The English translation used on the present occasion, and we know of no other or later edition, was made by Captain John Stevens, and published at London in 1695, in 3 vols. 8vo. dedicated to Catherine of Portugal, Queen Dowager of England. In his Preface, Mr Stevens informs the reader, that he had reduced the work to considerably less size than the Spanish original, yet without omitting any part of the history, or even abridging any material circumstances; having cut off long speeches, which were only added by the author as rhetorical flourishes, and omitted many tedious lists of the names of officers who were present at the principal actions, and extended reflections of the author which were only useful to increase the size of the work. In this account of the work by the translator, the Spanish is mentioned as the original. Indeed the Portuguese and Spanish original editions appear to have both appeared contemporaneously in 1666.
[Footnote 65: Bibl. Univ. des Voy. IV. 576.]
In the employment of Faria we have followed the example of Astleys Collection of Voyages and Travels, of which Mr John Green is said to have been the Editor. But although in that former Collection, published at London in 1745, an absolutely verbal and literal transcript is used so far as the Editor has been pleased to follow the translation of Stevens, many very curious and important particulars contained in that author are omitted, or slurred over by a hasty and careless abridgement. From where we take up Faria, in consequence of the loss of Castaneda, we have given his work nearly entire, only endeavouring to reduce the language of Captain Stevens to the modern standard, and occasionally using the freedom to arrange incidents a little more intelligibly, and to curtail a few trifling matters that seemed to possess no interest for modern readers. We have however availed ourselves of many valuable notes and illustrations of the text by the Editor of Astleys Collection, all of which will be found acknowledged and referred to in their proper places. And we have adopted from the same source some valuable additions to the text of Faria, intimately connected with the subject, which are likewise carefully acknowledged. Thus, like many former articles in this Collection, we trust that the present, as being greatly fuller, will be found more satisfactory and informing than any similar account in former Collections of Voyages and Travels.
After so considerable an interval employed on the Discoveries in America, it may be proper to remark that the former Account of the Discovery of the maritime route to India by the Cape of Good Hope, and the commencement of the Portuguese Conquests in the East, as contained in the Second Volume of this Work, Part II. Chap. VI. Sections I. to IX. pp. 292-505, comprises only a period of nine years, from the setting out of Vasco de Gama in July 1497,