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We departed from thence with our camels the last of May, with Master John Newbery and his company, and came to Birrah1 in three days, being a small town situated upon the river Euphrates where it beginneth first to take his name, being here gathered into one channel whereas before it cometh down in manifold branches, and therefore is called by the people of the country by a name which signifieth “a thousand heads”2. Here is plenty of victuals, whereof we all furnished ourselves for a long journey down the aforesaid river, and according to the manner of those that travel down by water we prepared a small bark for the conveyance of ourselves and of our goods. These boats are flat bottomed3, because the river is shallow in many places, and when men travel in the months of July, August and September, the water being then at the lowest, they are constrained to carry with them a spare boat or two, to lighten their own boats if they chance to fall on the sholds4.