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

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 656 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 04.

Some short time before Gonzalo got to Peru intelligence of his return had reached Quito, on which the inhabitants collected a considerable number of swine and Peruvian sheep which they sent off to meet him.  They sent off at the same time a good many horses, and a supply of clothes for Gonzalo and his officers.  This seasonable supply met them above fifty leagues from Quito, and one may easily judge that it was received with much joy, especially the provisions.  The whole party, from the general to the private soldier, was almost entirely naked; as, from the almost continual rains to which they had been exposed, and the other hardships of their journey, their clothes were all rotten and torn to rags, and they were reduced to the necessity of covering themselves with the skins of beasts.  Their swords were all without scabbards, and almost destroyed with rust.  Their legs and arms were torn and scratched by the brushwood, thorns, and brakes, through which they had travelled; and the whole party were so pale, lean, and worn out with fatigue and famine, that their most intimate acquaintances were hardly able to recognize them.  Among all their privations, what they felt the most unsufferable, was the want of salt, of which they had not been able to procure the smallest supply for above two hundred leagues.

On arriving in the kingdom of Quito, where every thing they stood in need of was brought them, they knelt down and kissed the ground as a mark of gratitude and satisfaction, and returned thanks to God for their preservation from so many dangers.  Such was their eagerness for food after so long famine, that it became necessary to regulate their supply, and only to allow them to eat by little and little at a time, till their stomachs became accustomed to digest their food.  As there had only been sent from Quito a sufficiency of horses and clothes for Gonzalo and his officers, they refused to avail themselves of either, not choosing to enjoy any advantages which they could not share with their soldiers, by which they rendered themselves extremely popular and gained their affection greatly.  They arrived at Quito in the morning, and went immediately to church to hear mass, and to give thanks to God for their delivery from so many and severe evils; after which every one retired to his quarters, to refresh and clothe themselves according to their means.  This country of Los Canelos, whence the cinnamon is procured, is immediately under the equinoctial line, similar in that respect to the Molucca islands, whence cinnamon is brought into Spain and other parts of Europe[11].

[1] We shall have a future opportunity of giving a better account of the
    discovery and conquest of Chili than this extremely meagre notice by
    Zarate from Molina, Ovalle and other early authors.  The nameless city
    mentioned by Zarate was probably St Jago de Chili, which was founded
    by Valdivia.  The commencement of the Valdivian expedition was in the
    year 1530.—­E.

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