-In trouble to be troubled,
Is to have your trouble doubled.-
Nor did his remarks end here,
making observations upon my improvement,
and on my condition at first,
infinitely worse than theirs,
he told me that Englishmen had,
in their distress,
greater presence of mind than those of any other country that he had met with;
and that they and the Portuguese were the worst men in the world to struggle under misfortunes.
When they landed among the savages,
they found but little provision except they would turn cannibals,
there being but a few roots and herbs,
with little substance in them,
and of which the natives gave them but very sparingly.
Many were the ways they took to civilize and teach the savages,
but in vain;
for they would not own them to be their instructors,
whose lives were owing to their bounty.
Their extremities were very great and many days being entirely without food,
the savages there being more indolent and less devouring than those who had better supplies.
When they went out to battle they were obliged to assist these people,
in one of which my faithful Spaniard being taken,
had like to have been devoured.
They had lost their ammunition,
which rendered their fire-arms useless;
nor could they use the bows and arrows that were given them,
so that while the armies were at a distance,
they had no chance but when close,
then they could be of service with halberts,
& sharpened sticks put into the muzzles of their muskets.
They made themselves targets of wood covered with the skins of wild beasts;
and when one happened to be knocked down,
the rest of the company fought over him till he recovered;
and then standing close in a line,
they would make their way through a thousand savages.
At the return of their friend,
who they thought had been entombed in the bowels of their enemies,
their joy was inconceivable.
Nor were they less surprised at the sight of the loaves of bread I had sent them,
things that they had not seen for several years,
at the same time crossing and blessing it,
as though it was manna sent from Heaven: but when they knew the errand,
and perceived the boat which was to carry them back to the person and place from whence such relief came,
this struck them with such a surprise of joy as made some of them faint away,
and others burst out into tears.
This was the summary account that I had from them.
I shall now inform the reader what I next did for them,
and in what condition I left them.
As we were all of opinion that the savages would scarce trouble them any more,
so we had no apprehensions on the score.
I told them I was come purely to establish,
and not to remove them;
and upon that occasion,
had not only brought them necessaries for convenience and defence,
but also artificers,
and other persons,
both for their necessary employments,
and to add to their number.
They were altogether when I thus talked to them;
and before I delivered to them the stores I brought,
I asked them,
one by one,
if they had entirely forgot their first animosities,
would engage in the strictest friendship;
and shake hands with one another?
On this Will Atkins,
with abundance of good humour,
-they had afflictions enough to make them all sober,
and enemies enough to make them all friends: as for himself,
he would live and die among them,
owning that what the Spaniards had done to him,
his own mad humour had made necessary for them to do-.
Nor had the Spaniards occasion to justify their proceeding to me;
but they told me,
-that since Will Atkins had behaved himself so valiantly in fight,
and at other times showed such a regard to the common interest of them all,
they had not only forgotten all that was past,
but thought he ought as much to be trusted with arms and necessaries as any of them,
which they testified by making him next in command to the governor: and they most heartily embraced the occasion of giving me this solemn assurance,
that they would never separate their interest again,
as long as they lived-.
After these kind declarations of friendship,
we appointed all of us to dine together the next day;
upon this I caused the ship's cook and his mate to come on shore for that purpose,
to assist in dressing our dinner.
We brought from the ship six pieces of beef,
and four of pork,
together with our punch bowl,
and materials to fill it;
and in particular I gave them ten bottles of French claret,
and ten of English beer,
which was very acceptable to them.
The Spaniards added to our feast,
five whose kids,
which being roasted,
three of them were sent as fresh meat to the sailors on board,
and the other two we ate ourselves.
After our merry and innocent feast was over,
I began to distribute my cargo among them.
I gave them linen sufficient to make every one four shirts,
and at the Spaniard's request made them up six.
The thin English stuffs I allotted to make every one a light coat like a frock,
agreeable to the climate,
and left them such a quantity as to make more upon their decay;
as also pumps,
It is not to be expressed the pleasing satisfaction which sat upon the countenances of these poor men,
when they perceived what care I took of them,
as if I had been a common father to them all;
and they all engaged never to leave the island,
till I gave my consent for their departure.
I then presented to them the people I brought,
and the two carpenters;
but my Jack-of-all-trades was the most acceptable present I could make them.
My tailor fell immediately to work,
and made every one of them a shirt;
he learned the women how to sew and stitch,
thereby to become the more helpful to their husbands.
Neither were the carpenters less useful,
taking in pieces their clumsy things;
instead of which they made convenient and handsome tables,
But when I carried them to see Will Atkins's basket-house,
they owned they never saw such a piece of natural ingenuity before: -I am sure,- said one of the carpenters,
-the man that built this has no need of us;
do nothing but give him tools.-
I divided the tools among them in this manner: to every man I gave a digging spade,
and a rake,
as having no harrows or ploughs;
and to every separate place a pickax,
a broad ax,
and a saw,
with a store for a general supply,
should any be broken or worn out.
I left them also nails,
and all sorts of tools and iron work;
& for the use of the smith,
gave them three tons of unwrought iron,
for a supply;
and as to arms and ammunition,
I stored them even to profusion;
or at least to equip a sufficient little army against all opposers whatsoever.
The young man (whose mother was unfortunately starved to death) together with the maid,
a pious and well educated young woman,
seeing things so well ordered on shore (for I made them accompany me) and considering they had no occasion to go so far a voyage as to the East Indies,
they both desired of me,
that I would leave them there,
and enter them among my subjects.
This I readily agreed to,
ordering them a plat of ground,
on which were three little houses erected,
environed with basket-work,
pallisadoed like Atkins's and adjoining to his plantation.
So contrived were their tents that each of them had a room apart to lodge in,
while the middle tent was not only their store-house,
but their place for eating and drinking.
At this time the two Englishmen removed their habitation to their former place;
in that now the island was divided into three colonies: first,
Those I have just now mentioned;
secondly That of Will Atkins,
where there were four families of Englishmen,
with their wives and children,
the widow and her children;
the young man and the maid,
by the way,
we made a wife of before our departure;
who were slaves;
(who served also as a gunsmith) and my other celebrated person called Jack-of-all-trades.
my chief colony,
which consisted of the Spaniards,
with Old Friday,
who still remained at my old habitation,
which was my capital city,
and surely never was there such a metropolis,
it now being hid in so obscure a grove,
that a thousand men might have ranged the island a month,
and looked purposely for it,
without being able to find it,
though the Spaniards had enlarged its boundaries,
both without and within,
in a most surprising manner.
But now I think it high time to speak of the young French priest of the order of St. Benedict,
whose judicious and pious discourses,
upon sundry occasions,
merit an extraordinary observation;
nor can his being a French Papist priest,
give offence to any of my readers,
when they have this assurance from me,
that he was a person of the most courteous disposition,
and exalted piety.
His arguments were always agreeable to reason,
and his conversation the most acceptable of any person that I had ever yet met with in my life.
-Sir,- said he,
under God,- at the same time crossing his breast,
-you have not only saved my life;
by permitting me to go this voyage,
have granted me the happiness of free conversation,
I think is my duty as my profession obliges me,
to save what souls I can,
by bringing them to the knowledge of some Catholic doctrine,
necessary to salvation;
and since these people are under your immediate government,
for what you have done for me,
I shall offer no farther points in religion,
that what shall merit your approbation-.
Being a-pleased with the modesty of his carriage,
I told him he should not be worse used for being of a different persuasion,
if upon that very account,
we did not differ in points of faith,
not decent in a part of the country where the poor Indians ought to be instructed in the knowledge of the true God,
and his Son Jesus Christ.
To this he replied,
that conversation might easily be separated from disputes;
that he would discourse with me rather as a gentleman than a religious: but that,
if we did enter upon religious argument,
upon my desiring the same,
I would give him liberty to defend his own principles.
He farther added,
that he would do all that became him in his office,
as a priest as well as a Christian,
to procure the happiness of all that were in the ship: that though he could not pray with,
he would pray for us on all occasions;
and then he told me several extraordinary events of his life,
within a few years past;
but particularly in this last,
which was the most remarkable: that,
in this voyage,
he had the misfortune to be five times shipped and unshipped: his first design was to have gone to Martinico;
taking ship at St. Malos,
he was forced into Lisbon by bad weather,
the vessel running aground in the mouth of the Tagus;
that from thence he went on board a Portuguese ship,
bound to the Madeiras,
whose master being but an indifferent mariner,
and out of his reckoning,
they were drove to Fial,
where selling their commodity,
which was corn,
they resolved to take in their loading at the Isle of May,
and to sail to Newfoundland;
at the banks of which,
meeting a French ship bound to Quebec,
in the river of Canada,
and from thence to Martinico,
in this ship he embarked;
the master of which dying at Quebec,
that voyage was suspended;
shipping himself for France,
this last ship was destroyed by fire,
as before has been related.
At this time we talked no further;
but another morning he comes to me,
just as I was going to visit the Englishman's colony,
and tells me,
that as he knew;
the prosperity of the island,
was my principal desire,
he had something to communicate agreeable to my design,
by which perhaps he might put it,
more than he yet thought it was,
in the way of the benediction of heaven.
Sir,- said I,
in a surprise,
-are we not yet in the way of God's blessings,
after all these signal providences and deliverances,
of which you have had such an ample relation?- He replied,
you are in the way,
and that your good design will prosper: but still there are some among you that are not equally right in their actions;
I beseech you,
by his crime,
removed God's blessing from the camp of the children of Israel;
that though six and thirty where entirely innocent,
yet they became the object of divine vengeance,
and bore the weight of his punishment accordingly.-
So sensibly was I touched with this discourse,
and so satisfied with that ardent piety that inflamed his soul,
that I desired him to accompany me to the Englishman's plantations,
which he was very glad of,
by reason they were the subject of what he designed to discourse with me about: and while we walked on together,
he began in the following manner:
I must confess it as a great unhappiness that we disagree in several doctrinal articles of religion;
but surely both of us acknowledge this,
that there is a God,
who having given us some stated rules for our service and obedience,
we ought not willingly and knowingly to offend him;
either by neglecting what he has commanded,
or by doing what he has forbidden.
This truth every Christian owns,
that when any one presumptuously sins against God's command,
the Almighty then withdraws his blessing from him;
every good man therefore ought certainly to prevent such neglect of,
or sin against,
God and his commands."
I thanked the young priest for expressing so great a concern for us,
and desired him to explain the particulars of what he had observed,
that according to the parable of Achan,
I -might remove the accursed thing from among us- "Why then,
in the first place,
you have four Englishmen,
who have taken savage women to their wives,
by whom they have several children,
though none of them are legally married,
as the law of God and man requires;
are no less than adulterers,
and as they still live in adultery,
are liable to the curse of God.
you may object the want of a priest or clergyman of any kind;
ink and paper,
to write down a contract of marriage,
and have it signed between them.
But neither this,
nor what the Spanish governor has told you of their choosing by consent,
can be reckoned a marriage,
nor any more than an agreement to keep them from quarrelling among themselves;
the essence or sacrament of matrimony (so he called it) not only consists in mutual consent,
but in the legal obligation,
which compels them to own and acknowledge one another,
to abstain from other persons,
the men to provide for their wives and children,
and the woman to the same and like conditions,
-nutatis mutandis,- on their side: whereas,
upon their own pleasure,
on any occasion,
may forsake those women and marry others,
and by disowning their children,
suffer them utterly to perish.
'can God be honoured in such an unlawful liberty as this;
how can a blessing succeed to the best endeavours,
if men are allowed to live in so licentious a way?"
I was indeed struck with the thing myself,
and thought that they were much to blame,
that no formal contract had been made,
though it had been but breaking a stick between them,
to engage them to live as man and wife,
never to separate,
and comfort one another all their lives;
-yet Sir,- said I,
-when they took these wommen,
I was not here,
and if it is adultery,
it is past my remedy,
and I cannot help it-.
answered the young priest,
you cannot be charged with that part of the crime which was done in your absence: but I beseech you,
don't flatter yourself,
that you are under no obligation now to put a period to it: which if you neglect to do,
the guilt will be entirely on you alone,
since it is certainly in nobody's power but yours,
to alter their condition."
I must confess,
I was so dull,
that I thought he meant,
I should part them,
and knowing that this would put the whole island in confusion,
I told him,
I could not consent to it upon any account whatsoever.
in a great surprise,
'I do not mean that you should separate,
but marry them,
by a written contract,
signed by both man and woman,
and by all the witnesses present,
which all the European laws decree to be of sufficient efficacy."
Amazed with such true piety and sincerity,
and considering the validity of a written contract,
I acknowledged all that he said to be very just and kind,
and that I would discourse with the man about it;
neither could I see what reason they could have not to let him marry them,
whose authority in that affair is owned to be as authentic as if they were married by any of our clergymen in England.
The next complaint he had to make to me was this,
that though these English subjects of mine have lived with these women seven years,
and though they were of good understanding,
and capable of instruction,
having learned not only to speak,
but to read English,
yet all this while they had never taught them any thing of the Christian religion,
or the knowledge of God,
much less in what manner he ought to be served.
"And is not this an unaccountable neglect:' said he warmly.
'Depend upon it,
God Almighty will call them to account for such contempt.
And though I am not of your religion,
yet I should be glad to see these people released from the devil's power,
and be saved by the principles of the Christian religion,
the knowledge of God,
of a Redeemer,
and of a future state.
But as it is not too late,
if you please to give me leave to instruct them,
I doubt not but I shall supply this great defect,
by bringing them into the great circle of Christianity,
even while you continue in the island."
I could hold no longer,
but embracing him,
with a thousand thanks,
I would grant whatever he requested,
and desired him to proceed in the third article,
which he did in the following manner;
'it should be a maxim among all Christians,
that Christian knowledge ought to be propagated by all possible means,
and on all occasion.
Upon this account our church sends missionaries into Persia,
men who are willing to die for the sake of God & the Christian faith,
in order to bring poor infidels into the way of salvation.
as here is an opportunity to convert seven & thirty poor savages,
I wonder how you can pass by such an occasion of doing good,
which is really worth the expence of a man's whole life."
I must confess I was so confounded at this discourse,
that I could not tell how to answer him.
feeling me in disorder,
'I shall be very sorry if I have given you offence."
-No Sir,- said I,
-I am rather confounded;
and you know my circumstances,
that being bound to the East Indies in a merchant ship,
I cannot wrong the owners so much,
as to detain the ship here,
the men lying at victuals and savages on their account.
If I stay aboard several days,
I must pay 3l.
sterling- per diem -demurage,
nor must the ship stop above eight days more;
so that I am unable to engage in this work,
unless I would leave the ship,
and be reduced to my former condition.- The priest,
though he owned this was hard upon me,
yet laid it to my conscience,
whether the blessing of saving seven and thirty souls was not worth venturing all that I had in the world?
-Sir,- said I,
-it is very true;
but as you are an ecclesiastic,
it naturally falls into your profession: why,
don't you rather offer to undertake it yourself than press me to it?- upon this he turned about,
making a very low bow,
"I most humbly thank God and you,
(said he) for so blessed a call;
and most willingly undertake so glorious an office,
which will sufficiently compensate all the hazards and difficulties I have gone through in a long and uncomfortable voyage."
While he was thus speaking,
I could discover a rapture in his face,
by his colour going and coming;
at the same time his eyes sparkled like fire,
and all the signs of the most zealous transports.
And when I asked whether he was in earnest?
-Sir,- said he,
-it was to preach to the Indians I consented to come along with you;
even in this little island,
are infinitely of more worth than my poor life: if so that I should prove the happy instrument of saving these poor creatures' souls,
I care not if I never see my native country again.
One thing I only beg of you more is,
that you would leave Friday with me,
to be my interpreter,
without whose assistance neither of us will understand each other.-
This request very sensibly troubled me;
upon Friday's being bred a Protestant;
for the affection I bore to him for his fidelity: But,
immediately the remembrance of Friday's father coming into my head,
I recommended him to him as having learned Spanish,
which the priest also understood;
and so was thoroughly satisfied with him.
When we came to the Englishmen,
after I had told them what necessary things I had done for them,
I talked to them of the scandalous life they led,
told them what notice the clergyman had taken of it,
and asked them if they were married men or bachelors?
two of them were widowers,
and the other three single men.
with what conscience can you call these your wives,
by whom you have so many children,
and yet are not lawfully married?
They all said that they took them before the governor as such,
having nobody else to marry them,
which they thought as legal,
as if they had had a parson.
but in the eye of God it is so: but unless I am assured of your honest intent,
never to desert these poor creatures,
I can do nothing more for you,
neither can you expect God's blessing while you live in such an open course of adultery.
who spoke for the rest,
'That they believed their wives the most innocent and virtuous creatures in the world;
that they would never forsake them while they had breath;
if there was a clergyman in the ship,
they would be married to them with all their hearts.'
I told you before,
that I have a minister with me,
who shall marry you to-morrow morning,
if you are willing;
so I would have you consult to-night with the rest about it.
I told him the clergyman was a Frenchman,
and knew not a word of English,
but that I would act as clerk between them.
And indeed this business met with such speedy success,
that they all told me,
in a few minutes after,
'that they were ready to be formally married as soon as I pleased;'
with which informing the priest,
he was exceedingly rejoiced.
Nothing now remained,
but that the women should be made sensible of the meaning of the thing;
with which being well satisfied,
they with their husbands attended at my apartment the next morning;
there was my priest,
habited in a black vest,
something like a cassock,
with a sash round it;
much resembling a minister,
and I was his interpreter.
But the seriousness of his behaviour,
and the scruples he made of marrying the women,
who were not baptized,
an exceeding reverence for his person: nor indeed would he marry them at all,
till he obtained my liberty to discourse both with the men and women,
and then he told them,
'That in the sight of all indifferent men,
and in the sense of the laws of society,
they had lived in open adultery,
which nothing new,
but their consent to marry,
or final separation,
could put an end to;
and even here was a difficulty with respect to the laws of Christian matrimony,
in marrying a professed Christian to a heathen idolater,
but yet there was time enough to make them profess the name of Christ,
without which nothing could be done;
he believed themselves very indifferent Christians;
and consequently had not discoursed with their wives upon that subject;
and that unless they promised him to do so,
he could not marry them,
as being expressly forbidden by the laws of God.'
All this they heard attentively,
and owned readily.
Sir,- said Will Atkins to me -how could we teach them religion,
who know nothing of it ourselves?
How can we talk to our wives of God,
Why they would only laugh at us,
who never yet have practiced religion,
but on the contrary all manner of wickedness.
Will Atkins,- said I,
-cannot you tell your wife she is in the wrong,
and that her gods are idols,
which can neither speak nor understand;
but that our God,
who has made,
can destroy all things;
that he rewards the good and punishes the wicked;
and at last will bring us to judgment;
cannot you tell her these things?
That's true,- said Atkins,
-but then she'll tell me it is utterly false,
since I am not punished and sent to the devil,
who hath been such a wicked creature.- These words I interpreted to the priest.
his repentance will make him a very good minister to his spouse,
and qualify him to preach on the mercy and long suffering of a merciful Being,
who desires not the death of a sinner,
and even defers damnation to the last judgment;
this will lead him to the doctrine of the resurrection and will make him an excellent preacher to his wife."
I repeated this to Atkins,
who being more than ordinary affected with it,
-I know all this,
and a great deal more;
but how can I have the impudence to talk thus to my wife,
given my conscience witnesses against me?
Alas!- said he (with tears in his eye,
and giving a great sigh) -as for repenting,
that is for ever past me.
Atkins,- said I,
-what do you mean?
You know well enough,- said he,
-what I mean,
I mean it is too late.-
When I told the priest what he said,
the poor affectionate man could not refrain from weeping;
but recovering himself "Pray,
"ask him if he is contented that it is too late;
or is he concerned,
and wishes it were not so?"
This question I put fairly to Atkins,
who replied in a passion,
-How can I be easy in a state which I know must terminate in my ruin?
for I really believe,
some time or other,
I shall cut my threat,
to put a period both to my life,
and to the terrors of my conscience.-
the clergyman shook his head,
"pray tell him it is not too late;
Christ will give him repentance,
if he has recourse to the merit of his passion.
Does he think he is beyond the power of Divine mercy?
There may indeed be a time when provoked mercy will no longer strive,
but never too late for men to repent in this world."
I told Atkins every word the priest had said,
who then parted from us to walk with his wife,
while we discoursed with the rest.
But these were very stupid in religious matters;
yet all of them promised to do their endeavours to make their wives turn Christians;
and upon which promises the priest married the three couple.
But as Atkins was the only sincere convert and of more sense than the rest,
my clergyman was earnestly inquiring after him:
"let us walk out of this labyrinth,
& I dare say we shall find this poor man preaching to his wife already."
And indeed we found it true;
for coming to the edge of the wood,
we perceived Atkins and his savage wife sitting under the shade of a bush,
in very earnest discourse;
he pointed to the sun,
to the quarters of the earth,
and the trees.
Immediately we could perceive him start upon his feet,
fall down upon his knees,
and lift up both his hands;
at which the tears ran down my clergyman's cheeks;
but our great misfortune was,
we could not hear one word that passed between them.
Another time he would embrace her,
wiping the tears from her eyes,
kissing her with the greatest transports,
and then both kneel down for some minutes together.
Such raptures of joy did this confirm in my young priest,
that he could scarcely contain himself: And a little after this,
we observed by her motion,
as frequently lifting up her hands,
and laying them on her breast,
that she was mightily affected with his discourse,
and so they withdrew from our sight.
When we came back,
we found them both waiting to be called in;
upon which he agreed to examine him alone,
and so I began thus to discourse him.
"what education have you?
What was your father?"
-W.A.- A better man than ever I shall be;
who gave me good instruction,
which I despised like a brute as I was,
and murdered my poor father.
[-Here the priest started and looked pale,
as thinking he had really killed his father-.]
did you kill him with your hands?
I cut not his throat,
but broke his heart by the most unnatural turn of disobedience to the tenderest and best of fathers.
I pray God grant you repentance: I did not ask you to exhort a confession;
but I asked you because I see you have more knowledge of what is good than your companions.
-W.A.- O Sir,
whenever I look back upon my past life,
conscience upbraids me with my father: the sins against our parents make the deepest wounds,
and their weight lies the heaviest upon the mind.
-R.C.- You talk,
too feelingly and sensibly for me;
I am not able to bear it.
-W.A.- You bear it,
you know nothing of it.
-R.C.- But yes,
and every shore,
and tree in this island,
witness the anguish of my soul for my undutifulness to my kind father,
whom I have murdered likewise;
yet my repentance falls infinitely short of yours.
how comes the sense of this matter to touch you just now?
the work you have set me about,
has occasioned it;
for talking to my wife about God and religion,
she has preached me such a sermon,
that I shall retain it in lasting remembrance.
it is your own moving pious arguments to her,
has made conscience fling them back upon you.
inform us what passed between you and your wife,
and in what manner you did begin.
-W.A.- I talked to her of the laws of marriage,
the reason of such compacts,
whereby order and justice is maintained;
without which men would run from their wives and children,
to the dissolution of families or inheritances.
and what did she say to all this?
we began our discourse in the following manner,
which I shall exactly repeat according to my mean capacity,
if you think it worth you while to honour it with your attention.
* * * * *
-The DIALOGUE between WILL ATKINS and his Wife in the wood.-
-Wife.- You tell me marriage God appoint,
have you God in your country?
God is in every nation.
great old Benamuckee God is in my country,
-A.- My dear,
God is in heaven,
which he made;
he also made the earth,
the sea and all that is therein.
-Wife.- Why you no tell me much long ago?
-A.- My dear I have been a wicked wretch,
having a long time lived without the knowledge of God in the world.
not know great God in own nation?
No do good ting?
No say O to him?
many live as if there was no God in heaven for all that.
-Wife.- Why God suffer them?
why makee not live well?
-A.- It is our own faults,
-Wife.- But if he is much great,
can makee kill,
why no makee kill when no serve him?
No be good mans,
no cry O to him?
-A.- That's true,
he may strike us dead,
but his abundant mercy spareth us.
-Wife.- Did not you tell God thanked for that?
I have neither thanked him for his mercy,
nor feared him for his power.
-Wife.- Then me not believe your God be good,
nor makee kill,
when you makee him angry.
must my wicked life hinder you from believing in him?
How can me tink your God lives there?
-(pointing to heaven.)- Sure he no ken what you do here.
he hears us speak,
sees what we do,
and knows what we even think.
-Wife.- Where then makee power strong,
when he hears you curse,
swear de great damn?
-A.- My dear,
this shows indeed he is a God and not a man who has such tender mercy.
-Wife.- Mercy I what you call mercy?
-A.- He pities and spares us: as he is our great Creator,
so he is also our tender Father.
-Wife.- So God never angry,
never kill wicked,
then he no good,
no great mighty.
-A.- O my dear,
don't say so,
he is both;
and many times he shows terrible examples of his judgment and vengeance.
-Wife.- Then you makee de bargain with him;
you do bad ting,
he no hurt you,
he hurt other mans.
my lips are all presumptions upon his goodness.
and yet no makee you dead;
and you give him no tankee neither?
-A.- It is true,
I an ungrateful,
that I am.
he makee you,
why makee you no much better then?
-A.- It is I alone that have deformed myself,
and abused his goodness.
-Wife.- Pray makee God know me,
me no makee him angry,
no do bad ting.
-A.- You mean,
that you desire I would teach you to know God: alas!
poor dear creature,
he must teach thee,
and not I.
But I'll pray earnestly to him to direct thee,
and to forgive me,
a miserable sinner.
-(Hereupon he went a little distance,
and kneeling down,
prayed earnestly to God to enlighten her mind,
and to pardon his sins;
when this was done,
they continued their discourse thus.)-
-Wife.- What you put down knee for?
For what hold up hand?
Who you speak to?
-A.- My dear,
I bowed in token of submission to him that made me,
and prayed that he would open your eyes and understanding.
-Wife.- And can he do that too?
And will he hear what you say?
he bids us pray,
and has given us promise that he will hear us.
-Wife.- When did he bid you pray?
What I do you hear him speak?
but God has spoken formerly to good men from heaven;
and by divine revelation they have written all his laws down in a book.
O where dat good book?
I have it not now by me;
but one time or other I shall get it for you to read.
-Then he embraced her with great affection-.
Pray tell a mee,
teachee them write that book?
and by that rule we know him to be God.
what rule you know him?
Because he teaches what is good,
and forbids all wicked and abominable actions that incur his displeasure.
O me fain understand that,
and if he do all things you say he do,
surely he hear me say O to him;
he makee me good if I wish to be good,
he no kill me if I love him;
believe him great God;
me say O to him,
along with you,
-Here the poor man fell upon his knees,
and made her kneel down by him praying with the greatest fervency,
that God would instruct her by his Holy Spirit;
and that God by his providence would send them a Bible for both their instructions.
And such was the early piety of this new convert,
that she made him promise never to forsake God any more,
lest being- made dead,
-as she called it;
she should not only want her instructor,
but himself be miserable in a long eternity-.
Such a surprising account as this was,
proved very affecting to us both,
but particularly to the young clergyman,
who was mightily concerned he could not talk to her himself.
is something more to be done to this woman then to marry her;
I mean that she ought to be baptized."
I presently agreed:
"ask her husband,
whether he has ever talked to her of Jesus Christ,
the salvation of sinners,
the nature of faith,
and redemption in and by him,
of the Holy Spirit,
and a future state;"
but the poor fellow melted into tears at this question,
that he had said something to her of these things,
but his inability to talk of them,
made him afraid,
lest her knowledge of them should rather make her contemn religion,
than be benefited by it;
but that if I would discourse with her,
it would be very evident my labour would not be in vain.
Accordingly I called her in,
and placing myself as interpreter between the religious priest and the woman,
I entreated him to go on;
but surely never was such a sermon preached by any clergyman in these latter days,
with so much zeal,
he brought the woman to embrace the knowledge of Christ,
and of redemption by him,
with so surprising a degree of understanding,
that she made it her own request to be baptized.
He than performed his office in the sacrament of baptism,
by saying some words over to himself in Latin,
and then asking me to give her a name,
as being her godfather,
and pouring a whole dish-full of water upon the woman's head,
I baptize thee in the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Ghost;"
so that none could know of what religion he was.
After this he pronounced the benediction in Latin.
Thus the woman being made a Christian,
he married her to Will Atkins;
which being finished,
he affectionately exhorted him to lead a holy life for the future;
and since the Almighty,
for the convictions of his conscience,
had honoured him to be the instrument or his wife's conversion,
he should not dishonor the grace of God,
that while the savage was converted,
the instrument should be cast away.
Thus ended a ceremony,
to me the most pleasant and agreeable I ever passed in my life.
The affairs of the island being settled,
I was preparing to go on board,
when the young man (whose mother was starved) came to me,
that as he understood I had a clergyman with me,
who had married the Englishmen with savages,
he had a match to make between two Christians,
which he desired might be finished before I departed.
Thinking that it was he himself that had courted his mother's maid,
I persuaded him not to do any thing rashly upon the account of his solitary circumstances;
that the maid was an unequal match for him,
both in respect to substance and years;
and that it was very probable he would live to return to his own country,
where he might have a far better choice.
At these words,
he interrupted me,
thanking me for my good-advice;
that as he had nothing to beg of me but a small settlement,
with a servant or two,
or some new necessaries,
so he hoped I would not be unmindful of him when I returned to England,
but give his letter to his friends;
and that when he was redeemed,
and all its improvements,
should be returned to me again.
But as for the marriage he proposed,
that it was not himself,
but that it was between my Jack-of-all-trades and the maid Susan.
I was indeed agreeably surprised at the mentioning this match,
which seemed very suitable,
the one being a very ingenious fellow,
and the other an excellent,
and sensible housewife,
fit to be governess of the whole island;
so we married them the same day;
and as I was her father,
and gave her away,
so I gave her a handsome portion,
appointing her and her husband a convenient large space of ground for their plantation.
The sharing out of the land I left to Will Atkins,
who really divided if very justly,
to every person's satisfaction;
they only desired one general writing under my hand for the whole,
which I caused to be drawn up,
and sealed to them,
setting out their bounds,
and giving them a right to the whole possession of their respective plantations,
with their improvements,
to them and their heirs,
reserving all the rest of the island as my own property,
and a certain rent for every particular plantation,
after eleven years.
As to their laws and government,
I exhorted them to love one another;
and as to the Indians who lived in a nook by themselves,
I allotted three or four of them plantations,
and the rest willingly chose to become servants to the other families,
by which means they were employed in useful labour,
and fared much better than they did before.
Besides the savages thus mixed with the Christians,
the work of their conversion might be set on foot by the latter,
in the clergyman's absence,
to our equal satisfaction.
The young priest,
was a little anxious lest the Christians should not be willing to do their parts in instructing these poor Indians;
I therefore told him we should call them all together;
that he should speak to the Spaniards who were Papists,
and I to the English,
who were Protestants,
and make them promise that they would never make any distinction in religion,
but teach the general true knowledge of God,
and his son Jesus Christ,
in order to convert the poor savages.
they all promised us accordingly.
When I came to Will Atkins's house,
I found his baptized wife,
and the young woman newly married to my Jack-of-all-trades,
were become great intimates,
and discoursing of religion together.
Sir,- says Will Atkins,
-when God has sinners to reconcile to himself,
he never wants an instructor;
I knew I was unworthy of so good a work,
and therefore this young woman has been sent hither as it were from heaven,
who is sufficient to convert a whole nation of savages-.
The young woman blushed,
and was going to rise;
but I desired her to sit still,
and hoped that God would bless her in so good a work;
and then pulling out a Bible (which I brought on purpose in my pocket for him.)
-here is an assistant that perhaps you had not before-.
So confounded was the poor man,
that is was some time before he could speak;
at last turning to his wife,
-did I not tell you that God could hear what we said?
Here's the book I prayed for,
when you and I kneeled under the bush: God then heard us,
and now has sent it-.
The woman was surprised,
and thought really God had sent that individual book from heaven;
but I turned to the young woman,
and desired her to explain to the young convert,
that God may properly be said to answer our petitions,
in the course of his providence,
such particular things came to pass as we petitioned for.
This the young woman did effectually;
but surely Will Atkins's joy cannot be expressed;
no man being more thankful for any thing in the world,
than he was for his Bible,
nor desired it from a better principle.
After several religious discourses,
I desired the young woman to give me an account of the anguish she felt when she was starving to death with hunger;
to which she readily consented,
and began in the following manner:
"all our victuals being gone,
after I had fasted one day,
my stomach was very sickly,
at the approach,
I was inclined to yawning and sleepy.
When I slept upon the couch three hours,
I awaked a little refreshed: three hours after,
my stomach being more and more sickly,
I lay down again,
but could not sleep,
being very faint and ill.
Thus I passed the second day with a strange variety,
then sick again,
with reachings to vomit: that night I dreamed I was at Barbadoes,
buying plenty of provisions;
and dined heartily.
But when I awaked,
my spirits were exceedingly sunk,
to find myself in the extremity of famine.
There was but one glass of wine,
which being mixed with sugar,
I drank up;
but for want of substance to digest upon,
the fumes of it got into my head,
& made me senseless for some time.
The third day I was so ravenous and furious,
that I could have eaten a little child if it had come in my way;
during which time,
I was as mad as any creature in Bedlam.
In one of these fits I fell down,
and struck my face against the corner of a pallet bed,
where my mistress lay;
the blood gushed out of my nose,
but by my excessive bleeding,
both the violence of the fever,
and the ravenous part of the hunger abated.
I grew sick again,
strove to vomit,
but could not;
then bleeding a second time,
I swooned away as dead;
when I came to myself,
I had a dreadful gnawing pain in my stomach,
which went of towards night,
with a longing desire for food.
I took a draught of water and sugar,
but it came up again;
then I drank water without sugar,
and that staid with me.
I laid me down on the bed,
praying God would take me away: after I had slumbered,
I thought myself a-dying,
therefore recommended my soul to God,
and wished somebody would throw me into the sea.
All this while my departing mistress lay by me: the last bit of bread she had,
she gave to her dear child my young master.
The morning after,
I fell into a violent passion of crying,
and after that into hunger.
I espied the blood that came from my nose in a bison,
which I immediately swallowed up.
At night I had the usual variations,
as the pain in the stomach,
and ravenous: and I had no thought but that I should die before morning.
In the morning came on terrible gripings in my bowels.
At this time I heard my young master's lamentations,
by which I understood his mother was dead.
Soon after this,
the sailors cried,
A sail!- hallooing as if they were distracted for joy of that relief,
which afterwards we received from your hands."
Surely never was a more distinct account of starving to death than this.
But to return to the disposition of things among my people,
I did not take any notice to them of the sloop that I had framed,
neither would I leave them the two pieces of brass cannon,
or the two quarter-deck guns that I had on board,
upon any disgust,
they should have separated,
or turned pirates,
and so made the island a den of thieves,
instead of a plantation of sober pious people: but leaving them in a flourishing condition,
with a promise to send them further relief,
and cows (being obliged to kill the latter at sea,
having no hay to feed them) I went on board the ship again,
the first of May,
after having been twenty days among them: and next morning,
giving them a salute of five guns at parting,
we set sail for the Brazils.
The third day,
there happening a calm,
and the current being very strong,
we were drove to the N.N.E.
towards the land.
Some hours after,
we perceived the sea covered as it were with something very black,
not easily at first to be discovered: upon which our chief mate ascending the shrouds a little way,
and taking a view with a perspective glass,
he cries out,
-what do you mean?
-don't be angry.
I assure you,
it is not only an army,
but a fleet,
for I believe there are a thousand canoes paddling along,
and making with great haste towards us-.
Indeed every one of us were surprised at this relation;
and my nephew the captain could not tell what to think of it,
but thought we should all be devoured.
Nor was I free from concern,
when I considered how much we were becalmed,
and what a strong current set towards the shore;
I encouraged him not to be afraid,
but bring the ship to an anchor as soon as we were certain that we must engage them.
Accordingly we did so,
and furled all our sails,
as to the savages we feared nothing,
but only that they might se the ship on fire;
to prevent which,
I ordered them to get their boats out,
and fasten them,
one close by the head,
and the other by the stern,
with skeets and buckets to extinguish the flames,
should it so happen.
The savages soon came up with us,
but there were not so many as the mate had said,
for instead of a thousand canoes there were only one hundred and twenty;
too many indeed for us,
several of their canoes containing about sixteen or seventeen men.
As they approached us,
they seemed to be in the greatest amazement,
not knowing what to make of us.
They rowed round the ship,
which occasioned us to call to the men in the boats,
not to suffer them to come near them.
Hereupon they beckoned to the savages to keep back,
which they accordingly did;
but at their retreat they let fly about fifty arrows among us,
and very much wounded one of our men in the long-boat.
I called to them not to fire upon any account,
but handing them down some deal boards,
the carpenters made them a kind of fence to shield them from the arrows.
In half an hour after they came so near astern of us,
that we had a perfect sight of them;
then they rowed a little farther out,
till they came directly along-side of us,
and then approached so near,
that they could hear us speak;
this made me order all our men to keep close,
and get their guns ready.
In the mean time I ordered Friday to go out upon deck,
and ask them in his language what they meant.
No sooner did he do so,
but six of the savages,
who were in the foremost canoes,
showed us their naked backsides,
as much as to say in English,
-Kiss our -- ---: but Friday quickly knew what this meant,
by immediately crying out they were going to shoot;
unfortunately for him,
who fell under the cloud of three hundred arrows,
no less than seven piercing through his body,
killing one of the best servants,
and faithfullest of companions in all my solitudes and afflictions.
So enraged was I at the death of poor Friday,
that the guns,
which before were charged only with powder,
to frighten them,
I ordered to be loaded with small shot;
nor did the gunners fail in their aim,
but at this broadside split and overset thirteen or fourteen of their canoes,
which killed numbers of them,
and set the rest a swimming,
frightened out of their wits,
little regarding their fellows drowning,
scoured away as fast as they could.
One poor wretch our people took up,
swimming for his life,
an hour after.
He was very sullen at first,
to that he would neither eat nor speak;
but I took a way to cure him,
by ordering them to throw him into the sea,
which they did,
and then he came swimming back like a cork,
calling in his tongue,
as I suppose,
to save him.
So we took him on board,
but it was a long time before we could make him speak or understand English;
yet when we had taught him,
he told us,
'they were going with their kings to fight a great battle;'
and when we asked him,
what made them come up to us?
-to makee de great wonder look-;
where it is to be noted,
that those natives,
and those of Africa,
always add to -e-'s at the end of English words,
and the like,
from which it is very difficult thing to make them break off.
Being now under sail,
we took our last farewell of poor honest Friday,
and interred him with all possible decency and solemnity,
putting him in a coffin,
and committing him to the deep,
at the same time cauling eleven guns to be fired at him.
Thus ended the life of one of the most grateful,
and affectionate servants,
that ever any man was blessed with in the world.
Having now a fair wind for Brazil,
in about twelve days time we made land in the latitude of five degrees south of the line.
Four days we kept on S. by E. in sight of shore,
when we made Cape St. Augustin,
and in three days we came up to an anchor off the Bay of all Saints.
I had great difficulty here to get leave to hold correspondence on shore;
for neither the figure of my partner,
my two merchant trustees,
nor the fame of my wonderful preservation in the island,
could procure me the favour,
till such time as the prior of the monastery of the Augustines (to whom I had given 500 moidores) obtained leave from the Governor,
for me personally,
with the Captain & one more,
together with eight sailors,
to come on shore;
upon this condition,
that we should not land any goods out of the ship,
nor carry any person away without licence;
I found means,
to get on shore three bales of English goods,
such as fine broad cloths,
and some linen,
which I brought as a present for my partner,
who had sent me on board a present of fresh provisions,
wine and sweetmeats,
worth about thirty moidores,
including some tobacco,
and three or four fine gold medals.
[Illustration: Revenging the death of Friday.]
Here I delivered my partner in goods to the value of 100L sterling,
and obliged him to fit up the sloop I bought for the use of my island,
in order to send them refreshments;
and so active was he in this matter,
that he had the vessel finished in a few days,
to the master of which I gave particular instructions to find the place.
I soon loaded him with a small cargo;
and one of our sailors offered to settle there,
upon my letter to the Spanish governor,
if I would allot him tools and a plantation.
This I willingly granted,
and gave him the savage we had taken prisoner to be his slave.
All things being ready for the voyage,
my old partner told me there was an acquaintance of his,
a Brazil planter,
who having fallen under the displeasure of the church,
& in fear of the Inquisition which obliged him to be concealed,
would be glad of such an opportunity to make his escape,
with his wife & two daughters;
& if I would allot them a plantation in my island,
he would give them a small stock to begin with,
for that the officers had already seized his effects and estate,
and left him nothing but a little household stuff and two slaves.
This request I presently granted,
concealing him and his family on board our ship,
till such time as the sloop (where all the effects were) was gone out of the bay,
and then we put them on board,
who carried some materials,
and plants for planting sugar-canes,
along with them.
By this sloop,
among other things,
I sent my subjects three milch cows and five calves,
about 22 hogs,
three sows big with pig,
two mares and a stone horse.
I also engaged three Portugal women to go for sake of the Spaniards,
with the persecuted man's two daughters,
since the rest had wives of their own,
though in another country;
all which cargo arrived safe,
no doubt to their exceeding comfort,
with this addition,
were about sixty or seventy people,
At this place,
my truly honest and pious clergyman left me;
for a ship being ready to set sail for Lisbon,
he asked me leave to go thither,
but I assure you it was with the greatest reluctance I parted from a person,
whose virtue and piety merited the greatest esteem.
From the Brazils,
we made directly over the Atlantic Ocean to the Cape of Good Hope,
having a tolerable good voyage,
steering for the most part S.E.
We were on a trading voyage,
and had a supercargo on board,
who was to direct all the ship's motions after she arrived at the Cape,
only being limited to a certain number of days,
by charter party,
at the several ports she was to go to.
At the Cape we only took in fresh water,
and then sailed for the coast of Coromandel;
we were there informed,
that a French man of war of 50 guns,
and two large merchant ships were sailed for the Indies,
but we heard no more of them.
In our passage,
we touched at the island of Madagascar,
though the inhabitants are naturally fierce and treacherous,
& go constantly armed with bows & lances,
yet for some time they treated us civily enough;
in exchange for knives,
and other trifles,
they brought us eleven good fat bullocks,
which we took partly for present victuals,
and the remainder to salt for the ship's use.
So curious was I to view every corner of the world where I came to,
that I went on shore as often as I could.
One evening when on shore,
we observed numbers of the people stand gazing at us at a distance.
We thought ourselves in no danger,
as they had hitherto used us kindly.
we cut three boughs cut of a tree,
sticking them at a distance from us,
which it seems,
in that country,
is not only a token of truce and amity,
but when poles or boughs are set up on the other side,
it is a sign the truce is accepted.
In these treaties,
there is one principal thing to be regarded,
that neither party come beyond one another's three poles or boughs;
so that the middle space is not only secure,
but is also allowed as a market for traffic and commerce.
When the truce is thus accepted,
they stick up their javelins and lances at the first poles,
and come on unarmed;
but if any violence is offered,
away they run to their poles,
take up their weapons,
and then the truce is at an end.
This evening it happened that a greater number of people than usual,
both men and women,
traded among us for such toys as we had,
with such great civility,
that we made us a little tent,
of large boughs of trees,
some of the men resolving to lie on shore all night;
for my part,
I and some others took our lodging in the boat,
with boughs of trees spread over it,
having a sail spread at the bottom to lie upon.
About two o'clock in the morning we were awakened by the firing of muskets,
and our men crying out for help,
or else they would all be murdered.
Scarce had we time to get the boat ashore,
when our men came plunging themselves into the water,
with about four hundred of the islanders at their heels.
We took up seven of the men,
three of them very much wounded,
and one left behind killed,
while the enemy poured their arrows so thick among us,
that we were forced to make a barricade,
with boards lying at the side of the boat,
to shield us from danger: and,
having got ready our fire-arms,
we returned them a volley,
which wounded several of them,
as we could hear by their cries.
In this condition we lay till break of day,
and then making signals of distress to the ship,
which my nephew the captain heard and understood,
he weighed anchor,
& stood as near the shore as possible,
and then sent another boat with ten hands in her to assist us;
but we called to them not to come near,
informing them of our unhappy condition.
However they ventured;
when one of the men taking the end of a tow-line in one hand,
and keeping our boat between him and our adversaries,
swam to us,
and slipping our cables,
they towed us,
out of reach of their arrows,
and quickly after a broadside was given them from the ship,
which made a most dreadful havoc among them.
When we got on board,
we examined into the occasion of this fray.
The men who fled informed us that an old woman who sold milk within the poles,
had brought a young woman with her,
who carried roots or herbs,
the sight of whom so much tempted our men,
that they offered rudeness to the maid,
at which the old woman set up a great cry: nor would the sailors part with the prize,
but carried her among the trees,
while the old woman went,
and brought a whole army down upon them.
At the beginning of the attack,
one of our men was killed with a lance,
and the fellow who began the mischief,
paid dear enough for his mistress,
though as yet we did not know what had become of him;
the rest luckily escaped.
The third night after the action,
being curious to understand how affairs stood,
I took the supercargo and twenty stout fellows with me,
and landed about two hours before midnight,
at the same place where those Indians stood the night before,
and there we divided our men into two bodies,
the boatswain commanding one,
and I another.
It was so dark,
that we could see nobody,
neither did we hear any voice near us: but by & bye the boatswain falling over a dead body,
we agreed to halt till the moon should rise,
which he knew would be in an hour after.
We perceived here no fewer than two and thirty bodies upon the ground,
whereof two were not quite dead.
Satisfied with this discovery I was for going on board again;
but the boatswain and the rest told me,
they would make a visit to the Indian town,
where these dogs (so they called them) resided,
asking me at the same time to go along with them;
for they did not doubt,
besides getting a good booty,
but they should find Tom Jeffery there,
for that was the unhappy man we missed.
But I utterly refused to go,
and commanded them back,
being unwilling to hazard their lives,
as the safety of the ship wholly depended upon them.
Notwithstanding all I could say to them,
they all left me but one,
and the supercargo;
so we three returned to the boat,
where a boy was left,
resolving to stay till they returned.
At parting I told them I supposed most of them would run the same fate with Tom Jeffery.
To this they replied,
we'll warrant we'll come off safe enough-;
and so away they went,
notwithstanding all my admonitions,
either concerning their own safety or the preservation of the ship.
Indeed they were gallantly armed,
every man having a musket,
and a pistol,
and hand granades.
They came to a few Indian houses at first,
which not being the town they expected they went farther,
& finding a cow tied to a tree,
they concluded that she would be a sufficient guide,
and so it proved;
after they untied her,
she led them directly to the town,
which consisted of above two hundred houses,
several families living in some of the huts together.
At their arrival,
all being in a profound sleep,
the sailors agreed to divide themselves into three bodies,
and set three parts of the town on fire at once,
to kill those that were escaping,
and plunder the rest of the houses.
Thus desperately resolved,
they went to work;
but the first party had not gone far,
before they called out to the rest,
that they had found Tom Jeffery;
whereupon they all ran up to the place,
and found the poor fellow indeed hanging up naked by one arm,
and his throat almost cut from ear to ear.
In a house that was hard by the tree,
they found sixteen or seventeen Indians,
who had been concerned in the fray,
two or three of them being wounded,
were not gone to sleep: this house they set on fire first,
and in a few minutes after,
five or six places more in the town appeared in flames.
The conflagration spread like wild-fire,
their housing being all of wood,
and covered with flags or rushes.
The poor affrighted inhabitants endeavoured to run out to save their lives,
but they were driven back into the flames by the sailors,
and killed without mercy.
At the first house above mentioned,
after the boatswain had slain two with his pole-ax,
he threw a hand-granade into the house,
made a terrible havoc,
killing and wounding most of them;
and their king and most of his train,
who were then in that house,
fell victims to their fury,
every creature of them being either smothered or burnt.
All this while they never fired a gun,
lest the people should awaken faster than they could overpower them.
But the fire awakened them fast enough,
which obliged our fellows to keep together in bodies.
By this time the whole town was in a flame,
yet their fury rather increased,
calling out to one another to remember Tom Jeffery.
The terrible light of this conflagration made me very uneasy,
and roused my nephew the captain,
and the rest of his men,
who knew nothing of the matter.
When he perceived the dreadful smoke,
and heard the guns go off,
he readily concluded his men were in danger;
he therefore takes another boat,
and comes ashore himself,
with thirteen men well armed.
He was greatly surprised to see me and only two men in the boat,
but more so when I told him the story: but though I argued with him,
as I did with the men,
about the danger of the voyage,
the interests of the merchants and owners,
and the safety of the ship,
yet my nephew,
like the rest,
that he would rather lose the ship,
his life and all,
than his men should be lost for want of help;
and so away he went.
For my part,
seeing him resolved to go,
I had not power to stay behind.
He ordered the pinnace back again for twelve men more,
and then we marched directly as the flame guided us.
But surely never was such a scene of horror beheld,
or more dismal cries heard,
except when Oliver Cromwell took Drogheda in Ireland,
where he neither spared man,
The first object,
we met with,
was the ruins of one of their habitations,
before which lay four men and three woman killed,
and two more burnt to death among the fire,
which was now decaying.
Nothing could appear more barbarous than this revenge;
none more cruel than the authors of it.
As we went on,
the fire increased,
and the cry proceeded in proportion.
We had not gone much farther,
when we beheld three naked women,
followed by sixteen or seventeen men,
flying with the greatest swiftness from our men,
who shot one of them in our sight.
When they perceived us,
whom they supposed also their murderers,
they set up a most dreadful shriek,
and both of them swooned away in the fright.
This was a sight which might have softened the hardest heart;
and in pity we took some ways to let them know we would not hurt them,
while the poor creatures with bended knees,
and lifted up hands,
made piteous lamentations to us to save their lives.
I ordered our men not to hunt any of the poor creatures whatsoever;
but being willing to understand the occasion of all this,
I went among these unhappy wretches,
who neither understood me,
nor the good I meant them.
However being resolved to put an end to this barbarity,
I ordered the men to follow me.
We had not gone fifty yards before we came up with the boatswain,
with four of our men at his heels,
all of them covered with blood and dust,
and in search of more people to satiate their vengeance.
As soon as we saw them,
we called out,
and made them understand who we were;
upon which they came up to us,
setting up a holloo of triumph,
in token that more help was come.
said he to my nephew,
-I'm glad your come: we have not half done with these villainous hell-hound dogs;
wee'll root out the very nation of them from the earth,
and kill more than poor Tom has hairs upon his head:- and thus he went on till I interrupted him.
"will your cruelty never end?
I charge you touch not one creature more;
stop your hands and stand still,
or you're a dead man this moment."
-you neither know whom you are protecting,
nor what they have done: but pray come hither,
and behold an instance of compassion,
if such can merit your clemency-;
and with that he shewed me the poor fellow with his throat cut,
hanging upon the tree.
here was enough to fill their breasts with rage,
I thought had gone too far,
agreeable to these words of Jacob to his sons Simeon and Levi: -Cursed be their anger for it was fierce;
and their wrath;
for it was cruel.- But this sight made my nephew and the rest as bad as they: nay,
my nephew declared,
his concern was only for his men;
as for the people,
not a soul of them ought to live.
the boatswain and eight more directly turned about,
and went to finish the intended tragedy;
which being out of my power to prevent,
I returned back from the dismal sight,
& the piteous cries of those unfortunate creatures,
who were made victims to their fury.
it was an egregious piece of folly in me to return to the boat with but one attendant;
and I had very near paid for it,
having narrowly escaped forty armed Indians,
who had been alarmed by the conflagration;
but having passed the place where they stood,
I got to the boat accompanied with the supercargo,
and so went on board,
sending the pinnace back again,
to assist the men in what might happen.
When I had got to the boat,
the fire was almost extinguished,
and the noise abated;
but I had scarce been half an hour on board the ship,
when I heard another volley given by our sailors,
and a great smoke,
as I afterwards found,
was our men falling upon those houses and persons that stood between them and the sea;
but here they spared the wives and children,
and killed only the men,
to the number of about sixteen or seventeen.
By the time they got to the shore,
the pinnace and the ship's boat were ready to receive them,
and they all got safe on board,
not a man of them having received the least hurt,
one of whom strained his foot,
and the other burnt his hand a little;
for they met with no resistance,
the poor Indians being unprepared,
I was extremely angry with every one of them,
but particularly with the captain,
who instead of cooling the rage of the men,
had prompted them on to further mischief: nor could he make me any other excuse,
but that as he was a man,
he could not master his passions at the sight of one of his men so cruelly murdered.
As for the rest,
knowing they were not under my command,
they took no notice of any anger,
but rather boasted of their revenge.
According to all their accounts,
they killed or destroyed about 150 men,
besides burning the town to ashes.
They took their companion Tom Jeffery from the tree,
covered him with some of the ruins,
and so left him.
But however this action of our men might seem to them justifiable,
yet I always openly condemned it with the appellation,
of the Massacre of Madagascar.
For tho' the natives had slain this Jeffery,
yet certainly he was the first aggressor,
by attempting to violate the chastity of a young innocent woman,
who ventured down to them,
on the faith of the public capitulation,
which was so treacherously broken.
While we were under sail,
the boatswain would often defend this bloody action,
that the Indians had broke the truce the night before,
by shooting one of our men without just provocation: and what if the poor fellow had taken a little liberty with the wench,
he ought not to have been murdered in so villainous a manner: and that they had acted nothing but what the divine laws commissioned to be done to such homicides.
However I was in the same mind as before,
telling them that they were murderers,
and bid them depend upon it that God would blast their voyage,
for such an unparalleled piece of barbarity.
When we came to the Gulph of Persia,
five of our men,
who ventured on shore,
were either killed or made slaves by the Arabians,
the rest of them having scarce time to escape to their boat.
This made me upbraid them afresh with the just retribution of Heaven for such actions;
upon which the boatswain very warmly asked me,
-Whether those men on whom the tower of Siloam fell,
were greater sinners than the rest of the Galileans?
-none of these five poor men that are lost,
were with us at the Massacre of Madagascar,
as you call it,
and therefore your representation is very unjust,
and your application improper.
-you are continually using the men very ill upon this account,
being but a passenger yourself,
we are not obliged to bear it;
nor can we tell what evil designs you may have to bring us to judgment for it in England: and,
if you do not leave this discourse,
as also not concern yourself with any of our affairs,
I will leave the ship,
and not sail among such dangerous company.-
All this I heard very patiently;
it being often repeated,
I at length told him,
the concern I had on board was none of his business;
that I was a considerable owner in the ship,
and therefore had a right to speak in common,
and that I was no way accountable to him,
nor to any body else.
As no more passed for some time after,
I thought all had been over.
At this time we were in the road of Bengal,
going on shore with the supercargo one day,
in the evening,
as I was preparing to go on board,
one of the men came to me,
and told me,
I need not trouble myself to come to the boat,
for that the cockswain and others had ordered him not to carry me on board any more.
This insulent message much surprised me;
yet I gave him no answer to it,
but went directly and acquainted the supercargo,
entreating him to go on board,
by acquainting the Captain with it,
prevent the mutiny which I perceived would happen.
But before I had spoken this,
the matter was effected on board;
for no sooner was he gone off in the boat,
but the boatswain,
and all the inferior officers,
came to the quarter-deck,
desiring to speak with the Captain;
& there the boatswain made a long harangue,
exclaiming against me,
as before mentioned,
if I had not gone on shore peaceably,
for my own diversion,
by violence would have compelled me,
for their satisfaction: that as they had shipped with the Captain,
so they would faithfully serve him;
but if I did not quit the ship,
or the Captain oblige me to it,
they would leave the ship immediately: hereupon,
turning his face about by way of signal,
they all cried out,
"ONE and ALL!
ONE and ALL!"
You may be sure,
that though my nephew was a man of great courage,
yet he could not but be surprised at their sudden and unexpected behaviour;
and though he talked stoutly to them,
and afterwards expostulated with them,
that in common justice to me,
who was a considerable owner in the ship,
they could not turn me as it were out of mine own house,
which might bring their lives in danger should they ever be taken in England;
though he invited the boatswain on shore to accomodate matters with me,
yet all this I say,
they would have nothing to do with me;
and they were resolved to go on shore if I came on board.
-Well,- said my nephew,
-if you are so resolved,
permit me to talk with him,
and then I have done;
and so he came to me,
giving me an account of their resolution,
how one and all designed to forsake the ship when I came on board,
for which he was mightily concerned.- "I am glad to see you,
"and rejoice it is no worse,
since they have not rebelled against you;
I only desire you to send my necessary things on shore,
with a sufficient sum of money,
and I will find my way to England as well as I can."
Though this grieved my nephew to the heart,
yet there was no remedy but complience;
all my necessaries were sent me,
and so this matter was over in a few hours.
I think I was now near a thousand leagues farther off England by sea,
than at my little kingdom,
except this difference,
that I might travel by land over the Great Mogul's country to Surat,
from thence to Baffora,
by sea up the Persian Gulph,
then take the way of the caravans over the Arabian desert to Alleppo and Scanderoon,
there take shipping to Italy,
and so travel by land into France,
and from thence cross the sea to England.
My nephew left me two persons to attend me;
one of them was his servant,
and the other clerk to the purser,
who engaged to be mine.
I took lodging in an English woman's house,
where several French,
and two Italian merchants resided.
The handsome entertainment I met with here,
occasioned me to stay nine months,
considering what course I should take.
Some English goods I had with me of great value,
besides a thousand pieces of eight,
and a letter for more,
if there was such necessity.
The goods I soon disposed of to advantage,
and bought here several good diamonds,
which I could easily carry about with me.
One morning the English merchant came to me,
as being very intimate together,
-I have a project to communicate to you,
which I hope will suit to both our advantage.
To be short,
we are both in a remote part of the world from our country;
but yet in a place where men of business may get a great deal of money.
if you will put a thousand pounds to my thousand pounds,
we will hire a ship to our satisfaction;
you shall be Captain,
I will be merchant: and we'll go a trading voyage to China,
for why should we lie still like drones,
while the whole world is in a continual motion-.
This proposal soon got my consent,
being very agreeable to my rambling genius;
and the more so,
because I looked upon my countryman to be a very sincere person;
it required some time before we could get a vessel to our mind,
and sailors to man it accordingly;
at length we bought a ship,
and got an English mate,
a Dutch carpenter,
and three Portuguese foremast men;
for want of others,
made shift with Indian seamen.
We first sailed to Achin,
in the island of Sumatra,
and then to Siam,
where we bartered our wares for some arrack and opium,
the last of which bore a great price among the Chinese;
in a word,
we went up to Suskan,
making a very great voyage;
after eight months time,
I returned to Bengal,
very well satisfied with this adventure,
having not only got a sufficient quantity of money,
but an insight of getting a great deal more.
The next voyage my friend proposed to me,
was to go among the spice islands,
and bring home a load of cloves from the Manillas,
islands belonging partly to Spain,
but where the Dutch trade very considerably.
We were not long in preparing for this voyage,
which we made no less successful than the last,
touching at Borneo,
and several other places which I do not perfectly remember,
and returning home in about five months time.
We soon sold our spices,
which were chiefly cloves and some nutmegs,
to the Persian merchants,
who carried them away to the gulph;
making five to one advantage,
we were loaded with money.
Not long after my friend and I had made up our accounts,
to our entire satisfaction,
there came in a Dutch coaster from Batavia of about two hundred tons.
The crew of this vessel pretended themselves so sickly,
that there were not hands sufficient to undertake a voyage;
and the Captain having given out that he intended to go to Europe,
public notice was given that the ship was to be sold.
No sooner did this come to our ears,
but we bought the ship,
paid the master,
and took possession.
We would also have very willingly entertained some of the men;
but they having received their share of booty,
were not to be found,
being altogether fled to Agra,
the great city of the Mogul's residence;
and from thence went to travel to Surat,
and so by the sea to the Persian Gulph.
And indeed they had reason to fly in this manner;
for the truth of it was the pretended Captain was the gunner only,
and not the commander;
that having been on a trading voyage,
they were attacked on shore by the Malayans,
who killed three men and the Captain;
after whose death the other eleven men ran away with the ship to the Bay of Bengal,
and left the mate and five men more on shore: but of this affair we shall have occasion to speak more at length hereafter.
However they came by the ship,
we thought we bought it honestly;
neither did we suspect any thing of the matter,
when the man showed us a bill of sale for the ship (undoubtedly forged) to one Emanuel Clostershoven,
which name he went by.
And so without any more to do,
we picked up some Dutch and English seamen,
resolving for another voyage for cloves among the Phillippine and Molucca Islands: in short,
we continued thus five or six years,
trading from port to port with extraordinary success.
In the seventh year,
we undertook a voyage to China,
designing to touch at Siam,
and buy some rice by the way.
In this voyage,
contrary winds beat us up and down for a considerable time among the islands in the Straits of Molucca.
No sooner were we clear of those rugged seas,
but we perceived our ship had sprung a leak,
which obliged us to put into the river Cambodia,
which lies northward of the Gulph,
and goes up to Siam.
as I was on shore refreshing myself,
there comes to me an Englishman,
who was gunner's mate on board an English East India ship,
riding up the river near the city of Cambodia.
-you may wonder at my business,
having never seen me in your life;
but tho' I am a stranger,
I have something to tell you that very nearly concerns you: & indeed it is the imminent danger you are in has moved me to give you this timely notice-.
I know of none,
except my ship being leaky,
for which I design to have her run aground to-morrow morning" -I hope you will be better employed when you shall hear what I have to say to you.
You know the town of Cambodia is about fifteen leagues up this river;
about three leagues on this side of it,
there lie two Dutch and three English ships.
And would you venture here without considering what strength you have to engage them-?
I knew not what he meant by this discourse,
and turning short upon him,
"I know no reason I have to be afraid either of any Dutch or English ships.
I am no interloper,
and what business have they with me?"
Sir,- said the man,
-if you do think yourselves secure,
all as I can say,
you must take your chance;
I am very sorry you are so deaf to good advice;
but I assure you;
if you do not put to sea immediately,
you will be attacked by five long-boats full of men,
hanged yourself for a pirate,
if you are taken,
and the particulars examined afterwards.
-I might have met a better reception for such a singular piece of service-.
"I was never ungrateful to any man;
but pray explain yourself and I'll go on board this minute,
whether the leak be stopped or no."
Sir,- said he,
-to be short,
because time is precious,
the matter is this: You know well enough that you was with the ship at Sumatra,
when your Captain was murdered by the Malayans,
with three of his sailors;
and that either you,
or some who were on board you,
ran away with the ship,
and are since turned pirates at sea.
this is the sum of what I had to say: and I can positively assure you,
that if you are taken,
you will be executed without much ceremony,
for undoubtedly you cannot but be sensible what little law merchant ships show to pirates,
whenever they fall into their hands-.
'I thank you for your kind information;
and though I am sure no man could come more honestly by the ship than I have done,
yet knowing their enterprize,
and being satisfied of your honest intention,
I'll be upon my defence.
Sir,- said the man,
-don't talk of being upon your defence,
the best that you can make is to be out of danger;
if you have any regard for your life,
& the lives of your men,
take the advantage,
of putting out to sea at high-water: by which means,
as you have a whole tide before you,
you will be gone too far out of their reach before they can come down.-
"I am mighty well satisfied,"
"in this particular,
and for your kindness,
which merits my great esteem;
what amends shall I make you?"
"I know not what amends you are willing to make,
because you may have some doubts of its certainty: but,
to convince you of the truth of what I say,
I have one offer to make to you.
On board one of the English ships,
I have nineteen months pay due to me,
and this Dutchman that is with me has seven months pay due to him,
which if you will make good to us,
we will go along with you.
If you shall find that there is nothing in what we have said,
then we shall desire nothing;
but when you are convinced that we have saved the ship,
and the lives of the men,
we will leave the whole to your generosity."
So reasonable did this every way appear,
that I immediately consented,
and we went directly on board.
As soon as we came on board,
my partner calls joyfully out,
-That they had stopped the leak?- "Well,
"but pray let us weigh anchor forthwith."
---Weigh,- said he,
-what is the meaning of this hurry-?
"Pray ask no questions,"
"but all hands to work,
without losing a moment's time."
in great surprise,
the Captain was called,
who immediately ordered the anchor to be got up;
and though the tide was not quite down,
yet being assisted with a little land breeze,
we stood to sea.
I then called my partner into the cabin,
and related the story at large,
which was confirmed and more amplified by the two men I had brought on board.
Scarce had we finished our discourse upon this head,
but a sailor came to the cabin door,
with a message from the Captain,
that we were chased by five sloops full of armed men.
"it is plain now there is something in it."
going upon deck,
I told all the men there was a design for seizing the ship,
and of executing us for pirates;
and asked them whether they would faithfully stand by us,
and by one another?
To which they unanimously replied,
"That they would fight to their last drop of blood."
I then asked the Captain,
which way he thought best for us to manage the battle?
-the only method is to keep them off with our great shot as long as we are able,
and then have recourse to our small arms: and when both these fail us,
then retire to close quarters,
when perhaps the enemy wanting materials,
can neither break open our bulk heads,
nor get in upon us-.
the gunner was ordered to bring two guns to bear fore and aft out of the steerage,
and so load them with musket-bullets and small pieces of old iron;
and the deck being cleared,
we prepared for the engagement,
keeping out at sea.
The boats followed us,
with all the sail they could make,
and we could perceive the two foremost were English,
which out-sailed the rest by two leagues,
and which we found would come up with us: hereupon,
we fired a gun without a ball,
intimating that they should bring to,
and we put out a flag of truce,
as a signal for parley;
but finding them crowding after us,
till they came within shot,
we took in our white,
and hanging out the red flap,
immediately fired at them with ball: we then called to them with a speaking trumpet,
bidding them at their peril keep off.
But all this signified nothing;
for depending upon the strength that followed them,
they were resolutely bent for mischief: hereupon I ordered them to bring the ship to,
by which means,
they lying upon our broadside,
we let fly at them at once,
one of whom carried away the stern of the hindermost boat,
and obliged them not only to take down their sail,
but made them all run to the head of the boat,
to keep them from sinking,
and so she lay by,
having enough of it.
In the meantime,
we prepared to welcome the foremost boat in the same manner.
While we were doing this,
one of the three hindermost boats came up to the relief of that which was disabled,
and took the men out of her.
We again called to parley with them;
instead of an answer,
one of the boats came close under our stern;
whereupon our gunner let fly his two chase guns,
the men in the boat shouted,
waving their caps,
came on with greater fury.
To repair this seeming disgrace,
the gunner soon got ready,
and firing a second time,
did a great deal of mischief among the enemy.
We waved again,
bringing our quarter to bear upon them,
fired three guns more,
when we found the boat a sinking,
and several men already in the sea;
manning our pinnace,
I gave orders to save as many as they could,
and instantly to come on board,
because the rest of their boats were approaching: accordingly they did so,
and took up three of them,
one of whom was almost past recovery;
and then crowding all the sail we could,
after our men came on board,
we stood out farther to sea,
so that the other three boats gave over the chase,
when they came up to the first two.
Thus delivered from imminent danger,
we changed our course to the eastward,
quite out of the course of all European ships.
Being now at sea,
and inquiring more particularly of the two seamen,
the meaning of all this,
the Dutchman at once let us into the secret.
He told us,
that the fellow who sold us the ship was an errant thief,
who had run away with her;
that the Captain was treacherously murdered on the coast of Molucca by the natives there,
with three of his men;
and four more,
being obliged to have recourse to the woods for their safety,
at length escaped by means of a Dutch ship in its way to China,
which had sent their boat on shore for fresh water: That,
he went to Batavia,
where two of the seamen belonging to the ship (who had deserted the rest in their travels) arrived,
and there gave an account that the fellow who ran away with the ship had sold her at Bengal to a set of pirates,
who went a cruising,
and had already taken one English and two Dutch ship,
tho' this was absolutely false,
my partner truly said,
that our deliverance was to be esteemed so much the more,
had we fallen into their hands,
we could have expected nothing from them but immediate death,
considering our accusers would have been our judges;
his opinion was to return directly to Bengal,
we could prove how honestly we came by the ship,
of whom we bought her,
and the like,
and where we were sure of some justice;
at least would not be hanged first,
and judged afterwards.
I was at first of my partner's opinion,
but when I had more seriously considered of the matter,
I told him,
we ran a great hazard in attempting to return,
being on the wrong side of the Straits of Molucca and that,
upon alarm given,
we should be taken by the Dutch at Batavia,
or English elsewhere,
our turning away would be a sufficient evidence to condemn us.
This danger indeed startled not only my partner,
but likewise all the ship's company;
so we changed our former resolution,
and resolved to go to the coast of Tonquin,
and so to that of China,
pursuing our first design as to trade,
we might likewise have an opportunity to dispose of the ship some way or other,
and to return to Bengal in any country vessel we could procure.
This being agreed to,
we steered away N.N.E.
about 50 leagues off the usual course to the east;
which put us to some inconveniences.
As the wind blew steadily against us,
our voyage became more tedious,
and we began to be afraid of want of provision;
and what was still worse,
that as those ships from whose boat we had escaped,
were bound to China,
they might get before us,
and have given fresh information,
which might create another vigorous pursuit.
I could not help being grieved,
when I considered that I who had never wronged or defrauded any person in my life,
was now pursued like a common thief,
and if taken to run the greatest danger of being executed as such;
I found myself under the necessity of flying for my safety;
and thereby escape being brought to shame,
of which I was even more afraid than death itself.
It was easy to read my dejection in my countenance.
My mind was oppressed,
like those unhappy innocent persons,
who being overpowered by blasphemous and perjured evidences,
wickedly resolved to take away their lives,
or ruin their reputation,
have no other recourse in this world to ease their sorrow,
My partner seeing me so concerned,
encouraged me as well as he could;
after describing to me the several ports of that coast,
he told me,
he would either put me in on the coast of Cochinchina,
or else in the bay of Tonquin,
from whence we might go to Macao,
a town once possessed by the Portuguese,
and where still many European families resided.
To this place we steered,
early next morning,
came in sight of the coast;
but thought it advisable to put into a small river where we could,
either over land,
or by the ship's pinnace,
know what vessels were in any ports thereabouts.
This happy step proved our deliverance;
there came to the bay of Tonquin two Dutch ships,
and a third without any colours;
and in the evening,
two English ships steered the same course.
The river where we were was but small,
and ran but a few leagues up the country northward;
the country was wild and barbarous,
and the people thieves,
having no correspondence with any other nation;
dealing only in fish,
and such gross commodities: and one barbarous custom they still retained,
that when any vessel was unhappily shipwrecked upon their coast,
they make the men prisoners or slaves,
so that now we might fairly say we were surrounded by enemies both by sea and land.
As the ship had been leaky,
we took the opportunity,
in this place to search her,
and to stop up the places which let in the water.
We accordingly lightened her,
and bringing our guns and other moveable things to one side,
we essayed to bring her down,
that we might come to her bottom: but,
upon second consideration,
we did not think it safe to let her lie on dry ground,
neither indeed was the place convenient for it.
The inhabitants not used to such a sight as to see a ship lie down on one side;
and heel in towards the shore,
and not perceiving her men,
who were at work on her bottom,
with stages and boats on the off side,
presently imagined the ship had been cast away,
and lay fast on the ground.
Agreeable to this supposition,
they surrounded us with ten or twelve large boats,
with a resolution,
undoubtedly to plunder the ship,
and to carry away those they found alive for slaves to their king.
But when they perceived our men hard at work on the ship's bottom and side,
and stopping her,
it filled them all with such surprise,
that they stood gazing as though they were confounded.
Nor could we imagine what their design was;
for fear of danger,
we handed down arms and ammunition to those at work,
in order to defend themselves;
this precaution was absolutely necessary;
in a quarter of an hour after,
concluding it was really a shipwreck,
and that we were saving our lives and goods,
which they thought belonged to them,
came down upon our men as though it had been in line of battle.
We lay at present but in a very unfit posture to fight;
and before the stages could be got down,
or the men in the boat come on board as they were ordered,
the Cochinchinese were upon them,
and two of their boats boarding our long boat,
they began to lay hold of our men as prisoners.
The first they seized was a stout English sailor,
who never fired his musket,
like a fool,
as I imagined,
but laid it down in the boat: but he knew what he was doing;
by main force,
he dragged the Pagan out of the boat into ours by the two ears,
and knocked his brains out against the boat's gunnel;
a Dutchman that was next him,
snatched up the musket,
and knocked down five more with the but-end of it;
this was doing very little to their number;
but a strange unexpected accident,
which rather merits laughter than any thing else,
gave our men a complete victory over them.
It seems the carpenter,
who was preparing to grave the outside of the ship,
as well as to pay the seams,
where he caulked to stop the leaks,
had gotten two kettles just let down in the boat,
one filled with boiling pitch,
and the other with rosin,
and such stuffs as the shipwrights use;
the carpenter's man had a great iron ladle with which he used to supply the workmen with hot stuff,
& as two of the enemies entered the boat where the fellow stood,
he saluted them with a full ladle of the hot boiling liquor;
the poor creatures being half naked,
made them roar out,
and jump into the sea.
says the carpenter,
-give them the other dose-: and so stepping forward himself,
takes a mop,
and dipping it into the pitch-pot,
he and his man so plentifully flung it among them,
as that none escaped being scalded;
upon which they all made the best of their way,
crying and howling in such a frightful manner,
in all my adventures,
I never heard the like.
never was I better pleased with any conquest than I was with this,
there being so little bloodshed,
and having an aversion to killing such savage wretches,
(more than was necessary) as knowing they came on errands,
which their laws and customs made them think were just and equitable.
By this time,
all things being in order,
and the ship swimming,
they found their mistake,
so they did not venture a second attack.
Thus ended our merry fight;
having got rice,
and sixteen good hogs on board the day before we set sail,
not daring to go into the bay of Tonquin,
but steering N.E.
toward the isle of Formosa,
or as tho' we would go to the Manillas,
or Phillippine islands,
for fear of meeting with any European ships;
when we anchored at the isle of Formosa,
the inhabitants not only courteously supplied us with provisions and fresh water,
but dealt very fairly and honestly with us in their bargains and agreements.
From this place we steered north,
keeping still off the coast of China,
till we were beyond all its ports where European ships usually come;
being come to the latitude of thirty degrees,
we resolved to put into the first trading port we should come at;
and standing for the shore,
a boat came off two leagues to us,
with an old Portuguese pilot on board,
who offered his service;
we very gladly accepted him,
and sent the boat back again.
having the man on board,
I talked to him of going to Nanquin,
the most northward part of the coast of China.
-What will you do there-?
I told him that we would sell our cargo,
and purchase calicoes,
raw and wrought silks,
and so return the same way back.
-you had better put in at Macao,
where you may buy China wares as cheap as at Nanquin,
and sell your opium at a greater advance-.
"But' said I
'we are gentlemen as well as merchants,
and design to see the great city of Pekin,
and the magnificent court of the monarch of China,"
-you should go to Ningpo,
where is a navigable river that goes through the heart of that vast empire,
two hundred and seventy leagues from the sea,
which crosses all the rivers,
passes considerable hills,
by the help of the sluices and gates,
and goes even up to the city of Pekin.
You may go to Nanquin if you please,
and travel to Pekin,
and there is a Dutch ship just before bound that way-.
At the name of a Dutch or English ship,
I was struck with confusion;
they being as great a terror to me in this vessel,
as an Algerine man of war is to them in the Mediterranean.
The old man finding me troubled,
-I hope the Dutch are not now at war with your nation-.
"but God knows what liberty they may take when out of the reach of the law."
says he -what occasion is there for peaceable merchants to fear?
For believe me,
they never meddle with any but PIRATES.-
[Illustration: The Carpenter and his man defeats the Cochinchinese.]
At the mentioning the word -pirates-,
my countenance turned to that of scarlet;
nor was it possible for me to conceal it from the old pilot;
who was taking notice of it,
said he -take what course you please,
I'll do you all the service I can.- "Seignior,"
"I am a little concerned at your mentioning pirates;
I hope there are none such in these seas,
because you see in what weak condition we are to defend ourselves."
-if that's all,
don't be concerned,
I don't remember one in these seas these fifteen years,
except above a month ago one was seen in the bay of Siam,
but he is gone to the southward;
neither was she built for a privateer,
but was run away with by a reprobate Captain,
and some of his men,
the right Captain having been murdered by the Malayans-.
(as though ignorant of what had happened) "did they kill the Captain?"
-it is generally thought the Malayans murdered him;
but they justly deserve hanging.
The rogues were lately discovered in the bay of Siam,
in the river of Cambodia,
by some Dutchmen who belonged to the ship,
and had much ado to escape the five boats that pursued them,
but they have solemnly sworn to give no quarter to the Captain or the seamen but hang them every one up at the yard-arm,
without any formal business of bringing them to a court of judicature-.
having the old man on board,
he was incapable of doing me any mischief,
(said I) it is for this very reason I would have you carry us up to Nanquin,
where neither English nor Dutch ships come;
and I must tell you,
their Captains are a parcel of rash,
that neither know what belongs to justice,
nor how to behave themselves as the laws of God or nature direct;
fellows that would prove murderers to punish robbers,
and take upon them to adjudge innocent men to death,
without any proof to prove them guilty,
but perhaps I may live to call them to account for it,
in a place where they may be taught how justice is to be executed."
And so I told him all the story of buying the ship,
and how we were saved by the means of two men;
that the murder of the Captain by the Malayans,
as also the running away with the ship,
I believed to be true;
but that we,
who bought it,
were turned pirates,
was a mere fiction to cover their cowardice and foolish behaviour,
when they attacked us,
& the blood of those men we killed in our own just defence,
lay at their door,
who sent to attack us by surprise.
(said the old man,
amazed) you have taken the right course to steer to the north,
if I might advise you,
I would have you sell your ship in China,
and buy or build another in that country;
and I'll procure people to buy the one and sell the other."
(said I) if I sell the ship in this manner,
I may bring some innocent persons into the same dangers I have gone through,
even death itself;
whereby I should be as guilty of their murder as their villainous executioners."
"That need not trouble you,
(says the old man) I'll find a way to prevent that;
for these commanders you talk of I know very well,
and will inform them rightly of the matter as you have related,
and I am persuaded they will not only believe me,
but act more cautiously for the future."
"And will you deliver one message from me to them?"
(said he) if you will give it under your hand,
that I may prove it is not of my own production,"
Hereupon I wrote a large account of their attacking me in their long-boat,
the pretended reason and unjust design of it;
that they had done what they might be ashamed of,
and could not answer for at any tribunal in England.
But this letter was writ in vain.
Providence ordered things another way.
We sailed directly for Nanquin,
and in about thirteen day's sail,
came to an anchor at the south-west point of the great gulf of that place,
where we learned,
that two Dutch ships were gone the length before us,
and that we should certainly fall into their hands.
We were all at a great loss in this exigency,
and would very gladly have been on shore almost any where;
but our old pilot told me,
that if I would sail to the southward about two and forty leagues,
there was a little port called Quinchange,
where no European ships ever came,
and where we might consider what was further to be done.
Accordingly we weighed anchor the next day,
calling only twice on shore by the way to get fresh water.
The country people very courteously sold us roots,
and other provisions.
After five days sail we came to the port,
and landed with unspeakable joy.
We resolved to dispose of ourselves and effects in any other way possible,
than enter on board that ill-fated vessel more;
for no state can be more miserable than a continued fear,
which is a life of death,
a confounder of our understandings,
that sets the imagination at work to form a thousand frightful things that may never happen.
And we scarce slept one night without dreaming of halters,
and being killed;
so violent were our apprehensions,
that we would bruise our hands and heads against the sides of the cabin,
as though actually engaged.
The story of the Dutch cruelty at Amboyns,
often came into our thoughts when awake;
for my part,
I thought my condition very hard;
that after so many difficulties and such signal deliverances,
I should be hanged in my old age,
though innocent of any crime that deserved such punishment;
but then religion would seem to represent to me,
as though the voice of it had said;
what sins you have been formerly guilty of;
which now thou art called to an account for,
to expiate with thy blood!
And as to thy innocence,
what art thou more innocent than thy blessed Redeemer,
who suffered for thy offences,
and to whose providence you ought to submit,
let what will happen?'
natural courage would inspire me to resist to the last drop of blood,
and sooner die than suffer myself to be taken by boorish,
who had arts to torment beyond death itself.
thank kind Heaven,
our old pilot procured us a lodging and a warehouse for our goods;
it was a little hut with a large warehouse joining to it,
all built with canes,
and pallisadoed round with large ones,
to keep out pilfering thieves,
which are very numerous in that country.
The magistrates allowed us a little guard during the night,
and we employed a centinel with a kind of halbert for three pence a day.
had been over for some time;
there remained in the river four junks and two Japan ships,
the merchants of the latter being on shore.
In the first place,
our old pilot brought us acquainted with the missionary Roman priests,
who were converting the people to Christianity: two of them were reserved,
applying themselves to the work they came about with great earnestness,
but the third,
who was a Frenchman,
called Father Simon,
was of a freer conversation,
not seemingly so serious and grave,
yet no worse Christian than the other two,
one of whom was a Portuguese,
and the other a Genoese.
was appointed to go to Pekin,
the royal seat of the Emperor of the Chinese;
and he only waited for another priest,
who was ordered from Macao to accompany him.
We never met together,
but he was prompting me to accompany him in that journey: -Sir-,
-I will show you the glorious things of this mighty empire,
and a city,
the city of Pekin,
far exceeding London and Paris,
put them both together-.
One day in particular,
being at dinner with him,
I showed some inclination to go;
which made him press the more upon me and my partner,
to gain our perfect consent.
said my partner,
-what satisfaction can you have in our company,
whom you esteem as heretics,
and consequently objects not worthy your regard?
-you may be as good Catholics in time as those I hope to convert to our religion.
-we shall have you preaching to us all the way,
instead of pleasing us with a description of the country.
-however our religion may be villified by some people,
it is very certain it neither divests us of good manners or Christian charity;
and as we are gentlemen,
as such we may converse together,
without making one another uneasy-.
But we shall leave him a while,
to consider our ship and the merchandise which we had to dispose of.
There was but very little trade in the place where we were;
and I was once resolved to venture to sail to the river Kilam,
and so to the city of Nanquin;
but Providence ordered it otherwise,
by our old pilot's bringing a Japan merchant to us,
to see what goods we had.
He immediately bought our opium,
for which he gave us a very good price in gold by weight,
some wedges of which were about ten or eleven ounces.
It came into my head that perhaps he might buy the ship too;
and I ordered the interpreter to propose it to him.
He said nothing then,
but shrugged up his shoulders;
yet in a few days after he came accompanied by a missionary priest,
who was his interpreter,
with this proposal,
-That as he had bought a great quantity of our goods,
he had not money enough to purchase our ship;
but if I pleased he would hire her,
with all my men,
to go to Japan,
and from thence with another loading to the Philippine islands,
the freight of both which he would very willingly pay to us before;
and at their return to Japan,
would buy the ship-.
Upon this we asked the Captain and his men if they were willing to go to Japan;
to which they unanimously agreed.
While this was in agitation,
the young man my nephew left to attend me,
"That as I did not care to accept his prospect of advantage he would manage it for me as I pleased,
and render me a faithful account of his success,
which would be wholly mine."
Indeed I was very unwilling to part with him;
but considering it might be for the young man's good,
I discoursed with my partner about it,
of his own generosity,
gave him his share of the vessel,
so that I could do no otherwise than give him mine: but,
we let him have but the proper half of it,
and preserved a power,
that when we met in England,
if he had obtained success,
he should account to us for one half of the profit of the ship's freight and the other should be his own.
Thus having taken a writing under his hand,
away he sailed to Japan,
where the merchant dealt very honestly by him,
got him a licence to come on shore,
sent him loaded to the Philippines with a Japanese supercargo,
from whence he came back again loaded with European goods,
and other spiceries.
By this voyage he cleared a considerable sum of money,
which determined him not to sell his ship,
but to trade on his own account;
so he returned to the Manillas,
he made his ship free,
was hired by the governor privately to go to Acapulco in America,
on the Mexican coast,
with a licence to travel to the great city of Mexico.
This traffic turned out greatly to account,
and my friend finding means to get to Jamaica,
returned nine years after exceedingly rich into England.
In parting with the ship,
it comes in course to consider of those men who had saved our lives when in the river of Cambodia;
by the way,
they were a couple of rogues,
who thought to turn pirates themselves,
yet we paid them what they had before demanded,
and gave each of them a small sum of money,
making the Englishman a gunner,
and the Dutchman a boatswain,
with which they were very well contented.
We were now about 1000 leagues farther from home,
than when at Bengal.
All the comfort we could expect was,
that there being another fair to be kept in a month's time,
we might not only purchase all sorts of that country's manufactures,
but very possibly find some Chinese junks,
or vessels from Tonquin,
to be sold,
which would carry us and our goods wheresoever we pleased.
Upon these hopes,
we resolved to continue;
to divert ourselves,
we took several little journies in the country.
About ten days after we parted with the ship,
we travelled to see the city of Nanquin.
The city lies in latitude 30 degrees north of the line: it is regularly built,
and the streets are exactly straight,
and cross one another in direct lines,
which sets it out to the greatest advantage.
At our return,
we found the priest was come from Macao,
that was to accompany Father Simon to Pekin.
That Father earnestly solicited me to accompany him,
& I referred him to my partner.
we both agreed,
and prepared accordingly;
and we were so lucky as to have liberty to travel among the retinue of one of their Mandarines,
who is a principal magistrate,
and much reverenced by the people.
We were five and twenty days travelling thro' this miserable country,
but as indifferently cultivated;
and yet their pride is infinitely greater than their poverty,
insomuch that they priests themselves derided them.
As we passed by the house of one of their country gentlemen,
two leagues off Nanquin,
we had the honour,
to ride with the Chinese squire about two miles.
Never was Don Quixote so exactly imitated!
Never such a compound of pomp and poverty seen before!
made of calico,
and very proper for a Mersy Andrew or Scaramouch,
with all its tawdry trappings,
as hanging sleeves,
though torn and rent in almost every part;
his vest underneath it was no less dirty,
but more greatly;
resembling the most exquisite sloven or greasy butcher;
his horse (worse than Rosinante,
or the famous steed of doughty Hudibras) was a poor starved decrepid thing,
that would not sell for thirty shillings in England;
and yet this piece of worshipful pomp was attended with ten or twelve slaves who guarded their master to his country seat.
We stopped at a little village for refreshment;
and when we came by the country seat of this great man,
we found him sitting under a tree before his door,
eating a mess of boiled rice,
with a great piece of garlic in the middle,
and a bag filled with green pepper by him,
and another plant like ginger,
together with a piece of lean mutton in it: this was his worship's repast: but pray observe the state of the food!
two women slaves brought him his food,
which being laid before him,
two others appeared to perform their respective offices;
one fed him with a spoon,
while the other scraped off what fell upon his beard and taffety vest,
and gave it to a particular favourite to eat.
And thus we left the wretch pleased with the conceit of our admiring his magnificence,
which rather merited our scorn and detestation.
At length we arrived at the great city of Pekin,
accompanied by two servants,
and the old Portuguese pilot,
whose charges we bore,
and who served us as an interpreter by the way.
We had scarce been a week at Pekin,
but he comes laughing to us.
(said he) me something tell you make your heart glad,
but make me sorry: for your bring me here twenty-five days journey,
and now you leave me go back alone;
and which way shall I make my port after,
without de ship,
without de horse,
so he called money in his broken Latin.
He then informed me,
that there was a great caravan of Muscovite and Polish merchants in the city,
who were preparing to set out for Muscovy by land within six weeks;
that he was certain we would take this opportunity,
and consequently that he must go home by himself.
Indeed this news infinitely surprised & pleased me.
"Are you certain of this?"
(says he) me sure its true."
And so he told me,
that having met an old acquaintance of his,
in the street,
who was among them,
and who had come from Astracan,
with a design to go to Tonquin,
but for certain reasons having altered his resolutions,
he was now resolved to go with the caravan,
and to return by the river Wolga to Astracan.
(said I) don't be discontented about your returning alone;
by this means,
I can find a passage to England,
it will be your own fault if you return to Macao at all."
And so consulting with my partner what was best to be done,
he referred it to me as I pleased,
having our affairs so well settled at Bengal,
that if he could convert the good voyage he had made in China silks,
wrought or raw,
he would be satisfied to go to England;
and so return to Bengal in the Company's ships.
we agreed that if our pilot would go with us,
we would bear his charges either to Moscow or England;
and to give him in a present the sum of one hundred and seventy pounds sterling.
Hereupon we called him in,
and told him the cause of his complaint should be removed,
if he would accompany us with the caravans;
we desired to know his mind.
At this he shook his head,
"Great long journey,
(said he) me no pecune carry me to Moscow,
or keep me there."
But we soon put him out of that concern,
by making him sensible of what we would give him here to lay out the best advantage;
as for his charges,
we would set him safe on shore,
either in Muscovy or England,
as he pleased,
at our own charge,
except the carriage of his goods.
At this proposal,
he was like a man transported,
telling us he would go with us all the world over;
and we made preparations for our journey;
but it was near four months before all the merchants were ready.
In the mean time,
my partner and the pilot went express to the port where we first put in,
to dispose of what goods had been left there,
while I accompanied a Chinese merchant who was going to Nanquin,
and there bought twenty-nine pieces of damask,
with about three hundred more of other fine silks;
by the time my partner returned to Pekin,
I had them all carried thither;
our cargo in silks amounted to 45col.
together with tea,
loaded eighteen camels for our share,
besides what we rode upon,
with two or three spare horses,
and two more loaden with provisions;
the company now was very great,
making about four hundred horse,
and above one hundred and twenty men,
well armed and provided.
We were of several nations,
among whom were five Scotch merchants,
inhabiting in Moscow,
and well experienced in trade.
We set out from Pekin the beginning of February our stile;
and in two days more,
we passed through the gate of the great China wall,
which was erected as a fortification against the Tartars,
being one hundred English miles long.
We then entered a country not near so populous,
chiefly under the power of plundering Tartars,
several companies of whom we perceived riding on poor starved horses,
contemptible as themselves without order of discipline.
One time our leader,
for the day,
gave us leave to go a hunting;
but what do you think we hunted?
only a parcel of sheep,
which indeed exceeded any in the world for wildness and swiftness;
but while we were pursuing this game,
it was our chance to meet with about forty Tartars,
who no sooner perceived us,
but one of them blew a horn,
at the sound of which there soon appeared a troop of forty or fifty more,
at about a mile's distance.
one of the Scots merchants (who knew their ways) ordered us to advance towards them,
and attack them immediately,
As we advanced,
they let fly a volley of arrows,
which happily fell a little short of us;
this made us halt a little,
to return the compliment with bullets;
and then being led up by the bold Scot,
we fired our pistols in their faces,
and drew out our swords;
but there was no occasion;
for they flew like timorous sheep,
& only three of them remained,
beckoning to the rest to come back.
But our brave commander gallops up to them by himself,
shot one dead,
knocked another of his horse,
while the third ran away;
and thus ended our battle with the Tartars.
We travelled a month more through the Emperor of China's dominions;
and at length coming to one of their towns about a day and a half's journey from the city of Naum,
I wanted to buy a camel.
The person I spoke to would have brought me one,
like a fool,
I must go along with him,
about two miles from the village.
My old pilot and I walked on foot,
for some variety,
when coming to the place where the camels were kept as in a park guarded by Chinese soldiers,
we there agreed and bought one,
which the Chinese man that came along with me led along the road.
But we had not gone far,
before we were attacked by five Tartars,
mounted on horseback,
two of whom seized the man,
took the camel from him,
and rode away,
while the other three approached us,
the first of whom suddenly seized me as I was drawing my sword,
knocked me down,
but my old trusty Portuguese taking a pistol out of his pocket,
which I knew nothing of,
and coming up to the fellow that struck me,
he with one hand pulled him off his horse,
and then shot him dead upon the spot;
then taking his scymitar,
he struck at the man that stopped us,
but missing him,
cut off one of his horses ears,
the pain of which made him throw his rider to the ground.
The poor Chinese who had led the camel,
seeing the Tartar down,
runs to him,
and seizing upon his pole-ax,
wrenched it from his hands,
and knocked his brains out.
But there was another Tartar to deal with,
who seeming neither inclined to fight nor fly,
and my old man having begun to charge his pistol,
the very sight of it struck such a terror into the wretch,
that away he scoured,
leaving my old pilot,
rather my champion and defender,
an absolute victory.
By this time being awakened from my trance,
I began to open my eyes,
wondering where I was,
having quite forgot all that passed;
but my senses returning,
and feeling a great pain in my head,
and seeing the blood was running over my clothes,
I instantly jumped upon my feet,
and grasped my sword in my hand,
with a resolution to take revenge: but no enemies now remained,
except the dead Tartar,
with his horse standing by him.
The old man seeing me recovered,
whom he thought slain,
ran towards me,
and embraced me with the greatest tenderness,
at the same time examining into my wound,
which was far from being mortal.
When we returned to the village,
the man demanded payment for his camel,
which I refusing,
we brought the cause,
before a Chinese judge,
who acted with great impartiality: Having heard both sides,
he asked the Chinese man that went with me,
whose servant he was?
-Sir,- said he,
-I am nobody's,
but went with the stranger at his request: Why then-,
said the judge,
-you are the stranger's servant for the time,
and the camel being delivered to his servant,
it is the same as though delivered to himself,
and accordingly he must pay for it.- Indeed the case was so fairly stated,
that I had nothing to object to it;
having paid for that I was robbed of,
I sent for another,
but did not go myself to fetch it,
as I had enough of that sport before.
The city of Naum is a frontier of the Chinese empire,
as some will tell you,
that millions of Tartars cannot batter down their walls;
by which certainly one might think one of our cannons would do more execution than all their legions.
When we were within a day's march of that city,
we had information that the governor had sent messengers to every part of the road,
to inform the travellers and caravans to halt,
till a guard was sent to protect them from the numerous bodies of Tartars that lately appeared about the city.
This news put us into great consternation;
obeying the orders,
& two days after,
there came two hundred soldiers from a garrison of the Chinese,
and three hundred more from Naum;
thus guarded both in the front and rear,
with our own men in the flanks,
we boldly advanced,
thinking we were able to combat with ten thousand Mogul Tartars,
if they appeared.
Early next morning,
in our march from a little well situated town called Changu,
after having passed a river,
and entered upon a desert of about fifteen or sixteen miles over,
we soon beheld by a cloud of dust that was raised,
that the enemy was approaching.
This much dispirited the Chinese.
My old pilot took notice of it,
and called out,
those fellows must be encouraged,
or they will ruin us all,
and I am afraid if the Tartars attack us,
they will all run away-.
what shall be done in this case?"
-why let fifty of our men advance,
and flank them on each wing.
I know the fellows will fight well enough in company-.
We accordingly took his advice,
and marched fifty to the right wing,
and the same number to the left,
and with the rest made a line of reserve,
leaving the last two hundred men to guard the camels,
or to assist us,
as occasion required.
a party of the enemy came forward,
viewing our posture,
and traversing the ground on the front of our line.
Hereupon we ordered the two wings to move on,
and give them a salute with their shot;
which accordingly was done.
This put a stop to their proceedings;
for immediately wheeling off to their left,
they all marched away,
and we saw no more of them.
They had undoubtedly given an account to their companions of what reception they might expect,
which made them to easily give over their enterprize.
When we came to the city of Naum,
we returned the governor hearty thanks,
and distributed a hundred crowns among the soldiers that guarded us.
We rested there one day,
and then proceeded on our travels,
passing several great rivers and deserts and on the 13th of April we came to the frontiers of Muscovy,
the first town of which was called Argun.
This happy occasion,
as I thought,
of coming into a Christian country,
made me congratulate the Scots merchant upon it.
He smiled at that,
telling me not to rejoice too soon;
-except the Russian soldiers in garrison,
and a few inhabitants of the cities upon the road,
all the rest of this country,
for above a thousand miles,
is inhabited by the most ignorant and barbarous Pagans-.
We advanced from the river Arguna,
by moderate journies and found convenient garrisons on the road,
filled with Christian soldiers for the security of commerce,
and for the convenient lodgings of travellers: but the inhabitants of the country were mere Pagans,
worshiping the sun,
We particularly observed this idolatry near the river Arguna,
at a city inhabited by Tartars and Russians,
Being curious to see their way of living,
while the caravan continued to rest themselves in that city,
I went to one of their villages,
where there was to be one of their solemn sacrifices.
There I beheld upon the stump of an old tree,
an idol of wood,
more ugly than the representation of the devil himself: its head resembled no living creature;
its ears were as big and as high as goat's horns,
a crooked nose,
and horrible teeth: it was clothed in sheep skins,
had a great Tartar bonnet,
with two horns growing thro' it,
and was eight feet high,
legs or proportion.
Before this idol their lay sixteen or seventeen people,
who brought their offerings,
and were making their prayers,
while at a distance stood three men and one bullock,
as victims to this ugly monster.
Such stupendous sacrilege as this,
in robbing the true God of his honour,
filled me with the greatest astonishment and reflection: which soon turning to rage and fury,
I rode up to the image,
and cut in pieces the bonnet that was upon his head with my sword,
so that it hung down by one of the horns,
while one of my men that was with me pulled at it by his sheep-skin garment.
Immediately an hideous howling and outcry ran through the village,
and two or three hundred people coming about our ears,
we were obliged to fly for it.
But I had not done with the monster;
for the caravan being to rest three nights in the town,
I told the Scots merchant what I had seen,
and that I was resolved to take four or five men well armed with me,
in order to destroy the idol,
and show the people how little reason they had to trust in a god who could not save himself.
At first he laughed at me,
representing the danger of it,
and when it was destroyed,
what time had we to preach to them better things,
whole zeal and ignorance was in the highest degree,
and both unparalleled?
that if I should be taken by them,
I should be served as a poor ruffian,
who contemned their worship;
to be stripped naked,
and tied to the top of the idol,
there shot at with arrows till my body was fall of them,
and then burnt as a sacrifice to the monster;
-since your zeal carries you so far,
rather than you should be alone I will accompany you,
and bring a stout fellow equal to yourself,
if you will,
to assist you in this design:- and accordingly he brought one Captain Richardson,
hearing the story,
but my partner declined it,
being altogether out of his way: and so we three,
and my servant,
resolved to execute this exploit about midnight;
but upon second thoughts we deferred it to the next night,
by reason that the caravan being to go from hence the next morning,
we should be out of the governor's power.
The better to effectuate my design,
I procured a Tartar's sheep-skin robe,
with bow and arrows,
and every one of us got the like habits,
the first night we spent in mixing combustible matter with aqua vitae,
having a good quantity of tar in a little pot: next night we came up to the idol about eleven o'clock,
the moon being up.
We found none guarding it;
but we perceived a light in the house,
where we had seen the priests before.
One of our men was for firing the hut,
another for killing the people,
and a third for making them prisoners,
while the idol was destroyed.
We agreed to the latter;
so knocking at the door,
we seized the first that opened it,
and stopping his mouth and tying his feet,
we left him.
We served the other two in the like manner;
and then the Scots merchant set fire to the composition,
which frightened them so much,
that we brought them all away prisoners to their wooden god.
There we fell to work with him,
daubing him all over with tar mixed with tallow and brimstone stopping his eyes,
and mouth full of gunpowder,
with a great piece of wild-fire in his bonnet,
and environed it with dry forage.
All this being done,
we unloosed and ungagged the prisoners,
and set the idol on fire,
which the gunpowder blowing up,
the shape of it was deformed,
rent and split,
which the forage utterly consumed;
for we staid to see its destruction,
lest the ignorant idolatrous people should have thrown themselves into the flames,
And thus we came away undiscovered,
in the morning appearing as busy among our fellow travellers,
as no body could have suspected any other,
but that we had been in our beds all night.
Next morning we let out,
and had gone but a small distance from the city,
when there came a multitude of people of the country to the gates of the city,
demanding satisfaction of the Ruffian governor for insulting their priests,
and burning their great Cham Cai-Thaungu,
who dwelt in the sun,
and no mortal would violate this image but some Christian miscreants;
and being already no less than thirty thousand strong,
they announced war against him and all his Christians.
The governor assured them he was ignorant of the matter,
and that none of his garrison had been abroad;
that indeed there was a caravan that went away that morning,
and that he would send after them to inquire into it;
and whoever was the offender,
should be delivered into their hands.
This satisfied them for the present,
but the governor sent to inform us,
that if any of us had done it,
we should make all the haste away possible,
while he kept them in play as long as he could.
Upon this we marched two days and two nights,
stopping but very little,
till at last we arrived at a village called Plothus,
and hasted to Jerawena,
another of the Czar's colonies.
On the third day,
having entered the desert,
and passed the lake called Shaks Oser,
we beheld a numerous body of horde on the other side or it to the north,
who supposed we had passed on that side of the lake;
but either having found the mistake,
or being certainly informed of the way we took,
they came upon us towards the dusk of the evening,
just as we had pitched our camp between two little but very thick woods,
with a little river running before our front and some felled trees with which we covered our rear;
a precaution we always took,
and which we had just finished when the enemy came up.
They did not fall on us immediately,
but sent three messengers,
demanding the men who had insulted their priests,
& burnt their god,
that they might be burnt with fire;
that if this was complied with,
they would peaceably depart;
but if not,
they would destroy one and all of us.
Our men stared at one another on receipt of this message,
but Nobody was the word,
as indeed nobody knew it,
but he who did it.
Upon which the leader of the caravan returned for answer,
-That they were peaceable merchants,
who meddled with none of their priests and gods and therefore desired,
them not to disturb us,
and put us to the necessity of defending ourselves-.
But do far was this from satisfying them,
that the next morning coming to our right,
they let fly a volley of arrows among us,
which happily did not hurt any,
because we sheltered ourselves behind our baggage.
We expected however to come to a closer engagement;
but were happily saved by a cunning fellow,
who obtaining leave of the leader to go out,
mounts his horse,
rides directly from our rear,
and taking a circuit,
comes up to the Tartars,
as tho he had been sent express,
and tells them a formal story,
that the wretches who had burnt the Cham Chi-Thaungu,
were gone to Shiheilka,
with a resolution to burn the god Shal-Ifar,
belonging to the Tongueses.
believing this cunning Tartar,
who was servant to our Muscovites,
away they drove to Shiheilka,
and in less than three minutes were out of sight,
nor did we ever hear of them more.
When we came to the city of Jarawena,
we rested five days,
and then entered into a frightful desert,
which held us twenty-three days march,
infested with several small companies of robbers,
or Mogul Tartars,
who never had the courage to attack us.
After we had passed over this desert,
we found several garisons to defend the caravans from the violence of the Tartars.
In particular the Governor of Adinskoy offered us a guard of fifty men to the next station,
if we apprehended any danger.
The people here retained the same paganism and barbarity,
only they were not so dangerous,
being conquered by the Muscovites.
both of men & women,
is of the skins of beasts,
living under the ground in vaults & caves,
which have a communication with one another.
They have idols almost in every family;
they adore the sun and stars,
water and snow;
and the least uncommon thing that happens in the elements,
alarms them as much as thunder and lightning does the unbelieving Jews.
Nothing remarkable occurred in our march through this country.
When we had gone through the desert,
after two days farther travel;
we came to Jenezoy,
a Muscovite city,
on the great river so called,
which we were told,
parted Europe from Asia.
The inhabitants here were very little better,
though intermixed with the Muscovites,
but the wonder will cease,
when I inform my readers of what was observed to me,
that the Czar rather converts the Tartars with soldiers than clergymen,
and is more proud to make them faithful subjects,
than good Christians.
From this city to the river Oby,
we travelled over a pleasant,
but very uncultivated country,
for want of good management and people,
and those few are mostly Pagans.
This is the place where the Muscovite criminals are banished to,
if they are not put to death.
The next city we came to,
was the capital city of Siberia,
called Tobolski when having been almost seven months on our journey,
and winter drawing on apace,
my partner and I consulted about our particular affairs in what manner we should dispose of ourselves.
We had been told of sledges and rein-deer to carry us over the snow in the winter season,
the snow being frozen so hard,
that the sledges can run upon the surface without any danger of going down.
As I was bound to England,
I now behoved either to go with the caravan to Jerosaw,
from thence west to Marva,
and the gulph of Finland,
and so by land or sea to Denmark;
or else I must leave the caravan at a little town on the Dwina,
and so to Archangel,
where I was certain of shipping either to England,
One night I happened to get into the company of an illustrious,
but banished Prince,
whose company and virtues were such as made me to propose to him a method how he might obtain his liberty.
-My dear friend-,
-as I am here happily free from my miserable greatness with all its attendants of pride,
if I should escape from this place,
those pernicious seeds may again revive,
to my lasting disquietude;
therefore let me remain in a blessed confinement,
for I am but flesh,
a mere man,
with passions and affections as such;
O be not my friend and tempter too!- Struck dumb with surprise,
I stood silent a-while;
nor was he less in disorder,
by which perceiving he wanted to give vent to his mind,
I desired him to consider of it,
and so withdrew.
But about two hours after he came to my apartment: -Dear friend-,
-though I cannot consent to accompany you,
I shall have this satisfaction in parting,
that you leave me an honest man still: but as a testimony of my affection to you,
be pleased to accept this present of sables-.
In return for his compliment,
I sent my servant next morning to his Lordship with a small present of tea,
two pieces of China damask,
and four little wedges of gold;
but he only accepted the tea,
one piece of damask,
and one piece of gold,
for the curiosity of the Japan stamp that was upon it.
Not long after he sent for me,
and told me,
-that what he had refused himself,
he hoped upon his account,
I would grant to another whom he should name:- In short it was his only son,
who was about two hundred miles distant from him,
on the other side of the city,
whom he said he would send for,
if I gave my consent.
This I soon complied with;
upon which he sent his servants next day for his son,
who returned in twenty days time,
bringing seven horses loaded with valuable furs.
At night the young Lord was conducted incognito into our apartment,
where his father presented him to me.
We then concerted the best ways for travelling,
and after having bought a considerable quantity of sables,
(which I sold at Archangel at a good price) we set out from this city the beginning of June,
making a small caravan,
being about thirty-two horses and camels,
of which I represented the head.
My young Lord had with him a very faithful Siberian servant,
well acquainted with the roads: We shunned the principal towns and cities,
and several others,
by reason of their strictness in examining travellers,
lest any of the banished persons of distinction should escape.
Having passed the river Kama,
we came to a city on the European side,
called Soloy Kamoskoi,
where we found the people mostly Pagans as before.
We then passed a desert of about two hundred miles over;
but in other places it is near seven hundred.
In passing this wild place,
we were beset by a troop of men on horseback,
and about five and forty men armed with bows and arrows.
At first they looked earnestly on us,
and then placed themselves in our way.
We were above sixteen men,
and drew up a little line before our camels.
My young Lord sent out his Siberian servant,
to know who they were;
when he approached them,
he neither knew a word they said;
nor would they admit him to come near them at his peril,
but prepared to shoot him.
At his return,
he told us he believed them to be Calmuc Tartars;
and that there were more upon the desert.
This was but a small comfort to us;
yet seeing a little grove,
about a quarter of a mile's distance,
we moved to it,
by the old Portuguese pilot's advice,
without meeting with any opposition.
Here we found a marshy piece of ground,
and a spring of water running into a little brook on one side,
which joined another like it a little further off,
and these two formed the head of the river called Writska.
As soon as we arrived,
we went to work,
cutting great arms off the trees,
and laying them hanging (not quite off from one tree to another).
In this situation we waited the motion of the enemy,
without perceiving any advancement they made towards us.
About two hours before night,
being joined by some others,
in all about fourscore horse,
among whom we fancied were some women,
they came upon us with great fury.
We fired without ball,
calling to them in the Russian tongue,
to know their business;
either not knowing,
or seeming not to understand us,
came directly to the wood side,
nor considering that we were to be fortified,
as that they could not break in.
Our old pilot,
proved both our captain and engineer,
and desired us not to fire,
till they came within pistol shot;
and when he gave the word of command,
then to take the surest aim: but he did not bid us give fire,
till they were within two pikes length of us,
and then we filled fourteen of them,
as also their horses,
having every one of us loaded our pieces with two or three bullets at least.
So much were they surprised at our undauntedness,
that they retired about a hundred roods from us.
In the mean while we loaded our pieces again,
and sallying out,
secured four or five of their horses,
whose riders we found were killed,
and perceived them to be Tartars.
About an hour after,
they made another attempt,
to see where they might break in;
but finding us ready to receive them,
All that night we wrought hard,
in strengthening our situation,
and barricading the entrances into the woods;
but when day-light came,
we had a very unwelcome discovery;
for the enemy,
being encouraged by their numbers,
had set up eleven or twelve tents,
in form of a camp,
about three quarters of a mile from us.
I must confess,
I was never more concerned in my life,
giving myself and all that I had over for lost.
And my partner declared,
that as the loss of his goods would be his ruin,
before they should be taken from him,
he would fight to the last drop of his blood.
As we could not pretend to force our way,
we had recourse to a stratagem;
we kindled a large fire,
which burnt all night;
and no sooner was it dark,
but we pursued our journey towards the pole or north star,
and travelling all night;
by six o'clock in the morning we came to a Russian village called Kertza,
and from thence came to a large town named Ozonzoys,
where we heard that several troops of Calmuc Tartars had been abroad upon the desert,
but that we were past all danger.
In five days after we came to Veuslima,
upon the river Witzedga;
from thence we came to Lawrenskoy,
on the third of July,
providing ourselves with two luggage boats,
and a convenient bark,
we embarked the seventh,
and arrived at Archangel the eighteenth,
after a year,
and three days journey,
including the eight months and odd days at Tobolski.
We came from Archangel the 20th of August in the same year,
and arrived at Hamburg the 30th of September.
Here my partner and I made a very good sale of our goods,
both those of China and Siberia;
when dividing our effects,
my share came to 3475l.
after all the losses we had sustained,
and charges we had been at.
Here the young Lord took his leave of me,
in order to go to the court of Vienna,
not only to seek protection,
but to correspond with his father's friends.
After we had staid four months in Hamburgh,
I went from thence overland to the Hague,
where embarking in the packet,
I arrived in London the 10th of January 1705,
after ten years and nine months absence from England.
-R O B I N S O N C R U S O E'S- VISION OF THE ANGELIC WORLD.
* * * * *
I. Of SOLITUDE.
However solitude is looked upon as a restraint to the pleasure of the world,
in company and conversation,
yet it is a happy state of exemption from a sea of trouble,
an inundation of vanity and vexation,
of confusion and disappointment.
While we enjoy ourselves,
neither the joy not sorrow of other men affect us: We are then at liberty with the voice of our soul,
to speak to God.
By this we shun such frequent trivial discourse,
as often becomes an obstruction to virtue: and how often do we find that we had reason to with we had not been in company,
or said nothing when we were there?
for either we offend God by the impiety of our discourse,
or lay ourselves open to the violence of designing people by our ungarded expressions;
and frequently feel the coldness and treachery of pretended friends,
when once involved in trouble and affliction: of such unfaithful intimates (I should say enemies) who rather by false inuendoes would accumulate miseries upon us,
than honestly assist us when under the hard hand of adversity.
But in a state of solitude,
when our tongues cannot be heard,
except from the great Majesty of Heaven,
how happy are we,
in the blessed enjoyment of conversing with our Maker!
It is then we make him our friend,
which sets us above the envy and contempt of wicked men.
When a man converses with himself,
he is sure that he does not converse with an enemy.
Our retreat should be to good company,
and good books.
I mean not by solitude,
that a man should retire into a cell,
or a monastry: which would be altogether an useless and unprofitable restraint: for as men ate formed for society,
and have an absolute necessity and dependance upon one another;
so there is a retirement of the soul,
with which it converses in heaven,
even in the midst of men;
and indeed no man is more fit to speak freely,
than he who can,
without any violence himself,
refrain his tongue,
or keep silence altogether.
As to religion,
it is by this the foul gets acquainted with the hidden mysteries of the holy writings;
here she finds those floods of tears,
in which good men wash themselves day and night,
and only makes a visit to God,
and his holy angels.
In this conversation the truest peace and most solid joy are to be found;
it is a continual feast of contentment on earth,
and the means of attaining everlasting happiness in heaven.
Honesty is a virtue beloved by good men,
and pretended to by all other persons.
In this there are several degrees: to pay every man his own is the common law of honesty: but to do good to all mankind,
is the chancery law of honesty: and this chancery court is in every man's breast,
where his conscience is a Lord Chancellor.
Hence it is,
that a miser,
though he pays every body their own,
cannot be an honest man,
when he does not discharge the good offices that are incumbent on a friendly,
and generous person: for,
faith the prophet Isaiah,
-The instruments of a churl are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words,
even when the needy speaketh right.
But the liberal soul deviseth liberal things,
and by liberal things shall he stand-.
It is certainly honest to do every thing the law requires;
but should we throw every poor debtor into prison till he has paid the utmost farthing,
hang every malefactor without mercy,
exact the penalty of every bond,
and the forfeiture of every indenture,
this would be downright cruelty,
and not honesty: and it is contrary to that general rule,
-To do to another,
that which you would have done unto you-.
Sometimes necessity makes an honest man a knave: and a rich man a honest man,
because he has no occasion to be a knave.
The trial of honesty is this: Did you ever want bread,
and had your neighbour's loaf in keeping,
and would starve rather than eat it?
Were you ever arrested,
having in your custody another man's cash,
and would rather go to gaol,
than break it?
this indeed may be reckoned honesty.
For King Solomon tells us,
-That a good name is better than life,
and is a precious ointment,
when a man has once lost,
he has nothing left worth keeping-.
III -Of the present state of Religion in the world-.
there is much more devotion than religion in the world,
more adoration than supplication,
and more hypocrisy than sincerity;
and it is very melancholy to consider,
what numbers of people there are furnished with the powers of reason and gifts of nature,
and yet abandoned to the grossest ignorance and depravity.
But it would be uncharitable for us to imagine (as some Papists,
abounding with too much ill nature,
the only scandal to religion,
do) that they will certainly be in a state of damnation after this life;
for how can we think it consistent with the mercy and goodness of an infinite Being,
to damn those creatures,
when he has not furnished them with the light of the gospel?
or how can such proud,
conceited and cruel bigots,
prescribe rules to the justice and mercy of God?
We are told by some people,
that the great image which King Nebuchadnezzar set up to be adored by his people held the representation of the sun in it's right hand,
as the principal object of adoration.
But to wave this discourse of Heathens,
how many self-contradicting principles are there held among Christians?
and how do we doom one another to the devil,
while all profess to worship the same Deity,
and to expect the same salvation.
When I was at Portugal,
there was held at that time the court of justice of the Inquisition.
All the criminals were carried in procession to the great church,
where eight of them were habited in gowns and caps of canvass,
whereon the torments of hell were displayed,
and they were condemned and burnt for crimes against the Catholic faith and blessed Virgin.
I am sorry to make any reflection upon Christians;
in Italy the Roman religion seems the most cruel and mercenary upon earth;
and a very judicious person,
who travelled through Italy from Turkey,
-That there is only the face and outward pomp of religion there;
that the church protects murderers and assassins;
and then delivers the civil magistrate over to Satan for doing justice;
interdicts whole kingdoms,
and shuts up the churches for want of paying a few ecclesiastical dues,
and so puts a stop to religion for want of their money;
that the court of Inquisition burnt two men for speaking dishonourably of the Blessed Virgin;
and the missionaries of China tolerated the worshipping the devil by their new converts: that Italy was the theatre,
where religion was the grand opera: and that the Popish clergy were no other than stage players-.
As to religion in Poland,
they deny Christ to be the Messiah,
or that the Messiah has come in the flesh.
And as to their Protestants,
they are the followers of Laelius Socinus,
who denied our Saviour's divinity;
and have no concern about the divine inspiration of the Holy Ghost.
In Muscovy their churches are built of wood,
they have but wooden priests,
though of the Greek church;
they pray as much to St. Nicholas,
as the Papists do to the Virgin Mary,
for protection in all their difficulties or afflictions.
As to Lutherans,
they only differ from the Romans in believing consubstantiation,
instead of transubstantiation;
but like them,
they are much pleased with the external gallantry and pomp,
more than the true and real practice of it.
In France I found a world of priests,
the streets every where crowded with them,
and the churches full of women: but surely never was a nation so full of blind guides,
so ignorant of religion,
and even as void of morals,
as those people who confess their sins to them.
Does it not seem strange,
while all men own the Divine Being,
there should be so many different opinions as to the manner of paying him obedience in the Christian church?
I know not what reason to assign for this,
except it be their different capacities and faculties.
upon this account,
we have perceived,
in all Christian countries,
what mortal feuds have been about religion;
what wars and bloodshed have molested Europe,
till the general pacification of the German troubles at the treaty of Westphalia: and since those times,
what persecution in the same country among the churches of the Lutherans;
and should I take a prospect at home,
what unhappy divisions are between Christians in this kingdom,
about Episcopacy and Presbytery;
the church of England and the Dissenters opposing one another like St. Paul and St. Peter,
even to the face;
they carry on the dispute to the utmost extremity.
It might be a question,
why there are such differences in religious points,
and why these breaches should be more hot and irreconcileable?
All the answer I can give to this,
that we inquire more concerning the truth of religion,
than any other nation in the world;
and the anxious concern we have about it,
makes us jealous of every opinion,
and tenacious of our own;
and this is not because we are more furious and rash than other people;
but the truth is,
we are more concerned about them,
and being sensible that the scripture is the great rule of faith,
the standard for life and doctrine,
we have recourse to it ourselves,
without submitting to any pretended infallible judge upon earth.
There is another question,
pertinent to the former,
and that is,
-What remedy can we apply to this malady-?
And to this I must negatively answer,
-Not to be less religious,
that we may differ the less-.
This is striking at the very root of all religious differences;
were they to be carried on with a peaceable spirit,
willing to be informed,
our variety of opinions would not have the name of differences;
nor should we separate in communion of charity though we did not agree in several articles of religion.
Nor is there a less useful question to start,
-Where will our unhappy religious differences end?- To which,
I may answer,
there we shall unchristian and unbrotherly differences will find a period;
there we shall embrace many a sinner,
that here we think it a dishonour to converse with;
& perceive many a heart we have broken here with censures,
made whole again by the balm of the same Redeemer's blood.
Here we shall perceive there have been other flocks than those of our fold;
that those we have excommunicated have been taken into that superior communion;
in a word,
that those contradicting notions and principles which we thought inconsistent with true religion,
we shall then find reconcileable to themselves,
to one another,
and to the fountain of truth.
If any man ask me,
Why our differences cannot be ended on earth?
-Were we all thoroughly convinced,
that then they would be reconciled,
we would put an end to them before;
but this is impossible to be done: for as men's certain convictions of truth are not equal to one another,
or the weight or significancy of such veracity: so neither can a general effect of this affair be expected on this side of time-.
Before I conclude this chapter,
I shall beg leave to discourse a little of the wonderful excellency of negative religion and negative virtue.
The latter sets out,
like the Pharisee,
I thank thee;- it is a piece of religious pageantry,
the hypocrite's hope: and,
in a word,
it is positive vice: for it is either a mask to deceive others,
or a mist to deceive ourselves.
A man that is clothed with negatives,
thus argues: - I am not such a drunkard as my landlord,
such a thief as my tenant,
such a rakish fellow,
or a highwayman;
I live a sober,
retired life: I am a good man,
I go to church;
I thank thee.- Now,
through a mans boasts of his virtue in contradiction to the vices mentioned,
yet a person had better have them altogether than the man himself;
or he is so full of himself,
so persuaded that he is good and religious enough already,
that he has no thoughts of any thing,
except it be to pull of his hat to God Almighty now and then,
and thank him that he has no occasion for him;
and has the vanity to think that his neighbours must imagine well of him too.
The negative man,
though he is no drunkard is yet intoxicated with the pride of his own worth;
a good neighbour and peace-maker in other families,
but a tyrant in his own;
appears in church for a show,
but never falls upon his knees in his closet;
does all his alms before men,
to be seen of them;
eager in the duties of the second table,
but regardless of the first;
to be taken notice of by men,
but without intercourse or communication between God and his own soul: Pray,
what is this man?
or what comfort is there of the life he lives?
he is insensible of faith,
and a Christian mortified life: in a word,
he is a perfectly a stranger to the essential part of religion.
Let us for a while enter into the private and retired part of his conversation: What notions has he of his mispent hours,
and of the progress of time to the great centre and gulph of life,
Does he know how to put a right value on time,
or esteem the life-blood of his soul,
as it really is,
and act in all the moments of it,
as one that must account for them?
if then you can form an equality between what he can do and what he shall receive;
less can be founded upon his negative virtue,
or what he has forborne to do: And if neither his negative nor positive piety can be equal to the reward,
and to the eternity that reward is to last for,
what then is to become of the Pharisee,
when he is to be judged by the sincerity of his repentance,
according to the infinite grace of God,
with a state of blessedness to an endless eternity?
When the negative man converses with the invisible world,
he is filled with as much horror and dread as Felix,
when St Paul reasoned to him of temperance,
and of judgment to come;
though a great philosopher,
of great power and reverence,
was a negative man,
and he was made sensible by the Apostle,
as a life of virtue and temperance was its own reward,
by giving a healthy body,
a clear head,
and a composed life,
so eternal happiness must proceed from another spring;
the infinite unbounded grace of a provoked God,
who having erected a righteous tribunal,
Jesus Christ would separate such as by faith and repentance he had brought home and united to himself by the grace of adoption,
and on the foot of his having laid down his life as a ransom for them,
had appointed them to salvation,
when all the philosophy,
and righteousness in the world besides had been ineffectual.
that made Felix,
this negative man tremble.
-Of listening to the voice of Providence-.
The magnificent and wise King Solomon bids us cry after knowledge,
and lift up our voice for understanding;
by which is meant,
for it follows: -Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord,
and find the knowledge of God-.
By which undoubtedly he meant,
to enquire after every thing he has permitted us to know,
and not to search into those ways that are unsearchable,
and are effectually locked up from our knowledge.
-as listening to the voice of Providence- is my present subject,
in the first place,
to write to those who own,
That there is a God,
a first great moving cause of all things,
and eternal power,
and consequently superior to all created power or being.
That this eternal power,
which is God,
is the sovereign creator and governor of heaven and earth.
To avoid all needless distinctions,
what persons in the God-head exercise the creating,
and what the governing power,
I offer that glorious text,
where the whole Trinity is entitled to the whole creating work: and,
in the next place,
I shall lay down these two propositions.
I. -That the eternal God guides,
by his providence,
the whole universe,
which was created by his power.-
-That this providence manifests a particular care over,
and concern in,
the governing and directing man,
the most noble creature upon earth-.
It is plain,
that natural religion proves the first,
by intimating the necessity of a providence guiding and governing the world,
from the consequence of the wisdom,
and goodness of the Almighty Creator: for otherwise it would be absurd to think,
that God should create a world,
without any care or providence over it,
in guiding the operations of nature,
so as to preserve the order of his creation.
Revealed religion gives us a light into the care and concern of his providence,
by the climate's being made habitable,
the creatures subjected and made nourishing,
and all vegetative life made medicinal;
and all this for the sake of man,
who is made viceroy to the King of the earth.
The short description I shall give of providence is this: -That it is that operation of the power,
of the wisdom,
and goodness of God,
by which be influences,
not only the means,
but the events of all things,
which concern us in this sublunary world;
the sovereignty of which we ought always to reverence,
obey its motions,
observe its dictates,
and listen to its voice.
The prudent man forseeth the evil,
and hideth himself;
as I take it,
there is a secret providence intimates to us,
that some danger threatens,
if we strive not to shun it-.
The same day that Sir John Hotham kept out Hull against the royal martyr King Charles I.
the same day Sir John Hotham was put to death by the parliament for that very action: The same day that the King himself signed the warrant for the execution of the Earl of Stafford,
the same day of the month was he barbarously murdered by the blood-thirsty Oliverian crew: and the same day that King James II.
came to the crown against the bill of exclusion,
the same day he was voted abdicated by the parliament,
and the throne filled with King William and Queen Mary.
The voice of signal deliverances from sudden dangers,
is not only a just call to repentance,
but a caution against falling into the like danger;
but such who are utterly careless of themselves after,
show a lethargy of the worst nature,
which seems to me to be a kind of practical atheism or at least,
a living in a contempt of Heaven,
when he receives good at the hand of his Maker,
but is unconcerned from whence it comes,
or to thank the bountiful hand that gave it;
when he receives evil,
does it alter his manner of life,
or bring him to any state of humiliation.
We have a remarkable story of two soldiers being condemned to death in Flanders.
The general being prevailed upon to spare one of them,
ordered them to cast dice upon the drumhead for their lives;
the first having thrown two sixes,
the second fell a wringing his hands,
having so poor a chance to escape;
he was surprised when he also threw other two sixes.
The officer appointed to see the execution,
ordered them to throw again;
they did so,
and each of them threw fives;
at which the soldiers that stood round,
neither of them was to die.
the officer acquainted the council of war,
who ordered them to throw a third time,
when they threw two fours: the general being acquainted with it,
sent for the men,
and pardoned them.
-I love,- said he,
-in such extraordinary cases,
to listen to the voice of Providence.-
We read in the holy writings,
how God speaks to men by appearance of angels,
or by dreams and visions of the night.
As God appeared to Abraham,
and Jacob: so angels have appeared to many in other cases,
as to Manoah and his wife,
the Virgin Mary,
and to the apostles;
other have been warned in a dream as king Abimelech,
the false prophet Balaam,
and many others.
It is certainly a very great and noble inquiry,
-What we shall be after this life?- for there is scarce a doubt,
that there is a place reserved for the reception of our souls after death: for if we are to be,
we must have a where,
which the scriptures assert by the examples of Dives and Lazarus.
The doctrine of spirits was long believed before our Saviour's time;
for when the disciples of the blessed Jesus perceived our Saviour walking on the sea,
they were as much surprised as though they had seen a spirit.
in those ages of the world,
it was believed that spirits intermeddled in the affairs of mankind;
throughout the Old Testament,
I do not find any thing that in the least contradicts is.
All the pains and labour that some learned men have taken,
to confute the story of the witch of Endor,
and the appearance of an old man personating Samuel,
cannot make such apparitions inconsistent with nature or religion;
and it is plain,
that it was either a good or bad spirit,
that prophetically told the unfortunate king what should happen the next day;
said the spirit,
-The Lord will deliver thee into the hands of the Philistines;
and to-morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me.-
Abundance of strange notions possessed me,
when I was in the desolate island;
especially on a moonshine night,
when every bush seemed a man,
and every tree a man on horseback.
When I crept into the dismal cave where the old goat lay expiring,
whole articulate groans even resembled those of a man,
how was I surprised!
my blood chilled in my veins,
a cold sweaty dew sat on my forehead,
my hair stood upright,
and my joints,
like Belshazzar's knees,
struck against one another.
though I afterwards found what it was,
the remains of this surprise did not wear off for a great while;
and I had frequently returns of those vapours on different occasions,
and sometimes without any occasion at all.
after having seen some appearance in the air,
as I had just lain down in my bed,
one of my feet pained me;
after that came a numbness,
succeeded with a tingling in my blood;
when on a sudden I thought something alive lay upon me,
from my knee to above half my leg.
Upon this I flung myself out of bed where I thought the creature lay;
but finding nothing,
-Lord deliver me from evil spirits-,
-what can this be?- When I lighted a candle,
I could perceive no living creature in the place with me,
but the poor parrot,
-Hold your tongue-,
and -What's the matter with you-,
which words I had taught him,
by saying so to him,
when he made such screaming noises as I did not like.
said I aloud,
-surely the devil has been here.- -Hold your tongue-,
I was then mad at the bird,
and putting on my clothes,
-I am terribly frighted.- -What's the matter with you-?
-I'll knock your brains out.- -Hold you tongue-,
cried he again,
and so fell a chattering,
and calling Robinson Crusoe,
as he did before.
But after I had composed myself,
and went to bed again,
I began plainly to see it was a distemper that affected my nerves,
and so my terrors vanished at once.
How intelligences are given or received,
we do not know;
nor are we sensible how they are conveyed from spirits embodied to ours that are in life;
on the contrary,
from us to them;
the latter is certainly done without help of the organs,
and the former is conveyed by the understanding,
and the retired faculties of the soul.
without the help of voices,
and the more particular discoveries of converse of the spirits,
seem to me as follow: to wit,
Dreams of old were the ways by which God himself was pleased to warn men what services to perform,
and what to shun.
Joseph was directed of God in a dream to go to Egypt;
and so were the wise men warned in a dream to depart into their own country another way,
to avoid the fury of Herod.
I am not like those who think dreams are the mere designs of a delirious head,
or the relics of a day's perplexities or pleasures;
on the contrary,
I must beg leave to say,
I never met with any capital mischief in my life,
but I had some notice of it by a dream;
and had I not been a thoughtless unbelieving creature,
I might have taken many a warning,
and avoided many of the evils I afterwards fell into,
merely by total neglect of those dreams.
I was once present at a dispute between a layman and a clergyman,
upon the subject of dreams.
The first thought no regard should be given unto them;
that their communication from the invisible to the visible world was a mere chimera,
without any solid foundation.
if dreams were from the agency of any prescient being,
the motives would be more direct,
and the discoveries more plain,
and not by allegories and emblematic fancies,
expressing things imperfect and obscure.
with the notice of evil,
there was not a power given to avoid it,
it is not likely to proceed from a spirit,
but merely fortuitious.
That the inconstancy of such notices,
in cases equally important,
proves they did not proceed from any such agent.
That as our most distinct dreams had nothing in them of any significancy,
it would be irrational and vain to think that they came from heaven.
That as men were not always thus warned or supplied with notice of good or evil,
so all men are not alike supplied with them;
and what reason could we give,
why one man or one woman should not have the same hints as another.
To all this the clergyman gave answer: 1.
That as to the signification of dreams,
& the objections against them,
as being dark and doubtful,
they are expressed generally by hierogliphical representations,
and figurative emblematic ways,
by which means,
for want of interpretation,
the thing was not understood,
the evil not shunned.
That we charge God foolishly,
that he has given the notice of evil,
without the power to avoid it;
if any one had not power to avoid the evil,
it was no notice to him;
and it was want of giving due head to that notice,
that men first neglected themselves,
and then charged the Judge of all the earth with injustice.
That we ought not to find fault with the inconstancy of these notices;
but rather with our weak understandings,
by pretending dreams were not to be regarded,
and negligent when the voice really spoke to us for our good.
It is a mistake to say,
dreams have no import at all: we might,
with more reason,
none that we could perceive the reason of,
owing to our blindness and supine negligence,
too secure at one time,
and too much alarmed at another;
so that the spirit,
which we might be said to be conversing with in a dream,
was constantly and equally kind and careful;
but our powers are not always in the same state of action,
not equally attentive too,
or retentive of the hints that were given.
To answer the last question,
Why people are not equally supplied?
This seemed to be no question;
for Providence itself might have some share in the direction of it,
and then that Providence might be limited by a superior direction;
that as to the converse of spirits,
he could not call it a stated converse: such a thing there was,
but why there was so much of it,
and no more,
was none of his business,
and that no such discovery had ever yet been made to mankind.
Nor were we to imagine less of waking dreams,
and all the waking testimonies of an invisible world,
and of the communication that there is between us and them,
which commonly entertain us with our open eyes.
One time my fancy soared on high,
to see what discoveries I could make in those clearer regions.
I found that such immense bodies as the sun,
in the great circle of the lower heaven,
are far from being found in the study of nature on the surface of the earth.
Here I saw many things that we can entertain little or no notion of,
in a state of common life,
and the emptiness of our notion,
that the planets are habitable worlds;
created like ours,
for the subsistence and existence of man and beast,
and the preservation of the vegitative and sensitive life: No,
I assure you,
a world of spirits;
for here I saw a clear demonstration of Satan being the -prince of the power of the air-,
keeping his court or camp,
with innumerable angels to attend him;
but his power is not so great as we imagine,
he can tempt us to the crime,
but cannot force us to commit: -Humanium est peccare-.
Neither has the devil power to force the world into a rebellion against heaven,
though his legions are employed among savage nations,
to set up their master for a god,
who make the heathens either worship him in person,
or by his representatives,
idols and monsters,
with the cruel sacrifices of human blood.
as to the limitations of the devil's power,
you must understand,
that as there are numbers of evil spirits employed in mischief,
so there are numbers of good angels sent from the higher and blessed abodes to disconcert and oppose their measures;
and this every Christian,
when he prays to God,
the father of spirits,
to give his angels charge over him while he slumbereth and sleepeth.
For if by these preventing powers the devil was not restrained,
the earth would be subjected to dearth,
the air infected with noxious fumes;
in a word,
mankind would be utterly destroyed,
which might oblige our Maker (if I may be allowed the expression) to the necessity of a new -fiat-,
or else have no more creatures to honour and worship him.
As the devil never wanted insinuators,
I shall observe,
that I learned a way how to make a man dream of what I pleased.
let us suppose one to be found asleep;
let another lay his mouth close to his ear,
and whisper any thing so softly as not to awake him,
the sleeping man shall dream of what has been so whispered in his ear;
I can assure you,
those insinuating devils can do this even when we are awake,
which I call impulses of the mind: for from whence,
but from these insinuators,
come our causeless passions,
or sinful desires?
Who else form ideas in the mind of man when he is asleep,
or present terrible or,
beautiful figures to his fancy: Mr. Milton represents the devil tempting Eve in the shape of a toad,
lying just at her ear,
when in her bower she lay fast asleep;
and brings in Eve telling Adam what an uneasy night's rest she had,
and relating her dream to him.
And likewise I believe that good spirits have the same intercourse with us,
in warning us against those things that are evil,
and prompting us to that which is good.
Were we to have the eyes of our souls opened,
through the eyes of our bodies,
we should see this very immediate region or air which we breath in,
thronged with spirits now invisible,
and which otherwise would be the most terrible;
we should view the secret transactions of those messengers who are employed when the parting soul takes it's leave of the reluctant body,
and perhaps see things nature would shrink back from with the utmost terror and amazement.
In a word,
the curtain of Providence for the disposition of things here,
and the curtain of judgment for the determination of the state of souls hereafter,
would be alike drawn back;
and what heart could support here its future state in life;
much less that,
of its future state after life,
even good or bad.
A gentleman of my acquaintance,
being about seven miles distant from London,
a friend that came to dine with him,
solicited him to go to the city.
said the gentleman,
-is there any occasion for me?
said the other,
-nothing at all except the enjoyment of your good company-: and so gave over importuning him.
Just then a strong impulse of mind urged the gentleman and pursued him like a voice,
-Go to London,
Go to London.
says he to his friend,
-is all well at London?
Am I wanted there?
Or did you ask me to go with you on any particular account?
Are all my family well?
-I perceived them all very hearty;
and I did not ask you to go to London upon any particular account whatsoever,
except it was for the sake of your good company-.
he put off his resolution: but still the impulse suggested to him,
-Go to London-;
and at length he did so.
When he came there,
he found a letter and a messenger had been there to seek him,
and to tell him of a particular business,
which was at first and last above a thousand pounds to him,
and which might inevitably have been lost,
had he hot gone to London that night.
The obeying of several hints,
of secret impulses,
argues great wisdom.
I knew a man that was under misfortunes,
being guilty of misdemeanors against the goverment;
absconding for fear of his ruin,
all his friends advising him not to put himself in the hands of the law,
one morning as he awaked,
he felt a strong impulse darting into his mind thus,
-Write a letter to them;- and this was repeated several times to his mind,
and at last he answered to it,
as if it had been a voice,
-Whom shall I write to?- Immediately it replied,
-Write to the judge:- and this impulse pursued him for several days,
till at length he took pen,
and sat down to write to him: when immediately words flowed from his pen,
like streams from a fair fountain,
that charmed even himself with hopes of success.
the letter was so strenuous in argument,
so pathetic in its eloquence,
and so persuasively moving,
that when the judge had read it,
he sent him an answer he might be easy,
he would endeavour to make that matter light to him;
never left exerting himself,
till he had stopt the prosecution,
and restored him to his liberty and family.
I know a person who had so strong an impression upon her mind,
that the house she was in would be burnt that very night,
that she could not sleep;
the impulse she had upon her mind pressed her not to go to bed,
she got over,
and went to bed;
but was so terrified with the thought,
which run in her mind,
that the house would be burnt,
that she could not go to sleep;
but communicating her apprehensions to another in the family,
they were both in such a fright,
that they applied themselves to search from the top of the house to the bottom,
& to see every fire and candle safe out,
as they all said,
it was impossible that any thing could happen then,
and they sent to the neighbours on both sides to do the like.
Thus far they did well: But had she obeyed the hint which pressed upon her strangely,
not to go to bed,
she had done much better;
for the fire was actually kindled at that very time,
though not broken out.
About an hour after the whole family was in bed,
the house just over the way,
was all in flames,
and the wind,
which was very high,
blowing the flame upon the house this gentlewoman lived in,
so filled it with smoke and fire,
in a few minutes,
the street being narrow,
that they had not air to breathe,
or time to do any thing,
but jump out of their beds,
and save their lives.
Had she obeyed the hint given,
and not gone to bed,
she might have saved several things;
but the few moments she had spared to her,
were but just sufficient to leap out of bed,
put some cloathes on,
and get down stairs,
for the house was on fire in half a quarter of an hour.
While I am mentioning these things,
methinks it is very hard that we should obey the whispers of evil spirits,
and not much rather receive the notices which good ones are pleased to give.
We never perceive the misfortune of this,
but when in real danger;
and then we cry,
-My mind misgave me when I was going about it-;
but if so,
why do you fight the caution?
Why not listen to it as to a voice?
and then there had been no reason to make this complaint.
I remember about fourteen or fifteen years ago (as to time I cannot be very positive) there was a young clergyman in the city of Dublin,
who dreamed a very uncommon dream,
that a gentleman had killed his wife,
a relation of his,
by stabbing her in several places;
the fright of this awaked him,
but finding it a dream,
he composed himself again to sleep,
when he dreamed a second time the same dream.
This made him a little uneasy;
but thinking it proceeded from the impression made on his mind by the former,
he went to sleep again,
and dreamed the same dream a third time also.
So troubled was he at this,
that he arose,
and knocked at his mother's chamber,
told his concern,
and his apprehensions that all was not right at his relation's house.
says the good old gentlewoman,
-do not mind these foolish dreams;
and I very much wonder,
being a person in holy orders,
should have regard to such illusions-.
Upon this he went to bed again,
and dreamed a fourth time as before.
And then indeed he put on his night-gown,
and went to Smithfield,
the place where his relation dwelt.
Here it was,
he perceived his dream too sadly fulfilled,
by seeing his relation the young lady,
big with child,
who was a Protestant,
stabbed in several places by her barbarous husband,
a violent Papist,
only for some discourses of religion that happened the day before.
After the wretch had stabbed her in three places,
he went to make his escape out at a window;
but she cried out,
don't leave me,
and I shall be well again-.
At which he returned in a hellish rage,
and gave her four wounds more;
even in this condition,
rising from her bed,
she wrapped herself in her night-gown,
and went to the Lord Bishop of Rapho's chamber door (the Bishop lodging at that time in the house).
-O my Lord,
make haste unto me-;
but as soon as his Lordship came,
she expired in his arms,
resigning her precious soul into the hands of Almighty God.
The cruel wretch her husband was shot by the pursuers;
too good a death for one who deserved the gibbet;
and the lady was universally lamented by all tender and religious people.
And this tragical relation I have mentioned,
upon the account of that impulse,
that the clergyman had at the fatal time of the bloody action.
It might be expected I should enter upon the subject of apparitions,
and discourse concerning the reality of them;
and whether they can revisit the place of their former existence,
and resume those faculties of speech and shape as they had when living;
as these are very doubtful matters,
I shall only make a few observations upon them.
I once heard of a man that would allow the reality of apparitions,
but laid it all upon the devil,
thinking that the souls of men departed,
or good men,
did never appear.
To this very man something did appear: He said,
he saw the shape of an ancient man pass by him in the dusk,
holding up his hand in a threatening posture,
-O wicked man,
Terrified with this apparition,
he consulted several friends,
who advised him to take the advice.
But after all,
it was not an apparition,
but a grave and pious gentleman,
who met him by mere accident,
and had been sensible of his wickedness;
and who never undeceived him,
lest it should hinder his reformation.
Some people make a very ill use of the general notion,
that there are no apparitions nor spirits at all: which is worse than those who fancy they see them upon every occasion;
for those carry their notions farther,
even to annihilate the devil,
and believe nothing about him,
neither of one kind or other: the next step they come to,
is to conclude,
-There is no God-,
and so atheism takes its rise in the same sink,
with a carelessness about futurity.
But there is no occasion to enter upon an argument to prove the being of the Almighty,
or to illustrate his power by words,
who has so many undeniable testimonies in the breasts of every rational being to prove his existence: and we have sufficient proofs enough to convince us of the great superintendency of Divine Providence in the minutest affairs of this world;
the manifest existence of the invisible world;
the reality of spirits,
and intelligence between us and them.
What I have said,
will not mislead any person,
or be a means whereby they may delude themselves;
for I have spoken of these things with the utmost seriousness of mind,
and with a sincere and ardent desire for the general good and benefit of the world.
V. -Of suffering Afflictions.-
Afflictions are common to all mankind;
and whether they proceed from losses,
or the malice of men,
they often bring their advantages along with them: For this shews man the vanity and deceitfulness of this life,
and is an occasion of rectifying our measures,
and bringing us to a more modest opinion of ourselves: It tells us,
how necessary the assistance of divine grace is unto us,
when life itself becomes a burden,
and death even desirable: But when the greatest oppression comes upon us,
we must have recourse to patience,
begging of God to give us that virtue;
and the more composed,
we are under any trouble,
the more commendable is our wisdom,
and the larger will be our recompense.
Let the provocation be what it will,
whether from a good-natured and conscientious,
or a wicked,
and vexatious man;
all this we should take as from the over-ruling hand of God,
as a punishment for our sins.
Many times injured innocence may be abused by false oaths,
or the power of wicked,
or malicious men;
but we often find it,
like the palm,
rise the higher the more it is depressed;
while the justice of God is eminently remarkable in punishing those,
one way or other,
who desire to endeavour to procure the downfal of an innocent man: Nor does God fail comforting an afflicted person,
who with tears and prayers solicits the throne of Heaven for deliverance and protection.
-that his soul was full of trouble,
and his life drew near unto the grave-.
But certainly David's afflictions made him eminently remarkable,
as particularly when pursued by King Saul,
and hunted as a partridge over the mountains.
But one thing which stands by innocence,
is the love of God;
for were we to suffer disgrace,
an ignominious death itself,
what consolation does our innocence procure at our latest conflict,
our last moments!
-Of the immorality of conversation,
and the vulgar errors of behaviour-.
As conversation is a great part of human happiness,
so it is a pleasant sight to behold a sweet tempered man,
who is always fit for it;
to see an air of humour and pleasantness sit ever upon his brow,
and even something angelic in his very countenance: Whereas,
if we observe a designing man,
we shall find a mark of involuntary sadness break in upon his joy,
and a certain insurrection in the soul,
the natural concomitant of profligate principles.
They err very much,
who think religion,
or a strict morality discomposes the mind,
and renders it unfit for conversation;
for it rather inspires us to innocent mirth,
without such a counterfeit joy as vitious men appear with;
and indeed wit is as consistent with religion,
as religion is with good manners;
nor is there any thing in the limitation of virtue and religion that should abate the pleasures of this world,
but on the contrary rather serves to increase them.
On the other hand,
by their own vice and intemperance,
disqualify themselves for conversation.
Conversation is immoral,
where the discourse is undecent,
How great is their folly,
and how much do they expose themselves when they affront their best friend,
even God himself,
who laughs at the fool -when his fear cometh?-
The great scandal atheistical and immoral discourse gives to virtue,
to be punished by all good magistrates: Make a man once cease to believe a God,
and he has nothing left to limit his soul.
How incongruous is it to government,
that a man shall be punished for drunkenness,
and yet have liberty to affront,
and even deny the Majesty of heaven?
even among men,
one gives the lie to a gentleman in company,
or perhaps speaks an affronting word,
a quarrel will ensue,
and a combat,
and perhaps murder be the consequence: At the least,
will prosecute him at law with the utmost virulence and oppression.
The next thing to be refrained,
is obscene discourse,
which is the language only of proficients in debauchery,
who never repent,
but in a gaol or hospital;
and whose carcases relish no better than their discourse,
till the body becomes too nasty for the soul to stay any longer in it.
Nor is false talking to be less avoided;
for lying is the sheep's clothing hung upon the wolf's back: It is the Pharisee's prayer,
the whore's buss,
the hypocrite's paint,
the murderer's smile,
the thief's cloak;
it is Joab's embrace,
and Judah's kiss;
in a word,
it is mankind's darling sin,
and the devil's distinguishing character.
Some add lies to lies,
till it not only comes to be improbable,
but even impossible too: Others lie for gain to deceive,
and betray: And a third lies for sport,
or for fun.
There are other liars,
who are personal and malicious;
who foment differences,
and carry tales from one house to another,
in order to gratify their own envious tempers,
without any regard to reverence or truth.
-From the voyage of Captain Woodes Rogers to the South Seas and round the World.-
* * * * *
On February 1st,
we came before that island, having had a good observation the day before,
and found our latitude to be 34 degrees 10 minutes south.
In the afternoon,
we hoisted out our pinnace;
and Captain Dover,
with the boat's crew,
went in her to go ashore,
though we could not be less that four leagues off.
As soon as the pinnace was gone,
I went on board the Duchess,
who admired our boat attempting going ashore at that distance from land.
It was against my inclination: but,
to oblige Captain Dover,
I let her go: As soon as it was dark,
we saw a light ashore.
Our boat was then about a league off the island,
and bore away for the ship as soon as she saw the lights: We put our lights aboard for the boat,
though some were of opinion,
the lights we saw were our boat's lights: But,
as night came on,
it appeared too large for that: We fired our quarter-deck gun,
and several muskets,
showing lights in our mizen and fore-shrouds,
that our boat might find us whilst we were in the lee of the island: About two in the morning our boat came on board,
having been two hours on board the Duchess,
that took them up astern of us;
we were glad they got well off,
because it began to blow.
We were all convinces the light was on the shore,
and designed to make our ships ready to engage,
believing them to be French ships at anchor,
and we must either fight them,
or want water.
All this stir and apprehension arose,
as we afterwards found,
from one poor naked man,
who passed in our imagination,
for a Spanish garrison,
a body of Frenchmen,
or a crew of pirates.
While we were under these apprehensions,
we stood on the backside of the island,
in order to fall in with the southerly wind,
till we were past the island;
and then we came back to it again,
and ran close aboard the land that begins to make the north-east side.
[Footnote 1: -Juan Fernandez.-]
We still continued to reason upon this matter;
and it is in a manner incredible,
what strange notions many of our people entertained from the sight of the fire upon the island.
to show people's tempers and spirits;
and we were able to give a tolerable guess how our men would behave,
in case there really were any enemies upon the island.
The flaws came heavy off the shore,
and we were forced to reef our topsails when we opened the middle bay,
where we expected to have found our enemy;
but saw all clear,
& no ships,
nor in the other bay next the north-east end.
These two bays are all that ships ride in,
which recruit on this island;
but the middle bay is by much the best.
We guessed there had been ships there,
but that they were gone on sight of us.
We sent our yawl ashore about noon,
with Captain Dover,
and six men,
all armed: Mean while we and the Duchess kept turning to get in,
and such heavy flaws came off the land,
that we were forced to let go our top sail sheet,
keeping all hands to stand by our sails,
for fear of the winds carrying them away: But when the flaws were gone,
we had little or no wind.
These flaws proceeded from the land;
which is very high in the middle of the island.
Our boat did not return;
we sent our pinnace with the men armed,
to see what was the occasion of the yawl's stay;
for we were afraid,
that the Spaniards had a garrison there,
and might have seized them.
We put out a signal for our boat,
and the Duchess showed a French ensign.
Immediately our pinnace returned from the shore,
and brought abundance of cry-fish,
with a man clothed in goats skins,
who looked wilder than the first owners of them.
He had been on the island four years and four months,
being left there by Captain Stradling in the Cinque-ports,
his name was Alexander Selkirk,
who had been master of the Cinque-ports,
a ship that came here last with Captain Dampier,
who told me,
that this was the best man in her.
I immediately agreed with him to be a mate on board our ship: It was he that made the fire last night when he saw our ships,
which he judged to be English.
During his stay here he saw several ships pass by,
but only two came in to anchors: As he went to view them;
he found them to be Spaniards,
and retired from them,
upon which they shot at him: Had they been French,
he would have submitted;
but choose to risque his dying alone on the island,
rather than fall into the hands of Spaniards in these parts;
because he apprehended they would murder him,
or make a slave of him in the mines;
for he feared they would spare no stranger that might be capable of discovering the South Seas.
The Spaniards had landed,
before he knew what they were;
and they came so near him,
that he had much ado to escape;
for they not only shot at him,
but pursued him to the woods,
where he climbed to the top of a tree,
at the foot of which they made water,
and killed several goats just by,
but went off again without discovering him.
He told us that he was born at Largo,
in the county of Fife,
and was bred a sailor from his youth.
The reason of his being left here was difference between him and his captain;
which together with the ship's being leaky,
made him willing rather to stay here,
than go along with him at first;
but when he was at last willing to go,
the captain would not receive him.
He had been at the island before,
to wood and water,
when two of the ship's company were left upon it for six mouths,
till the Ship returned,
being chased thence by two French South-sea ships.
He had with him his cloaths and bedding,
with a firelock,
bullets and tobacco,
some practical pieces,
and his mathematical instruments and books.
He diverted and provided for himself as well as he could;
but for the first eight months,
had much ado to bear up against melancholy,
and the terror of being left alone in such a desolate place.
He built two huts with pimento trees,
covered them with long grass,
& lined them with the skins of goats,
which be killed with his gun as he wanted,
so long as his powder lasted,
which was but a pound;
and that being almost spent,
he got fire by rubbing two sticks of pimento-wood together upon his knee.
In the lesser hut,
at some distance from the other,
he dressed his victuals;
and in the larger he slept;
and employed himself in reading,
so that he said.
He was a better Christian,
while in this solitude,
than ever he was before,
he was afraid,
he would ever be again.
At first he never ate anything till hunger constrained him,
partly for grief,
and partly for want of bread and salt: Nor did he go to bed,
till he could watch no longer;
which burnt very clear,
served him both for fire and candle,
and refreshed him with its fragrant smell.
He might have had fish enough,
but would not eat them for want of salt,
because they occasioned a looseness,
except crayfish which are as large as our lobsters,
and very good: These he sometimes boiled,
and at other times broiled,
as he did his goat's flesh,
which he made very good broth,
for they are not so rank as ours: he kept an account of 500 that he killed while there,
and caught as many more,
which he marked on the ear,
and let go.
his powder failed,
he took them by speed of feet;
for his way of living,
continual exercise of walking and running cleared him of all gross humours;
so that he ran with wonderful swiftness through the woods,
and up the rocks and hills,
as we perceived when we employed him to catch goats for us;
We had a bull dog,
which we lent with several of our nimblest runners,
to help him in catching goats;
but he distanced and tired both the dog and the men,
caught the goats,
and brought them to us on his back.
He told us,
that his agility in pursuing a goat had once like to have cost him his life;
he pursued it with so much eagerness,
that he catched hold of it on the brink of a precipiece,
of which he was not aware,
the bushes hiding it from him;
that he fell with the goat down the precipiece;
a great height,
and was to stunned and bruised with the fall,
that he narrowly escaped with his life;
when he came to his senses,
found the goat dead under him: He lay there about twenty-four hours,
and was scarce able to crawl to his hut,
which was about a mile distant,
or to stir abroad again in ten days.
He came at last to relish his meat well enough without salt or bread;
in the season had plenty of good turreps,
which had been sewed there by Captain Dampier's men,
and have now overspread some acres of ground.
He had enough of good cabbage from the cabbage-trees,
and seasoned his meat with the fruit of the pimento trees,
which is the same as Jamaica pepper,
and smells deliciously: He found also a black pepper,
which was very good to expel wind,
and against gripping in the guts.
He soon wore out all his shoes and clothes by running in the woods;
and at last,
being forced to shift without them,
his feet became so hard,
that he ran everywhere without difficulty;
and it was some time before he could wear shoes after we found him;
for not being used to any so long,
his feet swelled when he came first to wear them again.
After he had conquered his melancholy,
he diverted himself sometimes with cutting his name in the trees,
and the time of his being left,
and continuance there.
He was at first much pestered with cats and rats,
that bred in great numbers,
from some of each species which had got ashore from ships that put in there to wood and water: The rats gnawed his feet and cloathes whilst asleep,
which obliged him to cherish the cats with his goats flesh,
by which many of them became so tame,
that they would lie about him in hundreds,
and soon delivered him from the rats: He likewise tamed some kids;
to divert himself would,
now and then,
sing and dance with them,
and his cats: So that by the favour of Providence,
and vigour of his youth,
being now but thirty years old,
to conquer all the inconveniencies of his solitude,
and to be very easy.
When his cloathes were worn out,
he made himself a coat and a cap of goat-skins,
which he stiched together with little thongs of the same,
that he cut with his knife,
He had no other needle but a nail;
when his knife was worn to the back,
he made others,
as well as he could,
of some iron hoops that were left ashore,
which he beat thin,
and ground upon stones.
Having some linnen cloth by him,
he sewed him some shirts with a nail,
and stiched them with the worsted of his old stockings,
which he pulled out on purpose.
He had his last shirt on,
when we found him in the island.
At his first coming on board us,
he had so much forgot his language,
for want of use,
that we could scarce understand him: for he seemed to speak his words by halve.
We offered him a dram: but he would not touch it;
having drank nothing but water since his being there;
And it was sometime before he could relish our victuals.
He could give us an account of no other product of the island,
than what we have mentioned,
except some black plums,
which are very good,
but hard to come at,
which bear them,
growing on high mountains and rocks.
Pimento-trees are plenty here,
and we saw some of sixty feet high and about two yards thick;
and cotton-trees higher,
and near four fathoms round in the stock.
The climate is so good that the trees and grass are verdant all the year round.
The winter lasts no longer than June and July,
and is not then severe,
there being only a small frost,
and a little hail: but sometimes great rains.
The heat of the summer is equally moderate;
and there is not much thunder,
or tempestuous weather of any sort.
He saw no venomous or savage creature on the island,
nor any sort of beasts but goats,
the first of which had been put ashore here,
on purpose for a breed,
by Juan Fernandez,
who settled there with some families,
till the continent of Chili began to submit to the Spaniards;
being more profitable;
tempted them to quit this island,
of maintaining a good number of people,
and being made so strong,
that they could hot be easily dislodged from thence.
February 3d we got our smith's forge on shore,
set our coopers to work,
and made a little tent for me to have the benefit of the air.
The Duchess had also a tent for their sick men;
so that we had a small town of our own here,
and every body employed.
A few men supplied us all with fish of several sorts,
all very good,
in such abundance,
in a few hours,
we could take as many as would serve 200.
There were sea-fowls in the bay,
as large as geese: but eat fishy.
The governor never failed of procuring us two or three goats a day for our sick men;
with the help of the greens,
and the wholesome air,
they recovered very soon of the scurvy;
so that Captain Dover and I thought it a very agreeable seat,
the weather being neither too hot nor too cold.
We spent our time,
till the 10th,
in refitting our ships,
taking wood on board;
and laying in water,
that which we brought from England and St. Vincent being spoiled by the badness of the casks.
We likewise boiled up about eighty gallons of sea-lions oil,
as we might have done several tons,
had we been provided with vessels.
We refined it for our lamps,
to save candles.
The sailors sometimes use it to fry their meat,
for want of butter,
and find it agreeable enough.
The men who worked on our rigging,
eat young seals,
which they preferred to our ships victuals,
& said it was as good as English lamb,
though I should have been glad of such an exchange.
We made what haste we could to get all the necessaries on board,
being willing to lose no time;
for we were informed at the Canaries,
that five stout French ships were coming together to those seas.