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Of the citie of Satagan.

IN the port of Satagan every yeere lade thirtie or five and thirtie ships great and small, with rice, cloth of Bombast of diverse sortes, Lacca, great abundance of sugar, Mirabolans dried and preserved, long pepper, oyle of Zerzeline, and many other sorts of marchandise. The citie of Satagan is a reasonable faire citie for a citie of the Moores, abounding with all things, and was governed by the king of Patane, and now is subject to the great Mogol. I was in this kingdome foure moneths, whereas many marchants did buy or fraight boates for their benefites, and with these barkes they goe up and downe the river of Ganges to faires, buying their commoditie with a great advantage, because that every day in the weeke they have a faire, now in one place, and now in another, and I also hired a barke and went up and downe the river and did my businesse, and so in the night I saw many strange things. The kingdome of Bengala in times past hath bene as it were in the power of Moores, neverthelesse there is great store of Gentiles among them; alwayes whereas I have spoken of Gentiles, is to be understood Idolaters, and wheras I speak of Moores I meane Mahomets sect. Those people especially that be within the land doe greatly worship the river of Ganges: for when any is sicke, he is brought out of the countrey to the banke of the river, and there they make him a small cottage of strawe, and every day they wet him with that water, whereof there are many that die, and when they are dead, they make a heape of stickes and boughes and lay the dead bodie thereon, and putting fire thereunto, they let the bodie alone untill it be halfe rosted, and then they take it off from the fire, and make an emptie jarre fast about his necke, and so throw him into the river. These things every night as I passed up and downe the river I saw for the space of two moneths, as I passed to the fayres to buy my commodities with the marchants. And this is the cause that the Portugales will not drinke of the water of the river Ganges, yet to the sight it is more perfect and clearer then the water of Nilus is. From the port Piqueno I went to Cochin, and from Cochin to Malacca, from whence I departed for Pegu being eight hundred miles distant. That voyage is woont to be made in five and twentie or thirtie dayes, but we were foure moneths, and at the ende of three moneths our ship was without victuals. The Pilot told us that wee were by his altitude not farre from a citie called Tanasary, in the kingdome of Pegu , and these his words were not true, but we were (as it were) in the middle of many Ilands, and many uninhabited rockes, and there were also some Portugales that affirmed that they knew the land, and knewe also where the citie of Tanasari was.

This citie of right belongeth to the kingdome of Sion , which is situate on a great rivers side, which commeth out of the kingdome of Sion : and where this river runneth into the sea, there is a village called Mirgim, in whose harbour every yeere there lade some ships with Verzina, Nypa, and Benjamin, a few cloves, nutmegs and maces which come from the coast of Sion , but the greatest marchandise there is Verzin and Nypa, which is an excellent wine, which is made of the floure of a tree called Nyper. Whose liquour they distill, and so make an excellent drinke cleare as christall, good to the mouth, and better to the stomake, and it hath an excellent gentle vertue, that if one were rotten with the french pockes, drinking good store of this, he shall be whole againe, and I have scene it proved, because that when I was in Cochin, there was a friend of mine, whose nose beganne to drop away with that disease, and he was counselled of the doctors of phisicke, that he should goe to Tanasary at the time of the new wines, and that he should drinke of the nyper wine, night and day, as much as he could before it was distilled, which at that time is most delicate, but after that it is distilled, it is more strong, and if you drinke much of it, it will fume into the head with drunkennesse. This man went thither, and did so, and I have seene him after with a good colour and sound. This wine is very much esteemed in the Indies, and for that it is brought so farre off, it is very deare: in Pegu ordinarily it is good cheape, because it is neerer to the place where they make it, and there is every yeere great quantitie made thereof. And returning to my purpose, I say, being amongst these rockes, and farre from the land which is over against Tanasary, with great scarcitie of victuals, and that by the saying of the Pylot and two Portugales, holding then firme that wee were in front of the aforesayd harbour, we determined to goe thither with our boat and fetch victuals, and that the shippe should stay for us in a place assigned. We were twentie and eight persons in the boat that went for victuals, and on a day about twelve of the clocke we went from the ship, assuring our selves to bee in the harbour before night in the aforesaid port, wee rowed all that day, and a great part of the next night, and all the next day without finding harbour, or any signe of good landing, and this came to passe through the evill counsell of the two Portugales that were with us.

For we had overshot the harbour and left it behind us, in such wise that we had lost the lande inhabited, together with the shippe, and we eight and twentie men had no maner of victuall with us in the boate, but it was the Lords will that one of the Mariners had brought a litle rice with him in the boate to barter away for some other thing, and it was not so much but that three or foure men would have eaten it at a meale: I tooke the government of this Ryce, promising that by the helpe of God that Ryce should be nourishment for us until it pleased God to send us to some place that was inhabited: & when I slept I put the ryce into my bosome because they should not rob it from me: we were nine daies rowing alongst the coast, without finding any thing but countreys uninhabited, & desert Ilands, where if we had found but grasse it would have seemed sugar unto us, but wee could not finde any, yet we found a fewe leaves of a tree, and they were so hard that we could not chewe them, we had water and wood sufficient, and as wee rowed, we could goe but by flowing water, for when it was ebbing water, wee made fast our boat to the banke of one of those Ilandes, and in these nine dayes that we rowed, we found a cave or nest of Tortoises egges, wherein were one hundred fortie and foure egges, the which was a great helpe unto us: these egges are as bigge as a hennes egge, and have no shell about them but a tender skinne, every day we sodde a kettle full of those egges, with an handfull of rice in the broth thereof: it pleased God that at the ende of nine dayes we discovered certaine fisher men, a fishing with small barkes, and we rowed towardes them, with a good cheare, for I thinke there were never men more glad then we were, for wee were so sore afflicted with penurie, that we could scarce stande on our legges. Yet according to the order that we set for our ryce, when we sawe those fisher men, there was left sufficient for foure dayes. The first village that we came to was in the gulfe of Tavay, under the king of Pegu , whereas we found great store of victuals: then for two or three dayes after our arrivall there, we would eate but litle meate any of us, and yet for all this, we were at the point of death the most part of us. From Tavay to Martavan, in the kingdome of Pegu , are seventie two miles. We laded our bote with victuals which were aboundantly sufficient for sixe moneths, from whence we departed for the port and Citie of Martavan, where in short time we arrived, but we found not our ship there as we had thought we should, from whence presently we made out two barkes to goe to looke for her. And they found her in great calamitie, and neede of water, being at an anker with a contrary winde, which came very ill to passe, because that she wanted her boat a moneth, which should have made her provision of wood and water, the shippe also by the grace of God arrived safely in the aforesaid port of Martavan.

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