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.
who offended him.  Having at one time sent a Portuguese to Malacca with money to purchase some commodities; this man, after buying them lost them all at play, and yet had the boldness to return to the king, who even received him kindly, saying that he valued the confidence reposed in his generosity more than the goods he ought to have brought.  He shewed much respect to the Christian priests and missionaries, and gave great encouragement to the propagation of the gospel in his dominions.  His valour was without the smallest stain.

[Footnote 27:  De Faria seems now to drop the fables of Fernan Mendez Pinto, and to relate real events in the remainder of this section.—­E.]

[Footnote 28:  More properly Ythia, vulgarly called Siam.—­E.]

The proper name of the kingdom we call Siam, is Sornace[29].  It extends along the coast for 700 leagues, and its width inland is 260.  Most part of the country consists of fertile plains, watered by many rivers, producing provisions of all sorts in vast abundance.  The hills are covered with a variety of trees, among which there are abundance of ebony, brasilwood, and Angelin.  It contains many mines of sulphur, saltpetre, tin, iron, silver, gold, sapphires, and rubies; and produces much sweet-smelling wood, benzoin, wax, cinnamon, pepper, ginger, cardamunis, sugar, honey, silk, and cotton.  The royal revenue is about thirteen millions.  The kingdom contains 13,000 cities and towns, besides innumerable villages.  All the towns are walled; but the people for the most part are weak timorous and unwarlike.  The coast is upon both seas; that which is on the sea of India, or bay of Bengal, containing the sea ports of Junzalam[30], and Tanasserim; while on the coast of the China sea, are Mompolocata, Cey, Lugor, Chinbu, and Perdio.

[Footnote 29:  The oriental term Shan, probably derived from the inhabitants of Pegu; but the Siamese call themselves Tai, or freemen, and their country Meuang tai, or the country of freemen—­E.]

[Footnote 30:  Otherwise called Junkseylon.—­E.]

SECTION XVI.

A short Account of the Portuguese possessions between the Cape of Good Hope and China.[31]

In the middle of the seventeenth century, the Portuguese empire in the east, comprehended under the general name of India, from beyond the Cape of Good Hope in Africa, to Cape Liampo in China, extended for 4000 leagues along the sea-coast, not including the shores of the Rea Sea and the Persian gulf, which would add 1200 leagues more.  Within these limits are half of Africa, and all of eastern Asia, with innumerable islands adjoining these two vast divisions of the world.  This vast extent may be conveniently divided into seven parts.

[Footnote 31:  De Faria, III. 115.  This is to be understood as about the year 1640, before the Dutch had begun to conquer the Portuguese possessions.  They are now few and unimportant, containing only some remnant of dominion at Mozambique, with the cities of Goa and Diu in India, and Macao in China.—­E.]

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