These may be the island of Waring and the Marsh
islands, at the
north-western entry of the channel of the Rio Grande, forming part of
the Bissagos islands.—E.
The Voyage of Piedro de Cintra to Sierra Leona, and the Windward coast of Guinea; written by Alvise da Cada Mosto.
The two voyages to the coast of Africa in which Cada Mosto was engaged, and which have, been narrated in the foregoing Sections of this Chapter, were followed by others; and, after the death of Don Henry, two armed caravels were sent out upon discovery by orders from the king of Portugal, under the command of Piedro de Cintra, one of the gentlemen of his household, with injunctions to proceed farther along the coast of the Negroes than had hitherto been effected, and to prosecute new discoveries. In this expedition, Piedro de Cintra was accompanied by a young Portuguese who had formerly been clerk to Cada Mosto in his two voyages; and who, on the return of the expedition to Lagos, came to the house of his former employer, who then continued to reside at Lagos, and gave him an account of the discoveries which had been made in this new voyage, and the names of all the places which had been touched at by Piedro de Cintra, beginning from the Rio Grande, the extreme point of the former voyage.
De Cintra first went to the two large inhabited islands at the mouth of the Rio Grande which I had discovered in my second voyage, where he landed, and ordered his interpreters to make the usual inquiries at the inhabitants; but they could not make themselves understood, nor could they understand the language of the natives. Going therefore into the interior, they found the habitations of the Negroes to consist of poor thatched cabins, in some of which they found wooden idols, which were worshipped by the Negroes. Being unable to procure any information in this place, Cintra proceeded, in his voyage along the coast, and came to the mouth of a large river between three and four miles wide, which he called Besegue, from a lord of that name who dwelt near its mouth, and which he reckoned to be about forty miles from the mouth of the Rio Grande. Proceeding about 140 miles from the river Besegue, along a very hilly coast; clothed with high trees, and having a very beautiful appearance, they came to a cape to which they gave the name of Verga. Continuing along the coast, they fell in with another cape, which, in the opinion of all the seamen, was the highest they had ever seen, having a sharp conical height in the middle like a diamond, yet entirely covered with beautiful green trees. After the name of the fortress of Sagres, which was built by the deceased Don Henry on Cape St Vincent, the Portuguese named this point Cape Sagres of Guinea. According to the account of the Sailors, the inhabitants of this coast are idolaters, worshipping wooden images in