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The voyage and travell of M. Caesar Fredericke, Marchant of Venice, into the East India, and beyond the Indies. Wherein are conteined the customes and rites of those countries, the merchandises and commodities, aswell of golde and silver, as spices, drugges, pearles, and other jewels: translated out of Italian by M. Thomas Hickocke.

Caesar Fredericke to the Reader.

I HAVING (gentle Reader) for the space of eighteene yeeres continually coasted and travelled, as it were, all the East Indies, and many other countreys beyond the Indies, wherein I have had both good and ill successe in my travels: and having scene & understood many things woorthy the noting, and to be knowen to all the world, the which were never as yet written of any: I thought it good (seeing the Almighty had given me grace, after so long perils in passing such a long voyage to returne into mine owne countrey, the noble city of Venice ) I say, I thought it good, as briefly as I could, to write and set forth this voyage made by me, with the marvellous things I have seene in my travels in the Indies : The mighty Princes that governe those countreys, their religion and faith that they have, the rites and customes which they use, and live by, of the divers successe that happened unto me, and how many of these countreys are abounding with spices, drugs, and jewels, giving also profitable advertisement to all those that have a desire to make such a voyage. And because that the whole world may more commodiously rejoyce at this my travell, I have caused it to be printed in this order: and now I present it unto you (gentle & loving Readers) to whom for the varieties of things heerein conteined, I hope that it shall be with great delight received. And thus God of his goodnesse keepe you.

A voyage to the East Indies, and beyond the Indies, &c.

IN the yere of our Lord God 1563, I Caesar Fredericke being in Venice , and very desirous to see the East parts of the world, shipped my selfe in a shippe called the Gradaige of Venice, with certaine marchandise, governed by M. Jacomo Vatica, which was bound to Cyprus with his ship, with whom I went: and when we were arrived in Cyprus , I left that ship, and went in a lesser to Tripoly in Soria , where I stayed a while. Afterward I tooke my journey to Alepo, and there I acquainted my selfe with marchants of Armenia , and Moores, that were marchants, and consorted to go with them to Ormus, and wee departed from Alepo, and in two dayes journey and a halfe, wee came to a city called Bir.

Of the city called Bir.

BIR is a small city very scarse of all maner of victuals, and nere unto the walles of the city runneth the river of Euphrates . In this city the marchants divide themselves into companies, according to their merchandise that they have, and there either they buy or make a boat to carry them and their goods to Babylon downe the river Euphrates , with charge of a master and mariners to conduct the boat in the voyage: these boats are in a maner flat bottomed, yet they be very strong: and for all that they are so strong, they will serve but for one voyage. They are made according to the sholdnesse of the river, because that the river is in many places full of great stones, which greatly hinder and trouble those that goe downe the river. These boats serve but for one voyage downe the river unto a village called Feluchia, because it is impossible to bring them up the river backe againe. At Feluchia the marchants plucke their boats in pieces, or else sell them for a small price, for that at Bir they cost the marchants forty or fifty chickens a piece, and they sel them at Feluchia for seven or eight chickens a piece, because that when the marchants returne from Babylon backe againe, if they have marchandise or goods that oweth custome, then they make their returne in forty dayes thorow the wildernesse, passing that way with a great deale lesser charges then the other way. And if they have not marchandise that oweth custome, then they goe by the way of Mosul, where it costeth them great charges both the Carovan and company. From Bir where the marchants imbarke themselves to Feluchia over against Babylon, if the river have good store of water, they shall make their voyage in fifteene or eighteene dayes downe the river, and if the water be lowe, and it hath not rained, then it is much trouble, and it will be forty or fifty dayes journey downe, because that when the barks strike on the stones that be in the river, then they must unlade them, which is great trouble, and then lade them againe when they have mended them : therefore it is not necessary, neither doe the marchants go with one boat alone, but with two or three, that if one boat split and be lost with striking on the sholdes, they may have another ready to take in their goods, untill such time as they have mended the broken boat, and if they draw the broken boat on land to mend her, it is hard to defend her in the night from the great multitude of Arabians that will come downe there to robbe you: and in the rivers every night, when you make fast your boat to the banckeside, you must keepe good watch against the Arabians which are theeves in number like to ants, yet when they come to robbe, they will not kill, but steale & run away. Harquebuzes are very good weapons against them, for that they stand greatly in feare of the shot. And as you passe the river Euphrates from Bir to Feluchia, there are certein places which you must passe by, where you pay custome certaine medines upon a bale, which custome is belonging to the sonne of Aborise king of the Arabians and of the desert, who hath certain cities and villages on the river Euphrates .

Feluchia and Babylon.

FELUCHIA is a village where they that come from Bir doe unbarke themselves and unlade their goods, and it is distant from Babylon a dayes journey and an halfe by land: Babylon is no great city, but it is very populous, and of great trade of strangers because it is a great thorowfare for Persia, Turkia, and Arabia : and very often times there goe out from thence Carovans into divers countreys: and the city is very copious of victuals, which comme out of Armenia downe the river of Tygris, on certaine Zattares or Raffes made of blowen hides or skinnes called Utrii. This river Tygris doeth wash the walles of the city. These Raffes are bound fast together, and then they lay boards on the aforesayd blowen skinnes, and on the boards they lade the commodities, and so come they to Babylon, where they unlade them, and being unladen, they let out the winde out of the skinnes, and lade them on cammels to make another voyage. This city of Babylon is situate in the kingdome of Persia, but now governed by the Turks. On the other side of the river towards Arabia , over against the city, there is a faire place or towne, and in it a faire Bazarro for marchants, with very many lodgings, where the greatest part of the marchants strangers which come to Babylon do lie with their marchandize. The passing over Tygris from Babylon to this Borough is by a long bridge made of boates chained together with great chaines : provided, that when the river waxeth great with the abundance of raine that falleth, then they open the bridge in the middle, where the one halfe of the bridge falleth to the walles of Babylon, and the other to the brinks of this Borough, on the other side of the river: and as long as the bridge is open, they passe the river in small boats with great danger, because of the smalnesse of the boats, and the overlading of them, that with the fiercenesse of the streame they be overthrowen, or els the streame doth cary them away, so that by this meanes, many people are lost and drowned: this thing by proofe I have many times seene.

Of the tower of Babylon.

THE Tower of Nimrod or Babel is situate on that side of Tygris that Arabia is, and in a very great plaine distant from Babylon seven or eight miles: which tower is ruinated on every side, and with the falling of it there is made a great mountaine: so that it hath no forme at all, yet there is a great part of it standing, which is compassed and almost covered with the aforesayd fallings: this Tower was builded and made of fouresquare Brickes, which Brickes were made of earth, and dried in the Sunne in maner and forme following: first they layed a lay of Brickes, then a Mat made of Canes, square as the Brickes, and in stead of lime, they daubed it with earth: these Mats of Canes are at this time so strong, that it is a thing woonderfull to beholde, being of such great antiquity: I have gone round about it, and have not found any place where there hath bene any doore or entrance: it may be in my judgement in circuit about a mile, and rather lesse then more.

This Tower in effect is contrary to all other things which are seene afar off, for they seeme small, & the more nere a man commeth to them the bigger they be: but this tower afar off seemeth a very great thing, and the nerer you come to it the lesser. My judgement & reason of this is, that because the Tower is set in a very great plaine, and hath nothing more about to make any shew saving the ruines of it which it hath made round about, and for this respect descrying it a farre off, that piece of the Tower which yet standeth with the mountaine that is made of the substance that hath fallen from it, maketh a greater shew then you shall finde comming neere to it.

Babylon and Basora.

FROM Babylon I departed for Basora, shipping my selfe in one of the barks that use to go in the river Tigris from Babylon to Basora, and from Basora to Babylon: which barks are made after the maner of Fusts or Galliots with a Speron and a covered poope: they have no pumpe in them because of the great abundance of pitch which they have to pitch them with all: which pitch they have in abundance two dayes journey from Babylon. Nere unto the river Euphrates , there is a city called Heit, nere unto which city there is a great plaine full of pitch, very marvellous to beholde, and a thing almost incredible, that out of a hole in the earth, which continually throweth out pitch into the aire with continuall smoake, this pitch is throwen with such force, that being hot it falleth like as it were sprinckled over all the plaine, in such abundance that the plaine is alwayes full of pitch: the Mores and the Arabians of that place say, that that hole is the mouth of hell: and in trueth, it is a thing very notable to be marked: and by this pitch the whole people have great benefit to pitch their barks, which barks they call Daneck and Saffin. When the river of Tygris is well replenished with water, you may passe from Babylon to Basora in eight or nine dayes, and sometimes more and sometimes lesse: we were halfe so much more which is 14 or 15 daies, because the waters were low: they may saile day & night, and there are some places in this way where you pay so many medins on a baile: if the waters be lowe, it is 18 dayes journey.


BASORA is a city of the Arabians, which of olde time was governed by those Arabians called Zizarii, but now it is governed by the great Turke where he keepeth an army to his great charges.

The Arabians called Zizarii have the possession of a great countrey, and cannot be overcome of the Turke, because that the sea hath divided their countrey into an Iland by channels with the ebbing and flowing of the sea, and for that cause the Turke cannot bring an army against them, neither by sea nor by land, and another reason is, the inhabitants of that Iland are very strong and warlike men. A dayes journey before you come to Basora, you shall have a little castle or fort, which is set on that point of the land where the rivers of Euphrates and Tygris meet together, and the castle is called Corna : at this point, the two rivers make a monstrous great river, that runneth into the sea, which is called the gulfe of Persia, which is towards the South: Basora is distant from the sea fifteene miles, and it is a city of great trade of spices and drugges which come from Ormus. Also there is great store of corne, Rice, and Dates, which the countrey doth yeeld. I shipped my selfe in Basora to go for Ormus, and so we sailed thorow the Persian sea six hundred miles, which is the distance from Basora to Ormus, and we sailed in small ships made of boards, bound together with small cords or ropes, and in stead of calking they lay betweene every board certaine straw which they have, and so they sowe board and board together, with the straw betweene, wherethorow there commeth much water, and they are very dangerous. Departing from Basora we passed 200 miles with the sea on our right hand, along the gulfe, until at length we arrived at an Iland called Carichii, fro whence we sailed to Ormus in sight of the Persian shore on the left side, and on the right side towards Arabia we discovered infinite Ilands.


ORMUS is an Iland in circuit five and twenty or thirty miles, and it is the barrenest and most drie Iland in all the world, because that in it there is nothing to be had, but salt water, and wood, all other things necessary for mans life are brought out of Persia twelve miles off, and out of other Ilands neere thereunto adjoyning, in such abundance and quantity, that the city is alwayes replenished with all maner of store: there is standing neere unto the waters side a very faire castell, in the which the captaine of the king of Portugall is alwayes resident with a good band of Portugalles, and before this castell is a very faire prospect : in the city dwell the maried men, souldiers and merchants of every nation, amongst whom there are Moores and Gentiles. In this city there is very great trade for all sorts of spices, drugges, silke, cloth of silke, brocardo, and divers other sorts of marchandise come out of Persia: and amongst all other trades of merchandise, the trade of Horses is very great there, which they carry from thence into the Indies. This Iland hath a Moore king of the race of the Persians, who is created and made king by the Captaine of the castle, in the name of the king of Portugall. At the creation of this king I was there, and saw the ceremonies that they use in it, which are as followeth. The olde King being dead, the Captaine of the Portugals chuseth another of the blood royall, and maketh this election in the castle with great ceremonies, and when hee is elected, the Captaine sweareth him to be true and faithfull to the King of Portugall, as his Lord and Governour, and then he giveth him the Scepter regall. After this with great feasting & pompe, and with great company, he is brought into the royall palace in the city. This King keepeth a good traine, and hath sufficient revenues to maintaine himselfe without troubling of any, because the Captaine of the castle doeth mainteine and defend his right, and when that the Captaine and he ride together, he is honoured as a king, yet he cannot ride abroad with his traine, without the consent of the Captaine first had: it behooveth them to doe this, and it is necessary, because of the great trade that is in the city: their proper language is the Persian tongue. There I shipped my selfe to goe for Goa, a city in the Indies, in a shippe that had fourescore horses in her. This is to advertise those Marchants that go from Ormus to Goa to shippe themselves in those shippes that carry horses, because every shippe that carrieth twenty horses or upwards is privileged, that all the marchandise whatsoever they carry shall pay no custome, whereas the shippes that carry no horses are bound to pay eight per cento of all the goods they bring.

Goa, Diu, and Cambaia.

GOA is the principall city that the Portugals have in the Indies, where is resident the Viceroy with his Court and ministers of the King of Portugall. From Ormus to Goa is nine hundred foure score and ten miles distance, in which passage the first city that you come to in the Indies, is called Diu, and is situate in a little Iland in the kingdome of Cambaia, which is the greatest strength that the Portugals have in all the Indies, yet a small city, but of great trade, because there they lade very many great ships for the straights of Mecca and Ormus with marchandise, and these shippes belong to the Moores and Christians, but the Moores can not trade neither saile into those seas without the licence of the Viceroy of the king of Portugall, otherwise they are taken and made good prises. The marchandise that they lade these ships withall commeth from Cambaietta a port in the kingdome of Cambaia, which they bring from thence in small barks, because there can no great shippes come thither, by reason of the sholdnesse of the water thereabouts, and these sholds are an hundred or fourescore miles about in a straight or gulfe, which they call Macareo, which is as much to say, as a race of a tide, because the waters there run out of that place without measure, so that there is no place like to it, unlesse it be in the kingdome of Pegu , where there is another Macareo, where the waters run out with more force then these doe. The principall city in Cambaia is called Amadavar, it is a dayes journey and an halfe from Cambaietta, it is a very great city and very populous, and for a city of the Gentiles it is very well made and builded with faire houses and large streets, with a faire place in it with many shippes, and in shew like to Cairo , but not so great: also Cambaietta is situate on the seas side, and is a very faire city. The time that I was there, the city was in great calamity & scarsenesse, so that I have seene the men of the countrey that were Gentiles take their children, their sonnes and their daughters, and have desired the Portugals to buy them, and I have seene them sold for eight or ten larines a piece, which may be of our money x.s. or xiii.s. iiii.d. For all this, if I had not seene it, I could not have beleeved that there should be such a trade at Cambaietta as there is : for in the time of every new Moone and every full Moone, the small barks (innumerable) come in and out, for at those times of the Moone the tides and waters are higher then at other times they be. These barkes be laden with all sorts of spices, with silke of China , with Sandols, with Elephants teeth, Velvets of Vercini, great quantity of Pannina, which commeth from Mecca , Chickinos which be pieces of golde woorth seven shillings a piece sterling, with money, and with divers sorts of other marchandize. Also these barks lade out, as it were, an infinite quantity of cloth made of Bumbast of all sorts, as white stamped and painted, with great quantity of Indico, dried ginger & conserved, Myrabolans drie and condite, Boraso in paste, great store of sugar, great quantity of Cotton, abundance of Opium, Assa Fetida, Puchio, with many other sorts of drugges, turbants made in Dui, great stones like to Corneolaes, Granats, Agats, Diaspry, Calcidonii, Hematists, and some kinde of naturall Diamonds. There is in the city of Cambaietta an order, but no man is bound to keepe it, but they that will; but all the Portugall marchants keepe it, the which is this. There are in this city certain Brokers which are Gentiles and of great authority, and have every one of them fifteene or twenty servants, and the Marchants that use that countrey have their Brokers, with which they be served: and they that have not bene there are informed by their friends of the order, and of what broker they shall be served. Now every fifteene dayes (as abovesayd) that the fleet of small shippes entreth into the port, the Brokers come to the water side, and these Marchants assoone as they are come on land, do give the cargason of all their goods to that Broker that they will have to do their businesse for them, with the marks of all the fardles and packs they have: and the marchant having taken on land all his furniture for his house, because it is needfull that the Marchants that trade to the Indies cary provision of housholde with them, because that in every place where they come they must have a new house, the Broker that hath received his cargason, commandeth his servants to carry the Marchants furniture for his house home, and load it on some cart, and carry it into the city, where the Brokers have divers empty houses meet for the lodging of Marchants, furnished onely with bedsteds, tables, chaires, and empty jarres for water: then the Broker sayth to the Marchant, Goe and repose your selfe, and take your rest in the city. The Broker tarrieth at the water side with the cargason, and causeth all his goods to be discharged out of the ship, and payeth the custome, and causeth it to be brought into the house where the marchant lieth, the Marchant not knowing any thing thereof, neither custome, nor charges. These goods being brought to this passe into the house of the Marchant, the Broker demandeth of the Marchant if he have any desire to sell his goods or marchandise, at the prises that such wares are worth at that present time? And if he hath a desire to sell his goods presently, then at that instant the Broker selleth them away. After this the Broker sayth to the Marchant, you have so much of every sort of marchandise neat and cleare of every charge, and so much ready money. And if the Marchant will imploy his money in other commodities, then the Broker telleth him that such and such commodities will cost so much, put aboord without any maner of charges. The Marchant understanding the effect, maketh his account; and if he thinke to buy or sell at the prices currant, he giveth order to make his marchandise away: and if he hath commodity for 20000 dukets, all shalbe bartred or solde away in fifteene dayes without any care or trouble: and when as the Marchant thinketh that he cannot sell his goods at the prise currant, he may tary as long as he will, but they cannot be solde by any man but by that Broker that hath taken them on land and payed the custome: and perchance tarying sometimes for sale of their commodity, they make good profit, and sometimes losse: but those marchandise that come not ordinarily every fifteene dayes, in tarying for the sale of them, there is great profit. The barks that lade in Cambaietta go for Diu to ade the ships that go from thence for the streights of Mecca and Ormus, and some go to Chaul and Goa: and these ships be very wel appointed, or els are guarded by the Armada of the Portugals, for that there are many Corsaries or Pyrats which goe coursing alongst that coast, robbing and spoiling: and for feare of these theeves there is no safe sailing in those seas, but with ships very well appointed and armed, or els with the fleet of the Portugals, as is aforesayd. In fine, the kingdome of Cambaia is a place of great trade, and hath much doings and traffique with all men, although hitherto it hath bene in the hands of tyrants, because that at 75 yeeres of age the true king being at the assault of Diu, was there slaine; whose name Sultan Badu. At that time foure or five captaines of the army divided the kingdome amongst themselves, and every one of them shewed in his countrey what tyranny he could: but twelve yeeres ago the great Mogol a Moore king of Agra and Delly, forty dayes journy within the land of Amadavar, because the governour of all the kingdome of Cambaia without any resistance, because he being of great power and force, devising which way to enter the land with his people, there was not any man that would make him any resistance, although they were tyrants and a beastly people, they were soone brought under obedience. During the time I dwelt in Cambaietta I saw very marvellous things : there were an infinite number of artificers that made bracelets called Mannii, or bracelets of elephants teeth, of divers colours, for the women of the Gentiles, which have their armes full decked with them. And in this occupation there are spent every yeere many thousands of crownes: the reason whereof is this, that when there dieth any whatsoever of their kindred, then in signe and token of mourning and sorrow, they breake all their bracelets from their armes, and presently they go and buy new againe, because that they had rather be without their meat then without their bracelets.

Daman . Basan. Tana .

HAVING passed Diu, I came to the second city that the Portugals have, called Daman , situate in the territory of Cambaia, distant from Diu an hundred and twenty miles: it is no towne of merchandise, save Rice and come, and hath many villages under it, where in time of peace the Portugals take their pleasure, but in time of warre the enemies have the spoile of them; in such wise that the Portugals have little benefit by them. Next unto Daman you shall have Basan, which is a filthy place in respect of Daman : in this place is Rice, Corne, and Timber to make shippes and gallies. And a small distance beyond Basan is a little Iland called Tana , a place very populous with Portugals, Moores, and Gentiles: these have nothing but Rice, there are many makers of Armesine, and weavers of girdles of wooll and bumbast blacke and redde like to Moocharies.

Of the cities of Chaul, and of the Palmer tree.

BEYOND this Iland you shall finde Chaul in the firme land; and they are two cities, one of the Portugals, and the other of the Moores: that city which the Portugals have is situate lower then the other, and governeth the mouth of the harbour, and is very strongly walled: and as it were a mile and an halfe distant from this is the city of Moores, governed by their king Zamalluco. In the time of warres there cannot any great ships come to the city of the Moores, because the Portugals with their ordinance will sincke them, for that they must perforce passe by the castles of the Portugals : both the cities are ports of the sea, and are great cities, and have unto them great traffique and trade of merchandise, of all sorts of spices, drugges, silke, cloth of silke, Sandols, Marsine, Versine, Porcelane of China, Velvets and Scarlets that come from Portugall, and from Mecca : with many other sortes of merchandise. There come every yeere from Cochin, and from Cananor tenne or fifteene great shippes laden with great Nuts cured, and with Sugar made of the selfe same Nuts called Giagra: the tree whereon these Nuts doe grow is called the Palmer tree: and thorowout all the Indies, and especially from this place to Goa there is great abundance of them, and it is like to the Date tree. In the whole world there is not a tree more profitable and of more goodnesse then this tree is, neither doe men reape so much benefit of any other tree as they do of this, there is not any part of it but serveth for some use, and none of it is woorthy to be burnt. With the timber of this tree they make shippes without the mixture of any other tree, and with the leaves thereof they make sailes, and with the fruit thereof, which be a kinde of Nuts, they make wine, and of the wine they make Sugar and Placetto, which wine they gather in the spring of the yeere: out of the middle of the tree where continually there goeth or runneth out white liquour like unto water, in that time of the yeere they put a vessell under every tree, and every evening and morning they take it away full, and then distilling it with fire it maketh a very strong liquour: and then they put it into buts, with a quantity of Zibibbo, white or blacke and in short time it is made a perfect wine. After this they make of the Nuts great store of oile: of the tree they make great quantity of boordes and quarters for buildings. Of the barke of this tree they make cables, ropes, and other furniture for shippes, and, as they say, these ropes be better then they that are made of Hempe. They make of the bowes, bedsteds, after the Indies fashion, and Scavasches for merchandise. The leaves they cut very small, and weave them, and so make sailes of them, for all maner of shipping, or els very fine mats. And then the first rinde of the Nut they stampe, and make thereof perfect Ockam to calke shippes, great and small: and of the hard barke thereof they make spoones and other vessels for meat, in such wise that there is no part thereof throwen away or cast to the fire. When these Mats be greene they are full of an excellent sweet water to drinke: and if a man be thirsty, with the liquour of one of the Mats he may satisfie himselfe : and as this Nut ripeneth, the liquor thereof turneth all to kernell. There goeth out of Chaul for Mallaca, for the Indies, for Macao , for Portugall, for the coasts of Melinde, for Ormus, as it were an infinite number and quantity of goods and merchandise that come out of the kingdome of Cambaia. as cloth of bumbast white, painted, printed, great quantity of Indico, Opium, Cotton, Silke of every sort, great store of Boraso in Paste, great store of Fetida, great store of yron, corne, and other merchandise. The Moore king Zamalluco is of great power, as one that at need may command, & hath in his camp, two hundred thousand men of warre, and hath great store of artillery, some of them made in pieces, which for their greatnesse can not bee carried to and fro; yet although they bee made in pieces, they are so commodious that they worke with them marvellous well, whose shotte is of stone, and there hath bene of that shot sent unto the king of Portugall for the rarenes of the thing. The city where the king Zamalluco hath his being, is within the land of Chaul seven or eight dayes journey, which city is called Abneger. Threescore and tenne miles from Chaul, towards the Indies, is the port of Dabul, an haven of the king Zamalluco: from thence to Goa is an hundred and fifty miles.


GOA is the principall city that the Portugals have in the Indies, wherein the Viceroy with his royall Court is resident, and is in an Iland which may be in circuit five and twenty or thirty miles: and the city with the boroughs is reasonable bigge, and for a citie of the Indies it is reasonable faire, but the Iland is farre more fairer: for it is as it were full of goodly gardens, replenished with divers trees and with the Palmer trees as is aforesayd. This city is of great trafique for all sorts of marchandise which they trade withall in those parts: and the fleet which commeth every yeere from Portugall, which are five or sixe great shippes that come directly for Goa, arrive there ordinarily the sixth or tenth of September, and there they remain forty or fifty dayes, and from thence they goe to Cochin, where they lade for Portugall, and often times they lade one shippe at Goa and the other at Cochin for Portugall. Cochin is distant from Goa three hundred miles. The city of Goa is situate in the kingdome of Dialcan a king of the Moores, whose chiefe city is up in the countrey eight dayes journey, and is called Bisapor: this king is of great power, for when I was in Goa in the yeere of our Lord 1570, this king came to give assault to Goa, being encamped neere unto it by a river side with an army of two hundred thousand men of warre, and he lay at this siege foureteene moneths: in which time there was peace concluded, and as report went amongst his people, there was great calamity and mortality which bred amongst them in the time of Winter, and also killed very many elephants. Then in the yeere of our Lord 1567, I went from Goa to Bezeneger the chiefe city of the kingdome of Narsinga eight dayes journey from Goa, within the land, in the company of two other merchants which carried with them three hundred Arabian horses to that king: because the horses of that countrey are of a small stature, and they pay well for the Arabian horses : and it is requisite that the merchants sell them well, for that they stand them in great charges to bring them out of Persia to Ormus, and from Ormus to Goa, where the ship that bringeth twenty horses and upwards payeth no custome, neither ship nor goods whatsoever; whereas if they bring no horses, they pay 8 per cento of all their goods: and at the going out of Goa the horses pay custome, two and forty pagodies for every horse, which pagody may be of sterling money sixe shillings eight pence, they be pieces of golde of that value. So that the Arabian horses are of great value in those countreys, as 300, 400, 500 duckets a horse, and to 1000 duckets a horse.


THE city of Bezeneger was sacked in the yeere 1565, by foure kings of the Moores, which were of great power and might: the names of these foure kings were these following, the first was called Dialcan, the second Zamaluc, the third Cotamaluc, and the fourth Viridy: and yet these foure kings were not able to overcome this city and the king of Bezeneger, but by treason. This king of Bezeneger was a Gentile, and had, amongst all other of his captaines, two which were notable, and they were Moores: and these two captaines had either of them in charge threescore and ten or fourescore thousand men. These two captaines being of one religion with the foure kings which were Moores, wrought meanes with them to betray their owne king into their hands. The king of Bezeneger esteemed not the force of the foure kings his enemies, but went out of his city to wage battell with them in the fieldes; and when the armies were joyned, the battell lasted but a while not the space of foure houres, because the two traitourous captaines, in the chiefest of the fight, with their companies turned their faces against their king, and made such disorder in his army, that as astonied they set themselves to flight. Thirty yeeres was this kingdome governed by three brethren which were tyrants, the which keeping the rightfull king in prison, it was their use every yeere once to shew him to the people, and they at their pleasures ruled as they listed. These brethren were three cap taines belonging to the father of the king they kept in prison, which when he died, left his sonne very yong, and then they tooke the government to themselves. The chiefest of these three was called Ramaragio, and sate in the royall throne, and was called the king: the second was called Temiragio, and he tooke the government on him: the third was called Bengatre, and he was captaine generall of the army. These three brethren were in this battell, in the which the chiefest and the last were never heard of quicke nor dead. Onely Temiragio fled in the battel, having lost one of his eyes: when the newes came to the city of the overthrow in the battell, the wives and children of these three tyrants, with their lawfull king (kept prisoner) fled away, spoiled as they were, & the foure kings of the Moores entred the city Bezeneger with great triumph, & there they remained sixe moneths, searching under houses & in all places for money & other things that were hidden, and then they departed to their owne kingdomes, because they were not able to maintaine such a kingdome as that was, so farre distant from their owne countrey.

When the kings were departed from Bezeneger, this Temiragio returned to the city, and then beganne for to repopulate it, and sent word to Goa to the Merchants, if they had any horses, to bring them to him, and he would pay well for them, and for this cause the aforesayd two Merchants that I went in company withall, carried those horses that they had to Bezeneger. Also this Tyrant made an order or lawe, that if any Merchant had any of the horses that were taken in the aforesayd battell or warres, although they were of his owne marke, that he would give as much for them as they would: and beside he gave generall safe conduct to all that should bring them. When by this meanes he saw that there were great store of horses brought thither unto him, hee gave the Merchants faire wordes, untill such time as he saw they could bring no more. Then he licenced the Merchants to depart, without giving them any thing for their horses, which when the poore men saw, they were desperate, and as it were mad with sorrow and griefe.

I rested in Bezeneger seven moneths, although in one moneth I might have discharged all my businesse, for it was necessary to rest there untill the wayes were cleere of theeves, which at that time ranged up and downe. And in the time I rested there, I saw many strange and beastly deeds done by the Gentiles. First, when there is any Noble man or woman dead, they burne their bodies: and if a married man die, his wife must burne herselfe alive, for the love of her husband, and with the body of her husband: so that when any man dieth, his wife will take a moneths leave, two or three, or as shee will, to burne her selfe in, and that day being come, wherein shee ought to be burnt, that morning shee goeth out of her house very earely, either on horsebacke or on an eliphant, or else is borne by eight men on a smal stage: in one of these orders she goeth, being apparelled like to a Bride, carried round about the City, with her haire downe about her shoulders, garnished with jewels and flowers, according to the estate of the party, and they goe with as great joy as Brides doe in Venice to their nuptials : shee carrieth in her left hand a looking glasse, and in her right hand an arrow, and singeth thorow the City as she passeth, and sayth, that she goeth to sleepe with her deere spowse and husband. She is accompanied with her kindred and friends untill it be one or two of the clocke in the afternoone, then they goe out of the City, and going along the rivers side called Nigondin, which runneth under the walles of the City, untill they come unto a place where they use to make this burning of women, being widdowes, there is prepared in this place a great square cave, with a little pinnacle hard by it, foure or five steppes up: the foresayd cave is full of dried wood. The woman being come thither, accompanied with a great number of people which come to see the thing, then they make ready a great banquet, and she that shall be burned eateth with as great joy and gladnesse, as though it were her wedding day: and the feast being ended, then they goe to dancing and singing a certeine time, according as she will. After this, the woman of her owne accord, commandeth them to make the fire in the square cave where the drie wood is, and when it is kindled, they come and certifie her thereof, then presently she leaveth the feast, and taketh the neerest kinseman of her husband by the hand, and they both goe together to the banke of the foresayd river, where shee putteth off all her jewels and all her clothes, and giveth them to her parents or kinsefolke, and covering herselfe with a cloth, because she will not be seene of the people being naked, she throweth herselfe into the river, saying: O wretches, wash away your sinnes. Comming out of the water, she rowleth herselfe into a yellow cloth of foureteene braces long: and againe she taketh her husbands kinseman by the hand, and they go both together up to the pinnacle of the square cave wherein the fire is made. When she is on the pinnacle, shee talketh and reasoneth with the people, recommending unto them her children and kindred. Before the pinnacle they use to set a mat, because they shall not see the fiercenesse of the fire, yet there are many that will have them plucked away, shewing therein an heart not fearefull, and that they are not affrayd of that sight. When this silly woman hath reasoned with the people a good while to her content, there is another woman that taketh a pot with oile, and sprinckleth it over her head, and with the same she anoynteth all her body, and afterwards throweth the pot into the fornace, and both the woman and the pot goe together into the fire, and presently the people that are round about the fornace throw after her into the cave great pieces of wood, so by this meanes, with the fire and with the blowes that she hath with the wood throwen after her, she is quickly dead, and after this there groweth such sorrow and such lamentation among the people, that all their mirth is turned into howling and weeping, in such wise, that a man could scarse beare the hearing of it. I have seene many burnt in this maner, because my house was neere to the gate where they goe out to the place of burning: and when there dieth any great man, his wife with all his slaves with whom hee hath had carnall copulation, burne themselves together with him. Also in this kingdome I have seene amongst the base sort of people this use and order, that the man being dead, hee is carried to the place where they will make his sepulchre, and setting him as it were upright, then commeth his wife before him on her knees, casting her armes about his necke, with imbracing and clasping him, untill such time as the Masons have made a wall round about them, and when the wall is as high as their neckes, there commeth a man behinde the woman and strangleth her: then when she is dead, the workemen finish the wall over their heads, and so they lie buried both together. Besides these, there are an infinite number of beastly qualities amongst them, of which I have no desire to write. I was desirous to know the cause why these women would so wilfully burne themselves against nature and law, and it was told mee that this law was of an ancient time, to make provision against the slaughters which women made of their husbands. For in those dayes before this law was made, the women for every little displeasure that their husbands had done unto them, would presently poison their husbands, and take other men, and now by reason of this law they are more faithfull unto their husbands, and count their lives as deare as their owne, because that after his death her owne followeth presently.

In the yeere of our Lord God 1567, for the ill successe that the people of Bezeneger had, in that their City was sacked by the foure kings, the king with his Court went to dwell in a castle eight dayes journey up in the land from Bezeneger, called Penegonde. Also sixe dayes journey from Bezeneger, is the place where they get Diamants: I was not there, but it was tolde me that it is a great place, compassed with a wall, and that they sell the earth within the wall, for so much a squadron, and the limits are set how deepe or how low they shall digge. Those Diamants that are of a certaine sise and bigger then that sise, are all for the king, it is many yeeres agone, since they got any there, for the troubles that have beene in that kingdome. The first cause of this trouble was, because the sonne of this Temeragio had put to death the lawfull king which he had in prison, for which cause the Barons and Noblemen in that kingdome would not acknowledge him to be their King, and by this meanes there are many kings, and great division in that kingdome, and the city of Bezeneger is not altogether destroyed, yet the houses stand still, but empty, and there is dwelling in them nothing, as is reported, but Tygers and other wilde beasts. The circuit of this city is foure & twentie miles about, and within the walles are certeine mountaines. The houses stand walled with earth, and plaine, all saving the three palaces of the three tyrant brethren, and the Pagodes which are idole houses: these are made with lime and fine marble. I have seene many kings Courts, and yet have I seene none in greatnesse like to this of Bezeneger, I say, for the order of his palace, for it hath nine gates or ports. First when you goe into the place where the king did lodge, there are five great ports or gates: these are kept with Captaines and souldiers: then within these there are foure lesser gates : which are kept with Porters. Without the first gate there is a little porch, where there is a Captaine with five and twentie souldiers, that keepeth watch and ward night and day: and within that another with the like guard, wherethorow they come to a very faire Court, and at the end of that Court there is another porch as the first, with the like guard, and within that another Court. And in this wise are the first five gates guarded and kept with those Captaines: and then the lesser gates within are kept with a guard of Porters: which gates stand open the greatest part of the night, because the custome of the Gentiles is to doe their businesse, and make their feasts in the night, rather then by day. The city is very safe from theeves, for the Portugall merchants sleepe in the streets, or under porches, for the great heat which is there, and yet they never had any harme in the night. At the end of two moneths, I determined to go for Goa in the company of two other Portugall Marchants, which were making ready to depart, with two palanchines or little litters, which are very commodious for the way, with eight Falchines which are men hired to cary the palanchines, eight for a palanchine, foure at a time: they carry them as we use to carry barrowes. And I bought me two bullocks, one of them to ride on, and the other to carry my victuals and provision, for in that countrey they ride on bullocks with pannels, as we terme them, girts and bridles, and they have a very good commodious pace. From Bezeneger to Goa in Summer it is eight dayes journey, but we went in the midst of Winter, in the moneth of July, and were fifteene dayes comming to Ancola on the sea coast, so in eight dayes I had lost my two bullocks: for he that carried my victuals, was weake and could not goe, the other when I came unto a river where was a little bridge to passe over, I put my bullocke to swimming, and in the middest of the river there was a little Iland, unto the which my bullocke went, and finding pasture, there he remained still, and in no wise we could come to him: and so perforce, I was forced to leave him, and at that time there was much raine, and I was forced to go seven dayes a foot with great paines: and by great chance I met with Falchines by the way, whom I hired to carry my clothes and victuals. We had great trouble in our journey, for that every day wee were taken prisoners, by reason of the great dissension in that kingdome: and every morning at our departure we must pay rescat foure or five pagies a man. And another trouble wee had as bad as this, that when as wee came into a new governours countrey, as every day we did, although they were al tributary to the king of Bezeneger, yet every one of them stamped a several coine of Copper, so that the money that we tooke this day would not serve the next: at length, by the helpe of God, we came safe to Ancola, which is a country of the queene of Gargopam, tributary to the king of Bezeneger. The marchandise that went every yere from Goa to Bezeneger were Arabian Horses, Velvets, Damasks, and Sattens, Armesine of Portugall, and pieces of China , Saffron, and Skarlets: and from Bezeneger they had in Turky for their commodities, jewels, and Pagodies which be ducats of golde: the apparell that they use in Bezeneger is Velvet, Satten, Damaske, Scarlet, or white Bumbast cloth, according to the estate of the person with long hats on their heads, called Colae, made of Velvet, Satten, Damaske, or Scarlet, girding themselves in stead of girdles with some fine white bombast cloth: they have breeches after the order of the Turks: they weare on their feet plaine high things called of them Aspergh, and at their eares they have hanging great plenty of golde.

Returning to my voyage, when we were together in Ancola, one of my companions that had nothing to lose, tooke a guide, and went to Goa, whither they goe in foure dayes, the other Portugall not being disposed to go, taried in Ancola for that Winter. The Winter in those parts of the Indies beginneth the fifteenth of May, and lasteth unto the end of October: and as we were in Ancola, there came another Marchant of horses in a palanchine, and two Portugall souldiers which came from Zeilan, and two cariers of letters, which were Christians borne in the Indies; all these consorted to goe to Goa together, and I determined to goe with them, and caused a pallanchine to be made for me very poorely of Canes; and in one of them Canes I hid privily all the jewels I had, and according to the order, I tooke eight Falchines to cary me: and one day about eleven of the clocke wee set forwards on our journey, and about two of the clocke in the afternoone, as we passed a mountaine which divideth the territory of Ancola and Dialcan, I being a little behinde my company, was assaulted by eight theeves, foure of them had swordes and targets, and the other foure had bowes and arrowes. When the Falchines that carried me understood the noise of the assault, they let the pallanchine and me fall to the ground, and ranne away and left me alone, with my clothes wrapped about me: presently the theeves were on my necke and rifeling me, they stripped me starke naked, and I fained my selfe sicke, because I would not leave the pallanchine, and I had made me a little bedde of my clothes; the theeves sought it very narrowly and subtilly, and found two pursses that I had, well bound up together, wherein I had put my Copper money which I had changed for foure pagodies in Ancola. The theeves thinking it had beene so many duckats of golde, searched no further: then they threw all my clothes in a bush, and hied them away, and as God would have it, at their departure there fell from them an handkercher, and when I saw it, I rose from my pallanchine or couch, and tooke it up, and wrapped it together within my pallanchine. Then these my Falchines were of so good condition, that they returned to seeke mee, whereas I thought I should not have found so much goodnesse in them: because they were payed their mony aforehand, as is the use, I had thought to have seene them no more. Before their comming I was determined to plucke the Cane wherein my jewels were hidden, out of my coutch, and to have made me a walking staffe to carry in my hand to Goa, thinking that I should have gone thither on foot, but by the faithfulness of my Falchines, I was rid of that trouble, and so in foure dayes they carried me to Goa, in which time I made hard fare, for the theeves left me neither money, golde, nor silver, and that which I did eat was given me of my men for Gods sake: and after at my comming to Goa I payed them for every thing royally that I had of them. From Goa I departed for Cochin, which is a voyage of three hundred miles, and betweene these two cities are many holdes of the Portugals, as Onor, Mangalor, Barzelor, and Cananor. The Holde or Fort that you shall have from Goa to Cochin that belongeth to the Portugals, is called Onor, which is in the kingdome of the queene of Battacella, which is tributary to the king of Bezeneger : there is no trade there, but onely a charge with the Captaine and company he keepeth there. And passing this place, you shall come to another small castle of the Portugals called Mangalor, and there is very small trade but onely for a little Rice: and from thence you goe to a little fort called Barzelor, there they have good store of Rice which is carried to Goa: and from thence you shall goe to a city called Cananor, which is a harquebush shot distant from the chiefest city that ye king of Cananor hath in his kingdome being a king of the Gentiles: and he & his are very naughty & malicious people, alwayes having delight to be in warres with the Portugales, and when they are in peace, it is for their interest to let their merchandize passe : there goeth out of this kingdom of Cananor, all the Cardamomum, great store of Pepper, Ginger, Honie, ships laden with great Nuts, great quantitie of Archa, which is a fruit of the bignesse of Nutmegs, which fruite they eate in all those partes of the Indies and beyond the Indies, with the leafe of an Herbe which they call Bettell, the which is like unto our Ivie leafe, but a litle lesser and thinner: they eate it made in plaisters with the lime made of Oistershels, and thorow the Indies they spend great quantitie of money in this composition, and it is used daily, which thing I would not have beleeved, if I had not scene it. The customers get great profite by these Herbes, for that they have custome for them. When this people eate and chawe this in their mouthes, it maketh their spittle to bee red like unto blood, and they say, that it maketh a man to have a very good stomacke and a sweete breath, but sure in my judgement they eate it rather to fulfill their filthie lustes, and of a knaverie, for this Herbe is moyst and hote, & maketh a very strong expulsion. From Cananor you go to Cranganor, which is another smal Fort of the Portugales in the land of the king of Cranganor, which is another king of the Gentiles, and a countrey of small importance, and of an hundreth and twentie miles, full of thieves, being under the king of Calicut , a king also of the Gentiles, and a great enemie to the Portugales, which when hee is alwayes in warres, hee and his countrey is the nest and resting for stranger theeves, and those bee called Moores of Carposa, because they weare on their heads long red hats, and these thieves part the spoyles that they take on the Sea with the king of Calicut , for hee giveth leave unto all that will goe a roving, liberally to goe, in such wise, that all along that coast there is such a number of thieves, that there is no sailing in those Seas but with great ships and very well armed, or els they must go in company with the army of the Portugals. From Cranganor to Cochin is 15 miles.


COCHIN is, next unto Goa, the chiefest place that the Portugales have in the Indies, and there is great trade of Spices, drugges, and all other sortes of merchandize for the kingdome of Portugale, and there within the land is the kingdome of Pepper, which Pepper the Portugales lade in their shippes by bulke, and not in sackes: the Pepper that goeth for Portugale is not so good as that which goeth for Mecca , because that in times past the officers of the king of Portugale made a contract with the king of Cochin, in the name of the king of Portugale, for the prizes of Pepper, and by reason of that agreement betweene them at that time made, the price can neither rise nor fall, which is a very lowe and base price, and for this cause the villaines bring it to the Portugales, greene and full of filthe. The Moores of Mecca that give a better price, have it cleane and drie, and better conditioned. All the Spices and drugs that are brought to Mecca , are stollen from thence as Contrabanda. Cochin is two cities, one of the Portugales, and another of the king of Cochin: that of the Portugales is situate neerest unto the Sea, and that of the king of Cochin is a mile and a halfe up higher in the land, but they are both set on the bankes of one river which is very great and of a good depth of water which river commeth out of the mountaines of the king of the Pepper, which is a king of the Gentiles, in whose kingdome are many Christians of saint Thomas order: the king of Cochin is also a king of the Gentiles and a great faithfull friend to the king of Portugale, and to those Portugales which are married, and are Citizens in the Citie Cochin of the Portugales. And by this name of Portugales throughout all the Indies, they call all the Christians that come out of the West, whether they bee Italians, Frenchmen, or Almaines, and all they that marrie in Cochin do get an office according to the trade he is of: this they have by the great privileges which the Citizens have of that city, because there are two principal commodities that they deale withal in that place, which are these. The great store of Silke that commeth from China , and the great store of Sugar which commeth from Bengala: the married Citizens pay not any custome for these two commodities: for all other commodities they pay 4. per cento custome to the king of Cochin, rating their goods at their owne pleasure. Those which are not married and strangers, pay in Cochin to the king of Portugale eight per cento of all maner of merchandise. I was in Cochin when the Viceroy of the king of Portugale wrought what hee coulde to breake the privilege of the Citizens, and to make them to pay custome as other did: at which time the Citizens were glad to waigh their Pepper in the night that they laded the ships withall that went to Portugale and stole the custome in the night. The king of Cochin having understanding of this, would not suffer any more Pepper to bee weighed. Then presently after this, the marchants were licensed to doe as they did before, and there was no more speach of this matter, nor any wrong done. This king of Cochin is of a small power in respect of the other kings of the Indies, for hee can make but seventie thousand men of armes in his campe: hee hath a great number of Gentlemen which hee calleth Amochi, and some are called Nairi : these two sorts of men esteeme not their lives any thing, so that it may be for the honour of their king, they will thrust themselves forward in every danger, although they know they shall die. These men goe naked from the girdle upwardes, with a clothe rolled about their thighs, going barefooted, and having their haire very long and rolled up together on the toppe of their heads, and alwayes they carrie their Bucklers or Targets with them and their swordes naked, these Nairi have their wives common amongst themselves, and when any of them goe into the house of any of these women, hee leaveth his sworde and target at the doore, and the time that hee is there, there dare not any bee so hardie as to come into that house. The kings children shall not inherite the kingdome after their father, because they hold this opinion, that perchance they were not begotten of the king their father, but of some other man, therefore they accept for their king, one of the sonnes of the kings sisters, or of some other woman of the blood roial, for that they be sure they are of the blood roiall.

The Nairi and their wives use for a braverie to make great holes in their eares, and so bigge and wide, that it is incredible, holding this opinion, that the greater the holes bee, the more noble they esteeme themselves. I had leave of one of them to measure the circumference of one of them with a threed, and within that circumference I put my arme up to the shoulder, clothed as it was, so that in effect they are monstrous great. Thus they doe make them when they be litle, for then they open the eare, & hang a piece of gold or lead thereat, & within the opening, in the hole they put a certaine leafe that they have for that purpose, which maketh the hole so great. They lade ships in Cochin for Portugale and for Ormus, but they that goe for Ormus carrie no Pepper but by Contrabanda, as for Sinamome they easilie get leave to carrie that away, for all other Spices and drugs they may liberally carie them to Ormus or Cambaia, and so all other merchandize which come from other places, but out of the kingdom of Cochin properly they cary away with them into Portugale great abundance of Pepper, great quantitie of Ginger dried and conserved, wild Sinamom, good quantitie of Arecca, great store of Cordage of Cairo, made of the barke of the tree of the great Nut, and better then that of Hempe, of which they carrie great store into Portugale.

The shippes every yeere depart from Cochin to goe for Portugall, on the fift day of December, or the fift day of January. Nowe to follow my voyage for the Indies: from Cochin I went to Coulam, distant from Cochin seventie and two miles, which Coulam is a small Fort of the king of Portugales, situate in the kingdom of Coulam, which is a king of the Gentiles, and of small trade: at that place they lade onely halfe a ship of Pepper, and then she goeth to Cochin to take in the rest, and from thence to Cao Comori is seventie and two miles, and there endeth the coast of the Indies: and alongst this coast, neere to the water side, and also to Cao Comori, downe to the lowe land of Chialo, which is about two hundred miles, the people there are as it were all turned to the Christian faith: there are also Churches of the Friers of S. Pauls order, which Friers doe very much good in those places in turning the people, and in converting them, and take great paines in instructing them in the law of Christ.

The fishing for Pearles.

THE Sea that lieth betweene the coast which descendeth from Cao Comori, to the lowe land of Chilao, and the Iland Zeilan, they call the fishing of Pearles, which fishing they make every yeere, beginning in March or Aprill, and it lasteth fiftie dayes, but they doe not fishe every yeere in one place, but one yeere in one place, and another yeere in another place of the same sea. When the time of this fishing draweth neere, then they send very good Divers, that goe to discover where the greatest heapes of Oisters bee under water, and right agaynst that place where greatest store of Oisters bee, there they make or plant a village with houses and a Bazaro, all of stone, which standeth as long as the fishing time lasteth, and it is furnished with all things necessarie, and nowe and then it is neere unto places that are inhabited, and other times farre off, according to the place where they fishe. The Fishermen are all Christians of the countrey, and who so will may goe to fishing, paying a certaine dutie to the king of Portugall, and to the Churches of the Friers of Saint Paule, which are in that coast. All the while that they are fishing, there are three or foure Fustes armed to defend the Fishermen from Rovers. It was my chance to bee there one time in my passage, and I saw the order that they used in fishing, which is this. There are three or foure Barkes that make consort together, which are like to our litle Pilot boates, and a litle lesse, there goe seven or eight men in a boate: and I have seene in a morning a great number of them goe out, and anker in fifteene or eighteene fadome of water, which is the Ordinarie depth of all that coast. When they are at anker, they cast a rope into the Sea, and at the ende of the rope, they make fast a great stone, and then there is readie a man that hath his nose and his eares well stopped, and annointed with oyle, and a basket about his necke, or under his left arme, then hee goeth downe by the rope to the bottome of the Sea, and as fast as he can hee filleth the basket, and when it is full, he shaketh the rope, and his fellowes that are in the Barke hale him up with the basket: and in such wise they goe one by one untill they have laden their barke with oysters, and at evening they come to the village, and then every company maketh their mountaine or heape of oysters one distant from another, in such wise that you shall see a great long rowe of mountaines or heapes of oysters, and they are not touched untill such time as the fishing bee ended, and at the ende of the fishing every companie sitteth round about their mountaine or heape of oysters, and fall to opening of them, which they may easilie doe because they bee dead, drie and brittle: and if every oyster had pearles in them, it would bee a very good purchase, but there are very many that have no pearles in them: when the fishing is ended, then they see whether it bee a good gathering or a badde: there are certaine expert in the pearles whom they call Chitini, which set and make the price of pearles according to their carracts, beautie, and goodnesse, making foure sortes of them. The first sort bee the round pearles, and they be called Aia of Portugale, because the Portugales doe buy them. The second sorte which are not round, are called Aia of Bengala. The third sort which are not so good as the second, they call Aia of Canara, that is to say, the kingdome of Bezeneger. The fourth and last sort, which are the least and worst sort, are called Aia of Cambaia. Thus the price being set, there are merchants of every countrey which are readie with their money in their handes, so that in a fewe dayes all is bought up at the prises set according to the goodnesse and caracts of the pearles.

In this Sea of the fishing of pearles is an Iland called Manar, which is inhabited by Christians of the countrey which first were Gentiles, and have a small hold of the Portugales being situate over agaynst Zeilan: and betweene these two Ilands there is a chanell, but not very big, and hath but a small depth therein: by reason whereof there cannot any great shippe passe that way, but small ships, and with the increase of the water which is at the change or the full of the Moone, and yet for all this they must unlade them and put their goods into small vessels to lighten them before they can passe that way for feare of Sholdes that lie in the chanell, and after lade them into their shippes to goe for the Indies, and this doe all small shippes that passe that way, but those shippes that goe for the Indies Eastwardes, passe by the coast of Coromandel, on the other side by the land of Chilao which is betweene the firme land and the Iland Manor: and going from the Indies to the coast of Coromandel, they loose some shippes, but they bee emptie, because that the shippes that passe that way discharge their goods at an Iland called Peripatane, and there land their goods into small flat bottomed boates which drawe litle water, and are called Tane, and can run over every Shold without either danger or losse of any thing, for that they tarrie in Peripatane untill such time as it bee faire weather. Before they depart to passe the Sholdes, the small shippes and flat bottomed boates goe together in companie, and when they have sailed sixe and thirtie miles, they arrive at the place where the Sholdes are, and at that place the windes blowe so forciblie, that they are forced to goe thorowe, not having any other refuge to save themselves. The flat bottomed boates goe sate thorow, where as the small shippes if they misse the aforesayd chanell, sticke fast on the Sholdes, and by this meanes many are lost: and comming backe from the Indies, they goe not that way, but passe by the chanell of Manar as is abovesayd, whose chanell is Oazie, and if the shippes sticke fast, it is great chance if there be any danger at all. The reason why this chanell is not more sure to goe thither, is, because the windes that raigne or blowe betweene Zeilan and Manar, make the chanell so shalow with water, that almost there is not any passage. From Cao Comori to the Iland of Zeilan is 120. miles overthwart.


ZEILAN is an Iland, in my judgement, a great deale bigger then Cyprus : on that side towards the Indies lying Westward is the citie called Columba, which is a hold of the Portugales, but without walles or enimies. It hath towards the Sea a free port, the lawfull king of that Iland is in Columbo, and is turned Christian and maintained by the king of Portugall, being deprived of his kingdome. The king of the Gentiles, to whom this kingdome did belong, was called Madoni, which had two sonnes, the first named Barbinas the prince; and the second Ragine. This king by the pollicie of his yoonger sonne, was deprived of his kingdome, who because hee had entised and done that which pleased the armie and souldiours, in despight of his father and brother being prince, usurped the kingdome, and became a great warriour. First, this Iland had three kings; the king of Cotta with his conquered prisoners: the king of Candia , which is a part of that Iland, and is so called by the name of Candia , which had a reasonable power, and was a great friend to the Portugals, which sayd that hee lived secretly a Christian; the third was the king of Gianifampatan. In thirteene yeeres that this Ragine governed this Iland, he became a great tyrant.

In this Iland there groweth fine Sinamom, great store of Pepper, great store of Nuttes and Arochoe: there they make great store of Cairo to make Cordage: it bringeth foorth great store of Christall Cats eyes, or Ochi de Gati, and they say that they finde there some Rubies, but I have sold Rubies well there that I brought with me from Pegu . I was desirous to see how they gather the Sinamom, or take it from the tree that it groweth on, and so much the rather, because the time that I was there, was the season which they gather it in, which was in the moneth of Aprill, at which time the Portugals were in armes, and in the field, with the king of the countrey; yet I to satisfie my desire, although in great danger, tooke a guide with mee and went into a wood three miles from the Citie, in which wood was great store of Sinamome trees growing together among other wilde trees; and this Sinamome tree is a small tree, and not very high, and hath leaves like to our Baie tree. In the moneth of March or Aprill, when the sappe goeth up to the toppe of the tree, then they take the Sinamom from that tree in this wise. They cut the barke of the tree round about in length from knot to knot, or from joint to joint, above and belowe, and then easilie with their handes they take it away, laying it in the Sunne to drie, and in this wise it is gathered, and yet for all this the tree dieth not, but agaynst the next yeere it will have a new barke, and that which is gathered every yeere is the best Sinamome : for that which groweth two or three yeeres is great, and not so good as the other is; and in these woods groweth much Pepper.


FROM the Iland of Zeilan men use to goe with small shippes to Negapatan, within the firme land, and seventie two miles off is a very great Citie, and very populous of Portugals and Christians of the countrey, and part Gentiles :. it is a countrey of small trade, neither have they any trade there, save a good quantitie of Rice, and cloth of Bumbast which they carie into divers partes: it was a very plentifull countrey of victuals, but now it hath a great deale lesse; and that abundance of victuals caused many Portugales to goe thither and build houses, and dwell there with small charge.

This Citie belongeth to a noble man of the kingdome of Bezeneger being a Gentile, neverethelesse the Portugales and other Christians are well intreated there, and have their churches there with a monasterie of Saint Francis order, with great devotion and very well accommodated, with houses round about: yet for all this, they are amongst tyrants, which alwayes at their pleasure may doe them some harme, as it happened in the yeere of our Lord God one thousand five hundred, sixtie and five: for I remember very well, how that the Nayer, that is to say, the lord of the citie, sent to the citizens to demaund of them certaine Arabian horses, and they having denied them unto him, and gainesayd his demaund, it came to passe that this lord had a desire to see the Sea, which when the poore citizens understood, they doubted some evill, to heare a thing which was not woont to bee, they thought that this man would come to sacke the Citie, and presently they embarked themselves the best they could with their mooveables, marchandize, jewels, money, and all that they had, and caused the shippes to put from the shore. When this was done, as their evill chance would have it, the next night following, there came such a great storme that it put all the shippes on land perforce, and brake them to pieces, and all the goods that came on land and were saved, were taken from them by the souldiours and armie of this lord which came downe with him to see the Sea, and were attendant at the Sea side, not thinking that any such thing would have happened.

Saint Thomas or San Tome.

FROM Negapatan following my voyage towards the East an hundred and fiftie miles, I found the house of blessed Saint Thomas, which is a Church of great devotion, and greatly regarded of the Gentiles for the great miracles they have heard to have bene done by that blessed Apostle: neere unto this Church the Portugals have builded them a Citie in the countrey subject to the king of Bezeneger, which citie although it bee not very great, yet in my judgement it is the fairest in all that part of the Indies : and it hath very faire houses and faire gardens in vacant places very well accommodated: it hath streetes large and streight, with many Churches of great devotion, their houses be set close one unto another, with little doores, every house hath his defence, so that by that meanes it is of force sufficient to defend ye Portugals against the people of that countrey. The Portugals there have no other possession but their gardens and houses that are within the citie: the customes belong to the king of Bezeneger, which are very small and easie, for that it is a countrey of great riches and great trade: there come every yeere two or three great ships very rich, besides many other small ships: one of the two great ships goeth for Pegu , and the other for Malacca, laden with fine Bumbast cloth of every sort, painted, which is a rare thing, because those kinde of clothes shew as they were gilded with divers colours, and the more they be washed, the livelier the colours will shew. Also there is other cloth of Bumbast which is woven with divers colours, and is of great value: also they make in Sant Tome great store of red Yarne, which they die with a roote called Saia, and this colour will never waste, but the more it is washed, the more redder it will shew: they lade this yarne the greatest part of it for Pegu , because that there they worke and weave it to make cloth according to their owne fashion, and with lesser charges. It is a marvelous thing to them which have not seene the lading and unlading of men and merchandize in S. Tome as they do: it is a place so dangerous, that a man cannot bee served with small barkes, neither can they doe their businesse with the boates of the shippes, because they would be beaten in a thousand pieces, but they make certaine barkes (of purpose) high, which they call Masadie, they be made of litle boards; one board being sowed to another with small cordes, and in this order are they made. And when they are thus made, and the owners will embarke any thing in them, either men or goods, they lade them on land, and when they are laden, the Barke-men thrust the boate with her lading into the streame, and with great speed they make haste all that they are able to rowe out against the huge waves of the sea that are on that shore, untill that they carie them to the ships: and in like maner they lade these Masadies at the shippes with merchandise and men. When they come neere the shore, the Barke-men leap out of the Barke into the Sea to keepe the Barke right that she cast not thwart the shore, and being kept right, the Suffe of the Sea setteth her lading dry on land without any hurt or danger, and sometimes there are some of them that are overthrowen, but there can be no great losse, because they lade but a litle at a time. All the marchandize they lade outwards, they emball it well with Oxe hides, so that if it take wet, it can have no great harme.

In my voyage, returning in the yeere of our Lord God one thousand, five hundred, sixtie and sixe, I went from Goa unto Malacca, in a shippe or Gallion of the king of Portugal , which went unto Banda for to lade Nutmegs & Maces: from Goa to Malacca are one thousand eight hundred miles, we passed without the Iland Zeilan, and went through the chanell of Nicubar, or els through the chanell of Sombrero , which is by the middle of the Iland of Sumatra, called in olde time Taprobana: and from Nicubar to Pegu is as it were a rowe or chaine of an infinite number of Ilands, of which many are inhabited with wilde people, and they call those Ilands the Ilands of Andemaon, and they call their people savage of wilde, because they eate one another: also these Ilands have warre one with another, for they have small Barkes, and with them they take one another, and so eate one another: and if by evil chance any ship be lost on those Ilands, as many have bene, there is not one man of those ships lost there that escapeth uneaten or unslaine. These people have not any acquaintance with any other people, neither have they trade with any, but live onely of such fruites as those Ilands yeeld : and if any ship come neere unto that place or coast as they passe that way, as in my voyage it happened as I came from Malacca through the chanell of Sombrero , there came two of their Barkes neere unto our ship laden with fruite, as with Mouces which wee call Adams apples, with fresh Nuts, and with a fruite called Inani, which fruite is like to our Turneps, but is very sweete and good to eate: they would not come into the shippe for any thing that wee could doe: neither would they take any money for their fruite, but they would trucke for olde shirtes or pieces of olde linnen breeches, these ragges they let downe with a rope into their Barke unto them, and looke what they thought those things to bee woorth, so much fruite they would make fast to the rope and let us hale it in: and it was told me that at sometimes a man shall have for an old shirt a good piece of Amber.


THIS Iland of Sumatra is a great Iland and devided and governed by many kings, and devided into many chanels, where through there is passage: upon the headland towardes the West is the kingdom of Assi governed by a Moore king: this king is of great force and strength, as he that beside his great kingdom, hath many Foists and Gallies. In his kingdom groweth great store of Pepper, Ginger, Benjamin: he is an utter enemy to the Portugals, and hath divers times bene at Malacca to fight against it, and hath done great harme to the boroughes thereof, but the citie alway withstood him valiantly, and with their ordinance did great spoile to his campe. At length I came to the citie of Malacca.

The Citie Malacca.

MALACCA is a Citie of marvellous great trade of all kind of marchandize, which come from divers partes, because that all the shippes that saile in these seas, both great and small, are bound to touch at Malacca to paie their custome there, although they unlade nothing at all, as we doe at Elsinor: and if by night they escape away, and pay not their custome, then they fall into a greater danger after: for if they come into the Indies and have not the seale of Malacca, they pay double custome. I have not passed further then Malacca towards the East, but that which I wil speake of here is by good information of them that have bene there. The sailing from Malacca towards the East is not common for all men, as to China and Japan , and so forwards to go who will, but onely for the king of Portugall and his nobles, with leave granted unto them of the king to make such voiages, or to the jurisdiction of the captaine of Malacca, where he expecteth to know what voiages they make from Malacca thither, & these are the kings voiages, that every yere there departeth from Malacca 2. gallions of the kings, one of them goeth to ye Moluccos to lade Cloves, and the other goeth to Banda to lade Nutmegs and Maces. These two gallions are laden for the king, neither doe they carie any particular mans goods, saving the portage of the Mariners and souldiers, and for this cause they are not voiages for marchants, because that going thither, they shal not have where to lade their goods of returne; and besides this, the captaine will not cary any marchant for either of these two places. There goe small shippes of the Moores thither, which come from the coast of Java , and change or guild their commodities in the kingdom of Assa , and these be the Maces, Cloves, and Nutmegs, which go for the streights of Mecca . The voiages that the king of Portugall granteth to his nobles are these, of China and Japan , from China to Japan , and from Japan to China , and from China to the Indies, and the voyage of Bengala, Maluco, and Sonda, with the lading of fine cloth, and every sort of Bumbast cloth. Sonda is an Iland of the Moores neere to the coast of Java , and there they lade Pepper for China . The ship that goeth every yeere from the Indies to China , is called the ship of Drugs, because she carieth divers drugs of Cambaia, but the greatest part of her lading is silver. From Malacca to China is eighteene hundred miles: and from China to Japan goeth every yeere a shippe of great importance laden with Silke, which for returne of their Silke bringeth barres of silver which they trucke in China . The distance betweene China and Japan is foure and twentie hundred miles, and in this way there are divers Ilands not very bigge, in which the Friers of saint Paul, by the helpe of God, make many Christians there like to themselves. From these Ilands hitherwards the place is not yet discovered for the great sholdnesse of Sandes that they find. The Portugals have made a small citie neere unto the coast of China called Macao , whose church and houses are of wood, and it hath a bishoprike, but the customs belong to the king of China , and they goe and pay the same at a citie called Canton, which is a citie of great importance and very beautifull two dayes journey and a halfe from Macao . The people of China are Gentiles, and are so jealous and fearefull, that they would not have a stranger to put his foote within their land: so that when the Portugals go thither to pay their custome, and to buy their marchandize, they will not consent that they shall lie or lodge within the citie, but send them foorth into the suburbes. The countrey of China is neere the kingdom of great Tartaria, and is a very great countrey of the Gentiles and of great importance, which may be judged by the rich and precious marchandize that come from thence, then which I beleeve there are not better nor in greater quantitie in the whole world besides.

First, great store of golde, which they carie to the Indies, made in plates like to little shippes, and in value three and twentie caracts a peece, very great aboundance of fine silke, cloth of damaske and taffata, great quantitie of muske, great quantitie of Occam in barres, great quantitie of quicksilver and of Cinaper, great store of Camfora, an infinite quantitie of Porcellane, made in vessels of diverse sortes, great quantitie of painted cloth and squares, infinite store of the rootes of China : and every yeere there commeth from China to the Indies, two or three great shippes, laden with most rich and precious marchandise. The Rubarbe commeth from thence over lande, by the way of Persia, because that every yeere there goeth a great Carovan from Persia to China , which is in going thither sixe moneths. The Carovan arriveth at a Citie called Lanchin, the place where the king is resident with his Court. I spake with a Persian that was three yeeres in that citie of Lanchin, and he tolde me that it was a great Citie and of great importance. The voiages of Malacca which are in the jurisdiction of the Captaine of the castle, are these: Every yeere he sendeth a small shippe to Timor to lade white Sandols, for all the best commeth from this Iland: there commeth some also from Solor , but that is not so good: also he sendeth another small ship every yere to Cauchin China, to lade there wood of Aloes, for that all the wood of Aloes commeth from this place, which is in the firme land neere unto China , and in that kingdome I could not knowe how that wood groweth by any meanes. For that the people of the countrey will not suffer the Portugales to come within the land, but onely for wood and water, and as for all other things that they wanted, as victuals or marchandise, the people bring that a boord the ship in small barkes, so that every day there is a mart kept in the ship, untill such time as she be laden: also there goeth another ship for the said Captaine of Malacca to Sion , to lade Verzino : all these voiages are for the Captaine of the castle of Malacca, and when he is not disposed to make these voiages, he selleth them to another.

The citie of Sion , or Siam .

SION was the imperiall seat, and a great Citie, but in the yeere of our Lord God one thousand five hundred sixtie and seven, it was taken by the king of Pegu , which king made a voyage or came by lande foure moneths journey with an armie of men through his lande, and the number of his armie was a million and foure hundreth thousand men of warre: when hee came to the Citie, he gave assault to it, and besieged it one and twentie monethes before he could winne it, with great losse of his people, this I know, for that I was in Pegu sixe moneths after his departure, and sawe when that his officers that were in Pegu , sent five hundreth thousand men of warre to furnish the places of them that were slaine and lost in that assault: yet for all this, if there had not beene treason against the citie, it had not beene lost: for on a night there was one of the gates set open, through the which with great trouble the king gate into the citie, and became governour of S