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.
Carthagena; the St Jago, Don Juan Serrano; and the Conception, Don Gaspar de Quixada.  According to some authors, the number of men in these five ships amounted to 237, though by most they are said to have been 250, among whom were thirty Portuguese, upon whom Magellan chiefly depended for naval skill; as he likewise did greatly upon Serrano, who had left the service of Portugal in like manner with himself, after having served for many years in India, and some time in the Moluccas, of which islands they were now going in search.


Proceedings of the Voyage from Seville to Patagonia, and wintering there.

Great hopes of success were entertained from this voyage, from the known experience of the commanders, although its real object was carefully concealed by Magellan, who merely gave out to the other adventurers that it was intended for the discovery of new countries, by which they believed themselves bound to the certain acquisition of gold.  They set sail from Seville, in high expectations of acquiring riches, on the 10th of August, 1519.  The 3d October, the fleet arrived between Cape Verd and the islands of that name.  After being detained by tedious calms on the coast of Guinea for seventy days, they at last got to the south of the line, and held on their course to the coast of Brazil, of which they came in sight in about the latitude of 23 deg.  S. They here procured abundant refreshments of fruits, sugar-canes, and several kinds of animals.

Proceeding about 2 1/2 degrees farther south, they came into a country inhabited by a wild sort of people, of prodigious stature, fierce and barbarous, and making a strange roaring noise, more like the bellowing of bulls, than human speech.  Notwithstanding their prodigious bulk, these people were so nimble that none of the Spaniards or Portuguese were swift enough to overtake them.  At this place there was a fine river of fresh water, the mouth of which was fully seventeen leagues wide, in which there were seven islands, the largest of which they named the island of St Mary, where they procured some jewels.[2] Proceeding along this coast towards the south, they fell in with two islands so abounding in seals and penguins, that they might have laden all their five ships with them in a short time.  The penguins are a black, heavy, unwieldy fowl, extremely fat, covered with a sort of down instead of feathers, and having a bill like that of a raven; drawing their entire subsistence from the sea, as fish is their only food.

[Footnote 2:  These jewels may possibly have been a few pearls.  The indications in the text are too vague to afford even a guess at the situation of the river and its seven islands; only it may be mentioned, that the most northern part of the coast of Patagonia is in lat. 38 deg.  S. and that no river answering the description in the test is to be found on all that coast—­E.]

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