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

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 647 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 01.

[20] This is the only hint in Marco, of the peculiarly famous manufacture
    of China, from which all the best earthen ware of Europe has
    acquired this name as par excellence.  From this circumstance, and
    from the fame of Nankin for this manufacture, I strongly suspect that
    this passage has been foisted in by some ignorant or careless editor
    in a wrong place.—­E.

[21] It is singular that Marco should make no mention whatever of the
    peculiar beverage of the Chinese, tea, though particularly described
    both in name and use, by the Mahometan travellers in the ninth
    century, four hundred years earlier, as used in all the cities of
    China.—­E.

SECTION XVII

Of the island of Zipangu, and of the unsuccessful attempts made by the Tartars for its Conquest.

I shall now leave the country of Mangi, and proceed to discourse of India the greater, the middle, and lesser; in which I have been, both in the service of the great khan, and also on our return home along with the queen, who was sent from Kathay to Argon.  The ships which are built in the kingdom of Mangi are made of fir, having only one deck, on which are built twenty cabins, more or less, according to their size, each for one merchant.  They have each a good rudder, and four masts, with four sails, which they raise or let down at pleasure, but some have only two masts.  Some of the largest ships have thirteen divisions in the inside, made of boards let into each other, so that if, by the blow of a whale, or by touching on a rock, water should get into one of these divisions, it can go no farther, and the leak being found, is soon stopped.  They are all built double, or have two courses of boards, one within the other, both of which are well caulked with oakum, and nailed with iron; but they are not pitched, as they have no pitch in Mangi, instead of which they are payed all over with the oil of a certain tree, mixed up with lime and chopped hemp which binds faster than pitch or lime.  The largest of these ships have three hundred marines, others two hundred, or an hundred and fifty, according to their size; and they carry from five to six thousand bags of pepper.  In ancient times they used to build larger ships than now; but owing to the great numbers of islands and shoals in some places of these seas, they now build them less[1].  Besides their sails, they use oars. occasionally to propel these ships, four men being employed to each oar.  The larger ships are usually attended by two or three of a smaller size, able to carry a thousand bags of pepper, and having sixty mariners in each and these smaller ships are sometimes employed to tow the greater vessels.  Each of the larger ships hare ten small boats for fishing and other services, which are fastened aloft on their sides, and let down when wanted for use.  After having been employed for a year, these ships are sheathed all over, so that they then have three courses of boards:  and they proceed in this manner till they sometimes hare six courses, alter which they are broken up.

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