A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 06 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 750 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 06.

The cause of this war and of the revolt of the king of Birmah, who was tributary to Pegu, was as follows.  Above 30,000 Birmans laboured in the works of the king of Pegu, as that was one condition of their vassalage.  The king of Pegu used often to visit these labourers attended only by his women, who were curious to see the foreigners and the great works that were carrying on.  The Birmans seized an opportunity on one of these visits to murder the king, after which they plundered the women of every thing they had of value, and fled to their own country.  As many of the subjects of Dacha Rupi, who succeeded to, the kingdom of Pegu, rebelled against him, Para Mandara king of the Birmans seized this favourable opportunity to recover his independence and to enlarge the bounds of his dominions.  He accordingly reduced with astonishing rapidity the kingdoms of the Lanjaoes, Laos, Jangomas, and others, who like his own dominions were tributary to Pegu.  By these means he possessed himself of the whole ancient kingdom of Ava, which extends to the length of two months of ordinary travelling, and contains 62 cities.  To the north-east of this, at the distance of a months journey is the kingdom of the Turks, containing as many cities, which the king of Pegu had conquered from the king of Cathay.  The kingdom of Bimir is west from Ava, and is of similar extent, having 27 populous cities.  North of this is Lanjam, of equal size, with 38 cities and abounding in gold and silver.  On the east is the kingdom of Mamfrom, equally large, but having only 8 cities.  East again from this is Cochin-China; on the south is Siam, which was afterwards conquered by the king of Birmah; and east of Siam is the great kingdom of Cambodia.  All the inhabitants of these kingdoms are Pagans, and the most superstitious of all the east:  Yet they believe in one only God, but in time of need have recourse to many idols, some of which are dedicated to the most secret acts and necessities of nature, even in the very form in which they are acted.  They hold the immortality of the soul; are zealous in giving alms, and hold their priests in great veneration.  These are very numerous, and live according to rules like those of the Catholics in monasteries, subsisting from day to day upon what is given them, without laying any thing up for the next.  These priests and monks eat neither flesh nor fish, as they kill no creature whatever.  They observe Lent and Easter after the manner of the Christians; whence some have inferred that they are some remnant of the disciples of St. Thomas, though mixed with many errors.  They wear yellow cassocks and cloaks, with hats of oiled paper.  The whole natives of these countries are white, and their women very beautiful; but their bodies are all over wrought with blue figures down to the knees made with hot irons.  In their manners they are very uncivilized and even brutal.

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 06 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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