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The Admiral ordered the anchor to be lowered. At that time the sun rose towards the Spaniards and left those countries. The cold became very severe when the sun crossed the constellation of the Bull; just as happens amongst us when it passes through the constellation of the Scales. During the period of four months until summer approached, our men were kept by cold and storm in the huts and cabins they had built on the banks. For it was the calends of April when they entered that harbour which they did not leave until the ninth of the calends of September.
It was during this period that Magellan treated the captain, Juan Carthagena, so severely.' He was a friend of the Bishop of Burgos who had been assigned to Magellan, with the royal approval, as his associate, and named second in command of the expedition. Under pretext of a plot formed against his life, Magellan put him ashore in company with a priest, giving them only a little biscuit and a sword. He would gladly have punished their plot with death, but that he feared the resentment of the Spaniards against him and did not dare to assume the responsibility. This action has been represented in different lights; but the description of other events is in agreement. According to some, Magellan was within his rights in thus acting, while according to others he was not, and the severity he showed was merely the outcome of the ancient hatred existing between the Spaniards and the Portuguese.
During this stop the men were able to visit the native houses. These barbarians are savages without weapons and are clothed only with skins; they are nomads without fixed habitations and without laws. Their height is very great and they are called Patagonians. Magellan left the port of San Julian on the ninth of September, 1521, the moment the sun appeared above the horizon. He sailed first in the direction of the antarctic pole, for a distance of fourteen degrees.
1 Referring to the revolt led by Mendoza, Quesada, and Carthagena, which Magellan only suppressed with difficulty. See Pifagctta, above mentioned.
At this point we must turn back somewhat in our history. During his childhood, Magellan had vaguely heard discussed in Portugal the existence of a strait, whose entrance was difficult to find. He was therefore ignorant of what direction to take but chance served him where his knowledge failed.1 There arose a tempest so terrible, that it caught up one of the ships and drove it upon the neighbouring rocks. The crew was saved, but the ship was broken to pieces by the waves.2 Thus perished one of the five vessels of the fleet. A little farther on the ocean, in all its immensity, stretched away towards the left, while to the right towered snow-covered mountains. While searching a shelter, one of the ships of least draught was driven by the force of the waves very close to the shore. A narrow channel was discovered, into which the ship entered, coming presently upon a gulf four leagues broad and six long, according to Spanish measure. The ship returned announcing that the passage was found.
I omit many particulars; but in a general sense, the following is what should be known. It is said that at places, stones may be thrown from a sling onto the mountains forming the sides of this strait. The country is a desert and on both sides rise mountains overgrown with cedars. After passing through this first gulf another strait was discovered, somewhat larger, but still narrow, after which came a third and then a fourth beyond which another gulf opened: just as we observe on the maps of Europe that towards the Hellespont there are two channels leading to an inland sea, so in this strait there are three channels leading to much larger inland seas. All these straits are full of small islands. The Spaniards sailed these straits in constant fear of striking a reef, and everywhere they found very deep water.
1 Martyr here docs scant justice to Magellan, whose discovery of the Strait was due primarily to his intelligence and persevering explorations, chance playing no greater part than it docs in all human undertakings.
* The Santiago was thus lost.
Midway during this course, they dropped anchor in a square-shaped sea where they found nothing remarkable, but where one of the ships, called the San Antonio, remained behind. The other vessels expected it would follow, but it turned back and arrived [in Spain] some time ago, bringing the saddest accusations against Magellan. We believe that such disobedience will not remain unpunished.
There remained, therefore, only three vessels to continue the voyage. These ships had entered the strait on the twenty-first of October and came out on the fifth day of the calends of December, during which time the days had been very long and the nights very short. This is comprehensible, in view of the shape of the terrestrial sphere. After sailing through the strait, the Spaniards entered another vast ocean. It is the ocean on the opposite side of our continent, and communicates with the sea, which I have called the South Sea in my Decades, and which was first discovered by Vasco Nunez, under the guidance of the son of the cacique of Comogra.
The Spaniards affirm that they sailed three months and twenty days on that immense ocean, and during that time they saw nothing but sky and salt water. Their sufferings, both from want of provisions and from the intense heat, were very great, and during many days they had nothing to eat but a handful of rice, without a scrap of other food; potable water was so scarce that they were obliged to use one-third sea water for cooking their rice, and when a man drank this water he had to shut his eyes and stop his nose, so green was its colour and so nasty its odour.
While sailing in a north-westerly direction on this immense sea, they crossed the equinoctial line, and immediately afterwards discovered two barren islands. y" These they named the Unfortunate Isles,1 because they were deserted and sterile. They next sailed amongst a multitude of islands which they called the Archipelago, because of their resemblance to the Cyclades of the Ionian Sea. They landed on most of these islands, which were separated from one another by narrow channels and extended throughout a distance of five hundred leagues. They named these islands Ladrones,' in preference to any native name, because the islanders, although peacefully inclined, stole everything they could put their hands on. They resembled that race of thieves called by the Italians Zingari,3 and which falsely pretends to be Egyptian. Amongst the other things the islanders stole was a barque our people used for landing. Hardly had they turned their backs when it disappeared, but the natives were forced to bring it back after having lost several of their men.
These islanders go naked, and are half savage. There is a tree growing in their country which bears cocoanuts. The largest of their islands is called Borneo,4 and the Spaniards unhesitatingly write that it is two hundred and fifty-four leagues in circumference. There grows in one part of that island a tree whose leaves, when they fall, squirm on the ground like worms. I suppose there must exist a vital breath between the two faces of the leaf which swells and agitates it like a short-lived breeze. Two religions are practised in this country, Paganism and Mohammedanism, but they are in agreement with one another. The people raise herds of cattle and buffaloes as well as goats. Chickens are found in abundance, but not a single sheep, nor wheat nor barley nor wine; there is plenty of rice which takes the place of bread, many different dishes being composed from it. The King of Borneo exchanged presents with the Spaniards, sending his gifts to our people on two elephants; and the following day he sent them different dishes carried on the shoulders of thirty-two noblemen. The capital of this prince is composed of twenty-five thousand houses, but they are built of wood, except the royal palace which is of stone.
1 These islands are supposed to have belonged to the Tahiti group, but their precise identity is undetermined.
* Meaning thieves or robbers.
• Zingari being the Italian name for gypsies.
«Compare with Pigafctta. Peter Martyr departs from the correct order of the voyage, as Borneo was not visited until after Magellan's death. 1 Zebu or Cebu, one of the Philippines.
Borneo is surrounded by many small islands, among which two are notable, Zubo1 and Matam, the latter taking its name from its chief city. Magellan won the friendship of the King of Zubo, for he presented him with gifts which, on account of their novelty and because nobody knew their use, were acceptable. He baptised the king and declared him the vassal of the emperor.
Leaving the ships at Zubo, Magellan crossed to the island of Matam, visible on the horizon at a distance of only four leagues. He used the shallops and the native boats dug out of tree trunks. His intention was to persuade the ruler of Matam, through his interpreters, to make his submission to the great King of Spain, and to the chief of Zubo; and to pay tribute to the former. The king answered that he was willing to obey the King of Spain, but not the chieftain of Zubo. Thereupon Magellan ordered a fortress composed of about fifty houses, near the royal residence, to be sacked and burnt. lie afterwards returned to Zubo, bringing his booty, some foodstuffs which were needed there, as well as several pieces of furniture; but the inhabitants of Zubo, who were hostile to the islanders of Matam, stole the greater part from him.
Eight days later Magellan returned with the same force and without the ships; he wished to capture the capital itself of the island. It was unfortunate for him that he