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

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 681 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11.

The Dutch have here a great advantage over all other nations, in consequence of their monopoly of the spice-trade, as these are consumed here in great quantities, which consequently enables them to procure coffee at much easier rates than other nations.  Yet this trade of Mokha is continually falling off, owing to the vast quantities of coffee produced in their own plantations, especially at Batavia, Amboina, and the Cape of Good Hope:  Even the Dutch, however, acknowledge that there is no comparison between the coffee raised on their own plantations and that brought from Mokha.

The Happy Arabia is divided into many small territories, under independent princes, styled Emirs, who all pay a kind of homage, but no obedience, to the Grand Signor or Emperor of the Turks.  The Red Sea gets this name from several parts of it being of a red colour, owing to its bottom in these parts.

SECTION XIV.

Of the Trade of the Dutch in Borneo and China.

Borneo is the largest island in the East Indies, perhaps the largest in the world, being 220 marine leagues from N. to S. and 170 leagues from E. to W. It is divided into many small principalities, of which the most powerful is the king of Banjaar Masseen, and after him the kings of Borneo and Sambas.  The air is reckoned very unwholesome in some places, on account of being low and marshy; and it is only thinly peopled, though abounding in very rich commodities.  On the first establishment of the Dutch in India, they were very solicitous to have factories in this island, and accordingly fixed three, at the cities of Borneo, Sambas, and Succadanea; but they soon found it was impossible to have any dealings with the natives, who certainly are the basest, crudest, and most perfidious people in the world; wherefore they quitted the island, and though several times invited back, have absolutely refused to return.  The commerce of Borneo is as rich as any in India.  At Sambas and Banjaar Masseen they deal in diamonds, of which there is a mine in the interior country.  These stones generally run from four to twenty-four carats each, though some are found as high as thirty and even forty carats; but the whole trade does not exceed 600 carats yearly.  They always sell these stones for gold, though that is a commodity of the island, and there is a considerable trade in gold-dust at Pahang, Saya, Calantan, Seribas, Catra, and Melanouba.  Bezoar is another principal article of their trade.  Japan wood, fine wax, incense, mastic, and several other rich gums, are here met with; but the staple commodity is pepper, which this island produces in as great abundance as any place in India.  A drug is met with in this island, called piedro de porco, or pork-stone, so highly esteemed as to be worth 300 crowns each; as the Indian physicians pretend that they can infallibly discover whether their patients are to live or die, by exhibiting to them the water in which this stone has been steeped.

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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