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

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 664 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 10.

They next advanced to about the latitude of 49 deg. 30’ S. where they were forced to remain for five months, owing to the severity of the weather, it being now winter in these southern parts.  They here passed their time very unpleasantly, and for a long time believed the country to be uninhabited, but at length a savage came to visit them.  He was a brisk jolly fellow, very merrily disposed, and came towards them singing and dancing.  On coming to the shore of the haven in which the ships had taken refuge, he stood there for some time, throwing dust upon his head.  This being observed, some persons were sent ashore to him in a boat, and making similar signs of peace; and he came along with them on board, without any appearance of fear or hesitation.  The size and stature of this person was such as in some measure entitled him to be deemed a giant, the head of one of the ordinary-sized Spaniards only reaching to his waist, and he was proportionally large made.  His body was painted all over, having a stag’s horn delineated on each cheek, and large circles round the eyes.  The natural colour of his skin was yellow, and his hair was white.  His apparel consisted of the skin of a beast, clumsily sewed together, covering his whole body and limbs from head to foot.  The beast of which this was the skin, was as strange as the wearer, being neither mule, horse, nor camel, but partaking of all three, having the ears of a mule, the tail of a horse, and the body shaped like a camel.  The arms of this savage consisted of a stout bow, having for a string the gut or sinew of that strange beast; and the arrows were tipped with sharp stones, instead of iron heads.

The admiral made this man be presented with meat and drink, of which he readily partook, and seemed to enjoy himself very comfortably, till happening to see himself in a mirror which was given him among other toys, he was so frightened that he started back and overturned two of the men, and did not easily recover his composure.  This giant fared so well, that several others came to visit the ships, and one of them behaved with so much familiarity and good humour, that the Europeans were much pleased with him.  This person shewed them one of the beasts in the skins of which they were cloathed, from which the foregoing description must have been taken.[3] Being desirous to make prisoners of some of these giants, Magellan gave orders for this purpose to some of his crew.  Accordingly, while amusing them with toys, they put iron shackles on their legs, which at first they conceived had been fine ornaments like the rest, and seemed pleased with their jingling sound, till they found themselves hampered and betrayed.  They then fell a bellowing like bulls, and imploring the aid of Setebos in this extremity, whom they must therefore have conceived some good and compassionate being, as it is not to be conceived they would crave relief from an evil spirit.  Yet the voyagers reported strange things, of horrible forms and appearances frequently seen among these people, such as horned demons with long shaggy hair, throwing out fire before and behind:  But these seem mere dreams or fables.

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 10 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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