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Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 665 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 02.
and thence back to the Red Sea; whence Covillian sent Abraham into Portugal, with letters to the king, containing all the information acquired in this part of the expedition, and intimating his determination to go into the dominions of Presbyter John.  This he accordingly did, and came to the presence of the then emperor of Ethiopia, named Alexander, to whom he delivered the letters with which he had been entrusted by the king of Portugal for that monarch.  Alexander received him courteously, and seemed much pleased with the letters of the king of Portugal, as being from so very distant a Christian prince, yet did not seem to attach much credit or importance to them.  But he gave all honour, and many gifts to Covillian.

When Covillian was ready to depart from Ethiopia, and awaited leave for that purpose, which he had solicited, Alexander died, and was succeeded by a new emperor named Nahu, who could never be prevailed on to allow of his departure; neither could he procure leave for that purpose from the next emperor, David, the son of Nahu, so that Covillian had to remain in Ethiopia, and never returned into Portugal.  From that time King John never heard more of him, and therefore concluded that he was dead; nothing having ever been received from him respecting his travels, except what was contained in the letters carried by the Jews, as before mentioned.

There came afterwards to Lisbon, a friar from this country of Presbyter John, who was received courteously by the king, and on whose reports of great things concerning that country, the king determined to proceed in making a discovery of the way to the Indies by sea.  He accordingly gave orders to John de Braganca, his surveyor of the forests, to cut down timber for building two small ships for that voyage.  But King John died, and was succeeded by King Manuel, of glorious memory, who had been chosen by Divine Providence to accomplish the discovery of these countries, by which the Christian faith hath been greatly extended, the royal house of Portugal much honoured, and the subjects wonderfully enriched.

SECTION II.

Narrative of the first Voyage of Vasco de Gama to India and back, in the years 1497, 1498, and 1499.

On the death of King John, he was succeeded by Don Manuel, a prince of a great mind, bent upon high enterprise, and prone to undertake and execute things beyond the ordinary reach of human knowledge, even more than was Alexander the Great.  Being exceedingly desirous to prosecute the discovery of the Indies, which had been begun by his predecessor, and proceeding upon the information left him by King John, relative to that navigation, he commanded Fernan Lorenzo, treasurer of the house of Mina, to cause construct two ships for this voyage, from the timber which had been provided by King John.  These were named the Angel Gabriel and the San Raphael, the former being of the burden

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