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zons, passing through the province Motilones, where Don
Pedro de Orsua, who was slain by the traitor Aguirre be-
fore rehearsed, built his brigandines, when he sought Guiana
by the way of Amazons.

Between Dawney and Beta lieth a famous island in Ore-
noque (now called Baraquan, for above Meta it is not known
by the name of Orenoque) which is called Athule;* 8 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 de-
scription. 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, Mania, Caura descend from
the middle land and valley which lieth between the easter
province of Peru and Guiana ; and it falls into the sea be-
tween 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 king-
dom 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

48 Cataract of Ature.


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

The next day following we left the mouth of Caroli, and
arrived again at the port of Morequito where we were be-
fore; 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 con-
ference, 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 appar-
elled 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 Epurcmei, 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 com-
panies 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, ap-
parel, 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 al-
though upon the motion Captain Caidfield, Captain Green-
vile, my nephew John Gilbert and divers others were de-
sirous 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 mur-
dered 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. 49 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 dis-
plant me, if they cannot lay hands on me, they have gotten
a nephew of mine called Eparacano, whom they have chris-
tened 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, zvhich 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

18 See page 344.


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 Macuregnarai 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 them-
selves 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 in-
crease their races and kindreds, for in those consist their
greatest trust and strength. Divers of his followers after-
wards 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 terri-
tories. 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 of 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 bor-
derers 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 de-
sired, 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 Cap-
tain Gilford, 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 re-
ceived, 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 work-
ing 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 assur-
ance 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 vis,
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, promis-
ing 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 Tute-
ritona, standing in the province of Tarracoa, of which
Wariaar etna goto 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 Car-
ricurrina. 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 Caul field, Edward Porter, and Captain
Eynos with mine own barge and the two wherries, and
went down that branch of Orenoque which is called Cara-
roopana, which leadeth towards Emeria, the province of
Carapana, and towards the east sea, as well to find out Cap-
tain 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 impassable.

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 Titnit-
wara, 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 Etneria, which
was now in sight, and that he was fled to Cairamo, adjoining
to the mountains of Guiana, over the valley called Amario-
capana, 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 Orcnoqucponi; by means whereof if any should come
in our absence into his towns, he would slip over the moun-
tains 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 Cara-
pana 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 Emcria, we returned again, and left to the eastward those
four rivers which fall from the mountains of Emeria into
Orcnoque, which are JVaracayari, Coirama, Akaniri, and
Jparoma. 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
Orcnoque and Amazons fourteen rivers, which I forbear to
name, inhabited by the Arzvacas 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,

Online LibraryHerodotusVoyages and travels; ancient and modern → online text (page 34 of 35)