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.
months the siege of Goa was raised, and as jewels rose materially in their price, I began to work[168]; and as before I had only sold a small quantity of inferior rubies to serve my necessities, I now determined to sell all the jewels I had, and to make another voyage to Pegu; and as opium was in great request at Pegu when I was there before, I went from Goa to Cambay, where I laid out 2100 ducats in the purchase of 60 parcels of opium, the ducat being worth 4s. 2d.  I likewise bought three bales of cotton cloth, which cost me 800 ducats, that commodity selling well in Pegu.  When I had bought these things, I understood the viceroy had issued orders that the custom on opium should be paid at Goa, after which it might be carried anywhere else.  I shipped therefore my three bales of cotton cloth at Chaul, in a vessel bound for Cochin, and went myself to Goa to pay the duty for my opium.

[Footnote 168:  From this expression it may be inferred, that besides his mercantile speculations in jewels, Cesar Frederick was a lapidary.—­E.]

From Goa I went to Cochin, in a ship that was bound for Pegu, and intended to winter at San Thome; but on my arrival at Cochin I learnt that the ship with my three bales of cotton cloth was cast away, so that I lost my 800 seraphins or ducats.  On our voyage from Cochin to San Thome, while endeavouring to weather the south point of Ceylon, which lies far out to sea, the pilot was out in his reckoning, and laying-to in the night, thinking that he had passed hard by the Cape of Ceylon; when morning came we were far within the Cape, and fallen to leeward, by which it became now impossible to weather the island, as the wind was strong and contrary.  Thus we lost our voyage for the season, and we were constrained to go to Manaar to winter there, the ship having lost all her masts, and being saved from entire wreck with great difficulty.  Besides the delay and disappointment to the passengers, this was a heavy loss to the captain of the ship, as he was under the necessity of hiring another vessel at San Thome at a heavy charge, to carry us and our goods to Pegu.  My companions and I, with all the rest of the merchants, hired a bark at Manaar to carry us to San Thome, where I received intelligence by way of Bengal, that opium was very scarce and dear in Pegu; and as there was no other opium but mine then at San Thome, for the Pegu market, all the merchants considered me as a very fortunate man, as I would make great profit, which indeed I certainly should have done, if my adverse fortune had not thwarted my well-grounded expectations, in the following manner:  A large ship from Cambaya, bound for Assi [Acheen?] with a large quantity of opium, and to lade pepper in return, being forced to lay-to in crossing the mouth of the bay of Bengal, was obliged to go roomer[169] for 800 miles, by which means it went to Pegu, and arrived there one day before me.  Owing to this circumstance, opium, which had been very dear in Pegu, fell to a very low price, the quantity which had sold before for 50 bizze having fallen to 2-1/2, so large was the quantity brought by this ship.  Owing to this unfortunate circumstance, I was forced to remain two years in Pegu, otherwise I must have given away my opium for much less than it cost me, and even at the end of that time I only made 1000 ducats by what had cost me 2100 in Cambaya.

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