A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 783 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11.
Mogul is a very easy master, some of them acquire prodigious wealth, and carry on commerce to such an extent as can scarce be credited in Europe.  About twenty years ago, [that is, about the year 1700,] there died a Moorish merchant at Surat, who used yearly to fit out twenty sail of ships, from three to eight hundred tons, the cargoes of each of which were in value from ten to twenty thousand pounds, and who always retained goods in his warehouses equal in value to what he sent away.  The customs of Surat amount every year to upwards of L. 160,000 sterling, and, as the merchants pay three per cent. at a medium, the value of the goods must exceed five millions yearly.

The fourth and last factory under a director, is that of Gambroon or Bendar-abassi on the coast of Persia.  The director here is always a principal merchant, having a council and a fiscal to assist him.  As this city stands on the Persian gulf or sea of Basora, being the only port of Persia on the Indian sea, and lies at a great distance from Batavia, this direction is not so much sought after as others; and besides, the heat at this place is greater than in any part of the world, and the air is excessively unwholesome.  To balance these inconveniences, the director at Gambroon has an opportunity of making a vast fortune in a short time, so that in general, in four or five years, he has no farther occasion to concern himself in commerce.  There are several other European nations settled here besides the Dutch, but they have by far the best factory, and have fortified it so effectually, that the inhabitants of the neighbouring mountains, who are a crew of bold and barbarous robbers, have never been able to gain possession of it, though they have made frequent attempts.  The king of Persia, who reigned about 1722, came sometimes to Gambroon, and distinguished the Dutch above the other European nations by many marks of his favour, and by the grant of many privileges.  Some time before that period, he sent a gold saddle very richly wrought, and adorned with precious stones, a present to the governor of Batavia, desiring in return an European habit for himself and another for his queen.

Gambroon is a disagreeable place to live in, as in August it is unbearably hot; and yet the winter is so cold that they wear English cloth lined with furs.  They have here beeves, sheep, goats, poultry, and fish, all good of their kinds, and tolerably cheap.  They have also grapes, melons, and mangoes in the utmost perfection, and excellent wine, which is esteemed superior to that of all other countries, insomuch that it still preserves its flavour after being diluted with four times its quantity of water.  At the time when our author was in India, intestine wars raged to such a degree in Persia, that a ship had to be constantly stationed at Gambroon to bring off the factory, in case of danger.  Another inconvenience to the trade on this coast proceeded from the multitude of pirates on those seas, mostly Europeans, who, having

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