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.

[7] Id.  II. 87.

[8] Harris, II. 33.

[9] Harris, II. 38.

[10] Hakluyt, III. 25.

[11] Hakluyt, III. 27.

[12] Hakl.  III. 28.

[13] Id.  III. 29.

[14] Id. ib.

[15] Id. ib.

[16] Hakl.  III. 591.

[17] Hakl.  III. 31.


To the most illustrious Renee, King of Jerusalem and Sicily, Duke of Lorain and Bar, Americas Vespucius in all humble reverence and due gratitude, wisheth health and prosperity.

Most illustrious sovereign, your majesty may perhaps be surprised at my presumption in writing this prolix epistle, knowing, as I do, that your majesty is continually engaged in conducting the arduous affairs of government.  I may deserve blame for presuming to dedicate to your majesty this work, in which you will take little interest, both because of its barbarous style, and that it was composed expressly for Ferdinand king of Spain.  But my experience of your royal virtues has given me a confident hope that the nature of my subject, which has never yet been treated of by ancient or modern writers, may excuse me to your majesty.  The bearer, Benvenuto, a servant of your majesty, and my valued friend, whom I met with at Lisbon, earnestly entreated me to write this history, that your majesty might be informed of all those things which I had seen during the four voyages to different parts of the world, which I had undertaken for the discovery of unknown countries.  Of these four voyages, two were made through a vast extent of ocean towards the West, at the command of the illustrious Don Ferdinand king of Spain:  The other two were to the south, in the service of Don Manuel king of Portugal.  I have used my utmost diligence in the composition of this work, in hopes that your majesty would graciously receive me among the number of your dependants, considering that we were formerly companions during youth, while studying grammar under the tuition of my venerable uncle, Fra George Antony Vespucius.  I wish that I were able to imitate that worthy person, as I should then be quite different from what I am:  Yet I am not ashamed of myself, having always placed my chief delight in the practice of virtue, and the acquisition of literature.  Should these voyages displease you, I may say, as Pliny said to his patron, “formerly my pleasantries used to delight you.”  Although your majesty is always occupied in affairs of state, you may certainly have as much leisure as will permit you to peruse these pages; which, however trivial in comparison, may yet please by their novelty.  After the cares of government, your majesty will, I hope, receive amusement from my labours, as a pleasant desert promotes digestion after a plentiful repast.  But, if I have been too tedious in my narrative, I ask pardon and take my leave.

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