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Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 665 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 02.
of the Turkish fabric.  The king of Quiloa, an island about sixty leagues from Sofala, it is said, will have to quit that place from fear of the idolaters.  At Quiloa all ships going to Sofala have to stop and pay tribute, before going to the mine of Sofala.  When they get to Sofala, they have to remain there six or eight months before completing their affairs; carrying from thence gold, ivory, and wax, all of the best kind.  After this they have again to touch at Quiloa, and to pay a tax for their gold.  Thence they go to Cambaya or Mecca.  In our ships there are twelve or fifteen agents of the king of Quiloa, who pays a tribute yearly to our king of 1500 metigals, each of which metigals is worth 150 ducats, or in all 225,000 ducats.  That king depends so entirely on the king of Portugal, that our king may dethrone him whenever be pleases to send there a force of 1000 men, which would oblige the king of Quiloa to run away; and it is believed this will be done shortly, the thing being so easy, and by this means an yearly revenue of 500,000 ducats would be secured.

If you have properly considered what those ships may bring which are daily expected, you will find that they will at least import about 222 quintals of all kinds of spice:  And we shall ship for you of all these, using our endeavours that you may never be in want of them.  Even after the before mentioned treaty with the king of Calicut, no small risk still remains to those who navigate to the Indies, on account of a certain archipelago, containing about 14,000 islands[8], and owing to the narrowness of a certain strait which is scarcely navigable.  We shall persist notwithstanding, as by custom and experience these dangers will become of no consequence.  At length we expect to have the glory of having discovered almost the whole of the world, and those parts of it especially to which the ancients never penetrated.  It only remains for us to go to the island of Taprobana, or Ceylon, which according to Pliny is exceedingly rich in gold, gems, and ivory.  Thus by our anxious endeavours, we shall lay open the whole of India to our trade.  By letters from thence, it appears that our merchandize is not much valued in these parts, and that crusadoes ought to be sent out, if we wish to have our affairs speedily conducted, as other goods remain long in hand:  For the Indians purposely procrastinate, that they may beat down the value of our commodities.  The Indians give a high price for brass and alum; but this last must be white not red, and in large pieces, as they despise the small.  They do not care for coral, unless large and finely wrought, which otherwise bears no value.  Lead is valued, if in large bars.  Quicksilver and amber are in no request.  Wrought brass bears a low price, as it is always manufactured over again in their own fashion, so that the cost of manufacturing in Europe would be thrown away.  All other goods besides these mentioned are in no demand, and will therefore bring small profit.

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