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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume VII by Robert Kerr

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Having dispatched this business, Sir John Burrough had leisure to take
such a survey of the goods in his prize, as the convenience of the seas
would admit; and seeing many inclined to commit spoil and pillage, he
very prudently seized upon the whole in the name of her majesty. He then
made a cursory inspection of the cargo, and perceived that the wealth
would be fully answerable to expectation, and would be more than
sufficient to content both the desires of the adventurers, and the
fatigues and dangers of the captors. I cannot here refrain from
acknowledging the great favour of God to our nation, by putting this
rich prize into our hands, thereby manifestly discovering the secrets
and riches of the trade of India, which had hitherto lain strangely
bidden and cunningly concealed from our knowledge, only a very imperfect
glimpse of it being seen by a few, while it is now turned into the broad
light of full and perfect knowledge. Whence it would appear to be the
will of God for our good, if only our weakness would so apprehend it,
that we should participate in those East Indian treasures, by the
establishment of a lawful traffic, to better our means of advancing the
true religion and the holy service of God.

This carak, in the judgment of those most experienced, was of not less
than 1600 tons burden, 900 of which were stowed full of rich
merchandize; the remainder being allowed partly for the ordnance, which
were 32 pieces of brass cannon of all sorts, and partly to the ships
company, passengers, and victuals, which last could not be a small
quantity, considering the length of the voyage, and that there were
between six and seven hundred persons on board. To give a taste as it
were of the commodities, it may suffice to give a general enumeration of
them, according to the catalogue made out at Leadenhall, London, on the
15th September 1592. After the jewels, which were certainly of great
value, though they never came to light, the principal wares consisted of
spices, drugs, silks, calicoes, quilts, carpets, and colours, &c. The
spices were pepper, cloves, mace, nutmegs, cinnamon, green ginger. The
drugs, benzoin, frankincense, gallinga, mirabolans, socotorine aloes,
camphor. The silks, damasks, taffetas, sarcenets, _altobassos_ or
counterfeit cloth of gold, unwrought China silk, sleaved silk, white
twisted silk, and curled cypress. The calicoes were book-calicoe,
calicoe-lawns, broad white calicoes, fine starched calicoes, coarse
white calicoes, brown broad calicoes, brown coarse calicoes. There were
also canopies, and coarse diaper towels, quilts of coarse sarsenet, and
of calico, and carpets like those of Turkey. Likewise pearls, musk,
civet, and ambergris. The rest of the wares were many in number, but
less in value; as elephants teeth, porcelain vessels of China, coco
nuts, hides, ebony as black as jet, bedsteads of the same, curious cloth
made of the rind of trees, &c. All which piles of merchandize, being
valued at a reasonable rate by men of approved judgment, amounted to no
less than 150,000 pounds Sterling, which being divided among the
adventurers, of whom her majesty was the chief, was sufficient to
content all parties.

The cargo being taken out, and the goods reloaded on board ten of our
ships to be sent to London, one Mr Robert Adams, a man of excellent
skill, took the exact bigness, height, length, breadth, and other
dimensions of this huge vessel, that these might be preserved according
to the exact rules of geometrical proportions, both for present
knowledge and transmission to posterity, omitting nothing which either
his art could demonstrate, or any mans judgment think worthy of being
known. After an exact survey of the whole frame, he found the extreme
length, from the beak head to the stern, where a lantern was erected,
165 feet. The breadth, in the second close deck, of which she had three,
but this the broadest, was 46 feet 10 inches. At her departure from
Cochin in India, her draught of water was 31 feet; but at her arrival in
Dartmouth, not above 26, being lightened 5 feet during her voyage by
various causes. She contained 7 several stories; viz. one main orlop,
three close decks, one forecastle, and a spar deck of two floors each.
The length of the keel was 100 feet, of the main-mast 121 feet, and its
circumference at the partners was 10 feet 7 inches. The main-yard was
106 feet long. By this accurate mensuration, the hugeness of the whole
is apparent, and far beyond the mould of the largest ships used among
us, either for war or cargo.

Don Alonso de Bacan, having a greater fleet, and yet suffering these two
great caraks to be lost, the Santa Cruz burnt, and the Madre de Dios
taken, was disgraced by the king of Spain for his negligence.


_The taking of two Spanish Ships, laden with quicksilver and the Popes
bulls, in 1592, by Captain Thomas White_.[390]

While returning from Barbary in the Amity of London, and in the latitude
of 36 deg. N. at 4 in the morning of the 26th of July 1592, Captain White
got sight of two ships at the distance of three or four leagues. Giving
immediate chace, he came within gun-shot of them by 7 o'clock; and by
their boldness in shewing Spanish colours, he judged them rather to be
ships of war than laden with merchandize; indeed, by their own
confession afterwards, they made themselves so sure of taking him, that
they debated among themselves whether it were better for them to carry
his ship to San Lucar or Lisbon. After waving each other amain, the
Spaniards placed themselves in order of battle, a cables length before
the other, when the fight began, both sides charging and firing as fast
as they were able, at the distance of a cables length, for the space of
five hours. In this time, the Amity received 32 great shots in her hull,
masts, and sails, besides at least 500 iron muskets and arquebuses,
which were counted after the fight.

[Footnote 390: Astley, I. 249. The editor of Astleys collection gives no
notice of the source whence he procured this narrative. The Spanish
ships with quicksilver are usually called _azogue_ or _assogue_ ships;
the word assogue signifying quicksilver.--E.]

Finding them to make so stout a resistance, Captain White attempted to
board the Biscaian, which was foremost; and after lying on board about
an hour, plying his ordnance and small shot, he _stowed all her
men_[391]. At this time, the other vessel, which was a fliboat, thinking
Captain White had boarded her consort with all his men, _bore room with
him_[392], intending to have laid him close on board, so as to entrap
him between both ships, and place him between two fires. Perceiving this
intention, he fitted his ordnance in such sort as to get quit of her, so
that she boarded her consort, and both fell from him. Mr White now kept
his loof, hoisted his main-sails, and weathering both ships, came close
aboard the fliboat, to which he gave his whole broadside, by which
several of her men were slain, as appeared by the blood running from her
scuppers. After this he tacked about, new charged all his ordnance, and
coming round again upon both ships, ordered them to yield or he would
sink them outright. One of them being shot between wind and water, would
have complied, but the other called him a traitor; on which Captain
White called out, that if he also did not presently yield, he would sink
him first. Intimidated by this threat, they both hung out white flags
and yielded; yet refused to strike their own sails, as they had sworn
not to strike to any Englishman.

[Footnote 391: This expression seems to mean, that he forced them to run

[Footnote 392: That is, bore down upon him.--E.]

He then commanded the captains and masters to come on board the Amity,
where they were examined and placed in safe custody; after which he sent
some of his own men on board both ships to strike the sails and man
them. There were found in both, 126 persons alive, with eight dead
bodies, besides those that had been cast overboard. This victory was
obtained by 42 men and a boy, of whom two were slain and three wounded.
The two prizes were laden with 1400 chests of quicksilver, marked with
the arms of Castile and Leon, besides a vast quantity of bulls or
indulgences, and ten packs of gilded missals and breviaries, all on the
kings account. Also an hundred tons of excellent wine, intended for the
supply of the royal fleet; all of which Captain White brought shortly
afterwards to Blackwall in the river Thames.

By this capture of quicksilver, the king of Spain lost for every quintal
a quintal of silver, that should have been delivered to him by the
mine-masters in Peru, amounting in value to L.600,000. There were
likewise 2,072,000 bulls for living and dead persons, intended for the
use of New Spain, Yucatan, Guatimala, Honduras, and the Philippine
islands, taxed at two ryals each; besides 18,000 bulls at four ryals;
amounting in all to L.107,700: So that the total loss to the king of
Spain was L.707,700, not reckoning the loss and disappointment by the
mass-books and wine.


_Narrative of the Destruction of a great East India Carak, in 1594,
written by Captain Nicholas. Downton_[393].

In the latter end of the year 1593, the right honourable the earl of
Cumberland, at his own charges and those of his friends, fitted out
three ships of equal size and rates, having each the same quantity of
provisions and the same number of men. These were, the Royal Exchange,
which went as admiral, commanded by Captain George Cave; the May-flower,
vice-admiral, commanded by Captain William Anthony; and the Sampson,
which my lord was pleased to commit to me, Nicholas Downton. In all the
three ships there were embarked 420 men of all sorts, or 140 in each.
Besides these, there, was a pinnace: called the Violet, or _Why-not-I._

[Footnote 393: Hakluyt, III. 14. Astley, I 250.]

Our instructions were sent to us at Plymouth, and we were directed to
open them at sea. The 6th of April 1594, we set sail from Plymouth
sound, directing our course for the coast of Spain. The 24th, being then
in lat. 43 deg. N; we divided ourselves east and west from each other, on
purpose to keep a good look out, with orders from our admiral to close
up again at night. In the morning of the 27th, we descried the
May-flower and the little pinnace, in company with a prize they had
taken belonging to Viana in Portugal, and bound for Angola. This vessel
was about 28 tons burden, having 17 persons on board, with some 12 tons
of wine, which we divided among our ships, together with some rusk in
chests and barrels, 5 bales of coarse blue cloth, and some coarse linen
for negroes shirts; all of which goods were divided among our fleet. The
4th of May, we had sight again of our pinnace and the admirals shallop,
which had taken three Portuguese caravels, two of which we sent away and
kept the third. The 2d June we came in sight of St Michaels. The 3d we
sent off our pinnace, which was about 24 tons burden, together with the
small caravel we had taken off the Burlings, to range about the
anchorages of the Azores, trying to make captures of any thing they
could find, appointing them to meet with us at a rendezvous 12 leagues
W.S.W. from Fayal. Their going from us served no purpose, and was a
misfortune, as they omitted joining us when appointed, and we also
missed them when they might have been of much service.

The 13th of June we fell in with a mighty carak from the East Indies,
called _Las cinquellagues_, or the five wounds. The May-Flower was in
sight of her before night, and I got up with her in the evening. While I
had ordered our men to give her a broadside, and stood carefully
examining her strength, and where I might give council to board her in
the night when the admiral came up, I received a shot a little above the
belly, by which I was rendered unserviceable for a good while after, yet
no other person in my ship was touched that night. Fortunately, by means
of one captain Grant, an honest true-hearted man, nothing was neglected
though I was thus disabled. Until midnight, when the admiral came up,
the May-Flower and the Sampson never desisted from plying her with our
cannon, taking it in turns: But then captain Cave wished us to stay till
morning, when each of us was to give her three broadsides, and then lay
her on board; but we long lingered in the morning till 10 o'clock,
before we attempted to board her.

The admiral then laid her on board amid ships, and the May-Flower came
up on her quarter, as if to take her station astern of our admiral on
the larboard side of the carak; but the captain of the May-Flower was
slain at the first coming up, on which his ship fell astern on the
_outlicar_[394] of the carak, a piece of timber, which so tore her
foresail that they said they could not get up any more to fight, as
indeed they did not, but kept aloof from us all the rest of the action.
The Sampson went aboard on the bow of the carak, but had not room
enough, as our quarter lay on the bow of the Exchange, and our bow on
that of the carak. At the first coming up of the Exchange, her captain
Mr Cave was wounded in both legs, one of which he never recovered, so
that he was disabled from doing his duty, and had no one in his absence
that would undertake to lead his company to board the enemy. My friend,
captain Grant, led my men up the side of the carak; but his force being
small, and not being manfully seconded by the crew of the Exchange, the
enemy were bolder than they would have been, so that six of my men were
presently slain, and many more wounded; which made those that remained
return on board, and they would never more give the assault. Some of the
Exchanges men did very well, and I have no doubt that many more would
have done the like, if there had been any principal men to have led them
on, and not to have run into corners themselves. But I must allow that
the carak was as well provided for defence as any ship I have seen; and
perhaps the Portuguese were encouraged by our slackness, as they plied
our men from behind barricades, where they were out of danger from our
shot. They plied us also with wildfire, by which most of our men were
burnt in some parts of their body; and while our men were busied in
putting out the fire, the enemy galled them sore with small arms and
darts. This unusual casting of wildfire did much dismay many of our men,
and caused them greatly to hang back.

[Footnote 394: Probably a boom or outrigger for the management of the

Finding that our men would not again board, we plied our great ordnance
at them, elevated as much as possible, as otherwise we could do them
little harm. By shooting a piece from our forecastle, we set fire to a
mat at the beak head of the enemy, which kindled more and more,
communicating from the mat to the boltsprit, and thence to the
top-sail-yard; by which fire the Portuguese abaft were much alarmed, and
began to make show of a parley: But their officers encouraged them,
alleging that the fire could be easily extinguished, on which they again
stood stiffly to their defence; yet at length the fire grew so strong,
that I plainly saw it was beyond all help, even if she had yielded to
us. We then wished to have disentangled ourselves from the burning
carak, but had little hope of success; yet we plied water with great
diligence to keep our ship safe. At this time I had little hope but our
ship, myself, and several of our wounded men must have been all
destroyed along with the carak. Most of our people indeed might have
saved themselves in boats on board our consorts. When we were at the
worst, by Gods providence our spritsail-yard with the sail and ropes,
which were fast entangled with the spritsail-yard of the carak, were so
burned that we fell away, with the loss of some of our sails. The
Exchange also, being farther aft and more distant from the fire, was
more easily cleared, and fell off abaft.

As soon as God had put us out of danger, the fire caught hold of the
forecastle of the carak, where I think there was great store of benzoin,
or some such combustible matter, for it flamed and flowed over the
carak, which was almost in an instant all over in flames. The Portuguese
now leapt over-board in great numbers, and I sent captain Grant with
the boat, bidding him use his discretion in saving them. He brought me
on board two gentlemen. One of them was an old man named Nuno Velio
Pereira, who had been governor of Mozambique and Sofala in the year
1582, and had since been governor of a place of importance in the East
Indies. The ship in which he was coming home was cast away a little to
the east of the Cape of Good Hope, whence he travelled by land to
Mozambique, and got a passage in this carak. The other was named Bras
Carrero, who was captain of a carak that was cast away at Mozambique,
and came likewise as a passenger in this ship. Also three men of the
inferior sort; but only these two gentlemen we clothed and brought home
to England. The rest, and others which were saved by our other boats,
were all set on shore on the island of Flores, except two or three
negroes, one of whom was a native of Mozambique, and the other of the
East Indies.

This fight took place in the open sea, 6 leagues to the southward of the
sound or channel between Fayal and Pico. The people whom we saved
informed us, that the cause of the carak refusing to yield was, that she
and all her goods belonged to the king, being all that had been
collected for him that year in India, and that the captain of her was
greatly in favour with the king, and expected to have been made viceroy
of India at his return. This great carak was by no means lumbered,
either within board or on deck, being more like a ship of war than a
merchant vessel; and, besides her own men and guns, she had the crew and
ordnance that belonged to another carak that was cast away at
Mozambique, and the crew of another that was lost a little way to the
east of the Cape of Good Hope. Yet, through sickness caught at Angola,
where they watered, it was said she had not now above 150 white men on
board, but a great many negroes. They likewise told us there were three
noblemen and three ladies on board; but we found them to disagree much
in their stories. The carak continued to burn all the rest of that day
and the succeeding night; but next morning, on the fire reaching her
powder, being 60 barrels, which was in the lowest part of her hold, she
blew up with a dreadful explosion, most of her materials floating about
on the sea. Some of the people said she was larger than the Madre de
Dios, and some that she was less. She was much undermasted and
undersailed, yet she went well through the water, considering that she
was very foul. The shot we made at her from the cannon of our ship,
before we laid her on board, might be seven broadsides of six or seven
shots each, one with another, or about 49 shots in all. We lay on board
her about two hours, during which we discharged at her about 20 sacre
shots. Thus much may suffice for our dangerous conflict with that
unfortunate carak.

On the 30th of June, after traversing the seas, we got sight of another
huge carak, which some of our company took at first for the great San
Philippo, the admiral of Spain; but on coming up with her next day, we
certainly perceived her to be a carak. After bestowing some shots upon
her, we summoned her to yield, but they stood stoutly on their defence,
and utterly refused to strike. Wherefore, as no good could be done
without boarding, I consulted as to what course we should follow for
that purpose; but as we, who were the chief captains, were partly slain
and the rest wounded in the former conflict, and because of the
murmuring of some disorderly and cowardly fellows, all our resolute
determinations were crossed: To conclude in a few words, the carak
escaped our hands. After this, we continued to cruize for some time
about Corvo and Flores, in hopes of falling in with some ships from the
West Indies; but, being disappointed in this expectation, and provisions
falling short, we returned for England, where I arrived at Portsmouth on
the 28th of August 1594.


_List of the Royal Navy of England of the demise of Queen

The following list of the royal navy of England, as left in good
condition by Queen Elizabeth at her death in 1603, was written by Sir
William Monson, a naval officer of that and the two following reigns,
"By which, he observes, she and her realm gained honour, by the exploits
and victories they and her subjects obtained." It would occupy too much
space to give a contrasted list of the royal navy in the present year,
1813; but which our readers can easily obtain from the monthly lists
published at London.

[Footnote 395: Church. Collect. III. 196.]

Men in Men at Of which
Names of Ships. Tonnage. Harbour. Sea. Mariners. Sailors. Guns.
Elizabeth-Jonas, 900 30 500 340[A] 120[A] 40
Triumph, 1000 30 500 340 120 40
White Bear, 900 30 500 340 120 40
Victory, 800 17 400 268 100 32
Ark Royal, 800 17 400 268 100 32
Mere Honour, 800 17 400 268 100 32
St Matthew, 1000 30 500 340 120 40
St Andrew, 900 17 400 268 100 32
Due Repulse, 700 16 350 230 90 30
Garland, 700 16 300 190 80 30
Warspite, 600 12 300 190 80 30
Mary-Rose, 600 12 250 150 70 30
Hope, 600 12 250 150 70 30
Bonaventure, 600 12 250 150 70 30
Lion, 500 12 250 150 70 30
Nonpareille, 500 12 250 150 70 30
Defiance, 500 12 250 150 70 30
Rainbow, 500 12 250 150 70 30
Dreadnought, 400 10 200 130 50 20
Antilope, 350 10 160 114 30 16
Swiftsure, 400 10 200 130 50 20
Swallow, 380 10 160 114 30 16
Foresight, 300 10 160 114 30 16
Tide, 250 7 120 88 20 12
Crane, 200 7 100 76 20 12
Adventure, 250 7 120 88 20 12
Quittance, 200 7 100 76 20 12
Answer, 200 7 100 76 20 12
Advantage, 200 7 100 70 20 12
Tiger, 200 7 100 70 20 12
Tremontain, 6 70 52 10 8
Scout, 120 6 66 48 10 8
Catis, 100 5 60 42 10 8
Charles, 70 5 45 32 7 6
Moon, 60 5 40 30 5 5
Advice, 50 5 40 30 5 5
Spy, 50 5 40 30 5 5
Merlin, 45 5 35 26 4 5
Sun, 40 5 30 24 2 4
Synnet[B] 20 2
George Hoy, 100 10
Penny-rose Hoy, 80 8

[Footnote A: The difference between mariners and sailors is not obvious:
Perhaps the former were what are now called ordinary, and the latter
able seamen. Besides, the numbers of both these united, do not make up
the whole compliment of men at sea: Perhaps the deficiency, being 40 in
the largest ships of this list, was made up by what were then called
_grummets:_ servants, ship-boys, or landsmen.--E.]

[Footnote B: This name ought probably to have been the Cygnet.]




_Voyage to Goa in 1579, in the Portuguese fleet, by Thomas


We now begin to draw towards India, the following being the first
voyage we know of, that was performed to that country by any Englishman.
Though Stevens was only a passenger in the ship of another nation, yet
the account he gave of the navigation was doubtless one of the motives
that induced his countrymen to visit India a few years afterwards in
their own bottoms. Indeed the chief and more immediate causes seem to
have been the rich caraks, taken in the cruizing voyages against the
Spaniards and Portuguese about this time, which both gave the English
some insight into the India trade, and inflamed their desire of
participating in so rich a commerce.

[Footnote 396: Hakluyt, II, 581. Astley, I. 191.]

The account of this voyage is contained in the following letter from
Thomas Stevens, to his father Thomas Stevens in London: In this letter,
preserved by Hakluyt, several very good remarks will be found respecting
the navigation to India, as practised in those days; yet no mention is
made in the letter, as to the profession of Stevens, or on what occasion
he went to India. By the letters of Newberry and Fitch[397], which will
be found in their proper place, written from Goa in 1584, it appears
that he was a priest or Jesuit, belonging to the college of St Paul at
that place; whence it may be concluded that the design of his voyage was
to propagate the Romish religion in India. In a marginal note to one of
these letters, Hakluyt intimates that _Padre_ Thomas Stevens was born in
Wiltshire, and was sometime of New College Oxford. He was very
serviceable to Newberry and Fitch, who acknowledge that they owed the
recovery of their liberty and goods, if not their lives, to him and
another _Padre_. This is also mentioned by Pyrard de la Val, who was
prisoner at Goa in 1608, at which time Stevens was rector of Morgan
College in the island of Salcet[398]."--_Astley._

[Footnote 397: In Hakluyts Collection, new edition, II. 376. et seq.]

[Footnote 398: Purchas his Pilgrims, II. 1670.]

* * * * *

After most humble commendations to you and my mother, and craving your
daily blessing, these are to certify you of my being alive, according to
your will and my duty. I wrote you that I had taken my journey from
Italy to Portugal, which letter I think came to your hands, in which
hope I have the less need to tell you the cause of my departing, which
in one word I may express, by naming _obedience_. I came to Lisbon
towards the end of March, eight days before the departure of the ships,
so late that, if they had not been detained about some important
affairs, they had been gone before our arrival; insomuch that others
were appointed to go in our stead, that the kings intention and ours
might not be frustrated. But on our sudden arrival, these others did not
go, and we went as originally intended.

The 4th of April, five ships departed for Goa, in which, besides
mariners and soldiers, there were a great number of children, who bear
the sea much better than men, as also do many women. I need not tell
you, as you may easily imagine the solemnity of setting out, with sound
of trumpets and discharges of cannon, as they go forth in a warlike
manner. The 10th of the same month we came in sight of Porto Sancto near
Madeira, where an English ship set upon ours, now entirely alone, and
fired several shots which did us no harm: But when our ship had run out
her largest ordnance, the English ship made away from us. This English
ship was large and handsome, and I was sorry to see her so ill
occupied, as she went roving about the seas, and we met her again at the
Canaries, where we arrived on the 13th of the same month of April, and
had good opportunity to wonder at the high peaked mountain in the island
of Teneriffe, as we beat about between that island and Grand Canary for
four days with contrary winds, and indeed had such evil weather till the
14th of May, that we despaired of being able to double the Cape of Good
Hope that year. Yet, taking our course between Guinea and the Cape de
Verd islands, without seeing any land at all, we arrived at the coast of
Guinea, as the Portuguese call that part of the western coast of Africa
in the torrid zone, from the lat. of 6 deg. N. to the equinoctial; in which
parts they suffer so much by extreme heats and want of wind, that they
think themselves happy when past it. Sometimes the ships stand quite
still and becalmed for many days, and sometimes they go on, but in such
a manner that they had almost as good stand still. The atmosphere on the
greatest part of this coast is never clear, but thick and cloudy, full
of thunder and lightening, and such unwholesome rain, that the water on
standing only a little while is full of animalculae, and by falling on
any meat that is hung out, fills it immediately with worms.

All along that coast, we oftentimes saw a thing swimming in the water
like a cocks comb but much fairer, which they call a _Guinea ship_[399].
It is borne up in the water by a substance almost like the swimming
bladder of a fish in size and colour, having many strings from it under
water, which prevent it from being overturned. It is so poisonous, that
one cannot touch it without much danger. On this coast, between the
sixth degree of north latitude and the equator, we spent no less than
thirty days either in calms or contrary winds. The 30th of May we
crossed the line with great difficulty, directing our course as well as
we could to pass the promontory[400], but in all that gulf of Guinea,
and all the rest of the way to the Cape, we found such frequent calms
that the most experienced mariners were much astonished. In places where
there always used to be horrible tempests, we found most invincible
calms, which were very troublesome to our ships, which being of the
greatest size cannot go without good winds; insomuch that when it is
almost an intolerable tempest for other ships, making them furl all
their sails, those large ships display their sails to the wind and sail
excellent well, unless the waves be too furious, which seldom happened
in our voyage. You must understand that, when once past the line, they
cannot go direct for the Cape the nearest way, but, according to the
wind, must hold on as near south as they can till in the latitude of the
Cape, which is 35 deg. 30' S. They then shape their course to the east, and
so get round the Cape. But the wind so served us at 33 degrees, that we
directed our course thence for the Cape.

[Footnote 399: Otherwise called, by the English sailors, a Portuguese

[Footnote 400: The Cape of Good Hope must be here meant.--E.]

You know that it is hard to sail from east to west, or the contrary,
because there is no fixed point in all the sky by which they can direct
their course, wherefore I shall tell you what help God hath provided to
direct them. There is not a fowl that appeareth, neither any sign in the
air or in the sea, that have not been written down by those who have
formerly made these voyages; so that partly by their own experience,
judging what space the ship was able to make with such and such a wind,
and partly by the experience of others recorded in the books of
navigations which they have, they guess whereabouts they may be in
regard to longitude, for they are always sure as to latitude. But the
greatest and best direction of all is, to mark the variation of the
needle or mariners compass; which, in the meridian of the island of St
Michael, one of the Azores in the same latitude with Lisbon, points due
north, and thence swerveth so much towards the east, that, between the
foresaid meridian and the extreme south point of Africa, it varieth
three or four of the thirty-two points. Again, having passed a little
beyond the cape called _das Agulias_, or of the Needles, it returneth
again towards the north; and when it hath attained that, it swerveth
again toward the west proportionally, as it did before eastwards.

In regard to the first mentioned signs from fowls: The nearer we came to
the coast of Africa, the more kinds and greater number of strange fowls
appeared; insomuch that, when we came within not less than thirty
leagues, almost 100 miles, and 600 miles as we thought from any other
land, as good as 3000 fowls of sundry kinds followed our ship; some of
them so great, that, when their wings were opened, they measured seven
spans from point to point of their wings, as the sailors said. It is a
marvellous thing to think how God hath so provided for these fowls in
so vast an expanse of sea, that they are all fat. The Portuguese have
named them all, according to some obvious property. Thus they call some
_rushtails_, because their tails are small and long like a rush, and not
proportionate to their bodies; some _fork-tails_, because their tails
are very broad and forked; others again _velvet-sleeves_, because their
wings are like velvet, and are always bent like a mans elbow. This bird
is always welcome, as it appears nearest the Cape. I should never have
an end, were I to tell you all particulars, but shall touch on a few
that may suffice, if you mark them well, to give cause for glorifying
God in his wonderful works, and in the variety of his creatures.

To say something of fishes: In all the places of calms, and especially
in the burning zone near the line, there continually waited on our ship
certain fishes, called _tuberones_[401] by the Portuguese, as long as a
man, which came to eat such things as might fall from the ship into the
sea, not even refusing men themselves if they could light upon any, and
if they find any meat hung over into the sea, they seize it. These have
waiting upon them continually six or seven, small fishes, having blue
and green bands round their bodies, like finely dressed serving men. Of
these two or three always swim before the shark, and some on every side,
[whence they are called _pilot fish_, by the English mariners.] They
have likewise other fishes [called _sucking fish_] which always cleave
to their bodies; and seem to feed on such superfluities as grow about
them, and they are said to enter into their bodies to purge them, when
needful. Formerly the mariners used to eat the sharks, but since they
have seen them devour men, their stomachs now abhor them; yet they draw
them up with great hooks, and kill as many of them as they can, thinking
thereby to take a great revenge. There is another kind of fish almost as
large as a herring, which hath wings and flieth, and are very numerous.
These have two enemies, one in the sea and the other in the air.

[Footnote 401: Evidently sharks, from the account of them.--E.]

That in the sea is the fish called _albicore_, as large as a salmon,
which follows with great swiftness to take them; on which this poor
fish, which cannot swim fast as it hath no fins, and only swims by the
motion of its tail, having its wings then shut along the sides of its
body, springeth out of the water and flieth, but not very high; on this
the albicore, though he have no wings, giveth a great leap out of the
water, and sometimes catcheth the flying fish, or else keepeth in the
water, going that way as fast as the other flieth. When the flying fish
is weary of the air, or thinketh himself out of danger, he returneth to
the water, where the albicore meeteth him; but sometimes his other
enemy, the sea-crow, catcheth him in the air before he falleth.

With these and the like sights, but always making our supplications to
God for good weather and the preservation of our ship, we came at length
to the south cape of Africa, the ever famous Cape of Good Hope, so much
desired yet feared of all men: But we there found no tempest, only
immense waves, where our pilot was guilty of an oversight; for, whereas
commonly all navigators do never come within sight of land, but,
contenting themselves with signs and finding the bottom, go their course
safe and sure, he, thinking to have the winds at will, shot nigh the
land; when the wind, changing into the south, with the assistance of the
mountainous waves, rolled us so near the land that we were in less than
14 fathoms, only six miles from _Capo das Agulias_, and there we looked
to be utterly lost. Under us were huge rocks, so sharp and cutting that
no anchor could possibly hold the ship, and the shore was so excessively
bad that nothing could take the land, which besides is full of _tigers_
and savage people, who put all strangers to death, so that we had no
hope or comfort, but only in God and a good conscience. Yet, after we
had lost our anchors, hoisting up our sails to try to get the ship upon
some safer part of the coast, it pleased God, when no man looked for
help, suddenly to fill our sails with a wind off the land, and so by
good providence we escaped, thanks be to God. The day following, being
in a place where they are always wont to fish, we also fell a fishing,
and caught so many, that they served the whole ships company all that
day and part of the next. One of our lines pulled up a coral of great
size and value; for it is said that in this place, which indeed we saw
by experience, that the corals grow on the rocks at the bottom of the
sea in the manner of stalks, becoming hard and red.

Our day of peril was the 29th of July. You must understand that, after
passing the Cape of Good Hope, there are two ways to India, one within
the island of Madagascar, or between that and Africa, called the Canal
of Mozambique, which the Portuguese prefer, as they refresh themselves
for a fortnight or a month at Mozambique, not without great need after
being so long at sea, and thence in another month get to Goa. The other
course is on the outside of the island of St Lawrence or Madagascar,
which they take when they set out too late, or come so late to the Cape
as not to have time to stop at Mozambique, and then they go on their
voyage in great heaviness, because in this way they have no port; and,
by reason of the long navigation, and the want of fresh provisions and
water, they fall into sundry diseases. Their gums become sore, and swell
in such a manner that they are fain to cut them away; their legs swell,
and all their bodies become sore, and so benumbed that they cannot move
hand nor foot, and so they die of weakness; while others fall into
fluxes and agues, of which they die. This was the way we were forced to
take; and, although we had above an hundred and fifty sick, there did
not die above seven or eight and twenty, which was esteemed a small loss
in comparison with other times. Though some of our fraternity were
diseased in this sort, thanks be to God I had good health the whole way,
contrary to the expectation of many: May God send me as good health on
the land, if it may be to his glory and service. This way is full of
hidden rocks and quicksands, so that sometimes we dared not sail by
night; but by the goodness of God we saw nothing all the way to hurt us,
neither did we ever find bottom till we came to the coast of India.

When we had again passed the line to the northward, and were come to the
third degree or somewhat more, we saw crabs swimming that were as red as
if they had been boiled; but this was no sign of land. About the
eleventh degree, and for many days, more than ten thousand fishes
continually followed, or were round about our ship, of which we caught
so many that we eat nothing else for fifteen days, and they served our
turn well; for at this time we had no meat remaining, and hardly any
thing else to eat, our voyage drawing nigh to seven months, which
commonly is performed in five, when they take the inner passage. These
fishes were no sign of land, but rather of deep sea. At length two birds
were caught of the hawk tribe, which gave our people great joy, thinking
they had been birds of India, but we found afterwards that they were
from Arabia; and when we thought we had been near India, we were in the
latitude of Socotoro, an island near the mouth of the Red Sea. Here God
sent us a strong wind from the N.E. or N.N.E. on which they bore away
unwillingly toward the east, and we ran thus for ten days without any
sign of land, by which they perceived their error. Hitherto they had
directed their course always N.E. desiring to increase their latitude;
but partly from the difference of the needle, and most of all because
the currents at that time carried us N.W. we had been drawn into this
other danger, had not God sent us this wind, which at length became more
favourable and restored us to our right course.

These currents are very dangerous, as they deceive most pilots, and some
are so little curious, contenting themselves with ordinary experience,
that they do not take the trouble of seeking for new expedients when
they swerve, neither by means of the compass nor by any other trial. The
first sign of approaching land was by seeing certain birds, which they
knew to be of India; the second was some sedges and boughs of
palm-trees; the third was snakes swimming at the surface of the water,
and a certain substance which they called _money_, as round and broad as
a groat-piece, and wonderfully printed or stamped by nature, as if it
had been coined money. These two last signs are so certain, that they
always see land next day, if the wind serve; which we did next day, when
all our water, for you know they have no beer in these parts, and
victuals began to fail us.

We came to Goa the 24th day of October, and were there received in a
most charitable manner. The natives are tawny, but not disfigured in
their lips and noses, like the Moors and Kafrs of Ethiopia. The lower
ranks go for the most part naked, having only a clout or apron before
them of a span long and as much in breadth, with a lace two fingers
breadth, girded about with a string, and nothing more; and thus they
think themselves as well dressed as we, with all our finery. I cannot
now speak of their trees and fruits, or should write another letter as
long as this; neither have I yet seen any tree resembling any of those I
have seen in Europe, except the vine, which here grows to little
purpose, as all their wines are brought from Portugal. The drink used in
this country is water, or wine made from the coco palm-tree. Thus much
must suffice for the present; but if God send me health, I shall have
opportunity to write you once again; but the length of this letter
compelleth me now to take my leave, with my best prayers for your most
prosperous health. From Goa, the 10th November 1579.--Your loving Son,



_Journey to India over-land, by Ralph Fitch, Merchant of London, and
others, in 1583_[402].


We learn from the following journal, that the present expedition was
undertaken at the instigation, and chiefly at the expence of Sir Edward
Osborne, Knight, and Mr Richard Staper, citizens and merchants of
London. Besides Fitch, the author of the narrative, Mr John Newbery,
merchant, William Leedes jeweller, and James Story painter, were engaged
in the expedition. The chief conduct of this commercial enterprize
appears to have been confided to John Newbery; and its object appears to
have been, to extend the trade, which the English merchants seem to have
only recently established through Syria, by Aleppo, Bagdat and Basora,
to Ormus and perhaps to Goa, in imitation of the Italians, so as to
procure the commodities of India as nearly as possible at first hand. In
the prospect of being able to penetrate into India, and even into China,
Newbery was furnished with letters of credence or recommendation, from
Queen Elizabeth to Zelabdim Echebar, stiled king of Cambaia, who
certainly appears to have been Akbar Shah, emperor of the Mogul
conquerors of Hindostan, who reigned from 1556 to 1605; and to the
emperor of China. The promoters of this enterprise, seem to have been
actuated by a more than ordinary spirit of research for those times, by
employing a painter to accompany their commercial agents. It is farther
presumable that the promoters of the expedition, and their agents,
Newbery and Fitch, were members of the Turkey company; and though the
speculation turned out unsuccessful, owing to causes sufficiently
explained in the narrative and its accompanying documents, it is
obviously a prelude to the establishment of the English East India
Company; which, from small beginnings, has risen to a colossal height of
commercial and sovereign grandeur, altogether unexampled in all history.

[Footnote 402: Hakluyt, II. 382.]

Hakluyt gives the following descriptive title of this uncommonly curious
and interesting narrative: "The voyage of Mr Ralph Fitch, merchant of
London, by the way of Tripolis in Syria to Ormus, and so to Goa in the
East India, to Cambaia, and all the kingdom, of Zelabdim Echebar the
great Mogor, to the mighty river Ganges, and down to Bengala, to Bacola
and Chonderi, to Pegu, to Imahay in the kingdom of Siam, and back to
Pegu, and from thence to Malacca, Zeilan, Cochin, and all the coast of
the East India; begun in the year of our Lord 1583, and ended in 1591:
wherein the strange rites, manners, and customs of those people, and the
exceeding rich trade and commodities of those countries, are faithfully
set down and diligently described, by the foresaid Mr Ralph Fitch."

Hakluyt has prefaced this journal, by several letters respecting the
journey, from Mr Newbery, and one from Mr Fitch, and gives by way of
appendix an extract from Linschoten, detailing the imprisonment of the
adventurers at Ormus and Goa, and their escape, which happened while he
was at Goa, where he seems to have materially contributed to their
enlargement from prison. These documents will be found in the sequel to
the narrative of Mr Fitch.

It must not however be concealed, that the present journal has a very
questionable appearance in regard to its entire authenticity, as it has
obviously borrowed liberally from that of Cesar Frederick, already
inserted in this work, Vol. VII. p. 142-244. It seems therefore highly
probable, that the journal or narrative of Fitch may have fallen into
the hand of some ingenious _book-maker_, who wished to increase its
interest by this unjustifiable art. Under these circumstances, we would
have been led to reject this article from our collection, were not its
general authenticity corroborated by these other documents, and by the
journal of John Eldred, who accompanied Newbery and Fitch to Basora. A
part of the striking coincidence between the journals of Cesar Frederick
and Ralph Fitch might have arisen from their having visited the same
places, and nearly by the same route, only at the distance of 20 years;
Frederick having commenced his journey in 1563, and Newbery and Fitch
theirs in 1588. Some of the resemblances however could only have been
occasioned by plagiarism.

It is very difficult to conceive how Fitch, after his imprisonment at
Goa, and escape from thence under surety to the Portuguese viceroy,
should have ventured in the sequel to visit the Portuguese settlements
in Ceylon, Cochin, Calicut, Goa even, Chaul, and Ormuz, on his way home
again by Basora, Bagdat, Mosul, &c. to Aleppo and Tripoli. These parts
of his journal, and his excursions to the north of Pegu, certainly have
a suspicious appearance. It is possible that he may have described these
several routes, historically, in his own journal; and that some
book-maker, into whose hands his papers may have fallen, chose to give
these a more interesting appearance, by making Fitch the actor in what
he only described on the authority of others. It is strange that these
circumstances should not have occurred to Hakluyt, as the narrative of
Fitch is inserted in his collection immediately following that of Cesar
Frederick. Yet with these obvious faults, the relation of Fitch is
interesting, as the first direct attempt of the English to open a trade
with India; and so far at least, its authenticity is unquestionable,
being corroborated by other documents that are not liable to the
smallest suspicion.--E.

* * * * *

In the year 1583, I Ralph Fitch of London, merchant, being desirous to
see the countries of the Eastern India, went in company with Mr John
Newbery, merchant, who had been once before at Ormus, together with
William Leedes, jeweller, and James Story, painter; being chiefly set
forth by the right worshipful Sir Edward Osburn, knight, and Mr Richard
Staper, citizens and merchants of London. We shipped ourselves in a ship
called the Tiger of London, in which we went to Tripoly in Syria, whence
we went with the caravan to Aleppo in seven days. Finding good company
at Aleppo, we went from thence to Birra [Bir,] which is two days and a
half journey with camels.

Bir is a small town, but abounding in provisions, near which runs the
river Euphrates. We here purchased a boat, and agreed with a master and
boatmen to carry us to Babylon [Bagdat]. These boats serve only for one
voyage, as the stream is so rapid that they cannot return. They carry
passengers to a town called Felugia [Feluchia], where the boat has to be
sold for very little money, what cost fifty pieces at Bir bringing only
seven or eight at that place. From Bir to Feluchia is a journey of
sixteen days; but it is not good for one boat to go alone, as if it
should chance to break, it would be difficult to save the goods from the
Arabs, who are always robbing thereabouts, and it is necessary to keep
good watch in the night, when the boat is made fast, as the Arabs are
great thieves, and will swim on board to steal your goods, and then flee
away. Against them a musket is a good weapon, as they are much afraid of
fire-arms. Between Bir and Feluchia, there are certain places on the
Euphrates where you have to pay custom, being so many _medins_ for a
_some_ or camels load, together with certain quantities of raisins and
soap, which are for the sons of _Aborise_, who is lord of the Arabs and
of that great desert, and hath some villages on the river. Feluchia,
where the goods coming from Bir are unladed, is a small village, from
whence you go to Bagdat in one day.

Babylon, or Bagdat, is not a very large town, but is very populous, and
much frequented by strangers, being the centre of intercourse between
Persia, Turkey, and Arabia, caravans going frequently from it to these
and other countries. It is well supplied with provisions, which are
brought from Armenia down the river Tigris, upon rafts made of goat skin
bags blown full of wind, over which boards are laid, on which the goods
are loaded. When these are discharged, the skin bags are opened and
emptied of air, and are then carried back to Armenia on camels to serve
again. Bagdat belonged formerly to Persia, but is now subject to the
Turks. Over against Bagdat, on the other side of the Tigris, is a very
fair village, to which there is a passage across from Bagdat by a long
bridge of boats, connected by a vast iron chain made fast at each side
of the river. When any boats have to pass up or down the river, a
passage is made for them by removing some of the boats of this bridge.

The Tower of Babel is on this side of the Tigris towards Arabia, about
seven or eight miles from Bagdat, being now ruined on all sides, and
with the ruins thereof hath made a little mountain, so that no shape or
form of a tower remains. It was built of bricks dried in the sun, having
canes and leaves of the palm-tree laid between the courses of bricks. It
stands in a great plain between the Tigris and Euphrates, and no
entrance can be any where seen for going into it.

Near the river Euphrates, two days journey from Bagdat, in a field near
a place called _Ait_, there is a hole in the ground which continually
throws out boiling pitch accompanied by a filthy smoke, the pitch
flowing into a great field which is always full of it. The _Moors_ call
this opening the mouth of hell; and on account of the great abundance
of the pitch, the people of the country daub all their boats two or
three inches thick with it on the outside, so that no water can enter
them. These boats are called _danec_. When there is plenty of water in
the Tigris, the boats may go down from Bagdat to Basora in eight or nine
days; but when the water is low it requires a longer time.

In times past, Basora belonged to the Arabs, but is now subject to the
Turks. Yet there are some Arabs that the Turks cannot subdue, as they
occupy certain islands in the great river Euphrates, which the Turks
have never been able to conquer. These Arabs are all thieves, and have
no settled dwelling, but remove from place to place with their camels,
horses, goats, wives, children, and household goods. They wear large
blue gowns; their wives having their ears and noses full of copper and
silver rings, and wear copper rings on their legs. Basora is near the
head of the gulf of Persia, and drives a great trade in spiceries and
drugs, which come from Ormus. The country round produces abundance of
white rice and dates, with which they supply Bagdat and all the country,
sending likewise to Ormus and India. I went from Basora to Ormus, down
the gulf of Persia, in a ship made of boards sewed together with
_cayro_, which is a thread made of the husks of coco-nuts, and having
certain canes, or leaves, or straw, sewed upon the seams between the
boards, so that these vessels leak very much. Having Persia on our left
hand, and Arabia on our right, we passed many islands, and among others
the famous isle of Baharin, or Bahrain, from which come the best and
roundest orient pearls.

Ormus is an island about 25 or 30 miles in circuit, which is perhaps the
most arid and barren island in the world, as it produces nothing but
salt, all its water, wood, provisions, and every other necessary, coming
from Persia, which is about 12 miles distant; but all the other islands
thereabout are very fertile, and from them provisions are sent to Ormus.
The Portuguese have here a castle near the sea, with a captain and a
competent garrison, part of which dwell in the castle and part In the
town; in which likewise dwell merchants from all nations, together with
many Moors and Gentiles. This place has a great trade in spices, drugs,
silk, cloth of silk, fine tapestry of Persia, great store of pearls from
Bahrain, which are the best of all pearls, and many horses from Persia
which supply all India. Their king is a Moor, or Mahomedan, who is
chosen by the Portuguese, and is entirely under subjection to them.
Their women are very strangely attired, wearing many rings set with
jewels on their ears, noses, necks, arms, and legs, and locks of gold
and silver in their ears, and a long bar of gold upon the sides of their
noses. The holes in their ears are worn so wide with the weight of their
jewels, that one may thrust three fingers into them.

Very shortly after our arrival at Ormus we were put into prison, by
order of Don Mathias de Albuquerque, the governor of the castle, and had
part of our goods taken from us; and on the 11th October, he shipped us
from thence, sending us to the viceroy at Goa, who at that time was Don
Francisco de Mascarenhas. The ship in which we were embarked belonged to
the captain, who carried in it 124 horses for sale. All goods carried to
Goa in a ship wherein there are horses pay no duties; but if there are
no horses, you then pay eight in the hundred for your goods. The first
city of India at which we arrived on the 5th November, after passing the
coast of _Zindi_, [Sindi] was named Diu, which stands in an island on
the coast of the kingdom of Cambaia, or Gujrat, and is the strongest
town belonging to the Portuguese in those parts. It is but small, yet
abounds in merchandise, as they here load many ships with different
kinds of goods for the straits of Mecca or the Red Sea, Ormus, and other
places; these ships belong both to Christians and Moors, but the latter
are not permitted to pass unless they have a Portuguese licence.
Cambaietta, or Cambay, is the chief city of that province, being great
and populous and well built for a city of the gentiles. When there
happens a famine the natives sell their children for a low price. The
last king of Cambaia was sultan Badur, who was slain at the siege of
Diu, and shortly after the capital city was reduced by the great
_Mogor_, [Mogul] who is king of Agra and Delhi, forty days journey from
thence. Here the women wear upon their arms, a vast number of ivory
rings, in which they take so much pride that they would rather go
without their meat than want their bracelets.

Going from Diu, we came to _Damaun_, the second town of the Portuguese
in the country of Cambaia, forty leagues from Diu. This place, which has
no trade but in corn and rice, has many villages under its jurisdiction,
which the Portuguese possess quietly during peace, but in time of war
they are all occupied by the enemy. From Damaun we passed to _Basaim_,
[Baseen] and from thence to _Tanna_ in the island of Salsette, at both
which places the only trade is in rice and corn. The 10th November we
arrived at _Chaul_ on the firm land, at which place there are two towns,
one belonging to the Portuguese and the other to the Moors. That of the
Portuguese is nearest the sea, commanding the bay, and is walled round;
and a little above it is the Moors town, subject to a king called
_Xa-Maluco_. At this place is a great trade for all Kinds of spices,
drugs, silk, raw and manufactured, sandal-wood, elephants teeth, much
China work, and a great deal of sugar made from the nut called _gagara_,
[coco]. The tree on which it grows is called the _palmer_, and is the
most profitable tree in the world. It always bears fruit, and yields
wine, oil, sugar, vinegar, cordage, coals, or fuel; of the leaves are
made thatch for houses, sails for ships, and mats to sit or lie on; of
the branches are made houses, and brooms wherewith they sweep them; of
the wood ships. The wine issues from the top of the tree, and is
procured thus: They cut a branch, binding it hard, and hang an earthen
pot under the cut end, which they empty every evening and morning; and
still[403] the juice, putting raisins into it, by which it becometh
strong wine in a short time. Many ships come here from all parts of
India, and from Ormus and Mecca, so that there are many Moors and
Gentiles at this place. The natives have a strange superstition,
worshipping a cow, and having cows dung in great veneration, insomuch
that they paint or daub the walls of their houses with it. They kill no
animal whatever, not so much as a louse, holding it a crime to take away
life. They eat no flesh, living entirely on roots, rice, and milk. When
a man dies, his living wife is burnt along with his body, if she be
alive; and if she will not, her head is shaven, and she is ever after
held in low esteem. They consider it a great sin to bury dead bodies, as
they would engender many worms and other vermin, and when the bodies
were consumed these worms would lack sustenance; wherefore they burn
their dead. In all Guzerat they kill nothing; and in the town of Cambay
they have hospitals for lame dogs and cats, and for birds, and they even
provide food for the ants.

[Footnote 403: I am apt to suspect the word _still_ here used, is only
meant to imply fermentation, not distillation--E.]

Goa is the chief city of the Portuguese in India, in which their viceroy
resides and holds his court. It stands in an island about 25 or 30 miles
in circumference, being a fine city and very handsome for an Indian
town. The island is fertile and full of gardens and orchards, with many
palmer trees, and several villages. Here are many merchants of all
nations. The fleet which sails every year from Portugal, consisting of
four, five, or six great ships, comes first here, arriving mostly in
September, and remaining there forty or fifty days. It then goes to
Cochin, where the ships take in pepper for Portugal. Often one ship
loads entirely at Goa, and the rest go to Cochin, which is 100 leagues
to the south. Goa stands in the country of Adel Khan, which is six or
seven days journey inland, the chief city being Bisapor. [Bejapoor.]

On our arrival in Goa we were thrown into prison, and examined before
the justice, who demanded us to produce letters, [of licence?] and
charged us with being spies; but they could prove nothing against us. We
continued in prison till the 22d December, when we were set at liberty,
putting in surety for 2000 ducats not to depart from the town. Our
surety was one Andreas Taborer, who was procured for us by father
Stevens, an English Jesuit whom we found there, and another religious
man, a friend of his. We paid 2150 ducats into the hands of Andreas
Taborer, our surety, who still demanded more; on which we petitioned the
viceroy and justice to order us our money again, seeing they had it near
five months, and could prove nothing against us. But the viceroy gave us
a sharp answer, saying, we should be better sifted ere long, and that
they had other matter against us. Upon this we determined to attempt
recovering our liberty, rather than run the risk of remaining as slaves
for ever in the country, and besides it was said we were to have the
_strapado_. Wherefore, on the 5th of April 1585 in the morning, we
removed secretly from Goa; and getting across the river, we travelled
two days on foot in great fear, not knowing the way, as having no guide,
and not daring to trust any one.

One of the first towns we came to is called _Bellergan?_ where there is
a great market of diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and many other precious
stones. From thence we went to _Bejapoor_, a very large city, where the
king keeps his court, in which there are many Gentiles, who are gross
idolaters, having their idols standing in the woods, which they call
pagodas. Some of these are like a cow, some like a monkey, some like a
buffalo, others resemble a peacock, and others like the devil. In this
country are many elephants, which they employ in their wars. They have
great abundance of gold and silver, and their houses are lofty and well
built. From thence we went to _Galconda_, the king of which is called
_Cutub de lashach_. In this country, in the kingdom of Adel Khan, and in
the Decan, those diamonds are found which are called of the _old water_.
Golconda is a pleasant fair town, having good and handsome houses of
brick and timber, and it abounds with excellent fruits and good water.
It is here very hot, and both men and women go about with only a cloth
bound about their middles, without any other clothing. The winter begins
here about the last of May.

About eight days journey from thence is a sea port called Masulipatan,
toward the gulf of Bengal, to which many ships come out of India, Pegu,
and Sumatra, richly laden with spiceries, pepper, and other commodities.
The country is very fruitful. From thence I went to _Servidone?_ which
is a fine country, its king being called the _king of bread_. The houses
here are all built of loam and thatched. The country contains many Moors
and Gentiles, but there is not much religion among them. From thence I
went to _Bellapore_, and so to _Barrampore_, which is in the country of
_Zelabdim Echebar_ the great _Mogor_. In this place their money is of
silver, round and thick, to the value of twenty-pence. It is a great and
populous country; and in their winter, which is in June, July, and
August, there is no passing the streets except on horseback, the waters
are so high. In this country they make great quantities of cotton cloth,
both white and painted, and the land produces great abundance of corn
and rice. In the towns and villages through which we passed, we found
many marriages celebrated between boys of eight or ten years old, and
girls of five or six. These youthful couples did ride both on one horse,
very bravely dressed, and were carried about the streets with great
piping and playing, after which they returned home and banqueted on rice
and fruits, dancing most of the night, and so ended the marriage, which
is not consumated till the bride be ten years old. We were told they
married their children thus young, because when a man dies his wife is
burnt along with him; and by this device they secure a father-in-law, in
case of the fathers death, to assist in bringing up the children that
are thus early married, thus taking care not to leave their sons without
wives, or their daughters without husbands.

From thence we went to _Mandoway?_ a very strong town, which was
besieged for twelve years by Echebar before he could reduce it. It
stands on a very great high rock, as do most of their castles, and is of
very great circuit. From thence we went to _Vgini?_ and _Serringe?_
where we overtook the ambassador of Zelabdim Echebar, attended by a
prodigious retinue of men, elephants, and camels. In this district there
is a great trade carried on in cotton, and cloths made of cotton, and
great store of drugs. From thence we went to Agra, passing many rivers
which were much swollen by the rains, so that in crossing them we had
often to swim for our lives[404].

[Footnote 404: In this route from Masulipatan to Agra, there are several
places of which the names are so disfigured as to be unintelligible.
Barrampore and Mandoway, are probably Burhampore and Candwah in the
northern part of Candeish; Vgini and Serringe, may he Ougein and Seronge
in Malwa.--E.]

Agra is a very great and populous city built of stone, having large and
handsome streets, upon a fine river which falls into the gulf of Bengal,
and has a strong and handsome castle with a broad and deep ditch. It is
inhabited by many Moors and Gentiles, the king being Zelabdim Echebar,
called for the most part the great _Mogor_. From thence we went to
_Fatepore_, where the king ordinarily resides and holds his court, which
is called _Derican_. This town is larger than Agra, but the streets and
houses are by no means so good, but it is inhabited by a vast multitude
of people, both Moors and Gentiles. In Agra and Fatepoor, the king is
said to have 1000 elephants, 30,000 horses, 1400 tame deer, 800
concubines, and such numbers of ounces, tigers, buffaloes, game-cocks,
and hawks as is quite incredible. Agra and Fatepoor are two great
cities, either of them larger than London, and very populous, at the
distance of 12 miles from each other[405]. The whole road between these
places is one continued market of provisions and other articles, and is
constantly as full of people as a street or market in a great and
populous town. These people have many fine carts, many of which are
richly carved and gilt, having two wheels, and are drawn by two little
bulls, not much larger than our biggest English dogs, which run with
these carts as fast as any horse, carrying two or three men in each
cart: They are covered with silk or fine cloth, and are used like our
coaches in England. There is a great resort of merchants to this place
from Persia and all parts of India, and vast quantities of merchandise,
such as silks, cloths, and precious stones, diamonds, rubies, and
pearls. The king is dressed in a white _cabie_ made like a shirt, and
tied with strings on one side, having a small cloth on his head, often
coloured red and yellow. None enter into his apartments, except the
eunuchs who have charge of his women.

[Footnote 405: Futtipoor, certainly here meant, is now a place of small
importance about 20 miles west from Agra.--E.]

We remained in Fatepore till the 28th of September 1585, when Mr John
Newbery took his journey towards Lahore, intending to go from thence
through Persia to Aleppo or Constantinople, whichever he could get the
readiest passage to; and he directed me to proceed to Bengal and Pegu,
promising me, if it pleased God, to meet me at Bengal within two years
with a ship from England[406]. I left William Leades the jeweller at
Fatepore, in the service of the king Zelabdim Achebar, who gave him good
entertainment, giving a house and five slaves, with a horse, and six
S.S. in money daily. I went from Agra to _Satagam_ in Bengal, in company
with 180 boats loaded with _salt_, opium, _hinge_, lead, carpets, and
various other commodities, down the river _Jemena_, [Jumna]; the chief
merchants being Moors.

[Footnote 406: In Purchas his Pilgrims, I. 110, is the following notice
respecting Mr Newberry: "Before that," meaning his journey along with
Fitch, "he had travelled to Ormus in 1580, and thence into the
Continent, as may appear in fitter place by his journal, which I have,
passing through the countries of Persia, Media, Armenia, Georgia, and
Natolia, to Constantinople; and thence to the Danube, through Walachia,
Poland, Prussia, and Denmark, and thence to England."]

In this country they have many strange ceremonies. The bramins, who are
their priests, come to the water having a string about their necks, and
with many ceremonies lave the water with both their hands, turning the
string with both their hands in several manners; and though it be never
so cold, they wash themselves regularly at all times. These gentiles eat
no flesh, neither do they kill any thing, but live on rice, butter,
milk, and fruits. They pray in the water naked; and both dress and eat
their food naked. For penance, they lie flat on the earth, then rise up
and turn themselves round 30 or 40 times, lifting their hands to the
sun, and kiss the earth with their arms and legs stretched out; every
time they lie down making a score on the ground with their fingers, that
they may know when the prescribed number of prostrations is finished.
Every morning the Bramins mark their foreheads, ears, and throats, with
a kind of yellow paint or earth; having some old men among them, who go
about with a box of yellow powder, marking them on the head and neck as
they meet them. Their women come in troops of 10, 20, and 30 together to
the water side singing, where they wash themselves and go through their
ceremonies, and then mark themselves, and so depart singing. Their
daughters are married at ten years of age, and the men may have seven
wives each. They are a crafty people, worse than the Jews. When they
salute one another, they say, _Rame_, _rame_.

From Agra I came to _Prage_[407], where the river Jumna enters into the
mighty Ganges, and there loses its name. The Ganges comes out of the
north-west, and runs east to discharge its waters into the gulf of
Bengal. In these parts there are many tigers, and vast quantities of
partridges and turtle-doves, besides many other kinds of birds. There
are multitudes of beggars in these countries, called _Schesche_, which
go entirely naked. I here saw one who was a monster among the rest. He
had no clothes whatever, his beard being very long, and the hair of his
head was so long and plentiful, that it covered his nakedness. The nails
on some of his fingers were two inches long, as he would cut nothing
from him; and besides he never spake, being constantly accompanied by
eight or ten others, who spoke for him. If any one spoke to him, he laid
his hand on his breast and bowed, but without speaking, for he would not
have spoken to the king.

[Footnote 407: At the angle of junction between the rivers Jumna and
Ganges, the city of Allahabad is now situated.--E.]

We went from _Prage_ down the Ganges, which is here very broad, and
abounds in various wild-fowl, as swans, geese, cranes, and many others,
the country on both sides being very fertile and populous. For the most
part the men have their faces shaven, but wear the hair of their heads
very long; though some have their crowns shaved, and others have all
their heads shaven except the crown. The water of the river Ganges is
very sweet and pleasant, having many islands, and the adjoining country
is very fertile. We stopt at _Bannaras_, [Benares], a large town in
which great quantities of cotton-cloths are made, and sashes for the
moors. In this place all the inhabitants are gentiles, and the grossest
idolaters I ever saw. To this town the gentiles come on pilgrimages out
of far distant countries. Along the side of the river there are many
fair houses, in all or most of which they have ill favoured images made
of stone or wood; some like lions, leopards, or monkeys; some like men
and women; others like peacocks; and others like the devil, having four
arms and four hands. These all sit cross-legged, some with one thing in
their hands, and others with other things; and by break of day or
before, numbers of men and women come out of the town to these places,
and wash in the Ganges. On mounds of earth made for the purpose, there
are divers old men who sit praying, and who give the people three or
four straws, which they hold between their fingers when they bathe in
the Ganges; and some sit to mark them in the forehead: And the devotees
have each a cloth with a small quantity of rice, barley, or money, which
they give to these old men when they have washed. They then go to one or
other of the idols, where they present their sacrifices. When they have
finished their washings oblations and charities, the old men say certain
prayers by which they are all sanctified.

In divers places there stand a kind of images, called _Ada_ in their
language, having four hands with claws; and they have sundry carved
stones on which they pour water, and lay thereon some rice, wheat,
barley and other things. Likewise they have a great place built of
stone, like a well, with steps to go down, in which the water is very
foul and stinking, through the great quantity of flowers which are
continually thrown into the water: Yet there are always many people in
that water, for they say that it purifies them from their sins, because,
as they allege, God washed himself in that place. They even gather up
the sand or mud from the bottom, which they esteem holy. They never pray
but in the water, in which they wash themselves over head, laving up the
water in both hands, and turning themselves about, they drink a little
of the water three times, and then go to the idols which stand in the
houses already mentioned. Some take of the water, with which they wash a
place of their own length, and then lie down stretched out, rising and
lying down, and kissing the ground twenty or thirty times, yet keeping
their right foot all the time in the same place. Some make their
ceremonies with fifteen or sixteen pots, little and great, ringing a
little bell when they make their mixtures, ten or twelve times. They
make a circle of water round about their pots and pray, divers sitting
by them, and one in particular who reaches the pots to them; and they
say certain words many times over the pots, and when they have done,
they go to their idols, before which they strew their sacrifices, which
they think very holy, and mark many of those who sit by in the
foreheads, which they esteem highly. There sometimes come fifty or even
an hundred together, to wash at this well, and to sacrifice to these

In some of these idol houses, there are people who stand by them in warm
weather, fanning them as if to cool them; and when they see any company
coming, they ring a little bell which hangs beside them, when many give
them alms, particularly those who come out of the country. Many of these
idols are black and have brazen claws very long, and some ride upon
peacocks, or on very ill-favoured fowls, having long hawks bills, some
like one thing and some like another, but none have good faces. Among
the rest, there is one held in great veneration, as they allege be gives
them all things, both food and raiment, and one always sits beside this
idol with a fan, as if to cool him. Here some are burned to ashes, and
some only scorched in the fire and thrown into the river, where the dogs
and foxes come presently and eat them. Here the wives are burned along
with the bodies of their deceased husbands, and if they will not, their
heads are shaven and they are not afterwards esteemed.

The people go all naked, except a small cloth about their middles. The
women have their necks, arms, and ears decorated with rings of silver,
copper, and tin, and with round hoops of ivory, adorned with amber
stones and many agates, and have their foreheads marked with a great red
spot, whence a stroke of red goes up the crown, and one to each side. In
their winter, which is in May, the men wear quilted gowns of cotton,
like to our counterpanes, and quilted caps like our grocers large
mortars, with a slit to look out at, tied beneath their ears. When a man
or woman is sick and like to die, they are laid all night before the
idols, either to help their sickness or make an end of them. If they do
not mend that night, the friends come and sit up with them, and cry for
some time, after which they take them to the side of the river, laying
them on a raft of reeds, and so let them float down the river.

When they are married the man and woman come to the water side, where
there is an old bramin or priest, a cow and calf, or a cow with calf.
Then the man and woman, together with the cow and calf, go into the
river, giving the old bramin a piece of cloth four yards long, and a
basket cross bound, in which are sundry things. The bramin lays the
cloth on the back of the cow, after which he takes hold of the end of
the cows tail, and says certain words. The woman has a brass or copper
pot full of water; the man takes hold of the bramin with one hand, and
the woman with the other, all having hold of the cow by the tail, on
which they pour water from the pot, so that it runs on all their hands.
They then lave up water with their hands, and the bramin ties the man
and woman together by their clothes[408]. When this is done, they go
round about the cow and calf, and then give some alms to the poor, who
are always present, and to the bramin or priest they give the cow and
calf, after which they go to several of the idols, where they offer
money, lying down flat on the ground before the idol, and kissing the
earth several times, after which they go away. Their chief idols are
black and very ugly, with monstrous mouths, having their ears gilded and
full of jewels, their teeth and eyes of gold, silver, or glass, and
carrying sundry things in their hands. You may not enter into the houses
where they stand with your shoes on. In these houses there are lamps
continually burning before the idols.

[Footnote 408: This tying of new married folks together by the clothes,
was used by the Mexicans in old times.--_Hakluyt_.]

From Benares I went down the Ganges to _Patenaw_, [Patna] passing many
fair towns and a very fertile country, in which way many great rivers
enter the Ganges, some as large as itself, by which it becomes so broad
that in time of the rains you cannot see across. The scorched bodies
which are thrown into the water swim on the surface, the men with their
faces down, and the women with theirs up. I thought they had tied some
weight to their bodies for this purpose, but was told no such thing was
done. There are many thieves in this country, who roam up and down like
the Arabs, having no fixed abode. Here the women are so decked with
silver and copper that it is strange to see them, and they wear so many
rings on their toes that they cannot use shoes. Here at Patna they find
gold in this manner: They dig deep pits in the earth, and wash the earth
in large holes, and in these they find gold, building the pits round
about with bricks, to prevent the earth from falling in.

Patna is a long and large town, being formerly a separate kingdom, but
is now under subjection to the great Mogor. The men are tall and
slender, and have many old people among them. The houses are very
simple, being made of earth and covered with straw, and the streets are
very large. There is here a great trade in cotton and cotton cloth,
likewise great quantities of sugar, which is carried to Bengal and
India, much opium, and other commodities. He that is chief here under
the king is called _Tipperdas_, and is held in much estimation by the
people. Here in Patna I saw a dissembling prophet, who sat on a horse in
the market-place, making as if he were asleep, and many of the people
came and touched his feet with their hands, which they then kissed. They
took him for a great man, but in my opinion he was only a lazy lubber,
whom I left sleeping there. The people of these countries are much given
to these dissembling hypocrites.

From Patna I went to _Tanda_ in the land of _Gouren_[409], which is in
the country of Bengal. This is a place of great trade in cotton and
cotton cloth, formerly a kingdom, but now subject to the great Mogor.
The people are great idolaters, going naked with only a cloth about
their middles, and the country hath many tigers, wild buffaloes, and
wild fowl. _Tanda_ is about a league from the river Ganges, as in times
past the river flowed over its banks in the rainy season, and drowned a
considerable extent of country with many villages, and so it yet
remains, and the old bed of the river still remains dry, by which means
the city now stands at a distance from the water. From Agra I was five
months coming down the Jumna and the Ganges to Bengal, but it may be
sailed in much shorter time.

[Footnote 409: In our modern maps Tanda and the country or district of
Gouren are not to be found; but the ruins of _Gour_, which may have some
reference to Gouren, are laid down in lat. 24 deg. 52' N. long. 88 deg. 5' E.
about seven miles from the main stream of the great Ganges, and ten
miles south from the town of Maida.--E.]

I went from Bengal into the country of _Couche_[410], which is 25 days
journey north from Tanda. The king is a Gentile, named _Suckel Counse_.
His country is very extensive, and reaches to within no great distance
of Cauchin China, whence they are said to procure pepper. The port is
called _Cacchegate_. All the country is set with bamboos or canes made
sharp at both ends, and driven into the earth, and they can let in the
water and drown the country above knee-deep, so that neither men nor
horses can pass; and in case of any wars, they poison all the waters.
The people are all Gentiles, who kill nothing, having their ears
marvellously great and a span long, which they draw out by various
devices when young. They have much silk and musk, and cloth made of
cotton. They have hospitals for sheep, goats, dogs, cats, birds, and all
kinds of living creatures, which they keep when old and lame until they
die. If a man bring any living creature into this country, they will
give money for it or other victuals, and either let it go at large or
keep it in their hospitals. They even give food to the ants. Their small
money is almonds[411], which they often eat.

[Footnote 410: This seemeth to be Quicheu, accounted by some among the
provinces of China.--_Hakluyt_.

The name of this country is so excessively corrupt, and the description
of the route so vague, that nothing can be made out of the text at this
place with any certainty. It is merely possible that he may have gone
into Bootan, which is to the north of Bengal.--E.]

[Footnote 411: In Mexico they likewise use the cacao fruit, or chocolate
nut, for small money, which are not unlike almonds.--_Hakluyt_.]

From thence I returned to _Hugeli_, [Hoogly in Bengal] which is the
place where the Portuguese have their residence in Bengal, being in lat.
23 deg. N[412]. About a league from it is _Satagan_[413], called by the
Portuguese _Porto Piqueno_, or the little port. We went through the
wilderness, because the right way was infested by robbers. In passing
through the country of Gouren we found few villages, being almost all
wilderness, in which were many buffaloes, wild swine, and deer, with
many tigers, the grass being everywhere as tall as a man. Not far from
Porto Piqueno, to the south-westwards, and in the country of _Orixa_, is
a sea-port called _Angeli_[414]. It was formerly a separate kingdom, the
king being a great friend to strangers; but was afterwards taken by the
king of Patna, who did not enjoy it long, being himself conquered by the
king of Delhi, Agra, and Cambaia, Zelabdim Echebar. Orissa is six days
journey south-westwards from _Satagan_. In this place there is much,
rice, and cloth made of cotton; likewise great store of cloth made of
grass, which they call _Yerva_, resembling silk, of which they make
excellent cloth, which is sent to India and other places[415]. To this
haven of _Ingelly_ there come many ships every year out of India,
Negapatnam, Sumatra, Malacca, and many other places, and load from hence
great quantities of rice, much cotton cloths, sugar and long pepper, and
great store of butter and other provisions for India[416]. Satagan is a
very fair city for one belonging to the Moors, and is very plentiful in
all things. In Bengal they have every day a great market or fair, called
_chandeau_, in one place or other, and they have many boats called
_pericose_, with which they go from place to place to buy rice and many
other things. These boats are rowed by 24 or 26 oars, and are of great
burden, but are quite open. The gentiles hold the water of the Ganges in
great reverence; for even if they have good water close at hand, they
will send for water from the Ganges at a great distance. If they have
not enough of it to drink, they will sprinkle a little of it upon
themselves, thinking it very salutary.

[Footnote 412: More accurately 22 deg. 55' 20" N. and long. 88 deg. 28' E. Hoogly
stands on the western branch of the Ganges, called the Hoogly river,
about twenty miles direct north from Calcutta.--E.]

[Footnote 413: We thus are enabled to discover nearly the situation of
Satagan or Satigan, to have been on the Hoogly river, probably where
Chinsura now stands, or it may have been Chandernagor.--E.]

[Footnote 414: Injelly, at the mouth of a small river which falls into
the Hoogly, very near its discharge into the bay of Bengal. Injelly is
not now considered as in Orissa, but in the district of Hoogly belonging
to Bengal, above forty miles from the frontiers--E.]

[Footnote 415: A similar cloth may be made of the long grass which grows
in Virginia.--_Hakluyt_.]

[Footnote 416: India seems always here limited to the Malabar

From Satagan I travelled by the country of the King of Tippara, or
_Porto Grande_[417]. The _Mogores_ or _Mogen_ [Moguls] have almost
continual wars with Tiperah; the Mogen of the kingdom of _Recon_ and
_Rame_, are stronger than the King of Tiperah, so that Cittigong or
Porto Grande is often under the dominion of the king of _Recon_[418].
There is a country four days journey from _Couche_ called
_Bottanter_[419], the principal city of which is _Bottia_, and the king
is called _Dermain_. The people are tall, strong, and very swift. Many
merchants come here out of China, and it is said even from Muscovy and
Tartary, to purchase musk, _cambals_, agates, silk, pepper, and saffron,
like the saffron of Persia[420]. This country is very great, being not
less than three months journey in extent, and contains many high
mountains, one of them so steep and high that it may be perfectly seen
at the distance of six days journey[421]. There are people on these
mountains having ears a span long, and they call such as have not long
ears asses. They say that from these mountains _they see ships sailing
on the sea_, but know not whence they come nor whither they go. There
are merchants who come out of the east from under the sun, which is from
China, having no beards, who say their country is warm; but others come
from the north, on the other side of the mountains, where it is very
cold. These merchants from the north are apparelled in woollen cloth and
hats, with close white hose or breeches and boots, who come from Muscovy
or Tartary. These report that they have excellent horses in their
country, but very small; some individuals possessing four, five, or six
hundred horses and cattle. These people live mostly on milk and flesh.
They cut off the tails of their cows, and sell them very dear, as they
are in high request in those parts. The rump is only a span long, but
the hair is a yard in length. These tails are used for show, to hang
upon the heads of elephants, and are much sought after in Pegu and

[Footnote 417: Perhaps this ought to have been, by the country of Tipera
_to_ Porto Grande. Porto Grande, formerly called Chittigong, is now
called Islamabad, and is in the district of Chittigong, the most
easterly belonging to Bengal.--E.]

[Footnote 418: Aracan is certainly here meant by _Recon_; of _Rame_
nothing can be made, unless Brama, or Birmah be meant.--E.]

[Footnote 419: _Bottanter_ almost certainly means Bootan. Of _Bottia_ we
know nothing, but it is probably meant to indicate the capital.
_Dermain_ may possibly be some corruption of _Deb raja_, the title of
the sovereign. It is obvious from this passage, that _Couche_ must have
been to the south of Bootan, and was perhaps Coch-beyhar, a town and
district in the north-east of Bengal, near the Bootan frontier.--E.]

[Footnote 420: The saffon of Persia of the text may perhaps mean
_turmeric_. The cambals may possibly mean camblets.--E.]

[Footnote 421: These seem to be the mountains of Imaus, called Cumao by
the natives.--_Hakluyt_.

The Himmaleh mountains, dividing Bootan from Thibet, said to be visible
from the plains of Bengal at the distance of 150 miles.--E.]

From Chittigong in Bengal, I went to _Bacola_[422], the king of which
country is a Gentile of an excellent disposition, who is particularly
fond of shooting with a gun. His country is large and fertile, having
great abundance of rice, and manufactures much silk, and cloths of
cotton. The houses of this city are good and well built, with large
streets. The people go naked, except a cloth round their waists, and the
women wear many silver hoops about their necks and arms, and rings of
silver, copper, and ivory about their legs. From thence I went to
_Serrepore_ upon the Ganges, the king or rajah of which is called
Chondery. They are all hereabouts in rebellion against the great Mogul,
for there are so many rivers and islands that they escape from one to
another, so that his horsemen cannot prevail against them. Great store
of cotton cloth is made here. _Sinnergan_ is a town six leagues from
_Serrepore_, where the best and finest cotton cloth of all the east is
made[423]. The chief king of all those countries is called Isa-khan,
being supreme over all the other kings or rajahs, and is a great friend
to the Christians. Here, as in most parts of India, the houses are very
small and covered with straw, having a few mats hung round the walls and
over the door-way, to keep out tigers and foxes. They live on rice,
milk, and fruits, eating no flesh and killing no animals; and though
many of them are very rich, their sole article of dress is a small cloth
before them. From hence they send great quantities of cotton cloths and
much rice, all over India, Pegu, Malacca, Sumatra, and other places.

[Footnote 422: Perhaps Pucouloe, a place of some size near Davas between
the Ganges and Burhampooter rivers.--E.]

[Footnote 423: Serampoor on the Hoogly river agrees at least in sound
with the Serrepore of the text; but, from the context, I rather suspect
Serrepore to have stood among the numerous islands of the great eastern
Ganges, in the province of Dava, and near the junction of the Ganges and
Burhampooter or Megna rivers. Of Sinnergan I can make nothing, only that
it must have stood in the same district.--E.]

I went from Serrepore the 28th of November 1586 for Pegu, in a small
ship or foist, commanded by one Albert Caravallos, and sailing down the
Ganges, we passed by the island of Sundiva, Porto grande, or Chittigong,
in the country of Tiperah, and the kingdom of Recon and Mogen[424],
leaving all on our left hand, our course being south by east, with the
wind at north-west, which brought us to the bar of Negrais in Pegu. Had
we met with a foul wind, we must have thrown many things overboard, for
we were so lumbered with people and goods, even on the deck, that there
was scarce a place to sit down upon. From Bengal to Pegu is 90 leagues.
We entered the bar of Negrais, [at the mouth of the western branch of
the river of Ava], which is an excellent bar, having four fathoms water
where shallowest. Three days afterwards we came to Cosmin, a very pretty
town, pleasantly situated and abounding in all things. The people are
tall and well disposed; the women white, round faced, and having small
eyes. The houses are high built, set upon great high posts, and they go
up to them by means of ladders for fear of the tigers, which are very
numerous. The country is very fertile, abounding in great figs, oranges,
coconuts, and other fruits. The land is very high on the sea coast, but
after getting within the bar, it is very low and much intersected with
rivers, so that they go everywhere in boats, which they call _paraos_,
in which many of them dwell with their wives and children.

[Footnote 424: Recon has already been supposed to be Aracan, which is
now quite obvious; but in what manner Mogen may refer to Ava, the next
country to the south, does not appear.--E.]

From the bar of Negrais to the city of Pegu, is ten days journey by the
rivers. We went from _Cosmin_ to Pegu in paraos or boats, and passing up
the river we came to _Medon_, a very pretty town, having a wonderful
number of paraos, for they dwell in them, and hold markets on the water.
In rowing up and down with their commodities in these boats, they have a
great _sombrero_ or umbrella over their heads, to defend them from the
sun, as broad and round as a great cart wheel, made of the leaves of the
coco or the fig tree, which are very light. From Medon we went to Dela,
where there are 18 or 20 great long houses, where they tame and keep
many elephants belonging to the king, as elephants are caught in the
wilderness near this place. From Dela we went to _Cirian_, [Siriam] a
good town having an excellent sea-port, to which come many ships from
Mecca, Malacca, Sumatra, and other places; and there the ships discharge
their cargoes, and send up their goods in paraos to Pegu. From Siriam we
went to _Macao_, a pretty town, where we left the boats, and in the
morning taking _delingeges_, which are a kind of couches made of cords
and quilted cloth, carried on a _stang_, or long pole, by three or four
men, we came to Pegu the same day.

Pegu is a great strong and fair city, having walls of stone and great
ditches all round about. It consists of two towns, the old and the new.
In the old town dwell all the stranger merchants, and very many native
merchants, and all the goods are sold in the old town, which is very
large, and hath many extensive suburbs all round about it, all the
houses being of bamboo canes and covered with straw. In your house,
however, you have a warehouse, which they call a _godown_, built of
bricks, in which to keep your goods, as often the city takes fire, and
four or five hundred houses are burnt down, so that these _godowns_ are
very useful to save your goods. The king with all his nobility and
gentry dwell in the new town, which is a great and populous city,
entirely square with fair walls, and a great ditch all round about full
of water, in which are many crocodiles. It has twenty gates, five on
each side of the square, all built of stone. There are also many turrets
for centinels, made of wood and splendidly gilded. The streets are the
handsomest I ever saw, all as straight as a line from one gate to the
other, and so broad that ten or twelve men may ride abreast through
them. On both sides, at every door, there are palmer trees planted,
which bear coco-nuts, and which make a fine shew as well as a commodious
shade, so that the people may walk all day in the shade. The houses are
of wood, covered with tiles.

The palace of the king stands in the middle of this city, and is walled
and ditched all round, all the houses within being of wood very
sumptuously gilded, and the fore-front is of very rich workmanship, all
gilded in a very costly manner. The pagoda, or house in which his idols
stand, is covered with tiles of silver, and all the walls are gilt over
with gold. Within the first gate of the palace is a very large court, on
both sides of which are the houses for the king's elephants, which are
wonderfully large and handsome, and are trained for war and for the
king's service. Among the rest, he has four white elephants, which are a
great rarity, no other king having any but he; and were any other king
to have any, he would send for it, and if refused would go to war for
it, and would rather lose a great part of his kingdom than not have the
elephant. When any white elephant is brought to the king, all the
merchants in the city are commanded to go and visit him, on which
occasion each individual makes a present of half a ducat, which amounts
to a good round sum, as there are a vast many merchants, after which
present you may go and see them at your pleasure, although they stand in
the king's house. Among his titles, the king takes that of king of the
white elephants. They do great honour and service to these white
elephants, every one of them having a house gilded with gold, and
getting their food in vessels of gilt silver. Every day when they go to
the river to wash, each goes under a canopy of cloth of gold or silk,
carried by six or eight men, and eight or ten men go before each,
playing on drums, _shawms_, and other instruments. When each has washed
and is come out of the river, he has a gentleman to wash his feet in a
silver basin, which office is appointed by the king. There is no such
account made of the black elephants, be they never so great, and some of
them are wonderfully large and handsome, some being nine cubits high.

The king has a very large place, about a mile from Pegu, for catching
wild elephants, in a great grove or wood, having a fair court in the
middle. There are many huntsmen, who go into the wilderness with
she-elephants, trained for the purpose, each huntsman having five or six
which are anointed with a certain ointment to entice the wild males to
follow them. When they have brought a wild elephant within their snares,
the hunters send word to the town, on which many horsemen and footmen go
out, and force the wild elephant to enter into a narrow way leading to
the inner inclosure, and when the he and she are in, then is the gate
shut upon them. They then get the female out, and when the male finds
himself alone and entrapped, he cries out and sheds tears, running
against the enclosure, which is made of strong trees, and some of them
break their tusks in endeavouring to force their way out. The people
then goad him with pointed canes, till they force him into a narrow
stall, in which he is securely fastened with strong ropes about his body
and legs, and is left there for three or four days without food or
drink. Then they bring a female to him, with food and drink, and unbind
the ropes, and he becomes tame in three or four days. When they take the
elephants to war, they fix a frame of wood on their backs with great
ropes, upon which sit four or six men, who fight with guns, bows and
arrows, darts, and other weapons; and it is said that the elephant's
hide is so thick that a musket ball will not pierce them, except in some
tender place.

The weapons of these people are very bad, their swords being short and
blunt at the points. They have arquebusses also, but they shoot very
badly with them. The king keeps great state, sitting in public twice
every day, having all his nobles, which they call _shemines_, sitting on
each side at a good distance, and a numerous guard on the outside of
all, so that the hall, or court is very large. If any one wish to speak
to the king, he maketh three profound reverences, when he enters, in
the mid way, and when he comes near the king; at each of these he kneels
down, holds his hands above his head, and bows with his head to the
ground three times. He then sits down to speak to the king, and if
favoured is allowed to come near, within three or four paces, but
otherwise is made to sit at a greater distance. When the king goes to
war he is accompanied by a great military force. While I was in Pegu, he
went to Odia, in the kingdom of Siam, with 300,000 men and 5000
elephants. His particular guard was 30,000. When the king rides abroad,
he is accompanied by a strong guard and many nobles, and often rides on
an elephant having a great castle on its back superbly gilded; sometimes
he travels on a great frame of wood like a horse-litter, having a small
house or canopy upon it, covered over head, and open at the sides, which
is all splendidly gilded with gold, and adorned with many rubies and
sapphires, of which he hath an infinite store, as a vast many of them
are found in this country. This couch or litter is called _serrion_ in
their language, and is carried on the shoulders of 16 or 18 men. On
these occasions, there is much triumphing and shouting made before the
king, by great numbers of men and women.

This king has little force by sea, having very few ships. He has houses
quite full of gold and silver, both of which are often coming in to him,
but very little goes out again, so that he makes little account of it,
and this vast treasury is always open to inspection, in a great walled
court with two gates, which are always open to all men. In this court
there are four houses very richly gilded and covered with leaden roofs,
in each of which is a pagod or idol, of huge stature and vast value. In
the first of these houses is the image of a king, all in gold, having a
golden crown on his head richly set with large rubies and sapphires, and
round about are the images of four children all in gold. In the second
house is the image of a man in silver, of prodigious size, as high as a
house, insomuch that the foot is as long as the stature of a man. This
figure is in a sitting posture, having a crown on its head, richly
adorned with precious stones. In the third house is the statue of a man
in brass, still larger than the former, with a rich crown on its head.
In the fourth house is another brazen statue, still larger than the
former, having also a crown on its head richly adorned with jewels. In
another court not far from this, there are four other pagodas or idols
of wonderful size, made of copper, which were formed in the places in
which they now stand, being of such enormous size that they could not be
removed. These stand in four separate houses, and are gilded all over
except their heads, which resemble black-a-moors. The expences of these
people in gilding their images are quite enormous. The king has only one
wife, but above 300 concubines, by whom he is said to have 80 or 90
children. He sits in judgment every day, on which occasion the
applicants use no speech, but give up their supplications in writing,
being upon long slips of the leaves of a tree, a yard long and about two
inches broad, written with a pointed iron or stile like a bodkin. He who
gives in his application, stands at some distance carrying a present. If
his application is to be complied with, his present is accepted and his
request granted; but if his suit be denied he returns home with his

There are few commodities in India which serve for trade at Pegu, except
opium of Cambaia, painted cottons from San Thome or Masulipatam, and
white cloth of Bengal, vast quantities of which are sold here. They
bring likewise much cotton yarn, dyed red with a root called _saia_,
which never loses its colour, a great quantity of which is sold yearly
in Pegu at a good profit. The ships from Bengal, San Thome, and
Masulipatam, come to the bar of Negrais and to Cosmin. To Martaban,
another sea-port in the kingdom of Pegu, many ships come from Malacca,
with sandal-wood, porcelains, and other wares of China, camphor of
Borneo, and pepper from Acheen in the island of Sumatra. To Siriam,
likewise a port of Pegu, ships come from Mecca with woollen cloth,
scarlet, velvets, opium, and other goods.

In Pegu there are eight brokers called _tareghe_, which are bound to
sell your goods at the prices they are worth, receiving as their fee two
in the hundred, for which they are bound to make good the price, because
you sell your goods on their word. If the broker do not pay you on the
day appointed, you may take him home to your house and keep him there,
which is a great shame for him. And, if he do not now pay you
immediately, you may take his wife, children, and slaves, and bind them
at your door in the sun; for such is the law of the country. Their
current money is of brass, which they call _ganza_, with which you may
buy gold, silver, rubies, musk, and all other things. Gold and silver is
reckoned merchandise, and is worth sometimes more and sometimes less,
like all other wares, according to the supply and demand. The ganza or
brass money goes by weight, which they call a _biza_; and commonly this
biza is worth, in our way of reckoning, about half a crown or somewhat
less. The merchandises in Pegu are, gold, silver, rubies, sapphires,
spinels, musk, benzoin, frankincense, long pepper, tin, lead, copper,
_lacca_, of which hard sealing-wax is made, rice, wine made of rice,
[_aruck_,] and some sugar. The elephants eat sugar canes in great
quantities, or otherwise they might make abundance of sugar.

They consume many canes likewise[425], in making their _varellas_ or
idol temples, of which there are a prodigious multitude, both large and
small. These are made round like a sugar loaf, some being as high as a
church, and very broad beneath, some being a quarter of a mile in
compass. Within these are all of earth, faced round with stone. In these
_varellas_ they consume a vast quantity of gold, as they are all gilded
aloft, and some from top to bottom; and they must be newly gilded every
ten or twelve years, because the rain washes off the gold, as they all
stand exposed to the weather. Were it not for the prodigious quantities
of gold consumed in this manner, it would be very plentiful and cheap in
Pegu. About two days journey from Pegu there is a _varella_ or pagoda
called _dogonne_, of wonderful bigness, gilded all over from top to
bottom, to which the inhabitants of Pegu go in pilgrimage; and near it
is a house where their talapoins or priests preach to the people. This
house is fifty five paces long, and hath three _pawnes_ or covered walks
in it, the roof being supported by forty great gilded pillars, which
stand between the walks. It is open on all sides, having a vast number
of small gilded pillars, and the whole is gilded both within and
without. Round about this there are many fair houses for the pilgrims to
dwell in, and many goodly houses in which the talapoins preach, which
are all full of idols or images, both male and female, all gilded with
gold. This, in my opinion, is the fairest place in the world. It stands
very high, having four roads leading to it, all planted on each side
with fruit-trees, so that the people walk in the shade in all these
avenues, which are each above two miles long. When the grand festival
of this varella approaches, one can hardly pass any way, on account of
the great throngs of people, both by land and water, as they flock from
all parts of the kingdom of Pegu to be present at the festival.

[Footnote 425: Surely the bamboo, not the sugar cane. It may be noticed,
that almost the whole of this account of Pegu seems to have been
borrowed from the relation of Cesar Frederick.--E.]

In Pegu, there are many priests or talapoins, as they are called, who
preach against all abuses, and many people resort to hear them. When
they enter into the _kiack_, that is to say the holy place or temple,
there is a great jar of water at the door, having a cock or ladle, and
there they wash their feet. They then walk in, and lift their hands to
their heads, first to the preacher, and then to the sun, after which
they sit down. The talapoins are strangely apparelled, having a brown
_cambaline_ or thin cloth next their body, above which is another of
yellow many times doubled or folded over their shoulders, and these two
are girded round them by a broad girdle. They have a skin of leather
hung by a string round their necks, on which they sit, bare headed and
bare footed, as they wear no shoes. Their right arms are all bare, and
they carry a large _sombrero_ or umbrella over their heads, which
protects them from the sun in summer, and from the rain in winter.

Before taking their orders, the talapoins go to school till, twenty
years old or more, and then go before a head talapoin appointed for the
purpose, called a _rowli_, who is the most learned of the order, who
examines them many times, whether they will leave their friends,
foregoing the company of women, and assume the habit of a talapoin. If
any one be content, he is made to ride through the streets on a horse,
very richly apparelled, accompanied by many drums and trumpets, to shew
that he is about to quit the riches and vanity of the world. A few days
afterwards, he is again carried through the streets, on a thing like a
horse litter, called _serion_, mounted on the shoulders of ten or twelve
men, and dressed in the habit of a talapoin, preceded by drums and
instruments of music, and accompanied by many talapoins and all his
friends. He is thus carried to his house without side of the town, and
is there left.

Every individual talapoin has his own house, which is very small, set
upon six or eight posts, and to which they have to go up by a ladder of
twelve or fourteen staves. Their houses are mostly by the road sides,
and among the trees in the woods. They go about, having a great pot of
wood or fine earthen ware covered, and hung by a broad belt from their
shoulder, with which they beg their victuals, being rice, fish, and
herbs. They never ask any thing, but come to the doors, when the people
presently give them, some one thing and some another, all of which they
put into their pot, saying they must feed on their alms and be
contented. Their festivals are regulated by the moon, their chiefest
being at the new moon, when the people send rice and other things to the
_kiack_ or church which they frequent, where all the talapoins belonging
to it meet and eat the victuals that are sent. When the talapoins
preach, many of their hearers carry gifts to them in the pulpit, while
preaching, a person sitting beside the preacher to receive these gifts,
which are divided between them. So far as I could see, they have no
other ceremonials or religious service, except preaching.

From Pegu I went to _Jamahey_, in the country of the _Langeiannes_, whom
we call _Jangomes_, which is twenty-five days journey north from
Pegu[426], in which journey I passed through many fertile and pleasant
countries, the whole being low land, with many fine rivers; but the
houses are mean and bad, being built of canes and covered with straw.
This country has great numbers of wild elephants and buffaloes.
_Jamahey_ is a large handsome town, well peopled, and the houses are
well built of stone, with broad streets. The men are strong and well
made, having a cloth about their middles, bareheaded and with bare feet,
as in all these countries they wear no shoes. The women are much fairer
than those of Pegu. In all these countries they have no wheat, living
entirely on rice, which they make into cakes. To Jamahey there come many
merchants out of China, bringing great store of musk, gold, silver, and
many Chinese manufactures. They have here such great abundance of
provisions, that they do not take the trouble to milk the buffaloes as
they do in other places. Here there is great abundance of copper and

[Footnote 426: The names here used are so corrupted as to be utterly
unintelligible. Twenty-five days journey north from the city of Pegu, or
perhaps 500 miles, would lead the author into the northern provinces of
the Birman empire, of which the geography is very little known, perhaps
into Assan: Yet the _Langeiannes_ may possibly refer to _Lang-shang_ in
Laos, nearly west from Pegu. _Jamahey_ may be _Shamai_, in the north of
Laos; near the N.W. frontier of China.--E.]

In these countries, when people are sick, they make a vow to offer meat
to the devil in case of recovery; and when they recover, they make a
banquet, with many pipes and drums and other musical instruments,
dancing all night, and their friends bring gifts of coco-nuts, figs,
arecas, and other fruits, and with much dancing and rejoicing they
offer these to the devil, giving him to eat, and then drive him out.
While dancing and playing, they often cry and hallow aloud, to drive the
devil away. While sick, a talapoin or two sit every night by the sick
person, continually singing, to please the devil, that he may not hurt
them. When any one dies, he is carried on a great frame of wood like a
tower, having a covering or canopy made of canes all gilded, which is
carried by fourteen or sixteen men, preceded by drums, pipes, and other
instruments, and being taken to a place out of the town, the body is
there burned. On this occasion, the body is accompanied by all the male
friends, relations, and neighbours of the deceased; and they give the
talapoins or priests many mats and much cloth. They then return to the
house, where they feast for two days. After this, the widow, with all
her neighbours wives, and female friends, goes to the place where her
husband was burnt, where they sit a certain time lamenting, and then
gather up all the pieces of bones which have not been burnt to ashes,
which they bury; they then return home, and thus make an end of
mourning. On these occasions, the male and female relations shave their
heads, which is only done for the death of a friend, as they greatly
esteem their hair.

_Caplan_, the place where the rubies, sapphires and spinels are found,
is six days journey from Ava in the kingdom of Pegu. There are here many
great hills out of which they are dug, but no person is allowed to go to
the pits, except those employed in digging. In Pegu, and in all the
countries of Ava, Langeiannes, Siam, and of the Birmans, the men wear
little round balls in their privities, some having two and some three,
being put in below the skin, which is cut for that purpose, one on one
side and another on the other, which they do when 25 or 30 years of age.
These were devised that they might not abuse the male sex, to which
shocking vice they were formerly much addicted. It was also ordained,
that the women should not have more than three cubits of cloth in their
under garments, which likewise are open before, and so tight, that when
they walk they shew the leg bare above the knee.

The _bramas_, or birmans of the kings country, for the king is a birman,
have their legs or bellies, or some other part of their body according
to their fancy made black by pricking the skin, and rubbing in _anile_
or indigo, or some other black powder, which continues ever after; and
this is considered as a great honour, none being allowed to do this but
the birmans who are of kin to the king. Those people wear no beards, but
pull out the hair from their faces with small pincers made for the
purpose. Some leave 16 or 20 hairs growing together, some on one part of
the face and some on another, and pull out all the rest; every man
carrying his pincers with him, and pulling out the hairs as fast as they
appear. If they see a man with a beard they wonder at him. Both men and
women have their teeth black; for they say a dog has white teeth, and
therefore they have theirs black. When the Peguers have a law-suit that
is difficult to determine, they place two long canes upright in the
water where it is very deep, and both parties go into the water beside
the poles, having men present to judge them; they both dive, and he who
remains longest under water gains his suit.

The 10th of January, I went from Pegu to Malacca, passing many of the
sea-ports of Pegu, as Martaban, the island of _Tavi_ whence all India is
supplied with tin, Tanaserim, the island of Junkselon, and many others.
I came on the 8th of February to Malacca, where the Portuguese have a
castle near the sea. The country without the town belongs to the Malays,
who are a proud kind of people, going naked with a cloth about their
waists, and a small roll of cloth round their heads. To this place come
many ships from China, the Moluccas, Banda, Timor, and many other
islands of the Javas, bringing great store of spices, drugs, diamonds,
and other precious stones. The voyages to many of these islands belong
to the captain of Malacca, so that no one can go there without his
licence, by which he draws large sums of money every year. The
Portuguese at Malacca are often at war with the king of Acheen in the
island of Sumatra; from whence comes great store of pepper and other
spices yearly to Pegu, Mecca, and other places.

When the Portuguese go from Macao in China to Japan, they carry much
white silk, gold, musk, and porcelain, and bring from thence nothing but
silver. A great carak goes on this voyage every year, and brings from
thence about 600,000 crusadoes: and all this silver of Japan, and
200,000 more which they bring yearly from India, they employ to great
advantage in China, whence they bring gold, musk, silk, copper,
porcelains, and many very costly articles richly gilded. When the
Portuguese go to Canton in China to trade, they are only permitted to
remain there a certain number of days. When they enter the gates of the
city, they have to set down their names in a book, and when they go out
at night must put out their names, as they are not allowed to remain in
the town all night, but must sleep in their boats. When their time of
stay is expired, if any one remain, he is liable to be imprisoned and
very ill used, as the Chinese are very suspicious and do not trust
strangers; and it is even thought that the king of China does not know
of any strangers being admitted into his dominions. It is likewise
credibly reported, that the people of China see their king very seldom,
or not at all, and may not even look up to the place where he sits. When
he goes abroad, he is carried in a great chair or _serion_, splendidly
gilded, on which is made a small house with a lattice to look through,
so that he cannot be seen but may see about him. While he is passing,
all the people kneel with their faces to the ground, holding their hands
over their heads, and must not look up till he is past.

In China, when in mourning, the people wear white thread shoes and straw
hats. A man mourns two years for his wife, the wife three years for her
husband, the son a year for his father, and two years for his mother.
During the whole time of mourning the dead body is kept in the house,
the bowels being taken out, filled with _chaunam_ or lime, and put into
a coffin. When the time expires, it is carried out with much playing and
piping, and burned. After this they pull off their mourning weeds, and
may marry again when they please. All the people of China, Japan, and
Cochin-china, write downwards, from the top of the page to the bottom
using a fine pencil made of dogs or cats hair.

_Laban_ is an island among the Javas, whence come the diamonds of _the
new water_. They are there found in the rivers, as the king will not
allow them to be dug for in the rock. _Jamba_ is another island among
the Javas, from whence also diamonds are brought. In this island the
king has a mass of earth growing in the middle of the river, which is
gold; and when he is in want of gold, they cut part of this earth and
melt it, whereof cometh gold. This mass of earth is only to be seen once
a year, in the month of April, when the water is low. _Bima_ is another
island among the Javas, where the women labour as our men do in England,
and the men keep the house or go where they will[427].

[Footnote 427: All the names of these islands among the Javas, or isles
of Sunda are unintelligibly corrupt.--E.]

The 28th of March 1588, I returned from Malacca to Martaban, and thence
to Pegu, where I remained the second time till the 17th of September,
and then went to Cosmin where I took shipping; and escaping many dangers
from contrary winds, it pleased God that we arrived in Bengal in
November. I had to remain there, for want of a passage, till the 3d
February 1589, when I embarked for Cochin. In this voyage we suffered
great hardships for want of water; for the weather was very hot, and we
were many on board, merchants and passengers, and we had many calms. It
pleased God that we arrived in Ceylon on the 6th of March, where we
staid five days, to furnish ourselves with water and necessary

Ceylon is a beautiful and fertile island, yet by reason of continual
wars with the king, every thing is very dear, as he will not suffer any
thing to be brought to the castle belonging to the Portuguese, so that
they are often in great want of victuals, and they are forced to bring
their provisions every year from Bengal. The king is called rajah and is
very powerful, for he comes sometimes against Columbo, where the
Portuguese have their fort, with 100,000 men and many elephants. But
they are all naked people, though many of them are excellent marksmen
with their muskets. When the king talks with any man, he stands on one
leg, setting the other foot on his knee, with his sword in his hand; as,
according to their customs the king never sits. He is dressed in a fine
painted cotton cloth wrapped about his middle; his hair long and bound
about his head with a small fine cloth, and all the rest of his body
naked. His guard is a thousand men, which stand round about him. They
are all Chingalese, who are said to be the best kind of the Malabars.
They have very large ears, as the larger they are the more honourable
they are esteemed, some being a span long. They burn the wood of the
cinnamon tree, which gives a pleasant scent. In this island there is
great store of rubies, sapphires, and spinels of the best kind, but the
king will not allow the inhabitants to dig for them, lest they should
tempt his enemies to make war upon him and deprive him of his dominions.
There are no horses in this country, but many elephants, which are not
so large as those of Pegu, which are of prodigious size; yet it is said
all other elephants are afraid of those of Ceylon, and refuse to fight
them, though small. The women of this island wear a cloth round their
middles, reaching only to the knees, all the rest of their bodies being
bare. Both men and women are black and very little. Their houses are
small, being constructed of the branches of the palmer or coco tree, and
covered with the leaves of the same tree.

The 11th of March we departed from Ceylon and doubled Cape Comorin. Not
far from thence, between Ceylon and the main-land of India at
Negapatnam, they fish for pearls every year, whence all India, Cambaya,
and Bengal are supplied. But these pearls are _not so orient_ [are not
so round or of so fine a water] as those of Bahrain in the gulph of
Persia. From Cape Comorin we went to Coulan, a fort of the Portuguese,
whence comes great store of pepper for Portugal, as frequently one of
the caraks is laden here. We arrived at Cochin on the 22d of March,
where we found the weather very warm, and a great scarcity of
provisions, as neither corn nor rice grows here, having mostly to be
supplied from Bengal. They have here very bad water, as the river is far
off; and by this bad water many of the people are like lepers, and many
have their legs swollen as big as a mans waist, so that they can hardly
walk. The people here are Malabars, of the race of the Nairs of Calicut,
who differ much from the other Malabars. These have their heads very
full of hair, bound up with a string, above which is a great bush of
hair. The men are tall and strong, and excellent archers, using a long

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