A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 03 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 756 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 03.

The admiral was now informed that the cacique, or lord of that part of the country was coming to visit him, attended by 200 men.  Though young, he was carried in a kind of chair on mens shoulders, attended by a governor and counsellors; and it was observed that his subjects paid him wonderful attention, and that his deportment was exceedingly grave.  An Indian, from the island of Isabella, went ashore and spoke to the chief, telling him the Spaniards were men who had come from heaven, and saying much in their praise.  The cacique now went on board, and, when he came to the poop, he made signs for his attendants to remain behind, except two men of riper years, who seemed his counsellors, and sate down at his feet.  Being offered to eat by order of the admiral, he tasted a little of every thing that was offered, then handed it to the other two, and from them it was carried to the rest of his attendants.  When offered drink, he only touched it with his lips.  They all observed much gravity, speaking little; but when he spoke, his counsellors observed his lips with great attention, and answered him with much respect.  The admiral thought these people more rational and farther advanced in civilization than any he had seen at the other islands.  When it grew late, the cacique and his attendants returned to the shore.  Next day, though the wind was contrary and blew hard, the sea did not run high, as the anchoring ground was sheltered by the island of Tortuga.  Some of our people were engaged this day in fishing, and the Indians were much gratified at seeing the Spanish mode, which differed greatly from their own.  Several of the Spaniards went on shore to the Indian town, where they procured some small plates of gold in barter for glass beads, which gave great satisfaction to the admiral, as he was now enabled to convince their Catholic majesties that gold was to be had in the country he had discovered, and consequently, that the promises he had made were not vain.  In the afternoon, the cacique came down again to the shore, and about the same time, a canoe, with forty men, came over from the island of Tortuga on purpose to visit the Spaniards, at which the cacique appeared to take offence; but all the natives of Hispaniola sat down on the ground, in token of peace.  The people from Tortuga landed from their canoe; but the cacique stood up and threatened them, on which they reimbarked and pushed off from the shore.  To shew his displeasure, the cacique threw stones and water after them, and gave a stone to the alguazil belonging to the admiral, making signs for him to throw it at the Tortugans, but he smiled and would not throw.  Those in the canoe returned very submissively to Tortuga.  This day, in honour of the festival of the Conception, the admiral ordered the ships to be dressed up with colours and streamers, arming all the men, and firing the cannon.  The cacique came on board while the admiral was at dinner; and the respect shewn by these

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