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.

China is a pleasant and fruitful country, having numerous extensive and well fortified cities, with a more wholesome climate and less fenny country than India, in which most of the provinces have no cities.  The air in China likewise is much better than in India, and there are scarcely any blind persons, or who are subject to diseases of the eyes; and similar advantages are enjoyed by several of the provinces of India.  The rivers of both countries are large, and surpass our greatest rivers, and much rain falls in both countries.  In the ladies there are many desert tracks, but China is inhabited and cultivated through its whole extent.  The Chinese are handsomer than the Indians, and come nearer to the Arabs in countenance and dress, in their manners, in the way of riding, and in their ceremonies, wearing long garments and girdles in the manner of belts; while the Indians wear two short vests, and both men and women wear golden bracelets, adorned with precious stones.

Beyond the kingdom of China, there is a country called Tagazgaz, taking its name from a nation of Turks by which it is inhabited, and also the country of Kakhan which borders on the Turks.  The islands of Sila are inhabited by white people, who send presents to the Emperor of China, and who are persuaded that if they were to neglect this the rain of heaven would not fall upon their country.  In that country there are white falcons; but none of our people have been there to give us any particular information concerning them.

[1] This is probably the sea about the Maldives, which, according to the
    eastern geographers, divides that part of the Indian Ocean from the
    sea of Delarowi, or the Magnus Sinus of the ancients.  The eastern
    writers often speak of the Seven Seas, which seems rather a proverbial
    phrase, than a geographical definition.  These are the seas of China,
    India, Persia, Kolzoum, or the Red Sea, of Rum or Greece, which is the
    Mediterranean, Alehozar or the Caspian, Pont or the Euxine.  The sea of
    India is often called the Green Sea, and the Persian Gulf the sea of
    Bassora.  The Ocean is called Bahr Mahit.—­Harris

[2] Male-dive signifies, in the Malabar language, a thousand isles.—­E.

[3] The subsequent accounts of these islands do not justify this particular
    sentence, if the author meant that they were always governed by a
    queen.  It might be so in this time by accident, and one queen might
    have succeeded another, as Queen Elizabeth did Queen Mary.—­Harris.

[4] This is the Taprobana of the ancients, and has received many names.  In
    Cosmas Indicopleustes, it is called Sielendiba, which is merely a
    Grecian corruption of Sielea-dive, or Sielen island; whence the modern
    name of Ceylon.—­E.

[5] This is probably the shark, which is common on all the coasts of India. 
    There was a portion of the MS. wanting at this place; wherein the
    author treated of the trade to China as it was carried on in his time,
    and of the causes which had brought it into a declining condition. 

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