Story of Magellan
FIRST VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD
George /II. Uowle
T. NELSON AND SONS
London Etlinllbltrh, and FXn York
MAGELLAN performed a voyage far more difficult, perilous,
and uncertain than that of Vasco da Gama; and as an ex-
plorer of the ocean, he was not less persistent and dauntless.
As Vasco found the water-way to Asia around the Cape of
Good Hope, so Magellan, a little more than twenty years
after, discovered the route to the same mysterious continent,
by sailing westward instead of eastward, and by passing
through the stormy strait, at the extreme southern point of
the South American continent, which still perpetuates his
name and renown.
He crossed not only the Atlantic, but the Pacific also,
and bestowed its gentle name upon the latter ocean; and
one of his ships was the first to sail completely around the
globe, though Magellan did not himself live to assist in
achieving this great triumph of navigation.
Besides encountering the many perils of the sea, the har-
rowing hardships of famine, the terrible scourges of disease,
and threatened destruction by conspiracy and revolt, it was
Magellan's fate to engage in fierce conflicts with savage
tribes, and to meet with treachery at their hands, as well as
to receive from them honest welcome and bounteous hospi-
tality. No voyage, indeed, could be imagined into which
every feature of romance and adventure, of narrow escape
and brilliant achievement, could be more crowded than was
that of Magellan from the port of Cadiz to the island clus-
ters of Australasia.
Magellan's own character is well fitted to call forth the
young reader's admiration. It was his ambition, not to
enter upon a career of bloodshed and conquest, nor, mainly,
to acquire wealth, honours, or power for himself, but to
achieve for the civilized world the vast benefits which he
knew would follow the discovery of a route around the
American Continent, and to confer upon heathen barbarians
the blessings of what he devoutly believed to be the true
He was generous and noble in disposition; never wantonly
cruel; indulgent to and beloved by those whom he com-
manded; brave as a lion, and indomitable in perseverance
and tenacity of purpose; undismayed by any obstacle, how-
ever formidable; and resolute in subduing men and circum-
stances to the end he had in view; easily angered, but brief
in his anger; humane, considerate, and large-hearted.
The story of his famous expedition comprises one of the
most important as well as thrilling portions of the world's
history, and can scarcely fail to interest as well as inform
those who peruse it.
I. MAGELLAN GOES TO COURT, ... ... .. ... 7
II. MAGELLAN AT THE WARS, ... ... ... ... 17
III. MAGELLAN IN SPAIN, ... ...... ... ... 27
IV, PREPARATIONS FOR THE VOYAGE, ... ... ... 37
V. MAGELLAN CROSSES THE ATLANTIC, ... ... ... 47
VI. THE MUTINY, ... ... .. .. ... ... 57
VII. ADVENTURES WITH THE GIANTS, .. ... ... 66
VIII. MAGELLAN DISCOVERS THE STRAIT, ... ... ... 75
IX. CROSSING THE PACIFIC, ... .. ... ... ... 87
X. MAGELLAN AMONG THE MALAYS, ... ... ... 99
XI. ADVENTURES AT SEBU, ... ... ... ... ... 109
XII. THE BARBARIANS CONVERTED, ... ... ... ... 117
XIII. A HERO'S DEATH, ... ... ... ... 128
XIV. THE KING'S TREACHERY, ... ... ... 140
XV. ADVENTURES AT BORNEO, ... ... ... 150
XVI. DISCOVERY OF THE SPICE ISLANDS, ... ... ... 160
XVII. SAILING TOWARDS HOME, ... ... ... ... 169
XVIII. THE "VICTORIA" REACHES SPAIN, ... ... ... 177
MAGELLAN GOES TO COURT.
NOT far from a quaint, picturesque old town in northern
Portugal, called Villa Real, there lived, about the
year 1500, a nobleman named Magellan. Although an
Hidalgoo" (nobleman), and descended from a proud and
ancient family, Magellan was not rich, but kept up such
state and show as he could afford in the home of his ances-
tors, which was a curious-looking edifice, with a tower, mas-
sive walls, and battlements, and which became, in troublous
times, a fortress as well as a residence.
Here Magellan was wont to entertain the neighboring
hidalgos, to receive such distinguished captains, nobles, or
voyagers as wandered so far away from the capital, and to
lord it over the peasants who tilled the fields and vineyards
which stretched over the slopes of the not distant mountains,
and along the fertile banks of the pretty stream that flowed
between his estate and the town.
The pride of Magellan's heart was his son Fernan, who, at
the period that our story opens, was a vigorous young man
of twenty. It was the custom of those days, as now, for
MAGELLAN GOES TO COURT
the sons of European nobles to be brought up, not to any
useful or hard-working occupation, but in ease and luxury;
to be treated by their inferiors, even in earliest childhood,
with ceremonious respect; and to devote themselves freely
to vigorous sports and such pleasures as their neighbourhood
or their opportunities afforded. There were but two callings
which these young patricians usually thought worthy of their
adoption. They were not too proud to become soldiers, and
they were often glad to enter upon a political career as
courtiers or statesmen. At the time that Magellan lived,
indeed, a third calling was espoused by many young men of
high birth-that of following the sea as voyagers and dis-
coverers. But this pursuit was nearly akin to that of a
soldier. The voyager commanded his ships upon the ocean;
but as soon as he had landed on a strange shore, he buckled
on his armour, donned his helmet, drew his sword, and led
his men against the inhabitants.
Although the elder Magellan was not rich, young Fernan
had been reared amid surroundings of comfort, petted and
humoured by his fond father and equally doting mother,
waited upon obsequiously by the retainers of the house,
greeted with humble respect by the peasants and village-folk
wherever he made his appearance, and enjoying to the full
the rough pleasures which the wild country round afforded.
The broad valley where he dwelt was almost surrounded
by lofty and savage mountains clothed with vast, luxuriant
forests; while the slopes that descended from it to the
meadows along the river-bank were covered by thickly-
clustering vineyards, bearing the luscious purple grapes from
which the famous port wine is made.
Perhaps the chief pastime of Fernan's boyhood and youth
was the hunt. Among the mountains roamed the wild boar,
the forests were many of them peopled with deer, while of
MAGELLAN GOES TO COURT.
smaller game there was an abundance, so that the sportsman
need never despair of returning home with well-stocked game-
bag, and often found his burden-a deer or a boar-too heavy
to be carried without the aid of servants. It was Fernan's
delight to follow his hounds with a merry party of stalwart
youths like himself through the echoing mountain forests
and up the rugged banks of the sparkling river; to ride fran-
tically in pursuit of the wild game, and come to close quarters
with the fleet stags and tusk-gnashing boars; and to carry
home in triumph the trophies of his day's sport.
Sometimes he encountered even more formidable foes than
these; for the "Traz os Montes" near his home were then
infested by savage bands of brigands, who sought no richer
prizes than the noble youths who ventured in pursuit of
game too near their lairs. Fernan was as brave as a lion,
and liked nothing better than a battle with the murderous
robbers who now and then attacked him and his comrades.
He had early learned the use of arms, and was a good swords-
man and a skilful shot. More than once he was brought in
wounded from his struggles with the bandits; but he made
light of his injuries, and had no sooner recovered than he
plunged into the mountain wilds as fearlessly as before.
Not very many miles from the valley in which he dwelt
was Oporto, next to Lisbon the most important city in
Portugal. It is from this city that "port" wine takes its
name. Oporto is situated on the Atlantic, at the mouth of
a wide river. It is a quaint old place with narrow, zig-zag
streets, many ancient, lofty houses adorned in the showy
fashion of six or seven centuries ago, and possessing many
noble churches and other public buildings. Its harbour is
spacious, and to this day is picturesque with the ships of
In Fernan's time Oporto was even a busier place than it
MIAGELLAN GOES TO COURT.
now is. It was the resort of the nobility of all the country
round, and its gaieties and dissipations were only less brill-
iant than those of Lisbon itself. The round of social plea-
sures was kept up there with much state and ceremony,
while its trade, principally in wine, made the quays and the
region near them very crowded and busy.
It was the custom of Fernan's father to spend with his
family a portion of each year at Oporto, and there the young
man had many a taste of the pleasures of city life. As he
grew older he became more and more fond of visiting the
quays and of taking sails in the harbour. He made the
acquaintance of captains and sailors, and delighted to go on
board the caravels and study their arrangements and rigging,
and talk with the men about their adventures on the great
deep. He would sit for hours in some dark cabin and listen
breathlessly to the tales of perilous voyages, of disastrous
shipwrecks on strange coasts, and of desperate fights with
savages. He heard with beating heart about the wonderful
discoveries which were then being constantly made; about
the exploits of Columbus, the heroic discovery of the way to
India by his own countryman Vasco da Gama, and the quick
succeeding expeditions that now sailed between the Old and
the New World.
Of a bold, fearless, adventurous spirit, Fernan was soon
seized with an intense passion for the sea. As he stood on
the bustling quays of Oporto, and looked far out where
rolled the mighty waves of the Atlantic, he wished that he
too was a captain, and longed to try his fortune in strange
lands. The pastimes of his country home now seemed to
him dull and paltry. He said to himself that he was wasting
his life, and that, instead of hunting boars and fighting bri-
gands, he might be discovering new lands and winning re-
nown like that of Columbus and Da Gama. Even the
MAGELLAN GOES TO COURT.
exciting pleasures of the city, the bull-fights and mas-
querades, the tournaments and routs, began to pall upon
him, and he pined to go out into the world and see more of
men and countries.
One day, when he had been thinking more seriously than
usual about his present life, and yearning to change it for a
more stirring one, he sought his father in the hall of the
house, where the bluff old noble sat warming his heels before
a blazing log-fire.
As he approached, Magellan observed that the young
man's brows were knit, and that his face wore a serious and
What troubles you, Fernan? ".asked the hidalgo. "For
some time you have seemed distraught, as if something had
happened to perplex you. Sit here by me, son, and open
your heart to me."
Fernan did as he was bidden, and after a moment said,
"It is true, my father, that I am not content. I no longer
enjoy those pastimes and pleasures that were once my delight.
I thirst for adventure, for a stirring life by land and sea.
You see, sir, I am now a man; I would go forth into the
world and try my fortune."
"And that shall you, if you please !" said the old man.
"To be sure, Traz os Montes is but a dull place for one so
brave and ambitious as you, and even Oporto is but a narrow
field for your aspirations. You shall go to court, my lad,
and seek the favour of our good King Manuel. It will be
ill luck if he does not speedily find some exploit for you. I
warrant me, a stalwart youth like you will find merit in his
Fernan sprang joyfully to his feet, and seized and kissed
his father's hand. "You fill me with happiness, my father !"
he exclaimed. Nothing do I desire so much as to go to
IAGELLAN GOES TO COURT.
Lisbon and see the splendours of the court and take service
with the king. Think you, sir, that he will receive me in
his household? And may it be that I shall be sent ere long
on some glorious expedition of conquest and discovery ? I
long to ride the stormy billows, to match my prowess with
savage hosts, to win a name and power. When may I go
Shall it be soon, my lord ?"
"In what haste are you, Fernan, to leave home and kin-
dred !" replied the old man sorrowfully. "But you have an
impetuous soul, and mayhap nothing will content you but
to go forth into the world. King Manuel knows me, and
knows that he hath no more sturdy or loyal subject. I
doubt not, he will receive you on my petition. Go, then;
prepare with such haste as you please, and depart for Lisbon
as soon as you are ready."
It was with light, brisk step that Fernan, after thanking
his father with trembling voice for his goodness, left the
hall, and repaired to his own room in an upper story of
the house. A glow of high spirits already suffused his face,
but just now so long-drawn with discontent; and as he paced
up and down the floor, with a multitude of feverishly happy
thoughts rushing through his brain, his eyes kindled, and
his fists clenched in his excitement. Now and then he broke
out into some warlike ballad or some sailor's song, that he
had heard in the barracks or on the caravels at Oporto; and
then, becoming calmer, he would look around the room, to
see what he could carry with him to the royal court.
There were many preparations to make before he could
set out for Lisbon. In order to appear properly at court, a
young nobleman must have several suits of rich attire. He
must have tunics and trousers of velvet and silk, trimmed
with gold and silver lace; he must have slashed caps, with
high-nodding plumes; he must have a full suit of glistening
MAGELLAN GOES TO COURT.
armour, helmet, cuirass, buckler, and all; he must have an
ample supply of silk stockings, of velvet shoes and slippers,
and long top-boots; he must wear a sword, with chased and
jewelled hilt and scabbard; he must be supplied with arque-
buses and daggers and belts; and, not least, he must be pro-
vided with at least one high-mettled, thoroughbred steed, on
which to prance and gallop at the state shows and processions.
In providing himself with these things, Fernan now busied
himself absorbingly during his waking hours. Tailors stitched
away unceasingly on his fine new clothes; the hidalgo sent
to a distance and purchased a noble, milk-white horse, for
there were none in his stables fit for so momentous a use;
and ere many weeks Fernan found himself splendidly equipped
for his journey to Lisbon.
One bright morning there was a lively bustle in the court-
yard of his father's mansion at Villa Real. The hidalgo
himself, richly dressed, and surrounded by his wife, sons,
and daughters, stood on the broad steps that led from the
door to the paved court, while the servants were gathered
in groups below. Presently Fernan's white horse, with gay
trappings, was brought out; and then Fernan himself ap-
peared, very fine, in a brand-new suit, with plumed cap, and
a sword hanging at his side. With him were to go attend-
ants, who soon cantered in the courtyard on their steeds.
The moment of parting came; and Fernan, advancing to
his parents, knelt to receive their blessing, and was fondly
folded in their arms. He embraced in turn his brothers and
sisters, waved an adieu to the retainers of the household
who gathered to see him off, and, springing lightly upon his
horse's back, rode forth, followed by his attendants, on his
way to Lisbon.
It took several days to traverse the highways that led
from Villa Real to the capital of the kingdom. Fernan's
MAGELLAN GOES TO COURT.
journey was, however, through a smiling and fruitful country,
where the vineyards grew luxuriantly, and were just now
laden with luscious ripe grapes of many colours. At night
he put up at a wayside inn, where he occupied the best room
the house afforded, and regaled himself right merrily on the
ragouts and omelets which were served up to him smoking
hot, with his wine and biscuits. Everywhere he was re-
ceived with the honour due to his rank and his destined
position at court; nor did any accident befall him until, on
an autumn afternoon, his eyes were gladdened by the sight
of Lisbon in the distance.
On reaching the capital, and after taking quarters at a
hotel which stood not far from the royal palace, Fernan lost
no time in seeking an audience of King Manuel. This was
easy enough to obtain. Among the young courtiers Fernan
found several old friends from his own part of the country,
and they found no difficulty in introducing him to the royal
King Manuel was still youthful, and carried himself with
truly royal grace and dignity. His face was rather a stern
one, but bore upon it the impress of a grave and thoughtful
rather than an ill-natured character. Ambitious, and eager
to advance the glory and power of his realm, and to outvie
its rival, Spain, in the conquest and dominion of distant
lands, he was an ardent student, and employed his time
rather in serious affairs of state than in the frivolous gaieties
of court life.
The monarch was seated in the great hall of his palace,
surrounded by his courtiers and officers, when Fernan, ar-
rayed in his most brilliant suit, was ushered into his pres-
The son of the hidalgo Magellan is right welcome," said
King Manuel, as Fernan bowed low before him; "and it
MAGELLAN GOES TO COURT.
will please me togive him a place in my household." With
that, the king went on to inform Fernan that his duty would
be to attend the royal person, that he should have a certain
stipend every month with which to maintain himself, and
that he should be provided with an apartment in the palace.
In no long time Fernan had become completely accus-
tomed to court life. The fine dresses, the brilliant displays,
the balls and parties, the great dinners and imposing cere-
monies, for a while amused and distracted him. He en-
joyed the city, with its busy streets, its crowded roadstead,
its fine buildings, its gay life, and not less the companion-
ship of many young men of his own rank and age, with
whom he passed many a jolly and boisterous hour.
But his ambition was by no means satisfied by these pas-
times and pleasures. The court to him was only the high-
road to a more stirring and manly career. As he saw the
fleets of caravels sail out of the harbour, on their way to
newly-found lands in Africa, Asia, and America, he longed,
too, to traverse the seas, and seek the glories of combat and
the still nobler glories of discovery. Impatiently he watched
the preparations of his more lucky companions, who were
chosen to take part in these expeditions; he chafed under
the necessity by which, while they went forth in search of
adventures, he was still bound by his service to the king.
Meanwhile, he grew in the royal favour. King Manuel,
perceiving him to be more aspiring and more serious than
many of his fellow-courtiers, kept him about his own person,
and often engaged in conversation with him. Fernan at-
tracted the king's goodwill by the enthusiasm with which
he talked of the discoveries which had been made by the
Portuguese voyagers; and in his own mind the king soon
marked him out as one likely, in the not distant future, to
be of important service to the state. Had Don Manuel con-
MAGELLAN GOES TO COURT.
tinued to esteem Fernan so highly, he would have added one
more bright jewel to his crown, in the possession of the
famous strait, the discovery of which is to be described in
the following pages; but, unfortunately for Portugal, in the
course of time he took a dislike to the ambitious young man,
and Spain, instead of Portugal, reaped the benefit of his rare
MAGELLAN AT THE WARS.
F ERNAN had not been long at court when an event
occurred which threw Lisbon into excitement, and
which was destined to turn the current of Fernan's future
life. This was the return of the famous discoverer Vasco
da Gama from his second voyage to India.
The victories which Da Gama had gained, his successful
voyages to and from India, the splendid reception with
which he was welcomed home, the honours of nobility and
fortune that were showered upon him, the praises of him
that rang through Portugal, all excited Fernan's ambition,
and stimulated anew his longing to enter upon a career of
adventure. In no long time he made Vasco da Gama's ac-
quaintance, and was soon admitted to his intimacy; and
many an hour did the young man spend at Da Gama's house,
listening to the soul-stirring tales of his exploits by sea and
land. Da Gama told him of the marvellous riches of India;
of the customs of the people, and the struggles in which they
had engaged with the Portuguese; and in such glowing
colours described the romance of that distant land, the perils
which there awaited the Portuguese warriors, and the glories
which they might achieve, that Fernan burned to take part
in its further conquest.
MAGELLAN AT THE WARS.
There was then at the Portuguese court a brave and
enterprising captain, named Francisco d'Almeyda. He had
won renown at the famous siege of Granada, and in fighting
the Moors in Africa; and he was descended from one of the
noblest families of Portugal. King Manuel had no more
courageous or courtly subject.
Some time after Vasco da Gama's return, D'Almeyda was
chosen as the first viceroy or governor of India. So much
loved and trusted was he, that no sooner was his approaching
departure for the East announced, than a crowd of seekers
after adventure, of all ranks and conditions, flocked to him
and begged to be allowed to go with him.
D'Almeyda knew Fernan Magellan, whom he had long
been in the habit of meeting about the court. He had seen
more than one instance of his bravery, and was deeply im-
pressed with the restless ardour of his ambition. No sooner
did Fernan, therefore, appear before him, and eagerly ask
for a place under his command, than the viceroy freely prom-
ised him what he desired.
Fernan now set eagerly about his preparations for de-
parture. He besought and easily obtained the consent of
King Manuel; and finding that he had plenty of spare time
before D'Almeyda sailed, he employed it in revisiting his
home in Traz os Montes, to bid adieu to his parents, brothers,
and sisters, and take a last look at the familiar scenes of his
childhood. He was going a long way off, into the midst of
many dangers, and might never behold those beloved haunts
He was in the flower of young manhood, being about
twenty-five years of age, when, from the deck of the flag-
ship of D'Almeyda's fleet, he saw, with contending emotions,
the shores of Portugal growing dim and fading away in the
distance. He found himself at last a soldier, in a large and
MAGELLAN AT THE WARS.
well-appointed force; and he was impatient that the voyage
should be rapidly pursued, and that they should quickly
reach the scene of their future exploits.
No untoward mishap marked the progress of the fleet.
Gentle winds wafted it on its course; scarcely a gale assailed
it as it sped on, touching now at the Cape Verde Islands,
now at the pretty harbour at St. Helena, and at last near the
Cape of Good Hope.
D'Almeyda's first task was to secure Portuguese garrisons
at certain points on the East African coast, where, according
to the reports that had reached King Manuel, there was an
abundance of gold and other riches. Entering the harbour
of Quiloa, a town on the coast ruled over by a barbarian
king who was hostile to the Portuguese, he assailed, captured,
and plundered it. Fernan here had his first taste of the
excitements and dangers of battle; and side by side with his
noble commander, he fought with a headlong and lion-like
courage which at once marked him out as a hero among his
From Quiloa, where he built a fort, D'Almeyda went to
Mombaza, farther up the coast; and here, too, the Portu-
guese met with a stout resistance from the natives. These
natives had already had a taste of European warfare, for
some years before Vasco da Gama had attacked them. He
had, it seems, lost some of his cannon overboard. These the
natives had managed to haul up from the bottom of the sea;
and, somehow, they had learned how to use them; so that
when D'Almeyda assailed them, he was amazed to be wel-
comed with the roar of artillery. He succeeded, however,
after a desperate fight, in capturing Mombaza, where he
found an abundance of spoil; and he remained in this place
One morning, as Fernan was looking about him in this
MAGELLAN AT THE WARS.
strange African town, he was surprised to see, propped up
near the gate of the palace, a large iron anchor. On exam-
ining it further, he found that it had, without doubt, come
from Portugal. He hastened to report the discovery to
D'Almeyda; who, on questioning some of the natives,
learned that it was an anchor which Vasco da Gama had
lost in the harbour, and which had been hauled up, and by
order of the king placed at his palace gate as a curiosity.
The next place at which the fleet stopped was the friendly
town of Melinda, where Vasco da Gama had been welcomed
and treated with lavish hospitality. The old king, who had
shown him so much attention, was dead; but in his stead
ruled his son, who proved equally well-disposed toward the
Portuguese. D'Almeyda was received with cordial greeting,
visited the king in his flourishing city, and was allowed to
build a fort on the heights that rose above it.
All this time the fleet had been gradually drawing nearer
to India, its final destination; and on leaving Melinda, it
struck directly across the ocean, favoured by the trade-winds,
and after a rapid voyage reached Malabar.
Fernan, who had shown conspicuous bravery in all the
battles in which the Portuguese had been engaged with
the Africans, and had become a great favourite both with
D'Almeyda and with his fellow-soldiers, was delighted to see
at last the land of which he had heard so much, and where
he hoped to fight his way up to fame and fortune. He gazed
in wonder at the singular costumes of the natives, the gor-
geous turbans and tunics that adorned the persons of the
princes and great men, the bazaars full of rich cloths, fine
carvings, and luscious fruits, and marvelled at the luxurious
vegetation that crowned the hills and clustered in the val-
But he was soon called away from all this sight-seeing by
MAGELLAN AT THE WARS.
his duties as a soldier. He had not come merely to visit
a strange land, and idly observe its curiosities and customs.
There was stern work before him; and he cheerily obeyed
the summons that called upon him to follow his commander.
He served gallantly with D'Almeyda in his many attacks
upon the Indian chiefs and towns that still resisted the
Portuguese sway; went with him to Cochin and Cananore,
took part in the desperate siege of Coulam and that of Onor,
and engaged in many a fight with the Moors, who, jealous'of
the Portuguese, exerted their utmost energies to drive them
It happened that, after Fernan had been in India some
time, a famous Portuguese general, Alfonso de Albuquerque,
arrived with a large force, with the purpose of carrying the
conquests of Portugal still farther east. Albuquerque was
one of the greatest soldiers of his time. He had a noble
nature, was refined, generous, energetic, and as brave a man
as there was in the world. His soldiers idolized him, because,
though very stern when offended, he cheerfully shared their
hardships, and always led them in person. He had a plea-
sant, genial face, which was rendered yet more benign by
the long, snow-white beard that fell over his breast, almost
to his waist; his eye was bright and kindly, but in battle
was lit up with the fierce fire of his valour and enthusiasm;
his bearing was at once dignified and gracious.
To Albuquerque, Fernan was at once attracted; and as
D'Almeyda was now busy with the civil affairs of his vice-
royalty, and matters were, for the time, quiet in India, he
hastened to enlist under Albuquerque's standard.
Near the strait between the Indian Ocean and the Per-
sian Gulf lies an island, on which stood, and still stands, the
city of Ormuz. It is an old saying in the East that "the
world is a ring, and Ormuz is the gem set in it." At the
MAGELLAN AT THE WARS.
time of which we speak, Ormuz was, in consequence of its
position as commanding the strait between the two oceans,
one of the most important places in all Asia. Its harbour
was always full of the quaint craft of the Eastern waters;
Arabian, Moorish, Persian, Indian, Malay, Tartar, and
Armenian boats might have been seen crowded together in
its roadstead; while its markets teemed with the various
wares produced in the countries to which they belonged.
The city itself was alive with trade, its streets and squares
were spread over a wide area, and it possessed many stately
The Portuguese had long looked with covetous eyes upon
so fine a military position, and so rich an emporium; and
Albuquerque was resolved to add this "gem of the world"
to the crown of his royal master.
It was in September 1507 that he set sail, with a fleet of
seven ships and a force of less than five hundred men, to attack
a city which, he knew well, was defended by a large garrison
of Arabs and Persians. With Albuquerque went, his heart
aglow with excitement and hope, Fernan Magellan. There
was not a soldier in the little army that looked forward
more cheerily than he to what was nothing less than a reck-
lessly audacious enterprise. His experience in war made
him confident of his prowess; and he longed to meet foemen,
like the Persians and Arabs, more worthy of the steel of
Portuguese cavaliers than the African barbarians and the
In due time the fleet arrived off the busy harbour of
Ormuz, and Albuquerque hastened to attack the ships
which defended it. One by one the native ships, riddled by
Albuquerque's cannon, sank beneath the waves; the town
itself was set on fire; and soon a message came from the
grand vizier, that he would yield to the Portuguese, acknow-
MAGELLAN AT THE WARS.
ledge King Manuel as the lord of Ormuz, allow a fort to be
built, and pay a large tribute. Content with this submission,
Albuquerque sailed back to India again.
But when he had gone, the vizier (who was reigning as
regent in Ormuz during the infancy of its prince) refused to
fulfil his pledges, and the next year Albuquerque again at-
tacked the city. This time he was badly repulsed, and was
at last forced to give up the purpose of capturing it.
In these conflicts young Fernan took an eager and gallant
part. More than once he fell seriously wounded, but as soon
as his wounds were dressed, he was up again, fighting with
all his might; and soon was known throughout India as one
of the bravest captains in the Portuguese camp.
He went on many of the expeditions that were undertaken
by Albuquerque and other generals, everywhere displaying
conspicuous valour and military skill; and he at the same time
made himself beloved by his fellow-soldiers, by sharing their
dangers and hardships, and devoting himself heart and soul
to their welfare.
On one occasion, a small fleet was sent by Albuquerque
from Cochin back to Portugal, and two ships, one of them
commanded by Magellan, were despatched to convey this
fleet into the open sea. These two ships set out towards
night, but had not proceeded far when, in the darkness,
they both struck on the shoals of Padua, remaining aground,
and upright on their keels. It was a situation of great peril,
for the ships were likely to break up and founder at any
moment. In all haste the boats were got out, and a great
clamour now arose among the men as to who should return
in them to the mainland.
At this critical juncture, Magellan displayed the true
nobility of his nature. Although, as an officer, he was en-
titled to return in the boats, he resolutely refused to do so.
MAGELLAN AT THE WARS.
He declared that he would remain with the men, while the
rest of the officers went back; and he went around among the
sailors, exhorting them to stand by the ships as long as they
remained above water.
His example put to shame those who had been clamouring
to return to the mainland, and his cheery words turned their
terror into confidence.
He happened, just as one of the boats, full of its human
freight, was about to pull away to the shore, to step into it
for a moment, to speak to its captain. One of the sailors,
alarmed at this, cried out to him,-
"Sir, did you not promise to stay with us ?"
"Yes," shouted back Magellan; "and see, I am coming !"
with which he climbed back upon the stranded ship again,
and took his place among those who were to stay by the
The boats having departed, Magellan set vigorously to
work to save the ships and their cargoes. He ordered
shores to be set with the yards on each side of the vessels,
their sides to be raised as well as possible, and biscuits and
water to be put within. These tasks done, Magellan saw to
it that the men committed no robberies, and completely won
their confidence by the promptness and vigour of his measures.
In this dangerous situation the crew remained for a week;
when some caravels, sent out to succour them, arrived, took
them on board, and transferred so much of the cargoes as
remained uninjured by the salt water. The stranded ships
were then burned, and Magellan and his companions returned
safely to Cochin.
Soon after this Magellan committed an act which not only
deprived him of the affection of Albuquerque, but had a very
important influence on his future career. He was now one of
the most distinguished of the Portuguese captains in Portugal,
JIAGELLAN AT THE WARS.
and was called into the councils of the viceroy and the
generals, to take part in the decisions which those councils
Albuquerque was anxious to make an attack on a town
called Goa, which was situated on an island just off the coast
of India. It had a good harbour, and was one of the chief
trading-places on the coast. He therefore called a council
of war, and proposed his project to the assembled chiefs.
Among these was Magellan. On hearing the general's plan,
he was bold enough to oppose it. He reminded Albuquerque
that the winds were now contrary, and that if the ships were
taken to Goa they could not return that year to Portugal;
and did his utmost to dissuade the general from the expedition.
Magellan's opposition did not please Albuquerque, who,
though not an unamiable man, was impatient of contradic-
tion. He declared that in spite of what Magellan said he
should go to Goa with such ships as he had and such men
as chose to go with him, and he accordingly sailed out of
Cochin with twenty-one vessels and sixteen hundred soldiers
to execute his purpose.
Having thus displeased the old warrior under whose lead
he had fought so long and well, Magellan found himself out
of service in India. But he could not rest idle. His am-
bition still stirred him to attempt deeds of daring, to share
the thrilling perils of the camp and field.
Besides alienating the goodwill of Albuquerque, he had
lost nearly all the property he had acquired during his
residence in India, and to continue his military life was not
only a satisfaction but a necessity.
He accordingly turned his eyes to another part of the
world, where the Portuguese were contending for dominion,
just as they were in India. They had long engaged in fierce
wars with the Moors, and had managed to secure some foot-
MAGELLAN AT THE WARS.
hold in Marocco. Thither Magellan, pining for active ser-
vice, wended his way, and soon found himself in command
of some Portuguese troops at a settlement called Azamor.
Here he engaged in almost continual conflicts with the Moors
and Arabs, who struggled fiercely against the European in-
truders upon African soil.
Magellan would sally out from the town at the head of a
body of his brave troopers and recklessly assail the Arab
camps that threatened to attack it. He rode or marched at
the head of his soldiers, and was the first to fire at or cut
down with sword the swarthy foes who rushed out to meet
In one of these rash sallies Magellan fell hotly upon an
Arab camp, and was dealing herculean blows right and left,
when a poisoned javelin, hurled from the midst of the enemy,
entered his leg. He had so often been wounded before that
he made light of the circumstance, but on being carried back
to Azamor, it was found that the wound was a serious one.
The skill of the surgeons soon restored him to health, but
from that day till his death Magellan was lame.
Magellan, through all the exciting events in which he had
taken part since leaving the royal court at Lisbon, had never
lost sight of the chief ambition and desire of his youth. This
was to win the laurels of a great discoverer, and to leave his
name renowned in history, as were those of Columbus and
Vasco da Gama. He had now seen much service, and felt
that there was little glory to be gained in the petty wars
with the Moors, and he became impatient to enter upon
some long and hazardous voyage, and search the strange and
obscure regions of the world.
He therefore repaired to Lisbon to entreat King Manuel
to fit up and give him the command of an expedition of dis-
MAGELLAN IN SPAIN
M AGELLAN approached the capital of his native land
with much misgiving. He knew but too well that
King Manuel no longer looked upon him with the favour he
once had done, in spite of his heroic service in India and
Africa. His resistance to Albuquerque's plans had been
reported to the court, and had deeply offended the king.
Moreover, when Magellan, finding his stipend too little to
support him, had petitioned the king to increase it, the
request had been curtly refused.
Yet he was resolved not to waste his years in fighting
against the Moors. He had heard from one of his most
intimate friends, an energetic voyager named Francisco Ser-
rano, of the delights and riches of the famous Molucca
Islands in the Eastern seas; and after deep study of the rude
maps which then existed, Magellan came to the conclusion
that those islands might be reached by sailing, not southward
and eastward, by the Cape of Good Hope and around India,
but westward, across the Atlantic.
If this were only possible to be done, he who should suc-
ceed in doing it would win renown rivalling that of Vasco
da Gama himself; and Magellan made up his mind that at
all hazards he would attempt it.
MAGELLAN IN SPAIN.
On reaching Lisbon he lost no time in seeking an audience
of King Manuel. But the king, having now imbibed a
violent prejudice against his brave officer, at first refused to
see him at all, and Magellan's heart sank within him.
One day, however, he received a summons to appear in
the royal presence. Determined to make the best of circum-
stances, Magellan donned a rich suit of velvet, put on a
handsome cap adorned with plumes, and taking his hand-
somest sword from the wall buckled it about his waist.
Then with haughty carriage, for even before majesty itself
he would bear himself proudly, he entered the audience
chamber, and advanced with a slight limp in his gait to
where the king sat upon his throne, surrounded by his
King Manuel glanced at him coldly, and a frown gathered
on his face.
"Well, sir," said he sternly, "why have you left your
post in Africa to come hither ? What petition do you desire
to make ?"
"I have come, your majesty," replied Magellan, bowing,
"to ask for an employment higher and more perilous and of
greater benefit to your throne than that in which I have
been engaged. I pray you to reflect, sire, that I have been
of some service to the state. My wounds, that I bear on
every part of my body, attest it. I seek a wider field of
service to your majesty."
Magellan," was the royal retort, you caused sore trouble
in India when you obstinately opposed the projects of my
good general Albuquerque, and incited the captains to refuse
to go with him; you have demanded of me a larger stipend
than you deserve; and you have left your post to come
hither on some fool's errand. What do you wish?"
"The king is not just to me," boldly declared the cavalier;
MAGELLAN IN SPAIN.
"but I will not dare reproach him. Sire, my wish is to
command an expedition of discovery. I would seek a new
and shorter way, by sailing westward, to the islands of the
"It is folly," said the king; "I will not permit you to
attempt it. Retire, Magellan. You have provoked my
displeasure by leaving your post. Return to it, sir, and be
thankful that you are not punished for your conduct."
With bowed head and countenance deadly pale with in-
dignation and disappointment, Magellan slowly passed out
of the hall into the corridor of the palace. Overcome with
sad emotion, he leaned against one of the pillars, and almost
sobbed in his intense grief. Thus were all his bright hopes
dashed, thus all his bright dreams of adventure and fame
As he lingered in the corridor, a tall, stalwart man, with
black beard that swept down to his girdle, his body enveloped
in a long black gown, and his head covered with a black
velvet skull-cap, approached and gently laid his hand upon
the cavalier's shoulder.
"Be of good cheer, Magellan," said he in a low, sym-
pathetic voice. "Thero are other kings in Christendom
besides King Manuel, and other stout and goodly caravels
than those of Portugal. All is not lost because your petition
is rejected. You have been severely treated; but if King
Manuel blindly refuses to perceive your genius, there are
those who will."
"What mean you, my friend ?" asked Magellan, looking
up with a bright glance in his eyes, for the other's words
gave him a world of encouragement and comfort; "what
career is open to me besides that which King Manuel re-
"Why, that which his rival, King Charles, will open to
.MAGELLAN IN SPAIN.
you. Know you not that the Spanish king is ambitious,
and is jealous of the triumphs of Portugal on the sea and
her conquests in distant lands ? "
"What, Faleiro," exclaimed Magellan, "would you have
me desert my native land and my sovereign to seek a foreign
"Nothing is more common," replied the other. "Here
your service is disdainfully rejected. To stay is to spend
your life in stupid skirmishes with Moors and Arabs, to live
on a miserable pittance. If King Manuel will have none of
you, in what are you bound to him ?"
Faleiro's words sank deep into Magellan's heart. They
revived his faltering hopes, and opened before him a new
prospect, just as that which had so much allured him seemed
closed for ever. His soul smarted under the sharp reproofs
and abrupt refusal of King Manuel; his pride was wounded
to the quick; his nature revolted from humble submission
to the disgrace of being thus publicly and scornfully repelled.
Taking Faleiro's arm, he walked with him slowly out of
the palace toward his friend's lodgings.
This Faleiro was an astrologer, and professed to read the
future in the stars and signs of the heavens. Astrologers in
those days were held in great honour and reverence in Spain
and Portugal, and even the wisest men lent an eager ear to
their prophecies. So it was that Faleiro was highly esteemed
at King Manuel's court. It was there that he had learned
to love the impetuous and warm-hearted Magellan; and as
he himself had a taste for travel and adventures, they soon
became very intimate.
The astrologer had heard with both sorrow and anger the
king's harsh words to Magellan, and he now devoted himself
to reviving the downcast spirits of his friend.
They soon reached Faleiro's abode. It was a plain, some-
MAGELLAN IN SPAIN.
what gloomy building, and this impression was increased
when one entered the dark apartment where the astrologer
pursued his mysterious studies.
The unpainted walls were hung with astronomical charts,
and strange pictures representing various aspects of the
firmament; while on the long tables that lined the room
were globes, telescopes, and other instruments used by
Faleiro in his nightly tasks. A plain table occupied the
centre, and to this two high-backed chairs were drawn.
It being now dusk, Faleiro lighted a taper, which spread
a dim light through the apartment; and motioning to
Magellan to sit in one chair, himself took possession of the
"The present is dark to you, dear Fernan," he said; "it
seems to you, does it not, as if no bright future were in store
"Do you bid me hope," was Magellan's reply, "for better
"I do. You know that I have cast your horoscope, and
have predicted for you a great and glorious career. In your
own land you have nothing to hope for. Go, therefore, to
Spain ; the king will recognize your merits, and, no doubt,
will give you a fleet. If you will go, Fernan, I will go with
you. I, too, long to brave the ocean's perils, to search out
new countries. We will seek our fortune on the deep to-
His friend's declaration that he would go with him decided
Magellan. He no longer hesitated, but said that he would
lose no time in preparing to change his allegiance from Don
Manuel to King Charles. It was late at night when the
friends parted with warm embraces. Magellan hastened to
his lodgings, and tossed all night on his bed, agitated by the
new project that filled his mind. The more he thought of it,
MAGELLAN IN SPAIN.
the more firmly fixed became his resolve to leave the service
of his ungrateful sovereign, and to become a subject of the
King of Spain. As Faleiro had said, it was no uncommon
thing then (nor is it now) for a man to thus transfer his citi-
zenship and adopt another country than that in which he
had been born; and Magellan certainly had the strongest
reason to abandon his allegiance to King Manuel.
There was another reason, of which he had said nothing
to Faleiro, why the project of going to Spain pleased him.
At Seville lived a cousin of his, named Don Diego Barbosa.
This Barbosa was a man of much wealth and importance
and although a Portuguese, had risen to be mayor of the
ancient Spanish city. He lived in a grand house there,
and gave splendid entertainments, and lived in sumptuous
Before Barbosa had moved from Lisbon to Seville, young
Magellan had been in the habit of visiting familiarly at his
house. He had been received, being a relation, as one of the
family, and many of the pleasantest hours of his early
sojourn at court were spent at his cousin Barbosa's.
Of one member of the family Magellan became especially
fond. This was Barbosa's lovely young daughter, Beatrix.
She was tall and slight, with long, rich, raven ringlets,
melting brown eyes, and gentle and graceful bearing. No
wonder that the young courtier was dazzled by her beauty,
or that she, in return, was pleased with the fine cavalier who
cast upon her so many soft, appealing glances.
When Barbosa, carrying away the fair Beatrix, repaired
to Seville to live, Magellan was very much cast down. But
soon after, he had sailed for India, and his grief at losing
sight of his lovely cousin was softened amid the stirring
scenes which absorbed his mind in the East.
Now he was himself going to Spain, and would not fail to
MAGELLAN IN SPAIN
visit Seville. Then, if Beatrix were still free, he would
revive his courtship, and win her if he could.
In no long time the two friends had made their prepara-
tions for departure. Magellan resigned his commission as
an officer in King Manuel's army, and without taking the
trouble to make his appearance again at a court where he
had been so rudely and publicly disgraced, set out on horse-
back with Faleiro for Seville.
The journey was a long one, but the travellers were not
pressed for time, and made merry on their bright prospects
as they went. Fortunately, they had a good supply of
money, and were attended by two faithful servants, who
went fully armed, lest the party should be attacked by the
It was mid-autumn, and nature was brilliant with the fast-
changing foliage of the dense forests of Southern Portugal
and Spain. Everywhere in the vineyards the grape-pickers,
of all ages and both sexes, were busily at work, gathering
the full-ripe harvest; while ever and anon the travellers
came upon the yards where, in rude stone troughs, the
peasants were busy treading and pressing the grapes, the
juice of which ran out, in gushing streams, into the big tubs
set below. Magellan and Faleiro often stopped to pass a
merry word with the toilers, and to drink the new-made
wine, as they sat at the tables in front of the cozy wayside
They reached Seville without mishap, and repaired at once
to a large hostelry, which stood in one of the public squares.
Magellan's heart beat high as he thought that, not far off,
lived Beatrix, all unconscious that he was so near. A
hundred doubts and misgivings passed through his excited
mind. Perhaps she was already married; perhaps she had
entirely forgotten him; perhaps, true to her love, but de-
MAGELLAN IN SPAIN.
spairing of his, she had retired to a convent and become a
nun. Many years had passed since he had seen her, and,
instead of the slim, shy girl of fourteen that he so tenderly
remembered, she must now be a stately and mature woman
Eager as he was, however, to see her and learn his fate,
his thoughts were not entirely absorbed by the gentle Bea-
trix. He reflected with a thrill that he was now in the ter-
ritory of the warlike and ambitious King of Spain; that he
was within a step of those famous quays of Seville whence
so many gallant expeditions had sailed in search of discovery,
and where, even now, fleets of caravels lay at anchor, ready
to make their ventures upon the ocean. Magellan longed to
stroll along the quays, and to talk with the rough captains
about their expected voyages.
Arrayed in his gayest attire, Magellan set out the next
day to make known his presence in Seville to his cousin,
Diego Barbosa. He approached the spacious mansion with
fluttering heart, and his hand trembled as he knocked upon
its lofty portal.
Don Diego received him with the warmest welcome. He
had heard with pride of Magellan's exploits in India and
Africa, and was delighted to learn that he now proposed to
enter King Charles's service. He bade Magellan make his
house his home, and ordered the best that his well-stocked
larder afforded to be set before the new-comer.
To Magellan's anxious inquiries for Beatrix, Don Diego
replied that she was at home and well, and that he should
presently judge how she was for himself.
He had, indeed, scarcely finished the bounteous meal
which his cousin had caused to be set before him, when Bea-
trix entered. She had grown, as he supposed, to be a charm-
ing and graceful woman; and to his joy he perceived that
MAGELLAN [N SPAIN.
she welcomed him with the same blushing warmth that she
used to do. It was a moment of rare delight to the lovers
when they found that, after so long a separation, each re-
tained the old affection for the other.
Magellan at once took up his quarters at Don Diego's,
and made up for the lost time in his eager courtship of Bea-
trix. Her father, far from being averse to this state of
things, encouraged it; and ere long Magellan had pleaded for
and won the hand of his fair cousin, with the don's full con-
sent and blessing.
While his friend was thus revelling in the delights of
happy love, Faleiro busied himself with the errand on which
he had come to Spain. He made the acquaintance of many
captains, and sought for some time in vain for an oppor-
tunity to lay their projects before the king. Meanwhile, he
petitioned to the Council of India, a body of grandees who
had charge of the Spanish possessions and discoveries in the
East, to accept their services, and send them on an expedi-
tion to find the way by a westward route to the Molucca
Four months after their arrival at Seville, Magellan and
Faleiro set out for Valladolid, where the royal court was
sojourning. They were attended by a large retinue of serv-
ants, provided for them by the good Don Diego; and as
they passed along the highway between Seville and Valla-
dolid, they met many cavalcades passing to and from the
court. The Spanish knights who met Magellan greeted him
with respect and honour, for his fame had reached King
Charles's dominions, and it had gradually been whispered
abroad that he was about to enter the Spanish service.
On reaching Valladolid, they found, to their disappoint-
ment, that the king was away in the north on a hunting
expedition; but they were reassured by the favourable re-
36 -IL'. I. L .V IN SPAIN.
ception with which Fonseca, the President of the Council of
India, welcomed them at court.
They lost no time in laying their plans before this great
man. He listened incredulously, and when Magellan, with
earnest voice and excited gestures, tried to show him, by a
chart, how it was as possible to pass around the South Amer-
ican Continent as it had been for Vasco da Gama to double
the Cape of Good Hope, he smilingly shook his head. Fon-
seca, however, promised that as soon as the king returned
he would secure an audience for the two Portuguese; and
they waited impatiently until Charles should be surfeited
with his hunting, and should reappear in the midst of his
PREPARATIONS FOR THE VOYAGE.
K ING CHARLES of Spain, at the time that Magellan
sought him at Valladolid, was scarcely more than a
boy in years; but already he betrayed the bold and ambi-
tious traits which were to make him famous when after-
wards, as the Emperor Charles the Fifth of Germany, he
engaged in the great wars with France.
At the age of eighteen, though beardless, slight and short
in form, with a head of thick, stubby, yellow hair, and the
large jaw of the royal house of Castile, there was something
in his presence and bearing that was not only kingly, but
that inspired all who approached him with a respect which
was as much a tribute to his character as to his rank.
Charles was especially earnest in his desire to maintain
and increase the renown of Spain as the discoverer and con-
queror of distant lands. He was proud of the noble tradi-
tions of Ferdinand and Isabella, his grandfather and grand-
mother; rejoiced to remember that it was by their help that
Columbus was enabled to find a new continent beyond the
Atlantic; and was deeply jealous of the triumphs of his
neighbours, the Portuguese, in their conquests in India and
on the African coast.
When Magellan and Faleiro, therefore, were ushered into
38 PREPARATIONS FOR THE VOYAGE.
his presence, the king was prepared to give them a hearty
welcome, and to listen with attentive ear to what they said.
In presence of the Spanish court, Magellan unfolded his
project in an earnest and eloquent speech. He described to
the king the discoveries already made in America, and de-
clared that, if he were only permitted to make the attempt,
he had no doubt of being able to find a passage around the
newly-discovered continent. His enthusiasm at once in-
spired King Charles with confidence in him, and his words,
describing in glowing terms the increased wealth and power
which would come to the Spanish crown if his proposed voy-
age were successful, aroused all Charles's eager ambition.
On being dismissed from the royal presence, Magellan and
Faleiro returned to their lodgings to await, in anxious sus-
pense, the king's decision. His gracious bearing towards
them led them to hope that he would grant their wishes; nor
was this hope disappointed.
A few days after, they received a summons to appear
before Fonseca, the President of the Council of India; and
when they entered his apartment, he welcomed them with a
cordiality which augured well for their project. His words
soon relieved them of all doubt.
"The king," he said, "has well considered what you said
to him, and has consulted his grandees and counsellors upon
the matter. He decides to consent to your desires; to fur-
nish you with a fleet, of which you, Magellan, are to have
command; and trusting in your loyalty, he will provide
you with the men and materials necessary for your expedi-
The friends embraced each other in their joy, and warmly
expressed their gratitude to Fonseca. Once more Magellan's
heart beat with proud and ambitious anticipation. The
chief longing of his life was about to be gratified. He
PREPARATIONS FOR THE VOYAGE.
would at last traverse the ocean, and search for the passage
the existence of which had been a deeply-seated belief in his
Full of exultation he despatched a messenger with a letter
for his beloved Beatrix at Seville, which apprised her of his
glorious success at court; and then, with Faleiro, cheerily set
to work preparing for the expedition that had so long filled
King Charles was as good as his word. He agreed to fit
out five sound and sturdy ships, and to man them with two
hundred and fifty able seamen, who should be paid, for a
period of two years, out of the royal treasury of Spain. He
promised Magellan that, if he succeeded in discovering the
desired passage, no other Spanish seaman should go through
it for ten years; that he should have command of the fleet
as its admiral, and be the governor of all the lands that he
The king further agreed that Magellan should have a
twentieth part of all the revenues from these lands which the
Spanish treasury received; that he should be allowed to send
cargoes of spices to Spain every year, to the value of one
thousand ducats, a fifth of which he should have for himself;
and that, of the islands he should discover, after the king had
chosen six, he should have as his own the seventh and eighth.
Thus, if the voyage were only successful, Magellan would
not only win great fame, but become speedily a rich man;
for the islands in the seas to which he hoped to penetrate
were well-known to be teeming with precious spices and
other valuable productions.
But Magellan's path was not yet an altogether smooth one.
Many Spanish courtiers and captains became jealous of the
foreigner's success with the king, and whispered suspicions
into the royal ear. It was an outrage, they said, for a Por-
40 PREPARATIONS FOR THE VOYAGE.
tuguese to be put in command of a Spanish fleet, and to reap
the hofiours due to the faithful subjects of the crown. There
were many Spaniards, they declared, who were as able and
as eager as Magellan to undertake the voyage, and this task
should have been confided to them.
These courtiers were not the only enemies Magellan had
to face. King Manuel, on hearing of the success of his dis-
carded soldier, became very much excited, and resolved, if
possible, to stop the expedition. He began to see that he
had made a great blunder in treating Magellan so rudely
and in haughtily rejecting his offer of service, and feared
lest, after all, the King of Spain should reap the benefits
which he himself might have received, had he been less ob-
durate, from _'I, !l-! '. zeal and genius.
At the Spanish court was a great Portuguese noble, named
Alvaro da Costa, who was King Manuel's ambassador. To
him King Manuel sent word to do everything in his power
to prevent Magellan's expedition from setting out. Da
Costa was very anxious to please his master, for he hoped
for promotion if lie served him well. He lost no time in
undertaking the task now imposed upon him, and resolved
that, at all hazards, Magellan should not sail if he could
possibly help it.
The first thing he did was to appeal to King C'iiI. ., and
implore him to withdraw his promises. He told the king
that if he allowed Magellan to go, he would mortally offend
the Portuguese monarch. But this did not move King
Charles, who stood stoutly by his word to Magellan; and in
this he was encouraged by the good Bishop of Burgos, who
was one of Magellan's warmest friends.
Failing to persuade the king, Da Costa next tried with all
his might to prevail on Magellan himself to give up his ex-
PREPARATIONS FOR THE VOYAGE.
Magellan had now returned to Seville, where he was busy
making his preparations for departure, and also for his mar-
riage; for he was eager to make his dear Beatrix his wife
before he went.
One day, as he was absorbed in packing some baskets and
boxes of provisions and clothing at his lodgings, he heard a
loud knock at his door, and Sebastian Alvarez, King Manuel's
agent in Seville, an old acquaintance of Magellan's, entered
Magellan greeted him cordially, and asked him to be
seated; whereupon Alvarez began to try to persuade him to
give up his expedition.
"The road you are going on," he said, "has as many
dangers as St. Catherine's wheel, and you ought to leave it
and take the straight road. In doing what you propose, you
will mortally offend your liege lord, King Manuel, who will
set you down as a traitor."
"Not justly," was Magellan's reply, "for I hope by my
discoveries to shed lustre on our name and do honour to the
Portuguese crown. If I should go back to Portugal, there
would be nothing left for me but the seven ells of serge and
the beads of acorns of a hermit."
"Nay, if you obey the king, he will do you honour; if
not, you must suffer his vengeance."
But Magellan could not be dissuaded from his purpose,
and Alvarez was forced to leave him in despair and report
his ill-success to King Manuel. Then Da Costa, the am-
bassador, concocted still darker schemes against Magellan.
Resolved to prevent his departure at all hazards, he plotted
to have him killed. He secretly hired an assassin, who one
night fell upon Magellan in one of the by-streets of Seville.
But the young cavalier, though lame, proved more than a
match for his dastardly assailant. As the latter was about
42 PREPARATIONS FOR THE VOYAGE.
to plunge a dagger in his breast, Magellan whirled around,
drew his sword quick as a flash, and dealt the fellow a fright-
ful blow across the face, and drove him, howling with pain,
into the darkness.
Failing in this cowardly crime, Da Costa sent his agents to
Seville, to stir up the common people against his country-
man. They went about among the inns and wine-shops, and
told the Spaniards they were fools to submit to it that a
foreigner should command a Spanish fleet; and so excited
them, that one day, as Magellan was passing along the street,
he was attacked by a furious mob. He made haste to enter
the house of a friend, which fortunately stood near by, and
thus escaped being pelted to death.
He was so happy just at this time, however, that these
attempts upon his life were forgotten almost as soon as they
were made; for the day rapidly approached when he would
lead his fair Beatrix to the altar and claim her for ever as
his own. The preparations for this event were carried
forward in all haste, and for weeks the spacious mansion of
Don Diego Barbosa was full of bustle and excitement.
It was on a fresh, crisp, winter's day that the bridal pro-
cession wended its way to the stately and beautiful cathedral
of Seville. There was Magellan, attended by his own faith-
ful friend Faleiro, and a gay crowd of young nobles and sol-
diers, arrayed in his handsomest suit of velvet, silk, and gold
lace, and with a face beaming with proud pleasure. There
was the bride, in her splendid wedding robe, surrounded by
a sparkling bevy of dark Spanish beauties. There was the
bluff old cavalier, Don Diego, in his official dress as mayor
of the city, looking delighted and happy. And there at the
high altar, stood the Bishop of Seville, in cope and mitre,
ready to perform the solemn rites which should make the
happy couple one.
PREPARATIONS FOR THE VOYAGE.
The arches of the great cathedral resounded with the
organ and the sacred chant; bride and bridegroom ap-
proached and knelt at the altar; the momentous words were
slowly spoken by the bishop and then Magellan, with head
erect and a flush upon his cheek, advanced down the nave
with his blooming bride upon his arm. Alas neither knew
how brief would be their married life, or that it would end
with their happy honeymoon.
It was during this brief season of his honeymoon that
Magellan tore himself away from the sweet companionship
of Beatrix to watch the preparations for his departure. One
by one the good ships which were to sail under his command
appeared in the harbour of Seville-one and all either newly
built or newly repaired, with sturdy masts and unsoiled sails,
and bedecked with fresh paint from stem to stern.
First, there was the Trinidad, a small ship indeed com-
pared with those which we see to-day, for it was only of one
hundred tons burden, but in that time a good-sized craft,
well able, it seemed, to breast the storms and wild winds of
the Atlantic. This was the flag-ship, in which Magellan
himself was to go.
Then there were the San Antonia and the Conception,
smaller vessels, of eighty tons burden each, commanded, the
first by Juan de Cartagena, a Spanish captain with whom
Magellan was destined later to have much trouble, and the
other by Gaspar de Quesada. There were finally the Victoria
and the Santiago, of sixty tons each, commanded by Luis
de Mendoza and Juan Serrano, a relation of that friend of
Magellan who had told him such exciting stories about the
Molucca Islands, which he was now going to try to find.
These ships were all quickly provided with everything
required for a long voyage. The Trinidad carried four large
iron cannon, and in all there were eighty cannon on the
44 PREPARATIONS FOR THE VOYAGE.
five vessels. Ample provisions were packed in the holds,
and an abundance of such clothing as the officers and crews
would need for an uncertain period was supplied.
Inasmuch as Magellan was going among savage tribes,
who were pleased with gewgaws and bright-coloured clothing,
a part of the cargoes of the ships was composed of copper,
quicksilver, coloured cloths and handsome silks, jackets
ornamented with copper and silver buttons, and a great
variety of bells, bracelets, rings, and other trinkets.
Magellan, while thus supervising the preparations of his
expedition, did not neglect one important task-that of
studying the art of navigation. This was not, it is true, a
wholly new study for him. His boyish fondness for ships
and voyages had interested him in the art of managing
vessels, and in the uses of the astrolabe and other nautical
instruments. From the conversations he had had with
Vasco da Gama, and other heroes of the ocean, he had
derived much precious knowledge; and his voyage to India
and back had enabled him to observe closely the practical
working of a ship.
In the long winter evenings, when he had returned from
inspecting the progress made in his fleet, you might have
seen him seated before a blazing fire in Don Diego's library
-for Don Diego was a man of learning, and had many
valuable books, for which he had paid great prices-with
heavy tomes upon his knee, deep in their contents; or bend-
ing over a long table, where he had spread out some rude
chart of the Atlantic or of the American coast, which had
been drawn by an earlier navigator.
By his side, deeply absorbed in his pursuit, sat his fair
young wife, her face now sad with the thought of separating
from him, now lit up with tender pride as she reflected what
fame and wealth his genius might win from the voyage.
PREPARATIONS FOR THE VOYAGE.
Thus usefully and pleasantly were spent the months that
intervened between his marriage and the time for him to set
out on his daring venture.
At last that exciting moment came. The ships were all
ready, moored side by side along the quays of Seville. The
sailors, some of whom were Portuguese and some Spanish,
were gathered in the city, and had, for the most part, taken
up their quarters on board the vessels; and they were one
and all impatient to sail. The captains and pilots were on
board, as anxious as the sailors to depart.
It was on a soft August morning, in 1519, that Magellan
rose, attired himself in his admiral's uniform, and lingered
for awhile, locked in his wife's close embrace. Ie needed
all his self-restraint to remain composed, and to utter every
tender and consoling word that he could think of, to soften
her sorrow at the parting. Then, gently withdrawing him-
self from her clinging arms, he gave her a last, long, loving
look, and slowly passed into the street. There his attendants
awaited him-his servants, and some of the sailors from the
flag-ship. Don Diego was there, too, ready to accompany
his son-in-law to the quays and Don Diego's young son,
Edward Barbosa, who was to go with Magellan and share
his perils, was by his father's side. They mounted their
horses and slowly rode through the streets.
Every thoroughfare was crowded. It was always a holi-
day with the gay and pleasure-loving Sevillians when a
great expedition was to set sail from their port on a voyage
of discovery; and they had long known of Magellan's hardy
project. There was now no trace of the miserable jealousy
which had stirred a mob to assail him, but one and all, by
their faces and cheers, seemed anxious to give him a hearty
Arrived at the quays, Magellan descended from his horse,
46 PREPARATIONS FOR THE VOYAGE.
embraced Don Diego and the other friends who had gathered
to bid him adieu, and attended by Edward Barbosa, his
officers and sailors, went on board the flag-ship and ascended
to the deck. At the same time, the other captains appeared
on tneir decks, and the crews began to weigh anchor and
spread the white new sails.
It was a noble sight to see the five comely ships, almost
side by side, slowly creep out of the lovely harbour; the sun
flashing on the flags and pennons that floated from the
masts, and making the new paint on the ships' sides glitter;
a gentle breeze just ruffling the blue waves and stirring
them from a glassy calm; the quays alive with the chatter-
ing, noisy, and picturesquely attired crowd; the cannon
pealing forth their deafening salvos from ships and shore;
the captains erect on their decks, waving their plumed hats,
and every now and then turning to shout their orders to
their subalterns ; and the lofty towers of cathedral and
palace growing more and more dim and fairy-like as the
little fleet floated away from the mole, and sped cheerily out
upon the broad sweep of the river that flowed to the
Soon the eyes of the people on the quays were vainly
strained seaward, and the eyes of those on the ships gazed
without avail in the direction that the city stood.
Magellan was fairly off at last. What adventures would
he meet with ? what wonderful things would he discover on
the surging deep ?
MAGELLAN CROSSES THE ATLANTIC.
SOME time elapsed after sailing from Seville before Ma-
gellan put out into the open sea. After passing down
the Guadalquivir, and narrowly escaping being stranded on
two ruined pillars which were in the bottom of the river,
and had once supported a fine bridge built by the Moors,
the ships reached the hoary old castle of St. Lucar, that
lifted its towers high above the stream.
This castle belonged to the Duke of Medina Sidonia, one
of the greatest nobles in Spain; and just below it was a
good port, at the mouth of the river, whence vessels could
readily sail out upon the ocean.
Finding when he reached this port that the winds were
contrary, and being in no hurry, Magellan anchored and
awaited more favourable breezes. The interval was employed
in adding to the ships' stores some necessaries that had been
overlooked, and in religious exercises. Magellan caused all
his sailors to go ashore, attend mass, and make confession
before their departure; and he himself set the example.
One day Magellan summoned all his captains and officers
on board the flag-ship, and told them the rules by which he
wished the fleet to be guided.
"First," he said, "my flag-ship shall sail ahead, and the
48 MAGELLAN CROSSES THE ATLANTIC.
other ships follow; and that you may not lose sight of me at
night, I will cause a burning torch to be set upon the poop-
deck, which shall be kept burning as long as it is dark. When
I wish to tack, the wind being contrary, or to make less way,
I will show two lights. I have on board, you know, some
torches made of reeds, well soaked in water, beaten flat, and
dried in the sun; these will burn brightly. When I wish
you to lower your small sail, I will burn three lights; and
if I suddenly put out two of these, and leave a single light
burning, you may know that you are to stop and turn.
Should I espy any land or shoal ahead, I will cause a bom-
bard to be fired off; and if I desire to make all sail, I will
show four lights. Your answering signals will be similar
lights displayed in response to mine. As to watches, you will
cause three to be kept at night-one at dusk, a second at
midnight, and a third at break of day-and you must change
the watches every night. Now observe well these rules:
that you may not forget them, here they are in writing, a
copy for each of you."
At last, to Magellan's great relief, the wind shifted and
blew from the right quarter; and on the 20th of September
1519 the little fleet set forth from the harbour of St. Lucar,
and was soon buffeting the waves of the Atlantic.
Magellan directed his course south-westerly. He knew
that in order to pass, as he felt confident it was possible for
him to do, around the South American continent, he must
steer more to the south than had the previous expeditions.
Already a Spanish expedition had reached the fortieth degree
of latitude south, on what is now the coast of Brazil; and
thrilling news had come of Balboa's discovery of a farther
ocean. That a great ocean lay beyond the newly-found
continent was therefore certain; and if that could be gained
by doubling the land, there should be no doubt that the
MAGELLAN CROSSES THE ATLANTIC.
Molucca Islands with all their bounteous wealth could be
reached, and perhaps the globe itself might be encompassed
by the doughty little fleet.
It did not take the ships long to reach the Canary Islands,
grouped in the midst of the sea, off the African coast, and
already occupied by little European settlements. They an-
chored at Teneriffe, one of these islands, and took in wood
and water; and soon after stopped at another island, where
they supplied themselves with an abundance of pitch.
On this island Magellan was surprised to hear of a curious
freak of nature which, it was said, always took place there.
He was told that every day at mid-day a cloud came down
from the sky and enveloped a large tree. The rain fell from
it on the leaves of this tree, and water was distilled from it
and formed a sort of fountain at the foot of the tree. This,
he was assured, was the only supply of water that the in-
habitants of the island, man or beast, had.
The fleet again set sail, and in no long time reached the Cape
Verde Islands, not far from the Canaries, in a south-westerly
direction. These were the last land that the adventurers
were to stand upon until they sighted the long, dim coast of
the New World; but so eager were one and all to strike
across the ocean, and to see what was to be seen beyond,
that Magellan made but a brief stay at the Cape Verdes.
For some time they skirted the coast of Guinea, and saw
the majestic group of the Sierra Leone in the hazy distance ;
and as they approached the equinoctial line, I I. -, began to
be assailed by fierce gales and blinding rain-storms.
But they kept steadily on their way, Magellan's il-.: ',-;I.
with its ever-glimmering lantern swinging on the poop-deck
and lighting up the billows, taking the lead, and at last
found themselves quite out of sight of land.
As the ships rode through storm and sunshine, tho voyagers
50 MAGELLAN CROSSES THE ATLANTIC.
observed many wonderful things, nev to their astonished
eyes. Often they were becalmed, and lazily floated hither
and thither on the waves, waiting for the return of favour-
able breezes; and during these calms they saw with amaze-
ment many monsters of the deep, of whose existence they
had been utterly ignorant.
Sometimes great sharks, with long teeth and awful jaws,
followed the ship for leagues and for days; and as soon as
the sailors recovered from their surprise, they began to catch
them, which was no difficult matter, with huge iron hooks
baited with pieces of coloured cloth. When they had caught
their first shark, they tried to eat him, but found his flesh
anything but a savoury morsel.
They saw, too, many curious birds, such as they had never
before known of, and observed in one kind that the females
laid their eggs on the backs of the males. On one occasion
Magellan espied so large a number of flying-fish that they
seemed to him to form an island in the sea.
Men in those days, even the wisest, were all superstitious,
and believed in miracles and strange appearances, and on
voyages often imagined that they saw spirits and were guided
by spiritual agencies.
One dark night, when a storm of wind and rain was toss-
ing the little fleet frantically to and fro and rolling the
waves high above the decks, and the sailors were moaning
and praying, fearing that every instant would be their last,
they thought that the spirit of St. Anselm appeared to
them in the form of a dazzling light at the mast-head; that
he stayed there to comfort, and cheer, and give them courage,
for several hours; and that when the spirit was about to
depart, the light increased to such brilliancy as fairly to
No sooner had the spirit, as they supposed it to be, de-
MAGELLAN CROSSES THE ATLANTIC.
parted, than the waves subsided, the wind fell to a gentle
breeze, and the sea-birds began to gambol gaily among the
It took Magellan and his companions a little more than
two months to cross the Atlantic. Happily he had charts
which enabled him to sail in the direction he desired, and
which indicated the points at which he wished to arrive.
One morning in mid-December the eyes of the voyagers
were greeted with the sight of the long line of gray coast
which they had strained their eyes for many a day to espy.
Thanks to Magellan's plan of showing lights, the ships had
kept steadily together from first to last; and they now
rode side by side, rapidly drawing near to the new con-
When Magellan came near enough to distinguish the
features of the coast, and the appearance of the country
beyond, he looked about for a convenient harbour towards
which to steer. It was fortunate that the coast itself did
not present to his eye any very formidable difficulties; in-
stead of being rocky and forbidding, it looked fair, sloping,
Running along about a league from the shore, parallel
with it, he finally discovered a wide inlet, which seemed to be
the mouth of a river. Here he resolved to put in, although,
notwithstanding his charts, he was not quite certain where
At first the region seemed to be deserted. The ships
entered the wide inlet and anchored; and the sailors, crowd-
ing into the boats, pulled ashore, and leaped joyfully upon
the strand. It was a hot day, but they were so glad to find
themselves on land again, that they paid little attention to
the burning rays of the sun, which blazed down on their
heads from his zenith..
52 MAGELLAN CROSSES THE ATLANTIC.
Then Magellan assembled all his officers and crews on the
shore, and the priests who were with them set up a little
altar on the beach. The men kneeled in a close body in front
of the altar, the captains kneeling in front; and now, in
this strange solitude, where all nature seemed to be in
slumber, and where no vestige of any human habitation
was yet visible, the solemn service of the mass was per-
Magellan and his companions soon found that plenty of
people dwelt on the shore they had reached, although these
did not at first make their appearance. One of the pilots,
named John Carvagio, had been in Brazil before, having
gone with a previous expedition; and he relieved the
anxiety of his comrades by assuring them that the natives
were peaceable and friendly, at least to Europeans, whom
they regarded as superior beings.
It was not long before little groups of almost naked men
and women began to make their appearance a little distance
away, gazing curiously and timidly at the white men, and
apparently afraid to approach nearer until they were re-
assured as to the intentions of the new-comers. The pilot
Carvagio, who happily knew a few words of their language,
at once went forward towards the nearest of these groups,
and shouted out to them that they need fear nothing, for the
Spaniards and Portuguese meant no harm, but were come
Upon this the natives drew nearer, and at last came up
to the strangers, nodding and grinning, and chattering as
fast as they could make their tongues go. At this moment,
a warm, soft, pleasant rain began to fall, which was ex-
ceedingly welcome and refreshing on account of the heat.
No sooner had the savages perceived the rain than they
commenced playing all sorts of strange pranks, which filled
MAGELLAN CROSSES THE ATLANTIC.
the Europeans with astonishment. They capered wildly
about, and lifted up their hands towards the clouds, holding
their swarthy faces so that the drops should fall upon and
run down them; sang a loud, discordant song; and finally,
rushing forward, fell on their knees at the feet of the stran-
gers, and began to repeat some words very fast, at the
same time stretching their arms out, and clasping their
Magellan asked the pilot what they meant by these capers,
and Carvagio replied:-
"They say that we have come from heaven, bringing the
blessed rain with us; that it has been many weeks-since
it has rained in these parts, and that they worship us for
causing it to fall."
It was fortunate that, at the beginning of their sojourn,
the adventurers should have created so favourable an im-
pression; for now the natives set to work with a will, and
built a long, low hut wherein their visitors might dwell and
be sheltered as long as they remained. They brought them
some pigs, which the sailors forthwith roasted and ate with
great gusto. The pig's flesh was very refreshing after the
salt meat and hard-tack with which they had been forced
to content themselves during their long and weary voyage.
The natives also laid before them some very curious bread,
which proved, on being eaten, not nearly so nice as the pigs.
It was made of the marrow of certain trees, and tasted some-
thing-like very poor cheese.
Magellan found himself so hospitably treated on this coast
that he was in no great hurry to set sail again. The ships
needed some repairs; and it was prudent to procure and
store such provisions as could be found in the vicinity, and
preserved for a voyage.
While the repairs were being made and the provisions
54 MAGELLAN CROSSES THE ATLANTIC.
stored, Magellan and his officers had leisure to look around
them. They observed the natives with great curiosity.
These lived in very long, low huts, as many as a hundred
sometimes occupying a single hut. The natives did not possess
any iron implements, but built their houses and their boats
with tools made of stones. In their dwellings; which Magel-
lan found himself quite free to enter whenever he pleased,
he saw that the beds were a sort of cotton hammocks, fast-
ened to large timbers, and extending across the wide room;
and he was amused to observe that the natives built their
fires, to warm themselves, directly under these hammocks.
Their boats they built all in one piece, out of a single
tree, and called them "canoes." These boats were large
enough to hold thirty or forty men, and were provided with
oars shaped like shovels.
As for the natives themselves, they were not bad-looking
people for savages. They were of a brown colour, with
almost straight hair; many of the women were almost fair,
and quite comely. The men did not wear any beards; for
these, it seemed, they were wont to pluck out, hair by hair.
Both men and women went nearly naked, having for apparel
only a belt made of parrot's feathers about their waists. It
was a very common thing to see a man with three holes in
his under lip, from which hung small round pebbles; and
some of the women displayed the same strange ornament.
Many of the natives, too, were branded in the face with
curious figures, impressed in the flesh by means of fire.
When the men went to their work, their wives carried
them luncheons in small baskets, which they poised on their
heads, while in bags, fastened to their necks, they supported
their babies. The men had as weapons long bows made of
the black palm, and quivers full of arrows made of cane were
hung across their shoulders.
MAGELLAN CROSSES THE ATLANTIC.
One thing that surprised Magellan and his comrades was
the great number of parrots that were to be seen in that
region. These were of all sizes, and their plumage was of
the most variegated and gorgeous description. They also
observed many small monkeys, yellow in colour, and ex-
tremely amusing in their quick and lively ways; and there
were also some strange-looking birds, which had beaks like
a spoon, and no tongues.
As to the natural productions, they were very various and
abundant. The fruit was large and luscious, and the grain
rich and plentiful.
Magellan was sorry to make one discovery during his stay
in this place, which greatly lessened his good opinion of the
natives. On one occasion, after they had been having a
fight with a neighboring tribe, they brought in several men
and women, whom they had taken prisoners, and proceeded
to kill them and cut them up. Soon after, Magellan found
these pieces of human flesh hung up at the chimney of one
of the huts, and being dried by the fire. On asking what
this meant, he was told that the pieces were dried to be
eaten. He thus found that his savage friends were can-
An amusing incident happened on the flag-ship a few days
before the departure of the fleet. The natives had become
so familiar that they were in the habit of going freely on
board the ships, and doing there pretty much as they liked.
One day a beautiful young girl, about seventeen, went on
board the Trinidad, and was observed by Magellan to be
peering cautiously about, and trying to escape being noticed.
Curious to know what she was about, he watched her; and
presently saw her creep up to a nail two or three inches long,
that was driven into the door of his cabin. She seized it,
pulled it out, and in a flash hid it in her long, abundant hair.
56 MAGELLAN CROSSES THE ATLANTIC.
As she was without any other clothing than the belt of
parrots' feathers, her hair was her only place of concealment.
Magellan laughed heartily to himself, and let her go away
thinking she had not been seen committing this little theft.
Her anxiety to possess herself of the nail is explained by the
great value the natives set on iron, which seemed much more
precious to them than gold and silver.
H AVING taken a long rest from his Atlantic voyage,
and provided his ships with all things necessary,
Magellan again set sail, skirting the South American coast,
and keeping a keen look-out for any inlet that might be-
token a passage around the continent. He was resolved to
search the coast narrowly, so that no such passage, if it ex-
isted, should escape him; and he therefore put in wherever
a bay or river mouth appeared. After sailing for some days
amid a warm and equable temperature, the fleet came to a
wide inlet, which proved to be the mouth of a large river,
some fifty miles wide where it entered the sea. This was
what we now call the River de la Plata, upon whose banks
stand, not far from the mouth, the flourishing cities of
Buenos Ayres and Monte Video.
The ships readily anchored in the river mouth, and once
more the adventurers landed upon the unfamiliar coast.
Scarcely had they done so, before they perceived that they
were in the midst of a very different race from that they
had encountered at their first landing-place. These savages
were outright cannibals, and made daily meals upon their
captured enemies. They were, moreover, exceedingly tall,
strongly-built men, who seemed to the Spaniards no less
One of these men, evidently a chief, taller even than his
companions, went fearlessly on board the flag-ship; but
while he was there, the other natives took everything they
could carry from their huts and hurried away over the hills.
Magellan ordered a hundred of his men to land and pursue
them; but the natives were so agile, and took such enormous
strides, that the pursuit was in vain.
On the pretty islands that studded the bay Magellan
found some precious stones, which he took good care to store
away, at the same time resolving on his return to search for
Setting sail again, the ships presently came to two islands,
just off the coast, where the crews went ashore to procure
some wild fowl which they saw on the strand. They were
much astonished at some black geese they found, with beaks
like crows, and which could not fly. They also succeeded in
capturing many seals, which were not less strange to them,
in colour and shape, than the geese. During their stay at
these islands, the ships were nearly destroyed by a mighty
storm that swept over them; but they were stout and well-
manned, and succeeded in weathering it.
After passing the Gulf of St. Mathias and the Bay of St.
George, they reached a point which, from the multitude of
geese seen on the shore, Magellan named "Goose Harbour."
Nowhere, as yet, had the gallant admiral found a passage to
the Pacific; but his courage and hopefulness were unabated,
and he pressed vigorously on to the goal he was confident
that, sooner or later, he should reach. He had now at least
gone further south than any previous expedition had sailed;
he was nearer the Antarctic Pole than any European had
been; and there was every reason for him to look forward
cheerily to the accomplishment of the great end he had in
The southern winter, cold and blustering, had fairly set
in, when one morning Magellan espied a large inviting bay,
which seemed well sheltered from the bleak winds, and the
shores of which had the appearance of affording a good sup-
ply of wood and water. Of these the ships were now sadly
in want, for little had been found at Goose Harbour, their
last stopping-place. Moreover, the ships needed many re-
pairs; nor could iM ,. i1i 1i hope to pursue his voyage success-
fully for some months to come. The crews were grumbling
at hardships they were forced to suffer, and more than one
of Magellan's captains betrayed open signs of discontent.
The admiral, therefore, deemed it best to put in at the
pleasant-looking bay, and if it proved as comfortable as it
looked, to stay there until fairer winds blew, and the return
of spring brought a softer temperature.
The ships anchored in the bay, which Magellan, with the
piety of his age and bringing-up, named St. Julian. It turned
out an easy matter to land upon the sloping and still smiling
shore, for winter was but fairly begun, and the crews set to
work to make themselves as snug as possible.
Scarcely, however, had the fleet reached what seemed so
secure a haven for their winter sojourn, when an event oc-
curred which at first threatened, not only the success of the
expedition, but the very lives of Magellan and his friends.
Of the captains commanding the ships in 31 .,, !il n'-; fleet
three were Spaniards-Juan de Cartagena, Gaspar de Que-
sada, and Louis de Mendoza. Cartagena and Mendoza had
been jealous, from the first, of the preference given by their
king to Magellan, a Portuguese and a stranger, in putting
him at the head of the expedition, and throughout the voyage
had in various ways betrayed their ill-temper and discontent.
Of the two, Juan de Cartagena, who was the second officer
of the fleet, and commanded the San Antonio, nourished the
fiercest hatred of Magellan. He was a large, dark-featured
man, with a sour, malignant countenance, and he cherished
the fixed idea that he, and not Magellan, should have been
admiral. From the first he resolved, on the earliest oppor-
tunity, to raise the standard of revolt. Finding that Men-
doza shared his ill-will towards Magellan, and was ready to
enter into a plot against him, Cartagena held frequent con-
ferences with Mendoza, when Magellan was engaged in other
matters. While scouring the country around St. Julian, in
the early days of their stay there, the treacherous captains
found many occasions to meet and mature their project.
They felt sure of being able to secure the assistance of the
sailors under their commands; for most of these were Span-
iards like themselves, imbued with a fierce jealousy of the
Portuguese, and, besides, the sailors had become very much
discontented by their many hardships, and by the long delays
in the voyage.
It was not long before the plot was ripe for execution.
Cartagena and Mendoza revealed it to the Spanish sailors on
their ships, who readily agreed to aid in carrying it out.
The first object was to secure Quesada, the captain of the
Conception, who, though a Spaniard, was suspected of being
a stanch friend to Magellan. His ship lay next to the
San Antonio, which Cartagena commanded. Cartagena now
resolved to man one of his boats with twenty men, fully
armed, and to take advantage of a dark night to board the
Conception, seize Quesada, engage his sailors to take part in
the mutiny, and with this accession of force to assault the
flag-ship, the Trinidad, itself. Magellan was then to be
seized and killed on the spot; the other ship, the Santiago,
commanded by Magellan's cousin Serrano, was in like manner
to be seized, and Cartagena would then assume command of
One black night, therefore, Cartagena executed his project
to seize Quesada. This he succeeded, with little difficulty, in
doing; but before he could pursue his plan further, Magellan
got wind of what was going on. Early on the next morning
he sent a boat to the two revolted ships, with the message
that they should be beached and careened. When the boat
arrived alongside the San Antonio, the sailors found the guns
of the ship pointed at them; and one of the lieutenants shouted
out harshly, and demanded to know what they wanted.
"The admiral commands you to beach and careen your
ship," was the reply.-" We obey no orders," retorted the
lieutenant, "but those of Juan de Cartagena, the true
admiral of the fleet."
The sailors rowed back in all haste to Magellan's ship.
He now saw that there was open mutiny against him, and
that it was necessary to take prompt and stern measures to
repress it. Calling Fernandes, his chief constable, he told
him to man the boat, proceed without delay to Mendoza's
ship, and, if possible, take him prisoner. Six well-armed,
stalwart men accompanied Fernandes on this hazardous ven-
ture. When the boat came alongside the Victoria, Mendoza's
ship, Fernandes called to Mendoza, and asked permission to
board the ship. But this the captain refused to allow him
Surely," replied Fernandes, "you are not afraid of one
man bringing a letter to you."
Mendoza consulted a moment with his officers, and then
bade Fernandes come on board.
No sooner had the constable leaped upon the deck than he
grasped Mendoza tightly in his arms, crying, "In the name
of the king you are arrested "
Before Mendoza's men could recover from their surprise,
Fernandes's companions had rushed upon the deck with their
swords drawn. They fell upon those who showed signs of
resisting them, and soon several corpses lay weltering in
their blood on the deck. In a few minutes, the brave fellows
had subdued all resistance, and were in complete possession
of the ship. Fernandes still held the unfortunate captain
by the throat. Fiercely addressing him, at the same tife
shaking the breath out of him, the constable cried, "You
traitor, you shall die "
Throwing Mendoza on the deck, he held him down with
his knees, and drawing a huge dagger from his belt, plunged
it deep into MIendoza's throat. The captain writhed in
anguish, and in another moment lay stark dead upon his
Magellan observed the success of Fernandes's stratagem
from the deck of the flag-ship. He now ordered the ', ......./
to drop down alongside the Victoria; he put his men under
arms, and had his cannon loaded and aimed, and was soon
able to pass from one deck to the other. He found that Fer-
nandes and his men had already secured and bound the
rebellious sailors; and having made a strict but rapid in-
quiry into the mutiny, he commanded six of the chief
offenders to be brought out and hung, without mercy, at the
yard-arms. Then he caused Mendoza's body to be hoisted by
the feet on one of the masts, so that it might be distinctly
seen by the crews on the other ships.
It remained to overcome the chief conspirator, who, with
a strong force, held out on the San Antonio. Magellan
knew that he was still surrounded by Spaniards, who might
be his enemies, and suspected that Cartagena's force might
be too strong for him if he assailed him directly. He there-
fore resorted to a shrewd stratagem.
Calling aside one of the sailors, upon whom, though he
was a Spaniard, Magellan knew he could rely, he told him
to take a boat and row in all haste to the San Antonio, as if
he were escaping, and when he reached the ship, to beg to
be taken on board as a fugitive.
The sailor promptly undertook the task, shot out from
the Victoria in a skiff, and was soon seen by Magellan
clambering up the side of the San Antonio. When night
came on the sailor quietly cut the cables, so that the San
Antonio drifted directly down upon the Victoria. As soon
as it floated alongside, Magellan shouted out, "Treason!
treason !" leaped on board with his men, fiercely attacked
Cartagena and the mutineers, and in a short time had made
prisoners of all who were not killed in the fray.
The crew thus quelled, Magellan hastened to set free
Quesada and Mesquita, whom Cartagena had loaded with
irons and shut up in his hold. To his brother-in-law Edward
Barbosa, who had come with him, he confided the command
of the Victoria, while he made his faithful friend Mesquita
captain of the San Antonio.
One ship, the Conception (the captain of which was Que-
sada), still remained in rebellion; but this, on seeing the
others in the hands of Magellan, surrendered at discretion
without a struggle. Thus the gallant admiral, by boldly
attacking his enemies as soon as he discovered their plot
against him, achieved a prompt and complete victory.
Magellan was not naturally stern or relentless. He was
never known to be guilty of an act of wanton cruelty. But
he now saw that self-preservation, as well as the success of
the expedition, demanded that his prisoners, especially the
ringleaders in the mutiny, should be treated with the greatest
severity. The punishment for mutiny in his days, as it is
now, was death. To allow Cartagena and his confederates
to live would be to encourage a repetition of the revolt.
Calling the rebellious captain before him, therefore, on the
deck of the Victoria, Magellan coldly addressed him as fol-
"Juan de Cartagena, you have been guilty of an unpar-
donable crime. You have never had any provocation from
me to seek my life. My chief fault in your eyes is that I
am a Portuguese, and not a Spaniard; but you well know
that the sovereign of Spain hath entrusted me with the com-
mand of this fleet, and hath given me all power to direct its
course. You have defied and rebelled against the king, in
assuming to declare yourself its commander; and you have
sought to gain this by bloodshed and murder. Cartagena,
you deserve no pity. Prepare to die. You are to be shot
and quartered, and your body shall be fixed to a stake, set
up on this strange shore."
Cartagena hung his head in sullen silence, turning deadly
pale, and clenching his hands, when his doom was pronounced.
Magellan turned to two soldiers and waved his hand. The
miserable captain was seized and dragged to the forward part
of the deck, and presently fell, shot through the heart.
Both his body and that of Mendoza were then quartered,
and, as the admiral had directed, set upon stakes on the shore.
The rest of the mutineers were kept in irons, except at
such times as the ships needed pumping, when they were
brought out, and, under guard, were set to the pumps.
Magellan, however, was not disposed to be too severe with
the misguided wretches, who had been led into their crime
by their captains. Soon after he released several of them,
and put them on shore; telling them to explore the coast
southward, to ascend any headland they might reach, and
see if they could not espy the ocean on the other side. The
mutineers, only too glad to recover their liberty, readily
promised to obey his orders, and started off down the shore
with brisk and lusty strides.
They remained away several days, and then returned,
footsore and weary, to tell Magellan that they had not suc-
ceeded in making the desired discovery.
Order and submission were now restored throughout the
fleet. The Spaniards, quite awed by the terrible fate of
Cartagena and Mendoza, no longer thought of defying Ma-
gellan's authority; and the Portuguese ceased to harbour
any ill-will against their mutinous comrades. Only one of
the ships, the Conception, was now under the command of a
Spaniard; this was Quesada, whom Magellan fully trusted
as his friend.
AD VENTURES WITH THE GIANTS.
THE adventurers were amazed that, as at their first
landing-place on the South American coast, they did
not see signs of any human beings or habitations at St.
The country round about seemed desolate and deserted.
They began to think that it had no population whatever, but
was abandoned to wild beasts and wild fowl. For two long
months they searched the neighbourhood in vain for some
vestiges of human life, but none appeared.
At last, however, they were undeceived in this respect.
One day, a gigantic figure suddenly appeared on a hill-top
very near the bay; he was entirely naked, with short,
bristling white hair, and a fierce, swarthy face.
As soon as this man saw the sailors staring at him in
wonder, he began to leap wildly up and down, waving his
arms about, and singing, or rather howling, some strange
song in a stentorian voice. Every now and then he would
bend down and grasp a handful of dirt, and sprinkle it on
his great, bullet-shaped head, at the same time making a
hideous grimace. Magellan was then sojourning on one of
the islands that studded the bay. On being told of the
strange apparition on the hill, he called one of the sailors,
ADVENTURES WITH THE GIANTS.
told him to go ashore and approach the big native, and to
dance about and sing as he went up to him, so that the
native might see that his intentions were friendly.
The sailor did as he was bidden. He went leaping and
shouting up the hill, to the great amusement of his brother
sailors, who were looking on. The native, too, gazed hard
at him; but soon recovering from his fright at seeing a
white man drawing near, he strode towards the sailor, and
began to caper around him. The sailor at last persuaded
him to go in a boat to Magellan's quarters.
On coming into the admiral's presence, and seeing so many
strange faces and dresses about him, the gigantic savage grew
timid; and with an expression of awe on his dark face,
pointed to the sky, to intimate that he thought the Spaniards
had come from heaven.
Meanwhile, Magellan observed him with curious interest.
He saw that the savage's cheeks were painted with red hearts,
and that around his eyes were yellow circles. His hair, it
appeared, was painted white, and on his arm he carried a
shaggy skin; while in one hand was a heavy bow, and some
arrows, made of cane, feathered at one end, and with points
of black cut stones at the other.
Magellan, anxious to make friends with the natives in this
lonely place, where he must yet sojourn many weeks, regaled
the giant with food and drink ; and when he had had his fill,
Magellan caused a mirror to be brought and set before him.
As soon as the giant saw himself in the glass, he gave a loud
cry, and leaped back so suddenly and with such force that he
sent three or four of the sailors sprawling on the ground.
He soon recovered from his fright, however, and laughed
with a deafening voice. He was as pleased as a child with
several trinkets which Magellan offered him-two tinkling
bells, which he held close to his ear, a comb, which he very
68 ADVENTURES WITH THE GIANTS.
quickly saw how to use, and a chaplet of beads, which he
tried to bite, making many grimaces, and then hung around
his neck. Magellan then sent the giant ashore with four
armed men; these the giant at once conducted to a group of
his countrymen, who had gathered on the hill-top, and were
one and all naked, and as tall as himself. They received the
four Spaniards with singing and jumping, meanwhile pointing
to the heavens in the same manner as the first comer had
.Pretty soon some of the native women made their appear-
ance. They wore shaggy skins about their waists, and their
faces, painted in many colours, were hideous. While not so
tall as the men, they were much larger than European women.
The four Spaniards returned to the fleet, taking with them
several of the chiefs, and recounting all that they had seen.
Magellan gave the chiefs some bells, and some pictures
painted on paper, which seemed greatly to delight them ; for
they began to sing in hoarse, loud voices, and to caper wildly
about on the shore. Then suddenly one of them, taking a
long arrow from his belt, thrust it far down his throat, and
drawing it out again, made a sign as if to say, "Was not
that a wonderful feat ?"
So pleased were the chiefs with the strangers, that they
begged Magellan to send some of his men back with them
that they might see their habitations in the woods. Magellan
readily consented to this, and ordered seven armed men to
accompany his sable guests back to the shore.
The chiefs led the way, and after crossing the hills near
the shore, plunged into a dense and trackless forest, so tangled
and overgrown that, though the natives passed through
nimbly enough, the Spaniards were continually stumbling
and falling down. Meanwhile, they watched their guides
narrowly, ready to shoot them at the first sign of perfidy.
ADVENTURES WITH THE GIANTS.
After scrambling through the thicket for seven miles they
came to an opening, and here they saw a long, low hut,
roofed with the thick, shaggy skins of wild beasts. This hut
they found divided, by a curtain of skins, into two compart-
ments, one of which was occupied by the men, and the other
by the women and children. In all there were thirteen
women and children, and five men; and these eagerly wel-
comed the Spaniards, and regaled them with a roasted sheep,
which they slaughtered for the purpose.
The Spaniards were persuaded to remain one night at the
hut, and were offered a snug corner, with skins for coverings.
The natives slept in the other corners, and so horribly did
they snore that their guests got but little sleep during the
The next day the Spaniards invited the chiefs to return
to the ships with their families. At first they declined the
invitation; but finally retired into the women's apartment,
as if to bring them out to go. Presently they emerged again,
their gigantic forms completely covered with heavy skins,
their faces painted so as to give them a terrible aspect, and
holding in their hands bows and a quantity of arrows.
Their appearance so terrified one of the Spaniards that on
the impulse of the moment he raised his gun and fired. To
the astonishment of his companions, the report of the gun,
instead of arousing the anger of the natives, made them
tremble and lift up their arms, as if they imagined the noise
to proceed from heaven. They were evidently persuaded of
this, for they now very meekly followed the Spaniards to-
wards the ships; but they did not allow their women to go.
As they were passing through the forest, the natives were
so much more fleet of foot that they soon outstripped the
others, and all of a sudden disappeared among the trees. The
Spaniards searched for them in vain, and were finally obliged
70 ADVENTURES WITH THE GIANTS.
to return to the ships without them. On going with a strong
force a few days after to the opening where the hut was
they found it quite deserted. The natives, with their fami-
lies, had fled in all haste.
It was not long, however, before they had other visitors
of gigantic stature and swarthy hue. One clay another big
fellow, armed with bow and arrows, and painted as the rest
had been, came up to some of the sailors who were busily
cutting wood on the shore. He approached them slowly,
touching his head and breast with his fingers, and then
pointing heavenward. He was a good-natured, smiling giant,
and full of lively spirits, and was easily persuaded to accom-
pany the sailors to Magellan.
The admiral, pleased to see by this that the natives had
not become hostile, cordially greeted him, gave him a cloth
tunic, a pair of breeches, a cap, a comb, and some bells, and
treated him to such food as there was at the camp. The
native seemed very willing to remain with his new friends,
and Magellan gave him a lodging in a hut on the island
where he himself had his quarters.
After a time the giant not only learned to speak Spanish
very well, but was persuaded by one of the priests to become
a Christian. He was baptized, and received the name of
John. He often went ashore, and brought back animals
which served as excellent provisions for the Spaniards.
From this native and others that he from time to time
brought to the camp Magellan learned a great deal about
the tribes that inhabited the inland country. They had, it
appeared, many strange customs. When one was sick, in-
stead of taking medicine, he thrust an arrow down his throat,
and this proved a very effectual emetic. When they were
tortured with the headache, they cut themselves across the
forehead, legs, and arms, which was their simple way of
ADVENTURES WITH THE GIANTS.
bleeding themselves. They all wore their hair cropped close,
and when they went hunting they tied a cord around their
.heads, and upon this hung their arrows. They were a wan-
dering people, living in one place but a short time, and then
changing their abode. They lived, for the most part, on
raw meat and a sweet root which they called capac." The
sailors were amazed to see some of their swarthy guests skin
rats and eat them raw. One of them would eat an enormous
quantity of biscuits, and seemed to drink water by the quart.
One striking thing about them was their exceeding swiftness
of foot, and they seemed to run as rapidly in a dense, en-
tangled forest as upon the smooth, yielding sand of the sea-
The idea occurred to Magellan that it might be useful to
him in the future if he could manage to keep one or two of
these natives, and carry them with him on the rest of his
voyage. They might act as interpreters with the savage
races farther south, and might point out the favourable places
for anchorage and the shoals and reefs to be avoided.
With this view he enticed two of the younger and more
comely and intelligent savages on board the flag-ship, and
made them happy by profuse gifts. Among these were
glittering steel knives, forks, small round mirrors, bells, and
various articles of glass, which the big fellows received with
the liveliest and roughest demonstrations of joy. Then he
had some irons, with which captains were accustomed to
confine rebellious sailors, brought out. These were shown to
the natives, who examined them with the keenest curiosity.
After they had played with them, Magellan showed them
how to fasten the irons on their feet; but no sooner had
they found themselves securely bound about the ankles than
they fell in a great rage, and roared and foamed at the mouth
like two bulls, and called upon their god Setebos to rescue
72 ADVENTURES WITH THE GIANTS.
them. They fell on the deck, and writhed about as if trying
Meanwhile some of the other natives, who had come with
them on board, went ashore and told the men and women
what had happened; whereupon all the women made haste
to run into the woods, while the men gathered on the shore
and began firing arrows at the flag-ship. One of the sailors
fell mortally wounded. Magellan ordered his men to answer
the attack with their guns, which so frightened the giants on
shore that they made all haste to follow their wives into the
From this time the Spaniards saw no more of this race of
giants, for on scouring the country they could find no trace
of them. So the sailors burned their huts, and brought such
provisions as they found in them to the ships. The two
natives who had been put in irons were carefully guarded;
for Magellan had learned by this time how agile and cunning
these gigantic fellows were, and was resolved to keep these
two with him. After a while they seemed to become re-
conciled to their lot. They were brought on deck, and the
sailors taught them a little Spanish, so that they were soon
able to make themselves understood. When they had re-
covered from their anger and their fright, they became very
merry and chatty, and apparently forgot all about their
countrymen and even their wives, whom at first they had
bewailed very piteously. Each ate enough for two men, and
drank astonishing quantities of water, and on being provided
with seaman's suits, they learned to prefer this costume to
their original nakedness. Magellan was greatly pleased to
see how quickly and readily they became reconciled to their
Weeks and months glided quickly by in this pleasant Bay
of St. Julian. The weather was at times severe, and had
AD VENTURES WITH THE GIANTS.
the ships not found a very safe anchorage under the lee of
the islands that studded the bay, they would have been in
serious peril from the terrible tempests of wind and hail that
swept over them. In time, however, the bleak season gradu-
ally passed away, and nature began to put on the fresh, light-
green tints of spring. As the vegetation gradually appeared
and grew, Magellan saw that he was indeed in a lovely
country, endowed with many natural beauties, prolific in
fruits and vegetables, and blessed with a delightful tempera-
It was time, however, to think of resuming the voyage.
There seemed no further obstacle to the progress southward
of the ships. They had been fully repaired by the carpenters
Magellan had taken care to bring with him ; had been newly
calked, their sails patched and mended, the holds thoroughly
scoured and cleaned, and all things about them set to rights.
Provisions in abundance had been secured by the goodwill
of the natives, who had been very willing to exchange meat
and other food, the products of the country, for the trinkets
which Magellan freely lavished upon them. Good water,
too, had been found in the near vicinity of the bay, so that
everything seemed provided for a comfortable voyage further
down the coast.
Before setting sail, however, Magellan deemed it wise that
one of the ships should be sent forward to explore the coast
at a little distance southward, and accordingly told Serrano,
who commanded the Santiago, the smallest vessel of the fleet,
to set sail on this errand. It happened that after Serrano got
outside the bay, a current seized his ship, and swept it so
rapidly forward that it could not be steered, and before he
knew it the Santiago grounded upon some rocks. There
was not a moment to be lost. The ship was hopelessly
wrecked, and all that the crew could do was to save them-
74 ADVENTURES WITH THE GIANTS.
selves and such of the provisions as they could quickly lay
their hands on. Fortunately the boats proved uninjured.
They were launched without delay, and every man on board
The boats made all haste to return to the fleet. The news
of the loss of the Santiago was very unwelcome to Magellan,
for though she was the smallest of his vessels, he could ill
spare her from the fleet.
He resolved to delay no longer his departure from St.
Julian. It was now late in August; the time for a favour-
able voyage was fast gliding by, and there was no further
reason for delay. One fine morning, therefore, he gave his
orders. The Trinidad, the admiral's flag flying at her mast-
head, floated smoothly out of the bay which had so well
sheltered them, and where so many stirring events had taken
place, and the three remaining ships, with full sails on,
followed closely in her wake.
JMAGELLAN DISCOVERS THE STRAIT.
AT first the voyage southward was pursued under fair
winds, and with soft breezes that wafted the ships
swiftly over the waters. They had not proceeded for many
days, when they came in sight of a promontory which jutted
far out into the sea. Scarcely had they got opposite to it
when a terrific tempest burst upon them. The ships creaked,
shook, and strained; some of the masts were carried away,
and some of the sails were torn to shreds, as if ripped by
unseen giant hands; and for several days it was an even
chance whether the little fleet should founder or weather the
storm. One of them came very near being dashed upon the
grim and frowning promontory; another sprang a leak, and
the men were forced to work desperately at the pumps night
and day; a third narrowly escaped being driven out to sea,
and thus parting company with the rest.
At last the fleet was able to find shelter below the pro-
montory, in a little bay; and now Magellan named the
promontory Santa Cruz (or the Promontory of the Holy
Here the sailors once more grew clamorous to return to
Spain. They were worn and weary with the voyage; they
despaired of a successful ending of the expedition; and they -
76 MAGELLAN DISCOVERS THE STRAIT.
loudly demanded, even before the admiral himself, that the
prows of the ships should be turned homeward.
But Magellan was not to be terrified into retreating. He
sternly told his men to hold their peace and trust in him.
I shall go on," he said, "even till we reach the ice-seas
of the southern pole. The land of this continent must end
somewhere; and when we reach this limit, we shall have
achieved our end. We have still food, water, and clothing,
and goodly ships. Why, then, should we despair? "
The confidence and courage of their commander restored
the sailors to submission, and they finally returned, without
further complaint, to their tasks.
The voyagers only remained at Santa Cruz long enough to
repair the damage which the storm had done to the fleet.
Once more the flag-ship set forth, and the others followed,
and favouring breezes carried them rapidly forward.
Magellan little thought, when he rose on the sunny morn-
ing of October 21st, 1520, that he was near the object most
dear to his heart. It was the day consecrated to the eleven
thousand virgins; and on all festival days of the Church,
Magellan was wont to ordain a religious ceremony on the
ships. On rising, therefore, he took care to attire himself
in his finest suit, with velvet doublet, plumed cap, and
jewelled sword : he little knew that he was habiting himself
to witness the chief event of his life.
As he had proceeded along the coast, he had been blindly
groping for a passage which he could only guess existed, but
of which he had no positive knowledge whatever. He knew
not what a day might bring forth; he was all in the dark
as to the distance he had to go; and he had now become
used to seeing the day go by, and the night close in, without
having made the great discovery.
When he emerged from his cabin, and stood upon the
MAGELLAN DISCOVERS THE STRAIT.
deck, the officers and crews, in their best apparel, were
already assembled. Two priests had set up a little altar on
the poop, and were standing arrayed in their sacred robes,
ready to perform the mass. The admiral took his place in
front of the rest; and as the good ship sped on, the voices of
the priests mingled with the splash of the waters and the
flapping of the sails, in the performance of their solemn rite.
Scarcely was mass concluded, when one of the sailors,
perched on the look-out forward, cried out loudly that a
long cape was in sight. Magellan walked to the side of the
ship, and gazed in the direction in which the sailor pointed.
There, indeed, was a jutting cape, beyond which nothing
could be seen.
Pretty soon the fleet was off the point. On rounding it,
Magellan's heart leaped within him to perceive that there
was a broad inlet, running in a south-westerly direction ; and
that, while the land was plainly visible on its southern side,
its limit inland could not be discerned. Naming the cape
the Cape of Virgins, he gave orders that the fleet should
boldly enter the inlet, and endeavour to find out whither it
The aspect of the shores, and of the inlet itself, was very
remarkable. Lofty mountains, snow-shrouded, loomed on
both shores. These shores were jagged and uneven, many
lesser inlets running from the larger one far into the land,
and craggy islands seeming in several places to completely
choke up the channel. Here and there were patches of green
forests, but the general appearance of the place was desolate
The ships advanced carefully, for on every side the jutting
reefs and piled-up breakers threatened destruction. As the
flag-ship progressed, Magellan anxiously watched the channel
ahead, fearing every moment lest it should come to an end,
78 MAGELLAN DISCOVERS THE STRAIT.
and once more dash his hopes of a passage. At last they
came to a round bay, sheltered on every side by lofty masses
of rock. It was now nearly dark ; the fleet could not pursue
its course much further amid so many perils, and Magellan
gave the order to anchor in the bay.
So favourable for a sojourning-place and point of depart-
ure did this bay appear to Magellan when he rose next
morning, that he resolved to remain in it with the flag-ship
while he sent two of the other ships to explore the channel
farther on, and see if they could not find the outlet. Accord-
ingly, calling Mesquita and Serrano, the captains of the San
Antonio and the Conception, he told them to set out without
delay on this dangerous and difficult errand.
They had scarcely disappeared among the islands before a
storm arose, so fierce that the two ships that remained in the
bay were forced to weigh their anchors, and be tossed to and
fro violently at the will of the winds. This continued all
night and for the greater part of the next day, when at last
the tempest subsided, without having seriously damaged the
Meanwhile, no signs appeared of the two vessels that had
gone forward to explore the channel, and for a time Magel-
lan much feared that they had foundered in the storm. After
several days, however, he was relieved by seeing them speed-
ing rapidly towards the bay, and, what filled his heart with
good cheer, with their flags and streamers flying gaily from
their mast-heads. They were soon alongside the flag-ship;
and Mesquita, hastening on board, eagerly advanced to Ma-
gellan, and fell at his feet.
"Praise be to God, admiral!" cried he, when he could
recover his breath so as to speak; "we have found the
Magellan, with flushed face, his whole body trembling
MAGELLAN DISCOVERS THE STRAIT.
with excitement and emotion, raised the faithful captain
from the deck, and clasping him about the neck burst into
tears of joy.
Is it indeed true ?" he said, with faltering voice. And
have you seen the other ocean-the western ocean beyond ?"
We have indeed seen it with these very eyes," replied
Mesquita. "We came near perishing in the storm; but we
kept on, and we have succeeded."
Magellan turned to Serrano, who had now come on board
from the Conception, and the other officers, and tenderly em-
braced them. Then, in exultant tones, he spoke :-
"My comrades, at last we have triumphed! Our perils
have been great, our trials and hardships sore and many.
But the reward of all has come. The passage that conducts
from the Atlantic to the farther ocean, that affords the
nearest way from Spain to the precious isles of the Moluccas,
is found. It is just before us; we shall pass through it,
if God pleases to still protect us, and shall sail into the ocean
beyond. We shall make other discoveries; find wealth and
fame for ourselves, and dominion for our monarch. Cap-
tains, repair to your ships; assemble your crews, and tell
them the good tidings Let your cannon awake deafening
echoes among these crags; float tihe royal standard and en-
signs of Spain from your mast-heads ; array your decks with
streamers and ribbons; lot wine and meat in plenty be set
forth; and render thanks to God for conducting us to this
great discovery !"
The admiral's orders were obeyed with a will. Ere long
the four ships, riding at anchor in the bay side by side, put
on an air of festivity and good cheer. The sailors crowded
the decks, singing and capering, embracing each other, and
every now and then breaking out into hoarse and lusty
cheers. The cannon boomed with quick succeeding volleys,
80 MAGELLAN DISCOVERS THE STRAIT.
their voices of thunder resounding from point to point; the
flags waved with joyous fluttering in the fresh breeze; and
then followed a bounteous feast on each deck, of which officers
and men partook together.
The religious thanksgiving for the discovery was not for-
gotten. The remains of the feast were cleaned away; in-
stead of the tables, altars arose on the decks ; and the priests,
with deep-toned voices, chanted the song of triumph which
their Church ordained.
When he had grown somewhat calmer, Magellan took the
two captains, Mesquita and Serrano, into his cabin, and
asked them to relate the particulars of their adventures.
"At first," said Mesquita, "we met with head-winds,
which would not allow us to weather the cape at the end of
the bay, and we attempted to turn round and come back to
the other ships. In making this attempt, we were very near
being stranded upon the shore. Every moment we feared
that we should be lost. Meanwhile, the tempest carried us
gradually toward the head of the cape, which we finally
reached. It seemed to us that the inlet ended there; and
on rounding the cape, we were surprised to see a small
mouth or corner of the inlet. We sailed for this, in the
hope of sheltering ourselves from the storm. On approach-
ing nearer, we found that this led into another bay, which
we forthwith entered. Crossing this bay we reached another
narrow channel, through which we sailed, until we came to
still a third bay, larger than either of the others; thence we
passed into a third strait, from which we could plainly dis-
cover the boundless ocean itself. Lying there over-night,
we returned to-day, to impart to you and our comrades the
glorious news we brought.?'
The weather was fair, and seemed settled, and Magellan
was eager to follow in the route that the Conception and the
MAGELLAN DISCOVERS THE STRAIT.
San Antonio had pursued. He therefore ordered the whole
fleet to set sail and advance through the channel. In no
long time the ships had entered the last strait described by
Mesquita, and all the adventurers now caught a glimpse, in
the far and dim distance, of the white-crested billows of the
farther ocean. They then anchored off a cape that jutted
into the strait, which Magellan named Cape Forward.
But Magellan found that, once here, he had by no means
found an easy passage through. The channel seemed to
divide into two, and to present two branches, one to the
south-east, the other to the south-west. Which should he
take ? Without doubt, one of them led to the ocean; the
other probably found its termination in a bay; nor could he
decide, from the point where he then was, which to attempt.
He therefore resolved to again send out the two ships, the
Conception and the San Antonio, to explore the two chan-
nels and to report to him their discoveries. Before doing
so, however, Magellan called together his officers and prin-
cipal men, and said to them :-
"We have no doubt discovered the passage from the At-
lantic to the farther seas. Ere very long our ships will ride
the waters of the sea beyond. It remains to decide whether
we shall push further forward and seek the Moluccas, or re-
turn with our good news to Spain. We have only provisions
for three months ; the voyage to the islands must be very
long and tedious; we may have to undergo stern trials,
severe privations. On the other hand, if we succeed in
reaching the Moluccas, vast riches await us there. We shall
gain dominion for the king, and receive yet greater fame
and honour in Spain, when at last we seek the hospitable
shores of home. I ask you, comrades, for your voices.
Which shall we do 7"
A loud shout promptly answered the admiral's question.
82 MAGELLAN DISCOVERS THE STRAIT.
"Let us go on!" was the eager response of Magellan's
One, however, Gomez, the pilot of the San Antonio, did
not join in the cry. When silence was restored, he spoke
boldly in favour of returning to Spain.
Our fleet," he said, is worn with so much sailing. The
ships are out of repair, and little able to withstand the
storms of unknown seas. We have already lost one of them
by shipwreck. Let us go back, and return next year with a
new and larger fleet."
"Enough of this!" retorted Magellan angrily. "We will
go on, even if we have to eat the leather off the ship's yards !"
The Conception and the San Antonio started off on their
errand of exploration. Several days elapsed, but they did
not return. Magellan feared that they were lost. He was
too impatient to wait for them, however; and one day he
set sail, with the two ships that remained, through the strait
that led south-westward. This, on reflection, seemed most
likely to lead to the open sea.
On their way they passed through a wide river, which,
from the number of little fishes they found in it, Magellan
named the River of Sardines. Anchoring in this river, he
sent out two of the long-boats, well supplied with men and
provisions, to reconnoitre the farther end of the river. The
boats returned after three days, with the intelligence that
the river led to the sea, the shores of which they had
As the Trinidad (the flag-ship) and the Victoria were
advancing through the river, to Magellan's delight the
Conception, which he had given up for lost, suddenly ap-
peared in view. She soon came alongside, and Serrano, the
captain, told Magellan that he had got lost in the strait
and among the islands. He had seen nothing of the San
MAGELLAN DISCOVERS THE STRAIT.
Antonio since he parted from her. Magellan accordingly
sent back the Victoria to the entrance of the passage in
search of her; and told the captain if he did not find the
missing vessel, to hoist a flag on the summit of a hill, and
place a letter in a jar at the foot of the flag-pole, so that if
the San Antonio saw the flag, its officers might learn by the
letter what course the fleet was holding.
The Victoria returned to the entrance, but saw no sign of
the San Antonio. The captain raised the flag, and deposited
the letter, as he had been directed, and placed another flag
and letter on a little island at the mouth of the strait.
What had really become of the San Antonio may be
related here. The pilot Gomez, who had urged Magellan
to return to Spain, was indignant at the stern response he
had received. He was one of those Spaniards who had all
along been jealous of the admiral, and, as it happened, most
of the sailors who went in the San Antonio had the same
When, therefore, the San Antonio had got well out of sight
of the fleet, and night had come on, Gomez incited the crew
to mutiny. They seized Mesquita, the captain, Magellan's
faithful friend, wounded him, put him in irons, and impris-
oned him in his cabin. Then Gomez took command of the
ship, sailed back through the strait, and at once put to
sea on his way to Spain. On his arrival there, he every-
where spread the report that Magellan's expedition had
miserably failed, and that the other ships had been lost; and
this was believed there for many months.
The three other ships, the Trinidad, Conception, and Vic-
toria, soon reached the mouth of the River of Sardines. At
the point where it flowed into the ocean appeared a hilly
cape, stretching out into the water. This Magellan called
Cape Desire, because, he said, this was a place he had long
84 MAGELLAN DISCOVERS THE STRAIT.
desired. As he saw beyond the jutting cliffs the long
sweep of billows, the boundless expanse of waters, his eyes
filled with tears of joy, and he lifted his hands heavenward
in mute thanksgiving to God, that at last his eyes were per-
mitted to behold the ocean he had sought. Once more the
cannon awoke the echoes of the lofty and forbidding shores,
and once more the priests chanted their praises to the benefi-
Near Cape Desire the ships found a good harbour, where
they could easily cast anchor, and where the crews could go
ashore. On the high hills, which in this place rose for a
long distance from near the water's edge, and which ter-
minated in towering, snow-crested mountains, they found
vast cedar forests and plenty of pure spring water. They
caught many fish too, among them a fish that so much resem-
bled sardines that they called them by that name; and they
found a sweet and succulent herb, which was similar to celery
in taste and appearance. This grew in damp places near the
The prospect in every direction was very striking and
picturesque. The crags and foaming gulfs of the strait, the
lofty mountains, the rich green forests of cedar, the luxuriant
herbage, and the limitless ocean, formed a scene which deeply
impressed itself on the minds of the weary wanderers.
The adventurers greatly enjoyed their stay at Cape Desire.
Their trials were forgotten amid the attractions of their
resting-place; the weather was growing cooler, but was not
yet bleak; sea and land afforded an abundance of fresh
provisions; and the admiral allowed his crews, while on
shore, the largest liberty. They wandered among the
odorous forests, and roamed over the hills, and some even
ventured to climb one of the mountains, until they found
themselves up to the waist in snow.
.MAGELLAN DISCOVERS THE STRAIT.
The natives of the region were very much like those
whom they had seen on the other side of the strait, only
they seemed brighter and more intelligent, and had a lan-
guage, which they spoke rapidly, with a guttural accent that
amused the sailors very much. The latter soon learned
enough of this strange jargon to talk a little with the
natives, who, after they once became accustomed to the
Europeans (the like of whom they had never before seen),
were very good-natured and sociable. They were of gigan-
tic stature, and made their faces hideous by painting and
branding them. They brought provisions to the ships, and
were greatly delighted with the beads, buttons, little bells,
and so on, with which Magellan rewarded them.
These natives lived for the most part on a juicy root
which grew in great abundance in the marshy places, and
which they cooked after a rude fashion. They had a way
of rubbing sticks together very rapidly, with the pith of a
tree between, and thus striking a light.
Magellan only tarried in this harbour long enough to
repair his ships, rest his crews, and take in a fresh supply of
wood, water, and provisions, and determine on his future
course. He made an excursion along the coast, and perceived
that, as far as he went, it stretched away almost due north-
ward. Ho therefore concluded that, if he sailed in that
direction, he would sooner or later reach the equator; and
that, if on approaching this line he altered his course towards
the north-westward, lie must in time arrive at the Moluccas.
He had now constructed, in a rude way, a pretty fair chart
of the world; though, of course, he could not give a true out-
line of the shape of the continents of Africa and South
One day, early in December, the fleet once more set forth,
upon an ocean which, in that region at least, had never
86. MAGELLAN DISCOVERS THE STRAIT.
before been ploughed by the keels of an European ship. More
than a year had passed since the voyagers had sailed out of
the harbour of Seville. What strange countries and peoples
they had seen! what thrilling adventures they had had!
But the perils and the scenes they had passed through were
to be outdone by those they were yet destined to encounter.
CROSSING THE PACIFIC.
AIR and calm were the days, and smooth and sparkling
was the sea, during the first weeks of Magellan's
progress over the ocean, hitherto untraversed by European
prows. The weather preserved an even temperature and
tranquillity, which made the voyage seem more like a pleasure
excursion than what it really was-a desperate and daring
venture. The crews worked at their tasks with cheery good
will; the ships sped on side by side; favourable breezes
wafted them rapidly forward. It did not seem possible that
aught could happen to disturb this prosperous setting-out.
Magellan, who was a good scholar as well as a brave
soldier and bold voyager, spent the long, sunshiny days por-
ing over his charts, making calculations, and estimating the
time it would take, if all went well, to reach the Moluccas.
In the midst of these studies, a thrilling thought one day
made him start to his feet and clasp his hands. He was
approaching the Moluccas by a westward route from Europe.
But the islands had already been reached by an eastward
route, around the Cape of Good Hope. If, then, after
arriving at the Moluccas, he should, instead of retracing his
voyage around South America, keep right on, double Africa,
and thus get back to Spain, he would have circumnavigated
CROSSING THE PACIFIC.
the globe. No voyager had ever achieved this triumph; he
would be the first to have encircled the earth !
He resolved on the spot that he would add this new laurel
to the crown of his fame. Alas though his glorious dream
was realized, he was not destined to live to see it.
So tranquil did the waters of the ocean remain from day
to day, and from week to week, that Magellan, impressed by
this striking contrast with the stormy and tempest-tossed
Atlantic, resolved to bestow upon it a name suggestive of its
Calling his officers about him one day, he thus spoke to
"My comrades, we are sailing on an unknown ocean. No
European ship has ever before ploughed these gentle waters.
On our charts this vast expanse is nameless. Do you not
see how smooth as a lake is its surface, how mild are its
breezes, how soft and even is its temperature ? Comrades, I
will give this great sea a name, and christen it. Henceforth
let it be known as the PACIFIC !"
And so Magellan gave a name, not only to the stormy
strait which he had discovered, but also to the mighty ocean
which he was the first European voyager to cross.
After sailing for some weeks, the fleet was becalmed in mid-
ocean. The winds which had sped the ships so buoyantly
fell, then died away. There was nothing to be done except
to toss about on the lonely sea, and await the return of
easterly breezes. But days, then weeks passed, and the
dreary calm continued. Sometimes a brisk wind would come
up, and the ships would then plough rapidly through the
waves; but it would vanish again, and leave them once more
At first, Magellan thought little of this. He was annoyed
not to make greater speed; but there was plenty of time, he
CROSSING THE PACIFIC.
thought, before them. As weeks elapsed, however, the calms
threatened evils to the adventurers far more serious than
mere delay. On examining his supplies of provisions, Magel-
lan perceived, to his dismay, that they were fast running
Long before this he had hoped to come upon islands where
his supplies could be replenished; but day after day the
same dreary expanse of waters, unbroken by so much as a
speck of dry land, greeted his eyes. At last, however, an
island did appear in sight. Magellan eagerly ordered the
ships to make for it. They approached-only to find a heap
of barren rocks, with a few stunted trees, and uninhabited,
except by noisy sea-birds. Not even was there good anchor-
age; while all about the ships swam hideous swarms of
sharks, ready to seize, in their vast and gaping jaws, any
luckless sailor who fell into the water, or even exposed himself
in a boat.
Magellan was forced to sail away from the island without
adding a fish or an herb to his provisions. Another month
passed, amid provoking calms, and out of sight of land; then
another island came in sight. This, too, proved bitterly dis-
appointing; for there was little vegetation, and not a living
thing appeared on its dismal and desolate surface. Here,
however, some of the sailors managed to land, and succeeded
in catching a few fish, which served to postpone, for a time
at least, the approach of actual hunger.
The fleet had now crossed the tropic of Capricorn, and was
rapidly nearing the equator. The heat grew intense. The
sun blazed remorselessly down upon the tar who ventured up
the masts. Men fell fainting and sun-stricken to the deck.
The platform actually burned under their feet; the pitch
which filled the seams softened and melted, and oozed out.
What made the heat still more unendurable, the supply of
CROSSING THE PACIFIC.
fresh water was now almost exhausted; what remained had
become so filthy and nauseous that the wanderers could not
drink it without shuddering, and it often made them ill.
Then Magellan was grief-stricken to be forced to reduce
the rations of his brave and suffering comrades. The
only food left consisted of coarse biscuit; and these were,
as one who was on board says, "reduced to powder, and
full of worms." They had been gnawed and defiled by
rats, and were scarcely eatable. But even such food was a
rich and rare luxury compared to that to which the poor
fellows were at last reduced. In no long time not a biscuit,
not a crumb remained. Then they were obliged to do the
very thing that Magellan had spoken of, when he said he
would go forward, "even if they had to eat the leather off
the yards." This miserable apology for food was now,
indeed, all that was left. The gaunt and famished sailors
tore off the ox-hides under the main-yard, which had been
placed there to protect the rigging from the strain of the
yard. The leather was so tough that the hungry teeth could
make no impression upon it. They attached pieces of it to
strong cords, and let them trail in the sea for four or five
days. When they were thus soaked through, the sailors
made a poor pretence of cooking the leather. They placed it
over the fire until it was singed, and then ate it greedily.
When the leather was gone, they devoured sawdust, and
eagerly hunted down the very rats that infested the ships,
and when they caught one, quarrelled fiercely to secure a bit
It seemed as if no misfortune were to be spared the un-
happy voyagers ; for while they were suffering all the horrors
of famine, that terrible sea distemper, the scurvy, broke out
in their midst. The gums of its victims swelled, so that they
could not eat even the wretched food still within their reach;
CROSSING TlHE PACIFIC.
and twenty of the sailors soon died of actual starvation.
Others grew ill, and ere long there were scarcely enough to
sail the ships.
An end came, however, to these terrible hardships at last.
The fleet had sailed from Cape Desire early in December.
In the first days of March it came in sight of some islands
that rose green and blooming from the bosom of the sea, and
even in the distance gave such promise of relief that the
adventurers fell on their knees on deck and fairly wept
There were three of the islands; one was larger than the
others, and rose in wooded hills to quite a height. Towards
this Magellan directed his course. When the ships ap-
proached to within a mile of it, of a sudden the water was
covered with long, slender boats with three-cornered sails,
filled with a multitude of fantastic figures. The canoes came
swarming towards the ships, their occupants crying out and
making all sorts of uncouth noises, and seeming to be not in
the least afraid of the strangers. It delighted Magellan and
his famished comrades to perceive that they brought with
them an abundance of provisions. The natives went on
board the ships as boldly as if they were in the habit of seeing
Europeans every day, bringing in their arms banana stalks
hung thick with the luscious fruit, cocoa-nuts, and other pro-
ducts of their island; and pretty soon the voyagers were de-
vouring these good things with greedy eagerness.
The natives were really fine-looking men, with smooth,
olive skins, handsome and pleasant faces, and tall, well-built
forms. Many were quite naked; some, however, wore
girdles or matted aprons about the waist, and queer-looking
hats made of palm-leaves. A few wore beards, and the thick
hair fell, in some cases, down to the waist.
Magellan and his officers treated their visitors with grate-
CROSSING THE PACIFIC.
ful goodwill, and allowed them to roam freely about the ships,
which they seemed anxious to do, and ere long the.vessels
fairly swarmed with them in every part. They seemed
perfectly harmless and good-natured, and danced and capered
about wildly when Magellan gave them some buttons and
As he was standing on the deck, watching their pranks
with an amused smile, one of the sailors came to him and
said that the islanders had cunningly stolen the skiff which
had been fastened to the stern of the Trinidad. Looking
over the side, Magellan saw them making off with it. At
the same moment, other sailors came up and reported that
the natives were laying hold of everything in the ship to
which they took a fancy, and were carrying what they thus
appropriated to their boats.
Magellan then ordered that they should be driven off the
ships, which was at once done. This evidently enraged the
savages very much, for no sooner had they got into their
boats than they began pelting the Spaniards with stones and
burning torches. Magellan then caused the cannon to be
fired over their heads. This, at first, produced the desired
result. The boats fled, amid much shrieking and yelling, to
the island. In the night, however, they returned, and did
much damage to the ships with their rude missiles.
The next morning Magellan, indignant at the thieving
propensities of the natives, and resolved to recover the skiff
they had stolen-for he could ill spare even a small boat-
manned several boats with forty men, armed to the teeth,
and taking his place in the foremost, went ashore. He found
the island a lovely one, overgrown with luxuriant tropical
fruits and plants, and adorned with beautiful forests. Pro-
ceeding inland from the shore, he soon came to a native
village, from whence the inhabitants, seeing him approach,
CROSSING THE PACIFIC.
fled in dismay. He burned the greater part of the village,
killed several of the natives, and took others prisoners, and
then returned to the shore, where he found his skiff, with
many canoes, moored in an inlet out of view of the ships.
Among his prisoners were a number of the native women.
These, Magellan observed with curiosity and interest, were
pretty and delicate, much fairer than the men, with loose and
flowing raven tresses, which fell to the very ground. They
had no clothing, except aprons made of a thin and pliable
bark, while their hair and faces were perfumed with cocoa
oil. Magellan learned a great deal that was singular about
the people and the island from one of his male prisoners, who
was very quick-witted, and who conversed with him by signs.
It appeared that they subsisted chiefly on figs, sweet canes,
birds, and fish. Both men and women were very fond of fishing
in the sea, which was, indeed, their chief pastime ; their fish-
hooks were made of fish-bones. While the men worked in
the fields, the women stayed at home in their huts and made
clothing and baskets of palm-leaves. The huts were built of
wood, and thatched with fig-leaves; their beds had palm-leaf
mats for covering, instead of blankets and quilts, the beds
themselves being simply bundles of soft, fine palm straw.
As for weapons they used long sticks, with sharpened and
pointed fish-bones at the end. The boats which Magellan
found in the-cove struck him as very odd. They were long,
narrow affairs, painted red, black, or white. The masts con-
sisted of crooked poles, which supported palm-leaf sails,
shaped like lateen sails, both fore and aft. For paddles they
had devices that looked like shovels.
Magellan remained off these islands three days. He gave
them the name of the "Isles of Thieves," because of the
depredations of the natives; and the islands are known by
that name to this day.
CROSSING THE PACIFIC
On weighing anchor, and proceeding on its way westward,
the fleet was followed by great crowds of the natives, in
innumerable boats, who chaffed the Spaniards by holding fish
up to them, as if to taunt them with their hunger. Then
they would throw showers of stones, most of which, however,
fell harmlessly into the water, short of the ships. They
rowed so swiftly and skilfully that it was impossible to hit
their boats with the cannon balls; nor did they desist and
return to their islands until the fleet was far out to sea.
Magellan had now reached the eastern edge of that vast
cluster of islands which comprises the Asiatic archipelago.
He soon found himself constantly passing among groups of
them; but as he had taken care to replenish his store of
provisions and water before sailing from the Isles of Thieves,
and was uncertain what his reception might be, he did not
care to cast anchor among them. In ten days he found the
islands becoming more dense, larger, and more luxurious in
vegetation; and now he came to one that seemed so inviting
that he could not resist the temptation to land. The group
of islands among which he was then passing he named the
St. Lazarus Islands, because it was on the day of that saint
that he reached them; but they are now known as the
Philippine Islands. The island at which Magellan cast
anchor and went ashore proved to be uninhabited; and he
was not sorry for this, as he might land in peace, and rest
his crews. He caused two large tents to be set upon the
smooth beach, and the sick sailors were taken out of the
ships and carried into them. There they were carefully
tended, and most- of them, in the balmy air, and supplied
with good food, soon recovered their customary vigour. On
this island, too, Magellan found plenty of pure water, which
had long been one of his direst needs.
Not far from this island was a larger one which is now
CROSSING THE PACIFIC.
called Samar. Magellan had not been at anchor more than
two days, when one of the sailors espied a long canoe, which
was rapidly approaching the shore where the Spaniards were.
Magellan, with some of his officers, walked boldly down to
the beach, as if to meet the new-comers; at the same time
cautioning his men not to move or speak without his per-
The natives sprang fearlessly upon the beach, and went
directly towards Magellan, whom they appeared to recog-
nize at once as the chief officer of the fleet. As they came,
they capered and danced about, and grinned with their big
mouths, showing rows of dazzling white teeth, as a token of
friendly welcome. Magellan made signs to them that he
was glad to see them; whereupon a number ran along the
beach, calling out to some of their countrymen, who now
appeared off the island in canoes, and were fishing, to come
It was a strange scene, this meeting of Asiatic savages,
creamy in colour, completely naked were it not for the aprons
of bark about their waists, with great masses of shaggy hair,
with the Europeans, the chief of whom were as elegantly
attired as if they were on the point of attending a royal
court ; the savages huddled together on one side, gazing
curiously, and every now and then jumping up and uttering
hoarse exclamations, and the Europeans standing in a silent
and attentive group, not forgetting to keep their hands on
their weapons in case of a sudden attack.
But the natives evidently had no hostile purpose in their
thoughts. They brought some just-caught and still wrig-
gling fish, and laid them, with many signs of respect, at
Magellan's feet. He was not less generous in his turn.
Sending into the tents for some trinkets, he might soon have
been seen, in the very midst of the natives, scattering among
CROSSING THE PACIFIC.
them a number of articles that fairly set them wild with
delight. There were looking-glasses and combs, red caps
and bells, toys of ivory, and gewgaws of silverware and
brass. The natives were not content with lavishing fish
upon the strangers. One of their canoes pushed off, and in
a flash had disappeared; ere long, it was seen returning as
rapidly as it went. Its occupants sprang ashore, bringing
with them a huge jar. Placing this before Magellan, they
produced cups made of cocoa-nut shells, dipped into the jar,
and brought forth the cups overflowing with some kind of
liquor. Magellan tasted it, and turning around, smiled and
nodded his head, as if to say, "It is very nice." But this
was only put on to please his visitors; it was really very
unpleasant stuff--a sort of wine made of palms. The
natives drank it with great gusto. Magellan liked much
better the enormous figs they brought him, which were
sweet and juicy, and the rich milk of the cocoa-nuts, which
they cracked for his delectation.
The natives, indeed, proved so friendly that Magellan not
only secured from them what provisions he needed, with
which to replenish his stores, but learned a great deal about
that part of the great ocean where he now found himself. He
was told that there were many larger islands ahead, all of
which were inhabited by tribes with various traits and cus-
toms, and were very rich in their productions. He could
not doubt that he was very near the far-famed Molucca
Islands, so much coveted both by his adopted country, Spain,
and his native country, Portugal. It seemed certain to him
that the vast continent of Asia lay not far to the north of him
-those mysterious regions once comprising the dominions of
the great Kubla Khan-and that by sailing steadily west-
ward he should reach the shores of Africa, and find the
kingdoms which Vasco da Gama had visited.