IN THE EAST INDIES
 AROUSED at last, after long years of lethargy, Magellan applied for permission to absent himself
from court and join an expedition then in preparation for the East Indies. In the latter
part of the year 1504, after making a hasty and final visit to Saborosa, and taking an
affectionate farewell of his father and family, he enlisted as a volunteer in the armada
then being fitted out for Dom Francisco d'Almeida, who was to sail as India's first
viceroy. While the gallant Da Gama had been ennobled and showered with honors for his
great achievement, still he was not considered by Dom Manoel as the proper person to
represent him in authority, as vice-king with unlimited sway, in the new settlements to be
established in India.
Though a son of the Portuguese Duke of
 Abrantes, Dom Francisco d'Almeida had been a soldier in the Moorish wars of Spain, where
he had acquired immense prestige, aside from that which came to him as the scion of a
distinguished family. He possessed great talent as an organizer, and his fame was such
that when it was announced that he was to command the expedition, the noblest of
Portugal's citizenry swarmed to sail beneath his banner. Of all the fleets that had left
Lisbon for Africa and the East, none was so large, so well equipped, armed, and manned as
this, the last, commanded by Almeida. There were twenty vessels in all, comprising eight
great caracks, called naos, six caravels, and six of intermediate size, which
carried, also, material for the construction of two galleys and a brigantine, to be put
together at some port in India. They contained two thousand men, fifteen hundred of whom
were soldiers, four hundred seamen, and the remainder artisans, merchants, and scheming
After a winter of feverishly active labor, the great fleet was finally pronounced ready
for sea. It would seem that all the artisans of Portugal had been employed in
 hastening and perfecting its equipment, and the great naos, as well as the caravels and
brigantines, were stored to overflowing with everything necessary for the voyage, as well
as for the founding of the projected settlements. Assembled from every nook and corner of
Portugal, and including wealthy fidalgos as well as impecunious fortune-seekers, sailors,
soldiers, mechanics, professional men, the motley crowd that swarmed aboard the ships
became the envy of Lisbon's populace.
Before taking to the sea, however, they marched in procession to the venerable cathedral,
there solemnly to celebrate their departure and witness the blessing of the banner
presented to Almeida by the king. It was a square of white damask, with a cross in crimson
satin edged with gold. Standing in front of the high altar, Dom Manoel held the banner
suspended above the bowed head of his deputy, while the royal herald proclaimed him
governor and viceroy of the Indies, "for our lord the king,"
Fernan Magellan was present at this ceremonial, standing near the viceroy and the king,
and was deeply impressed with its
 solemnity as well as with the significance of his mission. He was going forth, he
realized, not only to seek his fortune at the sword's point, but as a fighter for his king
and for his faith.
A few miles down the river stands the tower of Belem, with its church and monastery,
erected in honor of the great seaman of Portugal. It was then but recently completed, for
its corner-stone was laid only four years previously, in commemoration of Da Gama's great
voyage and successful return. Within this magnificent structure to-day rest the bones of
the great navigator, those of the king by whose orders he sailed, and of the poet Camoens,
who immortalized in verse his vast achievements. But at the time Almeida's fleet dropped
anchor off Belem, in order that prayers for its success might be offered on the spot
hallowed by association with Prince Henry the Navigator, who erected his chapel here, only
seven years had passed since Vasco da Gama had himself knelt here and prayed for heavenly
guidance. After the voyagers had performed their orisons, King Manoel came down from
Lisbon with a great retinue, and, taking his stand on the viceroy's ship,
 greeted the captains of the squadron as they swept past him on the tide towards the bar at
the mouth of the river. And with his sovereign's wishes for a prosperous voyage in his
ears, perhaps with the pressure of his fingers on his palm, Fernan Magellan went with the
rest over the bar of Tagus and out upon the sea.
THE TOWER OF BELEM.
Nothing had been omitted to make the departure impressive, yet it was not without its
amusing incidents, which provoked some laughter and relieved the tense feelings of the
sailors, if not of the cavaliers. One of these incidents was connected with the then
recent introduction of the terms "larboard" and "starboard" (or their equivalents in
Portuguese) into the nautical language of the navy. Great confusion ensued on weighing
anchor off Belem, and at a time when every sailor wished to do his best, in view of his
sovereign's presence in person, some of the captains were put to shame.
One of them, Joao Homem, becoming impatient at his sailors' confusing the terms
"bombordo," or larboard, with "estribordo," or starboard, cast
his cap to the deck with an oath, exclaiming: "Pilot, you must speak to my men in a speech
 understand! Here, cook, bring me a bunch of garlic and a bunch of onions. There, see, I
hang the garlic on this side the helm, and these onions on the other. Now, when I say
'garlic' I mean starboard, and when I say 'onions' I mean larboard; which is a language
any fool can understand!" Onions and garlic are said to have saved the situation, by
making the sea-terms apparent to the most stupid of sailors, through their senses of
hearing and smelling, as well as of seeing; and as there were vast stores of both aboard
the fleet, all the captains quickly followed the example of clever Joao Homem.
Portuguese sailors were no longer compelled to crawl slowly and timorously from cape to
cape, as in Prince Henry's time, so the fleet proceeded directly southward. The Tagus had
been left on March 25th, and four days over a month later, or on April 29th, the equator
was crossed. Sailing on forty degrees to the southward, Almeida then reckoned upon having
passed the meridian of the Cape of Storms, or Good Hope, and on June 20th bore
northeasterly and entered the Indian Ocean, with the loss of two ships.
On July 22nd, or four months after the
 departure from Portugal, the monotony of the long weeks of sea-sailing was relieved by an
engagement with the Arabs of Quiloa, a port to the southward of Zanzibar. Following the
instructions of the king, which were peremptory, as well as comprehensive, Almeida was to
construct a fort at Quiloa, and also to build there the brigantines, material for which he
had brought with him. But the residents here, who may have descended from the founders of
the place, which was first settled by Arabs in the tenth century, strenuously objected.
They wanted neither the fort nor the presence in their harbor of the Portuguese fleet, and
Dom Francisco found himself compelled to storm the city. He landed a party of soldiers,
and while they advanced upon the forts amused the Arabs with cannon-play from the ships so
successfully that the outworks were soon carried, and within a short time the city itself
fell into his hands. At this assault, it is said, Fernan Magellan first drew sword in
battle with an enemy; but he bore himself so creditably as to be complimented by his
superior officer, and henceforth was regarded as a veteran fighter.
We do not know the position Magellan
 occupied aboard the fleet, nor the name of the ship he sailed in; but he was probably one
of the sobresalientes—or supernumeraries, as the Spaniards described the
free-lances that sailed on these voyages without stated occupations—being in search
of adventure, merely, without a thought as to what sort it should be. He had borne the
discomforts of the voyage with equanimity, but when this opportunity offered for a dash on
land, had accepted it most eagerly.
What position he held we know not, nor is there aught to enable one to determine the
manner of man he was at twenty-five, which was his age when he set sail with Almeida. We
may, however, glimpse his character and gain an impression of his affairs by inspecting
the will and testament he executed, previous to setting forth on what he had good reason
to consider a hazardous undertaking. It is dated at Belem, December 17, 1504, but was not
brought to light until three hundred and fifty years later, when it was discovered by a
descendant of his family.
"I desire," he states, in the first clause of this instrument, "if I die abroad, or in
this armada in which I am about to proceed for India in the service of my sovereign, the
 most high and mighty king, Dom Manoel (whom may God preserve), that my funeral may be that
accorded to an ordinary seaman, giving to the chaplain of the ship my clothes and arms, to
say three requiem masses.
"I appoint as my sole heirs my sister, Dona Teresa de Magalhaes, her husband, Joao da
Silva, their successors and heirs, with the understanding that the aforesaid my
brother-in-law shall quarter his arms with those of the family of Magalhaes, which are
those of my ancestors, and among the most distinguished and oldest in the kingdom;
founding, as I hereby found, a bequest of twelve masses yearly, to be said at the altar of
the Lord Jesus in the church of San Salvador in Saborosa, in connection with my property,
the quinta [country-seat] de Souta, in the aforesaid parish of Saborosa; that
it may be a legacy in per petuo, and that it may remain forever as a memorial of
our family, which it will be the duty of our successors to re-establish, should it,
through chance or misfortune, fall into desuetude, without increase or diminution in the
number of masses, or other alteration.
"And everything that I thus ordain I
 desire may be carried out justly, and remain without alteration, henceforth and forever,
should I die without legitimate offspring; but should I have such, I desire that he or she
may succeed to all my estate, together with the same obligation of the entailed bequest,
that it may remain established as such, and not in any other form; in order that the
barony may increase, and that it may not be deprived of the little property I own, the
which I cannot better, or in any other manner, bequeath."
The provisions of this will were never complied with, owing to Magellan's change of
residence from Portugal to Spain; and in another, executed later, the little quinta and
church of Saborosa are not mentioned. But the instrument shows the serious trend of the
young man's thoughts, his love for home, and his desire to transmit to posterity an
honorable name. There is nothing in his East-Indian record to belie this intention; and
that he was studiously inclined, at least during the long voyage outward to the East, is
shown by the fact that, thrown as he was in company with Da Gama's veteran sailors, he
became an expert navigator.
Leaving a garrison in the fort which the
 Portuguese had hastily constructed at Quiloa, Dom Francisco sailed next for the port of
Mombaza, where again opposition was encountered which gave him an excuse for bombarding
the city, one of the largest and most important trading-posts on the east coast of Africa.
He was surprised by an answering cannon-fire to the roar of his artillery, for he had
supposed the natives destitute of guns of large caliber. After the city was taken—as
taken it was, following a two days' siege and storm—an explanation was found in the
fact that these were once Vasco Da Gama's cannon which had been turned upon the invaders.
He had lost them overboard during an attack from the harbor a few years before, and after
his departure the natives had fished them up, somehow obtained ammunition, and loaded them
for use against Da Gama's countrymen. These cannon aided materially in the resistance
offered by the Mombazas; but the Portuguese were at that time invincible, having supreme
confidence in themselves, and being armed in a superior manner; so the native army, though
said to number ten thousand men, was put to ignominious flight.
 Another fort was erected, though the King of Mombaza professed the most ardent friendship
for the Portuguese, after the chastising they had given him, and presented Dom Francisco
with a sword and collar of pearls, together valued at more than fifteen thousand dollars.
Thirty thousand crusados was the value placed upon the gifts by Dom
Francisco's treasurer, and probably at that time this was equal to as many dollars of our
money. To make it seem yet more magnificent, it may be stated that this would be
equivalent to more than a million reis; or, again, to swell it to its
greatest proportions, let us say a billion milreis—a very magnificent gift,
A marble column was set up at Mombaza in commemoration of the conquest, and, the king
having agreed to pay a yearly tribute of ten thousand serafins, Almeida sailed away
with his fleet. It had been his intention to proceed yet farther northward, to the port of
Melinda, where Da Gama had found his pilot for the voyage across the Indian Ocean. This
pilot was an Arab, and without him the voyage might never have been accomplished. But the
Portuguese now had pilots of their own, and it was not
 necessary to seek one at Melinda; hence, Almeida pushed straight out towards the Malabar
coast, where the fleetest ships of the squadron arrived the last week of October.
Thus, after a voyage of seven months' duration, and mainly following in the track of Vasco
da Gama, who had led the way less than eight years previously, Fernan Magellan arrived in
the Indies. He had, so far as opportunity offered, given a good account of himself on the
way, having been foremost in the fights that had occurred, and won a reputation as an
expert swordsman as well as a gallant soldier. By his alertness, and willingness to
perform whatever came in his way, he had acquired great favor with the energetic viceroy,
who the very next morning after his arrival at the island of Anchediva, in the Indian
Ocean, began the construction of a fortress. Then he despatched some ships of his squadron
in search of three Arabian galleons laden with spices for Mecca, which he desired to
intercept with their precious cargoes, and while they were absent laid the keels of a
caravel and two brigantines. There was no rest for soldier or sailor under such an active
 commander as Dom Francisco, whose example was not lost upon Fernan Magellan; while his
son, Dom Lourenzo, displayed such brilliant prowess that he became renowned throughout the