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´╗┐Title: The Discovery of Guiana
Author: Raleigh, Walter, Sir, 1554-1618
Language: English
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By Sir Walter Raleigh


Sir Walter Raleigh may be taken as the great typical figure of the age
of Elizabeth. Courtier and statesman, soldier and sailor, scientist
and man of letters, he engaged in almost all the main lines of public
activity in his time, and was distinguished in them all.

His father was a Devonshire gentleman of property, connected with many
of the distinguished families of the south of England. Walter was born
about 1552 and was educated at Oxford. He first saw military service
in the Huguenot army in France in 1569, and in 1578 engaged, with his
half-brother, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, in the first of his expeditions
against the Spaniards. After some service in Ireland, he attracted the
attention of the Queen, and rapidly rose to the perilous position of her
chief favorite. With her approval, he fitted out two expeditions for the
colonization of Virginia, neither of which did his royal mistress permit
him to lead in person, and neither of which succeeded in establishing a
permanent settlement.

After about six years of high favor, Raleigh found his position at
court endangered by the rivalry of Essex, and in 1592, on returning
from convoying a squadron he had fitted out against the Spanish, he was
thrown into the Tower by the orders of the Queen, who had discovered an
intrigue between him and one of her ladies whom he subsequently married.
He was ultimately released, engaged in various naval exploits, and in
1594 sailed for South America on the voyage described in the following

On the death of Elizabeth, Raleigh's misfortunes increased. He was
accused of treason against James I, condemned, reprieved, and imprisoned
for twelve years, during which he wrote his "History of the World,"
and engaged in scientific researches. In 1616 he was liberated, to make
another attempt to find the gold mine in Venezuela; but the expedition
was disastrous, and, on his return, Raleigh was executed on the old
charge in 1618. In his vices as in his virtues, Raleigh is a thorough
representative of the great adventurers who laid the foundations of the
British Empire.


The Discovery of the large, rich, and beautiful EMPIRE Of GUIANA; with a
Relation of the great and golden CITY of MANOA, which the Spaniards
Countries, with their rivers, adjoining. Performed in the year 1595 by
Sir WALTER RALEIGH, KNIGHT, CAPTAIN of her Majesty's GUARD, Lord Warden
of the STANNARIES, and her Highness' LIEUTENANT-GENERAL of the COUNTY of

To the Right Honourable my singular good Lord and kinsman CHARLES
HOWARD, Knight of the Garter, Baron, and Councillor, and of the Admirals
of England the most renowned; and to the Right Honourable SIR ROBERT
CECIL, KNIGHT, Councillor in her Highness' Privy Councils.

For your Honours' many honourable and friendly parts, I have hitherto
only returned promises; and now, for answer of both your adventures,
I have sent you a bundle of papers, which I have divided between your
Lordship and Sir Robert Cecil, in these two respects chiefly; first, for
that it is reason that wasteful factors, when they have consumed such
stocks as they had in trust, do yield some colour for the same in their
account; secondly, for that I am assured that whatsoever shall be done,
or written, by me, shall need a double protection and defence. The trial
that I had of both your loves, when I was left of all, but of malice and
revenge, makes me still presume that you will be pleased (knowing
what little power I had to perform aught, and the great advantage of
forewarned enemies) to answer that out of knowledge, which others shall
but object out of malice. In my more happy times as I did especially
honour you both, so I found that your loves sought me out in the darkest
shadow of adversity, and the same affection which accompanied my better
fortune soared not away from me in my many miseries; all which though I
cannot requite, yet I shall ever acknowledge; and the great debt which I
have no power to pay, I can do no more for a time but confess to be
due. It is true that as my errors were great, so they have yielded very
grievous effects; and if aught might have been deserved in former times,
to have counterpoised any part of offences, the fruit thereof, as it
seemeth, was long before fallen from the tree, and the dead stock only
remained. I did therefore, even in the winter of my life, undertake
these travails, fitter for bodies less blasted with misfortunes, for men
of greater ability, and for minds of better encouragement, that thereby,
if it were possible, I might recover but the moderation of excess, and
the least taste of the greatest plenty formerly possessed. If I had
known other way to win, if I had imagined how greater adventures might
have regained, if I could conceive what farther means I might yet use
but even to appease so powerful displeasure, I would not doubt but for
one year more to hold fast my soul in my teeth till it were performed.
Of that little remain I had, I have wasted in effect all herein. I have
undergone many constructions; I have been accompanied with many
sorrows, with labour, hunger, heat, sickness, and peril; it appeareth,
notwithstanding, that I made no other bravado of going to the sea, than
was meant, and that I was never hidden in Cornwall, or elsewhere, as
was supposed. They have grossly belied me that forejudged that I would
rather become a servant to the Spanish king than return; and the rest
were much mistaken, who would have persuaded that I was too easeful and
sensual to undertake a journey of so great travail. But if what I have
done receive the gracious construction of a painful pilgrimage, and
purchase the least remission, I shall think all too little, and that
there were wanting to the rest many miseries. But if both the times
past, the present, and what may be in the future, do all by one grain of
gall continue in eternal distaste, I do not then know whether I should
bewail myself, either for my too much travail and expense, or condemn
myself for doing less than that which can deserve nothing. From myself
I have deserved no thanks, for I am returned a beggar, and withered;
but that I might have bettered my poor estate, it shall appear from the
following discourse, if I had not only respected her Majesty's future
honour and riches.

It became not the former fortune, in which I once lived, to go journeys
of picory (marauding); it had sorted ill with the offices of honour,
which by her Majesty's grace I hold this day in England, to run from
cape to cape and from place to place, for the pillage of ordinary
prizes. Many years since I had knowledge, by relation, of that mighty,
rich, and beautiful empire of Guiana, and of that great and golden city,
which the Spaniards call El Dorado, and the naturals Manoa, which
city was conquered, re-edified, and enlarged by a younger son of
Guayna-capac, Emperor of Peru, at such time as Francisco Pizarro and
others conquered the said empire from his two elder brethren, Guascar
and Atabalipa, both then contending for the same, the one being favoured
by the orejones of Cuzco, the other by the people of Caxamalca. I sent
my servant Jacob Whiddon, the year before, to get knowledge of the
passages, and I had some light from Captain Parker, sometime my servant,
and now attending on your Lordship, that such a place there was to the
southward of the great bay of Charuas, or Guanipa: but I found that it
was 600 miles farther off than they supposed, and many impediments to
them unknown and unheard. After I had displanted Don Antonio de Berreo,
who was upon the same enterprise, leaving my ships at Trinidad, at the
port called Curiapan, I wandered 400 miles into the said country by land
and river; the particulars I will leave to the following discourse.

The country hath more quantity of gold, by manifold, than the best parts
of the Indies, or Peru. All the most of the kings of the borders are
already become her Majesty's vassals, and seem to desire nothing more
than her Majesty's protection and the return of the English nation. It
hath another ground and assurance of riches and glory than the voyages
of the West Indies; an easier way to invade the best parts thereof than
by the common course. The king of Spain is not so impoverished by taking
three or four port towns in America as we suppose; neither are the
riches of Peru or Nueva Espana so left by the sea side as it can be
easily washed away with a great flood, or spring tide, or left dry upon
the sands on a low ebb. The port towns are few and poor in respect of
the rest within the land, and are of little defence, and are only rich
when the fleets are to receive the treasure for Spain; and we might
think the Spaniards very simple, having so many horses and slaves, if
they could not upon two days' warning carry all the gold they have into
the land, and far enough from the reach of our footmen, especially the
Indies being, as they are for the most part, so mountainous, full
of woods, rivers, and marishes. In the port towns of the province of
Venezuela, as Cumana, Coro, and St. Iago (whereof Coro and St. Iago were
taken by Captain Preston, and Cumana and St. Josepho by us) we found
not the value of one real of plate in either. But the cities of
Barquasimeta, Valencia, St. Sebastian, Cororo, St. Lucia, Laguna,
Maracaiba, and Truxillo, are not so easily invaded. Neither doth the
burning of those on the coast impoverish the king of Spain any one
ducat; and if we sack the River of Hacha, St. Martha, and Carthagena,
which are the ports of Nuevo Reyno and Popayan, there are besides within
the land, which are indeed rich and prosperous, the towns and cities of
Merida, Lagrita, St. Christophoro, the great cities of Pamplona, Santa
Fe de Bogota, Tunxa, and Mozo, where the emeralds are found, the
towns and cities of Marequita, Velez, la Villa de Leiva, Palma, Honda,
Angostura, the great city of Timana, Tocaima, St. Aguila, Pasto, [St.]
Iago, the great city of Popayan itself, Los Remedios, and the rest. If
we take the ports and villages within the bay of Uraba in the kingdom
or rivers of Darien and Caribana, the cities and towns of St. Juan de
Rodas, of Cassaris, of Antiochia, Caramanta, Cali, and Anserma have gold
enough to pay the king's part, and are not easily invaded by way of
the ocean. Or if Nombre de Dios and Panama be taken, in the province of
Castilla del Oro, and the villages upon the rivers of Cenu and Chagre;
Peru hath, besides those, and besides the magnificent cities of Quito
and Lima, so many islands, ports, cities, and mines as if I should name
them with the rest it would seem incredible to the reader. Of all which,
because I have written a particular treatise of the West Indies, I will
omit the repetition at this time, seeing that in the said treatise I
have anatomized the rest of the sea towns as well of Nicaragua, Yucatan,
Nueva Espana, and the islands, as those of the inland, and by what means
they may be best invaded, as far as any mean judgment may comprehend.

But I hope it shall appear that there is a way found to answer every
man's longing; a better Indies for her Majesty than the king of Spain
hath any; which if it shall please her Highness to undertake, I shall
most willingly end the rest of my days in following the same. If it be
left to the spoil and sackage of common persons, if the love and service
of so many nations be despised, so great riches and so mighty an empire
refused; I hope her Majesty will yet take my humble desire and my labour
therein in gracious part, which, if it had not been in respect of
her Highness' future honour and riches, could have laid hands on and
ransomed many of the kings and caciqui of the country, and have had a
reasonable proportion of gold for their redemption. But I have chosen
rather to bear the burden of poverty than reproach; and rather to endure
a second travail, and the chances thereof, than to have defaced an
enterprise of so great assurance, until I knew whether it pleased God
to put a disposition in her princely and royal heart either to follow
or forslow (neglect, decline, lose through sloth) the same. I will
therefore leave it to His ordinance that hath only power in all things;
and do humbly pray that your honours will excuse such errors as, without
the defence of art, overrun in every part the following discourse, in
which I have neither studied phrase, form, nor fashion; that you will be
pleased to esteem me as your own, though over dearly bought, and I shall
ever remain ready to do you all honour and service.


Because there have been divers opinions conceived of the gold ore
brought from Guiana, and for that an alderman of London and an officer
of her Majesty's mint hath given out that the same is of no price, I
have thought good by the addition of these lines to give answer as well
to the said malicious slander as to other objections. It is true that
while we abode at the island of Trinidad I was informed by an Indian
that not far from the port where we anchored there were found certain
mineral stones which they esteemed to be gold, and were thereunto
persuaded the rather for that they had seen both English and Frenchmen
gather and embark some quantities thereof. Upon this likelihood I sent
forty men, and gave order that each one should bring a stone of that
mine, to make trial of the goodness; which being performed, I assured
them at their return that the same was marcasite, and of no riches or
value. Notwithstanding, divers, trusting more to their own sense than to
my opinion, kept of the said marcasite, and have tried thereof since my
return, in divers places. In Guiana itself I never saw marcasite; but
all the rocks, mountains, all stones in the plains, woods, and by the
rivers' sides, are in effect thorough-shining, and appear marvellous
rich; which, being tried to be no marcasite, are the true signs of rich
minerals, but are no other than El madre del oro, as the Spaniards term
them, which is the mother of gold, or, as it is said by others, the scum
of gold. Of divers sorts of these many of my company brought also
into England, every one taking the fairest for the best, which is not
general. For mine own part, I did not countermand any man's desire or
opinion, and I could have afforded them little if I should have denied
them the pleasing of their own fancies therein; but I was resolved that
gold must be found either in grains, separate from the stone, as it is
in most of the rivers in Guiana, or else in a kind of hard stone, which
we call the white spar, of which I saw divers hills, and in sundry
places, but had neither time nor men, nor instruments fit for labour.
Near unto one of the rivers I found of the said white spar or flint a
very great ledge or bank, which I endeavoured to break by all the means
I could, because there appeared on the outside some small grains of
gold; but finding no mean to work the same upon the upper part, seeking
the sides and circuit of the said rock, I found a clift in the same,
from whence with daggers, and with the head of an axe, we got out some
small quantity thereof; of which kind of white stone, wherein gold
is engendered, we saw divers hills and rocks in every part of Guiana
wherein we travelled. Of this there have been made many trials; and in
London it was first assayed by Master Westwood, a refiner dwelling in
Wood Street, and it held after the rate of twelve or thirteen thousand
pounds a ton. Another sort was afterward tried by Master Bulmar, and
Master Dimock, assay-master; and it held after the rate of three and
twenty thousand pounds a ton. There was some of it again tried by Master
Palmer, Comptroller of the Mint, and Master Dimock in Goldsmith's Hall,
and it held after six and twenty thousand and nine hundred pounds a ton.
There was also at the same time, and by the same persons, a trial made
of the dust of the said mine; which held eight pounds and six ounces
weight of gold in the hundred. There was likewise at the same time a
trial of an image of copper made in Guiana, which held a third part
of gold, besides divers trials made in the country, and by others in
London. But because there came ill with the good, and belike the said
alderman was not presented with the best, it hath pleased him therefore
to scandal all the rest, and to deface the enterprise as much as in him
lieth. It hath also been concluded by divers that if there had been any
such ore in Guiana, and the same discovered, that I would have brought
home a greater quantity thereof. First, I was not bound to satisfy any
man of the quantity, but only such as adventured, if any store had been
returned thereof; but it is very true that had all their mountains been
of massy gold it was impossible for us to have made any longer stay to
have wrought the same; and whosoever hath seen with what strength of
stone the best gold ore is environed, he will not think it easy to
be had out in heaps, and especially by us, who had neither men,
instruments, nor time, as it is said before, to perform the same.

There were on this discovery no less than an hundred persons, who can
all witness that when we passed any branch of the river to view the land
within, and stayed from our boats but six hours, we were driven to
wade to the eyes at our return; and if we attempted the same the day
following, it was impossible either to ford it, or to swim it, both by
reason of the swiftness, and also for that the borders were so pestered
with fast woods, as neither boat nor man could find place either to land
or to embark; for in June, July, August, and September it is impossible
to navigate any of those rivers; for such is the fury of the current,
and there are so many trees and woods overflown, as if any boat but
touch upon any tree or stake it is impossible to save any one person
therein. And ere we departed the land it ran with such swiftness as we
drave down, most commonly against the wind, little less than an hundred
miles a day. Besides, our vessels were no other than wherries, one
little barge, a small cock-boat, and a bad galiota which we framed in
haste for that purpose at Trinidad; and those little boats had nine or
ten men apiece, with all their victuals and arms. It is further true
that we were about four hundred miles from our ships, and had been a
month from them, which also we left weakly manned in an open road, and
had promised our return in fifteen days.

Others have devised that the same ore was had from Barbary, and that we
carried it with us into Guiana. Surely the singularity of that device I
do not well comprehend. For mine own part, I am not so much in love with
these long voyages as to devise thereby to cozen myself, to lie hard, to
fare worse, to be subjected to perils, to diseases, to ill savours, to
be parched and withered, and withal to sustain the care and labour of
such an enterprise, except the same had more comfort than the fetching
of marcasite in Guiana, or buying of gold ore in Barbary. But I hope the
better sort will judge me by themselves, and that the way of deceit is
not the way of honour or good opinion. I have herein consumed much time,
and many crowns; and I had no other respect or desire than to serve her
Majesty and my country thereby. If the Spanish nation had been of like
belief to these detractors we should little have feared or doubted their
attempts, wherewith we now are daily threatened. But if we now consider
of the actions both of Charles the Fifth, who had the maidenhead of Peru
and the abundant treasures of Atabalipa, together with the affairs of
the Spanish king now living, what territories he hath purchased, what
he hath added to the acts of his predecessors, how many kingdoms he hath
endangered, how many armies, garrisons, and navies he hath, and doth
maintain, the great losses which he hath repaired, as in Eighty-eight
above an hundred sail of great ships with their artillery, and that no
year is less infortunate, but that many vessels, treasures, and people
are devoured, and yet notwithstanding he beginneth again like a storm
to threaten shipwrack to us all; we shall find that these abilities rise
not from the trades of sacks and Seville oranges, nor from aught else
that either Spain, Portugal, or any of his other provinces produce; it
is his Indian gold that endangereth and disturbeth all the nations of
Europe; it purchaseth intelligence, creepeth into counsels, and setteth
bound loyalty at liberty in the greatest monarchies of Europe. If
the Spanish king can keep us from foreign enterprises, and from the
impeachment of his trades, either by offer of invasion, or by besieging
us in Britain, Ireland, or elsewhere, he hath then brought the work of
our peril in great forwardness.

Those princes that abound in treasure have great advantages over the
rest, if they once constrain them to a defensive war, where they are
driven once a year or oftener to cast lots for their own garments; and
from all such shall all trades and intercourse be taken away, to
the general loss and impoverishment of the kingdom and commonweal so
reduced. Besides, when our men are constrained to fight, it hath not the
like hope as when they are pressed and encouraged by the desire of
spoil and riches. Farther, it is to be doubted how those that in time
of victory seem to affect their neighbour nations will remain after
the first view of misfortunes or ill success; to trust, also, to the
doubtfulness of a battle is but a fearful and uncertain adventure,
seeing therein fortune is as likely to prevail as virtue. It shall not
be necessary to allege all that might be said, and therefore I will thus
conclude; that whatsoever kingdom shall be enforced to defend itself may
be compared to a body dangerously diseased, which for a season may be
preserved with vulgar medicines, but in a short time, and by little and
little, the same must needs fall to the ground and be dissolved. I have
therefore laboured all my life, both according to my small power and
persuasion, to advance all those attempts that might either promise
return of profit to ourselves, or at least be a let and impeachment to
the quiet course and plentiful trades of the Spanish nation; who, in my
weak judgement, by such a war were as easily endangered and brought from
his powerfulness as any prince in Europe, if it be considered from how
many kingdoms and nations his revenues are gathered, and those so weak
in their own beings and so far severed from mutual succour. But because
such a preparation and resolution is not to be hoped for in haste,
and that the time which our enemies embrace cannot be had again to
advantage, I will hope that these provinces, and that empire now by me
discovered, shall suffice to enable her Majesty and the whole kingdom
with no less quantities of treasure than the king of Spain hath in all
the Indies, East and West, which he possesseth; which if the same be
considered and followed, ere the Spaniards enforce the same, and if her
Majesty will undertake it, I will be contented to lose her Highness'
favour and good opinion for ever, and my life withal, if the same be
not found rather to exceed than to equal whatsoever is in this discourse
promised and declared. I will now refer the reader to the following
discourse, with the hope that the perilous and chargeable labours and
endeavours of such as thereby seek the profit and honour of her Majesty,
and the English nation, shall by men of quality and virtue receive such
construction and good acceptance as themselves would like to be rewarded
withal in the like.


     [*] Exploration

     [+] The name is derived from the Guayano Indians, on the

On Thursday, the sixth of February, in the year 1595, we departed
England, and the Sunday following had sight of the north cape of Spain,
the wind for the most part continuing prosperous; we passed in sight of
the Burlings, and the Rock, and so onwards for the Canaries, and fell
with Fuerteventura the 17. of the same month, where we spent two or
three days, and relieved our companies with some fresh meat. From thence
we coasted by the Grand Canaria, and so to Teneriffe, and stayed there
for the Lion's Whelp, your Lordship's ship, and for Captain Amyas
Preston and the rest. But when after seven or eight days we found them
not, we departed and directed our course for Trinidad, with mine own
ship, and a small barque of Captain Cross's only; for we had before lost
sight of a small galego on the coast of Spain, which came with us from
Plymouth. We arrived at Trinidad the 22. of March, casting anchor
at Point Curiapan, which the Spaniards call Punta de Gallo, which is
situate in eight degrees or thereabouts. We abode there four or five
days, and in all that time we came not to the speech of any Indian or
Spaniard. On the coast we saw a fire, as we sailed from the Point Carao
towards Curiapan, but for fear of the Spaniards none durst come to speak
with us. I myself coasted it in my barge close aboard the shore and
landed in every cove, the better to know the island, while the ships
kept the channel. From Curiapan after a few days we turned up north-east
to recover that place which the Spaniards call Puerto de los Espanoles
(now Port of Spain), and the inhabitants Conquerabia; and as before,
revictualling my barge, I left the ships and kept by the shore, the
better to come to speech with some of the inhabitants, and also to
understand the rivers, watering-places, and ports of the island, which,
as it is rudely done, my purpose is to send your Lordship after a few
days. From Curiapan I came to a port and seat of Indians called Parico,
where we found a fresh water river, but saw no people. From thence
I rowed to another port, called by the naturals Piche, and by the
Spaniards Tierra de Brea. In the way between both were divers little
brooks of fresh water, and one salt river that had store of oysters upon
the branches of the trees, and were very salt and well tasted. All their
oysters grow upon those boughs and sprays, and not on the ground; the
like is commonly seen in other places of the West Indies, and elsewhere.
This tree is described by Andrew Thevet, in his France Antarctique, and
the form figured in the book as a plant very strange; and by Pliny in
his twelfth book of his Natural History. But in this island, as also in
Guiana, there are very many of them.

At this point, called Tierra de Brea or Piche, there is that abundance
of stone pitch that all the ships of the world may be therewith laden
from thence; and we made trial of it in trimming our ships to be most
excellent good, and melteth not with the sun as the pitch of Norway, and
therefore for ships trading the south parts very profitable. From thence
we went to the mountain foot called Annaperima, and so passing the river
Carone, on which the Spanish city was seated, we met with our ships at
Puerto de los Espanoles or Conquerabia.

This island of Trinidad hath the form of a sheephook, and is but narrow;
the north part is very mountainous; the soil is very excellent, and will
bear sugar, ginger, or any other commodity that the Indies yield. It
hath store of deer, wild porks, fruit, fish, and fowl; it hath also for
bread sufficient maize, cassavi, and of those roots and fruits which are
common everywhere in the West Indies. It hath divers beasts which the
Indies have not; the Spaniards confessed that they found grains of gold
in some of the rivers; but they having a purpose to enter Guiana, the
magazine of all rich metals, cared not to spend time in the search
thereof any further. This island is called by the people thereof Cairi,
and in it are divers nations. Those about Parico are called Jajo, those
at Punta de Carao are of the Arwacas (Arawaks) and between Carao and
Curiapan they are called Salvajos. Between Carao and Punta de Galera
are the Nepojos, and those about the Spanish city term themselves
Carinepagotes (Carib-people). Of the rest of the nations, and of
other ports and rivers, I leave to speak here, being impertinent to my
purpose, and mean to describe them as they are situate in the particular
plot and description of the island, three parts whereof I coasted with
my barge, that I might the better describe it.

Meeting with the ships at Puerto de los Espanoles, we found at the
landing-place a company of Spaniards who kept a guard at the descent;
and they offering a sign of peace, I sent Captain Whiddon to speak with
them, whom afterwards to my great grief I left buried in the said island
after my return from Guiana, being a man most honest and valiant. The
Spaniards seemed to be desirous to trade with us, and to enter into
terms of peace, more for doubt of their own strength than for aught
else; and in the end, upon pledge, some of them came aboard. The same
evening there stale also aboard us in a small canoa two Indians, the one
of them being a cacique or lord of the people, called Cantyman, who had
the year before been with Captain Whiddon, and was of his acquaintance.
By this Cantyman we understood what strength the Spaniards had, how far
it was to their city, and of Don Antonio de Berreo, the governor, who
was said to be slain in his second attempt of Guiana, but was not.

While we remained at Puerto de los Espanoles some Spaniards came aboard
us to buy linen of the company, and such other things as they wanted,
and also to view our ships and company, all which I entertained kindly
and feasted after our manner. By means whereof I learned of one and
another as much of the estate of Guiana as I could, or as they knew; for
those poor soldiers having been many years without wine, a few draughts
made them merry, in which mood they vaunted of Guiana and the riches
thereof, and all what they knew of the ways and passages; myself seeming
to purpose nothing less than the entrance or discovery thereof, but bred
in them an opinion that I was bound only for the relief of those English
which I had planted in Virginia, whereof the bruit was come among them;
which I had performed in my return, if extremity of weather had not
forced me from the said coast.

I found occasions of staying in this place for two causes. The one was
to be revenged of Berreo, who the year before, 1594, had betrayed eight
of Captain Whiddon's men, and took them while he departed from them to
seek the Edward Bonaventure, which arrived at Trinidad the day before
from the East Indies: in whose absence Berreo sent a canoa aboard the
pinnace only with Indians and dogs inviting the company to go with them
into the woods to kill a deer. Who like wise men, in the absence of
their captain followed the Indians, but were no sooner one arquebus
shot from the shore, but Berreo's soldiers lying in ambush had them all,
notwithstanding that he had given his word to Captain Whiddon that they
should take water and wood safely. The other cause of my stay was, for
that by discourse with the Spaniards I daily learned more and more of
Guiana, of the rivers and passages, and of the enterprise of Berreo, by
what means or fault he failed, and how he meant to prosecute the same.

While we thus spent the time I was assured by another cacique of the
north side of the island, that Berreo had sent to Margarita and Cumana
for soldiers, meaning to have given me a cassado (blow) at parting, if
it had been possible. For although he had given order through all the
island that no Indian should come aboard to trade with me upon pain of
hanging and quartering (having executed two of them for the same,
which I afterwards found), yet every night there came some with most
lamentable complaints of his cruelty: how he had divided the island and
given to every soldier a part; that he made the ancient caciques, which
were lords of the country, to be their slaves; that he kept them in
chains, and dropped their naked bodies with burning bacon, and such
other torments, which I found afterwards to be true. For in the city,
after I entered the same, there were five of the lords or little kings,
which they call caciques in the West Indies, in one chain, almost dead
of famine, and wasted with torments. These are called in their own
language acarewana, and now of late since English, French, and Spanish,
are come among them, they call themselves captains, because they
perceive that the chiefest of every ship is called by that name.
Those five captains in the chain were called Wannawanare, Carroaori,
Maquarima, Tarroopanama, and Aterima. So as both to be revenged of the
former wrong, as also considering that to enter Guiana by small boats,
to depart 400 or 500 miles from my ships, and to leave a garrison in my
back interested in the same enterprise, who also daily expected supplies
out of Spain, I should have savoured very much of the ass; and therefore
taking a time of most advantage, I set upon the Corps du garde in
the evening, and having put them to the sword, sent Captain Caulfield
onwards with sixty soldiers, and myself followed with forty more, and so
took their new city, which they called St. Joseph, by break of day. They
abode not any fight after a few shot, and all being dismissed, but
only Berreo and his companion (the Portuguese captain Alvaro Jorge), I
brought them with me aboard, and at the instance of the Indians I set
their new city of St. Joseph on fire. The same day arrived Captain
George Gifford with your lordship's ship, and Captain Keymis, whom
I lost on the coast of Spain, with the galego, and in them divers
gentlemen and others, which to our little army was a great comfort and

We then hasted away towards our purposed discovery, and first I called
all the captains of the island together that were enemies to the
Spaniards; for there were some which Berreo had brought out of other
countries, and planted there to eat out and waste those that were
natural of the place. And by my Indian interpreter, which I carried out
of England, I made them understand that I was the servant of a queen who
was the great cacique of the north, and a virgin, and had more caciqui
under her than there were trees in that island; that she was an enemy to
the Castellani in respect of their tyranny and oppression, and that she
delivered all such nations about her, as were by them oppressed; and
having freed all the coast of the northern world from their servitude,
had sent me to free them also, and withal to defend the country of
Guiana from their invasion and conquest. I shewed them her Majesty's
picture, which they so admired and honoured, as it had been easy to have
brought them idolatrous thereof. The like and a more large discourse
I made to the rest of the nations, both in my passing to Guiana and to
those of the borders, so as in that part of the world her Majesty
is very famous and admirable; whom they now call EZRABETA CASSIPUNA
AQUEREWANA, which is as much as 'Elizabeth, the Great Princess, or
Greatest Commander.' This done, we left Puerto de los Espanoles, and
returned to Curiapan, and having Berreo my prisoner, I gathered from him
as much of Guiana as he knew. This Berreo is a gentleman well descended,
and had long served the Spanish king in Milan, Naples, the Low
Countries, and elsewhere, very valiant and liberal, and a gentleman of
great assuredness, and of a great heart. I used him according to his
estate and worth in all things I could, according to the small means I

I sent Captain Whiddon the year before to get what knowledge he could of
Guiana: and the end of my journey at this time was to discover and enter
the same. But my intelligence was far from truth, for the country is
situate about 600 English miles further from the sea than I was made
believe it had been. Which afterwards understanding to be true by
Berreo, I kept it from the knowledge of my company, who else would never
have been brought to attempt the same. Of which 600 miles I passed 400,
leaving my ships so far from me at anchor in the sea, which was more of
desire to perform that discovery than of reason, especially having such
poor and weak vessels to transport ourselves in. For in the bottom of
an old galego which I caused to be fashioned like a galley, and in one
barge, two wherries, and a ship-boat of the Lion's Whelp, we carried 100
persons and their victuals for a month in the same, being all driven
to lie in the rain and weather in the open air, in the burning sun, and
upon the hard boards, and to dress our meat, and to carry all manner of
furniture in them. Wherewith they were so pestered and unsavoury, that
what with victuals being most fish, with the wet clothes of so many men
thrust together, and the heat of the sun, I will undertake there was
never any prison in England that could be found more unsavoury and
loathsome, especially to myself, who had for many years before been
dieted and cared for in a sort far more differing.

If Captain Preston had not been persuaded that he should have come too
late to Trinidad to have found us there (for the month was expired which
I promised to tarry for him there ere he could recover the coast of
Spain) but that it had pleased God he might have joined with us, and
that we had entered the country but some ten days sooner ere the rivers
were overflown, we had adventured either to have gone to the great city
of Manoa, or at least taken so many of the other cities and towns nearer
at hand, as would have made a royal return. But it pleased not God so
much to favour me at this time. If it shall be my lot to prosecute the
same, I shall willingly spend my life therein. And if any else shall
be enabled thereunto, and conquer the same, I assure him thus much; he
shall perform more than ever was done in Mexico by Cortes, or in Peru by
Pizarro, whereof the one conquered the empire of Mutezuma, the other
of Guascar and Atabalipa. And whatsoever prince shall possess it, that
prince shall be lord of more gold, and of a more beautiful empire, and
of more cities and people, than either the king of Spain or the Great

But because there may arise many doubts, and how this empire of Guiana
is become so populous, and adorned with so many great cities, towns,
temples, and treasures, I thought good to make it known, that the
emperor now reigning is descended from those magnificent princes
of Peru, of whose large territories, of whose policies, conquests,
edifices, and riches, Pedro de Cieza, Francisco Lopez, and others have
written large discourses. For when Francisco Pizarro, Diego Almagro
and others conquered the said empire of Peru, and had put to death
Atabalipa, son to Guayna Capac, which Atabalipa had formerly caused his
eldest brother Guascar to be slain, one of the younger sons of Guayna
Capac fled out of Peru, and took with him many thousands of those
soldiers of the empire called orejones ("having large ears," the name
given by the Spaniards to the Peruvian warriors, who wore ear-pendants),
and with those and many others which followed him, he vanquished all
that tract and valley of America which is situate between the great
river of Amazons and Baraquan, otherwise called Orenoque and Maranon
(Baraquan is the alternative name to Orenoque, Maranon to Amazons).

The empire of Guiana is directly east from Peru towards the sea, and
lieth under the equinoctial line; and it hath more abundance of gold
than any part of Peru, and as many or more great cities than ever Peru
had when it flourished most. It is governed by the same laws, and the
emperor and people observe the same religion, and the same form and
policies in government as were used in Peru, not differing in any part.
And I have been assured by such of the Spaniards as have seen Manoa, the
imperial city of Guiana, which the Spaniards call El Dorado, that
for the greatness, for the riches, and for the excellent seat, it far
exceedeth any of the world, at least of so much of the world as is known
to the Spanish nation. It is founded upon a lake of salt water of 200
leagues long, like unto Mare Caspium. And if we compare it to that of
Peru, and but read the report of Francisco Lopez and others, it will
seem more than credible; and because we may judge of the one by the
other, I thought good to insert part of the 120. chapter of Lopez in
his General History of the Indies, wherein he describeth the court and
magnificence of Guayna Capac, ancestor to the emperor of Guiana, whose
very words are these:--

"Todo el servicio de su casa, mesa, y cocina era de oro y de plata,
y cuando menos de plata y cobre, por mas recio. Tenia en su recamara
estatuas huecas de oro, que parescian gigantes, y las figuras al propio
y tamano de cuantos animales, aves, arboles, y yerbas produce la tierra,
y de cuantos peces cria la mar y agua de sus reynos. Tenia asimesmo
sogas, costales, cestas, y troxes de oro y plata; rimeros de palos de
oro, que pareciesen lena rajada para quemar. En fin no habia cosa en su
tierra, que no la tuviese de oro contrahecha; y aun dizen, que tenian
los Ingas un verjel en una isla cerca de la Puna, donde se iban a
holgar, cuando querian mar, que tenia la hortaliza, las flores, y
arboles de oro y plata; invencion y grandeza hasta entonces nunca vista.
Allende de todo esto, tenia infinitisima cantidad de plata y oro por
labrar en el Cuzco, que se perdio por la muerte de Guascar; ca los
Indios lo escondieron, viendo que los Espanoles se lo tomaban, y
enviaban a Espana."

That is, "All the vessels of his house, table, and kitchen, were of
gold and silver, and the meanest of silver and copper for strength and
hardness of metal. He had in his wardrobe hollow statues of gold which
seemed giants, and the figures in proportion and bigness of all the
beasts, birds, trees, and herbs, that the earth bringeth forth; and of
all the fishes that the sea or waters of his kingdom breedeth. He had
also ropes, budgets, chests, and troughs of gold and silver, heaps of
billets of gold, that seemed wood marked out (split into logs) to
burn. Finally, there was nothing in his country whereof he had not
the counterfeit in gold. Yea, and they say, the Ingas had a garden of
pleasure in an island near Puna, where they went to recreate themselves,
when they would take the air of the sea, which had all kinds of
garden-herbs, flowers, and trees of gold and silver; an invention and
magnificence till then never seen. Besides all this, he had an infinite
quantity of silver and gold unwrought in Cuzco, which was lost by the
death of Guascar, for the Indians hid it, seeing that the Spaniards took
it, and sent it into Spain."

And in the 117. chapter; Francisco Pizarro caused the gold and silver of
Atabalipa to be weighed after he had taken it, which Lopez setteth down
in these words following:--"Hallaron cincuenta y dos mil marcos de buena
plata, y un millon y trecientos y veinte y seis mil y quinientos
pesos de oro." Which is, "They found 52,000 marks of good silver, and
1,326,500 pesos of gold." Now, although these reports may seem strange,
yet if we consider the many millions which are daily brought out of
Peru into Spain, we may easily believe the same. For we find that by the
abundant treasure of that country the Spanish king vexes all the princes
of Europe, and is become, in a few years, from a poor king of Castile,
the greatest monarch of this part of the world, and likely every day to
increase if other princes forslow the good occasions offered, and suffer
him to add this empire to the rest, which by far exceedeth all the rest.
If his gold now endanger us, he will then be unresistible. Such of the
Spaniards as afterwards endeavoured the conquest thereof, whereof there
have been many, as shall be declared hereafter, thought that this Inga,
of whom this emperor now living is descended, took his way by the river
of Amazons, by that branch which is called Papamene (The Papamene is a
tributary not of the Amazon river but of the Meta, one of the principal
tributaries of the Orinoco). For by that way followed Orellana, by the
commandment of Gonzalo Pizarro, in the year 1542, whose name the river
also beareth this day. Which is also by others called Maranon, although
Andrew Thevet doth affirm that between Maranon and Amazons there are 120
leagues; but sure it is that those rivers have one head and beginning,
and the Maranon, which Thevet describeth, is but a branch of Amazons or
Orellana, of which I will speak more in another place. It was attempted
by Ordas; but it is now little less than 70 years since that Diego
Ordas, a Knight of the Order of Santiago, attempted the same; and it was
in the year 1542 that Orellana discovered the river of Amazons; but the
first that ever saw Manoa was Juan Martinez, master of the munition
to Ordas. At a port called Morequito (probably San Miguel), in Guiana,
there lieth at this day a great anchor of Ordas his ship. And this port
is some 300 miles within the land, upon the great river of Orenoque.
I rested at this port four days, twenty days after I left the ships at

The relation of this Martinez, who was the first that discovered Manoa,
his success, and end, is to be seen in the Chancery of St. Juan de
Puerto Rico, whereof Berreo had a copy, which appeared to be the
greatest encouragement as well to Berreo as to others that formerly
attempted the discovery and conquest. Orellana, after he failed of the
discovery of Guiana by the said river of Amazons, passed into Spain, and
there obtained a patent of the king for the invasion and conquest, but
died by sea about the islands; and his fleet being severed by tempest,
the action for that time proceeded not. Diego Ordas followed the
enterprise, and departed Spain with 600 soldiers and thirty horse. Who,
arriving on the coast of Guiana, was slain in a mutiny, with the most
part of such as favoured him, as also of the rebellious part, insomuch
as his ships perished and few or none returned; neither was it certainly
known what became of the said Ordas until Berreo found the anchor of his
ship in the river of Orenoque; but it was supposed, and so it is written
by Lopez, that he perished on the seas, and of other writers diversely
conceived and reported. And hereof it came that Martinez entered so far
within the land, and arrived at that city of Inga the emperor; for it
chanced that while Ordas with his army rested at the port of Morequito
(who was either the first or second that attempted Guiana), by some
negligence the whole store of powder provided for the service was set
on fire, and Martinez, having the chief charge, was condemned by the
General Ordas to be executed forthwith. Martinez, being much favoured by
the soldiers, had all the means possible procured for his life; but it
could not be obtained in other sort than this, that he should be set
into a canoa alone, without any victual, only with his arms, and so
turned loose into the great river. But it pleased God that the canoa was
carried down the stream, and certain of the Guianians met it the same
evening; and, having not at any time seen any Christian nor any man of
that colour, they carried Martinez into the land to be wondered at, and
so from town to town, until he came to the great city of Manoa, the seat
and residence of Inga the emperor. The emperor, after he had beheld him,
knew him to be a Christian, for it was not long before that his brethren
Guascar and Atabalipa were vanquished by the Spaniards in Peru: and
caused him to be lodged in his palace, and well entertained. He lived
seven months in Manoa, but was not suffered to wander into the country
anywhere. He was also brought thither all the way blindfold, led by the
Indians, until he came to the entrance of Manoa itself, and was fourteen
or fifteen days in the passage. He avowed at his death that he entered
the city at noon, and then they uncovered his face; and that he
travelled all that day till night through the city, and the next day
from sun rising to sun setting, ere he came to the palace of Inga. After
that Martinez had lived seven months in Manoa, and began to understand
the language of the country, Inga asked him whether he desired to return
into his own country, or would willingly abide with him. But Martinez,
not desirous to stay, obtained the favour of Inga to depart; with whom
he sent divers Guianians to conduct him to the river of Orenoque, all
loaden with as much gold as they could carry, which he gave to Martinez
at his departure. But when he was arrived near the river's side, the
borderers which are called Orenoqueponi (poni is a Carib postposition
meaning "on") robbed him and his Guianians of all the treasure (the
borderers being at that time at wars, which Inga had not conquered) save
only of two great bottles of gourds, which were filled with beads of
gold curiously wrought, which those Orenoqueponi thought had been
no other thing than his drink or meat, or grain for food, with which
Martinez had liberty to pass. And so in canoas he fell down from the
river of Orenoque to Trinidad, and from thence to Margarita, and so to
St. Juan del Puerto Rico; where, remaining a long time for passage into
Spain, he died. In the time of his extreme sickness, and when he was
without hope of life, receiving the sacrament at the hands of his
confessor, he delivered these things, with the relation of his travels,
and also called for his calabazas or gourds of the gold beads, which he
gave to the church and friars, to be prayed for.

This Martinez was he that christened the city of Manoa by the name of El
Dorado, and, as Berreo informed me, upon this occasion, those Guianians,
and also the borderers, and all other in that tract which I have seen,
are marvellous great drunkards; in which vice I think no nation can
compare with them; and at the times of their solemn feasts, when the
emperor carouseth with his captains, tributaries, and governors, the
manner is thus. All those that pledge him are first stripped naked and
their bodies anointed all over with a kind of white balsamum (by them
called curca), of which there is great plenty, and yet very dear amongst
them, and it is of all other the most precious, whereof we have had good
experience. When they are anointed all over, certain servants of the
emperor, having prepared gold made into fine powder, blow it through
hollow canes upon their naked bodies, until they be all shining from
the foot to the head; and in this sort they sit drinking by twenties
and hundreds, and continue in drunkenness sometimes six or seven days
together. The same is also confirmed by a letter written into Spain
which was intercepted, which Master Robert Dudley told me he had seen.
Upon this sight, and for the abundance of gold which he saw in the city,
the images of gold in their temples, the plates, armours, and shields of
gold which they use in the wars, he called it El Dorado.

After the death of Ordas and Martinez, and after Orellana, who was
employed by Gonzalo Pizarro, one Pedro de Orsua, a knight of Navarre,
attempted Guiana, taking his way into Peru, and built his brigandines
upon a river called Oia, which riseth to the southward of Quito, and
is very great. This river falleth into Amazons, by which Orsua with
his companies descended, and came out of that province which is called
Motilones ("friars"--Indians so named from their cropped heads); and
it seemeth to me that this empire is reserved for her Majesty and the
English nation, by reason of the hard success which all these and other
Spaniards found in attempting the same, whereof I will speak briefly,
though impertinent in some sort to my purpose. This Pedro de Orsua had
among his troops a Biscayan called Aguirre, a man meanly born, who bare
no other office than a sergeant or alferez (al-faris, Arab.--horseman,
mounted officer): but after certain months, when the soldiers were
grieved with travels and consumed with famine, and that no entrance
could be found by the branches or body of Amazons, this Aguirre raised
a mutiny, of which he made himself the head, and so prevailed as he put
Orsua to the sword and all his followers, taking on him the whole charge
and commandment, with a purpose not only to make himself emperor of
Guiana, but also of Peru and of all that side of the West Indies. He had
of his party 700 soldiers, and of those many promised to draw in other
captains and companies, to deliver up towns and forts in Peru; but
neither finding by the said river any passage into Guiana, nor any
possibility to return towards Peru by the same Amazons, by reason that
the descent of the river made so great a current, he was enforced to
disemboque at the mouth of the said Amazons, which cannot be less than
1,000 leagues from the place where they embarked. From thence he coasted
the land till he arrived at Margarita to the north of Mompatar, which is
at this day called Puerto de Tyranno, for that he there slew Don Juan
de Villa Andreda, Governor of Margarita, who was father to Don Juan
Sarmiento, Governor of Margarita when Sir John Burgh landed there and
attempted the island. Aguirre put to the sword all other in the island
that refused to be of his party, and took with him certain cimarrones
(fugitive slaves) and other desperate companions. From thence he went to
Cumana and there slew the governor, and dealt in all as at Margarita.
He spoiled all the coast of Caracas and the province of Venezuela and of
Rio de la Hacha; and, as I remember, it was the same year that Sir John
Hawkins sailed to St. Juan de Ullua in the Jesus of Lubeck; for himself
told me that he met with such a one upon the coast, that rebelled, and
had sailed down all the river of Amazons. Aguirre from thence landed
about Santa Marta and sacked it also, putting to death so many as
refused to be his followers, purposing to invade Nuevo Reyno de Granada
and to sack Pamplona, Merida, Lagrita, Tunja, and the rest of the cities
of Nuevo Reyno, and from thence again to enter Peru; but in a fight in
the said Nuevo Reyno he was overthrown, and, finding no way to escape,
he first put to the sword his own children, foretelling them that they
should not live to be defamed or upbraided by the Spaniards after his
death, who would have termed them the children of a traitor or tyrant;
and that, sithence he could not make them princes, he would yet deliver
them from shame and reproach. These were the ends and tragedies of
Ordas, Martinez, Orellana, Orsua, and Aguirre. Also soon after Ordas
followed Jeronimo Ortal de Saragosa, with 130 soldiers; who failing his
entrance by sea, was cast with the current on the coast of Paria, and
peopled about S. Miguel de Neveri. It was then attempted by Don Pedro
de Silva, a Portuguese of the family of Ruy Gomez de Silva, and by the
favour which Ruy Gomez had with the king he was set out. But he also
shot wide of the mark; for being departed from Spain with his fleet, he
entered by Maranon or Amazons, where by the nations of the river and
by the Amazons, he was utterly overthrown, and himself and all his army
defeated; only seven escaped, and of those but two returned.

After him came Pedro Hernandez de Serpa, and landed at Cumana, in the
West Indies, taking his journey by land towards Orenoque, which may be
some 120 leagues; but ere he came to the borders of the said river, he
was set upon by a nation of the Indians, called Wikiri, and overthrown
in such sort, that of 300 soldiers, horsemen, many Indians, and negroes,
there returned but eighteen. Others affirm that he was defeated in the
very entrance of Guiana, at the first civil town of the empire called
Macureguarai. Captain Preston, in taking Santiago de Leon (which was by
him and his companies very resolutely performed, being a great town, and
far within the land) held a gentleman prisoner, who died in his ship,
that was one of the company of Hernandez de Serpa, and saved among those
that escaped; who witnessed what opinion is held among the Spaniards
thereabouts of the great riches of Guiana, and El Dorado, the city of
Inga. Another Spaniard was brought aboard me by Captain Preston, who
told me in the hearing of himself and divers other gentlemen, that he
met with Berreo's campmaster at Caracas, when he came from the borders
of Guiana, and that he saw with him forty of most pure plates of gold,
curiously wrought, and swords of Guiana decked and inlaid with gold,
feathers garnished with gold, and divers rarities, which he carried to
the Spanish king.

After Hernandez de Serpa, it was undertaken by the Adelantado, Don
Gonzalez Ximenes de Quesada, who was one of the chiefest in the conquest
of Nuevo Reyno, whose daughter and heir Don Antonio de Berreo married.
Gonzalez sought the passage also by the river called Papamene, which
riseth by Quito, in Peru, and runneth south-east 100 leagues, and then
falleth into Amazons. But he also, failing the entrance, returned with
the loss of much labour and cost. I took one Captain George, a Spaniard,
that followed Gonzalez in this enterprise. Gonzalez gave his daughter to
Berreo, taking his oath and honour to follow the enterprise to the last
of his substance and life. Who since, as he hath sworn to me, hath spent
300,000 ducats in the same, and yet never could enter so far into the
land as myself with that poor troop, or rather a handful of men, being
in all about 100 gentlemen, soldiers, rowers, boat-keepers, boys, and of
all sorts; neither could any of the forepassed undertakers, nor Berreo
himself, discover the country, till now lately by conference with an
ancient king, called Carapana (Caribana, Carib land, was an old European
name for the Atlantic coast near the mouth of the Orinoco, and hence was
applied to one of its chiefs. Berrio called this district "Emeria"),
he got the true light thereof. For Berreo came about 1,500 miles ere he
understood aught, or could find any passage or entrance into any part
thereof; yet he had experience of all these fore-named, and divers
others, and was persuaded of their errors and mistakings. Berreo sought
it by the river Cassanar, which falleth into a great river called Pato:
Pato falleth into Meta, and Meta into Baraquan, which is also called
Orenoque. He took his journey from Nuevo Reyno de Granada, where he
dwelt, having the inheritance of Gonzalez Ximenes in those parts; he was
followed with 700 horse, he drove with him 1,000 head of cattle, he had
also many women, Indians, and slaves. How all these rivers cross and
encounter, how the country lieth and is bordered, the passage of Ximenes
and Berreo, mine own discovery, and the way that I entered, with all the
rest of the nations and rivers, your lordship shall receive in a large
chart or map, which I have not yet finished, and which I shall most
humbly pray your lordship to secrete, and not to suffer it to pass
your own hands; for by a draught thereof all may be prevented by other
nations; for I know it is this very year sought by the French, although
by the way that they now take, I fear it not much. It was also told me
ere I departed England, that Villiers, the Admiral, was in preparation
for the planting of Amazons, to which river the French have made divers
voyages, and returned much gold and other rarities. I spake with a
captain of a French ship that came from thence, his ship riding in
Falmouth the same year that my ships came first from Virginia; there was
another this year in Helford, that also came from thence, and had been
fourteen months at an anchor in Amazons; which were both very rich.

Although, as I am persuaded, Guiana cannot be entered that way, yet no
doubt the trade of gold from thence passeth by branches of rivers into
the river of Amazons, and so it doth on every hand far from the country
itself; for those Indians of Trinidad have plates of gold from Guiana,
and those cannibals of Dominica which dwell in the islands by which our
ships pass yearly to the West Indies, also the Indians of Paria, those
Indians called Tucaris, Chochi, Apotomios, Cumanagotos, and all those
other nations inhabiting near about the mountains that run from Paria
through the province of Venezuela, and in Maracapana, and the cannibals
of Guanipa, the Indians called Assawai, Coaca, Ajai, and the rest (all
which shall be described in my description as they are situate) have
plates of gold of Guiana. And upon the river of Amazons, Thevet writeth
that the people wear croissants of gold, for of that form the Guianians
most commonly make them; so as from Dominica to Amazons, which is above
250 leagues, all the chief Indians in all parts wear of those plates of
Guiana. Undoubtedly those that trade Amazons return much gold, which
(as is aforesaid) cometh by trade from Guiana, by some branch of a river
that falleth from the country into Amazons, and either it is by the
river which passeth by the nations called Tisnados, or by Caripuna.

I made enquiry amongst the most ancient and best travelled of the
Orenoqueponi, and I had knowledge of all the rivers between Orenoque and
Amazons, and was very desirous to understand the truth of those warlike
women, because of some it is believed, of others not. And though I
digress from my purpose, yet I will set down that which hath been
delivered me for truth of those women, and I spake with a cacique, or
lord of people, that told me he had been in the river, and beyond it
also. The nations of these women are on the south side of the river in
the provinces of Topago, and their chiefest strengths and retracts
are in the islands situate on the south side of the entrance, some 60
leagues within the mouth of the said river. The memories of the like
women are very ancient as well in Africa as in Asia. In Africa those
that had Medusa for queen; others in Scythia, near the rivers of Tanais
and Thermodon. We find, also, that Lampedo and Marthesia were queens of
the Amazons. In many histories they are verified to have been, and in
divers ages and provinces; but they which are not far from Guiana do
accompany with men but once in a year, and for the time of one month,
which I gather by their relation, to be in April; and that time all
kings of the borders assemble, and queens of the Amazons; and after the
queens have chosen, the rest cast lots for their valentines. This one
month they feast, dance, and drink of their wines in abundance; and the
moon being done they all depart to their own provinces. They are said
to be very cruel and bloodthirsty, especially to such as offer to invade
their territories. These Amazons have likewise great store of these
plates of gold, which they recover by exchange chiefly for a kind of
green stones, which the Spaniards call piedras hijadas, and we use for
spleen-stones (stones reduced to powder and taken internally to cure
maladies of the spleen); and for the disease of the stone we also
esteem them. Of these I saw divers in Guiana; and commonly every king
or cacique hath one, which their wives for the most part wear, and they
esteem them as great jewels.

But to return to the enterprise of Berreo, who, as I have said, departed
from Nuevo Reyno with 700 horse, besides the provisions above rehearsed.
He descended by the river called Cassanar, which riseth in Nuevo Reyno
out of the mountains by the city of Tunja, from which mountain also
springeth Pato; both which fall into the great river of Meta, and Meta
riseth from a mountain joining to Pamplona, in the same Nuevo Reyno de
Granada. These, as also Guaiare, which issueth out of the mountains by
Timana, fall all into Baraquan, and are but of his heads; for at their
coming together they lose their names, and Baraquan farther down is also
rebaptized by the name of Orenoque. On the other side of the city and
hills of Timana riseth Rio Grande, which falleth into the sea by Santa
Marta. By Cassanar first, and so into Meta, Berreo passed, keeping his
horsemen on the banks, where the country served them for to march; and
where otherwise, he was driven to embark them in boats which he builded
for the purpose, and so came with the current down the river of Meta,
and so into Baraquan. After he entered that great and mighty river, he
began daily to lose of his companies both men and horse; for it is in
many places violently swift, and hath forcible eddies, many sands,
and divers islands sharp pointed with rocks. But after one whole year,
journeying for the most part by river, and the rest by land, he grew
daily to fewer numbers; from both by sickness, and by encountering with
the people of those regions through which he travelled, his companies
were much wasted, especially by divers encounters with the Amapaians
(Amapaia was Berrio's name for the Orinoco valley above the Caura
river). And in all this time he never could learn of any passage into
Guiana, nor any news or fame thereof, until he came to a further border
of the said Amapaia, eight days' journey from the river Caroli (the
Caroni river, the first great affluent of the Orinoco on the south,
about 180 miles from the sea), which was the furthest river that he
entered. Among those of Amapaia, Guiana was famous; but few of these
people accosted Berreo, or would trade with him the first three months
of the six which he sojourned there. This Amapaia is also marvellous
rich in gold, as both Berreo confessed and those of Guiana with whom I
had most conference; and is situate upon Orenoque also. In this country
Berreo lost sixty of his best soldiers, and most of all his horse that
remained in his former year's travel. But in the end, after divers
encounters with those nations, they grew to peace, and they presented
Berreo with ten images of fine gold among divers other plates and
croissants, which, as he sware to me, and divers other gentlemen, were
so curiously wrought, as he had not seen the like either in Italy,
Spain, or the Low Countries; and he was resolved that when they came
to the hands of the Spanish king, to whom he had sent them by his
camp-master, they would appear very admirable, especially being wrought
by such a nation as had no iron instruments at all, nor any of those
helps which our goldsmiths have to work withal. The particular name of
the people in Amapaia which gave him these pieces, are called Anebas,
and the river of Orenoque at that place is about twelve English miles
broad, which may be from his outfall into the sea 700 or 800 miles.

This province of Amapaia is a very low and a marish ground near the
river; and by reason of the red water which issueth out in small
branches through the fenny and boggy ground, there breed divers
poisonful worms and serpents. And the Spaniards not suspecting, nor in
any sort foreknowing the danger, were infected with a grievous kind of
flux by drinking thereof, and even the very horses poisoned therewith;
insomuch as at the end of the six months that they abode there, of all
their troops there were not left above 120 soldiers, and neither horse
nor cattle. For Berreo hoped to have found Guiana be 1,000 miles nearer
than it fell out to be in the end; by means whereof they sustained much
want, and much hunger, oppressed with grievous diseases, and all the
miseries that could be imagined. I demanded of those in Guiana that had
travelled Amapaia, how they lived with that tawny or red water when
they travelled thither; and they told me that after the sun was near the
middle of the sky, they used to fill their pots and pitchers with that
water, but either before that time or towards the setting of the sun
it was dangerous to drink of, and in the night strong poison. I learned
also of divers other rivers of that nature among them, which were
also, while the sun was in the meridian, very safe to drink, and in the
morning, evening, and night, wonderful dangerous and infective. From
this province Berreo hasted away as soon as the spring and beginning of
summer appeared, and sought his entrance on the borders of Orenoque
on the south side; but there ran a ledge of so high and impassable
mountains, as he was not able by any means to march over them,
continuing from the east sea into which Orenoque falleth, even to Quito
in Peru. Neither had he means to carry victual or munition over those
craggy, high, and fast hills, being all woody, and those so thick and
spiny, and so full or prickles, thorns, and briars, as it is impossible
to creep through them. He had also neither friendship among the people,
nor any interpreter to persuade or treat with them; and more, to his
disadvantage, the caciques and kings of Amapaia had given knowledge of
his purpose to the Guianians, and that he sought to sack and conquer the
empire, for the hope of their so great abundance and quantities of gold.
He passed by the mouths of many great rivers which fell into Orenoque
both from the north and south, which I forbear to name, for tediousness,
and because they are more pleasing in describing than reading.

Berreo affirmed that there fell an hundred rivers into Orenoque from
the north and south: whereof the least was as big as Rio Grande (the
Magdalena), that passed between Popayan and Nuevo Reyno de Granada, Rio
Grande being esteemed one of the renowned rivers in all the West Indies,
and numbered among the great rivers of the world. But he knew not the
names of any of these, but Caroli only; neither from what nations they
descended, neither to what provinces they led, for he had no means to
discourse with the inhabitants at any time; neither was he curious in
these things, being utterly unlearned, and not knowing the east from the
west. But of all these I got some knowledge, and of many more, partly by
mine own travel, and the rest by conference; of some one I learned one,
of others the rest, having with me an Indian that spake many languages,
and that of Guiana (the Carib) naturally. I sought out all the aged men,
and such as were greatest travellers. And by the one and the other I
came to understand the situations, the rivers, the kingdoms from the
east sea to the borders of Peru, and from Orenoque southward as far as
Amazons or Maranon, and the regions of Marinatambal (north coasts of
Brazil), and of all the kings of provinces, and captains of towns
and villages, how they stood in terms of peace or war, and which were
friends or enemies the one with the other; without which there can be
neither entrance nor conquest in those parts, nor elsewhere. For by the
dissension between Guascar and Atabalipa, Pizarro conquered Peru, and by
the hatred that the Tlaxcallians bare to Mutezuma, Cortes was victorious
over Mexico; without which both the one and the other had failed of
their enterprise, and of the great honour and riches which they attained

Now Berreo began to grow into despair, and looked for no other success
than his predecessor in this enterprise; until such time as he arrived
at the province of Emeria towards the east sea and mouth of the river,
where he found a nation of people very favourable, and the country full
of all manner of victual. The king of this land is called Carapana, a
man very wise, subtle, and of great experience, being little less than
an hundred years old. In his youth he was sent by his father into the
island of Trinidad, by reason of civil war among themselves, and was
bred at a village in that island, called Parico. At that place in his
youth he had seen many Christians, both French and Spanish, and went
divers times with the Indians of Trinidad to Margarita and Cumana, in
the West Indies, for both those places have ever been relieved with
victual from Trinidad: by reason whereof he grew of more understanding,
and noted the difference of the nations, comparing the strength and arms
of his country with those of the Christians, and ever after temporised
so as whosoever else did amiss, or was wasted by contention, Carapana
kept himself and his country in quiet and plenty. He also held peace
with the Caribs or cannibals, his neighbours, and had free trade with
all nations, whosoever else had war.

Berreo sojourned and rested his weak troop in the town of Carapana
six weeks, and from him learned the way and passage to Guiana, and
the riches and magnificence thereof. But being then utterly unable to
proceed, he determined to try his fortune another year, when he had
renewed his provisions, and regathered more force, which he hoped for
as well out of Spain as from Nuevo Reyno, where he had left his son
Don Antonio Ximenes to second him upon the first notice given of his
entrance; and so for the present embarked himself in canoas, and by
the branches of Orenoque arrived at Trinidad, having from Carapana
sufficient pilots to conduct him. From Trinidad he coasted Paria, and so
recovered Margarita; and having made relation to Don Juan Sarmiento, the
Governor, of his proceeding, and persuaded him of the riches of Guiana,
he obtained from thence fifty soldiers, promising presently to return
to Carapana, and so into Guiana. But Berreo meant nothing less at that
time; for he wanted many provisions necessary for such an enterprise,
and therefore departed from Margarita, seated himself in Trinidad, and
from thence sent his camp-master and his sergeant-major back to the
borders to discover the nearest passage into the empire, as also to
treat with the borderers, and to draw them to his party and love;
without which, he knew he could neither pass safely, nor in any sort be
relieved with victual or aught else. Carapana directed his company to a
king called Morequito, assuring them that no man could deliver so much
Guiana as Morequito could, and that his dwelling was but five days'
journey from Macureguarai, the first civil town of Guiana.

Now your lordship shall understand that this Morequito, one of the
greatest lords or kings of the borders of Guiana, had two or three years
before been at Cumana and at Margarita, in the West Indies, with great
store of plates of gold, which he carried to exchange for such other
things as he wanted in his own country, and was daily feasted, and
presented by the governors of those places, and held amongst them some
two months. In which time one Vides, Governor of Cumana, won him to be
his conductor into Guiana, being allured by those croissants and images
of gold which he brought with him to trade, as also by the ancient fame
and magnificence of El Dorado; whereupon Vides sent into Spain for a
patent to discover and conquer Guiana, not knowing of the precedence of
Berreo's patent; which, as Berreo affirmeth, was signed before that
of Vidas. So as when Vides understood of Berreo and that he had made
entrance into that territory, and foregone his desire and hope, it was
verily thought that Vides practised with Morequito to hinder and disturb
Berreo in all he could, and not to suffer him to enter through his
seignory, nor any of his companies; neither to victual, nor guide them
in any sort. For Vides, Governor of Cumana, and Berreo, were become
mortal enemies, as well for that Berreo had gotten Trinidad into his
patent with Guiana, as also in that he was by Berreo prevented in the
journey of Guiana itself. Howsoever it was, I know not, but Morequito
for a time dissembled his disposition, suffered ten Spaniards and a
friar, which Berreo had sent to discover Manoa, to travel through his
country, gave them a guide for Macureguarai, the first town of civil and
apparelled people, from whence they had other guides to bring them to
Manoa, the great city of Inga; and being furnished with those things
which they had learned of Carapana were of most price in Guiana, went
onward, and in eleven days arrived at Manoa, as Berreo affirmeth for
certain; although I could not be assured thereof by the lord which now
governeth the province of Morequito, for he told me that they got all
the gold they had in other towns on this side Manoa, there being
many very great and rich, and (as he said) built like the towns of
Christians, with many rooms.

When these ten Spaniards were returned, and ready to put out of the
border of Aromaia (the district below the Caroni river), the people of
Morequito set upon them, and slew them all but one that swam the river,
and took from them to the value of 40,000 pesos of gold; and one of them
only lived to bring the news to Berreo, that both his nine soldiers and
holy father were benighted in the said province. I myself spake with the
captains of Morequito that slew them, and was at the place where it was
executed. Berreo, enraged herewithal, sent all the strength he could
make into Aromaia, to be revenged of him, his people, and country. But
Morequito, suspecting the same, fled over Orenoque, and through the
territories of the Saima and Wikiri recovered Cumana, where he thought
himself very safe, with Vides the governor. But Berreo sending for him
in the king's name, and his messengers finding him in the house of one
Fajardo, on the sudden, ere he was suspected, so as he could not then be
conveyed away, Vides durst not deny him, as well to avoid the suspicion
of the practice, as also for that an holy father was slain by him and
his people. Morequito offered Fajardo the weight of three quintals in
gold, to let him escape; but the poor Guianian, betrayed on all sides,
was delivered to the camp-master of Berreo, and was presently executed.

After the death of this Morequito, the soldiers of Berreo spoiled his
territory and took divers prisoners. Among others they took the uncle
of Morequito, called Topiawari, who is now king of Aromaia, whose son
I brought with me into England, and is a man of great understanding
and policy; he is above an hundred years old, and yet is of a very able
body. The Spaniards led him in a chain seventeen days, and made him
their guide from place to place between his country and Emeria, the
province of Carapana aforesaid, and he was at last redeemed for an
hundred plates of gold, and divers stones called piedras hijadas,
or spleen-stones. Now Berreo for executing of Morequito, and other
cruelties, spoils, and slaughters done in Aromaia, hath lost the love of
the Orenoqueponi, and of all the borderers, and dare not send any of his
soldiers any further into the land than to Carapana, which he called
the port of Guiana; but from thence by the help of Carapana he had trade
further into the country, and always appointed ten Spaniards to reside
in Carapana's town (the Spanish settlement of Santo Tome de la Guyana,
founded by Berrio in 1591 or 1592, but represented by Raleigh as an
Indian pueblo), by whose favour, and by being conducted by his people,
those ten searched the country thereabouts, as well for mines as for
other trades and commodities.

They also have gotten a nephew of Morequito, whom they have christened
and named Don Juan, of whom they have great hope, endeavouring by all
means to establish him in the said province. Among many other trades,
those Spaniards used canoas to pass to the rivers of Barema, Pawroma,
and Dissequebe (Essequibo), which are on the south side of the mouth of
Orenoque, and there buy women and children from the cannibals, which are
of that barbarous nature, as they will for three or four hatchets
sell the sons and daughters of their own brethren and sisters, and for
somewhat more even their own daughters. Hereof the Spaniards make great
profit; for buying a maid of twelve or thirteen years for three or four
hatchets, they sell them again at Margarita in the West Indies for fifty
and an hundred pesos, which is so many crowns.

The master of my ship, John Douglas, took one of the canoas which came
laden from thence with people to be sold, and the most of them escaped;
yet of those he brought, there was one as well favoured and as well
shaped as ever I saw any in England; and afterwards I saw many of them,
which but for their tawny colour may be compared to any in Europe. They
also trade in those rivers for bread of cassavi, of which they buy
an hundred pound weight for a knife, and sell it at Margarita for ten
pesos. They also recover great store of cotton, Brazil wood, and those
beds which they call hamacas or Brazil beds, wherein in hot countries
all the Spaniards use to lie commonly, and in no other, neither did we
ourselves while we were there. By means of which trades, for ransom of
divers of the Guianians, and for exchange of hatchets and knives, Berreo
recovered some store of gold plates, eagles of gold, and images of men
and divers birds, and dispatched his camp-master for Spain, with all
that he had gathered, therewith to levy soldiers, and by the show
thereof to draw others to the love of the enterprise. And having sent
divers images as well of men as beasts, birds, and fishes, so curiously
wrought in gold, he doubted not but to persuade the king to yield to him
some further help, especially for that this land hath never been sacked,
the mines never wrought, and in the Indies their works were well spent,
and the gold drawn out with great labour and charge. He also despatched
messengers to his son in Nuevo Reyno to levy all the forces he could,
and to come down the river Orenoque to Emeria, the province of Carapana,
to meet him; he had also sent to Santiago de Leon on the coast of the
Caracas, to buy horses and mules.

After I had thus learned of his proceedings past and purposed, I told
him that I had resolved to see Guiana, and that it was the end of my
journey, and the cause of my coming to Trinidad, as it was indeed,
and for that purpose I sent Jacob Whiddon the year before to get
intelligence: with whom Berreo himself had speech at that time, and
remembered how inquisitive Jacob Whiddon was of his proceedings, and of
the country of Guiana. Berreo was stricken into a great melancholy and
sadness, and used all the arguments he could to dissuade me; and also
assured the gentlemen of my company that it would be labour lost, and
that they should suffer many miseries if they proceeded. And first he
delivered that I could not enter any of the rivers with any bark or
pinnace, or hardly with any ship's boat, it was so low, sandy, and full
of flats, and that his companies were daily grounded in their canoes,
which drew but twelve inches water. He further said that none of the
country would come to speak with us, but would all fly; and if we
followed them to their dwellings, they would burn their own towns. And
besides that, the way was long, the winter at hand, and that the rivers
beginning once to swell, it was impossible to stem the current; and that
we could not in those small boats by any means carry victuals for half
the time, and that (which indeed most discouraged my company) the kings
and lords of all the borders of Guiana had decreed that none of them
should trade with any Christians for gold, because the same would be
their own overthrow, and that for the love of gold the Christians meant
to conquer and dispossess them of all together.

Many and the most of these I found to be true; but yet I resolving to
make trial of whatsoever happened, directed Captain George Gifford, my
Vice-Admiral, to take the Lion's Whelp, and Captain Caulfield his bark,
to turn to the eastward, against the mouth of a river called Capuri,
whose entrance I had before sent Captain Whiddon and John Douglas the
master to discover. Who found some nine foot water or better upon the
flood, and five at low water: to whom I had given instructions that they
should anchor at the edge of the shoal, and upon the best of the flood
to thrust over, which shoal John Douglas buoyed and beckoned (beaconed)
for them before. But they laboured in vain; for neither could they turn
it up altogether so far to the east, neither did the flood continue so
long, but the water fell ere they could have passed the sands. As we
after found by a second experience: so as now we must either give over
our enterprise, or leaving our ships at adventure 400 mile behind us,
must run up in our ship's boats, one barge, and two wherries. But being
doubtful how to carry victuals for so long a time in such baubles, or
any strength of men, especially for that Berreo assured us that his son
must be by that time come down with many soldiers, I sent away one King,
master of the Lion's Whelp, with his ship-boat, to try another branch of
the river in the bottom of the Bay of Guanipa, which was called Amana,
to prove if there were water to be found for either of the small ships
to enter. But when he came to the mouth of Amana, he found it as the
rest, but stayed not to discover it thoroughly, because he was assured
by an Indian, his guide, that the cannibals of Guanipa would assail them
with many canoas, and that they shot poisoned arrows; so as if he hasted
not back, they should all be lost.

In the meantime, fearing the worst, I caused all the carpenters we had
to cut down a galego boat, which we meant to cast off, and to fit her
with banks to row on, and in all things to prepare her the best they
could, so as she might be brought to draw but five foot: for so much we
had on the bar of Capuri at low water. And doubting of King's return,
I sent John Douglas again in my long barge, as well to relieve him, as
also to make a perfect search in the bottom of the bay; for it hath been
held for infallible, that whatsoever ship or boat shall fall therein can
never disemboque again, by reason of the violent current which setteth
into the said bay, as also for that the breeze and easterly wind bloweth
directly into the same. Of which opinion I have heard John Hampton
(Captain of the Minion in the third voyage of Hawkins), of Plymouth,
one of the greatest experience of England, and divers other besides that
have traded to Trinidad.

I sent with John Douglas an old cacique of Trinidad for a pilot, who
told us that we could not return again by the bay or gulf, but that
he knew a by-branch which ran within the land to the eastward, and he
thought by it we might fall into Capuri, and so return in four days.
John Douglas searched those rivers, and found four goodly entrances,
whereof the least was as big as the Thames at Woolwich, but in the
bay thitherward it was shoal and but six foot water; so as we were now
without hope of any ship or bark to pass over, and therefore resolved to
go on with the boats, and the bottom of the galego, in which we thrust
60 men. In the Lion's Whelp's boat and wherry we carried twenty, Captain
Caulfield in his wherry carried ten more, and in my barge other ten,
which made up a hundred; we had no other means but to carry victual for
a month in the same, and also to lodge therein as we could, and to boil
and dress our meat. Captain Gifford had with him Master Edward Porter,
Captain Eynos, and eight more in his wherry, with all their victual,
weapons, and provisions. Captain Caulfield had with him my cousin
Butshead Gorges, and eight more. In the galley, of gentlemen and
officers myself had Captain Thyn, my cousin John Greenvile, my nephew
John Gilbert, Captain Whiddon, Captain Keymis, Edward Hancock, Captain
Clarke, Lieutenant Hughes, Thomas Upton, Captain Facy, Jerome Ferrar,
Anthony Wells, William Connock, and above fifty more. We could not learn
of Berreo any other way to enter but in branches so far to windward as
it was impossible for us to recover; for we had as much sea to cross
over in our wherries, as between Dover and Calice, and in a great
hollow, the wind and current being both very strong. So as we were
driven to go in those small boats directly before the wind into the
bottom of the Bay of Guanipa, and from thence to enter the mouth of some
one of those rivers which John Douglas had last discovered; and had
with us for pilot an Indian of Barema, a river to the south of Orenoque,
between that and Amazons, whose canoas we had formerly taken as he
was going from the said Barema, laden with cassavi bread to sell at
Margarita. This Arwacan promised to bring me into the great river of
Orenoque; but indeed of that which he entered he was utterly ignorant,
for he had not seen it in twelve years before, at which time he was very
young, and of no judgment. And if God had not sent us another help, we
might have wandered a whole year in that labyrinth of rivers, ere we had
found any way, either out or in, especially after we were past ebbing
and flowing, which was in four days. For I know all the earth doth not
yield the like confluence of streams and branches, the one crossing
the other so many times, and all so fair and large, and so like one to
another, as no man can tell which to take: and if we went by the sun or
compass, hoping thereby to go directly one way or other, yet that way we
were also carried in a circle amongst multitudes of islands, and every
island so bordered with high trees as no man could see any further than
the breadth of the river, or length of the breach. But this it chanced,
that entering into a river (which because it had no name, we called the
River of the Red Cross, ourselves being the first Christians that ever
came therein), the 22. of May, as we were rowing up the same, we espied
a small canoa with three Indians, which by the swiftness of my barge,
rowing with eight oars, I overtook ere they could cross the river. The
rest of the people on the banks, shadowed under the thick wood, gazed
on with a doubtful conceit what might befall those three which we had
taken. But when they perceived that we offered them no violence, neither
entered their canoa with any of ours, nor took out of the canoa any
of theirs, they then began to show themselves on the bank's side, and
offered to traffic with us for such things as they had. And as we drew
near, they all stayed; and we came with our barge to the mouth of a
little creek which came from their town into the great river.

As we abode here awhile, our Indian pilot, called Ferdinando, would
needs go ashore to their village to fetch some fruits and to drink of
their artificial wines, and also to see the place and know the lord of
it against another time, and took with him a brother of his which he had
with him in the journey. When they came to the village of these people
the lord of the island offered to lay hands on them, purposing to
have slain them both; yielding for reason that this Indian of ours had
brought a strange nation into their territory to spoil and destroy them.
But the pilot being quick and of a disposed body, slipt their fingers
and ran into the woods, and his brother, being the better footman of the
two, recovered the creek's mouth, where we stayed in our barge, crying
out that his brother was slain. With that we set hands on one of them
that was next us, a very old man, and brought him into the barge,
assuring him that if we had not our pilot again we would presently cut
off his head. This old man, being resolved that he should pay the loss
of the other, cried out to those in the woods to save Ferdinando, our
pilot; but they followed him notwithstanding, and hunted after him upon
the foot with their deer-dogs, and with so main a cry that all the woods
echoed with the shout they made. But at the last this poor chased Indian
recovered the river side and got upon a tree, and, as we were coasting,
leaped down and swam to the barge half dead with fear. But our good hap
was that we kept the other old Indian, which we handfasted to redeem our
pilot withal; for, being natural of those rivers, we assured ourselves
that he knew the way better than any stranger could. And, indeed, but
for this chance, I think we had never found the way either to Guiana or
back to our ships; for Ferdinando after a few days knew nothing at all,
nor which way to turn; yea, and many times the old man himself was
in great doubt which river to take. Those people which dwell in these
broken islands and drowned lands are generally called Tivitivas. There
are of them two sorts; the one called Ciawani, and the other Waraweete.

The great river of Orenoque or Baraquan hath nine branches which fall
out on the north side of his own main mouth. On the south side it hath
seven other fallings into the sea, so it disemboqueth by sixteen arms in
all, between islands and broken ground; but the islands are very great,
many of them as big as the Isle of Wight, and bigger, and many less.
From the first branch on the north to the last of the south it is at
least 100 leagues, so as the river's mouth is 300 miles wide at his
entrance into the sea, which I take to be far bigger than that of
Amazons. All those that inhabit in the mouth of this river upon the
several north branches are these Tivitivas, of which there are two chief
lords which have continual wars one with the other. The islands which
lie on the right hand are called Pallamos, and the land on the left,
Hororotomaka; and the river by which John Douglas returned within the
land from Amana to Capuri they call Macuri.

These Tivitivas are a very goodly people and very valiant, and have the
most manly speech and most deliberate that ever I heard of what nation
soever. In the summer they have houses on the ground, as in other
places; in the winter they dwell upon the trees, where they build very
artificial towns and villages, as it is written in the Spanish story of
the West Indies that those people do in the low lands near the gulf of
Uraba. For between May and September the river of Orenoque riseth thirty
foot upright, and then are those islands overflown twenty foot high
above the level of the ground, saving some few raised grounds in the
middle of them; and for this cause they are enforced to live in this
manner. They never eat of anything that is set or sown; and as at home
they use neither planting nor other manurance, so when they come abroad
they refuse to feed of aught but of that which nature without labour
bringeth forth. They use the tops of palmitos for bread, and kill deer,
fish, and porks for the rest of their sustenance. They have also many
sorts of fruits that grow in the woods, and great variety of birds and
fowls; and if to speak of them were not tedious and vulgar, surely we
saw in those passages of very rare colours and forms not elsewhere to be
found, for as much as I have either seen or read.

Of these people those that dwell upon the branches of Orenoque, called
Capuri, and Macureo, are for the most part carpenters of canoas; for
they make the most and fairest canoas; and sell them into Guiana for
gold and into Trinidad for tabacco, in the excessive taking whereof
they exceed all nations. And notwithstanding the moistness of the air in
which they live, the hardness of their diet, and the great labours they
suffer to hunt, fish, and fowl for their living, in all my life,
either in the Indies or in Europe, did I never behold a more goodly or
better-favoured people or a more manly. They were wont to make war upon
all nations, and especially on the Cannibals, so as none durst without a
good strength trade by those rivers; but of late they are at peace with
their neighbours, all holding the Spaniards for a common enemy. When
their commanders die they use great lamentation; and when they think
the flesh of their bodies is putrified and fallen from their bones, then
they take up the carcase again and hang it in the cacique's house that
died, and deck his skull with feathers of all colours, and hang all
his gold plates about the bones of this arms, thighs, and legs. Those
nations which are called Arwacas, which dwell on the south of Orenoque,
of which place and nation our Indian pilot was, are dispersed in many
other places, and do use to beat the bones of their lords into powder,
and their wives and friends drink it all in their several sorts of

After we departed from the port of these Ciawani we passed up the river
with the flood and anchored the ebb, and in this sort we went onward.
The third day that we entered the river, our galley came on ground; and
stuck so fast as we thought that even there our discovery had ended, and
that we must have left four-score and ten of our men to have inhabited,
like rooks upon trees, with those nations. But the next morning, after
we had cast out all her ballast, with tugging and hauling to and fro we
got her afloat and went on. At four days' end we fell into as goodly a
river as ever I beheld, which was called the great Amana, which ran more
directly without windings and turnings than the other. But soon after
the flood of the sea left us; and, being enforced either by main
strength to row against a violent current, or to return as wise as we
went out, we had then no shift but to persuade the companies that it was
but two or three days' work, and therefore desired them to take pains,
every gentleman and others taking their turns to row, and to spell one
the other at the hour's end. Every day we passed by goodly branches of
rivers, some falling from the west, others from the east, into Amana;
but those I leave to the description in the chart of discovery, where
every one shall be named with his rising and descent. When three days
more were overgone, our companies began to despair, the weather being
extreme hot, the river bordered with very high trees that kept away the
air, and the current against us every day stronger than other. But we
evermore commanded our pilots to promise an end the next day, and used
it so long as we were driven to assure them from four reaches of the
river to three, and so to two, and so to the next reach. But so long we
laboured that many days were spent, and we driven to draw ourselves to
harder allowance, our bread even at the last, and no drink at all;
and our men and ourselves so wearied and scorched, and doubtful withal
whether we should ever perform it or no, the heat increasing as we drew
towards the line; for we were now in five degrees.

The further we went on, our victual decreasing and the air breeding
great faintness, we grew weaker and weaker, when we had most need of
strength and ability. For hourly the river ran more violently than other
against us, and the barge, wherries, and ship's boat of Captain Gifford
and Captain Caulfield had spent all their provisions; so as we were
brought into despair and discomfort, had we not persuaded all the
company that it was but only one day's work more to attain the land
where we should be relieved of all we wanted, and if we returned, that
we were sure to starve by the way, and that the world would also laugh
us to scorn. On the banks of these rivers were divers sorts of fruits
good to eat, flowers and trees of such variety as were sufficient to
make ten volumes of Herbals; we relieved ourselves many times with the
fruits of the country, and sometimes with fowl and fish. We saw birds of
all colours, some carnation, some crimson, orange-tawny, purple, watchet
(pale blue), and of all other sorts, both simple and mixed, and it was
unto us a great good-passing of the time to behold them, besides the
relief we found by killing some store of them with our fowling-pieces;
without which, having little or no bread, and less drink, but only the
thick and troubled water of the river, we had been in a very hard case.

Our old pilot of the Ciawani, whom, as I said before, we took to redeem
Ferdinando, told us, that if we would enter a branch of a river on the
right hand with our barge and wherries, and leave the galley at anchor
the while in the great river, he would bring us to a town of the
Arwacas, where we should find store of bread, hens, fish, and of the
country wine; and persuaded us, that departing from the galley at noon
we might return ere night. I was very glad to hear this speech, and
presently took my barge, with eight musketeers, Captain Gifford's
wherry, with himself and four musketeers, and Captain Caulfield with
his wherry, and as many; and so we entered the mouth of this river; and
because we were persuaded that it was so near, we took no victual with
us at all. When we had rowed three hours, we marvelled we saw no sign
of any dwelling, and asked the pilot where the town was; he told us,
a little further. After three hours more, the sun being almost set, we
began to suspect that he led us that way to betray us; for he confessed
that those Spaniards which fled from Trinidad, and also those that
remained with Carapana in Emeria, were joined together in some village
upon that river. But when it grew towards night, and we demanded where
the place was, he told us but four reaches more. When we had rowed four
and four, we saw no sign; and our poor watermen, even heart-broken and
tired, were ready to give up the ghost; for we had now come from the
galley near forty miles.

At the last we determined to hang the pilot; and if we had well known
the way back again by night, he had surely gone. But our own necessities
pleaded sufficiently for his safety; for it was as dark as pitch, and
the river began so to narrow itself, and the trees to hang over from
side to side, as we were driven with arming swords to cut a passage
through those branches that covered the water. We were very desirous to
find this town hoping of a feast, because we made but a short breakfast
aboard the galley in the morning, and it was now eight o'clock at night,
and our stomachs began to gnaw apace; but whether it was best to return
or go on, we began to doubt, suspecting treason in the pilot more and
more; but the poor old Indian ever assured us that it was but a little
further, but this one turning and that turning; and at the last about
one o'clock after midnight we saw a light, and rowing towards it we
heard the dogs of the village. When we landed we found few people; for
the lord of that place was gone with divers canoas above 400 miles off,
upon a journey towards the head of Orenoque, to trade for gold, and to
buy women of the Cannibals, who afterwards unfortunately passed by us as
we rode at an anchor in the port of Morequito in the dark of the night,
and yet came so near us as his canoas grated against our barges; he left
one of his company at the port of Morequito, by whom we understood that
he had brought thirty young women, divers plates of gold, and had great
store of fine pieces of cotton cloth, and cotton beds. In his house we
had good store of bread, fish, hens, and Indian drink, and so rested
that night; and in the morning, after we had traded with such of his
people as came down, we returned towards our galley, and brought with us
some quantity of bread, fish, and hens.

On both sides of this river we passed the most beautiful country that
ever mine eyes beheld; and whereas all that we had seen before was
nothing but woods, prickles, bushes, and thorns, here we beheld plains
of twenty miles in length, the grass short and green, and in divers
parts groves of trees by themselves, as if they had been by all the art
and labour in the world so made of purpose; and still as we rowed, the
deer came down feeding by the water's side as if they had been used to
a keeper's call. Upon this river there were great store of fowl, and
of many sorts; we saw in it divers sorts of strange fishes, and of
marvellous bigness; but for lagartos (alligators and caymans) it
exceeded, for there were thousands of those ugly serpents; and the
people call it, for the abundance of them, the River of Lagartos, in
their language. I had a negro, a very proper young fellow, who leaping
out of the galley to swim in the mouth of this river, was in all our
sights taken and devoured with one of those lagartos. In the meanwhile
our companies in the galley thought we had been all lost, for we
promised to return before night; and sent the Lion's Whelp's ship's boat
with Captain Whiddon to follow us up the river. But the next day, after
we had rowed up and down some fourscore miles, we returned, and went on
our way up the great river; and when we were even at the last cast for
want of victuals, Captain Gifford being before the galley and the rest
of the boats, seeking out some place to land upon the banks to make
fire, espied four canoas coming down the river; and with no small joy
caused his men to try the uttermost of their strengths, and after a
while two of the four gave over and ran themselves ashore, every man
betaking himself to the fastness of the woods. The two other lesser
got away, while he landed to lay hold on these; and so turned into some
by-creek, we knew not whither. Those canoas that were taken were loaded
with bread, and were bound for Margarita in the West Indies, which those
Indians, called Arwacas, proposed to carry thither for exchange; but in
the lesser there were three Spaniards, who having heard of the defeat of
their Governor in Trinidad, and that we purposed to enter Guiana, came
away in those canoas; one of them was a cavallero, as the captain of the
Arwacas after told us, another a soldier and the third a refiner.

In the meantime, nothing on the earth could have been more welcome to
us, next unto gold, than the great store of very excellent bread which
we found in these canoas; for now our men cried, "Let us go on, we care
not how far." After that Captain Gifford had brought the two canoas to
the galley, I took my barge and went to the bank's side with a dozen
shot, where the canoas first ran themselves ashore, and landed there,
sending out Captain Gifford and Captain Thyn on one hand and Captain
Caulfield on the other, to follow those that were fled into the woods.
And as I was creeping through the bushes, I saw an Indian basket hidden,
which was the refiner's basket; for I found in it his quicksilver,
saltpetre, and divers things for the trial of metals, and also the dust
of such ore as he had refined; but in those canoas which escaped there
was a good quantity of ore and gold. I then landed more men, and offered
five hundred pound to what soldier soever could take one of those three
Spaniards that we thought were landed. But our labours were in vain in
that behalf, for they put themselves into one of the small canoas, and
so, while the greater canoas were in taking, they escaped. But seeking
after the Spaniards we found the Arwacas hidden in the woods, which were
pilots for the Spaniards, and rowed their canoas. Of which I kept the
chiefest for a pilot, and carried him with me to Guiana; by whom I
understood where and in what countries the Spaniards had laboured for
gold, though I made not the same known to all. For when the springs
began to break, and the rivers to raise themselves so suddenly as by no
means we could abide the digging of any mine, especially for that the
richest are defended with rocks of hard stones, which we call the white
spar, and that it required both time, men, and instruments fit for such
a work, I thought it best not to hover thereabouts, lest if the same had
been perceived by the company, there would have been by this time many
barks and ships set out, and perchance other nations would also
have gotten of ours for pilots. So as both ourselves might have been
prevented, and all our care taken for good usage of the people been
utterly lost, by those that only respect present profit; and such
violence or insolence offered as the nations which are borderers
would have changed the desire of our love and defence into hatred and
violence. And for any longer stay to have brought a more quantity, which
I hear hath been often objected, whosoever had seen or proved the fury
of that river after it began to arise, and had been a month and odd
days, as we were, from hearing aught from our ships, leaving them meanly
manned 400 miles off, would perchance have turned somewhat sooner than
we did, if all the mountains had been gold, or rich stones. And to say
the truth, all the branches and small rivers which fell into Orenoque
were raised with such speed, as if we waded them over the shoes in the
morning outward, we were covered to the shoulders homeward the very same
day; and to stay to dig our gold with our nails, had been opus laboris
but not ingenii. Such a quantity as would have served our turns we could
not have had, but a discovery of the mines to our infinite disadvantage
we had made, and that could have been the best profit of farther search
or stay; for those mines are not easily broken, nor opened in haste, and
I could have returned a good quantity of gold ready cast if I had not
shot at another mark than present profit.

This Arwacan pilot, with the rest, feared that we would have eaten them,
or otherwise have put them to some cruel death: for the Spaniards, to
the end that none of the people in the passage towards Guiana, or in
Guiana itself, might come to speech with us, persuaded all the nations
that we were men-eaters and cannibals. But when the poor men and women
had seen us, and that we gave them meat, and to every one something or
other which was rare and strange to them, they began to conceive the
deceit and purpose of the Spaniards, who indeed, as they confessed
took from them both their wives and daughters daily . . . But I protest
before the Majesty of the living God, that I neither know nor believe,
that any of our company, one or other, did offer insult to any of their
women, and yet we saw many hundreds, and had many in our power, and of
those very young and excellently favoured, which came among us without
deceit, stark naked. Nothing got us more love amongst them than this
usage; for I suffered not any man to take from any of the nations
so much as a pina (pineapple) or a potato root without giving them
contentment, nor any man so much as to offer to touch any of their wives
or daughters; which course, so contrary to the Spaniards, who tyrannize
over them in all things, drew them to admire her Majesty, whose
commandment I told them it was, and also wonderfully to honour our
nation. But I confess it was a very impatient work to keep the meaner
sort from spoil and stealing when we came to their houses; which because
in all I could not prevent, I caused my Indian interpreter at every
place when we departed, to know of the loss or wrong done, and if aught
were stolen or taken by violence, either the same was restored, and the
party punished in their sight, or else was paid for to their uttermost
demand. They also much wondered at us, after they heard that we had
slain the Spaniards at Trinidad, for they were before resolved that no
nation of Christians durst abide their presence; and they wondered more
when I had made them know of the great overthrow that her Majesty's army
and fleet had given them of late years in their own countries.

After we had taken in this supply of bread, with divers baskets of
roots, which were excellent meat, I gave one of the canoas to the
Arwacas, which belonged to the Spaniards that were escaped; and when I
had dismissed all but the captain, who by the Spaniards was christened
Martin, I sent back in the same canoa the old Ciawani, and Ferdinando,
my first pilot, and gave them both such things as they desired, with
sufficient victual to carry them back, and by them wrote a letter to the
ships, which they promised to deliver, and performed it; and then I went
on, with my new hired pilot, Martin the Arwacan. But the next or second
day after, we came aground again with our galley, and were like to cast
her away, with all our victual and provision, and so lay on the sand one
whole night, and were far more in despair at this time to free her than
before, because we had no tide of flood to help us, and therefore feared
that all our hopes would have ended in mishaps. But we fastened an
anchor upon the land, and with main strength drew her off; and so the
fifteenth day we discovered afar off the mountains of Guiana, to our
great joy, and towards the evening had a slent (push) of a northerly
wind that blew very strong, which brought us in sight of the great river
Orenoque; out of which this river descended wherein we were. We descried
afar off three other canoas as far as we could discern them, after whom
we hastened with our barge and wherries, but two of them passed out of
sight, and the third entered up the great river, on the right hand to
the westward, and there stayed out of sight, thinking that we meant to
take the way eastward towards the province of Carapana; for that way the
Spaniards keep, not daring to go upwards to Guiana, the people in those
parts being all their enemies, and those in the canoas thought us to
have been those Spaniards that were fled from Trinidad, and escaped
killing. And when we came so far down as the opening of that branch into
which they slipped, being near them with our barge and wherries, we
made after them, and ere they could land came within call, and by our
interpreter told them what we were, wherewith they came back willingly
aboard us; and of such fish and tortugas' (turtles) eggs as they had
gathered they gave us, and promised in the morning to bring the lord of
that part with them, and to do us all other services they could. That
night we came to an anchor at the parting of the three goodly rivers
(the one was the river of Amana, by which we came from the north, and
ran athwart towards the south, the other two were of Orenoque, which
crossed from the west and ran to the sea towards the east) and landed
upon a fair sand, where we found thousands of tortugas' eggs, which are
very wholesome meat, and greatly restoring; so as our men were now well
filled and highly contented both with the fare, and nearness of the land
of Guiana, which appeared in sight.

In the morning there came down, according to promise, the lord of that
border, called Toparimaca, with some thirty or forty followers, and
brought us divers sorts of fruits, and of his wine, bread, fish, and
flesh, whom we also feasted as we could; at least we drank good Spanish
wine, whereof we had a small quantity in bottles, which above all things
they love. I conferred with this Toparimaca of the next way to Guiana,
who conducted our galley and boats to his own port, and carried us from
thence some mile and a-half to his town; where some of our captains
caroused of his wine till they were reasonable pleasant, for it is very
strong with pepper, and the juice of divers herbs and fruits digested
and purged. They keep it in great earthen pots of ten or twelve gallons,
very clean and sweet, and are themselves at their meetings and feasts
the greatest carousers and drunkards of the world. When we came to his
town we found two caciques, whereof one was a stranger that had been up
the river in trade, and his boats, people, and wife encamped at the
port where we anchored; and the other was of that country, a follower
of Toparimaca. They lay each of them in a cotton hamaca, which we call
Brazil beds, and two women attending them with six cups, and a little
ladle to fill them out of an earthen pitcher of wine; and so they drank
each of them three of those cups at a time one to the other, and in this
sort they drink drunk at their feasts and meetings.

That cacique that was a stranger had his wife staying at the port where
we anchored, and in all my life I have seldom seen a better favoured
woman. She was of good stature, with black eyes, fat of body, of an
excellent countenance, her hair almost as long as herself, tied up again
in pretty knots; and it seemed she stood not in that awe of her husband
as the rest, for she spake and discoursed, and drank among the gentlemen
and captains, and was very pleasant, knowing her own comeliness, and
taking great pride therein. I have seen a lady in England so like to
her, as but for the difference of colour, I would have sworn might have
been the same.

The seat of this town of Toparimaca was very pleasant, standing on
a little hill, in an excellent prospect, with goodly gardens a mile
compass round about it, and two very fair and large ponds of excellent
fish adjoining. This town is called Arowocai; the people are of the
nation called Nepoios, and are followers of Carapana. In that place I
saw very aged people, that we might perceive all their sinews and veins
without any flesh, and but even as a case covered only with skin.
The lord of this place gave me an old man for pilot, who was of great
experience and travel, and knew the river most perfectly both by day
and night. And it shall be requisite for any man that passeth it to have
such a pilot; for it is four, five, and six miles over in many places,
and twenty miles in other places, with wonderful eddies and strong
currents, many great islands, and divers shoals, and many dangerous
rocks; and besides upon any increase of wind so great a billow, as we
were sometimes in great peril of drowning in the galley, for the small
boats durst not come from the shore but when it was very fair.

The next day we hasted thence, and having an easterly wind to help us,
we spared our arms from rowing; for after we entered Orenoque, the river
lieth for the most part east and west, even from the sea unto Quito, in
Peru. This river is navigable with barks little less than 1000 miles;
and from the place where we entered it may be sailed up in small
pinnaces to many of the best parts of Nuevo Reyno de Granada and of
Popayan. And from no place may the cities of these parts of the Indies
be so easily taken and invaded as from hence. All that day we sailed up
a branch of that river, having on the left hand a great island, which
they call Assapana, which may contain some five-and-twenty miles in
length, and six miles in breadth, the great body of the river running on
the other side of this island. Beyond that middle branch there is also
another island in the river, called Iwana, which is twice as big as the
Isle of Wight; and beyond it, and between it and the main of Guiana,
runneth a third branch of Orenoque, called Arraroopana. All three are
goodly branches, and all navigable for great ships. I judge the river
in this place to be at least thirty miles broad, reckoning the islands
which divide the branches in it, for afterwards I sought also both the
other branches.

After we reached to the head of the island called Assapana, a little to
the westward on the right hand there opened a river which came from the
north, called Europa, and fell into the great river; and beyond it on
the same side we anchored for that night by another island, six miles
long and two miles broad, which they call Ocaywita. From hence, in
the morning, we landed two Guianians, which we found in the town of
Toparimaca, that came with us; who went to give notice of our coming to
the lord of that country, called Putyma, a follower of Topiawari,
chief lord of Aromaia, who succeeded Morequito, whom (as you have heard
before) Berreo put to death. But his town being far within the land, he
came not unto us that day; so as we anchored again that night near the
banks of another land, of bigness much like the other, which they call
Putapayma, over against which island, on the main land, was a very high
mountain called Oecope. We coveted to anchor rather by these islands
in the river than by the main, because of the tortugas' eggs, which our
people found on them in great abundance; and also because the ground
served better for us to cast our nets for fish, the main banks being for
the most part stony and high and the rocks of a blue, metalline colour,
like unto the best steel ore, which I assuredly take it to be. Of the
same blue stone are also divers great mountains which border this river
in many places.

The next morning, towards nine of the clock, we weighed anchor; and
the breeze increasing, we sailed always west up the river, and, after
a while, opening the land on the right side, the country appeared to be
champaign and the banks shewed very perfect red. I therefore sent two
of the little barges with Captain Gifford, and with him Captain Thyn,
Captain Caulfield, my cousin Greenvile, my nephew John Gilbert, Captain
Eynos, Master Edward Porter, and my cousin Butshead Gorges, with some
few soldiers, to march over the banks of that red land and to discover
what manner of country it was on the other side; who at their return
found it all a plain level as far as they went or could discern from
the highest tree they could get upon. And my old pilot, a man of great
travel, brother to the cacique Toparimaca, told me that those were
called the plains of the Sayma, and that the same level reached to
Cumana and Caracas, in the West Indies, which are a hundred and twenty
leagues to the north, and that there inhabited four principal nations.
The first were the Sayma, the next Assawai, the third and greatest
the Wikiri, by whom Pedro Hernandez de Serpa, before mentioned, was
overthrown as he passed with 300 horse from Cumana towards Orenoque in
his enterprise of Guiana. The fourth are called Aroras, and are as black
as negroes, but have smooth hair; and these are very valiant, or rather
desperate, people, and have the most strong poison on their arrows, and
most dangerous, of all nations, of which I will speak somewhat, being a
digression not unnecessary.

There was nothing whereof I was more curious than to find out the true
remedies of these poisoned arrows. For besides the mortality of the
wound they make, the party shot endureth the most insufferable torment
in the world, and abideth a most ugly and lamentable death, sometimes
dying stark mad, sometimes their bowels breaking out of their bellies;
which are presently discoloured as black as pitch, and so unsavory as no
man can endure to cure or to attend them. And it is more strange to
know that in all this time there was never Spaniard, either by gift or
torment, that could attain to the true knowledge of the cure, although
they have martyred and put to invented torture I know not how many
of them. But everyone of these Indians know it not, no, not one among
thousands, but their soothsayers and priests, who do conceal it, and
only teach it but from the father to the son.

Those medicines which are vulgar, and serve for the ordinary poison,
are made of the juice of a root called tupara; the same also quencheth
marvellously the heat of burning fevers, and healeth inward wounds and
broken veins that bleed within the body. But I was more beholding to the
Guianians than any other; for Antonio de Berreo told me that he could
never attain to the knowledge thereof, and yet they taught me the best
way of healing as well thereof as of all other poisons. Some of the
Spaniards have been cured in ordinary wounds of the common poisoned
arrows with the juice of garlic. But this is a general rule for all men
that shall hereafter travel the Indies where poisoned arrows are used,
that they must abstain from drink. For if they take any liquor into
their body, as they shall be marvellously provoked thereunto by drought,
I say, if they drink before the wound be dressed, or soon upon it, there
is no way with them but present death.

And so I will return again to our journey, which for this third day
we finished, and cast anchor again near the continent on the left hand
between two mountains, the one called Aroami and the other Aio. I made
no stay here but till midnight; for I feared hourly lest any rain should
fall, and then it had been impossible to have gone any further up,
notwithstanding that there is every day a very strong breeze and
easterly wind. I deferred the search of the country on Guiana side till
my return down the river.

The next day we sailed by a great island in the middle of the river,
called Manoripano; and, as we walked awhile on the island, while the
galley got ahead of us, there came for us from the main a small canoa
with seven or eight Guianians, to invite us to anchor at their port,
but I deferred till my return. It was that cacique to whom those Nepoios
went, which came with us from the town of Toparimaca. And so the fifth
day we reached as high up as the province of Aromaia, the country of
Morequito, whom Berreo executed, and anchored to the west of an island
called Murrecotima, ten miles long and five broad. And that night the
cacique Aramiary, to whose town we made our long and hungry voyage out
of the river of Amana, passed by us.

The next day we arrived at the port of Morequito, and anchored there,
sending away one of our pilots to seek the king of Aromaia, uncle to
Morequito, slain by Berreo as aforesaid. The next day following, before
noon, he came to us on foot from his house, which was fourteen English
miles, himself being a hundred and ten years old, and returned on foot
the same day; and with him many of the borderers, with many women
and children, that came to wonder at our nation and to bring us down
victual, which they did in great plenty, as venison, pork, hens,
chickens, fowl, fish, with divers sorts of excellent fruits and roots,
and great abundance of pinas, the princess of fruits that grow under the
sun, especially those of Guiana. They brought us, also, store of bread
and of their wine, and a sort of paraquitos no bigger than wrens, and of
all other sorts both small and great. One of them gave me a beast called
by the Spaniards armadillo, which they call cassacam, which seemeth to
be all barred over with small plates somewhat like to a rhinoceros, with
a white horn growing in his hinder parts as big as a great hunting-horn,
which they use to wind instead of a trumpet. Monardus (Monardes,
Historia Medicinal) writeth that a little of the powder of that horn put
into the ear cureth deafness.

After this old king had rested awhile in a little tent that I caused to
be set up, I began by my interpreter to discourse with him of the death
of Morequito his predecessor, and afterward of the Spaniards; and ere I
went any farther I made him know the cause of my coming thither, whose
servant I was, and that the Queen's pleasure was I should undertake the
voyage for their defence, and to deliver them from the tyranny of the
Spaniards, dilating at large, as I had done before to those of Trinidad,
her Majesty's greatness, her justice, her charity to all oppressed
nations, with as many of the rest of her beauties and virtues as either
I could express or they conceive. All which being with great admiration
attentively heard and marvellously admired, I began to sound the old man
as touching Guiana and the state thereof, what sort of commonwealth it
was, how governed, of what strength and policy, how far it extended,
and what nations were friends or enemies adjoining, and finally of the
distance, and way to enter the same. He told me that himself and his
people, with all those down the river towards the sea, as far as
Emeria, the province of Carapana, were of Guiana, but that they called
themselves Orenoqueponi, and that all the nations between the river and
those mountains in sight, called Wacarima, were of the same cast and
appellation; and that on the other side of those mountains of Wacarima
there was a large plain (which after I discovered in my return) called
the valley of Amariocapana. In all that valley the people were also of
the ancient Guianians.

I asked what nations those were which inhabited on the further side of
those mountains, beyond the valley of Amariocapana. He answered with a
great sigh (as a man which had inward feeling of the loss of his country
and liberty, especially for that his eldest son was slain in a battle
on that side of the mountains, whom he most entirely loved) that he
remembered in his father's lifetime, when he was very old and himself
a young man, that there came down into that large valley of Guiana a
nation from so far off as the sun slept (for such were his own words),
with so great a multitude as they could not be numbered nor resisted,
and that they wore large coats, and hats of crimson colour, which
colour he expressed by shewing a piece of red wood wherewith my tent was
supported, and that they were called Orejones and Epuremei; that those
had slain and rooted out so many of the ancient people as there were
leaves in the wood upon all the trees, and had now made themselves lords
of all, even to that mountain foot called Curaa, saving only of two
nations, the one called Iwarawaqueri and the other Cassipagotos; and
that in the last battle fought between the Epuremei and the Iwarawaqueri
his eldest son was chosen to carry to the aid of the Iwarawaqueri a
great troop of the Orenoqueponi, and was there slain with all his people
and friends, and that he had now remaining but one son; and farther told
me that those Epuremei had built a great town called Macureguarai at
the said mountain foot, at the beginning of the great plains of Guiana,
which have no end; and that their houses have many rooms, one over the
other, and that therein the great king of the Orejones and Epuremei kept
three thousand men to defend the borders against them, and withal daily
to invade and slay them; but that of late years, since the Christians
offered to invade his territories and those frontiers, they were all
at peace, and traded one with another, saving only the Iwarawaqueri
and those other nations upon the head of the river of Caroli called
Cassipagotos, which we afterwards discovered, each one holding the
Spaniard for a common enemy.

After he had answered thus far, he desired leave to depart, saying that
he had far to go, that he was old and weak, and was every day called for
by death, which was also his own phrase. I desired him to rest with
us that night, but I could not entreat him; but he told me that at my
return from the country above he would again come to us, and in the
meantime provide for us the best he could, of all that his country
yielded. The same night he returned to Orocotona, his own town; so as
he went that day eight-and-twenty miles, the weather being very hot, the
country being situate between four and five degrees of the equinoctial.
This Topiawari is held for the proudest and wisest of all the
Orenoqueponi, and so he behaved himself towards me in all his answers,
at my return, as I marvelled to find a man of that gravity and judgment
and of so good discourse, that had no help of learning nor breed. The
next morning we also left the port, and sailed westward up to the
river, to view the famous river called Caroli, as well because it
was marvellous of itself, as also for that I understood it led to
the strongest nations of all the frontiers, that were enemies to the
Epuremei, which are subjects to Inga, emperor of Guiana and Manoa. And
that night we anchored at another island called Caiama, of some five or
six miles in length; and the next day arrived at the mouth of Caroli.
When we were short of it as low or further down as the port of
Morequito, we heard the great roar and fall of the river. But when we
came to enter with our barge and wherries, thinking to have gone up some
forty miles to the nations of the Cassipagotos, we were not able with
a barge of eight oars to row one stone's cast in an hour; and yet the
river is as broad as the Thames at Woolwich, and we tried both sides,
and the middle, and every part of the river. So as we encamped upon the
banks adjoining, and sent off our Orenoquepone which came with us from
Morequito to give knowledge to the nations upon the river of our being
there, and that we desired to see the lords of Canuria, which dwelt
within the province upon that river, making them know that we were
enemies to the Spaniards; for it was on this river side that Morequito
slew the friar, and those nine Spaniards which came from Manoa, the city
of Inga, and took from them 14,000 pesos of gold. So as the next day
there came down a lord or cacique, called Wanuretona, with many people
with him, and brought all store of provisions to entertain us, as the
rest had done. And as I had before made my coming known to Topiawari, so
did I acquaint this cacique therewith, and how I was sent by her
Majesty for the purpose aforesaid, and gathered also what I could of
him touching the estate of Guiana. And I found that those also of Caroli
were not only enemies to the Spaniards, but most of all to the Epuremei,
which abound in gold. And by this Wanuretona I had knowledge that on
the head of this river were three mighty nations, which were seated on
a great lake, from whence this river descended, and were called
Cassipagotos, Eparegotos, and Arawagotos (the Purigotos and Arinagotos
are still settled on the upper tributaries of the Caroni river, no such
lake as that mentioned is known to exist); and that all those either
against the Spaniards or the Epuremei would join with us, and that if we
entered the land over the mountains of Curaa we should satisfy ourselves
with gold and all other good things. He told us farther of a nation
called Iwarawaqueri, before spoken of, that held daily war with the
Epuremei that inhabited Macureguarai, and first civil town of Guiana, of
the subjects of Inga, the emperor.

Upon this river one Captain George, that I took with Berreo, told me
that there was a great silver mine, and that it was near the banks of
the said river. But by this time as well Orenoque, Caroli, as all the
rest of the rivers were risen four or five feet in height, so as it was
not possible by the strength of any men, or with any boat whatsoever,
to row into the river against the stream. I therefore sent Captain Thyn,
Captain Greenvile, my nephew John Gilbert, my cousin Butshead Gorges,
Captain Clarke, and some thirty shot more to coast the river by land,
and to go to a town some twenty miles over the valley called Amnatapoi;
and they found guides there to go farther towards the mountain foot
to another great town called Capurepana, belonging to a cacique called
Haharacoa, that was a nephew to old Topiawari, king of Aromaia, our
chiefest friend, because this town and province of Capurepana adjoined
to Macureguarai, which was a frontier town of the empire. And the
meanwhile myself with Captain Gifford, Captain Caulfield, Edward
Hancock, and some half-a-dozen shot marched overland to view the strange
overfalls of the river of Caroli, which roared so far off; and also to
see the plains adjoining, and the rest of the province of Canuri. I sent
also Captain Whiddon, William Connock, and some eight shot with them, to
see if they could find any mineral stone alongst the river's side. When
we were come to the tops of the first hills of the plains adjoining
to the river, we beheld that wonderful breach of waters which ran down
Caroli; and might from that mountain see the river how it ran in three
parts, above twenty miles off, and there appeared some ten or twelve
overfalls in sight, every one as high over the other as a church tower,
which fell with that fury, that the rebound of water made it seem as if
it had been all covered over with a great shower of rain; and in some
places we took it at the first for a smoke that had risen over some
great town. For mine own part I was well persuaded from thence to have
returned, being a very ill footman; but the rest were all so desirous to
go near the said strange thunder of waters, as they drew me on by little
and little, till we came into the next valley, where we might better
discern the same. I never saw a more beautiful country, nor more lively
prospects; hills so raised here and there over the valleys; the river
winding into divers branches; the plains adjoining without bush or
stubble, all fair green grass; the ground of hard sand, easy to march
on, either for horse or foot; the deer crossing in every path; the birds
towards the evening singing on every tree with a thousand several tunes;
cranes and herons of white, crimson, and carnation, perching in the
river's side; the air fresh with a gentle easterly wind; and every
stone that we stooped to take up promised either gold or silver by his
complexion. Your Lordship shall see of many sorts, and I hope some of
them cannot be bettered under the sun; and yet we had no means but with
our daggers and fingers to tear them out here and there, the rocks being
most hard of that mineral spar aforesaid, which is like a flint, and is
altogether as hard or harder, and besides the veins lie a fathom or
two deep in the rocks. But we wanted all things requisite save only our
desires and good will to have performed more if it had pleased God. To
be short, when both our companies returned, each of them brought also
several sorts of stones that appeared very fair, but were such as they
found loose on the ground, and were for the most part but coloured,
and had not any gold fixed in them. Yet such as had no judgment or
experience kept all that glistered, and would not be persuaded but it
was rich because of the lustre; and brought of those, and of marcasite
withal, from Trinidad, and have delivered of those stones to be tried
in many places, and have thereby bred an opinion that all the rest is of
the same. Yet some of these stones I shewed afterward to a Spaniard
of the Caracas, who told me that it was El Madre del Oro, that is, the
mother of gold, and that the mine was farther in the ground.

But it shall be found a weak policy in me, either to betray myself or
my country with imaginations; neither am I so far in love with that
lodging, watching, care, peril, diseases, ill savours, bad fare, and
many other mischiefs that accompany these voyages, as to woo myself
again into any of them, were I not assured that the sun covereth not
so much riches in any part of the earth. Captain Whiddon, and our
chirurgeon, Nicholas Millechamp, brought me a kind of stones like
sapphires; what they may prove I know not. I shewed them to some of the
Orenoqueponi, and they promised to bring me to a mountain that had of
them very large pieces growing diamond-wise; whether it be crystal of
the mountain, Bristol diamond, or sapphire, I do not yet know, but
I hope the best; sure I am that the place is as likely as those from
whence all the rich stones are brought, and in the same height or very
near. On the left hand of this river Caroli are seated those nations
which I called Iwarawaqueri before remembered, which are enemies to the
Epuremei; and on the head of it, adjoining to the great lake Cassipa,
are situated those other nations which also resist Inga, and the
Epuremei, called Cassipagotos, Eparegotos, and Arawagotos. I farther
understood that this lake of Cassipa is so large, as it is above one
day's journey for one of their canoas, to cross, which may be some forty
miles; and that thereinto fall divers rivers, and that great store of
grains of gold are found in the summer time when the lake falleth by the
banks, in those branches.

There is also another goodly river beyond Caroli which is called Arui,
which also runneth through the lake Cassipa, and falleth into Orenoque
farther west, making all that land between Caroli and Arui an island;
which is likewise a most beautiful country. Next unto Arui there are two
rivers Atoica and Caura, and on that branch which is called Caura are
a nation of people whose heads appear not above their shoulders; which
though it may be thought a mere fable, yet for mine own part I am
resolved it is true, because every child in the provinces of Aromaia and
Canuri affirm the same. They are called Ewaipanoma; they are reported
to have their eyes in their shoulders, and their mouths in the middle
of their breasts, and that a long train of hair groweth backward between
their shoulders. The son of Topiawari, which I brought with me into
England, told me that they were the most mighty men of all the land, and
use bows, arrows, and clubs thrice as big as any of Guiana, or of the
Orenoqueponi; and that one of the Iwarawaqueri took a prisoner of them
the year before our arrival there, and brought him into the borders of
Aromaia, his father's country. And farther, when I seemed to doubt of
it, he told me that it was no wonder among them; but that they were as
great a nation and as common as any other in all the provinces, and had
of late years slain many hundreds of his father's people, and of other
nations their neighbours. But it was not my chance to hear of them till
I was come away; and if I had but spoken one word of it while I was
there I might have brought one of them with me to put the matter out of
doubt. Such a nation was written of by Mandeville, whose reports
were holden for fables many years; and yet since the East Indies were
discovered, we find his relations true of such things as heretofore were
held incredible (Mandeville, or the author who assumed this name, placed
his headless men in the East Indian Archipelago, the fable is borrowed
from older writers, Herodotus &c). Whether it be true or no, the matter
is not great, neither can there be any profit in the imagination; for
mine own part I saw them not, but I am resolved that so many people did
not all combine or forethink to make the report.

When I came to Cumana in the West Indies afterwards by chance I spake
with a Spaniard dwelling not far from thence, a man of great travel.
And after he knew that I had been in Guiana, and so far directly west
as Caroli, the first question he asked me was, whether I had seen any of
the Ewaipanoma, which are those without heads. Who being esteemed a most
honest man of his word, and in all things else, told me that he had
seen many of them; I may not name him, because it may be for his
disadvantage, but he is well known to Monsieur Moucheron's son of
London, and to Peter Moucheron, merchant, of the Flemish ship that was
there in trade; who also heard, what he avowed to be true, of those

The fourth river to the west of Caroli is Casnero: which falleth into
the Orenoque on this side of Amapaia. And that river is greater than
Danubius, or any of Europe: it riseth on the south of Guiana from
the mountains which divide Guiana from Amazons, and I think it to be
navigable many hundred miles. But we had no time, means, nor season of
the year, to search those rivers, for the causes aforesaid, the winter
being come upon us; although the winter and summer as touching cold and
heat differ not, neither do the trees ever sensibly lose their leaves,
but have always fruit either ripe or green, and most of them both
blossoms, leaves, ripe fruit, and green, at one time: but their winter
only consisteth of terrible rains, and overflowing of the rivers, with
many great storms and gusts, thunder and lightnings, of which we had our
fill ere we returned.

On the north side, the first river that falleth into the Orenoque is
Cari. Beyond it, on the same side is the river of Limo. Between these
two is a great nation of Cannibals, and their chief town beareth the
name of the river, and is called Acamacari. At this town is a continual
market of women for three or four hatchets apiece; they are bought by
the Arwacas, and by them sold into the West Indies. To the west of Limo
is the river Pao, beyond it Caturi, beyond that Voari, and Capuri (the
Apure river), which falleth out of the great river of Meta, by which
Berreo descended from Nuevo Reyno de Granada. To the westward of Capuri
is the province of Amapaia, where Berreo wintered and had so many of his
people poisoned with the tawny water of the marshes of the Anebas. Above
Amapaia, toward Nuevo Reyno, fall in Meto, Pato and Cassanar. To the
west of those, towards the provinces of the Ashaguas and Catetios, are
the rivers of Beta, Dawney, and Ubarro; and toward the frontier of Peru
are the provinces of Thomebamba, and Caxamalca. Adjoining to Quito in
the north side of Peru are the rivers of Guiacar and Goauar; and on the
other side of the said mountains the river of Papamene which descendeth
into Maranon or Amazons, passing through the province Motilones,
where Don Pedro de Orsua, who was slain by the traitor Aguirre before
rehearsed, built his brigandines, when he sought Guiana by the way of

Between Dawney and Beta lieth a famous island in Orenoque (now called
Baraquan, for above Meta it is not known by the name of Orenoque) which
is called Athule (cataract of Ature); beyond which ships of burden
cannot pass by reason of a most forcible overfall, and current of water;
but in the eddy all smaller vessels may be drawn even to Peru itself.
But to speak of more of these rivers without the description were but
tedious, and therefore I will leave the rest to the description. This
river of Orenoque is navigable for ships little less than 1,000 miles,
and for lesser vessels near 2,000. By it, as aforesaid, Peru, Nuevo
Reyno and Popayan may be invaded: it also leadeth to the great empire of
Inga, and to the provinces of Amapaia and Anebas, which abound in gold.
His branches of Casnero, Manta, Caura descend from the middle land and
valley which lieth between the easter province of Peru and Guiana; and
it falls into the sea between Maranon and Trinidad in two degrees and
a half. All of which your honours shall better perceive in the general
description of Guiana, Peru, Nuevo Reyno, the kingdom of Popayan, and
Rodas, with the province of Venezuela, to the bay of Uraba, behind
Cartagena, westward, and to Amazons southward. While we lay at anchor on
the coast of Canuri, and had taken knowledge of all the nations upon
the head and branches of this river, and had found out so many several
people, which were enemies to the Epuremei and the new conquerors, I
thought it time lost to linger any longer in that place, especially for
that the fury of Orenoque began daily to threaten us with dangers in our
return. For no half day passed but the river began to rage and overflow
very fearfully, and the rains came down in terrible showers, and gusts
in great abundance; and withal our men began to cry out for want of
shift, for no man had place to bestow any other apparel than that which
he ware on his back, and that was throughly washed on his body for the
most part ten times in one day; and we had now been well-near a month
every day passing to the westward farther and farther from our ships.
We therefore turned towards the east, and spent the rest of the time
in discovering the river towards the sea, which we had not viewed, and
which was most material.

The next day following we left the mouth of Caroli, and arrived again at
the port of Morequito where we were before; for passing down the stream
we went without labour, and against the wind, little less than a hundred
miles a day. As soon as I came to anchor, I sent away one for old
Topiawari, with whom I much desired to have further conference, and
also to deal with him for some one of his country to bring with us into
England, as well to learn the language, as to confer withal by the way,
the time being now spent of any longer stay there. Within three hours
after my messenger came to him, he arrived also, and with him such a
rabble of all sorts of people, and every one loaden with somewhat, as if
it had been a great market or fair in England; and our hungry companies
clustered thick and threefold among their baskets, every one laying hand
on what he liked. After he had rested awhile in my tent, I shut out all
but ourselves and my interpreter, and told him that I knew that both the
Epuremei and the Spaniards were enemies to him, his country and nations:
that the one had conquered Guiana already, and the other sought to
regain the same from them both; and therefore I desired him to instruct
me what he could, both of the passage into the golden parts of Guiana,
and to the civil towns and apparelled people of Inga. He gave me an
answer to this effect: first, that he could not perceive that I meant
to go onward towards the city of Manoa, for neither the time of the year
served, neither could he perceive any sufficient numbers for such an
enterprise. And if I did, I was sure with all my company to be buried
there, for the emperor was of that strength, as that many times so many
men more were too few. Besides, he gave me this good counsel and advised
me to hold it in mind (as for himself, he knew he could not live till
my return), that I should not offer by any means hereafter to invade the
strong parts of Guiana without the help of all those nations which were
also their enemies; for that it was impossible without those, either to
be conducted, to be victualled, or to have aught carried with us, our
people not being able to endure the march in so great heat and travail,
unless the borderers gave them help, to cart with them both their meat
and furniture. For he remembered that in the plains of Macureguarai
three hundred Spaniards were overthrown, who were tired out, and had
none of the borderers to their friends; but meeting their enemies as
they passed the frontier, were environed on all sides, and the people
setting the long dry grass on fire, smothered them, so as they had no
breath to fight, nor could discern their enemies for the great smoke. He
told me further that four days' journey from his town was Macureguarai,
and that those were the next and nearest of the subjects of Inga, and of
the Epuremei, and the first town of apparelled and rich people; and that
all those plates of gold which were scattered among the borderers and
carried to other nations far and near, came from the said Macureguarai
and were there made, but that those of the land within were far finer,
and were fashioned after the images of men, beasts, birds, and fishes. I
asked him whether he thought that those companies that I had there with
me were sufficient to take that town or no; he told me that he thought
they were. I then asked him whether he would assist me with guides, and
some companies of his people to join with us; he answered that he would
go himself with all the borderers, if the rivers did remain fordable,
upon this condition, that I would leave with him till my return again
fifty soldiers, which he undertook to victual. I answered that I had not
above fifty good men in all there; the rest were labourers and rowers,
and that I had no provision to leave with them of powder, shot, apparel,
or aught else, and that without those things necessary for their
defence, they should be in danger of the Spaniards in my absence, who
I knew would use the same measures towards mine that I offered them
at Trinidad. And although upon the motion Captain Caulfield, Captain
Greenvile, my nephew John Gilbert and divers others were desirous to
stay, yet I was resolved that they must needs have perished. For Berreo
expected daily a supply out of Spain, and looked also hourly for his son
to come down from Nuevo Reyno de Granada, with many horse and foot, and
had also in Valencia, in the Caracas, two hundred horse ready to march;
and I could not have spared above forty, and had not any store at all of
powder, lead, or match to have left with them, nor any other provision,
either spade, pickaxe, or aught else to have fortified withal.

When I had given him reason that I could not at this time leave him such
a company, he then desired me to forbear him and his country for that
time; for he assured me that I should be no sooner three days from the
coast but those Epuremei would invade him, and destroy all the remain of
his people and friends, if he should any way either guide us or assist
us against them. He further alleged that the Spaniards sought his death;
and as they had already murdered his nephew Morequito, lord of that
province, so they had him seventeen days in a chain before he was king
of the country, and led him like a dog from place to place until he had
paid an hundred plates of gold and divers chains of spleen-stones for
his ransom. And now, since he became owner of that province, that they
had many times laid wait to take him, and that they would be now more
vehement when they should understand of his conference with the English.
_And because_, said he, _they would the better displant me, if they
cannot lay hands on me, they have gotten a nephew of mine called
Eparacano, whom they have christened Don Juan, and his son Don Pedro,
whom they have also apparelled and armed, by whom they seek to make a
party against me in mine own country. He also hath taken to wife one
Louiana, of a strong family, which are borderers and neighbours; and
myself now being old and in the hands of death am not able to travel
nor to shift as when I was of younger years._ He therefore prayed us to
defer it till the next year, when he would undertake to draw in all the
borderers to serve us, and then, also, it would be more seasonable to
travel; for at this time of the year we should not be able to pass any
river, the waters were and would be so grown ere our return.

He farther told me that I could not desire so much to invade
Macureguarai and the rest of Guiana but that the borderers would be more
vehement than I. For he yielded for a chief cause that in the wars with
the Epuremei they were spoiled of their women, and that their wives and
daughters were taken from them; so as for their own parts they desired
nothing of the gold or treasure for their labours, but only to recover
women from the Epuremei. For he farther complained very sadly, as it had
been a matter of great consequence, that whereas they were wont to have
ten or twelve wives, they were now enforced to content themselves
with three or four, and that the lords of the Epuremei had fifty or a
hundred. And in truth they war more for women than either for gold or
dominion. For the lords of countries desire many children of their own
bodies to increase their races and kindreds, for in those consist their
greatest trust and strength. Divers of his followers afterwards desired
me to make haste again, that they might sack the Epuremei, and I asked
them, of what? They answered, Of their women for us, and their gold for
you. For the hope of those many of women they more desire the war than
either for gold or for the recovery of their ancient territories. For
what between the subjects of Inga and the Spaniards, those frontiers are
grown thin of people; and also great numbers are fled to other nations
farther off for fear of the Spaniards.

After I received this answer of the old man, we fell into consideration
whether it had been of better advice to have entered Macureguarai, and
to have begun a war upon Inga at this time, yea, or no, if the time of
the year and all things else had sorted. For mine own part, as we were
not able to march it for the rivers, neither had any such strength as
was requisite, and durst not abide the coming of the winter, or to
tarry any longer from our ships, I thought it were evil counsel to have
attempted it at that time, although the desire for gold will answer many
objections. But it would have been, in mine opinion, an utter overthrow
to the enterprise, if the same should be hereafter by her Majesty
attempted. For then, whereas now they have heard we were enemies to the
Spaniards and were sent by her Majesty to relieve them, they would as
good cheap have joined with the Spaniards at our return, as to have
yielded unto us, when they had proved that we came both for one errand,
and that both sought but to sack and spoil them. But as yet our desire
gold, or our purpose of invasion, is not known to them of the empire.
And it is likely that if her Majesty undertake the enterprise they will
rather submit themselves to her obedience than to the Spaniards, of
whose cruelty both themselves and the borderers have already tasted. And
therefore, till I had known her Majesty's pleasure, I would rather have
lost the sack of one or two towns, although they might have been very
profitable, than to have defaced or endangered the future hope of so
many millions, and the great good and rich trade which England may be
possessed of thereby. I am assured now that they will all die, even to
the last man, against the Spaniards in hope of our succour and return.
Whereas, otherwise, if I had either laid hands on the borderers or
ransomed the lords, as Berreo did, or invaded the subjects of Inga, I
know all had been lost for hereafter.

After that I had resolved Topiawari, lord of Aromaia, that I could not
at this time leave with him the companies he desired, and that I was
contented to forbear the enterprise against the Epuremei till the next
year, he freely gave me his only son to take with me into England; and
hoped that though he himself had but a short time to live, yet that by
our means his son should be established after his death. And I left with
him one Francis Sparrow, a servant of Captain Gifford, who was desirous
to tarry, and could describe a country with his pen, and a boy of mine
called Hugh Goodwin, to learn the language. I after asked the manner how
the Epuremei wrought those plates of gold, and how they could melt it
out of the stone. He told me that the most of the gold which they made
in plates and images was not severed from the stone, but that on the
lake of Manoa, and in a multitude of other rivers, they gathered it in
grains of perfect gold and in pieces as big as small stones, and they
put it to a part of copper, otherwise they could not work it; and that
they used a great earthen pot with holes round about it, and when they
had mingled the gold and copper together they fastened canes to the
holes, and so with the breath of men they increased the fire till the
metal ran, and then they cast it into moulds of stone and clay, and so
make those plates and images. I have sent your honours of two sorts such
as I could by chance recover, more to shew the manner of them than
for the value. For I did not in any sort make my desire of gold known,
because I had neither time nor power to have a great quantity. I gave
among them many more pieces of gold than I received, of the new money of
twenty shillings with her Majesty's picture, to wear, with promise that
they would become her servants thenceforth.

I have also sent your honours of the ore, whereof I know some is as
rich as the earth yieldeth any, of which I know there is sufficient, if
nothing else were to be hoped for. But besides that we were not able to
tarry and search the hills, so we had neither pioneers, bars, sledges,
nor wedges of iron to break the ground, without which there is no
working in mines. But we saw all the hills with stones of the colour
of gold and silver, and we tried them to be no marcasite, and therefore
such as the Spaniards call El madre del oro or "the mother of gold,"
which is an undoubted assurance of the general abundance; and myself saw
the outside of many mines of the spar, which I know to be the same that
all covet in this world, and of those more than I will speak of.

Having learned what I could in Canuri and Aromaia, and received a
faithful promise of the principallest of those provinces to become
servants to her Majesty, and to resist the Spaniards if they made any
attempt in our absence, and that they would draw in the nations about
the lake of Cassipa and those of Iwarawaqueri, I then parted from old
Topiawari, and received his son for a pledge between us, and left with
him two of ours as aforesaid. To Francis Sparrow I gave instructions
to travel to Macureguarai with such merchandises as I left with them,
thereby to learn the place, and if it were possible, to go on to the
great city of Manoa. Which being done, we weighed anchor and coasted the
river on Guiana side, because we came upon the north side, by the lawns
of the Saima and Wikiri.

There came with us from Aromaia a cacique called Putijma, that commanded
the province of Warapana, which Putijma slew the nine Spaniards upon
Caroli before spoken of; who desired us to rest in the port of his
country, promising to bring us unto a mountain adjoining to his town
that had stones of the colour of gold, which he performed. And after we
had rested there one night I went myself in the morning with most of the
gentlemen of my company over-land towards the said mountain, marching
by a river's side called Mana, leaving on the right hand a town
called Tuteritona, standing in the province of Tarracoa, of which
Wariaaremagoto is principal. Beyond it lieth another town towards the
south, in the valley of Amariocapana, which beareth the name of the said
valley; whose plains stretch themselves some sixty miles in length, east
and west, as fair ground and as beautiful fields as any man hath ever
seen, with divers copses scattered here and there by the river's side,
and all as full of deer as any forest or park in England, and in
every lake and river the like abundance of fish and fowl; of which
Irraparragota is lord.

From the river of Mana we crossed another river in the said beautiful
valley called Oiana, and rested ourselves by a clear lake which lay in
the middle of the said Oiana; and one of our guides kindling us fire
with two sticks, we stayed awhile to dry our shirts, which with the heat
hung very wet and heavy on our shoulders. Afterwards we sought the ford
to pass over towards the mountain called Iconuri, where Putijma foretold
us of the mine. In this lake we saw one of the great fishes, as big as
a wine pipe, which they call manati, being most excellent and wholesome
meat. But after I perceived that to pass the said river would require
half-a-day's march more, I was not able myself to endure it, and
therefore I sent Captain Keymis with six shot to go on, and gave him
order not to return to the port of Putijma, which is called Chiparepare,
but to take leisure, and to march down the said valley as far as a
river called Cumaca, where I promised to meet him again, Putijma himself
promising also to be his guide. And as they marched, they left the
towns of Emperapana and Capurepana on the right hand, and marched from
Putijma's house, down the said valley of Amariocapana; and we returning
the same day to the river's side, saw by the way many rocks like unto
gold ore, and on the left hand a round mountain which consisted of
mineral stone.

From hence we rowed down the stream, coasting the province of Parino.
As for the branches of rivers which I overpass in this discourse, those
shall be better expressed in the description, with the mountains of
Aio, Ara, and the rest, which are situate in the provinces of Parino and
Carricurrina. When we were come as far down as the land called Ariacoa,
where Orenoque divideth itself into three great branches, each of them
being most goodly rivers, I sent away Captain Henry Thyn, and Captain
Greenvile with the galley, the nearest way, and took with me Captain
Gifford, Captain Caulfield, Edward Porter, and Captain Eynos with mine
own barge and the two wherries, and went down that branch of Orenoque
which is called Cararoopana, which leadeth towards Emeria, the province
of Carapana, and towards the east sea, as well to find out Captain
Keymis, whom I had sent overland, as also to acquaint myself
with Carapana, who is one of the greatest of all the lords of the
Orenoqueponi. And when I came to the river of Cumaca, to which Putijma
promised to conduct Captain Keymis, I left Captain Eynos and Master
Porter in the said river to expect his coming, and the rest of us rowed
down the stream towards Emeria.

In this branch called Cararoopana were also many goodly islands, some
of six miles long, some of ten, and some of twenty. When it grew towards
sunset, we entered a branch of a river that fell into Orenoque, called
Winicapora; where I was informed of the mountain of crystal, to which in
truth for the length of the way, and the evil season of the year, I was
not able to march, nor abide any longer upon the journey. We saw it afar
off; and it appeared like a white church-tower of an exceeding height.
There falleth over it a mighty river which toucheth no part of the side
of the mountain, but rusheth over the top of it, and falleth to the
ground with so terrible a noise and clamour, as if a thousand great
bells were knocked one against another. I think there is not in the
world so strange an overfall, nor so wonderful to behold. Berreo told me
that there were diamonds and other precious stones on it, and that they
shined very far off; but what it hath I know not, neither durst he or
any of his men ascend to the top of the said mountain, those people
adjoining being his enemies, as they were, and the way to it so

Upon this river of Winicapora we rested a while, and from thence marched
into the country to a town called after the name of the river, whereof
the captain was one Timitwara, who also offered to conduct me to the top
of the said mountain called Wacarima. But when we came in first to the
house of the said Timitwara, being upon one of their said feast days,
we found them all as drunk as beggars, and the pots walking from one to
another without rest. We that were weary and hot with marching were glad
of the plenty, though a small quantity satisfied us, their drink being
very strong and heady, and so rested ourselves awhile. After we had fed,
we drew ourselves back to our boats upon the river, and there came to us
all the lords of the country, with all such kind of victual as the place
yielded, and with their delicate wine of pinas, and with abundance
of hens and other provisions, and of those stones which we call
spleen-stones. We understood by these chieftains of Winicapora that
their lord, Carapana, was departed from Emeria, which was now in sight,
and that he was fled to Cairamo, adjoining to the mountains of Guiana,
over the valley called Amariocapana, being persuaded by those ten
Spaniards which lay at his house that we would destroy him and his
country. But after these caciques of Winicapora and Saporatona his
followers perceived our purpose, and saw that we came as enemies to the
Spaniards only, and had not so much as harmed any of those nations, no,
though we found them to be of the Spaniards' own servants, they assured
us that Carapana would be as ready to serve us as any of the lords of
the provinces which we had passed; and that he durst do no other till
this day but entertain the Spaniards, his country lying so directly in
their way, and next of all other to any entrance that should be made in
Guiana on that side. And they further assured us, that it was not for
fear of our coming that he was removed, but to be acquitted of the
Spaniards or any other that should come hereafter. For the province of
Cairoma is situate at the mountain foot, which divideth the plains of
Guiana from the countries of the Orenoqueponi; by means whereof if
any should come in our absence into his towns, he would slip over
the mountains into the plains of Guiana among the Epuremei, where the
Spaniards durst not follow him without great force. But in mine opinion,
or rather I assure myself, that Carapana being a notable wise and
subtle fellow, a man of one hundred years of age and therefore of great
experience, is removed to look on, and if he find that we return strong
he will be ours; if not, he will excuse his departure to the Spaniards,
and say it was for fear of our coming.

We therefore thought it bootless to row so far down the stream, or
to seek any farther of this old fox; and therefore from the river of
Waricapana, which lieth at the entrance of Emeria, we returned again,
and left to the eastward those four rivers which fall from the mountains
of Emeria into Orenoque, which are Waracayari, Coirama, Akaniri,
and Iparoma. Below those four are also these branches and mouths of
Orenoque, which fall into the east sea, whereof the first is Araturi,
the next Amacura, the third Barima, the fourth Wana, the fifth Morooca,
the sixth Paroma, the last Wijmi. Beyond them there fall out of the land
between Orenoque and Amazons fourteen rivers, which I forbear to name,
inhabited by the Arwacas and Cannibals.

It is now time to return towards the north, and we found it a wearisome
way back from the borders of Emeria, to recover up again to the head of
the river Carerupana, by which we descended, and where we parted
from the galley, which I directed to take the next way to the port of
Toparimaca, by which we entered first.

All the night it was stormy and dark, and full of thunder and great
showers, so as we were driven to keep close by the banks in our small
boats, being all heartily afraid both of the billow and terrible current
of the river. By the next morning we recovered the mouth of the river
of Cumaca, where we left Captain Eynos and Edward Porter to attend the
coming of Captain Keymis overland; but when we entered the same, they
had heard no news of his arrival, which bred in us a great doubt what
might become of him. I rowed up a league or two farther into the river,
shooting off pieces all the way, that he might know of our being there;
and the next morning we heard them answer us also with a piece. We took
them aboard us, and took our leave of Putijma, their guide, who of all
others most lamented our departure, and offered to send his son with us
into England, if we could have stayed till he had sent back to his
town. But our hearts were cold to behold the great rage and increase of
Orenoque, and therefore departed, and turned toward the west, till we
had recovered the parting of the three branches aforesaid, that we might
put down the stream after the galley.

The next day we landed on the island of Assapano, which divideth the
river from that branch by which we sent down to Emeria, and there
feasted ourselves with that beast which is called armadillo, presented
unto us before at Winicapora. And the day following, we recovered
the galley at anchor at the port of Toparimaca, and the same evening
departed with very foul weather, and terrible thunder and showers, for
the winter was come on very far. The best was, we went no less than 100
miles a day down the river; but by the way we entered it was impossible
to return, for that the river of Amana, being in the bottom of the bay
of Guanipa, cannot be sailed back by any means, both the breeze and
current of the sea were so forcible. And therefore we followed a branch
of Orenoque called Capuri, which entered into the sea eastward of our
ships, to the end we might bear with them before the wind; and it was
not without need, for we had by that way as much to cross of the main
sea, after we came to the river's mouth, as between Gravelin and Dover,
in such boats as your honour hath heard.

To speak of what passed homeward were tedious, either to describe or
name any of the rivers, islands, or villages of the Tivitivas, which
dwell on trees; we will leave all those to the general map. And to be
short, when we were arrived at the sea-side, then grew our greatest
doubt, and the bitterest of all our journey forepassed; for I protest
before God, that we were in a most desperate estate. For the same night
which we anchored in the mouth of the river of Capuri, where it falleth
into the sea, there arose a mighty storm, and the river's mouth was at
least a league broad, so as we ran before night close under the land
with our small boats, and brought the galley as near as we could. But
she had as much ado to live as could be, and there wanted little of her
sinking, and all those in her; for mine own part, I confess I was very
doubtful which way to take, either to go over in the pestered (crowded)
galley, there being but six foot water over the sands for two leagues
together, and that also in the channel, and she drew five; or to
adventure in so great a billow, and in so doubtful weather, to cross the
seas in my barge. The longer we tarried the worse it was, and therefore
I took Captain Gifford, Captain Caulfield, and my cousin Greenvile into
my barge; and after it cleared up about midnight we put ourselves
to God's keeping, and thrust out into the sea, leaving the galley at
anchor, who durst not adventure but by daylight. And so, being all very
sober and melancholy, one faintly cheering another to shew courage, it
pleased God that the next day about nine o'clock, we descried the island
of Trinidad; and steering for the nearest part of it, we kept the shore
till we came to Curiapan, where we found our ships at anchor, than which
there was never to us a more joyful sight.

Now that it hath pleased God to send us safe to our ships, it is time to
leave Guiana to the sun, whom they worship, and steer away towards the
north. I will, therefore, in a few words finish the discovery thereof.
Of the several nations which we found upon this discovery I will once
again make repetition, and how they are affected. At our first entrance
into Amana, which is one of the outlets of Orenoque, we left on the
right hand of us in the bottom of the bay, lying directly against
Trinidad, a nation of inhuman Cannibals, which inhabit the rivers of
Guanipa and Berbeese. In the same bay there is also a third river, which
is called Areo, which riseth on Paria side towards Cumana, and that
river is inhabited with the Wikiri, whose chief town upon the said river
is Sayma. In this bay there are no more rivers but these three before
rehearsed and the four branches of Amana, all which in the winter thrust
so great abundance of water into the sea, as the same is taken up fresh
two or three leagues from the land. In the passages towards Guiana, that
is, in all those lands which the eight branches of Orenoque fashion into
islands, there are but one sort of people, called Tivitivas, but of two
castes, as they term them, the one called Ciawani, the other Waraweeti,
and those war one with another.

On the hithermost part of Orenoque, as at Toparimaca and Winicapora,
those are of a nation called Nepoios, and are the followers of Carapana,
lord of Emeria. Between Winicapora and the port of Morequito, which
standeth in Aromaia, and all those in the valley of Amariocapana are
called Orenoqueponi, and did obey Morequito and are now followers of
Topiawari. Upon the river of Caroli are the Canuri, which are governed
by a woman who is inheritrix of that province; who came far off to see
our nation, and asked me divers questions of her Majesty, being much
delighted with the discourse of her Majesty's greatness, and wondering
at such reports as we truly made of her Highness' many virtues. And
upon the head of Caroli and on the lake of Cassipa are the three
strong nations of the Cassipagotos. Right south into the land are the
Capurepani and Emparepani, and beyond those, adjoining to Macureguarai,
the first city of Inga, are the Iwarawakeri. All these are professed
enemies to the Spaniards, and to the rich Epuremei also. To the west of
Caroli are divers nations of Cannibals and of those Ewaipanoma without
heads. Directly west are the Amapaias and Anebas, which are also
marvellous rich in gold. The rest towards Peru we will omit. On the
north of Orenoque, between it and the West Indies, are the Wikiri,
Saymi, and the rest before spoken of, all mortal enemies to the
Spaniards. On the south side of the main mouth of Orenoque are the
Arwacas; and beyond them, the Cannibals; and to the south of them, the

To make mention of the several beasts, birds, fishes, fruits, flowers,
gums, sweet woods, and of their several religions and customs, would for
the first require as many volumes as those of Gesnerus, and for the
next another bundle of Decades. The religion of the Epuremei is the same
which the Ingas, emperors of Peru, used, which may be read in Cieza and
other Spanish stories; how they believe the immortality of the soul,
worship the sun, and bury with them alive their best beloved wives and
treasure, as they likewise do in Pegu in the East Indies, and other
places. The Orenoqueponi bury not their wives with them, but their
jewels, hoping to enjoy them again. The Arwacas dry the bones of their
lords, and their wives and friends drink them in powder. In the graves
of the Peruvians the Spaniards found their greatest abundance of
treasure. The like, also, is to be found among these people in every
province. They have all many wives, and the lords five-fold to the
common sort. Their wives never eat with their husbands, nor among
the men, but serve their husbands at meals and afterwards feed by
themselves. Those that are past their younger years make all their bread
and drink, and work their cotton-beds, and do all else of service and
labour; for the men do nothing but hunt, fish, play, and drink, when
they are out of the wars.

I will enter no further into discourse of their manners, laws, and
customs. And because I have not myself seen the cities of Inga I cannot
avow on my credit what I have heard, although it be very likely that the
emperor Inga hath built and erected as magnificent palaces in Guiana as
his ancestors did in Peru; which were for their riches and rareness most
marvellous, and exceeding all in Europe, and, I think, of the world,
China excepted, which also the Spaniards, which I had, assured me to be
true, as also the nations of the borderers, who, being but savages to
those of the inland, do cause much treasure to be buried with them.
For I was informed of one of the caciques of the valley of Amariocapana
which had buried with him a little before our arrival a chair of gold
most curiously wrought, which was made either in Macureguarai adjoining
or in Manoa. But if we should have grieved them in their religion at
the first, before they had been taught better, and have digged up their
graves, we had lost them all. And therefore I held my first resolution,
that her Majesty should either accept or refuse the enterprise ere
anything should be done that might in any sort hinder the same. And if
Peru had so many heaps of gold, whereof those Ingas were princes, and
that they delighted so much therein, no doubt but this which now liveth
and reigneth in Manoa hath the same humour, and, I am assured, hath
more abundance of gold within his territory than all Peru and the West

For the rest, which myself have seen, I will promise these things that
follow, which I know to be true. Those that are desirous to discover and
to see many nations may be satisfied within this river, which bringeth
forth so many arms and branches leading to several countries and
provinces, above 2,000 miles east and west and 800 miles south
and north, and of these the most either rich in gold or in other
merchandises. The common soldier shall here fight for gold, and pay
himself, instead of pence, with plates of half-a-foot broad, whereas
he breaketh his bones in other wars for provant and penury. Those
commanders and chieftains that shoot at honour and abundance shall find
there more rich and beautiful cities, more temples adorned with golden
images, more sepulchres filled with treasure, than either Cortes found
in Mexico or Pizarro in Peru. And the shining glory of this conquest
will eclipse all those so far-extended beams of the Spanish nation.
There is no country which yieldeth more pleasure to the inhabitants,
either for those common delights of hunting, hawking, fishing, fowling,
and the rest, than Guiana doth; it hath so many plains, clear rivers,
and abundance of pheasants, partridges, quails, rails, cranes, herons,
and all other fowl; deer of all sorts, porks, hares, lions, tigers,
leopards, and divers other sorts of beasts, either for chase or food. It
hath a kind of beast called cama or anta (tapir), as big as an English
beef, and in great plenty. To speak of the several sorts of every kind I
fear would be troublesome to the reader, and therefore I will omit them,
and conclude that both for health, good air, pleasure, and riches, I am
resolved it cannot be equalled by any region either in the east or west.
Moreover the country is so healthful, as of an hundred persons and
more, which lay without shift most sluttishly, and were every day almost
melted with heat in rowing and marching, and suddenly wet again with
great showers, and did eat of all sorts of corrupt fruits, and made
meals of fresh fish without seasoning, of tortugas, of lagartos or
crocodiles, and of all sorts good and bad, without either order or
measure, and besides lodged in the open air every night, we lost not any
one, nor had one ill-disposed to my knowledge; nor found any calentura
or other of those pestilent diseases which dwell in all hot regions, and
so near the equinoctial line.

Where there is store of gold it is in effect needless to remember other
commodities for trade. But it hath, towards the south part of the river,
great quantities of brazil-wood, and divers berries that dye a most
perfect crimson and carnation; and for painting, all France, Italy, or
the East Indies yield none such. For the more the skin is washed, the
fairer the colour appeareth, and with which even those brown and
tawny women spot themselves and colour their cheeks. All places yield
abundance of cotton, of silk, of balsamum, and of those kinds most
excellent and never known in Europe, of all sorts of gums, of Indian
pepper; and what else the countries may afford within the land we know
not, neither had we time to abide the trial and search. The soil besides
is so excellent and so full of rivers, as it will carry sugar, ginger,
and all those other commodities which the West Indies have.

The navigation is short, for it may be sailed with an ordinary wind
in six weeks, and in the like time back again; and by the way neither
lee-shore, enemies' coast, rocks, nor sands. All which in the voyages to
the West Indies and all other places we are subject unto; as the channel
of Bahama, coming from the West Indies, cannot well be passed in the
winter, and when it is at the best, it is a perilous and a fearful
place; the rest of the Indies for calms and diseases very troublesome,
and the sea about the Bermudas a hellish sea for thunder, lightning, and

This very year (1595) there were seventeen sail of Spanish ships lost
in the channel of Bahama, and the great Philip, like to have sunk at the
Bermudas, was put back to St. Juan de Puerto Rico; and so it falleth out
in that navigation every year for the most part. Which in this voyage
are not to be feared; for the time of year to leave England is best
in July, and the summer in Guiana is in October, November, December,
January, February, and March, and then the ships may depart thence in
April, and so return again into England in June. So as they shall never
be subject to winter weather, either coming, going, or staying there:
which, for my part, I take to be one of the greatest comforts and
encouragements that can be thought on, having, as I have done, tasted
in this voyage by the West Indies so many calms, so much heat, such
outrageous gusts, such weather, and contrary winds.

To conclude, Guiana is a country that hath yet her maidenhead, never
sacked, turned, nor wrought; the face of the earth hath not been torn,
nor the virtue and salt of the soil spent by manurance. The graves have
not been opened for gold, the mines not broken with sledges, nor their
images pulled down out of their temples. It hath never been entered by
any army of strength, and never conquered or possessed by any Christian
prince. It is besides so defensible, that if two forts be builded in
one of the provinces which I have seen, the flood setteth in so near the
bank, where the channel also lieth, that no ship can pass up but within
a pike's length of the artillery, first of the one, and afterwards of
the other. Which two forts will be a sufficient guard both to the empire
of Inga, and to an hundred other several kingdoms, lying within the said
river, even to the city of Quito in Peru.

There is therefore great difference between the easiness of the conquest
of Guiana, and the defence of it being conquered, and the West or East
Indies. Guiana hath but one entrance by the sea, if it hath that, for
any vessels of burden. So as whosoever shall first possess it, it shall
be found unaccessible for any enemy, except he come in wherries, barges,
or canoas, or else in flat-bottomed boats; and if he do offer to enter
it in that manner, the woods are so thick 200 miles together upon the
rivers of such entrance, as a mouse cannot sit in a boat unhit from
the bank. By land it is more impossible to approach; for it hath the
strongest situation of any region under the sun, and it is so environed
with impassable mountains on every side, as it is impossible to victual
any company in the passage. Which hath been well proved by the Spanish
nation, who since the conquest of Peru have never left five years free
from attempting this empire, or discovering some way into it; and yet
of three-and-twenty several gentlemen, knights, and noblemen, there was
never any that knew which way to lead an army by land, or to conduct
ships by sea, anything near the said country. Orellana, of whom the
river of Amazons taketh name, was the first, and Don Antonio de Berreo,
whom we displanted, the last: and I doubt much whether he himself or
any of his yet know the best way into the said empire. It can therefore
hardly be regained, if any strength be formerly set down, but in one
or two places, and but two or three crumsters (Dutch, Kromsteven or
Kromster, a vessel with a bent prow) or galleys built and furnished upon
the river within. The West Indies have many ports, watering places,
and landings; and nearer than 300 miles to Guiana, no man can harbour a
ship, except he know one only place, which is not learned in haste,
and which I will undertake there is not any one of my companies that
knoweth, whosoever hearkened most after it.

Besides, by keeping one good fort, or building one town of strength, the
whole empire is guarded; and whatsoever companies shall be afterwards
planted within the land, although in twenty several provinces, those
shall be able all to reunite themselves upon any occasion either by the
way of one river, or be able to march by land without either wood, bog,
or mountain. Whereas in the West Indies there are few towns or provinces
that can succour or relieve one the other by land or sea. By land the
countries are either desert, mountainous, or strong enemies. By sea, if
any man invade to the eastward, those to the west cannot in many months
turn against the breeze and eastern wind. Besides, the Spaniards are
therein so dispersed as they are nowhere strong, but in Nueva Espana
only; the sharp mountains, the thorns, and poisoned prickles, the sandy
and deep ways in the valleys, the smothering heat and air, and want of
water in other places are their only and best defence; which, because
those nations that invade them are not victualled or provided to stay,
neither have any place to friend adjoining, do serve them instead of
good arms and great multitudes.

The West Indies were first offered her Majesty's grandfather by
Columbus, a stranger, in whom there might be doubt of deceit; and
besides it was then thought incredible that there were such and so many
lands and regions never written of before. This Empire is made known to
her Majesty by her own vassal, and by him that oweth to her more duty
than an ordinary subject; so that it shall ill sort with the many graces
and benefits which I have received to abuse her Highness, either with
fables or imaginations. The country is already discovered, many nations
won to her Majesty's love and obedience, and those Spaniards which have
latest and longest laboured about the conquest, beaten out, discouraged,
and disgraced, which among these nations were thought invincible. Her
Majesty may in this enterprise employ all those soldiers and gentlemen
that are younger brethren, and all captains and chieftains that want
employment, and the charge will be only the first setting out in
victualling and arming them; for after the first or second year I doubt
not but to see in London a Contractation-House (the whole trade of
Spanish America passed through the Casa de Contratacion at Seville)
of more receipt for Guiana than there is now in Seville for the West

And I am resolved that if there were but a small army afoot in Guiana,
marching towards Manoa, the chief city of Inga, he would yield to her
Majesty by composition so many hundred thousand pounds yearly as should
both defend all enemies abroad, and defray all expenses at home; and
that he would besides pay a garrison of three or four thousand soldiers
very royally to defend him against other nations. For he cannot but
know how his predecessors, yea, how his own great uncles, Guascar and
Atabalipa, sons to Guiana-Capac, emperor of Peru, were, while they
contended for the empire, beaten out by the Spaniards, and that both of
late years and ever since the said conquest, the Spaniards have sought
the passages and entry of his country; and of their cruelties used to
the borderers he cannot be ignorant. In which respects no doubt but he
will be brought to tribute with great gladness; if not, he hath neither
shot nor iron weapon in all his empire, and therefore may easily be

And I further remember that Berreo confessed to me and others, which I
protest before the Majesty of God to be true, that there was found among
the prophecies in Peru, at such time as the empire was reduced to the
Spanish obedience, in their chiefest temples, amongst divers others
which foreshadowed the loss of the said empire, that from Inglatierra
those Ingas should be again in time to come restored, and delivered from
the servitude of the said conquerors. And I hope, as we with these few
hands have displanted the first garrison, and driven them out of the
said country, so her Majesty will give order for the rest, and either
defend it, and hold it as tributary, or conquer and keep it as empress
of the same. For whatsoever prince shall possess it, shall be greatest;
and if the king of Spain enjoy it, he will become unresistible. Her
Majesty hereby shall confirm and strengthen the opinions of all nations
as touching her great and princely actions. And where the south border
of Guiana reacheth to the dominion and empire of the Amazons, those
women shall hereby hear the name of a virgin, which is not only able to
defend her own territories and her neighbours, but also to invade and
conquer so great empires and so far removed.

To speak more at this time I fear would be but troublesome: I trust in
God, this being true, will suffice, and that he which is King of all
Kings, and Lord of Lords, will put it into her heart which is Lady of
Ladies to possess it. If not, I will judge those men worthy to be kings
thereof, that by her grace and leave will undertake it of themselves.

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