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The Five-Foot Shelf of Books 


Voyages and Travels 


W/M Introductions and Notes 
Volume 33 

P. F. Collier & Son Corporation 


Copyright, 1910 
By p. F. Collier & Son 

manufactured in u. s. a. 



An Account of Egypt 7 

by herodotus 
translated by g. c. macaulay 

Germany 93 

by tacitus 

translated by thomas gordon 

Sir Francis Drake Revived 129 

by sir francis drake 
edited by philip nichols 

Sir Francis Drake's Famous Voyage Round the World . . . 199 
by francis pretty ■ 

Drake's Great Armada 229 

by captain walter bigges 

Sir Humphrey Gilbert's Voyage to Newfoundland .... 263 

by edward haies 

The Discovery of Guiana 311 

by sir walter raleigh 





Herodotus was born at Halicarnassus, on the southwest coast of Asia 
Minor, in the early part of the fifth century, B. C. Of his Ufe we know 
almost nothing, except that he spent much of it traveling, to collect the 
material for his writings, and that he finally settled down at Thurii, in 
southern Italy, where his great work was composed. He died in 424 B. C. 

The subject of the history of Herodotus is the struggle between the 
Greeks and the barbarians, which he brings down to the battle of Mycale 
in 479 B. C. The work, as we have it, is divided into nine books, named 
after the nine Muses, but this division is probably due to the Alexandrine 
grammarians. His information he gathered mainly from oral sources, 
as he traveled through Asia Minor, down into Egypt, round the Black 
Sea, and into various parts of Greece and the neighboring countries. The 
chronological narrative halts from time to time to give opportunity for 
descriptions of the country, the people, and their customs and previous 
history; and the political account is constantly varied by rare tales and 

Among these descriptions of countries the most fascinating to the mod- 
ern, as it was to the ancient, reader is his account of the marvels of the 
land of Egypt. From the priests at Memphis, Heliopolis, and the Egyp- 
tian Thebes he learned what he reports of the size of the country, the 
wonders of the Nile, the ceremonies of their religion, the sacredness of 
their animals. He tells also of the strange ways of the crocodile and of that 
marvelous bird, the Phenix; of dress and funerals and embalming; of the 
eating of lotos and papyrus; of the pyramids and the great labyrinth; of 
their kings and queens and courtesans. 

Yet Herodotus is not a mere teller of strange tales. However credulous 
he may appear to a modern judgment, he takes care to keep separate what 
he knows by his own observation from what he has merely inferred and 
from what he has been told. He is candid about acknowledging ig- 
norance, and when versions differ he gives both. Thus the modern sci- 
entific historian, with other means of corroboration, can sometimes learn 
from Herodotus more than Herodotus himself knew. 

There is abundant evidence, too, that Herodotus had a philosophy of 
history. The unity which marks his work is due not only to the strong 
Greek national feeling running through it, the feeling that rises to a 
height in such passages as the descriptions of the battles of Marathon, 
Thermopylae, and Salamis, but also to his profound belief in Fate and 


in Nemesis. To his belief in Fate is due the frequent quoting of oracles 
and their fulfilment, the frequent references to things foreordained by 
Providence. The working of Nemesis he finds in the disasters that befall 
men and nations whose towering prosperity awakens the jealousy of the 
gods. The final overthrow of the Persians, which forms his main theme, 
is only one specially conspicuous example of the operation of this force 
from which human life can never free itself. 

But, above all, he is the father of story-tellers. "Herodotus is such 
simple and delightful reading," says Jevons; "he is so unaffected and en- 
tertaining, his story flows so naturally and with such ease that we have 
a difficulty in bearing in mind that, over and above the hard writing 
which goes to make easy reading, there is a perpetual marvel in the work 
of Herodotus. It is the first artistic work in prose that Greek literature 
produced. This prose work, which for pure literary merit no subsequent 
work has surpassed, than which later generations, after using the pen for 
centuries, have produced no prose more easy or more readable, — this was 
the first of histories and of literary prose." 


By Herodotus 


WHEN Cyrus had brought his Hfe to an end, Cambyses 
received the royal power in succession, being the son of 
Cyrus and of Cassandane the daughter of Pharnaspes, for 
whose death, which came about before his own, Cyrus had made 
great mourning himself and also had proclaimed to all those over 
whom he bore rule that they should make mourning for her : Cam- 
byses, I say, being the son of this woman and of Cyrus, regarded 
the lonians and Aiolians as slaves inherited from his father; and 
he proceeded to march an army against Egypt, taking with him as 
helpers not only the other nations of which he was ruler, but also 
those of the Hellenes over whom he had power besides. 

Now the Egyptians, before the time when Psammetichos became 
king over them, were wont to suppose that they had come into being 
first of all men; but since the time when Psammetichos having be- 
come king desired to know what men had come into being first, they 
suppose that the Phrygians came into being before themselves, but 
they themselves before all other men. Now Psammetichos, when 
he was not able by inquiry to find out any means of knowing who 
had come into being first of all men, contrived a device of the fol- 
lowing kind: — Taking two new-born children belonging to persons 
of the common sort he gave them to a shepherd to bring up at the 
place where his flocks were, with a manner of bringing up such as 
I shall say, charging him namely that no man should utter any word 
in their presence, and that they should be placed by themselves in 
a room where none might come, and at the proper time he should 
bring to them she-goats, and when he had satisfied them with milk 


he should do for them whatever else was needed. These things 
Psammetichos did and gave him this charge wishing to hear what 
word the children would let break forth first, after they had ceased 
from wailings without sense. And accordingly so it came to pass; 
for after a space of two years had gone by, during which the shep- 
herd went on acting so, at length, when he opened the door and 
entered, both the children fell before him in entreaty and uttered 
the word bel^os, stretching forth their hands. At first when he 
heard this the shepherd kept silence; but since this word was often 
repeated, as he visited them constantly and attended to them, at 
last he declared the matter to his master, and at his command he 
brought the children before his face. Then Psammetichos having 
himself also heard it, began to inquire what nation of men named 
anything be\os, and inquiring he found that the Phrygians had 
this name for bread. In this manner and guided by an indication 
such as this, the Egyptians were brought to allow that the Phrygians 
were a more ancient people than themselves. That so it came to 
pass I heard from the priests of that Hephaistos who dwells at 
Memphis; but the Hellenes relate, besides many other idle tales, 
that Psammetichos cut out the tongues of certain women and then 
caused the children to live with these women. 

With regard then to the rearing of the children they related so 
much as I have said: and I heard also other things at Memphis 
when I had speech with the priests of Hephaistos. Moreover I 
visited both Thebes and Heliopolis for this very cause, namely be- 
cause I wished to know whether the priests at these places would 
agree in their accounts with those at Memphis; for the men of 
Heliopolis are said to be the most learned in records of the Egyp- 
tians. Those of their narrations which I heard with regard to the 
gods I am not earnest to relate in full, but I shall name them only, 
because I consider that all men are equally ignorant of these mat- 
ters: and whatever things of them I may record, I shall record only 
because I am compelled by the course of the story. But as to those 
matters which concern men, the priests agreed with one another in 
saying that the Egyptians were the first of all men on earth to find 
out the course of the year, having divided the seasons into twelve 
parts to make up the whole; and this they said they found out from 


the stars: and they reckon to this extent more wisely than the Hel- 
lenes, as it seems to me, inasmuch as the Hellenes throw in an inter- 
calated month every other year, to make the seasons right, whereas 
the Egyptians, reckoning the twelve months at thirty days each, 
bring in also every year five days beyond the number, and thus 
the circle of their seasons is completed and comes round to the 
same point whence it set out. They said moreover that the Egyptians 
were the first who brought into use appellations for the twelve gods 
and the Hellenes took up the use from them; and that they were 
the first who assigned altars and images and temples to the gods, 
and who engraved figures on stones; and with regard to the greater 
number of these things they showed me by actual facts that they 
had happened so. They said also that the first man who became 
king of Egypt was Min; and that in his time all Egypt except the 
district of Thebes was a swamp, and none of the regions were then 
above water which now lie below the lake of Moiris, to which lake 
it is a voyage of seven days up the river from the sea: and I thought 
that they said well about the land; for it is manifest in truth even 
to a person who has not heard it beforehand but has only seen, at 
least if he have understanding, that the Egypt to which the Hel- 
lenes come in ships is a land which has been won by the Egyptians 
as an addition, and that it is a gift of the river: moreover the re- 
gions which lie above this lake also for a distance of three days' 
sail, about which they did not go on to say anything of this kind, 
are nevertheless another instance of the same thing: for the nature 
of the land of Egypt is as follows: — First when you are still ap- 
proaching it in a ship and are distant a day's run from the land, 
if you let down a sounding-line you will bring up mud and you 
will find yourself in eleven fathoms. This then so far shows that 
there is a silting forward of the land. Then secondly, as to Egypt 
itself, the extent of it along the sea is sixty schoines, according to our 
definition of Egypt as extending from the Gulf of Plinthine to the 
Serbonian lake, along which stretches Mount Casion; from this 
lake then the sixty schoines are reckoned: for those of men who are 
poor in land have their country measured by fathoms, those who 
are less poor by furlongs, those who have much land by parasangs, 
and those who have land in very great abundance by schoines: now 


the parasang is equal to thirty furlongs, and each schoine, which 
is an Egyptian measure, is equal to sixty furlongs. So there would 
be an extent of three thousand six hundred furlongs for the coast- 
land of Egypt. From thence and as far as Heliopolis inland Egypt 
is broad, and the land is all flat and without springs of water and 
formed of mud: and the road as one goes inland from the sea to 
Heliopolis is about the same in length as that which leads from the 
altar of the twelve gods at Athens to Pisa and the temple of 
Olympian Zeus: reckoning up you would find the difference very 
small by which these roads fail of being equal in length, not more 
indeed than fifteen furlongs; for the road from Athens to Pisa 
wants fifteen furlongs of being fifteen hundred, while the road to 
Heliopolis from the sea reaches that number completely. From 
Heliopolis however, as you go up, Egypt is narrow; for on the one 
side a mountain-range belonging to Arabia stretches along by the 
side of it, going in a direction from the North towards the midday 
and the South Wind, tending upwards without a break to that 
which is called the Erythraian Sea, in which range are the stone- 
quarries which were used in cutting stone for the pyramids at 
Memphis. On this side then the mountain ends where I have said, 
and then takes a turn back; and where it is widest, as I was in- 
formed, it is a journey of two months across from East to West; 
and the borders of it which turn towards the East are said to pro- 
duce frankincense. Such then is the nature of this mountain-range; 
and on the side of Egypt towards Libya another range extends, 
rocky and enveloped in sand: in this are the pyramids, and it runs 
in the same direction as those parts of the Arabian mountains which 
go towards the midday. So then, I say, from Heliopolis the land 
has no longer a great extent so far as it belongs to Egypt, and for 
about four days' sail up the river Egypt properly so called is nar- 
row: and the space between the mountain-ranges which have been 
mentioned is plain-land, but where it is narrowest it did not seem 
to me to exceed two hundred furlongs from the Arabian moun- 
tains to those which are called the Libyan. After this again Egypt 
is broad. Such is the nature of this land: and from Heliopolis to 
Thebes is a voyage up the river of nine days, and the distance of 
the journey in furlongs is four thousand eight hundred and sixty, 


the number o£ schoines being eighty-one. I£ these measures o£ 
Egypt in furlongs be put together, the result is as follows: — I have 
already before this shown that the distance along the sea amounts 
to three thousand six hundred furlongs, and I will now declare what 
the distance is inland from the sea to Thebes, namely six thousand 
one hundred and twenty furlongs: and again the distance from 
Thebes to the city called Elephantine is one thousand eight hundred 

Of this land then, concerning which I have spoken, it seemed 
to myself also, according as the priests said, that the greater part 
had been won as an addition by the Egyptians; for it was evident to 
me that the space between the aforesaid mountain-ranges, which lie 
above the city of Memphis, once was a gulf of the sea, like the 
regions about Ilion and Teuthrania and Ephesos and the plain of 
the Maiander, if it be permitted to compare small things with great; 
and small these are in comparison, for of the rivers which heaped up 
the soil in those regions none is worthy to be compared in volume 
with a single one of the mouths of the Nile, which has five mouths. 
Moreover there are other rivers also, not in size at all equal to the 
Nile, which have performed great feats; of which I can mention 
the names of several, and especially the Acheloos, which flowing 
through Acarnania and so issuing out into the sea has already made 
half of the Echinades from islands into mainland. Now there is in 
the land of Arabia, not far from Egypt, a gulf of the sea running 
in from that which is called the Erythraian Sea, very long and nar- 
row, as I am about to tell. With respect to the length of the voyage 
along it, one who set out from the innermost point to sail out 
through it into the open sea, would spend forty days upon the voy- 
age, using oars; and with respect to breadth, where the gulf is 
broadest it is half a day's sail across: and there is in it an ebb and 
flow of tide every day. Just such another gulf I suppose that Egypt 
was, and that the one ran in towards Ethiopia from the Northern 
Sea, and the other, the Arabian, of which I am about to speak, 
tended from the South towards Syria, the gulfs boring in so as 
almost to meet at their extreme points, and passing by one another 
with but a small space left between. If then the stream of the Nile 
should turn aside into this Arabian gulf, what would hinder that 


gulf from being filled up with silt as the river continued to flow, 
at all events within a period of twenty thousand years? indeed for 
my part I am of opinion that it would be filled up even within 
ten thousand years. How, then, in all the time that has elapsed 
before I came into being should not a gulf be filled up even of 
much greater size than this by a river so great and so active? As 
regards Egypt then, I both believe those who say that things are 
so, and for myself also I am strongly of opinion that they are so; 
because I have observed that Egypt runs out into the sea further 
than the adjoining land, and that shells are found upon the moun- 
tains of it, and an efflorescence of salt forms upon the surface, so 
that even the pyramids are being eaten away by it, and moreover 
that of all the mountains of Egypt, the range which lies above 
Memphis is the only one which has sand: besides which I notice 
that Egypt resembles neither the land of Arabia, which borders 
upon it, nor Libya, nor yet Syria (for they are Syrians who dwell 
in the parts of Arabia lying along the sea), but that it has soil 
which is black and easily breaks up, seeing that it is in truth mud 
and silt brought down from Ethiopia by the river: but the soil of 
Libya, we know, is reddish in colour and rather sandy, while that 
of Arabia and Syria is somewhat clayey and rocky. The priests 
also gave me a strong proof concerning this land as follows, namely 
that in the reign of king Moiris, whenever the river reached a 
height of at least eight cubits, it watered Egypt below Memphis; 
and not yet nine hundred years had gone by since the death of 
Moiris, when I heard these things from the priests: now however, 
unless the river rises to sixteen cubits, or fifteen at the least, it does 
not go over the land. I think too that those Egyptians who dwell 
below the lake of Moiris and especially in that region which is 
called the Delta, if that land continues to grow in height according 
to this proportion and to increase similarly in extent, will suffer 
for all remaining time, from the Nile not overflowing their land, 
that same thing which they themselves said that the Hellenes would 
at some time suffer: for hearing that the whole land of the Hel- 
lenes has rain and is not watered by rivers as theirs is, they said that 
the Hellenes would at some time be disappointed of a great hope 
and would suffer the ills of famine. This saying means that if the 


god shall not send them rain, but shall allow drought to prevail for 
a long time, the Hellenes will be destroyed by hunger; for they 
have in fact no other supply of water to save them except from 
Zeus alone. This has been rightly said by the Egyptians with ref- 
erence to the Hellenes: but now let me tell how matters are with 
the Egyptians themselves in their turn. If, in accordance with what 
I before said, their land below Memphis (for this is that which is 
increasing) shall continue to increase in height according to the 
same proportion as in the past time, assuredly those Egyptians who 
dwell here will suffer famine, if their land shall not have rain nor 
the river be able to go over their fields. It is certain, however, that 
now they gather in fruit from the earth with less labour than any 
other men and also with less than the other Egyptians; for they 
have no labour in breaking up furrows with a plough nor in hoeing 
nor in any other of those labours which other men have about a 
crop; but when the river has come up of itself and watered their 
fields and after watering has left them again, then each man sows 
his own field and turns into it swine, and when he has trodden the 
seed into the ground by means of the swine, after that he waits 
for the harvest, and when he has threshed the corn by means of the 
swine, then he gathers it in. 

If we desire to follow the opinions of the lonians as regards 
Egypt, who say that the Delta alone is Egypt, reckoning its sea- 
coast to be from the watch-tower called of Perseus to the fish-curing 
houses of Pelusion, a distance of forty schoines, and counting it to 
extend inland as far as the city of Kercasoros, where the Nile di- 
vides and runs to Pelusion and Canobos, while as for the rest of 
Egypt, they assign it partly to Libya and partly to Arabia, — if, I say, 
we should follow this account, we should thereby declare that in 
former times the Egyptians had no land to live in; for, as we have 
seen, their Delta at any rate is alluvial, and has appeared (so to 
speak) lately, as the Egyptians themselves say and as my opinion 
is. If, then, at the first there was no land for them to live in, why 
did they waste their labour to prove that they had come into being 
before all other men? They needed not to have made trial of the 
children to see what language they would first utter. However I 
am not of opinion that the Egyptians came into being at the same 


time as that which is called by the lonians the Delta, but that they 
existed always ever since the human race came into being, and that 
as their land advanced forwards, many of them were left in their 
first abodes and many came down gradually to the lower parts. At 
least it is certain that in old times Thebes had the name of Egypt, 
and of this the circumference measures six thousand one hundred 
and twenty furlongs. 

If then we judge aright of these matters, the opinion of the 
lonians about Egypt is not sound: but if the judgment of the lonians 
is right, I declare that neither the Hellenes nor the lonians them- 
selves know how to reckon since they say that the whole earth is 
made up of three divisions, Europe, Asia, and Libya: for they ought 
to count in addition to these the Delta of Egypt, since it belongs 
neither to Asia nor to Libya; for at least it cannot be the river 
Nile by this reckoning which divides Asia from Libya, but the Nile 
is cleft at the point of this Delta so as to flow round it, and the 
result is that this land would come between Asia and Libya. 

We dismiss then the opinion of the lonians, and express a judg- 
ment of our own on this matter also, that Egypt is all that land 
which is inhabited by Egyptians, just as Kilikia is that which is in- 
habited by Kilikians and Assyria that which is inhabited by Assyr- 
ians, and we know of no boundary properly speaking between Asia 
and Libya except the borders of Egypt. If however we shall adopt 
the opinion which is commonly held by the Hellenes, we shall sup- 
pose that the whole of Egypt, beginning from the Cataract and 
the city of Elephantine, is divided into two parts and that it thus 
partakes of both the names, since one side will thus belong to Libya 
and the other to Asia; for the Nile from the Cataract onwards flows 
to the sea cutting Egypt through in the midst; and as far as the 
city of Kercasoros the Nile flows in one single stream, but from this 
city onwards it is parted into three ways; and one, which is called 
the Pelusian mouth, turns towards the East; the second of the ways 
goes towards the West, and this is called the Canobic mouth; but 
that one of the ways which is straight runs thus, — when the river 
in its course downwards comes to the point of the Delta, then it 
cuts the Delta through the midst and so issues out to the sea. In 
this we have a portion of the water of the river which is not the 


smallest nor the least famous, and it is called the Sebennytic mouth. 
There are also two other mouths which part off from the Seben- 
nytic and go to the sea, and these are called, one the Saitic, the other 
the Mendesian mouth. The Bolbitinitic, and Bucolic mouths, on the 
other hand, are not natural but made by digging. Moreover also 
the answer given by the Oracle of Ammon bears witness in support 
of my opinion that Egypt is of the extent which I declare it to be 
in my account; and of this answer I heard after I had formed my 
own opinion about Egypt. For those oi the city ot Marea and oi 
Apis, dwelling in the parts of Egypt which border on Libya, being 
of opinion themselves that they were Libyans and not Egyptians, 
and also being burdened by the rules of religious service, because 
they desired not to be debarred from the use of cows' flesh, sent to 
Ammon saying that they had nought in common with the Egyp- 
tians, for they dwelt outside the Delta and agreed with them in 
nothing; and they said they desired that it might be lawful for 
them to eat everything without distinction. The god however did 
not permit them to do so, but said that that land was Egypt which 
the Nile came over and watered, and that those were Egyptians 
who dwelling below the city of Elephantine drank of that river. 
Thus was it answered to them by the Oracle about this: and the 
Nile, when it is in flood, goes over not only the Delta but also of 
the land which is called Libyan and of that which is called Arabian 
sometimes as much as two days' journey on each side, and at times 
even more than this or at times less. 

As regards the nature of the river, neither from the priests nor 
yet from any other man was I able to obtain any knowledge: and 
I was desirous especially to learn from them about these matters, 
namely, why the Nile comes down increasing in volume from the 
summer solstice onwards for a hundred days, and then, when it has 
reached the number of these days, turns and goes back, failing in 
its stream, so that through the whole winter season it continues to 
be low, and until the summer solstice returns. Of none of these 
things was I able to receive any account from the Egyptians, when 
I inquired of them what power the Nile has whereby it is of a 
nature opposite to that of all other rivers. And I made inquiry, de- 
siring to know both this which I say and also why, unlike all other 


rivers, it does not give rise to any breezes blowing from it. How- 
ever some of the Hellenes who desired to gain distinction for clever- 
ness have given an account of this water in three different ways: 
two of these I do not think it worth while even to speak of except 
only to indicate their nature; of which the one says that the Etesian 
Winds are the cause that makes the river rise, by preventing the 
Nile from ilowing out into the sea. But often the Etesian Winds 
fail and yet the Nile does the same work as it is wont to do; and 
moreover, if these were the cause, all the other rivers also which 
flow in a direction opposed to the Etesian Winds ought to have 
been affected in the same way as the Nile, and even more, in as 
much as they are smaller and present to them a feebler flow of 
streams: but there are many of these rivers in Syria and many also 
in Libya, and they are affected in no such manner as the Nile. The 
second way shows more ignorance than that which has been men- 
tioned, and it is more marvellous to tell; for it says that the river 
produces these effects because it flows from the Ocean, and that the 
Ocean flows round the whole earth. The third of the ways is much 
the most specious, but nevertheless it is the most mistaken of all: 
for indeed this way has no more truth in it than the rest, alleging 
as it does that the Nile flows from melting snow; whereas it flows 
out of Libya through the midst of the Ethiopians, and so comes 
out into Egypt. How then should it flow from snow, when it flows 
from the hottest parts to those which are cooler? And indeed most 
of the facts are such as to convince a man (one at least who is capable 
of reasoning about such matters), that it is not at all likely that it 
flows from snow. The first and greatest evidence is afforded by 
the winds, which blow hot from these regions; the second is that 
the land is rainless always and without frost, whereas after snow 
has fallen rain must necessarily come within five days, so that if it 
snowed in those parts rain would fall there; the third evidence is 
afforded by the people dwelling there, who are of a black colour by 
reason of the burning heat. Moreover kites and swallows remain 
there through the year and do not leave the land; and cranes flying 
from the cold weather which comes on in the region of Scythia 
come regularly to these parts for wintering: if then it snowed ever 
so little in that land through which the Nile flows and in which it 


has its rise, none of these things would take place, as necessity com- 
pels us to admit. As for him who talked about the Ocean, he car- 
ried his tale into the region of the unknown, and so he need not 
be refuted; since I for my part know of no river Ocean existing, but I 
think that Homer or one of the poets who were before him invented 
the name and introduced it into his verse. 

If however after I have found fault with the opinions proposed, 
I am bound to declare an opinion of my own about the matters 
which are in doubt, I will tell what to my mind is the reason why 
the Nile increases in the summer. In the winter season the Sun, 
being driven away from his former path through the heaven by the 
stormy winds, comes to the upper parts of Libya. If one would set 
forth the matter in the shortest way, all has now been said; for 
whatever region this god approaches most and stands directly above, 
this it may reasonably be supposed is most in want of water, and its 
native streams of rivers are dried up most. However, to set it forth 
at greater length, thus it is: — the Sun passing in his course by the 
upper parts of Libya, does thus, that is to say, since at all times the air 
in those parts is clear and the country is w'arm, because there are 
no cold winds, in passing through it the Sun does just as he was 
wont to do in the summer, when going through the midst of the 
heaven, that is he draws to himself the water, and having drawn 
it he drives it away to the upper parts of the country, and the winds 
take it up and scattering it abroad melt it into rain; so it is natural 
that the winds which blow from this region, namely the South and 
South-west Winds, should be much the most rainy of all the winds. 
I think however that the Sun does not send away from himself all 
the water of the Nile of each year, but that he also lets some remain 
behind with himself. Then when the winter becomes milder, the 
Sun returns back again to the midst of the heaven, and from that 
time onwards he draws equally from all rivers; but in the mean- 
while they flow in large volume, since water of rain mingles with 
them in great quantity, because their country receives rain then and 
is filled with torrent streams. In summer however they are weak, 
since not only the showers of rain fail then, but also they are drawn 
by the Sun. The Nile however, alone of all rivers, not having rain 
and being drawn by the Sun, naturally flows during this time of 


winter in much less than its proper volume, that is, much less than 
in summer; for then it is drawn equally with all the other waters, 
but in winter it bears the burden alone. Thus I suppose the Sun to 
be the cause of these things. He also is the cause in my opinion that 
the air in these parts is dry, since he makes it so by scorching up his 
path through the heaven: thus summer prevails always in the upper 
parts of Libya. If however the station of the seasons had been 
changed, and where now in the heaven are placed the North Wind 
and winter, there was the station of the South Wind and of the 
midday, and where now is placed the South Wind, there was the 
North, if this had been so, the Sun being driven from the midst 
of the heaven by the winter and the North Wind would go to to 
the upper parts of Europe, just as now he comes to the upper parts 
of Libya, and passing in his course throughout the whole of Europe 
I suppose that he would do to the Ister that which he now works 
upon the Nile. As to the breeze, why none blows from the river, my 
opinion is that from very hot places it is not natural that anything 
should blow, and that a breeze is wont to blow from something 

Let these matters then be as they are and as they were at the first: 
but as to the sources of the Nile, not one either of the Egyptians 
or of the Libyans or of the Hellenes, who came to speech with me, 
professed to know anything, except the scribe of the sacred treasury 
of Athene at the city of Sai's in Egypt. To me however this man 
seemed not to be speaking seriously when he said that he had 
certain knowledge of it; and he said as follows, namely, that there 
were two mountains of which the tops ran up to a sharp point, 
situated between the city of Syene, which is in the district of Thebes, 
and Elephantine, and the names of the mountains were, of the one 
Crophi and of the other Mophi. From the middle between these 
mountains flowed (he said) the sources of the Nile, which were 
fathomless in depth, and half of the water flowed to Egypt and 
towards the North Wind, the other half to Ethiopia and the South 
Wind. As for the fathomless depth of the source, he said that Psam- 
metichos king of Egypt came to a trial of this matter; for he had a 
rope twisted of many thousand fathoms and let it down in this 
place, and it found no bottom. By this the scribe (if this which 


he told was really as he said) gave me to understand that there were 
certain strong eddies there and a backward flow, and that since the 
water dashed against the mountains, therefore the sounding-line 
could not come to any bottom when it was let down. From no 
other person was I able to learn anything about this matter; but for 
the rest I learnt so much as here follows by the most diligent in- 
quiry; for I went myself as an eye-witness as far as the city of Ele- 
phantine and from that point onwards I gathered knowledge by re- 
port. From the city of Elephantine as one goes up the river there 
is country which slopes steeply; so that here one must attach ropes 
to the vessel on both sides, as one fastens an ox, and so make one's 
way onward; and if the rope break, the vessel is gone at once, car- 
ried away by the violence of the stream. Through this country it is 
a voyage of about four days in length, and in this part the Nile is 
winding like the river Maiander, and the distance amounts to 
twelve schoines, which one must traverse in this manner. Then 
you will come to a level plain, in which the Nile flows round an 
island named Tachompso. (Now in the regions above Elephantine 
there dwell Ethiopians at once succeeding, who also occupy half 
of the island, and Egyptians the other half.) Adjoining this island 
there is a great lake, round which dwell Ethiopian nomad tribes; 
and when you have sailed through this you will come to the stream 
of the Nile again, which flows into this lake. After this you will 
disembark and make a journey by land of forty days; for in the 
Nile sharp rocks stand forth out of the water, and there are many 
reefs, by which it is not possible for a vessel to pass. Then after 
having passed through this country in the forty days which I have 
said, you will embark again in another vessel and sail for twelve 
days; and after this you will come to a great city called Meroe. 
This city is said to be the mother-city of all the other Ethiopians: 
and they who dwell in it reverence of the gods Zeus and Dionysos 
alone, and these they greatly honour; and they have an Oracle of 
Zeus established, and make warlike marches whensoever this god 
commands them by prophesyings and to whatsoever place he com- 
mands. Sailing from this city you will come to the "Deserters" in 
another period of time equal to that in which you came from Ele- 
phantine to the mother-city of the Ethiopians. Now the name of 


these "Deserters" is Asmach, and this word signifies, when trans- 
lated into the tongue of the Hellenes, "those who stand on the left 
hand of the king." These were two hundred and forty thousand 
Egyptians of the warrior class, who revolted and went over to these 
Ethiopians for the following cause: — In the reign of Psammetichos 
garrisons were set, one towards the Ethiopians at the city of Ele- 
phantine, another towards the Arabians and Assyrians at Daphnai 
of Pelusion, and another towards Libya at Marea: and even in 
my own time the garrisons of the Persians too are ordered in the 
same manner as these were in the reign of Psammetichos, for both 
at Elephantine and at Daphnai the Persians have outposts. The 
Egyptians then of whom I speak had served as outposts for three 
years and no one relieved them from their guard; accordingly they 
took counsel together, and adopting a common plan they all in a 
body revolted from Psammetichos and set out for Ethiopia. Hear- 
ing this Psammetichos set forth in pursuit, and when he came up 
with them he entreated them much and endeavoured to persuade 
them not to desert the gods of their country and their children and 
wives: upon which it is said that one of them pointed to his privy 
member and said that wherever this was, there would they have 
both children and wives. When these came to Ethiopia they gave 
themselves over to the king of the Ethiopians; and he rewarded 
them as follows: — there were certain of the Ethiopians who had 
come to be at variance with him; and he bade them drive these 
out and dwell in their land. So since these men settled in the land 
of the Ethiopians, the Ethiopians have come to be of milder man- 
ners, from having learnt the customs of the Egyptians. 

The Nile then, besides that part of its course which is in Egypt, 
is known as far as a four months' journey by river and land: for 
that is the number of months which are found by reckoning to be 
spent in going from Elephantine to these "Deserters": and the river 
runs from the West and the setting of the sun. But what comes 
after that point no one can clearly say; for this land is desert by 
reason of the burning heat. Thus much however I heard from 
men of Kyrene, who told me that they had been to the Oracle of 
Ammon, and had come to speech with Etearchos king of the Am- 
monians: and it happened that after speaking of other matters they 


fell to discourse about the Nile and how no one knew the sources of 
it; and Etearchos said that once there came to him men of the 
Nasamonians (this is a Libyan race which dwells in the Syrtis, and 
also in the land to the East of the Syrtis reaching to no great dis- 
tance), and when the Nasamonians came and were asked by him 
whether they were able to tell him anything more than he knew 
about the desert parts of Libya, they said that there had been among 
them certain sons of chief men, who were of unruly disposition; 
and these when they grew up to be men had devised various other 
extravagant things and also they had told off by lot five of them- 
selves to go to see the desert parts of Libya and to try whether they 
could discover more than those who had previously explored fur- 
thest: for in those parts of Libya which are by the Northern Sea, 
beginning from Egypt and going as far as the headland of Soloeis, 
which is the extreme point of Libya, Libyans (and of them many 
races) extend along the whole coast, except so much as the Hellenes 
and Phenicians hold; but in the upper parts, which lie above the sea- 
coast and above those people whose land comes down to the sea, 
Libya is full of wild beasts; and in the part's above the land of wild 
beasts it is full of sand, terribly waterless and utterly desert. These 
young men then (said they), being sent out by their companions 
well furnished with supplies of water and provisions, went first 
through the inhabited country, and after they had passed through 
this they came to the country of wild beasts, and after this they 
passed through the desert, making their journey towards the West 
Wind; and having passed through a great tract of sand in many 
days, they saw at last trees growing in a level place; and having 
come up to them, they were beginning to pluck the fruit which was 
upon the trees: but as they began to pluck it, there came upon them 
small men, of less stature than men of the common size, and these 
seized them and carried them away; and neither could the Nasa- 
monians understand anything of their speech nor could those who 
were carrying them off understand anything of the speech of the 
Nasamonians: and they led them (so it was said) through very great 
swamps, and after passing through these they came to a city in 
which all the men were in size like those who carried them off and 
in colour of skin black; and by the city ran a great river, which ran 


from the West towards the sunrising, and in it were seen crocodiles. 
Of the account given by Etearchos the Ammonian let so much 
suffice as is here said, except that, as the men of Kyrene told me, 
he alleged that the Nasamonians returned safe home, and that the 
people to whom they had come were all wizards. Now this river 
which ran by the city, Etearchos conjectured to be the Nile, and 
moreover reason compels us to think so; for the Nile flows from 
Libya and cuts Libya through in the midst, and as I conjecture, 
judging of what is not known by that which is evident to the view, 
it starts at a distance from its mouth equal to that of the Ister: for 
the river Ister begins from the Keltoi and the city of Pyrene and 
so runs that it divides Europe in the midst (now the Keltoi are 
outside the Pillars of Heracles and border upon the Kynesians, who 
dwell furthest towards the sunset of all those who have their dwell- 
ing in Europe); and the Ister ends, having its course through the 
whole of Europe, by flowing into the Euxine Sea at the place where 
the Milesians have their settlement of Istria. Now the Ister, since it 
flows through land which is inhabited, is known by the reports of 
many; but of the sources of the Nile no one can give an account, 
for the part of Libya through which it flows is uninhabited and 
desert. About its course however so much as it was possible to learn 
by the most diligent inquiry has been told; and it runs out into 
Egypt. Now Egypt lies nearly opposite to the mountain districts 
of Kilikia; and from thence to Sinope, which lies upon the Euxine 
Sea, is a journey in the same straight line of five days for a man 
without encumbrance; and Sinope lies opposite to the place where 
the Ister runs out into the sea: thus I think that the Nile passes 
through the whole of Libya and is of equal measure with the Ister. 

Of the Nile then let so much suffice as has been said. Of Egypt 
however I shall make my report at length, because it has wonders 
more in number than any other land, and works too it has to show 
as much as any land, which are beyond expression great: for this 
reason then more shall be said concerning it. 

The Egyptians in agreement with their climate, which is unlike 
any other, and with the river, which shows a nature different from 
all other rivers, established for themselves manners and customs 


in a way opposite to other men in almost all matters: for among 
them the women frequent the market and carry on trade, while the 
men remain at home and weave; and whereas others weave pushing 
the woof upwards, the Egyptians push it downwards: the men 
carry their burdens upon their heads and the women upon their 
shoulders: the women make water standing up and the men crouch- 
ing down: they ease themselves in their houses and they eat without 
in the streets, alleging as reason for this that is right to do secredy 
the things that are unseemly though necessary, but those which are 
not unseemly, in public: no woman is a minister either of male or 
female divinity, but men of all, both male and female: to support 
their parents the sons are in no way compelled, if they do not desire 
to do so, but the daughters are forced to do so, be they never so 
unwilling. The priests of the gods in other lands wear long hair, 
but in Egypt they shave their heads: among other men the custom 
is that in mourning those whom the matter concerns most nearly 
have their hair cut short, but the Egyptians, when deaths occur, 
let their hair grow long, both that on the head and that on the chin, 
having before been close shaven: other men have their daily living 
separated from beasts, but the Egyptians have theirs together with 
beasts: other men live on wheat and on barley, but to any one of the 
Egyptians who makes his living on these it is a great reproach; 
they make their bread of maize, which some call spelt: they knead 
dough with their feet and clay with their hands, with which also 
they gather up dung: and whereas other men, except such as have 
learnt otherwise from the Egyptians, have their members as nature 
made them, the Egyptians practice circumcision: as to garments, the 
men wear two each and the women but one: and whereas others 
make fast the rings and ropes of the sails outside the ship, the 
Egyptians do this inside: finally in the writing of characters and 
reckoning with pebbles, while the Hellenes carry the hand from the 
left to the right, the Egyptians do this from the right to the left; 
and doing so they say that they do it themselves rightwise and the 
Hellenes leftwise: and they use two kinds of characters for writing, 
of which the one kind is called sacred and the other common. 

They are religious excessively beyond all other men, and with re- 
gard to this they have customs as follows: — ^they drink from cups 


o£ bronze and rinse them out every day, and not some only do this 
but all: they wear garments of linen always newly washed, and this 
they make a special point of practice : they circumcise themselves for 
the sake of cleanliness, preferring to be clean rather than comely. The 
priests shave themselves all over their body every other day, so that no 
lice or any other foul thing may come to be upon them when they 
minister to the gods; and the priests wear garments of linen only 
and sandals of papyrus, and any other garment they may not take nor 
other sandals; these wash themselves in cold water twice in a day 
and twice again in the night; and other religious services they per- 
form (one may almost say) of infinite number. They enjoy also 
good things not a few, for they do not consume or spend anything 
of their own substance, but there is sacred bread baked for them 
and they have each great quantity of flesh of oxen and geese coming 
in to them each day, and also wine of grapes is given to them; but 
it is not permitted to them to taste of fish: beans moreover the 
Egyptians do not at all sow in their land, and those which grow 
they neither eat raw nor boil for food; nay the priests do not endure 
even to look upon them, thinking this to be an unclean kind of 
pulse: and there is not one priest only for each of the gods, but 
many, and of them one is chief-priest, and whenever a priest dies 
his son is appointed to his place. 

The males of the ox kind they consider to belong to Epaphos, 
and on account of him they test them in the following manner : — If 
the priest sees one single black hair upon the beast he counts it not 
clean for sacrifice; and one of the priests who is appointed for the 
purpose makes investigation of these matters, both when the beast 
is standing upright and when it is lying on its back, drawing out 
its tongue moreover, to see if it is clean in respect of the appointed 
signs, which I shall tell of in another part of the history: he looks 
also at the hairs of the tail to see if it has them growing in the 
natural manner; and if it be clean in respect of all these things, he 
marks it with a piece of papyrus, rolling this round the horns, and 
then when he has plastered sealing-earth over it he sets upon it the 
seal of his signet-ring, and after that they take the animal away. 
But for one who sacrifices a beast not sealed the penalty appointed 
is death. In this way the beast is tested; and their appointed man- 


ner of sacrifice is as follows: — they lead the sealed beast to the altar 
where they happen to be sacrificing, and then kindle a fire: after 
that, having poured libations of wine over the altar so that it runs 
down upon the victim and having called upon the god, they cut its 
throat, and having cut its throat they sever the head from the body. 
The body then of the beast they flay, but upon the head they make 
many imprecations first, and then they who have a market and 
Hellenes sojourning among them for trade, these carry it to the 
market-place and sell it, while they who have no Hellenes among 
them cast it away into the river: and this is the form of imprecation 
which they utter upon the heads, praying that if any evil be about 
to befall either themselves who are offering sacrifice or the land of 
Egypt in general, it may come rather upon this head. Now as re- 
gards the heads of the beasts which are sacrificed and the pouring 
over them of the wine, all the Egyptians have the same customs 
equally for all their sacrifices; and by reason of this custom none of 
the Egyptians eat of the head either of this or of any other kind of 
animal : but the manner of disembowelling the victims and of burn- 
ing them is appointed among them differently for different sacri- 
fices; I shall speak however of the sacrifices to that goddess whom 
they regard as the greatest of all, and to whom they celebrate the 
greatest feast. — When they have flayed the bullock and made im- 
precation, they take out the whole of its lower entrails but leave in 
the body the upper entrails and the fat; and they sever from it the 
legs and the end of the loin and the shoulders and the neck: and 
this done, they fill the rest of the body of the animal with conse- 
crated loaves and honey and raisins and figs and frankincense and 
myrrh and every other kind of spices, and having filled it with 
these they offer it, pouring over it great abundance of oil. They 
make their sacrifice after fasting, and while the offerings are being 
burnt, they all beat themselves for mourning, and when they have 
finished beating themselves they set forth as a feast that which they 
left unburnt of the sacrifice. The clean males then of the ox kind, 
both full-grown animals and calves, are sacrificed by all the Egyp- 
tians; the females however they may not sacrifice, but these are 
sacred to Isis; for the figure of Isis is in the form of a woman with 
cow's horns, just as the Hellenes present lo in pictures, and all the 


Egyptians without distinction reverence cows far more than any 
other kind of cattle; for which reason neither man nor woman of 
Egyptian race would kiss a man who is a Hellene on the mouth, 
nor will they use a knife or roasting-spits or a caldron belonging to 
a Hellene, nor taste of the flesh even of a clean animal if it has been 
cut with the knife of a Hellene. And the cattle of this kind which 
die they bury in the following manner: — the females they cast into 
the river, but the males they bury, each people in the suburb of 
their town, with one of the horns, or sometimes both, protruding to 
mark the place; and when the bodies have rotted away and the ap- 
pointed time comes on, then to each city comes a boat from that 
which is called the island of Prosopitis (this is in the Delta, and the 
extent of its curcuit is nine schoines). In this island of Prosopitis 
is situated, besides many other cities, that one from which the boats 
come to take up the bones of the oxen, and the name of the city is 
Atarbechis, and in it there is set up a holy temple of Aphrodite. 
From this city many go abroad in various directions, some to one 
city and others to another, and when they have dug up the bones 
of the oxen they carry them off, and coming together they bury 
them in one single place. In the same manner as they bury the 
oxen they bury also their other cattle when they die; for about them 
also they have the same law laid down, and these also they abstain 
from killing. 

Now all who have a temple set up to the Theban Zeus or who are 
of the district of Thebes, these, I say, all sacrifice goats and abstain 
from sheep: for not all the Egyptians equally reverence the same 
gods, except only Isis and Osiris (who they say is Dionysos), these 
they all reverence alike: but they who have a temple of Mendes or 
belong to the Mendesian district, these abstain from goats and sacri- 
fice sheep. Now the men of Thebes and those who after their exam- 
ple abstain from sheep, say that this custom was established among 
them for the cause which follows: — 'Heracles (they say) had an 
earnest desire to see Zeus, and Zeus did not desire to be seen of 
him; and at last when Heracles was urgent in entreaty Zeus con- 
trived this device, that is to say, he flayed a ram and held in front 
of him the head of the ram which he had cut off, and he put on over 
him the Heece and then showed himself to him. Hence the Egyp- 


tians make the image of Zeus with the face of a ram; and the 
Ammonians do so also after their example, being setders both from 
the Egyptians and from the Ethiopians, and using a language which 
is a medley of both tongues: and in my opinion it is from this god 
that the Ammonians took the name which they have, for the Egyp- 
tians call Zeus Amun. The Thebans then do not sacrifice rams but 
hold them sacred for this reason; on one day however in the year, 
on the feast of Zeus, they cut up in the same manner and flay one 
single ram and cover with its skin the image of Zeus, and then 
they bring up to it another image of Heracles. This done, all who 
are in the temple beat themselves in lamentadon for the ram, and 
then they bury it in a sacred tomb. 

About Heracles I heard the account given that he was of the 
nimiber of the twelve gods; but of the other Heracles whom the 
Hellenes know I was not able to hear in any part of Egypt: and 
moreover to prove that the Egyptians did not take the name of 
Heracles from the Hellenes, but rather the Hellenes from the 
Egyptians, — that is to say those of the Hellenes who gave the name 
Heracles to the son of Amphitryon, — of that, I say, besides many 
other evidences there is chiefly this, namely that the parents of this 
Heracles, Amphitryon and Alcmene, were both of Egypt by descent, 
and also that the Egyptians say that they do not know the names 
either of Poseidon or of the Dioscuroi, nor have these been ac- 
cepted by them as gods among the other gods; whereas if they had 
received from the Hellenes the name of any divinity, they would 
naturally have preserved the memory of these most of all, assuming 
that in those times as now some of the Hellenes were wont to make 
voyages and were seafaring folk, as I suppose and as my judgment 
compels me to think; so that the Egyptians would have learnt the 
names of these gods even more than that of Heracles. In fact how- 
ever Heracles is a very ancient Egyptian god; and (as they say 
themselves) it is seventeen thousand years to the beginning of the 
reign of Amasis from the time when the twelve gods, of whom 
they count that Heracles is one, were begotten of the eight gods. 
I moreover, desiring to know something certain of these matters so 
far as might be, made a voyage also to Tyre of Phenicia, hearing 
that in that place there was a holy temple of Heracles; and I saw 


that it was richly furnished with many votive offerings besides, and 
especially there were in it two pillars, the one of pure gold and the 
other of an emerald stone of such size as to shine by night: and 
having come to speech with the priests of the god, I asked them 
how long a time it was since their temple had been set up: and 
these also I found to be at variance with the Hellenes, for they said 
that at the same time when Tyre was founded, the temple of the 
god also had been set up, and that it was a period of two thousand 
three hundred years since their people began to dwell at Tyre. I 
saw also at Tyre another temple of Heracles, with the surname 
Thasian; and I came to Thasos also and there I found a temple of 
Heracles set up by the Phenicians, who had sailed out to seek for 
Europa and had colonised Thasos; and these things happened full 
five generations of men before Heracles the son of Amphitryon was 
born in Hellas. So then my inquiries show clearly that Heracles 
is an ancient god, and those of the Hellenes seem to me to act 
most rightly who have two temples of Heracles set up, and who 
sacrifice to the one as an immortal god and with the title Olympian, 
and make offerings of the dead to the other as a hero. Moreover, 
besides many other stories which the Hellenes tell without due con- 
sideration, this tale is especially foolish which they tell about Hera- 
cles, namely that when he came to Egypt, the Egyptians put on him 
wreaths and led him forth in procession to sacrifice him to Zeus; 
and he for some time kept quiet, but when they were beginning the 
sacrifice of him at the altar, he betook himself to prowess and slew 
them all. I for my part am of opinion that the Hellenes when they 
tell this tale are altogether without knowledge of the nature and 
customs of the Egyptians; for how should they for whom it is not 
lawful to sacrifice even beasts, except swine and the males of oxen 
and calves (such of them as are clean) and geese, how should these 
sacrifice human beings? Besides this, how is it in nature possible 
that Heracles, being one person only and moreover a man (as they 
assert), should slay many myriads? Having said so much of these 
matters, we pray that we may have grace from both the gods and 
the heroes for our speech. 

Now the reason why those of the Egyptians whom I have men- 
tioned do not sacrifice goats, female or male, is this: — the Men- 


desians count Pan to be one of the eight gods (now these eight gods 
they say came into being before the twelve gods), and the painters 
and image-makers represent in painting and in sculpture the figure 
of Pan, just as the Hellenes do, with goat's face and legs, not sup- 
posing him to be really like this but to resemble the other gods; 
the cause however why they represent him in this form I prefer not 
to say. The Mendesians then reverence all goats and the males more 
than the females (and the goatherds too have greater honour than 
other herdsmen), but of the goats one especially is reverenced, and 
when he dies there is great mourning in all the Mendesian district: 
and both the goat and Pan are called in the Egyptian tongue 
Mendes. Moreover in my lifetime there happened in that district 
this marvel, that is to say a he-goat had intercourse with a woman 
publicly, and this was so done that all men might have evidence 
of it. 

The pig is accounted by the Egyptians an abominable animal; 
and first, if any of them in passing by touch a pig, he goes into the 
river and dips himself forthwith in the water together with his gar- 
ments; and then too swineherds, though they be native Egyptians, 
unlike all others do not enter any of the temples in Egypt, nor is 
anyone willing to give his daughter in marriage to one of them or 
to take a wife from among them; but the swineherds both give in 
marriage to one another and take from one another. Now to the 
other gods the Egyptians do not think it right to sacrifice swine; 
but to the Moon and to Dionysos alone at the same time and on 
the same full-moon they sacrifice swine, and then eat their flesh: 
and as to the reason why, when they abominate swine at all their 
other feasts, they sacrifice them at this, there is a story told by the 
Egyptians; and this story I know, but it is not a seemly one for me 
to tell. Now the sacrifice of the swine to the Moon is performed as 
follows: — when the priest has slain the victim, he puts together the 
end of the tail and the spleen and the caul, and covers them up with 
the whole of the fat of the animal which is about the paunch, and 
then he offers them with fire; and the rest of the flesh they eat on 
that day of full moon upon which they have held the sacrifice, but 
on any day after this they will not taste of it: the poor however 
among them by reason of the scantiness of their means shape pigs 


of dough and having baked diem they offer diese as a sacrifice. 
Then for Dionysos on the eve of the festival each one kills a pig 
by cutdng its throat before his ow^n doors, and after that he gives 
the pig to the swineherd who sold it to him, to carry away again; 
and the rest of the feast of Dionysos is celebrated by the Egyptians 
in the same way as by the Hellenes in almost all things except 
choral dances, but instead of the phallos they have invented another 
contrivance, namely figures of about a cubit in height worked by 
strings, which women carry about the villages, with the privy mem- 
ber made to move and not much less in size than the rest of the 
body: and a flute goes before and they follow singing the praises 
of Dionysos. As to the reason why the figure has this member 
larger than is natural and moves it, though it moves no other part 
of the body, about this there is a sacred story told. Now I think that 
Melampus the son of Amytheon was not without knowledge of 
these rites of sacrifice, but was acquainted with them : for Melampus 
is he who first set forth to the Hellenes the name of Dionysos and 
the manner of sacrifice and the procession of the phallos. Strictly 
speaking indeed, he when he made it known did not take in the 
whole, but those wise men who came after him made it known 
more at large. Melampus then is he who taught of the phallos 
which is carried in procession for Dionysos, and from him the 
Hellenes learnt to do that which they do. I say then that Melampus 
being a man of ability contrived for himself an art of divination, 
and having learnt from Egypt he taught the Hellenes many things, 
and among them those that concern Dionysos, making changes in 
some few points of them: for I shall not say that that which is done 
in worship of the god in Egypt came accidentally to be the same 
with that which is done among the Hellenes, for then these rites 
would have been in character with the Hellenic worship and not 
lately brought in; nor certainly shall I say that the Egyptians took 
from the Hellenes either this or any other customary observance: but 
I think it most probable that Melampus learnt the matters concern- 
ing Dionysos from Cadmos the Tyrian and from those who came 
with him from Phenicia to the land which we now call Bceotia. 

Moreover the naming of almost all the gods has come to Hellas 
from Egypt: for that it has come from the Barbarians I find by 


inquiry is true, and I am o£ the opinion that most probably it has 
come from Egypt, because, except in the case of Poseidon and the 
Dioscuroi (in accordance with that which I have said before), and 
also of Hera and Hestia and Themis and the Charites and Nereids, 
the Egyptians have had the names of all the other gods in their 
country for all time. What I say here is that which the Egyptians 
say themselves; but as for the gods whose names they profess that 
they do not know, these I think received their naming from the 
Pelasgians, except Poseidon; but about this god the Hellenes learnt 
from the Libyans, for no people except the Libyans have had the 
name of Poseidon from the first and have paid honour to this god 
always. Nor, it may be added, have the Egyptians any custom of 
worshipping heroes. These observances then, and others besides 
these which I shall mention, the Hellenes have adopted from the 
Egyptians; but to make, as they do, the images of Hermes with the 
phallos they have learnt not from the Egyptians but from the Pelas- 
gians, the custom having been received by the Athenians first of all 
the Hellenes and from these by the rest; for just at the time when 
the Athenians were beginning to rank among the Hellenes, the 
Pelasgians became dwellers with them in their land, and from this 
very cause it was that they began to be counted as Hellenes. Who- 
soever has been initiated in the mysteries of the Cabeiroi, which the 
Samothrakians perform having received them from the Pelasgians, 
that man knows the meaning of my speech; for these very Pelas- 
gians who became dwellers with the Athenians used to dwell be- 
fore that time in Samothrake, and from them the Samothrakians 
received their mysteries. So then the Athenians were the first of the 
Hellenes who made the images of Hermes with the phallos, having 
learnt from the Pelasgians; and the Pelasgians told a sacred story 
about it, which is set forth in the mysteries in Samothrake. Now 
the Pelasgians formerly were wont to make all their sacrifices call- 
ing upon the gods in prayer, as I know from that which I heard at 
Dodona, but they gave no title or name to any of them, for they 
had not yet heard any, but they called them gods (fleoiis) from 
some such notion as this, that they had set (Bbnes) in order all 
things and so had the distribution of everything. Afterwards when 
much time had elapsed, they learnt from Egypt the names of the 


gods, all except Dionysos, for his name they learnt long afterwards; 
and after a time the Pelasgians consulted the Oracle at Dodona 
about the names, for this prophetic seat is accounted to be the most 
ancient of the Oracles which are among the Hellenes, and at that 
time it was the only one. So when the Pelasgians asked the Oracle 
at Dodona whether they should adopt the names which had come 
from the Barbarians, the Oracle in reply bade them make use of the 
names. From this time they sacrificed using the names of the gods, 
and from the Pelasgians the Hellenes afterwards received them: 
but whence the several gods had their birth, or whether they all 
were from the beginning, and of what form they are, they did not 
learn till yesterday, as it were, or the day before: for Hesiod and 
Homer I suppose were four hundred years before my time and 
not more, and these are they who made a theogony for the Hellenes 
and gave the titles to the gods and distributed to them honours and 
arts, and set forth their forms: but the poets who are said to have 
been before these men were really in my opinion after them. Of 
these things the first are said by the priestesses of Dodona, and the 
latter things, those namely which have regard to Hesiod and Homer, 
by myself. 

As regards the Oracles both that among the Hellenes and that in 
Libya, the Egyptians tell the following tale. The priests of the 
Theban Zeus told me that two women in the service of the temple 
had been carried away from Thebes by Phenicians, and that they 
had heard that one of them had been sold to go into Libya and 
the other to the Hellenes; and these women, they said, were they 
who first founded the prophetic seats among the nations which have 
been named: and when I inquired whence they knew so perfectly 
of this tale which they told, they said in reply that a great search 
had been made by the priests after these women, and that they had 
not been able to find them, but they had heard afterwards this tale 
about them which they were telling. This I heard from the priests 
at Thebes, and what follows is said by the prophetesses of Dodona. 
They say that two black doves flew from Thebes in Egypt, and 
came one of them to Libya and the other to their land. And this 
latter settled upon an oak-tree and spoke with human voice, saying 
that it was necessary that a prophetic seat of Zeus should be estab- 


lished in that place; and they supposed that that was of the gods 
which was announced to them, and made one accordingly: and the 
dove which went away to the Libyans, they say, bade the Libyans 
make an Oracle of Ammon; and this also is of Zeus. The priest- 
esses of Dodona told me these things, of whom the eldest was named 
Promeneia, the next after her Timarete, and the youngest Nican- 
dra; and the other people of Dodona who were engaged about 
the temple gave accounts agreeing with theirs. I however have 
an opinion about the matter as follows: — If the Phenicians did 
in truth carry away the consecrated women and sold one of them 
into Libya and the other into Hellas, I suppose that in the country 
now called Hellas, which was formerly called Pelasgia, this woman 
was sold into the land of the Thesprotians; and then being a slave 
there she set up a sanctuary of Zeus under a real oak-tree; as indeed 
it was natural that being an attendant of the sanctuary of Zeus at 
Thebes, she should there, in the place to which she had come, have a 
memory of him; and after this, when she got understanding of the 
Hellenic tongue, she established an Oracle, and she reported, I sup- 
pose, that her sister had been sold in Libya by the same Phenicians 
by whom she herself had been sold. Moreover, I think that the 
women were called doves by the people of Dodona for the reason 
that they were Barbarians and because it seemed to them that they 
uttered voice like birds; but after a time (they say) the dove spoke 
with human voice, that is when the woman began to speak so that 
they could understand; but so long as she spoke a Barbarian tongue 
she seemed to them to be uttering voice like a bird : for if it had been 
really a dove, how could it speak with human voice? And in say- 
ing that the dove was black, they indicate that the woman was 
Egyptian. The ways of delivering oracles too at Thebes in Egypt 
and at Dodona closely resemble one another, as it happens, and also 
the method of divination by victims has come from Egypt. 

Moreover, it is true also that the Egyptians were the first of men 
who made solemn assemblies and processions and approaches to the 
temples, and from them the Hellenes have learnt them, and my 
evidence for this is that the Egyptian celebrations of these have been 
held from a very ancient time, whereas the Hellenic were intro- 
duced but lately. The Egyptians hold their solemn assemblies not 


once in the year but often, especially and with the greatest zeal and 
devotion at the city of Bubastis for Artemis, and next at Busiris for 
Isis; for in this last-named city there is a very great temple of Isis, 
and this city stands in the middle of the Delta of Egypt; now Isis 
is in the tongue of the Hellenes Demeter: thirdly, they have a sol- 
emn assembly at the city of Sais for Athene, fourthly at Heliopolis 
for the Sun (Helios), fifthly at the city of Buto in honour of Leto, 
and sixthly at the city of Papremis for Ares. Now, when they are 
coming to the city of Bubastis they do as follows: — they sail men 
and women together, and a great multitude of each sex in every 
boat; and some of the women have rattles and rattle with them, 
while some of the men play the flute during the whole time of the 
voyage, and the rest, both women and men, sing and clap their 
hands; and when as they sail they come opposite to any city on 
the way they bring the boat to land, and some of the women con- 
tinue to do as I have said, others cry aloud and jeer at the women in 
that city, some dance, and some stand up and pull up their gar- 
ments. This they do by every city along the river-bank; and when 
they come to Bubastis they hold festival celebrating great sacrifices, 
and more wine of grapes is consumed upon that festival than dur- 
ing the whole of the rest of the year. To this place (so say the 
natives) they come together year by year even to the number of 
seventy myriads of men and women, besides children. Thus it is 
done here; and how they celebrate the festival in honour of Isis 
at the city of Busiris has been told by me before: for, as I said, they 
beat themselves in mourning after the sacrifice, all of them both 
men and women, very many myriads of people; but for whom they 
beat themselves it is not permitted to me by religion to say: and so 
many as there are of the Carians dwelling in Egypt do this even 
more than the Egyptians themselves, inasmuch as they cut their 
foreheads also with knives; and by this it is manifested that they are 
strangers and not Egyptians. At the times when they gather to- 
gether at the city of Sais for their sacrifices, on a certain night they 
all kindle lamps many in number in the open air round about the 
houses; now the lamps are saucers full of salt and oil mixed, and 
the wick floats by itself on the surface, and this burns during the 
whole night; and to this festival is given the name Lychnocaia (the 


lighting of lamps). Moreover those of the Egyptians who have not 
come to this solemn assembly observe the night of the festival and 
themselves also light lamps all of them, and thus not in Sais alone 
are they lighted, but over all Egypt: and as to the reason why light 
and honour are allotted to this night, about this there is a sacred 
story told. To Heliopolis and Buto they go year by year and do 
sacrifice only: but at Papremis they do sacrifice and worship as 
elsewhere, and besides that, when the sun begins to go down, while 
some few of the priests are occupied with the image of the god, the 
greater number of them stand in the entrance of the temple with 
wooden clubs, and other persons to the number of more than a 
thousand men with purpose to perform a vow, these also having all 
of them staves of wood, stand in a body opposite to those: and the 
image, which is in a small shrine of wood covered over with gold, 
they take out on the day before to another sacred building. The few 
then who have been left about the image, draw a wain with four 
wheels, which bears the shrine and the image that is within the 
shrine, and the other priests standing in the gateway try to prevent it 
from entering, and the men who are under a vow come to the assist- 
ance of the god and strike them, while the others defend themselves. 
Then there comes to be a hard fight with staves, and they break one 
another's heads, and I am of opinion that many even die of the 
wounds they receive; the Egyptians however told me that no one 
died. This solemn assembly the people of the place say that they 
established for the following reason: — the mother of Ares, they say, 
used to dwell in this temple, and Ares, having been brought up 
away from her, when he grew up came thither desiring to visit his 
mother, and the attendants of his mother's temple, not having seen 
him before, did not permit him to pass in, but kept him away; and 
he brought men to help him from another city and handled roughly 
the attendants of the temple, and entered to visit his mother. Hence, 
they say, this exchange of blows has become the custom in honour 
of Ares upon his festival. 

The Egyptians were the first who made it a point of religion not 
to lie with women in temples, nor to enter into temples after going 
away from women without first bathing: for almost all other men 
except the Egyptians and the Hellenes lie with women in temples 


and enter into a temple after going away from women without 
bathing, since they hold that there is no difference in this respect 
between men and beasts: for they say that they see beasts and the 
various kinds of birds coupling together both in the temples and in 
the sacred enclosures of the gods; if then this were not pleasing to 
the god, the beasts would not do so. 

Thus do these defend that which they do, which by me is dis- 
allowed: but the Egyptians are excessively careful in their observ- 
ances, both in other matters which concern the sacred rites and also 
in those which follow: — Egypt, though it borders upon Libya, does 
not very much abound in wild animals, but such as they have are one 
and all accounted by them sacred, some of them living with men 
and others not. But if I should say for what reasons the sacred ani- 
mals have been thus dedicated, I should fall into discourse of mat- 
ters pertaining to the gods, of which I most desire not to speak; and 
what I have actually said touching slightly upon them, I said be- 
cause I was constrained by necessity. About these animals there is a 
custom of this kind: — persons have been appointed of the Egyp- 
tians, both men and women, to provide the food for each kind of 
beast separately, and their office goes down from father to son; and 
those who dwell in the various cities perform vows to them thus, 
that is, when they make a vow to the god to whom the animal be- 
longs, they shave the head of their children either the whole or 
the half or the third part of it, and then set the hair in the bal- 
ance against silver, and whatever it weighs, this the man gives to 
the person who provides for the animals, and she cuts up fish of 
equal value and gives it for food to the animals. Thus food for 
their support has been appointed: and if any one kill any of these 
animals, the penalty, if he do it with his own will, is death, and if 
against his will, such penalty as the priests may appoint: but who- 
soever shall kill an ibis or a hawk, whether it be with his will or 
against his wall, must die. Of the animals that live vsdth men there 
are great numbers, and would be many more but for the accidents 
which befall the cats. For when the females have produced young 
they are no longer in the habit of going to the males, and these 
seeking to be united with them are not able. To this end then they 
contrive as follows, — they either take away by force or remove se- 


cretly the young from the females and kill them (but after killing 
they do not eat them), and the females being deprived of their 
young and desiring more, therefore come to the males, for it is a 
creature that is fond of its young. Moreover when a fire occurs, the 
cats seem to be divinely pwssessed; for w^hile the Egyptians stand 
at intervals and look after the cats, not taking any care to extin- 
guish the fire, the cats slipping through or leaping over the men, 
jump into the fire; and when this happens, great mourning comes 
upon the Egyptians. And in whatever houses a cat has died by a 
natural death, all those who dwell in this house shave their eye- 
brows only, but those in whose houses a dog has died shave their 
whole body and also their head. The cats when they are dead are 
carried away to sacred buildings in the city of Bubastis, where after 
being embalmed they are buried; but the dogs they bury each peo- 
ple in their own city in sacred tombs; and the ichneumons are 
buried just in the same way as the dogs. The shrew-mice however 
and the hawks they carry away to the city of Buto, and the ibises 
to Hermopolis; the bears (which are not commonly seen) and the 
wolves, not much larger in size than foxes, they bury on the spot 
where they are found lying. 

Of the crocodile the nature is as follows: — during the four most 
wintry months this creature eats nothing: she has four feet and is 
an animal belonging to the land and the water both; for she pro- 
duces and hatches eggs on the land, and the most part of the day 
she remains upon dry land, but the whole of the night in the river, 
for the water in truth is warmer than the unclouded open air and 
the dew. Of all the mortal creatures of which we have knowledge 
this grows to the greatest bulk from the smallest beginning; for the 
eggs which she produces are not much larger than those of geese 
and the newly-hatched young one is in proportion to the egg, but 
as he grows he becomes as much as seventeen cubits long and some- 
times yet larger. He has eyes like those of a pig and teeth large and 
tusky, in proportion to the size of his body; but unlike all other 
beasts he grows no tongue, neither does he move his lower jaw, but 
brings the upper jaw towards the lower, being in this too unlike 
all other beasts. He has moreover strong claws and a scaly hide 
upon his back which cannot be pierced; and he is Wind in the 


water, but in the air he is of a very keen sight. Since he has his 
living in the water he keeps his mouth all full within of leeches; 
and whereas all other birds and beasts fly from him, the trochilus 
is a creature which is at peace with him, seeing that from her he 
receives benefit; for the crocodile having come out of the water to 
the land and then having opened his mouth (this he is wont to do 
generally towards the West Wind), the trochilus upon that enters 
into his mouth and swallows down the leeches, and he being bene- 
fited is pleased and does no harm to the trochilus. Now for some 
of the Egyptians the crocodiles are sacred animals, and for others 
not so, but they treat them on the contrary as enemies: those how- 
ever who dwell about Thebes and about the lake of Moiris hold 
them to be most sacred, and each of these two peoples keeps one 
crocodile selected from the whole number, which has been trained 
to tameness, and they put hanging ornaments of molten stone and 
of gold into the ears of these and anklets round the front feet, and 
they give them food appointed and victims of sacrifices and treat 
them as well as possible while they live, and after they are dead they 
bury them in sacred tombs, embalming them: but those who dwell 
about the city of Elephantine even eat them, not holding them to 
be sacred. They are called not crocodiles but champsai, and the 
lonians gave them the name of crocodile, comparing their form to 
that of the crocodiles (lizards) which appear in their country in 
the stone walls. There are many ways in use of catching them and of 
various kinds: I shall describe that which to me seems the most 
worthy of being told. A man puts the back of a pig upon a hook as 
bait, and lets it go into the middle of the river, while he himself 
upon the bank of the river has a young live pig, which he beats; 
and the crocodile hearing its cries makes for the direction of the 
sound, and when he finds the pig's back he swallows it down: then 
they pull, and when he is drawn out to land, first of all the hunter 
forthwith plasters up his eyes with mud, and having so done he 
very easily gets the mastery of him, but if he does not do so he has 
much trouble. 

The river-horse is sacred in the district of Papremis, but for the 
other Egyptians he is not sacred; and this is the appearance which 
he presents: he is four-footed, cloven-hoofed like an ox, flat-nosed, 


with a mane like a horse and showing teeth like tusks, with a tail 
and voice like a horse, and in size as large as the largest ox; and 
his hide is so exceedingly thick that when it has been dried shafts 
of javelins are made of it. There are moreover otters in the river, 
which they consider to be sacred; and of fish also they esteem 
that which is called the lepidotos to be sacred, and also the eel; and 
these they say are sacred to the Nile: and of birds the fox-goose. 

There is also another sacred bird called the phoenix which I did 
not myself see except in painting, for in truth he comes to them 
very rarely, at intervals, as the people of Heliopolis say, of five hun- 
dred years; and these say that he comes regularly when his father 
dies; and if he be like the painting, he is of this size and nature, 
that is to say, some of his feathers are of gold colour and others red, 
and in outline and size he is as nearly as possible like an eagle. 
This bird, they say (but I cannot believe the story), contrives as 
follows: — setting forth from Arabia he conveys his father, they say, 
to the temple of the Sun (Helios) plastered up in myrrh, and buries 
him in the temple of the Sun; and he conveys him thus: — ^he forms 
first an egg of myrrh as large as he is able to carry, and then he 
makes trial of carrying it, and when he had made trial sufficiently, 
then he hollows out the egg and places his father within it and plas- 
ters over with other myrrh that part of the egg where he hollowed it 
out to put his father in, and when his father is laid in it, it proves 
(they say) to be of the same weight as it was; and after he has 
plastered it up, he conveys the whole to Egypt to the temple of the 
Sun. Thus they say that this bird does. 

There are also about Thebes sacred serpents, not at all harmful 
to men, which are small in size and have two horns growing from 
the top of the head: these they bury when they die in the temple 
of Zeus, for to this god they say that they are sacred. There is a 
region moreover in Arabia, situated nearly over against the city 
of Buto, to which place I came to inquire about the winged ser- 
pents: and when I came thither I saw bones of serpents and spines 
in quantity so great that it is impossible to make report of the num- 
ber, and there were heaps of spines, some heaps large and others less 
large and others smaller still than these, and these heaps were many 
in number. This region in which the spines are scattered upon the 


ground is of the nature of an entrance from a narrow mountain 
pass to a great plain, which plain adjoins the plain of Egypt; and 
the story goes that at the beginning of spring winged serpents 
from Arabia fly towards Egypt, and birds called ibises meet them 
at the entrance to this country and do not suffer the serpents to 
go by but kill them. On account of this deed it is (say the Arabians) 
that the ibis has come to be greatly honoured by the Egyptians, and 
the Egyptians also agree that it is for this reason that they honour 
these birds. The outward form of the ibis is this: — it is a deep 
black all over, and has legs like those of a crane and a very curved 
beak, and in size it is about equal to a rail: this is the appearance of 
the black kind which fight with the serpents, but of those which 
most crowd round men's feet (for there are two several kinds of 
ibises) the head is bare and also the whole of the throat, and it is 
white in feathering except the head and neck and the extremities 
of the wings and the rump (in all these parts of which I have spoken 
it is a deep black), while in legs and in the form of the head it 
resembles the other. As for the serpent its form is like that of the 
watersnake; and it has wings not feathered but most nearly re- 
sembling the wings of the bat. Let so much suffice as has been said 
now concerning sacred animals. 

Of the Egyptians themselves, those who dwell in the part of 
Egypt which is sown for crops practise memory more than any 
other men and are the most learned in history by far of all those 
of whom I have had experience: and their manner of life is as 
follows: — ^For three successive days in each month they purge, 
hunting after health with emetics and clysters, and they think that 
all the diseases which exist are produced in men by the food on 
which they live: for the Egyptians are from other causes also the 
most healthy of all men next after the Libyans (in my opinion on 
account of the seasons, because the seasons do not change, for by the 
changes of things generally, and especially of the seasons, diseases 
are most apt to be produced in men), and as to their diet, it is as 
follows: — ^they eat bread, making loaves of maize, which they call 
kyllestis, and they use habitually a wine made out of barley, for 
vines they have not in their land. Of their fish some they dry in 


the sun and eat them without cooking, others they eat cured in 
brine. Of birds they eat quails and ducks and small birds with- 
out cooking, after first curing them; and everything else which 
they have belonging to the class of birds or fishes, except such as 
have been set apart by them as sacred, they eat roasted or boiled. 
In the entertainments of .the rich among them, when they have 
finished eating, a man bears round a wooden figure of a dead body 
in a cofSn, made as like the reality as may be both by painting and 
carving, and measuring about a cubit or two cubits each way; and 
this he shows to each of those who are drinking together, saying: 
"When thou lookest upon this, drink and be merry, for thou shalt 
be such as this when thou art dead." Thus they do at their ca- 
rousals. The customs which they practise are derived from their 
fathers and they do not acquire others in addition; but besides other 
customary things among them which are worthy of mention, they 
have one song, that of Linos, the same who is sung of both in 
Phenicia and in Cyprus and elsewhere, having however a name 
different according to the various nations. This song agrees ex- 
actly with that which the Hellenes sing calling on the name of 
Linos, so that besides many other things about which I wonder 
among those matters which concern Egypt, I wonder especially 
about this, namely whence they got 'the song of Linos. It is evi- 
dent however that they have sung this song from immemorial time, 
and in the Egyptian tongue Linos is called Maneros. The Egyp- 
tians told me that he was the only son of him who first became 
king of Egypt, and that he died before his time and was honoured 
with these lamentations by the Egyptians, and that this was their 
first and only song. In another respect the Egyptians are in agree- 
ment with some of the Hellenes, namely with the Lacedemonians, 
but not with the rest, that is to say, the younger of them when they 
meet the elder give way and move out of the path, and when their 
elders approach, they rise out of their seat. In this which follows 
however they are not in agreement with any of the Hellenes, — 
instead of addressing one another in the roads they do reverence, 
lowering their hand down to their knee. They wear tunics of linen 
about their legs with fringes, which they call calasiris; above these 
they have garments of white wool thrown over: woolen garments 


however are not taken into the temples, nor are they buried with 
them, for this is not permitted by rehgion. In these points they are 
in agreement with the observances called Orphic and Bacchic 
(which are really Egyptian), and also with those of the Pythago- 
reans, for one who takes part in these mysteries is also forbidden by 
religious rule to be buried in woolen garments; and about this 
there is a sacred story told. 

Besides these things the Egyptians have found out also to what 
god each month and each day belongs, and what fortunes a man 
will meet with who is born on any particular day, and how he will 
die, and what kind of a man he will be: and these inventions were 
taken up by those of the Hellenes who occupied themselves about 
poesy. Portents too have been found out by them more than by 
all other men besides; for when a portent has happened, they ob- 
serve and write down the event which comes of it, and if ever after- 
wards anything resembling this happens, they believe that the event 
which comes of it will be similar. Their divination is ordered thus: 
— the art is assigned not to any man but to certain of the gods, for 
there are in their land Oracles of Heracles, of Apollo, of Athene, 
of Artemis, of Ares, and of Zeus, and moreover that which they 
hold most in honour of all, namely the Oracle of Leto which is in 
the city of Buto. The manner of divination however is not estab- 
lished among them according to the same fashion everywhere, but 
is different in different places. The art of medicine among them is 
distributed thus: — each physician is a physician of one disease and 
of no more; and the whole country is full of physicians, for some 
profess themselves to be physicians of the eyes, others of the head, 
others of the teeth, others of the affections of the stomach, and 
others of the more obscure ailments. 

Their fashions of mourning and of burial are these: — Whenever 
any household has lost a man who is of any regard amongst them, 
the whole number of women of that house forthwith plaster over 
their heads or even their faces with mud. Then leaving the corpse 
within the house they go themselves to and fro about the city and 
beat themselves, with their garments bound up by a girdle and their 
breasts exposed, and with them go all the women who are related 
to the dead man, and on the other side the men beat themselves, 


they too having their garments bound up by a girdle; and when 
they have done this, they then convey the body to the embahning. 
In this occupation certain persons employ themselves regularly and 
inherit this as a craft. These, whenever a corpse is conveyed to 
them, show to those who brought it wooden models o£ corpses made 
like reality by painting, and the best of the ways of embalming they 
say is that of him whose name I think it impiety to mention when 
speaking of a matter of such a kind; the second which they show is 
less good than this and also less expensive; and the third is the 
least expensive of all. Having told them about this, they inquire of 
them in which way they desire the corpse of their friend to be pre- 
pared. Then they after they have agreed for a certain price depart out 
of the way, and the others being left behind in the buildings embalm 
according to the best of these ways thus: — ^First with a crooked iron 
tool they draw out the brain through the nostrils, extracting it pardy 
thus and partly by pouring in drugs; and after this with a sharp 
stone of Ethiopia they make a cut along the side and take out the 
whole contents of the belly, and when they have cleared out the 
cavity and cleansed it with palm-wine they cleanse it again with 
spices pounded up: then they fill the belly with. pure myrrh pounded 
up and with cassia and other spices except frankincense, and sew it 
together again. Having so done they keep it for embalming cov- 
ered up in natron for seventy days, but for a longer time than this 
it is not permitted to embalm it; and when the seventy days are 
past, they wash the corpse and roll its whole body up in fine linen 
cut into bands, smearing these beneath with gum, which the Egyp- 
tians use generally instead of glue. Then the kinsfolk receive it 
from them and have a wooden figure made in the shape of a man, 
and when they have had this made they enclose the corpse, and 
having shut it up within, they store it then in a sepulchral chamber, 
setting it to stand upright against the wall. Thus they deal with the 
corpses which are prepared in the most costly way; but for those 
who desire the middle way and wish to avoid great cost they pre- 
pare the corpse as follows: — having filled their syringes with the 
oil which is got from cedar-wood, with this they forthwith fill the 
belly of the corpse, and this they do without having either cut it 
open or taken out the bowels, but they inject the oil by the breech, 


and having stopped the drench from returning back they keep it 
then the appointed number of days for embalming, and on the last 
of the days they let the cedar oil come out from the belly, which 
they before put in; and it has such power that it brings out with it 
the bowels and interior organs of the body dissolved; and the na- 
tron dissolves the flesh, so that there is left of the corpse only the 
skin and the bones. When they have done this they give back the 
corpse at once in that condition without working upon it any more. 
The third kind of embalming, by which are prepared the bodies of 
those who have less means, is as follows: — they cleanse out the belly 
with a purge and then keep the body for embalming during the 
seventy days, and at once after that they give it back to the bringers 
to carry away. The wives of men of rank when they die are 
not given at once to be embalmed, nor such women as are very 
beautiful or of greater regard than others, but on the third or fourth 
day after their death (and not before) they are delivered to the 
embalmers. They do so about this matter in order that the em- 
balmers may not abuse their women, for they say that one of them 
was taken once doing so to the corpse of a woman lately dead, and 
his fellow-craftsman gave information. Whenever any one, either 
of the Egyptians themselves or of strangers, is found to have been 
carried off by a crocodile or brought to his death by the river itself, 
the people of any city by which he may have been cast up on land 
must embalm him and lay him out in the fairest way they can and 
bury him in a sacred burial-place, nor may any of his relations or 
friends besides touch him, but the priests of the Nile themselves 
handle the corpse and bury it as that of one who was something 
more than man. 

Hellenic usages they will by no means follow, and to speak gen- 
erally they follow those of no other men whatever. This rule is 
observed by most of the Egyptians; but there is a large city named 
Chemmis in the Theban district near Neapolis, and in this city 
there is a temple of Perseus the son of Danae which is of a square 
shape, and round it grow date-palms: the gateway of the temple is 
built of stone and of very great size, and at the entrance of it stand 
two great statues of stone. Within this enclosure is a temple-house 
and in it stands an image of Perseus. These people of Chemmis 


say that Perseus is wont often to appear in their land and often 
within the temple, and that a sandal which has been worn by him 
is found sometimes, being in length two cubits, and whenever this 
appears all Egypt prospers. This they say, and they do in honour of 
Perseus after Hellenic fashion thus, — they hold an athletic contest, 
which includes the whole list of games, and they offer in prizes 
cattle and cloaks and skins: and when I inquired why to them 
alone Perseus was wont to appear, and wherefore they were sepa- 
rated from all the other Egyptians in that they held an athletic 
contest, they said that Perseus had been born of their city, for 
Danaos and Lynkeus were men of Chemmis and had sailed to 
Hellas, and from them they traced a descent and came down to 
Perseus: and they told me that he had come to Egypt for the reason 
which the Hellenes also say, namely to bring from Libya the Gor- 
gon's head, and had then visited them also and recognised all his 
kinsfolk, and they said that he had well learnt the name of Chem- 
mis before he came to Egypt, since he had heard it from his mother, 
and that they celebrated an athletic contest for him by his own 

All these are customs practised by the Egyptians who dwell above 
the fens: and those who are settled in the fen-land have the same 
customs for the most part as the other Egyptians, both in other 
matters and also in that they live each with one wife only, as do the 
Hellenes; but for economy in respect of food they have invented 
these things besides: — when the river has become full and the plains 
have been flooded, there grow in the water great numbers of lilies, 
which the Egyptians call lotos; these they cut with a sickle and dry 
in the sun, and then they pound that which grows in the middle of 
the lotos and which is like the head of a poppy, and they make of it 
loaves baked with fire. The root also of this lotos is edible and has 
a rather sweet taste: it is round in shape and about the size of an 
apple. There are other lilies too, in flower resembling roses, which 
also grow in the river, and from them the fruit is produced in a 
separate vessel springing from the root by the side of the plant 
itself, and very nearly resembles a wasp's comb: in this there grow 
edible seeds in great numbers of the size of an olive-stone, and they 
are eaten either fresh or dried. Besides this they pull up from the 


fens the papyrus which grows every year, and the upper parts of it 
they cut off and turn to other uses, but that which is left below for 
about a cubit in length they eat or sell : and those who desire to have 
the papyrus at its very best bake it in an oven heated red-hot, and 
then eat it. Some too of these people live on fish alone, which they 
dry in the sun after having caught them and taken out the entrails, 
and then when they are dry, they use them for food. 

Fish which swim in shoals are not much produced in the rivers, 
but are bred in the lakes, and they do as follows: — When there 
comes upon them the desire to breed, they swim out in shoals to- 
wards the sea; and the males lead the way shedding forth their milt 
as they go, while the females, coming after and swallowing it up, from 
it become impregnated: and when they have become full of young 
in the sea they swim up back again, each shoal to its own haunts. The 
same however no longer lead the way as before, but the lead comes 
now to the females, and they leading the way in shoals do just as 
the males did, that is to say they shed forth their eggs by a few grains 
at a time, and the males coming after swallow them up. Now these 
grains are fish, and from the grains which survive and are not swal- 
lowed, the fish grow which afterwards are bred up. Now those of 
the fish which are caught as they swim out towards the sea are 
found to be rubbed on the left side of the head, but those which 
are caught as they swim up again are rubbed on the right side. 
This happens to them because as they swim down to the sea they 
keep close to the land on the left side of the river, and again as 
they swim up they keep to the same side, approaching and touching 
the bank as much as they can, for fear doubtless of straying from 
their course by reason of the stream. When the Nile begins to swell, 
the hollow places of the land and the depressions by the side of the 
river first begin to fill, as the water soaks through from the river, and 
so soon as they become full of water, at once they are all filled with 
little fishes; and whence these are in all likelihood produced, I think 
that I perceive. In the preceding year, when the Nile goes down, 
the fish first lay eggs in the mud and then retire with the last of the 
retreating waters; and when the time comes round again, and the 
water once more comes over the land, from these eggs forthwith are 
produced the fishes of which I speak. 


Thus it is as regards the fish. And for anointing those of the 
Egyptians who dwell in the fens use oil from the castor-berry, which 
oil the Egyptians call f{if(i, and thus they do: — they sow along the 
banks of the rivers and pools these plants, which in a wild form 
grow of themselves in the land of the Hellenes; these are sown in 
Egypt and produce berries in great quantity but of an evil smell; 
and when they have gathered these, some cut them up and press 
the oil from them, others again roast them first and then boil them 
down and collect that which runs away from them. The oil is fat 
and not less suitable for burning than olive-oil, but it gives forth a 
disagreeable smell. Against the gnats, which are very abundant, 
they have contrived as follows: — those who dwell above the fen- 
land are helped by the towers, to which they ascend when they go 
to rest; for the gnats by reason of the winds are not able to fly up 
high: but those who dwell in the fen-land have contrived another 
way instead of the towers, and this it is: — every man of them has 
got a casting net, with which by day he catches fish, but in the 
night he uses it for this purpose, that is to say he puts the casting-net 
round about the bed in which he sleeps, and then creeps in under 
it and goes to sleep: and the gnats, if he sleeps rolled up in a gar- 
ment or a linen sheet, bite through these, but through the net they 
do not even attempt to bite. 

Their boats with which they carry cargoes are made of the thorny 
acacia, of which the form is very like that of the Kyrenian lotos, and 
that which exudes from it is gum. From this tree they cut pieces of 
wood about two cubits in length and arrange them like bricks, 
fastening the boat together by running a great number of long 
bolts through the two-cubit pieces; and when they have thus fast- 
ened the boat together, they lay cross-pieces over the top, using no 
ribs for the sides; and within they caulk the seams with papyrus. 
They make one steering-oar for it, which is passed through the bot- 
tom of the boat; and they have a mast of acacia and sails of papyrus. 
These boats cannot sail up the river unless there be a very fresh 
wind blowing, but are towed from the shore: down-stream however 
they travel as follows: — they have a door-shaped crate made of 
tamarisk wood and reed mats sewn together, and also a stone of 
about two talents weight bored with a hole; and of these the boat- 


man lets the crate float on in front o£ the boat, fastened with 
a rope, and the stone drags behind by another rope. The crate then, 
as the force of the stream presses upon it, goes on swiftly and draws 
on the baris (for so these boats are called), while the stone dragging 
after it behind and sunk deep in the water keeps its course straight. 
These boats they have in great numbers and some of them carry 
many thousands of talents' burden. 

When the Nile comes over the land, the cities alone are seen 
rising above the water, resembling more nearly than anything else 
the islands in the ^gean Sea; for the rest of Egypt becomes a 
sea and the cities alone rise above water. Accordingly, whenever this 
happens, they pass by water not now by the channels of the river but 
over the midst of the plain : for example, as one sails up from Nau- 
cratis to Memphis the passage is then close by the pyramids, whereas 
the usual passage is not the same even here, but goes by the point of 
the Delta and the city of Kercasoros; while if you sail over the 
plain to Naucratis from the sea and from Canobos, you will go 
by Anthylla and the city called after Archander. Of these Anthylla 
is a city of note and is especially assigned to the wife of him who 
reigns over Egypt, to supply her with sandals, (this is the case since 
the time when Egypt came to be under the Persians) : the other 
city seems to me to have its name from Archander the son-in-law 
of Danaos, who was the son of Phthios, the son of Achaios; for it is 
called the City of Archander. There might indeed be another 
Archander, but in any case the name is not Egyptian. 

Hitherto my own observation and judgment and inquiry are the 
vouchers for that which I have said; but from this point onwards 
I am about to tell the history of Egypt according to that which I 
heard, to which will be added also something of that which I have 
myself seen. 

Of Min, who first became king of Egypt, the priests said that 
on the one hand he banked off the site of Memphis from the river: 
for the whole stream of the river used to flow along by the sandy 
mountain-range on the side of Libya, but Min formed by embank- 
ments that bend of the river which lies to the South about a hundred 
furlongs above Memphis, and thus he dried up the old stream and 


conducted the river so that it flowed in the middle between the 
mountains: and even now this bend of the Nile is by the Persians 
kept under very careful watch, that it may flow in the channel to 
which it is confined, and the bank is repaired every year; for if the 
river should break through and overflow in this direction, Memphis 
would be in danger of being overwhelmed by flood. When this 
Min, who first became king, had made into dry land the part which 
was dammed off, on the one hand, I say, he founded in it that city 
which is now called Memphis; for Memphis too is in the narrow 
part of Egypt; and oqtside the city he dug round it on the North 
and West a lake communicating with the river, for the side towards 
the East is barred by the Nile itself. Then secondly he established in 
the city the temple of Hephaistos a great work and most worthy of 
mention. After this man the priests enumerated to me from a 
papyrus roll the names of other kings, three hundred and thirty in 
number; and in all these generations of men eighteen were Ethi- 
opians, one was a woman, a native Egyptian, and the rest were men 
and of Egyptian race: and the name of the woman who reigned was 
the same as that of the Babylonian queen, namely Nitocris. Of her 
they said that desiring to take vengeance for her brother, whom the 
Egyptians had slain when he was their king and then, after having 
slain him, had given his kingdom to her, — desiring, I say, to take 
vengeance for him, she destroyed by craft many of the Egyptians. 
For she caused to be constructed a very large chamber under ground, 
and making as though she would handsel it but in her mind devising 
other things, she invited those of the Egyptians whom she knew to 
have had most part in the murder, and gave a great banquet. Then 
while they were feasting, she let in the river upon them by a secret 
conduit of large size. Of her they told no more than this, except 
that, when this had been accomplished, she threw herself into a room 
full of embers, in order that she might escape vengeance. As for the 
other kings, they could tell me of no great works which had been 
produced by them, and they said that they had no renown except 
only the last of them, Moiris: he (they said) produced as a memorial 
of himself the gateway of the temple of Hephaistos which is turned 
towards the North Wind, and dug a lake, about which I shall set 
forth afterwards how many furlongs of circuit it has, and in it built 


pyramids of the size which I shall mention at the same time when 
I speak of the lake itself. He, they said, produced these works, but 
of the rest none produced any. 

Therefore passing these by I shall make mention of the king who 
came after these, whose name was Sesostris. He (the priests said) 
first of all set out with ships of war from the Arabian gulf and sub- 
dued those who dwelt by the shores of the Erythraian Sea, until as 
he sailed he came to a sea which could no further be navigated by 
reason of shoals: then secondly, after he had returned to Egypt, 
according to the report of the priests he took a great army and 
marched over the continent, subduing every nation which stood in 
his way: and those of them* whom he found valiant and lighting 
desperately for their freedom, in their lands he set up pillars which 
told by inscriptions his own name and the name of his country, 
and how he had subdued them by his power; but as to those of 
whose cities he obtained possession without fighting or with ease, 
on their pillars he inscribed words after the same tenor as he did 
for the nations which had shown themselves courageous, and in 
addition he drew upon them the hidden parts of a woman, desiring 
to signify by this that the people were cowards and effeminate. Thus 
doing he traversed the continent, until at last he passed over to 
Europe from Asia and subdued the Scythians and also the Thracians. 
These, I am of opinion, were the furthest people to which the Egyp- 
tian army came, for in their country the pillars are found to have 
been set up, but in the land beyond this they are no longer found. 
From this point he turned and began to go back; and when he 
came to the river Phasis, what happened then I cannot say for cer- 
tain, whether the king Sesostris himself divided off a certain por- 
tion of his army and left the men there as settlers in the land, or 
whether some of his soldiers were wearied by his distant marches 
and remained by the river Phasis. For the people of Colchis are 
evidently Egyptian, and this I perceived for myself before I heard it 
from others. So when I had come to consider the matter I asked 
them both; and the Colchians had remembrance of the Egyptians 
more than the Egyptians of the Colchians; but the Egyptians said 
they believed that the Colchians were a portion of the army of 
Sesostris. That this was so I conjectured myself not only because 


they are dark-skinned and have curly hair (this of itself amounts to 
nothing, for there are other races which are so), but also still more 
because the Colchians, Egyptians, and Ethiopians alone of all the 
races of men have practised circumcision from the first. The Phe- 
nicians and the Syrians who dwell in Palestine confess themselves 
that they have learnt it from the Egyptians, and the Syrians about 
the river Thermodon and the river Parthenios, and the Macronians, 
who are their neighbors, say that ihey have learnt it lately from the 
Colchians. These are the only races of men who practise circum- 
cision, and these evidently practise it in the same manner as the 
Egyptians. Of the Egyptians themselves, however, and the Ethi- 
opians, I am not able to say which learnt from the other, for un- 
doubtedly it is a most ancient custom; but that the other nations 
learnt it by intercourse with the Egyptians, this among others is to 
me a strong proof, namely that those of the Phenicians who have 
intercourse with Hellas cease to follow the example of the Egyptians 
in this matter, and do not circumcise their children. Now let me 
tell another thing about the Colchians to show how they resemble 
the Egyptians: — they alone work flax in the same fashion as the 
Egyptians, and the two nations are like one another in their whole 
manner of living and also in their language: now the linen of Col- 
chis is called by the Hellenes Sardonic, whereas that from Egypt 
is called Egyptian. The pillars which Sesostris king of Egypt set 
up in the various countries are for the most part no longer to be 
seen extant; but in Syria Palestine I myself saw them existing with 
the inscription upon them which I have mentioned and the emblem. 
Moreover in Ionia there are two figures of this man carved upon 
rocks, one on the road by which one goes from the land of Ephesos 
to Phocaia, and the other on the road from Sardis to Smyrna. In 
each place there is a figure of a man cut in the rock, of four cubits 
and a span in height, holding in his right hand a spear and in his 
left a bow and arrows, and the other equipment which he has is 
similar to this, for it is both Egyptian and Ethiopian : and from the 
one shoulder to the other across the breast runs an inscription 
carved in sacred Egyptian characters, saying thus, "This land with 
my shoulders I won for myself." But who he is and from whence, 
he does not declare in these places, though in other places he has 


declared this. Some of those who have seen these carvings conjecture' 
that the figure is that of Memnon, but herein they are very far from 
the truth. 

As this Egyptian Sesostris was returning and bringing back many 
men of the nations whose lands he had subdued, when he came 
(said the priests) to Daphnai in the district of Pelusion on his jour- 
ney home, his brother to whom Sesostris had entrusted the charge 
of Egypt invited him and with him his sons to a feast; and then he 
piled the house round with brushwood and set it on fire: and Ses- 
ostris when he discovered this forthwith took counsel with his wife, 
for he was bringing with him (they said) his wife also; and she 
counselled him to lay out upon the pyre two of his sons, which 
were six in number, and so to make a bridge over the burning mass, 
and that they passing over their bodies should thus escape. This, 
they said, Sesostris did, and two of his sons were burnt to death in 
this manner, but the rest got away safe with their father. Then 
Sesostris, having returned to Egypt and having taken vengeance on 
his brother, employed the multitude which he had brought in of 
those whose lands he had subdued, as follows: — these were they 
who drew the stones which in the reign of this king were brought 
to the temple of Hephaistos, being of very great size; and also 
these were compelled to dig all the channels which now are in 
Egypt; and thus (having no such purpose) they caused Egypt, 
which before was all fit for riding and driving, to be no longer fit 
for this from thenceforth: for from that time forward Egypt, though 
it is plain land, has become all unfit for riding and driving, and 
the cause has been these channels, which are many and run in all 
directions. But the reason why the king cut up the land was this, 
namely because those of the Egyptians who had their cities not on 
the river but in the middle of the country, being in want of water 
when the river went down from them, found their drink brackish 
because they had it from wells. For this reason Egypt was cut up: 
and they said that this king distributed the land to all the Egyptians, 
giving an equal square portion to each man, and from this he made 
his revenue, having appointed them to pay a certain rent every year: 
and if the river should take away anything from any man's portion, 
he would come to the king and declare that which had happened, 


and the king used to send men to examine and to find out by 
measurement how much less the piece of land had become, in order 
that for the future the man might pay less, in proportion to the rent 
appointed: and I think that thus the art of geometry was found out 
and afterwards came into Hellas also. For as touching the sun-dial 
and the gnomon and the twelve divisions of the day, they were learnt 
by the Hellenes from the Babylonians. He moreover alone of all 
the Egyptian kings had rule over Ethiopia; and he left as memorials 
of himself, in front of the temple of Hephaistos, two stone statues 
of thirty cubits each, representing himself and his wife, and others 
of twenty cubits each, representing his four sons: and long afterwards 
the priest of Hephaistos refused to permit Dareios the Persian to 
set up a statue of himself in front of them, saying that deeds had not 
been done by him equal to those which were done by Sesostris the 
Egyptian; for Sesostris had subdued other nations besides, not fewer 
than he, and also the Scythians; but Dareios had not been able to 
conquer the Scythians: wherefore it was not just that he should set 
up a statue in front of those which Sesostris had dedicated, if he did 
not surpass him in his deeds. Which speech, they say, Dareios took 
in good part. 

Now after Sesostris had brought his life to an end, his son Pheros, 
they told me, received in succession the kingdom, and he made no 
warlike expedition, and moreover it chanced to him to become blind 
by reason of the following accident: — when the river had come 
down in flood rising to a height of eighteen cubits, higher than ever 
before that time, and had gone over the fields, a wind fell upon it 
and the river became agitated by waves: and this king (they say) 
moved by presumptuous folly took a spear and cast it into the midst 
of the eddies of the stream; and immediately upon this he had a 
disease of the eyes and was by it made blind. For ten years then he 
was blind, and in the eleventh year there came to him an oracle 
from the city of Buto saying that the time of his punishment had 
expired, and that he should see again if he washed his eyes with 
the water of a woman who had accompanied with her own husband 
only and had not had knowledge of other men: and first he made 
trial of his own wife, and then, as he continued blind, he went on 
to try all the women in turn; and when he had at last regained his 


sight he gathered together all the women of whom he had made 
trial, excepting her by whose means he had regained his sight, to 
one city which now is named Erythrabolos, and having gathered 
them to this he consumed them all by fire, as well as the city itself; 
but as for her by whose means he had regained his sight, he had her 
himself to wife. Then after he had escaped the malady of his eyes 
he dedicated offerings at each one of the temples which were of 
renown, and especially (to mention only that which is most worthy 
of mention) he dedicated at the temple of the Sun works which are 
worth seeing, namely two obelisks of stone, each of a single block, 
measuring in length a hundred cubits each one and in breadth eight 

After him, they said, there succeeded to the throne a man of 
Memphis, whose name in the tongue of the Hellenes was Proteus; 
for whom there is now a sacred enclosure at Memphis, very fair 
and well ordered, lying on that side of the temple of Hephaistos 
which faces the North Wind. Round about this enclosure dwell 
Phenicians of Tyre, and this whole region is called the Camp of the 
Tyrians. Within the enclosure of Proteus there is a temple called 
the temple of the "foreign Aphrodite," which temple I conjecture 
to be one of Helen the daughter of Tyndareus, not only because I 
have heard the tale how Helen dwelt with Proteus, but also espe- 
cially because it is called by the name of the "foreign Aphrodite," 
for the other temples of Aphrodite which there are have none of 
them the addition of the word "foreign" to the name. 

And the priests told me, when I inquired, that the things concern- 
ing Helen happened thus: — Alexander having carried off Helen was 
sailing away from Sparta to his own land, and when he had come to 
the Egean Sea contrary winds drove him from his course to the 
Sea of Egypt; and after that, since the blasts did not cease to blow, 
he came to Egypt itself, and in Egypt to that which is now named 
the Canobic mouth of the Nile and to Taricheiai. Now there was 
upon the shore, as still there is now, a temple of Heracles, in which 
if any man's slave take refuge and have the sacred marks set upon 
him, giving himself over to the god, it is not lawful to lay hands 
upon him; and this custom has continued still unchanged from the 
beginning down to my own time. Accordingly the attendants of 


Alexandria, having heard of the custom which existed about the 
temple, ran away from him, and sitting down as suppliants of the 
god, accused Alexander, because they desired to do him hurt, tell- 
ing the whole tale how things were about Helen and about the 
wrong done to Menelaos; and this accusation they made not only 
to the priests but also to the warden of this river-mouth, whose 
name was Thonis. Thonis then, having heard their tale, sent forth- 
with a message to Proteus at Memphis, which said as follows: 
"There hath come a stranger, a Teucrian by race, who hath done in 
Hellas an unholy deed; for he hath deceived the wife of his own 
host, and is come hither bringing with him this woman herself and 
very much wealth, having been carried out of his way by winds to 
thy land. Shall we then allow him to sail out unharmed, or shall 
we first take away from him that which he brought with him?" In 
reply to this Proteus sent back a messenger who said thus: "Seize 
this man, whosoever he may be, who has done impiety to his own 
host, and bring him away into my presence that I may know what 
he will find to say." Hearing this, Thonis seized Alexander and de- 
tained his ships, and after that he brought the man himself up to 
Memphis and with him Helen and the wealth he had, and also in 
addition to them the suppliants. So when all had been conveyed up 
thither, Proteus began to ask Alexander who he was and from 
whence he was voyaging; and he both recounted to him his descent 
and told him the name of his native land, and moreover related of 
his voyage, from whence he was sailing. After this Proteus asked 
him whence he had taken Helen; and when Alexander went astray 
in his account and did not speak the truth, those who had become 
suppliants convicted him of falsehood, relating in full the whole tale 
of the wrong done. At length Proteus declared to them this sen- 
tence, saying, "Were it not that I count it a matter of great moment 
not to slay any of those strangers who being driven from their course 
by winds have come to my land hitherto, I should have taken ven- 
geance on thee on behalf of the man of Hellas, seeing that thou, 
most base of men, having received from him hospitality, didst work 
against him a most impious deed. For thou didst go in to the wife 
of thine own host; and even this was not enough for thee, but thou 
didst stir her up with desire and hast gone away with her like a 


thief. Moreover not even this by itself was enough for thee, but 
thou art come hither with plunder taken from the house of thy host. 
Now therefore depart, seeing that I have counted it of great moment 
not to be a slayer of strangers. This woman indeed and the wealth 
which thou hast I will not allow thee to carry away, but I shall keep 
them safe for the Hellene who was thy host, until he come himself 
and desire to carry them off to his home; to thyself however and 
thy fellow-voyagers I proclaim that ye depart from your anchoring 
within three days and go from my land to some other; and if not, 
that ye will be dealt with as enemies." 

This the priests said was the manner of Helen's coming to Pro- 
teus; and I suppose that Homer also had heard this story, but since 
it was not so suitable to the composition of his poem as the other 
which he followed, he dismissed it finally, making it clear at the 
same time that he was acquainted with that story also: and accord- 
ing to the manner in which he described the wanderings of Alex- 
ander in the Iliad (nor did he elsewhere retract that which he had 
said) it is clear that when he brought Helen he was carried out of 
his course, wandering to various lands, and that he came among 
other places to Sidon in Phenicia. Of this the poet has made men- 
tion in the "prowess of Diomede," and the verses run thus: 

"There she had robes many-coloured, the works of women of Sidon, 
Those whom her son himself the god-like of form Alexander 
Carried from Sidon, what time the broad sea-path he sailed over 
Bringing back Helene home, of a noble father begotten." 

And in the Odyssey also he has made mention of it in these verses: 

"Such had the daughter of Zeus, such drugs of exquisite cunning. 
Good, which to her the wife of Thon, Polydamna, had given, 
Dwelling in Egypt, the land where the bountiful meadow produces 
Drugs more than all lands else, many good being mixed, many evil." 

And thus too Menelaos says to Telemachos: 

"Still the gods stayed me in Egypt, to come back hither desiring, 
Stayed me from voyaging home, since sacrifice due I performed not." 

In these lines he makes it clear that he knew of the wandering of 
Alexander to Egypt, for Syria borders upon Egypt and the Pheni- 


cians, of whom is Sidon, dwell in Syria. By these lines and by this 
passage it is also most clearly shown that the "Cyprian Epic" was not 
written by Homer but by some other man: for in this it is said that 
on the third day after leaving Sparta Alexander came to Ilion bring- 
ing with him Helen, having had a "gently-blowing wind and a 
smooth sea," whereas in the Iliad it says that he wandered from his 
course when he brought her. 

Let us now leave Homer and the "Cyprian Epic"; but this I will 
say, namely that I asked the priests whether it is but an idle tale 
which the Hellenes tell of that which they say happened about Ilion; 
and they answered me thus, saying that they had their knowledge 
by inquiries from Menelaos himself. After the rape of Helen there 
came indeed, they said, to the Teucrian land a large army of Hel- 
lenes to help Menelaos; and when the army had come out of the 
ships to land and had pitched its camp there, they sent messengers 
to Ilion, with whom went also Menelaos himself; and when these 
entered within the wall they demanded back Helen and the wealth 
which Alexander had stolen from Menelaos and had taken away; 
and moreover they demanded satisfaction for the wrongs done: and 
the Teucrians told the same tale then and afterwards, both with 
oath and without oath, namely that in deed and in truth they had 
not Helen nor the wealth for which demand was made, but that 
both were in Egypt; and that they could not justly be compelled to 
give satisfaction for that which Proteus the king of Egypt had. The 
Hellenes however thought that they were being mocked by them 
and besieged the city, until at last they took it; and when they had 
taken the wall and did not find Helen, but heard the same tale as 
before, then they believed the former tale and sent Menelaos him- 
self to Proteus. And Menelaos having come to Egypt and having 
sailed up to Memphis, told the truth of these matters, and not only 
found great entertainment, but also received Helen unhurt, and all 
his own wealth besides. Then, however, after he had been thus dealt 
with, Menelaos showed himself ungrateful to the Egyptians; for 
when he set forth to sail away, contrary winds detained him, and as 
this condition of things lasted long, he devised an impious deed; 
for he took two children of natives and made sacrifice of them. 
After this, when it was known that he had done so, he became 


abhorred, and being pursued he escaped and got away in his ships 
to Libya; but whither he went besides after this, the Egyptians 
were not able to tell. Of these things they said that they found out 
part by inquiries, and the rest, namely that which happened in their 
own land, they related from sure and certain knowledge. 

Thus the priests of the Egyptians told me; and I myself also 
agree with the story which was told of Helen, adding this con- 
sideration, namely that if Helen had been in Ilion she would have 
been given up to the Hellenes, whether Alexander consented or no; 
for Priam assuredly was not so mad, nor yet the others of his house, 
that they were desirous to run risk of ruin for themselves and their 
children and their city, in order that Alexander might have Helen 
as his wife: and even supposing that during the first part of the 
time they had been so inclined, yet when many others of the Trojans 
besides were losing their lives as often as they fought with the Hel- 
lenes, and of the sons of Priam himself always two or three or even 
more were slain when a battle took place (if one may trust at all 
to the Epic poets), — when, I say, things were coming thus to pass, 
I consider that even if Priam himself had had Helen as his wife, 
he would have given her back to the Achaians, if at least by so doing 
he might be freed from the evils which oppressed him. Nor even 
was the kingdom coming to Alexander next, so that when Priam 
was old the government was in his hands; but Hector, who was 
both older and more of a man than he, would certainly have re- 
ceived it after the death of Priam; and him it behoved not to allow 
his brother to go on with his wrong-doing, considering that great 
evils were coming to pass on his account both to himself privately 
and in general to the other Trojans. In truth however they lacked 
the power to give Helen back; and the Hellenes did not believe 
them, though they spoke the truth; because, as I declare my opinion, 
the divine power was purposing to cause them utterly to perish, 
and so make it evident to men that for great wrongs great also are 
the chastisements which come from the gods. And thus have I 
delivered my opinion concerning these matters. 

After Proteus, they told me, Rhampsinitos received in succession 
the kingdom, who left as a memorial of himself that gateway to 
the temple of Hephaistos which is turned towards the West, and 


in front of the gateway he set up two statues, in height five-and- 
twenty cubits, of which the one which stands on the North side is 
called by the Egyptians Summer and the one on the South side 
Winter; and to that one which they call Summer they do rever- 
ence and make offerings, while to the other which is called Winter 
they do the opposite of these things. This king, they said, got great 
wealth of silver, which none of the kings born after him could sur- 
pass or even come near to; and wishing to store his wealth in safety 
he caused to be built a chamber of stone one of the walls whereof 
was towards the outside of his palace: and rbe builder of this, having 
a design against it, contrived as follows, that is, he disposed one of 
the stones in such a manner that it could be taken out easily from 
the wall either by two men or even by one. So when the chamber 
was finished, the king stored his money in it, and after some time 
the builder, being near the end of his life, called to him his sons 
(for he had two) and to them he related how he had contrived in 
building the treasury of the king, and all in forethought for them, 
that they might have ample means of living. And when he had 
clearly set forth to them everything concerning the taking out of 
the stone, he gave them the measurements, saying that if they paid 
heed to this matter they would be stewards of the king's treasury. 
So he ended his life, and his sons made no long delay in setting to 
work, but went to the palace by night, and having found the stone 
in the wall of the chamber they dealt with it easily and carried forth 
for themselves great quantity of the wealth within. And the king 
happening to open the chamber, he marvelled when he saw the ves- 
sels falling short of the full amount, and he did not know on whom 
he should lay the blame, since the seals were unbroken and the cham- 
ber had been close shut; but when upon his opening the chamber a 
second and a third time the money was each time seen to be dimin- 
ished, for the thieves did not slacken in their assaults upon it, he 
did as follows: — having ordered traps to be made he set these round 
about the vessels in which the money was; and when the thieves had 
come as at former times and one of them had entered, then so soon 
as he came near to one of the vessels he was straightway caught in 
the trap: and when he perceived in what evil case he was, straight- 
way calling his brother he showed him what the matter was, and 


bade him enter as quickly as possible and cut oil his head, for fear 
lest being seen and known he might bring about the destruction 
of his brother also. And to the other it seemed that he spoke well, 
and he was persuaded and did so; and fitting the stone into its place 
he departed home bearing with him the head of his brother. Now 
when it became day, the king entered into the chamber and was 
very greatly amazed, seeing the body of the thief held in the trap 
without his head, and the chamber unbroken, with no way to come 
in by or go out: and being at a loss he hung up the dead body of 
the thief upon the wall and set guards there, with charge if they saw 
any one weeping or bewailing himself to seize him and bring him 
before the king. And when the dead body had been hung up, the 
mother was gready grieved, and speaking with the son who sur- 
vived she enjoined him, in whatever way he could, to contrive 
means by which he might take down and bring home the body of 
his brother; and if he should neglect to do this, she earnestly threat- 
ened that she would go and give information to the king that he 
had the money. So as the mother dealt hardly with the surviving 
son, and he though saying many things to her did not persuade her, 
he contrived for his purpose a device as follows: — Providing him- 
self with asses he filled some skins with wine and laid them upon 
the asses, and after that he drove them along: and when he came 
opjx)site to those who were guarding the corpse hung up, he drew 
towards him two or three of the necks of the skins and loosened the 
cords with which they were tied. Then when the wine was running 
out, he began to beat his head and cry out loudly, as if he did not 
know to which of the asses he should first turn; and when the 
guards saw the wine flowing out in streams, they ran together to 
the road with drinking vessels in their hands and collected the wine 
that was poured out, counting it so much gain; and he abused them 
all violently, making as if he were angry, but when the guards tried 
to appease him, after a time he feigned to be pacified and to abate 
his anger, and at length he drove his asses out of the road and began 
to set their loads right. Then more talk arose among them, and one 
or two of them made jests at him and brought him to laugh with 
them; and in the end he made them a present of one of the skins 
in addition to what they had. Upon that they lay down there with- 


out more ado, being minded to drink, and they took him into their 
company and invited him to remain with them and join them in 
their drinking: so he (as may be supposed) was persuaded and 
stayed. Then as they in their drinking bade him welcome in a 
friendly manner, he made a present to them also of another of the 
skins; and so at length having drunk liberally the guards became 
completely intoxicated; and being overcome by sleep they went to 
bed on the spot where they had been drinking. He then, as it was 
now far on in the night, first took down the body of his brother, 
and then in mockery shaved the right cheeks of all the guards; and 
after that he put the dead body upon the asses and drove them 
away home, having accomplished that which was enjoined him by 
his mother. Upon this the king, when it was reported to him that 
the dead body of the thief had been stolen away, displayed great 
anger; and desiring by all means that it should be found out who it 
might be who devised these things, did this (so at least they said, but 
I do not believe the account), — he caused his own daughter to sit in 
the stews, and enjoined her to receive all equally, and before having 
commerce with any one to compel him to tell her what was the 
most cunning and what was the most unholy deed which had been 
done by him in all his life-time; and whosoever should relate that 
which had happened about the thief, him she must seize and not let 
him go out. Then as she was doing that which was enjoined by her 
father, the thief, hearing for what purpose this was done and having 
a desire to get the better of the king in resource, did thus: — from the 
body of one lately dead he cut off the arm at the shoulder and went 
with it under his mantle: and having gone in to the daughter of 
the king, and being asked that which the others also were asked, he 
related that he had done the most unholy deed when he cut off the 
head of his brother, who had been caught in a trap in the king's 
treasure-chamber, and the most cunning deed in that he made drunk 
the guards and took down the dead body of his brother hanging 
up; and she when she heard it tried to take hold of him, but the thief 
held out to her in the darkness the arm of the corpse, which she 
grasped and held, thinking that she was holding the arm of the 
man himself; but the thief left it in her hands and departed, escap- 
ing through the door. Now when this also was reported to the king, 


he was at first amazed at the ready invention and daring of the 
fellow, and then afterwards he sent round to all the cities and made 
proclamation granting a free pardon to the thief, and also promising 
a great reward if he would come into his presence. The thief 
accordingly trusting to the proclamation came to the king, and 
Rhampsinitos greatly marvelled at him, and gave him this daughter 
of his to wife, counting him to be the most knowing of all men; 
for as the Egyptians were distinguished from all other men, so was 
he from the other Egyptians. 

After these things they said this king went down alive to that 
place which by the Hellenes is called Hades, and there played at 
dice with Demeter, and in some throws he overcame her and in 
others he was overcome by her; and he came back again having as 
a gift from her a handkerchief of gold: and they told me that, be- 
cause of the going down of Rhampsinitos, the Egyptians after he 
came back celebrated a feast, which I know of my own knowledge, 
also that they still observe even to my time; but whether it is for 
this cause that they keep the feast or for some other, I am not able to 
say. However, the priests weave a robe completely on the very day 
of the feast, and forthwith they bind up the eyes of one of them 
with a fillet, and having led him with the robe to the way by which 
one goes to the temple of Demeter, they depart back again them- 
selves. This priest, they say, with his eyes bound up is led by two 
wolves to the temple of Demeter, which is distant from the city 
twenty furlongs, and then afterwards the wolves lead him back again 
from the temple to the same spot. Now as to the tales told by the 
Egyptians, any man may accept them to whom such things appear 
credible; as for me, it is to be understood throughout the whole of 
the history that I write by hearsay that which is reported by the 
people in each place. The Egyptians say that Demeter and Dionysos 
are rulers of the world below; and the Egyptians are also the first 
who reported the doctrine that the soul of man is immortal, and 
that when the body dies, the soul enters into another creature which 
chances then to be coming to the birth, and when it has gone the 
round of all the creatures of land and sea and of the air, it enters 
again into a human body as it comes to the birth; and that it makes 
this round in a period of three thousand years. This doctrine cer- 


tain Hellenes adopted, some earlier and some later, as i£ it were of 
their own invention, and of these men I know the names but I 
abstain from recording them. 

Down to the time when Rhampsinitos was king, they told me 
there was in Egypt nothing but orderly rule, and Egypt prospered 
gready; but after him Cheops became king over them and brought 
them to every kind of evil: for he shut up all the temples, and 
having first kept them from sacrifices there, he then bade all the 
Egyptians work for him. So some were appointed to draw stones 
from the stone-quarries in the Arabian mountains to the Nile, and 
others he ordered to receive the stones after they had been carried 
over the river in boats, and to draw them to those which are called 
the Libyan mountains; and they worked by a hundred thousand 
men at a time, for each three months continually. Of this oppres- 
sion there passed ten years while the causeway was made by which 
they drew the stones, which causeway they built, and it is a work 
not much less, as it appears to me, than the pyramid; for the length 
of it is five furlongs and the breadth ten fathoms and the height, 
where it is highest, eight fathoms, and it is made of stone smoothed 
and with figures carved upon it. For this they said, the ten years 
were spent, and for the underground chambers on the hill upon 
which the pyramids stand, which he caused to be made as sepulchral 
chambers for himself in an island, having conducted thither a chan- 
nel from the Nile. For the making of the pyramid itself there passed 
a period of twenty years; and the pyramid is square, each side 
measuring eight hundred feet, and the height of it is the same. It is 
built of stone smoothed and fitted together in the most perfect man- 
ner, not one of the stones being less than thirty feet in length. This 
pyramid was made after the manner of steps, which some called 
"rows" and others "bases": and when they had first made it thus, 
they raised the remaining stones with machines made of short 
pieces of timber, raising them first from the ground to the first stage 
of the steps, and when the stone got up to this it was placed upon 
another machine standing on the first stage, and so from this it 
was drawn to the second upon another machine; for as many as w^ere 
the courses of the steps, so many machines there were also, or per- 
haps they transferred one and the same machine, made so as easily to 


be carried, to each stage successively, in order that they might take 
up the stones; for let it be told in both ways, according as it is 
reported. However that may be, the highest parts of it were finished 
first, and afterwards they proceeded to finish that which came next 
to them, and lastly they finished the parts of it near the ground and 
the lowest ranges. On the pyramid it is declared in Egyptian writing 
how much was spent on radishes and onions and leeks for the work- 
men, and if I righdy remember that which the interpreter said in 
reading to me this inscription, a sum of one thousand six hundred 
talents of silver was spent; and if this is so, how much besides is 
likely to have been expended upon the iron with which they worked, 
and upon bread and clothing for the workmen, seeing that they were 
building the works for the time which has been mentioned and were 
occupied for no small time besides, as I suppose, in the cutting and 
bringing of the stones and in working at the excavation under the 
ground? Cheops moreover came, they said, to such a pitch of 
wickedness, that being in want of money he caused his own daughter 
to sit in the stews, and ordered her to obtain from those who came 
a certain amount of money (how much it was they did not tell me) ; 
and she not only obtained the sum appointed by her father, but 
also she formed a design for herself privately to leave behind her a 
memorial, and she requested each man who came in to her to give 
her one stone upon her building: and of these stones, they told me, 
the pyramid was built which stands in front of the great pyramid 
in the middle of the three, each side being one hundred and fifty 
feet in length. 

This Cheops, the Egyptians said, reigned fifty years; and after 
he was dead his brother Chephren succeeded to the kingdom. This 
king followed the same manner of dealing as the other, both in all 
the rest and also in that he made a pyramid, not indeed attaining to 
the measurements of that which was built by the former (this I 
know, having myself also measured it), and moreover there are no 
underground chambers beneath nor does a channel come from the 
Nile flowing to this one as to the other, in which the water com- 
ing through a conduit built for it flows round an island within, 
where they say that Cheops himself is laid: but for a basement he 
built the first course of Ethiopian stone of divers colours; and this 


pyramid he made forty feet lower than the other as regards size, 
building it close to the great pyramid. These stand both upon the 
same hill, which is about a hundred feet high. And Chephren, they 
said, reigned fifty and six years. Here then they reckon one hundred 
and six years, during which they say that there was nothing but 
evil for the Egyptians, and the temples were kept closed and not 
opened during all that time. These kings the Egyptians by reason 
of their hatred of them are not very willing to name; nay, they even 
call the pyramids after the name of Philitis the shepherd, who at 
that time pastured flocks in those regions. After him, they said, 
Mykerinos became king over Egypt, who was the son of Cheops; 
and to him his father's deeds were displeasing, and he both opened 
the temples and gave liberty to the people, who were ground down 
to the last extremity of evil, to return to their own business and to 
their sacrifices: also he gave decisions of their causes juster than those 
of all the other kings besides. In regard to this then they commend 
this king more than all the other kings who had arisen in Egypt 
before him; for he not only gave good decisions, but also when a 
man complained of the decision, he gave him recompense from his 
own goods and thus satisfied his desire. But while Mykerinos was 
acting mercifully to his subjects and practising this conduct which 
has been said, calamities befell him, of which the first was this, 
namely that his daughter died, the only child whom he had in his 
house: and being above measure grieved by that which had befallen 
him, and desiring to bury his daughter in a manner more remarkable 
than others, he made a cow of wood, which he covered over with 
gold, and then within it he buried this daughter who, as I said, had 
died. This cow was not covered up in the ground, but it might be 
seen even down to my own time in the city of Sais, placed within 
the royal palace in a chamber which was greatly adorned; and they 
offer incense of all kinds before it every day, and each night a lamp 
burns beside it all through the night. Near this cow in another 
chamber stand images of the concubines of Mykerinos, as the priests 
at Sai's told me; for there are in fact colossal wooden statues, in 
number about twenty, made with naked bodies; but who they are 
I am not able to say, except only that which is reported. Some how- 
ever tell about this cow and the colossal statues the following tale, 


namely that Mykerinos was enamoured of his own daughter and 
afterwards ravished her; and upon this they say that the girl 
strangled herself for grief, and he buried her in this cow; and her 
mother cut off the hands of the maids who had betrayed the daugh- 
ter to her father; wherefore now the images of them have suf- 
fered that which the maids suffered in their life. In thus saying 
they speak idly, as it seems to me, especially in what they say about 
the hands of the statues; for as to this, even we ourselves saw that 
their hands had dropped off from lapse of time, and they were to 
be seen still lying at their feet even down to my time. The cow is 
covered up with a crimson robe, except only the head and the neck, 
which are seen, overlaid with gold very thickly; and between the 
horns there is the disc of the sun figured in gold. The cow is not 
standing up but kneeling, and in size it is equal to a large living 
cow. Every year it is carried forth from the chamber, at those times, 
I say, the Egyptians beat themselves for that god whom I will not 
name upon occasion of such a matter; at these times, I say, they also 
carry forth the cow to the light of day, for they say that she asked 
of her father Mykerinos, when she was dying, that she might look 
upon the sun once in the year. 

After the misfortune of his daughter it happened, they said, sec- 
ondly to the king as follows: — An oracle came to him from the city 
of Buto, saying that he was destined to live but six years more, in the 
seventh year to end his life: and he being indignant at it sent to the 
Oracle a reproach against the god, making complaint in reply that 
whereas his father and uncle, who had shut up the temples, and had 
not only not remembered the gods, but also had been destroyers of 
men, had lived for a long time, he himself, who practised piety, was 
destined to end his life so soon: and from the Oracle there came a 
second message, which said that it was for this very cause that he 
was bringing his life to a swift close; for he had not done that which 
it was appointed for him to do, since it was destined that Egypt 
should suffer evils for a hundred and fifty years, and the two kings 
who had arisen before him had perceived this, but he had not. 
Mykerinos having heard this, and considering that this sentence had 
passed upon him beyond recall, procured many lamps, and when- 
ever night came on he lighted these and began to drink and take his 


pleasure, ceasing neither by day nor by night; and he went about 
to the fen-country and to the woods and wherever he heard there 
were the most suitable places of enjoyment. This he devised (having 
a mind to prove that the Oracle spoke falsely) in order that he might 
have twelve years of life instead of six, the nights being turned into 

This king also left behind him a pyramid, much smaller than 
that of his father, of a square shape and measuring on each side three 
hundred feet lacking twenty, built moreover of Ethiopian stone up 
to half the height. This pyramid some of the Hellenes say was 
built by the courtesan Rhodopis, not therein speaking righdy: and 
besides this it is evident to me that they who speak thus do not even 
know who Rhodopis was, for otherwise they would not have attrib- 
uted to her the building of a pyramid like this, on which have been 
spent (so to speak) innumerable thousands of talents: moreover they 
do not know that Rhodopis flourished in the reign of Amasis, and 
not in this king's reign; for Rhodopis lived very many years later 
than the kings who left behind them these pyramids. By descent she 
was of Thrace, and she was a slave of ladmon the son of Hephais- 
topolis a Samian, and a fellow-slave of Esop the maker of fables; 
for he too was once the slave of ladmon, as was proved especially 
by this fact, namely that when the people of Delphi repeatedly made 
proclamation in accordance with an oracle, to find some one who 
would take up the blood-money for the death of Esop, no one else 
appeared, but at length the grandson of ladmon, called ladmon also, 
took it up; and thus it is shown that Esop too was the slave of 
ladmon. As for Rhodopis, she came to Egypt brought by Xanthes 
the Samian, and having come thither to exercise her calling she was 
redeemed from slavery for a great sum by a man of Mytilene, 
Charaxos son of Scamandronymos and brother of Sappho the lyric 
poet. Thus was Rhodopis set free, and she remained in Egypt and 
by her beauty won so much liking that she made great gain of 
money for one like Rhodopis, though not enough to suffice for the 
cost of such a pyramid as this. In truth there is no need to ascribe 
to her very great riches, considering that the tithe of her wealth may 
still be seen even to this time by any one who desires it: for Rhodopis 
wished to leave behind her a memorial of herself in Hellas, namely 


to cause a thing to be made such as happens not to have been 
thought of or dedicated in a temple by any besides, and to dedicate 
this at Delphi as a memorial of herself. Accordingly with the tithe 
of her wealth she caused to be made spits of iron of size large enough 
to pierce a whole ox, and many in number, going as far therein as 
her tithe allowed her, and she sent them to Delphi: these are even at 
the present time lying there, heaped all together behind the altar 
which the Chians dedicated, and just opposite to the cell of the 
temple. Now at Naucratis, as it happens, the courtesans are rather 
apt to win credit; for this woman first, about whom the story to 
which I refer is told, became so famous that all the Hellenes with- 
out exception came to know the name of Rhodopis, and then after 
her one whose name was Archidiche became a subject of song all 
over Hellas, though she was less talked of than the other. As for 
Charaxos, when after redeeming Rhodopis he returned back to 
Mytilene, Sappho in an ode violently abused him. Of Rhodopis 
then I shall say no more. 

After Mykerinos the priests said Asychis became king of Egypt, 
and he made for Hephaistos the temple gateway which is towards 
the sunrising, by far the most beautiful and the largest of the gate- 
ways; for while they all have figures carved upon them and innu- 
merable ornaments of building besides, this has them very much 
more than the rest. In this king's reign they told me that, as the 
circulation of money was very slow, a law was made for the Egyp- 
tians that a man might have that money lent to him which he 
needed, by offering as security the dead body of his father; and 
there was added moreover to this law another, namely that he who 
lent the money should have a claim also to the whole of the sepul- 
chral chamber belonging to him who received it, and that the man 
who offered that security should be subject to this penalty, if he 
refused to pay back the debt, namely that neither the man himself 
should be allowed to have burial, when he died, either in that family 
burial-place or in any other, nor should he be allowed to bury any 
of his kinsmen whom he lost by death. This king desiring to sur- 
pass the kings of Egypt who had arisen before him left as a memorial 
of himself a pyramid which he made of bricks, and on it there is an 
inscription carved in stone and saying thus: "Despise not me in com- 


parison with the pyramids of stone, seeing that I excel them as much 
as Zeus excels the other gods; for with a pole they struck into the lake, 
and whatever of the mud attached itself to the pole, this they 
gathered up and made bricks, and in such manner they finished me." 
Such were the deeds which this king performed: and after him 
reigned a blind man of the city of Anysis, whose name was Anysis. 
In his reign the Ethiopians and Sabacos the king of the Ethiopians 
marched upon Egypt with a great host of men; so this blind man 
departed, flying to the fen-country, and the Ethiopian was king over 
Egypt for fifty years, during which he performed deeds as follows : — 
whenever any man of the Egyptians committed any transgression, 
he would never put him to death, but he gave sentence upon each 
man according to the greatness of the wrong-doing, appointing them 
to work at throwing up an embankment before that city from 
whence each man came of those who committed wrong. Thus the 
cities were made higher still than before; for they were embanked 
first by those who dug the channels in the reign of Sesostris, and 
then secondly in the reign of the Ethiopian, and thus they were 
made very high: and while other cities in Egypt also stood high, I 
think in the town at Bubastis especially the earth was piled up. In 
this city there is a temple very well worthy of mention, for though 
there are other temples which are larger and built with more cost, 
none more than this is a pleasure to the eyes. Now Bubastis in the 
Hellenic tongue is Artemis, and her temple is ordered thus: — Ex- 
cept the entrance it is completely surrounded by water; for channels 
come in from the Nile, not joining one another, but each extending 
as far as the entrance of the temple, one flowing round on the one 
side and the other on the other side, each a hundred feet broad 
and shaded over with trees; and the gateway has a height of ten 
fathoms, and it is adorned with figures six cubits high, very note- 
worthy. This temple is in the middle of the city and is looked down 
upon from all sides as one goes round, for since the city has been 
banked up to a height, while the temple had not been moved from 
the place where it was at the first built, it is possible to look down 
into it: and round it runs a stone wall with figures carved upon it, 
while within it there is a grove of very large trees planted round a 
large temple-house, within which is the image of the goddess: and 


the breadth and length of the temple is a furlong every way. Oppo- 
site the entrance there is a road paved with stone for about three 
furlongs, which leads through the market-place towards the East, 
with a breadth of about four hundred feet; and on this side and on 
that grow trees of height reaching to heaven: and the road leads 
to the temple of Hermes. This temple then is thus ordered. 

The final deliverance from the Ethiopian came about (they said) 
as follows: — he fled away because he had seen in his sleep a vision, 
in which it seemed to him that a man came and stood by him and 
counselled him to gather together all the priests in Egypt and cut 
them asunder in the midst. Having seen this dream, he said that it 
seemed to him that the gods were foreshowing him this to furnish 
an occasion against him, in order that he might do an impious deed 
with respect to religion, and so receive some evil either from the 
gods or from men: he would not however do so, but in truth (he 
said) the time had expired, during which it had been prophesied to 
him that he should rule Egypt before he departed thence. For when 
he was in Ethiopia the Oracles which the Ethiopians consult had 
told him that it was fated for him to rule Egypt fifty years: since 
then this time was now expiring, and the vision of the dream also 
disturbed him, Sabacos departed out of Egypt of his own free will. 

Then when the Ethiopian had gone away out of Egypt, the blind 
man came back from the fen-country and began to rule again, having 
lived there during fifty years upon an island which he had made by 
heaping up ashes and earth: for whenever any of the Egyptians 
visited him bringing food, according as it had been appointed to 
them severally to do without the knowledge of the Ethiopian, he 
bade them bring also some ashes for their gift. This island none was 
able to find before Amyrtaios; that is, for more than seven hundred 
years the kings who arose before Amyrtaios were not able to find it. 
Now the name of this island is Elbo, and its size is ten furlongs 
each way. 

After him there came to the throne the priest of Hephaistos, 
whose name was Sethos. This man, they said, neglected and held in 
no regard the warrior class of the Egyptians, considering that he 
would have no need of them; and besides other slights which he 
put upon them, he also took from them the yokes of corn-land which 


had been given to them as a special gift in the reigns of the former 
kings, twelve yokes to each man. After this, Sanacharib king of 
the Arabians and of the Assyrians marched a great host against 
Egypt. Then the warriors of the Egyptians refused to come to the 
rescue, and the priest, being driven into a strait, entered into the 
sanctuary of the temple and bewailed to the image of the god the 
danger which was impending over him; and as he was thus lament- 
ing, sleep came upon him, and it seemed to him in his vision that 
the god came and stood by him and encouraged him, saying that he 
should suffer no evil if he went forth to meet the army of the Arabi- 
ans; for he would himself send him helpers. Trusting in these 
things seen in sleep, he took with him, they said, those of the Egyp- 
tians who were willing to follow him, and encamped in Pelusion, 
for by this way the invasion came: and not one of the warrior class 
followed him, but shop-keepers and artisans and men of the market. 
Then after they came, there swarmed by night upon their enemies 
mice of the fields, and ate up their quivers and their bows, and 
moreover the handles of their shields, so that on the next day they 
fled, and being without defence of arms great numbers fell. And 
at the present time this king stands in the temple of Hephaistos in 
stone, holding upon his hand a mouse, and by letters inscribed he 
says these words: "Let him who looks upon me learn to fear 
the gods." 

So far in the story the Egyptians and the priests were they who 
made the report, declaring that from the first king down to this 
priest of Hephaistos who reigned last, there had been three hundred 
and forty-one generations of men, and that in them there had been 
the same number of chief -priests and of kings: but three hundred 
generations of men are equal to ten thousand years, for a hundred 
years is three generations of men; and in the one-and-forty genera- 
tions which remain, those I mean which were added to the three 
hundred, there are one thousand three hundred and forty years. 
Thus in the period of eleven thousand three hundred and forty years 
they said that there had arisen no god in human form; nor even 
before that time or afterwards among the remaining kings who arose 
in Egypt, did they report that anything of that kind had come to 
pass. In this time they said that the sun had moved four times 


from his accustomed place of rising, and where he now sets he had 
thence twice had his rising, and in the place from whence he now 
rises he had twice had his setting; and in the meantime nothing in 
Egypt had been changed from its usual state, neither that which 
comes from the earth nor that which comes to them from the river 
nor that which concerns diseases or deaths. And formerly when 
Hecataios the historian was in Thebes, and had traced his descent 
and connected his family with a god in the sixteenth generation 
before, the priests of Zeus did for him much the same as they did 
for me (though I had not traced my descent) . They led me into the 
sanctuary of the temple, which is of great size, and they counted up 
the number, showing colossal wooden statues in number the same 
as they said; for each chief -priest there sets up in his lifetime an 
image of himself: accordingly the priests, counting and showing 
me these, declared to me that each one of them was a son succeeding 
his own father, and they went up through the series of images from 
the image of the one who had died last, until they had declared this 
of the whole number. And when Hecataios had traced his descent 
and connected his family with a god in the sixteenth generation, 
they traced a descent in opposition to his, besides their numbering, 
not accepting it from him that a man had been born from a god; 
and they traced their counter-descent thus, saying that each one of 
the statues had been piromis son of piromis, until they had declared 
this of the whole three hundred and forty-five statues, each one 
being surnamed piromis; and neither with a god nor a hero did they 
connect their descent. Now piromis means in the tongue of Hellas 
"honourable and good man." From their declaration then it fol- 
lowed, that they of whom the images were had been of form like 
this, and far removed from being gods: but in the time before these 
men they said that gods were the rulers in Egypt, not mingling with 
men, and that of these always one had power at a time; and the 
last of them who was king over Egypt was Oros the son of Osiris, 
whom the Hellenes call Apollo: he was king over Egypt last, having 
deposed Typhpn. Now Osiris in the tongue of Hellas is Dionysos. 
Among the Hellenes Heracles and Dionysos and Pan are ac- 
counted the latest-born of the gods; but with the Egyptians Pan is 
a very ancient god, and he is one of those which are called the eight 


gods, while Heracles is of the second rank, who are called the twelve 
gods, and Dionysos is of the third rank, namely of those who were 
born of the twelve gods. Now as to Heracles I have shown already 
how many years old he is according to the Egyptians themselves, 
reckoning down to the reign of Amasis, and Pan is said to have 
existed for yet more years than these, and Dionysos for the smallest 
number of years as compared with the others; and even for this last 
they reckon down to the reign of Amasis fifteen thousand years. 
This the Egyptians say that they know for a certainty, since they 
always kept a reckoning and wrote down the years as they came. 
Now the Dionysos who is said to have been born of Semele the 
daughter of Cadmos, was born about sixteen hundred years before 
my time, and Heracles who was the son of Alcmene, about nine 
hundred years, and that Pan who was born of Penelope, for of her 
and of Hermes Pan is said by the Hellenes to have been born, came 
into being later than the wars of Troy, about eight hundred years 
before my time. Of these two accounts every man may adopt that 
one which he shall find the more credible when he hears it. I how- 
ever, for my part, have already declared my opinion about them. For 
if these also, like Heracles the son of Amphitryon, had appeared 
before all men's eyes and had lived their lives to old age in Hellas, 
I mean Dionysos the son of Semele and Pan the son of Penelope, 
then one would have said that these also had been born mere men, 
having the names of those gods who had come into being long be- 
fore: but as it is, with regard to Dionysos, the Hellenes say that as 
soon as he was born Zeus sewed him up in his thigh and carried 
him to Nysa, which is above Egypt in the land of Ethiopia; and as 
to Pan, they cannot say whither he went after he was born. Hence 
it has become clear to me that the Hellenes learnt the names of 
these gods later than those of the other gods, and trace their descent 
as if their birth occurred at the time when they first learnt their 

Thus far then the history is told by the Egyptians themselves; 
but I will now recount that which other nations also tell, and the 
Egyptians in agreement with the others, of that which happened in 
ithis land: and there will be added to this also something of that 
which I have myself seen. 


Being set free after the reign of the priest of Hephaistos, the 
Egyptians, since they could not live any time without a king, set 
up over them twelve kings, having divided all Egypt into twelve 
parts. These made intermarriages with one another and reigned, 
making agreement that they would not put down one another by 
force, nor seek to get an advantage over one another, but would live 
in perfect friendship: and the reason why they made these agree- 
ments, guarding them very strongly from violation, was this, namely 
that an oracle had been given to them at first when they began to 
exercise their rule, that he of them who should pour a libation with 
a bronze cup in the temple of Hephaistos, should be king of all 
Egypt (for they used to assemble together in all the temples). More- 
over they resolved to join all together and leave a memorial of them- 
selves; and having so resolved they caused to be made a labyrinth, 
situated a little above the lake of Moiris and nearly opposite to that 
which is called the City of Crocodiles. This I saw myself, and I 
found it greater than words can say. For if one should put together 
and reckon up all the buildings and all the great works produced 
by Hellenes, they would prove to be inferior in labour and expense 
to this labyrinth, though it is true that both the temple at Ephesos 
and that at Samos are works worthy of note. The pyramids also 
were greater than words can say, and each one of them is equal to 
many vrorks of the Hellenes, great as they may be; but the labyrinth 
surpasses even the pyramids. It has twelve courts covered in, with 
gates facing one another, six upon the North side and six upon the 
South, joining on one to another, and the same wall surrounds them 
all outside; and there are in it two kinds of chambers, the one kind 
below the ground and the other above upon these, three thousand 
in number, of each kind fifteen hundred. The upper set of cham- 
bers we ourselves saw, going through them, and we tell of them 
having looked upon them with our own eyes; but the chambers 
under ground we heard about only; for the Egyptians who had 
charge of them were not willing on any account to show them, 
saying that here were the sepulchres of the kings who had first built 
this labyrinth and of the sacred crocodiles. Accordingly we speak 
of the chambers below by what we received from hearsay, while 
those above we saw ourselves and found them to be works of more 


than human greatness. For the passages through the chambers, and 
the goings this way and that way through the courts, which were 
admirably adorned, afforded endless matter for marvel, as we went 
through from a court to the chambers beyond it, and from the cham- 
bers to colonnades, and from the colonnades to other rooms, and 
then from the chambers again to other courts. Over the whole of 
these is a roof made of stone like the walls; and the walls are cov- 
ered with figures carved upon them, each court being surrounded 
with pillars of white stone fitted together most perfectly; and at 
the end of the labyrinth, by the corner of it, there is a pyramid of 
forty fathoms, upon which large figures are carved, and to this there 
is a way made under ground. 

Such is this labyrinth: but a cause for marvel even greater than 
this is afforded by the lake, which is called the lake of Moiris, along 
the side of which this labyrinth is built. The measure of its cir- 
cuit is three thousand six hundred furlongs (being sixty schoines), 
and this is the same number of furlongs as the extent of Egypt itself 
along the sea. The lake lies extended lengthwise from North to 
South, and in depth where it is deepest it is fifty fathoms. That this 
lake is artificial and formed by digging is self-evident, for about in 
the middle of the lake stand two pyramids, each rising above the 
water to a height of fifty fathoms, the part which is built below the 
water being of just the same height; and upon each is placed a 
colossal statue of stone sitting upon a chair. Thus the pyramids are 
a hundred fathoms high; and these hundred fathoms are equal to 
a furlong of six hundred feet, the fathom being measured as six feet 
or four cubits, the feet being four palms each, and the cubits six. 
The water in the lake does not come from the place where it is, 
for the country there is very deficient in water, but it has been 
brought thither from the Nile by a canal; and for six months the 
water flows into the lake, and for six months out into the Nile again; 
and whenever it flows out, then for the six months it brings into 
the royal treasury a talent of silver a day from the fish which are 
caught, and twenty pounds when the water comes in. The natives 
of the place moreover said that this lake had an outlet under ground 
to the Syrtis which is in Libya, turning towards the interior of the 
continent upon the Western side and running along by the moun- 


tain which is above Memphis. Now since I did not see anywhere 
existing the earth dug out of this excavation (for that was a matter 
which drew my attention), I asked those who dwelt nearest to the 
lake where the earth was which had been dug out. These told me to 
what place it had been carried away; and I readily believed them, 
for I knew by report that a similar thing had been done at Nineveh, 
the city of the Assyrians. There certain thieves formed a design 
once to carry away the wealth of Sardanapallos son of Ninos, the 
king, which wealth was very great and was kept in treasure-houses 
under the earth. Accordingly they began from their own dwelling, 
and making estimate of their direction they dug under ground 
towards the king's palace; and the earth which was brought out of 
the excavation they used to carry away, when night came on, to the 
river Tigris which flows by the city of Nineveh, until at last they 
accomplished that which they desired. Similarly, as I heard, the 
digging of the lake in Egypt was effected, except that it was done 
not by night but during the day; for as they dug the Egyptians 
carried to the Nile the earth which was dug out; and the river, when 
it received it, would naturally bear it away and disperse it. Thus 
is this lake said to have been dug out. 

Now the twelve kings continued to rule justly, but in course of 
time it happened thus: — After sacrifice in the temple of Hephaistos 
they were about to make libation on the last day of the feast, and 
the chief-priest, in bringing out for them the golden cups with which 
they had been wont to pour libations, missed his reckoning and 
brought eleven only for the twelve kings. Then that one of them 
who was standing last in order, namely Psammetichos, since he had 
no cup took off from his head his helmet, which was of bronze, and 
having held it out to receive the wine he proceeded to make libation: 
likewise all the other kings were wont to wear helmets and they 
happened to have them then. Now Psammetichos held out his 
helmet with no treacherous meaning; but they taking note of that 
which had been done by Psammetichos and of the oracle, namely 
how it had been declared to them that whosoever of them should 
make libation with a bronze cup should be sole king of Egypt, recol- 
lecting, I say, the saying of the Oracle, they did not indeed deem it 
right to slay Psammetichos, since they found by examination that 


he had not done it with any forethought, but they determined to 
strip him of almost all his power and to drive him away into the 
fen-country, and that from the fen-country he should not hold any 
dealings with the rest of Egypt. This Psammetichos had formerly 
been a fugitive from the Ethiopian Sabacos who had killed his father 
Necos, from him, I say, he had then been a fugitive in Syria; and 
when the Ethiopian had departed in consequence of the vision of 
the dream, the Egyptians who were of the district of Sai's brought 
him back to his own country. Then afterwards, when he was king, 
it was his fate to be a fugitive a second time on account of the hel- 
met, being driven by the eleven kings into the fen-country. So then 
holding that he had been grievously wronged by them, he thought 
how he might take vengeance on those who had driven him out: 
and when he had sent to the Oracle of Leto in the city of Buto, 
where the Egyptians have their most truthful Oracle, there was 
given to him the reply that vengeance would come when men of 
bronze appeared from the sea. And he was strongly disposed not to 
believe that bronze men would come to help him; but after no long 
time had passed, certain lonians and Carians who had sailed forth 
for plunder were compelled to come to shore in Egypt, and they 
having landed and being clad in bronze armour, one of the Egyp- 
tians, not having before seen men clad in bronze armour, came to 
the fen-land and brought a report to Psammetichos that bronze men 
had come from the sea and were plundering the plain. So he, per- 
ceiving that the saying of the Oracle was coming to pass, dealt in 
a friendly manner with the lonians and Carians, and with large 
promises he persuaded them to take his part. Then when he had 
persuaded them, with the help of those Egyptians who favoured 
his cause and of these foreign mercenaries, he overthrew the kings. 
Having thus got power over all Egypt, Psammetichos made for 
Hephaistos that gateway of the temple at Memphis which is turned 
towards the South Wind; and he built a court for Apis, in which 
Apis is kept when he appears, opposite to the gateway of the tem- 
ple, surrounded all with pillars and covered with figures; and 
instead of columns there stand to support the roof of the court co- 
lossal statues twelve cubits high. Now Apis is in the tongue of the 
Hellenes Epaphos. To the lonians and to the Carians who had 


helped him Psammetichos granted portions of land to dwell in, 
opposite to one another with the river Nile between, and these were 
called "Encampments"; these portions of land he gave them, and 
he paid them besides all that he had promised : moreover he placed 
with them Egyptian boys to have them taught the Hellenic tongue; 
and from these, who learnt the language thoroughly, are descended 
the present class of interpreters in Egypt. Now the lonians and 
Carians occupied these portions of land for a long time, and they are 
towards the sea a little below the city of Bubastis, on that which is 
called the Pelusian mouth of the Nile. These men king Amasis 
afterwards removed from thence and established them at Memphis, 
making them into a guard for himself against the Egyptians: and 
they being settled in Egypt, we who are Hellenes know by inter- 
course with them the certainty of all that which happened in Egypt 
beginning from king Psammetichos and afterwards; for these were 
the first men of foreign tongue who settled in Egypt: and in the 
land from which they were removed there still remained down to 
my time the sheds where their ships were drawn up and the ruins 
of their houses. 

Thus then Psammetichos obtained Egypt: and of the Oracle 
which is in Egypt I have made mention often before this, and now 
I will give an account of it, seeing that it is worthy to be de- 
scribed. This Oracle which is in Egypt is sacred to Leto, and it is 
established in a great city near that mouth of the Nile which is 
called Sebennytic, as one sails up the river from the sea; and the 
name of this city where the Oracle is found is Buto, as I have said 
before in mentioning it. In this Buto there is a temple of Apollo 
and Artemis; and the temple-house of Leto, in which the Oracle 
is, is both great in itself and has a gateway of the height of ten 
fathoms: but that which caused me most to marvel of the things 
to be seen there, I will now tell. There is in this sacred enclosure 
a house of Leto made of one single stone as regards both height 
and length, and of which all the walls are in these two directions 
equal, each being forty cubits; and for the covering in of the roof 
there lies another stone upon the top, the cornice measuring four 
cubits. This house then of all the things that were to be seen by 
me in that temple is the most marvellous, and among those which 


come next in the island called Chemmis. This is situated in a deep 
and broad lake by the side of the temple at Buto, and it is said by the 
Egyptians that this island is a floating island. I myself did not see 
it either floating about or moved from its place, and I feel surprise 
at hearing of it, wondering if it be indeed a floating island. In 
this island of which I speak there is a great temple-house of Apollo, 
and three several altars are set up within, and there are planted in 
the island many palm-trees and other trees, both bearing fruit and 
not bearing fruit. And the Egyptians, when they say that it is 
floating, add this story, namely that in this island, which formerly 
was not floating, Leto, being one of the eight gods who came into 
existence first, and dwelling in the city of Buto where she has this 
Oracle received Apollo from Isis as a charge and preserved him, 
concealing him in the island which is said now to be a floating 
island, at that time when Typhon came after him seeking every- 
where and desiring to find the son of Osiris. Now they say that 
Apollo and Artemis are children of Dionysos and of Isis, and that 
Leto became their nurse and preserver; and in the Egyptian tongue 
Apollo is Oros, Demeter is Isis, and Artemis is Bubastis. From this 
story and from no other ^schylus the son of Euphorion took this 
which I shall say, wherein he differs from all the preceding poets; 
he represented namely that Artemis was the daughter of Demeter, 
For this reason then, they say, it became a floating island. 

Such is the story which they tell; but as for Psammetichos, he 
was king over Egypt for four-and-fifty years, of which for thirty 
years save one he was sitting before Azotos, a great city of Syria, 
besieging it, until at last he took it: and this Azotos of all cities 
about which we have knowledge held out for the longest time under 
a siege. 

The son of Psammetichos was Necos, and he became king of 
Egypt. This man was the first who attempted the channel leading 
to the Erythraian Sea, which Dareios the Persian afterwards com- 
pleted: the length of this is a voyage of four days, and in breadth 
it was so dug that two triremes could go side by side driven by 
oars; and the water is brought into it from the Nile. The channel 
is conducted a little above the city of Bubastis by Patumos the 
Arabian city, and runs into the Erythraian Sea: and it is dug first 


along those parts of the plain of Egypt which lie towards Arabia, 
just above which run the mountains which extend opposite Mem- 
phis, where are the stone-quarries, — along the base of these moun- 
tains the channel is conducted from West to East for a great way; 
and after that it is directed towards a break in the hills and tends 
from these mountains towards the noon-day and the South Wind 
to the Arabian gulf. Now in the place where the journey is least 
and shortest from the Northern to the Southern Sea (which is also 
called Erythraian), that is from Mount Casion, which is the bound- 
ary between Egypt and Syria, the distance is exactly a thousand fur- 
longs to the Arabian gulf; but the channel is much longer, since it 
is more winding; and in the reign of Necos there perished while 
digging it twelve myriads of the Egyptians. Now Necos ceased in 
the midst of his digging, because the utterance of an Oracle im- 
peded him, which was to the effect that he was working for the 
Barbarian: and the Egyptians call all men Barbarians who do not 
agree with them in speech. Thus having ceased from the work of 
the channel, Necos betook himself to waging wars, and triremes 
were built by him, some for the Northern Sea and others in the 
Arabian gulf for the Erythraian Sea; and of these the sheds are 
still to be seen. These ships he used when he needed them; and 
also on land Necos engaged battle at Magdolos with the Syrians, 
and conquered them; and after this he took Cadytis, which is a 
great city of Syria: and the dress which he wore when he made 
these conquests he dedicated to Apollo, sending it to Branchidai of 
the Milesians. After this, having reigned in all sixteen years, he 
brought his life to an end, and handed on the kingdom to Psammis 
his son. 

While this Psammis was king of Egypt, there came to him men 
sent by the Eleians, who boasted that they ordered the contest at 
Olympia in the most just and honourable manner possible and 
thought that not even the Egyptians, the wisest of men, could find 
out anything besides, to be added to their rules. Now when the 
Eleians came to Egypt and said that for which they had come, then 
this king called together those of the Egyptians who were reputed 
the wisest, and when the Egyptians had come together they heard 
the Eleians tell of all that which it was their part to do in regard 

EGYPT 8 1 

to the contest; and when they had related everything, they said that 
they had come to learn in addition anything which the Egyptians 
might be able to find out besides, which was juster than this. They 
then having consulted together asked the Eleians whether their own 
citizens took part in the contest; and they said that it was permitted 
to any one who desired it, both of their own people and of the other 
Hellenes equally, to take part in the contest: upon which the Egyp- 
tians said that in so ordering the games they had wholly missed 
the mark of justice; for it could not be but that they would take 
part with the man of their own State, if he was contending, and so 
act unfairly to the stranger: but if they really desired, as they said, 
to order the games jusdy, and if this was the cause for which they 
had come to Egypt, they advised them to order the contest so as to 
be for strangers alone to contend in, and that no Eleian should be 
permitted to contend. Such was the suggestion made by the Egyp- 
tians to the Eleians. 

When Psammis had been king of Egypt for only six years and 
had made an expedition to Ethiopia and immediately afterwards 
had ended his life, Apries the son of Psammis received the king- 
dom in succession. This man came to be the most prosperous of 
all the kings up to that time except only his forefather Psamme- 
tichos; and he reigned five-and-twenty years, during which he led 
an army against Sidon and fought a sea-fight with the king of 
Tyre. Since however it was fated that evil should come upon him, 
it came by occasion of a matter which I shall relate at greater length 
in the Libyan history, and at present but shortly. Apries having sent 
a great expedition against the Kyrenians, met with correspondingly 
great disaster; and the Egyptians considering him to blame for 
this revolted from him, supposing that Apries had with forethought 
sent them out to evident calamity, in order (as they said) that there 
might be a slaughter of them, and he might the more securely rule 
over the other Egyptians. Being indignant at this, both these men 
who had returned from the expedition and also the friends of those 
who had perished made revolt openly. Hearing this Apries sent to 
them Amasis, to cause them to cease by persuasion; and when he 
had come and was seeking to restrain the Egyptians, as he was 
speaking and telling them not to do so, one of the Egyptians stood 


up behind him and put a helmet upon his head, saying as he did 
so that he put it on to crown him king. And to him this that was 
done was in some degree not unwelcome, as he proved by his be- 
haviour; for as soon as the revolted Egyptians had set him up as 
king, he prepared to march against Apries: and Apries hearing this 
sent to Amasis one of the Egyptians who were about his own per- 
son, a man of reputation, whose name was Patarbemis, enjoining 
him to bring Amasis alive into his presence. When this Patarbemis 
came and summoned Amasis, the latter, who happened to be sitdng 
on horseback, lifted up his leg and behaved in an unseemly manner, 
bidding him take that back to Apries. Nevertheless, they say, 
Patarbemis made demand of him that he should go to the king, 
seeing that the king had sent to summon him; and he answered 
him that he had for some time past been preparing to do so, and 
that Apries would have no occasion to find fault wdth him, for he 
would both come himself and bring others with him. Then Patar- 
bemis, both perceiving his intention from that which he said, and 
also seeing his preparations, departed in haste, desiring to make 
known as quickly as possible to the king the things which were 
being done: and when, he came back to Apries not bringing 
Amasis, the king paying no regard to that which he said, but being 
moved by violent anger, ordered his ears and his nose to be cut 
off. And the rest of the Egyptians who still remained on his side, 
when they saw the man of most repute among them thus suffering 
shameful outrage, waited no longer but joined the others in revolt, 
and delivered themselves over to Amasis. Then Apries having 
heard this also, armed his foreign mercenaries and marched against 
the Egyptians: now he had about him Carian and Ionian mercen- 
aries to the number of thirty thousand; and his royal palace was in 
the city of Sai's, of great size and worthy to be seen. So Apries and 
his army were going against the Egyptians, and Amasis and those 
with him were going against the mercenaries; and both sides came 
to the city of Momemphis and were about to make trial of one 
another in fight. 

Now of the Egyptians there are seven classes, and of these one 
class is called that of the priests, and another that of the warriors, 
while the others are the cowherds, swineherds, shopkeepers, inter- 


preters, and boatmen. This is the number of the classes of the Egyp- 
tians, and their names are given them from the occupations which 
they follow. Of them the warriors are called Calasirians and Her- 
motybians, and they are of the following districts, — for all Egypt is 
divided into districts. The districts of the Hermotybians are those 
of Busiris, Sais, Chemmis, Papremis, the island called Prosopitis, 
and the half of Natho, — of these districts are the Hermotybians, who 
reached when most numerous the number of sixteen myriads. Of 
these not one has learnt anything of handicraft, but they are given 
up to war entirely. Again the districts of the Calasirians are those 
of Thebes, Bubastis, Aphthis, Tanis, Mendes, Sebennytos, Athribis, 
Pharbaithos, Thmuis, Onuphis, Anytis, Myecphoris, — this last is 
on an island opposite to the city of Bubastis. These are the dis- 
tricts of the Calasirians; and they reached, when most numerous, to 
the number of five-and-twenty myriads of men; nor is it lawful for 
these, any more than for the others, to practise any craft; but they 
practise that which has to do with war only, handing down the 
tradition from father to son. Now whether the Hellenes have learnt 
this also from the Egyptians, I am not able to say for certain, since 
I see that the Thracians also and Scythians and Persians and Ly- 
dians and almost all the Barbarians esteem those of their citizens 
who learn the arts, and the descendants of them, as less honourable 
than the rest; while those who have got free from all practice of 
manual arts are accounted noble, and especially those who are de- 
voted to war: however that may be, the Hellenes have all learnt 
this, and especially the Lacedemonians; but the Corinthians least of 
all cast slight upon those who practise handicraft. 

The following privilege was specially granted to this class and 
to none others of the Egyptians except the priests, that is to say, each 
man had twelve yokes of land specially granted to him free from 
imposts: now the yoke of land measures a hundred Egyptian cubits 
every way, and the Egyptian cubit is, as it happens, equal to that of 
Samos. This, I say, was a special privilege granted to all, and they 
also had certain advantages in turn and not the same men twice; 
that is to say, a thousand of the Calasirians and a thousand of the 
Hermotybians acted as body-guard to the king during each year; 
and these had besides their yokes of land an allowance given them 


for each day of five pounds weight of bread to each man, and two 
pounds of beef, and four half-pints of wine. This was the allow- 
ance given to those who were serving as the king's body-guard for 
the time being. 

So when Apries leading his foreign mercenaries, and Amasis at 
the head of the whole body of the Egyptians, in their approach to 
one another had come to the city of Momemphis, they engaged bat- 
tle: and although the foreign troops fought well, yet being much 
inferior in number they were worsted by reason of this. But Apries 
is said to have supposed that not even a god would be able to cause 
him to cease from his rule, so firmly did he think that it was estab- 
lished. In that battle then, I say, he was worsted, and being taken 
alive was brought away to the city of Sai's, to that which had 
formerly been his own dwelling but from thenceforth was the pal- 
ace of Amasis. There for some time he was kept in the palace, and 
Amasis dealt well with him but at last, since the Egyptians blamed 
him, saying that he acted not rightly in keeping alive him who 
was the greatest foe both to themselves and to him, therefore he 
delivered Apries over to the Egyptians; and they strangled him, 
and after that buried him in the burial-place of his fathers: this 
is in the temple of Athene, close to the sanctuary, on the left hand 
as you enter. Now the men of Sais buried all those of this district 
who had been kings, within the temple; for the tomb of Amasis 
also, though it is further from the sanctuary than that of Apries and 
his forefathers, yet this too is within the court of the temple, and 
it consists of a colonnade of stone of great size, with pillars carved 
to imitate date-palms, and otherwise sumptuously adorned; and 
within the colonnade are double doors, and inside the doors a 
sepulchral chamber. Also at Sais there is the burial-place of him 
whom I account it not pious to name in connexion with such a 
matter, which is in the temple of Athene behind the house of the 
goddess, stretching along the whole wall of it; and in the sacred 
enclosure stand great obelisks of stone, and near them is a lake 
adorned with an edging of stone and fairly made in a circle, being 
in size, as it seemed to me, equal to that which is called the "Round 
Pool" in Delos. On this lake they perform by night the show of 
his sufferings, and this the Egyptians call Mysteries. Of these things 


I know more fully in detail how they take place, but I shall leave 
this unspoken; and of the mystic rites of Demeter, which the Hel- 
lenes call thesmophoria, of these also, although I know, I shall leave 
unspoken all except so much as piety permits me to tell. The 
daughters of Danaos were they who brought this rite out of Egypt 
and taught it to the women of the Pelasgians; then afterwards 
when all the inhabitants of Peloponnese were driven out by the 
Dorians, the rite was lost, and only those who were left behind of 
the Peloponnesians and not driven out, that is to say the Arcadians, 
preserved it. 

Apries having thus been overthrown, Amasis became king, being 
of the district of Sa'is, and the name of the city whence he was is 
Siuph. Now at the first the Egyptians despised Amasis and held 
him in no great regard, because he had been a man of the people 
and was of no distinguished family; but afterwards Amasis won 
them over to himself by wisdom and not wilfulness. Among in- 
numerable other things of price which he had, there was a foot- 
basin of gold in which both Amasis himself and all his guests were 
wont always to wash their feet. This he broke up, and of it he 
caused to be made the image of a god, and set it up in the city, 
where it was most convenient; and the Egyptians went continually 
to visit the image and did great reverence to it. Then Amasis, hav- 
ing learnt that which was done by the men of the city, called to- 
gether the Egyptians and made known to them the matter, saying 
that the image had been produced from the foot-basin, into which 
formerly the Egyptians used to vomit and make water, and in 
which they washed their feet, whereas now they did to it great 
reverence; and just so, he continued, had he himself now fared, as 
the foot-basin; for though formerly he was a man of the people, yet 
now he was their king, and he bade them accordingly honour him 
and have regard for him. In such manner he won the Egyptians 
to himself, so that they consented to be his subjects; and his order- 
ing of affairs was this: — In the early morning, and until the time 
of the filling of the market he did with a good will the business 
which was brought before him; but after this he passed the time 
in drinking and in jesting at his boon-companions, and was frivol- 
ous and playful. And his friends being troubled at it admonished 


him in some such words as these: "O king, thou dost not rightly 
govern thyself in thus letting thyself descend to behaviour so trifling; 
for thou oughtest rather to have been sitting throughout the day 
stately upon a stately throne and administering thy business; and 
so the Egyptians would have been assured that they were ruled by 
a great man, and thou wouldest have had a better report: but as it 
is, thou art acting by no means in a kingly fashion." And he an- 
swered them thus: "They who have bows stretch them at such 
time as they wish to use them, and when they have finished using 
them they loose them again; for if they were stretched tight al- 
ways they would break, so that the men would not be able to use 
them when they needed them. So also is the state of man: if he 
should always be in earnest and not relax himself for sport at the 
due time, he would either go mad or be struck with stupor before 
he was aware; and knowing this well, I distribute a portion of the 
time to each of the two ways of living." Thus he replied to his 
friends. It is said however that Amasis, even when he was in a 
private station, was a lover of drinking and of jesting, and not at 
all seriously disposed; and whenever his means of livelihood failed 
him through his drinking and luxurious living, he would go about 
and steal; and they from whom he stole would charge him with 
having their property, and when he denied it would bring him be- 
fore the judgment of an Oracle, whenever there was one in their 
place; and many times he was convicted by the Oracles and many 
times he was absolved: and then when finally he became king he 
did as follows: — as many of the gods as had absolved him and pro- 
nounced him not to be a thief, to their temples he paid no regard, 
nor gave anything for the further adornment of them, nor even 
visited them to offer sacrifice, considering them to be worth nothing 
and to possess lying Oracles; but as many as had convicted him of 
being a thief, to these he paid very great regard, considering them 
to be truly gods, and to present Oracles which did not lie. First in 
Sais he built and completed for Athene a temple-gateway which is 
a great marvel, and he far surpassed herein all who had done the 
like before, both in regard to height and greatness, so large are the 
stones and of such quality. Then secondly he dedicated great co- 
lossal statues and man-headed sphinxes very large, and for restora- 


tion he brought other stones o£ monstrous size. Some of these he 
caused to be brought from the stone-quarries which are opposite 
Memphis, others of very great size from the city of Elephantine, 
distant a voyage of not less than twenty days from Sai's: and of 
them all I marvel most at this, namely a monolith chamber which 
he brought from the city of Elephantine; and they were three years 
engaged in bringing this, and two thousand men were appointed 
to convey it, who all were of the class of boatmen. Of this house the 
length outside is one-and-twenty cubits, the breadth is fourteen 
cubits, and the height eight. These are the measures of the mono- 
lith house outside; but the length inside is eighteen cubits and five- 
sixths of a cubit, the breadth twelve cubits, and the height five 
cubits. This lies by the side of the entrance to the temple; for 
within the temple they did not draw it, because, as it is said, while 
the house was being drawn along, the chief artificer of it groaned 
aloud, seeing that much time had been spent and he was wearied 
by the work; and Amasis took it to heart as a warning and did 
not allow them to draw it further onwards. Some say on the other 
hand that a man was killed by it, of those who were heaving it with 
levers, and that it was not drawn in for that reason. Amasis also 
dedicated in all the other temples which were of repute, works 
which are worth seeing for their size, and among them also at 
Memphis the colossal statue which lies on its back in front of the 
temple of Hephaistos, whose length is five-and-seventy feet; and on 
the same base made of the same stone are set two colossal statues, 
each of twenty feet in length, one on this side and the other on that 
side of the large statue. There is also another of stone of the same 
size in Sais, lying in the same manner as that at Memphis. More- 
over Amasis was he who built and finished for Isis her temple at 
Memphis, which is of great size and very worthy to be seen. 

In the reign of Amasis it is said that Egypt became more pros- 
perous than at any other time before, both in regard to that which 
comes to the land from the river and in regard to that which 
comes from the land to its inhabitants, and that at this time the 
inhabited towns in it numbered in all twenty thousand. It was 
Amasis too who established the law that every year each one of the 
Egyptians should declare to the ruler of his district, from what 


source he got his HveUhood, and if any man did not do this or did 
not make declaration of an honest way of living, he should be pun- 
ished with death. Now Solon the Athenian received from Egypt 
this law and had it enacted for the Athenians, and they have con- 
tinued to observe it, since it is a law with which none can find 

Moreover Amasis became a lover of the Hellenes; and besides 
other proofs of friendship which he gave to several among them, 
he also granted ithe city of Naucratis for those of them who came 
to Egypt to dwell in; and to those who did not desire to stay, but 
who made voyages thither, he granted portions of land to set up 
altars and make sacred enclosures for their gods. Their greatest 
enclosure and that one which has most name and is most fre- 
quented is called the Hellenion, and this was established by the 
following cities in common: — of the lonians Chios, Teos, Phocaia, 
Clazomenai, of the Dorians Rhodes, Cnidos, Halicarnassos, Pha- 
selis, and of the Aiolians Mytilene alone. To these belongs this en- 
closure and these are the cities which appoint superintendents of 
the port; and all other cities which claim a share in it, are making 
a claim without any right. Besides this the Eginetans established 
on their own account a sacred enclosure dedicated to Zeus, the 
Samians one to Hera, and the Milesians one to Apollo. Now in old 
times Naucratis alone was an open trading-place, and no other place 
in Egypt: and if any one came to any other of the Nile mouths, he 
was compelled to swear that he came not thither of his own will, 
and when he had thus sworn his innocence he had to sail with his 
ship to the Canobic mouth, or if it were not possible to sail by reason 
of contrary winds, then he had to carry his cargo round the head 
of the Delta in boats to Naucratis: thus highly was Naucratis privi- 
leged. Moreover when the Amphictyons had let out the contract for 
building the temple which now exists at Delphi, agreeing to pay a 
sum of three hundred talents (for the temple which formerly stood 
there had been burnt down of itself), it fell to the share of the 
people of Delphi to provide the fourth part of the payment; and 
accordingly the Delphians went about to various cities and collected 
contributions. And when they did this they got from Egypt as 


much as from any place, for Amasis gave them a thousand talents' 
weight of alum, while the Hellenes who dwelt in Egypt gave them 
twenty pounds of silver. 

Also with the people of Kyrene Amasis made an agreement for 
friendship and alliance; and he resolved too to marry a wife from 
thence, whether because he desired to have a wife of Hellenic race, 
or, apart from that, on account of friendship for the people of 
Kyrene: however that may be, he married, some say the daughter 
of Battos, others of Arkesilaos, and others of Critobulos, a man of 
repute among the citizens; and her name was Ladike. Now when- 
ever Amasis lay with her he found himself unable to have inter- 
course, but with his other wives he associated as he was wont; and 
as this happened repeatedly, Amasis said to his wife, whose name 
was Ladike: "Woman, thou hast given me drugs, and thou shalt 
surely perish more miserably than any other." Then Ladike, when 
by her denials Amasis was not at all appeased in his anger against 
her, made a vow in her soul to Aphrodite, that if Amasis on that 
night had intercourse with her (seeing that this was the remedy 
for her danger), she would send an image to be dedicated to her 
at Kyrene; and after the vow immediately Amasis had intercourse, 
and from thenceforth whenever Amasis came in to her he had 
intercourse with her; and after this he became very greatly attached 
to her. And Ladike paid the vow that she had made to the goddess; 
for she had an image made and sent it to Kyrene, and it was still 
preserved even to my own time, standing with its face turned away 
from the city of the Kyrenians. This Ladike Cambyses, having 
conquered Egypt and heard from her who she was, sent back 
unharmed to Kyrene. 

Amasis also dedicated offerings in Hellas, first at Kyrene an 
image of Athene covered over with gold and a figure of himself 
made like by painting; then in the temple of Athene at Lindos two 
images of stone and a corslet of linen worthy to be seen; and also 
at Samos two wooden figures of himself dedicated to Hera, which 
were standing even to my own time in the great temple, behind the 
doors. Now at Samos he dedicated offerings because of the guest- 
friendship between himself and Polycrates the son of Aiakes; at 


Lindos for no guest-friendship but because the temple of Athene 
at Lindos is said to have been founded by the daughters of Danaos, 
who had touched land there at the time when they were fleeing 
from the sons of Aigyptos. These offerings were dedicated by 
Amasis; and he was the first of men who conquered Cyprus and 
subdued it so that it paid him tribute. 





The dates of the birth and death of Tacitus are uncertain, but it is 
probable that he was born about 54 A. D. and died after 117. He was a 
contemporary and friend of the younger PUny, who addressed to him 
some of his most famous episdes, to be found in another volume of the 
Harvard Classics. Tacitus was apparently of the equestrian class, was 
an advocate by training, and had a reputation as an orator, though none 
of his speeches has survived. He held a number of important public 
offices, and married the daughter of Agricola, the conqueror of Britain, 
whose life he wrote. 

The two chief works of Tacitus, the "Annals" and the "Histories," 
covered the history of Rome from the death of Augustus to A. D. 96; 
but the greater part of the "Histories" is lost, and the fragment that re- 
mains deals only with the year 69 and part of 70. In the "Annals" there 
are several gaps, but what survives describes a large part of the reigns 
of Tiberius, Claudius, and Nero. His minor works, besides the life of 
Agricola, already mentioned, are a "Dialogue on Orators" and the ac- 
count of Germany, its situation, its inhabitants, their character and cus- 
toms, which is here printed. 

Tacitus stands in the front rank of the historians of antiquity for the 
accuracy of his learning, the fairness of his judgments, the richness, con- 
centration, and precision of his style. His great successor, Gibbon, called 
him a "philosophical historian, whose writings will instruct the last gen- 
erations of mankind"; and Montaigne knew no author "who, in a work 
of history, has taken so broad a view of human events or given a more 
just analysis of particular characters." 

The "Germany" is a document of the greatest interest and importance, 
since it gives us by far the most detailed account of the state of culture 
among the tribes that are the ancestors of the modern Teutonic nations, 
at the time when they first came into contact with the civilization of the 


By Tacitus 

THE whole of Germany is thus bounded; separated from 
Gaul, from RhcEtia and Pannonia, by the rivers Rhine and 
Danube; from Sarmatia and Dacia by mutual fear, or by 
high mountains: the rest is encompassed by the ocean, which forms 
huge bays, and comprehends a tract of islands immense in extent: 
for we have lately known certain nations and kingdoms there, such 
as the war discovered. The Rhine rising in the Rhcetian Alps from 
a summit altogether rocky and perpendicular, after a small winding 
towards the west, is lost in the Northern Ocean. The Danube is- 
sues out of the mountain Abnoba, one very high but very easy of 
ascent, and traversing several nations, falls by six streams into the 
Euxine Sea; for its seventh channel is absorbed in the Fenns. 

The Germans, I am apt to believe, derive their original from 
no other people; and are nowise mixed with different nations 
arriving amongst them: since anciently those who went in search 
of new buildings, travelled not by land, but were carried in fleets; 
and into that mighty ocean so boundless, and, as I may call it, so 
repugnant and forbidding, ships from our world rarely enter. More- 
over, besides the dangers from a sea tempestuous, horrid and un- 
known, who would relinquish Asia, or Africa, or Italy, to repair 
to Germany, a region hideous and rude, under a rigorous climate, 
dismal to behold or to manure' unless the same were his native 
country? In their old ballads (which amongst them are the only 
sort of registers and history) they celebrate Tuisto, a God sprung 
from the earth, and M annus his son, as the fathers and founders of 
the nation. To Mannus they assign three sons, after whose names 
so many people are called; the Ingaevones, dwelling next the ocean; 
the Herminones, in the middle country; and all the rest, Instaevones. 
Some, borrowing a warrant from the darkness of antiquity, main- 

• To cultivate. 


tain that the God had more sons, that thence came more denomina- 
tions o£ people, the Marsians, Cambrians, Suevians, and VandaUans, 
and that these are the names truly genuine and original. For the 
rest, they afSrm Germany to be a recent word, lately bestowed: for 
that those who first passed the Rhine and expulsed the Gauls, and 
are now named Tungrians, were then called Germans: and thus by 
degrees the name of a tribe prevailed, not that of the nation; so 
that by an appellation at first occasioned by terror and conquest, 
they afterwards chose to be distinguished, and assuming a name 
lately invented were universally called Germans. 

They have a tradition that Hercules also had been in their coim- 
try, and him above all other heroes they extol in their songs when 
they advance to battle. Amongst them too are found that kind of 
verses by the recital of which (by them called Barding) they inspire 
bravery; nay, by such chanting itself they divine the success of the 
approaching fight. For, according to the different din of the bat- 
tle, they urge furiously, or shrink timorously. Nor does what they 
utter, so much seem to be singing as the voice and exertion of valour. 
They chiefly study a tone fierce and harsh, with a broken and un- 
equal murmur, and therefore apply their shields to their mouths, 
whence the voice may by rebounding swell with greater fulness and 
force. Besides there are some of opinion, that Ulysses, whilst he 
wandered about in his long and fabulous voyages, was carried into 
this ocean and entered Germany, and that by him Asciburgium was 
founded and named, a city at this day standing and inhabited upon 
the bank of the Rhine: nay, that in the same place was formerly 
found an altar dedicated to Ulysses, with the name of his father 
Laertes added to his own, and that upon the confines of Germany 
and Rhoetia are still extant certain monuments and tombs inscribed 
with Greek characters. Traditions these which I mean not either to 
confirm with arguments of my own or to refute. Let every one 
believe or deny the same according to his own bent. 

For myself, I concur in opinion with such as suppose the people 
of Germany never to have mingled by inter-marriages with other 
nations, but to have remained a people pure, and independent, and 
resembling none but themselves. Hence amongst such a mighty 
multitude of men, the same make and form is found in all, eyes 


Stern and blue, yellow hair, huge bodies, but vigorous only in the 
first onset. Of pains and labour they are not equally patient, nor 
can they at all endure thrift and heat. To bear hunger and cold 
they are hardened by their climate and soil. 

Their lands, however somewhat different in aspect, yet taken all 
together consist of gloomy forests or nasty marshes; lower and 
moister towards the confines of Gaul, more mountainous and windy 
towards Noricum and Pannonia; very apt to bear grain, but alto- 
gether unkindly to fruit trees; abounding in Hocks and herds, but 
generally small of growth. Nor even in their oxen is found the 
usual stateliness, no more than the natural ornaments and grandeur 
of head. In the number of their herds they rejoice; and these are 
their only, these their most desirable riches. Silver and gold the 
Gods have denied them, whether in mercy or in wrath, I am unable 
to determine. Yet I would not venture to aver that in Germany no 
vein of gold or silver is produced; for who has ever searched? For 
the use and possession, it is certain they care not. Amongst them 
indeed are to be seen vessels of silver, such as have been presented 
to their Princes and Ambassadors, but holden in no other esteem 
than vessels made of earth. The Germans however adjoining to our 
frontiers value gold and silver for the purposes of commerce, and 
are wont to distinguish and prefer certain of our coins. They who 
live more remote are more primitive and simple in their dealings, 
and exchange one commodity for another. The money which they 
like is the old and long known, that indented,^ or that impressed 
with a chariot and two horses. Silver too is what they seek more 
than gold, from no fondness or preference, but because small pieces 
are more ready in purchasing things cheap and common. 

Neither in truth do they abound in iron, as from the fashion of 
their weapons may be gathered. Swords they rarely use, or the 
larger spear. They carry javelins or, in their own language, framms, 
pointed with a piece of iron short and narrow, but so sharp and 
manageable, that with the same weapon they can fight at a dis- 
tance or hand to hand, just as need requires. Nay, the horsemen 
also are content with a shield and a javelin. The foot throw like- 
wise weapons missive, each particular is armed with many, and 

^With milled edges. 


hurls them a mighty space, all naked or only wearing a light cas- 
sock. In their equipment they show no ostentation; only that their 
shields are diversified and adorned with curious colours. With coats 
of mail very few are furnished, and hardly upon any is seen a head- 
piece or helmet. Their horses are nowise signal either in fashion or 
in fleetness; nor taught to wheel and bound, according to the prac- 
tice of the Romans: they only move them forward in a line, or turn 
them right about, with such compactness and equality that no one 
is ever behind the rest. To one who considers the whole it is mani- 
fest, that in their foot their principal strength lies, and therefore they 
fight intermixed with the horse: for such is their swiftness as to 
match and suit with the motions and engagements of the cavalry. 
So that the infantry are elected from amongst the most robust of 
their youth, and placed in front of the army. The number to be sent 
is also ascertained, out of every village an hundred, and by this very 
name they continue to be called at home, those of the hundred band: 
thus what was at first no more than a number, becomes thenceforth 
a tide and distincdon of honour. In arraying their army, they di- 
vide the whole into distinct battalions formed sharp in front. To 
recoil in batde, provided you return again to the attack, passes with 
them rather for policy than fear. Even when the combat is no more 
than doubtful, they bear away the bodies of their slain. The most 
glaring disgrace that can befall them, is to have quitted their shield; 
nor to one branded with such ignominy is it lawful to join in their 
sacrifices, or to enter into their assemblies; and many who have 
escaped in the day of battle, have hanged themselves to put an end 
to this their infamy. 

In the choice of kings they are determined by the splendour of 
their race, in that of generals by their bravery. Neither is the power 
of their kings unbounded or arbitrary: and their generals procure 
obedience not so much by the force of their authority as by that of 
their example, when they appear enterprising and brave, when they 
signalise themselves by courage and prowess; and if they surpass 
all in admiration and pre-eminence, if they surpass all at the head of 
an army. But to none else but the Priests is it allowed to exercise 
correction, or to inflict bonds or stripes. Nor when the Priests do 
this, is the same considered as a punishment, or arising from the 


orders of the general, but from the immediate command of the 
Deity, Him whom they believe to accompany them in war. They 
therefore carry with them when going to fight, certain images and 
figures taken out of their holy groves. What proves the principal 
incentive to their valour is, that it is not at random nor by the for- 
tuitous conflux of men that their troops and pointed battalions are 
formed, but by the conjunction of whole families, and tribes of rela- 
tions. Moreover, close to the field of battle are lodged all the nearest 
and most interesting pledges of nature. Hence they hear the doleful 
howlings of their wives, hence the cries of their tender infants. 
These are to each particular the witnesses whom he most reverences 
and dreads; these yield him the praise which affect him most. Their 
wounds and maims they carry to their mothers, or to their wives, 
neither are their mothers or wives shocked in telling, or in sucking 
their bleeding sores.' Nay, to their husbands and sons whilst 
engaged in battle, they administer meat and encouragement. 

In history we find, that some armies already yielding and ready 
to fly, have been by the women restored,, through their inflexible 
importunity and entreaty, presenting their breasts, and showing 
their impending captivity; an evil to the Germans then by far most 
dreadful when it befalls their women. So that the spirit of such 
cities as amongst their hostages are enjoined to send their damsels 
of quality, is always engaged more effectually than that of others. 
They even believe them endowed with something celestial and the 
spirit of prophecy. Neither do they disdain to consult them, nor 
neglect the responses which they return. In the reign of the dei- 
fied Vespasian, we have seen Veleda for a long time, and by many 
nations, esteemed and adored as a divinity. In times past they like- 
wise worshipped Aurinia and several more, from no complaisance 
or effort of flattery, nor as Deities of their own creating. 

Of all the Gods, Mercury is he whom they worship most. To 
him on certain stated days it is lawful to offer even human victims. 
Hercules and Mars they appease with beasts usually allowed for 
sacrifice. Some of the Suevians make likewise immolations to his. 
Concerning the cause and original of this foreign sacrifice I have 
found small light; unless the figure of her image formed like a 
' Nee ilia numerare aut exigere plagas pavent. 


galley, show that such devotion arrived from abroad. For the rest, 
from the grandeur and majesty of beings celestial, they judge it alto- 
gether unsuitable to hold the Gods enclosed within walls, or to 
represent them under any human likeness. They consecrate whole 
woods and groves, and by the names of the Gods they call these 
recesses; divinities these, which only in contemplation and mental 
reverence they behold. 

To the use of lots and auguries, they are addicted beyond all other 
nations. Their method of divining by lots is exceedingly simple. 
From a tree which bears fruit they cut a twig, and divide it into 
two small pieces. These they distinguish by so many several marks, 
and throw tliem at random and without order upon a white gar- 
ment. Then the Priest of the community, if for the public the lots 
are consulted, or the father of a family about a private concern, 
after he has solemnly invoked the Gods, with eyes lifted up to 
heaven, takes up every piece thrice, and having done thus forms a 
judgment according to the marks before made. If the chances have 
proved forbidding, they are no more consulted upon the same affair 
during the same day: even when they are inviting, yet, for con^ 
firmation, the faith of auguries too is tried. Yea, here also is the 
known practice of divining events from the voices and flight of 
birds. But to this nation it is peculiar, to learn presages and ad- 
monitions divine from horses also. These are nourished by the State 
in the same sacred woods and groves, all milk-white and employed 
in no earthly labour. These yoked in the holy chariot, are accom- 
panied by the Priest and the King, or the Chief of the Community, 
who both carefully observed his actions and neighing. Nor in any 
sort of augury is more faith and assurance reposed, not by the popu- 
lace only, but even by the nobles, even by the Priests. These ac- 
count themselves the ministers of the Gods, and the horses privy to 
his will. They have likewise another method of divination, whence 
to learn the issue of great and mighty wars. From the nation with 
whom they are at war they contrive, it avails not how, to gain a 
captive: him they engage in combat with one selected from amongst 
themselves, each armed after the manner of his country, and accord- 
ing as the victory falls to this or to the other, gather a presage of the 


Affairs of smaller moment the chiefs determine: about matters of 
higher consequence the whole nation deliberates; yet in such sort, 
that whatever depends upon the pleasure and decision of the people, 
is examined and discussed by the chiefs. Where no accident or emer- 
gency intervenes, they assemble upon stated days, either, when the 
moon changes, or is full: since they believe such seasons to be the 
most fortunate for beginning all transactions. Neither in reckoning 
of time do they count, like us, the number of days but that of 
nights. In this style their ordinances are framed, in this style their 
diets appointed; and with them the night seems to lead and govern 
the day. From their extensive liberty this evil and default flows, 
that they meet not at once, nor as men commanded and afraid to 
disobey; so that often the second day, nay often the third, is con- 
sumed through the slowness of the members in assembling. They 
sit down as they list, promiscuously, like a crowd, and all armed. 
It is by the Priests that silence is enjoined, and with the power of 
correction the Priests are then invested. Then the King or Chief 
is heard, as are others, each according to his precedence in age, or 
in nobility, or in warlike renown, or in eloquence; and the influence 
of every speaker proceeds rather from his ability to persuade than 
from any authority to command. If the proposition displease, they 
reject it by an inarticulate murmur: if it be pleasing, they brandish 
their javelins. The most honourable manner of signifying their 
assent, is to express their applause by the sound of their arms. 

In the assembly it is allowed to present accusations, and to prose- 
cute capital offences. Punishments vary according to the quality of 
the crime. Traitors and deserters they hang upon trees. Cowards, 
and sluggards, and unnatural prostitutes they smother in mud. and 
bogs under an heap of hurdles. Such diversity in their executions 
has this view, that in punishing of glaring iniquities, it behoves 
likewise to display them to sight; but effeminacy and pollution must 
be buried and concealed. In lighter transgressions too the penalty 
is measured by the fault, and the delinquents upon conviction are 
condemned to pay a certain number of horses or cattle. Part of this 
mulct accrues to the King or the community, part to him whose 
wrongs are vindicated, or to his next kindred. In the same assem- 
blies are also chosen their chiefs or rulers, such as administer justice 


in their villages and boroughs. To each of these are assigned an 
hundred persons chosen from amongst the populace, to accompany 
and assist him, men who help him at once with their authority and 
their counsel. 

Without being armed they transact nothing, whether of public 
or private concernment. But it is repugnant to their custom for 
any man to use arms, before the community has attested his ca- 
pacity to wield them. Upon such testimonial, either one of the 
rulers, or his father, or some kinsman dignify the young man in the 
midst of the assembly, with a shield and javelin. This amongst 
them is the manly robe, this the first degree of honour conferred 
upon their youth. Before this they seem no more than part of a 
private family, but thenceforward part of the Commonweal, The 
princely dignity they confer even upon striplings, whose race is 
eminently noble, or whose fathers have done great and signal serv- 
ices to the State. For about the rest, who are more vigorous and 
long since tried, they crowd to attend: nor is it any shame to be 
seen amongst the followers of these. Nay, there are likewise de- 
grees of followers, higher or lower, just as he whom they follow 
judges fit. Mighty too is the emulation amongst these followers, of 
each to be first in favour with his Prince; mighty also the emula- 
tion of the Princes, to excel in the number and valour of followers. 
This is their principal state, this their chief force, to be at all times 
surrounded with a huge band of chosen young men, for ornament 
and glory in peace, for security and defence in war. Nor is it 
amongst his own people only, but even from the neighbouring com- 
munities, that any of their Princes reaps so much renown and a 
name so great, when he surpasses in the number and magnanimity 
of his followers. For such are courted by Embassies, and distin- 
guished with presents, and by the terror of their fame alone often 
dissipate wars. 

In the day of batde, it is scandalous to the Prince to be sur- 
passed in feats of bravery, scandalous to his followers to fail in 
matching the bravery of the Prince, But it is infamy during life, 
and indelible reproach, to return alive from a battle where their 
Prince was slain. To preserve their Prince, to defend him, and to 
ascribe to his glory all their own valorous deeds, is the sum and 


most sacred part of their oath. The Princes fight for victory; for 
the Prince his followers fight. Many of the young nobility, when 
their own community comes to languish in its vigour by long peace 
and inactivity, betake themselves through impatience to other 
States which then prove to be in war. For, besides that this people 
cannot brook repose, besides that by perilous adventures they more 
quickly blazon their fame, they cannot otherwise than by violence 
and war support their huge train of retainers. For from the liberal- 
ity of their Prince, they demand and enjoy that war-horse of theirs, 
with that victorious javelin dyed in the blood of their enemies. In 
the place of pay, they are supplied with a daily table and repasts; 
though grossly prepared, yet very profuse. For maintaining such 
liberality and munificence, a fund is furnished by continual wars 
and plunder. Nor could you so easily persuade them to cultivate 
the ground, or to await the return of the seasons and produce of 
the year, as to provoke the foe and to risk wounds and death: since 
stupid and spiritless they account it, to acquire by their sweat what 
they can gain by their blood. 

Upon any recess from war, they do not much attend the chase. 
Much more of their time they pass in indolence, resigned to sleep 
and repasts.^ All the most brave, all the most warlike, apply to 
nothing at all; but to their wives, to the ancient men, and to every 
the most impotent domestic, trust all the care of their house, and of 
their lands and possessions. They themselves loiter.' Such is the 
amazing diversity of their nature, that in the same men is found so 
much delight in sloth, with so much enmity to tranquillity and re- 
pose. The communities are wont, of their own accord and man by 
man, to bestow upon their Princes a certain number of beasts, or a 
certain portion of grain; a contribution which passes indeed for a 
mark of reverence and honour, but serves also to supply their ne- 
cessities. They chiefly rejoice in the gifts which come from the 
bordering countries, such as are sent not only by particulars but in 
the name of the State; curious horses, splendid armour, rich harness, 
with collars of silver and gold. Now too they have learnt, what we 
have taught them, to receive money. 

■•"Dediti somno, ciboque:" handed over to sloth and gluttony. 
"Are rude and lazy. 


That none of the several people in Germany live together in cities, 
is abundantly known; nay, that amongst them none of their dwell- 
ings are suffered to be contiguous. They inhabit apart and distinct, 
just as a fountain, or a field, or a wood happened to invite them 
to settle. They raise their villages in opposite rows, but not in our 
manner with the houses joined one to another. Every man has a 
vacant space quite round his own, whether for security against acci- 
dents from fire, or that they want the art of building. With them in 
truth, is unknown even the use of mortar and of tiles. In all their 
structures they employ materials quite gross and unhewn, void of 
fashion and comeliness. Some parts they besmear with an earth so 
pure and resplendent, that it resembles painting and colours. They 
are likewise wont to scoop caves deep in the ground, and over them 
to lay great heaps of dung. Thither they retire for shelter in the 
winter, and thither convey their grain : for by such close places they 
mollify the rigorous and excessive cold. Besides when at any time 
their enemy invades them, he can only ravage the open country, but 
either knows not such recesses as are invisible and subterraneous; 
or must suffer them to escape him, on this very account that he is 
uncertain where to find them. 

For their covering a mantle is what they all wear, fastened with 
a clasp or, for want of it, with a thorn. As far as this reaches not 
they are naked, and lie whole days before the fire. The most wealthy 
are distinguished with a vest, not one large and flowing like those 
of Sarmatians and Parthians, but girt close about them and express- 
ing the proportion of every limb. They likewise wear the skins 
of savage beasts, a dress which those bordering upon the Rhine use 
without any fondness or delicacy, but about which such who live 
further in the country are more curious, as void of all apparel intro- 
duced by commerce. They choose certain wild beasts, and, having 
flayed them, diversify their hides with many spots, as also with the 
skins of monsters from the deep, such as are engendered in the 
distant ocean and in seas unknown. Neither does the dress of the 
women differ from that of the men, save that the women are 
orderly attired in linen embroidered with purple, and use no sleeves, 
so that all their arms are bare. The upper part of their breast is 
withal exposed. 


Yet the laws of matrimony are severely observed there; nor in 
the whole of their manners is aught more praiseworthy than this: 
for they are almost the only Barbarians contented with one wife, 
excepting a very few amongst them; men of dignity who marry 
divers wives, from no wantonness or lubricity, but courted for the 
lustre of their family into many alliances. 

To the husband, the wife tenders no dowry; but the husband, to 
the wife. The parents and relations attend and declare their ap- 
probation of the presents, not presents adapted to feminine pomp 
and delicacy, nor such as serve to deck the new married woman; 
but oxen and horse accoutred, and a shield, with a javelin and 
sword. By virtue of these gifts, she is espoused. She too on her 
part brings her husband some arms. This they esteem the highest 
tie, these the holy mysteries, and matrimonial Gods. That the 
woman may not suppose herself free from the considerations of 
fortitude and fighting, or exempt from the casualties of war, the 
very first solemnities of her wedding serve to warn her, that she 
comes to her husband as a partner in his hazards and fatigues, that 
she is to suffer alike with him, to adventure alike, during peace or 
during war. This the oxen joined in the same yoke plainly indicate, 
this the horse ready equipped, this the present of arms. 'Tis thus 
she must be content to live, thus to resign life. The arms which she 
then receives she must preserve inviolate, and to her sons restore the 
same, as presents worthy of them, such as their wives may again 
receive, and still resign to her grandchildren. 

They therefore live in a state of chastity well secured; corrupted 
by no seducing shows and public diversions, by no irritations from 
banqueting. Of learning and of any secret intercourse by letters, 
they are all equally ignorant, men and women. Amongst a people 
so numerous, adultery is exceeding rare; a crime instandy punished, 
and the punishment left to be inflicted by the husband. He, having 
cut off her hair, expells her from his house naked, in presence of her 
kindred, and pursues her with stripes throughout the village. For, 
to a woman who has prostituted her person, no pardon is ever 
granted. However beautiful she be, however young, however 
abounding in wealth, a husband she can never find. In truth, no- 
body turns vices into mirth there, nor is the practice of corrupting 


and of yielding to corruption, called the custom of the Age. Better 
still do those communities, in which none but virgins marry, and 
where to a single marriage all their views and inclinations are at 
once confined. Thus, as they have but one body and one life, they 
take but one husband, that beyond him they may have no thought, 
no further wishes, nor love him only as their husband but as their 
marriage.* To restrain generation and the increase of children, is 
esteemed an abominable sin, as also to kill infants newly born. 
And more powerful with them are good manners, than with other 
people are good laws. 

In all their houses the children are reared naked and nasty; and 
thus grow into those limbs, into that bulk, which with marvel we 
behold. They are all nourished with the milk of their own mothers, 
and never surrendered to handmaids and nurses. The lord you 
cannot discern from the slave, by any superior delicacy in rearing. 
Amongst the same cattle they promiscuously live, upon the same 
ground they without distinction lie, till at a proper age the free- 
born are parted from the rest, ^nd their bravery recommend them to 
notice. Slow and late do the young men come to the use of women, 
and thus very long preserve the vigour of youth. Neither are the 
virgins hastened to wed. They must both have the same sprighdy 
youth, the like stature, and marry when equal and able-bodied. Thus 
the robustness of the parents is inherited by the children. Children 
are holden in the same estimation with their mother's brother, as 
with their father. Some hold this tie of blood to be most inviolable 
and binding, and in receiving of hostages, such pledges are most 
considered and claimed, as they who at once possess affections the 
most unalienable, and the most diffuse interest in their family. 
To every man, however, his own children are heirs and successors: 
wills they make none: for want of children his next akin inherits; 
his own brothers, those of his father, or those of his mother. To 
ancient men, the more they abound in descendants, in relations and 
affinities, so much the more favour and reverence accrues. From 
being childless, no advantage nor estimation is derived. 

All the enmities of your house, whether of your father or of your 
kindred, you must necessarily adopt; as well as all their friendships. 

^ "Sed tamquam matrimonium ament." 


Neither are such enmities unappeasable and permanent: since even 
for so great a crime as homicide, compensation is made by a fixed 
number of sheep and catde, and by it the whole family is pacified 
to content. A temper this, wholesome to the State; because to a 
free nation, animosities and faction are always more menacing and 
perilous. In social feasts, and deeds of hospitality, no nation upon 
earth was ever more liberal and abounding. To refuse admitting 
under your roof any man whatsoever, is held wicked and inhuman. 
Every man receives every comer, and treats him with repasts as 
large as his ability can possibly furnish. When the whole stock is 
consumed, he who had treated so hospitably guides and accom- 
panies his guest to a new scene o£ hospitality; and both proceed to 
the next house, though neither of them invited. Nor avails it, that 
they were not: they are there received, with the same frankness and 
humanity. Between a stranger and an acquaintance, in dispensing 
the rules and benefits of hospitality, no difference is made. Upon 
your departure, if you ask anything, it is the custom to grant it; 
and with the same facility, they ask of you. In gifts they delight, 
but neither claim merit from what they give, nor own any obliga- 
tion for what they receive. Their manner of entertaining their 
guests is familiar and kind. 

The moment they rise from sleep, which they generally prolong 
till late in the day, they bathe, most frequently in warm water; as in 
a country where the winter is very long and severe. From bathing, 
they sit down to meat; every man apart, upon a particular seat, and at 
a separate table. They then proceed to their affairs, all in arms; as 
in arms, they no less frequently go to banquet. To continue drink- 
ing night and day without intermission, is a reproach to no man. 
Frequent then are their broils, as usual amongst men intoxicated 
with liquor; and such broils rarely terminate in angry words, but 
for the most part in maimings and slaughter. Moreover in these 
their feasts, they generally deliberate about reconciling parties at 
enmity, about forming affinities, choosing of Princes, and finally 
about peace and war. For they judge, that at no season is the soul 
more open to thoughts that are artless and upright, or more fired 
with such as are great and bold. This people, of themselves no- 
wise subtile or politic, from the freedom of the place and occasion 


acquire still more frankness to disclose the most secret motions and 
purposes of their hearts. When therefore the minds of all have 
been once laid open and declared, on the day following the several 
sentiments are revised and canvassed; and to both conjectures of 
time, due regard is had. They consult, when they know not how 
to dissemble; they determine, when they cannot mistake. 

For their drink, they draw a liquor from barley or other grain; 
and ferment the same, so as to make it resemble wine. Nay, they 
who dwell upon the bank of the Rhine deal in wine. Their food is 
very simple; wild fruit, fresh venison, or coagulated milk. They 
banish hunger without formality, without curious dressing and curi- 
ous fare. In extinguishing thirst, they use not equal temperance. 
If you will but humour their excess in drinking, and supply them 
with as much as they covet, it will be no less easy to vanquish them 
by vices than by arms. 

Of public diversions they have but one sort, and in all their meet- 
ings the same is still exhibited. Young men, such as make it their 
pastime, fling themselves naked and dance amongst sharp swords 
and the deadly points of javelins. From habit they acquire their 
skill, and from their skill a graceful manner; yet from hence draw 
no gain or hire: though this adventurous gaiety has its reward, 
namely, that of pleasing the spectators. What is marvellous, playing 
at dice is one of their most serious employments; and even sober, 
they are gamesters: nay, so desperately do they venture upon the 
chance of winning or losing, that when their whole substance is 
played away, they stake their liberty and their persons upon one and 
the last throw. The loser goes calmly into voluntary bondage. How- 
ever younger he be, however stronger, he tamely suffers himself to 
be bound and sold by the winner. Such is their perseverance in an 
evil course: they themselves call it honour. 

Slaves of this class, they exchange away in commerce, to free 
themselves too from the shame of such a victory. Of their other 
slaves they make not such use as we do of ours, by distributing 
amongst them the several offices and employments of the family. 
Each of them has a dwelling of his own, each a household to gov- 
ern. His lord uses him like a tenant, and obliges him to pay a 
quantity of grain, or of cattle, or of cloth. Thus far only the sub- 


serviency of the slave extends. All the other duties in a family, not 
the slaves, but the wives and children discharge. To inflict stripes 
upon a slave, or to put him in chains, or to doom him to severe 
labour, are things rarely seen. To kill them they sometimes are 
wont, not through correction or government, but in heat and rage, 
as they would an enemy, save that no vengeance or penalty follows. 
The freedmen very litde surpass the slaves, rarely are of moment in 
the house; in the community never, excepting only such nations 
where arbitrary dominion prevails. For there they bear higher sway 
than the free-born, nay, higher than the nobles. In other countries 
the inferior condition of freedmen is a proof of public liberty. 

To the practice of usury and of increasing money by interest, they 
are strangers; and hence is found a better guard against it, than 
if it were forbidden. They shift from land to land; and, still appro- 
priating a portion suitable to the number of hands for manuring, 
anon parcel out the whole amongst particulars according to the 
condition and quality of each. As the plains are very spacious, the 
allotments are easily assigned. Every year they change, and culti- 
vate a fresh soil; yet still there is ground to spare. For they strive 
not to bestow labour proportionable to the fertility and compass of 
their lands, by planting orchards, by enclosing meadows, by water- 
ing gardens. From the earth, corn only is exacted. Hence they 
quarter not the year into so many seasons. Winter, Spring, and 
Summer, they understand; and for each have proper appellations. 
Of the name and blessings of Autumn, they are equally ignorant. 

In performing their funerals, they show no state or vainglory. 
This only is carefully observed, that with the corpses of their signal 
men certain woods be burned. Upon the funeral pile they accumu- 
late neither apparel nor perfumes. Into the fire, are always thrown 
the arms of the dead, and sometimes his horse. With sods of earth 
only the sepulchre is raised. The pomp of tedious and elaborate 
monuments they contemn, as things grievous to the deceased. Tears 
and wailings they soon dismiss: their affliction and woe they long 
retain. In women, it is reckoned becoming to bewail their loss; 
in men, to remember it. This is what in general we have learned, 
in the original and customs of the whole people of Germany. I 
shall now deduce the institutions and usages of the several people. 


as far as they vary one from another; as also an account of what 
nations from thence removed, to settle themselves in Gaul. 

That the Gauls were in times past more puissant and formidable, 
is related by the Prince of authors, the deified Julius;^ and hence it 
is probable that they too have passed into Germany. For what a 
small obstacle must be a river, to restrain any nation, as each grew 
more potent, from seizing or changing habitations; when as yet all 
habitations were common, and not parted or appropriated by the 
founding and terror of Monarchies.? The region therefore between 
the Hercynian Forest and the rivers Mcenus' and Rhine, was occu- 
pied by the Helvetians; as was that beyond it by the Boians, both 
nations of Gaul. There still remains a place called Boiemum, which 
denotes the primitive name and antiquity of the country, although 
the inhabitants have been changed. But whether the Araviscans are 
derived from the Osians, a nation of Germans passing into Pan- 
nonia, or the Osians from the Araviscans removing from thence 
into Germany, is a matter undecided; since they both still use the 
language, the same customs and the same laws. For, as of old they 
lived alike poor and alike free, equal proved the evils and ad- 
vantages on each side the river, and common to both people. The 
Treverians and Nervians aspire passionately to the reputation of 
being descended from the Germans; since by the glory of this origi- 
nal, they would escape all imputation of resembling the Gauls in 
person and effeminacy. Such as dwell upon the bank of the Rhine, 
the Vangiones, the Tribocians, and the Nemetes, are without doubt 
all Germans. The Ubians are ashamed of their original; though 
they have a particular honour to boast, that of having merited an 
establishment as a Roman Colony, and still delight to be called 
Agrippinensians, after the name of their founder: they indeed for- 
merly came from beyond the Rhine, and, for the many proofs of 
their fidelity, were settled upon the very bank of the river; not to 
be there confined or guarded themselves, but to guard and defend 
that boundary against the rest of the Germans. 

Of all these nations, the Batavians are the most signal in bravery. 
They inhabit not much territory upon the Rhine, but possess an 
island in it. They were formerly part of the Cattans, and by means 
' Julius Caesar. * Main. 


o£ feuds at home removed to these dweUings; whence they might 
become a portion of the Roman Empire. With them this honour 
still remains, as also the memorials of their ancient association with 
us: for they are not under the contempt of paying tribute, nor sub- 
ject to be squeezed by the farmers of the revenue. Free from all 
impositions and payments, and only set apart for the purposes of 
fighting, they are reserved wholly for the wars, in the same manner 
as a magazine of weapons and armour. Under the same degree of 
homage are the nation of the Mattiacians. For such is the might 
and greatness of the Roman People, as to have carried the awe and 
esteem of their Empire beyond the Rhine and the ancient bound- 
aries. Thus the Mattiacians, living upon the opposite banks, enjoy 
a settlement and limits of their own; yet in spirit and inclination 
are attached to us: in other things resembling the Batavians, save 
that as they still breathe their original air, still possess their primi- 
tive soil, they are thence inspired with superior vigour and keen- 
ness. Amongst the people of Germany I would not reckon those 
who occupy the lands which are under decimation, though they be 
such as dwell beyond the Rhine and the Danube. By several 
worthless and vagabond Gauls, and such as poverty rendered dar- 
ing, that region was seized as one belonging to no certain possessor: 
afterwards it became a skirt of the Empire and part of a province, 
upon the enlargement of our bounds and the extending of our 
garrisons and frontier. 

Beyond these are the Cattans, whose territories begin at the Hercy- 
nian Forest, and consist not of such wide and marshy plains, as 
those of the other communities contained within the vast compass 
of Germany; but produce ranges of hills, such as run lofty and 
contiguous for a long tract, then by degrees sink and decay. More- 
over the Hercynian Forest attends for a while its native Cattans, 
then suddenly forsakes them. This people are distinguished with 
bodies more hardy and robust, compact limbs, stern countenances, 
and greater vigour of spirit. For Germans, they are men of much 
sense and address.' They dignify chosen men, listen to such as are 
set over them, know how to preserve their post, to discern occasions, 
to rebate their own ardour and impatience; how to employ the 
' "Leur intelligence et leur finesse ^tonnent, dans des Germains." 


day, how to entrench themselves by night. They account fortune 
amongst things slippery and uncertain, but bravery amongst such 
as are never-failing and secure; and, what is exceeding rare nor 
ever to be learnt but by a wholesome course of discipline, in the 
conduct of the general they repose more assurance than in the 
strength of the army. Their whole forces consist of foot, who be- 
sides their arms carry likewise instruments of iron and their pro- 
visions. You may see other Germans proceed equipped to battle, 
but the Cattans so as to conduct a war.'" They rarely venture upon 
excursions or casual encounters. It is in truth peculiar to cavalry, 
suddenly to conquer, or suddenly to fly. Such haste and velocity 
rather resembles fear. Patience and deliberation are more akin to 

Moreover a custom, practised indeed in other nations of Ger- 
many, yet very rarely and confined only to particulars more daring 
than the rest, prevails amongst the Cattans by universal consent. 
As soon as they arrive to maturity of years, they let their hair and 
beards continue to grow, nor till they have slain an enemy do they 
ever lay aside this form of countenance by vow sacred to valour. 
Over the blood and spoil of a foe they make bare their face. They 
allege, that they have now acquitted themselves of the debt and duty 
contracted by their birth, and rendered themselves worthy of their 
country, worthy of their parents. Upon the spiridess, cowardly and 
unwarlike, such deformity of visage still remains.'^ All the most 
brave likewise wear an iron ring (a mark of great dishonour this 
in that nation) and retain it as a chain; till by killing an enemy they 
become released. Many of the Cattans delight always to bear this 
terrible aspect; and, when grown white through age, become awful 
and conspicuous by such marks, both to the enemy and their own 
countrymen. By them in all engagements the first assault is made: 
of them the front of the battle is always composed, as men who in 
their looks are singular and tremendous. For even during peace 
they abate nothing in the grimness and horror of their counte- 
nance. They have no house to inhabit, no land to cultivate, nor 
any domestic charge or care. With whomsoever they come to so- 
journ, by him they are maintained; always very prodigal of the 
** "Alios ad proelium ire videos, Chattos ad bellum." *' "Manet squalor." 


substance of others, always despising what is their own, till the 
feebleness of old age overtakes them, and renders them unequal to 
the efforts of such rigid bravery. 

Next to the Cattans, dwell the Usipians and Tencterians; upon 
the Rhine now running in a channel uniform and certain, such as 
suffices for a boundary. The Tencterians, besides their wonted glory 
in war, surpass in the service and discipline of their cavalry. Nor 
do the Cattans derive higher applause from their foot, than the 
Tencterians from their horse. Such was the order established by 
their forefathers, and what their posterity still pursue. From riding 
and exercising of horses, their children borrow their pastimes; in 
this exercise the young men find matter for emulating one another, 
and in this the old men take pleasure to persevere. Horses are by 
the father bequeathed as part of his household and family, horses 
are conveyed amongst the rights of succession, and as such the son 
receives them; but not the eldest son, like other effects, by priority 
of birth, but he who happens to be signal in boldness and superior 
in war. 

Contiguous to the Tencterians formerly dwelt the Bructerians, in 
whose room it is said the Chamavians and Angrivarians are now 
settled; they who expulsed and almost extirpated the Bructerians, 
with the concurrence of the neighbouring nations: whether in de- 
testation of their arrogance, or allured by the love of spoil, or 
through the special favour of the Gods towards us Romans. They 
in truth even vouchsafed to gratify us with the sight of the battle. 
In it there fell above sixty thousand souls, without a blow struck 
by the Romans; but, what is a circumstance still more glorious, 
fell to furnish them with a spectacle of joy and recreation. May the 
Gods continue and perpetuate amongst these nations, if not any 
love for us, yet by all means this their animosity and hate towards 
each other: since whilst the destiny of the Empire thus urges it, 
fortune cannot more signally befriend us, than in sowing strife 
amongst our foes. 

The Angrivarians and Chamavians are enclosed behind, by the 
Dulgibinians and Chasuarians; and by other nations not so much 
noted: before, the Frisians face them. The country of Frisia is 
divided into two; called the greater and lesser, according to the 


measure of their strength. Both nations stretch along the Rhine, 
quite to the ocean; and surround vast lakes such as once have borne 
Roman fleets. We have moreover even ventured out from thence 
into the ocean, and upon its coasts common fame has reported the 
pillars of Hercules to be still standing: whether it be that Hercules 
ever visited these parts, or that to his renowned name we are wont 
to ascribe whatever is grand and glorious everywhere. Neither did 
Drusus who made the attempt, want boldness to pursue it: but the 
roughness of the ocean withstood him, nor would suffer discoveries 
to be made about itself, no more than about Hercules. Thencefor- 
ward the enterprise was dropped: nay, more pious and reverential 
it seemed, to believe the marvellous feats of the Gods than to know 
and to prove them.'^ 

Hitherto, I have been describing Germany towards the west. 
To the northward, it winds away with an immense compass. And 
first of all occurs the nation of the Chaucians: who though they 
begin immediately at the confines of the Frisians, and occupy part 
of the shore, extend so far as to border upon all the several people 
whom I have already recounted; till at last, by a Circuit, they reach 
quite to the boundaries of the Cattans. A region so vast, the Chau- 
cians do not only possess but fill; a people of all the Germans the 
most noble, such as would rather maintain their grandeur by jus- 
tice than violence. They live in repose, retired from broils abroad, 
void of avidity to possess more, free from a spirit of domineering 
over others. They provoke no wars, they ravage no countries, they 
pursue no plunder. Of their bravery and power, the chief evidence 
arises from hence, that, without wronging or oppressing others, they 
are come to be superior to all. Yet they are all ready to arm, and 
if an exigency require, armies are presently raised, powerful and 
abounding as they are in men and horses; and even when they are 
quiet and their weapons laid aside, their credit and name continue 
equally high. 

Along the side of the Chaucians and Cattans dwell the Cherus- 

cans; a people who finding no enemy to rouse them, were enfeebled 

by a peace over lasting and uniform, but such as they failed not to 

nourish. A conduct which proved more pleasing than secure; since 

'^ "Ccelum ipsum petimus stultitia." 


treacherous is that repose which you enjoy amongst neighbours that 
are very powerful and very fond of rule and mastership. When 
recourse is once had to the sword, modesty and fair dealing will be 
vainly pleaded by the weaker; names these which are always as- 
sumed by the stronger. Thus the Cheruscans, they who formerly 
bore the character of good and upright, are now called cowards and 
fools; and the fortune of the Cattans who subdued them, grew 
immediately to be wisdom. In the ruin of the Cheruscans, the Fo- 
sians, also their neighbours, were involved; and in their calamities 
bore an equal share, though in their prosperity they had been weaker 
and less considered. 

In the same winding tract of Germany live the Cimbrians, close 
to the ocean; a community now very small, but great in fame. Nay, 
of their ancient renown, many and extensive are the traces and 
monuments still remaining; even their entrenchments upon either 
shore, so vast in compass that from thence you may even now 
measure the greatness and numerous bands of that people, and 
assent to the account of an army so mighty. It was on the six hun- 
dred and fortieth year of Rome, when of the arms of the Cimbrians 
the first mention was made, during the Consulship of Czcilius 
Metellus and Papirius Carbo. If from that time we count to the 
second Consulship of the Emperor Trajan, the interval comprehends 
near two hundred and ten years; so long have we been conquering 
Germany. In a course of time, so vast between these two periods, 
many have been the blows and disasters suffered on each side. In 
truth neither from the Samnites, nor from the Carthaginians, nor 
from both Spains, nor from all the nations of Gaul, have we re- 
ceived more frequent checks and alarms; nor even from the Par- 
thians: for, more vigorous and invincible is the liberty of the Ger- 
mans than the monarchy of the Arsacides. Indeed, what has the 
power of the East to allege to our dishonour; but the fall of Crassus, 
that power which was itself overthrown and abased by Ventidius, 
with the loss of the great King Pacorus bereft of his life? But by 
the Germans the Roman People have been bereft of five armies, all 
commanded by Consuls; by the Germans, the commanders of these 
armies, Carbo, and Cassius, and Scaurus Aurelius, and Servilius 
Caepio, as also Marcus Manlius, were all routed or taken: by the 


Germans even the Emperor Augustus was bereft of Varus and three 
legions. Nor without difficulty and loss of men were they defeated 
by Caius Marius in Italy, or by the deified Julius in Gaul, or by 
Drusus or Tiberius or Germanicus in their native territories. Soon 
after, the mighty menaces of Caligula against them ended in mock- 
ery and derision. Thenceforward they continued quiet, till taking 
advantage of our domestic division and civil wars, they stormed 
and seized the winter entrenchments of the legions, and aimed at 
the dominion of Gaul; from whence they were once more expulsed, 
and in the times preceding the present, we gained a triumph over 
them rather than a victory. 

I must now proceed to speak of the Suevians, who are not, like 
the Cattans and Tencterians, comprehended in a single people; but 
divided into several nations all bearing distinct names, though in 
general they are entitled Suevians, and occupy the larger share of 
Germany. This people are remarkable for a peculiar custom, that 
of twisting their hair and binding it up in a knot. It is thus the 
Suevians are distinguished from the other Germans, thus the free 
Suevians from their slaves. In other nations, whether from alliance 
of blood with the Suevians, or, as is usual, from imitation, this prac- 
tice is also found, yet rarely, and never exceeds the years of youth. 
The Suevians, even when their hair is white through age, continue 
to raise it backwards in a manner stern and staring; and often tie 
it upon the top of their head only. That of their Princes, is more 
accurately disposed, and so far they study to appear agreeable and 
comely; but without any culpable intention. For by it, they mean 
not to make love or to incite it: they thus dress when proceeding 
to war, and deck their heads so as to add to their height and terror 
in the eyes of the enemy. 

Of all the Suevians, the Semnones recount themselves to be the 
most ancient and most noble. The belief of their antiquity is con- 
firmed by religious mysteries. At a stated time of the year, all the 
several people descended from the same stock, assemble by their 
deputies in a wood; consecrated by the idolatries of their forefathers, 
and by superstitious awe in times of old. There by publicly sacri- 
ficing a man, they begin the horrible solemnity of their barbarous 
worship. To this grove another sort of reverence is also paid. No 


one enters it otherwise than bound with ligatures, thence professing 
his subordination and meanness, and the power of the Deity there. 
If he fall down, he is not permitted to rise or be raised, but grovels 
along upon the ground. And of all their superstition, this is the 
drift and tendency; that from this place the nation drew their orig- 
inal, that here God, the supreme Governor of the world, resides, 
and that all things else whatsoever are subject to him and bound 
to obey him. The potent condition of the Semnones has increased 
their influence and authority, as they inhabit an hundred towns; 
and from the largeness of their community it comes, that they hold 
themselves for the head of the Suevians. 

What on the contrary ennobles the Langobards is the smallness 
of their number, for that they, who are surrounded with very many 
and very powerful nations, derive their security from no obsequious- 
ness or plying; but from the dint of battle and adventurous deeds. 
There follow in order the Reudignians, and Aviones, and Angles, 
and Varinians, and Eudoses, and Suardones and Nuithones; all 
defended by rivers or forests. Nor in one of these nations does aught 
remarkable occur, only that they universally join in the worship of 
Herthum; that is to say, the Mother Earth. Her they believe to 
interpose in the affairs of man, and to visit countries. In an island 
of the ocean stands the wood Castum: in it is a chariot dedicated 
to the Goddess, covered over with a curtain, and permitted to be 
touched by none but the Priest. Whenever the Goddess enters this 
her holy vehicle, he perceives her; and with profound veneration 
attends the motion of the chariot, which is always drawn by yoked 
cows. Then it is that days of rejoicing always ensue, and in all 
places whatsoever which she descends to honour with a visit and 
her company, feasts and recreation abound. They go not to war; 
they touch no arms; fast laid up is every hostile weapon; peace and 
repose are then only known, then only beloved, till to the temple 
the same priest reconducts the Goddess when well tired with the con- 
versation of mortal beings. Anon the chariot is washed and purified 
in a secret lake, as also the curtains; nay, the Deity herself too, if you 
choose to believe it. In this office it is slaves who minister, and they 
are forthwith doomed to be swallowed up in the same lake. Hence 
all men are possessed with mysterious terror; as well as with a holy 


ignorance what that must be, which none see but such as are imme- 
diately to perish. Moreover this quarter of the Suevians stretches to 
the middle of Germany. 

The community next adjoining, is that of the Hermondurians; 
(that I may now follow the course of the Danube, as a little before 
I did that of the Rhine) a people this, faithful to the Romans. So 
that to them alone of all the Germans, commerce is permitted; not 
barely upon the bank of the Rhine, but more extensively, and even 
in that glorious colony in the province of RhcEtia. They travel every- 
where at their own discretion and without a guard; and when to 
other nations, we show no more than our arms and encampments, 
to this people we throw open our houses and dwellings, as to men 
who have no longing to possess them. In the territories of the 
Hermondurians rises the Elbe, a river very famous and formerly 
well known to us; at present we only hear it named. 

Close by the Hermondurians reside the Nariscans, and next to 
them the Marcomanians and Quadians. Amongst these the Marco- 
manians are most signal in force and renown; nay, their habitation 
itself they acquired by their bravery, as from thence they formerly 
expulsed the Boians. Nor do the Nariscans or Quadians degener- 
ate in spirit. Now this is as it were the frontier of Germany, as 
far as Germany is washed by the Danube. To the times within 
our memory the Marcomanians and Quadians were governed by 
kings, who were natives of their own, descended from the noble line 
of Maroboduus and Tudrus. At present they are even subject 
to such as are foreigners. But the whole strength and sway of their 
kings is derived from the authority of the Romans. From our arms, 
they rarely receive any aid; from our money very frequently. 

Nor less powerful are the several people beyond them; namely, 
the Marsignians, the Gothinians, the Osians and the Burians, who 
altogether enclose the Marcomanians and Quadians behind. Of 
those, the Marsignians and the Burians in speech and dress resemble 
the Suevians. From the Gallic language spoken by the Gothinians, 
and from that of Pannonia by the Osians, it is manifest that neither 
of these people are Germans; as it is also from their bearing to pay 
tribute. Upon them as upon aliens their tribute is imposed, partly 
by the Sarmatians, partly by the Quadians. The Gothinians, to 


heighten their disgrace, are forced to labour in the iron mines. By 
all these several nations but litde level country is possessed: they 
are seated amongst forests, and upon the ridges and declivities of 
mountains. For, Suevia is parted by a continual ridge of mountains; 
beyond which, live many distinct nations. Of these the Lygians are 
most numerous and extensive, and spread into several communities. 
It will suffice to mention the most puissant; even the Arians, Helvi- 
cones, Manimians; Elysians and Naharvalians. Amongst the Nahar- 
valians is shown a grove, sacred to devotion extremely ancient. Over 
it a Priest presides apparelled like a woman; but according to the 
explication of the Romans, 'tis Castor and Pollux who are here wor- 
shipped. This Divinity is named Alcts. There are indeed no images 
here, no traces of an extraneous superstition: yet their devotion is 
addressed to young men and to brothers. Now the Aryans, besides 
their forces, in which they surpass the several nations just recounted, 
are in their persons stern and truculent; and even humour and im- 
prove their natural grimness and ferocity by art and time. They 
wear black shields, their bodies are painted black, they choose dark 
nights for engaging in battle; and by the very awe and ghastly 
hue of their army, strike the enemy with dread, as none can bear 
this their aspect so surprising and as it were quite infernal. For, in 
all battles the eyes are vanquished first. 

Beyond the Lygians dwell the Gothones, under the rule of a King; 
and thence held in subjection somewhat stricter than the other Ger- 
man nations, yet not so strict as to extinguish all their liberty. Im- 
mediately adjoining are the Rugians and Lemovians upon the coast 
of the ocean, and of these several nations the characteristics are a 
round shield, a short sword and kingly government. Next occur 
the communities of the Suiones, situated in the ocean itself; and be- 
sides their strength in men and arms, very powerful at sea. The 
form of their vessels varies thus far from ours, that they have prows 
at each end, so as to be always ready to row to shore without turn- 
ing nor are they moved by sails, nor on their sides have benches of 
oars placed, but the rowers ply here and there in all parts of the 
ship alike, as in some rivers is done, and change their oars from 
place to place, just as they shift their course hither or thither. To 
wealth also, amongst them, great veneration is paid, and thence a 


single ruler governs them, without all restriction of power, and 
exacting unlimited obedience. Neither here, as amongst other na- 
tions of Germany, are arms used indifferently by all, but shut up 
and warded under the care of a particular keeper, who in truth too 
is always a slave: since from all sudden invasions and attacks from 
their foes, the ocean protects them: besides that armed bands, when 
they are not employed, grow easily debauched and tumultuous. The 
truth is, it suits not the interest of an arbitrary Prince, to trust the 
care and power of arms either with a nobleman or with a freeman, 
or indeed with any man above the condition of a slave. 

Beyond the Suiones is another sea, one very heavy and almost 
void of agitation; and by it the whole globe is thought to be bounded 
and environed, for that the reflection of the sun, after his setting, 
continues till his rising, so bright as to darken the stars. To this, 
popular opinion has added, that the tumult also of his emerging 
from the sea is heard, that forms divine are then seen, as likewise 
the rays about his head. Only thus far extend the limits of nature, 
if what fame says be true. Upon the right of the Suevian Sea the 
^styan nations reside, who use the same customs and attire with 
the Suevians; their language more resembles that of Britain. They 
worship the Mother of the Gods. As the characteristic of their 
national superstition, they wear the images of wild boars. This alone 
serves them for arms, this is the safeguard of all, and by this every 
worshipper of the Goddess is secured even amidst his foes. Rare 
amongst them is the use of weapons of iron, but frequent that of 
clubs. In producing of grain and the other fruits of the earth, they 
labour with more assiduity and patience than is suitable to the usual 
laziness of Germans. Nay, they even search the deep, and of all the 
rest are the only people who gather amber. They call it glasing, and 
find it amongst the shallows and upon the very shore. But, accord- 
ing to the ordinary incuriosity and ignorance of Barbarians, they 
have neither learnt, nor do they inquire, what is its nature, or from 
what cause it is produced. In truth it lay long neglected amongst 
the other gross discharges of the sea; till from our luxury, it gained 
a name and value. To themselves it is of no use: they gather it 
rough, they expose it in pieces coarse and unpolished, and for it 
receive a price with wonder. You would however conceive it to be 


a liquor issuing from trees, for that in the transparent substance are 
often seen birds and other animals, such as at first stuck in the soft 
gum, and by it, as it hardened, became quite enclosed. I am apt to 
believe that, as in the recesses of the East are found woods and 
groves dropping frankincense and balms, so in the isles and con- 
tinent of the West such gums are extracted by the force and prox- 
imity of the sun; at first liquid and flowing into the next sea, then 
thrown by winds and waves upon the opposite shore. If you try the 
nature of amber by the application of fire, it kindles like a torch; and 
feeds a thick and unctuous flame very high scented, and presently 
becomes glutinous like pitch or rosin. 

Upon the Suiones, border the people Si tones; and, agreeing with 
them in all other things, differ from them in one, that here the 
sovereignty is exercised by a woman. So notoriously do they degen- 
erate not only from a state of liberty, but even below a state of bond- 
age. Here end the territories of the Suevians. 

Whether amongst the Sarmatians or the Germans I ought to 
account the Peucinians, the Venedians, and the Fennians, is what 
I cannot determine; though the Peucinians, whom some call Bas- 
starnians, speak the same language with the Germans, use the same 
attire, build like them, and live like them, in that dirtiness and 
sloth so common to all. Somewhat they are corrupted into the 
fashion of the Sarmatians by the inter-marriages of the principal 
sort with that nation: from whence the Venedians have derived very 
many of their customs and a great resemblance. For they are con- 
tinually traversing and infesting with robberies all the forests and 
mountains lying between the Peucinians and Fennians. Yet they 
are rather reckoned amongst the Germans, for that they have fixed 
houses, and carry shields, and prefer travelling on foot, and excel in 
swiftness. Usages these, all widely differing from those of the 
Sarmatians, who live on horseback and dwell in waggons. In won- 
derful savageness live the nation of the Fennians, and in beastly 
poverty, destitute of arms, of horses, and of homes; their food, the 
common herbs; their apparel, skins; their bed, the earth; their only 
hope in their arrows, which for want of iron they point with bones. 
Their common support they have from the chase, women as well 
as men; for with these the former wander up and down, and crave 


a portion of the prey. Nor other shelter have they even for their 
babes, against the violence of tempests and ravening beasts, than 
to cover them with the branches of trees twisted together; this a 
reception for the old men, and hither resort the young. Such a 
condition they judge more happy than the painful occupation of 
cultivating the ground, than the labour of rearing houses, than the 
agitations of hope and fear attending the defence of their own prop- 
erty or the seizing that of others. Secure against the designs of men, 
secure against the malignity of the Gods, they have accomplished 
a thing of infinite difficulty; that to them nothing remains even 
to be wished. 

What further accounts we have are fabulous: as that the Hellusi- 
ans and Oxiones have the countenances and aspect of men, with the 
bodies and limbs of savage beasts. This, as a thing about which I 
have no certain information, I shall leave untouched. 




Sir Francis Drake, the greatest of the naval adventurers of England 
of the time of Elizabeth, was born in Devonshire about 1540. He went to 
sea early, was sailing to the Spanish Main by 1565, and commanded a 
ship under Hawkins in an expedition that was overwhelmed by the Span- 
iards in 1567. In order to recompense himself for the loss suffered in 
this disaster, he equipped the expedition against the Spanish treasure- 
house at Nombre de Dios in 1572, the fortunes of which are described in 
the first of the two following narratives. It was on this voyage that he 
was led by native guides to "that goodly and great high tree" on the 
isthmus of Darien, from which, first of Englishmen, he looked on the 
Pacific, and "besought Almighty God of His goodness to give him life 
and leave to sail once in an English ship in that sea." 

The fulfilment of this prayer is described in the second of the voyages 
here printed, in which it is told how, in 1578, Drake passed through the 
Straits of Magellan into waters never before sailed by his countrymen, 
and with a single ship rifled the Spanish settlements on the west coast 
of South America and plundered the Spanish treasure-ships; how, con- 
sidering it unsafe to go back the way he came lest the enemy should 
seek revenge, he went as far north as the Golden Gate, then passed across 
the Pacific and round by the Cape of Good Hope, and so home, the first 
Englishman to circumnavigate the globe. Only Magellan's ship had pre- 
ceded him in the feat, and Magellan had died on the voyage. The Queen 
visited the ship, "The Golden Hind," as she lay at Deptford and knighted 
the commander on board. 

Drake's further adventures were of almost equal interest. Returning 
from a raid on the Spaniards in 1586, he brought home the despairing 
Virginian colony, and is said at the same time to have introduced from 
America tobacco and potatoes. Two years later he led the English fleet 
in the decisive engagement with the Great Armada. In 1595 he set out 
on another voyage to the Spanish Main; and in the January of the follow- 
ing year died off Porto Bello and was buried in the waters where he had 
made his name as the greatest seaman of his day and nation. 

Sir Francis Drake 
revived ; 

Calling upon this dull or effeminate Age^ 
to follow his noble steps for gold and silver: 

By this memorable Relation of the rare occurrences 

(never yet declared to the world) in a Third Voyage 

made by him into the West Indies, in the years 

(15372 and [is]73 ; when Nombre de Dio» was 

by him, and fifty-two othen only in bis 

company, lurpiited. 

Faithfully taken out of the report of Master 

Christopher Ceely, Ellis Hixom, and others, 

who were in the same Voyage with him ; 

By Philip Nichols, Preacher. 

Reviewed also by Sir Francis Drake himself, 

before his death ; and much hulpen and enlarged 

by divers notes, with his own hand, 

here and there inserted. 

Set forth by Sir Francis Drake, Baronet, 
(his nephew) now living. 


Printed by E. A. for N i c h o l a s Bourne, 

dwelling at the South Entrance of the 
Royal Exchange. 1626. 

Facsimile of Title-page of First Edition 



KING, all the blessings of this, and a better life. 

Most Gracious Sovereign, 

That this brief Treatise is yours, both by right and by succession, will 
appear by the Author's and Actor's ensuing Dedication. To praise either 
the Mistress or the Servant, might justly incur the censure of Quit eos 
unquam sanus vituperavit; either 's worth having sufEciendy blazed their 

This Present loseth nothing, by glancing on former actions; and the 
observation of passed adventures may probably advantage future employ- 
ments. CjEsar wrote his own Commentaries; and this Doer was pardy 
the Inditor. 

Neither is there wanting living testimony to confirm its truth. 

For his sake, then, cherish what is good! and I shall willingly enter- 
tain check for what is amiss. Your favourable acceptance may encourage 
my collecting of more neglected notes ! However, though Virtue, as Lands, 
be not inheritable; yet hath he left of his Name, one that resolves, and 
therein joys to approve himself. 

Your most humble and loyal subject, 

Francis Drake [Bart.] 

The Dedicatory Epistle, intended to 


Written by Sir Francis Drake, Deceased. 

To the Queen's most excellent Majesty, 
my most dread Sovereign. 


Seeing divers have diversely reported and vvrritten of these Voyages 
and Actions which I iiave attempted and made, every one endeavouring 
to bring to light whatsoever inklings or conjectures they have had; 
whereby many untruths have been published, and the certain truth con- 
cealed: as [so] I have thought it necessary myself, as in a Card [chart] 
to prick the principal points of the counsels taken, attempts made, and 
success had, during the whole course of my employment in these services 
against the Spaniard. Not as setting sail for maintaining my reputation 
in men's judgment, but only as sitting at helm, if occasion shall be, for 
conducting the like actions hereafter. So I have accounted it my duty, to 
present this Discourse to Your Majesty, as of right; either for itself being 
the first fruits of your Servant's pen, or for the matter, being service done 
to Your Majesty by your f)oor vassal, against your great Enemy: at times, 
in such places, and after such sort as may seem strange to those that are 
not acquainted with the whole carriage thereof; but will be a pleasing 
remembrance to Your Highness, who take the apparent height of the 
Almighty's favour towards you, by these events, as truest instruments. 

Humbly submitting myself to Your gracious censure, both in wridng 
and presenting; that Posterity be not deprived of such help as may hap- 
pily be gained hereby, and our present Age, at least, may be satisfied, 
in the rightfulness of these actions, which hitherto have been silenced: 
and Your Servant's labour not seem altogether lost, not only in travels 



by sea and land, but also in writing the Report thereof (a work to him 
no less troublesome) yet made pleasant and sweet, in that it hath been, 
is, and shall be for Your Majesty's content; to whom I have devoted my- 
self [and] live or die. 

Francis Drake [Knight]. 

]anuary i, 1592 \U., 1593]. 


Honest Reader, 

Without apology, I desire thee, in this ensuing Discourse, to observe, 
with me, the |X)wer and justice of the LORD of Hosts, Who could enable 
so mean a person to right himself upon so mighty a Prince; together with 
the goodness and providence of GOD very observable in that it pleased 
Him to raise this man, not only from a low condition, but even from 
the state of persecution. His father suffered in it, being forced to fly 
from his house, near South Tavistock in Devon, into Kent: and there to 
inhabit in the hull of a ship, wherein many of his younger sons were 
born. He had twelve in all: and as it pleased GOD to give most of them 
a being upon the water, so the greatest part of them died at sea. The 
youngest, who though he was [went] as far as any, yet died at home; 
whose posterity inherits that, which by himself and this noble Gendeman 
the eldest brother, was hardly, yet worthily gotten. 

I could more largely acquaint thee, that this voyage was his Third he 
made into the West Indies; after that [of] his excellent service, both by 
sea and land, in Ireland, under Walter, Earl of Essex; his next, about 
the World; another, wherein he took St. Jago, Cartagena, St. Domingo, 
St. Augustino; his doings at Cadiz; besides the first Carrack taught by 
him to sail into England; his stirrings in Eighty-seven; his remarkable 
actions in Eighty-eight; his endeavours in the Portugal employment; his 
last enterprise, determined by death; and his filling Plymouth with a 
plentiful stream of fresh water: but I pass by all these. I had rather thou 
shouldest inquire of others! then to seem myself a vainglorious man. 

I intend not his praise! I strive only to set out the praise of his and 
our good GOD! that guided him in his truth! and protected him in his 
courses! My ends are to stir thee up to the worship of GOD, and service 
of our King and Country, by his example! If anything be worth thy 
consideration; conclude with me, that the LORD only, can do great 

Francis Drake [Bart.] 


Calling upon this dull or effeminate Age, to follow his noble 
steps for gold and silver. 

AS THERE is a general Vengeance which secretly pursueth 
yLA the doers of wrong, and suflereth them not to prosper, albeit 
X JL no man of purpose empeach them: so is there a particular 
Indignation, engraffed in the bosom of all that are wronged, which 
ceaseth not seeking, by all means possible, to redress or remedy the 
wrong received. Insomuch as those great and mighty men, in whom 
their prosperous estate hath bred such an overweening of them- 
selves, that they do not only wrong their inferiors, but despise them 
being injured, seem to take a very unfit course for their own safety, 
and far unfitter for their rest. For as Esop teacheth, even the fly 
hath her spleen, and the emmet \ant\ is not without her choler; and 
both together many times find means whereby, though the eagle lays 
her eggs in Jupiter's lap, yet by one way or other, she escapeth not 
requital of her wrong done [to] the emmet. 

Among the manifold examples hereof, which former Ages have 
committed to memory, or our Time yielded to sight: I suppose, there 
hath not been any more notable then this in hand; either in respect 
of the greatness of the person by whom the first injury was offered, 
or the meanness of him who righted himself. The one being, in 
his own conceit, the mightiest Monarch of all the world! The other, 
an English Captain, a mean subject of her Majesty's! Who (besides 
the wrongs received at Rio de [la] Hacha with Captain John 
LovELL in the years [i5]65 and [i5]66) having been grievously en- 
damaged at San Juan de Ulua in the Bay of Mexico, with Captain 
John Hawkins, in the years [15167 and [i5]68, not only in the loss 
of his goods of some value, but also of his kinsmen and friends, and 
that by the falsehood of Don Martin Henriquez then the Viceroy of 
Mexico; and finding that no recompense could be recovered out of 



Spain, by any of his own means, or by Her Majesty's letters; he 
used such helps as he might, by two several voyages into the West 
Indies (the first with two ships, the one called the Dragon, the other 
the Swan, in the year [i5]7o: the other in the Swan alone in the 
year [i5]7i), to gain such intelligences as might further him, to get 
some amends for his loss. 

And having, in those two Voyages, gotten such certain notice of 
the persons and places aimed at, as he thought requisite, and there- 
upon with good deliberation resolved on a Third Voyage (the 
description whereof we have now in hand); he accordingly pre- 
pared his ships and company, and then taking the first opportunity 
of a good wind, had such success in his proceedings, as now follows 
further to be declared. 

On Whitsunday Eve, being the 24th of May, in the year 1572, 
Captain Drake in the Pascha of Plymouth of 70 tons, his admiral 
[flag-ship]; with the Swan of the same port, of 25 tons, his vice- 
admiral, in which his brother John Drake was Captain (having in 
both of them, of men and boys seventy-three, all voluntarily as- 
sembled; of which the eldest was fifty, all the rest under thirty: so 
divided that there were forty-seven in the one ship, and twenty-six 
in the other. Both richly furnished with victuals and apparel for a 
whole year; and no less heedfuUy provided of aU manner of muni- 
tion, artillery, artificers, stuff and tools, that were requisite for such 
a Man-of-war in such an attempt: but especially having three dainty 
pinnaces made in Plymouth, taken asunder all in pieces, and stowed 
aboard, to be set up as occasion served), set sail, from out of the 
Sound of Plymouth, with intent to land at Nombre de Dios. 

The wind continued prosperous and favourable at north-east, 
and gave us a very good passage, without any alteration or change: 
so that albeit we had sight (3rd June) of Porto Santo, one of the 
Madeiras, and of the Canaries also within twelve days of our setting 
forth: yet we never struck sail, nor came to anchor, nor made any 
stay for any cause, neither there nor elsewhere, until twenty-five days 
after; when (28th June) we had sight of the island of Guadaloupe, 
one of the islands of the West Indies, goodly high land. 


The next morning (29th June), we entered between Dominica 
and Guadaloupe, where we descried two canoes coming from a 
rocky island, three leagues off Dominica; which usually repair 
thither to fish, by reason of the great plenty thereof, which is there 
continually to be found. 

We landed on the south side of it, remaining there three days to 
refresh our men; and to water our ships out of one of those goodly 
rivers, which fall down off the mountain. There we saw certain poor 
cottages; built with Palmito boughs and branches; but no inhabi- 
tants, at that time, civil or savage: the cottages it may be (for we 
could know no certain cause of the solitariness we found there) 
serving, not for continual inhabitation, but only for their uses, that 
came to that place at certain seasons to fish. 

The third day after (ist July), about three in the afternoon, we 
set sail from thence, toward the continent of Terra firma. 

And the fifth day after (6th July), we had sight of the high land 
of Santa Marta; but came not near the shore by ten leagues. 

But thence directed our course, for a place called by us, Port 
Pheasant; for that our Captain had so named it in his former voy- 
age, by reason of the great store of those goodly fowls, which he and 
his company did then daily kill and feed on, in that place. In this 
course notwithstanding we had two days calm, yet within six days 
after we arrived (12th July) at Port Pheasant, which is a fine round 
bay, of very safe harbour for all winds, lying between two high 
points, not past half a cable's length over at the mouth, but within, 
eight or ten cables' length every way, having ten or twelve fathoms 
of water more or less, full of good fish; the soil also very fruitful, 
which may appear by this, that our Captain having been in this 
place, within a year and few days before [i. e., in July, 1571] and 
having rid the place with many alleys and paths made; yet now all 
was so overgrown again, as that we doubted, at first, whether this was 
the same place or not. 

At our entrance into this bay, our Captain having given order to 
his brother what to do, if any occasion should happen in his absence, 
was on his way, with intent to have gone aland with some few only 
in his company, because he knew there dwelt no Spaniards within 


thirty-five leagues of that place. [Santiago de] Tolou being the 
nearest to the eastwards, and Nombre de Dios to the westwards, 
where any of that nation dwelt. 

But as we were rowing ashore, we saw a smoke in the woods, 
even near the place where our Captain had aforetime frequented; 
therefore thinking it fit to take more strength with us, he caused his 
other boat also to be manned, with certain muskets and other 
weapons, suspecting some enemy had been ashore. 

When we landed, we found by evident marks, that there had been 
lately there, a certain Enghshman of Plymouth, called John Garret, 
who had been conducted thither by certain English mariners which 
had been there with our Captain, in some of his former voyages. 
He had now left a plate of lead, nailed fast to a mighty great tree 
(greater than any four men joining hands could fathom about) on 
which were engraven these words, directed to our Captain. 


/F YOU fortune to come to this Port, maf^e haste away! For the 
Spaniards which you had with you here, the last year, have be- 
wrayed this place, and ta\en away all that you left here. 
I depart from hence, this present jth of July, 1572. 

Your very loving friend, 

John Garret. 

The smoke which we saw, was occasioned by a fire, which the 
said Garret and his company had made, before their departure, in 
a very great tree, not far from this which had the lead nailed on it, 
which had continued burning at least five days before our arrival. 

This advertisement notwithstanding, our Captain meant not to 
depart before he had built his pinnaces; which were yet aboard in 
pieces: for which purpose he knew this port to be a most convenient 

And therefore as soon as we had moored our ships, our Captain 
commanded his pinnaces to be brought ashore for the carpenters to 
set up; himself employing all his other company in fortifying a place 
(which he had chosen out, as a most fit plot) of three-quarters of 
an acre of ground, to make some strength or safety for the present, 


as sufficiendy as the means he had would afford. Which was per- 
formed by felling of great trees; bowsing and hauling them together, 
with great pulleys and hawsers, until they were enclosed to the 
water; and then letting others fall upon them, until they had raised 
with trees and boughs thirty feet in height round about, leaving only 
one gate to issue at, near the water side; which every night, that we 
might sleep in more safety and security, was shut up, with a great 
tree drawn athwart it. 

The whole plot was built in pentagonal form, to wit, of five 
equal sides and angles, of which angles two were toward the sea, 
and that side between them was left open, for the easy launching of 
our pinnaces: the other four equal sides were wholly, excepting the 
gate before mentioned, firmly closed up. 

Without, instead of a trench, the ground was rid [laid bare] for 
fifty feet space, round about. The rest was very thick with trees, of 
which many were of those kinds which are never without green 
leaves, till they are dead at the root: excepting only one kind of 
tree amongst them, much like to our Ash, which when the sun 
Cometh right over them, causing great rains, suddenly casteth all its 
leaves, viz., within three days, and yet within six days after becomes 
all green again. The leaves of the other trees do also in part fall 
away, but so as the trees continue still green notwithstanding: being 
of a marvellous height, and supported as it were with five or six 
natural buttresses growing out of their bodies so far, that three 
men may so be hidden in each of them, that they which shall stand 
in the very next buttress shall not be able to see them. One of them 
specially was marked to have had seven of those stays or buttresses, 
for the supporting of his greatness and height, which being measured 
with a line close by the bark and near to the ground, as it was in- 
dented or extant, was found to be above thirty-nine yards about. 
The wood of those trees is as heavy or heavier than Brazil or Lignum 
vitce; and is in colour white. 

The next day after we had arrived (13th July), there came also 
into that bay, an English bark of the Isle of Wight, of Sir Edward 
Horsey's; wherein James Ranse was Captain and John Overy, 
Master, with thirty men: of which, some had been with our Cap- 
tain in the same place, the year before. They brought in with them 


a Spanish caravel of Seville, which he had taken the day before, 
athwart of that place; being a Caravel of Adviso [Despatch boat] 
bound for Nombre de Dios; and also one shallop with oars, which he 
had taken at Cape Blanc. This Captain Ranse understanding our 
Captain's purpose, was desirous to join in consort with him; and 
was received upon conditions agreed on between them. 

Within seven days after his coming, having set up our pinnaces, 
and despatched all our business, in providing all things necessary, 
out of our ships into our pinnaces: we departed (20th July) from 
that harbour, setting sail in the morning towards Nombre de Dios, 
continuing our course till we came to the Isles of Pinos: where, being 
within three days arrived, we found (22nd July) two frigates of 
Nombre de Dios lading plank and timber from thence. 

The Negroes which were in those frigates, gave us some particular 
understanding of the present state of the town; and besides, told 
us that they had heard a report, that certain soldiers should come 
thither shortly, and were daily looked for, from the Governor of 
Panama, and the country thereabout, to defend the town against the 
Cimaroons (a black people, which about eighty years past [i. e., 1512] 
fled from the Spaniards their masters, by reason of their cruelty, and 
are since grown to a Nation, under two Kings of their own: the 
one inhabiteth to the West, and the other to the East of the Way 
from Nombre de Dios to Panama) which had nearly surprised it 
\t. e., Nombre de Dios], about six weeks before [«'. e., about 10th 
June, 1572]. 

Our Captain willing to use those Negroes well (not hurting him- 
self) set them ashore upon the Main, that they might perhaps join 
themselves to their countrymen the Cimaroons, and gain their 
liberty, if they would; or if they would not, yet by reason of the 
length and troublesomeness of the way by land to Nombre de Dios, 
he might prevent any notice of his coming, which they should be able 
to give. For he was loath to put the town to too much charge (which 
he knew they would willingly bestow) in providing beforehand for 
his entertainment; and therefore he hastened his going thither, with 
as much speed and secrecy as possibly he could. 

To this end, disposing of all his companies, according as they in- 
clined most; he left the three ships and the caravel with Captain 


Ranse; and chose into his four pinnaces (Captain Ranse's shallop 
made the fourth) beside fifty-three of our men, twenty more of Cap- 
tain Ranse's company; with which he seemed competently fur- 
nished, to achieve what he intended; especially having proportioned, 
according to his own purpose, and our men's disposition, their sev- 
eral arms, viz., six targets, six firepikes, twelve pikes, twenty-four 
muskets and calivers, sixteen bows, and six partisans, two drums, 
and two trumpets. 

Thus having parted (23rd July) from our company: we arrived 
at the island of Cativaas, being twenty-five leagues distant, about 
five days afterward (28th July) . There we larded all in the morning 
betimes: and our Captain trained his men, delivering them their 
several weapons and arms which hitherto he had kept very fair and 
safe in good caske [ra^^^J: and exhorting them after his manner, 
he declared "the greatness of the hope of good things that was there! 
the weakness of the town, being un walled! and the hope he had 
of prevailing to recompense his wrongs! especially now that he 
should come with such a crew, who were like-minded with himself; 
and at such a time, as he should be utterly undiscovered." 

Therefore, even that afternoon, he causeth us to set sail for 
Nombre de Dios, so that before sunset we were as far as Rio Fran- 
cisco. Thence, he led us hard aboard the shore, that we might not 
be descried of the Watch House, until that being come within two 
leagues of the point of the bay, he caused us to strike a hull, and 
oast our grappers [grappling irons], riding so until it was dark 

Then we weighed again, and set sail, rowing hard aboard the 
shore, with as much silence as we could, till we recovered the point 
of the harbour under the high land. There, we stayed, all silent; 
purposing to attempt the town in the dawning of the day: after 
that we had reposed ourselves, for a while. 

But our Captain with some other of his best men, finding that 
our people were talking of the greatness of the town, and what 
their strength might be; especially by the report of the Negroes that 
we took at the Isle of Pinos: thought it best to put these conceits 
out of their heads, and therefore to take the opportunity of the rising 
of the moon that night, persuading them that "it was the day 


dawning." By this occasion we were at the town a large hour sooner 
then first was purposed. For we arrived there by three of the clock 
after midnight. At what time it fortuned that a ship of Spain, of 
60 tons, laden with Canary wines and other commodities, which 
had but lately come into the bay; and had not yet furled her sprit- 
sail (espying our four pinnaces, being an extraordinary number, 
and those rowing with many oars) sent away her gundeloe [gon- 
dola ?] towards the town, to give warning. But our Captain per- 
ceiving it, cut betwixt her and the town, forcing her to go to the 
other side of the bay: whereby we landed without impeachment, 
although we found one gunner upon the Platform [battery] in the 
very place where we landed; being a sandy place and no key [quay\ 
at all, not past twenty yards from the houses. 

There we found six great pieces of brass ordnance, mounted upon 
their carriages, some Demy, some Whole-Culvering. 

We presently dismounted them. The gunner fled. The town took 
alarm (being very ready thereto, by reason of their often disquieting 
by their near neighbours the Cimaroons) ; as we perceived, not only 
by the noise and cries of the people, but by the bell ringing out, and 
drums running up and down the town. 

Our Captain, according to the directions which he had given 
over night, to such as he had made choice of for the purpose, left 
twelve to keep the pinnaces; that we might be sure of a safe retreat, 
if the worst befell. And having made sure work of the Platform 
before he would enter the town, he thought best, first to view the 
Mount on the east side of the town: where he was informed, by 
sundry intelligences the year before, they had an intent to plant 
ordnance, which might scour round about the town. 

Therefore, leaving one half of his company to make a stand at 
the foot of the Mount, he marched up presently unto the top of it, 
with all speed to try the truth of the report, for the more safety. 
There we found no piece of ordnance, but only a very fit place pre- 
pared for such use, and therefore we left it without any of our men, 
and with all celerity returned now down the Mount. 

Then our Captain appointed his brother, with John Oxnam [or 
Oxenham] and sixteen other of his men, to go about, behind the 
King's Treasure House, and enter near the easter[n] end of the 


Market Place: himself with the rest, would pass up the broad street 
into the Market Place, with sound of drum and trumpet. The Fire- 
pikes, divided half to the one, and half to the other company, served 
no less for fright to the enemy than light of our men, who by his 
means might discern every place very well, as if it were near day: 
whereas the inhabitants stood amazed at so strange a sight, marvel- 
ling what the matter might be, and imagining, by reason of our 
drums and trumpets sounding in so sundry places, that we had been 
a far greater number then we were. 

Yet, by means of the soldiers of which were in the town, and by 
reason of the time which we spent in marching up and down the 
Mount, the soldiers and inhabitants had put themselves in arms, 
and brought their companies in some order, at the south-east end 
of the Market Place, near the Governor's House, and not far from 
the gate of the town, which is the only one, leading towards Panama : 
having (as it seems) gathered themselves thither, either that in the 
Governor's sight they might shew their valour, if it might prevail; or 
else, that by the gate they might best take their Vale, and escape 

And to make a shew of far greater numbers of shot, or else of 
a custom they had, by the like device to terrify the Cimaroons; they 
had hung lines with matches lighted, overthwart the wester[n] end 
of the Market Place, between the Church and the Cross; as though 
there had been in a readiness some company of shot, whereas indeed 
there were not past two or three that taught these lines to dance, 
till they themselves ran away, as soon as they perceived they were 

But the soldiers and such as were joined with them, presented us 
with a jolly hot volley of shot, beating full upon the full egress of 
that street, in which we marched; and levelling very low, so as their 
bullets of ttimes grazed on the sand. 

We stood not to answer them in like terms: but having discharged 
our first volley of shot, and feathered them with our arrows (which 
our Captain had caused to be made of purpose in England; not 
great sheaf arrows, but fine roving shafts, very carefully reserved for 
the service) we came to the push of pike, so that our firepikes being 
well armed and made of purpose, did us very great service. 


For our men with their pikes and short weapons, in short time 
took such order among these gallants (some using the butt-end of 
their pieces instead of other weapons), that partly by reason of our 
arrows which did us there notable service, pardy by occasion of this 
strange and sudden closing with them in this manner unlooked for, 
and the rather for that at the very instant, our Captain's brother, 
with the other company, with their firepikes, entered the Market 
Place by the easter[n] street: they casting down their weapons, fled 
all out of the town by the gate aforesaid, which had been built for 
a bar to keep out of the town the Cimaroons, who had often assailed 
it; but now served for a gap for the Spaniards to fly at. 

In following, and returning; divers of our men were hurt with 
the weapons which the enemy had let fall as he fled; somewhat, for 
that we marched with such speed, but more for that they lay so 
thick and cross one on the other. 

Being returned, we made our stand near the midst of the Mar- 
ket Place, where a tree groweth hard by the Cross; whence our 
Captain sent some of our men to stay the ringing of the alarm bell, 
which had continued all this while: but the church being very 
strongly built and fast shut, they could not without firing (which 
our Captain forbade) get into the steeple where the bell rung. 

In the meantime, our Captain having taken two or three Span- 
iards in their flight, commanded them to shew him the Governor's 
House, where he understood was the ordinary place of unlading 
the moiles [mules] of all the treasure which came from Panama by 
the King's appointment. Although the silver only was kept there; 
the gold, pearl, and jewels (being there once entered by the King's 
officer) was carried from thence to the King's Treasure House not 
far off, being a house very strongly built of lime and stone, for the 
safe keeping thereof. 

At our coming to the Governor's House, we found the great door 
where the mules do usually unlade, even then opened, a candle 
lighted upon the top of the stairs; and a fair gennet ready saddled, 
either for the Governor himself, or some other of his household to 
carry it after him. By means of this light we saw a huge heap of 
silver in that nether [lower] room; being a pile of bars of silver of, as 
near as we could guess, seventy feet in length, of ten feet in breadth. 


and twelve feet in height, piled up against the wall, each bar was 
between thirty-five and forty pounds in weight. 

At sight hereof, our Captain commanded straightly that none of 
us should touch a bar of silver; but stand upon our weapons, be- 
cause the town was full of people, and there was in the King's 
Treasure House near the water side, more gold and jewels than all 
our four pinnaces could carry: which we would presently set some 
in hand to break open, notwithstanding the Spaniards report the 
strength of it. 

We were no sooner returned to our strength, but there was a 
report brought by some of our men that our pinnaces were in 
danger to be taken; and that if we ourselves got not aboard before 
day, we should be oppressed with multitude both of soldiers and 
towns-people. This report had his ground from one Diego a Negro, 
who, in the time of the first conflict, came and called to our pinnaces, 
to know "whether they were Captain Drake's?" And upon answer 
received, continued entreating to be taken aboard, though he had 
first three or four shot made at him, until at length they fetched him; 
and learned by him, that, not past eight days before our arrival, the 
King had sent thither some 150 soldiers to guard the town against 
the Cimaroons, and the town at this time was full of people beside : 
which all the rather believed, because it agreed with the report of 
the Negroes, which we took before at the Isle of Pinos. And there- 
fore our Captain sent his brother and John Oxnam to understand the 
truth thereof. 

They found our men which we left in our pinnaces much fright- 
ened, by reason that they saw great troops and companies running 
up and down, with matches lighted, some with other weapons, 
crying Que gente? que gente? which not having been at the first 
conflict, but coming from the utter ends of the town (being at least 
as big as Plymouth), came many times near us; and understanding 
that we were English, discharged their pieces and ran away. 

Presently after this, a mighty shower of rain, with a terrible 
storm of thunder and lightning, fell, which poured down so vehe- 
mently (as it usually doth in those countries) that before we could 
recover the shelter of a certain shade or penthouse at the western 
end of the King's Treasure House, (which seemeth to have been 


built there of purpose to avoid sun and rain) some of our bow- 
strings were wet, and some of our match and powder hurt! which 
while we were careful of, to refurnish and supply; divers of our 
men harping on the reports lately brought us, were muttering of the 
forces of the town, which our Captain perceiving, told them, that 
"He had brought them to the mouth of the Treasure of the World, 
if they would want it, they might henceforth blame nobody but 

And therefore as soon as the storm began to assuage of his fury 
(which was a long half hour) willing to give his men no longer 
leisure to demur of those doubts, nor yet allow the enemy farther 
respite to gather themselves together, he stept forward commanding 
his brother, with John Oxnam and the company appointed them, to 
break the King's Treasure House: the rest to follow him to keep the 
strength of the Market Place, till they had despatched the business 
for which they came. 

But as he stepped forward, his strength and sight and speech failed 
him, and he began to faint for want of blood, which, as then we 
perceived, had, in great quantity, issued upon the sand, out of a 
wound received in his leg in the first encounter, whereby though he 
felt some pain, yet (for that he perceived divers of the company, 
having already gotten many good things, to be very ready to take 
all occasions, of winding themselves out of that conceited danger) 
would he not have it known to any, till this his fainting, against his 
will, bewrayed it: the blood having first filled the very prints which 
our footsteps made, to the greater dismay of all our company, who 
thought it not credible that one man should be able to spare so 
much blood and live. 

And therefore even they, which were willing to have adventured 
the most for so fair a booty, would in no case hazard their Captain's 
life; but (having given him somewhat to drink wherewith he re- 
covered himself, and having bound his scarf about his leg, for the 
stopping of the blood) entreated him to be content to go with them 
aboard, there to have his wound searched and dressed, and then to 
return on shore again if he thought good. 

This when they could not persuade him unto (as who knew it 
to be utterly impossible, at least very unlikely, that ever they should, 


for that time, return again, to recover the state in which they now 
were: and was of opinion, that it were more honourable for himself, 
to jeopard his life for so great a benefit, than to leave off so high an 
enterprise unperformed), they joined altogether and with force 
mingled with fair entreaty, they bare him aboard his pinnace, and 
so abandoned a most rich spoil for the present, only to preserve their 
Captain's life: and being resolved of him, that while they enjoyed 
his presence, and had him to command them, they might recover 
wealth sufficient; but if once they lost him, they should hardly be 
able to recover home. No, not with that which they had gotten 

Thus we embarked by break of the day (29th July), having be- 
sides our Captain, many of our men wounded, though none slain but 
one Trumpeter: whereupon though our surgeons were busily em- 
ployed, in providing remedies and salves for their wounds: yet the 
main care of our Captain was respected by all the rest; so that before 
we departed out of the harbour for the more comfort of our com- 
pany, we took the aforesaid ship of wines without great resistance. 

But before we had her free of the haven, they of the town had 
made means to bring one of their culverins, which we had dis- 
mounted, so as they made a shot at us, but hindered us not from 
carrying forth the prize to the Isle of Bastimentos, or the Isle of 
Victuals: which is an island that lieth without the bay to the west- 
ward, about a league off the town, where we stayed the two next 
days, to cure our wounded men, and refresh ourselves, in the goodly 
gardens which we there found abounding with great store of all 
dainty roots and fruits; besides great plenty of poultry and other 
fowls, no less strange then delicate. 

Shortly upon our first arrival in this island, the Governor and 
the rest of his Assistants in the town, as we afterwards understood, 
sent unto our Captain, a proper gentleman, of mean stature, good 
complexion, and a fair spoken, a principal soldier of the late sent 
garrison, to view in what state we were. At his coming he protested 
"He came to us, of mere good will, for that we had attempted so 
great and incredible a matter with so few men: and that, at the first, 
they feared that we had been French, at whose hands they knew they 
should find no mercy: but after they perceived by our arrows, that 


we were Englishmen, their fears were the less, for that they knew, 
that though we took the treasure of the place, yet we would not use 
cruelty toward their persons. But albeit this his affection gave him 
cause enough, to come aboard such, whose virtue he so honoured: 
yet the Governor also had not only consented to his coming, but 
directly sent him, upon occasion that divers of the town affirmed, 
said he, 'that they knew our Captain, who the last two years had been 
often on our coast, and had always used their persons very well.' 
And therefore desired to know, first, Whether our Captain was the 
same Captain Drake or not? and next. Because many of their men 
were wounded with our arrows, whether they were poisoned or 
not? and how their wounds might best be cured? lastly. What vic- 
tuals we wanted, or other necessaries? of which the Governor prom- 
ised by him to supply and furnish us, as largely as he durst." 

Our Captain, although he thought this soldier but a spy: yet used 
him very courteously, and answered him to his Governor's demands: 
that "He was the same Drake whom they meant! It was never his 
manner to poison his arrows! They might cure their wounded by 
ordinary surgery! As for wants, he knew the Island of Bastimentos 
had sufficient, and could furnish him if he listed! but he wanted 
nothing but some of that special commodity which that country 
yielded, to content himself and his company." And therefore he 
advised the Governor "to hold open his eyes! for before he departed, 
if GOD lent him life and leave, he meant to reap some of their 
harvest, which they get out of the earth, and send into Spain to 
trouble all the earth!" 

To this answer unlocked for, this gentleman replied, "If he 
might, without offence, move such a question, what should then be 
the cause of our departing from that town at this time, where was 
above 360 tons of silver ready for the Fleet, and much more gold 
in value, resting in iron chests in the King's Treasure House?" 

But when our Captain had shewed him the true cause of his 
unwilling retreat aboard, he acknowledged that "we had no less 
reason in departing, than courage in attempting": and no doubt did 
easily see, that it was not for the town to seek revenge of us, by 
manning forth such frigates or other vessels as they had; but better 
to content themselves and provide for their own defence. 


Thus, with great favour and courteous entertainment, besides 
such gifts from our Captain as most contented him, after dinner, 
he was in such sort dismissed, to make report of that he had seen, 
that he protested, "he was never so much honoured of any in his hfe." 

After his departure, the Negro formentioned, being examined 
more fully, confirmed this report of the gold and the silver; with 
many other intelligences of importance: especially how we might 
have gold and silver enough, if we would, by means of the Cima- 
roons, whom though he had betrayed divers times (being used 
thereto by his Masters) so that he knew they would kill him, if 
they got him: yet if our Captain would undertake his protection, he 
durst adventure his life, because he knew our Captain's name was 
most precious and highly honoured by them. 

This report ministered occasion to further consultation: for which, 
because this place seemed not the safest; as being neither the healthi- 
est nor quietest; the next day, in the morning, we all set our course 
for the Isle of Pinos or Port Plenty, where we had left our ships, 
continuing all that day, and the next till towards night, before we 
recovered it. 

We were the longer in this course, for that our Captain sent away 
his brother and Ellis Hixom to the westward, to search the River 
of Chagres, where himself had been the year before, and yet was 
careful to gain more notice of; it being a river which trendeth to the 
southward, within six leagues of Panama, where is a little town 
called Venta Cruz [Venta de Cruzes], whence all the treasure, that 
was usually brought thither from Panama by mules, was embarked 
in frigates [sailing] down that river into the North sea, and so to 
Nombre de Dios. 

It ebbeth and floweth not far into the land, and therefore it asketh 
three days' rowing with a fine pinnace to pass [up] from the mouth 
to Venta Cruz; but one day and a night serveth to return down the 

At our return to our ships (ist August), in our consultation. 
Captain Ranse (forecasting divers doubts of our safe continuance 
upon that coast, being now discovered) was willing to depart; and 
our Captain no less willing to dismiss him: and therefore as soon 
as our pinnaces returned from Chagres (7th August) with such 


advertisement as they were sent for, about eight days before; Cap- 
tain Ranse took his leave, leaving us at the isle aforesaid, where we 
had remained five or six days. 

In which meantime, having put all things in a readiness, our 
Captain resolved, with his two ships and three pinnaces to go to 
Cartagena; whither in sailing, we spent some six days by reason of 
the calms which came often upon us: but all this time we attempted 
nothing that we might have done by the way, neither at [Santiago 
de] Tolou nor otherwhere, because we would not be discovered. 

We came to anchor with our two ships in the evening [13th Au- 
gust], in seven fathom water, between the island of Charesha [the 
island of Cartagena, p. 156] and St. Barnards [San Bernardo.] 

Our Captain led the three pinnaces about the island, into the har- 
bour of Cartagena; where at the very entry, he found a frigate at 
anchor, aboard which was only one old man; who being demanded, 
"Where the rest of his company was?" answered, "That they were 
gone ashore in their gundeloe [gondola or ship's boat?], that even- 
ing, to fight about a mistress": and voluntarily related to our Cap- 
tain that, "two hours before night, there past by them a pinnace, 
with sail and oars, as fast as ever they could row, calling to him 
'Whether there had not been any English and Frenchmen there 
lately?' and upon answer that, 'There had been none!' they bid them 
'look to themselves!' That, within an hour that this pinnace was 
come to the utterside [outside] of Cartagena, there were many great 
pieces shot off, whereupon one going to top, to descry what might 
be the cause? espied, over the land, divers frigates and small shipping 
bringing themselves within the Castle." 

This report our Captain credited, the rather for that himself had 
heard the report of the ordnance at sea; and perceived sufficiently, 
that he was now descried. Notwithstanding in farther examination 
of this old mariner, having understood, that there was, within the 
next point, a great ship of Seville, which had here discharged her 
loading, and rid now with her yards across, being bound the next 
morning for Santo Domingo: our Captain took this old man into 
his pinnace to verify that which he had informed, and rowed to- 
wards this ship, which as we came near it, hailed us, asking, 
"Whence our shallops were?" 


We answered, "From Nombre de Dios!" 

Straightway they railed! and reviled! We gave no heed to their 
words, but every pinnace, according to our Captain's order, one on 
the starboard bow, the other on the starboard quarter, and the 
Captain in the midship on the larboard side, forthwith boarded her; 
though we had some difficulty to enter by reason of her height, 
being of 240 tons. But as soon as we entered upon the decks, we 
threw down the grates and spardecks, to prevent the Spaniards 
from annoying us with their close fights: who then perceiving that 
we were possessed of their ship, stowed themselves all in hold with 
their weapons, except two or three yonkers, which were found afore 
the beetes: when having light out of our pinnaces, we found no 
danger of the enemy remaining, we cut their cables at halse, and with 
our three pinnaces, towed her without the island into the sound right 
afore the town, without [beyond the] danger of their great shot. 

Meanwhile, the town having intelligence hereof, or by their watch, 
took the alarm, rang out their bells, shot off about thirty pieces of 
great ordnance, put all their men in a readiness, horse and foot, 
came down to the very point of the wood, and discharged their 
calivers, to impeach us if they might, in going forth. 

The next morning (14th August) our ships took two frigates, in 
which there were two, who called themselves King's Scrivanos, the 
one of Cartagena, the other of Veragua, with seven mariners and two 
Negroes: who had been at Nombre de Dios and were now bound 
for Cartagena with double [duplicate}] letters of advice, to certify 
them that Captain Drake had been at Nombre de Dios, had taken 
it; and had it not been that he was hurt with some blessed shot, by 
all likelihood he had sacked it. He was yet still upon the coast; they 
should therefore carefully prepare for him! 

After that our Captain had brought all his fleet together, at the 
Scrivano/ entreaties, he was content to do them all favour, in setting 
them and all their companies on shore; and so bare thence with the 
islands of St. Bernards, about three leagues of the town: where we 
found great store of fish for our refreshing. 

Here, our Captain considering that he was now discovered upon 
the chiefest places of all the coast, and yet not meaning to leave it till 
he had found the Cimaroons, and "made" his voyage, as he had con- 


ceived; which would require some length of time, and sure man- 
ning of his pinnaces: he determined with himself, to burn one of 
the ships, and make the other a Storehouse; that his pinnaces (which 
could not otherwise) might be thoroughly manned, and so he might 
be able to abide any time. 

But knowing the affection of his company, how loath they were 
to leave either of their ships, being both so good sailers and so well 
furnished; he purposed in himself by some policy, to make them 
most willing to effect that he intended. And therefore sent for one 
Thomas Moone, who was Carpenter in the Swan, and taking him 
into his cabin, chargeth him to conceal for a time, a piece of service, 
which he must in any case consent to do aboard his own ship: that 
was, in the middle of the second watch, to go down secretly into the 
well of the ship, and with a spike-gimlet, to bore three holes, as 
near the keel as he could, and lay something against it, that the force 
of the water entering, might make no great noise, nor be discovered 
by a boiling up. 

Thomas Moone at the hearing hereof, being utterly dismayed, de- 
sired to know "What cause there might be, to move him to sink 
so good a bark of his owji, new and strong; and that, by his means, 
who had been in two so rich and gainful voyages in her with him- 
self heretofore: If his brother, the Master, and the rest of the com- 
pany {numbering 26, see p. i3o] should know of such his fact, he 
thought verily they would kill him." 

But when our Captain had imparted to him his cause, and had 
persuaded him with promise that it should not be known, till all 
of them should be glad of it: he understood it, and did it accordingly. 

The next morning [15th August] our Captain took his pinnace 
very early, purposing to go a fishing, for that there is very great 
store on the coast; and falling aboard the Swan, calleth for his brother 
to go with him, who, rising suddenly, answereth that "He would 
follow presently, or if it would please him to stay a very little, he 
would attend him." 

Our Captain perceiving the feat wrought, would not hasten him; 
but in rowing away, demanded of them, "Why their bark was so 
deep?" as making no great account of it. But, by occasion of this 


demand, his brother sent one down to the Steward, to know 
"Whether there were any water in the ship? or what other cause 
might be?" 

The Steward, hastily stepping down at his usual scuttle, was 
wet up to his waist, and shifting with more haste to come up again 
as if the water had followed him, cried out that "The ship was full 
of water!" There was no need to hasten the company, some to the 
pump, others to search for the leak, which the Captain of the bark 
seeing they did, on all hands, very willingly; he followed his brother, 
and certified him of "the strange chance befallen them that night; 
that whereas they had not pumped twice in six weeks before, now 
they had six feet of water in hold: and therefore he desireth leave 
from attending him in fishing, to intend the search and remedy of 
the leak." And when our Captain with his company preferred 
[offered] to go to help them; he answered, "They had men enough 
aboard, and prayed him to continue his fishing, that they might have 
some part of it for their dinner ."Thus returning, he found his com- 
pany had taken great pain, but had freed the water very little: yet 
such was their love to the bark, as our Captain well knew, that they 
ceased not, but to the utmost of their strength, laboured all that they 
might till three in the afternoon; by which time, the company per- 
ceiving, that (though they had been relieved by our Captain him- 
self and many of his company) yet they were not able to free above 
a foot and a half of water, and could have no likelihood of finding 
the leak, had now a less liking of her than before, and greater con- 
tent to hear of some means for remedy. 

Whereupon our Captain (consulting them what they thought 
best to be done) found that they had more desire to have all as he 
thought fit, than judgement to conceive any means of remedy. And 
therefore he propounded, that himself would go in the pinnace, 
till he could provide him some handsome frigate; and that his 
brother should be Captain in the admiral [flag-ship] and the Master 
should also be there placed with him, instead of this: which seeing 
they could not save, he would have fired that the enemy might never 
recover her: but first all the pinnaces should be brought aboard her, 
that every one might take out of her whatever they lacked or liked. 


This, though the company at the first marvelled at; yet presently 
it was put in execution and performed that night. 

Our Captain had his desire, and men enough for his pinnaces. 

The next morning (i6th August) we resolved to seek out some fit 
place, in the Sound of Darien, where we might safely leave our ship 
at anchor, not discoverable by the enemy, who thereby might 
imagine us quite departed from the coast, and we the meantime 
better follow our purposes with our pinnaces; of which our Captain 
would himself take two to Rio Grande [Magdalena], and the third 
leave with his brother to seek the Cimaroons. 

Upon this resolution, we set sail presently for the said Sound; 
which within five days (21st August), we recovered: abstaining of 
purpose from all such occasion, as might hinder our determination, 
or bewray [betray] our being upon the coast. 

As soon as we arrived where our Captain intended, and had 
chosen a fit and convenient road out of all trade [to or from any 
Mart] for our purpose; we reposed ourselves there, for some fifteen 
days, keeping ourselves close, that the bruit of our being upon the 
coast might cease. 

But in the meantime, we were not idle: for beside such ordinary 
works, as our Captain, every month did usually inure us to, about 
the trimming and setting of his pinnaces, for their better sailing and 
rowing: he caused us to rid a large plot of ground, both of trees and 
brakes, and to build us houses sufficient for all our lodging, and one 
especially for all our public meetings; wherein the Negro which fled 
to us before, did us great service, as being well acquainted with the 
country, and their means of building. Our archers made themselves 
butts to shoot at, because we had many that delighted in that exer- 
cise, and wanted not a fletcher to keep our bows and arrows in 
order. The rest of the company, every one as he liked best, made 
his disport at bowls, quoits, keiles, &c. For our Captain allowed one 
half of the company to pass their time thus, every other day inter- 
changeable; the other half being enjoined to the necessary works 
about our ship and pinnaces, and the providing of fresh victuals, fish 
fowl, hogs, deer, conies, &c., whereof there is great plenty. Here oui 
smiths set up their forge, as they used, being furnished out of Eng 


land, with anvil, iron, coals, and all manner of necessaries, which 
stood us in great stead. 

At the end of these fifteen days (5th September), our Captain 
leaving his ship in his brother's charge, to keep all things in order; 
himself took with him, according to his former determination, two 
pinnaces for Rio Grande, and passing by Cartagena but out of sight, 
when we were within two leagues of the river, we landed (8th Sep- 
tember), to the westward on the Main, where we saw great store of 
catde. There we found some Indians, who asking us in friendly sort, 
in broken Spanish, "What we would have"? and understanding 
that we desired fresh victuals in traffic; they took such cattle for us 
as we needed, with ease and so readily, as if they had a special 
commandment over them, whereas they would not abide us to come 
near them. And this also they did willingly, because our Captain, 
according to his custom, contented them for their pains, with such 
things as they account greatly of; in such sort that they promised, 
we should have there, of them at any time what we would. 

The same day, we departed thence to Rio Grande [Magdalena], 
where we entered about three of the clock in the afternoon. There 
are two entries into this river, of which we entered the wester[n] 
most called Boca Chica. The freshet [current] is so great, that we 
being half a league from the mouth of it, filled fresh water for our 

From three o'clock till dark at night, we rowed up the stream; 
but the current was so strong downwards, that we got but two 
leagues, all that time. We moored our pinnaces to a tree that night: 
for that presently, with the closing of the evening, there fell a mon- 
strous shower of rain, with such strange and terrible claps of thunder, 
and flashes of lightning, as made us not a little to marvel at, although 
our Captain had been acquainted with such like in that country, 
and told us that they continue seldom longer than three-quarters 
of an hour. 

This storm was no sooner ceast, but it became very calm, and 
therewith there came such an innumerable multitude of a kind of 
flies of that country, called mosquitoes, like our gnats, which bite 


SO spitefully, that we could not rest all that night, nor find means 
to defend ourselves from them, by reason of the heat of the coun- 
try. The best remedy we then found against them, was the juice 
of lemons. 

At the break of day (9th Sept.), we departed, rowing in the eddy, 
and hauling up by the trees where the eddy failed, with great labour, 
by spells, without ceasing, each company their half-hour glass: with- 
out meeting any, till about three o'clock in the afternoon, by which 
time we could get but five leagues ahead. 

Then we espied a canoe, with two Indians fishing in the river; 
but we spake not to them, least so we might be descried: nor they 
to us, as taking us to be Spaniards. But within an hour after, we 
espied certain houses, on the other side of the river, whose channel 
is twenty-five fathom deep, and its breadth so great, that a man 
can scantly be discerned from side to side. Yet a Spaniard which 
kept those houses, had espied our pinnaces; and thinking we had 
been his countrymen, made a smoke, for a signal to turn that way, 
as being desirous to speak with us. After that, we espying this 
smoke, had made with it, and were half the river over, he wheaved 
[waved] to us, with his hat and his long hanging sleeves, to come 

But as we drew nearer to him, and he discerned that we were not 
those he looked for; he took his heels, and fled from his houses, 
which we found to be, five in number, all full of white rusk, dried 
bacon, that country cheese (like Holland cheese in fashion, but far 
more delicate in taste, of which they send into Spain as special pres- 
ents) many sorts of sweetmeats, and conserves; with great store of 
sugar: being provided to serve the Fleet returning to Spain. 

With this store of victuals, we loaded our pinnaces; by the shut- 
ting in of the day, we were ready to depart; for that we hastened the 
rather, by reason of an intelligence given us by certain Indian 
women which we found in those houses: that the frigates (these are 
ordinarily thirty, or upwards, which usually transport the mer- 
chandise, sent out of Spain to Cartagena from thence to these 
houses, and so in great canoes up hence into Nuevo Reyno, for which 
the river running many hundred of leagues within the land serveth 
very fidy: and return in exchange, the gold and treasure, silver. 


victuals, and commodities, which that kingdom yields abundandy) 
were not yet returned from Cartagena, since the first alarm they 
took of our being there. 

As we were going aboard our pinnaces from these Storehouses 
(loth Sept.), the Indians of a great town called Villa del Rey, some 
two miles distant from the water's side where we landed, were 
brought down by the Spaniards into the bushes, and shot arrows; 
but we rowed down the stream with the current (for that the wind 
was against us) only one league; and because it was night, an- 
chored till the morning, when we rowed down to the mouth of the 
river, where we unloaded all our provisions, and cleansed our 
pinnaces, according to our Captain's custom, and took it in again, 
and the same day went to the Westward. 

In this return, we descried a ship, a barque, and a frigate, of 
which the ship and frigate went for Cartagena, but the Barque was 
bound to the Northwards, with the wind easterly, so that we imag- 
ined she had some gold or treasure going for Spain: therefore we 
gave her chase, but taking her, and finding nothing of importance in 
her, understanding that she was bound for sugar and hides, we let 
her go; and having a good gale of wind, continued our former 
course to our ship and company. 

In the way between Cartagena and Tolou, we took [nth Sep- 
tember] five or six frigates, which were laden from Tolou, with live 
hogs, hens, and maize which we call Guinea wheat. Of these, having 
gotten what intelligence they could give, of their preparations for 
us, and divers opinions of us, we dismissed all the men; only stay- 
ing two frigates with us, because they were so well stored with good 

Within three days after, we arrived at the place which our Cap- 
tain chose, at first, to leave his ship in, which was called by our 
Captain, Port Plenty; by reason we brought in thither continually 
all manner store of good victuals, which we took, going that way by 
sea, for the victualling of Cartagena and Nombre de Dios as also 
the Fleets going and coming out of Spain. So that if we had been 
two thousand, yea three thousand persons, we might with our pin- 
naces easily have provided them sufficient victuals of wine, meal, 


rusk; cassavi (a kind of bread made of a root called Yucca, whose 
juice is poison, but the substance good and wholesome), dried beef, 
dried fish, live sheep, live hogs, abundance of hens, besides the 
infinite store of dainty flesh fish, very easily to be taken every day; 
insomuch that we were forced to build four several magazines or 
storehouses, some ten, some twenty leagues asunder; some in islands, 
some in the Main, providing ourselves in divers places, that though 
the enemy should, with force, surprise any one, yet we might be 
sufficiently furnished, till we had "made" our voyage as we did hope. 
In building of these, our Negro's help was very much, as having a 
special skill, in the speedy erection of such houses. 

This our store was much, as thereby we relieved not only ourselves 
and the Cimaroons while they were with us; but also two French 
ships in extreme want. 

For in our absence, Captain John Drake, having one of our pin- 
naces, as was appointed, went in with the Main, and as he rowed 
aloof the shore, where he was directed by Diego the Negro aforesaid, 
which willingly came unto us at Nombre de Dies, he espied certain 
of the Cimaroons; with whom he dealt so effectually, that in con- 
clusion he left two of our men with their leader, and brought aboard 
two of theirs : agreeing that they should meet him again the next day, 
at a river midway between the Cabezas [Cabeza is Spanish for 
Headland] and our ships; which they named Rio Diego. 

These two being very sensible men, chosen out by their com- 
mander [chief], did, with all reverence and respect, declare unto our 
Captain, that their nation conceited great joy of his arrival, because 
they knew him to be an enemy to the Spaniards, not only by his late 
being in Nombre de Dios, but also by his former voyages; and 
therefore were ready to assist and favour his enterprises against his 
and their enemies to the uttermost: and to that end their captain and 
company did stay at this present near the mouth of Rio Diego, to 
attend what answer and order should be given them; that they 
would have marched by land, even to this place, but that the way 
is very long, and more troublesome, by reason of many steep moun- 
tains, deep rivers, and thick brakes: desiring therefore, that it might 
please our Captain to take some order, as he thought best, with all 
convenient speed in this behalf. 


Our Captain, considering the speech o£ these persons, and weigh- 
ing it with his former intelligences had not only by Negroes, but 
Spaniards also, whereof he was always very careful: as also con- 
ferring it with his brother's informations of the great kindness that 
they shewed him, being lately with them: after he had heard the 
opinions of those of best service with him, "what were fittest to be 
done presently?" resolved himself with his brother, and the two 
Cimaroons, in his two pinnaces, to go toward this river. As he did 
the same evening, giving order, that the ship and the rest of his fleet 
should the next morning follow him, because there was a place of as 
great safety and sufficiency, which his brother had found out near 
the river. The safety of it consisted, not only in that which is com- 
mon all along that coast from Tolou to Nombre de Dios, being 
above sixty leagues, that it is a most goodly and plentiful country, 
and yet inhabited not with one Spaniard, or any for the Spaniards: 
but especially in that it lieth among a great many of goodly islands 
full of trees. Where, though there be channels, yet there are such 
rocks and shoals, that no man can enter by night without great 
danger; nor by day without discovery, whereas our ships might lie 
hidden within the trees. 

The next day (14th September) we arrived at this river ap- 
pointed, where we found the Cimaroons according to promise: the 
rest of their number were a mile up, in a wood by the river's side. 
There, after we had given them entertainment, and received good 
testimonies of their joy and good will towards us, we took two more 
of them into our pinnace, leaving our two men with the rest of 
theirs, to march by land, to another river called Rio Guana, with 
Intent there to meet with another company of Cimaroons which 
were now in the mountains. 

So we departed that day from Rio Diego, with our pinnaces, 
towards our ship, as marvelling that she followed us not as was 

But two days after (i6th September), we found her in the place 
where we left her; but in far other state, being much spoiled and in 
great danger, by reason of a tempest she had in our absence. 

As soon as we could trim our ship, being some two days, our Cap- 
tain sent away (i8th September) one of his pinnaces, towards the 


bottom of the bay, amongst the shoals and sandy islands, to sound 
out the channel, for the bringing in of our ship nearer the Main. 

The next day (19th September) we followed, and were with wary 
pilotage, directed safely into the best channel, with much ado to 
recover the road, among so many flats and shoals. It was near about 
five leagues from the Cativaas, betwixt an island and the Main, 
where we moored our ship. The island was not above four cables in 
length from the Main, being in quantity some three acres of ground, 
flat and very full of trees and bushes. 

We were forced to spend the best part of three days, after our 
departure from our Port Plenty, before we were quiet in this new 
found road [on Rio Diego, see pp. 152 and 153J (22nd September), 
which we had but newly entered, when our two men and the 
former troop of Cimaroons, with twelve others whom they had met 
in the mountains, came (23rd September) in sight over against our 
ship, on the Main. Whence we fet[ched] them all aboard, to their 
great comfort and our content: they rejoicing that they should have 
some fit opportunity to wreak their wrongs on the Spaniards; we 
hoping that now our voyage should be bettered. 

At our first meeting, when our Captain had moved them, to shew 
him the means which they had to furnish him with gold and silver; 
they answered plainly, that "had they known gold had been his 
desire; they would have satisfied him with store, which, for the 
present, they could not do: because the rivers, in which they sunk 
great store (which they had taken from the Spaniards, rather to 
despite them than for love of gold) were now so high, that they 
could not get it out of such depths for him; and because the Span- 
iards, in these rainy months, do not use [are not accustomed^ to carry 
their treasure by land." 

This answer although it were somewhat unlocked for; yet noth- 
ing discontented us, but rather persuaded us farther of their honest 
and faithful meaning toward us. Therefore our Captain to entertain 
these five months, commanded all our ordnance and artillery ashore, 
with all our other provisions: sending his pinnaces to the Main, to 
bring over great trees, to make a fort upon the same island, for 
the planting of all our ordnance therein, and for our safeguard, if 
the enemy, in all this time, should chance to come. 


Our Cimaroons (24th September) cut down Palmito boughs and 
branches, and with wonderful speed raised up two large houses for 
all our company. Our fort was then made, by reason of the place, 
triangle-wise, with main timber, and earth of which the trench 
yielded us good store, so that we made it thirteen feet in height. 
[Fort Diego], 

But after we had continued upon this island fourteen days our 
Captain having determined, with three pinnaces, to go for Cartagena 
left (7th October) , his brother John Drake, to govern these who re- 
mained behind with the Cimaroons to finish the fort which he had 
begun: for which he appointed him to fetch boards and planks, as 
many as his pinnaces would carry, from the prize we took at Rio 
Grande, and left at the Cativaas, where she drove ashore and 
wrecked in our absence: but now she might serve commodiously, 
to supply our use, in making platforms for our ordnance. Thus our 
Captain and his brother took their leave; the one to the Eastward, 
and the other to the Cativaas. 

That night, we came to an isle, which he called Spur-kite land, 
because we found there great store of such a kind of bird in shape, 
but very delicate, of which we killed and roasted many; staying there 
till the next day midnoon (8th October), when we departed thence. 
And about four o'clock recovered a big island in our way, where we 
stayed all night, by reason that there was great store of fish, and 
especially of a great kind of shell-fish of a foot long. We called them 

The next morning (9th October), we were clear of these islands 
and shoals, and hauled off into the sea. About four days after (13th 
October), near the island of St. Bernards, we chased two frigates 
ashore; and recovering one of these islands, made our abode there 
some two days (i4th-i5th October) to wash our pinnaces and to 
take of the fish. 

Thence we went towards Tolou, and that day (i6th October) 
landed near the town in a garden, where we found certain Indians, 
who delivered us their bows and arrows, and gathered for us such 
fruit as the garden did yield, being many sorts of dainty fruits and 
roots, [we] still contenting them for what we received. Our Cap- 


tain's principal intent in taking this and other places by the way, 
not being for any other cause, but only to learn true intelligence of 
the state of the country and of the Fleets. 

Hence we departed presently, and rowed towards Charesha, the 
island of Cartagena; and entered in at Bocha Chica, and having the 
wind large, we sailed in towards the city, and let fall our grappers 
[grappling irons] betwixt the island and the Main, right over against 
the goodly Garden Island. In which, our Captain would not suffer 
us to land, notwithstanding our importunate desire, because he 
knew, it might be dangerous: for that they are wont to send soldiers 
thither, when they know of any Men-of-war on the coast; which we 
found accordingly. For within three hours after, passing by the point 
of the island, we had a volley of a hundred shot from them, and 
yet there was but one of our men hurt. 

This evening (i6th October) we departed to sea; and the day 
following (17th October), being some two leagues off the harbour, 
we took a bark, and found that the captain and his wife with the 
better sort of the passengers, had forsaken her, and were gone ashore 
in the Gundeloe [ship's boat] : by occasion whereof we boarded with- 
out resistance, though they were well provided with swords and 
targets and some small shot, besides four iron bases. She was 50 
tons, having ten mariners, five or six Negroes, great store of soap and 
sweet meat, bound from St. Domingo to Cartagena. This Captain 
left behind him a silk ancient [flag] with his arms; as might be 
thought, in hasty departing. 

The next day (i8th October), we sent all the company ashore 
to seek their masters, saving a young Negro two or three years old, 
which we brought away; but kept the bark, and in her, bore into 
the mouth of Cartagena harbour, where we anchored. 

That afternoon, certain horsemen came down to the point by the 
wood side, and with the Scrivano fore-mentioned, came towards our 
bark with a flag of truce, desiring of our Captain's safe conduct for 
his coming and going; the which being granted, he came aboard us, 
giving our Captain "great thanks for his manifold favours, etc., 
promising that night before daybreak, to bring as much victuals as 
they would desire, what shift so ever he made, or what danger 
soever incurred of law and punishment." But this fell out to be 


nothing but a device of the Governor forced upon the Scrivano, to 
delay time, till they might provide themselves of sufficient strength 
to entrap us: for which this fellow, by his smooth speech, was thought 
a fit means. So by sun rising, (19th October), when we perceived 
his words but words, we put to sea to the westward of the island, 
some three leagues off, where we lay at hull the rest of all that day 
and night. 

The next day (20th October), in the afternoon, there came out of 
Cartagena, two frigates bound for St. Domingo, the one of 58, the 
other of 12 tons, having nothing in them but ballast. We took them 
within a league of the town, and came to anchor with them within 
sacre shot of the east Bulwark. There were in those frigates some 
twelve or thirteen common mariners, which entreated to be set 
ashore. To them our Captain gave the great[er] frigate's gundeloe, 
and dismissed them. 

The next morning (21st October) when they came down to the 
wester[n] point with a flag of truce, our Captain manned one of his 
pinnaces and rowed ashore. When we were within a cable's length 
of the shore, the Spaniards fled, hiding themselves in the woods, as 
being afraid of our ordnance; but indeed to draw us on to land 
confidently, and to presume of our strength. Our Captain com- 
manding the grapnell to be cast out of the stern, veered the pinnace 
ashore, and as soon as she touched the sand, he alone leapt ashore 
in their sight, to declare that he durst set his foot a land : but stayed 
not among them, to let them know, that though he had not suffi- 
cient forces to conquer them, yet he had sufficient judgment to take 
heed of them. 

And therefore perceiving their intent, as soon as our Captain was 
aboard, we hauled off upon our grapner and rid awhile. 

They presently came forth upon the sand[s], and sent a youth, 
as with a message from the Governor, to know, "What our intent 
was, to stay upon the coast?" 

Our Captain answered: "He meant to traffic with them; for he 
had tin, pewter, cloth, and other merchandise that they needed." 

The youth swam back again with this answer, and was presently 
returned, with another message: that, "The King had forbidden to 
traffic with any foreign nation for any commodities, except powder 


and shot; of which, if he had any store, they would be his mer- 

He answered, that "He was come from his country, to exchange 
his commodities for gold and silver, and is not purposed to return 
without his errand. They are like, in his opinion, to have little rest, 
if that, by fair means, they would not traffic with him." 

He gave this messenger a fair shirt for a reward, and so returned 
him: who rolled his shirt about his head and swam very speedily. 

We heard no answer all that day; and therefore toward night we 
went aboard our frigates and reposed ourselves, setting and keeping 
very orderly all that night our watch, with great and small shot. 

The next morning (22nd October) the wind, which had been 
westerly in the evening, altered to the Eastward. 

About the dawning of the day, we espied two sails turning towards 
us, whereupon our Captain weighed with his pinnaces, leaving the 
two frigates unmanned. But when we were come somewhat nigh 
them, the wind calmed, and we were fain to row towards them, till 
that approaching very nigh, we saw many heads peering over board. 
For, as we perceived, these two frigates were manned and set forth 
out of Cartagena, to fight with us, and, at least, to impeach or busy 
us; whilst by some means or other they might recover the frigates 
from us. 

But our Captain prevented both their drifts. For commanding 
John Oxnam to stay with the one pinnace, to entertain these two 
Men-of-war; himself in the other made such speed, that he got 
to his frigates which he had left at anchor; and caused the Spaniards 
(who in the meantime had gotten aboard in a small canoe, thinking 
to have towed them within the danger of their shot) to make greater 
haste thence, than they did thither. 

For he found that in shifting thence, some of them were fain to 
swim aland (the canoe not being able to receive them) and had 
left their apparel, some their rapiers and targets, some their flasks 
and calivers behind them; although they were towing away of one 
of them. 

Therefore considering that we could not man them, we sunk the 
one, and burnt the other, giving them to understand by this, that we 
perceived their secret practices. 


This being done, he returned to John Oxnam; who all this while 
lay by the Men-of-war without proffering to fight. And as soon 
as our Captain was come up to these frigates, the wind blew much 
from the sea, so that, we being betwixt the shore and them, were 
in a manner forced to bear room into the harbour before them, to 
the great joy of the Spaniards; who beheld it; in supposing, that we 
would still have fled before them. But as soon as we were in the 
harbour, and felt smooth water, our pinnaces, as we were assured of, 
getting the wind, we sought with them upon the advantage, so that 
after a few shot exchanged, and a storm rising, they were contented 
to press no nearer. Therefore as they let fall their anchors, we pres- 
ently let drop our grapner in the wind of them: which the Spanish 
soldiers seeing, considering the disadvantage of the wind, the likeli- 
hood of the storm to continue, and small hope of doing any good, 
they were glad to retire themselves to the town. 

But by reason of the foul and tempestuous weather, we rode 
therein four days, feeling great cold, by reason we had such sore 
rains with westerly wind, and so little succour in our pinnaces. 

The fifth day (27th October) there came in a frigate from the sea, 
which seeing us make towards her, ran herself ashore, unhanging 
her rudder and taking away her sails, that she might not easily 
be carried away. But when we were come up to her, we perceived 
about a hundred horse and foot, with their furniture, come down 
to the point of the Main, where we interchanged some shot with 
them. One of our great shot passed so near a brave cavalier of 
theirs, that thereby they were occasioned to advise themselves, and 
retreat into the woods: where they might sufficiently defend and 
rescue the frigate from us, and annoy us also, if we stayed long 
about her. 

Therefore we concluded to go to sea again, putting forth through 
Boca Chica, with intent to take down our masts, upon hope of fair 
weather, and to ride under the rocks called Las Serenas, which are 
two leagues off at sea, as we had usually done aforetime, so that 
they could not discern us from the rocks. But, there, the sea was 
mightily grown, that we were forced to take the harbour again; 
where we remained six days, notwithstanding the Spaniards grieved 
greatly at our abode there so long. 


They put (2nd November) another device in practice to endanger 

For they sent forth a great shallop, a fine gundeloe, and a great 
canoe, with certain Spaniards with shot, and many Indians with 
poisoned arrows, as it seemed, with intent to begin some fight, and 
then to fly. For as soon as we rowed toward them and interchanged 
shot, they presently retired and went ashore into the woods, where 
an ambush of some sixty shot were laid for us: besides two pin- 
naces and a frigate warping towards us, which were manned as 
the rest. They attempted us very boldly, being assisted by those 
others, which from out of the wood, had gotten aboard the gunde- 
loe and canoe, and seeing us bearing from them (which we did in 
respect of the ambuscado), they encouraged themselves and assured 
their fellows of the day. 

But our Captain weighing this their attempt, and being out of 
danger of their shot from the land, commanding his other pinnace 
to be brought ahead of him, and to let fall their grapners each 
ahead the other, environed both the pinnaces with bonnets, as for 
a close fight, and then wheaved [wafed] them aboard him. 

They kept themselves upon their oars at caliver-shot distance, 
spending powder apace; as we did some two or three hours. We 
had only one of our men wounded in that fight. What they had is 
unknown to us, but we saw their pinnaces shot through in divers 
places, and the powder of one of them took fire; whereupon we 
weighed, intending to bear room to overrun them: which they per- 
ceiving, and thinking that we would have boarded them, rowed 
away amain to the defence they had in the wood, the rather be- 
cause they were disappointed of their help that they expected from 
the frigate; which was warping towards us, but by reason of the 
much wind that blew, could not come to offend us or succour 

Thus seeing that we were still molested, and no hope remained 
of any purchase to be had in this place any longer; because we were 
now so notably made known in those parts, and because our victuals 
grew scant: as soon as the weather waxed somewhat better (the 
wind continuing always westerly, so that we could not return to 
our ships) our Captain thought best to go (3rd November) to the 


Eastward, towards Rio Grande [Magdalena] long the coast, where 
we had been before, and found great store of victuals. 

But when after two days' sailing, we were arrived (5th Novem- 
ber) at the villages of store, where before we had furnished our- 
selves with abundance of hens, sheep, calves, hogs, &c.; now we 
found bare nothing, not so much as any people left: for that they, 
by the Spaniards' commandments, had fled to the mountains, and 
had driven away all their cattle, that we might not be relieved by 
them. Herewith being very sorry, because much of our victuals 
in our pinnaces was spoilt by the foul weather at sea and rains in 
harbour. A frigate being descried at sea revived us, and put us in 
some hope for the time, that in her we should find sufficient; and 
thereupon it may easily be guessed, how much we laboured to 
recover her: but when we had boarded her, and understood that 
she had neither meat nor money, but that she was bound for Rio 
Grande to take in provision upon bills, our great hope converted 
into grief. 

We endured with our allowance seven or eight days more, pro- 
ceeding to the Eastward, and bearing room for Santa Marta, upon 
hope to find some shipping in the road, or limpets on the rocks, or 
succour against the storm in that good harbour. Being arrived; 
and seeing no shipping; we anchored under the wester [n] point, 
where is high land, and, as we thought, free in safety from the 
town, which is in the bottom of the bay: not intending to land 
there, because we knew that it was fortified, and that they had 
intelligence of us. 

But the Spaniards (knowing us to be Men-of-war, and misliking 
that we should shroud under their rocks without their leave) had 
conveyed some thirty or forty shot among the cliffs, which annoyed 
us so spitefully and so unrevengedly, for that they lay hidden behind 
the rocks, but we lay open to them, that we were soon weary of our 
harbour, and enforced (for all the storm without and want within) 
to put to sea. Which though these enemies of ours were well con- 
tented withal, yet for a farewell, as we came open of the town, they 
sent us a culverin shot; which made a near escape, for it fell between 
our pinnaces, as we were upon conference of what was best to be 


The company advised that if it pleased him, they might put 
themselves a land, some place to the Eastward to get victuals, and 
rather hope for courtesy from the country-people, than continue at 
sea, in so long cold, and great a storm in so leaky a pinnace. But 
our Captain would in no wise like of that advice; he thought it 
better to bear up towards Rio de [la] Hacha, or Cori^ao [Curasao], 
with hope to have plenty without great resistance : because he knew, 
either of the islands were not very populous, or else it would be very 
likely that there would be found ships of victual in a readiness. 

The company of the other pinnace answered, that "They would 
willingly follow him through the world; but in this they could not 
see how either their pinnaces should live in that sea, without being 
eaten up in that storm, or they themselves able to endure so long 
time, with so slender provision as they had, viz., only one gammon 
of bacon and thirty pounds of biscuit for eighteen men." 

Our Captain replied, that "They were better provided than him- 
self was, who had but one gammon of bacon, and forty pounds of 
biscuit for his twenty-four men; and therefore he doubted not but 
they would take such part as he did, and willingly depend upon 
GOD'S Almighty providence, which never faileth them that trust in 

With that he hoisted his foresail, and set his course for Cori^ao; 
which the rest perceiving with sorrowful hearts in respect of the 
weak pinnace, yet desirous to follow their Captain, consented to take 
the same course. 

We had not sailed past three leagues, but we had espied a sail 
plying to the Westward, with her two courses, to our great joy: 
who vowed together, that we would have her, or else it should cost 
us dear. 

Bearing with her, we found her to be a Spanish ship of above 90 
tons, which being wheaved [waved] amain by us, despised our 
summons, and shot off her ordnance at us. 

The sea went very high, so that it was not for us to attempt to 
board her, and therefore we made fit small sail to attend upon her, 
and keep her company to her small content, till fairer weather 
might lay the sea. We spent not past two hours in our attendance, 
till it pleased GOD, after a great shower, to send us a reasonable 


calm, so that we might use our pieces [/'. e., bases\ and approach 
her at pleasure, in such sort that in short time we had taken her; 
finding her laden with victuals well powdered [salted] and dried: 
which at that present we received as sent us of GOD'S great mercy. 

After all things were set in order, and that the wind increased 
towards night, we plied off and on, till day (13th November), at 
what time our Captain sent in Ellis Hixom, who had then charge of 
his pinnace, to search out some harbour along the coast; who having 
found out a little one, some ten or twelve leagues to the east of 
Santa Marta, where in sounding he had good ground and sufficient 
water, presently returned, and our Captain brought in his new prize. 
Then by promising liberty, and all the apparel to the Spaniards 
which we had taken, if they would bring us to water and fresh 
victuals; the rather by their means, we obtained of the inhabitants 
(Indians) what they had, which was plentiful. These Indians were 
clothed and governed by a Spaniard, which dwelt in the next town, 
not past a league off. We stayed there all day, watering and wood- 
ing, and providing things necessary, by giving content and satisfac- 
tion of the Indians. But towards night our captain called all of us 
aboard (only leaving the Spaniards lately taken in the prize ashore, 
according to our promise made them, to their great content; who 
acknowledged that our Captain did them a far greater favour in 
setting them freely at liberty, than he had done them displeasure in 
taking their ship), and so set sail. 

The sickness which had begun to kindle among us, two or three 
days before, did this day shew itself, in Charles Glub, one of our 
Quarter-Masters, a very tall man, and a right good mariner; taken 
away, to the great grief both of Captain and company. What the 
cause of this malady was, we knew not of certainty, we imputed it 
to the cold which our men had taken, lying without succour in the 
pinnaces. But howsoever it was, thus it pleased GOD to visit us, 
and yet in favour to restore unto health all the rest of our company, 
that were touched with this disease; which were not a few. 

The next morning (15th November) being fair weather, though 
the wind continued contrary, our Captain commanded the Minion, 
his lesser pinnace, to hasten away before him towards his ships at 
Fort Diego within the Cabefas [Headlands] to carry news of his 


coming, and to put all things in a readiness for our land journey, 
if they heard anything of the Fleet's arrival by the Cimaroons; giv- 
ing the Minion charge if they wanted wine, to take St. Bernards in 
their way, and there take in some such portion as they thought good, 
of the wines which we had there hidden in the sand. 

We plied to windwards, as near as we could, so that within seven- 
night after the Minion departed from us, we came (22nd November) 
to St. Bernards, finding but twelve botijos of wine of all the store we 
left, which had escaped the curious search of the enemy, who had 
been there; for they were deep in the ground. 

Within four or five days after, we came (27th November) to our 
ship, where we found all other things in good order; but received 
very heavy news of the death of John Drake, our Captain's brother, 
and another young man called Richard Allen, which were both 
slain at one time (9th October), as they attempted the boarding of 
a frigate, within two days after our departing from them. 

The manner of it, as we learned by examination of the com- 
pany, was this. When they saw this frigate at sea, as they were 
going towards their fort with planks to make the platforms, the 
company were very importunate on him, to give chase and set upon 
this frigate, which they deemed had been a fit booty for them. But 
he told them, that they "wanted weapons to assail; they knew not 
how the frigate was provided, they had their boats loaded with 
planks, to finish that his brother had commanded." But when this 
would not satisfy them, but that still they urged him with words 
and supposals: "If you will needs," said he, "adventure! it shall 
never be said that I will be hindmost, neither shall you report to 
my brother, that you lost your voyage by any cowardice you found 
in me!" 

Thereupon every man shifted as they might for the time: and 
heaving their planks overboard, took them such poor weapons as 
they had: viz., a broken pointed rapier, one old visgee, and a rusty 
caliver: John Drake took the rapier, and made a gauntlet of his 
pillow, Richard Allen the visgee, both standing at the head of the 
pinnace, called Eion. Robert took the caliver and so boarded. But 
they found the frigate armed round about with a close fight of 


hides, full of pikes and calivers, which were discharged in their 
faces, and deadly wounded those that were in the fore-ship, John 
Drake in the belly, and Richard Allen in the head. But notwith- 
standing their wounds, they with oars shifted off the pinnace, got 
clear of the frigate, and with all haste recovered their ship: where 
within an hour after, this young man of great hope, ended his days, 
greatly lamented of all the company. 

Thus having moored our ships fast, our Captain resolved to keep 
himself close without being descried, until he might hear of the 
coming of the Spanish Fleet; and therefore set no more to sea; but 
supplied his wants, both for his own company and the Cimaroons, 
out of his foresaid magazine, beside daily out of the woods, with 
wild hogs, pheasants, and guanas: continuing in health (GOD be 
praised) all the meantime, which was a month at least; till at length 
about the beginning of January, half a score of our company fell 
down sick together (3rd Jan. 1573), and the most of them died 
within two or three days. So long that we had thirty at a time sick 
of this calenture, which attacked our men, either by reason of the 
sudden change from cold to heat, or by reason of brackish water 
which had been taken in by our pinnace, through the sloth of their 
men in the mouth of the river, not rowing further in where the 
water was good. 

Among the rest, Joseph Drake, another of his brethren, died in 
our Captain's arms, of the same disease: of which, that the cause 
might be the better discerned, and consequently remedied, to the 
relief of others, by our Captain's appointment he was ripped open 
by the surgeon, who found his liver swollen, his heart as it were 
sodden, and his guts all fair. This was the first and last experiment 
that our Captain made of anatomy in this voyage. 

The Surgeon that cut him open, over-lived him not past four 
days, although he was not touched with that sickness, of which he 
had been recovered about a month before: but only of an over-bold 
practice which he would needs make upon himself, by receiving an 
over-strong purgation of his own device, after which taken, he never 
spake; nor his Boy recovered the health which he lost by tasting 
it, till he saw England. 

The Cimaroons, who, as is before said, had been entertained by 


our Captain in September last, and usually repaired to our ship, 
during all the time of our absence, ranged the country up and down, 
between Nombre de Dios and us, to learn what they might for us; 
whereof they gave our Captain advertisement, from time to time; 
as now particularly, certain of them let him understand, that the 
Fleet had certainly arrived in Nombre de Dios. 

Therefore he sent (30th January) the Lion, to the sea-most islands 
of the Cativaas, to descry the truth of the report: by reason it must 
needs be, that if the Fleet were in Nombre de Dios, all frigates of 
the country would repair thitherward with victuals. 

The Lion, within a few days descried that she was sent for, 
espying a frigate, which she presently boarded and took, laden with 
maize, hens, and pompions from Tolou; who assured us of the 
whole truth of the arrival of the Fleet: in this frigate were taken 
one woman and twelve men, of whom one was the Scrivano of 
Tolou. These we used very courteously, keeping them diligently 
guarded from the deadly hatred of the Cimaroons; who sought 
daily by all means they could, to get them of our Captain, that they 
might cut their throats, to revenge their wrongs and injuries which 
the Spanish nation had done them : but our Captain persuaded them 
not to touch them, or give them ill countenance, while they were in 
his charge; and took order for their safety, not only in his presence, 
but also in his absence. For when he had prepared to take his 
journey for Panama, by land; he gave Ellis Hixom charge of his 
own ship and company, and especially of those Spaniards whom 
he had put into the great prize, which was hauled ashore to the 
island, which we termed Slaughter Island (because so many of our 
men died there), and used as a storehouse for ourselves, and a prison 
for our enemies. 

All things thus ordered, our Captain conferring with his com- 
pany, and the chiefest of the Cimaroons, what provisions were to be 
prepared for this great and long journey, what kind of weapons, 
what store of victuals, and what manner of apparel: was especially 
advised, to carry as great store of shoes as possible he might, by rea- 
son of so many rivers with stone and gravel as they were to pass. 
Which, accordingly providing, prepared his company for that jour- 
ney, entering it upon Shrove-Tuesday (3rd February). At what 


time, there had died twenty-eight of our men, and a few whole 
men were left aboard with Ellis Hixom to keep the ship, and attend 
the sick, and guard the prisoners. 

At his departure our Captain gave this Master straight charge, 
in any case not to trust any messenger, that should come in his 
name with any tokens, unless he brought his handwriting: which 
he knew could not be counterfeited by the Cimaroons or Spaniards. 

We were in all forty-eight, of which eighteen only were English; 
the rest were Cimaroons, which beside their arms, bare every one 
of them, a great quantity of victuals and provision, supplying our 
want of carriage in so long a march, so that we were not troubled 
with anything but our furniture. And because they could not carry 
enough to suffice us altogether; therefore (as they promised before) 
so by the way with their arrows, they provided for us competent 
store from time to time. 

They have every one of them two sorts of arrows: the one to 
defend himself and offend the enemy, the other to kill his victuals. 
These for fight are somewhat like the Scottish arrow; only some- 
what longer, and headed with iron, wood, or fish bones. But the 
arrows for provision are of three sorts, the first serveth to kill any 
great beast near [at] hand, as ox, stag, or wild boar: this hath a head 
of iron of a pound and a half weight, shaped in form like the head 
of a javelin or boar-spear, as sharp as any knife, making so large 
and deep a wound as can hardly be believed of him that hath not 
seen it. The second serveth for lesser beasts, and hath a head of 
three-quarters of a pound: this he most usually shooteth. The third 
serveth for all manner of birds: it hath a head of an ounce weight. 
And these heads though they be of iron only, yet are they so cun- 
ningly tempered, that they will continue a very good edge a long 
time: and though they be turned sometimes, yet they will never or 
seldom break. The necessity in which they stand hereof continu- 
ally causeth them to have iron in far greater account than gold : and 
no man among them is of greater estimation, than he that can most 
perfectly give this temper unto it. 

Every day we were marching by sun-rising. We continued till 
ten in the forenoon: then resting (ever near some river) till past 


twelve, we marched till four, and then by some river's side, we 
reposed ourselves in such houses, as either we found prepared here- 
tofore by them, when they travelled through these woods, or they 
daily built very readily for us in this manner. 

As soon as we came to the place where we intended to lodge, the 
Cimaroons, presently laying down their burdens, fell to cutting of 
forks or posts, and poles or rafters, and palmito boughs, or plantain 
leaves; and with great speed set up to the number of six houses. 
For every of which, they first fastened deep into the ground, three 
or four great posts with forks: upon them, they laid one transom, 
which was commonly about twenty feet, and made the sides, in the 
manner of the roofs of our country houses, thatching it close with 
those aforesaid leaves, which keep out water a long time: observing 
always that in the lower ground, where greater heat was; they left 
some three or four feet open unthatched below, and made the houses, 
or rather roofs, so many feet the higher. But in the hills, where 
the air was more piercing and the nights cold, they made our rooms 
always lower, and thatched them close to the ground, leaving only 
one door to enter in, and a lover [louvre] hole for a vent, in the 
midst of the roof. In every [one] of these, they made four several 
lodgings, and three fires, one in the midst, and one at each end of 
every house: so that the room was most temperately warm, and 
nothing annoyed with smoke, partly by reason of the nature of the 
wood which they use to burn, yielding very little smoke, partly by 
reason of their artificial making of it: as firing the wood cut in 
length like our billets at the ends, and joining them together so close, 
that though no flame or fire did appear, yet the heat continued 
without intermission. 

Near many of the rivers where we stayed or lodged, we found 
sundry sorts of fruits, which we might use with great pleasure and 
safety temperately: Mammeas, Guayvas, Palmitos, Pinos, Oranges, 
Lemons, and divers other; from eating of which, they dissuaded 
us in any case, unless we eat very few of them, and those first dry 
roasted, as Plantains, Potato[e]s, and such like. 

In journeying, as oft as by chance they found any wild swine, of 
which those hills and valleys have store, they would ordinarily, six 
at a time, deUver their burdens to the rest of their fellows, pursue, 


kill and bring away after us, as much as they could carry, and time 
permitted. One day as we travelled, the Cimaroons found an otter, 
and prepared it to be drest: our Captain marvelling at it, Pedro, our 
chief Cimaroon, asked him, "Are you a man of war, and in want; 
and yet doubt whether this be meat, that hath blood?" 

Herewithal our Captain rebuked himself secretly, that he had so 
slightly considered of it before. 

The third day of our journey (6th February), they brought us to 
a town of their own, seated near a fair river, on the side of a hill, 
environed with a dyke of eight feet broad, and a thick mud wall of 
ten feet high, sufficient to stop a sudden surpriser. It had one long 
and broad street, lying east and west, and two other cross streets 
of less breadth and length: there were in it some five or six and 
fifty households; which were kept so clean and sweet, that not only 
the houses, but the very streets were very pleasant to behold. In 
this town we saw they lived very civilly and cleanly. For as soon 
as we came thither, they washed themselves in the river; and 
changed their apparel, as also their women do wear, which was 
very fine and fitly made somewhat after the Spanish fashion, though 
nothing so costly. This town is distant thirty-five leagues from 
Nombre de Dios and forty-five from Panama. It is plentifully stored 
with many sorts of beasts and fowl, with plenty of maize and sundry 

Touching their affection in religion, they have no kind of priests, 
only they held the Cross in great reputation. But at our Captain's 
persuasion, they were contented to leave their crosses, and to learn 
the Lord's Prayer, and to be instructed in some measure concerning 
GOD'S true worship. They kept a continual watch in four parts, 
three miles off their town, to prevent the mischiefs, which the 
Spaniards intend against them, by the conducting of some of their 
own coats [i.e., Cimaroons^ which having been taken by the Span- 
iards have been enforced thereunto: wherein, as we learned, some- 
times the Spaniards have prevailed over them, especially when they 
lived less careful; but since, they [watch] against the Spaniards, 
whom they killed like beasts, as often as they take them in the woods; 
having aforehand understood of their coming. 

We stayed with them that night, and the next day (7th February) 


till noon; during which time, they related unto us divers very strange 
accidents, that had fallen out between them and the Spaniards, 
namely [especiallyj one. A gallant gentleman entertained by the 
Governors of the country, undertook, the year last past [1572], with 
150 soldiers, to put this town to the sword, men, women, and chil- 
dren. Being conducted to it by one of them, that had been taken 
prisoner, and won by great gifts; he surprised it half an hour before 
day, by which occasion most of the men escaped, but many of their 
women and children were slaughtered, or taken: but the same 
morning by sun rising (after that their guide was slain, in following 
another man's wife, and that the Cimaroons had assembled them- 
selves in their strength) they behaved themselves in such sort, and 
drove the Spaniards to such extremity, that what with the disad- 
vantage of the woods (having lost their guide and thereby their 
way), what with famine and want, there escaped not past thirty of 
them, to return answer to those which sent them. 

Their king [chief] dwelt in a city within sixteen leagues south- 
east of Panama; which is able to make 1,700 fighting men. 

They all intreated our Captain very earnestly, to make his abode 
with them some two or three days; promising that by that time, 
they would double his strength if he thought good. But he thanking 
them for their offer, told them, that "He could stay no longer! It 
was more than time to prosecute his purposed voyage. As for 
strength, he would wish no more than he had, although he might 
have presently twenty times as much!" Which they took as pro- 
ceeding not only from kindness, but also from magnanimity; and 
therefore, they marched forth, that afternoon, with great good 

This was the order of our march. Four of those Cimaroons that 
best knew the ways, went about a mile distance before us, breaking 
boughs as they went, to be a direction to those that followed; but 
with great silence, which they also required us to keep. 

Then twelve of them were as it were our Vanguard, other twelve, 
our Rearward. We with their two Captains in the midst. 

All the way was through woods very cool and pleasant, by rea- 
son of those goodly and high trees, that grow there so thick, that it 
is cooler travelling there under them in that hot region, than it is 


in the most parts of England in the summer time. This [also] gave 
a special encouragement unto us all, that we understood there was 
a great Tree about the midway, from which, we might at once 
discern the North Sea from whence we came, and the South Sea 
whither we were going. 

The fourth day following (nth February) we came to the height 
of the desired hill, a very high hill, lying East and West, like a 
ridge between the two seas, about ten of the clock: where [Pedro] 
the chiefest of these Cimaroons took our Captain by the hand, and 
prayed him to follow him, if he was desirous to see at once the two 
seas, which he had so long longed for. 

Here was that goodly and great high Tree, in which they had 
cut and made divers steps, to ascend up near unto the top, where 
they had also made a convenient bower, wherein ten or twelve men 
might easily sit: and from thence we might, without any difficulty, 
plainly see the Atlantic Ocean whence now we came, and the 
South Atlantic [«>., Pacific Ocean] so much desired. South and 
north of this Tree, they had felled certain trees, that the prospect 
might be the clearer; and near about the Tree there were divers 
strong houses, that had been built long before, as well by other 
Cimaroons as by these, which usually pass that way, as being in- 
habited in divers places in those waste countries. 

After our Captain had ascended to this bower, with the chief 
Cimaroon, and having, as it pleased GOD, at that time, by reason 
of the brize [breeze], a very fair day, had seen that sea, of which 
he had heard such golden reports: he "besought Almighty GOD of 
His goodness, to give him life and leave to sail once in an English 
ship, in that seal" And then calling up all the rest of our [17 
English] men, he acquainted John Oxnam especially with this his 
petition and purpose, if it would please GOD to grant him that 
happiness. Who understanding it, presently protested, that "unless 
our Captain did beat him from his company, he would follow him, 
by GOD'S grace!" 

Thus all, thoroughly satisfied with the sight of the seas, de- 
scended; and after our repast, continued our ordinary march through 
woods, yet two days more as before: without any great variety. But 
then (13th February) we came to march in a champion country, 


where the grass groweth, not only in great lengths as the knot 
grass groweth in many places, but to such height, that the inhab- 
itants are fain to burn it thrice in the year, that it may be able to 
feed the cattle, of which they have thousands. 

For it is a kind of grass with a stalk, as big as a great wheaten 
reed, which hath a blade issuing from the top of it, on which though 
the cattle feed, yet it groweth every day higher, until the top be too 
high for an ox to reach. Then the inhabitants are wont to put fire 
to it, for the space of five or six miles together; which notwith- 
standing after it is thus burnt, within three days, springeth up fresh 
like green corn. Such is the great fruitfulness of the soil: by reason 
of the evenness of the day and night, and the rich dews which fall 
every morning. 

In these three last days' march in the champion, as we past over 
the hills, we might see Panama five or six times a day; and the last 
day (14th February) we saw the ships riding in the road. 

But after that we were come within a day's journey of Panama, 
our Captain (understanding by the Cimaroons that the Dames of 
Panama are wont to send forth hunters and fowlers for taking of 
sundry dainty fowl, which the land yieldeth; by whom if we 
marched not very heedfully, we might be descried) caused all his 
company to march out of all ordinary way, and that with as great 
heed, silence, and secrecy, as possibly they might, to the grove (which 
was agreed on four days before) lying within a league of Panama, 
where we might lie safely undiscovered near the highway, that lead- 
eth from thence to Nombre de Dios. 

Thence we sent a chosen Cimaroon, one that had served a master 
in Panama before time, in such apparel as the Negroes of Panama 
do use to wear, to be our espial, to go into the town, to learn the 
certain night, and time of the night, when the carriers laded the 
Treasure from the King's Treasure House to Nombre de Dios. For 
they are wont to take their journey from Panama to Venta Cruz, 
which is six leagues, ever by night; because the country is all cham- 
pion, and consequently by day very hot. But from Venta Cruz to 
Nombre de Dios as oft as they travel by land with their treasure, 
they travel always by day and not by night, because all that way 
is full of woods, and therefore very fresh and cool; unless the Cima- 


roons happily encounter them, and made them sweat with fear, as 
sometimes they have done: whereupon they are glad to guard their 
Recoes [i.e., Recuas, the Spanish word for a drove of beasts of 
burden; meaning here, a mule train,] with soldiers as they pass that 

This last day, our Captain did behold and view the most of all 
that fair city, discerning the large street which lieth directly from 
the sea into the land. South and North. 

By three of the clock, we came to this grove; passing for the more 
secrecy alongst a certain river, which at that time was almost dried 

Having disposed of ourselves in the grove, we despatched our spy 

an hour before night, so that by the closing in of the evening, he 

might be in the city; as he was. Whence presently he returned unto 

us, that which very happily he understood by companions of his. 

That the Treasurer of Lima intending to pass into Spain in the 

first Adviso (which was a ship of 350 tons, a very good sailer), was 

ready that night to take his journey towards Nombre de Dios, with 

his daughter and family: having fourteen mules in company: of 

which eight were laden with gold, and one with jewels. And 

farther, that there were two other Recuas, of fifty mules in each, 

laden with victuals for the most part, with some little quantity of 

silver, to come forth that night after the other. 

There are twenty-eight of these Recuas; the greatest of them is 
of seventy mules, the less of fifty; unless some particular man hire 
for himself, ten, twenty, or thirty, as he hath need. 

Upon this notice, we forthwith marched four leagues, till we 
came within two leagues of Venta Cruz, in which march two of 
our Cimaroons which were sent before, by scent of his match, found 
and brought a Spaniard, whom they had found asleep by the way, by 
scent of the said match, and drawing near thereby, heard him taking 
his breath as he slept; and being but one, they fell upon him, 
stopped his mouth from crying, put out his match, and bound him 
so, that they well near strangled him by that time he was brought 
unto us. 

By examining him, we found all that to be true, which our spy 
had reported to us, and that he was a soldier entertained with others 


by the Treasurer, for guard and conduct of this treasure, from Venta 
Cruz to Nombre de Dios. 

This soldier having learned who our Captain was, took courage, 
and was bold to make two requests unto him. The one that "He 
would command his Cimaroons which hated the Spaniards, espe- 
cially the soldiers extremely, to spare his life; which he doubted not 
but they would do at his charge." The other was, that "seeing he 
was a soldier, and assured him, that they should have that night 
more gold, besides jewels, and pearls of great price, then all they 
could carry (if not, then he was to be dealt with how they would) ; 
but if they all found it so, then it might please our Captain to give 
unto him, as much as might suffice for him and his mistress to live 
upon, as he had heard our Captain had done to divers others: for 
which he would make his name as famous as any of them which 
had received like favour." 

Being at the place appointed, our Captain with half his men 
[8 English and 15 Cimaroons^, lay on one side of the way, about 
fifty paces off in the long grass; John Oxnam with the Captain of 
the Cimaroons, and the other half, lay on the other side of the way, 
at the like distance: but so far behind, that as occasion served, the 
former company might take the foremost mules by the heads, and 
the hindmost because the mules tied together, are always driven one 
after another; and especially that if we should have need to use 
our weapons that night, we might be sure not to endamage our 
fellows. We had not lain thus in ambush much above an hour, but 
we heard the Recuas coming both from the city to Venta Cruz, and 
from Venta Cruz to the city, which hath a very common and great 
trade, when the fleets are there. We heard them by reason they 
delight much to have deep-sounding bells, which, in a still night, are 
heard very far off. 

Now though there were as great charge given as might be, that 
none of our men should shew or stir themselves, but let all that 
came from Venta Cruz to pass quietly; yea, their Recuas also, be- 
cause we knew that they brought nothing but merchandise from 
thence: yet one of our men, called Robert Pike, having drunken too 
much aqua vitce without water, forgot himself, and enticing a Cima- 
roon forth with him was gone hard to the way, with intent to have 


shown his forwardness on the foremost mules. And when a cavaUer 
from Venta Cruz, well mounted, with his page running at his stir- 
rup, passed by, unadvisedly he rose up to see what he was: but the 
Cimaroon of better discretion pulled him down, and lay upon him, 
that he might not discover them any more. Yet by this, the gentle- 
man had taken notice by seeing one half all in white: for that we 
had all put our shirts over our other apparel, that we might be sure 
to know our own men in the pell mell in the night. By means of 
this sight, the cavalier putting spurs to his horse, rode a false gallop; 
as desirous not only himself to be free of this doubt which he im- 
agined, but also to give advertisement to others that they might 
avoid it. 

Our Captain who had heard and observed by reason of the hard- 
ness of the ground and stillness of the night, the change of this gen- 
tleman's trot to a gallop, suspected that he was discovered, but 
could not imagine by whose fault, neither did the time give him 
leisure to search. And therefore considering that it might be, by 
reason of the danger of the place, well known to ordinary travellers: 
we lay still in expectation of the Treasurer's coming; and he had 
come forward to us, but that this horseman meeting him, and (as 
we afterwards learnt by the other Recuas) making report to him, 
what he had seen presently that night, what he heard of Captain 
Drake this long time, and what he conjectured to be most likely: 
viz., that the said Captain Drake, or some for him, disappointed of 
his expectation, of getting any great treasure, both at Nombre de 
Dios and other places, was by some means or other come by land, in 
covert through the woods, unto this place, to speed of his purpose: 
and thereupon persuaded him to turn his Recua out of the way, and 
let the other Recuas which were coming after to pass on. They 
were whole Recuas, and loaded but with victuals for the most part, 
so that the loss of them were far less if the worst befell, and yet 
they should serve to discover them as well as the best. 

Thus by the recklessness of one of our company, and by the 
carefulness of this traveller; we were disappointed of a most rich 
booty: which is to be thought GOD would not should be taken, for 
that, by all likelihood, it was well gotten by that Treasurer. 

The other two Recuas were no sooner come up to us, but being 


Stayed and seized on. One of the Chief Carriers, a very sensible 
fellow, told our Captain by what means we were discovered, and 
counselled us to shift for ourselves betimes, unless we were able to 
encounter the whole force of the city and country before day would 
be about us. 

It pleased us but little, that we were defeated of our golden Recua, 
and that in these we could find not past some two horse-loads of 
silver: but it grieved our Captain much more, that he was discov- 
ered, and that by one of his own men. But knowing it bootless to 
grieve at things past, and having learned by experience, that all 
safety in extremity, consisteth in taking of time [/. e., by the foreloc\, 
making an instant decision^, after no long consultation with Pedro 
the chief of our Cimaroons, who declared that "there were but two 
ways for him: the one to travel back again the same secret way 
they came, for four leagues space into the woods, or else to march 
forward, by the highway to Venta Cruz, being two leagues, and 
make a way with his sword through the enemies." He resolved, 
considering the long and weary marches that we had taken, and 
chiefly that last evening and day before: to take now the shortest 
and readiest way : as choosing rather to encounter his enemies while 
he had strength remaining, than to be encountered or chased when 
we should be worn out with weariness: principally now having the 
mules to ease them that would, some part of the way. 

Therefore commanding all to refresh themselves moderately with 
such store of victuals as we had here in abundance: he signified his 
resolution and reason to them all : asking Pedro by name, "Whether 
he would give his hand not to forsake him?" because he knew that 
the rest of the Cimaroons would also then stand fast and firm, so 
faithful are they to their captain. He being very glad of his resolu- 
tion, gave our Captain his hand, and vowed that "He would rather 
die at his foot, than leave him to the enemies, if he held this course." 

So having strengthened ourselves for the time, we took our jour- 
ney towards Venta Cruz, with help of the mules till we came within 
a mile of the town, where we turned away the Recuas, charging the 
conductors of them, not to follow us upon pain of their lives. 

There, the way is cut through the woods, above ten or twelve feet 
broad, so as two Recuas may pass one by another. The fruitfulness 


of the soil, causeth that with often shredding and ridding the 
way, those woods grow as thick as our thickest hedges in England 
that are oftenest cut. 

To the midst of this wood, a company of soldiers, which con- 
tinually lay in that town, to defend it against the Cimaroons, were 
come forth, to stop us if they might on the way; if not, to retreat 
to their strength, and there to expect us. A Convent [Monastery] 
of Friars, of whom one was become a Leader, joined with these 
soldiers, to take such part as they did. 

Our Captain understanding by our two Cimaroons, which with 
great heedfulness and silence, marched now, but about half a flight- 
shot before us, that it was time for us to arm and take us to our 
weapons, for they knew the enemy was at hand, by smelling of their 
match and hearing of a noise: had given us charge, that no one of 
us should make any shot, until the Spaniards had first spent their 
volley : which he thought they would not do before they had spoken, 
as indeed fell out. 

For as soon as we were within hearing, a Spanish Captain cried 
out, "Hoo!" Our Captain answered him likewise, and being de- 
manded "Que gente?" replied "Englishmen!" But when the said 
Commander charged him, "In the name of the King of Spain, his 
Master, that we should yield ourselves; promising in the word and 
faith of a Gentleman Soldier, that if we would so do, he would use 
us with all courtesy." Our Captain drawing somewhat near him 
said: "That for the honour of the Queen of England, his Mistress, 
he must have passage that way," and therewithal discharged his 
pistol towards him. 

Upon this, they presently shot off their whole volley; which, 
though it lightly wounded our Captain, and divers of our men, yet 
it caused death to one only of our company called John Harris, 
who was so powdered with hail-shot (which they all used for the 
most part as it seemed, or else "quartered," for that our men were 
hurt with that kind) that we could not recover his life, though he 
continued all that day afterwards with us. 

Presently as our Captain perceived their shot to come slacking, 
as the latter drops of a great shower of rain, with his whistle he gave 
us his usual signal, to answer them with our shot and arrows, and 


so march onwards upon the enemy, with intent to come to handy- 
strokes, and to have joined with them; whom when we found re- 
tired as to a place of some better strength, he increased his pace to 
prevent them if he might. Which the Cimaroons perceiving, al- 
though by terror of the shot continuing, they were for the time stept 
aside; yet as soon as they discerned by hearing that we marched on- 
ward, they all rushed forward one after another, traversing the way, 
with their arrows ready in their bows, and their manner of country 
dance or leap, very singing Y6 peho! Y6 peho and so got before us, 
where they continued their leap and song, after the manner of their 
own country wars, till they and we overtook some of the enemy, who 
near the town's end, had conveyed themselves within the woods, to 
have taken their stand at us, as before. 

But our Cimaroons now thoroughly encouraged, when they saw 
our resolution, brake in through the thickets, on both sides of them, 
forcing them to fly. Friars and all! : although divers of our men were 
wounded, and one Cimaroon especially was run through with one 
of their pikes, whose courage and mind served him so well not- 
withstanding, that he revenged his own death ere he died, by killing 
him that had given him that deadly wound. 

We, with all speed, following this chase, entered the town of 
Venta Cruz, being of about forty or fifty houses, which had both a 
Governor and other officers and some fair houses, with many store- 
houses large and strong for the wares, which brought thither from 
Nombre de Dios, by the river of Chagres, so to be transported by 
mules to Panama: beside the Monastery, where we found above a 
thousand bulls and pardons, newly sent from Rome. 

In those houses we found three gentlewomen, which had lately 
been delivered of children there, though their dwellings were in 
Nombre de Dios; because it hath been observed of long time, as 
they reported to us, that no Spaniard or white woman could ever 
be delivered in Nombre de Dios with safety of their children but 
that within two or three days they died; notwithstanding that being 
born and brought up in this Venta Cruz or Panama five or six years, 
and then brought to Nombre de Dios, if they escaped sickness the 
first or second month, they commonly lived in it as healthily as in 
any other place: although no stranger (as they say) can endure 


there any long time, without great danger o£ death or extreme 

Though at our first coming into the town with arms so suddenly, 
these ladies were in great fear, yet because our Captain had given 
straight charge to all the Cimaroons (that while they were in his 
company, they should never hurt any woman nor man that had not 
a weapon in his hand to do them hurt; which they earnestly prom- 
ised, and no less faithfully performed) they had no wrong offered 
them, nor any thing taken from them, to the worth of a garter; 
wherein, albeit they had indeed sufficient safety and security, by 
those of his company, which our Captain sent unto them, of pur- 
pose to comfort them: yet they never ceased most earnestly entreat- 
ing, that our Captain would vouchsafe to come to them himself for 
their more safety; which when he did, in their presence reporting 
the charge he had first given, and the assurance of his men, they 
were comforted. 

While the guards which we had, not without great need, set, as 
well on the bridge which we had to pass over, as at the town's end 
where we entered (they have no other entrance into the town by 
land: but from the water's side there is one other to carry up and 
down their merchandise from their frigates) gained us liberty and 
quiet to stay in this town some hour and half: we had not only 
refreshed ourselves, but our company and Cimaroons had gotten 
some good pillage, which our Captain allowed and gave them (being 
not the thing he looked for) so that it were not too cumbersome or 
heavy in respect of our travel, or defence of ourselves. 

A little before we departed, some ten or twelve horsemen came 
from Panama; by all likelihood, supposing that we were gone out 
of this town, for that all was so still and quiet, came to enter the 
town confidently: but finding their entertainment such as it was; 
they that could, rode faster back again for fear than they had ridden 
forward for hope. 

Thus we having ended our business in this town, and the day 
beginning to spring, we marched over the bridge, observing the 
same order that we did before. There we were all safe in our 
opinion, as if we had been environed with wall and trench, for that 
no Spaniard without his extreme danger could follow us. The 


rather now, for that our Cimaroons were grown very valiant. But 
our Captain considering that he had a long way to pass, and that he 
had been now well near a fortnight from his ship, where he had left 
his company but weak by reason of their sickness, hastened his 
journeys as much as he might, refusing to visit the other Cimaroon 
towns (which they earnestly desired him) and encouraging his own 
company with such example and speech, that the way seemed much 
shorter. For he marched most cheerfully, and assured us that he 
doubted not but ere he left that coast, we should all be bountifully 
paid and recompensed for all those pains taken: but by reason of 
this our Captain's haste, and leaving of their towns, we marched 
many days with hungry stomachs, much against the will of our 
Cimaroons: who if we would have stayed any day from this con- 
tinual journeying, would have killed for us victuals sufficient. 

In our absence, the rest of the Cimaroons had built a little town 
within three leagues off the port where our ship lay. There our 
Captain was contented, upon their great and earnest entreaties to 
make some stay; for that they alleged, it was only built for his 
sake. And indeed he consented the rather, that the want of shoes 
might be supplied by means of the Cimaroons, who were a great 
help unto us: all our men complaining of the tenderness of their 
feet, whom our Captain would himself accompany in their com- 
plaint, some times without cause, but some times with cause indeed; 
which made the rest to bear the burden the more easily. 

These Cimaroons, during all the time that we were with burden, 
did us continually very good service, and in particular in this 
journey, being unto us instead of intelligencers, to advertise us; of 
guides in our way to direct us; of purveyors, to provide victuals for 
us; of house-wrights to build our lodgings; and had indeed able and 
strong bodies carrying all our necessaries: yea, many times when 
some of our company fainted with sickness of weariness, two Cima- 
roons would carry him with ease between them, two miles together, 
and at other times, when need was, they would shew themselves 
no less valiant than industrious, and of good judgment. 

From this town, at our first entrance in the evening, on Saturday 
(22nd February), our Captain despatched a Cimaroon with a token 
and certain order to the Master: who had, these three weeks, kept 


good watch against the enemy, and shifted in the woods for fresh 
victual, for the reHef and recovery of our men left aboard. 

As soon as this messenger was come to the shore, calling to our 
ship, as bringing some news, he was quickly fet[ched] aboard by 
those which longed to hear of our Captain's speeding: but when 
he showed the toothpike of gold, which he said our Captain had 
sent for a token to Ellis Hixom, with charge to meet him at such 
a river though the Master knew well the Captain's toothpike: yet 
by reason of his admonition and caveat [warning] given him at part- 
ing, he (though he bewrayed no sign of distrusting the Cimaroon) 
yet stood as amazed, least something had befallen our Captain 
otherwise than well. The Cimaroon perceiving this, told him, that 
it was night when he was sent away, so that our Captain could not 
send any letter, but yet with the point of his knife, he wrote some- 
thing upon the toothpick, "which," he said, "should be sufficient to 
gain credit to the messenger." 

Thereupon, the Master looked upon it, and saw written, By me, 
Francis Drake: wherefore he believed, and according to the mes- 
sage, prepared what provision he could, and repaired to the mouth 
of the river of Tortugos, as the Cimaroons that went with him then 
named it. 

That afternoon towards three a clock, we were come down to that 
river, not past half-an-hour before we saw our pinnace ready come 
to receive us: which was unto us all a double rejoicing: first that we 
saw them, and next, so soon. Our Captain with all our company 
praised GOD most heartily, for that we saw our pinnace and fel- 
lows again. 

We all seemed to these, who had lived at rest and plenty all this 
while aboard, as men strangely changed (our Captain yet not much 
changed) in countenance and plight: and indeed our long fasting 
and sore travail might somewhat forepine and waste us; but the 
grief we drew inwardly, for that we returned without that gold and 
treasure we hoped for did no doubt show her print and footsteps in 
our faces. 

The rest of our men which were then missed, could not travel 
so well as our Captain, and therefore were left at the Indian new 
town : and the next day (23rd February) we rowed to another river 


in the bottom of the bay and took them all aboard. Thus being 
returned from Panama, to the great rejoicing of our company, who 
were thoroughly revived with the report we brought from thence: 
especially understanding our Captain's purpose, that he meant not 
to leave off thus, but would once again attempt the same journey, 
whereof they also might be partakers. 

Our Captain would not, in the meantime, suffer this edge and 
forwardness of his men to be dulled or rebated, by lying still idly 
unemployed, as knowing right well by continual experience, that no 
sickness was more noisome to impeach any enterprise than delay 
and idleness. 

Therefore considering deeply the intelligences of other places of 
importance thereabouts, which he had gotten the former years; and 
particularly of Veragua, a rich town lying to the Westward; between 
Nombre de Dios and Nicaragua, where is the richest mine of fine 
gold that is on this North side: he consulted with his company touch- 
ing their opinions, what was to be done in this meantime, and how 
they stood affected? 

Some thought, that "It was most necessary to seek supply of 
victuals, that we might the better be able to keep our men close and 
in health till our time came: and this was easy to be compassed, be- 
cause the frigates with victuals went without great defence, whereas 
the frigate and barks with treasure, for the most part were wafted 
with great ships and store of soldiers." 

Others yet judged, "We might better bestow our time in inter- 
cepting the frigates of treasure; first, for that our magazines and 
storehouses of victuals were reasonably furnished, and the country 
itself was so plentiful, that every man might provide for himself if 
the worst befell: and victuals might hereafter be provided abun- 
dantly as well as now: whereas the treasure never floateth upon the 
sea, so ordinarily as at this time of the Fleets being there, which 
time in no wise may be neglected." 

The Cimaroons being demanded also their opinion (for that they 
were experienced in the particularities of all the towns thereabouts, as 
in which some or other of them had served), declared that "by 
Veragua, Signior Pezoro (some time their master from whom they 


fled) dwelt; not in the town for fear of some surprise, but yet not 
far off from the town, for his better reHef ; in a very strong house 
of stone, where he had dwelt nineteen years at least, never travelling 
from home; unless happily once a year to Cartagena, or Nombre 
de Dios when the Fleets were there. He keepeth a hundred slaves 
at least in the mines, each slave being bound to bring in daily, clear 
gain (all charges deducted) three Pesos of Gold for himself and two 
for his women (8s. 3d. the Peso), amounting in the whole, to above 
;/^200 sterling [=;(^ 1,600 now] each day: so that he hath heaped a 
mighty mass of treasure together, which he keepeth in certain great 
chests, of two feet deep, three broad, and four long: being (not- 
withstanding all his wealth) bad and cruel not only to his slaves, 
but unto all men, and therefore never going abroad but with a guard 
of five or six men to defend his person from danger, which he 
feareth extraordinarily from all creatures. 

"And as touching means of compassing this purpose, they would 
conduct him safely through the woods, by the same ways by which 
they fled, that he should not need to enter their havens with danger, 
but might come upon their backs altogether unlooked for. And 
though his house were of stone, so that it could not be burnt; yet 
if our Captain would undertake the attempt, they would undermine 
and overthrow, or otherwise break it open, in such sort, as we might 
have easy access to his greatest treasure." 

Our Captain having heard all their opinions, concluded so that by 
dividing his company, the two first different sentences were both 
reconciled, both to be practised and put in use. 

John Oxnam appointed in the Bear, to be sent Eastward towards 
Tolou, to see what store of victuals would come athwart his half; 
and himself would to the Westward in the Minion, lie off and on the 
Cabezas, where was the greatest trade and most ordinary passage of 
those which transported treasure from Veragua and Nicaragua to 
the Fleet; so that no time might be lost, nor opportunity let slip 
either for victuals or treasure. As for the attempt of Veragua, or 
Signior Pezoro's house by land, by marching through the woods; he 
liked not of, lest it might overweary his men by continual labour; 
whom he studied to refresh and strengthen for his next service fore- 


Therefore using our Cimaroons most courteously, dismissing 
those that were desirous to their wives, with such gifts and favours 
as were most pleasing, and entertaining those still aboard his ship, 
which were contented to abide with the company remaining; the 
pinnaces departed as we determined: the Minion to the West, the 
Bear to the East. 

The Minion about the Cabegas, met with a frigate of Nicaragua, 
in which was some gold, and a Genoese Pilot (of which Nation 
there are many in those coasts), which had been at Veragua not past 
eight days before. He being very well entreated, certified our Cap- 
tain of the state of the town, and of the harbour, and of a frigate 
that was there ready to come forth within few days, aboard which 
there was above a million of gold, offering to conduct him to it, if 
we would do him his right: for that he knew the channel very per- 
fectly, so that he could enter by night safely without danger of the 
sands and shallows, though there be but little water, and utterly 
undescried; for that the town is five leagues within the harbour, 
and the way by land is so far about and difficult through the woods, 
that though we should by any casualty be discovered, about the point 
of the harbour, yet we might despatch our business and depart, 
before the town could have notice of our coming. 

At his being there, he perceived they had heard of Drake's being 
on the coast, which had put them in great fear, as in all other places 
(Pezoro purposing to remove himself to the South Sea!) : but there 
was nothing done to prevent him, their fear being so great, that, as 
it is accustomed in such cases, it excluded counsel and bred despair. 

Our Captain, conferring with his own knowledge and former in- 
telligences, was purposed to have returned to his ship, to have taken 
some of those Cimaroons which had dwelt with Signior Pezoro, to 
be the more confirmed in this point. 

But when the Genoese Pilot was very earnest, to have the time 
gained, and warranted our Captain of good speed, if we delayed 
not; he dismissed the frigate, somewhat lighter to hasten her jour- 
ney! and with this Pilot's advice, laboured with sail and oars to get 
this harbour and to enter it by night accordingly: considering that 
this frigate might now be gained, and Pezoro's house attempted 
hereafter notwithstanding. 


But when we were come to the mouth of the harbour, we heard 
the report of two Chambers, and farther off about a league within 
the bay, two other as it were answering them : whereby the Genoese 
Pilot conjectured that we were discovered: for he assured us, that 
this order had been taken since his last being there, by reason of the 
advertisement and charge, which the Governor of Panama had sent 
to all the Coasts; which even in their beds lay in great and con- 
tinual fear of our Captain, and therefore by all likelihood, main- 
tained this kind of watch, at the charge of the rich Gnufle Pezoro 
for their security. 

Thus being defeated of this expectation, we found it was not 
GOD'S will that we should enter at that time: the rather for that 
the wind, which had all this time been Easterly, came up to the 
Westward, and invited us to return again to our ship; where, on 
Sheere Thursday (19th March), we met, according to appointment, 
with our Bear, and found that she had bestowed her time to more 
profit than we had done. 

For she had taken a frigate in which there were ten men (whom 
they set ashore) great store of maize, twenty-eight fat hogs, and 
two hundred hens. Our Captain discharged (20th March) this 
frigate of her lading; and because she was new, strong, and of a 
good mould, the next day (21st March) he tallowed her to make 
her a Man-of-war: disposing all our ordnance and provisions that 
were fit for such use, in her. For we had heard by the Spaniards 
last taken, that there were two little galleys built in Nombre de 
Dios, to waft the Chagres Fleet to and fro, but were not yet both 
launched: wherefore he purposed now to adventure for that Fleet. 

And to hearten his company he feasted them that Easter-Day 
(22nd March) with great cheer and cheerfulness, setting up his 
rest upon that attempt. 

The next day (23rd March) with the new tallowed frigate of 
Tolou [not of 20 tons, p. 196; one of the two frigates in which the 
Expedition returned to England], and his Bear, we set sail towards 
the Cativaas, where about two days after we landed, and stayed till 
noon; at what time seeing a sail to the westward, as we deemed 
making to the island: we set sail and plied towards him, who 
descrying us, bare with us, till he perceived by our confidence, that 


we were no Spaniards, and conjectured we were those Englishmen, 
of whom he had heard long before. And being in great want, and 
desirous to be relieved by us: he bare up under our lee, and in 
token of amity, shot off his lee ordnance, which was not unanswered. 

We understood that he was Tetu, a French Captain of Newhaven 
[Havre] a Man-of-war as we were, desirous to be relieved by us. 
For at our first meeting, the French Captain cast abroad his hands, 
and prayed our Captain to help him to some water, for that he had 
nothing but wine and cider aboard him, which had brought his 
men into great sickness. He had sought us ever since he first heard 
of our being upon the coast, about this five weeks. Our Captain sent 
one aboard him with some relief for the present, willing him to 
follow us to the next port, where he should have both water and 

At our coming to anchor, he sent our Captain a case of pistols, and 
a fair gilt scimitar (which had been the late King's of France 
[Henry II.], whom Monsieur Montgomery hurt in the eye, and 
was given him by Monsieur Strozze). Our Captain requited him 
with a chain of gold, and a tablet which he wore. 

This Captain reported unto us the first news of the Massacre of 
Paris, at the King of Navarre's marriage on Saint Bartholomew's 
Day last, [24 August, 1572]; of the Admiral of France slain in his 
chamber, and divers other murders: so that he "thought those 
Frenchmen the happiest which were farthest from France, now no" 
longer France but Frensy, even as if all Gaul were turned into 
wormwood and gall: Italian practices having over-mastered the 
French simplicity." He showed what famous and often reports he 
had heard of our great riches. He desired to know of our Captain 
which way he might "compass" his voyage also. 

Though we had seen him in some jealousy and distrust, for all 
his pretence; because we considered more the strength he had than 
the good-will he might bear us: yet upon consultation among our- 
selves, "Whether it were fit to receive him or not?" we resolved to 
take him and twenty of his men, to serve with our Captain for 
halves. In such sort as we needed not doubt of their forces, being 
but twenty; nor be hurt by their portions, being no greater than 
ours: and yet gratify them in their earnest suit, and serve our own 


purpose, which without more help we could very hardly have 
achieved. Indeed, he had 70 men, and we now but 31 ; his ship was 
above 80 tons, and our frigate not 20, or pinnace nothing near 10 
tons. Yet our Captain thought this proportionable, in consideration 
that not numbers of men, but quality of their judgements and knowl- 
edge, were to be the principal actors herein: and the French ship 
could do no service, nor stand in any stead to this enterprise which 
we intended, and had agreed upon before, both touching the time 
when it should take beginning, and the place where we should meet, 
namely, at Rio Francisco. 

Having thus agreed with Captain Tetu, we sent for the Cima- 
roons as before was decreed. Two of them were brought aboard our 
ships, to give the French assurance of this agreement. 

And as soon as we could furnish ourselves and refresh the French 
company, which was within five or six days (by bringing them to 
the magazines which were the nearest, where they were supplied 
by us in such sort, as they protested they were beholding to us for 
all their lives) taking twenty of the French and fifteen of ours with 
our Cimaroons, leaving both our ships in safe road, we manned our 
frigate and two pinnaces (we had formerly sunk our Lion, shortly 
after our return from Panama, because we had not men sufficient 
to man her), and went towards Rio Francisco: which because it had 
not water enough for our frigate, caused us to leave her at the 
Cabejas, manned with English and French, in the charge of Robert 
DoBLE, to stay there without attempting any chase, until the return 
of our pinnaces. 

And then bore to Rio Francisco, where both Captains landed 
(31st March) with such force as aforesaid [/.(?., 20 French, 15 Eng- 
lish, and the Cimaroons], and charged them that had the charge of 
the pinnaces to be there the fourth day next following without any 
fail. And thus knowing that the carriages [mule loads] went now 
daily from Panama to Nombre de Dios; we proceeded in covert 
through the woods, towards the highway that leadeth between them. 

It is five leagues accounted by sea, between Rio Francisco and 
Nombre de Dios; but that way which we march by land, we found 
it above seven leagues. We marched as in our former journey to 


Panama, both for order and silence; to the great wonder of the 
French Captain and company, who protested they knew not by 
any means how to recover the pinnaces, if the Cimaroons (to whom 
what our Captain commanded was a law; though they little re- 
garded the French, as having no trust in them) should leave us: our 
Captain assured him, "There was no cause of doubt of them, of 
whom he had had such former trial." 

When we were come within an English mile of the way, we 
stayed all night, refreshing ourselves, in great stillness, in a most 
convenient place: where we heard the carpenters, being many in 
number, working upon their ships, as they usually do by reason of 
the great heat of the day in Nombre de Dios; and might hear the 
mules coming from Panama, by reason of the advantage of the 

The next morning (ist April), upon hearing of that number of 
bells, the Cimaroons, rejoiced exceedingly, as though there could 
not have befallen them a more joyful accident chiefly having been 
disappointed before. Now they all assured us, "We should have 
more gold and silver than all of us could bear away": as in truth 
it fell out. 

For there came three Recuas, one of 50 mules, the other two, of 
70 each, every [one] of which carried 300 lbs. weight of silver; 
which in all amounted to near thirty tons [i.e., 190 mules, with 300 
lbs. each^^about 57,000 lbs. of silver]. 

We putting ourselves in readiness, went down near the way to 
hear the bells; where we stayed not long, but we saw of what metal 
they were made; and took such hold on the heads of the foremost 
and hindmost mules, that all the rest stayed and lay down, as their 
manner is. 

These three Recuas were guarded with forty-five soldiers or 
thereabouts, fifteen to each Recua, which caused some exchange of 
bullets and arrows for a time; in which conflict the French Captain 
was sore wounded with hail-shot in the belly, and one Cimaroon 
was slain: but in the end, these soldiers thought it the best way to 
leave their mules with us, and to seek for more help abroad. 

In which meantime we took some pain to ease some of the mules 
which were heaviest loaden of their carriage. And because we our- 


selves were somewhat weary, we were contented with a few bars 
and quoits of gold, as we could well carry: burying about fifteen 
tons of silver, partly in the burrows which the great land crabs had 
made in the earth, and partly under old trees which were fallen 
thereabout, and partly in the sand and gravel of a river, not very 
deep of water. 

Thus when about this business, we had spent some two hours, 
and had disposed of all our matters, and were ready to march back 
the very self-same way that we came, we heard both horse and foot 
coming as it seemed to the mules: for they never followed us, after 
we were once entered the woods, where the French Captain by 
reason of his wound, not able to travel farther, stayed, in hope that 
some rest would recover him better strength. 

But after we had marched some two leagues, upon the French 
soldiers' complaint, that they missed one of their men also, examina- 
tion being made whether he were slain or not: it was found that he 
had drunk much wine, and overlading himself with pillage, and 
hasting to go before us, had lost himself in the woods. And as we 
afterwards knew, he was taken by the Spaniards that evening; and 
upon torture, discovered unto them where we had hidden our 

We continued our march all that and the next day (2nd and 3rd 
April) towards Rio Francisco, in hope to meet with our pinnaces; 
but when we came thither, looking out to sea, we saw seven Spanish 
pinnaces, which had been searching all the coast thereabouts: where- 
upon we mightily suspected that they had taken or spoiled our pin- 
naces, for that our Captain had given so straight charge, that they 
should repair to this place this afternoon; from the Cabegas where 
they rode; whence to our sight these Spaniards' pinnaces did 

But the night before, there had fallen very much rain, with much 
westerly wind, which as it enforced the Spaniards to return home 
the sooner, by reason of the storm: so it kept our pinnaces, that they 
could not keep the appointment; because the wind was contrary, 
and blew so strong, that with their oars they could all that day get 
but half the way. Notwithstanding, if they had followed our Cap- 
tain's direction in setting forth over night, while the wind served, 


they had arrived at the place appointed with far less labour, but 
with far more danger: because that very day at noon, the shallops 
manned out, of purpose, from Nombre de Dios, were come to this 
place to take our pinnaces: imagining where we were, after they 
had heard of our intercepting of the treasure. 

Our Captain seeing the shallops, feared least having taken our 
pinnaces, they had compelled our men by torture to confess where 
his frigate and ships were. Therefore in this distress and perplexity, 
the company misdoubting that all means of return to their country 
were cut off, and that their treasure then served them to small 
purpose; our Captain comforted and encouraged us all, saying, "We 
should venture no farther than he did. It was no time now to fear: 
but rather to haste[n] to prevent that which was feared! If the 
enemy have prevailed against our pinnaces, which GOD forbid! 
yet they must have time to search them, time to examine the mari- 
ners, time to execute their resolution after it is determined. Before 
all these times be taken, we may get to our ships, if ye will! though 
not possibly by land, because of the hills, thickets, and rivers, yet 
by water. Let us, therefore, make a raft with the trees that are here 
in readiness, as offering themselves, being brought down the river, 
happily this last storm, and put ourselves to sea! I will be one, 
who will be the other?" 

John Smith offered himself, and two Frenchmen that could 
swim very well, desired they might accompany our Captain, as did 
the Cimaroons likewise (who had been very earnest with our Cap- 
tain to have marched by land, though it were sixteen days' journey, 
and in case the ship had been surprised, to have abode always with 
them), especially Pedro, who yet was fain to be left behind, because 
he could not row. 

The raft was fitted and fast bound; a sail of a biscuit sack pre- 
pared; an oar was shaped out of a young tree to serve instead of a 
rudder, to direct their course before the wind. 

At his departure he comforted the company, by promising, that 
"If it pleased GOD, he should put his foot in safety aboard his 
frigate, he would, GOD willing, by one means or other get them 
all aboard, in despite of all the Spaniards in the Indies!" 


In this manner pulling off to the sea, he sailed some three leagues, 
sitting up to the waist continually in water, and at every surge of 
the wave to the arm-pits, for the space of six hours, upon this raft: 
what with the parching of the sun and what with the beating 
of the salt water, they had all of them their skins much fretted 

At length GOD gave them the sight of two pinnaces turning 
towards them with much wind; but with far greater joy to him than 
could easily conjecture, and did cheerfully declare to those three 
with him, that "they were our pinnaces! and that all was safe, so 
that there was no cause of fear!" 

But see, the pinnaces not seeing this raft, nor suspecting any such 
matter, by reason of the wind and night growing on, were forced to 
run into a cove behind the point, to take succour, for that night: 
which our Captain seeing, and gathering (because they came not 
forth again), that they would anchor there, put his raft ashore, and 
ran by land about the point, where he found them; who, upon sight 
of him, made as much haste as they could to take him and his 
company aboard. For our Captain (of purpose to try what haste 
they could and would make in extremity), himself ran in great 
haste, and so willed the other three with him; as if they had been 
chased by the enemy: which they the rather suspected, because they 
saw so few with him. 

And after his coming aboard, when they demanding "How all 
his company did?" he answered coldly, "Well!" They all doubted 
[feared] that all went scarce well. But he willing to rid all doubts, 
and fill them with joy, took out of his bosom a quoit of gold, thank- 
ing GOD that "our voyage was made!" 

And to the Frenchmen he declared, how their Captain indeed was 
left behind, sore wounded and two of his company with him: but 
it should be no hindrance to them. 

That night (4th April) our Captain with great pain of his com- 
pany, rowed to Rio Francisco: where he took the rest in, and the 
treasure which we had brought with us: making such expedition, 
that by dawning of the day, we set sail back again to our frigate, 
and from thence directly to our ships: where, as soon as we arrived, 


our Captain divided by weight, the gold and silver into two even 
portions, between the French and the English. 

About a fortnight after, when we had set all things in order, and 
taking out of our ship [the Pascha] all such necessaries as we needed 
for our frigate, had left and given her to the Spaniards, whom we 
had all this time detained, we put out of that harbour [at Fort 
Diego, p. 155] together with the French ship, riding some few days 
among the Cabegas. 

In the meantime, our Captain made a secret composition with the 
Cimaroons, that twelve of our men and sixteen of theirs, should 
make another voyage, to get intelligence in what case the country 
stood; and if it might be, recover Monsieur Tetu, the French Cap- 
tain; at leastwise to bring away that which was hidden in our 
former surprise, and could not then be conveniently carried. 

John Oxnam and Thomas Sherwell were put in trust for his 
service, to the great content of the whole company, who conceived 
greatest hope of them next our Captain; whom by no means they 
would condescend to suffer to adventure again, this time: yet he 
himself rowed to set them ashore at Rio Francisco; finding his la- 
bour well employed both otherwise, and also in saving one of those 
two Frenchmen that had remained willingly to accompany their 
wounded captain. 

For this gentleman, having escaped the rage of the Spaniards, 
was now coming towards our pinnace, where he fell down on his 
knees, blessing GOD for the time, "that ever our Captain was born; 
who now, beyond all his hopes, was become his deliverer." 

He being demanded, "What was become of his Captain and other 
fellow?" shewed that within half an hour after our departure, the 
Spaniards had overgotten them, and took his Captain and other 
fellow: he only escaped by flight, having cast away all his carriage, 
and among the rest one box of jewels, that he might fly the swifter 
from the pursuers: but his fellow took it up and burdened himself 
so sore, that he could make no speed; as easily as he might other- 
wise, if he would have cast down his pillage, and laid aside his 
covetous mind. As for the silver, which we had hidden thereabout 
in the earth and the sands, he thought that it was all gone: for that 


he thought there had been near two thousand Spaniards and Ne- 
groes there to dig and search for it. 

This report notwithstanding, our purpose held, and our men were 
sent to the said place, where they found that the earth, every way 
a mile distant, had been digged and turned up in every place o£ any 
likelihood to have anything hidden in it. 

And yet nevertheless, for all that narrow search, all our men's 
labour was not quite lost, but so considered, that the third day after 
their departure, they all returned safe and cheerful, with as much 
silver as they and all the Cimaroons could find (viz., thirteen bars 
of silver, and some few quoits of gold), with which they were pres- 
ently embarked, without empeachment, repairing with no less speed 
than joy to our frigate. 

Now was it high time to think of homewards, having sped our- 
selves as we desired: and therefore our Captain concluded to visit 
Rio Grande [Magdelena] once again, to see if he could meet with 
any sufficient ship or bark, to carry victuals enough to serve our turn 
homewards, in which we might in safety and security embark our- 

The Frenchmen having formerly gone from us, as soon as they 
had their shares, at our first return with the treasure; as being very 
desirous to return home into their country, and our Captain as de- 
sirous to dismiss them, as they were to be dismissed: for that he fore- 
saw they could not in their ship avoid the danger of being taken by 
the Spaniards, if they should make out any Men-of-war for them, 
while they lingered on the coast; and having also been then again 
relieved with victuals by us. — Now at our meeting of them again, 
were very loath to leave us, and therefore accompanied us very 
kindly as far up as St. Bernards; and farther would, but that they 
durst not adventure so great danger; for that we had intelligence, 
that the Fleet was ready to set sail for Spain, riding at the entry of 

Thus we departed from them, passing hard by Cartagena, in the 
sight of all the Fleet, with a flag of St. George in the main top of 
our frigate, with silk streamers and ancients down to the water, sail- 
ing forward with a large wind, till we came within two leagues of 


the river [Magdalena], being all low land, and dark night: where 
to prevent the over shooting of the river in the night, we lay off and 
on bearing small sail, till that about midnight the wind veering to 
the eastward, by two of the clock in the morning, a frigate from 
Rio Grande [Magdalena] passed hard by us, bearing also but small 
sail. We saluted them with our shot and arrows, they answered us 
with bases; but we got aboard them, and took such order, that they 
were content against their wills to depart ashore and to leave us 
this frigate: which was of 25 tons, loaded with maize, hens, and 
hogs, and some honey, in very good time fit for our use; for the 
honey especially was notable reliever and preserver of our crazed 
[sic/(\ people. 

The next morning as soon as we set those Spaniards ashore on the 
Main, we set our course for the Cabegas without any stop, whither 
we came about five days after. And being at anchor, presently we 
hove out all the maize a land, saving three butts which we kept for 
our store: and carrying all our provisions ashore, we brought both 
our frigates on the careen, and new tallowed them. 

Here we stayed about seven nights, trimming and rigging our 
frigates, boarding and stowing our provisions, tearing abroad and 
burning our pinnaces, that the Cimaroons might have the iron-work. 

About a day or two before our departure, our Captain willed 
Pedro and three of the chiefest of the Cimaroons to go through both 
his frigates, to see what they liked; promising to give it them, 
whatsoever it were, so it were not so necessary as that he could not 
return into England without it. And for their wives he would him- 
self seek out some silks or linen that might gratify them; which 
while he was choosing out of his trunks, the scimitar which Cap- 
tain Tetu had given to our Captain, chanced to be taken forth in 
Pedro's sight: which he seeing grew so much in liking thereof, that 
he accounted of nothing else in respect of it, and preferred it before 
all that could be given him. Yet imagining that it was no less 
esteemed of our Captain, durst not himself open his mouth to crave 
or commend it; but made one Francis Tucker to be his mean to 
break his mind, promising to give him a fine quoit of gold, which 
yet he had in store, if he would but move our Captain for it; and to 
our Captain himself, he would give four other great quoits which 


he had hidden, intending to have reserved them until another 

Our Captain being accordingly moved by Francis Tucker, could 
have been content to have made no such exchange; but yet desirous 
to content him, that had deserved so well, he gave it him with many 
good words: who received it with no little joy, affirming that if he 
should give his wife and children which he loved dearly in lieu of 
it, he could not sufficient recompense it (for he would present his 
king with it, who he knew would make him a great man, even for 
this very gift's sake) ; yet in gratuity and stead of other requital of 
this jewel, he desired our Captain to accept these four pieces of gold, 
as a token of his thankfulness to him, and a pawn of his faithful- 
ness during life. 

Our Captain received it in most kind sort, but took it not to his 
own benefit, but caused it to be cast into the whole Adventure, 
saying, "If he had not been set forth to that place, he had not 
attained such a commodity, and therefore it was just that they which 
bare part with him of his burden in setting him to sea, should 
enjoy the proportion of his benefit whatsoever at his return." 

Thus with good love and liking we took our leave of that people, 
setting over to the islands of [ ? ], whence the next day after, 
we set sail towards Cape St. Antonio; by which we past with a large 
wind: but presently being to stand for the Havana, we were fain to 
ply to the windward some three or four days; in which plying we 
fortuned to take a small bark, in which were two or three hundred 
hides, and one most necessary thing, which stood us in great stead, 
viz., a pump! which we set in our frigate. Their bark because it 
was nothing fit for our service, our Captain gave them to carry them 

And so returning to Cape St. Antonio, and landing there, we re- 
freshed ourselves, and beside great store of turtle eggs, found by day 
in the [sand], we took 250 turtles by night. We powdered [salted] 
and dried some of them, which did us good service. The rest con- 
tinued but a small time. 

There were, at this time, belonging to Cartagena, Nombre de 
Dios, Rio Grande, Santa Marta, Rio de la Hacha, Venta Cruz, Vera- 
gua, Nicaragua, the Honduras, Jamaica &c., above 200 frigates; some 


of a 120 tons, others but of 10 or 12 tons, but the most of 30 or 40 
tons, which all had intercourse between Cartagena and Nombre 
de Dios. The most of which, during our abode in those parts, we 
took; and some of them, twice or thrice each: yet never burnt nor 
sunk any, unless they were made out Men-of-war against us, or laid 
as stales to entrap us. 

And of all the men taken in these several vessels, we never offered 
any kind of violence to any, after they were once come under our 
power; but either presently dismissed them in safety, or keeping them 
with us some longer time (as some of them we did), we always pro- 
vided for their sustenance as for ourselves, and secured them from the 
rage of the Cimaroons against them: till at last, the danger of their 
discovering where our ships lay being over past, for which only 
cause we kept them prisoners, we set them also free. 

Many strange birds, beasts, and fishes, besides fruits, trees, plants, 
and the like, were seen and observed of us in this journey, which 
willingly we pretermit as hastening to the end of our voyage: which 
from this Cape of St. Antonio, we intended to finish by sailing the 
directest and speediest way homeward; and accordingly, even be- 
yond our own expectation, most happily performed. 

For whereas our Captain had purposed to touch at Newfound- 
land, and there to have watered; which would have been some let 
unto us, though we stood in great want of water; yet GOD Al- 
mighty so provided for us, by giving us good store of rain water, 
that we were sufficiently furnished: and, within twenty-three days, 
we passed from the Cape of Florida, to the Isles of Scilly, and so 
arrived at Plymouth, on Sunday, about sermon time, August the 9th, 

At what time, the news of our Captain's return brought unto his, 

did so speedily pass over all the church, and surpass their minds 

with desire and delight to see him, that very few or none remained 

with the Preacher. All hastened to see the evidence of GOD'S love 

and blessing towards our Gracious Queen and country, by the fruit 

of our Captain's labour and success. 

Soli DEO Gloria. 







Narrative by Francis Pretty, 
ONE OF Drake's Gentlemen at arms. 

The Famous Voyage of Sir FRANCIS DRAKE into the South Sea, and 
therehence about the whole Globe of the Earth, begun in the year of 
our Lord i^yj. 

THE 15. day of November, in the year of our Lord 1577, 
Master Francis Dral^e, with a fleet of five ships and barks/ 
and to the number of 164 men, gentlemen and sailors, de- 
parted from Plymouth, giving out his pretended voyage for Alexan- 
dria. But the wind falling contrary, he was forced the next morning 
to put into Falmouth Haven, in Cornwall, where such and so terri- 
ble a tempest took us, as few men have seen the like, and was indeed 
so vehement that all our ships were like to have gone to wrack. 
But it pleased God to preserve us from that extremity, and to afflict 
us only for that present with these two particulars: the mast of our 
Admiral, which was the Pelican, was cut overboard for the safe- 
guard of the ship, and the Marigold was driven ashore, and some- 
what bruised. For the repairing of which damages we returned 
again to Plymouth; and having recovered those harms, and brought 
the ships again to good state, we set forth the second time from 
Plymouth, and set sail the 13. day of December following. 

The 25. day of the same month we fell with the Cape Cantin, 
upon the coast of Barbary; and coasting along, the 27. day we found 
an island called Mogador, lying one mile distant from the main. 
Between which island and the main we found a very good and 

'The Pelican, 120 tons, commanded by Drake; the Elizabeth, a new Deptford- 
built ship of 80 tons, commanded by Winter, with her pinnace, the Benedict; the 
Marigold, o£ 30 tons; and the Swan, a fly-boat of 50 tons. 


200 drake's famous voyage 

safe harbour for our ships to ride in, as also very good entrance, and 
void of any danger. On this island our General erected a pinnace, 
vv^hereof he brought out of England with him four already framed. 
While these things were in doing, there came to the water's side 
some of the inhabitants of the country, shewing forth their flags of 
truce; which being seen of our General, he sent his ship's boat to 
the shore to know what they would. They being willing to come 
aboard, our men left there one man of our company for a pledge, 
and brought two of theirs aboard our ship; which by signs shewed 
our General that the next day they would bring some provision, as 
sheep, capons, and hens, and such like. Whereupon our General 
bestowed amongst them some linen cloth and shoes, and a javelin, 
which they very joyfully received, and departed for that time. The 
next morning they failed not to come again to the water's side. And 
our General again setting out our boat, one of our men leaping 
over-rashly ashore, and offering friendly to embrace them, they set 
violent hands on him, offering a dagger to his throat if he had made 
any resistance; and so laying him on a horse carried him away. So 
that a man cannot be too circumspect and wary of himself among 
such miscreants. Our pinnace being finished, we departed from this 
place the 30. and last day of December, and coasting along the 
shore we did descry, not contrary to our expectation, certain canters} 
which were Spanish fishermen, to whom we gave chase and took 
three of them. And proceeding further we met with three carvels, 
and took them also. 

The 17. day of January we arrived at Cape Blanco, where we 
found a ship riding at anchor, within the Cape, and but two simple 
mariners in her. Which ship we took and carried her further into 
the harbour, where we remained four days; and in that space our 
General mustered and trained his men on land in warlike manner, 
to make them fit for all occasions. In this place we took of the 
fishermen such necessaries as we wanted, and they could yield us; 
and leaving here one of our little barks, called the Benedict, we 
took with us one of theirs which they called canters, being of the 
burden of 40 tons or thereabouts. All these things being finished we 
departed this harbour the 22. of January, carrying along with us 
^ old Sp. camera (perhaps from cantharus). 


one of the Portugal carvels, which was bound to the islands of 
Cape Verde for salt, whereof good store is made in one of those 
islands. The master or pilot of that carvel did advertise our General 
that upon one of those islands, called Mayo, there was great store of 
dried cabritos^ which a few inhabitants there dwelling did yearly 
make ready for such of the king's ships as did there touch, being 
bound for his country of Brazil or elsewhere. We fell with this 
island the 27. of January, but the inhabitants would in no case 
traffic with us, being thereof forbidden by the king's edict. Yet the 
next day our General sent to view the island, and the likelihoods 
that might be there of provision of victuals, about threescore and 
two men under the conduct and government of Master Winter and 
Master Doughty. And marching towards the chief place of habita- 
tion in this island (as by the Portugal we were informed), having 
travelled to the mountains the space of three miles, and arriving 
there somewhat before the daybreak, we arrested ourselves, to see 
day before us. Which appearing, we found the inhabitants to be 
fled; but the place, by reason that it was manured, we found to be 
more fruitful than the other part, especially the valleys among the 

Here we gave ourselves a little refreshing, as by very ripe and 
sweet grapes, which the fruitfulness of the earth at that season of 
the year yielded us; and that season being with us the depth of 
winter, it may seem strange that those fruits were then there grow- 
ing. But the reason thereof is this, because they being between the 
tropic and the equinoctial, the sun passeth twice in the year through 
their zenith over their heads, by means whereof they have two sum- 
mers; and being so near the heat of the line they never lose the heat 
of the sun so much, but the fruits have their increase and continu- 
ance in the midst of winter. The island is wonderfully stored with 
goats and wild hens; and it hath salt also, without labour, save only 
that the people gather it into heaps; which continually in greater 
quantity is increased upon the sands by the flowing of the sea, and 
the receiving heat of the sun kerning the same. So that of the 
increase thereof they keep a continual traffic with their neighbours. 

Amongst other things we found here a kind of fruit called cocos, 

3 Goats. 


which because it is not commonly known with us in England, I 
thought good to make some description of it. The tree beareth no 
leaves nor branches, but at the very top the fruit groweth in clusters, 
hard at the top of the stem of the tree, as big every several fruit as 
a man's head; but having taken off the uttermost bark, which you 
shall find to be very full of strings or sinews, as I may term them, 
you shall come to a hard shell, which may hold in quantity of liquor 
a pint commonly, or some a quart, and some less. Within that shell, 
of the thickness of half-an-inch good, you shall have a kind of hard 
substance and very white, no less good and sweet than almonds; 
within that again, a certain clear liquor, which being drunk, you 
shall not only find it very delicate and sweet, but most comfortable 
and cordial. 

After we had satisfied ourselves with some of these fruits, we 
marched further into the island, and saw great store of cabritos 
alive, which were so chased by the inhabitants that we could do 
no good towards our provision; but they had laid out, as it were 
to stop our mouths withal, certain old dried cabritos, which being 
but ill, and small and few, we made no account of. Being returned 
to our ships, our General departed hence the 31. of this month, and 
sailed by the island of Santiago, but far enough from the danger 
of the inhabitants, who shot and discharged at us three pieces; but 
they all fell short of us, and did us no harm. The island is fair and 
large, and, as it seemeth, rich and fruitful, and inhabited by the 
Portugals; but the mountains and high places of the island are said 
to be possessed by the Moors, who having been slaves to the Portu- 
gals, to ease themselves, made escape to the desert places of the 
island, where they abide with great strength. Being before this 
island, we espied two ships under sail, to the one of which we gave 
chase, and in the end boarded her with a ship-boat without resis- 
tance; which we found to be a good prize, and she yielded unto us 
good store of wine. Which prize our General committed to the 
custody of Master Doughty; and retaining the pilot, sent the rest 
away with his pinnace, giving them a butt of wine and some victuals, 
and their wearing clothes, and so they departed. The same night we 
came with the island called by the Portugals llha do Fogo, that is, 
the burning island; in the north side whereof is a consuming fire. 


The matter is said to be of sulphur, but, notwithstanding, it is Hke to 
be a commodious island, because the Portugals have built, and do 
inhabit there. Upon the south side thereof lieth a most pleasant and 
sweet island, the trees whereof are always green and fair to look 
upon; in respect whereof they call it llha Brava, that is, the brave 
island. From the banks thereof into the sea do run in many places 
reasonable streams of fresh water easy to come by, but there was no 
convenient road for our ships; for such was the depth that no ground 
could be had for anchoring. And it is reported that ground was 
never found in that place; so that the tops of Fogo burn not so high 
in the air, but the roots of Brava are quenched as low in the sea. 

Being departed from these islands, we drew towards the line, 
where we were becalmed the space of three weeks, but yet subject 
to divers great storms, terrible lightnings and much thunder. But 
with this misery we had the commodity of great store of fish, as 
dolphins, bonitos, and flying-fishes, whereof some fell into our ships; 
wherehence they could not rise again for want of moisture, for when 
their wings are dry they cannot fly. 

From the first day of our departure from the islands of Cape 
Verde, we sailed 54 days without sight of land. And the first land 
that we fell with was the coast of Brazil, which we saw the fifth of 
April, in the height of 33 degrees towards the pole Antarctic. And 
being discovered at sea by the inhabitants of the country, they made 
upon the coast great fires for a sacrifice (as we learned) to the devils; 
about which they use conjurations, making heaps of sand, and other 
ceremonies, that when any ship shall go about to stay upon their 
coast, not only sands may be gathered together in shoals in every 
place, but also that storms and tempests may arise, to the casting 
away of ships and men, whereof, as it is reported, there have been 
divers experiments. 

The 7. day in a mighty great storm, both of lightning, rain, and 
thunder, we lost the canter, which we called the Christopher. But 
the eleventh day after, by our General's great care in dispersing his 
ships, we found her again; and the place where we met our General 
called the Cape of Joy, where every ship took in some water. Here 
we found a good temperature and sweet air, a very fair and pleasant 
country with an exceeding fruitful soil, where were great store of 


large and mighty deer, but we came not to the sight of any people; 
but travelling further into the country we perceived the footing of 
people in the clay ground, shewing that they were men of great 
stature. Being returned to our ships we weighed anchor, and ran 
somewhat further, and harboured ourselves between the rock and 
the main; where by means of the rock that brake the force of the 
sea, we rid very safe. And upon this rock we killed for our pro- 
vision certain sea-wolves, commonly called with us seals. From 
hence we went our course to 36 degrees, and entered the great river 
of Plate, and ran into 54 and 53 1-2 fathoms of fresh water, where we 
filled our water by the ship's side; but our General finding here no 
good harborough, as he thought he should, bare out again to sea 
the 27. of April, and in bearing out we lost sight of our fly-boat 
wherein Master Doughty was. But we, sailing along, found a fair 
and reasonable good bay, wherein were many and the same profitable 
islands; one whereof had so many seals as would at the least have 
laden all our ships, and the rest of the islands are, as it were, laden 
with fowls, which is wonderful to see, and they of divers sorts. It 
is a place very plentiful of victuals, and hath in it no want of fresh 
water. Our General, after certain days of his abode in this place, 
being on shore in an island, the people of the country shewed them- 
selves unto him, leaping and dancing, and entered into traffic with 
him; but they would not receive anything at any man's hands, but 
the same must be cast upon the ground. They are of clean, comely, 
and strong bodies, swift on foot, and seem to be very active. 

The 18. day of May, our General thought it needful to have a care 
of such ships as were absent; and therefore endeavouring to seek 
the fly-boat wherein Master Doughty was, we espied her again the 
next day. And whereas certain of our ships were sent to discover the 
coast and to search an harbour, the Marigold and the canter being 
employed in that business, came unto us and gave us understanding 
of a safe harbour that they had found. Wherewith all our ships 
bare, and entered it; where we watered and made new provision of 
victuals, as by seals, whereof we slew to the number of 200 or 300 in 
the space of an hour. Here our General in the Admiral rid close 
aboard the fly-boat, and took out of her all the provision of victuals 
and what else was in her, and hauling her to the land, set fire to her, 


and so burnt her to save the iron work. Which being a-doing, there 
came down of the country certain of the people naked, saving only 
about their waist the skin of some beast, with the fur or hair on, 
and something also wreathed on their heads. Their faces were 
painted with divers colours, and some of them had on their heads 
the similitude of horns, every man his bow, which was an ell in 
length, and a couple of arrows. They were very agile people and 
quick to deliver, and seemed not to be ignorant in the feats of wars, 
as by their order of ranging a few men might appear. These people 
would not of a long time receive anything at our hands; yet at 
length our General being ashore, and they dancing after their ac- 
customed manner about him, and he once turning his back towards 
them, one leaped suddenly to him, and took his cap with his gold 
band off his head, and ran a little distance from him, and shared it 
with his fellow, the cap to the one, and the band to the other. Hav- 
ing despatched all our business in this place, we departed and set 
sail. And immediately upon our setting forth we lost our canter, 
which was absent three of four days; but when our General had 
her again, he took out the necessaries, and so gave her over, near to 
the Cape of Good Hope. The next day after, being the 20. of June, 
we harboured ourselves again in a very good harborough, called by 
Magellan, Port St. Julian, where we found a gibbet standing upon 
the main; which we supposed to be the place where Magellan did 
execution upon some of his disobedient and rebellious company. 

The two and twentieth day our General went ashore to the main, 
and in his company John Thomas, and Robert Winterhie, Oliver 
the master-gunner, John Brewer, Thomas Hood, and Thomas Dra\e. 
And entering on land, they presently met with two or three of the 
country people. And Robert Winterhie having in his hands a bow 
and arrows, went about to make a shoot of pleasure, and, in his 
draught, his bowstring brake; which the rude savages taking as a 
token of war, began to bend the force of their bows against our 
company, and drove them to their shifts very narrowly. 

In this port our General began to enquire diligently of the actions 
of Master Thomas Doughty, and found them not to be such as he 
looked for, but tending rather of contention or mutiny, or some 
other disorder, whereby, without redress, the success of the voyage 

2o6 drake's famous voyage 

might greatly have been hazarded. Whereupon the company was 
called together and made acquainted with the particulars of the 
cause, which were found, partly by Master Doughty's own confes- 
sion, and partly by the evidence of the fact, to be true. Which when 
our General saw, although his private affection to Master Doughty, 
as he then in the presence of us all sacredly protested, was great, yet 
the care he had of the state of the voyage, of the expectation of her 
Majesty, and of the honour of his country did more touch him, as 
indeed it ought, than the private respect of one man. So that the 
cause being throughly heard, and all things done in good order as 
near as might be to the course of our laws in England, it was con- 
cluded that Master Doughty should receive punishment according 
to the quality of the offence. And he, seeing no remedy but patience 
for himself, desired before his death to receive the communion, 
which he did at the hands of Master Fletcher, our minister, and our 
General himself accompanied him in that holy action. Which being 
done, and the place of execution made ready, he having embraced 
our General, and taken his leave of all the company, with prayers 
for the Queen's Majesty and our realm, in quiet sort laid his head 
to the block, where he ended his life. This being done, our General 
made divers speeches to the whole company, persuading us to unity, 
obedience, love, and regard of our voyage; and for the better con- 
firmation thereof, willed every man the next Sunday following to 
prepare himself the communion, as Christian brethren and friends 
ought to do. Which was done in very reverent sort; and so with 
good contentment every man went about his business. 

The 17. day of August we departed the port of St. Julian,^ and the 
20. day we fell with the Strait of Magellan, going into the South 
Sea; at the cape or headland whereof we found the body of a dead 
man, whose flesh was clean consumed. The 21. day we entered the 
Strait,^ which we found to have many turnings, and as it were 
shuttings-up, as if there were no passage at all. By means whereof 
we had the wind often against us; so that some of the fleet recover- 

*The squadron was now reduced to three ships, the Swan and the Christopher, 
as well as the Portuguese prize, having been condemned as unseaworthy, and burnt 
or abandoned. 

' Drake here changed the name of the Pelican to the Golden Hind, the crest of 
Sir Christopher Hatton. 


ing a cape or point of land, others should be forced to turn back 
again, and to come to an anchor where they could. In this Strait 
there be many fair harbours, with store of fresh water. But yet they 
lack their best commodity, for the water there is of such depth, that 
no man shall find ground to anchor in, except it be in some narrow 
river or corner, or between some rocks; so that if any extreme 
blasts or contrary winds do come, whereunto the place is much sub- 
ject, it carrieth with it no small danger. The land on both sides 
is very huge and mountainous; the lower mountains whereof, al- 
though they be monstrous and wonderful to look upon for their 
height, yet there are others which in height exceed them in a strange 
manner, reaching themselves above their fellows so high, that be- 
tween them did appear three regions of clouds. These mountains 
are covered with snow. At both the southerly and easterly parts of 
the Strait there are islands, among which the sea hath his indraught 
into the Straits, even as it hath in the main entrance of the frete.* 
This Strait is extreme cold, with frost and snow continually; the 
trees seem to stoop with the burden of the weather, and yet are green 
continually, and many good and sweet herbs do very plentifully 
grow and increase under them. The breadth of the Strait is in some 
places a league, in some other places two leagues and three leagues, 
and in some other four leagues; but the narrowest place hath a 
league over. 

The 24. of August we arrived at an island in the Straits, where we 
found great store of fowl which could not fly, of the bigness of 
geese; whereof we killed in less than one day 3,000, and victualled 
ourselves throughly therewith. The 6. day of September we entered 
the South Sea at the cape or head shore. The 7. day we were driven 
by a great storm from the entering into the South Sea, 200 leagues 
and odd in longitude, and one degree to the southward of the Strait; 
in which height, and so many leagues to the westward, the 15. day 
of September, fell out the eclipse of the moon at the hour of six 
of the clock at night. But neither did the ecliptical conflict of the 
moon impair our state, nor her clearing again amend us a whit; but 
the accustomed eclipse of the sea continued in his force, we being 
darkened more than the moon sevenfold.' 

*Lat. f return. ''In this storm the Marigold went down with all hands. 

2o8 drake's famous voyage 

From the bay which we called the Bay of Severing of Friends, we 
were driven back to the southward of the Straits in 57 degrees and a 
tierce; in which height we came to an anchor among the islands, 
having there fresh and very good water, with herbs of singular 
virtue. Not far from hence we entered another bay, where we 
found people, both men and women, in their canoes naked, and 
ranging from one island to another to seek their meat; who entered 
traffic with us for such things as they had. We returning hence 
northward again, found the third of October three islands, in one of 
which was such plenty of birds as is scant credible to report. The 
8. day of October we lost sight of one of our consorts,* wherein 
Master Winter was; who, as then we supposed, was put by a storm 
into the Straits again. Which at our return home we found to be 
true, and he not perished, as some of our company feared. Thus 
being come in to the height of the Straits again, we ran, supposing the 
coast of Chili to lie as the general maps have described it, namely 
north-west; which we found to lie and trend to the north-east and 
eastwards. Whereby it appeareth that this part of Chili hath not 
been truly hitherto discovered, or at the least not truly reported, 
for the space of twelve degrees at the least; being set down either of 
purpose to deceive, or of ignorant conjecture. 

We continuing our course, fell the 29. of November with an 
island called La Mocha, where we cast anchor; and our General, 
hoisting out our boat, went with ten of our company to shore. 
Where we found people, whom the cruel and extreme dealings of 
the Spaniards have forced, for their own safety and liberty, to flee 
from the main, and to fortify themselves in this island. We being 
on land, the people came down to us to the water side with show 
of great courtesy, bringing to us potatoes, roots, and two very fat 
sheep; which our General received, and gave them other things for 
them, and had promised to have water there. But the next day 
repairing again to the shore, and sending two men a-land with 
barrels to fill water, the people taking them for Spaniards (to whom 
they use to show no favour if they take them) laid violent hands on 
them, and, as we think, slew them. Our General seeing this, stayed 

*The Elizabeth. Winter, having lost sight of the Admir'al, sailed home. The 
Golden Hind was thus left to pursue her voyage alone. 


here no longer, but weighed anchor, and set sail towards the coast 
o£ Chili. And drawing towards it, we met near to the shore an 
Indian in a canoa, who thinking us to have been Spaniards, came 
to us and told us, that at a place called Santiago, there was a great 
Spanish ship laden from the kingdom of Peru; for which good news 
our General gave him divers trifles. Whereof he was glad, and went 
along with us and brought us to the place, which is called the port 
of Valparaiso. When we came thither we found, indeed, the ship 
riding at anchor, having in her eight Spaniards and three negroes; 
who, thinking us to have been Spaniards, and their friends, wel- 
comed us with a drum, and made ready a botija^ of wine of Chili to 
drink to us. But as soon as we were entered, one of our company 
called Thomas Moon began to lay about him, and struck one of the 
Spaniards, and said unto him, Abaxo, perro! that is in English. 'Go 
down, dog!' One of these Spaniards, seeing persons of that quality 
in those seas, all to crossed and blessed himself. But, to be short, we 
stowed them under hatches, all save one Spaniard, who suddenly 
and desperately leapt overboard into the sea, and swam ashore to 
the town of Santiago, to give them warning of our arrival. 

They of the town, being not above nine households, presently fled 
away and abandoned the town. Our General manned his boat and 
the Spanish ship's boat, and went to the town; and, being come to 
it, we rifled it, and came to a small chapel, which we entered, and 
found therein a silver chalice, two cruets, and one altar-cloth, the 
spoil whereof our General gave to Master Fletcher, his minister. 
We found also in this town a warehouse stored with wine of Chili 
and many boards of cedar- wood; all which wine we brought away 
with us, and certain of the boards to burn for firewood. And so, 
being come aboard, we departed the haven, having first set all the 
Spaniards on land, saving one John Griego, a Greek born, whom 
our General carried with him as pilot to bring him into the haven of 

When we were at sea our General rifled the ship, and found in her 
good store of the wine of Chili, and 25,000 pesos of very pure and 
fine gold of Valdivia, amounting in value to 37,000 ducats of Span- 
ish money, and above. So, going on our course, we arrived next at 



a place called Coquimbo, where our General sent fourteen of his 
men on land to fetch water. But they were espied by the Spaniards, 
who came with 300 horsemen and 200 footmen, and slew one of our 
men with a piece. The rest came aboard in safety, and the Spaniards 
departed. We went on shore again and buried our man, and the 
Spaniards came down again with a flag of truce; but we set sail, 
and would not trust them. From hence we went to a certain port 
called Tarapaca; where, being landed, we found by the sea side a 
Spaniard lying asleep, who had lying by him thirteen bars of silver, 
which weighed 4,000 ducats Spanish. We took the silver and left 
the man. Not far from hence, going on land for fresh water, we 
met with a Spaniard and an Indian boy driving eight llamas or sheep 
of Peru, which are as big as asses; every of which sheep had on his 
back two bags of leather, each bag containing 50 lb. weight of fine 
silver. So that, bringing both the sheep and their burthen to the 
ships, we found in all the bags eight hundred weight of silver. 

Herehence we sailed to a place called Arica; and, being entered 
the port, we found there three small barks, which we rifled, and 
found in one of them fifty-seven wedges of silver, each of them 
weighing about 20 lb. weight, and every of these wedges were of the 
fashion and bigness of a brickbat. In all these three barks, we found 
not one person. For they, mistrusting no strangers, were all gone 
a-land to the town, which consisteth of about twenty houses; which 
we would have ransacked if our company had been better and more 
in number. But our General, contented with the spoil of the ships, 
left the town and put off again to sea, and set sail for Lima, and, by 
the way, met with a small bark, which he boarded, and found in her 
good store of linen cloth. Whereof taking some quantity, he let 
her go. 

To Lima we came the 13. of February; and, being entered the 
haven, we found there about twelve sail of ships lying fast 
moored at an anchor, having all their sails carried on shore; for the 
masters and merchants were here most secure, having never been 
assaulted by enemies, and at this time feared the approach of none 
such as we were. Our General rifled these ships, and found in one 
of them a chest full of reals of plate, and good store of silks and 
linen cloth; and took the chest into his own ship, and good store 


o£ the silks and linen. In which ship he had news of another ship 
called the Cacafuego,^" which was gone towards Payta, and that the 
same ship was laden with treasure. Whereupon we stayed no longer 
here, but, cutting all the cables of the ships in the haven, we let them 
drive whither they would, either to sea or to the shore; and with all 
speed we followed the Cacafuego toward Payta, thinking there to 
have found her. But before we arrived there she was gone from 
thence towards Panama; whom our General still pursued, and by 
the way met wath a bark laden with ropes and tackle for ships, 
which he boarded and searched, and found in her 80 lb. weight of 
gold, and a crucifix of gold with goodly great emeralds set in it, 
which he took, and some of the cordage also for his own ship. From 
hence we departed, still following the Cacafuego; and our General 
promised our company that whosoever should first descry her should 
have his chain of gold for his good news. It fortuned that John 
Drake, going up into the top, descried her about three of the clock. 
And about six of the clock we came to her and boarded her, and 
shot at her three pieces of ordnance, and strake down her mizen; 
and, being entered, we found in her great' riches, as jewels and 
precious stones, thirteen chests full of reals of plate, fourscore pound 
weight of gold, and six-and-twenty ton of silver. The place where 
we took this prize was called Cape de San Francisco, about 150 
leagues [south] from Panama. The pilot's name of this ship was 
Francisco; and amongst other plate that our General found in this 
ship he found two very fair gilt bowls of silver, which were the 
pilot's. To whom our General said, Senor Pilot, you have here two 
silver cups, but I must needs have one of them; which the pilot, 
because he could not otherwise choose, yielded unto, and gave the 
other to the steward of our General's ships. When this pilot de- 
parted from us, his boy said thus unto our General: Captain, our 
ship shall be called no more the Cacafuego, but the Cacaplata, and 
your ship shall be called the Cacafuego. Which pretty speech of the 
pilot's boy ministered matter of laughter to us, both then and long 
after. When our General had done what he would with this Caca- 
fuego, he cast her off, and we went on our course still towards the 
west; and not long after met with a ship laden with linen cloth and 

>» 'Spitfire.' 


fine China dishes of white earth, and great store of China silks, of 
all which things we took as we listed. The owner himself of this 
ship was in her, who was a Spanish gentleman," from whom our 
General took a falcon of gold, with a great emerald in the breast 
thereof;'^ and the pilot of the ship he took also with him, and so 
cast the ship off. 

This pilot brought us to the haven of Guatulco, the town whereof, 
as he told us, had but 17 Spaniards in it. As soon as we were entered 
this haven, we landed, and went presently to the town and to the 
town-house; where we found a judge sitting in judgment, being asso- 
ciated with three other officers, upon three negroes that had con- 
spired the burning of the town. Both which judges and prisoners 
we took, and brought them a-shipboard, and caused the chief judge 
to write his letter to the town to command all the townsmen to 
avoid, that we might safely water there. Which being done, and 
they departed, we^ransacked the town; and in one house we found 
a pot, of the quantity of a bushel, full of reals of plate, which we 
brought to our ship. And here one Thomas Moon, one of our com- 
pany, took a Spanish gentleman as he was flying out of the town; 
and, searching him, he found a chain of gold about him, and other 
jewels, which he took, and so let him go. At this place our General, 
among other Spaniards, set ashore his Portugal pilot which he took 
at the islands of Cape Verde out of a ship of St. Mary port, of Portu- 
gal. And having set them ashore we departed hence, and sailed to 
the island of Canno; where our General landed, and brought to shore 
his own ship, and discharged her, mended and graved her, and 
furnished our ship with water and wood sufficiently. 

And while we were here we espied a ship and set sail after her, 
and took her, and found in her two pilots and a Spanish governor, 
going for the islands of the Philippinas. We searched the ship, and 
took some of her merchandises, and so let her go. Our General at 
this place and time, thinking himself, both in respect of his private 
injuries received from the Spaniards, as also of their contempts and 
indignities offered to our country and prince in general, sufficiently 
satisfied and revenged; and supposing that her Majesty at his return 

" Don Francisco de Zarate. 

'' Drake presented him in return with a hanger and a silver brazier. 


would rest contented with this service, purposed to continue no 
longer upon the Spanish coast, but began to consider and to consult 
of the best way for his country. 

He thought it not good to return by the Straits, for two special 
causes; the one, lest the Spaniards should there wait and attend for 
him in great number and strength, whose hands, he, being left but 
one ship, could not possibly escape. The other cause was the danger- 
ous situation of the mouth of the Straits in the South Sea; where con- 
tinual storms reigning and blustering, as he found by experience, 
besides the shoals and sands upon the coast, he thought it not a good 
course to adventure that way. He resolved, therefore, to avoid these 
hazards, to go forward to the Islands of the Malucos, and there- 
hence to sail the course of the Portugals by the Cape of Buena Esper- 
anza. Upon this resolution he began to think of his best way to the 
Malucos, and finding himself, where he now was, becalmed, he saw 
that of necessity he must be forced to take a Spanish course; namely, 
to sail somewhat northerly to get a wind. We therefore set sail, and 
sailed 600 leagues at the least for a good wind; and thus much 
we sailed from the 16. of April till the third of June. 

The fifth of June, being in 43 degrees towards the pole Arctic, 
we found the air so cold, that our men being grievously pinched with 
the same, complained of the extremity thereof; and the further we 
went, the more the cold increased upon us. Whereupon we thought 
it best for that time to seek the land, and did so; finding it not 
mountainous, but low plain land, till we came within 38 degrees 
towards the line. In which height it pleased God to send us into a 
fair and good bay, with a good wind to enter the same. In this bay 
we anchored; and the people of the country, having their houses 
close by the water's side, shewed themselves unto us, and sent a pres- 
ent to our General. When they came unto us, they greatly wondered 
at the things that we brought. But our General, according to his 
natural and accustomed humanity, courteously intreated them, and 
liberally bestowed on them necessary things to cover their naked- 
ness; whereupon they supposed us to be gods, and would not be per- 
suaded to the contrary. The presents which they sent to our General, 
were feathers, and cauls of network. Their houses are digged round 
about with earth, and have from the uttermost brims of the circle, 


clifts of wood set upon them, joining close together at the top like 
a spire steeple, which by reason of that closeness are very warm. 
Their bed is the ground with rushes strowed on it; and lying about 
the house, [they] have the fire in the midst. The men go naked; the 
women take bulrushes, and kemb them after the manner of hemp, 
and thereof make their loose garments, which being knit about their 
middles, hang down about their hips, having also about their 
shoulders a skin of deer, with the hair upon it. These women are 
very obedient and serviceable to their husbands. 

After they were departed from us, they came and visited us the 
second time, and brought with them feathers and bags of tabacco 
for presents. And when they came to the top of the hill, at the bot- 
tom whereof we had pitched our tents, they stayed themselves; 
where one appointed for speaker wearied himself with making a 
long oration; which done, they left their bows upon the hill, and 
came down with their presents. In the meantime the women, re- 
maining upon the hill, tormented themselves lamentably, tearing 
their flesh from their cheeks, whereby we perceived that they were 
about a sacrifice. In the meantime our General with his company 
went to prayer, and to reading of the Scriptures, at which exercise 
they were attentive, and seemed greatly to be affected with it; but 
when they were come unto us, they restored again unto us those 
things which before we bestowed upon them. The news of our being 
there being spread through the country, the people that inhabited 
round about came down, and amongst them the king himself, a 
man of a goodly stature, and comely personage, with many other tall 
and warlike men; before whose coming were sent two ambassadors 
to our General, to signify that their king was coming, in doing of 
which message, their speech was continued about half an hour. 
This ended, they by signs requested our General to send something 
by their hand to their king, as a token that his coming might be in 
peace. Wherein our General having satisfied them, they returned 
with glad tidings to their king, who marched to us with a princely 
majesty, the people crying continually after their manner; and as 
they drew near unto us, so did they strive to behave themselves in 
their actions with comeliness. In the fore-front was a man of a 
goodly personage, who bare the sceptre or mace before the king; 


whereupon hanged two crowns, a less and a bigger, with three 
chains of a marvellous length. The crowns were made of knit work, 
wrought artificially with feathers of divers colours. The chains were 
made of a bony substance, and few be the persons among them that 
are admitted to wear them; and of that number also the persons are 
stinted, as some ten, some twelve, &c. Next unto him which bare the 
sceptre, was the king himself, with his guard about his person, clad 
with coney skins, and other skins. After them followed the naked 
common sort of people, every one having his face painted, some with 
white, some with black, and other colours, and having in their hands 
one thing or another for a present. Not so much as their children, 
but they also brought their presents. 

In the meantime our General gathered his men together, and 
marched within his fenced place, making, against their approaching, 
a very warlike show. They being trooped together in their order, 
and a general salutation being made, there was presently a general 
silence. Then he that bare the sceptre before the king, being in- 
formed by another, whom they assigned to that office, with a manly 
and lofty voice proclaimed that which the other spake to him in 
secret, continuing half an hour. Which ended, and a general Amen, 
as it were, given, the king with the whole number of men and 
women, the children excepted, came down without any weapon; 
who, descending to the foot of the hill, set themselves in order. In 
coming towards our bulwarks and tents, the sceptre-bearer began a 
song, observing his measures in a dance, and that with a stately coun- 
tenance; whom the king with his guard, and every degree of persons, 
following, did in like manner sing and dance, saving only the 
women, which danced and kept silence. The General permitted 
them to enter within our bulwark, where they continued their song 
and dance a reasonable time. When they had satisfied themselves, 
they made signs to our General to sit down; to whom the king 
and divers others made several orations, or rather supplications, that 
he would take their province and kingdom into his hand, and be- 
come their king, making signs that they would resign unto him their 
right and title of the whole land, and become his subjects. In which, 
to persuade us the better, the king and the rest, with one consent, 
and with great reverence, joyfully singing a song, did set the crown 

2i6 drake's famous voyage 

upon his head, enriched his neck with all their chains, and offered 
him many other things, honouring him by the name of Hioh, adding 
thereunto, as it seemed, a sign of triumph; which thing our Gen- 
eral thought not meet to reject, because he knew not what honour 
and profit it might be to our country. Wherefore in the name, and 
to the use of her Majesty, he took the sceptre, crown, and dignity of 
the said country into his hands, wishing that the riches and treasure 
thereof might so conveniently be transported to the enriching of her 
kingdom at home, as it aboundeth in the same. 

The common sort of people, leaving the king and his guard with 
our General, scattered themselves together with their sacrifices 
among our people, taking a diligent view of every person: and such 
as pleased their fancy (which were the youngest), they enclosing 
them about offered their sacrifices unto them with lamentable weep- 
ing, scratching and tearing their flesh from their faces with their 
nails, whereof issued abundance of blood. But we used signs to 
them of disliking this, and stayed their hands from force, and di- 
rected them upwards to the living God, whom only they ought to 
worship. They shewed unto us their wounds, and craved help of 
them at our hands; whereupon we gave them lotions, plaisters, and 
ointments agreeing to the state of their griefs, beseeching God to 
cure their diseases. Every third day they brought their sacrifices 
unto us, until they understood our meaning, that we had no pleasure 
in them; yet they could not be long absent from us, but daily fre- 
quented our company to the hour of our departure, which depar- 
ture seemed so grievous unto them, that their joy was turned into 
sorrow. They entreated us, that being absent we would remember 
them, and by stealth provided a sacrifice, which we misliked. 

Our necessary business being ended, our General with his com- 
pany travelled up into the country to their villages, where we found 
herds of deer by a thousand in a company, being most large, and fat 
of body. We found the whole country to be a warren of a strange 
kind of coneys; their bodies in bigness as be the Barbary coneys, 
their heads as the heads of ours, the feet of a want," and the tail of 
a rat, being of great length. Under her chin is on either side a bag, 
into the which she gathereth her meat, when she hath filled her 

" Mole. 


belly abroad. The people eat their bodies, and make great account 
of their skins, for their king's coat was made of them. Our General 
called this country Nova Albion, and that for two causes; the one 
in respect of the white banks and cliffs, which lie towards the sea, 
and the other, because it might have some affinity with our country 
in name, which sometime was so called. There is no part of earth 
here to be taken up, wherein there is not some probable show of 
gold or silver. 

At our departure hence our General set up a monument of our 
being there, as also of her Majesty's right and title to the same; 
namely a plate, nailed upon a fair great post, whereupon was en- 
graved her Majesty's name, the day and year of our arrival there, 
with the free giving up of the province and people into her Majesty's 
hands, together with her Highness' picture and arms, in a piece of six 
pence of current English money, under the plate, whereunder was 
also written the name of our General. 

It seemeth that the Spaniards hitherto had never been in this part 
of the country, neither did ever discover the land by many degrees 
to the southwards of this place. 

After we had set sail from hence, we continued without sight of 
land till the 13. day of October following, which day in the morning 
we fell with certain islands eight degrees to the northward of the 
line, from which islands came a great number of canoas, having in 
some of them four, in some six, and in some also fourteen men, 
bringing with them cocos and other fruits. Their canoas were hol- 
low within, and cut with great art and cunning, being very smooth 
within and without, and bearing a glass" as if it were a horn daintily 
burnished, having a prow and a stern of one sort, yielding inward 
circle-wise, being of a great height, and full of certain white shells 
for a bravery; and on each side of them lie out two pieces of timber 
about a yard and a half long, more or less, according to the smallness 
or bigness of the boat. These people have the nether part of their 
ears cut into a round circle, hanging down very low upon their 
cheeks, whereon they hang things of a reasonable weight. The nails 
of their hands are an inch long, their teeth are as black as pitch, 
and they renew them often, by eating of an herb with a kind of 

'*I. e., having a gloss. 

2i8 drake's famous voyage 

powder, which they always carry about them in a cane for the same 

Leaving this island the night after we fell with it, the i8. of Oc- 
tober we lighted upon divers others, some whereof made a great 
show of inhabitants. We continued our course by the islands of 
Tagulanda}'^ Zelon, and Zewarra, being friends to the Portugals, 
the first whereof hath growing in it great store of cinnamon. The 14. 
of November we fell in with the islands of Maluco. Which day at 
night (having directed our course to run with Tidore) in coasting 
along the island of Mutyr,^^ belonging to the king of Ternate, his 
deputy or vice-king seeing us at sea, came with his canoa to us with- 
out all fear, and came aboard; and after some conference with our 
General, willed him in any wise to run in with Ternate, and not 
with Tidore, assuring him that the king would be glad of his com- 
ing, and would be ready to do what he would require, for which 
purpose he himself would that night be with the king, and tell him 
the news. With whom if he once dealt, we should find that as he 
was a king, so his word should stand; adding further, that if he went 
to Tidore before he came to Ternate, the king would have nothing 
to do with us, because he held the Portugal as his enemy. Where- 
upon our General resolved to run with Ternate. Where the next 
morning early we came to anchor; at which time our General sent 
a messenger to the king, with a velvet cloak for a present and token 
of his coming to be in peace, and that he required nothing but traffic 
and exchange of merchandise, whereof he had good store, in such 
things as he wanted. 

In the meantime the vice-king had been with the king according 
to his promise, signifying unto him what good things he might 
receive from us by trafl5c. Whereby the king was moved with great 
liking towards us, and sent to our General, with special message, that 
he should have what things he needed and would require, with peace 
and friendship; and moreover that he would yield himself and the 
right of his island to be at the pleasure and commandment of so 
famous a prince as we served. In token whereof he sent to our Gen- 
eral a signet; and within short time after came in his own person, 

'' Tagulandang, to the north-east of Celebes. 
'^Motir, one of the Ternate Moluccas. 


with boats and canoas, to our ship, to bring her into a better and 
safer road than she was in at that present. In the meantime, our 
General's messenger, being come to the Court, was met by certain 
noble personages with great solemnity, and brought to the king, at 
whose hands he was most friendly and graciously entertained. 

The king, purposing to come to our ship, sent before four great 
and large canoas, in every one whereof were certain of his greatest 
states" that were about him, attired in white lawn of cloth of Cali- 
cut, having over their heads, from the one end of the canoa to the 
other, a covering of thin perfumed mats, borne up with a frame 
made of reeds for the same use; under which every one did sit in his 
order according to his dignity, to keep him from the heat of the 
sun; divers of whom being of good age and gravity, did make an 
ancient and fatherly show. There were also divers young and 
comely men attired in white, as were the others; the rest were 
soldiers, which stood in comely order round about on both sides. 
Without whom sat the rowers in certain galleries; which being 
three on a side all along the canoas, did lie off from the side thereof 
three or four yards, one being orderly builded lower than another, 
in every of which galleries were the number of fourscore rowers. 
These canoas were furnished with warlike munition, every man for 
the most part having his sword and target, with his dagger, beside 
other weapons, as lances, calivers, darts, bows and arrows; also every 
canoa had a small cast base mounted at the least one full yard upon 
a stock set upright. Thus coming near our ship, in order, they rowed 
about us one after another, and passing by, did their homage with 
great solemnity; the great personages beginning with great gravity 
and fatherly countenances, signifying that the king had sent them 
to conduct our ship into a better road. Soon after the king himself 
repaired, accompanied with six grave and ancient persons, who did 
their obeisance with marvellous humility. The king was a man of 
tall stature, and seemed to be much delighted with the sound of 
our music; to whom, as also to his nobility, our General gave pres- 
ents, wherewith they were passing well contented. 

At length the king craved leave of our General to depart, promis- 
ing the next day to come aboard, and in the meantime to send us 

'^ States — men o£ property or estate. 

220 drake's famous VOYAGE 

such victuals as were necessary for our provision. So that the same 
night we received of them meal, which they call sagu, made of the 
tops of certain trees, tasting in the mouth like sour curds, but 
melteth like sugar, whereof they make certain cakes, which may be 
kept the space of ten years, and yet then good to be eaten. We had 
of them store of rice, hens, unperfect and liquid sugar, sugar-canes, 
and a fruit which they call figo" with store of cloves. 

The king having promised to come aboard, brake his promise, 
but sent his brother to make his excuse, and to entreat our General 
to come on shore, offering himself pawn aboard for his safe return. 
Whereunto our General consented not, upon mislike conceived of 
the breach of his promise; the whole company also utterly refusing 
it. But to satisfy him, our General sent certain of his gentlemen to 
the Court, to accompany the king's brother, reserving the vice-king 
for their safe return. They were received of another brother of the 
king's, and other states, and were conducted with great honour to 
the castle. The place that they were brought unto was a large and 
fair house, where were at the least a thousand persons assembled. 

The king being yet absent, there sat in their places 60 grave per- 
sonages, all which were said to be of the king's council. There 
were besides four grave persons, apparelled all in red, down to the 
ground, and attired on their heads like the Turks; and these were 
said to be Romans'' and ligiers^" there to keep continual traffic with 
the people of Ternate. There were also two Turks ligiers in this 
place, and one Italian. The king at last came in guarded with twelve 
lances, covered over with a rich canopy with embossed gold. Our 
men, accompanied with one of their captains called Mow, rising to 
meet him, he graciously did welcome and entertain them. He was 
attired after the manner of the country, but more sumptuously than 
the rest. From his waist down to the ground was all cloth of gold, 
and the same very rich; his legs were bare, but on his feet were a 
pair of shoes, made of Cordovan skin. In the attire of his head were 
finely wreathed hooped rings of gold, and about his neck he had a 
chain of perfect gold, the links whereof were great, and one fold 
double. On his fingers he had six very fair jewels; and sitting in his 
chair of state, at his right hand stood a page with a fan in his hand, 

'* Plantains. '' Probably Greeks (Arab. Rami). 2° Resident agents. 


breathing and gathering the air to the king. The same was in length 
two foot, and in breadth one foot, set with eight sapphires richly 
embroidered, and knit to a staff three foot in length, by the which 
the page did hold and move it. Our gentlemen having delivered 
their message and received order accordingly, were licensed to de- 
part, being safely conducted back again by one of the king's council. 
This island is the chief of all the islands of Maluco, and the king 
hereof is king of 70 islands besides. The king with his people are 
Moors in religion, observing certain new moons, with fastings; 
during which fasts they neither eat nor drink in the day, but in the 

After that our gentlemen were returned, and that we had here 
by the favour of the king received all necessary things that the place 
could yield us; our General considering the great distance, and how 
far he was yet off from his country, thought it not best here to 
linger the time any longer, but weighing his anchors, set out of the 
island, and sailed to a certain little island to the southwards of 
Celebes, where we graved our ship, and continued there, in that and 
other businesses, 26 days. This island is throughly grown with wood 
of a large and high growth, very straight, and without boughs, save 
only in the head or top, whose leaves are not much differing from 
our broom in England. Amongst these trees night by night, through 
the whole land, did shew themselves an infinite swarm of fiery 
worms flying in the air, whose bodies being no bigger than our 
common English Hies, make such a show and light as if every twig 
or tree had been a burning candle. In this place breedeth also 
wonderful store of bats, as big as large hens. Of crayfishes also here 
wanted no plenty, and they of exceeding bigness, one whereof was 
sufficient for four hungry stomachs at a dinner, being also very 
good and restoring meat, whereof we had experience: and they dig 
themselves holes in the earth like coneys. 

When we had ended our business here we weighed, and set sail 
to run for the Malucos. But having at that time a bad wind, and 
being amongst the islands, with much difficulty we recovered to the 
northward of the island of Celebes; where by reason of contrary 
winds, not able to continue our course to run westwards, we were 
enforced to alter the same to the southward again, finding that 


course also to be very hard and dangerous for us, by reason of 
infinite shoals which lie off and among the islands; whereof we had 
too much trial, to the hazard and danger of our ship and lives. For, 
of all other days, upon the 9. of January, in the year 1579,^' we ran 
suddenly upon a rock, where we stuck fast from eight of the clock 
at night till four of the clock in the afternoon the next day, being 
indeed out of all hope to escape the danger. But our General, as he 
had always hitherto shewed himself courageous, and of a good con- 
fidence in the mercy and protection of God, so now he continued in 
the same. And lest he should seem to perish wilfully, both he and 
we did our best endeavour to save ourselves; which it pleased God so 
to bless, that in the end we cleared ourselves most happily of the 

We lighted our ship upon the rocks of three ton of cloves, eight 
pieces of ordnance, and certain meal and beans; and then the wind, 
as it were in a moment by the special grace of God, changing from 
the starboard to the larboard of the ship, we hoised our sails, and 
the happy gale drove our ship off the rock into the sea again, to the 
no litde comfort of all our hearts, for which we gave God such 
praise and thanks, as so great a benefit required. 

The 8. of February following, we fell with the fruitful island of 
Barateve}^ having in the mean time suffered many dangers by winds 
and shoals. The people of this island are comely in body and stature, 
and of a civil behaviour, just in dealing, and courteous to strangers; 
whereof we had the experience sundry ways, they being most glad of 
our presence, and very ready to relieve our wants in those things 
which their country did yield. The men go naked, saving their 
heads and loins, every man having something or other hanging at 
their ears. Their women are covered from the middle down to the 
foot, wearing a great number of bracelets upon their arms; for 
some had eight upon each arm, being made some of bone, some of 
horn, and some of brass, the lightest whereof, by our estimation, 
weighed two ounces apiece. With this people linen-cloth is good 
merchandise, and of good request; whereof they make rolls for their 
heads, and girdles to wear about them. Their island is both rich 
and fruitful; rich in gold, silver, copper, and sulphur, wherein they 
"I. e. 1580. "Bjtjji,_ 


seem skilful and expert, not only to try the same, but in working it 
also artificially into any form and fashion that pleaseth them. Their 
fruits be divers and plentiful; as nutmegs, ginger, long pepper, lem- 
ons, cucumbers, cocos, figu, sagu, with divers other sorts. And 
among all the rest we had one fruit, in bigness, form and husk, like 
a bay berry, hard of substance and pleasant of taste, which being 
sodden becometh soft, and is a most good and wholesome victual; 
whereof we took reasonable store, as we did also of the other fruits 
and spices. So that to confess a truth, since the time that we first 
set out of our own country of England, we happened upon no place, 
Ternate only excepted, wherein we found more comforts and better 
means of refreshing. 

At our departure from Barateve, we set our course for Java Major f^ 
where arriving, we found great courtesy, and honourable entertain- 
ment. This island is governed by live kings, whom they call Rajah; 
as Rajah Donaw, and Rajah Mang Bange, and Rajah Cabuccapollo, 
which live as having one spirit and one mind. Of these five we had 
four a-shipboard at once, and two or three often. They are wonder- 
fully delighted in coloured clothes, as red arid green; the upper part 
of their bodies are naked, save their heads, whereupon they wear a 
Turkish roll as do the Maluccians. From the middle downward they 
wear a pintado of silk, trailing upon the ground, in colour as they 
best like. The Maluccians hate that their women should be seen of 
strangers; but these offer them of high courtesy, yea, the kings them- 
selves. The people are of goodly stature and warlike, well provided 
of swords and targets, with daggers, all being of their own work, 
and most artificially done, both in tempering their metal, as also in 
the form; whereof we bought reasonable store. They have an house 
in every village for their common assembly; every day they meet 
twice, men, women, and children, bringing with them such victuals 
as they think good, some fruits, some rice boiled, some hens roasted, 
some sagu, having a table made three foot from the ground, whereon 
they set their meat, that every person sitting at the table may eat, 
one rejoicing in the company of another. They boil their rice in an 
earthen pot, made in form of a sugar loaf, being full of holes, as 
our pots which we water our gardens withal, and it is open at the 

^' Java. 


great end, wherein they put their rice dry, without any moisture. 
In the mean time they have ready another great earthen pot, set 
fast in a furnace, boiUng full of water, whereinto they put their pot 
with rice, by such measure, that they swelling become soft at the 
first, and by their swelling stopping the holes of the pot, admit no 
more water to enter, but the more they are boiled, the harder and 
more firm substance they become. So that in the end they are a 
firm and good bread, of the which with oil, butter, sugar, and other 
spices, they make divers sorts of meats very pleasant of taste, and 
nourishing to nature. * * * Not long before our departure, they 
told us that not far oflE there were such great ships as ours, wishing 
us to beware; upon this our captain would stay no longer. From 
Java Major we sailed for the Cape of Good Hope, which was the 
first land we fell withal; neither did we touch with it, or any other 
land, until we came to Sierra Leona, upon the coast of Guinea; not- 
withstanding we ran hard aboard the cape, finding the report of 
the Portugals to be most false, who affirm that it is the most danger- 
ous cape of the world, never without intolerable storms and present 
danger to travellers which come near the same. This cape is a 
most stately thing, and the fairest cape we saw in the whole cir- 
cumference of the earth, and we passed by it the i8. of June. From 
thence we continued our course to Sierra Leona, on the coast of 
Guinea, where we arrived the 22. of July, and found necessary pro- 
visions, great store of elephants, oysters upon trees of one kind," 
spawning and increasing infinitely, the oyster suffering no bud 
to grow. We departed thence the four and twentieth day. 

We arrived in England the third of November, 1580, being the 
third year of our departure. 

^*The mangrove. 




Nearly five years elapsed between Drake's return from his Famous 
Voyage and the despatch of the formidable armament commemorated in 
the following pages. During the last of these years the march of events 
had been remarkably rapid. Gilbert, who had been empowered by Eliz- 
abeth, in the year of Frobisher's last expedition, to found colonies in 
America, had sailed for that purpose to Newfoundland (1583), and had 
perished at sea on his way homeward. Raleigh, who had succeeded to 
his half-brother's enterprises, had despatched his exploring expedition to 
'Virginia,' under Amadas and Barlow, in 1584, and had followed it up 
in the next year (1585) by an actual colony. In April Sir Richard 
Greenville sailed from Plymouth, and at Raleigh's expense established 
above a hundred colonists on the island of Roanoak. Drake's Great Ar- 
mada left Plymouth in September of the same year. It marked a turning- 
point in the relations between the English and Spanish monarchs. Eliza- 
beth, knowing that the suppression of the insurrection in the Netherlands 
would be followed by an attack upon England, was treating with the 
insurgents. Philip deemed it prudent to lay an embargo on all her sub- 
jects, together with their ships and goods, that might be found in his 
dominions. Elizabeth at once authorized general reprisals on the ships 
and goods of Spaniards. A company of adventurers was quickly formed 
for taking advantage of this permission on a scale commensurate with 
the national resources. They equipped an armada of twenty-five vessels, 
manned by 2,300 men, and despatched it under the command of Drake to 
plunder Spanish America. Frobisher was second in command. Two- 
thirds of the booty were to belong to the adventurers; the remaining 
third was to be divided among the men employed in the expedition. 

Drake's armament of 1585 was the greatest that had ever crossed the 
Atlantic. After plundering some vessels at the Vigo river, he sailed for 
the West Indies by way of the Canaries and Cape Verde Islands, hoisted 
the English flag over Santiago and burnt the town, crossed the Atlantic 
in eighteen days, and arrived at Dominica. At daybreak, on New Year's 
Day, 1586, Drake's soldiers landed in Espanola, a few miles to the west 
of the capital, and before evening Carlile and Powell had entered the 
city, which the colonists only saved from destruction by the payment of 
a heavy ransom. Drake's plan was to do exactly the same at Carthagena 



and Nombre de Dios, and thence to strike across the isthmus and secure 
the treasure that lay waiting for transport at Panama. Drake held St. 
Domingo for a month, and Carthagena for six weeks. He was compelled 
to forego the further prosecution of his enterprise. A deadly fever, which 
had attacked the men during the sojourn at Santiago, still continued its 
ravages. In existing circumstances, even had Nombre de Dios been 
successfully attacked, the march to Panama was out of the question; and 
after consultation with the military commanders, Drake resolved on sail- 
ing home at once by way of Florida. He brought back with him all the 
colonists who had been left by Sir Richard Greenville in 'Virginia.* 
Drake had offered either to furnish them with stores, and to leave them 
a ship, or to take them home. The former offer was accepted: but a 
furious storm which ensued caused them to change their minds. They 
recognized in it the hand of God, whose will it evidently was that they 
should no longer be sojourners in the American wilderness; and the first 
English settlement of 'Virginia' was abandoned accordingly. 

Ten years afterwards (1595) Drake was again at the head of a similar 
expedition. The second command was given to his old associate Haw- 
kins, Frobisher, his Vice-Admiral in 1585, having recently died of the 
wound received at Crozon. This time Nombre de Dios was taken and 
burnt, and 750 soldiers set out under Sir Thomas Baskerville to march 
to Panama: but at the first of the three forts which the Spaniards had by 
this time constructed, the march had to be abandoned. Drake did not 
long survive this second failure of his favourite scheme. He was at- 
tacked by dysentery a fortnight afterwards, and in a month he died. 
When he felt the hand of death upon him, he rose, dressed himself, and 
endeavoured to make a farewell speech to those around him. Exhausted 
by the effort, he was lifted to his berth, and within an hour breathed his 
last. Hawkins had died off Puerto Rico six weeks previously. 

The following narrative is in the main the composition of Walter 
Bigges, who commanded a company of musketeers under Carlile. Bigges 
was one of the five hundred and odd men who succumbed to the fever. 
He died shortly after the fleet sailed from Carthagena; and the narrative 
was completed by some comrade. The story of this expedition, which had 
inflicted such damaging blows on the Spaniards in America, was emi- 
nently calculated to inspire courage among those who were resisting them 
in Europe. Gates, one of Carlile's lieutenants, obtained the manuscript 
and prepared it for the press, accompanied by illustrative maps and plans. 
The publication was delayed by the Spanish Armada; but a copy found 

228 drake's famous voyage 

its way to Holland, where it was translated into Latin, and appeared at 
Leyden, in a slightly abridged form, in 1588. The original English nar- 
rative duly appeared in London in the next year. The document called 
the 'Resolution of the Land-Captains' was inserted by Hakluyt when he 
reprinted the narrative in 1600. 


[Narrative mainly by Captain Walter Bigges] 

A Summary and True Discourse of Sir FRANCIS DRAKE'S West 
Indian Voyage, begun in the year 158^. Wherein were tal{en the 
cities of Santiago, Santo Domingo, Carthagena, and the town of 
St. Augustine, in Florida. Published by Master Thomas Gates. 

THIS worthy knight, for the service of his prince and coun- 
try, having prepared his whole fleet, and gotten them down 
to Plymouth, in Devonshire, to the number of five and 
twenty sail of ships and pinnaces, and having assembled of soldiers 
and mariners to the number of 2,300 in the whole, embarked them 
and himself at Plymouth aforesaid, the 12. day of September, 1585, 
being accompanied with these men of name and charge which here- 
after follow: Master Christopher Carlile, Lieutenant-General, a man 
of long experience in the wars as well by sea as land, who had 
formerly carried high offices in both kinds in many fights, which 
he discharged always very happily, and with great good reputation; 
Anthony Powell, Sergeant-Major; Captain Matthew Morgan, and 
Captain fohn Sampson, Corporals of the Field. These officers had 
commandment over the rest of the land-captains, whose names here- 
after follow: Captain Anthony Piatt, Captain Edward Winter, Cap- 
tain fohn Goring, Captain Robert Pew, Captain George Barton, 
Captain John Merchant, Captain William Cecil, Captain Walter 
Bigges} Captain fohn Hannam, Captain Richard Stanton. Captain 
Martin Frobisher, Vice-Admiral, a man of great experience in sea- 
faring actions, who had carried the chief charge of many ships him- 
self, in sundry voyages before, being now shipped in the Primrose; 
Captain Francis Knolles, Rear-Admiral in the galleon Leicester; 
Master Thomas Venner, captain in the Elizabeth Bonadventure, 
under the General; Master Edward Winter, captain in the Aid; 
' The writer of the first part of the narrative. 


Master Christopher Carlile, the Lieutenant-General, captain of the 
Tiger; Henry White, captain of the Sea-Dragon; Thomas Dra\eJ' 
captain of the Thomas; Thomas Seeley, captain of the Minion; Baily, 
captain of the Talbot; Robert Cross, captain of the bark Bond; 
George Fortescue, captain of the bark Bonner; Edward Careless, 
captain of the Hope; James Erizo, captain of the White Lion; 
Thomas Moon, captain of the Francis; John Rivers, captain of the 
Vantage; John Vaughan, captain of the Dra\e; John Varney, cap- 
tain of the George; John Martin, captain of the Benjamin; Edward 
Gilman, captain of the Scout; Richard Hawkins, captain of the 
galHot called the Duc\; Bitfield, captain of the Swallow. 

After our going hence, which was the 14. of September, in the 
year of our Lord 1585, and taking our course towards Spain, we 
had the wind for a few days somewhat scant, and sometimes calm. 
And being arrived near that part of Spain which is called the Moors,' 
we happened to espy divers sails, which kept their course close by 
the shore, the weather being fair and calm. The General caused 
the Vice-Admiral to go with the pinnaces well manned to see what 
they were; who upon sight of the said pinnaces approaching near 
unto them, abandoned for the most part all their ships, being French- 
men, laden all with salt, and bound homewards into France. 
Amongst which ships, being all of small burthen, there was one so 
well liked, which also had no man in her, as being brought unto the 
General, he thought good to make stay of her for the service, mean- 
ing to pay for her, as also accordingly he performed at our return; 
which bark was called the Dral{e. The rest of these ships, being 
eight or nine, were dismissed without anything at all taken from 
them. Who being afterwards put somewhat farther off from the 
shore, by the contrariety of the wind, we happened to meet with 
some other French ships, full laden with Newland fish, being upon 
their return homeward from the said Newfoundland; whom the 
General after some speech had with them, and seeing plainly that 
they were Frenchmen, dismissed, without once suffering any man 
to go aboard of them. 

The day following, standing in with the shore again, we descried 
another tall ship of twelve score tons or thereabouts, upon whom 
^ Francis Drake's brother. ' Muros, S. of Cape Finisterre. 


Master Carlile, the Lieutenant-General, being in the Tiger, under- 
took the chase; whom also anon after the Admiral followed. And 
the Tiger having caused the said strange ship to strike her sails, 
kept her there without suffering anybody to go aboard until the 
Admiral was come up; who forthwith sending for the master, and 
divers others of their principal men, and causing them to be severally 
examined, found the ship and goods to be belonging to the inhabi- 
tants of St. Sebastian, in Spain, but the mariners to be for the most 
part belonging to St. John de Luz, and the Passage.^ In this ship was 
great store of dry Newland fish, commonly called with us Poor 
John; whereof afterwards, being thus found a lawful prize, there 
was distribution made into all the ships of the fleet, the same being 
so new and good, as it did very greatly bestead us in the whole 
course of our voyage. A day or two after the taking of this ship we 
put in within the Isles of BayonJ' for lack of favourable wind. 
Where we had no sooner anchored some part of the fleet, but the 
General commanded all the pinnaces with the shipboats to be 
manned, and every man to be furnished with such arms as were 
needful for that present service; which being done, the General put 
himself into his galley, which was also well furnished, and row- 
ing towards the city of Bayon, with intent, and the favour of the 
Almighty, to surprise it. Before we had advanced one half-league 
of our way there came a messenger, being an English merchant, 
from the governor, to see what strange fleet we were; who came to 
our General, conferred a while with him, and after a small time 
spent, our General called for Captain Sampson, and willed him to 
go to the governor of the city, to resolve him of two points. The 
first to know ij there were any wars between Spain and England; 
the second, why our merchants with their goods were embarged or 
arrested? Thus departed Captain Sampson with the said messenger 
to the city, where he found the governor and people much amazed 
of such a sudden accident. The General, with the advice and counsel 
of Master Carlile, his Lieutenant-General, who was in the galley 
with him, thought not good to make any stand, till such time as 
they were within the shot of the city, where they might be ready 

* Passages, E. of San Sebastian. 

^ The Cies Islets, at the mouth of the Vigo River. 

232 drake's famous voyage 

upon the return of Captain Sampson, to make a sudden attempt, if 
cause did require, before it were dark. 

Captain Sampson returned with his message in this sort: — ^First, 
touching peace or wars, the governor said he }{new of no wars and 
that it lay not in him to make any, he being so mean a subject as he 
was. And as for the stay of the merchants with their goods, it was the 
king's pleasure, but not with intent to endamage any man. And 
that the Ring's counter-commandment was (which had been re- 
ceived in that place some seven-night before) that English merchants 
with their goods should be discharged. For the more verifying 
whereof, he sent such merchants as were in the town of our nation, 
who trafficked those parts; which being at large declared to our Gen- 
eral by them, counsel was taken what might best be done. And for 
that the night approached, it was thought needful to land our forces, 
which was done in the shutting up of the day; and having quartered 
ourselves to our most advantage, with sufficient guard upon every 
strait, we thought to rest ourselves for that night there. The Gov- 
ernor sent us some refreshing, as bread, wine, oil, apples, grapes, 
marmalade and such like. About midnight the weather began to 
overcast, insomuch that it was thought meeter to repair aboard, than 
to make any longer abode on land. And before we could recover 
the fleet a great tempest arose, which caused many of our ships to 
drive from their anchorhold, and some were forced to sea in great 
peril, as the bark Talbot, the bark Hawkins, and the Speedwell; 
which Speedwell only was driven into England, the others recov- 
ered us again. The extremity of the storm lasted three days; which 
no sooner began to assuage, but Master Carlile, our Lieutenant- 
General, was sent with his own ship and three others, as also with 
the galley and with divers pinnaces, to see what he might do above 
Vigo, where he took many boats and some carvels, diversely laden 
with things of small value, but chiefly with household stuff, running 
into the high country. And amongst the rest he found one boat 
laden with the principal church stuff of the high church of Vigo, 
where also was their great cross of silver, of very fair embossed 
work and double-gilt all over, having cost them a great mass of 
money. They complained to have lost in all kinds of goods above 
thirty thousand ducats in this place. 


The next day the General with his whole fleet went from up the 
Isles of Bayon to a very good harbour above Vigo, where Master 
Carlile stayed his coming, as well for the more quiet riding of his 
ships, as also for the good commodity of fresh watering which the 
place there did afford full well. In the meantime the governor of 
Galicia had reared such forces as he might (his numbers by esti- 
mate were some 2000 foot and 300 horse), and marched from 
Bayona to this part of the country, which lay in sight of our fleet; 
where, making a stand, he sent to parley with our General. Which 
was granted by our General, so it might be in boats upon the water; 
and for safety of their persons there were pledges delivered on both 
sides. Which done, the governor of Galicia put himself with two 
others into our Vice-Admiral's skiff, the same having been sent to 
the shore for him, and in like sort our General went in his own 
skiff. Where by them it was agreed we should furnish ourselves 
with fresh water, to be taken by our own people quietly on the land, 
and have all other such necessaries, paying for the same, as the place 
would afford. 

When all our business was ended we departed, and took our way 
by the Islands of Canaria, which are esteemed some 300 leagues from 
this part of Spain; and falling purposely with Palma, with intention 
to have taken our pleasure of that place, for the full digesting of 
many things into order, and the better furnishing our store with 
such several good things as it aflordeth very abundantly, we were 
forced by the vile sea-gate, which at that present fell out, and by 
the naughtiness of the landing-place, being but one, and that under 
the favour of many platforms well furnished with great ordnance, 
to depart with the receipt of many of their cannon-shot, some into 
our ships and some besides, some of them being in very deed full 
cannon high. But the only or chief mischief was the dangerous 
sea-surge, which at shore all alongst plainly threatened the over- 
throw of as many pinnaces and boats as for that time should have 
attempted any landing at all. 

Now seeing the expectation of this attempt frustrated by the 
causes aforesaid, we thought it meeter to fall with the Isle Ferro, 
to see if we could find any better fortune; and coming to the island 
we landed a thousand men in a valley under a high mountain. 


where we stayed some two or three hours. In which time the in- 
habitants, accompanied with a young fellow born in England, who 
dwelt there with them, came unto us, shewing their state to be so 
poor that they were all ready to starve, which was not untrue; and 
therefore without anything gotten, we were all commanded pres- 
ently to embark, so as that night we put off to sea south-south-east 
along towards the coast of Barbary. 

Upon Saturday in the morning, being the 13. of November, we 
fell with Cape Blan\, which is a low land and shallow water, 
where we catched store of fish; and doubling the cape, we put into 
the bay, where we found certain French ships of war, whom we 
entertained with great courtesy, and there left them. This afternoon 
the whole fleet assembled, which was a little scattered about their 
fishing, and put from thence to the Isles of Cape Verde, sailing till 
the 16. of the same month in the morning; on which day we de- 
scried the Island of Santiago. And in the evening we anchored the 
fleet between the town called the Playa or Praya and Santiago; 
where we put on shore 1000 men or more, under the leading of 
Master Christopher Carlile, Lieutenant-General, who directed the 
service most like a wise commander. The place where we had first 
to march did afford no good order, for the ground was mountain- 
ous and full of dales, being a very stony and troublesome passage; 
but such was his industrious disposition, as he would never leave, 
until we had gotten up to a fair plain, where we made stand for 
the assembling of the army. And when we were all gathered to- 
gether upon the plain, some two miles from the town, the Lieuten- 
ant-General thought good not to make attempt till daylight, because 
there was not one that could serve for guide or giving knowledge 
at all of the place. And therefore after having well rested, even 
half an hour before day, he commanded the army to be divided into 
three special parts, such as he appointed, whereas before we had 
marched by several companies, being thereunto forced by the bad- 
ness of the way as is aforesaid. Now by the time we were thus 
ranged into a very brave order, daylight began to appear. And 
being advanced hard to the wall, we saw no enemy to resist. Where- 
upon the Lieutenant-General appointed Captain Sampson with 


thirty shot,^ and Captain Barton with other thirty, to go down into 
the town, which stood in the valley under us, and might very 
plainly be viewed all over from that place where the whole army 
was now arrived; and presently after these captains was sent the 
great ensign, which had nothing in it but the plain English cross, 
to be placed towards the sea, that our fleet might see St. George's 
cross flourish in the enemy's fortress. Order was given that all the 
ordnance throughout the town and upon all the platforms, which 
were about fifty pieces all ready charged, should be shot off in 
honour of the Queen's Majesty's coronation day, being the 17. of 
November, after the yearly custom of England, which was so 
answered again by the ordnance out of all the ships in the fleet, 
which now was come near, as it was strange to hear such a thunder- 
ing noise last so long together. In this mean while the Lieutenant- 
General held still the most part of his force on the hilltop, till such 
time as the town was quartered out for the lodging of the whole 
army. Which being done, every captain took his own quarter; and 
in the evening was placed such a sufficient guard upon every part 
of the town that we had no cause to fear any present enemy. Thus 
we continued in the city the space of fourteen days, taking such 
spoils as the place yielded, which were, for the most part, wine, oil, 
meal, and some other such like things for victual as vinegar, olives, 
and some other trash, as merchandise for their Indian trades. But 
there was not found any treasure at all, or anything else of worth 

The situation of Santiago is somewhat strange; in form like a 
triangle, having on the east and west sides two mountains of rock 
and cliff, as it were hanging over it; upon the top of which two 
mountains were builded certain fortifications to preserve the town 
from any harm that might be offered, as in a plot is plainly shewed. 
From thence on the south side of the town is the main sea; and on 
the north side, the valley lying between the aforesaid mountains, 
wherein the town standeth. The said valley and town both do grow 
very narrow; insomuch that the space between the two cliffs of this 
end of the town is estimated not to be above ten or twelve score 

' Musketeers. 

236 drake's famous voyage 

[yards] over. In the midst of the valley cometh down a riveret, rill, 
or brook of fresh water, which hard by the seaside maketh a pond 
or pool, whereout our ships were watered with very great ease and 
pleasure. Somewhat above the town on the north side, between the 
two mountains, the valley waxeth somewhat larger than at the 
town's end; which valley is wholly converted into gardens and or- 
chards, well replenished with divers sorts of fruits, herbs, and trees, 
as lemons, oranges, sugar-canes, cocars or cocos nuts, plantains, 
potato-roots, cucumbers, small and round onions, garlic, and some 
other things not now remembered. Amongst which the cocos nuts 
and plantains are very pleasant fruits; the said cocos hath a hard 
shell and a green husk over it as hath our walnut, but it far exceedeth 
in greatness, for this cocos in his green husk is bigger than any 
man's two fists. Of the hard shell many drinking cups are made 
here in England, and set in silver as I have often seen. Next within 
this hard shell is a white rind resembling in show very much, even 
as any thing may do, to the white of an egg when it is hard boiled. 
And within this white of the nut lieth a water, which is whitish 
and very clear, to the quantity of half a pint or thereabouts; which 
water and white rind before spoken of are both of a very cool fresh 
taste, and as pleasing as anything may be. I have heard some hold 
opinion that it is very restorative. The plantain groweth in cods, 
somewhat like to beans, but is bigger and longer, and much more 
thick together on the stalk; and when it waxeth ripe, the meat 
which filleth the rind of the cod becometh yellow, and is exceeding 
sweet and pleasant. 

In this time of our being there happened to come a Portugal to 
the western fort, with a flag of truce. To whom Captain Sampson 
was sent with Captain Goring; who coming to the said messenger, 
he first asked them. What nation they were? they answered English- 
men. He then required to know if wars were between England and 
Spain; to which they answered, that they /(new not, but if he would 
go to th^eir General he could best resolve him of such particulars. And 
for his assurance of passage and repassage these captains made offer 
to engage their credits, which he refused for that he was not sent from 
his governor. Then they told him if his governor did desire to take 
a course for the common benefit of the people and country his best 


way were to come and present himself unto our noble and merciful 
governor, Sir Francis Draf{e, whereby he might be assured to find 
favour, both for himself and the inhabitants. Otherwise within three 
days we should march over the land, and consume with fire all 
inhabited places, and put to the sword all such living souls as we 
should chance upon. So thus much he took for the conclusion of his 
answer. And departing, he promised to return the next day; but we 
never heard more of him. 

Upon the 24. of November, the General, accompanied with the 
Lieutenant-General and 600 men, marched forth to a village twelve 
miles within the land, called Saint Domingo, where the governor 
and the bishop, with all the better sort, were lodged; and by eight 
of the clock we came to it, finding the place abandoned, and the 
people fled into the mountains. So we made stand a while to ease 
ourselves, and partly to see if any would come to speak to us. After 
we had well rested ourselves, the General commanded the troops 
to march away homewards. In which retreat the enemy shewed 
themselves, both horse and foot, though not such force as durst 
encounter us; and so in passing some time at the gaze with them, it 
waxed late and towards night before we could recover home to 

On Monday, the 26. of November, the General commanded all 
the pinnaces with the boats to use all diligence to embark the army 
into such ships as every man belonged. The Lieutenant-General in 
like sort commanded Captain Goring and Lieutenant Tucker, with 
one hundred shot, to make a stand in the marketplace until our 
forces were wholly embarked; the Vice-Admiral making stay with 
his pinnace and certain boats in the harbour, to bring the said last 
company aboard the ships. Also the General willed forthwith the 
galley with two pinnaces to take into them the company of Captain 
barton, and the company of Captain Bigges, under the leading of 
Captain Sampson, to seek out such munition as was hidden in the 
ground, at the town of Praya, or Playa, having been promised to be 
shewed it by a prisoner which was taken the day before. 

The captains aforesaid coming to the Playa, landed their men; 
and having placed the troop in their best strength. Captain Sampson 
took the prisoner, and willed him to show that he had promised. 

238 drake's famous voyage 

The which he could not, or at least would not; but they searching 
all suspected places, found two pieces of ordnance, one of iron, 
another of brass. In the afternoon the General anchored with the 
rest of the fleet before the Playa, coming himself ashore, willing us to 
burn the town and make all haste aboard; the which was done by 
six of the clock the same day, and ourselves embarked again the 
same night. And so we put off to sea south-west. 

But before our departure from the town of Santiago, we estab- 
lished orders for the better government of the army. Every man 
mustered to his captain, and oaths were ministered, to acknowledge 
her Majesty supreme Governor, as also every man to do his utter- 
most endeavour to advance the service of the action, and to yield due 
obedience unto the directions of the General and his officers. By this 
provident counsel, and laying down this good foundation before- 
hand, all things went forward in a due course, to the achieving of 
our happy enterprise. 

In all the time of our being here, neither the governor for the said 
King of Spain, which is a Portugal, neither the bishop, whose author- 
ity is great, neither the inhabitants of the town, or island, ever came 
at us; which we expected they should have done, to entreat us to 
leave them some part of their needful provisions, or at the least to 
spare the ruining of their town at our going away. The cause of 
this their unreasonable distrust, as I do take it, was the fresh remem- 
brance of the great wrongs that they had done to old Master William 
Haw\i.ns, of Plymouth, in the voyage he made four or five years 
before, whenas they did both break their promise, and murdered 
many of his men; whereof I judge you have understood, and there- 
fore it is needless to be repeated. But since they came not at us, we 
left written in sundry places, as also in the Spital House (which 
building was only appointed to be spared), the great discontentment 
and scorn we took at this their refraining to come unto us, as also 
at the rude manner of killing, and savage kind of handling the dead 
body of one of our boys found by them straggling all alone, from 
whom they had taken his head and heart, and had straggled the 
other bowels about the place, in a most brutish and beastly manner. 
In revenge whereof at our departing we consumed with fire all the 
houses, as well in the country which we saw, as in the town of 


From hence putting o£E to the West Indies, we were not many 
days at sea but there began among our people such mortality as in a 
few days there were dead above two or three hundred men. And 
until some seven or eight days after our coming from Santiago, there 
had not died any one man of sickness in all the fleet. The sickness 
showed not his infection, wherewith so many were strucken, until 
we were departed thence; and then seized our people with extreme 
hot burning and continual agues, whereof very few escaped with 
life, and yet those for the most part not without great alteration and 
decay of their wits and strength for a long time after. In some that 
died were plainly shown the small spots which are often found 
upon those that be infected with the plague. We were not above 
eighteen days in passage between the sight of Santiago aforesaid, 
and the island of Dominica, being the first island of the West Indies 
that we fell withal; the same being inhabited with savage people, 
which go all naked, their skin coloured with some painting of a 
reddish tawny, very personable and handsome strong men, who do 
admit little conversation with the Spaniards; for, as some of our 
people might understand them, they had a Spaniard or twain pris- 
oners with them. Neither do I think that there is any safety for 
any of our nation, or any other, to be within the limits of their 
commandment; albeit they used us very kindly for those few hours 
of time which we spent with them, helping our folks to fill and 
carry on their bare shoulders fresh water from the river to our 
ships' boats, and fetching from their houses great store of tabacco, 
as also a kind of bread which they fed on, called cassavi, very white 
and savoury, made of the roots of cassavi. In recompense whereof 
we bestowed liberal rewards of glass, coloured beads, and other 
things, which we had found at Santiago; wherewith, as it seemed, 
they rested very greatly satisfied, and shewed some sorrowful counte- 
nance when they perceived that we would depart. 

From hence we went to another island westward of it, called 
Saint Christopher s Island; wherein we spent some days of Christ- 
mas, to refresh our sick people, and to cleanse and air our ships. In 
which island were not any people at all that we could hear of. 

In which time by the General it was advised and resolved, with 
the consent of the Lieutenant-General, the Vice-Admiral, and all 
the rest of the captains, to proceed to the great island of Hispaniola, 


as well for that we knew ourselves then to be in our best strength, 
as also the rather allured thereunto by the glorious fame of the city 
of 5^. Domingo, being the ancientest and chief inhabited place in 
all the tract of country thereabouts. And so proceeding in this 
determination, by the way we met a small frigate, bound for the 
same place, the which the Vice-Admiral took; and having duly 
examined the men that were in her, there was one found by whom 
we were advertised the haven to be a barred haven, and the shore 
or land thereof to be well fortified, having a castle thereupon fur- 
nished with great store of artillery, without the danger whereof 
was no convenient landing-place within ten English miles of the 
city, to which the said pilot took upon him to conduct us. 

All things being thus considered on, the whole forces were com- 
manded in the evening to embark themselves in pinnaces, boats, 
and other small barks appointed for this service. Our soldiers being 
thus embarked, the General put himself into the bark Francis as 
Admiral; and all this night we lay on the sea, bearing small sail until 
our arrival to the landing-place, which was about the breaking of the 
day. And so we landed, being New Year's Day, nine or ten miles to 
the westwards of that brave city of St. Domingo; for at that time nor 
yet is known to us any landing-place, where the sea-surge doth not 
threaten to overset a pinnace or boat. Our General having seen us all 
landed in safety, returned to his fleet, bequeathing us to God, and 
the good conduct of Master Carlile, our Lieutenant-General; at 
which time, being about eight of the clock, we began to march. And 
about noon-time, or towards one of the clock, we approached the 
town; where the gentlemen and those of the better sort, being some 
hundred and fifty brave horses, or rather more, began to present 
themselves. But our small shot played upon them, which were so 
sustained with good proportion of pikes in all parts, as they finding 
no part of our troop unprepared to receive them (for you must 
understand they viewed all round about) they were thus driven to 
give us leave to proceed towards the two gates of the town which 
were the next to the seaward. They had manned them both, and 
planted their ordnance for that present and sudden alarm without 
the gate, and also some troops of small shot in ambuscado upon the 
highway side. We divided our whole force, being some thousand or 


twelve hundred men, into two parts, to enterprise both the gates 
at one instant; the Lieutenant-General having openly vowed to 
Captain Powell, who led the troop that entered the other gate, that 
with God's good favour he would not rest until our meeting in the 

Their ordnance had no sooner discharged upon our near ap- 
proach, and made some execution amongst us, though not much, but 
the Lieutenant-General began forthwith to advance both his voice 
of encouragement and pace of marching; the first man that was 
slain with the ordnance being very near unto himself; and there- 
upon hasted all that he might, to keep them from the recharging of 
the ordnance. And notwithstanding their ambuscados, we marched 
or rather ran so roundly into them, as pell-mell we entered the gates, 
and gave them more care every man to save himself by flight, than 
reason to stand any longer to their broken fight. We forthwith re- 
paired to the market-place, but to be more truly understood, a place 
of very spacious square ground; whither also came, as had been 
agreed. Captain Powell with the other troop. Which place with 
some part next unto it, we strengthened with barricados, and there 
as the most convenient place assured ourselves, the city being far 
too spacious for so small and weary a troop to undertake to guard. 
Somewhat after midnight, they who had the guard of the castle, 
hearing us busy about the gates of the said castle, abandoned the 
same; some being taken prisoners, and some fleeing away by the 
help of boats to the other side of the haven, and so into the country. 

The next day we quartered a little more at large, but not into the 
half part of the town; and so making substantial trenches, and plant- 
ing all the ordnance, that each part was correspondent to other, we 
held this town the space of one month. 

In the which time happened some accidents, more than are well re- 
membered for the present. But amongst other things, it chanced 
that the General sent on his message to the Spaniards a negro boy 
with a flag of white, signifying truce, as is the Spanish ordinary 
manner to do there, when they approach to speak to us; which boy 
unhappily was first met withal by some of those who had been 
belonging as officers for the king in the Spanish galley, which with 
the town was lately fallen into our hands. Who, without all order 


or reason, and contrary to that good usage wherewith we had enter- 
tained their messengers, furiously struck the poor boy through the 
body with one of their horsemen's staves; with which wound the 
boy returned to the General, and after he had declared the manner of 
this wrongful cruelty, died forthwith in his presence. Wherewith 
the General being greatly passioned, commanded the provost-marshal 
to cause a couple of friars, then prisoners, to be carried to the same 
place where the boy was strucken, accompanied with sufficient guard 
of our soldiers, and there presently to be hanged, despatching at the 
same instant another poor prisoner, with this reason wherefore this 
execution was done, and with this message further, that until the 
party who had thus murdered the General's messenger were deliv- 
ered into our hands to receive condign punishment, there should 
no day pass wherein there should not two prisoners be hanged, until 
they were all consumed which were in our hands. Whereupon the 
day following, he that had been captain of the king's galley brought 
the offender to the town's end, offering to deliver him into our 
hands. But it was thought to be a more honourable revenge to make 
them there, in our sight, to perform the execution themselves; which 
was done accordingly. 

During our being in this town, as formerly also at Santiago there 
had passed justice upon the life of one of our own company for an 
odious matter, so here likewise was there an Irishman hanged for 
the murdering of his corporal. 

In this time also passed many treaties between their commission- 
ers and us, for ransom of their city; but upon disagreements we still 
spent the early mornings in firing the outmost houses; but they 
being built very magnificently of stone, with high lofts, gave us no 
small travail to ruin them. And albeit for divers days together we 
ordained each morning by daybreak, until the heat began at nine 
of the clock, that two hundred mariners did naught else but labour 
to fire and burn the said houses without our trenches, whilst the 
soldiers in a like proportion stood forth for their guard; yet did we 
not, or could not in this time consume so much as one-third part 
of the town, which town is plainly described and set forth in a 
certain map. And so in the end, what wearied with firing, and what 
hastened by some other respects, we were contented to accept of 


25,000 ducats of five shillings six-pence the piece, for the ransom 
of the rest of the town. 

Amongst other things which happened and were found at St. 
Domingo, I may not omit to let the world know one very notable 
mark and token of the unsatiable ambition of the Spanish king and 
his nation, which was found in the king's house, wherein the chief 
governor of that city and country is appointed always to lodge, which 
was this. In the coming to the hall or other rooms of this house, 
you must first ascend up by a fair large pair of stairs, at the head of 
which stairs is a handsome spacious place to walk in, somewhat like 
unto a gallery. Wherein, upon one of the walls, right over against 
you as you enter the said place, so as your eye cannot escape the 
sight of it, there is described and painted in a very large scutcheon 
the arms of the King of Spain; and in the lower part of the said 
scutcheon their is likewise described a globe, containing in it the 
whole circuit of the sea and the earth, whereupon is a horse stand- 
ing on his hinder part within the globe, and the other forepart 
without the globe, lifted up as it were to leap, with a scroll painted 
in his mouth, wherein was written these words in Latin, Non 
suFFiciT oRBis, which is as much to say as. The world sufficeth not. 
Whereof the meaning was required to be known of some of those 
of the better sort that came in commission to treat upon the ran- 
som of the town; who would shake their heads and turn aside their 
countenance, in some smiling sort, without answering anything, as 
greatly ashamed thereof. For by some of our company it was told 
them, that if the Queen of England would resolutely prosecute the 
wars against the King of Spain, he should be forced to lay aside 
that proud and unreasonable reaching vein of his; for he should find 
more than enough to do to keep that which he had already, as by 
the present example of their lost town they might for a beginning 
perceive well enough. 

Now to the satisfying of some men, who marvel greatly that such 
a famous and goodly-builded city, so well inhabited of gallant people, 
very brave in their apparel (whereof our soldiers found good store 
for their relief), should afford no greater riches than was found 
there. Herein it is to be understood that the Indian people, which 
were the natives of this whole island of Hispaniola (the same being 


near hand as great as England), were many years since clean con- 
sumed by the tyranny of the Spaniards; which was the cause that, 
for lack of people to work in the mines, the gold and silver mines 
of this island are wholly given over. And thereby they are fain in 
this island to use copper money, whereof was found very great 
quantity. The chief trade of this place consisteth of sugar and ginger, 
which groweth in the island, and of hides of oxen and kine, which 
in this waste country of the island are bred in infinite numbers, the 
soil being very fertile. And the said beasts are fed up to a very large 
growth, and so killed for nothing so much as for their hides afore- 
said. We found here great store of strong wine, sweet oil, vinegar, 
olives, and other such-like provisions, as excellent wheat-meal packed 
up in wine-pipes and other cask, and other commodities likewise, as 
woollen and linen cloth and some silks; all which provisions are 
brought out of Spain, and served us for great relief. There was but 
a little plate or vessel of silver, in comparison of the great pride in 
other things of this town, because in these hot countries they use 
much of those earthen dishes finely painted or varnished, which they 
call porcellana, which is had out of the East India; and for their 
drinking they use glasses altogether, whereof they make excellent 
good and fair in the same place. But yet some plate we found, and 
many other good things, as their household garniture, very gallant 
and rich, which had cost them dear, although unto us they were of 
small importance. 

From St. Domingo we put over to the main or firm land, and, 
going all along the coast, we came at last in sight of Carthagena, 
standing upon the seaside, so near as some of our barks in passing 
alongst approached within the reach of their culverin shot, which 
they had planted upon certain platforms. The harbour-mouth lay 
some three miles toward the westward of the town, whereinto we 
entered at about three or four of the clock in the afternoon without 
any resistance of ordnance or other impeachment planted upon the 
same. In the evening we put ourselves on land towards the harbour- 
mouth, under the leading of Master Carlile, our Lieutenant-General. 
Who, after he had digested us to march forward about midnight, as 
easily as foot might fall, expressly commanded us to keep close by 
the sea-wash of the shore for our best and surest way; whereby we 


were like to go through, and not to miss any more of the way, 
which once we had lost within an hour after our first beginning 
to march, through the slender knowledge of him that took upon him 
to be our guide, whereby the night spent on, which otherwise must 
have been done by resting. But as we came within some two miles 
of the town, their horsemen, which were some hundred, met us, 
and, taking the alarm, retired to their townward again upon the first 
volley of our shot that was given them; for the place where we 
encountered being woody and bushy, even to the waterside, was 
unmeet for their service. 

At this instant we might hear some pieces of artillery discharged, 
with divers small shot, towards the harbour; which gave us to under- 
stand, according to the order set down in the evening before by our 
General, that the Vice- Admiral, accompanied with Captain Venner, 
Captain White, and Captain Cross, with other sea captains, and with 
divers pinnaces and boats, should give some attempt unto the little 
fort standing on the entry of the inner haven, near adjoining to the 
town, though to small purpose, for that the place was strong, and 
the entry, very narrow, was chained over; so as there could be 
nothing gotten by the attempt more than the giving of them an 
alarm on that other side of the haven, being a mile and a-half from 
the place we now were at. In which attempt the Vice-Admiral had 
the rudder of his skiff strucken through with a saker' shot, and a 
little or no harm received elsewhere. 

The troops being now in their march, half-a-mile behither the 
town or less, the ground we were on grew to be strait, and not above 
fifty paces over, having the main sea on the one side of it and the 
harbour-water or inner sea (as you may term it) on the other side, 
which in the plot is plainly shewed. This strait was fortified clean 
over with a stone wall and a ditch without it, the said wall being as 
orderly built, with flanking in every part, as can be set down. There 
was only so much of this strait unwalled as might serve for the 
issuing of the horsemen or the passing of carriage in time of need. 
But this unwalled part was not without a very good barricado of 
wine-butts or pipes, filled with earth, full and thick as they might 
stand on end one by another, some part of them standing even within 
' Bore 3 14 inches, shot 5 lb. 

246 drake's famous voyage 

the main sea. This place of strength was furnished with six great 
pieces, demiculverins* and sakers, which shot directly in front upon 
us as we approached. Now without this wall, upon the inner side of 
the strait, they had brought likewise two great galleys with their 
prows to the shore, having planted in them eleven pieces of ordnance, 
which did beat all cross the strait, and flanked our coming on. In 
these two galleys were planted three or four hundred small shot, 
and on the land, in the guard only of this place, three hundred 
shot and pikes. 

They, in this their full readiness to receive us, spared not their 
shot both great and small. But our Lieutenant-General, taking the 
advantage of the dark (the daylight as yet not broken out) ap- 
proached by the lowest ground, according to the express direction 
which himself had formerly given, the same being the sea-wash 
shore, where the water was somewhat fallen, so as most of all their 
shot was in vain. Our Lieutenant-General commanded our shot to 
forbear shooting until we were come to the wall-side. And so with 
pikes roundly together we approached the place, where we soon 
found out the barricados of pipes or butts to be the meetest place for 
our assault; which, notwithstanding it was well furnished with pikes 
and shots, was without staying attempted by us. Down went the 
butts of earth, and pell-mell came our swords and pikes together, 
after our shot had first given their volley, even at the enemy's nose. 
Our pikes were somewhat longer than theirs, and our bodies better 
armed; for very few of them were armed. With which advantage 
our swords and pikes grew too hard for them, and they driven to 
give place. In this furious entry the Lieutenant-General slew with his 
own hands the chief ensign-bearer of the Spaniards, who fought 
very manfully to his life's end. 

We followed into the town with them, and, giving them no 
leisure to breathe, we won the market-place, albeit they made head 
and fought awhile before we got it. And so we being once seized 
and assured of that, they were content to suffer us to lodge within 
their town, and themselves to go to their wives, whom they had 
carried into other places of the country before our coming thither. 
At every street's end they had raised very fine barricados of earth- 
works, with trenches without them, as well made as ever we saw 

* Bore 4 Vi inches, shot 9 lb. 


any work done; at the entering whereof was some little resistance, 
but soon overcome it was, with few slain or hurt. They had joined 
with them many Indians, whom they had placed in corners of 
advantage, all bowmen, with their arrows most villainously em- 
poisoned, so as if they did but break the skin, the party so touched 
died without great marvel. Some they slew of our people with their 
arrows; some they likewise mischief ed to death with certain pricks 
of small sticks sharply pointed, of a foot and a-half long, the one 
end put into the ground, the other empoisoned, sticking fast up, 
right against our coming in the way as we should approach from 
our landing towards the town, whereof they had planted a wonder- 
ful number in the ordinary way; but our keeping the sea-wash shore 
missed the greatest part of them very happily. 

I overpass many particular matters, as the hurting of Captain 
Sampson at sword blows in the first entering, unto whom was com- 
mitted the charge of the pikes of the vant-guard by his lot and turn; 
as also of the taking of Alonzo Bravo, the chief commander of that 
place, by Captain Goring, after the said captain had first hurt him 
with his sword; unto which captain was coinmitted the charge of 
the shot of the said vant-guard. Captain Winter was likewise by his 
turn of the vant-guard in this attempt, where also the Lieutenant- 
General marched himself; the said Captain Winter, through a great 
desire to serve by land, having now exchanged his charge at sea with 
Captain Cecil for his band of footmen. Captain Powell, the Sergeant- 
Major, had by his turn the charge of the four companies which 
made the battle. Captain Morgan, who at St. Domingo was of the 
vant-guard, had now by turn his charge upon the companies of 
the rearward. Every man, as well of one part as of another, came so 
willingly on to the service, as the enemy was not able to endure the 
fury of such hot assault. 

We stayed here six weeks, and the sickness with mortality before 
spoken of still continued among us, though not with the same fury 
as at the first; and such as were touched with the said sickness, escap- 
ing death, very few or almost none could recover their strength. Yea, 
many of them were much decayed in their memory, insomuch that 
it was grown an ordinary judgment, when one was heard to speak 
foolishly, to say he had been sick of the calentura, which is the 
Spanish name of their burning ague; for, as I told you before, it is 

248 drake's famous voyage 

a very burning and pestilent ague. The original cause thereof is 
imputed to the evening or first night air, which they term la serena; 
wherein they say and hold very firm opinion that whoso is then 
abroad in the open air shall certainly be infected to the death, not 
being of the Indian or natural race of those country people. By hold- 
ing their watch our men were thus subjected to the infectious 
air, which at Santiago was most dangerous and deadly of all other 

With the inconvenience of continual mortality we were forced 
to give over our intended enterprise to go with Nombre de Dios, 
and so overland to Panama, where we should have strucken the 
stroke for the treasure, and full recompense of our tedious travails. 
And thus at Carthagena we took our first resolution to return home- 
wards, the form of which resolution I thought good here to put 
down under the principal captains' hands as foUoweth: — 

A Resolution of the Land-Captains, what course they thin\ most expe- 
dient to be ta\en. Given at Carthagena, the 27. 0/ February, 1^8^. 

WHEREAS it hath pleased the General to demand the opinions of his 
captains what course they think most expedient to be now undertaken, 
the land-captains being assembled by themselves to-gether, and having 
advised hereupon, do in three points deliver the same. 

THE FIRST, touching the keeping of the town against the force of 
the enemy, either that which is present, or that which may come out of 
Spain, is answered thus: — 

'We hold opinion, that with this troop of men which we have pres- 
endy with us in land service, being victualled and munitioned, we may 
well keep the town, albeit that of men able to answer present service we 
have not above 700. The residue, being some 150 men, by reason of their 
hurts and sickness, are altogether unable to stand us in any stead: where- 
fore hereupon the sea-captains are likewise to give their resolution, how 
they will undertake the safety and service of the ships upon the arrival of 
any Spanish fleet.' 

THE SECOND point we make to be this, whether it be meet to go 
presendy homeward, or else to continue further trial of our fortune in 
undertaking such like enterprises as we have done already, and thereby 
to seek after that bountiful mass of treasure for recompense of our tra- 
vails, which was generally expected at our coming forth of England: 
wherein we answer: — 

That it is well known how both we and the soldiers are entered into 


this action as voluntary men, without any impress or gage from her 
Majesty or anybody else. And forasmuch as we have hitherto discharged 
the parts of honest men, so that now by the great blessing and favour of 
our good God there have been taken three such notable towns, wherein 
by the estimation of all men would have been found some very great 
treasures, knowing that Santiago was the chief city of all the islands and 
traffics thereabouts, St. Domingo the chief city of Hispaniola, and the head 
government not only of that island, but also of Cuba, and of all the islands 
about it, as also of such inhabitations of the firm land, as were next unto 
it, and a place that is both magnificently built and entertaineth great 
trades of merchandise; and now lastly the city of Carthagena, which can- 
not be denied to be one of the chief places of most especial importance to 
the Spaniard of all the cities which be on this side of the West India: we 
do therefore consider, that since all these cities, with their goods and 
prisoners taken in them, and the ransoms of the said cities, being all put 
together, are found far short to satisfy that expectation which by the gen- 
erality of the enterprisers was first conceived; and being further advised 
of the slenderness of our strength, whereunto we be now reduced, as well 
in respect of the small number of able bodies, as also not a little in regard 
of the slack disposition of the greater part of those which remain, very 
many of the better minds and men being either consumed by death or 
weakened by sickness and hurts; and lastly, since that as yet there is 
not laid down to our knowledge any such enterprise as may seem con- 
venient to be undertaken with such few as we are presently able to make, 
and withal of such certain likelihood, as with God's good success which 
it may please him to bestow upon us, the same may promise to yield us 
any sufficient contentment: we do therefore conclude hereupon, that it 
is better to hold sure as we may the honour already gotten, and with 
the same to return towards our gracious sovereign and country, from 
whence, if it shall please her Majesty to set us forth again with her orderly 
means and entertainment, we are most ready and willing to go through 
with anything that the uttermost of our strength and endeavour shall be 
able to reach unto. But therewithal we do advise and protest that it is 
far from our thoughts, either to refuse, or so much as to seem to be weary 
of anything, which for the present shall be further required or directed to 
be done by us from our General.' 

THE THIRD and last point is concerning the ransom of this city of 
Carthagena, for the which, before it was touched with any fire, there was 
made an offer of some ^^27,000 or ^^28,000 sterling: — 

'Thus much we utter herein as our opinions, agreeing, so it be done 
in good sort, to accept this offer aforesaid, rather than to break off by 
standing still upon our demands of ;^ 100,000; which seems a matter 
impossible to be performed for the present by them. And to say truth, 


we may now with much honour and reputation better be satisfied with 
that sum offered by them at the first, if they will now be contented to 
give it, than we might at that time with a great deal more; inasmuch 
as we have taken our full pleasure, both in the uttermost sacking and 
spoiling of all their household goods and merchandise, as also in that we 
have consumed and ruined a great part of their town with fire. And 
thus much further is considered herein by us; that as there he in the 
voyage a great many poor men, who have willingly adventured their 
lives and travails, and divers amongst them having spent their apparel 
and such other little provisions as their small means might have given 
them leave to prepare, which being done upon such good and allowable 
intention as this action hath always carried with it (meaning, against the 
Spaniard, our greatest and most dangerous enemy), so surely we cannot 
but have an inward regard, so far as may lie in us, to help them in all 
good sort towards the satisfaction of this their expectation; and by pro- 
curing them some litde benefit to encourage them, and to nourish this 
ready and willing disposition of theirs, both in them and in others by 
their example, against any other time of like occasion. But because it 
may be supposed that herein we forget not the private benefit of our- 
selves, and are thereby the rather moved to incline ourselves to this 
composition, we do therefore think good for the clearing ourselves of all 
such suspicion, to declare hereby, that what part or portion soever it be 
of this ransom or composition for Carthagena which should come unto 
us, we do freely give and bestow the same wholly upon the poor men 
who have remained with us in the voyage (meaning as well the sailor as 
the soldier), wishing with all our hearts it were such or so much as 
might see a sufficient reward for their painful endeavour. And for the 
firm confirmation thereof, we have thought meet to subsign these pres- 
ents with our own hands in the place and time aforesaid. 

'Captain Christopher Carlile, Lieutenant-General; Captain Goring, 
Captain Sampson, Captain Powell, &c. 

But while we were yet there, it happened one day that our watch 
called the sentinel, upon the church-steeple, had discovered in the 
sea a couple of small barks or boats, making in with the harbour of 
Carthagena. Whereupon Captain Moon and Captain Varney, with 
]ohn Grant, the master of the Tiger, and some other seamen, em- 
barked themselves in a couple of small pinnaces, to take them before 
they should come nigh the shore, at the mouth of the harbour, lest 
by some straggling Spaniards from the land, they might be warned 
by signs from coming in. Which fell out accordingly, notwithstand- 


ing all the diligence that our men could use: for the Spanish boats, 
upon the sight of our pinnaces coming towards them, ran themselves 
ashore, and so their men presently hid themselves in bushes hard 
by the sea-side, amongst some others that had called them by signs 
thither. Our men presently without any due regard had to the 
quality of the place, and seeing no man of the Spaniards to shew 
themselves, boarded the Spanish barks or boats, and so standing all 
open in them, were suddenly shot at by a troop of Spaniards out of 
the bushes; by which volley of shot there were slain Captain Varney, 
which died presendy, and Captain Moon, who died some few days 
after, besides some four or five others that were hurt: and so our 
folks returned without their purpose, not having any sufficient num- 
ber of soldiers with them to fight on shore. For those men they 
carried were all mariners to row, few of them armed, because they 
made account with their ordnance to have taken the barks well 
enough at sea; which they might full easily have done, without any 
loss at all, if they had come in time to the harbour mouth, before 
the Spaniards' boats had gotten so near the shore. 

During our abode in this place, as also, at St. Domingo, there 
passed divers courtesies between us and the Spaniards, as feasting, 
and using them with all kindness and favour; so as amongst others 
there came to see the General the governor of Carthagena, with the 
bishop of the same, and divers other gentlemen of the better sort. 
This town of Carthagena we touched in the out parts, and con- 
sumed much with fire, as we had done St. Domingo, upon discon- 
tentments, and for want of agreeing with us in their first treaties 
touching their ransom; which at the last was concluded between us 
should be 110,000 ducats for that which was yet standing, the ducat 
valued at five shillings sixpence sterling. 

This town, though not half so big as St. Domingo, gives, as you 
see, a far greater ransom, being in very deed of far more importance, 
by reason of the excellency of the harbour, and the situation thereof 
to serve the trade of Ts! ombre de Dios and other places, and is 
inhabited with far more richer merchants. The other is chiefly in- 
habited with lawyers and brave gentlemen, being the chief or high- 
est appeal of their suits in law of all the islands about it and of the 


mainland coast next unto it. And it is of no such account as Cartha- 
gena, for these and some Hke reasons which I could give you, over 
long to be now written. 

The warning which this town received of our coming towards 
them from St. Domingo, by the space of 20 days before our arrival 
here, was cause that they had both fortified and every way prepared 
for their best defence. As also that they had carried and conveyed 
away all their treasure and principal substance. 

The ransom of 110,000 ducats thus concluded on, as is aforesaid, 
the same being written, and expressing for nothing more than the 
town of Carthagena, upon the payment of the said ransom we left 
the said town and drew some part of our soldiers into the priory or 
abbey, standing a quarter of an English mile below the town upon 
the harbour water-side, the same being walled with a wall of stone; 
which we told the Spaniards was yet ours, and not redeemed by 
their composition. Whereupon they, finding the defect of their con- 
tract, were contented to enter into another ransom for all places, but 
specially for the said house, as also the blockhouse or castle, which is 
upon the mouth of the inner harbour. And when we asked as much 
for the one as for the other, they yielded to give a thousand crowns 
for the abbey, leaving us to take our pleasure upon the blockhouse, 
which they said they were not able to ransom, having stretched them- 
selves to the uttermost of their powers; and therefore the said 
blockhouse was by us undermined, and so with gunpowder blown 
up in pieces. While this latter contract was in making, our whole 
fleet of ships fell down towards the harbour-mouth, where they 
anchored the third time and employed their men in fetching of fresh 
water aboard the ships for our voyage homewards, which water was 
had in a great well that is in the island by the harbour-mouth. 
Which island is a very pleasant place as hath been seen, having in it 
many sorts of goodly and very pleasant fruits, as the orange-trees and 
others, being set orderly in walks of great length together. Insomuch 
as the whole island, being some two or three miles about, is cast into 
grounds of gardening and orchards. 

After six weeks' abode in this place, we put to sea the last of 
March; where, after two or three days, a great Ship which we had 
taken at St. Domingo, and thereupon was called The New Year's 


Gift, fell into a great leak, being laden with ordnance, hides, and 
other spoils, and in the night she lost the company o£ our fleet. 
Which being missed the next morning by the General, he cast about 
with the whole fleet, fearing some great mischance to be happened 
unto her, as in very deed it so fell out; for her leak was so great that 
her men were all tired with pumping. But at the last, having found 
her, and the bark Talbot in her company, which stayed by great hap 
with her, they were ready to take their men out of her for the 
saving of them. And so the General, being fully advertised of their 
great extremity, made sail directly back again to Carthagena with 
the whole fleet; where, having staid eight or ten days more about the 
unlading of this ship and the bestowing thereof and her men into 
other ships, we departed once again to sea, directing our course 
toward the Cape 5/. Anthony, being the westermost part of Cuba, 
where we arrived the 27. of April. But because fresh water could 
not presently be found, we weighed anchor and departed, thinking 
in few days to recover the Matanzas, a place to the eastward of 

After we had sailed some fourteen days we were brought to Cape 
St. Anthony again through lack of favourable wind; but then our 
scarcity was grown such as need make us look a little better for water, 
which we found in sufficient quantity, being indeed, as I judge, none 
other than rain-water newly fallen and gathered up by making pits 
in a plot of marish ground some three hundred paces from the 

I do wrong if I should forget the good example of the General 
at this place, who, to encourage others, and to hasten the getting of 
fresh water aboard the ships, took no less pain himself than the 
meanest; as also at St. Domingo, Carthagena, and all other places, 
having always so vigilant a care and foresight in the good ordering 
of his fleet, accompanying them, as it is said, with such wonderful 
travail of body, as doubtless had he been the meanest person, as he 
was the chief est, he had yet deserved the first place of honour; and 
no less happy do we account him for being associated with Master 
Carlile, his Lieutenant-General, by whose experience, prudent coun- 
sel, and gallant performance he achieved so many and happy enter- 
prises of the war, by whom also he was very greatly assisted in set- 


ting down the needful orders, laws, and course o£ justice, and the 
due administration of the same upon all occasions. 

After three days spent in watering our ships, we departed now the 
second time from this Cape of Si. Anthony the 13. of May. And 
proceeding about the Cape of Florida, we never touched anywhere; 
but coasting alongst Florida, and keeping the shore still in sight, the 
28. of May, early in the morning, we descried on the shore a place 
built like a beacon, which was indeed a scaffold upon four long masts 
raised on end for men to discover to the seaward, being in the lati- 
tude of thirty degrees, or very near thereunto. Our pinnaces manned 
and coming to the shore, we marched up alongst the river-side to see 
what place the enemy held there; for none amongst us had any 
knowledge thereof at all. 

Here the General took occasion to march with the companies him- 
self in person, the Lieutenant-General having the vant-guard; and, 
going a mile up, or somewhat more, by the river-side, we might 
discern on the other side of the river over against us a fort which 
newly had been built by the Spaniards; and some mile, or there- 
about, above the fort was a little town or village without walls, built 
of wooden houses, as the plot doth plainly shew. We forthwith pre- 
pared to have ordnance for the battery; and one piece was a little 
before the evening planted, and the first shot being made by the 
Lieutenant-General himself at their ensign, strake through the en- 
sign, as we afterwards understood by a Frenchman which came 
unto us from them. One shot more was then made, which struck the 
foot of the fort wall, which was all massive timber of great trees 
like masts. The Lieutenant-General was determined to pass the 
river this night with four companies, and there to lodge himself 
entrenched as near the fort as that he might play with his muskets 
and smallest shot upon any that should appear, and so afterwards 
to bring and plant the battery with him; but the help of mariners 
for that sudden to make trenches could not be had, which was the 
cause that this determination was remitted until the next night. 

In the night the Lieutenant-General took a little rowing skiff and 
half a dozen well armed, as Captain Morgan and Captain Sampson, 
with some others, besides the rowers, and went to view what guard 
the enemy kept, as also to take knowledge of the ground. And albeit 


he went as covertly as might be, yet the enemy, taking the alarm, 
grew fearful that the whole force was approaching to the assault, 
and therefore with all speed abandoned the place after the shooting 
of some of their pieces. They thus gone, and he being returned 
unto us again, but nothing knowing of their flight from their fort, 
forthwith came a Frenchman,'* being a fifer (who had been prisoner 
with them) in a little boat, playing on his life the tune of the Prince 
of Orange his song. And being called unto by the guard, he told 
them before he put foot out of the boat what he was himself, and 
how the Spaniards were gone from the fort; offering either to remain 
in hands there, or else to return to the place with them that would go. 

Upon this intelligence the General, the Lieutenant-General, with 
some of the captains in one skiff and the Vice-Admiral with some 
others in his skiff, and two or three pinnaces furnished of soldiers 
with them, put presently over towards the fort, giving order for 
the rest of the pinnaces to follow. And in our approach some of 
the enemy, bolder than the rest, having stayed behind their com- 
pany, shot off two pieces of ordnance at us; but on shore we went, 
and entered the place without finding any nian there. 

When the day appeared, we found it built all of timber, the walls 
being none other than whole masts or bodies of trees set upright and 
close together in manner of a pale, without any ditch as yet made, 
but wholly intended with some more time. For they had not as yet 
finished all their work, having begun the same some three or four 
months before; so as, to say the truth, they had no reason to keep 
it, being subject both to fire and easy assault. 

The platform whereon the ordnance lay was whole bodies of long 
pine-trees, whereof there is great plenty, laid across one on another 
and some little earth amongst. There were in it thirteen or fourteen 
great pieces of brass ordnance and a chest unbroken up, having in it 
the value of some two thousand pounds sterling, by estimation, of 
the king's treasure, to pay the soldiers of that place, who were a 
hundred and fifty men. 

The fort thus won, which they called St. John's Fort, and the day 
opened, we assayed to go to the town, but could not by reason of 

' Nicolas Borgoignon. The 'Prince of Orange's Song' was a popular ditty in praise 
o£ William Prince of Orange (assassinated 1584), the leader of the Dutch Protestant 

256 drake's famous voyage 

some rivers and broken ground which was between the two places. 
And therefore being enforced to embark again into our pinnaces, we 
went thither upon the great main river, which is called, as also the 
town, by the name of St. Augustine. At our approaching to land, 
there were some that began to shew themselves, and to bestow some 
few shot upon us, but presently withdrew themselves. And in their 
running thus away, the Sergeant-Major finding one of their horses 
ready saddled and bridled, took the same to follow the chase; and 
so overgoing all his company, was by one laid behind a bush shot 
through the head; and falling down therewith, was by the same and 
two or three more, stabbed in three or four places of his body with 
swords and daggers, before any could come near to his rescue. His 
death was much lamented, being in very deed an honest wise gentle- 
man, and soldier of good experience, and of as great courage as any 
man might be. 

In this place called 5/. Augustine we understood the king did keep, 
as is before said, 150 soldiers, and at another place some dozen leagues 
beyond to the northwards, called St. Helena, he did there likewise 
keep 150 more, serving there for no other purpose than to keep all 
other nations from inhabiting any part of all that coast; the gov- 
ernment whereof was committed to one Pedro Melendez, marquis, 
nephew to that Melendez the Admiral, who had overthrown Master 
John Hawf(ins in the Bay of Mexico some 17 or 18 years ago. This 
governor had charge of both places, but was at this time in this 
place, and one of the first that left the same. 

Here it was resolved in full assembly of captains, to undertake the 
enterprise of St. Helena, and from thence to seek out the inhabitation 
of our English countrymen in Virginia, distant from thence some 
six degrees northward. When we came thwart of 5/. Helena, the 
shoals appearing dangerous, and we having no pilot to undertake 
the entry, it was thought meetest to go hence alongst. For the Ad- 
miral had been the same night in four fathom and a half, three 
leagues from the shore; and yet we understood, by the help of a 
known pilot, there may and do go in ships of greater burden and 
draught than any we had in our fleet. We passed thus along the 
coast hard aboard the shore, which is shallow for a league or two 
from the shore, and the same is low and broken land for the most 


part. The ninth of June upon sight o£ one special great fire (which 
are very ordinary all alongst this coast, even from the Cape of Florida 
hither) the General sent his skiflE to the shore, where they found 
some of our English countrymen that had been sent thither the year 
before by Sir Walter Raleigh, and brought them aboard; by whose 
direction we proceeded along to the place which they make their 
port. But some of our ships being of great draught, unable to enter, 
anchored without the harbour in a wild road at sea, about two miles 
from shore. From whence the General wrote letters to Master Ralph 
Lane, being governor of those English in Virginia, and then at his 
fort about six leagues from the road in an island which they called 
Roanoac; wherein especially he shewed how ready he was to supply 
his necessities and wants, which he understood of by those he had 
first talked withal. 

The morrow after, Master Lane himself and some of his company 
coming unto him, with the consent of his captains he gave them the 
choice of two offers, that is to say: either he would leave a ship, a 
pinnace, and certain boats with sufficient masters and mariners, to- 
gether furnished with a month's victual, to stay and make further 
discovery of the country and coasts, and so much victual likewise as 
might be sufficient for the bringing of them all (being an hundred 
and three persons) into England, if they thought good after such 
time, with any other thing they would desire, and that he might be 
able to spare: or else, if they thought they had made sufficient dis- 
covery already, and did desire to return into England, he would give 
them passage. But they, as it seemed, being desirous to stay, accepted 
very thankfully and with great gladness that which was offered first. 
Whereupon the ship being appointed and received into charge by 
some of their own company sent into her by Master Lane, before 
they had received from the rest of the fleet the provision appointed 
them, there arose a great storm (which they said was extraordinary 
and very strange) that lasted three days together, and put all our 
fleet in great danger to be driven from their anchoring upon the 
coast; for we brake many cables, and lost many anchors; and some 
of our fleet which had lost all, of which number was the ship ap- 
pointed for Master Lane and his company, were driven to put to 
sea in great danger, in avoiding the coast, and could never see us 

258 drake's famous voyage 

again until we met in England. Many also o£ our small pinnaces and 
boats were lost in this storm. 

Notwithstanding, after all this, the General offered them, with 
consent of his captains, another ship with some provisions, although 
not such a one for their turns as might have been spared them before, 
this being unable to be brought into their harbour: or else, if they 
would, to give them passage into England, although he knew he 
should perform it with greater difficulty than he might have done 
before. But Master Lane, with those of the chiefest of his company 
which he had then with him, considering what should be best for 
them to do, made request unto the General under their hands, that 
they might have passage for England: the which being granted, and 
the rest sent for out of the country and shipped, we departed from 
that coast the 18. of June. And so, God be thanked, both they and 
we in good safety arrived at Portsmouth the 28. of July, 1586, to the 
great glory of God, and to no small honour to our Prince, our coun- 
try, and ourselves. The total value of that which was got in this 
voyage is esteemed at three score thousand pounds, whereof the com- 
panies which have travailed in the voyage were to have twenty thou- 
sand pounds, the adventurers the other forty. Of which twenty 
thousand pounds (as I can judge) will redound some six pounds to 
the single share. We lost some 750 men in the voyage; above three 
parts of them only by sickness. The men of name that died and were 
slain in this voyage, which I can presently call to remembrance, are 
these: — Captain Powell, Captain Varney, Captain Moon, Captain 
Fortescue, Captain Bigges, Captain Cecil, Captain Hannam, Cap- 
tain Greenfield; Thomas Tucker, a lieutenant; Alexander Starkey, a 
lieutenant; Master Escot, a lieutenant; Master Waterhouse, a lieuten- 
ant; Master George Candish, Master Nicholas Winter, Master Alex- 
ander Carlile, Master Robert Alexander, Master Scroope, Master 
James Dyer, Master Peter Dul(e. With some other, whom for haste 
I cannot suddenly think on. 

The ordnance gotten of all sorts, brass and iron, were about two 
hundred and forty pieces, whereof the two hundred and some more 
were brass, and were thus found and gotten: — At Santiago some 
two or three and fifty pieces. In St, Domingo about four score, 


whereof was very much great ordnance, as whole cannon/" demi- 
cannon, culverins, and such hke. In Carthagena some sixty and three 
pieces, and good store Hkewise of the greater sort. In the Fort of 
St. Augustine were fourteen pieces. The rest was iron ordnance, 
of which the most part was gotten at St. Domingo, the rest at 

'"The 'whole cannon' had a bore of 8 inches, and carried a shot of 60 lb.; the 
'demi-cannon' 654 inches, shot 30 lb.; the culverin 5 54 inches, shot 18 lb. 




Sir Humphrey Gilbert, the founder of the first English colony in 
North America, was born about 1539, the son of a Devonshire gentle- 
man, whose widow afterward married the father of Sir Walter Raleigh. 
He was educated at Eton and Oxford, served under Sir Philip Sidney's 
father in Ireland, and fought for the Netherlands against Spain. After 
his return he composed a pamphlet urging the search for a northwest 
passage to Cathay, which led to Frobisher's license for his explorations to 
that end. 

In 1578 Gilbert obtained from Queen Elizabeth the charter he had long 
sought, to plant a colony in North America. His first attempt failed, and 
cost him his whole fortune; but, after further service in Ireland, he sailed 
again in 1583 for Newfoundland. In the August of that year he took 
possession of the harbor of St. John and founded his colony, but on the 
return voyage he went down with his ship in a storm south of the 

The following narrative is an account of this last voyage of Gilbert's, 
told by Edward Haies, commander of "The Golden Hind," the only one 
to reach England of the three ships which set out from Newfoundland 
with Gilbert. 

The settlement at St. John was viewed by its promoter as merely the 
beginning of a scheme for ousting Spain from America in favor of Eng- 
land. The plan did not progress as he hoped; but after long delays, and 
under far other impulses than Gilbert ever thought of, much of his dream 
was realized. 


By Edward Haies 

A REPORT of the Voyage and success thereof, attempted in the year of our 
Lord 1583, by Sir HUMPHREY GILBERT, Knight, with other 
gentlemen assisting him in that action, intended to discover and to 
plant Christian inhabitants in place convenient, upon those large and 
ample countries extended northward from the Cape of Florida, 
lying under very temperate climes, esteemed fertile and rich in min- 
erals, yet not in the actual possession of any Christian prince. 
Written by Mr. Edward Haies, gentleman, and principal actor in 
the same voyage,^ who alone continued unto the end, and, by 
God's special assistance, returned home with his retinue safe and 

MANY voyages have been pretended, yet hitherto never any 
thoroughly accomplished by our nation, of exact discov- 
ery into the bowels of those main, ample, and vast coun- 
tries extended infinitely into the north from thirty degrees, or rather 
from twenty-five degrees, of septentrional latitude, neither hath a 
right way been taken of planting a Christian habitation and regi- 
ment^ upon the same, as well may appear both by the little we yet 
do actually possess therein, and by our ignorance of the riches and 
secrets within those lands, which unto this day we know chiefly by 
the travel and report of other nations, and most of the French, who 
albeit they cannot challenge such right and interest unto the said 
countries as we, neither these many years have had opportunity nor 
means so great to discover and to plant, being vexed with the 
calamities of intestine wars, as we have had by the inestimable bene- 
fit of our long and happy peace, yet have they both ways performed 
more, and had long since attained a sure possession and settled gov- 

* Haies was captain and owner o£ the Golden Hind, Gilbert's Rear-Admiral. 
' Government. 


264 gilbert's voyage 

ernment of many provinces in those northerly parts of America, if 
their many attempts into those foreign and remote lands had not 
been impeached by their garboils at home. 

The first discovery of these coasts, never heard of before, was well 
begun by John Cabot the father and Sebastian his son, an English- 
man born, who were the first finders out of all that great tract of 
land stretching from the Cape of Florida unto those islands which 
we now call the Newfoundland; all which they brought and an- 
nexed unto the crown of England. Since when, if with like dili- 
gence the search of inland countries had been followed, as the dis- 
covery upon the coast and outparts thereof was performed by those 
two men, no doubt her Majesty's territories and revenue had been 
mightily enlarged and advanced by this day; and, which is more, the 
seed of Christian religion had been sowed amongst those pagans, 
which by this time might have brought forth a most plentiful 
harvest and copious congregation of Christians; which must be the 
chief intent of such as shall make any attempt that way; or else 
whatsoever is builded upon other foundation shall never obtain 
happy success nor continuance. 

And although we cannot precisely judge (which only belongeth 
to God) what have been the humours of men stirred up to great 
attempts of discovering and planting in those remote countries, yet 
the events do shew that either God's cause hath not been chiefly pre- 
ferred by them, or else God hath not permitted so abundant grace 
as the light of His word and knowledge of Him to be yet revealed 
unto those infidels before the appointed time. But most assuredly, 
the only cause of religion hitherto hath kept back, and will also 
bring forward at the time assigned by God, an effectual and com- 
plete discovery and possession by Christians both of those ample 
countries and the riches within them hitherto concealed; whereof, 
notwithstanding, God in His wisdom hath permitted to be revealed 
from time to time a certain obscure and misty knowledge, by litrie 
and little to allure the minds of men that way, which else will be 
dull enough in the zeal of His cause, and thereby to prepare us unto 
a readiness for the execution of His will, against the due time 
ordained of calling those pagans unto Christianity. 

In the meanwhile it behoveth every man of great calling, in whom 


is any instinct of inclination unto this attempt, to examine his own 
motions, which, if the same proceed of ambition or avarice, he may 
assure himself it cometh not of God, and therefore cannot have con- 
fidence of God's protection and assistance against the violence (else 
irresistible) both of sea and infinite perils upon the land; whom God 
yet may use [as] an instrument to further His cause and glory 
some way, but not to build upon so bad a foundation. Otherwise, 
if his motives be derived from a virtuous and heroical mind, pre- 
ferring chiefly the honour of God, compassion of poor infidels cap- 
tived by the devil, tyrannising in most wonderful and dreadful man- 
ner over their bodies and souls; advancement of his honest and well- 
disposed countrymen, willing to accompany him in such honour- 
able actions; relief of sundry people within this realm distressed; 
all these be honourable purposes, imitating the nature of the munifi- 
cent God, wherewith He is well pleased, who will assist such an 
actor beyond expectation of man. And the same, who feeleth this 
inclination in himself, by all likelihood may hope, or rather confi- 
dently repose in the preordinance of God, that in this last age of the 
world (or likely never) the time is complete of receiving also these 
gentiles into His mercy, and that God will raise Him an instrument 
to effect the same; it seeming probable by event of precedent at- 
tempts made by the Spaniards and French sundry times, that the 
countries lying north of Florida God hath reserved the same to be 
reduced unto Christian civility by the English nation. For not long 
after that Christopher Columbus had discovered the islands and con- 
tinent of the West Indies for Spain, John and Sebastian Cabot made 
discovery also of the rest from Florida northwards to the behoof of 

And whensoever afterwards the Spaniards, very prosperous in all 
their southern discoveries, did attempt anything into Florida and 
those regions inclining towards the north, they proved most un- 
happy, and were at length discouraged utterly by the hard and 
lamentable success of many both religious and valiant in arms, 
endeavouring to bring those northerly regions also under the Spanish 
jurisdiction, as if God had prescribed limits unto the Spanish nation 
which they might not exceed; as by their own gests recorded may 
be aptly gathered. 

266 gilbert's voyage 

The French, as they can pretend less title unto these northern 
parts than the Spaniard, by how much the Spaniard made the first 
discovery of the same continent so far northward as unto Florida, 
and the French did but review that before discovered by the Eng- 
lish nation, usurping upon our right, and imposing names upon 
countries, rivers, bays, capes, or headlands as if they had been the 
first finders of those coasts; which injury we offered not unto the 
Spaniards, but left off to discover when we approached the Spanish 
limits; even so God hath not hitherto permitted them to establish a 
possession permanent upon another's right, notwithstanding their 
manifold attempts, in which the issue hath been no less tragical than 
that of the Spaniards, as by their own reports is extant. 

Then, seeing the English nation only hath right unto these coun- 
tries of America from the Cape of Florida northward by the privi- 
lege of first discovery, unto which Cabot was authorised by regal 
authority, and set forth by the expense of our late famous King 
Henry the Seventh; which right also seemeth strongly defended on 
our behalf by the powerful hand of Almighty God withstanding the 
enterprises of other nations; it may greatly encourage us upon so 
just ground, as is our right, and upon so sacred an intent, as to plant 
religion (our right and intent being meet foundations for the same), 
to prosecute effectually the full possession of those so ample and 
pleasant countries appertaining unto the crown of England; the 
same, as is to be conjectured by infallible arguments of the world's 
end approaching, being now arrived unto the time by God pre- 
scribed of their vocation, if ever their calling unto the knowledge of 
God may be expected. Which also is very probable by the revolu- 
tion and course of God's word and religion, which from the begin- 
ning hath moved from the east towards, and at last unto, the west, 
where it is like to end, unless the same begin again where it did in 
the east, which were to expect a like world again. But we are as- 
sured of the contrary by the prophecy of Christ, whereby we gather 
that after His word preached throughout the world shall be the 
end. And as the Gospel when it descended westward began in the 
south, and afterward spread into the north of Europe; even so, as the 
same hath begun in the south countries of America, no less hope 
may be gathered that it will also spread into the north. 


These considerations may help to suppress all dreads rising o£ 
hard events in attempts made this way by other nations, as also of 
the heavy success and issue in the late enterprise made by a worthy 
gentleman our countryman, Sir Humfrey Gilbert, Knight, who was 
the first of our nation that carried people to erect an habitation and 
government in those northerly countries of America. About which 
albeit he had consumed much substance, and lost his life at last, his 
people also perishing for the most part: yet the mystery thereof we 
must leave unto God, and judge charitably both of the cause, which 
was just in all pretence, and of the person, who was very zealous in 
prosecuting the same, deserving honourable remembrance for his 
good mind and expense of life in so virtuous an enterprise. Whereby 
nevertheless, lest any man should be dismayed by example of other 
folks' calamity, and misdeem that God doth resist all attempts in- 
tended that way, I thought good, so far as myself was an eye-witness, 
to deliver the circumstance and manner of our proceedings in that 
action; in which the gentleman was so unfortunately encumbered 
with wants, and worse matched with many ilWisposed people, that 
his rare judgment and regiment premeditated for those affairs was 
subjected to tolerate abuses, and in sundry extremities to hold on a 
course more to uphold credit than likely in his own conceit happily 
to succeed. 

The issue of such actions, being always miserable, not guided by 
God, who abhorreth confusion and disorder, hath left this for ad- 
monition, being the first attempt by our nation to plant, unto such 
as shall take the same cause in hand hereafter, not to be discour- 
aged from it; but to make men well advised how they handle His 
so high and excellent matters, as the carriage is of His word into 
those very mighty and vast countries. An action doubtless not to be 
intermeddled with base purposes, as many have made the same but 
a colour to shadow actions otherwise scarce justifiable; which doth 
excite God's heavy judgments in the end, to the terrifying of weak 
minds from the cause, without pondering His just proceedings; and 
doth also incense foreign princes against our attempts, how just 
soever, who cannot but deem the sequel very dangerous unto their 
state (if in those parts we should grow to strength), seeing the very 
beginnings are entered with spoil. 

268 gilbert's voyage 

And with this admonition denounced upon zeal towards God's 
cause, also towards those in whom appeareth disposition honourable 
unto this action of planting Christian people and religion in those 
remote and barbarous nations of America (unto whom I wish all 
happiness), I will now proceed to make relation briefly, yet particu- 
larly, of our voyage undertaken with Sir Humjrey Gilbert, begun, 
continued, and ended adversely. 

When first Sir Humfrey Gilbert undertook the western discovery 
of America, and had procured from her Majesty a very large com- 
mission to inhabit and possess at his choice all remote and heathen 
lands not in the actual possession of any Christian prince, the same 
commission exemplified with many privileges, such as in his dis- 
cretion he might demand, very many gentlemen of good estima- 
tion drew unto him, to associate him in so commendable an enter- 
prise, so that the preparation was expected to grow unto a puissant 
fleet, able to encounter a king's power by sea. Nevertheless, amongst 
a multitude of voluntary men, their dispositions were diverse, which 
bred a jar, and made a division in the end, to the confusion of that 
attempt even before the same was begun. And when the shipping 
was in a manner prepared, and men ready upon the coast to go 
aboard, at that time some brake consort, and followed courses de- 
generating from the voyage before pretended. Others failed of their 
promises contracted, and the greater number were dispersed, leaving 
the General with few of his assured friends, with whom he adven- 
tured to sea; where, having tasted of no less misfortune, he was 
shortly driven to retire home with the loss of a tall ship and, more 
to his grief, of a valiant gentleman, Miles Morgan. 

Having buried, only in a preparation, a great mass of substance, 
whereby his estate was impaired, his mind yet not dismayed, he 
continued his former designment, and purposed to revive this enter- 
prise, good occasion serving. Upon which determination standing 
long without means to satisfy his desire, at last he granted certain 
assignments out of his commission to sundry persons of mean ability, 
desiring the privilege of his grant, to plant and fortify in the north 
parts of America about the river of Canada; to whom if God gave 
good success in the north parts (where then no matter of moment 
was expected), the same, he thought, would greatly advance the 


hope of the south, and be a furtherance unto his determination that 
way. And the worst that might happen in that course might be 
excused, without prejudice unto him, by the former supposition that 
those north regions were of no regard. But chiefly, a possession 
taken in any parcel of those heathen countries, by virtue of his grant, 
did invest him of territories extending every way 200 leagues; which 
induced Sir Humjrey Gilbert to make those assignments, desiring 
greatly their expedition, because his commission did expire after six 
years, if in that space he had not gotten actual possession. 

Time went away without anything done by his assigns; insomuch 
that at last he must resolve himself to take a voyage in person, for 
more assurance to keep his patent in force, which then almost was 
expired or within two years. In furtherance of his determination, 
amongst others. Sir George Feckhatn, Knight, shewed himself very 
zealous to the action, gready aiding him both by his advice and in 
the charge. Other gentlemen to their ability joined unto him, re- 
solving to adventure their substance and lives in the same cause. 
Who beginning their preparation from that time, both of shipping, 
munition, victual, men, and things requisite, some of them con- 
tinued the charge two years complete without intermission. Such 
were the difficulties and cross accidents opposing these proceedings, 
which took not end in less than two years; many of which circum- 
stances I will omit. 

The last place of our assembly, before we left the coast of Eng- 
land, was in Cawset Bay, near unto Plymouth, then resolved to put 
unto the sea with shipping and provision such as we had, before 
our store yet remaining, but chiefly the time and season of the year, 
were too far spent. Nevertheless, it seemed first very doubtful by 
what way to shape our course, and to begin our intended discov- 
ery, either from the south northward or from the north southward. 
The first, that is, beginning south, without all controversy was the 
likeliest; wherein we were assured to have commodity of the current 
which from the Cape of Florida setteth northward, and would have 
furthered greatly our navigation, discovering from the foresaid 
cape along towards Cape Breton, and all those lands lying to the 
north. Also, the year being far spent, and arrived to the month of 
June, we were not to spend time in northerly courses, where we 


should be surprised with timely winter, but to covet the south, 
which we had space enough then to have attained, and there might 
with less detriment have wintered that season, being more mild and 
short in the south than in the north, where winter is both long and 
rigorous. These and other like reasons alleged in favour of the 
southern course first to be taken, to the contrary was inferred that 
forasmuch as both our victuals and many other needful provisions 
were diminished and left insufficient for so long a voyage and for 
the wintering of so many men, we ought to shape a course most 
likely to minister supply; and that was to take the Newfoundland 
in our way, which was but 700 leagues from our English coast. 
Where being usually at that time of the year, and until the fine of 
August, a multitude of ships repairing thither for fish, we should 
be relieved abundantly with many necessaries, which, after the fish- 
ing ended, they might well spare and freely impart unto us. Not 
staying long upon that Newland coast, we might proceed south- 
ward, and follow still the sun, until we arrived at places more tem- 
perate to our content. 

By which reasons we were the rather induced to follow this north- 
erly course, obeying unto necessity, which must be supplied. Other- 
wise, we doubted that sudden approach of winter, bringing with it 
continual fog and thick mists, tempest and rage of weather, also con- 
trariety of currents descending from the Cape of Florida unto Cape 
Breton and Cape Race, would fall out to be great and irresistible im- 
pediments unto our further proceeding for that year, and compel us 
to winter in those north and cold regions. Wherefore, suppressing all 
objections to the contrary, we resolved to begin our course north- 
ward, and to follow, directly as we might, the trade way unto New- 
foundland; from whence, after our refreshing and reparation of 
wants, we intended without delay, by God's permission, to proceed 
into the south, not omitting any river or bay which in all that large 
tract of land appeared to our view worthy of search. Immediately 
we agreed upon the manner of our course and orders to be observed 
in our voyage; which were delivered in writing, unto the captains 
and masters of every ship a copy, in manner following. 

Every ship had delivered two bullets or scrolls, the one sealed up 
in wax, the other left open; in both which were included several 


watchwords. That open, serving upon our own coast or the coast of 
Ireland; the other sealed, was promised on all hands not to be broken 
up until we should be clear of the Irish coast; which from thence- 
forth did serve until we arrived and met all together in such harbours 
of the Newfoundland as were agreed for our rendez-vous. The said 
watchwords being requisite to know our consorts whensoever by 
night, either by fortune of weather, our fleet dispersed should come 
together again; or one should hail another; or if by ill watch and 
steerage one ship should chance to fall aboard of another in the dark. 
The reason of the bullet sealed was to keep secret that watchword 
while we were upon our own coast, lest any of the company stealing 
from the fleet might bewray the same; which known to an enemy, he 
might board us by night without mistrust, having our own watch- 

Orders agreed upon by the Captains and Masters to be observed by 
the fleet of Sir Humfrey Gilbert. 

First, The Admiral to carry his flag by day, and his light by 

2. Item, if the Admiral shall shorten his sail by night, then to 
shew two lights until he be answered again by every ship shewing 
one light for a short time. 

3. Item, if the Admiral after his shortening of sail, as aforesaid, 
shall make more sail again; then he to shew three lights one above 

4. Item, if the Admiral shall happen to hull in the night, then to 
make a wavering light over his other light, wavering the light upon 
a pole. 

5. Item, if the fleet should happen to be scattered by weather, 
or other mishap, then so soon as one shall descry another, to hoise 
both topsails twice, if the weather will serve, and to strike them 
twice again; but if the weather serve not, then to hoise the main- 
topsail twice, and forthwith to strike it twice again. 

6. Item, if it shall happen a great fog to fall, then presently every 
ship to bear up with the Admiral, if there be wind; but if it be a 
calm, then every ship to hull, and so to lie at hull till it clear. And 

272 gilbert's voyage 

if the fog do continue long, then the Admiral to shoot off two pieces 
every evening, and every ship to answer it with one shot; and every 
man bearing to the ship that is to leeward so near as he may. 

7. Item, every master to give charge unto the watch to look out 
well, for laying aboard one of another in the night, and in fogs. 

8. Item, every evening every ship to hail the Admiral, and so to 
fall astern him, sailing thorough the ocean; and being on the coast, 
every ship to hail him both morning and evening. 

9. Item, if any ship be in danger in any way, by leak or other- 
wise, then she to shoot off a piece, and presently to hang out one 
light; whereupon every man to bear towards her, answering her 
with one light for a short time, and so to put it out again; thereby 
to give knowledge that they have seen her token. 

10. Item, whensoever the Admiral shall hang out her ensign in 
the main shrouds, then every man to come aboard her as a token of 

11. Item, if there happen any storm or contrary wind to the fleet 
after the discovery, whereby they are separated; then every ship to 
repair unto their last good port, there to meet again. 

Our Course agreed upon. 

The course first to be taken for the discovery Is to bear directly 
to Cape Race, the most southerly cape of Newfoundland; and there 
to harbour ourselves either in Rogneux or Fermous, being the first 
places appointed for our rendez-vous, and the next harbours unto 
the northward of Cape Race: and therefore every ship separated 
from the fleet to repair to that place so fast as God shall permit, 
whether you shall fall to the southward or to the northward of it, 
and there to stay for the meeting of the whole fleet the space of ten 
days; and when you shall depart, to leave marks. 

Beginning our course from Scilly, the nearest is by west-south- 
west (if the wind serve) until such time as we have brought our- 
selves in the latitude of 43 or 44 degrees, because the ocean is subject 
much to southerly winds in June and July. Then to take traverse 
from 45 to 47 degrees of latitude, if we be enforced by contrary 
winds; and not to go to the northward of the height of 47 degrees 


of septentrional latitude by no means, if God shall not enforce the 
contrary; but to do your endeavour to keep in the height of 46 
degrees, so near as you can possibly, because Cape Race lieth about 
that height. 


If by contrary winds we be driven back upon the coast of England, 
then to repair unto Scilly for a place of our assembly or meeting. If 
we be driven back by contrary winds that we cannot pass the coast 
of Ireland, then the place of our assembly to be at Bere haven or 
Baltimore haven. If we shall not happen to meet at Cape Race, 
then the place of rendez-vous to be at Cape Breton, or the nearest 
harbour unto the westward of Cape Breton. If by means of other 
shipping we may not safely stay there, then to rest at the very next 
safe port to the westward; every ship leaving their marks behind 
them for the more certainty of the after comers to know where to 
find them. The marks that every man ought to leave in such a 
case, were of the General's private device written by himself, sealed 
also in close wax, and delivered unto every ship one scroll, which 
was not to be opened until occasion required, whereby every man 
was certified what to leave for instruction of after comers; that 
every of us coming into any harbour or river might know who had 
been there, or whether any were still there up higher into the river, 
or departed, and which way. 

Orders thus determined, and promises mutually given to be ob- 
served, every man withdrew himself unto his charge; the anchors 
being already weighed, and our ships under sail, having a soft gale 
of wind, we began our voyage upon Tuesday, the 11. day of June, in 
the year of our Lord 1583, having in our Heet (at our departure from 
Cawset Bay) these ships, whose names and burthens, with the names 
of the captains and masters of them, I have also inserted, as fol- 
loweth: — i. The Delight, alias the George, of burthen 120 tons, was 
Admiral; in which went the General, and William Winter, captain 
in her and part owner, and Richard Clarke, master. 2. The bark 
Raleigh, set forth by Master Walter Raleigh, of the burthen of 200 
tons, was then Vice-Admiral; in which went Master Butler, captain, 


and Robert Davis, of Bristol, master. 3. The Golden Hind, of 
burthen 40 tons, was then Rear-Admiral; in which went Edward 
Haies, captain and owner, and William Cox, of Limehouse, master. 
4. The Swallow, of burthen 40 tons; in her was captain Maurice 
Browne. 5. The Squirrel, of burthen 10 tons; in which went captain 
William Andrews, and one Cade, master. We were in number in 
all about 260 men; among whom we had of every faculty good 
choice, as shipwrights, masons, carpenters, smiths, and such like, 
requisite to such an action; also mineral men and refiners. Be- 
sides, for solace of our people, and allurement of the savages, we 
were provided of music in good variety; not omitting the least toys, 
as morris-dancers, hobby-horse, and May-like conceits to delight the 
savage people, whom we intended to win by all fair means possible. 
And to that end we were indifferently furnished of all petty haber- 
dashery wares to barter with those simple people. 

In this manner we set forward, departing (as hath been said) out 
of Caw set Bay the 11. day of June, being Tuesday, the weather and 
wind fair and good all day; but a great storm of thunder and wind 
fell the same night. Thursday following, when we hailed one an- 
other in the evening, according to the order before specified, they 
signified unto us out of the Vice-Admiral, that both the captain, 
and very many of the men, were fallen sick. And about midnight 
the Vice-Admiral forsook us, notwithstanding we had the wind 
east, fair and good. But it was after credibly reported that they 
were infected with a contagious sickness, and arrived greatly dis- 
tressed at Plymouth; the reason I could never understand. Sure I 
am, no cost was spared by their owner. Master Raleigh, in setting 
them forth; therefore I leave it unto God. By this time we were 
in 48 degrees of latitude, not a little grieved with the loss of the most 
puissant ship in our fleet; after whose departure the Golden Hind 
succeeded in the place of Vice-Admiral, and removed her flag 
from the mizen into the foretop. From Saturday, the 15. of June, 
until the 28., which was upon a Friday, we never had fair day with- 
out fog or rain, and winds bad, much to the west-north-west, 
whereby we were driven southward unto 41 degrees scarce. 

About this time of the year the winds are commonly west towards 
the Newfoundland, keeping ordinarily within two points of west 


to the south or to the north; whereby the course thither falleth out 
to be long and tedious after June, which in March, April, and May, 
hath been performed out of England in 22 days and less. We had 
wind always so scant from west-north-west, and from west-south- 
west again, that our traverse was great, running south unto 41 
degrees almost, and afterwards north into 51 degrees. Also we were 
encumbered with much fog and mists in manner palpable, in which 
we could not keep so well together, but were dissevered, losing the 
company of the Swallow and the Squirrel upon the 20. day of July, 
whom we met again at several places upon the Newfoundland 
coast the 3. of August, as shall be declared in place convenient. 
Saturday, the 27. of July, we might descry, not far from us, as it 
were mountains of ice driven upon the sea, being then in 50 de- 
grees, which were carried southward to the weather of us; whereby 
may be conjectured that some current doth set that way from the 

Before we come to Newfoundland, about 50 leagues on this side, 
we pass the bank, which are high grounds rising within the sea 
and under water, yet deep enough and without danger, being com- 
monly not less than 25 and 30 fathom water upon them; the same, 
as it were some vein of mountains within the sea, do run along and 
from the Newfoundland, beginning northward about 52 or 53 de- 
grees of latitude, and do extend into the south infinitely. The 
breadth of this bank is somewhere more, and somewhere less; but 
we found the same about ten leagues over, having sounded both on 
this side thereof, and the other toward Newfoundland, but found 
no ground with almost 200 fathom of line, both before and after 
we had passed the bank. The Portugals, and French chiefly, have 
a notable trade of fishing upon this bank, where are sometimes an 
hundred or more sails of ships, who commonly begin the fishing in 
April, and have ended by July. That fish is large, always wet, hav- 
ing no land near to dry, and is called cod fish. During the time of 
fishing, a man shall know without sounding when he is upon the 
bank, by the incredible multitude of sea-fowl hovering over the 
same, to prey upon the offals and garbage of fish thrown out by 
fishermen, and floating upon the sea. 

Upon Tuesday, the 11. of June we forsook the coast of England. 

276 gilbert's voyage 

So again [on] Tuesday, the 30. of July, seven weeks after, we got 
sight of land, being immediately embayed in the Grand Bay, or 
some other great bay; the certainty whereof we could not judge, so 
great haze and fog did hang upon the coast, as neither we might 
discern the land well, nor take the sun's height. But by our best 
computation we were then in the 51 degrees of latitude. Forsaking 
this bay and uncomfortable coast (nothing appearing unto us but 
hideous rocks and mountains, bare of trees, and void of any green 
herb) we followed the coast to the south, with weather fair and 
clear. We had sight of an island named Penguin, of a fowl there 
breeding in abundance almost incredible, which cannot fly, their 
wings not able to carry their body, being very large (not much less 
than a goose) and exceeding fat, which the Frenchmen use to take 
without difficulty upon that island, and to barrel them up with salt. 
But for lingering of time, we had made us there the like provision. 
Trending this coast, we came to the island called Baccalaos, being 
not past two leagues from the main; to the south thereof lieth 
Cape St. Francis, five leagues distant from Baccalaos, between which 
goeth in a great bay, by the vulgar sort called the Bay of Concep- 
tion. Here we met with' the Swallow again, whom we had lost in 
the fog, and all her men altered into other apparel; whereof it 
seemed their store was so amended, that for joy and congratulation 
of our meeting, they spared not to cast up into the air and over 
board their caps and hats in good plenty. The captain, albeit him- 
self was very honest and religious, yet was he not appointed of men 
to his humour and desert; who for the most part were such as had 
been by us surprised upon the narrow seas of England, being pirates, 
and had taken at that instant certain Frenchmen laden, one bark 
with wines, and another with salt. Both which we rescued, and took 
the man-of-war with all her men, which was the same ship now 
called the Swallow; following still their kind so oft as, being sepa- 
rated from the General, they found opportunity to rob and spoil. 
And because God's justice did follow the same company, even to 
destruction, and to the overthrow also of the captain (though not 
consenting to their misdemeanour) I will not conceal anything that 
maketh to the manifestation and approbation of His judgments, for 
examples of others; persuaded that God more sharply took revenge 


upon them, and hath tolerated longer as great outrage in others, by 
how much these went under protection of His cause and religion, 
which was then pretended. 

Therefore upon further enquiry it was known how this company 
met with a bark returning home after the fishing with his freight; 
and because the men in the Swallow were very near scanted of vict- 
uals, and chiefly of apparel, doubtful withal where or when to find 
and meet with their Admiral, they besought the captain that they 
might go aboard this Newlander, only to borrow what might be 
spared, the rather because the same was bound homeward. Leave 
given, not without charge to deal favourably, they came aboard the 
fisherman, whom they rifled of tackle, sails, cables, victuals, and the 
men of their apparel; not sparing by torture, winding cords about 
their heads, to draw out else what they thought good. This done 
with expedition, like men skilful in such mischief, as they took their 
cockboat to go aboard their own ship, it was overwhelmed in the 
sea, and certain of these men there drowned; the rest were preserved 
even by those silly souls whom they had before spoiled, who saved 
and delivered them aboard the Swallow. What became afterwards 
of the poor Newlander, perhaps destitute of sails and furniture suf- 
ficient to carry them home, whither they had not less to run than 
700 leagues, God alone knoweth; who took vengeance not long 
after of the rest that escaped at this instant, to reveal the fact, and 
justify to the world God's judgments inflicted upon them, as shall 
be declared in place convenient. 

Thus after we had met with the Swallow, we held on our course 
southward, until we came against the harbour called St. John, about 
five leagues from the former Cape of St. Francis, where before the 
entrance into the harbour, we found also the frigate or Squirrel lying 
at anchor; whom the English merchants, that were and always be 
Admirals by turns interchangeably over the fleets of fishermen 
within the same harbour, would not permit to enter into the har- 
bour. Glad of so happy meeting, both of the Swallow and frigate 
in one day, being Saturday, the third of August, we made ready our 
fights,^ and prepared to enter the harbour, any resistance to the 
contrary notwithstanding, there being within of all nations to the 

' See First Series, p. liii. 

278 gilbert's voyage 

number of 36 sails. But first the General despatched a boat to give 
them knowledge o£ his coming for no ill intent, having commission 
from her Majesty for his voyage he had in hand; and immediately 
we followed with a slack gale, and in the very entrance, which is 
but narrow, not above two butts' length,^ the Admiral fell upon a 
rock on the larboard side by great oversight, in that the weather was 
fair, the rock much above water fast by the shore, where neither 
went any sea-gate.^ But we found such readiness in the English 
merchants to help us in that danger, that without delay there were 
brought a number of boats, which towed off the ship, and cleared 
her of danger. 

Having taken place convenient in the road, we let fall anchors, 
the captains and masters repairing aboard our Admiral; whither also 
came immediately the masters and owners of the fishing fleet of 
Englishmen, to understand the General's intent and cause of our 
arrival there. They were all satisfied when the General had shewed 
his commission, and purpose to take possession of those lands to the 
behalf of the crown of England, and the advancement of the Chris- 
tian religion in those paganish regions, requiring but their lawful 
aid for repairing of his fleet, and supply of some necessaries, so far 
as conveniently might be afforded him, both out of that and other 
harbours adjoining. In lieu whereof he made offer to gratify them 
with any favour and privilege, which upon their better advice they 
should demand, the like being not to be obtained hereafter for 
greater price. So craving expedition of his demand, minding to pro- 
ceed further south without long detention in those parts, he dis- 
missed them, after promise given of their best endeavour to satisfy 
speedily his so reasonable request. The merchants with their mas- 
ters departed, they caused forthwith to be discharged all the great 
ordnance of their fleet in token of our welcome. 

It was further determined that every ship of our fleet should de- 
liver unto the merchants and masters of that harbour a note of all 
their wants: which done, the ships, as well English as strangers, 
were taxed at an easy rate to make supply. And besides, commis- 
sioners were appointed, part of our own company and part of theirs, 
to go into other harbours adjoining (for our English merchants 

* Bow-shot. 5 Current. 


command all there) to levy our provision: whereunto the Portugals, 
above other nations, did most willingly and liberally contribute. In 
so much as we were presented, above our allowance, with wines, 
marmalades, most fine rusk'^ or biscuit, sweet oils, and sundry deli- 
cacies. Also we wanted not of fresh salmons, trouts, lobsters, and 
other fresh fish brought daily unto us. Moreover as the manner is 
in their fishing, every week to choose their Admiral anew, or rather 
they succeed in orderly course, and have weekly their Admiral's 
feast solemnized: even so the General, captains, and masters of our 
fleet were continually invited and feasted. To grow short in our 
abundance at home the entertainment had been delightful; but after 
our wants and tedious passage through the ocean, it seemed more 
acceptable and of greater contentation, by how much the same was 
unexpected in that desolate corner of the world; where, at other 
times of the year, wild beasts and birds have only the fruition of all 
those countries, which now seemed a place very populous and much 

The next morning being Sunday, and the fourth of August, the 
General and his company were brought on land by English mer- 
chants, who shewed unto us their accustomed walks unto a place 
they call the Garden. But nothing appeared more than nature itself 
without art: who confusedly hath brought forth roses abundantly, 
wild, but odoriferous, and to sense very comfortable. Also the like 
plenty of raspberries, which do grow in every place. 

Monday following, the General had his tent set up; who, being 
accompanied with his own followers, summoned the merchants and 
masters, both English and strangers, to be present at his taking pos- 
session of those countries. Before whom openly was read, and inter- 
preted unto the strangers, his commission : by virtue whereof he took 
possession in the same harbour of 5/. John, and 200 leagues every way, 
invested the Queen's Majesty with the title and dignity thereof, had 
delivered unto him, after the custom of England, a rod, and a turf 
of the same soil, entering possession also for him, his heirs and 
assigns for ever; and signified unto all men, that from that time 
forward, they should take the same land as a territory appertaining 
to the Queen of England, and himself authorised under her Majesty 

^ Rusk (Sp. rosea) ^ship's biscuit. 

280 gilbert's voyage 

to possess and enjoy it, and to ordain laws for the government 
thereof, agreeable, so near as conveniently might be, unto the laws of 
England, under which all people coming thither hereafter, either to 
inhabit, or by way of traffic, should be subjected and governed. And 
especially at the same time for a beginning, he proposed and delivered 
three laws to be in force immediately. That is to say the first for 
religion, which in public exercise should be according to the 
Church of England. The second, for maintenance of his Majesty's 
right and possession of those territories, against which if any thing 
were attempted prejudicial, the party or parties offending should be 
adjudged and executed as in case of high treason, according to the 
laws of England. The third, if any person should utter words sound- 
ing to the dishonour of her Majesty, he should lose his ears, and have 
his ship and goods confiscate. 

These contents published, obedience was promised by general 
voice and consent of the multitude, as well of Englishmen as 
strangers, praying for continuance of this possession and government 
begun; after this, the assembly was dismissed. And afterwards were 
erected not far from that place the arms of England engraven in 
lead, and infixed upon a' pillar of wood. Yet further and actually to 
establish this possession taken in the right of her Majesty, and to 
the behoof of Sir Humfrey Gilbert, knight, his heirs and assigns 
for ever, the General granted in fee-farm divers parcels of land 
lying by the water-side, both in this harbour of St. John, and else- 
where, which was to the owners a great commodity, being thereby 
assured, by their proper inheritance, of grounds convenient to dress 
and to dry their fish; whereof many times before they did fail, being 
prevented by them that came first into the harbour. For which 
grounds they did covenant to pay a certain rent and service unto 
Sir Humfrey Gilbert, his heirs or assigns for ever, and yearly to 
maintain possession of the same, by themselves or their assigns. 

Now remained only to take in provision granted, according as 
every ship was taxed, which did fish upon the coast adjoining. In the 
meanwhile, the General appointed men unto their charge: some 
to repair and trim the ships, others to attend in gathering together 
our supply and provisions: others to search the commodities and 
singularities of the country, to be found by sea or land, and to make 


relation unto the General what either themselves could know by 
their own travail and experience, or by good intelligence o£ English- 
men or strangers, who had longest frequented the same coast. Also 
some observed the elevation of the pole, and drew plots of the coun- 
try exactly graded. And by that I could gather by each man's several 
relation, I have drawn a brief description of the Newfoundland, 
with the commodities by sea or land already made, and such also 
as are in possibility and great likelihood to be made. Nevertheless 
the cards and plots that were drawn, with the due gradation of the 
harbours, bays, and capes, did perish with the Admiral: wherefore 
in the description following, I must omit the particulars of such 

That which we do call the Newfoundland, and the Frenchmen 
Baccalaos, is an island, or rather, after the opinion of some, it con- 
sisteth of sundry islands and broken lands, situate in the north 
regions of America, upon the gulf and entrance of a great river 
called St. Lawrence in Canada; into the which, navigation may be 
made both on the south and north side of this island. The land 
lieth south and north, containing in length between 300 and 400 
miles, accounting from Cape Race, which is in 46 degrees 25 minutes, 
unto the Grand Bay in 52 degrees, of septentrional latitude. The land 
round about hath very many goodly bays and harbours, safe roads 
for ships, the like not to be found in any part of the known 

The common opinion that is had of intemperature and extreme 
cold that should be in this country, as of some part it may be verified, 
namely the north, where I grant it is more cold than in countries of 
Europe, which are under the same elevation : even so it cannot stand 
with reason and nature of the clime, that the south parts should be so 
intemperate as the bruit hath gone. For as the same do lie under the 
climes of Bretagne, Anjou, Poictou in France, between 46 and 49 
degrees, so can they not so much differ from the temperature of 
those countries: unless upon the out-coast lying open unto the ocean 
and sharp winds, it must indeed be subject to more cold than further 
within the land, where the mountains are interposed as walls and 
bulwarks, to defend and to resist the asperity and rigour of the sea 
and weather. Some hold opinion that the Newfoundland might be 

282 gilbert's voyage 

the more subject to cold, by how much it Heth high and near unto 
the middle region. I grant that not in Newfoundland alone, but in 
Germany, Italy and Ajric, even under the equinoctial line, the moun- 
tains are extreme cold, and seldom uncovered of snow, in their culm 
and highest tops, which cometh to pass by the same reason that 
they are extended towards the middle region: yet in the countries 
lying beneath them, it is found quite contrary. Even so, all hills 
having their descents, the valleys also and low grounds must be like- 
wise hot or temperate, as the clime doth give in Newfoundland: 
though I am of opinion that the sun's reflection is much cooled, and 
cannot be so forcible in Newfoundland, nor generally throughout 
America, as in Europe or Afric: by how much the sun in his diurnal 
course from east to west, passeth over, for the most part, dry land 
and sandy countries, before he arriveth at the west of Europe or 
Afric, whereby his motion increaseth heat, with little or no quali- 
fication by moist vapours. Where[as], on che contrary, he passeth 
from Europe and Afric unto America over the ocean, from whence 
he draweth and carrieth with him abundance of moist vapours, 
which do qualify and enfeeble gready the sun's reverberation upon 
this country chieHy of Newfoundland, being so much to the north- 
ward. Nevertheless, as I said before, the cold cannot be so intolerable 
under the latitude of 46, 47, and 48, especial within land, that 
it should be unhabitable, as some do suppose, seeing also there 
are very many people more to the north by a great deal. And in these 
south parts there be certain beasts, ounces or leopards, and birds in 
like manner, which in the summer we have seen, not heard of in 
countries of extreme and vehement coldness. Besides, as in the 
months of June, July, August and September, the heat is somewhat 
more than in England at those seasons: so men remaining upon the 
south parts near unto Cape Race, until after holland-tide,' have 
not found the cold so extreme, nor much differing from the tem- 
perature of England. Those which have arrived there after Novem- 
ber and December have found the snow exceeding deep, whereat 
no marvel, considering the ground upon the coast is rough and 
uneven, and the snow is driven into the places most declining, as the 
like is to be seen with us. The like depth of snow happily shall not 
^ All -hallow-tide (November i). 


be found within land upon the plainer countries, which also are 
defended by the mountains, breaking off the violence of winds and 
weather. But admitting extraordinary cold in those south parts, 
above that with us here, it cannot be so great as in Swedeland, much 
less in Moscovia or Russia: yet are the same countries very populous, 
and the rigour of cold is dispensed with by the commodity of stoves, 
warm clothing, meats and drinks: all of which need not to be want- 
ing in the Newfoundland, if we had intent there to inhabit. 

In the south parts we found no inhabitants, which by all likelihood 
have abandoned those coasts, the same being so much frequented by 
Christians; but in the north are savages altogether harmless. Touch- 
ing the commodities of this country, serving either for sustentation 
of inhabitants or for maintenance of traffic, there are and may be 
made divers; so that it seemeth that nature hath recompensed that 
only defect and incommodity of some sharp cold, by many benefits; 
namely, with incredible quantity, and no less variety, of kinds of 
fish in the sea and fresh waters, as trouts, salmons, and other fish to 
us unknown; also cod, which alone draweth many nations thither, 
and is become the most famous fishing of the world; abundance of 
whales, for which also is a very great trade in the bays of Placentia 
and the Grand Bay, where is made train oil of the whale; herring, 
the largest that have been heard of, and exceeding the Marstrand 
herring of 'Norway; but hitherto was never benefit taken of the her- 
ring fishing. There are sundry other fish very delicate, namely, the 
bonito, lobsters, turbot, with others infinite not sought after; oysters 
having pearl but not orient in colour; I took it, by reason they were 
not gathered in season. 

Concerning the inland commodities, as well to be drawn from 
this land, as from the exceeding large countries adjoining, there is 
nothing which our east and northerly countries of Europe do yield, 
but the like also may be made in them as plentifully, by time and 
industry; namely, resin, pitch, tar, soap-ashes, deal-board, masts for 
ships, hides, furs, flax, hemp, corn, cables, cordage, linen cloth, 
metals, and many more. All which the countries will afford, and 
the soil is apt to yield. The trees for the most in those south parts 
are fir-trees, pine, and cypress, all yielding gum and turpentine. 
Cherry trees bearing fruit no bigger than a small pease. Also pear- 

284 gilbert's voyage 

trees, but fruitless. Other trees of some sort to us unknown. The 
soil along the coast is not deep of earth, bringing forth abundantly 
peasen small, yet good feeding for cattle. Roses passing sweet, like 
unto our musk roses in form; raspises; a berry which we call whorts, 
good and wholesome to eat. The grass and herb doth fat sheep in 
very short space, proved by English merchants which have carried 
sheep thither for fresh victual and had them raised exceeding fat in 
less than three weeks. Peasen which our countrymen have sown in 
the time of May, have come up fair, and been gathered in the be- 
ginning of August, of which our General had a present acceptable 
for the rareness, being the first fruits coming up by art and industry 
in that desolate and dishabited land. Lakes or pools of fresh water, 
both on the tops of mountains and in the valleys; in which are said to 
be muscles not unlike to have pearl, which I had put in trial, if by 
mischance falling unto me I had not been letted from that and other 
good experiments I was minded to make. Fowl both of water and 
land in great plenty and diversity. All kind of green fowl; others 
as big as bustards, yet not the same. A great white fowl called of 
some a gaunt. Upon the land divers sort of hawks, as falcons, and 
others by report. Partridges most plentiful, larger than ours, grey 
and white of colour, and rough-footed like doves, which our men 
after one flight did kill with cudgels, they were so fat and unable to 
fly. Birds, some like blackbirds, linnets, canary birds, and other very 
small. Beasts of sundry kinds; red deer, bufSes, or a beast as it 
seemeth by the tract and foot very large, in manner of an ox. Bears, 
ounces or leopards, some greater and some lesser; wolves, foxes, 
which to the northward a little further are black, whose fur is es- 
teemed in some countries of Europe very rich. Otters, beavers, 
marterns; and in the opinion of most men that saw it, the General 
had brought unto him a sable alive, which he sent unto his brother, 
Sir John Gilbert, Knight, of Devonshire, but it was never delivered, 
as after I understood. We could not observe the hundredth part of 
creatures in those unhabited lands; but these mentioned may induce 
us to glorify the magnificent God, who hath super-abundantly re- 
plenished the earth with creatures serving for the use of man, though 
man hath not used the fifth part of the same, which the more doth 
aggravate the fault and foolish sloth in many of our nation, choos- 


ing rather to live indirectly, and very miserably to live and die within 
this realm pestered with inhabitants, than to adventure as becometh 
men, to obtain an habitation in those remote lands, in which nature 
very prodigally doth minister unto men's endeavours, and for art 
to work upon. For besides these already recounted and infinite more, 
the mountains generally make shew of mineral substance; iron very 
common, lead, and somewhere copper. I will not aver of richer 
metals; albeit by the circumstances following, more than hope may 
be conceived thereof. 

For amongst other charges given to enquire out the singularities 
of this country, the General was most curious in the search of metals, 
commanding the mineral-man and refiner especially to be diligent. 
The same was a Saxoif born, honest, and religious, named Daniel. 
Who after search brought at first some sort of ore, seeming rather 
to be iron than other metal. The next time he found ore, which 
with no small show of contentment he delivered unto the General, 
using protestation that if silver were the thing which might satisfy 
the General and his followers, there it was, advising him to seek no 
further; the peril whereof he undertook upon his life (as dear unto 
him as the crown of England unto her Majesty, that I may use his 
own words) if it fell not out accordingly. 

Myself at this instant liker to die than to live, by a mischance, could 
not follow this confident opinion of our refiner to my own satisfac- 
tion; but afterward demanding our General's opinion therein, and 
to have some part of the ore, he replied, Content yourself, I have 
seen enough; and were it but to satisfy my private humour, I would 
proceed no further. The promise unto my friends, and necessity to 
bring also the south countries within compass of my patent near ex- 
pired, as we have already done these north parts, do only persuade 
me further. And touching the ore, I have sent it aboard, whereof I 
would have no speech to be made so long as we remain within har- 
bour; here being both Portugals, Biscayans, and Frenchmen, not far 
off, from whom must be \ept any bruit or muttering of such matter. 
When we are at sea, proof shall be made; if it be our desire, we may 
return the sooner hither again. Whose answer I judged reasonable, 
and contenting me well; wherewith I will conclude this narration 
' Probably from the mining district of Lower Saxony. 

286 gilbert's voyage 

and description of the Newfoundland, and proceed to the rest of our 
voyage, which ended tragically. 

While the better sort of us were seriously occupied in repairing our 
wants, and contriving of matters for the commodity of our voyage, 
others of another sort and disposition were plotting of mischief; 
some casting to steal away our shipping by night, watching opportu- 
nity by the General's and captains' lying on the shore; whose con- 
spiracies discovered, they were prevented. Others drew together in 
company, and carried away out of the harbours adjoining a ship 
laden with fish, setting the poor men on shore. A great many more 
of our people stole into the woods to hide themselves, attending time 
and means to return home by such shipping as daily departed from 
the coast. Some were sick of fluxes, and many dead; and in brief, by 
one means or other our company was diminished, and many by the 
General licensed to return home. Insomuch as after we had reviewed 
our people, resolved to see an end of our voyage, we grew scant of 
men to furnish all our shipping; it seemed good therefore unto the 
General to leave the Swallow with such provision as might be spared 
for transporting home the sick people. 

The captain of the Delight, or Admiral, returned into England, 
in whose stead was appointed captain Maurice Browne, before cap- 
tain of the Swallow; who also brought with him into the Delight all 
his men of the Swallow, which before have been noted of outrage 
perpetrated and committed upon fishermen there met at sea. 

The General made choice to go in his frigate the Squirrel, whereof 
the captain also was amongst them that returned into England; the 
same frigate being most convenient to discover upon the coast, and 
to search into every harbour or creek, which a great ship could not do. 
Therefore the frigate was prepared with her nettings and fights, and 
overcharged with bases and such small ordnance, more to give a 
show, than with judgment to foresee unto the safety of her and the 
men, which afterward was an occasion also of their overthrow. 

Now having made ready our shipping, that is to say, the Delight, 
the Golden Hind, and the Squirrel, we put aboard our provision, 
which was wines, bread or rusk, fish wet and dry, sweet oils, besides 
many other, as marmalades, figs, limons barrelled, and such like. 
Also we had other necessary provisions for trimming our ships, nets 


and lines to fish withal, boats or pinnaces fit for discovery. In brief, 
we were supplied of our wants commodiously, as if we had been in 
a country or some city populous and plentiful of all things. 

We departed from this harbour of St. John's upon Tuesday, the 
20. of August, which we found by exact observation to be in 47 
degrees 40 minutes; and the next day by night we were at Cape Race, 
25 leagues from the same harborough. This cape lieth south-south- 
west from St. John's; it is a low land, being off from the cape about 
half a league; within the sea riseth up a rock against the point of 
the cape, which thereby is easily known. It is in latitude 46 degrees 
25 minutes. Under this cape we were becalmed a small time, during 
which we laid out hooks and lines to take cod, and drew in less than 
two hours fish so large and in such abundance, that many days after 
we fed upon no other provision. From hence we shaped our course 
unto the island of Sablon, if conveniendy it would so fall out, also 
direcdy to Cape Breton. 

Sablon lieth to the seaward of Cape Breton about 25 leagues, 
whither we were determined to go upon intelligence we had of a 
Portugal, during our abode in St. John's, who was himself present 
when the Portugals, above thirty years past, did put into the same 
island both neat and swine to breed, which were since exceedingly 
multiplied. This seemed unto us very happy tidings, to have in an 
island lying so near unto the main, which we intended to plant upon, 
such store of cattle, whereby we might at all times conveniently be 
relieved of victual, and served of store for breed. 

In this course we trended along the coast, which from Cape Race 
stretcheth into the north-west, making a bay which some called 
Trepassa? Then it goeth out again towards the west, and maketh 
a point, which with Cape Race lieth in manner east and west. But 
this point inclineth to the north, to the west of which goeth in the 
Bay of Placentia. We sent men on land to take view of the soil 
along this coast, whereof they made good report, and some of them 
had will to be planted there. They saw pease growing in great 
abundance everywhere. 

The distance between Cape Race and Cape Breton is 87 leagues; 

' From the Baie des Trfpass^s at the Pointe du Raz in Brittany, from which Cape 
Race itself is named. 

288 gilbert's voyage 

in which navigation we spent eight days, having many times the 
wind indifferent good, yet could we never attain sight of any land 
all that time, seeing we were hindered by the current. At last we fell 
into such flats and dangers, that hardly any of us escaped; where 
nevertheless we lost our Admiral'" with all the men and provisions, 
not knowing certainly the place. Yet for inducing men of skill to 
make conjecture, by our course and way we held from Cape Race 
thither, that thereby the flats and dangers may be inserted in sea 
cards, for warning to others that may follow the same course here- 
after, I have set down the best reckonings that were kept by expert 
men, William Cox, Master of the Hind, and John Paul, his mate, 
both of Limehouse. . , . Our course we held in clearing us of these 
flats was east-south-east, and south-east, and south, fourteen leagues, 
with a marvellous scant wind. 

Upon Tuesday, the 27. of August, toward the evening, our Gen- 
eral caused them in his frigate to sound, who found white sand at 35 
fathom, being then in latitude about 44 degrees. Wednesday, toward 
night, the wind came south, and we bare with the land all that 
night, west-north-west, contrary to the mind of Master Cox; never- 
theless we followed the Admiral, deprived of power to prevent a 
mischief, which by no contradiction could be brought to hold another 
course, alleging they could not make the ship to work better, nor 
to lie otherways. The evening was fair and pleasant, yet not with- 
out token of storm to ensue, and most part of this Wednesday night, 
like the swan that singeth before her death, they in the Admiral, or 
Delight, continued in sounding of trumpets, with drums and fifes; 
also winding the cornets and hautboys, and in the end of their jollity, 
left with the battle and ringing of doleful knells. Towards the even- 
ing also we caught in the Golden Hind a very mighty porpoise with 
a harping iron, having first stricken divers of them, and brought 
away part of their flesh sticking upon the iron, but could recover 
only that one. These also, passing through the ocean in herds, did 
portend storm. I omit to recite frivolous reports by them in the 
frigate, of strange voices the same night, which scared some from 
the helm. 

Thursday, the 29. of August, the wind rose, and blew vehemently 

'"The Delig^it. 


at south and by east, bringing withal rain and thick mist, so that 
we could not see a cable length before us; and betimes in the morn- 
ing we were altogether run and folded in amongst flats and sands, 
amongst which we found shoal and deep in every three or four 
ships' length, after we began to sound: but first we were upon them 
unawares, until Master Cox looking out, discerned, in his judgment, 
white cliffs, crying Land! withal; though we could not after- 
ward descry any land, it being very likely the breaking of the sea 
white, which seemed to be white cliffs, through the haze and thick 

Immediately tokens were given unto the Delight, to cast about to 
seaward, which, being the greater ship, and of burthen 120 tons, was 
yet foremost upon the breach, keeping so ill watch, that they knew 
not the danger, before they felt the same, too late to recover it; for 
presently the Admiral struck aground, and had soon after her stern 
and hinder parts beaten in pieces; whereupKDn the rest (that is to say, 
the frigate, in which was the General, and the Golden Hind) cast 
about east-south-east, bearing to the south, even for our lives, into 
the wind's eye, because that way carried us to the seaward. Making 
out from this danger, we sounded one while seven fathom, then 
five fathom, then four fathom and less, again deeper, immediately 
four fathom, ^then but three fathom, the sea going mightily and high. 
At last we recovered, God be thanked, in some despair, to sea room 

In this distress, we had vigilant eye unto the Admiral, whom we 
saw cast away, without power to give the men succour, neither could 
we espy any of the men that leaped overboard to save themselves, 
either in the same pinnace, or cock, or upon rafters, and such like 
means presenting themselves to men in those extremities, for we 
desired to save the men by every possible means. But all in vain, 
sith God had determined their ruin; yet all that day, and part of the 
next, we beat up and down as near unto the wrack as was possible 
for us, looking out if by good hap we might espy any of them. 

This was a heavy and grievous event, to lose at one blow our chief 
ship freighted with great provision, gathered together with much 
travail, care, long time, and difficulty; but more was the loss of our 
men, which perished to the number almost of a hundred souls. 

290 gilbert's voyage 

Amongst whom was drowned a learned man, a Hungarian," born 
in the city of Buda, called thereof Budceus, who, of piety and zeal 
to good attempts, adventured in this action, minding to record in 
the Latin tongue the gests and things worthy of remembrance, hap- 
pening in this discovery, to the honour of our nation, the same being 
adorned with the eloquent style of this orator and rare poet of our 

Here also perished our Saxon refiner and discoverer of inestimable 
riches, as it was left amongst some of us in undoubted hope. No less 
heavy was the loss of the captain, Maurice Brown, a virtuous, honest, 
and discreet gentleman, overseen only in liberty given late before to 
men that ought to have been restrained, who showed himself a man 
resolved, and never unprepared for death, as by his last act of this 
tragedy appeared, by report of them that escaped this wrack miracu- 
lously, as shall be hereafter declared. For when all hope was past of 
recovering the ship, and that men began to give over, and to save 
themselves, the captain was advised before to shift also for his life, 
by the pinnace at the stern of the ship; but refusing that counsel, 
he would not give example with the first to leave the ship, but used 
all means to exhort his people not to despair, nor so to leave off their 
labour, choosing rather to die than to incur infamy by forsaking his 
charge, which then might be thought to have perished through his 
default, showing an ill precedent unto his men, by leaving the ship 
first himself. With this mind he mounted upon the highest deck, 
where he attended imminent death, and unavoidable; how long, I 
leave it to God, who withdraweth not his comfort from his servants 
at such times. 

In the mean season, certain, to the number of fourteen persons, 
leaped into a small pinnace, the bigness of a Thames barge, which 
was made in the Newfoundland, cut off the rope wherewith it was 
towed, and committed themselves to God's mercy, amidst the storm, 
and rage of sea and winds, destitute of food, not so much as a drop 
of fresh water. The boat seeming overcharged in foul weather with 
company, Edward Headly, a valiant soldier, and well reputed of his 
company, preferring the greater to the lesser, thought better that 
some of them perished than all, made this motion, to cast lots, and 
'1 Stephen Parmenius. 


them to be thrown overboard upon whom the lots fell, thereby to 
lighten the boat, which otherways seemed impossible to live, [and] 
offered himself with the first, content to take his adventure gladly: 
which nevertheless Richard Clarke, that was master of the Admiral, 
and one of this number, refused, advising to abide God's pleasure, 
who was able to save all, as well as a few. The boat was carried 
before the wind, continuing six days and nights in the ocean, and 
arrived at last with the men, alive, but weak, upon the Newfound- 
land, saving that the foresaid Headly, who had been late sick, and 
another called of us Brazil, of his travel into those countries, died by 
the way, famished, and less able to hold out than 'those of better 
health. . • . Thus whom God delivered from drowning, he ap- 
pointed to be famished; who doth give limits to man's times, and 
ordaineth the manner and circumstance of dying: whom, again, he 
will preserve, neither sea nor famine can confound. For those that 
arrived upon the Newfoundland were brought into France by certain 
Frenchmen, then being upon the coast. 

After this heavy chance, we continued in beating the sea up and 
down, expecting when the weather would clear up that we might 
yet bear in with the land, which we judged not far off either the 
continent or some island. For we many times, and in sundry places 
found ground at 50, 45, 40 fathoms, and less. The ground coming 
upon our lead, being sometime oozy sand and other while a broad 
shell, with a little sand about it. 

Our people lost courage daily after this ill success, the weather 
continuing thick and blustering, with increase of cold, winter draw- 
ing on, which took from them all hope of amendment, settling an 
assurance of worse weather to grow upon us every day. The lee- 
side of us lay full of flats and dangers, inevitable if the wind blew 
hard at south. Some again doubted we were ingulfed in the Bay of 
St. Lawrence, the coast full of dangers, and unto us unknown. But 
above all, provision waxed scant, and hope of supply was gone with 
loss of our Admiral. Those in the frigate were already pinched with 
spare allowance, and want of clothes chiefly: whereupon they be- 
sought the General to return to England, before they all perished. 
And to them of the Golden Hind they made signs of distress, point- 
ing to their mouths, and to their clothes thin and ragged: then 


immediately they also of the Golden Hind grew to be of the same 
opinion and desire to return home. 

The former reasons having also moved the General to have com- 
passion of his poor men, in whom he saw no want of good will, but 
of means fit to perform the action they came for, [he] resolved 
upon retire: and calling the captain and master of the Hind, he 
yielded them many reasons, enforcing this unexpected return, withal 
protesting himself greatly satisfied with that he had seen and knew 
already, reiterating these words: Be content, we have seen enough, 
and ta\e no care of expense past: I will set you forth royally the 
next spring, if God send us safe home. Therefore I pray you let us 
no longer strive here, where we fight against the elements. Omitting 
circumstance, how unwillingly the captain and master of the Hind 
condescended to this motion, his own company can testify; yet com- 
forted with the General's promise of a speedy return at spring, and 
induced by other apparent reasons, proving an impossibility to 
accomplish the action at that time, it was concluded on all hands 
to retire. 

So upon Saturday in the afternoon, the 31. of August, we changed 
our course, and returned back for England. At which very instant, 
even in winding about, there passed along between us and towards 
the land which we now forsook a very lion to our seeming, in shape, 
hair, and colour, not swimming after the manner of a beast by 
moving of his feet, but rather sliding upon the water with his whole 
body, excepting the legs, in sight, neither yet diving under, and again 
rising above the water, as the manner is of whales, dolphins, tunnies, 
porpoises, and all other fish: but confidently showing himself above 
water without hiding: notwithstanding, we presented ourselves in 
open view and gesture to amaze him, as all creatures will be com- 
monly at a sudden gaze and sight of men. Thus he passed along 
turning his head to and fro, yawing and gaping wide, with ugly 
demonstration of long teeth, and glaring eyes; and to bid us a fare- 
well, coming right against the Hind, he sent forth a horrible voice, 
roaring or bellowing as doth a lion, which spectacle we all beheld 
so far as we were able to discern the same, as men prone to wonder 
at every strange thing, as this doubtless was, to see a lion in the 


ocean sea, or fish in shape of a lion. What opinion others had thereof, 
and chiefly the General himself, I forbear to deliver: but he took it 
for bonum omen, rejoicing that he was to war against such an 
enemy, if it were the devil. The wind was large for England at our 
return, but very high, and the sea rough, insomuch as the frigate, 
wherein the General went, was almost swallowed up. 

Monday in the afternoon we passed in sight of Cape Race, having 
made as much way in little more than two days and nights back 
again, as before we had done in eight days from Cape Race unto the 
place where our ship perished. Which hindrance thitherward, and 
speed back again, is to be imputed unto the swift current, as well as 
to the winds, which we had more large in our return. This Monday 
the General came aboard the Hind, to have the surgeon of the Hind 
to dress his foot, which he hurt by treading upon a nail: at which 
time we comforted each other with hope of hard success to be all 
past, and of the good to come. So agreeing to carry out lights always 
by night, that we might keep together, he departed into his frigate, 
being by no means to be entreated to tarry in the Hind, which had 
been more for his security. Immediately after followed a sharp storm, 
which we overpassed for that time, praised be God. 

The weather fair, the General came aboard the Hind again, to 
make merry together with the captain, master, and company, which 
was the last meeting, and continued there from morning until night. 
During which time there passed sundry discourses touching affairs 
past and to come, lamenting greatly the loss of his great ship, more 
of the men, but most of all his books and notes, and what else I 
know not, for which he was out of measure grieved, the same doubt- 
less being some matter of more importance than his books, which I 
could not draw from him : yet by circumstance I gathered the same 
to be the ore which Daniel the Saxon had brought unto him in the 
'Newfoundland. Whatsoever it was, the remembrance touched him 
so deep as, not able to contain himself, he beat his boy in great rage, 
even at the same time, so long after the miscarrying of the great ship, 
because upon a fair day, when we were becalmed upon the coast of 
the Newfoundland near unto Cape Race, he sent his boy aboard the 
Admiral to fetch certain things: amongst which, this being chief, was 


yet forgotten and left behind. After which time he could never con- 
veniently send again aboard the great ship, much less he doubted her 
ruin so near at hand. 

Herein my opinion was better confirmed diversely, and by sundry 
conjectures, which maketh me have the greater hope of this rich 
mine. For whereas the General had never before good conceit of 
these north parts of the world, now his mind was wholly fixed upon 
the Newfoundland. And as before he refused not to grant assign- 
ments liberally to them that required the same into these north parts, 
now he became contrarily affected, refusing to make any so large 
grants, especially of St. John's, which certain English merchants 
made suit for, offering to employ their money and travail upon the 
same yet neither by their own suit, nor of others of his own com- 
pany, whom he seemed willing to pleasure, it could be obtained. Also 
laying down his determination in the spring following for disposing 
of his voyage then to be re-attempted: he assigned the captain and 
master of the Golden Hind unto the south discovery, and reserved 
unto himself the north, affirming that this voyage had won his heart 
from the south, and that he was now become a northern man 

Last, being demanded what means he had, at his arrival in Eng- 
land, to compass the charges of so great preparation as he intended 
to make the next spring, having determined upon two fleets, one for 
the south, another for the north; Leave that to me, he replied, / will 
as\ a penny of no man. I will bring good tidings unto her Majesty, 
who will be so gracious to lend me ;/^io,ooo; willing us therefore to 
be of good cheer; for he did than\ God, he said, with all his heart 
for that he had seen, the same being enough for us all, and that we 
needed not to see\ any further. And these last words he would often 
repeat, with demonstration of great fervency of mind, being him- 
self very confident and settled in belief of inestimable good by this 
voyage; which the greater number of his followers nevertheless mis- 
trusted altogether, not being made partakers of those secrets, which 
the General kept unto himself. Yet all of them that are living may 
be witnesses of his words and protestations, which sparingly I have 

Leaving the issue of this good hope unto God, who knoweth the 


truth only, and can at His good pleasure bring the same to light, I 
will hasten to the end o£ this tragedy, which must be knit up in the 
person of our General. And as it was God's ordinance upon him, 
even so the vehement persuasion and entreaty of his friends could 
nothing avail to divert him of a wilful resolution of going through 
in his frigate; which was overcharged upon the decks with fights, 
nettings, and small artillery, too cumbersome for so small a boat that 
was to pass through the ocean sea at that season of the year, when 
by course we might expect much storm of foul weather. Whereof, 
indeed, we had enough. 

But when he was entreated by the captain, master, and other his 
well-willers of the Hind not to venture in the frigate, this was his 
answer: / will not jorsa\e my little company going homeward, with 
whom I have passed so many storms and perils. And in very truth 
he was urged to be so over hard by hard reports given of him that 
he was afraid of the sea; albeit this was rather rashness than advised 
resolution, to prefer the wind of a vain report to the weight of his 
own life. Seeing he would not bend to reason, he had provision out 
of the Hind, such as was wanting aboard his frigate. And so we 
committed him to God's protection, and set him aboard his pinnace, 
we being more than 300 leagues onward of our way home. 

By that time we had brought the Islands of Azores south of us; 
yet we then keeping much to the north, until we had got into the 
height and elevation of England, we met with very foul weather and 
terrible seas, breaking short and high, pyramid-wise. The reason 
whereof seemed to proceed either of hilly grounds high and low 
within the sea, as we see hills and vales upon the land, upon which 
the seas do mount and fall, or else the cause proceedeth of diversity 
of winds, shifting often in sundry points, all which having power to 
move the great ocean, which again is not presently settled, so many 
seas do encounter together, as there had been diversity of winds. 
Howsoever it cometh to pass, men which all their lifetime had oc- 
cupied the sea never saw more outrageous seas. We had also upon 
our mainyard an apparition of a little fire by night, which seamen 
do call Castor and Pollux. But we had only one, which they take an 
evil sign of more tempest; the same is usual in storms. 

Monday, the 9. of September, in the afternoon, the frigate was 

296 gilbert's voyage 

near cast away, oppressed by waves, yet at that time recovered; and 
giving forth signs of joy, the General, sitting abaft with a book in 
his hand, cried out to us in the Hind, so oft as we did approach 
within hearing. We are as near to heaven by sea as by land! Reiter- 
ating the same speech, well beseeming a soldier, resolute in Jesus 
Christ, as I can testify he was. 

The same Monday night, about twelve of the clock, or not long 
after, the frigate being ahead of us in the Golden Hind, suddenly her 
lights were out, whereof as it were in a moment we lost the sight, and 
withal our watch cried the General was cast away, which was too 
true. For in that moment the frigate was devoured and swallowed 
up of the sea. Yet still we looked out all that night, and ever after 
until we arrived upon the coast of England; omitting no small sail 
at sea, unto which we gave not the tokens between us agreed upon 
to have perfect knowledge of each other, if we should at any time 
be separated. 

In great torment of weather and peril of drowning it pleased God 
to send safe home the Golden Hind, which arrived in Falmouth the 
22. of September, being Sunday, not without as great danger escaped 
in a flaw coming from the south-east, with such thick mist that we 
could not discern land to put in right with the haven. From Fal- 
mouth we went to Dartmouth, and lay there at anchor before the 
Range, while the captain went aland to enquire if there had been any 
news of the frigate, which, sailing well, might happily have been 
before us; also to certify Sir John Gilbert, brother unto the General, 
of our hard success, whom the captain desired, while his men were 
yet aboard him, and were witnesses of all occurrences in that voy- 
age, it might please him to take the examination of every person 
particularly, in discharge of his and their faithful endeavour. Sir 
John Gilbert refused so to do, holding himself satisfied with report 
made by the captain, and not altogether despairing of his brother's 
safety, offered friendship and courtesy to the captain and his com- 
pany, requiring to have his bark brought into the harbour; in 
furtherance whereof a boat was sent to help to tow her in. 

Nevertheless, when the captain returned aboard his ship, he found 
his men bent to depart every man to his home; and then the wind 
serving to proceed higher upon the coast, they demanded money to 


carry them home, some to London, others to Harwich, and else- 
where, if the barque should be carried into Dartmouth and they dis- 
charged so far from home, or else to take benefit of the wind, then 
serving to draw nearer home, which should be a less charge unto the 
captain, and great ease unto the men, having else far to go. Reason 
accompanied with necessity persuaded the captain, who sent his 
lawful excuse and cause of this sudden departure unto Sir John Gil- 
bert, by the boat of Dartmouth, and from thence the Golden Hind 
departed and took harbour at Weymouth. All the men tired with 
the tediousness of so unprofitable a voyage to their seeming, in which 
their long expense of time, much toil and labour, hard diet, and con- 
tinual hazard of life was unrecompensed; their captain nevertheless 
by his great charges impaired greatly thereby, yet comforted in the 
goodness of God, and His undoubted providence following him in 
all that voyage, as it doth always those at other times whosoever 
have confidence in Him alone. Yet have we more near feeling and 
perseverance of His powerful hand and protection when God doth 
bring us together with others into one same peril, in which He 
leaveth them and delivereth us, making us- thereby the beholders, 
but not partakers, of their ruin. Even so, amongst very many diffi- 
culties, discontentments, mutinies, conspiracies, sicknesses, mortality, 
spoilings, and wracks by sea, which were afflictions more than in so 
small a fleet or so short a time may be supposed, albeit true in every 
particularity, as partly by the former relation may be collected, and 
some I suppressed with silence for their sakes living, it pleased God 
to support this company, of which only one man died of a malady 
inveterate, and long infested, the rest kept together in reasonable 
contentment and concord, beginning, continuing, and ending the 
voyage, which none else did accomplish, either not pleased with the 
action, or impatient of wants, or prevented by death. 

Thus have I delivered the contents of the enterprise and last action 
of Sir Humjrey Gilbert, Knight, faithfully, for so much as I thought 
meet to be published; wherein may always appear, though he be 
extinguished, some sparks of his virtues, he remaining firm and 
resolute in a purpose by all pretence honest and godly, as was 
this, to discover, possess, and to reduce unto the service of God and 
Christian piety those remote and heathen countries of America not 

298 gilbert's voyage 

actually possessed by Christians, and most rightly appertaining unto 
the crown of England, unto the which as his zeal deserveth high 
commendation, even so he- may justly be taxed of temerity, and pre- 
sumption rather, in two respects. First, when yet there was only 
probability, not a certain and determinate place of habitation selected, 
neither any demonstration if commodity there in esse, to induce his 
followers; nevertheless, he both was too prodigal of his own patri- 
mony and too careless of other men's expenses to employ both his 
and their substance upon a ground imagined good. The which fall- 
ing, very like his associates were promised, and made it their best 
reckoning, to be salved some other way, which pleased not God to 
prosper in his first and great preparation. Secondly, when by his 
former preparation he was enfeebled of ability and credit to perform 
his designments, as it were impatient to abide in expectation better 
opportunity, and means which God might raise, he thrust himself 
again into the action, for which he was not fit, presuming the cause 
pretended on God's behalf would carry him to the desired end. Into 
which having thus made re-entry, he could not yield again to with- 
draw, though he saw no encouragement to proceed; lest his credit, 
foiled in his first attempt, in a second should utterly be disgraced. 
Between extremities he made a right adventure, putting all to God 
and good fortune; and, which was worst, refused not to entertain 
every person and means whatsoever, to furnish out this expedition, 
the success whereof hath been declared. 

But such is the infinite bounty of God, who from every evil de- 
riveth good. For besides that fruit may grow in time of our travel- 
ling into those north-west lands, the crosses, turmoils, and afflictions, 
both in the preparation and execution of this voyage, did correct the 
intemperate humours which before we noted to be in this gendeman, 
and made unsavoury and less delightful his other manifold virtues. 
Then as he was refined, and made nearer drawing unto the image of 
God, so it pleased the Divine will to resume him unto Himself, 
whither both his and every other high and noble mind have always 




Sir Walter Raleigh may be taken as the great typical figure of the 
age of EHzabeth. Courtier and statesman, soldier and sailor, scientist and 
man of letters, he engaged in almost all the main lines of public activity 
in his time, and was distinguished in them all. 

His father was a Devonshire gentleman of property, connected with 
many of the distinguished families of the south of England. Walter was 
born about 1552 and was educated at Oxford. He first saw military 
service in the Huguenot army in France in 1569, and in 1578 engaged, 
with his half-brother. Sir Humphrey Gilbert, in the first of his expedi- 
tions against the Spaniards. After some service in Ireland, he attracted 
the attention of the Queen, and rapidly rose to the perilous position of her 
chief favorite. With her approval, he fitted out two expeditions for the 
colonization of Virginia, neither of which did his royal mistress permit 
him to lead in person, and neither of which succeeded in establishing a 
permanent settlement. 

After about six years of high favor, Raleigh found his position at 
court endangered by the rivalry of Essex, and in 1592, on returning from 
convoying a squadron he had fitted out against the Spanish, he was 
thrown into the Tower by the orders of the Queen, who had discovered 
an intrigue between him and one of her ladies whom he subsequently 
married. He was ultimately released, engaged in various naval exploits, 
and in 1594 sailed for South America on the voyage described in the 
following narrative. 

On the death of Elizabeth, Raleigh's misfortunes increased. He was 
accused of treason against James I, condemned, reprieved, and imprisoned 
for twelve years, during which he wrote his "History of the World," and 
engaged in scientific researches. In 1616 he was liberated, to make 
another attempt to find the gold mine in Venezuela; but the expedition 
was disastrous, and, on his return, Raleigh was executed on the old 
charge in 1618. In his vices as in his virtues, Raleigh is a thorough 
representative of the great adventurers who laid the foundations of the 
British Empire. 


The Discovery of the large, rich, and beautiful Empire of Guiana; tvith 
a Relation of the great and golden City of Manoa, which the Span- 
iards call El Dorado, and the Provinces of Emeria, Aromaia, 
Amapaia, and other Countries, with their rivers, adjoining. Per- 
formed in the year 7595 by Sir WALTER RALEIGH, Knight, 
Captain of her Majesty's Guard, Lord Warden of the Stannaries, 
and her Highness' Lieutenant-general of the County of Corn- 

To the Right Honourable my singular good Lord and \insman 
CHARLES HOWARD, Knight of the Garter, Baron, and Coun- 
cillor, and of the Admirals of England the most renowned; and to 
the Right Honourable Sir ROBERT CECIL, Knight, Councillor in 
her Highness' Privy Councils. 

FOR your Honours' many honourable and friendly parts, I have 
hitherto only returned promises; and now, for answer of both 
your adventures, I have sent you a bundle of papers, which I have 
divided between your Lordship and Sir Robert Cecil, in these two 
respects chiefly; first, for that it is reason that wasteful factors, when they 
have consumed such stocks as they had in trust, do yield some colour for 
the same in their account; secondly,for that I am assured that whatsoever 
shall be done, or written, by me, shall need a double protection and 
defence. The trial that I had of both your loves, when I was left of all, 
but of malice and revenge, makes me still presume that you will be 
pleased (knowing what litde power I had to perform aught, and the 
great advantage of forewarned enemies) to answer that out of knowledge, 
which others shall but object out of malice. In my more happy times as 
I did especially honour you both, so I found that your loves sought me 
out in the darkest shadow of adversity, and the same affection which 
accompanied my better fortune soared not away from me in my many 
miseries; all which though I cannot requite, yet I shall ever acknowledge; 
and the great debt which I have no power to pay, I can do no more 
for a time but confess to be due. It is true that as my errors were great, 
so they have yielded very grievous effects; and if aught might have been 
deserved in former times, to have counterpoised any part of offences, the 



fruit thereof, as it seemeth, was long before fallen from the tree, and the 
dead stock only remained. I did therefore, even in the winter of my life, 
undertake these travails, fitter for bodies less blasted with misfortunes, 
for men of greater ability, and for minds of better encouragement, that 
thereby, if it were possible, I might recover but the moderation of 
excess, and the least taste of the greatest plenty formerly possessed. If I 
had known other way to win, if I had imagined how greater adventures 
might have regained, if I could conceive what farther means I might 
yet use but even to appease so powerful displeasure, I would not doubt 
but for one year more to hold fast my soul in my teeth till it were per- 
formed. Of that little remain I had, I have wasted in effect all herein. 
I have undergone many constructions; I have been accompanied with 
many sorrows, with labour, hunger, heat, sickness, and peril; it appeareth, 
notwithstanding, that I made no other bravado of going to the sea, than 
was meant, and that I was never hidden in Cornwall, or elsewhere, as 
was supposed. They have grossly belied me that forejudged that I would 
rather become a servant to the Spanish king than return; and the rest 
were much mistaken, who would have persuaded that I was too easeful 
and sensual to undertake a journey of so great travail. But if what I 
have done receive the gracious construction of a painful pilgrimage, and 
purchase the least remission, I shall think all too little, and that there 
were wanting to the rest many miseries. But if both the times past, the 
present, and what may be in the future, do all by one grain of gall con- 
tinue in eternal distaste, I do not then know whether I should bewail 
myself, either for my too much travail and expense, or condemn myself 
for doing less than that which can deserve nothing. From myself I have 
deserved no thanks, for I am returned a beggar, and withered; but that 
I might have bettered my poor estate, it shall appear from the following 
discourse, if I had not only respected her Majesty's future honour and 

It became not the former fortune, in which I once lived, to go journeys 
of picory;' it had sorted ill with the offices of honour, which by her 
Majesty's grace I hold this day in England, to run from cape to cape and 
from place to place, for the pillage of ordinary prizes. Many years since 
I had knowledge, by relation, of that mighty, rich, and beautiful empire 
of Guiana, and of that great and golden city, which the Spaniards call 
El Dorado, and the naturals Manoa, which city was conquered, re-edified, 
and enlarged by a younger son of Guayna-capac , Emperor of Peru, at 
such time as Francisco Pizarro and others conquered the said empire 
' Fr. picoree (marauding). 


from his two elder brethren, Gaascar and Atabalipa, both then contend- 
ing for the same, the one being favoured by the orejones of Cuzco, the 
other by the people of Caxamalca. I sent my servant Jacob Whiddon, 
the year before, to get knowledge of the passages, and I had some light 
from Captain Par\er, sometime my servant, and now attending on your 
Lordship, that such a place there was to the southward of the great bay 
of Charuas, or Guanipa: but I found that it was 600 miles farther off 
than they supposed, and many impediments to them unknown and 
unheard. After I had displanted Don Antonio de Berreo, who was upon 
the same enterprise, leaving my ships at Trinidad, at the port called 
Curiapan, I wandered 400 miles into the said country by land and river; 
the particulars I will leave to the following discourse. 

The country hath more quantity of gold, by manifold, than the best 
parts of the Indies, or Peru. All the most of the kings of the borders are 
already become her Majesty's vassals, and seem to desire nothing more 
than her Majesty's protection and the return of the English nation. It 
hath another ground and assurance of riches and glory than the voyages 
of the West Indies; an easier way to invade the best parts thereof than by 
the common course. The king of Spain is not so impoverished by taking 
three or four port towns in America as we suppose; neither are the riches 
of Peru or Nueva Espana so left by the sea side as it can be easily washed 
away with a great flood, or spring tide, or left dry upon the sands on 
a low ebb. The port towns are few and poor in respect of the rest within 
the land, and are of little defence, and are only rich when the fleets are 
to receive the treasure for Spain; and we might think the Spaniards very 
simple, having so many horses and slaves, if they could not upon two 
days' warning carry all the gold they have into the land, and far enough 
from the reach of our footmen, especially the Indies being, as they are 
for the most part, so mountainous, full of woods, rivers, and marishes. 
In the port towns of the province of Venezuela, as Cumana, Cora, and 
St. lago (whereof Coro and St. lago were taken by Captain Preston, and 
Cumana and St. Josepho by us) we found not the value of one real of 
plate in either. But the cities of Barquasimeta, Valencia, St. Sebastian, 
Cororo, St. Lucia, Laguna, Maracaiba, and Truxillo, are not so easily 
invaded. Neither doth the burning of those on the coast impoverish the 
king of Spain any one ducat; and if we sack the River of Hacha, St. 
Martha, and Carthagena, which are the ports of Nuevo Reyno and 
Popayan, there are besides within the land, which are indeed rich and 
prosperous, the towns and cities of Merida, Lagrita, St. Christophoro, 
the great cities of Pamplona, Santa Fe de Bogota, Tunxa, and Mozo, 


where the emeralds are found, the towns and cities of Marequita, Velez, 
la Villa de Leiva, Palma, Honda, Angostura, the great city of Timana, 
Tocaima, St. Aguila, Pasto, [St.] J ago, the great city of Popayan itself, 
Los Remedios, and the rest. If we take the ports and villages within the 
bay of Uraba in the kingdom or rivers of Darien and Caribana, the cities 
and towns of 5^ ]uan de Rodas, of Cassaris, of Antiochia, Caramanta, 
Call, and Anserma have gold enough to pay the king's part, and are 
not easily invaded by way of the ocean. Or if Nombre de Dios and 
Panama be taken, in the province of Castillo del Oro, and the villages 
upon the rivers of Cenu and Chagre; Peru hath, besides those, and besides 
the magnificent cities of Quito and Lima, so many islands, ports, cities, 
and mines as if I should name them with the rest it would seem incredible 
to the reader. Of all which, because I have written a particular treatise 
of the West Indies, I will omit the repetition at this time, seeing that in 
the said treatise I have anatomized the rest of the sea towns as well of 
Nicaragua, Yucatan, Nueva Espana, and the islands, as those of the 
inland, and by what means they may be best invaded, as far as any mean 
judgment may comprehend. 

But I hope it shall appear that there is a way found to answer every 
man's longing; a better Indies for her Majesty than the king of Spain 
hath any; which if it shall please her Highness to undertake, I shall most 
willingly end the rest of my days in following the same. If it be left to 
the spoil and sackage of common persons, if the love and service of so 
many nations be despised, so great riches and so mighty an empire 
refused; I hope her Majesty will yet take my humble desire and my 
labour therein in gracious part, which, if it had not been in respect of 
her Highness' future honour and riches, could have laid hands on and 
ransomed many of the kings and caciqui of the country, and have had a 
reasonable proportion of gold for their redemption. But I have chosen 
rather to bear the burden of poverty than reproach; and rather to endure 
a second travail, and the chances thereof, than to have defaced an enter- 
prise of so great assurance, until I knew whether it pleased God to put 
a disposition in her princely and royal heart either to follow or forslow' 
the same. I will therefore leave it to His ordinance that hath only power 
in all things; and do humbly pray that your honours will excuse such 
errors as, without the defence of art, overrun in every part the following 
discourse, in which I have neither studied phrase, form, nor fashion; 
that you will be pleased to esteem me as your own, though over dearly 
bought, and I shall ever remain ready to do you all honour and service. 
^Neglect, decline (lose through sloth). 


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



mean to work the same upon the upper part, seeking the sides and cir- 
cuit of the said rock, I found a cHft in the same, from whence with dag- 
gers, and with the head of an axe, we got out some small quantity 
thereof; of which kind of white stone, wherein gold is engendered, we saw 
divers hills and rocks in every part of Guiana wherein we travelled. Of 
this there have been made many trials; and in London it was first assayed 
by Master Westwood, a refiner dwelling in Wood Street, and it held after 
the rate of twelve or thirteen thousand pounds a ton. Another sort was 
afterward tried by Master Bulmar, and Master Dimoc\, assay-master; 
and it held after the rate of three and twenty thousand pounds a ton. 
There was some of it again tried by Master Palmer, Comptroller of the 
Mint, and Master Dimoc^ in Goldsmith's Hall, and it held after six and 
twenty thousand and nine hundred pounds a ton. There was also at the 
same time, and by the same persons, a trial made of the dust of the said 
mine; which held eight pounds and six ounces weight of gold in the 
hundred. There was likewise at the same time a trial of an image of 
copper made in Guiana, which held a third part of gold, besides divers 
trials made in the country, and by others in London. But because there 
came ill with the good, and belike the said alderman was not presented 
with the best, it hath pleased him therefore to scandal all the rest, and 
to deface the enterprise as much as in him lieth. It hath also been con- 
cluded by divers that if there had been any such ore in Guiana, and the 
same discovered, that I would have brought home a greater quantity 
thereof. First, I was not bound to satisfy any man of the quantity, but 
only such as adventured, if any store had been returned thereof; but it is 
very true that had all their mountains been of massy gold it was impos- 
sible for us to have made any longer stay to have wrought the same; and 
whosoever hath seen with what strength of stone the best gold ore is 
environed, he will not think it easy to be had out in heaps, and especially 
by us, who had neither men, instruments, nor time, as it is said before, 
to perform the same. 

There were on this discovery no less than an hundred persons, who 
can all witness that v/hen we passed any branch of the river to view the 
land within, and stayed from our boats but six hours, we were driven to 
wade to the eyes at our return; and if we attempted the same the day 
following, it was impossible either to ford it, or to swim it, both by 
reason of the swiftness, and also for that the borders were so pestered 
with fast woods, as neither boat nor man could find place either to land 
or to embark; for in June, July, August, and September it is impossible 


to navigate any of those rivers; for such is the fury of the current, and 
there are so many trees and woods overflovifn, as if any boat but touch 
upon any tree or stake it is impossible to save any one person therein. 
And ere we departed the land it ran with such swiftness as we drave 
down, most commonly against the wind, little less than an hundred 
miles a day. Besides, our vessels were no other than wherries, one little 
barge, a small cock-boat, and a bad galiota which we framed in haste 
for that purpose at Trinidad; and those little boats had nine or ten men 
apiece, with all their victuals and arms. It is further true that we were 
about four hundred miles from our ships, and had been a month from 
them, which also we left weakly manned in an open road, and had 
promised our return in fifteen days. 

Others have devised that the same ore was had from Barbary, and that 
we carried it with us into Guiana. Surely the singularity of that device I 
do not well comprehend. For mine own part, I am not so much in love 
with these long voyages as to devise thereby to cozen myself, to lie hard, 
to fare worse, to be subjected to perils, to diseases, to ill savours, to be 
parched and withered, and withal to sustain the care and labour of such 
an enterprise, except the same had more comfort than the fetching of 
marcasite in Guiana, or buying of gold ore in Barbary. But I hope the 
better sort will judge me by themselves, and that the way of deceit is not 
the way of honour or good opinion. I have herein consumed much time, 
and many crowns; and I had no other respect or desire than to serve her 
Majesty and my country thereby. If the Spanish nation had been of like 
belief to these detractors we should little have feared or doubted their 
attempts, wherewith we now are daily threatened. But if we now con- 
sider of the actions both of Charles the Fijth, who had the maidenhead 
of Peru and the abundant treasures of Atabalipa, together with the affairs 
of the Spanish king now living, what territories he hath purchased, what 
he hath added to the acts of his predecessors, how many kingdoms he 
hath endangered, how many armies, garrisons, and navies he hath, and 
doth maintain, the great losses which he hath repaired, as in Eighty-eight 
above an hundred sail of great ships with their artillery, and that no year 
is less infortunate, but that many vessels, treasures, and people are 
devoured, and yet notwithstanding he beginneth again like a storm to 
threaten shipwrack to us all; we shall find that these abilities rise not from 
the trades of sacks and Seville oranges, nor from aught else that either 
Spain, Portugal, or any of his other provinces produce; it is his Indian 
gold that endangereth and disturbeth all the nations of Europe; it pur- 


chaseth intelligence, creepeth into counsels, and setteth bound loyalty at 
liberty in the greatest monarchies of Europe. If the Spanish king can 
keep us from foreign enterprises, and from the impeachment of his 
trades, either by offer of invasion, or by besieging us in Britain, Ireland, 
or elsewhere, he hath then brought the work of our peril in great for- 

Those princes that abound in treasure have great advantages over the 
rest, if they once constrain them to a defensive war, where they are driven 
once a year or oftener to cast lots for their own garments; and from all 
such shall all trades and intercourse be taken away, to the general loss 
and impoverishment of the kingdom and commonweal so reduced. 
Besides, when our men are constrained to fight, it hath not the like hope 
as when they are pressed and encouraged by the desire of spoil and 
riches. Farther, it is to be doubted how those that in time of victory 
seem to affect their neighbour nations will remain after the first view 
of misfortunes or ill success; to trust, also, to the doubtfulness of a battle 
is but a fearful and uncertain adventure, seeing therein fortune is as 
likely to prevail as virtue. It shall not be necessary to allege all that 
might be said, and therefore I will thys conclude; that whatsoever king- 
dom shall be enforced to defend itself may be compared to a body dan- 
gerously diseased, which for a season may be preserved with vulgar 
medicines, but in a short time, and by little and little, the same must 
needs fall to the ground and be dissolved. I have therefore laboured all 
my life, both according to my small power and persuasion, to advance all 
those attempts that might either promise return of profit to ourselves, or 
at least be a let and impeachment to the quiet course and plentiful trades 
of the Spanish nation; who, in my weak judgement, by such a war were 
as easily endangered and brought from his powerfulness as any prince in 
Europe, if it be considered from how many kingdoms and nations his 
revenues are gathered, and those so weak in their own beings and so far 
severed from mutual succour. But because such a preparation and reso- 
lution is not to be hoped for in haste, and that the time which our 
enemies embrace cannot be had again to advantage, I will hof>e that 
these provinces, and that empire now by me discovered, shall suffice to 
enable her Majesty and the whole kingdom with no less quantities of 
treasure than the king of Spain hath in all the Indies, East and West, 
which he possesseth; which if the same be considered and followed, ere 
the Spaniards enforce the same, and if her Majesty will undertake it, I 
will be contented to lose her Highness* favour and good opinion for 


ever, and my life withal, if the same be not found rather to exceed than 
to equal whatsoever is in this discourse promised and declared. I will 
now refer the reader to the following discourse, with the hope that the 
perilous and chargeable labours and endeavours of such as thereby seek 
the profit and honour of her Majesty, and the English nation, shall by 
men of quality and virtue receive such construction and good acceptance 
as themselves would like to be rewarded withal in the like. 


ON Thursday, the sixth o£ February, in the year 1595, we 
departed England, and the Sunday following had sight of 
the north cape of Spain, the wind for the most part continu- 
ing prosperous; we passed in sight of the Burlings, and the Rock, 
and so onwards for the Canaries, and fell with Fuerteventura the 
17. of the same month, where we spent two or three days, and re- 
lieved our companies with some fresh meat. From thence we coasted 
by the Grand Canaria, and so to Teneriffe, and stayed there for the 
Lion's Whelp, your Lordship's ship, and for Captain Amyas Preston 
and the rest. But when after seven or eight days we found them not, 
we departed and directed our course for Trinidad, with mine own 
ship, and a small barque of Captain Cros/s only; for we had before 
lost sight of a small galego on the coast of Spain, which came with 
us from Plymouth. We arrived at Trinidad the 22. of March, cast- 
ing anchor at Point Curiapan, which the Spaniards call Punta de 
Gallo, which is situate in eight degrees or thereabouts. We abode 
there four or five days, and in all that time we came not to the speech 
of any Indian or Spaniard. On the coast we saw a fire, as we sailed 
from the Point Carao towards Curiapan, but for fear of the Span- 
iards none durst come to speak with us. I myself coasted it in my 
barge close aboard the shore and landed in every cove, the better to 
know the island, while the ships kept the channel. From Curiapan 
after a few days we turned up north-east to recover that place which 
the Spaniards call Puerto de los Espanoles,^ and the inhabitants 
Conquerabia; and as before, revictualling my barge, I left the ships 
and kept by the shore, the better to come to speech with some of 
the inhabitants, and also to understand the rivers, watering-places, 
and ports of the island, which, as it is rudely done, my purpose is to 
send your Lordship after a few days. From Curiapan I came to 

' Exploration. 

^The name is derived from the Guayano Indians, on the Orinoco. 

*Now Port o£ Spain. 



a port and seat of Indians called Parico, where we found a fresh 
water river, but saw no people. From thence I rowed to another 
port, called by the naturals Piche, and by the Spaniards Tierra de 
Brea. In the way between both were divers little brooks of fresh 
water, and one salt river that had store of oysters upon the branches 
of the trees, and were very salt and well tasted. All their oysters 
grow upon those boughs and sprays, and not on the ground; the like 
is commonly seen in other places of the West Indies, and elsewhere. 
This tree is described by Andrew Thevet, in his France Antarctique, 
and the form figured in the book as a plant very strange; and by 
Pliny in his twelfth book of his Natural History. But in this island, 
as also in Guiana, there are very many of them. 

At this point, called Tierra de Brea or Piche, there is that abun- 
dance of stone pitch that all the ships of the world may be therewith 
laden from thence; and we made trial of it in trimming our ships 
to be most excellent good, and melteth not with the sun as the pitch 
of Norway, and therefore for ships trading the south parts very 
profitable. From thence we went to the mountain foot called Anna- 
perima, and so passing the river Carone, on which the Spanish city 
was seated, we met with our ships at Puerto de los Espanoles or 

This island of Trinidad hath the form of a sheephook, and is 
but narrow; the north part is very mountainous; the soil is very 
excellent, and will bear sugar, ginger, or any other commodity that 
the Indies yield. It hath store of deer, wild porks, fruit, fish, and 
fowl; it hath also for bread sufficient maize, cassavi, and of those 
roots and fruits which are common everywhere in the West Indies. 
It hath divers beasts which the Indies have not; the Spaniards con- 
fessed that they found grains of gold in some of the rivers; but they 
having a purpose to enter Guiana, the magazine of all rich metals, 
cared not to spend time in the search thereof any further. This 
island is called by the people thereof Cairi, and in it are divers 
nations. Those about Parico are called ]ajo, those at Punta de Carao 
are of the Arwacas^ and between Carao and Curiapan they are called 
Salvajos. Between Carao and Punta de Galera are the Nepojos, and 
those about the Spanish city term themselves Carinepagotes.^ Of 
' Arawaks. ' Carib-people. 


the rest of the nations, and of other ports and rivers, I leave to speak 
here, being impertinent to my purpose, and mean to describe them 
as they are situate in the particular plot and description of the island, 
three parts whereof I coasted with my barge, that I might the better 
describe it. 

Meeting with the ships at Puerto de los Espanoles, we found at 
the landing-place a company of Spaniards who kept a guard at the 
descent; and they offering a sign of peace, I sent Captain Whiddon 
to speak with them, whom afterwards to my great grief I left 
buried in the said island after my return from Guiana, being a man 
most honest and valiant. The Spaniards seemed to be desirous to 
trade with us, and to enter into terms of peace, more for doubt of 
their own strength than for aught else; and in the end, upon pledge, 
some of them came aboard. The same evening there stale also aboard 
us in a small canoa two Indians, the one of them being a cacique or 
lord of the people, called Cantyman, who had the year before been 
with Captain Whiddon, and was of his acquaintance. By this Canty- 
man we understood what strength the Spaniards had, how far it 
was to their city, and of Don Antonio de Berreo, the governor, who 
was said to be slain in his second attempt of Guiana, but was not. 

While we remained at Puerto de los Espanoles some Spaniards 
came aboard us to buy linen of the company, and such other things 
as they wanted, and also to view our ships and company, all which 
I entertained kindly and feasted after our manner. By means 
whereof I learned of one and another as much of the estate of Guiana 
as I could, or as they knew; for those poor soldiers having been many 
years without wine, a few draughts made them merry, in which 
mood they vaunted of Guiana and the riches thereof, and all what 
they knew of the ways and passages; myself seeming to purpose 
nothing less than the entrance or discovery thereof, but bred in them 
an opinion that I was bound only for the relief of those English 
which I had planted in Virginia, whereof the bruit was come among 
them; which I had performed in my return, if extremity of weather 
had not forced me from the said coast. 

I found occasions of staying in this place for two causes. The one 
was to be revenged of Berreo, who the year before, 1594, had betrayed 
eight of Captain Whiddon's men, and took them while he departed 


from them to seek the Edward Bonaventure, which arrived at Trini- 
dad the day before from the East Indies: in whose absence Berreo 
sent a canoa aboard the pinnace only with Indians and dogs inviting 
the company to go with them into the woods to kill a deer. Who, 
like wise men, in the absence of their captain followed the Indians, 
but were no sooner one arquebus shot from the shore, but Berreo's 
soldiers lying in ambush had them all, notwithstanding that he had 
given his word to Captain Whiddon that they should take water 
and wood safely. The other cause of my stay was, for that by dis- 
course with the Spaniards I daily learned more and more of Guiana, 
of the rivers and passages, and of the enterprise of Berreo, by what 
means or fault 'he failed, and how he meant to prosecute the same. 

While we thus spent the time I was assured by another cacique of 
the north side of the island, that Berreo had sent to Margarita and 
Cumana for soldiers, meaning to have given me a cassado^ at parting, 
if it had been possible. For although he had given order through 
all the island that no Indian should come aboard to trade with me 
upon pain of hanging and quartering (having executed two of them 
for the same, which I afterwards found), yet every night there 
came some with most lamentable complaints of his cruelty: how he 
had divided the island and given to every soldier a part; that he 
made the ancient caciques, which were lords of the country, to be 
their slaves; that he kept them in chains, and dropped their naked 
bodies with burning bacon, and such other torments, which I found 
afterwards to be true. For in the city, after I entered the same, there 
were five of the lords or little kings, which they call caciques in the 
West Indies, in one chain, almost dead of famine, and wasted with 
torments. These are called in their own language acarewana, and 
now of late since English, French, and Spanish, are come among 
them, they call themselves captains, because they perceive that the 
chiefest of every ship is called by that name. Those five captains in 
the chain were called Wannawanare, Carroaori, Maquarima, Tarroo- 
panama, and Aterima. So as both to be revenged of the former 
wrong, as also considering that to enter Guiana by small boats, to 
depart 400 or 500 miles from my ships, and to leave a garrison in my 
back interested in the same enterprise, who also daily expected sup- 
* Cachado (cachada) = a blow. 


plies out of Spain, I should have savoured very much of the ass; 
and therefore taking a time of most advantage, I set upon the Corps 
du garde in the evening, and having put them to the sword, sent 
Captain Caulfield onwards with sixty soldiers, and myself followed 
with forty more, and so took their new city, which they called St. 
Joseph, by break of day. They abode not any fight after a few shot, 
and all being dismissed, but only Berreo and his companion,' I 
brought them with me aboard, and at the instance of the Indians I 
set their new city of St. Joseph on fire. The same day arrived Captain 
George Gifford with your lordship's ship, and Captain Keymis, 
whom I lost on the coast of Spain, with the galego, and in them 
divers gentlemen and others, which to our little army was a great 
comfort and supply. 

We then hasted away towards our purposed discovery, and first I 
called all the captains of the island together that were enemies to 
the Spaniards; for there were some which Berreo had brought out of 
other countries, and planted there to eat out and waste those that 
were natural of the place. And by my Indian interpreter, which I 
carried out of England, I made them understand that I was the 
servant of a queen who was the great cacique of the north, and a 
virgin, and had more caciqui under her than there were trees in that 
island; that she was an enemy to the Castellani in respect of their 
tyranny and oppression, and that she delivered all such nations about 
her, as were by them oppressed; and having freed all the coast of the 
northern world from their servitude, had sent me to free them also, 
and withal to defend the country of Guiana from their invasion and 
conquest. I shewed them her Majesty's picture, which they so ad- 
mired and honoured, as it had been easy to have brought them 
idolatrous thereof. The like and a more large discourse I made to the 
rest of the nations, both in my passing to Guiana and to those of 
the borders, so as in that part of the world her Majesty is very 
famous and admirable; whom they now call Ezrabeta cassipuna 
AQUEREWANA, which is as much as 'Elizabeth, the Great Princess, or 
Greatest Commander.' This done, we left Puerto de los Espanoles, 
and returned to Curiapan, and having Berreo my prisoner, I gathered 
from him as much of Guiana as he knew. This Berreo is a gentle- 
*Thc Portuguese captain Alvaro Jorge (see p. 356). 


man well descended, and had long served the Spanish king in Milan, 
Naples, the Low Countries, and elsewhere, very valiant and liberal, 
and a gentleman of great assuredness, and of a great heart. I used 
him according to his estate and worth in all things I could, according 
to the small means I had. 

I sent Captain Whiddon the year before to get what knowledge 
he could of Guiana: and the end of my journey at this time was to 
discover and enter the same. But my intelligence was far from truth, 
for the country is situate about 600 English miles further from the 
sea than I was made believe it had been. Which afterwards under- 
standing to be true by Berreo, I kept it from the knowledge of my 
company, who else would never have been brought to attempt the 
same. Of which 600 miles I passed 400, leaving my ships so far from 
me at anchor in the sea, which was more of desire to perform that 
discovery than of reason, especially having such poor and weak ves- 
sels to transport ourselves in. For in the bottom of an old galego 
which I caused to be fashioned like a galley, and in one barge, two 
wherries, and a ship-boat of the Lion's Whelp, we carried 100 per- 
sons and their victuals for a month in the same, being all driven to 
lie in the rain and weather in the open air, in the burning sun, and 
upon the hard boards, and to dress our meat, and to carry all man- 
ner of furniture in them. Wherewith they were so pestered and un- 
savoury, that what with victuals being most fish, with the wet clothes 
of so many men thrust together, and the heat of the sun, I will under- 
take there was never any prison in England that could be found 
more unsavoury and loathsome, especially to myself, who had for 
many years before been dieted and cared for in a sort far more 

If Captain Preston had not been persuaded that he should have 
come too late to Trinidad to have found us there (for the month 
was expired which I promised to tarry for him there ere he could 
recover the coast of Spain) but that it had pleased God he might 
have joined with us, and that we had entered the country but some 
ten days sooner ere the rivers were overflown, we had adventured 
either to have gone to the great city of Manoa, or at least taken so 
many of the other cities and towns nearer at hand, as would have 
made a royal return. But it pleased not God so much to favour me 
at this time. If it shall be my lot to prosecute the same, I shall will- 


ingly spend my life therein. And if any else shall be enabled there- 
unto, and conquer the same, I assure him thus much; he shall per- 
form more than ever was done in Mexico by Cortes, or in Peru by 
Pizarro, whereof the one conquered the empire of Mutezuma, the 
other of Guascar and Atabalipa. And whatsoever prince shall possess 
it, that prince shall be lord of more gold, and of a more beautiful 
empire, and of more cities and people, than either the king of Spain 
or the Great Tur\. 

But because there may arise many doubts, and how this empire of 
Guiana is become so populous, and adorned with so many great 
cities, towns, temples, and treasures, I thought good to make it 
known, that the emperor now reigning is descended from those mag- 
nificent princes of Peru, of whose large territories, of whose policies, 
conquests, edifices, and riches, Pedro de Cieza, Francisco Lopez, and 
others have written large discourses. For when Francisco Pizarro, 
Diego Almagro and others conquered the said empire of Peru, and 
had put to death Atabalipa, son to Guayna Capac, which Atabalipa 
had formerly caused his eldest brother Guascar to be slain, one of the 
younger sons of Guayna Capac fled out of Peru, and took with him 
many thousands of those soldiers of the empire called ore'jones}'^ 
and with those and many others which followed him, he vanquished 
all that tract and valley of America which is situate between the great 
river of Amazons and Baraquan, otherwise called Orenoque and 

The empire of Guiana is directly east from Peru towards the sea, 
and lieth under the equinoctial line; and it hath more abundance of 
gold than any part of Peru, and as many or moe'^ great cities than 
ever Peru had when it flourished most. It is governed by the same 
laws, and the emperor and people observe the same religion, and 
the same form and policies in government as were used in Peru, 
not differing in any part. And I have been assured by such of 
the Spaniards as have seen Manoa, the imperial city of Guiana, which 
the Spaniards call El Dorado, that for the greatness, for the riches, 
and for the excellent seat, it far exceedeth any of the world, at least 
of so much of the world as is known to the Spanish nation. It is 

'" Orejones = 'having large ears,' the name given by the Spaniards to the Peruvian 
warriors, who wore ear-pendants. 

'' Baraquan is the alternative name to Orenoque, Maranon to Amazons. 
12 More. 


founded upon a lake of salt water of 200 leagues long, like unto 
Mare Caspium. And if we compare it to that of Peru, and but read 
the report of Francisco Lopez and others, it will seem more than 
credible; and because we may judge of the one by the other, I thought 
good to insert part of the 120. chapter of Lopez in his General His- 
tory of the Indies, wherein he describeth the court and magnificence 
of Guayna Capac, ancestor to the emperor of Guiana, whose very 
words are these: — 

'Todo el servicio de su casa, mesa, y cocina era de oro y de plata, 
y cuando menos de plata y cobre, por mas recio. Tenia en su 
recamara estatuas huecas de oro, que parescian gigantes, y las figuras 
al propio y tamano de cuantos animales, aves, arboles, y yerbas 
produce la tierra, y de cuantos peces cria la mar y agua de sus reynos. 
Tenia asimesmo sogas, costales, cestas, y troxes de oro y plata; 
rimeros de palos de oro, que pareciesen lefia rajada para quemar. En 
fin no habia cosa en su tierra, que no la tuviese de oro contrahecha; 
y aun dizen, que tenian los Ingas un verjel en una isla cerca de la 
Puna, donde se iban a holgar, cuando querian mar, que tenia la 
hortaliza, las floras, y arboles de oro y plata; invencion y grandeza 
hasta entonces nunca vista. AUende de todo esto, tenia infinitisima 
cantidad de plata y oro por labrar en el Cuzco, que se perdio por la 
muerte de Guascar; ca los Indies lo escondieron, viendo que los 
Espaiioles se lo tomaban, y enviaban a Espaiia.' That is, 'All the 
vessels of his house, table, and kitchen, were of gold and silver, and 
the meanest of silver and copper for strength and hardness of metal. 
He had in his wardrobe hollow statues of gold which seemed giants, 
and the figures in proportion and bigness of all the beasts, birds, 
trees, and herbs, that the earth bringeth forth; and of all the fishes 
that the sea or waters of his kingdom breedeth. He had also ropes, 
budgets, chests, and troughs of gold and silver, heaps of billets of 
gold, that seemed wood marked out'' to burn. Finally, there was 
nothing in his country whereof he had not the counterfeit in gold. 
Yea, and they say, the Ingas had a garden of pleasure in an island 
near Puna, where they went to recreate themselves, when they would 
take the air of the sea, which had all kinds of garden-iherbs, flowers, 
*' Rather, 'split into logs.' 


and trees of gold and silver; an invention and magnificence till then 
never seen. Besides all this, he had an infinite quantity of silver and 
gold unwrought in Cuzco, which was lost by the death of Guascar, 
for the Indians hid it, seeing that the Spaniards took it, and sent it 
into Spain.' 

And in the 117. chapter; Francisco Pizarro caused the gold and 
silver of Atabalipa to be weighed after he had taken it, which Lopez 
setteth down in these words following: — ^'Hallaron cincuenta y dos 
mil marcos de buena plata, y un millon y trecientos y veinte y seis 
mil y quinientos pesos de oro.' Which is, 'They found 52,000 marks 
of good silver, and 1,326,500 pesos of gold.' Now, although these re- 
ports may seem strange, yet if we consider the many millions which 
are daily brought out of Peru into Spain, we may easily believe the 
same. For we find that by the abundant treasure of that country 
the Spanish king vexes all the princes of Europe, and is become, in a 
few years, from a poor king of Castile, the greatest monarch of this 
part of the world, and likely every day to increase if other princes 
forslow the good occasions offered, and suffer him to add this empire 
to the rest, which by far exceedeth all the rest. If his gold now en- 
danger us, he will then be unresistible. Such of the Spaniards as 
afterwards endeavoured the conquest thereof, whereof there have 
been many, as shall be declared hereafter, thought that this Inga, of 
whom this emperor now living is descended, took his way by the 
river of Amazons, by that branch which is called Papamene}*^ For 
by that way followed Orellana, by the commandment of Gonzalo 
Pizarro, in the year 1542, whose name the river also beareth this day. 
Which is also by others called Maranon, although Andrew Thevet 
doth affirm that between Maranon and Amazons there are 120 
leagues; but sure it is that those rivers have one head and beginning, 
and the Maranon, which Thevet describeth, is but a branch of 
Amazons or Orellana, of which I will speak more in another place. 
It was attempted by Ordas; but it is now little less than 70 years 
since that Diego Ordas, a Knight of the Order of Santiago, attempted 
the same; and it was in the year 1542 that Orellana discovered the 

'*The Papamene is a tributary not of the Amazon river but of the Meta, one of 
the principal tributaries of the Orinoco. 


river o£ Amazons; but the first that ever saw Manoa was Juan Mar- 
tinez, master of the munition to Ordas. At a port called Morequito^^ 
in Guiana, there lieth at this day a great anchor of Ordas his ship. 
And this port is some 300 miles within the land, upon the great river 
of Orenoque. I rested at this port four days, twenty days after I left 
the ships at Curiapan. 

The relation of this Martinez, who was the first that discovered 
Manoa, his success, and end, is to be seen in the Chancery of St. 
Juan de Puerto Rico, whereof Berreo had a copy, which appeared to 
be the greatest encouragement as well to Berreo as to others that 
formerly attempted the discovery and conquest. Orellana, after he 
failed of the discovery of Guiana by the said river of Amazons, 
passed into Spain, and there obtained a patent of the king for the 
invasion and conquest, but died by sea about the islands; and his 
fleet being severed by tempest, the action for that time proceeded 
not. Diego Ordas followed the enterprise, and departed Spain with 
600 soldiers and thirty horse. Who, arriving on the coast of Guiana, 
was slain in a mutiny, with the most part of such as favoured him, as 
also of the rebellious part, insomuch as his ships perished and few 
or none returned; neither was it certainly known what became of 
the said Ordas until Berreo found the anchor of his ship in the river 
of Orenoque; but it was supposed, and so it is written by Lopez, that 
he perished on the seas, and of other writers diversely conceived and 
reported. And hereof it came that Martinez entered so far within 
the land, and arrived at that city of Inga the emperor; for it chanced 
that while Ordas with his army rested at the port of Morequito (who 
was either the first or second that attempted Guiana), by some negli- 
gence the whole store of powder provided for the service was set on 
fire, and Martinez, having the chief charge, was condemned by the 
General Ordas to be executed forthwith. Martinez, being much 
favoured by the soldiers, had all the means possible procured for 
his life; but it could not be obtained in other sort than this, that he 
should be set into a canoa alone, without any victual, only with his 
arms, and so turned loose into the great river. But it pleased God 
that the canoa was carried down the stream, and certain of the 
Guianians met it the same evening; and, having not at any time 
'^ Probably San Miguel. 


seen any Christian nor any man of that colour, they carried Martinez 
into the land to be wondered at, and so from town to town, until 
he came to the great city of Manoa, the seat and residence of Inga 
the emperor. The emperor, after he had beheld him, knew him to 
be a Christian, for it was not long before that his brethren Guascar 
and Atabalipa were vanquished by the Spaniards in Peru: and 
caused him to be lodged in his palace, and well entertained. He 
lived seven months in Manoa, but was not suffered to wander into 
the country anywhere. He was also brought thither all the way 
blindfold, led by the Indians, until he came to the entrance of Manoa 
itself, and was fourteen or fifteen days in the passage. He avowed at 
his death that he entered the city at noon, and then they uncovered 
his face; and that he travelled all that day till night thorough the 
city, and the next day from sun rising to sun setting, yere'° he came 
to the palace of Inga. After that Martinez had lived seven months 
in Manoa, and began to understand the language of the country, 
Inga asked him whether he desired to return into his own country, 
or would willingly abide with him. But Martinez, not desirous to 
stay, obtained the favour of Inga to depart; with whom he sent divers 
Guianians to conduct him to the river of Orenoque, all loaden with 
as much gold as they could carry, which he gaVe to Martinez at his 
departure. But when he was arrived near the river's side, the border- 
ers which are called Orenoqueponi" robbed him and his Guianians 
of all the treasure (the borderers being at that time at wars, which 
Inga had not conquered) save only of two great bottles of gourds, 
which were filled with beads of gold curiously wrought, which those 
Orenoqueponi thought had been no other thing than his drink or 
meat, or grain for food, with which Martinez had liberty to pass. 
And so in canoas he fell down from the river of Orenoque to Trini- 
dad, and from thence to Margarita, and so to St. Juan de Puerto 
Rico; where, remaining a long time for passage into Spain, he died. 
In the time of his extreme sickness, and when he was without hope 
of life, receiving the sacrament at the hands of his confessor, he 
delivered these things, with the relation of his travels, and also called 
for his calabazas or gourds of the gold beads, which he gave to the 
church and friars, to be prayed for. 

'^ Ere. " 'On the Orinoco.' Pont is a Carib postposition meaning 'on.' 


This Martinez was he that christened the city o£ Manoa by the 
name of El Dorado, and, as Berreo informed me, upon this occasion, 
those Guianians, and also the borderers, and all other in that tract 
which I have seen, are marvellous great drunkards; in which vice I 
think no nation can compare with them; and at the times of their 
solemn feasts, when the emperor carouseth with his captains, tribu- 
taries, and governors, the manner is thus. All those that pledge him 
are first stripped naked and their bodies anointed all over with a 
kind of white bahamum (by them called curca), of which there is 
great plenty, and yet very dear amongst them, and it is of all other 
the most precious, whereof we have had good experience. When they 
are anointed all over, certain servants of the emperor, having pre- 
pared gold made into fine powder, blow it thorough hollow canes 
upon their naked bodies, until they be all shining from the foot to the 
head; and in this sort they sit drinking by twenties and hundreds, 
and continue in drunkenness sometimes six or seven days together." 
The same is also confirmed by a letter written into Spain which was 
intercepted, which Master Robert Dudley told me he had seen. Upon 
this sight, and for the abundance of gold which he saw in the city, 
the images of gold in their temples, the plates, armours, and shields 
of gold which they use in the wars, he called it El Dorado. 

After the death of Ordas and Martinez, and after Orellana, who 
was employed by Gonzalo Pizarro, one Pedro de Orsua, a knight of 
Navarre, attempted Guiana, taking his way into Peru, and built his 
brigandines upon a river called Oia, which riseth to the southward 
of Quito, and is very great. This river falleth into Amazons, by 
which Orsua with his companies descended, and came out of that 
province which is called Motilones;^^ and it seemeth to me that this 
empire is reserved for her Majesty and the English nation, by reason 
of the hard success which all these and other Spaniards found in at- 
tempting the same, whereof I will speak briefly, though impertinent 
in some sort to my purpose. This Pedro de Orsua had among his 
troops a Biscayan called Aguirre, a man meanly born, who bare no 

''The substance of this report is in the end of the 'Navigation of the Great River 
of Maraiion,' written by Gonzalo Fernando de Oviedo to Cardinal Bembo (Ramusio, 
vol. iii. fol. 416). (Note by Hakluyt.) 

"'Friars' (Indians so named from their cropped heads). 


Other office than a sergeant or alferez:^" but after certain months, 
when the soldiers were grieved with travels and consumed with 
famine, and that no entrance could be found by the branches or body 
of Amazons, this Aguirre raised a mutiny, of which he made him- 
self the head, and so prevailed as he put Orsua to the sword and all 
his followers, taking on him the whole charge and commandment, 
with a purpose not only to make himself emperor of Guiana, but also 
of Peru and of all that side of the West Indies. He had of his party 
700 soldiers, and of those many promised to draw in other captains 
and companies, to deliver up towns and forts in Peru; but neither 
finding by the said river any passage into Guiana, nor any pos- 
sibility to return towards Peru by the same Amazons, by reason that 
the descent of the river made so great a current, he was enforced to 
disemboque at the mouth of the said Amazons, which cannot be less 
than 1,000 leagues from the place where they embarked. From 
thence he coasted the land till he arrived at Margarita to the north of 
Mompatar, which is at this day called Puerto de Tyranno, for that 
he there slew Don Juan de Villa Andreda, Governor of Margarita, 
who was father to Don Juan Sarmiento, Governor of Margarita 
when Sir John Burgh landed there and attempted the island. 
Aguirre put to the sword all other in the island that refused to be 
of his party, and took with him certain cimarrone^^ and other des- 
perate companions. From thence he went to Cumana and there slew 
the governor, and dealt in all as at Margarita. He spoiled all the 
coast of Caracas and the province of Venezuela and of Rio de la 
Hacha; and, as I remember, it was the same year that Sir John 
Haw\ins sailed to St. Juan de Ullua in the Jesus of L,uhec\f'' for him- 
self told me that he met with such a one upon the coast, that re- 
belled, and had sailed down all the river of Amazons. Aguirre from 
thence landed about Santa Marta and sacked it also, putting to death 
so many as refused to be his followers, purposing to invade Nuevo 
Reyno de Granada and to sack Pamplona, Merida, Lagrita, Tunja, 
and the rest of the cities of Nuevo Reyno, and from thence again to 
enter Peru; but in a fight in the said Nuevo Reyno he was over- 

^^ Al-faris (Arab.), horseman, mounted officer. 
^' Fugitive slaves. ^^1567-68. 


thrown, and, finding no way to escape, he first put to the sword his 
own children, foreteUing them that they should not live to be de- 
famed or upbraided by the Spaniards after his death, who would 
have termed them the children of a traitor or tyrant; and that, 
sithence he could not make them princes, he would yet deliver them 
from shame and reproach. These were the ends and tragedies of 
Ordas, Martinez, Orellana, Orsiia, and Aguirre. Also soon after 
Ordas followed Jeronimo Ortal de Saragosa, with 130 soldiers; who 
faihng his entrance by sea, was cast with the current on the coast of 
Paria, and peopled about S. Miguel de Neveri. It was then attempted 
by Don Pedro de Silva, a Portuguese of the family of Ruy Gomez de 
Silva, and by the favour which Ruy Gomes had with the king he 
was set out. But he also shot wide of the mark; for being departed 
from Spain with his fleet, he entered by Maranon or Amazons, 
where by the nations of the river and by the Amazons, he was 
utterly overthrown, and himself and all his army defeated; only 
seven escaped, and of those but two returned. 

After him came Pedro Hernandez de Serpa, and landed at Cu- 
mana, in the West Indies, taking his journey by land towards 
Orenoque, which may be some 120 leagues; but yere he came to 
the borders of the said river, he was set upon by a nation of the 
Indians, called Wihjri, and overthrown in such sort, that of 300 
soldiers, horsemen, many Indians, and negroes, there returned but 
eighteen. Others affirm that he was defeated in the very entrance of 
Guiana, at the first civil town of the empire called Macureguarai. 
Captain Preston, in taking Santiago de Leon (which was by him 
and his companies very resolutely performed, being a great town, 
and far within the land) held a gentleman prisoner, who died in his 
ship, that was one of the company of Hernandez de Serpa, and 
saved among those that escaped; who witnessed what opinion is 
held among the Spaniards thereabouts of the great riches of Guiana, 
and El Dorado, the city of Inga. Another Spaniard was brought 
aboard me by Captain Preston, who told me in the hearing of him- 
self and divers other gentlemen, that he met with Berreo's camp- 
master at Caracas, when he came from the borders of Guiana, and 
that he saw with him forty of most pure plates of gold, curiously 
wrought, and swords of Guiana decked and inlaid with gold, feath- 


ers garnished with gold, and divers rarities, which he carried to the 
Spanish king. 

After Hernandez de Serpa, it was undertaken by the Adelantado, 
Don Gonzalez Ximenes de Quesada, who was one o£ the chiefest 
in the conquest of 'Nuevo Reyno, whose daughter and heir Don An- 
tonio de Berreo married. Gonzalez sought the passage also by the 
river called Papamene, which riseth by Quito, in Peru, and runneth 
south-east 100 leagues, and then falleth into Amazons. But he also, 
failing the entrance, returned with the loss of much labour and 
cost. I took one Captain George, a Spaniard, that followed Gon- 
zalez in this enterprise. Gonzalez gave his daughter to Berreo, tak- 
ing his oath and honour to follow the enterprise to the last of his 
substance and life. Who since, as he hath sworn to me, hath spent 
300,000 ducats in the same, and yet never could enter so far into 
the land as myself with that poor troop, or rather a handful of men, 
being in all about 100 gentlemen, soldiers, rowers, boat-keepers, 
boys, and of all sorts; neither could any of the forepassed under- 
takers, nor Berreo himself, discover the country, till now lately by 
conference with an ancient king, called Carapana^ he got the true 
light thereof. For Berreo came about 1,500 miles yere he understood 
aught, or could find any passage or entrance into any part thereof; 
yet he had experience of all these fore-named, and divers others, and 
was persuaded of their errors and mistakings. Berreo sought it by 
the river Cassanar, which falleth into a great river called Pato: Pato 
falleth into Meta, and Meta into Baraquan, which is also called 
Orenoque. He took his journey from Nuevo Reyno de Granada, 
where he dwelt, having the inheritance of Gonzalez Ximenes in 
those parts; he was followed with 700 horse, he drove with him 
1,000 head of cattle, he had also many women, Indians, and slaves. 
How all these rivers cross and encounter, how the country lieth and 
is bordered, the passage of Ximenes and Berreo, mine own discov- 
ery, and the way that I entered, with all the rest of the nations and 
rivers, your lordship shall receive in a large chart or map, which I 
have not yet finished, and which I shall most humbly pray your 
lordship to secrete, and not to suffer it to pass your own hands; for 

^'Carapana ( = Caribana, Carib land) was an old European name for the Atlantic 
coast near the mouth of the Orinoco, and hence was applied to one of its chiefs. 
Berrio called this district 'Emeria.' 


by a draught thereof all may be prevented by other nations; for I 
know it is this very year sought by the French, although by the 
way that they now take, I fear it not much. It was also told me 
yere I departed England, that Villiers, the Admiral, was in prepara- 
tion for the planting of Amazons, to which river the French have 
made divers voyages, and returned^^ much gold and other rarities. 
I spake with a captain of a French ship that came from thence, his 
ship riding in Falmouth the same year that my ships came first from 
Virginia; there was another this year in Helford, that also came from 
thence, and had been fourteen months at an anchor in Amazons; 
which were both very rich. 

Although, as I am persuaded, Guiana cannot be entered that way, 
yet no doubt the trade of gold from thence passeth by branches of 
rivers into the river of Amazons, and so it doth on every hand far 
from the country itself; for those Indians of Trinidad have plates of 
gold from Guiana, and those cannibals of Dominica which dwell 
in the islands by which our ships pass yearly to the West Indies, 
also the Indians of Paria, those Indians called Tucaris, Chochi, Apo- 
tomios, Cumanagotos, and all those other nations inhabiting near 
about the mountains that run from Paria thorough the province of 
Venezuela, and in Maracapana, and the cannibals of Guanipa, the 
Indians called Assawai, Coaca, Ajai, and the rest (all which shall 
be described in my description as they are situate) have plates of 
gold of Guiana. And upon the river of Amazons, Thevet writeth 
that the people wear croissants of gold, for of that form the Gui- 
anians most commonly make them; so as from Dominica to Ama- 
zons, which is above 250 leagues, all the chief Indians in all parts 
wear of those plates of Guiana. Undoubtedly those that trade [with] 
Amazons return much gold, which (as is aforesaid) cometh by 
trade from Guiana, by some branch of a river that falleth from the 
country into Amazons, and either it is by the river which passeth 
by the nations called Tisnados, or by Caripuna. 

I made enquiry amongst the most ancient and best travelled of 
the Orenoqueponi, and I had knowledge of all the rivers between 
Orenoque and Amazons, and was very desirous to understand the 
truth of those warlike women, because of some it is believed, of 

"Brought back. 


Others not. And though I digress from my purpose, yet I will set 
down that which hath been delivered me for truth of those women, 
and I spake with a cacique, or lord of people, that told me he had 
been in the river, and beyond it also. The nations of these women 
are on the south side of the river in the provinces of Topago, and 
their chiefest strengths and retracts are in the islands situate on the 
south side of the entrance, some 60 leagues within the mouth of the 
said river. The memories of the like women are very ancient as well 
in Africa as in Asia. In Africa those that had Medusa for queen; 
others in Scythia, near the rivers of Tanais and Thermodon. We 
find, also, that Lampedo and Marthesia were queens of the Ama- 
zons. In many histories they are verified to have been, and in 
divers ages and provinces; but they which are not far from Guiana 
do accompany with men but once in a year, and for the time of one 
month, which I gather by their relation, to be in April; and that 
time all kings of the borders assemble, and queens of the Amazons; 
and after the queens have chosen, the rest cast lots for their valen- 
tines. This one month they feast, dance, and drink of their wines 
in abundance; and the moon being done they all depart to their own 
provinces. * * * * They are said to be very cruel and bloodthirsty, 
especially to such as offer to invade their territories. These Ama- 
zons have likewise great store of these plates of gold, which they 
recover by exchange chiefly for a kind of green stones, which the 
Spaniards call piedras hijadas, and we use for spleen-stones;^ and 
for the disease of the stone we also esteem them. Of these I saw 
divers in Guiana; and commonly every king or cacique hath one, 
which their wives for the most part wear, and they esteem them 
as great jewels. 

But to return to the enterprise of Berreo, who, as I have said, de- 
parted from Nuevo Reyno with 700 horse, besides the provisions 
above rehearsed. He descended by the river called Cassanar, which 
riseth in Nuevo Reyno out of the mountains by the city of Tunja, 
from which mountain also springeth Pato; both which fall into the 
great river of Meta, and Meta riseth from a mountain joining to 
Pamplona, in the same Nuevo Reyno de Granada. These, as also 
Guaiare, which issueth out of the mountains by Timana, fall all 

^^ Stones reduced to powder and taken internally to ciTre maladiefs of the spleen. 


into Baraquan, and are but of his heads; for at their coming to- 
gether they lose their names, and Baraquan farther down is also re- 
baptized by the name of Orenoque. On the other side of the city 
and hills of Timana riseth Rio Grande, which falleth into the sea 
by Santa Marta. By Cassanar first, and so into Meta, Berreo passed, 
keeping his horsemen on the banks, where the country served them 
for to march; and where otherwise, he was driven to embark them 
in boats which he builded for the purpose, and so came with the 
current down the river of Meta, and so into Baraquan. After he 
entered that great and mighty river, he began daily to lose of his 
companies both men and horse; for it is in many places violently 
swift, and hath forcible eddies, many sands, and divers islands sharp 
pointed with rocks. But after one whole year, journeying for the 
most part by river, and the rest by land, he grew daily to fewer 
numbers; for both by sickness, and by encountering with the people 
of those regions thorough which he travelled, his companies were 
much wasted, especially by divers encounters with the Amapaians^ 
And in all this time he never could learn of any passage into 
Guiana, nor any news or fame thereof, until he came to a further 
border of the said Amapaia, eight days' journey from the river 
Caroli^ which was the furthest river that he entered. Among those 
of Amapaia, Guiana was famous; but few of these people accosted 
Berreo, or would trade with him the first three months of the six 
which he sojourned there. This Amapaia is also marvellous rich in 
gold, as both Berreo confessed and those of Guiana with whom I 
had most conference; and is situate upon Orenoque also. In this 
country Berreo lost sixty of his best soldiers, and most of all his 
horse that remained in his former year's travel. But in the end, 
after divers encounters with those nations, they grew to peace, and 
they presented Berreo with ten images of fine gold among divers 
other plates and croissants, which, as he sware to me, and divers 
other gentlemen, were so curiously wrought, as he had not seen the 
like either in Italy, Spain, or the Low Countries; and he was re- 
solved that when they came to the hands of the Spanish king, to 
whom he had sent them by his camp-master, they would appear 

^ Amapaia was Berrio's name for the Orinoco valley above the Caura river. 
"The Caroni river, the first great affluent of the Orinoco on the south, about 180 
miles from the sea. 


very admirable, especially being wrought by such a nation as had no 
iron instruments at all, nor any of those helps which our goldsmiths 
have to work withal. The particular name of the people in Amapaia 
which gave him these pieces, are called Anebas, and the river of 
Orenoque at that place is about twelve English miles broad, which 
may be from his outfall into the sea 700 or 800 miles. 

This province of Amapaia is a very low and a marish ground near 
the river; and by reason of the red water which issueth out in 
small branches thorough the fenny and boggy ground, there breed 
divers poisonful worms and serpents. And the Spaniards not sus- 
pecting, nor in any sort foreknowing the danger, were infected 
with a grievous kind of flux by drinking thereof, and even the very 
horses poisoned therewith; insomuch as at the end of the six 
months that they abode there, of all their troops there were not left 
above 120 soldiers, and neither horse nor cattle. For Berreo hoped 
to have found Guiana by 1,000 miles nearer than it fell out to be 
in the end; by means whereof they sustained much want, and much 
hunger, oppressed with grievous diseases, and all the miseries that 
could be imagined, I demanded of those in Guiana that had travelled 
Amapaia, how they lived with that tawny or red water when 
they travelled thither; and they told me that after the sun was near 
the middle of the sky, they used to fill their pots and pitchers with 
that water, but either before that time or towards the setting of the 
sun it was dangerous to drink of, and in the night strong poison. 
I learned also of divers other rivers of that nature among them, 
which were also, while the sun was in the meridian, very safe to 
drink, and in the morning, evening, and night, wonderful dangerous 
and infective. From this province Berreo hasted away as soon as the 
spring and beginning of summer appeared, and sought his en- 
trance on the borders of Orenoque on the south side; but there 
ran a ledge of so high and impassable mountains, as he was not able 
by any means to march over them, continuing from the east sea 
into which Orenoque falleth, even to Quito in Peru. Neither had 
he means to carry victual or munition over those craggy, high, and 
fast hills, being all woody, and those so thick and spiny, and so full 
of prickles, thorns, and briars, as it is impossible to creep thorough 
them. He had also neither friendship among the people, nor any 


interpreter to persuade or treat with them; and more, to his dis- 
advantage, the caciques and kings of Amapaia had given knowl- 
edge of his purpose to the Guianians, and that he sought to sack and 
conquer the empire, for the hope of their so great abundance and 
quantities of gold. He passed by the mouths of many great rivers 
which fell into Orenoque both from the north and south, which I 
forbear to name, for tediousness, and because they are more pleasing 
in describing than reading. 

Berreo affirmed that there fell an hundred rivers into Orenoque 
from the north and south: whereof the least was as big as Rio 
Grande,^" that passed between Popayan and Nuevo Reyno de Gra- 
nada, Rio Grande being esteemed one of the renowned rivers in all 
the West Indies, and numbered among the great rivers of the 
world. But he knew not the names of any of these, but Caroli only; 
neither from what nations they descended, neither to what provinces 
they led, for he had no means to discourse with the inhabitants at 
any time; neither was he curious in these things, being utterly un- 
learned, and not knowing the east from the west. But of all these 
I got some knowledge, and of many more, partly by mine own 
travel, and the rest by conference; of some one I learned one, of 
others the rest, having with me an Indian that spake many lan- 
guages, and that of Guiana'* naturally. I sought out all the aged 
men, and such as were greatest travellers. And by the one and the 
other I came to understand the situations, the rivers, the kingdoms 
from the east sea to the borders of Peru, and from Orenoque south- 
ward as far as Amazons or Maranon, and the regions of Marina- 
tambal^ and of all the kings of provinces, and captains of towns 
and villages, how they stood in terms of peace or war, and which 
were friends or enemies the one with the other; without which 
there can be neither entrance nor conquest in those parts, nor else- 
where. For by the dissension between Guascar and Atabalipa, Pizar- 
ro conquered Peru, and by the hatred that the Tlaxcallians bare to 
Mutezuma, Cortes was victorious over Mexico; without which both 
the one and the other had failed of their enterprise, and of the great 
honour and riches which they attained unto. 

Now Berreo began to grow into despair, and looked for no other 
ilSThe Magdalena. 29xhe Carib. 3" North coasts of Brazil. 


success than his predecessor in this enterprise; until such time as he 
arrived at the province of Emeria towards the east sea and mouth 
of the river, where he found a nation of people very favourable, and 
the country full of all manner of victual. The king of this land is 
called Carapana, a man very wise, subtle, and of great experience, 
being little less than an hundred years old. In his youth he was 
sent by his father into the island of Trinidad, by reason of civil war 
among themselves, and was bred at a village in that island, called 
Parico. At that place in his youth he had seen many Christians, 
both French and Spanish, and went divers times with the Indians of 
Trinidad to Margarita and Cumand, in the West Indies, for both 
those places have ever been relieved with victual from Trinidad: 
by reason whereof he grew of more understanding, and noted the 
difference of the nations, comparing the strength and arms of his 
country with those of the Christians, and ever after temporised so as 
whosoever else did amiss, or was wasted by contention, Carapana 
kept himself and his country in quiet and plenty. He also held 
peace with the Caribs or cannibals, his neighbours, and had free 
trade with all nations, whosoever else had wax. 

Berreo sojourned and rested his weak troop in the town of Cara- 
pana six weeks, and from him learned the way and passage to 
Guiana, and the riches and magnificence thereof. But being then 
utterly unable to proceed, he determined to try his fortune another 
year, when he had renewed his provisions, and regathered more 
force, which he hoped for as well out of Spain as from Nuevo 
Reyno, where he had left his son Don Antonio Ximenes to second 
him upon the first notice given of his entrance; and so for the present 
embarked himself in canoas, and by the branches of Orenoque ar- 
rived at Trinidad, having from Carapana sufficient pilots to conduct 
him. From Trinidad he coasted Paria, and so recovered Margarita; 
and having made relation to Don Juan Sarmiento, the Governor, of 
his proceeding, and persuaded him of the riches of Guiana, he ob- 
tained from thence fifty soldiers, promising presently to return to 
Carapana, and so into Guiana. But Berreo meant nothing less at 
that time; for he wanted many provisions necessary for such an 
enterprise, and therefore departed from Margarita, seated himself in 
Trinidad, and from thence sent his camp-master and his sergeant- 


major back to the borders to discover the nearest passage into the 
empire, as also to treat with the borderers, and to draw them to 
his party and love; without which, he knew he could neither pass 
safely, nor in any sort be relieved with victual or aught else. Cara- 
pana directed his company to a king called Morequito, assuring 
them that no man could deliver so much of Guiana as Morequito 
could, and that his dwelling was but five days' journey from Macure- 
guarai, the first civil town of Guiana. 

Now your lordship shall understand that this Morequito, one of 
the greatest lords or kings of the borders of Guiana, had two or 
three years before been at Cumand and at Margarita, in the West 
Indies, with great store of plates of gold, which he carried to ex- 
change for such other things as he wanted in his own country, and 
was daily feasted, and presented by the governors of those places, 
and held amongst them some two months. In which time one 
Vides, Governor of Cumand, won him to be his conductor into 
Guiana, being allured by those croissants and images of gold which 
he brought with him to trade, as also by the ancient fame and mag- 
nificence of El Dorado; whereupon Vides sent into Spain for a 
patent to discover and conquer Guiana, not knowing of the prece- 
dence of Berreo's patent; which, as Berreo affirmeth, was signed 
before that of Vides. So as when Vides understood of Berreo and 
that he had made entrance into that territory, and foregone his 
desire and hope, it was verily thought that Vides practised with 
Morequito to hinder and disturb Berreo in all he could, and not to 
suffer him to enter through his seignory, nor any of his companies; 
neither to victual, nor guide them in any sort. For Vides, Governor 
of Cumand, and Berreo, were become mortal enemies, as well for 
that Berreo had gotten Trinidad into his patent with Guiana, as 
also in that he was by Berreo prevented in the journey of Guiana 
itself. Howsoever it was, I know not, but Morequito for a time 
dissembled his disposition, suffered ten Spaniards and a friar, which 
Berreo had sent to discover Manoa, to travel through his country, 
gave them a guide for Macureguarai, the first town of civil and ap- 
parelled people, from whence they had other guides to bring them 
to Manoa, the great city of Inga; and being furnished with those 
things which they had learned of Carapana were of most price in 


Guiana, went onward, and in eleven days arrived at Manoa, as 
Berreo affirmeth for certain; although I could not be assured thereof 
by the lord which now governeth the province of Morequito, for 
he told me that they got all the gold they had in other towns on 
this side Manoa, there being many very great and rich, and (as he 
said) built like the towns of Christians, with many rooms. 

When these ten Spaniards were returned, and ready to put out of 
the border of Aromaia^^ the people of Morequito set upon them, and 
slew them all but one that swam the river, and took from them to 
the value of 40,000 pesos of gold; and one of them only lived to 
bring the news to Berreo, that both his nine soldiers and holy father 
were benighted in the said province. I myself spake with the cap- 
tains of Morequito that slew them, and was at the place where it 
was executed. Berreo, enraged herewithal, sent all the strength he 
could make into Aromaia, to be revenged of him, his people, and 
country. But Morequito, suspecting the same, fled over Orenoque, 
and thorough the territories of the Saitna and Wil{iri recovered 
Cumand, where he thought himself very safe, with Vides the gov- 
ernor. But Berreo sending for him in the- king's name, and his 
messengers finding him in the house of one Fajardo, on the sudden, 
yere he was suspected, so as he could not then be conveyed away, 
Vides durst not deny him, as well to avoid the suspicion of the 
practice, as also for that an holy father was slain by him and his 
p)eople. Morequito offered Fajardo the weight of three quintals in 
gold, to let him escape; but the poor Guianian, betrayed on all sides, 
was delivered to the camp-master of Berreo, and was presently 

After the death of this Morequito, the soldiers of Berreo spoiled 
his territory and took divers prisoners. Among others they took the 
uncle of Morequito, called Topiawari, who is now king of 
Aromaia, whose son I brought with me into England, and is a 
man of great understanding and policy; he is above an hun- 
dred years old, and yet is of a very able body. The Spaniards 
led him in a chain seventeen days, and made him their guide from 
place to place between his country and Emeria, the province of Cara- 
pana aforesaid, and he was at last redeemed for an hundred plates 

'' The district below the Caroni river. 


of gold, and divers stones called piedras hijadas, or spleen-stones. 
Now Berreo for executing of Morequito, and other cruelties, spoils, 
and slaughters done in Aromaia, hath lost the love of the Orenoque- 
poni, and of all the borderers, and dare not send any of his soldiers 
any further into the land than to Carapana, which he called the port 
of Guiana; but from thence by the help of Carapana he had trade 
further into the country, and always appointed ten Spaniards to 
reside in Carapana's town,^^ by whose favour, and by being con- 
ducted by his people, those ten searched the country thereabouts, as 
well for mines as for other trades and commodities. 

They also have gotten a nephew of Morequito, whom they have 
christened and named Don Juan, of whom they have great hope, en- 
deavouring by all means to establish him in the said province. 
Among many other trades, those Spaniards used canoas to pass to 
the rivers of Barema, Pawroma, and Dissequebe^^ which are on the 
south side of the mouth of Orenoque, and there buy women and 
children from the cannibals, which are of that barbarous nature, as 
they will for three or four hatchets sell the sons and daughters of 
their own brethren and sisters, and for somewhat more even their 
own daughters. Hereof the Spaniards make great profit; for buying 
a maid of twelve or thirteen years for three or four hatchets, they 
sell them again at Margarita in the West Indies for fifty and an 
hundred pesos, which is so many crowns. 

The master of my ship, John Douglas, took one of the canoas 
which came laden from thence with people to be sold, and the most 
of them escaped; yet of those he brought, there was one as well 
favoured and as well shaped as ever I saw any in England; and 
afterwards I saw many of them, which but for their tawny colour 
may be compared to any in Europe. They also trade in those rivers 
for bread of cassavi, of which they buy an hundred pound weight 
for a knife, and sell it at Margarita for ten pesos. They also recover 
great store of cotton, Brazil wood, and those beds which they call 
hamacas or Brazil beds, wherein in hot countries all the Spaniards 
use to lie commonly, and in no other, neither did we ourselves while 
we were there. By means of which trades, for ransom of divers of 

^The Spanish settlement of Santo Tom^ de la Guyana, founded by Berrio in 
1591 or 1592, but represented by Raleigh as an Indian pueblo. 
" Essequibo. 


the Guianians, and for exchange o£ hatchets and knives, Berreo 
recovered some store of gold plates, eagles of gold, and images of 
men and divers birds, and dispatched his camp-master for Spain, 
with all that he had gathered, therewith to levy soldiers, and by the 
show thereof to draw others to the love of the enterprise. And 
having sent divers images as well of men as beasts, birds, and fishes, 
so curiously wrought in gold, he doubted not but to persuade the 
king to yield to him some further help, especially for that this land 
hath never been sacked, the mines never wrought, and in the Indies 
their works were well spent, and the gold drawn out with great 
labour and charge. He also despatched messengers to his son in 
Nuevo Reyno to levy all the forces he could, and to come down the 
river Orenoque to Emeria, the province of Carapana, to meet him; 
he had also sent to Santiago de Leon on the coast of the Caracas, to 
buy horses and mules. 

After I had thus learned of his proceedings past and purposed, 
I told him that I had resolved to see Guiana, and that it was the end 
of my journey, and the cause of my coming to Trinidad, as it was 
indeed, and for that purpose I sent Jacob Whiddon the year before 
to get intelligence: with whom Berreo himself had speech at that 
time, and remembered how inquisitive Jacob Whiddon was of his 
proceedings, and of the country of Guiana. Berreo was stricken into 
a great melancholy and sadness, and used all the arguments he coidd 
to dissuade me; and also assured the gentlemen of my company that 
it would be labour lost, and that they should suffer many miseries if 
they proceeded. And first he delivered that I could not enter any 
of the rivers with any bark or pinnace, or hardly with any ship's 
boat, it was so low, sandy, and full of flats, and that his companies 
were daily grounded in their canoes, which drew but twelve inches 
water. He further said that none of the country would come to 
speak with us, but would all fly; and if we followed them to their 
dwellings, they would burn their own towns. And besides that, the 
way was long, the winter at hand, and that the rivers beginning 
once to swell, it was impossible to stem the current; and that we 
could not in those small boats by any means carry victuals for half 
the time, and that (which indeed most discouraged my company) 
the kings and lords of all the borders of Guiana had decreed that 


none of them should trade with any Christians for gold, because the 
same would be their own overthrow, and that for the love of gold 
the Christians meant to conquer and dispossess them of all together. 

Many and the most of these I found to be true; but yet I resolving 
to make trial of whatsoever happened, directed Captain George 
Gifford, my Vice-Admiral, to take the Lion's Whelp, and Captain 
Caulfield his bark, [andj to turn to the eastward, against the mouth 
of a river called Capuri, whose entrance I had before sent Captain 
Whiddon and ]ohn Douglas the master to discover. Who found 
some nine foot water or better upon the flood, and five at low water; 
to whom I had given instructions that they should anchor at the 
edge of the shoal, and upon the best of the flood to thrust over, which 
shoal John Douglas buoyed and beckoned^* for them before. But 
they laboured in vain; for neither could they turn it up altogether 
so far to the east, neither did the flood continue so long, but the 
water fell yere they could have passed the sands. As we after found 
by a second experience: so as now we must either give over our 
enterprise, or leaving our ships at adventure 400 mile behind us, must 
run up in our ship's boats, one barge, and two wherries. But being 
doubtful how to carry victuals for so long a time in such baubles, 
or any strength of men, especially for that Berreo assured us that his 
son must be by that time, come down with many soldiers, I sent 
away one King, master of the Lion's Whelp, with his ship-boat, to 
try another branch of the river in the bottom of the Bay of Guanipa, 
which was called Amana, to prove if there were water to be found 
for either of the small ships to enter. But when he came to the 
mouth of Amana, he found it as the rest, but stayed not to discover 
it thoroughly, because he was assured by an Indian, his guide, that 
the cannibals of Guanipa would assail them with many canoas, and 
that they shot poisoned arrows; so as if he hasted not back, they 
should all be lost. 

In the meantime, fearing the worst, I caused all the carpenters we 
had to cut down a galego boat, which we meant to cast off, and to fit 
her with banks to row on, and in all things to prepare her the best 
they could, so as she might be brought to draw but five foot: for so 
much we had on the bar of Capuri at low water. And doubting of 
3* Beaconed, i. e. placed a beacon or signal upon the buoy. 


King's return, I sent John Douglas again in my long barge, as well 
to relieve him, as also to make a perfect search in the bottom of the 
bay; for it hath been held for infallible, that whatsoever ship or boat 
shall fall therein can never disemboque again, by reason of the 
violent current which setteth into the said bay, as also for that the 
breeze and easterly wind bloweth directly into the same. Of which 
opinion I have heard John Hampton^^ of Plymouth, one of the 
greatest experience of England, and divers other besides that have 
traded to Trinidad. 

I sent with John Douglas an old cacique of Trinidad for a pilot, 
who told us that we could not return again by the bay or gulf, but 
that he knew a by-branch which ran within the land to the eastward, 
and he thought by it we might fall into Capuri, and so return in four 
days. John Douglas searched those rivers, and found four goodly 
entrances, whereof the least was as big as the Thames at Woolwich, 
but in the bay thitherward it was shoal and but six foot water; so as 
we were now without hope of any ship or bark to pass over, and 
therefore resolved to go on with the boats, and the bottom of the 
galego, in which we thrust 60 men. In the Lion's Whelp's boat and 
wherry we carried twenty, Captain Caulfield in his wherry carried 
ten more, and in my barge other ten, which made up a hundred; we 
had no other means but to carry victual for a month in the same, 
and also to lodge therein as we could, and to boil and dress our meat. 
Captain Gifford had with him Master Edward Porter, Captain 
Eynos, and eight more in his wherry, with all their victual, weapons, 
and provisions. Captain Caulfield had with him my cousin Butshead 
Gorges, and eight more. In the galley, of gentlemen and officers my- 
self had Captain Thyn, my cousin John Greenvile, my nephew John 
Gilbert, Captain Whiddon, Captain Keymis, Edward Hancoc\, Cap- 
tain Clar\e, Lieutenant Hughes, Thomas Upton, Captain Facy, 
Jerome Ferrar, Anthony Wells, William Connoc/(^, and above fifty 
more. We could not learn of Berreo any other way to enter but in 
branches so far to windward as it was impossible for us to recover; 
for we had as much sea to cross over in our wherries, as between 
Dover and Calice, and in a great bollow, the wind and current being 
both very strong. So as we were driven to go in those small boats 
'^ Captain of the Minion in the third voyage of Hawkins. 


directly before the wind into the bottom of the Bay of Guanipa, and 
from thence to enter the mouth of some one of those rivers which 
]ohn Douglas had last discovered; and had with us for pilot an 
Indian of Barema, a river to the south of Orenoque, between that 
and Amazons, whose canoas we had formerly taken as he was going 
from the said Barema, laden with cassavi bread to sell at Margarita. 
This Arwacan promised to bring me into the great river of Ore- 
noque; but indeed of that which he entered he was utterly ignorant, 
for he had not seen it in twelve years before, at which time he was 
very young, and of no judgment. And if God had not sent us 
another help, we might have wandered a whole year in that labyrinth 
of rivers, yere we had found any way, either out or in, especially 
after we were past ebbing and flowing, which was in four days. 
For I know all the earth doth not yield the like confluence of streams 
and branches, the one crossing the other so many times, and all so 
fair and large, and so like one to another, as no man can tell which 
to take: and if we went by the sun or compass, hoping thereby to go 
directly one way or other, yet that way we were also carried in a 
circle amongst multitudes of islands, and every island so bordered 
with high trees as no man could see any further than the breadth of 
the river, or length of the breach. But this it chanced, that entering 
into a river (which because it had no name, we called the River of 
the Red Cross, ourselves being the first Christians that ever came 
therein), the 22. of May, as we were rowing up the same, we espied 
a small canoa with three Indians, which by the swiftness of my 
barge, rowing with eight oars, I overtook yere they could cross the 
river. The rest of the people on the banks, shadowed under the thick 
wood, gazed on with a doubtful conceit what might befall those 
three which we had taken. But when they perceived that we offered 
them no violence, neither entered their canoa with any of ours, nor 
took out of the canoa any of theirs, they then began to show them- 
selves on the bank's side, and offered to traffic with us for such things 
as they had. And as we drew near, they all stayed; and we came 
with our barge to the mouth of a little creek which came from their 
town into the great river. 

As we abode here awhile, our Indian pilot, called Ferdinando, 
would needs go ashore to their village to fetch some fruits and to 


drink of their artificial wines, and also to see the place and know 
the lord of it against another time, and took with him a brother of 
his which he had with him in the journey. When they came to the 
village of these people the lord of the island offered to lay hands on 
them, purposing to have slain them both; yielding for reason that 
this Indian of ours had brought a strange nation into their territory 
to spoil and destroy them. But the pilot being quick and of a dis- 
posed body, slipt their fingers and ran into the woods, and his 
brother, being the better footman of the two, recovered the creek's 
mouth, where we stayed in our barge, crying out that his brother was 
slain. With that we set hands on one of them that was next us, a 
very old man, and brought him into the barge, assuring him that if 
we had not our pilot again we would presently cut off his head. This 
old man, being resolved that he should pay the loss of the other, 
cried out to those in the woods to save Ferdinando, our pilot; but they 
followed him notwithstanding, and hunted after him upon the foot 
with their deer-dogs, and with so main a cry that all the woods 
echoed with the shout they made. But at the last this poor chased 
Indian recovered the river side and got upon a tree, and, as we were 
coasting, leaped down and swam to the barge half dead with fear. 
But our good hap was that we kept the other old Indian, which we 
handfasted to redeem our pilot withal; for, being natural of those 
rivers, we assured ourselves that he knew the way better than any 
stranger could. And, indeed, but for this chance, I think we had 
never found the way either to Guiana or back to our ships; for 
Ferdinando after a few days knew nothing at all, nor which way to 
turn; yea, and many times the old man himself was in great doubt 
which river to take. Those people which dwell in these broken 
islands and drowned lands are generally called Tivitivas. There are 
of them two sorts; the one called Ciawani, and the other Waraweete. 
The great river of Orenoque or Baraquan hath nine branches 
which fall out on the north side of his own main mouth. On the 
south side it hath seven other fallings into the sea, so it disemboqueth 
by sixteen arms in all, between islands and broken ground; but the 
islands are very great, many of them as big as the Isle of Wight, and 
bigger, and many less. From the first branch on the north to the last 
of the south it is at least loo leagues, so as the river's mouth is 300 


miles wide at his entrance into the sea, which I take to be far bigger 
than that of Amazons. All those that inhabit in the mouth of this 
river upon the several north branches are these Tivitivas, of which 
there are two chief lords which have continual wars one with the 
other. The islands which lie on the right hand are called Pallamos, 
and the land on the left, Hororotomal^a; and the river by which 
]ohn Douglas returned within the land from Amana to Capuri they 
call Macuri. 

These Tivitivas are a very goodly people and very valiant, and 
have the most manly speech and most deliberate that ever I heard of 
what nation soever. In the summer they have houses on the ground, 
as in other places; in the winter they dwell upon the trees, where 
they build very artificial towns and villages, as it is written in the 
Spanish story of the West Indies that those people do in the low 
lands near the gulf of Uraba. For between May and September the 
river of Orenoqtie riseth thirty foot upright, and then are those 
islands overflown twenty foot high above the level of the ground, 
saving some few raised grounds in the middle of them; and for this 
cause they are enforced to live in this manner. They never eat of 
anything that is set or sown; and as at home they use neither planting 
nor other manurance, so when they come abroad they refuse to feed 
of aught but of that which nature without labour bringeth forth. 
They use the tops of palmitos for bread, and kill deer, fish, and porks 
for the rest of their sustenance. They have also many sorts of fruits 
that grow in the woods, and great variety of birds and fowls; and if 
to speak of them were not tedious and vulgar, surely we saw in those 
passages of very rare colours and forms not elsewhere to be found, 
for as much as I have either seen or read. 

Of these people those that dwell upon the branches of Orenoque, 
called Capuri and Macureo, are for the most part carpenters of 
canoas; for they make the most and fairest canoas, and sell them into 
Guiana for gold and into Trinidad for tabacco, in the excessive tak- 
ing whereof they exceed all nations. And notwithstanding the moist- 
ness of the air in which they live, the hardness of their diet, and the 
great labours they suffer to hunt, fish, and fowl for their living, in 
all my life, either in the Indies or in Europe, did I never behold a 
more goodly or better-favoured people or a more manly. They were 


wont to make war upon all nations, and especially on the Cannibals, 
so as none durst without a good strength trade by those rivers; but 
of late they are at peace with their neighbours, all holding the Span- 
iards for a common enemy. When their commanders die they use 
great lamentation; and when they think the flesh of their bodies is 
putrified and fallen from their bones, then they take up the carcase 
again and hang it in the cacique's house that died, and deck his skull 
with feathers of all colours, and hang all his gold plates about the 
bones of his arms, thighs, and legs. Those nations which are called 
dfwacas, which dwell on the south of Orenoque, of which place and 
nation our Indian pilot was, are dispersed in many other places, and 
do use to beat the bones of their lords into powder, and their wives 
and friends drink it all in their several sorts of drinks. 

After we departed from the port of these Ciawani we passed up 
the river with the flood and anchored the ebb, and in this sort we 
went onward. The third day that we entered the river, our galley 
came on ground; and stuck so fast as we thought that even there 
our discovery had ended, and that we must have left four-score and 
ten of our men to have inhabited, like rooks upon trees, with those 
nations. But the next morning, after we had cast out all her ballast, 
with tugging and hauling to and fro we got her afloat and went on. 
At four days' end we fell into as goodly a river as ever I beheld, 
which was called the great Amana, which ran more direcdy with- 
out windings and turnings than the other. But soon after the flood 
of the sea left us; and, being enforced either by main strength to row 
against a violent current, or to return as wise as we went out, we 
had then no shift but to persuade the companies that it was but two 
or three days' work, and therefore desired them to take pains, every 
gentleman and others taking their turns to row, and to spell one 
the other at the hour's end. Every day we passed by goodly branches 
of rivers, some falling from the west, others from the east, into 
Amana; but those 1 leave to the description in the chart of discovery, 
where every one shall be named with his rising and descent. When 
three days more were overgone, our companies began to despair, the 
weather being extreme hot, the river bordered with very high trees 
that kept away the air, and the current against us every day stronger 
than other. But we evermore commanded our pilots to promise an 


end the next day, and used it so long as we were driven to assure 
them from four reaches of the river to three, and so to two, and so 
to the next reach. But so long we laboured that many days were 
spent, and we driven to draw ourselves to harder allowance, our 
bread even at the last, and no drink at all; and our men and our- 
selves so wearied and scorched, and doubtful withal whether we 
should ever perform it or no, the heat increasing as we drew towards 
the line; for we were now in five degrees. 

The further we went on, our victual decreasing and the air breed- 
ing great faintness, we grew weaker and weaker, when we had 
most need of strength and ability. For hourly the river ran more 
violently than other against us, and the barge, wherries, and ship's 
boat of Captain Gifford and Captain Caulfield had spent all their 
provisions; so as we were brought into despair and discomfort, had 
we not persuaded all the company that it was but only one day's 
work more to attain the land where we should be relieved of all we 
wanted, and if we returned, that we were sure to starve by the way, 
and that the world would also laugh us to scorn. On the banks of 
these rivers were divers sorts of fruits good to eat, flowers and trees 
of such variety as were suificient to make ten volumes of Herbals; 
we relieved ourselves many times with the fruits of the country, 
and sometimes with fowl and fish. We saw birds of all colours, some 
carnation, some crimson, orange-tawny, purple, watchet,'^ and of all 
other sorts, both simple and mixed, and it was unto us a great good- 
passing of the time to behold them, besides the relief we found by 
killing some store of them with our fowling-pieces; without which, 
having little or no bread, and less drink, but only the thick and 
troubled water of the river, we had been in a very hard case. 

Our old pilot of the Ciawani, whom, as I said before, we took to 
redeem Ferdinando, told us, that if we would enter a branch of a 
river on the right hand with our barge and wherries, and leave the 
galley at anchor the while in the great river, he would bring us to a 
town of the Arwacas, where we should find store of bread, hens, 
fish, and of the country wine; and persuaded us, that departing from 
the galley at noon we might return yere night. I was very glad to 
hear this speech, and presently took my barge, with eight musketeers, 

"Pale blue. 


Captain Gifford's wherry, with himself and four musketeers, and 
Captain Caul field with his wherry, and as many; and so we entered 
the mouth of this river; and because we were persuaded that it was 
so near, we took no victual with us at all. When we had rowed 
three hours, we marvelled we saw no sign of any dwelling, and 
asked the pilot where the town was; he told us, a little further. After 
three hours more, the sun being almost set, we began to suspect 
that he led us that way to betray us; for he confessed that those 
Spaniards which fled from Trinidad, and also those that remained 
with Carapana in Emeria, were joined together in some village 
upon that river. But when it grew towards night, and we demanded 
where the place was, he told us but four reaches more. When we 
had rowed four and four, we saw no sign; and our poor watermen, 
even heart-broken and tired, were ready to give up the ghost; for we 
had now come from the galley near forty miles. 

At the last we determined to hang the pilot; and if we had well 
known the way back again by night, he had surely gone. But our 
own necessities pleaded sufficiently for his safety; for it was as dark 
as pitch, and the river began so to narrow itself, and the trees to 
hang over from side to side, as we were driven with arming swords 
to cut a passage thorough those branches that covered the water. 
We were very desirous to find this town hoping of a feast, because we 
made but a short breakfast aboard the galley in the morning, and it 
was now eight o'clock at night, and our stomachs began to gnaw 
apace; but whether it was best to return or go on, we began to doubt, 
suspecting treason in the pilot more and more; but the poor old 
Indian ever assured us that it was but a little further, but this one 
turning and that turning; and at the last about one o'clock after 
midnight we saw a light, and rowing towards it we heard the dogs 
of the village. When we landed we found few people; for the lord 
of that place was gone with divers canoas above 400 miles off, upon 
a journey towards the head of Orenoque, to trade for gold, and to 
buy women of the Cannibals, who afterwards unfortunately passed 
by us as we rode at an anchor in the port of Morequito in the dark 
of the night, and yet came so near us as his canoas grated against our 
barges; he left one of his company at the port of Morequito, by whom 
we understood that he had brought thirty young women, divers 


plates of gold, and had great store of fine pieces of cotton cloth, and 
cotton beds. In his house we had good store of bread, fish, hens, 
and Indian drink, and so rested that night; and in the morning, 
after we had traded with such of his people as came down, we re- 
turned towards our galley, and brought with us some quantity of 
bread, fish, and hens. 

On both sides of this river we passed the most beautiful country 
that ever mine eyes beheld; and whereas all that we had seen before 
was nothing but woods, prickles, bushes, and thorns, here we beheld 
plains of twenty miles in length, the grass short and green, and in 
divers parts groves of trees by themselves, as if they had been by all 
the art and labour in the world so made of purpose; and still as we 
rowed, the deer came down feeding by the water's side as if they 
had been used to a keeper's call. Upon this river there were great 
store of fowl, and of many sorts; we saw in it divers sorts of strange 
fishes, and of marvellous bigness; but for lagarto/^ it exceeded, for 
there were thousands of those ugly serpents; and the people call it, 
for the abundance of them, the Rit^er of Lagartos, in their language. 
I had a negro, a very proper young fellow, who leaping out of the 
galley to swim in the mouth of this river, was in all our sights taken 
and devoured with one of those lagartos. In the meanwhile our 
companies in the galley thought we had been all lost, for we prom- 
ised to return before night; and sent the Lion's Whelp's ship's boat 
with Captain Whiddon to follow us up the river. But the next day, 
after we had rowed up and down some fourscore miles, we returned, 
and went on our way up the great river; and when we were even at 
the last cast for want of victuals, Captain Gifford being before the 
galley and the rest of the boats, seeking out some place to land upon 
the banks to make fire, espied four canoas coming down the river; 
and with no small joy caused his men to try the uttermost of their 
strengths, and after a while two of the four gave over and ran them- 
selves ashore, every man betaking himself to the fastness of the 
woods. The two other lesser got away, while he landed to lay hold 
on these; and so turned into some by-creek, we knew not whither. 
Those canoas that were taken were loaden with bread, and were 
bound for Margarita in the West Indies, which those Indians, called 
*" Alligators and caymans. 


Arwacas, proposed to carry thither for exchange; but in the lesser 
there were three Spaniards, who having heard of the defeat of their 
Governor in Trinidad, and that we purposed to enter Guiana, came 
away in those canoas; one of them was a cavallero, as the captain of 
the Arwacas after told us, another a soldier and the third a refiner. 

In the meantime, nothing on the earth could have been more 
welcome to us, next unto gold, than the great store of very excellent 
bread which we found in these canoas; for now our men cried. Let us 
go on, we care not how far. After that Captain Gifford had brought 
the two canoas to the galley, I took my barge and went to the bank's 
side with a dozen shot, where the canoas first ran themselves ashore, 
and landed there, sending out Captain Gifford and Captain Thyn on 
one hand and Captain Caulfield on the other, to follow those that 
were fled into the woods. And as I was creeping thorough the bushes, 
I saw an Indian basket hidden, which was the refiner's basket; for 
I found in it his quicksilver, saltpetre, and divers things for the trial 
of metals, and also the dust of such ore as he had refined; but in 
those canoas which escaped there was a good quantity of ore and 
gold. I then landed more men, and offered five hundred pound to 
what soldier soever could take one of those three Spaniards that we 
thought were landed. But our labours were in vain in that behalf, 
for they put themselves into one of the small canoas, and so, while the 
greater canoas were in taking, they escaped. But seeking after the 
Spaniards we found the Arwacas hidden in the woods, which were 
pilots for the Spaniards, and rowed their canoas. Of which I kept 
the chiefest for a pilot, and carried him with me to Guiana; by whom 
I understood where and in what countries the Spaniards had la- 
boured for gold, though I made not the same known to all. For 
when the springs began to break, and the rivers to raise themselves 
so suddenly as by no means we could abide the digging of any 
mine, especially for that the richest are defended with rocks of hard 
stones, which we call the white spar, and that it required both time, 
men, and instruments fit for such a work, I thought it best not to 
hover thereabouts, lest if the same had been perceived by the com- 
pany, there would have been by this time many barks and ships set 
out, and perchance other nations would also have gotten of ours for 
pilots. So as both ourselves might have been prevented, and all our 


care taken for good usage of the people been utterly lost, by those 
that only respect present profit; and such violence or insolence offered 
as the nations which are borderers would have changed the desire 
of our love and defence into hatred and violence. And for any longer 
stay to have brought a more quantity, which I hear hath been often 
objected, whosoever had seen or proved the fury of that river after 
it began to arise, and had been a month and odd days, as we were, 
from hearing aught from our ships, leaving them meanly manned 
400 miles off, would perchance have turned somewhat sooner than 
we did, if all the mountains had been gold, or rich stones. And to 
say the truth, all the branches and small rivers which fell into Ore- 
noque were raised with such speed, as if we waded them over the 
shoes in the morning outward, we were covered to the shoulders 
homeward the very same day; and to stay to dig our gold with our 
nails, had been opus laboris but not ingenii. Such a quantity as 
would have served our turns we could not have had, but a discovery 
of the mines to our infinite disadvantage we had made, and that 
could have been the best profit of farther search or stay; for those 
mines are not easily broken, nor opened in haste, and I could have 
returned a good quantity of gold ready cast if I had not shot at 
another mark than present profit. 

This Arwacan pilot, with the rest, feared that we would have 
eaten them, or otherwise have put them to some cruel death : for the 
Spaniards, to the end that none of the people in the passage towards 
Guiana, or in Guiana itself, might come to speech with us, persuaded 
all the nations that we were men-eaters and cannibals. But when 
the poor men and women had seen us, and that we gave them meat, 
and to every one something or other which was rare and strange to 
them, they began to conceive the deceit and purpose of the Spaniards, 
who indeed, as they confessed took from them both their wives and 
daughters daily . . . But I protest before the Majesty of the living 
God, that I neither know nor believe, that any of our company, one 
or other, did offer insult to any of their women, and yet we saw 
many hundreds, and had many in our power, and of those very 
young and excellently favoured, which came among us without 
deceit, stark naked. Nothing got us more love amongst them than 
this usage; for I suffered not any man to take from any of the 


nations so much as a pina^ or a potato root without giving them con- 
tentment, nor any man so much as to ofEer to touch any of their 
wives or daughters; which course, so contrary to the Spaniards, who 
tyrannize over them in all things, drew them to admire her Majesty, 
whose commandment I told them it was, and also wonderfully to 
honour our nation. But I confess it was a very impatient work to 
keep the meaner sort from spoil and stealing when we came to their 
houses; which because in all I could not prevent, I caused my Indian 
interpreter at every place when we departed, to know of the loss 
or wrong done, and if aught were stolen or taken by violence, either 
the same was restored, and the party punished in their sight, or else 
was paid for to their uttermost demand. They also much wondered 
at us, after they heard that we had slain the Spaniards at Trinidad, 
for they were before resolved that no nation of Christians durst abide 
their presence; and they wondered more when I had made them 
know of the great overthrow that her Majesty's army and fleet had 
given them of late years in their own countries. 

After we had taken in this supply of bread, with divers baskets of 
roots, which were excellent meat, I gave one of the canoas to the 
Arwacas, which belonged to the Spaniards that were escaped; and 
when I had dismissed all but the captain, who by the Spaniards was 
christened Martin, I sent back in the same canoa the old Ciawani, 
and Ferdinando, my first pilot, and gave them both such things as 
they desired, with sufficient victual to carry them back, and by them 
wrote a letter to the ships, which they promised to deliver, and per- 
formed it; and then I went on, with my new hired pilot, Martin the 
Arwacan. But the next or second day after, we came aground again 
with our galley, and were like to cast her away, with all our victual 
and provision, and so lay on the sand one whole night, and were 
far more in despair at this time to free her than before, because 
we had no tide of flood to help us, and therefore feared that all our 
hopes would have ended in mishaps. But we fastened an anchor 
upon the land, and with main strength drew her off; and so the 
fifteenth day we discovered afar off the mountains of Guiana, to 
our great joy, and towards the evening had a slent'" of a northerly 
wind that blew very strong, which brought us in sight of the great 
''Pine-apple (see p. 353). ''Push. 


river Orenoque; out o£ which this river descended wherein we were. 
We descried afar off three other canoas as far as we could discern 
them, after whom we hastened with our barge and wherries, but 
two of them passed out of sight, and the third entered up the great 
river, on the right hand to the westward, and there stayed out of 
sight, thinking that we meant to take the way eastward towards the 
province of Carapana; for that way the Spaniards keep, not daring 
to go upwards to Guiana, the people in those parts being all their 
enemies, and those in the canoas thought us to have been those Span- 
iards that were fled from Trinidad, and escaped killing. And when 
we came so far down as the opening of that branch into which they 
slipped, being near them with our barge and wherries, we made after 
them, and yere they could land came within call, and by our inter- 
preter told them what we were, wherewith they came back willingly 
aboard us; and of such fish and tortugas' *" eggs as they had gathered 
they gave us, and promised in the morning to bring the lord of that 
part with them, and to do us all other services they could. That 
night we came to an anchor at the parting of the three goodly rivers 
(the one was the river of Amana, by which we came from the north, 
and ran athwart towards the south, the other two were of Orenoque, 
which crossed from the west and ran to the sea towards the east) 
and landed upon a fair sand, where we found thousands of tortugas' 
eggs, which are very wholesome meat, and greatly restoring; so as 
our men were now well filled and highly contented both with 
the fare, and nearness of the land of Guiana, which appeared in 

In the morning there came down, according to promise, the lord 
of that border, called Toparimaca, with some thirty or forty follow- 
ers, and brought us divers sorts of fruits, and of his wine, bread, fish, 
and flesh, whom we also feasted as we could; at least we drank good 
Spanish wine, whereof we had a small quantity in bottles, which 
above all things they love. I conferred with this Toparimaca of the 
next*' way to Guiana, who conducted our galley and boats to his own 
port, and carried us from thence some mile and a-half to his town; 
where some of our captains garoused*^ of his wine till they were 
reasonable pleasant, for it is very strong with pepper, and the juice 

*o Turtles. ^^ Nearest. '^CamnseA. 


of divers herbs and fruits digested and purged. They keep it in great 
earthen pots of ten or twelve gallons, very clean and sweet, and are 
themselves at their meetings and feasts the greatest carousers and 
drunkards of the world. When we came to his town we found two 
caciques, whereof one was a stranger that had been up the river in 
trade, and his boats, people, and wife encamped at the port where 
we anchored; and the other was of that country, a follower of 
Toparimaca. They lay each of them in a cotton hamaca, which we 
call Brazil beds, and two women attending them with six cups, and 
a little ladle to fill them out of an earthen pitcher of wine; and 
so they drank each of them three of those cups at a time one to 
the other, and in this sort they drink drunk at their feasts and 

That cacique that was a stranger had his wife staying at the port 
where we anchored, and in all my life I have seldom seen a better 
favoured woman. She was of good stature, with black eyes, fat of 
body, of an excellent countenance, her hair almost as long as herself, 
tied up again in pretty knots; and it seemed she stood not in that 
awe of her husband as the rest, for she spake and discoursed, and 
drank among the gentlemen and captains, and was very pleasant, 
knowing her own comeliness, and taking great pride therein. I have 
seen a lady in England so like to her, as but for the difference of 
colour, I would have sworn might have been the same. 

The seat of this town of Toparimaca was very pleasant, standing 
on a little hill, in an excellent prospect, with goodly gardens a mile 
compass round about it, and two very fair and large ponds of excel- 
lent fish adjoining. This town is called Arowocai; the people are of 
the nation called Nepoios, and are followers of Carapana. In that 
place I saw very aged people, that we might perceive all their sinews 
and veins without any flesh, and but even as a case covered only 
with skin. The lord of this place gave me an old man for pilot, 
who was of great experience and travel, and knew the river most 
perfectly both by day and night. And it shall be requisite for any 
man that passeth it to have such a pilot; for it is four, five, and six 
miles over in many places, and twenty miles in other places, with 
wonderful eddies and strong currents, many great islands, and divers 
shoals, and many dangerous rocks; and besides upon any increase of 


wind so great a billow, as we were sometimes in great peril o£ drown- 
ing in the galley, for the small boats durst not come from the shore 
but when it was very fair. 

The next day we hasted thence, and having an easterly wind to 
help us, we spared our arms from rowing; for after we entered 
Orenoque, the river lieth for the most part east and west, even from 
the sea unto Quito, in Peru. This river is navigable with barks little 
less than looo miles; and from the place where we entered it may 
be sailed up in small pinnaces to many of the best parts of Nuevo 
Reyno de Granada and of Popayan. And from no place may the 
cities of these parts of the Indies be so easily taken and invaded as 
from hence/^ All that day we sailed up a branch of that river, 
having on the left hand a great island, which they call Assapana, 
which may contain some five-and-twenty miles in length, and six 
miles in breadth, the great body of the river running on the other 
side of this island. Beyond that middle branch there is also another 
island in the river, called Iwana, which is twice as big as the Isle of 
Wight; and beyond it, and between it and the main of Guiana, run- 
neth a third branch of Orenoque, called Arraroopana. All three are 
goodly branches, and all navigable for great ships. I judge the river 
in this place to be at least thirty miles broad, reckoning the islands 
which divide the branches in it, for afterwards I sought also both 
the other branches. 

After we reached to the head of the island called Assapana, a little 
to the westward on the right hand there opened a river which came 
from the north, called Europa, and fell into the great river; and 
beyond it on the same side we anchored for that night by another 
island, six miles long and two miles broad, which they call Ocaywita. 
From hence, in the morning, we landed two Guianians, which we 
found in the town of Toparimaca, that came with us; who went to 
give notice of our coming to the lord of that country, called Putyma, 
a follower of Topiawari, chief lord of Aromaia, who succeeded 
Morequito, whom (as you have heard before) Berreo put to death. 
But his town being far within the land, he came not unto us that 
day; so as we anchored again that night near the banks of another 
land, of bigness much like the other, which they call Putapayma, 

*^ Raleigh regarded the occupation of 'Guiana' as a step towards the conquest 
of New Granada and Peru (see pp. 361—362.) 


over against which island, on the main land, was a very high moun- 
tain called Oecope. We coveted to anchor rather by these islands 
in the river than by the main, because of the tortugas' eggs, which 
our people found on them in great abundance; and also because the 
ground served better for us to cast our nets for fish, the main banks 
being for the most part stony and high and the rocks of a blue, metal- 
line colour, like unto the best steel ore, which I assuredly take it to 
be. Of the same blue stone are also divers great mountains which 
border this river in many places. 

The next morning, towards nine of the clock, we weighed anchor; 
and the breeze increasing, we sailed always west up the river, and, 
after a while, opening the land on the right side, the country ap- 
peared to be champaign and the banks shewed very perfect red. I 
therefore sent two of the little barges with Captain Gifford, and 
with him Captain Thyn, Captain Caulfield, my cousin Greenvile, my 
nephew ]ohn Gilbert, Captain Eynos, Master Edward Porter, and 
my cousin Butshead Gorges, with some few soldiers, to march over 
the banks of that red land and to discover what manner of country 
it was on the other side; who at their return found it all a plain level 
as far as they went or could discern from the highest tree they could 
get upon. And my old pilot, a man of great travel, brother to the 
cacique Toparimaca, told me that those were called the plains of the 
Sayma, and that the same level reached to Cumand and Caracas, in 
the West Indies, which are a hundred and twenty leagues to the 
north, and that there inhabited four principal nations. The first were 
the Sayma, the next Assawai, the third and greatest the Wif{iri, by 
whom Pedro Hernandez de Serpa, before mentioned, was over- 
thrown as he passed with 300 horse from Cumand towards Orenoque 
in his enterprise of Guiana. The fourth are called Aroras, and are as 
black as negroes, but have smooth hair; and these are very valiant, 
or rather desperate, people, and have the most strong poison on their 
arrows, and most dangerous, of all nations, of which I will speak 
somewhat, being a digression not unnecessary. 

There was nothing whereof I was more curious than to find out 
the true remedies of these poisoned arrows. For besides the mortality 
of the wound they make, the party shot endureth the most insuf- 
ferable torment in the world, and abideth a most ugly and lament- 
able death, sometimes dying stark mad, sometimes their bowels break- 


ing out of their bellies; which are presently discoloured as black as 
pitch, and so unsavory as no man can endure to cure or to attend 
them. And it is more strange to know that in all this time there was 
never Spaniard, either by gift or torment, that could attain to the true 
knowledge of the cure, although they have martyred and put to in- 
vented torture I know not how many of them. But everyone of these 
Indians know it not, no, not one among thousands, but their sooth- 
sayers and priests, who do conceal it, and only teach it but from the 
father to the son. 

Those medicines which are vulgar, and serve for the ordinary 
poison, are made of the juice of a root called tupara; the same also 
quencheth marvellously the heat of burning fevers, and healeth in- 
ward wounds and broken veins that bleed within the body. But I 
was more beholding to the Guianians than any other; for Antonio 
de Berreo told me that he could never attain to the knowledge 
thereof, and yet they taught me the best way of healing as well 
thereof as of all other poisons. Some of the Spaniards have been 
cured in ordinary wounds of the common poisoned arrows with the 
juice of garlic. But this is a general rule for all men that shall here- 
after travel the Indies where poisoned arrows are used, that they 
must abstain from drink. For if they take any liquor into their 
body, as they shall be marvellously provoked thereunto by drought, 
I say, if they drink before the wound be dressed, or soon upon it, 
there is no way with them but present death. 

And so I will return again to our journey, which for this third 
day we finished, and cast anchor again near the continent on the 
left hand between two mountains, the one called Aroami and the 
other Aio. I made no stay here but till midnight; for I feared hourly 
lest any rain should fall, and then it had been impossible to have gone 
any further up, notwithstanding that there is every day a very 
strong breeze and easterly wind. I deferred the search of the country 
on Guiana side till my return down the river. 

The next day we sailed by a great island in the middle of the 
river, called Manoripano; and, as we walked awhile on the island, 
while the galley got ahead of us, there came for us from the main a 
small canoa with seven or eight Guianians, to invite us to anchor at 
their port, but I deferred till my return. It was that cacique to whom 


those Nepoios went, which came with us from the town of Topari- 
maca. And so the fifth day we reached as high up as the province of 
Aromaia, the country of Morequito, whom Berreo executed, and 
anchored to the west of an island called Murrecotima, ten miles long 
and five broad. And that night the cacique Aramiary, to whose town 
we made our long and hungry voyage out of the river of Amana, 
passed by us. 

The next day we arrived at the port of Morequito, and anchored 
there, sending away one of our pilots to seek the king of Aromaia, 
uncle to Morequito, slain by Berreo as aforesaid. The next day fol- 
lowing, before noon, he came to us on foot from his house, which was 
fourteen English miles, himself being a hundred and ten years old, 
and returned on foot the same day; and with him many of the 
borderers, with many women and children, that came to wonder at 
our nation and to bring us down victual, which they did in great 
plenty, as venison, pork, hens, chickens, fowl, fish, with divers sorts of 
excellent fruits and roots, and great abundance of pinas, the princess 
of fruits that grow under the sun, especially those of Guiana. They 
brought us, also, store of bread and of their wine, and a sort of 
paraquitos no bigger than wrens, and of all other sorts both small 
and great. One of them gave me a beast called by the Spaniards 
armadillo, which they call cassacam, which seemeth to be all barred 
over with small plates somewhat like to a rhinoceros, with a white 
horn growing in his hinder parts as big as a great hunting-horn, 
which they use to wind instead of a trumpet. Monardus^^ writeth 
that a little of the powder of that horn put into the ear cureth 

After this old king had rested awhile in a little tent that I caused 
to be set up, I began by my interpreter to discourse with him of the 
death of Morequito his predecessor, and afterward of the Spaniards; 
and yere I went any farther I made him know the cause of my 
coming thither, whose servant I was, and that the Queen's pleasure 
was I should undertake the voyage for their defence, and to deliver 
them from the tyranny of the Spaniards, dilating at large, as I had 
done before to those of Trinidad, her Majesty's greatness, her justice, 
her charity to all oppressed nations, with as many of the rest of her 
"Monardes, Historia Medicinal (1574; English Version, 1577). 


beauties and virtues as either I could express or they conceive. All 
which being with great admiration attentively heard and marvel- 
lously admired, I began to sound the old man as touching Guiana 
and the state thereof, what sort of commonwealth it was, how gov- 
erned, of what strength and policy, how far it extended, and what 
nations were friends or enemies adjoining, and finally of the dis- 
tance, and way to enter the same. He told me that himself and his 
people, with all those down the river towards the sea, as far as 
Emeria, the province of Carapana, were of Guiana, but that they 
called themselves Orenoqueponi, and that all the nations between 
the river and those mountains in sight, called Wacarima, were of the 
same cast and appellation; and that on the other side of those moun- 
tains of Wacarima there was a large plain (which after I discovered 
in my return) called the valley of Amariocapana. In all that valley 
the people were also of the ancient Guianians. 

I asked what nations those were which inhabited on the further 
side of those mountains, beyond the valley of Amariocapana. He 
answered with a great sigh (as a man which had inward feeling 
of the loss of his country and liberty, especially for that his eldest 
son was slain in a battle on- that side of the mountains, whom he most 
entirely loved) that he remembered in his father's lifetime, when he 
was very old and himself a young man, that there came down into 
that large valley of Guiana a nation from so far off as the sun slept 
(for such were his own words), with so great a multitude as they 
could not be numbered nor resisted, and that they wore large coats, 
and hats of crimson colour, which colour he expressed by shewing a 
piece of red wood wherewith my tent was supported, and that they 
were called Orejones and Epuremei; that those had slain and rooted 
out so many of the ancient people as there were leaves in the wood 
upon all the trees, and had now made themselves lords of all, even 
to that mountain foot called Curaa, saving only of two nations, the 
one called Iwarawaqueri and the other Cassipagotos; and that in the 
last battle fought between the Epuremei and the Iwarawaqueri his 
eldest son was chosen to carry to the aid of the Iwarawaqueri a great 
troop of the Orenoqueponi, and was there slain with all his people 
and friends, and that he had now remaining but one son; and 
farther told me that those Epuremei had built a great town called 


Macureguarai at the said mountain foot, at the beginning o£ the great 
plains of Guiana, which have no end; and that their houses have 
many rooms, one over the other, and that therein the great king of 
the Orejones and Epuremei kept three thousand men to defend the 
borders against them, and withal daily to invade and slay them; but 
that of late years, since the Christians offered to invade his territories 
and those frontiers, they were all at peace, and traded one with an- 
other, saving only the Iwarawaqueri and those other nations upon 
the head of the river of Caroli called Cassipagotos, which we after- 
wards discovered, each one holding the Spaniard for a common 

After he had answered thus far, he desired leave to depart, saying 
that he had far to go, that he was old and weak, and was every day 
called for by death, which was also his own phrase. I desired him to 
rest with us that night, but I could not entreat him; but he told me 
that at my return from the country above he would again come to 
us, and in the meantime provide for us the best he could, of all that 
his country yielded. The same night he returned to Orocotona, his 
own town; so as he went that day eightrand-twenty miles, the 
weather being very hot, the country being situate between four and 
five degrees of the equinoctial. This Topiawari is held for the proud- 
est and wisest of all the Orenoqueponi, and so he behaved himself 
towards me in all his answers, at my return, as I marvelled to find 
a man of that gravity and judgment and of so good discourse, that 
had no help of learning nor breed. 

The next morning we also left the port, and sailed westward up 
to the river, to view the famous river called Caroli, as well because 
it was marvellous of itself, as also for that I understood it led to the 
strongest nations of all the frontiers, that were enemies to the Epu- 
remei, which are subjects to Inga, emperor of Guiana and Manoa. 
And that night we anchored at another island called Caiama, of some 
five or six miles in length; and the next day arrived at the mouth 
of Caroli. When we were short of it as low or further down as the 
port of Morequito, we heard the great roar and fall of the river. But 
when we came to enter with our barge and wherries, thinking to 
have gone up some forty miles to the nations of the Cassipagotos, 
we were not able with a barge of eight oars to row one stone's cast 


in an hour; and yet the river is as broad as the Thames at Woolwich, 
and we tried both sides, and the middle, and every part of the river. 
So as we encamped upon the banks adjoining, and sent off our 
Orenoquepone which came with us from Morequito to give knowl- 
edge to the nations upon the river of our being there, and that we 
desired to see the lords of Canuria, which dwelt within the province 
upon that river, making them know that we were enemies to the 
Spaniards; for it was on this river side that Morequito slew the friar, 
and those nine Spaniards which came from Manoa, the city of Inga, 
and took from them 14,000 pesos of gold. So as the next day there 
came down a lord or cacique, called Wanuretona, with many people 
with him, and brought all store of provisions to entertain us, as the 
rest had done. And as I had before made my coming known to 
Topiawari, so did I acquaint this cacique therewith, and how I was 
sent by her Majesty for the purpose aforesaid, and gathered also 
what I could of him touching the estate of Guiana. And I found 
that those also of Caroli were not only enemies to the Spaniards, but 
most of all to the Epuremei, which abound in gold. And by this 
Wanuretona I had knowledge that on the head of this river were 
three mighty nations, which were seated on a great lake, from 
whence this river descended, and were called Cassipagotos, Epare- 
gotos, and Arawagotos;*^ and that all those either against the Span- 
iards or the Epuremei would join with us, and that if we entered 
the land over the mountains of Curaa we should satisfy ourselves 
with gold and all other good things. He told us farther of a nation 
called Iwarawaqueri, before spoken of, that held daily war with the 
Epuremei that inhabited Macureguarai, the first civil town of Guiana, 
of the subjects of Inga, the emperor. 

Upon this river one Captain George, that I took with Berreo, told 
me that there was a great silver mine, and that it was near the banks 
of the said river. But by this time as well Orenoque, Caroli, as all 
the rest of the rivers were risen four or five feet in height, so as it was 
not possible by the strength of any men, or with any boat whatsoever, 
to row into the river against the stream. I therefore sent Captain 
Thyn, Captain Greenvile, my nephew ]ohn Gilbert, my cousin 

*^ The Purigotos and Arinagotos are still settled on the upper tributaries o£ the 
Caroni river. No such lake as that mentioned is known to exist. 


Butshead Gorges, Captain Clar\e, and some thirty shot more to 
coast the river by land, and to go to a town some twenty miles over 
the valley called Amnatapoi; and they found guides there to go 
farther towards the mountain foot to another great town called 
Capurepana, belonging to a cacique called Haharacoa, that was a 
nephew to old Topiawari, king of Aromaia, our chiefest friend, be- 
cause this town and province of Capurepana adjoined to Macure- 
guarai, which was a frontier town of the empire. And the mean- 
while myself with Captain Gifford, Captain Caul field, Edward Han- 
coc/{, and some half-a-dozen shot marched overland to view the 
strange overfalls of the river of Caroli, which roared so far off; and 
also to see the plains adjoining, and the rest of the province of 
Canuri. I sent also Captain Whiddon, William Connoc\, and some 
eight shot with them, to see if they could find any mineral stone 
alongst the river's side. When we were come to the tops of the first 
hills of the plains adjoining to the river, we beheld that wonder- 
ful breach of waters which ran down Caroli; and might from that 
mountain see the river how it ran in three parts, above twenty miles 
off, and there appeared some ten or twelve, overfalls in sight, every 
one as high over the other as a church tower, which fell with that 
fury, that the rebound of water made it seem as if it had been all 
covered over with a great shower of rain; and in some places we 
took it at the first for a smoke that had risen over some great town. 
For mine own part I was well persuaded from thence to have re- 
turned, being a very ill footman; but the rest were all so desirous to 
go near the said strange thunder of waters, as they drew me on by 
little and little, till we came into the next valley, where we might 
better discern the same. I never saw a more beautiful country, nor 
more lively prospects; hills so raised here and there over the valleys; 
the river winding into divers branches; the plains adjoining without 
bush or stubble, all fair green grass; the ground of hard sand, easy 
to march on, either for horse or foot; the deer crossing in every path; 
the birds towards the evening singing on every tfee with a thousand 
several tunes; cranes and herons of white, crimson, and carnation, 
perching in the river's side; the air fresh with a gentle easterly wind; 
and every stone that we stooped to take up promised either gold or 
silver by his complexion. Your Lordship shall see of many sorts, and 


I hope some of them cannot be bettered under the sun; and yet we 
had no means but with our daggers and fingers to tear them out here 
and there, the rocks being most hard of that mineral spar aforesaid, 
which is hke a flint, and is altogether as hard or harder, and besides 
the veins lie a fathom or two deep in the rocks. But we wanted all 
things requisite save only our desires and good will to have per- 
formed more if it had pleased God. To be short, when both our 
companies returned, each of them brought also several sorts of stones 
that appeared very fair, but were such as they found loose on the 
ground, and were for the most part but coloured, and had not any 
gold fixed in them. Yet such as had no judgment or experience kept 
all that glistered, and would not be persuaded but it was rich because 
of the lustre; and brought of those, and of marcasite withal, from 
Trinidad, and have delivered of those stones to be tried in many 
places, and have thereby bred an opinion that all the rest is of the 
same. Yet some of these stones I shewed afterward to a Spaniard of 
the Caracas, who told me that it was El madre del oro, that is, the 
mother of gold, and that the mine was farther in the ground. 

But it shall be found a weak policy in me, either to betray myself 
or my country with imaginations; neither am I so far in love with 
that lodging, watching, care, peril, diseases, ill savours, bad fare, 
and many other mischiefs that accompany these voyages, as to woo 
myself again into any of them, were I not assured that the sun cov- 
ereth not so much riches in any part of the earth. Captain Whiddon, 
and our chirurgeon, Nicholas Millechamp, brought me a kind of 
stones like sapphires; what they may prove I know not. I shewed 
them to some of the Orenoqueponi, and they promised to bring me 
to a mountain that had of them very large pieces growing diamond- 
wise; whether it be crystal of the mountain, Bristol diamond, or 
sapphire, I do not yet know, but I hope the best; sure I am that the 
place is as likely as those from whence all the rich stones are brought, 
and in the same height or very near. 

On the left hand of this river Caroli are seated those nations which 
I called Iwarawaqueri before remembered, which are enemies to the 
Epuremei; and on the head of it, adjoining to the great lake Cassipa, 
are situated those other nations which also resist Inga, and the 
Epuremei, called Cassipagoios, Eparegotos, and Arawagotos. I far- 


ther understood that this lake of Cassipa is so large, as it is above 
one day's journey for one of their canoas, to cross, which may be 
some forty miles; and that thereinto fall divers rivers, and that great 
store of grains of gold are found in the summer time w^hen the lake 
falleth by the banks, in those branches. 

There is also another goodly river beyond Caroli which is called 
Arui, which also runneth thorough the lake Cassipa, and falleth into 
Orenoque farther west, making all that land between Caroli and 
Arui an island; which is likewise a most beautiful country. Next 
unto Arui there are two rivers Atoica and Caura, and on that branch 
which is called Caura are a nation of people whose heads appear not 
above their shoulders; which though it may be thought a mere fable, 
yet for mine own part I am resolved it is true, because every child 
in the provinces of Aromaia and Canuri affirm the same. They are 
called Ewaipanoma; they are reported to have their eyes in their 
shoulders, and their mouths in the middle of their breasts, and that 
a long train of hair groweth backward between their shoulders. The 
son of Topiawari, which I brought with me into England, told me 
that they were the most mighty men of all the land, and use bows, 
arrows, and clubs thrice as big as any of Guiana, or of the Orenoque- 
poni; and that one of the Iwarawaqueri took a prisoner of them the 
year before our arrival there, and brought him into the borders of 
Aromaia, his father's country. And farther, when I seemed to doubt 
of it, he told me that it was no wonder among them; but that they 
were as great a nation and as common as any other in all the prov- 
inces, and had of late years slain many hundreds of his father's 
people, and of other nations their neighbours. But it was not my 
chance to hear of them till I was come away; and if I had but 
spoken one word of it while I was there I might have brought one 
of them with me to put the matter out of doubt. Such a nation was 
written of by Mandeville, whose reports were holden for fables 
many years; and yet since the East Indies were discovered, we find 
his relations true of such things as heretofore were held incredible.^' 
Whether it be true or no, the matter is not great, neither can there 
be any profit in the imagination; for mine own part I saw them not, 

*^ Mandeville, or the author who assumed this name, placed his headless men in 
the East Indian Archipelago. The fable is borrowed from older writers (Herodotus, 
iv. 191, &c.). 


but I am resolved that so many people did not all combine or fore- 
think to make the report. 

When I came to Cutnana in the West Indies afterwards by chance 
I spake with a Spaniard dwelling not far from thence, a man of 
great travel. And after he knew that I had been in Guiana, and so 
far directly west as Caroli, the first question he asked me was, 
whether I had seen any of the Ewaipanoma, which are those with- 
out heads. Who being esteemed a most honest man of his word, 
and in all things else, told me that he had seen many of them; I may 
not name him, because it may be for his disadvantage, but he is well 
known to Monsieur Moucheron's son of London, and to Peter Mou- 
cheron, merchant, of the Flemish ship that was there in trade; who 
also heard, what he avowed to be true, of those people. 

The fourth river to the west of Caroli is Casnero: which falleth 
into the Orenoque on this side of Amapaia. And that river is greater 
than Danubius, or any of Europe: it riseth on the south of Guiana 
from the mountains which divide Guiana from Amazons, and I 
think it to be navigable many hundred miles. But we had no time, 
means, nor season of the year, to search those rivers, for the causes 
aforesaid, the winter being come upon us; although the winter and 
summer as touching cold and heat differ not, neither do the trees 
ever sensibly lose their leaves, but have always fruit either ripe or 
green, and most of them both blossoms, leaves, ripe fruit, and green, 
at one time: but their winter only consisteth of terrible rains, and 
overflowing of the rivers, with many great storms and gusts, thunder 
and lightnings, of which we had our fill ere we returned. 

On the north side, the first river that falleth into the Orenoque is 
Cari. Beyond it, on the same side is the river of Limo. Between 
these two is a great nation of Cannibals, and their chief town bear- 
eth the name of the river, and is called Acamacari. At this town is a 
continual market of women for three or four hatchets apiece; they 
are bought by the Arwacas, and by them sold into the West Indies. 
To the west of himo is the river Fao, beyond it Caturi, beyond that 
Voari, and Capuri," which falleth out of the great river of Meta, 
by which Berreo descended from Nuevo Reyno de Granada. To 
the westward of Capuri is the province of Amapaia, where Berreo 

*^The Apure river. 


wintered and had so many of his people poisoned with the tawny 
water of the marshes of the Anebas. Above Amapaia, toward Nuevo 
Reyno, fall in Meto, Pato and Cassanar. To the west of those, 
towards the provinces of the Ashaguas and Catetios, are the rivers 
of Beta, Dawney, and Ubarro; and toward the frontier of Peru are 
the provinces of Thomebamba, and Caxamalca. Adjoining to Quito 
in the north side of Peru are the rivers of Guiacar and Goauar; and 
on the other side of the said mountains the river of Papamene which 
descendeth into Maranon or Amazons, passing through the province 
Motilones, where Don Pedro de Orsiia, who was slain by the traitor 
Aguirre before rehearsed, built his brigandines, when he sought 
Guiana by the way of Amazons. 

Between Dawney and Beta lieth a famous island in Orenoque 
(now called Baraquan, for above Meta it is not known by the name 
of Orenoque) which is called Athule;^ beyond which ships of 
burden cannot pass by reason of a most forcible overfall, and cur- 
rent of water; but in the eddy all smaller vessels may be drawn even 
to Peru itself. But to speak of more of these rivers without the de- 
scription were but tedious, and therefore I will leave the rest to the 
description. This river of Orenoque is navigable for ships little less 
than 1,000 miles, and for lesser vessels near 2,000. By it, as afore- 
said, Peru, Nuevo Reyno and Popayan may be invaded : it also lead- 
eth to the great empire of Inga, and to the provinces of Amapaia and 
Anebas, which abound in gold. His branches of Casnero, Manta, 
Caura descend from the middle land and valley which lieth between 
the easter province of Peru and Guiana; and it falls into the sea be- 
tween Maranon and Trinidad in two degrees and a half. All of 
which your honours shall better perceive in the general description 
of Guiana, Peru, Nuevo Reyno, the kingdom of Popayan, and 
Rodas, with the province of Venezuela, to the bay of Uraba, behind 
Cartagena, westward, and to Amazons southward. While we lay 
at anchor on the coast of Canuri, and had taken knowledge of all 
the nations upon the head and branches of this river, and had found 
out so many several people, which were enemies to the Epuremei 
and the new conquerors, I thought it time lost to linger any longer 
in that place, especially for that the fury of Orenoque began daily 
^ Cataract of Atures. 


to threaten us with dangers in our return. For no half day passed 
but the river began to rage and overflow very fearfully, and the 
rains came down in terrible showers, and gusts in great abundance; 
and withal our men began to cry out for want of shift, for no man 
had place to bestow any other apparel than that which he ware on 
his back, and that was throughly washed on his body for the most 
part ten times in one day; and we had now been well-near a month 
every day passing to the westward farther and farther from our 
ships. We therefore turned towards the east, and spent the rest of 
the time in discovering the river towards the sea, which we had not 
viewed, and which was most material. 

The next day following we left the mouth of Caroli, and arrived 
again at the port of Morequito where we were before; for passing 
down the stream we went without labour, and against the wind, 
little less than a hundred miles a day. As soon as I came to anchor, 
I sent away one for old Topiawari, with whom I much desired to 
have further conference, and also to deal with him for some one of 
his country to bring with us into England, as well to learn the lan- 
guage, as to confer withal by the way, the time being now spent of 
any longer stay there. Within three hours after my messenger came 
to him, he arrived also, and with him such a rabble of all sorts of 
people, and every one loaden with somewhat, as if it had been a 
great market or fair in England; and our hungry companies clus- 
tered thick and threefold among their baskets, every one laying 
hand on what he liked. After he had rested awhile in my tent, I 
shut out all but ourselves and my interpreter, and told him that I 
knew that both the Epuremei and the Spaniards were enemies to 
him, his country and nations: that the one had conquered Guiana 
already, and the other sought to regain the same from them both; 
and therefore I desired him to instruct me what he could, both of 
the passage into the golden parts of Guiana, and to the civil towns 
and apparelled people of Inga. He gave me an answer to this effect : 
first, that he could not perceive that I meant to go onward towards 
the city of Manoa, for neither the time of the year served, neither 
could he perceive any sufficient numbers for such an enterprise. 
And if I did, I was sure with all my company to be buried there, 
for the emperor was of that strength, as that many times so many 


men more were too few. Besides, he gave me this good counsel and 
advised me to hold it in mind (as for himself, he knew he could not 
live till my return), that I should not offer by any means hereafter 
to invade the strong parts of Guiana without the help of all those 
nations which were also their enemies; for that it was impossible 
without those, either to be conducted, to be victualled, or to have 
aught carried with us, our people not being able to endure the march 
in so great heat and travail, unless the borderers gave them help, to 
cart with them both their meat and furniture. For he remembered 
that in the plains of Macureguarai three hundred Spaniards were 
overthrown, who were tired out, and had none of the borderers to 
their friends; but meeting their enemies as they passed the frontier, 
were environed on all sides, and the people setting the long dry 
grass on fire, smothered them, so as they had no breath to fight, 
nor could discern their enemies for the great smoke. He told me 
further that four days' journey from his town was Macureguarai, 
and that those were the next and nearest of the subjects of Inga, 
and of the Epuremei, and the first town of apparelled and rich 
people; and that all those plates of gold which were scattered among 
the borderers and carried to other nations far and near, came from 
the said Macureguarai and were there made, but that those of the 
land within were far finer, and were fashioned after the images of 
men, beasts, birds, and fishes. I asked him whether he thought that 
those companies that I had there with me were sufficient to take 
that town or no; he told me that he thought they were. I then asked 
him whether he would assist me with guides, and some companies 
of his people to join with us; he answered that he would go himself 
with all the borderers, if the rivers did remain fordable, upon this 
condition, that I would leave with him till my return again fifty sol- 
diers, which he undertook to victual. I answered that I had not above 
fifty good men in all there; the rest were labourers and rowers, 
and that I had no provision to leave with them of powder, shot, 
apparel, or aught else, and that without those things necessary for 
their defence, they should be in danger of the Spaniards in my 
absence, who I knew would use the same measures towards mine 
that I offered them at Trinidad. And although upon the motion 
Captain Caulfield, Captain Greenvile, my nephew John Gilbert and 


divers others were desirous to stay, yet I was resolved that they must 
needs have perished. For Berreo expected daily a supply out of 
Spain, and looked also hourly for his son to come down from 
Nuevo Reyno de Granada, with many horse and foot, and had also 
in Valencia, in the Caracas, two hundred horse ready to march; and 
I could not have spared above forty, and had not any store at all of 
powder, lead, or match to have left with them, nor any other 
provision, either spade, pickaxe, or aught else to have fortified 

When I had given him reason that I could not at this time leave 
him such a company, he then desired me to forbear him and his coun- 
try for that time; for he assured me that I should be no sooner three 
days from the coast but those Epuremei would invade him, and 
destroy all the remain of his people and friends, if he should any 
way either guide us or assist us against them. He further alleged 
that the Spaniards sought his death; and as they had already mur- 
dered his nephew Morequito, lord of that province, so they had 
him seventeen days in a chain before he was king of the country, 
and led him like a dog from place to place until he had paid an 
hundred plates of gold and divers chains of spleen-stones for his 
ransom.^" And now, since he became owner of that province, that 
they had many times laid wait to take him, and that they would be 
now more vehement when they should understand of his conference 
with the English. And because, said he, they would the better dis- 
plant me, if they cannot lay hands on me, they have gotten a nephew 
of mine called Eparacano, whom they have christened Don Juan, 
and his son Don Pedro, whom they have also apparelled and armed, 
by whom they see\ to ma\e a party against me in mine own coun- 
try. He also hath taken to wife one Louiana, of a strong family, 
which are borderers and neighbours; and myself now being old and 
in the hands of death am not able to travel nor to shift as when I 
was of younger years. He therefore prayed us to defer it till the 
next year, when he would undertake to draw in all the borderers 
to serve us, and then, also, it would be more seasonable to travel; 
for at this time of the year we should not be able to pass any river, 
the waters were and would be so grown ere our return. 

*' See page 333. 


He farther told me that I could not desire so much to invade 
Macureguarai and the rest of Guiana but that the borderers would 
be more vehement than I. For he yielded for a chief cause that in 
the wars with the Epuremei they were spoiled of their women, and 
that their wives and daughters were taken from them; so as for 
their own parts they desired nothing of the gold or treasure for their 
labours, but only to recover women from the Epuremei. For he 
farther complained very sadly, as it had been a matter of great con- 
sequence, that whereas they were wont to have ten or twelve wives, 
they were now enforced to content themselves with three or four, and 
that the lords of the Epuremei had fifty or a hundred. And in truth 
they war more for women than either for gold or dominion. For 
the lords of countries desire many children of their own bodies to 
increase their races and kindreds, for in those consist their greatest 
trust and strength. Divers of his followers afterwards desired me 
to make haste again, that they might sack the Epuremei, and I asked 
them, of what? They answered. Of their women for us, and their 
gold for you. For the hope of those many of women they more de- 
sire the war than either for gold or for the recovery of their ancient 
territories. For what between the subjects of Inga and the Span- 
iards, those frontiers are grown thin of people; and also great num- 
bers are fled to other nations farther off for fear of the Spaniards. 

After I received this answer of the old man, we fell into considera- 
tion whether it had been of better advice to have entered Macure- 
guarai, and to have begun a war upon Inga at this time, yea, or no, 
if the time of the year and all things else had sorted. For mine own 
part, as we were not able to march it for the rivers, neither had any 
such strength as was requisite, and durst not abide the coming of 
the winter, or to tarry any longer from our ships, I thought it were 
evil counsel to have attempted it at that time, although the desire 
for gold will answer many objections. But it would have been, in 
mine opinion, an utter overthrow to the enterprise, if the same 
should be hereafter by her Majesty attempted. For then, whereas 
now they have heard we were enemies to the Spaniards and were 
sent by her Majesty to relieve them, they would as good cheap have 
joined with the Spaniards at our return, as to have yielded unto us, 
when they had proved that we came both for one errand, and that 


both sought but to sack and spoil them. But as yet our desire o£ 
gold, or our purpose o£ invasion, is not known to them of the em- 
pire. And it is Hkely that if her Majesty undertake the enterprise 
they will rather submit themselves to her obedience than to the 
Spaniards, of whose cruelty both themselves and the borderers have 
already tasted. And therefore, till I had known her Majesty's pleas- 
ure, I would rather have lost the sack of one or two towns, although 
they might have been very profitable, than to have defaced or en- 
dangered the future hope of so many millions, and the great good 
and rich trade which England may be possessed of thereby. I am 
assured now that they will all die, even to the last man, against 
the Spaniards in hope of our succour and return. Whereas, other- 
wise, if I had either laid hands on the borderers or ransomed the 
lords, as Berreo did, or invaded the subjects of Inga, I know all had 
been lost for hereafter. 

After that I had resolved Topiawari, lord of Aromaia, that I could 
not at this time leave with him the companies he desired, and that 
I was contented to forbear the enterprise against the Epuremei till 
the next year, he freely gave me his only son to take with me into 
England; and hoped that though he himself had but a short time to 
live, yet that by our means his son should be established after his 
death. And I left with him one Francis Sparrow, a servant of Cap- 
tain Gifford, who was desirous to tarry, and could describe a coun- 
try with his pen, and a boy of mine called Hugh Goodwin, to learn 
the language. I after asked the manner how the Epuremei wrought 
those plates of gold, and how they could melt it out of the stone. 
He told me that the most of the gold which they made in plates and 
images was not severed from the stone, but that on the lake of 
Manoa, and in a multitude of other rivers, they gathered it in grains 
of perfect gold and in pieces as big as small stones, and they put it 
to a part of copper, otherwise they could not work it; and that 
they used a great earthen pot with holes round about it, and when 
they had mingled the gold and copper together they fastened canes 
to the holes, and so with the breath of men they increased the fire 
till the metal ran, and then they cast it into moulds of stone and 
clay, and so make those plates and images. I have sent your honours 
of two sorts such as I could by chance recover, more to shew the 


manner o£ them than for the value. For I did not in any sort make 
my desire of gold known, because I had neither time nor power to 
have a great quantity. I gave among them many more pieces of 
gold than I received, of the new money of twenty shillings with her 
Majesty's picture, to wear, with promise that they would become her 
servants thenceforth. 

I have also sent your honours of the ore, whereof I know some is 
as rich as the earth yieldeth any, of which I know there is sufficient, 
if nothing else were to be hoped for. But besides that we were not 
able to tarry and search the hills, so we had neither pioneers, bars, 
sledges, nor wedges of iron to break the ground, without which 
there is no working in mines. But we saw all the hills with stones 
of the colour of gold and silver, and we tried them to be no mar' 
casite, and therefore such as the Spaniards call El madre del oro or 
'the mother of gold,' which is an undoubted assurance of the general 
abundance; and myself saw the outside of many mines of the spar, 
which I know to be the same that all covet in this world, and of 
those more than I will speak of. 

Having learned what I could in Canuri and Aromaia, and received 
a faithful promise of the principallest of those provinces to become 
servants to her Majesty, and to resist the Spaniards if they made 
any attempt in our absence, and that they would draw in the nations 
about the lake of Cassipa and those of Iwarawaqueri, I then parted 
from old Topiawari, and received his son for a pledge between us, 
and left with him two of ours as aforesaid. To Francis Sparrow I 
gave instructions to travel to Macureguarai with such merchandises 
as I left with them, thereby to learn the place, and if it were possi- 
ble, to go on to the great city of Manoa. Which being done, we 
weighed anchor and coasted the river on Guiana side, because we 
came upon the north side, by the lawns of the Saima and WiJ{iri. 

There came with us from Aromaia a cacique called Putijma, that 
commanded the province of Warapana, which Putijma slew the nine 
Spaniards upon Caroli before spoken of; who desired us to rest in 
the port of his country, promising to bring us unto a mountain ad- 
joining to his town that had stones of the colour of gold, which he 
performed. And after we had rested there one night I went myself 
in the morning with most of the gentlemen of my company over- 


land towards the said mountain, marching by a river's side called 
Mana, leaving on the right hand a town called Tuteritona, standing 
in the province of Tarracoa, of which W ariaaremagoto is principal. 
Beyond it lieth another town towards the south, in the valley of 
Amariocapana, which beareth the name of the said valley; whose 
plains stretch themselves some sixty miles in length, east and west, as 
fair ground and as beautiful fields as any man hath ever seen, with 
divers copses scattered here and there by the river's side, and all as 
full of deer as any forest or park in England, and in every lake and 
river the like abundance of fish and fowl; of which Irraparragota is 

From the river of Mana we crossed another river in the said 
beautiful valley called Oiana, and rested ourselves by a clear lake 
which lay in .the middle of the said Oiana; and one of our guides 
kindling us fire with two sticks, we stayed awhile to dry our shirts, 
which with the heat hung very wet and heavy on our shoulders. 
Afterwards we sought the ford to pass over towards the mountain 
called Iconuri, where Putijma foretold us of the mine. In this lake 
we saw one of the great fishes, as big as a wine pipe, which they 
call manati, being most excellent and wholesome meat. But after 
I perceived that to pass the said river would require half-a-day's 
march more, I was not able myself to endure it, and therefore I sent 
Captain Keytnis with six shot to go on, and gave him order not to 
return to the port of Putijma, which is called Chiparepare, but to 
take leisure, and to march down the said valley as far as a river 
called Cumaca, where I promised to meet him again, Putijma him- 
self promising also to be his guide. And as they marched, they left 
the towns of Emperapana and Capurepana on the right hand, and 
marched from Putijma's house, down the said valley of Amarioca- 
pana; and we returning the same day to the river's side, saw by the 
way many rocks like unto gold ore, and on the left hand a round 
mountain which consisted of mineral stone. 

From hence we rowed down the stream, coasting the province of 
Parino. As for the branches of rivers which I overpass in this dis- 
course, those shall be better expressed in the description, with the 
mountains of Aio, Ara, and the rest, which are situate in the prov- 
inces of Parino and Carricurrina. When we were come as far down 


as the land called Ariacoa, where Orenoque divideth itself into 
three great branches, each of them being most goodly rivers, I sent 
away Captain Henry Thyn, and Captain Greenvile with the galley, 
the nearest way, and took with me Captain Gifford, Captain Caul- 
field, Edward Porter, and Captain Eynos with mine own barge and 
the two wherries, and went down that branch of Orenoque which 
is called Cararoopana, which leadeth towards Emeria, the province 
of Carapana, and towards the east sea, as well to find out Captain 
Keymis, whom I had sent overland, as also to acquaint myself with 
Carapana, who is one of the greatest of all the lords of the Orenoque- 
poni. And when I came to the river of Cumaca, to which Putijma 
promised to conduct Captain Keymis, I left Captain Eynos and 
Master Porter in the said river to expect his coming, and the rest of 
us rowed down the stream towards Emeria. 

In this branch called Cararoopana were also many goodly islands, 
some of six miles long, some of ten, and some of twenty. When it 
grew towards sunset, we entered a branch of a river that fell into 
Orenoque, called Winicapora; where I was informed of the moun- 
tain of crystal, to which in truth for the length of the way, and the 
evil season of the year, I was not able to march, nor abide any longer 
upon the journey. We saw it afar off; and it appeared like a white 
church-tower of an exceeding height. There falleth over it a mighty 
river which toucheth no part of the side of the mountain, but rush- 
eth over the top of it, and falleth to the ground with so terrible a 
noise and clamour, as if a thousand great bells were knocked one 
against another. I think there is not in the world so strange an 
overfall, nor so wonderful to behold. Berreo told me that there were 
diamonds and other precious stones on it, and that they shined very 
far off; but what it hath I know not, neither durst he or any of 
his men ascend to the top of the said mountain, those people adjoin- 
ing being his enemies, as they were, and the way to it so impassable. 

Upon this river of Winicapora we rested a while, and from thence 
marched into the country to a town called after the name of the 
river, whereof the captain was one Timitwara, who also offered to 
conduct me to the top of the said mountain called Wacarima. But 
when we came in first to the house of the said Timitwara, being 
upon one of their said feast days, we found them all as drunk as 


beggars, and the pots walking from one to another without rest. 
We that were weary and hot with marching were glad of the plenty, 
though a small quantity satisfied us, their drink being very strong 
and heady, and so rested ourselves awhile. After we had fed, we 
drew ourselves back to our boats upon the river, and there came to 
us all the lords of the country, with all such kind of victual as the 
place yielded, and with their delicate wine of pinas, and with 
abundance of hens and other provisions, and of those stones which 
we call spleen-stones. We understood by these chieftains of Winica- 
pora that their lord, Carapana, was departed from Emeria, which 
was now in sight, and that he was fled to Cairamo, adjoining to the 
mountains of Guiana, over the valley called Amariocapana, being 
persuaded by those ten Spaniards which lay at his house that we 
would destroy him and his country. But after these caciques of 
Winicapora and Saporatona his followers perceived our purpose, and 
saw that we came as enemies to the Spaniards only, and had not so 
much as harmed any of those nations, no, though we found them to 
be of the Spaniards' own servants, they assured us that Carapana 
would be as ready to serve us as any of the lords of the provinces 
which we had passed; and that he durst do no other till this day but 
entertain the Spaniards, his country lying so directly in their way, 
and next of all other to any entrance that should be made in Guiana 
on that side. And they further assured us, that it was not for fear 
of our coming that he was removed, but to be acquitted of the 
Spaniards or any other that should come hereafter. For the province 
of Cairoma is situate at the mountain foot, which divideth the plains 
of Guiana from the countries of the Orenoqueponi; by means 
whereof if any should come in our absence into his towns, he would 
slip over the mountains into the plains of Guiana among the Epure- 
mei, where the Spaniards durst not follow him without great force. 
But in mine opinion, or rather I assure myself, that Carapana being 
a notable wise and subde fellow, a man of one hundred years of 
age and therefore of great experience, is removed to look on, and if 
he find that we return strong he will be ours; if not, he will excuse 
his departure to the Spaniards, and say it was for fear of our coming. 
We therefore thought it bootless to row so far down the stream, or 
to seek any farther of this old fox; and therefore from the river of 


Waricapana, which lieth at the entrance of Emeria, we returned 
again, and left to the eastward those four rivers which fall from the 
mountains of Emeria into Orenoque, which are Waracayari, Coi- 
rama, Al^aniri, and Iparoma. Below those four are also these branches 
and mouths of Orenoque, which fall into the east sea, whereof 
the first is Araturi, the next Amacura, the third Barima, the fourth 
Wana, the fifth Morooca, the sixth Paroma, the last Wijtni. Be- 
yond them there fall out of the land between Orenoque and Ama- 
zons fourteen rivers, which I forbear to name, inhabited by the 
Arwacas and Cannibals. 

It is now time to return towards the north, and we found it a 
wearisome way back from the borders of Emeria, to recover up 
again to the head of the river Carerupana, by which we descended, 
and where we parted from the galley, which I directed to take the 
next way to the port of Toparimaca, by which we entered first. 

All the night it was stormy and dark, and full of thunder and 
great showers, so as we were driven to keep close by the banks in 
our small boats, being all heartily afraid both of the billow and terri- 
ble current of the river. By the next morning we recovered the 
mouth of the river of Cumaca, where we left Captain Eynos and 
Edward Porter to attend the coming of Captain Key mis overland; 
but when we entered the same, they had heard no news of his ar- 
rival, which bred in us a great doubt what might become of him. 
I rowed up a league or two farther into the river, shooting off pieces 
all the way, that he might know of our being there; and the next 
morning we heard them answer us also with a piece. We took them 
aboard us, and took our leave of Putijma, their guide, who of all 
others most lamented our departure, and offered to send his son with 
us into England, if we could have stayed till he had sent back to his 
town. But our hearts were cold to behold the great rage and 
increase of Orenoque, and therefore [w<f] departed, and turned 
toward the west, till we had recovered the parting of the three 
branches aforesaid, that we might put down the stream after the 

The next day we landed on the island of Assapano, which divid- 
eth the river from that branch by which we sent down to Emeria, 
and there feasted ourselves with that beast which is called arma- 


dillo, presented unto us before at Winicapora. And the day follow- 
ing, we recovered the galley at anchor at the port of Toparimaca, 
and the same evening departed with very foul weather, and terrible 
thunder and showers, for the winter was come on very far. The 
best was, we went no less than loo miles a day down the river; but 
by the way we entered it was impossible to return, for that the river 
of Amana, being in the bottom of the bay of Guanipa, cannot be 
sailed back by any means, both the breeze and current of the sea 
were so forcible. And therefore we followed a branch of Ore- 
noque called Capuri, which entered into the sea eastward of our 
ships, to the end we might bear with them before the wind; and 
it was not without need, for we had by that way as much to cross 
of the main sea, after we came to the river's mouth, as between 
Gravelin and Dover, in such boats as your honour hath heard. 

To speak of what passed homeward were tedious, either to de- 
scribe or name any of the rivers, islands, or villages of the Tivitivas, 
which dwell on trees; we will leave all those to the general map. 
And to be short, when we were arrived at the sea-side, then grew our 
greatest doubt, and the bitterest of all our journey forepassed; for 
I protest before God, that we were in a most desperate estate. For 
the same night which we anchored in the mouth of the river of 
Capuri, where it falleth into the sea, there arose a mighty storm, and 
the river's mouth was at least a league broad, so as we ran before 
night close under the land with our small boats, and brought the 
galley as near as we could. But she had as much ado to live as 
could be, and there wanted little of her sinking, and all those in 
her; for mine own part, I confess I was very doubtful which way 
to take, either to go over in the pestered^" galley, there being but 
six foot water over the sands for two leagues together, and that also 
in the channel, and she drew five; or to adventure in so great a 
billow, and in so doubtful weather, to cross the seas in my barge. 
The longer we tarried the worse it was, and therefore I took Cap- 
tain Gifford, Captain Caulfield, and my cousin Greenvile into my 
barge; and after it cleared up about midnight we put ourselves to 
God's keeping, and thrust out into the sea, leaving the galley at 
anchor, who durst not adventure but by daylight. And so, being all 



very sober and melancholy, one faintly cheering another to shew 
courage, it pleased God that the next day about nine o'clock, we 
descried the island of Trinidad; and steering for the nearest part of 
it, we kept the shore till we came to Curiapan, where we found 
our ships at anchor, than which there was never to us a more joyful 

Now that it hath pleased God to send us safe to our ships, it is 
time to leave Guiana to the sun, whom they worship, and steer 
away towards the north. I will, therefore, in a few words finish the 
discovery thereof. Of the several nations which we found upon this 
discovery I will once again make repetition, and how they are 
affected. At our first entrance into Amana, which is one of the 
oudets of Orenoque, we left on the right hand of us in the bottom 
of the bay, lying directly against Trinidad, a nation of inhuman 
Cannibals, which inhabit the rivers of Guanipa and Berbeese. In 
the same bay there is also a third river, which is called Areo, which 
riseth on Paria side towards Cumana, and that river is inhabited 
with the Wif(iri, whose chief town upon the said river is Sayma. In 
this bay there are no more rivers but these three before rehearsed 
and the four branches of Amana, all which in the winter thrust so 
great abundance of water into the sea, as the same is taken up 
fresh two or three leagues from the land. In the passages towards 
Guiana, that is, in all those lands which the eight branches of Ore- 
noque fashion into islands, there are but one sort of people, called 
Tivitivas, but of two castes, as they term them, the one called Cia- 
wani, the other Waraweeti, and those war one with another. 

On the hithermost part of Orenoque, as at Toparimaca and 
Winicapora, those are of a nation called Nepoios, and are the fol- 
lowers of Carapana, lord of Emeria. Between Winicapora and the 
port of Morequito, which standeth in Aromaia, and all those in the 
valley of Amariocapana are called Orenoqueponi, and did obey 
Morequito and are now followers of Topiawari. Upon the river of 
Caroli are the Canuri, which are governed by a woman who is in- 
heritrix of that province; who came far off to see our nation, and 
asked me divers questions of her Majesty, being much delighted 
with the discourse of her Majesty's greatness, and wondering at 
such reports as we truly made of her Highness' many virtues. And 


upon the head of Caroli and on the lake of Cassipa are the three 
strong nations of the Cassipagotos. Right south into the land are the 
Capurepani and Emparepani, and beyond those, adjoining to Ma- 
cureguarai, the first city of Inga, are the lwarawa\eri. All these are 
professed enemies to the Spaniards, and to the rich Epuremei also. 
To the west of Caroli are divers nations of Cannibals and of those 
Ewaipanoma without heads. Directly west are the Amapaias and 
Anebas, which are also marvellous rich in gold. The rest towards 
Peru we will omit. On the north of Orenoque, between it and the 
West Indies, are the Wikjri, Saymi, and the rest before spoken of, 
all mortal enemies to the Spaniards. On the south side of the main 
mouth of Orenoque are the Arwacas; and beyond them, the Canni- 
bals; and to the south of them, the Amazons. 

To make mention of the several beasts, birds, fishes, fruits, flowers, 
gums, sweet woods, and of their several religions and customs, would 
for the first require as many volumes as those of Gesnerus, and for 
the next another bundle of Decades. The religion of the Epuremei 
is the same which the Ingas, emperors of Peru, used, which may be 
read in Cieza and other Spanish stories; how they believe the im- 
mortality of the soul, worship the sun, and bury with them alive 
their best beloved wives and treasure, as they likewise do in Pegu in 
the East Indies, and other places. The Orenoqueponi bury not their 
wives with them, but their jewels, hoping to enjoy them again. The 
Arwacas dry the bones of their lords, and their wives and friends 
drink them in powder. In the graves of the Peruvians the Spaniards 
found their greatest abundance of treasure. The like, also, is to be 
found among these people in every province. They have all many 
wives, and the lords five-fold to the common sort. Their wives never 
eat with their husbands, nor among the men, but serve their hus- 
bands at meals and afterwards feed by themselves. Those that are 
past their younger years make all their bread and drink, and work 
their cotton-beds, and do all else of service and labour; for the men 
do nothing but hunt, fish, play, and drink, when they are out of the 

I will enter no further into discourse of their manners, laws, and 
customs. And because I have not myself seen the cities of Inga I 
cannot avow on my credit what I have heard, although it be very 


likely that the emperor Inga hath built and erected as magnificent 
palaces in Guiana as his ancestors did in Peru; which were for their 
riches and rareness most marvellous, and exceeding all in Europe, 
and, I think, of the world, China excepted, which also the Spaniards, 
which I had, assured me to be true, as also the nations of the bor- 
derers, who, being but savages to those of the inland, do cause much 
treasure to be buried with them. For I was informed of one of the 
caciques of the valley of Amariocapana which had buried with him 
a litde before our arrival a chair of gold most curiously wrought, 
which was made either in Macureguarai adjoining or in Manoa. 
But if we should have grieved them in their religion at the first, 
before they had been taught better, and have digged up their graves, 
we had lost them all. And therefore I held my first resolution, that 
her Majesty should either accept or refuse the enterprise ere any- 
thing should be done that might in any sort hinder the same. And 
if Peru had so many heaps of gold, whereof those Ingas were 
princes, and that they delighted so much therein, no doubt but this 
which now liveth and reigneth in Manoa hath the same humour,^' 
and, I am assured, hath more abundance of gold within his territory 
than all Peru and the West Indies. 

For the rest, which myself have seen, I will promise these things 
that follow, which I know to be true. Those that are desirous to 
discover and to see many nations may be satisfied within this river, 
which bringeth forth so many arms and branches leading to several 
countries and provinces, above 2,000 miles east and west and 800 
miles south and north, and of these the most either rich in gold or in 
other merchandises. The common soldier shall here fight for gold, 
and pay himself, instead of pence, with plates of half-a-foot broad, 
whereas he breaketh his bones in other wars for provant^^ and 
penury. Those commanders and chieftains that shoot at honour and 
abundance shall find there more rich and beautiful cities, more 
temples adorned with golden images, more sepulchres filled with 
treasure, than either Cortes found in Mexico or Pizarro in Peru. 
And the shining glory of this conquest will eclipse all those so 
far-extended beams of the Spanish nation. There is no country 
which yieldeth more pleasure to the inhabitants, either for those 

5' Hakluyt reads 'honour.' *' Provender, food. 


common delights o£ hunting, hawking, fishing, fowUng, and the 
rest, than Guiana doth; it hath so many plains, clear rivers, and 
abundance of pheasants, partridges, quails, rails, cranes, herons, and 
all other fowl; deer of all sorts, porks, hares, lions, tigers, leopards, 
and divers other sorts of beasts, either for chase or food. It hath a 
kind of beast called cama or anta^^ as big as an English beef, and 
in great plenty. To speak of the several sorts of every kind I fear 
would be troublesome to the reader, and therefore I will omit them, 
and conclude that both for health, good air, pleasure, and riches, I 
am resolved it cannot be equalled by any region either in the east 
or west. Moreover the country is so healthful, as of an hundred 
persons and more, which lay without shift most sluttishly, and were 
every day almost melted with heat in rowing and marching, and 
suddenly wet again with great showers, and did eat of all sorts of 
corrupt fruits, and made meals of fresh fish without seasoning, of 
tortugas, of lagartos or crocodiles, and of all sorts good and bad, 
without either order or measure, and besides lodged in the open air 
every night, we lost not any one, nor had one ill-disposed to my 
knowledge; nor found any calentura or other of those pestilent dis- 
eases which dwell in all hot regions, and so near the equinoctial line. 

Where there is store of gold it is in effect needless to remember 
other commodities for trade. But it hath, towards the south part of 
the river, great quantities of brazil-wood, and divers berries that 
dye a most perfect crimson and carnation; and for painting, all 
France, Italy, or the East Indies yield none such. For the more the 
skin is washed, the fairer the colour appeareth, and with which 
even those brown and tawny women spot themselves and colour 
their cheeks. All places yield abundance of cotton, of silk, of balsa- 
mum, and of those kinds most excellent and never known in 
Europe, of all sorts of gums, of Indian pepper; and what else the 
countries may afford within the land we know not, neither had we 
time to abide the trial and search. The soil besides is so excellent 
and so full of rivers, as it will carry sugar, ginger, and all those 
other commodities which the West Indies have. 

The navigation is short, for it may be sailed with an ordinary 
wind in six weeks, and in the like time back again; and by the way 

^^ The tapir. 


neither lee-shore, enemies' coast, rocks, nor sands. All which in the 
voyages to the West Indies and all other places we are subject unto; 
as the channel of Bahama, coming from the West Indies, cannot 
well be passed in the winter, and when it is at the best, it is a perilous 
and a fearful place; the rest of the Indies for calms and diseases very 
troublesome, and the sea about the Bermudas a hellish sea for thun- 
der, lightning, and storms. 

This very year (1595) there were seventeen sail of Spanish ships 
lost in the channel of Bahama, and the great Philip, like to have 
sunk at the Bermudas, was put back to St. Juan de Puerto Rico; 
and so it falleth out in that navigation every year for the most part. 
Which in this voyage are not to be feared; for the time of year to 
leave England is best in July, and the summer in Guiana is in 
October, November, December, January, February, and March, and 
then the ships may depart thence in April, and so return again into 
England in June. So as they shall never be subject to winter weather, 
either coming, going, or staying there: which, for my part, I take 
to be one of the greatest comforts and encouragements that can be 
thought on, having, as I have done, tasted in this voyage by the 
West Indies so many calms, so much heat, such outrageous gusts, 
such weather, and contrary winds. 

To conclude, Guiana is a country that hath yet her maidenhead, 
never sacked, turned, nor wrought; the face of the earth hath not 
been torn, nor the virtue and salt of the soil spent by manurance. 
The graves have not been opened for gold, the mines not broken 
with sledges, nor their images pulled down out of their temples. It 
hath never been entered by any army of strength, and never con- 
quered or possessed by any Christian prince. It is besides so defensi- 
ble, that if two forts be builded in one of the provinces which I have 
seen, the flood setteth in so near the bank, where the channel also 
lieth, that no ship can pass up but within a pike's length of the 
artillery, first of the one, and afterwards of the other. Which two 
forts will be a sufficient guard both to the empire of Inga, and to an 
hundred other several kingdoms, lying within the said river, even 
to the city of Quito in Peru. 

There is therefore great difference between the easiness of the con- 
quest of Guiana, and the defence of it being conquered, and the West 


or East Indies. Guiana hath but one entrance by the sea, i£ it hath 
that, for any vessels of burden. So as whosoever shall first possess 
it, it shall be found unaccessible for any enemy, except he come in 
wherries, barges, or canoas, or else in flat-bottomed boats; and if he 
do offer to enter it in that manner, the woods are so thick 200 miles 
together upon the rivers of such entrance, as a mouse cannot sit in a 
boat unhit from the bank. By land it is more impossible to approach; 
for it hath the strongest situation of any region under the sun, and 
it is so environed with impassable mountains on every side, as it is 
impossible to victual any company in the passage. Which hath been 
well proved by the Spanish nation, who since the conquest of Peru 
have never left five years free from attempting this empire, or dis- 
covering some way into it; and yet of three-and-twenty several gentle- 
men, knights, and noblemen, there was never any that knew which 
way to lead an army by land, or to conduct ships by sea, anything 
near the said country. Orellana, of whom the river of Amazons 
taketh name, was the first, and Don Antonio de Berreo, whom we 
displanted, the last: and I doubt much whether he himself or any of 
his yet know the best way into the said empire. It can therefore 
hardly be regained, if any strength be formerly set down, but in 
one or two places, and but two or three crumsters** or galleys built 
and furnished upon the river within. The West Indies have many 
ports, watering places, and landings; and nearer than 300 miles to 
Guiana, no man can harbour a ship, except he know one only place, 
which is not learned in haste, and which I will undertake there is 
not any one of my companies that knoweth, whosoever hearkened 
most after it. 

Besides, by keeping one good fort, or building one town of 
strength, the whole empire is guarded; and whatsoever companies 
shall be afterwards planted within the land, although in twenty sev- 
eral provinces, those shall be able all to reunite themselves upon any 
occasion either by the way of one river, or be able to march by land 
without either wood, bog, or mountain. Whereas in the West Indies 
there are few towns or provinces that can succour or relieve one 
the other by land or sea. By land the countries are either desert, 
mountainous, or strong enemies. By sea, if any man invade to the 

°* Dutch, Kromsteven or Kromster, a. vessel with a bent prow. 


eastward, those to the west cannot in many months turn against 
the breeze and eastern wind. Besides, the Spaniards are therein so 
dispersed as they are nowhere strong, but in Nueva Espana only; the 
sharp mountains, the thorns, and poisoned prickles, the sandy and 
deep ways in the valleys, the smothering heat and air, and want of 
water in other places are their only and best defence; which, because 
those nations that invade them are not victualled or provided to stay, 
neither have any place to friend adjoining, do serve them instead of 
good arms and great multitudes. 

The West Indies were first offered her Majesty's grandfather by 
Columbus, a stranger, in whom there might be doubt of deceit; and 
besides it was then thought incredible that there were such and so 
many lands and regions never written of before. This Empire is 
made known to her Majesty by her own vassal, and by him that 
oweth to her more duty than an ordinary subject; so that it shall ill 
sort with the many graces and benefits which I have received to abuse 
her Highness, either with fables or imaginations. The country is 
already discovered, many nations won to her Majesty's love and 
obedience, and those Spaniards which have latest and longest 
laboured about the conquest, beaten out, discouraged, and disgraced, 
which among these nations were thought invincible. Her Majesty 
may in this enterprise employ all those soldiers and gentlemen that 
are younger brethren, and all captains and chieftains that want em- 
ployment, and the charge will be only the first setting out in victual- 
ling and arming them; for after the first or second year I doubt not 
but to see in London a Contractation-House^'' of more receipt for 
Guiana than there is now in Seville for the West Indies. 

And I am resolved that if there were but a small army afoot in 
Guiana, marching towards Manoa, the chief city of Inga, he would 
yield to her Majesty by composition so many hundred thousand 
pounds yearly as should both defend all enemies abroad, and defray 
all expenses at home; and that he would besides pay a garrison of 
three or four thousand soldiers very royally to defend him against 
other nations. For he cannot but know how his predecessors, yea, 
how his own great uncles, Guascar and Atabalipa, sons to Guiana- 

^'The whole trade of Spanish America passed through the Casa de Contratacion 
at Seville. 


Capac, emperor of Peru, were, while they contended for the empire, 
beaten out by the Spaniards, and that both of late years and ever 
since the said conquest, the Spaniards have sought the passages and 
entry of his country; and of their cruelties used to the borderers he 
cannot be ignorant. In which respects no doubt but he will be 
brought to tribute with great gladness; if not, he hath neither shot 
nor iron weapon in all his empire, and therefore may easily be 

And I further remember that Berreo confessed to me and others, 
which I protest before the Majesty of God to be true, that there was 
found among the prophecies in Peru, at such time as the empire was 
reduced to the Spanish obedience, in their chiefest temples, amongst 
divers others which foreshadowed the loss of the said empire, that 
from Inglatierra those Ingas should be again in time to come re- 
stored, and delivered from the servitude of the said conquerors. And 
I hope, as we with these few hands have displanted the first garrison, 
and driven them out of the said country, so her Majesty will give 
order for the rest, and either defend it, and hold it as tributary, or 
conquer and keep it as empress of the same. For whatsoever prince 
shall possess it, shall be greatest; and if the king of Spain enjoy it, he 
will become unresistible. Her Majesty hereby shall confirm and 
strengthen the opinions of all nations as touching her great and 
princely actions. And where the south border of Guiana reacheth 
to the dominion and empire of the Amazons, those women shall 
hereby hear the name of a virgin, which is not only able to defend 
her own territories and her neighbours, but also to invade and con- 
quer so great empires and so far removed. 

To speak more at this time I fear would be but troublesome: I 
trust in God, this being true, will suffice, and that he which is King 
of all Kings, and Lord of Lords, will put it into her heart which is 
Lady of Ladies to possess it. If not, I will judge those men worthy to 
be kings thereof, that by her grace and leave will undertake it of