A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 08 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 754 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 08.

Before the letters of Adams, it seemed proper to give the following short notice of the earlier part of the voyage in which Adams went to Japan, as contained in the Pilgrims of Purchas, vol.  I. p. 78.—­E.

* * * * *

Sec. 1. Brief Relation of the Voyage of Sebalt de Wert to the Straits of Magellan.

In the year 1598, the following ships were fitted out at Amsterdam for a voyage to India:  The Hope, of 250 tons, admiral, with 136 persons; the Charity, of 160 tons, vice-admiral, with 110 men; the Faith, of 160 tons, and 109 men; the Fidelity, of 100 tons, and 86 men; and the Good News, of 75 tons, and 56 men; of which fleet Sir Jaques Mabu was general, and Simon de Cordes vice-admiral; the captains of the other three ships being Benninghen, Bockholt, and Sebalt de Wert.  Being furnished with all necessary provisions, they set sail on the 27th June, 1598.  After much difficulty, and little help at the Cape de Verd islands, where they lost their general, to whom Cordes succeeded, they were forced, by their pressing wants, and the wiles of the Portuguese, being severely infected with the scurvy in all their ships, to leave these islands, with the intention of going to the Isle of Anabon, in the gulf of Guinea, in lat. 1 deg. 40’ S. to make better provision of water, and other necessaries, and to refresh their men.  Falling in unexpectedly with the land, in about the lat. of 3 deg.  S. 120 miles before their reckoning, they determined to go to Cape Lope Gonsalves, driving a peddling trade with the negroes as they went along the coast.

Arriving at the bay of Cape Lope, the sick men were sent a-shore on the 10th November.  The 23d, a French sailor came aboard, who promised to procure them the favour of the negro king, to whom Captain Sebalt de Wert was sent.  This king was found on a throne hardly a foot high, having a lamb’s skin under his feet.  He was dressed in a coat of violet cloth, with tinsel lace, without shirt, shoes, or stockings, having a party-coloured cloth on his head, with many glass beads hanging from his neck, attended by his courtiers adorned with cocks feathers.  His palace was not comparable to a stable.  His provisions were brought to him by women, being a few roasted plantains and some smoke-dried fish, served in wooden vessels, with palm-wine, in such sparing measure, that Massinissa, and other renowned examples of temperance, might have been disciples to this negro monarch.  One time the Dutch captain regaled his majesty with some of the ship’s provisions; but he forgot all his temperance on being treated with Spanish wine, and had to be carried off mortal drunk.  Very little refreshment could be procured here.  They killed a boar and two buffaloes in the woods, and snared a few birds, besides buying some provisions from the negroes.  The worst of all was, as the scurvy subsided, they were afflicted with dangerous fevers.

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 08 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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