Vasco da Gama Quotes
Who the Heck is Vasco da Gama?
|Born||January 01, 1460|
|Died||December 24, 1524|
Books by Vasco da Gama
Best 21 Quotes by Vasco da Gama
“From there we sailed so far out to sea, without touching any port, that we soon had no water that we could drink. In order to eat, we had to cook in salt water. Our daily ration of water in fact was reduced to a quartilho. It therefore became necessary to make for port.”
“Generally the women of this country are ugly and short in stature, and wear much gold jewelry around their necks, and many bracelets on their arms; and on their toes they wear rings set with precious stones.”
“I am not afraid of the darkness. Real death is preferable to a life without living.”
“I am not the man I once was. I do not want to go back in time, to be the second son, the second man.”
“I Vasco da Gama, who now have been commanded by you most high and powerful king, my liege lord, to set out to discover the seas and lands of India and the Orient, do swear on the symbol of this cross, on which I lay my hands, that in the service of God and for you I shall uphold it and not surrender it in the sight of the Moor, pagan, or any race of people that I may encounter, and in the face of every peril of water, fi re, or sword, always to defend and protect it, even unto death.”
“In the year 1497 the king Dom Manuel, the first of that name in Portugal, despatched four ships to make discoveries and search for spices. Vasco da Gama went as Captain major of these ships, Paulo da Gama his brother commanded one of them, and Nicolau Coelho another.”
“In this bay there is an island about three bowshots from land. On this island there are many seals. Some are as big as large bears, and they are very fearsome. They have large tusks, and attack men; and no lance however hard it is thrown can wound them. Others are smaller and still others very small indeed. While the big ones roar like lions, the small ones cry like goats. One day to amuse ourselves, we went to this island and saw about 3000 of them, both large and small. We fired among them with our bombards from the sea.”
“In this land the inhabitants are tawny colored. They eat only seals and whales and the meat of gazelles and the roots of plants. They dress in skins, and wear sheaths over their natural parts. Their weapons are poles of olive wood to which a horn, browned in the fi re, is attached.
They have many dogs like those in Portugal, which bark the same as well. Th e birds of this land are also like those in Portugal: cormorants, gulls, turtle doves, crested larks, and many others. Th e country has a healthy and temperate climate and good vegetation.”
“Many, many other saints were painted on the walls of the church, wearing crowns. But their painting was in a different style, because their teeth were so large that they protruded an inch from their mouths, and each saint had four or five arms.”
“On Saturday 2 December about 200 blacks, both young and old, appeared. They brought about a dozen livestock, both oxen and cows, and 4 or 5 sheep. As soon as we saw them, we went to shore.
They promptly began to play 4 or 5 fl utes. Some played high notes and others low, this making a very agreeable harmony for blacks, from whom we did not expect such music, and they danced in the style of blacks as well.
The Captain major then ordered the trumpets to be played, and we, in the boats, danced. The Captain major did so as well when he rejoined us. Aft er the festivity ended, we landed again where we had
earlier been, and bought a black ox for 3 bracelets, which we dined off on Sunday. He was very fat, and his meat as delicious as the beef in Portugal.”
“On Sunday 3 December many others came, bringing their women and little boys with them. The women stayed on the top of a hill, close to the sea, and they brought many oxen and cows. Having gathered on two spots on the beach, they played music and danced as on Saturday.
It is the custom among these people for the young men to remain in the bush with their weapons. The older men came to converse with us, and they carried short sticks in their hands with fox tails attached to them, with which they fan their faces. While thus conversing with them we saw the young men crouching in the bush holding weapons in their hands.”
“On this island there are also birds, as big as ducks, but they cannot fly, because they do not have feathers on their wings. They are called fortilicaios, and we killed as many of them as we liked. These birds bray like asses.”
“Th e people of this country greatly prize linen cloth; as they gave us much copper in exchange for shirts, if we desired it. These people have dried gourds in which they carry sea water to the interior, where they place it in pools, and thus obtain salt.”
“The oxen of this land are very large, like those of the Alentejo, and wonderfully fat, and very tame. They are geldings, and do not have horns. On the fattest ones, the blacks place a packsaddle made of reeds, as it is done in Castile. On this saddle they place a type of litter made of sticks, on which they ride. To those that they wish to sell, they put a stick through their nostrils, and thus lead them about.”
“The people of this country have a ruddy complexion and are well made. They are of the Mohammedan sect, and speak like Moors. Their robes are of fine linens and cotton stuff, very fine, of many colors and stripes, and of rich and elaborate workmanship. They all wear toucas on their heads, with silk borders embroidered in gold. They are merchants and trade with White Moors, four of whose vessels were here in port, laden with gold, silver, cloth, cloves, pepper, ginger, and silver rings with many pearls, seed pearls, and rubies.”
“These people are black and well proportioned. They go naked, wearing only a piece of cotton cloth to cover their privates, and the chiefs wear larger pieces of cloth. The young women are good looking. Their lips are pierced in three places, and they wear bits of twisted tin there. These people took great pleasure in us, and in almadias brought us what they had.”
“This country, it appears to us, is very densely populated. There are many chiefs here. The women, it seems, were more numerous than the men. Because when twenty men came, forty women would appear. The houses are made of straw. Their arms include long bows and arrows and short spears with iron blades. Copper seems to be plentiful here, since the people wear it on their legs and arms, and in their braided hair. Tin is also found in this country, as they use it on the hilts of their daggers; and the sheaths are made of ivory.”
“To prove that we were able to do them harm, although we did not wish to do so, he then ordered two bombards to be fi red from the poop of the long boat. By then, they were all seated on the beach, close to the bush. When they heard the discharge of the bombards, they began to flee so quickly toward the bush that in their flight they dropped the skins with which they were covered and their weapons. Aft er this, they began to gather together and flee for the top of a hill, driving their cattle ahead of them.”
“We captured one of the men of that land, who was small of stature like Sancho Mexia. He had been gathering honey in the sandy waste, because the bees of this country deposit their honey at the foot of the mounds around the bushes. We brought him to the Captain major’s ship, and placed him at the table and whatever we ate he ate as well.”
“We left from Restelo one Saturday, the 8th day of July of the said year, 1479, on out journey. May God our Lord allow us to complete it in His service, Amen.”
“We remained on this island for twelve days, eating much fi sh that the people of the mainland brought out to sell, and also many pumpkins and cucumbers. They also brought out boats loaded with green cinnamon wood, with the leaves still attached.”