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

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.

The fleet has sailed for Calicut, and the king has ordered that it shall seize the fleet of Mecca, that the soldan of Syria may neither have access there in future nor may export any more spices.  The king of Portugal is satisfied that every thing shall go according to his wishes in this respect, and the court and all the nation are of the same opinion.  Should this purpose succeed, it is incredible how abundant this kingdom must soon become in all kinds of riches and merchandize; and from hence the ships of Venice in particular will have to bring their accustomed articles of trade.  To us truly, who formerly sustained this branch of commerce entirely by our own resources, this decree will be injurious, unless he shew us favour.

[1] This letter is dated 9th October 1501.  It is probable that Pasquali
    would hardly write this from the court of Portugal to his brothers
    in Lisbon; it being more likely that they resided in Venice.—­E.

[2] The discovery here referred to, seems to have been the coast of
    Labradore; and the other country under the north may possibly be
    Greenland.  This voyage was probably in quest of a north-west passage
    to India.—­E.

[3] In this passage we surely ought to read ships may be built.—­E.

SECTION IV.

Letter from Francis Sagitta of Cremona, from Lisbon, directed to the Venetian orator Peter Pasquali, residing at the Court of Castile[1].

Most excellent orator!  In two former letters, I have promised to omit no opportunity of informing your excellency what kind of merchandize might be brought in four vessels which were expected daily from India.  They are now arrived, and I shall truly state all the merchandize which they have brought, which is as follows:  One thousand quintals of pepper; 450 quintals of cinnamon; about fifty quintals of ginger; fifty quintals of lac:  and as much cotton as may be bought for 400 ducats.  The reason assigned for having brought so small a quantity of spice is, that they agreed among themselves, after sailing from hence, that two of the ships should steer for the gold mine, and the other two for Calicut.  On this account, each took only such goods as it was thought would be valued in the ports to which they were bound.  But when these ships came to Calicut they were not allowed to trade, and were obliged to go to other places.  On going to Cananore, they there learnt what had been done by Peter Aliaris, the factor at Cochin for the king.  The king or rajah of Cananore received our people honourably, and offered to supply our commanders gratuitously with all kinds of spices; but, thanking him gratefully for this kindness, he declined the offer, saying that he must go in the first place to the kings factor at Cochin, and would then return and accept his spices on credit.  Setting out therefore for Cochin, he transacted business with the royal agent, Peter Aliaris;

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