WEll néere all writers, with one con∣sent doe teach, that India is the no∣blest part of the whole globe of ye earth: and that there is no greater Countrey comprehended vnder one name. It is so called of the riuer Indus. The space of India, according to Strabo and Pliny, is closed in the West with the Riuer In∣dus: on the North, with the hill Tau∣rus: and the East, with the East season the West, with his owne sea, to wit, with the Indian sea. It is diuided into two Countryes, the Riuer Ganges run∣ning betwéene: one of which, that is Westerly, is called within Ganges: the other, that lyeth more to the East, is sur∣named, without Ganges. In the holye Scripture we read, that the one is called Euila, and the other Seria, as Niger te∣stifieth, Marcus Paulus of Uenice séem∣eth to deuide it into thrée, into the more, the lesse, and the middlemost: which he saith, is called Abasia.
All this India, is not onely happie, for the great store of people and townes almost innumerable, but also for the a∣bundaunce of all things, copper and lead onely excepted, if we giue credite to Pli∣nie. As the riuers there are very many, so are they very great, through whose watry ouerflowing it commeth to passe, that in the moyst grounde, the force of the Sunne approaching, ingendreth or bringeth foorth all things in great quan∣titie: and seemeth almost to fill the whole worlde, with Spice and Precious stoanes. Of which, it aboundeth more than all other Countreyes of the worlde.
There are manye Ilandes ioyning vnto it, héere and there scattered in hir Occean; so that worthely a man may •at hir, the worlde of Ilands. First of all, therein is Iapan, which is called of Marcus Paulus the Uenetian, Zipan∣gri: which for that fewe yeares past, it was not knowen of manye, I thinke good in this place to speake some-what of it.
The Ilande stretcheth farre abroad, and hath almost the same eleuation, of heauen, that Italy heere in Europe hath. The Inhabitaunts are very denout, bée∣ing much giuen to Religion, learning, and wiseddine, and are very earnest ser∣chers out of the truth. They vse nothin•• more than prayer, which after our man∣ner; they exercise in their Churches.
They acknowledge one Prince, vpon whose rule and becke they doe depende: but he also, hath one aboue him, called of them Voo, in whose power is the greatest authoritie of holy things, and Religion: perhaps, the one maye be ly∣kened to the Pope, the other to the Em∣perour, to him the common people doe commit with all r•a•rence, the saluati∣on of their soules. They adore one God alone, portrayed with thrée heads, wher∣of notwithstanding, they are able to giue no reason. They studie to kéepe downe their bodies with fasting, for a testimonye of repentaunce. They fence themselues with the signe of the Crosse, against the inuasions of the Diuell, as we doe: so that both in Religion, and also in manner of life, they séeme to fol∣lowe Christians.
There are also the worthy Ilands of Moluccus, renowned for the fruiteful∣nesse of spices, and famous for the Birde of them called Manucodiata, which wée call the Bird of Paradise, Sumatra, is al∣so an Iland knowen of the auncients, in times past tearmed Taprobana. There are manye other, as Iaua Maior, and Minor, Bornio, Timor, and others, all which are to bée séene in the Carde, or Mappe.
Page [unnumbered]These Indius the Auncients haue sit with with great praises, Diodorus Sio••∣lus, Herodotus, Pliny, Strabo, O•ute••••, and A•ianos in the life of Alexander the great. There is •••ant, also • letter of Alexander the great, written to Ari∣stotle, touching the scituation of India. Of the late Writers, ••udouicus Varto∣manus, Maxi•han•• de Transiluanus, •o∣anues Barteus, in his Decades of Asia, and Cosmas Indopleates, whome Petrus Gellius reciteth Ipan Macer a Lawyer hath also written thrée bookes of the Hi∣stor•es of India.