Ferdinand Magellan - Frederick Ober

The Young Mountaineer


In an obscure corner of Traz-os-Montes, the northeastern province of Portugal, we find the picturesque hamlet of Saborosa, where, about the year 1480, Ferdinand Magellan was born. Few portions of the Iberian Peninsula are more wild and rugged than this region: for rivers, hills and mountains are its salient features, its forests are vast, its scenery magnificent, though gloomy in the extreme.

The climate of Traz-os-Montes is proverbially bad, its roads are almost impassable; thus few strangers are attracted thither; and hence the people resident there are quite as isolated as though surrounded by the sea. A sea of mountains, in truth, separates them from their compatriots of the coast; but its waves are rigid, immovable, and of their qualities the ignorant mountaineers seem to partake. Indeed, one may visit Saborosa to-day and find there men and women unchanged from their ancestors of Magellan's time, four hundred years ago.

Ferdinand Magellan was born a mountaineer, and though he became a sailor (and through having become a sailor achieved the voyage which made his name immortal) he carried with him to sea the characteristics of one reared amid rugged surroundings. His views were elevated, his confidence in himself was supreme, his integrity unimpeachable; yet was he bound by obstinacy as by hoops of steel. His courage was dauntless, his perseverance knew no limits, and his belief in a fortunate star amounted to a superstition.

At the time of Ferdinand's birth and youth, his father ruled as the little lord of Saborosa, and was called a fidalgo, or nobleman. He was wont to boast that his family belonged to "the oldest in the kingdom," and many a time cautioned his son never to forget that he was a Magellan. Ferdinand did not forget, and no deed of his besmirched the family escutcheon, which, in the language of heraldry, was "On a field argent three bars checky, gules and argent; the crest an eagle, wings displayed."

The "eagle," it is true, looked more like a cormorant than any other bird; but there was no mistaking the "three bars cheeky" on a silver shield, which signified that some distant progenitor had signally achieved something, probably in conflict with the Moors. There was also the legend "Magalhaes"  below the shield, which was the family name, in Portuguese, inscribed as Ferdinand himself was wont to write it in his autograph. Respecting the different spellings of his name, it may be as well to make mention of them now, in this connection, since there are several, depending upon which language is adopted—whether Portuguese, Spanish, or English.

In the vernacular of our hero, his name was written Fernao de Magalhnes; in Spanish, Fernando de Magallanes, which we have anglicized into Ferdinand Magellan. The first name was bestowed upon him at his christening, the second when he made Spain his adoptive country, and the third after his deeds became world-famous and the chronicle of them was translated into English. Those familiar with him, doubtless, addressed the young man as Fernan, or Hernan, these being abbreviated forms of Fernando and Hernando, which have the same meaning in Spanish and Portuguese.

Fernan Magellan, then (assuming ourselves to be on a familiar footing with him), was the son of Pedro (or Peter) de Magalhaes, an hidalgo of repute in Traz-os-Montes, who was possessed of some wealth and owned a castle, together with vast estates consisting mainly of wild and mountainous lands covered with forests. In these forests roamed wild boars and deer, which Fernan, when arrived at a suitable age, greatly delighted to hunt. The shaggy crests of the mountains were also the haunts, tradition relates, of nomadic brigands, who would have desired no better fortune than to capture the son of a nobleman like Peter Magellan and hold him for ransom. If they had designs, however, upon Ferdinand, they were destined to be disappointed, for he was a reckless rider of the native horses for which the region is celebrated, and though he had many mad adventures, a capture by brigands was not one of them.

All the streams of Traz-os-Montes—and there were many of them, little and big, mountain-born and fed by springs of crystal clearness—ran, sooner or later, to the sea, in confluence with the Douro, near the mouth of which sat the rich old city of Oporto. From the beautiful vale in which Saborosa is situated, a swift-moving stream plunges directly into the Douro, and along the banks of both run roads which lead from the mountains to Oporto. This city, celebrated for the delicious wine which bears its name, is scarcely more than fifty miles, "as the crow flies," from Saborosa, and was early favored with visits from young Fernan, who found there a fine old aristocracy much to his liking.

His father may have passed a portion of each year in Oporto, together with his family, then consisting of Fernan, a younger son whose name is not known, and two daughters, Isabel and Tereza. It was necessary, to break the monotony of life in that isolated community of Saborosa, to seek, occasionally, the social pleasures of Oporto, where the hidalgos of the country were wont to meet and indulge in stately recreations. Here, doubtless, Fernan acquired his liking for the sea, as the harbor of Oporto was crowded with shipping, and many a seafarer came here, with tales of adventure which the youth may have listened to, sitting on the quays, or on the decks of vessels just in from foreign ports.

At the time Fernan Magellan was growing to manhood all those great voyages took place which have since become fixed as important events in the annals of the world. He was twelve years of age when Columbus sailed from Palos; seventeen when his famous countryman, Vasco da Gama, doubled the end of Africa and found a new way to India; and twenty when Cabral, though by mistake, revealed the coast of the country since known as Brazil. Later in life he met and conversed with the navigators and soldiers who advanced the arms of Portugal in the Far East, and it is believed that he early sought acquaintance with such as were accessible in or near Oporto.

If the early period of Magellan's life had received a tithe of the attention bestowed upon his latter years, we might present a more nearly adequate account of his life at Saborosa, brief as it was; but, truth to tell, the material for it is scanty in the extreme, for next to nothing is known of his youth. Much has been imagined, many half-truths have been expanded into statements of facts; but in the foregoing paragraphs are embodied all that has been ascertained to be authentic.

He was an active youth, delighting in adventure; athletic, though slight of frame, and given to outdoor exercises rather than to indoor studies. In fact, it is not known that he ever received systematic training under the eye of a tutor, for his father probably shared the belief, then generally prevalent, that the sons of hidalgos needed no education, save that which fitted them for attendance at court and the profession of arms. It was the custom for noblemen to send their sons to court, dedicated to the service of their sovereign, to whom they looked for direction in their studies, and from whom they expected to receive their rewards if successful.

Just when Fernan Magellan left his mountain home for Lisbon, where he took his first lessons as a courtier, is not known, but it was probably before he was fifteen years of age. This is inferred from the fact that (according to Bartolomeo Agensola, author of the Conquest of the Moluccas)  he first entered the service of Queen Leonor as a page. Queen Leonor was the widow of King Joao (or John), surnamed "the Perfect," whose reign began in 1481, and during which (in 1486–1487) that brave navigator, Bartholomew Dias, discovered and doubled the Cape of Good Hope.

Six years before the sailing of Columbus Dias turned his prow into the waters of the Indian Ocean, and, returning to Portugal told his king what he had discovered. Owing to the terrific gales and seas he had encountered in rounding the Cape, he named it Cabo de Todos los Tormentor  (or, the Cape of all the Storms); but King John the Perfect demurred to this. He had not experienced the storms, and he had no vivid remembrance of tempestuous seas and baffling winds, as Dias had. He looked upon the discovery from a more lofty, world-embracing view-point, and he said, "Nay, gallant Bartholomew, the Cape of Storms it shall not be, but the Cape of Good Hope (el Cabo de Buena Esperanza)!

The hopes of King John were not realized by him, as he delayed sending Dias bak again to pursue his discovery to its sequence, and pass through the portal he had opened to India. Ten years were allowed to elapse before a great Indian expedition was fitted out, and John the Perfect had been dead two years when Vasco da Gama made his renowned and wonderful voyage from Lisbon to Calicut.

King John II. was succeeded by Emanuel, or Manoel, first of his name on the Portuguese throne, who was surnamed "the Great" and "the Fortunate"—not so much on account of what he had achieved as what others had done for him. During many years preceding his accession, the several sovereigns who had occupied the throne had labored for the advancement of Portugal's arms and influence along the coast of Africa. Prince Henry the Navigator had indicated the direction Portuguese ships should take, and the darkness was dispelled that for centuries had enshrouded Africa's shores. Each successor had contributed his mite, and during the reign of Joao the Perfect the last vestige of mystery had been stripped from the Atlantic coast of Africa by Dias, and a route to India indicated along its eastern shores.

King Emanuel, fortunately, was wise enough to grasp what King John had let fall when his hand was palsied by death. He had also the sagacity to continue the voyages which for several years had been intermitted, but for which great preparations had been made. His reign has been called, and perhaps rightly, Portugal's "golden age"; but he merely harvested what his royal forerunners had sown. The golden grains dropped by their navigators and colonists in the sea-sands off Senegal, the Gulf of Guinea, and the Congo, yielded their increase to Dom Manoel. On the death of John II. he fell heir to all that had been accomplished, accumulated, by him and by others, and thus it came to pass that in his reign there sailed such expeditions as Vasco da Gama's to India; Cabral's, which resulted in the discovery of Brazil; Cortereal's to the coast of Labrador, and Almeida's to the Indian Seas.

It was in 1495 that Manoel succeeded John II. as King of Portugal, and shortly after received into his service the youthful page, Fernan Magellan, who was warmly welcomed as the son of a faithful hidalgo, who kept in order the wild and stubborn people of Traz-os-Montes. It was at the court of Dom Manoel that Magellan passed what may be called the formative period of his life, in which he was really educated. That he received an education, in the sense of being instructed in schools, there is no record to show; but his mind was always open and receptive. The vicinage of king's courts is not generally considered favorable to the acquisition of learning; but to be at Dom Manoel's court, in the closing decade of that most wonderful century in the history of Portugal and Spain, was in itself an education to a youth like Magellan.

He had only to open his eyes and observe what was going on about him to be placed, as it were, in touch with the farthest ends of the earth. For he was in Lisbon when Gama sailed forth to discover, if possible, an ocean route to India around the Cape of Good Hope and through the Indian Ocean; and he was there, also, still a hanger-on at court, when the triumphant navigator returned with success  inscribed upon his banners.

He heard the salvos of artillery that welcomed the veteran home, he listened to the praises that were showered upon him by the king and the nobility, and witnessed the enthusiasm of the populace over the greatest event since the return of Christopher Columbus from his voyage to America. More than all this—more than forming merely a unit in the unrecognized masses that welcomed back Da Gama—he became acquainted with the navigator, and is said to have visited him at his house in Lisbon. There, no doubt, he received from his own lips the story of wonderful adventure: adown the West-African coast, around the Cape, along the east coast nearly to the equator, and then the bold dash across the Indian Ocean to Calicut.

Vasco da Gama had set out for his Indian voyage in July, 1497, and returned in September, 1499. Three years later he sailed again; but, meanwhile, Dom Manoel the Fortunate had despatched Cabral, with thirteen ships, to follow up the first adventure and take possession of ports which Gama had merely reported to exist but could not hold. Cabral bore farther westward than Gama, and hence, unwittingly, discovered the unknown coast of Brazil; but he lost nearly half his ships, and among the brave men who went down with one of them (of which he was commander) was Bartholomew Dias, who first of all led the way around the Cape of Storms.

Thus, while Fernan Magellan was spending the days of his youth as a courtier, probably in idleness by day and in dissipation by night, these great events happened of which he was a witness. Vasco da Gama sailed for India twice and returned, before the courtier, Magellan, felt deeply enough the inspiration towards adventure to himself set out for the Orient. How he could have remained so long in idleness, or at least inactive, while such great things were happening, and he in the midst of them, seems inexplicable.

While expedition after expedition was being fitted out and despatched for the far ends of the earth—to Labrador and Brazil, Africa and India—Fernan Magellan stayed in Lisbon an idle observer. "Of their coming and going, of their many victories and rare defeats, of their successful venture or disastrous loss, how much he must have heard! The whole country was seething with excitement. The new worlds, alike of the East and of the West, held out a brilliant picture of infinite possibilities to the humblest in rank. The dock-yards rang with the sound of axe and hammer, and the ships were barely launched ere they sailed for the lands that were to bring riches and distinction to every one—to every one, at least, who lived! Men left their country in shoals, careless of danger, heedless of death-rates, mindful only of the possible glory that awaited them. We can imagine the effect that experiences such as these must have had upon one so adventurous as Magellan. At such a time, when all around him were up and doing, it was impossible that he should remain a mere spectator."

In the East Indies


Aroused at last, after long years of lethargy, Magellan applied for permission to absent himself from court and join an expedition then in preparation for the East Indies. In the latter part of the year 1504, after making a hasty and final visit to Saborosa, and taking an affectionate farewell of his father and family, he enlisted as a volunteer in the armada then being fitted out for Dom Francisco d'Almeida, who was to sail as India's first viceroy. While the gallant Da Gama had been ennobled and showered with honors for his great achievement, still he was not considered by Dom Manoel as the proper person to represent him in authority, as vice-king with unlimited sway, in the new settlements to be established in India.

Though a son of the Portuguese Duke of Abrantes, Dom Francisco d'Almeida had been a soldier in the Moorish wars of Spain, where he had acquired immense prestige, aside from that which came to him as the scion of a distinguished family. He possessed great talent as an organizer, and his fame was such that when it was announced that he was to command the expedition, the noblest of Portugal's citizenry swarmed to sail beneath his banner. Of all the fleets that had left Lisbon for Africa and the East, none was so large, so well equipped, armed, and manned as this, the last, commanded by Almeida. There were twenty vessels in all, comprising eight great caracks, called naos, six caravels, and six of intermediate size, which carried, also, material for the construction of two galleys and a brigantine, to be put together at some port in India. They contained two thousand men, fifteen hundred of whom were soldiers, four hundred seamen, and the remainder artisans, merchants, and scheming adventurers.

After a winter of feverishly active labor, the great fleet was finally pronounced ready for sea. It would seem that all the artisans of Portugal had been employed in hastening and perfecting its equipment, and the great naos, as well as the caravels and brigantines, were stored to overflowing with everything necessary for the voyage, as well as for the founding of the projected settlements. Assembled from every nook and corner of Portugal, and including wealthy fidalgos as well as impecunious fortune-seekers, sailors, soldiers, mechanics, professional men, the motley crowd that swarmed aboard the ships became the envy of Lisbon's populace.

Before taking to the sea, however, they marched in procession to the venerable cathedral, there solemnly to celebrate their departure and witness the blessing of the banner presented to Almeida by the king. It was a square of white damask, with a cross in crimson satin edged with gold. Standing in front of the high altar, Dom Manoel held the banner suspended above the bowed head of his deputy, while the royal herald proclaimed him governor and viceroy of the Indies, "for our lord the king,"

Fernan Magellan was present at this ceremonial, standing near the viceroy and the king, and was deeply impressed with its solemnity as well as with the significance of his mission. He was going forth, he realized, not only to seek his fortune at the sword's point, but as a fighter for his king and for his faith.

A few miles down the river stands the tower of Belem, with its church and monastery, erected in honor of the great seaman of Portugal. It was then but recently completed, for its corner-stone was laid only four years previously, in commemoration of Da Gama's great voyage and successful return. Within this magnificent structure to-day rest the bones of the great navigator, those of the king by whose orders he sailed, and of the poet Camoens, who immortalized in verse his vast achievements. But at the time Almeida's fleet dropped anchor off Belem, in order that prayers for its success might be offered on the spot hallowed by association with Prince Henry the Navigator, who erected his chapel here, only seven years had passed since Vasco da Gama had himself knelt here and prayed for heavenly guidance. After the voyagers had performed their orisons, King Manoel came down from Lisbon with a great retinue, and, taking his stand on the viceroy's ship, greeted the captains of the squadron as they swept past him on the tide towards the bar at the mouth of the river. And with his sovereign's wishes for a prosperous voyage in his ears, perhaps with the pressure of his fingers on his palm, Fernan Magellan went with the rest over the bar of Tagus and out upon the sea.

Tower of Belem


Nothing had been omitted to make the departure impressive, yet it was not without its amusing incidents, which provoked some laughter and relieved the tense feelings of the sailors, if not of the cavaliers. One of these incidents was connected with the then recent introduction of the terms "larboard" and "starboard" (or their equivalents in Portuguese) into the nautical language of the navy. Great confusion ensued on weighing anchor off Belem, and at a time when every sailor wished to do his best, in view of his sovereign's presence in person, some of the captains were put to shame.

One of them, Joao Homem, becoming impatient at his sailors' confusing the terms "bombordo,"  or larboard, with "estribordo,"  or starboard, cast his cap to the deck with an oath, exclaiming: "Pilot, you must speak to my men in a speech they can understand! Here, cook, bring me a bunch of garlic and a bunch of onions. There, see, I hang the garlic on this side the helm, and these onions on the other. Now, when I say 'garlic' I mean starboard, and when I say 'onions' I mean larboard; which is a language any fool can understand!" Onions and garlic are said to have saved the situation, by making the sea-terms apparent to the most stupid of sailors, through their senses of hearing and smelling, as well as of seeing; and as there were vast stores of both aboard the fleet, all the captains quickly followed the example of clever Joao Homem.

Portuguese sailors were no longer compelled to crawl slowly and timorously from cape to cape, as in Prince Henry's time, so the fleet proceeded directly southward. The Tagus had been left on March 25th, and four days over a month later, or on April 29th, the equator was crossed. Sailing on forty degrees to the southward, Almeida then reckoned upon having passed the meridian of the Cape of Storms, or Good Hope, and on June 20th bore northeasterly and entered the Indian Ocean, with the loss of two ships.

On July 22nd, or four months after the departure from Portugal, the monotony of the long weeks of sea-sailing was relieved by an engagement with the Arabs of Quiloa, a port to the southward of Zanzibar. Following the instructions of the king, which were peremptory, as well as comprehensive, Almeida was to construct a fort at Quiloa, and also to build there the brigantines, material for which he had brought with him. But the residents here, who may have descended from the founders of the place, which was first settled by Arabs in the tenth century, strenuously objected. They wanted neither the fort nor the presence in their harbor of the Portuguese fleet, and Dom Francisco found himself compelled to storm the city. He landed a party of soldiers, and while they advanced upon the forts amused the Arabs with cannon-play from the ships so successfully that the outworks were soon carried, and within a short time the city itself fell into his hands. At this assault, it is said, Fernan Magellan first drew sword in battle with an enemy; but he bore himself so creditably as to be complimented by his superior officer, and henceforth was regarded as a veteran fighter.

We do not know the position Magellan occupied aboard the fleet, nor the name of the ship he sailed in; but he was probably one of the sobresalientes—or supernumeraries, as the Spaniards described the free-lances that sailed on these voyages without stated occupations—being in search of adventure, merely, without a thought as to what sort it should be. He had borne the discomforts of the voyage with equanimity, but when this opportunity offered for a dash on land, had accepted it most eagerly.

What position he held we know not, nor is there aught to enable one to determine the manner of man he was at twenty-five, which was his age when he set sail with Almeida. We may, however, glimpse his character and gain an impression of his affairs by inspecting the will and testament he executed, previous to setting forth on what he had good reason to consider a hazardous undertaking. It is dated at Belem, December 17, 1504, but was not brought to light until three hundred and fifty years later, when it was discovered by a descendant of his family.

"I desire," he states, in the first clause of this instrument, "if I die abroad, or in this armada in which I am about to proceed for India in the service of my sovereign, the most high and mighty king, Dom Manoel (whom may God preserve), that my funeral may be that accorded to an ordinary seaman, giving to the chaplain of the ship my clothes and arms, to say three requiem masses.

"I appoint as my sole heirs my sister, Dona Teresa de Magalhaes, her husband, Joao da Silva, their successors and heirs, with the understanding that the aforesaid my brother-in-law shall quarter his arms with those of the family of Magalhaes, which are those of my ancestors, and among the most distinguished and oldest in the kingdom; founding, as I hereby found, a bequest of twelve masses yearly, to be said at the altar of the Lord Jesus in the church of San Salvador in Saborosa, in connection with my property, the quinta  [country-seat] de Souta, in the aforesaid parish of Saborosa; that it may be a legacy in per petuo, and that it may remain forever as a memorial of our family, which it will be the duty of our successors to re-establish, should it, through chance or misfortune, fall into desuetude, without increase or diminution in the number of masses, or other alteration.

"And everything that I thus ordain I desire may be carried out justly, and remain without alteration, henceforth and forever, should I die without legitimate offspring; but should I have such, I desire that he or she may succeed to all my estate, together with the same obligation of the entailed bequest, that it may remain established as such, and not in any other form; in order that the barony may increase, and that it may not be deprived of the little property I own, the which I cannot better, or in any other manner, bequeath."

The provisions of this will were never complied with, owing to Magellan's change of residence from Portugal to Spain; and in another, executed later, the little quinta and church of Saborosa are not mentioned. But the instrument shows the serious trend of the young man's thoughts, his love for home, and his desire to transmit to posterity an honorable name. There is nothing in his East-Indian record to belie this intention; and that he was studiously inclined, at least during the long voyage outward to the East, is shown by the fact that, thrown as he was in company with Da Gama's veteran sailors, he became an expert navigator.

Leaving a garrison in the fort which the Portuguese had hastily constructed at Quiloa, Dom Francisco sailed next for the port of Mombaza, where again opposition was encountered which gave him an excuse for bombarding the city, one of the largest and most important trading-posts on the east coast of Africa. He was surprised by an answering cannon-fire to the roar of his artillery, for he had supposed the natives destitute of guns of large caliber. After the city was taken—as taken it was, following a two days' siege and storm—an explanation was found in the fact that these were once Vasco Da Gama's cannon which had been turned upon the invaders. He had lost them overboard during an attack from the harbor a few years before, and after his departure the natives had fished them up, somehow obtained ammunition, and loaded them for use against Da Gama's countrymen. These cannon aided materially in the resistance offered by the Mombazas; but the Portuguese were at that time invincible, having supreme confidence in themselves, and being armed in a superior manner; so the native army, though said to number ten thousand men, was put to ignominious flight.

Another fort was erected, though the King of Mombaza professed the most ardent friendship for the Portuguese, after the chastising they had given him, and presented Dom Francisco with a sword and collar of pearls, together valued at more than fifteen thousand dollars. Thirty thousand crusados  was the value placed upon the gifts by Dom Francisco's treasurer, and probably at that time this was equal to as many dollars of our money. To make it seem yet more magnificent, it may be stated that this would be equivalent to more than a million reis;  or, again, to swell it to its greatest proportions, let us say a billion milreis—a very magnificent gift, indeed!

A marble column was set up at Mombaza in commemoration of the conquest, and, the king having agreed to pay a yearly tribute of ten thousand serafins, Almeida sailed away with his fleet. It had been his intention to proceed yet farther northward, to the port of Melinda, where Da Gama had found his pilot for the voyage across the Indian Ocean. This pilot was an Arab, and without him the voyage might never have been accomplished. But the Portuguese now had pilots of their own, and it was not necessary to seek one at Melinda; hence, Almeida pushed straight out towards the Malabar coast, where the fleetest ships of the squadron arrived the last week of October.

Thus, after a voyage of seven months' duration, and mainly following in the track of Vasco da Gama, who had led the way less than eight years previously, Fernan Magellan arrived in the Indies. He had, so far as opportunity offered, given a good account of himself on the way, having been foremost in the fights that had occurred, and won a reputation as an expert swordsman as well as a gallant soldier. By his alertness, and willingness to perform whatever came in his way, he had acquired great favor with the energetic viceroy, who the very next morning after his arrival at the island of Anchediva, in the Indian Ocean, began the construction of a fortress. Then he despatched some ships of his squadron in search of three Arabian galleons laden with spices for Mecca, which he desired to intercept with their precious cargoes, and while they were absent laid the keels of a caravel and two brigantines. There was no rest for soldier or sailor under such an active commander as Dom Francisco, whose example was not lost upon Fernan Magellan; while his son, Dom Lourenzo, displayed such brilliant prowess that he became renowned throughout the East.

His Heroic Exploits


Fernan Magellan's career really began off the Malabar coast, or what is now the southern part of British India bordering on the Arabian Sea. The cities of that coast offered rich prizes for the Portuguese, some of which they acquired by treaty, some they seized. Though friendly at first sight of these strangers coming into their seas (the trade of which had long been in control of the Arabs, who had hitherto supplied Europe and the West with the rich products of India), the natives soon changed front and became openly hostile.

Dom Francisco and his fleet, however, were too strong for them to resist successfully, and at the first great port he was deputed to govern, that of Cananor (now known as Kananur, and possessed by the British since 1791), he was received with open arms by the people. Amid salvos of artillery, and with flags and standards flying, the armada entered the harbor. Troops were landed, visits of ceremony exchanged between Almeida and the native governor, and an embassy received from the great King of Narsinga. At Cananor, immediately after landing, Almeida assumed the rank and title of viceroy, for he had now arrived at the land which the king had appointed him to govern. He tarried here five days only, during which, with his customary energy, he hurried forward the construction of a fort, and after leaving a garrison of one hundred and fifty men, departed for Cochin.

The Portuguese had been at Cochin about two years, having planted a settlement there in 1503, so Almeida felt sure of a welcome. Native royalty outdid itself, in truth, at the reception given the viceroy, for King Nambeadora came out of the city to receive him mounted upon an enormous elephant with trappings of gold, and attended by an immense retinue with trumpets and kettle-drums. An elephant was furnished the viceroy, and together the two returned to the city, accompanied by an imposing cavalcade, and there the king was recrowned by Almeida, in the great square of his capital. At Cochin and at Cananor vast stores of pepper and spices had been accumulated against the coming of the Portuguese, and these were laden on board the ships of a squadron which sailed for Europe the first week in January, 1506, arriving at Lisbon the last week in May. This voyage was made eventful and noteworthy by the fact that on the way, about the middle of February, the island of Madagascar was discovered—or for the first time seen by Europeans—though it had long been known to the Moors as the "Island of the Moon."

Everything had thus far gone smoothly with Dom Francisco, the first viceroy of India. He had shown himself to be the very man for the position; he had impressed the Arabs and the natives with his terrible prowess, and they were thrown into consternation. The former saw their commerce, which they and their predecessors had controlled for centuries, threatened with extinction; the latter saw their liberties invaded, and territory taken away without prospect of recompense. So they plotted together, the Arabs and the powerful Zamorim of Calicut, and a cloud of war appeared upon the horizon.

Calicut is situated on the Malabar coast about mid-way between Cananor and Cochin. It was the first city of India visited by Gama, in 1498, and hence had known the Portuguese longer than any other. It is a well-known fact that the longer those people knew the Portuguese the less they liked them, for they were arrogant, oppressive, cruel, and avaricious. Though the Arabs had preceded them in those seas by hundreds of years, yet the Portuguese lay claim to everything the seas contained, both by right of "discovery" and of authority from the pope, who had obligingly divided the world then unknown between Spain and Portugal; and it was for them to share and conquer it, without regard to opposition by the inhabitants thereof. The people in the East Indies were as indignant over the act of the Roman pontiff, in giving away that to which he had no right, as were those of the West Indies, and, being more civilized and powerful, they took action accordingly.

In short, the Zamorim of Calicut, aided by the Arabs, raised and equipped an immense armada, consisting of more than two hundred vessels, of which eighty were ships and the others large proas. So many there were, and so densely packed together, as they advanced upon Cananor, that their masts resembled a forest. Thousands of fighting-men were aboard of them, but against this armada Dom Lourenzo, the viceroy's indomitable son (who was compelled to bear the brunt of the battle, his father being away), could bring only a dozen ships and less than a thousand soldiers. They were ships of great size, however, and the Portuguese were men of great valor, so Dom Lourenzo drove his compact squadron into the centre of the enemy's fleet, like a wedge, and split it asunder. In his great nao, the Rodrigo Rebello, he bore down upon the Moorish flag-ship, grappled and boarded her. Six hundred of the enemy fiercely opposed him and his men; but in vain, for shortly after all had been killed or swept into the sea.

Shaking himself free, from the flag-ship, he sought and boarded a heavier craft, containing fifteen hundred men, and this time, doubtless, would have been overwhelmed had not Nuno Vaz Pereira, captain of another Portuguese vessel, grappled with the same ship on the other side. There were more Moors aboard than there were Christians in both attacking vessels combined, but, hemmed in as they were, between the two bodies of boarders, they were cut down by hundreds.

Fernan Magellan was with Nuno Vaz Pereira, on whose ship he held a commission. He led a party of boarders against the mass of Moors huddled on the decks between the contending Christians, and with his sword hewed a bloody lane from one side to the other. Having done this he came face to face with Dom Lourenzo, who was also hacking at the enemy with his halberd. The slaughter was frightful, for quarter was neither given nor asked. The decks were ankle-deep in blood, and but for the fact that they were tightly wedged together the savage contestants could scarcely have kept their footing.

"God be praised!" shouted Dom Lourenzo, as they met. "We shall yet gain the victory over these dogs, if we but follow it!" And follow it they did, until all the unfortunate wretches were slain, or driven overboard into the sea, which was red with their blood on every side. Similar scenes were being enacted in other parts of the fleet, and finally the Moors, seeing the tide of battle turning against them, drew off their scattered proas and left the Portuguese victors.

Fernan Magellan received a wound in this battle, and was for many weeks in hospital at Cananor. Scarcely had he recovered than he was again on duty with his old commander, Pereira, and off for the African coast. There they were detained many months, building fortresses and engaging in conflicts with the Moors. They lost heavily in these various battles, but the greatest losses were occasioned by the deadly climate of Mozambique, on the coast of which the northeast monsoons held them for months, unable to return to India.

At the first change of the monsoon they hastened back to the Malabar coast, there to find the fortresses they had previously erected razed to the ground, and not only the Zamorim and the King of Calicut in open rebellion, but a new and more powerful enemy opposed to the Portuguese. This new foe was no less than the Sultan of Egypt, who, at last aroused over the prospective loss of the vast caravan trade which passed through his country from the Red and Arabian seas, sent his admiral to build a fleet of ships and launch them against the predatory infidels. This admiral, Emir Hoseyn, was as dauntless and energetic as he was skilled in warfare. Without a single vessel on the Red Sea, he caused timber to be cut in Asia Minor and transported on camel-back to Suez, where ten ships were built, launched, and equipped. With these ten ships as the nucleus of a fleet, he gathered around him others at various ports, and then sought Dom Lourenzo's squadron, which was lying in the Chaul River. Though Dom Lourenzo fought his ship, after having been cut off from the vessels of his own fleet, until the decks were level with the water, he would not surrender, but went down, wounded and dying, with all his valiant sailors.

The victory was a costly one for the Egyptian, since it brought upon him the vengeance of the viceroy, who, enraged at the death of his son, sought to bring the enemy at close quarters during more than a year succeeding to the battle. When, finally, on the point of sailing forth to engage Emir Hoseyn, and while his fleet lay at Cananor, Almeida received an order from Dom Manoel to resign his viceroyship to Dom Affonso Albuquerque, who had wrought great havoc among the fleets of the Arabian Sea. Though destitute now of ambition, having lost his favorite son, Almeida refused to resign the seal, keys, and papers of his office until he had taken revenge of the Egyptian admiral. Fiercely he repulsed Albuquerque and his proffers of assistance, fiercely he sailed away with his avenging fleet of nineteen vessels, containing twenty-three hundred men. Whatever came in his way he destroyed, whether ship or city, and he spared no Mussulman who fell into his hands; for he held the enemy collectively responsible for the death of his son.

The Egyptian's victory was won the last of December, 1507; the great Portuguese captains, Almeida and Albuquerque, met at Cananor the first week of December, 1508, and it was not until February, 1509, that Almeida found opportunity for sating his vengeance. In the first week of that month he discovered the Egyptian fleet anchored off the harbor of Diu, one hundred sail, containing thousands of men, among whom were eight hundred fierce Mamelukes in chain armor. The attack was led by Captain Nuno Vaz Pereira, in the great galleon Holy Ghost, and close by his side was Fernan Magellan, whose wound was now healed, and who led a party of boarders to the decks of the Egyptian flag-ship. The slaughter that ensued was so great that of the eight hundred Mamelukes but a score survived, and in all more than four thousand men were killed, on both sides, before victory finally perched upon the standards of the Portuguese. The Egyptians surrendered, and that was their last expiring effort to check the advance of the infidels, for by this battle Portuguese supremacy in the Indies became assured.

Magellan was again wounded, though slightly, and his beloved captain, Pereira, shot in the throat and killed. He was thus compelled to sail under the flag of another, and as Almeida practically withdrew from active campaigning after he had crushed the Egyptians, he transferred his allegiance to Albuquerque. In the heart of Almeida there was, and perhaps with good reason, a deep and rankling jealousy of Albuquerque, who had been sent out to supersede him, after he had nearly accomplished the conquest of the Indian coasts. He felt, indeed, that there was much more yet to be done, and as he had carried out the schemes of the king with great success he was reluctant to resign the authority into the hands of another.

The sequel proved that Almeida's forecast was correct, for, though he had done wonders in the short time at his disposal, Albuquerque so far exceeded him in the extent of his conquests, and the results of organized governments which he founded, that he is much the better known of the two. Albuquerque "the Great," also known as the "Portuguese Mars," though the second viceroy of Portuguese India, and successor to one who was in many respects his equal, became celebrated as the virtual founder of Portugal's vast empire in the Far East. He was a typical (and his men enthusiastically declared an ideal, soldier) with his dignified bearing and flowing, snow-white beard commanding respect, and by his gracious presence and genial nature winning the hearts of his followers, whose hardships he freely shared.

After the differences between the two warring viceroys had been adjusted, we find Ferran Magellan enlisted under Albuquerque's banner and, in the month of April, 1509, sailing on an expedition to Malacca. His captain's name was Sequeira, and that he was not the equal of the lamented Pereira, Magellan was soon convinced. He obeyed him implicitly though, and when Sequeira ran into the harbor of Malacca and anchored his ships in the midst of the Malay fleets, he took the post of danger assigned him without a protest. Still, he had his suspicions aroused by what he observed, and when the king of Malacca sent an invitation to the captain and all his officers to dine with him ashore (intending to murder them and then attack the ships), he warned Sequeira in time to save his life and the lives of his shipmates.

There was no proof of the design, however, and feeling, perhaps, that he had judged the king too hastily, the captain allowed the Malays free access to his ships, which had been divested of nearly all their small boats under a pretext by the king of Malacca that he had a large quantity of pepper and spices ready for shipment. Francisco Serrao, an experienced captain, had been sent ashore with a large party of sailors, and thus the fleet was weakened by being depleted of its best men.

A massacre had been planned, the signal for which was to be the discharge of a gun from the citadel. Although he had no more proof of it than he had before of the king's intention to massacre the Portuguese while his guests were at a banquet, Magellan could not but believe the evidence his eyes afforded him. He became uneasy, and, though he was stationed on deck, he sought Captain Sequeira in his cabin, with the intention of confiding to him his suspicions. He found him playing chess with a Malay official and surrounded by seven or eight fierce-looking natives armed with krises.

Without removing his eyes from the board, Sequeira listened to Magellan's whispered warnings, and then, as though still unsuspicious, ordered him ashore to assist Serrao, and a sailor into the main-top to keep watch on proceedings in the harbor. Hardly had the sailor reached his position aloft than, chancing to glance downward, he saw one of the Malays standing behind Sequeira draw his kris, or crooked dagger, and glanced significantly at a companion. The latter shook his head, as if to warn him that the signal had not been given, when at that moment the cannon boomed from the citadel, its report mingled with the sailor's cry of "Treachery, captain! Your life is in danger!"

Whether the captain heard, or whether he had been cognizant of what was transpiring, he bounded from his seat so suddenly as to baffle the Malay with the kris, and escaped to the deck. There he quickly assembled a rescue party and, attacking the Malays in the cabin, killed some and drove the others overboard.

He had scarcely freed the ship from the foe when a fleet of armed proas was seen rounding a promontory and making for the harbor. Slipping his cables, Sequeira sailed into the centre of them, serving his great guns right and left, so that such of the proas as were not crippled or sent to the bottom scrambled hastily out to sea again. Meanwhile, Fernan Magellan had gone to the rescue of Francisco Serrao and his men, whose craft had been boarded by a horde of Malays. They were in imminent peril, for the Malays held virtual possession of their boats and were bent upon their destruction. Magellan arrived at the opportune moment, and with his assistance the treacherous rascals were driven over the rail; so it may be said that he actually saved the lives of Serrao's crew. This fact Serrao himself never forgot, and henceforth the two were intimate friends. After Magellan had left India for home, Francisco Serrao wrote him frequently, and it was due to information in one of his letters, sent from the Spice Islands about ten years later, that Fernan undertook to sail to those islands by the way of South America and the Pacific.

About sixty Portuguese were taken captive on shore, but after waiting several days in a vain attempt to ransom them, Sequeira landed two of his own captives, each with an arrow through his brain, with the significant message to the king that some one would be sent by his sovereign to avenge the treason of his enemies, even if he did not return. Then he sailed for India, but before reaching Cananor learned that Almeida, whose cause he had espoused against Albuquerque's, had departed for Portugal, and hence changed his course to follow after. The superseded viceroy never reached Portugal, for when on the coast of Africa, home-bound, he landed at Saldanha Bay for water and provisions, and there became involved in a skirmish with the Kafirs, by whom he was slain. His rival and successor, Albuquerque, survived him about five years, and like him perished in Indian waters, dying at sea off Goa, in December, 1515.

Magellan and Serrao did not accompany their commander home to Portugal, but kept on from Cochin, where they probably met Albuquerque, shortly after his disastrous defeat at Calicut. He was then about sending away the home-bound fleet for Portugal, laden with spices and other precious commodities. He ordered Fernan Magellan, who was now captain of a ship (having won this position by promotion for valorous conduct), to convoy a portion of the fleet into the open ocean. Through a mistake of the pilot, Magellan's vessel ran on a reef, in the group of islands known as the Laccadives, about one hundred miles from Cananor. It sat bolt upright on the reef, as in a cradle, but the seamen feared it would break up on a change of the tide, or coming of a storm, and promptly took to the boats. Though the situation was perilous, there was still a semblance of discipline, and only the officers and hidalgos were allowed in the boats, which were so few that there was no room for others. As captain of the ship, Magellan was entitled to a passage in one of the boats but, seeing that the crew were on the verge of mutiny, left as they were with no officers in control, he declared he would remain with the wreck until assistance arrived. This decision put heart into the seamen, who stood by him most loyally. By his direction they shored up the hull with the spars, removed the provisions from the hold to the deck, and with the sails made tents, in which they lived a week, until rescued by a caravel sent from Cananor.

The young captain's action won him the affection of the seamen and the approval of Albuquerque the Great; but, shortly after, he incurred the displeasure of the latter at a conference of the captains called to discuss the siege of Goa, which the viceroy desired to prosecute but which Magellan opposed.

Malacca, Morocco, and Home


The "Portuguese Mars," great and mighty Albuquerque, was a genial, venerable-appearing commander, with pleasant countenance and affable manners, but with a will of his own which few men dared oppose. Magellan, at the council of war called for the purpose of deciding upon laying siege to Goa, an important city and island off the Indian coast, ventured to offer an opinion contrary to that which Albuquerque held, and was henceforward persona non grata  with the viceroy. It mattered little to the great man what Magellan thought or advised; but it mattered much that he should demur at the proposal to take the merchant-ships to Goa, since it was advocated by the commander.

"If we do so," said Magellan, stoutly, "they cannot pass, this year, to Portugal, for which their cargoes are already prepared; and if we fail this annual voyage, there will be great disappointment at home."

There was no quarrel, there was no outward display of irritation; but the viceroy caustically remarked that if there were any who did not wish to go to Goa, he would not compel them, inferring thereby that Magellan may have had an ulterior reason for his dissent. Nothing more was said, however, for Dom Affonso had decided to take the merchant-vessels; and take them he did, though it turned out as Magellan had said: there was great disappointment and murmuring, and much loss to those whose rights should have been respected.

Still, Fernan Magellan was with the viceroy at Goa. He participated in the assault by which the city was taken, and though he was not mentioned among the "honorable cavaliers" recommended to the king's favor, he certainly deserved that honor. On the contrary, indeed, Albuquerque is said to have sent an intimation to Dom Manoel that his ward had proved perverse and unworthy of confidence. Whatever may have reached the king, from that time forward Fernan Magellan no longer enjoyed the light of his countenance, and when he returned to Portugal he met with a very cold reception.

The last expedition in which we can authoritatively place Magellan as a member, holding the rank of captain, is that which Albuquerque undertook for the reduction of Malacca. It sailed from Cochin in the month of August, 1511, an armada of nineteen vessels, and was successful from the start, capturing junks and merchant-ships at various points on the voyage. In one of the ships, it is said, they found the body of King Nahodabeguea, the treacherous Malaccan who had conceived the plot for taking Sequeira's fleet and the lives of his men.

Magellan and Serrao must have gazed upon the cadaver with grim satisfaction, and have felt that the scheme of revenge for the slaughter of their comrades was to be fulfilled. They arrived at Malacca July 1st; but though the city had no strong defences, it held out six long weeks, so fierce were the men who defended it, and so numerous the cannon with which it was provided. There were, the historians tell us, twenty thousand fighting-men and three thousand pieces of artillery, while Albuquerque had scant fifteen hundred men, among whom were included six hundred native archers from the Malabar coast.

By the capture of Malacca, the viceroy gained the gate of the Indian Ocean, as it has been termed, "through which the entire commerce of the Moluccas, the Philippines, Japan, and China passed on its road to the Mediterranean." Most important of all were the Spice Islands, the riches of which the Portuguese were anxious to obtain, dominance over which was the object aimed at by Portugal and some time later by Spain.

The energetic viceroy lost no time in sending a squadron in search of the Spice Islands, and three galleons, in charge of Captain Antonio d'Abreu, sailed for the Moluccas as soon as they could be detached from the fleet and fitted for the voyage. Abreu was commander of the squadron and captained one of the trio of galleons; the other two were commanded, respectively, by Francisco Serrao and (according to one historian) Fernan Magellan.

It is really quite provoking, the doubt that exists as to whether or not Magellan took this voyage beyond Malacca to the Moluccas; but we are unable to decide the question. It is probable that he took it, since one historian, Argensola, makes the statement absolutely, while against him is merely the silence of the several others who wrote of Magellan's doings at this time. They may not have thought it worth while to mention his command of a galleon, when there were so many captains equally celebrated with himself, for he had done nothing up to that time to attract particular attention. The chief importance of this question lies in its bearing upon his future actions in respect to these same Spice Islands, for eight or nine years later we find him representing to the King of Spain that he knew of a route thither until that time untraversed. Either he learned of these islands and this route through his own observations, or gained the knowledge from his friend Francisco Serrao, with whom he is known to have maintained a correspondence for years.

Respecting Serrao we have full information, especially relating to this voyage, and it is of such adventurous character that we could wish Magellan might have been connected with it, instead of the man whose life he saved. After successfully accomplishing the voyage to the Moluccas, and lading his galleons with most precious spices, more than worth their weight in gold, Abreu set sail for Malacca. The weather was "heavy," the seas were uncharted and full of reefs and shoals unknown to man, so it is not strange that one of the vessels, that commanded by Serrao, struck on a coral reef and became a total wreck.

The island upon which the unfortunate Portuguese lost their vessel was uninhabited, save by pirates and wreckers who visited it occasionally to glean what the reefs had brought them. The morning after the disaster, as Serrao was looking out to sea, he beheld a piratical proa approaching the island. He knew at a glance the character of the craft and hiding with his men in a cave, awaited developments. Seeing the wreck on the reefs, the pirates landed for the purpose of finding the survivors, who they knew must be on the island.

They made a great mistake in going ashore in a body, leaving no one on board their craft, and Serrao and his men, who had hidden near the shore, silently swam off to the vessel and took possession with out opposition. When the pirates found out what had been done they were in dismay, and promised the Portuguese anything if they would not leave them on that desert island without food or water. Their prayers were granted, and together all sailed for Amboina, one of the Moluccas, where Serrao found favor with the king, and whence, during the years in which he continued to reside there—from about 1512 to 1520—he wrote frequent letters to Magellan.

But the two never met after the termination of this voyage—whether Fernan Magellan went on it or not—for, while Serrao remained in the Moluccas, as the captain-general of a native king, his friend returned to Lisbon, where we find him in the year 1512. After seven years spent in distant lands in the service of his king, cruising and fighting continually, Magellan made his way back to the country of his birth, where only paltry honors, without substantial emolument, were his reward.

In token that he belonged to the king's household, and was really a "servant of his majesty," he was entitled to a stipend, hardly more than nominal—in fact, contemptible—called the moradia. In his case it amounted to about a dollar a month and an alqueire, or measure containing not quite thirty pounds of barley, daily. In consideration of his great services, he was promoted to the rank of nobleman, entitled to a coat of arms, and his pension was doubled, so that he was privileged to draw from the royal treasury the sum of twenty-four dollars per annum.

As he had lost all properties acquired in the Indies (though his share of the plunder must have been quite large), he returned to Portugal relatively poor, and soon after retired to the small estate at Saborosa. But he did not stay there long, for to one who had sniffed the smoke of battle on many a field, who had participated in the scenes attendant upon the extension of Portugal's great eastern empire—founding settlements, subjecting strange peoples, and erecting fortresses—country life was tame and uneventful. He soon bade adieu to secluded Saborosa, and probably for the last time, as soon after he was compelled to quit the country by the king's compulsion.

He wandered back to Lisbon, seeking an opportunity to sail again for India, but, soldier-like, followed along the line of least resistance, and, finding no good chance for the East, enlisted for Morocco. An armada was to be despatched to the Moroccan coast consisting of four hundred ships and eighteen thousand fighting-men, merely for the sake of avenging an insult to his majesty Dom Manoel. It set sail in August, 1513, and arrived off Azamor, the offending city and port, within two weeks after. The mere sight of such a mighty fleet brought the Moors quickly to terms, and the city was taken by the Portuguese without the loss of a man. They held it through the succeeding winter, during which it was the custom of the most venturesome of the cavaliers to make armed forays into the country roundabout.

Among these mounted hidalgos who delighted in scampering about the country at night, for the purpose of returning at morn with spoils of the Moors, was Fernan Magellan. He was equally at home on ship or on horseback, and always anxious to be in motion, whether on one or the other. On one of his excursions he discovered the patrols of a vast army advancing, which proved to be one that had been assembled by the kings of Fez and Mequinez for the relief of Azamor. So rapidly and so silently had the Moors advanced—most of them having embarked on the famed "ships of the desert," their swift and tireless dromedaries—that they were almost upon the city before Magellan ran against the van of that formidable host. He turned his horse towards Azamor and, with several well-mounted Arabs in pursuit, dashed towards and into the gateway of the city, shouting lustily: "The Moors! the Moors!"

The pursuing Arabs halted so abruptly at the city portal that their foam-flecked barbs were thrown upon their haunches. Disappointed of their prey, they returned to the main army, which encamped at the river Azamor, where the Portuguese troops promptly attacked them. They routed the vanguard with loss, but the main body of the army was so vast that it forced those in front ahead, filling the gaps caused by the Portuguese artillery and almost over-whelming the city, in spite of terrible slaughter. When at last the Arab host was forced to retreat, a thousand prisoners remained in the hands of the Portuguese, and more than eight hundred horses.

The booty was so vast that a special board was named to apportion it, and one of its members was Fernan Magellan, who, having been wounded by a lance-thrust in the knee, was incapacitated for active service. This wound, in fact, which was received in a charge he led upon the Arab vanguard, was the cause of lameness during the remainder of his life, and ever after he walked with a perceptible limp. It was also the indirect cause of a final rupture of his relations with Dom Manoel, for as soon as he had completed his labors on the board of apportionment, he hastened home to prefer a claim for an increase of his moradia. It was on account of the wound, primarily, but ostensibly for his long term of service in the king's armies.

Unable, as he was, to sit in his saddle and fight, and there being no longer any Moors to contend with at Azamor, he saw no reason why he should not return to Lisbon, especially as his old commander, Dom Joao de Meneses, with whom he was a favorite, had been replaced by another, who treated him badly from the outset. The new commander, in fact, sent word to Dom Manoel that Captain Fernan Magellan had left Africa without his permission, and that, moreover, he was charged with irregularities in the division of the booty obtained from the Moors. He was accused, in company with another of the board, Captain Alvaro Monteiro, of selling horses and cattle to the Moors and pocketing the proceeds; but Magellan contended that on the contrary he had refused to do so, and thereby had incurred the enmity of the very people who denounced him.

The king, probably with the charges of Albuquerque in mind, refused to listen to Fernan's excuses, and ordered him to return at once to Azamor. Dom Manoel had always loathed him, one historian tells us, but gives no reason for the king's aversion, except it might have been that Magellan deserved greater rewards than he accorded him. Having spent seven years in India and a year in Africa—having wasted in the king's service the very best years of his manhood's prime—Magellan was certainly entitled to great consideration. But he did not get it, nor even scant recognition of what he had done, for when, having once more returned to Lisbon, with papers proving his innocence of any misdemeanor, he asked for an increase in his pension, he was peremptorily refused.

Lest Fernan Magellan be accused of sordidly estimating his services at a money value, let it be stated that the increase was but half a cruzado  per month, or a paltry sum of twenty-six cents; and it was not this augmentation of his moradia that he desired so much as the enhancement of reputation and the promotion that it carried. The larger the moradia, the higher its recipient stood in favor with the king and in rank, hence the rivalry among the cavaliers to obtain an increase whenever possible.

But Magellan had to do with a sovereign every way as mean and niggardly as Henry VII. of England; one who was "suspicious of his servants, even, and very jealous of directing personally all the details of government." Whatever sentimental value the cavaliers may have attached to the moradia, he viewed every extension of it as an increased drain upon his treasury. It is told of him that, when Albuquerque doubled the pay of his men who had been wounded at Calicut, the king was greatly incensed. They should have been satisfied, he said, with the pittance they received and the glory they won; and so with Magellan: the royal boor insinuated that he had feigned his lameness in order to excite sympathy for his claim to an increase of pension!

After that, could a self-respecting subject again approach such a parsimonious, base-minded monarch and request a favor of him? Magellan steeled himself to once more crave an interview with Dom Manoel, though it was for the purpose of bestowing a favor, not requesting one; but the king's jealousy and short-sightedness prompted him to set aside a gift which went to his rival the King of Spain.

Magellan Expatriated


That a man who had spent one-fourth his life in fighting for his country should, from spite or malice, renounce that country and carry his talents to another seems incredible, and one who would do so may be termed contemptible. Fernan Magellan expatriated himself, and some of his enemies have declared it was because of the king's refusal to increase his pension and bestow upon him the promotion he craved; but this is not the truth. He was deeply wounded; he may have grieved in silence or have denounced Dom Manoel to his friends; but, though it may have appeared to him that the king had treated him unjustly, he had no thought of renouncing his allegiance simply for that reason.

During two or three years succeeding to his rebuff by Dom Manoel, Fernan Magellan remained in Portugal without employ by the king, but by no means idle. One of his Portuguese biographers tells us that he was "always busied with pilots, charts, and the question of longitudes," and from this we may infer his intentions. He had voyaged a great deal, he had fought lustily; and now, at the age of thirty-five to thirty-seven, it was high time that he should think upon what he had seen. What he evolved from the seclusion of those two or three years passed in retirement, shows that they were the most fruitful in his experience. The idea had occurred to him—but when, and how suggested, is not known—that the Spice Islands of the Eastern Seas could perhaps be reached by a direct voyage across the Atlantic (and perchance that other ocean which Balboa had espied from Darien), instead of by the circuitous route around the Cape of Good Hope.

This idea, crystallized into an intelligible and definite scheme, Fernan Magellan took to his sovereign, expecting—at least, hoping—that he would assist him to carry it out. But, the coldness with which Dom Manoel received him, and the brusqueness with which he repelled the suggestion, showed him to be a fit successor to King John II., who had spurned the proposition for a new-world voyage of discovery by Christopher Columbus. Dom Manoel did not, like his predecessor, send out craft to ascertain if the scheme of a voyage to the Spice Islands were feasible, nor even consult with cosmographers as to its practicability. He rejected the proposition, as well from ignorance of its vast significance, as from hatred of Magellan; and the author of this new idea, who had perchance dreamed of winning a name for himself, with his sovereign's assistance, retired from the royal presence, disappointed and indignant, but not humbled or mortified.

Ferdinand Magellan


Never, he declared, would he invite insult and contumely again by presenting himself before the king, who not only ignored his deserts as a soldier, but took delight in holding him up to ridicule. But it is doubtful whether he had then formed the resolve to carry his scheme to the court of Portugal's only rival in the field of discovery at that time—Spain, which occupied the major portion of the Iberian peninsula, and had garnered bountiful harvests from the countries revealed by Columbus.

Portuguese historians aver that the suggestion to denaturalize himself was "of the devil," and point to the fact that Fernan Magellan's most intimate friend was an astrologer, and hence in league with the powers of darkness. This intimate friend, they say, and not Magellan, was the author of the idea:  that by sailing westerly, not easterly, the most direct route to the Moluccas would be found. This friend was Ruy Faleiro, a misanthropic scholar and dreamer, who passed his time in abstruse studies, and whose friendship for Magellan was the only one that he is said to have formed. Inasmuch as they were intimately associated, during the two or three years of Fernan's retirement, and as Faleiro was a learned astronomer and cosmographer, it is possible that the idea was his, as well as the suggestion that the two friends should abandon a country which showed itself so ungrateful and unappreciative, for another, which might receive them more hospitably. One thing was certain, Ruy Faleiro is said to have impressed upon the downcast Magellan: his career in Portugal was at an end, for, whom the king looked upon with disfavor was blasted for life.

Let us assume that the idea was theirs in common: that it had originated in their frequent conversations, when Magellan, the man of energy and action, who had been in the East and remembered what he had seen, may have alluded to facts which fitted in with Faleiro's theories and speculations. For Magellan was a sailor-soldier, who had been too long guided by and at the beck of others, to conceive an original hypothesis; while Faleiro was a thinker, whose synthetic order of intellect was equal to the construction of a perfect globe, from the mismatched fragments of half-informed cosmographers.

Faleiro and Magellan put their heads together, and arrived at the truth, which was, that there was no longer a career for the latter in Portugal; that Dom Manoel was a dunce, and being what he was, incapable of change, nor open to argument, would never assist an expedition by the western route; that inasmuch as Spain's newly acquired possessions lay to the west of the great meridian of demarcation drawn by order of the pope, while Portugal's all lay to the east, there was a better prospect of assistance from Spain than from Portugal.

Hence, argued Faleiro, their only hope lay in Spain, where the enlightened Don Carlos was king, and who, though young—a mere youth, in fact—was possessed of wisdom beyond his age. Ruy Faleiro, indeed, is said to have gone beyond mere prediction, and, availing himself of his knowledge as an astrologer, indulged in prophecy. He foresaw, he said, the success of the scheme—his scheme, he called it—but before success was gained, before the voyage projected by them should become an accomplished fact, both were to be deprived by death of the glory that was rightly theirs.

Faleiro was gloomy by nature, a mystic, whose head was nearer the stars than the earth. As time went on he became morose and surly, and was as a thorn in the side of Fernan Magellan, whose disposition was more inclined to be joyous than gloomy. Before many months, in fact, Ruy Faleiro developed indications of insanity, which deprived him of the privilege of accompanying his friend on the great voyage which they had planned together.

Dom Manoel had, in effect, informed Magellan, when he intimated there were others who might look upon his plans more approvingly, that he was free to go whither he desired, and there was no opposition to the departure of himself and Faleiro, when they at last left Portugal for Spain. They were hardly worth considering, of course, the sovereign thought, provided he was informed at all of their going; but within a year or two he went wild with rage, at the mere mention of their names.

Having resigned his commission as a captain in the royal service, Fernan Magellan departed from Portugal, without first taking leave of the king, on account of the humiliation to which he had been subjected. His pride, perhaps, was greater than his discretion; but it cannot be denied that he had good cause for a feeling of resentment towards one who had treated him so badly. One Portuguese historian, writing not long after this event, states that when Fernan demanded permission from Dom Manoel to go and live with some one who would reward his services, he received the reply that he might do as he pleased. "Upon this, Magellan desired to kiss his hand at parting, but the king would not offer it to him."

All the Portuguese historians, ancient as well as modern, denounce Magellan and Faleiro for their act of denationalization, as if theirs was the first instance of the kind. While, however, they may, more formally than others, have renounced allegiance to their sovereign, they had several notable examples to cite: as Columbus, who, after he left his native Genoa, became naturalized in Portugal, where he married, and then in Spain; Sebastian Cabot, who left England for Spain, where he lived many years, before returning to pass his old age in the land that honored him most; Vespucci the Venetian, who also occupied the important post of pilot-major at the time Magellan arrived at Seville.

No great opposition had been made to their renunciation of citizenship, in the lands of their birth, and it was not until they had become great and famous, that their compatriots concerned themselves about their doings at all. But one writer calls Faleiro and Magellan "unnatural monsters, traitors to the king whom it was their duty to serve; barbarians towards the country for which it was their duty to die." They conspired, he said, "to bring about a fatal war between two neighboring and friendly powers"; but of this there is no proof, and in fact they did nothing of the kind. What they did was to leave a kingdom where there was no hope of advancement, and seek another, in which they trusted to receive encouragement.

They arrived in Seville, then the Mecca of all voyagers and discoverers, in October, 1517. They reached it unheralded, except that the fame of Magellan's exploits had preceded him, in a general way; but they directly found themselves among friends and fellow-countrymen, refugees from the persecutions of Portuguese monarchs. The most eminent of these, Dom Alvaro of Portugal, a brother of the Duke of Braganca (who was executed by Joao the Perfect for treason), occupied the elevated post of Alcaide, or chief of the arsenal. Many others who, like him, had fled from Portugal for political reasons, had found in Spain not only an asylum of refuge, but obtained congenial employment in the royal service.

In fact, what would Spain have done, in the matter of discovery and world-achievement, had she not harbored the refugees of other lands, during the very period in which she was so mercilessly expelling the Moors and the Jews? So that these refugees were professed followers of the cross, and so-called Christians, they required no other credentials, but were at once taken to the hearts of all Spaniards.

Suffice it to state, that the two expatriated ones were at once introduced to quite a large Portuguese colony, the various homes of which were at once thrown open to them. But more than this: Magellan, it is said, found relations there, with whom he had once been on terms of intimacy. Dom Diego Barbosa, the assistant alcaide of the arsenal, a knight-commander of the renowned Order of Santiago, and a man of great influence in Seville, is alluded to by writers of the time as a primo, or cousin of Magellan. He had been fourteen years in Spain, having come from Portugal, where Fernan Magellan was an occasional inmate of his family, visiting it from Saborosa, and when he could escape from Dom Manoel's court.

Not alone the tie of kinship (it was whispered), bound Fernan Magellan to the family of Dom Diego Barbosa; but there was an added attraction in the person of Dom Diego's daughter, lovely Beatrix, a maiden of many charms, though then quite young. The two cousins were mutually attracted, and their parents thought them so well suited to each other that they may have dreamed of their future happiness together. But the young man went off to the wars, the maiden accompanied her father to Spain, and so they were separated. Whether they corresponded, during those long years of separation, we do not know but the remembrance of his youthful sweetheart may have kept the young soldier from many evils, into which so many of his companions wildly plunged, in their dissolute days of soldiering.

Was her image in his heart, all the while, and was the thought of her an incentive for his going to Spain? It may be, for, soon after he was installed in her father's house, an honored guest, he commenced an ardent courtship, which resulted in their marriage before the year had ended. This was Fernan Magellan's first and only romance, so far as we know, for he had never played the lover to fair ladies, many of whom he must have met in his wanderings, and who must have been attracted to him by his robust personality and admirable qualities. So he married the beautiful Beatrix Barbosa, and in Seville, where, too, Amerigo Vespucci had met his bride and passed the brief period of his wedded life, they spent their honeymoon.

We may allude to this episode—for it was scarcely more than that—as a romance; but Magellan was too practical, too deeply absorbed in his pursuit, to allow it to divert him from the real object of his visit. Were he likely to do so, the persistent Faleiro—whose one love was knowledge, and whose only mistress was science—would have reminded him of his duty, for, seemingly aware that his time was short, he could brook no delay. He worried his friend so constantly, he created such scenes at the casa de contratacion, or house of the Indies, which had supervision over all expeditions, that Fernan was only too glad to set off to visit the court. It chanced that Dom Diego Barbosa, Fernan's father-in-law, was the very person to place them in communication with the court and the king, for he had faithfully served Ferdinand the Catholic, grandfather of the then reigning sovereign, as well as Dom Manoel in the Indies. His prestige was such that he soon arranged for their reception, and within three months of their arrival in Spain, the two companions set out for Valladolid, where the youthful king was then holding court.

He had but recently arrived from Flanders, and was still surrounded by and under the influence of those parasitic Flemings, who, knowing their tenure of office was likely to be short, were exploiting Spain and its resources with energy and avidity. They could not but be jealous of the Spanish courtiers, who, in the nature of things, must shortly supersede them, and who, on their part, were furious that their boy king was so completely under Flemish influence. He could scarcely speak the language of the country he had come to govern—the speech of Joanna his mother, of Isabella and Ferdinand, his grandmother and grandfather—and it is doubtful if he could understand, still less appreciate, a scheme that might extend to the other side of the globe Spain's influence and prestige.

Fortunately for sovereigns of the sort to which belonged the youthful Charles at that period of his life, kings can have their thinking done for them by others. King Charles had but recently lost the sagest of counsellors, Cardinal Xirnenes, regent of Spain, who had died in the month of November previous; but there remained, together with several Flemings of no great parts, the energetic, and in many ways admirable Fonseca, Bishop of Burgos. He was the real and actual head of the great India house, and his advice had greater weight than that of all other Spaniards combined. He was avaricious, hatefully malignant, despicably mean, and had been the declared enemy of all discoverers, from Columbus to Balboa, whose plans he had thwarted or opposed to the extent of his great ability.

But there was something in the appearance of the two latest suppliants for royal favor, Magellan and Faleiro, that interested the bishop and enchained his attention. Ruy Faleiro, mystic and astrologer, was a man of commanding presence, with deep-browed, glittering eyes, raven-black beard and flowing hair, his costume as fantastic as that of any Moorish astrologer whose science he professed. He could read the minds of men as well as he could the stars, and he quickly perceived the great bishop's vulnerable points, which were vanity, avariciousness, and admiration for worth and learning. It took him but a short time to convince the worldly prelate that he was the greatest man on earth, that the scheme proposed would result in his vast enrichment, and that Ruy Faleiro, who addressed him, was profoundly erudite.

Fernan Magellan could scarcely lay claim to an impressive presence, for he was not above middle height, his countenance, though attractive, was not striking, and in his walk he limped perceptibly, from the wound received in Africa. But he knew the East Indies, to which he convincingly pointed out the new route westerly, upon a planisphere he had brought from Portugal, and his exploits gave him high standing in the bishop's estimation. Thus the two combined wrought upon the churchman favorably, for while Ruy Faleiro fascinated, Fernan Magellan convinced him by absolute proofs that the route was feasible, and, being so, it could not but be profitable to Spain to exploit it.

One of the proofs was a letter from Francisco Serrao, the friend of Magellan, who had been wrecked among the Spice Islands, and who had remained there ever since. He told of the vast wealth to be accumulated there in spices, and expressed his belief (which Ruy Faleiro confirmed) that the Moluccas belonged to Spain, not to Portugal, as they lay west of the pope's line of demarcation, which was projected in 1494 by the treaty of Tordesillas. And, says the historian Gomara, "other bids for credence did he make, conjecturing that the land [now known as South America] turned westward, in the same manner as did that of Good Hope towards the east. . . . And since on the track thus taken no passage existed, he would coast the whole continent till he came to the cape which corresponds to the Cape of Good Hope, and would discover many new lands, and the way to the Spice Islands, as he promised. . . . Such an expedition would be long, difficult, and costly, and many did not understand it, while others did not believe in it. However, the generality of people had faith in him [Magellan], as a man who had been seven years in India, and because, though a Portuguese, he declared that Sumatra, Malacca, and other Eastern lands where spices could be found, belonged to the kingdom of Castile."

A King Convinced


The fantastic Faleiro and the serious Magellan won a great victory when they brought over Bishop Fonseca to their way of thinking, for his way was the king's way—just then; and they convinced Charles of the feasibility of their scheme when they convinced the head of the India house. For one who had grown old and gray in the fitting out of expeditions which rarely realized the expectations of their promoters, and in combating the plans of hard-headed navigators who desired to sail to the uttermost ends of the earth, the great churchman was quite enthusiastic. This may have been because he was still under the spell of that necromancer, Ruy Faleiro; but whatever the cause, he promised to take the matter up with the king, who was then absent on a hunting-trip, and this was equivalent to stamping it with the royal approval. Indeed, Fonseca attended to the business so faithfully that a capitulation was drawn up and signed only two months after their arrival at Valladolid, first by the king, then by Faleiro and Magellan, by which the sovereign agreed to provide an armada of five ships, provision it for two years, and furnish at least two hundred and fifty men for the crews.

The date of this instrument was March 22, 1518, only five months after their arrival in Spain, and it must be admitted that the partners had made very good progress. Very few petitioners at royal courts, especially at the court of Castile, had ever received such prompt and respectful attention, or had so few obstacles thrown in their way. The reader will quite naturally revert to the case of Columbus, by way of contrast, and recall the long years spent by that humble suppliant at the court of Isabella and Ferdinand. But the granting of a petition is not immediately fulfilling the obligations incurred, and eighteen months passed away before that promised fleet set sail.

By the terms of the contract between the king and the Portuguese partners, no exploration was to be projected or carried within the boundaries claimed by the king's "dear and well-beloved uncle," Dom Manoel, whose "rights" were to be rigidly respected. In other words, while Charles was willing to appropriate the services of Dom Manoel's former subjects, whose secrets were invaluable assets, and in effect invade the islands pertaining to Portugal, he was yet scrupulous to show a careful observance of the Tordesillas treaty, by which the world-line of delimitation was fixed between the two countries.

No time less favorable, on the face of it, could have been chosen for the securing of a concession from Spain, where the rights of her nearest neighbor were concerned, than that taken by Faleiro and Magellan, for other important negotiations were going on, which Charles very much desired to see carried through successfully. These negotiations related to nothing less than a matrimonial alliance between Dom Manoel, aged fifty, and King Charles's sister Leonora, aged twenty. Like most aged wooers who have set their hearts upon acquiring youthful consorts, the Portuguese king was ardent in his love-making (by proxy), while the prospective bride was diffident, though subject to the command of her brother—in fact, an unwilling victim.

The ambassador charged with the important mission was one Alvaro da Costa, Dom Manoel's grand chamberlain and keeper of the robes. He was less fit, apparently, to transact such weighty negotiations as those with which he was intrusted than to dust and air his sovereign's wardrobe, for though aware of what was occurring with reference to the Moluccas, he could conceive of no method for arresting progress. A marriage treaty was drafted at Zaragoza, on May 22, 1518, which was ratified July 16, only four days before the India house was finally informed that it was the king's unalterable determination to prosecute the enterprise projected in conjunction with Faleiro and Magellan. Charles must have known that his royal cousin of Portugal would not view this action in a favorable light. In truth, Dom Manoel's ambassador lost no time in giving him that impression, first by suggestive hints, then by open arguments, but without avail. As the summer waned, without any signs of relenting on the part of King Charles as to severing connections with the ambassador's discredited countrymen, Dom Alvaro became quite frantic, and one day, pushing past the officers on guard, told the sovereign to his face that he was committing a great wrong in putting this affront upon his royal master. He was, in fact, jeopardizing the chances for the union between the king's sister and the king's cousin; but it is related that Charles replied rather tartly to this insinuation, that it mattered to him no whit, for his sister was sure of a suitor, and perchance might occupy a greater throne than the Portuguese. In point of fact, a few years later she did, for having been married to Dom Manoel in November, 1518, she was, after his death in 1521, united to Francis I. of France, whom she also outlived.

The last week of September, 1518, Dom Alvaro wrote his sovereign a letter concerning his woes, which, as it gives a faithful picture of the times and throws much light upon the intentions of Dom Manoel respecting Magellan, is herewith reproduced, in translation, from the original in the archives of the Torre do Tombo:

"SIRE,—Concerning the matter of Fernao Magalhaes, how much I have done and how much I have labored, God knows; and now, Chievres [the minister] being ill, I have spoken upon the subject very strongly to the king himself, putting before him all the inconveniences that in this case may arise, and also representing to him what an ugly matter it was, and how unusual, for one king to receive the subjects of another king, his friend, contrary to his wish—a thing unheard of among caballeros, and accounted both ill-judged and ill-seeming. Yet I had just put your highness and your highness's possessions at his service here in Valladolid, at the moment he was harboring these persons against your will.

"I begged him to consider that this was not the time to offend your highness, the more so in an affair which was of so little importance and so uncertain; and that he would have subjects enough of his own to make discoveries, when the time came, without resorting to these malcontents of your highness, whom your highness could not fail to believe likely to labor more for your disservice than for anything else. . . . I also represented to him the bad appearance that this would have, in the year and very moment of the marriage—the ratification of friendship and affection. And also, that it seemed to me that your highness would much regret to learn that these men asked leave of him to return, and that he did not grant it, the which are two faults: the receiving of them contrary to your desire, and the retaining them contrary to their own. And I begged of him, both for his own and your highness's sake, that he would do one of two things—either permit them to go, or put off the affair for this year, by which he would not lose much, and means might be taken whereby he might be obliged, and your highness might not be offended, as you would be were this scheme carried out.

"He was so surprised, sire, at what I told him, that I also was surprised; but he replied to me with the best words in the world, saying that on no account did he wish to offend your highness, and many other good words; and he suggested that I should speak to the cardinal, and confide the whole matter to him. I, sire, had already talked the matter over with the cardinal, who is the best thing here, and who does not approve of the business, and he promised me to do what he could to get off the affair. He spoke to the king, and thereupon they summoned the Bishop of Burgos, who is the chief supporter of the scheme. And with that, certain two men of the council succeeded in making the king believe that he did your highness no wrong, since he only ordered exploration to be made within his own limits, and far from your highness's possessions; and that your highness should not take it ill that he should make use of two of your subjects—men of no great importance—while your highness himself employed many Spaniards. They also adduced many other arguments, and at last the cardinal told me that the bishop and others insisted so much upon the subject that the king could not now alter his determination.

"While Chievres was well, I kept representing this business to him, as I have just said, and much more. He lays the blame [of course] upon those Spaniards who have pushed the king on, but says he will speak to the king. On former occasions, however, I besought him much on this subject, and he never came to any determination, and thus I think he will act now.

"It seems to me, sire, that your highness might get back Fernao de Magalhaes—which would be a great blow to these people—but as for the bachelor [Ruy Faleiro], I do not count him much, for he is half crazy . . .

"Do not let your highness infer that I went too far in what I said to the king, for, besides the fact that all I said was true, these people do not perceive anything, nor has the king liberty, up to now, to do anything for himself, and on that account his actions may be the less regarded.

"May the Lord increase the life and dominions of your highness, to His holy service.

"From Zaragoza, Tuesday night, September 28, 1518.

"I kiss the hands of your highness.


It was true, as Dom Alvaro wrote Dom Manoel, the king could not, or would not, alter his determination, and, spurred on by the Bishop of Burgos, the India house excelled all previous records in furnishing ships, supplies, and men. A friend of an official high in position, one Aranda, was deputed to purchase the ships, which were obtained at Cadiz, and were in such poor condition that the Portuguese factor, who was spying upon these proceedings for his king, reported them unsafe even for a voyage to the Canaries.

"They are old and battered," he wrote, "and their ribs as soft as butter! Sorry would I be to sail in them, your highness." But one of these "sorry ships" afterwards sailed around the world, for the first time in the history of the globe it circumnavigated, and two of them safely reached the Philippines. Still, they were old, practically unseaworthy, and it required all Fernan Magellan's skill and care to make them fit, and carry him across two great oceans.

These are their names and their tonnage: the San Antonio, 120 tons; Trinidad, 110 tons; Concepcion, 90 tons; Victoria, 85 tons, and the Santiago, 75 tons. They closely approximated to the total tonnage promised by the king in his capitulacion, falling but twenty tons short, in the aggregate; and Magellan, seeing that his royal master was trying to keep faith with him, set himself cheerily to the work of fitting them out.

King Charles, indeed, went further than he had promised, for, in advance of confirming the agreement he had made with Magel lan and Faleiro, he bestowed upon them a precious token of his high esteem. In the presence of the king and his council, at Valladolid, they were admitted to the venerated Order of Santiago, and decorated with the cross of comendador, or knight-commander. Then, about the end of July, the two captains left Valladolid for Seville, where their labor was unremitting, until the fleet dropped down the Guadalquivir to San Lucar.

Meanwhile, Portuguese factors, hired agents, and even assassins, in the pay of Portugal (it has been averred), sought to prevent Magellan from carrying out his scheme. He was first approached by Dom Alvaro da Costa, the king's ambassador, who, having Dom Manoel's promise of promotion should he succeed in defeating the enterprise, labored lustily to dissuade him from the project. He offered him the royal pardon, not only, but the rewards of a high position, if he would leave Spain and return to Portugal; but Magellan would not listen. "Consider," then urged Dom Alvaro, "that you not only sin against the king, but against God, inasmuch as he is the servant of God, and you will forever stain his good name. Moreover, reflect that you will be the cause of dissension between two sovereigns, who, but for you, will still further strengthen the ties of blood and friendship that unite them, by the union of the Spanish princess with his Highness Dom Manoel. But for you, Fernan Magellan—consider well!"

"They will marry," answered Magellan, "whate'er betide, for your king's heart is set upon it; though as to the princess—well, that is a matter for her conscience; little she inclines that way, I fancy. As for me, my word is pledged to King Charles, and on my sacred honor, I shall not break with him!"

"You will repent these words," declared Dom Alvaro, giving him an evil look; and that he did not repent them was through no fault of the Portuguese. Departing from the region of the court, however, Magellan was rid of the ambassador's presence, though not beyond his influence—as he soon had reason to believe.

It was on a dark night, in Seville. After a day of toil at the India house, Fernan had slipped over to a dinner with Bishop Fonseca, at whose house he was always welcome. The two were much together now, for the bishop, erratic and sordid as he had the reputation of being in his dealings with others, had taken a great fancy to Magellan. Usually, after an evening with his friend, Fonseca had insisted upon some of his armed retainers accompanying Fernan to his home, in the house of Dom Diego Barbosa. But on this night, somehow, the precaution was omitted, though the bishop well knew the dangers that lurked in the path of his young friend. He saw to it, however, that Fernan had his sword by his side, and laughingly remarked that he presumed he knew how to use it.

"If I do not, it is not from lack of practise," lightly replied Magellan, kissing the fingers extended to him by the bishop, and swinging out into the darkness. He had not proceeded far, for he was at a corner of the great cathedral, when out from the shadow of its main portal leaped a man with a drawn dagger in his hand. He aimed a blow at Magellan's back, between the shoulders; but his prey in prospective was alert, for he had seen the sinister shadow, projected by the faint light of a waning moon. He whirled around with great rapidity, and with his sword slashed the would-be assassin across the face. Blinded by blood, the man whined piteously, and Fernan had not the heart to kill him, though he was completely at his mercy.

"Take that to Dom Alvaro," he simply said, wiping his sword and thrusting it into its sheath. "And tell him this: It is a proverb of my country, and he must know it: 'The lame goat  never takes a siesta (cabra manca nao tern sesta)," he added, grimly, limping away with this jest on his lips at his own deformity.

Fernan Magellan was not disturbed by these attacks, nor by the knowledge that his life was constantly in danger, for he considered it "part of the game" to be assaulted. Give him his good Toledo blade only, and fair warning—he asked nothing else of the enemy. The Portuguese respected him for his courage, and took pride in him as their countryman; but the dastardly hirelings of Dom Manoel continued to worry him, nevertheless.

One day in October, as he was engaged in overhauling the Trinidad, which he had occasion to careen at low tide, early in the morning, a crowd of idlers gathered about him as, busy at work, he went hither and thither about the ship-yard. At last, an alguacil, or petty official, a constable, went to one of the four capstans used in careening the vessel, and tore from it a flag bearing the arms of Magellan, which, as was customary for the captain of a ship, he had placed there.

"It is a Portuguese flag," he shouted, "and no right has he to fly it on a Spanish vessel!" The crowd took up the cry: "A Portuguese flag on a Spanish ship. Down with the stranger—the Portuguese!"

An aristocrat by birth, and a comendador of Santiago by grace of the king, Magellan refused to exchange words with the alguacil, and when the mob drove away his men and advanced upon him with clubs and stones, he calmly folded his arms and told the captain of the port, who had taken sides against him, that owing to the rising of the tide the vessel was in peril, and if anything happened to her his would be the responsibility. As for the mob, he turned his back upon it scornfully, refusing to explain or defend actions for which he was responsible only to the king. The outburst of fury against him was somewhat allayed by the arrest of a few of his men, who were marched off to prison by the alguacil and the captain of the port; but Magellan himself was unharmed.

The next day he wrote a spirited letter to the king, complaining of the insult offered to "one of your highness's captains," and commending the action of his friend Sancho Matienzo, an official of the India house, who had gallantly come to his rescue and calmed the tumult, at the risk of his life. The king responded graciously, sending his approval of what Magellan had done in the premises, praising Matienzo's action, censuring the port captain, and ordering the arrest and punishment of the derelict officials. After which rebuke by the king, no Spaniard dared insult Magellan publicly; but there was an undercurrent of hatred running against him, as was shown by the straws on the surface.

A King Incensed


All the attempts upon Fernan Magellan's life, and all the endeavors to frustrate the fitting out of his expedition, are said to have had their origin at the court of Dom Manoel, King of Portugal, successor to monarchs whose policy countenanced assassination as a legitimate means to accomplish an end greatly desired. There is a tradition, in fact, that he was urged to assassinate Magellan by no less a personage than Ferdinand Vasconcellos, then Bishop of Lamego, who was afterwards promoted to the bishopric of Lisbon. That he listened to this advice, and set his emissaries upon Fernan's track with orders to dispose of him by a deed of blood, was believed at the time and has never been disproved.

Ruy Faleiro, the astrologer, was not molested, because, as Dom Alvaro wrote his sovereign, he was far gone on the road to the mad-house, and to kill him would be a work of supererogation. He was worth more to Portugal alive than dead, while his partner, Fernan, would be a reproach to Portugal as long as he lived. Faleiro was already babbling of the voyage's successful outcome, and of the idea which he had suggested to Fernan, his friend, who, but for him, would never have thought of attaining the Spiceries by a western passage, but who was already reaping all the honors as prospective commander of the fleet. King Charles might become convinced, before it was too late, that these two were but a brace of madmen, in sooth—the one a veritable lunatic, and the other a schemer—whose one idea had its birth in a mind distraught. So poor Faleiro was allowed to live and babble on, while all the endeavors of royalty, diplomats, commercial agents, and mercenary murderers were concentrated upon his partner.

While the sturdy and fearless Magellan went his way as he had intended, paying no attention to rumors of evil which beset him, but always alert—ever with sword on hip and dagger in his boot—over in Portugal his royal archenemy was loudly proclaiming to the world his disappointment and chagrin. He had not given Magellan and Faleiro so much as a thought when they slipped across the border-line between Portugal and Spain, hardly considering them worth apprehending; but when, through powerful friends, they had gained access to King Charles, and had convinced him that profit and glory waited upon the promotion of their scheme, then Dom Manoel became suddenly alarmed.

In his resentment he did a petty thing, even for a king, which was this: He ordered that the Magellan arms should be erased from above the doorway of his house! That little Quinta de Souta, in the rocky wilds of Traz-os-Montes, was she centre of a tumultuous scene one day, in the year 1518, when the soldiers of the king arrived to do his bidding. All the country people, simple but honest, uncouth but loyal, assembled as the tidings were spread.

"Fernao Magalhaes' arms are to be destroyed; he is to be disgraced, and the name he bears insulted." This was all the king could do, for the humble castle in Saborosa was even then deserted by its owners. Fernan's father was dead, having been predeceased by his mother; his sisters were married and away. The only other Magellans in the male line, his three uncles, had, like him, fought the battles of their king in India, and there had perished. Fernan was the sole survivor of the name (it is believed), and he was disgraced.

Many years afterwards, the old castle having fallen to ruin, another structure was erected on its site, in a corner of which was inserted the stone with the sculptured arms, mutilated "by order of the king"; and there it may be seen to-day—this mute witness to the petty spite of a monarch whom circumstances might have made truly great had not nature cast him in so mean a mould!

This action of the king cast such a stigma upon the character of Magellan, and brought the name into such disrepute, that for generations after the natives of Traz-os-Montes held him in detestation. He never returned to the land of his birth, but in course of time his estates and titles fell to a grandnephew, one Francisco da Silva Telles, who was made to feel the malice of a people who regarded Magellan as a traitor and renegade. They assailed his house with stones. and execrated his name, whenever he walked through the streets, so that he was at last compelled to leave the district and the country. He sailed for Brazil, where he acquired a plantation in the wild province of Maranham.

There he lived, and there, before he died, he executed a remarkable will, in which he denounced the author of his misfortunes, the great but misunderstood Fernan Magellan. Instead of holding against the ignorant natives of Saborosa the humiliating treatment he had received, as the heir of Magellan, he laid it to the latter's account, and ordered that, forevermore, the family coat of arms should remain obliterated. For it was done, he wrote, "by the order of my lord the king, as a punishment for the crime of Fernao Magalhaes, in that he entered the service of Castile to the injury of this kingdom, and went to discover new lands, where he died in the disgrace of our king."

Thus, as we have seen, hatred of Magellan was inculcated by Portugal's king, who, moreover, passed him on to the obloquy of future generations. And yet, says his most painstaking English biographer (Professor Guillemard), Magellan, "unable to obtain a recognition of his services at the hands of his sovereign, Dom Manoel, did only what a triad of great navigators—Columbus, Cabot, and Vespucci—had already done before him, and what was at that period by no means unusual: he left his country and offered his sword to Charles V."

Now, having done with the malicious Dom Manoel for the present, let us return to Seville, where Fernan Magellan, secure in the confidence of his adoptive sovereign, happy in the love of his beautiful wife, and surrounded by devoted friends, was planning what proved to be the greatest voyage in the history of the world. If he had forebodings, he kept them to himself; if he had previsions of his future greatness, he did not allow them to turn his head or make him arrogant and proud.

He is, we think, the best example—or, at least, one of the best examples—the world can show of a man born to greatness unspoiled by the certain assurance of success. He had advanced with rapid strides from obscurity to renown. In a few short months he had risen from the ranks of the relatively unknown to a position of trust and influence second to no other in the kingdom. For, had not the king intrusted him with riches which he could hardly spare: with a fleet containing, besides a vast amount of treasure expended in guns, ammunition, provisions, supplies for trade and barter, two hundred and fifty of his loyal subjects?

Had King Charles no other object in view than the opening of a new route to the East, this evidence of his faith in an alien whose only credentials were honesty and fixity of purpose would seem remarkable; but he needed the money which he had expended on this expedition for other—perchance, in his estimation, greater—enterprises, to be conducted by his captains on land. His captain on the sea was to be Fernan Magellan, and this supreme confidence, by the king, in one who had been maligned and mistreated by his own sovereign, and cast forth as an ingrate, was requited by an unswerving devotion and loyalty lasting until death.

King Charles was always in need of money, and the greater the sums transmitted from mines and plantations over the sea, the greater became his imperious demands. The India house informed him that they were in straits for funds, and were told that funds would be forthcoming, but from what source to be derived the king knew not. At this juncture in stepped a wealthy merchant formerly from Antwerp, one Christopher de Haro, who had once resided in Lisbon, where he had been treated unjustly by Dom Manoel, and, like Magellan, had sought in Spain a chance to retrieve his fortunes. He offered to advance the munificent sum of one million six hundred thousand maravedis, or about one-fifth the conjectural cost of the expedition, and other merchants joining with him in the venture, more than one-fourth the funds necessary were eventually raised. These amounted, in total, to more than eight million maravedis, or about twenty-five thousand dollars.

So the king obtained much of the money necessary to defray the expenses of the armada without putting his hand in his pocket—after the manner of kings—and yet he got the credit of having furnished the entire armada. He was extremely liberal in concessions that cost him nothing but the paper they were written on, as in this case, and readily granted Magellan a monopoly of trade (by the new route) in the Spice Islands for the space of ten years; a twentieth part of the profits resulting; permission to send goods for barter to the amount of a thousand ducats; and, provided more than six islands were discovered, their trade and ownership entirely; besides all of which he was to have the title of adelantado. Ruy Faleiro was originally included as a beneficiary, in these stipulations; but by the time the fleet was ready he was more fit for the mad-house than for the command of a vessel, and hence was left behind. It was said by some that his madness was feigned, on account of having discovered, by casting his own horoscope, that disaster and death would attend the expedition from its inception to its ending, and that he himself would not escape the almost universal fatalities.

During their stay on shore, while the fleet was being equipped, Faleiro and Magellan were entitled to a salary of one hundred and seventy-six thousand maravedis each. A treasurer to the fleet was appointed at a salary of sixty thousand maravedis, and the several captains were each to receive one hundred and ten thousand maravedis. As proof conclusive that the learned Ruy Faleiro had not quite lost his mind—at least up to within a few months of the sailing of the fleet—it may be stated that his brother received an appointment as factor, resident in Seville, at a salary of twenty-five thousand maravedis.

Slowly, but certainly, the preparations for the voyage went on. "No man in the world, perhaps, knew better than Magellan what he needed. The expedition, therefore, sailed with as perfect an equipment as the time knew how to furnish." Before it sailed, however, Magellan received further proof that Portugal was still determined to prevent, if possible, this expedition from accomplishing the purpose for which it was intended. There came to him the Portuguese factor in Seville, Sebastian Alvarez, whose evil intentions were shown by the emeute  over the flags, not long before, which he himself had instigated. His part in the affair is set forth in the following letter written to Dom Manoel, by which, it seems, he was acting for the king and by his orders.

"I went to Magellan's house, where I found him filling baskets and chests with preserved victuals and other things, and seeing him thus engaged, I pretended it seemed to me that his evil design was settled, and since this would be the last word I should have with him, I desired to bring to his memory how many times, as a good Portuguese and his friend, I had spoken to him, dissuading him from the great mistake he was committing. And after asking pardon of him, lest he should be offended at what I had to say, I told him that the path he had chosen was beset with as many dangers as the wheel of St. Catherine, and that he ought to leave it and take that which led to Coimbra, and return to his native land and to the favor of your highness, at whose hands he should always receive benefits.

"In our conversation I brought before him all the dangers I could think of, and the mistakes he was making. Then he said to me that now, as an honorable man, he could only follow the path he had chosen. I replied that to unduly gain honor, and to gain it with infamy, was neither wisdom nor honor, but rather the lack of both, for he might be sure that the chief Spaniards of this city, in speaking of him, held him for a low person, and of no breeding, since, to the disservice of his true king and lord, he had embarked in such an undertaking, and so much the more since it was set going, arranged, and petitioned for by him. And he might be certain that he was considered as a traitor, engaging himself thus, in opposition to your highness's country.

"Here he replied to me that he saw the mistake he had made, but that he hoped to observe your highness's service, and by his voyage to be of assistance to you. I told him that whoever should praise him for such an expression of opinion did not understand it; for unless he touched your highness's possessions, how was he to discover what he said? Besides, it was a great injury to the revenue of your highness, which would affect the whole kingdom and every class of people, and it was a far more virtuous thought that inspired him when he told me that if your highness ordered him to return to Portugal, he would do it without further guarantee of reward, and that when you granted none to him, there was Serradossa, and seven yards of gray cloth and some gall-nut beads open to him! So then it seemed that his heart was true, as far as his honor and conscience were concerned.

"Our conversation was of so long duration that I cannot write out all of it; but at this juncture, sire, he gave me a sign indicate that I should tell him more: that if your highness commanded me I should tell him so, and also the reward that you would grant him. I told him that I was not a person of such weight that your highness would employ me for such a purpose, but that I said it to him, as I had on many occasions. Here he wished to pay me a compliment, saying that if what I had begun with him was carried on without interference by others, your highness would be served; but that Nuno Ribeiro had told him one thing, which meant nothing, and Joao Mendez another, which bound him to nothing; and he related to me the favors they had offered him on the part of your highness. He then bewailed himself greatly, and said he was much concerned about it all, but that he knew nothing which could justify his leaving a king who had shown him such favor.

"I told him that it would be a more certain matter, and attended with truer honor, to do what he ought to do, and not lose his reputation and the favors your highness would grant him. And if he weighed his coming from Portugal (which was for a hundred reals more or less of moradia that your highness did not grant him, in order not to break your laws), and that there had arrived two sets of orders at variance with his own which he had at the hands of Don Carlos, he would see whether this insult did not outbalance it—to go and do what it was his duty to do, rather than to remain here for what he came for.

"He seemed greatly astonished at my knowing so much, and then he told me the truth, and how the messenger had left—all of which I already knew. And he told me that certainly there was no reason why he should abandon the undertaking, unless they [the king and the India house] failed to fulfil anything in the terms of the agreement; but that first he must see what your highness would do.

"I said to him, what more did he desire than to see the orders? And there was Ruy Faleiro, who said openly that he was not going to follow his lantern [that is, follow the flag-ship, which always displayed a lantern on its poop], and that he would navigate to the south, or he would not sail with the fleet; and that he [Magellan] thought he was going as admiral, whereas I knew that others were being sent in opposition to him, of whom he would know nothing, except at a time when it would be too late to save his honor.

"And I told him that he should pay no heed to the honey that the Bishop of Burgos put to his lips, and that now was the time for him to choose his path, and that he should give me a letter to your highness, and that I, out of affection for him, would go to your highness and plead his cause; because I had no instructions from your highness concerning such business, and only said what I thought I had often said before. He told me that he would say nothing to me until he had seen the answer that the messenger brought, and with this our conversation finished . . .

"I spoke to Ruy Faleiro twice, but he said nothing to me, save 'How could he do such a thing against the king, his lord, who had conferred such benefits upon him?' And to all that I said to him he gave no other answer. It seems to me that he is like a man affected in his reason, and that this his familiar [the devil] has taken away whatever wisdom he possessed. I think that if Fernao de Magalhaes were removed, that Ruy Faleiro would follow what Magalhaes has done. . . .

"The route which it is reported they are to take is direct by Cape Frio, leaving Brazil on the right, until they pass the boundary-line, and thence sail W. and W.N.W., direct to Maluco [the Moluccas, which land of Maluco I have seen laid down on the globe and chart made here by Fernando de Reynell, . . and on this pattern are constructed all the charts made by Diego Ribeiro. And he makes all the compasses, quadrants, and globes, but does not sail with the fleet, nor does he desire anything more than to gain a living by his skill.

"From this Cape Frio to the islands of Maluco, by this route, there are no lands laid down on the charts they take. May God the Almighty grant that they make a voyage like that of the Cortereals; and that your highness may remain at rest, and ever be envied—as your highness is—by all princes!"

The key-note of the whole letter lies in that expression: "A voyage like that of the Cortereals," those engaged in which sailed for Labrador, about fifteen years before this was written, and were never heard of more. Their fate both Dom Manoel and his minion Alvarez devoutly wished might be that of Magellan—unless he should be "removed," or in other words assassinated, in advance of sailing. The various evasions and perversions in this letter are only exceeded by its malicious statements and innuendoes, as respecting King Charles's double orders, his desire that Magellan should be superseded after the fleet was well at sea, and the slander about unfortunate Ruy Faleiro.

But Fernan Magellan seems to have possessed the wisdom of the serpent with the innocence of the dove; for, while he heard the villain Alvarez through to the end, patiently and without interruption, he still refused to be hoodwinked. Having full faith in the promises of the king, he awaited the return of the messenger he had sent him, a short time before the interview between himself and the Portuguese factor, and was rewarded by the royal confirmation of all his acts.

The Beginning of the Voyage


Dom Manoel had not played his last card, even when his ambassador, his factor, and their despicable tools, the hired assassins, gave up the game in despair. They had found Fernan Magellan sturdy as an oak, impregnable as a castle on a cliff; they assailed him in vain, with arguments, remonstrances, and with physical violence, for he remained unshaken.

Then the king, as a last resort, sent ships to the Cape of Good Hope, and to the Rio de la Plata, with strict orders to intercept the Spanish fleet should it arrive at either point, —orders equivalent to a declaration of war against a nation with which Portugal was at peace. Such was the misguided monarch's determination to repair the error he had committed, in allowing Magellan to leave his kingdom scathless, and to prevent the King of Spain from benefiting by that error, that he commanded six ships of the Indian fleet to rendezvous at the Moluccas, with the same intention as the others—which was nothing less than the destruction of the Spanish squadron.

Whether aware of these mighty preparations for his discomfiture or not, Fernan Magellan pursued his course without deviation, and on August lo, 1519, dropped his vessels down the Guadalquivir to San Lucar de Barrameda. This is a port at the mouth of the river whence many an expedition had taken its departure, for it was spacious and secure, and was protected by the castle of the great Duke of Medina Sidonia. Once there, Magellan felt personally more secure than in Seville, since he was less liable to be interrupted by his former sovereign's minions, and the men he had enlisted for the voyage could not be tampered with. In Seville, where the ships were moored to the banks of the river, his crews were constantly enticed to desert by Portuguese agents; but in the broad harbor of San Lucar the fleet swung at anchor far from shore, and thus this danger was obviated. Here, then, he completed his preparations for the voyage, and there was so much to be done—so many trips had to be made to Seville—that it was more than a month before the final departure was taken.

In these latter days of preparation, undoubtedly, Fernan made the most of opportunities for visiting his wife and family at the house of Dom Diego Barbosa. We have but scantly mentioned that wife, the amiable and lovely Beatrix Barbosa, whom he married after a brief courtship, and either left at Seville while he and Ruy Faleiro went northward to meet the king, or took with him on this eventful journey. Owing to the fact that no mention is made of her at the various places in which they tarried, and also from his frequent letters to her on the journey, we infer that she remained with her father while the great transactions took place which were to bestow fame upon her husband, as well as a reflected glory upon herself, but which, as well, were to be the means soon of separating them forever.

Fernan's home life, brief as it was, shows him at his best estate. He passionately loved his Beatrix, and when a son was born to them his happiness was supreme. This boy they named Rodrigo, and in the will which Magellan drew and executed a few days before his departure, he was made heir to whatever fortune might accrue, after certain pious legacies had been paid to religious institutions. Little Rodrigo was six months old when his father sailed away, and lived but five months after Magellan was killed, in April, 1521. His mother survived him only six months, passing away in March, 1522, within less than a year of her husband's death. Thus perished the last of the Magellans, and thus ended the loves and lives of Fernan and his Beatrix. Fate, it would seem, bore hard upon these two, and who can but lament the unhappy termination of their wedded life, as brief as it was nearly perfect?

Fortunately for Fernan and Beatrix, no gift of prescience was theirs, to inform them of the ills in store for them, and they enjoyed their lives together to the full. Buoyant and hopeful, Fernan impressed his wife with his belief: that this one voyage would make him rich and famous, so that after it was ended they might dwell together all the time. And yet, how could she prevent the tears from welling at the thought of the long separation, and of the many dangers to which her husband would be exposed in that voyage through the unknown seas?

Doubtless, Fernan comforted her with repeated assurances that the dangers had been exaggerated; that, furnished as he was with a fleet perfectly equipped, and manned by honest sailors, the voyage would prove merely a matter of time and persistence. And when, in the church of Santa Maria de la Victoria, at Seville, Dona Beatrix saw her husband intrusted with the royal standard, and heard the plaudits lavished upon him as he took the oath of allegiance to the king, surrounded by the greatest and noblest of Spain's dignitaries, doubtless her heart swelled with pride, and sorrow was for a time thrust into the background.

In the will executed by Magellan, to which reference has been made, he provided, so far as human foresight could provide, for his wife, his son, and the perpetuation of his name. To his wife, in case he predeceased her, his pension of fifty thousand maravedis was to be paid, while his son, who was named as residuary legatee to his estate, was to assume the Magellan arms and reside and marry in Spain. He was to be Spanish, not Portuguese, and his endeavors were to be for Spain, and not for Portugal; yet the intent of Magellan's will was frustrated by the very government for which he gave his life. One of the executors of this will was Fernan's father-in-law, Dom Diego Barbosa, who survived his daughter, his son Duarte, who went with Magellan and was killed on the voyage, and Magellan himself; yet when this old man died, in 1525, the crown stepped in and wrested his estate from the rightful heirs, thus defrauding those who had rendered it inestimable service.

However we may hold Portugal in contempt for her treatment of Magellan, we may also reflect that Spain was no less ignoble—that these two countries, in fact, were twin sisters in crime, and always have been. The individuals who served them most and achieved greatest for them were scantily rewarded, or not rewarded at all, in their old age being turned out like cattle to die in a pasture where sustenance was scarce.

While Dom Manoel was jealous of Spaniards in his own employ, Don Carlos was still more jealous of Portuguese in his, and issued an order that not more than five should accompany Magellan on his voyage. This was because his mind had been poisoned by Portuguese spies, who represented that it was Dom 1Vlanoel's intention to have so many of his subjects on the ships that they could, when the proper time came, take them from the Spaniards. There were many foreigners in the fleet, comprising Genoese, Sicilians, Germans, Greeks, French, Flemings, Neapolitans, Malays, and one Englishman, who was the master-gunner of the flag-ship. Even when Ruy Faleiro wished to take with him his brother Francisco, the king assented only on condition that he should be one of the five prescribed by him. But many more than five went on the expedition, and to their presence Magellan owed, perhaps, the fact that the fleet was preserved intact when a mutiny occurred.

As for the unfortunate Faleiro—to make one more reference to the crazy astrologer—at the very last he was enjoined from going, though he was so generous as to present Magellan with a book he had written, containing original information of great value, and which the latter desired. This would indicate that, notwithstanding his well-known moroseness and freaks of temper, he bore no ill-will towards his friend Fernan at the last. What immediately became of him is uncertain, but that he remained ashore when the fleet set forth is well established. He had the temerity to return to Portugal, where he was promptly arrested and imprisoned by Dom Manoel. Finally released, on intercession of Don Carlos, he returned to Seville, where he died in 1523, surviving Magellan by two years.

It is a matter of note that few of those directly connected with the outfitting and sailing of the fleet survived by many years its departure and return. Fatalities attended upon it and the voyage almost from its very inception; and even while they were kneeling before the altar in the church of Santa Maria de la Victoria  several of Magellan's captains were plotting treason in their hearts. They swore an oath of allegiance to him and to the king, but within seven months some of them were in open mutiny against him, and doing their king disservice by opposing his authority.

These are the names of the captains, of those who sailed out of San Lucar de Barrameda with their vessels on September 20, 1519, when, favorable winds assisting them, their course was shaped for the southward. Fernan Magellan himself commanded the Trinidad, as, though not the largest ship of the fleet, she was considered the stanchest and most seaworthy. From her mast-head flew his pennant, and the castle-deck, at night, bore a lighted lantern for the others to follow. The San Antonio, largest craft of the five, had as captain Juan de Cartagena, who was later marooned by Magellan on account of the sedition he had already planned. Next in size was the Concepcion, with Gaspar Quesada in command, while the Victoria  (which alone of all the fleet survived the voyage around the world) was captained by Luis de Mendoza, the armada's treasurer. He had already been chided by the king for insolence to his commander, and the reproof rankled in his heart.

Last of all, the Santiago, though the smallest of the fleet, was commanded by one of the most experienced men in the expedition, Joao Serrao, whose brother Fernan Magellan had rescued in the bay of Malacca. He should have had a more important command—and, in fact, rose to it a few months later—but as a Portuguese, brother of one who was then in the Spice Islands, supposedly a servant of Dom Manoel, he was an object of suspicion. As already mentioned, though the king had ordered the number of Portuguese aboard the ships to be limited to five, even including the commander, the squadron actually sailed with thirty-seven. All the pilots were Portuguese, as well as the chief cosmographer and the navigators, while the gunners all were foreigners; for in those times, as in the present, the Spaniards were poor marksmen and unaccustomed to the serving of great guns.

Ships of Magellan


Sixty-two culverins, ten lombards, and ten falconets comprised the artillery, and this was thought to be a large, even formidable, armament. Of the smaller fire-arms then in vogue, such as arquebuses, only fifty were taken, for the Spaniards had greater confidence in cross-bows, of which there were sixty, with three hundred and sixty dozen arrows, ten dozen javelins, ninety-five dozen darts, two hundred pikes, and one thousand lances. Gunpowder to the amount of fifty-six hundred pounds was on board the various ships, so there was ammunition in plenty, there being a corresponding supply of balls and bullets. The captains were all furnished with swords, and one hundred suits of armor were taken for them and the foot-soldiers, such as corselets, gauntlets, shoulder-pieces, grieves, casques, and cuirasses.

Few expeditions previously sailing had been better furnished with charts, compasses, quadrants, astrolabes, hour-glasses, and compass-needles, while articles for barter were supplied by the score. There were, for example, five hundred pounds of "crystals," or artificial diamonds, two thousand pounds of quicksilver, knives and fish-hooks by the gross, and twenty thousand cascabels. These last were small bells, which had been found favorite objects of barter with the aborigines of America, often commanding more than their weight in gold.

The equipment of the fleet has been shown by papers yet extant in the archives of Seville, where everything, even to the last knife and fish-hook, is set down in detail. By these we are informed that Magellan was not stinted in his outfit, which cost, ships and all, a total of about twenty-five thousand dollars. If the king had doubted his ability, or suspected his loyalty, would he have intrusted him with such a powerful armada? That neither King Charles nor the Bishop of Burgos faltered in their support, through the months of preparation and while Magellan was badgered and. tempted by the King of Portugal, speaks volumes in his favor. But their support was, perforce, nugatory after the coast of Spain had slipped out of sight and the vessels were tossing on the waves of the Atlantic.

During the long wait of a month in the harbor of San Lucar, Magellan had time to instruct his sailors in many things pertaining to their special duties; and he daily drilled his captains, it is said, in the fleet formation to be observed when at sea. First of all, he cautioned them, he was to lead, and the others were to follow, as nearly as possible, in prescribed order, the largest ship next after the Trinidad, and so on down the list to the little Santiago, which came last.

It seems wonderful that the five ships kept together, almost within speaking distance of one another, throughout the long voyage down the African coast, then across to South America; but that they did so was owing to the precautions of Magellan, who omitted attention to no detail, however minute. His ship, he informed his captains, would always precede the others if possible, especially at night, and they were to follow his farol, or lantern, which would be borne on the poop of the Trinidad, high above the sea. He had other lights, produced by flaming torches made of reeds, first soaked and softened in water, then beaten flat and dried in the sun. When he wished them to veer or tack he would show two of these torches besides the farol; three torches meant "lower small sails"; four signified that all sails were to be taken in; a greater number would warn them of shoals, and if dangerously near a lombard would be fired. Four lights, again, meant "all sails set full"; two indicated that he was about to alter his course, and one light was a signal for each ship to answer similarly, that he might know they were following.

All the men aboard ship were divided into three watches, the first in charge of the master, the second in charge of the boat-swain, and the third under the boatswain's mate. These watches were to stand alternately, the first to go on at dusk, the second at midnight, and the third at dawn, which was known as "the watch of the morning star." The next day they were changed, in accordance with rules laid down by the India house at Seville.

Within six days the fleet arrived at Tenerife, where a tarry was made for wood, water, and fresh fish. While these supplies were being taken on board, a caravel arrived from Spain, the master of which brought a letter for Magellan from his father-in-law, Diego Barbosa. "Beware, my son, beware!" was the purport of the letter. "Keep a good watch, for it has come to my knowledge, from some friends of your captains, that if any trouble occurs they will kill you!"

This, however, was no news to Fernan Magellan, for he had surmised as much before they left Seville. Already, he suspected the captain of the San Antonio, Juan de Cartagena, of treason, and was keeping watch on his actions. He had not thus far displayed any irritation over the various slurs let fall by several of his under officers, and they were encouraged thereby to repeat them, with added emphasis, as occasion offered; but that they had mistaken their man and grievously erred in their judgment, they were not long in finding out. Magellan had not resented the slights implied in his captains' remarks to their crews; but he wrote to Diego Barbosa that, be they good men or bad men, he feared them not, severally or collectively. When the time came they should learn their position and keep it; but meanwhile he, Magellan, remembered only that he was a servant of the king, to whose service he had offered his life. He concluded with a loving message for his wife and son, after chiding Dom Diego playfully for his fears, which, he said, were unworthy an hidalgo of his standing. When the letter was shown the corregidores of Seville, they all agreed that Fernan Magellan's heart was a stout one, and his character firm.

"Magellan's captains hated him exceedingly," says one who made the voyage; "though I know not why, unless because he was a Portuguese, and they Spaniards." Whatever their reasons, and they were probably trivial as well as various, their ill-nature was not long in showing itself. Soon after Tenerife had been left, on a day in the first week of October, the San Antonio  ran under the stern of the flag-ship with a demand from her captain as to their course. In common with the other craft, she had been bobbing about in the wake of the flag-ship, sometimes steering southerly, and sometimes southwesterly. The seemingly erratic course had worn upon the nerves of Captain Cartagena, who, in rejoinder to the pilot's answer that it was south by west, asked impatiently why it had been changed. When Magellan sent word to Cartagena that he was to follow his ship and ask him no questions, the latter retorted: "You should have consulted with the captains and pilots. It is an error of judgment to keep so near the African coast."

This was a breach of discipline which the commander had a good excuse for punishing at the time; but he kept his temper, however, and shouted through his speaking-trumpet: "Back to the line! Error or no, you are but to follow my flag by day, and my lantern by night, Juan de Cartagena!"

The San Antonio  fell behind, as ordered, her captain too surprised to open his mouth; but while he gazed sourly in the direction of the Trinidad, it was being borne in upon him that perhaps there was a different Magellan on board the flag-ship from the one he thought he knew. He held his peace then, and thereafter for the space of many days; but all the time he was brooding over the affront to his dignity, and speculating upon the manner in which he could show his resentment. He had the grim satisfaction of knowing that Magellan's course was an error of judgment, which the latter himself could not but admit, when, between the Cape Verdes and Sierra Leone, they encountered twenty days of calm and of 'baffling winds, succeeded, as they neared the equator, by quite a month of head-winds, squalls, and finally storms so fierce that the vessels dipped their yard-arms in the boiling ocean.

Ever in the lead was the flag-ship, however, with its pennant flying by day, and its farol  by night gleaming at times steadily, again most fitfully. Finally the four lights were displayed, which signified "take in all sail," and under bare poles the fleet ran for many a night and day, until the equinoctial line was reached and passed. Two long months of almost continuous rains, the disconsolate sailors experienced in the equatorial region; and they wandered hither and yon on the ocean, says one of them. "When it rained there was no wind, when the sun shone it was calm"; so what did they but complain, and place the blame for their sad situation upon the commander? They were fearsomely diverted, at times, by great, man-eating sharks with terrible teeth, some of which, after they had mustered up their courage, they caught with hooks; "although they are not good to eat unless they are small, and even then they are not very acceptable as food." The time arrived, before that voyage was ended, when these same sailors would have been very thankful for some of the shark-flesh which they cast overboard so loathingly.

In the region of storms and calms they were greatly delighted to observe flocks of birds sporting about the vessels, some species of which, the writer sagely remarks, make no nest, being forever on the wing. They have no feet, he says, and hence can build no nests; so when the hen-bird is ready to lay she deposits her eggs on the back of the male, and there they are hatched. These birds were probably stormy-petrels, since known as "Mother Carey's chickens," which, though apparently always in flight, go ashore in the breeding season and dig deep holes, in which they lay their eggs and rear their young.

While the wonder of the sailors was excited by flocks of never-resting birds and shoals of flying-fish so dense that they appeared at a distance like islands, their fears and superstitions were aroused by frequent electrical exhibitions about the mast-heads of their ships. One night of inky darkness, when the wind was howling through the rigging of the fleet, and the great seas rushing past like troops of white-maned horses, there appeared about the main-top of the flag-ship a star-shaped body like a blazing torch. There it stayed for more than two hours, with an effulgence so bright that it illuminated the ship. When their fears were allayed, the sailors recognized in the fiery apparition "the holy body of St. Elmo," which, says one of them, was a blessed consolation, for they were weeping and praying, expecting to be lost in the midst of the waters. "When that blessed light was about to leave us," continues the narrator, "so dazzling was the brightness it cast into our eyes that we all remained for many minutes as though blinded, and calling for mercy. And then, of a truth, when we thought we were but dead men, the sea suddenly calmed, and was no longer furious."

Nearly two months in duration, was the voyage across the Atlantic from the coast of Africa to that of South America, for it was the last week in November when they first sighted land, off Cape Augustine, not far from Pernambuco. Its unusual length alarmed even Magellan, who consequently placed the crews on short allowance, which fact gave rise to a great deal of murmuring. Captain Cartagena took advantage of the sullen temper of the sailors to point out how inefficient was the man whom the king had placed over them as commander. Much better would it have been, said he, if a Spaniard were in command, for then he would have known what to do. Presuming upon Magellan's complaisance, he one day conveyed a studied affront by omitting to address him by his proper title of captain-general. The king himself had commanded, in his letters of instruction to the officials of the fleet, that every evening, when the weather permitted, the flag-ship should be signalled and the captain-general saluted. One fine evening the San Antonio  sailed within hailing distance, and her quarter-master, previously instructed by his captain, sent the greeting: "God save you, captain of the Trinidad, and your good company."

Magellan flushed with indignation at this classing him with the captains, and immediately sent word to Cartagena that he must be properly addressed in future. The sulky Spaniard tartly replied: "I sent my best man to salute you, and if that isn't satisfactory, another time I'll do so through one of my pages!"

Several days passed, during which he failed to salute the flag-ship at all, and as Magellan seemed to have ignored the slight, when they next met, which was within a week, he insulted him to his face. It was at a gathering for a court-martial on board the Trinidad, at which all the captains had assembled. In a general discussion that followed, over the wine and refreshments set forth by Magellan, the captain of the San Antonio  made use of an expression in reference to his commander which amazed all who heard it. Slow to wrath as he was, yet Fernan Magellan had been reflecting upon the proper punishment to inflict upon his recreant subordinate, and awaiting only a fit opportunity. Beyond a doubt it had arrived, and leaping upon Cartagena he seized him by the throat, exclaiming: "Now you are my prisoner! Men-at-arms, take him away to the stocks!"

Captain Cartagena then saw his mistake, but too late. His calls for help were ignored by the captains present; though some of them responded later, to their sorrow. Struggling and cursing, he was borne away to the stocks and given into the keeping of Luis de Mendoza, master of the Victoria, while his own ship was captained by his contador, or purser, one Antonio de Coca. The prompt action taken by Magellan shows that he had planned it in advance, and Cartagena's subsequent treason exculpates him from any charge of premature or undue severity.

Murder and Mutiny


Although the coast of South America was fairly well known before Magellan arrived off Cape St. Augustine, several Spanish and Portuguese navigators having explored it as far south as the mouth of the great river, La Plata, he was somewhat in doubt as to his exact position, notwithstanding his charts and his pilots. He did not venture to land before the second week in December, on the 13th of that month entering the magnificent harbor of Rio Janeiro.

This bay of the "River of January," so called from having been discovered by white men on the first day of the first month in the year, had been several years known to Europeans when Magellan entered it; yet the chief narrator of his voyage, Antonio Pigafetta, describes it and the people found there as if it were then for the first time seen. A pilot of the fleet, in fact, one Juan Carvalho, had been on the coast before, and had resided with the Indians of Rio for more than four years. He had with him at the time a son whose mother was an Indian woman, and who was large enough to take part in the fights waged by the voyagers later, in the Philippines.

Thanks to Juan Carvalho and his half-breed son, the fleet was well supplied with fresh provisions, of which the sailors stood in need, and a friendly intercourse was kept up with the natives throughout the stay. These provisions were in the shape of fowls, pineapples, and batatas, or sweet-potatoes. Of these the natives had more than sufficient for their needs, and with true savage generosity gave to the white men all their surplus. "For a fish-hook or a knife," says the Chevalier Pigafetta, "they gave me five or six chickens; for a comb a brace of geese; for a bell a large basketful of potatoes; and for a small mirror, or pair of scissors, as many fish as would sustain ten men many days."

And he continues, evidently borrowing some of his descriptive material from Vespucci (who was here several years before): "The natives, though they go naked, both men and women as well as children, and live more like beasts than anything else, often reach the age of one hundred and twenty-five to one hundred and forty years. They live in certain long houses which they call boii [bohio], and sleep in cotton nets called amache [hammocks]. They have boats also, called canoas, each made from a single great tree, hollowed out by the use of stone axes, for those people employ stone as we do iron, which they do not possess. They paddle with blades like the shovels of a furnace, and thus, black, naked, and shorn, they resemble the inhabitants of the Stygian marsh.

"The men and women there are as well-proportioned as we are. They eat the flesh of their enemies, not because it is good, but because it is their established custom. That custom, which is mutual (between them and their enemies), was begun, it is said, by an old woman whose only son was killed by an enemy. Some days later that old woman's friends captured one of the tribe who had killed her son, and took him to her hut. Seeing him, and remembering her son, she ran fiercely upon and. bit him in the shoulder, taking out a mouthful. Thus the custom originated. . . . But these cannibals do not eat the bodies all at once. Each one cuts off a piece and carries it to his hut, where he smokes it over a fire. Then every week he cuts off a small bit, which he eats with his other food, to remind him. of his foes."

If the natives of Brazil practised cannibalism, it was in a "ritual" manner, as a sort of religious custom. To the Spaniards they appeared very ludicrous, rather than fierce and alarming, for many of them were grotesquely painted in vivid colors, and some, though otherwise naked, wore fantastic girdles of parrots' feathers, with humps on their hips made from the longest plumes, which gave them a ridiculous appearance. After having been assured by Pilot Carvalho that the new arrivals meant them no harm, the natives capered about like monkeys, and a rainfall occurring about that time (which they had prayed for in vain during many weeks), they ascribed it to the advent of the strangers, and revered them accordingly.

It was not the first time that the cruel Spaniards, whose dispositions were anything but angelic or divine, had been taken for heavenly visitants; but in this instance the natives suffered no rude awakening by the exercise, on their visitors' part, of their superior skill in committing deeds of blood and cruelty. Magellan was too humane towards the natives of whatever land he encountered to suit the sanguinary Spaniards; nor was he mercenary enough to satisfy their desire for the acquisition of treasure. Many a time they denounced him, among themselves, for his leniency, and lamented his indifference to gold.

These natives had no gold, but their fresh provisions were acceptable, especially the flesh of the peccaries, or wild hogs, which they killed in the forests with lances and brought to the fleet by the score. They were at first timid about going on board the ships, and queried among themselves as to the relation existing between the great vessels and the small boats, saying that the latter must be the children of the former, as they were under their constant protection. When at last they had overcome their timidity, they swarmed aboard the vessels in great numbers, looking for articles which they needed most and consequently attached the highest value to, such as pins and needles, scissors, and looking-glasses.

One day a comely but naked young woman came to the flag-ship alone, and while wandering wonderingly about saw a long, sharp nail lying on the floor of the captain-general's cabin. She looked at it admiringly, and, when she thought Magellan was not observing her, suddenly stooped over, picked it up, and thrust it into her hair. Then she immediately fled, as if afraid it might be taken from her by force. This maiden was described as a "comely woman," for she was shapely and fair-complexioned, with long, black hair and sparkling eyes; but allowance must be made for a peculiar deformity, self-inflicted, which at first glance transformed her into a most loathsome object. That is, like many others of her tribe, she had a long slit in her lower lip, in which was inserted a disk-shaped pebble as big as a walnut.

So hospitable were these, the first people Magellan encountered in America, that they built him a big bohio, or native house, many feet in length, and roofing it with thatch of palm-leaves, half filled it with precious Brazil-wood, in order to induce him to remain. Two weeks, however, was all he thought he could spare, for the voyage ahead was to be long, and he wished to get to winter quarters before the inclement weather set in. Refreshed and heartened by their stay, the voyagers sailed on southwardly again, their next tarrying-place being in the great estuary known as the Rio de la Plata, or River of Silver. Little, if any, silver has been found in the region drained by the vast Plata system, but thus it was named by its discoverer, from a tradition that the Indians near its headwaters were possessed of great treasure in that metal.

On its right bank, four years before (in 1516), Juan de Solis, a great explorer in the service of Spain, had been killed (and some say eaten) by the Indians, who attacked him and his men as they were ascending the river in small boats. The explorer fought like a lion; but his courage was of no avail, for a poisoned arrow between the shoulders laid him low. The memory of this disaster was still fresh with the pilots, and they cautioned Magellan against taking any risks on the River of Silver.

At the time the lamented Solis was killed he was chief pilot (piloto-mayor)  of Spain. Ten years after his death another of that rank (who, in fact, was piloto-mayor  at Seville while Magellan was outfitting his fleet) entered and explored the Plata. This was Sebastian Cabot, who was then following in the wake of Magellan with the intent of reaching the Moluccas by the route his predecessor had discovered. His experiences were similar to Magellan's, for he suffered from shipwreck in his fleet, from lack of provisions, and from mutiny. But, unlike Magellan, he had not the courage to continue in the face of difficulties no greater than the former encountered, and after wasting four or five years in and near the River of Silver, returned to Spain in disgrace.

Not far from the site of the present great city of Buenos Ayres, off in the estuary, Magellan anchored his fleet and sent boats ashore in search of provisions. The crews were warned against trusting the slayers of Juan de Solis, who had enticed him into their lairs by pretending to retreat, then turning upon him when unable to extricate himself from the jungle. This warning may have deterred them from following the natives they saw on the bank, who fled in evident alarm, "and in fleeing they took so large a step that with all our running and jumping we could not overtake them." Perhaps the Spaniards did not care to overtake the Indians, who were certainly canibali, or cannibals, and ate human flesh.

Finding that they were not pursued as though with relish for a fight, the chief of the runaways returned to the shore and indicated by signs that he desired to go on board the flag-ship, where, as his costume consisted solely of a goat-skin cloak, Magellan gave him a shirt of gayly colored cotton. He was very uncouth, even for a savage, with vile manners, and a voice like a bull. He was suspicious, also, and early the following morning, finding himself alone in the midst of strangers, leaped into his canoe and paddled ashore.

It has been supposed that, even thus early in his voyage, Magellan was looking for a strait, or passage, from one ocean to the other, as he partially explored the great estuary of La Plata before finally setting sail again for the southward. Off the coast a few leagues he sighted two islands which, on close approach, were seen to be alive with sea-birds "resembling geese," and which were probably penguins. Many were killed and skinned for food, and in a few hours' time the sailors procured five boat-loads of them. Sea-wolves, also, they saw, "which would have been very fierce, if they had had legs to run." These were seals, or sea-lions, and, like the wild-fowl, procured their sustenance in the ocean; but the Spaniards feared them as "man-eaters," and were very glad when they had left the islands in the distance.

The farther southward they sailed the greater became the cold, for by this time the southern winter was upon them. During one of the many fierce gales that assailed the fleet two of the flag-ship's cables parted, as she lay at anchor in an open bay, and she barely escaped the rocks of a lee-shore. After this, succeeding to a three-days' calm, came another terrible storm, in which the forecastles of all the ships were carried away, and the "holy body of St. Elmo" again appeared, this time accompanied by two other apparitions of like character, which were called by the sailors Santa Clara and St. Nicholas. As these celestial beings enveloped in fire appeared at the mastheads, the storm suddenly ceased, and all the seamen fell upon their knees in prayer, vowing pilgrimages to a holy shrine if permitted to return in safety to their homes.

A winter on the coast of Patagonia, which Magellan had now reached, was to be the experience of the Spaniards, unless they chose the alternative of returning on their tracks. This latter course Magellan would not for a moment entertain, so a port was sought in which the fleet could be safely moored, and was found in that of St. Julian, just above the 5oth degree of south latitude. It is still on the map by the name Magellan bestowed upon it. Here, on the last day of March, 1520, the fleet was brought to anchor, and, in a sheltered harbor abounding in fish, preparations were made to pass the winter of the southern latitudes. The shores were sloping and pleasant as compared with the savage-looking coast they had but recently passed, and there was sufficient wood and water to supply the necessities of the ships.

Though fish were abundant in the bay, and the provisions on board the fleet were sufficient for a long time to come, still, with a winter of inaction ahead of him and his voyage not half accomplished, the prudent Magellan reduced the seamen's rations as soon as the anchors were dropped.

At once there went up a great chorus of protest, in which, we may be sure, the disaffected captains heartily joined. Merely because, the seamen said, the voyage had been commenced at the wrong season of the year, and on account of their commander's bad reckoning, they must lie up for five or six months, was no reason they themselves should be made to suffer. They should turn about and go home, instead of wasting time in a wilderness of ice and snow, as helpless as a bear in a hollow tree. "Back to Spain! Back to Spain!" became the cry; but Magellan would not heed it.

"Never will I return," he said, in reply to an importunate officer—"never, until I have accomplished the intent of this voyage. It was undertaken at the orders of my lord the king, who hath chosen me to command, above all others; and he shall not be disappointed! No, my men, we shall not go back. Here will we stay—here, till the coming of spring unlocks the icy fetters and subdues the rigors of winter. Already have we penetrated farther south than any other navigators—even twelve or thirteen degrees nearer the antarctic pole than lies the Cape of Good Hope. And having gained so much, shall we lose it all, for lack of courage to persist a little longer?

"I marvel that Castilians, who conquered the Arab Moors and discovered the way to America, should be guilty of such weakness. As for me, though I be no Castilian, and though I have a wife and son awaiting me in Seville, never shall that city see me until I return triumphant! For gold I care not; for fame I care not; but my lord and king hath intrusted me with this mighty mission, and accomplish it I shall! So, my men, though ye may marvel that I should seek, towards the southern pole, the strait or passage from the Atlantic to the great South Sea—and thus far have sought it vainly—yet find it we shall, and by means of it enter upon that voyage to the Islands of Spices."

The seamen were silenced for a time, though far from satisfied. When the three faithless captains, Juan de Cartagena, Luis de Mendoza, and Gaspar de Quesada, called upon their crews to mutiny, there was immediate response. It was April 1st, 1520. In the middle watch of the night, the captain of the San Antonio, Alvaro de Mesquita, who had superseded both Cartagena and Coca (a kinsman of the captain-general), heard a disturbance on deck and hastened from his cabin. He was at once confronted by Cartagena, and a body of men about thirty in number, armed to the teeth. While confused, and unable to recognize his assailants in the darkness, Mesquita was brought to his knees, and at the point of the sword made to surrender. Hearing a scuffle, his boatswain, Juan de Lorriaga, came running up, at the same time blowing his whistle for the crew to assemble.

"This fool may foil our work," hissed Quesada, "if we allow him to live," and springing upon him with a dagger, stabbed him in the throat. He fell, dying, to the deck, and while his life-blood ebbed away the mutineers hastened to secure the crew. Having done this, they ordered all the cannon loaded and the vessel cleared for action. Then, to propitiate the crew, they brought up bread and wine from below, which, with other provisions, they dispensed with lavish hand.

Thus the largest ship of the fleet was won. The Concepcion, commanded by Quesada, was of course already in the hands of the enemy, while the Victoria  captained by Luis de Mendoza, treasurer of the armada (and, like Cartagena, jealous of Magellan), at once declared against the captain-general. Three ships were in revolt, and only two were left to Magellan: the Trinidad, which he himself commanded, and the little Santiago, under Serrao, the Portuguese. Half the number of men comprising his crew were of his own nationality, and all were loyal to Magellan.

What a situation confronted Magellan on the morning of April 2d. So quietly had the transfer of authority on board the three ships taken place, that he was unaware of what had occurred, until, sending an order to the San Antonio  to go ashore and careen, his boat's crew was met by a refusal to obey. They found the ship's cannon pointed at them, and a harsh voice shouted: "Keep off! This is Admiral Cartagena's flag-ship. Take that  to the Portuguese usurper!"

In all haste, then, the boat's crew rowed back to the flag-ship with the evil news, which Magellan received quite calmly, only remarking: "Row round among the fleet, and find for whom they declare, as I would like to know how many are against me."

"For the king—and ourselves," was the answer returned from every vessel save the Santiago, when hailed and asked the crucial question.

"Not quite the answer I would have," observed Magellan, quietly. "How great a difference one word would make. If, now, it were only 'For the king and Magellan'—as it should be. And as it will be, sooth, before the sun goes down!"

He was not only undismayed by the perils of that desperate situation, but he seemed elated at the prospect of something worthy of his highest efforts. His skill and cunning were to be matched against the skill and cunning of the mutineers, and woe upon the ones that failed! He asked no odds—they surely were against him—and in fighting the enemy he chose the very weapons they had used against himself: duplicity and finesse. Choosing the Victoria  as the most vulnerable vessel in control of the mutineers, he sent a letter to her captain, Luis de Mendoza, inviting him to a conference on the flag-ship. He sent it by the hands of a trusted lieutenant, Gonzalo Espinosa, who received private instructions before he left the ship. At the same time Espinosa departed on his mission, another boat was made ready and filled with picked men in charge of Magellan's brother-in-law, Duarte Barbosa. He had his instructions, also, which he followed to the letter. Magellan's was the brain that guided the weapons, which these two sent home to the heart of the foe.

Mendoza, as Cartagena once had done, made the mistake of crediting Fernan Magellan with a milder disposition than he really had. He allowed Espinosa to come on board his ship, and sneeringly took the letter to read it. Waiting, as if for an answer, Espinosa sidled up to Mendoza, drew a dagger from his girdle, and in a flash sank it in his breast. The victim of Magellan's cunning and Espinosa's intrepidity sank to the deck and expired. Instantly, while Mendoza's crew stood appalled and helpless, Duarte Barbosa led his men over the Victoria's  rail, and encircled Espinosa with a bristling array of pikes and lances.

"For whom do ye declare?" he shouted to the crew. "For the king and—"

"Magellan!" they cried with a will. "The king and his admiral, Fernan Magellan!"

"Then up with this ensign, which is Magellan's," rejoined Barbosa; "and up with the anchor, too, for we sail to the entrance of the port, there to take our stand beside the admiral's ship, lest the mutineers escape."

The Trinidad  was already in motion, sailing towards the harbor-mouth, where she was soon joined by the Santiago  and the Victoria. There they formed an avenging triad, the flag-ship in the centre, and a consort on each side of her. Instead of two ships, to three against him, Magellan now had three to two; and though in tonnage and guns his ships may have been inferior, he possessed the great advantage of having outwitted the conspirators at their own game, which was now in his hands, to be played to its ending, in their discomfiture and punishment.

Patagonia and the Giants


The long day came to an end, with the three ships still guarding the entrance to the bay. Magellan had not made good his boast that he would overcome the mutlnee before sundown; but it was because he desired to do so without unnecessary shedding of blood. Stratagem was safer to adopt than open attack, he reasoned, and about sunset he sent a sailor to the San Antonio  in a skiff. The man was to appear as a fugitive from Magellan's severity, and claim protection of the mutineers. And the scheme succeeded admirably, for he was received with open arms, as a deserter from the captain-general's ship. No suspicions were aroused, and he was sent forward to join the crew; but what he was commissioned to do by his commander appeared in due time.

Some time after midnight, the watch aboard the flag-ship reported the San Antonio  bearing down rapidly upon them. No sails were set, they said, but she was drifting with the current. All were puzzled, save Magellan, who had already given orders to clear the ship for action, and sent men into the main-tops with darts, lances. and muskets. He knew the cause of the San Antonio's  erratic action in drifting directly to her doom, for the fugitive sailor had merely obeyed his instructions, which were to cut her cables. The mutineers would not come out voluntarily to engage him, so Magellan had forced them out, and herein lay his strategy, which was beyond the understanding of his enemies, and caused them bewilderment.

The San Antonio  was the larger ship of the two—as we know—and she was manned by men made desperate by the assurance that short shrift would be theirs if they were taken. And yet the Trinidad, plus her commander, by far outclassed her sister vessel, for his great moral force alone made her preponderant. She was prepared, also, while the mutineer craft was not, and when her cannon belched forth their contents, and her sturdy crew grappled, then boarded the San Antonio  like an avalanche, all resistance was at an end immediately.

The cry went up all over the ship: "For the king and for Magellan," and was heard by the crew of the Concepcion, who promptly surrendered to the captains of the Santiago  and Victoria. They had laid their vessels alongside, with the helpless craft between them, which if she had resisted, would have been blown out of the water.

All these events took place quickly, and in the darkness, which was dispelled at intervals only by the flash of gun-fire and flicker of torches. The mutiny was crushed out, with the loss to Magellan of but a single man; the mutineers, only, remained to be dealt with, and were hunted down relentlessly. Quesada and Cartagena were put in irons, and at dawn was held a drum-head court-martial. Forty men, including the ringleaders mentioned, were found guilty of treason, and sentenced to death. That number was one-sixth the total of the fleet, and Magellan could ill spare them, were he to continue the voyage; so nearly all were conditionally pardoned. All but Cartagena, Mendoza, Quesada, and a priest named Pedro Sanchez. Mendoza had already paid the dread penalty of his crime, but a further example was to be made of him by indignities offered his remains. His body was taken ashore, where it was drawn and quartered and hung up on poles.

Captain Quesada was declared guilty, not only of treason, but of murder, having given the boatswain Lorriaga a wound which caused his death. He too was taken on shore, where, in full sight of his comrades, he was beheaded by his servant, Luis de Molino, who had been pardoned on condition that he would act as executioner. Quesada's body was quartered and the gory remains hung on a gibbet, which, together with bones supposed to be those of the unfortunate mutineers, was discovered fifty-eight years later, by Sir Francis Drake, when on his voyage around the world.

When Magellan sailed away from Spain, it was with special power from the emperor of "rope and knife" over all his subjects serving in the fleet. Hence his punishments did not exceed the letter of his authority, nor the spirit of it, as understood in that age. He could hang, or cut the throats of any persons resisting his authority; and that he confined himself to putting to death only two of the several score who mutinied against him, is a remarkable exhibition of leniency.

The punishments he had inflicted, however, did not end there, for yet alive and rebellious was the ringleader of the conspiracy, Juan de Cartagena. Whether or not Magellan feared to inflict the extreme penalty upon Cartagena, on account of his having been a special favorite of King Charles, at least he did not do so. Perhaps, though, what he did was worse than hanging this miserable wretch outright, for he sentenced him, in company with the priest, Pedro Sanchez, to be marooned, at the departure of the fleet. He was kept a prisoner on board ship during the stay at San Julian, and then left on that desolate shore, well provided with wine, provisions, and clothing, to whatever fate he might encounter.

Glancing ahead a few months, we may note that the fleet departed from San Julian the last week in August, two weeks before which date the mutineers were put on shore and left in solitude. Two months later the crew of the San Antonio  mutinied in a body, this time successfully, and returned to Spain with the ship. This event took place in the Strait of Magellan, whence they intended, it is believed, to retrace their route northwardly to Port Julian, pick up their former comrades, and sail with them direct to Spain. But, strange to relate, there is no further mention, in any existing annals that have yet been found, of the unfortunate Cartagena and Sanchez. The India House of Seville passed a resolution to fit out a ship for their rescue; but there is no record that it ever sailed, and the probability is that Spanish indifference and shiftlessness allowed these poor wretches to perish.

The marooning of these men was equivalent to a death sentence, with the barest chance of a reprieve—which probably never came. Their terrible experience was duplicated some ten years later by that of three men who were marooned on the coast of Brazil by Sebastian Cabot; but two of these eventually escaped and returned to Spain, where they brought suit against their oppressor, and made him much trouble. Forty of Magellan's mutineers were pardoned by him, after having been kept in chains several months, during which time they relieved each other at the pumps, careened and calked the ships, and almost wore themselves out performing the labors assigned them by their master.

It was in this light, indeed, that they viewed him now: as a master whose slightest wish was to be obeyed. There was no longer any doubt as to his dominance, as to his will-power, and terrible energy in punishing crime, when he chose to exert it. Ordinarily pleasant, and accessible to all, Magellan would have been a favorite with the Spaniards had he been of their own nationality; but they could never forget that he was a Portuguese. They were more incensed than ever, but futilely so, when he appointed, in place of Spaniards, Portuguese captains to command the ships.

After a while there were but four vessels composing the fleet, for the Santiago  was lost when on an exploring tour, in the month of May: Serrao, the Portuguese who commanded her, was then given the Concepcion; Alvaro de Mesquita received the San Antonio  (which he captained when the mutineers deposed him); and the Victoria  was assigned to Duarte Barbosa. Thus, eventually, all the ships came under the command of Magellan's own countrymen, one of whom was his cousin, and the other his brother-in-law. "A family party," the Spaniards sneeringly styled the arrangement; but they dared not say it openly at that time.

It was in the month of May, and the first week, that the Santiago  set out on the cruise that ended in her being wrecked. The winter weather was still too inclement to allow of an extended voyage, so Magellan sent Serrao down the coast with instructions to inspect such harbors and rivers as he might discover. He was an experienced commander, stanch and true, bound to Magellan by no common ties of friendship, and thoroughly reliable.

Little did Magellan anticipate disaster when the Santiago  sailed out of Port Julian and disappeared behind a headland shutting out the open ocean. She made her way southward, and about sixty miles from her port of departure found a large river, which Serrao named the Santa Cruz. Fish and sea-wolves, or seals, were so numerous in the waters there that the Spaniards loaded their boat with them, passing a week thus engaged before they went farther. Not far south of the river they were caught in a gale which drove their vessel aground so forcibly that they could not get her off before the seas had pounded her to pieces.

They escaped to shore with little clothing and no provisions, where they found themselves in a barren, inhospitable country, with a river miles in width, and a pathless wilderness between them and the port they had left a few weeks before. They built a raft, and finally crossed the river, from the left bank of which they sent two of their number to seek Port Julian. These two were eleven days on the way, subsisting meanwhile upon such shell-fish as they found on the shore, and arrived at the port in a terrible condition of exhaustion and emaciation.

A relief party was immediately organized and sent out by Magellan, which found the survivors of the wreck nearly one hundred miles distant from San Julian, and almost dead from starvation. They were brought back by a journey of easy stages, and soon after Magellan despatched another search expedition, this time by land, which was as barren of results as the other. Four sailors, selected from those who had been placed in irons as mutineers, were released on condition that they should penetrate to a distance of at least a hundred miles from the coast, and on the highest mount they should discover erect a cross, as evidence of possession by the King of Spain. They set out joyously, glad of an opportunity to prove their loyalty to the captain-general; but after struggling several days against almost insuperable obstacles, returned with the information that the country was not only lacking in resources, but absolutely untraversable. They succeeded, however, in gaining the summit of a high hill, upon which they planted the cross, as directed, naming it Monte Cristo, or the Mount of Christ.

The sailor-explorers also reported the country as uninhabited, and the experience of Magellan and his people in the harbor of Port Julian would seem to have confirmed that impression, for up to that time they had not seen a single native. But one day, about four months after their arrival there, they were astonished, and not a little startled, by the apparition of a gigantic warrior, with a short, heavy bow in one hand, and a bunch of feathered arrows in the other. He had evidently observed the fleet before his appearance upon the ridge, where he began to dance vigorously, howling or singing, and throwing dust upon his head. Magellan did not know how to take these demonstrations at first, but finally concluded aright, that they were meant as tokens of amity, and sent one of his men to imitate his motions: to dance when he danced, and howl when he howled.

The sailor did as directed, and then ensued a most amusing exhibition, in which the giant and the Spaniard were the sole performers. At first sight of the sailor the giant paused in astonishment and alarm, but seeing him imitate his own actions he began to dance again, with redoubled energy. As the two approached, they capered about each other in a wide circle, gradually approaching, until at last they met and embraced. It had been a sore trial for the poor seaman, for how did he know but that the giant meant to slay and eat him, when they met? He stood his ground manfully, however, for he too was one of the pardoned mutineers and wished to retrieve himself in his captain's estimation; and he was, moreover, encouraged by the cries and laughter of his comrades on the fleet and ashore, who were convulsed with merriment at the ludicrous manoeuvres. This was the first relief they had experienced from the dread monotony of solitude and storm by which they were environed, and they welcomed it with tumultuous hilarity.

Everybody concerned was in a condition of good-humored jollity by the time the triumphant sailor and his prize boarded the flag-ship, and there was great rivalry as to who would show the most attention to the giant Patagonian. He was, in truth, overwhelmed with attentions, and, extremely puzzled by this warm reception, inquired by signs if the strangers had not dropped down from the sky. They hastened to assure him of their celestial origin, but the good-natured giant was still puzzled (as he indicated by signs) at the small size of the men, and the magnitude of their ships. Compared with this barbarian, indeed, the foreigners were like pygmies, for scarce a man aboard ship stood higher than his waist-belt, says the Chevalier Pigafetta.

"His face was very large," continues the chevalier, "and painted red all over, except that around the eyes were yellow circles, and two heart-shaped daubs of the same color on his cheeks. He was dressed in the skins of animals, sewn together. The animal from which these skins were derived has a head and ears as large as those of a mule, a neck and body like those of a camel, legs like a deer's, and tail of a horse, like which it neighs—and that land has many of them."

This animal, of course, was the guanaco, which was then, or soon after, seen by Europeans for the first time. The first rude drawing of the llama, so nearly allied to the guanaco, was shown Balboa about nine years previously, but the beast itself was not seen by white men until ten years later. Soon after the giant had been allowed to go ashore a body of natives appeared, among them some women, leading several guanacos by leathern halters. They had trained them, it seemed, to serve as beasts of burden, as the Peruvians trained the llamas. They were wont to capture them when young, and "when those people wish to catch some of those nimals, they tie one of these young ones bush. Thereupon, the large ones come to play with the little ones, and the natives kill them from their hiding-places, with their arrows."

Pantagonian giants


The first Patagonians encountered by Magellan were evidently nomads, roaming about in search of sustenance. As he has the honor of being the first European to discover them, so he was the first to name them: "Patagones,"  (clumsy-footed), because, in addition to having very large feet (as gigantes, or giants, might be supposed to have), they wrapped them in guanaco-skins, which made the size abnormal. We know now that while above the average stature of man, the Patagonians are not the giants, quite, described by the early explorers, though many of them are more than six feet in height.

To recur to the giant lured by the sailor on board the ship: He was so overcome by the many strange things he saw, and the various gifts he received, that he wandered about in a condition of dazed astonishment. After he had been regaled with the best the fleet afforded, such as preserved fruit and wines, he was presented with some of the toys which had been brought from Spain for traffic with the natives. He was especially delighted with the cascabels (which were also called hawk-bells, and fashioned something like the old-fashioned sleigh-bell), and as Magellan had many hundreds of them they were liberally bestowed upon the giant.

As he went about jingling his cascabels, and in open-mouthed wonder admiring the ship and its contents, he was suddenly confronted with a large steel mirror. Seeing a duplicate of his fierce and savage-looking self for the first time in his life—save as reflected in the surface of some placid lake, perchance—he leaped backward with a cry of affright, and so suddenly as to topple over four or five of the curious sailors who had been following him around in crowds, close upon his heels. It is hard to say who were most affronted: the terrified giant, or the overturned seamen, who rose from the deck rubbing their bruised limbs and bodies, and muttering words which, if their visitor could have understood them, might not have been consicd by him complimentary.

"Juan Gigante"  (John the Giant) as he was called by his new friends, was greatly pleased with the small mirror which was given him as a solace for his fright in looking into the large one, and entertained the crew by taking a barbed arrow from the bunch and slipping it down his throat, then withdrawing it again, without any evil consequences to himself. This feat he evidently considered quite wonderful, as it certainly was; and it made such an impression upon the spectators that when, finally, he was sent ashore with four armed men as an escort, it was with rounds of lusty "bravos" ringing in his ears.

The Long-Sought Strait


John the Giant quickly found some others of his fellow-countrymen and women, whom he evidently told of the good treatment he had received, as they came swarming to the shore. Like him they were half naked and altogether savage, with painted faces, skin-covered feet, and of gigantic size. The women were not so tall as the men, but broader across the shoulders, al4byery corpulent. They were more timid than the warriors, and it would have been better for the latter if they had been less bold, for there was no longer the novelty about them that proved so attractive at the arrival of the first Patagonian, and which shielded him from harm.

The natural instincts of the Spaniards and Portuguese were beginning to assert themselves, dominant over everything else being rapacity and covetousness. They implored Magellan to send out into the country to seek the village or camp of these people, which might perhaps be found worth despoiling. So he organized and sent forth a small party, which, under guidance of John the Giant, climbed the hills enclosing the harbor, and disappeared in a dense and pathless forest. After hours of toilful travel the white men arrived at a long bohio, or hut, roofed with guanaco-skins, and this, the giant assured them, was the only village they possessed. One hut, and that containing absolutely nothing of value to the Europeans, was all they found; and when they returned with this story, Magellan resolved that, inasmuch as the natives possessed nothing but themselves and the strange guanacos, he would take along specimens of both man and beast.

Such good reports had been taken by giant John to the Patagonians, that when two young and lusty warriors, having their hands full of presents, were shown a pair of manacles and asked by Magellan if they would not like to wear them on their ankles, they unwarily assented. The irons were brightly polished, and appeared so attractive that when assured the proper place to wear them was on the lower limbs, they thrust out their legs, at signs made by the armorer, and before well aware of what had happened to them the bolts were riveted, and they were securely fastened to the deck. As soon, however, as they discovered the trick by which they had been entrapped, they cast away their gifts, and yelled to their friends ashore, in voices that seemed like the bellowing of mad bulls. Their rage was fearful to behold, for they frothed at the mouth, they strained at their chains, and in their despair called upon their demon-god, Setebos, to aid them.

"When any of those people die," says Pigafetta "ten or twelve demons, all painted, appear to them and dance very joyfully about the corpse. One of those demons is much taller than the others, and he cries out and rejoices more. Our giant told us, by signs, that he had seen those demons, with two horns on their heads, long hair, which hung to their feet, and belching forth fire from their mouths. That largest demon they call Setebos."

This is the first mention of a god, or demon, by the name of Setebos, and it may interest our readers to learn that this Patagonian deity was appropriated by Shakespeare, in his play of the "Tempest," as the familiar of the uncouth Caliban, who is supposed to have been a Carib. That is, the omnivorous Shakespeare, who was the greatest borrower of other men's words and phrases of any age, deliberately purloined both Setebos and Caliban from the old books in which he found their names, and thus made them immortal.

Magellan was well punished for the mean stratagem he had employed in capturing these inoffensive giants, for in them he soon found he had "caught a Tartar." At first they refused to be pacified, but soon they clamored for food and drink, and it became difficult to satisfy their demands, for their appetites were enormous. Each giant "ate a basketful of biscuit, and drank half a pailful of water at a gulp," while the rats that infested the ship, and which were caught and tossed to the prisoners by the sailors, were swallowed by them as delicious morsels. They did not even stop to skin them, such was the raging appetite of these barbarians; and Magellan may well have reflected upon his folly in adding to his crews two men with mouths and stomachs of such vast capacity. Their two mouths were equal to twenty ordinary ones to feed, and yet the captain-general persisted in his course, until one of the giants died on the flag-ship, and the other was carried to Spain by the mutineers on the San Antonio.

John the Giant had brought Magellan a guanaco, as an offering indicating his good-will; but when the cries of his comrades came to him from the ship—he being at the time on shore—he is said to have organized a party of savages for their rescue. He and his companion savages were quickly driven from the shore, but one of the men-at-arms from the Trinidad  was wounded in the thigh by a Parthian arrow and died immediately. "Our men had muskets and cross-bows," naively admits the narrator of the event, "but they could never hit any of the giants, for they never stood still when they fought, but leaped about hither and thither. Of a truth, they ran swifter than horses." Magellan's men burned all the possessions of the giants, thus adding to the distress of these poor savages in the height of winter, and then returned to the ships.

Although the musketry failed to do any execution, owing to the inability of the musketeers to hit a moving mark, yet the tremendous reports and the sulphurous smoke that came from the unwieldy arquebuses frightened the savages away. The harbor of San Julian presented—but for the presence of the fleet—once more a scene of solitude and desolation. Two months yet remained of the winter season, but Magellan concluded to make an attempt to get farther down the coast, at the risk of being wrecked by a sudden storm, for the monotony of existence there was unbearable. Still inflexible in his determination to rid himself of his chief rival, the mutineer Juan Cartagena, he placed him and the priest, Pedro Sanchez, on an islet in a curve of the bay, well supplied with provisions, a tent and boat, then sailed away, and left them to a fate much worse than death.

The protests of these unfortunate men are not recorded, nor their prayers; but how despairingly must they have gazed after the retreating ships, and thought upon their helplessness when the giants should return, and, finding them alone, attack them. Even if the savages should prove more merciful than Fernan Magellan, and spare their lives, could they survive another season, with their provisions exhausted, and the rigors of winter to oppress them? As already mentioned, some of their fellow-voyagers afterwards returned along the coast in time to rescue them from starvation; but whether they called in for them at San Julian, or unfeelingly kept on their way to Spain, is unknown, for their fate is involved in mystery.

It was with this sin on his conscience that Magellan left the port where he had found shelter more than four months, and, the last week in August, sailed for Santa Cruz, where, in a desolate harbor near the mouth of the river, he remained two months longer. A large store of dried and salted fish was laid in here, for future provisions, and some wreckage picked up, which had drifted ashore from the Santiago. The latitude of Santa Cruz was quite accurately determined by the pilots at, or near, fifty degrees south of the line, and the name of harbor and river may still be found on modern maps. Less than two degrees south of Santa Cruz appeared the opening into the strait, or water-passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific, which, evidently, Magellan was seeking. The fleet had left the river and harbor on October 18th, as the weather conditions had vastly improved, and signs of spring were on every hand. Only three days later, the Victoria, which was in the lead, sighted a promontory, which Magellan named "el Cabo de las Virgenes," or the Cape of the Eleven Thousand Virgins, in remembrance of those hapless saints, as it was discovered on their "feast-day." Rounding that cape, athwart which fierce gales blew forbiddingly, an opening was discovered, which a long month of exploration proved to be that to the strait connecting the two oceans.

It has been a matter of controversy, in which geographers and historians have shared, whether or not Magellan had previous knowledge, or intimation, of the existence of this strait. The chief chronicler of his voyage, Pigafetta, declares that he knew where to sail in order to find it, because he had seen it depicted on a map in the possession of the King of Portugal, which was made by Martin of Bohemia, otherwise Martin Behaim. This is hardly possible, however, unless Martin Behaim created the strait from pure conjecture, for he died in 1506, before any voyage had been extended so far south as latitude fifty degrees below the equator. Magellan may have met him in Lisbon, where he resided for a time, and where he probably deceased, and from conversations with him may have inferred the existence of the strait so long concealed. Whatever the cause of his search for it, and whether he had proof sufficient to satisfy himself that there was a strait, he cannot be deprived of his laurels as discoverer.

It was a theory of Columbus, that if he could but break through that barrier between the two oceans, he might sail around the world, and in his last voyage he strove frantically with winds and seas to achieve his purpose. In vain, however, did the great Admiral scan the Caribbean coast of Honduras, Panama, and Darien. He returned, sorrowing, and in great distress, to Spain, where he soon after died. Nine years later, in 1513, Vasco Nunez de Balboa, until then an unknown adventurer, was favored with the first glimpse of the ocean now known as the Pacific; and seven years after, Magellan found the way into it from the Atlantic.

Map of Magellan Strait.


Several expeditions, Spanish and Portuguese, had preceded him down the coast of South America, but no proof has been advanced that any of them made a "southing" so great as his. A strait, or the semblance of one, was laid down upon globes bearing date 1515, and 1520, by the learned Schoner; but as the cartographers of that period were prone to construct their maps and globes less with a regard to accuracy than with reference to what the world desired, scant attention should be paid to this. It is known that for many years, at least, from the date of the first voyage of Columbus to Magellan's, the so-called "secret of the strait" was the object of solution by many an explorer. In the capitulation between the King of Spain and Magellan, in truth, the latter is instructed to go "in search of the strait"—as though one was presumed to exist somewhere, despite the efforts, constantly baffled, of explorers to find it.

Let us say that Magellan had faith, and he found it; but so had Columbus, Vespucci, La Cosa, Ojeda, Coehlo, and others, and they found it not. Magellan merely pushed on a little farther than his predecessors, and had the courage and persistence to continue, in the face of every obstacle of whatever kind. At the outset, all his officers were against him; at the very gateway to the western ocean a well-planned mutiny nearly frustrated his intentions; then a long winter of demoralizing inaction intervened; but here, at last, before him open wide, he saw the portal to the Pacific! He had reached, at last, the "Tail of the Dragon," as the ancients called the conjectural termination of South America towards the antarctic region; but he would not sail around it, he would practically sever it, by effecting a passage through to the western coast.

He was then about seventeen degrees south of the Cape of Good Hope, and the actual tip of the continent, or the island, outlying thereon, now known as Cape Horn, was yet three degrees to the southward. It may not come amiss to recall, in this connection, that while the Cape of Good Hope was discovered in 1487, and first doubled in 1497, the Strait of Magellan was not discovered or navigated till 1520, and Cape Horn was first rounded nearly a century after, or in 1616. Thus slowly proceeded the explorers of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, cautiously creeping from one headland to another, and consuming years in covering distances traversed to-day in weeks and in months.

Rounding the promontory of the Virgins, Magellan saw beyond it a. broad inlet, with lofty, snow-topped mountains in the distance, and bold shores. A sheltered bay afforded secure anchorage, and there the fleet passed the night; though a storm broke over them towards morning, and the vessels were obliged to "stand off and on" till noon of the next day. Returning to the anchorage in the spacious bay, Magellan first inspected the San Antonio  and Concepcion, commanded by Mesquita and Serrao, and then ordered them to make a reconnoissance, lasting not more than five days, and return to him in what is now called Possession Bay. There was no assurance then that the inlet was more than an estuary, like that of the Plata, or a false bay without an outlet, hence he would not venture with the fleet until the real character of the supposed-strait was disclosed. The two craft proceeded as directed, first entering a narrow channel between lofty shores, then disclosing a broader body of water which the Spaniards called Lago de los Estrechos, or Lake of the Straits. Another constriction of the channel succeeded, beyond which appeared a great sound known to-day as the Broad Reach, which, though bounded by shores on either hand, stretched southward, apparently an illimitable distance. The surface of the sound appeared as rough as that of the ocean, with huge billows rising and falling in the distance, and the discoverers thought they had really reached the farther sea of which they were in search. Believing this, and the time they were to be absent having expired, they returned to Possession Bay, with flags and streamers flying in token of success. Magellan had been troubled about their continued absence, and the crews shared his apprehensions; but when the two pioneers hove in sight, with their flags flying in the wind and cannon booming loudly, all then knew that favorable news was soon to be received.

"The ocean! The ocean!" shouted Serrao from the Concepcion, being in the lead. "We have seen the waves, and the billows. The currents—the tides—too, are strong, and the soundings almost without depth!" Magellan accepted the report for what he hoped it was, the truth, without subjecting it to searching analysis, for it bore out his conjecture.

"Thank God our Lord!" he exclaimed, fervently. And in response to the reports of the lombards on the incoming ships, his own artillery thundered. All hands were summoned on deck, dressed in their best attire, and, himself garbed in velvet, with a plumed cap on his head, a jeweled sword at his side, Magellan attended a service of thanksgiving conducted by his chaplain on the deck of the flag-ship. Orders were given at once to set sail for the sound that had been mistaken for the sea. When its true nature was discovered—when it was found that it split at length into several channels, Magellan called the fleet together and held a consultation. There was no doubt, he said, that one of these channels, perhaps all of them, led to the great western ocean, of which they were in search; but, though he had his own opinion, and his decision was unalterable, he would submit it to his officers: whether they should proceed, having found the long sought passage, or return to refit. They had about three months' provisions remaining; they had spent six months in winter quarters near the scene of their discovery, in order to proceed at the best season, on the voyage to the Moluccas. The season had arrived, they were launched upon the broad road to success, and he, Magellan, believed they should proceed, trusting in Providence for favoring gales.

All the officers, comprising the captains, pilots, and chief navigators, agreed with Magellan—all save one. This one was Estavao Gomez, who, though a Portuguese, was at odds with his commander through jealousy. He himself had desired to lead an expedition to the Spice Islands, and as he was a skilled navigator, with knowledge of nautical matters that Magellan did not possess, he felt the king had acted unjustly towards him. He advanced arguments, however, of greater weight than those Magellan urged: that their provisions were not sufficient for a protracted voyage such as was, doubtless, now before them; that no living soul knew how long it would be, nor exactly what course to take, once they were embarked upon the waters of the as yet unknown ocean.

Magellan turned to his captains again and said: "Senores, these are the words of one disaffected, who, albeit he hath a little knowledge of navigation, yet knoweth no more of what is ahead of us than I myself know. The voyage, it is true, may be extremely long—it can be nothing less than tedious, perhaps involved in danger; but, my men, to what will it lead in the end? As yet, we have done nothing but expend the substance of our lord the king, to no avail, for we have found only this strait, that is supposed to lead into the farther ocean. Shall we, then, return with that barren information, merely, and permit some other, more courageous and persistent mariners, to follow on our tracks and garner what we ourselves have sown? In my capitulation  I am promised a tithe of the vast riches—and you are to share them with me—of the Spice Islands; their government, also, is to be under my supervision, and we are to establish for our lord the king, who is likewise emperor over vast domains, a kingdom in the East.

"Now, my decision is unshaken; though I would desire that it might be yours, my comrades. I am for proceeding, to the very last extremity. Our provisions are wasted, it is true; but, even if we are reduced to eating the leather on our ships' yards, I shall still go on, and attempt to discover what hath been promised by me to our lord the king; I trust that God will aid us, and I believe that He will give us good fortune."

"On! On! We will go on!" were the cries that saluted this impassioned speech of the commander, and thus it was decided. Only Estavao Gomez appeared sullen, for he was even then scheming the mutiny that soon deprived Magellan of his largest ship. He was skilled as a navigator; he conducted the San Antonio  safely back to Spain; and he has the further distinction of having made a subsequent voyage along the coast of North America, during which he visited Massachusetts Bay.

Again, as before, the Concepcion  and the San Antonio  were sent off exploring, somewhat in advance of the Trinidad  and Victoria, with instructions this time to investigate the southeast arm of the great sound, while Magellan inspected the southwest arm, which was eventually found to lead to the Pacific. Unless it led finally in the right direction, they were to return to the main channel and pursue the course the captain-general had taken. Magellan himself rounded the point known as Cape Forward, whence he kept on to a stream which he called the River of Sardines, from the abundance of small fish therein, where he anchored, and refreshed his crew. They went ashore and cut wood, which gave out a fragrant odor in burning, and filled their water-casks, all the while awaiting the arrival of the other ships. But a week passed without tidings, and then Magellan concluded to retrace his course in search of them. The Concepcion  was soon found, sailing towards them leisurely, but of the San Antonio, Serrao could give no news whatever, as she had out-sailed his vessel, he said, from the very first. She seemed to have done so with intention, because, although he had tried several times to intercept her in the narrower channels, she had effectually avoided him, and had probably returned to the Atlantic coast.

Magellan lost a week in vain attempts to discover her fate. He sent the Victoria  northward as far as the entrance of the strait, explored every inlet of any size leading out from it, as well as what is now called Admiralty Sound (which the missing ship had been detailed to inspect), and planted letters of instruction, with flags above them, in various places along shore where they could not fail to be seen by a passing vessel. At last he was compelled to accept the conclusion that the ship had either sunk to the bottom with all hands, or had been taken possession of illegally and turned towards the homeward track.

What had happened has already been intimated: The sullen Gomez had fomented an insurrection on board the ship he piloted, where his known skill was so much thought of that he had no trouble in convincing the crew that it was for their interest to return to Spain, rather than proceed with Magellan. They seized the captain, Mesquita, who was wounded in the scuffle that ensued, and placed him in irons. Then all sail was set for the Atlantic, slipping past the Concepcion  in the night, and a direct course laid for the coast of Africa.

Nearly six months later, May 6, 1521, the recreant crew arrived in Spain, at the port of Seville, where the unfortunate Mesquita, though the only innocent man aboard, was clapped into prison, still in irons, and there detained for sixteen months. The rascally Gomez and his accomplices reported the complete failure of the expedition, with the loss of every vessel except their own, which they, at the risk of death from exposure and starvation, had piloted back to Spain. Thus they had saved one ship, for the king to send out again if he chose, and had spared no pains to rescue the property and lives endangered by the rashness of Magellan, whom they could not denounce forcibly enough to his majesty.

A second time, despite his reluctance to do so, Magellan put the question to his officers: "Will ye continue with me, or return? Our provisions are less than ever, inasmuch as the San Antonio, being the largest ship, carried the most. of them. But my determination is no less strong than it was at the beginning, and my faith in God still firm."

And his captains and pilots replied, no less promptly than before: "We will sail with you to the other side of the globe, and if we live we shall discover the new way to the Islands of Spices!"

First Transpacific Voyage


Though greatly depressed by the loss of the San Antonio, Magellan bore up wonderfully beneath his misfortunes, which indeed seemed to be cumulative and never-ending. The heavier the burden the greater seemed his strength to bear it. He had lost two vessels of his fleet, one by wreck, and one by treason; but there remained three still true to him, and with these three, badly provisioned as they were, he resolved to continue.

He returned to the River of Sardines, beyond Cape Forward, where the scenery of the strait, which lay between great mountains covered with vast forests up to the line of perpetual snow, was more pleasing than on the Atlantic side. Desolation and sterility had attended the voyage southward for months; but midway the sound known as the Broad Reach the scenery had suddenly changed, with the most exuberant vegetation clothing the mountain-sides. This change was caused by drenching rains brought by the western gales against the sierras, and was, to the parched and blistered voyagers, an augury of better things in store for them.

Impressed by the beauty of the scenery, Pigafetta says: "I do not believe there is a more beautiful or better strait in the world than that one. We called it the Strait of Patagonia, and in it one finds the safest of ports, at every half-league's distance apart springs of pure water, and excellent woods." Fish were abundant too, while edible herbs grew around the springs; and with these articles of food the scanty provisions were eked out.

Sailing leisurely through the strait westward from the river, at last the sailors sighted the open ocean, after having been a month and eight days engaged in threading those labyrinthine passages. Much of the time, indeed, had been lost in seeking their recreant comrades, in exploring false waterways, and in fishing; but so long and involved had been this inland voyage, that Magellan believed the strait, or straits, to be all of four hundred miles in length.

On his way through, Magellan gave names to all prominent capes, bays, inlets, mountains, and harbors. From the constant fires seen burning on the hills and mountains south of the strait he called that region Tierra del Fuego, or Land of Fire, a name which it has ever since retained. The strait itself he purposed to call after the ship from which it was first seen, the Victoria, and seems to have had no thought of bestowing upon it the appellation by which it is now known, of Magellan, or Magalhaes; but posterity has been more generous to the discoverer than he was to himself.

It was with salutes from his cannon, and with tears of joy, that the captain-general greeted the appearance of the sea-coast promontory guarding the western opening of the strait, which he called Cabo Deseado, or Desired Cape. He had so long desired to view it, he had so long believed there must be some such headland based in the waters of the western ocean, that the "Desired Cape" expressed his heart-felt hopes. There the fleet anchored, in a harbor sufficiently secure, and replenished the provisions with fresh stores of fish; the crews took advantage of their last opportunity for liberty ashore, and all prepared themselves for the unknown voyage before them. One of the pilots had advised continuing on until the middle of January, sailing only during the daytime, so that the crews might have time for rest; but Magellan knew this to be impossible, and gave his men leave on shore for refreshment at Cabo Deseado.

Well was that promontory named, not alone for what it signified to Magellan, looking forward to it, but to him and his men in retrospection. They arrived within the shelter of its harbor on November 28, 1520, and after a few days of rest started on the voyage across the ocean, then unknown, the first week in December. What a triumph for Magellan when, with the coast of the continent on his starboard, he emerged from the region of fitful winds and tempests and was wafted by gentle gales onward towards his destination! His was, in fact, a double triumph, for he had not only discovered and explored the strait connecting the two oceans, but his was the first expedition of consequence ever launched upon the western ocean.

Seven years had passed since Balboa discovered it, from a peak of the Darien cordilleras, and though he had built and launched some brigantines, just before he was beheaded, and had made a short trip to prove their seaworthiness, little else had been done with them until after Pedrarias founded Panama, in 1519. Balboa was the precursor of Magellan, inasmuch as he discovered and first attempted to navigate the ocean called by him the great South Sea; but the captain-general of the fleet we have so far accompanied was the first to sail across and name it.

As the three ships held on their way over the bright and sparkling waters, unvexed by tempests, scarcely ruffled by gales, during more than one hundred days suffering neither from storms nor adverse currents, Magellan evolved the name by which that ocean has ever since been known: "Oceano Pacifica"  The Pacific  Ocean he called it, and rightly, says Pigafetta, "for during that time we did not suffer any storm, and in truth it is very pacific. And we sailed about four thousand leagues during those three months and twenty days, through an open stretch in that Pacific Ocean."

But the monotony of it! Ah, it was terrible! Even the dull-witted seamen, accustomed as they were to long months at sea, with scarcely anything visible for days but the heaving waters and o'er-arching firmament, suffered from a strange depression. Other sufferings, too, of a more poignant nature, had they, as we shall soon narrate; but the more vivacious spirits among them found diversion in observing the strange creatures that they saw, sporting in the waters and above them.

One of the most alert and inquisitive in the company was Chevalier Antonio Pigafetta, to whom we have referred already, on occasions, and it is to him that we are indebted for the best and fullest narrative of Magellan's voyage, written from personal observation. Pigafetta was a Venetian, who, chancing to visit Seville when the Magellan expedition was in preparation, promptly enlisted for the voyage. He was with the hero of our story throughout that voyage, and in the flag-ship at that, so was probably in more or less intimate communion with him all the time; yet Magellan seems to have paid him scant attention. He was one of the very few survivors of the expedition, one of the immortal eighteen who sailed around the world and back to Spain in the Victoria.

His narrative may have been written long after the occurrences mentioned therein took place; but in the main it is accurate, though subject to correction by comparison with the stories of the voyage by his contemporaries. To him we are indebted for the most detailed account of Magellan's doings, and the most intimate knowledge of his character. But for him, indeed, we should be at a loss for a well-rounded figure of the captain-general, especially after the Pacific was reached, and he had risen to heights of resolution and self-effacement almost sublime.

We will now accompany Signor Antonio, for a while at least, as he was the only man of that company who was thoughtful enough to set down in extensor  what he saw and heard. Fernan Magellan was extremely neglectful in this respect, and it is doubtful if he ever gave the matter of his great achievements a thought—after they were accomplished. It was enough for him to do;  let others, if they liked, tell how it was done. Still, we should have liked an account of his doings as given by himself, and we can hardly forgive him the omission. Fortunately, he had (though perhaps unaware of the fact), a chronicler of his deeds in Pigafetta, who, though not a Boswell (inasmuch as he gives us but little pertaining to Magellan's personality), is better than nobody at all. And, lest this remark seem ungracious, it should be added that, in his own particular province, he was without a peer in the fleet.

While they were sailing along the west coast of South America, says the observant Antonio, they were amused by the fish-hunts that took place in the water. The fish that did the hunting he calls the albacore, bonito, and dorado—names they bear today—and the hunted were the golondrini, or sea-swallows—otherwise, flying-fish. "When the above three kinds of fish find any of those flying-fish, the latter immediately leap from the water and fly as long as their wings are wet—more than a cross-bow's flight. While they are flying the others swim back of and under them, following their shadows, and no sooner have they fallen into the water than they are seized and eaten."

Not all of Pigafetta's time was given to diversion, however, as he employed much of it, while the captive giant was aboard, in acquiring a vocabulary of Patagonian words. Many pages of these words are given in his book, and they are, of course, very valuable to the philologist. During this time he and the giant became very intimately acquainted, and, in fact, he seems to have been almost the only friend the poor fellow had in the fleet. He was an intelligent as well as very tractable giant, whose only failing was an enormous appetite, and that, of course, might make him disliked on board ship, especially by the cook.

Apart from his appetite, he was a most interesting personage, and when he saw Pigafetta writing down some chance words he had spoken, he at once divined the use of pen and paper (though he had never seen them before in his life), and voluntarily repeated as many words as he could think of, taking great pleasure in seeing them in writing. He also showed his friend how to make fire, by rubbing two dry sticks together until the sparks fall on the inflammable pith of a certain kind of tree found in Patagonia. All this shows that something of value may be learned even from an ignorant savage whose highest ambition is to gratify an insatiable appetite, and who prefers his food raw rather than cooked.

At last, after a month of that monotonous sailing, a terrible thing happened to the fleet. It was attacked by the scurvy, and men died by the dozen at a time. Among the first victims was the captive giant, who, when he found himself at death's door, desired his friend to present a cross, which he kissed, and then immediately cried out, in a feeble voice, "Setebos!" in order to propitiate his deity, whom he thought this act might offend. In truth, he said that if he had not done so the vengeful Setebos would have entered into his body and cause it to burst; still, he desired to be baptized before he died.

Soon after the death of the giant, admits the veracious Pigafetta, he and his comrades were so pinched by hunger that they were glad to devour the rats they caught in the hold of the ship—when they could catch them. They had thought it great fun to catch and toss them into the maw of the giant; but that voracious creature had eaten so many that they had become very scarce. Rats were sold, he says, "for half a ducado apiece, and even then we could not get enough of them." As for their provisions, consisting chiefly of biscuit, "it was biscuit no longer, but merely an offensive powder, swarming with worms." Of fresh provisions they had none for more than three months, their drinking-water became putrid, and, says Gomara the historian, "they held their noses as they drank, for the vile stench of it."

Then came home to Magellan the words he had uttered in the strait: that he would eat the leather on the main-yards before he would turn about for Spain—for of a truth he and his comrades had to do it. No meat was left to them, no fish could be caught; and so they cut the tough old hides from the yards, and, after soaking in the sea for several days, broiled them on the embers. They were exceedingly hard, as may be imagined, "because of the sun, rain, and wind "; yet the pieces were devoured with relish, and such of the crew as could not get enough were obliged to fill themselves up with sawdust.

Added to the horrors of famine were those of thirst and heat, for they were now near or under the equator; the vertical sun blazed down upon them relentlessly, the pitch oozed from the. seams of the vessels, and the seamen, when forced to climb the rigging, often fell lifeless to the decks. During nearly one hundred days, no land was seen save two small islands, destitute of vegetation. Sea-birds hovered over them, but they could not be caught; man-eating sharks swam the waters around them, but were as wary as they were ferocious. Says the pious Pigafetta: "Had not God and His blessed mother given us good weather, we would all have died of hunger in that exceedingly vast ocean. And of a verity, I believe no such voyage will ever be made again!"

Taken together with the termination of that voyage, or its prolongation, rather, around the globe, doubtless no such voyage will be made again. Throughout the whole of it Fernan Magellan bore himself as might have been foretold of him. He neither complained nor allowed others to do so; he ate the same food as was served to his crews, and surpassed any man of them all in the number of hours he stood watch, by night and by day.

The course from the strait had been in the main northwesterly, changing slightly after the equator was crossed. The voyage across the Pacific was a month longer than that of Columbus across the Atlantic, and the distance traversed three times as great; yet there was no thought on the part of Magellan of temporizing with his crews, nor hesitation as to the course he should pursue. On, on, ever sailing towards an evasive horizon, without beacon or buoy to guide him, Magellan pursued his watery way to the Spice Islands, resolved to continue until the last ounce of food was consumed, and the last man dropped dead at the helm.

Discovery of the Philippines


On a morning of the first week in March, 1521, the starving crews were cheered by the emerald crown of a mountain peering above the horizon. It rose higher and higher, and as the clouds about its shoulders dissolved there stood revealed one of the most beautiful objects in the world, a tropical island in mid-ocean. This island-mountain was clothed from summit to base in the most luxuriant vegetation: whole forests, wreathed in vines spangled with starry blossoms; feathery bamboos climbing the acclivities, and ranks of cocoa-palms encircling all, with their golden crowns gleaming above snow-white coral strands.

The vessels were headed for this island, when another appeared, of lesser magnitude but apparently more accessible, and nearer. To this latter the bows were promptly pointed, and as it was approached scores of native canoes, or proas, came careering out from shore. Each proa was filled with naked brown men, smooth of skin, pleasant as to countenance, shapely as to form, and tall of stature. They approached, jabbering and gesticulating, holding up stalks of bananas set with yellow fruit, and clusters of cocoanuts filled with refreshing drink. These products of their gardens were quickly disposed of to the famishing sailors, who fell-to greedily upon the fruits and nuts, while their visitors roamed at will about the ships. They seemed so frank and inoffensive that Magellan interposed no objection to their familiarity, and watched their capers with amused interest while speculating upon their peculiarities.

As Magellan was leaning over the rail of the flag-ship, looking down into the canoes swarming around her, he was approached by one of his officers, who said: "Pardon me, your excellency, but those rascals have stolen our small-boat, which was fastened astern. And they are also taking everything on board which they can get into their. hands!" Magellan was on the qui-vive  in a moment. "Clear the ship!" he shouted. "Send a party at once to intercept those scoundrels." Seeing that it was impossible to overtake them, however, as they moved in the water with incredible rapidity, he gave orders for the ship to stand "off and on" during the night, and in the morning sent a punitive party of sixty men to burn their village and secure the boat they had stolen.

He was thoroughly enraged, having been so basely deceived, and determined to give these treacherous people a lesson. The village was burned, some of the natives killed, and the boat recovered, the expedition returning to the fleet with a large quantity of provisions, which were extremely acceptable. The islanders seemed to be unacquainted with defensive weapons, such as bows and arrows, for when any of them were struck by darts, or crossbow-shafts, which usually went entirely through the body, they would draw the missiles out and look at them with astonishment before they expired. These acts excited the compassion of the explorers; but when the natives rallied and pursued them in their canoes, to the number of a hundred or more, they did not hesitate to discharge their cannon among them. Their proas were so swift that one of them cut out another small-boat as it was being towed astern a ship, passing between the two with great dexterity, though the vessel was sailing at full speed.

From the number of these proas, all carrying small, triangular sails, Magellan, at first sight of them coming out from the shore, named these new lands the "Islands of the Lateen Sails"; but when the thievish proclivities of the natives were disclosed he called them the Ladrones, or Robber Islands. The name has clung to them ever since, for, like most of his appellations, it was peculiarly applicable. The island at which Magellan first arrived was that known now as Guam, or Guahan, and belongs to the United States, having been ceded to this government by Spain in 1898.

The incensed natives of Guam were loath to allow the fleet to leave their waters without some token of their displeasure, and pursued it in their canoes for a long distance, casting stones at the ships, uttering cries of defiance, and making hideous grimaces. "The chief amusement of these people," wrote Pigafetta, "is to plough the seas in those small boats of theirs, which are sharp-pointed, bow and stern alike, and carry sails made of palm-leaves sewn together, lateen shape. They are very fast, and in shape and speed resemble dolphins which leap in the water from wave to wave. At the side opposite the sail, they have a large log of wood, pointed at the top, with poles laid across it and resting on the water, in order that the boats may sail more safely." These affairs were the curious outriggers, invented and used by the islanders of the South Pacific, who had lived so long isolated that "they thought there were no other people in the world but themselves."

During the two-days' stay at Guam, the crews had been greatly refreshed, for not only was the long-continued strain of watching relieved, but the fresh fruits and vegetables put an end to the scurvy which had afflicted them so severely. Some of the sea-men, however, were too far gone to recover, and on the morning the fleet left Guam (which was the 9th of March), the only Englishman in the expedition died of the disease. He was a gunner, and known on board as "Master Andrew of Bristol." Some sick remained yet, and when, a week later, the outlying islands of what is known to-day as the Philippines were reached, anchors were dropped in the first promising harbor, for the purpose of recreating the invalids. The island was without inhabitants, though as attractive as an oasis of palm-trees in a desert, and here Magellan pitched his tents in peace, and set up a temporary hospital for the sick. A pig was killed which had been obtained at Guam, fresh fruits were set before the invalids, and the captain-general himself gave them cocoa-milk and pure spring-water to drink, with his own hands. He was unwearied in his attentions, and soon the sick recovered sufficiently to be taken back to the ships again, when the fleet proceeded to other islands.

While encamped on the sands of the uninhabited island, Magellan was approached by nine men in a proa, which they ran upon the beach without hesitation, at a point quite near the tents. After regarding the Europeans for a while in silence, these natives took several fish, which they had just caught, out of their canoe, and laid them at Magellan's feet. In return for this acceptable gift, he ordered some caps of colored cloth, looking-glasses, and cascabels brought out and given them. These were so highly appreciated that the natives again went to the canoe and brought forth a big bunch of bananas, a sack of cocoa-nuts, and an immense jar of palm-wine, all of which were presented to Magellan, with many signs of friendship and good-will.

When these "Filipinos" took their departure a short while after, they promised to return with fruits from their groves and gardens, and a week later were back as agreed. They brought with them not only cocoa-nuts, oranges, bananas, and jars of wine, but some of the native jungle-fowl, domesticated from wild birds taken in the forest. They exhibited "great signs of pleasure at seeing us," says Pigafetta, "and we purchased all those articles from them." Their chief, an old man with a tattooed face, gold rings in his ears, gold armlets and bracelets, was almost entirely naked, like his followers, except that he wore a cotton kerchief embroidered with silk.

All these people were dark-complexioned, corpulent, and glistening from frequent applications of cocoa-nut oil. Their hair was jet black and fell to their waists, while their wild appearance was increased by their custom of carrying daggers, knives, spears, javelins, and shields which were ornamented with gold. They had come from the islands of Samar and Suluan, which they importuned Magellan to visit; but he had passed them on the way and did not care to retrace his steps. Instead, he proceeded easterly to the island of Mazaba, where a surprise awaited him, for he found that some of the people spoke a language understood by his servant, or slave, who was a Malay from Malacca. Enrique, or Henry, was the name by which he was known to the Spaniards, though he was formerly called Traprobana. But, though a boat-load of natives came within speaking distance of the flag-ship, and though Enrique conversed with them freely, they would not board the vessel. Wishing to establish friendly relations with them, Magellan sent out a red cap and other things on a floating plank, and was pleased to observe that they picked them up with signs of satisfaction.

They probably took the gifts to their chief, or king, for a few hours later he came out in a large boat, or balanghai, which was full of armed men and furnished with an awning, under which he reclined upon a pile of mats. He at first refused to go on board the ship, as he was very suspicious of these strangers who had come to his island uninvited, though they assured him that they came as friends and not as enemies. Presents were exchanged by means of floating planks, and amicable relations established which led to a second visit by the king, who, when he entered the flag-ship, embraced Magellan cordially and begged his acceptance of a bar of gold and a basket of ginger. The captain-general is said to have refused the gold—to the great disgust of his crew, who had never before sailed with a commander so free from the sin of covetousness. But he accepted three porcelain jars filled with rice, and several large fish, as fresh food was a necessity. In return he gave the king a robe of red-and-yellow cloth, a Turkish fez, and to his men some mirrors and knives. These presents impressed his majesty so favorably that he expressed a desire to be casi casi  with Magellan, or, in other words, to perform the ceremony of blood-brotherhood, and it was done. Each one let the other taste a few drops of his blood, and thenceforth they were "brothers," according to the Malay custom.

Desirous of impressing the half-naked king with his power and attainments, Magellan showed him his stock of arms and ammunition, his collection of weapons, artillery, armor, etc. He had some of the cannon discharged, at the sound of which the king was greatly terrified, and two of his attendants leaped overboard. "Then the captain-general had a man encased in armor, and placed him in the midst of three others armed simply with swords and daggers, who struck him on all parts of the body without harming him. At this sight the king was rendered almost speechless, and when the captain-general told him that one of those armed men was worth a hundred of his own [the king's] without defensive armor, he answered that was a fact. The captain-general said that he had two hundred men who were armed in that manner, and he showed the king his cuirasses, swords, bucklers, etc., and had a review conducted for him. Then he led him to the deck of the ship that is located above, at the stern, and had his sea-charts and compass brought. By means of them he explained how he had found the strait, in order to voyage thither, and how many moons he had been without seeing land, whereat the king was greatly astonished. Lastly, he told the king that he would like, if it were pleasing to him, to send two of his men with him so that he might show them some of his things. The king replied that he was agreeable, and I, Antonio Pigafetta, went with him in company with another.

"When we reached the shore, the king raised his hands towards the sky and then turned to us, so that we did the same, as did all the others. The king then took me by the hand, one of his chiefs took my companion, and thus they led us under a bamboo covering, where there was an immense balanghai, resembling a fusta. There we sat down upon the stern of that great boat, constantly conversing by signs, and the king's men stood about us in a circle, armed with swords, daggers, spears, and bucklers.

"The king shortly had a dish of pork and a large jar of wine brought in, and at every mouthful we drank a cup of the wine. The king's cup was always covered, and no one drank of it save himself. Before he took the cup to drink he raised his clasped hands towards the sky, and then towards me. When he was about to drink, he extended the fist of his left hand towards me (so that at first I thought he was about to strike me), and then drank. I did the same, and so far as possible went through the same performance. I learned that they always make those signs when they drink together."

These peculiar customs remind one of similar ceremonies used by the Aztecs and Mayas of Mexico when, about the same time, they were first visited by the Spaniards. After the meal was over, Pigafetta employed himself in writing down as many words of his host's language as he could obtain; but not much time was allowed him, for soon the supper-hour arrived and the feasting was resumed. Two large dishes were brought in, one full of boiled rice, and the other of pork with its gravy. "We ate with the same signs and ceremonies as before, after which we went to the king's 'palace,' which was built like a hay-loft, set up high from the ground on great posts, and was thatched with banana and palm leaves. To reach the banquet-hall it was necessary to ascend by means of ladders, and once there the king made us sit down, on a bamboo mat, with our feet drawn up like tailors.

"After a long delay, a platter of broiled fish was brought in, also green ginger and wine. The king's eldest son, who was the prince, sat down near us, and then two platters of fish and rice were brought, so that we might also eat with him. We were already full to repletion, and my companion became intoxicated as the result of so much drinking. The torches now burned low, with flickering light, and the king made us a sign that he was going to sleep. He left the prince with us, and we slept with him on a bamboo mat with pillows made of leaves.

"With the dawn of day came the king, who took me by the hand and led me to the place where we had supper, in order to partake of refreshments before the boat came for us. As we departed the king kissed our hands, and we kissed his, in token of the mutual joy we felt. One of his brothers, the king of another island [Mindanao], and three men went with us, whom our captain-general kept to dine aboard the flag-ship."

This king informed Magellan that in his island gold, in nuggets the size of eggs and walnuts, was very abundant; that his plate was all of gold, and the adornments of his palace were chiefly of the precious metal. He had, indeed, something to show in proof of his boasting, for the haft and scabbard of the dagger he wore at his side were of gold, and in his ears were massive golden earrings. "He likewise had three spots of gold on every tooth in his head, and his teeth appeared as if bound with gold. He was perfumed with storax and benzoin; tawney he was, and tattooed all over his body."

"According to their custom he was grandly decked out, and the finest-looking man we had seen among these people. His hair was raven black and hung to his shoulders. On his head he wore a covering of silk, and around his waist a cotton cloth which covered his legs down to his knees." His name and title combined Pigafetta gives as Raia [Rajah] Siaui, and his brother was the Raia Colambu. He had been hunting in the latter's island, as was his custom when desirous of meeting his brother, and was then returning to his own districts, which were Butuan and Calagan, in northeastern Mindanao.

The dress, customs, and ornaments of the people met by Magellan in the Philippines were similar to those in vogue to-day, and the Malays had the same disgusting habit of chewing the betel-nut, as have their successors in the islands. As the following Sunday was Easter, and also the anniversary of the mutiny which he had suppressed in the harbor of San Julian, Magellan resolved to celebrate the double event in a manner to impress the king and all his people. He sent his chaplain ashore, with Enrique, the interpreter, to inform the king of his intention to perform a religious ceremonial, but not to dine with him, or visit.

The king at once consented to the landing of the soldiers, fifty of whom, without armor, but carrying their muskets and side-arms. paraded on the beach in front of the palace. Before they reached the shore six cannon had been fired "as a sign of peace," and the two native kings embraced Magellan ardently. With a king on either side, he marched his men to a place selected for the ceremonies, and before they commenced sprinkled his royal companions with musk water, at which they were well pleased. They even kissed the cross, when it was elevated, and with' clasped hands fell on their knees and worshipped this, the first, Christian symbol they had ever seen.

They did this probably from deference to their guests, and not because of any real sentiment of religion, for when asked by Magellan whether they were Moros (Mahometans) or heathens, they made answer that they worshipped nothing, but that they raised their clasped hands and faces to the sky, and called their god by the name of Abba. "Thereat the captain-general was very glad, and, seeing that, the first king raised his hands to the sky and said that he wished it were possible for him to make the strangers see his love for him."

Magellan replied that he did not doubt his love, and to prove it he was going to ask of him a great favor. He desired permission to set up the cross they had brought on the summit of a hill overlooking the harbor, where it should be not only a sign of possession taken in the name of his dread sovereign, but as a token of amity between them. Magellan's real reason, doubtless, for the raising of the cross in such a conspicuous place, lay in the fact that such an act signified actual possession, and allegiance on the part of the natives to the king he served. But he veiled his real motives in the religious ceremony, and he told the kings, through the interpreter, "that he wished to set it up in that place for their benefit, for whenever any of our ships came they would know that we had been there by this cross, and would do nothing to displease them or harm their property. If any of their men were captured, they would be set free immediately, on that sign being shown; and it was necessary to place it on the highest hill or mountain, so that on seeing it every morning they might adore it; and if they did that, neither thunder, lightning, nor storms would harm them in the least. They thanked him heartily, and said they would do everything he wished most willingly."

Near the shore, and overlooking the harbor, rose a verdant, palm-dotted hill with a smooth and rounded crown. It was a site most fit for the erection of that holy symbol of Christianity, and there Magellan resolved to place it. With a host of natives in the van, breaking a path through the tangled tropical vegetation, and himself leading his fifty soldiers, he ascended the hill soon to be made sacred to the religion he professed. The two kings accompanied him, and while the trio stood apart, watching the proceedings with deep interest, the soldiers detailed for the purpose dug a deep hole and set the cross in position. Less than eight years previously, Balboa, on the isthmus of Darien, had marked with a cross the site from which he had first viewed the Pacific, and now it was Fernan Magellan's privilege, in these far-distant isles of the same ocean, to confirm his sovereign's possession of that vast body of water which he was the first to cross.

A gilded crown surmounted the cross, and both together typified the spiritual and material sovereignty which Magellan, as a faithful subject of his king and true soldier of the faith, was desirous to extend and to confirm. After it was in position, he reverently knelt at the foot of the cross, and with his soldiers, also on bended knees, listened to the invocation by his chaplain. The moment it was finished a musket was fired, as a signal to the ships, and their cannon boomed a salutation. Volleys of musketry responded from the hill, and, amid dense clouds of smoke, the party descended to the plain at its base, where the soldiers performed martial evolutions and fought a sham battle, greatly to the edification of all the people, who were loath to allow their guests to depart.

"Converting" the Natives


The island in which Magellan met the two kings, and where he first planted the cross, is called Mazana  by Pigafetta, but is now known as Limasaua, and lies off the southern end of Leyte. It is scarcely more than ten miles square in area, but, small as it is, proved sufficiently attractive to the voyage-weary sailors to detain them for the space of a week. "It lies in latitude of nine and two-thirds degrees towards the arctic pole," says the chevalier, "and in longitude one hundred and sixty-two degrees from the line of demarcation." That "line of demarcation," of course, is the one set down by the treaty of Tordesillas, in 1494, separating the Spanish and Portuguese halves of the world. Magellan was exceedingly anxious to prove that the Moluccas lay on the Spanish side of the line, and likewise the Philippines—as these islands were afterwards called."

Inquiring for larger and richer islands, at which he might carry on a profitable trade, the captain-general was told that one of the wealthiest of these was Zubu (now Zebu, Sebu, or Cebu), and that there he might obtain the gold and spices he desired, in exchange for his stock of goods in the ships. When he asked for pilots to Zebu, he was told that none was to be had for love or for money, but that if he would wait till the kings had harvested their rice crops one or both of them would go with him gladly. So Magellan not only waited two days, but sent men to aid the farmer kings in gathering their crops. But the kings were so hospitable to the laborers that all, including themselves, were overcome, it is said, by the liquor they drank, and a further delay ensued. A final departure was made on the fourth day of April, and, while some uncertainty exists as to the points previously touched at by Magellan, all doubts are removed from the time the royal pilots took the helms, as they steered a straight course for the island of Zebu.

Many wonders were seen on the way, the observer whose narrative we are following tells us, among the most astonishing being the "flying-foxes," or frugiverous bats, "as large as eagles," the flesh of which, he says, tasted like chicken. Besides turtle-doves and parrots, which were in swarms on certain islands, he mentions those wonderful birds, the megapodes, or "mound birds," which lay their large eggs in a mound of decaying vegetation, by the heat of which they are hatched. The voyage must have been a leisurely one to have enabled the observer to note these objects by the way; but the port of Zebu was reached on April 7th and entered with flying colors.

Let what then occurred be related by one who was present. "On approaching the city," he says, "the captain-general ordered the ships to fling out their banners. The sails were lowered, as if for battle, and all the artillery was discharged—an action which caused great fear to those people. The captain-general then sent a foster-son of his as ambassador to the King of Sebu, with the interpreter. When they reached the city they found a vast crowd of people gathered about the king and trembling in fear from the noise of the lombards. The interpreter informed them that it was our custom, when entering a strange port, to discharge all our cannon, not only as a sign of peace and friendship, but in honor of the king. They were then reassured, but the king remarked that this was a strange custom, and then asked what it was our captain wanted. The interpreter replied that his master was the greatest captain in the world, and was going to the Moluccas by a new route he had discovered; but that he had digressed on the way, in order to visit the King of Cebu, because of the good report received from the King of Mazana.

"The king told him he was come in good time, but that it was the custom for all strange ships that entered his ports to pay him tribute, and that it was but four days since a junk which had come from Siam, laden with slaves and gold, had done so. In proof of this statement he pointed to the merchant in charge of the junk, who was present at the time.

"The interpreter told the king that since his master was the captain of so great a monarch, he did not pay tribute to any seignior in the world, but on the contrary exacted tribute from others. If the king wished for peace, he would have peace; but if war instead, then war it should be!

"Thereupon the Moro merchant said to his majesty, 'Cata Raia chita'—that is to say: 'Look well, sire; for these men are the same as those who have conquered Calicut, Malacca, and all Greater India. If they are treated well, they will give good treatment in return; but if evil, then evil treatment, and worse, as they have done to Calicut and Malacca.'

"Understanding all this, the interpreter said to the king that his master's king was more powerful even than the King of Portugal—that he was the ruler over Spain, and emperor of other countries, and that if he did not care to be his friend, next time would be sent so many men that they would destroy him. This answer being translated to the king, he answered that he would deliberate with his council. Then he had refreshments served, of many dishes, contained in porcelain platters, besides several jars of wine; and after our men had partaken, they returned and told us everything."

The upshot of long negotiations which ensued was that the King of Cebu sent Magellan a drop of blood from his right arm, with the request that he do the same for him, in token of blood-brothership. This was done, and thus amicable relations were at once established. The nephew of the king, a prince of pleasing manners and countenance, was despatched to treat with the captain-general on board his ship. He was received with great honors, and seated beside Magellan in a red velvet chair, while his companions, the Governor of Cebu, the constable, and eight chiefs, reclined on mats spread upon the deck.

Asked if they were empowered to make peace, they answered they were. Then the captain-general, who was ever seeking opportunities to further the cause of religion, made an impassioned speech upon the delights of peace, and declared himself an apostle of the Prince of Peace, whose humble servant even was his great and mighty king. He told them of God, who made the sky, the earth, the sea, and "all that in them is." He informed them that all people living were descended from Adam and Eve, our first parents, and what seemed very strange and new to them—that every one has an immortal spirit. The good are to be rewarded, he said, and the bad condemned to the pit of fire everlasting.

These simple children of nature seemed greatly impressed by Magellan's eloquence, and by the arguments he advanced in proof that his religion was the "only true one," and that they should promptly embrace it for the good of their souls. They requested him to allow at least two of his company to remain among them, in order to teach them the true faith; but Magellan replied that he could not do so then, though he had with him a priest of the most high God who, if they would consent to become Christians, would baptize them in His name. They answered that they would first speak to their king, and that then, doubtless, they would all become Christians, "at which words we all wept for joy," says the chevalier.

"The captain-general told them that they should not become Christians from fear, or to please us, merely, but of their own free wills; and that he would not cause any displeasure to those who wished to live according to their own law; but that the Christians would be better regarded and treated than the others! Then all cried out, with one voice, that they were not becoming Christians through fear, or to please us, but of their own free will. Then the captain-general told them that if they became Christians he would leave with them a suit of armor—for so his king had commanded him to do; and he further assured them that if they became Christians the devil would no longer appear to them, except in the last moment at their death.

"They said that they could not answer the beautiful words he had spoken, but that they placed themselves in his hands, and that he should consider them as his most faithful servants. Then our captain embraced them, weeping, and clasping one of the prince's hands, and one of the King of Mazana's, between his own, he said to them that, by his faith in God and to his sovereign, the emperor, and by the habit of Santiago, which he wore, he promised to give them perpetual peace with the King of Spain."

Refreshments were served, and presents exchanged, the prince offering Magellan a few baskets of rice, some swine, fowls, and goats, with apologies for the meanness of the gift. The captain-general replied that the essence of the gift was the spirit that prompted it, and then gave the prince a red cap, a web of linen, some strings of beads, and an elegant drinking-cup of gilded glass, besides minor presents to his followers. To the King of Cebu he sent, by the hand of the prince, a gorgeous robe of silk, "made in Turkish style "—that is, long and flowing; a fine red cap, or fez, two of the gilded drinking-cups, and a great many strings of beads, in a beautiful silver dish.

When the much-vaunted "king" was finally discovered to Magellan he was found to be a short and squatty individual, exceedingly corpulent, and with face and body hideously tattooed. He was seated on a palm-mat spread upon the ground, and his costume was so scant as scarcely to merit mention, consisting of a silk kerchief round his head, a breech-clout, and a necklace of precious stones. In his ears were rings of gold set with valuable gems. He was eating turtle eggs from porcelain dishes, and drinking palm-wine from an earthen jar by means of small hollow reeds, like straws. He looked up from his repast as the strangers entered the pavilion in which he sat, glanced at the gifts, kissed them, and then ordered eggs and wine for his guests. Not a word would he listen to until they had finished the repast, when he wiped his lips, clapped his hands for a servant to remove the empty jars and dishes, and announced himself as ready for business.

He listened attentively to what his nephew said about the white man's religion, and assented to his proposition to embrace it. Then he clapped his hands again, and four young girls appeared, who danced gracefully before the king and his guests, while playing upon sweet-toned Chinese gongs. After this recreation had been indulged in, his majesty declared he must sup, and invited the party to remain; but finally accepted their excuses and allowed them to return to the ship. There they found that two of the sailors had died, and again seeking audience of the king, secured his permission to consecrate a certain space in the centre of the town as a cemetery, and inter their comrades therein.

The funeral ceremonies were made as elaborate as possible, and the king, who was duly impressed, promised to become a Christian on the following Sunday. When the holy day arrived a platform was erected in the consecrated square, decorated with palm-leaves and silken hangings, and here Magellan and the King of Cebu met by appointment. The captain-general came ashore with an escort of forty musketeers, two of whom only were in complete armor, and when he landed on Cebu soil all the cannon of the fleet were fired in salute. The king and Magellan embraced, then went together to the platform in the square, where they seated themselves in two chairs, one lined with red velvet for the captain-general, and the other in violet for his majesty. The fat and jolly little king felt rather ill at ease, seated in state as he was, upon a platform surrounded by foreign soldiers; but he tried to take the situation seriously, and listened as attentively as he could, while Magellan discoursed upon the advantages of adopting his religion and allying with his sovereign.

He answered, through the interpreter, that he very much desired to become a Christian, but there were some chiefs under him who objected. They were very bad men, he said, and, what was more to the point, they were so strong that he feared he could not bring them to reason.

"Send for them," commanded Magellan, "and I will reason with them." They were sent for, and came, though reluctantly, when the captain-general told them that unless they promised allegiance to their king and to his king he would have them killed. He threatened to enforce compliance with fire and with sword, and they, though sullenly, consented to his proposition.

Magellan thus made himself an ally of the King of Cebu, whom he took under his protection, and this act was soon to cost him his life. He could not foresee, however, the terrible consequences of this misstep, though his reason should have warned him against mingling in the strifes of these people. He could not understand them, for they were entirely new to him, and they had had their feuds and petty wars for generations. Neither could he estimate their strength nor their valor, both which were great, and were to prove more than he could prevail against, with all his ships and soldiers. One of the native chiefs, afterwards repenting of his adherence, was proceeded against by Magellan, whose soldiers first plundered his village and then burned it to the ground, leaving behind a cross, the duplicate of one which was erected in the consecrated square of the capital.

The king was adjured to worship the cross which Magellan caused to be planted in the square, and he promised. He was told that he must also burn all his idols, of which he had a great number, most hideous to behold. Some were of wood, some of clay. Those made of wood were hollowed out in the back, and had large faces with two tusks on each side the mouth, like the wild boar, which they were evidently intended to represent. In fact, these people annually consecrated their swine in a strange ceremony performed by two old women, says Pigafetta. As this ceremony illustrates the barbarous nature of the Cebuites, we have no hesitation in quoting it entire.

They first went around the city beating gongs, and carrying two standards made of palm bark. When they had assembled a crowd in the great square, they spread cloths upon the ground and made obeisance to the sun. The hog to be killed and consecrated was bound and placed upon the cloths. Then one of the old women blew a trumpet of bamboo, which she carried; the other bound upon her head a pair of horns, in imitation of those the devil is supposed to wear, and, dancing and blowing her trumpet, called out to the sun. After dancing and trumpeting about the doomed animal for half an hour they were presented with a cup of wine, from which one of them sprinkled the hog in the region of his heart. Then a lance was handed her, which, after much brandishing, was suddenly thrust through the beast from one side to the other, inflicting a mortal wound.

Dipping the tips of their trumpets in the blood that flowed forth in a stream, the old hags went around the circle of by-standers, marking each one on the forehead; then, by means of fire, the hair was removed from the skin, the carcass was cut up, and all the females present invited to partake.

The king's idols were very dear to him, and he could hardly make up his mind to their destruction; but finally he said that one of his nephews was sick unto death, and if he offended his gods, he certainly would die. Magellan told him to burn his idols, believe in Christ, have the sick man baptized, and he would soon recover. If he did not, they could take his head, which he offered as a pledge. A procession was formed from the great square to the house of the afflicted man, where he was found in such a serious condition as to be able neither to speak nor move. He and all his family were baptized, including his two wives and ten daughters, and then, when asked by Magellan how he felt, he replied that, by the grace of the Christian's God, he felt very well indeed!

This miracle—for thus it was considered—was the means of overcoming all the scruples of his majesty, who then consented to be baptized, and repeated after Magellan that he would ever prove faithful to his majesty the King of Spain, swearing thereto before an image of the Virgin Mary, and in the presence of his followers. His queen, also, was baptized, and called Juana, after the mother of Charles I., while the king received the baptismal name of Don Carlos, after the emperor himself. His nephew, the prince, was called Don Fernando; the King of Mazana, John; and the Moro from Siam, who seems to have been converted from Mohammedanism, Christopher. In all, more than eight hundred people were "converted" to Christianity and were baptized, in a single morning, after which the ships discharged their lombards, the musketeers their arquebuses, and the king and the captain-general embraced each other like brothers.

Death of Magellan


The Queen of Cebu was young and beautiful, one who saw her states, though her lips and teeth were stained deep red from the chewing of betel-nut. Unlike her royal consort, the fat and jovial king, she wore clothing sufficient to drape her figure decently, though her maids of honor "were all naked and barefoot, except for a girdle of palm-leaves, and all with hair flowing free." These maidens accompanied the queen in order to carry her triple crowns made of palm-straw, like a tiara, of which she displayed several, besides the one she wore on her head.

Following the example of the king, she abandoned her idols entirely, but begged Magellan to give her a carved wooden image of Jesus, which he did gladly, telling her to keep it in their place. He then sprayed her with perfumes, and also her women, at which they were exceedingly delighted. That the queen treasured her little wooden image, and after her those who inherited her possessions, may be inferred from the fact that it was found in Cebu more than forty years afterwards, greatly reverenced by the natives, who ascribed many miracles to its presence. Thus the place in which it was found received the name of the "City of Jesus," and a monastery was founded there, in which the image was preserved.

Magellan did not confine himself to the imparting of religious instruction only, but sent a large stock of goods ashore and opened a shop, or market, for barter. Trade was good from the first, and the people were ready to fight for such articles as they were in need of, giving gold for bronze and iron, almost weight for weight. For the less valuable things they gave in barter goats and kids, pigs, fowl, and rice, so that the ships of the fleet once more abounded in plenty. These people were very fair in their dealings, for "they lived in justice, and gave good weights and measures." Their scale was an extremely simple contrivance, consisting of a spear-shaft suspended in the middle by a cord, with a bronze basin hung by three strings to one arm, and a piece of lead, to balance it, on the other. So lavish were they of their gold and precious stones, that Magellan issued an order forbidding promiscuous trading by the sailors, as "there were some who would have given all they had for a small amount of gold, and would soon have spoiled the trade forever."

The pious example of Magellan, in erecting and then humbly worshipping the holy cross; his tenderness and generosity towards the king and the queen, and his restraint in the matter of trade, with his eminent fairness towards everybody in all things, aroused the enthusiasm of the natives to the highest pitch. They brought their idols and laid them at his feet—such as had not been previously destroyed—and the king's nephew who had been restored to health by Magellan's intervention finding an image which had been secreted in his hut by an old woman of his family, became so enraged that he chastised her severely. He then led the way to the shore, where were several temples erected in honor of the idols, which he and his followers tore down and destroyed, shouting at the top of their voices, "Castilia! Castilia!" as the Tlascalans of Mexico had done only a short time before, when they marched into Tezcoco with the timber for Cortes's flotilla.

The man who led this mob was the prince's brother, "the bravest and wisest man in the island," so he must have reflected the universal sentiment; yet only a short time elapsed—a few days, in fact—before he was seen conducting the chaplain of the fleet to his house, with intent to slay him! These natives of Cebu were either the most susceptible, or the most treacherous, of any people on earth, judging them by what soon after took place, for while they were wrought upon by the visit of the Spaniards to offer them the warmest of welcomes, to accept and adopt their religion—falling at their feet in worship, from the highest to the lowest—they revolted, recanted, and accomplished their downfall as quickly as they had raised them to the dizzy heights of adulation.

It was the captain-general's religious enthusiasm that tempted him to court disaster, by mingling in the affairs of the natives. He felt, indeed, that it was his duty to bring all the tribes of the great archipelago under the influence of his church and religion. He had accomplished the conversion and apparent subjugation of Cebu's people so quickly, and had, to all appearances so firmly established Spanish rule and the Catholic faith, that he anticipated no more trouble in dealing with other islands and natives of the Philippines. When, therefore, he received a message from a sub-chief in the island of Mactan, named Zula, informing him that the rajah, Chilapulapu, was oppressing him severely and breathing defiance against the King of Spain, Magellan considered it his duty to proceed at once to Mactan. There was situated, it is thought, the village he had destroyed by fire, and Chilapulapu may have been the ruler whose rights he had infringed in so doing, for he could not understand, he said, "why he should do homage to the potentate of Cebu, whom he had so long held under his thumb." Zula had sent a small gift to Magellan, accompanied by a message stating that, owing to the oppressions of the rajah, he could do no better, and requesting the assistance of a boat-load of soldiers. With only a boat-load, he said, combined with his own gallant warriors, he could overcome the rajah and conquer the island for Magellan. In listening to the request of this sub-chief, Fernan Magellan allowed his reason to be subjected to religious fanaticism; his desire to promote the general welfare of the islanders to be overcome by a stronger desire for conquest. He submitted the proposition to his officers, and they, without dissent, were decidedly opposed, especially stubborn being Juan Serrao, veteran of many fights in the East, and a man of tried courage. As usual, however, the captain-general had determined upon his course before calling a council, and, though all were opposed, he had resolved to push matters to a conclusion.

The little island of Mactan lies off the harbor of Cebu, only a few miles distant, and its invasion was not a matter of difficulty—provided no opposition were offered. Shortly before midnight of April 26th, Magellan's expedition against Mactan set forth: sixty Spaniards, and about a thousand natives, commanded by the King of Cebu. With this expedition went also the chief historian of Magellan's voyage, Antonio Pigafetta, to whom we are already indebted for many details; and as a description of events by an eye-witness should be more vivid than one by a narrator nearly four hundred years removed from the time of their occurrence, we will let him tell the story.

"The captain-general decided to go thither with three boat-loads of soldiers. We begged him repeatedly not to go himself, but he, like a good shepherd, refused to abandon his flock. At midnight, sixty men of us set out, armed with corselets and helmets, together with the Christianized king, the prince, and some of the chief men, in twenty or thirty balanguais.

"We reached Mactan three hours before dawn. The captain did not wish to fight then, but sent a message to the natives by the converted Moro, to the effect that if they would obey the King of Spain, recognize the sovereignty of Cebu, and pay us tribute, he would be their friend; but that if they wished otherwise, they should wait to see what our lances could do!

"They replied that while we had lances, they also had them, made of bamboo, with points hardened in the fire. They requested us not to attack them then, but to wait till after daylight, as they expected reinforcements, with which they could meet us on more nearly equal terms. This was a ruse, intended to decoy us at once to the attack, for they had dug a long, deep ditch, faced with sharp stakes, and our destruction would have been sure.

"The coral reefs, by which Mactan was surrounded, prevented the approach of the boats near shore, and when morning came forty-nine of us leaped into the water up to our thighs, and walked through it for more than two crossbow-flights before we could reach dry land. Eleven men remained behind to guard the boats and serve the lombards." Magellan himself led the way, with naked sword in hand, and regardless of the missiles of the foe, which soon filled the air around him. The dawn of that morning, Saturday, April 27, 1521, was the last which Magellan was to witness on earth; but no premonition of disaster oppressed him then. He and his men struggled through the water to shore, and formed upon the sands. Opposed to them were thousands of islanders, who, forming in three divisions, so as to attack the Spaniards front and flank, charged down upon them furiously, brandishing their spears, and yelling like mad.

"When our captain saw that, he formed us into two divisions, and thus did we begin the fight. The musketeers and cross-bow-men shot from a distance for about half an hour, but uselessly, as their shots either fell short, or passed merely through the shields with which the natives were armed. Seeing this, our captain cried to them: 'Cease, cease firing!' but his order was not heeded. When, therefore, the natives saw that we were shooting our muskets to no purpose, they redoubled their shouts and their efforts to break into our ranks. They leaped hither and thither, to defeat the aim of the musketeers, at the same time covering themselves with their shields. They shot so many arrows at us, and hurled so many bamboo spears tipped with iron at our captain-general, besides fire-hardened stakes, stones, and mud, that we could scarcely defend ourselves.

"Seeing that, our captain-general sent some men to burn their houses, in order to terrify them; but when they saw them burning, they were only roused to greater fury. Twenty or thirty houses were burned; but two of our men were killed, of the party that made the attempt. So many of them now charged upon us that they pressed us close, and shot our captain through the right leg with a poisoned arrow. On that account he ordered us to retire slowly, but the men, being unaccustomed to defeat, were terrified at such an order, and most of them took to flight immediately—all except six or eight of us, who remained by our captain. Seeing that our vulnerable spots were the legs, as they were exposed, the natives shot only at them, and so many were the spears and stones they hurled at us, that we could offer no resistance.

"The mortars in the boats could not aid us, being too far away; thus we were in a terrible plight. So we continued to retire, for more than a good cross-bow flight from the shore, always fighting up to our knees in the water. The natives continued to pursue us, and picking up the same spears, hurled them at us again and again. Recognizing our captain, so many turned upon him that they succeeded in knocking off his helmet twice; but he ever withstood them, like the good knight he was, and at last we made a stand for more than an hour, refusing to go any farther.

"Finally, an Indian cast a bamboo spear into our captain's face; but he set upon and killed him instantly with his lance, which he left in his body. Then, attempting to draw his sword, he was unable to do so, because of a wound in the arm by a bamboo spear. This act was the sealing of his fate, because, when the natives saw that, they all hurled themselves upon him. One of them gashed his leg with a huge scimitar, which caused him to fall forward upon his face, when they all rushed upon him with their iron-tipped bamboo spears and their scimitars, and thus they ran him through—our mirror of chivalry, our light, our comforter, and true guide—and killed him. Thereupon, beholding him dead, we, wounded, retreated as best we could to the boats, which were already pulling off. Had it not been for our gallant captain, not a single one of us would have been saved, for while he was so desperately fighting, the others had time to retire to the boats. While the savages were most closely pressing him, in sooth, he several times turned round towards us, to see if we were all in safety, as if his protracted resistance was to cover our retreat."

Thus fell Fernan Magellan, with his face to the foe, sacrificing himself for the safety of his comrades. That he threw away his life for no good cause, having gone to his death through his own stubbornness, does not detract from the heroism of his latest hours, which was nothing less than sublime. He was brave and unselfish to the very last, as we might have expected of the Fernan Magellan who rescued his friend Serrao from the Malays; who remained with his men on that wreck in the Indian Ocean whence all his brother officers had fled.

"Among other virtues which he possessed," says Pigafetta, he was more constant than ever any one else, in the greatest of adversities; he endured hunger better than all others; and more accurately than any other man in the world did he understand sea-charts and navigation. And that this is the truth was seen openly, for who else had so much natural talent, or the boldness, to learn how to circumnavigate the world, as he attempted, and had almost accomplished?"

When the King of Cebu heard of Magellan's death, he is said to have shed tears, and lamented that he could not have saved him by going to his rescue. He had been expressly forbidden to mingle in the fight, as the captain-general wished to show him what Spaniards could do, thus he and his thousand men remained idle spectators of the battle, though by participation they might have turned the scale in favor of their allies. With all the fighting, only twelve of the allies were killed, and fifteen of the enemy, so it appears that the hero of the Indian Seas, of the great strait, and the Pacific, perished in an avoidable skirmish with barbarians whom he had no reason whatever to notice.

Monument to Magellan


The Spaniards, many years ago, raised a monument on or near the spot where Magellan fell—or, at least, on the site of the village he attacked and burned in the island of Mactan; but more lasting memorials exist, in the strait that bears his name, and those celestial nebulm—the Magellanic clouds—that illumine at night the sky of the southern hemisphere. As to monuments and memorials, or posthumous fame, Fernan Magellan seems to have concerned himself but little, if at all, thus presenting quite a contrast to the great Genoese, Columbus, with whom, having achieved a similar success, we naturally compare him. He was nobler and more generous than Columbus, less fanatical, quite as persistent, and in nautical knowledge probably surpassed him. Whether or not we subscribe to the assertion of a learned writer, that he "is undoubtedly the greatest of navigators, either ancient or modern," we cannot but admit that the world owes him a mighty debt of gratitude.

Treachery and Massacre


In the afternoon of the day in which Magellan was killed a message was sent to the victorious Mactans, imploring them to surrender his body to the Spaniards for burial. They were offered as much merchandise as they desired in exchange; but the chief, Chilapulapu, returned the haughty reply that they would not give him up for all the riches in the world, as he intended to keep him as a memorial of their triumph. At the same time, it is said, he sent a messenger to the King of Cebu, threatening him with death, and all his people, unless he joined with him and his brother chiefs in slaughtering the Spaniards and seizing their vessels.

The Malays are prone to treachery, and it is possible that Cebu's ruler had already planned the dark deed which he later executed; but another story relates that it was suggested by Magellan's interpreter, Enrique, who, having received a slight wound in the fight, was nursing it in his bunk, when Duarte Barbosa approached him with a demand to go ashore with a message for the king. He addressed him at first gently, having a feeling of sympathy on account of his wound; but when the interpreter answered that he was no longer a slave, his master being dead, Barbosa burst forth: "What? No longer a slave, and Dona Beatrix, my sister, and the Admiral's widow, still living? Yet a slave art thou, ingrate, and if thou dost not do as I command thee, a sound flogging wilt thou get!"

In sullen silence, Enrique arose and received the message, then leaped into a skiff and rowed ashore. Instead of going to assist the men in removing the goods from the warehouse, however, as he had been directed, after delivering the message to the king he lingered at the palace, afraid to return. He had, in fact, rendered his return to the fleet impossible, for he had told the king that the Spaniards intended to take him captive, after first destroying the town; but that, while they were still unsuspicious, he might forestall them by a massacre.

Immediately upon the arrival at Cebu of the boats containing the survivors of that ill-fated expedition against Mactan, a council was called on board the flag-ship, for the election of a captain-general. No one man could well replace their lamented commander, so a dual command was decided upon, Duarte Barbosa and Joao Serrao being chosen. The first was Magellan's brother-in-law, and the second his most intimate friend, while both had seen service in India, with Almeida and Albuquerque. These veteran's decided to vacate their dangerous position at once, and as a first step ordered the goods they had sent on shore for barter to be returned to the fleet. They knew that their prestige was gone, that their days of usefulness at Cebu were over, so nothing was to be gained by remaining. Three days were thus employed and in putting the ships in order for departure.

Meanwhile, the treacherous King of Cebu had matured his plans, and on the morning of the 1st of May, which was Wednesday, he sent word to Barbosa that some jewels which he had promised to collect as a present to the King of Spain, were ready for delivery. In celebration of the event he had prepared a feast, to which he invited all the officials of the fleet, and as many of the crew as chose to come. Barbosa and Serrao consulted together, and finally agreed to accept the invitation; though the latter, from his long experience with the islanders, was at first suspicious. Accompanied by twenty-seven others, they were rowed to the beach, where the king and a multitude of his subjects awaited them.

They were received with shouts of welcome, and at once escorted in the direction of the palace, the people seemingly wild with joy. As they were moving slowly along, the chaplain of the fleet, Pedro de Valderrama, was seized by the king's nephew, and urged against his will to go with him to his hut. He probably desired the distinction of killing the priest with his own hand and in his own house; but his action attracted the attention of Joao Carvalho, the pilot, who twitched Espinosa, the alguacil, by the sleeve and said: "See that, Gonzalo! It gives me suspicions. Let us drop out, and return to the ship. We shall not be missed, neither will we miss much by losing the feast!"

The two succeeded in worming their way through the throng and reached the shore, where they took a boat for the Trinidad. They had scarcely arrived when a great commotion ashore attracted their attention, and looking towards the land they saw their comrades surrounded by clamorous natives, who, with spear and kris, were stabbing promiscuously. One by one they fell, fighting desperately to the last, until there was left only Captain Serrao, whom the natives dragged to the shore, in order to barter his life for cannon and other things they had hoped to gain by surprising the fleet.

The caution and watchfulness of Carvalho alone prevented them from plundering the ships, as he hove up anchor at the first sign of disturbance, and, running abreast the town, poured into it several broadsides. The Victoria  and the Concepcion  followed suit, and then all sailed out of the bay towards the open sea, without an attempt at the rescue of Serrao, who stood on the shore, whither he had been dragged by his captors, vainly imploring assistance. He was wounded and bleeding, he was the only survivor of the party he and Barbosa had led to its doom, yet his shipmate and boon companion, Carvalho, refused to send a boat ashore for his rescue! At first he wept and implored, while his captors, with daggers at his throat, awaited the response from the ship; but as it became apparent that Carvalho was abandoning him to be murdered in cold blood, he raised a bleeding hand to Heaven and invoked curses upon that comrade, his compadre, who could do a thing so base and cowardly. "I pray God," he cried, "that He may demand my soul of thee, Juan Carvalho, at the last great day of judgment!"

"The imprecation ended in a cry of despair, as his ferocious captors bore him to the ground, where they stabbed him to death with their daggers. Speechless from terror, and seemingly incapable of action, the cowardly sailors on board the fleet saw their former friends and shipmates massacred. They also witnessed, as they were borne to safety from the harbor, a great crowd of fanatical natives engaged in tearing down the cross that had been raised so short a time before in the consecrated square. The recantation of Cebu's king and his subjects was complete, for they promptly returned to the worship of their idols, and the only reminder of the religion they had so transiently professed was the carven image of our Saviour (already mentioned) which Magellan had presented to the queen.

Twenty-seven valiant Spaniards and Portuguese were slain in that massacre, comprised in the list of dead being three captains of the fleet's vessels, a pilot, two notaries, a priest, a gunner, a cooper, common seamen, servants, and sobresalientes, or supernumeraries. All were deeply lamented, of course, but there were two in particular, Barbosa and Serrao, who were regarded as an irreparable loss to the fleet. Duarte, or Edward, Barbosa, was the son of Don Diego, alcaide of the arsenal at Seville. He was born in Lisbon, and at an early age went to the Indies, where, as clerk in a "factory" at Cananor, he became so proficient in the Malabar language that he was appointed commissioner to negotiate a treaty with the Zamorin of Calicut.

Returning to Portugal, and then going to Seville with his father, Duarte Barbosa wrote an account of his travels which, though called "a most valuable contribution to early Oriental affairs," was not published until nearly three hundred years after it first appeared in manuscript—Lisbon, 1813. As a brother of Beatrix Barbosa, whom Magellan married, he was said to have been appointed sobresaliente on board the Trinidad  through favoritism; but he amply proved his capacity on several occasions, notably at San Julian, where he retook the Victoria  from the mutineers. He was then appointed captain of that vessel, as such ably aiding Magellan, and after his death rising to joint command of the Trinidad. He was killed by a dagger-thrust in the breast.

Captain Joao Serrao was probably the ablest man in the fleet, hardly excepting Magellan himself. As pilot and navigator, he had served under Vasco da Gama (who made him captain of a ship), also under Almeida and Albuquerque, and at the battle of Cananor fought by the side of Magellan, whose desperate valor was equalled only by his own. Having served beneath the same banner in the East, Magellan and Serrao, with their recollection of battles fought and hardships endured together, were deeply attached to each other. Serrao's services to the captain-general were inestimable, first as captain and pilot of the Santiago, then as commander of the Concepcion, and all the time as a devoted adherent. He endeavored to dissuade his stubborn friend from attacking the natives of Mactan, and if he had listened to his advice, Magellan would not have met with untimely death at the very verge of the sea surrounding the Spice Islands.

"We heard of the Moluccas at Cebu, before the death of the captain-general," says Pigafetta; and but for the Mactan expedition, Fernan Magellan might have lived to see them. As it was, through his negligence he not only lost his own life, but indirectly brought about the loss of others, when, deprived of their sagacious head, the officials of the fleet unwisely accepted the invitation to that fatal banquet.

Respecting the death of Serrao, an eye-witness says: "As soon as the men in the ships saw the slaughter, they hoisted the anchors and tried to set sail. At that juncture, the savages brought Juan Serrao, one of those whom they desired to ransom, and asked two guns, and two bahars  of copper for him. Serrao told them to take him to the ship and he would give them what they asked; but they insisted that those things be taken ashore. And the men on the ship, fearing another act of treachery, set sail and abandoned that man there, and nothing more was ever heard of him."

Despite his treachery to Serrao, the wretch whom fortune had placed in command of the flag-ship, Joao Carvalho, was confirmed as captain-general of the fleet. It is claimed by his enemies that it was owing to his desire to acquire supreme command that he so brutally sailed away and left poor Serrao to his fate. Three vessels then comprised the armada, and this small fleet was still further reduced, after the narrow channel between Cebu and Bohol had been passed, by the burning of the Concepcion. This vessel was found to be leaking badly, and as all the ships were then short-handed, owing to the loss of so many men, her contents and crew were divided between the Trinidad  and Victoria. These two were all that remained, the first week in May, 1521, of the gallant fleet which had set sail from Seville nineteen months before, for the Santiago's  bones were bleaching on the coast of Patagonia, the San Antonio  had deserted her companions in the Strait of Magellan, and the Concepcion  was burned to the water's edge off the island of Bohol in the Philippines.

That same week in which the Concepcion  was burned and abandoned, the San Antonio  and her guilty crew arrived at Seville, and promulgated the false statements anent Fernan Magellan, whose death, in the far-distant Philippines, had occurred just ten days previously. By the defection of the San Antonio, the fight at Mactan, and the massacre in Cebu, the total force in the fleet had been reduced to less than one hundred and twenty men, for, in round numbers, at least eighty had returned to Spain, and seventy had died from starvation, fevers, and violence. So it was with its original force reduced by more than one-half, and the number of its ships by three-fifths, that the expedition finally left the Philippines, still in pursuit of the "Spiceries." It touched at the island of Mindanao, coasted the promontory of Zamboanga, and then stood across the Sulu Sea for Palawan, or Paragua Island, arriving on its east coast with less than a week's provisions remaining in the ships.

Palawan, the wandering Argonauts ascertained, was far out of their course, but it was a land "flowing with milk and honey"—or, in other words, abounding in pigs and poultry, goats, rice, fruits, and sugar-cane. They found there "black men, like those of Ethiopia"—the diminutive Negritos; but the King of Palawan was a very tall and imposing individual—or, at least, he seemed so by comparison with the little black men, who did not average five feet in height. To the northward of Palawan lie Mindoro and Luzon, "where six or eight junks of the Chinese go yearly," says Pigafetta, who, in common with his companions, either landed at or heard mentioned most of the large islands in the Philippines.

Palawan, or Paragua, "we called the land of promise," he continues, "because we suffered great hunger before we found it. The king made peace with us by gashing himself slightly in the breast with one of our knives, and with the blood that issued touching the tip of his tongue and his forehead, in token of the truest peace, and we did the same." The people wore no clothing, and were peaceable, but possessed a formidable weapon in the poisoned arrow, which they projected with great force and accuracy through bamboo blow-pipes. With these blow-pipes and poisoned arrows the natives shot beautiful birds, high up in the great forest trees, the plumage of which they used for decorative purposes. They were a loose and easy-going people, whose chief pleasure consisted in cock-fights, without which they held no feast or festival day to be complete. They regarded their fighting-cocks with veneration, and never ate the flesh of one, no matter how hungry they were.

In the port of Palawan a negro was found who had been in the Moluccas, where he was baptized as a Christian, he said, and where he had learned some Portuguese words. He promised to pilot the fleet to those islands, and there was rejoicing on board, as may be imagined; for not only had Magellan overshot the Moluccas by nearly fifteen degrees, in laying his course across the Pacific, but ever since the departure from Cebu his leaderless companions had been aimlessly cruising about, without a guide to direct them. But the negro from the Moluccas did not keep his engagement, and as, when on the point of sailing, a Moro vessel was captured which had come from Borneo, its pilots were impressed to guide them to this the largest island in the world.

Carvalho and his pilots had heard of Borneo, for it had then been known to the Portuguese three or four years; but none of them had ever been there. They knew nothing of its civilization, and viewed with wonder the tokens of it as the island was approached. Three great proas came out to meet them as the harbor of its capital was neared, each proa decorated in gold, and flying a blue-and-white banner surmounted with peacock feathers. Beneath the banners sat groups of musicians, beating gongs and drums; and in this manner, preceded by stately proas, and to the sound of martial music, the ships entered the beautiful harbor of Brunei, in Borneo. As soon as the ships had anchored, a fleet of proas came out to take the passengers ashore, where, to their astonishment, they found a troop of richly caparisoned elephants awaiting them. After they had timorously mounted the beasts, a procession was formed which set out for the sultan's palace, preceded by ten men carrying presents in porcelain jars covered with silk. The streets of Brunei were filled with half-naked warriors bearing swords, shields, spears, and cutlasses, while the great hall of the palace contained hundreds of soldiers clad in cloth-of-gold, with daggers on their thighs adorned with pearls and precious stones.

The sultan was invisible to the strangers, and they were compelled to converse with him through a "speaking-tube"; but he consented to admire their presents, and sent them to their rooms delighted with his graciousness. There, for the first time in many months, they slept on cotton mattresses, "whose lining was of taffeta, and the sheets of Cambaia." This unwonted luxury caused them to sleep till late in the morning, when they were regaled at breakfast with capons, veal, peacocks, and fish, washed down with wine of rice, called arrack, which they drank from dainty cups the size of an egg. They returned to the sea-shore as they had come, on elephant-back, and each man with his hands full of gifts from the sultan.

The city of Brunei was built after the fashion of the ancient lake-dwellers' towns, mainly on piles, above the placid waters of a great bay, with waterways for boats, instead of streets; but the sultan's palace was on dry land. In the river beyond the bay were anchored fleets of war-proas, manned by fierce-looking Malays, which had been constantly increasing in number since the arrival of the ships. Carvalho and Espinosa had been watching them suspiciously several days, for many of them had taken position between the ships and the sea. One morning, in the last week of July, two hundred or more of these proas suddenly hove up their anchors and started to surround the fleet. No sooner had they done so, than the commanders met them with a discharge of their batteries, then set sail and stood out of the harbor. Many proas were shattered or overturned, and in open water outside the harbor a royal junk was captured which was commanded by a prince of Luzon as captain-general in Borneo's service. He was then returning from a plundering expedition and laden with spoils. In exchange for a large portion of his treasure, it is said, Captain Carvalho gave him his liberty, but he retained as captives three beautiful females whom the prince had captured and was taking as a present to his queen.

Natives of Luzon


The crafty Carvalho was speedily punished for his dereliction from duty, as, by allowing the prince to go free in exchange for gold, he was prevented from redeeming two of his men who, in the haste of departure, had been left ashore at Brunei. One of these was his own son by an Indian woman of Brazil; yet he left him without any apparent compunctions, and probably never heard of him more.

It was a long descent from Magellan to Carvalho as commander, and even his countrymen on board the ship could not endure him longer; so they deposed him, sometime during the voyage from Borneo to the Moluccas. They elected Espinosa, the alguacil, commander-in-chief, and Juan Sebastian del Cano captain of the Victoria. Carvalho soon sank out of sight, as he was, after all, a man of no great capacity, and met his end in an island of the Moluccas, February 14, 1522, Espinosa, as his successor on the Trinidad, soon proved himself inefficient; but he retained command, in spite of his defects, until he had brought the gallant flag-ship to a watery grave.

The Spiceries at Last


It would be a pleasure to tarry, with the amusing and loquacious Chevalier Pigafetta as guide and companion, on the coast of wonderful Borneo; but we must not lose sight of the real object we have in mind—the route to the Spice Islands. The explorers we are following allowed themselves to be diverted too easily from their course; first by rumors of pearls as big as hen's eggs, and "so round that they would not stand still on a table," a pair of which pearls were somewhere on the very sea they were sailing, in a junk bound for Borneo, as a present to its sultan.

They pursued and overhauled junk after junk, but all to no purpose, and in their devious wanderings found themselves back again on the coast of Mindanao, which they reached by way of the Sulu Archipelago. The Sultan of Sulu was the original possessor of the pearls, and he owned the richest fisheries in those seas; but, he told the seekers for the Spice Islands, those particular pearls had been taken from him by pirates from Borneo, and he knew not where they were. As for the Spice Islands, however, they were southeast of his capital; ten degrees they must sail, first through the Celebes Sea, then into that of the Moluccas, where they would find the islands Ternate and Tidor, with others, that produced nutmegs, cloves and cinnamon.

This information was confirmed by the captain of a piratical proa, which they attacked and captured, between Sulu and Mindanao. They slew seven of his crew, and they put him in irons, so that he was in despair; but when he learned that they were in search of the Spiceries, he offered to pilot them there, provided they gave him his liberty and his proa to command again. Most gladly they promised, for their provisions were failing once more, and after sailing hither and thither so many months, on a quest which it seemed might be endless, they desired rest and refreshment.

Then said the captain of the piratical proa: "Lo, I can take ye there, for I have friends in those islands whom I have visited oft. Among them one of your countrymen, Francisco Serrao, who was my friend, but now is no more, for the King of Tidor caused him to be poisoned." Then indeed they rejoiced—though their joy was tinctured with sadness, to learn of the passing away of that gallant Portuguese, Serrao. Upon close questioning of the pirate captain, it was found that he had been murdered the very week that Magellan, his most intimate friend, and Joao Serrao, his brother, met death by violence at Mactan and Cebu.

Francisco Serrao, it will be recalled, was wrecked on one of the Moluccas, in the year 1511, while in the King of Portugal's service. He gained the confidence of a native ruler, the King of Ternate, whom he enriched at the expense of the King of Tidor; whose beautiful daughter, also, Serrao captured and presented to his liege lord. Though ten years had passed since that event, the King of Tidor held it in remembrance, and having lured him to his island, on a pretence of trading in spices, poisoned him, out of revenge.

Thus had perished the reckless soldier, Francisco Serrao, who, during at least seven or eight years of his residence in the Moluccas, had maintained an occasional correspondence with his dearest friend Fernan Magellan. To him, more than to any other mortal, Magellan was indebted for the idea of reaching the Spice Islands by sailing westward from Africa, and for information concerning their resources. Francisco Serrao, in fact, not only lighted the beacon-flame that guided Magellan and beckoned him on, but fed that flame for years, in the hope of bringing his friend to him at last. He probably knew of the expedition commanded by Magellan, as the King of Portugal had despatched an armada to the Spice Islands for the purpose of intercepting and destroying it. Only a few months more of life to each, and these old comrades would have met; but the hand of grim Death stretched forth and dragged them both into the grave.

With the captive pirate at the helm of the flag-ship, the two ships in company sailed across the Celebes Sea—or, rather, they skirted it, dodging in and out among volcanic islands—until finally, in the morning of November 6, 1521, four lofty islands rose on the horizon. These, the pilot told them, were the Moluccas, of which they had been in search no less than twenty-six months, that being the time that had elapsed since they sailed out of Seville. Two pointed peaks, they said, the conical tips of insular volcanoes covered with a vegetation ravishingly beautiful to behold, were the cloud-wreathed crowns of Ternate and Tidor. As they approached them, fragrant gales were wafted to the fleet, and the weary sailors needed not to be told that here before them, at last, were the long-sought, long-looked-for Islands of Spices!

"Three hours before sunset of Friday, November 8th," says Pigafetta, "we entered the harbor of an island called Tidor, and anchoring near the shore, in twenty fathoms of water, fired off all our artillery as a salute to its king. Next day the said king came to the ships in a proa, and circled about them once. He was seated under a silk awning; in front of him was one of his sons, with the royal sceptre, and a person on each side with a gilded casket and a gold jar, containing betel-nuts and water. The king said to us we were welcome, and that he had dreamt some time before that we were coming; for he was an astrologer, and his name was Almanzor."

In short, the new-comers received the King of Tidor as Magellan had received the Prince of Cebu. The red-velvet chair of state was brought out and sat on deck, he was clothed in a robe of yellow silk, and presented with such articles as beads, knives, mirrors, drinking-cups, webs of linen, bales of silk, the robe in which he was draped, and the chair of state he sat in.

So rejoiced were the commanders and crew at having arrived in these islands much desired, that they would have given the king whatever he wanted; but he himself begged them to desist, as he had nothing worthy, he said, to present them in exchange, for the acceptance of their king, unless, indeed, he sent himself! But he had cloves and cinnamon, and for these the ships had been laden with goods to barter many, many months before. The spices, King Almanzor informed his guests, were on the way to the coast, being products of the interior country, and especially of the mountain districts, where the fragrant groves covered hills and vales alike.

So anxious were the Spaniards to please this king of the Spiceries that they presented him with the three beautiful females taken from the Prince of Luzon, for his harem, and as he was a "Moro," or Mohammedan, they killed all the pigs on board the two ships, in order not to offend his religious sensibilities. For the Spaniards knew quite well that they were trespassing upon a Portuguese dependency, and that this same sovereign was bound by treaty to trade exclusively with their rivals.

Only by suffrance, they realized, could they procure the precious spices they had come so far to find, and the sultan was treated as though he were, "in very truth, a king." This policy had its effect, as was soon shown by the stream of runners from the country, each one bearing on his back a bale of cloves. The trading then "waxed fast and furious," for not only the factors of the ships began purchasing, but all the common sailors as well, each man being entitled to a quintalada, or percentage of the lading-space aboard ship, ranging from eighty quintals allowed the captain-general, to a quintal and a half for a sailor.

Trading began on the night of November 24th, at which time the van-guard of the spice-army arrived. The sultan launched his proa, with its gorgeous banners and silken awnings, and,, with drums beating furiously, circled around the ships, which saluted him repeatedly by discharges of cannon, "for the joy that was felt over the arrival of the cloves." The first loads were scarcely aboard the ships, when the sultan invited officers and crews to join him at a banquet in his palace among the palm-trees on shore; but, with the horrors of Cebu's massacre in mind, the invitation was declined.

The king was not offended thereby, but continued friendly, for there was great rivalry between him and several other sovereigns for the trade and good-will of the Spaniards. In this merry war joined the kings of Ternate, of Batchian, and Gilolo, who vied with each other in their efforts to win the regard of the strangers. The first sent vast quantities of cloves, the second a slave for the Emperor of Spain, and the third skins of the bird-of-paradise, which had never been seen by Spaniards before. These skins were without feet, and this fact, together with their wonderfully beautiful plumage, led the Spaniards to believe what the natives told them: that the birds descended from paradise, where they lived with the souls of the saints; that they never touched the earth, but pursued a strictly aerial existence, ever floating about in the air, not even alighting in trees.

Judging from the regal state of these island sovereigns, they were kings, indeed, and more than semi-savage chiefs. The King of Tidor, for example, had a palace in town and another in the country, with a hundred wives in each. When he ate he sat alone, or with the wife he loved best, in a high gallery, with the other ninety-and-nine looking on in admiration. When he had finished, they were permitted to partake, or remove from the table what they liked best and eat it alone in their chambers. This king had eight sons and eighteen daughters; but the Moro kings of Gilolo surpassed him, for one rejoiced in the possession of six hundred children, and the other five hundred and twenty-five. At least, this is what the veracious Pigafetta tells us; though he probably received his information at second-hand.

While the Spaniards were so merrily lading their ships with the spices they had come so far to procure, and enjoying to the utmost the material delights of these paradisiacal isles, they were reminded occasionally, by rumors from Ternate, that they were yet in a position of peril. These islands were considered appanages of Portugal, because a Portuguese navigator had, first of all Europeans, visited and traded with them. One day there came over from Ternate a Portuguese named Lorosa, who informed them that not long before a fleet of armed traders under Don Tristan de Meneses had been there, looking for Magellan as well as for trade. The King of Portugal had also sent an armada to the Cape of Good Hope, in order to intercept that "renegade," as well as one to the coast of Patagonia; but all had failed to find and capture him. It was almost time, however, he said, for the fleet to return, and in case of its coming the Spaniards would certainly be in peril, for although Portugal and Spain were at peace as to the Iberian Peninsula, they were likely to war over their colonial possessions; and the coming armada was a strong one, far surpassing in tonnage, guns, and men that of the Spaniards.

This information caused the commanders such anxiety that they hurried forward the lading by night and by day. By mid-December both ships had so much cargo that no more could be taken without risk of over-lading, and the king was told that soon they must take their departure. He was both astonished and grieved, says Pigafetta, and immediately went to the flag-ship to express his displeasure.

"He said that we should not depart then, for that was not the season for sailing among those islands. However, if it was our determination to depart then, we should take back all our merchandise, else all the kings roundabout would say that the King of Tidor had received so many presents from so great a king, and had given nothing in return; and that, also, they would think we had departed only for fear of some treason, and would always call him a traitor. Then he had his Koran brought, and, first kissing it and placing it four or five times above his head, at the same time muttering certain words to himself, he declared in the presence of all that he swore, by Allah and the Koran, that he would always be faithful to the King of Spain. He spoke all those words nearly in tears, and in sympathy for him we promised to wait yet a few days longer; but not many, as the time had come to go."

While the sailors were awaiting orders to sail, they amused themselves by making ecursions into the country, where they found fruits and flowers in profusion. On one of these trips they met a strange procession consisting almost entirely of women, each woman nude to the waist, but with a silken skirt from the waist to the knees. On their heads they bore large wooden trays filled with food, as also jars of wine. Some of the men followed them and ascertained that they were taking the material for a banquet to the King of Batchian, then a guest of the King of Tidor, who received them sitting on a carpet, beneath a red-and-yellow canopy. Perceiving the Spaniards on their return, some of the women captured several, and refused to allow them their freedom until they had made presents to the company. When the king heard of this adventure, he warned the Spaniards against going abroad at night, as there were certain men in his island who, though headless, could see in the dark, and who rubbed a poisonous ointment on the faces of all strangers they met, from which they fell sick and died.

The inhabitants of the islands in general were so peace-loving and gentle, and the islands themselves so entrancingly sweet and attractive, with their various vegetation and delicious atmosphere, that the strangers felt more disposed to remain than to depart. But the time arrived when, as the winter monsoon had set in, they must take their leave of the hospitable king and his beautiful island. They had found the famed Spice Islands even more attractive than had been represented to Magellan; and many there were on board the ships who sighed at thought of him in his grave at Mactan, while they were enjoying what he had given his life for them to find.

New sails were bent to the ships; a banner adorned with the cross of St. James flew from the mast-head of the flag-ship; eighty barrels of water and heaps of sandal-wood cumbered the decks of each vessel; the holds were filled with fragrant spices, which, together with vast quantities of native provisions, had taken the place of tons of goods brought for barter. Everything was in readiness for departure on the morning of December 18th, with the pilots and navigators gathered around the helms, the seamen at their stations, and the kings of Tidor, Batchian, and Gilolo in their royal proas, with their musicians drumming and trumpeting like mad. A gun was fired as a signal, and the Victoria, first aweigh, stood out of the harbor and made for the outlet amid the coral reefs. Finding that she was not followed, her commander, Del Cano, ordered the sails aback, then, with some anxiety, the helm about, and returned to the harbor.

What was the consternation of the Victoria's  crew, to find their consort incapacitated from proceeding by a leak, through which the water rushed with great force. It was discovered by a sailor, at the time the order was given to "up anchor and away." A consultation was held, at which the commanders of the two ships and the King of Tidor were present, and it was soon decided that, the Trinidad  being unable to proceed in her leaky condition, the Victoria  should sail alone, in order to avail of the eastern monsoon, then at its height, and most favorable for the intended voyage to the Cape of Good Hope.

The most timorous of her crew, and the invalids, were put ashore, the cargo was lightened of some six thousand pounds of cloves, and then, after the disappointed sailors on board the flag-ship had written letters to their friends at home—few of whom were ever to see any of them again—the solitary vessel again turned her prow towards the harbor-mouth. The sailors wept and huzzaed, lombards woke the echoes of the mountains by repeated discharges, and the King of Tidor, with the prince, and his suite, waved the voyagers farewell from the Trinidad's  deck. Fifty-three Portuguese and Spaniards were left aboard the flag-ship, and forty-seven sailed in the departing Victoria—all that remained—a total of one hundred—of the number that had sailed from Seville.

While the fortunate Victoria  is threading the labyrinths of the Moluccan Archipelago, let us pause for a space beside the hapless Trinidad, and after glancing at her condition, follow her to the end of her career—which was short and sorrowful. The crew worked desperately at the pumps, during a day and a night, but were unable to gain on the leak. Then the King of Tidor sent for his most expert divers, who, with hair hanging loose, in order to locate the inrush of water, crawled along the keel beneath the bottom for hours, but without avail. The leak could not be discovered, and it was necessary to beach the vessel, discharge her cargo, and remove her artillery to shore, that she might be careened and thoroughly overhauled.

The king loaned Captain Espinosa two hundred carpenters, who worked by shifts for months, and finally, on April 6, 1522, the Trinidad  departed from Tidor, with the port of Panama as the destination her commander hoped to attain. Fifty-four men were left to her, and she carried almost a ton of cloves to each member of her crew—or fifty tons in all. But neither vessel, cargo, nor crew was to reach their destination, for, pursued by one misfortune after another, the voyage was made but haltingly. Even before the Ladrones were reached the provisions began to fail, and, as the alguacil-captain, Espinosa, persisted in sailing a northeasterly course, directly in the teeth of head-winds and howling gales, inevitable disaster was the result. The main-mast was lost in a gale of five-days' duration, and the ship compelled to turn about and limp backward to the Moluccas, where she arrived just in time to be captured by a Portuguese fleet under Antonio de Brito.

With seven ships and three hundred men at his command, De Brito did not long hesitate as to the course to pursue. He took possession of the crippled Trinidad, her log-books, nautical instruments, and cargo; but most of the cloves were lost in a gale while she was unlading, and in which she drifted ashore and went to pieces.

That was not quite the last of Magellan's unfortunate flag-ship, however, for her timbers were used in the construction of a Portuguese fort in Ternate. Her captain and crew were imprisoned, and treated with such barbarity that no less than fifty of them perished, only four surviving to reach their native land. Espinosa was one of the four who, wasted and wan, arrived in Spain early in 1525. They were graciously received by the emperor; but though Espinosa was granted a pension and a patent of nobility, he was denied payment for his services while a prisoner, on the ground that, being a prisoner, he could then render no service. And the victim of this unparalleled meanness on the part of Spain had endured sufferings untold in defence of her honor!

Voyage of the Victoria

December, 1521–September, 1522

The first vessel that accomplished the circumnavigation of the globe, was of only eighty-five tons capacity, and smaller than the average coasting-craft in American waters to-day. She was next to the smallest in the fleet of five with which Magellan had set out, the Santiago  (which was wrecked on the Patagonian coast), having been ten tons her inferior. We now know the fate of the others: that the largest returned to Spain from the Strait; that the second, which was the flag-ship, went to pieces during a gale in the Spice Islands; and the third was burned in the Philippines.

We will now follow after the little Victoria, as she scuds before the spicy gales blowing from the Celebes, seeks to avoid the foam-crested breakers that encircle innumerable coral islands, and finally slips through the reef-guarded passages leading to the great Indian Ocean. She left Tidor, which is very nearly beneath the equator, on December 21st, and some time Christmas week passed between Xulla and Bouru, islands peopled by cannibals, but, aside from their savage inhabitants, veritable Edens of delight, with every kind of delicious fruit known to tropical regions.

The first week in January, 1522, found the solitary craft and her gallant crew seeking a clear-water opening among the numerous islands lying between Timor and Flores. On one of these a landing was made, for the vessel needed repairs, and fifteen days were spent in putting her in shape for the long stretch thence to the east coast of Africa. Ombay was the name of the island, the natives of which, says Pigafetta, were savage and bestial. They went naked, except when on the war-path, at which time the men wore goat and buffalo tails attached to their waists, ornamented with shells. They wore their hair done up on cane combs, and their beards wrapped in banana leaves and thrust into tubes of bamboo—a "most ridiculous sight," says the Chevalier, who also calls them the ugliest people who live in the Indies.

These may have been the ugliest, but he heard of others, from an old pilot who had come from Tidor, that' surpassed them in grotesque appearance, for they were, he said, only a cubit in height, and had ears as long as themselves. They went entirely naked, ran swiftly, and lived in caves underground, where they slept at night, using one ear as a bed and the other as a coverlet! Their place of residence was one of the Aru islands; but the voyagers did not visit it, owing to adverse currents and shoals, and thus the pilot's story could not be verified.

At the north end of Timor, an island more than three hundred miles in length, the voyagers landed to secure provisions. "Inasmuch as we had but few things," says Pigafetta, "and hunger was constraining us, we retained in the ship a native chief, who, for fear lest we kill him, immediately sent for and gave us six buffaloes, five goats, and two swine. For thus had we placed the condition of his ransom." This chief and his people were heathen, but they knew the value of the precious sandal-wood which their island produced in abundance, and to trade in which came junks from as far as Luzon in the Philippines. When they went to cut the sandal-wood, our chronicler observes, the devil was wont to appear to them in various forms, and tell them that if they needed anything they had only to ask for it. This apparition always made them ill, but still they continued to cut the sandal-wood, though only at certain periods of the moon, as otherwise it would not be good.

Voyage of the Victoria


The stories told by Pigafetta at this period of his voyage were mostly obtained from the several pilots taken on board at different islands, and hence their variety. The Victoria  left Tidor with sixty men, all told, forty-seven of whom were Europeans, and thirteen natives, including the pilots. These were exchanged for others as the voyage proceeded: at Xulla, Bouro, Ombay, and finally at Timor, where a grizzled old Malay from Sumatra took the helm for that long run across the Indian Ocean. Setting sail from the southwestern tip of Timor, on February 11th, 1522, the voyage of vastness was actually begun. Then ensued days, weeks, and months of monotonous sailing, during which there appeared no speck of sail or land to greet the weary seamen. Then it was, after having written up his notes of the Philippines and the Spice Islands, that Pigafetta, at loss for new material, cultivated the acquaintance of the old pilot, and from him obtained some wonderful stories, indeed. Here follows one of them:

"Our oldest pilot told us that in an island called Acoloro, which lies below Java Major, there are found no persons but women, who never marry, and if any men go to that island of theirs, they kill them—if they are able to do so.

"He also told me that there is found a very huge tree, in which live birds called garada, so large that they capture and carry elephants and buffaloes to their nests in that tree. No junk or other craft can approach to within three or four leagues of that place of the tree, because of the great whirlpools of water round about it. The first time anything was learned of that tree was from a little boy, who was in a junk which was wrecked in the whirlpool, and somehow was cast up alive on the shore. He climbed into the tree without being discovered, where he hid beneath the wing of one of those birds when it was asleep. Next morning the bird flew over to the main and seized a buffalo, when the boy came out from under his wing as best he could, and thus the story was learned from him."

Tales no less marvellous the veteran told him of China and the farther Indies, then but little known. "Six different classes of people," he said, "inhabited the coast of India Major. The Nairi are the chiefs, and the Panichali are the towns-people, which two classes never mix together; the Iranai gather the palm-wine and figs; the Pangilini are the sailors; the Macurai are the fishermen; the Poleai are the farmers and harvest the rice. These last always live in the country, although they enter the city at times. When anything is given them it is laid on the ground, and they take it. When they go through the streets they call out 'Po, po, poi'—that is, 'Beware of me!' Now it happened, as we were told; that a Nair once had the misfortune to be touched by a Polea, for which he immediately had the latter killed, so that he might erase that disgrace."

In this manner: garnering information for future generations to read, hundreds of years after he had passed away, the industrious Pigafetta passed the lagging hours and days, weeks, and even months, building a monument to himself and to his former commander which may be termed imperishable. Another, at least, on board the Victoria, won by that voyage a reputation which has outlasted centuries and still is great. This was Juan Sebastian del Cano, who, placed in command by mere circumstance, after Magellan, Barbosa, and Serrao had been killed, and Carvalho deposed, proved himself a navigator of no mean capacity. As captain of the Concepcion  he had not previously been prominent, except in the mutiny at Port Julian, when he conducted himself discreditably; but as master of the Victoria  he won the immortal honor of navigating his ship from the Moluccas to Spain, thus completing the first recorded circumnavigation of the globe.

In the Indian Ocean he was sailing uncharted waters, though they had first been ploughed by Vasco da Gama, twenty-five years before. But the east coast and the west coast of Africa were by this time well known by their landmarks, so that when Cape Agulhas was sighted, on May 18th, Del Cano and his pilots knew that the dreaded Cape of Storms was not far away. They had erred both in latitude and longitude; but they finally passed the Cape of Good Hope in safety, though in doing so the ship lost her foretopmast, and sprung her fore-yard. They had voyaged from the equator to latitude forty degrees south, and had ranged through the seasons, from torrid to temperate; now they must creep up again, towards and beyond the equator, nearly eighty degrees.

Slowly and painfully they crawled along the west coast of Africa, counting one by one the degrees, going from cold to heat again, and suffering dreadfully. Twenty-one of their number died from exposure and privation, and were thrown overboard. Some of these were Indians, but most were white men. When they were cast into the sea, says Pigafetta, "the Christians went to the bottom face upward, but the Indians face downward"—though this may have been a mere notion of the Chevalier.

On the other side of Africa, when off Mozambique, the crew were so enfeebled from famine and disease they seriously thought of making for that Portuguese colony; but they held on three months longer, until Cape Verde was reached, when they could endure no more. Frequent stopping for repairs to the ship detained them, scurvy and famine brought them to death's door; but at last the equator was crossed (June 8th), and a month later they reached Santiago, of the Cape Verde Islands.

It might be thought that these heroes of the greatest voyage ever undertaken, having endured to the limit of human nature, and finding themselves compelled to put in at a Christian port, would have been received with open arms; but such was not to be their reception. They knew the Portuguese for despicable villains, whose greed and envy would incite them to arrest any one whom they suspected of having trespassed upon their territory, and so Del Cano called a consultation.

"Necessity compels, as ye know," he said to his officers, "else would I go on. Now, what excuse can we make—what story can we tell, that these jealous varlets will believe?"

"Let us tell them that we have come from America," said one. "And that we lost our foretopmast crossing the line," said another; and this was the tale told by the sailors who were sent ashore for provisions, while the ship lay off and outside the harbor. The story was believed, and two boat-loads of rice were obtained. That amount might last them to Spain, with economy; but it were better to have enough, Del Cano said, after having suffered from famine so long, so the boat was sent in again. This time it did not come back, and when the ship entered the harbor cautiously, to inquire as to the reason, several caravels were seen making preparations to meet her, their crews hastily hoisting sails and anchors, while the quays near which they were lying were in tumult. No further evidence was needed to tell the fate of the crew, one of whom, in fact, had excited suspicion by boasting, when drinking in a wine-shop, of their valuable cargo of cloves. All sail was spread at once, and, leaving the hapless thirteen (who comprised the boat's crew), in the hands of their enemies, the eighteen survivors aboard the Victoria  scurried off as fast as the wind could carry them.

It was at Cape Verde that the captain and pilots learned, to their great astonishment, that they had lost a day on the voyage. The men who first went ashore were charged to ask what day it was, and were told it was Thursday; though by the reckoning on board it was Wednesday. They were greatly puzzled, and not until the matter was later submitted to a "great philosopher and astronomer, a man of singular learning," was it explained to the satisfaction of all. "We could not see how we had made a mistake," says the conscientious Pigafetta, "for, as I had always kept my health, I had set down every day without interruption. However, as was told us later, it was no error; but, as the voyage had been made continually towards the west, and we had returned to the same place as does the sun, we had made that gain of twenty-four hours, as is clearly seen."

It was not so clearly seen at the time, and thus became a theme of discussion during the remainder of the voyage, which was uneventful, though it consumed nearly two months more. The ship was exceedingly foul, and sailed so slowly that the provisions were at low ebb again when, on September 6th, the coast of Spain was sighted, near Cadiz, and at evening the harbor of San Lucar was entered. Two days later, the Victoria  tied up at the mole in Seville, on the Guadalquivir, where she was boarded by excited thousands, and welcomed by repeated peals of artillery. The eighteen survivors were regarded with awe as well as with pity and tenderness, for they had been considered as lost, long months before, and their advent was as if the ocean depths had opened and given them up. They were overwhelmed with attentions, and invitations showered upon them to homes of high and low—from the bereaved relatives of their comrades who had died, and from those impelled merely by curiosity to see and converse with men who had performed the wonderful voyage around the globe.

But, before accepting the hospitality of Seville, the men had a vow to perform, and all who were able to walk marched barefoot, clad only in their shirts, and carrying candles in their hands, to the sacred shrine of St. Mary of Victory, after whom their gallant ship had been named. Then they dispersed, to become the guests of Seville for a space; to tell the stories of their hardships once and again, then to fall out of sight and be forgotten. In the flush of enthusiasm, however, they were taken to visit the emperor, who received them at court, (together with the thirteen left at Cape Verde, who had been sent to Spain in a ship returning from India.) They were promised many favors, but few of them received any rewards for their sufferings; and on the contrary, some were compelled to bring suit for payment of their just claims against the crown.

There was one, however, whose reward was thought to be more than commensurate for services rendered, and this one was the man whom fortune had made master of the Victoria—though another, far more skilled, was its navigator—Juan Sebastian del Cano. He was overwhelmed with honors: given a pension of five hundred ducats per annum, and granted a coat-of-arms, which was a spicy reminder, indeed, of the cargo he had brought safely into port, and which, terrible as the losses had been, more than compensated the total outlay on the fleet. The value of the cargo exceeded twenty-five thousand dollars, and as it consisted of spices, Del Cano's coat-of-arms contained two cinnamon sticks "in saltier proper," three nutmegs, and twelve cloves. Emblazoned on the shield, above the nutmegs, cinnamon, and cloves, was a golden castle. The crest above was a globe, with the motto: "Primus circumdesti me,"  and the "supporters" were two Malay kings, crowned, and holding in the exterior hand a spice-tree branch.

Juan Sebastian del Cano did not live long to enjoy his honors, for within three years after his return he sailed on another expedition, in Magellan's track, and died at sea, off the Pacific coast of South America.

The return of the Victoria's crew, of course, refuted the stories spread by Gomez and his comrades, sixteen months before, and set at liberty the unfortunate Mesquita, who had captained the San Antonio  when she was taken by the mutineers. For twenty-two months he had been a prisoner, first on board ship, where he was ironed and tortured, after having been poniarded, and then in the calaboose at Seville. He was released, but received no redress, nor were the authors of his misfortunes, the mutineers, ever punished for their conduct in rebelling against the king's authority, and in putting Magellan's expedition in jeopardy. On the contrary, they were, as Diego Barbosa, Magellan's father-in-law, bitterly complained to the king, "well received and treated at the king's expense, while the captain and others were imprisoned and deprived of all justice."

It would seem the basest ingratitude for us to forget the gentleman to whom we have been often indebted for material which has formed a portion of our history: the Chevalier Pigafetta—or Pagaphetta—as he sometimes signed himself. The last time we saw him he was marching in procession, with a candle in his hand, to the shrine of Victory. Leaving Seville, he says at the conclusion of his narrative, he went to Valladolid, where he presented to his "Sacred Majesty," Don Carlos, "neither gold nor silver, but things very highly esteemed by such a sovereign. Among other things, I gave him a book, written by my own hand, concerning all the matters that had occurred from day to day during the voyage." He then went to France, and later to Italy, where he established himself permanently, and where he died in 1534.

The expedition which Magellan had planned and commanded returned without one of his name, or one in any way related, on board the last surviving ship, for he and Duarte Barbosa had perished in the Philippines, and a cousin, Martin Magellan, died of starvation off the Cape of Good Hope, on the homeward voyage. Fernan Magellan's son Rodrigo died soon after his father was killed, and his wife, Dona Beatrix, after living in sorrow, from the tidings of his death, widowed and chastely," died of heart-break, six months before the survivors returned. Of those related to Magellan Who bade him God-speed at his departure from Seville, only the aged comendador, Diego Barbosa, remained to welcome back those survivors, as the last representative of his family.