A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 01 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 770 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 01.

[12] The Ilfing, or Elbing, comes out of Esthonia, yet not from the east,
    as here said by Alfred, but from the south; except, indeed, he mean
    that arm of the Elbing which runs into the Nogat, or eastern arm of
    the Vistula.  But the Vistula comes out of Wendenland, called
    Weonodland in the text, from the south; and the two rivers discharge
    themselves into the Frisch-haf, which stretches from west to north, or
    in a north-east direction; and at Pilau, goes northwards into the sea. 
    It is certainly possible that this entrance may have been formerly
    called Wisle-mund, or the mouth of the Vistula, as well as the western
    mouth of that river.—­Forst.

This concession is not necessary to the truth of Wulfstan and Alfred.  There is a cross branch from Elbing, which joins the Nogat and Vistula proper; and which is probably meant in the text, where the Ilfing and Wisle, united, are said to run to the west of Est-mere, or the haf, and then north, into the sea at Wisle-mund.—­E.

[13] This circumstance is singular; yet may be explained from the custom of
    the Tartars.  The mares milk, drank by the kings and rich men, was
    certainly prepared into cosmos, or kumyss, the favourite beverage of
    the great; while mead, a much inferior liquor in their estimation, was
    left to the lower orders.—­E.

[14] Mead was called Medo in Anglo-Saxon, in Lithuanian Middus, in Polish
    Miod, in Russian Med, in German Meth, in old English Metheglin: 
    perhaps all these are from the Greek verb [Greek:  methuo], to
    intoxicate.  Alfred naturally observes, that these drinking-bouts
    produced many frays; and notices the reason of the Estum or Esthonians
    brewing no ale, because they had abundance of mead.—­Forst.

[15] In a treaty between the Teutonic knights, and the newly converted
    Prussians, the latter engaged never to burn their dead, nor to bury
    them with their horses, arms, clothes, and valuables.—­Forst.

[16] This power of producing cold in summer, so much admired by Wulfstan
    and Alfred, was probably the effect of a good ice-cellar, which every
    Prussian of condition had in, or near his house.—­Forst.


Voyage of Sighelm and Athelstan to India, in the reign of Alfred King of England, in 883[1].

Though containing no important information, it were unpardonable in an English collection of voyages and travels, to omit the scanty notice which remains on record, respecting a voyage by two Englishmen to India, at so early a period.  All that is said of this singular incident in the Saxon Chronicle, is[2], “In the year 883, Alfred sent Sighelm and Athelstan to Rome, and likewise to the shrine of Saints Thomas and Bartholomew, in India, with the alms which he

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