[Footnote 169: The meaning of this ancient nautical term is here clearly expressed, as drifting to leeward while laying-to.—E.]
After this I went from Pegu to the Indies and Ormuz, with a quantity of lac. From Ormuz I returned to Chaul, and thence to Cochin, from which place I went again to Pegu. Once more I lost the opportunity of becoming rich, as on this voyage I only took a small quantity of opium, while I might have sold a large quantity to great advantage, being afraid of meeting a similar disappointment with that which happened to me before. Being now again resolved to return into my native country, I went from Pegu to Cochin, where I wintered, and then sailed for Ormuz.
[Footnote 170: Here, and in various other parts of these early voyages, India and the Indies seem confined to the western coast of the peninsula, as it is called, or the Malabar coast.—E.]
Some Account of the Commodities of India.
Before concluding this relation of my peregrinations, it seems proper that I should give some account of the productions of India.
In all parts of India, both of the western and eastern regions, there is pepper and ginger, and in some parts the greatest quantity of pepper is found wild in the woods, where it grows without any care or cultivation, except the trouble of gathering it when ripe. The tree on which the pepper grows is not unlike our ivy, and runs in the same manner up to the top of such trees as grow in its neighbourhood, for if it were not to get hold of some tree it would lie flat on the ground and perish. Its flower and berry in all things resemble the ivy, and its berries or grains are the pepper, which are green when gathered, but by drying in the sun they become black. Ginger requires cultivation, and its seeds are sown on land previously tilled. The herb resembles that called panizzo, and the root is the spice we call ginger. Cloves all come from the Moluccas, where they grow in two small islands, Ternate and Tidore, on a tree resembling the laurel. Nutmegs and mace come from the island of Banda, where they grow together on one tree, which resembles our walnut tree, but not so large. Long pepper grows in Bengal, Pegu, and Java.
All the good sandal-wood comes from the island of Timor. Camphor, being compounded, or having to undergo a preparation, comes all from China. That which grows in canes comes from Borneo, and I think none of that kind is brought to Europe, as they consume large quantities of it in India, and it is there very dear. Good aloes wood comes from Cochin-China; and benjamin from the kingdoms of Assi, Acheen? and Siam. Musk is brought from Tartary, where it is made, as I have been told, in the following manner. There is in Tartary a beast as large and fierce as a wolf, which they catch alive, and beat to death with small staves, that his blood may spread through his whole body. This they then cut in pieces, taking out all the bones, and having pounded the flesh and blood very fine in a mortar, they dry it and put it into purses made of the skin, and these purses with their contents are the cods of musk.