47 Pages

In Nomine Dñi, Amen. In this Part is Related the Journey Which was Made from the Country of the Prester John to Portugal 1

On 28 April 1526, we set sail, the whole fleet together; it consisted of five sail, namely three royal galleons and two caravels. We reached the island of Camaram on 1 May, and there the wind failed us. We were there three days [waiting for it], and whilst waiting I remembered how we had buried there Duarte Galvam, the Ambassador who was sent to the Prester John by the King our lord. I was present at his death, and I went to his burial, and with the licentiate Pero Gomez Teixeira, who was then ouvidor, we marked the grave, so that if at any time any of his relations or friends came they might recognize it, and remove his bones to a Christian country if they wished. And I went [alone] with a slave of mine to where we had left him buried, and I ordered him to be dug up, and all his bones to be collected and put in order; but we did not find more than three teeth, 2 and I put them in a little box, and we brought his remains to the galleon Sam Liam, 3 in which I went, without anyone knowing of it except one Gaspar de Saa, factor of the said fleet, and who had been brought up in his household. As soon as we had got the said remains on board the galleon, the wind changed to a fore wind, and that hour we set sail, and this factor said to me: ‘Certainly, 473as Duarte Galvam was a good man and ended his days in the service of God, so God gives us a good wind for his sake/ And we had the same wind till 10 May, when we were off Adem, and already in the gulf, and the winter from India was facing us, and we facing it. The storm was so great that the second night after we entered it, what with the great darkness and the storm, we lost one another and could not see each other, nor did we know what course we were each following. This galleon Sam Liam, in which I went, had a large boat made fast astern with three cables, and in it was a cabin boy, French by nation, who steered it. On the fourth night that we passed in this winter storm, the sea was so wild and high that we all thought we should be lost; and at midnight a little before or after, all three cables of the boat broke, and the galleon gave so many and such great lurches, that we thought we should go to the bottom of the sea. The master of the galleon sounded his whistle and passed a paternoster through the ship from hand to hand for the soul of the cabin boy who was in the boat. On the following day an auction was held, that is, a valuation and sale of the pieces and things which the cabin boy had with him, and with them and a slave of his 120 pardaos were made. We sailed with this storm until we got to the strait of Ormuz, and on 28 May we reached the port of Mazquate, which belongs to the kingdom of Ormuz, and pays tribute to the King of Portugal our lord. There we found one of the caravels of our convoy and fleet, which gave an account of the storm which it had passed, and three days after that the other caravel, companion of the first, arrived; and the same day a galleon arrived, and each described its storm. Ten days after our arrival at this port of Mazquate, they saw tacking about on the sea the galleon Sam Donis, the flagship of the fleet, and she could not fetch the port: two Portuguese foists, which guarded the Strait at the port of Mazquate, went out to her, and as soon as they reached the galleon they turned back, and with great haste they took food and water to succour the galleon and her crew, who were lost with hunger and thirst, more with thirst than hunger. The foists passed the night there; and next day, in the early morning, all our boats and the town boats set out from the town to fetch 474the galleon, and they did bring her in and arrived with her in the port in the afternoon. Here they related the great distress and danger in which they found themselves, saying that they had run before the storm which caught them at the mouth of the Strait, and they went as far as the bay of Cambaia, from which they could not get out: and the Lord was pleased that the storm should not cease, whereby the sea was safe from enemies. They also said that for three days they had not eaten, from being short of water (s*c). They spoke of the great courage and compassion of Eitor da Silveira, Captain Major of this fleet, and they said that he was the first to leave off drinking, and that with tears in his eyes and a little water in his hand he went about distributing it among the sick: and after they found themselves in this distress, he did not sleep or go into his cabin any more, that it might not be supposed that he went to fill himself with water and was leaving the crew to suffer. They said, and it was the truth, that on the day when they sighted land and got help, there was not a single drop of water in the galleon, nor had either the sick or the sound tasted it: and that they had sighted the land and port that day miraculously, and we them; because they already despaired of their lives. I heard this from the Ambassadors, Dom Rodrigo de Lima who went to the Prester John, and Alicacanate, the Ambassador of the Prester, who is going to Portugal; and it was commonly said by all who came in the galleon. All the crew landed to refresh themselves and recover from the toils of the sea. We were a few days in this port of Mazquate, and from there our fleet sailed together, God be praised, and with us some of those foists which guard this port and strait. We went to the city of Ormuz, a fortress of the King our lord, and found there Lopo Vaz de Sampayo, Captain Major and Governor of the Indies for His Highness. When we reached the port, all the gentlemen and Captains of the ships, caravels, galleys, and foists, and all the other people, both from the fortress and the fleet and the company of the Captain, came out to receive us on the beach; and the Captain Major was on the beach in front of the fortress, and there they gave us our welcome. Then we went together to the church which is inside the fort, and there the Captain Major 475deigned to embrace the Ambassadors, and me with them, and some others of our embassy. Then we went each to his quarters. The following day we all came to hear mass and to speak to the Captain Major, and to give him a letter from the Prester John, which we had brought for Diogo Lopez de Sequeira, who had been Captain Major and Governor of the Indies, and who took us to the country of the Prester: and we gave the letter to Lopo Vaz de Sampajo, as he had succeeded to the said charge. Besides, we gave him a silk robe with five gold plates before and another five behind, and one on each shoulder, which in all made twelve. Each one was the size of the palm of the hand, and the Prester John sent it to Diogo Lopez. The Governor, Lopo Vaz de Sampaio, gave a reward of 200 pardaos to Dom Rodrigo de Lima, the Ambassador who had gone to the Prester, and another 200 to the Prester’s Ambassador, and to me he gave a reward of a hundred pardaos. Eitor da Sylveira stayed a few days at Ormuz, and then returned with his fleet to wait for the ships which come from Juda to Dio, and come out with the monsoon with which we came, and they pass the winter at Adem, and with the first wind make their voyage; and we stayed until we were sure that the winter had passed.