Should any one incline to travel into those parts of India to which I went, let him not be astonished or deterred by the troubles, entanglements, and long delays which I underwent, owing to my poverty. On leaving Venice, I had 1200 ducats invested in merchandise; but while at Tripoli in my way out I fell sick in the house of M. Regaly Oratio, who sent away my goods with a small caravan to Aleppo. This caravan was robbed, and all my goods lost, except four chests of glasses, which cost me 200 ducats. Even of my glasses many were broken, as the thieves had broken up the boxes in hopes of getting goods more suitable for their purpose. Even with this small remaining stock I adventured to proceed for the Indies, where, by exchange and re-exchange, with much patient diligence, and with the blessing of God, I at length acquired a respectable stock.
It may be proper to mention, for the sake of others who may follow my example, by what means they may secure their goods and effects to their heirs, in case of their death. In all the cities belonging to the Portuguese in India, there is a house or establishment called the school of the Santa Misericordia comissaria, the governors of which, on payment of a certain fee, take a copy of your testament, which you ought always to carry along with you when travelling in the Indies. There always goes into the different countries of the Gentiles and Mahometans a captain or consul, to administer justice to the Portuguese, and other Christians connected with them, and this captain has authority to recover the goods of all merchants who chance to die on these voyages. Should any of these not have their wills along with them, or not have them registered in one of the before-mentioned schools, these captains are sure to consume their goods in such a way that little or nothing will remain for their heirs. There are always also on such voyages some merchants who are commissaries of the Sancta Misericardia, who take charge of the goods of those who have registered their wills in that office, and having sold them the money is remitted to the head office of the Misericordia at Lisbon, whence intelligence is sent to any part of Christendom whence the deceased may have come, so that on the heirs of such persons going to Lisbon with satisfactory testimonials, they will receive the full value of what was left by their relation. It is to be noted, however, that when any merchant happens to die in the kingdom of Pegu, one-third of all that belongs to him goes, by ancient law and custom, to the king and his officers, but the other two-thirds are honourably restored to those having authority to receive them. On this account, I have known many rich men who dwelt in Pegu, who have desired to go thence into their own country in their old age to die there, that they might save the third of their property to their heirs, and these have always been allowed freely to depart without trouble or molestation.