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.

The king of Narsinga exceeds in riches and dominion, all the princes I have ever seen or heard of.  In beauty and situation the city resembles Milan, only that being on the slope of a hill it is not so level.  Other subject kingdoms lie round about it, even as Ausonia and Venice surround Milan.  The bramins or priests informed me that the king receives daily of tribute from that city only the sum of 12,000 pardaos.  He and his subjects are idolaters, worshipping the devil like those of Calicut.  He maintains an army of many thousand men, and is continually at war with his neighbours.  The richer people wear a slender dress, somewhat like a petticoat, not very long, and bind their heads with a fillet or broad bandage, after the fashion of the Mahometans, but the common people go almost entirely naked, covering only the parts of shame.  The king wears a cape or short cloak of cloth of gold on his shoulders, only two spans long; and when he goes to war he wears a close vest of cotton, over which is a cloak adorned with plates of gold, richly bordered with all kinds of jewels and precious stones.  The horse he rides on, including the furniture or caparisons, is estimated to equal one of our cities in value, being all over ornamented with jewels of great price.  When be goes a hunting, he is attended by other three kings, whose office it is to bear him company wherever he goes.  When he rides out or goes a journey he is attended by 6000 horsemen; and from all that we have said, and various other circumstances respecting his power, riches, and magnificence, he certainly is to be accounted one of the greatest sovereigns in the world.  Besides the pieces already mentioned, named pardaos, which are of gold, he coins silver money called fano, or fanams, which are worth sixteen of our smallest copper money.  Such is the excellent government of this country, that travellers may go through the whole of it in safety, if they can avoid the danger of lions[78].  This king is in amity with the king of Portugal, and is a great friend to the Christians, so that the Portuguese are received and treated in his dominions in a friendly and honourable manner.

[Footnote 78:  Wherever lions are mentioned by this traveller in India, tigers are to be understood.—­E.]

When I had tarried many days in this great city, I returned to Cananore, whence, after three days stay I went to a city twelve miles from thence, named Trempata[79], a sea-port, inhabited by idolaters, but frequented by many Mahometan merchants.  The only riches of this place consists in Indian nuts, or cocoa-nuts, and timber for ship-building.  Passing from thence, by the cities of Pandara and Capagot[80], I came to the famous city of Calicut.  To avoid prolixity, I pass over many other kingdoms and peoples, such as Chianul? Dabul, Onoue? Bangalore, Cananore, Cochin, Cacilon? and Calonue, or Coulan[81].  I have so done on purpose to enable me to treat more at large of Calicut, being in a manner the metropolis of all the Indian cities, as the king thereof exceeds all the kings of the east in royal majesty, and is therefore called Samoory or Zamorin, which in their language signifies God on earth.

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