
much eagerness to get a sight of the king, which they very seldom do as
he goes very rarely out of the palace; and the multitude was so great
that some of them were stifled in the throng, which would likewise have
been the case with two of our men, if they had not gone on before, with
the assistance of the porters, who severely hurt many of the mob, and
forced them to make way. On passing the last gate, the general and his
attendants entered along with the noblemen into a great hall, surrounded
with seats of timber raised in rows above one another like our theatres,
the floor being covered by a carpet of green velvet, and the walls hung
with silk of various colours. The king was of a brown complexion, large
stature, and well advanced in years. He lay on a sofa covered with a
cloth of white silk and gold, and a rich canopy over his head. On his
head he had a cap or mitre adorned with precious stones and pearls, and
had jewels of the same kind in his ears. He wore a jacket of fine cotton
cloth, having buttons of large pearls and the button-holes wrought with
gold thread. About his middle he had a piece of a white calico, which
came only down to his knees; and both his fingers and toes were adorned
with many gold rings set with fine stones; his arms and legs were covered
with many golden bracelets. Close to his sofa there stood a gold shallow
bason on a gold stand, in which was _betel_, which the king chewed with
salt and _areka_. This last is a kind of fruit about the size of a nut,
and is chewed all over India to sweeten the breath, and is supposed to
carry off phlegm from the stomach and to prevent thirst. The king had
likewise a gold bason on a golden stand, into which he spat out the betel
when chewed; and a gold fountain with water for washing his mouth. The
king was served with betel by an old man who stood close to the sofa; all
the others who were in the presence held their left hands to their mouths,
that their breaths might not reach the king; and it is thought unseemly
for any one to spit or sneeze in the presence.

When the general entered the hall in which the king sat, he stooped or
bowed down three times according to the custom of the country, lifting up
his hands as one that praised God. The king immediately made signs for
the general to draw near, and commanded him to be seated on one of the
seats; and the rest of the Portuguese came forwards, making similar
reverences, and were likewise commanded to sit down opposite the king.
Water was then presented to all the company to wash their hands, which
was very refreshing, for, though it was then winter, they were very hot.
They were then presented with figs and jakas, and the king was much
pleased to see them eat, laughing at them and conversing with the old man
who served him with betel. Our people being thirsty, called for water,
which was brought to them in a golden ewer, and they were directed to
pour the water into their mouths as it is reckoned injurious to touch the
cup with their lips. They accordingly did as they were directed; but some
poured the water into their throats and fell a coughing, while others
poured it beside upon their faces and clothes, which much amused the king.
After this, the king desired the general by an interpreter, to speak to
those who were present as to the purpose of his coming to Calicut. But
the general was not satisfied with this, and signified that he was
ambassador from the king of Portugal, a powerful prince, and that
Christian princes were not used to receive the embassies of other
sovereigns by means of a third person, but by themselves in person in the
presence only of a few of their principal persons: and this being the
usage of his country, he chose to deliver his message only to the king
himself. The king agreed to this, and commanded the general and Fernan
Martinez who acted as interpreter, to be conducted into another chamber,
which was adorned with as much magnificence as the first.

As soon as the king entered this chamber, he took his seat on a sofa,
attended only by his interpreter, the chief bramin, the old man who served
him with betel, and the comptroller of his household. The king then
asked the general, from what part of the world he was come, and what were
his desires. He answered, that he was ambassador from the king of Portugal,
the most powerful of the Christian sovereigns in the west, both in extent
of dominions, numbers of people, and riches. That he and his predecessors,
hearing that there were Christian kings and princes in the Indies, of
which the zamorin of Calicut was the chief, were exceedingly desirous of
sending some of their captains to discover the way, that they might enter
into friendship with the king of this country as brothers; and for this
reason he had been sent to his highness: Not that the king his master had
any need of his riches, having abundance already and more than was needed
both of gold and silver and other valuable things. That all the former
captains who had been sent at great charges upon this discovery, after
having employed a year or more in vain and having consumed all their
victuals, had returned again into Portugal. But that the present king Don
Manuel, being anxious to bring this great enterprize to a successful
conclusion, had entrusted him with command of three ships well supplied
with provisions, commanding him not to return to Portugal without
discovering the way to the Christian king of Calicut, and would certainly
order his head to be cut off if he returned without fulfilling his orders.
The said king his master had given him two letters to deliver to his
highness, which he would present next day as it was now somewhat late;
when he would convince his highness that the king of Portugal was his
friend and brother, and should request of highness, in confirmation of
friendship, to send an ambassador to the king of Portugal, as was the
custom among Christian princes. The zamorin expressed his satisfaction
with this embassy, and told the general that he made him welcome to his
capital; and, since the king of Portugal desired to be his friend and
brother, he would be the like to him, and should send an ambassador to him
as desired. The zamorin then made inquiry into many circumstances
respecting Portugal; how far distant it was from Calicut, how long the
general had been upon the voyage, and other things: And as it grew late,
the king allowed him to retire, first asking him whether he would reside
with the Moors or the Malabars; but as the general chose rather to have a
house to himself, the king gave orders to a Moor who was his factor, to
accompany him, and to provide him with every thing necessary for his

Leaving the palace late, it being now towards ten o'clock, the kutwal and
the rest who had accompanied him there, escorted him back to where he was
to lodge; and as they were on their way, all on foot, there fell such rain
that the streets ran in torrents, insomuch that the factor gave orders to
some of the people to carry our general on their backs. The general was
displeased at this and at the delay, and asked angrily at the factor if he
meant to carry him all night through the streets. The factor made answer
that he could not do otherwise, as the city was large and much scattered.
He then conducted him into his own house to rest for some time, and
procured a horse for him to ride; but, as the horse had no saddle, the
general preferred going on foot. At length he was brought to a very good
lodging, to which his people had previously brought all his baggage.

Next day, being Tuesday, the general was greatly rejoiced to see so
promising a commencement of his business, and resolved upon sending a
present to the zamorin; upon which he sent for the kutwal and the kings
factor, to whom he shewed the present which he proposed sending. This
consisted of four _capotas_ or cloaks of scarlet cloth, six hats, four
branches of coral, twelve _almasares_, a box containing seven brass
vessels, a chest of sugar, two barrels of oil, and a cask of honey. The
kutwal and factor laughed in derision at this present, saying, that this
was no fit present for their king, the poorest merchant presenting one
more valuable. They desired him rather to send gold, as the king would
accept, of nothing else. The general was offended at this, saying, if he
had been a merchant he would have brought gold; but, being an ambassador,
he had brought none. That what he now offered were his own goods, and not
belonging to the king his master; who, being uncertain if he should ever
reach Calicut, had given him nothing to offer as a present to the zamorin.
But, at his next coming, knowing now certainly the route, the king his
master would send gold and silver and otter rich articles. To this they
answered, that these things might be, but it was the custom of this
country for every stranger who had speech of the king to make him a
present in proportion to the greatness of his rank. The general replied it
was very proper their customs should be observed, and therefore he desired
to send this present, which he could not make more valuable, for the
reasons already assigned; and if they would not suffer it to be carried to
the king, he should send it back to his ships. They answered he might do
so, for they would not consent to have such a present sent to the king.
The general, much displeased, said he would go speak with the king himself,
and would then return to the ships, meaning to have informed the king of
all that had passed in regard to the intended present. This they said was
very proper; but, as they would be detained long at court in attending him,
they were obliged in the mean time to go upon other business, and would
return to escort him to court, as the king would be angry if he went
without them, he being an entire stranger; and besides, he could not go in
safety unaccompanied, because of the great numbers of Moors who resided in
that city. Giving credit to their words, the general consented to this
arrangement, and said he would wait for their return, which he expected
would be without delay: But they did not return all that day, as they had
been gained over by the Moors to thwart the purposes of the general.

The Moors in Calicut had received information of the transactions of the
Portuguese at Quiloa, and of the taking of the _sambuco_ off Melinda; and
knowing that we were Christians, were very jealous of our arrival at
Calicut. Bontaybo had told the Moors that our purpose was not merely to
discover Calicut from curiosity, but that spices were in great estimation
in Portugal, which abounded in gold and silver, and to which all kinds of
merchandize was at present transported that went from Calicut by way of
the Red Sea; and finally, that the settlement of a direct trade by the
Portuguese with Calicut would tend greatly to the profit of the zamorin.
All this the Moors very well understood: But, considering that we were
Christians, they believed, if we should establish trade with Calicut,
that their own commodities would fall in price, and most of their profits
be destroyed. Wherefore they consulted together how to induce the zamorin
to take the general prisoner, to seize our ships, and to kill all our men;
that they might not return into Portugal with any intelligence concerning
Calicut. Upon this they associated themselves with some of those who were
in greatest credit with the zamorin, to whom they procured access, and
represented to him, That he ought not to be deceived by the Christians,
for the general was no ambassador as he pretended, but a pirate who went
about to rob and plunder whereever he came. They asserted having received
undoubted intelligence of this from their factors in Africa; where after
entering into a friendly correspondence with the _xeque_, who even
visited the general in his ship, gave him many presents, and provided him
with a pilot to bring him to Calicut, he had battered the town with his
ordnance, and killed several of his subjects. That he had afterwards
taken some _sambucos_ laden with merchandize, treating the xeque and his
subjects like enemies. In like manner they misrepresented the conduct of
the general at Mombaza and Melinda, turning every thing that had occurred
to his dishonour. They reasoned from these misrepresentations, that he
could not be an ambassador sent to maintain peace and amity, as he would
not, in that case, have been guilty of these base hostilities, and would
assuredly have brought the king a present worthy of the sovereign he
pretended to come from.

The king was much amazed at this discourse, and told the Moors that he
would consider and determine what was proper for him to do. The Moors
also told the kutwal of all that they had said to the king, with whom he
was in great credit, and requested of him to persuade the king not to
listen to this embassage. The kutwal then went to the king, who told him
all that the Moors had said, and the kutwal advised him to do as the
Moors had requested. On this the king changed his good intentions towards
the general, yet endeavoured to conceal his purposes. The Moors then
waited on the general under pretence of friendship, offering to instruct
him how best to conduct himself, saying that it was customary for all
persons who came from other places to Calicut on business with the king
to bring him a present. On this the general shewed them the present he
had proposed making, which the kutwal and the factor had made so light of;
and, with whom they agreed, saying it was by no means a fit present, and
would rather seem a mockery, and give offence. Even Bontaybo agreed in
this opinion; and asked the general why he had not brought better things,
as he knew that Portugal abounded in all manner of rich commodities. But
the general excused himself as formerly, by saying that it was quite
uncertain whether he might ever have come to Calicut.

The general remained the whole of this day in his lodgings, much
displeased that the kutwal and factor had not returned according to
promise, and was at one time resolved to have gone to court without them;
yet thought it better to wait till next day. In the afternoon of the
Wednesday, the kutwal and factor made their appearance, when he mentioned
his dissatisfaction at their long absence; but they talked of other
things, and gave him no answer on that subject. At length they
accompanied him to the palace; but the king, having greatly changed his
mind towards him, made him wait three hours for admission, and then
ordered that only two of his people should be admitted into the presence
along with himself. Though the general considered this separation of his
people as not looking well, he went into the presence attended by Fernan
Martinez and Diego Diaz, his interpreter and secretary. The king did not
receive him so well as formerly, and said with a severe countenance that
he had expected him all the preceding day. Not willing to give him the
true cause of his absence, lest it might lead to a conversation
respecting the present, the general said he had tarried at home to
recover from the fatigue of his long voyage. On this the king observed,
that he pretended to have been sent on an embassy of friendship from a
rich and powerful king, and that he did not well understand what kind of
friendship was intended, since he had sent him no present. To this the
general answered, That it was not to be wondered that the king his master
had sent no present to his highness, considering the extreme uncertainty
of his being able to come to this place by a way never before attempted,
and unknown till now. But, now that the way was discovered, and God
spared him to return to Portugal, his master would assuredly send him
princely gifts, worthy of them both: And if his highness would have the
goodness to give credit to the letters which he had brought from the king
his master, he would there learn the intentions of the king of Portugal
in sending him to Calicut. Instead of desiring to see the letters, the
king asked him whether he was sent in search of stones or of men; and if
sent to discover men, how came it that the king his master had sent no
present? And since it was manifest that he had brought him nothing, he
demanded of him to send him the golden image of the Virgin, which he
understood was in his ship.

The general, much concerned to find the king so much changed towards him,
on account of not bringing him a present and amazed at this strange
demand, said that the image of the Virgin Mary of which his highness had
been told, was only of wood gilt, and not of gold; and besides, as this
holy image had protected him during his long perils on the sea, and had
brought him so far in safety, he was unwilling to part with it. The
zamorin made no reply to this, but immediately demanded that he should
produce the letters from the king of Portugal. One of these was written
in the Portuguese language, and the other in Arabic; and the general
explained that this had been done, because the king his master did not
know which of these might be understood in the dominions of his highness:
And, since he now knew that Portuguese was not understood in India,
whereas Arabic was, he requested that some Christian of the Indies who
understood Arabic might be employed to interpret the letter, because the
Moors were known to be enemies to the Christians, and he was afraid lest
they might purposely give it a wrong interpretation. The king gave orders
to this purpose, but no Indian could be found who was able to read the
letters, or at least who would acknowledge that he could read them.
Seeing that it was now necessary that it should be read by the Moors, the
general requested that Bontaybo should be one of those appointed for the
purpose, placing more reliance on him than the others, as he was an
acquaintance. The king accordingly commanded the letter to be read by him
and other three Moors; who, having first read it over to themselves,
interpreted it aloud to the king, to the following effect: "As soon as it
became known to the king of Portugal, that the king of Calicut was one of
the mightiest kings of all the Indies and a Christian, he was anxious to
establish a treaty of amity and commerce with him, that he might procure
spices, which were in great abundance in his country, and to procure
which the merchants of many parts of the world trade thither: And, if his
highness would give a licence to send for spices, he would send many
things from his kingdom which were not to be had in the dominions of his
highness; or if these things were not satisfactory, of which the general
could shew him some samples, he was willing to send money, both gold and
silver, to purchase the spices. And finally referring his highness to the
general for farther information."

On hearing this letter interpreted, and being desirous that his revenues
might increase by the resort of many merchants to his dominions, the
zamorin evinced his satisfaction at what he had heard; and assuming a
more friendly deportment towards the general, asked him what were the
articles of merchandize that could be had from Portugal. De Gama named
many different kinds; particularly mentioning such as he had samples of
along with him, and likewise their money, and requested permission to go
on board his ships that he might bring these things to his highness,
offering to leave four or five of his men in his lodgings during his
absence. Giving now more credit to the general than to what had been said
by the Moors to his prejudice, the king told De Gama he might go on board
when he pleased, taking all his men with him, as there was no call for
any of them remaining on shore. He likewise said the general might freely
bring his goods on shore, and sell them to the best advantage. The
general was greatly satisfied with this permission, of which he had no
hopes at the first, on seeing the unfriendly reception he had met with at
the commencement of his audience. He went back, therefore, to his lodging,
accompanied by the kutwal; and the day being near a close, he deferred
returning on board that night.

De Faria gives a somewhat different account of what passed at this second
audience[62]. "It was wonderful that the zamorin, not knowing how to be
properly assured of the truth, should rely on the faith of him who was
accused by his ministers. For, as if he had really known in what
detestation the Portuguese hold a lie, although to their own advantage,
he sent for De Gama, and told him plainly that he had been informed his
embassy was all a counterfeit, and that he was some banished man or a
fugitive: Yet at the same time offered, even if it were so, to give him a
kind reception, and to make him handsome appointments in his service; and
promised to rely entirely on his word for information respecting the
truth of the whole story. De Gama heard the king to an end with a firm
countenance, and declared himself highly sensible of the confidence
reposed in him. He then proceeded to answer all that had been alleged
against him, which he completely overturned by irrefragable argument in a
long and eloquent speech, preserving the utmost gravity and composure
throughout the whole. The zamorin eyed him steadfastly the whole time,
hoping to be enabled to judge of the truth or falsehood of his assertion
by his countenance; and concluded, from the unconcernedness of his looks,
the eloquence of his words, and the firm gravity of his whole demeanour,
that no deceit could lurk under such appearances of sincerity, that the
Moors had accused him maliciously, and had imposed on his ministers. He
therefore frankly allowed De Gama permission to return to his ships, and
to land his merchandize, if he had any: Saying, that while that was doing,
he would prepare a satisfactory answer to the letter of the king of

On the next day, being the last of May, the kutwal sent a horse to the
general to carry him to Pandarane; but having no furniture, he requested
to be supplied with an _andor_, which was sent accordingly, when De Gama
immediately set out for Pandarane, all his people accompanying him on
foot. The kutwal remained at Calicut, but a considerable number of nayres
escorted the general on his way. When the Moors learnt that the general
was gone to the ships, they went together to the kutwal, making large
offers of money to him, if he would pursue the general, and detain him a
prisoner under some feigned pretence; when they would take some
opportunity of having him slain, in such way that the blame should not
attach to the kutwal. And when he objected that the zamorin might punish
him for detaining the general contrary to his orders, they engaged so to
deal with the zamorin as to obtain his pardon for that offence. Induced
by a large bribe, and encouraged by this promise, the kutwal followed De
Gama in such haste that he soon passed our men, who lagged behind on
account of the great heat. On overtaking De Gama, he asked by signs why
he was in such haste, and where he was running to? The general answered
in the same manner, that he was running to avoid the heat. On coming to
Pandarane, as his men were not come up, the general declined going into
the town till they should arrive, and went into a house to get shelter
from the rain. The people did not get to the town till near sunset,
having lost their way; on which the general said if it had not been for
their absence he would have been by this time on board. The general
immediately desired the kutwal to order him to be furnished with an
almadia or pinnace, to carry him and his people on board; but the kutwal
said it was now late, and the ships so far away that he might miss them
in the dark, for which reason he had better stay till next day. The
general then said, if he were not immediately furnished with an almadia,
he would return to the king and complain that he was detained contrary to
his license, and even mentioned as if he meant to return immediately to
Calicut. To dissemble the more, the kutwal said he might have thirty
instead of one, if he needed them, and pretended to send out to procure
almadias, while at the same time he commanded the owners to hide
themselves that they might not be found.

In the mean time, while messengers were dispatched on pretence to seek
almadias, the general, having a strong suspicion that evil was intended
towards him, walked leisurely along the water side, and sent off Gonzales
Perez and two other mariners, to go on before and endeavour to find
Nicholas Coello with his boats, and to caution him to keep out of the way,
lest the kutwal might send off to seize his boats and men. While Perez
and the others were absent on this errand, it drew far into the night;
and not choosing to go off till he learnt what success Perez had met with,
he at length agreed to stay all night. Having placed De Gama in the house
of a Moor for the night, the kutwal pretended that he would go in search
of the three mariners who were absent; but he did not return till next
morning. The general then required to have an almadia to carry him and
his people on board. Before answering, the kutwal spoke some words to his
nayres in their own language, and then desired the general to give orders
to have the ships brought near the shore oh which he should have leave to
depart. On this the general became still more afraid that some treachery
was intended; yet answered boldly, that he would give no such order while
he remained on shore, as that would make his brother believe he was a
prisoner and had issued this order under restraint, on which he would
immediately depart for Portugal without him. The kutwal then threatened
stoutly that he should never be allowed to go off, unless he complied
with this demand. The general, in return, declared he should immediately
return to Calicut if not allowed to go on board, and make a complaint of
his conduct to the king. The kutwal even dared him to do this, yet took
care it should not be in his power, as he had ordered the doors to be
kept shut and guarded by armed nayres, to prevent any of the Portuguese
from going out. Yet it was the will of God that the kutwal dared not to
kill the general or any of his men, although the Moors had bribed him
with a great sum of money, and notwithstanding his great credit with the
zamorin. His anxiety to have the ships brought near the shore was, that
the Moors might be able to board them and kill all their people; and,
seeing it in this light, the general was equally determined to prevent
their nearer approach. Finding he could not prevail on the general to
command the ships to be brought near the shore, and having no pretence to
justify either keeping him prisoner or offering him any wrong, the kutwal
next endeavoured to persuade him to order the sails and rudders on shore;
at which the general only laughed, saying the king had given full
permission to go on board without any such conditions, and assured him
the king should be fully informed of all his unjust proceedings.

The general and his people now pretended to be in want of necessaries
from the ships, and requested leave to send some of his people on board,
while he should remain on shore; but this the kutwal refused, and our
people began to be seriously alarmed. At this time Gonzalo Perez returned,
supposing the general at liberty and that he waited for him and his
companions. Perez informed De Gama that he had seen Coello, who waited
for him with the boats near the shore. The admiral was exceedingly
anxious that the kutwal should not know of this circumstance, lest he
might send out a number of armed almadias to capture them; and therefore
urged Perez to return secretly to give Coello warning to return to the
ships and keep constantly on the alert for fear of an attack. When Coello
got this intelligence, he immediately set off, and the kutwal caused him
to be pursued by several almadias full of armed men, but he made his
escape. The kutwal made another attempt to induce the general to order
his brother to bring the ships near the shore, but in vain; for the
general told him, his brother, even if he were to write such an order,
would not obey, or, were he disposed to do so, the other officers in the
ship would prevent him. The kutwal observed that he could not give credit
to this, as he was sure any thing he commanded would be obeyed. But no
arguments could prevail on the general to this measure, which he was
satisfied was meant for facilitating the destruction of the fleet to
gratify the Moors.

The whole of this day was spent in this manner, and in the night our
people were confined in a large paved yard surrounded with walls, and
under even a stronger guard than attended them during the day; and even
the general began to fear as well as the men, that they would be
separated from one another. Yet he trusted, when the zamorin should come
to know the usage they had received, he would give orders for their
release. That night, the kutwal came to sup with the general and sent a
supply of fowls and rice. Finding that he could not prevail over the
constancy of De Gama, he determined at last to set him at liberty. Next
day, therefore, being Saturday the second of June, he desired the general,
since he had promised to the king to bring his merchandize on shore, that
he ought to do so; as it was the usage of all merchants who came to
Calicut to land their goods and crews, and not to return to their ships
till all was sold; and he promised, when this was done, to give him free
liberty to depart. Although the general gave very little credit to his
fair words, he yet said, if the kutwal would provide almadias for the
purpose, he would order his goods on shore; but was certain his brother
would not allow the boats to leave the ships while he was detained on
shore. The kutwal was now content to get the goods into his power, as he
understood from the general they were of great value, and allowed the
general to send off a message to his brother. He therefore sent off a
letter by two of his men, in which he gave his brother an account of his
situation, confined to his lodging but otherwise well used, and desiring
him to send some of the merchandize on shore to satisfy the kutwal; but,
directing him, in case he was much longer detained, to believe that he
was kept prisoner by order of the zamorin; whose only object was to get
the Portuguese ships into his power, not having time to arm his own ships
for that purpose. For this reason, if not set at liberty immediately
after the goods were landed, he required his brother to return without
delay to Portugal, and inform the king of all that had happened; that the
trade of so fine a country might not be lost to his country. And farther,
to inform the king in what state he remained, trusting that his royal
master would send such an armament as would enforce his restoration to

On receiving this letter, and a circumstantial relation from the
messenger of all that had happened on shore, Paulo de Gama immediately
sent the goods; but said in answer to the general, that he could not
answer to his honour to return to Portugal without him, and he trusted
God would enable the small force he had still in the fleet, with the aid
of his ordnance, to compel the kutwal to liberate him. On the merchandize
being landed, the general delivered it over into the custody of Diego
Diaz as factor, with Alvora de Braga as his clerk, whom he left in a
house provided for them by the kutwal; after which he went on board the
ships. He then refused to send any more goods on shore, till those
already there were sold and paid for, and determined not to run himself
again into danger by venturing on shore after what had already past. At
this the Moors were grievously vexed, as they thought it more easy for
them to have destroyed him on land than on board the ships. On purpose to
entice him to land once more, the Moors made a mock of his goods,
pretending they were good for nothing, and did all in their power to
prevent them from selling. Thinking that the zamorin knew nothing of all
these transactions, he sent him an account of the whole five days
afterwards, by his factor, of all that had happened, and of the injurious
conduct of the Moors respecting the sale of the goods. The king seemed
much offended by these proceedings, sending the general word that he
would punish all those who had used him ill, yet the kutwal remained
unpunished. The king likewise sent seven or eight merchants of Guzerate,
who were idolaters, to buy the goods, accompanied by an honest nayre, to
remain with Diaz at the factory to defend him against the Moors. Yet all
this was only done colourably, that the Moors might not appear to suborn
the merchants; for these men bought nothing, and even beat down the price
of the commodities, to the great satisfaction of the Moors; who now
boasted that no person would buy our goods any more than they. Yet none
of the Moors durst venture to our factory, after they heard a nayre was
stationed there by the kings order. If they did not love us before, they
hated us ten times worse now, and when any of our men landed, they used
to spit on the ground in contempt, calling out Portugal! Portugal! But by
the especial order of the general, our people took no other notice than
merely laughing at their insolence.

As none of the merchants would buy our goods, the general supposed that
this was occasioned by their being lodged at Pandarane, where none of the
merchants of Calicut resided; and requested leave, by a messenger, from
the zamorin, to have the goods removed to the city. This permission was
immediately granted, and the king issued orders to the kutwal to see them
removed, and even to pay the persons who carried them, that nothing
belonging to the king of Portugal might be subject to any charges in his
country. The general would not trust himself any more on shore, although
Bontaybo, who frequently came off to visit him, advised him to wait on
the king, lest the great credit of the Moors might again prevail over his
mind. But considering this man as a Moor, the general never put much
trust in him, nor informed him of his intentions; yet always received him
kindly, and gave him money and other gifts, that he might bring him
intelligence of what was passing on shore.

After the Portuguese merchandize was removed to Calicut, the general
permitted one man daily from each of the ships to go on shore, to see the
city and to purchase any thing they had a mind for; always taking
especial care that one party returned on board before another landed. Our
people were courteously received and entertained by the natives, and were
even lodged in their houses occasionally. They bartered several things on
shore, such as bracelets of brass and copper, pewter, and other European
articles, for the productions of the country, as freely and quietly as if
they had been in Lisbon. Fishermen, and others of the idolaters came off
to the ships, selling fish, cocoa-nuts, and poultry, for biscuit or money;
while others came off with their children, merely to have a sight of our
ships. On all these occasions, the general commanded them to be well
treated and to have food given them, to conciliate the people and to
secure the friendship of the zamorin. This continued till the tenth of
August, during which time the ships had always some of the natives on

Seeing the quietness of the people, and their familiarity with his men,
who never met with any injury from the Moors or nayres, the general
believed the zamorin was willing to preserve friendship and peace with
the subjects of Portugal, and determined upon establishing a factory in
Calicut for the sale of his commodities, although very little of what was
landed had as yet been sold. By this means, he hoped to lay a sure
foundation for the establishment of trade, against the next expedition
which the king his master might send, if GOD pleased to send him home
with the intelligence of the discovery. Accordingly, with the advice and
concurrence of the captains and other principal officers of the fleet, he
sent a present by Diego Diaz to the zamorin, consisting of scarfs of
different colours, silks, corals, and various other articles. Diaz was
desired to say to the king, that the general begged his highness to
excuse his presumption in sending such a present in token of his entire
devotion to his service, having nothing worthy of the acceptance of so
great a prince. That the time now drew near when it would be necessary to
depart on his return to Portugal; and therefore, if his highness meant to
send an ambassador to the king of Portugal, he had better give orders
that he might soon be ready to embark. Presuming upon what his highness
had already agreed to, and on the kindness hitherto shewn to him and his
people by his highness, he requested permission to leave a factor and
clerk in Calicut along with his merchandize, as a memorial of peace and
amity between his highness and the king of Portugal, as a testimony of
the truth of the embassy with which he had been entrusted, and in pledge
of farther embassy from the king his master as soon as the discovery was
made known. He likewise prayed his highness to send on board as a full
confirmation of his having actually made the voyage to India, a _bahar_
of cinnamon, another of cloves, and a third of some other spices, which
should be paid for by the factor out of the first sales of the goods in
his possession. It was four days after Diaz received this order before he
could get access to the zamorin, though he went every day to the palace
for this purpose. At length he was admitted to audience; and on seeing
Diaz with his present, the king asked him what he wanted in so stern a
manner that he was afraid of being killed. After delivering the message
from the general and wishing to deliver the present, the king refused to
see it, and commanded that it should be delivered to his factor. The
answer he gave to the message was, that since the general wished to
depart he might do so, but must first pay him 600 _serasynes_[63],
according to the custom of the country.

Diaz, on his return to the factory with the present intended for the king,
was accompanied by many of the nayres, which he thought was from respect:
but immediately on entering the house, the nayres remained at the door,
forbidding him or any other person to go out. After this, a proclamation
was made through the city, forbidding any boat or almadia to go on board
our fleet on pain of death. Yet Bontaybo went off secretly, and gave
warning to the general not to venture on shore or to permit any of the
people to land; as he had learned from the Moors, that any who might do
so would surely lose their lives. Bontaybo said farther, that all the
fair words of the king proceeded from dissimulation, that he might entice
the general and his people on shore to kill them all; all which evil
intentions were occasioned by the Moors, who made the king believe that
the Portuguese were thieves and pirates, who had come to Calicut to steal
such merchandize as should be brought there; and who had come to spy out
the land, that they might return with a great armament to invade his
dominions. All this was confirmed by two Malabar idolaters, and the
general was in great uncertainty how best to proceed on the present
emergency. That same night, after dark, a Negro slave belonging to Diaz
came off, with the information that Diaz and Braga were made prisoners,
and with an account of the answer which the king had given to his message,
what he had ordered to be done with the present, and of the proclamations
which were made through the city. Diego Diaz, being anxious to have these
things communicated to the general, had bribed a fisherman to carry this
man on board, as he could not well be recognized in the night owing to
his colour. The general, though much offended at these injurious
proceedings, was unwilling to depart till he might see the end of these
things, and therefore waited to see whether anyone might come off to the
ships. Next day, being Wednesday the 15th of August, only one almadia
came off, in which there were four boys, who brought fine precious stones
for sale. Although the general believed they were spies, he received them
kindly, and gave no hints of having heard that Diaz was made a prisoner;
expecting that others of more importance might come on board through whom
he might procure the enlargement of Diaz and Braga. By these boys he
wrote to Diaz, but couched in such a manner that it might not be
understood if it fell into any other hands. The letter was delivered
according to its direction, and the boys told the king of their reception
on board, by which he believed that the general knew not of the
imprisonment of his people. On this he sent off other persons to the
ships, who were strictly enjoined not to disclose the treatment which the
factor had experienced. This was done out of policy to deceive the
general and to detain our ships, till the king might be able to send his
own fleet to set upon him, or till the ships might arrive from Mecca to
take him prisoner.

Some of the Malabars continued to come off daily, all of whom the general
commanded to be well entertained, as he saw none of sufficient importance
to be detained. But, on the Sunday, six principal Malabars came on board,
attended by fifteen men in another pinnace. Believing that the king would
liberate Diaz and Braga in return for these men, he made them all
prisoners; and sent a letter in the Malabar language, by two of the
native boatmen, to the kings factors, demanding his factor and clerk in
return for those men he had detained on board. On perusal of this letter,
the kings factor communicated the same to the king, who commanded him to
take the Portuguese to his own house, that he might not appear to have
had any hand in their detention; and then to restore them to the general
in return for the Malabars, whose wives had made a great clamour about
the detention of their husbands.

Seeing that his people were not sent on board, the general weighed anchor
on Wednesday the 23d of August and set sail, meaning to try if this shew
of going away would have the effect of recovering Diaz and Braga, in
return for these Malabars whom he had detained. The wind being contrary,
he came to anchor in an open road, four leagues from Calicut, where the
ships remained till the Saturday. As there was no appearance of getting
back his people, De Gama again set sail; but for want of wind had to come
again to anchor, almost out of the sight of land. An almadia now came to
the ships with certain Malabars, who said that Diaz and the others were
in the kings palace, and would be assuredly sent on board next day. Not
seeing the detained Malabars, these people believed they had been all put
to death. This affected delay proceeded entirely from craft, that they
might gain time to fit out the Calicut fleet, and for the arrival of the
ships from Mecca, when their combined force might environ and destroy the
Portuguese. The general ordered these messengers to go back to Calicut,
and not to return without his men or letters from them, as otherwise he
should sink them; and that if a satisfactory answer was not sent him
without delay, he would cut off the heads of all the Malabars whom he had
detained. The Malabars returned to Calicut with this message; and a wind
springing up, the general made sail, and came to anchor off Calicut about

Next day, seven almadias came off to the fleet, in one of which were
Diego Diaz and Alvora Braga, the others being filled with many of the
natives. These people, however, were afraid to come on board, and put
Diaz and Braga into the boat which was astern of the generals ship, and
then put off to a little distance, waiting for the generals answer. Diego
told the general, that when the king learnt of his having sailed, he sent
for him to the palace, assuming a pleasant countenance as pretending to
be ignorant of his imprisonment, and asked him why the general had kept
his subjects as prisoners on board. On being told the reason, he said the
general was in the right. He then asked if his own factor, who was
present, had extorted any presents; for he well knew that one of his
predecessors had been put to death not long before, for taking bribes
from merchant strangers. After this, the king desired Diaz to request the
general to send him the stone pillar having the cross and the arms of
Portugal, which he had promised to set up; and to know whether he would
leave Diaz as factor in Calicut. Diaz likewise presented a letter for the
king of Portugal, which was written on a palm leaf by Diaz, and signed by
the zamorin, to the following effect:

"Vasco de la Gama, a gentleman of thy house, came to my country, of whose
arrival I was very glad. In my country there is abundance of cinnamon,
cloves, pepper, and precious stones. The commodities I wish to procure
from your country are, silver, gold, coral, and scarlet."

Convinced of the duplicity of the zamorin, De Gama made no answer to the
message; but sent back all the nayres whom he had detained, desired them
to tell the king he should return the others who were in custody, on
receiving back his merchandize. He sent however the stone pillar which
had been required. On the next day Bontaybo came on board, saying that
the kutwal, by order of the zamorin, had seized all his property,
alleging that he was a Christian who had come overland to Calicut as a
spy from the king of Portugal. Bontaybo said, he was sure this bad
treatment had proceeded from the suggestion of the Moors; and, as they
had seized his goods, he was sure they meant personal violence, on which
account he had made his escape. The general gave him a kind reception,
offering to carry him to Portugal, promising that he should recover
double the value of his goods, besides, that he might expect to be well
rewarded by the king of Portugal. To this arrangement Bontaybo gladly
consented, and had a good cabin assigned him by order of the general.
About ten o'clock the same day, three almadias full of men came off to
the ships, having some scarfs laid on their benches, as being part of our
goods; and these were followed by four other almadias, one after the
other. The Malabars pretended that they had brought off all the goods,
which they offered to put into his boat, and required him in return to
deliver up the rest of the prisoners. But convinced this was a mere
deception, the general desired them to go away, as he would have none of
their merchandize, and was resolved to carry the Malabars to Portugal as
witnesses of his discovery. He added, if God spared his life, he should
convince them whether the Christians were thieves, as the Moors had made
the king of Calicut believe, who had therefore treated him with so much
injustice. He now commanded several cannon to be fired, on which they
were afraid and made off.

It was certain, if the kings ships had been afloat that they would have
been sent to attack our ships; but they were all hauled upon shore on
account of the winter season. Wherefore we may attribute it to Providence
that our ships happened to arrive here at this season, that thereby they
might escape and carry home news of having discovered the Indies, to the
great advancement of the Catholic faith.

Although greatly rejoiced at having made the discovery of the route to
Calicut and the Indies, he was much distressed at the behaviour of the
zamorin, believing that the next expedition that might be sent out would
be subject to great danger; but as he was unable to do any thing more at
this time, he consoled himself with the knowledge he had thus acquired of
the safe navigation, and that he had procured specimens of the spices,
drugs, precious stones, and other commodities which were to be procured
at this place. Having now nothing to detain him here, he departed from
Calicut, carrying with him the Malabars whom he had made prisoners; as he
hoped by their means a good agreement might be entered into with the
zamorin on sending out the next fleet from Portugal. On the Thursday
after his departure, being becalmed about a league from Calicut, about
sixty _tonys_, or boats of the country, came off to the fleet filled with
soldiers expecting to have taken all our ships. But the general kept them
off by frequent discharges of his artillery, though they followed him an
hour and a half. At length there fell a heavy shower of rain attended
with some wind, by which the fleet was enabled to make sail, and the
enemies returned to the land. He now proposed to direct his course for
Melinda; but made little way along the coast, by reason of calms. At this
time, having in mind the good of the next ships which might come to
Calicut, he thought fit to send a soothing letter to the zamorin, which
was written in Arabic by Bontaybo; in which he apologized for having
carried off the Malabars, as evidences of his having been at Calicut. He
said he was sorry that he had left no factor, lest the Moors might put
him to death; and that he had been deterred by the some cause from having
frequently landed himself. That, notwithstanding all that had happened,
the king his master would be glad to have the friendship of the zamorin,
and would assuredly send him abundance of all those commodities he might
need; and that the trade of the Portuguese to his city would henceforth
redound to his great profit. This letter was entrusted to one of the
Malabars, who was set on shore and ordered to deliver it to the zamorin.

Continuing his course along the coast, the fleet came on the ensuing
Thursday among certain rocky islands, from one of which that was
inhabited there came off several almadias, having fish and other victuals
for sale. The general treated these people kindly, giving them shirts and
other articles to their great contentment; and, with their approbation,
set up a cross on the island, which was named _El padron de Sancta Maria_.
As soon as night approached, and the wind began to blow from the shore,
the fleet made sail, always keeping near the land. On the Thursday after,
being the 19th of September, they came in sight of a pleasant high land,
off which lay six little islands, where he came to anchor. Going here on
shore in search of fresh water, a young man was met with, who was or
pretended to be a Christian. This person carried our men to a river,
where they found a spring of excellent water issuing out of the rock; and
for his services they gave him a red nightcap. Next morning four natives
came off in a small boat, with many gourds and cucumbers for sale. These
people said that their country produced cinnamon, and two of our people
were sent onshore to see whether this were true, who brought with them
two green boughs which were said to be cinnamon, of which they had seen a
large grove, but it turned out only to be the wild kind. At their return,
these men were accompanied by more than twenty natives, who brought hens,
gourds, and cows milk for sale, and who said, if the general would send
some of his men on shore, he might have abundance of dried cinnamon, hogs,
and poultry: But he dreaded treachery, and would not allow any of his
people to go on shore. Next forenoon, when some of our men went to a part
of the shore at some distance from the ships to cut wood, they suddenly
came in sight of two boats lying close to the land, and returned with
intelligence of what they had seen; but the general would not send to
inquire what these might be until after dinner. In the mean time, one of
the men in the top gave notice that he saw eight large ships out at sea,
which were then becalmed. The general gave immediate orders to have every
thing in readiness in case of an attack, and as the wind served both
fleets, they soon came within two leagues of each other. The enemies
perceiving our fleet approaching, fled towards the shore; but one of
their rudders breaking, the men belonging to that ship escaped in their
boats, and Coello immediately took possession, expecting to find it laden
with rich commodities. Nothing was found however, except cocoa-nuts and a
kind of sugar called _melasus_, which is prepared from palms or date
trees. He also found on board many bows and arrows, swords, spears, and
targets. The other seven ships were run aground, so that our ships could
not get near them, as drawing too much water; but our people followed in
their boats, and drove them out of their vessels by firing upon them with
their ordnance. Next day, while our fleet was at anchor, seven men came
off from the land in an almadia, who reported that these eight ships had
been sent by the zamorin from Calicut to capture our fleet, as they had
been informed by some of the fugitives[64].

From this place the general removed to the island of _Ansandina_, at a
short distance, where he was told he might procure good water. This
island is very small, and only a league from the continent. It contains
several woods, and two cisterns, or conduits, built of freestone, one of
which is six feet deep, supplied with excellent water from certain
springs; and the sea around has great quantities of fish. Before the
Moors traded with India, this island was well inhabited by the native
idolaters, having many goodly buildings, and especially some fine pagodas.
But when the Moors resorted to this coast from the Red Sea, they used to
take in their wood and water at this place, and abused the inhabitants so
intolerably that they abandoned the place, and pulled down most of their
pagodas and all their other buildings. These Gentiles were natives of
that part of the continent which belongs to the king of _Narsingas_, and
used often to repair thither to perform their devotions to three black
stones which were in a chapel of one of the pagodas, which still remains.
This island is called _Ansandina_[65] in the Malabar language, which
signifies the Five Islands, and is so named because there are other four
islands round about.

Coming to anchor here, the general sent Coello on shore with an armed
escort, to examine the country, and to see if there were any convenient
place for new-graving their ships bottoms, as they had been long at sea
and had a long run before them. Every thing being found convenient, and
the measure approved of by all the captains, it was determined to lay
their ships successively aground for this purpose. The ship called the
Berrio was first laid on shore; and while occupied in repairing and
cleaning her bottom, many of the natives came off from the continent to
sell victuals to our people. While this was going forwards two small
brigandines were seen rowing towards our ships, ornamented with flags and
streamers on their masts, beating drums and sounding trumpets, and filled
with men who plied their oars. At the same time, five similar vessels were
seen creeping along shore, as if lying by to help the others if needful.
The Malabars who supplied our people with provisions, warned the general
to beware of these vessels, which belonged to pirates who roamed about in
these seas, robbing all they met under pretence of peace[66]. The general
believed he might have taken these two vessels, if he had allowed them to
come close up with his ships, but did not choose to run any risk;
wherefore, as soon as they came within gun-shot, he ordered all the cannon
belonging to the two ships which remained afloat to be fired at them; on
which, calling out in a loud voice, _Tambarane! Tambarane!_ which is their
name for God, they fled away. Nicholas Coello, who was in his boat,
followed after them, firing off his ordnance; but the general, fearful of
any mischance, called him back by signal.

Next day, when the general and all his men were on shore at work upon the
Berrio, twelve natives, who appeared to be men of some consequence, came
to the island in two small _paraos_, and presented a bundle of sugar
canes. These people asked permission to go on board the ships, as they
had never seen any such before; but the general was much offended with
this, fearing they might be spies. While engaged in conversation with
these men, other two _paraos_ made their appearance, having as many men.
But those who came first, seeing the general displeased, advised these
new comers not to land. When the Berrio was repaired, the generals ship
was brought aground to receive the same attentions.

While the general and the other captains were on shore, busied in the
repairs of the San Michael, there came one day a man in a little _parao_,
seemingly about forty years old, and not of that country, as he was
dressed in a _sabaco_, or gown of fine cotton reaching to his heels, his
head covered with a kerchief or towel, which partly covered his face, and
wearing a faulchion or crooked cymeter at his girdle. Immediately on
landing, he went up and embraced the general, as if he had seen or known
him before, and treated the other captains with the same politeness. He
told them he was a Christian, born in Italy, and had been brought when a
child into the Indies. That he now dwelt with a Moorish lord named
_Sabayo_, who ruled a certain island called Goa, about twelve leagues from
thence, and who had 40,000 horsemen on that island. That, as his dwelling
was now among the Moors, he conformed externally to their worship, though
in his heart a Christian. That learning certain men had come in ships to
Calicut, such as had never been seen before in the Indies, and that no one
understood their language, he immediately understood that they must be
_Frangnes_,[67] for so the Christians are named in the Indies. That he was
desirous of seeing them, and had asked leave of _Sabayo_ to come and visit
them; which, if he had not obtained, he would have died of vexation. That
Sabayo had not only granted him leave for this purpose; but desired, if he
found the strangers to be from his country, to offer them any thing they
might stand in need of which his country produced; particularly spices and
provisions. And besides, if they would come and live with him, Sabayo
would entertain them honourably, and give them sufficient to live on. The
general asked many questions concerning the country of Sabayo and other
things, to which he made answer. After which he requested to have a cheese
from the general, to send on shore to a companion, as a token of having
been well received. The general suspected some mystery in this man, yet
ordered a cheese and two new loaves to be given him, which he sent away to
his companion. He continued talking with great volubility, and sometimes
so unguardedly as to raise suspicions of his being a spy. On this Paulo de
la Gama, who particularly suspected him, inquired of some of the natives
if they knew who this man was; they immediately told him he was a pirate,
who had boarded many other ships while laid aground. On receiving this
information, the general ordered him to be carried on board his ship, then
aground, and to be whipped well till he should confess whether all that he
had said was true or false; also, what was his purpose in coming thither,
and whether he were actually a Moor or a Christian. He still insisted that
he was a Christian, and that all he said was true, declaring the
information given by the natives to be entirely groundless. The general
now ordered a more cruel torment to be inflicted to extort confession,
causing him to be hoisted up and down by the members: when at length he
declared he would tell the truth. He then acknowledged himself a spy, sent
to discover how many men the general had, and what were their weapons, as
he was much hated on all that coast for being a Christian; and that many
_atalayas_ or foists were placed in all the bays and creeks of the coast
to assail him, but dared not till they were joined by forty large armed
vessels that were getting ready to fall upon him. But he said he knew not
certainly when these vessels might be ready. The general now ordered him
to be confined under hatches, intending to carry him into Portugal, as a
fit person to give the king his master intelligence respecting the Indies,
and ordered him to get refreshing victuals, and that his cure should be
looked well after.

On receiving this information of the designs of his enemies, the general
would stay no longer than was necessary for completing the repairs of his
own ship, which was got ready in ten days. About this time, the general
was offered 1000 _fanons_ for the ship which had been taken by Coello; but
he refused to sell any thing to his enemies, and ordered her to be burnt.
When the generals ship was ready, and the fleet had taken in a supply of
water, they departed from the island of _Ansandina_, or Anchediva, on the
5th of October 1498, steering directly out to sea on their course for
Melinda. After sailing about 200 leagues from that island, the Moor[68]
whom they had taken prisoner, seeing no prospect of escape, now made a
full and true confession. He acknowledged that he lived with Sabayo, the
lord of Goa, to whom word was brought that the general was wandering about
in those seas, like one who knew not where he was, upon which orders were
given to fit out a powerful fleet to make him prisoner. In the mean time,
learning that the general was at the isle of Anchediva, Sabayo commanded
him to go thither to visit him, to get intelligence of his strength and
intentions, and to endeavour to entice him to Goa; where it was Sabayos
intentions to make him and all his people prisoners, and to employ them in
his wars against the neighbouring princes, as they were reported to be
valiant men. After this confession, the general gave this man better
treatment, allowing him both clothes and money. Some time afterwards he
became a Christian, by the name of Gaspar de la Gama, taking his name of
Gaspar from one of the three kings of the Magi[69], and his surname from
the general, who stood god-father at his baptism.

The general pursued his course for Melinda, where he proposed to take on
board an ambassador from the xeque of that place. In the early part of
this voyage he endured severe storms and contrary winds, which were
succeeded by calms, during which the heat of the sun was quite
insufferable, and the voyage much delayed, insomuch, that water began to
grow scarce, and the people had to be put on short allowance. Owing to
these circumstances, the people were afflicted with the same disease in
their gums, from which they had formerly suffered such great distress in
the river of Good Signs[70], on the outward voyage. Their arms and legs
also swelled, and many tumours broke out over their bodies, proceeding
from a pestilent stinking humour, which threw them into a flux, of which
thirty persons died. From the continuance of calms and contrary winds,
and the mortality among the people, the whole company became amazed, and
believed they should never be able to get out from their present
distressing situation; insomuch, that they solicited the general to
return to Calicut, or some other part of India, and submit to what God
might appoint, rather than to die on the sea of these terrible diseases,
for which there was no remedy, especially as both provisions and water
began to fail. De Gama reasoned with them to little purpose, as they had
been now four months at sea, and there hardly remained, sixteen persons
in each ship able to do duty, some of whom even were afflicted with the
diseases of which the others had died. It is even said that Paulo de la
Gama and Nicholas Coello had agreed to return to India, if any wind
should spring up that would have served for the voyage.

At length a favourable wind sprung up unexpectedly, and in sixteen days
they came in sight of land on Wednesday the 2d of February 1499, at which
the mariners were much rejoiced, and soon forgot all their past troubles
and dangers. As they came near the land towards evening, the general gave
orders to keep their heads out to sea during the night, to avoid rocks or
shoals. As there were no person on board who knew where they were, a Moor
alleged they had steered direct for Mozambique; saying there were certain
islands 300 leagues from the shore, and directly over against that place,
where the natives were continually subject to the disease which had been
so fatal to our men. When morning came, they stood towards the land, when
they came before a large and goodly city, surrounded with walls, having
fair and lofty houses, and a large palace on a height in the middle of
the city, seeming to be a magnificent building. This city is called
Magadoxo, and stands on one side of the Gulf of India on the coast of
Ethiopia[71], an hundred and thirteen leagues from Melinda, the situation
of which I shall explain hereafter. Knowing this to be a city of the
Moors, he would not stop at this place, but commanded many shots of
ordnance to be fired as he sailed past. Not being sure how far it was to
Melinda, and fearing to overshoot that port, he lay too every night; and
on Saturday the 5th of February, lying over against a village of the
Moors, named Pate[72], 103 leagues from Magadoxo, there came off eight
_terradas_, or boats of that country, filled with soldiers, and making
direct for our fleet, from whence we shot off so many pieces of ordnance,
that they soon fled back to the shore, and our people could not follow
for want of wind. Next Monday, being the 7th of February, the fleet
arrived at Melinda. The king immediately sent off his congratulations to
the general on his arrival, with a present of fresh provisions. De Gama
sent Fernan Martinez on shore to return the compliments of the king, to
whom he sent a present. On account of the great number of sick on board,
the fleet stopped here for ten days, during which time he caused a land-
mark to be erected on shore, with leave of the king, as a token of
friendship. Having provided provisions and water for the ships at this
place, he departed on the morning of Wednesday the 17th of February,
taking with him an ambassador from the king of Melinda, to negotiate a
treaty of perpetual peace and friendship with the king of Portugal.

Considering that there were not sufficient men remaining for navigating
all the ships, the general and the other captains agreed to burn one of
them, and the San Rafael was chosen to be sacrificed, because she was all
open, and had not been brought aground at Anchediva when the other two
were repaired. Accordingly, after taking out all her stores and
merchandize, which employed them during five days, she was burnt at
certain shoals, called the Shoals of St Raphael[73]. During these five
days, the fleet procured a considerable quantity of hens from a village
on the coast called _Tangata_. Leaving this place, the two remaining
ships came on the 20th February to the island of Zenziber, which is in
six degrees of S. latitude, at ten leagues distance from the continent.
This is a considerable island, having other two in its neighbourhood, one
called _Pemba_, and the other _Moyfa_. These islands are very fertile,
having abundance of provisions, and great quantities of oranges. The
inhabitants are Moors, who are by no means warlike and have few weapons,
but are well clothed in silk, and cotton vestments, which they purchase
at Mombaza from the merchants of Cambaya. The women are ornamented with
jewels of gold and silver, the former being procured at Sofala, and the
latter from the island of St Lawrence, or Madagascar. Each of these three
islands has a separate king, who, with all their subjects, are of the
Mahometan religion.

When the king of the island of Zenziber was informed of the arrival of
our ships, he sent immediately to compliment the general, accompanied
with great presents of the fruits and other productions of the country,
and requested his friendship, to which the general gladly agreed and sent
suitable answers. After remaining here eight days for refreshments, the
general departed on the 1st of March, and came to anchor beside the isle
of St George in the bay of Mozambique. Next day he caused a mark to be
erected on this island, where he went on shore and heard mass; and
departed thence without any intercourse with the inhabitants of
Mozambique. On the 3d of March, he came to the island of St Blas, where
the ships remained for some time to take in water, and to provide a stock
of sea wolves, and _solitarios_, which were salted to serve as provision
for the remainder of the voyage, and for which they were most thankful to
God. Departing from thence, they were driven back by a westerly wind
right contrary; but Providence sent them a fair wind, by means of which
they doubled the Cape of Good Hope with infinite pleasure on the 20th of
March, all the remainder of the crews being now strong and in good health,
with the cheering prospect of speedily returning to Lisbon. They now had
a fair wind, which lasted them twenty days, and sped them on towards St
Jago. The fair wind now failed them and delayed their voyage. Trying the
lead on Thursday the 25th of April, they found twenty-five fathom; and
the least water they had all that day was twenty fathom, on which account
the pilots concluded they were on the shoals of the Rio Grande.

Of the rest of this voyage, till the arrival of the general at the island
of St Jago, I have found no account; except that, when, approaching that
place, Nicholas Coello parted company one night with the general, and
made direct for Portugal, that he might carry the first intelligence to
the king of the discovery of India; and arrived at _Cascais_ on the 10th
of July 1499[74]. He went immediately to the king, whom he informed of
all that had befallen the general in his discovery of the Indies, and of
the commodities which had been brought from thence; of which discovery,
and of the prospect which it held out of a direct trade with India by sea,
the king was as glad as when he had been proclaimed king of Portugal.

After the separation of Coello, De Gama pursued his voyage for the island
of St Jago, both because his brother Paulo was sick with consumptive
complaints, and because his ship was in very bad condition; all her seams
being open. At that island, he freighted a caravel, in hope of being able
to get his brother home to Portugal, and left John de Sala in charge of
his own ship, to have her repaired and new rigged before proceeding for
Lisbon. The general and his brother left St Jago in the hired caravel for
Lisbon; but the disease of Paulo de Gama increased so rapidly, that he
was forced to put in at the island of Tercera, where Paulo de Gama
departed this life like a good Christian and a worthy gentleman. When he
had buried his brother, Vasco de Gama set sail for Portugal, and arrived
at Belem in September 1499; having been two years and two months absent
on this voyage. Of 108 men whom he had taken with him, only fifty[75]
came home alive; which was a large proportion, considering the great and
numerous dangers they had gone through.

When the general had returned thanks to God for his preservation and
success, he sent notice of his arrival to the king, who sent Diego de
Sylva y Menesis, Lord of Portugalete, and many other gentlemen, to
conduct him honourably to court, which they did through a prodigious
concourse of people, eager to see the man who had made so wonderful a
voyage, and whom they had long thought dead. Being come into the presence,
the king honoured him as one who, by the discovery of the Indies had done
so much for the glory of God, for the honour and profit of the king of
Portugal, and for the perpetual fame of the Portuguese name in the world.
The king made him afterwards a knight, and gave him and his heirs
permission to bear the royal arms of Portugal, as also to set at the foot
of the escutcheon two does, which are called gamas in the Portuguese
language. He also gave him a perpetual pension or rent-charge of 300,000
rees[76] yearly, out of the tythe fish in the village of _Sinis_, in
which he was born, and a promise of being made lord of that village; and
till these grants were executed in form, he allowed him 1000 crowns a-year;
which, after the royal grants were made, reverted to the house of the
_Contratation_ of the Indies. It was also granted, that when the trade
with India should be established, he might bring home spices to the value
of 200 ducats yearly, without paying any duty. He also gave him other
possessions and rents, and a note of remembrance or promise to make him a
lord[77]. Nicholas Coello was promoted to be a gentleman of the royal
household, and received possessions and rents to bear his charges[78].
The king himself, in consequence of these discoveries, assumed the new
title, of _Lord of the conquest and navigation of Ethiopia, Arabia, Persia,
and the Indies_.

[1] By Mr Clarke this person is named Gonçalo Nunez.

[2] Mr Clarke alleges, that Lichefield, our original translator, has
    fallen into an error in this date, which ought to have been the 28th

[3] If Saturday were the 5th July, on which the fleet sailed from Lisbon,
    the 3d of August must have been on Thursday. But it does not seem
    necessary to insist upon such minute critical accuracy; which, besides,
    is unattainable.--E.

[4] This strange expression probably means, that Gama stretched directly
    across the gulf of Guinea, not creeping as usual along the coast, and
    endeavoured to make a direct course for the Cape of Good Hope.--E.

[5] Our old English translator, Lichefield, strangely mistakes in calling
    this place the _island_ of Sancta Haelena; which is assuredly St Elena
    bay, in lat. 32° 40' S. It has since been sometimes named St Martin's
    bay, but the proper and general name is the bay of St Elena, the S. W.
    point of entry being called St Martin's Point.--E.

[6] Perhaps the Berg river, at the bottom of St Elena bay.--E.

[7] This paragraph is added to relation of Castenada from the works of
    Faria and Osorius.--Clarke.

[8] If the Thursday on which they came in sight of the Cape were the 16th,
    the Wednesday following must have been the 22nd of the month.--E.

[9] This paragraph is an addition to the text of Castaneda from Osorius--
    Clarke, I. 342

[10] From the circumstances in the text, this watering-place of St Blaze
    is probably what is now called St Katherines or St Sebastians Bay; yet
    that place hardly exceeds forty-seven Portuguese leagues east from the
    cape. The sixty leagues of the text would carry us almost a degree
    farther east, to what is now called Kaffercroyts river. Clarke removes
    this place still farther to Flesh Bay, otherwise called Angra de St
    Braz, or Aguada de St Braz by De Barros. This latter place is seventy
    Portuguese leagues, or above eighty marine leagues east from the cape.

[11] This account seems erroneous, whether St Katherines or Flesh Bay be
    the one in question, as both ought to be safe in north winds, and the
    winds between the S and E points give both a lee shore.--E.

[12] Probably a species of Penguins: Lichefield calls them _stares_, as
    large as ducks; Osorius says the natives called them _satiliario_, and
    that they were as big as geese.--E.

[13] Probably Rock Point, forming the western boundary of Algoa or
    Zwartkops bay, in long. 27° E. bring the rocky extreme promontory of
    the Krakakamma ridge.--E.

[14] It is infinitely difficult to guess the course of these early voyages,
    without latitudes or longitudes, and only estimated distances by dead
    reckoning in uncertain leagues; but the Rio del Infante of this voyage
    and that of Diaz, is probably that now called Great-fish river, in the
    Zuureveld of Graaff Reynet, in long. 28° 20' E• which, however, is
    twenty-six Portuguese leagues, or thirty geographical leagues from
    Rocky Point, instead of the fifteen leagues of the text.--E.

[15] The sixty leagues in the text are inexplicable on any rational
    supposition, as they seem to have again made the Rocks de la Cruz, or
    rather Rocky Point, said just before to be only fifteen leagues from
    Infante river, to which they were then bound.--E.

[16] The Portuguese ships appear to have been now on the coast of Natal,
    or the land of the Caffres, certainly a more civilized people than the
    Hottentots of the cape. But the circumstance of Alonzo understanding
    their language is quite inexplicable: as he could hardly have been
    lower on the western coast than Minz, or perhaps Congo. Yet, as a belt
    of Caffres are said to cross the continent of Africa, to the north of
    the Hottentots, it is barely possible that some Caffre slaves may have
    reached the western coast.--E.

[17] This grain was probably what is now well known under the name of

[18] According to Barros, _Aguada da boa Paz_.--Clarke.

[19] Gibb's Orosius, I. 50.

[20] The text here ought probably to be thus amended, "He and his brother,
    _with_ Nicholas Coelle," &c.--E.

[21] These probably swam off to the ships.--E.

[22] De Faria alleges that the people of this river were not so black as
    the other Africans, and wore habits of different kinds of stuffs, both
    cotton and silk, of various colours, and that they understood Arabic;
    and adds, that they informed De Gama there were white people to the
    eastwards, who sailed in ships like those of the Portuguese. Osorius
    likewise says, that one of the natives spoke Arabic very imperfectly,
    and that De Gama left two of his convicts at this place, which he
    called San Rafael.--Clarke.

[23] There is no circumstance in the text from which the situation of this
    river can even be conjectured. Clarke, p.440, alleges that it was
    Soffala; and yet, in a note in his preceding page, says, "That De Gama
    seems to have passed Cape Corientes during the night, and to have kept
    so far from land, on account of a strong current setting on shore, as
    not to have noticed Sofala." In the notes on the Lusiad, this river of
    Good Signs is ascertained to have been one of the mouths of the
    Zambeze, or Cuama River, which divides Mocaranga from the coast of
    Mozambique; the different mouths of which run into the sea between the
    latitudes of 19° and 18° S.--E.

[24] They were evidently afflicted with the scurvy; and accordingly De
    Barros refers the disease to its proper cause, "Having been for so
    long a time confined to the use of salt fish and corrupted biscuit.--

[25] Addition to the narrative of Castaneda, from De Barros.--Clarke.

[26] This obscure expression seems to mean that De Gama wished them to
    precede the ships, and point out the way into the harbour.--E.

[27] This expression has probably been misunderstood by the original
    translator. It appears that these Moors of Mozambique spoke Arabic,
    here called the language of Algarve, and finding themselves understood
    and answered by the strangers, mistook the Portuguese for Moors.--E.

[28] Mozambique is in lat. 15° 35' S. and in 41° of E. Long--E.

[29] The observations here inserted, and marked with inverted commas, are
    made by the Editor of the present collection. They are much too long
    for insertion in the form of a note, and appeared of too much
    importance to be omitted; being chiefly from Clarke, I. 447.--E.

[30] For the materials of this addition to the text of Castaneda, we are
    chiefly indebted to the Progress of Maritime Discovery, p. 447, 458.

[31] His name, as given by Osorius, was _Zacocia_, and De Barros adds,
    that he wore richly embroidered clothes, and had his sword ornamented
    with diamonds.--Clarke.

[32] This is probably the same person named Fernan Alvares on a former

[33] It is added by De Barros, that three _Abexijs_, or Abyssinians, from
    the territory of _Preste Joano_, came on board the fleet, along with
    the Moors who brought provisions; and, seeing the image of the angel
    Gabriel painted on the ship of that name, and being accustomed to such
    representations of angels in their own country, they made their
    adorations to this holy picture.--Clarke.

[34] Mr Clarke, Progr. of Marit. Disc. I. 464, strangely misrepresents
    this story; saying, "that _the pilot_ of Paulo de la Gama had deserted
    to the Moors, though a Christian."--E.

[35] According to De Burros, after the inhabitants abandoned the town,
    the zeque sent De Gama a pilot to navigate Coello's ship, from whom De
    Gama learnt that Calicut was a months voyage from Mozambique.--Clarke,
    I. 464.

[36] If Sunday, as above, were the first of April, the Friday following
    must have been the 6th.--E.

[37] The text is here obscure; but it would appear that only some of the
    men belonging to these two boats remained on board, and the rest
    returned to the coast. Not that the Moorish pilots from Mozambique
    were here dismissed, as the text of Lichefild's translation seems to

[38] Motta, in the Portuguese East Indian Pilot, places this town in lat.
    3º 50'S. He says the entrance is much incommoded with shoals, and so
    narrow in some places as not to exceed the length of a ship. This city
    is said to have once stood on a peninsula, converted into an island by
    cutting a canal across the isthmus.--Clarke, I. 469.

[39] This may be understood that part of the inhabitants were unmixed
    Arabs, comparatively whites; while others were of a mixed race between
    these and the original natives, perhaps likewise partly East Indian
    Mahometans, of a similar origin.--E.

[40] This is surely an oversight in Castaneda or his translator, for
   _one_ year.--E.

[41] It is difficult to ascertain what place in India is here meant.
    Cranganore comes nearer in sound, but is rather nearer Melinda than
    Calicut; Mangalore is rather more distant. The former a degree to the
    south of Calicut, the latter not quite two to the north; all three on
    the Malabar coast. On a former occasion, Castaneda says these
    merchants were of Cambaya or Guzerat, above eleven degrees north of

[42] This seems to be the same office with that named Kadhi, or Khazi, by
    the Turks and Persians, which is rather the title of a judge than of a
    priest, which is named Moulah.--E.

[43] It is probable that this passage should be thus understood, "The
    king sent him a pilot, who was an idolater from Guzerate, &c."--E.

[44] The addition to, or observations on the text, inserted in this place
    within inverted commas, are from Clarke, I. 486, 487.--E.

[45] In Lichefild's translation this date is made the 22d; but the Friday
    after Sunday the 21st, must have been the 26th of the month.--E.

[46] The difference of longitude between Melinda and Calicut is thirty-
    four degrees, which at 17-1/2 leagues to the degree, gives only 575
    Portuguese leagues, or 680 geographical leagues of twenty to the
    degree. Thus miserably erroneous are the estimated distances in old
    navigators, who could only compute by the dead reckoning, or the log.

[47] The course from Melinda to Calicut is about E. N. E. the former being
    about three degrees to the S. and the latter almost eleven degrees to
    the N. of the line.--E.

[48] This vague account of the extent of Malabar is erroneous or corrupt,
    as sixty-one Portuguese leagues would barely reach from Cape Comorin
    to Calicut. The extreme length of the western maritime vale of India,
    from Cambay to Cape Comorin, exceeds 250 Portuguese leagues.--E.

[49] The proper name of this prince who is said to have thus divided the
    kingdom of Malabar, was Shermanoo-Permaloo.--Clarke, I. 395.

[50] This must be erroneous, as the Mahometans reckon from the year of the
    Hegira, or flight of Mahomet from Mecca, which commences in 622 of the
    Christian era.--E.

[51] This story seems an Arabian tale, perhaps partly founded upon some
    real revolution in the government of Malabar. But it would much exceed
    the bounds of a note to enter upon disquisitions relative to Indian

[52] Laker is a kind of gum that proceedeth of the ant. This marginal note,
    in Lichefild's translation of Castaneda, indicates the animal origin
    of lac, which has been elucidated of late by Dr Roxburgh.--E.

[53] From the sequel in the narrative of Castaneda, this Colastrian rajah
    seems to have been the sovereign of Cananor.--E.

[54] This word pagoda, applied by the Portuguese, to denote an Indian,
    temple, is said to be derived from a Malabar or Indian word,
    _Pagabadi_, signifying any idol.--Astley, I. 51.

[55] This is described by Castaneda as a coin equal in value to three

[56] By De Faria, this man is named Monzayde.--Astl. I. 30.

[57] The title of kutwal is of Arabic origin, and properly signifies the
    governor of a fort or castle, but the office may be different in
    different places. In some instances, the kutwal seems to have been the
    deputy-governor, sheriff, or judge of a town.--Astl. I. 30.

[58] Such are the expressions used by Lichefild; but I suspect the sense
    here ought to have been, That the kutwal required De Gama to land
    immediately, that he might go to Calicut, on purpose to be presented
    to the zamorin.--E.

[59] In Astley, I. 81. this place is named Kapokats.--E.

[60] Kafr is an Arabic word, signifying an infidel or unbeliever; and is
    applied by the Mahometans to all who do not believe the doctrines of
    Mahomet, and especially to all who worship images, including the Roman
    Catholics. The priests mentioned in the text were obviously bramins.
    The origin of the term here used by mistake, was obviously from the
    interpretation of Bontaybo, the friendly Moor; and explains the
    mistake of De Gama in believing the Malabars to have been Christians.
    Bontaybo applied the same significant term of kafr to the image
    worshippers of all denominations, without discriminating one species
    of idolater from another.--E.

[61] On this part of the text, the author, or the original translator,
    makes the following singular marginal reflection:--"The general
    deceived, committeth idolatry with the Devil."--E.

[62] Astley, I. 24. a.

[63] Called in Astley _sharafins_.--Astl. I. 36.

[64] De Faria says that this fleet belonged to a pirate named Timoja, of
    whom frequent mention will be made hereafter; and that the eight ships
    were so linked together, and covered over with boughs of trees, that
    they resembled a floating island.--Astl. I. 38. a.

[65] More probably Anche-diva, or Ange-diva.--Astl. I. 38. b.

[66] These vessels seem more probably to have been the squadron of Timoja.
    --Astl. I. 38. c.

[67] Frangnes, Franghis, or Feringays, a common name all over the East
    for Europeans; assuredly derived from the Francs or French, long known
    as the great enemy of the Mahometans, by their exploits in the

[68] De Faria says this person was a Jew, and that he made the sign of
    the cross from the shore to be taken on board.--Astl. I. 39. b.

[69] Or rather one of the three kings of Collen.--Astl. I. 39.

[70] Since called Cuama.--Astl. I. 39. c.

[71] Magadoxo is in lat. 2° 20' N. and about 45° 40' E. long.--E.

[72] Pate stands on the coast of Zanguebar, on the Rio Grande, one of the
    mouths of the river Zebee, in lat. 1° 50' S. and about 41° 20' E. long.

[73] De Faria says this ship was lost on the shoals called after her name
    but the men were saved.--Astl. I. 40. a.

[74] De Faria alleges that Coello was separated by a storm near Cape Verd,
    and arrived at Lisbon, thinking De Gama had got home before him.--Astl.
    I. 40. b.

[75] De Faria says fifty-five, and that they were all rewarded by the
    king.--Astl. I. 40. c.

[76] The translator values this pension at 200l. a-year, perhaps equal in
    present value to 2000l.--E.

[77] This does not appear to have been actually done until his return
    from India the second time, as will be mentioned hereafter.--E.

[78] According to Astley, but without quoting any particular authority,
    De Gama had a grant from the king of the title of Don for himself and
    his descendants, and a pension of 3000 ducats: Coello was raised to
    the rank of Fidalgo, or gentleman, and had an appointment of 100
    ducats yearly.--Astl. I. 40.


_Voyage of Pedro Alvarez Cabral to India in 1500; being the second made
by the Portuguese to India, and in the course of which Brasil was

The certainty of a navigable communication with India, and the vast
riches that were to be had in that country, being now ascertained, the
king resolved to prosecute the discovery, on purpose to spread the gospel
among the idolaters, and to augment his own revenues and the riches and
prosperity of his subjects. For these purposes, he determined to attempt
the settlement of a factory in Calicut by gentle means; hopeful that they
might be persuaded to a friendly intercourse, and might afterwards listen
to the word of God.

He therefore commanded that a fleet of ten ships and two caravels should
be got ready against next year, to be well laden with all the commodities
which De gama had reported to have current sale in Calicut. There went
others also to Sofala and Quiloa, where also he commanded factories to be
established, both on account of the gold which was to be found there, and
that the ships might have a place to touch and refresh at in their way to
and from India. Over the fleet intended for Calicut, he appointed Pedro
Alvarez Cabral, a gentleman of an honourable house, to be captain-general,
Sancho de Toar being captain of his ship. The names of the other captains,
so far as have come to my knowledge, were Nicholas Coello, Don Luis
Continho, Simon de Myseranda, Simon Leyton, Bartholomew Diaz, who
discovered the Cape of Good Hope, and his brother Diego Diaz, who had
been purser to Vasco do Gama in the former voyage. Of the caravels, Pedro
de Tayde[1] and Vasco de Silviera, were captains. Arias Correa was
appointed supercargo of the whole fleet, and was ordered to remain as
factor in Calicut, having Gonsalo Gil Barboso and Pedro Vas Caninon as
his clerks. Two ships were to remain with the merchandize at Sofala,
where Loriso Hurtado was to be factor. In the whole of this fleet there
embarked 1500 men[2].

The general was instructed, besides settling the factories, that if the
zamorin would not quietly consent or give sufficient lading to the ships,
he should make cruel war upon him for his injurious conduct to Vasco de
Gama. If the zamorin consented to the establishment of a factory and
trade, the general was secretly to request him not to allow any of the
Moors of Mecca to remain or to trade in Calicut, or any other harbour in
his dominions, and to promise that the Portuguese should hereafter supply
all such commodities as used to be brought by the Moors, of better
quality and cheaper than theirs. That he should touch at Melinda, to land
the ambassador who had been brought from thence by De Gama, together with
a present for the king of that place. Along with this fleet, the king
sent five friars of the order of St Francis, of whom Fra Henrique was
vicar, who was afterwards bishop _Siebta_, and who was to remain in the
factory to preach the Catholic faith to the Malabars[3].

The fleet being in full readiness, the king went in procession, on Sunday
the 7th of March 1500, to hear mass at the monastery of Belem,
accompanied by the captain-general, whom he took along with himself
behind the curtain in the royal seat, to do him the more honour. After
mass, Don Diego Ortis, bishop of Viseu, preached a sermon, in which he
gave high praise to Cabral for undertaking the command of this expedition,
as serving not only the king his temporal master, but the eternal GOD his
spiritual Lord, drawing many comparisons in his favour from the Grecian
and Roman histories. Mass being ended, a banner of the royal arms of
Portugal was delivered to the bishop, who solemnly blessed it, and
returned it to the king, who delivered it to Cabral, that it might be
displayed at his main-top. The bishop then, gave a bonnet to the general,
which had been blessed by the pope, and placed a rich jewel with his own
hands on his head, and gave him his blessing. When these ceremonies were
ended, the king accompanied the captain-general to the water side, where
he and the other captains of the fleet took leave of the king, kissing
his hands, the king giving them Gods blessing and his own; after which
all went on board, and the whole fleet saluted the king by discharging
all the ordnance of all the ships: But the wind being foul, the fleet
could not depart that day, and the king returned to Lisbon.

Next day, being the 9th of May 1500, having a fair wind, the fleet
weighed by signal from the general, and set sail at eight in the
morning[4]. "_The whole fleete having wayed, did then begin to cut and
spread their sayles with great pleasure and crie, saieng altogether_, Buen
viage, _that is to say, a luckie and prosperous voyage. After all this,
they beganne all to be joyfull, every man to use his severall office: The
gunners in the midst of the ship, hailing the maine sheets with the
capsteine: The mariners and ship boys, some in the forecastell haling
bollings, braces, and martnets: Others belying the sheets both great and
small, and also serving in trimming the sayles, and others the nettings
and foretop sayles: Other some vering the trusses, and also beleying
brases and toppe sayle sheets, and coyling every sort of ropes. It was
wonderful to see such a number of diversities of offices in so small a
roome, as is the bredth and length of a ship_."

Going on their voyage with a quarter wind, they came in sight of the
Canaries on the 14th of March, and passed St Jago on the 22d. On the 24th
of the same month, the caravel commanded by Vasco de Tayde parted company,
and was never seen afterwards[5]. After waiting two days for the missing
ship, the fleet proceeded on its voyage, and on the 24th of April, came
in sight of land. This was cause of much joy, as it was supposed to be a
country which had not been discovered by De Gama, because it lay to the
west[6] of their course. Cabral immediately sent off the master of his
ship in a small boat to examine the country, who reported that it
appeared pleasant and fertile, with extensive woods and many inhabitants.
The fleet was brought to anchor, and the master sent again on shore to
examine more narrowly into the state of the country and its inhabitants.
His account was that the natives were well proportioned, and of a swarthy
colour, armed with bows and arrows, and all naked. A storm arising at
night, the fleet weighed anchor and stood along; the coast, till they
found a good harbour, in which they all came to anchor, naming it _Puerto
Seguro_, or the Safe Port, as it was quite secure in all weathers. Our
men took two of the natives in an almadia or canoe, who were brought to
the admiral, but no one could understand their language. They had
therefore apparel given them, and were set on shore much pleased. This
encouraged the rest of the natives to mix with our people in a friendly
manner; but finding nothing to detain him here, the general determined to
take in a supply of water, not knowing when he might have another
opportunity. Next day, being in Easter week, a solemn mass was said on
shore under a pavilion, and a sermon was preached by Fra Henrique. During
service, many of the natives gathered around, who seemed very merry,
playing and leaping about, and sounding cornets, horns, and other
instruments. After mass, the natives followed the general to his boat,
singing and making merry. In the afternoon our men were allowed to go on
shore, where they bartered cloth and paper with the natives for parrots
and other beautiful birds, which are very numerous in that country, and
with whose feathers the natives make very shewy hats and caps. Some of
our men went into the country to see the towns or dwellings of the
natives, and reported that the land was very fertile, and full of woods
and waters, with plenty of fruits of various kinds, and much cotton.

As this was the country now so well known by the name of Brasil, I shall
not say any more about it in this place, except that the fleet remained
here for eight days; during which a great fish was thrown ashore by the
sea, greater than any _tonel_, and as broad as two. It was of a round
form, having eyes like those of a hog, and ears like an elephant, but no
teeth; having two vents under its belly, and a tail three quarters of a
yard broad, and as much in length. The skin was like that of a hog, and a
finger in thickness. The general ordered a high stone cross to be erected
at this place, and named his new discovery _La tierra de Santa Cruz_, or
the Land of the Holy Cross. From hence he sent home a caravel, with
letters to the king, giving an account of his voyage hitherto, and that
he had left two exiles[7] in this place, to examine the country; and
particularly to ascertain if it were a continent, as appeared from the
length of coast he had passed. He sent likewise one of the natives, to
shew what kind of people inhabited the land. Considering the great length
of the voyage he had to perform, Cabral did not deem it proper to spend
any more time in examining this new country, but departed from Puerto
Seguro[8] on the 2d of May, steering his course for the Cape of Good Hope,
which was estimated to be 1200 leagues distant, and having a great and
fearful gulf to cross, rendered dangerous by the great winds which
prevail in these seas during most part of the year.

On the 12th of May a great comet appeared in the heavens, coming from the
east, and was visible during ten days and nights, always increasing in
splendour. On Saturday the 23d of May, there arose a great storm from the
north-east, attended with a high sea and heavy rain, which forced the
whole fleet to take in their sails. On its abatement they again spread
their foresails; and falling calm towards night, the ships astern spread
out all their sprit-sails to overtake the rest. On Sunday the 24th the
wind again increased, and all the sails were furled. Between ten and
eleven o'clock of that day a water-spout was seen in the north-west, and
the wind lulled. This deceived the pilots as a sign of good weather,
wherefore they still carried sail: But it was succeeded by a furious
tempest, which came on so suddenly that they had not time to furl their
sails, and four ships were sunk with all their men, one of which was
commanded by Bartholomew Diaz, the discoverer of the Cape of Good Hope.
The other _seven_[9] were half filled with water, and had been all lost
if a part of their sails had not given way to the tempest. Soon
afterwards the storm veered to the south-west, but still continued so
violent that they had to drive all that day and the next under bare poles,
and the fleet much separated. On the third day the wind became more
moderate, coming round to the east and north-east, attended by a heavy
swell, and the waves run higher than had ever been seen before, yet the
fleet joined again to their great joy. This wind and high sea continued
for twenty days, during all which time the ships had to lie to, and were
so tossed that no one thought it possible to escape being swallowed up.
During day, the sea was black as pitch, and at night it appeared like
fire. The general, with Simon de Myranda and Pedro de Tayde, bore up to
windward during this long continued gale; while all the rest submitted to
the wind and went at Gods mercy.

When the storm abated, the general found that, with only two other ships
in company, he had doubled the Cape of Good Hope without having seen it.
On the 16th of July they fell close in with the coast of Africa, in lat.
27°S. but the pilots did not know the coast, and the general would not
allow any one to go on shore. They could see great numbers of people on
the land, yet none came down to the shore to view the ships. Having no
hope of procuring provisions from the natives, the seamen caught great
plenty of fish at this place; after which the general pursued his course
close along shore, where he constantly saw many people, and great numbers
of cattle feeding along the banks of a river which fell into the sea in
that neighbourhood.[10] Proceeding in this manner, the general came to
Sofala, with which the pilots were unacquainted, near which lay two
islands,[11] close by one of which two vessels lay at anchor. These
immediately made for the shore on seeing the Portuguese ships, and being
pursued were taken without resistance. The principal person belonging to
these vessels was a near relation[12] of the king of Melinda, and was
going from Sofala to Melinda with gold. The people were so much afraid on
seeing our ships, that they threw a great part of the gold into the sea,
and most of them escaped on shore. The general was much concerned at his
loss, especially that it should have fallen on the subject and relation
of a prince who was in friendship with the king his master; and after
shewing him every civility, restored the two vessels with all the
remaining gold. The Moor asked Cabral if he had any witches on board, who
could conjure up his gold from the bottom of the sea? Cabral answered,
that the Christians believe in the true God, and do not practice or give
credit to witchcraft.

Learning from this Moor that he had overshot Sofala, and not being
inclined to turn back, the general continued his voyage to Mozambique;
where he arrived on the 20th of July and took in a supply of water, and
procured a pilot to carry him to the island of Quiloa, towards which he
directed his course. In this part of the voyage he saw several fertile
islands, belonging to the king of Quiloa, who is a powerful prince; his
dominions extending from Cape Corientes almost to Mombaza, along nearly
400 leagues of coast, including the two islands near Sofala, that city
itself and several others to Mozambique, many more all the way to Mombaza,
with a great number of islands; from all which he derives large
revenues.[13] Yet he has few soldiers, and lives in no great state. His
constant residence is in an island named Quiloa, near the continent of
Ethiopia, an hundred leagues from Mozambique. This island is full of
gardens and orchards, with plenty of various kinds of fruits, and
excellent water, and the country produces abundance of _miso_[14] and
other grain, and breeds great numbers of small cattle; and the sea affords
great plenty of excellent fish. The city of Quiloa is in lat. 9°25'S. and
long. 40°20'E. handsomely built of stone and lime, and pleasantly situated
between fine gardens and the sea, having abundance of provisions from its
own island and from other places on the continent. The king and the
inhabitants of the city are Moors of a fair colour using the Arabic
language, but the original natives of the country are Negroes. The Moors
of Quiloa are richly dressed, especially the women, who wear many golden
ornaments. They are great merchants, enjoying the principal trade in gold
at Sofala, whence it is distributed over Arabia Felix, and other countries;
and many merchants resort thither from other places. Hence there are
always many ships in this port, which are all hauled upon the beach when
not in use. These ships[15] have no nails, but are sewed together by rope
made of _cairo_, and have their bottoms payed with wild frankincense, as
the country produces no pitch. The winter here begins in April and ends in

On arriving at Quiloa, and receiving a safe-conduct for that purpose, the
general sent Alonso Hurtado, attended by seven of the principal officers,
to wait upon the king, signifying that Cabral had come here with the
fleet of the king of Portugal to settle a trade in the city, and had
great store of merchandize fit for that purpose; and to say that he was
desirous to confer with his highness on this subject, but had been
forbidden by the king his master to go on shore. The king agreed to give
Cabral an audience afloat; and, on the following day Cabral waited for
the king in his boat, which was covered over with flags, and attended by
all the other captains in their boats; as now Sancho de Toar and other
two ships had joined company again. The king came in an almadia,
accompanied by many principal Moors in other boats, all decked with flags,
and with many trumpets, cornets, and sackbuts, making a great noise. On
the arrival of the king, the whole Portuguese ordnance was fired off, by
which the king and his train were much alarmed, not having been
accustomed to such a salute. After mutual civilities, the letter from the
king of Portugal was read, proposing the settlement of trade between the
two nations, to which the king of Quiloa assented, and agreed that Alonso
Hurtado should wait upon him next day with an account of the kinds of
merchandize the Portuguese had to dispose of, for which he promised to
give gold in exchange. But when Hurtado went next day on shore, the king
made many excuses for not performing his promise, pretending to have no
need of the commodities, and believing that the general came to conquer
his country. The true reason was because he was a Moor and we were
Christians, and he was unwilling to have any trade or intercourse with us.
After this the general remained three or four days, to see if the king
would change his mind; but he continued inflexible, and strengthened
himself with armed men, as jealous of being attacked.

Finding that nothing could be done here, the general went on his voyage,
and arrived at Melinda on the 2d of August. At this port he found three
ships at anchor belonging to Moorish merchants of Cambaya; but, though
laden with great riches, he would not meddle with them, out of respect
for the king of Melinda. On coming to anchor the general saluted the king
with all his ordnance; on which the king sent a complimentary message of
welcome, with a present of many sheep, hens, and ducks, and great
quantities of fruits. The general sent a message in return, intimating
that he had come here by orders of the king of Portugal, to know if his
highness had any service which the fleet could perform for him, and to
deliver a letter and a rich present from the king of Portugal, which he
would send whenever his highness pleased to give his commands. The king
was much pleased with this message, and detained the messenger all night,
most part of which he spent in making inquiries respecting the kingdom of
Portugal. As soon as it was day, the king sent two principal Moors to
wait upon the general, declaring his joy at his arrival, and desiring, if
he had need of any thing in the country, to command all there as his own.
The general then sent Aries Correa, the factor-general of the fleet, on
shore to deliver the letter and presents, accompanied by most of the
principal officers, and having all the trumpeters of the fleet sounding
before him. The present consisted of the rich caparison of a riding-horse,
of the most splendid and shewy fashion. The king sent the nobles of his
court to receive Correa in great state, and several women who had censers
or perfuming pans which filled the air with a delightful odour. The king
received Correa in his palace, which was very near the water side,
sitting in his chair of state, and accompanied by many noblemen and
gentlemen. The letter, which was written hi Portuguese on one side and
Arabic on the other, being read, and the present laid before the king, he
and his nobles all in one voice gave thanks to God and Mahomet for
granting them the friendship of so great a prince. During the three days
which the fleet continued here, Correa remained on shore at the kings
particular request, in which he constantly employed himself in inquiries
concerning the customs of the king of Portugal and the conduct of his

The king of Melinda was very anxious to have Cabral to come on shore to
the palace, but he excused himself as having been ordered by his master
not to land at any port, with which the king was satisfied, yet desired
to have an interview on the water. On this occasion, though the palace
was very near the sea, he went on horseback to the shore, having his
horse decorated with the rich caparisons sent him by the king of Portugal,
which were obliged to be put on by one of our men as none of the natives
knew their use. On coming to the shore, certain principal natives waited
at the foot of the stair, having a live sheep, which they opened alive,
taking out the bowels, and the king rode over the carcase of the sheep.
_This is a kind of ceremony that the witches there do use_.[16] After
this he went to the water side, with all his train on foot, saying in a
loud voice certain words of incantation. The interview with the general
took place on the water in great ceremony, and the king gave him a pilot
to carry the fleet to Calicut. Cabral left two banished men at Melinda to
inform themselves of all the circumstances of the country to the best of
their abilities. One of these, called _Machado_, when he had learned the
Arabic language, went afterwards by land to the straits of the Red Sea,
and from thence by Cambaya to _Balagarte_, and settled with the _sabayo_
or lord of Goa, passing always for a Moor. This man was afterwards very
serviceable to Albuquerque, as will be seen hereafter.

Leaving Melinda on the 7th of August, he came to Ansandina or Anche-diva,
on the 20th of that month, where he waited some days for the fleet of
Mecca, which he meant to have attacked. While there, the whole of the
crews confessed and received the sacrament. No ships appearing, the fleet
left Anchediva and sailed for Calicut, coming to anchor within a league
of that place on the 13th of September. Several almadias came off
immediately to sell victuals: And some of the principal nayres, with a
Guzurat merchant, brought a message from the zamorin,[17] declaring his
satisfaction at the arrival of the general at his city, in which every
thing he might need was at his command. The general made a polite answer
to the king, with thanks for his civility, and gave orders to bring the
fleet nearer to the city, in doing which all the ordnance was fired as a
salute, to the great astonishment of the natives, the idolaters among
them saying that it was impossible to resist us. Next day one Gaspar[18]
was sent on shore to the zamorin, desiring to have a safe-conduct for a
deputation from the general to wait on his highness; and along with
Gaspar the four Malabars who had been carried away from Calicut by Don
Vasco de la Gama were sent on shore. These men were all finely dressed in
Portuguese habits, and the whole inhabitants of the city came out to see
them, rejoiced to find they had been well treated. Though the zamorin was
well pleased with the safe return of his subjects, he refused allowing
them to come into his presence as they were only fishermen, or of a low
cast; but he sent for Gaspar, whom he received with civility, and whom he
assured that our people might come on shore in perfect safety. On
receiving this intelligence, Cabral sent Alonso Hurtado to the zamorin,
intimating that the Portuguese fleet had come on purpose to settle trade
and friendship, and that the general wished for an audience in which to
arrange these matters with his highness. But had orders from the king his
master not to go on shore without sufficient pledges for his security;
among whom he demanded the kutwal of Calicut and Araxamenoca one of the
chiefs of the nayres.[19] On this occasion Hurtado was accompanied by a
person who could speak the language, to act as his interpreter.

The zamorin was unwilling to send the hostages required, alleging that
they were old and sickly, and offered to send others who were better able
to endure the hardships of living on board. Yet he afterwards, at the
instigation of the Moors, was against sending any hostages; as they made
him believe that the general shewed little confidence in his promise,
which was derogatory to his honour and dignity. This negociation lasted
three days, as Hurtado insisted on this as a necessary preliminary. At
length, desirous of having trade settled with us, owing to the advantages
which would accrue to his revenue, the zamorin agreed to give the
hostages required. On which, leaving the command of the fleet in his
absence to Sancho de Toar, Cabral directed that the hostages should be
well treated, but on no account to deliver them to any one even although
demanded in his name. On the 28th of December, Cabral went on shore
magnificently dressed and attended by thirty of his principal officers
and others, the kings servants, in as much state as if he had been king
of Portugal; carrying with him rich furniture for his apartments, with a
cupboard of plate containing many rich pieces of gilt silver. He was met
by many principal nayres, sent by the zamorin to wait upon him, and
attended by a numerous train, among whom were many persons sounding
trumpets sackbuts and other musical instruments. The zamorin waited for
him in a gallery close by the shore, which had been erected on purpose;
and while the general went towards the shore, accompanied by all the
boats of the fleet, dressed out with flags and streamers, the hostages
were carried on board his ship, where they were loath to enter till they
should see the general on shore, lest he might return and detain them;
but were at last reassured of their safety by Aries Correa. On landing,
Cabral was received in great state by several _caymals, pinakals_, and
other principal nayres; by whose directions he was placed in an _andor_
or chair, in which he was carried to the _serame_ or hall of audience,
where the king waited his arrival.

The serame or gallery, was all hung round with rich carpets, called
_alcatifas_; and at the farther end the zamorin sat in an alcove or
recess resembling a small chapel, with a canopy of unshorn crimson velvet
over his head, and having twenty silk cushions under him and about him.
The zamorin was almost naked, having only a piece of white cotton round
his waist, wrought with gold. On his head he wore a cap of cloth of gold
resembling a helmet. In his ears he had rich jewels of diamonds,
sapphires, and pearls, two of the latter being as large as walnuts. His
arms, from the elbows to the wrists, were covered with golden bracelets,
set with numberless precious stones of great value; and his legs, from
the knees to the ankles, were similarly adorned. His fingers and toes had
numerous rings, and on one of his great toes he wore a ruby of great size
and wonderful brilliancy. One of his diamonds was bigger than a large
bean. All these were greatly surpassed by his girdle of gold and jewels,
which was altogether inestimable, and was so brilliant that it dazzled
the eyes of the beholders. Beside the zamorin was a rich throne or state
chair, all of gold and jewels; and his _andor_, in which he had been
carried from the palace was of similar richness, and stood near him. He
was attended by twenty trumpeters, seventeen of whom had silver trumpets,
and three of them gold, all the mouth-pieces being finely wrought and set
with jewels. Although in full day, the hall was lighted by many silver
lamps, in the fashion of the Moors. Close by the king there stood a
spitting basin of gold, and several silver perfuming-pans, which produced
an excellent odour. Six paces from the king, he was attended on by his
two brothers, who were the nearest heirs to the kingdom; and a little
farther off were many noblemen, all standing.

On entering the hall, and seeing the splendid state of the zamorin,
Cabral would have kissed his hand, as is the custom of Europe; but was
informed that this was not customary among them, and therefore sat down
in a chair near the king, which was appointed for him as an especial
honour. He then delivered his letter of credit from the king of Portugal,
written in Arabic, and then said, that the king his master, willing to
cultivate trade and friendship with the zamorin and his subjects, had
given him orders to require permission to establish a factory or house of
trade in Calicut, which should always be supplied with every kind of
merchandize that was in demand; and requested the zamorin to supply a
sufficient loading of spices for the ships under his command, which he
was ready to pay for, either by means of the commodities he had on board,
or in ready money. The zamorin seemed or affected to be pleased with the
embassy, and said that the king of Portugal was welcome to every thing in
his city of which he was in need. At this time the present from the king
of Portugal to the zamorin was brought forwards; which, among other
things, contained, a richly wrought basin and ewer of silver gilt; a gilt
silver flaggon and cover of similar workmanship; two silver maces; four
cushions, two of which were cloth of gold, and the other two of unshorn
crimson velvet; a state canopy of cloth of gold, bound and fringed with
gold; a carpet of rich crimson velvet; two very rich arras hangings, one
ornamented with human figures, and the other with representations of
trees and flowers. The zamorin was much satisfied with this present, and
said the general might either retire to his lodgings for rest and
refreshment, or might return to his ships as he thought best; but, as the
hostages were men of high cast and could not endure the sea, who could
neither eat or drink while on board consistent with their customs, it
became necessary that they should come on shore. Wherefore, if the
general would return to his ship and send these men on shore, and
inclined to come back next day to conclude all matters relative to the
trade of Calicut, the same hostages should be again sent on board. As the
general placed confidence in these assurances of the zamorin, he went on
board, leaving Hurtado and other seven of his people in charge of his
valuables that were left on shore. When at the water side and ready to
embark, a servant of one of the hostages, who was dispatched by the
comptroller of the zamorins household, went before in an almadia or small
pinnace, and gave notice to the hostages that the general was coming on
board. On which they leapt into the sea, meaning to escape to land in the
almadia with the servant: But Aries Correa went immediately with some of
the Portuguese mariners in a boat, and retook two of the hostages, with
three or four of the Malabars belonging to the almadia: The rest of the
hostages, among whom was the kutwal, got to the city.

When Cabral came on board and learnt what had happened, he ordered the
two remaining hostages to be secured below deck, and sent a complaint to
the zamorin against the conduct of the hostages, laying all the blame on
the comptroller. He desired the messenger to inform the zamorin of the
situation of the two remaining hostages, and to say that they should be
liberated whenever the Portuguese and the goods on shore were sent back
to the ships. Next day the zamorin came to the shore accompanied by 12,
000 men, and sent off the Portuguese people and their commodities to the
ships in thirty almadias, with orders to bring back the hostages. But
none of the Malabars in the almadias dared to approach the ships, being
afraid of the Portuguese, and returned therefore to the land without
delivering our people and commodities. Next day, the general sent some of
his own boats to land the pledges, but at some distance from the almadias;
on which occasion Araxamenoca, one of the hostages, leapt into the sea
with an intention to escape, but was retaken; and while our people were
busied in securing him, the other hostage made his escape. The general
was astonished at the want of truth and honour in these people, and gave
orders to keep Araxamenoca in strict custody; but finding at the end of
three days that the zamorin did not send for him, and that during all
this period he refused all sustenance, Cabral took compassion on him and
sent him to the zamorin, requesting that two of our men who remained on
shore might be sent on board, which was complied with.

After waiting three days without any message from the zamorin, the
general sent one Francisco Correa to inquire if he inclined to confirm
the agreement between them, in which case he would send Aries Correa on
shore to treat with his highness, for whose safety he required hostages.
The zamorin answered that he was perfectly willing to have the trade
established, and that the general might send Aries Correa or any other
person on shore for that purpose, and transmitted two grandsons of a rich
merchant of Guzerate as hostages. Aries Correa went accordingly on shore,
and was accommodated by the orders of the zamorin with a convenient house
for himself and his goods, which belonged to the Guzerate merchant, who
was likewise commanded to assist Correa in regard to the prices of his
merchandize and all other things relating to the trade and customs of the
place. But this man being a friend to the Moors of Mecca, thwarted him in
all things instead of giving him assistance. The Moors were determined
enemies to our people, both for being Christians, and lest their credit
and advantageous traffic in Calicut might suffer by the establishment of
our trade in that port. Wherefore, by means of their confederacy with the
Guzerate merchant, they took our goods at any price they pleased, and
intimidated the Malabars from trading with us. The Moors concluded that
the establishment of our factory would lower the price of such
commodities as they had to sell, and would inhance the value of the
spiceries, drugs, and jewels which they took in exchange. On this account
they thwarted Correa in all his transactions, offering higher prices than
ordinary for every article, by which he was constrained to buy every
thing at a very dear rate. If at any time he wished an audience of the
zamorin, the Moors always contrived to be present, that some of them
might speak against him. In this conduct they were assisted by
_Samicide_[20], a Moor, who was admiral of Calicut; who likewise hindered
any of our people of the factory from going on board the fleet, and
detained any of our boats that approached the shore, pretending to do this
by command of the zamorin.

On learning this sinister conduct of the Moorish admiral of Calicut, and
suspecting some intended treachery, the general gave orders to the fleet
to weigh their anchors, and to remove out of the harbour, lest they might
be attacked by the zamorins fleet, and that he might take counsel with
the other captains for the safety of the expedition. On learning this,
the zamorin inquired the reason from Correa, who urged the injurious
behaviour of the Moors, and told him all that they had done. The zamorin
immediately gave orders that the Moors should discontinue their villanous
conduct towards us, and even removed the Guzerate merchant from our
factory, appointing one _Cosebequin_[21] in his place, who, though a Moor,
was a very honest man and behaved to us in a friendly manner. This man
was of great credit in Calicut, being the head of all the native Moors of
that country, who are always at variance with the Moors of Cairo and of
the Red Sea, of whom the admiral Samicide was the chief. The Zamorin gave
farther orders, that our factory should be removed to a house close to
the shore which belonged to Cosebequin, that our merchants might have
greater freedom to buy and sell, without any interruption from the Moors.
For the greater security, a deed of gift was made of this house by the
zamorin to the king of Portugal and his successors for ever, a copy of
which, signed and sealed by the zamorin, was enclosed in a casket of gold
that it might be conveyed to Portugal; and permission was given to
display a flag of the royal arms of Portugal from the top of the
factory[22]. On receiving intelligence of these favourable measures, Cabral
brought back the fleet into the harbour of Calicut, and sent his
compliments of thanks to the zamorin for his gracious and favourable
dispositions. After this, our factory had tolerably good fortune in
conducting its trade by the assistance of Cosebequin: and the natives,
finding our factory favoured by the zamorin, behaved so very civilly to
our people that they could go about wherever they pleased, with as much
freedom and safety as in Lisbon.

During the subsistence of this friendly intercourse, a large Moorish ship
was descried from Calicut on its voyage from Cochin for Cambaya; and the
zamorin requested our general to make prize of the ship, alleging that it
contained a peculiarly fine elephant which he wished to possess, and
which had been refused to him although he had offered more than its value.
The general answered that he would do this willingly to gratify his
highness; but, as he was informed the ship was large and well manned,
both with mariners and soldiers, it could not be expected to surrender
without resistance, in which some men might be slain on both sides, and
it was therefore necessary he should have the sanction of his highness to
kill these people in case of resistance, which was accordingly granted.
Upon which the general sent Pedro de Tayde in his caravel, accompanied by
a valiant young gentleman named Duarte, or Edward Pacheco, and by sixty
fighting men, with orders to take this ship. Along with them the zamorin
sent certain Moors, that they might witness the manner of fighting used
by the Portuguese. The caravel gave chase to the Moorish ship till night,
and then lost sight of her; but in sailing along shore by moon-light,
they saw her riding at anchor, ready for defence, judging her to be about
600 tons burthen, and to contain 300 fighting men. Pacheco, according to
his orders, did not think proper to lay the Moorish ship on board, but
commanded his ship to be brought to, intending to sink the Moorish ship
by means of his ordnance, in case of necessity. The Moors made light of
our small force, which they greeted with loud cries and the sound of
musical instruments, after which they played their ordnance against our
caravel. They were bravely answered by our men, and one of our balls
struck them between wind and water, so that the Moorish ship took in much
water; and many of their men being killed and wounded by our shot, they
bore away for the bay of Cananor, which was very near, and came there to
anchor beside other four Moorish ships. Pacheco followed them and
continued to batter them with his guns, and had assuredly taken them had
not certain _paroas_ belonging to the Moors come from the port of Cananor
to their assistance. The night growing very dark, Pacheco quitted the bay
lest his caravel might be set on fire by the Moors, and came to anchor
close to an island at a short distance, having had nine of his men
wounded by arrows during the engagement.

Next morning Pacheco again attacked the Moorish ship, which at last
yielded, to the great displeasure of the natives of Cananor, who had
flocked to the seaside intending to have succoured the Moors; but, on
Pacheco sending a few shots among them, they all dispersed. Pacheco came
next day to Calicut with his prize, where the zamorin came down to the
water side to see the Moorish ship, giving great praise to our people for
their prowess, being much astonished that so great a ship should be taken
by one so much inferior in size and number of men. The general commanded
this ship to be delivered to the zamorin, together with the seven
elephants that were on board, which were worth in Calicut 30,000 crowns.
He also sent a message to the zamorin, saying that he need not be
astonished at this action as he would perform much greater actions to
serve his highness. The zamorin returned thanks for what had been done,
and desired the brave men who had performed this gallant action to be
sent him, that he might do them honour and reward them as they deserved;
and he bestowed large presents upon Pacheco in particular. Some affirm
that the performance of this gallant feat by so small a number of our men
against such great odds, raised fear and jealousy of the Portuguese in
the mind of the zamorin, and made him anxious to get them away from his
country; for which cause he gave his consent to the treachery which was
used against them, as I mean to shew in the sequel[23].

The Moors of Calicut were more terrified than ever at the Portuguese in
consequence of the capture of this ship, and were much offended by the
favour bestowed by the zamorin upon our men for their gallantry on this
occasion. They believed that all this was done, out of, revenge against
themselves, for the injuries they had done us, and was intended to induce
them to retire from Calicut; especially as our people brought there as
great store of merchandize as they did, and bought as many spices. Taking
all this into consideration, they procured an audience of the zamorin, to
whom one of their number made the following oration in the name of all
the Moors.

_"Emparather[24]_ of all the Malabars, as great as the mightiest
sovereign of the Indies, and most powerful among the princes of the earth.
We are astonished that you should debase yourself by receiving into your
country these enemies of your law and strangers to the customs of your
kingdom, who seem pirates rather than merchants. We should not wonder at
your so doing were your city in want of the commodities they bring, or
could not otherwise dispose of the spiceries they purchase: But we, whom
you have long known and whose fidelity you are well assured of by
experience, have always done both to the great increase of your revenue.
You appear to forget all this, by receiving those whom you do not know
into your favour, and employing them to revenge your injuries, as if your
own numerous and faithful subjects were incompetent for the purpose. In
this you dishonour yourself, and embolden these strangers to hold your
power in contempt, and to act as we know they will hereafter, by robbing
and plundering all merchant ships that frequent your port, to the ruin of
your country, and who will at length take possession of your city. This
is the true intent of their coming into these seas, and not to trade for
spices as they pretend. Their country is almost 5000 leagues from hence,
and the voyage out and home is attended by many dangers through unknown
and stormy seas, besides the great cost of their large ships with so many
men and guns; Hence at whatever prices they may dispose of their spices
in Portugal, it is obvious such a trade must be carried on with great
loss; which is a manifest proof that they are pirates, and not merchants,
who come here to rob, and to take your city. The house you have given
them for a factory, they will convert into a fort, from whence they will
make war on you when you least expect it. All this we say more from the
good will we owe you, than for any profit; for, if you do not listen to
our advice, there are other cities in Malabar to which we will remove,
and to which the spices will be conveyed for us."

To this harangue the zamorin gave a favourable answer, saying that he
would give attention to all they had said, of which indeed he already had
some suspicions. That he had employed the Portuguese to seize the ship to
try their courage, and had allowed them to load their ships, that the
money they had brought to purchase goods might remain in the country; and
finally, that he would not forsake them in favour of the strangers. The
Moors were by no means satisfied with all this, because the zamorin did
not order us to depart from Calicut, and did not stop our trade, which
was their chief purpose. Though disappointed in these views, they
continued to intermiddle in our affairs, particularly by buying up the
spices and sending them elsewhere, in hope of irritating our people, and
bringing on a quarrel, that they might have a pretext to attack us. This
they were much inclined to bring about, as, being greatly more numerous
than our men, they hoped the zamorin would take part with them against us.
They likewise used all possible means to draw over the common people of
Calicut to their side, and to excite them to enmity, against us, by
making them believe that our people had injured them.

Through those devices, our factor was unable to procure more spices than
sufficed to load two ships in the course of three months, from which the
general was convinced that the friendly assurances of the zamorin was
little to be depended on; and if he had not been afraid of not being able
to procure a sufficient supply elsewhere, he would have gone to another
port: But, having already consumed a long time and been at heavy charges,
he determined to remain at Calicut, and sent a message to the zamorin,
complaining of the delays, which ill accorded with the promises of his
highness, that the whole fleet should be loaded in twenty days, whereas
three months were now elapsed and the loading of two ships only was
procured. He urged the zamorins promise that the Portuguese ships were to
be first loaded; whereas he had assured information that the Moors had
bought up great quantities of spices at lower prices, and sent them to
other places, and begged the zamorin to consider that it was now time for
the ships to begin their voyage to Portugal, and that he anxiously wished
for dispatch. On receiving this message, the zamorin pretended to be much
surprised that our ships were still unprovided with a loading, and could
not believe that the Moors had secretly bought up and removed the spices,
contrary to his orders; and even gave permission to the general to take
those ships belonging to the Moors which were laden with spices, paying
the same prices for the spices which had been given by the Moors. This
intelligence gave much satisfaction to the Moors, as a favourable
opportunity for drawing on hostilities with the Portuguese; and,
accordingly, one of the principal Moorish merchants began immediately to
load his ship: openly with all kinds of drugs and spices, and suborned
several Moors and Indians, who pretended to be the friends of our factor,
to insinuate that he would never be able to find a sufficient loading for
our fleet, if he did not seize that ship. Correa listened to this
insidious advice, which he communicated to the general, urging him to
take that Moorish ship, as he had license from the zamorin to that effect.
The general was exceedingly unwilling to proceed to this extremity,
afraid of the influence of the Moors with the zamorin, and of producing
hostilities with the natives. But Correa remonstrated against delay,
protesting that the general should be responsible for all losses that
might accrue to the king of Portugal through his neglect. Over-persuaded
by this urgency of the factor, the general sent all the boats of the
squadron on the 17th of December to take possession of the Moorish ship.

When this intelligence was received on shore, the Moors thought this a
favourable opportunity of destroying our people, and immediately raised a
great outcry against the Portuguese, incensing the people of the city to
join with them in complaining to the zamorin; to whom they went in a
tumultuous manner, representing that we had bought and shipped a much
larger quantity of drugs and spices than the value of all our merchandize,
and not contented with this, were for taking all like thieves and pirates;
they blamed the zamorin for permitting us to trade in the city, and
requested his license to revenge themselves upon us for the loss of their
vessel. The faithless and inconstant king save them the license they
required; on which they immediately armed themselves, and ran furiously
to our factory, which was surrounded by a wall eight or ten feet high,
and contained at that time seventy Portuguese, among whom was Fra
Henriques and his friars. Of our people in the factory, only eight were
armed with crossbows, all the rest being only armed with swords, with
nothing to defend them but their cloaks. On hearing the tumult, our
people went to the gate of the factory, and seeing only a few assailants,
they thought to defend themselves with their swords against a mischievous
rabble, but the numbers of the Moors soon increased, and galled our
people so severely with their spears and arrows, that they were forced to
shut the gates, after killing seven of the enemy, hoping to be able to
defend themselves by means of the wall. In this conflict four of our men
were slain, and several wounded, and all the remainder mounted the wall
to defend it by means of the crossbows, judging that the assailants were
at least four thousand men, among whom were several nayres.

Cores now found himself unable to defend the factory against so great a
force, and therefore hoisted a flag as signal to the fleet. The general
was at this time sick in bed, having been just blooded, and was not
therefore able to go in person to relieve the people in the factory; but
immediately sent all the boats of the fleet, well manned, under the
command of Sancho de Toar. But he was afraid to venture on land with so
small a force against so great a multitude, or even to approach too near
the shore, lest the enemies might assail him in their almadias and tonis.
He lay off, therefore, at a considerable distance, where he remained a
spectator of the valiant defence made by our people at the factory,
whence they killed great numbers of the assailants. But their enemies
always increased in numbers, and they at length brought up certain
engines to beat down part of the wall, in which they at length succeeded.
On this, our men issued out by a door which led towards the sea side, in
hopes of being able to fight their way to the boats, in which attempt
Corea was slain, and fifty more of our men were either killed or made
prisoners, twenty only escaping who swam to the boats, most of whom were
much wounded. Among these were Fra Henriques, and Antonio, the son of
Aries Corea, then only eleven years old; who hath since done many noble
feats of arms in the Indies and other places, as I shall afterwards
declare in the _Fourth_ Book of this history.

The general was much concerned at this event, not only for the loss of
his men, but on seeing how little confidence could be reposed on the
promises of the zamorin after all the presents he had received, and the
services which had been performed for him. He had now spent three months
at Calicut, during which he had only loaded two of his ships, and knew
not how to procure loading for the rest; especially as he could not
expect a favourable reception at Cochin on account of having captured the
ship with the elephant as before related. Considering the treason which
had been practised on our men, the general determined upon taking a
signal revenge, if the zamorin did not make an ample excuse for what had
taken place, and make a full reparation by immediately providing the rest
of the ships with lading. The zamorin, however, had no such intentions,
being much pleased with what the Moors had done, and even ordered all the
goods in our factory to be seized, to the value of 4000 ducats. He
likewise ordered all of our people who had been taken on shore to be made
captives, four of whom died of their wounds. Seeing that no message or
excuse was sent by the zamorin all that day, the general held a council
with his officers as to the proper steps to be taken on the present
emergency; when it was determined to take immediate and ample revenge,
without giving time to the zamorin to arm his fleet. On this, orders were
issued to take possession of ten large ships which lay in the road or
harbour of Calicut, which was done after some resistance, many of their
crews being killed or drowned, and others made prisoners who were
reserved to serve as mariners on board our fleet. Some spices and other
merchandize were taken in these ships, and three elephants, which were
killed and salted as provisions for the voyage; and it appeared that 600
Moors were slain in defending these ships. After every thing of value was
taken from the Moorish ships, they were all burnt in sight of the city.
Many of the Moors embarked in their almadias to attempt succouring their
ships, but our men soon put them to flight by means of their ordnance.

The zamorin and the whole city of Calicut were much mortified to see so
many ships destroyed, and them unable to help, but their astonishment and
terror were much increased by the events of the ensuing day. During the
night, the general ordered all the ships of the fleet to be towed as near
as possible to the shore by means of the boats, and spread out at some
distance from each other, that they might be able to reach the city with
their ordnance; which, as soon as day broke, was directed to play upon
the city in every direction, doing vast damage among the houses. The
natives brought down to the shore such small pieces of ordnance as they
possessed, which they fired off against us, but without being able to do
us any injury; whereas not a shot of ours missed taking effect, either
among the multitude of our enemies which flocked to the shore, or on the
buildings of the city, both the houses of the inhabitants and the temples
of their deities receiving incredible damage. So great was the
consternation, that the zamorin fled from his palace, and one of his
chief nayres was killed by a ball close beside him. Part even of the
palace was destroyed by the cannonade. Towards afternoon two ships were
seen approaching the harbour, which immediately changed their course on
seeing how our fleet was employed; on which the general ceased firing
against Calicut, and made all sail after these two ships to Pandarane,
where they took shelter among other seven ships lying at anchor close to
the shore and filled with Moors. Finding that our fleet could not get
near enough to attack them, owing to shallow water, and considering that
it was now late in the season for his voyage back to Lisbon, the general
resolved to be contented with the revenge he had already taken upon
Calicut, and made sail for Cochin, where he was informed there was more
pepper to be had than even at Calicut, and where he hoped to enter into a
treaty with the rajah of that place.'

On his way towards Cochin, Cabral took two ships belonging to the Moors,
which he set on fire, after taking out of them some rice which they had
on board. On the 20th of December the fleet arrived at Cochin, which is
nineteen leagues to the south of Calicut, and is in nine degrees towards
the north[25]. Cochin is in the province of Malabar, on a river close to
the sea, and is almost an island, so that it is very strong and difficult
of access, having a large and safe harbour. The land in its neighbourhood
is low and intersected by branches of the river into many islands. The
city itself is built much after the same manner with Calicut, and is
inhabited by idolaters, with a good many Moorish strangers, who come
hither to trade from many countries, two of whom were so rich as to have
each fifty ships employed. This country does not abound in provisions,
but produces large store of pepper, even Calicut being mostly supplied
from hence: But as Calicut is greatly more resorted to by merchants, it
is therefore much richer than Cochin. The king is an idolater, of the
same manners and customs with him of Calicut; but his country being small
he is very poor, and has not even the right to coin money, being in many
respects subordinate to the zamorin; who, on his accession to the throne
always goes to Cochin, and takes possession of that kingdom, either
retaining it in his own hands, or restoring the rajah as he may think
proper. The rajah of Cochin, consequently, is bound to assist the zamorin
in all his wars, and must always be of the same religion with his

Having come to anchor in the harbour of Cochin, the general sent one
Michael Jogue[26] on shore with a message to the rajah, as he feared to
send Caspar on shore, lest he might run away. This person, though an
idolater and a stranger, had come aboard our fleet with the intention of
becoming a Christian, and of going into Portugal, and our general had him
baptised by the name of Michael. He was ordered to give the rajah of
Cochin an account of all that had happened at Calicut, and that Cabral
had brought great store of merchandize to barter for the commodities of
Cochin; or if the rajah were not satisfied with these, he was willing to
give ready money for what he wanted; requesting to be furnished with
loading for four of his ships in either way, as most agreeable to the
rajah. To this message the rajah[27] made answer, that he was exceedingly
glad of the arrival of the Portuguese, of whose power and valour he had
already heard, for which he esteemed them highly, and that they were
welcome to purchase what spices his country afforded, either in barter
for their goods, or for money, as they thought proper. He added, that the
general might freely send any agents he pleased on shore to make
purchases and sales, and sent two principal nayres as hostages for their
safety; conditioning only, that they might be changed daily for others,
because any of that cast who chanced to eat even once on shipboard could
never appear again in the rajahs presence. Cabral was well pleased with
this promising beginning, and immediately appointed Gonzalo Gil Barbosa
as factor, who had been assistant to Aries Correa, giving him Laurenço
Morena as clerk, and Madera de Alcusia as interpreter, with four of the
banished men as servants.

On receiving notice of the landing of Barbosa, the rajah sent the
register[28] of the city to meet him, accompanied by many of the nayres,
or principal men of the court, who brought him to visit the rajah, who
was much inferior in dress and appearance of state to the zamorin, even
the hall of audience having only bare walls, seated around like a theatre,
in which the rajah sat with very few attendants. Barbosa presented to the
rajah, in name of our general, a basin of silver filled with saffron, a
large silver ewer filled with rose water, and some branches of coral,
which the rajah received with much satisfaction, desiring his thanks to
be returned to the general; and after some conversation with the factor,
and interpreter, he gave orders for them to be properly lodged in the
city. The general gave especial orders that no more than the seven
persons already mentioned should remain on shore, thinking it imprudent
to risk a greater number, in case of experiencing a similar misfortune
with what had lately happened at Calicut. But there was here no cause for
distrust, as the rajah of Cochin was a person of truth and honour, as
appeared by his good usage of our men, the quick dispatch that was used
in loading our ships with spices, and the orders he gave to his people to
afford every assistance, which they did with much alacrity and zeal: so
that it seemed ordained of God, that the trade should be transferred from
Calicut to Cochin, for the advancement of the Catholic faith in the
Indies, and the enrichment of the crown of Portugal[29].

After the ships were laden, two Indians came to wait upon the general,
who said that they were brothers, and Christians, born in Cranganore near
Cochin, who were desirous of going to Portugal, and thence to visit the
Pope at Rome, and the holy sepulchre at Jerusalem[30]. Being asked by the
general what kind of a city Cranganore was, whether it was entirely
inhabited by Christians, and whether these Christians followed the order
of the Greek or Roman church, one of them gave the following answers.

Cranganore is a large city in the province of Malabar on the mainland,
standing near the mouth of a river, by which likewise it is encompassed,
inhabited both by idolaters and Christians, and by some Jews who are held
in small esteem. It is much frequented by strangers, among whom are
merchants from Syria, Egypt, Persia, and Arabia, who come thither to
purchase pepper, a great deal of which commodity is gathered in its
territories. It has a king of its own, to whom all the Christian
inhabitants pay a certain tribute, and have a quarter of their own in the
city, where they have a church resembling ours, in which there were
crosses, but no images of the saints, and no bells, being summoned to
prayers by the priests as in the Greek church. These Christians hail
their popes, with twelve cardinals, two patriarchs, and many bishops and
archbishops, all of whom reside in Armenia, to which country their
bishops always went for consecration. He had been there himself along
with a bishop, where he was ordained a priest. That this rule was
observed by all the clergy of the Indies and of Cathay, who have to go to
the pope or Catholicos of Armenia for consecration. Of their two
patriarchs, one resides in the Indies, and the other in Cathay[31], their
bishops residing in different cities as it may seem convenient. Their
tonsure is made in form of a cross.

The cause of their having a pope is said to have been on the following
account: 'When St Peter was residing at Antioch, there happened a great
schism, occasioned by Simon Magus, on which Peter was called to Rome to
assist the Christians in overthrowing that heresy; and, that he might not
leave the eastern church without a shepherd, he appointed a vicar to
govern at Antioch, who should become pope after the death of Peter, and
should always assist the pope of Armenia. But, after the Moors entered
into Syria and Asia Minor, as Armenia remained always in the Christian
faith, they came to be governed by twelve cardinals. Marco Polo, in
writing concerning Armenia, mentions this pope or Catholicos, and says
there are two sects of Christians, the Nestorians and Jacobites, their
pope being named Jacobus, whom this Joseph named their Catholicos. The
priests of Cranganore are not shaven in the same manner with ours, but
shave the whole head, leaving a few hairs on the crown and they have both
deacons and subdeacons. In consecrating the elements, they use leavened
bread and wine made of raisins, having no other in the country. Their
children are not baptized till they are eleven days old, unless they
happen to be sickly. They confess as we do, and bury their dead after a
similar manner. They do not use the holy oil to the dying, but only bless
them; and when any one dies, they gather a large company and feast for
eight days, after which the obsequies are celebrated. If any person dies
without making a testament, their lands and goods go to the nearest heir;
but the widow is entitled to her dower if she remain a year unmarried. On
going into church they use holy water. They hold the writings of the four
Evangelists in great veneration. They fast during Lent and Advent with
much solemnity, and on Easter Eve they neither eat nor drink the whole
day. They have regularly sermons on the night of Holy Friday, and they
observe the day of the Resurrection with great devotion. Likewise the two
following days, and the ensuing Sunday, are particularly kept holy,
because on that day St Thomas thrust his hand into the side of our
Saviour. Ascension Day, Trinity Sunday, the Assumption and Nativity of
the Blessed Virgin, Candlemas Day, Christmas Day, all the days of the
apostles, and all the Sundays throughout the year, are kept with much
devotion. They sanctify in a particular manner the first day of July
every year in honour of St Thomas, but they could give no reason why this
was done. They have also native friars and nuns, who live with much
regularity. Their priests also live chastely, as those who do otherwise
are debarred from executing their functions. They allow of no divorce
between married people, who must live together till death. They receive
the sacrament regularly three times in every year. They have among them
certain learned men, or great doctors, who keep schools, in which they
teach the Scriptures, and likewise some excellent interpretations which
were left in old times by their ancient doctors. Their dress is similar
to that of the Moors. Their day consists of forty hours; and, having no
clocks, they judge of the time of the day by the sun, and in the night by
the motion of the stars[32]. The general was very glad to receive this
Joseph and his brother, and gave orders to provide them with a good cabin
in his ship.

While Cabral remained at Cochin, he received messages from the kings of
Cananor and Coulan, both considerable princes in the province of Malabar,
requesting him to come to their ports, where he should be supplied
cheaper than at Cochin, and giving him many offers of friendship. He made
answer, with his hearty thanks, that he could not now visit their ports,
having already begun to take in his loadings bet that he should certainly
visit them on his return to India. Immediately after the Portuguese ships
were laden, a fleet of twenty-five great ships, and other small vessels
was descried in the offing; and notice was sent by the rajah of Cochin to
our general, that this fleet contained fifteen thousand fighting men, and
had been fitted out on purpose to make him and all his people prisoners.
At the same time the rajah offered to send men to his assistance, if he
stood in need; but the general answered he had no need of any such aid at
the present, as he trusted, with God's blessing, to convince his enemies
they were ill advised in seeking now to attack him, having already given
them a trial of his strength; alluding to what he had already done to
them at Calicut. The enemy continued to hover off at sea, but did not
venture to come nearer than a league, though they seemed in fighting
order. Seeing this shyness, the general weighed anchor, and went out with
all his fleet against them, having on board the two nayres who were
hostages for the factory on shore, but his intentions were to have
returned with them to Cochin. Soon after leaving the harbour, a great
storm arose with a foul wind, so that he was forced to come to anchor
without attaining to the enemy. Next morning, being the 10th January 1501,
the wind came fair, and being desirous to attack the fleet of Calicut,
the general made sail towards them; but missing the ship commanded by
Sancho de Toar, who had parted from the fleet in the night, and that
being the largest and best manned ship of the fleet, he deemed it prudent
to avoid fighting with so large a force, especially as many of his men
were sick. The wind, likewise, was now quite fair for beginning his
voyage home, and was quite contrary for going back to Cochin to land the
hostages. He determined, therefore, to commence his voyage, and stood out
to sea; the enemy following him during the whole of that day, but
returned towards Calicut when night drew on. Cabral now turned his
attention to the forlorn nayres, who had been five days on board without
eating, and by dint of much and kind entreaty, he at length prevailed on
them to take food.

On the 15th of January, the fleet came in sight of Cananore, which lies
on the coast of Malabar, thirty-one leagues north of Cochin. This is a
large city with a fine bay, the houses being built of earth, and covered
with flat stones or slates, and it contains many Moors who trade thither
for many kinds of goods. The neighbourhood produces hardly any more
pepper than is necessary for its own consumpt; but has plenty of ginger,
cardamoms, tamarinds, mirabolans, cassia-fistula[33], and other drugs. In
several pools of