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He was also informed of a tree, which
gave shelter to birds of sufficient size and strength to pounce upon an elephant, and bear him up into the air.
The Vitoria touched at different places in the voyage to Spain, and, after a mutiny and the loss of twenty-one men, passed the Cape of Good Hope on the 6th May 1522. Being reduced to the greatest extremity for want of provisions, the officers anchored in the harbour of Santiago, one of the Cape de Verd Islands belonging to the Portuguese, on what, according to their reckoning, was Wednesday the 9th July, but which, in fact, proved Thursday the 10tha difference which was extremely perplexing at first, though a little reflection soon enabled Pigafetta to perceive the reason.* Some provisions were obtained before the quarter whence the ship had come was suspected; but the truth being at length discovered, in consequence of a sailor offering some spices in exchange for refreshments, the boat was seized, and the people on board, seeing preparations making for an attack, crowded sail and escaped.
On Saturday the 6th September 1522, after a voyage of three years' duration, in which upwards of 14,600 leagues of sea had been traversed, Sebastian del Cano brought the Vitoria into San Lucar, and on the 8th proceeded up the river to Seville. Pi. gafetta, from whom every historian of this remarkable voyage borrows so largely, concludes his narra. tive in language almost poetical :-" This our wonderful ship, taking her departure from the Straits of Gibraltar, and sailing southwards through the great ocean towards the Antarctic Pole, and then turning west, followed that course so long that, passing round, she came into the east, and thence again into the west, not by sailing back, but proceeding constantly forward ; so compassing about the globe of the world, until she marvellously regained her native country Spain.” The crew on reaching Seville walked in their shirts, barefooted, and carrying tapers in their hands, to church, to offer thanks for their safe return; eighteen men, out of sixty who sailed from the Moluccas, being all that came home in the Vitoria. The vessel itself became the theme of poets and romancers ; but though some have asserted that she was preserved till she fell to pieces, Oviedo, a contemporary writer, states that she was lost on her return from a voyage to St Domingo. The commander, Sebastian del Cano; escaped the neglect which was the common fate of Spanish discoverers. He was liberally rewarded, and obtained letters-patent of nobility, with a Globe for a crest, and the motto Primus me circumdedisti (You first encompassed me).
To illustrate the fact mentioned in the let us suppose a ship sailing westward keeps pace with the sun, it is evident that the crew would have continual day, or it would be the same day to them during their circumnavigation of the earth ; whereas the people, who remained at the place the vessel departed from, would have a night in the mean time, and consequently
must reckon a day more than the voyagers. If the ship sailed eastward, an opposite effect would be produced; for, by constantly meeting the sun every morning at an earlier hour, a whole day is gained in the tour of the globe. Hence, if two ships should set out at the same time from any port, and sail round the world, the one eastward and the other westward, so as to meet again at the same port, they will be found to differ two days in reckoning their time at their return.-Keith on the Use of the Globes, p. 42. A beautiful illustration of the phenomenon will also be found in Sir J. F. W. Herschel's Treatise on Astronomy (Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopædia), p. 137.
The Trinidad was less fortunate than her consort. After having refitted, she attempted to recross the Pacific, but was nearly wrecked ; and being driven back, the crew were made prisoners by the Portuguese, whose jealousy of Spanish enterprise in these parts was now violently inflamed by the late transactions at the Moluccas.
The voyage of Magellan was attended by the most important results; it effected the communication so long desired between the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans, and removed the barriers which had hitherto obstructed European navigation in the latter sea.
It opened a new path to the riches of India and the spices of the contiguous islands; and in fact achieved what Columbus and his companions had so long endeavoured to accomplish. It ascertained the southern boundary of the American continent, and the extent of the great sea which divides Asia from that portion of the globe. In its progress he discovered the Unfortunate Islands, the islands Saypan, Tinian, and Aguigan, four others of the group of the Ladrones, and the Philippines or Archipelago of St Lazarus. He also demonstrated the spherical form of the earth beyond the possibility of doubt; and accomplished what had baffled, even on the threshold, every previous navigator.
Discoveries and Circumnavigations from Magellan to
the End of the Sixteenth Century.
Expedition of Loyasa_Discovery of Papua or New Guinea-Voy
age of Saavedra_Of Villalobos–Of Legaspi–Of Jnan Fernandez—Expedition of Mendana, and Discovery of the Solomon Islands—John Oxenham, the first Englishman that sailed on the Pacific—Circumnavigation of Sir Francis Drake-Expedition of Sarmiento-Circumnavigation of Cavendish–His Second Voyage - The Falkland Islands discovered – Expedition of Sir Richard Hawkins—Second Voyage of Mendana—The Marquesas—Santa Cruz_Expedition of five Dutch Vessels-Circumnavigation of Van Noort—Retrospect.
All the seas and lands discovered by Magellan were declared by Spain to be her exclusive possession, an assumption which the other European States, especially Portugal, were unwilling to acknowledge. The privilege of sailing by this track to the Moluccas, as well as those islands themselves, the principal advantages gained by the recent discoveries, were claimed on the double title of the papal grant and the alleged cession by the native princes. But John III. the Portuguese monarch, was equally tenacious of his rights. The old dispute as to the boundary and partition line was renewed, and referred to a convocation of learn. ed cosmographers and skilful pilots, who met near Badajos, and parted as they met; the commissioners of both crowns being alike obstinate in their claims.
The respective governments were thus left to establish their rival pretensions as they should find most convenient; and Spain, accordingly, lost no time in fitting out an expedition to secure the full benefit of Magellan's labours.
This armament consisted of seven vessels, of which Garcia Jofre de Loyasa, a knight of St John, was appointed captain-general; Sebastian del Cano and other survivors of the former enterprise going out under his command. The squadron sailed from Corunna on the 24th July 1525. Every precaution having been taken to ensure the success of the voyage, the fleetat first proceeded prosperously. But accidents soon occurred, and to the still imperfect state of nau. tical science we must impute many of the subsequent disasters of Loyasa. The captain-general was separated from the other ships ; the strait so lately discovered had already become uncertain ; Sebastian del Cano’s vessel was wrecked near Cape de las Virgines; the others were injured ; one of them was forced to the southward,* and two, after suffering much damage, appear to have been conducted back to Spain. In short, it was April before they entered the sound ; the passage proving tedious and dismal, and the crew having suffered much from the extreme cold. Few natives were seen, and those who
The Spaniards claim an important discovery in consequence of this accidental circumstance. The San Lesmes, a bark commanded by Francisco de Hozes, is reported to have been driven to 55° south in the gale, and the captain affirmed that he had seen the end of Tierra del Fuego. This a Spanish writer supposes to have been Cape Horn; while Burney thinks it more probable that it was Staten Land, the certain discovery of which is, however, of much later date. The extent of projecting land between the eastern entrance to the strait and Cape Horn makes it unlikely that it could have been seen by the crew of the San Lesmes.--Chron. Hist. of Discov. in South Sea, vol, i, p. 134.