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

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 652 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 03.

[7] The expression of the author seems here ambiguous.  He probably means
    towns or collections of huts as containing such large numbers; and it
    is hard to say whether he meant to say that these eight populous
    habitations had 10,000 each, or altogether.—­E.

[8] The expression of the original serpens, here translated serpent, had
    been better expressed, perhaps, by the fabulous term dragon
    The animal in question was probably the lacerto iguana, or it may
    have been a young alligator.—­E.

[9] This is a most singularly mistaken account of the situation of the
    coast of Paria, now Cumana or the Spanish main; which, beginning on
    the east at the island of Trinidad, about lat. 10 deg.  N. joins Carthagena
    in the west about the same latitude, and never reaches above 12 deg.  N.
    Were it not that the author immediately afterwards distinctly names
    the coast of Paria, the latitude of the text would lead us to suppose
    that he had been exploring the northern coast of Cuba.—­E.

[10] Even supposing Americus to have coasted along the whole northern
    shore of South America, from Trinidad to Costa-rica, the distance does
    not exceed twenty-three degrees of longitude, and the coast of Paria
    or Cumana is scarce 15 degrees.  The number of leagues, therefore, in
    the text is greatly exaggerated, unless we suppose them only to have
    been Italian miles.—­E.

[11] The relation of this voyage is so exceedingly vague that we have no
    means of determining any of the places which were touched at.  From the
    resemblance of the name in the text to Haiti, or Aiti, this island may
    possibly have been Hispaniola.—­E.

[12] The author affects classical names for modern fire-arms, naming what
    we have translated hand-guns balistae colubrinae.  Cannon are
    sometimes called tormenta bellica, and at other times machina
    saxivoma
—­E.

SECTION II.

The Second Voyage of Americas Vespucius.

We set sail from Cadiz on our second voyage on the 11th of May 1499, taking our course past the Cape Verds and Canaries for the island of Ignis, where we took in a supply of wood and water:  Whence continuing our voyage with a south-west wind for nineteen days, we reached a certain undiscovered land, which we believed to be the continent, over against that which we had explored in our former voyage, and which is situated in the torrid zone upon the southern side of the equator, and in 5 deg. of south latitude[1], being 500 leagues from the before-mentioned islands, to the south-west.  In this country we found the days and nights to be equal on the 27th of June, when the sun was in the tropic of cancer[2].  We found this country inundated and pervaded by large rivers,

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