Of the region of Sous. Now comes the region of Sus to be considered of, being situated beyond [the] Atlas, over against the territorie of Hea, that is to say, in the extreme part of Africa. Westward it beginneth from the Ocean sea, and southward from the sandie deserts: on the north it is bounded with the utmost towne of Hea; and on the east with that mightie river [Sous] whereof the whole region is named. Wherefore beginning from the west, we will describe all those cities and places which shall seem to be worthy of memorie.
Of the towne of Messa. Three small townes were built by the ancient Africans upon the sea shore (each being a mile distant from other) in that very place where Atlas takes his beginning: all which three are called by one only name, to wit, Messa, and are environed with a wall built of white stones. Through these three runneth a certain great river called Sous in their language: this river in summer is so destitute of water, that a man may easily without peril pass over it on foot; but it is not so in the winter time. They have then certain small barkes, which are not meet to sail upon this river. The place where the foresaid three townes are situated, aboundeth greatly with palm trees, neither have they in a manner any other wealth ; and yet their dates are but of small worth, because they will not last above one year. All the inhabitants exercise husbandry, especially in the months of September and April; what time their river increaseth. And in May their corn grows to ripeness. But if in the two aforesaid moneths the river increaseth not according to the wonted manner, their harvest is then nothing worth. Cattle are very scarce among them. Not far from the seaside they have a temple, which they greatly esteem and honour. Out of which, Historiographers say, that the same prophet, of whom their great Mahomet foretold, should proceed. Yea, some there are which stick not to affirm, that the prophet Jonas was cast forth by the whale upon the shore of Messa, when as he was sent to preach unto the Ninevites. The rafters and beames of the Great store of said temple are of whale’s bone. And it is a usual thing amongst them, to see whales of an huge and monstrous bigness cast up dead upon their shore, which by reason of their hugeness and strange deformity, may...astonish the beholders. The common people imagine, that, by reason of a certain secret power and virtue infused from heaven by God upon the said temple, each whale which would swim past it can by no means escape death. Which opinion had almost persuaded me; especially when at my being there, I my self saw a mighty whale cast up: unless a certain Jewe had told me, that it was no such strange matter: for (quoth he) there lie certain rocks two miles into the sea on either side; and as the sea moves, so the whales move also; and if they chance to light upon a rock, they are easily wounded to death, and so are cast upon the next shore. This reason more prevailed with me than the opinion of the people. My selfe (I remember), being in this region at the same time when my Lord the Sherif ruled over it, was invited by a certain gentleman, and was by him conducted to a whales’ rib garden: where he shewed me a whale’s rib of so great a size, that lying upon the grounde with the convex or bowing side upward in manner of an arch, it resembled a gate, the hollow or inwarde part whereof aloft we could not touch with our heads, as we rode upon our camels backs: this rib (he said) had lain there above an hundred years, and was kept as a miracle. Here may you find upon the sea-shore great store of amber[gris], which the Portugal, & Fezzan merchants fetch from there for a very mean [high] price: for they scarcely pay a dukat for a whole...choise and excellent amber[gris]. Amber[gris] (as some think) is made of whales dung, and (as others suppose) of the Sperma or seede, which being consolidated and hardened by the sea, is cast upon the next shore.
Of Teyeut, an ancient towne of Sus.Teyeut being (as the report goeth) built by the ancient Africans in a most pleasant place, is divided into three parts, whereof each one is almost a mile distant from another, and they all make a triangle or three-square. This Teyeut containeth fewer [than a] thousand families, and standeth not far from the river of Sus. The soil adjacent is most fruitful for grain, for barley, and for all store of sugar, kinds of pulse [beans]. They have here likewise a good quantity of sugar growing; howbeit, because they know not how to press, boil, and trim it, they cannot have it but black and unsauory: wherefore so much as they can spare, they sell unto the merchants of Marocco, of Fez, and of the land of Negroes. Of dates likewise they have plenty ; neither use they any money besides the gold which is digged out of their owne native soil. The women wear upon their heads a peice of cloth worth a dukat. Silver they have none, but such as their women adorn themselves with. The least iron-coine used amongst them, weighs almost an ounce. No fruits take plentifully upon their soil, but only figs, grapes, peaches, and dates. Neither oil nor olives are here to be found, except such as are brought from certain mountains of Marocco. A measure of oil is sold at Sus for fifteen dukats; which measure containeth an hundred and fifty pounds Italian weight. Their pieces of gold (because they have no certain nor proportionable money) do weigh, seven of them & one third part, one ounce. Their ounce was all one with the Italian ounce: but their pound containeth eighteen ounces, and is called in their language Ratl; and an hundred Ratl make one such measure of oil as is aforesaid. For carrying of merchandize from place to place, their custome is to pay for a camels load, that is, for 700 pounds of Italian weight, 3 pieces of gold, especially in the springtime: for in summer they pay somtimes 5 and somtimes 6 pieces of gold, as the time requireth. Here is that excellent leather dressed, which is called leather of Marocco ; twelve hides whereof are here sold for six Cordovan leather of dukats, and at Fez for eight. That part of this region Marocco which lies toward [the] Atlas [Mountains] has many villages, townes, and hamlets: but the south part thereof is utterly destitute of inhabitants, and subiect to the Arabians which border upon it. In the midst of this city stands a fair and stately temple, which they call The Greatest, and the Chiefest, through the very midst whereof they have caused a part of the foresaid river to rune. The inhabitants are stern and uncivil, being so continually exercised in wars, that they have not one day of quiet. Each part of the city has a...captain and governour, who all of them together do rule the commonwealth: but their authority continueth never above three months, which being expired, three other are chosen in their...[place]. Their apparel is somewhat like unto that of the people of Hea: saving that some of them make their shirts, and other of their garments of a certain kinde of white stuff.