The Fortunate River

There is an infinity of other islands. There is no reason to say more, only that all have gold and slaves and trade with one another, and the small ones do this in the larger ones that have been mentioned, and the larger ones trade with Malacca, and Malacca with them, spending and bartering the merchandise. Most of these islands have gold, and they also have corsairs and robbers who live by that alone. The corsairs only sail in light paraos and therefore they do not attack junks. And the corsairs who are nearest to Pahang make in Pahang their trading ports, and those near the Moluccas and Banda trade in Bima and Sumbawa and Sapeh, and those near us hold a fair and trade in Aru and in Arcat, Rupat. They bring countless slaves, and therefore a large number of slaves are used in Malacca, because they all go there on account of the great trade it has, more than all the kingdoms and ports over here; and so it is called the fortunate river. There are certainly great sailings from here; no trading port as large as Malacca is known, nor any where they deal in such fine and highly-prized merchandise. Goods from all over the east are found here; goods from all over the west are sold here. There is no doubt that the affairs of Malacca are of great importance, and of much profit and great honour. It is a land [that] cannot depreciate, on account of its position, but must always grow. It is at the end of the monsoons, where you find what you want, and sometimes more than you are looking for.
from The Suma Oriental of Tomé Pires, Vol. 1, p. 228

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