Department of History
University of California, Irvine
 Instructor:    Dr. Barbara J. Becker

Week 2.  The Copernican Revolution.

A Discourse Of A Voyage Thither (1638)
by Domingo Gonsales [Francis Godwin, 1562-1633]

To the Ingenious Reader.

THOU hast here an essay of Fancy, where Invention is shewed with Judgement.  It was not the Authors intention (I presume) to discourse thee into a beleife of each particular circumstance.  Tis fit thou allow him a liberty of conceite; where thou takest to thy selfe a liberty of judgement.  In substance thou hast here a new discovery of a new world, which perchance may finde little better entertainment in thy opinion, than that of Columbus at first, in the esteeme of all men....  That there should be Antipodes was once thought as great a Paradox as now that the Moon should bee habitable.  But the knowledge of this may seeme more properly reserv'd for this our discovering age:  In which our Galilæusses, can by advantage of their spectacles gaze the Sunne into spots, & descry mountaines in the Moon.  But this, and more in the ensuing discourse I leave to thy candid censure, & the faithfull relation of the little eye-witnesse, our great discoverer.

E. M.


IT is well enough and sufficiently knowne to all the countries of Andaluzia, that I, Domingo Gonsales, was borne of Noble parentage, and that in the renowned City of Sivill, to wit in the yeare 1552, my Fathers name being Therando Gonsales, (that was neere kinsman by the mothers side unto Don Pedro Sanchez that worthy Count of Almenara,) and as for my Mother, she was the daughter of the Reverend and famous Lawyer, Otho Perez de Sallaveda, Governour of Barcellona, and Corrigidor of Biscaia:  being the youngest of 17 Children they had, I was put to schoole, and intended by them unto the Church.  But our Lord purposing to use my service in matters of farre other nature and quality, inspired me with spending some time in the warres....

At my returne home my Parents, that were marvellously displeased with my departure, received mee with great joy; and the rather, for that they saw I brought with mee meanes to maintaine my selfe without their charge....

I lived in good sort, even like a Gentleman, with great content for divers yeares.  At last it fell out, that some disagreement happened between me and one Pedro Delgades a Gentleman of my kinne....  [I]nto the field wee went together alone with our Rapiers, where my chance was to kill him, being a man of great strength, and tall stature....

I fled with all the speed I could to Lisbone, thinking to lurke with some friend of my Father in-lawes, till the matter might bee compounded, and a course taken for a sentence of Acquittall by consent of the prosecutors.  This matter fell out in the Yeare 1596....

Would to God that lying and Vanitie had beene all the faults he had; his covetousnesse was like to bee my utter undoing, although since it hath proved a meanes of eternizing my name for ever with all Posteritie, (I verily hope) and to the unspeakeable good of all mortall men, that in succeeding ages the world shall have if at the leastwise it may please God that I doe returne safe home againe into my Countrie, to give perfect instructions how those admirable devices, and past all credit of possibilitie, which I have light upon, may be imparted unto publique use.

You shal then see men to flie from place to place in the ayre; you shall be able, (without moving or travailing of any creature,) to send messages in an instant many Miles off, and receive answer againe immediately; you shall bee able to declare your minde presently unto your friend, being in some private and remote place of a populous Citie, with a number of such like things:  but that which far surpasseth all the rest, you shall have notice of a new World, of many most rare and incredible secrets of Nature, that all the Philosophers of former ages could never so much as dreame off.  But I must be advised, how I be over-liberall, in publishing these wonderfull mysteries, till the Sages of our State have considered how farre the use of these things may stand with the Policy and good government of our Countrey, as also with the Fathers of the Church, how the publication of them, may not prove prejudiciall to the affaires of the Catholique faith and Religion, which I am taught (by those wonders I have seen above any mortall man that hath lived in many ages past) with all my best endeavours to advance, without all respect of temporall good, and soe I hope I shall.


But to goe forward with my narration....

I put my selfe in a good Caricke [carrack; a merchant ship] that went for the East Indies, taking with me the worth of 2000 Ducats to traffique withall, being yet able to leave so much more for the estate of my wife and children, whatsover might become of me, and the goods I carried with me.

In the Indies I prospered exceeding well, bestowing my stocke in Jewells, namely, for the most part in Diamonds, Emeraulds, and great Pearles; of which I had such peniworths, as my stocke being safely returned into Spaine, (so I heard it was) must needs yeeld ten for one.

But my selfe upon my way homeward soone after we had doubled the East of Buena Speranza, fell grievously sicke for many daies, making account by the same sicknesse to end my life, as undoubtedly I had done, had we not (even then as we did) recovered that same blessed Isle of St. Hellens, the only paradice, I thinke, that the earth yeeldeth, of the healthfulnesse of the Aire there, the fruitfulnesse of the soile, and the abundance of all manner of things necessary for sustaining the life of man....

It is situate in the Altitude of 16 degrees to the South, and is about 3 leagues in compasse, having no firme land or continent within 300. leagues, nay not so much as an Island within 100 leagues of the same, so that it may seeme a miracle of Nature, that out of so huge and tempestuous an Ocean, such a little peece of ground should arise and discover itselfe.

Upon the South side there is a very good harborough, and neere unto the same divers edifices built by the Portingals....  Neere unto this housing there is a pretty Brooke of excellent fresh water, divers faire walkes made by hand, and set along upon both sides, with fruit-Trees....  [O]f garden Hearbs there is good store....  Corne likewise growing of it selfe, incredible plenty....  [B]ut cheifly it aboundeth with Cattell, and Fowle ... especially there are to be seene about the Moneths of February, and March, huge flocks of a certaine kinde of wild Swans (of which I shall have cause heerafter to speake more) that like unto our Cuckoes, and Nightingales, at a certaine season of the yeare, doe vanish away, and are no more to be seene.

On this blessed Island did they set mee ashore with a Negro to attend me, where, praised bee God, I recovered my health, and continued there for the space of one whole yeare, solacing my selfe (for lacke of humane society) with Birds, and brute beasts.  As for Diego (so was the Blackmoore called,) he was constrained to live at the West end of the Island in a Cave, because being alwayes together, victuals would not have fallen out so plenty....

[N]o creatures there doe any whit more feare a man, then they doe Goate or a Cow; by reason thereof I found meanes easily to make tame divers sorts both of Birds and Beasts, which I did in short time, onely by muzzeling them, so as till they came either unto me, or else Diego, they could not feede....

Upon the Sea shore, especially about the mouth of our River, I found great store of a certain kind of wild Swan (before mentioned) feeding almost altogether upon the prey, and (that which is somewhat strange,) partly of Fish partly of Birds, having (which is also no lesse strange) one foote with Clawes, talons, and pounces, like an Eagle, and the other whole like a Swan or water fowle.  These birds using to breed there in infinite numbers, I tooke some 30 or 40 young ones of them, and bred them up by hand partly for my recreation, partly also as having in my head some rudiments of that device, which afterward I put in practise.  These being strong and able to continue a great flight, I taught them first to come at call affarre off, not using any noise but onely the shew of a white Cloth....  It were a wonder to tell what trickes I had taught them, by that time they were a quarter old; amongst other things I used them by little and little to fly with burthens, wherein I found them able above all credit, and brought them to that passe, as that a white sheet being displayed unto them by Diego upon the side of a hill, they would carry from me unto him, Bread, flesh, or any other thing I list to send, and upon the like call returne unto mee againe.

Having prevailed thus farre, I began to cast in my head how I might doe to joyne a number of them together in bearing of some great burthen:  which if I could bring to pass, I might enable a man to fly and be carried in the ayre, to some certaine place safe and without hurt.  In this cogitation having much laboured my wits, and made some triall, I found by experience, that if many ware put to the bearing of one great burthen, by reason it was not possible all of them should rise together just in one instant, the first that raised himselfe upon his wings finding himselfe stayed by a weight heavier then hee could move or stirre, would by and by give over, as also would the second, third, and all the rest.  I devised (therefore) at last a meanes how each of them might rise carrying but his owne proportion of weight only, and it was thus.  I fastened about every one of my Gansa's a little pulley of Corke, and putting a string through it of meetly length, I fastened the one end thereof unto a blocke almost of eight Pound weight, unto the other end of the string I tied a poyse weighing some two Pound, which being done, and causing the signall to be erected, they presently rose all (being 4 in number,) and carried away my blocke unto the place appointed.  This falling out according to my hope and desire, I made proofe afterwards, but using the help of 2 or 3 birds more, in a Lamb, whose happinesse I much envied, that he should be the first living creature to take possession of such device.

At last after divers tryalls I was surprized with a great longing, to cause my selfe to be carried in the like sort.  Diego my Moore was likewise possessed with the same desire, and but that otherwise I loved him well, and had need of his helpe, I should have taken that his ambitious affection in very evill part:  for I hold it farre more honour to have been the first flying man, then to bee another Neptune that first adventured to sayle upon the Sea.  Howbeit not seeming to take notice of the marke hee aymed at, I onely told him (which also I take to be true) that all my Gansa's were not of sufficient strength to carry him, being a man, though of no great stature, yet twice my weight at least.  So upon a time having provided all things necessary, I placed my selfe with all my trinckets, upon the top of a rocke at the Rivers mouth, and putting my selfe at full Sea upon an Engine (the description whereof ensueth) I caused Diego to advance his Signall, whereupon my Birds presently arose, 25 in number, and carried mee over lustily to the other rocke on the other side, being about a Quarter of a league.

The reason why I chose that time and place, was that I thought somewhat might perchance fall out in this enterprize contrary to my expectation, in which case I assured my selfe the worst that could bee, was but to fall into the water, where being able to swim well, I hoped to receive little or no hurt in my fal.  But when I was once over in safety, O how did my heart even swell with joy and admiration of mine own invention!  How often did I wish my selfe in the midst of Spaine, that speedily I might fill the world with the fame of my glory and renowne? Every hower wished I with great longing for the Indian Fleet to take mee home with them, but they stayed (by what mischance I know not) 3 Moneths beyond the accustomed time.

At last they came being in number 3 Carickes sore weather-beaten, their people being for the most part sick and exceeding weak, so as they were constrained to refresh themselves in our Island one whole moneth.

The Captaine of our Admirall was called Alphonso de Xima, a Valiant man, wise, and desirous of renowne, and worthy of better fortune then afterward befell him.  Unto him I opened the device of my Gansa's, well knowing how impossible it were otherwise to perswade him to take in so many Birds into the Ship....  I adjured him by all manner of Oaths, and perswasions, to afford mee both true dealing, and secrecy....


Upon Thursday the 21 of June, to wit in the yeare, 1599 wee set saile towards Spaine, I having allowed me a very convenient Cabin for my Birds, and stowage also for mine Engine, which the Captaine would have had me leave behinde me, and it is a mervaile I had not, but my good fortune therein saved my life, and gave me that which I esteeme more then an hundred lives, if I had them:  for thus it fell out, after 2 moneths saile, we encountred with a fleet of the English, some 10 leagues from the Island of Tenerik, one of the Canaries, which is famous through the World, for a Hill upon the same called El Pico, that is to be discerned and kenned upon the Sea no lesse then 100 leagues off.

We had aboord us 5 times the number of people that they had; we were well provided of munition, and our men in good health.  Yet seeing them disposed to fight, and knowing what infinite riches wee carried with us, we thought it a wiser way to fly....

Our fleete then consisted of 5 sayle, to wit, 3 Carickes, a Barke, and a Caravell....

The English had 3 Ships very well appointed, and no sooner spied, but they began to play for us, and changing their course, as wee might well perceive, endeavoured straight way to bring us under their lee....

[O]ur Captaine therefore resolved peradventure wisely enough (but I am sure neither valiantly, nor fortunately) to flie, commanding us to disperse our selves.  [T]he Caravell ... sanke immediately in the sight of us all.  The Barke ... escaped unpursued, and another of our carickes after some chase, was given over by the English ... and having us betweene them and their third companie, made upon us with might and maine.  Wherefore our Captaine that was aboord us, gave direction to runne aland upon the Isle ... saying that hee hoped to save some of the goods, and some of our lives, and the rest he had rather should bee lost, then commit all to the mercy of the enemie....

[D]iscerning it to be high time to shift for myselfe, first, I sought out my Box or little Casket of stones, and having put it into my sleeve, I then betooke me to my Gansa's, put them upon my Engine, and my selfe upon it, trusting (as indeed it happily fell out) that when the Shippe should split, my Birds, although they wanted their Signall, of themselves, and for safegard their owne lives (which nature hath taught every living creature to preserve to their power) would make towards the Land; which fell out well (I thanke God,) according to mine expectation....

[O]ur Carick strake upon a Rocke, and split immediately:  whereupon I let loose unto my Birds the raines, having first placed myselfe upon the highest of the Decke:  and with the shock they all arose, carrying mee fortunately unto the Land, whereof, whether I were well apaide you need not doubt, but a pittifull sight it was unto me, to behold my friends and acquaintance in that miserable distresse of whom (notwithstanding) many escaped better then they had any reason to hope for....

As for my selfe, being now a shore in a Country inhabited for the most part by Spaniards, I reckoned myselfe in safety.  [I]t was my chance to pitch upon that part of the Isle, where the hill, before mentioned, beginneth to rise.  And it is inhabited by a Savage kinde of people, that live upon the sides of that hill, the top whereof is alwayes covered with Snow, and held for the monstrous height and steepnesse not to be accessible either for man or beast.

Howbeit these Savages fearing the Spaniards, (betweene whom and them there is a kinde of continuall warre) hold themselves as neere the top of that hill as they can, where they have divers places of good strength, never comming downe into the fruitfull Valleys, but to prey upon what they can finde there.

It was the chance of a company of them to espie mee within some howers space after my Landing:  They thinking they had light upon a booty, made towards mee with all the speed they could, but not so privily as that I could not perceive their purpose before they came neere to me by halfe a Quarter of a League; seeing them come downe the side of a Hill with great speed directly towards mee, divers of them carrying Long Staves, besides other weapons, which because of their distance from mee I might not discerne, I thought it high time to bestirre mee, and shift for my selfe, and by all meanes, to keepe my selfe out of the fingers of such slaves, who had they caught mee, for the hatred they beare to us Spaniards, had surely hewed me all to peeces.

The Country in that place was bare, without the coverture of any wood:  But the mountaine before spoken of, beginning even there to lift up itselfe, I espied in the side of the same a white cliffe, which I trusted my Ganza's would take for a signall, and being put off, would make all that way, whereby I might quickly bee carried so farre, as those barbarous Cullions should not be able to overtake mee, before I had recovered the dwelling of some Spaniard, or at least-wise might have time to hide my selfe from them, till that in the night, by helpe of the starres, I might guide my selfe toward Las Læguna, the City of that Island, which was about one league off, as I thinke.

Wherefore with all the celeritie that might be I put my selfe upon mine Engine, and let loose the raines unto my Gansa's.  It was my good fortune that they tooke all one way, although not just that way I aymed at.  But what then, O Reader?...

[P]repare thy selfe unto the hearing of the strangest Chance that ever happened to any mortall man, and that I know thou wilt not have the Grace to beleeve, till thou seest it seconded with Iteration of Experiments in the like, as many a one, I trust, thou mayest in short time; My Gansa's, like so many horses that had gotten the bitt betweene their teeth, made (I say) not towards the cliffe I aymed at, although I used my wonted meanes to direct the Leader of the flocke that way, but with might and maine tooke up towards the top of El Pico, and did never stay till they came there, a place where they say never man came before, being in all estimation at least 15 leagues in height perpendicularly upwards above the ordinary levell of the Land and Sea.

 What manner of place I found there, I should gladly relate unto you, but that I make hast to matters of farre greater Importance.  There when I was set downe, I saw my poore Gansa's, fall to panting and blowing, gaping for breath as if they would all prefently have died:  wherefore I thought it not good to trouble them awhile, forbearing to draw them in, (which they never wont to indure without strugling) and little expecting that which followed.


It was now the season that these Birds were wont to take their flight away, as our Cuckoes and swallowes doe in Spaine towards the Autumne.  They (as after I perceived) mindfull of their usuall voyage, even as I began to settle my selfe for the taking of them in, as it were with one consent, rose up, and having no other place higher to make toward, to my unspeakeable feare and amazement strooke bolt upright ... towering upward, and still upward, for the space, as I might guesse, of one whole hower, toward the end of which time, mee thought I might perceive them to labour lesse and lesse; till at length, O incredible thing, they forbare moving any thing at all and yet remained unmoveable, as stedfastly, as if they had beene upon so many perches; the Lines slacked; neither I, nor the Engine moved at all, but abode still as having no manner of weight.

"...towering upward, and still upward..."
I found then by this Experience that which no Philosopher ever dreamed of, to wit, that those things which wee call heavie, do not sinke toward the Center of the Earth, as their naturall place, but as drawen by a secret property of the Globe of the Earth, or rather some thing within the same, in like sort as the Loadstone draweth Iron, being within the compass of the beames attractive.

For though it bee true that there they could abide unmoved without the proppe or sustentation of any corporall thing other then the ayre, as easily and quietly as a fish in the middle of the water, yet forcing themselves never so little, it is not possible to imagine with what swiftness and celeritie they were carried, and whether it were upward, downward, or sidelong, all was one.  Truly I must confesse, the horror and amazement of that place was such, as if I had not been armed with a true Spanish courage and resolution, I must needs have died there with very feare.

But the next thing that did most trouble me, was the swiftness of Motion, such as did even almost stop my breath; If I should liken it to an Arrow out of a Bow, or to a stone cast downe from the top of some high tower, it would come farre short, and short....

Now shall I declare unto you the quality of the place, in which I then was.  The Clouds I perceived to be all under me, betweene mee and the earth.  The starres, by reason it was alwaies day, I saw at all times alike, not shining bright, as upon the earth we are wont to see them in the night time; but of a whitish Colour, like that of the Moone in the day time with us:  And such of them as were to be seene (which were not a many) I shewed farre greater then with us, yea (as I should guesse) no lesse then ten times so great.  As for the Moone being then within two daies of the change, she appeared of a huge and fearefull quantitie.

This also is not to be forgotten, that no starres appeared but on that part of the Hemispheare that was next the Moone, and the neerer to her the bigger in Quantity they shewed.  Againe I must tell you, that whether I lay quiet and rested, or else were carryed in the Ayre, I perceived my selfe still to be alwaies directly betweene the Moone and and the earth.  Whereby it appeareth, not only that my Gansa's took none other way then directly toward the Moone, but also, that when we rested (as at first we did for many howers,) either we were insensibly carryed, (for I perceived no such motion) round about the Globe of the Earth, or else that (according to the late opinion of Copernicus,) the Earth is carried about, and turneth round perpetually, from West to the East, leaving unto the Planets onely that motion which Astronomers call naturall, and is not upon the Poles of the Equinoctiall, commonly termed the Poles of the World, but upon those of the Zodiake; concerning which question, I will speake more hereafter, when I shall have leysure to call to my remembrance the Astronomy that I learned being a young man at Salamanca, but have now almost forgotten.

The ayre in that place I found quiet without any motion of wind, and exceeding temperate, neither hot nor cold, as where neither the Sunne-beames had any subject to reflect upon, neither was yet either the earth or water so neere as to affect the ayre with their naturall quality of coldness.  As for that imagination of the Philosophers, attributing heat together with moystnesse unto the ayre, I never esteemed it otherwise then a fancy.  Lastly now it is to be remembred that after my departure from the earth, I never felt any appetite of hunger or thirst.  Whether the purity of the Ayre our proper element not being infected with any Vapors of the Earth and water might yeeld nature sufficient nutriment; or what elfe might be the cause of it, I cannot tell but so I found it, although I perceived my selfe in perfect health of body, having the use of all my Limmes and senses; and strength both of body and mind, rather beyond and above, then any thing short of the pitch, or wonted vigor.  Now let us goe on:  and on we shall go more then apace.


Not many howers after ... my Gansa's began to bestir themselves, still directing their course toward the Globe or body of the Moone:  And they made their way with that incredible swiftnesse, as I thinke they gained not so little as Fifty Leagues in every hower.  In that passage I noted three things very remarkeable:  one that the further we went, the lesser the Globe of the Earth appeared unto us; whereas still on the contrary side the MOONE shewed her selfe more and more monstrously huge.

Againe, the Earth (which ever I held in mine eye) did as it were mask it selfe with a kind of brightnesse like another Moone; and even as in the Moone we discerned certaine spots or Clouds, as it were, so did I then in the earth.  But whereas the forme of those spots in the Moone continue constantly one and the same; these little and little did change every hower.  The reason thereof I conceive to be this, that whereas the Earth according to her naturall motion, (for that such a motion, she hath, I am now constrained to joyne in opinion with Copernicus,) turneth round upon her owne Axe every 24 howers from the West unto the East:  I should at the first see in the middle of the body of this new starre a spot like unto a Peare that had a morsell bitten out upon one side of him; after certaine howers, I should see that spot slide away to the East side.  This no doubt was the maine of Affrike.

Then should I perceive a great shining brightnesse to occupy that roome, during the like time (which was undoubtedly none other then the great Atlantick Ocean).  After that succeeded a spot almost of an Ovall form, even just such as we see America to have in our Mapps.  Then another vast cleernesse representing the West Ocean; and lastly a medly of spots, like the Countries of the East Indies.  So that it seemed unto me no other then a huge Mathematicall Globe, leasurely turned before me, wherein successively, all the Countries of our earthly world within the compasse of 24 howers were represented to my sight.  And this was all the meanes I had now to number the dayes, and take reckoning of time.

Philosophers and Mathematicians I would should now confesse the wilfulnesse of their owne blindnesse.  They have made the world beleeve hitherto, that the Earth hath no motion.  And to make that good they are fain to attribute unto all and every of the celestial bodies, two motions quite contrary each to other; whereof one is from the East to the West, to be performed in 24 howers ... the other from the West to the East in severall proportions.

O incredible thing, that those same huge bodies of the fixed stars in the highest orbe, whereof divers are by themselves confessed to be more then one hundreth times as bigge as the whole earth, should as so many nayles in a Cart Wheele be whirled about in that short space, whereas it is many thousands of Yeares (no lesse, I trowe, they say, then 30 thousand) before that orb do finish his Course from West to East, which they call the naturall motion.  Now whereas to every of these they yeeld their naturall course from West to East; therein they doe well.  The Moone performeth it in 27 daies; the Sunne, Venus, and Mercury in a Yeare or thereabouts, Mars in three Yeare, Jupiter in twelve Yeares, and Saturne in 30.  But to attribute unto these celestiall bodies contrary motions at once, was a very absurd conceit, and much more, to imagine that same Orbe wherein the fixed stars are, (whose naturall course taketh taketh so many thousand of yeares) should every 24 howers be turned about.  I will not go so farre as Copernicus, that maketh the Sunne the Center of the Earth, and unmoveable, neither will I define any thing one way or other.  Only this I say, allow the Earth his motion (which these eyes of mine can testifie to be his due) and these absurdities are quite taken away, every one having his single and proper Motion onely.

But where am I?  At the first I promised an History, and I fall into disputes before I am aware.  There is yet one accident more befell me worthy of especiall remembrance:  that during the time of my stay I saw as it were a kind of cloud of a reddish colour growing toward me, which continually growing nearer and nearer, at last I perceived to be nothing else but a huge swarme of Locusts.

He that readeth the discourses of learned men, concerning them, and namely that of John Leo in his description of Affrike, how that they are seene in the Ayre many dayes before they fall upon a countrey, adding unto that which they deliver, this experience of mine, will easily conclude, that they cannot come from any other place then the Globe of the Moone.  But give me leave now at last to passe on my journey quietly, without interruption for Eleven or Twelve daies, during all which time, I was carried directly toward the Globe or body of the Moone with such a violent whirling as cannot bee expressed.

For I cannot imagine that a bullet out of the mouth of a Cannon could make way through the vaporous and muddie aire neere the earth with that celerity, which is most strange, considering that my Gansa's moved their wings but even now and then, and sometimes not at all in a Quarter of an hower together; only they held them stretched out, so passing on, as we see that Eagles, and Kites sometimes will doe for a little space, when (as one speakes, I remember) contabundo volatu pene eodem loco pendula circumtuentur; and during the time of those pauses I beleeve they tooke their napps and times of sleeping; for other (as I might easliy note) they had none.

Now for my selfe, I was so fast knit unto my Engin, as I durst commit my selfe to slumbring enough to serve my turne, which I tooke with as great ease (although I am loath to speake it, because it may seeme incredible) as if I had beene in the best Bed of downe in all Antwerp.

After Eleven daies passage in this violent flight, I perceived that we began to approach neare unto another Earth, if I may so call it, being the Globe or very body of that starre which we call the Moone.

The first difference that I found betweene it and our earth, was, that it shewed it selfe in his naturall colours:  ever after I was free from the attraction of the Earth; whereas with us, a thing removed from our eye but a league or two, begins to put on that lurid and deadly colour of blew.

Then, I perceived also, that it was covered for the most part with a huge and mighty Sea, those parts only being drie Land, which shew unto us here somewhat darker then the rest of her body (that I mean which the Country people call ... the Man of the Moone.)

As for that part which shineth so clearly in our eyes, it is even another Ocean, yet besprinckled heere and there with Islands, which for the littlenesse, so farre off we cannot discern.

So that fame splendor appearing unto us, and giving light unto our night, appeareth to be nothing else but the reflexion of the Sun beames returned unto us out of the water, as out of a glasse:  How ill this agreeth with that which our Philosophers teach in the schooles I am not ignorant.

But alas how many of their Errors hath time and experience refuted in this our age, with the recitall whereof I will not stand to trouble the reader.

Amongst many other of their vaine surmises, the time and order of my narration putteth me in mind of one which now my experience found most untrue.  Who is there that hath not hitherto beleeved the uppermost Region of the Ayre to be extreame hot, as being next forsooth unto the naturall place of the Element of Fire.  O Vanities, fansies, Dreames!

After the time I was once quite free from the attractive Beames of that tyrannous Loadstone the earth, I found the Ayre of one and the selfe same temper, without Winds, without Raine, without Mists, without Clouds, neither hot nor cold, but continually after one and the same tenor, most pleasant, milde, and comfortable, till my arrivall in that new World of the Moone.  As for that Region of Fire our Philosophers talke of, I heard no newes of it; mine eyes have sufficiently informed me there can be no such thing.

The Earth by turning about had now shewed me all her parts twelve times when I finished my course:  For when by my reckoning it seemed to be (as indeed it was) Tuesday the Eleventh day of September, (at what time the Moone being two daies old was in the Twentieth degree of Libra,) my Gansa's staied their course as it was with one consent, and tooke their rest for certaine howers; after which they tooke their flight, and within lesse then one hower, let me upon the top of a very high hill in that other world, where immediately were presented unto mine eyes many most strange and unwonted sights.

For first I observed, that although the Globe of the Earth shewed much bigger there then the Moone doth unto us, even to the full trebling of her diameter, yet all manner of things there was of largenesse, and quantity, 10, 20 I thinke I may say 30 times more then ours.

Their trees at least three times so high as ours, and more then five times the breadth and thicknesse.

So their herbes, Beasts, and Birds; although to compare them with ours I know not well how, because I found not any thing there, any species either of Beast or Bird that resembleth ours any thing at all, except Swallowes, Nightingales, Cuckooes, Woodcockes, Batts, and some kindes of wild Fowle, as also of such Birds as my Gansa's, all which, (as now I well perceived,) spend the time of their absence from us, even there in that world; neither do they vary any thing at all either in quantity or quality from those of ours heere, as being none other then the very same....

But of these novelties more hereafter in their due places.


No sooner was I let downe upon the ground, But I was surprised with a most ravenous hunger, and earnest desire of eating.  Wherfore stepping unto the next tree, I fastened thereunto my engine, with my Gansa's....  I heard my Gansa's upon the sudden to make a great fluttering behind me.  And looking back, I espied them to fall greedily upon a certaine shrub within the compass of their lines, whose leaves they fed upon most earnestly; where heretofore, I had never seene them to eat any manner of greene meate whatsoever.  Whereupon stepping to the shrubb, I put a leafe of it between my teeth:  I cannot expresse the pleasure I found in the tast thereof; such it was I am sure, as if I had not with great discretion moderated my appetite, I had surely surfetted upon the same.

In the meane time it fell out to be a baite that well contented both my Birds and me at that time, when we had need, of some good refreshing.

Scarcely had I ended this banquett, when upon the sudden I saw my selfe environed with a kind of people most strange, both for their feature, demeanure, and apparell.

Their stature was most divers, but for the most part, twice the height of ours:  their colour and countenance most pleasing, and their habit such, as I know not how to expresse.  For neither did I see any kind of Cloth, Silke, or other stuffe to resemble the matter of that whereof their Clothes were made; neither (which is most strange, of all other) can I devise how to describe the colour of them, being in a manner all clothed alike.  It was neither blacke, nor white, yellow, nor redd, greene nor blew, nor any colour composed of these.  But if you aske me what it was then; I must tell you, it was a colour never seen in our earthly world, and therefore neither to be described unto us by any, nor to be conceived of one that never saw it.

For as it were a hard matter to describe unto a man borne blind the difference betweene blew and Greene, so can I not bethinke my selfe any meane how to decipher unto you this Lunar colour, having no affinitie with any other that ever I beheld with mine eyes.  Onely this I can say of it, that it was the most glorious and delightfull, that can possibly be imagined; neither in truth was there any one thing, that more delighted me, during my abode in that new world, then the beholding of that most pleasing and resplendent colour.

It remaineth now that I speake of the Demeanure of this people.... [O]ne that was farre the tallest of them came unto me, and embraced me, with great kindnesse, and giving order (as I partly perceived) unto some of the rest to stay by my Birds, he tooke me by the hand, and leading me downe toward the foote of the hill, brought me to his dwelling, being more then halfe a league from the place where I first alighted.

lt was such a building for beauty and hugenesse, as all our world cannot shew any neere comparable to it....    There was not a doore about the house, that was not 30 foote high, and twelve in breadth.  The roomes were betweene 40 and 50 foote in height, and so all other proportions answerable.  Neither could they well be much lesse, the Master inhabiting them, being full 28 high.  As for his corporature, I suppose verily that if we had him here in this world to be weighed in the ballance, the poyse of his body would shew it selfe more ponderous then Five and Twenty, peradventure thirty of ours.

After I had rested my selfe with him the Value of one of our dayes; he ledd me some Five leagues off, unto the Palace of the Prince of the Country....  This Prince whose stature was much higher then the former, is called (as neere as I can by Letters declare it, for their sounds are not perfectly to be expressed by our Characters) Pylonas, which signifieth in their Language, First, if perhaps it be not rather a denotation of his dignity and authority, as being the prime Man in all those parts.  In all those parts, I say.  For there is one supreme Monarch amongst them, of stature yet much more huge then hee, commanding over al that whole Orbe of that world, having under him 29 other Princes of exceeding great power, and every of them 24 others, whereof this Pylonas was one.

The first ancestor of this great Monarch came out of the earth (as they deliver) and by marriage with the inheretrice of that huge Monarchy, obtaining the government, left it unto his posteritie, who ever since have held the same, even for the space of 40 thousand daies or Moones, which amounteth unto 3077 Yeeres.  And his name being Irdonozur, his heires, unto this day, doe all assume unto themselves that name, hee, they say, having continued there well neere 400 Moones, and having begotten divers children, returned (by what meanes they declare not) unto the Earth again:  I doubt not but they may have their Fables, as well as we.

And because our Histories afford no mention of any earthly man to have ever beene in that world before my selfe, and much lesse to have returned thence againe, I cannot but condemne that tradition for false and fabulous; yet this I must tell you, that learning seemeth to be in great estimation among them:  And that they make semblance of deterring all Lying and falshood, which is wont there to be severely punished.

Againe, which may yeeld some countenance unto their historicall narrations, many of them live wonderfull long; even beyond all credit, to wit even unto the age as they professed unto mee of 30000 Moones, which amounteth unto 1000 Yeares and Upwards, (so that the ages of 3 or 4 men might well reach unto the time of the first Irdonozur,) and this is noted generally, that the taller people are of Stature, the more excellent they are for all indowments of mind, and the longer time they doe live.

For whereas (that which before I partly intimated unto you) their stature is most divers, great numbers of them little exceeding ours; such seldome live above the age of a 1000 Moones, which is answerable to 80 of our Yeares, and they account them most base creatures, even but a degree before brute beasts, imploying them accordingly in all the basest and most servile offices, terming them by a word that signifieth bastard-men, counterfetts, or Changelings; so those whom they account Genuine, naturall, and true Lunars, both in quantitie of bodie, and length of life, they have for the most part 30 times as much as wee, which proportion agreeeth well with the quantitie of the day in both worlds, theirs containing almost 30 of ours.


Now when shall I declare unto you the manner of our travell unto the Palace of Pylonas, you will say you scarce ever heard any thing more strange and incredible.

Unto every one of us there was delivered at our first setting forth, two Fans of Feathers, not much unlike to those that our Ladies doe carrie in Spaine, to make a coole Ayre unto themselves in the heat of Summer.  The use of which Fans before I declare unto you, I must let you understand that the Globe of the Moone is not altogether destitute of an attractive Power:  but it is so farre weaker than that of the earth, as if a man doe but spring upward, with all his force, (as Dancers doe when they shew their activity by capering) he shall be able to mount 50 or 60 foote high, and then he is quite beyond all attraction of the Moones earth, falling downe no more, so as by the helpe of these Fans, as with wings, they conveigh themselves in the Ayre in a short space (although not with that swiftnesse that Birds doe) even whither they list.

In two howers space (as I could guesse) by the helpe of these fans, wee were carried through the Ayre those five Leagues; being about 60 persons.  Being arrived at the Pallace of Pylonas, after our conductor had gotten audience, (which was not presently) and had declared what manner of present he had brought; I was immediately called in unto him by his attendance....

I found him sitting in a most magnificent chaire of Estate, having his Wife or Queene upon one hand, and his eldest sonne on the other, which both were attended, the one by a troope of Ladies, and the other of young men, and all along the side of the roome stood a great number of goodly personages, whereof scarce any one was lower of statute than Pylonas, whose age they say is now 21000 Moones.

At my first entrance falling downe upon my knees....  This done he imbraced me with great kindnesse, and began to inquire of me divers things by signes, which I likewise answered by signes as well as I could....  [H]e delivered me to a guard of a 100 of his Giants (so I may wel call them) commanding straightly,

First that I should want nothing that might be fit for me;

Secondly that they should not suffer any of the dwarfe Lunars (if I may so tearme them) to come neere mee;

Thirdly that I should with all diligence to be instructed in their Language.

And lastly, that by no meanes they should impart unto me, the knowledge of certaine things particularly by him specified, marry what those particulars were, I might never by any meanes get knowledge.

It may bee now you will desire to understand what were the things Pylonas inquired of mee.

Why what but these? whence I came, how I arrived there, and by what meanes? what was my name? what my Errand, and such like?

To all which I answered the very truth as neere as I could.

Being dismissed, I was affoorded all manner of necessaries that my heart could wish, so as it seemed unto me I was in a very Paradise, the pleasures whereof notwithstanding could not so overcome mee, as that the remembrance of my wife and Children, did not trouble mee much.  And therefore being willing to foster any small sparke of hope of my returne, with great diligence I tooke order for the attendance of my Birds, (I meane my Gansa's) whom my selfe in person tended every day with great carefulnesse....

For the time now approached, when of necessity all the people of our stature, (and so my selfe among the rest) must needes sleepe for some 13 or 14 whole dayes together.  So it commeth to passe there by a secret power, and unresistable decree of nature, that when the day beginneth to appeare, and the Moone to bee enlightened by the Sunne beames, (which is at the first Quarter of the Moon) all such people as exceed not very much our stature inhabiting those parts, they fall into a dead sleepe, and are not possibly to be wakened till the Sun be sett, and withdrawne out of their sight, even as Owles, and Batts, with us cannot indure the light, so wee there at the first approach of the day, begin to be amazed with it, and fall immediately into a slumber, which groweth by little and little, into a dead sleepe, till this light depart from thence againe, which is not in 14 or 15 daies, to wit, untill the last quarter.

Mee thinkes now I heare some man to demand what manner of light there is in that world during the absence of the Sunne, to resolve you for that point, you shall understand that there is a light of two sorts.

One of the Sun (which I might not endure to behold,) and another of the Earth:  that of the Earth was now at the highest; for that when the Moone is at the Change, then is the Earth (unto them in the Moon) like a full Moone with us, and as the Moone increaseth with us; so the light of the Earth decreaseth with them:  I then found the light there (though the Sunne were absent) equall unto that with us, in the day time, when the Sun is covered with clouds, but toward the quarter it little and little diminisheth, yet leaving still a competent light, which is somewhat strange.

But much stranger is that which was reported unto me there, how that in the other Hemispheare of the Moone (I meane contrary to that I happened upon,) where during halfe the Moone, they see not the sunne, and the Earth never appeareth unto them, they have notwithstanding a kinde of light (not unlike by their description to our Moon light) which it seemeth the propinquitie of the starres and other Planets (so much neerer unto them then us) affoordeth.

Now you shall understand that of the true Lunars there bee three degrees.

Some beyond the pitch of our stature a good deale, as perhaps 10 or 12 foote high, that can indure the day of the Moone, when the earth shineth but little, but not endure the beames of both; at such time they must be content to bee laid asleepe.

Others there are of 20 foote high, or somewhat more, that in ordinary places indure all light both of earth & Sun.  Marrie there is a certaine Island, the mysteries wherof none may know whose stature is at least 27 foot high.  If any other come a Land there in the Moones day time, they fall asleepe immediately:  This Island they call Gods Island:  they say it hath a particular governour, who is (as they report) of age 65000 Moones, which amounteth to 5000 of our Yeares, his name is said to be Hiruch, and he comandeth after a fort over Irdonozur himselfe, especially in that Island out of which he never commeth.

There is another repairing much thither, they say is halfe his age and upwards, to wit, about 33 thousand Moones, or 26 hundreth of our Yeares, and hee commandeth in all things (throughout the whole Globe of the Moone) concerning matters of Religion, and the service of God, as absolutely as our holy Father the Pope doth in any part of Italy.  I would faine have seene this man, but I might not be suffered to come neere him:  his name is Imozes.


Now give mee leave to settle my selfe to a long nights sleepe:  My attendants take charge of my Birds, prepare my lodging, and signifie to mee by signes, how it must bee with mee.  It was about the middle of September, when I perceived the Ayre to grow more cleare then ordinary, and with the increasing of the light, I began to feele my selfe first dull, then heavy and willing to sleepe, although I had not lately been hindred from taking mine ease that way.

I delivered my selfe at last into the custody of this sister of Death, whose prisoner I was for almost a fortnight after; Awaking then, it is not to bee beleeved how fresh, how nimble, how vigorous, I found all the faculties both of my bodie and minde.

In good time, therefore, I setled my selfe immediately to the learning of the language which (a marvellous thing to consider) is one of the same throughout all the regions of the Moone, yet so much the lesse to bee wondred at, because I cannot thinke all the Earth of Moone to Amount to the fortieth part of our inhabited Earth, partly because the Globe of the Moone is much lesse then that of the Earth, and partly because their Sea or Ocean covereth in estimation Three parts of Foure, (if not more) whereas the superficies of our land may bee judged Equivalent and comparable in Measure to that of our Seas.

The Difficulty of that language is not to bee conceived, and the reasons thereof are especially two:

First, because it hath no affinitie with any other that ever I heard.

Secondly, because it consisteth not so much of words and Letters, as of tunes and uncouth sounds, that no letters can expresse.

For you have few wordes but they signifie divers and severall things, and they are distinguished onely by their tunes that are as it were sung in the utterance of them, yea many wordes there are consisting of tunes onely, so as if they list they will utter their mindes by tunes without wordes:  for Example, they have an ordinary salutation amongst them ... which they expresse (as I take it, for I am no perfect Musician) by this tune without any words at all.

Yea the very names of Men they will expresse in the same sort.

When they were disposed to talke of mee before my face, so as I should not perceive it; this was Gonsales.

By occasion hereof, I discerne meanes of framing a Language (and that easie soone to bee learned) as copious as any other in the world, consisting of tunes onely....  Now notwithstanding the difficulty of this language, within two moneths space I had attained unto such knowledge of the same, as I understand most questions to be demanded of mee, and what with signes what with words, make reasonable shift to utter my mind, which thing being certified unto Pylonas, hee sent for mee oftentimes, and would bee pleased to give mee knowledge of many things that my Guardians durst not declare unto mee.

Yet this I will say of them, that they never abused mee with any untruth that I could perceive, but if I asked a question that they liked not to resolve mee in, they would shake their heads and with a Spanish shrugge passe over to other talke.

After 7 moneths space it happened that the great Irdonozur makeing his progresse to a place some 200 leagues distant from the Palace of Pylonas, sent for mee....

The gifts he bestowed on me were such as a Man would forsake mountaines of Gold for, and they were all stones, to wit 9 in number, and those of 3 sorts, whereof one they call Poleastis another Machrus, and third Ebelus, of each sort three.

The first are of the bigness of an Hazell-nutt, very like unto jett, which among many other incredible vertues hath this property that being once heat in the Fire, they ever after retaine their heat (though without any appearance) untill they be quenched with some kinde of liquor, whereby they receive no detriment at all, though they bee heat and quenched 10 thousand times.  And their heat is so vehement, as they will make red hot any metall that shall come within a foot of them, and being put in a Chimney, shall make a roome as warme, as if a great Fire were kindled in the same.

The Machrus (yet farre more precious then the other) is of the colour of Topaze, so shining and resplendent, as (though not past the bignesse of a beane, yet) being placed in the midst of a large Church in the night time, it maketh it all as light, as if a 100 Lamps were hanged up round about it.

Can you wish for properties in a stone of greater use then these?

Yes my Ebelus will affoord you that which I dare say will make you preferre him before these, yea and all the Diamonds, Saphyres, Rubies, and Emeralds that our world can yeeld, were they laid in a heap before you.  To say nothing of the colour, (the Lunar whereof I made mention before, which notwithstanding is so incredibly beautifull, as a man should travell 1000 Leagues to behold it) the shape is somewhat flat of the breadth of a Pistolett, and twice the thicknesse.  The one side of this which is somewhat more Orient of Colour then the other, being clapt to the bare skin of a man, in any part of his bodie, it taketh away from it all weight or ponderousnesse; whereas turning the other side it addeth force unto the attractive beames of the Earth, either in this world or that, and maketh the bodie to weigh halfe so much againe as it did before; do you marvell now why I should so overprize this stone? before you see mee on earth againe, you shall understand more of the value of this kinde and unvaluable Jem.

I inquired then amongst them, whether they had not any kind of Jewell or other meanes to make a man invisible, which mee thought had beene a thing of great and extraordinary use....  They answered that if it were a thing faisable, yet they assured themselves that God would not suffer it to be revealed to us creatures subject to so many imperfections, being a thing so apt to be abused to ill purposes; and that was all I could get of them.


Now after it was known that Irdonozur, the great Monarch, had done me this honour, it is strange how much all men respected mee more then before:  my Guardians which hitherto were very nice in relating any thing to mee, concerning the government of that world, now became somewhat more open....

There is no want of any thing necesssary for the use of man.

Food groweth every where without labour, and that of all sorts to be desired.

For rayment, howsing, or any thing else that you may imagine possible for a man to want, or desire, it is provided by the command of Superiors, though not without labour, yet so little, as they doe nothing but as it were playing, and with pleasure.

Againe their Females are all of an absolute beauty:  and I know not how it commeth to passe by a secret disposition of nature there, that a man having once knowne a Woman, never desireth any other.

As for murther it was never heard of amongst them; neither is it a thing almost possible to bee committed:  for there is no wound to bee given which may not bee cured, they assured mee....

[T]hrough an excellent disposition of that nature of people there, all, young and old doe hate all manner of vice, and doe live in such love, peace, and amitie, as it seemeth to bee another Paradise.  True it is, that some are better disposed then other:  but that they discerne immediately at the time of their birth.

And because it is an inviolable decree amongst them, never to put any one to death, perceiving by the stature, and some other notes they have, who are likely to bee of a wicked or imperfect disposition, they send them away (I know not by what meanes) into the Earth, and change them for other children, before they shall have either abilitie or opportunitie to doe amiss among them:  But first (they say) they are faine to keepe them there for a certaine space, till that the ayre of the Earth may alter their colour to be like unto ours.

And their ordinary vent for them is a certaine high hill in the North of America, whose people I can easily beleeve to be wholly descended of them, partly in regard of their colour, partly also in regard, of the continuall use of Tobacco which the Lunars use exceeding much, as living in a place abounding wonderfully with moysture, as also for the pleasure they take in it, and partly in some other respects too long now to be rehearsed.  Sometimes they mistake their aime, and fall upon Christendome, Asia or Affricke, marry that is but seldome....

If you will aske mee further of the manner of government amongst the Lunars, and how Justice is executed?

Alas what need is there of Exemplary punishment, where there are no offences committed:  they need there no Lawyers, for there is never any contention, the seeds thereof, if any begin to sprout, being presently by the wisdome of the next superior puld up by the roots.

And as little need is there of Physitians; they never misdirect themselves, their Ayre is alwaies temperate and pure, neither is there any occasion at all of sicknes, as to me it seemed at least, for I could not heare that ever any of them were sicke.

But the time that nature hath assigned unto them being spent, without any paine at all they die, or rather (I should say) cease to live, as a candle to give light, when that which nourisheth it is consumed.

I was once at the departure of one of them, which I wondred much to behold; for notwithstanding the happy life hee led, and multitude of friends and children hee should forsake, as soone as certainely hee understood and perceived his end to approach, hee prepared a great feast, and calling about him all those hee especially esteemed of, hee bids them be merry and rejoyce with him, for that the time was come he should now leave the counterfeit pleasures of that world, and bee made partaker of all true joyes and perfect happinesse.

I wondred not so much at his constancy, as the behaviour of those his friends:  with us in the like case, all seeme to mourne, when often some of them doe but laugh in their sleeves, or as one sayes under a visard.  They all on the other side, young and old, both seemingly, and in my conscience, sincerely did rejoyce thereat, so as if any dissembled, it was but their owne griefe conceived for their owne particular losse.

Their bodies being dead putrifie not, and therefore are not buried, but kept in certaine roomes ordained for that purpose; so as most of them can shew their Ancestors bodies uncorrupt for many generations.

There is never any raine, wind, or change of the Ayre, never either Summer, or Winter, but as it were a perpetuall Spring, yeelding all pleasure, all content, and that free from any annoyance at all....

It was the Ninth day of September that I began to ascend from El Pico; twelve dayes I was upon my Voyage, and arrived in that Region of the Moone, that they call Simiri, September the 21 following.

The 12 day of May being Friday, wee came unto the Court of the great Irdonozur, and returned backe the Seventeenth unto the Palace of Pylonas, there I continued till the moneth of March, in the yeare 1601.  At what time I earnestly besought Pylonas (as I had often done before) to give mee leave to depart ... backe into the earth againe.

Hee much disswaded mee, laying before mee the danger of the voyage, the misery of that place from whence I came, and the abundant happinesse of that I now was in; But the remembrance of my Wife and Children overweighed all these reasons, and to tell you the truth, I was so farre forth moved with a desire of that deserved glory, that I might purchase at my return, as me thought I deserved not the name of a Spanyard, if I would not hazard 20 lives, rather then loose but a little possibility of the same.  Wherefore I answered him, that my desire of seeing my Children was such, as I knew I could not live any longer, if I were once out of hope of the same.  When then he desired one yeares stay longer, I told him it was manifest I must depart now or never:  My Birds began to droope, for want of their wonted migration, 3 of them were now dead, and if a few more failed, I was for ever destitute of all possibilitie of returning.

With much adoe at last hee condescended unto my request, having first acquainted great Irdonozur with my desire, then perceiving by the often baying of my Birds, a great longing in them to take their flight; I trimmed up mine Engine, and took my leave of Pylonas, who (for all the courtesie hee had done mee) required of mee but one thing, which was faithfully to promise him, that if ever I had means thereunto, I should salute from him Elizabeth, whom he tearmed the great Queene Of England, calling her the most glorious of all women living, and indeed hee would often question with mee of her, and therein delighted so much, as it seemed hee was never satisfied in talking of her; hee also delivered unto mee a token or present for her of no small Value:  Though I account her an enemy of Spayne, I may not faile of performing this promise as soone as I shall bee able so to doe:  upon the 29 day of March being Thursday, 3 dayes after my awakening from the last Moones light, I fastened my selfe to mine Engine, not forgetting to take with mee, besides the Jewels Irdonozur had given mee (with whose use and vertues Pylonas had acquainted mee at large) a small quantite of Victual, wherefore afterward I had great use as shall bee declared.


An infinite multitude of people, (and amongst the rest Pylonas himselfe) being present, after I had given him the last Beza los manos, I let loose the raines unto my Birds, who with great greedinesse taking wing quickly carried mee out of their sight, it fel out with me as in my first passage, I never felt either hunger or thirst, till I arrived in China upon a high mountaine, some 5 Leagues from the high and mighty City of Pachin.

This Voyage was performed in lesse then 9 dayes....  No thing stayed my journey any whit at all:  Whether it was the earnest desire of my Birds, to return to the Earth, where they had missed one season, or that the attraction of the Earth so much stronger then that of the Moone, furthered their labour; so it came to passe, although now I had 3 Birds wanting of those I carried forth with mee.

For the first 8 dayes my Birds flew before, and I with the Engine was as it were drawne by them.  The Ninth day when I began to approach unto the Clouds, I perceived my selfe and mine Engine to sincke towards the Earth, and goe before them.  I was then horribly afraid, lest my Birds not being able to beare our weight, they being so few, should bee constrained to precipitate both mee and themselves headlong to the Earth:  wherefore I thought it no lesse then needfull to make use of the Ebelus, (one of the stones bestowed upon me by Irdonozur,) which I clapped to my bare flesh within my hose:  and it appeared manifestly thereupon unto mee that my Birds made their way with much greater ease then before, as being lightned of a great burthen; neither doe I thinke it possible for them to have let mee downe safely unto the Earth without that helpe.

China is a Country so populous, as I thinke there is hardly a peece of ground to bee found, (in the most barren parts of the same) though but thrice a mans length, which is not most carefully manured.  I being yet in the Ayre, some of the country people had espied mee, and came running unto mee by troopes, they seised upon mee....  I seeing no other remedy, yeelded my selfe unto them....

They led mee unto a meane Officer, who (understanding that once I had escaped from them that first apprehended mee,) caused a certaine feat to be made of boords, into which they closed mee in such sort, as onely my head was at liberty, and then carried mee upon the shoulders of 4 slaves, (like some notorious malefactor) before a man of great authority, whom in their language as after I learned, they called a Mandarine, abiding 2 dayes journey off, to wit one League distant from the great and famous City of Pachin, or Paquin, by the Chinesse called Suntien.

Their language I could no way understand; onely this I could discerne, that I was for something or other accused with a great deale of vehemence.  The substance of this accusation it seemes was, that I was a Magician, as witnessed my strange carriage in the ayre; that being a stranger, as appeared by my both language and habit, I contrary to the Lawes of China, entred into the Kingdome without warrant, and that probably with no good intent.

The Mandarine heard them out, with a great deale of composed gravitie; and being a man of quicke apprehension, and withall studious of novelties, hee answered them, that hee would take such order with mee, as the case required, and that my bold attempt should not want its deserved punishment.  But having dismissed them he gave order to his Servants, that I should be kept in some remote parts of his vast Palace, and bee strictly watched, but courteously used....

For my accomodation was every way better, then I could expect; I lodged well, fared well, was attended well, and could not fault any thing, but my restraint.  In this manner did I continue many moneths, afflicted with nothing so much as with the thought of my Gansa's; which I knew must be irrecoverably lost, as indeed they were....

I was ... brought into the spacious garden of that Palace, a place of excellent pleasure, and delight, as being planted with herbes and Flowers of admirable both sweetnes and beauty, and almost infinite variety of fruits both European and others, and al those composed with that rare curiositie, that I was ravished with the contemplation of such delightfull objects.  But I had not here long recreated my selfe, yet the Mandarine entred the Garden, on that side where I was walking....

Hee in a different language (which al the Mandarines, as I have since learned, do use) and that like that of the Lunars did consist much of tunes, but was by one of his servants interpreted to mee.  Hee, I say, wished mee to bee of good comfort, for that he intended no harme unto mee....

The next day was I commanded to come before him, and so conducted into a sumptuous dining roome exquisitely painted and adorned.  The Mandarine having commanded all to avoid the roome, vouchsafed conference with mee in the vulgar language; inquiring first the estate of my Country, the power of my Prince, the religion and manners of the people; wherein being satisfied by mee, hee at last descended to the particulars of my education and studies, and what brought mee into this remote countrey:  Then did I at large declare unto him the adventure of my life, only omitting here and there, what particulars I thought good, forbearing especially any mention of the stones given me by Irdonozur.

The strangenes of my story did much amaze him.  And finding in all my discourse nothing any way tending to Magique; (wherein he had hoped by my means to have gaind some knowledge) he began to admire the excellence of my wit, applauding me for the happiest man, that this world had ever produced:  and wishing me to repose my selfe after my long narration, he for that time dismissed me.

After this, the Mandarine tooke such delight in me, that no day passed, wherin he sent not for me.  At length he advised me to apparell my selfe in the habit of Country (which I willingly did) and gave mee not onely the liberty of his house, but took mee also abroad with him, when he went to Paquin, whereby I had the opportunitie by degrees to learn the disposition of the people, and the policie of the Country....  Neither did I by this my attendance on him gaine only the knowledge of these things, but the possibility also of being restored to my native soyle, and to those deare pledges which I value, above the world, my Wife and children.

For by often frequenting Paquin, I at length heard of some Fathers of the Society [Jesuits] that were become famous for the extraordinary favor by the King vouchsafed them, to whom they had presented some European trifles, as Clockes, Watches, Dials, and the like, which with him passed for exquisite rarities.  To them by the Mandarines leave I repaired, was welcomed by them, they much wondring to see a Spaniard there, whither they had with so much difficulty obtained leave to arrive.  There did I relate to father Pantoja and those others of the society these fore-related adventures, by whose directions I put them in writing, and sent this story of my fortunes to Macao, from thence to be conveighed for Spaine, as a forerunner of my returne.  And the Mandarine being very indulgent unto me, I came often unto the Fathers, with whom I consulted about many secrets with them also did I lay a foundation for my returne, the blessed houre whereof I doe with patience expect; that by inriching my Country with the knowledge of hidden mysteries, I may once reape the glory of my fortunate misfortunes.


Go to:
  • Astronomia Magna (1537), by Paracelsus (1493-1541)
  • The pryncyples of astronamye the whiche diligently perscrutyd is in maners pronosticacyon to the worldes end (1542?), by Andrew Boorde (1490?-1549)
  • The Discovery of a World in the Moone (1638), by John Wilkins (1614-1672)
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