A Relation of Two several Voyages made into the East-Indies… containing an exact account of the Customs, Dispositions, Manners, Religion, &c. of the several Kingdoms and Dominions in those Parts of the World in General: But in a more particular manner, Describing those Countries which are under the Power and Government of the Dutch. Christopher FRYKE, Christopher SCHEWITZER.

A Relation of Two several Voyages made into the East-Indies…
A Relation of Two several Voyages made into the East-Indies… containing an exact account of the Customs, Dispositions, Manners, Religion, &c. of the several Kingdoms and Dominions in those Parts of the World in General: But in a more particular manner, Describing those Countries which are under the Power and Government of the Dutch.

London: D. Brown [et al], 1700.

Octavo, pp. [xvi], 358, [ii]; an excellent crisp copy in contemporary dark calf, carefully repaired at joints preserving original gilt spine panels and label.

When he stood upon the Plank...

First edition in English, translated from the Dutch by "S.L.". and a scarce and interesting book, with detailed descriptions of the Cape of Good Hope, Mauritius, Java, Ceylon, Formosa and Japan. Fryke, a surgeon with the VOC, tells the story of his voyages in the 1680s around the flourishing Dutch settlements in the East Indies. His compatriot Schewitzer's description of his wanderings in the region, from 1675 to 1683, include detailed descriptions of Ceylon, the pearl-fisheries and gem mines, and finish with his shipwreck and fortunate rescue. These were stirring times, as both authors' accounts make clear, with some evident enjoyment at describing terrible punishments meted out at sea and on land.

First edition in English, translated from the Dutch by "S.L.". and a scarce and interesting book, with detailed descriptions of the Cape of Good Hope, Mauritius, Java, Ceylon, Formosa and Japan. Fryke, a surgeon with the VOC, tells the story of his voyages in the 1680s around the flourishing Dutch settlements in the East Indies. His compatriot Schewitzer's description of his wanderings in the region, from 1675 to 1683, include detailed descriptions of Ceylon, the pearl-fisheries and gem mines, and finish with his shipwreck and fortunate rescue. These were stirring times, as both authors' accounts make clear, with some evident enjoyment at describing terrible punishments meted out at sea and on land.

Of particular interest is what may well be the earliest description in print of Walking the Plank (p.151) where a Venetian soldier travelling with the ship was punished for sodomy and the cruel sentence carried out: 'But the Venetian was not at all concerned; and when he stood upon the Plank, ready to be thrown off, he begged for nothing but a draught of Arack. The Master told him, he should have drink enough in an instant, and desired him to consider of his latter end, and to provide for futurity, but all Remonstrances were in vain to the last, and so he was thrown over'. Traditionally the earliest description cited for the plank has been for a usage of 1769, when a seaman named George Wood is supposed to have confessed to a chaplain in Newgate Prison that he and his shipmates had forced others to 'walk the plank' (cited, among other references, by Douglas Botting in his The Pirates (1978)).

A modern edition (London, Cassell and Co., 1929) noted that "Mr. Christopher Frick and Mr. Christopher Schweitzer, neither of them was a man of mark, nor took any prominent part in great events. They were both minor employees of the Dutch East India Company; the one a surgeon, the other a volunteer who went out as a ship's steward, and filled various subordinate posts, ashore and afloat, in the East Indies. They were engaged, for the most part, in the humdrum routine of trade, administration, and police in Eastern Seas and islands. For this very reason, they present us with a livelier picture of everyday life in the great overseas Empire of the 17th century Netherlands…their accounts of life on board a Dutch East Indiaman, of battles and shipwrecks, of seaports from Colombo to Nagasaki, of Cape Hottentots, Chinese traders, Cingalese pearl fishers, and Javanese villagers, are vivid, detailed, and trustworthy."

Provenance: Philip Yorke, 1st Earl of Hardwicke (1690-1764), lawyer and politician, Lord High Chancellor (with armorial bookplate); with Maggs Bros., London, in 1983; private collection (Sydney).

Cox, I, 282; Lach and Van Kley, III, pp. 540-2; Wing, F2211.

Price (AUD): $6,850.00  other currencies Ref: #4505110