Written Originally in Dutch by FRANCIS CARON And JOOST SCHORTEN: And novv rendred into English by Capt. ROGER MANLEY.

LONDON: Printed by Samuel Broun and John de l'Ecluse, at the Sign of the Queens Arms, near the little North-Door of St. Paul's Church, 1663.

I Finde nothing in this Translation vvhy it may not properly enough be Printed,

Joseph Williamson.
By the appointment of the Right Honourable Mr Secretary

To my dear BROTHER Major Francis Manley.

Dear Brother,

THe Dedication (as vvell as Writing) of Books being strongly vvarrant­ed by Custom (the great Moderatour of our Af­fairs and Actions) it ap­peareth not injurious to me, that this Translation pass into the World under your conduct; vvhose pretentions as they stand fair to the Patronage of more sublime Labours, so I am assured they vvill not be vvanting in their Indulgence to the Infirmities of this Trifle, upon vvhich the Book-seller having prevailed [Page] vvith me to cast avvay some spare hours, as a Complement to my Countrey (at least to his Interests) I vvas more easily tempted to undertake it, as vvhat might be advertisement to you; so that hovv cheap soever it appear in it self, my dear Brother hath goodness enough to con­sider it, as exposing me to the censure of thousands upon the single account of di­verting him alone; and that having been a principal design of my life, I make this address, vvhere my affection, not my ambition, leads me.

For the Matter, it is the Author must stand accountable, not I; (and I can as­sure you, he is of a passable reputation in his ovvn Countrey) but for the bad English, I hope a Fourteen years Exile may excuse the Errataes in our very Mo­ther-Tongue. I vvill not further be­speak your protection, left it be judged the effect of my importunity, and not your kindeness; I therefore commit you to Him, vvho hath preserved you and me, through no ordinary dangers, to see [Page] the Land of our Canaan, though not to enjoy the fruits of it; but the happiness of our Soveraign doth virtually com­prehend in it that of all His Creatures; in vvhich number as it is your honour and mine, upon the score of an unalterable loyalty, attended vvith many sufferings, and our best services to stand ranked; so is it my extream contentment and satis­faction, that I may style my self,

Your most faithful and most affectionate Brother, and humble Servant, Roger Manley.

The Contents.

  • 1. HOw great the Country of Japan is, and whether it be an Island or no Page 3.
  • 2. How many Provinces it con­tains p. 5.
  • 3. VVhat quality and authority the supream Magistrate hath p. 15.
  • 4. His dwelling Place, Magnificence and Train p. 16.
  • 5. The number of his Souldiers and their Arms p. 35.
  • 6. The Authority of his Councellours and Vassals p. 37.
  • 7. The quality of his Princes and Lords, and their might p. 38.
  • 8. Their manner of Iustice p. 52.
  • 9. VVhat Crimes they punish most severe­ly p. 53.
  • 10. VVhat Divine Service they use p. 62.
  • 11. VVhat Churches they have p. 62.
  • 12. VVhat Priests they entertain p. 63.
  • [Page] 13. VVhat Sects are prevalent among them p. 63.
  • 14. The Persecution of the Romish Chri­stians p. 66.
  • 15. How this Nation lives in their Houses and Families p. 71.
  • 16, 17. How they receive each other, and of their Hospitality p. 73.
  • 18. Of their Conjugal state p. 74.
  • 19. Of the bringing up of their Children p. 75.
  • 20. VVhat Succession ab intestato p. 77.
  • 21. VVhether they be faithful or false in their dealings p. 78.
  • 22. VVhat Traffik, and with what Nations p. 80.
  • 23. Of their domestick Trading and Navi­gation p. 81.
  • 24. The Profits amounting thence p. 84.
  • 25. Their Correspondence with Strangers p. 84.
  • 26. The Commodities which Japan yeilds p. 85.
  • 27. Their Mint, Measures, and VVeights p. 85.
  • [Page] 28. VVhat Beasts and Fowl they have p. 87.
  • 29. VVhat Medicinal VVaters p. 87.
  • 30. How the Kings, Princes, and Peers of the Kingdom receive Audience from his Imperial Majesty, and what Train they must have p. 89.
  • 31. Their Language, manner of VVritings, Reckonings, and how far they transmit their History to Posterity p. 92.

Directions for placing the four Figures belonging to the BOOK.

  • 1. THe Map of the Country of Iapan, be­tween page 2 and 3.
  • 2. The manner of Cutting up their Bellies, between page 50 and 51.
  • 3. The Persecution of the Christians, be­tween page 66 and 67.
  • 4. The Emperors Admittance of the Kings, Princes, and Peers of the Kingdom to his pre­sence, between page 88 and 89.

Perfeckte Kaert vande gelegentheydt des Landts van IAPAN.

A True Description of the Mighty Kingdomes of IAPAN & SIAM.

MY fourteene yeares residence in the low Countreys, (I may rather say my banishement thither,) being upon the rendition of one of the Kings Garrisons, in the yeare, 1646 obliged by my Articles to depart the Kingdome within six moneths (As it hath, in some measure, furnished me with the knowledg of the Dutch tongue, so hath it given me roome to observe the indefatigable industry of that people, who all of them, in their severall stations, and according to their severall povvers and capacities, doe unanimously cons­pire & cooperate to their support and grovvth in the World. And that I, by their example, or ra­ther by the impulse of my owne Genius, may cast my mite, into the service of my Countrey, I judged it not wholy unprofitable to put this [Page] [Page 2] short relation of the Great Kingdomes of Japan & Siam into the English tongue, which for the vastnesse of those Territories (scarce knowne to us by name) The Reputation of the Authour (vvhose Collections are of great credit) But prin­cipally, as a spur to the Improvement of further discoveries & Traffick by my ovvne Coūtrey men, will not, I hope, be unacceptable to the Reader, who I wish may so far indulge the bad English of one almost degenerated into a forreigner, (at least in his language) that it may receive a faire acceptation, which is all I propose to my self in this matter. I am not ignorant that amongst the multitude of books, under which the Presse groanes, it is not enough, to write well. But I being restrayned to a Translation, must not pre­tend to rise higher then my fountayne head. And my Authour having made rather a collectiō then a History, wherein he seemes to affect truth and brevity, more then the ornament of words I thought it becoming me, if I would walke in his ground, to tread in his steps, wherein if you will please to divert your selfe I shall in his Per­son proceed to tell you.

How great the Countrey of Iapan is & whether it be an Island or no.

THe Countrey of Japan is supposed to bee an Island, though there bee no certainty of it, this vast territorie not beeing yet wholy dis­covered to the inhabitants themselves. I have often enquired and been informed that Tra­vellers have gone from the Province of Quanto, the principal of his Majesties dominions where­in the Imperial Citie and Pallace of Iedo are scituated, 27 daies North-East wards, before they could reach the utmost point of the land of Sungaer, bordering upon the Sea; being come thither they passed over an Istmus of thirty three English miles broad, leading into the Coū ­try of Iezzo abounding in skins & furrs of price. This territorie is very great, mountainous but litle inhabited. The Iappaners attempted its dis­covery severall times but in vaine, for though they entred to & fro, far into the Countrey, yet they could never find its end, nor any certainty cōcerning it, their provisions ordinarily failing them, which inforced their fruitlesse returnes. The discoverers reports of these, were soe im­perfect that his Majestie dispaired of any fur­ther Satisfaction, the countrey being presented [Page 4] as desolate and unpassable, though in some place inhabited with a people all over hairy (wear­ing their Beards long, like the Chinesses) brutish, though otherwise well shaped. To consider therefore the uncertianty whether this Coun­trey be an Island or no; wee may observe that the passage betvveene Sungaer and Iezzo is no running water, but an Inlet or long Istmus of the Sea it selfe, 120 English Miles long, extending it selfe betvvixt Iezzo and Iapan, where it bounds upon vast mountaines and deserts, about the Province of Ochio; so that, that way being vvholly unpassable by land, travellers are for­ced to ferry over the aforesaid Isthmus from Sungaer to Iezzo, in Barkes and such shipping as they have: The tvvo great Islands of Chir­kock and Saykock are governed by Kings and Lords that share vvith them in the Magistracie. Chirkock hath one King and three Lords. Saykock being the bigger of the tvvo, hath more Gover­nours, but both are accounted Provinces of this great Empire, though least in extent of those whereof it is composed.

How many Provinces it con­taynes.

THat great Territory which we call Iapan, & the inhabitants Nippon, borders upon those afore mentioned Islands and strecheth to the unknovvne Countrey of Iezzo, & is divided into five Provinces, to wit, Iam Aystero, Ietsengo, Ietse­sen, Quanto & Ochio, the which, with the Islands of Saykock & Chirkock, make seaven in all, whose Dominions, Cities and Castles are subdivided under severall Kings and Lords as the follo­vving specification of the Revenue of the vvhole land aboundantly shevveth.

An Extract of the Sealed accompts and specifica­tion of the Revenue (Excepting the Empe­rours) of the Kings Princes Dukes and Lords of Japan together vvith the names of their Countreys and Castles according to the Japans accompt in Cockyens each Cockyen being ten Carolus Guilders vvich is some Tvventy Shillings Sterling.
  • CAngano Tsiunangon, King of Canga, Ge [...] ­tichu, & Natta, hath his Residence in the Castle of Canga, his Revenues amounts to 1190000.
  • [Page 6] [...]rngano Daynangon, King of Surngo, Toto and Mitaunca dwells in the Castle Fayt­ [...]i [...]s hath in Revenue 700000
  • Ouvvarino Daynangou, King of Ovvary and Mimo dwells in the Castle of Mangay and hath. 700000
  • Sendaino Thiunangon, King of Massamne and Ochio, lives in the invinsible Castle of Senday and hath 640000
  • Satsumanon Thiunangon, King of Satsumae Ossimus Fiungo and Quchio lives in Ka [...]ga­sima and hath 600000
  • Rinocaouny Daynangon, King of Kimo and Ishe, lives in the Castle of Wake Iamma and hath 550000
  • Catto Fingonocamy, King of Tingo lives in the Castle of Koumam [...]tte, and hath 554000
  • Matsendeyro Iemenofi [...] King of Tsunkis [...]n and Faccatia dwells in Foucosa and hath 510000
  • Matsendayro Ionocany King of the Great Province of Ietchesen lives at Ocede and hath 511100
  • Calto S. Kibo King of Osio dwells in the Castle of A [...]s and hath in Revenue 430000
  • Assaino Taysima King of Bingo dwells in the Castle of Oky and hath 420000
  • Matsendeyro Nangato King of Soua dwells in the Castle of Fangy and hath 370000
  • Mittono Thionangon King of Fitayt [...] dwells in the Castle of Mit. and hath 360000
  • Nahissima Simano King of Thisien dwells in the Castle of Logtois and hath 360000
  • Matsendeyro Sentairo King of Ianabasoky dwells in the Castle of Tackaham hath 360000
  • T [...]do Isumy King of Ianga Iche dwells in the Castle of Son: hath 320000
  • Matsendeyro Lonuey King of Bissen dwells at Ossaiamma hath 310000
  • [Page 7] Inno Cammon, the bravest of the Princes King of Totomy dwells in Savaiamma & hath 300000.
  • Fosso Covva Ietchin King of Boytes lives at Cokera and hath 300000.
  • Oyesungi Daynsio King of Iotsengo dwells in the Castle of Gunisauvva and hath 300000.
  • Matsendeyro Denrio King of the Province of Ietsengo lives at Formando and hath 300000.
  • Matsendeyro Auvva Duke of Auvva dwells in the Castle Incts and hath 250000.
  • Matsendeyro Ietchigonacam [...] Duke of the land of Conge dwells at Takato and hath 250000.
  • Matsendeyro Tsiusio Duke of Ioo dwells at Mats Iamma and hath 250000.
  • Ariama Grimba Duke of Tsirkingo dwells at Courme hath 240000.
  • Morimo Imasack Prince of Imasaka dwells at Tsiamma and hath 200000.
  • Tory Inganocanij Prince of Sevvano dwells at Iummengatta hath 200000.
  • Matsendeyro Tosa Prince of Tosnacorij dwells at Tocosiamma hath 200000.
  • Satake Okion Prince of Wano dwells at A­kita, and hath 200000.
  • Matsendevro Simo Sautamy Prince of Simosa dwells at Tatebays and hath 200000.
  • Forriwo Iamaissiro Prince of Ins [...]o dwells at Masdayt [...] and hath 200000.
  • Ikouma Ikinocanij Prince of Sanike dwells at Couham and hath 180000.
  • Forivvo Iamassiro Prince of Insimo dwells at Masdayts and hath 180000.
  • Fonda Kayokamij Knight and Lord of Fary­ma dwells in Tayeno and hath 150000.
  • Sackey Counay Knight & Lord of the great Province of Wano dwells at Fakfio & hath 150000.
  • Tara sanvva Simado Knight and Lord of Fisen dwells in Lata [...]s and hath 120000.
  • [Page 8] Kiongock vvakasa Knight and Lord of Wakasa dwells in Osamma and hath 120000.
  • Fory Tango Knight and Lord of [...]etchesen dwells at Kavvantisma and hath 120000.
  • Minsio Fiongo Knight and Lord in Bingo dwells at F [...]u [...]ke Iamma hath 120000.
  • Sackopharra Eskibon Knight and Lord of Kooske dwells in the Castle of Tattays hath 120000.
  • Matsendeyr [...] Tavvayts Governor of the Emperors Castle in Quana hath 110000.
  • Oeckendyero Imysacka Knight and Lord of Simotske dwells in O [...]tsnomio and hath 110000.
  • Sannada Iut Knight and Lord of Sinano dwells at Koske and hath 110000.
  • Taysibanna Finda Knight and Lord of Sickingo dwells in Imangonvva and hath 110000.
  • Ongasaura Oucken Knight and Lord of Fa­rima dwells at Kays and hath 100000.
  • Indatiji Voutumij Knight and Lord of Gyo, dwells in Itasima and hath 100000.
  • Nambon Sinano Knight and Lord in the great Province of Ochio dwells at Morti­amma and hath 100000.
  • Niwa Groysemon Knight and Lord in the great Province of Ochio dwells at Sira­kovva and hath 100000.
  • Abeno Bitchion Gouernor of the Empe­rors Castle Ivvatsuky in the Countrey of Moysays hath 80000.
  • Kiongock Oenieme Knight and Lord of Tanga dwells in Tanabe and hath 70000.
  • Makino Surnga Lord in Ietchingo dwells at Wangerecka and hath 70000.
  • Nackangonvva Nysien Lord in Bong [...] lives in the Citie of Nangoun and hath 70000.
  • Matsendayr [...] Comba Lord in Sinano dwells in Matsmo [...] hath 70000.
  • Nay [...]o Samma Lord in Fitayts dwells in [Page 9] the Citie of Ivvaysko and hath 70000.
  • Ieckenda Bit [...]hiou Gouernor of the Empe­rors Castle Matsivmma in Bitchiou hath 60000.
  • Matswia Fisennocamij Lord in Fisen dwells at Firando where the Shipps belonging to the Company have their Hauen and Traf­fick his income is 60000.
  • Sengoock Fiwo Lord in Sinano lives at O­jonda and hath 60000.
  • Catta Sewado Lord in Gyo dwells at Oets and hath 60000.
  • Tosruwa Okion Lord in Dewano lives in the Lordshipp of Shimchiro and hath 60000.
  • Matsendeyro Iwamij Lord in the Countrey of Farima dvvells at Bisongori and hath 60000.
  • Matskonra Bungo Lord in Fisen dwells at Simabarra and hath 60000.
  • Iescoun a Tonnomon Lord in Bongo dwells at Fita and hath 60000.
  • Tsungaer Ietchin Lord in Ochio dvvells at Tsungaer a Sea towne and hath 60000.
  • Ongasauwara Simano Lord in Farimer dwells at Sekays and hath 60000.
  • Itho Chiury Lord in Fonga dvvells at Orasi and hath 50000.
  • Fourta Fi [...]a Lord in Iwamy dvvells at Daysiro and hath 50000.
  • Wakesacka Arbays Lord in Sinano and dvvells at Ino 50000.
  • Touky Nangato Lord in Iohe dwells at Toba hath 50000.
  • Arima Soymonoskie Lord in Niko dvvells at Acconda and hath 50000.
  • Outa Fiwo Lord in Iamatta dvvells at Ou­da and hath 50000.
  • Matsendeyro D [...]w [...]do Lord in the great Province of Ietsesen dvvells at Oune & hath 50000.
  • Minsnokuyte Foky Lord in Ietsengo lives at Ribatta and hath 50000.
  • [Page 10] Innaba Mimbro Lord in Bonngo lives at Ousthero and hath 50000.
  • Croda Caynokamij Lord in Chimano lives at Camro and hath 50000.
  • Matsendeyro Sonodonno Lord in Isumij liveth at Kisnowadda and hath 50000.
  • Tonda Sammon Lord in Sonno [...]mmy dvvells at Amangasack and hath 50000.
  • Stotsianangy Kemmot [...] Lord in I [...]hie lives at Congon and hath 50000.
  • Fondo Ichenocamy Lord in Micanwa lives at Ocha Sacka and hath 50000.
  • Matsendeyro Iamayssiro Lord in Tamba dwells at Cassaiamma and hath 50000.
  • Mory Caynocamij Lord in Ingal Iche dwells at Sowro Sada and hath 50000.
  • Tonda Notanocamij Lord in Farima dwells at Fimens hath 50000.
  • Akito Sionoske Lord in Fitayts dvvells at Chi [...]hindo and hath 50000.
  • Assano Oenime Lord in Chions lives at Casseme and hath 50000.
  • Neyto Cinocamij Lord in Chions lives at A­kandate and hath 50000.
  • Cattes Kibodo Lord in Ochio lives at Ay [...]s and hath 50000.
  • Samma Daysiennocamij Lord in Ochio dwells at Sama and hath 50000.
  • Fonda Iamatta Lord in Taysima lives at Isius and hath 50000.
  • Ouckob Cangato Lord in Mino lives at Canno and hath 50000.
  • Nayto Boysen Lord in Dewano lives in Io­data and hath 50000.
  • Inawa Aways Lord in Tamba lives at Fuco­kuytscamma and hath 40000.
  • Camij Asirick Lord in Iwamij lives at Mon­gamij and hath 40000.
  • [Page 11] Cattaygiri Ismou Lord in Iammano dwells at Tatsta and hath 40000.
  • Chonda Findanocami Lord in the Province of Ietsesen lives in Maroka and hath 40000.
  • Itacaura Sauadonne Gouernour of the great Citie of trade Miako hath 40000.
  • Matsendeyro Bougo Lord of the Countrey of Iwamy dwells at Nakasima hath 40000.
  • Fonda Nayky Lord in Farima lives at Fim­ris hath 40000.
  • Matsendeyro Tango Lord in Ochio lives at Suckey and hath 40000.
  • Caenna Maury Isonmo Lord in Finda lives at Oumory and hath 40000.
  • Ciongock Chiury Lord in Tango lives in Tan­nabe and hath 36000.
  • Outta Giuwe Lord in Mino lives at Itsno­day and hath 30000.
  • Matsendeyro Getsio Gouernour of the Castle Ionda in Iamaysiro hath 30000.
  • Matsendeyro Ouckon Lord in Farima lives at Ako and hath 30000.
  • Minsonoya Ichenokamy Lord in Kooskie lives in Chitiotay [...] and hath 30000.
  • Immasacka Kaynokamij Lord in Bitchou lives at Na [...]se and hath 30000.
  • Matsendeyro Iammatto Lord in Ietsesen lives at Catsiamma and hath 30000.
  • Inno Fiveo Lord in Costie lives at Amma and hath 30000.
  • Matsendeyro Tonnomon Lord in Mikaura lives at Iuffinda and hath 30000.
  • Akisuckie Nangako Lord in Niko lives at Sumyno and hath 30000.
  • Sauo Inaba Lord in Sinano lives at Soua and hath 30000.
  • Foysimo Fongo Lord in Sinano lives at Tac­kaboyts and hath 30000.
  • [Page 12] Sunganoma Owribe Lord in Totomij lives in Sese and hath 30000.
  • Simaes Oemanoske Lord in Nicho lives in Sando Barra and hath 30000.
  • Kinostag Iemmon Lord in Bongo lives at Fins and hath 30000.
  • Sono Tsinsima Lord in Tsinsima hath 30000.
  • Koyndo Fimano Lord in Tongo lives at Oka­da hath 30000.
  • Fondo Fimoso Governor of Nissiwo lives at Mikauwa hath 30000.
  • Gorick Serfnokamij Lord in Mikauwa lives at Fammats and hath 30000.
  • Chinsio Swraga Lord in Fitayts dwells in Tsuytowra and hath 30000.
  • Secuma Fisen Lord in Sinano lives at Irai­amma and hath 30000.
  • Todo Toinsima Lord in Mino lives at Can­naiamma and hath 30000.
  • Fonda Isumij Lord in Fitayts lives at Mi­nangaura and hath 30000.
  • Tongauwa Tosa Lord in Bitchion lives at Nikays and hath 30000.
  • Matsendeyro Tosa Lord in the Province of Iessesen lives at Konomatra and hath 30000.
  • Sugyfarra Foky Lord in Fitayts lives at Gungowry and hath 20000.
  • Kynostay Kounay Lord in Bithion lives at Korousy and hath 20000.
  • Matsendeyro Koysero Lord in Farima lives at Farima and hath 20000.
  • Inasacka Tsonokamij Governor of the Em­perors Castle Osacca hath 20000.
  • Matsendeyro Kenmots Lord in Tamba lives at Cammeiomme and hath 20000.
  • Mastey Sake Lord in Ochio lives at Sanbou­mats and hath 20000.
  • [Page 13] Oumowra Mimbou Lord in Fisen lives at Daymats and hath 20000.
  • Matsendeyro Isumij Lord in Mino lives at Iwamoura and hath 20000.
  • Matsendeyro Chinocamy Lord in Tsonnota­my lives at Faynotory 20000.
  • Minsuo Fayto Lord in Micauwa lives at Corea and hath 20000.
  • Nito Tutewaky Lord in Chiono lives at Iway Fouwo and hath 20000.
  • Ongusawary Wakasa Lord in Simosa lives at Sekyda and hath 20000.
  • Fithicatta Cammon Lord in Chiono lives at Mawasa and hath 20000.
  • Iwaky Sirrosy Lord in Chiono lives at Ie­dowra and hath 20000.
  • Rekongo Fiongo Lord in Dewano lives at Iwry and hath 20000.
  • Takennacia Oenieme Lord in Boungo lives at Fouway and hath 20000.
  • Moury Ickenocaney Lord in Boungo lives at Ounays and hath 20000.
  • Wakebe Sackion Lord in Totomij lives at Ou­miso and hath 20000.
  • Is [...]ifoi [...] Insnocamy Lord in Totamy lives at Cosioys and hath in Revenue 20000.
  • All these Sumes amount to 17794000.
Here follow some lesser Lords whose Lordshipps and places for brevity are omitted as lesse considerable their names onely and Revenues being specified as follovveth.
  • Sangoro Saffioye 20000.
  • Fory Minnasacka 20000.
  • Quire Iamma Sāmon 15000.
  • Fossa Cawa Geruba 15000.
  • Fackyna Deysen 15000.
  • Matsendeyro Deysen 15000.
  • [Page 14] Gottoways Lord of the Island Goto: 15000.
  • Catayngori Iwami 15000.
  • Cussima Ierfingo 15000.
  • Coubary Tomoty 15000.
  • Tackamy mondo 15000.
  • Miake Ietsingo 15000.
  • Cackebe Sayngow 10000.
  • Mynangaua Chy­nomoceamij 10000.
  • Iaydsio Dewanocanij 10000.
  • Coungay Inabae 10000.
  • Sackan Oukon 15000.
  • Condae Iwanij 15000.
  • Nasno Ients 15000.
  • Oudaurae Bisen 10000.
  • Toiamma Gidwo 10000.
  • Fira Ougae Giu [...]mon 10000.
  • Oseki Iemmon 10000.
  • Fayssien Gowas 10000.
  • Outano Tango 10000.
  • Fieno Owrabi 10000.
  • Auby Ceynocams 10000.
  • Otana Monsoys 10000.
  • Majudda Iametta 10000.
  • Taitsibanna Saoken 10000.
  • Octana Caweyts 10000.
  • Nimas Kybon 10000.
  • Fory Arbays 10000.
  • Fosio Mimasacka 10000.
  • Sango Wake Sakea 10000.
  • Tonda Inaba 10000.
  • Samnanda Nyki 10000.
  • Ikenday Ietseses 10000.
  • Miangi Simsen 10000.
  • Iton Tangow 10000.
  • Tonda Nayki 10000.
  • All hitherto comes to 18395000
Here follow's the Emperours Counsellors who receive their Sallary out of his Majesties Revenues, whose Lordshipps wee likewise omit for brevityes sake, and shall onely mention their names and Salleryes.
  • Doyno Doydonno President 150000.
  • Sackey Outadono Chancelor 120000.
  • Nangay Sywodonno 100000.
  • Sackay Samikodonno 90000
  • Ando Oukiondonno 60000
  • In [...]s [...] Cawaytsdo 50000
  • Inabe Tangedonne 40000
  • Sackay Auwado 30000
  • Sakay Iamessicodōno 30000
  • Nayda Ingado 20000
  • Tsitia Winbondonno 20000
  • Misson Oukiedonno 20000
  • Metsendeyro Iemou­donno 20000.
  • [Page 15] Iammanguyts Tassi­mandanno 20000.
  • Matsendey [...] Iur­donno 20000.
  • Abe acoungo Donno 15000.
  • Auwe Iamon Ou­kerodonno 15000.
  • Ciongock Siensendōne 15000.
  • Itacaura Nistenda 15000.
  • Nacsie Iucdonno 15000.
  • Akimouta Taysi­onadonno 15000.
  • Forita Cangadonna 15000.
  • Miura Symadonne 10000.
  • Maynda Gonoske donne 10000.
  • Missona Iamacta 10000.
  • Fory Itsuocamij 10000.
  • Mury Oemonoske­donno 10000.
  • Fondo Saniadonno 10000.
  • The Totall 19345000.

Moreouer, his Majesty spends in his owne and his Sons Table and cloths together with his Wives and their Table & Cloths, foure Millions of Guilders yearly which in Sterling Moneys is 400000.

His Majesties life guard being all persons of quallitie receive in pay and pensions yearly 500000.

All these vast Expences amount to 283 Milli­ons 450 thousand Guilders or 28345000 ster­ling monie

What qualitie & authority the supreame Magistrate hath.

THe supreame Magistrate in Japan is stiled Emperor in respect of the Kings & Princes that are under his Obedience, He is Soveraign Lord and Ovvner of the whole land and [Page 16] hath povver (as it happened severall times during my residence there) to banish and punish with death, at pleasure, his offending Kings and Lords, and to give avvay their Com­mands and Treasures to those he fancies more deserving then they.

His dwelling place, magnificence & Traine

The Imperial Citie of Iedo, where his Maiesty resides, is very great, his Pallace cōtaynes in circuit six English miles, being encōpassed with three Moats and three Counterscharpes: These Ditches are very deep, being bordered on both sides vvith high and strong Stone vvalls strange­ly angular: The first circumference, entring in­to the second, the second into the third, and this againe into the second and first, so odly that it is impossible, by reason of the multiplicity of the poynts & vvorkes, to remember the fashion of the whole, and it is not permitted to take the plaine thereof. Such as enter must goe through a passage of three or foure hundred paces, forti­fied with Eight or Nyne huge gates not right over each other, but ansvvering the points and halfe circles in the mentioned vvalles, betvvixt every tvvo ports there is a large plaine guarded [Page 17] with a Company of Souldiers, and those being past several heights with broad stone Stairs and Walls, which being likewise surmounted, se­veral great Plains bordered with large Galleries against the Sun and Rain, do present themselves to the common view. The Streets in the Ca­stle are extraordinary large, built on each side with goodly Pallaces, belonging to the Lords of the Kingdom: The Castle Gates are very strong, and covered on both sides with iron Bars of an inch thick crossing each other, and fastened with Bolts of the same: every Gate hath his House large enough to contain two or three hundred Souldiers, and defensible upon occasion: within, in the midst of the first cir­cumference, standeth his Majesties Pallace; it is great, and consisteth of several dwellings beau­tified with Woods, to the envy of Nature, full of Ponds, Rivers, Gardens, Plains, Courts, places to Pickeer and Sport in, and moreover, contains all the dwellings of his Women. The second Circumference is inhabited by the next Princes of the blood, and those of the Council: And the third is possessed with the proud Pal­laces and dwellings of the severall Kings and principal Dukes, and Lords of Japan. The Cheifs of Lesser note have their Houses with­out the third Round, each adorned according to the Dignity and Riches of the Owners, all [Page 18] almost gilt, so that this goodly Edifice appears at a distance not unlike a Mountain of Gold; for all the Lords (none excepted) rack them­selves to please his Majesty by beautifying his Castle and their own Habitations; which their lawful Wives and Children do likewise enjoy after their decease, continuing always under the Emperors eye as Hostages of their fidelity. This City of Iedo is nine English Miles long, and six broad, and is as closely built as any City in Europe.

The Court, how great soever, is dayly crowded with multitudes of Nobles, who with their numerous Trains with Horses and Pa­lanquins make the Streets too narrow for their passage. When the Emperor goeth abroad, sometimes on Horse-back, and sometimes car­ried in a Pallanquin, open on every side, he is ordinarily accompanied with these Lords, who are called his Majesties Companions; being all of them of high State and Revenues, though without Lands or other Office save their atten­dance: They are Persons extraordinarily qua­lified; some in Musick and Singing, others in Physick, Writing, Painting, Elocution, and the like. These are followed by the Life-Guard, all Persons of quality and choice, being the natural Sons of Kings and Princes, begot on their Concubines and uncapable of succession; [Page 19] and the Brothers, Cosins and Kindred of great Lords, which, by reason of their many Women, are very numerous: I will give you one example. The Emperors Uncle, King of Mito, now fifty four years old, hath as many Sons as he hath years, and many more Daughters, whose num­ber is unknown. After these follows part of the second Life-Guard, which consisting of some thousands, is so divided, that half goes a Cannon shot before his Majesty, and the other half follows at the same distance.

However the number of these Souldiers be great, yet there is not one of them which hath not passed Examination, and found to be thus qualified: They must be active of body, ready in the use of all sorts of Arms, and somewhat knowing in their Studies; especially well exer­cised and trained, which they are to a wonder: for when his Maiesty moves, they go along, Horse and Foot, clothed all in black Silk, and ranked before, behinde, and on each side of him: They march in such comely order, that never a one is observed to go out of his place; and with such silence, that they neither speak nor make any the least noise: Neither indeed do the Citizens move their lips when the Em­peror passeth, nothing being then heard but the ruffling of Men and Horses: The ways and streets, are at such times, made very clean, [Page 20] strewed with sand and sprinkled with water: No doors are shut, and yet no body dares look out either at them or at the windows, or so much as stand in their shops to see the Empe­ror pass; all must keep within doors, unless such who will kneel upon mats before them. When his Maiesty goes on progress to Miako, sometimes the imperial City, which happens once every five or seven Years, to give the Deyro (which is the true Heir of the King­dom and lives there) a visit, the preparations are making an whole year before the orders are given on what day and with what train every great Man shall go, to the end that the ways may not be pestered with their num­bers. Half of the great Lords, according to their turns set out some days before, then follows his Maiesty with his Councellers, who are followed some days after by the remain­ing Kings and Lords. The concourse of peo­ple at such a time is incredible, the whole City, though containing above One hundred thou­sand Houses, not being big enough to lodge them all; so that tents and huts are raised round about the same for the Souldiers and common People.

The distance betwixt Jedo and Miako is reckoned to be one hundred twenty five Dutch miles; At every two or three miles there is a [Page 21] City or open Town; and the whole is divi­ded into twenty and eight Gists or Lodgings, whereof twenty are strong Castles: there is in every quarter, from the first to the last, a train of Gentlemen, Souldiers, Horse, Provisions, and all necessaries befitting so great a Prince, ordered there for his reception and entertain­ment. Those that set out with him from Jedo stay in the first lodging; those that were there remove with him to the second; those of the second to the third, and so to the last; so that each train and their dependants follow his Ma­jesty but half a day, until all of them, accord­ing to their instructions, marching in order, do at length arrive at Miako, leaving the afore­said Castles and Lodgings to their usual Go­vernors and Guards. In the return from Mia­ko to Jedo the same method is observed, all things being prepared as formerly, without trouble or confusion.

This year 1636 there is an extraordinary great Edifice and Building at Niko, four days journey from Jedo, which is to be the Burial place of the Emperors Father, in whose Temple the great Copper Crown which the East-India-Company gave his Majesty last year, is hung up. There is likewise in this territory of Nia­ko a very great Castle, with double moats and stone walls, strong and sumptuous: there are [Page 22] several Palaces in it; as also a great number of Artificers, as Painters, Masons, Statue-Cutters, Gold, Silver, and Iron-Smiths, Cloathiers, and all sorts of Handy-Crafts-Men, who have their tasks set them, but are well paid. This Castle, which seemed to require three years for its building, was finished in five moneths, though it lies far in the Country, and out of all ways, being only made to receive his Majesty in his ceremonious visits of his Fathers Sepulchre.

His Majesties Treasure consists in Silver and Gold, packd in Chests, each weighing one thou­sand Teyls, that is about fourscore ordinary pounds weight: these are placed in the several Towers of his Castle together, with other le­gacies, with their writings, which are kept for their Antiquity. This vast Treasure increases dayly, for the Revenue of two moneths, is suf­ficient to defray the Emperors expences, how great soever, for one whole year.

This Emperors Father being the Son of Ongo­schio, who possessed himself of the Government after the late troubles, died about the fiftieth year of his age, in the year of our Saviour 1631: being sensible of his end, he called his Son to him, and amongst many other good counsels, concluded to this purpose; My Kingdom and all my Treasures are yours; but vvhat I recommend to you I likevvise deliver you, The old Lavvs and [Page 23] Chronicles of the Countrey, our vvritten Senten­ces and VVisdom are inclosed in this Cabinet, the principal Ievvels of my Crovvn are likevvise in it; receive them all as they deserve, for they are mine, and vvere highly valued by your fore-Fa­thers. The Jewels which were accounted in­estimable, are these following; whereof he gave to his eldest Son, Emperor of Japan,

  • A crooked Sable, called Jeiuky Massamme.
  • Another Sable called Samoys.
  • Another less called Bungo Doyssero.
  • A Pot called Naraissiba.
  • A great t'Siapol called Stengo.
  • A Manuscript called Anckocky kindo.
  • To his Brother King of Ouvvay and At­stanomia,
  • A Picture called Darme, to be vievved backvvards.
  • A Sable called Massamme.
  • To his second Brother King of Kinokouny, A Sable called Jees Messamme.
  • A Picture of Frogs.
  • To his third Brother King of Mito.
  • A Sable called Sandamme.
  • A Manuscript called Seuche.

These six pieces bestowed on the three Bro­thers are but of little worth, in comparison of the six other given the Emperor, and yet they are valued at a thousand gold Oebans, that is [Page 24] forty seven Teylens a piece. The Silver and Gold which his Majesty gave to the Princes of his blood, to several of his favorite Kings, their Wives, his companion Lords, his Soldiers and Gentlemen amounted upon account to above Thirty Millions sterling.

The present Emperor being after his Fathers decease in full and peaceable possession of the Government, had as then no lawful Wife, be­ing much given to Sodomy, which moved the Deyro to send him two beautiful Ladies, (of his own kindred, and every way accomplished) with a desire that he would be pleased to chuse one of them, that best pleased him, for his Mi­dia or Empress. He did indeed consent to the Deyros request, but followed his old way of living; so that the young Lady, being destitute of the conversation she might reasonably ex­pect, was extreamly afflicted, although she durst not let it appear for fear of her Husband's displeasure. At length her Foster-Mother (a Lady of great credit, both in respect of her age, and in that she had bred up so great a Princess) finding the Emperor one day in a good humor, adventured, though very submissively, to speak to him in behalf of her Mistris; which she did as followeth. Hovv is it possible that your Ma­jesties affections should be carried avvay vvith such unnatural pleasures, and that so beautiful a [Page 25] Creature as your ovvn Handmaid, vvho vvould rejoice you in bearing another like to your Self, should be forgotten, certainly she ought to be pre­ferred. The Tyrant, though till now in his fro­licks, grew angry, yet said nothing; but rising up retired immediatly: and sending for all the Overseers of his Buildings, commanded them forthwith to begin and build him a Castle, with high Walls, Moats, Bridges, and strong Gates; as also to adorn it within with all manner of necessary and sumptuous appertainments and Lodgings. The work being finished with more then ordinary haste, the beautiful Queen, her Foster-Mother, and all that train of young Ladies which she brought with her from Mia­ko, were put into it, where she is kept without the sight of men, and intirely forsaken of her Husband. The Emperor's own Foster-Mo­ther, who was likewise in great esteem and respect as his own Mother, being much trou­bled at this action of his Majesty, and seeing he had no Children, neither was like to have any whilst he lived thus, sent into the several Coun­tries in his Dominions to search out the most charming beauties that could be found; which done, she disposes of them in such manner, that his Majesty insensibly had the sight of them all; among the rest there was a slight maid, an Ar­morers Daughter, who did so far please him, [Page 26] and gain upon his affections, that he lay with her. The great Ladies of the Court, seeing an Artificers Girl preferred before them all, mad with jealousie and rage, resolved to strangle her Childe in its birth, which they cruelly performed; but have hitherto kept the know­ledg of so black a deed from the Emperor, fear­ing his just indignation and revenge.

The Japan Chronicles write, that this great Kingdom hath, until this hundred years, been still governed by an Hereditary Prince, which they call Deyro, who was in such reverence with the people, that never any tumults or civil broils were raised against his Person or Autho­rity: He was esteemed so Sacred, that to op­pose him was judged no less criminal then to fight against the Gods; both being inexpiable. When any difference arose betwixt his subject-Kings, so that they armed each against other, there was a Generalissimo appointed to mediate their quarrels, and punish, if need were, the offending or transgressing Prince: For the Dey­ros themselves were esteemed so holy, that they never trod upon the ground; neither was the Sun or Moon ever suffered to shine upon them; nothing of their Body was diminished or pair­ed off, their hair, beard and nails being suffered to grow at length: When they did eat, their meat was still dressed in new pots, and served [Page 27] up in new dishes. They have twelve married Wives apiece, who are severally honored and brought with various ceremonies to this height and state: When the Deyro goes abroad, he is followed with these twelve Women, each in her Coach, adorned with her Arms and Titles; these have their Houses and Trains apart, all in the Deyro's Palace, built in rows, six on a side, very magnificent, and beautified (as the Coach­es) with their Names, Arms and Titles. The Concubines dwell likewise by themselves. Sup­per is provided every evening in every one of these twelve Houses, with voices and instru­ments, though none knows who shall be ho­nored with the Deyro's company. Where the Deyro enters, the banqueting and provision of the other eleven Houses is immediatly brought thither; the other eleven Wives following with their Ladies and Musick, to divert and make merry with her whom the Deyro thinks at present worthy of his conversation: They have their Comedies likewise, and such other pastimes as befit so splendid an entertainment.

When the Deyro is blessed with a Son, the hoped Successor of that Empire, a Nurse is chosen for him out of eighty of the loveliest Women of the Country, young and Noble Wives to Persons of great quality and birth: These Women are honored and received by the [Page 28] Deyro's twelve Wives, and all his Women, as also those nine principal Lords who are of his blood and kindred, and next the inheritance in case he have no issue male, with extraordinary ceremonies and feasting. The following day forty are chosen out of the fourscore, the which, the number decreasing, are entertained more honorably then before; the day being spent in usual and pompous diversions, the re­cited forty retain the Titles and Dignities of Foster-Mothers, but are dismissed from further attendance, though not without gifts and rich presents. Ten are again chosen out of the re­maining forty; out of these ten three; and last­ly, out of these three one; in all which electi­ons the honors, ceremonies and presents are successively heightned. Three days after the last chosen Nurse is again highly entertained; which being done, the milk is pressed out of her brests into the Childes mouth, (which all this while is held by one of the noblest Ladies of the Court;) which ceremony done, the Nurse is as then esteemed worthy to take that Childe into her custody, being it hath tasted of her milk and substance.

The Ceremonies and Feasts of their Wed­dings, Childe-bearings, and those other which they celebrate yearly, are performed with much state and modest pomp, and are at this day in [Page 29] use by the Deyro, who wants nothing, save that the Land is governed by another; the reason and history whereof we will briefly de­clare.

The Office of Chief General was formerly the first in the whole Kingdom, which or­dinarily was conferred upon the Deyro's se­cond Son; but having then another Son, which, for the Mothers sake, he was willing to advance, he divided this great charge be­twixt them, with command, that they should govern each his three years by turn. This took for some time, until one of them, having tasted the sweetness of ruling, was loath to quit so splendid an employment; he there­fore leagues with the great Lords of the Coun­try, and settles his power so fast, during his Commission, that neither the commands and entreaties of his Father, nor the violence of his offended Brother, were able to remove him: Yet this being a business of so ill and so great consequence, and like to embroil the Kingdom in disorders, the Deyro resolved to chastise his rebellious Son; which, by the assistance of his Kings, and the valour of his former General, he did. And this was the be­ginning, and the first intestine war that ever happened against the Deyro's State and Au­thority.

[Page 30] The aforesaid General being for his good service continued in his command, ordered his business so well, that after his Majesties death he made himself Lord of his inheritance, usurp­ing the Government of the Kingdom wholly into his hands; leaving yet the Deyra's Court in its former state and greatness, (his Successor to his Revenue) and commanding he should be used in all things with the same respect and ceremony as before. These proceedings pro­duced another War, another General being chosen; who having overthrown the former, usurped to himself what he had condemned in his Predecessor, the Soveraignity of the whole Land; which occasioned a third intestine War more cruel and more destroying then the other two: For now the Kings and Governors of Provinces began to set up each for himself, so that the Countrey was well nigh ruined (Town being against Town, and City against City) by these dissenting Grandees: During these troubles it fell out that a bold active Fellow, formerly a private Souldier, thinking it best fishing in troubled waters, resolved to put in for a share; Having therefore got together forty or fifty Companions, as desperate as him­self, he in a little time, what with his good for­tune and good conduct, grew very numerous and considerable, and having taken several [Page 31] Castles and Towns, drove likewise all that stood him out of the field; so that in less then three years he became absolute and Soveraign Lord of the whole Kingdom. He, as the other Usurpers, left the Deyro in quiet possession of all he formerly enjoyed (except the Govern­ment) which he held himself; and was after­wards, by the said Deyro, (unable to vindicate his own right) acknowledged and crowned Emperor of Japan with unimaginable pomp and magnificence.

This Emperor, whose name was Taycko, being no less prudent then brave, fearing lest the great Lords of his Kingdom, reflecting upon the lowness of his former condition might contemn his present Authority, as disdaining to be governed by one less then themselves, thought it best to keep them in action, the bet­ter to divert them from caviling a new; he there­fore sent those Kings and Chiefs, that he feared most, with an Army of sixty thousand Men, to war against Corea, and reduce that Country to the obedience of the Iapan Empire. These he held there with kinde messages, and reite­rated promises of succours seven whole years, commanding they should not return till they had subdued and made conquest of all: But the Army longing for their Country, their Wives and Children, and despairing of a re­turn, [Page 32] mutined; and destroying, burning, and plundering all they could meet, endeavoured the satisfaction of their pretended wrongs by the desolation of others. The Coreans, unable to endure this violence any longer, sent an Ambassador to the Emperour Taycko, who, being admitted into his Court, found means to take away his life by poison, in revenge of the manifold wrongs his Country had suffered by the injurious ambition of this Prince. The Kings and Lords, commanding the Army in Corea, hearing of their Emperor's death, re­solved to quit that Country, and to return eve­ry one to his own, in expectation and hopes who amonst them might be chosen to succeed in the Soveraignty.

The Emperor being removed, left one only Son behinde him, called Fideri, about six years of age; but before he died he appointed him a Governor, one of the greatest Lords of his Country, by name Ongoschio; one whom he had obliged by his favors, and relied upon above all others for his fidelity: To this Person he delivered his Infant-Son, with command, that when he was fifteen years of age, he should cause him to be crowned by the Deyro, with the usual Pomps and Ceremonies, as Emperor of Iapan. Ongoschio being thus declared Go­vernor of the Princes Person, was likewise by [Page 33] Taycko's will, and the consent of his Subject-Kings, made Regent of the Kingdom during the minority, which for some time he peace­ably ruled in his Master's name: But growing now weary of subordination, he quickly for­got his promise made to Taycko, and sealed with his blood; Fideri being therefore to be removed, to make place for his greatness, he assaulted him first in his reputation, by laying those things to his charge he was no way guilty of; amongst others, he accused him of distrust of his Tutor, and that he made private prepa­rations to extort the Government out of his hands by force, before his time; he laid like­wise ambition, and an untimely desire of ho­nor to his charge, in that he suffered himself to be adored as Emperor before he was invested with the Power; and that the Kings and Lords of the Realm, had done him that reverence which was only due to a received Emperor. But armed ambition needs not many excuses, Ongoschio musters his united forces in the King­dom of Surnga, and marching thence to On­sacka, where Fideri held his Court, besieged him with all his might. Fideri, having held out three moneths, being now reduced to great extremity, would prevent his ruine by a sordid submission; he therefore sent to Ongoschio to beg his life, quitting all his pretence to the [Page 34] Empire, and desiring only to survive a Vassal to the Conqueror. But Ongoschio refused all manner of capitulation; and though Fideri sent out his Wife, who was his Adversaries Daugh­ter, to supplicate his safety, she could not be heard of her Father. The Castle being taken, the Palace where Fideri had retired himself, with his Mother and chief Friends, was en­compassed with great posts and pallisadoes, and much wood being piled up about it, the unfortunate Prince, and all them that were with him, were miserably burnt and consumed with sire. Ongoschio having thus destroyed his Master, put all them to death who were con­siderable, and of his party; bringing the whole Empire under his obedience by force, as Tayc­ko had done before him. The year following Ongoschio died, not enjoying long what his violence had so quickly got him, his Son Coubo, or Coubosanna, succeeded him, who was Father to this present Emperor Chiongon, now reign­ing.

The number of his Souldiers, and their Arms.

THe Revenue which is divided amongst the Kings and governing Lords, amounts (as is already demonstrated) to 18400000 Coquyns, or Pounds sterling; according to which account, each of them must, propor­tionably, entertain a select company of Soul­diers, always in readiness for the Emperor's service; so that he who hath a thousand Co­quyns yearly, must bring into the field, when ever he is commanded, twenty Foot Souldiers & two Horse-Men. Thus the Lord of Fiarmor, who hath 60000 Coquyns a year, must enter­tain, as he easily may, one thousand two hundred Foot, and one hundred and twenty Horse, be­sides Servants, Slaves, and what more is neces­sary for the Train. The number therefore of Souldiers, which the Emperor hath continu­ally in service, entertained by the aforesaid Kings and Lords, amount to three hundred sixty eight thousand Foot, and thirty six thou­sand eight hundred Horse. Besides these his Majesty hath one hundred thousand Foot, and twenty thousand Horse, which he paies out of his own Revenue, and keeps for the Garrison­ing [Page 36] of his Castles and Forts, and the securing of his own Person. Most of the Lords, espe­cially the most powerful, do ordinarily keep double the number of Souldiers, and many more then they are obliged to by their tax; and all to out vie each other, and the better to ingratiate themselves with their common Ma­ster, as hath appeared at large in the late War. The Horse-Men are all harnassed, though the Foot have no other defensive arms then a Head­piece; the Horse are armed, some with short Guns, some with short Pikes, others with Bows and Arrows, and all with Swords or Sables. The Foot have likewise Sables, Pikes, and Halberts, and those that are divided into Companies Fire-Arms: every five Souldiers have their Commander armed as they are; five of these Chiefs have likewise those who com­mand them; and their five and twenty, and twice twenty five, make a compleat Company, commanded by two Heads, who, with their fifty, are commanded by a Captain in chief: five of these ordinary Companies are again commanded by another; and fifty Companies have likewise their principal Officer; the same method and order being held under the Horse. His Majesty may easily and exactly know how many living souls, how many Souldiers, and how many Citizens he hath in his whole King­dom; [Page]

Manie [...]e van Justitie in Jappon.

[Page 37] for the Houses being built by five and five, and every five having their Commander who must register all them that are born and die within their Jurisdiction, and report the same to their Lords, who again are obliged to tell it their Kings, and they to two Officers appointed by the Emperor for that purpose.

The Authority of his Councel­lors and Vassals.

THe Senators, or Councellors, hath each his Office apart, excepting only four, who are the principal and chief Ministers of State; these come dayly to Court, and dispatch all Publick Affairs by his Majesties directions; and are (as likewise the other minor Senators) highly respected and honored by the subordi­nate Kings and Lords: The chief of these have two hundred thousand pounds a year, the mid­dle half so much, and the lesser thirty, twenty, and ten thousand pounds per An. Their Au­thority and Power is confined to the Empe­ror's Pleasure, none of them (upon pain of Banishment or worse) daring to advise a second time, after Answer once received from the Prince. His Majesty chuses these his Councel­lors out of those Gentlemen that have served [Page 38] well and long, having been bred up in the Court with him, and had the address to please him most. All the Affairs of the Kingdom pass these mens hands; but they are very circum­spect in observing his Majesties eye and plea­sure, before they adventure to propose advice or answer, and all to continue in his good grace and favour; nay, they are fo fearfully slavish, that they approve of whatever the Prince pro­poses, and though the ruine of a Province de­pended upon it, will not seem to have senti­ments differing from his.

The quality of his Princes and Lords, and their might.

THe Revenues of the commanding Lords, as appears by their specifications, are very great, and yet they have, by reason of their vast expences, enough to do with their mo­neys: First, they are obliged, though never so far distant from Court, to reside six moneths every year in the City of Jedo, to wait upon the Emperor. Those of the North and East come one half year, which being expired, they are relieved by them of the South and West; who depart with his Majesties leave, after much Ceremony, Feasting, and receiving of Presents [Page 39] back to their several Countries. Thus they take their turns at Court, which is infinite ex­pensive, by reason of their numerous trains, some of them travelling to and fro with one, two, three, four, five, and six thousand men. The Lord of Firando, (where our East-India-Company hath a Lodge) being but one of the least among them, travels with three hundred Men, Gentlemen and others; and hath in his two Houses at Iedo above a thousand Persons, Men and Women. Thus each Lord lives ac­cording to his Means and Dignity, rather pro­fuse then sparing; so that the City swarms with Men and Attendance, which makes the Mar­kets high and very dear. Their sumptuous Buildings, their gorgeous Cloathing of their Servants, especially their Women and their Attendants, their Feasts, their Presents, and other extraordinary Expences of that proud and pompous Court, do sufficiently keep un­der these great Men; for their Charges sur­mount their Revenues, and they are found most commonly to be much behinde hand. Besides all this his Majesties orders, the making of se­veral publick Buildings, as High-Ways, Chan­nels, Castles, and the like, all which are divided amongst the aforesaid Lords then at Court, each his share; which they cause to be made, without respect of expence, to the envy of [Page 40] each other, with all speed and industry imagi­nable. The chief Lords when they build new Palaces for themselves, do besides the ordinary Gates and Doors, cause another great and sumptuous Port to be made, beautified with Statues, and wrought all with hard Wax, or Indian Lack, and richly guilt. This Entry being finished, it is covered all over with Plancks, to keep the Sun and Rain from it; and conti­nueth so inclosed and shut up, until such time as the Emperour honours that House with his presence: After his Majesty hath passed and re-passed through the said Gate, it is wholly shut up and never opened more; no man be­ing afterwards found worthy to go in or out at that Door, which hath been graced with the Princes entry. His Majesty doth go but once to feast in one House, all the preparations for his entertainment being made ready long be­fore, with great care and cost; every thing be­ing adorned with his Arms, and afterwards never used more, but preserved with great de­votion, in remembrance that the Emperour did vouchsafe to eat in that House. His Ma­jesty is always invited three years before hand, in which time the preparations fit for so royal a Guest are making. After the Emperour hath been there one day, the Princes of his blood, his Councellors, and the Kings and great Lords [Page 41] are treated with incredible magnificence three whole Moneths together. Briefly, the building of such a Palace, and the treating of so great a Prince, is sufficient to make a rich King poor; and yet these ruinning profusions are not to be avoided. When his Majesty goes a Hern-hunt­ing, and hath taken some of those Birds, being of great esteem in those Countries, he some­times bestows one of them upon one Favorite or other; which Present costs the Receiver at least a half years Revenue: for the Gift is so highly valued, having been taken by the Em­peror's Hawks, and given with his own hands, that the whole City seems to partake of the joy, it being abundantly testified by Feasting and Presents.

The Lord of Satsuma had lately the honour to entertain the Emperour in his new Palace, but with better fortune then any of his greatest Princes; for his Majesty was so well pleased with his treatment, that he made him a Present (of Beans, as he pleased to tearm it, for his Horses) worth threescore thousand Pounds a year.

The Emperor disposes of the marriages of his great Lords, who entertain their Wives which are ordered them by him with extraor­dinary carresings; they receive and lodge them in their best Palaces, and allow them ten, twen­ty, [Page 42] &c. to a hundred and more Gentle women and Maid-Servants, according to their abilities, to wait upon them, when they go abroad to visit their Friends, which is allowed but once a year. Their Women follow them in shut Pallacquins, forty or fifty in number, each of them with two Chamber-Maids, on each side of their Pallacquins one. These Pallacquins are very richly made, wrought with Lack and inlaid with Gold, carried some nine foot from each other in good order, with great modesty. The Wife that is given by the Emperor, is the Mother of those Children which succeed in their Father's honors; but if she prove Childe­less, or have no Heir male, the Kingdom, or Government, is ordinarily bestowed upon a Stranger to that Race and Family. Every Lord may have as many Concubines as he pleases, or can maintain, whereby Children indeed are multiplied, though none inherit but those that are legitimate. These Lords enjoy all the plea­sures they can imagine, in the fruition of their Women, Houses, Gardens, Ponds, Walks, Musick, Plays, and the like. They suffer no Men to come into their Wives Houses upon any pretence whatsoever, unless it be some few who are next of blood, and that but very sel­dom; these are kept close and careful; and all their Women, young and old, great and of [Page 43] lower condition, must thus spend their time, without any manner of conversation with men; the least suspition is punisht with death; it be­ing no less criminal to be thought ill, then to be really so. These Attendants are choice Maids, bred up in an humble and honest manner, and so observant of their Master and Lady, that they neither speak nor smile, but as they are directed by their eye or motion. They are clothed in Silks of several colours, and distin­guished into several orders; some wear red vestments, with green girdles and green head­tires; others yellow, with violet girdles and tires; others white, with red girdles and tires; and others, other such colours as they best fan­cy, most embroydered with Gold. Every order hath its Officers, consisting ordinarily of six­teen Persons, who are seated according to their quality, and served according to the custom of their Country. Those young Persons are all of Noble Extraction, fair, well bred, and not entertained into this service for less time then twenty years; some, nay most, for their whole lives. Many are received into service at the age of four or five and twenty, some at the age of twenty eight or thirty; and are bestow­ed in marriage by their Lords, upon some of their Gentlemen, or Officers, according to their merit; whom he then honours with an [Page 44] increase of stipend, besides present sums of money. Those who arrive to the age of above thirty years in their service, do ordinarily spend their whole lives there, being preferred to Offices under their Ladies. All the married Women, of what quality soever, are trained up by such rules, that they busie not themselves with the affairs of this life, or trouble their Husbands with unnecessary questions or de­sires, to avoid harsh returns, which are the consequences of any demands of that kinde, when ever the Husbands visit their Wives, which is never but for their own diversion; they divest themselves of all sorts of business, not resuming the consideration of it till they quit the place, where the whole treatment is en­tirely relating to what is amorous, as Banquets, Musick, Dancing, Plays, and the like, wherein the Women have an extraordinary dexterity and address in pleasing their Husbands. The reason they give (especially the great Ones) why their Wives are kept thus retired, and se­questred from the company of Men and busi­ness, is first, as they say, Because the Woman is to serve the Man, to divert him, to bring him Children, to give them education, and for no other end; further, to avoid jealousie and its consequences, of vexation, blood and war, which they have gathered from former expe­rience, [Page 45] when their Women had more liberty; as also from tragical examples, recorded in their Histories, of divers who have been deceived and ruined by them. Their Women are or­dinarily true and modest, even to blushing, whereof I shall instance an example or two: There was in the Kingdom of Fingo a Person of quality, who had a Wife of extraordinary beauty; the King caused him to be secretly murthered, and after some time sent for his Lady to Court: She obayed; but knowing her Husband was made away by his practices, answered his importunities in these words; Mighty Prince, I ought in reason to rejoyce and account my self extream happy, in being thought worthy to serve your Majesty; yet permit me to affirm, that at the same instant you approach me, I will kill my self; but if you shall please to grant what I shall desire of you, I will give my self up to be your humble Hand­maid: Allow me then the respite of thirty days, wherein I may mourn for my Husband, and cause him to be interred according to his Dignity; after which, that I may, upon the Tower of your Castle, make a Feast for my Husband's Friends, with them to put an end to my mourning. The King condiscended to this request; but wondred at the curiosity of it. The Ceremony being performed, at which [Page 46] the King was present, and in a good humour, well heated with wine and his passions) the Lady withdrew to the side of the Gallery, as if she would have reposed, and upon a sud­den threw her self over the walls, and broke her neck, in the presence of the King and those that were with him.

The other is of a certain Lord, who sent about through his dominions for some young Gentlewomen to attend upon his Lady; and amongst others found a poor Widows Daugh­ter, who was so acceptable to her Lord, that he received her into the number of his Con­cubines. Her Mother being reduced to great wants, wrote a Letter to her, wherein she at large set forth her poverty, and the miserable­ness of her condition. While the Daughter was busie in reading of it, her Lord comes in, and she endeavouring to hide the Letter, he perceived it, and in great choler would know what the Letter was, from whom and from whence it came? she, ashamed to discover the poverty of her Mother, refused to tell him; whereupon he endeavored to force it from her, which she to prevent, put it into her mouth, and would have swallowed it; but not being able to get it down, it stuck in her throat and choaked her. The Lord, mad with rage and jealousie, caused her immediatly to be cut up, [Page 47] to search for the Letter; but finding the inno­cency of it, and that it contained only the dis­covery of her Mothers poverty, was so trans­ported with grief and sorrow, that he could not refrain his tears; and in the sense of it, sent for his Concubines Mother, who at this pre­sent lives in the house with him, in much honor and esteem. The modesty of these females extends to their private conversation, so that they are very careful, even in the presence of their next of kindred, not to let fall any word which may savour of the least lightness or in­continency; not daring to speak of marriage, though lawful, nor the way to it; and if any unseemly discourse, though but in appearance, should happen, the youngest arise immediatly and quit the company.

They honour and love their Parents even to devotion, believing firmly, that those who do the contrary, cannot escape the vengeance of the Gods; this piety extends to them that gave them their lives after their death; the ani­versary of their decease being ceremoniously observed, by their abstaining upon that day from eating any thing that hath life or motion.

But to return from whence we digressed; the Revenue of the governing Lords is diverse and various; some Countries produce Corn and Fruit, others Gold and Silver; some again [Page 48] Brass, Iron, Tin, Lead, and others again cu­rious Manufactures, Hemp, Cotton, Silk, and the like; all which are calculated, valued, and perfectly known to the Emperor.

These ruling Princes have each of them a Chancellor, imposed by the Emperour, pre­sented ordinarily with this following comple­ment: Sir, your Government is great, and your Subjects are many; and therefore I have thought fit, out of the care I have of your good, to ap­point you an Assistant, being a person wise and trusty, bred up under my eyes, and in my house; employ therefore his services, and let it not be unacceptable to you that we study your welfare. This person is received with great thanks, ce­remony, feasting and presents; and (though an open Spie upon his Master's actions,) treated with much honour and respect. These Chan­cellors are men knowing in affairs, and such as the Emperor absolutely confides in. The more to ensure them to his interest, he causes them not only to promise and swear, but to sign like wise with their bloods, that they shall take exact account of every particular, great and small, that may concern the State; and also keep a dayly account, or Diary, of their Lords lives and actions, and send the same over to him by expresses. None of the Kings or Lords can or may do any thing of themselves, the [Page]

Afbeelding van's Keysers Pa [...]e [...]s, mitsgadees de manier van't ver [...]enen syner Aud [...]

[Page 49] Government of their Territories and Affairs being at the disposal of these men, as their principal Ministers.

Most of these Lords entertain alwaies by them some choice Persons for parts and under­standing, only to observe their actions, and tell them of their faults; which they must ex­actly do without respect or flattery, for they say, no man can see his own errours so well as another, especially those who are called to go­vern, as more subject to the transports of pas­sion and pride, they had therefore rather hear of their faults by their trusty Servants to cor­rect them, then to be ill spoken of behind their backs; and for this reason these secret Moni­tors are alwaies near their Lords persons, espe­cially at Feasts and publique meetings, obser­ving their words and least actions. These Lords though they have their particular names, yet they are ordinarily called by that of their Government or residence; further every man hath three names, the children a childish, when they are men a more manly, and being become old get others suitable to the decays of nature and age: The surnames are first pronounced, for being their parents were before them, they think it but reasonable that their names should likewise precede. When one of these Lords die, ten, twenty, or thirty of his Vassals kill [Page 50] themselves to bear him company: many that do so, oblige themselves to it during their Lords lives; for having received some more then ordinary grace and favour from him, and fancying themselves better beloved then their companions, they think it a shame to survive their Benefactour; and therefore in return of their thanks they usually add, My Lord, the number of your faithful Slaves is great, but what have I done to merit this honour? this Body, which is indeed yours, I offer you again, and pro­mise it shall not live longer then yours; I will not survive so worthy a Patron. For confirmation of this they drink a bowl of Wine together, which is solemn; for no covenants thus made are to be broken. Those that thus binde them­selves cut their own bellies, and do it as fol­loweth: They assemble their nearest kindred, and going to Church, they celebrate the part­ing feast upon mats and carpets in the midst of the Plain, where having well eat and drank, they cut up their bellies, so that the guts and entrails burst out; and he that cuts himself highest, as some do even to the throat, is count­ed the bravest fellow, and most esteemed. If the Lord cause a wall to be built, either for the King or himself, his Servants often times beg they might have the honour to lie under, out of a belief, that what is founded upon a living [Page 51] mans flesh, is subject to no misfortune: This request being granted, they go with joy un­to the designed place, and lying down there, suffer the foundation stones to be laid upon them, which with their weight, immediately bruise and shiver them to pieces.

His Majesty hath several Castles strong and great, whereof those of Osaua and Iedo are the most magnificent. The Countries belong­ing to the Kings and great Lords, are not much travelled by our Nation, so that we have no knowledg of them; only I am informed that they have mighty Towns and Castles: None of these Cities are walled, though their streets are regular every one, and equally long; the ends of them shut with Gates, and guarded with Watchmen by night or times of danger. The Country waies are marked at every miles end with stones or stakes, being put up for that purpose. In their Towns and Villages every street hath two Magistrates, who take care for their precinct, and must give an account for whatever happens in them; and because none through clownishness, or other­wise, may approach the Lord Governour with disrespect, they have Prolocutors ap­pointed them, by whose intervention all lesser matters are compassed, the more difficult be­ing reserved for the decision of the ordinary Judge.

Their manner of Justice.

THe Cities and Towns have no revenue at all, each of them depending on their Lord; neither have the Citizens, Marchants, Gentry or Commonalty any Tolls, Excise, or Contributions; they pay likewise nothing, except it be for the ground their houses stand upon, which is the Lords; and for that they give from forty shillings to two yearly, ac­cording to the greatness of their houses. E­very house must finde a man upon occasion, which happeneth three or four times a year, though but for an hour, and sometimes for half a day or so. The King, or Lord, hath the whole product of the Land and Sea; the Gentlemen and Souldiers live upon that por­tion their Lord assigns them out of the Coun­try; the Marchant subsists by his gaine; the Citizens and Artificers by their trades; and the Labourers by that portion which their Lord allows them out of the fruit of the earth.

What Crimes they punish most severely.

EVery individual, from the Emperour to the meanest Gentleman, hath the right of Justice over his Subjects and Servants. His Majesty hath his ordinary Judges in all his Ci­ties and Towns. When a Gentleman, or Souldier, is condemned to die, he is allowed the honour to kill himself, by cutting up his belly with his own hands; whereas the Citi­zen, Marchant, and meaner persons, suffer by the common Executioner. A Marchant, how rich soever, is not esteemed at all, because they say, He liveth by his lying, making no conscience to cousen and deceive the People for his filthy lucre sake: The Citizen and Ar­tificer are likewise undervalued, because they are but Servants to the Commonalty, and for­ced to live by their labours and manufactures: Neither are the Country People of more ac­count, because of the miserableness of their condition, being subject to perpetual slavery and toyling. But the Gentlemen and Soul­diers, who are numerous, are honoured and feared; and they do nothing, being maintained and served by the Marchants, by the Citizens, [Page 54] and by the Country Labourers. Every crime, how small soever, is punished with death; especially theft, although but to the value of a penny; gaming, and playing for money, is no less hainous then murther: and all other Delinquents which deserve the rigour of Ju­stice with us in Europe, undergo the same pe­nalty here. Every one suffers for his own faults, except the matter be treasonable, and then the Father, Brothers and Sons must like­wise suffer, and their goods be confiscated; and the Mothers, Sisters, and Daughters be given away and sold for slaves. These con­fiscations are not due to the Emperour, King, or Lord in whose Territories they happen, but are reserved under account for publick uses, as building of Churches, making of Bridges, repairing of High-waies, and the like.

It happened in my time, that a proud fellow presented his service to a poor Gentleman, demanding of him, by reason of his address and parts, more wages then he knew the Gen­tleman could give; who vexed at the youths impertinencies, and perceiving he jeered him, replied with a composed countenance, Friend, you demand indeed much wages, but being I think you will deserve it, and that you are plea­sing in my eyes, I am content to receive you into [Page 55] my service. Three daies after his Master sent him on an errand; being returned, he was ac­cused for staying out so long, so as no excuses would save his life; being forced to pay for his insolency under this colourable pretence. The Lord of Finando did lately cause three Gentlewomen of his Ladies attendants, to be shut up in Chests spiked with nails on every side, because one of them had had some con­versation with a certain Gentleman, (who was likewise condemned to die, and his belly cut up) and that the other two, knowing of their companions practices, had not discovered them. Who ever findes his Wife in a lockt or shut chamber with another man, may law­fully kill them both; the which, though very rarely, hath indeed happened: If the Husband be absent, then his Father, Brother, Son, or next of kin, nay a Servant may do it; so that Adultery is seldom or never heard of amongst them. A certain Gentleman, being jealous of his Wife, pretended a journey from home; but returning unexpectedly back, found ano­ther Man with his Wife in the chamber; trans­ported with jealousie and revenge, he instant­ly kills the amased Gallant, and binding his Wife to a ladder, let her stand there thus chained all night. Next morning he sent to in­vite all his and her kindred, Men and Women, [Page 56] to dinner; which however contrary to their customs, each sex feasting and eating alwaies apart, was through his importunity assented unto. The Women, who sat in a chamber by themselves, ignorant of what had happen­ed, enquired often for the Lady of the house; to which her Husband made answer, that she was busie in ordering their entertainment, she would wait upon them immediatly. The Guests being all sat, Men and Women toge­ther, and dinner half done, the Husband went and cut off the privities of his slain Ri­val, and putting them into a covered Box of Lack, or Wax, deckt with flowers, unbound his Wife, and clothing her in a winding sheet, with her hair loose and hanging over her shoulders, gave it her, she not knowing what was in it, adding, Go and carry it to our Friends at dinner, and try whether for their sakes I may not pardon you also. The poor Woman, half dead and distracted with fear, did as her Hus­band commanded her, and entering in this dreadful posture, fell on her knees before the company, and opened the Box, at sight where­of she sunk down in a swound, and being close followed by her Husband, had her head immediatly struck off by him; at which hor­rid sight the afrighted Guests ran all out of the house.

[Page 57] Those faults which are accounted crimi­nal amongst them, are the breaking of the Emperours commands and orders; Peculati­on, or robbing his Majesties Revenues; false coyning, burning of houses, rapes, and the ill governing of those in Authority; he that is guilty of any of these crimes, is punished in his person and posterity; if it be a Woman that hath offended, she suffers alone; nor shall she die for anothers sin, only be given away or sold. Their punishments are rosting, burning, crucifying both waies, drawing with four Bulls, and boyling in Oyl and Water. A man who was to deliver Wood and Stone to his Majesties Factours, had corrupted some Souldiers and others appointed for the ser­vice; this being discovered, the Overseers were ordered to cut up their bellies; but the Marchant was crucified with his heels upward. This man, being a man of parts, was in good esteem with the Councellors and great ones at Court, and however it be, that it is not lawful to intercede for a criminal, yet the a­foresaid Grandees, out of pity and affection to the Delinquent, having consulted together, adventured to supplicate his Majesty in his be­half; whereupon they received this follow­ing answer. I have understood your desires with wonder; but that which troubles me most [Page 58] is, that the unreasonableness of the demands ob­liges me to suspect your judgements; shall not the evil doer die? whence then proceedeth this your request? or are your hearts likewise cor­rupted with gifts and gold? change your pur­poses, and let justice have her course, and then if any amongst you desire riches, let them go to my Treasure and satisfie themselves; go, I give you full liberty to do it. This reply did so star­tle the Petitioners, that they retired, not da­ring to make any further instance, or speak one word more.

They have a peculiar method in punishing of crimes, which I will also relate: It hap­pened (as it did in my time) that a Gentleman, appointed Governour of a Lordship near the imperial City of Jedo, had forced his Tribu­taries to pay more then they were obliged to by their ordinary Tax and Contributions, with which surplus he had Lorded it for some time; but this Exaction continuing, the In­habitants supplicated his Majesty for relief; whereupon the Gentleman, together with his whole race, were ordered to cut up their bellies. The said Governour had a Brother in the service of the King of Fingo, two hun­dred and forty Dutch miles Westward from Jedo; an Uncle at Satsuma, twenty miles fur­ther; a Son in the service of King Kinocoumy; [Page 59] another Son in the service of the King of Mas­samme, an hundred and ten miles Eastward; a third Son with the Governour of the Impe­rial Castle of Inquano; with two Brothers more, that were Souldiers in his Majesties Guards at Jedo; his youngest Son was upon extraordinary sollicitations bestowed upon a Marchants Daughter, who was an only Child and very rich: All these Persons, however East and West distant from each other, died in one day, and on the same hour; for Posts were sent to all places where these unhappy men did live, with orders to the Governours, that they should cause them upon the eighth day of the eighth Moneth, (the day limited for their execution) when the Sun was in the South, to cut up their bellies, according to the usual manner; which was exactly perform­ed. The aforesaid Marchant, well known to our Society, dwelt at Osaua, but died for grief; and his Daughter, unwilling to survive her Husband, would (if she had not been pre­vented) have killed her self; yet she could not be hindred to destroy that life, which was but loathsome to her after so dear a loss; for she abstained wholly from eating, and expired (concluding this fatal Tragedy with her own) the eleventh day after. The People of this Na­tion, especially the Women, die with strange [Page 60] constancy and assurance, without any the least emotion of sorrow or weakness.

Lyes are likewise punished with death, especially if told to Magistrates or Lords; neither will any Master pardon that crime in his Servant. These aforesaid manners of put­ting to death, belong to the Gentry, the Soul­diers, Marchants, Citizens and Peasants; but the Kings and transgressing Lords are other­wise punished: There is a little Island, three miles in compass, and distant forty two miles from Jedo, called Faitsnichina, so still and en­vironed with rocks and precipices, that no ships of burthen can approach it: it was at first attempted in very calm weather by cer­tain desperate fellows, who climbing up those rocks, made a shift to get on the tops of them; and having pulled up with ropes materials and necessary instruments for their purpose, fast­ned beams and strong posts in the rocks in such wise, that by the help of pullies and ropes, and strong hanging nets, they can winde the boats up some fathoms out of the water, and so se­cure them against the tossing of the Sea; whose least agitation throws them against the Island, and dashes them in pieces, as it happened to the loss of many a man before this expedient was found. The Island it self is very stony and barren, arable but in some few places; [Page 61] it is hither that the offending Grandees are banished, and close kept from all manner of communication or correspondency from without with strict guards of Souldiers, who have their stations upon all the several corners of the Island for that purpose: These Guards, if winde and weather permit, are relieved e­very moneth precisely, at which time they receive provision for themselves, as also for the exiled, which is but a little Rice, a few Beans, some Roots, and other such hard fare: they lodg in little low hutches, which can­not protect them from either against the Sum­mers heat or Winters cold; and they must work, and gather Silk from the Worms, which are fed and kept there, as also card, spin, and weave such a portion as is yearly ordered them by their task-Masters.

In the year one thousand six hundred thirty one, when his late Majesty died, all sorts of Prisoners, under the obedience of the Japa­nish Empire, none excepted, were all (in one day and hour) set at liberty, and money given to those that were poor to begin the world again with.

What Divine Service they use.

THis Nation is neither very superstitious nor very devout; they seldom or never pray; and such are counted for religious, who go to Church once in a moneth; they some­times use the word Nammanda, which is the name of one of their chiefest Deities. The Priests preach ordinarily three times every year, being only then attended by those of his Sect; others of another belief, make use of their Hermits in their sickness, who read and mumble (as if they were possessed) their Orisons for twenty four hours together over the Patient, without being understood of any; for all their Divinity, as well as their Physick, are writ and printed in an elevated style, not to be fathomed or comprehended but by the learned.

What Churches they have.

THey have many Temples and Churches dedicated to their Idols, every one of them inhabited by their Priests, two, ten, or twenty, according to their greatness and re­venues.

VVhat Priests they entertain.

THeir Priests do but little, they read some­times before their Idols, and bury the dead, who are most of them first burnt, their ashes being afterwards committed to the earth with their usual ceremonies.

VVhat Sects are prevalent a­mong them.

THey have twelve Sects in all; the Priests of the first eleven eat nothing that hath lived, nor may marry: when they offend by transgressing their order, the Delinquent is buried to the middle in the High-way, every one that passeth, and is no Gentleman, being obliged to give him a stroak in the neck with a wooden saw, ready for the purpose; so that the miserable Priest is two or three daies, sometimes more, in this languishing con­dition before he can die. The twelfth Sect is the most esteemed and most honourable of all; their Priests marry, and they may eat of what ever the sea or earth produces, accord­ing to their several appetites. This Sect, called Icko, or Ickois, is the most superstitious of all, [Page 64] and hath its Pope, or Head, respected and served with the same honour with their Kings. When this high Priest passeth through the streets, carried in his Pallaquin, they of his faith, worship and pray to him; and this in­deed is the richest and easiest order amongst them, and most countenanced. Some of their Churches are priviledged and endowed by the Emperour, or Lords, in whose Territories they stand; but the rest are maintained by the common people: and as each particular man amongst the Papists hath his particular ghostly Father, so the Inhabitants here have theirs; as also their Churches, which they assist with their charity to the utmost of their powers. Each of these twelve Sects hath its particular Faith; some believe that the soul is immortal, that the flesh is earth; and that the spirit of man shall live in another world, happy or miserable, according to what he hath done in this. Others think that there is no such thing as a separable soul, and that they need fear nothing but the Executioner; they are ignorant of the beginning and ending of na­ture, most of them fancying the world with­out beginning, and that it shall be eternal. The best of these Sects make Taverns of their Temples, which are most commonly built in the pleasantest and best places, sumptuous, [Page 65] and well planted with trees and orchards: When the Inhabitants have a minde to rejoyce, they assemble here, and in the presence of their Gods, and company of their Priests, (who are likewise good fellows) they de­bauch and do those extravagances, which are the concomitants of excess and folly; com­mon whores are permitted to enter and dance, the Priests themselves allowing of this jolity, and a further use, so it be in secret of these immodest females. I never heard that those people trouble themselves to dispute or argue in their religion; neither do they break their heads in converting others to their opinions; but leave every one to the freedom of his own, as indifferent and reasonable, as being infused into him by their Gods. Their Priests, as well as many of the Gentry, are much given to Sodomy, that unnatural passion, being esteemed no sin, nor shameful thing amongst them.

The persecution of the Romish Christians.

THose of this Countrey which were con­verted to Christianity by the Romish Clergy, were them only which were perse­cuted; At first they cut off their heads, and afterwards crucified them, which seemed then very severe; but when these cruel Idolaters perceived that death was not formidable to those martyred Christians, who went to their executions with singing and dancing, as if they courted their torments, and that the great numbers of them that suffered did no way discourage or diminish the remaining, but rather strengthen and increase their mul­titudes, they resolved to break them by more exquisite and sensible tortures, to this pur­pose they bound them to stakes, and rosted them alive, destroying thousands after this unsufferable manner: But seeing yet there was no end, and that death in what shape soever was not terrible enough to affright those re­solved Saints to an Apostacy, they intended and practiced other more dreadful waies and pains, for to oblige them to quit and change their opinions and religion; they forced the [Page 67] women and more tender maids to go upon their hands and feet bowing, supporting and dragging them naked in the presence of thou­sands through the streets; that done, they cau­sed them to bee ravished and lain with by Ruf­fians and Villains, and then th [...]wing them so stript and abused, into great deep tubs full of Snakes and Adders, which crept by several passages into their bodies, suffered them to perish after unspeakable miseries in that fear­ful manner: they thrust hurds into the Mo­thers privities, and binding the Sons about with the same combustible matter, thrust and forced them, as also the Fathers and Daugh­ters, to set fire each to other, whereby they underwent unconceivable torments and pains: some they clothed with sods, and pouring hot scalding water continually upon them, tor­tured them in that manner till they died, which dured two or three daies, according to the strength of the party; hundreds of them be­ing stript naked, and burnt in the foreheads that they might be known, were driven into the Woods and Forrests, all men being com­manded by Proclamation, upon pain of death, not to assist them with either meat, drink, clothing or lodging; many more put into pin­folds upon the Sea-shore, and kept there half their time dry and half wet, being every tide [Page 68] overflown by the Sea; but these were permit­ted to eat and drink, to keep them longer alive in this misery, which lasted ordinarily ten or twelve daies. These bloody Executioners put out the Parents eyes, and placing their little Children by them, pinched and plagued them whole daies long, enforcing them with tears of blood to call and cry to their helpless Fa­thers and Mothers for an end of their suffer­ings, which had no period but with their lives, whilest their woful Parents, unable to assist either their Children or themselves, did often die in their presence, whom they could not see for grief or sorrow. All these miseries, too long and too many to relate, were borne by the poor Christians with constancy to a miracle; except some few, who not able to resist the bitterness of these torments aban­doned their Faith, for some relaxation from pain. Once a year they precisely renewed their Inquisition, and then every individual person must sign in their Church-books, with his blood, that he renounces Christianity; and yet all would not do, for many hundreds of Christians are found every year, and de­stroyed with variety of torments. At last they found a more hellish and exquisite way of torturing then before; they hung these suf­ferers by the heels, their heads in pits, which [Page 69] to give the blood some vent, they slasht light­ly cross-waies, (but they do that now no more) and in this posture they live several daies, ten or twelve, and speak sensibly to the very last: The greatness of this torment sur­passeth all other, being beyond all humaine strength to suffer and be undergone, but by such who are extraordinarilie strengthened from above. This extremitie hath indeed (by reason of its continuance) forced many to re­nounce their religion; and some of them who had hung two or three daies, assured me that the pains they endured were wholly unsuffer­able, no fire nor no torture equalling their languor and violence.

The Christians being now almost rooted out, there is an order, that when one is found and condemned to be hanged by the heels, he shall be pardoned, in case he informeth against and produces another, which is now too much practised, for Apostacy helps no more, and they cannot resist the torments of hanging, but are thus forced to betray one another: neither will this help these misera­ble creatures, for I have been assured that they register the names of such who were permit­ted formerly to fall off, as also of such who by their discovering of others saved their own lives, with an intent, that when they suppose [Page 70] that they have the entire number and cata­logue of all them who have and do yet profess Christ, they may destroy them all in one day. During these bloody and savage persecutions, it happened that some Christian Children, be­cause of their beautie, were begged and saved; but many of them of eight, ten, and twelve years old, &c. refused this grace, protesting with courage, to a wonder, that they would not live, they did not fear death; but would go where their Parents went, into that joy where they should be no more tormented: Some of these Children who had not this force, but desired to live and survive these pains, were violentlie hurried to their deaths by their Parents, with these comforting words; Come my Children, do not live with these wicked wretches, I will bring you into a land that is rich and beautiful, where we shall continue for ever in joy and happiness. The common sort of Christians were but simplie bound when they were led to their executi­ons; but the Priests, whether Portugals, Spaniards or Japaners, had the hair of their heads and beards half shaven off, the shaven part being coloured red; bits were also put in their mouthes, to hinder them from speak­ing; and their heads being pulled backwards, with halters put about their necks and tied be­hinde [Page 71] them, they were compelled to hold their faces directly upwards; and thus sitting upon a lean horse, they were carried to the place designed for their martyrdom. I should be larger in the prosecution of these sad rela­tions, but that I leave them to their particular story hereafter annexed.

How this Nation lives in their Houses and Families.

ALl the houses in this Country are built of wood and timber, which is likewise their fewel; hence their houses are much sub­ject to burning, one of the plagues very fre­quent in their Towns; for this cause each house hath its pack-house of proof against the fire, wherein they keep their best and choise goods. The houses are all built four foot high from the earth, made of planks closely covered with thick mats very artifici­ally joyned, resembling each other and uni­form; they dwell most below, their upper rooms being employed to keep their smaller houshold stuffs; but their best Chambers, where they receive and entertain their Friends, are neat and sumptuous, according to their several abilities. The Souldiers and Gentry [Page 72] have their houses divided, one side for their Wives, and the other for them, for their Friends and their ordinary vocation. The Marchants and Citizens Wives dwell promis­cuously with their Husbands, governing and ordering their families as with us; but are very modest, and never spoken to but with respect, none presuming to use any freedom in discourse with them, although otherwise innocent and harmless, for both the man that took, and the woman that permitted this fa­miliarity would be equally slighted, and bla­med and looked upon as culpable and scanda­lous. Their houshold-stuff consists ordina­rily in fine painted gilt dishes, instead of pi­ctures; the walls of their chambers are also for the most part painted with variety of fi­gures, and laid with gilt paper so curiously, as if it were but one large sheet; the boards round about being beautified with lists of black Wax, very artificially wrought; most of their rooms are divided with shuts, pre­pared and painted as the walls are, which be­ing taken out, enlarges the rooms at pleasure. In the upper end of this partition they have a picture with a potfull of flowers, which they have ready all the year long; and at the lower end there is alwaies a gallery, with stairs to descend into their gardens, which are alwaies [Page 73] green, and so placed, that they in the hall have the full prospect of it. They do not fur­nish and adorne their Houses with Chests, Cupboards, Wax-works, and the like, these are alwaies in their free-Chambers, or pack­houses, where none is suffered to enter, but their familiar and most intimate Servants and Friends. Their chief furniture which they expose, are Tsia Cups and Pots, Pictures, Ma­nuscripts, and Sables, which each provides himself of, rich and goodly, according to his condition and might.

How they receive each other, and of their Hospitality.

THe Japanners are very hospitable and civil to such as visit them, they treat them with Tobacco and with Tsia, and if the friend be more then ordinary, with Wine: They cause them first to sit down, and setting a Lack bowl before them, will not suffer them to depart before they have tasted of it; they sing, they pipe, and play upon such stringed instruments as they have, to rejoyce their Guests, omitting no manner of carouses and kindnesses to testisie their welcome, and the value they put upon their conversation. They [Page 74] never quarrel in their debauches, but he that is first drunk retires and sleeps, until the fumes of the wine be evaporated. There is no such thing as Tavern or publick drinking House in all the Countrie; they eat, drink and are merry, but all in their own houses, not refusing lodg­ing and refreshment for the traveller and stran­ger.

Of their Conjugal State.

THese People neither make love nor woo, all their marriages being concluded by their Parents, or for want of such near rela­tions, by the next of kin. One Man hath but one Wife, though as many Concubines as he can keep; and if that Wife do not please him, he may put her away, provided he dismiss her in a civil and honorable way. Any Man may lie with a Whore, or common Woman, al­though he be married, with impunitie; but the Wife may not so much as speak in private with another Man, as is already said, without hazarding her life. What is said of divorce, relates only to the Citizen, Marchant, and common Souldier; a Gentleman or Lord may not put away his Wife, although she should not please him, and that out of respect to her [Page 75] quality and his own Person; he must main­tain her according to her condition and ne­cessities; but may freely divert himself with his Concubines and Women, and when the humor takes him with his own Wife again. This liberty that the Men have, obliges the Women to observe their Husbands, and en­deavour to endear them to them, by an hum­ble compliance and submission to their hu­mors, being sure else to lose them, and see their Rivals preferred before them. Open Whore-houses are publickly allowed of, as well for the use and conveniency of Batche­lors, as to prevent the debauching of young Maids and married Women.

Of the bringing up of their Children.

CHildren are carefully & tenderly brought up; their Parents strike them seldom or never, and though they cry whole nights to­gether, endeavour to still them with patience; judging that Infants have no understanding, but that it grows with them as they grow in years, and therefore to be encouraged with indulgence and examples.

It is remarkable to see how orderly and how [Page 76] modestly little Children of seven or eight years old behave themselves; their discourse and answers savouring of riper age, and far sur­passing any I have yet seen of their times in our Country. None go to School under seven or eight years of age, as being until then unca­pable of its rules, and more inclined to play then to learn, unless it be waggishness and wantonness. At School they begin by de­grees, by sweetness and not by force, the Ma­sters imprinting an ambition and desire in each of them to out-go his fellow; they lead them likewise by examples, telling them that such and such learned so much in so little time, whereby his Honour and Family was so high­ly advanced. The Children are so accustom­ed to this way, that they learn sooner and more then by any correction or whipping; for generous spirits, and an obstinate Nation, such as this is, are not to be forced, but ra­ther won with gentleness and emulation.

What Succession ab in­testato.

WHen the Parents are grown old, and the Children come to be Men, the Fa­ther then quits his Government, Commerce, Shop or Trade, placing his eldest Son in his room, and giving him the greatest part of his Estate; the younger Children are likewise provided for by the indulgent Parents, al­though their portions return to the eldest in case they die before them. Daughters have no portions at all, nor nothing given them at their marriage; sometimes it happens that rich Parents send a good sum of money with their Daughter, upon their marriage day, to their Son in law; which present is returned by the Bridegroom & his Parents with much thanks, being unwilling that the Bride should have any colourable excuse to raise her into an opinion of having obliged her Husband: The poorer sort do but seldom return these offers as need­ing them, and glad of any augmentation of their Friends. They have a common saying, that a Woman hath no constant dwelling, living in her youth with her Friends, being married with her Husband, and when she is old with her Childe.

VVhether they be faithfull or false in their dealings.

THis Nation is very trusty, and that out of their ambition, the only mark they aim at; hence it is that they seldom wrong each other, esteeming their honours above their lives and hopes: examples of this kinde are frequent amongst them, I will only relate one. During the civil Wars between Ongoschio and his Puple, the King of Cocora (who followed the Usurper) had left his Queen and Children, as the fashion is, at the Emperours Court; Fideri having notice of this revolt, sent for Cocora's Wife and Children to come into the Castle, the better to secure them; which the Lady refused, excusing her self, That she was married, and under the obedience of her King, as he was under his imperial Majesty; let him command her Lord, and she would most readily, upon receipt of his orders, submit to his High­ness pleasure. The Emperour, angry at this denial, sent her word, if she would not come, he would cause her to be brought by force. The Queen, who thought no dishonour e­qual to that of quitting her house in her Hus­bands absence, and seeing she could not con­serve [Page 79] her self in it against the Emperours fury, resolved to perish with it; she therefore com­manded some barrels of Gun-powder to be brought into a Chamber, where she retired with her Children, Nurse, and such of her Women who were resolved to die with her; and there writing her Will and her own Elegy, she conveyed them by a trusty Gentleman in her service to her Lord; and immediatly there­upon, putting fire to the Powder, prevented that loss of honour which she feared, and the Emperours design by that fatal blow. If it happen that a person be in a strait and enga­ged, and comes to another for assistance, re­commending the protection of his life and honour to his generosity, this Man will hazard all, without respect of Wife and Children; for the service of his Friend, and perish or deli­ver him out of his distress and misfortune; they will die, nay suffer the worst of tortures, rather then discover their complices, although in evil, thinking the breach of covenants in­expiable; and the dishonour of not helping their neighbour, and one that hath thrust him into misery, worse then any death whatso­ever.

What Traffick and with what Nations.

THe Trade of this Country (which is but small in respect of the vastness of it, and it abounds with all sorts of Merchandise) is carried on by Strangers, the principal where­of are the Chinesses, who from the first peo­pling of this Empire to this day, have been constant frequenters of their yearly Marts. The Spaniards and Portugals have been ac­quainted with this People above an hundred years; the English but of late, who finding but little profit and great expences, abandon­ed this Traffick again. The Siammers and Camboiders used also to arrive with a ship or two, though not now so often as formerly. Lastly the Netherlander got footing there, where they have seated themselves fast enough, and traded these forty years. The principal Commodities, as well those which Strangers bring, as such which are of the growth of the Country, are all brought to the great City of Meaco, which is the Staple of the whole Empire; it is here that the Merchants and Factors, from every part of the Land, do as­semble, bringing with them such things as [Page 81] their several Provinces do produce, which they sell or change for others which they stand in need of. These Merchandises are carried sometimes two or three hundred miles to and fro, over hills and dales, all upon horses, whereof they have an incredible number. The Traffick consists of all sorts of wares, as well for the pride as use of man; Strangers bring yearly four or five thousand Picols of Silk, each Picol weighing one hundred twenty five pounds weight, besides a great quantity of wrought Silks; two hundred thousand Harts­skins; one hundred thousand Rochvellen­skins; a great abundance of Hemp, Cloth, Cotton, and red Wool; Carpets to sit upon, Pewter, Quick-silver, and all sorts of Drugs; Nutmegs, Peper, Musk, Sugar, Porcelan, Camphier, Borax, Eliphants-Teets, red Co­ral, and all sorts of small Wares, which the Chineses bring thither.

What domestick Trading, and Navigation.

HEre are many very rich Merchants who drive great Trades, these go themselves, or have Factours at Meaco, where they ex­change their Commodities for Silver, Gold, [Page 82] or other Wares, each according to his fancy and convenience. The Japanners of old had great correspondencie with them of China, whose Kings sent Ambassadors yearly to each other, for entertaining their alliance, and the negotiation of their Subjects; it happened that the Japanners, who were numerous in China, did mutiny, and in a tumult destroy a whole City, plundering, ravishing, and spoyling all; but the Chinesses, getting into a body, fell upon the Japanners again, and put all they could meet with to the sword. The King of China hearing of these discords, was no less amazed then in a wonder, that so few could do so much mischief, and therefore re­solved to banish the Japanners for ever out of his Kingdom; in memory whereof he caused a great stone Pillar to be set up, with the story of their exile in letters of Gold. He likewise set out a Proclamation, that none of his Sub­jects, upon paine of death, should saile any more to Japan; which order was then more exactly observed then at present, and yet they do not directly go thither; for the Chinesses. under a colour of other voyages, do often slip into Japan. The Emperour of Iapan doth not at all obstruct their traffick, permitting them to enter and leave his Countrey when they please, Saying he will not reward evil for evil; [Page 83] considering also that the reason of this pro­hibition, on the other side, came not through any fault of the Chinesses, but by the disor­ders of his own People. Since the Iapanners have been banished out of China, they used to sail to Tayouan, where the Chinesses brought them their Merchandises; but that being dis­covered by the Court of China, they were prohibited this Traffick likewise. Many years after the Iapanners obtained leave to return to Tayouan, as also to go to Touckien, Cam­bodia, and Sian; which negotiation was again disturbed, upon this consideration, that the Emperour of Iapan would neither offend nor be offended by any Strangers, which had al­ready happened by the extortions of the Go­vernours of Sian and Tayouan; and therefore none of his Subjects should any more traffick or deal with Strangers out of their own Coun­try: Another reason was, because he would have no Arms transported out of his Empire, (which could not be hindred by no way but this) insomuch that two Chinesses, Father and Son, were both crucified at Finando, for en­deavouring to convey some away in private; and five Iapanners, who had sold them the said Arms, without knowing their design, were beheaded. But the chief cause of this inhabi­tion is, least the Natives of this Country, tra­velling [Page 84] into strange places, might be convert­ed to the Christian Religion, and upon their returne infuse those forraigne principles into their Country-Men, which they have endea­voured to suppress with so much blood and violence.

The Profits amounting thence.

NEither the Emperour, nor his subordi­nate Kings or Lords, do gain any thing at all by the Commerce of their Subjects, the Merchants onely profit by it, although the gaine be not extraordinary, by reason of the greatness of the Country, the charge of tran­sport, and the multitudes of people which must live by it.

Their correspondency with Strangers.

THe Iapanners hold no correspondency at all abroad, having never yet sent their Ambassadours into any forraigne Countries, except China, which they have also long dis­continued. The King of Spain, the Pope, and the King of Siam, have sent several extra­ordinary [Page 85] Ambassadours to this Court, which were indeed honourably received and feasted, though never any returns made again by this Prince.

The Commodities which Ja­pan yeildeth.

THere is nothing necessary for the use of Man, but this Country doth abundantly produce, as Silver, Gold, Brass, Iron, Tin and Lead, in great quantity; also Cotton, Hemp, Silk, Filoselle, Harts-skins, Wooden Manufactures, Drugs, and whatever can be required to feed and cloath its innumerable in­habitants.

Their Mint, Measures, and VVeights.

THe Iapanners have one Language, one fashion in their Clothes, one Mint, and one Weight; they have indeed besides their Gold and Silver Coins, a sort of Copper Monies, which they call Casies, and is of dif­fering value in many of the Kingdoms; but his Majesty hath resolved to re-coin these Casies [Page 86] into one fashion, to which end he hath order­ed all the old ones to be called in, and bought them of their owners at their full worth and price, where with his Officers have been bu­sied these four years. They have three sorts of Gold coin; the first and greatest weigheth six Royals, and is worth forty six Tayles, each Tayle being valued at fifty seven Stivers, or Pennies: the second sort is worth six Tayles and one half; and the third (being the least) one and one sixth of a Tayle. Their Silver Money is of the Alloy of Dollers, cast into long figures, of no certain weight, but by guess; they put so many of these together as weigh fifty Tayles, the which being neatly lapped up in papers, are distributed as occa­sion serveth: They have yet a lesser Silver coin like a Bean, weighing from one Dutch Shil­ling to ten; and lastly the Casiens, already mentioned, of differing worth, from one Doller to three, one fourth, the thousand. Their Yard, the Measure of their Grain, and their Weights, are equal and not differing at all.

VVhat Beasts and Fowl they have.

THis Countrey produceth Horses, Bulls, (for they never geld their Cattle) Cows, Deare, and Swine, both wilde and tame, in great abundance: There are likewise plenty of Bears, Dogs, Cats, and the like; there is no end of their Fowl, especially Swans, Geese, Ducks, Herns, Eagles, Hawks, Pheasants, Pigeons, Snipes, Quails, Partridges, and all manner of lesser Birds.

VVhat Medicinal VVaters.

THey have several Fountains and Springs of hot Medicinal Waters, proper for the curing of many Diseases, and succesfully used for that purpose; some are Sulphurous, some taste of Copper, others Iron, Tin, Al­lom, and the like Mettals and Minerals, par­taking of the qualities of those they pass by. I have seen of these Springs, one whereof be­ing Tinish, burst out of a hollow in the side of a Mountain, some ten foot in the round; this [...]ole was, by reason of its depth, very obscure [Page 88] within, its Orifice, or Mouth, being strange­ly beset with sharp Stones, not much unlike the short teeth of an Elephant, or those which Painters appropriate to Divels. The Water flows continually out of this Cavern in a great quantity, and is not hot, but a man may sit in without disturbance. I have seen another at the foot of a Mountain near the Sea, which rendered its Water but at times, ordinarily twice in twenty four hours, but this flowing did not continue above an hour; when the winde blows East and stifly, it flows thrice, and sometimes four times in a day and night: This Water rises out of a stony Pit, being co­vered with huge massie Stones of very great weight; when the time of flowing comes, it bursts out of the earth in so great a quantity, and with such a forceable winde, that those great Stones are violently moved and shaken, the streams gushing and spouting three or four fathoms high, with so dreadful a noise that it equals that of a Cannon, or the falls of the greatest Rivers: This Water is so very hot, that it is impossible to boyl ordinary Water to its height; it singes where it falls, and left to its self continues hot thrice longer then any other. This Well is surrounded with a Wall for fear of harm, little Conduits being made to convey its Streams to the neighbouring [Page 89] houses, where it is used by way of bath, for the curing of all distempers and maladies.

How the Kings, Princes, and Peers of the Kingdom, re­ceive Audience of his Imperial Majesty, and what train they must have.

THe solemn and great feasts of this People are manifold, the first and greatest is New-Years-Day, then the second and third Day of the third Moneth, the third and fifth Day of the fifth Moneth, the fourth and se­venth Day of the seventh Moneth, and the fifth and ninth Day of the ninth Moneth. Be­sides these, his Majesty gives publick Audi­ence twice every Moneth, at new and full Moon, to all his Kings, Princes, Lords, and Gentry, who according to their qualities and orders, do homage and reverence to him. The train and attendance of these Grandees are appointed, the greatest of them may not ex­ceed an hundred followers; the lesser being [Page 90] also stinted and proportioned according to their revenues. Some of these Princes have indeed four or five thousand, as well Men as Women, in their services, but these they keep in their Palaces, and may not enter the first ring of the Castle, nor into the City with them: Now such as are permitted to come into these two places with an hundred Servants, may not enter the second ring of the Castle with more then twenty Attendants; neither may they be seen there on horse-back, it being the dwellings of the Princes of the blood, and the Councellours: the great ones are carried here in Pallaquins or Sedans, others of less quality going on foot; which is no difficult thing, the waies and streets being finely paved, and the middle of them set with great flat free­stones, which are kept extraordinary neat and clean: But no Man whosoever is suffered to enter the third ring of the Castle, where the Emperours Palace is, but on foot, and only accompanied with two Servants, and a Boy to carry his Shoes; they of the second rank are allowed but one Servant and a Shoe-carrier; and those of the last rank only a Shoe-carrier. There never happens any the least disorder, running, playing, bawling, or confusion a­mong the people at these shows, every one continuing in a serious and silent posture, as [Page 91] if they were in the Emperours presence. E­very one in this Procession marches in his or­der and rank, so that there is not the least stir even amongst the Servants. The Souldiers stand in the Galleries we formerly mentioned, and certain sworn Commissioners go to and fro, to observe both them and all others, so that the least stir and noise is capital: This strictness is not burthensome, but grown so familiar by custom, that the least irregularity or tumult is not heard of. The same order is observed in all the Towns of the Countrey, the streets being all uniform, each end of each of them being shut with Barrocadoes in the night, and kept with watches; so that no body is suffered to go out without a Ticket from the chief Magistrate, which is delivered to the Magistrate of the street, for the conveni­ency of those who need them, to fetch a Mid­wife, Physitian, or some near Friend in case of necessity, the Barrocadoes are opened to such messengers as these, and none else; so that they never have any tumults in their streets, roberies, murthers, house-breakings, or any such unwarrantable disorders.

Their Language, manner of VVritings and Reckonings, and how far they trans­mit their History to posterity.

THe Chineses, Iapanners, Corees and Tor­quains, have their distinct Languages, wholly strange to each other; neither have their Characters any resemblance, and yet they have another fashion of Letter common, and understood by the Studious and Learned of these four Nations; in this their Sciences & Wisdom are written, although the Contents and Characters be general, understood and read by each in his own Tongue. They write with Pencils, and ready enough; most of their Errands are done by Letters, which, by rea­son of their quickness in dispatch, is no let to them, and the surer way; A man that can con­tract much matter into few lines, and intelli­gible, which is that which they all practice, is greatly esteemed amongst them; for such they imploy to write their Letters, Petitions, [Page 93] and the like to great persons; and truly it is admirable to see how full of substance, and with how few words these sort of writings are penned. They have not the Italian manner of keeping of Books, and yet fail not in their calculations; they reckon with little pellets, stuck upon little sticks upon a board, for the same purpose, after the manner of the Chineses; wherewith they will add, multiply, and di­vide, with more facility and certainty then we with Counters.

They have many Books and Libraries, though the common people are most illite­rate: The Deyro himself writeth the Annales of his Country; and all other Books are writ­ten by himself or his Lords and Gentlemen, (which are at least eight hundred strong) or by their Wives and Women; for these Gallants, as well Men as Women, being of kin, and married into each other, do nothing but spend their time in all worldly pleasures, and the studies of humain knowledge. Men are e­steemed and honoured with Titles, in this Court, according to the merit of their under­standing, not their births; and it happens some­times, that the greatest are by their weakness and folly brought down and unconsidered. These Grandees, proud with their birth and breeding, consider no body but themselves, [Page 94] neither converse with any save only their own Comrades; for their dwellings and streets joyn upon each other, being invironed and shut up from the rest of the world. They speak a higher style then the vulgar, wherein all their learning is couched; and many of them esteem themselves more noble then the Emperour, being indeed dignified with high­er and more honorable Titles then their Sove­raign. Printing and Gun-powder was in use in this Nation above one hundred and fifty years before we in Europe had the knowledg of them: these they learned from the Chineses, who have had them long, as their Histories and Chronicles (filled with wonders, too long for this short relation to mention) do abun­dantly witness.

An Extract out of the Governour of Indiaes Letter to the Over­seers of the East-In­dia-Company, tou­ching the Traffick in Japan.

THis year trade (as we mentioned in our last of the twelfth of this instant) hath been but little advantagious, by reason of the disasters at Sea, which hath much weak­ned and put behinde hand the India Capital or Stock, which will without question sud­denly change. God preserve the Company from more misfortunes at Sea. We hope, if your Honours will second us this following year with fifteen Tonne of Gold and Mer­chandise, we shall be able to make a return of thirty, being the Indian Commodities may probably rise more then they are now fallen: Iapan will in all appearance yeild us eleven or twelve Tonne profit; Persia at least three [Page 96] hundred thousand; and the other indulgent Cantoors, above three Tonne. The Dutch expences, which arose this year, will certain­ly fall, being the building and fortification of the dwellings and pack-houses come to cease. There is but little hope of advantage from the Enemy; nor shall we be able to Cape much this year about Spirito Sancto, by reason of the Portugals sufficiency. We will endeavour to better all things by an advantagious negotia­tion, hoping much from Iapan: It were not strange if the Chineses were hindered to fre­quent that Kingdom, or diverted by us: They profit fifty Tonne of Gold every year and more by the Iapan trade; for they transport more then for one hundred Tonne yearly; God grant that we may enjoy this trade alone, and that the Gold Mine in Formosa flourish, that the ingaged may once enjoy the fruits of their charges and pains by rich returns, with­out sending any monies out of the low Coun­tries. I send you herewith a Copy of Sirage­mondenne, Governour of the Island Kisma in Naviga-sacki, where the Companies Ser­vants and Factors do reside and trade; his Let­ter, which I mentioned in my last, be pleased to consider of the contents thereof, with such as understand the affairs of Iapan. It seems if we do not meddle with Christianity, but be­have [Page 97] our selves modestly, they will grant us the more liberty, and greater freedom in tra­ding: we will order all things to the most ad­vantage of the Company; and endeavour for as much as it shall be possible, that we may en­joy all, or at least the principal trading (which God grant) of A Formosa, a Land enriched with Gold, near China, and lately conquered by the Castlians.

A short Relation of the Profits and Advanta­ges which the Dutch East-India-Company in Iapan might acquire, in case they could com­pass the China Trade and Commerce: By Leonard Camps.

MAny men are of opinion, and have by experience found, that during the time it pleased the mighty States General of [Page 98] the united Provinces, and his princelie Ex­cellencie, to give their Subjects leave to saile into the East-India, for the increase of Traf­fick and the common good, that to what place, or by what Prince soever we come, we were admitted and received for fear of harm, or for hopes of profit; and yet I believe, as my Predecessours did before me, that his Im­perial Majesty of Iapan suffered us not to har­bour and to trade freelie in his Countrie upon these considerations, but only to shew the goodness of his Nature, the greatness of his Dominions, and his civilitie to Strangers, e­speciallie those Nations who came into his Countrie as Friends. His Majesties goodness to Foraigners appears abundantly in this, in that he still suffers the Chineses to traffick in his Land, favouring them in his impositions more then his own Subjects; whereas they perse­cute the Iapaners in their own Territories as Enemies, having set a price upon their heads, which by mistake hath cost many a Portugal his life: further his ambition doth not extend beyond the bounds of his own Empire, and contenting himself with those confines God and Nature hath prescribed him; he wages no war against his Neighbours, neither suffers his Subjects to molest or disturb any out of his obedience. No foraign Princes fall out by [Page 99] his instigation; neither doth he give or de­mand help or assistance upon any account. His power and might consists in the vastness of his Kingdom, and multitudes of his Souldiers; he hath arms at will, Castles that seem impreg­nable, Provisions in abundance, and Treasure without end. The plenty of Gold, Silver, Copper, Iron, Lead, and Pewter Mines is great; and the abundance of Silk, Cotton, Hemp, and thousands other commodities in­credible. Brifley, this Countrie wants no­thing, having no need of its neighbours at all; whence his Majesty never sought to foraign Princes, and yet received all that came or sent to him with all imaginable civilitie and kinde­ness.

The Spaniards and Portugals, not ignorant of the commodious scituation, might and riches of the Japanish Empire, were no less earnest in the enlarging of their own state, planting the Christian Religion, and advan­cing their traffick there, where other Princes seemed to desire. Don Iohn, the first of that name, and the tenth King of Portugal, was very industrious in this Disquisition; his Coun­trey men having in fourscore years, wherein they continued their commerce in Iapan, brought it so far, that Manilha was raised from nothing by this negotiation, and Malacca Goa [Page 100] and several other places bettered and enriched by it; witness their great Cargasoons, and yearly returns more or less, as it happeneth, amounting one with another to near a Million and a half of Ducats; never gaining less then fifty, and for the most part seventy five in the hundred, as we found by experience in that time that our East-India-Company shared in this rich commerce. The Mavaus and Por­tugals fetched these vast profits yearly, which they gained in four or five moneths, whereof they spent some twenty daies in going and coming upon the Sea, the Iapan principal be­ing but one fifth part. Let every one consider, whether this noble Negotiation and sweet re­turns, are not capable to indear these Mer­chants to this rich Country: Besides this, their Religion, which by the zeal and industry of their Priests grew strangely there, so that they had four hundred thousand souls at once upon a list, which made them in hope to become absolute Masters of the whole Kingdom; this they purposed, which had been absolutely ef­fected, but that they wanted an head; and were traversed in this great design by the Ne­therland Ministers. If they had brought Iapan to their devotion and obedience, as God be praised they have not, it is no hard matter to conceive the advantages they would have got­ten [Page 101] by it, and what they might further pre­sumed, upon so mighty an acquisition. But my design is not to insist upon this matter, only to undeceive those men who blindly out of prejudice or ignorance, not only slight the Japanish trade, but have given out, that it is neither useful nor profitable for the East-India-Company. But to return where we digressed; it is not imaginable that the Portugals and Spaniards are such fools, as to search out pla­ces to seat themselves in, and to carry on a trade, where there is no advantage to be got; that they have gained infinitely, and should still if they were not hindred by us, is visible: It is evident that they of Mavau are at present rich, that their City is strong, and their Houses like so many Palaces, wherein they live like earthly gods in pleasure and plenty, whereas they were before but bare and needy. Neither did the ill treatment they lately received in Iapan, nor the persecutions of the Women Catholicks there, nor the loss of Andrew Pla­soes Caraek, who was assaulted and sunk, by the Emperours command and forces, before Nau­gasack, nor the danger they incur by our ships at Sea, can deter or oblige them to quit this Kingdom: when the danger to saile thither with great Vessels was too great, they trulked with little ones; which this proud Nation, [Page 102] who aspire to an universal Monarchie, would never have done, if it had not been for the cer­taintie and sweetness of the profit: What can our People alledge to the contrarie? is it not as we have formerlie said, that the door is not open for us alone, but for all other Nations who come as friends to negotiate in his Ma­jesties Dominions. During our abode in Ia­pan, we have been treated with very great civilitie; although we have not profited so much as the Portugals, yet we have gained more honour then they; we have not lost at all, and our winnings have been proportiona­ble to our Cargasoons; we have had several commodities thence, and much useful pro­visions; we have repaired many of our old Ships in their Havens, and furnished them with all manner of necessaries: The Fleets we send from hence every year to the Manil­has against our common Enemie, return with­out being questioned by any, and dispose of their prizes at pleasure, paying nothing but the ordinarie rites, which is onlie a small pre­sent to the Emperour; what Christian Prince in Europe would treat us so well, and molest us so little? Now that it hath pleased the Al­mightie, that we by the good conduct of our General I. P. C. do not onlie bridle them of Maccau, but likewise hinder them to saile to [Page 103] Iapan, and so keeps them from that rich trade they enjoyed so many years; it remains onlie that we still keep them out, to which purpose especial care must be had to use the Iapaners well and civillie; to hinder their detriment, and not to dispise or misuse them in any kinde, but to suffer every one to pass and re-pass where their business calleth them, aiding and assisting them with all possible endeavour and friendship. We must not be less careful then the Portugals have been, to furnish this King­dom yearlie with all manner of commodities, bringing rather more then lesser; for if it take according to the Generals design, which God grant, they of Iapan will be deprived of the Maccan commerce, as also of their trafficking into divers others places, Kouthinchina, Kam­boia, Siam and Manilha, from which places they received betwixt two and three thousand picols of Silk every year, besides several other necessary commodities, which they will be obliged to take from us, as being nearer and at their own homes. We must above all things cherish his Majesties inclination to us wards, and have a special care to remove all causes of discontent that may arise; for if this mighty Prince conceive the least distaste against us, and refuse us his friendship and correspon­dence, it will be the onlie obstacle to hinder [Page 104] us to compass our design; in this case we have more reason to fear the Japanners, then either the Spaniards or Chineses, as being no less po­tent and couragious then they, and powerful enough to drive us out of the Piscadores, or where we should endeavour to settle; but if it must be so, we should be able to help our selves without Japan, but not in so conve­nient a place, as we have mentioned already, which we shall finde true in case we fall out with them, which God forbid. Our Gover­nour hath shewn us a way, and recommended it to us, which if followed, we may easilie continue in his Majesties favour, and once enjoy the long desired sweet profits which our enemies have had so many years undisturbed; and I doubt not, but by one way or other we shall be able to get the unvaluable China trade into our hands.

The China trade being then in our dispose, all we have to do, is to send yearly into Japan such Cargasoons as we shall hereafter menti­on; in the doing whereof, we shall not onlie please his Majestie, and enjoy the sweet sa­vouring profits which our enemies will be de­prived of, but shall be able to satisfie our Ma­sters out of the gain, without any expence of theirs, it being more then probable, that their yearlie return will amount to an hundered [Page 105] Tonne of Gold, which is ten Millions ster­ling, or more every year. Japan will be more useful for us, and more profitable then it hath been to the Portugals, if your affairs succeed according to our Governour Generals mean­ing; for besides the Silk which the Portugals brought from Maccan, the Iapanners fetched themselves betwixt two and three thousand Picols yearly, as we have already observed from Courchinchina, Courchin Manilha, and other places more, whereof they are hindred and receive none, but what we bring them, and at such rates as we shall please to put upon them.

The Cargasoon which I should require, and which would be vented there infalliblie with profit, out of which our Masters might have so much China ware as they demanded, without the expence of a penny, is as fol­loweth.

  • 3000 Picols of white raw Silk, at 180 Roy­als of eight the Picol, amounts to R. 540000.
  • 260 Ditto fine sodden Silk, at 200 Royals the Picol R. 52000
  • 500 Ditto raw Silk, in short and long strings, at 180 Royals the Picol R. 60000.
  • 100 Ditto white Silk, at 290 Royals the Picol R. 20000.
  • 100 Ditto Flos Silk at 190 Royals th [...] Picol
  • [Page 106] 15000 pieces of black Single, at 2 Royals the piece R. 77500.
  • 20000 Ditto coloured Armosyne, at one Royal and a half the piece R. 30000.
  • 2000 Ditto black Sattin, at 8 Royals the piece R. 16000.
  • 5000 Ditto good black Damask, at 6 Roy­als the piece R. 30000.
Transport for the following K.
  • 5000 Ditto ordinary good black even Sat­tin at R. 30000.
  • 2000 Ditto fine black even Velvet, at 8 Royals the piece R. 16000.
  • 5000 Ditto white even Sattin woven flat, at 4 Royals the piece R. 20000.
  • 2000 Ditto black fine watered Grogrum, at 8 Royals the piece R. 16000.
  • 2000 Ditto white Damask, at three Royals and a half the piece R. 7000.
  • 3000 Ditto white Cramosy red Damask, at 5 Royals the piece R. 15000.
  • 5000 Ditto Cramosy red L. at 4 Roy­als the piece R. 20000.
  • 3000 Ditto paynted Calicoes at four Roy­als and a half the piece R. 13500.
  • 3000 Ditto white L. at 3. Roy­als the piece R. 9000.
  • 2000 Ditto paynted Calicoes at three Royals and a half the piece R. 9000.
  • [Page 107] 5000 Ditto fine black Stuffs of all sorts, worked with Gold and Silver, at ten Royals the piece R. 50000.
  • 105000.

This aforesaid China Cargasoon being sent yearlie to Japan, I engage my self to my Ma­sters, so long as God gives me health, to serve them for nothing, unless I return them in four or five moneths time, in good Silver, One million eight hundred and fifty thousand Roy­als of eight; if that be not enough, let them send more and the gain will be greater. We have taxed the goods at twenty per cent higher then they will possibly be bought for, and that purposelie, as knowing well that these goods will first cost us more then the Portugals had them for at Maccan, by reason of the fort and Cargasoon that we must necessarilie hold for the China trading. I know it will fall heavy for our Masters, considering their other ex­pences, to furnish us with so much as is here required; if it cannot be done at once, let them furnish us with the half; the business can be so ordered here, that one third part of the Japans, and another third part of the Por­tugals principal be imployed, so that the Ma­sters need furnish but the rest, which they may gaine back (and all charges paid) in six moneths. The Overseers of the Company [Page 108] do intimate by their Letters, their earnest de­sires to have great Cargasoons sent yearlie home, for the easing of those vast expences they are at; by reason whereof it happens, to the great grief of our Governour General and Councel of India, that many places fail often­times to furnish the desired quota; the which hath obliged me to deliver this by writing to their Honours, if they be pleased to hearken to it, and furnish our demands yearlie, with­out delaying; if it cannot be found out of the China commodities alone, it must be supplied with Europian wares, as also with some Nut­megs, Peper, Eliphants-teeth, and the like, that we may shew that our givings out to our Masters shall not onlie reap the aforesaid profits, but their Servant shall gain praise and thanks, to the honour of the Netherland Na­tion. Sixty four Tonnes of Gold and a half may be yearlie gained by these China Silke Wares, besides other Commodities.

A description of the pompous and magnificent reception of the DEYRO in the City of Meaco, when he came to visit his Imperial Majesty of Japan, on Octob. 25. 1626. Written by Coen­raed Krammer, deputed from the East-India-Com­pany to that Court, and then present.

IN the year 1626. having had audience on the twentieth of October, I took my leave of both the old and young Emperour, four daies before the feast; which seemed strange to them that knew it, being their Majesties were so intent in their preparations for the Deyro's reception; but these men did not know how desirous the Emperour was to dispatch the Hollanders before the feast: however the Si­ammer [Page 110] and Portugal Ambassadours had not as yet been publicklie received, and all by reason of the present business, which took up the whole Court, in so much that they were de­ferred till that was past; we being therefore dispatched, had the more leasure and desire to see this solemn entertainment, and the ra­ther, being invited to a stay by the Lord of Firando and Cackusymondonne. On the twenty fourth we went towards the Emperours Pa­lace, attended upon by all our Servants; and having hired a place from which we might see the whole procession, we were forced to stay there that whole night, by reason of the great crouds of people that passed that way; on the morrow following, being the twenty fifth, as soon as the day appeared, we saw an innu­merable company of people, who filled the way up betwixt the Emperours Palace and the Deyro's Court. The streets were made very even, and strewed with white sand, and railed in on both sides, and guarded all along by Souldiers of both their Majesties and of the Deyro's, all clothed in long white vest­ments, with head-pieces of black wax, and armed each with two Sables and a Pike, for defence of the passage through which the Coaches and Horses were to march; all run­ning waters and ditches were covered with [Page 111] boards and planks; and scaffols were raised on both sides the way for the spectators.

The first that passed were Servants that be­longed to the Deyro and Emperour, with many Palanquimos or Porters, who carried the Deyro's baggage, packt up in great square Wax Chests (the covers whereof were paint­ed with the Deyro's Arms in Gold) to the Em­perours Court: These were accompanied with a great train of Attendants, who were again followed by six and forty Palanquin Stooles or Sedans, wherein the Women belonging to the Deyro's Wives were carried; these Sedans were all of them curiously wrought of bright white wood, six foot high, laid with plates of Cop­per, and finely painted, each of these being carried by four lusty follows; after them went one and twenty Sedans or Norimons, (for so they call them here) covered with black Wax and gilded, and behinde them some twenty seven more whose doors and windows were all gilded; some of the Deyro's chiefe Lords were carried in these, each of them having a Quirosol wholly gilded, and covered with a very rich covering, carried before them; these Lords were attended by one hundred and eight Pages in white liveries; behinde them marched twenty four Gentlemen on horse back, clo­thed and armed in their Habillements of war; [Page 112] their Head-pieces were of Wax, with little black feathers behinde; they were clothed in Coats with great wide sleeves; their Breeches were long and small, made of even Sattin of all colours, embroydered with Gold and Sil­ver very richly; they had little black Boots, gilded with stripes of Gold; their Arms were gilded; Sables with Bows and Arrows were girt to them, with great rich embroydered Scarfes, whose ends hung over on each side of the Horse; their Horses were goodly and beautiful, with little heads, little eares, and short bodies; their Saddles were all waxed or gilded, the seats being of embroydered works or Tigers skins; the maines of these Horses were twisted, or platted, with Silver and Gold, the breasts and buttocks were adorned with nets of Silk, whose strings hung low; they had gilded horns on their foreheads, and were shod with interwoven Silke in stead of Iron; every Horse was lead by two Foot-men, two great Quirosols made of fine linnen, and co­verd above with red cloth, with fringe round about it, being born before, and serving to cover the Horse, which vvas further attended vvith eight Pages, or Servants, all in vvhite liveries, and armed as the manner is, vvith tvvo Sables or Svvords: And thus these Horse-men rode by paces, from the Deyro's to the Em­perours [Page 113] Palace in very good order. These were followed by three rich Coaches, in which were the Deyro's three principal Wives; each of these Coaches were four fathoms high, two fathoms long, and one broad, be­ing beautified with Wax figures, and enameled with Gold; there were three windows on each side, and two before, being hung with rich curtains; the entrie was behinde the Coach, made like the gate of a Palace, with chambers on both sides; all under the win­dows seemed black Wax; the rands of the wheels were gilded, and the spoakes finely turned and in-laid with Gold; when they moved, they seemed to turn against a Look­ing glass, by reason of the clearness of the glittering Wax, which was goodly to behold; These wheels were covered with pent-houses very artificially and richly wrought, every corner of them being platted with fine Gold; the top of all, or cover, was black Wax, where­upon the Deyro's arms were curiously done in Gold; every one of these great Coaches, or rather Towers, were drawn with two great strong Bulls, covered with nets of red twined Silk, which were lead by four foot-men clo­thed in white; each of these Coaches valued at seventy thousand Tayles, a Tayl being full five English shillings. The train of Pages, all [Page 114] clothed in white, that attended these Ladies, was numerous, each of them having a gilded foot-stool, and a pair of Wax slippers carried behind them. Then followed twenty three Norimons, or Palanquins, being made of white Wood, and plaited with Copper, wherein were the Servants of these three Ladies, each waited upon with a great Quirosol, two Pages, and four Porters to carry them. Behinde these followed sixty eight of the Deyro's Gentle­men on horse-back, clothed and armed as the former; they marched by two and two, be­ing accompanied by a great train of Servants, Slaves, Pages, Foot-men and Pike-men.

The aforesaid Cavalry being passed, there followed

  • Two gilded Sables, the extremities of them being plaited with Gold.
  • One great Vier-werck, rich and curious.
  • One Peyl Compas, exceding great and costly.
  • Two great gold Candlesticks.
  • Two great Eben Pillars.
  • Three small square Tables, or Desks, of black Eben wood, the corners being plaited with Gold.
  • Four great Tables of the same.
  • Two great faire Plates, or Dishes, wrought in Gold.
  • One pair of wax Slippers.

[Page 115] Two beautiful Coaches, equal in form and fineness with the former, followed these ra­rities: The old Emperour, Sadosienminano Tonofindelanda, sate in the first; and in the other the young Emperour, called Oeudesien­minano Tonoyuemytsamma. Fourscore pairs, or couples, of Gentlemen marched on foot before these Coaches; they were armed each of them with two Sables and a Pike, being all proper stout men, and serve for the Em­perours guards; four rich Quirosols were car­ried before their Majesties, and four men with Pikes cleared the passage; two beautiful Hor­ses, richly trapped, were lead before the Coaches, on whose sides eight Men, armed with Bows and Arrows and long Pikes, did march in order to wait upon them. The Em­perours Brothers, and all the Princes and great Lords of Iapan, followed on horse-back, clothed and armed as the former, save that some were richer then other, according to their births and qualities; there were one hundred sixty and four of these Grandees, the chiefe whereof, and those who imme­diately followed the Emperours, were

  • Owarny Cammy Samma, the old Emperors Brother.
  • Quyne Deymangon Samma, another of his Brothers.
  • [Page 116] Massammenemoet Nocammy Samma, yet another Brother.
  • Matsendeyro Thuykesnocammi Samma, Lord of Canga.
  • Matsendeyro Montsnocammy Samma, Lord of Satsuma.
  • Matsendeyro Iondonne.
  • Matsendeyro Symoutsquedonne.
  • Matsendeyro Quonnenochwuchoo.
  • Turogano Deynangono Cammy Samma, the young Emperours eldest Prince.
  • Myttotchonango Samma, the old Empe­rours Brother.

These ten Lords rode immediately behinde the Emperours Coach, each by himself, at­tended with a numerous train of Gentlemen, Pages, Pikemen, &c. according to their state and quality: The rest of the Lords followed by couples, two and two, the best of them taking the left hand, which in this Couutrey is the upper and best place; Ouwaydonne, the old Emperours chief Councellor, and VVou­tadonne, the young Emperours chiefe Coun­cellor, led the van of the remaining one hun­dred and fifty four Lords, all of them march­ing in good order, great state and magnificency and rarely mounted upon brave Horses, which pransed and curvetted all the way. Four hun­dred armed Souldiers, all in white Liveries, [Page 117] followed after these, two by two; and after them six new fair Coaches, though not above half so great as the other, and only drawn by one Ox, but proportionably beautiful; the Deyro's Concubines sate in these, who were again followed by thirty four pair of Gentle­men on horse-back, attended with many Ser­vants and Slaves. There was yet another Coach wherein the Deyro's Secretary rode, accom­panied with thirty seven Gentlemen on horse-back; then followed the Norimons, which carried several of the Deyro's Grandees, wher­of fifteen were of black Wood, inlaid with white Ivory; thirteen of black Wood, adorn­ed with Wax and Gold; and eighteen wholly done over with black Wax. Forty six great gilded Quirosols, with their attendants, fol­lowed these Norimons; and behinde them fifty four Gentlemen, being the Deyro's Musitians, with several Instruments, as Pipes, Tabours, Cimbals, Bells, and some stringed ones which are not known amongst us. The Deyro himself followed these Musitians, siting in a great square Edifice, surrounded with drawing doors and windows on each corner; this lodge was about nine foot high, its cover being round, and in the middle a gilded Ball, whereon stood a Cock with his wings spread, of pure Gold: This structure was very beautiful, being adorned on [Page 118] all sides with carved Images, its angles plaited with pure Gold, and the roof of it intimating the Heaven, with Sun, Moon and Stars. There were fifty Persons, all Gentlemen belonging to the Emperours, clothed with long white Robes, and Wax Head-pieces, that carried this ambulatory Pallace: Forty Gentlemen an­tickly dressed, although armed with Europian Head-pieces, and Pikes gilded at the ends, went before the Deyro, and these were of his Life-guard. One of his principal Lords did immediately follow him, armed as the other, bearing in his hand a Shield stuck full of Ar­rows; then came forty great Quirosols, all co­vered with fine white linnen, and belonging to the aforesaid Guards: These were again fol­lowed by thirteen great Wax Chests, carried by the Palanquyn Porters: And lastly, the whole procession was closed with four hun­dred persons all in white vestments, marching six in a ranke in very good order. The Deyro and his Traine were no sooner past, but the evening came on, and an innumerable com­pany of people of all sorts: the Stages and Houses which had been filled with Spectators, had disgorged their burthens in the Streets; so that the multitude was so immensly great, that very many disorders happened, as cutting of purses, stealing, murthering and robbing each [Page 119] other; very many were stifled in the crouds, and such as but once fell, were sure never to rise, being troden to death: The noise all night was so great, as if the City had been in an up­roar; and the insolencies grew to that heighth, that many persons of quality, who could not get out of the throng, or were retiring to their houses, were set upon, and very many of them spoiled and murthered: among others, the Lord of Firandos Secretary saw his Servant robbed, and a rich Cabinet of his taken from him, before his own face, whilest he himselfe had much ado to defend himself from the vio­lence of these assaulters. We were forced, with our Servants, to quit our stage, and put our selves into the crowd, because of the night, and the danger to continue where we were, which we durst not do without running the hazzard of being murthered; the preass was so great, that we were borne up by the people most of our way, being but seldom able to put a foot upon the ground; yet at length, by Gods great blessing, we got all (without any con­siderable loss) safely to our lodgings.

The Deyro and his Wives were lodged three daies and three nights in the Emperors Palace, being served by their Majesties and their Bro­thers, and the greatest Princes of their Court, every meale consisting of one hundred and [Page 120] forty services. This feasting being done, the young Emperour gave the Deyro these fol­lowing presents:

  • Three thousand Boates of Silver, each of four Tayls and three Marses.
  • Two rich Sables.
  • Two hundred Iapan Gowns.
  • Three hundred pieces of wrought Sattin.
  • Twenty picols of raw Silk.
  • One great piece of Calombacq.
  • Five great Silver pots full of Musk.
  • And ten beautiful Horses with their ac­coutrements.
The old Emperour gave him
  • Two hundred pieces of Gold, each worth fifty four Silver ones.
  • One hundred Indian gowns richly wrought.
  • Two great Silver pots full of Musk.
  • Five Catti Calombacq.
  • Two hundred pieces of red Silk.
  • Five Silver pots full of Amber Greece.
  • And five brave Horses with their accou­trements.
His Secretary had given him
  • Three hundred Boats of Silver, equal with the other in worth.
  • And twenty Indian Gowns.

A Description of the Government, Might, Religion, Customes, Traffick, and other re­markable Affairs in the Kingdom of SIAM: Written in the Yeare 1636. by Joost Schouten, Directour of the East-India-Company in that Countrey.

SIAM is a famous and potent King­dom, scituate upon the continent of Asia eighteen degrees Northern Lati­tude, where it bordereth upon the Countries of Pegu and Ava twelve de­grees; it extendeth it selfe Westward to the Bengasche sea of Martavan to seven degrees, where it borders upon the Kingdoms of Pay [Page 122] tany and Queda; Southward from the Ben­gasche to the Patanys Ocean, this Coast turns Northward to thirteen degrees, making with its bowing the Gulf of Siam; thence the Coast runs again Southward to twelve degrees, and leaving the Sea terminates Eastward upon the Desart of Cambodia, and the Kingdoms of Ian­gonia, Tangou, and Langjang to eighteen de­grees, even to Ava and Pegu; so that the form of this Land is like an halfe Moon, and con­taineth in its circuit four hundred and fifty Dutch miles, one Dutch mile makes six En­glish. This Country (which is in many places mountainous, woody and moorish, especially towards the Sea, although for the most part even and clay, and is likewise full of all sorts of Beasts and Fowls, and Rivers replenished with abundance of Fish) hath where it bor­dereth upon the Benga and Siams Seas many Islands, Bays, Havens and Rivers most com­modious for the receipt of great and small Ves­sels; I shall not particularize all, only mention the chief River, as the most frequented Haven of the whole Kingdom: This River (called by the name of Menam, or the Mother of Wa­ters) is great, wide, and very long, its course being not known unto them. It passeth from the North Southward very swiftly through the Land of Ava and Pegu, and several Provinces [Page 123] of Siam, until that it discharge it self by three mouthes into the Sea of Siam; it partaketh of the nature of those famous Rivers Ganges and Nilus, flowing once a year so high that it co­vereth most part of the Countrey, making it incredibly fruitful, and destroying by this in­nundation (which continueth four or five moneths) all obnoxious vermin and creatures. The greatest mouth of this River, is that which lies most Eastward thirteen degrees and a half Northern latitude; and in the middle of the in­let, there is a great flat, or sand, a mile long, that crosses the entry of the River five or six foot deep at low water, but at heighth is fifteen or sixteen, and in the Winter moneths, when the the floods are great, there is ordinarily seven­teen or eighteen foot and more; great Ships that go deep, are forced to anker at four, five, or six fathoms water without this banck, the ground being clay and good; but those that pass this flat at high water, enter the River without any more danger of runing on ground till they come to the Town of Banckock, six Dutch miles upwards; then the River grows narrower and more shallow, Ships drawing eleven or twelve foot water, being scarceable to mount to the City of India, where they are sometimes forced to stay till the moneths of September, October and November, for water [Page 124] to return. The Country is generally well peo­pled, especially the lower part of it, being full of Villages and Towns; the principal whereof are Iudica, Picelouck, Sourckelouk, Capheng, Soutcethay, Kephinpet, Conseywan, Pytsyay Pit­sidi, Lydure, Tenou, Mormelon, Martenayo, Lygor, Bordelong, Tannassary, Banckock, Pypry, Rapry, Mergy, and several other, all which are governments and heads of Provinces; besides these there are many Cities and Burroughs full of people, which I omit as superfluous. The City of Iudica, the Metropolis of the King­dom, and seat of the King and his chiefest No­bles, is scituate upon the River Menam, in a little round Island, encompassed with a thick stone wall, about six English miles round; the Suburbs are on the other side of the River, closely builded, and full of Temples and Cloy­sters, lying in a flat and fruitful Country. The Streets of the walled Town are many of them large, straight and regular, with channels run­ning through them, although for the most part of small narrow Lanes, Ditches, and Creekes most confusedly placed; the Citizens have an incredible number of small Boats or Prawes, which come to their very doors, especially at floods and high water. The building of the Houses is according to the Indian fashion, slight, and covered with Tiles; but the City [Page 125] is beautified with more then three hundred faire Temples and Cloysters, all curiously builded, and adorned with many gilded Tow­ers, Pyramids, and Pictures without number. The Kings Palace is seated upon the River, re­sembling a little Town apart, great and magni­ficent, many of its Buildings and Towers be­ing entirely gilded. This royal and admirable City is perfectly well seated, and populous to a wonder, being frequented by all Nations; and is likewise impregnable, as not to be be­sieged but six moneths in a year, by reason of the innundations of the River, which covers the Countrey round with its overflowings. The Soveraignity and Government of Siam is in the King, a Prince of a Noble and ancient family, who hath been in possession of this Kingdom, and the neighbouring Provinces, many hundred of years; this Prince is abso­lute in his Dominions, disposing of War and Peace, Alliances, Justice, Pardons and Remis­sions, &c. at his pleasure; He maketh Laws without any advise or consent of his Council, or Lords, his will being the rule he walks by, unlesse his goodnesse descend sometimes to counsel with his Mandoryns, them of his Council; these sometimes deliberate upon his Majesties propositions, and present their re­sult to him by way of humble supplication, [Page 126] which he confirms, changes or rejects, as he thinks good. He disposes Soveraignity of all the Dignities and great Offices of his King­dom, without respect of persons, noble or otherwise, (except some of the Antientest and greatest Families) to such as have or may serve him well, whom he againe deprives of their honours for small faults; so that they are all his Slaves and Vassals, which the Great ones e­steem an honour, and put in their titles. The King thus soveraignly disposing of all things, doth notwithstanding nothing without some appearance of reason, and conformity to the Laws of the Kingdom, which however anti­ent, he by his usurped prerogative and power, doth interpret and bow to his Arbitrary will and pleasure. His Majesties Court and Train is exceeding great and glorious; He seldom shews himselfe to the People, and very spa­ringly to his Grandees and Officers of the Kingdom, which happens at certain appointed times and daies; when he gives them Audi­ence he is richly clothed and crowned, sitting upon a golden Throne, at whose feet his Gen­tlemen and Attendants reverently kneel, ac­companied with three hundred armed Soul­diers of his Lifeguard: All, as well Strangers as Subjects, who have audience of his Majesty, whilest they are in his presence, must conti­nually [Page 127] kneele, with folded hands and heads hanging down; when they speak to him, it must be in this humble posture, loading him with titles and praises; his Answers are estee­med Oracles, and his commands unchange­able; so that he lives happy in all imaginable worldly pleasures, having many magnificent Houses up and down the Kingdom, as also other places, Tents and Pavilions: He eateth highly, but his drink is simple water, or Coco, all strong drinks being prohibited by the Cler­gy and the Laws, and esteemed scandalous. His Majesty goeth ordinarily by water with eight or ten very costly and fine Barges, each with eighty or a hundred rowers; he sits un­der a gilded Pavilion upon a Throne, accom­panied with his Courtiers and other Barges, to the number of three or four hundred, with his Train and Guards waiting upon him; most of the great Ones follow the Court at such times, each in his rich gilded Barge or Praw; so that the whole train of them is twelve or fourteen hundred, and sometimes more. When he goes by land, he is mounted upon a gilded seat, and carried upon mens shoulders, the train being ordinarily the same, all marching in order and great silence; no body is seen in his way or sight, but upon their knees, with folded hands, and bowed heads and bodies; [Page 128] this reverence better becoming a celestial Die­ty, then an earthly Majesty.

Once every year, about the moneth of Octo­ber, the King of Siam shews himself by water and land in state to his people, going to the principal Temple of the Gods, to offer there for the welfare of his Person and Kingdom, the manner follows: When he goes by land, the procession is led by two hundred Ele­phants, each attended vvith three armed men; these are follovved by many Musitians vvith Gomnies, Pipes and Drums, and a thousand men richly armed, and provided vvith Banners: Then march the great Lords of the King­dom on horse-back, many of them vvearing Crovvns of Gold upon their heads; and every one vvaited upon by sixty, eighty, or an hun­dred men on foot: Tvvo hundred Iapan Soul­diers follovv these vvith bright Arms and rich Colours, and much noise of Instruments; then comes the Lifeguard vvith the King's Horses and Elephants, richly adorned vvith pretious Stones and Gold furniture; vvhich is follovved by many Servants loaden vvith fruits and pre­sents for the Sacrifice, accompanied vvith a svvet consort of Musick: These are again fol­lovved by many of the great Ones on foot, vvith folded hands; as also some Crovvned Grandees, vvhereof one carrieth the gilded [Page 129] Standard, and the other the Svvord of Justice; his Majesty follovvs next in person in his royal Robes, sitting upon an Elephant, or else a gilded Throne, carried upon mens shoulders, and vvaited upon by many Lords and Cour­tiers; the Prince, or Heir of the Kingdom, follovveth him; and then in order the Kings Wives and Concubins, seated upon Elephants in little enclosed Cabinets: lastly the ordinary Courtiers follovv; the vvhole provision con­sisting of fifteen or sixteen thousand persons, having its rear brought up by six hundred arm­ed men. But if the King go by vvater, then tvvo hundred Lords, each in his Barge, seated in a gilded Cabinet, vvith eighty or ninety Rovvers, lead the van; these are follovved by ten extraordinary rich figured Pravvs, or Bar­ges, the vvhich, as also the Oars, are all gilded, each having ninety or an hundred Watermen: The King is in the richest of them, sitting like an Idol upon a golden Throne, vvith his Lords in their humblest posture at his feet: the royal Banner is borne by one of these Grandees, at the head of the Barge, in state. The King's Brother follovveth next vvith his Train; and after him his Majesties Wives and Concubins, in gilded Cabinets and Tents, each in their Barges apart: lastly the Gentry, Courtiers, Guards, and other Attendants follovv, the [Page 130] vvhole amounting to five or six and tvventy thousand persons. The River is bordered on both sides vvith Boats, and an infinite number of People, vvho reverence and adore their King in his passage, vvith bended heads and folded hands.

The Dominion and Revenue of the Crovvn is great, amounting yearly to many Millions, arising out of in-land Commodities, as Rice, Sappang, Tin, Lead, Salt-peter; as also the profits of the Sand and Mountain Gold, which are only sold by the Kings Factors to forraign Merchants: He hath also his Customs for out­landish Wares; his Tributes and Presents from Subject-Princes, and Governours of Cities and Provinces, who know how much they must contribute; as also the profits of his Traffick with Chormandel and China: add to these the inland trade, carried on by his Fa­ctours in the City Iudica, or elsewhere, and his Majesty of Siam will be found to be one of the richest Princes of India. There are se­veral Officers appointed for the receipt of incomes, who must account every year, and that exactly: Most of these monies are ex­pended in building and repairing of Temples, in rewarding of merits, and defraying the publick charges of the Kingdom; the residue being brought into the Treasury, which is [Page 131] esteemed rich and great. The Laws and Cu­stomes of Siam are strange (though orderly) in the succession of their Princes; when the King dies, it is not his Son, but his Brother who is Heir to the Crown; but in case he have no Brother, then indeed his Son steps in by course, whose Brothers do succeed succes­sively; lastly all the Sons of the eldest Brother, who hath reigned, follow by turns, the Daugh­ters being wholly excluded any pretence to the Government. But this order is not alwaies observed, the Scepter being sometimes usur­ped by him of the family who is most power­ful, and most gracious with the people, which is the present Kings case; who having raised himself before his turn, caused all his Compe­titors, and their Adherents, to be slain, to the end he might peaceably enjoy what he had un­justly got, and leave the Crown to his Bro­ther or Children after him.

The ordinary Justice, both Criminal and Civil, is administred through the Kingdom ac­cording to their ancient Customes and Laws, by Officers purposely appointed: But in the City of Judica they have (besides the ordinary Courts of Judicature) a Colledge of twelve Councellours, with one principal President, which doth definitively decide all Appeals, and other businesses, whether Criminal or Civil. [Page 132] It is indeed permitted, though with extraor­dinary expence and cost, to appeal to the King and his Council, who ordinarily confirm and cause the former sentence to be put in execu­tion. In this and lesser Courts, all Civil disputes are brought in by Lawyers; and the cause be­ing pleaded, and witnesses examined on both sides before the Commissioners, the Secretary makes an extract of the whole, which being writ in a Book, it is signed by both Plantiff and Defendant, or others deputed by them; that done the Book is sealed up, and kept by the Judge till next Sessions; at which time it is a­gain opened in the presence of both parties, and their debates heard, noted, and sealed as before: So that the Lawyers, by their several exceptions, demurs and practices, do very of­ten delay and keepe up the parties for many years; until at length, after much sollicitings and expence, the cause is anew opened and examined, and finally adjudged and ended by a full Colledge. But in Criminal matters, as injuries, robberies, murther, treason, or the like, the guilty, or suspected person, is appre­hended, imprisoned, and examined; if he deny the fault against witnesses, or great presumpti­ons, he is forced by torture to confession; all which being noted in a Book, and presented to the Judges, they immediatly proceed to [Page 133] Sentence and Execution; except in Capitall crimes, such being reserved for the Kings plea­sure, who either pardons, banishes, or causes the condemned person to be put to death, ac­cording to the sentence. Offences are ordi­narily punished as they are more or less hey­nous, with cashiering, banishments into De­sarts, slavery, confiscations, mutilation of hand or foot, burning in oyl, quartering, and other severe executions. Where the case is doubt­full, no witnesses appearing, nor no strong pre­sumptions against the accused, so that the Judge knows not how or what to do, he then per­mits both parties to try it out by common pur­gation; either by ducking under water, hold­ing their hands in boyling oyl, to go bare-foot upon hot coales, or to eat a mess of charmed rice; this conjured mess being made up into balls, is given them by the Priest with much ceremony; and he that can swallow it with­out casting it up again, and behaves himself in this and the other trials with most courage, is esteemed most innocent and acquitted, whilest the other, whether accusor or accused, is most severely punished, according to the nature of the crime.

The Kings power and military force by wa­ter and land, consists most of his own Vassals and Natives; he hath indeed some few Stran­gers, [Page 134] as Moors, Malayers, and some five hun­dred Iapanners, the most esteemed for their courage and fidelity, although the Prince now reigning drove them out of his Country, but they are now crept in again; so that most of his forces are Siammers, who must serve with­out pay, and be alwaies in a readiness, the hundredth, fiftieth, twentieth, tenth, or fifth man being levied, according to the Kings plea­sure and occasions. Besides these, the Gran­dees have ordinarily some hundreds of men in their service, who wait upon them in the field; so that his Majesty can raise an Army when he thinks good, of two or three thousand men, with two or three hundred Elephants, Victu­als, Ammunition, and other warlike Instru­ments; for all this his Armies seldom exceed one hundred thousand men, and not ordina­rily forty or fifty thousand, as his affairs re­quire, either for offensive or defensive. His foot are in reasonable good order, though merely armed with Bows and Arrows, Shields, Swords, Pikes, and a few Guns: the horse are not better, though generally armed with Swords, Shields, Bows, and Lances. Most of their force consists in some hundreds of tram­ed Elephants, each of them furnished vvith three armed men; and they have a good quan­tity of Cannons, but do not well know how [Page 135] to use them. At sea his Majesty hath several Gallies and Frigots vvell provided vvith great Guns, though the Seamen and Mariners are but pitiful. The Pravvs, vvherevvith the Siam­mers can stoutly scuffle, are vvithout number, but ill ordered and armed, and yet sufficient to deal vvith their neighbouring enemies as un­skilful as they are, though far short of our Europian Vessels and Mariners either to fight or sail. These Mariners, especially vvhen their Princes have been brave, have conquered ma­ny of the neighbouring Kingdoms and Pro­vinces; but being all human things, they have their vicissitudes, these victories did but fol­lovv the fortune of their favorites.

There hath of old been great vvars betvvixt them of Pegu and Siam, vvith various success: the King of Pegu pretending to the Monarchy of the neighbouring Kingdoms, vvhich he hath formerly had, and as yet possesseth in part; so that the borders of these Kingdoms are quite ruined and unpeopled, and these Princes of late years content vvith inroads and sudden invasions, vvith small flying Armies of tvventy or thirty thousand men, vvhich they have ordinarily for defence of the frontiers. The Siammers have had likevvise vvars against other Princes, as the Kings of Jangoma, Tan­gou, Langhs-ja [...]gh [...], and lastly against the King [Page 136] of Siam, and stoutly defended himself against those great Armies which were sent to reduce him; of late the Kingdom hath been in peace until the usurpation of the last deceased King, who having destroyed the true Heirs, and pos­sessed the Government contrary to order, was likewise himself slain, together with his Bro­thers, and the Crown seized upon by another of the blood, who after several civil and for­raign broils enjoyed it peaceably, and governs at present with great reputation and honour, continuing still his wars with them of Pegu, and the Rebel Cambodian.

This Prince, as well as his Predecessors, is kinde to Strangers, but respects and esteems the Netherlanders more then the Portugals; which the late King sufficiently testified, when upon the taking of a Holland Yacht in the Ri­ver, Anno 1624. the Spanish Gally of Don Fer­dinando de Silva was violently seized upon by his command, and restitution and satisfaction made to our Company; hereupon he was for­ced into a war with them of Manhila, and suf­fered much in his China voyages, which was well recompensed by the seasonable assistance of six Dutch men of war, which were lent him to be employed against his Rebels of Patany.

The King hath more then three thousand tame Elephants in several parts of his Kingdom, [Page 137] each attended by two or three men, wherein much of his greatness doth consist; for these Beasts are very much esteemed in India, espe­cially when trained up to the wars, the rest are employed to carry Ordinances, Tents, and Provisions to the Camp. These creatures being great, very strong, and strangely docible, are taken in several parts of the Country, and disciplined as followeth: A Troop of fifteen or twenty tame she Elephants, which were taken when they were young, are driven into the Wilderness, with two or three fellows to observe them; the wilde ones upon sight of them, associate with them, one or two at once, which are driven with the rest insensibly into a great square building with high stone walls, and encompassed on the outside with trees which cover them; as soon as these Beasts are decoyed in, a great turn pike is shut behinde them, and gates to hinder their return; when they are entred further into the square place, the tame Elephants being brought up to it by their teachers, upon notice from them, slip away through other gates for the purpose; so that the wilde ones being left alone, are out of other little squares, whereof one is in the mid­dle, vexed and tormented with all manner of inventions to make them angry and furious: the above mentioned squares are made of great [Page 138] thick posts, well nigh two fathoms high, but so far distant from each other, that a man may creep betwixt them; so that when the Ele­phant with his running, turning and winding, seeks to revenge himself upon his tormenters, they save themselves behinde these posts; at length, when the beast is weary, and suffici­ently tormented, thee is a great door opened, into which he runs to save himself, which is immediatly shut upon him, and he restrained to a narrower prison, and is there bound to two or three tame Elephants, placed for the purpose; this done, they are led into a covered house, where cross planks being contrived un­der the wilde ones belly, they are hoyssed up with pullies, and left as it were half hanging for some time; so that with this invention, and help of the tame ones, they are wholly tamed in three or four moneths, and rendred supple and useful. The Court is for the most part present (Galleries being builded for the Spectatours) at the taking and tormenting of the Elephants, which is most pleasant to be­hold. These Beasts are sometimes taken in the open fields, being environed with tame ones, and caught in snares and jins; but this way is dangerous although often practised; and both shew how fabulously Writers have informed the World in this particular.

[Page 139] A white Elephant (esteemed by the Indians a wonder in Nature) hath been found in Siam, and no other known Land; it is esteemed by the inhabitants as the Prince of the Elephants, and hath been so treated by the Kings of this Country, who have had of them in the Palaces many times, and caused them to be served in state, often visited them, and honoured their Vassals with more then ordinary respect. These white Elephants have formerly occasioned great wars betwixt the Siammers and their Neighbours; and some sixty years since against the King of Pegu, who proving victorious, did not only take the white Elephant prisoner, but obliged the King of Siam to become his Tri­butary; which yoke the following Princes did not only cast off, but gloriously revenge their Predecessours misfortunes. During my first residence in Siam, the then King took two young white Elephants, but both died shortly after to his great grief. This Nation believes somewhat more then humain natue of this creature, alledging they do not only respect him for his whiteness, but for his divine under­standing; which appears in his pride and glo­rying when he is treated in state, and of his melancholy and sorrow when those honours are denied him, or that the black Elephant re­fuses him his obeissance.

[Page 140] The Siammers, as also the Neighbouring Nations, are all Idolaters and Heathens, so that they have every where great and little Temples and Cloysters for the service of their Gods; and the dwellings of their Priests. These Edi­fices are builded of Wood and Stone very Ar­tificial and sumptuous, with guilded Towers and Pyramids; each of the Temples and Cloy­sters being filled with an incredible number of Idols, of divers materials and greatness, gilded adorned and beautified very rich and admira­ble; some of the Idols are four, six, eight, and ten fathoms long; amongst the rest there is one of an unimaginable greatness, being one hun­dred and twenty foot high. In these Temples and Cloysters there are many Priests and reli­gious Men disciplined, and very obedient to their superiours, being all subject to the Arch Flamin, or Prior of the great Temple of Iudica, whose spiritual power is vastly great, though subordinate to the Kings. All the Clergy (whereof there are in Iudica alone at least thir­ty thousand) are clothed, without any remark­ale difference, in yellow linnen clothes, having their heads all shorn. The learnedst amongst these are professed Priests, out of which the Regents of their Temples are chosen, (who are held in great esteem and reverence by the People) preaching, teaching, and offering up­on [Page 141] their Feasts and Holy daies. These are pro­hibited the natural use of Women, upon pain of being burned; but they may alwaies, and at pleasure, upon declaration of their frailty or weakness, quit their frocks, and betake them­selves to another life, which happens often a­mongst them. They have their morning and evening Song, Readings and other Services, celebrated in their Cloysters every day, and frequented by their society. They live upon the Alms and bounty of the King and great Ones, as also on the fruit which their Church Lands bring forth; but principally out of the sweet and labours of the Commonalty, who unanimously share with them, they sending every morning some Priests and Clerks out of their Cloysters, with begging bags to receive these donations and charity: Besides these Priests, there are a sort of old Nuns shorn, lodged in Chappels near the greatest Temples, who assist very devoutly in all their preach­ings, singings, ceremonies, and other Church services, but all voluntary, being tied to no rules or prescriptions. These Heathens do generally believe, (however differing in many particulars) that there is one upper God, with many lesser Deities in Heaven, who created all things: that the Souls of Men are immortal, and shall be rewarded or punished according [Page 142] to their merits and actions; the good dwelling with the God in bliss, whilest the wicked are tormented by the Devils that seduced them. Their Religion is principally founded upon these points, which have been delivered to them in writing many hundred years since, and confirmed with the testimony of many holy men, (whose memory they worship in their Images, which they have set up like so many lesser Deities) who by their charity to the Church, to the poor, and to all things that had life, they endeavored to merit Heaven, and a­void the dreadful punishments of the Devils. Those that are religious and superstitious in these, buy ordinarily upon Feast daies, multi­tudes of Birds and living Fish, bringing them to the Temple, and there give them their li­berty; esteeming it a great sin to kill not onely men, but the more rude creatures, fancying the souls of deceased persons to be transmigrated into them: all other evils which Nature teaches us to be sin, they account so too, and are much preached against by their Priests. The chief Ceremonies of this Idolatry are, as we said, preaching, teaching, singing evening and mor­ning Prayers, and offering of Sacrifice, which is done with torches, candles, incense, spices, and flowers at the altars of their images, which in their opinion represent the great God, the [Page 143] lesser Deities, and holy Men, whereby they think their wrath is appeased; to which end they celebrate with much solemnity at the new, full, and quarters of the Moon, as also several other extraordinary Festivals, with a fasting from any thing which hath had life, for three moneths together, they pray for the sick, and also the dead, who being first superstiti­ously shaven, anointed, charmed, and with much ceremony, as weeping, cutting of the hair of the head by the next friend, alms, pray­ers of the Priests, musick, plays, fire-works, and other shows (according to the quality and ability of the deceased) burnt with fire, their collected ashes are afterwards anointed and buried near the Temples, a Pyramid rich and magnificent being erected over them; so that these funerals are extreamly expensive to the survivors, as well as honorable for the deceased. The Priests carry themselves very moderatly to those of a contrary Religion, condemning no opinions, but believe that all, though of dif­fering tenets, living vertuously, may be saved, all services which are performed with zeal be­ing acceptable to the great God, especially theirs, they being convinced of its truth and innocency. This constancy of theirs makes them not easily to be drawn to any other per­swasion, which hath been sufficiently attempt­ed [Page 144] by the Portugals, whose industrious Priests omitted nothing for their conversion, and by the Mohometans who are no lesse zealous in their way, though with little or no success by either of them, and yet the Christians, as also the Mahometans, are both permitted the free exercise of their Religions in their Countrey. However these Heathen be thus religious, yet they fear and serve (although contrary to the opinion of most of their Priests) the very Devils, whom they believe to be the authours and causes of all evil, as the Gods are of every thing that is good and vertuous: They adore these unclean Spirits in their sicknesses and misfortunes, celebrating their feasts with in­struments playing, and offering attoning sacri­fices of fruits and living creatures: They are so strangely abominable in their gestures and actions, that it is not fit for a Christian either to see or write them; thus fondly searching his favour, whose indulgences do but plunge them deeper in their unhappy mistakes and errours. The people of this Countrey are reasonably well proportioned, brown and tawny; they are none of the best Souldiers, though proud and insolent in their victories; they are modest enough in their civil conversation, though na­turally light, fearful, incredulous, dissimuled, deceitful, and very lying. The men are lazy and [Page 145] slow, insomuch that the women, with their slaves, are forced (contrary to the customs of other Na­tions) to labour the earth, and do most of their husbands work, besides taking care for their fa­milies and houses, whilest the men follow their pleasure and divertisements abroad. They clothe themselves (both men & women) thin, according to the hot climat they live in; both sexes wear painted petticoats, the men covering their upper parts with a short shirt with half-sleeves, and the women with a thin cloth, both ends hanging over their shoulders to hide their brests: They wear for ornaments gold pins in their hair, and rings of the same mettal on their fingers: This is the or­dinary wear, high and low being all of a fashion, and not distinguishable but by the richness of their vestments, and the greatness of their trains, which they much glory in: The Gentry and No­bles have many slaves attending them when they go abroad, some ten, twenty, thirty, or more, according to their abilities and greatness; and not a Citizen, or his Wife, stirs in the streets without one or two of these slaves to wait upon them. Their houses are builded according to the fashi­on in India, of wood and reeds, and covered with Coco leaves, or tiles; the floors are raised three or four foot high, their appartements being com­modious, though but slenderly furnished, only for sleeping, and dressing what is necessary for [Page 146] their refection. Their diet is but mean, as rice, fish, and herbs; they drink water, though on Feast daies they indulge more the common peo­ple, drinking ordinarily Arak, or Brandy-Wine.

They differ very much in their customs about marrying; great Persons need nothing but the consent of their Parents or Friends, (the Priests not intermedling at all) the ceremony ending in feasting and rejoycing. Husband and Wife may part again at pleasure, dealing their goods and children without further circumstance, and may re-marry if they think good, without fear of shame or punishment. A man may keep as many Concubins as he pleases, besides his Wife, though they are in some subordinacy to her, whose Chil­dren onely inherit, the other being contented with small portions for their subsistence. Great mens goods are divided after their deaths into three parts; one part for the King, the second for the Priests and their Funerals, and the third for their Children. The common People have other Customs; the Bridgroom buyeth his Bride for a sum of monies of her Father or Friends, where­upon the marriage is made and concluded with a little feasting; but they may divorce, like the great Ones, at pleasure, and marry again with the same liberty. The Children deal their deceased parents goods equally, except some little advantages for the eldest Son. They have many other Customs [Page 147] in marriage and succession, too long and tedious to write. As for their Children, they send them to school at five or six years old, where they are taught to write and read, and rendered fit for Trades and other employments; some are con­tinued in their studies by the Priests their Masters, until they are called to Offices and advancements in the State, and then they cast off the yellow frock; others continue there out of hopes of be­ing one day Heads of Temples and Schools, or sharing in the Priesthood.

The Siammers, who live in Towns and po­pulous places, are either Courtiers, Officers, Mer­chants, Watermen, Fishermen, Tradesmen, or Artificers, each one containing himself in his vo­cation: The Country people brew, till, plant, and bring up fwarms of Cattel, as Horses, Kine; Swine, Deer; and domestick Fowl, as Geefe; Peacocks, Ducks, Hens, Pigeons, and other tame creatures, insomuch that provision is very cheap, notwithstanding the abundance of at which is sent into the neighbouring Provinces for their supply and use: They have Brick, Lime, Wood, and all materials for building of Churches, Forts, Houses, Ships, Prawes, Jonks, and other vessels in great quantities. The divers Towns of this Countrey have their several Trafficks and Commerce; in the chief City the trading is very good and free in its course; the principal commo­dities [Page 148] are Choromandes and Sura vestments, all manner of China wares, Jewels, Gold, Benjamin, Gumlack, Wax, Sappang, Agerwood, Tin, and Lead, &c. as also vast numbers of Harts-skins, one hundred and fifty thousand of these creatures being caught yearly in this Countrey, and fold with much profit to the Japanners. They drive a great trade with all eating provisions, especially Rice, many thousand Tuns being transported yearly by forraigners. This City, by reason of its great traffick, is frequented by several Nations, as the Indians, the more Western Asiaticks, Eu­ropean Moors, and Christian Merchants. The King himself is also a Merchant, and hath his own Ships and Factours trading to Choromandel and China, being for that cause more favoured and priviledged then any other Prince; he likewise trafficks to Pegu, Ava, Jongoma, Langs-jang, and other places, besides his negotiations at home, all which bring him incredible profit, and no small disturbance to private Merchants, all which do certainly manifest the great trade that is carried on in this Countrey. The Monies cur­rant is of very fine silver, of a round figure, and impressed with the Kings picture; the kindes are a Ticlas, a Mase, and a Fong, worth thirty pence, seven pence half penny, and four pence English, or near upon. They reckon ordinarily by Cattys, each being twenty Tayls, or forty eight Royals [Page 149] of eight; and it is with this and no other coyn that they handle and trade with, save that there is a lesser called Schulpkens, or little Sheels, wher­of eight or nine thousand go to a Fong, being brought out of Manilha, Borneo, and Lequeo, very useful for poor people.

Before the coming of the Netherlanders into the Indiaes, the Portugals had great correspon­dence and amity with this Kingdom, being in such esteem and honour by the King, that the Embas­sadours sent from their Vice-Roys, Governours, and Bishops of Malacca in India, were not only well received by his Majesty, but richly presented by him, and many of the residing Portugals in this Country advanced to great Offices and prefer­ments; they had not only the free exercise of their Religion, but their chief Priest had also a moneth­ly pension allowed him for his more splendid sub­sistence; thus they prospered here for many years, until the Dutch Company got footing amongst them, and gained upon them from time to time, by taking their Ships and interrupting their trade, with Santhome and Nevagatain, insomuch that they are at present very low and out of credit, oc­casioned more particularly by their taking of a Dutch Yacht by a Spanish Gally in the River of Siam, which the King took so highly, that he re­venged it with his Arms, which produced a war between him and Manilha; and however the [Page 150] Portugals seemed unconcerned in this quarrel, yet they wholly lost their credit at Court, inso­much that the Bishop of Malaccas Vicar, their chief Resident there, is debarred of his usual ac­cess to his Majesty and his Ministers, whereas in former times they were esteemed the onely and chief Merchants of the whole Kingdom. This breach and difference between these two Nati­ons, was fomented by the Dutch, and increased by several acts of hostility on the Portugals side, who took many of his Majesties Ships and Vas­sals at Sea; in revenge whereof, the Portugal Ves­sels were seized on in India, and all the present Portugals natives clapt up in prison, who were after two years restraint, upon a fictitious em­bassie, restored to their liberty; but this practice coming to light, occasioned the seisure of a Ca­stilian and a Portugal Vessel in the Havens of Li­goor and Tanaslary, the men whereof were not released till after a two years restraint; but then indeed returned with his Majesties Letters to the Governours of Manilha and Malacca, with invitations of their former peace and traffick, where it is probable they may return, but questi­onable whether they shall ever recover their for­mer credit and authority.

It is more then thirty years since the Nether­landers came first to Siam, and were admitted of by his Majesty; so that the Company have judged [Page 151] it necessary, for the cherishing their traffick and alliance with so mighty a Prince, to settle there; to which end they builded a house, or lodge, of wood in the City of India, where they trade in in land commodities, and selling of clothes, as also buying of Harts-skins, Sappang, &c. which are sent yearly to Japan: the Company indeed hath not profited much, by reason of several misfortunes by this traffick; but they have gained more reputation then any Europians besides, by the great friendship and correspondence which is betwixt them and the King; and also have had the benefit of transporting great quantities of all sorts of provisions in Batamia, which friendship, notwithstanding the several successions of the Princes, disturbing the Companies Cantore and Servants, is yet sufficiently conserved and con­tinued, and ought in my opinion to be cherished, as absolutely necessary for the good and welfare of our Company, as also in regard of the Kings civil usage of us, and his aversion to the Spani­ards, our common enemy; finally our factory established there in the year 1633. and trading du­ring my four years direction, are so much cor­rected and increased, that the Company hath re­markably gained by them, with probability, with good mannagement of more signal advantages: To which end the General and Councel of India caused in Anno 1634. a stone lodge, with fit pack-houses, [Page 152] pleasant apartements, and a commodious landing place, to be builded on the borders of the River Menam, being one of the conveni­entest and best scituated of any that is unfortified in all the Indiaes.

And thus much we found good to discover of the customes and manners of the Kingdom of Siam, being my observations during my eight years residence in the chief City of the Country. I have followed the exact rules of truth, accor­ding to my best knowledge and diligence, in this short relation, remitting the curious to the more large and more particular discourses of better and more exact judgements.


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