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.
we departed, having many of our men sick, and shaped our course for the island of Ascension, where we hoped to find relief.  The 23d April we got sight of that island, which is in lat. 8 deg.  S. [7 deg. 50’.] But it has neither wood, water, or any green thing upon it, being a barren green rock, five leagues broad.  The 24th, at midnight, we agreed to proceed to the island of Fernando Loronio, [Noronho,] where we knew that sufficient relief could be had, as we had stopt ten weeks there when outward-bound, when unable to double Cape St Augustine.

We arrived on the 6th May at Fernando Noronho, [in lat. 3 deg. 28’ S. off the coast of Brazil,] where we remained six days to take in water, and to refresh ourselves.  The 13th of the same month we departed, shaping our course for the English channel, and arrived at Middleburgh, in Zealand, on the 29th of July, 1600.

SECTION X.

Voyage of William Adams to Japan, in 1598, and long Residence in that Island.[46]

INTRODUCTION.

This very curious article consists chiefly of two letters from Japan, written by William Adams, an Englishman, who went there as pilot in a Dutch fleet, and was detained there.  His first letter, dated Japan, 22d October, 1611, is addressed,—­“To my unknown Friends and Countrymen; desiring this letter, by your good means, or the news or copy thereof may come to the hands of one, or many of my acquaintance, at Limehouse, or elsewhere; or at Gillingham, in Kent, by Rochester.”  The second letter has no date, the concluding part of it being suppressed or lost, by the malice of the bearers, as Purchas suspected; but is addressed to his wife, and was probably inclosed in the former, or perhaps sent home by Saris, whose voyage will be found in the sequel.  Adams appears to have died about 1620, in Japan, as reported by the ship James, which arrived from that island, in England, in 1621.  Purchas observes, that though this voyage was not by the Cape of Good Hope, he had yet inserted it among the early English voyages to India, because performed to Japan.  The editor of Astley’s Collection says that he once intended to have placed it in a different division of his work, as performed by a south-west course; but, because Adams is frequently mentioned in the journals of Saris and Cocks, to whom he was serviceable in Japan, he chose to follow the example of Purchas.  One of the views of Adams, in the first of these letters, in the opinion of the editor of Astley’s Collection, appears to have been to excite the English to repair to Japan; and they seem to have entertained that object at the same time, as Saris set out upon his voyage to that island six months before the date of the letter from Adams.

[Footnote 46:  Purchas his Pilgrims, I. 125.  Astley, I. 525.]

In Astley’s Collection, the editor has used the freedom, as he has done in a variety of other instances, to make great alterations in the arrangement of the original document, and even often makes important changes in the sense, which is by no means commendable.  In this article, as in all others, we have chosen to have recourse to the original source, merely accommodating the language to that of the present day.

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