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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.

SECTION XIV.

Notices of the preceding Voyage, by Peter Williamson Floris.[374]

INTRODUCTION.

“As the preceding journal of Nathaniel Marten is almost wholly nautical, this narrative of Floris is chiefly confined to the transactions, occurrences, and adventures that happened on land, in the several countries at which they touched in this voyage.  Purchas tells us, in the title of this article, that it was translated out of Dutch; but whether by himself or some other, and whether from print or manuscript, he is silent.  He informs us likewise, that Floris was cape merchant, or chief factor, in this voyage, and that he died in London in 1615, two months after his arrival from the expedition.  This author is remarkable for several notable particulars respecting the affairs of the countries which he visited, which shews that he was curious, and for the freedom with which he censures the actions of his own countrymen, the Hollanders, which may pass for a proof of his sincerity.”—­Astley.

[Footnote 374:  Purch.  Pilgr.  I. 319.  Astl.  I. 435.]

Sec. 1. The Voyage to Pullicatt, Patapilly, Bantam, Patane, and Siam.

Having covenanted and agreed with the right worshipful governor and deputy of the English East India Company, we embarked in the Globe, on the 5th January, 1610, according to the English style, being actually of the year 1611, and set sail for Gravesend.  Sailing from the Downs on the 5th February, we came to Saldanha bay the 21st May, where we found three ships.  Two boats came aboard of us, one from Isaac le Maire, and the other from Henrick Brouwer.  Much refreshing was not here to be had at this season, by reason of heavy rains, being now their winter, and the mountains covered with snow.  We used great diligence in searching for a root called ningim, for which purpose two of three Holland ships had come here, one being from Japan, that first discovered the secret.  At this time the new leaf only began to peep forth, so that we could not have known it, if we had not received instructions.  Its proper time of ripeness is in December, January, and February; and it is called kanna by the inhabitants.[375]

[Footnote 375:  This kanna, or ningim, is supposed to be the same with the Ginseng, so highly prized in China for its restorative virtues.  The Hottentots set the same value on it, and it is as rare to be met with in the country at the Cape of Good Hope as in Eastern Tartary.—­Astl.  I. 436. b.]

Having filled our water-casks, and refreshed ourselves with eight sheep and twenty cattle, we set sail from the bay, leaving there the boat of Isaac le Maire, commanded by his son Jacob, who was to continue there till December, bartering for hides and skins, and making train-oil.  To him we gave letters for England.  Near Tierra de Natal, on the 10th June, we were in great danger, a violent storm of thunder, lightning, wind, and rain, having almost thrown us ashore; but God mercifully and powerfully gave us unexpected deliverance.

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