This letter has no date, but must have been very
early in the
sixteenth century, probably in 1504, from the circumstance to which it
alludes at its commencement. Although said to be from Spain, there
is every reason to suppose it was written from Lisbon, as we find
Portugal frequently considered as in Spain, which it actually is in
the most extensive geographical sense.—E.
 This, as formerly observed, alludes to the Mameluk
sultan of Egypt,
through whose dominions the trade between India and Europe was
entirely carried on before this era. This treaty of peace and alliance
between Portugal and Calicut, may possibly have been proposed at this
period, but certainly was not then agreed to; as there were long wars
with the zamorin before his power was reduced under the influence and
dominion of the Portuguese.—E.
 This is rather an anachronism, as at this period
the Portuguese had
no fortress on the Red Sea.
 The Castor of the text was probably musk,
and its amber ambergris.
 This alludes to the misfortune of Vincente Sodre
and his squadron,
already more distinctly related in the preceding chapter.—E.
 The expression of the original, ex centenario
is not easily understood: It is here translated a quarter part of the
return cargo, conformably with the regulations of Don Henry for the
trade of Guinea, as already stated in Vol. I. p. 204, from which the
present were probably copied.—E.
 It is difficult to guess what bay, and who may
be the king of the
Chaldeans here alluded to. Perhaps the town of Sofala, the emporium of
the gold trade of Eastern Africa, which was ruled by an Arabian prince
or sheik. By the idolaters in the text, are apparently meant the
Negroes of the interior, where the gold came from by way of Sofala.—E.
 This alludes to the Maldives and Lakedives.—E.
Letter from Peter Pasquali, orator of the Venetian republic at the court of the king of Portugal, to his brothers dwelling in Lisbon.
Beloved brothers! I formerly wrote you by Peter Verzo the carrier, informing you of all the news of this place; and now write again by Bartholomew Marquesi, the uncle of Dominic Benedicto of Florence, that you may be informed of our affairs, and may be assured of our desire to write whenever an opportunity offers. Know, therefore, that the vessel which was sent out last year towards the north by the king of Portugal under the command of Caspar Corterato, has now returned. He reports having discovered a continent about 2000 miles from hence, in a direction between the north-west and the west, hitherto utterly unknown. He is