The First up the River of Amazons to Quito in Peru, and back again to Brazil, perform'd at the Command of the King of Spain.


The Second up the River of Plata, and thence by Land to the Mines of Potosi.


The Third from Cayenne into Guiana, in search of the Lake of Parima, reputed the richest Place in the World.


Done into English from the Originals, being the on­ly Accounts of those Parts hitherto extant.

The whole illustrated with Notes and Maps..

LONDON, Printed for S. Buckley at the Dolphin over against St. Dunstan's Church in Fleetstreet. 1698.


WHEN the Introduction was going into the Press, Ad­vice came from Lisbon by the way of Paris, That the Sieur de Ferolle, Governour of Cayenne, being informed that the Portuguez were building a Fort on the North-side of the River of Amazons, to secure a rich Silver Mine which they had discover'd there, sent notice to the Portuguez, that they had invaded the French King's Territories, and therefore desir'd 'em to retire, that River being the Limits of the two Nations; but the Portuguez refusing to quit their Enterprize, Monsieur de Ferolle march'd against them, and attack'd 'em with so much Success, that those who guarded the Mine and the Fort were killed, or put to flight. How this Contest between these two Nations will be decided, is uncertain; but this is certain, that whatever Europeans first possess themselves of the Isle of the Sun, and the Bosphore or Strait of the Amazone, will command the Entrance into, and Passage up that noble River, and secure the Trade of it to themselves.


THE following Relations discovering some of the richest Parts of the World, not yet planted by the Europeans, and others but little known, worthy the perusal of the Curi­ous, can hardly fail of a favourable Reception at this Juncture; for of all the Blessings of Peace, none appear more charming or profitable than Navigation and Commerce, especially to the English Nation, whose Genius is much bent upon Improvements at Sea, and Plantations abroad, which bring great Riches into the Kingdom, particularly those in America, where the Spaniards by their ill Conduct have given Opportunities to some of their Neighbours to put in for a share of the Wealth and Trade of that vast Tract of Land.

The frequent Sacking of their Towns and seizing of their Ships by the English, French, and Dutch, put Philip the Third upon searching out new ways of transporting the Treasures of Peru, Chili, and Granada into Spain; to which end (the Coasts about, and in the Gulph of Mexico being as well known as those in Europe) Orders were dispatched from the Court at Madrid to the Governours of Brazil and Peru to attempt the Navigation of the great River of AMAZONS, that if 'twere found practicable, the Gold, Silver, and other Merchandizes of Pe­ru and the adjacent Countries might be safely and commodiously sent down to Para to be put on board the Galleons, which would lie less expos'd there, than at Cartagena, Porto Belo, or Vera Cruz, the Soundings of the Mouth of that River being un­known, and dangerous to Strangers. What Essays [Page iv] were made pursuant to these Instructions, is best seen by the first Chapters of the ensuing Relation of F. Chr. d' Acugna, to which the Reader is referr'd, as the true Journal of the only Voyage upon, and Discovery of that noble River from the Source to the Mouth: 'twere needless to offer any other Recommen­dation of the Work, except some Account of the Author.

Christopher d' Acugna was born at Burgos in Spain, Anno 1597. and entred into the Society of Jesus at 15 Years of Age. After some Years spent in Study, he went into America, and was Rector of the Jesuits College at Cuence under the Jurisdiction of Quito, when Peter Texeira the Portuguez Gene­ral came thither from Para in Brazil up the River of Amazons. The Viceroy of Peru ordered our Author to embark with Texeira (who return'd by the same way he came) and to inform himself exactly in his Voyage of every thing that might enable him to give a satisfactory Account of the Amazone to the K. of Spain. Accordingly they departed from Quito Jan. 16. 1639. and arriv'd at Para Dec. 12. following. Thence he went into Spain, and presented to the King his Master an ample Relation of the said River; which was published at Madrid in 1641, and entitu­led * Nuevo descubrimiento del gran Rio de las Amazonas, in 4o. He was sent to Rome in Quality of Provincial; came back to Spain honoured with the Title of Qualificator of the Inquisition, return'd agen into the West-Indies, and was alive at Li­ma in 1675. according to Father Sotwel. 'Tis thought that the Revolutions of Portugal in 1641. [Page v] which occasion'd the Loss of all Brazil, and the Colo­ny of Para, at the Mouth of the River of Amazons from the Spaniards, were the Cause of this Relation being suppress'd both in Spain and America, lest being of no use to the Spaniards, the Portuguez might make too great Advantages of it: Thus the Copies of it became so scarce, that the Editor of the French Translation says, there was not one single Book any where to be had, except that the Translator (M. Gom­berville of the French Academy) made use of, and perhaps there might be another in the Vatican Libra­ry; for Philip the Fourth had taken all possible care to get and destroy most of the printed Copies in Eu­rope and the West-Indies.

In the Year 1655 the Count de Pagan, Master of the Artillery, presented to Mazarine Proposals for conquering and planting this great River; but the Cardinal being involv'd in Domestick Troubles, was not at leisure to push on the Enterprize, tho it had been first started by that eminent Minister himself. This Discourse of Monsieur de Pagan is extracted for the most part out of Acugna, and is a sort of Para­phrase upon him, full of Digressions, and not com­parable to the Original it self, which is more uniform and authentick, containing abundance of remarkable Observations, not mentioned by Pagan nor any other Copist whatsoever. The Cardinal was once resolv'd to plant five several Colonies; the first in the Isle of the Sun, to guard the best Entrance into the Mouth of the Amazone; the second on the Bosphore or Strait, to keep the Passage; the third on the Points of the Rio Negro; the fourth on the Zuanes near the Golden Mines; the last on the Mouth of the Marag­non, to watch over the Spanish Frontiers on that side [Page vi] of the Andes: This was the Plan of his Design. The many Difficulties of entring the Mouth, and getting into the true Channel of this River of A­mazons, have often discouraged the Spaniards, English, and Dutch from attempting to trade in it, whereas upon Practice and Experience it might prove as navigable as most of the great Rivers of the World, whose Mouths are generally encumbred either with Sands, Flats, Isles, or impetuous Currents, which after a few Trials become familiar. The way pro­pounded to the Cardinal was this. First shun the strong Currents, by passing aside into 2 Degrees of South Latitude; then steer up agen by the Coast of Brazil at 30 min. South Lat. double the Point of Zaparara, and sail to the South-west; after that follow the Coast of the Province of Para, and pass the Channel of the Isle of the Sun at 1 Deg. 15 Min. South Lat. and 26 Leagues from the main Sea; last­ly, sail Westward, leave the side of Para, and keep the same Latitude to gain the Bank-side of Curupa, and there enter into the best Road of this River at 2 deg. S. Lat. and 30 Leagues beyond Curupa, which is but 1 deg. 30 min. on the same side of the Line.

Since that time the French being Masters of the Isle of Cayenne (which they have fortified and cul­tivated) to the North of the Amazone, have not (nor any other Nation that we know of) planted any Countrey on this River, but have contented themselves with making Journeys into Guiana, particularly in search of the vast Lake of Parima, which the Spani­ards have long fancied to be* the richest Place in the World, calling it the Kingdom of Dorado, whither all the great Families of Peru retir'd, and built the [Page vii] Golden City of Manoa. What grounds the Spani­ards went upon in their Attempts to find out these Places at a mighty Expence of Blood and Treasure, will best appear by the following Travels of M. Grillet and Bechamel, who went beyond the suppos'd Lon­gitudes of these Places, and could not learn the least Tidings of them from any of the Indian Nations, tho the Circumference of the Lake alone is generally reckon'd to be above 1500 Miles. 'Tis true, some may object that this doth not wholly de­stroy the common Geography of that Country, and give this plausible Argument, that the simple innocent Indians are grown so extremely sensible of the cruel Dispositions of the Europeans, that they begin now to conceal industriously every thing from them, and lead them out of the way, lest they should fix in their Coun­try and exercise their Barbarities over them;* for by a modest Computation, the number of Americans murder'd in cold Blood exceeds that of the People now living in Europe. To this Journey a short Descripti­on of Guiana was thought fit to be annex'd, being drawn up by M. Gomberville out of Original Papers for the Instruction and Ʋse of Mareshal D'Estrade, Vice-roy of all the French Plantations in America. The Notes are from another hand, perhaps M. Villa­mont, who was pleas'd to divert himself with such sort of Papers.

It remains now that we give some Account of what Voyages have been made up the River De la Plata. In the Year 1512. Joannes Dias de Solis (and [Page viii] again in 1515.) was the first Discoverer of this Plate or Silver River, wherein he and most of his Relations spent their Lives and Estates. An. 1526. Sebastian Cabota, a Venetian by his Father, but born at Bristol in England, went above 120 Leagues up this River, and staid in it above 15 Months. An. 1527. Diego Garcias a Portuguez, made further Discoveries in it; but nothing more was done till nine Years after, when Pedro de Mendoza return'd with 12 Ships and 1000 Men. And about the Year 1540. * Alvarez Cabeca de Vacca went and peopled the Provinces to some purpose. At first they found much Gold and Silver, with infinite numbers of different Nations (soon lessened under the Tyranny and De­vastations of their new Masters) the Country prodi­giously fertile, the Rivers overflowing every Year upon the Stationary Rains, as the Amazone and Ore­noque in Guiana, and as the Nile and the Niger in Africa. Since then the Spaniards have been possest of this part of America, and no Strangers have pass'd up this River to Potosi to give us any exact Relation thereof; this of M. Acarete is the latest, and much more copious and particular than that of Martin del Barco, or the Dutch Journal translated from a Manuscript by J. de Laet in his Hist. Ind. besides, what is here related by Acarete of the Mines of Potosi is wholly new, and merits our notice. The way he went seems to be a shorter and a safer Passage to and from the Mines of Potosi than that usually practis'd by Arica, Lima, Panama and Porto-Belo, especially now the Boucaniers are so well ac­quainted with those Seas and Countries; but he has given a pretty good reason why the Spaniards don't open a Trade that way.


THE COURSE OF THE RIVER OF AMAZONS Described according to the Relation of F: Chr▪ d'Acugna by. Monr. Sanson Geographer in Ordinary to the French King London Printed for S. Buckley▪

A Relation of the Great River of AMAZONS in South-America.
Containing all the Particulars of Father Christopher d' Acugna's Voy­age, made at the Command of the King of Spain.
Taken from the Spanish Original of the said Chr. d' Acugna, Jesuit.

Of the Country in which the River of Ama­zons is situated. Of its Reputation, and of the first Discoveries the Spaniards made of it.

THE Spaniards were no sooner be­come Masters of that Part of America, which is now called Peru, but they extremely desir'd to make a Discovery of the great River of Amazons, which some Geographers through a vulgar Error have call'd the [Page 2] River of Maragnon. They were induc'd to attempt this not only by the Account they had receiv'd of the Fertility of the Soil, and of the Riches of the People a­long that famous River, but also because they had very good Reasons to believe that it took its Course from the West to the East, and that receiving all the Rivers that descend from the Mountains of Peru, it was a kind of Canal through which there was a Passage from the Southern to the Northern Sea. Upon these Conjec­tures some Persons undertook to go in search of this River, but to no purpose. Others afterward made the like Essay, but with no better Success. At length in the Year 1539. Gonzalles Pizarre being made Governor of the Province of Quito by the Marquess Francis Pizarre his Brother, who was Governor of Peru, put himself in an Equipage to go to his Government, and from thence to pass on to the Conquest of the Country of Cannelle. He got together two hundred Foot and a hundred Horse, partly at his own Charge, and partly at the Expence of some that accompanied him in this Expedition, which cost above fifty thousandA Castillan is about 5 s. 6 d. English. Castil­lans of Gold. Being arriv'd at Quito, he order'd all necessa­ry [Page 3] Provisions to be made for his Journey, took a great number of Indian Slaves to carry the Baggage, and set forward at the end of December in the Year 1539, with four hundred Spaniards and four thousand Indians. He order'd for the Subsistence of his Men four thousand Sheep, Cows, and Swine to be driven along with 'em; and taking his Course directly Northward, he enter'd into the Country of the Quixos, where the Con­quests of the Yncas of Peru ended. This Province is forty Leagues in length, and twenty in breadth; and was inhabited by a People that never us'd to dwell together in Towns or Villages like those of Peru, but liv'd in a straggling manner scatter'd up and down the Country.

The way Gonzalles Pizarre took in passing out of Quito, and the Difficulties he met with in his Journey.

THE March of our Adventurers was retarded, not only by the Oppositi­on they had from the People of the Coun­try, who disputed their Passage, but also [Page 4] by continual Rains and Earthquakes so violent, that many Houses were over­turn'd, and deep Breaches made in the Earth before 'em, together with such ter­rible Storms and Claps of Thunder, that any one but Gonzalles Pizarre would have abandon'd such an Enterprize as seem'd to be oppos'd both by Heaven and Earth. However he with his Men did not give over their March for all this bad Weather, but cross'd the Province of the Quixos, till they came to the foot of some high Mountains all cover'd with Snow, which make a part of those which the Spaniards call the Cordeliers, and which bound the Province of the Quixos on the North. Tho the Rains still continued they re­solv'd to pass over the Mountains, but were not far advanc'd before the Rain turn'd into a Snow so thick and cold, that many of the Indians were kill'd by it. The Spaniards were likely to have undergone the same fate, if they had continued their March as they began: They concluded that nothing but Expedition could save 'em from the Rigor of the Cold, and therefore left all the Cattle they had with them, and lighted themselves of the rest of their Provisions and Baggage, hoping they should find enough on t'other side of [Page 5] the Mountains. When they were got over them, they enter'd into a Valley call'd Zumaque, which is a hundred Leagues from Quito by the account of good Geo­graphers; there they found abundance of Provisions and Refreshments, and conti­nued there two Months to acquaint them­selves with the Country, and to see if they could make any advantage of it. But this Place not answering the great hopes they had conceiv'd of their Adven­ture, Pizarre parted from Zumaque with sixty good Souldiers to discover the Coun­try of Cannelle; but in pursuing the Course he had taken towards the North, he found the way so rough and mountainous, that he was constrain'd to change his Road; he therefore turn'd directly to the East, and after some few days march, en­ter'd into that famous Country call'd by the Inhabitants Cannelle, from certain great Trees, like Olive-Trees, that are call'd so in that Place.

The Countries near the River of Amazons discover'd by Gonzalles Pizarre.

HErrera the Spanish Historian says, Pizarre exercis'd the greatest Cru­elty imaginable on the Inhabitants of these Regions, insomuch that he gave Men to be eaten alive by his Dogs. This en­gag'd all the Country to put themselves in Arms against him, so that he was oblig'd to encamp himself as in an Ene­my's Country: And his Cruelties, toge­ther with the Despair he was in of ever being able to find what he was seeking after, had like to have put an end to his Enterprize at once. He was encamp'd on the Bank of a River, which swell'd so much in one Night, that if the Senti­nels, who perceiv'd the Water was apace getting ground of 'em, had not warn'd 'em of their Danger, they had been all drown'd; but at the Alarm they gave 'em they soon secur'd themselves by making towards the Cottages of the wild People, and Pizarre resolv'd to return to Zuma­que, not knowing what other course to [Page 7] take. From thence he proceeded again with all his Men, and after a March of four Leagues, he met with a great Vil­lage call'd Ampua, govern'd by a Cacique, and found a great number of the Inha­bitants in a posture of Defence expecting their Enemy. But there was another and a greater Obstacle in his way than this Cacique and all his Troops, and that was a River so wide and deep, that he could have no thoughts of venturing to swim over it. He could therefore find no bet­ter Expedient than to enter into a Treaty with the People of the Country, and to desire the help of their Canoos to cross this River. The Cacique receiv'd this Proposal with great Civility, offer'd 'em what they ask'd, and gave 'em as many of those little Boats as they desir'd, and Pizarre made 'em a return of a great ma­ny little Spanish Toys by way of Re­quital. This Cacique having receiv'd Ad­vice of the ill Treatment many of his Neighbours had receiv'd from the Spa­niards, thought of nothing more than how to get rid of them: And to deliver himself from the danger of the Compa­ny of such bad Guests, endeavour'd to make 'em believe there were great Riches to be found among the People that dwelt [Page 8] upon this River some days Journey lower. Pizarre both by his Actions, and by the Mouth of his Guides, who were his In­terpreters, return'd him Thanks for his Courtesy: but finding no appearance of those pretended Riches, he return'd to Zumaque, very much dissatisfied with his Expedition. However, he had too much Courage to return back to Quito just as he came; he had a mind therefore to at­tempt some great Exploit, and by the Discovery of some other Peru, to render himself as considerable as the Marquess of Pizarre his elder Brother: He open'd his Mind to Francis Oreillane, a Gentleman of Truxillo in Spain, who was come to join him in the Valley of Zumaque with fifty Troopers well appointed: He very much encourag'd his Design; and tho the Rainy Season was not yet past, that did not hinder him from advancing forward; he left his little Army at Zumaque, and having taken a hundred effective Soul­diers, and some Indians for Guides, and to carry Provisions, he march'd directly to the East.

The first News he receiv'd of this famous River, and of the Riches of the People that dwell near it.

EIther the Ignorance of his Guides, or the Hatred they bare him engaged him in a Country all full of Mountains, Forests and Torrents, so that he was ne­cessitated to make Ways where he found none, and to open himself a Passage through the Woods with Hatchets, where none had ever gone before. At length after many days March he pierc'd through as far as the Province of Coca. The Cacique of which Province came before him, and of­fer'd him all the Accommodations the Country afforded for his Refreshment. Gonzalles promis'd himself much from this kind Entertainment, and by the Assistance of his Guides enter'd into Conversation with the Cacique. He inform'd him that the Country through which he had pass'd, which was so full of Mountains, Forests and Brooks, was the only Passage he could have taken to come thither; that it was extremely difficult to get through it, but [Page 10] that if he were willing to embark on the River he saw before him, or to follow it by Land, he might assure himself, that along the Banks of another River much greater than this, he should find a Country a­bounding with all things, whose Inha­bitants were cover'd with Plates of Gold. There was no need of saying any thing more to Pizarre to incite him to any kind of Enterprize; who presently sent two of his Guides to Zumaque with Orders to his Officers to come and join him, who march'd immediately, and surmounting all the Dif­ficulties of the way, arriv'd much fatigued to the Town of Coca. Pizarre having rested 'em some few days, and after­wards put them in Battalia before the Cacique, who was much terrified at them; he amass'd almost all the Provisions of his whole Province to make a Present of them to Pizarre, that by this Magnifi­cence he might civilly acquit himself of his new Acquaintance, who was more impatient of his stay than the other; and the next Morning having filed his Troops along the River, he took his leave of the Cacique, presenting him with a fine Sword, and put himself at the head of his Cavalry, and followed the pleasant Course of the River. This good way [Page 11] did not last long, but they had Rivulets to swim over, must go up-hill and down-hill in uneven ways, and march forty three days without finding any Provision for his Troops, or any Fords or Canoos by which to pass the River.

The Discovery which Pizarre made of the River of Coca, and Oreillane's floating on this River by Pizarre's order, and so entering into the River of Amazons.

THis long March having mightily fatigued our Travellers, they were stop'd by a very surprizing sight: The River was press'd by two Rocks, one on each side its Passage, at no more than twenty foot distance from one another; and the Water going through this Strait, precipitated it self into a Valley, and made a Leap of two hundred Fathom. Here it was that Pizarre caus'd that fa­mous Bridg to be made for his Troops to pass over, which is so much boasted of by the Spanish Historians. But find­ing the Way not at all better on the other side, and their Provision growing [Page 12] more and more scarce every day, Pizarre resolv'd to make a Brigantine to carry by Water all his sick Men, Provisions, Baggage, and a hundred thousand Livres in Gold which they had got amongst 'em. This was no small Difficulty, but Industry and Necessity surmounted it; and the Vessel being finished, Pizarre em­bark'd all in it that hindred his March, and gave the Command of it to Francis Oreillane with fifty Souldiers, giving him express Order not to part far from him, but to come every Night to the Camp. He observ'd this Order exactly, till his General seeing all his Men were much pinch'd with Hunger, commanded him to go and seek some Provisions and Cot­tages, where his Men might be refreshed. Oreillane had no sooner receiv'd his Or­ders, but he launched out into the mid­dle of the River; and the Rapidity of the Stream carry'd him as fast as he could wish, for he made above a hundred Leagues in three days without the use of either Sails or Oars: The Current of Coca carried him into another River which was much larger, but nothing near so swift; he made his Observation of it one whole day, and seeing that the farther he went down, the more the Ri­ver [Page 13] widen'd, he did not doubt but this was that great River which had been so often and in vain sought after. The Joy he conceiv'd at his good Fortune so trans­ported him, that it made him quite forget himself; so that he thought of nothing but the Enjoyment of this good Suc­cess; and trampling upon his Duty, Oath, Fide­lity and Gratitude, he had now nothing in view but how to bring about the Enter­prize he was contriving.

Oreillane hoping for an extraordinary Success from the Discovery of this River; and being willing to have the sole Glory of it, leaves his General, and makes himself the Head of this Enterprize.

TO this end Oreillane perswaded his Companions that the Country whi­ther they were arriv'd, was not the same with that which their General had de­scribed; that it had not that great Plenty the Cacique had told him he should find at the joining of the two Rivers; that they must certainly float along farther to find that pleasant and fertile Coun­try, [Page 14] where they might store themselves with Provisions; and besides that, they all saw there was no likelihood of getting up this River again, which indeed they came down in three days, but, as he be­liev'd, could not make the same way back again in the space of a whole Year; that it was much more reasonable to wait for their Company on this new River, and that in the mean time it was necessa­ry for 'em to go seek Provisions. Thus concealing his Design, he hoisted up the Sails, and abandoning himself to the Wind, to his Fortune, and to his Reso­lution, he thought of nothing but of pur­suing the course of the River, till he should discover it quite to the Sea. His Companions were startled at the manner of his putting in execution the Design he had been proposing to 'em, and thought themselves oblig'd to tell him that he went beyond the Orders of his General; and that in the extreme want he was in, they ought to carry him the little Provi­sion they could find; and that he had given sufficient Evidence that he had some ill Design, because he had neglected to leave two Canoos at the Bank of the two Rivers, as the General had appointed him, for his Army to pass over in. These Re­monstrances [Page 15] were made to him chiefly by a Dominican Frier nam'd Gaspard de Car­vajal, and by a young Gentleman of Badajos in Spain, call'd Fernand Sanches de Vargas. The Consideration they had for these two Persons occasion'd a Divi­sion of the Company in this little Vessel into two Parties; and from Words they were like to have fallen to Blows, but that Oreillane stifling their Gratitude by his Dissimulation, by fair Protestations and great Promises appeas'd this Disorder. By means of the Friends he had in the Vessel he gain'd most of the Souldiers that were against him to his side; and seeing the two Heads of the other Party left almost alone, he caus'd Fernand Sanches de Vargas to be set ashore, leaving him quite alone, without Victuals and without Arms, in a dismal Wilderness, bounded on one side with high Mountains, and with a River on the other: He had more Pru­dence than to treat the Frier after the same manner, yet he gave him to under­stand, that it was not for him to pene­trate any more into the Pretensions of his Commander, unless he had a mind to be severely chastis'd: After this he continued his Voyage; and the next day being wil­ling to know if he might depend upon [Page 16] all that were with him for the success of his Resolutions, he let 'em know that he aspir'd to a much higher pitch of Dig­nity than what he might have obtain'd in the Service of Pizarre, that he ow'd every thing to himself and his King; and that his Fortune having as it were led him by the hand, to the greatest and most desirable Discovery that was ever made in the Indies, namely, the great River upon which they were sailing, which coming out of Peru, and running from West to East, was the finest Channel in the new World, through which one might pass from the Northern to the Southern Sea: that he could not without betraying them all, and without ravish­ing from them the Fruits of their Voy­age and Industry, make others share in a Favour which Heaven had reserv'd for them alone. That as for himself, his De­sign was to go into Spain, to beg of his Catholick Majesty the Government of this great Country all along this noble Ri­ver; he promis'd them they should be all Governours of Castles and Towns, and have other Recompences proportionate to their Valour and Generosity; that they should only follow him; that they knew him well; that he was not uncapable of the [Page 17] Post he design'd to ask of the King, and that it was certainly due to him for having made a Discovery of the Country. That as for the Oath he had taken to Pizarre, he disingag'd himself of it; that he was resolv'd to be commanded by him no longer; that he renounc'd the Power he had receiv'd from him, and would have no other Authority nor Command but what he ask'd of them, and what they would give him in naming him chief Commander, under the King their Master, in the Discovery of this great River.

Oreillane gives his Name to this River. The Change of the Name he had given it by a Fable himself compos'd, to render his Discovery the more famous.

HIS Harangue was followed with a general Consent to make him the Head of this Enterprize. He began to use his Authority in giving his Name to this great and famous River, and not con­tent to know the course of it, he was de­sirous of discovering the Country it wa­ter'd. He therefore went ashore to get

[Page 18] Provisions, and to acquaint himself with the Inhabitants: But he found the Peo­ple able to defend their Bread, and had se­veral Battels with the Natives, who let him know they were not without Cou­rage; nay, they were so stout and reso­lute in the defence of their Country, that the Women mix'd themselves with the Men in the Battel, and seconded them with admirable Bravery both in shooting of Arrows, and in standing their Ground. 'Twas this that gave occasion to Oreillane, that he might render his Discovery more considerable and glorious, to tell that he had enter'd into a Country of vast Extent along this River, which was govern'd by Amazons, a sort of Women who had no Husbands, who destroy'd all their Male-Children; and who came arm'd at a cer­tain time every Year in a Body to the Frontiers of their Neighbours, there to choose themselves Paramours, to prevent the Extinction of so extraordinary a Nati­on: And this was the reason why this Ri­ver he had first call'd after his own Name, was since call'd the River of Amazons. However Oreillane pursued his Course with a great deal of Success, and the more he advanc'd, the more all things seem'd to concur to prosper his Infidelity. As he [Page 19] went farther down, he found other People, not so warlike and savage as the others: They receiv'd him with a great deal of Civility, and admir'd all that he and his Company did, and all that they had, their Persons, their Clothes, their Arms, their Vessel, and every thing else: They look'd upon 'em as a sort of extraordinary Men, were willing to enter into an amicable Treaty with 'em, and gave 'em as much Provision as they could desire.

Oreillane passes out of this River by an Arm that goes into the Sea near the North-Cape. His Voyage into Spain to beg of the King the Conquest and Government of this Country. His unfortunate Re­turn, and his End worthy of his Trea­chery.

OReillane finding himself in a Post so favourable to his Designs, stop'd here for some time, and caus'd another Brigantine to be made larger than the former, because they were too much crowded in it. He continued there as long as was necessary to inform himself [Page 20] well of the Country; and having taken his Farewel of the courteous Indians, he set sail. After several days Voyage, he happily came to the place where this Ri­ver goes out into the Sea, and sail'd out with it; and taking good notice of the Places necessary to be observ'd for his Re­turn, he coasted along a Cape, now call'd the North Cape, 200 Leagues from the Island La Trinidada, and sail'd directly thi­ther, where he bought a Vessel, in which he pass'd into Spain, and presented himself to the Emperor Charles V. at Vailladolid; he so charm'd the Emperor with the a­greeable recital of his Adventures, and with the fair Promises he made, that he obtain'd three Ships of him in which to return from whence he came, with Or­ders to build Forts and Houses in those places which he should find most com­modious, and to take possession of the Country in the Name of this Prince. His Dispatches were soon given, but the execution of 'em was very tedious; for he was above seven Years at the Court of Spain before he could put himself in a condition to sail. About the end of the Year 1549, he imbark'd with all his Men; but was no sooner got to the Lati­tude of the Canaries, but a contagious [Page 21] Distemper passing from one of his Vessels into the others, took off part of his Soul­diers, a considerable number of 'em was carried off soon after by the same Infecti­on, tho he was got no further than Cape-Verd, when he was advis'd to return back to Spain: He was so rash notwithstand­ing as to continue his Voyage, and to pro­mise himself the sight of the River of A­mazons for all this: And indeed he did see it, and came to the Mouth of it with his Vessels; but finding he wanted Men, he order'd 'em all to come aboard his own Ship, and quitted the two others. But the number of his Men daily diminishing, having built two Barks in an Island where he had made some stay, he only reserv'd himself one of them, of a pretty large size, and several times attempted to get up higher into the River. He was, in fine, necessitated to yield to his Fortune, which had forsaken him, and suffer'd him to go to the place of his Ruin. He was cast on the Coasts of Caracas, and from thence upon a certain Island call'd St. Marguerite, where he lost the last of his Men; and dy­ing as well with Despair as Sickness, he made Charles V. lose the great Hopes he had conceiv'd of so daring an Enterprize.

This Discovery thus begun in 1540, remain'd imperfect till the Year 1560, when a Spa­nish Gentleman nam'd Orsua, ask'd leave of the Vice-Roy of Peru to make this Discovery. His Equipage, and the be­ginning of his Voyage, and his parting from Quito.

THE ill Success of Oreillane's Voyage cool'd the ardent Desire the Spa­niards had for the Discovery of the River of Amazons; and it seem'd quite extin­guish'd by the Civil Wars of Peru, till the Marquess de Caguete being Vice-Roy of that Kingdom, a Gentleman of Navarre, nam'd Peter de Orsua, who had always en­tertain'd Thoughts worthy of his great Courage, turn'd his Designs on this great River, and believ'd he should be more fortunate than Oreillane: He presented him­self to the Vice-Roy, and propos'd his Design to him; who being well acquainted with his Merit, commended his Resolu­tion, and was perswaded, that if so diffi­cult a matter should succeed, it must be by the Conduct of so brave and wise a Commander. He immediately dispatch'd all necessary Orders for him, and caus'd a [Page 23] Publication of his Attempt to be made throughout the Kingdom. Most of the Gentry came to offer their Service to Or­sua; who was so much in every one's Esteem, that there was no Souldier so old, but would leave his Retirement with Plea­sure to serve under so excellent a General. His chief trouble was to return his Thanks to so many of 'em as he could not take along with him: he made choice of such amongst 'em as were most fit for his pur­pose; and to carry on the famous Conquest he design'd, he made all necessary Provi­sions both of Ammunition and Victuals, to which all the Lords and the Inhabitants of the Towns contributed with a great deal of Freedom and Liberality, being well perswaded that Orsua had Qualities that well deserv'd to be oblig'd. He parted from Cusco in 1560, with the Acclamati­ons and good Wishes of all the Inhabitants of that Place; he was attended with above seven hundred choice Souldiers, and with a considerable number of very good Horses. Being well vers'd in the Map of Peru, and having for some time been laying the Scheme of his Journey, he march'd direct­ly to the Province of Mosilones, first to meet the River Moyabamba, by which he was sure of entring into the River of Amazons.

The Tragical End of Orsua by the Revolt of two of his Officers, who were fallen in love with their General's Lady. The yet more Tragical End of those two Rebels one after t'other. And the Cruelty of one of them against his own Daughter.

ONE would have hop'd an Attempt so wisely laid, and so universally ap­prov'd, should have had a happy Issue: Yet never was any Project more unsuccess­ful; for Orsua had taken with him one Don Fernand de Gusman, a young Man who was lately come from Spain, and another more advanc'd in Years, named Lopez Daguirre of Biscay, a little ill-favour'd Man, whom he had made his Ensign. These two Wretches fell in Love with their General's Lady, whose Name was Agnes, and who had accompanied her Husband in all his Travels; and thinking they had a favou­rable occasion to satisfy their Lust and Am­bition together, engag'd Orsua's Troops to revolt, and assassinated him. After this Tragical Fact the Traitors who commit­ted it, who to the number of seven or eight were in a strict Confederacy, elected [Page 25] Don Fernand de Gusman for their King; whose Mind was vain enough to receive that Title which became him so little: But he did not enjoy it long; for those very Persons that had given him the Quality of King, gave him his Death's Wound too, and Daguirre succeeded him, who made himself King, notwithstanding the Re­monstrances of others: And naming him­self the Rebel and Traitor, he gave all those he had gain'd to his Party to understand, that he intended to make himself Master of Guiana, of Peru, and of the new King­dom of Grenada, and promis'd 'em all the Riches of those great Kingdoms. His Reign was so bloody and barbarous, that the like Tyranny was scarce ever heard of in the World: Therefore the Spaniards to this day call him the Tyrant. However he commanded Orsua's Vessels, and went down the River Coca into the Amazone, hoping to obtain one of those Kingdoms, and to make a considerable Progress into it. But having enter'd the Amazone, he was not able to master the Current of it, and so was constrained to suffer himself to be carried down to the Mouth of a River a­bove a thousand Leagues from the place where he imbark'd, and was driven in­to the great Channel which goes to the [Page 26] North-Cape, being the same way Oreillane had taken before him. Going out of the Amazone, he came to the Island of St. Mar­guerite, which is to this day call'd the Ty­rant's Port; there he kill'd Don Irean de Villa Andrada, Governour of the Island, and Don John Sermiento his Father. After their Death, with the Assistance of one John Burq, he made himself Master of the Island, plunder'd it intirely, and there committed unheard-of Barbarities. He kill'd all that oppos'd him, and past from thence to Cumana, where he exercis'd the same Cruelties: He after that desolated all those Coasts that bear the Name of Ca­racas, and all the Provinces along the Ri­vers Venezuella and Baccho. He then came to St. Martha, where he put all to the Sword, and enter'd the new Kingdom of Grenada, designing to march from thence through Quito into Peru. In this King­dom he was forc'd to a Battel, in which he was utterly defeated, and put to flight, but all Ways being stop'd, he found he must perish; and therefore begins his Tragedy with a sort of Barbarity without Example.

He had a Daughter by his Wife Mendo­za, that had follow'd him in his Expedi­tions, and whom he lov'd entirely. Daugh­ter (says he to her) I must kill thee; I [Page 27] design'd to have plac'd thee on a Throne, but since Fortune opposes it, I am not wil­ling thou shouldst live to suffer the Shame of becoming a Slave to my Enemies, and of being call'd the Daughter of a Tyrant and a Traitor. Die, my Child, die by the Hand of thy Father, if thou hast not Courage enough to die by thy own. She surpriz'd at this Discourse, desir'd him at least to give her some time to prepare for Death, and to beg of God the Pardon of her Sins: This he granted; but thinking her too tedious in her Devotion, as she was praying upon her Knees he shot her through the Body with a Carbine; but having not kill'd her out-right, he stuck his Dagger into her Heart. She falling down at the Stroke, cry'd, Ah, Father, 'tis enough!

Soon after her Death he was taken and carried Prisoner to the Island La Trini­dada, where he had a considerable Estate. His Process was made, and he condemn'd to be quarter'd; he was publickly execu­ted, his Houses raz'd to the Ground, and the places where they stood sow'd with Salt, as may be seen to this day.

This Discovery by these sad Accidents conti­nued thus without any farther Advance­ment, from the Year 1560 to 1606, when two Jesuits ventur'd to go and preach the Gospel along this River, and were there martyr'd. Many other Attempts form'd since by great Persons without Success.

THE unhappy Issue of these two En­terprizes abated the Desires of o­thers after this Discovery to that degree, that the last Age past without any farther knowledg of this great River: But our Age has been more happy, and we have seen this great Design perfectly executed in our days. In 1606, and 1607, two Fathers of the Jesuits Society mov'd with the desire of the Conversion of those barbarous People, went from Quito, and pierc'd as far as the Province of the Co­fanes, who inhabit those Parts where the Springs of the River Coca rise. Those good Fathers were willing to begin the Publication of the Gospel among these People: But the Hour of their being call'd to the Knowledg of God was not yet [Page 29] come; for they found these Men so cruel, and so uncapable of hearing the Word, that they kill'd one of these Fathers nam'd Raphael Ferrier, and made the other fly for his Life.

In the Year 1621. under the Reign of Philip IV. King of Spain, Vincent Delos Reyes de Villalobos, Serjeant-Major, Gover­nor and Captain-General of the Country of the Quixos, resolv'd to attempt the Navigation of the River Amazone; but receiving an Order to quit his Govern­ment, he was oblig'd to lay aside the thoughts of this Adventure. Alonze Mi­randa form'd the same Design, prepar'd his Equipage, and took all necessary Precau­tions to overcome all the Difficulties of the Attempt, but had no better success than the others, for he dy'd without ha­ving so much as seen this famous River. Before either of these two the General Joseph de Villamayor Maldonado Governor of the Quixos, incited by the same Mo­tives of the Glory of God, the Grandure of the King his Master, and the Salvation of so many Infidels, had consum'd all he had in the World in endeavouring to set­tle himself among those People that dwell on the Borders of that wonderful River.

The Commission the King of Spain sent to the Governour of Brazil to make this Discovery.

THE Spaniards were not the only Conquerors of the new World, that expressed so earnest a desire to render themselves Masters of those unknown Na­tions. The Portuguez were no less eager in the same Design, and knowing they were not far distant from the Mouth of the River, they were willing to believe this Discovery was reserv'd for them. In the Year 1626, Bonito Macul then Governour of Para receiv'd a Commission from Phi­lip III. King of Spain, to put to Sea with some good Ships for this purpose, and try if he could overcome the Difficulties of this Discovery; but he could not put in execution these Orders of his Catholick Majesty, being call'd away by others more pressing, which oblig'd him to go into the King's Service at Phernambuc.

In 1633, and 1634. the King of Spain being extremely impatient to see that En­terprize at last succeed, which had so ma­ny [Page 31] times been in vain attempted, sent very pressing Orders to Francesco Coello Gover­nor and Captain-General of the Island of Maraguan, and of the Town and Fortress of Para, to arm a considerable Force to attempt an effectual Discovery of this River: And directed him in his Orders, in case he had no Officer near him upon whose Conduct he could depend for the execution of this Design, to go in Person himself, because he was resolv'd absolutely to know whether it were impossible to go up this River, and to find the Source of it, and consequently its length. Carvallo could not obey the King his Master, be­cause he did not think himself in a Con­dition to absent himself from his Govern­ment, and to divide his Forces at a time when he expected to be attacked by the Dutch, who were unwilling to lose any opportunity of making their Descents in­to Brazil: But what he did not think feasible, without the help of a good num­ber of Men and Vessels, was happily ac­complished by the good Fortune of two Lay-Friers of the Order of St. Francis, after the following manner.

That which so many brave Men were not able to perform, was accomplish'd by two Lay-Friers of the Order of St. Francis, who escaped the hands of the Indians.

THE Town of St. Francis in the Pro­vince of Quito is one of the finest in America; it is built upon one of those stupendous Mountains, which the Spa­niards call Cordeliers, and Tierras, half a degree South of the Equinoctial Line; yet is it of the most agreeable Temperature, and the most plentiful and healthful Place in all Peru, and is never incommoded by excessive Heat. In 1635, 1636, and 1637, Captain John de Palacios having under­taken to attempt the Discovery of this Ri­ver, to that end made a small Provision of Arms, desiring rather to acquaint himself with the Country, and to people it, than to subdue the Inhabitants of those Pro­vinces by force of Arms. Several Monks of the Order of St. Francis were desirous to accompany him to essay the Conversion of these Barbarians, and promis'd them­selves more Success in this Work than the [Page 33] Jesuits had, who 30 Years before had made the like Attempt, till they saw one of their number Father Raphael Ferrier martyr'd by these Infidels, as above related.

These march'd with more Precaution, and after a long Fatigue arriv'd at the Province of the long-hair'd Indians: This Country they found well peopled, but not being able to make any Establishment here by reason of the rough Treatment they met with from the Inhabitants, some of them gave over the Attempt, and return'd to Quito, but others were more resolute, and continued with Captain de Palacios, together with some few Souldiers that were always faithful to him: But these being almost all destroy'd in several Battels, in one of which at last the Captain himself was kill'd, the Monks made their Escape as well as they could, and the two Lay-Friers we have spoken of, one of whom was Do­minic de Britto, and the other Andrew de Tolede, dexterously sav'd themselves from the hands of the Indians; and having got to their Bark, with six Souldiers that re­main'd, abandon'd themselves to Provi­dence, and suffer'd their Bark to be driven at the Pleasure of the Winds and Streams.

It pleas'd God so to favour their Voy­age, that after they had been carried from [Page 34] Province to Province upon this great Ri­ver, they happily landed at Para, a City in Brazil, forty Leagues distant from the Mouth of the Amazone Southward. The Portuguez possess it, and have made it a good Garison, belonging to the Govern­ment of Maragnon. The two Lay-Friers and the Souldiers were inquir'd of about their long and strange Voyage, but they were all eight of 'em so stupid, that they had made no particular Remark on any thing; only they said they had pass'd through divers Provinces of different Bar­barians, who eat the Men which they take in War. The two Cordeliers offer'd to return to the place from whence they came, provided they might have a Vessel and Men granted 'em to conduct 'em, hoping they should again find the same Passages of the Rivers by which they came down, and so get back again as far as Quito. They were brought from Para to the City of St. Lewis in Maragnon, James Raimond de Norogna being then Governor of that Place, who having a Zeal for the Service of God, as well as that of the King, was willing to examin these Corde­lier Friers more particularly than had been done at Para. He discours'd 'em with so much Patience and Sweetness, that he [Page 35] made 'em talk reasonably: They told him they went from Peru, that their Monaste­ry was in the City of Quito; that they came out with many of their Brethren to labour to convert the wild People, but that the Indians had a greater mind to eat 'em, than to hear 'em preach; that their Captain being dead, and their Brethren put to flight, they with six Souldiers had put themselves into a Bark which miraculously came ashore at Para; and that they were ready to return to Peru, if they could meet with a convenient Passage. The Gover­nor having deliberated on this Report, believ'd God had offer'd him a fair occasion to serve his Religion and his Country, and that he ought to attempt that Design in which so many others had fail'd.

The Governor of Brazil on the Report of these two Cordelier Friers, attempts the Discovery of this River. The Prepara­tion he made for it, and the Commission given to Don Pedro de Texeira, who parted from Para in the Year 1637.

DOn Pedro de Norogna resolv'd to make Preparation for this Enter­prize, [Page 36] and caus'd it to be publish'd: at this News many offer'd themselves to serve on this occasion. The Governor retain'd such as he thought most proper for his Design; and that he might have a Man capable of giving him an exact account of all he should see during so long a Voyage, he chose Capt. Peter de Texeira, a Man of Courage, Conduct, and Probity, to command the Fleet. This Gentleman with a great deal of Joy receiv'd a Command so sutable to his Inclinations, for he had been all his Life seeking occasions of serving his King to the prejudice of his own private Interest, and in the peril of his Life: and accord­ing to his desire he had the Glory of ac­complishing the most difficult, and most illustrious Enterprize of his time. He parted from Para the 28th of October 1637. with forty seven Canoos of an indifferent bigness, wherein besides Ammunition and Victuals he embark'd seventy Portuguez Souldiers, and twelve hundred Indians to row and to bear Arms, who together with their Wives and Servants made two thou­sand Persons: They enter'd into the mouth of the River on that side that is nearest to Para, and happily avoided those Rocks that come just to the surface of the Water, and stop the Passage of Vessels in many places. [Page 37] However they were almost a Year without seeing the end of their Voyage: indeed having no Guides upon whose Fidelity and Experience they could depend in steering their Course; and besides, being some­times carried to the South, and sometimes to the North by the Violence of the Streams, they did not make the Advance they would have done if they had been us'd to navigate the River. Besides, Tex­eira being obliged to provide for the Sub­sistence of all those People he carried with him, and perceiving his Provisions dimi­nished considerably every day, was forc'd from time to time to send Parties in some of the Canoos to make Descents some­times on Islands, and sometimes on the Continent, to procure a Supply.

The Difficulties Texeira found in his Voyage, both from the People he carried with him, and from the length of the way; and the happy Descent of his advanc'd Squadron in­to the Country of the Quixos, belonging to the Government of Quito.

OUR Travellers were not advanc'd half way their Voyage, before the [Page 38] Indians were weary of their Labour, and quitting their Oars, began to murmur, and make loud Complaints that they had been engag'd in so tedious a Voyage. 'Twas in vain to tell 'em they would soon be at the end of it: they desir'd Texeira to dismiss 'em, and finding he put 'em off from day to day, many tack'd about and return'd to Para. The General perceiv'd, that on this occasion he must use Prudence rather than Force, therefore he did not cause them that were fled back to be pursu'd, but en­deavour'd with all imaginable Mildness to hinder others from following their Exam­ple: To this end he treated the Indians that remain'd with very kind Words, and so extremely pleas'd 'em with his Dis­course, that those that heard him convey'd it from one Canoo to another with those external Demonstrations of Joy and Satis­faction, which they use to express in their Assemblies, so that they unanimously cry'd from all the Canoos, that they were wil­ling Texeira should continue his Voyage, and that they would never leave him. The General having given 'em his Thanks for their goodwill, caus'd some Brandy to be distributed through all the Canoos, assuring 'em they would in a little time arrive at the Place design'd. And not content in [Page 39] having spread this Report among 'em, to fix the Indians the more firmly in their Resolution, he thought it necessary to do somewhat that might still make a greater appearance for their Encouragement. To this purpose he visited all the Canoos, and chose out eight of the best of 'em, which he loaded with Provision, Souldiers and Rowers. He made Colonel Benedito Ro­driguez d'Olivera, a Native of Brazil, Com­mander of this Squadron; and having communicated his Design to him, sent him away with a Charge to send him often such News as might be most agreeable to the Indians. Olivera was no ordinary Man, he had naturally a quick and piercing Wit; and having been all his Life brought up with the Indians, he had so well studied their Actions and Countenances, that they could hardly dissemble so well, but he could with one cast of his Eye discover what was in their Minds; so that they look'd upon him as a Man that could divine what o­thers thought; and from this Conceit they had not only a great Veneration for him, but stood so much in awe of him, that they yielded him a blind Obedience in what he commanded 'em. It is not to be questi­on'd after this, whether those in the eight Canoos which he was to command were [Page 40] very willing to go with him. His Men were so industrious one while at their Oars, and another while at their Sails, that they overcame all the Obstacles that presented, and safely arriv'd on the 24th of June 1638, at the place where the River of Pagamino enters into the Amazone. There is a Port near that place call'd after the Name of the River, where the Spaniards had fortified themselves, and had built a Town to keep the Quixos in subjection, who had not yet been well accustom'd to the Yoke.

The Descent of General Texeira, and the Orders he gave for the Preservation of his Army in his Absence.

IF the Impatience they were in to make their Descent had not stop'd 'em at this place, they would in sailing some time longer have met with the Entrance of the River Napo, of which some account shall be given hereafter; where they would have met with better Entertainment, and would have been less expos'd to the Losses and Inconveniences which they suffer'd in this Country. The very day they landed Colonel Benedito dispatch'd a Canoo to his [Page 41] General, to give him advice of the Success of his Voyage, and in how little time he might also arrive at the same place. This News being spread through the Fleet, in­spir'd them with new Vigor, when their Courage was almost exhausted with the tedious length of their Toil and Hunger together. Texeira made an Improvement of this good Success like a prudent Man, and confirm'd the Assurance that had been given 'em of their near approach to the place where they were to land, and fol­low'd Benedito with great Expedition: The Portuguez and the Indians perform'd their Duty with great Emulation, and eve­ry day that came about they concluded the next would be the last of their Voyage. In fine, the Day so much long'd for appear'd; and the General, to acquit himself of his Promise, landed all his Men at the mouth of a River that descends into that of the Amazones through the Province of those Indians that wear their Hair as long as that of Women. These People formerly kept a good Correspondence with the Spaniards, and consented to their Establish­ment in their Country: but having been forced to take up Arms against Captain Palacios for the ill Treatment they had re­ceiv'd from his Souldiers; and having kill'd [Page 42] the Captain himself in a Battel, they re­main'd implacable Enemies to the Spa­niards. The Portuguez General who had never been inform'd of this Rupture, was desirous to refresh his Troops in this Coun­try, finding it to be a very fine, fruit­ful and commodious place; he therefore pitch'd his Camp in the Angle of Land which was form'd by the two Rivers, and having well intrench'd it towards the Plain, he there plac'd his Portuguez and Indians, and made Captain Peter Dacosta Favotta, and Captain Peter Bajou the chief Commanders over 'em. These two wise and valiant Officers gave their General the greatest Proofs imaginable both of their Conduct and Fidelity. They continued encamp'd in this place for eleven Months, in which time they endur'd extraordinary Inconveniences, for they were often oblig'd to fight with these long-hair'd Men to ob­tain a little Food to live upon; and many of the Souldiers fell sick, partly by the bad Disposition of the Air, which could not be wholsome between two Rivers, and partly from so tedious a Confinement to their Camp.

The Arrival of the Portuguez at Quito. The general Joy, and the Emulation of the Portuguez and Spaniards on the account of this Discovery.

TExeira for his own part made the best of his way with a few Men in some of his Canoos, to join Col. Benedito; and having receiv'd an account of him, he left his Bark where the River ended, and went on foot to find him in the City of Quito, whither he had arriv'd some days before. The coming of General Texeira compleated the Joy which all the People of Quito, as well the Clergy as others, had re­ceiv'd from a Discovery so much desir'd by 'em all. All the Portuguez were en­tertain'd and caress'd by the Spaniards with the Endearments of Brethren, not only because they were all Subjects of the same King, but because by their means they were assur'd of a Way which they had never hitherto been able to pass, on the side of Peru, and which they saw was now discover'd from the Sea quite to the Sources of this famous River. The Spa­niards boasted that they were the first that [Page 44] had navigated it from its Source to the Sea; and the others bragg'd that they had not only sail'd upon it, but had pass'd quite up it, made a thorow Discovery of it, and knew it from its Mouth on the side of Brazil to its very Source near Quito. All the Religious Orders of that City were fill'd with extraordinary Joy, thanking God for the Favour he had shewn 'em in calling 'em to dress a Vineyard that had not been yet cultivated; and all offer'd themselves with great Readiness to go and preach the Gospel in those Regions.

The Return of General Texeira to Brazil by the River Amazone, and the Com­mission given to the Reverend Father Christopher d'Acugna a Jesuit, to ob­serve all the Particulars of this Discovery, and to give a Relation of them.

QƲito is a Royal Seat, where there is a President and Assistants: These Of­ficers considering the Importance of this Discovery the Portuguez had made, and how much both the Interest of Religion, and that of his Catholick Majesty might suffer, if an Affair of this Consequence [Page 45] should be neglected, were unwilling to take any measures of their own, but only to write about it to the Count of Chinchon, who was then Viceroy of Peru; who having deliberated on the matter with the princi­pal Men of the Council of Lima, which is the Soveraign Court of that great King­dom, return'd an Answer to the President of Quito, who was then the Licentiate Don Alonze de Salazar, and requir'd him by an Order dated the 10th of November 1638, to send General Texeira to Para with all his Men by the same way he came, and to furnish him with all things necessary for his Voyage; he likewise order'd him to choose two Spanish Gentlemen of good account, and to agree with the Portuguez General that they might imbark with him, to make a faithful Report of the whole Course they should steer in this long Voyage, that his Catholick Majesty might receive from Eye-witnesses, and those of an unreproachable Reputation, a good account of what they had discover'd, or might farther observe in their Return.

Many Persons, zealous for the Service of the King their Master, presented themselves to have a share in so great an Enterprize; amongst others Don Vasques d'Acugna, Knight of the Order of Calatrava, and [Page 46] Lieutenant to the Captain General of the Vice-roy of Peru, and Corregidor of Quito, offer'd himself to go on this Expedition. The Respect he bare to his Prince made him seek this new occasion of serving him with the same Affection he had done for a­bove fifty Years himself, and his Ancestors all their days on the like occasions. He desir'd of the Vice-roy that he would per­mit him to furnish the Ammunition and Equipage for this Adventure at his own proper Charge, without pretending to any other Interest in the matter, than that of seeing his Master well serv'd. But the Vice-roy not knowing how to spare him from the Post he was already in, after ha­ving commended his Zeal for his King, and the Greatness of his Offers, engag'd him to continue in his present Station; and to gra­tify him, nominated his Brother Father Christopher d'Acugna in his place, who was animated with no less degree of Generosi­ty than the other, and counted it no small Happiness to be able by these means to serve his Prince on so important an Occa­sion.

The Departure of Father D'Acugna. The way the Spaniards and Portuguez took to­gether to get to the River Amazone.

THE Portuguez General being pre­par'd for his return to Para by the River Amazone; and the Royal Audience of Quito having well consider'd that it might very much turn to account for some Jesuits to make this Voyage with him, that they might take exact notice of every thing worthy of Observation on this great River, and carry the Relation of it into Spain to his Catholick Majesty, signified their Mind to the Provincial of the Jesuits, which at that time was Father Francis de Fuentes, who taking it for a great Honour, that so much Confidence should be put in the Members of his Community as the dis­charge of so important an Affair, confirm'd the Nomination that had been made of Father Christopher D'Acugna, tho he was Rector of the Jesuits College at Cuence under the Jurisdiction of Quito, and gave him Father Andrew Dartieda, Professor of Divinity in the same College, for his Com­panion. These two Jesuits receiv'd their [Page 48] Orders by Patents issued from the Chance­ry of Quito; the Purport of which was, that they should go without delay with the Captain Major Peter de Texeira, and that after they were arriv'd at Para they should go into Spain, to give the King an Account of all they should observe in their Voyage. These Fathers readily obey'd the Orders they had receiv'd, and accord­ingly set forward on the 16th of January 1639, to begin a Voyage that lasted ten Months before they arriv'd at Para, where they enter'd into Port the twelfth day of December in the same Year. As they left Quito, they took the way of those high Mountains on foot, from which that great River of the Amazones derives its Sources, a River which has nothing in its rise where­in it excels other Rivers, but is so very much augmented in its Course, that the Mouth of it is eighty four Leagues in breadth. These Jesuits took all the care they could, and labour'd with all possible Accuracy to observe every thing that was worth a Remark; they took the Latitudes in every place of the River where they could do it; they took an account of the Names of all the Rivers that run into it, and of all the Nations that inhabit the Borders of it: They took notice of the [Page 49] Quality of the Lands, of the Goodness of the Fruits, of the Temperature of the Climates, and of every thing that is ser­viceable to the Life of Man; they enter'd into Commerce with the People of the Country: In a word, they forgot nothing that they thought might conduce to fur­nish them with a perfect Knowledg of those Provinces, which had never been entirely discover'd till then. Therefore they that read this Relation, are desir'd by one of those Fathers, who undertook to expose it to the World, not to disbelieve what he has written, because he can prove that what he affirms for a Truth, is really so, by above thirty Spaniards and Portu­guez that accompanied him in this Voy­age; and he hopes the Reader will not imagine he makes no Conscience of affirm­ing things that are untrue in a matter of this Weight and Importance.

The general Idea which Father D'Acugna gives of this River, and the Elogiums he gives it after he had view'd it throughout.

ON the famous River of Amazons is the richest, most fertile, and best [Page 50] peopled Country of Peru; and without an Hyperbole 'tis the largest and most emi­nent River in the World; it passes through divers Kingdoms of a vast Extent, and enriches more Provinces than the Ganges, that vast River that waters part of the East Indies; than the Euphrates, which af­ter it has run through Persia, comes across Syria to throw it self into the Sea; or than the Nile, which comes out of the Mountains of Cuama, and passing through Africa, and the most barren Countries in the World, turns them into fruit­ful and delicious Provinces by the over­flowing of its Waters. In a word, the River Amazone nourishes an infinitely greater number of People, and carries its fresh Water a great way further into the Sea, than any of those mighty Rivers, al­tho these have given their Names to entire Gulphs, or troubled the Sea with their Waters to a considerable length. A great many more Rivers fall into the Amazone than into the Ganges; and if the Banks of the latter are cover'd with gilded Sand, those of the former are fill'd with a Sand of pure Gold, and the Waters that always wash them are continually discovering Mines of Gold and Silver in the Bowels of the Earth. In short, the Places it [Page 51] waters are an Earthly Paradise; and if Men did but lend their Assistance▪ Na­ture in that Country as they [...], all the Borders of that great River would be full of large Gardens perpetually fill'd with Fruits and Flowers: It sometimes overflows its Banks, and thereby renders all the Ground fruitful through which its Waters pass, and that not only for one, but for several Years. After all these extraor­dinary Improvements, the change of Sea­sons is not necessary to the Provinces si­tuate near this great River. They find every thing near 'em, abundance of Fish in their Waters more than they can wish; a thousand different kinds of Animals in the neighbouring Mountains, all sorts of Birds in such plenty as can hardly be imagined: The Trees always loaded with Fruit, the Fields with a plentiful Crop, and the Bowels of the Earth consisting of preci­ous Mines of all sorts of Metals. In fine, among the vast number of People that dwell along the Banks of this River, there are scarce any to be seen but what are handsome, well made, and very in­genious in all things they are concern'd about.

The Source of this River, and the Emula­tion of all the Provinces of Peru about it.

TO enter into a particular History of this River, I shall begin with its Original: and as there have heretofore been great Contests between eminent Cities a­bout the Birth of divers Hero's of former Ages; so there is no less Emulation among the Provinces of Peru, which of them should be the Mother of this great River, because the true Source of it is unknown to this day. The City of Lima, as mag­nificent and as potent as it is, boasts that she has the Mountains of Ganneo and the Cavaliers within her Jurisdiction, and the Fountain-head of the Amazone seventy Leagues above her: But this is not the Source of it, but of another River that runs into the Amazone. Others maintain that the Source of this great River pro­ceeds from the Mountains of Moida in the new Kingdom of Granada, and is call'd the River Caquetta: but they are mistaken too, and confound the matter; for the Caquetta and the Amazone run se­parately above seven hundred Leagues, [Page 53] and when they come near together, the Caquetta seems to turn its Course, and running on the side of the Amazone at a considerable distance, thus continues it, till having at length pierced through the Province of Agnos, it comes to add its Waters to that vast River. But in a word, Peru in general claims the Ori­ginal of this great Work of Nature.

But the truth of this matter is, that the City of St. Francis, commonly call'd Quito, has the sole Glory of producing this great Wonder of the World. Eight Leagues from this City is found the true Source of this River beyond those vast Mountains that divide the Jurisdiction of this City from that of the Quixos, at the foot of two great Rocks, one of which is call'd Gua­mana, and the other Pulca, which stand at near two Leagues distance one from another. Between those two Mountains is a great Lake, and in the midst of this Lake is another Mountain, which has been torn up by the very Roots by an Earth­quake, and so overturn'd in the Lake, which is very deep and large: 'Tis from this Lake that the great River of Ama­zons proceeds, within twenty Minutes of the Equinoctial Line, Southern Latitude.

The Course of this River, its Length, its different Breadth and Depth.

THis River runs from West to East, it continually coasts along the South side of the Equinoctial Line, and is not distant from it above two, three, four or at most five Degrees in the greatest of its Windings: From its Rise to the Place where it empties it self into the Sea, it runs not above 1276 good Spanish Leagues, tho Oreillane makes it 1800. It always proceeds in a winding Course, and by its great Turnings, which are like so many Arms, draws into its Channel a great number of Rivers as well from the South as the North side of it. Its breadth is different; in some places 'tis a League wide, in others two, three, and more; in other Places it does not widen it self any more for a long space, as if it were to a­mass all its Waters, and its whole impe­tuous Force together, to discharge it self by a Mouth of eighty four Leagues broad into the Sea.

The narrowest Place of this River is a quarter of a League, or a little less, in [Page 55] two Degrees two thirds of Southern La­titude.

This Strait by the Providence of God, is fitly situated for the building of a Cita­del to stop the Course of the strongest E­nemy that should enter by Sea through the Mouth of this River; and if an Ene­my should come down by a River that runs into the Amazon call'd Rionegro, by building a Fort just where this River en­ters into the Amazone, this Passage may be so secured, that any that should attempt to get through it may be easily hindred. This Strait is three hundred and seven­ty Leagues from the Mouth of the River, from whence with Canoos and other light Vessels with Sails and Oars, timely Ad­vice might be given in eight days of the Arrival of any Vessels, that the Fort at this Strait might put it self in a posture of Defence, and stop the Enemy's Passage. The Depth of this River is in some Pla­ces so great, that no Bottom is to be found: from the Mouth of it, to the River Rio­negro, which is near 600 Leagues, there's always at least thirty or forty Fathom of Water in its greatest Channel. From thence upwards the Depth of it is un­certain, sometimes twenty, sometimes twelve, and sometimes eight Fathom: [Page 56] But at its Beginning it has Water enough to carry the largest Vessels: For tho the Current be very swift; yet every day without fail there rise certain Eastern Breezes, that continue three or four Hours together, and sometimes a whole day; which hold back the Waters, so as to re­tain the Stream in a degree of Motion that is not violent.

The great number of Islands in this River, and the means the Inhabitants use for the Preservation of their Roots at the time of its Inundations.

THis River is all full of Islands of all Sizes, and in so great number, that they are not to be counted, many of them being very near one to another. There are some four or five, others ten, and others 20 Leagues in compass. That which is in­habited by the Toupinambi, of whom we shall speak hereafter, is above 100 Leagues about: There are a great many very small Islands, which the Inhabitants of the Country use only to sow their Seed in; but all of these, and the greatest part of the large ones, are overflowed by the River [Page 57] every Year; and these regular Inunda­tions do so enrich them with the Slime and Mud it carries along with it, that they would never become barren, tho they should be every year sown with Yu­ca or Magnioca, which are a sort of Roots, which serve the Natives instead of Bread, and with which the Earth fur­nishes them in great abundance.

Tho these frequent Inundations seem to be attended with great Inconveniences; yet the Author of Nature has taught these Barbarians to make a good Improvement of them. Before these Floods come, they gather in all their Yuca, of which Root they make a sort of Bread called Cassave, which is ordinarily used in all the Coasts of Brazil, and in many other Places both of the Continent and Islands of America. They make great Caves in the Ground, wherein they put these Roots; and having well stopp'd them up with Earth, leave 'em there as long as the Flood lasts: this is an infallible way of preserving those Roots which otherwise would be subject to rot with the excessive moisture of the Ground. When the Waters are run off, they open these Caves, and take out their Roots, and eat them, without finding them at all the worse for lying in the Earth. Thus as [Page 58] Nature has taught the Ant to store up Food enough to nourish her all the Year, no wonder she has taught the Indians, as barbarous as they are, how to preserve their Provisions, seeing the Divine Provi­dence takes a more particular Care of Men than of Beasts.

The Bread and Drink made by the Inhabi­tants to these Islands, and other Places that border on this River; and the various sorts of Fruits, Roots and Grain they live upon.

THe Roots of Yuca we have been speaking of, serve these People for Bread, which they eat with their other Food; besides this they make a Drink of it, which they all generally esteem as the most delicious and excellent Liquor in the World. To make the Bread, they squeeze out all the Juice of the Root, and then beat and pound it, till 'tis become a kind of Meal, of which they make great Cakes, and bake them in an Oven; this they call Cas­save, which has a very pleasant Taste when 'tis new, but after one day becomes very dry, so that it may be kept several Months; they ordinarily put it on the tops [Page 59] of their Huts, that it may keep the more dry. And when they have a mind to make their Drink, they take these dry Cakes, and temper them in Water, which they boil as long as they think sufficient, over a gentle Fire: This Paste boil'd thus in Water, makes a Drink so strong by its great Fermentation, that it fuddles 'em like our Wine. They use this Drink at all their Assemblies and Entertainments, as when they inter their Dead, when they receive any Guests, when they celebrate their Feasts, at their Seed-time, and Harvest; in a word, at all times when they meet, this Liquor is the Spirit that animates 'em, and the Charm that holds 'em together. They make besides this, another sort of Drink, with a great deal of wild Fruit, of which they have extraordinary plenty; this they peel, and put in Water, with which when it is well mix'd, it soon by Fermentation acquires such a Savour and Strength, that it often has a more agree­able Relish than Beer, which is so much in use in many Nations. They keep these Liquors in great Earthen Vessels, as they do in Spain, or in lesser ones, which they make of the Trunk of a hollow Tree; or else in Baskets made of Rushes, which they cover within and without with a sort [Page 60] of Pitch, so that they don't leak in the least. This Bread and Drink are not the only Provisions they live upon; they have many other sorts of Food in use amongst 'em, besides Fruit of various kinds, as Bonanes, Ananas, Gouyaves, Amos, and a sort of very pleasant Chesnuts, which at Peru they call Almandras de la Sierra, that is Mountain-Almonds; but the Truth is, they are rather of the Figure of a Chesnut than of an Almond, because they grow in Hulls that are bristly, like those of our Chesnuts: They have Palms of va­rious kinds, Coco-Nuts, and Dates that are very well tasted, tho they are wild, and many other sorts of Fruit, that are produced only in hot Countries. They have likewise divers kinds of Roots, that are good Food, as Batates, Yuca, Mensa, which the Portuguez call Machachora, and Cajas, which are like our Saligots, and others, which are good both to rost and boil, have a pleasant Relish, and are ve­ry nourishing.

The great Plenty of Fish in this River, and which is the best sort of them.

FIsh is so common with 'em, that when any one offers it to 'em, they prover­bially say, E'ne put it in your own Dish. There is so great a number of 'em in the River, that without any other Nets than their Hands, they can take as many as they please. But the Pege Buey is as it were the King of all the Fish that swim in the River Amazone, from its Source till it discharges it self into the Sea. 'Tis not to be imagin'd what a delicious Taste this Fish has, any one that eats it would think it to be most excellent Flesh well season'd: This Fish is as big as a Heifer of a Year and a half old, it has a Head and Ears just like those of a Heifer, and the Body of it is all cover'd with Hair, like the Bristles of a white Hog; it swims with two little Arms, and under its Belly it has Teats with which it suckles its young Ones: The Skin of it is very thick, and when 'tis dress'd into Leather it serves to make Tar­gets that are Proof against a Musquet Bul­let. This Fish feeds upon Grass on the Bank of the River, like an Ox, from which it receives so good Nourishment, and is [Page 62] of so pleasant a Taste, that a Man is more strengthen'd and better satisfied in eating a small quantity of it, than in eating twice as much Mutton: This Fish has not free Re­spiration in the Water, and therefore often thrusts out its Snout to take Breath, and is by this means discover'd to them that seek after it. When the Indians get the sight of it, they follow it with their Oars in little Canoos; and when it appears above Water to get Breath, they throw at it their sort of Harping-Irons made of Shells, with which they stop its course, and take it: when they have kill'd it, they cut it into good pieces, and broil it upon Wooden Grates, which they call Boucan; and being thus dress'd, 'twill keep good above a Month: They have not the way of salting and drying it to keep a great while, because they have no great quantity of Salt, and that which they use to season their Meat is very rare with 'em, and is made only of the Ashes of a sort of Palm-Tree, so that 'tis more like Salt-Peter than common Salt.

The Means the Indians use to preserve their Fish in those Seasons wherein they can nei­ther fish nor hunt.

THO the Indians don't know how to keep their broil'd Fish very long, yet they sustain no great damage by it, because Nature has given them Industry enough to get fresh Meat all their Winter, which is the time of the Rains, during which they can neither hunt nor fish. For this purpose they make choice of some fit places where the Floods can never come, and there they dig a kind of a Pond of a moderate depth, to hold a good quantity of Water, which they inclose round with a Palisado of Stakes; they bring Water into these Ponds, and keep 'em always full, that they may use 'em as Reservers for their Winter Provisions. At the sea­son when the Tortoises come ashore to lay their Eggs, the Indians go to lie in Ambush in the places where they know they ordinarily come; and when they see a sufficient number upon the shore, they go and turn 'em upon their Backs, to hin­der 'em from retreating; and when they have thus secur'd 'em, they begin at their [Page 64] leisure to carry 'em to their Reservers: for this end, when they are at any consi­derable distance from their Huts, they string all their Tortoises together with great Cords through holes that they make on the top of their Shells, and turning 'em upon their Feet lead 'em to the Water, where they tie 'em to their Canoos, and so make 'em follow them home: when they are got home, they put 'em in their Re­servers, and unloose 'em, feeding 'em with the Leaves and Branches of Trees which they throw into them, and take 'em out to spend as they want 'em. One of these Tortoises is enough to feed a numerous Family some time; so that 'tis not to be wonder'd at, that these Indians are never reduc'd to Scarcity, seeing they make Pro­vision of so great a number of Tortoises, having commonly above a hundred in each Reserver; so that the proportion they pro­vide for each Person in their Families is enough to maintain several People. These Tortoises are as large as those Targets Souldiers formerly us'd to defend them­selves withal, and their Flesh is as good as that of a Heifer. At the time of their laying, some Females are found with two or three hundred Eggs in their Belly big­ger than those of Pullets, and as good, tho [Page 65] not of so easy Digestion. At one Season of the Year they are so fat, that a good Barrel of Fat may be taken out of 'em, which is as good as Butter, and being salted a little, tastes extraordinary well, and keeps very well too; this will not only serve to fry Fish, but is likewise as good for Sauces as the best Butter in the World: so that these Barbarians have no absolute need of our Commodities, but make as good Provision for their Necessities, as the most civiliz'd Nations in the World can do. 'Tis not amiss further to remark two things in respect of these Tortoises; one is, that after they have made a Hole in the Sand above the Bounds of the highest Tides, they lay all their Eggs at a time, one after another, after which they carefully cover them up with the same Sand they have digged up to make their Nest, so that 'tis impossible for any to discover the place of it. Then they return backwards into the Water, to prevent the notice of their true Track, and never come ashore again till the next Year, leaving their Eggs to be hatch'd by the Heat of the Sun, which is always accomplish'd in forty days; after which the young ones are seen to creep out of the Sand, being about the bigness of a Crown, and thus in a train, like Ants, they make to the Water. The other Re­mark [Page 66] is, that the Sea-men bone 'em, and salt them, and so carry 'em into all the Colonies of the Antego Islands, a Trade in which many Captains and Merchants have found their Account.

The Prudence these People have been taught by Necessity, and the Confidence they have in the abundance of all things which they enjoy.

THE Indians of this happy River make this prudent Provision I have been speaking of, for a Season wherein they seem to want every thing; but their Winter being past, their Fears are carried away with it, and they have plenty of all things; so that they never take care for the Morrow: and because they don't think of wanting any thing the ensuing day, they make no other Provision for it, than in feeding themselves well to day, that they may be the stronger and more ready in seeking their Food to morrow. They have all imaginable Dexterity in catching all sorts of Fish that are in this River, and have as many ways for it as there is diver­sity of Seasons. When the Inundations diminish, and leave Lakes in the lower [Page 67] parts of the Lands that have been over­flow'd, they have a very pleasant Trick to take the Fish that are left in those places: They strike the Water with two or three flat Sticks, with the noise of which the Fish are no sooner stunn'd, but they come up to the top of the Water, as if they were dead, and suffer themselves to be taken up with the hand: Not that it is the Noise that produces this Effect, but the Quality of the Wood, which makes the Fish drunk. The Galibis who are the Natives of Cayen, and of one part of Guia­na, make use of it, and call it Inecou.

But the most common way of fishing which they use at all times, and on all occasions, is with an Arrow which they dart with one hand from a smooth little Board which they hold in t'other. This Arrow having pierc'd the Fish, serves in­stead of a Cork to shew which way it moves when it is wounded; they pursue it in their Canoos, and getting hold of the end of the Arrow they draw up the Fish with it: they catch all sorts of Fish after this manner, neither small nor great can escape their Weapons. And there are so many sorts of 'em in this River, and all of 'em so excellent, that it would be too tedious a business to give an ample De­scription of 'em. There is one amongst [Page 68] the rest which the Indians call Paraque, which resembles a great Eel, or rather a small Conger, which has a very strange Property; for if a Man takes it in his Hand while 'tis alive, immediately a Cold­ness and Shivering seizes him, as if he were taken with a fit of an Ague; but the shaking presently ceases upon letting it go out of his Hand again.

The abundance of Game that is found near this River; and the divers sorts of Ani­mals the People of these Countries live upon.

TO prevent the Disgust these wild People might have of Fish, tho it were never so good, if they should always be forc'd to feed upon it, and to satisfy the Desire they might have of sometimes eat­ing Flesh, Nature has render'd the Land as favourable to 'em as the Water; for it produces Animals of all kinds, as well for the Necessity as for the Delight of its Inhabitants. But among others there is a Creature call'd Dautas, of the bigness of a Mule, and very like one both in Colour and Shape, the Flesh of which is as good as that of a young Bullock, only it has a [Page 69] more faint and waterish Taste: They have likewise a sort of Hogs in the Mountains, that are neither of our domestick, nor of our wild kind of Swine, but of a particular Species, which have a sort of Vent upon their Backs, like a Navel. All the West Indies are stor'd with this kind of Animals: Their Flesh is very good and wholsome, and at least may compare with that of the wild Swine that are taken in some Forests in Europe. Besides these, there is another sort resembling our Domestick Hogs: they have also Renados, Pacas, Cotias, Ignanats, Agotis, and other Animals which are pe­culiar to the West Indies, and are as good as the most delicious sorts we have in Eu­rope. They have also Partridges, and tame Poultry like ours, which have been brought to 'em from Peru, and which from one to another have been spread throughout the Coasts of the River of Amazons. The many Lakes they have up and down breed a multitude of Geese, and other Water-Fowl. 'Tis very re­markable how little Pains their Game costs 'em: We often had experience of it in our Camp. Every Evening when our Men went ashore, after they had caus'd the Indians that were of our Party to make us as many Huts as were necessary to lodg us (which took up some time); our [Page 70] Company separated, some went a hunting in the Mountains with their Dogs, others went upon the River with their Bows and Arrows, and in a few hours time we should see 'em return loaded with more Fish and Venison than all our Men could eat; and this was not once or twice only, but throughout our whole Voyage, not with­out our great Admiration; which gave us occasion to attribute this great Abundance to the mighty and liberal Providence of that God, who once fed five thousand Per­sons with five Loaves and a few Fishes.

The agreeable Temperature of the Air in all this Country; what it is that makes Win­ter there, and whether the Heat be great, it being under the Line. That there is but one Inconveniency there.

ALL along this River, and in all the neighbouring Provinces, the Air is so temperate, and the Seasons of the Year so regular, that there's no Excess ei­ther of Heat or Cold, nor any troublesome variety of Weather: For tho there is eve­ry Year a kind of Winter, yet it does not proceed from the different Course of the Planets, or Distance of the Sun, for that [Page 71] always rises and sets at the same hour. That which most incommodes 'em is the frequency of the Inundations, which leave a great Dampness in the Ground, and by their overflowing the Plains, hinder 'em several Months from sowing and gather­ing in the Fruits of the Earth. By these Floods they distinguish the Winter from the Spring throughout all Peru: they call all that time wherein the Earth produces no Crop, the Winter; and they call that Season the Spring, which they employ in sowing, and gathering in not only their Maze, which is the principal part of their Harvest, but all the other Product of the Ground, whether that which grows spon­taneously, or by Cultivation. These In­undations happen twice a Year all along the whole Extent of this River.

We have observ'd, that those who dwell near the Mountains of Quito, suffer more Heat than those that inhabit along this Ri­ver towards the Sea; the reason is, be­cause there come Breezes from the Coast of the Northern Sea, that continue two, three or four hours in a day, and sometimes more; these Winds extreamly refresh the Air, and are a great Comfort to those Peo­ple that are less remote from the Sea.

However, it must be said that the high­est degree of Heat, even in the Moun­tains [Page 72] themselves, is no greater than is at Panama, and at Cartagena: for however violent it be in it self, it is every where mo­derated by the gentle Winds, which blow every day, and not only render the Air to­lerable and agreeable to the Inhabitants, but have besides the Property of preserv­ing all their Victuals and Stores from cor­rupting. I have had the Experience of it my self in the Wafers we carried with us, which at the end of five Months and a half since we parted from Quito, were as good as if they had been newly made. This made me and my Companion won­der the more, because in our Travels in almost all other Parts of America, we ob­serv'd, that Bread and other things of the least Substance corrupted in a little time.

And tho all this long stretch of Land is so near the Equinoctial Line, yet the Heat of the Sun is not at all hurtful, nor the Evening Air neither, tho it be very cool and moist. I have good reason to testify this, for during our whole Voyage I have commonly pass'd whole Nights in the o­pen Air, without getting the least Pain in my Head, or the least Defluxion of Rhume; and yet in all other Places, the least walk­ing abroad in a Moon-shiny Night, has very much incommoded me. 'Tis true, at the beginning of our Voyage, almost all [Page 73] of our Men that came from cold Coun­tries had Agues, but were all cur'd by bleeding three or four times. We neither felt, nor heard of any such bad Air along this River, as there is in almost all other places of Peru that have been discover'd, where People are sometimes in a moment taken with violent Rhumatisms through­out all their Limbs, which could not pro­ceed but from a sudden Corruption of the Humours, and which in some degenerated to an incurable Palsy, and cost others their Lives. In a word, were it not for the Heats which are in most of the inhabited Parts of Peru intolerable, the Country of the River of Amazons might without Exagge­ration be term'd an Earthly Paradise.

The Beauty of this Country, and the abun­dance of Medicinal Simples, Plants and Trees it yields.

THis sweet Temperature of the Air causes all the Borders of this River to be cover'd with a thousand kinds of love­ly Trees, the pleasant Verdure of which is perpetually preserv'd by the moderate Dis­position of the Air: a thousand Landskips were presented to our Eyes still more and [Page 74] more fine, and more diversified, as if they emulated one another, and made us confess that Art had yet a great deal to learn of Nature, when she discovers her self af­ter so excellent and surprizing a manner. The Ground is very low in most places near the Banks of the River, but rises gradually at a distance, with little Hills that adjoin to curious Plains all cover'd with Flowers, without so much as a Tree; beyond these are lovely Vales all cloth'd with Grass and Herbs, preserv'd continually green by the refreshing Rivulets that run through 'em.

Beyond all this Extent of Ground are Hills rising one above another, till they make those high Mountains which extend from one end of Peru to the other, call'd Cordeliers, because they are rang'd in order, as if they were plac'd by a Line or Cord.

There are a great many Thickets that produce all sorts of Simples, which the Indians know how to use for the Cure of their Diseases. There grow Cassia-Trees, which bear the best Cassia in all the Indies. There is excellent Sarsaparilla, Gums and Rosins, that are very good for Wounds and Bruises; and a prodigious quantity of Honey, which the Bees on all sides make in such abundance, that the store of it is not to be exhausted. This is as good to [Page 75] eat, as it is for the Composition of various Medicines: The Bees also make a sort of black Wax, which is however very good, and burns as well as that which is white or yellow. There are a kind of Trees, call'd by the People of the Country Audirouas, from which there runs an Oil of extraor­dinary Virtue for curing Wounds: There is another Tree call'd Copayba, which yields a Balm surpassing the best that is to be had in the East. In a word, there grows a multitude of different kinds of Herbs and Plants of very great Virtue, besides those that are not yet known, which would suffice to make a new Dioscorides, and a second Pliny: And it would be a matter of no small Difficulty to give an account of all the Properties of so many different Simples.

The Multitude of Trees that grow in this Countrey, Cedars, and other kinds fit for the building of Vessels; and the Provi­dence of Nature in furnishing this Part of the World with all Necessaries for that purpose, except Iron.

THE Trees that grow along this Ri­ver are innumerable, and of a sur­prizing [Page 76] Tallness and Bulk. I measured a Cedar that was thirty Hands breadth in Compass; the Poplars are almost all of that size, and excellent Timber for build­ing either for Sea or Land. Those Trees which are known in the Country, are for the most part Cedars, Coibos, Palohierro, and Palocolorado, and other such like, which are no sooner cut down, but they may be safely used; and the Vessels that are made of 'em may be launched as soon as they are finished. There is no need of any of the Materials of Europe for the building of 'em in those Parts; but only of Iron for the forging of Nails, and o­ther pieces of Smiths Work necessary to the building of great and small Vessels. All other things are found in this Country in great Plenty: The Inhabitants make Cables of the Bark of Trees; they have Pitch and Tar as good as are to be had in Europe; and they have Oil either to ren­der it firm and solid, or to temper its Hardness; one sort of which they draw from Fish, and another sort they get from Trees. They make a sort of Tow, which they call Ambira, so good, that no better can be used for the caulking of Vessels, and to make Musket-Match. Their Cot­ton abundantly furnishes 'em with Stuff to make Sails, and this grows the best of all [Page 77] the small Seeds they sow in their Fields. And after all, there are so great numbers of People, that one might have as many Work-men and Sea-men as one pleas'd for the building and manning of as many Gal­leons as one should think meet to put up­on the Stocks.

Four things which abound on the Banks of this River, which are capable of inriching great Kingdoms.

THere are four things along this Ri­ver, which being well manag'd, would be capable of enriching many King­doms; the first is Wood for building, of which there is some found of a rare and particular Colour, like fine Ebony; and there is so prodigious a quantity of com­mon Wood, that is worth transporting, that how much soever should be carried a­way, the Country can never be exhausted.

The second thing is the Coco-tree, which serves for the Composition of Cho­colat; with these the Banks of the River are covered, and throughout our whole Voyage, our Men cut scarce any thing else to make Huts of for our Camp. This Tree is very much esteem'd for its Fruit [Page 78] throughout all New Spain, and in all other Places where it is known what Chocolat is. Every Foot of this Tree will produce eight Silver Rials, all Charges paid. And it may easily be suppos'd there's no need of great labour to cultivate these Trees along this River, seeing Nature, without the Assistance of Husbandry and Art, makes 'em bring forth Fruit in so great abundance.

The third is Tobacco, of which there is a prodigious quantity along this River, which is very much esteem'd by all the Natives; so that if it were raised with that Care this Plant requires, it would be the best Tobacco in the World; because in the Judgment of those that understand it, there can't be desired a better Soil and Cli­mat for this sort of Plant, than what is to be found on this River.

But that which is the most considerable of all, and for the sake of which in my opinion it would be very well worth the while to make firm and substantial Esta­blishments along this River, is Sugar: This is the fourth thing; and the Traffick of it is more honourable, as well as the Profit more sure and greater for a Nation than that of the rest. And now since we are ingag'd in a War with the Dutch, it ought to excite an Emulation in us, and make us endeavour to furnish our selves [Page 79] with those Commodities our Enemies bring from Brazil *; and we ought to e­stablish our selves with all Expedition in this Countrey, and set up Mills and o­ther Sugar-Works; which would neither require very much Time, nor Labour, nor Charge, which last is that which is most fear'd now a days. The Ground is as good for the planting of Sugar-Canes, as any is in the whole Continent of Brazil; and of this we can give Assurance, as having seen and known all those Provinces. The Soil on the Banks of this River is white and fat, of as good a kind as can be desired by those that know what belongs to the Cultivation of these Plants; and it becomes so fruitful and rich by the Inundations of the River, which by continuing a few days improve the Ground, that there is more reason to fear too great than too little a Crop. 'Twill be no new thing to make Sugar-Canes grow in this Country, be­cause we found throughout the whole Length of this great River, such as gave us sufficient Proof of the great abun­dance to which they might be multiplied [Page 80] whenever any People should apply them­selves to cultivate 'em, and to make Su­gar-Mills, which might be done with a little Charge at any time; not only be­cause there's all sorts of Wood in great plenty, as I have already said, but also because there is the Conveniency of Wa­ter for 'em in as great quantity as one can desire. There is nothing wanting but Copper, which we may supply in sending it thither from our own Country, and which we may be sure will turn to a con­siderable Account.

Many other Commodities profitable for Traf­fick, which are found in this Country.

BEsides these four sorts of Commodi­ties that may be brought from these Lands that are discover'd, capable of inrich­ing the whole World, there are also many others, which altho less rare, would not fail to bring a considerable Profit to a Na­tion; such as Cotton, that grows there a­bundantly, Rocou, that our Dyers use to make fine Scarlet, which is so esteem'd by all Nations that have Commerce with us; Cassia, and Sarsaparilla: there are made also several Oils for the healing of [Page 81] Wounds which equal the best Balsams; there are found Gums and Rosins of an admirable Scent, and a certain Plant call'd Pita, which yields the best Thred in the World, and which the Ground produces in vast plenty; and a thousand other things, the Usefulness and Advantages of which are discover'd every day.

Convincing Reasons to shew that many of the Mountains of this Countrey must needs contain Mines of Gold and Silver.

I Do not speak of the many Mines of Gold and Silver, which are discover'd in the conquer'd Countries, nor those which Time may further discover there; but I am mightily mistaken in my Judg­ment, if many others may not be found in this Countrey more rich than all those of Peru, tho the famous Mountain of Potosi be comprehended in it: I speak not this without ground, nor only with a design to advance the Value of this great River, but found what I say upon Reason and Experience; because I have seen a great deal of Gold among the Indians whom we met as we went down the River, who gave us very certain Assurances, that there [Page 82] were a great number of Gold and Silver Mines in their Country. This great Ri­ver receives all the Waters of the richest Countries of America. On the South-side, those rich Rivers, some of which have their Sources round about Potosi, others at the Foot of Guanico, which is a Mountain near the City of Lima, flow into it; o­thers come down from Cusco, others from Cuenca, and from Gibaros, which is the richest Country for Gold of any that has been yet discovered; so that on this side all the Rivers, Sources, little Springs and Rivulets, which run into the Sea for the space of 600 Leagues, that is from Potosi as far as Quito, render Homage to the River of Amazons, and pay it Tributes of Gold; as all the others likewise do that descend from the new Kingdom of Granada, which is no less rich in Gold than all the other Provinces of Peru. And seeing this River is the great Channel and principal Passage to all the richest Pla­ces of Peru, one may reasonably be assured, that it is the Soveraign Mistress of them all: besides, if that golden Lake hath all the Gold which the common Report ascribes to it; if the Amazons inhabit the richest Mountains in the World, as many that say they have seen 'em assure us; if the Tocantins abound so much in precious [Page 83] Stones and Gold, as some of the French, who have travell'd in their Country, do af­firm; if the Omagnas with the Reputation of their vast Wealth, were once capable of casting all Peru into confusion, and of forcing the Viceroy to send a great Army under the Conduct of Pedro de Orsua to conquer their Country; all these Places adjoin to the River of Amazons: The Golden Lake, the Amazons, the Tocan­tins, and the Omagnas are upon the Banks of it, as shall be shewn hereafter; and in fine, this is the River that seems to be or­dain'd by the Hand of God to be the De­pository of those immense Treasures, which the Divine Providence has reser­ved to inrich the Greatest, most Valiant, and happiest Prince upon Earth.

The prodigious Extent of the Countries along this River.

THE vast Extent of Land along the Banks of this great River, is as much as an Empire of 4000 Leagues in Circuit: I think I am not much out of the way in my Computation; for if it con­tains in length 1276 Leagues exactly mea­sur'd (tho Oreillane, who first discover'd [Page 84] and past through it, accounts it 1800 Leagues) if each River which enters into it either on the North or South-side, runs above 200 Leagues in length, and in ma­ny places above 400, without approach­ing any Country that is peopled by the Spaniard on any side, there being only va­rious Nations of Indians that are yet un­known, to be found from this River to those Places so far distant, it must be granted that the breadth of this Empire would contain above 400 Leagues at least in the narrowest part of it, which with the 1126 Leagues in length of our Ac­count (or 1800 Leagues by Oreillane's Computation) makes very little less than 4000 Leagues in Compass by the Rules of Cosmography and Arithmetick.

The many different Nations which live in those Provinces, to the number of abov [...] one hundred and fifty.

ALL the new World (it may well be so call'd) is peopled with Barba­rians dispers'd in different Provinces, who make so many Nations, of which there are more than 150, of whom I can speak with good assurance. I shall give an ac­count [Page 85] of their Names, and describe the Situation of their Countries, having seen part of 'em my self, and receiv'd Informa­tion of the rest by those Indians that have convers'd with 'em; the diversity of their Language makes the Distinction of those Nations, which are as large and as well peopl'd with Inhabitants as any of those we have seen in our whole Voyage: the Country is so well peopl'd that their Huts are near one another, and this not only in the extent of one and the same Nation, but throughout; so that the utmost Plan­tations of one Nation border so near to those of another, that they can hear one another cutting Wood from the last Vil­lage of one Nation into divers Plantations of the other. This near Neighbourhood does not at all serve to keep 'em in Amity one with another, but on the contrary, they are in continual War, and are daily killing and making Slaves of one another; this is the ordinary Misfortune of great multitudes, and if it were not for this, there would not be Ground enough to con­tain 'em. They appear valiant and reso­lute among themselves, but yet we never saw any in our whole Voyage who would stand their ground against our Souldiers; and none of these Barbarians had so much Boldness as to put themselves in a posture [Page 86] of Defence, but only made use of that shift which those that are cowardly and faint-hearted have always imbraced, which is to betake themselves to flight, a thing very easy to them, because they go upon the Water in certain little Vessels so ex­tremely light, that they make to the shore as swift as Lightning; and taking these Boats at their Backs, retire towards some Lake, of which there are a great many made by the River, where putting their Vessels again into the Water, when they are got in 'em, they defy all their Enemies let 'em be who they will, because they can't do the same with any Vessels they can have.

The Arms which these People use both Offen­sive and Defensive.

ALL their Arms consist in Javelins of a moderate length, and in Darts made of very hard Wood, which they work to so sharp a Point, that they can easily pierce a Man through with 'em, they throw 'em with so much dexterity. They have besides these another sort of Wea­pon call'd Estolicas, in the using of which the Souldiers of the great Irica King of [Page 87] Peru were very well skill'd; this is a Staff of about six Foot long, and three Fingers broad, made as flat as a Board; at the end of it on one side they fix a Bone made like a Tooth, to which they fasten an Arrow of six Foot long, the Point whereof is likewise headed with a Bone, or with a very hard piece of Wood, which they cut in the form of a barb'd Arrow-head; so that where it hits, it remains fast, and hangs at its whole length: they take it in their Right-hand, with which they hold this Weapon by the lower end, and fixing the Arrow in the Bone that is in the upper end of it, they cast it with so much Force and Exactness, that they never miss doing Execution within 50 Paces. These Wea­pons serve 'em for War, for Hunting, and especially for Fishing; so that whatever kind of Fish they can perceive in the Ri­ver, they shoot it, let it be never so much cover'd under Water: and that which is yet more to be admir'd is, that with these Weapons they pierce Tortoises, when, af­ter they are run into the River to hide themselves, they thrust their Heads out of the Water to take breath, as they com­monly do from time to time after small Intervals; they strike 'em with this Arrow through the Neck, which is the only place in which they can be wounded, because [Page 88] it is not cover'd with the Shell. For De­fensive Weapons they make use of Tar­gets, which they make of Canes split in two, and which they so fitly and closely join one with another, that tho they are much lighter, yet they are no less strong than those others which they make of the Skin of the Fish Pegebuey, of which I have spoken before. Some of these Nations make use only of Bows and Arrows, which are esteem'd among all the others for the force and swiftness of 'em. There are a­bundance of venomous Herbs, with which some of these Nations make so subtile a Poison, that their Arrows being rub'd with it, never draw the least Blood with­out taking away the Life at the same time.

Their manner of living together. Of their Commerce, and of their making Boats for their Traffick.

ALL the Nations that live on the Banks of this great River dwell together in great Colonies, and all their Commerce and Traffick is carried on by Water as it is at Venice, or at Mexico, in little Barks which they call Canoos; these they make with Cedar-wood, and the Providence of [Page 89] God provides these for 'em in such abun­dance, that without their being at the trouble of cutting 'em down, and of draw­ing 'em from the Mountains, they are sent to 'em with the Current of the River, which to supply the Necessities of these People, tears up Cedars for 'em from the highest Mountains of Peru, and brings 'em down to the foot of their Cottages, where they may every one chuse which they think most fit for their purpose: but the wonder is, that among so great num­ber of Indians, every one of whom has need of one or two of these Trunks of Trees for the Service of his Family to make a Canoo or two (for indeed they all have of 'em) there's none of 'em has any more trouble to procure 'em, than that of going to the River side, and tying a Cord to the first Tree that floats along, and bringing it over against his Hut, where he stops it till the River retires; and as soon as it is dry, they with the same Industry apply them­selves to hollow them, and make such Ca­noos of them as they want.

The Tools which they use to cut and cleave Wood, to plain it, and to make their Houshold Stuff.

ALL the Tools which they have either to make their Canoos, to build their Huts, or to do other necessary Jobs, are Axes and Hatchets, not such as have been forg'd by ingenious Smiths, but such as have been form'd in their Fancies by Ne­cessity, which is the Mother of Invention, and has taught 'em to cut the hardest part of the Tortoise-shell (which is that under the Belly of it) into Leaves of about a hand's-breadth, and not quite so thick as ones Hand. After having dry'd it in the Smoak, they whet it upon a Stone, then fasten it to a wooden Helve, and make use of this Tool to cut every thing they fancy, as well as if it were the best Ax that can be, but with a little more pains. They make their Hatchets of the same matter, and the Handle they put to 'em is a Pege­beuy's Jaw-bone, which Nature seems to have purposely fitted to this use. With these Instruments they finish all their Works, not only their Canoos, but their Tables, their Cupboards, their Seats, and their other Houshold Goods, and that as [Page 91] compleatly as if they had the best Joiners Tools that are in use among us. There are some among these Nations who make their Axes of Stones, which they grind to an Edg with main Strength; these are much stronger than those of Tortoise-shell, so that they will cut down any great Tree which they have a mind to fell, with the less fear of breaking 'em, and with much more speed. Their Chizzels, Plains and Wimbles, which we use for the finest Works of Joinery (in which they work excellently well) are made of wild Hogs Teeth, and of the Horns of other Animals, which they graft in to Wooden Handles, and make use of 'em as well as we can do of the best that are made of Steel.

Almost all these Provinces produce Cot­ton more or less, but the greater part of 'em make no use of it for Clothing, but on the contrary, the most of 'em go stark naked, as well Men as Women, and are no more asham'd of appearing so than if they were in the primitive State of In­nocency.

The Religion of these People, and what they believe concerning their Idols. The Dis­course of a Cacique on this Subject.

THE Religion of these barbarous People is much alike, they all wor­ship Idols, which they make with their own Hands; to one of them they ascribe the Authority of governing the Waters, and put a Fish in his Hand in token of his Power; they chuse others to preside over their Seed-time, and others to inspire 'em with Courage in their Battels; they say these Gods came down from Heaven on purpose to dwell with them, and to shew them Kindness. They don't signify their Adoration of these Idols by any outward Ceremonies, but on the contray, seem to have forgotten 'em as soon as they have made 'em, and putting them in a Case let 'em lie, without taking any notice of 'em so long as they imagine they have no occa­sion for their Help; but when they are ready to march out to War, they set up the Idol in which they have plac'd the hopes of their Victories, at the Prow of their Canoos: so when they go a fishing, they take that Idol with 'em to which they at­tribute the Government of the Waters; [Page 93] yet they have not so much Faith in any of 'em, but that they freely acknowledg that there may possibly be a God who is greater and more powerful than these. I made this Judgment upon what pass'd be­tween us and one of these Savage People, who yet shew'd nothing in his Conversa­tion that savour'd of a barbarous Educa­tion: This Indian had heard some of our Men speak of the Almighty Power of God; and considering what he had seen with his own Eyes, that our Army had navigated this great River throughout its whole Course, and after having pass'd through so many different Warlike Nati­ons, was return'd without having receiv'd the least Damage or Prejudice from any of 'em, he thought this could not be, unless the Assistance and Power of God had con­ducted us: upon this Imagination he came to meet us, and with a great deal of Con­cern and disquiet of Mind signified to us, that for all the kind Entertainment he had given us, he desir'd no other Recompence but that we would leave him one of our Gods, seeing they were so good and pow­erful, that so he might take him and his Vassals into his Protection, that he might make 'em live in Peace and Health, and continually give 'em whatever they stood in need of for their Preservation. Our Men [Page 94] did not fail to promise him whatever he desir'd, and would fain have set up the Standard of the Cross in his Village for a certain Mark. This is a Custom the Por­tuguez have introduc'd throughout all places where Idols are worship'd; I know not whether they do it from a true Princi­ple of Zeal, as the Action it self seems to signify, for there is a great deal of reason to doubt that they set up the sacred Sign of the Cross only for a specious Pretext to make Slaves of the poor Indians, whom they carry away from their very Houses, either for their own Service, or to sell 'em to others; which gave me an extreme Com­passion for these People who don't seem unteachable, and might be more easily brought to the Knowledg of the true God by a courteous and gentle Carriage, than by all the Rigor that can be us'd upon 'em. What I have said is certainly true, that when the Portuguez have been kindly re­ceiv'd and well treated by these honest and charitable Indians, they in return to all their Hospitality only leave 'em the Sign of the Cross, which they set up in the most eminent place of their Habitations, commanding 'em to keep this holy Sign with so great Care that it may never be defac'd; and after this when this Cross happens either to be thrown down by the [Page 95] Injuries of the Weather, or to be worn out, or it may be to be maliciously broken in pieces by some of those Idolatrous In­dians who bear no respect to it, the Por­tuguez never fail to condemn 'em all as guilty of the Profanation of the Cross, and as such, declare both them and all their Children and Childrens Children perpetual Slaves. This was the main rea­son that ingag'd me to forbid the Portu­guez to leave the Cross among these Peo­ple; besides, I was not willing that this Cacique that had ask'd us for a God, should have any occasion to believe that our God was a piece of Wood, and that this had the Power and Divinity of him that sav'd us on the Cross, for fear of confirming him in Idolatry. I therefore comforted him the best I could, and told him the God we worship'd would be always with him, and advis'd him to pray to him for whatever he wanted, and to put his Trust intirely in him, telling him I believ'd he would one day favour him with the Knowledg of the true Religion. By this it appears that this Indian did not believe his Idols were powerful Gods, seeing he was so ready to forsake 'em to worship a greater Deity, if we would have given him one.

The Discourses of two other Caciques, which shew the Capacity of those Peoples Minds.

ANother of these Barbarians gave us to understand that his Sentiments were not different from those of the for­mer which we have been relating. This Indian who had more Knowledg, but less Honesty than the other, knowing that there was no Divinity, nor any Power in his Idols, set up himself for the God of all his Country. We receiv'd Information of this some Leagues before we arriv'd at the place where he dwelt, and sent him word that we were coming to bring him Tidings of the true God, who was much more powerful than he could pretend to be, and entreated him not to retire from his House, but to wait for our Arrival. He did so, and we had scarce set our Feet to Land on the shore of this Country, but he came to us big with Curiosity to enquire what News we could tell him of that God, a­bout whom we had sent such a Message to him. I held a long Discourse with him, to inform him what God was; but because he would needs see with his own Eyes the God that I preach'd to him, I was forc'd to leave him in his own Blindness: He told [Page 97] me himself was God, and begotten by the Sun; affirming that his Soul went every Night into Heaven to give Orders for the succeeding Day, and to regulate the Go­vernment of the Universe; such was the Insolence and Pride of this Savage Crea­ture.

Another of 'em shew'd himself much more reasonable; for when I was enquiring of him how it came to pass, that seeing his Companions retir'd into the Mountains at the approach of our Fleet, he alone with a few of his Relations durst come near us, and expose themselves to lie at our Mercy without fear. He answer'd that he had consider'd that such Men as had once got up that River in spight of so many Ene­mies, and were return'd in like manner without receiving any harm, could be no less than the Lords of this great River, and would be sure frequently to return to bring it into Subjection, and to people it with new Inhabitants; and the case being thus, he was not willing to live always in fear and dread in his House, but chose rather to render himself to 'em in time, and wil­lingly to acknowledg them for his Masters and Friends, whom the others would one day be constrain'd to receive and serve by Force.

The Veneration they have for their Wizards, and the Ceremonies of their Funerals.

LET us now resume the Thred of our History, and return to the Cus­toms of our Indians. 'Tis very remark­able how much Esteem▪ and Respect all these Nations bear to those Wizards they have among 'em, which proceeds not so much from the Love they have for 'em, as from the continual Fear they live in of re­ceiving some Mischief or other from their Hands. There is a certain House devo­ted to the use of these Sorcerers, in which they perform their superstitious Exercises, and converse with the Devil, (a very com­mon thing with 'em in this Place) which serves for no other purpose. They also keep the dead Bones of these Sorcerers with as much Veneration as if they were the Reliques of Saints: when they have put their Bones altogether, they hang 'em in the Air in the same Cotton Beds those Wizards us'd to lie in while alive. These are their Masters, their Preachers, their Counsellors, and their Guides: They have recourse to them in their Doubts to obtain the Resolution of 'em; and when [Page 99] they are in the greatest Rage against their Enemies, they apply themselves to these Conjurers for poisonous Herbs, by which they execute their Revenge upon 'em.

For the Burial of their Dead there are different Ceremonies among 'em; for some keep 'em in their own Houses, that by having 'em always before their Eyes, they may (as they pretend) on all Occasi­ons be put in mind of Death: But certain­ly if they did it for this intention, one would think they should keep the Re­mains of their Dead in better order than they do. Others burn their Carcases in great Pits, and with them all the deceased Party possess'd when alive: But in short, they all, one as well as another, celebrate their Funerals for many Days together, with continual Mourning and Weeping, which they only interrupt with Drinking, and that they do even to the Excess of Drunkenness.

The Constitution of their Bodies, and the Disposition of their Minds; their Dexte­rity, Manners, and Inclinations.

IT may be said in general, that all these People are well made; they have an [Page 100] agreeable Air, and a Complexion much less tauny than that of the Brazilians; they have a ready Wit, and a great deal of Dexterity in the Exercise of their Wea­pons; their Conversation is sweet and peaceable, and their Inclinations very a­greeable. We had sufficient Opportunity of knowing this by the Commerce we had with many of them: For they presently had such a good Opinion of us, that they did not make the least difficulty of trust­ing their Lives and all they had besides in our Hands. Some of them continued with us a considerable time, eating and drinking with our Men without shewing the least Suspicion or Apprehension of Danger: Nay they had the Civility to give us their Huts to lodg in, while seve­ral of their Families crowded themselves in one or two, that we might have the Accommodation of the rest. The Indi­ans we had with us offer'd 'em a thousand insolent Affronts, and we could not pos­sibly hinder 'em from insulting over 'em; but they patiently bore all, and without the least Resentment. All this, together with the slender Veneration they seem to have for their Idols, give us great ground to hope, that if ever the Knowledg of the true God of Heaven and Earth, and the Doctrine of the Gospel should be preach'd [Page 101] to 'em, there will be a great prospect of their becoming good Christians.

The principal Mouths by which the River of Amazons empties it self into the Sea, and the chief Rivers of Peru that run in­to the Amazone.

WE have hitherto treated in general of this Noble and Famous River of Amazons; now 'tis but reasonable we should enter upon the Detail of our Ac­count, and speak particularly of its Sources and Passages: I shall therefore give a Re­lation of its Ports, and distinctly observe all the Rivers that seed it, and maintain its prodigious Greatness. I shall even ad­vance into all the Countries it waters: I shall make observation of its Depths in several Parts of it, and of the particular Inclinations of the many sorts of People it maintains. I design to omit nothing that's worthy of notice, because I have been an Eye-witness of it; and having been sent by one of the greatest Monarchs in Christendom, on purpose to make ac­curate Observations on every thing upon this great River, it may be I am more capable than another to give an account of [Page 102] what was given me in charge. I shall say nothing of the principal Mouth of this Ri­ver into the Ocean on the side of Para; for it has long since been known by all that sail into America; it is well known that it lies under the Line at the utmost Confines of Brazil: Nor shall I say any thing of that Mouth of our River by which the Tyrant Lopez Daguyrre invaded the Island of La Trinidada; because I never saw it, and those that have been there have told me there is no direct Entrance into the River of Amazons by the Mouth, it being the Mouth of another River that has Com­munication with the Amazone by several Arms, which from one space to another extend themselves far from it, and enter into the Sea with this other River. My Intention is only to give the Inhabitants of the conquer'd Countries of Peru an ac­count of the Passages they have to the River of Amazons, or rather of the Ri­vers of each Province that empty them­selves into it. I have already said, that as we came down it we saw its Banks open'd by many Rivers and Rivulets both on the South and North sides: Therefore if any embark on these Rivers, they must neces­sarily fall into the Amazone. But because 'tis not certainly known from what Provin­ces they draw their Original, and upon [Page 103] what Towns their Sources border; and because 'tis yet less known in those places whence they spring, whether they fall in­to this great River or no, I shall endea­vour to remove these Doubts, and shall treat of eight of 'em, which I have taken particular notice of, and all that know these Provinces will confirm the Report I give. Three of 'em pass from the side of the Amazone, and go down toward the new Kingdom of Granada: Four others we saw on the South-side; and there's another, which runs under the Equinoctial Line, and at length empties it self into this great River.

Of the Rivers of Caqueta, Putomayo, and Aguarcio, which come from the new Kingdom of Granada, and enter into the River Amazone on the North-side.

THe first Entrance that we discover'd to fall into this River (which may be termed a Sea of fresh Water) on that side that looks towards the new King­dom of Granada, is through the Pro­vince of Micoa in the Government of Popayan, following the Current of the great River Caqueta, into which all those others that descend on the side of St. Foy, [Page 104] Bogota, Jimanas, and Cagnan, come to render Homage as to their Lady and Mis­triss. This River is very famous in the Countrey for the Numbers of Indians that inhabit the Banks of it. It has a great many Arms that extend themselves into very remote Provinces, and return to join themselves to that Body from which they separated from a great multitude of Islands, that are all inhabited by an in­finite number of wild People. This Ri­ver continually takes its Course parallel with the Amazone, always running along by it, tho at a considerable distance, and from one Place to another sending Arms of Water towards it, big enough to be taken each of 'em for whole Rivers; at last gathering it self together at the Lati­tude of four degrees, it discharges it self into our River: and 'tis by that Arm of it, which is nearest to the Province of the Aquas, that one must directly take ones Course to go down unto the Amazone, because there are some Arms that tend to­wards the North; and they that shall be so imprudent as to embark on this Arm, will certainly be expos'd to the same Dan­ger that befel Capt. Fernand Perez de Quesada, who having embarked on the Caquetta with 300 Men, and suffered himself to be carried along the side of St. [Page 105] Foy, arrived in the Province of Algodonal, from whence he was forced to retire with much more haste than he came, tho he was so well attended with a good number of Men.

The second most remarkable Entrance we find on the North side is by the Town of Pasto, which also depends on the Go­vernment of Popayan. From this Town you must cross the neighbouring Moun­tains called the Cordeliers, which is a diffi­cult incommodious Journey, because of the badness of the Ways, which you must travel partly on Foot, and the rest on Horse-back. You'l at length arrive at the River Puto­mayo, on which you must embark; and sailing down it, it will bring into the fa­mous River of Amazons, at the Latitude of two Degrees and a half, and 330 Leagues below the Port of Napo. The same Way that leads to the River Puto­mayo, leads in like manner to the River Aguarico; because when you leave the Mountains, 'tis but turning near Succombios, and near that Town you meet the River Aguarico, otherwise call'd the golden River: you need only follow the Stream of it to enter into the Amazone, and the Entrance of it is almost under the Line, where the Province of the long-hair'd Indians be­gins ninety Leagues below the Port [Page 106] of Napo. This is the third Passage, which is discover'd into the River of Ama­zons on the North side.

Of the River Coca, and the River Paga­mino, which enter into the Amazone on the South side.

UNder the Line there is another River, by which one may descend into the Amazone; it passes across the Province of Quixos, and is nearest to the City of Qui­to, beginning at the City of the Cofanes, where it takes the Name of Coca, and from all along hence it amasses together such great Quantities of Water, that it may well be said to make the principal of all those Channels that compose this great Fresh-water Sea. The Navigation of this River is very troublesom and difficult, by reason of the great Sreams of Water that trouble it all along, till it meets the River Napo; but this last, and the others that enter into the Amazone on the other side of the Line toward the South, are naviga­ted with much more ease. The first of these is the River Pagamino, which is none of the most commodious and pleasant: it is three days Journey by Land from the [Page 107] City of Avila, which likewise belongs to the Government of the Quixos. 'Twas by this River the Portuguez Fleet enter'd, and landed within the Jurisdiction of Qui­to. This River enters into the Amazone below the River Quito, and the Napo, at a place call'd La Junta de los Rios, twenty five Leagues below the Port of Napo. When the Portuguez returned, we found a better way to join their Fleet than that which they lighted on in coming into this Country: For we went strait from Quito to Archidoua, which likewise belongs to the Government of the Quixos, and is under the Jurisdiction of Quito; from whence by one day's Journey only (which we travelled on foot, it being in the Winter, that is in the time of the Rains, but might be performed on Horse-back at any other Season) we arrived at the Port of the River Napo. This River is great and rich, and all the Inhabitants of the neigh­bouring Ports under the Government of Quito account it the Depository of their Treasures; for they every Year gather from its Shores all the Gold they need to defray the Expence of their Families. Besides, this River abounds with Fish, and the Fields near it are full of Game; the Soil is very good, and requires but little Charge to cultivate it: It returns the Hus­bandman [Page 108] prodigious quantities of all sorts of Grain: This is the principal and best Way that can be taken to go from the Pro­vince of Quito to the River of Amazons; 'tis much more commodious and easy than all the rest. Yet I have heard on that side, that near the Town of Ambatte, which is 10 Leagues from Quito on the River Bamba, there is another River that comes to discharge it self into the Amazone, and that there is in it but one fall of Wa­ter caus'd by the Currents, that at all ob­structs the Navigation of it: This way is very commodious to bring one into this great River about 60 or 70 Leagues lower than the Port of Napo, by which means we may cross through the whole Province of the Quixos.

Of the Rivers of Curaray and Maragnon.

THE seventh way of coming at the River Amazone is on the side of the Province of the Macas, which also apper­tains to the Government and Jurisdiction of Quito; from the Mountains of this Pro­vince there descends a great River call'd Curaray, by following the Course of which you'l fall into this great River at 2 degrees [Page 109] Latitude, and 150 Leagues below the Port of Napo: all the space of Land is well peopled with several different Nations.

The eighth and last Passage into our great River is on the side of St. Jago, from the Mountains of the Province of the Maguas, the most powerful of all the Ri­vers that render Tribute to the Amazone: It waters all that great Country so distant from it, and is there call'd Maragnon; but at its Mouth, and some Leagues higher, it bears the Name of Tumburagna. This River enters into the Amazone at four de­grees Latitude, and more than 300 Leagues above the Mouth of it; it is so deep, and has such impetuous Currents, that the Na­vigation of it is troublesome, and some­what dangerous: but the Assurances we have that there are great numbers of Ido­latrous and Barbarous Indians inhabiting these large Countries it waters, will make those that are animated with Zeal for the Glory of God, and the Salvation of Souls, easily surmount some Difficulties. It was to make an Essay of so noble an Enterprize, that in the beginning of the Year 1638, two of our Society pass'd through the Pro­vince of the Maguas in quest of these large Countries, from whom I receiv'd a great many Letters, in which they give an ac­count of the endless Extent of this River, [Page 110] and of the innumerable Provinces they re­ceiv'd certain Intelligence of from time to time. This River Maragnon joins with Amazone 230 Leagues below the Port of Napo.

Of the River Napo.

THis River Napo, of which I have had occasion to speak so often, has its Source at the foot of a great Desart call'd Aulizana, which is 18 Leagues from Qui­to; and, which is very wonderful, tho this Place is so near the Equinoctial Line, yet this as well as many other Plains that are upon those Mountains call'd the Cordeliers, is al­ways cover'd with Snow, that serves to temper the Heat under the Torrid Zone, which is so excessive, that one would think it should render all those Countries not ha­bitable (as St. Augustin says of them) which yet by means of this perpetual Re­freshment, are the most temperate and se­rene Regions that have been discover'd since the Age wherein that great Saint flou­rish'd. This River of Napo from its Source takes its Course between great Rocks, which render it unnavigable till it comes to touch that place which is call'd the Port of Napo, where the Vezinos, or Inhabitants [Page 111] of Archidoua, have their Plantations and Gardens; there it becomes more smooth, and less rapid, and bears upon its Waters those little Canoos the Indians use for their Traffick: however, it retains something of its Roughness and Impetuosity for five or six Leagues below this Port; and then all on a sudden becomes calm and smooth, and so remains till it enters into the River Coca, which makes the space of about 25 Leagues; during which space it has a good Bottom, and a smooth Course, and affords the largest Vessels a very safe Passage. The Conjunction it makes with the River Coca is call'd La Junta de los Rios, the joining of the Rivers; and this is reported to have been the place where Francis d' Oreillane and his Men arriv'd, and made that Bri­gantine in which he sailed and discover'd all the River of Amazons.

Of the Town of Anose where Capt. John de Palacios dwelt, with whom there were the two Lay-Friers who made their Escape down to Para (spoken of before.)

FOrty seven Leagues below the place where these Rivers join, on the South-side, is situated the Town of Anose, which [Page 112] is a Plantation made by Capt. John de Pa­lacios, who (as I said before) was kill'd by the Inhabitants of the Country: 18 Leagues below this Town on the North-side lies the River Agarico, which enters into the Amazone; this River is sufficient­ly famous not only for its Air, which is none of the best, but also for the quan­tity of Gold that is found in its Sands, from whence it has had the Name of the Golden River these hundred Years. At the Mouth of it on one side as well as t'other of the River of Amazons be­gins the great Province of the long-hair'd Indians, which extends on the North-side for above 180 Leagues, and continually receives great quantities of Water from the Amazone, which makes divers Lakes of a great Compass and Depth. The first Notices that the Inhabi­tants of Quito receiv'd of this Country gave 'em a very great desire to make a Conquest of it, because of the great num­ber of Indians with which this Province is peopled. And indeed there have been at several times some Essays of this kind made, but always in vain, witness the last of 'em that had such bad Success, when Capt. John de Palacios was kill'd, as has been already said.

The Place where General Texeira left his Fleet of Portuguez.

'TWas in this Province of the long-hair'd Indians at the Mouth of the River which bears their Name, and enters into the Amazone 20 Leagues below the River again, that by the Order of General Texeira forty Portuguez of his Fleet, with 200 of the Indians they brought with 'em, continued constantly for the space of eleven Months: At first they found nothing but good Entertain­ment of all sorts from the Inhabitants of the Country, to whom in return they gave all Ne­cessaries they had occasion for; but this did not continue long. This was too great a Familia­rity for Men that knew themselves guilty of the death of the Spanish Captain; for they being the Authors of this Fact, knew well e­nough that the Blood they had shed cry'd for Vengeance against 'em, and therefore being un­der Apprehensions of being chastis'd for their Boldness on the least occasion that should of­fer, they mutinied, and after they had kill'd three of our Indians, took up Arms to defend their Lives and Lands. The Portuguez on this occasion acted like themselves, and pre­sently sought to be reveng'd; for it being contrary to their Humour to put up Injuries, [Page 114] or to suffer Indians to take the liberty of act­ing with so much Insolence as this, they be­took themselves to Arms, and with their wonted Courage, for which they are so fa­mous, flew upon their Enemies, and repuls'd them with so much Vigor, that with the loss of a very few Men they killed a considerable number of Indians, and took above 70 of 'em Prisoners; some of whom died in the places of their Confinement, and the rest made their Escape, so that in a little time there was not one of them left. These Portuguez did not get much by their Victory, for they now found themselves reduc'd to such Extremity, that they saw they must either perish for want of Food, or else be oblig'd to go with their Swords in their hands to fetch Provision out of the very Mouths of their Enemies. Accordingly they resolv'd to make Incursions into the Country, and either by fair means or soul to get a Supply for their pinching Neces­sities. Some of 'em went out to fight, and others kept the Camp; but both the one and the other in spite of all their Bravery did not fail to meet with frequent and violent Insults from their Enemies, who omitted no fit oc­casion to give 'em all sorts of Alarms, and to do 'em all the Mischief they could, especially upon the River, where they surpriz'd a great many of their Vessels, some of which they pillaged, and brake others of 'em in pieces: [Page 115] and yet this was not the greatest Damage they did our Men; for they laid Ambuscades for our Indians, and cut the Throats of all that fell into their hands: 'Tis true, for eve­ry Man they kill'd, the Portuguez kill'd six of them; but this Chastisement was nothing comparable to what the Portuguez used to make the Indians suffer for such kind of Re­volts. These People were call'd by the Spa­niards who saw them first, the Hairy Indians, because throughout this Province the Men as well as the Women wear their Hair quite down to their Knees. Their Weapons are Darts, their Houses are Huts made very neat­ly and curiously with the Branches of Palm-Trees: Their Food is like that of all the o­ther Indians upon the Amazone. They are always in War with their Neighbours at the Head of this Province of the long-hair'd Savages on the South-side; on the other side of the River of Amazons, they have for their Neighbours the Avixiras, the Yurusnies, the Zaparas, and the Yquitos, who are on one side enclosed by the River Curaray, and on the o­ther by the Amazone, into which the former empties it self 4 Leagues below the Province of the long-hair'd Indians, at near two degrees Latitude. Eighty Leagues below Curaray on the same South-side, the famous River Tum­buragua, which, as I said before, descends from the Province of the Maynas, by the [Page 116] Name of Maragnon, enters into the Amazone; and is so impetuous and violent, that it pre­serves its Waters entirely together, while it runs with its ordinary Swiftness several Leagues forward into the Amazone without mixing with it, which makes it extend above a League in Breadth at its Mouth: at length it acknowledges the Superiority of the Ama­zone, and pays it not only the ordinary Tri­bute, which the other Rivers render it, but another more considerable Advantage be­sides of many sorts of Fish, that are not found in the River of Amazons, till you come to the Mouth of this River.

The Province of the Aguas, their Manners and Customs.

SIxty Leagues below the River Tumbura­gua begins the Province of the Aguas, which is the most fertile and spacious of all the Provinces we found along this great River of Amazons; the Spaniards vulgarly call it Omaguas, by a corruption of its proper Name, and to make it answer to the Situation of their Dwellings; because the Word Aguas in their Language signifies without, or abroad. This Province is above 200 Leagues in length, and is so well peopled, that the Villages are [Page 117] situate very close one to another; so that al­most as soon as you are past one, you discover another. The Breadth of this Country in all appearance is but of small extent, it be­ing no greater than that of our River; for the Habitations of these People are in all the Islands throughout the whole Length of it, which are in great number, and some of which are very spacious: and considering they are all either peopled, or at least culti­vated for the Sustenance of the Inhabitants, one may easily imagine there must needs be vast numbers of Indians in a Country that extends 200 Leagues in Length. This Na­tion is the most reasonable and best civilized of all those that dwell along this River. This Advantage they received from those that not long since went down amongst 'em from the Countrey of the Quixos; where after having had Peace with the Spaniards for a long time, they were at last wearied with the ill Treatment they received from 'em, and embarking in their Canoos, suffered them­selves to be carried down with the Stream of the River, till they met with other Indi­ans of their Nation, upon whose Strength and Power they could rely, and accordingly took up their Residence with 'em. These last Comers introduc'd among the others several things they had seen practised by the Spaniards, and taught 'em how to live after [Page 118] a more civil and regular manner. They were all clothed, both Men and Women, with all the Decency imaginable; their Gar­ments are made of Cotton, of which they gather a prodigious quantity; and they do not only make Stuffs enough for their own use, but make a great many to sell to their Neighbours, who are mightily taken (and that not without reason) with the Beauty of those pretty Works with which they deck their Stuffs: they make some very thin Clothes, which are not only woven with Threds of different Colours, but the Paint of 'em is disposed with so much Art in the weaving, that the different Threds can't be distinguished one from another. They are so submissive and obedient to their principal Caciques, that these whom they look upon as their Princes, need speak but a Word to have whatever they command put in execution.

This whole Nation has been so long accus­tomed to make their Heads flat, that as soon as their Children are born they put them in a kind of Press; forcing Nature after this manner with one little Board, which they hold upon the Forehead, and another much lar­ger, which they put behind the Head, and which serves them for a Cradle; and all the rest of the Body of the new-born Infant is as it were inclos'd with this piece of Wood: they lay the Child upon his Back, [Page 119] and this Board being bound fast to that which is upon the Forehead, they make the Head of the Child almost as slat as ones Hand; thus there being no room for the Head to grow, but by spreading it self wide from one Ear to the other, they are extremely dis­figured by this violent Artifice.

The Aguas have perpetual War with se­veral other Nations both on the one and the other side of the River. On the South side among other Enemies they have the Curinas, who are so numerous, that they not only ve­ry well defend themselves on the side of the River from innumerable Multitudes of the Aguas; but at the same time likewise sus­tain the Efforts and Shocks of other Nations, that come a great way down the Countrey to make War with them. On the North side the Zoeunas are Enemies to the Aguas, and are, by the Accounts I have had of them, no less numerous, nor less stout than the Curinas; which appears in that they maintain a War a­gainst a great number of Enemies, that come down from Places a great way up in the Country.

The Love these People have for the Captives they take in War, and the Calumny they bie under in being reported to eat 'em.

THese Aguas make Slaves of all the Pri­soners they take in War, and use 'em for all kinds of Service; however they treat 'em with so much Love and Kindness, that they make 'em eat with themselves; and there's nothing in the World displeases 'em more, than to desire 'em to sell 'em, as we found by experience on several occasions: I remember once at our Arrival at an Indian Town, they received us not only with all the Marks of Peace and Amity, but even with all the Tokens of extraordinary Joy: They offer'd us all they had for our Sustenance, without requiring any thing in return: We on our parts shewed that Civility to them that became us; we bought their painted Cotton-Cloth, which they very willingly parted with; we desired 'em to sell us some Canoos, which are better to them than the best and swiftest Horses, and they presently offer'd 'em to us; but when we began to talk with 'em about their Slaves, and to importune 'em to sell us some of 'em, this was to them the most uncivil and inhumane Discourse that could be: one of them presently gave [Page 121] us to understand that he would no longer keep company with us; another shew'd himself mightily troubled at the matter: On the one hand they were very diligent to hide 'em from us, on the other to get some of 'em that were with us out of our Hands; in a word, they gave us Signs enough to convince us, that they had a greater esteem for their Slaves than for all the rest of their Goods, and that they had rather part with all they possess'd besides than part with them. And this be­ing the truth of the matter, 'tis a malicious thing of the Portuguez to report that the rea­son why the Aguas are unwilling to sell their Slaves, is because they fatten 'em, and keep 'em to eat at their Feasts: This is a Calumny they have invented, to palliate the Cruelties they have exercised upon these poor Wretch­es. I may farther add, that at least as far as concerns the Nation of the Aguas I have found the contrary true by the Testimony of two Indians that were Natives of Para, who came up with the Portuguez as far as Quito, and ran away when they were arriv'd there; who falling into the hands of these People, were made Slaves, and remained with them eight Months: these assured me they had been out with them at their Wars, and that they never saw 'em eat any of their Enemies, when they had taken 'em, and made Slaves of 'em: 'twas true indeed (they said) when [Page 122] they had taken any of their Enemies that had the Reputation of being Valiant and Great, they kill'd 'em at their Feasts and Assemblies, only out of fear of sustaining some consider­able Damage by 'em, if they should suffer 'em to live; but that they did not eat these neither when they had kill'd 'em, but when they had cut off their Heads, which they us'd to hang up in their Huts as Trophies, they roll'd their Bodies into the River.

I don't deny that there are some Caribees in those Parts that eat their Enemies without any Sentiments of Horror; but this is a Custom peculiar to them, and is not practi­sed among other Indians. And this I de­sire may be taken notice of and credited, that Human Flesh has never been sold in any of the Publick Shambles of this Nation, as the Portuguez have reported; who under the pretence of revenging such kind of Cruel­ties, commit those that are incomparably greater themselves, since they are so inhu­man and barbarous, as to make Slaves of those that were born free and independent.

The great Cold in those parts under the Line in June, July and August, and the reason of it.

AFter we were got down about 100 Leagues more or less into the Country of the Aguas, and so had pass'd about half way through this vast Province, we arriv'd at a Town of this Nation, where we were ob­liged to continue three days; we there felt it so extreme cold, that those of us that were born and bred in the coldest Province of Spain, were constrain'd to put on more Clothes. This so sudden change of the Tem­per of the Air surpriz'd me, and gave me the Curiosity to enquire the Cause of it, of the People of the Country: they told me it was no unusual thing in their Quarters, that every Year for three Moons (for thus they count and mean for three Months) they felt the same Cold; these three Months are June, July and August: but this Answer did not sa­tisfy me, who was willing to have a more solid and perfect knowledg of the reason of this so piercing Cold. Upon Consideration I found that the Winds passing through that vast and mountainous Desert, which is situate a great way up in the Country on the South-side, all those three Months, and so bringing along with them the cold Air occasion'd by the [Page 124] Snow with which those Desert Mountains are cover'd, cause these surprizing Effects in the Neighbouring Countries under the Tor­rid Zone. And for this reason I don't questi­on but the Situation of this Country is capa­ble of making the Ground produce good Wheat, and all other sorts of Grain and Fruits, that grow in the Soil of Quito, which is in like manner situated under the Line, or very near it, and yet is made very fertile and fit for all sorts of Grain and Fruits, and this by reason of that fresh Air brought thither by the Winds that come off from the Moun­tains which are cover'd with Snow.

Of the River Putomayo, which comes from the new Kingdom of Granada, and the Ri­ver Yotau, which comes from the Neigh­bourhood of the City of Cusco.

SIxteen Leagues below the place where we felt so much Cold, on the North-side we met with the great River Putomayo, which is so famous in the Government of Po­payan in the new Kingdom of Granada. This is a very great and wide River, because it receives 30 other very considerable Rivers be­fore it falls into the Amazone. Those that in­habit the places about its Mouth call it Iza, [Page 125] it comes down from the Mountains of Pasto in the Kingdom of Granada: there's abun­dance of Gold found in the Sand and Gravel of it; and we were assur'd that the Banks of it were extremely well peopled, so that a Troop of Spanish Souldiers coming upon this River, found Enemies enow to constrain 'em to retire with some loss. The Names of the Natives that inhabit these Parts are the Yuri­nas, the Guaraicas, the Parianas, the Zyas, the Ahyves, the Cuvos; and those that are nearest the Source dwell on both sides of the River, as being the Lords and Masters of it, and are call'd the Omaguas; the Aguas of the Islands call 'em the true Omaguas.

Fifty Leagues below this Mouth of Puto­mayo, we found on the other side the Mouth of another fine large River, which takes its Rise near Cusco, and enters into the Amazone at the Latitude of three degrees and a half; the Natives call it Yosau, and 'tis esteem'd a­bove all the rest for its Riches, and for the great number of People it maintains; the Names of whom are these, the Tepanas, the Gavains, the Ozuanas, the Morvas, the Nau­nos, the Conomamas, the Mariavas, and the Omaguas, which are the last Nation that dwell upon this River towards Peru, and by consequence are the nearest Neighbours the Spaniards have on that side. This Nation is ac­counted to be very rich in Gold, because they [Page 126] wear great Plates of Gold hanging at their Ears and Nostrils: and if I don't mistake, these Indians are the same with those I have read of in the History of the Tyrant Lopez Daguirre, to whose Country Pedro d' Orsua was sent by the Vice-roy of Peru to make a Discovery of it, because of the great Repu­tation they had of being the most wealthy People in America; however, Pedro d' Orsua miss'd his way, and instead of taking the River Yotau, sail'd upon an Arm of another River which enters into the Amazone some Leagues below the other; so that when he was fallen down into the Amazone, he found himself so far below these People, whose Country he went to discover, that he per­ceiv'd it impossible to get up to 'em, not only because of the Impetuosity of the Currents, against which he was afraid to hazard him­self, but likewise because of the Discontent all his Souldiers express'd at so difficult an Enterprize. This River Yotau abounds with Fish, and its Banks with all sorts of Venison and wild Fowl; and is besides very Navi­gable, because it has a good Bottom, and a very gentle Current, by what I have been able to learn from those that dwell upon its Banks.

The utmost Borders of the People call'd the Aguas, who possess the space of 54 Leagues along this River, and the River Yurva which comes from the side of Cusco.

IN following the Course of the River of Amazons we came down about fourteen Leagues lower, and arriv'd at the utmost Bounds of the long Province of the Aguas, which is a Town well peopled, wherein they keep a strong Garison; this being the prin­cipal Fort they have on that side to resist the Irruptions of their Enemies for the space of above 54 Leagues along this River. They are the sole Masters of its Banks, so that their Enemies don't possess an Inch of Land there: but the Bounds of their Country are so nar­row, that from the Banks of the River you may see the remotest Villages they have on the Continent. They have a thousand small Rivers that fall into the Amazone, and that serve to convey 'em into the Country for what they want; on the North-side the Curis and the Quirabas are their Enemies, and the Cachiguaras and the Jucuris on the South-side. We could not come at the sight of these Na­tions, because our Orders would not permit us to go so high into the Country; but we dis­cover'd the Mouth of a River which we may [Page 128] with good reason call the River of Cusco, because, according to the Relation which I have seen of the Voyage of Francis Oreillane, this River goes North and South from the City of Cusco; it enters into the Amazone at the Latitude of 5 degrees, and at 24 Leagues distance from the last great Village of the Aguas. The Natives call it Yurna; the Country is well peopled, and on the Right­hand, as you enter into this River against the Stream, are the same People I have spoken of before, who inhabit the Banks of the River Yotau; for they extend themselves from the Banks of one of these Rivers to the other, and so dwell between 'em both, almost as in an Island; and, if I am not mistaken, it was by this last River that Pedro d' Orsua came down from Peru into the Amazone.

Of the Nation of the Curuzicaris who possess the space of 24 Leagues along this River: Of their Husbandry, and Ingenuity in making all sorts of Vtensils, and Earthen Ware.

TWenty eight Leagues below the River Yurva, on the same South-side, begins the great and potent Nation of the Curuzi­caris, in a Country all cover'd with Moun­tains and Precipices. This Nation inhabits [Page 129] only the Bank of the Amazone on the South-side, and possesses above 24 Leagues of it in length. This People is so numerous, that their Villages are very near one another, so that we could scarce make four hours sail, but we found new Plantations; and sometimes we found their Towns so long, that we could not get clear of 'em in half a day. We found abundance of those Villages without one Soul in 'em, all the Inhabitants being frighted away with the false News, that we put all to Fire and Sword, and that the least Evil they were to expect from us, was to be all made Slaves: The greatest part of 'em retir'd as far as the Mountains: But tho these People are so ti­merous, that they may well be term'd the greatest Cowards upon the River of Amazons, yet we saw in all their Houses the Marks of a great deal of good Husbandry and Neat­ness; for we found abundance of Provisions which they had laid up in store, and which is more, a great deal of Houshold-goods, a­mongst which, the Vessels they had made to eat and drink in, were the neatest and most commodious of any we had yet seen through the whole Course of this great River. They have in the Marshy Places where they dwell, a sort of Earth very good to make all kinds of Vessels; of this they make great Pots or Jars, in which they make their Drink and knead their Dough, and Pans and Pots to boil [Page 130] in, and a sort of Ovens in which they bake their Bread; they likewise make Drinking-Cups and Basons of it, and very neat Frying-pans: They make great quantities of all these Utensils to carry on the Trade they have with all the neighbouring Nations, who having occasion for all these pieces of Houshold-stuff come from all Quarters to procure 'em in this Country, and carry them away in great Bur­dens, giving in exchange for 'em all sorts of things this People want, which are not pro­duc'd in their own Country. The first Vil­lage the Portuguez of our Fleet met with in coming up the River of Amazons, they call'd the Golden Town, because they found some pieces of Gold there, which these People had receiv'd in exchange from those Indians that wear Plates of Gold at their Ears and Noses. This Gold was carried to Quito, and upon trial the greatest part of it was found of the [...]ineness of twenty three Carrats: But the Natives observing the Greediness of our Men, and how eagerly they hunted after more of these little Plates of Gold, took care to hide [...]em all, so that in a little time they were none of 'em to be found. And they took such ex­act care of the business at our return, that al­tho we found a great many of these Indians, yet there was but one of 'em that had these Far-pendants, and those very small ones, which I bought of him.

Of the Golden Mine, and the River Yquyari which springs out of it, and yields all those Plates of Gold, of which those People make their Pendants.

THE Portuguez Fleet, as they came from Para to discover this great River of Amazons, could not get any certain know­ledg of many things that are to be met with there, because they came away without In­terpreters, and could obtain none to inform 'em and give 'em a faithful account of things: So that if the Portuguez pretend to give a good account of any Matter, it must be only from what they have learn'd of the Indians by Signs, which are ordinarily very uncer­tain and equivocal, because every one is apt to apply them to what his Fancy leads him; these Difficulties ceas'd at their return, and it pleas'd God to favour us with such good Interpreters, that I can affirm that all that is contain'd in this Relation, is written upon the certain Knowledg and ample Discovery of all things by the means of the Interpreters we carried with us. 'Tis from them I have the Account I am now going to give of that Mine from whence the Natives have those Golden Pendants for their Ears and Noses which we saw. Over against this great Vil­lage [Page 132] a little higher on the North-side, there enters into the Amazone a River call'd Yuru­paci; going up this River you arrive at a place where you are to go ashore, to cross the Country for three days Journey, at the end of which you meet another River call'd Yupara, by sailing on which you meet with the River Yquiari, which is that the Portu­guez call the Golden River; it springs from the foot of a Mountain hard by: Here the Natives amass Gold together in prodigious quantities; they find it all in Spangles, or Grains of a good alloy; they beat these small Grains of Gold together till they form those little Plates which they hang at their Ears and Noses, as we have said before. The People of this Country that find this Gold, trade with it among their Neighbours, who are call'd the Mavagus; as for the other they are call'd the Yuma Guaris, which is as much as to say, the Metal-gatherers; for Yuma signifies Metal, and Guaris those that gather it up: and under this general Name of Yuma they understand all sorts of Metals, there­fore they call'd all the Iron Tools that we had, as Axes, Hatchets, Bills, and Knives, by the same Name of Yuma. The way of getting to this place seem'd to me to be very troublesome and difficult, because of chang­ing the Rivers so many times, and of making so long a Journey across the Country; which [Page 133] giving me no satisfaction, I could not be at rest till I had discover'd an Advantage more easily attainable, of which I shall discourse hereafter.

The Affectation of this People to have great Holes made in their Ears and Nostrils, at which they hang their Plates of Gold.

THese Savages go all naked both Men and Women, and their Riches only serve 'em for a small Ornament with which they deck their Ears and Noses; for they put the Gold they get out of the Mines to no o­ther use than that of adorning themselves: they all generally have their Ears bored for this end, and they affect to have the Holes made so vastly wide, that one may almost thrust ones Fist through the Hole in the tips of some of their Ears; this is the place at which they hang their Jewels, and they com­monly wear in them a handful of Leaves made up close together, to keep their Ears constantly in the same Figure. This passes among 'em for the greatest piece of Finery in the World. On the other side of the Ama­zone, over against this high Country which the Curazicaris possess, there is a flat Coun­try all intersected with Rivers (and particu­larly [Page 134] with several Arms of the River Caque­ta) which run along through it: so that this Country is all made up of Islands inclos'd by great Lakes, that extend several Leagues in length, till at last all these Waters crowd together, and pour themselves into the Rione­gro, and so fall into the Amazone. All these Islands are peopled with many different Na­tions, but those that possess the most Land are the Zuavas.

Of the River Yupara, and the short Cut it makes to the Golden Mountain.

FOurteen Leagues below the Village which the Portuguez call the Golden Town, on the North-side, we saw the mouth of the River Yupara, which is that by which one may enter into the Golden River; and this is the most direct, the most sure, and shortest way to come at that Golden Moun­tain that is so vastly rich. This Mouth is at the Latitude of two degrees and a half, and so is that Village which is situate four Leagues lower on the South-side on the Edg of a great Precipice, at the foot of which is the Mouth of another great and fine River, which the Natives call Tapi, the Banks of which are inhabited by a great number of [Page 135] Indians call'd the Paguavos. I have already said that the Nation of the Curazicaris takes up above four and twenty Leagues of the Length of this Country; and I add, that all their Lands are very high Ground, where you may see very pleasant Fields and fine Pastures for Cattel; there are also Groves of Trees that extend a great length, and a great many Lakes that abound with Fish; which would be a great advantage to any that should make Plantations in those parts.

An Account of many other Nations, and of divers Rivers that descend into the Amazone; and of the Golden Lake that is so famous in Peru.

TWenty six Leagues below Tapi the River Catua falls into the Amazone, at the Mouth of it it forms a great Lake of Water, that looks green; it has its Source far up in the Country on the South-side, and its Banks, as well as those of other Rivers, are peopled with Indians: Yet 'tis said, a­nother River, that comes on the North-side, and falls into the Amazone six Leagues below Tapi, and is called Agaranatuba, far exceeds all the other Rivers for the multitude of dif­ferent Nations that inhabit its Banks. One [Page 136] may also have Communication with the Ri­ver Yupara, of which we have spoken above, by the way of this River. The People it maintains are called the Yacarets, &c. All these Nations speak two different Languages, and 'tis in their Country (if what is talked in the new Kingdom of Granada be true) that this so much desired Golden Lake is to be found*, which has so long made the In­habitants of Peru very uneasy. I don't af­firm this as a Certainty: It may be it will please God one day to put this Matter out of doubt. There is another River that enters into the Amazone sixteen Leagues lower than Araganatuba, and bears the same Name; but [Page 137] it is to be observ'd that these two are indeed one and the same River divided into two different Arms, and therefore both bear the same Name, till they empty themselves into the Amazone. Two and twenty Leagues below this last Arm of Araganatuba, are the utmost Limits of this great and rich Na­tion of the Curazicaris, who inhabit one of the best Cantons of Land we have met with in all the Extent of this great River.

Of the warlike People called Yorimaus.

TWO Leagues lower begins the Coun­try of the most renown'd and war­like Nation of any all along the River of A­mazons; these People made all the Portu­guez Fleet tremble when they went to land in their Countrey, as they came up from Para. They are call'd the Yorimaus, they dwell on the South-side of the River, and not only possess all the Continent along its Banks for above sixty Leagues successively, but likewise the greatest part of all those Islands the Amazone makes in that long space: for tho the Extent of Land this People possess is confin'd within the Space of a little above sixty Leagues on the River Amazone, yet having all the Islands besides within the [Page 138] same space, and all the Continent a good way up in the Countrey, they are as numerous as any Nation we saw wherever we set foot to land all along the River. The greatest part of the Yorimaus are well made, and of a better Shape than the rest of the Indians; they go naked as well as others, but one may well see by the Air of their Countenances, that they have a greater dependance upon their Courage than the other Savages: they came amongst us, and went from us with the greatest Assurance that could be; and there pass'd no day, but above 200 Canoos full of Women and Children came aboard our Admiral, bringing with them all sorts of Fruits, Fishes, Meal and other things, which we bought of 'em in exchange for Glass-Buttons, Needles and Knives. This was at the first Village of the Yorimaus, which is built at the Mouth of a fine River, that seemed to us to be very impetuous, by the great Force with which it repuls'd the Waters of the Amazone, as it ran into it. I don't doubt but the Banks of it are inhabited, as well as those of all the others, by many different Nations; but we could not learn the Names of 'em, because our Fleet only pass'd by the Mouth of it.

The Length of the Country which these People possess, and the great Islands they inhabit in the River of Amazons.

TWo and twenty Leagues below this first Plantation of the Yorimaus, we met with the greatest Village we had yet seen on this great River: The Houses joined to one another, and continued so to do above a League in length: each of these Houses con­tains not only one Family, as is customary in most Cities in Europe, but in those that were least filld there dwelt 4 or 5 entire Families, and more in the greatest part of 'em. By this may be conjectur'd what an incredible multitude of people must needs live in that one Town. We went to their Houses, and found all there in profound Peace. They waited for our coming, without being at all alarm'd by it, and furnished us with all necessary Provisi­ons, which our Fleet began now to want. We continued five days in this Place, and stor'd our selves here with a Provision of above five hundred Measures of Meal of * Magnioc; so that we had more than e­nough [Page 140] of it to accomplish our Voyage, which as we continued from thence, we perpetually met with the Villages of this Nation one soon after another; at last we arriv'd at a place thirty Leagues below this great Town, which in all appearance is the chief Strength of this Nation. 'Tis a great Island made by one Arm of the Amazone, as it goes to join it self to another River that comes to fall in­to it; and both together run against the Banks of this last River, which are inha­bited by so great a Multitude of people, that 'tis not without reason that their Neighbours fear and respect 'em, if it were only for their Numbers.

The Extent of the Province of the Yorimaus, and of the River of Cuchiguara. Of a Peo­ple so ingenious in working of Wood, that they equal the best Masters in Europe.

TEN Leagues below this Island the Pro­vince of the Yorimaus ends; and two Leagues farther we found on the South-side the Mouth of a famous River which the In­dians call Cuchiguara; 'tis navigable, tho there are Rocks in it in some Places, and 'tis very full of Fish, and well stock'd with Tortoises; its Banks are loaded with Maze and Magnioc. In a word, it has every thing necessary to make the Navigation of it easy and agreeable. All the Banks of this River are peopled with different Nations, which I shall name one after another successively, be­ginning with those that dwell at the Mouth of it, going on with those that dwell along the River upward, which are the Cuchigua­ras, and bear the same Name with the River Cuchiguara, &c. and in fine, all the last are call'd the Curiguiris; who, according to the Report that Persons who have been with them, and offer'd to conduct us to them, gave us, are Giants of sixteen Spans height, and very stout; they go naked as well as the others, and wear great Plates of God at their [Page 142] Ears and Nostrils: We were informed that 'twould be a Journey of two Months to go into the Province of these Giants from the Mouth of this River. When we had passed some space farther, we found on the South-side the People call'd the Caupunas and the Zurinas, which are the most ingenious and curious handy-craft Men that we saw in all the Country. Without any other Tools than such as I have spoken of before, they make Chairs in the Form of Beasts, with so much Curiosity, and so commodious for a Man to sit at his Ease, that I think the In­vention of Man cannot contrive better. They make Estolicas, which are their ordinary Weapons, of a very slender Stick, with so much Art, that 'tis not to be wondred at that other Nations in the Country are very desi­rous of them; and which is very strange, they'll cut a rais'd Figure so much to the Life, and so exactly upon any coarse Piece of Wood, that many of our Carvers might take Pattern by them. 'Tis not only to gra­tify their own Fancies, and for their own Use, that they make these Pieces of Work, but also for the Profit it brings them; for they hereby maintain a Trade with their Neighbours, and truck their Work with them for any Necessaries to serve their Occa­sions.

Of the River Basurara, and the great Islands it forms: Of the People that inhabit those Parts: Of their Arms, and the Commerce they have with the Dutch that inhabit Cay­enne.

THirty two Leagues below the Mouth of Cuchiguara we met the Mouth of another River on the North-side, call'd Ba­surara by the Natives: This River extends it self a great way up in the Country, and forms several great Lakes, so that the Coun­try is divided into divers large Islands, which are all peopled with an infinite Number of Inhabitants. These Lands lie very high, and are never overflow'd by the Inundations, let them be never so great. This Country abounds with all sorts of Provision, as Maze, Magnioc, all kinds of Fruit, Venison, Wild-Fowl, and Fish, and yields its Inhabitants a liberal Maintenance; which makes it abound as much in Men as in all other things. All the People that live in the large Extent of this Country are call'd by the general Name of Carabuyavas, and are divided into parti­cular Provinces, some of which are call'd the Ceraguanas, &c. All the Indians use Bows and Arrows; and among some of them I saw Iron Tools and Weapons, as [Page 144] Hatchets, Halbards, Bills and Knives. I asked them, by our Interpreters, from whence they had those Instruments of Iron: they answered, that they bought them of the People of that Country that dwelt near­est the Sea on that side, who had their Goods in exchange for 'em; that they were white Men like us, and made use of the same Arms, as Swords and Guns, and had Houses upon the Sea-Coast; that the only difference be­tween them and us was, that they had all light-colour'd Hair. These Tokens were sufficient to assure us that these were the Dutch that were in possession of the Mouth of the Smooth River, or the River Philippe, some time before. It was in the Year 1638, that they made a Descent into Guiana, which depends on the Government of the New Kingdom of Granada, and not only made themselves Masters of the whole Island, * but came upon it by such a Surprize, that [Page 145] the Spaniards had not time to carry away the Holy Sacrament of the Altar, but left it in Captivity in the Enemies hand: They promised themselves a great Ransom from us to get this holy Pledg out of their hands, knowing what Respect and Love the Catho­licks have for the precious Body of their Sa­viour; but our Men took another Course, which was, to betake themselves to their Arms, and compose good Companies of Souldiers who were resolved to go with the Courage of Christians to expose their Lives to deliver their Saviour from the hands of his Enemies. They were big with these just and pious Resolutions, which could only be inspired from Heaven, when we parted from thence to return into Spain, to render an Account of our Voyage.

Of the great River called Rionegro, [or the Black River] because its Waters are so clear, that they look black again: and of a fit Place to fortify upon this River, which would be a means to obtain the Sovereignty of the Amazone by the way to it from the North-Cape through the River call'd Rio­grande.

ON the same North-side, thirty Leagues or something less from Basurara, we met with the largest Mouth, and the finest River of any that come to throw themselves into the Amazone. It runs a Course of 1300 Leagues in length; the Mouth of it is a League and a half wide, which is at the Latitude of four degrees; and to speak a lit­tle pleasantly, one may say, this mighty Ri­ver is so haughty, that 'tis offended to meet with a greater than it self; and as the incom­parable Amazone stretches out its Arms to re­ceive it, this proud River disdains to be so embrac'd as to lose it self in the other's Wa­ters, and therefore keeps separated from it, and fills up half the Bed of the Amazone it self for above the length of twelve Leagues, so that the Waters of the one may be easily distinguished from the other by those that sail in this Channel. The Portuguez had [Page 147] some Reason to call this the Black River, be­cause at its Mouth, and many Leagues above, its Depth, together with the Clearness of those Waters which are pour'd into its Chan­nel from several great Lakes, make it ap­pear black, as if it were dyed, tho when it is put in a Glass it looks as clear as Crystal. It takes its Course from West to East at its be­ginning, but has such great Windings, that in a very little space it changes its Course to different Points; but the Course it runs for several Leagues before it empties it self into the Amazone, is again from West to East. The Indians that live upon the Banks of it call it Curiguarura; but the Toupinambous, of whom we shall speak presently, give it the name of Ʋrama;, which signifies [Black Water] in their Language. They also give another name to the Amazone, which it re­tains in those Parts, namely, Pajanaquris, which is as much as to say [the Great River], to distinguish it from another, which tho it be a great River, however is much less than this, and named Pajanamira, which enters into the Amazone on the South-side, a League below the Black River. We were assur'd that this River was inhabited by a great number of People of different Nations, the last of which wear Clothes and Hats like ours, which sufficiently convinc'd us that th [...]se People were not remote from our Ci­ties [Page 148] in Peru. Those that dwell on the Banks of the Black River, possess a great deal of Ground; they are call'd Canicuaris and Curu­patabas; and the last Nation is that of the Quaravaquazanas, that dwell upon one Arm of the Black River: and 'tis by this Arm, as we were sufficiently inform'd, that one may pass into the Riogrande, the Mouth of which goes into the Sea at the North-Cape, near which River the Dutch have established themselves.

All these Nations make use of Bows and Arrows, the most of which they poison with the Juice of Herbs. All the Lands upon this Black River are situate very high, the Soil is very good, and if manur'd, would yield plenty of all sorts of Fruit (even such as we have in Europe) in some places that lie well to produce 'em. There are a great many fine and pleasant Fields all cover'd with ex­cellent Pasturage sufficient to nourish an in­numerable stock of all sorts of Cattle. There are likewise abundance of good Trees, the Timber of which is very good for all sorts of Carpenters Work, whether for Land or Water: And besides this great plenty of Wood, the Country yields very good Stones, and that in vast Quantities, fit for the noblest Buildings. The Borders of it are stor'd with all sorts of Game. Indeed it has but a few Fish in comparison with the River of Ama­zons; [Page 149] the reason of which is from the ex­ceeding Clearness of the Water: But to make amends for this Defect, the Lakes which are in the Country, and pour their Waters into this River, yield the Inhabi­tants more Fish than they need. This River has at the Mouth of it the best Situation in the World for the making of a Fort, and plenty of Stones to build it, which would be very proper to hinder our Enemies from coming by this River to enter into the great Channel of the Amazone; not that I think this to be the best place of all for a Fortifica­tion for such a purpose, but rather several Leagues above this Mouth, in an Arm that goes to cast it self into the River call'd Riogrande, whose Mouth (as I have already said) is in the North Sea: there we might place all our Forces with the greatest Cer­tainty of entirely stopping the Passage of our Enemies into this new World, which they so passionately desire to discover; and which they will some time or other attempt, if they are not prevented by securing this Pas­sage. I dare not affirm that this River call'd the Riogrande, into which the Arm of the Black River enters, is the Smooth River, or the Philippe, for both enter into the Sea to­ward the North Cape; but by all the Ob­servations I have made, I am very inclin­able to believe that it is the River Philippe, [Page 150] because 'tis the first considerable River that enters into the Sea beyond the Cape. But this I know for certain, that the Riogrande is not the River Orenoque, because the princi­pal Mouth of it into the Sea is over against the Island of La Trinidada, which is above a hundred Leagues below the Place where the Philippe empties it self into the Sea. It was by this River that the Tyrant Lopez Daguirre pass'd into the North Sea; and seeing he made this Voyage very well, some body else may as well succeed in the same Attempt, and follow the Course which another has steer'd before him.

A Mutiny happens in the Portuguez Fleet, when they see themselves so near home without having got any Treasure: they take up a Re­solution to go and pillage the People upon the Black River, and to get Slaves, but are pre­vented by Father D' Acugna.

OUR Fleet lay still at Anchor in the Mouth of the Black River on the 12th day of October, in the Year 1639, when the Portuguez Souldiers calling to mind that they were now almost as good as at home, and had got nothing these two Years since they went out, began to look upon the end [Page 151] of their Voyage as the greatest Misfortune that could befal them, and to tell one ano­ther, that since they had reap'd no other Ad­vantage by all the Labour and Hardship they had pass'd through but the loss of two long Years, and the Increase of their Mise­ries, they ought to consider what they had to do while opportunity offer'd it self; and that it would be a ridiculous thing to expect of his Catholick Majesty the Reward of those Services they had render'd him in the Discovery of so many Countries, seeing a great many others before them, who had been prodigal of their Blood, and hazarded their Lives for the Advancement of the Gran­deur of Spain, had for all that died upon a Dunghil, not knowing to whom to apply themselves for the Relief of their Necessities. These seditious Words being received with Applause by the greatest part of the Portu­guez, they immediately resolv'd to speak their Minds to their General, and to engage him one way or other to fall in with their De­signs.

No sooner had they taken up this Resolu­tion, but they addressed themselves to him, telling him, it was needless for them to re­present to him the miserable Condition they were in, since he knew it as well as them­selves; that they had now been for two Years roving up and down upon these Ri­vers, [Page 152] where they were every day in danger of perishing, either by Hunger or excessive Labour, or by the Arrows of the Savages; and therefore begg'd him to compassionate their Necessity, and not to take it amiss that they sought some Relief; that they were sure that only along the Black River they could get as many of those Slaves which the Indi­ans had taken in War, as would turn to a considerable account to them; and tho they should bring nothing home from their Voy­age but these Slaves, they hop'd they should not be ill receiv'd by their Friends at Para, but that if they should return home empty-handed, and should bring no Slaves with them after they had pass'd through so many populous Provinces, the Inhabitants of which durst come to their very Doors to make Slaves of them, they should be reckon'd the most cowardly and infamous Wretches in the World.

The General considering he was but one against a great many, and perceiving a Mu­tiny was already form'd in the Minds of the Souldiers, thought it not his best way to irri­tate them any more, but gave 'em permission to put this Enterprize in execution, seeing the Wind favour'd their Entrance into the Black River, and seem'd to invite 'em to this Project. The Portuguez were transported with Joy that they had obtain'd this Leave, [Page 153] and there was not one amongst 'em but pro­mis'd himself at least 300 Slaves for his share. This Resolution gave me no small Uneasiness, for I did not well know what were the Ge­neral's true Sentiments of this Attempt; but I soon found both that he had Courage and a great deal of Generosity, and that he was a mortal Enemy of such Violences as the Souldiers were going to commit; for my part, by the Grace of God, I thought my self strong enough not to need fear any thing, and therefore made a firm Resolution with my self, rather to die a thousand times if it were possible, than consent to any thing that would be against the Glory of God, or against the Service of his Catholick Majesty. At the same time I went to celebrate the holy Mass, and after I had done, I retir'd with my Comrade, that we might consult together by what means to hinder so barbarous and diabolical Resolution; and we agreed to make an open Protestation against their Rashness and Disobedience.

The Order given to the Fleet to set sail, which was done without noise. And of the River of Wood or Cayary, and the divers Na­tions that inhabit its Banks, from whence there is a short cut to the Mountain Potosi.

I Communicated our Resolution to the Ge­neral, who was very glad to find me of his Mind, but confess'd nothing could be more bold than my Protestation. However, he gave signal Proof of the greatness of his Courage on this occasion; for he caus'd the Paper containing my Protestation to be pub­lish'd through the Fleet, at the same time commanding the Sea-men to furl the Sails, and to put all things in readiness to pass out of the Black River the next day, and to return into the Amazone to finish our Voyage. This Order was put in execution, for we went back the day following; and continuing our Course 40 Leagues lower on the South-side, we found the great River of Wood, which is a Name the Portuguez gave it when they came from Para, because of the vast quantity of pieces of Timber this River carried down with it: But the proper Name of it among the Indians that dwell near it is Cayari; it comes (as I have said) from the South-side, and, as we were told, is form'd of two great Rivers, [Page 155] which meet together some Leagues above the Mouth of it. And in all probability, seeing it was by this River that the Toupinambous came down into this Country, one may ven­ture to affirm, that there is no shorter and surer way to come at the Province of Potosi, than by the way of this River. There are many Nations inhabiting the shores of it; the first on the side of the Mouth of it are the Zurinas, and the Cayanas, and above them are the Ʋrarchaus, the Anamaris, the Guari­numas, the Curanaris, the Pepunacas, and the Abacaris. From the Mouth of this River as you go down the Amazone you meet with the Zapucayas, and the Wbaringas, who are excellent Workmen in Wood: below them are the Guaranaquacos, the Maraguas, the Guimajis, the Burais, the Punovis, the Ore­quaras, the Aperas, and other Nations, of whose Names I can give no certain account.

Of the Island of the Toupinambous, who came out of Brazil when it was conquer'd by the Portuguez, and made themselves Masters of this Island.

TWenty eight Leagues below the River Cayari, as we continued our Course on the Amazone on the South-side, we arriv'd at [Page 156] a great Island 60 Leagues in breadth, and consequently above 200 Leagues in compass. This whole Island is peopled with the va­liant Toupinambous, who when Brazil was conquer'd, voluntarily exil'd themselves from their Country, choosing rather to quit all the Province of Fernambuco than to lose their Liberty, and to submit themselves to the se­vere Government of the Portuguez: They left above 84 great Villages where they had planted themselves, and came away so uni­versally, that there was not one living Soul left in all their Houses. They took their way on the left-hand of those great Moun­tains call'd Cordeliers, which begin at the Strait of Magellan, and cross through all Southern America, from North to South. They pass'd all the Rivulets and Rivers that descend from those Mountains to discharge themselves into the Ocean. Some of 'em came as far as Peru, and dwelt with the Spa­niards towards the Source of the River Cay­ari: they continued with 'em some time; but a Spaniard having caus'd one of 'em to be whipp'd for killing a Cow, they could not put up this Injury, but resolv'd all to be gone; and making use of the Advantage of the Ri­ver, they all embark'd in their Canoos and went down it as far as this great Island, where they now dwell. They speak the ge­neral Language of Brazil, which extends [Page 157] through all the Country that the Portuguez have conquer'd as far as Maragnon and Para: They told us, that when their Fathers left Brazil, not knowing how to get Sustenance all together in the Desarts through which they were to pass, they were constrain'd du­ring a March of above 900 Leagues to sepa­rate by reason of their multitude, so that some went one way, and some another; and by this means all the Mountains of Peru call'd the Cordeliers are peopled with the Toupi­nambous. This is a very brave and valiant Nation of Indians, as they made themselves appear to be to the People whom they found in this Island, where they are at present esta­stlish'd. For in all appearance these Toupi­nambous were very few in comparison of the Inhabitants of this Island when they arriv'd there, yet 'tis certain they so often beat, and so entirely subdued all those they fought with, that after they had destroy'd whole Nations, they forc'd the rest to leave their Native Country in fear, and to go and plant themselves in very distant Regions. These Warlike Savages use Bows and Arrows with great dexterity, and have so noble a Courage, and Greatness of Mind, that in these Quali­ties they seem not to come behind the most accomplish'd Nations in Europe. But tho al­most all of 'em are but the Children or Grand­children of those that came from Brazil into [Page 158] this Island, yet it is to be observ'd that they begin to degenerate from their Ancestors, by the Alliances they contract with those of this Country, and by their accustoming them­selves to the manner of living us'd by the original Inhabitants. They all receiv'd us with Demonstrations of extraordinary Joy; and let us know, that they thought to re­solve in a little time to enter into a Treaty with us, and to put themselves in the num­ber of the Allies and Friends of the People of Para. This Declaration of theirs pleas'd me very much, and made me hope that no small Advantages would accrue to our Na­tion by it: For if these valiant People once become of our Party, it must needs be an easy matter for us to bring all the other Nations of the River of Amazons to reaso­nable Terms, since there is none of 'em but tremble at the very Name of the Toupi­nambous.

Of the Ingenuity of the Toupinambous; of their Language; and the Account we received of the Salt-Pits in Peru.

THese Toupinambous are a very ingenious and intelligent People; and having no need of Interpreters to treat with them, [Page 159] because (as I have said) they speak the ge­neral Language of Brazil, which many of our Portuguez, that have been born and bred there, speak as well as they, we had the Advantage of a very particular Account of divers things, which I am going to relate, and which may be believed on their Report, because they are a People that have rov'd a­broad, and subjected all the neighbouring Countries to their Power. They told us, that on the South-side near their Island there are two Nations among others upon the Con­tinent that are very remarkable; one of 'em are Dwarfs as small as little Children, and are called Guayazis, the other is a Race of People that come into the World with their Feet turn'd behind 'em, so that those that are unacquainted with their monstrous Shape, and should follow their Track, would run from 'em instead of overtaking 'em; they are called Matayus, and are tributary to the Toupinambous, whom they are obliged to furnish with Hatchets made of Stone to fell great Trees with, when they have a mind to clear a Piece of Ground; for they frame these Hatchets very neatly, and 'tis their whole business to make of 'em. They told us moreover, that on the other side of the River, that is Northward, there are seven Provinces adjoining one to another, which are very populous; but because they are a Peo­ple [Page 160] but of mean Courage and Strength, and only feed upon Fruits and some small wild Animals, without ever fighting one with a­nother when they are angry, or ever taking up Arms to defend themselves from other Nations, they are of no account in the Coun­try. They further told us, that themselves had been a long time at Peace with another Nation, whose Confines extend to those we have just spoken of, and had a regular Trade with 'em for all Commodities, wherewith either Countrey abounded; and that the principal thing they had from this People was Salt, for which they gave 'em other things in exchange; and that this Salt came from a Place not far distant from 'em. If this be true, these Salt-pits would be of great advantage to the Spaniards, and would serve 'em not only for those parts of the Countrey that are conquer'd, but also for the more commodious establishing of Colonies on the Banks of this great River. But if there should be nothing in this Story on this side, it is not to be doubted but Salt is to be found in great abundance along those Rivers that come down on the side of Peru; because in the Year 1631, when I was in the City of Lima, two Men went from thence at two different times to seek some, and came back with as much as they could carry: they told us they came to a certain Place, where they [Page 161] went on one of the Rivers (in all appearance one of those lesser Rivers that form that great one, which falls into the Amazone) and arrived at a Mountain all of Salt, of which the Inhabi­tants made great advantage, being become ve­ry rich by the Traffick they had in exchange for it from those Indians that came a great way to buy it; not that it is any strange thing in Peru, and in all the Mountains, to see Rocks of Salt-stones, the Salt of which is very good; for no other is made use of in all that Countrey: 'Tis got out of the Rock with Iron Instruments in great pieces, each of which weigh 5 or 6* Arobas. This Pro­vince of the Toupinambous is sixty six Leagues in length, and ends with a great Town si­tuated at the Latitude of 3 Degrees, as is also the first Town of the Indian Aguas, of which we have spoken before.

Of the Amazons, an Account of their Man­ners and Customs.

THese Toupinambous likewise confirm'd the Report which is spread through­out this great River of the Renown'd Ama­zons, from whence it borrows its true Name, [Page 162] by which it has been known from the very first Discovery of it to this day, not only by those who have navigated it, but also by all Cosmographers who have given any good account of it. It would be very strange if the Name of Amazone should have been im­pos'd on this River without any reasonable Ground; and that tho it well deserves a Name that might render it famous, it should only be known by a fabulous one: This does not seem at all probable that such a River as this, that possesses so many Advantages above all others, should have deriv'd its Glory from a Title that does not belong to it; like what we see in some Men, who when they have not Vertue enough to obtain the Glory they desire by their own Merit, are so mean spi­rited and disingenuous to deck themselves with the advantageous Qualities of others: But the Proofs that give assurance that there is a Province of Amazons on the Banks of this River, are so strong and convincing, that it would be a renouncing of moral Cer­tainty to scruple the giving credit to it. I don't build upon the solemn Examinations made by the Authority of the Soveraign Court of Quito, in which many Witnesses have been heard that have been born in those Parts, and liv'd there a long time; and of all things contain'd in their Frontier Countries, one of the principal which is particularly affirm'd [Page 163] by 'em is, that one of those Provinces near our River is peopled with a sort of warlike Women, who live together, and maintain their Government alone, without the Com­pany of Men; that at a certain Season of the Year they seek the Society of Men in or­der to perpetuate their Race; but at all other times live together in their Towns, and im­ploy themselves in manuring the Ground, from which with hard Labour they procure all Necessaries for the Support and Comfort of Life. Nor will I insist on other Infor­mations that have been made in the new Kingdom of Granada, at the Royal Seat of the City of Pasto, where several Indians were examined, and particularly one Indian Woman, who affirm'd that she had been in the very Countrey which these valiant Wo­men inhabit, and whose Account was in every respect conformable to what had been before asserted in the foregoing Relations: but I can't conceal what I have heard with my own Ears, and the Truth of which I have been enquiring after from my first em­barking on the Amazone; and I must say I have been inform'd at all the Indian Towns where I have been, that there are such Wo­men in the Countrey as I have above descri­bed; and every one that gave me an ac­count of 'em did it by Characters so exactly agreeing with the rest, that if there be no­thing [Page 164] in it, it must needs be said that the greatest Lie in the World passes throughout all America for one of the most certain Histo­rical Truths. However we had the clearest Information of the Province where these Women dwell, of their singular Customs, of the Indians that correspond with them, of the Ways into their Country, and of those Indians with whom they converse to prevent the Extinction of their Race in the last Vil­lage, which makes the Frontier Town be­tween them and the Toupinambous.

The best Account of the Amazons of America.

THirty six Leagues below this utmost Village of the Toupinambous, as you go down our Great River, you meet with another on the North-side, which comes from the very Province of the Amazons, and is known among the People of the Country by the Name of Cunuris. This River bears the Name of those Indians that dwell nearest to the Mouth of it: Above these first People higher up the River Cunu­ris you meet with other Indians call'd Apotos, that speak the general Language of Brazil; higher still you find the Tagaris, and lastly the Guacaras, who are the People that have [Page 165] the Privilege to converse with these valiant Women, and enjoy their Favours. They dwell upon huge Mountains, that are pro­digiously high, among which there is one that lifts its Head a great Height above all the rest, which is so buffeted with Winds, that it is quite barren, and looks very bare; the Name of it is Yacamiaba. These Wo­men (as has been said) are very couragious, and have always maintain'd themselves alone without the help and assistance of Men; and when their Neighbours come into their Coun­trey at a time concerted with them, they re­ceive 'em with their Weapons in their Hands, which are Bows and Arrows, and which they exercise as if they were going against their Enemies; but knowing well that the others don't come to fight, but are their Friends, they lay down their Arms, and all run into the Canoos or other little Vessels of these Indians, and each Amazone takes the Hammock (a Cotton Bed they hang up to sleep in) which she finds next at hand; this she carries home, and hangs up in a Place, where the Owner of it may know it again when he comes; after which she receives him as her Guest, and treats him those few days they continue together. These In­dians afterward return to their own Dwel­lings, and never fail to make this Voyage every Year at the appointed time. The [Page 166] Girls which they bear are brought up by their Mothers, and instructed in the use of Arms, as well as inur'd to Labour, as if they were ambitious to advance the wonted Va­lour of their Predecessors still to a greater Height. As for the Male-Children, 'tis not certain what they do with 'em: I saw an Indian who told me, that when he was a Child he was with his Father at such an En­terview, and assured me, that they gave the Male Children to their Fathers the next time they came after their Birth. But the common Report is, that they kill all their Males as soon as they are born: and this is generally suppos'd to be the truest Account. Time will discover the Truth of this Matter. 'Tis certain they have Treasures in their Country, enough to enrich the whole World: The Mouth of this River, upon the Banks of which the Amazons dwell, is at the Lati­tude of two Degrees and a half.

Of the River Vexamina, and the Strait of the Amazone, where it is but a quarter of a League in breadth.

AFter having cross'd the Mouth of the true River of Amazons, we came down 24 Leagues more upon our great Ri­ver, [Page 167] and on the same North-side found ano­ther small River call'd Vexamina, which en­ters into the Amazone just at the place wher, this great and spacious River grows narrow and is so shut up by the Land, that it con­tracts it self into the space of a little more than a quarter of a League. The Situation is extremely favourable for the building of two Forts on the two Banks of our incom­parable River, which would not only ob­struct the Passage of an Enemy that should come up this River from the Sea, but would also serve for Custom-houses for the Entry of every thing that should be carried down from Peru this way, if this River should ever be inhabited and stock'd with the People of our Nation. Tho this Strait is at 360 Leagues distance from the Sea, yet the flowing and ebbing of Tides are perceiv'd here; for the River is seen to increase and diminish every day, altho not so sensibly as some Leagues below.


The River of the Tapajotos; their Courage, their poison'd Arrows, and the manner of their treating the Portuguez Fleet.

FOUR Leagues below this Strait, on the South-side, is the Mouth of the great and noble River of the Tapajotos, which bor­rows its Name from that of the Inhabitants of the Province which it waters. This Coun­try is well stock'd with Indians; the Land of it is very good, and abounds with all sorts of Provision: These Tapajotos are a couragi­ous People, and are dreaded by all the Nati­ons that dwell near 'em, because they inve­nom their Arrows with so subtile a Poison, that they kill those they wound, there being no Remedy found powerful enough to resist their Venom. This was the only Reason why the Portuguez themselves were so long their Neighbours without having any Com­merce or Alliance with them, tho they were very desirous of obtaining their Friendship; but when they would have obliged 'em to quit their Country, and to come and inhabit the Places which the Portuguez had con­quer'd, the Tapajotos would never give their Consent to it, because nothing in the World touches 'em more sensibly, than to talk to [Page 169] 'em of leaving their native Country. Not but that they received our Men very kindly, and with a great deal of Joy, when they landed in their Country: We had large Ex­perience of their Kindness when we lodged at one of their great Towns, which con­tain'd above 500 Families, where for a whole day they were continually coming to visit us, bringing us Hens, Ducks, Fish, Meal, Fruits, and all other things we wanted, with so much Freedom and Confidence in us, that the Women and Children did not care to go out of our sight: Nay they frankly told us, that if the Portuguez would let them alone to enjoy their own Houses, they should come if they pleas'd, with all their Hearts, to dwell amongst 'em; and that they would re­ceive 'em, and serve 'em as their best Friends as long as they liv'd.

The ill Treatment these People receiv'd from the Portuguez at this time.

ALL the Civilities of the Tapajotos were not sufficient to touch the Minds of People that mind nothing but Self-interest, and the Gratification of their covetous Hu­mour, such as those that go to conquer these Countries, proposing nothing to themselves [Page 170] in so long and difficult an Enterprize, but to get a great number of Slaves to sell, or truck for other Goods; who therefore had scarce Patience to hear the Proposals of these poor People, much less so much Justice as to treat 'em with Civility and Reason; but having got a Notion that these People had abundance of Slaves to wait on 'em, began to treat 'em as Rebels, to commit great Outrages upon 'em, and to menace 'em with a cruel War. All things were in this posture when we ar­rived at the Fort of the Portuguez call'd Destierro, that is [the Fort of Banishment] where their Troops were coming together to put in execution this barbarous Design. I not being able wholly to hinder it, however endeavour'd by the best Methods I could take, at least to suspend the execution of it for a little time, till I could give the Gover­nour of Para advice of it. He that was to command in this Expedition was Benoise Ma­ziel, the Governour of Para's Son, who was constituted in the Office of Serjeant Major of the State. He gave me his Word that he would not advance to put his Enterprize in execution till he had received fresh Orders from his Father. But I had scarce left him before he embark'd as many Souldiers as he could in a Brigantine arm'd with Pieces of Canon, and in other less Vessels, with which he came suddenly upon 'em to surprize 'em. [Page 171] These poor People immediately accepted Peace, with a thousand Testimonies of their good Affection to the Portuguez; and when they had submitted their Persons to their pleasure, Maziel commanded 'em to bring him all the poison'd Arrows they had, which was what they most fear'd: These poor Wretches presently obey'd, and they were no sooner disarm'd but the Portuguez made 'em all come together, and inclos'd 'em like Sheep in a Fold, securing 'em with a strong Guard; and immediately let loose a great many Indians of their own Company, whom they brought with 'em, who for doing of Mischief are like so many unchain'd Devils; and these in a very little time sack'd this whole Town, so that they spoil'd and broke every thing in it; they seiz'd all the Daugh­ters and Wives of these miserable Creatures, and committed such abominable Violences before their Eyes, that one of the Company that gave me an account of this Action, pro­tested to me, that he had rather never have any Slaves, than to procure 'em at this rate; and that he would sooner leave all those he had in possession, than see such Cruelties committed again.

That such kind of Treatment makes these Peo­ple hate the Europeans, and that they have as much Subtlety as Courage to defend them­selves.

THE Inhumanity of the Portuguez did not stop here; for they having no other design than that of procuring Slaves, were not satisfied in having the Masters in possession: therefore they endeavour'd to affright these poor Indians, whom they kept under Guard, with terrible Menaces, and made 'em tremble at the thoughts of the new Cruelties they said they would exercise on 'em, if they would not give 'em Slaves; and on the other hand promis'd them, that if they would, they should not only have their full Liberty, but they would consider 'em as their best Friends; and besides, would give 'em as many Iron Tools and Cotton Clothes in exchange for 'em, as should fully satisfy 'em. What could these poor Creatures do more than abandon themselves to the Discre­tion of their Enemies? They saw they were in their hands, depriv'd of their Arms, their Houses plunder'd, their Wives and Daugh­ters ravish'd. They therefore offer'd to pro­cure 'em a thousand Slaves, and sent some of [Page 173] their Company to get 'em together; but these poor Wretches were fled away to secure themselves while the Town was pillaging; therefore they could not possibly get above two hundred: These they deliver'd to the Portuguez, and promising to procure all the rest for which they had engag'd, were set at liberty. In the Condition these poor Crea­tures were, they would have given their ve­ry Children for Slaves, to come to a Com­position with their Enemies, as they have frequently done. The Portuguez put all these Slaves in a Vessel, and sent 'em to Maragnon and Para. This I assert as a thing I saw with my own Eyes: This Prey was very grateful to the Portuguez; and their Success in this Expedition so encouraged 'em, and excited their Avarice, that they soon made preparation to go and seek a greater Booty of this kind in another Province more remote upon this great River. 'Tis not to be doubted but they exercis'd still greater Cruelties, be­cause in these Expeditions there go very few that have any Honour or Conscience, who might be capable of assisting him that com­mands, to restrain the Souldiers Barbarities. These things must needs enrage all the In­habitants of this River against the Name of the Portuguez. And I doubt not that when an Attempt shall be made to pacify the Com­motions, and allay the Hatred these Violences [Page 174] have caus'd among those People, it will be found a matter of that great difficulty that 'twill scarce ever be accomplish'd; whereas in the State we left these People upon the Ri­ver when we pass'd by their Countries, no­thing could have been more easy than to have made a General Peace with them. These are the Conquests of Brazil so much talk'd of, and this is the Traffick the Souldiers live up­on: and let me add, this is the true and just Cause for which God punishes these miserable Souldiers to that degree, that they are perpe­tually in War and Trouble, and have scarce Bread to eat. And I believe, if it were not that God in some sort makes use of 'em to ac­complish his Designs upon the Indians, and that they are continually engag'd in War a­gainst the Dutch, and have already obtain'd several Victories over those* Hereticks; if it were not, I say, for these things, I believe [Page 175] our Lord Jesus Christ would have long since extirpated such cruel and abominable Con­querors. But to return to the Tapajotos, and the famous River upon the Banks of which they dwell; I say, the bottom of this River is very good, so that a great English Vessel some Years ago went a considerable way up it, with a design to make Plantations in this Pro­vince, and to settle the Trade of Tobacco with the People of the Country, to which end they offer'd 'em very advantagious Terms: but the Tapajotos would accept of none, but surpriz'd the English unawares, and kill'd all they could come at after they had seiz'd their Arms, which they keep to this day. Thus they made the rest leave the Country in more haste than they come to it; for they escap'd in their Vessel, and by set­ting Sail with all speed avoided such ano­ther Rencounter, which would have de­stroy'd 'em all.

Of the River Curupatuba, and the Account we receiv'd of Mountains of Gold, Silver, Azure, and precious Stones, among the In­habitants of this River.

ABout forty Leagues below the Mouth of the River of the Tapajotos we met with the River Curupatuba, which comes down on the North-side of the Amazone, and gives its Name to the first Indian Town that is at Peace with the Portuguez, and un­der the Protection of their King. This Ri­ver is not very big, but very wealthy, if the Natives are to be believ'd, who assure us, that at the end of six days Voyage up the Stream of it, there is a little Rivulet, in the Sand and Banks of which there is a great quantity of Gold found below the place where it washes the foot of an indifferently large Mountain called Yuquaratinci. The Indians moreover told us, that near this Ri­ver there is another place call'd Picari, from whence they have often taken a sort of Me­tal harder than Gold, but very white (with­out doubt they mean Silver) with which they were wont formerly to make Hatchets [Page 169] and Knives; but finding the Tools made of this Metal were apt to have their Edg turn'd when any Stress was put to 'em, they did not make any account of 'em. They further gave us an account, That near the Strait I have spoken of, there are two Hills, one of which by the Signs they gave of it, is in all probability a Hill of Azure; and it seems the other, which they call Penagara, when the Sun shines, or when the Nights are clear and bright, glitters and sparkles as if it were full of rich Diamonds. They assur'd us that horrible Noises were heard in it from time to time, which is a certain sign that this Moun­tain contains Stones of a great Value in its Entrails.

Of the River Ginipape, which has Treasures of Gold in its Banks, and is famous for a good Soil for Tobacco, and Sugar-Canes.

THE River Ginipape which comes down on the North-side, and enters into the Amazone 60 Leagues below the Villages of Curupatuba, promises as great Treasures and as rich Mountains as those of which we have [Page 170] just now spoken. The Indians assure us of so much Gold along the Banks of it, that if it be according to their Relation, this one River possesses more Riches than are in all Peru. The Lands this River waters are of the Go­vernment of Maragnon, which is in the hands of Benedito Maziel: And without counting the great Extent of this Country, which a­lone is larger than all Spain join'd together, and that it contains several Mines of which we have very certain knowledg; I shall only say that generally the Ground of it is of the best kind for the Production of all sorts of Grain and Fruit, and what may turn to the Account of those that inhabit it, that is to be found in all the vast Extent of the great Ri­ver of Amazons. This Country is situate on the North-side, and comprehends several great Provinces of Savages. But that which is yet more considerable is, that in this Country are those Fields so famous for the Production of prodigious quantities of Tucui. Our Ene­mies the Dutch have given a Reputation to these Lands, and have often found by Ex­perience, not only the Goodness and Fertility of the Soil, but also the vast Profits with which this alone is capable of inriching its Inhabitants: Therefore they could never forget this sweet place, but have made Plan­tations there several times, tho to their Da­mage [Page 171] and Sorrow, because they have been always forc'd out of 'em by the Portuguez. Therefore 'tis worth Consideration▪ that this Place is very good to make great Plantations of Tobacco, and that there's no part of all the Countries that have been discover'd that is better for the planting of Canes, and for making of Sugar. This Soil returns all the Cultivation that is bestow'd upon it with Usury, and produces all sorts of Provision in extraordinary plenty: There are very fine pieces of Pasture-ground, which in their vast Extent would feed an infinite number of all sorts of Cattle. Six Leagues above the place where this River empties it self into the Amazone, the Portuguez had a Fort which they call'd Del Dostierro, that is [The Fort of Banishment] kept only by thirty Souldiers, and some pieces of Artille­ry, which was of more use to keep the Indians that are reduc'd under the Power of the Portuguez, in Fear and Subjection, and to maintain the Authority of the Governor, than to secure the River and obstruct the Passage of an Enemy. This Fort has been since demolish'd by Benedito Maziel with the Consent of the Governor of Curupa, which is thirty Leagues lower down the River: But it is to be remark'd, that it was situate in a place of some Consideration, seeing [Page 172] their Enemies Vessels were oblig'd to pay Custom for their Passage that way.

Of the River Paranaiba.

TEN Leagues below the River Gini­pape on the South-side is a fine, large and noble River that comes to render Ho­mage to the Amazone, into which it dis­charges it self by a Mouth two Leagues wide. The People of the Country call it Paranaiba; there are upon the Banks of it some Villages of Indians that are at Peace with the Portuguez, and that have settled themselves upon the Mouth of this River, in Obedience to the Orders of the Governor of this Province. There are many other Nations further up in the Country, but we could not have any satisfactory Account of 'em any more than of divers other things upon this great River.

A farther Account of the River of Amazons: Of the multitude of Islands near the Mouth of it, inhabited by an infinite Number of People of different Nations.

TWO Leagues below the River Gini­pape, of which I have given some ac­count in the 77th Chapter, our River of Amazons begins to divide it self into divers great Arms, which form that great Number of Islands that seem to float upon its Waters, till it enters into the Sea. These Islands are inhabited by Nations that differ one from another, both in their Languages and Cus­toms. Not but that most of 'em understand the Language of Brazil very well, which is the general Tongue in those Parts. The Number of these Islands is so great, and the People that dwell in 'em so different, that 'tis not possible for me to give a particular Ac­count of what is observable amongst 'em, without composing another Volume. How­ever I'll name some of the most considerable and best known amongst 'em, as the Tapuyas, [Page 174] and the valiant Pacaxas, which last dwell on the side of a River (the Name of which they bear) that enters into the Amazone eighty Leagues above the River Paranaiba, and up­on the Bank of this last River too. These Islands are so well peopled, that there's no end of the number of the Inhabitants of 'em, nor indeed of their Villages; insomuch that some of the Portuguez assur'd me, they had seen no Countries better stock'd with Peo­ple through the whole Extent of the Ama­zone.

Of the Town of Commuta.

FOrty Leagues below the Pacaxas lies the Town of Commuta, which for­merly was much noted not only for the multitude of its Inhabitants, but likewise because it us'd to be the place of rendez­vous, where the Indians assembled their Armies when they were about to make any Incursions upon their Enemies: But since Brazil has been conquer'd, it is almost un­inhabited, the People being retir'd into [Page 175] other Parts; so that Provision is scarce there, only for lack of a little Care and Pains to manure the Ground, which still retains its former Fruitfulness; and that's all that re­mains there, unless it be a small number of the Natives: Tho 'tis the most lovely Situation to dwell in, and has the most agreeable Prospect in the World, so that it would continually furnish those that should settle in it with all the Conveniences and Pleasures of Life.

Of the River of the Tocantins, and of a French Man that sail'd into this Country to fetch the Sand of it.

BEhind the Town of Commuta passes the River of the Tocantins, to throw it self into the Amazone, and has the Repu­tation in this Country of being very rich, and that not without good reason in all ap­pearance: yet the Worth of it has not been yet known by any, but only by one French Man, who was wont to come ashore upon the Banks of it every Year, and return'd with his Vessels loaded only with the Earth, out [Page 176] of which, by refining, he got a quantity of Gold. 'Tis said he inrich'd himself with this Trade, without ever daring to let the Natives know the Value of the Earth he carried away, for fear they should become his Enemies, when they came to know what Riches were in their Sands, and so should take up Arms against him to hinder him from transporting this Commodity as he was wont to do. Some Portuguez Souldiers going from Phernambuc some Years ago, with a Priest in their Company, past over all the Cordelier Mountains, and arriv'd at the Source of the River of the Tocantins, with a design to make some new Discovery, and to seek for some Golden Mountains; and having a mind to know this River, and to go down quite to its Mouth, were so unhappy as to fall in­to the hands of the Tocantins, who kill'd 'em every one. And 'tis not long since the Chalice was found in the hands of these Indians, with which the good Priest cele­brated Mass during his Travels.

Of the Fort of Para which is in the hands of the Portugeze, and of the Island du Soleil, or of the Sun, and the Commodi­ousness of it for Plantations.

THE Great Fort of Para is built Thirty Leagues below Com­muta, it belongs to the Portugeze, and is under the command of a Governor, who has the oversight of all other Offi­cers of Garrisons belonging to this Go­vernment; he has for his Garrison or­dinarily Three Companies of Foot, un­der the Command of as many Captains, who are oblig'd to be always ready at hand for the preservation and defence of this Fort; but the Officers as well as the Governor of the Place, are under the Jurisdiction of the Governor of Ma­ragnon, and are absolutely to obey his Orders. The Government of Maragnon is at above 130 Leagues distance from Pa­ra down along the River, and then up towards Brezil, which occasions great inconveniencies in the Conduct of Af­fairs in relation to the Government of Para. And if we should ever be so hap­py [Page 178] as to plant this River with our Peo­ple, it will be necessary to make the Go­vernor of Para Independant, and Abso­lute, as the Person who possesses the Keys of the whole Country. Not that the place where the Fort of Para is now Situated, is the best that can be chosen in the Opinion of many Persons of good Judgment; but if this Discovery be further Improv'd and Advanc'd; it will be an easie matter to change it; and I don't find any place more proper for it than the Island du Soleil which is Fourteen Leagues below the Mouth of the River: This is doubtless the place to be absolutely fix'd on, not only be­cause it affords abundance of Advanta­ges for the Accomodation of Life, the Ground being extraordinarily Fertile, and capable of maintaining as many Peo­ple as one can desire to settle there; but also for the convenient harbouring of Vessels: 'Tis a great Harbour shelter'd from all sorts of bad Winds, in which Ships may ride with great Safety, and when they have a mind to Sail, they need only wait for the full of the Moon, at which time the Sea is higher than or­dinary, and they may pass over all the Sands, which renders the entrance of [Page 179] this River difficult; which is none of the least Conveniencies. This Island is above Ten Leagues in Compass; there is very good Water in it, and abundance of both Sea and River-Fish, there is an infinite number of Crabs, which are the ordinary Food of the Indians, and o­ther poor People; and is now the main support of Para; for there is no Isle all there about, wherein they go more a Hunting for the Subsistance of the Gari­son, and Inhabitants of it, than in this.

Of the Mouth of the River of Amazons, Eighty Leagues in Breadth, joyning to the North-Cape on one side, and to the Coasts of Brezil on the other.

TWenty Six Leagues below the Island of the Sun directly under the Line, this great River of Amazons is 84 Leagues wide, bounded on the South-side by Za­parara, and on the other side by the North-Cape, and here at last discharges it self into the Ocean. It may be said to be a Sea of Fresh-Water, mixing it self with the Salt-Water-Sea. 'Tis the No­blest [Page 180] and Largest River in the whole known World. This is the River other­wise call'd Oreillane, and by some Marag­non, so often desir'd, and so much sought after, and so often miss'd by the Spani­ards of Peru; and here at Length it flows into the Sea, after it has water'd a Country of 1276 Leagues in Length, af­ter it has furnished a multitude of Nati­ons with its Fruitfulness and Plenty; and in a word after it has divided Ameri­ca into Two Parts, almost in the widest Place of it; and furnish'd the Natives with a great Channel into which the Best, the Richest and most Pleasant Rivers, that come down from all the Mountains and Coasts of the New World discharge their Waters. And 'tis farther remarka­ble, that against the Mouth of it, for a­bove 30 Leagues at Sea, you may take up Fresh-Water during the Ebb of the Tide, which is an extraordinary refresh­ment to those Ships especially that, in coming from Europe, have Sail'd [...]2000 Leagues before they Arrive here.

Thus in short I have given a Relation of an ample Discovery of this great Ri­ver. Which tho' it possesses so great Trea­sures, yet excludes no Nation in the World from 'em, but on the contrary, [Page 181] invites all sorts of People to reap the Profits of the Riches with which [...] abounds. It offers to the Poor a plenti­ful Maintenance, to the Labourer the Li­beral Recompence of his Toil; to the Merchant a Profitable Trade; to the Soul­dier an Occasion of Signalizing himself▪ to the Rich an Improvement of their Wealth; to Gentlemen Honorable Em­ployments; to Noblemen Large Provin­ces; and to Kings themselves Empires, and a New World. But those who of all others are call'd upon to promote such new Conquests, and ought to be most heartily concern'd in 'em, are such as with the greatest Affection, seek the Ad­vancement of the Glory of God, and are Zealously bent to design the Salvation of the Souls of an Innumerable Multitude of Idolatrous and Heathenish Indians, who want the Help and Light the Faith­ful Ministers of the Gospel should fur­nish them withal, to dispel the shadows of Sin and Death, with which those poor Wretches have been so long be­nighted. And let none Excuse them­selves from an Attempt of this kind: Here's Work enough to employ every one of us, and how great a Number soe­ver of Labourers should devote themselves [Page 182] to it, there will still be more wanting for so great a Harvest. This New Vine-yard will still want more hands to Cultivate and Dress it, how able and how fervent soever they should prove, who shall be engag'd in this Service, But it is rather to be wish'd than expected, that we shall ever see this New World Subjected to the Keys of the Church of Rome. I hope all the Illustrious Catholick Prin­ces of Christendom, (to whom may it please the Almighty to grant many and happy Years,) will each of 'em be inspir'd from Heaven with Zeal for so Holy an Enterprize as the Conquest of Souls; some by their wonted Liberali­ties, for the Maintenance and Subsistence of Priests and Ministers of the Gospel, and others by their care to provide and convey Clergymen into those Countries: And all of 'em have reason to esteem it a great happiness for them that in the Age wherein they live, this difficult and trou­blesom way should be open'd, to bring more Nations, and those more populous at once into the Bosom of the Church, than all the rest that have been hitherto discover'd in the whole New World.

A Computation of the Longitudes, Lati­tudes, and Distances of Places upon this Great River.

FROM the Mouth of Napo, which is on the South of the Amazone, to Anete, are Forty seven Leagues. Anete is under the Line, on the South-side of this great River.

From Anete to the Aguarico, Eighteen Leagues. The Mouth of this River, is on the North-side of the Amazone and under the Line also.

From the Aguarico to the Chevelus Twenty Leagues. The Mouth of this River is also on the North of the Ama­zone, and declines a little from the Line towards the South.

From the Chevelus to the Curaray, Forty Leagues. The Mouth of this River is on the South of the Amazone, in the Second Degree of Southern Latitude.

From the Curaray to the Maragnon, Eighty Leagues. The Mouth of this Ri­ver is on the South of the Amazone, ha­ving Four Degrees of Southern Latitude, [Page 184] and Three Hundred and Seven Degrees and Fifty Minutes of Longitude.

From the Maragnon to the beginning of the Province of the Omaquas, Sixty Leagues. All this Province consists in great Islands.

From the beginning of this Province to a certain great Habitation of the same, One Hundred and Nineteen Leagues. This is an Isle, on the South-side of the Channel of the Amazone, having three Degrees of Southern Latitude, and Three hundred and twelve Degrees, and Fifty five Minutes of Longitude.

From this Habitation to the Putomayo, Seventeen Leagues. The Mouth of this River is on the North-side of the great Amazone.

From the Putomayo to the Yetau, Fifty▪ Leagues. The Mouth of this River is on the South-side of the Amazone, and hath Three Degrees Thirty Minutes of Southern Latitude.

From the Yetau to the end of the Pro­vince of the Omaquas, Fourteen Leagues. In this place there is a great and puissant Habitation in an Isle.

From the end of this Province to the Cuzco, Twenty five Leagues. The Mouth of this River is on the South-side of [Page 185] the Amazone having Five Degrees of Southern Latitude, and Three Hundred Fifteen Degrees, and Fifty Minutes of Longitude.

From the Cuzco to the Village of Gold, Twenty eight leagues. This place is on the South-bank of the Channel of the great Amazone.

From the Village of Gold to the Yupura, Fourteen Leagues. The Mouth of this River is on the North-side of the Ama­zone, and hath Three Degrees of South­ern Latitude.

From the Yupura to the Tapi, Four Leagues. The Mouth of this River is on the South-side of the Amazone.

From the Tapi to the Catua, Twenty five Leagues. The Mouth of this River is on the South-side of Amazone, and to­wards the Green Lake, which is formed by the great Amazone.

From the Catua and the Green Lake to the First Mouth of the Araganatuba, Six Leagues. This is on the North-side of the Amazone.

From the First Mouth to the Second of the Araganatuba, Sixteen Leagues, on the North-side of the Amazone.

[Page 186] From the Second Mouth of the Araga­natuba to the end of the Province of Cu­rusiraris, Twenty two Leagues. All this Province is on the South of the great River.

From the end of Curusiraris to the be­ginning of the Province of Yoriman, Two Leagues, on the South-side of the Amazone.

From the beginning of Yoriman to a great and very long Habitation, Twenty three Leagues, on the South of the Ri­ver to Four Degrees of that Latitude, and Three hundred nineteen Degrees, and Thirty Minutes of Longitude.

From this long Habitation to the Isle Yoriman, Thirty two Leagues. On the South-bank side of the Amazone.

From this Isle to the end of the Pro­vince of Yoriman, Ten Leagues; on the South-side of the Amazone.

From the end of Yoriman to the Cu­chuguara Two Leagues. The Mouth of this River is also on the South of the A­mazone.

From the Cuchuguara to the Basurura Thirty two Leagues. The Mouth of this River is on the North-side of the Ama­zone, and hath Four Degrees, Thirty Minutes, of Southern Latitude.

[Page 187] From the Basurura to the Rio Negro, or Black River, Thirty Leagues. The Mouth of this River is also on the North-side of the Amazone, having Four Degrees of Southern Latitude, and Three Hundred Twenty Two Degrees, and Twenty Minutes of Lon­gitude.

From Rio-Negro unto the Modera are Four Leagues; the Mouth of this Ri­ver being on the South of the Ama­zone.

From the Modera to the beginning of the Isle Topinambas Twenty Eight Leagues. This great Isle is in the Ri­ver of the Amazons, towards the South-side.

From the beginning to the end of this Isle, Sixty two Leagues. In this place is a Great and Puissant Habitation of the Topinambi having Three Degrees of Southern Latitude, and Three Hundred twenty seven Degrees, Thirty Minutes of Longitude.

From the end of Topinambas to the Cunuris, Thirty Leagues; the Mouth of which River is to the North of the A­mozone.

[Page 188] From the Cunuris to the Bosphore of the Amazone, Twenty four Leagues. This Strait hath Two Degrees and Forty Minutes of Southern Latitude; and Three hundred and twenty eight Degrees, and Fifty Minutes in Longi­tude.

From the Bosphore to the Tapajosos, Forty Leagues; the Mouth of which River is on the South-side of the great Amazone.

From the Tapajosos to the Curupatuba, Forty Leagues; the Mouth of which River is on the North-side of the great Amazone.

From the Curupatuba to the Fort of Destierro, Fifty four Leagues; which Fort is also on the North-side of the great River.

From the foresaid Fort to the Ginipape, Six Leagues; the Mouth of which Ri­ver is on the North-side also, having Two Degrees of Southern Latitude, and Three hundred thirty one Degrees and Fifty Minutes of Longitude. And about Two Leagues from this Ginipape towards the Sea, the great River of A­mazons begins to open by little and little towards its great Mouth into the Sea.

[Page 189] From the Ginipape to the Paranaiba, Ten Leagues; the Mouth of which River is on the South-side of the Ama­zone.

From the Paranaiba to the Pacaxas, Forty Leagues; the Mouth of which is also on the South of the Amazone.

From the Pacaxas to Commuta, Forty Leagues. This place is also on the South-side of the Amazone.

From Commuta to Para, Thirty Leagues. This Town is also on the South-bank of the great Mouth of the Amazone, having one Degree and Thirty Minutes of South Latitude.

From Para to the Isle du Soleil, Four­teen Leagues. This Isle is also near to the same South-bank. And from Para to Zaparara, Forty Leagues; which is a Cape on the extremity of the South-bank of the great River, having Thirty five Minutes of South Latitude, and Three hundred thirty seven Degrees and ten Minutes of Longitude. So the whole length of this great River of A­mazons, is One thousand two hundred seventy six Leagues.

From the Ginipape to Corupa, which is on the North-side of the Mouth of this River, Thirty Leagues.

[Page 190] From Corupa to the North Cape, the distance is not well known: This Cape is on the extremity of the North-bank of the great River, having Forty five Minutes of North Latitude, and Three hundred thirty three Degrees, and Fifty Minutes of Longitude.

The End.

AN ACCOUNT OF A VOYAGE UP THE River de la Plata, And thence over Land to PERU. With Observations on the Inhabi­tants, as well Indians and Spaniards; the Cities, Commerce, Fertility, and Riches of that Part of America.

By Mons. Acarete du Biscay.

LONDON: Printed for Samuel Buckley, at the Dolphin over against St. Dunstans Church in Fleetstreet. 1698.

A MAP of the Provinces PARAGUAY and TUCUMAN with the River Plate▪ London Printed for S: Buckley▪

A Relation of Mons. Acarete du Biscay's Voyage up the River de la Plata, and from thence by Land to Pe­ru, and his Observations in it.

THE Inclination I always had to Travelling, made me leave my Father's House very young, but I can truly aver, that I was not so much prompted to it out of pure Curiosity to [...] Forreign Countries, as out of hope [...] acquire Knowledge and improve my [...]dgment, which for the future might [...] helpful to me, not only in my private concerns, but likewise render me more [...]viceable to my King and Country, which I declare was the chief aim of my Voyages. I went first into Spain, where [...] tarried long enough to learn their language, particularly at Cadiz. The [Page 2] fancy took me to go to the West-Indies possess'd by the Spaniards, for I often heard them talk of the Beauty and Fer­tility of the Country, and the great Riches they draw from thence, but then I was at a loss how to bring it about, because 'tis very difficult for a Stranger, to get into those Parts; but there hap­pen'd a conjuncture which favour'd my Design, and gave me an opportunity to proceed in it, in the manner follow­ing.

In the Year 1654, Oliver Cromwell at that time Protector of the Common­wealth of England, sent Admiral Blake with a Squadron of Men of War to­wards the Coasts of Algarve and Anda­lousia, to wait for the Spanish Gal­lions which come yearly from the Indies. The Spaniards being advertis'd of it, re­solv'd to equip a Fleet with all expedi­tion to oppose the English and frustrate their design: To this end they set out 28 Men of War and 6 Fireships, under the Command of Don Paul de Contreras, whose Vice-Admiral was the Amirante Castana, on board whom was I. The Two Fleets came up with each other, near Cape St. Vincent, where they staid many Days; but the English perceiving [Page 3] they were like to make nothing on't, re­tir'd towards Lisbon, and the Spaniards stood into Cadiz, where all the Gallions safely arriv'd in the beginning of the Year 1655, except the Vice-Admiral, which was lost in the Channel of Bahama upon the Coasts of Florida. Sometime af­ter this, the English having declar'd War against the Spaniards more openly, by taking Jamaica, the Navigation to the West-Indies was a long time interrupted, by their Cruisers hovering about Cadiz▪ and San Lucar, where they intercepted some Ships coming from the Indies rich­ly laden, took one of the biggest, burnt Two others, and put the rest to flight, and afterwards went to the Canaries, where they burnt most of the Flota that were arriv'd there from New Spain, and waited orders from Madrid, what course to take to escape falling into the hands of the English. While these things were do­ing, the Dutch who sought to make their advantage of the Troubles that the Spa­niards were embroil'd in, sent several Ships to the River de la Plata, laden with Goods and Negroes, which they took in at Angola and Congo: These Ships being arriv'd in that River, and come up to Buenos Ayres, the Inhabi­tants [Page 4] of the place who had a long time been depriv'd of the Supplies which they had us'd to receive by the Spanish Gallions (who were hinder'd by the English from making their constant Voy­ages) and were besides in want of Ne­groes and other things, wrought so far upon the Governor, that for a Present which they oblig'd the Hollanders to give him, and satisfying the Customs due to the King of Spain, they were permitted to Land and Trade there.

Mean time the Spanish Ministers (ap­prehending lest the Interruption of the Commerce, and the scarcity of European Commodities in those Parts, might con­strain the Inhabitants to Traffick with Strangers (which 'tis their Interest to prevent as much as they can) thought fit to grant Licences to several of their private Subjects to Trade to the Indies at their own proper risque. A certain Cavalier took one of them, and fitted out a Ship at Cadiz, where I abode at that time; I resolv'd to go in her, and that the more willingly, because I had formerly had some dealings with him. He very friendly consented to let me go under his Name for his Nephew, that I might conceal my being a Forreigner, [Page 5] which if known would have stopt my Voyage, because in Spain they allow none but Native Spaniards to go in their Ships to the Indies. We set Sail about the latter end of December 1657, in a Ship of 450 Tuns, and in 105 Days reach'd the Mouth of the River de la Plata, where we met a French Frigat, Captain Foran Commander, and fought her some time, we got clear of her, and continued our Course till we came be­fore Buenos Ayres, where we found 22 Dutch Ships, and among them 2 English, Laden homewards with Bulls-hides, Plate, and Spanish-wool, which they had receiv'd in exchange for their Com­modities; a few days after 3 Dutch Ships going out of the Road encounter'd Captain Foran and another Frigat, nam'd the Mareschale, Commanded by the Che­valier de Fontenay; after a tough dis­pute the Hollanders boarded and took the Mareschale, put all her Men to the Sword, and the Chevalier among the rest.

This accident alarum'd those of Beue­nos Ayres, and made them put themselves upon their guard, imagining there was a French Squadron come into the River to make an attempt upon their Country. [Page 6] Whereupon they resolv'd to send for aid to Count Albaeliste, Viceroy over all the Spanish Acquisitions in America, and Resident at Lima in Peru; who caus'd to be Levy'd with much difficulty and some force but 100 Men, which were not sent to them till 8 or 9 Months af­ter, under the Command of Don Sebasti­an Comacho.

But before I proceed further, 'tis fit I deliver my Observations concerning the River de la Plata, and the Countries through which it runs. In those Parts 'tis call'd the Paraguay, but more vulgar­ly the Great Parana; probably, because the River of Parana falls into it above the Town de las Corrientes. 'Its Mouth (which lies in the 35th. Degree of Sou­thern Latitude, on that side the Equinocti­al Line) is between Cape de Castillos and Cape de Sant Antonio, about 80 Leagues distant from each, Tho' it be deep e­nough every where, yet the commonest Road into it, and most us'd by Sailors is on the North-side, from Castillos to Montvidio, which is half-way to Buenos Ayres, and notwithstanding there is a Channel on the same North-side from Montvidio to Buenos Ayres, the shallow­est place in which is Three Fathom deep, [Page 7] yet for more security they cross over a­gainst Monvidio into the South Channel, because 'tis broader and has Three Fa­thom and a half Water at least where 'tis shallowest; all the bottom is muddy till within 2 Leagues of Buenos Ayres where lyes a sand Bank, there they take in Pilots to Steer them to a place call'd the Posso just before the Town, distant a Cannon shot from Shore, wherein no Vessels may enter but such as have a Li­cence from the King of Spain, those that have no such permission are oblig'd to Anchor a League Lower. The River is full of Fish, but of them there are hard­ly more than Seven or Eight sorts good to eat, there are abundance of those Whales call'd Gibars, and Sea-dogs who commonly bring forth their young a­shore, and whose Skin is fit for several uses. I was told that about 5 or 6 Years be­fore I came there, the River was almost dry'd up for some days, no Water be­ing left but only in the middle Channel, and there so little, that they forded it on Horseback, as one may do most of the Rivers that fall into that de la Plata, in which there are likewise a great ma­ny Otters, with whose Skins the Savages Cloath themselves.

[Page 8] The Country on the North-side of the River de la Plata is of great extent, Inhabited by none but Savages, call'd Charuas; most of the little Islands that lie all along the River, and the Shore sides are cover'd with Woods full of Wild Boars. From Cape de Castillos up to Rio Negro, as well as from the same Cape to San Paulo bordering upon Bra­sil; the Coasts are uninhabited, tho' the Country, especially along the River seems to be very good, having little Ri­vulets running down from the Hills thro' the Plains. The Spaniards settled first there, but afterwards remov'd to Buenos Ayres, because 'twas troublesom to cross over the great Parana to go to Peru.

I went ashore frequently beyond Rio Negro, but never farther than Three quarters of a League into the Land, there are but few Savages to be seen, and they have their Habitations a good way up in the Country; those I met with were well made, with long Hair and very little Beard; they wear nothing but a great Skin, made of little ones patch'd together, that hangs down to their heels, and a piece of Leather under their Feet, ty'd with Straps about their Ankles. For Ornament they bind a Fillet of some [Page 9] Stuff about their Heads, which comes o­ver the Fore-head, and keeps the Hair back behind. The Women have no o­ther Garment but these Skins, which they gird about their Wastes, and co­ver their heads with a sort of little Hats made of Rushes of divers Colours.

From Rio Negro to Las Corrientes and the River of Parana, the Country is well stockt with Bulls and Cows, there are likewise a great many Stags, whose Skins they sell for right Buff. The Sa­vages about Rio Negro are the only Peo­ple from the Sea thither, that keep Cor­respondence with those of Buenos Ayres, and the Casiques, and Couracas their Lea­ders do Hommage to the Governor of that Place, from whence they are but about 20 Leagues distant. One of the chief Spanish Towns on that side is Las Siete Corrientes, Situate near the place where the Two Rivers Paraguay and Pa­rana meet. Upon the Parana stand Three or Four Villages pretty far from each other, and thinly Peopled, tho' the Country be very proper for Vine-yards, and has enough planted already to supply the Neighbouring Parts with Wine. The Inhabitants are under the Jurisdiction of a Governour resident at [Page 10] Assomption, which is the most important Place the Spaniards have in that Coun­try, and stands higher up the River Pa­raguay on the North-side; 'tis the Metra­politan City, a Bishop's Seat, has seve­ral very neat Churches and Convents, and is well crowded with Inhabitants, because a great many Idle People, and such as have run out their Fortunes and can live no longer in Spain or Peru, flock thither as to their last refuge. The Land abounds in Corn, Millet, Sugar, Tobacco, Honey, Cattle, Oaks fit for Shipping, Pine-Trees for Masts, and particularly in that Herb, call'd, the Herb of Paraguay, which they drive a great Trade in all over the West-Indies; and this obliges the Merchants of Chili and Peru, to hold a Correspondence with those of Paraguay; because, with­out that Herb (with which they make a refreshing Liquor with Water and Su­gar, to be drank lukewarm) the Inhabi­tants of Peru, Savages and others, espe­cially those that work in the Mines, could not subsist, for the Soil of the Country being full of Mineral Veins, the Vapours that rise out of the Ground suffocate them, and nothing but that Liquor can recover them again, which revives and [Page 11] restores them to their former Vi­gour.

In this City of Assomption, the Native Indians, as well as Spaniards are very courteous and obliging to Strangers. They indulge themselves in a great deal of liberty, even with respect to Women, insomuch that being often necessitated to Sleep in the open Air (because of the excessive Heat) they spread their Quilts in the Streets, and lie there all Night Men and Women together: Nor is any Body scandaliz'd at it. Having plenty of all things good to eat and drink, they give themselves up to Ease and Idleness, and don't much trouble themselves with Trading abroad, nor heaping up Money, which upon that account is very scarce among 'em, contenting themselves with trucking the Commodities of their own Product, for others more necessary and useful to them.

Further up in the Country, that is to say, towards the Head of the River Ʋru­gay, in the Province of Paraguay, are ma­ny Settlements of Colonies, transplant­ed thither by the Jesuits Missionaries, that prevail'd upon the Savages in those Parts, who are naturally tractable, to quit their Woods and Mountains, and [Page 12] come and dwell together in Villages in a Civil Community, where they in­structed them in the Christian Religion, taught them Mechanicks, to play upon Musical Instruments, and several other Arts covenient to Human Life. Thus the Missionaries who came upon a Religi­ous Motive, are largely recompenc'd by the Temporal Advantages which they reap here. The report that there were Golden Mines in this Country, could not be kept so close, but that the Spaniards had some inkling of it, and among others, Don Hiacinto de Laris Governor of Bue­nes Ayres, who about the Year 1653, had orders from the King of Spain, to go and visit these Settlements, and examine into their Wealth. At first coming he was well receiv'd, but perceiving that he began to inspect their Riches, and search for Gold, The Savages who are shy of working in the Mines, took up Arms, and forc'd him and his Followers Fifty in Number to depart out of their Country. The Governor who succeeded him, inform'd himself more particularly of this matter, and to make the best use of his Intelligence, inter'd into a strict Alliance with the Jesuits of his own Government, who hold a Correspon­dence [Page 13] with the rest of their Fraternity; and having got a considerable Sum from the Hollanders for leave to Trade at Buenos Ayres, he engag'd the Jesuits to furnish him 100000 Crowns in Gold for the value in Silver, for lightness of Car­riage. But this same Governor being arrested by the King of Spain's Order, for permitting the Dutch to Trade at Buenos Ayres, his Gold was seiz'd and confiscated, which upon trial prov'd to be much finer than that of Peru, and by this and other Circumstances, they dis­cover'd, that it came from the Mines found out by the Jesuits in these parts.

On the South-side of the River de la Plata, from Cape Sant Antonio, to within 30 Leagues of Buenos Ayres, 'tis dange­rous Sailing, because of the Banks that lie in the way; wherefore they always go on the North-side, as I said before, till they come up so far, then they cross over to the South-side which is very safe; especially when the Wind blows against the Stream of the River and swells it; for when a Westerly Wind blows from Land, the Water falls; however when the Water is at the lowest, 'tis Three Fathom and a half deep, both in the North and South Channels. When we [Page 14] enter'd into the South-Channel, we came in sight of those Vast Plains extending to Buenos Ayres, and thence as far as the River Salladillo, 60 Leagues short of Cordoua, which are so cover'd with all sorts of Cattle, that notwithstanding multitudes of them are daily destroy'd for their Skins, there's no Sign of their diminution.

As soon as we arriv'd at the Cape of Buenos Ayres, we gave notice of it to the Governor, who understanding that we had the King of Spain's Licence for coming thither, (without which he could not have permitted us entrance in­to the place, unless he would have broke his Orders) he sent the Kings Officers on board to visit our Ship, according to custom, which done, we landed our Goods, and laid them up in a Ware­house hired for the time of our stay. They consisted chiefly in Linnen Cloath, particularly that made at Rouen, which goes off very well in those Parts, as al­so in Silks, Ribans, Thread, Needles, Swords, Horse-shoes, and other Iron-work, Working-tools of all sorts, Drugs, Spices, Silk and Wollen-Stockings, Woollen-Cloath, Serges, and other Woollen-Stuffs, and generally in every [Page 15] thing fit for Cloathing: which as we were inform'd were proper commodities for those Parts. Now the Custom is, that as soon as a Licens'd Ship (that is to say which has the King of Spain's Permission) comes to Buenos Ayres. The Governor of the Place, or Captain of the Ship dispatches a Messenger to Peru, with the Letters from Spain, if he has any; or else to acquaint the Merchants with his Arrival, whereupon some of them immediately set out to Buenos Ay­res, or else send Commissions to their Correspondents, to buy up what Wares they think convenient. 'Twas my for­tune to be sent upon both these Errands, for among a great many Letters that we brought with us, was a large pac­quet from his Catholick Majesty for Peru, enclos'd in a Leaden Box, as all the Dispatches from the Spanish Court to the Indies commonly are; to the end, that if the Ship that carries them should be in eminent peril of falling into an Ene­mies Hands, they might be flung over board and sunk. This Pacquet was entrusted to my care, wherein were many Letters to the Vice-Roy of Pe­ru, and other Prime Officers in those Parts, signifying the Birth of the Prince [Page 16] of Spain: and I carry'd likewise an Inventory attested by the Kings Officers at Buenos Ayres of the greatest part of our Lading, to be shewn to the Mer­chants of Potosi; they rely'd upon the conditions of the Goods as specified in the Inventory, and so bargain'd for what they lik'd, but their effects did not come to 'em till Seven or Eight Months af­ter.

A Description of Buenos Ayres.

BEfore I say any thing of my Journy to Peru, I will set down what I ob­serv'd remarkable at Buenos Ayres whilst I tarry'd there. The Air is pretty tem­perate, much as 'tis in Andalousia, but not quite so warm, the Rains fall almost as often in Summer as Winter; and the Rain in sultry weather usually breeds divers kinds of Toads, which are very common in this Country, but are not venemous. The Town stands upon a rising Ground on the side of the River de la Plata, a Musquet shot from the Channel, in an Angle of Land made [Page 17] by a little Rivulet, call'd Riochuelo, which falls into the River a quarter of a League from the Town; it contains 400 Houses, has no enclosure, neither Wall nor Ditch, and nothing to defend it but a little Fort of Earth surrounded with a Ditch, which commands the Ri­ver, and has Ten Iron Guns, the biggest of which is a Twelve Pounder; there the Governor resides who has but 150 Men in Garrison, which are form'd into Three Companies Commanded by Three Captains, whom he appoints at will, and indeed he changes them so often, that there is hardly a Wealthy Citizen but has been a Captain; these Companies are not always full, because the Souldiers are drawn by the cheapness of Living in those Parts to desert frequently, not­withstanding they endeavour to keep them in the Service by a large pay, which is per diem Four Reals, worth 1 s. 6 d. English, and a Loaf of 3 d. ob. which is as much as one Man can eat. But the Governor keeps 1200 tame Horses in a Plain thereabouts for his ordinary Ser­vice, and in case of necessity to mount the Inhabitants of the Place, and form a small Body of Cavalry. Besides this Fort, there is a little Bastion at the [Page 18] Mouth of the Rivulet wherein they keep Guard, there are but Two Iron-Guns mounted upon it, each carrying a Three Pound Ball; this commands the place where the Barks come ashore to de­liver or take in goods, which are liable to be visited by the Officers of the Ba­stion when they lade and unlade. The Houses of the Town are built of Earth, because there is but little Stone in all those Parts up as far as Peru; they are thatch'd with Canes and Straw, have no Stories, all the Rooms are of a Floor, and are very Spacious; they have great Court-yards, and behind their Houses large Gardens full of Orange-trees, Lemon-trees, Fig-trees, Apple-trees, Pear-trees, and other Fruit-trees, with store of Herbs, Cabbages, Onions, Garlick, Lettice, Peas, Beans, and especially their Melons are excellent, the Soil being very fat and good; they live very commodiously, and except Wine, which is something dear; they have plenty of all sorts of Victuals, as Beef, Veal, Mutton, Venison, Hares, Coneys, Pullets, Ducks, Wild-geese, Partridges, Pidgeons, Turtles, and all kind of Wild-fowl; and so cheap, that one may buy Partridges for a Penny a [Page 19] piece, and the rest proportionably. There are likewise abundance of Ostriches who herd in Flocks like Cattle, and tho' they are good Meat, yet none but the Savages eat of them. They make Um­brellas of their Feathers, which are very commodious in the Sun; their Eggs are good, and every body eats of 'em, tho' they say they are of hard Digestion. I saw one thing of these Creatures very remarkable, and that is, while the Hen sits upon the Eggs, they have the Instinct or Foresight to provide for their Young; so five or six days before they come out of the Shell, they set an Egg in each of the four Corners of the place where they sit, these Eggs they break, and when they rot, Worms and Maggots breed in 'em in prodigious numbers, which serve to nourish the Young Ostriches from the time they are hatch'd till they are able to go farther for their sustenance. The Houses of the better sort of Inhabitants are adorn'd with Hangings, Pictures, and other Ornaments and decent Movea­bles, and all that are tollerably well to pass are serv'd in Plate, and have a great many Servants, Blacks, Moulatos, Mestices, Indians, Cabres, or Sambos, who are all Slaves. The Negroes come [Page 20] from Guinea; the Moulatos are begotten by a Spaniard upon a Black; the Mesti­ces are born of a Spaniard and an Indian, and the Sambos of an Indian Man and a Mestice, all distinguishable by their Co­lour and Hair. They employ these Slaves in their Houses, or to cultivate their Grounds, for they have large Farms stock'd with Grain in abundance, as Wheat, Barley and Millet, or to look after their Horses and Mules, who feed upon nothing but Grass all the Year round, or to kill Wild-Bulls, or in fine to do any kind of Service. All the Wealth of these Inhabitants consists in Cattle, wich multiply so prodigiously in this Province, that the Plains are quite co­ver'd with 'em, particularly with Bulls, Cows, Sheep, Horses, Mares, Mules, As­ses, Swine, Deer, and others, insomuch that were it not for a vast number of Dogs, who devour the Calves and other young Beasts, they would over-run the Country, they make so great profit of the Skins and Hides of these Annimals, that a single Instance will be sufficient to shew how far it might be improv'd by good hands: The 22 Dutch Ships that we found at Buenos Ayres were each of them laden with 13 or 14000 Bull-hides [Page 21] at least, which amount to above 300000 Livers, or 33500 l. Sterling, bought by the Dutch at Seven or Eight Reals a piece, that is under an English Crown, and sold again in Europe for Twenty-five Shillings English at least. When I express'd my astonishment at the sight of such an infinite number of Cattle, they told me of a Stratagem sometimes made use of, when they apprehend a descent from any Enemies, that is matter of greater wonder, and 'tis this; they drive such a Herd of Bulls, Cows, Horses and other Animals to the Shore-side, that 'tis utter­ly impossible for any number of Men, even tho' they should not dread the fu­ry of those Wild Creatures, to make their way through so great a drove of Beasts. The First Inhabitants of this place, put every one their mark upon those they could catch, and turn'd 'em into their enclosures, but they multiply'd so fast, that they were forc'd to let 'em loose, and now they go and kill them according as they want 'em, or have oc­casion to make up a quantity of Hides for Sale. At present they mark only those Horses and Mules which they catch to tame and breed up for Service. Some Persons make a great Trade of sending [Page 22] them to Peru, where they yield 50 Pata­gons, or 11 l. 13 s. 4 d. Sterling a pair. Most of the Dealers in Cattle are very Rich, but of all the Trading People the most considerable are they that Traf­fick in European Commodities. Ma­ny of whom are reputed worth 2 or 300000 Crowns, or 67000 l. Sterling. So that a Merchant worth no more than 15 or 20000 Crowns is look'd upon as a mean Retailer; of these last there are near 200 Families in the Town, that make 500 Men bearing Arms, besides their Slaves who are three times that Number, but are not to be reckon'd of any Defence, because they are not al­low'd to bear Arms: Thus the Spaniards, Portuguese, and their Sons (of whom those that are born upon the place are term'd Criolos, to distinguish them from the Natives of Spain) and some Mestices are the Militia, which with the Souldiers in Garrison, compose a Body of above 600 Men, as I computed them in several Musters, for they draw out on Horse-back Three times a Year near the Town on Festival Days. I observ'd there were many Old Men among them that did not carry Fire-arms, but only a Sword by their side, a Lance in hand, and a Buck­ler [Page 23] at their shoulder: Th [...] are also most of them Marry'd and Matters of Fami­lies, and consequently have no great stomach to Fighting. They love their Ease and Pleasure, and are entirely de­voted to Venus; I confess they are in some measure excusable in this point, for most of their Women are extreamly pretty, well shaped, and clear skin'd; and withal so faithful to their Husbands, that no Temptations can prevail with them to loosen the Sacred Knot: But then if their Husbands transgress, they are often punish'd with Poison or Dag­ger. The Women are more in Number than the Men. Besides Spaniards, there are a few French, Hollanders, and Genouese, but all go for Spaniards, otherwise there would be no dwelling for them there, especially those that differ in their Reli­gion from the Roman-Catholicks, because the Inquisition is settled there.

The Bishop's Revenue amounts to 3000 Patagons, or 700 l. Sterling per Annum. His Diocess takes in this Town and Santa Fe, with the Farms belonging to both; Eight or Ten Priests Officiate in the Cathedral, which is built of Earth as well as the Houses. The Jesuits have a College; the Dominicans, the Recol­lects, [Page 24] and the Religious de la Mercy, have each a Convent. There is likewise an Hospital, but there are so few poor Peo­ple in these Parts that 'tis of little use.

Monsieur Acarete du Biscay's Jour­ney from Buenos Ayres to Peru.

I Left Buenos Ayres, and took the Road to Cordoua, leaving Santa Fe on my right hand, of which place take this ac­count, 'tis a Spanish Settlement dependant upon Buenos Ayres, the Commander is no more than a Lieutenant, and does no­thing but by order from the Governor of Buenos Ayres. 'Tis a little place con­taining 25 Houses, without any Walls, Fortifications, or Garrison, distant 80 Leagues from Buenos Ayres Northward, Situate upon the River de la Plata, large Vessels might come up to it, were it not for a great bank that obstructs the pas­sage a little above Buenos Ayres. Ne­vertheless 'tis a very advantageous Post, because 'tis the only passage from Peru, Chili and Tucuman to Paraguay, and in a manner the Magazine of the Commodi­ties [Page 25] drawn from thence, particularly that Herb already spoken of, which they cannot be without in those Provinces. The Soil is as good and Fertile here as at Buenos Ayres; and the Town having nothing remarkably different from what has been observ'd of Buenos Ayres, I leave it, and proceed upon my Jour­ney. 'Tis counted 140 Leagues from Buenos Ayres to Cordoua, and because some parts of the Road are uninhabited for a long way together; I furnished my self at my departure with what I was inform'd I should stand in need of; so I set out having a Savage for my Guide, with Three Horses and Three Mules, some to carry my Baggage, and the rest to change upon the way when that I rid upon was tired.

From Buenos Ayres, to the River Lu­can, and even as far as the River Recife, 30 Leagues, I pass'd by several Habita­tions and Farms cultivated by the Spani­ards, but beyond Recife to the River Salladillo, I saw none. Let it be obser­ved by the way, that these Rivers as well as all the rest in the Provinces of Buenos Ayres, Paraguay and Tucuman, that fall into the River de la Plata are fordable on Horse-back; but when the Rains or [Page 26] any other accident swells them, a Tra­veller must either swim over, or else get upon a bundle in the nature of a raft, which a Savage hawls over to the other side. I could not Swim, and so was forc'd to make use of this expedient twice or thrice when I could not find a Ford. The way was this, my Indian kill'd a Wild Bull, flead the Hide off, stuffed it with straw, and ty'd it up in a great bundle with thongs of the same Hide, upon which I plac'd my self with my Baggage; he swam over hawling me after him by a Cord ty'd to the bundle, and then he repass'd and swam my Horses and Mules over to me.

All the Country between the River Recife and Salladillo, tho' uninhabited, abounds in Cattle and all sorts of Fruit-trees, except Walnut and Chesnut-trees; there are whole Woods of Nectarine-Trees, Three or Four Leagues in compass, that bear excellent Fruit, which they not only eat raw, but bake them, or dry them in the Sun, to keep, as we in France do Prunes: They seldom use any other than the Wood of this Tree for common firing at Buenos Ayres, and thereabouts. The Savages that dwell in these Parts are distinguish'd into two sorts, those that [Page 27] voluntarily submit to the Spaniards are call'd Panpistas, the rest Serranos, both cloathed with Skins, but the last set up­on the Panpistas as their mortal Enemies wherever they meet with them. All Fight on Horse-back, either with Lances pointed with Iron or Bones sharpen'd, or else with Bows and Arrows, they wear Bulls-hides fashion'd like a Doublet without sleeves, to defend their Bodies. Their Chiefs that command over them in War and Peace, are call'd Couracas. When they take any one of their Ene­mies, alive or dead, they meet all toge­ther, and after they have reproach'd him, that either he or his Relations were the death of their Kindred or Friends, they cut and tear him into pieces, which they roast a little and eat, making a drinking Bowl of his Scull. They feed mostly upon flesh either raw or dress'd, and particularly Colts flesh, which they like better than Veal. They catch abundance of Fish likewise in their Rivers. They have no settled places of aboad, but ramble up and down, several Families together, and live in Tents.

I could not inform my self exactly what Religion they were of, but I was told that they look'd upon the Sun and [Page 28] Moon as Deities, and as I travell'd along, I saw a Savage upon his knees with his Face to the Sun, who cry'd out and made strange gestures with his Hands and Arms. I learn'd from the Savage that accompany'd me, that he was one of those they call'd Papas, who in the Morning kneel towards the Sun, and at Night towards the Moon, to supplicate those fancy'd Divinities to be propitious to them, to give them fair Weather, and Victory over their Foes.

They make no great Ceremony in their Marriages; but when a Relation dies, after they have rubb'd his body with a certain Earth that consumes all but the Bones, they preserve them, and carry as many of them as they can convenient­ly about with them in a sort of Chests, and this they do in token of their af­fection to their Kindred; indeed they are not wanting in good Offices to them during their Lives, nor in their Sickness and Death.

Along the River Salladillo, I took notice of a great many Parrats, or Pa­pagays, as the Spaniards call them, and certain Birds, call'd Guacamayos, which are of divers Colours, and twice or thrice as big as a Parrat. The River it self is [Page 29] full of the Fish, call'd Dorado, which is very good to eat. There is also a Crea­ture in it, whether 'tis Meat or Poyson no body knows, it has Four Feet and a long Tail like a Lizard.

From Salladillo quite to Cordoua, you go along a very fine River, that abounds with Fish, which is neither wide nor deep, for it may be forded over. On the Bank of it you meet with little Plan­tations every Three or Four Leagues; which are like Country Houses inhabi­ted by Spaniards, Portuguese, and the Na­tives, who have all the necessary acco­modations of Life they can wish, and are very Civil and Charitable to Stran­gers; their principal Wealth is in Hor­ses and Mules, in which they Trade with the Inhabitants of Peru.

Cordoua is a Town Situate in a pleasant and fruitful Plain upon the side of a River, bigger and broader than that I have just spoken of: 'Tis compos'd of about 400 Houses, Built like those of Buenos Ayres. It has neither Ditches, nor Walls, nor Fort for its defence; He that Commands it is Governor of all the Provinces of Tucuman; and tho' it be the place of his ordinary Residence, yet he is wont now and then, as he sees oc­casion, [Page 30] to go and pass some time at St. Jago de l' Estro, at St. Miguel de Tucuman, (which is the Capital City of the Province) at Salta and at Xuxui. In each of these Villages there is a Lieutenant, who has under him an Alcalde and some Officers for the Administration of Justice. The Bishop of Tucuman likewise usually re­sides at Cordoua, where the Cathedral is the only Parish Church of the whole Town; but there are divers Convents of Monks, namely of Dominicans, Recol­lects, and those of the Order de la Mer­cy: and one of Nunns. The Jesuits have a College there, and their Chappel is the finest and richest of all.

The Inhabitants are Rich in Gold and Silver, which they get by the Trade they have for Mules, with which they furnish Peru and other Parts; which is so considerable, that they sell about 28 or 30000 of 'em every Year, which they breed up in their Farms. They usually keep 'em till they are about Two Years old, then expose 'em to Sale, and have about Six Patagons a piece for 'em. The Merchants that come to buy 'em, carry 'em to St. Jago, to Salta and Xuxui, where they leave 'em for Three Years, till they are well grown and become [Page 31] strong, and afterwards bring 'em to Pe­ru, where they presently have Vent for 'em, because there as well as in the rest of the Western part of America, the greatest part of their Carriage is upon Mules. The People of Cordoua also drive a Trade in Cows, which they have from the Countrey of Buenos Ayres, and carry to Peru, where without this way of Subsistance 'tis certain they would have much ado to live. This kind of Traffick makes this Town the most con­siderable in the Province of Tucuman, as well for its Riches and Commodities, as for the Number of its Inhabitants, which are counted to be at least 5 or 600 Families, besides Slaves who are three times the number. But the gene­rality of 'em of all degrees have no other Arms but a Sword and Poignard, and are very indifferent Souldiers, the Air of the Country, and the Plenty they enjoy, rendring them Lazy and Cow­ardly.

From Cordoua I took the way of St. Jago de l' Estro, which is 90 Leagues distant from it. In my Journey I from time to time, that is Seven or Eight Leagues, met with single Houses of Spa­niards and Portuguese, who live very so­litarily; [Page 32] they are all Situate upon small Rivulets, some of 'em at the Corners of Forrests which are frequently to be met with in that Country, and are almost all of Algarobe-wood, the Fruit of which serves to make a Drink that is sweet and sharpish, and heady as Wine; o­thers of them in open Fields, which are not so well stock'd with Cattle, as those of Buenos Ayres, but however there are enough of 'em, and indeed more than needs for the subsistance of the Inhabitants, who also make a Trade of Mules, and Cotton, and Cocheneil for dying, which the Country produces.

St. Jago de l' Estro is a Town of a­bout 300 Houses, without Ditches or Walls, Situate in a flat Country, sur­rounded with Forrests of Algarobe; it lies on an indifferently large River, Na­vigable for Boats, and pretty well stor'd with Fish. The Air is very hot, and sultry, which makes the Inhabitants la­zy and effemminate. Their Faces are all very Tawny; they are mightily given to their Divertisements, and mind Traf­fick very little. There are 300 Men that can bear Arms, taking in as well the Sa­vages as Slaves, and they are all ill Arm'd, and but very mean Souldiers. [Page 33] The greatest part of the Women are handsome enough, but have generally a kind of swelling in the Throat, which they call Coto in the Language of the Country, and seems to be much the same with what we call a Wen. The Coun­try is sufficiently stor'd with Wild-Fowl, Venizon, Wheat, Rye, Barley; and Fruits, as Figgs, Peaches, Apples, Pears, Plumbs, Heart-Cherries, Grapes, &c. There are abundance of Tigers, that are very fierce and ravenous; Lions that are very gentle; and Guanacos that are as big as Horses, with very long Necks, little Heads, and very short Tails, in the Stomachs of these Creatures the Bezoar-stone is found. There are Four Churches in this Town, namely the Pa­rish-Church, that of the Jesuits, that of the Recollect Friers, and one more. Here the Inquisitor of the Province of Tucuman has his residence; he is a Secu­lar Priest, and has Commissaries or De­puties under him, whom he places in all the other Towns of the Province.

After I had continued Three Days at St. Jago, I went from thence to Salta, which is 100 Leagues from it, and leav­ing St. Miguel of Tucuman on the left hand, which is a Town under the Juris­diction [Page 34] of St. Jago, I took the Road of Esseco, finding in my way some little Vil­lages of Spaniards here and there, and very few Savages. The Country is flat, and consists partly of Fruitful Plains, and partly of Forrests full of Algarobe and Palm-trees; which bear Dates some­what less than those in the East-Coun­tries, as well as many other sorts of Trees and Plants, amongst others, those that yield Pitch, and those that produce Co­cheneil and Cotton. There are divers small Lakes, about which there are great quantities of Salt produc'd, which is us'd by the People of that Country. I stay'd one day at Esseco, to prepare my self some Provisions to live upon. It's Situ­ation is upon a very handsome broad River, which yet may be foarded on Horseback. This Town was formerly as big and as considerable as Cordona, but is now ruin'd, there being not above 30 Families left in it, for the rest deserted it, because of the great number of Tigers that infested 'em, devouring their Chil­dren, and sometimes Men when they could surprize 'em, besides an incredible number of Venemous Flies, that sting very smartly, with which the Country is fill'd for four or five Leagues about [Page 35] the Town; so that there's no going a­broad without being mask'd. This Country is also sufficiently Fruitful in Wheat, Barley, Vines, and other Fruit-trees; and would abound in Cattle if the Tigers did not devour 'em.

From Esseco to Salta is 15 Leagues: And this space of Land, would be like that I have just now spoken of, but that it is Gravelly in some places. One may easily discern Salta about 2 Leagues be­fore one comes at it; because it stands in the middle of a fine Plain, which is fertile in Corn, Grapes, and other sorts of Fruit, Cattle, and other neces­saries of Life: Encompass'd in some pla­ces with Hills, and some pretty high Mountains. The Town is upon the bank of a Little River, over which there is a Bridge: It may contain about 400 Houses, and 5 or 6 Churches and Con­vents, the Structure of which, is like that of those I have before describ'd. 'Tis not encompass'd with any Walls, Forti­fications or Ditches; but the Wars the Inhabitants have had with their Neigh­bours, have train'd them in Martial Dis­cipline, and render'd 'em more careful to have Arms in a readiness than former­ly: They are about 500 Men, who [Page 36] all bear Arms, besides Slaves, Moulatos, and Blacks, who are three times as many. 'Tis a place of great resort, because of the considerable Trade they have, in Corn, Meal, Cattle, Wine, Salted Meat, Tallow, and other Commodities where­with they Trade with the Inhabitants of Peru.

Twelve Leagues beyond it lies Xuxui, which is the last Town of Tucuman on the side of Peru. There are up and down on the Road a great many Cottages or Farms, and more than in any other place, tho' the Country is not so pleasant nor so fruitful, being almost nothing else but Hills and Mountains. This Town of Xuxui contains about 300 Houses: 'Tis not very full of People, because of the continual Wars the Inha­bitants of it, as well as those of Salta, have with the Savages of the Valley of Calchaqui, who are continually harasing of 'em. The Cause that set these Wars on Foot is as follows; The Governor of Tucuman, Don Alonso de Mercado, and de Villa Corta, having receiv'd Infor­mation, that the House of the last Incas or Kings of Peru, which was call'd the White-house, was in this Valley, and that there was a great deal of Treasure [Page 37] there, which the Natives kept as a mark of their Ancient Grandeur, gave advice of it to his Catholick Majesty, and begg'd leave to make a Conquest of it, and subject it to his Government, as it had far'd with so many other places which he obtain'd. To accomplish his design, he thought meet to employ Don Pedro Bohoriers a Moor, and Native of Estramadura, as being a Person who had been accustom'd to converse with Savage People, and was capable of carrying on Intreagues amongst 'em, and so more fit than another, to make this design suc­ceed; but the business had a quite con­trary Event. For this Bohoriers, when he was got among the Savages of this Valley, and had gain'd their Affections, instead of acquitting himself of his Commission, endeavor'd to establish him­self in Power amongst 'em, in which he succeeded so well, that by his Craft and good address, he brought 'em to choose and acknowledge him for their King; after which he declar'd himself against this Spanish Governor, and began a War with him towards the end of 1638, and several times routed him and his Forces, which gave occasion to several of the Indian Natives, that were under the Do­minion [Page 38] of the Spaniards, to throw of their Yoke, and joyn with the People of this Valley, who by these additions have render'd themselves somewhat formida­ble. Hither also the Slaves of Peru, particularly those that serve in the Mines, fly, when they can find an opportunity to make their escape: And the safe re­treat they find here, draws a great num­ber of 'em to this place; insomuch that the Spaniards would not have half Men enough to work in the Mines, if they did not get Negros from Congo, Angola, and other places on the Coast of Guinea, by means of divers Genoese that go thi­ther to fetch 'em, and sell 'em to them at a price concerted between 'em.

From Xuxui to Potosi they count a 100 Leagues, the way is very trou­blesome, and there is but this one Road to go from Tucuman to Peru. Two Leagues from Xuxui I began to advance to the Mountains, between which there's a little and very narrow Valley, that reaches as far as Omagoaca, which is 20 Leagues beyond, and along it there runs a small River, which one is oblig'd to pass and repass very often. Before you are got 4 Leagues in this Road, you meet with Vulcanos, or Burning Moun­tains, [Page 39] full of Sulphurous matter, which break out in Flames from time to time, and sometimes burst open and throw quantities of Earth into the Valley, which makes the way so dirty when a Rain comes soon after it, as it almost always happens, that sometimes you must be forc'd to stay Five or Six Months, or till the Summer comes to dry it to make it passable. These Vulcanos continue for 2 Leagues upon this Road, and in all this space, there are no Houses either of Spaniards or Savages, but beyond it all along as far as Omagoaca, there are a great many little Cottages, inhabited on­ly by Indians, and depending on some Towns of theirs, which are govern'd by their Chiefs, whom they call Couracas, who have a Cacique over them, whose Orders they obey, and whose residence is at Omagoaca, which is a Town of 200 Houses, built of Earth, and standing in no good Order. The Land about it is none of the best, however they sow Wheat there, and a great quantity of Millet, which the Indians ordinarily use. As for Cattle, they have very few, and commonly eat Beef dry'd in the Sun, which is brought them by those that Trade with 'em; they have also Goats [Page 40] and Sheep of their own Product.

The most of these Savages are Catho­licks, and live according to the Rules of the Roman Catholick Religion; they have a Church at Omagoaca, which is supplied with Priests, who go from time to time to celebrate Mass there: These Priests dwell at Socchoa, which is the Plantation of Don Paulo d' Obaudo, who is a Spaniard, but born in this Country, and is Lord Proprietor of it, which contains not only all the Valley of Oma­goaca, but likewise a great space of Land beyond, and is a Country of about 60 or 80 Leagues in extent, where there are a great many Vigognes of whose Wool this Lord makes a very considerable Advan­tage. He takes these Creatures with a great deal of ease by means of his Subjects the Indians, who have no other trouble than that of making a great Inclosure with Nets about a Foot and a half high, to which they tie a great many Feathers that are blown to and fro by the Wind, after which the Savages hunt these Crea­tures, and drive 'em within the Nets, as they do Wild-Boars in France into the Toils; when this is done, some come on Horse-back within the compass of Ground in which they are inclos'd, and [Page 41] while the poor Beasts dare not go near the Nets for fear of the Feathers that play about 'em, they with certain Bowls fastened to Cords, knock down and kill as many of 'em as they please.

From Omagoaca to Mayo, they count it 30 Leagues, & there's nothing to be met with along this way, but a very few Plantations of Savages, because 'tis so very Cold here in the Winter, that 'tis hard to be endur'd.

The way from Mayo to Toropalca is through very pleasant Plains, there are Two hundred Houses in the Town, in­habited by Catholick Savages, only one Portuguese lives there with his Fami­ly.

Beyond Toropalca, is the Country of Chichas which is very Mountainous, and is stor'd with divers Mines of Gold and Silver, and Work-houses where they prepare the Metal. 'Tis 25 Leagues in extent as far as Potosi, where I arriv'd after a Journey of Sixty three Days.

A Description of the City of Potosi, and the Mines there.

I Was no sooner alighted from my Horse, at a Merchants House to whom I had been recommended, but I was conducted by him to the President of the Provinces of Los Charcas, to whom the Order I carried from the King of Spain was directed, as the Principal Director of his Catholick Majesty's Af­fairs in this Province, in which Potosi is Situate, which is the place of his Ordi­nary Residence, altho' the City de la Plata is the Capital. After I had deli­ver'd the Order to him, I was brought to the Corregidor, to deliver that which belong'd to him, and afterwards to those other Officers for whom I brought Or­ders; they all receiv'd me very well, particularly the President, who present­ed me with a Chain of Gold for the good News I had brought him.

But before we go any farther 'tis con­venient I should give some description of the City of Potosi, as I have done of [Page 43] others. The Spaniards call it the Impe­rial City, but no body could ever tell me for what reason; 'tis Situate at the Foot of a Mountain, call'd Arazassou, and divided in the midst by a River, which comes from a Lake inclos'd with Walls, which lies about a quarter of a League above the City, and is a kind of reserver to hold the Water that is neces­sary for the Work-houses of that part of the City, which is on this side of the River, over against the Mountain, is rais'd upon a little Hill, and is the larg­est and most inhabited part; for on that which is on the side of the Moun­tain, there's scarce any thing but Engines and the Houses of those that Work in 'em. The City has neither Walls, Ditch­es, nor Forts for its defence, there are reckon'd to be 4000 Houses well built of good Stone, with several Floors, af­ter the manner of the Buildings in Spain. The Churches are well made, and all richly adorn'd with Plate, Tapestry, and other Ornaments, and above all those of the Monks and Nunns, of whom there are several Convents of different Orders, which are very well furnish'd. This is not the least populous City of Peru, with Spaniards, Mestices, [Page 44] Strangers, and Natives (which last the Spaniards call Indios) with Moulatos and Negroes. They count there are between 3 and 4000 Natural Spaniards bear­ing Arms, who have the Reputation of being very stout Men and good Souldi­ers. The number of the Mestices is not much less, nor are they less expert at a Weapon, but the greatest part of 'em, are Idle, apt to quarrel and Treache­rous, therefore they commonly wear Three or Four Buff-wast-coats one upon another, which are proof against the point of a Sword, to secure themselves from private stabs. The Strangers there are but few, there are some Dutch, Irish, and Genoese; and some French, most of whom are of St. Malo, Provence or Bay­onne, and pass for People of Navarre and Biscaye. As for the Indians they are reckon'd to amount to near 10000 be­sides the Moulatos and the Blacks: but they are not permitted to wear either Swords or Fire-Arms, no not their Cou­racas and Caciques, tho' they may all aspire to any degree of Knight-hood, and to Benefices, to which they are of­ten rais'd, for their laudable Actions, and good Services. They are also for­bidden to wear the Spanish habit, but [Page 45] are oblig'd to cloath themselves in a dif­ferent manner, in a close-coat without sleeves, which they wear next their Shirts, to which their Band and lac'd Cuffs are fasten'd, their Breeches are wide at bot­tom after the French fashion; their Legs and Feet naked. The Blacks and Mou­latos being in the Service of the Spa­niards, are habited after the Spanish Mode, and may bear Arms, and all the Indian Slaves after Ten Years service are set at liberty, and have the same privi­leges with the others. The Government of this City is very exact, by the Care which is taken by Twenty four Magi­strates, who are constantly observing, that good orders be kept in it; besides the Corregidor and President of Los Char­cas, who directs Officers after the man­ner of Spain. It is to be observ'd, that excepting these two Principal Officers, as well at Potosi as every where else in the Indies, all the People, whether Knights, Gentlemen, Officers or others, are concern'd in Commerce: of which some of them make so great an advan­tage, that in the City of Potosi, there are some reckon'd to be worth, Two, some Three, and some Four Millions of Crowns; and a great many worth Two, [Page 46] Three, or Four hundred thousand Crowns. The common People to live much at their ease, but are all proud and haughty, and always go very fine, either in Cloth of Gold and Silver, or in Scar­let, or Silk trimmed with a great deal of Gold and Silver-Lace. The Furni­ture of their Houses is very Rich, for they are generally serv'd in Plate. The Wives both of Gentlemen and Citi­zens, are kept very close, to a degree beyond what they are in Spain; they ne­ver go abroad, unless it be to go to Mass, or to make some Visit, or to some publick Feast; and that but rarely. The Women here are generally addicted to excess in taking Coca: This is a Plant that comes from the side of Cusco, which when it is made up in Rowls and dry'd they chew, as some do Tobacco; they are so heated, and sometimes absolutely fuddled by it, that they have no com­mand of themselves at all: 'Tis likewise often us'd by the Men, and has the same effects upon them. They are otherwise very Temperate in eating and drinking, tho' they have before dwelt in places well stor'd with all sort of Provisions, as Beef, Mutton, Fowls, Venizon, raw and preserv'd Fruits, Corn and Wine, [Page 47] which are brought hither from other parts, and some from a great distance, which makes these Commodities dear, so that the meaner sort of People; especially those that have very little before-hand, would find it hard enough to live there, if Money were not very plenty, and easie to be got by them that are willing to work.

The best and finest Silver in all the In­dies, is that of the Mines of Potosi, the prin­cipal of which are found in the Mountain of Aranzasse, where besides the prodigious quantities of Silver that have been taken out of Veins, in which the Mettal evi­dently appear'd, and which are now exhausted, there is almost as great quan­tities of it found in places where they had not digg'd before; nay from some of the Earth which they threw aside for­merly when they open'd the Mines, and made Pits, and Cross-ways in the Moun­tains, they have taken Silver, and have found by this, that the Silver has been form'd since that time, which shews how proper the Quality of this Ground is for the production of that Metal: But indeed this Earth does not yield so much as the Mines that are found by Veins a­mong the Rocks. There are besides [Page 48] these another sort of Veins of Earth which they call Paillaco, which are as hard as a Stone, and of the Colour of Clay, which were slighted heretofore, and yet as Experience has since taught, were not so contemptable as was sup­pos'd; since Silver is got out of 'em with so little Charge, that there is no inconsiderable profit found in the Work. Besides the Mines of this Mountain, there are a great many others about the Coun­try at a greater distance, that are pretty good, amongst others those of Lippes, of Carangas, and of Porco; but those of Ouroures that have been lately disco­ver'd are better.

The King of Spain does not cause any of these Mines to be wrought on his own account, but leaves 'em to those Persons that make the Discovery of 'em, who remain Masters of 'em after the Cor­regidor has visited 'em, and declar'd 'em Proprietors, on the accustom'd Con­ditions and Privileges. The same Cor­regidor describes and marks out the su­perfices of the Ground, in which they are allow'd to open the Mine on the out­side, which does not for all that, limit or restrain their work under-ground; every Man having liberty to follow the [Page 49] Vein he has found, let the extent and depth of it reach never so far, tho' it should cross that which another has dig­ged near it. All that the King reserves for himself, besides the Duties we shall hereafter speak of, is to give a general direction by his Officers, for all the work of the Mines, and to order the number of Savages to be employ'd in 'em; to prevent the disorders that would arise, if every Proprietor of the Mines should have liberty to set as many of 'em to work as he pleas'd; which would fre­quently give occasion to those that are most powerful and Rich, to ingross and have so great a Number of 'em, that few or none would remain for others to em­ploy, to keep their work going forward: for this would be contrary to the Kings Interest, which is to make Provision that that there be a sufficient number of Slaves for all the Mines that are open'd. For this end he obliges all the Couracas or Chiefs of the Savages, to furnish every one a certain number, which they must always keep compleat, or else are forc'd to give twice as much Money as would have been paid in Wages to those that are wanting, if they had been present. Those that are destin'd for the Mines of [Page 50] Potosi, don't amount to above Two thousand and two or three hundred, these are brought and put into a great Enclosure which is at the Foot of the Mountain, where the Corregidor makes a distribution of 'em to the Conductors of the Mines, according to the Number they want, and after Six days constant Work, the Conductor brings 'em back the Saturday following to the same place, where the Corregidor causes a review to be made of 'em, to make the owners of the Mines give 'em the Wages that are appointed 'em, and to see how many of 'em are dead, that the Couracas may be oblig'd to supply the number that is Wanting: for there's no Week passes but some of 'em die, either by divers acci­dents that Occur, as the tumbling down of great quantities of Earth, and falling of Stones, or by Sickness and other Casual­ties. They are sometimes very much in­commoded by Winds that are shut up in the Mines; the coldness of which joyn'd to that of some parts of the Earth, chills 'em so excessively, that unless they chew'd Coca, which heats and fuddles 'em, it would be intolerable to 'em. An­other great hardship which they suffer is, that in other places, the Sulphurous and [Page 51] Mineral Vapours are are so great, that it strangely drys 'em up, so that it hinders 'em from free respiration; and for this they have no other remedy, than the Drink which is made with the Herb of Paraguay, of which they prepare a great quantity to refresh and moisten 'em, when they come out of the Mines at the times appointed for eating or sleeping; this Drink serves 'em also for Physick to make 'em Vomit, and cast up what­ever incommodes their Stomachs. A­mong these Savages they ordinarily choose the best Workmen to break up the Oar between the Rocks; this they do with Iron-barrs, which the Spaniards call Palancas, and other Instruments of Iron; others serve to carry what they digg in little Baskets to the entrance of the Mine; others to put it in Sacks, and load it upon a sort of great Sheep, which they call Carneros de la Tierra, they are taller than Asses, and commonly carry Two hundred Pound weight; these serve to carry it to the Work-houses which are in the Town along the River, which comes from the Lake I have spoken of before. In these Work-houses which are a Hundred and twenty in Number; the Oar is refined, of which take the follow­ing [Page 52] account. They first beat it well up­on Anvils with certain great Hammers, which a Mill continually keeps at work, when they are pretty well reduc'd to Powder, they pass it thro' a fine Sieve, and spread it upon the Ground about half a Foot thick in a square place that is very smooth, prepar'd for the pur­pose; then they cast a great deal of Water upon it, after which they with a Sieve spread upon it a certain quanti­ty of Quick-silver, which is propor­tion'd by the Officers of the Mint, and also a Liquid substance of Iron, which is prepar'd by Two Millstones, one of which is fix'd, and the other is continu­ly turning, between these they put an Old Anvil, or some other Massy piece of Iron, which is worn away and Con­sum'd with Water by the turning Mill­stone, so that 'tis reduc'd to a certain Liquid Matter. The Oar being thus pre­par'd, they stir it about and mix it, as Men do when they make Mortar, for a Fortnight together, every day temper­ing it with Water; and after this they several times put it into a Tub, where­in there is a little Mill, which by its mo­tion separates from it all the Earth with the Water, and casts 'em off together, [Page 53] so that nothing but the Metallick Mat­ter remains at the bottom, which is af­terwards put into the Fire in Crucibles, to separate the Quick-silver from it, which is done by Evaporation, for as for the Iron substance, that does not Evaporate, but remains mix'd with the Silver, which is the reason that there is al­ways in Eight Ounces (for example sake) Three quarters of an Ounce or therea­bouts of false Alloy.

The Silver when thus refin'd is car­ried to the Mint, where they make an Essay of it whether it be of the right Al­loy, after which it is melted into Barrs or Ingots, which are weigh'd, and the fifth part of 'em deducted, which be­longs to the King, and are stamp'd with his mark; the rest appertain to the Mer­chant, who in like manner applies his mark to them; and takes 'em away from thence when he pleases in Barrs, or else converts 'em into Reals and other Money. This fifth part is the only profit the King has from the Mines, which yet are esteem'd to amount to several Millions; But besides this, he draws considerable Sums by the ordinary Impositions upon Goods, without reckoning what he rai­ses upon Quick-silver, both that which [Page 54] is taken out of the Mines of Guancave­lica, which are Situated between Lima and Cusco; and that which is brought from Spain, with which Two Vessels are loaded every Year, because that which is taken out of these Mines is not sufficient for all the Indies.

They use divers ways of Carriage, to Transport all the Silver that is annually made about Potosi for Spain; first they Load it upon Mules, that carry it to Ari­ca, which is a Port on the South-Sea, from whence they Transport it in small Vessels to the Fort of Lima, or Los Reys, which is a Fort upon the same Sea, Two Leagues from Lima; here they Embark it with all that comes from other parts of Peru, in Two great Gal­lions that belong to his Catholick Ma­jesty, each of which carry 1000 Tuns, and are Arm'd each with 50 or 60 Pie­ces of Canon; these are commonly ac­companied with a great many small Merchant Ships as Richly Loaded, which have no Guns but a few Petareroes to give Salutes; and take their Course to­wards Panama, taking care always to send a little Pinnace 8 or 10 Leagues before to make discoveries. They might make this way in a Fortnights time, having al­ways [Page 55] the help of the South-wind which reigns alone in this Sea; yet they never make it less than a Months Voyage, be­cause by this delay the Commander of the Gallions makes a great advantage in furnishing those with Cards that have a mind to play on Ship-board, during the Voyage, which amounts to a very con­siderable Sum, both because the Tribute he receives is Ten Patagons for every Pack of Cards, and because there is a prodigious quantity of 'em consum'd, they being continually at play; and there being scarce any body aboard, but is concern'd for very considerable Sums. When the Gallions arrive at Panama on the Continent, they put their Lading a­shoar, and wait to hear of those from Spain, who commonly about the same time, or a little after, arrive at Porto­belo, which is 18 Leagues from the North-Sea; in the mean time they carry thither part of the Gold, Silver, and other Commodities of this Fleet which are de­sign'd for Europe, upon Mules by Land, and part by Water upon the River of Chiagre, in Boats made of an entire piece of Wood call'd Piragouas. A few days after they are unladen, and after the Gal­lions are likewise arriv'd from Spain; a [Page 56] very great Fair is held there, for a Fort­night together, in which they Sell and Barter all sorts of Goods necessary for each Country; which is perform'd with so much honesty, that the Sale is made only by the Inventories, without opening the Bales, without the least Fraud. The Fair being ended, they all retire to the pla­ces to which they respectively belong. The Gallions that are to return into Spain, go to Havana, in the Island of Cuba, where they wait for the Arrival of the Flota of la Vera-Crux in New Spain; as soon as that has joyn'd 'em, they con­tinue their Course together, passing thro' the Channel of Bahama along the Coast of Florida, they touch at the Island of Bermudos, where they commonly meet with Advice of the State of Affairs in Europe, and with orders to direct them how to avoid any disasters, and to per­form their Voyage in safety. As for the Gallions of Peru, after they have taken in a new Cargo at Panama, they return to Lima, steering divers Courses, because of the Contrariety of the Wind, which keeps 'em Two or Three Months at Sea. Being there, they dispose of what they have for Peru: And the rest of the Goods is taken off by the Mer­chants [Page 57] of Chili, who give a great many Commodities of their Country in ex­change for 'em; as Goats-leather, which in the Language of the Country is call'd Cordouan, Cordage, Hemp, Pitch and Tar, Oyls, Olives, and Almonds, and above all a great quantity of Dust of Gold, which is taken out of the Rivers of Capiapo, Coquinbo, Baldivia, and others which fall into the South-Sea. And now we are speaking of the Commodities of Chili, some small matter must be said concerning this great Province or King­dom. At the Mouths of those Rivers, of which I have just been speaking, there are good Ports, and Cities, each of which consist of about 4 or 500 Houses, and those sufficiently stock'd with People. The most considerable Cities upon the Sea-Coast, are Baldivia, la Conception, Copiapo and Coquinbo. Baldivia is Forti­fied, and has a Garrison in it, usually compos'd only of Banish'd Men, and Malefactors of the Indies; the Three o­thers are Cities of Trade. Farther up in the Countrey is St. Jago de Chili, which is the Capital of all Chili, where there is likewise a strong Garrison, and some regular Troops, by reason of the continual War they have with the Sa­vages, [Page 58] call'd Aoucans. Beyond it in the Mountains, lies the little Province of Chicuito, of which the principal Places are St. Juan de la Frontera, and Mendoca, round about these Towns, there grows a great deal of Corn, and abundance of Vines, which furnish the Country of Chili, and the Province of Tucuman as far as Buenos Ayres.

Three Weeks after my Arrival at Po­tosi; there were great rejoycings made for the Birth of the Prince of Spain, which lasted for a Fortnight together, during which time all Work ceased, throughout the City, in the Mines, and in the Adjacent places, and all the People great and small, whether Spaniards, For­reigners, Indians, or Blacks, minded nothing else but to do something extra­ordinary for the Solemnizing of this Festival. It began with a Cavalcade, made by the Corregidor, the Twenty four Magistrates of the City, the other Officers, the Principal of the Nobility and Gentry, and the most eminent Mer­chants of the City; all richly Cloth'd. All the rest of the People, and particu­larly the Ladies being at the Windows, and casting down abundance of per­fum'd Waters, and great quantities of [Page 59] dry Sweet-meats. The following days they had several Plays, some of which they call Juegos de Toros, others Juegos de Cannas, several sorts of Masquerades, Comedies, Balls, with Vocal and Instru­mental Musick, and other Divertisements, which were carry'd on one day by the Gentlemen, another day by the Citizens; one while by the Gold-smiths, another while by the Miners; some by the Peo­ple of divers Nations, others by the In­dians, and all with great Magnificence, and a prodigious Expence. The Re­joycings of the Indians deserve a par­ticular remark, for besides that they were richly cloth'd, and after a different manner, and that Comical enough; with their Bows and Arrows; they in one Night and Morning, in the Chief Pub­lick place of the City, prepar'd a Gar­den in the form of a Labyrinth, the Plats of which were adorn'd with Fountains spouting out Waters, furnished with all sorts of Trees and Flowers, full of Birds, and all sorts of Wild-beasts, as Lions, Tygers and other kinds; in the midst of which they express'd their Joy a Thousand different ways, with extra­ordinary Ceremonies. The last day save one surpass'd all the rest, and that [Page 60] was a Race at the Ring, which was per­form'd at the Charge of the City with very surpizing Machines. First there appear'd a Ship Tow'd along by Sava­ges, of the bulk and burden of a 100 Tuns, with her Guns and Equipage of Men cloth'd in Curious Habit, her An­chors, Ropes, and Sails swelling with the Wind, which very luckily blew a­long the Street through which they drew her to the great publick place, where as soon as she arriv'd, she saluted the Company, by the discharge of all her Canon; and at the same time a Spa­nish Lord, representing an Emperor of the East, coming to Congratulate the Birth of the Prince, came out of the Vessel attended with Six Gentlemen, and a very fine Train of Servants that led their Horses, which they mounted, and so went to salute the President of Los Charcas, and while they were making their Compliment to him, their Horses kneel'd down, and kept in that Posture, having been taught this Trick before. They afterwards went to salute the Cor­regidor, and the Judges of the Field, from whom when they had receiv'd per­mission to run at the Ring against the Defendants, they acquitted themselves [Page 61] with great Gallantry, and receiv'd very fine prizes distributed by the hands of the Ladies. The Race at the Ring be­ing finish'd, the Ship and a great many other small Barks that were brought thither advanc'd to attack a great Castle wherein Cromwel the Protector, who was then in War with the King of Spain, was feign'd to be shut up; and after a pretty long Combat of Fire-works; the fire took hold of the Ship, the small Barkes, and the Castle and all was consum'd together. After this a great many pieces of Gold and Silver were distributed and thrown among the People in the Name of his Catholick Majesty: And there were some particu­lar Persons that had the prodigality to throw away Two or Three Thousand Crowns a Man among the Mob. The Day following these Rejoycings were concluded by a Procession, made from the great Church to that of the Recol­lects, in which the Holy Sacrament was carry'd, attended with all the Clergy and Laiety; and because the way from one of these Churches to the other had been unpav'd for the Celebration of the other Rejoycings, they repair'd it for this Procession with Barrs of Silver, [Page 62] with which all the way was entirely cover'd. The Altar where the Host was to be Lodg'd in the Church of the Re­collects was so furnish'd with Figures, Vessels, and Plates of Gold and Silver, adorn'd with Pearles, Diamonds, and other Precious Stones, that scarce ever could any thing be seen more Rich: For the Citizens brought thither all the rarest Jewels they had. The extraordi­nary Charge of this whole time of Re­joycing, was reckon'd to amount to a­bove 500000 Crowns.

These Divertisements being ended, the rest of the time that I continued at Potosi, was employ'd in compleating the Sale of the Goods, the Inventories of which I had brought with me, and I oblig'd my self to cause these Goods to be deliver'd in a certain time at Xuxui, and to pay all the Charge of Carriage so far. I took most of my Payment in Silver, namely in Patagons, Plate, Barrs, and Pignas, which is Virgin-silver; and the rest in Vigogne Wool, and when I had quite finish'd the business for which I was sent to Potosi; I left the place to return to Buenos Ayres the same way I came. I loaded all my Bales upon Mules, which is the ordinary way of Carriage [Page 63] to pass the Moutains which divide Peru from Tucuman. But when I was arriv'd at Xuxui, I thought meet to make use of Waggons, which is much more Com­modious, and thus I continu'd my Tra­vels; and after a Journey of 4 Months happily arriv'd at the River of Lucan; which is 5 Leagues from Buenos Ayres; where I met with Ignatio Maleo, who was got thither before me; he came thi­ther by the River in a little Boat, which we resolv'd to make use of, to convey most of the Silver I had brought with me, privately to our Ship; we thought meet to take this Course to avoid the risque we must have run of being Con­fiscated, if we had brought our Vessel by Buenos Ayres, because of the Prohibition of the Exportation of Gold and Silver, tho' this order is not always very regu­larly observ'd, the Governour sometimes, suffering it to be carried out privately, Conniving at it, for some present, or else not being very strict in taking no­tice of it.

I must not omit here to tell the rea­son why the Spaniards will not suffer the Silver of Peru, and of other Neighbouring Provinces to be Transported by the River of la Plata, nor all sorts of Vessels to go [Page 64] and Trade there without Permission: It is from this Consideration, that if they should give way to a free Trade on that side, where the Country is good and Plentiful, the Earth Fruitful, The Air wholesome, and Carriage Commo­dious; the Merchants that Trade in Pe­ru, Chili, and Tucuman, would soon quit the way of the Gallions, and the Ordinary Passages through the North and South-Seas, and through the Conti­nent, which is difficult and Incommodi­ous; and would take the way of Bue­nos Ayres: And this would infallibly cause most of the Cities of the Conti­nent to be deserted, where the Air is bad, and the Necessaries and Accomo­dations of Life are not to be had in such plenty.

When we had secur'd our Silver by the precaution we had us'd, I came to Buenos Ayres with the rest of our Goods; where I was no sooner Arriv'd, but our return to Spain was resolv'd on. But least any thing should be found on board us to give occasion for any Seizure, when the Kings Officers should make their usu­al Visit on our Vessel, before it went out of the Port; we thought convenient at first to Embark only those Commodities [Page 65] that took up the most room, as Vigogne Wool, Leather of several sorts, amongst others 16000 Bulls-hides, with a great ma­ny other Bales and Chests belonging to the Passengers that were to return with us, and about 30000 Crowns in Silver, which is the largest Sum that is permitted to be carri­ed away, to supply all necessary charges that may occur in the Voyage, and to pay off the Ship. But after this Visit was made, we made an end of Embarking the Silver we had hidden, which with the rest of the Lading might amount to about Three Mil­lions of Livers.

We parted from Buenos Ayres in the Month of May 1659, in company of a Dutch Vessel, Commanded by Isaac de Brac, which was also richly Laden; he engag'd us to steer our Course with him, because his Ship leak'd; and this fault increasing in the se­quel of the Voyage, we were oblig'd to put in at the Island of Fernande de Lorona, with­in 3 Degrees and a half of the Line on the South-side. It prov'd well for us, as well as for the Dutch, that we stop'd here. For having a mind for fear of the worst to take in a new Provision of Fresh-Water here, we perceiv'd the greatest part of that we had taken in at Buenos Ayres was run out, and of a Hundred Barrels, which we thought we had remaining of our Store; we had but [Page 66] Thirty left. Therefore tho' the Water we found there had a very flat Taste, and had this ill quality, that it presently cast them that drank of it into a Looseness, we were however necessitated to fill our Barrels with it. And an Accident unhappy enough befell those of our Men that went to fetch it from the Rock out of which it sprang, for having stripp'd themselves almost naked, to work the more commodiously, the heat of the Sun scorch'd 'em so vehemently, that it made their Bodies all over red, and after­wards those parts upon which the Sun dart­ed its Rays with the greatest violence, were full of Buboes and Pustules, which were very troublesome, and made 'em very un­easie for a Fortnights Time.

I went ashore to see this Island, which is about a League and an half in compass, and uninhabited. One of our Pilots told me that the Dutch possess'd it, while they held Fermanbues in Brasil, and that they had a small Fort there, some small remains of which were still left, that they sow'd Mil­let and Beans there, of which they had a tolerable Crop, and that they bred up a great many Fowls, Goats and Hogs. We saw a great number of Birds, of which some were good to eat; we continu'd there Four days, but when we saw the Dutch could not be so soon in a condition to con­tinue [Page 67] their Voyage, being oblig'd to put their Cargo ashore, and to lay their Vessel upon one side to refit; we set sail, and af­ter a Voyage sufficiently troublesome by the Storms we suffer'd, which sometimes drove us towards the Coasts of Florida, and sometimes upon others, we at last discover'd the Coasts of Spain. Instead of going to Cadiz, being under apprehensions of meet­ing the English who were still at War with the Spaniards; we thought convenient to make to St. Andero, where we happily ar­riv'd about the middle of August. We were immediatly inform'd that the Spanish Galli­ons came to Moor at the same Port in their return from Mexico, for the same reason that brought us thither, and that they set Sail but Two days before our Arrival. And because the Officers of the King of Spain, that had been sent to 'em were still there, we thought best to treat with them, as well to save the Fine we had incurr'd, for not re­turning to the place from whence we were sent out, as that we might not be troubled with a visit from them. And for 4000 Pa­tagons, which we presented 'em, we were excus'd and exempted from any search. We therefore put our Silver and other Commo­dities ashore there, part of which was after­wards sent to Bilboa, and part to St. Sebasti­an, where in a little time they were sold [Page 68] and distributed to several Merchants, who Transported 'em to divers places to put 'em off. When we had finished the Sale of all our Commodities, there was an exact account stated among those that were concern'd in the Ship, both of their Charge and Profit of this Voyage; about the detail of which I shall not trouble my head. I shall only say, to give a short account of it in Gross, that the Charge consisted first in 290000 Crowns employ'd in buying the Goods with which our Vessel was Loaded at Cadiz, and in pay­ing the Dues of Exportation from Spain. 74000 Livers for the Freight of the Vessel for 19 Months, at the rate of 3200 Livers per Month, 43000 Livers more for the pay of 76 Seamen great and small for the time, at the rate of 10 Crowns per Month one with another. 30000 Crowns spent in Victualling the Ship for that time, as well for the Ships Crew as for the Passengers, there being a very good Provision made, be­cause in those long Voyages beyond the Line the Sailers must have good Sustenance, and the Passengers must have a great many Sweet-meats, good Liquors, and other Cost­ly things. More 2000 Crowns for the Dues of Entry at Buenos Ayres, and in Pre­sents to the Officers of the Place; and 1000 Crowns in Custom at our going from thence; more in Expences, Imposts and [Page 69] Charges in carrying our Goods from Buenos Ayres to Potosi, and from Potosi to Buenos Ayres, at the rate of 20 Crowns for a Quin­tal or 100 weight; more 4000 Crowns to procure an Exemption from being search'd and visited at our return to Spain. And in fine some other Expences, as well in Cu­stoms of Entry, when we Landed our Goods in Spain, as in some other things not fore-seen, which did not amount to any great Sums. These were almost all the Principal Articles of the Charge, which being deducted and paid, the Profit was found to amount to 250 per Cent. Compre­hending that which was got by the Hides, which came to 15 Livers a piece, that being the Ordinary Price, tho' they cost but a Crown at the first hand; and likewise what was got by the Passengers, of whom we had above 50 on board us, as well in going as coming, which was not inconsiderable; for one Man who had nothing but his Chest paid 800 Crowns, and the rest paid propor­tionably for their Passage and Diet.

We were told at St. Andero, that the Dutch Vessels which we had seen at Buenos Ayres were safely arriv'd at Amsterdam, but that the Spanish Embassador being inform'd that they came from the River de la Plata, and had brought thence a prodigious Quantity of Silver and other Commodities, as well [Page 70] on the account of some Dutch Merchants, as for several Spaniards, who had taken the opportunity of the return of these Vessels to come back into Europe, and had remitted their Money from Amsterdam to Cadiz and Sevil by Bills of Exchange, besides the Dutch Goods which they sent thither, had given advice of it to the Council for the In­dies at Madrid, who judged this Money and these Effects liable to Confiscation, be­cause all Spaniards are Prohibited from Trading upon Forreign Vessels, and from Transporting Silver to any other place be­sides Spain; and accordingly had seiz'd and confiscated the greatest part of 'em, the rest being saved by the precautions some of the Merchants took, who were not so much in haste as the others. The same Embassador having remonstrated at the same time, what would be the Consequence of Tolerating Strangers to continue to trade in the River of Plata, without putting any restraint upon 'em, the Council had so much regard to his advice, as to Equip a Vessel with all speed at St. Sebastian, which they Loaded with Arms and Men, to send to Buenos Ayres with very strict orders, as well to seize the Person of the Governor for having suf­fer'd these Dutch Vessels to come and Trade in the Country, as to take an exact account of the Acquaintance and Intelligence the [Page 71] Dutch had gotten there, as also to reesta­blish things so well there, in fortifying the Garrisons, and in Arming them better than they had yet been in time past, that for the Future they might be in a condition to re­sist Forreigners, and to hinder their De­scent and Communication in the Country. Soon after our Arrival, Ignatio Maleo the Captain of our Ship, receiv'd an Order from the Court of Spain to come to Madrid, to inform the Council for the Indies of the Condition in which he found and left things at Buenos Ayres: He was desirous that I would accompany him thither, which I did. As soon as we arriv'd at Madrid, he gave in the Memories, not only of all he had observ'd in the River of Plata, but also of the means that might be us'd to hin­der Strangers from having the least thoughts of Trading there, and that first by keeping Two good Men of War at the Mouth of the River, to dispute and hinder the Pas­sage of such Merchant Ships as should at­tempt to go up to Buenos Ayres; in the second place by sending every Year Two Ships Loaded with all things the People of those parts have occasion for. That being this way sufficiently supply'd, they might have no thoughts of favouring the descent and entrance of Strangers, when they should come thither. He moreover made a propo­sal [Page 72] of changing the usual Way of carrying Goods, which are sent to Peru, and brought them by the Way of the Gallions; that it might be settled on the River of Plata, from whence he assur'd 'em, the Carriage of 'em by Land to Peru, would be more conveni­ently perform'd, and at a cheaper Rate, as well as with less Risque, than any other Way. But of all these Proposals the Coun­cil of Spain relish'd only that of sending to Buenos-Ayres Two Vessels laden with Commodities proper for the Country. And Maleo having obtain'd a Grant, and a Com­mission for this Purpose, upon the Assu­rance of it, we return'd to Guipuscoa, to make Preparation for this Voyage, and to set our Affairs in order; which we so well dispatch'd, that in a little time, we had a Vessel ready to set sail, which Maleo order'd to be bought at Amsterdam, and to be brought to the Port from whence we were to go, being partly laden with Dutch, and with other Commodities, taken up at Bay­onne, St. Sebastian, and Bilboa, bought in gross at a Venture, in which Affair I was employ'd, having undertaken it by Maleo's Commission.

During these Preparations, and while we waited for the Dispatch of the Grant, that had been promis'd him by the Council of Spain, it happen'd that the Baron of Va­teville [Page 73] being in haste to go into England, in Quality of Ambassador from his Catho­lick Majesty; and having Orders to make use of the first Ship that was ready to Sail, took Maleo's Vessel; which, yet serv'd on­ly to carry his Baggage, the King of Great Britain having sent him a Frigat at the same time, in which he cross'd the Sea. During the Stay, which Maleo was oblig'd to make in England, he made new Provision for his Voyage to the Indies; and seeing his Grant was not yet sent him, he thought it expe­dient to take a Commission, from the Ba­ron of Vateville, as Captain-General of the Province of Guipuscoa, in my Name, and that of Pascoal Hiriarte, commanding his Ship to go in pursuit of the Portuguese, on the Coast of Brezil; that this might serve us for a Pretext, to go into the River of Plata. Being fortified with this Order, we embark'd, and having stopp'd at Havre de Grace to set N—ashoar, who thought good to return to Madrid, to solicite a Commission also from the Council of Spain, for the Two Vessels, with which we agreed, that they should come and joyn us at Bue­nos-Ayres; we continued our Course, and after many cross Winds, we arriv'd in the River of Plata:. As we enter'd into it, we met Two Dutch Vessels that came from Bue­nos Ayres; the Captains of which inform'd [Page 74] us, that one of 'em could by no means ob­tain leave to Trade there; but that the o­ther Arriving there before him, in a con­juncture when the Government was oblig'd to send a very important Message in all haste to his Catholick Majesty, relating to his Service, was so happy, by the promise he made of taking the Courrier, who was or­der'd for Spain on board him, as to find means of disposing of all his Goods, and of bringing away a very Rich Cargo, in which he spake the very Truth; for he had the prudence before he came to the Port, to take out his richest Goods, and leave 'em in an Island below, and only reserv'd those of the greatest bulk to be expos'd to the View of the Officers, of which he had made a false Envois at the price of the Country, separate from the general one, and had made the Value of his Cargo to amount to 270000 Crowns. He agreed with the Go­vernor to leave these Goods with him, pro­vided he would give him for 'em 22000 Hides at a Crown apiece, 12000 pound of Vigogne Wool at 4 Livers 10 Sous per Pound, ane 30000 Crowns in Silver to pay the Charges of Equipping his Ship; which was perform'd accordingly. But under the pretence of his Bargain, and while the Lea­ther was Loading in the Vessel, the Cap­tain under-hand sold his Richest Commo­dities, [Page 75] and for the Value of 'em which a­mounted to 100000 Crowns, he got at least 400000. Thus the Captain of the Ship and the Governor both made a great Ad­vantage; but this Governor whose Name is Don Alonza de Mercado and de Villacorta, being a very disinterested Man, and not at all greedy of Money, declar'd that the Pro­fit of this business was for the King his Master, and gave him advice of it by this Courrier.

Being separated from these Vessels, we came to an Anchor before Buenos Ayres; but for all the Instances and Offers we could make one time after another to this Go­vernor, we could never obtain his Permis­sion to put our Goods ashore, and to expose 'em to Sale to the People of the Place; be­cause we had no Licence for it from Spain. He only consented to let us go into the City from time to time to procure Victuals for our Men, and such other Necessaries as we wanted. He treated us with this Rigour for Eleven Months, after which there hap­pen'd an Occasion which oblig'd him to use us better, and to enter into a sort of an Accommodation with us. There was ano­ther Spanish Ship in the Port, the same that a Year before had brought Troops and Arms from Spain, to reinforce the Garisons of Buenos Ayres, and of Chili, of which I [Page 76] have spoken above; which contin'd here all this time upon her own private business, but the Captain that Commanded her could not manage his Affairs with so much secre­cy, but it came to the Governor's Ear, that he design'd in prejudice of the Prohibition that was made, to carry away a great quantity of Silver, and indeed he seiz'd on a Sum of 113000 Crowns that was just rea­dy to be carry'd of, of which the Captain could have no restitution made; and fearing a greater disapointment, namely that he should be seiz'd, he set Sail to return into Spain, without waiting for any Letters for his Catholick Majesty, with which the Go­uernor would have intrusted him, together with the Information he had receiv'd of the Intelligence the Dutch had gotten in the Country, which he had a mind to send into Spain with all speed, as well as some Persons whom he had seiz'd, that were guilty of holding this Correspon­dence with the Dutch, among whom there was a Captain, nam'd Alberto Janson, a Dutch-man. The flight of this Spanish Ves­sel therefore oblig'd the Governor to alter his carriage toward us, and to facilitate the Return of our Vessel, which he thought good to make use of, for want of another to carry his Letters and Prisoners into Spain; upon condition we would take upon us [Page 77] this Charge, he suffer'd us after a tacite manner to do our business, and to carry off 4000 Hides; but we having great Acquain­tance with the Merchants of the Place, ma­nag'd our Affairs so well, that under the Umbrage of this permission, we sold all our Goods, and brought away a Rich Car­go, in Silver, Hides, and other Commodi­ties, after which without loosing any time we took our Course for Spain.

At our Arrival in the River of Corunna in Gallicia, we receiv'd Advice by the Let­ters which N—sent us to the Ports upon all the Coasts, that there was an Order from the King of Spain to seize us at our return, because we had been at Buenos Ayres with­out leave. Upon this we resolv'd (after we had sent the Letters and Prisoners, that were committed to our Charge to the Go­vernor of Corunna by the hand of the Ser­geant Major of Buenos Ayres, who came a­bout the Affairs of that Country in our Vessel) to pass out of that River, and to go 6 Leagnes from thence into the Road of Barias, where I found a small Vessel, in which I loaded the greatest part of what I had on my own account, and that of my Friends. The Governor of Corunna re­ceiving advice of it, dispatch'd a Hoy af­ter me to stop me, but I us'd that precauti­on and diligence, that this Hoy could ne­ver [Page 78] come up with me, so that I happily ar­riv'd in France at the Port of Socca, where I by this means sav'd the fruit of my La­bours and long Voyage. The great Ship which I left in the Road of Barias had not so favourable a Lot, and one may say, was ship-wrack'd at the very Port; for having left the Road of Barias, to get speedily to that of Santonge, to secure all the Goods she had on board, except 4000 Hides, of which her Bill of Lading gave an account, and having begun to put 600 Hides into a Dutch Vessel that she met there, the bad Weather constrain'd her to put in at the Port from whence she first went out, where she was Confiscated with all her Cargo for the use of the King of Spain, under the pre­tence before spoken of, that she had not the Permission of his Catholick Majesty for her Voyage.

While these things were transacting, the Sergeant Major of Buenos Ayres Arriv'd at Madrid, and the King of Spain having Caused the Informations he brought to be examin'd, which principally insisted upon the necessity there was of sending new Re­cruits of Men and Ammunition, to aug­ment the Carisons of Buenos Ayres, and of Chili, the better to secure the Country a­gainst the Enterprizes of Strangers, and al­so from the attempt of the Savages of Chili, [Page 79] immediately orderd Three Vessels to be Equipp'd for this purpose, the Command of which was given to N—. There was good store of Ammunition Embark'd in 'em, but for Recruits of Souldiers, there were but 300 Men, of whom the greatest part were sent into Chili. In the same Ves­sel there were Lawyers sent, to form a Court of Common-Justice, which they call an Audience, at Buenos Ayres, where there were only some Officers for the Decisions of Petty Matters before, the Greater Causes be­ing remitted to the Audience that is Esta­blished at Chaquisaca, otherwise call'd la Plata, in the Province of Los Charcas, 500 Leagues from Buenos Ayres.

When N—return'd from this Voyage, he came to Oyarson in the Province of Gui­puscoa his Native Country, from whence he sent me an account of himself, and we agreed to have a secret Enterview upon the Frontiers; accordingly we met, and gave one another an account of the Affairs in which we were both concern'd; and by this account we found there were about 60000 Livers due from him to me, which he has not yet paid.



IN Order to Discover the Great Lake of PARIMA, and the many Cities said to be situated on its Banks, and reputed the Richest in the WORLD.

LONDON: Printed for Samuel Buckley. 1698.

A LETTER written from the Island of Cayenne, in the Month of September, 1674.

Reverend Father,

THE Discovery that I and Father Be­chamel, have made of divers Savage Nations on the Continent of Guiana, near the Island of Cayenne, obliges me to draw up a brief Relation of our Voyage, and to present it to your Reverence, that you may know what Em­ployment we may have here, and how many Missionaries may find a fit Occasion for the Ex­ercise of their Zeal. If I had had some Com­panions whom I might have left with the Nou­ragues and the Acoquas, I should have pierc'd much farther into the Country; but the Nou­ragues who were our Guides, not daring to ad­vance farther into the Country of the Acoquas, to retain the good will of 'em both, we should have left a Missionary in each of these Nations, that the Acoquas might have conducted us to their Friends, who (as far as I can conjecture) reach quite to the Equinoctial Line. We might also have pass'd to the West of the River Maroni, and have enter'd into an Alliance with the Na­tions that extend to the River of Surinam, upon which the Dutch have planted (1) a Co­lony: [Page] but since we have confin'd our selves to those Countries that are from Three Degrees of Northern Latitude to the Equinoctial Line, we need not be afraid that the People of any European Nation will trouble us in our Mis­sions, because there's no gain to be made by 'em; besides, that we run the risque of being Massacred by the Natives. 'Tis from your Reverence that we expect Support and Assist­ance so far as you are capable, and shall think convenient in sending us Missionaries of a Vi­gorous Constitution, of great Vertue, and of a Disposition ready to suffer hardships; because in these parts there can little or no Accommoda­tions be brought to relieve them in case of Sick­ness; for the less one carries thither so much the better; besides that the Ignorance and Bar­barity of those People always give a Missionary just occasion to fear, that they take up mischie­vous Resolutions against him at the very first shadow of dissatisfaction they receive. I ex­pect here a good number of Missionaries to dis­pose up and down this vast Country; and I hope your Reverence will not refuse this Re­quest; which obliges me particularly to recom­mend my self to your good Prayers, who am

Reverend Father,
Your most Humble, and most Obedient Servant in our Lord, John Grillet, of the Society of JESƲS.


THE Reverend Father Francis Mer­cier having been sent from France, in Quality of Visitor of the Missi­ons of our Society, both in the Islands, and Continent of the Southern America, by the Reverend Father, John Pinet, Provin­cial of the Jesuits in France; with the Reverend Father Gerard Brion, Superior-General of the said Missions, and Father Mace, and Father Alarole; he arriv'd in the Island of Cayenne the 21st of December, 1673. and parted thence Ten Days after: Du­ring his Stay there, he regulated divers Affairs, as well Temporal as Spiritual; and among other Things, finding we had yet no Knowledge of any other People, but the Galibis, and Aracarels, our Neighbours, who dwell near the Sea, and among whom [Page 2] the Fathers of our Society employ'd their Talents, with abundance of Zeal; he re­solv'd to attempt a Discovery of those Na­tions that lie remote from the Sea. It was my Happiness to be chosen for so pious a Work; and I was particularly instructed by my Orders, to discover the Acoquas, a very populous Nation, according to the Report, some Nouragues, who frequent the Galibis, gave us; withal, telling us, they were a Warlike People, and us'd to eat Men. One of these Nouragues being ask'd, Two Months before the Arrival of the Re­verend Father-Visitor, If it were true, that the Acoquas us'd to eat their Enemies, an­swer'd, That he came from 'em Four Months ago, and then they had just made an end of boiling in their Pots, and eating a Nation, which they had destroy'd. I desir'd the Re­verend Father, Francis Bechamel, for my Comrade, who has a great Deal of Zeal for these Missions, and has an extraordina­ry Faculty of learning strange Languages; besides that, he already understood the Tongue of the Galibis, which many of the Nouragues also speak; some of whom we were oblig'd to take for our Guides, to conduct us to the Acoquas; for we yet know no other Way to come at 'em, but through the Country of the Nouragues: And Father Bechamel took care to provide some [Page 3] Galibis, to conduct us to the Nouragues, who dwell above the Source of the River (2) Ʋvia, and to buy some Cassave and Paste of (3) Ovicou for his Voyage, which we counted would be for about Ten Days.

This Father having provided all Neces­saries; namely, Three Galibis, some Cassave, and Paste of Ovicou, in hopes of finding by the good Providence of God, either Fish, or Venison, with the Assistance of our Indi­ans, we left the Port of Cayenne the 25th of January, taking our Leave of the Reve­rend Father Brion, Superior-General, and Father Mace, and Father Bechet; but par­ticularly of the (4) Chevalier de Lezy, our Governour, who did us the Honour to con­duct us together, with the Fathers of our Society, quite to the Canoo, in which we embark'd in the Afternoon, having our Fi­sherman to steer the Canoo, and Three In­dian Galibis to row with our Two Ser­vants. All of us were of Opinion, That our Canoo was too small, and indeed it would have prov'd so, if we had embark­ed at the coming up of the Tide, for at that time the Waves are very rough near the Shoar; but we avoided this Danger by em­barking a little before the Tide came up; so that we were out of all danger when the Tide began to drive us into the River, which gives its Name to this Island; be­sides, [Page 4] our Canoo being very light, and not easie to be turn'd, was very fit to get clear of several little Falls that are in the River Ʋvia, which we were to pass almost quite through, 'till we came to the Entrance of a lesser River, that let us into the Country of the Nouragues, the first Nation that we were willing to be acquainted with, that by their Means we might find a Passage to the Acoquas. Our Way was between the Island of Cayenne, and the main Land; and in the Evening we arriv'd at the House of one Deslauriers, that had settled himself there; we continued with him for a certain Reason, all the next Day, being the 26th of January. Since God was pleas'd to protect and lead us by the Hand, as it were in all this Voyage; we must confess, that it was he who inspir'd us with the Resolution to begin it by the River Ʋvia; for we knew but two Ways of entering into the Coun­try of the Nouragues, one by the River Ʋvia, and t'other by the River (5) Aproague; this last is very difficult, because the Falls of the Water are so great, that the Sapayes, and Galibis, that live at the Mouth of this Ri­ver, require a very large Reward to per­form this Voyage; and indeed, are the more unwilling to undertake it, because they are afraid of those Nouragues, that eat Humane Flesh: So, that when any of 'em [Page 5] go into those Parts, they stay there as little time as they can: Therefore it is scarce pos­sible to go this Way, and if we had gone it, we should have been altogether unac­quainted with those Indians, that dwell on the Coasts of the River Ʋvia, and with the Nouragues that dwell above the Source of it. But without knowing any thing of this before, we chose to pass into the Coun­try of the Nouragues, by the Ʋvia, and have this Way visited that whole Nation.

The 27th of January we left the Sieur Deslauriers somewhat late, and therefore proceeded but a little way that Day: Our Galibis brought us into a Hut of the (6) Maprouanes, as well to shelter us from a great Shower of Rain, as to lodge us (7) there that Night. These Maprouanes are about Thirty in Number, who retir'd from their Country, near the River of A­mazons, to avoid the Persecution of the Portugese, and of those Indians call'd the (8) Arianes, who have almost extirpated that Nation: We found nothing there but Cassave and Ovicou; and to the 6th of Fe­bruary, we had nothing but Cassave, besides Two Fishes, and a Couple of Fowls, which the Galibis took, (which serv'd us for Four small Meals) and a little Piece of Fish we met with at another Indian Cottage.

[Page 6] The 28th we arriv'd at a Mountain, where a certain Galibi, nam'd Maure, dwells; this is Twelve Leagues from the Mouth of the Ʋvia: And Two Leagues below this Mountain, the Land upon the River, which is hitherto very low, and almost always overflow'd, is a high, fine Country, as far as the Dwelling of the first Nouragues.

The 29th we lay in a Wood, and so we did on the 30th, having pass'd by a Vil­lage of the Galibi's, which contain'd but very few People, to make the bigger Day's Journey.

The 31st we lodg'd in a Galibi's Cot­tage, whose Family consisted of about Six or Seven, but Three or Four of 'em were absent.

The First of February we pass'd the Night in the Woods, and on the Second we lay at a Galibi's Cottage again; and this was the poorest, and most pitiful Hut that ever I saw among the Indians of this Country; there was in it only one Man, and his Wife and Children, who had nothing at all that Day to sup on. One of their Children was much swell'd, and in a languishing Condition, with a continual Fever, of which we thought it could never recover; therefore Father Bechamel baptiz'd it; and the Consolation this gave us sweeten'd all our past Hardships.

[Page 7] The Third we went ashoar in the Coun­try of the Nouragues, after having this Day, and the Day before pass'd Three Falls in the River Ʋvia, and another in the River of the Nouragues; but this was nothing in comparison of the Falls of Water we were to pass on the Rivers of Aproague and Ca­mopi.

And it was now time to land, for our (9) Cassave would have been spent if we had had but a little farther to go in those great Desarts, and vast Forests, that are all along upon this River; upon which there are no other Cottages but those I have been speaking of, and those of some Galibis and Areacarets, who live towards the Mouth of it, and are in all about a Hundred or Sixscore Persons. This River winds very much, and runs a Course of near Fifty Leagues.

Our Galibis serv'd us in this Voyage with a great deal of Respect, and gave us Access to the Chief of these first Nouragues, to whom we presented a Hatchet, to engage him to enter into an Alliance with us; they did not remember, that they had seen above One French Man before in their Country; so that the Women and Girls, who had ne­ver travell'd into the Country of the Gali­bis, were mightily amaz'd at the Sight of us. If one might judge of the whole Na­tion [Page 8] by these People, one might very well say, the Nouragues are a very courteous and affable People. Some of 'em could speak the Language of the Galibis very well, and serv'd for our Interpreters. They did all they could to seek Provision, to treat us well; but being unsuccessful in their Hunting, we had only Cassave, and a little Meat at one of our Repasts, but with great Demonstra­tions of their Kindness. We bought Cassave of 'em for the Supply of the Men that be­long to our Canoo; and on the Sixth of February, after the Galibis had been treated with a small Feast after the Fashion of the Country, they parted from us at about Ten a Clock in the Morning.

We also left this first Cottage of the Nou­ragues, on the Seventh of February, to go a Journey of Four and Twenty Leagues by Land, over very rugged Mountains; but went only half a League from thence to lodge that Night, being attended with Two young Nouragues, each of about Sixteen or Seventeen Years of Age, who were to carry our Baggage; here we were to take another Man, who had promis'd to carry our Provision for us, which consisted of Cassave, and Paste of Ovicou: This Man's Wife, in this Second Hut, was ill of a Can­cer in her Breast, which so tormented her, and had so exceedingly wasted her, that [Page 9] seeing her under so terrible a Distemper, without the Help of any Medicine, we sup­pos'd she could not recover, and that in Probability, she would live morally the rest of her Days; for these People endure their Pains and Hardships very patiently, as we observ'd in all the Galibis; therefore we resolv'd to baptize her: In order to this, Father Bechamel took care to instruct her, having already made some Improvement in the Language of this People, and had likewise the Assistance of one of our young Nouragues, who understood the Galibis Tongue. This poor sick Woman receiv'd his Instructions very well, and was bapti­zed, which was an occasion of great Com­fort to us.

The Eighth, having Bread and Paste of Ovicou enough to serve us Four Days, we set forward with our Three Nouragues, to perform our Journey of Four and Twenty Leagues, over Mountains all the way, which the Nouragues sometimes perform in a Day and a half; but ordinarily in Two or Three Days, when they have Women in their Company. One of our French Men of Cayenne, that came thence on the 27th of January, follow'd us closely with Seven Galibis, and overtook us where we lodg'd the Second Night, who gave me a Letter from the Reverend Father Brion, our Su­perior [Page 10] written the day he came away, which gave us no small joy, for it con­tain'd a great deal of Good Advice, that might be serviceable to us in our Expedi­tion.

This French-Man was much fatigu'd with his Journey, and sent his Indians before him the day following, who in that one day be­ing the Tenth of February, went as much ground as we could do in a day and a half, by reason of the difficulty of the ways. He having joyn'd himself to our Company, and comparing our Nouragues with his Galibis, found a great alteration, and could not but admire the Meekness and Patience of these Three Indians, but especially their Respect. They carry'd our Provisions, yet they durst not take any without asking, tho' we had often told 'em that they might take of 'em when they pleas'd. This day we passed the River Aratay, which throws it self into the Aproague. The Aratay is a fine River, which comes from a Country that is Situate between the Source of the River Ʋvia and the County of the Mercious, which the Nouragues say is a space of Land that extends about Seven days Journey. We were forc'd to pass this River Aratay which is pretty wide and deep, and the Stream of which is somewhat Rapid, in a little Canoo, in much danger of being cast away, as this [Page 11] French-Man that joyn'd us happen'd to be, when he repass'd it in his return, where he lost what he carry'd with him; which was all he had in the World. After this we lodg'd a third time in the Woods, and on the Eleventh of February, being very weary we about Noon Arriv'd at the Cot­tage of Imanon the Nourague a Famous (10) Piaye (or Physician) in all that Coun­try, where we found the Galibis that had advanc'd before us the preceding day. These Galibis mutinied against this poor French-Man, and probably were the occa­sion of hindring the Nouragues of that place from selling any thing to him; so that he lost his Journey. Nay he was oblig'd to entreat one of our Nourague Guides to car­ry part of his Iron Wares, which he brought to trade with, because these Galibis refus'd to help him. And there was no re­medy for it but Patience, since he was 80 Leagues from Cayenne, in a Nation that had no Commerce with the French.

We did not part with our Three Guides without regret; but we could not detain 'em, because they were oblig'd to return for several good Reasons. The Principal of 'em whose Name was Paratou, told us, for our comfort, that in the place where we now were, which they call Caraoribo, from the Name of a little River that passes by it, [Page 12] we should find a great many Paratous, he meant a great many Nouragues, as good humor'd as himself. But we found a great deal of difference in the Temper of those Guides we had from Caraoribo to the Aco­quas, and of those we had before.

As soon as these had left us, we enter'd into a good Correspondence with the Chief Camiati the Father of Imanon, by presenting him with a Hatchet; this is a very Famous Chief, and the Principal one the Nouragues have, and the next to him in Eminence, is the Chief of the Nouragues of Ʋvia. This Camiati the day after our Arrival came to his Son's Cottage, (for his own is upon the River Aproague) he may be about 60 Years of Age, and seems to be still very Vigo­rous: His Countenace tho' lean has a War­like Mien, but withal he has a Savage As­pect; his Humour is but very indifferent to­ward Strangers, tho' mild enough toward his own People, to whom according to the Fa­shion of the Country, he every day gives the Good-morrow, and the Good-night, from the Oldest People to Children of Fifteen Years of Age. He promis'd us to con­duct us quite to the Acoquas, when his Canoo was made, to whose Country he pretended he would go himself, and desir'd but the space of Ten Days to finish this Canoo; now tho' we knew well enough after what man­ner [Page 13] the Indians us'd to reckon, who are often Three Months in doing what they might perform in the space of Ten Days: we resolv'd however to continue with him to have the advantage of being under his Protection; and to perswade him, if we should find him make too long a delay, to borrow another Canoo, that was at Five Days Journy distance from us; and in the mean time to acquaint our selves with the Language of the Nouragues as much as we could, which (as we were told) differ'd but little from that of the Acoquas and Mercious. The Language of the Galibis, which some of us understood, and which was very Familiar to Father Bechamel was some help to us on this Occasion. This Nouragues Tongue is not of an easie and soft Pronunciation like that of the Galibis, but has a great number of Words that must be pronounc'd with very rough Aspirations, others of 'em can't be pronounc'd without shutting the Teeth; at another time one must speak through the Nose; and sometimes these Three difficul­ties all occur in the same Word.

Father Bechamel immediately began to apply himself to the study of this Lan­guage; and I made so much advantge of his Labour in which he succeeded to admi­ration, that by means of the Galibis Lan­guage I made a small Discourse of the Cre­ation [Page 14] of the World; to make these People know something of their Creator. Imanon the Master of this Hut was the first that took delight in hearing this Discourse, and after him the Chief himself; and Five or Six others, as they were working would repeat in that very indiffent Galibis I could speak, these Words; God made the Heavens, God made the Earth, &c. Here were many Men that had each of 'em Two Wives, and one of 'em who had Three; this did not hinder me from telling 'em in the Account I gave 'em of the Creation of Mankind; that God made but one Woman for the First Man, and that he did not al­low one Man to have Two Wives. And tho' all these Nouragues perceiv'd we con­demn'd their Custom of taking Two or Three Wives at a time, yet they said not a word against the Christian Law for not in­dulging the same Liberty.

Seeing these People so docile and pliable, I was willing to try if the Songs of the Church would please 'em, and accordingly I sang the Magnificat in the first Tune, Fa­ther Bechamel and our Two Servants joyn­ing in with me. This was so grateful to 'em, that afterwards we ordinarily sang some Hymns three-times a day to their great satisfaction. Nay some of 'em learn'd to answer to the Litanies of the Blessed Vir­gin, [Page 15] which we sang every Evening. In the mean while our Chief's Canoo went forward but very (11) slowly, and we thought we had mnch better endeavour to prevail with him to borrow another, with which he comply'd, and sent Two of his Men for this end Five Days Journey from his House, to get a convenient one for us.

It was the Twenty eighth of February, when these Men parted from us, and see­ing him the next day which was the First of March dispatch away another Company of his Men, we thought convenient to make use of this occasion to engage some of 'em to carry our Baggage, whom Father Bechamel accompany'd, together with one of our Servants, while I and our other Ser­vant remain'd with the Chief, that we might give him no offence; because we stood in need of his Protection.

After I had continu'd a Fortnight with him, making all the Children say their Prayers Morning and Evening, and repeat­ing my little Instrustions to the greatest part of those I was acquainted with, but especially to Three Young Men who were well Marry'd, confirming 'em in the Reso­lution they had made never to take a Se­cond Wife; of which promise they seem'd to make no difficulty. I set forward the [Page 16] Fifteenth of March, to seek Father Bechamel, and to wait for the Chief of the Cottage, who was to go by Water Five days after with his Canoo; I had but Three Leagues to go by Land, whereas it was near Fifteen by Water. From that time I found those Peo­ple still more teachable, and when the Captain return'd, among Four and twenty Persons, there were not above Three, but signified they took a great deal of pleasure in my Instructions. During our stay here, a Serpent came in the Night in the place where we lay, and bit a Hound, so that he died in 30 Hours after. This Accident was Injurious to us, because the Chief, and the Owner of the Dog attributed it to the Pray­ers which we sang; so that I durst not Sing any more, but contented my self to make every body in the Cottage say their Prayers, except three (as I said before) namely the Chief Camiati and Two other Old Men.

The Ninth of April, after I had much importun'd the Chief, that we might set forward; he told us, he was not willing to make this Voyage, and that all his Men should go to set us in our way, and should leave us when we went ashore to go by Land to the Rivers that lead to the Acoquas, whether Four of the Company should at­tend us. We understood that their Voy­age [Page 17] was determin'd without any regard to us; however we did not scruple to pay 'em for it, being willing to make use of this Opportunity, because it was no easie matter to meet with another. However I oppos'd the Design of having so many Men go with us, because the Two Canoos they had were too small for such a Company: This was a great difficulty with us, and was not re­solv'd till the next day, when we represent­ed to the Chief, that we would leave him our little Chest, that we would take very few of our (12) things out of it for our Voyage, that when we return'd I would continue with him; that if he was not pleas'd to assist us in our Voyage, I must re­turn to Cayenne, that then he must never expect to see any of us again, and would have no more of our Commodities; this made him resolve to lessen the number of his Men.

The Tenth of March we parted, being Sixteen in Number, of which the Chief would needs be one for Three days, that he might bring back his Canoo. In the E­vening we went ashore into the Woods, and on the Eleventh, after we had pass'd several Falls of Waters in the way we made the Two days, we Arriv'd at a Cottage of the Nouragues, Ten Leagues from the for­mer; here we were well receiv'd, and went [Page 18] forward the Third day with a Third Canoo which was very small; it carry'd only Two Men, a Woman, and a Girl of Ten or Twelve Years Old. We passed Two Falls that were difficult enough, and Arriv'd at a Third, which the Canoo could not pass, which has oblig'd the Nouragues to make a way to draw their Canoos by Land almost half a League, this fall is at Two Degrees, and Forty Six Minutes of Northern Latitude. The Indians drew only the little Canoo by Land; for the Chief left us and return'd back with the Two others; and we who were then Fifteen in Number went to Em­bark in a great Canoo, that was above the Water-fall, which the Two Persons that were sent by Camiati had borrow'd; Four Leagues higher, we found the Mouth of the River Tenaporibo: and went to lie in a Cottage hard by, which was yet upon the River Aproague, where we found Five Nou­rague Travellers, who were going to the Country of the Mercious; besides whom there was a Woman who had a little Girl of Seven or Eight Months Old that was ve­ry ill. Imanon (of whom I have spoken) was now the Chief of our Company; he is the greatest Physician (that is the greatest Juggler) of the Country: who tho' he is a great Hypocrite, and very much for plura­lity of Wives; yet did not scruple to ac­quaint [Page 19] us, that this Child was very Sick; when we had examin'd the matter we jud­ged it necessary to Baptize her, which Father Bechamel did, at the time when these Tra­vellers parted from us. I had before Bap­tiz'd a little Girl in the Cottage of this Ima­non immediately after it was born, because the Mother of it when she brought it into the World had left it in the (13) Dirt, from whence they would not take it up for a long time, being told of this disorder, and finding they would put nothing under the Infant to keep it from the coldness of the Mud, and of the Night I baptiz'd it.

The Fourteenth we left this Hutt, and presently enter'd into the River of Tenapo­ribo, which is very deep and rapid, tho' it winds much; we were not the First French-Men that had been upon this River; and we have been inform'd that Three English-Men were kill'd and Eaten there (14) some Years ago by the Nouragues: 'Tis very dif­ficult to Navigate this River, meerly be­cause of its narrowness, and because the great Trees upon the Banks of it when they fall, often extend their Branches to the o­ther side, so that one must either pass over or under these Trees, which is not done without a great deal of difficulty. We lay one Night in the Woods, and on the Fif­teenth Arriv'd at a Hutt where we conti­nued [Page 20] to the Eighteenth, which was the last Day we were upon this River, and in the Evening we saw the last Company of the Nouragues on this River, 80 Leagues from the Mouth of it: This Company consists of Four Huts, at a little distance one from another, wherein there are above Sixscore Persons, of a good natural Disposi­tion, and very teachable: There was not one in the Cottage, where we lodg'd, but was taught by us, to pray to God every Day; this Cottage was compos'd of seve­ral Men, some of whom were single Per­sons, others were married only to one Wife, with whom they liv'd very well; and there is great Probability of making good Chri­stians of 'em. This Cottage is at Two De­grees, Forty Two Minutes of Northern Latitude, and together with the Neigh­bouring ones, and two others at Two Leagues distance, might give employ to a good Missionary.

We left this Hut, on the Twenty Se­venth of April, towards Evening, to go and seek our Guides, who were not far off, with whom we advanc'd by Land, and went only Five Leagues among very diffi­cult Mountains.

The Twenty Ninth we travell'd about Ten Leagues, in a Way a little more plea­sant, and lay in the Woods as we had [Page 21] done the Night before. Our Three Guides shew'd us Two Rivulets, which they said were Tenaporibo and Camopi, that were ve­ry rapid; and Five or Six Leagues beyond, Tenaporibo is Forty Foot broad, and full Twelve in depth: And at Fifteen Leagues distance, or a little more, the River Camo­pi is as big as the Sein is below Paris, from whence one may conjecture what Compass it takes in its course.

The Thirtieth we went to lodge upon the River Eiski, from whence Two of our Nouragues, went to the Nouragues of the River Inipi, to borrow a Canoo, and so to come again at us, where we lodg'd; for the River Eiski runs into the Inipi. This they did for our Ease, our Journey having been very hard, considering our Weakness.

The First of May they came to us again, with a pretty handsome Canoo, wherein there were Three Nouragues, that never had seen a French Man, or any other European, in their Lives. Their Aspect was very sweet, and they seem'd to be of a very tractable Disposition; when they had seen us they returned Home, and we embarked in this Canoo, a little after Noon, and came to lodge in the Woods, upon the River Inipi, where our Guides (15) mended the Canoo; and the next Day, being the Second of May, having gone down this River, [Page 22] which has a very rapid Stream, about Ten Leagues, we enter'd into the River Camo­pi, in which we we went Four Leagues more, and that against the Stream: For I­nipi loses its Name, and with Camopi makes a great River, which goes and joyns it self to the River (16) Yapoque, Five Days Voy­age from thence. Camopi is very swift, and has so many difficult Falls, that 'tis no easie Matter to number them; we went up this River the Third and Fourth of May, with a great deal of Difficulty and Danger. The Fourth of May we lay upon a flat Rock, where we found a Piece of a Min'd Cot­tage, the Covering of which our Men mended with Boughs: That Day we pass'd through a perilous Place, not only because of a dangerous Fall of Water; but like­wise, because it was commanded by a Cot­tage of Nouragues, which is the Last of that Nation, the Master of it is a Morou, the Name of an Indian Nation, one of whom was hang'd at Cayenne, above a Year ago, for killing a French Man: We had Reason to fear, that he would, after the Manner of the Indians, revenge this Man's Death upon us; but one of our Guides, who was also a Morou, had married his Daugh­ter, and we hop'd the Presence of this young Man, whom we then took to be a Nourague, would divert his ill Humour; [Page 23] as indeed it happen'd: And after we were got ashoar upon our flat Rock, which is in the Country of the Acoquas, we were greatly comforted to see our Three Guides ask for their Supper by the Sign of the Cross, where no Person had ever done it before; and that, without having any need to be put in mind of it. But that which still increas'd our Joy, was, that the young­est of our Guides, who might be about Seventeen Years of Age, after Supper, of his own accord, sang in the Tune of the Church, Sancta Maria, Ora pro nobis; ha­ving been yet taught no more than that. I continued the Litanies, and he answer'd me. Towards Evening our principal Guide gave a Signal, with a sort of a Pipe, that may be heard at a great Distance. The next Day, being the Fifth of May, we had a very rainy Morning, which hinder'd us from going forward; but notwithstanding the Rain about Nine a Clock in the Morn­ing, we saw three young Acoquas, who were sent to know who we were, we went with them towards Noon, and about Three a Clock arriv'd soon after them, at the first Hut of the Acoquas; which is at Two De­grees, and Twenty Five Minutes of Nor­thern Latitude. They were mightily pleas'd to see us; for in all appearance, they had some considerable time before heard of our [Page 24] Voyage. They so familiarly acquainted themselves with us, that in Three Days time, there was not one of them that refus'd to pray to God; and we every Day put 'em upon saying their Prayers Morning and Evening. The Second Day our first Guide brought us to two other Cottages not far off; where we were entertain'd with as much Kindness, as Strangers could desire of a Savage People: Immediately, those that liv'd about a Day's Journey more remote receiv'd the News of our Arrival, and came to see us. They all admir'd our Hats, our Cassocks, our Shooes, a Gun; which we made our first Guide discharge from time to time, in great Companies of 'em; the Pictures of our Breviaries, our Writing, and the Songs of the Church, which they desir'd to hear a great many times in a Day. They heard our Instructions with Attenti­on; and seem'd to have very good Senti­ments, and to be much affected, when we told 'em, that formerly the People of our Country were ignorant of God, and that some good People came into our Nation, who taught us, that there was a God, who would make us happy for ever in Heaven; and what we were to do, that we might go to that blessed Place: That we were come to do them the same good Office, that they might go to Heaven as well as we. [Page 25] That which gives me good Hopes of the Conversion of this Nation, is, that they heard those Commands of God with Re­verence, which are most opposite to their ancient Manner of living. And this gives me occasion to speak more distinctly of what I have remark'd in these Two Nati­ons.

The Nouragues and the Acoquas, in Mat­ter of Religion, are the same with the Ga­libis. They acknowledge there is a God, but don't worship him. They say he dwells in Heaven, without knowing whether he is a Spirit or no, but rather seem to believe he has a Body. The Galibis call God (17) Tamoucicabo; that is as much as to say, the Ancient of Heaven. The Nouragues and the Acoquas call him Maire, and never talk of him but in fabulous Stories: They have a great many Superstitions, which are on­ly like the idle Tales and Fooleries of Chil­dren, in which I never observ'd 'em practise any Idolatry: But I am very much afraid their Physicians, by their juggling Tricks, debauch the Women and Maids; for they have given me great Reason to think so.

The natural Disposition of the Nouragues and Acoquas is mild; but the more remote from the Sea the Nouragues live, the more tractable you'll find 'em; for the frequent Concourse they have with the Indians, on [Page 26] the Sea-Coasts, renders 'em more uncontrou­lable and difficult to be treated with. 'Tis certain, the Acoquas are quite another sort of People, than the French at Cayenne ima­gine 'em to be, who account 'em fierce, cruel, treacherous and perfidious, to those they entertain, For if one may judge of that Nation, by near Two Hundred of 'em, whom we have seen, they are an honest, affable, pleasant People, and are very at­tentive and ready to receive what is said to 'em. Tis true, they not long since exter­minated a small Nation, and eat several of them; but I attribute this Barbarity to the ill Custom of the Country, rather than to the Disposition of the People; and this seems the more probable, because being in­form'd Two or Three Days after our arri­val, that there was half a Day's Journey from us, some of the Flesh of a Magapa (the Name of a People that are their Ene­mies) whom they had newly kill'd with another, while they were watching their opportunity to surprize one or other of the Acoquas alone; and besides, one of the Peo­ple of the Cottage having set before us the Jaw of a young Man; we told 'em, This was not well done, and that God forbids us to kill an Enemy, when we take him Prisoner, and to eat him afterwards: At this they look'd down very much without giving [Page 27] one Word of a Reply. Another time, the Master of one of the Cottages having heard, that the Galibis to hinder us from underta­king this Voyage, had threaten'd us, that we should be roasted by the Acoquas, was fill'd with great Indignation at it, and could not be pacified till I told him, I took those Galibis for Lyars and Fools: Having moreover, told 'em, I had been made Pri­soner of War by the English, and restor'd to the French, without receiving any harm; and that God would not allow us to kill those we took in War; they seem'd pretty well to approve of this Law. And tho' this barbarous Custom is a Point so much establish'd and receiv'd in all Times among the Acoquas, and among the Nouragues too; yet it seems, by what I have been relating, to be no difficult Matter to restrain 'em from this Savage Practice, of killing and eating their Enemies.

Polygamy is a Second Obstacle which we found against the Christian Religion a­mong these Two Nations of the Nouragues, and Acoquas; for where there's one Man to be found, that has but one Wife, there are six, who have each of 'em two or three. The Hope that may be conceiv'd for the eradicating of this Vice, is, not concerning Persons that are already pre-in­gag'd in this evil Custom, but only those [Page 28] that have yet but one Wife, and young Men that are not yet married, who might be perswaded to be content with one Wife. I confess, there's no hope of working upon the others.

The Way of Living among the People of these Two Nations, is very agreeable, and has something more courteous in it, than that of the Galibis. For Instance, A­mong the Galibis, those that are married, dine every one apart, and those that are unmarried eat all together; and all the Women, Maids and little Children, go to another side of the Hut to eat. The Nou­ragues and Acoquas do quite otherwise, for the Husband eats with his Wife, or Wives and Children with admirable Agreement and Union. They don't drink (19) much, but are great eaters; and are always Fishing or Hunting, in which they spare no Pains, to get their Living. They are all Lyars, as well as all other Indians, that we know. And when they perceive their Lyes are dis­cover'd, they retire, seeming to be a little asham'd, but will not fail to frame a Lye again on the next Occasion. The Nouragues endeavour'd to fright us with a great many Stories of their own Invention, to make us alter our Resolution of going to the Aco­quas, that we might spend all our Stock of Goods with them; sometimes telling us, [Page 29] they had seen the Track of some strange wild Beast; sometimes that the Caranes, their Enemies, were running up and down their Woods, and that they had observ'd the Steps of Three of that Nation not far from their Hut: But when they saw they could not terrifie us, they did what we would have 'em. This Vice induces 'em to promise much, and to perform but little; which also is occasion'd by the little Judg­ment they have, to esteem any thing ac­cording to the Value and Importance of it; for this makes 'em not matter what In­jury they do any one, in breaking their Word; nor how much they dishonour themselves in so doing. To have a thorough Conception, how common this is in these Two Nations (which is also rife among all the Indian Nations we are acquainted with) one must compare 'em to little Children, who esteem what they see only by Fancy: They are also subject to Steal; so that some times they must be narrowly watch'd, or else they will be pilfering one thing or other.

The Nouragues make about Six or Seven Hundred Persons, the Mercious, who dwell on the West-side of 'em, are equal to 'em in Number; the Acoquas are South of 'em, and conceal'd from us the Strength of their Nation; however, I suppose it may be three [Page 30] or four times stronger than that of the Nouragues; for having ask'd an old Wo­man, how many Cottages there were on one side, to which we pointed; she told us, there were Ten; then pointing toward the Quarter, where their Chief dwelt, she took a (20) Handful of her Hair, to signifie to us, the great Number of Cottages there were on that side. Between the Acoquas, and the Mercious, they told us, there was the Nation of the Pirios, which the Acoquas say, are equal to themselves in Strength: On the East and South-East-side are the Pirionaus, and on the East the Pirios and Magapas, and in the midst of all these Na­tions the Morous, who are very barbarous. These Nations all speak one and the same Language, and are understood by the Ca­ranes, who are the Enemies of the Nou­ragues. They also say, the Maranes, who are a very great People, understand the same Tongue: On the South South-West of the Acoquas are the Aramisas, whose Language borders on that of the Galibis, having a great many of the same Words in it, tho' they are unacquainted with that Nation. The Acoquas say, these Aramisas are a very great Nation. If there be a Lake of Parima, these People can't be Forty Leagues distant from it on the North-side: We could get no Account of this Lake. [Page 31] There was not one Indian, who when we enquir'd of them, whether they did not know of a vast Place of Water like the Sea, the Sand of which is Caracoli (for so they call Gold, Silver and Copper) could give me the least Intelligence of it. These (21) Aramisas are in the same Longitude, wherein the Maps place the Eastern Part of the Lake of Parima.

After we had been with the Acoquas Twelve or Thirteen Days, the Air grew unwholsome, by an excessive Heat, at a time when there was very little Wind; which seldom fails to blow in those Coun­tries; and indeed, 'tis that that renders 'em habitable. Father Bechamel was taken with a Tertian Ague, and the strongest of our Servants also fell very sick: We therefore press'd our Guides to return, since they were not willing to conduct us any farther, nor suffer the Acoquas to go and fetch their Chief, who dwelt at the Distance of Three Days Journey, from the Place where we were, with whom we would have con­tracted an Alliance. These Three Guides became insolent, upon the Supposition, that it was to honour them that the Acoquas came in such great Numbers; tho' in all appearance, it was the Curiosity of seeing us French Men that brought 'em together: They became very troublesome, especially [Page 32] the Morou, who gave sufficient Indications of his wicked Disposition, perswading the Acoquas, that we ought to leave them all our Wares; these so unreasonable Pro­posals did not much surprize us; but to give 'em good Hopes of our Return, we left an (22) Iron Tool of Half a Crown Price with one of 'em, who had but one Wife, upon Condition, that I should have a great (23) Hamock when I came again; promi­sing I would then give him a Bill and a Knife, to make up what this wanted of the Value of it. I made choice of this Man on purpose to signifie what respect I had for lawful Marriages; and he understood me very well, and promis'd me, he would not take a Second Wife, during the Life of this he already had, with whom he had liv'd at least Eight or Nine Years, for they had a Daughter about Seven Years old; however, this Project facilitated our Return.

The 25th of May we embark'd on the River Camopi, in Two Canoo's; Father Be­chamel was in the least of 'em, with our principal Nourague, and an Acoquas, who had a Mind to go with us to Cayenne; and I went in the other with our Two Servants, the Morou, and the young Nourague, who not taking care to guide the Vessel right, let it run so near the Precipice of a great [Page 33] Fall of Water, that those in the other Canoo, cry'd out, believing we should be lost: But these Two young Men, with much ado, brought our Canoo under a Rock, that brake the Violence of the Stream, and getting up the Rock, with all their Might, drew the Canoo out of this Danger. 'Tis abundant­ly more dangerous to go down these Falls, than to get up 'em; because they chose those places where the Water runs less vio­lently to get the Canoo up with main Strength, whereas in going down 'em they take the swiftest Part of the Stream, so that one runs a greater Hazard of one's Life, than can easily be express'd.

After having pass'd these Dangers, the Second Day after we embark'd, our young Nourague, that had never run the like Risque before, said in his own Language, God is good, and is not angry with us. When we came to the Place, where we were to go by Land, betwixt the River Inipi and Te­naporibo, our Guides, who were well load­ed with Hamocks, and other things, which they had bought of the Acoquas, were not willing to help us, which yet they would have done, if that Morou had not put 'em out of Humour: They walk'd very fast, as the Indians are wont to do, when they are loaded, and at last left us at Five Leagues distance from Tenaporibo; but [Page 34] by the Goodness of God we got thro' without losing our Way, by following a Path, in which these Indians had thrown little Boughs, in several places where it was not easie to discern the Track; to sig­nifie which Way they went. When we came within Three quarters of a League of the first Cottages, we heard some Nouragues calling to us, who brought us Cassave and Fish to eat, and some Ovicou to drink.

The First Day of June our young Morou, being drunk, treated us very ill, which made us resolve to return to Cayenne in ano­ther Canoo, and in the Company of other Indians, and the rather because our Di­stempers increas'd upon us. I had a vio­lent Fever, and a great Cough, and Father Bechamel was very ill, as well as the lusti­est of our Servants. And now as we had need of the special Assistance of Provi­dence, to find a Conveniency for our Re­turn; so it pleas'd God to manifest to us, how particular a Care he took of our Pre­servation, in furnishing us with what we needed; not indeed, at the Time we wish'd, nor after that Manner we thought best, but in such a Season, and in such a Way, as was most convenient for us, 'till at length we arriv'd at Cayenne.

The Second Day of June we made an A­greement with the first Nourague, who had [Page 35] done us some Service at Caraotibo, Three Leagues from Aproague, who was of a very good Temper, and was come thither with two other Nouragues of the same Place, who had a Kindness for us, and were wil­ling to return Home as soon as they could. We determin'd to set forward the next Day, to prevent our Morou, and our other Guides, who were elsewhere, from opposing our Design. We were to go three Leagues by Land, or Seven by Water, to get to this Man's Canoo; but I was so ill, I could not go by Land, and our Servant was asbad as I, so that we were forc'd to seek a Canoo, to go by Water, the Providence God provided us a little One, which we hired, that was sunk in the Water, but was big enough to carry Four of us; namely, the Indian and his Wife, our Servant and my self. Father Bechamel, tho' very weak, had the Courage to undertake the Journey on Foot, with our other Servant. We were desirous to have gone forward the next Day, from the Place where this Nourague's Canoo lay; but we should not have been able to have under­gone this Fatigue: It pleas'd God to pro­vide for our Welfare, on this occasion, in permitting the Indians to detain us Eleven Days in this Place, where there were near Sixty Persons: The Chief of whom, who had a Son in the Neighbourhood of Cayenne, [Page 36] plac'd us in a Cottage by our selves, that we might not be disturb'd, with the Noise of a great Merry-meeting they were going to have, and order'd his Wife to treat us the best she could: This was partly from his good Humour, and partly to secure his Son from receiving any ill Treatment from the French at Cayenne. God was pleas'd, during our stay here, to give us an Oppor­tunity again, to instruct a Woman that was almost eaten up with Cancers; so that she was at length baptiz'd by Father Bechamel, the Day before we left this Place: This Fa­ther was so weak, that he could not repeat his Breviary walking; and yet the next Day, he was strong enough to walk near a League from thence to embark. There now remain'd but one Difficulty to encoun­ter with, since we were in the Hands of Three very honest Nouragues; and that was, how to get away from Camiati's Cottage, with our little Chest that contain'd all our Goods; and to find a convenient Passage to the Mouth of the Aproague; for I had promis'd Camiati, to continue with him af­ter my return from the Acoquas; and those People are not very easie, when they see us carry our Commodities out of their Cot­tages; so that we had Reason to fear, that he would detain us with him, at least Two Months, before he would conduct us to [Page 37] the Indians, that dwell at the mouth of the Aproague: But it pleas'd God to remove all these Obstructions; for our Three Noura­gues promis'd to convey us to the Sea, upon condition that we would give 'em an indif­ferent Reward. And as we went by Cami­ati's Cottage, we found he was gone a Hunt­ing, and those we found in his Cottage were only his Two Wives, and some Stran­gers, who durst not hinder us from taking our little Chest, and our Three Guides, tho' they were affraid to displease Camiati their Chief, yet knew not how to refuse to lead us to a Cottage that was a League low­er, where at that time no body dwelt, and hither they were to go in order to pass by Land to Caraotibo where they dwelt, and to conduct their Wives thither, and then to come back again to us; tho' they would fain have set us ashore at Camiati's House, and left us there.

When we Arriv'd at the empty Cottage, I found my self so ill, that I thought I should have died; but being somewhat recruited a­gain, and perceiving the Master of the Ca­noo had a mind to go and speak with Cami­ati, and that one of our Servants desir'd to go with him, to fetch a Hound he had bought that was run away thither. I gave him an Iron-tool of half a Crown price to pre­sent from me to Camiati, that he might or­der [Page 38] his Wives to prepare me a Hamock, and bid him tell him I would pay the rest at my return, which should be as soon as I had recover'd my Health: this I did to prevent his offering any injury to our Servant, and that he might not oppose us in our design of going back. The Master of the Canoo told the Story of the Affront the Young Morou gave us, and of the ill Condition of my Health, so well to Camiati; that when he had receiv'd the Present I sent him, he would needs accompany me to the Mouth of the Aproague, to the Cottage of the Chief of the Sapayes, whom he had had a mind to Visit a great while, being his very good Friend. He came accordingly the next day with one of his Sons, who was about Thir­thy Years of Age, and his Two Wives, and sent home Two of our Guides, taking their places, he sent the Woman, and one of our Servants one League by Land. Our other Servant continued in the Canoo to row, or to use the Term of the Country to Pagay, with these Three stout Nouragues; we also remain'd in the Canoo, by reason of our Weakness, which would not suffer us to go this League by Land. They lighted the Ca­noo thus, that they might the better pass a fall of the River, that was so rough and difficult, that the Indians could not choose but turn pale at the extreme danger we [Page 39] were in. One time amongst others they toil'd so hard to keep the Canoo from being carry'd down a precipice of Water, that when they had made shift to get under a Rock, that breaks the Violence of the Stream, they were forc'd to rest themselves for half a quarter of an Hour, because they were so much spent, that they could scarce fetch their Breath. I have twice been very near being cast away in two Ships, but the sight of this fall of the River was more dreadful to me, than any thing I ever saw at Sea.

The Nineteenth of June we pass'd down Two of these Falls, at the first they sent the Women away by Land, and cross'd the Ri­ver to know of a Galibi that was lately come thither to make a new Cottage, what course they had best take to avoid being over-set, because the Bed of the River declin'd, so that it gave an extraordinary rapidity to the Stream; and besides there were a great many Rocks under water, against which we were liable to be dash'd, and so cast away. And observing our Men were in a great perplex­ity in their minds about it, notwithstand­ing all the directions this Man gave 'em, we intreated him to conduct us through this difficult passage, promising him a Fishing-hook for his pains, which he wil­lingly undertook, and happily perform'd. At the Second which was the last we met [Page 40] with upon the Aproague, we all went ashore and walk'd along the River-side upon ve­ry uneven Rocks, and the Nouragues held the Canoo by a Line which they tied behind it, and so let it go gently down this place, which is very dangerous at Low-water, for the Flowing of the Tide covers it, tho' 'tis Twenty Leagues up the River.

After we had pass'd these many difficul­ties by the mercy of God; we at last had no Cassave left, no Meat nor Fish, nor Ovicou, when we were distant a days Voyage and a half from the Cottage of the Sapayes, but God of his Goodness was pleas'd to make Provision for our great necessity; for as we coasted along the River we saw a Dog barking; upon which the Nouragues call'd out to know if any body were a Hunting, and presently to their great joy perceiv'd it was their good Friend, the Chief of the Sapayes, who came to us, and saluted us all with demonstrations of Friendship. We did what the Nouragues would not venture to do, that is, to ask him to sell us some Provision; acquainting him, that neither we nor the Nouragues had any left. When he understood in what necessity we were, he sent to fetch his Canoo, which was a large one, and very well stor'd with Cassave, Ovicou, Meat and Fish (24) Boucaneed; which he furnish'd us and the Nouragues, [Page 41] and we paid him for it immediately. He told us his Lodging was a League off, whither he would come and meet us in the Evening, and that because his little half-cover'd Hut had only room enough for him and his Men, we must make another for our selves. He came according to his word toward Night, and the next day he made Father Bechamel and me go into his Canoo, because he thought the Nouragues Canoo was over-loaded.

On the 21st we Arriv'd at the Cottage of this Chief of the Sapayes, where we were kindly entertain'd. We were no sooner got thither, but we began to think how we should get from thence to Cayenne; and we could think of no better way, than to per­swade the Chief of the Sapayes to conduct us thither himself, which would have ta­ken up Three Weeks time, and would have been a great charge to us, but the Provi­dence of God had made Provision for us, for the next day we were inform'd that a Chief of the Galibis would come the day following to take a Sapaye with him to go to Cayenne, and from thence to Maroui, from whence he was to fetch his Son, who had been there with the Sapayes for Two Years, as well as the Son of the Chief of the Sapayes. He was willing to take us in his Canoo for a small matter, and we went to [Page 42] Lodge at a small Island, which is in the River at a pretty good distance from the Sea; here we stay'd the Twenty fourth of June. I observ'd that the Sea came up here Eight Foot high, and concluded from thence, because it covers the last Fall of the River, that it declines but Eight Foot in the space of Twenty five Leagues from the Sea. In the Night they heard the Cry of a Bird, and said to one another in the Galibis Tongue, Hark how the Devil cries; I re­prov'd 'em, telling 'em they were mistaken, and that the Devil had no Body, but was a Spirit as our Souls are, which they con­fess to be Invisible and Immortal, which yet they do not say of the Devils, but pre­tend that their Physicians or Piaies kill 'em with great Clubs. The Nouragues of one Cottage made the Figure of a Man in the the way by which they thought the Devil came to their Cottage in the Night, to make 'em Sick; that so while he stop'd at this Fantome and took it to be a Nourague, the Piaies that watch'd for him might take their opportunity, when they saw him, to knock him on the head. We parted from this Island to go and lodge at Co, from whence the next day we saw a great many Canoos of the Galibis at Sea, which were go­ing toward the River of Amazons, these the Master of our Canoo, and the Sapaye [Page 43] went to visit, drawing their Canoos along over the Mud at Low-water, and found in one of 'em the Two Young Men they were going to seek for at Maroui. They had now nothing to do but to carry us to Ca­yenne; and because the Sea was so rough, that they could not well bear up against it, we desir'd 'em to set us ashore at Mahuti, the first place we could land at in the Island of Cayenne, which they compass'd with a great deal of Labour. As soon as I set my Foot upon the Sand, I fell down upon my Knees to thank God for the Protection he had favour'd us with for a Hundred and Seventy Leagues, since we came from the Country of the Acoquas, for our whole Voyage was Two hundred and forty Leagues. We went to lodge at the House of Mons. Fontain, whose Estate lies in this part of the Island; and he receiv'd us with great Joy. The next day being the Twen­ty seventh, Father Bechet came to fetch us with Two Horses, and we borrow'd ano­ther of (25) Monsieur Fontaine, and so Arriv'd at the Fort of Cayenne, where the Governor was pleas'd to treat us with all imaginable Friendship. And all the Peo­ple came about us, to see us, and to signifie the geat affection they had to us. In three Months I hope by the Grace of God to Vi­sit the Marshes of the Aracarets, the Pali­cours, [Page 44] the Mayes, the Marones, and the Coussades, whose Habitations stand more thick and close one to another, than those I have given an account of in this Relation. Here's a great Field open'd to the Gospel-Labourers, into which I am ready to conduct those that are willing to employ themselves in it, as well as to discover to 'em a great many other Nations: Being fully resolv'd by the Grace of God to expose my Life for so Glorious a purpose, as the Propagation of the Gospel, and the Conversion of such Numbers of People.


Note (1) in the Letter.

A Fort which the Dutch took from the English Fourteen or Fifteen Year ago, on which the English Colony depends, which is pretty Numerous, and was Esta­blish'd there Eight or Ten Years before un­der the Command of the Lord Willoughby. This Fort was built by the French in 1644, they quitted it in 1646, for the Reasons that have been reported in divers Relations.

Note (2) P. 3. This River discharges it self into the Sea on the East-side of the Cayenne.

Note (3) Ibid. Of Ovicou they make a sort of Drink of the Consistence and Colour [Page 46] of Milk, by steeping it in Water, it will keep a Month or Six Weeks in a kind of Baskets lin'd with the Leaves of Bonana-Trees, which are 4 or 5 Foot long, and a­bove 2 Foot wide.

Note (4) Ibid. The Brother of the Mar­quis de la Barre, who was formerly Go­vernor, and the King's Lieutenant General in the American Islands, both by Sea and Land, and is now a Captain of one of his Majesty's Ships.

Note (5) P. 4. The Mouth of this Ri­ver is 14 Leagues Eastward from Cayenne.

Note (6) P. 5. This is one of the Nations that fled into the Country of the Galibis.

Note (7) Ibid. In these Huts or Cottages the Indians hang their Hamocks or Cotton-beds when the Sun sets, in which they re­pose themselves all Night. They ordinarily rise with the Sun, and then their Wives take down their Beds and Hamocks, and hang 'em in the Carbet, which is their kind of Hall or Out-house, the Props of which not only serve to support the Roof, which is made of Palm-leaves, but also to hang up all the Beds of the Men and Boys in the Family, and those of Strangers, when at any time they entertain 'em. This Carbet is plac'd Ten or Twelve paces on the upper-side of the Cot­tage, in which the Women always leave their own Beds. At one end of the Cottage [Page 47] they commonly make Cassave, and their Li­quor Ovicou; this part of it serves for the Kitchin, and for all the Work that belongs to the subsistance of the Family. Some of these Cottages have a Loft above to hang their Beds in in the Night; and then the lower-part of the Hut serves for the Carbet; where the Men spend the day (when they are at home) in making their Bows and Arrows, and what other conveniencies they want; for their business is different from that of the Women in these Parts, as well as in most other Places. But there's one thing belonging to the other Sex which the Men have usurp'd, that deserves to be treated on in a particular Article, of which I shall only speak a word or two here by the by. They go to bed, when their Wives are deliver'd, and receive the Compliments of their happy delivery as if they had endur'd the pain, and accordingly answer their Visitors as the Women do on the like occasion in other places. This Cu­stom is not peculiar to the Galibis, but is us'd in a great many other Nations of Brasil, and in other parts of America.

'Tis farther to be noted, that their Carbets are the places where they hold their Consul­tations, and deliberate on their most weighty Affairs, which is ordinarily done with great Solemnity; those that are concern'd and in­vited, assembling together from divers pla­ces for this purpose.

[Page 48] Note (8) Ibid. This Nation dwells near the mouth of the River of Amazons.

Note (9) P. 7. This is the ordinary Bread of the Country, made of a sort of Root, which they scrape, and then press to get the Water out of it, which is a cold Poison, and will kill Men, or Beasts if they drink but half a glass of it; which for all that may be put in Sauces and Pottage, and gives 'em a better relish, provided it be but boyl'd tho' never so little, afterwhich it has no pernicious quality.

Note (10) P. 11. Piaie is a Name which the Galibis give their Physicians, who besides the practise of Physick pretend also to Divi­nation; but they profess neither, till they have made divers Experiments, one of which is so dangerous that it often makes 'em burst. They stamp the green Leaves of Tobacco, and squeeze out the Juice of it, of which they drink the quantity of a large Glass full; so that none but those that are of a very ro­bust Constitution, who try this practise up­on themselves, escape with their Lives. Be­sides divers sorts of Plants, Gumms, and Wood they use to cure diseases and wounds, they have a way of sucking their Patients in that part of the Body in which they feel their pain; and this method is most com­monly very successful.

Note (11) P. 15. The reason why they employ so much time in making their Canoos [Page 49] is because after they have chosen and fell'd a Tree, and have with a Hatchet made it hol­low, about the breadth of half a Foot, and about the same depth through the whole length of it, they hollow the rest of it with a gentle Fire; and this work, which goes on very slowly; continues in proportion to the bulk of the piece of Timber, and to the length they give their Canoo. This way of making their Canoos is very tedious, but tends much to their duration, so that they scarce ever rot, because after they are thus made, the Worm never touches 'em, which is also part­ly owing to the hardness of the Wood; there being scarce any betwixt the Tropicks but has this quality.

Note (12) P. 17. The Commodities that have vent among these Nations are Hatchets, Bills, Knives, Looking-glasses, Hooks, &c.

Note (13) P. 19. 'Tis the Custom of this Na­tion to use their Children after this manner.

Note (14) Ibid. In the Year 1625, the En­glish attempted to make a Settlement at Cayen­ne, & these Three who were devour'd by the Indians were probably some of 'em, for their Establishment did not succeed, they being defeated by the Indians, for not managing themselves well towards 'em. Their Princi­pal Plantation was at Cayenne, upon the Ri­ver Remire. The same disappointment be­fel the Dutch some Years after.

[Page 50] Note (15) P. 21. The Poop of great Canoos being commonly joyn'd to the rest, they caulk it with a sort of fat Earth, which the Water in a little time washes away, and therefore they are oblig'd to put it in a fresh from time to time; and this they call mend­ing or refitting a Canoo.

Note (16) P. 22. The mouth of this River enters into the Amazone, and into the River of Cayenne, about 20 Leagues from the Apro­ague; 'twas from hence that Mons. Lecy, the Governor of Cayenne, with 10 Men drove a­way 6 or 700 of the Dutch, in the last Wars we had with them; tho' they had a Fort there with some pieces of Canon: At the same time they were likewise twice driven from the River Aproague, where they al­so had a Fort defended with Canon.

Note (17) P. 25. Tamouci, or Tamechi signifies Old, and Cabo signifies Heaven in the Galibian Tongue.

Note (18) P. 27. Line 9. When the En­glish came from Barbadoes, with 4 or 5 Fri­gats, to make a descent upon Cayenne in the Year 1666, Father Grillet was Superior of the Jesuits there, and was some time amongst the English, who left him there with the rest of the Colony when they went away.

Note (19) P. 28. 'Tis true, they drink but little or nothing at their ordinary meals till they have done eating, and then com­monly [Page 51] drink one draught; but when they assemble together, either for Warlike Enter­prizes, or to begin a Canoo, or to launch it when 'tis made, and when they make a Chief, or admit him into their Council, af­ter they have expos'd him to several rude kind of Trials; they have extraordinary Re­joycings, which frequently hold 3 or 4 days, continuing till they have drank up all their Liquor; which is what the French call Faire un Vin. For these occasions they make 3 or 4 different sorts of Drink, some of which be­come very strong by fermentation, as that which they call Palinot, which they make with Cassave that is bak'd more than ordina­ry: The pieces of which they pile up one upon another when they are very hot, and keep 'em thus till they begin to be mouldy, after which they mix them with Potatoes, which they cut in small pieces as well as the Cassave, and put them in great Earthen Jarrs, then they pour a proportionate quantity of Water upon 'em, and so leave all to fer­ment and work together till this Liquor is as strong as they desire; which is after about 5 or 6 days fermentation. They strain it before they use it, and then 'tis of the Co­lour and Consistence of Beer, of a much bet­ter tast, but much more heady and intoxi­cating. They have besides a great many sorts of drink, the diversity of which Results [Page 52] from the different Fruits of which they make 'em. But that which they ordinarily make use of, is as white as Milk, and of the same con­sistence. It is very refreshing and nourish­ing, and is compos'd of Cassave bak'd after their ordinary manner, and Potatoes boil'd with it, till they are of the consistence of Paste, this they put into Baskets lin'd with the Leaves of Bonano-trees, in which it keeps good for a Month, and then begins to grow sower, but not quite so soon if it be kept in a cool place. When they use it they steep as much as they have present occasion for in a sufficient quantity of Water, and if they are at leisure they strain it: But they often only steep it, and drink it without straining, and if Sugar or Sugar-cains bruis'd be mix'd with it, it comes very near the tast, and co­lour, and consistence of Orgeate, the use of which the French have taken from the Ita­lians some Years since. This drink is call'd Ovacou upon the Continent; and Ovicou in the Islands. 'Tis believ'd that the reason why the Europeans can never attain to make it so good as the Indians do, is because these chew the Potatoes and Cassave, before they boil 'em together, and understand better what degree of boyling they require, to give this Liquor its greatest perfection. But the seeing this way of its preparation turns ones stomach more than the reading of it; and [Page 53] the Wine that washes the dirty Feet of the Grape-gatherers as they tread the Grapes is no less nauseous, but the Fermentation both of the one and the other corrects all this uncleanliness.

Note (20) P. 30. This is their common way of expressing things they cannot number, saying Enoura, which signifies [thus much.]

Note (21) P. 31. This Nation is situated towards the Source of the River Maroni, the Mouth of which is about 50 Leagues from Cayenne Westward, and 30 from the River Surinam; where the Dutch have a Fort, which the French built in the Year, 1644, and were oblig'd to quit in 1646, for want of Help from France. This Fort is 3 Leagues from the Mouth of the Surinam, on the Right-hand as you enter into it. The Lord Willoughby retir'd thither in 1648, or 1649, with a Colony of 1000 or 1200 English, who endeavour'd to support the In­terest of the King of England against Crom­well, in the Barbadoes; that is, those of the Antilles, or Antego Islands, which the English have; for the English call all those Islands, the Barbadoes, as the French call all the An­tilles they possess, St. Christopher's Islands.

Note (22) P. 32. There are several sorts of Tools proper for the Indians, of the Va­lue of about Half a Crown, Two Shillings, Twenty-pence, Fifteen-pence, &c. as Hatch­ets [Page 54] or Axes, Bills, with Wooden Handles, others with Iron Handles, in the Socket of which they may be fix'd or taken off at Pleasure; and such little Planing-Axes, as Cooper's Use; this Tool serves the In­dians in making their Canoos, particularly in hollowing the inside of the Tree, they design for that use: They also use Plains to smooth the outside of the Canoos, as well as for other Works.

Note (23) Ibid. A Hamock is an Indian Bed, made of Cotton; tho' they all hang 'em up by the two ends, when they would lie in 'em, sometimes upon 2 Trees, at 10 or 12 Foot distance, and sometimes at two of the Posts that support their Houses, or their Carbets; yet they differ very much both in the Stuff and Work. For Instance, All the Hamocks that are made from the River of Amazons to the Orenoque, are of Cotton, made full, and almost all without Fringe on the sides; most of 'em colour'd with Rocou, or red Paint, quarter'd in Flou­rishes that are made with pretty good Pro­portion and exactness; these are most esteem'd for Use, especially in the Islands, because they last a great while; and are stronger than those of Brazil, which are so thin, one may generally see through 'em, and are made of twin'd Cotton, much finer than those of Guiana, which are also made of twisted [Page 55] Cotton-thread, but courser. Those of Brazil have all a great Fringe on each side, and have for the most part very much work about 'em, the Brazilian Women are so ingenious, that there is scarce two of their Cotton Beds in a hundred, which are brought from the same place, that are made just alike: The Galibis paint most of 'em Red, after they are made, and while they are yet upon the Loom. The Brazilian Women make scarce any but white Hamocks; and if they mix either Red, or Blue, or Green, with the White, or all of 'em together (as they do frequently) they work 'em with Thread ready dyed, and so the Men don't touch 'em; whereas in Gui­ana these Beds are painted only by the Men, the Women leaving this Work to them, when they have finished the Web: They weave 'em after the following Manner, as well in Brezil as in Guiana. All their Imple­ments are two round Sticks, about 8 or 9 Foot long, and 3 or 4 Inches Diameter; the two Ends of one of these round Sticks lie a-cross upon two Pieces of Wood, about 8 or 9 Foot from the Ground, more or less, according to the Length the Work-woman is order'd, or designs her self to make her Bed. The other round Stick hangs direct­ly under this, and 'tis to these two round Sticks that the Warp of the Hamock is fa­sten'd, after which they have a kind of [Page 56] Shuttle, which they put through the Threads, to weave it after the Manner of our Gloth: But because they put their Shuttle through Thread by Thread, one above and the other below; this Work is extreamly tedious, and has need of no less Patience than theirs.

Those of Brazil having much more work about 'em, require the more Time and In­dustry to make 'em; but one sort and ano­ther are very much bought in the Islands, where almost all the Europeans make use of 'em; and they are very good to use in Eu­rope, especially in those Places, where they have but bad and uncleanly Beds, particular­ly Spain and Italy, whither one might carry 'em without much trouble, they being very light; for the biggest of 'em don't weigh above 5 or 6 Pound, and those of Brazil not above half so much, because they are thin and fine; with 2 Pegs, or 2 great Nails they may be hang'd up any where. The In­dians place the Props of their Houses at a convenient distance one from another, for this Purpose: They don't go out far into the Country without these Beds; and there are always enough left in their Houses for Strangers.

This sort of Beds is likewise us'd almost in all Southern America, to carry wounded or sick People in; those that are put to this [Page 57] use, have at each end a great Ring, through which they put a Pole of a sufficient length for the Bed, and strong enough to bear a Man's Weight: And thus two Indians, one before and t'other behind, carry the sick Man, supported in his Hamock, by the Pole which they bear upon their Shoulders.

The Arouagues, the Araotes, and most of the other Nations, toward the River Ore­noque, make their Beds of the Thread of Pite, in Net-work, which they hang up af­ter the Manner the other do their Cotton Hamocks. Pite is a kind of Hemp or Flax, but much longer and whiter, of this they make their Cords for the Tackling of the Masts and Sails of their Canoos, as for other Oc­casions; this Pite is also much lighter and stronger than Hemp, and nothing near so apt to rot in the Water; they make very fine Thread of it to mend their Arrows, and for other such uses. Perhaps the Aloe Yuccae foliis, Catal. Plantar. Jamaic. p. 118.

Note (24) P. 40. Boucanee that is, dry'd without being salted, upon a kind of Grate made of Sticks, plac'd about 3 Foot above the Fire, they Boucanee Meat as well as Fish; and the Word Boucaniers comes from this, because they usually live upon Meat or Fish dress'd after this Manner. This Name was given to the French in the Island of St. Domingo; because, before they had [Page 58] Houses, as they now have in the Western Part of the Island, they liv'd only upon Beef thus dress'd; and sold the Hides of the Bulls and Cows, which they kill'd, to the Captains of Ships, for Guns, Powder and Shot, Shirts and Drawers, which was all their Equipage. They were then Vaga­bonds in the Island, and had no Houses, but now are settled there, and plant a great deal of Tobacco in spight of the Spaniards. They are under the Command of the Go­vernour of la Tortue, a small Island that lies near St. Domingo, on the West-side: And 'tis suppos'd, that the Number of these Boucaniers surpasses that of all the rest of the French in those American Islands, call'd the Antilles. These Boucaniers have perform'd such surprizing Exploits against the Spani­ards at Porto-Velo, at Panama, in New Spain, and elsewhere, that what we are told in the Accounts of the Country concerning 'em are almost incredible, but that a Spani­ard has lately taken care to immortalize their Memory; who has in his own Lan­guage given us the History of divers Ex­peditions of these Adventurers, in a Vo­lumn in 4to. Printed at Cologne, in the Year 1681, with Figures.

Note (25) P. 43. Monsieur Fontaine is Commissary, or Assistant to Monsieur Fou­ret, who has very fine Sugar-Works at Cayenne.


GƲiana is a great Country, on the Con­tinent of Northern America, which extends in Latitude, from the Equi­noctial Line, to the Tenth Degree, on the side of the Arctique Pole, and in Longi­tude from the River of Amazons to the O­renoque, which contains near Four Hun­dred Leagues on the Sea-Coasts, with an immense Stretch into the Countries that border upon Brazil, on the South-side, and New Audalousia on the West.

[Page 60] Our French Seamen are wont to call Gui­ana by the Name, of the North-Cape, be­cause that is the most remarkable Cape on that Coast; and those that have Business in those Parts, commonly put ashoar there, to get some Knowledge of the Country.

This Cape is between the 2 and 3 De­grees of Northern Latitude, and between the 345 and the 346 Degrees of Longitude. This Part of the Continent is water'd with abundance of Rivers, some of which will carry great Vessels up a considerable Way beyond the Mouths of 'em; and upon the Shoars of 'em; an infinite Number of Plan­tations might be made, which would turn to a very considerable Account, as well in regard of the Traffick that might be made with the Natives, and the Fishing-Trade that might be carried on in these Rivers, and along the Sea-Coast, as of the Pro­duct of the Labour and Industry of the Planters.

The divers Settlements the French have made there at different Times, sufficiently prove the Possibility of living in good Cor­respondence with the Indians, provided they be treated civilly; and with more Honesty and Sincerity than Monsieur de la Barre had not yet made a Settlement there, when this Account was writ­ten. they have done, who have hitherto had the Conduct of these kind of Enterprizes, [Page 61] fall into their Hands. The ill Treatment the Natives have receiv'd from them, for which they have sometimes made them­selves amends by way of Reprizal, have not render'd 'em irreconcileable, as we have been taught by Experience, when we have made tryal of it on different Occasions.

They are tolerably endued with good Sense, which they have opportunity to cul­tivate and refine by a long Train of Expe­riences, with which the many Years they live, furnish 'em: For they count a Man dies young, if he don't live above 100 Years.

They have a pretty good Judgment, and have good rational Thoughts, about things within the Compass of their Notice, and within the Reach of the Light of Nature, with which alone they are furnish'd.

They observe their Words with great Ex­actness, and inviolably practise the Maxim, of not doing to others, what they would not have others do to them.

They are rather inclin'd to Peace than War, which yet they engage in, either when they have some just Quarrel, or when Re­venge or Honour prompt 'em to it.

They are sufficiently industrious, and al­though they have both Patience and Skill in Fishing and Hunting, yet they have the Fore-sight, not to let their Subsistance de­pend upon Hazard; and therefore willing­ly [Page 62] cultivate their Ground, in proportion to their Occasions, and the Bigness of their Families.

Before Europe had furnish'd them with Tools of Iron and Steel for this Purpose, they made themselves some of hard Stones; but besides that the Labour of making 'em was intolerable, the Pains they took in using of 'em, was also so very great, that they laid aside the use of 'em, as soon as they found they could do more Work in a Day with our Hatchets, Bills and Knives, than they could do in 6 Months with their Stone Tools; which now are good for nothing, but to be kept in the Closets of the Curious, as so many Proofs of the wonderful Pati­ence of those People.

They speak a Tongue, which is not only understood by all the Nations, which the Spaniards on one side, and the Portugese on the other, have oblig'd to retire into Gui­ana; but is also intelligible to the Carraibes, who are the Natives of the Antilles, and use this Language: Which I have known by the Indians of the Isles of St. Vincent, St. Domingo, and others where I had occa­sion to converse with them. In short, this Language is spoken for the Space of above Four Hundred Leagues on the Sea-Coasts, and in many Places above Sixscore Leagues up in the Country.

[Page 63] They bring up all sorts of tame Fowl, which they exchange with us for Toys, as well as wild Fowl, and other Game, which is there in great Plenty; as also abundance, both of Sea, and Fresh-water Fish.

They build us Houses after their Fashion, which are commodious enough for the Country; they clear our Ground and car­ry our Letters, they serve to load and un­load Merchant Ships; and in a Word, there's scarce any kind of Service but may be obtain'd of 'em by a courteous Carriage, and by giving 'em a few Trifles of a small Value, when they have occasion for 'em. They undertake even to load Ships entire­ly with a kind of Fish, which they catch in the Rivers with a sort of Harping-Iron; and this they perform upon such reason­ble Terms, that those who follow this Trade by their Means, always find an ex­traordinary Profit in it; because the Vent of 'em is always speedy and certain in the Islands, where there is a great Consumption of 'em made; so that one may say, this sort of Fish, and the Sea-Tortoise, are the Cod-fish of the Continent, and the Antego Islands.

And 'tis the Manna, upon which the Colonies between the Tropiques live, as much as many of the Europeans, and some others, do upon Cod-fish. This Fishing Trade is practis'd all the Year in most of the Ri­vers [Page 64] on this Coast, except the Fishing for Tortoise, which holds but 3 or 4 Months in the Year; during which, the Females come to lay their Eggs in the Sand, beyond the Marks that are left of the highest Tides, and that in so great abundance, (especially on the Shoars that are least frequented) as can hardly be imagin'd: For 10 Men can turn as many of 'em in a Night, as 100 can dress in a Week.

In the Night, which is the only time they take to lay their Eggs, they wait 'till they have pass'd the Bounds, which the highest Tides have mark'd, and then turn 'em upon their Backs, and being once in this Posture, they can by no means recover them­selves upon their Feet to go back into the Sea.

Among the Plants which the Indians cul­tivate in their Plantations, Cotton is one of those that principally employs 'em, especi­ally the Women who make this their particular business; and thus find means to adorn themselves; for they know how to spin it as fine as can be desir'd. And if the disorders that have happen'd in the Colo­nies upon the Continent, had not hinder'd the Establishing a Regular Traffick of it, which might have been easily accomplish'd; I say, if it had not been for this, all Europe might have been furnish'd with it, in all manner of ways in which it could have been [Page 65] imploy'd, without costing the French any more trouble or charge in a manner, than that of receiving it; because of the natural and general inclination the Indians have both for Work, and for Finery; esteeming a grain of Christal to hang about their Neck or at their Ears, as much as we should do a Diamond of the same bigness.

Besides, it being well known, that Cot­ton is one of those Commodities that are consum'd the most in Europe, and the Price of which is least varied, the Inhabitants of the Islands would never have left off culti­vating it, if there had been Women enough to spin it, without which it can't be Trans­ported but with a great deal of Trouble, and little Profit.

The Hamocks or Cotton-beds which the Indians sell us for a Bill or Hatchet, are after­wards sold in the Islands with considerable Advantage; every one there having one of 'em, and there are none of them brought from any other Country than Guiana, except from Brasil, and that but rarely, because of the small Commerce the French have there.

Their Rocou is a red Die, and valuable when 'tis natural, such as the Indians sell us, before it has been falsified by For­reigners, who carry it into Europe. See Ʋrucu in Catal. Plant. Jamaic. P. 150.

[Page 66] There are to be had among 'em likewise divers sorts of Gumms, Woods, and Roots proper for Physick, which are good Com­modities in France, as well as several sorts of Wood proper for Dying; and for ma­king of Cabinets and Inlaid Works, among which is the Letter-wood, which the French call Bois de la Chine, and which grows in no other place in the World but on this part of the Continent. The Natives cut it and car­ry it in great burthens quite to the Ships so cheap, that a 1000 weight of it comes to but a Crown; whereas that quantity was a long time sold for a 100 Crowns, and ne­ver for less than 150 Livres.

Besides those Animals that are fit for sport; as Apes of divers kinds, Sapajous, Ta­marins, Sagovius, Parrots, Arras and Tocaus: I omit a great many other things, which this Country produces; and one may say, this large Compass of Ground has more­over this Advantage above the Islands of America, that there is no fear of tiring it; as we are taught by Experience, the Island of St. Christopher, and others have been in a little Space of Time, where the Land is become almost barren, meerly by being o­ver-burden'd with continual Crops, because it can never be suffer'd to rest, by Reason of the small Portion of Ground that every Inhabitant possesses; which yet does not [Page 67] hinder 'em from raising every Year a prodi­gious Quantity of Sugar, besides Ginger, Indigo, Cassia, and other Commodities that are cultivated and made there.

This Country of Guiana is diversified with Hills, Plains and Meadows; and there are scarce any Mountains but would turn to a good Account, if they were manur'd: The Land is every where so fertile, that one Man may easily get, with his own Hands, a Livelihood for Twenty People, the Cul­tivation of it is so very easie. The Fruits of it are excellent, and very plentiful; and all our sorts of Corn grow there all the Year round, without distinction of Sea­sons, and that in a very little time: And there being no Winter, the Trees are alter­nately cover'd with Blossoms and Fruits, and always with Leaves.

The Air is very good, and the Climate very Temperate, tho' it be between the Tropiques; for the Heat is continually mi­tigated by a fresh East-wind, which blows all the Year, except in the Night, when the Breezes come from the Land, which are only felt one or two Leagues toward the Sea.

The Waters are excellent, and keep good throughout the longest Voyages, as has been often experienc'd in Europe, where they are never found to stink at the Re­turn [Page 68] of the Ships, that have taken in their Provision of 'em in this Country. It must not be omitted, that there are on this Coast a great many Islands so proper for the Feed­ing of Cattle, that provided some necessary Precautions be observ'd, there is no doubt but there would in a short time be as great a Number of 'em produc'd (if a Stock were carried thither) in proportion, as in the other Islands, whither Ships go every Day for Hides; as they do to St. Domingo, and elsewhere.

This Account being drawn up only as a Succinct Memoir of Guiana in general, and of Cayenne in particular; I thought not meet to extend it further, nor to give the Detail of a Country, where the French have now a Colony, from whence a more ample Information may be expected.


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