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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 07 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 685 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 07.
one to another, “Doubtless the God of these men is greater than ours, for when they touch that little instrument it speaks, and when they touch it not it is silent.”  They took much delight in seeing the celebration of mass; and when the priest lifted up the holy bread, or host, I said unto them, “Behold the God of the Christians and of all the world.”  To which they answered, “You say truly, but we see him not.”  I repeat this that it may be seen how ignorant these people are.  Yet are they great sorcerers, and can enchant the most venomous serpents, so as to do no harm, though their venom is so powerful as to kill only by touching.  They are likewise of wonderful agility, and are astonishingly expert in vaulting, running, leaping, swimming, tumbling, walking on ropes, and such other feats of activity.

SECTION XII.

Navigation of the Author to Ethiopia, and return to Europe by Sea.

Those who engage to write any history, ought to keep in mind what they have promised, lest after all their pains and trouble they only reap shame and reproach.  Wherefore, having in the beginning of this performance engaged to write concerning the navigation of Ethiopia, I shall now make an end of my long travels and peregrinations, by a description of this voyage, in which I shall speak of such things as I saw by the way, on my return from India to my long wished-for country, along with the Portuguese.

Leaving India on the 7th of December[115], we directed our course to Ethiopia[116]; and having sailed across the great gulf we came to the island of Monzambrick, or Mozambique, which is under the dominion of the king of Portugal.  But before our arrival there, we saw many towns and fortresses by the way, belonging to the Portuguese, in the kingdoms of Melinda and Mombaza.  They have also some strong fortresses in Mozambique and Sofala.  Were I to enlarge upon the memorable deeds of the valiant Tristran de Cunna, on his return from India, I should enter upon a subject far beyond my powers, being such as would rather require the pen of a Homer or a Virgil:  For he invaded and subdued the great cities of Gogia, Pati, and Crava[117], and also the goodly island of Sacutara, [Socotoro,] where a fortress was erected by order of the king of Portugal.  I omit also to speak of many islands which we saw by the way, such as the island of Cumeris, or Curia Muria, and six others, which produce plenty of ginger, sugar, and other goodly fruits, and the most fruitful island of Penda, which is likewise subject to the Portuguese.

[Footnote 115:  Probably of the year 1508.—­E.]

[Footnote 116:  It is hardly necessary to remark, that the term Ethiopia is here applied to the western coast of Africa on the ocean.—­E.]

[Footnote 117:  The Gogia of the text is probably Oja, on the coast of Africa, 17 leagues from Melinda, and Pati may possibly be some corruption of Paniany, both of these places having been reduced by de Cunna.  Crava may be an error for Brava, on the western coast of Africa.—­E.]

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