Upon his return to San Lucar on the 6th of September, 1522, after having fulfilled the vow which he had made to go bare-foot to return thanks to Nuesta Señora de la Victoria, the Lombard (as they called him on board the Victoria,) presented to Charles V., then at Valladolid, a complete journal of the voyage. When he returned to Italy, by means of the original as well as of some supplementary notes, he wrote a longer narrative of the expedition, at the request of Pope Clement VII. and of Villiers de l'Isle Adam, grand-master of the Knights of Malta. He sent copies of this work to several distinguished personages, and notably to Louisa of Savoy, mother of Francis I. But she not understanding, so thinks Harrisse, the very learned author of the Bibliotheca Americana Vetustissima, the kind of patois used by Pigafetta, and which resembles a mixture of Italian, Venetian, and Spanish, employed a certain Jacques Antoine Fabre to translate it into French. Instead of giving a faithful translation, Fabre made a kind of abridgment of it. Some critics, however, suppose that this narrative must have been written originally in French; they found their opinion upon the existence of three French manuscripts of the sixteenth century, which give very different readings, and of which two are deposited in the Bibliothèque Nationale at Paris.

Pigafetta died at Venice about 1534, in a house in the Rue de la Lune, which in 1800 was still to be seen, and which bore the well-known device, "No rose without a thorn."

At the same time, not wishing to confine ourselves to Pigafetta's narrative entirely, we have compared and completed it with that of Maximilian Transylvain, secretary to Charles V., of which there is an Italian translation in Ramusio's valuable collection.

The fleet of Magellan consisted of the Trinidad, of 120 tons' burden, which carried the flag of the commander of the expedition; the Sant'-Antonio, also of 120 tons, commanded by Juan de Carthagena, the second in rank, the person joined with Magellan, says the official document; the Concepcion, of 90 tons, commanded by Gaspar de Quesada; the famous Victoria, of 85 tons, commanded by Luis de Mendoza; and lastly the Santiago, of 75 tons, commanded by Joao Serrâo, called by the Spaniards Serrano.

Four of these captains and nearly all the pilots were Portuguese. Barbosa and Gomez on board the Trinidad, Luis Alfonso de Goez and Vasco Gallego on the Victoria, Serrâo, Joao Lopez de Carvalho on the Concepcion, Joao Rodriguez de Moefrapil on the Sant'-Antonio, and Joao Serrâo on the Santiago, with 25 sailors, formed a total of 33 Portuguese out of the whole body of 237 individuals whose names have all been handed down to us, and amongst whom are found a considerable number of Frenchmen.

Of the officers whose names have been mentioned, it is to be remembered that Duarte Barbosa was brother-in-law to Magellan and that Estavam Gomez, who, by returning to Seville on the 6th of May, 1521, did not participate in the conclusion of this memorable voyage, was afterwards sent by Charles V. to seek for the north-west passage, and in 1524 sailed along the coast of America from Florida to Rhode Island, and perhaps as far as Cape Cod.

Nothing could have been better arranged than this expedition, for the equipment of which the whole resources of the nautical science of that epoch had been taxed. At the moment of departure Magellan gave his last orders to his pilots and captains, and the code of signals which were to ensure unanimity in manoeuvres, and prevent a possible separation.

On Monday morning, the 10th of August, 1519, the fleet weighed anchor and sailed down the Guadalquiver as far as San Lucar de Barrameda, which forms the port of Seville, where the victualling of the ships was completed, and it was the 20th of September before they were really off. Six days afterwards the fleet anchored at Teneriffe in the Canary Archipelago, where both wood and water were taken on board. It was on leaving this island that the first symptoms appeared of the misunderstanding between Magellan and Juan de Carthagena which was to prove so fatal to the expedition. The latter claimed to be informed by the commander-in-chief of the route which he intended to take, a claim which was at once rejected by Magellan, who declared that he was not called upon to give any explanation to his subordinate.

After having passed between the Cape de Verd Islands and Africa, the ships reached the shores of Sierra Leone, where contrary winds and dead calms detained the fleet for twenty days.