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.

Still farther to the south, I came to a certain island, called Bodin[1], which name signifies unclean; and this island is inhabited by a most wicked people, who devour raw flesh, and commit all manner of wickedness and abominable uncleanness to an incredible extent; insomuch, that they kill and eat each other, the father eating his son, the son his father, the husband his wife, and the wife her husband.  If any man be sick, the son goes to the soothsayer, or prognosticating priest, requesting him to inquire of his god, whether or not his father is to recover.  Then both go to an idol of gold or silver, which they thus address:  “We adore thee as our lord and god, and we beseech thee to inform us, whether such a man is to die or to recover from his present infirmity.”  Then the devil returns an answer from the idol, and if he says the man is to recover, the son returns to the house of his father, and ministers to him in all things necessary, until he regain his former health; but if the response is that the man is to die, the priest then goes to him, and putting a cloth into his mouth, immediately strangles him.  After this the dead body is cut in pieces, and all the friends and relations are invited to feast upon this horrible banquet, which is accompanied with music and all manner of mirth; but the bones are solemnly buried.  On my blaming this abominable practice, they alleged, as its reason and excuse, that it was done to prevent the worms from devouring the flesh, which would occasion great torments to his soul; and all I could say was quite insufficient to convince them of their error.  There are many other novel and strange things in this country, to which no one would give credit, who had not seen them with his own eyes; yet, I declare before God, that I assert nothing of which I am not as sure as a man may be of any thing.  I have been informed by several credible persons, that this India contains 4400 islands, most of which are well inhabited, among which there are sixty-four crowned kings.

[1] Explained on the margin by Hakluyt, or Dadin, which is equally
    inexplicable.—­E.

SECTION X.

Of Upper India, and the Province of Mancy[1].

After sailing for many days on the ocean towards the east, I arrived at the great province of Mancy, or Mangi, which is called India by the Latins; and I was informed by Christians, Saracens, and idolaters, and by many persons in office under the great khan, that this country contains more than 2000 great cities, and that it abounds in all manner of provisions, as bread, wine, rice, flesh, and fish.  All the men of this country are artificers or merchants, and so long as they are able to help themselves by the labour of their hands, they never think to beg alms, however great may be their poverty.  The men of this country are fair and of a comely appearance, yet somewhat pale, having a small part of their heads shaven; but

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 01 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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