A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 07 eBook

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 broker accordingly; so that if he have even to the value of 20,000 ducats or more, every thing will be sold off or bartered in fifteen days, without giving himself any trouble or concern about the matter.  Should the merchant not be disposed to sell the goods at the then current prices, he may tarry as long as he pleases, but the goods cannot be sold for him by any other person than the broker who has taken them in hand, and has paid the duties.  Sometimes, by delaying the sale of their commodities for a time, the merchants make good profit, and at other times they lose; but those articles which do not ordinarily come every fifteen days, frequently produce great profit by delaying to sell till the prices rise.

The barks that lade at Cambay go to Diu to supply the ships at that port which are taking in goods for the Red Sea and Ormuz, and some go to Chaul and Goa.  These ships are either well armed, or are protected by Portuguese ships of war, as there are many corsairs or pirates continually cruizing along that coast, robbing and plundering whatever they are able to master.  The kingdom of Cambaia or Guzerat has great trade, though it has long been in the hands of tyrants and usurpers, ever since the lawful sovereign, then 75 years of age, named Sultan Badur, was slain, at the assault of Diu, at which time four or five principal officers of his army divided the kingdom among themselves, all tyrannizing in their several shares as in emulation of each other.  Twelve years before my coming, the great Mogul, who is the Mahometan king of Delhi and Agra, 40 days journey inland from Amedabad, reduced all the provinces of Guzerat under his authority without resistance, his power being so great that none of the usurpers dared to oppose him.  While I dwelt in Cambay, I saw many curious things.  There were a prodigious number of artificers who made ivory bracelets called mannij, of, various colours, with which the Gentile women are in use to decorate their arms, some covering their arms entirely over with them.  In this single article there are many thousand crowns expended yearly, owing to this singular custom, that, when any of their kindred die, they break all their bracelets in token of grief and mourning, so that they have immediately to purchase new ones, as they would rather go without meat as not have these ornaments.

SECTION VI.

Of Damann, Bassen, Tana, Chaul, and some other places.

Leaving Diu, I went on to Damann, the second city belonging to the Portuguese in the territory of Guzerat, and distant from Diu 120 miles.  This place has no trade of any importance, except in rice and wheat, and has many dependent villages, where in time of peace the Portuguese enjoy the pleasure of a country retirement, but in time of war they are all spoiled and plundered by the enemy, so that then they derive very small benefit from them.  The next place is Bassen, a small dirty place in comparison with Damann, which supplies Goa with rice and wheat, besides timber for the construction of ships and gallies.  At a small distance from Bassen is a small island named Tana, well peopled with Portuguese, Moors, and Gentiles.  This place affords nothing but rice, but contains many manufacturers of armesies? and weavers of girdles made of wool and cotton, black and red like moocharie?

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 07 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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