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mediately afterwards discovered two barren islands. These they named the Unfortunate Isles,” 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,” 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, “ 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 * These islands are supposed to have belonged to the Tahiti group, but their precise identity is undetermined. • Meaning thieves or robbers. 3 Zingari being the Italian name for gypsies.
* Compare with Pigafetta. Peter Martyr departs from the correct order of the voyage, as Borneo was not visited until after Magellan's death. * Zebu or Cebu, one of the Philippines.
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. Borneo is surrounded by many small islands, among which two are notable, Zubo" 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. He 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 landed at Matam, for not only did the king refuse to obey him, but advanced at the head of his people fully armed to meet him. Without mentioning native javelins made of cane and burnt wood, his soldiers carried long iron lances; for the merchants from Serica and China trade with these islanders. Magellan was killed," together with seven of his companions, while twenty-two others were wounded. Thus did this brave Portuguese, Magellan, satisfy his craving for spices.” The Spaniards who escaped the massacre returned to Zubo, invited by the ruler of that island. Juan Serrano, the chief pilot and commander of one of the ships, whom I have mentioned in my first Decades, and the captain of another vessel with ten of their companions, accepted this invitation. Meanwhile about forty other sailors wandered about the island. A band of assassins suddenly attacked them while they were eating and massacred them all, with the exception of the leaders, who were stripped of their clothing. The islanders hoped the sailors would land to rescue them, but the men on board the ships, not daring to approach, abandoned their companions and set sail. I have asked those who returned to Spain, and especially a young Genoese, Martin de Judicis,” who witnessed all these events, what crime provoked the King of Zubo to commit this vile action; the Spaniards think it was on account of women, for the islanders are jealous. In my opinion these islands are those concerning which many authors have written, but in different senses; for according to some they should number a thousand, and according to others three thousand or still more; they lie not far from the Indian coast. Among the islands surrounding Borneo there is one on which are the towns of Butara and Calega, where the Spaniards were kindly received. From this island they discovered another which the inhabitants of Calega pointed out to them, saying there was so much gold in the sands of the sea that it was only necessary to sift them to obtain grains as large as a nut or a small fruit; as for lesser grains nobody even notices them. This statement was confirmed by the people of Butara. From this last island two new ones were perceptible on the horizon, on which are two famous towns, Vindanao towards the south, and Chipico towards the north." The southern country produces cinnamon and the northern gold. The Spaniards obtained various articles in both places by trading. I have already said that traders from Serica and China and the provinces of India frequently visit these islands in search of gold, percious stones, and other objects, for which they exchange stuffs, clothing, ornaments, and weapons. The greatly desired Moluccas” are in sight of these islands. They lie seventy-five leagues from the equator, and according to the men's account they are within ten degrees, though I admit I do not understand anything of their calculations. The ancient philosophers calculated a degree at sixty Roman miles, and each mile measured a thousand paces. The Spaniards measure a marine league at four miles, and a land league at three. If we admit the calculations of the Spanish sailors, there are fifteen leagues in a degree; and, contrary to the accepted opinion, they affirm that a degree is seventy leagues and a half.
'Magellan was killed on April 27, 1521.
* Nulla certe apparet ratio awaritia incusandi immortalem virum qui prlagus nulli antea pervium navigaturus suis se redilibus perpetuo abdicat in favorem fratrum minimorum his palensium de Triana. Amplioribus hic celebrandus erat, praconiis qui pro Christo, pro Hispania, pro civilitate decertans, mortem oppetiit, nullam non emeritus laudem. Edition of J. Torres Asensio, Madrid, 1892.
* The name of Martin Judibicus appears in the list of the crew of the Concepcion (Navarrete, iv., p. 19).
* Mindanao or Maguidanao is the next largest island to Luzon of all the Philippine group. Chilpico is the bay of Chilpit. * The Molucca group consists of some ten or more islands.
Let any one who can, undertand this; for myself, I give it up. Let us return to the Moluccas, where the Spaniards finally landed. There are five principal islands situated under or very near the equator. None of them are more than six leagues in circumference and, by a caprice of nature, each is dominated by a lofty mountain; cloves grow there spontancously. Five of the southern islands are shut in by the large island of Gilolo, where cloves also grow, but they are of a bitter savour and half wild as is the case with the chestnut and ungrafted olive-trees. In all the other small islands, on the contrary, the cloves are aromatic. It is most delightful to learn whence the islanders think these trees obtain their aromatic savour. They say that three times each day, in the early morning, at noon, and in the evening, a cloud arises in the sky and spreads over the summit of the hills where the cloves grow; while it lasts, the tops of the trees are invisible, but after a little it disperses, and the cloves, which resemble laurels, are impregnated from this cloud. They adduce as a proof that the cloud never descends to the lower parts of the island and the cloves transplanted to not thrive, nor does their fruit possess a savour. The lowlands of each of the Moluccas are set apart for rice culture. In one of the islands where the Spaniards landed, they were kindly received and honourably treated. They had only two ships left, having destroyed the third because, after the murder of the commander and that sinister feast, the crew was unsufficient to man them. Only the Trinidad and the Victoria were kept. These islanders go almost naked, wearing only small aprons made of bark in guise of waist-cloths. The king of the island told the Spaniards that he gladly received them as guests, because a few months earlier he had read in the circle of the moon that strangers, bearing an absolute
resemblance to the Spaniards, would arrive by sea. vol. ii-11