Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

needeth none other reason than the manifest & late example of the neere neighbours to this realme, the kings of Spaine and Portugall, who since the first discouery of the Indies, haue not onely mightily inlarged their dominions, greatly inriched themselues and their subiects: but haue also by just account trebled the number of their shippes, masters and mariners, a matter of no small moment and importance:

Besides this, it will prooue a generall benefit vnto our countrey, that through this occasion, not onely a great number of men which do now liue idlely at home, and are burthenous, chargeable & profitable to this realme, shall hereby be set on worke, but also children of twelue or fourteene yeeres of age, or vnder, may bee kept from idlenesse, in making of a thousand kindes · of trifling things, which wil be good merchandise for that countrey. And moreouer, our idle women (which the Realme may well spare) shall also be imployed on plucking, drying, and sorting of feathers, in pulling, beating, and working of hempe, and in gathering of cotton, and diuers things right necessary for dying. All which things are to be found in those countreys most plentifully. And the men may imploy themselues in dragging for pearle, woorking for mines, and in matters of husbandry, and likewise in hunting the Whale for Trane (oil], and making caskes to put the same in: besides in fishing

for cod, salmon, and herring, drying, salting and barrelling the same, and felling of trees, hewing and sawing of them, and such like worke, meete for those persons that are no men of Art or science.

Many other things may bee found to the great reliefe and good employments of no small number of the naturall Subiects of this Realme, which doe now liue here idlely to the common annoy of the whole state. Neither may I here omit the great hope and likelyhood of a passage beyond the Grand Bay into the South Seas, confirmed by sundry authours to be found leading to Cataia, by Molluccas and Spiceries, whereby may ensue as generall a benefite to the Realme, or greater than yet hath bene spoken of, without either such charges, or other inconueniences, as by the tedious tract of time and perill, which the ordinary passage to those parts at this day doeth minister.

Richard Hakluyt, Voyages, Navigations, Traffiques, and Discoveries (London, 1599), III. 167-181 passim.

7. Early Relations with Latin

America (1595)

By SIR WALTER RALEGH

Ralegh (or Raleigh), a renowned explorer, made three active efforts to plant a colony in what is now Virginia.

I SENT Captain Whiddon the yeare before to get what knowledge he could of Guiana, and the end of my iorney at this time was to discouer & enter the same, but my intelligence was farre from trueth, for the country is situate aboue 600. English miles further from the sea, then I was made beleeue it had been, which afterward vnderstanding to be true by Berreo, I kept it from the knowledge of my companie, who else would neuer haue beene brought to attempt the same, of which 600. miles I passed 400. leauing my shippes so farre from me at ancor in the sea, which was more of desire to performe that discouery, then of reason.

The Empyre of Guiana is directly east from Peru towards the sea, and lieth vnder the Equinoctiall line, and it hath more abundance of Golde than any parte of Peru, and as many or more greate Cities than euer Peru had when it flourished most: it is gouerned by the same lawes, and the Emperour and people obserue the same religion, and the same forme and pollicies in gouerment as was vsed in Peru, not differing in any part: and as I haue beene assured by such of the Spanyardes as haue seene Manoa the imperiall Citie of Guiana, which the Span yards cal El Dorado, and for the greatnes, for the riches, and for the excellent seate, it farre exceedeth any of the world, at least so much of the world as is knowen to the spanish nation: it is founded vpon a lake of salt water of 200. leagues long like vnto mare capsiû.

Seeking after the Spaniardes, we found the Armacas hidden in the woods which were pilots for the Spaniards, and rowed their Canoas: of which I kept the chiefest for a Pilot; and carried him with me to Guiana, by whom I vnderstood, where and in what countries the Spaniards had labored for gold, though I made not the same knowen to all: for when the springs began to breake, and the riuers to raise themselues so suddenly as by no meanes we coulde abide the digging of any mine, especially for that the richest are defended with rocks of hard stone, which we call the White spar, and that it required both time, men, and instruments fit for such a worke, I thought it best not to houer thereabouts, to staie to dig out golde with our nayles, had been Opus laboris, but not Ingen y: such a quantitie as woulde haue serued our turnes we could not haue had, but a discouery of the mines to our infinite disaduantage

.

we had made, and that coulde haue been the best profit of farther search or stay: for those mines are not easily broken, nor opened in hast, and I could haue returned a good quantity of gold ready cast, if I had not shot at another mark than present profit.

... So the 15. day wee discoured a far off the mountaines of Guiana to our great joy, and towards the euening had a slent of a northerly winde that blew uery strong, which brought vs in sight of the great riuer of Orenoque.

The next day we arriued at the port of Morequito, and ankored there; sending away one of our Pilots to seeke the king of Aromaia:

After this olde king had rested a while in a little tent, that I caused to be set vp, I began by my interpreter to discourse with him of the death of Morequito his predecessor, and afterwarde of the Spaniards, and ere I went anie farther I made him knowe the cause of my comming thither, whose seruaunt I was, and that the Queenes pleasure was, I shoulde vndertake the voyage for their defence, and to deliuer them from the tyrannie of the Spaniardes, dilating at large (as I had done before to those of Trinedado) her Maiesties greatnesse, her iustice, her charitie to all oppressed Nations, with as manie of the rest of her beauties and vertues, as eyther I could expresse or they conceiue, all which being with great admiration attentiuelie hearde,

« AnteriorContinuar »