Voyages and travels; ancient and modern online

. (page 20 of 35)
Online LibraryHerodotusVoyages and travels; ancient and modern → online text (page 20 of 35)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

still following the Cacafuego; and our General promised
our company that whosoever should first descry her should
have his chain of gold for his good news. It fortuned that
10 ' Spitfire.'


John Drake, going up into the top, descried her about three
of the clock. And about six of the clock we came to her
and boarded her, and shot at her three pieces of ordnance,
and strake down her mizen; and, being entered, we found
in her great riches, as jewels and precious stones, thirteen
chests full of reals of plate, fourscore pound weight of gold,
and six-and-twenty ton of silver. The place where we took
this prize was called Cape de San Francisco, about 150
leagues [south] from Panama. The pilot's name of this
ship was Francisco; and amongst other plate that our
General found in this ship he found two very fair gilt bowls
of silver, which were the pilot's. To whom our General
said, Senor Pilot, you have here two silver cups, but I must
needs have one of them; which the pilot, because he could
not otherwise choose, yielded unto, and gave the other to the
steward of our General's ships. When this pilot departed
from us, his boy said thus unto our General : Captain, our
ship shall be called no more the Cacafuego, but the Caca-
plata, and your ship shall be called the Cacafuego. Which
pretty speech of the pilot's boy ministered matter of laughter
to us, both then and long after. When our General had done
what he would with this Cacafuego, he cast her off, and we
went on our course still towards the west ; and not long after
met with a ship laden with linen cloth and fine China dishes
of white earth, and great store of China silks, of all which
things we took as we listed. The owner himself of this ship
was in her, who was a Spanish gentleman," from whom our
General took a falcon of gold, with a great emerald in the
breast thereof ; 12 and the pilot of the ship he took also with
him, and so cast the ship off.

This pilot brought us to the haven of Guatulco, the town
whereof, as he told us, had but 17 Spaniards in it. As soon
as we were entered this haven, we landed, and went presently
to the town and to the town-house; where we found a judge
sitting in judgment, being associated with three other offi-
cers, upon three negroes that had conspired the burning
of the town. Both which judges and prisoners we took,
and brought them a-shipboard, and caused the chief judge

11 Don Francisco de Zarate.

12 Drake presented him in return with a hanger and a silver brazier.


to write his letter to the town to command all the townsmen
to avoid, that we might safely water there. Which being
done, and they departed, we ransacked the town ; and in one
house we found a pot, of the quantity of a bushel, full of
reals of plate, which we brought to our ship. And here one
Thomas Moon, one of our company, took a Spanish gentle-
man as he was flying out of the town; and, searching him,
he found a chain of gold about him, and other jewels, which
he took, and so let him go. At this place our General,
among other Spaniards, set ashore his Portugal pilot which
he took at the islands of Cape Verde out of a ship of St.
Mary port, of Portugal. And having set them ashore we
departed hence, and sailed to the island of Canno; where
our General landed, and brought to shore his own ship, and
discharged her, mended and graved her, and furnished our
ship with water and wood sufficiently.

And while we were here we espied a ship and set sail
after her, and took her, and found in her two pilots and a
Spanish governor, going for the islands of the Philip-
pinas. We searched the ship, and took some of her mer-
chandises, and so let her go. Our General at this place and
time, thinking himself, both in respect of his private injuries
received from the Spaniards, as also of their contempts and
indignities offered to our country and prince in general,
sufficiently satisfied and revenged; and supposing that her
Majesty at his return would rest contented with this service,
purposed to continue no longer upon the Spanish coast, but
began to consider and to consult of the best way for his

He thought it not good to return by the Straits, for two
special causes; the one, lest the Spaniards should there wait
and attend for him in great number and strength, whose
hands, he, being left but one ship, could not possibly escape.
The other cause was the dangerous situation of the mouth
of the Straits in the South Sea; where continual storms
reigning and blustering, as he found by experience, besides
the shoals and sands upon the coast, he thought it not a good
course to adventure that way. He resolved, therefore, to
avoid these hazards, to go forward to the Islands of the
Malucos, and therehence to sail the course of the Portugals



by the Cape of Buena Esperanza. Upon this resolution he
began to think of his best way to the Malucos, and finding
himself, where he now was, becalmed, he saw that of neces-
sity he must be forced to take a Spanish course; namely, to
sail somewhat northerly to get a wind. We therefore set
sail, and sailed 600 leagues at the least for a good wind;
and thus much we sailed from the 16. of April till the third
of June.

The fifth of June, being in 43 degrees towards the pole
Arctic, we found the air so cold, that our men being griev-
ously pinched with the same, complained of the extremity
thereof; and the further we went, the more the cold in-
creased upon us. Whereupon we thought it best for that
time to seek the land, and did so ; finding it not mountainous,
but low plain land, till we came within 38 degrees towards
the line. In which height it pleased God to send us into a
fair and good bay, with a good wind to enter the same.
In this bay we anchored; and the people of the country,
having their houses close by the water's side, shewed them-
selves unto us, and sent a present to our General. When
they came unto us, they greatly wondered at the things that
we brought. But our General, according to his natural and
accustomed humanity, courteously intreated them, and
liberally bestowed on them necessary things to cover their
nakedness; whereupon they supposed us to be gods, and
would not be persuaded to the contrary. The presents which
they sent to our General, were feathers, and cauls of net-
work. Their houses are digged round about with earth,
and have from the uttermost brims of the circle, clifts of
wood set upon them, joining close together at the top like
a spire steeple, which by reason of that closeness are very
warm. Their bed is the ground with rushes strowed on it;
and lying about the house, [they] have the fire in the midst.
The men go naked; the women take bulrushes, and kemb
them after the manner of hemp, and thereof make their
loose garments, which being knit about their middles, hang
down about their hips, having also about their shoulders a
skin of deer, with the hair upon it. These women are very
obedient and serviceable to their husbands.

After they were departed from us, they came and visited


us the second time, and brought with them feathers and
bags of tobacco for presents. And when they came to the
top of the hill, at the bottom whereof we had pitched our
tents, they stayed themselves; where one appointed for
speaker wearied himself with making a long oration ; which
done, they left their bows upon the hill, and came down with
their presents. In the meantime the women, remaining
upon the hill, tormented themselves lamentably, tearing their
flesh from their cheeks, whereby we perceived that they
were about a sacrifice. In the meantime our General with
his company went to prayer, and to reading of the Scrip-
tures, at which exercise they were attentive, and seemed
greatly to be affected with it; but when they were come
unto us, they restored again unto us those things which
before we bestowed upon them. The news of our being
there being spread through the country, the people that in-
habited round about came down, and amongst them the king
himself, a man of a goodly stature, and comely personage,
with many other tall and warlike men ; before whose coming
were sent two ambassadors to our General, to signify that
their king was coming, in doing of which message, their
speech was continued about half an hour. This ended, they
by signs requested our General to send something by their
hand to their king, as a token that his coming might be in
peace. Wherein our General having satisfied them, they
returned with glad tidings to their king, who marched to us
with a princely majesty, the people crying continually after
their manner; and as they drew near unto us, so did they
strive to behave themselves in their actions with comeliness.
In the fore-front was a man of a goodly personage, who
bare the sceptre or mace before the king; whereupon hanged
two crowns, a less and a bigger, with three chains of a
marvellous length. The crowns were made of knit work,
wrought artificially with feathers of divers colours. The
chains were made of a bony substance, and few be the
persons among them that are admitted to wear them; and
of that number also the persons are stinted, as some ten,
some twelve, &c. Next unto him which bare the sceptre,
was the king himself, with his guard about his person, clad
with coney skins, and other skins. After them followed the


naked common sort of people, every one having his face
painted, some with white, some with black, and other colours,
and having in their hands one thing or another for a present.
Not so much as their children, but they also brought their

In the meantime our General gathered his men together,
and marched within his fenced place, making, against their
approaching, a very warlike show. They being trooped
together in their order, and a general salutation being made,
there was presently a general silence. Then he that bare the
sceptre before the king, being informed by another, whom
they assigned to that office, with a manly and lofty voice
proclaimed that which the other spake to him in secret,
continuing half an hour. Which ended, and a general Amen,
as it were, given, the king with the whole number of men
and women, the children excepted, came down without any
weapon; who, descending to the foot of the hill, set them-
selves in order. In coming towards our bulwarks and tents,
the sceptre-bearer began a song, observing his measures in
a dance, and that with a stately countenance ; whom the king
with his guard, and every degree of persons, following, did
in like manner sing and dance, saving only the women,
which danced and kept silence. The General permitted
them to enter within our bulwark, where they continued
their song and dance a reasonable time. When they had
satisfied themselves, they made signs to our General to sit
down ; to whom the king and divers others made several
orations, or rather supplications, that he would take their
province and kingdom into his hand, and become their king,
making signs that they would resign unto him their right
and title of the whole land, and become his subjects. In
which, to persuade us the better, the king and the rest, with
one consent, and with great reverence, joyfully singing a
song, did set the crown upon his head, enriched his neck
with all their chains, and offered him many other things,
honouring him by the name of Hioh, adding thereunto, as
it seemed, a sign of triumph; which thing our General
thought not meet to reject, because he knew not what honour
and profit it might be to our country. Wherefore in the
name, and to the use of her Majesty, he took the sceptre,


crown, and dignity of the said country into his hands, wish-
ing that the riches and treasure thereof might so con-
veniently be transported to the enriching of her kingdom at
home, as it aboundeth in the same.

The common sort of people, leaving the king and his
guard with our General, scattered themselves together with
their sacrifices among our people, taking a diligent view of
every person: and such as pleased their fancy (which were
the youngest), they enclosing them about offered their
sacrifices unto them with lamentable weeping, scratching and
tearing their flesh from their faces with their nails, whereof
issued abundance of blood. But we used signs to them of
disliking this, and stayed their hands from force, and
directed them upwards to the living God, whom only they
ought to worship. They shewed unto us their wounds, and
craved help of them at our hands ; whereupon we gave them
lotions, plaisters, and ointments agreeing to the state of their
griefs, beseeching God to cure their diseases. Every third
day they brought their sacrifices unto us, until they under-
stood our meaning, that we had no pleasure in them; yet
they could not be long absent from us, but daily frequented
our company to the hour of our departure, which departure
seemed so grievous unto them, that their joy was turned into
sorrow. They entreated us, that being absent we would re-
member them, and by stealth provided a sacrifice, which we

Our necessary business being ended, our General with
his company travelled up into the country to their villages,
where we found herds of deer by a thousand in a company,
being most large, and fat of body. We found the whole
country to be a warren of a strange kind of coneys; their
bodies in bigness as be the Barbary coneys, their heads as the
heads of ours, the feet of a want," and the tail of a rat,
being of great length. Under her chin is on either side a
bag, into the which she gathereth her meat, when she hath
filled her belly abroad. The people eat their bodies, and
make great account of their skins, for their king's coat was
made of them. Our General called this country Nova Al-
bion, and that for two causes; the one in respect of the



white banks and cliffs, which lie towards the sea, and the
other, because it might have some affinity with our country
in name, which sometime was so called. There is no part
of earth here to be taken up, wherein there is not some
probable show of gold or silver.

At our departure hence our General set up a monument
of our being there, as also of her Majesty's right and title
to the same; namely a plate, nailed upon a fair great post,
whereupon was engraved her Majesty's name, the day and
year of our arrival there, with the free giving up of the
province and people into her Majesty's hands, together with
her Highness' picture and arms, in a piece of six pence of
current English money, under the plate, whereunder was
also written the name of our General.

It seemeth that the Spaniards hitherto had never been in
this part of the country, neither did ever discover the land
by many degrees to the southwards of this place.

After we had set sail from hence, we continued without
sight of land till the 13. day of October following, which
day in the morning we fell with certain islands eight degrees
to the northward of the line, from which islands came a
great number of canoas, having in some of them four, in
some six, and in some also fourteen men, bringing with them
cocos and other fruits. Their canoas were hollow within,
and cut with great art and cunning, being very smooth
within and without, and bearing a glass M as if it were a
horn daintily burnished, having a prow and a stern of one
sort, yielding inward circle-wise, being of a great height,
and full of certain white shells for a bravery; and on each
side of them lie out two pieces of timber about a yard and
a half long, more or less, according to the smallness or big-
ness of the boat. These people have the nether part of their
ears cut into a round circle, hanging down very low upon
their cheeks, whereon they hang things of a reasonable
weight. The nails of their hands are an inch long, their
teeth are as black as pitch, and they renew them often, by
eating of an herb with a kind of powder, which they always
carry about them in a cane for the same purpose.

Leaving this island the night after we fell with it, the 18.

14 I. c, having a gloss.


of October we lighted upon divers others, some whereof
made a great show of inhabitants. We continued our course
by the islands of Tagulanda Zelon, and Zewarra, being
friends to the Portugals, the first whereof hath growing in
it great store of cinnamon. The 14. of November we fell in
with the islands of Maluco. Which day at night (having
directed our course to run with Tidore) in coasting along
the island of Mutyr, 19 belonging to the king of Ternate, his
deputy or vice-king seeing us at sea, came with his canoa
to us without all fear, and came aboard; and after some
conference with our General, willed him in any wise to run
in with Ternate, and not with Tidore, assuring him that the
king would be glad of his coming, and would be ready to
do what he would require, for which purpose he himself
would that night be with the king, and tell him the news.
With whom if he once dealt, we should find that as he was
a king, so his word should stand; adding further, that if he
went to Tidore before he came to Ternate, the king would
have nothing to do with us, because he held the Portugal
as his enemy. Whereupon our General resolved to run with
Ternate. Where the next morning early we came to anchor ;
at which time our General sent a messenger to the king, with
a velvet cloak for a present and token of his coming to be
in peace, and that he required nothing but traffic and ex-
change of merchandise, whereof he had good store, in such
things as he wanted.

In the meantime the vice-king had been with the king
according to his promise, signifying unto him what good
things he might receive from us by traffic. Whereby the
king was moved with great liking towards us, and sent to
our General, with special message, that he should have what
things he needed and would require, with peace and friend-
ship; and moreover that he would yield himself and the
right of his island to be at the pleasure and commandment
of so famous a prince as we served. In token whereof he
sent to our General a signet; and within short time after
came in his own person, with boats and canoas, to our ship,
to bring her into a better and safer road than she was in at

u Tagulandang, to the north-east of Celebes.
"Motir, one of the Ternate Moluccas.


that present. In the meantime, our General's messenger,
being come to the Court, was met by certain noble person-
ages with great solemnity, and brought to the king, at whose
hands he was most friendly and graciously entertained.

The king, purposing to come to our ship, sent before four
great and large canoas, in every one whereof were certain
of his greatest states 17 that were about him, attired in white
lawn of cloth of Calicut, having over their heads, from the
one end of the canoa to the other, a covering of thin per-
fumed mats, borne up with a frame made of reeds for the
same use; under which every one did sit in his order ac-
cording to his dignity, to keep him from the heat of the
sun ; divers of whom being of good age and gravity, did
make an ancient and fatherly show. There were also divers
young and comely men attired in white, as were the others;
the rest were soldiers, which stood in comely order round
about on both sides. Without whom sat the rowers in certain
galleries; which being three on a side all along the canoas,
did lie off from the side thereof three or four yards, one
being orderly builded lower than another, in every of which
galleries were the number of fourscore rowers. These
canoas were furnished with warlike munition, every man
for the most part having his sword and target, with his
dagger, beside other weapons, as lances, calivers, darts, bows
and arrows ; also every canoa had a small cast base mounted
at the least one full yard upon a stock set upright. Thus
coming near our ship, in order, they rowed about us one
after another, and passing by, did their homage with great
solemnity ; the great personages beginning with great gravity
and fatherly countenances, signifying that the king had
sent them to conduct our ship into a better road. Soon after
the king himself repaired, accompanied with six grave and
ancient persons, who did their obeisance with marvellous
humility. The king was a man of tall stature, and seemed
to be much delighted with the sound of our music; to
whom, as also to his nobility, our General gave presents,
wherewith they were passing well contented.

At length the king craved leave of our General to depart,
promising the next day to come aboard, and in the meantime

11 States men of property or estate.


to send us such victuals as were necessary for our provi-
sion. So that the same night we received of them meal,
which they call sagu, made of the tops of certain trees, tast-
ing in the mouth like sour curds, but melteth like sugar,
whereof they make certain cakes, which may be kept the
space of ten years, and yet then good to be eaten. We
had of them store of rice, hens, unperfect and liquid sugar,
sugar-canes, and a fruit which they call figo with store
of cloves.

The king having promised to come aboard, brake his
promise, but sent his brother to make his excuse, and to
entreat our General to come on shore, offering himself pawn
aboard for his safe return. Whereunto our General con-
sented not, upon mislike conceived of the breach of his
promise; the whole company also utterly refusing it. But
to satisfy him, our General sent certain of his gentlemen to
the Court, to accompany the king's brother, reserving the
vice-king for their safe return. They were received of an-
other brother of the king's, and other states, and were con-
ducted with great honour to the castle. The place that they
were brought unto was a large and fair house, where were
at the least a thousand persons assembled.

The king being yet absent, there sat in their places 60
grave personages, all which were said to be of the king's
council. There were besides four grave persons, apparelled
all in red, down to the ground, and attired on their heads
like the Turks ; and these were said to be Romans w and lig-
iers * there to keep continual traffic with the people of Ter-
nate. There were also two Turks ligiers in this place, and
one Italian. The king at last came in guarded with twelve
lances, covered over with a rich canopy with embossed gold.
Our men, accompanied with one of their captains called
Moro, rising to meet him, he graciously did welcome and
entertain them. He was attired after the manner of the
country, but more sumptuously than the rest. From his
waist down to the ground was all cloth of gold, and the same
very rich ; his legs were bare, but on his feet were a pair of
shoes, made of Cordovan skin. In the attire of his head
were finely wreathed hooped rings of gold, and about his

18 Plantains. 19 Probably Greeks (Arab. Rwni). Resident agents.


neck he had a chain of perfect gold, the links whereof
were great, and one fold double. On his fingers he had six
very fair jewels; and sitting in his chair of state, at his right
hand stood a page with a fan in his hand, breathing and
gathering the air to the king. The same was in length two
foot, and in breadth one foot, set with eight sapphires richly
embroidered, and knit to a staff three foot in length, by the
which the page did hold and move it. Our gentlemen hav-
ing delivered their message and received order accordingly,
were licensed to depart, being safely conducted back again
by one of the king's council. This island is the chief of all the
islands of Maluco, and the king hereof is king of 70 islands
besides. The king with his people are Moors in religion,
observing certain new moons, with fastings ; during which
fasts they neither eat nor drink in the day, but in the night.

After that our gentlemen were returned, and that we had
here by the favour of the king received all necessary things
that the place could yield us; our General considering the
great distance, and how far he was yet off from his coun-
try, thought it not best here to linger the time any longer,
but weighing his anchors, set out of the island, and sailed
to a certain little island to the southwards of Celebes, where
we graved our ship, and continued there, in that and other
businesses, 26 days. This island is throughly grown with

Online LibraryHerodotusVoyages and travels; ancient and modern → online text (page 20 of 35)