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.

Proceeding on our voyage we came to the fair city of Ormuz or Armusium, second to none in excellence of situation, and abundance of pearls.  It stands in an island twelve miles from the Continent, being in itself very scarce of water and corn, so that all things required for the sustenance of the inhabitants are brought from other places.  At the distance of three days sail from thence those muscles are procured which produce the fairest and largest pearls.  There are certain people who gain their living by fishing for these muscles in the following manner:  Going in small boats to that part of the sea where these are found, they cast a large stone into the sea on each side of the boat fastened to strong ropes, by which they fix their boat steadily in one place like a ship at anchor.  Then another stone with a cord fastened to it is cast into the sea, and a man having a sack hung upon his shoulder both before and behind, and a stone hung to his feet, leaps into the water, and immediately sinks to the bottom to the depth of 15 paces or more, where he remains gathering the pearl muscles and putting them into his sack.  He then casts off the stone that is tied to his feet and comes up by means of the rope.  At Ormuz there are sometimes seen almost three hundred ships and vessels of various sorts at one time, which come from many different places and countries.  The sultan of the city is a Mahometan.  There are not less than four hundred merchants and factors continually residing here for the sake of trade in silks, pearls, precious stones, spices, and the like.  The principal article of their sustenance at this place is rice.

Departing from Ormuz I went into Persia, and after ten days journey I came to Eri[55] a city in Chorazani which also we may name Flaminia.  This region is fertile, and abounds in all good things, particularly in silk, so that one might purchase enough in one day to load 3000 camels.  Owing to the fertility of this country corn is always cheap.  Rhubarb is in such abundance that six of our pounds of twelve ounces each may be bought for one gold crown.  This city, in which dwells the king of that region, contains about seven thousand houses, all inhabited by Mahometans.  In twenty days journey from thence, I noticed that the inland parts of Persia are well inhabited and have many good towns and villages.  In this journey I came to a great river called by the inhabitants Eufra, which I verily believe to be the Euphrates, both from the resemblance of names and from its great size.  Continuing my journey along this river by the left hand, I came in three days journey to another city named Schyra[56], subject to a prince who is a Persian Mahometan, and is independent of any other prince.  Here are found all sorts of precious stones, especially that called Eranon, which defends men against witchcraft, madness, and fearfulness proceeding from melancholy.  It is the stone commonly called Turquoise,

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 07 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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