[Footnote 67: The Dairo was formerly the sovereign of Japan, uniting the supreme civil and spiritual power, committing the military affairs to a kind of generalissimo, who usurped supreme authority, and reduced the Dairo to be a kind of sovereign pontiff or chief-priest.—E.]
In the months of November and December, 1618, there were two comets seen all over Japan. The first, rising in the east, was like a great fiery beam, rent to the southwards, and vanished away in about the space of a month. The other rose also in the east, like a great blazing star, and went northwards, vanishing quite away within a month near the constellation of Ursa-Major or Charles-waine. The wizards of Japan have prognosticated great events to arise from these comets, but hitherto nothing material has occurred, excepting the deposition of Frushma-tay, already related.
I am almost ashamed to write you the news which the Spaniards and Portuguese report, though some of them have shewn me letters affirming it to be true, of a bloody cross having been seen in the air in England; and that an English preacher, speaking irreverently of it from the pulpit, was struck dumb: On which miracle, as they term it the king of England sent to the pope, to have some cardinals and learned men brought to England, as intending that all the people of England should become Roman catholics. I pray you pardon me for writing of such nonsense, which I do that you may laugh; yet I assure you there are many Spaniards and Portuguese here who firmly believe it. I know not what more to write you at this time: But I hope to come to England in the next shipping that comes here; and I trust in God that I may find your worship in good health.
Ninth Voyage of the East India Company, in 1612, by Captain Edmund Marlow.