sounding trumpets, praising God, and full of festivity
and gladness, steered into the harbor of Calicut
proceeded towards the north, till icebergs compelled him to change his course.
The coast to which he was now borne was unobstructed by frost.
He saw there stags larger than those of England
, and bears that plunged into the water to take fish with their claws.
The fish swarmed innumerably in such shoals, they seemed even to affect the speed of his vessels, so that he gave to the country the name of Bacallaos, which still lingers on the eastern side of Newfoundland
, and has passed into the language of the Germans and the Italians as well as the Portuguese and Spanish, to designate the cod. Continuing his voyage, according to the line of the shore, he found the natives of those regions clad in skins of beasts, but they were not without the faculty of reason, and in many places were acquainted with the use of copper.
In the early part of his voyage, he had been so far to the north, that in the month of July the light of day was almost continuous; before he turned homewards, in the late autumn, he believed he had attained the latitude of the Straits of Gibraltar
and the longitude of Cuba
As he sailed along the extensive coast, a gentle westerly current appeared to prevail in the northern sea.
Such is the meagre account given by Sebastian Cabot
, through his friend Peter Martyr, the historian of the ocean, of that great voyage which was undertaken by the authority of ‘the most wise’ prince Henry the Seventh, and made known to England
a country ‘much larger than Christendom.’
Thus the year 1498 stands singularly famous in the annals of the sea. In May, Vasco de Gama