Basora is fifty miles from the sea, and it a place of great trade in spices and drugs, which are brought from Ormuz. It is abundantly supplied with corn, rice, and dates, from the surrounding country. At Basora I shipped myself for Ormuz, to which I sailed through the Persian gulf 600 miles, which is the distance between Basora and Ormuz. We sailed in small ships built of board fastened together with small ropes or cords, and, instead of caulking, a certain kind of straw is laid between the boards at their junctions, and they are sewed together; owing to which imperfect construction, these vessels are very dangerous, and take in much water. On departing from Basora we sailed 200 miles along the left shore of the gulf, having the open sea on our right hand, till we came to an island called Carichij or Karak, whence we continued our voyage to Ormuz, always keeping the Persian shore in sight on our left, and seeing many islands on our right hand towards Arabia.
The island of Ormuz is twenty-five or thirty miles in circuit, being the driest and most barren island in the world, producing nothing but salt-water and wood. All things necessary for the life of man are brought here from Persia, which is twelve miles off, and from islands adjoining to Persia, and in such abundance that the city has always a great store of every necessary. Near the shore there stands a fair castle, in which resides the commander appointed by the king of Portugal, with a good band of Portuguese soldiers. The married men belonging to the garrison dwell in the city, in which there are merchants of almost every nation, among whom are many Moors and Gentiles. This city has a vast trade for all kinds of spices, drugs, silk, cloth of silk, brocades, and various kinds of merchandise from Persia. The trade in horses is very great, being transported from hence to India. The island has a Mahometan or Moorish king of the Persian race, who is created and set up by the Portuguese commander in the name of the king of Portugal. Being present on one of these occasions, I shall set down the ceremonies as I saw them.
The old king being dead, the Portuguese commander proceeds with much pomp and ceremony to elect a new one in the castle; and when he is chosen from the blood-royal, the new king is sworn to be true and faithful to the king of Portugal, as his lord-paramount, after which the captain presents him with the royal sceptre. The newly elected king is then conducted in great pomp to the royal palace, amid great feasts and rejoicings, and attended by a numerous and splendid retinue. The king keeps a good train of attendants, and has sufficient revenues to maintain his state and dignity, with very little of the cares of royalty, as the captain of the castle defends the kingdom. When the king and captain ride out together, the king is treated with much ceremony and respect, yet cannot