« PreviousContinue »
ordinance to be discharged. Hee sailed foure daies with a prosperous wind; and suddenly it calmed: the calmes continued eight daies with swelling seas, in such wise, that wee made no way. The 15. day after his departure from S. Lucar, hee came to Gomera, one of the Canaries, on Easter day in the morning. The Earle of that Island was apparralled all in white, cloke, jerkin, hose, shooes, and cappe, so that hee seemed a Lord of the Gypses. He receiued the Governour with much ioy: hee was well lodged, and all the rest had their lodgings gratis, and gat great store of victuals for their monie, as bread, wine and flesh: and they tooke what was needful for their ships: and the Sunday following, eight daies after their arriuall, they departed from the Isle of Gomera. The Earle gaue to Donna Isabella the Adelantados wife a bastard daughter that hee had to bee her waiting maid. They arrived at the Antilles, in the Isle of Cuba, at the port of the City of Sant
lago vpon Whit-sunday. Assone as they came thither, a Gentleman of the Citie sent to the sea side a very faire roan horse and well furnished for the Gouernour, and a mule for Donna Isabella : and all the horsemen and footemen that were in the towne came to eiue him at the sea-side. The Gouernour was well lodged, visited, and serued of all the inhabi. tants of that Citie, and all his companie had their lodgings freely : those which desired to goe into the countrie, were diuided by foure and foure, and sixe and sixe in the farmes or granges, according to the abilitie of the owners of the farmes, and were furnished by them with all things necessary.
CHAP. V. Of the inhabitants which are in the Citie of S. Iago, and in the other townes of the Island: and of the qualitie of the soile, and fruites that it yeeldeth.
He Citie of S. Iago hath fourescore houses which are
great and well contriued. The most part have their CTX walles made of bords, & are couered with thatch; it
hath some houses builded with line & stone, and
couered with tiles. It hath great Orchards and many Great figges.
trees in them, differing from those of Spaine : there
be figgetrees which beare figges as big as ones fist, yellow within, and of small taste; and other trees which beare
a fruit which they call Apanes, in making and Ananes.
bignes like to a small Pineapple: it is a fruit very sweete in taste: the shel being taken away, the kernel is like a
peece of fresh cheese. In the granges abroad in the countrie there are other great pineapples, which grow on Great Pineaplow trees, and are like the * Aloetree: they are of ples. a very good smell and exceeding good taste. Other * Erua babosa. trees do beare a fruit, which they call Mameis of Mameis, an exthe bigues of Peaches. This the Islanders do hold cellent fruit. for the best fruit of the country. There is another fruit which they call Guayabas like Filberds, as Guayabas. bigge as figges. There are other trees as high as a iaueline, hauing one only stocke without any bough, and the leaues as long as a casting dart: and the fruite is of the bignesse and fashion of a Cucumber, one bunch beareth 20. or 30. and as they ripen, the tree bendeth downeward with them : they are called in this countrie Plantanos; and are of a good
Plantanos. taste, & ripen after they be gathered; but those are the better which ripen vpon the tree it selse; they beare fruite but once : and the tree being cut downe, there spring vp others out of the but, which beare fruite the next yeere. There is another fruit; whereby many people are sustained, and chiefly the slaues, which are called Batatas. These
grow now in the Isle of Tercera, belonging to the King- Potatos.
Batatas, or dome of Portugal, and they grow within the earth, and are like a fruit called Inaine, they haue almost ye taste of a chestnut. The bread of this countrie is also made
The Cassaui of rootes which are like the Batatas. And the stocke whereon those rootes doe grow is like an Elder tree: they make their ground in little hillocks, and in each of them they thrust 4. or 5. stakes; and they gather the rootes a yeere and an halse after they set them.
If any one, thinking it is a Batata or Potato roote, chance to eate of it neuer so little, hee is in great danger of death: which was seene by experience in a souldier, which assone as hee bad eaten a very little of one of those rootes, hee died quicklie. They pare these rootes and stampe them, and squese them in a thing like a presse : the iuyce that cometh from them is of an euill smell. The bread is of little taste and lesse substance. Of the fruites of Spaine, there are Figges and Oranges, and they beare fruit all the yeere, because the soile is very ranke and fruitfull. In this countrie are many good horses, and there is greene grasse all the yeere.
Store of good many wild
horses. oxen and hogges, wbereby the people of the Island is well furnished with flesh: Without the townes abroad in the Countrie are many fruites. And it happeneth sometimes that a Christian goeth out of the way and is lost 15. or 20. daies, because of the many paths in the thicke groues that crosse to and
fro made by the oxen: and being thus lost, they sustaine themselues with fruites and palmîtos: for there bee many great groues of Palme trees through all the Island: they yeeld no
other fruite that is of any profit. The Isle of Cuba The length is 300. leagues long from the East to the West, and and breadth of Cuba. is in some places 30. in others 40. leagues from
North to South. It hath 6. townes of Christians : to wit, S. Iago, Baracôa, Bayamo, Puerto de Principes, S. Espirito, and Hauana. Euery one hath betweene 30. and 40. households, except S. Iago and Hauana, which haue about 60. or 80. houses. They haue Churches in each of them, and a Chaplen which confesseth them and saith Masse. In S. Iago is a Monasterie of Franciscan Friers : it bath but few Friers, and is well prouided of almes, because the countrie is rich : The Church of S. Iago hath honest reuenew, and there is a Curat and Prebends and many Priests, as the Church of that Citie, which is the chiefe of all the Island. There is in this countrie much gold, and few slaues to get it: For many haue made away themselues, because of the Christians euill vsage of
them in the mines. A steward of Vasques PorA wittie stra
callo, which was an inhabitour in that Island, vndertagem.
standing that his slaues would make away themselues, stajed for them with a cudgill in his hand at the place where they were to meete, and told them, that they could neither doe nor thinke any thing, that hee did not know before ; and that hee came thither to kill himselfe with them, to the end, that if hee had vsed them badly in this world, hee might vse them worse in the world to come: And this was a meane that they changed their purpose, and turned home againe to do that which he commanded them.
C H AP. VI.
Hauana, and he with some of his people went thither by
He Gouernour sent from S. Iago his Nephew Don Carlos with the ships in company of Donna Isabella to tarrie for him at Hauana, which is an hauen in the West part toward the head of the Island, 180.
leagues from the Citie of Saint Iago. The Gouernour and those which staied with him bought horses and pro
ceeded on their iournie. The first towne they came Bayamo. vnto was Bayamo: they were lodged foure and foure,
sixe and sixe, as they went in company, and where they lodged, they tooke nothing for their diet, for nothing cost them ought saue the Maiz or corne for their horses, because the Gouernor went to visit them from towne to towne, and seased them in the tribute and seruice of the Indians. Bayamo is 25. leagues from the Citie of S. lago. Neere vnto the towne passeth a great Riuer, which is called Tanto; it is greater then Guadiana, and in it be very great Crocodiles, which sometimes hurt the Indians, or the cattell which passeth the Riuer. In all the coun. trie are neither Wolfe, Foxe, Beare, Lion, nor Tiger. There are wild dogges which goe from the houses into the woods and feed vpon swine. There be certaine Snakes as bigge as a mans thigh or bigger, they are very slow, they doe no kind of hurt. From Bayamo to Puerto dellos Puerto dellos
Principes. principes are 50. leagues. In al the Island from towne to towne, the way is made by stubbing vp the vnderwood: and if it be left but one yeere vndone, the wood groweth so much, that the way cannot be seene, and the paths of the oxen are so many, that none can trauell without an Indian of the Countrie for a guide: for all the rest is very hie and thicke woods. From Puerto dellos principes the Gouernour went to the house of Vasques Porcallo by sea in a bote, (for it was neere the sea) to know there some newes of Donna Isabella, which at that instant (as afterward was knowne) was in great distresse, in so much that the ships lost one another: and two of them fell on the coast of Florida, and all of them endured great want of water and victuals. When the storme was ouer, they met together, without knowing where they were: in the end they descried the Cape of S. Anton, a countrie not inhabited of the Island of Cuba : there they watered ; S. Antonio.
The Cape of and at the end of 40. daies, which were passed since their departure from the City of S. Iago, they ariued at Hauana. The Gouernour was presently informed thereof, and went to Donna Isabella. And those which went by land, which were one hundred and fiftie borsemen, being diuided into two parts, because they would not oppresse the inhabitants, trauelled by S. Espirito, which is 60. leagues from Puerto dellos principes. The food which they carried with them was Cacabe bread, which is that whereof I made mention before : and it is of such a qualitie, that is it be wet, it breaketh presently, whereby it happened to some to eate flesh without bread for many daies. They carried dogges with them, and a man of the Country, which did hunt; & by the way, or where they were to lodge that night, they killed as many hogges as they needed. In this iournie they were well prouided of beefe
and Vol. IV.-No. 1.
and porke : And they were greatly troubled with Muskilos, especially in a lake, which is called the mere of Pia, which they had much adue to passe from noone till night, the water might be some halfe league ouer, and to be swome about a crossebow shot, the rest came to the waste, and they waded vp to the knees in the mire, and in the bottome were cockle shels, which cut their feete very sore; in such sort, that there was neither boote nor shooe sole that was hole at balse way.
Their clothes and saddels were passed in baskets of Palme trees. Passing this lake, stripped out of their clothes, there came many muskitos, vpon whose biting there arose a wheale that smarted very inuch: they strooke them with their hands, and with the blowe which they gaue they killed so many, that the blood did runne downe the armes and bodies of the men. That night they rested very little for them, and other nights also in
the like places and times. They came to Santo Santo Espi
Espirito, which is a towne of thirtie houses ; there
passeth by it a little River: it is very pleasant and fruitsuíl, hauing great store of Oranges and citrons, and fruites of the Countrie: One halle of the companie were lodged here, and the rest passed forward 25. leagues to another towne called
la Trinidad of 15. or 20. households. Here is an La Trinidad.
hospitall for the poore, and there is none other in all the Island. And they say, that this towne was the greatest in all the Countrie, and that before the Christians came into this land, as a ship passed along the coast, there came in it a very sicke man, which desired the Captaine to set him on shore: and the Captaine did so, and the ship went her way: The sicke man remained set on shore in that countrie, which vntill then had not been haunted by Christians; whereupon the Indians found bim, carried him home, and looked vnto him till he was whole; and the Lord of that towne maried him vnto a daughter of his, and had warre with all the inhabitants round about, and by the industrie and valour of the Christian, he subdued and brought vnder his command all the people of that Island. A great while after, the Gouernour Diego Velasques went to conquer it, and from thence discouered new Spaine : And this Christian which was with the Indians did pacifie them, and brought them to the obedience and subiection of the Gouern
our. From this towne della Trinidad voto Hauana
are so. leagues, without any habitation, which they trauelled. They came to Hauana in the end of March ; where they found the Gouernor, and the rest of the people which came with him from Spaine. The Gouernour sent from Hauana Iohn Dannusco with a carauele & two brigantines with