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.
The tidings were welcomed with exceeding joy and all kind of festivity, with the sound of trumpets, cymbals, and flutes, and the continual firing of cannon.  On the day following there was a solemn thanksgiving, at which all the people assisted.  When I again waited on the king, he desired me to apprize your serenity of his good fortune, saying that you may send your ships hither in safety to purchase his spices; adding, that he should take such measures as to prevent the prefect of Syria, that is the sultan[7]; from procuring spices in India.  He founds this hope assuredly on the success which his fleet had lately in contending with the numerous vessels of the Moors, and has no doubt of being able to reduce India under his own authority.  The ship already arrived is commanded by a Tuscan named Bartholomew, a native of Florence.  Her cargo consists of 300 cantari or quintals of pepper, 120 cantari of cinnamon, 60 cantari of lac, and 15 cantari of castor and other perfumes of that kind[8].  They have no cloves or ginger, having been prevented by the Moors, as these could only be procured at Calicut; neither have they any of the lesser spices.  They had purchased many pearls of different sorts, which were all lost in the disturbances at Calicut, in which many of their men and much riches were destroyed.

I must not omit to mention, that there have lately arrived messengers from Ubenus[9] king of Ethiopia to the king of Portugal, bringing gifts of ivory and many other things.  These are soon to return in two ships, which are to go to India after stopping at the new gold mines.  While this ship which has first arrived was on its voyage home, it met two ships steering their course from the new gold mines[10] for India.  These; thinking themselves lost, or that they would be plundered by the Christians, offered to pay them a ransom of 15,000 ducats for leave to continue their voyage:  But the Christians, though tempted by so much gold, gave these people many gifts and permitted them to continue their course, that they might hereafter be allowed a free trade with their country.

[1] This letter is dated on the 20th of June 1501, and obviously refers to
    the voyage of Cabral, who had returned from India not long before.  The
    writer is described as a native of Crete, and envoy from the lords of
    Venice to the king of Portugal.—­E.

[2] The strange geographical language here used is inexplicable, probably
    because the ideas of the writer were confused.  He seems to mean the
    Mina in Guinea, which is five or six degrees within the equator,
    or to the north; but is at least 18 west from the meridian of Sicily. 

[3] Meaning the tropic of Capricorn, on which the sun is during our
    winter solstice—­E.

[4] The recession of the coast inwards from Cape Delgado to Melinda,
    which may be called the Bay of Zanzibar.—­E.

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 02 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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