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• In the course of that war, and about the year 1377, King John fent fome fhips, commanded by one Martin Ruiz de Avendano, to fecure the coafts of Gallicia, Bifcay, and England. This fleet met with a fevere tempeft, which lafted many days, infomuch that the admiral's fhip was obliged to bear away and drive before the wind, until fhe arrived in a port of the island of Lancerota,
Here the Spaniards landed, and were kindly received by the natives, who treated them with the beft that the island afforded. Don Martin Ruiz de Avendano was lodged in the house of Quonzamas, the King, while he remained in the ifland. In that time he became fo intimate with Fayna, the King's wife, that he had a daughter by him named Yco. Her complexion was very fair in comparifon of the natives: when of age the was married to one of the royal family, who became King of the ifland, after Guanarame and Tinguafaya were carried prifoners to Spain, in the fleet commanded by Ferdinando Peraza, in the year 1385 or 1386. By this man Yco had a fon named Guadarfia. After Guanarame's death, there was a great diffention in the island, about the fucceffion; the natives infifting, that Guadarfia was incapable of it because his mother was not noble, being, as was fuppofed by her colour, the daughter of a ftranger, and not of Quonzamas the King. To end the difpute the council met, and came to a resolution, to shut up Yco with three female fervants in the houfe of the deceased Quonzamas, and there to fmoke them; and if fhe came out alive, fhe was to be declared noble, and the genuine offspring of Quonzamas. Before she went to the fmoaky trial, an old woman advised her to convey fecretly into the room a large fpunge moistened with water, and when the fmoak fhould begin to be troublesome, to put it to her mouth and noftrils, and to breathe in it. Yco took her advice, which fucceeded to her wifh; for when the door of the room that was fmoaked was opened, the three fervants were found ftifled, and Yco alive; upon which fhe was brought forth with great marks of honour, and her fon Guadarfia was immediately declared King of Lancerota. This is the fame whom John de Betancour found reigning on his firft arrival on that island.'
But is not this account inconfiftent with itfelf? Guanarame was carried away captive in 1385, and Martin Ruiz de Avendano did not land in the ifland till about the year 1377, confequently Yco could not be above eight years old when her father was carried away by the pyrates: and yet the Author tells us that fhe was of age, and married, before that event. It is also faid that Yco's husband fucceeded to the throne, on the captivity of Guanarame; it may therefore be afked, why he did not keep
poffeffion of it after his death? and by what means the poor inhabitants knew that their King, whom the pyrate Ferdinando Pezara carried away, was actually dead?
The double fale of the Canary islands to the Courts of Spain and Portugal, produced fome contention between the two crowns; but it was at laft decided in favour of the former, which, after repeated ftruggles of the inhabitants to preserve their liberties, compleated the conqueft in the year 1483.
In this part of the work, the Author has given a very entertaining account of the customs, and manners of the antient inhabitants; their religion, commerce and manner of living, together with the produce of these famous iflands. But as thefe particulars would extend this article to an inconvenient length, we must refer the Reader to the work itself, where we prefume he will meet with ample fatisfaction; and proceed to the fecond part, in which Mr. Glas has given a full account of the prefent state of the Canaries, their climate and produce, together with the method of living, and the customs and manners of the inhabitants.
The Pike, or high mountain, on the island of Tenerife has long been famous, and greatly noticed by all who have had occafion to pafs by it, and obferve its prodigious height, which has been variously estimated by different writers. Some will have it to be the higheft in the world, while others think it lower than the Alps, or even mount Atlas. We therefore presume that the following account of this lofty mountain will not be difagreeable to the Reader: efpecially as the Author has determined the height of this celebrated pike beyond all contradiction, and made feveral obfervations with regard to the natural history, and other curious particulars, in his journey up and down the mountain.
In the beginning of September 1761, about four o'clock in the afternoon, I fet out on horfe-back, in company with a master of a ship, from Port Orotava, to vifit the Pike. We had with us a fervant, a muleteer, and a guide: after afcending about fix miles, we arrived, towards fun-fet, at the most distant habitation from the fea this way, which was in a hollow. Here we found an aqueduct of open troughs or spouts, that conveys water down from the head of the hollow. Here our fervants watered the cattle, and filled fome small barrels with water, to serve us in our expedition. While they were thus employed we alighted and walked into the hollow, which we found to be very pleafant, abounding with many trees that fent forth an odoriferous fmell. Near the houses are fome fields of maize or Indian corn: in feveral places on this fide of
the island, the natives have two crops of this grain. Mounting again, we travelled for fome time on a steep road, and got into the woods and the clouds juft as it grew dark; we could not well mifs our way, the road being bounded on both fides with trees or bushes, which were chiefly laurel, favine, and brefos or brufh-wood: having travelled about a mile, we came to the upper edge of the wood above the clouds, where we alighted, made a fire, and fupped; fome time after we lay down to fleep under the bufhes, About half an hour after ten, the moon' fhining bright, we mounted again, and travelled flowly two hours, through an exceffive bad road, refembling ruins of ftone buildings fcattered over the fields. After we got out of this road, we came upon fmall, light, white pumice-ftone like peas or fhingle. Here we rode at a pretty good pace for near an hour. The air now began to be very fharp, cold, and piercing, and the wind blew ftrong about fouth-weft or west-southweft. Our guide advised us to alight here, as it was a convenient place, and reft till four or five in the morning. We followed his counfel, and entered into a cave, the mouth of which was built up to about a man's height, to prevent the wind and cold from getting in. Near this place we were fo lucky as to find fome dry withered retamas, which was the only fhrub or, vegetable we faw hereabout; with thefe we made a great fire to warm ourselves, and then fell asleep, but were foon awaked by an itching of the fkin, which we imagined proceeded from fleas, but was owing to the cold thin air, want of reft, and fleeping in our cloaths; a thing I have known happen to people on fuch expeditions. We paffed away the time here as well as we could; but while we crept fo near the fire that one fide was almoft fcorched, the other was benumbed with cold.
About five in the morning we mounted again, and travelled flowly about a mile, for the road here was rather too steep for travelling on horfe back, and our horfes were now fatigued. At Lift we came among fome great loofe rocks, where was a fort of cottage built of loofe ftones: the name of this place, our guide told us, was Eftancia de los Ingleffes, (i. e. the English Pitching-place) so called, I imagine, from fome English people refting there, on their way to vifit the Pike, for none go that journey but foreigners, and fome poor people of the island, who earn their bread by gathering brimftone; the Spanish gentry having no curiofity of this kind. Here we alighted again, the remainder of our way being too fteep for riding, and left one of our fervants to look after the cattle, and then proceeded on our journey afoot. We walked hard to get ourfelves a heat, but were foon fatigued by the fteepness of the road, which was alfo loofe and fandy. When we got to
the top of this rifing or hill, we came to a vast number of loofe great ftones, whofe furfaces were flat each of those ftones or rocks was, on a medium, about ten feet every way. This road was not fo fteep as the other, but we were obliged to travel a confiderable way over the rocks, leaping from one to another, for they were not quite all close to each other. Among thefe is a cavern, where is a well, or natural refervoir, into which we defcended by a ladder, which the poor people placed there for that purpose. This cavern is fpacious within, being almost ten yards wide, and twenty in height: all the bottom of it, except juft at the foot of the ladder, is covered with water, which is about two fathoms deep, and was then frozen towards the inner edges of the cave: we attempted to drink of this water, but could not, by reafon of its exceffive coldnefs; however, our guide filled a bottle, which he had purposely brought from the Eftancia. After travelling about a quarter or half a mile upon the great ftones or rocks, we came to the bottom of the real Pike, or fugar-loaf, which is very fteep; and to add to the difficulty of afcending, the ground is loose and gives way under the feet, and confequently extremely fatiguing. For although the length of this eminence is not above half a mile, yet we were obliged to stop and take breath, I believe, thirty times: at laft we got to the top, where we lay about a quarter of an hour to reft ourselves, being quite fpent with fatigue. When we left the Eftancia in the morning, the fun was juft emerging from the clouds, which were spread out under us at a great diftance downwards, appearing like the ocean. Above the clouds, at a vast distance to the north, we saw something black, which we imagined to be the top of the island of Madeira. We took the bearings of it by a pocket-compafs, and found it to be exactly in the direction of that ifland from Tenerife; but before we got to top of the Pike it difappeared. We faw from hence the tops of the islands Palma, Gomera, Hierro, and Gran Canaria; they feemed to be quite near, but we could neither perceive Lancerota or Fuertaventura, because they are not high enough to pierce the clouds. Unfortunately we did not find the air quite clear and free from clouds, otherwife I know not but we might have feen Madeira, Porto Santo, and even the nearest part of Mount Atlas, which is about an hundred leagues diftant from hence; for although I faid before, that viewing the Pike from the ocean, it could not be diftinguished from the fky, farther off than an hundred and fifty or an hundred and fixty miles; yet it must be obferved, that the air above the clouds is by far thinner, more pure, and freer from vapours than the air below; for before we came to the Eftancia de los Ingleffes, we observed the moon and stars to fhine with uncommon brightness; besides,
the fpherical figure of the earth could not prevent our feeing mount Atlas, because its fummit and that of Tenerife, by reafon of their immenfe height (although fo far afunder) would yet be far exalted above the horizon. But whether or not vifion extends fo far as what I am now hinting, I leave to others. to determine.
After we had rested some time, we began to look about and obferve the top of the Pike. It's dimenfions feemed to be exactly defcribed by Mr. Eden, whose journey to the Pike we find related in fome of our accounts of the Canary Islands. He fays the length is about an hundred and forty yards, the breadth an hundred and ten. It is hollow, and fhaped within like a bell fubverted. From the edges or upper part of this bell, or cauldron, as the natives call it, to the bottom, is about forty yards. In many parts of this hollow we observed smoke and steams of fulphur iffuing forth in puffs. The heat of the ground in fome particular places was fo great as to penetrate through the foles of our fhoes. Seeing fome fpots of earth or foft clay, we tried the heat with our fingers, but could not thrust them in farther than half an inch; for the deeper we went, the more intense we found the heat. We then took our guide's staff, and thrust it into a hole or porous place, where the fmoke feemed to be thickest, and held it there about a minute, and then drew it out, when we found it burned to charcoal. We gathered here. many pieces of moft curious and beautiful brimftone of all colours, particularly azure blue, green, violet, yellow, and scarlet. But what chiefly engaged the attention of my companion, was the extraordinary and uncommon appearance of the clouds below us, at a great diftance; they feemed like the ocean, only the furface of them was not quite fo blue and fmooth, but had the appearance of very white wool; and where this cloudy ocean, as I may call it, touched the fhore, it seemed to foam like billows breaking on the fhore. When we afcended through the clouds, it was dark; but when we mounted again, between ten and eleven, the moon fhone bright; the clouds were then, below us, and about a mile diftant: we took them for the ocean, and wondered to see it so near; nor did we discover our mistake until the fun arose. When we defcended to the clouds, in returning from the Pike, and entered within them, they appeared to us as a thick fog or mist, of the confiftence of those we frequently fee in England: all the trees of the fore-mentioned woods, and our cloaths, were wet with it.
The air on the top of the Pike was thin, cold, piercing, and of a dry parching nature, like the fouth-easterly winds which I have felt in the great defart of Africa, or the Levanters in the Mediterranean; or even not unlike thefe dry easterly