A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 08 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 655 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 08.

The editor of Astley’s Collection observes, “That this narrative is written very obscurely, in an abrupt, uncouth style, which he thinks Purchas ought to have reformed when abridging it.  The author seems to have kept no regular journal, but only to have entered such things from time to time as seemed most material.  In many places it consists only of loose imperfect hints, thrown together without connection, and often referring to things not mentioned before.  Possibly these defects may have been owing to Purchas, in order to abbreviate the journal; and indeed, whether from want of care or judgment, he spoiled almost every thing he abridged.  It contains, however, many valuable nautical remarks, and many particulars respecting the conduct of the Dutch, who now began to lord it in India, which may atone for its defects.  If the dryness of some of the details may disgust any of our readers, we hope they will consider that our design is to give a series of the English Voyages; and in so doing to steer equally between the two extremes of redundance and imperfection."[157]

[Footnote 157:  This paragraph is inserted from the previous remarks to the voyage of Keeling, by the editor of Astley’s Collection.—­E.]

Purchas remarks punningly in a side-note, “That the Consent held no concent with the Dragon and Hector.”  Her voyage will be found in the sequel of this section, with, several other articles connected with it, which have not been noticed in Astley’s Collection, and which appeared necessary to elucidate the early commercial connections of England with India, and the manners and customs of the eastern nations.  We have endeavoured to amend the uncouth and abrupt style of Purchas, but it was impossible to clear up his obscurities; and in many instances we have abbreviated or lopt off redundancies and unimportant particulars.—­E.

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Sec. 1. Disasters in the Outset of the Voyage, forcing them back to Sierra Leona; with Occurrences till leaving Saldanha Bay.

By the 1st of April, 1607, the Dragon and Hector had reached the Downs.  After passing the line in the beginning of June, and getting four or five degrees to the southwards, we were so crossed by gusts, calms, rains, and sickness, as to be constrained to return northwards.  Missing the island of Fernando Noronha, I consulted on the 30th July with the master, named Taverner, who thought we must return for England; but Sierra Leona being mentioned, of which place I had formerly read good accounts, I sent for the book,[158] and both Mr Taverner and myself took a liking to the place.  Our company being very much diseased, and being exceedingly in want of water, with no hopes of getting to Fernando Noronha, I called a council, and after dinner desired their opinion what was fittest to be done?  They were all of opinion that we could not stand any longer to the south, for many reasons; and, demanding their opinions in regard to a watering-place, Churchman, Savage, and Taverner, proposed Mayo; Earming, Pockham, Molineux, and my master, preferred Sierra Leona for many causes, which likewise was my own opinion, wherefore we concluded to make for Sierra Leona, with which determination I acquainted the crews, to their very great comfort.

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