Ornatissimo viro, Magistro Richard Hakluyto Oxonij in Collegio ædis Christi, Artium et Philosophiæ Magistro, amico, et fratri suo.
S. Non statueram ad te scribere, cùm in mentem veniret promissum literarum tuarum. Putabas te superiore iam Iunio nos subsecuturum. Itaque de meo statu ex doctore Humfredo certiorem te fieri iusseram. Verùm sic tibi non esset satisfactum. Itaque scribam ad te ijsdem ferè verbis, quia noua meditari et [Greek: sunonumixein] mihi hoc tempore non vacat. Vndecimo Iunij ex Anglia reuera tandem et seriò soluimus, portu et terra apud Plemuthum simul relictis. Classis quinque nauibus constabat: maxima, quam Dominus Ralegh. frater Amiralij accommodauerat, ignotum quo comsilio, statim tertio die à nobis se subduxit. Reliqui perpetuò coniunctim nauigauimus ad. 23. Iulij, quo tempore magnis nebulis intercepto aspectu alij aliam viam tenuimus: nobis seorsim prima terra apparuit ad Calendas Augusti, ad gradum circiter 50. cùm vltrà 41. paucis ante diebus descendissemus spe Australium ventorum, qui tamen nobis suo tempore nunquam spirauêre. Insula penguin. Insula est ea, quam vestri Penguin vocant, ab auium eiusdem nominis multitudine. Nos tamen nec aues vidimus, nec insulam accessimus, ventis aliò vocantibus. Cæterùm conuenimus omnes in eundum locum paulò ante portum in quem communi consilio omnibus veniendum erat, idqúe intra duas horas, magna Dei benignitate et nostro gaudio. Locus situs est in Newfoundlandia, inter 47. et 48. gradum, Diuum Ioannem vocant. Ipse Admiralius proter multitudinem hominum et angustiam nauis paulò afflictiorem comitatum habuit et iam duos dysentericis fioloribus amisit: de cæteris bona spes est. Ex nostris (nam ego me Mauricio Browno verè generoso iuueni me coniunxeram) duo etiam casu quodam submersi sunt. Cæteri salui et longè firmiores. Ego nunquam sanior. In hunc locum tertio Augusti appulimus: quinto autem ipse Admiralius has regiones in suam et regni Angliæ possessionem potestatemque vendicauit, latis quibusdam legibus de religione et obsequio Reginæ Angliæ. Reficimur hoc tempore paulò hilariùs et lautiùs. Certè enim et qualibus ventis vsi simus, et quàm fessi esse potuerimus tam longi temporis ratio docuerit, proinde nihil nobis deerit. Nam extra Anglos, 20 circiter naues Lusitanicas et Hispanicas nacti in hoc loco sumus: eæ nobis impares non patientur nas esurire. Angli etsi satis firmi, et à nobis tuli, authoritate regij diplomatis omni obsequio et humanitate prosequuntur. Nunc narrandi erant mores, regiones, et populi. Cæterùm quid narrem mi Hakluyte, quando præter solitudinem nihil video? Piscium inexhausta copia: inde huc commeantibus magnus quæstus. Vix hamus fumdum attigit, illicò insigni aliquo onustus est. Terra vniuersa In the south side of Newefoundland, there is store of plaine and champion Countrey, as Richard Clarke found. montana et syluestris: arbores vt plurimùm pinus: ex partim consenuêre, partim nunc adolescunt: magna pars vetustate collapsa, et aspectum terræ, et iter euntium ita impedit, vt nusquam progredi liceat. Herbæ omnes proceræ: sed rarò à nostris diuersæ. Natura videtur velle niti etiam ad generandum frumentum. Inueni enim gramina, et spicas in similitudinem secales: et facilè cultura et satione in vsum humanum assuefieri posse videntur. Rubi in syluis vel potiùs fraga arborescentia magna suauitate. Vrsi circa tuguria nonnunquam apparent, et conficiuntur: sed albi sunt, vt mihi ex peliibus coniicere licuit, et minores quàm nostri. Populus an vllus sit in hac regione incertum est: Nec vllum vidi qui testari posset. Et quis quæso posset, cùm ad longum progredi non liceat? Nee minùs ignotum est an aliquid metalli sub sit montibus. Causa eadem est, etsi aspectus eorum mineras latentes præ se ferat. Nos Admiralio authores fuimus syluas incendere, quo ad inspiciendam regionem spacium pateret: nec displicebat illi consilium, si non magnum incommodum allaturum videretur. The great heate of the sunne in summer. Confirmatum est enim ab idoneis hominibus, cum casu quopiam in alia nescio qua statione id accidisset, septennium totum pisces non comparuisse, ex acerbata maris vnda ex terebynthina, quæ conflagrantibus arboribus per riuulos defluebat. Coelum hoc anni tempore ita feruidum est, vt nisi pisces, qui arefiunt ad solem, assidui inuertantur, ab adustione defendi non possint. Hyeme quàm frigidum sit, magnæ moles glaciei in medio mari nos docuere. Relatum est à comitibus mense Maio sexdecim totos dies interdum se inter tantam glaciem hæsisse, vt 60. orgyas altæ essent insulæ: quarum latera soli apposita cum liquescerent, liberatione quadam vniuersam molem ita inuersam, vt quòd ante pronum erat, supinum euaderet, magno præsentium discrimine, vt consentaneum est. Aer in terra mediocriter clarus est: ad orientem supra mare perpetuæ nebulæ: Et in ipso mari circa Bancum (sic vocant locum vbi quadraginta leucis à terra fundus attingitur, et pisces capi incipiunt) nullus ferme dies absque pluuia. Expeditis nostris necessitatibus in hoc loco, in Austrum (Deo iuuante) progrediemur, tantò indies maiori spe, quò plura de iis quas petimus regionibus commemorantur. Hæc de nostris. Cupio de vobis scire: sed metuo ne incassum. Imprimis autem quomodo Vntonus meus absentiam meam ferat, præter modum intelligere velim: Habebit nostrum obsequium et officium paratum, quandiu vixerimus. Reuera autem spero, hanc nostram peregrinationem ipsius instituo vsui futuram. Nunc restat, vt me tuum putes, et quidem ita tuum, vt neminem magis. Iuuet dei filius labores nostros eatenus, vt tu quoque participare possis. Vale amicissime, suauissime, onrnatissime Hakluyle, et nos ama. In Newfundlandia apud portum Sancti Iohannis 6. Augusti 1583.
STEPHANVS PARMENIVS Budeius, tuus.
To the worshipfull, Master Richard Hakluit at Oxford in Christchurch Master of Arts, and Philosophie, his friend and brother.
I had not purposed to write vnto you, when the promise of your letters came to my mind: You thought in Iune last to haue followed vs your selfe, and therefore I had left order that you should be aduertised of my state, by Master Doctor Humfrey: but so you would not be satisfied: I will write therefore to you almost in the same words, because I haue no leasure at this time, to meditate new matters, and to vary or multiply words.
The 11. of Iune we set saile at length from England in good earnest, and departed leauing the hauen and land behind vs at Plimmouth: our Fleete consisted of fiue shippes: the greatest, which the Admirals brother had lent vs, withdrew her selfe from vs the third day, wee know not vpon what occassion: with the rest we sailed still together till the 23 of Iuly: at which time our view of one another being intercepted by the great mists, some of vs sailed one way, and some another: to vs alone the first land appeared, the first of August, about the latitude of 50. degrees, when as before we had descended beyond 41 degrees in hope of some Southerly windes, which notwithstanding neuer blew to vs at any fit time.
It is an Island which your men call Penguin, because of the multitude of birdes of the same name. Yet wee neither sawe any birds, nor drew neere to the land, the winds seruing for our course directed to another place, but wee mette altogether at that place a little before the Hauen, whereunto by common Councell we had determined to come, and that within the space of two houres by the great goodnesse of God, and to our great ioy. The place is situate in Newfound land, betweene 47. and 48. degres called by the name of Saint Iohns: the Admirall himselfe by reason of the multitude of the men, and the smalnesse of his ship, had his company somewhat sickly, and had already lost two of the same company, which died of the Flixe: of the rest we conceiue good hope. Of our company (for I ioyned my selfe with Maurice Browne, a very proper Gentleman) two persons by a mischance were drowned, the rest are in safetie, and strong; for mine owne part I was neuer more healthy. Wee arriued at this place the third of August: and the fift the Admirall tooke possession of the Countrey, for himselfe and the kingdome of England: hauing made and published certaine Lawes, concerning religion, and obedience to the Queene of England: at this time our fare is somewhat better, and dantier, then it was before: for in good sooth, the experience of so long time hath taught vs what contrary winds wee haue found, and what great trauell wee may endure hereafter: and therefore wee will take such order, that wee will want nothing: for we found in this place about twenty Portugall and Spanish shippes, besides the shippes of the English: which being not able to match vs, suffer vs not to bee hunger starued: the English although they were of themselues strong ynough, and safe from our force, yet seeing our authoritie, by the Queenes letters patents, they shewed vs all maner of duety and humanitie.
The maner of this Countrey and people remaine now to be spoken of. But what shall I say, my good Hakluyt, when I see nothing but a very wildernesse: Of fish here is incredible abundance, whereby great gaine growes to them, that trauell to these parts: the hooke is no sooner throwne out, but it is eftsoones drawne vp with some goodly fish: the whole land is full of hilles and woods. The trees for the most part are Pynes and of them some are very olde, and some yong: a great part of them being fallen by reason of their age, doth so hinder the sight of the land, and stoppe the ways of those that seeke to trauell, that they can goe no whither: all the grasse here is long, and tall, and little differeth from ours. It seemeth also that the nature of this soyle is fit for corne: for I found certaine blades and eares in a manner bearded, so that it appeareth that by manuring and sowing, they may easily be framed for the vse of man: here are in the woodes bush berries, or rather straw berries growing vp like trees, of great sweetnesse. Beares also appeare about the fishers stages of the Countrey, and are sometimes killed, but they seeme to bee white, as I conjectured by their skinnes, and somewhat lesse then ours. Whether there bee any people in the Countrey I knowe not, neither haue I seene any to witnesse it. And to say trueth, who can, when as it is not possible to passe any whither: In like sort it is vnknowne, whither any mettals lye vnder the hilles: the cause is all one, although the very colour and hue of the hilles seeme to haue some Mynes in them: we mooued the Admirall to set the woods a fire, that so wee might haue space, and entrance to take view of the Countrey, which motion did nothing displease him, were it not for feare of great inconuenience that might thereof insue: for it was reported and confirmed by very credible persons, that when the like happened by chance in another Port, the fish neuer came to the place about it, for the space of 7. whole yeeres after, by reason of the waters made bitter by the Turpentine, and Rosen of the trees, which ranne into the riuers vpon the firing of them. The weather is so hote this time of the yeere, that except the very fish, which is layd out to be dryed by the sunne, be euery day turned, it cannot possibly bee preserued from burning; but how cold it is in the winter, the great heapes, and mountaines of yce, in the middest of the Sea haue taught vs: some of our company report, that in May, they were sometimes kept in, with such huge yce, for 16. whole dayes together, as that the Islands thereof were threescore fathoms thicke, the sides whereof which were toward the Sunne, when they were melted, the whole masse or heape was so inuened and turned in maner of balancing, that that part which was before downeward rose vpward, to the great perill of those that are neere them, as by reason wee may gather. The ayre vpon land is indifferent cleare, but at Sea towards the East there is nothing els but perpetuall mists, and in the Sea it selfe, about the Banke (for so they call the place where they find ground fourty leagues distant from the shore, and where they beginne to fish) there is no day without raine. When we haue serued, and supplied our necessitie in this place, we purpose by the helpe of God to passe towards the South, with so much the more hope every day, by how much the greater the things are, that are reported of those Countreys, which we go to discouer. Thus much touching our estate.
Now I desire to know somewhat concerning you, but I feare in vaine, but specially I desire out of measure to know how my Patrone master Henry Vmptom doth take my absence: my obedience, and duetie shall alwayes bee ready toward him as long as I liue: but in deede I hope, that this iourney of ours shalbe profitable to his intentions. It remaineth that you thinke me to be still yours, and so yours as no mans more. The sonne of God blesse all our labors, so farre, as that you your selfe may be partaker of our blessing. Adieu, my most friendly, most sweete, most vertuous Hakluyt: In Newfound land, at Saint Iohns Port, the 6. of August, 1583.
STEVEN PARMENIVS of Buda, yours.
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:55