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.

A French gentleman, Monsieur Carron, who was for some time at the head of their factory in Japan, and who, in several journeys to the court, had ingratiated himself into the favour of the emperor, by entertaining him with accounts of the state of Europe, got his permission to build a house for the factory on the little island allotted to them.  He accordly laid the fortifications of great extent, and continued the work till he had completed a handsome fortification, in form of a regular tetragon; and as the Japanese were quite ignorant in the art of fortification, they suffered it to be finished, without any suspicion of deceit.  Carron now desired the council at Batavia to send him some cannon, packed in casks filled with oakum or cotton, along with some other casks of the same form filled with spices.  This was done accordingly, but in rolling the casks after landing, one of them that contained a brass gun burst open, by which accident the cheat was discovered.  This put an entire stop to all trade till the pleasure of the emperor was known.  The emperor, without prohibiting trade, gave orders that no Dutchman should presume to stir out of the island on pain of death, and ordered Carron up to Jeddo, to answer for his fault.  The emperor reproached him for abusing his favour; after which he ordered his beard to be pulled out by the roots, and that he should be led, dressed in a fool’s coat and cap, through all the streets of the city.  He was thus sent back to the factory, with orders to leave Japan in the first ship that sailed for Batavia.

The island of Desima, where the Dutch reside, is divided from the city of Naugasaki by a small creek of salt water of about forty feet broad, over which there is a convenient bridge, having a draw-bridge at one end, of which the Japanese keep possession, and no Dutchman can pass this without leave from the governor of the city; neither dare any Japanese converse with the Dutch, except the merchants and factors, who have a licence for that purpose.  For the security of the factory, the island of Desima is pallisaded all round.  It contains four streets, with large warehouses, and a spacious market-place over against the bridge, where at stated times the town’s people have leave to trade with the Dutch.  So great is the jealousy entertained of the Dutch, that they are not even allowed to have the command of their own ships while in Japan:  For, as soon as one of them enters the harbour, the Japanese take entire possession of her, taking out all the arms and ammunition, which they lay up on shore, and return again in good order, when the ship is ready to sail.  They also exact a complete account of all the men on board, whom they muster by one of their own commissaries.

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