From the introduction:
…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.