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VOYAGE ACROSS THE PACIFIC. 451.
tionate honor of his ship, but which, with a worthy sentiment, other sailors soon changed to “the Strait of Magellan.” On November 28, 1520, after a year and a quarter of struggling, he issued forth from its western portals and entered the Great South Sea, shedding tears of joy, as Pigafetti, an eye-witness, relates, when he recognized its infinite expanse-tears of stern joy that it had pleased God to bring him at length where he might grapple with its unknown dangers. Admiring its illimitable but placid surface, and exulting in the meditation of its secret perils soon to be tried, he courteously imposed on it the name it is forever to bear, “the Pacific Ocean.” While baffling for an entry into it, he observed with surprise that in the month of October the nights are only four hours long, and “considered, in this his navigation, that the pole antartike hath no notable star like the pole artike, but that there be two clouds of little stars somewhat dark in the middest, also a cross of fine clear stars, but that here the needle becomes so sluggish that it needs must be moved with a bit of loadstone before it will rightly point.” And now the great sailor, having burst through the barrier of the American continent, steered for the northwest, attempting to regain the equator. For three months and twenty days he sailed on the Pacific, and never saw inhabited land. He was compelled by famine to strip off the pieces of skin and leather wherewith his rigring was here and there bound, to soak them in the sea and then soften them with warm water, so as to make a wretched food; to eat the sweepings of the ship and other loathsome matter; to drink water gone putrid by keeping; and yet he resolutely held on his course, though his men were dying daily. As is quaintly observed, their gums grew over their teeth, and so they could not eat. He estimated that he sailed over this unfathomable sea not less than 12,000 miles. In the whole history of human undertakings there is nothing that exceeds, if indeed there is any thing that equals, this voyage of Magellan’s. That of Columbus dwindles away in comparison. It is a display of superhuman courage, superhuman perseverance-a display of resolution not to be diverted from its purpose by any motive or any suffering, but inflexibly persisting to its end. Well might his despairing sailors come to the conclusion that they had entered on a trackless waste of waters, endless before them and hopeless in a return. “But, though the Church hath evermore from Holy Writ affirmed that the earth should be a wide-spread plain bordered by the waters, yet he comforted himself when he considered that in the eclipses of the moon the shadow cast of the earth is round; and as is the shadow, such, in like manner, is the substance.” It was a stout heart-a heart of triple brass – which could thus, against such authority, extract unyielding faith from a shadow.
452 THE CIRCUMNAVIGATION OF THE EARTH.
This unparalleled resolution met its reward at last. Magellan reached a group of islands north of the equator-the Ladrones. In a few days more he became aware that his labors had been successful; he met with adventurers from Sumatra. But, though he had thus grandly accomplished his object, it was not given to him to complete the circumnavigation of the globe. At an island called Zebu, or Mutan, he was killed, either, as has been variously related, in a mutiny of his men, or-as they declared-in a conflict with the savages, or insidiously by poison. “The general,” they said, “was a very brave man, and received his death-wound in his front; nor would the savages yield up his body for any ransom.” Through treason and revenge it is not unlikely that he fell, for he was a stern man; none but a very stern man could have accomplished so daring a deed. Hardly was he gone when his crew learned that they were actually in the vicinity of the Moluccas, and that the object of their voyage was fulfilled. On the morning of November 8, 1521, having been at sea two years and three months, as the sun was rising they entered Tidore, the chief port of the Spice Islands. The King of Tidore swore upon the Koran alliance to the King of Spain. I need not allude to the wonderful objects-destined soon to become common to voyagers in the Indian Archipelago-that greeted their eyes: elephants in trappings; vases, and vessels of porcelain; birds of Paradise, “that fly not, but be blown by the wind;” exhaustless stores of the coveted spices, nutmegs, mace, cloves. And now they prepared to bring the news of their success back to Spain. Magellan’s lieutenant, Sebastian de Elcano, directed his course for the Cape of Good Hope, again encountering the most fearful hardships. Out of his slender crew he lost twenty-one men. He doubled the Cape at last; and on September 7, 1522, in the port of St. Lucar, near Seville, under his orders, the good ship San Vittoria came safely to an anchor. She had accomplished the greatest achievement in the history of the human race. She had circumnavigated the earth. Magellan thus lost his life in his enterprise, and yet he made an enviable exchange. Doubly immortal, and thrice happy! for he impressed his name indelibly on the earth and the sky, on the strait that connects the two great oceans, and on those clouds of starry worlds seen in the southern heavens. He also imposed a designation on the largest portion of the surface of the globe. His lieutenant, Sebastenant of Magellan. received such honors as kings can give. Of all armorial bearings ever granted for the accomplishment of a great and daring deed, his were the proudest and noblest the globe of the world belted with the inscription, ” Primus circumdedisti me!” If the circumnavigation of the earth by Magellan did not lead to such splendid material results as the discovery of America and the doubling.

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