A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 10 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 762 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 10.
in case of separation was the Canaries, for which he sailed with such expedition that he arrived there on the 6th of March.  Having taken in refreshments there, for which he had much occasion, as all his liquors were in the Speedwell, Clipperton cruized on that station for ten days, as directed by his instructions, but not meeting his consort, he resolved to proceed to the next place appointed for that purpose, the Cape de Verd islands.

The Canary Islands, or Islands of Dogs, so named by the Spaniards when discovered by them in 1402, because they found here a great number of these animals, were known to the ancients by the name of the Fortunate Islands, because of their fertility and the excellent temperature of their air.  They are seven in number, Lancerota, Fuerteventura, Grand Canary, Teneriffe, Geomero, Hiero or Ferro, and Palma. Grand Canary is far distant from the others, and contains 9000 inhabitants, being the seat of the bishop, the inquisition, and the royal council which governs all the seven islands.  In Teneriffe is the famous mountain called Terraira, or the Peak of Teneriff, supposed to be the highest in the world, and which may be distinctly seen at the distance of sixty leagues.  There is no reaching the top of this mountain except in July and August, because covered at all other times with snow, which is never to be seen at other places of that island, nor in the other six, at any season of the year.  It requires three days journey to reach the summit of the peak, whence all the Canary islands may be seen, though some of them are sixty leagues distant. Hiero or Ferro is one of the largest islands in this group, but is very barren, and so dry that no fresh water is to be found in it, except in some few places by the sea, very troublesome and even dangerous to get it from.  “But, to remedy this inconvenience, Providence as supplied a most extraordinary substitute, as there grows almost in every place a sort of tree of considerable size, incomparably thick of branches and leaves, the latter being long and narrow, always green and lively.  This tree is always covered by a little cloud hanging over it, which wets the leaves as if by a perpetual dew, so that fine clear water continually trickles down from them into little pails set below to catch it as it falls, and which is in such abundant quantity as amply to supply the inhabitants and their cattle."[234]

[Footnote 234:  This strange story seems entirely fabulous.—­E.]

These islands are generally fertile, and abound with all kinds of provisions, as cattle, grain, honey, wax, sugar, cheese, and skins.  The wine of this country is strong and well-flavoured, and is exported to most parts of the world; and the Spanish ships bound for America usually stop at these islands to lay in a stock of provisions.  About 100 leagues to the west of these islands, mariners are said to have frequently seen an island named St Baranura,

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