Patrician of Vicenza, and Knight of Rhodes, tothe very illustrious and very excellent
the famous Grand Master of Rhodes, his most respected Lord.
Since there are several curious persons (very illustrious and very reverend lord) who notonly are pleased to listen to and learn the great and wonderful things which God has permitted me to see and suffer in the long and perilous navigation, which I have performed(and which is written hereafter), but also they desire to learn the methods and fashions of the road which I have taken in order to go thither, [and who do] not grant firm belief to theend unless they are first well advised and assured of the commencement. Therefore, mylord, it will please you to hear that finding myself in Spain in the year of the Nativity of our Lord, and thousand five hundred and nineteen, at the court of the most serene king* of theRomans, with the reverend lord, Mons. Fran
cis Cheregato,† then apostolic proto
-notary, andambassador of the Pope Leon the Tenth, who, through his virtue, afterwards arrived at the bishopric of Aprutino and the principality of Theramo, and knowing both by the reading of many books and by the report of many lettered and well-informed persons who conversedwith the said proto-notary, the very great and awful things of the ocean, I deliberated, withthe favour of the Emperor and the above-named lord, to experiment and go and see with myeyes a part of those things. By which means I could satisfy the desire of the said lords, andmine also. So that it might be said that I had performed the said voyage, and seen well withmy eyes the things hereafter written.* Charles V was elected Emperor the 28th June, 1519.
† Chiericato. Milan edition.
Now in order to decypher the commencement of my voyage (very illustrious lord); havingheard that there was in the city of Seville, a small armade [
, armada] to the number of five ships, ready to perform this long voyage, that is to say, to find the islands of Maluco,from whence the spices come: of which armade the captain-general was Fernand deMagalianes, a Portuguese gentleman, commander of
St. James of the Sword
, who had performed several voyages in the ocean sea (in which he had behaved very bonourably as agood man), I set out with many others in my favour from Barcelona, where at the time theEmperor was, and came by sea as far as Malaga, and thence I went away by land until Iarrived at the said city of Seville. there I remained for the space of three months, waiting tillthe said armade was in order and readiness to perform its voyage. And because (veryillustrious lord) that on the return from the said voyage, on going to Rome towards theholiness of our Holy
Father,* I found your lordship at Monterosa,† where of your favour
you gave me a good reception, and afterwards gave me to understand that you desired tohave in writing the things which God of His grace had permitted me to see in my saidvoyage; therefor
e to satisfy and accede to you desire,‡ I have reduced into this small book
the principal things, in the best manner that I have been able.* Clement VII (Medici) was elected Pontiff in 1523, and died in 1534.
† Monterosi. Milan edition.
‡ The Milan editio
n attributes this desire to the Pope.