Page:First Voyage Round the World.djvu/121

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
43
ARRIVAL AT BRAZIL.

great quantity of them together, so many that it seemed that it was an island in the sea.

After that we had passed the equinoctial line, towards the south, we lost the star of the tramontana, and we navigated between the south and Garbin, which is the collateral wind [or point] between south and west; and we crossed as far as a country named Verzin, which is in twenty-four degrees and a half of the antarctic sky. This country is from the cape St. Augustine, which is in eight degrees in the antarctic sky. At this place we had refreshments of victuals, like fowls and meat of calves,[1] also a variety of fruits, called battate, pigne (pine-apples), sweet, of singular goodness, and many other things, which I have omitted mentioning, not to be too long. The people of the said place gave, in order to have a knife, or a hook[2] for catching fish, five or six fowls, and for a comb they gave two geese, and for a small mirror, or a pair of scissors, they gave so much fish that ten men could have eaten of it. And for a bell (or hawk's-bell)[3] they gave a full basket[4] of the fruit named battate; this has the taste of a chestnut, and is of the length of a shuttle.[5] For a king of cards, of that kind which they used to play with in Italy, they gave me five fowls, and thought they had cheated me. We entered into this port the day of Saint Lucy[6] [13th December], before Christmas, on which day we had the sun on the zenith,[7] which is a term of astrology. This zenith is a point in the sky, according to astrologers, and only in imagination, and it answers to over our head in a straight line, as may be seen by the treatise of the sphere,[8] and by Aristotle, in the first book, De Cœlo et Mondo. On the day that we had the sun in the zenith

  1. The Milan edition has "flesh of the Anta, like that of a cow"; and a note says the anta is the tapir.
  2. Haim.
  3. Aigucillette, same as esquillette.
  4. Coffin.
  5. Naveau, for navette.
  6. Le jour de Saincte Lucie aux auantz de Noel.
  7. Par zenit.
  8. Or of Lespere.