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Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 685 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 07.
the boat.  These boats are almost flat-bottomed and very strong, yet serve only for one voyage, as it is impossible to navigate them upwards.  They are fitted for the shallowness of the river, which in many places is full of great stones which greatly obstruct the navigation.  At Feluchia a small city on the Euphrates, the merchants pull their boats to pieces or sell them for a small price; as a boat that cost forty or fifty chequins at Bir sells only at Feluchia for seven or eight chequins.  When the merchants return back from Babylon, if they have merchandise or goods that pay custom, they travel through the wilderness in forty days, passing that way at much less expence than the other.  If they have no such merchandise, they then go by the way of Mosul in Mesopotamia, which is attended with great charges both for the caravan and company.  From Bir to Feluchia. on the Euphrates, over against Babylon, which is on the Tigris, if the river have sufficient water, the voyage down the river may be made in fifteen or eighteen days; but when the water is low in consequence of long previous drought, the voyage is attended with much trouble, and will sometimes require forty or fifty days to get down.  In this case the boats often strike on the stones in the river, when it becomes necessary to unlade and repair them, which is attended with much trouble and delay; and on this account the merchants have always one or two spare boats, that if one happen to split or be lost by striking on the shoals, they may have another ready to take in their goods till they have repaired the broken boat If they were to draw the broken boat on the land for repair, it would be difficult to defend it in the night from the great numbers of Arabs that would come to rob and plunder them.  Every night, when it is necessary to make fast the boat to the bank, good watch must be kept against the Arabs, who are great thieves and as numerous as ants; yet are they not given to murder on these occasions, but steal what they can and run away.  Arquebuses are excellent weapons for keeping off these Arabs, as they are in great fear of the shot.  In passing down the river from Bir to Feluchia, there are certain towns and villages on the Euphrates belonging to the son of Aborise, king of the Arabs and of the desert, at some of which the merchants have to pay so many medins of custom on each bale.

[Footnote 121:  It is obvious that Bagdat is here meant.—­E.]

SECTION II.

Of Feluchia and Babylon.

Feluchia is a village on the Euphrates, where they who come from Bir for Babylon disembark with their goods, and go thence by land to Babylon, a journey of a day and a half.  Babylon is no great city, but is very populous and is greatly resorted to by strangers, being the great thoroughfare for Persia, Turkey and Arabia, and from this place there are frequent caravans to different countries.  Babylon is abundantly

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