This may suffice to support the credit of the observations of latitude as made by Don Juan, till new and better ones can be made, which we are not to expect in haste, as European ships now seldom sail any farther into the Red Sea than Mokha or Zabid, for which reason this journal is the more to be prized. In other respects it is full of variety; and if some parts of it be dry and unamusing, these make amends by their usefulness to geographers and navigators, while other parts are calculated to instruct and give pleasure on other accounts.—Astley.
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So far the foregoing introduction is taken from Astleys collection. In our edition of the Journal of Don Juan de Castro, we have used the earliest known copy as given by Purchas, Vol. II. p. 1122-1148, under the title of A Rutter or Journal of Don John of Castro, of the Voyage which the Portugals made from India to Zoes, _&c. and here abbreviated. The original of which is reported to have been bought by_ Sir Walter Raleigh, at sixtie pounds, and by him caused to be done into English out of the Portugal.
Of this Journal Purchas gives the following account in a marginal note, which is inserted in his own words: “This voyage being occasioned by sending the Patriarch Bermudez to Ethiopia, and relating how that state decayed, invaded by the Moores, and embroiled with civil discontents, contayning also a more full intelligence of the Red Sea, than any other Rutter which I have seene, I have here added; and next to it, Bermudez own report, translated, it seemeth, by the same hand (not the most refined in his English phrase, which yet I durst not be too busie with, wanting the original) and reduced to our method; here and there amending, the English, which yet in part was done, as I thinke, and many marginall notes added, by Sir Walter Raleigh himselfe.”—In the present edition, while we have adhered closely to that of Purchas, with the assistance of that in Astleys Collection, we have endeavoured, little more busy than Purchas, to reduce the language to a more intelligible modern standard; and have divided it into Sections, in imitation of the editor of Astleys Collection of Voyages and Travels. On purpose to carry on the series of events, we have inserted as a necessary introduction, an account of the Portuguese Transactions in India, from the discontinuance of the siege of Diu and retreat of Solyman Pacha in November 1538, to the commencement of the expedition of Don Stefano de Gama to the Red Sea in December 1540, when the journal of Don Juan de Castro begins; which first section of this chapter is taken from the Portuguese Asia of De Faria.—E.
Portuguese Transactions in India, from the Siege Diu by the Turks, to the Expedition of Don Stefano de Gama to Suez.