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.
and from whom we procured a great number of oriental pearls.  During forty-seven days which we spent among this tribe, we purchased an hundred and nineteen fine pearls, at an expence not exceeding forty ducats; as we gave them in return bells, mirrors, and beads of glass and amber of very little value.  For one bell we could obtain as many pearls as we pleased to take.  We also learned where and how they procured their pearls, and they even gave us many of the oysters in which they are found, several of which we likewise bought, in some of which we found an hundred and thirty pearls, but in others considerably fewer.  Unless when perfectly ripe, and quite detached from the shells in which they grow, they are very imperfect, for they wither and come to nothing, as I have frequently experienced; but when ripe, they separate from among the flesh, except that they then merely stick to it, and these, are always the best.

After a stay of forty-seven days at this place in great friendship with the natives, we took our departure, and went to the island of Antilia[6], which was discovered a few years ago by Christopher Columbus, where we remained two months and two days repairing our vessels and procuring necessaries for the voyage home.  During our stay there we suffered many insults from the Christian inhabitants, the particulars of which are here omitted to avoid prolixity.  Leaving that island on the 22d of July, we arrived at the port of Cadiz on the eighth of September[7], after a voyage of six weeks, where we were honourably received; having thus, by the blessing of God, finished our second voyage.

[1] This latitude of 5 deg.  S. would lead to Cape St Roquo on the coast of
    Brazil; but the indications given by Americus during his several
    voyages are exceedingly vague and uncertain.—­E.

[2] The sun on the 27th of June has just passed to the south side of the
    equator, and is in the tropic of cancer on the 23d of March.—­E.

[3] Called in the text myrrh-apples, Poma myrrhae, perhaps meant to
    imply mirabolans.—­E.

[4] This appears to refer to chewing tobacco, and gives a strong picture
    of that custom carried to excess.—­E.

[5] This person was probably a noted giant, or remarkably tall man, then
    well known in the south of Europe:  Or it may refer to a colossal image
    of St Francis.—­E.

[6] The island of Hispaniola is certainly here meant, to which Americus
    has chosen to give the fabulous or hypothetical name of Antilia,
    formerly mentioned; perhaps with the concealed intention of
    depreciating the grand discovery of Columbus, by insinuating that the
    Antilles were known long before his voyage.—­E.

[7] Though not mentioned in the text, this date must have been of the year
    1500; or at least intended to be so understood by Americus—­E.


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