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30 Pages

Letter I

From Suràt, March 22. Anno 1623.

In the beginning of this year, at my departure from Persia, I writ last to you from aboard the ship call’d the Whale, in which I was newly em-barqu’d upon the coasts of that Country, and had not yet begun my Voyage. Since which time having sail’d over a good part of the Ocean, arriv’d at the famous Countries of India,travell’d and view’d no inconsiderable portion thereof; by conveniency of the same ship which brought me hither,, and is ready to set sail speedily towards Muchà 1 in the Arabian Gulph, (and the rather for that a German Gentleman a friend of mine is embarqu’d in her, with an intention 2to travel from thence, in case he can get passage, to see Æthiopia)with this Letter (which I recommend to him to get transmitted into Italy, if possible, from those Ports of the Red Sea, or by the way of Cairo,where they trade, or by some other conveyance) I come again to give you an Account of my Adventures, and the Curiosities which have hitherto afforded delicious repast to my always hungry Intellect. To begin therefore: Upon Thursday the 19 of January, having dispatch’d and taken order for what was needful, a little before day, after the discharge of some Guns as ‘tis the custome at going off from any coast, we began leisurely to display our sails, moving but slowly, because we waited for the ship-boat which was still at Shore; upon whose return we unfolded all our Canvase, and, though with a small gale, directed our course between the Islands of Ormus 1 and Kesom 2 passing on the outer side of Ormuznext Ai’abia,in regard the shallowness of 3the Channel towards Persiaafforded not water enough for such great Ships as ours.