A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 02 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 778 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 02.

[1] This name is probably corrupted for Bagration, or Bagrathion, which
    was once the family name of the sovereigns of Georgia, and, if I
    mistake not, there is, or was lately, a prince of that family and name
    in the service of Russia.—­E.

[2] The kingdom of Media in the text, is obviously meant to indicate the
    province of Shirvan, on the west of the Caspian.—­E.

[3] Perhaps Saray, on the eastern branch of the Wolga.—­E.

[4] Probably Astracan is here meant.—­E.


Arrival of Contarini at Citracan, and journey from thence, through several dangers among the Tartars, to Muscovy along with some merchants.

On the 15th of April we put again to sea with a favourable wind, and coasting along a series of reedy islands, we arrived on the 26th of that month at the mouth of the Wolga, a large river which flows from Russia into the Caspian.  From the mouth of this river it is computed to be seventy-six miles to the city of Citracan[1], which we reached on the 30th.  Near this city there are excellent salines[2], from which all the neighbouring provinces are supplied with salt.  The Tartars who commanded in the city would not permit us to enter that evening, so that we had to pass the night in a hut without the walls.  In the morning three broad-faced Tartars came and ordered us to go along with them to their prince.  They treated Marcus with respect, saying that he was a friend of their sovereign; but alleged that I was his slave, as they consider all the Franks or Christians as their enemies.  These news were most cruelly mortifying for me, and afflicted me severely; but I was obliged to submit in spite of me, and Marcus advised me to allow him to speak for me.  Forced in this manner to return disconsolate to my hut, I was long exposed to every indignity and danger, to my great mortification and distress.  The Tartars insisted that I was possessed of pearls, and even plundered me of some merchandize I had purchased in Derbent, intending to have bartered it in this place for a good horse to carry me during the rest of my journey.  They informed me afterwards, by means of Marcus, that they intended to sell us all to certain people whom they waited for, and who were to go into Muscovy with other merchants.  After many mortifications and distresses, it was resolved to hold a grand consultation concerning us at a large village named Alermi, about two miles from the city, where their lord resided.  At this time I was not possessed of a single farthing, and was obliged to borrow money from the Russian and Tartar merchants, at a high interest, to supply our urgent necessities, for which Marcus became my bondsman.

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