|Tuesday, 16 October
These people are similar to those of the islands just mentioned, and
have the same language and customs; with the exception that they appear
somewhat more civilized, showing themselves more subtle in their
dealings with us, bartering their cotton and other articles with more
profit than the others had experienced. Here we saw cotton cloth, and
perceived the people more decent, the women wearing a slight covering of
cotton over the nudities. The island is verdant, level and fertile to a
high degree; and I doubt not that grain is sowed and reaped the whole
year round, as well as all other productions of the place. I saw many
trees, very dissimilar to those of our country, and many of them had
branches of different sorts upon the same trunk; and such a diversity
was among them that it was the greatest wonder in the world to behold.
Thus, for instance, one branch of a tree bore leaves like those of a
cane, another branch of the same tree, leaves similar to those of the
lentisk. In this manner a single tree bears five or six different kinds.
Nor is this done by grafting, for that is a work of art, whereas these
trees grow wild, and the natives take no care about them. They have no
religion, and I believe that they would very readily become Christians,
as they have a good understanding. Here the fish are so dissimilar to
ours that it is wonderful. Some are shaped like dories, of the finest
hues in the world, blue, yellow, red, and every other color, some
variegated with a thousand different tints, so beautiful that no one on
beholding them could fail to express the highest wonder and admiration.
Here are also whales. Beasts, we saw none, nor any creatures on land
save parrots and lizards, but a boy told me he saw a large snake. No
sheep nor goats were seen, and although our stay here has been short, it
being now noon, yet were there any, I could hardly have failed of seeing
them. The circumnavigation of the island I shall describe afterward.