ENE STN eT
SN WARS a8 f ar a
Story of Magellan
FIRST VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD
George M. Towle
T. NELSON AND SONS
London, Edinburgh, and New York
MaceEtnan performed a voyage far more difficult, perilous,
and uncertain than that of Vasco da Gama 3 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 3 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
Magellanâ€™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.
Magellanâ€™s own character is well fitted to call forth the
young readerâ€™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 worldâ€™s
history, and can scarcely fail to interest as well as inform
those who peruse it.
I. MAGELLAN GOES TO COURT, an ec oq ee 7
Il MAGELLAN AT THE WARS, oe oN eee are 17
Ill MAGELLAN IN SPAIN, ... oe Sa Ae as 27
IV, PREPARATIONS FOR THE VOYAGE, ee 66 ae 87
V. MAGELLAN CROSSES THE ATLANTIC, ee ee a 47
VI. THE MUTINY, ... a os ai aes a 57
VII. ADVENTURES WITH THE GIANTS, Se tee ae 66
VIII. MAGELLAN DISCOVERS THE STRAIT, ce ae se 75
IX. CROSSING THE PACIFIC, ... coe a a aes 87
X. MAGELLAN AMONG THE MALAYS, as ee oo 99
XI. ADVENTURES AT SEBU, ... an oe aay as 109
XII. THE BARBARIANS CONVERTED, ... a ase bas 117
XII. A HEROâ€™S DEATH, ama es ae a ee 128
XIV. THE KINGâ€™S TREACHERY, 608 tes a ie 140
XV. ADVENTURES AT BORNEO, ne es Bi ae 150
XVI. DISCOVERY OF THE SPICE ISLANDS, ae A ae 160
XVII. SAILING TOWARDS HOME, oes ae Gea ba 169
XVIII. THE â€˜â€˜ VICTORIAâ€ REACHES SPAIN, 0 a ea 177
MAGELLAN GOES TO COURT.
OT 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
â€œhidalgoâ€ (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 neenboune
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 Magellanâ€™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
8 MAGELIAN 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 birthâ€”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 Fernanâ€™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. 9
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 burdenâ€”a deer or a boarâ€”too heavy
to be carried without the aid of servants. It was Fernanâ€™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 dayâ€™s sport.
Sometimes he encountered even more formidable foes than
these ; for the â€œTraz os Montesâ€ 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 â€œportâ€ 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 Fernanâ€™s time Oporto was even a busier place than it
10 MAGELLAN 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 Fernanâ€™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. 11
exciting pleasures of the city, the bull-fghts 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
manâ€™s brows were knit, and that his face wore a serious and
â€œWhat troubles you, Fernan?â€ asked the hidalgo. â€œFor
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.â€
Fernan did as he was bidden, and after a moment said,
â€œTt 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.â€
â€œAnd that shall you, if you please!â€ said the old man.
â€œTo 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 fatherâ€™s hand. â€œ You fill me with happiness, my father !â€
he exclaimed. â€œNothing do I desire so much as to go to
12 MAGELLAN 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?â€
â€œTn what haste are you, Fernan, to leave home and kin-
dred!â€ replied the old man sorrowfully. â€œBut 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.â€
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 sailorâ€™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. 13
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 fatherâ€™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 Fernanâ€™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
horseâ€™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. YFernanâ€™s
14 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 illmatured 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-
â€œThe son of the hidalgo Magellan is right welcome,â€ said
King Manuel, as Fernan bowed low before him; â€œand it
MAGELLAN GOES TO COURT. 15.
will please me to.give him a place in my household.â€ 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 kingâ€™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-
16 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
MAGELIAN AT THE WARS.
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 Fernanâ€™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 Fernanâ€™s ambition,
and stimulated anew his longing to enter upon a career of
adventure. In no long time he made Vasco da Gamaâ€™s ac-
quaintance, and was soon admitted to his intimacy; and
many an hour did the young man spend at Da Gamaâ€™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.
18 MAGELLAN AT THE WARS.
There was then at the Portuguese court a brave and
enterprising captain, named Francisco dâ€™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 Gamaâ€™s return, Dâ€™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 Hast 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.
Dâ€™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 Dâ€™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 Dâ€™Almeydaâ€™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. 19
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.
Dâ€™Almeydaâ€™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, Dâ€™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 Dâ€™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
20 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
Dâ€™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. Dâ€™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
Dâ€™ 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. 21
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 Dâ€™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, jealousâ€™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 wp 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
Dâ€™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 Albuquerqueâ€™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 â€œthe
world is a ring, and Ormuz is the gem set in it.â€ At the
22 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 â€œgem of the worldâ€
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
Albuquerqueâ€™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. 23
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, butâ€™ 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.
24 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,â€”
â€œSir, did you not promise to stay with us?â€
â€œYes,â€ shouted back Magellan ; â€œand see, I am coming !â€
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 3
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,
MAGELLAN AT THE WARS. 25
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 generalâ€™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,
Magellanâ€™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-
26 MAGELLAN AT THE WARS.
hold in Maroceo. 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.
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 Albuquerqueâ€™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.
Tf 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.
28 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 Magellanâ€™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,
â€œWell, sir,â€ said he sternly, â€œwhy have you left your
post in Africa to come hither? What petition do you desire
â€œT have come, your majesty,â€ replied Magellan, bowing,
â€œto 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.â€
â€œ Magellan,â€ was the royal retort, â€œ 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 foolâ€™s errand. What do you wish?â€
â€œThe king is not just to me,â€ boldly declared the cavalier;
MAGELLAN IN SPAIN. 29
â€œbut 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
â€œTt is folly,â€ said the king; â€œI 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.â€
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 cavalierâ€™s shoulder.
â€œBe of good cheer, Magellan,â€ said he in a low, sym-
pathetic voice. â€œThere 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.â€
â€œWhat mean you, my friend?â€ asked Magellan, looking
up with a bright glance in his eyes, for the otherâ€™s words
gave him a world of encouragement and comfort ; â€œwhat
career is open to me besides that which King Manuel re-
â€œWhy, that which his rival, King Charles, will open to
30 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?â€
â€œWhat, Faleiro,â€ exclaimed Magellan, â€˜would you have
me desert my native land and my sovereign to seek a foreign
â€œNothing is more common,â€ replied the other. â€˜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?â€
Faleiroâ€™s words sank deep into Magellanâ€™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 Faleiroâ€™s arm, he walked with him slowly out of
the palace toward his friendâ€™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 Manuelâ€™s court. Jt 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
kingâ€™s harsh words to Magellan, and he now devoted himself
to reviving the downcast spirits of his friend.
They soon reached Faleiroâ€™s abode. It was a plain, some-
MAGELLAN IN SPAIN. 31
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
â€œThe present is dark to you, dear Fernan,â€ he said; â€œit
seems to you, does it not, as if no bright future were in store
â€œDo you bid me hope,â€ was Magellanâ€™s reply, â€œfor better
â€œT 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 oceanâ€™s perils, to search out
new countries. We will seck our fortune on the deep to-
His friendâ€™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,
32 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 ib 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 Barbosaâ€™s.
Of one member of the family Magellan became especially
fond. This was Barbosaâ€™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. 33
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 Manuelâ€™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.
Magellanâ€™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-
34 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 Magellanâ€™s exploits in India and
Africa, and was delighted to learn that he now proposed to
enter King Charlesâ€™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 Magellanâ€™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 bounteots 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 IN SPAIN. 35
she welcomed him with the same blushing warmth that she
used todo. 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 Diegoâ€™s,
and made up for the lost time in hig 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 donâ€™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
Charlesâ€™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 MAGELLAN 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 hig
PREPARATIONS FOR THE VOYAGE.
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 VOVAGE.
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 Charlesâ€™s eager ambition.
On being dismissed from the royal presence, Magellan and
Faleiro returned to their lodgings to await, in anxious sus-
pense, the kingâ€™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,
â€œThe king,â€ he said, â€œhas 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 Magellanâ€™s
heart beat with proud and ambitious anticipation. The
chief longing of his life was about to be gratified. He
PREPARATIONS FOR THE VOYAGE. 39
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 Magellanâ€™s path was not yet an altogether smooth one.
Many Spanish courtiers and captains became jealous of the
foreignerâ€™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 hofours 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 Magellanâ€™s zeal and genius,
At the Spanish court was a great Portuguese noble, named
Alvaro da Costa, who was King Manuelâ€™s ambassador. To
him King Manuel sent word to do everything in his power
to prevent Magellanâ€™s expedition from setting out. Da
Costa was very anxious to please his master, for he hoped
for promotion if he 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 Charles 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 Magellanâ€™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 41
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 Manuelâ€™s
agent in Seville, an old acquaintance of Magellanâ€™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.
â€œThe road you are going on,â€ he said, â€œhas as many
dangers as St. Catherineâ€™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.â€
â€œNot justly,â€ was Magellanâ€™s reply, â€œfor 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.â€
â€œNay, if you obey the king, he will do you honour; if
not, you must suffer his vengeance.â€
But Magellan could not be dissuaded from his purpose,
and Alvarez was forced to leave him in despair and report
his ill-suecess 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, winterâ€™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. 43
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 Sevilleâ€”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 Zrinidad, 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 Â©
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 Z'rinidad 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 taskâ€”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 Diegoâ€™s library
â€”for Don Diego was a man of learning, and had many
valuable books, for which he had paid great pricesâ€”with
heavy tomes upon his knee, deep in their contents 3 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. 45
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 admiralâ€™s uniform, and lingered
for awhile, locked in his wifeâ€™s close embrace. He 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 himâ€”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 fatherâ€™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 Magellanâ€™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 hima 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 ineir 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 shipsâ€™ 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.
OME 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 shipsâ€™ 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.
â€œFirst,â€ he said, â€œmy 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 eens 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 nightâ€”one at dusk, a second at
midnight, and a third at break of dayâ€”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.â€
At last, to Magellanâ€™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 courge 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 Balboaâ€™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 phould be no doubt that the
MAGELLAN CROSSES THE ATLANTIC. 49
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, they began to
be assailed by fierce gales and blinding rain-storms,
But they kept steadily on their way, Magellanâ€™s flag-ship,
with its ever-glimmering lantern swinging on the poop-deek
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, the voyagers
50 MAGELLAN CROSSES THE ATLANTIC.
observed many wonderful things, new 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 eges 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. 51
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 Magellanâ€™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. 53
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 :â€”
â€œThey 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.â€
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 pigâ€™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 MAGEILAN 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 â€œcanoes.â€ 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 parrotâ€™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.
â€˜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. 55
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. â€˜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 neighbouring 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
parrotsâ€™ 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,
_J 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 entcred the sea. This was
what we now call the River de la Plata, upon whose banks
stand, not far from the mouth, the flourishing citics 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
58 THE MUTINY.
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 â€œ(Goose Harbour.â€
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 MUTINY. 59
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 Magellan 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 Magellanâ€™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 Magellanâ€™s fleet
three were Spaniardsâ€”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
60 THE MUTINY.
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 Magellanâ€™s cousin Serrano, was in like manner
to be seized, and Cartagena would then assume command of
THE MUTINY. 61
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.
â€œThe admiral commands you to beach and careen your
ship,â€ was the reply.â€”â€œ We obey no orders,â€ retorted the
lieutenant, â€œbut those of Juan de Cartagena, the true
admiral of the fleet.â€
The sailors rowed back in all haste to Magellanâ€™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 Mendozaâ€™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, Mendozaâ€™s
ship, Fernandes called to Mendoza, and asked permission to
board the ship. But this the captain refused to allow him
â€œSurely,â€ replied Fernandes, â€œyou are not afraid of one
man bringing a letter to you.â€
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, â€œIn the name
of the king you are arrested |â€
Before Mendozaâ€™s men could recover from their surprise,
Fernandesâ€™s companions had rushed upon the deck with their
62 THE MUTINY.
swords drawn. â€˜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. Jiercely addressing him, at the same time
shaking the breath out of him, the constable cried, â€œYou
traitor, you shall die!â€
Throwing Mendoza on the deck, he held him down with
his knees, and drawing a huge dagger from his belt, plunged
it deep into Mendozaâ€™s throat. The captain writhed in
anguish, and in another moment lay stark dead upon his
Magellan observed the success of Fernandesâ€™s stratagem
from the deck of the flag-ship. He now ordered the Zrinidad
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 Mendozaâ€™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 Antonro. Magellan
knew that he was still surrounded by Spaniards, who might
be his enemies, and suspected that Cartagenaâ€™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
THE MUTINY. 63
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 Victorta 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 Victorza. As soon
as it floated alongside, Magellan shouted out, â€˜Treason !
treason!â€ 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 hishold. 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
64 THE MUTINY.
deck of the Victoria, Magellan coldly addressed him as fol-
â€œJuan 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.â€
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,
â€˜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,
THE MUTINY. 65
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-
gellanâ€™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.
ADVENTURES WITH THE GIANTS.
HE 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 leapâ€™ 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. 67
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 Magellanâ€™s quarters.
On coming into the admiralâ€™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 savageâ€™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 himâ€”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 tallas himself. They received the
four Spaniards with singing and jumping, meanwhile pointing
to the heavens in the same manner as the first comer had
â€˜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, â€œ Was not
that a wonderful feat?â€
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. 69
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 womenâ€™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 day 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 ot
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. 71
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 â€œcapac.â€ 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 seamanâ€™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
ADVENTURES WITH THE GIANTS. 73
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
was rescued. ;
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 7rinidad, the admiralâ€™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.
MAGELLAN DISCOVERS THE STRAIT.
T 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 jutied
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.
â€œT shall go on,â€ he said, â€œeven 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?â€
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 wag 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. 77
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,
Magellanâ€™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. â€˜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 fect,
â€œPraise be to God, admiral!â€ cried he, when he could
recover his breath so as to speak 3 â€œwe have found the
outlet !â€ â€˜
Magellan, with flushed face, his whole body trembling
MAGELLAN DISCOVERS THE STRAIT. 79
with excitement and emotion, raised the faithful captain
from the deck, and clasping him about the neck burst into
tears of joy.
â€œTs it indeed true?â€ he said, with faltering voice. â€œAnd
have you seen the other oceanâ€”the western ocean beyond ?â€
â€œWe have indeed seen it with these very eyes,â€ replied
Mesquita. â€œWe came near perishing in the storm; but we
kept on, and we have succeecled.â€
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 :â€”
â€œMy 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 the royal standard and en-
signs of Spain from your mast-heads ; array your decks with
streamers and ribbons; leb wine and meat in plenty be set
forth ; and render thanks to God for conducting us to this
great discovery |â€
The admiralâ€™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.â€™ 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,
â€œAt first,â€ said Mesquita, â€œwe 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 3 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 3 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.â€
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. 81
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 :â€”
â€œWe have no doult 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?â€
A loud shout promptly answered the admiralâ€™s question.
82 MAGELLAN DISCOVERS THE STRAIT.
â€œTet us go on!â€ was the eager response of Magellanâ€™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,â€ he said, â€œis 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.â€
â€œEnough of this!â€ retorted Magellan angrily. â€˜â€˜ We will
go on, even if we have to eat the leather off the shipâ€™s yards!â€
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 Magellanâ€™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. 83
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, Magellanâ€™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 Magellanâ€™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 waterâ€™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
restine-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. 85
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. He 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, he 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 Magellanâ€™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 wasâ€”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.
Tn 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 cireumnavigated
88 OROSSING 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
â€œMy 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 Pacrric |â€
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. 89
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 approachedâ€”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
90 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, â€œreduced to powder, and
full of worms.â€ 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, â€œeven if they had to eat the leather off
the yards.â€ 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
of him. :
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 THE PACIFIC. 91
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-
92 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 stolenâ€”for he could ill spare even a small boatâ€”
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. 98
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, swect canes,
birds, and fish. Both men and women were very fond of fishing
in the sea, which was, indeed, their chief pastime ; their tish-
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 â€œIsles of Thieves,â€ because of the
depredations of the natives; and the islands are known by
that name to this day.
94 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 goon 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 go 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. 95
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 clegantly
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
Magellanâ€™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
96 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, â€œIt is very nice.â€ But this
was only put on to please his visitors; it was really very
unpleasant stuffâ€”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 cocoanuts, 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
â€”those mysterious regions once comprising the dominions of
the great Kubla Khanâ€”and that by sailing steadily west-
ward he should reach the shores of Africa, and find the
kingdoms which Vasco da Gama had visited.
CROSSING THE PACIFIC. 97
He found that he could trust his swarthy visitors, and no
longer hesitated to take them on board the ships, and show
them his cargo of spices and gold, his cabins, and his arma-
ment. On one occasion he caused one of the cannon on
board the Trinidad to be fired, which so much frightened
the natives that several of them sprang overboard into the
sea, and were with difficulty rescued.
At last the chief of the island from whence the natives
came himself paid a visit to the ships in state. He was at-
tended by many nobles, and had his face painted, while
heavy gold ear-rings hung from his ears and gold bracelets
encircled his wrists. He was an old man, with gentle man-
ners and a pleasant smile. With him he brought two boats
laden with oranges, palm wine, and, what very much pleased
Magellan, some chickens.
Before sailing away from the place where he had met so
pleasant a reception, Magellan visited several neighbouring
islands, in each of which he was welcomed in a most peace-
ful and friendly manner. On one of these he found people
very different from those he had seen at first. They were
of a tawny complexion, and very fat and sleek-looking ; they
painted their bodies all over ; they had great holes bored in
their ears; and wore, as did the others, aprons made of bark
or palm-leaves. They had a habit of anointing themselves
from head to foot with oil of cocoa-nuts and sesame, in
order, as they said, to protect them from the sun and wind.
Some of the chief men were arrayed in long gowns made of
cotton, the ends of which were fringed with a kind of silk;
their weapons were daggers and knives, the hilts in some
cases ornamented with gold; and for fishing they had har-
poons and nets.
These savages had one habit which greatly disgusted Ma-
gellan and his companions. This was their habit of betel-
98 CROSSING THE PACIFIC.
chewing. A sort of pear-shaped fruit, called areca, grew on
the islands. This, with some lime, they would wrap up in
the betel-leaves, and putting it into their mouths, would
chew eagerly by the hour together. It had the effect of
keeping them continually excited ; but when the Spaniards
tasted it, it made them very sick,
Magellan remained among the Philippines a week. The
ships fortunately needed but few repairs, and the great fruit-
fulness of the islands supplied him with an ample abundance
of provisions. The two springs on the little island yielded
plenty of good water, and the forests on the larger islands
afforded an excellent stock of wood. It seemed as if the
trials of the wanderers were passed, and as if the rest of their
voyage were to be a holiday sail.
MAGELLAN AMONG THE MALAYS,
T was now the latter part of March, in that tropical
region one of the pleasantest periods of the year, when
the sun no longer blazed down remorselessly, and the superb
vegetation of the equatorial lands displayed its gaudiest
As the ships wound in among clusters of islands, which
were now never out of sight a single day, Magellan thought
he had never seen so many natural beauties, that he had
never imagined such trees and shrubs and flowers, so glowing
an atmosphere, so smooth and fair a sea, such beautiful
forests, jungles, valleys, such fairy isles, as he now beheld,
He often sat on deck at sunrise and gazed on the magic
scene ; observed the lovely islands as one after another was
passed ; saw the natives as they ran about on the shore, or
huddled in curious groups to watch the ships; and inhaled
the rich, dense perfumes that the breezes wafted from the
After skirting many islands the fleet came one night near
an island where a great fire appeared to be burning. The
next morning Magellan anchored just off its shores, and no
sooner had he done so than a boat with eight men pulled out
from the island and approached the Trinidad. When it came
100 MAGELLAN AMONG THE MALAYS.
near, a Malay, whom Magellan had brought with him as an
interpreter, exclaimed in an excited voice that the men in
the boat were his countrymen, and that he would speak to
them. Magellan told him to do so, and the Malay, leaning
over the side of the ship, rattled off some gibberish at the
top of his lungs. The men in the boat, as soon as they heard
him, jumped up and began to make wild gesticulations, and
when he paused, replied to him in the same tongue. The
interpreter asked them to come on board the Trinidad, but
they replied that they were afraid to do so.
Then Magellan caused a small plank to be brought; to
this he tied a red cap and some trinkets, and threw it into
the water near the boat. The natives seized the plank
eagerly, and the chief of them, detaching the cap, put it on
his shagey head and began dancing about in the boat.
Presently they rowed rapidly away, and Magellan was
about to weigh anchor and proceed on his voyage, when he
saw two larger boats, with many more men in them, put out
from the shore. As the foremost drew near the Trinidad, he
perceived in the centre of it a tall, dark man, much more
richly dressed than his companions, seated under an awning
of mats. He asked the interpreter who this man could be.
The Malay replied that he was doubtless the king of the
island. Such, indeed, he proved; for the Malay addressed
him in his own language, to which the swarthy monarch
readily replied. He could not be prevailed upon to trust
his royal person on board the flag-ship, but sent some of his
courtiers, whom Magellan cordially welcomed, and to whom
he confided some presents for the king. In return the king
sent him a large bar of solid gold, which made the eyes of
the sailors sparkle, and a basket of ginger.
Finding this native prince so friendly, Magellan resolved
to prolong his stay at the island, which was called Mazzava.
MAGELLAN AMONG THE MALAYS. 101
The ships moved around into a convenient cove, quite near
the royal residence, and now every day civilities passed be-
tween the natives and the Spaniards, The king was soon
persuaded to go on board the Trinidad, and on his arrival
in great state one morning he went up to Magellan and
tenderly embraced him. The admiral had an arm-chair
placed on deck for his august visitor, and entered into familiar
conversation with him, the Malay acting as interpreter.
The king said that he wished to be â€œcassi, cassiâ€ with
Magellanâ€”that is, the best of friends 3 and in token of his
amiable disposition, he produced some china dishes, on which
were rice and fish.
Magellan was not to be outdone in generosity and polite-
ness. He gave the king a robe of red and yellow cloth and
a handsomely-embroidered red cap ; seeing to it that presents
of knives and mirrors were also made to the kingâ€™s attendants,
Magellan then caused cloths of different colours, linen, and
coral to be brought and shown to his guest ; and ordered the
artillery to be fired, which much pleased the king, who,
having heard guns fired before, was not terrified The king,
seeing one of the Spaniards with a suit of armour on, asked
what was the purpose of go strange an attire ; whereupon
Magellan ordered three other Spaniards to strike the man in
armour with swords and daggers as hard as they could. The
king observing that they made no impression on him then
understood why armour was worn.
Magellan took care to let the swarthy monarch know that
he had two hundred men who, thus cladâ€™ in armour, could
fight without being harmed by any enemyâ€™s weapons.
Resolved to show the king still further evidence of the
powers of the Europeans in battle, he commanded two of
his soldiers to engage in a mock combat in fencing. The
potentate leaned forward in his chair, and gazed breathlessly
102 MAGELLAN AMONG THE MALAYS.
at the struggle. He seemed amazed at the skill with which
the soldiers parried each otherâ€™s blows, and aimed rapid and
deadly thrusts at each otherâ€™s breasts. He examined the
swords, cuirasses, and helmets which were brought for his
inspection with the deepest interest.
Then turning to Magellan, whom he was beginning to
regard as something more than mortal, he asked if he had
made a long voyage, and how he was able to navigate his
great ships hither. Magellan then showed the king his
charts, compass, quadrants, and other instruments, and ex-
plained their use as well as he could, and made the king
stare with wonder when he told him that he had sailed for
many months without seeing a speck of land in any direction.
The royal visit was brought to a close by a bountiful re-
past in the admiralâ€™s cabin, at which the best things the
ships afforded, or that had been procured on the islands,
were served, daintily prepared and cooked by the stewards
of the fleet. The king tasted of all the dishes, eating some
of them with a keen relish, and making wry faces at others.
He disdained the use of knives and forks, but ate fast with
his fingers. He became very merry after drinking some
port wine, to which he took a vast liking; and once more
embracing Magellan, swore eternal friendship for him and
his mighty sovereign, the King of Spain.
A day or two after, it was arranged that two of Magellanâ€™s
principal men should go on shore, visit the kingâ€™s house, and
see the town and the natives. One of these was Antonio
Pigafetta, an accomplished, courtly Italian, a cherished friend
of Magellan, who years afterwards wrote the best account
that exists of Magellanâ€™s voyage and exploits.
As soon as Pigafetta and his companion had landed on
the island, the king approached them, and lifted his hands to
the sky ; and they did the same. This, it appears, was the
MAGELLAN AMONG THE MALAYS. 103
way the king had of saying, â€œYou are right welcome.â€
Then he conducted his visitors to an inlet, the shores of
which grew thick with tall canes, ahd where a long boat
was moored, and made motions to them to step on board
and take their seats on the little deck in the aft end. The
royal attendants stood around, with their swords and spears.
Presently some roast pig and wine were brought, and with
these his majesty regaled them. Pigafetta noticed that
whenever there was any wine left in the cups it was poured
back carefully into the vase again. The islanders were evi-
dently very economical. Their way of drinking was curious.
They first raised their hands aloft, then took the cup in their
right hand, while they held out the left towards their com-
panions. The king, just before drinking, clenched his fist
and thrust it close to Pigafettaâ€™s face; but the latter, per-
ceiving that it was a friendly and not a hostile motion, re-
turned the singular compliment.
When the two guests had feasted to the top of their bent
off roast pig, rice, and broth, they were conducted to the
royal palace. A poor-looking palace indeed it wasâ€”a long,
rickety building, which reminded Pigafetta of the barns in
his own country, thatched with fig and palm leaves. It
rested on heavy timbers and posts, and a flight of steps
reached to its first story from the outside. On entering the
chief apartment of the king, Pigafetta observed a plain floor
covered with mats, and supplied with rude, low tables.
No sooner were the strangers, the king, and the courtiers
seated on the mats, than more food and drink was brought.
These people seemed, indeed, for ever eating and drinking.
This time Pigafetta and his comrade were treated to roast
fish and ginger, which really tasted quite nice. Pigafettaâ€™s
companion, indeed, enjoyed his supper so much, especially
the wineâ€”which was far more palatable than that they had
104 MAGELLAN AMONG THE MALAYS.
got at the other islandsâ€”that he grew very tipsy, and made
so much noise that Pigafetta was obliged to have him carried
to one corner of the room and laid ona mat. Here he was
goon snoring soundly in a deep slumber.
Presently the prince, the kingâ€™s son and heir, a comely,
cream-coloured young man, came in, and his father made
him sit at Pigafettaâ€™s side. As soon as it was dark, torches
made of the gum of a tropical tree, and wrapped in palm
and fig leaves, were brought and lighted, and these lit up
a very curious and unwonted scene. The king now went
away to his own sleeping apartment, leaving the prince with
Pigafetta, to sleep in that where they had supped. On re- .
tiring, his majesty kissed Pigafettaâ€™s hands.
The Italian found his bed to consist of some pillows and
cushions stuffed with leaves. It was a rough place for
repose, but having been used to the trials of the sea, he
minded it little, and slept soundly until he was awakened
by some of the royal attendants. He and his companion
breakfasted gaily with the king; and while they were at the
table, there appeared another potentate, a brother of their
host, who was the king of a neighbouring island. This per-
sonage impressed Pigafetta very much. He was a tall and
very handsome man, with raven-black hair that fell in thick
clusters about his shoulders, and a dark, copper complexion,
large and brilliant black eyes, and an erect and symmetrical
figure. Upon his head he wore a kind of turban of rich
silk, finely embroidered; he was attired in a silken tunic
that reached his knees ; two enormous gold rings hung from
his ears; at his side was suspended a dagger, the handle of
which was solid gold, and the sheath carved wood; while
his person exhaled a strong and agreeable perfume. When
this king spoke, Pigafetta perceived that on each of his teeth
were stuck little round disks of gold, which made his mouth
MAGELLAN AMONG THE MALAYS. 105
fairly shine when he opened it. Pigafetta was told that the
island on which he ruled had gold mines, from which great
nuggets of the precious metal were often extracted.
Pigafetta and his companion then returned to the flag-ship,
carrying this monarch with them. Magellan received him
as cordially as he had received his brother, and he went
away fully as much delighted with the Spaniards as his
brother had been. aster had now come, and Magellan,
who was a good Catholic, and throughout his voyage had
never omitted to observe each festivity of the Church as it
came, resolved to have a solemn mass performed, in honour
of the anniversary of the resurrection of Christ. He therefore
sent a message to the King of Mazzava, informing him that
the voyagers were going on shore, not to visit him, but to
hold a religious festival. He invited the two kings and their
courtiers to be present, and to join in the devotions of the
Europeans, if they saw fit.
It was an impressive scene on that brilliant, warm Easter
Sunday morning, on the shore of a tropical isle, with its lofty
palms and luxuriant shrubs growing almost to the water's
edge, thousands of miles from the nearest Christian church,
in the midst of regions given over to idol worship and the
densest barbarism. There were the weather-beaten sailors,
rough and rude, attired in such show of good clothing as they
could still afford; there were the officers, in more imposing
costume, their swords hung at their sides, their velvet cloaks
thrown across their shoulders, their heads adorned with sashed
and plumed caps; there was Magellan, with serious counten-
ance, awaiting the beginning of the rite ; and there, strangest
of all, stood the two swarthy kings, with painted faces, decked
out in fantastic and savage finery, surrounded by their dark-
featured and half-nude courtiers, watching with keen interest
the scene that was being enacted before them. On the smooth
106 MAGELLAN AMONG THE MALAYS.
strand an altar had been set up, with lighted candles, and
lace draperies, and such other ornaments as had been brought
for religious purposes on the voyage; and before it now ap-
peared two priests, with shaven heads and long embroidered
Just before the mass began, Magellan advanced to the two
kings, and, taking his place between them, gently sprinkled
them with musk-rose water. Then the cannon boomed from
the ships; and this deafening noise was succeeded by the
clear voices of the priests rising in the intonation of the
sacred words. At one period of the ceremony the Christians
went forward and kissed a cross held by one of the priests,
and their example was followed by the barbarian monarchs
and their subjects. When the host was elevated, all, in-
cluding the natives, prostrated themselves on the ground ;
and at this moment the cannon once more pealed forth from
the decks of the ships.
Mass over, Magellan ordered that the more lively and
worldly festivities should begin, and the kings watched with
wonder and delight the skilful fencing and the rough martial
sports in which the Spaniards now lustily engaged. They
were amazed at the strength of the wrestlers, witnessed
breathlessly the shooting matches, for which targets were
set up on the strand, and looked on eagerly while rough
games of many kinds were played by the strangers.
There was one more task for Magellan to perform ere he
left these hospitable isles. He was now in regions the dis-
covery and possession of which Spain and Portugal disputed
between them, Although himself by birth a Portuguese,
Magellan owed now his allegiance to the King of Spain, who
had trusted him, and confided to him the command of the
fleet. As the two countries aspired to divide the eastern
world between them, it was necessary for him to have a care
MAGELLAN AMONG THE MALAYS. 107
for the interests of the sovereign he served, and to take pos-
session of the places where he landed.
Not very far from the shore where mass had been cele-
brated rose a lofty and verdant hill, the summit of which,
however, was quite bare. It was the highest eminence on
the island ; the top could be discerned from a great distance
by a ship at sea. Upon the summit Magellan resolved to
erect a cross, surmounted by a wooden crown, as a token
that he had taken possession of the island in the name of
the Spanish king.
It was not difficult to persuade the King of Mazzava to
allow him to do this, The barbarian monarch was told that
King Charles had commanded such crosses to be raised
wherever his voyagers went; that if, in future, any Spanish
ships came to Mazzava, they would know by the cross that
it was a friendly country, and would commit no violence on
the people; and that if any of his subjects were ever ill-
treated by Spaniards, they would make full reparation as
soon as the cross was shown to them.
Magellan did not forget to add a pious lesson to these per-
suasions. He assured his royal host that the cross was the
symbol of the Christian deity ; and that if he and his people
would, at the approach of danger, fall down and adore it, no
harm could come to themâ€”neither thunder, lightning, nor
tempest could injure them.
The king and his brother, the other king, readily consented
that the cross should be erected; whereupon Magellan, at-
tended by fifty of his sturdiest men, armed to the teeth,
several of whom carried the heavy cross, slowly ascended the
hill. With him went the two kings and their retinues.
Arrived at the summit, the Spaniards dug a deep hole ;
the cross was placed in position, and the hole was filled up.
Magellan advanced, and knelt before the cross a moment ;
108 MAGELLAN AMONG THE MALAYS.
then rising and taking off his cap, he declared the island to
be the dominion of the King of Spain.
Soon after, Magellan went to bid adieu to the two mon-
archs, who overwhelmed him, not only with an affectionate
reception, which they expressed by touching his forehead and
kissing his hands, but with an abundance of the good things
their fruitful land afforded. They described the islands by
which he would pass on his way, told him of the traits of
their inhabitants, which to avoid, and in which he might
expect a hospitable welcome; and at the last moment the
King of Mazzava resolved to accompany him, at least as far
as the island of Sebu.
The ships were now provided, not only with grain, water,
and wood, but an ample store of figs, cocoa-nuts, lemons, pigs,
fowl, ginger, and rice; what few repairs they needed were
completed ; and on a pleasant morning in April, Magellan
sailed away from Mazzava, delighted with the reception he
had met with there, and his heart buoyant with the hope of
a successful continuation and ending of his voyage. With
him, on board the flag-ship, went the King of Mazzava, and
several of his courtiers.
ADVENTURES AT SEBU.
HE island of Sebu, Magellan was told, was the most
beautiful and fruitful of the vast labyrinth of islands
which cluster in the Archipelago. It lay some leagues west-
ward of Mazzava, and was ruled over by one of the most
intelligent and powerful potentates in the Eastern seas.
To this island, therefore, he determined to repair. It
would be one of the fairest provinces which he could offer to
King Charles, and he would do all in his power to engage
the friendship and alliance of its ruler.
On the way the weather was pleasant, and no accident
occurred to mar the pleasure of the voyage. Magellan con-
versed much, through the Malay interpreter, with the friendly
king who had trusted himself with him, and learned many
curious things about the peoples and customs of the islands
by which they sailed.
The adventurers observed everything with the deepest in-
terest, and many were the strange sights and scenes which, in
this far-off region, greeted their eyes. They saw birds flying
through the air â€œas large as eagles,â€ one of which they
killed, and ate with good relish; they saw doves of various
brilliant hues, parrots with gorgeous plumage, and long-tailed
blackbirds as large as hens ; while on the shores of the islands
110 ADVENTURES AT SEBU.
they espied tortoises which, compared with those of Europe,
It was on a Sunday about noon that the fleet came in
sight of the much-talked-of island of Sebu. Skirting its
shores, the Spaniards saw many closely-built and busy vil-
lages, some close to the beach, others nestled in picturesque
valleys at the foot of green, sloping hills. They sailed for
some distance along the coast, until finally they reached a
pretty bay, at the head of which was situated the principal
town of the island.
As the ships entered the bay, Magellan ordered that the
standards should be run up to the mast-head, the sails
lowered, and the cannon fired.
speedily assembled along the shore. When they heard the
deafening report of the cannon echoing among the hills, they
huddled together in a terrified mass, and made all haste to
regain the town.
Magellan then sent an intelligent young Portuguese, whom
he had brought with him, and the Malay interpreter on shore
to seek the presence of the King of Sebu, and assure him
that the fleet had come on a friendly errand.
As they advanced from the shore and approached the
town, they saw the inhabitants fleecing from them in all
directions, and shutting themselves up in their houses. The
young Portuguese, however, succeeded in overtaking one old
man who could not move so fast as the rest, and made him
know through the interpreter what his errand was. The
old man soon recovered from his fright, and said he would
go and deliver the message of the strangers to his sovereign.
In no long time he returned, and told the Portuguese and
his companion to follow him into the royal presence.
They found the king seated on a wide mat in a court of
his palace, which was a low building erected in the form of a
ADVENTURES AT SEBU. 111
quadrangle. He was surrounded by a multitude of courtiers,
while at his feet lay in languid attitudes his dark-brown
wives, whose raven hair fell on their shoulders, and whose
large black eyes stared curiously at the white man.
The Malay interpreter advanced and knelt before the king,
who lifted his hands heavenward in token of welcome. Then
the Malay spoke in his own tongue, which the king under-
stood at once. He was assured that the fleet had come on
an errand of peace and good-will.
â€œ What then,â€ asked the monarch, â€œare you seeking here?â€
â€œMy master,â€ replied the Malay, â€œis a captain of the
greatest king in the world, and hath come by his kingâ€™s
command to discover the far-famed Molucca Islands. Hear-
ing of your courtesy and good renown, he has come hither
to visit you, and to exchange the merchandise he has brought
for such provisions as you are willing to provide him.â€
â€œYour master,â€ responded the shrewd prince, â€œis right
welcome; but we have a custom that all ships that enter
our port pay tribute. Only four days ago a ship came here
from Siam, laden with gold and slaves, and paid the tribute
T exacted. Here,â€ added the king, â€œis a Siamese merchant
who came in her.â€ So saying he pointed to a strange-looking
personage, with sallow face and squinting eyes, but very
richly dressed, who was standing by.
â€œBut my captain,â€ replied the Malay, drawing himself up
proudly, â€œwill not pay tribute to any sovereign in the world,
being, as he is, the subject of the greatest of them. If you
wish peace, you shall have it; but if you had rather have
war, it shall be so.â€
The brow of the dusky potentate darkened at this bold
reply, and for a moment he seemed on the point of ordering
the strangers to be seized. He looked around among his
people, and half rose from his mat. His hand was already
112 ADVENTURES AT SEBU.
clutching a short sword which hung at his girdle, and the
Portuguese and Malay had grasped their daggers, when the
Siamese merchant, coming forward, and making a profound
â€œ Look well, O king,â€ said he, â€œto what you do. These
people are the same that conquered Calicut, Malacca, and all
the Greater India. If you receive them hospitably, and
proffer them of your abundant good things, you will find
yourself the better for it. They will be your friends and
allies. But if you treat them ill, it will be all the worse fox
you; so the people of Calicut have found out to their cost.â€
â€œMy sovereign,â€ added the interpreter, who had under-
stood all that the Siamese had said, â€œis a much greater ruler
than the King of Portugal who conquered India. He is
not only King of Spain, but Emperor of Christendom. If
you do not well treat his captain, he will, another time, send
hither enough men and ships to sweep you and your subjects
off the face of the earth.â€
These speeches seemed to impress the King of Sebu very
much. He declared that he would talk with his chief
advisers, and would deliver his response to Magellanâ€™s mes-
sengers the next day. He then gave proof that he had re-
covered his good-temper by ordering a bountiful feast to be
set before the strangers, who soon after returned to the flag-
ship and apprised Magellan of what had passed.
The next day the messengers returned to the island, where
the king received them in a large, open space between the
houses. He was squatted on a palm mat, and was quite
naked, except that he had a wide cloth about his waist, and
a loose turban, embroidered with silk, on his head. About
his neck hung a heavy chain, while in his ears were two gold
rings studded with precious stones. The king was a little,
fat, jovial-looking man, though the expression of his coun-
ADVENTURES AT SEBU. 113
tenance was marred by tattooing. When the visitors ap-
proached, he was eating tortoise eggs from some china dishes,
taking every now and then a long drink from a jug of palm
wine, which he sucked through a cane tube. Asking them
to sit by him, he proceeded at once to overwhelm them with
questions, which he asked eagerly, bending towards the in-
terpreter to catch his replies.
Was there more than one commander in the ships? Was
he to be required to pay tribute? How many men were
there on board? and so on, The young Portuguese replied
that Magellan did not ask any tribute, but only desired to
trade with the articles he had brought from Spain. The
king seemed at last fully satisfied; for, pricking his right
arm, he let a little blood flow upon a fig-leaf, and wrapping
it up, begged the Portuguese to carry it to Magellan as a
token that he would be a faithful friend of the King of Spain.
He asked a similar token from the admiral, which the Portu-
guese smilingly promised.
After this, everything went on swimmingly between the
voyagers and the people of Sebu. The King of Mazzava
went ashore on a visit to his brother monarch, and on his
return told Magellan that the King of Sebu was preparing
a large quantity of provisions for him, and that in the after-
noon two young princes, nephews of thd king, with their
retinues, would come on board to present them.
Magellan prepared to welcome these young princes in a
manner worthy of their rank and importance, and to show
his gratitude for the good things they brought. A handsome
carpet was spread on the deck, and mats were laid on either
side. On the carpet was placed a red velvet chair for Ma-
gellan himself, and leather chairs for the other captains and
officers were ranged on the mats. The standards floated from
the masts, and the flag-ship presented a gay, holiday aspect.
114 ADVENTURES AT SEBU.
About the middle of the afternoon the boats conveying the
princes were seen to put out from the shore. Magellan and
the rest took their places, and soon the dusky and gaudily-
dressed group were seated in front of the admiral. At
Magellanâ€™s side stood the faithful Malay interpreter, who
rendered his conversation with the princes easy.
â€œTs it your custom,â€ asked Magellan of the elder and
more important of the princes, â€œto speak in public about
matters of state? And have you the power to conclude
peace between us and the King of Sebu?â€
The prince bowed assent to both these questions.
â€œThen I would have you know,â€ resumed Magellan,
â€œthat I ardently desire this peace, and will pray God to
â€˜T hear the captainâ€™s words with delight,â€ was the princeâ€™s
answer ; â€œTI have never heard a stranger speak so gently.â€
Magellan then questioned his royal guest about many
things. He asked, â€œWho will succeed your king on his
â€œThe king has no son,â€ was the reply, â€œbut several
daughters. I am the kineâ€™s nephew, and have married his
eldest daughter, and I shall be his successor.â€
The prince also told him that when fathers and mothers in
Sebu grew old, they were greatly neglected, and their children
ordered them about as if they were slaves.
The discoverers and conquerors of the days in which Ma-
gellan lived thought it one of their first duties to convert
the heathen peoples whom they encountered to Christianity.
They sometimes did this by persuasion, and not seldom by
force. When the savage kings and their peoples refused to
abandon their religion for that of the European, they were
often compelled to accept the new faith by fire and sword.
Magellan, therefore, lost no opportunity of trying to plant
ADVENTURES AT SEBU. 115
Christianity among the rude natives of the tropical isles, and
the first task to accomplish was to convert their rulers,
He now began to persuade the young princes to embrace
the Christian religion. Reproving them for the ill-treat-
ment â€˜which they declared the old people suffered in their
kingdom, he said,â€”
â€œOur God, who made heaven and earth, and all things
therein, has commanded that every one should yield obedi-
ence and respect to his father and mother; and you may
be sure that whoever does otherwise shall be condemned to
The princes listened earnestly to all that he said, and
finally declared that, if the king would consent, they would
â€œYou must not accept our faith,â€ gaid Magellan, â€œfrom
fear of us, or in order to please us. If you wish to become
Christians, you must do so willingly. No harm shall be
done you if you do not embrace our religion ; but those who
do shall be more loved and better treated than the others,
Moreover, if you become Christians, I will leave you arms,
as my king has commanded, with which to defend yourselves
from your enemies.â€
The princes declared that they would embrace Christianity
of their own free wills ; whereupon Magellan, with tears in
his eyes, warmly embraced them, and caused the priests to
bless them. All on board now sat down to a bountiful
feast, after which the princes and Magellan exchanged
presents. The princes brought forth a large basket of rice,
figs, goats, and fowl; and Magellan returned to them cloth,
red caps, and cups of gilt glass, besides a robe of yellow and
violet silk for their royal uncle.
The young Portuguese and the Malay were now sent on
shore every day to converse with the king, to arrange for a
116 ADVENTURES AT SEBU.
treaty of peace, to establish trade, and to prepare the mon-
arch and his courtiers for their reception into the Christian
faith. They were treated, whenever they went, with trust
and hospitality. -On one occasion, the elder of the young
princes conducted them to his house, where he provided
various amusements for them. Among these was a very
pretty dance, performed by four lovely young girls, who, as
they danced, played softly and sweetly upon musical in-
struments, the like of which the Portuguese had never
before seen. Another time, when one of the Spanish sailors
had died, he was carried on shore by the two messengers to
be buried. The king not only provided him with a grave in
the open space in the centre of the town, but himself, with
his court, attended the funeral ceremony. After the sailor
was buried, his comrades sct up a cross over the grave.
The Spaniards were soon engaged in an active trade with
the people of Sebu. The king provided one of the larger
huts near the shore as a warehouse, and thither was carried
a variety of the goods that composed the cargo of the ships.
Four of the Spaniards were selected to act as salesmen.
They bartered iron, cloths, and trinkets for gold, which, it ap-
peared, was found in large quantities in Sebu and the neigh-
bouring islands ; and in dealing with the natives they found
them peaceable, honest, and fair, and not at all disposed to
drive a hard bargain. They had a curious contrivance for
weighing their goods. It consisted of a wooden pole sus-
pended in the middle, with a basin suspended by three cords
at one end, and a cord at the other, upon which hung a
weight equal to the basin, to which the weights were at-
tached. The Spaniards soon persuaded the natives to give
up this cumbrous device for the scales they had brought with
them from Europe. The natives gave gold worth fifteen
Spanish ducats for fourteen pounds of iron.
THE BARBARIANS CONVERTED.
HE king and his court were, in no long time, fully per-
suaded to become Christians; and Magellan resolved
to make the ceremony of their baptism and entrance into the
fold of the Church as imposing and impressive as possible.
He wished that their untutored minds should have the deep-
est sense of the importance of the step they were taking, so
that they would never forget or retreat from it.
Preparations for the solemn event were made on the most
elaborate scale. A high platform was erected by the Span-
iards in the centre of the open space, and this was decked
out with tapestry, carpets, and palm branches. Not only
the King of Sebu, but his queen, and the King of Mazzava
(who was still with Magellan) were to be baptized ; and the
day appointed was Sunday, the fourteenth of April.
On that morning all was commotion, both in the fleet and
in the town. The natives assembled in the streets and
huddled in excited groups along the beach, while the crews
of the ships attired themselves in their best suits, as if for
an extraordinary occasion.
Soon everything was ready. The boats were lowered, and
each was filled with its quota of officers and sailors; and
when all had embarked, the boats set out for the shore. At
118 THE BARBARIANS CONVERTED.
the same time the cannon broke the stillness of the Sunday
morning and sent joyous peals over the waters. The boats
that went ahead contained forty men in armour, one of whom
carried the royal standard of Spain. These landed first, and
were soon followed by the sailors. A procession was formed:
Magellan was in front with his captains, all wearing velvet
cloaks and plumed caps; then came the priests; the soldiers
were next in order; and the rear was occupied by the crews.
Advancing up the slight slope that led from the shore to
the open space, Magellan and his company reached the scene
of the dayâ€™s ceremony. â€˜The short, fat king, in fantastic
attire, his face freshly painted that morning, stood ready to
receive them, surrounded by a numerous array of courtiers
and chiefs. By his side was the King of Mazzava, who had
preceded the Spaniards on shore,
Magellan and the two barbarian kings now ascended the
scaffold, and took their places in chairs of red and violet
velvet, which had been brought from the flag-ship for the
purpose. Meanwhile the chief men of Sebu arranged them-
selves on chairs or squatted on mats below the platform.
The trumpets sent forth a loud, long blast. Then Magellan,
turning to the potentates, and addressing them through the
Malay, who stood behind his chair, for the last time asked
them if they really wished to become good Christians.
â€œTf you do,â€ said he, â€œ you must burn all the idols in your
dominions, and in their places set up the cross, which is the
symbol of our God. And each day you and your people
must go and kneel at the cross, and join your hands, and
implore the favour of Heaven. Will you do this?â€
The kings promptly replied that they would, and that
whatever the â€œ captain,â€ as they called Magellan, commanded,
they would faithfully and always obey.
Magellan then rose, and taking the King of Sebu by the
THE BARBARIANS CONVERTED. 119
hand, led him around the platform, after which the priests
performed the solemn ceremony of baptism. The king was
christened by the name of Charles, after the King of Spain.
The King of Mazzava and the elder of the Sebu princes
were next in the like manner baptized, the former receiving
the name of John and the latter that of Ferdinand.
The principal subjects of the King of Sebu now flocked
upon the platform, to be received in their turn into the
bosom of the Catholic Church ; and when fifty of them had
been baptized, the rite of the mass was performed. Then
Magellan and his company returned to the ships, being
escorted to the beach by their royal host.
In the afternoon a ceremony not less curious and impressive
was performed. This was the baptism of the Queen of Sebu
and the dusky ladies of her court. One of the priests, accom-
panied by Pigafetta and some others, went on shore, and
were met in the open space by the queen and her companions.
These were led upon the platform, where the queen was con-
ducted to a cushioned seat. She was young and pretty, and
was arrayed in a black and white robe. Her mouth and
nails were very red, and she wore on her head a large hat
made of palm leaves, surmounted with a sort of crown, also
made of palm leaves.
The priest, in the midst of a large multitude of Sebu men
and women, who looked on with excited interest, approached
the queen and held up before her a small wooden image of
the Virgin and Child, and also a cross. The queen seemed
impressed with these, and through the interpreter declared
her willingness to become a Christian and to be baptized.
The priest therefore sprinkled water on her raven locks, and
called her by the name of Joan, after the Spanish kingâ€™s
mother. Her daughter, a young girl of fourteen, who ad-
vanced very timidly up the steps, was next in like manner
120 THE BARBARIANS CONVERTED.
received into the Church, being called Catherine, and the
Queen of Mazzava was baptized as Isabella.
As the queen was withdrawing she begged the priest to
give her â€œthe little wooden boy,â€ meaning the image of
Christ, to put in place of her idols, which she promised to
destroy. This the priest did willingly. Many years after,
on the return of the Spaniards to Sebu with missionaries,
they found the little image still in the town, and the natives
worshipping it as an idol; whereupon the missionaries taught
them its true significance, blessed it, and had it placed in the
Christian church that was built. From having found this
image there, these Spanish missionaries named the place
â€œthe City of Jesus,â€ by which it is still known.
Before the shades of night had fallen, no less than eight
hundred natives, including the royal family and the court,
had been baptized, and the country had become, in name at
least, a Christian one; and Magellan thought well to cele-
brate so remarkable a conversion by festivities in the evening.
By the brilliant light of the moon, the king, queen, and
court of Sebu came down to the beach, whither Magellan
had caused one of his cannon to be brought. It was fired
off on the waves; and now that the barbarians knew what
it meant, and that they need not be frightened, they listened
with delight, with much shouting, capering, and dancing
about, to the sudden shocks and echoing reverberations.
Magellan did not confine the baptisms to the first day,
but every day after that, for more than a week, the ceremony
was performed over crowds of natives who flocked to receive
it. It was a strange sight to see the groups of dark islanders,
with their painted faces and palm-leaf aprons, kneeling at
the feet of the priests, and with amazed and wondering eyes
watching their every action ; and, their turn over, scampering
down the steps, and dancing wildly about on the sward and
THE BARBARIANS CONVERTED. 121
under the wide-spreading trees. It is not probable that any
of them got a clear conception of what it was to be a Chris-
tian. They only knew that their king had accepted the new
religion ; they felt awe towards the Spaniards, whom they
looked upon as more than mortal; their barbaric fondness
for show and ceremony was gr sified by the stately rite which
they saw the priests going through; and they cared little,
apparently, for their own rude wooden gods and goddesses.
A cross was now set up in the centre of the town, and
every day mass was said near it, which Magellan usually
himself attended, explaining through the Malay interpreter
such points in the Christian religion as he thought he could
make his benighted hearers understand.
One day the Queen of Sebu came to hear mass in all her
state. She was attired in black and white, and wore a long
silk veil with gold stripes, flowing down gracefully over her
shoulders. Before her went three young girls, each carry-
ing one of the queenâ€™s palm-leaf hats. Following the queen
flocked a great number of women of rank, weaving smaller
veils, and hats above them. Otherwise, they only wore a
palm-leaf apron about their waists, while their long black
hair fell in luxuriant clusters over their shoulders to their
The queen approached the altar, and knelt before it, and
then took her place on a large silk-embroidered ottoman,
while her chief ladies surrounded her in a semicircle. Ma-
gellan, advancing to her, gently sprinkled over her and her
companions some rose-water and musk, which they sniffed
eagerly, as if much pleased by the perfume; and then mass
was said by the priests,
On another occasion Magellan resolved that, at the mass,
the King of Sebu should, with all due formality, swear alle-
giance to the King of Spain. This ceremony, he thought,
122 THE BARBARIANS CONVERTED,
should be made as impressive as possible. The king made
his appearance at the appointed hour, in a long silk robe
with which Magellan had provided him ; and with him came
his two brothers and many of his principal courtiers. These
being ranged in a row on seats before the altar, Magellan,
standing before an image of the Virgin, drew his sword, and
holding it aloft, called upon the king to take the oath to be
ever faithful and true to the Spanish sovereign. The king
bowed his head, and repeated in his own tongue the words
of the oath that Magellan offered him. Magellan then affec-
tionately embraced him, at the same time saying that when
a man took such an oath as that, he should rather die than
fail to keep it. In his turn he swore to be always faithful,
to be true to the King of Sebu, in the name of the Virgin
and of King Charles. Then, turning to his men, Magellan
ordered them to bring forth a splendid velvet chair; this he
presented to the swarthy monarch.
â€œWherever you go,â€ said Magellan, â€œhave this throne
borne before you by your attendants, as a sign of your power
In return, and as a token that he would keep his oath, the
king presented Magellan with some large gold rings for the
ears, fingers, and ankles, all of which were set with roughly-
cut precious stones.
A day or two after, Magellan was visiting the town, and
going about in company with the king, when, on reaching
one of the rude native temples, he saw, to his disgust, that
the idols were still in their places, and that the people were
worshipping them. Turning sharply to his royal companion,
he asked him what this meant,
â€œYou have promised,â€ he said, â€œto destroy these idols,
Why have you not done go â€
The king replied that he intended to burn the idols, but
THE BARBARIANS CONVERTED. 123
that one of his nephews, a valiant warrior, lay very ill, and
that they were praying to the idols to restore him to health.
â€œTf you wish to see him well again,â€ rejoined Magellan,
â€œyou will at once burn all these foolish idols, which can do
nothing for him; and you will cause your sick nephew to be
baptized. I will wager my head that he will then speedily
recover.â€ So great was Magellanâ€™s faith in miracles !
â€œTt shall be done,â€ was the kingâ€™s reply.
Thereupon a solemn procession was formed, which repaired
to the sick princeâ€™s house. The prince was indeed very low.
He could neither speak nor move; his eyes stared unmean-
ingly at the priests, nor did he seem to recognize any one or
anything. He was carefully lifted from the soft mat on
which he lay into a sitting posture, and was thus baptized.
Two of his wives and his ten children also submitted to the
Not very long after, Magellan approached the sick man,
and addressed him in a few words of his own language.
The prince slowly moved his head, and muttered something.
Magellan applied some brandy to his lips. In a few mo-
ments the invalid grew so much better that he could move
freely and talk quite rationally ; and from that time he grew
This incident was hailed by all the Spaniards as a great
miracle, and they took care to impress its meaning, as they
interpreted it, upon the minds of the natives.
It happened that some of the native old women who had
refused to be converted had concealed an idol in the sick
princeâ€™s house, thinking that this would restore him to health.
On his recovery, the prince discovered the idol hid behind
some mats in a corner. He forthwith brought it out, and
had it burned in presence of the king and all his subjects.
Not content with thisâ€”for he himself was fully persuaded
124 THE BARBARIANS CONVERTED.
that the Christians had performed a miracle on himâ€”he
set fire to the temples that stood on the sea-shore ; while the
people gathered in crowds to see the conflagration, shouted
loudly, and aided him in his work of destruction. The idols
thus burned were made of wood, and were curved in shape,
being hollowed out behind; they had large faces, painted,
with four large teeth like those of a wild boar; their legs
and arms were stretched out horizontally, and their feet
turned upwards like the feet of the Chinese. They were,
indeed, hideous-looking objects.
While Magellan was at Sebu, a very curious ceremony
was performed by the natives. This was what was called
â€œthe sacrifice of the swine,â€ or â€œblessing the pig.â€ Their
mode of blessing the pig was an odd one, as will be seen ;
and Magellan and his companions witnessed the performance
with much interest.
The whole population gathered in or about the large open
space in the centre of the town, which evidently served as
the spot where all public ceremonies took place. The king
and queen sat on cushions raised on a platform, and Magel-
lan and his captains were stationed on either side of the royal
couple. Presently a loud, banging noise was heard, and a
number of the natives appeared, violently thumping upon
tambours or drums. They were followed by others, who
bore large dishes, two of which were filled with cakes of rice
and cooked millet and roast fish, and the third with cloths
and strips of palm bark.
One of the cloths was spread on the ground before the
king; and two old women now made their entrance, fan-
tastically dressed, and vigorously blowing upon rude reed
trumpets. These old women, stepping upon the carpet, and
turning to the sun, made that luminary a profound obeisance ;
then taking the other cloths that had been brought, they ar-
THE BARBARIANS CONVERTED. 125
rayed themselves in them. One twisted a cloth about her
head, so that the knots formed two horns on either side ;
having done which she began to dance and sing, and stretch
out her arms towards the sun.
The other, attiring herself in the palm cloths, followed her
companionâ€™s example, with shrill shrieking and wild gestures,
each tooting every now and then on her reed trumpet.
While this was going on, a fat pink pig was brought into
the open space and bound securely to a stake; upon which
the old women began to caper around the poor animal, which
squealed in his terror with all his might.
The next thing the old women did was to make a short
prayer, in low, mumbling voices, to the sun. Then one of
themâ€”the first who had appearedâ€”took from an attendant
a cup of wine, which she handed to her companion. The
latter took it and raised it three or four times to her
lips, as if to drink it, but always withdrew it, and resumed
her droning prayer. At last, all of a sudden, she dashed the
wine on the poor pig, which squealed more frantically than
Throwing away the empty cup, the old woman now seized
a long limber lance, with a point made of a sharpened fish-
bone, and leaped from end to end of the carpet, brandishing
the lance and gnashing her tecth as she went. Approaching
the pig, she made thrusts with the lance, as if to plunge it
into him, but withdrew it again, and resumed her strange
dance. Pretty soon, however, she carried her threat into
execution, for, poising the lance a moment in her hand, and
with rapid glance taking perfect aim, she shot it straight
through the quivering creatureâ€™s heart. Withdrawing it at
once, she retired; whereupon two male natives seized the
pig, closed the wound, and dressed it with herbs. The old
woman who had done the deed now took a lighted torch,
126 THE BARBARIANS CONVERTED.
and capered about, holding it in her mouth; while her com-
panion, dipping her lance in the pigâ€™s blood, carried it to her
husband, whose forehead she marked with it, doing the same
afterwards to her other relatives. Both old women then
took off their robes, and, retreating into a corner, greedily
ate the rice-cakes and roast fish by themselves. The pig was
afterwards roasted and eaten by the royal party; and Magel-
lan was told that pigs were only eaten in Sebu when they
had been killed in this way.
During all the time that the ships were at Sebu, the
officers and sailors were wont to go on shore freely whenever
they pleased, and they thus got on very social terms with
the natives. They observed that their dusky friends only
half-cooked their food, and that they spread a great deal of
salt on it. This made them thirsty, and they were constantly
drinking the palm-wine, which was their favourite beverage.
Their method of drinking was to suck the wine from the jars
with long reeds. When they saw a knot of sailors, they
would run to them, and invariably beg them to come and
have something to eat and drink.
Once, when a great chief among them died, the Spaniards
had an opportunity to witness a Sebu funeral. The chiefâ€™s
corpse was laid in a chest in his house. Around the chest was
wound a cord, to which branches and leaves were tied in a
fantastic fashion, while on the end of each branch a strip
of cotton was fastened. The principal women of the island
went to the house of mourning and sat around the corpse,
wrapped in white cotton shrouds from head to foot; beside
each woman stood a young girl, who wafted a palm-leaf fan
before her face. Meanwhile one of the women was engaged
in cutting the hair from the dead manâ€™s head with a knife.
Tis favourite wife all this time lay stretched upon his, body,
with her mouth, hands, and feet pressed close to his. As
THE BARBARIANS CONVERTED. 127
the woman concluded her hair-cutting, she broke into a low,
dismal, wailing song, which the others after a while caught
up. The attendants on the mourners then took porcelain
vases with burning embers on them, upon which they kept
sprinkling myrrh, benzoin, and other perfumes, that formed
a cloud of incense in the room.
These ceremonies and mournings continued for several days.
Meanwhile, the body was anointed with oil of camphor to
preserve it; and at the end of the mourning period, it was
solemnly deposited in a kind of tomb, made of wooden logs,
in the neighbouring forest.
Magellan was delighted with the success which attended
his stay at Sebu, which he had prolonged far more than he
had intended. It was now time to bid adien to the friendly
king and proceed on his voyage. As active preparations for
setting out were being made, however, an incident occurred
which induced Magellan to change his plans, and which was
destined to bring a fatal misfortune on the fleet.
The King of Sebu ruled over several islands in the neigh-
bourhood of that on which he resided. One of these was
Matan, only two or three leagues away. It was a beautiful
island, and contained a large and warlike population; and
among the chiefs who, under the king, held authority there,
was one named Cilapulapu. Just as Magellan was about to
sail, another chief in Matan, named Zula, came in all haste
to Sebu, with a message that Cilapulapu, enraged at the con-
version of the king and his subjects to Christianity, had
rebelled, and had incited the people to rise in revolt. At
Matan, he said, all were actively preparing for war against
their sovereign. Magellan, on hearing this, resolved that
the least he could do would be to remain and defend the
converted king from the violence of his new enemies.
A HERO'S DEATH.
AGELLAN, anxious to confirm the friendly relations
which now existed between himself and the King
of Sebu, made up his mind that he and his valiant soldiers
should alone bear the brunt of the coming conflict; that the
sole peril and glory should be theirs of subduing the rebel
Cilapulapu. He therefore told the king that he himself
would command the attack upon Matan; and that while the
king might, if he chose, follow him in his boats, he must
refrain from taking part in the fray.
Three of the shipsâ€™ largest boats were got ready in all
haste. On the prow of each was placed a cannon, and sixty
of Magellanâ€™s bravest and most skilful warriors were detailed
to go upon the expedition. These were all armed with
corselets and helmets, and carried guns and swords. Magel-
lan ordered that during his absence the fleet should remain
under the command of Captain Serrano.
It was just at midnight that the three boats set out for
Matan. The night was calm, the sea was still, and the
heavens were starlit. Magellan himself went in the fore- |
most boat, and issued his commands in a quick, low voice,
as the men rowed swiftly along. His object in starting at
midnight was to surprise the enemy, if possible, and effect a
A HERO'S DEATH. 129
landing on the coast of the island before the people there
saw him. In the rear of the three boats went a number of
the native canoes, of one of which the king himself was an
Three hours before daylight the Spaniards arrived off the
shores of Matan. It was light enough, however, for Magellan
to perceive that the alarm of his coming had already been
given. Near the shore, on a hillock, was posted a formidable
array of barbarians. Magellan could just discern their long
wooden shields, and the moving mass of the savage soldiers.
Some traitor had, doubtless, escaped from Sebu in time to
apprise Cilapulapu of his intended attack, and that cunning
chief had lost no time in preparing to receive him. It was a
strange and alarming sight to see the dense ranks of the
dusky figures, who, it was not difficult to perceive, were
quite prepared to defend the island. When the boats came
near, they set up a wild shout, and shook their shields and
spears in token of their hostile temper.
Magellan had taken the precaution to bring with him a
very intelligent Moor, who knew the Malay tongue (which
was spoken in all these islands), and who had before been at
Matan. This Moor he resolved to send ashore to the war-
like host, with a message of peace and pardon if they would
even now lay down their arms, and submit to the authority
of their lawful monarch. As the water for some distance
from the shore was very shallow and rocky, the boats could
not approach nearer than the spot where they had stopped ;
and the Moor was obliged to jump in up to his thighs, and
wade to the dry land. As he drew away from the boats, his
movements were watched with breathless interest. Would
the barbarians attack him when they saw him coming alone?
Would they recognize him as a Moor, or would they take
him for a Spaniard? If they allowed him to approach and
130 A HEROS DEATH.
hold parley with them, how would they receive his message ?
Would the Moor himself turn traitor, and reveal the numbers
and arms of Magellanâ€™s men, or would he hold his own coun-
sel and prove himself a faithful envoy ?
These questions rapidly crossed Magellanâ€™s mind as, peering
through the gloom, he saw the Moorâ€™s stalwart form reced-
ing and fading as he neared the beachy shore. They were
quickly answered by the events which followed. The Moor
advanced up the sloping hill; the dusky soldiers made no
movement against him. They seemed to be surprised to
see him coming, and not at all afraid of him. Presently he
seemed to melt into their mass, and was no longer visible.
His stay among them lasted about half-an-hour, during
which the Spaniards watched eagerly for his reappearance.
The boats rested quite still on their oars; the silence was
profound. At last he emerged from the throng of the isl-
anders, slowly descended the hill again, and waded out to
Magellan impatiently awaited his report. The Moor said
that he had been received in a friendly manner, and had
been conducted to the chief Cilapulapu. He had then de-
livered Magellanâ€™s message that, if he would return to his
allegiance, all should be forgiven, and the Spaniards would
withdraw ; otherwise the rebels would soon feel the sting of
their lances. Cilapulapu had replied,â€”
â€œT will not submit; if the white strangers have lances,
so have we, though ours are only lances of reeds. Moreover,
we have wooden shields hardened by fire. Let the strangers
beware. I only ask that they will not attack us by night.
We expect reinforcements, and wish to meet the enemy on
even terms. Let them wait till daylight, and then assail us
as soon as they please.â€
Magellan perceived, by this insolent message, that gentle
A HEROS DEATH. 131
means would not be availing. The rebels must be attacked
and conquered. He saw, too, that Cilapulapuâ€™s request that
he should not attack by night was a cunning device by
which he hoped to induce the Spaniards to do that which
he asked them not to do. His real desire was that they
should make the assault at night, and the reason of this
afterwards came to light. Between the shore and their
camp and village the rebels had dug a long, deep ditch.
If Magellan had landed and advanced upon them at once,
while it was dark, they would have retreated hastily beyond
this ditch, and Magellan and his men would have fallen
Magellan therefore patiently waited till daylight. As
goon as the first gray of the morning lit up sea and shore,
and enabled him to distinguish objects clearly, he gave the
order to his little band of troops to get out of the boats
and wade rapidly to the beach. By the light of the dawn
the enemy could be more distinctly seen: they appeared
less formidable than when enveloped by the shroud of night,
but they betrayed numbers by no means to be despised.
They seemed, moreover, perfectly confident and resolute,
and instead of making good their retreat when they saw
the Spaniards preparing to go ashore, stood to their posi-
tion, and were apparently indifferent to the advance of their
Forty-nine of the Spaniards were designated to make the
attack, the remaining eleven being ordered to stay by the
boats. Magellan himself was the first to leap into the
water. Drawing his sword, he gave the word of command,
and in another instant his little force, their swords in their
right hands and their shields borne on their left arms, had
gathered around him. Among them was his friend, and
afterwards his historian, the Italian Pigafetta. At first
132 A HERO'S DEATH.
their progress through the water was slow, for it was up to
their waists. As Magellan went boldly forward, he looked
carefully about for a good landing-place ; for the beach was
interspersed with masses of jagged rock, and it was neces-
sary to avoid the hill on which Cilapulapu was posted, and
which sloped to the waterâ€™s edge. As he advanced, the
rebel chief himself, a man of gigantic stature, and decked
out with brilliant feathers and paint, appeared at the brow
of the hill, making defiant gestures at Magellan, and ex-
horting his followers to hold fast to their position.
An open strand was soon reached ; and now the Spaniards
stood in close, resolute ranks on the smooth sand. Magellan
did not lose a moment in hesitation or delay. Forming his
soldiers, he at once marched forward towards the hill.
But Cilapulapu, who had at first evidently intended to
await the assault of his foe, changed his mind at the last
moment; for no sooner did he see Magellan approaching
the hill than, brandishing his spear and giving a loud, fierce
whoop, he rushed down the slope, followed by his forces.
They were not less than fifteen hundred, against forty-nine ;
and as they descended, Magellan perceived that they were
divided into three bodies. He had no time to note anything
further, for in another moment they were close upon him.
As they came on, they made a horrible noise with their
shrieking and shouting, and leaped about like so many
lunatics. Two of their companies separated to the right
and left, with the intent to attack the Spaniards on their
flanks, while the third advanced directly in their front.
Magellan, dividing his little group into two companies,
continued to go forward to meet his savage foes. He knew
no fear, and at this critical moment he felt all the wild thrill
of conflict. Then halting, he ordered his musketrymen and
cross-bowmen to fire.
A HERO'S DEATH. 133
Unhappily, neither bullets nor arrows seemed to take
serious effect. The bullets, for the most part, whizzed harm-
lessly over the heads of the barbarians; while the arrows
struck against the wooden shields, or passing through them,
inflicted but slight wounds. At first, when the Spaniards
opened fire upon them, the rebels paused in their headlong
career, as if stunned by the noise of the volley, and to see
what effect it would have. But when they perceived their
ranks still unbroken, and but one or two of their comrades
lying on the ground, they pressed forward more fiercely and
with more hideous screams than before,
Their arrows, javelins, spears, and stones now fell like a
hailstorm upon the Spaniards, and they found themselves,
of a sudden, very hard pressed. With difficulty they avoided
the deadly points of the savage weapons; they could scarcely
hold their ground long enough to load and fire. It was clear
that it must soon come to a hand-to-hand fight.
Cilapulapu soon easily distinguished the dauntless leader
of his foes. Magellanâ€™s finer dress marked him out; his
air of command betrayed him; and his intrepid valour, as
he fought at the very head of his men, aroused the barbaric
chief's wrath to its fiercest pitch. He ordered his men to
aim at the Spanish captain their heaviest and deadliest
jJavelins, and it was a miracle that Magellan was not. in-
stantly overwhelmed by them.
At this moment Magellan perceived for the first time that
his men were quite near some of the native huts. He ordered
them to set fire to these, and soon ten or twelve of the huts
were in a blaze. This redoubled the fury of the barbarians,
a number of whom rushed towards the men who had caused
the conflagration and frantically assailed them. Two of the
Spaniards fell, pierced by the javelins. The others made all
haste to rejoin the main body of their comrades.
134 A HERO'S DEATH.
Cilapulapu, seeing that while the bodies of the Spaniards
were effectually protected by their shields, but that their legs
were exposed, ordered his troops to aim low. â€˜The savages
now swarmed on all sides of the Spaniards, and hurled perfect
avalanches of arrows and spears upon them. Magellan had
hoped to use the cannon which he had brought in the boats ;
but, besides that the boats were obliged to anchor out of
range of the enemy, it would now have been impossible to
fire the cannon without endangering his own men.
Magellan and his men were soon at close quarters with
the furious host of savages. He himself was still the fore-
most, fighting with lion-like and desperate valour. Lame as
he was, he had herculean strength in his arms; he dealt
crushing blows right and left with his long sword, and native
after native fell howling and dying beneath them.
It was not long, however, before the overwhelming num-
bers of the natives began to tell. They fairly crowded the
Spaniards back by their very multitude. The Spaniards
were forced to retire towards the shore, fighting as they
went, and retreating as slowly as possible.
Of a sudden Magellan fell to the earth with a cry of pain ;
but before his soldiers could assist him, he was on his feet
again. A poisoned arrow had entered his left leg. He
stooped and pulled it out, and launched it back at the on-
rushing foe, and his sword continued to do as sanguinary
service as before.
The natives had now come near enough to use the arms
they had already hurled over again. They picked up the
spears and arrows that lay strown on the ground where
the Spaniards had stood, and again rained them down
upon their adversarics. Twice Magellanâ€™s helmet was
knocked off his head, but fortunately his head itself was
left unscathed. As coolly as if he had been standing on the
A HEROS DEATH. 1385
deck of his flag-ship, he bent down each time, picked up his
helmet, fastened it in its place, and went on fighting.
For more than an hour this terrific battle raged with
unabating fury. Once more the Spaniards had made a
desperate rally, and grimly resolved to stand to their ground
at all hazards. They huddled close together, so as to face
the enemy on each side. Now and then a Spaniard would
fall and writhe in agony when a poisoned shaft entered
and tortured his flesh; but for every Spaniard that fell, at
least half-a-dozen natives were laid low. The contest now
raged at the very waterâ€™s edge, and every moment a splash
would be heard, and a dusky warrior would sink beneath the
The strength of the Spaniards was all this while slowly
but surely giving out. It was evident that defeat and death
stared them in the face. But their valour knew no shrink-
ing, and even those whose blood streamed over their faces and
from the wounds in their arms and legs fought doggedly on.
At last, however, a fatal event occurred, which speedily
decided the conflict in favour of the barbaric Cilapulapu.
As Magellan was standing in front of his men, vigorously
cutting and slashing on either side of him, a native rushed
up and plunged a lance full in his face. The blood at once
gushed from the wound and covered the heroic admiralâ€™s
cheeks ; but he rushed forward, seized his assailantâ€™s lance,
and plunged it through his body, so that the point emerged
from the other side. At this moment Magellan received
another javelin wound in his right arm. He tried to pull
the lance out of his foeâ€™s body, but from the weakness of his
arm failed to do so; he then made an attempt to raise his
sword, but found himself too weak. He staggered and was
about to fall when an enormous savage, raising aloft a large
scimitar, brought it with deadly force upon his left leg.
136 A HERO'S DEATH.
Magellan sank down upon his face, and now a multitude of
infuriated savages fell upon him. They ran him through
and through with their spears and lances, and crushed his
head in with stones, and without a word or a groan the
great discoverer and warrior breathed his last,
When the Spanish soldiers saw Magellan stretched upon
the ground, all but seven or eight of the most valiant ran
into the water and hastened out towards the boats, The
little band that remained continued to struggle desperately ;
but it was of no avail, and some of them found noble deaths
within a few feet of the lifeless form of their brave chief.
Those who escaped into the water succeeded in reaching
the boats in safety. The men who had remained in charge
of them were overcome with grief to hear of the death of
Magellan. They wept bitterly at the news, and vowed
vengeance upon the barbarians who had thus deprived them
of their commander. The boats drew up in a line alongside
of each other, and the victorious savages having now poured
down upon the shore, and some of them having even ven-
tured into the water, the cannon were loaded and fired at
them. Repeated volleys issuing from the hoarse throats of
the big guns awoke the echoes, while the lesser volleys of
the menâ€™s muskets aided them in their havoc. Many of
the natives fell shrieking into the water; the rest retreated
to the land, and to a secure distance beyond range of the
It was useless for the boats to remain any longer at Matan.
The enemy were in too formidable numbers, even if the boats
of the king himself, which had been moored all this time
about a mile off in the rear, had joined those of the Spaniards
ina new attack, The latter, therefore, slowly and mourn-
fully pulled back to where the king was, and apprised him of
the irreparable loss they had sustained. The sable monarch
A HEROS DEATH. 137
on hearing it threw himself back, raised his hands heaven-
ward, and then leaning forward on his knees rocked to and
fro, crying and moaning. The Spaniards were soon to learn
how sincere this show of sorrow was.
The surprise and grief of the captains and crews of the
fleet at the intelligence brought by the boats can scarcely be
described. It was a dismal, dreary day for every soul on
board. The wanderers were now without a guide ; they had
been deprived of him who had won their absolute trust, upon
whose wisdom and courage they had surely counted, who
had shared their every hardship, and had won the love of
all since the mutiny by his kindness, his leniency towards
their faults, his cheering words when they had been dis-
couraged, and his fatherly care for the humblest of them.
Thus died the brave-souled, great-hearted, and indomit-
able Fernan Magellan, on Saturday, April 17th, 1521, at
the early age of forty-one. Rarely has a more generous and
noble character appeared in the pages of history. Magel-
lan, after having braved mighty tempests, having undergone
every danger of the sea, having resolutely pursued his pur-
pose in spite of all obstacles, having with firm and stern
hand put down the revolt of Cartagena, and having dis-
covered the world-renowned strait and crossed and given its
name to the Pacific, was not destined to fulfil that other
ambition of hisâ€”to make the circuit of the globe. He was
fated to fall in the midst of his great voyage, a victim to the
fury of savages, in defence of a potentate who had been
friendly to him, and had consented to become a Christian,
But, dying even at his early age, Magellan had done enough
to win for his name immortal renown. He had at least
shown the way around the world, so that from his time the
ships of all nations might follow in his track, and pass from
nation to nation, in both hemispheres, by water.
138 A HERO'S DEATH.
We have seen how, under every circumstance, he was
heroic and valiant in his action and bearing. He knew
not fear, either of men or of the elements; was constant to
his end in the worst fortunes, and never once despaired of
achieving it. He did not falter when death and famine
stared him in the face. He was loyal to his adopted sove-
reign, to his comrades, and himself.
Unlike Pizarro and many other voyagers of his time, his
ambition was a nobler one than that of the greed of gain ;
nor was it confined to winning fame and honour for himself.
He aspired to confer great benefits upon man. He exulted
in the thought that he might serve Christianity and civiliza-
tion. He would find unknown pathways on the seas; he
would plant the Cross in heathen and idolatrous lands; and
these high and unselfish aims he pursued with an ardour and
intrepidity not surpassed by any of the worldâ€™s conquerors
Magellan was not wantonly cruel. He was never known
to deal harshly with the innocent. To suppress the mutiny
of St. Julian, to execute its ringleaders, were acts of sheer
necessity and self-preservation ; but the mutiny subdued and
its chiefs executed, he was mild and lenient with their mis-
guided followers. Towards his sailors he was indulgent, gen-
erous, and considerate. He cheerfully shared their hard-
ships. He tenderly cared for the sick. He overlooked their
lighter faults ; he was loath to punish even their more seri-
ous offences. Te even gave the savage Cilapulapu a chance
to repent before attacking him. He was kind and generous
to all, high and low, alike. No man was more deeply beloved
by his friends and his inferiors.
The achievement by which he is best known, and which
has perpetuated his name, was the discovery of the straitâ€”
that labyrinthine, dangerous passage between the southern-
A HERO'S DEATH. 139
most point in South America and Tierra del Fuego. Even
now, it is not the safest thing in the world for a ship to steer
its way through it: how much more difficult when its outlet
was unknown, and when the navigator had only the clumsy
nautical contrivances of three centuries ago !
â€˜For ever sacred to the heroâ€™s fame,
These foaming straits shall bear his deathless name.â€
THE KING'S TREACHERY.
ITH the death of their brave commander, new
troubles came upon the Spaniards. For a while
all was confusion in the fleet, There was now no head, and
it became necessary to replace Magellan by a new admiral.
Two of the captains seemed, above all the other officers, best
fitted to succeed to this office. One was Juan Serrano, who
had proved not only a courageous and resolute man, but
an able navigator and a faithful friend of Magellan. The
other was Edward Barbosa, a Portuguese, the brother of
Magellanâ€™s wife, and the man whom, beyond all the rest in
the fleet, Magellan had most thoroughly trusted.
The choice at last fell upon Barbosa 3 and no sooner had
he received the command of the fleet than he won the alle-
giance and confidence alike of the sailors and of the officers,
His first purpose was to secure, if possible, the remains of
Magellan, that the dead hero might be buried with all hon-
our, and his grave consecrated by the rites of the Church.
The King of Sebu, who seemed overwhelmed by his friendâ€™s
death, willingly agreed to make the attempt to recover his
body. He sent a boat with envoys to Matan, who implored
Cilapulapu to deliver it up, at the same time promising that
if he would do so he should have as much merchandise as he
chose to take,
THE KINGS TREACHERY. 141
Cilapulapu promptly made an insolent reply. He would
on no account,â€ he said, â€œgive up the body; he desired to
keep it as a monument of his triumph.â€
Barbosa was therefore obliged, with sad reluctance, to
abandon the hope of burying Magellan in a manner worthy
of his rank and character ; and now there seemed to be no
reason why the fleet should tarry longer at Sebu. Barbosa
was anxious to reach the long-wished-for Moluccas, which, he
knew, were not far off; and then to sail home as quickly as
possible by the way of the Cape of Good Hope.
He ordered the goods which still lay in the warehouse at
Sebu to be brought on board the ships as quietly as possible ;
and so skilfully was this done that the King of Sebu did not
suspect what was really going on.
Various incidents, indeed, had now happened which made
Barbosa suspect the kingâ€™s sincerity. He knew that, imme-
diately after Magellanâ€™s defeat and death, Cilapulapu had
sent the king a defiant message, threatening to invade
Sebu with an invincible force if he did not at once break
with the Spaniards and renounce Christianity. Barbosa
saw that this threat had greatly terrified the king, and
had induced him to assume a less cordial manner towards
the fleet ; still, he was profuse in his expressions of friend-
ship, and was far from offering the Spaniards any open
It seemed prudent to Barbosa, therefore, that the fleet
should sail suddenly, before the king knew that it was going,
and before he could serve the Spaniards, if such was really
his disposition, an ill turn.
Before he could put his project into execution, it was foiled
by the treachery of a man who had hitherto been fidelity
itself, This was the Malay interpreter, whom the Spaniards
had named Henry. As soon as he had learned of Magellanâ€™s
142 THE KINGS TREACHERY.
death, Henry had seemed overwhelmed with grief. He
would go off to the farther end of the flag-ship, wrap himself
up in his mat, rock himself to and fro, and refuse all con-
solation, Barbosa allowed him to indulge his grief for a
while. But time was precious, and the Malayâ€™s assistance
was absolutely necessary in getting the goods on board.
Barbosa therefore spoke to him gently, and told him he must
go on shore with the men. Henry would not stir, upon
which Barbosa addressed him more roughly.
â€œYou must know,â€ said he, â€œthat you are not free though
your master is dead. I am going to carry you to Spain, and
deliver you to Dofia Beatrix, the admiralâ€™s widow. Mean-
while, if you do not get up quickly and go ashore to your
work, I will have you flogged.â€
The Malay upon this slowly rose, and walked sullenly
away. He leaped into one of the boats and went ashore.
He was very angry in his heart at Barbosaâ€™s threatening
words, and resolved to be revenged on him. Slipping away
from the rest, while they were busy getting out the goods,
he hid himself in the thicket, and soon made his way to the
mansion of the king. To him he imparted the news that the
ships were preparing to set sail; and he urged the king to
make haste and attack them, so that he might get possession
both of the ships and their cargoes. The king listened in-
tently to what the treacherous Malay said, and made up
his mind to betray his guests. He was all the more willing
to do this, as he had fully resolved to give up Christianity,
and to make peace with his rebellious subjects in Matan.
The Malay then returned to help the sailors, saying nothing,
of course, of his visit to the king.
The next day Barbosa received a message from the king
that the jewels he designed as a present to the King of Spain
were ready to be delivered to him, and inviting Barbosa with
THE KINGS TREACHERY. 143
a number of his principal officers and comrades to dine with
him that afternoon,
Barbosa, though he had some suspicions of the king, deter-
mined to accept the invitation, With twenty-four others,
among whom were an astrologer named San Martin, Carvalho
the chief of police, and the Captain Serrano, and all of whom
took care to go armed to the teeth, he proceeded on shore
at the appointed time.
The king met them in the open space with many smiles
and grimaces of welcome, and taking Barbosa by the hand
led him into the house. The other Spaniards, with a host
of native courtiers and soldiers, followed. At the table,
which was bountifully spread, Barbosa was seated at the
kingâ€™s right hand, a custom taught the natives by Magellan.
For a time the feast went on merrily. Barbosa and his
comrades, who on first coming had taken care to be on their
guard, and had cautiously watched every movement of the
royal attendants, seemed at last to forget their suspicions, and
gave themselves wholly up to the good cheer of the occasion.
While they were thus absorbed in the good things, the king
of a sudden. sprang from his seat, and making a signal to his
soldiers, plunged a dagger deep into Barbosaâ€™s breast. At
the same moment each Spaniard was ferociously assailed by
his dusky neighbours, and fell bleeding and dying at the foot
of the festive board. The surprise and slaughter were as
sudden as they were dastardly. Only one of the partyâ€”
Serranoâ€”escaped for the moment the fate of his brave com-
rades. He succeeded in felling two of his assailants, and
leaping over their bodies, jumped to the ground, and ran,
wounded and bleeding, through the open space down towards
But the swifter feet of the enraged natives caught up with
him just as he reached the strand and was screaming to the
144 THE KINGS TREACHERY.
ships for help with outstretched arms. The men on board
looked at him in speechless terror and amazement. Mean-
while the savages caught him, bound him, and dragged him
some distance along the shore. They offered the Spaniards
to release Serrano if they would give up two cannon; but it
is probable that their offer was not heard, for in all haste
the ships weighed anchor, and were soon scudding out of
the bay. Serrano, as he saw his only hope thus vanishing,
fell upon the ground with a shriek of despair, and was soon
stabbed to death by the javelin and dagger thrusts of his
After this barbarous and dastardly deed, the King of
Sebu was only too ready to desert his Christian professions,
and to make peace with Cilapulapu. All his subjects as
well speedily returned to their idols, and the little wooden
figure of Christ was, as we have seen, afterwards used as a
native deity. The cross which Magellan had set up was
pulled down and burned.
Meanwhile the fleet sailed away as fast as possible from
the island where its occupants had witnessed so sudden a
change from boundless hospitality to the most treacherous
cruelty. Barbosa was dead, and in his place one of the Span-
ish lieutenants, named Espinosa, was chosen admiral and com-
mander of the Trinidad. Serranoâ€™s post of captain was given
to Sebastian del Cano, who took command of the Victoria.
Espinosa resolved not to turn back, but to still pursue the
course which Magellan had marked out. The crews were
reduced by battle, massacre, and illness, and they could hope
neither to cope successfully with the perfidious King of Sebu,
nor to conduct the ships back to Europe by way of the
Strait of Magellan. Even now they found it difficult to
manage in the gentle waters of the Archipelago the three
vessels which still remained to them,
THE KINGS TREACHERY. 145
When, therefore, the fleet reached an island called Bohol,
about forty miles from Matan, they put in at an inviting
harbour in order to settle upon future plans. Espinosa made
up his mind that one of the ships must be sacrificed, and as
the Conception was the weakest and least seaworthy of the
three, she was doomed. Her cargo was transferred to the
other ships, and she was then hauled up and burned.
The two vessels that remained, the Trinidad and the
Victoria, soon proceeded on their way. They sailed south-
westward, in which direction Espinosa knew the Moluccas
lay, and passed many islands without stopping. On one of
these, they observed, the inhabitants were as black as Ethio-
pians, and their appearance was too forbidding to encourage
the wanderers to land. After sailing a few days they reached
a much more hospitable-looking island, where the ships put
in for wood and water. The king of the tribe went fear-
lessly on board the Zrinidad, and, as a token of his friendly
disposition, drew some blood from his left hand and smeared
his face, breast, and the tip of his tongue with it The
Spaniards thought it prudent to follow his example, which
they did rather awkwardly; but it pleased the dusky monarch
very much. Espinosa, indeed, found this king so hospitable
that he resolved to prolong his stay. The ships entered the
mouth of the river, which flowed from the hills of what
proved to be one of the most beautiful islands the Spaniards
had yet seen. This was Mindanao. The captains and sailors
went freely on shore, and as soon as they did so the king
and his courtiers began to sing and caper about, and offered
them a very tempting meal of freshly-caught fish.
So much confidence did the king inspire in Espinosa and
the other officers, that they were easily persuaded to visit
him in the town. It was a rash thing to do, considering the
base treatment to which they had just been subjected by the
146 THE KINGS TREACHERY.
King of Sebu; but that perfidy seems to have been so soon
forgotten. Espinosa and his comrades did not neglect, how-
ever, to arm themselves, so as to be fully prepared for foul
play. The town lay, for the most part, on the bank of the
river, from which it straggled up a gentle slope, wooded with
palms and many other tropical trees.
It was night when Espinosa and his party ascended the
hill, in company with the sable king and his retinue; and as
they approached its crest, a large number of the natives came
to meet them with blazing torches, which lit up the scene
with a weird, lurid glare. The figures of the natives looked
almost terrible in the flickering and fitful light, their painted
faces and dark, unclothed forms standing out against the
The king conducted his visitors within the long, low hut
which constituted his palace, and the first thing he did was
to feast them. In the principal apartment the â€˜Spaniards
found two ravishingly beautiful women, with almost fair
complexions and exquisite forms and features, who proved
to be two of his majestyâ€™s wives ; two of the chiefs attended
the king inside the hut; and the king, his wives, and the
chiefs began at once to quaff long draughts of palm wine
from enormous wooden goblets, Espinosa was prevailed on
to imitate their example; but Pigafetta, the Italian, who
was of the party, thought it prudent only to sip the strong
liquor. Supper followed, consisting mainly of very salt fish,
served up in porcelain dishes, and of rice very much boiled.
The party from the fleet remained one night in the kingâ€™s
house ; and the next morning they breakfasted with him as
cozily as possible, the food being the same as on the night
before. Pigafetta, who no longer had the least fear of the
king or his subjects, took a stroll after breakfast over the
island. He found it full of marvels of vegetable and floral
THE KINGS TREACHERY. 147
beauty, and resplendent with all the rich and varied growths
of the tropics. On reaching the summit of a hill, hard by
that on which the kingâ€™s house stood, he found another large
mansion, which, he was told by the natives who went with
him, was the residence of one of the queens. He found no
difficulty in gaining admission, and was cordially welcomed
by its fair occupant, who was weaving a mat, and who made
him sit beside her. She was surrounded by a number of
male and female slaves, and there were many porcelain orna-
ments and musical instruments hanging from the walls.
Before Pigafetta departed, the queen amused him by playing
very loudly on some metal timbrels.
He was returning toward the ships, when he was met by
several of the chiefs, who offered to row him down the river
in a long canoe. This offer he smilingly accepted. As they
sped smoothly down the stream, he saw on the shore the
bodies of three men hanging upon a tree. On asking what
this meant, he was told that they were thieves, and that this
was the way that such criminals were punished in Mindanao.
He also saw, on the banks, and in the fields that he passed
in the canoe, many pigs, goats, and fowl of various breeds,
What surprised and dazzled Pigafetta still more, was the
abundance of gold ornaments which the natives displayed.
Some of the utensils in the kingâ€™s house were of this precious
metal, the queen had many gold rings and bracelets, and
gold seemed to be a common article even with the natives.
The chiefs in the canoe, as they passed along, pointed out
several valleys to Pigafetta, telling him by signs that they
contained many rich veins of gold, but that as they had no
iron implements with which to mine it, they could only pro-
cure it with labour and difficulty,
Refreshed by their pleasant sojourn at Mindanao, the
wanderers resumed their voyage, continuing to pass, as
148 THE KINGS TREACHERY.
before, many islands, some of which seemed deserted, and
others inhabited by Malay tribes. They sailed perhaps a
hundred miles in a westerly direction, until they reached an
island called Palawan.
The provisions of the ships were now pretty much ex-
hausted, and Espinosa, for some unexplained reason, had
neglected to replenish his stores at Mindanao. Before reach-
ing Palawan, the men had been put on short rations. It
was, therefore, much to their relief that they saw another
large and fruitful island rising from the sea; and still greater
was their delight to find the people of Palawan and their
rulers as hospitable and well-disposed as those of the place
they had recently left.
The king was a very tall and imposing-looking man, whose
countenance, when he first appeared, so dark was it, and so
long and black his beard, seemed forbidding. But on going
on board the flag-ship, his face was lit up with a smile so
beaming and pleasant, and he seemed so sincerely rejoiced to
see the strangers, that Espinosa and his comrades were at
once put at their ease.
Palawan proved to be and to contain all that the Spaniards
hoped. The king was generous, his people were peaceable
and good-natured, and the island abounded in good things.
They found not only pigs and goats, but yams (like our
sweet potatoes), large and luscious bananas, and, of course,
plenty of rice, cocoa-nuts, and sugar-canes. The pigs were
cured and stowed away for future use; meanwhile the Span-
iards feasted daily and freely with their new friends.
The natives seemed more civilized and intelligent than
those of the other islands. They had a great fondness for gay
colours and jewellery, and were wild with joy when Espinosa
gave them some little brass bells, which they hung on their
fingers and ears, and danced about to hear them jingle.
THE RING'S TREACHERY. 149
They had, it appeared, a superstitious respect for cocks,
which they reared with great care, and never ate, but on
festival days brought them out and made them fight each
other. To one of these cock-fights Espinosa and his officers
A week was passed at Palawan, during which the ships
were repaired (a task in which the natives willingly helped
the carpenters), provisions in plenty were stored, and wood
and water were put in; and when the strangers departed, the
king, with a great number of his subjects, embarked in a
large fleet of long canoes, and attended the Zrinidad and
the Victoria far out to sea.
ADVENTURES AT BORNEO..
HE ships had not sailed south-westward more than
thirty miles, when Espinosa, standing on the deck of
the Trinidad, which was ahead of the Victoria, espied an
island longer, and yet wilder and more luxuriant in its foliage
and vegetation, than any he had before seen. It was a
bright, glowing morning in summer, and the tropical air was
heavy with the perfume of fruit and flower, as a gentle
breeze blew off the land towards the ships.
As the island was neared, however, Espinosa, who resolved
to land if circumstances favoured it, saw no harbour where
to enter. The shores rose in high and abrupt bluffs, and in
places where there were bays or inlets the water near the
shore proved so full of rocks that to approach any of them
would have been dangerous, So he skirted the coast of the
island all that day, and a part of the next, and was surprised
at its extent and at all he saw on the shore. Now and then
groups of natives appeared on the bluffs, of a more dusky
hue and wilder appearance than those at Palawan; but they
did not seem afraid of the ships, gazing at them rather with
curiosity than with terror or hostility.
About noon on the second day Espinosa at last caught
sight of a good harbour, beyond which the cliffs jutted far
ADVENTURES AT BORNEO. 151
into the sea. The harbour was evidently at the mouth of
a river, and on the banks of this was to be seen a large and
prosperous-looking town. The island, indeed, was Borneo,
and the town its capital, Bruni. Bruni was situated on the
Espinosa, who had grown bold and confident by the good
treatment he had received since leaving Sebu, did not hesitate
to enter the port, and to anchor his ships in a favourable
place quite near the shore. The natives crowded along the
beach, but their demonstrations were not at all unfriendly.
They acted as if European ships were not a wholly unwonted
sight to them, but as if they were not so new as to have
ceased to be an attractive sight.
That night the Spaniards remained quietly in their ships,
mounting guard, of course, lest by any chance the islanders
should prove hostile. No incident, however, disturbed the
quiet of the dark hours, and officers and crews slept soundly.
The morning was not far advanced when Espinosa saw a
very handsome barge, its prow and stern glittering with gilt,
and a white and blue flag fluttering from the bow, push out
from the beach and approach the Trinidad. The barge was
full of gaily-dressed natives with very dark skins and shage
hair, who were playing upon pipes and drums. After the
barge came several smaller boats, which appeared to be fish-
ing smacks. The barge presently came alongside, and with-
out more ado eight of its occupants, old men with bushy
white heads, clambered upon the deck of the flag-ship. They
were chiefs of the island, and were followed by their at-
tendants, who brought on board a variety of gifts for the
Espinosa received them with great politeness, and offered
them seats on a carpet that was spread upon the deck, which
they accepted with grave and stately courtesy. Then they
152 ADVENTURES AT BORNEO.
caused their attendants to spread before the Spaniards the
good things they had brought. There were large wooden
vessels, gorgeously painted, and filled with betel, the fruit
they constantly chewed in that part of the world; there
were jars of arrack, a curious beverage, which the Spaniards
found very palatable, but quite strong, and which, they
learned, was made from rice 3 there were, besides, fowls and
goats, sugar-cane and bananas,
After paying a visit to the flag-ship, the chiefs went on
board the Victoria, whither they carried similar gifts, and
met with an equally hearty welcome. It was not long
before their good treatment had its effect on the King of
Borneo. He sent three barges, yet more splendid than that
which had first appeared, full of chiefs and musicians, who
were rowed around the ships, the musicians playing with all
their might. Espinosa ordered salutes to be fired, and the
flags to be hoisted at the mast-heads, Among other articles
that the natives brought as gifts from their monarch, were
cakes made of rice, honey, and eggs; all of which were
extremely welcome to the Spaniards, who eagerly consumed
The King of Borneo, a day or two after, sent a message
that the Spaniards might not only procure such provisions
as they wished on shore, but that they might trade freely
with his subjects.
Espinosa ordered seven of his principal men, one of whom
was Pigafetta, to get into one of the barges, go to the town,
and visit the king. These carried with them, as friendly
offerings, a Turkish coat of green velvet, a chair of violet-
coloured velvet, some red cloth, a cap, a gilt goblet, a glass
vase, and, oddly enough, a, gilt pen and ink case; and, to be
given to the queen, a pair of slippers and a silver case full
of pins. Presents were also carried for the kingâ€™s chief cour-
ADVENTURES AT BORNEO. 153
tiers ; for Espinosa rightly judged that it was of no small
importance to gain the friendship of a potentate evidently
so rich and powerful.
When the party reached the quay and disembarked, they
were forced to wait some time, for the king had not under-
stood that they were coming, and had not made his prepara-
tions to receive them.
At last, however, a sight greeted their eyes which gave
them a still higher idea of the royal splendour of Borneo.
Two immense elephants, caparisoned in rich and _parti-
coloured silk, came slowly tramping down to the quay.
With them were twelve natives, all richly dressed, and bear-
ing large porcelain vases covered with silk napkins. These
vases, it appeared, were intended to receive the presents
which the Spaniards had brought with them. The elephants
were supplied with palanquins, on which could be seated
quite a number of men; and the Spaniards clambered up to
them on the shoulders of the natives.
The elephants were then slowly led through the streets
of the town, which was a far handsomer and more spacious
place than any the Spaniards had hitherto seen in the islands.
As they went along, the people, who were of a higher type
of men and women than those before visited, gathered in
curious crowds and lined the sides of the streets. They were
quiet, though Pigafetta saw many fierce and savage-looking
faces among them.
Pigafetta and his comrades were conducted to the house
of one of the most important men, where, it being now
nearly dark, they were invited to enter and stay over-night.
They found everything in the house much more elegant and
comfortable than in the houses at Sebu. Instead of coarse
mats, they had soft cotton rugs to sleep on, and the viands
set before them were very pleasant and palatable.
154 ADVENTURES AT BORNEO.
The next morning the elephants were again awaiting them
at the door, and they mounted the palanquins and set out
for the royal palace, the men who bore the presents going
before them. The palace they found to be a large and
rather imposing edifice, the hall of which was reached by a
broad flight of steps. On entering the hall, Pigafetta was
amazed at its aspect of show and ceremony. It was hung
with brilliant silks, and was full of the dusky courtiers in
fine clothes. Beyond this apartment was another, not quite
so spacious, but raised a few feet higher, and reached by a
short flight of steps ; it was very richly hung with long cur-
tains of silk and brocade, and two large windows admitted
the light. Here were stationed three hundred of the kingâ€™s
guard with daggers drawn. Yet beyond this room was a
third, much smaller, but more splendidly adorned ; and here
sat the king, a rather fat man, forty years old, on a great
cushion, with one of his little boys.) The king was busily
chewing the eternal betel.
Surrounding the king was a bevy of women of various
complexions, some almost as light as Europeans, others dark
enough to have come from Africa.
The visitors were not allowed to approach nearer the mon-
arch than the first hall. There they were supplied with
cushions, so placed that they could see the king in the dis-
tance. When they were seated they were given to under-
stand that they could not themselves speak to his majesty,
but that whatever they had to say to him they must say to
a certain chief; this chief would tell it to another, who
would repeat it to a yet higher official, who, in his turn,
would deliver the message through a speaking-trumpet to the
prime minister, who stood at the kingâ€™s side, and by whom it
would at last reach the royal ears.
At the same time, the chief who gave them these instruc-
ADVENTURES AT BORNEO. 155
tions told them they must rise, join their hands above their
heads, raise first one and then the other foot, make three
low bows to the king, and then kiss their hands to him.
This Pigafetta and his comrades did with great care and
punctiliousness, being not a little amused to find, in this
semi-barbarous and pagan court, quite as much ceremony as
in the palaces of refined Europe.
They then, in the indirect manner that has been described,
made known to the royal host the message which Espinosa
had sent. It was that they were subjects of the King of
Spain, who wished to establish peace and friendship with
the King of Borneo, and for permission to trade with the
island. The next thing was to offer the king the presents
they had brought, which were accordingly laid at his feet
by some of his attendants. He acknowledged them by a
slight and solemn inclination of the head, and immediately
after sent to the Spaniards some pieces of rich silk and
They were next treated to cloves and cinnamon; and while
they were eating, the curtains in front of the king were
drawn together, and he disappeared from view. Pigafetta
observed, on this occasion, that the soldiers and courtiers
wore cloth of gold and silk, that their daggers had gold hilts
studded with gems, and that their fingers were fairly covered
with large rings.
Deeply impressed with all that they had seen, the party
returned to the house of the chief where they had lodged,
mounted, as when they came, upon elephants. There they
were once more entertained in the most lavish manner.
The hospitable chief feasted them upon rice, chickens, and
peacocks, veal, many kinds of fish, and the not unpleasant
arrack ; these things, too, were served to them on handsome
china dishes. The Spaniards were obliged to eat with their
156 ADVENTURES AT BORNEO.
fingers, but the rice they ate with gold spoons, to find which
in Borneo much surprised them.
They remained two days in the chiefâ€™s abode, and on the
second night were provided not only with wax candles but
even with oil lamps. Everything they saw, indeed, aston-
ished them at the evident riches and even civilization of the
When Pigafetta reported the adventures of his party to
the admiral, he was more than ever convinced that it was
important to secure the kingâ€™s good-will for the Spaniards.
Espinosa was impatient to reach the Moluccas, but was so
attracted by all that he had seen and heard in Borneo that
he made up his mind to prolong his stay. Instead of a
sojourn of two or three days, therefore, the ships remained
anchored in the harbour nearly a month.
Espinosa himself, as well as his officers and men, now
went freely to and fro every day between the ships and the
town. The kingâ€™s barges were always ready to conduct
them, and the houses of the chiefs were always at their dis-
posal. Espinosa desired the monarch to visit the ships,
but was told that he never stirred away from his palace ex-
cept when he went hunting, which he occasionally did with
a few chosen princes and nobles.
The Spaniards availed themselves of the kindly disposi-
tion of the people to open trade with them. They secured
a warehouse near the quay, and here, as at Sebu, a brisk
business soon sprang up. â€˜The people of Borneo, it turned
out, knew much better the value of the articles offered for
sale by the Spaniards than those of Sebu, and Espinosaâ€™s
men found it necessary to display the best articles the ships
Something new about Borneo and its people was learned
every day. Espinosa estimated the population of the town
ADVENTURES AT BORNEO. 157
at nearly one hundred thousand... A large part of it was
built on piles driven in the water; the houses were all of
wood, and were reached by flights of steps. In front of the
royal palace was a thick and high brick wall, with portholes.
This was intended as a kind of fort to protect the king.
Espinosa soon learned that the people of Borneo were not
idolaters, but were faithful followers of Mohammed, and that
they scrupulously obeyed the precepts of the Koran. They
never ate pigâ€™s flesh, nor the flesh of any animal they did
not themselves kill. The mass of the people went almost
naked, as, indeed, the hot climate in which they lived made
it almost necessary to do ; but the nobles and soldiers, as we
have seen, dressed very gaily.
Their money was not unlike the European. It consisted
of bronze coins, pierced in the centre for stringing together ;
and, as Espinosa and his companions were able to see for
themselves, the natives were very skilful in making fine por-
celain and china. Among the productions of the island were
camphor, cinnamon, ginger, oranges, lemons, melons, cucum-
bers, cabbage, onions, and sugar-canes; the animals were
elephants, horses, pigs, goats, fowls, and geese. The medi-
cine they thought the most effective was quicksilver, which
they were bold enough to swallow when ill.
The king, it appeared, was very rich. Many of his house-
hold utensils were of solid gold; some of his plates and
covers were artistically enamelled and chased. Some of the
Spaniards, on going one day to the palace, were shown two
enormous and beautiful pearls, nearly as large as hensâ€™ eggs.
They were told that the king had bought these pearls from
the Arabs for a vast sum, and that he esteemed them his
most precious treasure.
Early one morning, shortly before the day set for the de-
parture of the ships from Borneo, Espinosa was awakened
158 ADVENTURES AT BORNEO.
to hear some startling news. The king and people had
treated him so kindly and generously that he had long
ceased to have the slightest suspicion of their good faith.
What was his surprise and alarm, then, when one of his
officers, entering his cabin, exclaimed,â€”
â€œRise quickly, admiral! There is a large fleet of junks
coming toward us full of armed men. Their design is with-
out doubt a hostile one. Unless we prepare at once to resist
them, we shall surely be overwhelmed !â€
Espinosa arose, dressed himself with all speed, and ran up
on deck, The sight which greeted his eyes only confirmed
the officerâ€™s report. There, in the broad bay, which sparkled
with the reflection of the first rays of the sun, was a fleet of
native junks, with their bamboo masts and bark sails, of
which there could not be less than a hundred. They were
divided into three squadrons, and sailed together in close
phalanx. Their decks were, indeed, fairly crowded with
Borneo warriors, who presented a very formidable aspect.
Espinosa at once made up his mind that it had been the
intention of the king to take him by surprise; and in this,
if it was his purpose, he had quite succeeded. To resist so
large and powerful a fleet would have been folly. With his
handful of men and his few cannon Espinosa could not hope
to make a serious impression upon it. He resolved to lose
no time in weighing anchor and setting sail, so as to escape,
if possible, before it was too late. Meanwhile, he was beside
himself with anger at what he supposed to be the unparalleled
perfidy of the King of Borneo.
The order to weigh anchor was given, and the Trinidad
and Victoria began to move. At this moment several junks,
which had been lying just by the ships for several days,
showed signs, as Espinosa thought, of following them. He
ordered them to be fired upon with the cannon. The balls
ADVENTURES AT BORNEO. 159
did deadly work. Two of the junks foundered, and two
more went aground on a shoal in trying to escape the attack,
while a number of their occupants were killed.
Espinosa soon had reason to bitterly regret his haste in
firing upon these junks. A smaller boat was seen rapidly
approaching the flag-ship, showing a flag of truce. When it
came up, Espinosa permitted a chief, who was standing up
in the boat and eagerly waving his arms, to come on board.
All was then explained. It seemed that it was not at all
the object of the large fleet of junks to attack the Spaniards.
This armament was just returning from a warlike expedi-
tion to the island of Luzon, some leagues away, where the
soldiers had been engaged in a fierce conflict with a powerful
enemy of their sovereign. The chief city of the island had
been sacked, and many prisoners and much booty taken.
The admiral made all haste to return to his old anchorage
in the harbour, and to make all the reparation he could for
having attacked the junks and killed those who were in them.
The king was casily persuaded of the error Espinosa had
committed, and accepted his apologies and presents with
cordial good-will, and from that time until the ships sailed
their relations continued to be of the most friendly nature.
The ships received new supplies of provisions, wood, and
water, and Espinosa found on balancing his accounts that
the active trade with the townspeople had been quite profit-
It was autumn when the Victoria and the Trinidad, with
flags flying and cannon bellowing forth their noisy farewells,
at last sailed out of the hospitable harbour of Borneo, and
proceeded on their way in search of the Moluccas.
DISCOVERY OF THE SPICE ISLANDS.
SPINOSA had learned that in searching for the Moluc-
cas he had sailed too far westward, and on leaving
Borneo he deemed it wisest to return on the track by which
he had come, and to pass around the island of Borneo by the
north and east. Scarcely were the ships fairly out to sea when
the admiral discovered that they were both leaky and sadly
needed repairs, and he was obliged to look about for a con-
venient island to haul them over and calk them. Seeing a
place that seemed fit for this purpose, he approached it; but
as the Victoria was nearing the shore she struck on some
shoals and came near being lost. She was got off, however,
though with great difficulty.
About the same time the Zâ€™vrinidad came very near being
blown up with all on board. A sailor was snuffing a candle,
and very incautiously threw the lighted wick into a chest of
gunpowder which was standing near by. Quick as a flash
he sprang, grasped and extinguished the wick. In another
instant a terrible explosion must have occurred.
Finally, the ships found a harbour on an island called
Cinbonbon, where the repairs might be made with great
convenience, and here they cast anchor. On examining the
ships more narrowly, Espinosa found that they were even
DISCOVERY OF THE SPICE ISLANDS. 161
more unseaworthy than he had at first thought. It was
necessary to take time to put them in thorough order again.
He therefore resolved to remain at Cinbonbon as long as
was necessary for this purpose.
While the carpenters were busy with the ships, the sailors
went on shore and built little huts, where they could stay
with more comfort than on shipboard. Cinbonbon, like
nearly all the islands in the Archipelago, was very picturesque
and fruitful. Some of the men were set to gathering wood
in the forest for the repairs on the ships ; and this they found
no easy matter, as the ground was fairly covered with briers
and thorny shrubs, and most of the men, having no shoes,
were obliged to go among them barefoot.
Some amused themselves with hunting the wild boars,
which were plentiful and very savage in the island; others
went crocodile shooting ; others contented themselves with
the gentle sport of catching fish, oysters, and turtles, with
which to regale their comrades. These caught many fish,
the like of which they had never before seen: one had a
head which resembled that of a pig, and which had two horns.
Pigafetta saw with astonishment the leaves of a certain kind
of tree, which, when they fell to the ground, moved about
as if they were living things. â€œI kept one,â€ he said, â€œnine
days ina box. When I opened it, the leaf skipped round
the box. I believe they live upon air.â€ The mystery of this
is, however, easily explained. If Pigafetta had examined
his animated leaf a little more closely, he would have seen
that its motions came from an insect which lived inside of it.
While the ships were at Cinbonbon, the sailors captured
a junk that was passing by loaded with cocoa-nuts, which
they appropriated, allowing the natives to escape as best
they could among the islands.
It was more than a month before the ships were ready to
162 DISCOVERY OF THE SPICE ISLANDS.
sail from Cinbonbon. They then continued their voyage north-
ward and eastward, taking in Mindanao, where they had
before tarried. On their way, as they went, the Spaniards
captured all the junks they could lay their hands on, com-
pelling them to give up their cargoes, which in some cases
consisted of rice, pigs, goats, fowls, figs, sugar-canes, and palm
wine. They passed among many islands which they had not
before seen, and at one of these they obtained some cinnamon,
of which they had long been in search, and for which they
willingly exchanged some knives,
At last they reached a region where there were more signs
of thrift and commerce, where the natives were tall, robust,
and intelligent-looking men, and where the vessels were larger
and better made even than those of Borneo. Then Espinosa
felt. sure that he was approaching the far-famed Moluccas,
or Spice Islands, which it was one of the main objects of
Magellan to find. At one of the islands at which the ships
stopped a chief told him that he knew where the Moluccas
were, and he proceeded to describe the quarter in which they
lay. Espinosa lost no time in following the directions given
by this chief. He now took a south-east course, and made
as much speed as the winds and current would permit.
The ships had not, however, gone far when a furious
tropical storm burst upon them and for a while threatened
their destruction. For some days the Spaniards were over-
whelmed with fear lest they should be dashed upon the rocks
of the islands and reefs that thickly studded the seas. When
the tempest subsided a little they made all haste to seek
shelter in a bay. It happened that on the island where this
bay was there was a Malay familiar with the whole region
of the Archipelago, and Espinosa was not long in persuading
him by means of presents to undertake to pilot the ships to
the Spice Islands,
DISCOVERY OF THE SPICE ISLANDS. 163
It was a mild morning early in November when Espinosa,
standing on the deck of the flag-ship, with the Malay pilot
by his side, espied in the dim distance four islands lying
near together, all of which were very uneven and hilly. The
Malay, as soon as he caught sight of them, exclaimed that
they were the Moluccas, The admiral, delighted to hear
this, at once told the crew, and signalled the good news to
the Victoria, which was following at the distance of about
half-a-mile. The wanderers had been more than two years
on their voyage, and were now to behold with their own
eyes the islands, the report of whose riches had dazzled all
Europe. In their joy they fired the cannon, and made merry
on the decks,
Espinosa only feared one thing. He had heard in Spain
that these Spice Islands, which promised so much to their
conqueror, were well-nigh inaccessible to ships. They were
said to be surrounded with dangerous shoals, and to be
usually enveloped in dark, dismal fogs. The islands now
stood out distinct and bold, however, in an atmosphere which
grew clearer as the morning advanced; and his anxiety
ceased when, on approaching the nearest, he found the water
many fathoms deep close up to the shore.
In the middle of the afternoon the ships entered a wide
and fine harbour, and were able to cast anchor in twenty
fathoms of water. On the shore stood a town of prosperous
and almost civilized appearance; and along the beach, and
the rocks that rose from the waterâ€™s edge on either side, the
natives were gathered in large numbers, gazing curiously at
the European vessels as they lay in the roadstead. The
island the Spaniards thus reached was one of the larger
Moluccas, and was called Tidor.
Early the next morning the sultan of the island, whose
name, as the Spaniards soon learned, was Almansor, came
164 DISCOVERY OF THE SPICE ISLANDS.
out in a gorgeous barge and rowed around the two ships,
When the barge passed under the bows of the Trinidad,
Espinosa was able to perceive that the sultan was of a cream-
coloured complexion, with a black flowing beard ; about forty-
five years of age, well-built, and strikingly handsome. He
wore a fine white tunic, the ends of the sleeves of which were
embroidered with gold lace, and a long skirt, or robe, which
fell to his feet. On his head he had a thin silk veil, over
which he wore a garland of flowers. His appearance was
very gay and picturesque. Above him was spread a silk
umbrella, to protect him from the sun.
Espinosa made all haste to welcome the sultanâ€™s friendly
advances. He caused a long-boat to be lowered, got into it,
and rowed to the side of the barge. The sultan smiled,
stretched out his hands, and beckoned pleasantly to the
admiral to come on board his vessel. This Espinosa did
willingly and with alacrity.
He was invited to take a seat beside the monarch. On the
other side sat the young prince, the sultanâ€™s son, who held a
long gold sceptre; while in front of the sultan crouched two
of his attendants with gold ewers full of water, with which
the sultan moistened his fingers after taking betel, which
two other attendants had ready for him in gold boxes.
It appeared that the sultan was a Mohammedan, and a
man of no inferior intelligence. Espinosa had taken care
to have an interpreter with him, and through him he now
entered into conversation with his royal host.
â€œT long ago dreamed,â€ said the sultan, â€œthat some ships
were coming hither from distant countries. I am an as-
trologer as well as a king, and have examined the moon to
see if this was true, and the moon assured me it was so.
And now I see that the moon did not deceive me.â€
â€œWe have come to offer you the friendship of our great
DISCOVERY OF THE SPICE ISLANDS. 165
sovereign, the King of Spain,â€ replied Espinosa, â€œand to
trade peaceably with your people; and I am very grateful to
you for this kind reception.â€
â€œIf you are true and sincere,â€ returned the sultan, â€œyou
shall be welcome ; and I shall receive and return your sove-
reignâ€™s friendship with delight.â€
Espinosa then invited the sultan to go on board the flag-
ship. He consulted apart a few moments with several of his
nobles, and then, turning to the admiral, signified his willing-
ness to comply with his proposal.
As the barge drew near the Zvinidad the cannon bellowed
forth their hoarse welcome, the flags were run up at the
mast-heads, and officers and sailors, gathering at the side of
the deck, waved their hats and loudly cheered. Preparations
to receive the monarch were hurriedly made, and when he
had mounted the ladder, followed by some of his attendants,
and by Espinosa, he was conducted to a red velvet chair,
which had been placed in the middle of the deck. Espinosa
then advanced, and, bowing low, threw over the royal
shoulders a rich yellow velvet rug. Each Spaniard came
forward and kissed the sultanâ€™s hand, and then sat down on
the deck in front of him. He was regaled with wine and
cakes, and appeared highly pleased with his reception. He
declared to Espinosa that he was now quite sure of the good
faith of the strangers; and as a proof of this, he gave full
permission to them to go on shore as much as they pleased,
and to use the houses of his subjects just as if they were
Not content with this concession, the sovereign said that,
in honour of the sovereign of his guests, his island should no
longer be called Tidor, but Castile.
Before the sultan departed, Espinosa, who was most anxious
to make sure of his good-will, overwhelmed him with pres-
166 DISCOVERY OF THE SPICE ISLANDS.
ents. He gave him the red velvet chair in which he had sat on
the deck ; he had a number of pieces of cloth, linen, brocade,
and damask brought and laid at the royal feet; he begged
him to accept some large mirrors, some glass beads, knives,
scissors, combs, and goblets. To the young prince he was
not less generous, presenting him with a fine cap, a robe of
silk and gold, and a handsome mirror; while he lavished
other gifts of knives, caps, and cloths upon the principal
men of the sultanâ€™s retinue.
It may well be believed that the sultan and his people,
after this, were fairly delighted with their visitors. As the
sultan descended into his barge, he called out to Espinosa to
bring his ships yet closer to the shore; and told him that if
any of the natives approached them at night, he might fire
at them as much as he pleased. The departing barge was
saluted with the cannon and the loud acclamations of the
men; and that night Espinosa gave a bountiful supper to
the officers of both ships, who made merry over their good
fortune in finding the Moluccas, and in being so well re-
The following days were employed much as the time had
been when the ships were sojourning at Borneo. The men
went on shore freely, and were regaled very hospitably in
the town and by the royal court. They opened a lively
trade with the natives, their main object being to fill up their
cargoes with spices ; and they also took in an abundance of
provisions of all kinds. The sultan grew every day more
cordial in his professions and more hospitable in his conduct ;
and it was not long before he was ready to swear that Tidor
and Tarenate (a neighbouring island) should be subject to
the King of Spain, for whom he himself would â€œfight to the
death,â€ as his faithful vassal. Finding that the Spaniards
were anxious to obtain a quantity of cloves, he went in per-
DISCOVERY OF THE SPICE ISLANDS. 167
son in his barge to one of the other islands, and brought
back several loads of cloves for them.
Espinosa might have suspected that this sudden and pro-
fuse friendship could scarcely be sincere; but at first he had
full confidence in the sultanâ€™s good faith. He had not been
long in Tidor, however, before events took place that put
him on his guard, and caused him to hasten as much as
possible the loading of his ships.
Some years before, it seemed, Francisco Serrano, a Portu-
guese voyager, and the friend of Magellan who had first put
it into his head to make this expedition, had found the Mo-
luccas by sailing round the Cape of Good Hope, and east-
ward from India. He had won the friendship of the king
and natives of the isle of Tarenate, near Tidor, and had
there established a Portuguese trade station. The King of
Tidor, who had long been at war with the King of Tarenate,
entertained a violent hatred of the Portuguese; and Espi-
nosa heard that on one occasion, when the King of Tidor had
conquered his enemy, he had caused Serrano to be poisoned,
and had killed all the Portuguese he could Jay his hands on.
Meanwhile, the Portuguese trade station at Tarenate was
still in existence at the time Espinosa came to Tidor.
One day a fleet of barges appeared at the head of the bay,
sailing from the direction of the island of Tarenate ; and
when they came within a short distance of the ships they
cast anchor, and sent a messenger on board the Zrinidad.
From him Espinosa learned that the Prince of Tarenate,
though an enemy of the King of Tidor, had arrived to make
peace and friendship with the Spaniards, and desired to
come on board the flag-ship. Espinosa replied that he could
not receive the prince without first obtaining the consent of
the King of Tidor. This the king readily granted ; but now
the prince grew suspicious, and moved away from the ships.
168 DISCOVERY OF THE SPICE ISLANDS.
Espinosa thereupon sent him some presents, and begged that
the Portuguese factor in Tarenate, Pedro de Lorosa, should
come and visit the ships. A few days after, Lorosa made hig
appearance. He told Espinosa that he had been in the Moluc-
cas ten years, and that he had already heard of Magellanâ€™s ex-
pedition. He surprised the admiral, moreover, by declaring
that the King of Portugal, angry that Magellan had gailed
in Spanish ships, had sent out a fleet by way of the Cape of
Good Hope to contest his passage ; but that this fleet had
been compelled to turn back, on account of contrary winds.
Espinosa finally persuaded Lorosa to return to Spain with
him, and they soon became fast friends, Tt was not long
before Lorosa grew more confidential, and began to warn
Espinosa against trusting too much to the sincerity of the
King of Tidor. He related how the Portuguese had been
assassinated, and expressed his suspicions that the Spaniards
should meet the same fate unless a strict watch were kept.
Some things that happened about this time served to
arouse Espinosaâ€™s fears of the kingâ€™s intentions. The king
wished to give a great feast to the officers and crews. Espi-
nosa remembered that it was by giving such a feast that the
perfidious King of Sebu had decoyed the other captains into
his house, only to murder them without mercy, and prudently
declined the invitation. He saw, too, that the Tidor chiefs
took every chance they could get to whisper mysteriously to
the prisoners he had brought with him from the other islands,
and guessed that this was for no good purpose.
Meanwhile the Spaniards made excursions among the
other islands, and busied themselves with completing their
cargoes. In these excursions they saw and heard many
curious things, a description of which we will reserve for
SAILING TOWARDS HOME.
HE Spaniards found the other islands as beautiful and
as fruitful as Tidor ; and such was the fear with which
they were regarded by the nativesâ€”for it was evidently
their sense of the warlike superiority of the Spaniards, more
than any love for them, that rendered these barbarians so
submissive and friendlyâ€”that they were allowed to go freely
into the houses, and to wander at will over the fields and
through the forests.
Pigafetta, the inquisitive Italian who has been so often
mentioned, seized the opportunity to observe everything in
these strange islands with a curious eye. He was especially
struck with the spice trees and shrubs, which yielded products
so valuable in Europe, and one of his first excursions was to
a grove of clove trees.
These he found to grow quite high, with trunks as thick
as a manâ€™s body, and they only grew on high land. The
branches spread out at the middle, and narrowed to the shape
of a cone at the top. The bark was of an olive colour, and
the leaves much like those of the laurel. The cloves, he
found, were white when they first appeared ; they gradually
deepened into red, and when dry became dark brown. Two
crops were gathered each yearâ€”one at Christmas, and the
170 SAILING TOWARDS HOME.
other about the middle of June. The leaves, bark, and even
the wood of the clove tree had the same perfume, he noticed,
that the clove itself had. The natives told him that the
cloves were ripened by the mountain mists, and must be
gathered in the nick of time, or they would become so hard
as to be useless,
He examined with equal curiosity the nutmeg trees, which
reminded him of the walnut trees of Europe. The nutmegs,
when gathered, were shaped like small quinces, and had a
soft fur or down upon them. The outside rind was quite
thick ; beneath it was a thin, web-like covering ; under this
a bright red bark ; and within the bark the nut itself, as we
see it in the market.
The ginger shrub did not escape Pigafettaâ€™s quick eye,
He found that this shrub shot out of the ground in long
branches like the shoots of canes, and that its leaves were
like those of the cane. The ginger itself was, of course, the
fragrant root of the shrub; in order to dry it, the natives
Many of the ways and customs of the people were interest-
ing. It appeared that the bread they ate was made of the
wood of a tree that somewhat resembled the palm. They
took a piece of the wood and extracted certain long black
thorns they found enclosed in it; these they pounded into a
powder, and cooked it as we do flour. The bread thus made,
however, did not seem to Pigafetta very palatable.
The King of Tidor had no less than two hundred wives,
one only of whom was acknowledged as his queen. The
others were inferior to her in rank. These wives all lived
in a long mansion outside the town, where the king visited
them when he chose. They were most carefully guarded ;
and if any man were found near their house, either at night
or in the day-time, he was at once put to death. The king
SAILING TOWARDS HOME. 171
always ate alone or with his queen on a raised platform,
below which the rest of his family were gathered. No one
else ate until his majesty had finished. Each noble family
was bound to provide the monarch with a wife. The only
other person who was permitted to have a number of wives
was a sort of bishop or high priest, whose rank was next to
the king. This holy personage had forty wives and more
than a hundred children. :
These islanders, like those of Mindanao and others tle
Spaniards had already visited, regarded the pig as a sort of Â©
sacred animal ; and as soon as the King of Tidor found that
there were pigs on board the ships, he begged the admiral
that they should all be at once slaughtered, saying that he
would fully make up for the loss with fowls and goats.
Espinosa humoured him, and had all the pigs killed and
hung up on deck, so that the natives could see them. When-
ever a native espied the carcasses, he at once covered his
face with his hands, so as not to perceive or smell them.
On one of the islands it was the custom of the natives to
worship the first thing they saw when they went out in the
morning as their god throughout the day. It was on this
island, called Gilolo, that Pigafetta found some bamboos
growing near the shore â€œas thick as a manâ€™s leg,â€ which con-
tained in their hollow interior a kind of water which he
found very excellent to drink. The king of the island had
no less than five hundred children.
The King of Tidor was much grieved when he found that
Espinosa had begun to suspect his intentions, and came almost
weeping to him to assure him of his good faith. Taking a
Koran, the king put it on his head four or five times, then
kissed it, and swore by Mohammed to be true to the Spanish
sovereign. Espinosa was now convinced that he had wronged
the king ; the more so, when soon after he learned that some
172 SAILING TOWARDS HOME.
of the native chiefs had tried to persuade the king to kill all
the Spaniards, but that he had sternly resisted their demand.
At last the time came to take leave of the Moluccas, and
to set out on the voyage homeward. But just as the final
preparations for departure had been made, and the ships had
actually started, a serious accident happened. The Victoria
sailed first ; the Trinidad was about to follow, when one of
the sailors discovered that she was leaking very badly in the
hold. In all haste some of the men discharged her cargo,
piling it on the strand at hap-hazard, while others worked
with desperate energy at the pumps. This continued all day,
but the labour was a vain one. The water spurted into the
ship as if forced in by a large pump, and it continually gained
in the hold. On hearing of this serious mishap, the King of
Tidor at once offered the admiral his aid. He brought with
him five or six native divers, who, putting on large masks,
plunged under the waves, and searched for some time for the
place where the ship leaked. The divers went under with
their hair all loose, thinking that their long locks, when they
came near the leak, would be sucked towards it, and thus
show where it was. But nothing could be discovered, and
Espinosa was forced to abandon all hope of making his good
flag-ship seaworthy again.
It only remained to transfer so much of his cargo to the
Victoria as the latter would safely hold, and leave the Trini-
dad behind. The king said that he had more than two
hundred carpenters, and that they should be set to work
repairing the ship; and that if her crew would remain at
Tidor till she was whole, they should be cared for â€œag if they
were his own children.â€ These generous offers touched
Espinosaâ€™s heart, and he finally decided to accept them.
The east winds, favourable to a westward voyage, were
now steadily blowing, and it was full time for the Victoria
SAILING TOWARDS HOME. 173
to take advantage of them and be off. At the last moment
Espinosa resolved to remain at Tidor, and to share the fate
of the faithful crew of the ship he had so long commanded.
With him stayed fifty-three men. Meanwhile he confided the
command of the returning Victoria to his brave lieutenant,
Juan Elcano, who, with a crew of forty-seven Europeans and
thirteen Malay prisoners who had been captured in the boats,
at once made ready to set sail for the Cape of Good Hope.
On Saturday, the 21st of December 1520, the King of
Tidor visited the Spaniards for the last time. He brought
on board the Victoria two Malay pilots, whom he offered to
Eleano to conduct the ship safely beyond the islands, and
into the Indian Ocean. He embraced the captain with many
protestations of friendship, and as he bade adieu to him he
shed many tears.
The Vectoria set sail about mid-day. Espinosa and his
companions, who were to remain until the 7rinidad was re-
paired, and was ready to follow her sister-ship, accompanied
the Victoria some distance beyond the bay, in their long-
boats. The king also, with several barges, proceeded for
many miles side by side with the departing ship. As the
Victoria finally emerged from the bay where she had met
with a hospitality so bounteous and evidently sincere, her
guns boomed a parting salute to the disabled Zrinidad, and
from the decks of the latter an echoing â€˜God-speedâ€ was
given by the mouths of the cannon to the vessel homeward
The Victoria, guided by the faithful pilots provided by the
King of Tidor, sailed south-westward from that island, and
soon the Moluccas were lost to view. The voyagers were
still, however, in the midst of the Archipelago, with its
innumerable shoals of isles; and day after day they pro-
gressed across a sea teeming with beautifully green and fer-
174 SAILING TOWARDS HOME.
tile spots, and among Oriental races strangely differing from
each other in features and customs.
Elcano was eager to get back to Spain, and to at last
accomplish the tour of the whole world. On the other hand,
he desired to carry back to his sovereign as complete an
account of the Archipelago as possible. As he sailed in the
direction of the Indian Ocean, therefore, he made it a point
to stop here and there at the islands where it was evident
that he would meet with a friendly reception, and to observe
their people and productions.
He was continually surprised by the natural richness and
beauty of the islands he passed, and in the bays of which he
anchored. Everywhere there was the greatest abundance of
tropical fruits, and especially of spices. He found that the
inhabitants of many of these islands were cannibals, who did
not hesitate to feast on the prisoners they captured in their
numerous wars; others were Mohammedans, and betrayed
many indications of being quite civilized and intelligent.
On one island, he found the coast peopled by one race, fol-
lowers of the prophet, and the interior by a totally different
race, who were ferocious, savage, and inveterate man-eaters.
While the Victoria was proceeding southward, she en-
countered, between Buru and Solor, two of the larger islands,
one of those sudden, tremendous tornadoes, or wind storms,
which often burst unexpectedly, almost out of a clear sky, in
the tropics. For two days destruction seemed inevitable.
At one moment the good ship was on the very point of
dashing her ribs to splinters on the rocks of an island; at
another she threatened to founder in a terrific whirlpool.
There were times when the desperate crew were all ready to
give up, and cease longer to resist the overpowering fury of
the elements. But Elcano refused to give way to despair.
He shared the labours of his men, and by his example made
SAILING TOWARDS HOME. 175
them ashamed of their faltering ; and as soon as the tempest
subsided a little, he succeeded in bringing the Victorza into
the shelter of an island bay.
Landing on the beach, the Spaniards soon found them-
selves surrounded by the fiercest and most savage-looking
people they had yet seen. One of the strangest things was
that while the men stood aloof in staring groups, the women
advanced boldly and threateningly toward the strangers, and
drew their bows as if about to shoot a volley of arrows among
them. Elcano sent one of his Malay pilots to them with some
presents, however, and soon succeeded in pacifying them.
These people wore their shaggy hair in a very peculiar
fashion. The thick and tangled locks were raised high above
the head, held there by long combs made of cane, somewhat
after the manner of the grand ladies of France and England
a century ago. The men, moreover, wrapped their beards
up in leaves in a very curious way, or enclosed them in the
tubes of reeds, They went almost entirely naked; and
Elcano shuddered when some of the chiefs, thinking to per-
form an act of hospitality, invited him and his companions
to a feast composed of some of their dead enemies.
The Vietorta remained a fortnight at this island, which
was called Mallua, during which time her sides, worn by the
storm, were carefully calked. Meanwhile her cargo was in-
creased by the wax, pepper, cocoa-nuts, and fowls which the
island produced in great abundance.
She next passed a little island, the people of which were
of such low stature that the Spaniards were fain to call them
dwarfs, They had, moreover, very long ears, their voices
were very shrill and squeaky, they shaved their faces closely,
and had their dwellings underground, in rude caves. Their
only food was fish, and the pith of a certain tree.
A few days after, the provisions of the ship having become
176 SAILING TOWARDS HOME.
well-nigh exhausted, and the natives of the islands in that
vicinity not proving friendly, Elcano resolved to obtain sup-
plies by a trick. A few Spaniards landed on the shore of a
large island called Timor, and sent word to the chief of the
nearest village that they wished to speak with him. He
came to them very timidly ; but on their attempting to make
a bargain with him for some pigs and goats, he became bolder
and demanded a high price for them. Whereupon the Span-
iards seized him, hurried him into their boat, and rowed
away to the ship. They threatened him with death unless
he would send to his village an order to return some pigs and
goats as his ransom. The poor chief was frightened almost
out of his wits, and made all haste to obey his captors, In
due time the pigs and goats arrived, and the chief was sent
home rejoicing, with some cloths, hatchets, scissors, and look-
ing-glasses, which Elcano thought it right to give him,
The voyagers had now reached the eastern end of that ex-
tensive series of islands, lying almost in a straight line from
east to west, which ends in the long island of J ava, and
north-west of Java, Sumatra. But now the Victoria was
supplied with as many provisions as she could hold 3 though
worn with so long a voyage, she was still weather-tight and
water-tight ; and there seemed no reason to land at any more
of the islands in the Archipelago. Elcano, therefore, kept hig
course southward of Java, the long line of its hilly coast ap-
pearing dimly for many days on the north of him. He skirted
also the coast of Sumatra, and at last found himself fairly
launched on the Indian Ocean. He then kept his direction
south-westerly, passing many leagues to the southward of
Ceylon, and made as straight a course as possible to the Cape
of Good Hope. It was December when he left Timor, his last
stopping-place in the Eastern Seas: his eyes did not greet
the Cape of Good Hope until late in the following May.
THE â€œVICTORIAâ€ REACHES SPAIN.
HE voyage of the Victoria across the vast Indian Ocean,
though long, was a prosperous one. The trade-winds
blew from the east, nor did many perilous storms compel the
crew to desperate exertion. No stirring incident attended
their passage. One day was like the rest: stiff breezes
swelled the sails; the sun shone, most often, bright over-
head ; the water, crested with foam by the winds, sparkled
beneath its rays.
But on reaching the vicinity of the Cape of Good Hope
the wind suddenly changed. It now blew directly against
them, and it was with difficulty that the Victoria could ad-
vance, even so slowly, along the African coast that was now
constantly in sight.
Happily, Elcano had now reached a region which had
become well known. His charts, and the records of previous
voyagers, told him very nearly where he was, and what
course it was wisest to take to reach his destination. He
was now, indeed, in the very track which, nearly a quarter
of a century before, Vasco da Gama had traversed for the
first time in his memorable voyage to India.
So unfavourable had now become the weather that the
sailors began to clamour to put in at some African port;
178 THE â€œVICTORIAâ€ REACHES SPAIN.
and when they came opposite the large town of Mozambique,
which they knew to have been settled by the Portuguese,
their demands to seek shelter in its harbour became very
eager. But Elcano had a good reason for resisting the im-
portunities of his men. Magellanâ€™s expedition had been
undertaken against the bitter opposition of the Portuguese ;
one of its objects was to secure for Spain the allegiance of
the Moluccas, which the Portuguese claimed as a part of the
world which had been conceded to them as a consequence of
their discoveries. If he should put in at a Portuguese sta-
tion, he might reasonably expect that he and his crew would
be taken prisoners, and the Victoria seized and confiscated.
He resolved, therefore, to push steadily on to the Cape.
The trials and hardships of the crew were now very serious.
The good ship, after so much voyaging, had again become
leaky, and the men with difficulty kept her from filling by
constant work at the pumps. Their provisions were low,
and they were reduced to small daily rations of rice and
water, their meat having decayed for want of salt. Many
of the men, moreover, fell sick, and some died. At last the
Cape came in sight; but it was dangerous to attempt to
round it. For some weeks the Victoria was tossed about off
the coast, vainly seeking a favourable opportunity to double
the Cape. They were finally forced to make a circuit, at a
distance of fifteen miles from the headlands, in order to
reach the western shore of the continent.
The shipâ€™s course was thence north-westward. Elcano de-
termined to keep at sea, at least until the Cape Verde
Islands were reached; and the voyage from the Cape to
these islands lasted about two months. The weather was
again propitious; but the sickness on board increased, and
before the Victoria came in sight of the Cape Verdes, twenty-
one men had perished.
THE â€œVICTORIAâ€ REACHES SPAIN. 179
One day the Cape Verdes appeared, dotting the summer
sea in the distant horizon. Elcano for a while hesitated
whether he should touch at them or not. They were pos-
sessions, like Mozambique, of the Portuguese. Would it be
safe to trust himself in their hands? The misery of his
crew, however, their sickness and want of food, finally de-
cided him to run the risk.
As the Victoria approached Santiago, the southernmost
of the group, it occurred to Elcano that he would tell the
Portuguese that he had come from America, and that he had
been driven out of his course by a terrible tempest. They
would not then suspect that he had really been among the
disputed islands of the East, but would be persuaded that
he had sailed from Spanish settlements. This artful story
at first had its intended effect. The Victoria entered the
harbour, and was well received. Her sick were taken on
shore and tended, and a boat-load of rice was sent on board,
But soon it appeared that the Portuguese began to suspect
the truth that the Victoria had really come around the Cape.
The second boat that went ashore was detained, and the
thirteen men in her were seized ; at the same time the Por-
tuguese ships in the harbour were evidently being armed,
with the purpose, no doubt, of capturing the Victoria.
Elcano, who had been carefully on the watch, no sooner
saw these signs of hostility, than, leaving the thirteen
prisoners to their fate, he made haste to sail away. The
voyage to Spain was now happily a short and comparatively
easy one. He succeeded in escaping from the Portuguese
ships, which, when they saw him departing, followed him for
It was on the 6th day of September 1522, a few days less
than three years after she had set out with her sister ships
on her memorable voyage, that the weather-beaten Victoria
180 THE â€œ VIOTORIAâ€ REACHES SPAIN.
came in sight of the familiar shores of Spain. The sailorsâ€”
of whom there were only eighteen exhausted and _half-
famished men left of the gallant company that had set outâ€”
were full of joy at beholding their native land once more.
They fired their cannon, and hung out their flags, and tear-
fully embraced each other; and as the ships drew nearer and
nearer the port of San Lucar, the very port from which
they had sailed, they eagerly pointed out the well-known
landmarks to each other.
On entering the bay they were greeted by the ships and
boats anchored in it, and presently some of their countrymen
came on board. When these learned that the vessel was the
Victorva, and that she had completed the circuit of the globe,
they could scarcely believe their ears.
â€œWhy,â€ they exclaimed, â€œ you were given up for lost long,
long ago! Surely your return is a wonderful miracle !â€
The news of the arrival of one of Magellanâ€™s ships was
soon noised through the town, and was quickly carried up
the river to Seville. The next day she was fairly surrounded
by boats, and her deck was crowded with curious and de-
lighted visitors. The governor of the district came on board,
embraced Elcano, and gave orders that the sailors, who were
half-dead from sickness, hunger, and their many hardships,
should be taken on shore and tenderly cared for.
But no sooner had they set foot on land than the poor
fellows, staggering from weakness, formed into line, and
walked as well as they could to a church, where, kneeling
before the altar, they offered up a thanksgiving for their safe
arrival home. Then they allowed themselves to be carried
to the houses of the people and treated to the best the town
The day following the men returned to the Victoria, and
she sailed up the river to Seville, and cast anchor near the
THE â€œVICTORIAâ€ REACHES SPAIN. 181
mole, at the very spot whence she had set sail. The old
city was full of excitement and commotion at her arrival.
Crowds thronged the quay, and the mayor and other digni-
taries hastened to give public welcome to the heroic voyagers.
Once more the cannon of the Victoria awoke the echoes
with their hoarse voices of joy. The brave bunting was
flung to the breeze, and gay garlands decked mast and gun-
wale. Here, as at San Lucar, the wanderersâ€™ first thought
was to render thanks to God for their preservation from
countless perils. The people of Seville, in dense masses along
the pavements, and choking every window, saw the sunburnt
mariners pass in procession in their shirt-sleeves, bare-footed,
and each bearing a taper, to the ancient and imposing church
of Santa Maria del Antigua, where they attended mass, and
joined with all their souls in the thanksgiving prayers offered
up by the priests.
Thence they hastened to the public square, where, you
may well believe, they were soon wrapped in the embraces
of parents, wives, children, and friends. The tender-hearted
Sevillians could not witness, without tearful emotion, the
haggard and hungry features, the emaciated forms, and the
tottering steps of the men who had gone out from their
midst three years before ruddy, and stout, and strong; nor
was it less pitiful to see the anguish and hear the cries of the
poor widows who sought in vain, in the little group, for hus-
bands who had departed in the ships, but whom they would
never look upon again.
Into the square came a lady, young and fair, leading a
little girl two or three years old. She leaned on the arm of
a grizzled but still erect and haughty cavalier. She was
attired in deep black, and there were traces of long mourning
on her pale cheeks; and now, as she slowly approached the
returned crew, she could not suppress her profound emotions.
182 THE â€œ VICTORIAâ€ REACHES SPAIN.
As if by instinct, the sailors knew at once that she was the
Lady Beatrix, the widow of their beloved admiral, whose
brave soul had departed from earth in the far Hastern seas ;
that the little girl was Magellanâ€™s daughter, whom he had
never seen ; and that the old cavalier who escorted Beatrix
was her father, Don Diego Barbosa.
They had come with sad but eager hearts to welcome back
the comrades of him they had never ceased to mourn since
his heroic death in a distant land.
Throughout Spain, and indeed Europe, the news of the
arrival of the Victoria and her successful voyage round the
world spread rapidly, and caused a great commotion, The
king, who, soon after the departure of Magellanâ€™s expedition,
had become Emperor of Germany, and who, at twenty-two,
had shown himself one of the ablest and most energetic
monarchs in Christendom, no sooner heard that the Victoria
was safe at Seville than he despatched a courier to that city,
inviting Elcano and all his comrades to go and visit him at
his court in Valladolid.
As soon as they could get ready, therefore, the voyagers
proceeded to Valladolid, where the Emperor Charles received
them with a splendid welcome, in the midst of his grandees
and courtiers. HElcano told his sovereign the story of their
adventures, to which Charles listened with breathless in-
terest ; and when the tale was done, the emperor ordered
apartments to be prepared for the sailors in the town, while
he entertained the officers in the palace itself.
Not content with this hospitality, Charles gave a hand-
some pension to each of the survivors of this memorable ex-
pedition, and granted to their gallant captain, Elcano, a coat-
of-arms, which displayed on its shield some gold nutmegs and
cloves, and an image of the globe, with the motto upon it,
â€œYou were the first to circumnavigate me.â€
THE â€œVICTORIAâ€ REACHES SPAIN. 183
One strange thing happened when the V7ctoria arrived at
Seville, which at first puzzled Elcano very much. According
to his reckonings, which he had carefully kept every day
from the starting of the expedition, the date of his arrival
was the 5th of September. But on talking with the people
at Seville, he found that with them it was the 6th. During
the voyage, therefore, he had lost a day. How could this
have happened? He knew that he had kept his calendar
correctly, and had never omitted to score each twenty-four
hours; and yet, undoubtedly, it was the 6th and not the 5th
on which he had reached Seville.
The emperor submitted this problem to a famous astron-
omer, Contarini, who, after studying it, discovered the clue.
He showed that the loss of a day was the natural result of
the voyage from east to west, in which they kept company
with the sun; and that, if they had gone the other way from
west to east, they would have gained a day. This was one
of the most valuable facts ascertained by Magellanâ€™s expedi-
The fate of the Trinidad, which had been left behind at
Tidor, remains to be told. In due time, with the aid of the
native carpenters, she was repaired and made ready to resume
her voyage. But Espinosa, fearing lest the Portuguese in
India, who had now heard of the presence of the Spaniards
in the Moluccas, should attack him, resolved to sail, not
westward in the track of the Victoria, but eastward across
the Pacific again, in the hope of reaching the Spanish settle-
ment of Panama.
_ The voyage was a terrible one. Furious storms constantly
assailed the devoted ship; and after being tossed many
weeks amid them, the Zrinidad was forced to return to the
Moluccas. Unfortunately the Portuguese had now reached
those islands with a large force of men, and no sooner: had
184 THE â€œ VICTORIAâ€ REACHES SPAIN.
the storm-beaten Zrinidad put into port than she was
attacked and overwhelmed by Portuguese vessels of war.
Espinosa and all his comrades were taken and cast into
prison. There they were treated with such barbaric cruelty,
and were seized with such severe distempers, that one after
another died, including Espinosa himself, until at last only
four miserable creatures, out of all that gallant crew, were
left. The Portuguese took pity on these, and shipped them
home, four years after the return of the Victoria, in one of
their own ships.
Thus was completed the famous expedition by which the
route to Asia around South America was found; which
first traversed the broad expanse of the Pacific, that received
its name from the intrepid commander ; which made the first
tour of the entire globe, and brought to light the fact of the
loss of a day by sailing with the sun from east to west,
Its fame is most of all due to the heroic and noble-hearted
Fernan Magellan, who conceived the great idea which it ful-
filled ; who, in spite of enormous obstacles, and after having
been rejected by his own country, succeeded in raising the
fleet and obtaining its command ; who conducted it through
many perils over the greater part of its long course; and
who, though he unhappily died too soon to reap the full re-
ward of his achievements, at least left a name and fame
imperishable in the annals of discovery.
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Lectures delivered to an audience of
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Stories of the Days of King
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What shall I be? or, A Boyâ€™s
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Rhodaâ€™s Reform; or, â€˜Owe no
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True Riches ; or, Wealth Without
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