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.

The inhabitants are a very ingenious and sensible people, and have arts and handicrafts of every kind as we have; and it is highly probable that they formerly carried on some traffic with Europe, as this man says he saw Latin books in the kings library, but which at present they do not understand; for they have a language of their own, and peculiar letters or characters in which it is written.  They trade with Engroveland or Greenland, and get from thence furs, brimstone, and pitch.  To the south of Estoitland there is a very large and populous country, which abounds with gold.  The people sow corn, and make the liquor called beer, which is drank by the people of the north as wine is among us in Italy.  They have large and extensive woods; make their buildings with walls; and have a great number of towns and castles.  They build ships and navigate the sea; but they have not the loadstone, and know nothing about the use of the compass; on which account these fishermen were held in high estimation, insomuch that the king sent them with twelve ships to the southward to a country called Drogio.  In their voyage thither, they had such contrary winds and stormy weather that they thought to have foundered at sea; but escaping that death, they met with a fate still more dreadful, as they were made prisoners by the savages, who are cannibals, and most of them were devoured.  But the Frisland fisherman and his companions, by teaching these barbarians the way to catch fish with nets, saved their lives.  This man used to go every day to the sea or the rivers, in which he caught vast quantities of fish, which he gave away among the principal people of the country; by which means he got into such high favour that he was beloved and respected by every body.

The fame of this man spread abroad through the whole country; and one of the lords, being very desirous to have him, that he might see and learn this new and wonderful art of catching fish, made war against the lord with whom he lived, and prevailing in consequence of his superior power and greater skill in war, the fisherman and his companions were given up to him as the price of peace.  During thirteen years that he resided in these parts, he says that he was transferred in this manner to twenty-five different lords, as they were continually at war with each other to procure possession of him; so that by wandering about the country in this manner he became perfectly well acquainted with every part of it, He says that it is a very extensive country, and as it were a new world; but that the inhabitants are a rude unpolished people, without the enjoyment of any convenience of life; for, although they take or kill many wild animals in hunting, they have not the sense to make their skins into garments, but all go naked, and are miserably pinched with cold.  They are besides extremely uncivilized and savage, continually engaged in wars against each other, in which they commit horrible ravages, and devour their

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