THE FIRST VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD

From this moment, provisions were brought and cordial relations established. The nephew of the king came with a numerous suite to visit Magellan on board his ship, and the latter took this opportunity to relate to his visitors the wonderful history of the creation of the world, and of the redemption of the human race, and to invite him and his people to become converts to Christianity. They showed no repugnance to being baptized, and on the 14th of April the kings of Zebu and Massava, and the Moorish merchant, with 500 men and as many women received baptism. But what was only a fashion at first, for it cannot be said that the natives knew the religion which they embraced or were persuaded of its truth, became a real frenzy, after a wonderful cure had been effected by Magellan. Having learnt that the father of the king had been ill for two years and was on the point of death, the captain-general promised, that if he consented to be baptized and the natives would burn their idols, he would find himself cured. "He added that he was so convinced of what he said," relates Pigafetta—for it is as well to quote the author verbatim in such a matter—"that he agreed to lose his head if what he promised did not happen immediately. We then made a procession, with all possible pomp, from the place where we were to the sick man's house, whom we found really in a very sad state in that he could neither speak nor move. We baptized him with two of his wives and ten daughters. The captain asked him directly after his baptism how he found himself, and he suddenly replied that thanks to our Lord he was well. We were all witnesses of this miracle. The captain above all rendered thanks to God for it. He gave the prince a refreshing drink, and continued to send him some of it every day till he was quite restored. On the fifth day the invalid found himself quite cured and got up. His first care was to have burned, in the presence of the king and all the people, an idol for which he had great veneration, and which some old women guarded carefully in his house. He also caused some temples which stood on the sea-shore, and in which the people assembled to eat the meat consecrated to their old divinities, to be thrown down. All the inhabitants applauded these acts, and proposed themselves to go and destroy all the idols, even those which were in use in the king's house, crying at the same time 'Vive la Castille!' in honour of the king of Spain."

Near to the Island of Zebu is another island called Matan which had two chiefs, one of whom had recognized the authority of Spain, while the other having energetically resisted it, Magellan resolved to impose it upon him by force. On Friday, the 26th of April, three long boats left for the Island of Matan containing sixty men wearing cuirasses and helmets, and armed with muskets; and thirty balangais bearing the king of Zebu, his son-in-law, and a number of warriors.