A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 04 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 764 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 04.

[1] The true lion, Felis leo, is only found in the old world, chiefly in
    Africa and the south of Persia.  The American lion, or puma, the
    Felis concolor of naturalists, is considerably less than the true lion,
    being about the size of a large wolf, of a lively red colour tinged
    with black, but without spots.  It climbs trees, whence it drops down
    by surprise on animals passing below; and though fierce and cunning,
    hardly ever ventures to attack mankind.—­E.

[2] The iguana, instead of being a serpent, is a large species of
    lizard, the Lacerta iguana of naturalists.  It abounds in all the
    warm and marshy parts of America, and is reckoned excellent eating.—­E.

[3] Diaz is very lax in his topographical notices of this famous
    expedition.  The settlement of St Gil de Buena Vista, where Cortes now
    was, appears to have been at the bottom of the gulf of Amatique in the
    bay of Honduras, on the east side of the inlet which communicates with
    the golfo dolce.  His exploration of that inland gulf, was probably
    in the hope of finding a navigable passage to the Pacific Ocean.  The
    settlement which Cortes projected in Puerto Cavallos, must have been
    near that now called Fort Omoa.—­E.

[4] These islands of Guanajes appear to be those called by the English
    settlers of Honduras, Ratan and Bonaeo, off cape Honduras.—­E.


Return of Cortes to Mexico, and occurrences there previous to his departure for Europe; together with an account of the return of the Author to Mexico.

Cortes remained five days at the Havanna for refreshment, after which he reimbarked, and in twelve days arrived at the port of Medelin, opposite the Isla de los Sacrificios, where he disembarked with twenty soldiers; and while proceeding to the town of San Juan de Ulua, about half a league from Medelin, he had the good fortune to fall in with a string of horses and mules which had been employed in conveying travellers to the coast, which he immediately engaged to carry him and his suit to Vera Cruz[1].  He gave strict orders to all who accompanied him to give no hint to any person of his name and quality; and on his arrival at the town before day-break, he went directly to the church, the doors of which were just opened.  The sacristan was alarmed at seeing so great a number of strangers going into the church, and immediately ran into the streets to call the civil power to his assistance.  The alcaldes, with the alguazils, and some of the inhabitants repaired immediately to the church with their arms; and Cortes was so squalid from long illness, that no one knew him till he began to speak.  The moment he was known, they all fell on their knees and kissed his hands, welcoming him back to New Spain; and his old fellow-soldiers escorted

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