The story

The Letter of Pero Vaz de Caminha (part 8)


They were thus with us until the communion was over, after which these religious and priests and the Captain communed with some of us others.

Some of them, because the sun was great, when we were communing, got up, and others stood and stayed. One of them, a man of fifty or fifty-five, remained there with those who remained. And when we were thus, they gathered together them that stood there, and called others. And thus walking among them, speaking, he waved his finger at the altar, and then pointed his finger at heaven, as if to say something good to them; and we take it that way.

When the service was over, the priest took off his garment from above and went to white; and so he went up with the altar into a chair. There he preached to us from the Gospel and the Apostles, whose day it is today, dealing at the end of the preaching with your so holy and virtuous pursuit, which increased our devotion.
These, who have always been in preaching, stood as we were looking at him. And that, which I say, called some that came there. Some came and some went. And when the preaching was over, as Nicholas Rabbit would bring many crosses of tin with crucifixes, which were left to him from the other coming, it was good that he would throw each one around his neck. So Father Friar Henry sat at the foot of the Cross, and there, one by one, he threw his tie to a neck, first making her kiss and raise her hands. Many came to this; and they cast them all, which were the work of forty or fifty.

This over - it was well over an hour after noon - we came to the ships to eat, bringing the Captain with him who made the show to the altar and to Heaven and his brother with him. He did him a lot of honor and gave him a Moorish shirt and the other a shirt of other.
And as it seemed to me and everyone, these people die to them nothing but to be all Christian, but to understand us, because in this way they took what they saw us doing, as ourselves, where it seemed to us that no idolatry. , nor worship have. And I believe that if Your Highness here sends whoever among them walks more slowly, that all will be turned to Your Highness's desire. And so, if anyone comes, be sure to come and clergy immediately to baptize them, because by then they will have more knowledge of our faith, by the two exiled, who here between them, which both today also shared.

Among all those who came today, there came but one young woman, who was always at Mass and given a cloth to cover herself with. They put it around themselves. But as it settled it had no memory of extending it well to cover itself. So, Lord, the innocence of these people is such that Adam's would not be greater as to shame.

Now see Your Highness whether whoever lives in such innocence will be converted or not, teaching them what belongs to their salvation.

After this, we went before them to kiss the Cross, we said goodbye and came to eat.

I believe, Lord, that with these two outcasts are two more cabin boys, that this night they came out of this ship on the coffin, fled to land. They didn't come anymore. And we believe they will stay here, because in the morning, pleasing God, we make our departure from here.

This land, Lord, seems to me that from the southern tip we see to the northern tip from which we have seen from this port, it will be such that there will be twenty or twenty-five leagues per coast. It has, along the sea, in some parts great barriers, red, white; and the earth above all the ground is full of great thickets. From end to end, it is all Parma beach, very chã and very beautiful.

From the backwoods it seemed to us, sea view, very large, because, to extend eyes, we could not see but land with groves, that seemed to us very long.

In it, hitherto, we have not known that there is gold, nor silver, nor anything of metal or iron; we didn't even see him. But the land itself is of very good air, as cold and temperate as those of Entre Douro and Minho, because at this time the
we thought like the ones there.

Waters are many; Endless. And in such a way it is graceful that, wanting to enjoy it, it will be given everything in it, for the sake of the waters it has.

But the best fruit that can be done there seems to me to be saving these people. And this must be the main seed that Your Highness should sow in it.

And that there would no longer have to have here this inn for this navigation of Calicut, would suffice. When more willingness to fulfill it and do what Your Highness so desires, namely, the addition of our holy faith.

And in this way, Lord, I give Your Highness here than I have seen in your land. And if I have stretched myself a little, She forgive me, that the desire I had, of telling you all, made me put it for the kid.

And since, Lord, it is certain that, in this position which I carry, as in anything else of your service, Your Highness must be very well served of me, I ask that, by making me a unique mercy, send from Sao Tome Island to Jorge de Osorio, my son-in-law - which I will receive from her at great mercy.

I kiss Your Highness's hands.

From this Safe Harbor, Your Island of Vera Cruz, today, Friday, the first day of May 1500.

Pero Vaz de Caminha