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A New Voyage Round the World by a Course Never Sailed Before   By: (1661?-1731)

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A NEW VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD,

BY A Course never sailed before.

BEING

A VOYAGE undertaken by some MERCHANTS, who afterwards proposed the Setting up an East India Company in FLANDERS.

LONDON:

Printed for A. BETTESWORTH, at the Red Lyon , in Pater Noster Row ; and W. MEARS, at the Lamb , without Temple Bar . M.DCC.XXV.

NEW VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD.

It has for some ages been thought so wonderful a thing to sail the tour or circle of the globe, that when a man has done this mighty feat, he presently thinks it deserves to be recorded like Sir Francis Drake's. So soon as men have acted the sailor, they come ashore and write books of their voyage, not only to make a great noise of what they have done themselves, but pretending to show the way to others to come after them, they set up for teachers and chart makers to posterity. Though most of them have had this misfortune, that whatever success they have had in the voyage, they have had very little in the relation; except it be to tell us, that a seaman when he comes to the press, is pretty much out of his element, and a very good sailor may make but a very indifferent author.

I do not in this, lessen the merit of those gentlemen who have made such a long voyage as that round the globe; but I must be allowed to say, as the way is now a common road, the reason of it thoroughly known, and the occasion of it more frequent than in former times, so the world has done wondering at it; we no more look upon it as a mighty thing, a strange and never heard of undertaking; this cannot be now expected of us, the thing is made familiar, every ordinary sailor is able to do it, if his merchants are but qualified to furnish him for so long a voyage; and he that can carry a ship to Lisbon, may with the same ease carry it round the world.

Some tell us, it is enough to wonder at a thing nine days, one would reasonably then conclude, that it is enough that sailing round the world has been wondered at above a hundred years. I shall therefore let the reader know, that it is not the rarity of going round the world that has occasioned this publication, but if some incidents have happened in such a voyage, as either have not happened to others, or as no other people, though performing the same voyage have taken notice of, then this account may be worth publishing, though the thing, viz. The Voyage round the World, be in itself of no value.

It is to be observed, of the several navigators whose Voyages round the World have been published, that few, if any of them, have diverted us with that variety which a circle of that length must needs offer. We have a very little account of their landings, their diversions, the accidents which happened to them, or to others by their means; the stories of their engagements, when they have had any scuffle either with natives, or European enemies, are told superficially and by halves; the storms and difficulties at sea or on shore, have nowhere a full relation; and all the rest of their accounts are generally filled up with directions for sailors coming that way, the bearings of the land, the depth of the channels, entrances, and bars, at the several ports, anchorage in the bays, and creeks, and the like things, useful indeed for seamen going thither again, and how few are they? but not at all to the purpose when we come expecting to find the history of the voyage.

Another sort of these writers have just given us their long journals, tedious accounts of their log work, how many leagues they sailed every day; where they had the winds, when it blew hard, and when softly; what latitude in every observation, what meridian distance, and what variation of the compass. Such is the account of Sir John Narborough's Voyage to the South Seas, adorned with I know not how many charts of the famous Strait of Magellan, a place only now famous for showing the ignorance of Sir John Narborough, and a great many wise gentlemen before him, and for being a passage they had no need to have troubled themselves with, and which nobody will ever go through anymore... Continue reading book >>




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