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The Citie of Martavan.

WE found in the Citie of Martavan ninetie Portugales of Merchants and other base men, which had fallen at difference with the Retor or governour of the citie, and all for this cause, that certaine vagabondes of the Portugales had slaine five falchines of the king of Pegu , which chaunced about a moneth after the king of Pegu was gone with a million and foure hundred thousand men to conquere the kingdome of Sion . They have for custome in this Countrey and kingdome, the king being wheresoever his pleasure is to bee out of his kingdome, that every fifteene dayes there goeth from Pegu a Carovan of Falchines, with every one a basket on his head full of some fruites or other delicates of refreshings, and with cleane clothes: it chaunced that this Carovan passing by Martavan, and resting themselves there a night, there happened betweene the Portugales and them wordes of despight, and from wordes to blowes, and because it was thought that the Portugales had the worse, the night following, when the Falchines were a sleepe with their companie, the Portugales went and cut off five of their heads. Now there is a lawe in Pegu , that whosoever killeth a man, he shall buy the shed blood with his money, according to the estate of the person that is slaine, but these Falchines being the servants of the king, the Retors durst not doe any thing in the matter, without the consent of the king, because it was necessarie that the king should knowe of such a matter. When the king had knowledge thereof, he gave commaundement that the malefactors should be kept untill his comming home, and then he would duely minister justice, but the Captaine of the Portugales would not deliver those men, but rather set himselfe with all the rest in armes, and went every day through the Citie marching with his Drumme and ensignes displayd. For at that time the Citie was emptie of men, by reason they were gone all to the warres and in businesse of the king: in the middest of this rumour wee came thither, and I thought it a strange thing to see the Portugales use such insolencie in another mans Citie. And I stoode in doubt of that which came to passe, and would not unlade my goods because that they were more sure in the shippe then on the land, the greatest part of the lading was the owners of the shippe, who was in Malacca, yet there were diverse marchants there, but their goods were of small importance, all those marchants tolde me that they would not unlade any of their goods there, unlesse I would unlade first, yet after they left my counsell and followed their owne, and put their goods a lande and lost every whit. The Rector with the customer sent for mee, and demaunded why I put not my goods a lande, and payed my custome as other men did? To whom I answered, that I was a marchant that was newly come thither, and seeing such disorder amongst the Portugales, I doubted the losse of my goods which cost me very deare, with the sweate of my face, and for this cause I was determined not to put my goods on lande, untill such time as his honour would assure me in the name of the king, that I should have no losse, and although there came harme to the Portugales, that neither I nor my goods should have any hurt, because I had neither part nor any difference with them in this tumult: my reason sounded well in the Retors eares, and so presently he sent for the Bargits, which are as Counsellers of the Citie, and there they promised mee on the kings head or in the behalfe of the king, that neither I nor my goods should have any harme, but that we should be safe and sure: of which promise there were made publike notes. And then I sent for my goods and had them on land, and payde my custome, which is in that countrey ten in the hundreth of the same goods, and for my more securitie I tooke a house right against the Retors house. The Captaine of the Portugales, and all the Portugall marchants were put out of the Citie, and I with twentie and two poore men which were officers in the shippe, had my dwelling in the Citie. After this, the Gentiles devised to be revenged of the Portugales; but they would not put it in execution untill such time as our small shippe had discharged all her goods, and then the next night following came from Pegu foure thousand soldiers with some Elephants of warre; and before that they made any tumult in the citie, the Retor sent, and gave commaundement to all Portugales that were in the Citie, when they heard any rumour or noyse, that for any thing they should not goe out of their houses, as they tendered their owne health. Then foure houres within night I heard a great rumour and noyse of men of warre, with Elephants which threw downe the doores of the ware-houses of the Portugales, and their houses of wood and strawe, in the which tumult there were some Portugales wounded, and one of them slaine; and others without making proofe of their manhoode, which the day before did so bragge, at that time put themselves to flight most shamefully, and saved themselves a boord of litle shippes, that were at an anker in the harbour, and some that were in their beds fled away naked, and that night they caried away all the Portugalles goods out of the suburbes into the Citie, and those Portugales that had their goods in the suburbes also. After this the Portugales that were fledde into the shippes to save themselves, tooke a newe courage to themselves, and came on lande and set fire on the houses in the suburbes, which houses being made of boorde and strawe, and the winde blowing fresh, in small time were burnt and consumed, with which fire halfe the Citie had like to have beene burnt; when the Portugales had done this, they were without all hope to recover any part of their goods againe, which goods might amount to the summe of sixteene thousand duckats, which, if they had not set fire to the towne, they might have had againe without any losse at all. Then the Portugales understanding that this thing was not done by the consent of the king, but by his Lieutenant and the Retor of the citie were very ill content, knowing that they had made a great fault, yet the next morning following, the Portugales beganne to bende and shoot their ordinance against the Citie, which batterie of theirs continued foure days, but all was in vaine, for the shotte never hit the Citie, but lighted on the top of a small hill neere unto it, so that the citie had no harme. When the Retor perceived that the Portugales made battery against the Citie, hee tooke one and twentie Portugales that were there in the Citie, and sent them foure miles into the Countrey, there to tarry untill such time as the other Portugales were departed, that made the batterie, who after their departure let them goe at their owne libertie without any harme done unto them. I my selfe was alwayes in my house with a good guard appointed me by the Retor, that no man should doe me injurie, nor harme me nor my goods; in such wise that hee perfourmed all that he had promised me in the name of the king, but he would not let me depart before the comming of the king, which was greatly to my hinderance, because I was twenty and one moneths sequestred, that I could not buy nor sell any kinde of marchandize. Those commodities that I brought thither, were peper, sandols, and Porcellan of China: so when the king was come home, I made my supplication unto him, and I was licenced to depart when I would.

From Martavan I departed to goe to the chiefest Citie in the kingdome of Pegu , which is also called after the name of the kingdome, which voyage is made by sea in three or foure daies; they may goe also by lande, but it is better for him that hath marchandize to goe by sea and lesser charge. And in this voyage you shall have a Macareo, which is one of the most marvellous things in the world that nature hath wrought, and I never saw any thing so hard to be beleeved as this, to wit, the great increasing & diminishing of the water there at one push or instant, and the horrible earthquake and great noyse that the said Macareo maketh where it commeth. We departed from Martavan in barkes, which are like to our Pylot boates, with the increase of the water, and they goe as swift as an arrowe out of a bow, so long as the tide runneth with them, and when the water is at the highest, then they drawe themselves out of the Chanell towardes some banke, and there they come to anker, and when the water is diminished, then they rest on dry land: and when the barkes rest dry, they are as high from the bottome of the Chanell, as any house top is high from the ground. They let their barkes lie so high for this respect, that if there should any shippe rest or ride in the Chanell, with such force commeth in the water, that it would overthrowe shippe or barke: yet for all this, that the barkes be so farre out of the Channell, and though the water hath lost her greatest strength and furie before it come so high, yet they make fast their prowe to the streme, and oftentimes it maketh them very fearefull, and if the anker did not holde her prow up by strength, shee would be overthrowen and lost with men and goods. When the water beginneth to increase, it maketh such a noyse and so great that you would thinke it an earthquake, and presently at the first it maketh three waves. So that the first washeth over the barke, from stemme to sterne, the second is not so furious as the first, and the thirde rayseth the Anker, and then for the space of sixe houres while the water encreaseth, they rowe with such swiftnesse that you would thinke they did fly: in these tydes there must be lost no jot of time, for if you arrive not at the stagions before the tyde be spent, you must turne backe from whence you came. For there is no staying at any place, but at these stagions, and there is more daunger at one of these places then at another, as they be higher and lower one then another. When as you returne from Pegu to Martavan, they goe but halfe the tide at a time, because they will lay their barkes up aloft on the bankes, for the reason aforesayd. I could never gather any reason of the noyse that this water maketh in the increase of the tide, and in deminishing of the water. There is another Macareo in Cambaya, but that is nothing in comparison of this. By the helpe of God we came safe to Pegu , which are two cities, the olde and the newe, in the olde citie are the Marchant strangers, and marchantes of the Countrey, for there are the greatest doings and the greatest trade. This citie is not very great, but it hath very great suburbes. Their houses be made with canes, and covered with leaves, or with strawe, but the marchants have all one house or Magason, which house they call Godon which is made of brickes, and there they put all their goods of any valure, to save them from the often mischances that there happen to houses made of such stuffe. In the new citie is the pallace of the king, and his abiding place with all his barons and nobles, and other gentlemen; and in the time that I was there, they finished the building of the new citie: it is a great citie, very plaine and flat, and foure square, walled round about and with ditches that compasse the wals about with water, in which diches are many crocodils, it hath no drawe bridges, yet it hath twentie gates, five for every square on the walles, there are many places made for centinels to watch, made of wood and covered or guilt with gold, the streetes thereof are the fayrest that I have seene, they are as streight as a line from one gate to another, and standing at the one gate you may discover to the other, and they are as broad as 10 or 12 men may ride a breast in them: and those streetes that be thwart are faire and large, these streetes, both on the one side and on the other, are planted at the doores of the houses, with nut trees of India, which make a very commodious shadowe, the houses be made of wood and covered with a kind of tiles in forme of cups, very necessary for their use, the kings palace is in the middle of the citie, made in forme of a walled castle, with ditches full of water round about it, the lodgings within are made of wood all over gilded, with fine pinacles, and very costly worke, covered with plates of golde. Truely it may be a kings house: within the gate there is a faire large court, from the one side to the other, wherein there are made places for the strongest and stoutest Eliphants appointed for the service of the kings person, and amongst all other Eliphants, he hath foure that be white, a thing so rare that a man shall hardly finde another king that hath any such, and if this king knowe any other that hath white Eliphantes, he sendeth for them as for a gift. The time that I was there, there were two brought out of a farre Countrey, and that cost me something the sight of them, for they commaund the marchants to goe to see them, and then they must give somewhat to the men that bring them: the brokers of the marchants give for every man halfe a duckat, which they call a Tansa, which amounteth to a great summe, for the number of merchants that are in that citie; and when they have payde the aforesayde Tansa, they make chuse whether they will see them at that time or no, because that when they are in the kings stall, every man may see them that will: but at that time they must goe and see them, for it is the kings pleasure it should be so. This King amongst all other his titles, is called the King of the white Eliphants, and it is reported that if this king knewe any other king that had any of these white Eliphantes, and would not send them unto him, that he would hazard his whole kingdome to conquer them, he esteemeth these white Eliphants very deerely, and they are had in great regard, and kept with very meete service, every one of them is in a house, all guilded over, and they have their meate given them in vessels of silver and golde, there is one blacke Eliphant the greatest that hath bene seene, and he is kept according to his bignesse, he is nine cubites high, which is a marveilous thing. It is reported that this king hath foure thousand Elephants of warre, and all have their teeth, and they use to put on their two uppermost teeth sharpe pikes of yron, and make them fast with rings, because these beastes fight, and make battell with their teeth; hee hath also very many yong Eliphants that have not their teeth sprowted foorth: also this king hath a brave devise in hunting to take these Eliphants when hee will, two miles from the Citie. He hath builded a faire pallace all guilded, and within it a faire Court, and within it and rounde about there are made an infinite number of places for men to stande to see this hunting: neere unto this Pallace is a mighty great wood, through the which the hunts-men of the king ride continually on the backs of the feminine Eliphants, teaching them in this businesse. Every hunter carieth out with him five or sixe of these feminines, and they say that they anoynt the secret place with a certaine composition that they have, that when the wilde Eliphant doeth smell thereunto, they followe the feminines and cannot leave them: when the huntsmen have made provision, & the Eliphant is so entangled, they guide the feminines towards the Pallace which is called Tambell, and this Pallace hath a doore which doth open and shut with engines, before which doore there is a long streight way with trees on both the sides, which covereth the way in such wise as it is like darkenesse in a corner: the wilde Eliphant when he commeth to this way, thinketh that he is in the woods. At end of this darke way there is a great field, when the hunters have gotten this praye, when they first come to this field, they send presently to give knowledge thereof to the Citie, and with all speed there go out fiftie or sixtie men on horsebacke, and doe beset the fielde rounde about: in the great fielde then the females which are taught in this businesse goe directly to the mouth of the darke way, and when as the wilde Eliphant is entred in there, the hunters shoute and make a great noyse, asmuch as is possible, to make the wilde Eliphant enter in at the gate of that Pallace, which is then open, and assoone as hee is in, the gate is shut without any noyse, and so the hunters with the female Eliphants and the wilde one are all in the Court together, and then within a small time the females withdraw themselves away one by one out of the Court, leaving the wilde Eliphant alone: and when: he perceiveth that he is left alone, he is so madde that for two or three houres to see him, it is the greatest pleasure in the world: he weepeth, hee flingeth, hee runneth, he justleth, hee thrusteth under the places where the people stand to see him, thinking to kil some of them, but the posts and timber is so strong and great, that hee cannot hurt any body, yet hee oftentimes breaketh his teeth in the grates; at length when hee is weary and hath laboured his body that hee is all wet with sweat, then he plucketh in his truncke into his mouth, and then hee throweth out so much water out of his belly, that he sprinckleth it over the heades of the lookers on, to the uttermost of them, although it bee very high: and then when they see him very weary, there goe certaine officers into the Court with long sharpe canes in their hands, and prick him that they make him to goe into one of the houses that is made alongst the Court for the same purpose: as there are many which are made long and narrow, that when the Eliphant is in, he cannot turne himself to go backe againe. And it is requisite that these men should be very wary and swift, for although their canes be long, yet the Eliphant would kill them if they were not swift to save themselves: at length when they have gotten him into one of those houses, they stand over him in a loft and get ropes under his belly and about his necke, and about his legges, and binde him fast, and so let him stand foure or five dayes, and give him neither meate nor drinke. At the ende of these foure or five dayes, they unloose him and put one of the females unto him, and give them meate and drinke, and in eight dayes he is become tame. In my judgment there is not a beast so intellective as are these Eliphants, nor of more understanding in al the world: for he wil do all things that his keeper saith, so that he lacketh nothing but humaine speech.

It is reported that the greatest strength that the king of Pegu hath is in these Eliphants, for when they goe to battell, they set on their backes a Castle of wood bound thereto, with bands under their bellies: and in every Castle foure men very commodiously set to fight with hargubushes, with bowes and arrowes, with darts and pikes, and other launcing weapons: and they say that the skinne of this Eliphant is so hard, that an harquebusse will not pierce it, unlesse it bee in the eye, temples, or some other tender place of his body. And besides this, they are of great strength, and have a very excellent order in their battel, as I have seene at their feastes which they make in the yeere, in which feastes the king maketh triumphes, which is a rare thing and worthy memorie, that in so barbarous a people there should be such goodly orders as they have in their armies, which be distinct in squares of Eliphants, of horsemen, of harquebushers and pikemen, that truly the number of them are infinite: but their armour and weapons are very nought and weake as well the one as the other: they have very bad pikes, their swords are worse made, like long knives without points, his harquebushes are most excellent, and alway in his warres he hath eightie thousand harquebushes, and the number of them encreaseth dayly. Because the king will have them shoote every day at the Plancke, and so by continuall exercise they become most excellent shot: also hee hath great Ordinance made of very good mettall; to conclude there is not a King on the earth that hath more power or strength then this king of Pegu , because hee hath twentie and sixe crowned kings at his commaunde. He can make in his Campe a million and an halfe of men of warre in the fielde against his enemies. The state of his kingdome and maintenance of his army, is a thing incredible to consider, & the victuals that should maintaine such a number of people in the warres: but he that knoweth the nature and qualitie of that people, will easily beleeve it. I have seene with mine eyes, that those people and souldiers have eaten of all sorts of wild beasts that are on the earth, whether it bee very filthie or otherwise all serveth for their mouthes: yea, I have seene them eate Scorpions and Serpents, also they feed of all kinde of herbes and grasse. So that if such a great armie want not water and salt, they wil maintaine themselves a long time in a bush with rootes, flowers and leaves of trees, they cary rice with them for their voyage, & that serveth them in stead of comfits, it is so daintie unto them. This king of Pegu hath not any army or power by sea, but in the land, for people, dominions, golde and silver, he farre exceeds the power of the great Turke in treasure and strength. This king hath divers Magasons ful of treasure, as gold, & silver, and every day he encreaseth it more and more, and it is never diminished. Also hee is Lord of the Mines of Rubies, Safires & Spinels. Neere unto his royal pallace there is an inestimable treasure whereof hee maketh no accompt, for that it standeth in such a place that every one may see it, and the place where this treasure is, is a great Court walled round about with walls of stone, with two gates which stand open every day. And within this place or Court are foure gilded houses covered with lead, & in every one of these are certaine heathenish idoles of a very great valure. In the first house there is a stature of the image of a man of gold very great, & on his head a crowne of gold beset with most rare Rubies and Safires, and round about him are 4. litle children of gold. In the second house there is the stature of a man of silver, that is set as it were sitting on heapes of money: whose stature in height, as hee sitteth, is so high, that his highnesse exceedes the height of any one roofe of an house; I measured his feete, and found that they were as long as all my body was in height, with a crowne on his head like to the first. And in the thirde house, there is a stature of brasse of the same bignesse, with a like crowne on his head. In the 4. and last house there is a stature of a man as big as the other, which is made of Gansa, which is the metall they make their money of, & this metall is made of copper & leade mingled together. This stature also hath a crowne on his head like the first: this treasure being of such a value as it is, standeth in an open place that every man at his pleasure may go & see it: for the keepers therof never forbid any man the sight thereof. I say as I have said before, that this king every yere in his feastes triumpheth: & because it is worthy of the noting, I thinke it meet to write therof, which is as foloweth. The king rideth on a triumphant cart or wagon all gilded, which is drawen by 16. goodly horses: and this cart is very high with a goodly canopy over it, behind the cart goe 20. of his Lordes & nobles, with every one a rope in his hand made fast to the cart for to hold it upright that it fal not. The king sitteth in the middle of the cart; & upon the same cart about the king stande 4. of his nobles most favored of him, and before this cart wherein the king is, goeth all his army as aforesaid, and in the middle of his army goeth all his nobilitie, round about the cart, there are in his dominions, a marveilous thing it is to see so many people, such riches & such good order in a people so barbarous as they be. This king of Pegu hath one principal wife which is kept in a Seralio, he hath 300 concubines, of whom it is reported that he hath 90. children. This king sitteth every day in person to heare the suites of his subjects, but he nor they never speake one to another, but by supplications made in this order. The king sitteth up aloft in a great hall, on a tribunall seat, and lower under him sit all his Barons round about, then those that demaund audience enter into a great Court before the king, and there set them downe on the ground 40. paces distant from the kings person, and amongst those people there is no difference in matters of audience before the king, but all alike, and there they sit with their supplications in their hands, which are made of long leaves of a tree, these leaves are 3. quarters of a yard long, & two fingers broad, which are written with a sharpe iron made for yt purpose, & in those leaves are their supplications written, & with their supplications, they have in their hands a present or gift, according to the waightines of their matter. Then come ye secretaries downe to read these supplications, taking them & reading them before the king, & if the king think it good to do to them that favour or justice that they demaund, then he commandeth to take the presents out of their hands: but if he thinke their demand be not just or according to right, he commandeth them away without taking of their gifts or presents. In the Indies there is not any marchandise that is good to bring to Pegu , unlesse it bee at some times by chance to bring Opium of Cambaia, and if he bring money he shall lose by it. Now the commodities that come from S. Tome are the onely marchandize for that place, which is the great quantity of cloth made there, which they use in Pegu ; which cloth is made of bombast woven and painted, so that the more that kinde of cloth is washed, the more livelie they shewe their colours, which is a rare thing, and there is made such accompt of this kinde of cloth which is of so great importance, that a small bale of it will cost a thousand or two thousand duckets. Also from S. Tome they layd great store of red yarne, of bombast died with a roote which they call Saia, as aforesayd, which colour will never out. With which marchandise every yeere there goeth a great shippe from S. Tome to Pegu , of great importance, and they usually depart from S. Tome to Pegu the 11. or 12. of September, & if she stay until the twelfth, it is a great hap if she returne. not without making of her voiage. Their use was to depart the sixt of September, and then they made sure voyages, and now because there is a great labour about that kind of cloth to bring it to perfection, and that it be well dried, as also the greedinesse of the Captaine that would make an extraordinary gaine of his fraight, thinking to have the wind alwayes to serve their turne, they stay so long, that at sometimes the winde turneth. For in those parts the windes blow firmely for certaine times, with the which they goe to Pegu with the winde in poope, and if they arrive not there before the winde change, and get ground to anker, perforce they must returne backe againe: for that the gales of the winde blowe there for three or foure moneths together in one place with great force. But if they get the coast & anker there, then with great labour they may save their voyage. Also there goeth another great shippe from Bengala every yeere, laden with fine cloth of bombast of all sorts, which arriveth in the harbour of Pegu , when the ship that commeth from S. Tome departeth. The harbour where these two ships arrive is called Cosmin. From Malaca to Martavan, which is a port in Pegu , there come many small ships, and great, laden with pepper, Sandolo, Porcellan of China, Camfora, Bruneo and other marchandise. The ships that come from Mecca enter into the port of Pegu and Cirion, and those shippes bring cloth of Wooll, Scarlets, Velvets, Opium, and Chickinos, by the which they lose, and they bring them because they have no other thing that is good for Pegu : but they esteeme not the losse of them, for that they make such great gaine of their commodities that they cary from thence out of that kingdome. Also the king of Assi his ships come thither into the same port laden with peper; from the coast of S. Tome of Bengala out of the Sea of Bara to Pegu are three hundreth miles, and they go it up the river in foure daies, with the encreasing water, or with the flood, to a City called Cosmin, and there they discharge their ships, whither the Customers of Pegu come to take the note and markes of all the goods of every man, & take the charge of the goods on them, and convey them to Pegu , into the kings house, wherin they make the custome of the marchandize. When the Customers have taken the charge of the goods & put them into barks, the Retor of the City giveth licence to the Marchants to take barke, and goe up to Pegu with their marchandize; and so three or foure of them take a barke and goe up to Pegu in company. God deliver every man that hee give not a wrong note, and entrie, or thinke to steale any custome: for if they do, for the least trifle that is, he is utterly undone, for the king doeth take it for a most great affront to bee deceived of his custome; and therefore they make diligent searches, three times at the lading and unlading of the goods, and at the taking of them a land. In Pegu this search they make when they goe out of the ship for Diamonds, Pearles, and fine cloth which taketh little roome: for because that all the jewels that come into Pegu , and are not found of that countrey, pay custome, but Rubies, Safyres and Spinels pay no custome in nor out: because they are found growing in that Countrey. I have spoken before, how that all Marchants that meane to goe thorow the Indies, must cary al maner of household stuffe with them which is necessary for a house, because that there is not any lodging nor Innes nor hostes, nor chamber roome in that Countrey, but the first thing a man doth when he commeth to any City is to hier a house, either by the yeere or by the moneth, or as he meanes to stay in those parts.

In Pegu their order is to hire their houses for sixe moneths. Nowe from Cosmin to the Citie of Pegu they goe in sixe houres with the flood, and if it be ebbing water, then they make fast their boate to the river side, and there tary until the water flow againe. It is a very commodious and pleasant voyage, having on both sides of the rivers many great vilages, which they call Cities : in the which hennes, pigeons, egges, milke, rice, and other things be very good cheape. It is all plaine, and a goodly Countrey, and in eight dayes you may make your voyage up to Macceo, distant from Pegu twelve miles, & there they discharge their goods, & lade them in Carts or waines drawen with oxen, and the Marchants are caried in a closet which they call Deling, in the which a man shall be very well accommodated, with cushions under his head, and covered for the defence of the Sunne and raine, and there he may sleepe if he have wil thereunto: and his foure Falchines cary him running away, changing two at one time and two at another. The custome of Pegu and fraight thither, may amount unto twentie or twentie two per cento, and 23. according as he hath more or lesse stolen from him that day they custome the goods. It is requisite that a man have his eyes watchfull, and to be carefull, and to have many friendes, for when they custome in the great hall of the king, there come many gentlemen accompanied with a number of their slaves, and these gentlemen have no shame that their slaves rob strangers : whether it be cloth in shewing of it or any other thing, they laugh at it. And although the Marchants helpe one another to keepe watch, & looke to their goods, they cannot looke therto so narrowly but one or other wil rob something, either more or lesse, according as their marchandise is more or lesse: and yet on this day there is a worse thing then this: although you have set so many eyes to looke there for your benefit, that you escape unrobbed of the slaves, a man cannot choose but that he must be robbed of the officers of the custome house. For paying the custome with the same goods oftentimes they take the best that you have, & not by rate of every sort as they ought to do, by which meanes a man payeth more then his dutie. At length when the goods be dispatched out of the custome house in this order, the Marchant causeth them to be caried to his house, and may do with them at his pleasure.

There are in Pegu 8. brokers of the kings, which are called Tareghe, who are bound to sell all the marchandize which come to Pegu , at the common or the currant price: then if the marchants wil sell their goods at that price, they sel them away, and the brokers have two in the hundreth of every sort of marchandise, and they are bound to make good the debts of those goods, because they be sold by their hands or meanes, & on their wordes, and oftentimes the marchant knoweth not to whom he giveth his goods, yet he cannot lose any thing thereby, for that the broker is bound in any wise to pay him, and if the marchant sel his goods without the consent of the broker, yet neverthelesse he must pay him two per cento, and be in danger of his money: but this is very seldom seene, because the wife, children, and slaves of the debtor are bound to the creditor, and when his time is expired and paiment not made, the creditor may take the debtor and cary him home to his house, and shut him up in a Magasin, whereby presently he hath his money, and not being able to pay the creditor, he may take the wife, children, and slaves of the debtor, and sel them, for so is the lawe of that kingdome. The currant money that is in this city, and throughout all this kingdom is called Gansa or Ganza, which is made of Copper and leade: It is not the money of the king, but every man may stamp it that wil, because it hath his just partition or value: but they make many of them false, by putting overmuch lead into them, and those will not passe, neither will any take them. With this money Ganza, you may buy golde or silver, Rubies and Muske, and other things. For there is no other money currant amongst them. And Golde, silver and other marchandize are at one time dearer then another, as all other things be.

This Ganza goeth by weight of Byze, & this name of Byza goeth for ye accompt of the weight, and commonly a Byza of a Ganza is worth (after our accompt) halfe a ducat, litle more or lesse: and albeit that Gold and silver is more or lesse in price, yet the Byza never changeth: every Byza maketh a hundreth Ganza of weight, and so the number of the money is Byza. He that goeth to Pegu to buy Jewels, if he wil do well, it behoveth him to be a whole yere there to do his businesse. For if so be that he would return with the ship he came in, he cannot do any thing so conveniently for the brevitie of the time, because that when they custome their goods in Pegu that come from S. Tome in their ships, it is as it were about Christmas: and when they have customed their goods, then must they sell them for their credits sake for a moneth or two: and then at the beginning of March the ships depart. The Marchants that come from S. Tome take for the paiment of their goods, gold, and silver, which is never wanting there. And 8. or 10. dayes before their departure they are all satisfied: also they may have Rubies in paiment, but they make no accompt of them : and they that will winter there for another yere, it is needfull that they be advertized, that in the sale of their goods, they specifie in their bargaine, the terme of two or 3. moneths paiment, & that their paiment shalbe in so many Ganza, and neither golde nor silver: because that with the Ganza they may buy & sel every thing with great advantage. And how needful is it to be advertized, when they wil recover their paiments, in what order they shal receive their Ganza? Because he that is not experienced may do himselfe great wrong in the weight of the Gansa, as also in the falsenesse of them: in the weight he may be greatly deceived, because that from place to place it doth rise and fall greatly: and therefore when any wil receive money or make paiment, he must take a publique wayer of money, a day or two before he go about his businesse, and give him in paiment for his labour two Byzaes a moneth, and for this he is bound to make good all your money, & to maintaine it for good, for that hee receiveth it and scales the bags with his seale: and when hee hath received any store, then hee causeth it to bee brought into the Magason of the Marchant, that is the owner of it.

That money is very weightie, for fourtie Byza is a strong Porters burden; and also where the Marchant hath any payment to be made for those goods which he buyeth, the Common wayer of money that receiveth his money must make the payment thereof. So that by this meanes, the Marchant with the charges of two Byzes a moneth, receiveth and payeth out his money without losse or trouble. The Marchandizes that goe out of Pegu are Gold, Silver, Rubies, Saphyres, Spinelles, great store of Benjamin, long peper, Leade, Lacca, rice, wine, some sugar, yet there might be great store of sugar made in the Countrey, for that they have aboundance of Canes, but they give them to Eliphants to eate, and the people consume great store of them for food, and many more doe they consume in vaine things, as these following. In that kingdome they spend many of these Sugar canes in making of houses and tents which they call Varely for their idoles, which they call Pagodes, whereof there are great aboundance, great and smal, and these houses are made in forme of little hilles, like to Sugar loaves or to Bells, and some of these houses are as high as a reasonable steeple, at the foote they are very large, some of them be in circuit a quarter of a mile. The saide houses within are full of earth, and walled round about with brickes and dirt in steade of lime, and without forme, from the top to the foote they make a covering for them with Sugar canes, and plaister it with lime all over, for otherwise they would bee spoyled, by the great aboundance of raine that falleth in those Countreys. Also they consume about these Varely or idol houses great store of leafe-gold, for that they overlay all the tops of the houses with gold, and some of them are covered with golde from the top to the foote: in covering whereof there is great store of gold spent, for that every 10. yeeres they new overlay them with gold, from the top to the foote, so that with this vanitie they spend great aboundance of golde. For every 10. yeres the raine doeth consume the gold from these houses. And by this meanes they make golde dearer in Pegu then it would bee, if they consumed not so much in this vanitie. Also it is a thing to bee noted in the buying of jewels in Pegu , that he that hath no knowledge shall have as good jewels, and as good cheap, as he that hath bene practized there a long time, which is a good order, and it is in this wise. There are in Pegu foure men of good reputation, which are called Tareghe, or brokers of Jewels. These foure men have all the Jewels or Rubies in their handes, and the Marchant that wil buy commeth to one of these Tareghe and telleth him, that he hath so much money to imploy in Rubies. For through the hands of these foure men passe all the Rubies: for they have such quantitie, that they knowe not what to doe with them, but sell them at most vile and base prices. When the Marchant hath broken his mind to one of these brokers or Tareghe, they cary him home to one of their Shops, although he hath no knowledge in Jewels: and when the Jewellers perceive that hee will employ a good round summe, they will make a bargaine, and if not, they let him alone. The use generally of this Citie is this; that when any Marchant hath bought any great quantitie of Rubies, and hath agreed for them, hee carieth them home to his house, let them be of what value they will, he shall have space to looke on them and peruse them two or three dayes: and if he hath no knowledge in them, he shall alwayes have many Marchants in that Citie that have very good knowledge in Jewels; with whom he may alwayes conferre and take counsell, and may shew them unto whom he will; and if he finde that hee hath not employed his money well, hee may returne his Jewels backe to them whom hee had them of, without any losse at all. Which thing is such a shame to the Tareghe to have his Jewels returne, that he had rather beare a blow on the face then that it should be thought that he solde them so deere to have them returned. For these men have alwayes great care that they affoord good peniworths, especially to those that have no knowledge. This they doe, because they woulde not loose their credite: and when those Marchants that have knowledge in Jewels buy any, if they buy them deere, it is their own faults and not the brokers : yet it is good to have knowledge in Jewels, by reason that it may somewhat ease the price. There is also a very good order which they have in buying of Jewels, which is this; There are many Marchants that stand by at the making of the bargaine, and because they shall not understand howe the Jewels be solde, the Broker and the Marchants have their hands under a cloth, and by touching of fingers and nipping the joynts they know what is done, what is bidden, and what is asked. So that the standers by knowe not what is demaunded for them, although it be for a thousand or 10. thousand duckets. For every joynt and every finger hath his signification. For if the Marchants that stande by should understand the bargaine, it would breede great controversie amongst them. And at my being in Pegu in the moneth of August, in Anno 1569. having gotten well by my endevour, I was desirous to see mine owne Countrey, and I thought it good to goe by the way of S. Tome, but then I should tary until March.

In which journey I was counsailed, yea, and fully resolved to go by the way of Bengala, with a shippe there ready to depart for that voyage. And then wee departed from Pegu to Chatigan a great harbour or port, from whence there goe smal ships to Cochin, before the fleete depart for Portugall, in which ships I was fully determined to goe to Lisbon , and so to Venice . When I had thus resolved my selfe, I went a boord of the shippe of Bengala, at which time it was the yeere of Touffon : concerning which Touffon ye are to understand, that in the East Indies often times, there are not stormes as in other countreys; but every 10. or 12. yeeres there are such tempests and stormes, that it is a thing incredible, but to those that have scene it, neither do they know certainly what yeere they wil come.

Unfortunate are they that are at sea in that yere and time of the Touffon, because few there are that escape that danger. In this yere it was our chance to be at sea with the like storme, but it happened well unto us, for that our ship was newly over-plancked, and had not any thing in her save victuall and balasts, Silver and golde, which from Pegu they cary to Bengala, and no other kinde of Marchandise. This Touffon or cruel storme endured three dayes and three nights: in which time it caried away our sailes, yards, and rudder; and because the shippe laboured in the Sea, wee cut our mast over boord: which when we had done she laboured a great deale more then before, in such wise, that she was almost full with water that came over the highest part of her and so went downe: and for the space of three dayes and three nights sixtie men did nothing but hale water out of her in this wise, twentie men in one place, and twentie men in another place, and twentie in a thirde place: and for all this storme, the shippe was so good, that shee tooke not one jot of water below through her sides, but all ran downe through the hatches, so that those sixtie men did nothing but cast the Sea into the Sea. And thus driving too and fro as the winde and Sea would, we were in a darke night about foure of the clocke cast on a sholde: yet when it was day, we could neither see land on one side nor other, and knew not where we were. And as it pleased the divine power, there came a great wave of the Sea, which drave us beyonde the should. And when wee felt the shippe aflote, we rose up as men revived, because the Sea was calme and smooth water, and then sounding we found twelve fadome water, and within a while after wee had but sixe fadome, and then presently we came to anker with a small anker that was left us at the sterne, for all our other were lost in the storme: and by and by the shippe strooke a ground, and then wee did prop her that she should not overthrow.

When it was day the shippe was all dry, and wee found her a good mile from the Sea on drie land. This Touffon being ended, we discovered an Island not farre from us, and we went from the shippe on the sands to see what Island it was : and wee found it a place inhabited, and, to my judgement, the fertilest Island in all the world, the which is divided into two parts by a chanell which passeth betweene it, & with great trouble we brought our ship into the same chanel, which parteth the Island at flowing water, and there we determined to stay 40. dayes to refresh us. And when the people of the Island saw the ship, and that we were comming a land: presently they. made a place of bazar or a market, with shops right over against the ship with all maner of provision of victuals to eate, which they brought downe in great abundance, and sold it so good cheape, that we were amazed at the cheapenesse thereof. I bought many salted kine there, for the provision of the ship, for halfe a Larine a piece, which Larine may be 12. shillings sixe pence, being very good and fat; and 4. wilde hogges ready dressed for a Larine; great fat hennes for a Bizze a piece, which is at the most a pennie: and the people told us that we were deceived the halfe of our money, because we bought things so deare. Also a sacke of fine rice for a thing of nothing, and consequently all other things for humaine sustenance were there in such aboundance, that it is a thing incredible but to them that have seene it. This Island is called Sondiva belonging to the kingdome of Bengala, distant 120. miles from Chatigan, to which place wee were bound. The people are Moores, and the king a very good man of a Moore king, for if he had bin a tyrant as others be, he might have robbed us of all, because the Portugall captaine of Chatigan was in armes against the Retor of that place, & every day there were some slaine, at which newes we rested there with no smal feare, keeping good watch and ward aboord every night as the use is, but the governour of the towne did comfort us, and bad us that we should feare nothing, but that we should repose our selves securely without any danger, although the Portugales of Chatigan had slaine the governour of that City, and said that we were not culpable in that fact: and moreover he did us every day what pleasure he could, which was a thing contrary to our expectations considering that they & the people of Chatigan were both subjects to one king. We departed from Sondiva, & came to Chatigan the great port of Bengala, at the same time when the Portugales had made peace and taken a truce with the governours of the towne, with this condition that the chiefe Captaine of the Portugales with his ship should depart without any lading: for there were then at that time 18. ships of Portugales great and small. This Captaine being a Gentleman and of good courage, was notwithstanding contented to depart to his greatest hinderance, rather then hee would seeke to hinder so many of his friends as were there, as also because the time of the yeere was spent to go to the Indies. The night before he departed, every ship that had any lading therein, put it aboord of the Captaine to helpe to ease his charge and to recompence his courtesies. In this time there came a messenger from the king of Rachim to this Portugal Captaine, who saide in the behalfe of his king, that hee had heard of the courage and valure of him, desiring him gently that he would vouchsafe to come with the ship into his port, and comming thither he should be very wel intreated. This Portugal went thither and was very well satisfied of this King.

This King of Rachim hath his seate in the middle coast betweene Bengala and Pegu , and the greatest enemie he hath is the king of Pegu : which king of Pegu deviseth night and day how to make this king of Rachim his subject, but by no meanes hee is able to doe it: because the king of Pegu hath no power nor armie by Sea. And this king of Rachim may arme two hundreth Galleyes or Fusts by Sea, and by land he hath certaine sluses with the which when the king of Pegu pretendeth any harme towards him, hee may at his pleasure drowne a great part of the Countrey. So that by this meanes hee cutteth off the way whereby the king of Pegu should come with his power to hurt him.

From the great port of Chatigan they cary for the Indies great store of rice, very great quantitie of Bombast cloth of every sort, Suger, come, and money, with other marchandize. And by reason of the warres in Chatigan, the Portugall ships taried there so long, that they arrived not at Cochin so soone as they were wont to doe other yeeres. For which cause the fleete that was at Cochin was departed for Portugal before they arrived there, and I being in one of the small shippes before the fleete, in discovering of Cochin, we also discovered the last shippe of the Fleete that went from Cochin to Portugall, where shee made saile, for which I was marveilously discomforted, because that all the yeere following, there was no going for Portugale, and when we arrived at Cochin I was fully determined to goe for Venice by the way of Ormus, and at that time the Citie of Goa was besieged by the people of Dialcan, but the Citizens forced not this assault, because they supposed that it would not continue long. For all this I embarked my selfe in a Galley that went for Goa, meaning there to shippe my selfe for Ormus: but when we came to Goa, the Viceroy would not suffer any Portugal to depart, by reason of the warres. And being in Goa but a small time, I fell sicke of an infirmitie that helde mee foure moneths: which with phisicke and diet cost me eight hundred duckets, and there I was constrained to sell a smal quantitie of Rubies to sustaine my neede: and I solde that for five hundreth duckets, that was worth a thousand. And when I beganne to waxe well of my disease, I had but little of that money left, every thing was so scarse: For every chicken (and yet not good) cost mee seven or eight Livers, which is sixe shillings, or sixe shillings eight pence. Beside this great charges, the Apothecaries with their medicines were no small charge to me. At the ende of sixe moneths they raised the siege, and then I beganne to worke, for Jewels were risen in their prices: for, whereas before I sold a few of refused Rubies, I determined then to sell the rest of all my Jewels that I had there, and to make an other voyage to Pegu . And for because that at my departure from Pegu , Opium was in great request, I went then to Cambaya to imploy a good round summe of money in Opium, and there I bought 60. percels of Opium, which cost me two thousand & a hundreth duckets, every ducket at foure shillings two pence. Moreover I bought three bales of Bombast cloth, which cost me eight hundred duckats, which was a good commoditie for Pegu : when I had bought these things, the Viceroy commanded that the custome of the Opium should be paide in Goa, and paying custome there I might cary it whither I would. I shipped my 3. bales of cloth at Chaul in a shippe that went for Cochin, and I went to Goa to pay the aforesaid custome for my Opium, and from Goa I departed to Cochin in a ship that was for the voyage of Pegu , and went to winter then at S. Tome. When I came to Cochin, I understood that the ship that had my three bales of cloth was cast away and lost, so that I lost my 800. Serafins or duckats: and departing from Cochin to goe for S. Tome, in casting about for the Island of Zeilan the Pilote was deceived, for that the Cape of the Island of Zeilan lieth farre out into the sea, and the Pilot thinking that he might have passed hard aboord the Cape, and paying roomer in the night; when it was morning we were farre within the Cape, and past all remedy to go out, by reason the winds blew so fiercely against us. So that by this meanes we lost our voyage for that yere, and we went to Manar with the ship to winter there, the ship having lost her mastes, and with great diligence we hardly saved her, with great losses to the Captaine of the ship, because he was forced to fraight another ship in S. Tome for Pegu with great losses and interest, and I with my friends agreed together in Manar to take a bark to cary us to S. Tome; which thing we did with al the rest of the marchants; and ariving at S. Tome I had news through or by the way of Bengala, that in Pegu Opium was very deare, and I knew that in S. Tome there was no Opium but mine to go for Pegu that yere, so that I was holden of al the marchants there to be very rich: and so it would have proved, if my adverse fortune had not bin contrary to my hope, which was this. At that time there went a great ship from Cambaya, to the king of Assi, with great quantitie of Opium, & there to lade peper: in which voyage there came such a storme, that the ship was forced with wether to goe roomer 800. miles, and by this meanes came to Pegu , whereas they arived a day before mee; so that Opium which was before very deare, was now at a base price: so that which was sold for fiftie Bizze before, was solde for 2. Bizze & an halfe, there was such quantitie came in that ship; so that I was glad to stay two yeres in Pegu unlesse I would have given away my commoditie : and at the end of two yeres of my 2100. duckets which I bestowed in Cambaya, I made but a thousand duckets. Then I departed againe from Pegu to goe for the Indies and for Ormus with great quantitie of Lacca, and from Ormus I returned into the Indies for Chaul, and from Chaul to Cochin, and from Cochin to Pegu . Once more I lost occasion to make me riche, for whereas I might have brought good store of Opium againe, I brought but a little, being fearefull of my other voyage before. In this small quantitie I made good profite. And now againe I determined to go for my Countrey, and departing from Pegu , I tarried and wintered in Cochin, and then I left the Indies and came for Ormus.

I thinke it very necessary before I ende my voyage, to reason somewhat, and to shewe what fruits the Indies do yeeld and bring forth. First, in the Indies and other East parts of India there is Peper and ginger, which groweth in all parts of India. And in some parts of the Indies, the greatest quantitie of peper groweth amongst wilde bushes, without any maner of labour: saving, that when it is ripe they goe and gather it. The tree that the peper groweth on is like to our Ivie, which runneth up to the tops of trees wheresoever it groweth : and if it should not take holde of some tree, it would lie flat and rot on the ground. This peper tree hath his floure and berry like in all parts to our Ivie berry, and those berries be graines of peper: so that when they gather them they be greene, and then they lay them in the Sunne, and they become blacke.

The Ginger groweth in this wise: the land is tilled and sowen, and the herbe is like to Panizzo, and the roote is the ginger. These two spices grow in divers places.

The Cloves come all from the Moluccas , which Moluccas are two Islands, not very great, and the tree that they grow on is like to our Lawrell tree.

The Nutmegs and Maces, which grow both together, are brought from the Island of Banda, whose tree is like to our walnut tree, but not so big.

All the good white Sandol is brought from the Island of Timor. Canfora being compound commeth all from China , and all that which groweth in canes commeth from Borneo , & I thinke that this Canfora commeth not into these parts : for that in India they consume great store, and that is very deare. The good Lignum Aloes commeth from Cauchinchina.

The Benjamin commeth from the kingdome of Assi and Sion .

Long peper groweth in Bengala, Pegu , and Java .

Muske commeth from Tartaria, which they make in this order, as by good information I have bene told. There is a certaine beast in Tartaria, which is wilde and as big as a wolfe, which beast they take alive, & beat him to death with small staves yt his blood may be spread through his whole body, then they cut it in pieces, & take out all the bones, & beat the flesh with the blood in a morter very smal, and dry it, and make purses to put it in of the skin, and these be the cods of muske.

Truely I know not whereof the Amber is made, and there are divers opinions of it, but this is most certaine, it is cast out of the Sea, and throwne on land, and found upon the sea bankes.

The Rubies, Saphyres, and the Spinels be gotten in the kingdome of Pegu . The Diamants come from divers places; and I know but three sorts of them. That sort of Diamants that is called Chiappe, commeth from Bezeneger. Those that be pointed naturally come from the land of Delly, and from Java , but the Diamants of Java are more waightie then the other. I could never understand from whence they that are called Balassi come.

Pearles they fish in divers places, as before in this booke is showne.

From Cambaza commeth the Spodiom which congeleth in certaine canes, whereof I found many in Pegu , when I made my house there, because that (as I have said before) they make their houses there of woven canes like to mats. From Chaul they trade alongst the coast of Melinde in Ethiopia , within the land of Cafraria: on that coast are many good harbors kept by the Moores. Thither the Portugals bring a kinde of Bombast cloth of a low price, and great store of Paternosters or beads made of paltrie glasse, which they make in Chaul according to the use of the Countrey: and from thence they cary Elephants teeth for India, slaves called Cafari, and some Amber and Gold. On this coast the king of Portugall hath his castle called Mozambique, which is of as great importance as any castle that hee hath in all his Indies under his protection, and the Captaine of this castle hath certaine voyages to this Cafraria, to which places no Marchants may goe, but by the Agent of this Captaine : and they use to goe in small shippes, and trade with the Cafars, and their trade in buying and selling is without any speach one to the other. In this wise the Portugals bring their goods by litle and litle alongst the Sea coast, and lay them downe: and so depart, and the Cafar Marchants come and see the goods, & there they put downe as much gold as they thinke the goods are worth, and so goe their way and leave their golde and the goods together, then commeth the Portugal , and finding the golde to his content, hee taketh it and goeth his way into his ship, and then commeth the Cafar and taketh the goods and carieth them away: and if he finde the golde there still, it is a signe that the Portugals are not contented, and if the Cafar thinke he hath put too little, he addeth more, as he thinketh the thing is worth: and the Portugales must not stand with them too strickt; for if they doe, then they will have no more trade with them: For they disdaine to be refused, when they thinke that they have offered ynough, for they be a peevish people, and have dealt so of a long time: and by this trade the Portugals change their commodities into gold, and cary it to the Castle of Mozambique, which is in an Island not farre distant from the firme land of Cafraria on the coast of Ethiopia , and is distant from India 2800. miles. Now to returne to my voyage, when I came to Ormus, I found there Master Francis Berettin of Venice, and we fraighted a bark together to goe for Basora for 70. duckets, and with us there went other Marchants, which did ease our fraight, and very commodiously wee came to Basora and there we stayed 40. dayes for providing a Carovan of barks to go to Babylon, because they use not to goe two or 3. barkes at once, but 25. or 30. because in the night they cannot go, but must make them fast to the banks of the river, and then we must make a very good & strong guard, and be wel provided of armor, for respect & safegard of our goods, because the number of theeves is great that come to spoile and rob the marchants. And when we depart for Babylon we goe a litle with our saile, and the voyage is 38. or 40. dayes long, but we were 50. dayes on it. When we came to Babylon we stayed there 4. moneths, until the Carovan was ready to go over the wildernes, or desert for Alepo; in this citie we were 6. Marchants that accompanied together, five Venetians and a Portugal ; whose names were as followeth, Messer Florinasa with one of his kinsmen, Messer Andrea de Polo, the Portugal & M. Francis Berettin and I, and so wee furnished our selves with victuals and beanes for our horses for 40. dayes; and wee bought horses and mules, for that they bee very good cheape there, I my selfe bought a horse there for 11. akens, and solde him after in Alepo for 30. duckets. Also we bought a Tent which did us very great pleasure: we had also amongst us 32. Camels laden with marchandise: for the which we paid 2. duckets for every camels lading, and for every 10. camels they made 11, for so is their use and custome. We take also with us 3. men to serve us in the voyage, which are used to goe in those voyages for five D d. a man, and are bound to serve us to Alepo: so that we passed very well without any trouble: when the camels cried out to rest, our pavilion was the first that was erected. The Carovan maketh but small journeis about 20. miles a day, & they set forwards every morning before day two houres, and about two in the afternoone they sit downe. We had great good hap in our voyage, for that it rained : For which cause we never wanted water, but every day found good water, so that we could not take any hurt for want of water. Yet we caried a camel laden alwayes with water for every good respect that might chance in the desert, so that wee had no want neither of one thing, nor other that was to bee had in the countrey. For wee came very well furnished of every thing, and every day we eat fresh mutton, because there came many shepheards with us with their flocks, who kept those sheepe that we bought in Babylon, and every marchant marked his sheepe with his owne marke, and we gave the shepheards a Medin, which is two pence of our money, for the keeping and feeding our sheep on the way, and for killing of them. And beside the Medin they have the heads, the skinnes, and the intrals of every sheepe they kil. We sixe bought 20. sheepe, and when we came to Alepo we had 7. alive of them. And in the Carovan they use this order, that the marchants doe lende flesh one to another, because they will not cary raw flesh with them, but pleasure one another by lending one one day, and another another day.

From Babylon to Alepo is 40. dayes journey, of the which they make 36. dayes over the wildernes, in which 36. dayes they neither see house, trees, nor people that inhabite it, but onely a plaine, and no signe of any way in the world. The Pilots go before, and the Carovan followeth after. And when they sit downe all the Carovan unladeth and sitteth downe, for they know the stations where the wells are. I say, in 36. dayes we passe over the wildernesse. For when wee depart from Babylon two dayes we passe by villages inhabited until we have passed the river Euphrates . And then within two dayes of Alepo we have villages inhabited. In this Carovan there goeth alway a Captaine that doth Justice unto all men: and every night they keepe watch about the Carovan, and comming to Alepo we went to Tripoli , whereas Master Florin, and Master Andrea Polo, and I, with a Frier, went and hired a barke to goe with us to Jerusalem. Departing from Tripolie, we arrived at Jaffa : from which place in a day and halfe we went to Jerusalem, and we gave order to our barke to tary for us untill our returne. Wee stayed in Jerusalem 14. dayes, to visite those holy places: from whence we returned to Jaffa , and from Jaffa to Tripolie, and there wee shipped our selves in a ship of Venice called the Bagazzana: And by the helpe of the divine power, we arrived safely in Venice the fift of November 1581. If there be any that hath any desire to goe into those partes of India, let him not be astonied at the troubles that I have passed: because I was intangled in many things : for that I went very poore from Venice with 1200. duckets imployed in marchandize, and when I came to Tripolie, I fell sicke in the house of Master Regaly Oratio, and this man sent away my goods with a small Carovan that went from Tripolie to Alepo, and the Carovan was robd, and all my goods lost saving foure chests of glasses which cost me 200. duckets, of which glasses I found many broken: because the theeves thinking it had bene other marchandize, brake them up, and seeing they were glasses they let them all alone. And with this onely stocke I adventured to goe into the Indies: And thus with change and rechange, and by diligence in my voyage, God did blesse and helpe mee, so that I got a good stocke. I will not be unmindfull to put them in remembrance, that have a desire to goe into those parts, how they shall keepe their goods, and give them to their heires at the time of their death, and howe this may be done very securely. In all the cities that the Portugales have in the Indies, there is a house called the schoole of Sancta misericordia comissaria : the governours whereof, if you give them for their paines, will take a coppy of your will and Testament, which you must alwayes cary about you; and chiefly when you go into the Indies. In the countrey of the Moores and Gentiles, in those voyages alwayes there goeth a Captaine to administer Justice to all Christians of the Portugales. Also this captaine hath authoritie to recover the goods of those Marchants that by chance die in those voyages, and they that have not made their Wills and registred them in the aforesaide schooles, the Captaines wil consume their goods in such wise, that litle or nothing will be left for their heires and friends. Also there goeth in these same voyages some marchants that are commissaries of the schoole of Sancta misericordia, that if any Marchant die and have his Will made, and hath given order that the schoole of Misericordia shall have his goods and sell them, then they sende the money by exchange to the schoole of Misericordia in Lisbone, with that copie of his Testament, then from Lisbon they give intelligence thereof, into what part of Christendome soever it be, and the heires of such a one comming thither, with testimoniall that they be heires, they shall receive there the value of his goods: in such wise that they shall not loose any thing. But they that die in the kingdome of Pegu loose the thirde part of their goods by ancient custome of the Countrey, that if any Christian dieth in the kingdome of Pegu , the king and his officers rest heires of a thirde of his goods, and there hath never bene any deceit or fraude used in this matter. I have knowen many rich men that have dwelled in Pegu , and in their age they have desired to go into their owne Countrey to die there, and have departed with al their goods and substance without let or trouble.

In Pegu the fashion of their apparel is all one, as well the Noble man, as the simple: the onely difference is in the finenes of the cloth, which is cloth of Bombast one finer then another, and they weare their apparell in this wise : First, a white Bombast cloth which serveth for a shirt, then they gird another painted bombast cloth of foureteene brases, which they binde up betwixt their legges, and on their heads they weare a small tock of three braces, made in guize of a myter, and some goe without tocks, and cary (as it were) a hive on their heades, which doeth not passe the lower part of his eare, when it is lifted up: they goe all bare footed, but the Noble men never goe on foote, but are caried by men in a seate with great reputation, with a hat made of the leaves of a tree to keepe him from the raine and Sunne, or otherwise they ride on horsebacke with their feete bare in the stirops. All sorts of women whatsoever they be, weare a smocke downe to the girdle, and from the girdle downewards to the foote they weare a cloth of three brases, open before; so straite that they cannot goe, but they must shewe their secret as it were aloft, and in their going they faine to hide it with their hand, but they cannot by reason of the straitnes of their cloth. They say that this use was invented by a Queene to be an occasion that the sight thereof might remove from men the vices against nature, which they are greatly given unto: which sight should cause them to regard women the more. Also the women goe bare footed, their armes laden with hoopes of golde and Jewels: And their fingers full of precious rings, with their haire rolled up about their heads. Many of them weare a cloth about their shoulders in stead of a cloake.

Now to finish that which I have begunne to write, I say, that those parts of the Indies are very good, because that a man that hath litle, shall make a great deale thereof; alwayes they must governe themselves that they be taken for honest men. For why? to such there shal never want helpe to doe wel, but he that is vicious, let him tary at home and not go thither, because he shall alwayes be a begger, and die a poore man.

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