Having fully satisfied himself of the practicability of his long considered project of discovering the route to India by the west, as already explained, the admiral resolved to put his scheme into execution; and being sensible that the undertaking was only fit for a prince who was able to go through with the expence, and to maintain the dominion of the discovery when made, he thought it proper to propose it to the king of Portugal, because he then lived under his government and protection. And, though King John who then reigned gave a favourable ear to his arguments and proposals, he yet seemed backward in acceding to them, on account of the great expence and trouble he was then at in carrying on the discovery and conquest of Guinea on the western coast of Africa, which had not yet been crowned with any considerable success; not having been hitherto able to double the Cape of Good Hope, which name had been given to this cape instead of its original denomination, Agesingue; as some say because the Portuguese had no hope of ever extending their discoveries and conquests any farther, while others assert it was so called on account of their hopes of better navigation and of discovering more valuable countries beyond. However this may have been, the king of Portugal was little inclined to expend more money in prosecuting discoveries; yet he was so far prevailed upon by the excellent reasons adduced by the admiral in favour of his proposed undertaking, that the only remaining difficulty was in complying with the terms my father demanded for himself in case of success: For my father, who was a man of a noble and dignified spirit, insisted upon conditions which should redound to his honour and reputation; being resolved to leave behind him such a reputation, and so considerable a family as he deemed due to his merits and the actions which he confidently expected to perform.
While matters were in this train, by the advice of one Doctor Calzadilla in whom he reposed great confidence, the king of Portugal resolved to dispatch a caravel in secret to attempt making the discovery which my father had proposed to him; as, if he could make the discovery in this clandestine manner, he should be freed from the obligation of bestowing any great reward on the occasion. Accordingly, a caravel was fitted out under pretence of carrying supplies to the Cape Verd islands, with private instructions to sail in the direction in which my father had proposed to go upon his intended discovery. But the people who were sent upon this expedition did not possess sufficient knowledge or spirit; and, after wandering many days in the Atlantic, they returned to the Cape Verd islands, laughing at the undertaking as ridiculous and impracticable, and declaring that there could not possibly be any land in that direction or in those seas. When this scandalous underhand dealing came to my fathers ears, he took a great aversion to Lisbon and the Portuguese nation; and, his wife being dead, he resolved to repair