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

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 785 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 07.
specify very precisely both the time of payment, and in what weight of ganzas they are to be paid, as an inexperienced person may be much imposed upon both in the weight and fineness of the ganza money; for the weight rises and falls greatly from place to place, and he may be likewise deceived by false ganzas or too much alloyed with lead.  For this reason, when any one is to receive payment he ought to have along with him a public weigher of money, engaged a day or two before he commences that business, whom he pays two byzas a-month, for which he is bound to make good all your money and to maintain it good, as he receives it and seals the bags with his own seal, and when he has collected any considerable sum he causes it to be delivered to the merchant to whom it belongs.  This money is very weighty, as forty byzas make a porters burden.  As in receiving, so in paying money, a public weigher of money must be employed.

The merchandises exported from Pegu are gold, silver, rubies, sapphires, spinels, great quantities of benzoin, long-pepper, lead, lac, rice, wine, and some sugar.  There might be large quantities of sugar made in Pegu, as they have great abundance of sugar-canes, but they are given as food to the elephants, and the people consume large quantities of them in their diet.  They likewise spend many of these sugar-canes[167] in constructing houses and tents for their idols, which they call varely and we name pagodas.  There are many of these idol houses, both large and small, which are ordinarily constructed in a pyramidical form, like little hills, sugar-loaves or bells, some of them being as high as an ordinary steeple.  They are very large at the bottom, some being a quarter of a mile in compass.  The inside of these temples are all built of bricks laid in clay mortar instead of lime, and filled up with earth, without any form or comeliness from top to bottom; afterwards they are covered with a frame of canes plastered all over with lime to preserve them from the great rains which fall in this country.  Also about these varely or idol-houses they consume a prodigious quantity of leaf gold, as all their roofs are gilded over, and sometimes the entire structure is covered from top to bottom; and as they require to be newly gilded every ten years, a prodigious quantity of gold is wasted on this vanity, which occasions gold to be vastly dearer in Pegu than it would be otherwise.

[Footnote 167:  This is certainly an error, and Cesar Frederick has mistaken the bamboo cane used in such erections for the sugar-cane.—­E.]

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