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The Discovery of Guiana by Walter Raleigh

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Etext prepared by Dagny, dagnyj@hotmail.com
and John Bickers, jbickers@templar.actrix.gen.nz


By Sir Walter Raleigh


Sir Walter Raleigh may be taken as the great typical figure of the
age of Elizabeth. Courtier and statesman, soldier and sailor,
scientist and man of letters, he engaged in almost all the main
lines of public activity in his time, and was distinguished in
them all.

His father was a Devonshire gentleman of property, connected with
many of the distinguished families of the south of England. Walter
was born about 1552 and was educated at Oxford. He first saw
military service in the Huguenot army in France in 1569, and in
1578 engaged, with his half-brother, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, in the
first of his expeditions against the Spaniards. After some service
in Ireland, he attracted the attention of the Queen, and rapidly
rose to the perilous position of her chief favorite. With her
approval, he fitted out two expeditions for the colonization of
Virginia, neither of which did his royal mistress permit him to
lead in person, and neither of which succeeded in establishing a
permanent settlement.

After about six years of high favor, Raleigh found his position at
court endangered by the rivalry of Essex, and in 1592, on
returning from convoying a squadron he had fitted out against the
Spanish, he was thrown into the Tower by the orders of the Queen,
who had discovered an intrigue between him and one of her ladies
whom he subsequently married. He was ultimately released, engaged
in various naval exploits, and in 1594 sailed for South America on
the voyage described in the following narrative.

On the death of Elizabeth, Raleigh's misfortunes increased. He was
accused of treason against James I, condemned, reprieved, and
imprisoned for twelve years, during which he wrote his "History of
the World," and engaged in scientific researches. In 1616 he was
liberated, to make another attempt to find the gold mine in
Venezuela; but the expedition was disastrous, and, on his return,
Raleigh was executed on the old charge in 1618. In his vices as in
his virtues, Raleigh is a thorough representative of the great
adventurers who laid the foundations of the British Empire.


The Discovery of the large, rich, and beautiful EMPIRE Of GUIANA; with
a Relation of the great and golden CITY of MANOA, which the Spaniards
other Countries, with their rivers, adjoining. Performed in the year
1595 by Sir WALTER RALEIGH, KNIGHT, CAPTAIN of her Majesty's GUARD,
Lord Warden of the STANNARIES, and her Highness' LIEUTENANT-GENERAL of

To the Right Honourable my singular good Lord and kinsman CHARLES
HOWARD, Knight of the Garter, Baron, and Councillor, and of the
Admirals of England the most renowned; and to the Right Honourable SIR
ROBERT CECIL, KNIGHT, Councillor in her Highness' Privy Councils.

For your Honours' many honourable and friendly parts, I have hitherto
only returned promises; and now, for answer of both your adventures, I
have sent you a bundle of papers, which I have divided between your
Lordship and Sir Robert Cecil, in these two respects chiefly; first,
for that it is reason that wasteful factors, when they have consumed
such stocks as they had in trust, do yield some colour for the same in
their account; secondly, for that I am assured that whatsoever shall
be done, or written, by me, shall need a double protection and
defence. The trial that I had of both your loves, when I was left of
all, but of malice and revenge, makes me still presume that you will
be pleased (knowing what little power I had to perform aught, and the
great advantage of forewarned enemies) to answer that out of
knowledge, which others shall but object out of malice. In my more
happy times as I did especially honour you both, so I found that your
loves sought me out in the darkest shadow of adversity, and the same
affection which accompanied my better fortune soared not away from me
in my many miseries; all which though I cannot requite, yet I shall
ever acknowledge; and the great debt which I have no power to pay, I
can do no more for a time but confess to be due. It is true that as my
errors were great, so they have yielded very grievous effects; and if
aught might have been deserved in former times, to have counterpoised
any part of offences, the fruit thereof, as it seemeth, was long
before fallen from the tree, and the dead stock only remained. I did
therefore, even in the winter of my life, undertake these travails,
fitter for bodies less blasted with misfortunes, for men of greater
ability, and for minds of better encouragement, that thereby, if it
were possible, I might recover but the moderation of excess, and the
least taste of the greatest plenty formerly possessed. If I had known
other way to win, if I had imagined how greater adventures might have
regained, if I could conceive what farther means I might yet use but
even to appease so powerful displeasure, I would not doubt but for one
year more to hold fast my soul in my teeth till it were performed. Of
that little remain I had, I have wasted in effect all herein. I have
undergone many constructions; I have been accompanied with many
sorrows, with labour, hunger, heat, sickness, and peril; it appeareth,
notwithstanding, that I made no other bravado of going to the sea,
than was meant, and that I was never hidden in Cornwall, or elsewhere,
as was supposed. They have grossly belied me that forejudged that I
would rather become a servant to the Spanish king than return; and the
rest were much mistaken, who would have persuaded that I was too
easeful and sensual to undertake a journey of so great travail. But if
what I have done receive the gracious construction of a painful
pilgrimage, and purchase the least remission, I shall think all too
little, and that there were wanting to the rest many miseries. But if
both the times past, the present, and what may be in the future, do
all by one grain of gall continue in eternal distaste, I do not then
know whether I should bewail myself, either for my too much travail
and expense, or condemn myself for doing less than that which can
deserve nothing. From myself I have deserved no thanks, for I am
returned a beggar, and withered; but that I might have bettered my
poor estate, it shall appear from the following discourse, if I had
not only respected her Majesty's future honour and riches.

It became not the former fortune, in which I once lived, to go
journeys of picory (marauding); it had sorted ill with the offices of
honour, which by her Majesty's grace I hold this day in England, to
run from cape to cape and from place to place, for the pillage of
ordinary prizes. Many years since I had knowledge, by relation, of
that mighty, rich, and beautiful empire of Guiana, and of that great
and golden city, which the Spaniards call El Dorado, and the naturals
Manoa, which city was conquered, re-edified, and enlarged by a younger
son of Guayna-capac, Emperor of Peru, at such time as Francisco
Pizarro and others conquered the said empire from his two elder
brethren, Guascar and Atabalipa, both then contending for the same,
the one being favoured by the orejones of Cuzco, the other by the
people of Caxamalca. I sent my servant Jacob Whiddon, the year before,
to get knowledge of the passages, and I had some light from Captain
Parker, sometime my servant, and now attending on your Lordship, that
such a place there was to the southward of the great bay of Charuas,
or Guanipa: but I found that it was 600 miles farther off than they
supposed, and many impediments to them unknown and unheard. After I
had displanted Don Antonio de Berreo, who was upon the same
enterprise, leaving my ships at Trinidad, at the port called Curiapan,
I wandered 400 miles into the said country by land and river; the
particulars I will leave to the following discourse.

The country hath more quantity of gold, by manifold, than the best
parts of the Indies, or Peru. All the most of the kings of the borders
are already become her Majesty's vassals, and seem to desire nothing
more than her Majesty's protection and the return of the English
nation. It hath another ground and assurance of riches and glory than
the voyages of the West Indies; an easier way to invade the best parts
thereof than by the common course. The king of Spain is not so
impoverished by taking three or four port towns in America as we
suppose; neither are the riches of Peru or Nueva Espana so left by the
sea side as it can be easily washed away with a great flood, or spring
tide, or left dry upon the sands on a low ebb. The port towns are few
and poor in respect of the rest within the land, and are of little
defence, and are only rich when the fleets are to receive the treasure
for Spain; and we might think the Spaniards very simple, having so
many horses and slaves, if they could not upon two days' warning carry
all the gold they have into the land, and far enough from the reach of
our footmen, especially the Indies being, as they are for the most
part, so mountainous, full of woods, rivers, and marishes. In the port
towns of the province of Venezuela, as Cumana, Coro, and St. Iago
(whereof Coro and St. Iago were taken by Captain Preston, and Cumana
and St. Josepho by us) we found not the value of one real of plate in
either. But the cities of Barquasimeta, Valencia, St. Sebastian,
Cororo, St. Lucia, Laguna, Maracaiba, and Truxillo, are not so easily
invaded. Neither doth the burning of those on the coast impoverish the
king of Spain any one ducat; and if we sack the River of Hacha, St.
Martha, and Carthagena, which are the ports of Nuevo Reyno and
Popayan, there are besides within the land, which are indeed rich and
prosperous, the towns and cities of Merida, Lagrita, St. Christophoro,
the great cities of Pamplona, Santa Fe de Bogota, Tunxa, and Mozo,
where the emeralds are found, the towns and cities of Marequita,
Velez, la Villa de Leiva, Palma, Honda, Angostura, the great city of
Timana, Tocaima, St. Aguila, Pasto, [St.] Iago, the great city of
Popayan itself, Los Remedios, and the rest. If we take the ports and
villages within the bay of Uraba in the kingdom or rivers of Darien
and Caribana, the cities and towns of St. Juan de Rodas, of Cassaris,
of Antiochia, Caramanta, Cali, and Anserma have gold enough to pay the
king's part, and are not easily invaded by way of the ocean. Or if
Nombre de Dios and Panama be taken, in the province of Castilla del
Oro, and the villages upon the rivers of Cenu and Chagre; Peru hath,
besides those, and besides the magnificent cities of Quito and Lima,
so many islands, ports, cities, and mines as if I should name them
with the rest it would seem incredible to the reader. Of all which,
because I have written a particular treatise of the West Indies, I
will omit the repetition at this time, seeing that in the said
treatise I have anatomized the rest of the sea towns as well of
Nicaragua, Yucatan, Nueva Espana, and the islands, as those of the
inland, and by what means they may be best invaded, as far as any mean
judgment may comprehend.

But I hope it shall appear that there is a way found to answer every
man's longing; a better Indies for her Majesty than the king of Spain
hath any; which if it shall please her Highness to undertake, I shall
most willingly end the rest of my days in following the same. If it be
left to the spoil and sackage of common persons, if the love and
service of so many nations be despised, so great riches and so mighty
an empire refused; I hope her Majesty will yet take my humble desire
and my labour therein in gracious part, which, if it had not been in
respect of her Highness' future honour and riches, could have laid
hands on and ransomed many of the kings and caciqui of the country,
and have had a reasonable proportion of gold for their redemption. But
I have chosen rather to bear the burden of poverty than reproach; and
rather to endure a second travail, and the chances thereof, than to
have defaced an enterprise of so great assurance, until I knew whether
it pleased God to put a disposition in her princely and royal heart
either to follow or forslow (neglect, decline, lose through sloth) the
same. I will therefore leave it to His ordinance that hath only power
in all things; and do humbly pray that your honours will excuse such
errors as, without the defence of art, overrun in every part the
following discourse, in which I have neither studied phrase, form, nor
fashion; that you will be pleased to esteem me as your own, though
over dearly bought, and I shall ever remain ready to do you all honour
and service.


Because there have been divers opinions conceived of the gold ore
brought from Guiana, and for that an alderman of London and an officer
of her Majesty's mint hath given out that the same is of no price, I
have thought good by the addition of these lines to give answer as
well to the said malicious slander as to other objections. It is true
that while we abode at the island of Trinidad I was informed by an
Indian that not far from the port where we anchored there were found
certain mineral stones which they esteemed to be gold, and were
thereunto persuaded the rather for that they had seen both English and
Frenchmen gather and embark some quantities thereof. Upon this
likelihood I sent forty men, and gave order that each one should bring
a stone of that mine, to make trial of the goodness; which being
performed, I assured them at their return that the same was marcasite,
and of no riches or value. Notwithstanding, divers, trusting more to
their own sense than to my opinion, kept of the said marcasite, and
have tried thereof since my return, in divers places. In Guiana itself
I never saw marcasite; but all the rocks, mountains, all stones in the
plains, woods, and by the rivers' sides, are in effect thorough-
shining, and appear marvellous rich; which, being tried to be no
marcasite, are the true signs of rich minerals, but are no other than
El madre del oro, as the Spaniards term them, which is the mother of
gold, or, as it is said by others, the scum of gold. Of divers sorts
of these many of my company brought also into England, every one
taking the fairest for the best, which is not general. For mine own
part, I did not countermand any man's desire or opinion, and I could
have afforded them little if I should have denied them the pleasing of
their own fancies therein; but I was resolved that gold must be found
either in grains, separate from the stone, as it is in most of the
rivers in Guiana, or else in a kind of hard stone, which we call the
white spar, of which I saw divers hills, and in sundry places, but had
neither time nor men, nor instruments fit for labour. Near unto one of
the rivers I found of the said white spar or flint a very great ledge
or bank, which I endeavoured to break by all the means I could,
because there appeared on the outside some small grains of gold; but
finding no mean to work the same upon the upper part, seeking the
sides and circuit of the said rock, I found a clift in the same, from
whence with daggers, and with the head of an axe, we got out some
small quantity thereof; of which kind of white stone, wherein gold is
engendered, we saw divers hills and rocks in every part of Guiana
wherein we travelled. Of this there have been made many trials; and in
London it was first assayed by Master Westwood, a refiner dwelling in
Wood Street, and it held after the rate of twelve or thirteen thousand
pounds a ton. Another sort was afterward tried by Master Bulmar, and
Master Dimock, assay-master; and it held after the rate of three and
twenty thousand pounds a ton. There was some of it again tried by
Master Palmer, Comptroller of the Mint, and Master Dimock in
Goldsmith's Hall, and it held after six and twenty thousand and nine
hundred pounds a ton. There was also at the same time, and by the same
persons, a trial made of the dust of the said mine; which held eight
pounds and six ounces weight of gold in the hundred. There was
likewise at the same time a trial of an image of copper made in
Guiana, which held a third part of gold, besides divers trials made in
the country, and by others in London. But because there came ill with
the good, and belike the said alderman was not presented with the
best, it hath pleased him therefore to scandal all the rest, and to
deface the enterprise as much as in him lieth. It hath also been
concluded by divers that if there had been any such ore in Guiana, and
the same discovered, that I would have brought home a greater quantity
thereof. First, I was not bound to satisfy any man of the quantity,
but only such as adventured, if any store had been returned thereof;
but it is very true that had all their mountains been of massy gold it
was impossible for us to have made any longer stay to have wrought the
same; and whosoever hath seen with what strength of stone the best
gold ore is environed, he will not think it easy to be had out in
heaps, and especially by us, who had neither men, instruments, nor
time, as it is said before, to perform the same.

There were on this discovery no less than an hundred persons, who can
all witness that when we passed any branch of the river to view the
land within, and stayed from our boats but six hours, we were driven
to wade to the eyes at our return; and if we attempted the same the
day following, it was impossible either to ford it, or to swim it,
both by reason of the swiftness, and also for that the borders were so
pestered with fast woods, as neither boat nor man could find place
either to land or to embark; for in June, July, August, and September
it is impossible to navigate any of those rivers; for such is the fury
of the current, and there are so many trees and woods overflown, as if
any boat but touch upon any tree or stake it is impossible to save any
one person therein. And ere we departed the land it ran with such
swiftness as we drave down, most commonly against the wind, little
less than an hundred miles a day. Besides, our vessels were no other
than wherries, one little barge, a small cock-boat, and a bad galiota
which we framed in haste for that purpose at Trinidad; and those
little boats had nine or ten men apiece, with all their victuals and
arms. It is further true that we were about four hundred miles from
our ships, and had been a month from them, which also we left weakly
manned in an open road, and had promised our return in fifteen days.

Others have devised that the same ore was had from Barbary, and that
we carried it with us into Guiana. Surely the singularity of that
device I do not well comprehend. For mine own part, I am not so much
in love with these long voyages as to devise thereby to cozen myself,
to lie hard, to fare worse, to be subjected to perils, to diseases, to
ill savours, to be parched and withered, and withal to sustain the
care and labour of such an enterprise, except the same had more
comfort than the fetching of marcasite in Guiana, or buying of gold
ore in Barbary. But I hope the better sort will judge me by
themselves, and that the way of deceit is not the way of honour or
good opinion. I have herein consumed much time, and many crowns; and I
had no other respect or desire than to serve her Majesty and my
country thereby. If the Spanish nation had been of like belief to
these detractors we should little have feared or doubted their
attempts, wherewith we now are daily threatened. But if we now
consider of the actions both of Charles the Fifth, who had the
maidenhead of Peru and the abundant treasures of Atabalipa, together
with the affairs of the Spanish king now living, what territories he
hath purchased, what he hath added to the acts of his predecessors,
how many kingdoms he hath endangered, how many armies, garrisons, and
navies he hath, and doth maintain, the great losses which he hath
repaired, as in Eighty-eight above an hundred sail of great ships with
their artillery, and that no year is less infortunate, but that many
vessels, treasures, and people are devoured, and yet notwithstanding
he beginneth again like a storm to threaten shipwrack to us all; we
shall find that these abilities rise not from the trades of sacks and
Seville oranges, nor from aught else that either Spain, Portugal, or
any of his other provinces produce; it is his Indian gold that
endangereth and disturbeth all the nations of Europe; it purchaseth
intelligence, creepeth into counsels, and setteth bound loyalty at
liberty in the greatest monarchies of Europe. If the Spanish king can
keep us from foreign enterprises, and from the impeachment of his
trades, either by offer of invasion, or by besieging us in Britain,
Ireland, or elsewhere, he hath then brought the work of our peril in
great forwardness.

Those princes that abound in treasure have great advantages over the
rest, if they once constrain them to a defensive war, where they are
driven once a year or oftener to cast lots for their own garments; and
from all such shall all trades and intercourse be taken away, to the
general loss and impoverishment of the kingdom and commonweal so
reduced. Besides, when our men are constrained to fight, it hath not
the like hope as when they are pressed and encouraged by the desire of
spoil and riches. Farther, it is to be doubted how those that in time
of victory seem to affect their neighbour nations will remain after
the first view of misfortunes or ill success; to trust, also, to the
doubtfulness of a battle is but a fearful and uncertain adventure,
seeing therein fortune is as likely to prevail as virtue. It shall not
be necessary to allege all that might be said, and therefore I will
thus conclude; that whatsoever kingdom shall be enforced to defend
itself may be compared to a body dangerously diseased, which for a
season may be preserved with vulgar medicines, but in a short time,
and by little and little, the same must needs fall to the ground and
be dissolved. I have therefore laboured all my life, both according to
my small power and persuasion, to advance all those attempts that
might either promise return of profit to ourselves, or at least be a
let and impeachment to the quiet course and plentiful trades of the
Spanish nation; who, in my weak judgement, by such a war were as
easily endangered and brought from his powerfulness as any prince in
Europe, if it be considered from how many kingdoms and nations his
revenues are gathered, and those so weak in their own beings and so
far severed from mutual succour. But because such a preparation and
resolution is not to be hoped for in haste, and that the time which
our enemies embrace cannot be had again to advantage, I will hope that
these provinces, and that empire now by me discovered, shall suffice
to enable her Majesty and the whole kingdom with no less quantities of
treasure than the king of Spain hath in all the Indies, East and West,
which he possesseth; which if the same be considered and followed, ere
the Spaniards enforce the same, and if her Majesty will undertake it,
I will be contented to lose her Highness' favour and good opinion for
ever, and my life withal, if the same be not found rather to exceed
than to equal whatsoever is in this discourse promised and declared. I
will now refer the reader to the following discourse, with the hope
that the perilous and chargeable labours and endeavours of such as
thereby seek the profit and honour of her Majesty, and the English
nation, shall by men of quality and virtue receive such construction
and good acceptance as themselves would like to be rewarded withal in
the like.


[*] Exploration

[+] The name is derived from the Guayano Indians, on the Orinoco.

On Thursday, the sixth of February, in the year 1595, we departed
England, and the Sunday following had sight of the north cape of
Spain, the wind for the most part continuing prosperous; we passed in
sight of the Burlings, and the Rock, and so onwards for the Canaries,
and fell with Fuerteventura the 17. of the same month, where we spent
two or three days, and relieved our companies with some fresh meat.
From thence we coasted by the Grand Canaria, and so to Teneriffe, and
stayed there for the Lion's Whelp, your Lordship's ship, and for
Captain Amyas Preston and the rest. But when after seven or eight days
we found them not, we departed and directed our course for Trinidad,
with mine own ship, and a small barque of Captain Cross's only; for we
had before lost sight of a small galego on the coast of Spain, which
came with us from Plymouth. We arrived at Trinidad the 22. of March,
casting anchor at Point Curiapan, which the Spaniards call Punta de
Gallo, which is situate in eight degrees or thereabouts. We abode
there four or five days, and in all that time we came not to the
speech of any Indian or Spaniard. On the coast we saw a fire, as we
sailed from the Point Carao towards Curiapan, but for fear of the
Spaniards none durst come to speak with us. I myself coasted it in my
barge close aboard the shore and landed in every cove, the better to
know the island, while the ships kept the channel. From Curiapan after
a few days we turned up north-east to recover that place which the
Spaniards call Puerto de los Espanoles (now Port of Spain), and the
inhabitants Conquerabia; and as before, revictualling my barge, I left
the ships and kept by the shore, the better to come to speech with
some of the inhabitants, and also to understand the rivers, watering-
places, and ports of the island, which, as it is rudely done, my
purpose is to send your Lordship after a few days. From Curiapan I
came to a port and seat of Indians called Parico, where we found a
fresh water river, but saw no people. From thence I rowed to another
port, called by the naturals Piche, and by the Spaniards Tierra de
Brea. In the way between both were divers little brooks of fresh
water, and one salt river that had store of oysters upon the branches
of the trees, and were very salt and well tasted. All their oysters
grow upon those boughs and sprays, and not on the ground; the like is
commonly seen in other places of the West Indies, and elsewhere. This
tree is described by Andrew Thevet, in his France Antarctique, and the
form figured in the book as a plant very strange; and by Pliny in his
twelfth book of his Natural History. But in this island, as also in
Guiana, there are very many of them.

At this point, called Tierra de Brea or Piche, there is that abundance
of stone pitch that all the ships of the world may be therewith laden
from thence; and we made trial of it in trimming our ships to be most
excellent good, and melteth not with the sun as the pitch of Norway,
and therefore for ships trading the south parts very profitable. From
thence we went to the mountain foot called Annaperima, and so passing
the river Carone, on which the Spanish city was seated, we met with
our ships at Puerto de los Espanoles or Conquerabia.

This island of Trinidad hath the form of a sheephook, and is but
narrow; the north part is very mountainous; the soil is very
excellent, and will bear sugar, ginger, or any other commodity that
the Indies yield. It hath store of deer, wild porks, fruit, fish, and
fowl; it hath also for bread sufficient maize, cassavi, and of those
roots and fruits which are common everywhere in the West Indies. It
hath divers beasts which the Indies have not; the Spaniards confessed
that they found grains of gold in some of the rivers; but they having
a purpose to enter Guiana, the magazine of all rich metals, cared not
to spend time in the search thereof any further. This island is called
by the people thereof Cairi, and in it are divers nations. Those about
Parico are called Jajo, those at Punta de Carao are of the Arwacas
(Arawaks) and between Carao and Curiapan they are called Salvajos.
Between Carao and Punta de Galera are the Nepojos, and those about the
Spanish city term themselves Carinepagotes (Carib-people). Of the rest
of the nations, and of other ports and rivers, I leave to speak here,
being impertinent to my purpose, and mean to describe them as they are
situate in the particular plot and description of the island, three
parts whereof I coasted with my barge, that I might the better
describe it.

Meeting with the ships at Puerto de los Espanoles, we found at the
landing-place a company of Spaniards who kept a guard at the descent;
and they offering a sign of peace, I sent Captain Whiddon to speak
with them, whom afterwards to my great grief I left buried in the said
island after my return from Guiana, being a man most honest and
valiant. The Spaniards seemed to be desirous to trade with us, and to
enter into terms of peace, more for doubt of their own strength than
for aught else; and in the end, upon pledge, some of them came aboard.
The same evening there stale also aboard us in a small canoa two
Indians, the one of them being a cacique or lord of the people, called
Cantyman, who had the year before been with Captain Whiddon, and was
of his acquaintance. By this Cantyman we understood what strength the
Spaniards had, how far it was to their city, and of Don Antonio de
Berreo, the governor, who was said to be slain in his second attempt
of Guiana, but was not.

While we remained at Puerto de los Espanoles some Spaniards came
aboard us to buy linen of the company, and such other things as they
wanted, and also to view our ships and company, all which I
entertained kindly and feasted after our manner. By means whereof I
learned of one and another as much of the estate of Guiana as I could,
or as they knew; for those poor soldiers having been many years
without wine, a few draughts made them merry, in which mood they
vaunted of Guiana and the riches thereof, and all what they knew of
the ways and passages; myself seeming to purpose nothing less than the
entrance or discovery thereof, but bred in them an opinion that I was
bound only for the relief of those English which I had planted in
Virginia, whereof the bruit was come among them; which I had performed
in my return, if extremity of weather had not forced me from the said

I found occasions of staying in this place for two causes. The one was
to be revenged of Berreo, who the year before, 1594, had betrayed
eight of Captain Whiddon's men, and took them while he departed from
them to seek the Edward Bonaventure, which arrived at Trinidad the day
before from the East Indies: in whose absence Berreo sent a canoa
aboard the pinnace only with Indians and dogs inviting the company to
go with them into the woods to kill a deer. Who like wise men, in the
absence of their captain followed the Indians, but were no sooner one
arquebus shot from the shore, but Berreo's soldiers lying in ambush
had them all, notwithstanding that he had given his word to Captain
Whiddon that they should take water and wood safely. The other cause
of my stay was, for that by discourse with the Spaniards I daily
learned more and more of Guiana, of the rivers and passages, and of
the enterprise of Berreo, by what means or fault he failed, and how he
meant to prosecute the same.

While we thus spent the time I was assured by another cacique of the
north side of the island, that Berreo had sent to Margarita and Cumana
for soldiers, meaning to have given me a cassado (blow) at parting, if
it had been possible. For although he had given order through all the
island that no Indian should come aboard to trade with me upon pain of
hanging and quartering (having executed two of them for the same,
which I afterwards found), yet every night there came some with most
lamentable complaints of his cruelty: how he had divided the island
and given to every soldier a part; that he made the ancient caciques,
which were lords of the country, to be their slaves; that he kept them
in chains, and dropped their naked bodies with burning bacon, and such
other torments, which I found afterwards to be true. For in the city,
after I entered the same, there were five of the lords or little
kings, which they call caciques in the West Indies, in one chain,
almost dead of famine, and wasted with torments. These are called in
their own language acarewana, and now of late since English, French,
and Spanish, are come among them, they call themselves captains,
because they perceive that the chiefest of every ship is called by
that name. Those five captains in the chain were called Wannawanare,
Carroaori, Maquarima, Tarroopanama, and Aterima. So as both to be
revenged of the former wrong, as also considering that to enter Guiana
by small boats, to depart 400 or 500 miles from my ships, and to leave
a garrison in my back interested in the same enterprise, who also
daily expected supplies out of Spain, I should have savoured very much
of the ass; and therefore taking a time of most advantage, I set upon
the Corps du garde in the evening, and having put them to the sword,
sent Captain Caulfield onwards with sixty soldiers, and myself
followed with forty more, and so took their new city, which they
called St. Joseph, by break of day. They abode not any fight after a
few shot, and all being dismissed, but only Berreo and his companion
(the Portuguese captain Alvaro Jorge), I brought them with me aboard,
and at the instance of the Indians I set their new city of St. Joseph
on fire. The same day arrived Captain George Gifford with your
lordship's ship, and Captain Keymis, whom I lost on the coast of
Spain, with the galego, and in them divers gentlemen and others, which
to our little army was a great comfort and supply.

We then hasted away towards our purposed discovery, and first I called
all the captains of the island together that were enemies to the
Spaniards; for there were some which Berreo had brought out of other
countries, and planted there to eat out and waste those that were
natural of the place. And by my Indian interpreter, which I carried
out of England, I made them understand that I was the servant of a
queen who was the great cacique of the north, and a virgin, and had
more caciqui under her than there were trees in that island; that she
was an enemy to the Castellani in respect of their tyranny and
oppression, and that she delivered all such nations about her, as were
by them oppressed; and having freed all the coast of the northern
world from their servitude, had sent me to free them also, and withal
to defend the country of Guiana from their invasion and conquest. I
shewed them her Majesty's picture, which they so admired and honoured,
as it had been easy to have brought them idolatrous thereof. The like
and a more large discourse I made to the rest of the nations, both in
my passing to Guiana and to those of the borders, so as in that part
of the world her Majesty is very famous and admirable; whom they now
call EZRABETA CASSIPUNA AQUEREWANA, which is as much as 'Elizabeth,
the Great Princess, or Greatest Commander.' This done, we left Puerto
de los Espanoles, and returned to Curiapan, and having Berreo my
prisoner, I gathered from him as much of Guiana as he knew. This
Berreo is a gentleman well descended, and had long served the Spanish
king in Milan, Naples, the Low Countries, and elsewhere, very valiant
and liberal, and a gentleman of great assuredness, and of a great
heart. I used him according to his estate and worth in all things I
could, according to the small means I had.

I sent Captain Whiddon the year before to get what knowledge he could
of Guiana: and the end of my journey at this time was to discover and
enter the same. But my intelligence was far from truth, for the
country is situate about 600 English miles further from the sea than I
was made believe it had been. Which afterwards understanding to be
true by Berreo, I kept it from the knowledge of my company, who else
would never have been brought to attempt the same. Of which 600 miles
I passed 400, leaving my ships so far from me at anchor in the sea,
which was more of desire to perform that discovery than of reason,
especially having such poor and weak vessels to transport ourselves
in. For in the bottom of an old galego which I caused to be fashioned
like a galley, and in one barge, two wherries, and a ship-boat of the
Lion's Whelp, we carried 100 persons and their victuals for a month in
the same, being all driven to lie in the rain and weather in the open
air, in the burning sun, and upon the hard boards, and to dress our
meat, and to carry all manner of furniture in them. Wherewith they
were so pestered and unsavoury, that what with victuals being most
fish, with the wet clothes of so many men thrust together, and the
heat of the sun, I will undertake there was never any prison in
England that could be found more unsavoury and loathsome, especially
to myself, who had for many years before been dieted and cared for in
a sort far more differing.

If Captain Preston had not been persuaded that he should have come too
late to Trinidad to have found us there (for the month was expired
which I promised to tarry for him there ere he could recover the coast
of Spain) but that it had pleased God he might have joined with us,
and that we had entered the country but some ten days sooner ere the
rivers were overflown, we had adventured either to have gone to the
great city of Manoa, or at least taken so many of the other cities and
towns nearer at hand, as would have made a royal return. But it
pleased not God so much to favour me at this time. If it shall be my
lot to prosecute the same, I shall willingly spend my life therein.
And if any else shall be enabled thereunto, and conquer the same, I
assure him thus much; he shall perform more than ever was done in
Mexico by Cortes, or in Peru by Pizarro, whereof the one conquered the
empire of Mutezuma, the other of Guascar and Atabalipa. And whatsoever
prince shall possess it, that prince shall be lord of more gold, and
of a more beautiful empire, and of more cities and people, than either
the king of Spain or the Great Turk.

But because there may arise many doubts, and how this empire of Guiana
is become so populous, and adorned with so many great cities, towns,
temples, and treasures, I thought good to make it known, that the
emperor now reigning is descended from those magnificent princes of
Peru, of whose large territories, of whose policies, conquests,
edifices, and riches, Pedro de Cieza, Francisco Lopez, and others have
written large discourses. For when Francisco Pizarro, Diego Almagro
and others conquered the said empire of Peru, and had put to death
Atabalipa, son to Guayna Capac, which Atabalipa had formerly caused
his eldest brother Guascar to be slain, one of the younger sons of
Guayna Capac fled out of Peru, and took with him many thousands of
those soldiers of the empire called orejones ("having large ears," the
name given by the Spaniards to the Peruvian warriors, who wore ear-
pendants), and with those and many others which followed him, he
vanquished all that tract and valley of America which is situate
between the great river of Amazons and Baraquan, otherwise called
Orenoque and Maranon (Baraquan is the alternative name to Orenoque,
Maranon to Amazons).

The empire of Guiana is directly east from Peru towards the sea, and
lieth under the equinoctial line; and it hath more abundance of gold
than any part of Peru, and as many or more great cities than ever Peru
had when it flourished most. It is governed by the same laws, and the
emperor and people observe the same religion, and the same form and
policies in government as were used in Peru, not differing in any
part. And I have been assured by such of the Spaniards as have seen
Manoa, the imperial city of Guiana, which the Spaniards call El
Dorado, that for the greatness, for the riches, and for the excellent
seat, it far exceedeth any of the world, at least of so much of the
world as is known to the Spanish nation. It is founded upon a lake of
salt water of 200 leagues long, like unto Mare Caspium. And if we
compare it to that of Peru, and but read the report of Francisco Lopez
and others, it will seem more than credible; and because we may judge
of the one by the other, I thought good to insert part of the 120.
chapter of Lopez in his General History of the Indies, wherein he
describeth the court and magnificence of Guayna Capac, ancestor to the
emperor of Guiana, whose very words are these:--

"Todo el servicio de su casa, mesa, y cocina era de oro y de plata, y
cuando menos de plata y cobre, por mas recio. Tenia en su recamara
estatuas huecas de oro, que parescian gigantes, y las figuras al
propio y tamano de cuantos animales, aves, arboles, y yerbas produce
la tierra, y de cuantos peces cria la mar y agua de sus reynos. Tenia
asimesmo sogas, costales, cestas, y troxes de oro y plata; rimeros de
palos de oro, que pareciesen lena rajada para quemar. En fin no habia
cosa en su tierra, que no la tuviese de oro contrahecha; y aun dizen,
que tenian los Ingas un verjel en una isla cerca de la Puna, donde se
iban a holgar, cuando querian mar, que tenia la hortaliza, las flores,
y arboles de oro y plata; invencion y grandeza hasta entonces nunca
vista. Allende de todo esto, tenia infinitisima cantidad de plata y
oro por labrar en el Cuzco, que se perdio por la muerte de Guascar; ca
los Indios lo escondieron, viendo que los Espanoles se lo tomaban, y
enviaban a Espana."

That is, "All the vessels of his house, table, and kitchen, were of
gold and silver, and the meanest of silver and copper for strength and
hardness of metal. He had in his wardrobe hollow statues of gold which
seemed giants, and the figures in proportion and bigness of all the
beasts, birds, trees, and herbs, that the earth bringeth forth; and of
all the fishes that the sea or waters of his kingdom breedeth. He had
also ropes, budgets, chests, and troughs of gold and silver, heaps of
billets of gold, that seemed wood marked out (split into logs) to
burn. Finally, there was nothing in his country whereof he had not the
counterfeit in gold. Yea, and they say, the Ingas had a garden of
pleasure in an island near Puna, where they went to recreate
themselves, when they would take the air of the sea, which had all
kinds of garden-herbs, flowers, and trees of gold and silver; an
invention and magnificence till then never seen. Besides all this, he
had an infinite quantity of silver and gold unwrought in Cuzco, which
was lost by the death of Guascar, for the Indians hid it, seeing that
the Spaniards took it, and sent it into Spain."

And in the 117. chapter; Francisco Pizarro caused the gold and silver
of Atabalipa to be weighed after he had taken it, which Lopez setteth
down in these words following:--"Hallaron cincuenta y dos mil marcos
de buena plata, y un millon y trecientos y veinte y seis mil y
quinientos pesos de oro." Which is, "They found 52,000 marks of good
silver, and 1,326,500 pesos of gold." Now, although these reports may
seem strange, yet if we consider the many millions which are daily
brought out of Peru into Spain, we may easily believe the same. For we
find that by the abundant treasure of that country the Spanish king
vexes all the princes of Europe, and is become, in a few years, from a
poor king of Castile, the greatest monarch of this part of the world,
and likely every day to increase if other princes forslow the good
occasions offered, and suffer him to add this empire to the rest,
which by far exceedeth all the rest. If his gold now endanger us, he
will then be unresistible. Such of the Spaniards as afterwards
endeavoured the conquest thereof, whereof there have been many, as
shall be declared hereafter, thought that this Inga, of whom this
emperor now living is descended, took his way by the river of Amazons,
by that branch which is called Papamene (The Papamene is a tributary
not of the Amazon river but of the Meta, one of the principal
tributaries of the Orinoco). For by that way followed Orellana, by the
commandment of Gonzalo Pizarro, in the year 1542, whose name the river
also beareth this day. Which is also by others called Maranon,
although Andrew Thevet doth affirm that between Maranon and Amazons
there are 120 leagues; but sure it is that those rivers have one head
and beginning, and the Maranon, which Thevet describeth, is but a
branch of Amazons or Orellana, of which I will speak more in another
place. It was attempted by Ordas; but it is now little less than 70
years since that Diego Ordas, a Knight of the Order of Santiago,
attempted the same; and it was in the year 1542 that Orellana
discovered the river of Amazons; but the first that ever saw Manoa was
Juan Martinez, master of the munition to Ordas. At a port called
Morequito (probably San Miguel), in Guiana, there lieth at this day a
great anchor of Ordas his ship. And this port is some 300 miles within
the land, upon the great river of Orenoque. I rested at this port four
days, twenty days after I left the ships at Curiapan.

The relation of this Martinez, who was the first that discovered
Manoa, his success, and end, is to be seen in the Chancery of St. Juan
de Puerto Rico, whereof Berreo had a copy, which appeared to be the
greatest encouragement as well to Berreo as to others that formerly
attempted the discovery and conquest. Orellana, after he failed of the
discovery of Guiana by the said river of Amazons, passed into Spain,
and there obtained a patent of the king for the invasion and conquest,
but died by sea about the islands; and his fleet being severed by
tempest, the action for that time proceeded not. Diego Ordas followed
the enterprise, and departed Spain with 600 soldiers and thirty horse.
Who, arriving on the coast of Guiana, was slain in a mutiny, with the
most part of such as favoured him, as also of the rebellious part,
insomuch as his ships perished and few or none returned; neither was
it certainly known what became of the said Ordas until Berreo found
the anchor of his ship in the river of Orenoque; but it was supposed,
and so it is written by Lopez, that he perished on the seas, and of
other writers diversely conceived and reported. And hereof it came
that Martinez entered so far within the land, and arrived at that city
of Inga the emperor; for it chanced that while Ordas with his army
rested at the port of Morequito (who was either the first or second
that attempted Guiana), by some negligence the whole store of powder
provided for the service was set on fire, and Martinez, having the
chief charge, was condemned by the General Ordas to be executed
forthwith. Martinez, being much favoured by the soldiers, had all the
means possible procured for his life; but it could not be obtained in
other sort than this, that he should be set into a canoa alone,
without any victual, only with his arms, and so turned loose into the
great river. But it pleased God that the canoa was carried down the
stream, and certain of the Guianians met it the same evening; and,
having not at any time seen any Christian nor any man of that colour,
they carried Martinez into the land to be wondered at, and so from
town to town, until he came to the great city of Manoa, the seat and
residence of Inga the emperor. The emperor, after he had beheld him,
knew him to be a Christian, for it was not long before that his
brethren Guascar and Atabalipa were vanquished by the Spaniards in
Peru: and caused him to be lodged in his palace, and well entertained.
He lived seven months in Manoa, but was not suffered to wander into
the country anywhere. He was also brought thither all the way
blindfold, led by the Indians, until he came to the entrance of Manoa
itself, and was fourteen or fifteen days in the passage. He avowed at
his death that he entered the city at noon, and then they uncovered
his face; and that he travelled all that day till night through the
city, and the next day from sun rising to sun setting, ere he came to
the palace of Inga. After that Martinez had lived seven months in
Manoa, and began to understand the language of the country, Inga asked
him whether he desired to return into his own country, or would
willingly abide with him. But Martinez, not desirous to stay, obtained
the favour of Inga to depart; with whom he sent divers Guianians to
conduct him to the river of Orenoque, all loaden with as much gold as
they could carry, which he gave to Martinez at his departure. But when
he was arrived near the river's side, the borderers which are called
Orenoqueponi (poni is a Carib postposition meaning "on") robbed him
and his Guianians of all the treasure (the borderers being at that
time at wars, which Inga had not conquered) save only of two great
bottles of gourds, which were filled with beads of gold curiously
wrought, which those Orenoqueponi thought had been no other thing than
his drink or meat, or grain for food, with which Martinez had liberty
to pass. And so in canoas he fell down from the river of Orenoque to
Trinidad, and from thence to Margarita, and so to St. Juan del Puerto
Rico; where, remaining a long time for passage into Spain, he died. In
the time of his extreme sickness, and when he was without hope of
life, receiving the sacrament at the hands of his confessor, he
delivered these things, with the relation of his travels, and also
called for his calabazas or gourds of the gold beads, which he gave to
the church and friars, to be prayed for.

This Martinez was he that christened the city of Manoa by the name of
El Dorado, and, as Berreo informed me, upon this occasion, those
Guianians, and also the borderers, and all other in that tract which I
have seen, are marvellous great drunkards; in which vice I think no
nation can compare with them; and at the times of their solemn feasts,
when the emperor carouseth with his captains, tributaries, and
governors, the manner is thus. All those that pledge him are first
stripped naked and their bodies anointed all over with a kind of white
balsamum (by them called curca), of which there is great plenty, and
yet very dear amongst them, and it is of all other the most precious,
whereof we have had good experience. When they are anointed all over,
certain servants of the emperor, having prepared gold made into fine
powder, blow it through hollow canes upon their naked bodies, until
they be all shining from the foot to the head; and in this sort they
sit drinking by twenties and hundreds, and continue in drunkenness
sometimes six or seven days together. The same is also confirmed by a
letter written into Spain which was intercepted, which Master Robert
Dudley told me he had seen. Upon this sight, and for the abundance of
gold which he saw in the city, the images of gold in their temples,
the plates, armours, and shields of gold which they use in the wars,
he called it El Dorado.

After the death of Ordas and Martinez, and after Orellana, who was
employed by Gonzalo Pizarro, one Pedro de Orsua, a knight of Navarre,
attempted Guiana, taking his way into Peru, and built his brigandines
upon a river called Oia, which riseth to the southward of Quito, and
is very great. This river falleth into Amazons, by which Orsua with
his companies descended, and came out of that province which is called
Motilones ("friars"--Indians so named from their cropped heads); and
it seemeth to me that this empire is reserved for her Majesty and the
English nation, by reason of the hard success which all these and
other Spaniards found in attempting the same, whereof I will speak
briefly, though impertinent in some sort to my purpose. This Pedro de
Orsua had among his troops a Biscayan called Aguirre, a man meanly
born, who bare no other office than a sergeant or alferez (al-faris,
Arab.--horseman, mounted officer): but after certain months, when the
soldiers were grieved with travels and consumed with famine, and that
no entrance could be found by the branches or body of Amazons, this
Aguirre raised a mutiny, of which he made himself the head, and so
prevailed as he put Orsua to the sword and all his followers, taking
on him the whole charge and commandment, with a purpose not only to
make himself emperor of Guiana, but also of Peru and of all that side
of the West Indies. He had of his party 700 soldiers, and of those
many promised to draw in other captains and companies, to deliver up
towns and forts in Peru; but neither finding by the said river any
passage into Guiana, nor any possibility to return towards Peru by the
same Amazons, by reason that the descent of the river made so great a
current, he was enforced to disemboque at the mouth of the said
Amazons, which cannot be less than 1,000 leagues from the place where
they embarked. From thence he coasted the land till he arrived at
Margarita to the north of Mompatar, which is at this day called Puerto
de Tyranno, for that he there slew Don Juan de Villa Andreda, Governor
of Margarita, who was father to Don Juan Sarmiento, Governor of
Margarita when Sir John Burgh landed there and attempted the island.
Aguirre put to the sword all other in the island that refused to be of
his party, and took with him certain cimarrones (fugitive slaves) and
other desperate companions. From thence he went to Cumana and there
slew the governor, and dealt in all as at Margarita. He spoiled all
the coast of Caracas and the province of Venezuela and of Rio de la
Hacha; and, as I remember, it was the same year that Sir John Hawkins
sailed to St. Juan de Ullua in the Jesus of Lubeck; for himself told
me that he met with such a one upon the coast, that rebelled, and had
sailed down all the river of Amazons. Aguirre from thence landed about
Santa Marta and sacked it also, putting to death so many as refused to
be his followers, purposing to invade Nuevo Reyno de Granada and to
sack Pamplona, Merida, Lagrita, Tunja, and the rest of the cities of
Nuevo Reyno, and from thence again to enter Peru; but in a fight in
the said Nuevo Reyno he was overthrown, and, finding no way to escape,
he first put to the sword his own children, foretelling them that they
should not live to be defamed or upbraided by the Spaniards after his
death, who would have termed them the children of a traitor or tyrant;
and that, sithence he could not make them princes, he would yet
deliver them from shame and reproach. These were the ends and
tragedies of Ordas, Martinez, Orellana, Orsua, and Aguirre. Also soon
after Ordas followed Jeronimo Ortal de Saragosa, with 130 soldiers;
who failing his entrance by sea, was cast with the current on the
coast of Paria, and peopled about S. Miguel de Neveri. It was then
attempted by Don Pedro de Silva, a Portuguese of the family of Ruy
Gomez de Silva, and by the favour which Ruy Gomez had with the king he
was set out. But he also shot wide of the mark; for being departed
from Spain with his fleet, he entered by Maranon or Amazons, where by
the nations of the river and by the Amazons, he was utterly
overthrown, and himself and all his army defeated; only seven escaped,
and of those but two returned.

After him came Pedro Hernandez de Serpa, and landed at Cumana, in the
West Indies, taking his journey by land towards Orenoque, which may be
some 120 leagues; but ere he came to the borders of the said river, he
was set upon by a nation of the Indians, called Wikiri, and overthrown
in such sort, that of 300 soldiers, horsemen, many Indians, and
negroes, there returned but eighteen. Others affirm that he was
defeated in the very entrance of Guiana, at the first civil town of
the empire called Macureguarai. Captain Preston, in taking Santiago de
Leon (which was by him and his companies very resolutely performed,
being a great town, and far within the land) held a gentleman
prisoner, who died in his ship, that was one of the company of
Hernandez de Serpa, and saved among those that escaped; who witnessed
what opinion is held among the Spaniards thereabouts of the great
riches of Guiana, and El Dorado, the city of Inga. Another Spaniard
was brought aboard me by Captain Preston, who told me in the hearing
of himself and divers other gentlemen, that he met with Berreo's
campmaster at Caracas, when he came from the borders of Guiana, and
that he saw with him forty of most pure plates of gold, curiously
wrought, and swords of Guiana decked and inlaid with gold, feathers
garnished with gold, and divers rarities, which he carried to the
Spanish king.

After Hernandez de Serpa, it was undertaken by the Adelantado, Don
Gonzalez Ximenes de Quesada, who was one of the chiefest in the
conquest of Nuevo Reyno, whose daughter and heir Don Antonio de Berreo
married. Gonzalez sought the passage also by the river called
Papamene, which riseth by Quito, in Peru, and runneth south-east 100
leagues, and then falleth into Amazons. But he also, failing the
entrance, returned with the loss of much labour and cost. I took one
Captain George, a Spaniard, that followed Gonzalez in this enterprise.
Gonzalez gave his daughter to Berreo, taking his oath and honour to
follow the enterprise to the last of his substance and life. Who
since, as he hath sworn to me, hath spent 300,000 ducats in the same,
and yet never could enter so far into the land as myself with that
poor troop, or rather a handful of men, being in all about 100
gentlemen, soldiers, rowers, boat-keepers, boys, and of all sorts;
neither could any of the forepassed undertakers, nor Berreo himself,
discover the country, till now lately by conference with an ancient
king, called Carapana (Caribana, Carib land, was an old European name
for the Atlantic coast near the mouth of the Orinoco, and hence was
applied to one of its chiefs. Berrio called this district "Emeria"),
he got the true light thereof. For Berreo came about 1,500 miles ere
he understood aught, or could find any passage or entrance into any
part thereof; yet he had experience of all these fore-named, and
divers others, and was persuaded of their errors and mistakings.
Berreo sought it by the river Cassanar, which falleth into a great
river called Pato: Pato falleth into Meta, and Meta into Baraquan,
which is also called Orenoque. He took his journey from Nuevo Reyno de
Granada, where he dwelt, having the inheritance of Gonzalez Ximenes in
those parts; he was followed with 700 horse, he drove with him 1,000
head of cattle, he had also many women, Indians, and slaves. How all
these rivers cross and encounter, how the country lieth and is
bordered, the passage of Ximenes and Berreo, mine own discovery, and
the way that I entered, with all the rest of the nations and rivers,
your lordship shall receive in a large chart or map, which I have not
yet finished, and which I shall most humbly pray your lordship to
secrete, and not to suffer it to pass your own hands; for by a draught
thereof all may be prevented by other nations; for I know it is this
very year sought by the French, although by the way that they now
take, I fear it not much. It was also told me ere I departed England,
that Villiers, the Admiral, was in preparation for the planting of
Amazons, to which river the French have made divers voyages, and
returned much gold and other rarities. I spake with a captain of a
French ship that came from thence, his ship riding in Falmouth the
same year that my ships came first from Virginia; there was another
this year in Helford, that also came from thence, and had been
fourteen months at an anchor in Amazons; which were both very rich.

Although, as I am persuaded, Guiana cannot be entered that way, yet no
doubt the trade of gold from thence passeth by branches of rivers into
the river of Amazons, and so it doth on every hand far from the
country itself; for those Indians of Trinidad have plates of gold from
Guiana, and those cannibals of Dominica which dwell in the islands by
which our ships pass yearly to the West Indies, also the Indians of
Paria, those Indians called Tucaris, Chochi, Apotomios, Cumanagotos,
and all those other nations inhabiting near about the mountains that
run from Paria through the province of Venezuela, and in Maracapana,
and the cannibals of Guanipa, the Indians called Assawai, Coaca, Ajai,
and the rest (all which shall be described in my description as they
are situate) have plates of gold of Guiana. And upon the river of
Amazons, Thevet writeth that the people wear croissants of gold, for
of that form the Guianians most commonly make them; so as from
Dominica to Amazons, which is above 250 leagues, all the chief Indians
in all parts wear of those plates of Guiana. Undoubtedly those that
trade Amazons return much gold, which (as is aforesaid) cometh by
trade from Guiana, by some branch of a river that falleth from the
country into Amazons, and either it is by the river which passeth by
the nations called Tisnados, or by Caripuna.

I made enquiry amongst the most ancient and best travelled of the
Orenoqueponi, and I had knowledge of all the rivers between Orenoque
and Amazons, and was very desirous to understand the truth of those
warlike women, because of some it is believed, of others not. And
though I digress from my purpose, yet I will set down that which hath
been delivered me for truth of those women, and I spake with a
cacique, or lord of people, that told me he had been in the river, and
beyond it also. The nations of these women are on the south side of
the river in the provinces of Topago, and their chiefest strengths and
retracts are in the islands situate on the south side of the entrance,
some 60 leagues within the mouth of the said river. The memories of
the like women are very ancient as well in Africa as in Asia. In
Africa those that had Medusa for queen; others in Scythia, near the
rivers of Tanais and Thermodon. We find, also, that Lampedo and
Marthesia were queens of the Amazons. In many histories they are
verified to have been, and in divers ages and provinces; but they
which are not far from Guiana do accompany with men but once in a
year, and for the time of one month, which I gather by their relation,
to be in April; and that time all kings of the borders assemble, and
queens of the Amazons; and after the queens have chosen, the rest cast
lots for their valentines. This one month they feast, dance, and drink
of their wines in abundance; and the moon being done they all depart
to their own provinces. They are said to be very cruel and
bloodthirsty, especially to such as offer to invade their territories.
These Amazons have likewise great store of these plates of gold, which
they recover by exchange chiefly for a kind of green stones, which the
Spaniards call piedras hijadas, and we use for spleen-stones (stones
reduced to powder and taken internally to cure maladies of the
spleen); and for the disease of the stone we also esteem them. Of
these I saw divers in Guiana; and commonly every king or cacique hath
one, which their wives for the most part wear, and they esteem them as
great jewels.

But to return to the enterprise of Berreo, who, as I have said,
departed from Nuevo Reyno with 700 horse, besides the provisions above
rehearsed. He descended by the river called Cassanar, which riseth in
Nuevo Reyno out of the mountains by the city of Tunja, from which
mountain also springeth Pato; both which fall into the great river of
Meta, and Meta riseth from a mountain joining to Pamplona, in the same
Nuevo Reyno de Granada. These, as also Guaiare, which issueth out of
the mountains by Timana, fall all into Baraquan, and are but of his
heads; for at their coming together they lose their names, and
Baraquan farther down is also rebaptized by the name of Orenoque. On
the other side of the city and hills of Timana riseth Rio Grande,
which falleth into the sea by Santa Marta. By Cassanar first, and so
into Meta, Berreo passed, keeping his horsemen on the banks, where the
country served them for to march; and where otherwise, he was driven
to embark them in boats which he builded for the purpose, and so came
with the current down the river of Meta, and so into Baraquan. After
he entered that great and mighty river, he began daily to lose of his
companies both men and horse; for it is in many places violently
swift, and hath forcible eddies, many sands, and divers islands sharp
pointed with rocks. But after one whole year, journeying for the most
part by river, and the rest by land, he grew daily to fewer numbers;
from both by sickness, and by encountering with the people of those
regions through which he travelled, his companies were much wasted,
especially by divers encounters with the Amapaians (Amapaia was
Berrio's name for the Orinoco valley above the Caura river). And in
all this time he never could learn of any passage into Guiana, nor any
news or fame thereof, until he came to a further border of the said
Amapaia, eight days' journey from the river Caroli (the Caroni river,
the first great affluent of the Orinoco on the south, about 180 miles
from the sea), which was the furthest river that he entered. Among
those of Amapaia, Guiana was famous; but few of these people accosted
Berreo, or would trade with him the first three months of the six
which he sojourned there. This Amapaia is also marvellous rich in
gold, as both Berreo confessed and those of Guiana with whom I had
most conference; and is situate upon Orenoque also. In this country
Berreo lost sixty of his best soldiers, and most of all his horse that
remained in his former year's travel. But in the end, after divers
encounters with those nations, they grew to peace, and they presented
Berreo with ten images of fine gold among divers other plates and
croissants, which, as he sware to me, and divers other gentlemen, were
so curiously wrought, as he had not seen the like either in Italy,
Spain, or the Low Countries; and he was resolved that when they came
to the hands of the Spanish king, to whom he had sent them by his
camp-master, they would appear very admirable, especially being
wrought by such a nation as had no iron instruments at all, nor any of
those helps which our goldsmiths have to work withal. The particular
name of the people in Amapaia which gave him these pieces, are called
Anebas, and the river of Orenoque at that place is about twelve
English miles broad, which may be from his outfall into the sea 700 or
800 miles.

This province of Amapaia is a very low and a marish ground near the
river; and by reason of the red water which issueth out in small
branches through the fenny and boggy ground, there breed divers
poisonful worms and serpents. And the Spaniards not suspecting, nor in
any sort foreknowing the danger, were infected with a grievous kind of
flux by drinking thereof, and even the very horses poisoned therewith;
insomuch as at the end of the six months that they abode there, of all
their troops there were not left above 120 soldiers, and neither horse
nor cattle. For Berreo hoped to have found Guiana be 1,000 miles
nearer than it fell out to be in the end; by means whereof they
sustained much want, and much hunger, oppressed with grievous
diseases, and all the miseries that could be imagined. I demanded of
those in Guiana that had travelled Amapaia, how they lived with that
tawny or red water when they travelled thither; and they told me that
after the sun was near the middle of the sky, they used to fill their
pots and pitchers with that water, but either before that time or
towards the setting of the sun it was dangerous to drink of, and in
the night strong poison. I learned also of divers other rivers of that
nature among them, which were also, while the sun was in the meridian,
very safe to drink, and in the morning, evening, and night, wonderful
dangerous and infective. From this province Berreo hasted away as soon
as the spring and beginning of summer appeared, and sought his
entrance on the borders of Orenoque on the south side; but there ran a
ledge of so high and impassable mountains, as he was not able by any
means to march over them, continuing from the east sea into which
Orenoque falleth, even to Quito in Peru. Neither had he means to carry
victual or munition over those craggy, high, and fast hills, being all
woody, and those so thick and spiny, and so full or prickles, thorns,
and briars, as it is impossible to creep through them. He had also
neither friendship among the people, nor any interpreter to persuade
or treat with them; and more, to his disadvantage, the caciques and
kings of Amapaia had given knowledge of his purpose to the Guianians,
and that he sought to sack and conquer the empire, for the hope of
their so great abundance and quantities of gold. He passed by the
mouths of many great rivers which fell into Orenoque both from the
north and south, which I forbear to name, for tediousness, and because
they are more pleasing in describing than reading.

Berreo affirmed that there fell an hundred rivers into Orenoque from
the north and south: whereof the least was as big as Rio Grande (the
Magdalena), that passed between Popayan and Nuevo Reyno de Granada,
Rio Grande being esteemed one of the renowned rivers in all the West
Indies, and numbered among the great rivers of the world. But he knew
not the names of any of these, but Caroli only; neither from what
nations they descended, neither to what provinces they led, for he had
no means to discourse with the inhabitants at any time; neither was he
curious in these things, being utterly unlearned, and not knowing the
east from the west. But of all these I got some knowledge, and of many
more, partly by mine own travel, and the rest by conference; of some
one I learned one, of others the rest, having with me an Indian that
spake many languages, and that of Guiana (the Carib) naturally. I
sought out all the aged men, and such as were greatest travellers. And
by the one and the other I came to understand the situations, the
rivers, the kingdoms from the east sea to the borders of Peru, and
from Orenoque southward as far as Amazons or Maranon, and the regions
of Marinatambal (north coasts of Brazil), and of all the kings of
provinces, and captains of towns and villages, how they stood in terms
of peace or war, and which were friends or enemies the one with the
other; without which there can be neither entrance nor conquest in
those parts, nor elsewhere. For by the dissension between Guascar and
Atabalipa, Pizarro conquered Peru, and by the hatred that the
Tlaxcallians bare to Mutezuma, Cortes was victorious over Mexico;
without which both the one and the other had failed of their
enterprise, and of the great honour and riches which they attained

Now Berreo began to grow into despair, and looked for no other success
than his predecessor in this enterprise; until such time as he arrived
at the province of Emeria towards the east sea and mouth of the river,
where he found a nation of people very favourable, and the country
full of all manner of victual. The king of this land is called
Carapana, a man very wise, subtle, and of great experience, being
little less than an hundred years old. In his youth he was sent by his
father into the island of Trinidad, by reason of civil war among
themselves, and was bred at a village in that island, called Parico.
At that place in his youth he had seen many Christians, both French
and Spanish, and went divers times with the Indians of Trinidad to
Margarita and Cumana, in the West Indies, for both those places have
ever been relieved with victual from Trinidad: by reason whereof he
grew of more understanding, and noted the difference of the nations,
comparing the strength and arms of his country with those of the
Christians, and ever after temporised so as whosoever else did amiss,
or was wasted by contention, Carapana kept himself and his country in
quiet and plenty. He also held peace with the Caribs or cannibals, his
neighbours, and had free trade with all nations, whosoever else had

Berreo sojourned and rested his weak troop in the town of Carapana six
weeks, and from him learned the way and passage to Guiana, and the
riches and magnificence thereof. But being then utterly unable to
proceed, he determined to try his fortune another year, when he had
renewed his provisions, and regathered more force, which he hoped for
as well out of Spain as from Nuevo Reyno, where he had left his son
Don Antonio Ximenes to second him upon the first notice given of his
entrance; and so for the present embarked himself in canoas, and by
the branches of Orenoque arrived at Trinidad, having from Carapana
sufficient pilots to conduct him. From Trinidad he coasted Paria, and
so recovered Margarita; and having made relation to Don Juan
Sarmiento, the Governor, of his proceeding, and persuaded him of the
riches of Guiana, he obtained from thence fifty soldiers, promising
presently to return to Carapana, and so into Guiana. But Berreo meant
nothing less at that time; for he wanted many provisions necessary for
such an enterprise, and therefore departed from Margarita, seated
himself in Trinidad, and from thence sent his camp-master and his
sergeant-major back to the borders to discover the nearest passage
into the empire, as also to treat with the borderers, and to draw them
to his party and love; without which, he knew he could neither pass
safely, nor in any sort be relieved with victual or aught else.
Carapana directed his company to a king called Morequito, assuring
them that no man could deliver so much Guiana as Morequito could, and
that his dwelling was but five days' journey from Macureguarai, the
first civil town of Guiana.

Now your lordship shall understand that this Morequito, one of the
greatest lords or kings of the borders of Guiana, had two or three
years before been at Cumana and at Margarita, in the West Indies, with
great store of plates of gold, which he carried to exchange for such
other things as he wanted in his own country, and was daily feasted,
and presented by the governors of those places, and held amongst them
some two months. In which time one Vides, Governor of Cumana, won him
to be his conductor into Guiana, being allured by those croissants and
images of gold which he brought with him to trade, as also by the
ancient fame and magnificence of El Dorado; whereupon Vides sent into
Spain for a patent to discover and conquer Guiana, not knowing of the
precedence of Berreo's patent; which, as Berreo affirmeth, was signed
before that of Vidas. So as when Vides understood of Berreo and that
he had made entrance into that territory, and foregone his desire and
hope, it was verily thought that Vides practised with Morequito to
hinder and disturb Berreo in all he could, and not to suffer him to
enter through his seignory, nor any of his companies; neither to
victual, nor guide them in any sort. For Vides, Governor of Cumana,
and Berreo, were become mortal enemies, as well for that Berreo had
gotten Trinidad into his patent with Guiana, as also in that he was by
Berreo prevented in the journey of Guiana itself. Howsoever it was, I
know not, but Morequito for a time dissembled his disposition,
suffered ten Spaniards and a friar, which Berreo had sent to discover
Manoa, to travel through his country, gave them a guide for
Macureguarai, the first town of civil and apparelled people, from
whence they had other guides to bring them to Manoa, the great city of
Inga; and being furnished with those things which they had learned of
Carapana were of most price in Guiana, went onward, and in eleven days
arrived at Manoa, as Berreo affirmeth for certain; although I could
not be assured thereof by the lord which now governeth the province of
Morequito, for he told me that they got all the gold they had in other
towns on this side Manoa, there being many very great and rich, and
(as he said) built like the towns of Christians, with many rooms.

When these ten Spaniards were returned, and ready to put out of the
border of Aromaia (the district below the Caroni river), the people of
Morequito set upon them, and slew them all but one that swam the
river, and took from them to the value of 40,000 pesos of gold; and
one of them only lived to bring the news to Berreo, that both his nine
soldiers and holy father were benighted in the said province. I myself
spake with the captains of Morequito that slew them, and was at the
place where it was executed. Berreo, enraged herewithal, sent all the
strength he could make into Aromaia, to be revenged of him, his
people, and country. But Morequito, suspecting the same, fled over
Orenoque, and through the territories of the Saima and Wikiri
recovered Cumana, where he thought himself very safe, with Vides the
governor. But Berreo sending for him in the king's name, and his
messengers finding him in the house of one Fajardo, on the sudden, ere
he was suspected, so as he could not then be conveyed away, Vides
durst not deny him, as well to avoid the suspicion of the practice, as
also for that an holy father was slain by him and his people.
Morequito offered Fajardo the weight of three quintals in gold, to let
him escape; but the poor Guianian, betrayed on all sides, was
delivered to the camp-master of Berreo, and was presently executed.

After the death of this Morequito, the soldiers of Berreo spoiled his
territory and took divers prisoners. Among others they took the uncle
of Morequito, called Topiawari, who is now king of Aromaia, whose son
I brought with me into England, and is a man of great understanding
and policy; he is above an hundred years old, and yet is of a very
able body. The Spaniards led him in a chain seventeen days, and made
him their guide from place to place between his country and Emeria,
the province of Carapana aforesaid, and he was at last redeemed for an
hundred plates of gold, and divers stones called piedras hijadas, or
spleen-stones. Now Berreo for executing of Morequito, and other
cruelties, spoils, and slaughters done in Aromaia, hath lost the love
of the Orenoqueponi, and of all the borderers, and dare not send any
of his soldiers any further into the land than to Carapana, which he
called the port of Guiana; but from thence by the help of Carapana he
had trade further into the country, and always appointed ten Spaniards
to reside in Carapana's town (the Spanish settlement of Santo Tome de
la Guyana, founded by Berrio in 1591 or 1592, but represented by
Raleigh as an Indian pueblo), by whose favour, and by being conducted
by his people, those ten searched the country thereabouts, as well for
mines as for other trades and commodities.

They also have gotten a nephew of Morequito, whom they have christened
and named Don Juan, of whom they have great hope, endeavouring by all
means to establish him in the said province. Among many other trades,
those Spaniards used canoas to pass to the rivers of Barema, Pawroma,
and Dissequebe (Essequibo), which are on the south side of the mouth
of Orenoque, and there buy women and children from the cannibals,
which are of that barbarous nature, as they will for three or four
hatchets sell the sons and daughters of their own brethren and
sisters, and for somewhat more even their own daughters. Hereof the
Spaniards make great profit; for buying a maid of twelve or thirteen
years for three or four hatchets, they sell them again at Margarita in
the West Indies for fifty and an hundred pesos, which is so many

The master of my ship, John Douglas, took one of the canoas which came
laden from thence with people to be sold, and the most of them
escaped; yet of those he brought, there was one as well favoured and
as well shaped as ever I saw any in England; and afterwards I saw many
of them, which but for their tawny colour may be compared to any in
Europe. They also trade in those rivers for bread of cassavi, of which
they buy an hundred pound weight for a knife, and sell it at Margarita
for ten pesos. They also recover great store of cotton, Brazil wood,
and those beds which they call hamacas or Brazil beds, wherein in hot
countries all the Spaniards use to lie commonly, and in no other,
neither did we ourselves while we were there. By means of which
trades, for ransom of divers of the Guianians, and for exchange of
hatchets and knives, Berreo recovered some store of gold plates,
eagles of gold, and images of men and divers birds, and dispatched his
camp-master for Spain, with all that he had gathered, therewith to
levy soldiers, and by the show thereof to draw others to the love of
the enterprise. And having sent divers images as well of men as
beasts, birds, and fishes, so curiously wrought in gold, he doubted
not but to persuade the king to yield to him some further help,
especially for that this land hath never been sacked, the mines never
wrought, and in the Indies their works were well spent, and the gold
drawn out with great labour and charge. He also despatched messengers
to his son in Nuevo Reyno to levy all the forces he could, and to come
down the river Orenoque to Emeria, the province of Carapana, to meet
him; he had also sent to Santiago de Leon on the coast of the Caracas,
to buy horses and mules.

After I had thus learned of his proceedings past and purposed, I told
him that I had resolved to see Guiana, and that it was the end of my
journey, and the cause of my coming to Trinidad, as it was indeed, and
for that purpose I sent Jacob Whiddon the year before to get
intelligence: with whom Berreo himself had speech at that time, and
remembered how inquisitive Jacob Whiddon was of his proceedings, and
of the country of Guiana. Berreo was stricken into a great melancholy
and sadness, and used all the arguments he could to dissuade me; and
also assured the gentlemen of my company that it would be labour lost,
and that they should suffer many miseries if they proceeded. And first
he delivered that I could not enter any of the rivers with any bark or
pinnace, or hardly with any ship's boat, it was so low, sandy, and
full of flats, and that his companies were daily grounded in their
canoes, which drew but twelve inches water. He further said that none
of the country would come to speak with us, but would all fly; and if
we followed them to their dwellings, they would burn their own towns.
And besides that, the way was long, the winter at hand, and that the
rivers beginning once to swell, it was impossible to stem the current;
and that we could not in those small boats by any means carry victuals
for half the time, and that (which indeed most discouraged my company)
the kings and lords of all the borders of Guiana had decreed that none
of them should trade with any Christians for gold, because the same
would be their own overthrow, and that for the love of gold the
Christians meant to conquer and dispossess them of all together.

Many and the most of these I found to be true; but yet I resolving to
make trial of whatsoever happened, directed Captain George Gifford, my
Vice-Admiral, to take the Lion's Whelp, and Captain Caulfield his
bark, to turn to the eastward, against the mouth of a river called
Capuri, whose entrance I had before sent Captain Whiddon and John
Douglas the master to discover. Who found some nine foot water or
better upon the flood, and five at low water: to whom I had given
instructions that they should anchor at the edge of the shoal, and
upon the best of the flood to thrust over, which shoal John Douglas
buoyed and beckoned (beaconed) for them before. But they laboured in
vain; for neither could they turn it up altogether so far to the east,
neither did the flood continue so long, but the water fell ere they
could have passed the sands. As we after found by a second experience:
so as now we must either give over our enterprise, or leaving our
ships at adventure 400 mile behind us, must run up in our ship's
boats, one barge, and two wherries. But being doubtful how to carry
victuals for so long a time in such baubles, or any strength of men,
especially for that Berreo assured us that his son must be by that
time come down with many soldiers, I sent away one King, master of the
Lion's Whelp, with his ship-boat, to try another branch of the river
in the bottom of the Bay of Guanipa, which was called Amana, to prove
if there were water to be found for either of the small ships to
enter. But when he came to the mouth of Amana, he found it as the
rest, but stayed not to discover it thoroughly, because he was assured
by an Indian, his guide, that the cannibals of Guanipa would assail
them with many canoas, and that they shot poisoned arrows; so as if he
hasted not back, they should all be lost.

In the meantime, fearing the worst, I caused all the carpenters we had
to cut down a galego boat, which we meant to cast off, and to fit her
with banks to row on, and in all things to prepare her the best they
could, so as she might be brought to draw but five foot: for so much
we had on the bar of Capuri at low water. And doubting of King's
return, I sent John Douglas again in my long barge, as well to relieve
him, as also to make a perfect search in the bottom of the bay; for it
hath been held for infallible, that whatsoever ship or boat shall fall
therein can never disemboque again, by reason of the violent current
which setteth into the said bay, as also for that the breeze and
easterly wind bloweth directly into the same. Of which opinion I have
heard John Hampton (Captain of the Minion in the third voyage of
Hawkins), of Plymouth, one of the greatest experience of England, and
divers other besides that have traded to Trinidad.

I sent with John Douglas an old cacique of Trinidad for a pilot, who
told us that we could not return again by the bay or gulf, but that he
knew a by-branch which ran within the land to the eastward, and he
thought by it we might fall into Capuri, and so return in four days.
John Douglas searched those rivers, and found four goodly entrances,
whereof the least was as big as the Thames at Woolwich, but in the bay
thitherward it was shoal and but six foot water; so as we were now
without hope of any ship or bark to pass over, and therefore resolved
to go on with the boats, and the bottom of the galego, in which we
thrust 60 men. In the Lion's Whelp's boat and wherry we carried
twenty, Captain Caulfield in his wherry carried ten more, and in my
barge other ten, which made up a hundred; we had no other means but to
carry victual for a month in the same, and also to lodge therein as we
could, and to boil and dress our meat. Captain Gifford had with him
Master Edward Porter, Captain Eynos, and eight more in his wherry,
with all their victual, weapons, and provisions. Captain Caulfield had
with him my cousin Butshead Gorges, and eight more. In the galley, of
gentlemen and officers myself had Captain Thyn, my cousin John
Greenvile, my nephew John Gilbert, Captain Whiddon, Captain Keymis,
Edward Hancock, Captain Clarke, Lieutenant Hughes, Thomas Upton,
Captain Facy, Jerome Ferrar, Anthony Wells, William Connock, and above
fifty more. We could not learn of Berreo any other way to enter but in
branches so far to windward as it was impossible for us to recover;
for we had as much sea to cross over in our wherries, as between Dover
and Calice, and in a great bollow, the wind and current being both
very strong. So as we were driven to go in those small boats directly
before the wind into the bottom of the Bay of Guanipa, and from thence
to enter the mouth of some one of those rivers which John Douglas had
last discovered; and had with us for pilot an Indian of Barema, a
river to the south of Orenoque, between that and Amazons, whose canoas
we had formerly taken as he was going from the said Barema, laden with
cassavi bread to sell at Margarita. This Arwacan promised to bring me
into the great river of Orenoque; but indeed of that which he entered
he was utterly ignorant, for he had not seen it in twelve years
before, at which time he was very young, and of no judgment. And if
God had not sent us another help, we might have wandered a whole year
in that labyrinth of rivers, ere we had found any way, either out or
in, especially after we were past ebbing and flowing, which was in
four days. For I know all the earth doth not yield the like confluence
of streams and branches, the one crossing the other so many times, and
all so fair and large, and so like one to another, as no man can tell
which to take: and if we went by the sun or compass, hoping thereby to
go directly one way or other, yet that way we were also carried in a
circle amongst multitudes of islands, and every island so bordered
with high trees as no man could see any further than the breadth of
the river, or length of the breach. But this it chanced, that entering
into a river (which because it had no name, we called the River of the
Red Cross, ourselves being the first Christians that ever came
therein), the 22. of May, as we were rowing up the same, we espied a
small canoa with three Indians, which by the swiftness of my barge,
rowing with eight oars, I overtook ere they could cross the river. The
rest of the people on the banks, shadowed under the thick wood, gazed
on with a doubtful conceit what might befall those three which we had
taken. But when they perceived that we offered them no violence,
neither entered their canoa with any of ours, nor took out of the
canoa any of theirs, they then began to show themselves on the bank's
side, and offered to traffic with us for such things as they had. And
as we drew near, they all stayed; and we came with our barge to the
mouth of a little creek which came from their town into the great

As we abode here awhile, our Indian pilot, called Ferdinando, would
needs go ashore to their village to fetch some fruits and to drink of
their artificial wines, and also to see the place and know the lord of
it against another time, and took with him a brother of his which he
had with him in the journey. When they came to the village of these
people the lord of the island offered to lay hands on them, purposing
to have slain them both; yielding for reason that this Indian of ours
had brought a strange nation into their territory to spoil and destroy
them. But the pilot being quick and of a disposed body, slipt their
fingers and ran into the woods, and his brother, being the better
footman of the two, recovered the creek's mouth, where we stayed in
our barge, crying out that his brother was slain. With that we set
hands on one of them that was next us, a very old man, and brought him
into the barge, assuring him that if we had not our pilot again we
would presently cut off his head. This old man, being resolved that he
should pay the loss of the other, cried out to those in the woods to
save Ferdinando, our pilot; but they followed him notwithstanding, and
hunted after him upon the foot with their deer-dogs, and with so main
a cry that all the woods echoed with the shout they made. But at the
last this poor chased Indian recovered the river side and got upon a
tree, and, as we were coasting, leaped down and swam to the barge half
dead with fear. But our good hap was that we kept the other old
Indian, which we handfasted to redeem our pilot withal; for, being
natural of those rivers, we assured ourselves that he knew the way
better than any stranger could. And, indeed, but for this chance, I
think we had never found the way either to Guiana or back to our
ships; for Ferdinando after a few days knew nothing at all, nor which
way to turn; yea, and many times the old man himself was in great
doubt which river to take. Those people which dwell in these broken
islands and drowned lands are generally called Tivitivas. There are of
them two sorts; the one called Ciawani, and the other Waraweete.

The great river of Orenoque or Baraquan hath nine branches which fall
out on the north side of his own main mouth. On the south side it hath
seven other fallings into the sea, so it disemboqueth by sixteen arms
in all, between islands and broken ground; but the islands are very
great, many of them as big as the Isle of Wight, and bigger, and many
less. From the first branch on the north to the last of the south it
is at least 100 leagues, so as the river's mouth is 300 miles wide at
his entrance into the sea, which I take to be far bigger than that of
Amazons. All those that inhabit in the mouth of this river upon the
several north branches are these Tivitivas, of which there are two
chief lords which have continual wars one with the other. The islands
which lie on the right hand are called Pallamos, and the land on the
left, Hororotomaka; and the river by which John Douglas returned
within the land from Amana to Capuri they call Macuri.

These Tivitivas are a very goodly people and very valiant, and have
the most manly speech and most deliberate that ever I heard of what
nation soever. In the summer they have houses on the ground, as in
other places; in the winter they dwell upon the trees, where they
build very artificial towns and villages, as it is written in the
Spanish story of the West Indies that those people do in the low lands
near the gulf of Uraba. For between May and September the river of
Orenoque riseth thirty foot upright, and then are those islands
overflown twenty foot high above the level of the ground, saving some
few raised grounds in the middle of them; and for this cause they are
enforced to live in this manner. They never eat of anything that is
set or sown; and as at home they use neither planting nor other
manurance, so when they come abroad they refuse to feed of aught but
of that which nature without labour bringeth forth. They use the tops
of palmitos for bread, and kill deer, fish, and porks for the rest of
their sustenance. They have also many sorts of fruits that grow in the
woods, and great variety of birds and fowls; and if to speak of them
were not tedious and vulgar, surely we saw in those passages of very
rare colours and forms not elsewhere to be found, for as much as I
have either seen or read.

Of these people those that dwell upon the branches of Orenoque, called
Capuri, and Macureo, are for the most part carpenters of canoas; for
they make the most and fairest canoas; and sell them into Guiana for
gold and into Trinidad for tabacco, in the excessive taking whereof
they exceed all nations. And notwithstanding the moistness of the air
in which they live, the hardness of their diet, and the great labours
they suffer to hunt, fish, and fowl for their living, in all my life,
either in the Indies or in Europe, did I never behold a more goodly or
better-favoured people or a more manly. They were wont to make war
upon all nations, and especially on the Cannibals, so as none durst
without a good strength trade by those rivers; but of late they are at
peace with their neighbours, all holding the Spaniards for a common
enemy. When their commanders die they use great lamentation; and when
they think the flesh of their bodies is putrified and fallen from
their bones, then they take up the carcase again and hang it in the
cacique's house that died, and deck his skull with feathers of all
colours, and hang all his gold plates about the bones of this arms,
thighs, and legs. Those nations which are called Arwacas, which dwell
on the south of Orenoque, of which place and nation our Indian pilot
was, are dispersed in many other places, and do use to beat the bones
of their lords into powder, and their wives and friends drink it all
in their several sorts of drinks.

After we departed from the port of these Ciawani we passed up the
river with the flood and anchored the ebb, and in this sort we went
onward. The third day that we entered the river, our galley came on
ground; and stuck so fast as we thought that even there our discovery
had ended, and that we must have left four-score and ten of our men to
have inhabited, like rooks upon trees, with those nations. But the
next morning, after we had cast out all her ballast, with tugging and
hauling to and fro we got her afloat and went on. At four days' end we
fell into as goodly a river as ever I beheld, which was called the
great Amana, which ran more directly without windings and turnings
than the other. But soon after the flood of the sea left us; and,
being enforced either by main strength to row against a violent
current, or to return as wise as we went out, we had then no shift but
to persuade the companies that it was but two or three days' work, and
therefore desired them to take pains, every gentleman and others
taking their turns to row, and to spell one the other at the hour's
end. Every day we passed by goodly branches of rivers, some falling
from the west, others from the east, into Amana; but those I leave to
the description in the chart of discovery, where every one shall be
named with his rising and descent. When three days more were overgone,
our companies began to despair, the weather being extreme hot, the
river bordered with very high trees that kept away the air, and the
current against us every day stronger than other. But we evermore
commanded our pilots to promise an end the next day, and used it so
long as we were driven to assure them from four reaches of the river
to three, and so to two, and so to the next reach. But so long we
laboured that many days were spent, and we driven to draw ourselves to
harder allowance, our bread even at the last, and no drink at all; and
our men and ourselves so wearied and scorched, and doubtful withal
whether we should ever perform it or no, the heat increasing as we
drew towards the line; for we were now in five degrees.

The further we went on, our victual decreasing and the air breeding
great faintness, we grew weaker and weaker, when we had most need of
strength and ability. For hourly the river ran more violently than
other against us, and the barge, wherries, and ship's boat of Captain
Gifford and Captain Caulfield had spent all their provisions; so as we
were brought into despair and discomfort, had we not persuaded all the
company that it was but only one day's work more to attain the land
where we should be relieved of all we wanted, and if we returned, that
we were sure to starve by the way, and that the world would also laugh
us to scorn. On the banks of these rivers were divers sorts of fruits
good to eat, flowers and trees of such variety as were sufficient to
make ten volumes of Herbals; we relieved ourselves many times with the
fruits of the country, and sometimes with fowl and fish. We saw birds
of all colours, some carnation, some crimson, orange-tawny, purple,
watchet (pale blue), and of all other sorts, both simple and mixed,
and it was unto us a great good-passing of the time to behold them,
besides the relief we found by killing some store of them with our
fowling-pieces; without which, having little or no bread, and less
drink, but only the thick and troubled water of the river, we had been
in a very hard case.

Our old pilot of the Ciawani, whom, as I said before, we took to
redeem Ferdinando, told us, that if we would enter a branch of a river
on the right hand with our barge and wherries, and leave the galley at
anchor the while in the great river, he would bring us to a town of
the Arwacas, where we should find store of bread, hens, fish, and of
the country wine; and persuaded us, that departing from the galley at
noon we might return ere night. I was very glad to hear this speech,
and presently took my barge, with eight musketeers, Captain Gifford's
wherry, with himself and four musketeers, and Captain Caulfield with
his wherry, and as many; and so we entered the mouth of this river;
and because we were persuaded that it was so near, we took no victual
with us at all. When we had rowed three hours, we marvelled we saw no
sign of any dwelling, and asked the pilot where the town was; he told
us, a little further. After three hours more, the sun being almost
set, we began to suspect that he led us that way to betray us; for he
confessed that those Spaniards which fled from Trinidad, and also
those that remained with Carapana in Emeria, were joined together in
some village upon that river. But when it grew towards night, and we
demanded where the place was, he told us but four reaches more. When
we had rowed four and four, we saw no sign; and our poor watermen,
even heart-broken and tired, were ready to give up the ghost; for we
had now come from the galley near forty miles.

At the last we determined to hang the pilot; and if we had well known
the way back again by night, he had surely gone. But our own
necessities pleaded sufficiently for his safety; for it was as dark as
pitch, and the river began so to narrow itself, and the trees to hang
over from side to side, as we were driven with arming swords to cut a
passage through those branches that covered the water. We were very
desirous to find this town hoping of a feast, because we made but a
short breakfast aboard the galley in the morning, and it was now eight
o'clock at night, and our stomachs began to gnaw apace; but whether it
was best to return or go on, we began to doubt, suspecting treason in
the pilot more and more; but the poor old Indian ever assured us that
it was but a little further, but this one turning and that turning;
and at the last about one o'clock after midnight we saw a light, and
rowing towards it we heard the dogs of the village. When we landed we
found few people; for the lord of that place was gone with divers
canoas above 400 miles off, upon a journey towards the head of
Orenoque, to trade for gold, and to buy women of the Cannibals, who
afterwards unfortunately passed by us as we rode at an anchor in the
port of Morequito in the dark of the night, and yet came so near us as
his canoas grated against our barges; he left one of his company at
the port of Morequito, by whom we understood that he had brought
thirty young women, divers plates of gold, and had great store of fine
pieces of cotton cloth, and cotton beds. In his house we had good
store of bread, fish, hens, and Indian drink, and so rested that
night; and in the morning, after we had traded with such of his people
as came down, we returned towards our galley, and brought with us some
quantity of bread, fish, and hens.

On both sides of this river we passed the most beautiful country that
ever mine eyes beheld; and whereas all that we had seen before was
nothing but woods, prickles, bushes, and thorns, here we beheld plains
of twenty miles in length, the grass short and green, and in divers
parts groves of trees by themselves, as if they had been by all the
art and labour in the world so made of purpose; and still as we rowed,
the deer came down feeding by the water's side as if they had been
used to a keeper's call. Upon this river there were great store of
fowl, and of many sorts; we saw in it divers sorts of strange fishes,
and of marvellous bigness; but for lagartos (alligators and caymans)
it exceeded, for there were thousands of those ugly serpents; and the
people call it, for the abundance of them, the River of Lagartos, in
their language. I had a negro, a very proper young fellow, who leaping
out of the galley to swim in the mouth of this river, was in all our
sights taken and devoured with one of those lagartos. In the meanwhile
our companies in the galley thought we had been all lost, for we
promised to return before night; and sent the Lion's Whelp's ship's
boat with Captain Whiddon to follow us up the river. But the next day,
after we had rowed up and down some fourscore miles, we returned, and
went on our way up the great river; and when we were even at the last
cast for want of victuals, Captain Gifford being before the galley and
the rest of the boats, seeking out some place to land upon the banks
to make fire, espied four canoas coming down the river; and with no
small joy caused his men to try the uttermost of their strengths, and
after a while two of the four gave over and ran themselves ashore,
every man betaking himself to the fastness of the woods. The two other
lesser got away, while he landed to lay hold on these; and so turned
into some by-creek, we knew not whither. Those canoas that were taken
were loaded with bread, and were bound for Margarita in the West
Indies, which those Indians, called Arwacas, proposed to carry thither
for exchange; but in the lesser there were three Spaniards, who having
heard of the defeat of their Governor in Trinidad, and that we
purposed to enter Guiana, came away in those canoas; one of them was a
cavallero, as the captain of the Arwacas after told us, another a
soldier and the third a refiner.

In the meantime, nothing on the earth could have been more welcome to
us, next unto gold, than the great store of very excellent bread which
we found in these canoas; for now our men cried, "Let us go on, we
care not how far." After that Captain Gifford had brought the two
canoas to the galley, I took my barge and went to the bank's side with
a dozen shot, where the canoas first ran themselves ashore, and landed
there, sending out Captain Gifford and Captain Thyn on one hand and
Captain Caulfield on the other, to follow those that were fled into
the woods. And as I was creeping through the bushes, I saw an Indian
basket hidden, which was the refiner's basket; for I found in it his
quicksilver, saltpetre, and divers things for the trial of metals, and
also the dust of such ore as he had refined; but in those canoas which
escaped there was a good quantity of ore and gold. I then landed more
men, and offered five hundred pound to what soldier soever could take
one of those three Spaniards that we thought were landed. But our
labours were in vain in that behalf, for they put themselves into one
of the small canoas, and so, while the greater canoas were in taking,
they escaped. But seeking after the Spaniards we found the Arwacas
hidden in the woods, which were pilots for the Spaniards, and rowed
their canoas. Of which I kept the chiefest for a pilot, and carried
him with me to Guiana; by whom I understood where and in what
countries the Spaniards had laboured for gold, though I made not the
same known to all. For when the springs began to break, and the rivers
to raise themselves so suddenly as by no means we could abide the
digging of any mine, especially for that the richest are defended with
rocks of hard stones, which we call the white spar, and that it
required both time, men, and instruments fit for such a work, I
thought it best not to hover thereabouts, lest if the same had been
perceived by the company, there would have been by this time many
barks and ships set out, and perchance other nations would also have
gotten of ours for pilots. So as both ourselves might have been
prevented, and all our care taken for good usage of the people been
utterly lost, by those that only respect present profit; and such
violence or insolence offered as the nations which are borderers would
have changed the desire of our love and defence into hatred and
violence. And for any longer stay to have brought a more quantity,
which I hear hath been often objected, whosoever had seen or proved
the fury of that river after it began to arise, and had been a month
and odd days, as we were, from hearing aught from our ships, leaving
them meanly manned 400 miles off, would perchance have turned somewhat
sooner than we did, if all the mountains had been gold, or rich
stones. And to say the truth, all the branches and small rivers which
fell into Orenoque were raised with such speed, as if we waded them
over the shoes in the morning outward, we were covered to the
shoulders homeward the very same day; and to stay to dig our gold with
our nails, had been opus laboris but not ingenii. Such a quantity as
would have served our turns we could not have had, but a discovery of
the mines to our infinite disadvantage we had made, and that could
have been the best profit of farther search or stay; for those mines
are not easily broken, nor opened in haste, and I could have returned
a good quantity of gold ready cast if I had not shot at another mark
than present profit.

This Arwacan pilot, with the rest, feared that we would have eaten
them, or otherwise have put them to some cruel death: for the
Spaniards, to the end that none of the people in the passage towards
Guiana, or in Guiana itself, might come to speech with us, persuaded
all the nations that we were men-eaters and cannibals. But when the
poor men and women had seen us, and that we gave them meat, and to
every one something or other which was rare and strange to them, they
began to conceive the deceit and purpose of the Spaniards, who indeed,
as they confessed took from them both their wives and daughters daily
. . . But I protest before the Majesty of the living God, that I
neither know nor believe, that any of our company, one or other, did
offer insult to any of their women, and yet we saw many hundreds, and
had many in our power, and of those very young and excellently
favoured, which came among us without deceit, stark naked. Nothing got
us more love amongst them than this usage; for I suffered not any man
to take from any of the nations so much as a pina (pineapple) or a
potato root without giving them contentment, nor any man so much as to
offer to touch any of their wives or daughters; which course, so
contrary to the Spaniards, who tyrannize over them in all things, drew
them to admire her Majesty, whose commandment I told them it was, and
also wonderfully to honour our nation. But I confess it was a very
impatient work to keep the meaner sort from spoil and stealing when we
came to their houses; which because in all I could not prevent, I
caused my Indian interpreter at every place when we departed, to know
of the loss or wrong done, and if aught were stolen or taken by
violence, either the same was restored, and the party punished in
their sight, or else was paid for to their uttermost demand. They also
much wondered at us, after they heard that we had slain the Spaniards
at Trinidad, for they were before resolved that no nation of
Christians durst abide their presence; and they wondered more when I
had made them know of the great overthrow that her Majesty's army and
fleet had given them of late years in their own countries.

After we had taken in this supply of bread, with divers baskets of
roots, which were excellent meat, I gave one of the canoas to the
Arwacas, which belonged to the Spaniards that were escaped; and when I
had dismissed all but the captain, who by the Spaniards was christened
Martin, I sent back in the same canoa the old Ciawani, and Ferdinando,
my first pilot, and gave them both such things as they desired, with
sufficient victual to carry them back, and by them wrote a letter to
the ships, which they promised to deliver, and performed it; and then
I went on, with my new hired pilot, Martin the Arwacan. But the next
or second day after, we came aground again with our galley, and were
like to cast her away, with all our victual and provision, and so lay
on the sand one whole night, and were far more in despair at this time
to free her than before, because we had no tide of flood to help us,
and therefore feared that all our hopes would have ended in mishaps.
But we fastened an anchor upon the land, and with main strength drew
her off; and so the fifteenth day we discovered afar off the mountains
of Guiana, to our great joy, and towards the evening had a slent
(push) of a northerly wind that blew very strong, which brought us in
sight of the great river Orenoque; out of which this river descended
wherein we were. We descried afar off three other canoas as far as we
could discern them, after whom we hastened with our barge and
wherries, but two of them passed out of sight, and the third entered
up the great river, on the right hand to the westward, and there
stayed out of sight, thinking that we meant to take the way eastward
towards the province of Carapana; for that way the Spaniards keep, not
daring to go upwards to Guiana, the people in those parts being all
their enemies, and those in the canoas thought us to have been those
Spaniards that were fled from Trinidad, and escaped killing. And when
we came so far down as the opening of that branch into which they
slipped, being near them with our barge and wherries, we made after
them, and ere they could land came within call, and by our interpreter
told them what we were, wherewith they came back willingly aboard us;
and of such fish and tortugas' (turtles) eggs as they had gathered
they gave us, and promised in the morning to bring the lord of that
part with them, and to do us all other services they could. That night
we came to an anchor at the parting of the three goodly rivers (the
one was the river of Amana, by which we came from the north, and ran
athwart towards the south, the other two were of Orenoque, which
crossed from the west and ran to the sea towards the east) and landed
upon a fair sand, where we found thousands of tortugas' eggs, which
are very wholesome meat, and greatly restoring; so as our men were now
well filled and highly contented both with the fare, and nearness of
the land of Guiana, which appeared in sight.

In the morning there came down, according to promise, the lord of that
border, called Toparimaca, with some thirty or forty followers, and
brought us divers sorts of fruits, and of his wine, bread, fish, and
flesh, whom we also feasted as we could; at least we drank good
Spanish wine, whereof we had a small quantity in bottles, which above
all things they love. I conferred with this Toparimaca of the next way
to Guiana, who conducted our galley and boats to his own port, and
carried us from thence some mile and a-half to his town; where some of
our captains caroused of his wine till they were reasonable pleasant,
for it is very strong with pepper, and the juice of divers herbs and
fruits digested and purged. They keep it in great earthen pots of ten
or twelve gallons, very clean and sweet, and are themselves at their
meetings and feasts the greatest carousers and drunkards of the world.
When we came to his town we found two caciques, whereof one was a
stranger that had been up the river in trade, and his boats, people,
and wife encamped at the port where we anchored; and the other was of
that country, a follower of Toparimaca. They lay each of them in a
cotton hamaca, which we call Brazil beds, and two women attending them
with six cups, and a little ladle to fill them out of an earthen
pitcher of wine; and so they drank each of them three of those cups at
a time one to the other, and in this sort they drink drunk at their
feasts and meetings.

That cacique that was a stranger had his wife staying at the port
where we anchored, and in all my life I have seldom seen a better
favoured woman. She was of good stature, with black eyes, fat of body,
of an excellent countenance, her hair almost as long as herself, tied
up again in pretty knots; and it seemed she stood not in that awe of
her husband as the rest, for she spake and discoursed, and drank among
the gentlemen and captains, and was very pleasant, knowing her own
comeliness, and taking great pride therein. I have seen a lady in
England so like to her, as but for the difference of colour, I would
have sworn might have been the same.

The seat of this town of Toparimaca was very pleasant, standing on a
little hill, in an excellent prospect, with goodly gardens a mile
compass round about it, and two very fair and large ponds of excellent
fish adjoining. This town is called Arowocai; the people are of the
nation called Nepoios, and are followers of Carapana. In that place I
saw very aged people, that we might perceive all their sinews and
veins without any flesh, and but even as a case covered only with
skin. The lord of this place gave me an old man for pilot, who was of
great experience and travel, and knew the river most perfectly both by
day and night. And it shall be requisite for any man that passeth it
to have such a pilot; for it is four, five, and six miles over in many
places, and twenty miles in other places, with wonderful eddies and
strong currents, many great islands, and divers shoals, and many
dangerous rocks; and besides upon any increase of wind so great a
billow, as we were sometimes in great peril of drowning in the galley,
for the small boats durst not come from the shore but when it was very

The next day we hasted thence, and having an easterly wind to help us,
we spared our arms from rowing; for after we entered Orenoque, the
river lieth for the most part east and west, even from the sea unto
Quito, in Peru. This river is navigable with barks little less than
1000 miles; and from the place where we entered it may be sailed up in
small pinnaces to many of the best parts of Nuevo Reyno de Granada and
of Popayan. And from no place may the cities of these parts of the
Indies be so easily taken and invaded as from hence. All that day we
sailed up a branch of that river, having on the left hand a great
island, which they call Assapana, which may contain some five-and-
twenty miles in length, and six miles in breadth, the great body of
the river running on the other side of this island. Beyond that middle
branch there is also another island in the river, called Iwana, which
is twice as big as the Isle of Wight; and beyond it, and between it
and the main of Guiana, runneth a third branch of Orenoque, called
Arraroopana. All three are goodly branches, and all navigable for
great ships. I judge the river in this place to be at least thirty
miles broad, reckoning the islands which divide the branches in it,
for afterwards I sought also both the other branches.

After we reached to the head of the island called Assapana, a little
to the westward on the right hand there opened a river which came from
the north, called Europa, and fell into the great river; and beyond it
on the same side we anchored for that night by another island, six
miles long and two miles broad, which they call Ocaywita. From hence,
in the morning, we landed two Guianians, which we found in the town of
Toparimaca, that came with us; who went to give notice of our coming
to the lord of that country, called Putyma, a follower of Topiawari,
chief lord of Aromaia, who succeeded Morequito, whom (as you have
heard before) Berreo put to death. But his town being far within the
land, he came not unto us that day; so as we anchored again that night
near the banks of another land, of bigness much like the other, which
they call Putapayma, over against which island, on the main land, was
a very high mountain called Oecope. We coveted to anchor rather by
these islands in the river than by the main, because of the tortugas'
eggs, which our people found on them in great abundance; and also
because the ground served better for us to cast our nets for fish, the
main banks being for the most part stony and high and the rocks of a
blue, metalline colour, like unto the best steel ore, which I
assuredly take it to be. Of the same blue stone are also divers great
mountains which border this river in many places.

The next morning, towards nine of the clock, we weighed anchor; and
the breeze increasing, we sailed always west up the river, and, after
a while, opening the land on the right side, the country appeared to
be champaign and the banks shewed very perfect red. I therefore sent
two of the little barges with Captain Gifford, and with him Captain
Thyn, Captain Caulfield, my cousin Greenvile, my nephew John Gilbert,
Captain Eynos, Master Edward Porter, and my cousin Butshead Gorges,
with some few soldiers, to march over the banks of that red land and
to discover what manner of country it was on the other side; who at
their return found it all a plain level as far as they went or could
discern from the highest tree they could get upon. And my old pilot, a
man of great travel, brother to the cacique Toparimaca, told me that
those were called the plains of the Sayma, and that the same level
reached to Cumana and Caracas, in the West Indies, which are a hundred
and twenty leagues to the north, and that there inhabited four
principal nations. The first were the Sayma, the next Assawai, the
third and greatest the Wikiri, by whom Pedro Hernandez de Serpa,
before mentioned, was overthrown as he passed with 300 horse from
Cumana towards Orenoque in his enterprise of Guiana. The fourth are
called Aroras, and are as black as negroes, but have smooth hair; and
these are very valiant, or rather desperate, people, and have the most
strong poison on their arrows, and most dangerous, of all nations, of
which I will speak somewhat, being a digression not unnecessary.

There was nothing whereof I was more curious than to find out the true
remedies of these poisoned arrows. For besides the mortality of the
wound they make, the party shot endureth the most insufferable torment
in the world, and abideth a most ugly and lamentable death, sometimes
dying stark mad, sometimes their bowels breaking out of their bellies;
which are presently discoloured as black as pitch, and so unsavory as
no man can endure to cure or to attend them. And it is more strange to
know that in all this time there was never Spaniard, either by gift or
torment, that could attain to the true knowledge of the cure, although
they have martyred and put to invented torture I know not how many of
them. But everyone of these Indians know it not, no, not one among
thousands, but their soothsayers and priests, who do conceal it, and
only teach it but from the father to the son.

Those medicines which are vulgar, and serve for the ordinary poison,
are made of the juice of a root called tupara; the same also quencheth
marvellously the heat of burning fevers, and healeth inward wounds and
broken veins that bleed within the body. But I was more beholding to
the Guianians than any other; for Antonio de Berreo told me that he
could never attain to the knowledge thereof, and yet they taught me
the best way of healing as well thereof as of all other poisons. Some
of the Spaniards have been cured in ordinary wounds of the common
poisoned arrows with the juice of garlic. But this is a general rule
for all men that shall hereafter travel the Indies where poisoned
arrows are used, that they must abstain from drink. For if they take
any liquor into their body, as they shall be marvellously provoked
thereunto by drought, I say, if they drink before the wound be
dressed, or soon upon it, there is no way with them but present death.

And so I will return again to our journey, which for this third day we
finished, and cast anchor again near the continent on the left hand
between two mountains, the one called Aroami and the other Aio. I made
no stay here but till midnight; for I feared hourly lest any rain
should fall, and then it had been impossible to have gone any further
up, notwithstanding that there is every day a very strong breeze and
easterly wind. I deferred the search of the country on Guiana side
till my return down the river.

The next day we sailed by a great island in the middle of the river,
called Manoripano; and, as we walked awhile on the island, while the
galley got ahead of us, there came for us from the main a small canoa
with seven or eight Guianians, to invite us to anchor at their port,
but I deferred till my return. It was that cacique to whom those
Nepoios went, which came with us from the town of Toparimaca. And so
the fifth day we reached as high up as the province of Aromaia, the
country of Morequito, whom Berreo executed, and anchored to the west
of an island called Murrecotima, ten miles long and five broad. And
that night the cacique Aramiary, to whose town we made our long and
hungry voyage out of the river of Amana, passed by us.

The next day we arrived at the port of Morequito, and anchored there,
sending away one of our pilots to seek the king of Aromaia, uncle to
Morequito, slain by Berreo as aforesaid. The next day following,
before noon, he came to us on foot from his house, which was fourteen
English miles, himself being a hundred and ten years old, and returned
on foot the same day; and with him many of the borderers, with many
women and children, that came to wonder at our nation and to bring us
down victual, which they did in great plenty, as venison, pork, hens,
chickens, fowl, fish, with divers sorts of excellent fruits and roots,
and great abundance of pinas, the princess of fruits that grow under
the sun, especially those of Guiana. They brought us, also, store of
bread and of their wine, and a sort of paraquitos no bigger than
wrens, and of all other sorts both small and great. One of them gave
me a beast called by the Spaniards armadillo, which they call
cassacam, which seemeth to be all barred over with small plates
somewhat like to a rhinoceros, with a white horn growing in his hinder
parts as big as a great hunting-horn, which they use to wind instead
of a trumpet. Monardus (Monardes, Historia Medicinal) writeth that a
little of the powder of that horn put into the ear cureth deafness.

After this old king had rested awhile in a little tent that I caused
to be set up, I began by my interpreter to discourse with him of the
death of Morequito his predecessor, and afterward of the Spaniards;
and ere I went any farther I made him know the cause of my coming
thither, whose servant I was, and that the Queen's pleasure was I
should undertake the voyage for their defence, and to deliver them
from the tyranny of the Spaniards, dilating at large, as I had done
before to those of Trinidad, her Majesty's greatness, her justice, her
charity to all oppressed nations, with as many of the rest of her
beauties and virtues as either I could express or they conceive. All
which being with great admiration attentively heard and marvellously
admired, I began to sound the old man as touching Guiana and the state
thereof, what sort of commonwealth it was, how governed, of what
strength and policy, how far it extended, and what nations were
friends or enemies adjoining, and finally of the distance, and way to
enter the same. He told me that himself and his people, with all those
down the river towards the sea, as far as Emeria, the province of
Carapana, were of Guiana, but that they called themselves
Orenoqueponi, and that all the nations between the river and those
mountains in sight, called Wacarima, were of the same cast and
appellation; and that on the other side of those mountains of Wacarima
there was a large plain (which after I discovered in my return) called
the valley of Amariocapana. In all that valley the people were also of
the ancient Guianians.

I asked what nations those were which inhabited on the further side of
those mountains, beyond the valley of Amariocapana. He answered with a
great sigh (as a man which had inward feeling of the loss of his
country and liberty, especially for that his eldest son was slain in a
battle on that side of the mountains, whom he most entirely loved)
that he remembered in his father's lifetime, when he was very old and
himself a young man, that there came down into that large valley of
Guiana a nation from so far off as the sun slept (for such were his
own words), with so great a multitude as they could not be numbered
nor resisted, and that they wore large coats, and hats of crimson
colour, which colour he expressed by shewing a piece of red wood
wherewith my tent was supported, and that they were called Orejones
and Epuremei; that those had slain and rooted out so many of the
ancient people as there were leaves in the wood upon all the trees,
and had now made themselves lords of all, even to that mountain foot
called Curaa, saving only of two nations, the one called Iwarawaqueri
and the other Cassipagotos; and that in the last battle fought between
the Epuremei and the Iwarawaqueri his eldest son was chosen to carry
to the aid of the Iwarawaqueri a great troop of the Orenoqueponi, and
was there slain with all his people and friends, and that he had now
remaining but one son; and farther told me that those Epuremei had
built a great town called Macureguarai at the said mountain foot, at
the beginning of the great plains of Guiana, which have no end; and
that their houses have many rooms, one over the other, and that
therein the great king of the Orejones and Epuremei kept three
thousand men to defend the borders against them, and withal daily to
invade and slay them; but that of late years, since the Christians
offered to invade his territories and those frontiers, they were all
at peace, and traded one with another, saving only the Iwarawaqueri
and those other nations upon the head of the river of Caroli called
Cassipagotos, which we afterwards discovered, each one holding the
Spaniard for a common enemy.

After he had answered thus far, he desired leave to depart, saying
that he had far to go, that he was old and weak, and was every day
called for by death, which was also his own phrase. I desired him to
rest with us that night, but I could not entreat him; but he told me
that at my return from the country above he would again come to us,
and in the meantime provide for us the best he could, of all that his
country yielded. The same night he returned to Orocotona, his own
town; so as he went that day eight-and-twenty miles, the weather being
very hot, the country being situate between four and five degrees of
the equinoctial. This Topiawari is held for the proudest and wisest of
all the Orenoqueponi, and so he behaved himself towards me in all his
answers, at my return, as I marvelled to find a man of that gravity
and judgment and of so good discourse, that had no help of learning
nor breed. The next morning we also left the port, and sailed westward
up to the river, to view the famous river called Caroli, as well
because it was marvellous of itself, as also for that I understood it
led to the strongest nations of all the frontiers, that were enemies
to the Epuremei, which are subjects to Inga, emperor of Guiana and
Manoa. And that night we anchored at another island called Caiama, of
some five or six miles in length; and the next day arrived at the
mouth of Caroli. When we were short of it as low or further down as
the port of Morequito, we heard the great roar and fall of the river.
But when we came to enter with our barge and wherries, thinking to
have gone up some forty miles to the nations of the Cassipagotos, we
were not able with a barge of eight oars to row one stone's cast in an
hour; and yet the river is as broad as the Thames at Woolwich, and we
tried both sides, and the middle, and every part of the river. So as
we encamped upon the banks adjoining, and sent off our Orenoquepone
which came with us from Morequito to give knowledge to the nations
upon the river of our being there, and that we desired to see the
lords of Canuria, which dwelt within the province upon that river,
making them know that we were enemies to the Spaniards; for it was on
this river side that Morequito slew the friar, and those nine
Spaniards which came from Manoa, the city of Inga, and took from them
14,000 pesos of gold. So as the next day there came down a lord or
cacique, called Wanuretona, with many people with him, and brought all
store of provisions to entertain us, as the rest had done. And as I
had before made my coming known to Topiawari, so did I acquaint this
cacique therewith, and how I was sent by her Majesty for the purpose
aforesaid, and gathered also what I could of him touching the estate
of Guiana. And I found that those also of Caroli were not only enemies
to the Spaniards, but most of all to the Epuremei, which abound in
gold. And by this Wanuretona I had knowledge that on the head of this
river were three mighty nations, which were seated on a great lake,
from whence this river descended, and were called Cassipagotos,
Eparegotos, and Arawagotos (the Purigotos and Arinagotos are still
settled on the upper tributaries of the Caroni river, no such lake as
that mentioned is known to exist); and that all those either against
the Spaniards or the Epuremei would join with us, and that if we
entered the land over the mountains of Curaa we should satisfy
ourselves with gold and all other good things. He told us farther of a
nation called Iwarawaqueri, before spoken of, that held daily war with
the Epuremei that inhabited Macureguarai, and first civil town of
Guiana, of the subjects of Inga, the emperor.

Upon this river one Captain George, that I took with Berreo, told me
that there was a great silver mine, and that it was near the banks of
the said river. But by this time as well Orenoque, Caroli, as all the
rest of the rivers were risen four or five feet in height, so as it
was not possible by the strength of any men, or with any boat
whatsoever, to row into the river against the stream. I therefore sent
Captain Thyn, Captain Greenvile, my nephew John Gilbert, my cousin
Butshead Gorges, Captain Clarke, and some thirty shot more to coast
the river by land, and to go to a town some twenty miles over the
valley called Amnatapoi; and they found guides there to go farther
towards the mountain foot to another great town called Capurepana,
belonging to a cacique called Haharacoa, that was a nephew to old
Topiawari, king of Aromaia, our chiefest friend, because this town and
province of Capurepana adjoined to Macureguarai, which was a frontier
town of the empire. And the meanwhile myself with Captain Gifford,
Captain Caulfield, Edward Hancock, and some half-a-dozen shot marched
overland to view the strange overfalls of the river of Caroli, which
roared so far off; and also to see the plains adjoining, and the rest
of the province of Canuri. I sent also Captain Whiddon, William
Connock, and some eight shot with them, to see if they could find any
mineral stone alongst the river's side. When we were come to the tops
of the first hills of the plains adjoining to the river, we beheld
that wonderful breach of waters which ran down Caroli; and might from
that mountain see the river how it ran in three parts, above twenty
miles off, and there appeared some ten or twelve overfalls in sight,
every one as high over the other as a church tower, which fell with
that fury, that the rebound of water made it seem as if it had been
all covered over with a great shower of rain; and in some places we
took it at the first for a smoke that had risen over some great town.
For mine own part I was well persuaded from thence to have returned,
being a very ill footman; but the rest were all so desirous to go near
the said strange thunder of waters, as they drew me on by little and
little, till we came into the next valley, where we might better
discern the same. I never saw a more beautiful country, nor more
lively prospects; hills so raised here and there over the valleys; the
river winding into divers branches; the plains adjoining without bush
or stubble, all fair green grass; the ground of hard sand, easy to
march on, either for horse or foot; the deer crossing in every path;
the birds towards the evening singing on every tree with a thousand
several tunes; cranes and herons of white, crimson, and carnation,
perching in the river's side; the air fresh with a gentle easterly
wind; and every stone that we stooped to take up promised either gold
or silver by his complexion. Your Lordship shall see of many sorts,
and I hope some of them cannot be bettered under the sun; and yet we
had no means but with our daggers and fingers to tear them out here
and there, the rocks being most hard of that mineral spar aforesaid,
which is like a flint, and is altogether as hard or harder, and
besides the veins lie a fathom or two deep in the rocks. But we wanted
all things requisite save only our desires and good will to have
performed more if it had pleased God. To be short, when both our
companies returned, each of them brought also several sorts of stones
that appeared very fair, but were such as they found loose on the
ground, and were for the most part but coloured, and had not any gold
fixed in them. Yet such as had no judgment or experience kept all that
glistered, and would not be persuaded but it was rich because of the
lustre; and brought of those, and of marcasite withal, from Trinidad,
and have delivered of those stones to be tried in many places, and
have thereby bred an opinion that all the rest is of the same. Yet
some of these stones I shewed afterward to a Spaniard of the Caracas,
who told me that it was El Madre del Oro, that is, the mother of gold,
and that the mine was farther in the ground.

But it shall be found a weak policy in me, either to betray myself or
my country with imaginations; neither am I so far in love with that
lodging, watching, care, peril, diseases, ill savours, bad fare, and
many other mischiefs that accompany these voyages, as to woo myself
again into any of them, were I not assured that the sun covereth not
so much riches in any part of the earth. Captain Whiddon, and our
chirurgeon, Nicholas Millechamp, brought me a kind of stones like
sapphires; what they may prove I know not. I shewed them to some of
the Orenoqueponi, and they promised to bring me to a mountain that had
of them very large pieces growing diamond-wise; whether it be crystal
of the mountain, Bristol diamond, or sapphire, I do not yet know, but
I hope the best; sure I am that the place is as likely as those from
whence all the rich stones are brought, and in the same height or very
near. On the left hand of this river Caroli are seated those nations
which I called Iwarawaqueri before remembered, which are enemies to
the Epuremei; and on the head of it, adjoining to the great lake
Cassipa, are situated those other nations which also resist Inga, and
the Epuremei, called Cassipagotos, Eparegotos, and Arawagotos. I
farther understood that this lake of Cassipa is so large, as it is
above one day's journey for one of their canoas, to cross, which may
be some forty miles; and that thereinto fall divers rivers, and that
great store of grains of gold are found in the summer time when the
lake falleth by the banks, in those branches.

There is also another goodly river beyond Caroli which is called Arui,
which also runneth through the lake Cassipa, and falleth into Orenoque
farther west, making all that land between Caroli and Arui an island;
which is likewise a most beautiful country. Next unto Arui there are
two rivers Atoica and Caura, and on that branch which is called Caura
are a nation of people whose heads appear not above their shoulders;
which though it may be thought a mere fable, yet for mine own part I
am resolved it is true, because every child in the provinces of
Aromaia and Canuri affirm the same. They are called Ewaipanoma; they
are reported to have their eyes in their shoulders, and their mouths
in the middle of their breasts, and that a long train of hair groweth
backward between their shoulders. The son of Topiawari, which I
brought with me into England, told me that they were the most mighty
men of all the land, and use bows, arrows, and clubs thrice as big as
any of Guiana, or of the Orenoqueponi; and that one of the
Iwarawaqueri took a prisoner of them the year before our arrival
there, and brought him into the borders of Aromaia, his father's
country. And farther, when I seemed to doubt of it, he told me that it
was no wonder among them; but that they were as great a nation and as
common as any other in all the provinces, and had of late years slain
many hundreds of his father's people, and of other nations their
neighbours. But it was not my chance to hear of them till I was come
away; and if I had but spoken one word of it while I was there I might
have brought one of them with me to put the matter out of doubt. Such
a nation was written of by Mandeville, whose reports were holden for
fables many years; and yet since the East Indies were discovered, we
find his relations true of such things as heretofore were held
incredible (Mandeville, or the author who assumed this name, placed
his headless men in the East Indian Archipelago, the fable is borrowed
from older writers, Herodotus &c). Whether it be true or no, the
matter is not great, neither can there be any profit in the
imagination; for mine own part I saw them not, but I am resolved that
so many people did not all combine or forethink to make the report.

When I came to Cumana in the West Indies afterwards by chance I spake
with a Spaniard dwelling not far from thence, a man of great travel.
And after he knew that I had been in Guiana, and so far directly west
as Caroli, the first question he asked me was, whether I had seen any
of the Ewaipanoma, which are those without heads. Who being esteemed a
most honest man of his word, and in all things else, told me that he
had seen many of them; I may not name him, because it may be for his
disadvantage, but he is well known to Monsieur Moucheron's son of
London, and to Peter Moucheron, merchant, of the Flemish ship that was
there in trade; who also heard, what he avowed to be true, of those

The fourth river to the west of Caroli is Casnero: which falleth into
the Orenoque on this side of Amapaia. And that river is greater than
Danubius, or any of Europe: it riseth on the south of Guiana from the
mountains which divide Guiana from Amazons, and I think it to be
navigable many hundred miles. But we had no time, means, nor season of
the year, to search those rivers, for the causes aforesaid, the winter
being come upon us; although the winter and summer as touching cold
and heat differ not, neither do the trees ever sensibly lose their
leaves, but have always fruit either ripe or green, and most of them
both blossoms, leaves, ripe fruit, and green, at one time: but their
winter only consisteth of terrible rains, and overflowing of the
rivers, with many great storms and gusts, thunder and lightnings, of
which we had our fill ere we returned.

On the north side, the first river that falleth into the Orenoque is
Cari. Beyond it, on the same side is the river of Limo. Between these
two is a great nation of Cannibals, and their chief town beareth the
name of the river, and is called Acamacari. At this town is a
continual market of women for three or four hatchets apiece; they are
bought by the Arwacas, and by them sold into the West Indies. To the
west of Limo is the river Pao, beyond it Caturi, beyond that Voari,
and Capuri (the Apure river), which falleth out of the great river of
Meta, by which Berreo descended from Nuevo Reyno de Granada. To the
westward of Capuri is the province of Amapaia, where Berreo wintered
and had so many of his people poisoned with the tawny water of the
marshes of the Anebas. Above Amapaia, toward Nuevo Reyno, fall in
Meto, Pato and Cassanar. To the west of those, towards the provinces
of the Ashaguas and Catetios, are the rivers of Beta, Dawney, and
Ubarro; and toward the frontier of Peru are the provinces of
Thomebamba, and Caxamalca. Adjoining to Quito in the north side of
Peru are the rivers of Guiacar and Goauar; and on the other side of
the said mountains the river of Papamene which descendeth into Maranon
or Amazons, passing through the province Motilones, where Don Pedro de
Orsua, who was slain by the traitor Aguirre before rehearsed, built
his brigandines, when he sought Guiana by the way of Amazons.

Between Dawney and Beta lieth a famous island in Orenoque (now called
Baraquan, for above Meta it is not known by the name of Orenoque)
which is called Athule (cataract of Ature); beyond which ships of
burden cannot pass by reason of a most forcible overfall, and current
of water; but in the eddy all smaller vessels may be drawn even to
Peru itself. But to speak of more of these rivers without the
description were but tedious, and therefore I will leave the rest to
the description. This river of Orenoque is navigable for ships little
less than 1,000 miles, and for lesser vessels near 2,000. By it, as
aforesaid, Peru, Nuevo Reyno and Popayan may be invaded: it also
leadeth to the great empire of Inga, and to the provinces of Amapaia
and Anebas, which abound in gold. His branches of Casnero, Manta,
Caura descend from the middle land and valley which lieth between the
easter province of Peru and Guiana; and it falls into the sea between
Maranon and Trinidad in two degrees and a half. All of which your
honours shall better perceive in the general description of Guiana,
Peru, Nuevo Reyno, the kingdom of Popayan, and Rodas, with the
province of Venezuela, to the bay of Uraba, behind Cartagena,
westward, and to Amazons southward. While we lay at anchor on the
coast of Canuri, and had taken knowledge of all the nations upon the
head and branches of this river, and had found out so many several
people, which were enemies to the Epuremei and the new conquerors, I
thought it time lost to linger any longer in that place, especially
for that the fury of Orenoque began daily to threaten us with dangers
in our return. For no half day passed but the river began to rage and
overflow very fearfully, and the rains came down in terrible showers,
and gusts in great abundance; and withal our men began to cry out for
want of shift, for no man had place to bestow any other apparel than
that which he ware on his back, and that was throughly washed on his
body for the most part ten times in one day; and we had now been well-
near a month every day passing to the westward farther and farther
from our ships. We therefore turned towards the east, and spent the
rest of the time in discovering the river towards the sea, which we
had not viewed, and which was most material.

The next day following we left the mouth of Caroli, and arrived again
at the port of Morequito where we were before; for passing down the
stream we went without labour, and against the wind, little less than
a hundred miles a day. As soon as I came to anchor, I sent away one
for old Topiawari, with whom I much desired to have further
conference, and also to deal with him for some one of his country to
bring with us into England, as well to learn the language, as to
confer withal by the way, the time being now spent of any longer stay
there. Within three hours after my messenger came to him, he arrived
also, and with him such a rabble of all sorts of people, and every one
loaden with somewhat, as if it had been a great market or fair in
England; and our hungry companies clustered thick and threefold among
their baskets, every one laying hand on what he liked. After he had
rested awhile in my tent, I shut out all but ourselves and my
interpreter, and told him that I knew that both the Epuremei and the
Spaniards were enemies to him, his country and nations: that the one
had conquered Guiana already, and the other sought to regain the same
from them both; and therefore I desired him to instruct me what he
could, both of the passage into the golden parts of Guiana, and to the
civil towns and apparelled people of Inga. He gave me an answer to
this effect: first, that he could not perceive that I meant to go
onward towards the city of Manoa, for neither the time of the year
served, neither could he perceive any sufficient numbers for such an
enterprise. And if I did, I was sure with all my company to be buried
there, for the emperor was of that strength, as that many times so
many men more were too few. Besides, he gave me this good counsel and
advised me to hold it in mind (as for himself, he knew he could not
live till my return), that I should not offer by any means hereafter
to invade the strong parts of Guiana without the help of all those
nations which were also their enemies; for that it was impossible
without those, either to be conducted, to be victualled, or to have
aught carried with us, our people not being able to endure the march
in so great heat and travail, unless the borderers gave them help, to
cart with them both their meat and furniture. For he remembered that
in the plains of Macureguarai three hundred Spaniards were overthrown,
who were tired out, and had none of the borderers to their friends;
but meeting their enemies as they passed the frontier, were environed
on all sides, and the people setting the long dry grass on fire,
smothered them, so as they had no breath to fight, nor could discern
their enemies for the great smoke. He told me further that four days'
journey from his town was Macureguarai, and that those were the next
and nearest of the subjects of Inga, and of the Epuremei, and the
first town of apparelled and rich people; and that all those plates of
gold which were scattered among the borderers and carried to other
nations far and near, came from the said Macureguarai and were there
made, but that those of the land within were far finer, and were
fashioned after the images of men, beasts, birds, and fishes. I asked
him whether he thought that those companies that I had there with me
were sufficient to take that town or no; he told me that he thought
they were. I then asked him whether he would assist me with guides,
and some companies of his people to join with us; he answered that he
would go himself with all the borderers, if the rivers did remain
fordable, upon this condition, that I would leave with him till my
return again fifty soldiers, which he undertook to victual. I answered
that I had not above fifty good men in all there; the rest were
labourers and rowers, and that I had no provision to leave with them
of powder, shot, apparel, or aught else, and that without those things
necessary for their defence, they should be in danger of the Spaniards
in my absence, who I knew would use the same measures towards mine
that I offered them at Trinidad. And although upon the motion Captain
Caulfield, Captain Greenvile, my nephew John Gilbert and divers others
were desirous to stay, yet I was resolved that they must needs have
perished. For Berreo expected daily a supply out of Spain, and looked
also hourly for his son to come down from Nuevo Reyno de Granada, with
many horse and foot, and had also in Valencia, in the Caracas, two
hundred horse ready to march; and I could not have spared above forty,
and had not any store at all of powder, lead, or match to have left
with them, nor any other provision, either spade, pickaxe, or aught
else to have fortified withal.

When I had given him reason that I could not at this time leave him
such a company, he then desired me to forbear him and his country for
that time; for he assured me that I should be no sooner three days
from the coast but those Epuremei would invade him, and destroy all
the remain of his people and friends, if he should any way either
guide us or assist us against them. He further alleged that the
Spaniards sought his death; and as they had already murdered his
nephew Morequito, lord of that province, so they had him seventeen
days in a chain before he was king of the country, and led him like a
dog from place to place until he had paid an hundred plates of gold
and divers chains of spleen-stones for his ransom. And now, since he
became owner of that province, that they had many times laid wait to
take him, and that they would be now more vehement when they should
understand of his conference with the English. /And because/, said he,
/they would the better displant me, if they cannot lay hands on me,
they have gotten a nephew of mine called Eparacano, whom they have
christened Don Juan, and his son Don Pedro, whom they have also
apparelled and armed, by whom they seek to make a party against me in
mine own country. He also hath taken to wife one Louiana, of a strong
family, which are borderers and neighbours; and myself now being old
and in the hands of death am not able to travel nor to shift as when I
was of younger years./ He therefore prayed us to defer it till the
next year, when he would undertake to draw in all the borderers to
serve us, and then, also, it would be more seasonable to travel; for
at this time of the year we should not be able to pass any river, the
waters were and would be so grown ere our return.

He farther told me that I could not desire so much to invade
Macureguarai and the rest of Guiana but that the borderers would be
more vehement than I. For he yielded for a chief cause that in the
wars with the Epuremei they were spoiled of their women, and that
their wives and daughters were taken from them; so as for their own
parts they desired nothing of the gold or treasure for their labours,
but only to recover women from the Epuremei. For he farther complained
very sadly, as it had been a matter of great consequence, that whereas
they were wont to have ten or twelve wives, they were now enforced to
content themselves with three or four, and that the lords of the
Epuremei had fifty or a hundred. And in truth they war more for women
than either for gold or dominion. For the lords of countries desire
many children of their own bodies to increase their races and
kindreds, for in those consist their greatest trust and strength.
Divers of his followers afterwards desired me to make haste again,
that they might sack the Epuremei, and I asked them, of what? They
answered, Of their women for us, and their gold for you. For the hope
of those many of women they more desire the war than either for gold
or for the recovery of their ancient territories. For what between the
subjects of Inga and the Spaniards, those frontiers are grown thin of
people; and also great numbers are fled to other nations farther off
for fear of the Spaniards.

After I received this answer of the old man, we fell into
consideration whether it had been of better advice to have entered
Macureguarai, and to have begun a war upon Inga at this time, yea, or
no, if the time of the year and all things else had sorted. For mine
own part, as we were not able to march it for the rivers, neither had
any such strength as was requisite, and durst not abide the coming of
the winter, or to tarry any longer from our ships, I thought it were
evil counsel to have attempted it at that time, although the desire
for gold will answer many objections. But it would have been, in mine
opinion, an utter overthrow to the enterprise, if the same should be
hereafter by her Majesty attempted. For then, whereas now they have
heard we were enemies to the Spaniards and were sent by her Majesty to
relieve them, they would as good cheap have joined with the Spaniards
at our return, as to have yielded unto us, when they had proved that
we came both for one errand, and that both sought but to sack and
spoil them. But as yet our desire gold, or our purpose of invasion, is
not known to them of the empire. And it is likely that if her Majesty
undertake the enterprise they will rather submit themselves to her
obedience than to the Spaniards, of whose cruelty both themselves and
the borderers have already tasted. And therefore, till I had known her
Majesty's pleasure, I would rather have lost the sack of one or two
towns, although they might have been very profitable, than to have
defaced or endangered the future hope of so many millions, and the
great good and rich trade which England may be possessed of thereby. I
am assured now that they will all die, even to the last man, against
the Spaniards in hope of our succour and return. Whereas, otherwise,
if I had either laid hands on the borderers or ransomed the lords, as
Berreo did, or invaded the subjects of Inga, I know all had been lost
for hereafter.

After that I had resolved Topiawari, lord of Aromaia, that I could not
at this time leave with him the companies he desired, and that I was
contented to forbear the enterprise against the Epuremei till the next
year, he freely gave me his only son to take with me into England; and
hoped that though he himself had but a short time to live, yet that by
our means his son should be established after his death. And I left
with him one Francis Sparrow, a servant of Captain Gifford, who was
desirous to tarry, and could describe a country with his pen, and a
boy of mine called Hugh Goodwin, to learn the language. I after asked
the manner how the Epuremei wrought those plates of gold, and how they
could melt it out of the stone. He told me that the most of the gold
which they made in plates and images was not severed from the stone,
but that on the lake of Manoa, and in a multitude of other rivers,
they gathered it in grains of perfect gold and in pieces as big as
small stones, and they put it to a part of copper, otherwise they
could not work it; and that they used a great earthen pot with holes
round about it, and when they had mingled the gold and copper together
they fastened canes to the holes, and so with the breath of men they
increased the fire till the metal ran, and then they cast it into
moulds of stone and clay, and so make those plates and images. I have
sent your honours of two sorts such as I could by chance recover, more
to shew the manner of them than for the value. For I did not in any
sort make my desire of gold known, because I had neither time nor
power to have a great quantity. I gave among them many more pieces of
gold than I received, of the new money of twenty shillings with her
Majesty's picture, to wear, with promise that they would become her
servants thenceforth.

I have also sent your honours of the ore, whereof I know some is as
rich as the earth yieldeth any, of which I know there is sufficient,
if nothing else were to be hoped for. But besides that we were not
able to tarry and search the hills, so we had neither pioneers, bars,
sledges, nor wedges of iron to break the ground, without which there
is no working in mines. But we saw all the hills with stones of the
colour of gold and silver, and we tried them to be no marcasite, and
therefore such as the Spaniards call El madre del oro or "the mother
of gold," which is an undoubted assurance of the general abundance;
and myself saw the outside of many mines of the spar, which I know to
be the same that all covet in this world, and of those more than I
will speak of.

Having learned what I could in Canuri and Aromaia, and received a
faithful promise of the principallest of those provinces to become
servants to her Majesty, and to resist the Spaniards if they made any
attempt in our absence, and that they would draw in the nations about
the lake of Cassipa and those of Iwarawaqueri, I then parted from old
Topiawari, and received his son for a pledge between us, and left with
him two of ours as aforesaid. To Francis Sparrow I gave instructions
to travel to Macureguarai with such merchandises as I left with them,
thereby to learn the place, and if it were possible, to go on to the
great city of Manoa. Which being done, we weighed anchor and coasted
the river on Guiana side, because we came upon the north side, by the
lawns of the Saima and Wikiri.

There came with us from Aromaia a cacique called Putijma, that
commanded the province of Warapana, which Putijma slew the nine
Spaniards upon Caroli before spoken of; who desired us to rest in the
port of his country, promising to bring us unto a mountain adjoining
to his town that had stones of the colour of gold, which he performed.
And after we had rested there one night I went myself in the morning
with most of the gentlemen of my company over-land towards the said
mountain, marching by a river's side called Mana, leaving on the right
hand a town called Tuteritona, standing in the province of Tarracoa,
of which Wariaaremagoto is principal. Beyond it lieth another town
towards the south, in the valley of Amariocapana, which beareth the
name of the said valley; whose plains stretch themselves some sixty
miles in length, east and west, as fair ground and as beautiful fields
as any man hath ever seen, with divers copses scattered here and there
by the river's side, and all as full of deer as any forest or park in
England, and in every lake and river the like abundance of fish and
fowl; of which Irraparragota is lord.

From the river of Mana we crossed another river in the said beautiful
valley called Oiana, and rested ourselves by a clear lake which lay in
the middle of the said Oiana; and one of our guides kindling us fire
with two sticks, we stayed awhile to dry our shirts, which with the
heat hung very wet and heavy on our shoulders. Afterwards we sought
the ford to pass over towards the mountain called Iconuri, where
Putijma foretold us of the mine. In this lake we saw one of the great
fishes, as big as a wine pipe, which they call manati, being most
excellent and wholesome meat. But after I perceived that to pass the
said river would require half-a-day's march more, I was not able
myself to endure it, and therefore I sent Captain Keymis with six shot
to go on, and gave him order not to return to the port of Putijma,
which is called Chiparepare, but to take leisure, and to march down
the said valley as far as a river called Cumaca, where I promised to
meet him again, Putijma himself promising also to be his guide. And as
they marched, they left the towns of Emperapana and Capurepana on the
right hand, and marched from Putijma's house, down the said valley of
Amariocapana; and we returning the same day to the river's side, saw
by the way many rocks like unto gold ore, and on the left hand a round
mountain which consisted of mineral stone.

From hence we rowed down the stream, coasting the province of Parino.
As for the branches of rivers which I overpass in this discourse,
those shall be better expressed in the description, with the mountains
of Aio, Ara, and the rest, which are situate in the provinces of
Parino and Carricurrina. When we were come as far down as the land
called Ariacoa, where Orenoque divideth itself into three great
branches, each of them being most goodly rivers, I sent away Captain
Henry Thyn, and Captain Greenvile with the galley, the nearest way,
and took with me Captain Gifford, Captain Caulfield, Edward Porter,
and Captain Eynos with mine own barge and the two wherries, and went
down that branch of Orenoque which is called Cararoopana, which
leadeth towards Emeria, the province of Carapana, and towards the east
sea, as well to find out Captain Keymis, whom I had sent overland, as
also to acquaint myself with Carapana, who is one of the greatest of
all the lords of the Orenoqueponi. And when I came to the river of
Cumaca, to which Putijma promised to conduct Captain Keymis, I left
Captain Eynos and Master Porter in the said river to expect his
coming, and the rest of us rowed down the stream towards Emeria.

In this branch called Cararoopana were also many goodly islands, some
of six miles long, some of ten, and some of twenty. When it grew
towards sunset, we entered a branch of a river that fell into
Orenoque, called Winicapora; where I was informed of the mountain of
crystal, to which in truth for the length of the way, and the evil
season of the year, I was not able to march, nor abide any longer upon
the journey. We saw it afar off; and it appeared like a white church-
tower of an exceeding height. There falleth over it a mighty river
which toucheth no part of the side of the mountain, but rusheth over
the top of it, and falleth to the ground with so terrible a noise and
clamour, as if a thousand great bells were knocked one against
another. I think there is not in the world so strange an overfall, nor
so wonderful to behold. Berreo told me that there were diamonds and
other precious stones on it, and that they shined very far off; but
what it hath I know not, neither durst he or any of his men ascend to
the top of the said mountain, those people adjoining being his
enemies, as they were, and the way to it so impassable.

Upon this river of Winicapora we rested a while, and from thence
marched into the country to a town called after the name of the river,
whereof the captain was one Timitwara, who also offered to conduct me
to the top of the said mountain called Wacarima. But when we came in
first to the house of the said Timitwara, being upon one of their said
feast days, we found them all as drunk as beggars, and the pots
walking from one to another without rest. We that were weary and hot
with marching were glad of the plenty, though a small quantity
satisfied us, their drink being very strong and heady, and so rested
ourselves awhile. After we had fed, we drew ourselves back to our
boats upon the river, and there came to us all the lords of the
country, with all such kind of victual as the place yielded, and with
their delicate wine of pinas, and with abundance of hens and other
provisions, and of those stones which we call spleen-stones. We
understood by these chieftains of Winicapora that their lord,
Carapana, was departed from Emeria, which was now in sight, and that
he was fled to Cairamo, adjoining to the mountains of Guiana, over the
valley called Amariocapana, being persuaded by those ten Spaniards
which lay at his house that we would destroy him and his country. But
after these caciques of Winicapora and Saporatona his followers
perceived our purpose, and saw that we came as enemies to the
Spaniards only, and had not so much as harmed any of those nations,
no, though we found them to be of the Spaniards' own servants, they
assured us that Carapana would be as ready to serve us as any of the
lords of the provinces which we had passed; and that he durst do no
other till this day but entertain the Spaniards, his country lying so
directly in their way, and next of all other to any entrance that
should be made in Guiana on that side. And they further assured us,
that it was not for fear of our coming that he was removed, but to be
acquitted of the Spaniards or any other that should come hereafter.
For the province of Cairoma is situate at the mountain foot, which
divideth the plains of Guiana from the countries of the Orenoqueponi;
by means whereof if any should come in our absence into his towns, he
would slip over the mountains into the plains of Guiana among the
Epuremei, where the Spaniards durst not follow him without great
force. But in mine opinion, or rather I assure myself, that Carapana
being a notable wise and subtle fellow, a man of one hundred years of
age and therefore of great experience, is removed to look on, and if
he find that we return strong he will be ours; if not, he will excuse
his departure to the Spaniards, and say it was for fear of our coming.

We therefore thought it bootless to row so far down the stream, or to
seek any farther of this old fox; and therefore from the river of
Waricapana, which lieth at the entrance of Emeria, we returned again,
and left to the eastward those four rivers which fall from the
mountains of Emeria into Orenoque, which are Waracayari, Coirama,
Akaniri, and Iparoma. Below those four are also these branches and
mouths of Orenoque, which fall into the east sea, whereof the first is
Araturi, the next Amacura, the third Barima, the fourth Wana, the
fifth Morooca, the sixth Paroma, the last Wijmi. Beyond them there
fall out of the land between Orenoque and Amazons fourteen rivers,
which I forbear to name, inhabited by the Arwacas and Cannibals.

It is now time to return towards the north, and we found it a
wearisome way back from the borders of Emeria, to recover up again to
the head of the river Carerupana, by which we descended, and where we
parted from the galley, which I directed to take the next way to the
port of Toparimaca, by which we entered first.

All the night it was stormy and dark, and full of thunder and great
showers, so as we were driven to keep close by the banks in our small
boats, being all heartily afraid both of the billow and terrible
current of the river. By the next morning we recovered the mouth of
the river of Cumaca, where we left Captain Eynos and Edward Porter to
attend the coming of Captain Keymis overland; but when we entered the
same, they had heard no news of his arrival, which bred in us a great
doubt what might become of him. I rowed up a league or two farther
into the river, shooting off pieces all the way, that he might know of
our being there; and the next morning we heard them answer us also
with a piece. We took them aboard us, and took our leave of Putijma,
their guide, who of all others most lamented our departure, and
offered to send his son with us into England, if we could have stayed
till he had sent back to his town. But our hearts were cold to behold
the great rage and increase of Orenoque, and therefore departed, and
turned toward the west, till we had recovered the parting of the three
branches aforesaid, that we might put down the stream after the

The next day we landed on the island of Assapano, which divideth the
river from that branch by which we sent down to Emeria, and there
feasted ourselves with that beast which is called armadillo, presented
unto us before at Winicapora. And the day following, we recovered the
galley at anchor at the port of Toparimaca, and the same evening
departed with very foul weather, and terrible thunder and showers, for
the winter was come on very far. The best was, we went no less than
100 miles a day down the river; but by the way we entered it was
impossible to return, for that the river of Amana, being in the bottom
of the bay of Guanipa, cannot be sailed back by any means, both the
breeze and current of the sea were so forcible. And therefore we
followed a branch of Orenoque called Capuri, which entered into the
sea eastward of our ships, to the end we might bear with them before
the wind; and it was not without need, for we had by that way as much
to cross of the main sea, after we came to the river's mouth, as
between Gravelin and Dover, in such boats as your honour hath heard.

To speak of what passed homeward were tedious, either to describe or
name any of the rivers, islands, or villages of the Tivitivas, which
dwell on trees; we will leave all those to the general map. And to be
short, when we were arrived at the sea-side, then grew our greatest
doubt, and the bitterest of all our journey forepassed; for I protest
before God, that we were in a most desperate estate. For the same
night which we anchored in the mouth of the river of Capuri, where it
falleth into the sea, there arose a mighty storm, and the river's
mouth was at least a league broad, so as we ran before night close
under the land with our small boats, and brought the galley as near as
we could. But she had as much ado to live as could be, and there
wanted little of her sinking, and all those in her; for mine own part,
I confess I was very doubtful which way to take, either to go over in
the pestered (crowded) galley, there being but six foot water over the
sands for two leagues together, and that also in the channel, and she
drew five; or to adventure in so great a billow, and in so doubtful
weather, to cross the seas in my barge. The longer we tarried the
worse it was, and therefore I took Captain Gifford, Captain Caulfield,
and my cousin Greenvile into my barge; and after it cleared up about
midnight we put ourselves to God's keeping, and thrust out into the
sea, leaving the galley at anchor, who durst not adventure but by
daylight. And so, being all very sober and melancholy, one faintly
cheering another to shew courage, it pleased God that the next day
about nine o'clock, we descried the island of Trinidad; and steering
for the nearest part of it, we kept the shore till we came to
Curiapan, where we found our ships at anchor, than which there was
never to us a more joyful sight.

Now that it hath pleased God to send us safe to our ships, it is time
to leave Guiana to the sun, whom they worship, and steer away towards
the north. I will, therefore, in a few words finish the discovery
thereof. Of the several nations which we found upon this discovery I
will once again make repetition, and how they are affected. At our
first entrance into Amana, which is one of the outlets of Orenoque, we
left on the right hand of us in the bottom of the bay, lying directly
against Trinidad, a nation of inhuman Cannibals, which inhabit the
rivers of Guanipa and Berbeese. In the same bay there is also a third
river, which is called Areo, which riseth on Paria side towards
Cumana, and that river is inhabited with the Wikiri, whose chief town
upon the said river is Sayma. In this bay there are no more rivers but
these three before rehearsed and the four branches of Amana, all which
in the winter thrust so great abundance of water into the sea, as the
same is taken up fresh two or three leagues from the land. In the
passages towards Guiana, that is, in all those lands which the eight
branches of Orenoque fashion into islands, there are but one sort of
people, called Tivitivas, but of two castes, as they term them, the
one called Ciawani, the other Waraweeti, and those war one with

On the hithermost part of Orenoque, as at Toparimaca and Winicapora,
those are of a nation called Nepoios, and are the followers of
Carapana, lord of Emeria. Between Winicapora and the port of
Morequito, which standeth in Aromaia, and all those in the valley of
Amariocapana are called Orenoqueponi, and did obey Morequito and are
now followers of Topiawari. Upon the river of Caroli are the Canuri,
which are governed by a woman who is inheritrix of that province; who
came far off to see our nation, and asked me divers questions of her
Majesty, being much delighted with the discourse of her Majesty's
greatness, and wondering at such reports as we truly made of her
Highness' many virtues. And upon the head of Caroli and on the lake of
Cassipa are the three strong nations of the Cassipagotos. Right south
into the land are the Capurepani and Emparepani, and beyond those,
adjoining to Macureguarai, the first city of Inga, are the
Iwarawakeri. All these are professed enemies to the Spaniards, and to
the rich Epuremei also. To the west of Caroli are divers nations of
Cannibals and of those Ewaipanoma without heads. Directly west are the
Amapaias and Anebas, which are also marvellous rich in gold. The rest
towards Peru we will omit. On the north of Orenoque, between it and
the West Indies, are the Wikiri, Saymi, and the rest before spoken of,
all mortal enemies to the Spaniards. On the south side of the main
mouth of Orenoque are the Arwacas; and beyond them, the Cannibals; and
to the south of them, the Amazons.

To make mention of the several beasts, birds, fishes, fruits, flowers,
gums, sweet woods, and of their several religions and customs, would
for the first require as many volumes as those of Gesnerus, and for
the next another bundle of Decades. The religion of the Epuremei is
the same which the Ingas, emperors of Peru, used, which may be read in
Cieza and other Spanish stories; how they believe the immortality of
the soul, worship the sun, and bury with them alive their best beloved
wives and treasure, as they likewise do in Pegu in the East Indies,
and other places. The Orenoqueponi bury not their wives with them, but
their jewels, hoping to enjoy them again. The Arwacas dry the bones of
their lords, and their wives and friends drink them in powder. In the
graves of the Peruvians the Spaniards found their greatest abundance
of treasure. The like, also, is to be found among these people in
every province. They have all many wives, and the lords five-fold to
the common sort. Their wives never eat with their husbands, nor among
the men, but serve their husbands at meals and afterwards feed by
themselves. Those that are past their younger years make all their
bread and drink, and work their cotton-beds, and do all else of
service and labour; for the men do nothing but hunt, fish, play, and
drink, when they are out of the wars.

I will enter no further into discourse of their manners, laws, and
customs. And because I have not myself seen the cities of Inga I
cannot avow on my credit what I have heard, although it be very likely
that the emperor Inga hath built and erected as magnificent palaces in
Guiana as his ancestors did in Peru; which were for their riches and
rareness most marvellous, and exceeding all in Europe, and, I think,
of the world, China excepted, which also the Spaniards, which I had,
assured me to be true, as also the nations of the borderers, who,
being but savages to those of the inland, do cause much treasure to be
buried with them. For I was informed of one of the caciques of the
valley of Amariocapana which had buried with him a little before our
arrival a chair of gold most curiously wrought, which was made either
in Macureguarai adjoining or in Manoa. But if we should have grieved
them in their religion at the first, before they had been taught
better, and have digged up their graves, we had lost them all. And
therefore I held my first resolution, that her Majesty should either
accept or refuse the enterprise ere anything should be done that might
in any sort hinder the same. And if Peru had so many heaps of gold,
whereof those Ingas were princes, and that they delighted so much
therein, no doubt but this which now liveth and reigneth in Manoa hath
the same humour, and, I am assured, hath more abundance of gold within
his territory than all Peru and the West Indies.

For the rest, which myself have seen, I will promise these things that
follow, which I know to be true. Those that are desirous to discover
and to see many nations may be satisfied within this river, which
bringeth forth so many arms and branches leading to several countries
and provinces, above 2,000 miles east and west and 800 miles south and
north, and of these the most either rich in gold or in other
merchandises. The common soldier shall here fight for gold, and pay
himself, instead of pence, with plates of half-a-foot broad, whereas
he breaketh his bones in other wars for provant and penury. Those
commanders and chieftains that shoot at honour and abundance shall
find there more rich and beautiful cities, more temples adorned with
golden images, more sepulchres filled with treasure, than either
Cortes found in Mexico or Pizarro in Peru. And the shining glory of
this conquest will eclipse all those so far-extended beams of the
Spanish nation. There is no country which yieldeth more pleasure to
the inhabitants, either for those common delights of hunting, hawking,
fishing, fowling, and the rest, than Guiana doth; it hath so many
plains, clear rivers, and abundance of pheasants, partridges, quails,
rails, cranes, herons, and all other fowl; deer of all sorts, porks,
hares, lions, tigers, leopards, and divers other sorts of beasts,
either for chase or food. It hath a kind of beast called cama or anta
(tapir), as big as an English beef, and in great plenty. To speak of
the several sorts of every kind I fear would be troublesome to the
reader, and therefore I will omit them, and conclude that both for
health, good air, pleasure, and riches, I am resolved it cannot be
equalled by any region either in the east or west. Moreover the
country is so healthful, as of an hundred persons and more, which lay
without shift most sluttishly, and were every day almost melted with
heat in rowing and marching, and suddenly wet again with great
showers, and did eat of all sorts of corrupt fruits, and made meals of
fresh fish without seasoning, of tortugas, of lagartos or crocodiles,
and of all sorts good and bad, without either order or measure, and
besides lodged in the open air every night, we lost not any one, nor
had one ill-disposed to my knowledge; nor found any calentura or other
of those pestilent diseases which dwell in all hot regions, and so
near the equinoctial line.

Where there is store of gold it is in effect needless to remember
other commodities for trade. But it hath, towards the south part of
the river, great quantities of brazil-wood, and divers berries that
dye a most perfect crimson and carnation; and for painting, all
France, Italy, or the East Indies yield none such. For the more the
skin is washed, the fairer the colour appeareth, and with which even
those brown and tawny women spot themselves and colour their cheeks.
All places yield abundance of cotton, of silk, of balsamum, and of
those kinds most excellent and never known in Europe, of all sorts of
gums, of Indian pepper; and what else the countries may afford within
the land we know not, neither had we time to abide the trial and
search. The soil besides is so excellent and so full of rivers, as it
will carry sugar, ginger, and all those other commodities which the
West Indies have.

The navigation is short, for it may be sailed with an ordinary wind in
six weeks, and in the like time back again; and by the way neither
lee-shore, enemies' coast, rocks, nor sands. All which in the voyages
to the West Indies and all other places we are subject unto; as the
channel of Bahama, coming from the West Indies, cannot well be passed
in the winter, and when it is at the best, it is a perilous and a
fearful place; the rest of the Indies for calms and diseases very
troublesome, and the sea about the Bermudas a hellish sea for thunder,
lightning, and storms.

This very year (1595) there were seventeen sail of Spanish ships lost
in the channel of Bahama, and the great Philip, like to have sunk at
the Bermudas, was put back to St. Juan de Puerto Rico; and so it
falleth out in that navigation every year for the most part. Which in
this voyage are not to be feared; for the time of year to leave
England is best in July, and the summer in Guiana is in October,
November, December, January, February, and March, and then the ships
may depart thence in April, and so return again into England in June.
So as they shall never be subject to winter weather, either coming,
going, or staying there: which, for my part, I take to be one of the
greatest comforts and encouragements that can be thought on, having,
as I have done, tasted in this voyage by the West Indies so many
calms, so much heat, such outrageous gusts, such weather, and contrary

To conclude, Guiana is a country that hath yet her maidenhead, never
sacked, turned, nor wrought; the face of the earth hath not been torn,
nor the virtue and salt of the soil spent by manurance. The graves
have not been opened for gold, the mines not broken with sledges, nor
their images pulled down out of their temples. It hath never been
entered by any army of strength, and never conquered or possessed by
any Christian prince. It is besides so defensible, that if two forts
be builded in one of the provinces which I have seen, the flood
setteth in so near the bank, where the channel also lieth, that no
ship can pass up but within a pike's length of the artillery, first of
the one, and afterwards of the other. Which two forts will be a
sufficient guard both to the empire of Inga, and to an hundred other
several kingdoms, lying within the said river, even to the city of
Quito in Peru.

There is therefore great difference between the easiness of the
conquest of Guiana, and the defence of it being conquered, and the
West or East Indies. Guiana hath but one entrance by the sea, if it
hath that, for any vessels of burden. So as whosoever shall first
possess it, it shall be found unaccessible for any enemy, except he
come in wherries, barges, or canoas, or else in flat-bottomed boats;
and if he do offer to enter it in that manner, the woods are so thick
200 miles together upon the rivers of such entrance, as a mouse cannot
sit in a boat unhit from the bank. By land it is more impossible to
approach; for it hath the strongest situation of any region under the
sun, and it is so environed with impassable mountains on every side,
as it is impossible to victual any company in the passage. Which hath
been well proved by the Spanish nation, who since the conquest of Peru
have never left five years free from attempting this empire, or
discovering some way into it; and yet of three-and-twenty several
gentlemen, knights, and noblemen, there was never any that knew which
way to lead an army by land, or to conduct ships by sea, anything near
the said country. Orellana, of whom the river of Amazons taketh name,
was the first, and Don Antonio de Berreo, whom we displanted, the
last: and I doubt much whether he himself or any of his yet know the
best way into the said empire. It can therefore hardly be regained, if
any strength be formerly set down, but in one or two places, and but
two or three crumsters (Dutch, Kromsteven or Kromster, a vessel with a
bent prow) or galleys built and furnished upon the river within. The
West Indies have many ports, watering places, and landings; and nearer
than 300 miles to Guiana, no man can harbour a ship, except he know
one only place, which is not learned in haste, and which I will
undertake there is not any one of my companies that knoweth, whosoever
hearkened most after it.

Besides, by keeping one good fort, or building one town of strength,
the whole empire is guarded; and whatsoever companies shall be
afterwards planted within the land, although in twenty several
provinces, those shall be able all to reunite themselves upon any
occasion either by the way of one river, or be able to march by land
without either wood, bog, or mountain. Whereas in the West Indies
there are few towns or provinces that can succour or relieve one the
other by land or sea. By land the countries are either desert,
mountainous, or strong enemies. By sea, if any man invade to the
eastward, those to the west cannot in many months turn against the
breeze and eastern wind. Besides, the Spaniards are therein so
dispersed as they are nowhere strong, but in Nueva Espana only; the
sharp mountains, the thorns, and poisoned prickles, the sandy and deep
ways in the valleys, the smothering heat and air, and want of water in
other places are their only and best defence; which, because those
nations that invade them are not victualled or provided to stay,
neither have any place to friend adjoining, do serve them instead of
good arms and great multitudes.

The West Indies were first offered her Majesty's grandfather by
Columbus, a stranger, in whom there might be doubt of deceit; and
besides it was then thought incredible that there were such and so
many lands and regions never written of before. This Empire is made
known to her Majesty by her own vassal, and by him that oweth to her
more duty than an ordinary subject; so that it shall ill sort with the
many graces and benefits which I have received to abuse her Highness,
either with fables or imaginations. The country is already discovered,
many nations won to her Majesty's love and obedience, and those
Spaniards which have latest and longest laboured about the conquest,
beaten out, discouraged, and disgraced, which among these nations were
thought invincible. Her Majesty may in this enterprise employ all
those soldiers and gentlemen that are younger brethren, and all
captains and chieftains that want employment, and the charge will be
only the first setting out in victualling and arming them; for after
the first or second year I doubt not but to see in London a
Contractation-House (the whole trade of Spanish America passed through
the Casa de Contratacion at Seville) of more receipt for Guiana than
there is now in Seville for the West Indies.

And I am resolved that if there were but a small army afoot in Guiana,
marching towards Manoa, the chief city of Inga, he would yield to her
Majesty by composition so many hundred thousand pounds yearly as
should both defend all enemies abroad, and defray all expenses at
home; and that he would besides pay a garrison of three or four
thousand soldiers very royally to defend him against other nations.
For he cannot but know how his predecessors, yea, how his own great
uncles, Guascar and Atabalipa, sons to Guiana-Capac, emperor of Peru,
were, while they contended for the empire, beaten out by the
Spaniards, and that both of late years and ever since the said
conquest, the Spaniards have sought the passages and entry of his
country; and of their cruelties used to the borderers he cannot be
ignorant. In which respects no doubt but he will be brought to tribute
with great gladness; if not, he hath neither shot nor iron weapon in
all his empire, and therefore may easily be conquered.

And I further remember that Berreo confessed to me and others, which I
protest before the Majesty of God to be true, that there was found
among the prophecies in Peru, at such time as the empire was reduced
to the Spanish obedience, in their chiefest temples, amongst divers
others which foreshadowed the loss of the said empire, that from
Inglatierra those Ingas should be again in time to come restored, and
delivered from the servitude of the said conquerors. And I hope, as we
with these few hands have displanted the first garrison, and driven
them out of the said country, so her Majesty will give order for the
rest, and either defend it, and hold it as tributary, or conquer and
keep it as empress of the same. For whatsoever prince shall possess
it, shall be greatest; and if the king of Spain enjoy it, he will
become unresistible. Her Majesty hereby shall confirm and strengthen
the opinions of all nations as touching her great and princely
actions. And where the south border of Guiana reacheth to the dominion
and empire of the Amazons, those women shall hereby hear the name of a
virgin, which is not only able to defend her own territories and her
neighbours, but also to invade and conquer so great empires and so far

To speak more at this time I fear would be but troublesome: I trust in
God, this being true, will suffice, and that he which is King of all
Kings, and Lord of Lords, will put it into her heart which is Lady of
Ladies to possess it. If not, I will judge those men worthy to be
kings thereof, that by her grace and leave will undertake it of

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