26th of November, 1521

Tuesday the 26th November the King came to tell us that for us he had done what a King never does here, that was to leave his own island; but he had gone to show the affection he had for the King of Castile, and because when we had got our cargo, we could sooner return to Spain, and afterwards return with greater forces to avenge the death of his father, who had been killed in an island called Buru, and his body had been thrown into the sea.

He afterwards added that it was the custom in Tadore, when the first cloves were embarked in a vessel, or in junks, that the king gave a feast to their crews and merchants, and they made prayers to God to bring them in safety to their port. He wished to do the same for us, and at the same time the feast would serve for the King of Bachian, who was coming with a brother of his to pay him a visit, and on that account he had the streets cleaned. Hearing this, some of us began to suspect some treachery; all the more because we learned that, not long before, three Portuguese of the companions of Francisco Serrano had been assassinated at the place where we got water, by some of the islanders concealed in the thickets; also we often saw them whispering with the Indians whom we had made prisoners. Therefore, although some of us were inclined to accept the invitation, we concluded not to betake ourselves thither, recollecting the unfortunate feast given to our men in the island of Zubu, and we decided on a speedy departure.

Meantime a message was sent to the king to thank him, and to ask him to come soon to the ships, where we would deliver to him the four men we had promised him, with the goods which we had destined for him. The King came soon, and on entering the ship, as though he had observed that we had doubts, said that he entered with as much confidence and security as into his own house. He made us feel how much he was displeased by our unexpected haste to depart, since ships used to employ thirty days in taking in their cargo; and that if he had made a journey out of the island, he certainly had not done it to injure us but to assist us, so that we might more speedily obtain the cloves which we required, and a part of which we were still expecting. He added that it was not then a fit season for navigating in those seas, on account of the many shoals near Bandan, and besides it would be a likely thing that we should fall in with some Portuguese ships. When, in spite of what he had said, he saw we were still determined on going away, he said that we must take back all that we had given him, since the Kings, his neighbours, would consider him as a man without reputation for receiving so many presents in the name of so great a king as the King of Spain, and he had given nothing in return, and perhaps they would suspect that the Spaniards had gone away in such haste for fear of some treachery, so that they would fix upon him the name of traitor. Then, in order that no suspicion might remain in our minds of his honesty and good faith, he ordered his Koran to be brought, and kissing it devoutly he placed it four or five times on his head whilst whispering certain words to himself, with a rite which they call Zambehan,[241] and he said in the presence of us all, that he swore by Allah and by the Koran, which he held in his hand, that he would ever be faithful and a friend to the King of Spain. He said all this almost weeping and with so great an appearance of sincerity and cordiality, that we promised to prolong our sojourn at Tadore for another fortnight. We then gave him the Royal signature and standard. We learned later, by a sure and certain channel, that some of the chiefs of those islands had indeed counselled him to kill all of us, by which thing he would have acquired for himself great merit with the Portuguese, who would have given him good assistance to avenge himself on the King of Bachian, but he, loyal and constant to the King of Spain, with whom he had sworn a peace, had answered that he would never do such an act on any account whatever.

27th of April, 1521

We set out from Zubu at midnight, we were sixty men armed with corslets and helmets; there were with us the Christian king, the prince, and some of the chief men, and many others divided among twenty or thirty balangai. We arrived at Matan three hours before daylight. The captain before attacking wished to attempt gentle means, and sent on shore the Moorish merchant to tell those islanders who were of the party of Cilapulapu, that if they would recognise the Christian king as their sovereign, and obey the King of Spain, and pay us the tribute which had been asked, the captain would become their friend, otherwise we should prove how our lances wounded. The islanders were not terrified, they replied that if we had lances, so also had they, although only of reeds, and wood hardened with fire. They asked however that we should not attack them by night, but wait for daylight, because they were expecting reinforcements, and would be in greater number. This they said with cunning, to excite us to attack them by night, supposing that we were ready; but they wished this because they had dug ditches between their houses and the beach, and they hoped that we should fall into them.

We however waited for daylight; we then leaped into the water up to our thighs, for on account of the shallow water and the rocks the boats could not come close to the beach, and we had to cross two good crossbow shots through the water before reaching it. We were forty-nine in number, the other eleven remained in charge of the boats. When we reached land we found the islanders fifteen hundred in number, drawn up in three squadrons; they came down upon us with terrible shouts, two squadrons attacking us on the flanks, and the third in front. The captain then divided his men in two bands. Our musketeers and crossbow-men fired for half an hour from a distance, but did nothing, since the bullets and arrows, though they passed through their shields made of thin wood, and perhaps wounded their arms, yet did not stop them. The captain shouted not to fire, but he was not listened to. The islanders seeing that the shots of our guns did them little or no harm would not retire, but shouted more loudly, and springing from one side to the other to avoid our shots, they at the same time drew nearer to us, throwing arrows, javelins, spears hardened in fire, stones, and even mud, so that we could hardly defend ourselves. Some of them cast lances pointed with iron at the captain-general.

He then, in order to disperse this multitude and to terrify them, sent some of our men to set fire to their houses, but this rendered them more ferocious. Some of them ran to the fire, which consumed twenty or thirty houses, and there killed two of our men. The rest came down upon us with greater fury; they perceived that our bodies were defended, but that the legs were exposed, and they aimed at them principally. The captain had his right leg pierced by a poisoned arrow, on which account he gave orders to retreat by degrees; but almost all our men took to precipitate flight, so that there remained hardly six or eight of us with him. We were oppressed by the lances and stones which the enemy hurled at us, and we could make no more resistance. The bombards which we had in the boats were of no assistance to us, for the shoal water kept them too far from the beach. We went thither, retreating little by little, and still fighting, and we had already got to the distance of a crossbow shot from the shore, having the water up to our knees, the islanders following and picking up again the spears which they had already cast, and they threw the same spear five or six times; as they knew the captain they aimed specially at him, and twice they knocked the helmet off his head. He, with a few of us, like a good knight, remained at his post without choosing to retreat further. Thus we fought for more than an hour, until an Indian succeeded in thrusting a cane lance into the captain’s face. He then, being irritated, pierced the Indian’s breast with his lance, and left it in his body, and trying to draw his sword he was unable to draw it more than half way, on account of a javelin wound which he had received in the right arm. The enemies seeing this all rushed against him, and one of them with a great sword, like a great scimetar[187] gave him a great blow on the left leg, which brought the captain down on his face, then the Indians threw themselves upon him, and ran him through with lances and scimetars, and all the other arms which they had, so that they deprived of life our mirror, light, comfort, and true guide. Whilst the Indians were thus overpowering him, several times he turned round towards us to see if we were all in safety, as though his obstinate fight had no other object than to give an opportunity for the retreat of his men. We who fought to extremity, and who were covered with wounds, seeing that he was dead, proceeded to the boats which were on the point of going away. This fatal battle was fought on the 27th of April of 1521, on a Saturday; a day which the captain had chosen himself, because he had a special devotion to it. There perished with him eight of our men, and four of the Indians, who had become Christians; we had also many wounded, amongst whom I must reckon myself. The enemy lost only fifteen men.

He died; but I hope that your illustrious highness will not allow his memory to be lost, so much the more since I see revived in you the virtue of so great a captain, since one of his principal virtues was constance in the most adverse fortune. In the midst of the sea he was able to endure hunger better than we. Most versed in nautical charts, he knew better than any other the true art of navigation, of which it is a certain proof that he knew by his genius, and his intrepidity, without any one having given him the example, how to attempt the circuit of the globe, which he had almost completed.[188]

The Christian king could indeed have given us aid, and would have done so; but our captain far from forseeing that which happened, when he landed with his men, had charged him not to come out of his balangai, wishing that he should stay there to see how we fought. When he knew how the captain had died he wept bitterly for him.

In the afternoon the king himself with our consent, sent to tell the inhabitants of Matan, that if they would give up to us the body of our captain, and of our other companions who were killed in this battle, we would give them as much merchandise as they might wish for; but they answered that on no account would they ever give up that man, but they wished to preserve him as a monument of their triumph. When the death of the captain was known, those who were in the city to trade, had all the merchandise at once transported to the ships. We then elected in the place of the captain, Duarte Barbosa, a Portuguese, and a relation of the captain’s, and Juan Serrano a Spaniard.

Our interpreter, who was a slave of the captain-general, and was named Henry, having been slightly wounded in the battle, would not go ashore any more for the things which we required, but remained all day idle, and wrapped up in his mat (Schiavina). Duarte Barbosa, the commander of the flag ship, found fault with him, and told him that though his master was dead, he had not become free on that account, but that when we returned to Spain he would return him to Doña Beatrice, the widow of the captain-general; at the same time he threatened to have him flogged, if he did not go on shore quickly, and do what was wanted for the service of the ships. The slave rose up, and did as though he did not care much for these affronts and threats; and having gone on shore, he informed the Christian king that we were thinking of going away soon, but that if he would follow his advice, he might become master of all our goods and of the ships themselves. The King of Zubu listened favourably to him, and they arranged to betray us. After that the slave returned on board, and showed more intelligence and attention than he had done before.

9th of April, 1521

Tuesday morning following the King of Mazzava, with the Moor, came to the ship, and saluted the captain on behalf of the King of Zzubu, and said that the king was preparing a quantity of provisions, as much as he could, to make a present of to him, and that after dinner he would send two of his nephews, with others of his principal people, to make peace with him. Then the captain had one of his men armed with his own armour, and told him that all of us would fight armed in that manner, at which the Moorish merchant was rather astonished; but the captain told him not to be afraid, and that our arms were soft to our friends and rough to our enemies; and that as a cloth wipes away the sweat from a man, so our arms destroy the enemies of our faith. The captain said this to the Moor, because he was more intelligent than the others, and for him to relate it all to the King of Zzubu.

After dinner, the nephew of this king, who was a prince,[175] with the King of Mazzava, the Moor, the governor, and the chief of police,[176]and eight of the principal men, came to the ship to make peace with us. The captain-general was sitting in a chair of red velvet, and near him were the principal men of the ships sitting in leather chairs, and the others on the ground on mats. Then the captain bade the interpreter ask the above-mentioned persons if it was their custom to speak in secret or in public, and whether the prince who was come with them had power to conclude peace. They answered yes, that they would speak in public, and that they had the power to conclude peace. The captain spoke at length on the subject of peace, and prayed God to confirm it in heaven. These people replied that they had never heard such words as these which the captain had spoken to them, and they took great pleasure in hearing them. The captain, seeing then that those people listened willingly to what was said to them, and that they gave good answers, began to say a great many more good things to induce them to become Christians. After many other subjects, the captain asked them who would succeed the king in their country after his death. They answered that the king had no son, but several daughters, and that this prince was his nephew, and had for a wife the king’s eldest daughter, and for the sake of that they called him prince. They also said that when the father and mother were old they took no further account of them, but their children commanded them. Upon which the captain told them how God had made heaven and earth and all other things in the world, and that He had commanded that everyone should render honour and obedience to his father and mother, and that whoever did otherwise was condemned to eternal fire. He then pointed out to them many other things concerning our faith. The people heard these things willingly, and besought the captain to leave them two men to teach and show them the Christian faith, and they would entertain them well with great honour. To this the captain answered that for the moment he could not leave them any of his people, but that if they wished to be Christians that his priest would baptise them, and that another time he would bring priests and preachers to teach them the faith. They then answered that they wished first to speak to their king, and then would become Christians. Each of us wept for the joy which we felt at the goodwill of these people, and the captain told them not to become Christians from fear of us, or to please us, but that if they wished to become Christian they must do it willingly, and for the love of God, for even though they should not become Christian, no displeasure would be done them, but those who became Christian would be more loved and better treated than the others. Then they all cried out with one voice, that they did not wish to become Christians from fear, nor from complaisance, but of their free will. The captain then said that if they became Christians he would leave them the arms which the Christians use, and that his king had commanded him so to do. At last they said they did not know what more to answer to so many good and beautiful words which he spoke to them, but that they placed themselves in his hands, and that he should do with them as with his own servants. Then the captain, with tears in his eyes, embraced them, and, taking the hand of the prince and that of the king, said to him that by the faith he had in God, and to his master the emperor, and by the habit of St. James which he wore, he promised them to cause them to have perpetual peace with the King of Spain, at which the prince and the others promised him the same. After peace had been concluded, the captain had refreshments served to them. The prince and the King of Mazzava, who was with him, presented to the captain on behalf of his king large baskets full of rice, pigs, goats, and fowls, and desired the captain to be told he should pardon them that their present was not as fine as was fitting for him. The captain gave to the prince some very fine cloth and a red cap, and a quantity of glass and a cup of gilt glass. Glasses are much prized in this country. To the other people belonging to the Prince he gave various things. Then he sent by me and another person to the King of Zzubu a robe of yellow and violet silk in the fashion of a Turkish jubbeh, a red cap, very fine, and certain pieces of glass, and had all of them put in a silver dish, and two gilt glasses.

When we came to the town we found the King of Zzubu at his palace, sitting on the ground on a mat made of palm, with many people about him. He was quite naked, except that he had a cloth round his middle, and a loose wrapper round his head, worked with silk by the needle. He had a very heavy chain round his neck, and two gold rings hung in his ears with precious stones. He was a small and fat man, and his face was painted with fire in different ways. He was eating on the ground on another palm mat, and was then eating tortoise eggs in two china dishes, and he had four vessels full of palm wine, which he drank with a cane pipe.[177] We made our obeisance, and presented to him what the captain had sent him, and told him through the interpreter that it was not as a return for his present which he had sent to the captain, but for the affection which he bore him. That done, his people told him all the good words and explanations of peace and religion which he had spoken to them. The king wished to detain us to supper, but we made our excuses and took leave of him. The prince, nephew of the king, conducted us to his house, and showed us four girls who played on four instruments, which were strange and very soft, and their manner of playing is rather musical. Afterwards he made us dance with them. These girls were naked except from the waist to the knees, where they wore a wrap made of the palm tree cloth, which covered their middles, and some were quite naked. There we made a repast, and then returned to the ships.

8th of April, 1521

Monday morning our clerk went with the interpreter to the town of Zzubu, and the king, accompanied by the principal men of his kingdom, came to the open space, where we made our people sit down near him, and he asked whether there was more than one captain in all those ships, and whether he wished that the king should pay tribute to the emperor, his master, to which our people answered, no, but that the captain only wished to trade with the things which he had brought with the people of his country, and not with others. Then the king said that he was content, and as a greater sign of affection he sent him a little of his blood from his right arm, and wished he should do the like. Our people answered that he would do it. Besides that, he said that all the captains who came to his country had been accustomed to make a present to him, and he to them, and therefore they should ask their captain if he would observe the custom. Our people answered that he would; but as the king wished to keep up the custom, let him begin and make a present, and then the captain would do his duty.

7th of April, 1521

Sunday, the 7th of April, about midday, we entered the port of Zzubu, having passed by many villages. There[171] we saw many houses which were built on trees. On approaching the principal town the captain-general commanded all his ships to hang out their flags. Then we lowered the sails in the fashion in which they are struck when going to fight, and he had all the artillery fired, at which the people of this place were greatly frightened. The captain sent a young man whom he had brought up,[172] with the interpreter to the king of this island Zzubu. These having come to the town, found a great number of people and their king with them, all alarmed by the artillery which had been fired. But the interpreter reassured them, saying that it was the fashion and custom to fire artillery when they arrived at ports, to show signs of peace and friendship; and also, to do more honour to the king of the country, they had fired all the artillery. The king and all his people were reassured. He then bade one of his principal men ask what we were seeking. The interpreter answered him that his master was captain of the greatest king in the world, and that he was going by the command of the said sovereign to discover the Molucca islands. However, on account of what he had heard where he had passed, and especially from the King of Mazzava, of his courtesy and good fame, he had wished to pass by his country to visit him, and also to obtain some refreshment of victuals for his merchandise. The king answered him that he was welcome, but that the custom was that all ships which arrived at his country or port paid tribute, and it was only four days since that a ship called the Junk of Ciama,[173] laden with gold and slaves, had paid him his tribute, and, to verify what he said, he showed them a merchant of the said Ciama, who had remained there to trade with the gold and slaves. The interpreter said to him that this captain, on account of being captain of so great a king as his was, would not pay tribute to any sovereign in the world; and that if he wished for peace he would have peace, and if he wished for war he would have war. Then the merchant above-mentioned replied to the king in his own language, “Look well, oh king,[174] what you will do, for these people are of those who have conquered Calicut, Malacca, and all greater India; if you entertain them well and treat them well you will find yourself the better for it, and if ill, it will be so much the worse for you, as they have done at Calicut and Malacca.” The interpreter, who understood all this discourse, said to them that the king, his master, was a good deal more powerful in ships and by land than the King of Portugal, and declared to him that he was the King of Spain and Emperor of all Christendom, wherefore, if he would not be his friend and treat his subjects well, he would another time send against him so many men as to destroy him. Then the king answered that he would speak to his council, and give an answer the next day. Afterwards the king ordered a collation to be brought of several viands, all of meat, in porcelain dishes, with a great many vessels of wine. When the repast was over, our people returned, and related all to the captain; and the King of Mazzabua, who was on board the captain’s ship, and who was the first king after him of Zzubu, and the lord of several isles, wished to go on shore to relate to the king the politeness and courtesy of our captain.

31st of March, 1521

On Sunday, the last day of March, and feast of Easter, the captain sent the chaplain ashore early to say mass, and the interpreter went with him to tell the king that they were not coming on shore to dine with him, but only to hear the mass. The king hearing that sent two dead pigs. When it was time for saying mass the captain went ashore with fifty men, not with their arms, but only with their swords, and dressed as well as each one was able to dress, and before the boats reached the shore our ships fired six cannon shots as a sign of peace. At our landing the two kings were there, and received our captain in a friendly manner, and placed him between them, and then we went to the place prepared for saying mass, which was not far from the shore. Before the mass began the captain threw a quantity of musk rose water on those two kings, and when the offertory of the mass came, the two kings went to kiss the cross like us, but they offered nothing, and at the elevation of the body of our Lord they were kneeling like us, and adored our Lord with joined hands. The ships fired all their artillery at the elevation of the body of our Lord. After mass had been said each one did the duty of a Christian, receiving our Lord. After that the captain had some sword-play by his people, which gave great pleasure to the kings. Then he had a cross brought, with the nails and crown, to which the kings made reverence, and the captain had them told that these things which he showed them were the sign of the emperor his lord and master, from whom he had charge and commandment to place it in all places where he might go or pass by. He told them that he wished to place it in their country for their profit, because if there came afterwards any ships from Spain to those islands, on seeing this cross, they would know that we had been there, and therefore they would not cause them any displeasure to their persons nor their goods; and if they took any of their people, on showing them this sign, they would at once let them go. Besides this, the captain told them that it was necessary that this cross should be placed on the summit of the highest mountain in their country, so that seeing it every day they might adore it, and that if they did thus, neither thunder, lightning, nor the tempest could do them hurt. The kings thanked the captain, and said they would do it willingly. Then he asked whether they were Moors or Gentiles, and in what they believed. They answered that they did not perform any other adoration, but only joined their hands, looking up to heaven, and that they called their God, Aba. Hearing this, the captain was very joyful, on seeing that, the first king raised his hands to the sky and said that he wished it were possible for him to be able to show the affection which he felt towards him. The interpreter asked him for what reason there was so little to eat in that place, to which the king replied that he did not reside in that place except when he came to hunt and to see his brother, but that he lived in another island where he had all his family. Then the captain asked him if he had any enemies who made war upon him, and that if he had any he would go and defeat them with his men and ships, to put them under his obedience. The king thanked him, and answered that there were two islands the inhabitants of which were his enemies; however, that for the present it was not the time to attack them. The captain therefore said to him that if God permitted him to return another time to this country, he would bring so many men that he would put them by force under his obedience. Then he bade the interpreter tell them that he was going away to dine, and after that he would return to place the cross on the summit of the mountain. The two kings said they were content, and on that they embraced the captain, and he separated from them.

After dinner we all returned in our dress coats[162], and we went together with the two kings to the middle of the highest mountain we could find, and there the cross was planted. After that the two kings and the captain rested themselves; and, while conversing, I asked where was the best port for obtaining victuals. They replied that there were three, that is to say, Ceylon, Zzubu,[163] and Calaghan, but that Zzubu was the largest and of the most traffic. Then the kings offered to give him pilots to go to those ports, for which he thanked them, and deliberated to go there, for his ill-fortune[164] would have it so. After the cross had been planted on that mountain, each one said the Paternoster and Ave Maria, and adored it, and the kings did the like. Then we went down below to where their boats were. There the kings had brought some of the fruit called cocos and other things to make a collation and to refresh us. The captain, being desirous to depart the next day in the morning, asked the king for the pilots to conduct us to the above-mentioned ports, promising him to treat them like themselves, and that he would leave one of his own men as a hostage. The first king said that he would go himself and conduct him to this port, and be his pilots but that he should wait two days, until he had had his rice gathered in and done other things which he had to do, begging him to lend him some of his men so as to get done sooner. This the captain agreed to.

This kind of people are gentle, and go naked, and are painted. They wear a piece of cloth made from a tree, like a linen cloth, round their body to cover their natural parts: they are great drinkers. The women are dressed in tree cloth from their waists downwards; their hair is black, and reaches down to the ground; they wear certain gold rings in their ears. These people chew most of their time a fruit which they call areca, which is something of the shape of a pear; they cut it in four quarters, and after they have chewed it for a long time they spit it out, from which afterwards they have their mouths very red. They find themselves the better from the use of this fruit because it refreshes them much, for this country is very hot, so that they could not live without it. In this island there is a great quantity of dogs, cats, pigs, fowls, and goats, rice, ginger, cocos, figs, oranges, lemons, millet, wax, and gold mines. This island is in nine degrees and two-thirds north latitude, and one hundred and sixty-two longitude[165] from the line of demarcation: it is twenty-five leagues distant from the other island where we found the two fountains of fresh water. This island is named Mazzava.

We remained seven days in this place; then we took the tack of Maestral, passing through the midst of five isles, that is to say, Ceylon, Bohol, Canighan, Baibai, and Satighan.[166] In this island of Satighan is a kind of bird [167] called Barbastigly, which are as large as eagles. Of these we killed only one, because it was late. We ate it, and it had the taste of a fowl. There are also in this island doves, tortoises, parrots, and certain black birds as large as a fowl, with a long tail. They lay eggs as large as those of a goose. These they put a good arm’s length[168] under the sand in the sun, where they are hatched by the great heat which the heated sand gives out; and when these birds are hatched they push up[169] the sand and come out. These eggs are good to eat. From this island of Mazzabua[170] to that of Satighan there are twenty leagues, and on leaving Satighan we went by the west; but the King of Mazzabua could not follow us; therefore we waited for him near three islands, that is to say. Polo, Ticobon, and Pozzon. When the king arrived he was much astonished at our navigation, the captain-general bade him come on board his ship with some of his principal people, at which they were much pleased. Thus we went to Zzubu, which is fifteen leagues off from Satighan.