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

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 655 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 08.
before, as related in the ninth section of this chapter, and went upon this voyage with Sir Edward Michelburne.  But it ought to have been called his third, and indeed it is actually so named in the table of contents of the Pilgrims; as, besides his first voyage along with the Dutch in 1594, he appears to have sailed in the first voyage instituted by the Company for India, in 1601, under Lancaster.  The editor of Astley’s Collection supposes this journal to have been written by the captain or master of one of the ships, from some expressions in the narrative; at all events, it was written by some person actually engaged in the voyage.  It is very singular that Sir Edward Michelburne, though a member of the first East India Company, and the fourth of the list in the original patent, should have set forth this voyage on private account.

[Footnote 65:  Purchas his Pilgrims, I. 192.  Astley, I. 306.]

We learn from the annals, of the India Company, that the lord-treasurer of England, in 1600, when the company was first instituted, proposed that Sir Edward Michelburne should be appointed to command the first fleet dispatched to India; but this was firmly declined, as will afterwards appear.  Sir Edward now commanded what may be called an interloping trading voyage to India, under a licence granted by James I. in absolute contravention of the exclusive privilege granted to the Company.—­E.

* * * * *

The 5th of December, 1604, we sailed from Cowes, in the Isle of Wight, and arrived in the road of Aratana, in the island of Teneriffe, on the 23d of that month.  During the whole night of the 14th January, 1605, we were troubled with excessive heat, thunder, lightning, and rain.  The 6th we passed the line, shaping our course for the isle of Noronha, with the wind at S.S.E., our course being S.S.W.  About three degrees south of the line, we met with incredible multitudes of fish; so that, with hooks and harping irons, we took so many dolphins, bonitos, and other fishes, that our men were quite weary with eating them.  There were likewise many fowls, called parharaboves and alcatrarzes.  We took many of the former, as it delights to come to a ship in the night-time, insomuch, that if you hold up your hand, they will light upon it.  The alcatrarze is a kind of hawk that lives on fish; for, when the bonitos and dolphins chase the flying fishes in the water till they are forced to take wing for safety, the alcatrarzes fly after them like hawks after partridges.  I have seen often so many of these flying fishes at one time in the air, that they appeared at a distance like a large flock of birds.  They are small fishes, hardly so large as a herring.

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