The Discovery of Guiana eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 119 pages of information about The Discovery of Guiana.
of gold for their redemption.  But I have chosen rather to bear the burden of poverty than reproach; and rather to endure a second travail, and the chances thereof, than to have defaced an enterprise of so great assurance, until I knew whether it pleased God to put a disposition in her princely and royal heart either to follow or forslow (neglect, decline, lose through sloth) the same.  I will therefore leave it to His ordinance that hath only power in all things; and do humbly pray that your honours will excuse such errors as, without the defence of art, overrun in every part the following discourse, in which I have neither studied phrase, form, nor fashion; that you will be pleased to esteem me as your own, though over dearly bought, and I shall ever remain ready to do you all honour and service.


Because there have been divers opinions conceived of the gold ore brought from Guiana, and for that an alderman of London and an officer of her Majesty’s mint hath given out that the same is of no price, I have thought good by the addition of these lines to give answer as well to the said malicious slander as to other objections.  It is true that while we abode at the island of Trinidad I was informed by an Indian that not far from the port where we anchored there were found certain mineral stones which they esteemed to be gold, and were thereunto persuaded the rather for that they had seen both English and Frenchmen gather and embark some quantities thereof.  Upon this likelihood I sent forty men, and gave order that each one should bring a stone of that mine, to make trial of the goodness; which being performed, I assured them at their return that the same was marcasite, and of no riches or value.  Notwithstanding, divers, trusting more to their own sense than to my opinion, kept of the said marcasite, and have tried thereof since my return, in divers places.  In Guiana itself I never saw marcasite; but all the rocks, mountains, all stones in the plains, woods, and by the rivers’ sides, are in effect thorough-shining, and appear marvellous rich; which, being tried to be no marcasite, are the true signs of rich minerals, but are no other than El madre del oro, as the Spaniards term them, which is the mother of gold, or, as it is said by others, the scum of gold.  Of divers sorts of these many of my company brought also into England, every one taking the fairest for the best, which is not general.  For mine own part, I did not countermand any man’s desire or opinion, and I could have afforded them little if I should have denied them the pleasing of their own fancies therein; but I was resolved that gold must be found either in grains, separate from the stone, as it is in most of the rivers in Guiana, or else in a kind of hard stone, which we call the white spar, of which I saw divers hills, and in sundry places, but had neither time nor men, nor instruments fit for labour.  Near unto one of the rivers I

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The Discovery of Guiana from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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