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The discoverie of Guiana .

ON Thursday the 6. of February in the yere 1595. we departed England , and the Sunday following had sight of the North cape of Spaine, the winde for the most part continuing prosperous: we passed in sight of the Burlings, & the Rocke, and so onwards for the Canaries, and fel with Fuerte ventura the 17 of the same moneth, where we spent two or three dayes, and relieved our companies with some fresh meat. From thence we coasted by the Grand Canaria, & so to Tenerif, and stayed there for the Lions whelpe your Lordships ship, and for Captaine Amyas Preston and the rest. But when after 7. or 8. dayes wee found them not, we departed and directed our course for Trinidad with mine owne ship, and a small barke of captaine Crosses onely (for we had before lost sight of a smal Galego on the coast of Spaine, which came with us from Plimmouth :) we arrived at Trinidad the 22. of March, casting ancker at point Curiapan, which the Spaniards call punta de Gallo, which is situate in 8. degrees or there abouts: we abode there 4. or 5. dayes, & in all that time we came not to the speach of any Indian or Spaniard: on the coast we saw a fire, as we sailed from the point Caroa towards Curiapan, but for feare of the Spaniards none durst come to speake with us. I my selfe coasted it in my barge close abord the shore and landed in every Cove, the better to know the yland, while the ships kept the chanell. From Curiapan after a few dayes we turned up Northeast to recover that place which the Spaniards call Puerto de los Espannoles, and the inhabitants Conquerabia , and as before (revictualing my barge) I left the ships and kept by the shore, the better to come to speach with some of the inhabitants, and also to understand the rivers, watering places, & ports of the yland, which (as it is rudely done) my purpose is to send your Lordship after a few dayes. 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 betweene both were divers little brookes of fresh water and one salt river that had store of oisters upon the branches of the trees, and were very salt and well tasted. All their oisters grow upon those boughs and spraies, and not on the ground: the like is commonly seene in other places of the West Indies, and else where. This tree is described by Andrew Thevat in his French Antarctique, and the forme figured in the booke as a plant very strange, and by Plinie in his 12. booke of his naturall historie. But in this yland, 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 loden from thence, and we made trial of it in trimming our shippes to be most excellent good, and melteth not with the Sunne as the pitch of Norway , and therefore for shippes trading the South parts very profitable. From thence wee went to the mountaine foote called Anniperima, and so passing the river Carone on which the Spanish Citie was seated, we met with our ships at Puerto de los Espannolles or Conquerabia .

This yland of Trinidad hath the forme of a sheep-hooke, and is but narrow, the North part is very mountainous, the soile is very excellent and will beare suger, ginger, or any other commoditie that the Indies yeeld. It hath store of deare, wilde porks, fruits, fish and foule: it hath also for bread sufficient maiz, cassavi, and of those rootes and fruites which are common every where in the West Indies. It hath divers beastes which the Indies have not: the Spaniards confessed that they found graines of golde in some of the rivers, but they having a purpose to enter Guiana (the Magazin of all rich mettals) cared not to spend time in the search thereof any further. This yland is called by the people thereof Cairi, and in it are divers nations: those about Parico are called Iaio, those at Punta de Carao are of the Arwacas, and betweene Carao and Curiapan they are called Salvajos, betwene Carao and Punta de Galera are the Nepojos, and those about the Spanish citie terme themselves Carinepagotes: Of the rest of the nations, and of other ports and rivers I leave to speake here, being impertinent to my purpose, and meane to describe them as they are situate in the particular plot and description of the yland, three parts whereof I coasted with my barge, that I might the better describe it.

Meeting with the ships at Puerta de los Espannoles, we found at the landing place a company of Spaniards who kept a guard at the descent, and they offering a signe of peace, I sent Captaine Whiddon to speake with them, whom afterward to my great griefe I left buried in the said yland after my returne from Guiana , being a man most honest and valiant. The Spaniards seemed to be desirous to trade with us, and to enter into termes of peace, more for doubt of their owne strength then for ought else, and in the ende upon pledge, some of them came abord: the same evening there stale also abord us in a small Canoa two Indians, the one of them being a Casique or Lord of the people called Cantyman, who had the yeere before bene with Captaine Whiddon, and was of his acquaintance. By this Cantyman wee understood what strength the Spaniards had, howe farre it was to their Citie, and of Don Antonio de Berreo the governour, who was said to be slaine in his second attempt of Guiana , but was not.

While we remained at Puerto de los Espannoles some Spaniards came abord us to buy linnen 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 maner: by meanes whereof I learned of one and another as much of the estate of Guiana as I could, or as they knew, for those poore souldiers having bene many yeeres without wine, a few draughts made them merrie, in which mood they vaunted of Guiana and of the riches thereof, and all what they knewe of the wayes and passages, my selfe seeming to purpose nothing lesse then the enterance or discoverie thereof, but bred in them an opinion that I was bound onely for the reliefe of those English which I had planted in Virginia , whereof the bruite was come among them; which I had performed in my returne, if extremitie of weather had not forst me from the said coast.

I found occasions of staying in this place for two causes: the one was to be revenged of Berreo, who the yere before 1594. had betraied eight of Captaine Whiddons men, and tooke them while he departed from them to seeke the Edward Bonaventure, which arrived at Trinidad the day before from the East Indies: in whose absence Berreo sent a Canoa abord the pinnesse onely with Indians and dogs inviting the company to goe with them into the woods to kill a deare, who like wise men in the absence of their Captaine followed the Indians, but were no sooner one harquebuze shot from the shore, but Berreos souldiers lying in ambush had them al, notwithstanding that he had given his word to Captaine Whiddon that they should take water and wood safely: the other cause of my stay was, for that by discourse with the Spaniards I dayly learned more and more of Guiana , of the rivers and passages, and of the enterprise of Berreo, by what meanes or fault he failed, and how he meant to prosecute the same.

While wee thus spent the time I was assured by another Casique of the North side of the yland, that Berreo had sent to Margarita and Cumana for souldiers, meaning to have given mee a cassado at parting, if it had bene possible. For although he had given order through all the yland that no Indian should come abord to trade with me upon paine of hanging & quartering, (having executed two of them for the same, which I afterwards founde) yet every night there came some with most lamentable complaints of his crueltie, how he had divided the yland and given to every souldier a part, that hee made the ancient Casiques which were Lords of the countrey to be their slaves, that he kept them in chaines, 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 entred the same there were 5. of ye lords or litle kings (which they cal Casiques in the West Indies) in one chaine almost dead of famine, and wasted with torments: these are called in their owne language Acarewana, and now of late since English, French and Spanish are come among them, they call themselves Capitaines, because they perceive that the chiefest of every ship is called by that name. Those five Capitaines in the chaine 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 garison in my backe interrested in the same enterprize, who also dayly expected supplies out of Spaine, I should have savoured very much of the asse: and therefore taking a time of most advantage I set upon the Corps du guard in the evening, and having put them to the sword, sent Captaine Calfield onwards with 60. souldiers, and my selfe followed with 40. more and so tooke their new City which they called S. Joseph by breake of day: they abode not any fight after a fewe shot, and all being dismissed but onely Berreo and his companion, I brought them with me abord, and at the instance of the Indians, I set their new citie of S. Joseph on fire.

The same day arrived Captaine George Gifford with your Lordships ship, and Captaine Keymis whom I lost on the coast of Spaine, with the Galego, and in them divers gentlemen and others, which to our little armie was a great comfort and supply.

We then hasted away towards our purposed discovery, and first I called all the Captaines of the yland together that were enemies to the Spaniards; for there were some which Berreo had brought out of other countreys, and planted there to eate out and wast those that were naturall of the place, and by my Indian interpreter, which I caried out of England , I made them understand that I was the servant of a Queene, who was the great Casique of the North, and a virgine, and had more Casiqui under her then there were trees in that yland: that shee was an enemie to the Castellani in respect of their tyrannie and oppression, and that she delivered all such nations about her, as were by them oppressed, and having freed all the coast of the Northren world from their servitude, had sent mee to free them also, and withall to defend the countrey of Guiana from their invasion and conquest. I shewed them her Majesties picture which they so admired and honoured, as it had bene easie 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 Majestie is very famous and admirable, whom they now call Ezrabeta Cassipuna Aquerewana, which is as much as Elizabeth, the great princesse or greatest commander. This done we left Puerto de los Espannoles, and returned to Curiapan, and having Berreo my prisoner I gathered from him as much of Guiana as hee knew.

This Berreo is a gentleman wel descended, and had long served the Spanish king in Millain, Naples , the Low countreis and elsewhere, very valiant and liberall, and a gentleman of great assurednes, and of a great heart: I used him according to his estate and worth in all things I could, according to the small meanes I had.

I sent Captaine Whiddon the yeere 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 farre from trueth, for the countrey is situate above 600. English miles further from the Sea, then I was made beleeve it had bin, which afterward understanding to be true by Berreo, I kept it from the knowledge of my company, who else would never have bene brought to attempt the same: of which 600. miles I passed 400. leaving my ships so farre from mee at ancker in the Sea, which was more of desire to performe that discovery, then of reason, especially having such poore and weake vessels to transport our selves in; for in the bottom of an old Galego which I caused to be fashioned like a galley, and in one barge, two whirries, and a shipboat of the Lions whelpe, we carted 100. persons and their victuals for a moneth in the same, being al driven to lie in the raine and weather, in the open aire, in the burning Sunne, and upon the hard bords, and to dresse our meat, and to cary all maner of furniture in them, wherewith they were so pestered and unsavory, that what with victuals being most fish, with wette clothes of so many men thrust together, and the heat of the Sunne, I will undertake there was never any prison in England , that could bee found more unsavorie and lothsome, especially to my selfe, who had for many yeeres before bene dieted and cared for in a sort farre more differing.

If Captaine Preston had not bene perswaded that he should have come too late to Trinidad to have found us there (for the moneth was expired which I promised to tary for him there ere hee coulde recover the coast of Spaine) but that it had pleased God hee might have joyned with us, and that we had entred the countrey but some ten dayes sooner ere the Rivers were overflowen, wee had adventured either to have gone to the great Citie of Manoa, or at least taken so many of the other Cities and townes neerer at hand, as would have made a royall returne: but it pleased not God so much to favour mee at this time: if it shall be my lot to prosecute the same, I shall willingly spend my life therein, and if any else shalbe enabled thereunto, and conquere the same, I assure him thus much, he shall perfourme more then ever was done in Mexico by Cortez, or in Peru by Pizarro, whereof the one conquered the Empire of Mutezuma, the other of Guascar, and Atabalipa, and whatsoever prince shall possesse it, that Prince shall be Lord of more golde, and of a more beautifull Empire, and of more Cities and people, then either the King of Spaine, or the great Turke.

But because there may arise many doubts, and how this Empire of Guiana is become so populous, and adorned with so many great Cities, townes, temples, and treasures, I thought good to make it knowen, that the Emperour 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 sonne to Guaynacapa, which Atabalipa had formerly caused his eldest brother Guascar to bee slaine, one of the yonger sonnes of Guaynacapa fled out of Peru , and tooke with him many thousands of those souldiers of the Empire called Orejones, and with those and many others which followed him, hee vanquished all that tract and valley of America which is situate betweene the great river of Amazones, and Baraquan, otherwise called Orenoque and Marannon.

The Empire of Guiana is directly East from Peru towards the Sea, and lieth under the Equinoctial line, and it hath more abundance of golde then any part of Peru , and as many or moe great Cities then ever Peru had when it flourished most: it is governed by the same lawes, and the Emperour and people observe the same religion, and the same forme and policies in government as were used in Peru , not differing in any part: and I have bene assured by such of the Spaniards as have seene Manoa the Imperial Citie of Guiana , which the Spaniards call El Dorado, that for the greatnesse, for the riches, and for the excellent seat, it farre exceedeth any of the world, at least of so much of the world as is knowen 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 , & but read the report of Francisco Lopez and others, it will seeme more then 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 generall historic of the Indies, wherein he describeth the Court and magnificence of Guaynacapa, ancestour to the Emperour of Guiana. All the vessels of his house, table and kitchin were of gold and silver, and the meanest of silver and copper for strength and hardnesse of metall. He had in his wardrobe hollow statues of gold which seemed giants, and the figures in proportion and bignesse of all the beasts, birds, trees, and hearbes, that the earth bringeth foorth: and of all the fishes that the sea or waters of his kingdome breedeth. He had also ropes, budgets, chestes and troughs of golde and silver, heapes of billets of gold, that seemed wood marked out to burne. Finally, there was nothing in his countrey, whereof he had not the counterfait in gold: Yea and they say, The Ingas had a garden of pleasure in an yland neere Puna, where they went to recreat themselves, when they would take the aire of the Sea, which had all kinde of garden-hearbs, flowers and trees of golde and silver, an invention, and magnificence till then never seene. Besides all this, he had an infinite quantitie of silver and golde unwrought in Cuzco which was lost by the death of Guascar, for the Indians hid it, seeing that the Spaniards tooke it, and sent it into Spaine.

And in the 117. chapter Francisco Pizarro caused the gold and silver of Atabalipa to be weyed after he had taken it, which Lopez setteth downe in these words following: They found fiftie and two thousand markes of good silver, and one million, and three hundred twenty and sixe thousand and five hundred pezos of golde.

Now although these reports may seeme strange, yet if we consider the many millions which are dayly brought out of Peru into Spaine, wee may easily beleeve the same: for we finde that by the abundant treasure of that countrey the Spanish king vexeth all the princes of Europe , and is become, in a few yeeres, from a poore 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 adde this empire to the rest, which by farre exceedeth all the rest: if his golde now indanger us, hee will then be unresistable. Such of the Spanyards as afterward endevoured the conquest thereof (whereof there have bene many, as shall be declared hereafter) thought that this Inga (of whom this emperour now living is descended) tooke his way by the river of Amazones, by that branch which is called Papamene: for by that way followed Orellana (by the commandement of Gonzalo Pizarro, in the yere 1542) whose name the river also beareth this day, which is also by others called Marannon, although Andrew Thevet doeth affirme that betweene Marannon and Amazones there are 120 leagues: but sure it is that those rivers have one head and beginning, and the Marannon, which Thevet describeth, is but a branch of Amazones or Orellana, of which I will speake more in another place. It was attempted by Ordas ; but it is now little lesse then 70 yeres since that Diego Ordas, a knight of the order of Saint Iago attempted the same: and it was in the yeere 1542 that Orellana discovered the river of Amazones; but the first that ever saw Manoa was Juan Martinez master of the munition to Ordas . At a port called Morequito in Guiana there lieth at this day a great anker 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 foure dayes: twenty dayes after I left the ships at Curiapan. The relation of this Martinez (who was the first that discovered Manoa) his successe and ende are to bee seene in the Chancery of Saint Juan de Puerto rico, wherof Berreo had a copy, which appeared to be the greatest incouragement aswell to Berreo as to others that formerly attempted the discovery and conquest. Orellana after he failed of the discovery of Guiana by the sayd river of Amazones, passed into Spaine, and there obteined a patent of the king for the invasion and conquest, but died by sea about the Islands, and his fleet severed by tempest, the action for that time proceeded not. Diego Ordas followed the enterprise, and departed Spaine with 600 souldiers, and 30 horse, who arriving on the coast of Guiana , was slaine 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 certeinly knowen what became of the sayd Orgas, untill Berreo found the anker 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 diversly conceived and reported. And hereof it came that Martines entred so farre within the land, and arrived at that city of Inga the emperour; 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 chiefe charge, was condemned by the Generall Ordas to be executed foorthwith: Martinez being much favoured by the souldiers, had all the meanes possible procured for his life; but it could not be obteined in other sort then this: That he should be set into a canoa alone without any victuall, onely with his armes, and so turned loose into the great river: but it pleased God that the canoa was caried downe the streame, and that certeine of the Guianians mette it the same evening: and having not at any time seene any Christian, nor any man of that colour, they caried Martinez into the land to be woondred at, and so from towne to towne, untill he came to the great city of Manoa, the seat and residence of Inga the emperour. The emperour 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 Spanyards in Peru ) and caused him to be lodged in his palace, and well enterteined. Hee lived seven moneths in Manoa, but was not suffered to wander into the countrey any where. He was also brought thither all the way blindfold, led by the Indians, untill he came to the entrance of Manoa it selfe, and was foureteene or fifteene dayes in the passage. He avowed at his death that he entred the city at Noon, and then they uncovered his face, and that he travelled all that day till night thorow the city, and the next day from Sun rising to Sun setting yer he came to the palace of Inga . After that Martinez had lived seven moneths in Manoa, and began to understand the language of the countrey, Inga asked him whether he desired to returne into his owne countrey, or would willingly abide with him. But Martinez not desirous to stay, obteined the favour of Inga to depart: with whom he sent divers Guianians to conduct him to the river of Orenoque, all loden with as much golde as they could cary, which he gave to Martinez at his departure: but when he was arrived neere the rivers side, the borderers which are called Orenoqueponi robbed him and his Guianians of all the treasure (the borderers being at that time at warres, which Inga had not conquered) save only of two great bottels of gourds, which were filled with beads of golde curiously wrought, which those Orenoqueponi thought had bene no other thing then his drinke or meat, or graine for food, with which Martinez had liberty to passe: and so in canoas hee fell downe from the river of Orenoque to Trinidad , and from thence to Margarita, and also to Saint Juan de puerto rico, where remaining a long time for passage into Spaine, he died. In the time of his extreme sicknesse, 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 golde beads which he gave to the church and friers to be prayed for. This Martinez was he that Christened the city of Manoa by the name of El Dorado, and as Berreo informed mee, upon this occasion: Those Guianians, and also the borderers, and all other in that tract which I have seene, are marvellous great drunkards; in which vice, I thinke no nation can compare with them: and at the times of their solemne feasts, when the emperour carowseth with his captaines, tributaries, and governours, the maner 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 deare amongst them, and it is of all other the most precious, whereof wee have had good experience: when they are anointed all over, certeine servants of the emperour, having prepared golde made into fine powder, blow it thorow hollow canes upon their naked bodies, untill they be all shining from the foot to the head: and in this sort they sit drinking by twenties, and hundreds, and continue in drunkennesse sometimes sixe or seven dayes together. The same is also confirmed by a letter written into Spaine, which was intercepted, which M. Robert Duddeley tolde me he had seene. Upon this sight, and for the abundance of golde which he saw in the city, the images of golde in their temples, the plates, armours, and shields of gold which they use in the warres, he called it El Dorado. After the death of Ordas and Martinez, and after Orellana, who was imployed by Gonzalo Pizarro, one Pedro de Osua a knight of Navarre attempted Guiana , taking his way from 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 Amazones, by which Osua with his companies descended, and came out of that province which is called Mutylonez: and it seemeth to mee that this empire is reserved for her Majesty and the English nation, by reason of the hard successe which all these and other Spanyards found in attempting the same, whereof I will speake briefly, though impertinent in some sort to my purpose. This Pedro de Osua had among his troups a Biscain, called Agiri, a man meanly borne, who bare no other office then a sergeant or alferez: but after certeine moneths, when the souldiers were grieved with travels, and consumed with famine, and that no entrance could be found by the branches or body of Amazones, this Agiri raised a mutiny, of which hee made himselfe the head, and so prevailed, as he put Osua to the sword, and all his followers, taking on him the whole charge and commandement, with a purpose not onely to make himselfe emperour of Guiana , but also of Peru , & of all that side of the West Indies: he had of his party seven hundred souldiers, and of those many promised to draw in other captaines and companies, to deliver up townes and forts in Peru : but neither finding by ye said river any passage into Guiana , nor any possibility to returne towards Peru by the same Amazones, by reason that ye descent of the river made so great a current, he was inforced to disemboque at the mouth of the sayd Amazones, which can not be lesse then a thousand leagues from the place where they imbarked: 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, governour of Margarita, who was father to Don Juan Sarmiento, governor of Margarita when sir John Burgh landed there, and attempted the Island. Agiri put to the sword all other in the Island that refused to be of his party, and tooke with him certeine Simerones, and other desperate companions. From thence he went to Cumana , and there slew the governour, and dealt in all as at Margarita: hee 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 yere that sir John Hawkins sailed to Saint Juan de Ullua in the Jesus of Lubeck: for himselfe tolde me that he met with such a one upon the coast that rebelled, and had sailed downe all the river of Amazones. Agiri from thence landed about Sancta 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 sacke Pamplon, Merida , Lagrita, Tunxa, and the rest of the cities of Nuevo reyno, and from thence againe to enter Peru : but in a fight in the sayd Nuevo reyno he was overthrowen, and finding no way to escape, he first put to the sword his owne children, foretelling them that they should not live to be defamed or upbraided by the Spanyards after his death, who would have termed them the children of a traitour or tyrant; and that sithence hee could not make them princes, hee would yet deliver them from shame and reproch. These were the ends and tragedies of Ordas , Martinez, Orellana; Ozua, and Agiri.

Also soone after Ordas followed Jeronimo Ortal de Saragosa with 130 souldiers, who failing his entrance by sea, was cast with the current on the coast of Paria, & peopled about S. Miguel de Neveri. It was then attempted by Don Pedro de Silva, a Portugues of the family of Ruigomes de Silva, and by the favour which Ruigomes had with the king, he was set out, but he also shot wide of the marke; for being departed from Spaine with his fleet, he entered by Marannon and Amazones, where by the nations of the river, and by the Amazones hee was utterly overthrowen, and himselfe and all his armie defeated, onely 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 yer he came to the borders of the sayd river, hee was set upon by a nation of the Indians called Wikiri, and overthrowen in such sort, that of 300 souldiers, horsemen, many Indians, and Negros, there returned but 18. Others affirme, that he was defeated in the very entrance of Guiana , at the first civill towne of the empire called Macureguarai. Captaine Preston in taking S. Iago de Leon (which was by him and his companies very resolutely performed, being a great towne, and farre 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 Spanyards thereabouts of the great riches of Guiana , and El Dorado the city of Inga . Another Spanyard was brought aboord me by captaine Preston, who told me in the hearing of himselfe and divers other gentlemen, that he met with Berreos campe-master at Caracas , when he came from the borders of Guiana , and that he saw with him forty of most pure plates of golde curiously wrought, and swords of Guiana decked and inlayed with gold, feathers garnished with golde, and divers rarities which he caried to the Spanish king.

After Hernandez de Serpa, it was undertaken by the Adelantado, Don Gonzales Ximenes de Casada, who was one of the chiefest in the conquest of Nuevo reino, whose daughter and heire Don Antonio de Berreo maried. Gonzales sought the passage also by the river called Papamene, which riseth by Quito in Peru , & runneth Southeast 100 leagues, and then falleth into Amazones, but he also failing the entrance, returned with the losse of much labour and cost. I tooke one captaine George a Spanyard that followed Gonzales in this enterprise. Gonzales gave his daughter to Berreo, taking his oth & honour to follow the enterprise to the last of his substance and life, who since, as he hath sworne to me, hath spent 300000 ducats in the same, & yet never could enter so far into the land as my selfe with that poore troupe or rather a handfull of men, being in all about 100 gentlemen, souldiers, rowers, boat-keepers, boyes, & of all sorts: neither could any of the forepassed undertakers, nor Berreo himselfe, discover the countrey, till now lately by conference with an ancient king called Carapana, he got the true light thereof: for Berreo came about 1500 miles yer he understood ought, or could finde any passage or entrance into any part thereof, yet he had experience of al these forenamed, and divers others, and was perswaded of their errors and mistakings. Berreo sought it by the river Cassamar, which falleth into a great river called Pato: Pato falleth into Meta, and Meta into Baraquan, which is also called Orenoque.

He tooke his journey from Nuevo reyno de Granada where he dwelt, having the inheritance of Gonzales Ximenes in those parts: he was followed with 700 horse, he drave with him 1000 head of cattell, he had also many women, Indians, and slaves. How all these rivers crosse and encounter, how the countrey lieth and is bordered, the passage of Ximines and Berreo, mine owne discovery, and the way that I entred, 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 secret, and not to suffer it to passe your owne hands; for by a draught thereof all may be prevented by other nations: for I know it is this very yeere sought by the French, although by the way that they now take, I feare it not much. It was also tolde me yer I departed England , that Villiers the admirall was in preparation for the planting of Amazones, to which river the French have made divers voyages, and returned much golde, and other rarities. I spake with a captaine of a French ship that came from thence, his ship riding in Falmouth the same yere that my ships came first from Virginia .

There was another this yeere in Helford that also came from thence, and had bene foureteene moneths at an anker in Amazones, which were both very rich. Although, as I am perswaded, Guiana cannot be entred that way, yet no doubt the trade of gold from thence passeth by branches of rivers into the river of Amazones, and so it doth on every hand far from the countrey it selfe; for those Indians of Trinidad have plates of golde from Guiana , and those canibals of Dominica which dwell in the Islands by which our ships passe yerely to the West Indies, also the Indians of Paria, those Indians called Tucaris, Chochi, Apotomios, Cumanagotos, and all those other nations inhabiting nere about the mountaines that run from Paria thorow the province of Venesuela, and in Maracapana, and the canibals of Guanipa, the Indians called Assawai, Coaca, Aiai, and the rest (all which shall be described in my description as they are situate) have plates of golde of Guiana . And upon the river of Amazones, Thevet writeth that the people weare croissants of golde, for of that forme the Guianians most commonly make them: so as from Dominica to Amazones, which is above 250 leagues, all the chiefe Indians in all parts weare of those plates of Guiana . Undoubtedly those that trade Amazones returne much golde, which (as is aforesayd) commeth by trade from Guiana , by some branch of a river that falleth from the countrey into Amazones, and either it is by the river which passeth by the nations called Tisnados, or by Carepuna. I made inquiry amongst the most ancient and best travelled of the Orenoqueponi, and I had knowledge of all the rivers betweene Orenoque & Amazones, and was very desirous to understand the truth of those warlike women, because of some it is beleeved, of others not. And though I digresse from my purpose, yet I will set downe that which hath bene delivered me for trueth of those women, & I spake with a casique or lord of people, that told me he had bene 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 sayd river. The memories of the like women are very ancient aswell in Africa as in Asia : In Africa those that had Medusa for queene: others in Scithia nere the rivers of Tanais and Thermodon: we finde also that Lampedo & Marthesia were queenes of the Amazones: in many histories they are verified to have bene, and in divers ages and provinces: but they which are not far from Guiana doe accompany with men but once in a yere, and for the time of one moneth, which I gather by their relation, to be in April: and that time all kings of the borders assemble, and queenes of the Amazones; and after the queenes have chosen, the rest cast lots for their Valentines. This one moneth, they feast, dance, and drinke of their wines in abundance; and the Moone being done, they all depart to their owne provinces. If they conceive, and be delivered of a sonne, they returne him to the father; if of a daughter they nourish it, and reteine it: and as many as have daughters send unto the begetters a present; all being desirous to increase their owne sex and kind: but that they cut off the right dug of the brest, I doe not finde to be true. It was farther tolde me, that if in these warres they tooke any prisoners that they used to accompany with those also at what time soever, but in the end for certeine they put them to death: for they are sayd to be very cruell and bloodthirsty, especially to such as offer to invade their territories. These Amazones have likewise great store of these plates of golde, which they recover by exchange chiefly for a kinde of greene stones, which the Spanyards call Piedras hijadas, & we use for spleene stones: and for the disease of the stone we also esteeme them. Of these I saw divers in Guiana : and commonly every king or casique hath one, which their wives for the most part weare; and they esteeme them as great jewels.

But to returne to the enterprise of Bereo, who (as I have sayd) 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 mountaines by the city of Tuvia, from which mountaine also springeth Pato; both which fall into the great river of Meta: and Meta riseth from a mountaine joyning to Pamplon in the same Nuevo reyno de Granada . These, as also Guaiare, which issueth out of the mountaines by Timana, fall all into Baraquan, and are but of his heads; for at their comming together they lose their names; and Baraquan farther downe is also rebaptized by the name of Orenoque. On the other side of the city and hilles of Timana riseth Rio grande, which falleth in the sea by Sancta Marta. By Cassonar first, and so into Meta, Berreo passed, keeping his horsemen on the banks, where the countrey served them for to march, and where otherwise, he was driven to imbarke them in boats which he builded for the purpose, and so came with the current downe the river of Meta, and so into Baraquan. After he entred that great & mighty river, he began dayly 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 sharpe pointed with rocks: but after one whole yeere, journeying for the most part by river, and the rest by land, he grew dayly to fewer numbers; for both by sicknesse, and by encountring with the people of those regions, thorow which he travelled, his companies were much wasted, especially by divers encounters with the Amapaians: and in all this time hee never could learne of any passage into Guiana , nor any newes or fame thereof, untill he came to a further border of the sayd Amapaia, eight dayes journey from the river Caroli, which was the furthest river that he entred. Among those of Amapaia, Guiana was famous, but few of these people accosted Berreo, or would trade with him the first three moneths of the six, which he sojourned there. This Amapaia is also marvellous rich in golde (as both Berreo confessed and those of Guiana with whom I had most conference) and is situate upon Orenoque also. In this countrey Berreo lost 60 of his best souldiers, and most of all his horse that remained in his former yeeres travell: but in the end, after divers encounters with those nations, they grew to peace; and they presented Berreo wth tenne images of fine golde among divers other plates and croissants, which, as he sware to me & divers other gentlemen, were so curiously wrought, as he had not seene the like either in Italy , Spaine, or the Low-countreys: & he was resolved, that when they came to the hands of the Spanish king, to whom he had sent them by his campmaster, they would appeare very admirable, especially being wrought by such a nation as had no yron instruments at all nor any of those helps which our goldsmiths have to worke withall. 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 above 12 English miles broad, which may be from his out fall into the sea 700 or 800 miles.

This province of Amapaia is a very low and a marish ground nere the river; and by reason of the red water which issueth out in small branches thorow the fenny and boggy ground, there breed divers poisonfull wormes and serpents; and the Spanyards not suspecting, nor in any sort foreknowing the danger, were infected with a grievous kinde of fluxe by drinking thereof; and even the very horses poisoned therwith : insomuch as at the end of the 6 moneths, that they abode there, of all their troups, there were not left above 120 souldiers, & neither horse nor cattell : for Berreo hoped to have found Guiana by 1000 miles nerer then it fel out to be in the end: by meanes whereof they susteined 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 tolde me that after the Sun was neere the middle of the skie, 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 drinke 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 drinke, and in the morning, evening, and night woonderfull dangerous and infective. From this province Berreo hasted away assoone 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 mountaines, as he was not able by any meanes to march over them, continuing from the East sea into which Orenoque falleth, even to Quito in Peru : neither had he meanes to cary victuall or munition over those craggie, high, and fast hilles, being all woody, & those so thicke and spiny, & so full of prickles, thornes, and briers, as it is impossible to creepe thorow them: hee had also neither friendship among the people, nor any interpreter to perswade or treat with them: and more, to his disadvantage, the casiques and kings of Amapaia had given knowledge of his purpose to the Guianians, and that he sought to sacke and conquer the empire, for the hope of their so great abundance and quantities of golde: he passed by the mouthes of many great rivers, which fell into Orenoque both from the North and South, which I forbeare to name for tediousnesse, and because they are more pleasing in describing then 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, that passed betweene Popayan and Nuevo reyno de Granada (Rio grande being esteemed one of the renowmed rivers in all the West Indies, and numbred among the great rivers of the world:) but he knew not the names of any of these, but Caroli onely; neither from what nations they descended, neither to what provinces they led; for he had no meanes 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 owne travell, 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 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 kingdomes from the East sea to the borders of Peru , and from Orenoque Southward as farre as Amazones or Marannon, and the religions of Maria Tamball, & of all the kings of provinces, and captaines of townes and villages, how they stood in tearmes of peace or warre, 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 dissention betweene Guascar and Atabalipa, Pizarro conquered Peru , and by the hatred that the Tlaxcallians bare to Mutezuma, Cortez 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 atteined unto.

Now Berreo began to grow into dispaire, and looked for no other successe then his predecessor in this enter prise, untill such time as hee 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 countrey full of all maner of victuall. The king of this land is called Carapana, a man very wise, subtill, and of great experience, being little lesse then an hundred yeeres olde: in his youth he was sent by his father into the Island of Trinidad, by reason of civill warre among themselves, and was bred at a village in that island, called Parico; at that place in his youth hee had seene 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 beene relieved with victuall from Trinidad) by reason whereof he grew of more understanding, and noted the difference of the nations, comparing the strength and armes of his countrey with those of the Christians, and ever after temporized so, as whosoever els did amisse, or was wasted by contention, Carapana kept himselfe and his countrey in quiet & plenty: he also held peace with the Caribes or Canibals his neighbours, and had free trade with all nations, whosoever els had warre.

Berreo sojourned and rested his weake troupe in the towne of Carapana sixe weeks, and from him learned the way and passage to Guiana , and the riches and magnificence thereof; but being then utterly disable to proceed, he determined to try his fortune another yere, when he had renewed his provisions, and regathered more force, which hee hoped for as well out of Spaine as from Nueva reyno, where hee had left his sonne, Don Antonio Ximenes to second him upon the first notice given of his entrance, and so for the present imbarked himselfe 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 Sermiento the governour, of his proceeding, and perswaded him of the riches of Guiana , he obteined from thence fifty souldiers, promising presently to returne to Carapana, and so into Guiana . But Berreo meant nothing lesse at that time; for he wanted many provisions necessary for such an enterprise, and therefore departed from Margarita, seated himselfe in Trinidad, and from thence sent his campmaster, and his sergeant-major backe to the borders to discover the neerest 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 passe safely, nor in any sort be relieved with victuall or ought els. Carapana directed his company to a king called Morequito, assuring them that no man could deliver so much of Guiana as Morequito could, and that his dwelling was but five dayes journey from Macureguarai, the first civill towne 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 yeeres before bene at Cumana and at Margarita, in the West Indies, with great store of plates of golde, which he caried to exchange for such other things as he wanted in his owne countrey, and was dayly feasted, & presented by the governours of those places, and held amongst them some two moneths, in which time one Vides governour of Cumana wanne him to be his conductour into Guiana , being allured by those croissants and images of golde which hee brought with him to trade, as also by the ancient fame and magnificence of El Dorado: whereupon Vides sent into Spaine for a patent to discover and conquer Guiana , not knowing of the precedence of Berreos patent, which, as Berreo affirmeth, was signed before that of Vides: so as when Vides understood of Berreo, and that he had made entrance into that territory, and forgone his desire and hope, it was verily thought that Vides practised with Morequito to hinder and disturbe Berreo in all he could, and not to suffer him to enter thorow his signorie, nor any of his companies; neither to victuall, nor guide them in any sort; for Vides governour of Cumana , and Berreo, were become mortall enemies, aswell 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 it selfe: howsoever it was, I know not, but Morequito for a time dissembled his disposition, suffered Spanyards, and a frier (which Berreo had sent to discover Manoa) to travell thorow his countrey, gave them a guide for Macureguaray, the first towne of civill 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 dayes arrived at Manoa, as Berreo affirmeth for certaine; although I could not be assured thereof by the lord which now governeth the province of Morequito, for he tolde me that they got all the golde they had, in other townes on this side Manoa, there being many very great and rich, and (as he sayd) built like the townes of Christians, with many roomes.

When these ten Spaniards were returned, and ready to put out of the border of Aromaia, the people of Morequito set upon them, and slew them all but one that swam the river, and tooke from them to the value of forty thousand pezos of golde: and one of them onely lived to bring the newes to Berreo, that both his nine souldiers and holy father were benighted in the said province. I my selfe spake with the captaines of Morequito that slew them, and was at the place where it was executed. Berreo inraged heerewithall, sent all the strength he could make into Aromaia, to be revenged of him, his people, and countrey. But Morequito suspecting the same, fled over Orenoque, and thorow the territories of the Saima, and Wikiri, recovered Cumana , where hee thought himselfe very safe, with Vides the governour. But Berreo sending for him in the kings name, and his messengers finding him in the house of one Fashardo on the sudden yer he was suspected, so as he could not then be conveyed away, Vides durst not deny him, aswell to avoid the suspition of the practise, as also for that an holy father was slaine by him and his people. Morequito offered Fashardo the weight of three quintals in golde, to let him escape: but the poor Guianian, betrayed on all sides, was delivered to the campe-master of Berreo, and was presently executed.

After the death of this Morequito, the souldiers of Berreo spoiled his territorie, and tooke divers prisoners, among others they tooke the uncle of Morequito, called Topiawari, who is now king of Aromaia (whose sonne I brought with me into England ) and is a man of great understanding and policy: he is above an hundred yeeres olde, and yet of a very able body. The Spaniards ledde him in a chaine seventeene dayes, and made him their guide from place to place betweene his countrey & Emeria, the province of Carapana aforesayd, and he was at last redeemed for an hundred plates of golde, and divers stones called Piedras Hijadas, or Spleene-stones. Now Berreo for executing of Morequito, and other cruelties, spoiles, and slaughters done in Aromaia, hath lost the love of the Orenoqueponi, and of all the borderers, and dare not send any of his souldiers any further into the land then to Carapana, which he called the port of Guiana : but from thence by the helpe of Carapana he had trade further into the countrey, and alwayes appointed ten Spaniards to reside in Carapanas towne, by whose favour, and by being conducted by his people, those ten searched the countrey thereabouts, aswell 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, endevouring by all meanes to establish him in the sayd province. Among many other trades, those Spaniards used canoas to passe to the rivers of Barema, Pawroma, & Dissequebe, which are on the south side of the mouth of Orenoque, and there buy women and children from the Canibals, which are of that barbarous nature, as they will for three or foure hatchets sell the sonnes and daughters of their owne brethren and sisters, and for somewhat more, even their owne daughters. Hereof the Spaniards make great profit: for buying a maid of twelve or thirteene yeres for three or foure hatchets, they sell them againe at Margarita in the West Indies for fifty and an hundred pezos, which is so many crownes.

The master of my shippe, John Dowglas, tooke one of the canoas which came laden from thence with people to be solde, 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 afterward I saw many of them, which but for their tawnie colour may be compared to any of 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 pezos. They also recover great store of Cotton, Brasill wood, and those beds which they call Hamacas or Brasill beds, wherein in hot countreyes all the Spaniards use to lie commonly, and in no other, neither did we our selves while we were there. By meanes of which trades, for ransome of divers of the Guianians, and for exchange of hatchets and knives, Berreo recovered some store of golde plates, eagles of golde, and images of men and divers birdes, and dispatched his campe-master for Spaine, with all that hee had gathered, therewith to levie souldiers, and by the shew thereof to draw others to the love of the enterprise. And having sent divers images aswell of men as beasts, birds & fishes, so curiously wrought in gold, he doubted not but to perswade the king to yeeld to him some further helpe, especially for that this land hath never beene sacked, the mines never wrought, and in the Indies their works were well spent, and the golde drawen out with great labour and charge. He also dispatched messengers to his sonne in Nuevo reyno to levie all the forces he could, & to come downe the river Orenoque to Emeria, the province of Carapana, to meet him: he had also sent to Saint Iago 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 comming to Trinidad, as it was indeed, (and for that purpose I sent Jacob Whiddon the yeere before to get intelligence with whom Berreo himselfe had speech at that time, and remembred how inquisitive Jacob Whiddon was of his proceedings, and of the countrey of Guiana ) Berreo was stricken into a great melancholy and sadnesse, and used all the arguments he could to disswade 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 barke or pinnesse, or hardly with any ships boat, it was so low, sandy, and full of flats, and that his companies were dayly grounded in their canoas, which drew but twelve inches water. Hee further sayde, that none of the countrey would come to speake with us, but would all flie; and if we followed them to their dwellings, they would burne their own e townes: 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 cary victuall for halfe 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 golde, because the same would be their owne overthrow, and that for the love of gold the Christians meant to conquer and dispossesse them of all together.

Many and the most of these I found to be true, but yet I resolving to make triall of all whatsoever happened, directed Captaine George Gifford my vice-admirall to take the Lions whelpe, and captaine Calfield his barke to turne to the Eastward, against the mouth of a river called Capuri, whose entrance I had before sent captaine Whiddon, and John Dowglas 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 anker at the edge of the shoald, and upon the best of the flood to thrust over, which shoald John Dowglas bwoyed and beckoned for them before: but they laboured in vaine; for neither could they turne it up altogether so farre to the East, neither did the flood continue so long, but the water fell yer they could have passed the sands; as wee after found by a second experience: so as now wee must either give over our enterprise, or leaving our ships at adventure foure hundred mile behinde us, must run up in our ships boats, one barge, and two wheries. But being doubtfull how to cary victuals for so long a time in such bables, or any strength of men, especially for that Berreo assured us that his sonne must be by that time come downe with many souldiers, I sent away one King, master of the Lions whelpe, with his shipboat, to trie another branch of a river in the bottome of the bay of Guanipa, which was called Amana, to proove 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 thorowly, because he was assured by an Indian, his guide, that the Canibals of Guanipa would assaile them with many canoas, and that they shot poisoned arrowes; so as if he hasted not backe, they should all be lost.

In the meane time, fearing the woorst, I caused all the carpenters we had, to cut downe 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 barre of Capuri at low water. And doubting of Kings returne, I sent John Dowglas againe in my long barge, aswell to relieve him, as also to make a perfect search in the bottome of that bay: for it hath bene held for infallible, that whatsoever ship or boat shall fall therein, can never disemboque againe, by reason of the violent current which setteth into the sayde bay, as also for that the brize and Easterly winde bloweth directly into the same. Of which opinion I have heard John Hampton of Plymmouth, one of the greatest experience of England , and divers others besides that have traded to Trinidad.

I sent with John Dowglas an olde casique of Trinidad for a pilot, who tolde us that we could not returne againe by the bay or gulfe, but that he knew a by-branch which ran within the land to the Eastward, and that he thought by it we might fall into Capuri, and so returne in foure dayes. John Dowglas searched those rivers, and found foure goodly entrances, whereof the least was as bigge as the Thames at Woolwich ; but in the bay thitherward it was shoald, and but sixe foot water: so as we were now without hope of any ship or barke to passe over, and therefore resolved to go on with the boats, and the bottom of the Galego, in which we thrust 60 men. In the Lions whelpes boat & whery we caried 20. Captaine Calfield in his whery caried ten more, and in my barge other tenne, which made up a hundred: we had no other meanes but to cary victuall for a moneth in the same, and also to lodge therein as we could, and to boile and dresse our meat. Captaine Gifford had with him master Edward Porter, captaine Eynos, and eight more in his whery, with all their victuall, weapons, and provisions. Captaine Calfield had with him my cousin Butshead Gorges, and eight more. In the galley, of gentlemen and officers my selfe had captaine Thin, my cousin John Greenvile, my nephew John Gilbert, captaine Whiddon, captaine Keymis, Edward Handcocke, captaine Clarke, lieutenant Hewes, Thomas Upton, captaine Facy, Jerome Ferrar, Anthony Welles, William Connocke, and above fifty more. We could not learne of Berreo any other way to enter but in branches, so farre to wind-ward, as it was impossible for us to recover: for wee had as much sea to crosse over in our wheries, as betweene Dover and Calais , and in a great billow, the winde and current being both very strong, so as we were driven to goe in those small boats directly before the winde into the bottome of the bay of Guanipa, and from thence to enter the mouth of some one of those rivers which John Dowglas had last discovered, and had with us for pilot an Indian of Barema, a river to the South of Orenoque, betweene that and Amazones, whose canoas we had formerly taken as hee was going from the sayd Barema, laden with Cassavibread, to sell at Margarita. This Arwacan promised to bring me into the great river of Orenoque, but indeed of that which he entred he was utterly ignorant, for he had not seene it in twelve yeeres before; at which time he was very yoong, and of no judgement: and if God had not sent us another helpe, we might have wandred a whole yere in that labyrinth of rivers, yer wee had found any way, either out or in, especially after wee were past ebbing and flowing, which was in foure dayes, for I know all the earth doeth not yeelde the like confluence of streames and branches, the one crossing the other so many times, and all so faire and large, and so like one to another, as no man can tell which to take: and if wee went by the Sunne or Compasse, hoping thereby to goe directly one way or other, yet that way wee were also caried in a circle amongst multitudes of Islands, and every Island so bordered with high trees, as no man coulde see any further then the bredth of the river, or length of the breach. But this it chanced, that entering into a river, (which because it had no name, wee called the river of the Red crosse, our selves being the first Christians that ever came therein) the two and twentieth of May, as wee were rowing up the same, wee espied a small canoa with three Indians, which (by the swiftnesse of my barge, rowing with eight oares) I overtooke yer they could crosse the river, the rest of the people on the banks shadowed under the thicke wood, gazed on with a doubtfull conceit what might befall those three which we had taken. But when they perceived that we offered them no violence, neither entred their canoa with any of ours, nor tooke out of the canoa any of theirs, they then beganne to shew themselves on the banks side, and offered to traffique with us for such things as they had. And as wee drew neere, they all stayed, and we came with our barge to the mouth of a little creeke which came from their towne into the great river.

As we abode there a while, our Indian pilot, called Ferdinando, would needs goe ashore to their village to fetch some fruits, and to drinke of their artificiall wines, and also to see the place, and know the lord of it against another time, and tooke with him a brother of his, which hee 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 slaine them both, yeelding for reason that this Indian of ours had brought a strange nation into their territory, to spoile and destroy them. But the pilot being quicke, 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 creekes mouth, where we stayed in our barge, crying out that his brother was slaine: with that we set hands on one of them that was next us, a very olde man, and brought him into the barge, assuring him that if we had not our pilot againe, we would presently cut off his head. This olde man being resolved that he should pay the losse 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 the Deere-dogges, and with so maine a crie, that all the woods eckoed with the shout they made: but at the last this poore chased Indian recovered the river side, and got upon a tree, and as we were coasting, leaped downe and swamme to the barge halfe dead with feare. But our good happe was, that we kept the other olde Indian which we handfasted to redeeme our pilot withall; for being naturall of those rivers, we assured our selves hee knew the way better then any stranger could. And indeed, but for this chance, I thinke we had never found the way either to Guiana , or backe to our ships: for Ferdinando after a few dayes knew nothing at all, nor which way to turne, yea and many times the olde man himselfe 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 owne maine mouth: on the South side it hath seven other fallings into the sea, so it disemboqueth by sixteene armes in all, betweene Ilands and broken ground, but the Ilands are very great, many of them as bigge as the Isle of Wight, and bigger, and many lesse. From the first branch on the North to the last of the South, it is at least 100 leagues, so as the rivers mouth is 300 miles wide at his entrance into the sea, which I take to be farre bigger then that of Amazones. All those that inhabit in the mouth of this river upon the severall North branches, are these Tivitivas, of which there are two chiefe lords which have continuall warres one with the other. The Ilands which lie on the right hand, are called Pallamos, and the land on the left, Horotomaka, and the river by which John Dowglas 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 artificiall townes and villages, as it is written in the Spanish story of the West Indies, that those people do in the low lands nere the gulfe of Uraba: for betweene May & September the river of Orenoque riseth thirty foot upright, and then are those ilands overflowen twenty foot high above the levell of the ground, saving some few raised grounds in the middle of them: and for this cause they are inforced to live in this maner. They never eat of any thing that is set or sowen: and as at home they use neither planting nor other manurance, so when they come abroad, they refuse to feed of ought, but of that which nature without labour bringeth forth. They use the tops of Palmitos for bread, and kill deere, 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 fowle.

And if to speake of them were not tedious, and vulgar, surely we saw in those passages of very rare colours and formes, not elsewhere to be found, for as much as I have either seene 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 sel them into Guiana for golde, and into Trinidad for tabacco, in the excessive taking whereof, they exceed all nations; and notwithstanding the moistnesse of the aire in which they live, the hardnesse of their diet, and the great labours they suffer to hunt, fish and fowle 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 woont to make warre upon all nations, and especially on the Canibals, 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 thinke the flesh of their bodies is putrified, and fallen from the bones, then they take up the carcase againe, and hang it in the caciques house that died, and decke his scull with feathers of all colours, and hang all his golde plates, about the bones of his armes, 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 doe use to beat the bones of their lords into powder, and their wives and friends drinke it all in their severall sorts of drinks.

After we departed from the port of these Ciawani, wee passed up the river with the flood, and ankered the ebbe, and in this sort we went onward. The third day that we entred the river, our galley came on ground, and stucke so fast, as we thought that even there our discovery had ended, and that we must have left fourescore 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 halling to and fro, we got her aflote, and went on. At foure dayes end wee fell into as goodly a river as ever I beheld, which was called The great Amana, which ranne more directly without windings and turnings then the other: but soone after the flood of the sea left us; and being inforced either by maine strength to row against a violent current, or to returne as wise as we went out, we had then no shift but to perswade the companies that it was but two or three dayes worke, and therefore desired them to take paines, every gentleman & others taking their turnes to row, and to spell one the other at the houres 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 Cart of discovery, where every one shalbe named with his rising and descent. When three dayes more were overgone, our companies began to despaire, the weather being extreame hote, the river bordered with very high trees, that kept away the aire, and the current against us every day stronger then other: but we evermore commanded our pilots to promise an ende the next day, and used it so long, as we were driven to assure them from foure reaches of the river to three, and so to two, and so to the next reach: but so long we laboured, that many dayes were spent, and wee driven to drawe our selves to harder allowance, our bread even at the last, and no drinke at all; and our men and our selves so wearied and scorched, and doubtfull withall, whether wee should ever performe it or no, the heat increasing as we drew towards the line; for wee were now in five degrees.

The further we went on (our victuall decreasing and the aire breeding great faintnesse) wee grew weaker and weaker, when wee had most need of strength and abilitie; for hourely the river ranne more violently then other against us, and the barge, wheries, and shippes boat of captaine Gifford and captaine Calfield, had spent all their provisions; so as we were brought into despaire and discomfort, had wee not perswaded all the company that it was but onely one dayes worke more to atteine the land where wee should be relieved of all wee wanted, and if we returned, that wee were sure to starve by the way, and that the world would also laugh us to scorne. 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 tenne volumes of herbals : we relieved our selves many times with the fruits of the countrey, and sometimes with fowle and fish. Wee saw birds of all colours, some carnation, some crimson, orenge-tawny, purple, watchet, and of all other sorts both simple and mixt, and it was unto us a great good passing of the time to beholde them, besides the reliefe we found by killing some store of them with our fowling pieces; without which, having little or no bread, and lesse drinke, but onely the thicke and troubled water of the river, we had beene in a very hard case.

Our olde pilot of the Ciawani (whom, as I sayd before, wee tooke to redeeme Ferdinando) tolde us, that if we would enter a branch of a river on the right hand with our barge and wheries, and leave the galley at anker the while in the great river, he would bring us to a towne of the Arwacas, where we should finde store of bread, hennes, fish, and of the countrey wine; and perswaded us, that departing from the galley at noone, we might returne yer night. I was very glad to heare this speech, and presently tooke my barke, with eight musketiers, captaine Giffords whery, with himselfe and foure musketiers, and Captaine Calfield with his whery, and as many; and so we entred the mouth of this river: and because we were perswaded that it was so nere, we tooke no victuall with us at all. When we had rowed three houres, we marvelled we saw no signe of any dwelling, and asked the pilot where the towne was : he tolde us a little further. After three houres more, the Sun being almost set, we began to suspect that he led us that way to betray us: for hee confessed that those Spanyards which fled from Trinidad, and also those that remained with Carapana in Emeria, were joyned together in some village upon that river. But when it grew towards night; and wee demanded where the place was; hee tolde us but foure reaches more. When we had rowed foure and foure; we saw no signe; and our poore water-men, even heartbroken, and tired, were ready to give up the ghost: for wee had now come from the galley neere forty miles.

At the last we determined to hang the pilot; and if wee had well knowen the way backe againe by night, hee had surely gone; but our owne necessities pleaded sufficiently for his safety: for it was as darke as pitch, and the river began so to narrow it selfe, and the trees to hang over from side to side, as wee were driven with arming swords to cut a passage thorow those branches that covered the water. Wee were very desirous to finde this towne, hoping of a feast, because wee made but a short breakefast aboord the galley in the morning and it was now eight a clocke at night, and our stomacks began to gnawe apace: but whether it was best to returne or goe on, we beganne to doubt, suspecting treason in the pilot more and more: but the poore olde Indian ever assured us that it was but a little further, but this one turning and that turning: and at the last about one a clocke after midnight wee saw a light; and rowing towards it, wee heard the dogges of the village. When we landed wee found few people; for the lord of that place was gone with divers canoas above foure hundred miles off, upon a journey towardes the head of Orenoque to trade for golde, and to buy women of the Canibals, who afterward unfortunately passed by us as wee rode at an anker in the port of Morequito in the darke of the night, and yet came so neere us, as his canoas grated against our barges: he left one of his company at the port of Morequito, by whom wee understood that hee had brought thirty yoong women, divers plates of golde, and had great store of fine pieces of cotton cloth, and cotton beds. In his house we had good store of bread, fish, hennes, and Indian drinke, and so rested that night, and in the morning after we had traded with such of his people as came downe, we returned towards our gally, and brought with us some quantity of bread, fish, and hennes.

On both sides of this river, we passed the most beautifull countrey that ever mine eyes beheld: and whereas all that we had seene before was nothing but woods, prickles, bushes, and thornes, here we beheld plaines of twenty miles in length, the grasse short and greene, and in divers parts groves of trees by themselves, as if they had beene by all the arte and labour in the world so made of purpose: and still as we rowed, the deere came downe feeding by the waters side, as if they had beene used to a keepers call. Upon this river there were great store of fowle, and of many sorts: we saw in it divers sorts of strange fishes, and of marvellous bignes: but for lagartos 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 yoong 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 meane while our companies in the gaily thought we had bene all lost, (for wee promised to returne before night) and sent the Lions whelps shippes boat with captaine Whiddon to follow us up the river; but the next day, after we had rowed up and downe some fourescore 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, captaine Gifford being before the galley and the rest of the boats, seeking out some place to land upon the banks to make fire, espied foure canoas comming downe the river; & with no small joy caused his men to trie the uttermost of their strengths, and after a while two of the foure gave over, and ranne themselves ashore, every man betaking himselfe to the fastnesse of the woods, the two other lesser got away, while he landed to lay holde on these; and so turned into some by-creeke, we knew not whither. Those canoas that were taken, were loaden with bread, and were bound for Margarita in the West Indies, which those Indians (called Arwacas) purposed to cary thither for exchange: but in the lesser there were three Spanyards, who having heard of the defeat of their governour in Trinidad, and that we purposed to enter Guiana , came away in those canoas: one of them was a cavallero, as the captaine of the Arwacas after tolde us, another a souldier, and the third a refiner.

In the meane time, nothing on the earth could have bene more welcome to us, next unto gold, then the great store of very excellent bread which we found in these canoas; for now our men cried, Let us goe on, we care not how farre. After that captaine Gifford had brought the two canoas to the galley, I tooke my barge, and went to the banks side with a dozen shot, where the canoas first ranne themselves ashore, and landed there, sending out captaine Gifford, and captaine Thyn on one hand, and captaine Calfield on the other, to follow those that were fled into the woods: and as I was creeping thorow the bushes, I sawe an Indian basket hidden, which was the refiners basket; for I found in it his quick-silver, saltpeter, and divers things for the triall 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 souldier soever could take one of those three Spanyards that we thought were landed. But our labours were in vaine in that behalfe; 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 Spanyards, we found the Arwacas hidden in the woods, which were pilots for the Spanyards, and rowed their canoas; of which I kept the chiefest for a pilot, and caried him with me to Guiana , by whom I understood where and in what countreyes the Spanyards had laboured for golde, though I made not the same knowen to all: for when the springs began to breake, and the rivers to raise themselves so suddenly, as by no meanes wee could abide the digging of any mine, especially for that the richest are defended with rocks of hard stones, which wee call the White spar, and that it required both time, men, and instruments fit for such a worke, I thought it best not to hover thereabouts, least if the same had beene perceived by the company, there would have beene by this time many barks and shippes set out, and perchance other nations would also have gotten of ours for pilots; so as both our selves might have beene prevented, and all our care taken for good usage of the people bene utterly lost, by those that onely respect present profit, and such violence or insolence offered, as the nations which are borderers would have changed their desire of our love and defence into hatred and violence. And for any longer stay to have brought a more quantity (which I heare hath beene often objected) whosoever had seene or proved the fury of that river after it beganne to arise, and had bene a moneth and odde dayes, as we were, from hearing ought from our shippes, leaving them meanly manned 400 miles off, would perchance have turned somewhat sooner then we did, if all the mountaines had bene golde, or rich stones. And to say the trueth, all the branches and small rivers which fell into Orenoque were raised with such speed, as if we waded them over the shooes in the morning outward, we were covered to the shoulders homeward the very same day: and to stay to digge out gold with our nailes, had bene Opus laboris but not Ingenii: such a quantitie as would have served our turnes we could not have had, but a discovery of the Mines to our infinite disadvantage wee had made, and that could have bene the best profite of farther search or stay: for those Mines are not easily broken, nor opened in hast, and I could have returned a good quantitie of gold ready cast, if I had not shot at another marke, then present profit.

This Arwacan Pilot with the rest, feared that wee 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 it selfe might come to speach with us, perswaded all the nations, that we were men-eaters, and Canibals) but when the poore men and women had seen us, and that wee gave them meate, and to every one something or other, which was rare and strange to them, they beganne to conceive the deceit and purpose of the Spaniards, who indeed (as they confessed) tooke from them both their wives and daughters dayly, and used them for the satisfying of their owne lusts, especially such as they tooke in this maner by strength. But I protest before the Majestie of the living God, that I neither know nor beleeve, that any of our company one or other, by violence or otherwise, ever knew any of their women, and yet we saw many hundreds, and had many in our power, and of those very yong, and excellently favoured, which came among us without deceit, starke naked.

Nothing got us more love amongst them then this usage: for I suffered not any man to take from any of the nations so much as a Pina , or a Potato roote, 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) drewe them to admire her Majestie, whose commaundement I tolde them it was, and also wonderfully to honour our nation.

But I confesse it was a very impatient worke t