A Relation of Two Several Voyages made into the East-Indies...
FRYKE Christopher &; SCHEWITZER Christopher (1700.)
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THE FIRST DESCRIPTION OF WALKING THE PLANK
First English edition. 8vo. Very good unrestored contemporary speckled calf, spine gilt, [viii], 358, ads.pp. London, Brown, Crouch, Knapton et al.,
Physician on the Dutch East-Indiaman Termate, which was wrecked on the coast of South Africa in 1680, Fryke was forced to proceed to Cape Town with the surviving forty men (of 300). He continued his journey to Batavia in the Europa from where he describes the Dutch war with the native population and "How insolently the Javians behaved themselves towards the Dutch". Fryke makes a further voyage to Japan, as well as visiting Bali, Ceylon and the Cape. The book, which is a most picturesque account of life in the VOC, also contains the first description of walking the plank. This fate befell a Venetian named Nicolao "and when he stood upon the Plank, ready to be thrown off, he begged for nothing but a glass of Arack. The Master told him he should have drink enough in an instant..." This harsh punishment was in response to the boatswain catching Nicolao engaged in an act of sodomy with two of the ship's boys, aged eighteen and thirteen. The two boys were also cast into the sea. Fryke finds buried treasure and also gives a very interesting account of the the use of diving bells in the Ceylon pearl fishery. Scheweitzer, a VOC volunteer who went out as a ship's steward, provides a complimentary account that is no less salty, including encounters with pirates, shipwreck, miraculous escape etc.
This copy was bought in London at the end of 1699 for four shillings, it bears an early signature, Robert Kirktowne, plus the armorial bookplate of the Hon. George Baillie "one of the Lords of the Treasury 1724."
Stock Code: 234106