IN the Year 1700, Capt. William Beavis, Commander of the Ship, called the Albemarle, then in the Service of the East-India Company, sail'd from England, bound for Surrat, in the East-Indies, but after having been some Months at Sea, having the Misfortune to meet with contrary Masorns, he lost his Passage, so that he was forced on the Coast of Zanguebar, in the higher Ethiopia, or the Continent of Africk, where he endeavoured to find out some Place of Safety, that the Ship might ride secure, and where he might meet with some Necessaries for refreshing his Company, while he waited for the Change of Winds, which he could not expect in less than three or four Months.
They came in with the Land, and cast Anchor on the ninth of November, the Year before-mentioned; the Tenth it blew hard, but on the Eleventh the Weather being pretty fair, the Captain sent the Yawl on Shore, in two different Places, at considerable Distance from each other, they found the Land every where sandy, and all over green with Shrubs, but saw no Houses, nor could they discover the least Track of any human Creature; however, they saw Deer, but could not come near enough to have a Shot at them; they also found the Dung of Wolves, Hares, and some other Animals, but saw none; and near the Water-side they found the Shells of a great Number of Craw-Fish, but met with none alive; wherefore, they guessed that they were left here by some Creatures, who fished them up and usually fed upon them.
Finding this Place altogether inhospitable, they weigh'd Anchor and sail'd along the Shore, till the 17th of the same Month, when the Captain looking thro’ his Spying-glass, saw three or four Men walking along the Sea-Side, and sometimes sitting down, but could not discern any House, Fire, or Smoak, but when they had sail'd about a League farther, they perceived an Inlet or Bay, where the Captain fancied there might be a River; he could also perceive several tall Trees, which were the first they had seen since they came upon the Coast, which made the Captain conjecture, that there must be some Inhabitants.
Upon this, they came to an Anchor, and manning out the Boat, the Captain sent Mr. Baldwin the third Mate in her, to go into the Bay, in order to discover whether there was any River which discharged itself into it; when they were in with the Shore, they perceived about fifty or sixty People standing upon a Bank near the Water-side, and one separating himself from the Rest, approached nearer to them, and held up a white Piece of Linnen at the End of a Stick, and waved it at them, which they understood to be a Flag of Friendship, and which the Boat answered by the like Signal; then the Person on Shore beckon'd to them with his Hand, which they took to be an Invitation to come on Shore, and accordingly they ventured; there were two of the Boat's Men who spoke a little Portuguese, who saluted this Man in that Language; as soon as they came near him, his Gesture appeared very civil, but they could not understand a Syllable of what he said in Answer, but by his Signs, they fancied he invited them to come to their Huts, in order to eat and drink.
However, they did not think fit to stay longer at this Time, but returned on Board, to give the Captain an Account of what had pass'd, and to let him know, that they could discover no River in the Bay; they described the People to be pretty tall and well made, their Colour jet black, their Heads and Beards close shaved, wearing upon their Heads Turbants made of a Kind of Linnen, and a Sort of Sash made of Dungeree Linnen about their Wastes, the Rest of their Bodies being quite naked; whereupon, consulting with a Molotto, one of the Ship's Company, who understood the Turkish and Arabian Languages, what he thought the Language of these People might be, he judg'd it to be a Kind of corrupted Arabick, because their Dress was not unlike that of the Arabians of the Desert, and that it was not unlikely, but that they might be some Way descended from them; wherefore, the Captain resolved to mann the Boat again, and to send the Molotto ashore with them, to try if he could so far understand their Language, as to learn from them, where there was fresh Water, or any other Refreshments to be had; and also to enquire for some Port or Bay, where the Ship might be with Safety till the breaking up of those Easterly Winds.
The Wind blew so fresh all that Day, which was the 19th, that they could not send the Boat on Shore. At Night they watched to see if they could discover any Appearance of Fire any where upon Land, but they could discern nothing like it; wherefore, it seemed strange to them, that in a Country inhabited, there should be neither Smoak by Day, nor Fire by Night, which made them suppose, the Huts of the Natives were far up the Country.
However, the next Day the Boat was sent on Shore with the Molotto Interpreter, and Mr. Courser the fourth Mate; and for Fear of any Surprize, the Captain ordered them to carry Arms in the Boat. When they approach'd near the Shore, several of the Natives made towards the Waterside, but seeing the Boat's Men take their Arms in their Hands at their Landing, they fled affrighted up the Country, nor would they ever come near them after; the Men went a little Way up the Land and met with some Huts, which were covered with the Shells of Turtles, which Creatures it is supposed the Natives catch in their proper Season for Food, and then making a Covering of their Shells for their Houses; they also saw several Cows, at some Distance, which are very swift at running, and not larger than our Deer; they saw some other Animals, but took none, and so returned on Board without gaining any Intelligence.
The Mistake here was, that they did not lye off with their Boat, and make a Signal as they did at first, which would have disposed the Natives to have staid for them, as they did before, but going ashore abruptly with Arms in their Hands, frighten'd the Natives, as if they had come to kill them; wherefore, there was no Expectation of making any Discovery here, which induced the Captain to weigh Anchor, and steer a little farther Westward.
The next Morning, which was the twenty second, they came to an Anchor, and sent their Boat on Shore again, with Mr. Baldwin the third Mate, and the Gunner; there being some high Hills not far from the Place where they landed, the Mate and Gunner resolved to walk to the Top of one of the highest of those Hills, in order to take a View of the Country beneath. About four in the Afternoon they returned again to the Ship, bringing Word, that there was a pleasant Valley on the other Side, about five Miles in Length, and near as far in Breadth, but that they could see no Houses or other Signs of Inhabitants, but that the Valley seemed to abound with Deer, and several other Creatures; they brought on Board three Antilopes, and two large Guiney Hens, which they shot, and saw great Numbers of both these Creatures about the Bushes on the Sides of those Hills; the Antilopes were small, but extreamly beautiful, their Bodies no bigger than that of a Hare, but their Legs much longer, their Colour was a Mixture of black and white, very smooth, and very bright, with Horns about three Inches long.
They weigh'd and crept along ashore to the Westward, and next Day, which was the Twenty third, the Captain with his Spying-glass saw seven or eight Men near the Shore; wherefore, he sent the Boat to endeavour to speak with them. As soon as they saw the Boat approach them, they went off; the Men however went on Shore, and at some Distance saw two Camels and two Asses loaden, pass along with Men attending them; they did what they could to speak with these too, but when they perceived the Boat's Men to make towards them, they drove so fast there was no coming near them.
The next Morning the Weather being clearer than ordinary, the Captain looking thro’ his Glass, fancied he saw several tall Spires to the Westward; he weigh'd Anchor, and stood away for them; by four in the Afternoon, he plainly perceived a large Town, and by six came to an Anchor right over against it; however, he did not send the Boat on Shore that Night, but next Morning he ordered Mr. Baldwin the third Mate, Mr. Sale the Purser, with the Molotto before-mentioned, who spoke the Turkish and Arabian Languages, to take the Yawl with four Hands, and to carry with them a white Flag, that they might appear to come in a friendly and peaceable Manner, charging them at the same Time to say or do nothing which might appear harsh or offensive. The Boat was no sooner in with the Shore, but the Natives flock'd as it were to meet them, and appeared very courteous: The Molotto spoke to them in Arabian Tongue, giving them to understand, that they were driven upon their Coasts by the Misfortune of having lost their Voyage, that they were in Want of Water, and begg'd they would shew them where they might be supplied, and that if they would think fit to furnish them with fresh Provision they would pay them in Money, or any Goods or Curiosities of Europe.
It happened the Language they spoke was a Kind of Arabick, so that the Molotto could discourse with them perfectly well; they answered him, that the King was absent from the City, and that they could do nothing till his Return, but that he would be there as that Night, for they had sent him Word of the coming of a Ship, as soon as it appeared in Sight. That however, they might assure themselves, that all they requested should be granted, and shewed them where there were several fine Springs of Water: These Springs being a pretty Way from the Water-side, and the Ground near them craggy and uneven; the Molotto told them it would be difficult to rowl their Casks so long a Way, and over such bad Ground, and ask'd them if there were not any Spring nearer the Sea. They answered them no, but that the King would give them Oxen to draw their Casks to the Boat; and so they returned on Board with a Present from the King's Son of a Sarne of mash'd Dates, a matted Jar of Sweet-Meats, and four Sheep.
Betimes the next Morning, being the 26th, the Captain sent the Yawl on Shore again with the same Officers, to know if the King was come, and to beg Leave to bring on Board some fresh Water, ordering them to make a Signal for the Long-Boat to be sent on Shore, in Case they obtained the Permission to water; the Yawl had not been long gone before the appointed Signal was made, and the Long-Boat was accordingly sent immediately; after which, the Captain perceived the Yawl was returning back again to the Ship: She came with four Hands in her to advise the Captain, that the Long-Boat would immediately return with a Cow as a Present to him, and to put him in Mind, that it would be proper to send something back for a Present to the Shubander, (the Name by which they call the King's Son) with whom they, viz. the third Mate Mr. Baldwin, the Gunner, and the Molotto Interpreter, who served in the Ship as a Quartier, were gone to dine.
The Captain was surprized at their Indiscretion, and the more because he had ordered them, to be upon their Guard for Fear of Treachery, having furnished them with Arms for that Purpose, and charged them not to stir far from their Boat; however, there was no Remedy now, so that he sent the Yawl back again with a Present of a small Looking-glass (a great Curiosity there) for the Prince, ordering one Man to carry it, and to tell the Mate, Gunner, and Molotto to come off as soon as they could, the rest to lye a little off with the Yawl, their Arms ready, but out of Sight.
The Captain observing the Yawl with his Glass, perceived the Men contrary to his Orders were gone on Shore, and looking again a little after, saw the Boat without a Mast, or so much as one Hand in her, drag'd towards the Town quite on Shore, and in a little Time after she was hawl'd out of Sight.
This Rashness of his Men gave him a great Deal of Uneasiness, he apprehended some fatal Consequence from it, (and indeed he had Reason) for he knew the Natives of some Part of the Coast were Cannibals; therefore, for Fear of venturing too much at once, he resolved not to trust the Long-Boat on Shore, till he had some Tideings from the Yawl.
All that Day he pass'd with the utmost Uneasiness, keeping a Man continually on the Watch, looking towards the Shore with a Spying-glass, to try if any Thing could be discovered of his Men on the Shore, but all to no Purpose; for nothing could be discerned either of them or the Boat the whole Day. That Night was spent in many doubtful Reflections, and Tears for the Condition of those who were on Shore. Next Morning the Captain resolved to send the Long-Boat towards the Land, with Mr. Nyn his first Mate, and some other of his Officers in her, ordering them to shew a white Flag, as soon as they should discover any People to come near them; but not to venture to go ashore, but to talk and make Signs to the Natives out of the Boat, and to try to discover the Reason of our Mens being detained; and in Case they found they kept them Prisoners, or intended them for Slaves, to try by Means of the Molotto Interpreter to treat with them for their Ransom.
Mr. Nyn obey'd his Orders punctually, and when he came near the Land he lay by, with a white Flag display'd at the End of a Mast, at which Time he observed a great Body of People coming from the Town towards the Sea-Side; the Captain could also discern them from the Ship with his Spying-glass, and judg'd them to be betwixt four and five Thousand, but instead of coming to parley, they marched in a Body behind a Bank, which stood opposite the Boat, where they lay in a Kind of Ambuscade, without returning any Signal, or shewing any Inclination to speak with the Boat.
This look'd plainly, as if they intended to surprize the Men, in Case they should venture to land; wherefore Mr. Nyn resolved to return on Board, and plying along Shore, in order to find the Passage thro’ the Ridge of Rocks of Coral, which runs along ashore, the Natives let fly a Shower of Arrows at the Boat, which however did no Harm, because they fell short; upon which Mr. Nyn commanded his Men to fire their Arms towards the Banks, in order to frighten them, for being so intrench'd, he knew he could do them no Harm; after which he returned on Board.
The Captain now began to despair of ever seeing his Men more; the best he could think which could befal them, was, to be made Slaves, for still he did not apprehend that they had met with so melancholy and cruel a Fate, as their Confidence in the Natives had really brought upon them; he therefore resolved to make one Attempt more, in order to learn some News of what had befallen them: In order to which, he thought of a Stratagem, by which he should run no Hazard of losing any more of his Men, and by which it seemed probable he must hear of them if they were alive. He writ a Letter, which Letter he caused to be fix'd to the Top of a long Pole, which he ordered to be carried on Shore in the Silence of the Night; the Men were to fix the Pole in the Ground, and to make it the more conspicuous, there was a Flag also fastened to the Pole.
He did not doubt, but that if any of his Men had the Liberty of walking about, they would come for the Letter which they must see, and if they had not that Liberty, the Natives not being able to read it themselves, would carry it to them.
In this Letter he advised Mr. Baldwin, and Mr. Sale, the third Mate and Purser, to treat about their own Ransom themselves, and that of the five Men with them (including the Molotto) and since there was no other Way of procuring their Liberty, he would comply with the Terms, let them be what they would; he directed them to fix their Answer upon the same Pole, and least they should want Pen and Ink, he inclosed a Pencil, and also a Sheet of Paper. And in Hopes an Answer should be left, he commanded the Pole to be fix'd just at the Waters Edge, where there was no Bank near, that it might be taken off without the Danger of an Ambuscade.
This was the best Expedient he could think of, for relieving his unhappy Countrymen, who now, alas! were past all Relief. Accordingly the Boat was sent with the said Letter, and two of the Men went on Shore and fixed it, and having returned into the Boat, the Boat put off, and came to an Anchor at some Distance from the Shore, in order to observe what should become of the Letter; they waited till Noon to no Purpose, then taking up their Anchor, in order to come on Board for some Refreshment, they were but a little while under Sail, when they saw a Man come and carry off the Pole; a little while after which, as they ply'd along the Shore, and were opposite to the Bank before described, they were saluted with a Volley of Musquet-Shot, one Ball falling into the Boat, and several others come very near it; wherefore, they made all the Sail they could to give the Captain an Account of what had pass'd.
The Fire Arms they made use of were these they found in the Boat, where they also met with six Cartouch Boxes full of Charges, and their making use of them in this Manner, convinced the Captain that they had no Mind to come to any Parley with them, or to listen to any Terms about the Release of their unhappy Ship Mates; however they were continually upon the Watch, looking out with wishing Eyes, in Expectation of seeing the appointed Signal made for the Answer of the Letter; long they expected to no Purpose, which made the Captain think something very fatal had happened to them, and that he should never see them more; but in the midst of his Despair, a Thought came into his Head, which administred to him a little Comfort, he fancied that perhaps they might be carried up the Country, to the Place where the King at that Time was gone, and that the Natives might send the Letter after them, which might be the Reason there was no Answer yet left. Upon this little Glimmering of Hope, he resolved to wait some Days longer, for he was willing to lay Hold of any Hope, rather than bear the Thoughts of going away without them.
Thus Day after Day they waited in Expectation of some Answer, sending the Boat to lye off near the Shore, to be ready in Case any Signal should be made. — One Day they perceived a great Number of People to come out of the Town, and make towards the Shore, which gave them an Expectation that the Delivery of their Friends was at Hand; they watched their Motions with earnest Eyes, hoping every Minute to see a Flag of Truce, instead of which, they observed them to march directly behind the Bank, where they seem'd to place themselves in a Kind of Ambuscade.
Now there seem'd to be an End of all their Hopes, the Boat return'd on Board, and made a Report to the Captain of what they saw, who calling a Consultation of all his Officers to hear if any Thing could be offered for the Relief of their Companions; it was proposed by one to send the Boat on Shore, to burn some Junks which were hawl'd up about a Musquet-Shot from the Waterside, but the Captain considered, that tho’ this might gratifie their Revenge, it would bring no Relief to their poor captive Friends: On the contrary, the Natives might be provoked to destroy them for it, if they had not done it already, besides as these Junks lay not far from the Bank, their Men might be exposed to the Arrows of the Natives (who now lay in continual Ambuscade) and so they might run the Hazard of losing more Men without the least Advantage to themselves, or unhappy Companions.
Wherefore, this Project was laid aside, and the Winds often blowing hard, and the Captain not judging it safe to lye any longer in that open Road, he weighed Anchor on the fourth of December, steering along ashore, in Search of some Bay or Inlet, where they might ride shelter'd from the Wind and Weather; and still with a View that if either their Companions might have an Opportunity of making their Escape, or the Natives should relent and think of letting them go for a Ransom, they might be near enough to receive them. After about three or four Hours gentle Sail he dropp'd an Anchor, the Town of Magadoxa then bearing N E b'E of them, they perceived it was all along a flat smooth Shore, without any Bay or other Shelter, for Ships to ride; wherefore, the next Day, which was the fifth of December, they stood off to Sea, and then came to a Consultation what Measures to take in their present Condition; and having considered that they had met with no Place where they could ride with any Safety, and if they should meet with a convenient Bay much farther down the Coast, it would be of no Service to their unhappy Companions, who would never hear of them; and besides they could not venture to traffick with the Natives for Refreshments, for Fear of Surprize and Treachery; and their Men beginning to grow weak and distempered for want of fresh Provisions, they resolved to make for the Island of Joanna, being forced to leave their Companions to Providence, in great Trouble and Anxiety for their unhappy Fate.
We shall leave them to pursue their Voyage, which was happy enough, bating this Accident, and relate what had passd on Shore, as we had it from a Munuscript, written by the Molotto Interpreter, who was the only Person who escaped, and return'd to England, after he had lived sixteen Years amongst the Barbarians.
It has been already taken Notice that Mr. Baldwin the third Mate, and Mr. Sale the Purser (unhappily for them) not observing the Cautions the Captain gave them to be upon their Guard, were so indiscreet, to be tempted to accept of an Invitation to dine with the King's Son; so that having sent the Yawl on Board again, for a Present as has been related, they with the Molotto Interpreter went towards the Town, accompanied by several of the Natives, who made them the Invitation in the Name of the King's Son. They were no sooner arrived at the first Gate of the City, but they were surrounded by a great Multitude of People, and violently dragg'd into a little Door under the Gateway, and shut up in a dark Hole. When they had remained here about the Space of two Hours, they heard a very great Noise without; soon after which, the Doors leading to their Dungeon were all opened, and they were dragg'd out again; when they were out, they found that what occasioned that great Noise, was the Return of their Men, whom they had sent on Board for a Present for the King's Son, who were seized in the same Manner they had been, and being encompassed by such a Number of People, they lost them in a Minute; they were also separated from one another, and the Molotto desiring to know of them the Meaning of all this, and in what they had offended them, they only answered him, that they must go before the Accabo, (the Name by which they call the King, who had not been out of Town as they gave out before) accordingly he was conducted with a sufficient Guard, expecting there to meet his Companions again.
When he arrived at the King's House (which shall be hereafter described) he was led thro’ several Rooms to that where the King was present, whom he found sitting upon the Ground, the Floor being matted; he was dress'd in a long Pair of Drawers of blewish purple Silk, which reach'd down to his Toes, having neither Shoes nor Stockings on, a large Mantle of the same Silk, and a white Turbant on his Head; there were eight others who sat about him, whose Dress was the same with his, as to Form and Fashion, but their Drawers and Mantles were made of a blew and white strip'd Dungeree Stuff, instead of Silk; these were his Councellors and Favourites. The King spoke to him in a Kind of Arabick, asking of what Country he was? he answered of Canton in China. Then he ask'd him, how he came to associate himself with those horrid white Men? The poor Molotto began to tremble at this Question, but excus'd himself by speaking in their Favour, highly extolling them for their Civility of Behaviour, as well as Generosity, and praising them in all Things to the King, telling him, he was sure the Captain would ransom them, if it was his Pleasure to consent to it; to which he returned no Answer, but ask'd what the Ship had in her, the Molotto gave him an Account of her Lading; then he desired to know whether the rest of the Men would come on Shore, he answered, he could not tell, but in Case they were suffered to return again on Board, he was sure they would come on Shore, and that the Captain himself designed to come and see the King, as soon as they should return; but the King made no Offer of suffering that, but commanded him to be carried back to Prison.
The Prison which they call Haulaub, is a square Stone-Building, about twenty Foot high, and flat at Top, fronting one of their broadest Streets; there are no Windows or Iron Bars, as we see in our Prisons, but there are several little Holes about eight or nine Inches square, quite thro’ the Wall, thro’ which, the Place within receives both Light and Air. Here the poor Molotto was put, very anxious about the Fate of his poor Companions, whom he had not seen since their being separated at their first coming out of the Dungeon; wherefore, seeing an old Man looking thro’ one of the Holes before described, he enquired of him what was become of them, who gave him this melancholy Account; that those who came last out of the Boat, which were the four Sailors sent on Board the Ship for the Present for the King's Son, were kill'd in the Streets by the Multitude, and that making some Resistance, they were torn to Pieces, every Man thinking himself happy that could procure a Piece of their Flesh, shewing a Bit of about two Ounces, which he begg'd of one who had got a great Piece, which many of them eat; that they were all from their Childhood taught to have an Aversion to white Men, and that these were the first that had been seen in the Memory of Man, that as to the tall Man and the little Man which had been in the Dungeon with him (which were Mr. Baldwin and Mr. Sale, the Mate and Purser) they were by the King's Order carried to the Boderzau (a Place where Tygers and other fierce Beasts are kept for the King's Pleasure) and delivered up to be torn to Pieces by those Animals.
This was in Effect, the true Account of the most bloody Massacre that was committed upon these unhappy Men; the Story of which, it may be imagined, must throw the poor Molotto into the utmost Consternation and Fear, as imagining himself to be near suffering some cruel Death; sometimes he flattered himself that they would spare him, because of his being a Molotto, but on the other Side, when he reflected on his having given the white Men a good Character, he look'd upon himself to be a dead Man, thinking that alone was sufficient to destroy him.
Betwixt these Doubts and Fears he pass'd the Night, in a Place all covered with Nastiness, where there was not the least Conveniency for easing Nature, and where, had his Mind been at rest, it would have been hard for him to have slept. In the Morning a Man look'd thro’ one of the Holes, and with great Joy in his Countenance, told him, there were more white Men coming on Shore; the Fellow did not relate it as good News to him, but told it for the Pleasure they should have in destroying more of them. The Molotto wish'd within himself, that he could have given Notice of what had pass'd, and some Advice to beware of themselves, but it was safest for him to keep his Wishes to himself; therefore he said nothing. Some Hours after he was sent to go again before the King; now he thought his Execution was at Hand, but when he was brought into the King's Presence, they put a Letter into his Hand, commanding him to tell what it meant, for that those who had come on Shore had stuck it upon a Pole, and went off before they could be spoke to. He saw at one Cast of an Eye, that it was from the Captain, who talk'd of Ransom, and a sudden Thought came into his Head, that if he had explained it to the King, they would make him some Way instrumental, in decoying more of the Men on Shore, in order to murder them; and knowing his Companions to be past all Ransom, he said he did not know the Ways of the white Men, and could not understand what that meant. The King then ask'd him if he could persuade the white Men, who were at that Time lying at an Anchor, in their Boat some Distance from the Land, to come on Shore, he answered he would endeavour to do it, if it was his Pleasure; upon which the King whisper'd with some others, who were near him, but said no more of it, as being unwilling to trust him. And the Truth on't is, he designed to tell them what had pass'd, and if the Natives did not hold him fast, to throw himself into the Sea, and venture to swim to them, not doubting, but those in the Boat might with their Fire Arms, secure him from being pursued, but they gave no Opportunity of making the Attempt.
The King then call'd for one of the Fire-Arms, which had been taken in the Boat, and commanded him to shew them how they were to be used, which he was forced to do; and they made use of them soon after, by firing at the Boat as has been related. He was then carried back to Prison, and talking with the Jaylor (whom in their Language they call Kasboo) he ask'd him what he thought the King intended to do with him? The Jaylor answered, he was sure he did not intend to have him kill'd, as the white Men had been, because he had ordered him to give him Food; this News a little revived his drooping Spirits, accordingly he brought him some Plantanes and Bonanas, which was the first Nourishment he had taken since he came on Shore; and having refreshed himself therewith, and with an Alabo of Water, that is, a Vessel not unlike a Pitcher, he begg'd for something to clean the Place, the Jaylor brought him a Parcel of green Sticks tied together, which they call a Tosee, and serves for the Use of a Broom; with this and a Thing like a Shovel, he made a Shift to sweeten the Place pretty well; when it was done, he observed an old Man looking thro’ one of the Holes at him, with whom he fell into Discourse, and enquired of him whether the Ship was gone, the old Man told him no, but that there was another Boat with white Men lying off the Land, and that there were great Numbers of People from the Town lying in Wait for their coming on Shore. He begg'd this old Man to get him a few Palmatu Leaves to lay on the Floor under him, which the old Man did, so that that Night he rested very comfortably to what he had done before.
The next Morning he was again sent for before the King, who ask'd him, if he could kill a Coway with one of those Musquets? he answered he could, and glad he was to be so employed, thinking by these Means he might please the King, at least gain his Favour so far, as to induce him to spare his Life. He was led out to the River-side, the King himself being in Company, and one of the Musquets was put into his Hand, he took the Ball and beat it into a great Length, and then divided it into small Bits about the Size of Swan Shot, for he would not venture to shoot with a single Ball, not knowing but his Life might depend upon the Success of his Shoot, by these Means he kill'd one the first Shot. The King seemed very well pleased, and made him charge the Piece again in the same Manner, and taking it into his own Hands discharged it at another Coway which he also kill'd.
A Coway is a fine beautiful Bird larger than a Swan, and not much unlike it in Shape, the Body is as white as Milk, but the Tuft it wears on its Head, as also its Tail, are adorned with Variety of Colours, the Bill is a little crooked, and uneven, its Legs of a fine Yellow, but its Form is best expressed by the Figure. They are in great Plenty always living near the Water, hatching fourteen or fifteen young Ones at a Time, and set four Times a Year; they are excellent to eat, nor do they taste at all fishy.
After this, he was ordered back to his Prison, as he went along he ask'd the Jaylor (with whom he was now grown more familiar) what he thought the King intended to do with him. The Kasboo or Jaylor told him, he believed he intended to keep him there till the Ship (which they call a Schabew) and the white Men were gone, and that then he would order him to be releas'd from his Confinement, and employ him in some Service. The Jaylor seem'd to talk to him, and use him in a much kinder Manner than before; and when he arrived at the Prison, he brought him a Patue (in their Language a Dith) of boiled Rice with Oyl, which is look'd upon to be very good Food; he left him two large Alaboes or Pitchers of Water, sufficient to drink and to clean his Kennel, after which, he took a comfortable Nights Rest.
The poor Fellow now began to wish that the Ship was gone, since he had no Prospect of making his Escape, and that their Departure would procure him greater Liberty. Next Morning seeing the old Man who had furnish'd him with the Palmatu Leaves, looking thro’ one of the Holes at him, he enquired of him, whether the Ship was still in Sight? He told him it was, that there were still great Numbers of People lying behind the Bank, having with them those Things which were taken in the Boats, describing the Musquets, and great Numbers of Arrows, ready to shoot if they should either Land, or come near enough with their Ship; he begg'd of him to let him know what should happen, and particularly to inform him when the Ship should go off: The old Man whose Name was Morasab, seem'd obliging and kind, and promised him to do so, and that he would return towards Night (which in their Language they call Raham.)
A little after the Kasboo or Jaylor came in, bringing some Plantanes and Bonana's to him for his Breakfast, and opened a Door which went into a little back Yard, where there was a Spring of fine fresh Water, bidding him draw what Water he pleased in his Alaboes, and clean his Prison, leaving the Place open to him for that Purpose, there being no Way for him to get out; towards Evening he came to him again, bringing him some boyl'd Rice and Oyl, and then he shut up the Door before described, and leaving him Water enough, left him for that Night.
Morasab appeared at one of the Holes according to his Promise, acquainting him, that the Ship remained still in the same Station, and that the Boat had not been seen near the Land that Day. Next Morning Morasab came again, and with great Joy told him, the Ship was then going off, being under Sail; a little after the Kasboo or Jaylor came in as usual, bringing some boyl'd Rice, and gave him the same Account of the Ship.
Tho’ he despaired now of ever getting off, yet he expected to be enlarged from his Prison, and enjoy Liberty, the sweetest Thing to Man. In the Evening Morazab came again to let him know, that the Ship was almost out of Sight, and that the King had sent a Party of Men to the East, and another to the West, to watch the Coast, and lye in Wait for the white Men, in Case they should Land any where else for Water or to get Provisions. The next Day he came again and gave him Notice, that Word had been brought to the King that the Ship had been seen again a great Way off to the Westward, but that the Men had not come on Shore; and the Day following he visited him again, with an Account, that News was brought to the King that the Ship was gone off again, and sail'd out of Sight.
Upon this, he expected to be immediately releas'd from his Confinement, yet he was kept close to his Prison ten Days longer; the Reason as he afterwards found, was, least the Ship might be hovering somewhere upon the Coast, and having his Liberty he might find an Opportunity of escaping to her; but when they seem'd pretty well assured that the Ship was quite gone off, the King sent for him, and ask'd him, if he should give him his Liberty, whether he would attempt to escape? He promised he would not, and indeed any Attempt now would have been in Vain, for to escape would have been a Thing impossible; upon which, the King appointed him to attend upon his Person, and to live with his other Servants, giving him Orders at the same Time not to go out of the City.
There was nothing at all uncomfortable in the Life he led here, for the Service was easy, having very little to do; his chief Business was carrying up the Pataes or Dishes for the King's Dinner, who eat upon the Ground, the Floor being sometimes covered with a Mat instead of a Cloth, and sometimes bare without any Thing; the Diet was generally boiled Rice, with broiled Meat, sometimes Venison, sometimes wild Goat; as also Fowl of all Sorts, which are smaller than those of Europe, but of an excellent Taste; they have also several Fowl not known to us; their Beef and Mutton are both excellent, but small; they also had Variety of Fish which they dress, either by boiling or broiling, as for Sawce, the King himself had none, except Kajan, Pepper, for they eat most of their Things very hot, and boiled Rice is what serves them instead of Bread.
Thus he lived in Plenty, eating as much as he would of what was left, when the King had done Dinner, so that few People as to Eating and Drinking tasted so great a Variety as he did; the Diet of the common Sort of People, consists generally of Plantanes, Bonana's, boiled Rice (which they call Pasida) and Oil, and a Dish they call Kaja, which is Plantanes and Rice boiled together, sometimes indeed they have Venison and wild Goat, which they kill themselves, but whatever it is, they eat it out of the Crock it is boiled in, for none but those of great Condition have the Use of Pataes or Dishes; if it be broiled, whether it be Fish or Flesh, they eat it off the Coals, and to avoid burning their Fingers, they take a Bit of green Stick which they break half through, and so bending it together, it serves the Use of a Pair of Tongues as well as a Fork, in turning the Meat upon the Coals as well as taking it off when it is ready. As for Knives and Forks the King himself is not acquainted with the Use of them; so that he pulls his Meat to Pieces with his Fingers, which is generally so well done that it requires no great Labour.
It was about two Months before he ventured to stir abroad beyond the Palace; but one Day one of the Servants who had Business about the City, ask'd him to go along with him, and in Discourse told him, the King would not be displeas'd, if he should go out often; upon this Encouragement he used to walk about the City almost every Day, chusing the Time when the King went to sleep, which was constantly his Practice every Afternoon. He took this Liberty three or four Months together, sometimes being absent several Hours without receiving the least Reprimand; he made an Acquaintance with several in the City, and had Leisure to satisfie his Curiosity, in observing every Thing that appeared new and strange, to one who had lived so long amongst the Europeans.
The City of Magadoxa lies (as has been observ'd) in the Latitude of one Degree and fifty one Minutes: It is built betwixt two Hills or rather on the Sides of two Hills, the greatest Part of it standing on the Declivity of that Hill next the Sea, so that there is scarce any of it to be seen by any Ship in the Road, or that passes by, which indeed are but few; for scarce any ever touch there, except driven by 'stress of Weather, as was the Case of the Albemarle. They have no Vessels of their own, except a few employ'd in Fishing, which they call Juncks, and not above ten or twelve of those; and tho’ some of them are large enough to carry thirteen or fourteen Ton, they never venture far from the Land.
The City contains betwixt three and four thousand Houses, some built of rough Stone, others of Marble, of which they have many Quaries, extreamly fine, and of various Colours, but they want the Art of polishing it; but the most esteemed and most expensive Houses, are those of rough Stone covered over with a Kind of Plaister, which is peculiar to this Country; after it is laid on, it is not above three Days in drying, and grows as hard and durable as the Stone itself; but the greatest Curiosity of it is, that they can make it of what Colour they please; and as the Houses of all Persons of Condition are covered with it, It has a mighty pretty Effect to the Eye, for some have their Houses white, others red, some yellow, and some blue, that of the King was green, while the Inside is floor'd with the same Plaister, the Rooms all differing in Colour from each other, which Variety makes the City appear very beautiful, tho’ the Streets are very narrow and very nasty.
Notwithstanding the Houses look so bright without Side, their Furniture within consists of very little more than Cobwebs, for they have neither Tables, Chairs, nor Glasses, they have indeed Matts which serve them instead of Table-Cloths by Day, and Beds by Night, upon which they lie without either Pillow or Bolster, with a Covering of Mokaz or thick Dungeree over them, which is so call'd from a Tree of that Name, of the Bark of which it is made, which being beaten, is drawn into long Threads, and wove or rather work'd with fine Needles made of Wood, either thick or thin, according to which it is intended; and to such a Perfection are they arrived in this Sort of Manufacture, that they can make it as smooth, and as soft, as a Piece of English Broad-Cloth, and much stronger.
We should have observed that they have no such Things as Glass-Windows to their Houses, however there are either large round or square Vacancies in every Room to receive both Air and Light; these Sort of Windows are covered generally all Day with Shutters of thick Plank, in which many Holes are bored, in order to keep out the Heat of the Sun. As for Chimneys they have no such Thing: In all great Houses there is a Room appropriated for the Dressing the Victuals, where the Fire is made in a Corner upon the Ground, and those that are employ'd in that Service must be well smoaked. The common People frequently make their Fires without Doors, for Rice and Fish they never eat without some Sort of Dressing, but Flesh, to save Trouble and Fire, they frequently eat raw.
The King maintains nothing which has the State or Air of a Court, having no Guards about his Person, so that he frequently walks abroad in the Streets in the Dress before described, without either Shoes or Stockings: All those that meet him pass him by, and go on upon their Business without shewing him any external Mark of Respect; nay so little a Notion have they of Ceremony, that it is common for Persons of both Sexes to ease Nature in the Streets, perhaps when the King is passing by, and yet he is as well obey'd as any Prince in the World.
The Nobility walk about in as careless a Manner as the King, and are known by their Turbants; the better Sort of the common People wear Caps of various Colours, the Rest go intirely naked.
The Queen also walks about the Streets without either Guards or Attendants, and would pass as unregarded as the King, were it not that the Gaiety of her Dress must draw the Eyes of the Spectators; she commonly wears a Garment of either purple or green Silk, which being tied about her Waste reaches down to her Heels, with Variety of white, red, and green Feathers artfully disposed in her Hair, however she is bare-footed like the Rest, whilst all the poorer Sort of the Sex go quite naked, without thinking they carry any Thing about them they ought to be ashamed of.
The Wives of the Men of Condition indeed all wear Clothes, and are dress'd in the same Fashion with the Queen, tho’ not all so gay or so rich; but whatever their Habits may be, they take Care always to shew their naked Breasts, which hang down to their Bellies, if they have had any Children; and which we suppose is look'd upon as a Beauty, by their taking Care to expose them to View; they also paint the Nipples red, which is the only Art they use in setting off their Persons; they bring their Children into the World with little or no Pain, and without an Hour's Confinement from the common Occupations of Life.
The only Occasion when the King appears with any Thing that looks like Pomp or Magnificence is, when he rides abroad to take the Air, then he is mounted upon one of his Elephants, with his Favourites and Companions about him; they have a Way of fixing upon the Back of the Elephant, a Frame of Boards about eight or ten Foot Square, on which, he, with such as he carries with him to bear him Company, sit as commodiously as if in a Room, whilst two of his Servants on Foot conduct the Beast; yet even here, tho’ he goes thro’ any Crowd of People, no Man stops to do him Homage, or to pay him any Sort of Obedience, nor does he seem to expect it, having no Notion, that the Subjects are to be kept in Awe by the Shew of Grandeur which surrounds their Prince: A Mark of good Sense, beyond what is to be met with in the Courts of European Princes.
His Way of maintaining an inward Respect in the Hearts of the People which they have Sense enough to know, is preferable to that External which consist only in Shew and Appearance, and sometimes conceals Contempt and Hatred at Bottom, is by doing Justice in his Person, according to the best of his Judgment and Capacity; he is himself both King and Judge, and decides all Disputes betwixt Man and Man (which indeed are very few) by a personal Hearing of the Cause of Complaint. He is assisted by seven or eight Persons, who always sit about him for that Purpose, and may be called his Councellors; nor was it ever so much as suspected that any of these, either for Bribe, or Reward, or Promise, endeavoured to influence the King in his Judgment.
It rarely happens that any Persons is condemn'd to die; for as every Thing they feed on, except Rice, Plantanes, Oil, &c. is acquired by hunting and fishing, there are few Occasions for Theft amongst them; however, when any Person has merited that Punishment, the common Way of executing is, by throwing the Criminal, into the Den (which they call Bodyzaw) amongst the wild Beasts, such as Tygers, Leopards, and Crocadiles which are kept hungry before-hand for that Purpose.
There are many other Creatures kept in that Bodizaw or Den which are peculiar to this Country, such as the Augazet, which is the largest of all their Beasts, except the Elephant; it is of a white or rather yellowish Colour, with Streaks of Black running like Veins all over it, and also black Spots, the Face is not unlike that of a Cat, it has long sharp Claws; when it is wild, it is extreamly fierce, but may be rendered as gentle and tractable as a Household Dog.
A Bozee is an amphibious Creature, which always lives by the Sides of Rivers, and feeds principally upon Fish; it has a long Bill, and in all Respects the Shape and Form of a Bird, but wants Wings to fly, and instead of Feathers, is covered all over with a hard Scale resembling the Bark of a Tree, and so tough that an Arrow will not enter it; their Legs are very thick and scaled in the same Manner with their Bodies, having sharp Claws to their Feet; the Natives are more afraid of this Creature than of any other in the whole Country, especially, if they are obliged to travel any where by Night, near the Sides of Rivers, for they say it is so fierce and voracious, that it will seize either Man or Beast.
The Massau is another amphibious Creature, very large, whose Body is scaly like that of the Bozee, but it is of a different Colour, being reddish; the Bill also differs from that of the Bozee, for it is short and shaped like that of a Pidgeon; It is a timorous Creature, that upon hearing the least Noise immediately rushes for the Water; its Food is chiefly Weeds.
A Sachew is a Beast about the Size of a large Lion, of a dark brown Colour, with Shades of black all over the Body, and a Scale down his Back as hard as Horn, the Eyes are extreamly fierce, and in all Respects a terrible Creature to look at, but yet a Child would frighten it. — At the Sight of any human Creature it flies with great Swiftness to the Woods.
One of the King's Diversions is, to go to this Bodizaw or Den of wild Beasts to see them play; they are perfectly under the Command of their Keepers, and are taught to play Tricks like Dogs; nay, it is almost his only Diversion, unless sleeping half the Day can be called a Diversion. As for riding out upon his Elephants, as we took Notice before, he does it so seldom, it can scarce be reckon'd amongst his Pleasures.
Ease, Plenty, and the Heat of the Climate have render'd the People in general inclined to be slothful, they have no Trade with the Neighbouring Nations, nor do they desire to have any; it is true, they have a little Sort of Traffick amongst themselves, as those that hunt and shoot Goats, Venison, &c. give them often in Exchange for Dungeree Stuffs; they have also Gold and Silver amongst themselves, but very base; — they don't seem inclined to Cruelty, unless against white Men, whom they are taught to hate, tho’ they scarce ever see any; but there is a Kind of historical Tradition amongst them (for they have no Books) that their Country was once invaded by white Men, who committed many Cruelties upon them, and indeed it is likely that the Portuguese might formerly have landed amongst them, while they were making their India Discoveries, and perhaps might have treated them like Slaves, from whence comes this Tradition, and which is the Case of their inbred Hatred to white Men to this Day.
Thus the Molotto had Leisure to divert himself with observing the Customs and Manners of these strange People, who have no Commerce or
Communication with the Rest of the World. One Day as he was walking in the City, he was extreamly surpriz'd and terrified at the Sight of a Bird of a monstruous Size, which stalk'd close by him in the Street: It was what they call a Pyone, but he had never seen one of them before, so that tho’ it is tame and inoffensive, it is no Wonder he should be frighten'd at it.
A Pyone, as to Shape, differs from all Birds amongst us; their Colour is a whitish brown, and in the Pinion of each Wing they have five black, and five scarlet Feathers, very broad, and above a Foot long; their Legs are of a bright red, something small for so large a Body, and above three Foot in Length; their Necks are also extreamly long, so that from the Foot to the Top of their Heads they are generally ten Foot in Heighth; they breed in the Mountains, never sit on more than two Eggs at a Time, which always produce a Male and Female: The People catch them when they are young, and let them loose in the Streets, taking Pleasure in the Sight of them, for they do no Mischief, and feed on any Thing they can pick up.
He was so encouraged by this Indulgence which was shew'd him, that he thought he might go where he pleased, and that the Restriction which was laid upon him, was as good as taken off; wherefore, he was tempted by his Curiosity one Day to walk out of the City, and was seen by a great many People. The Day following the Accabo or King, with a stern Countenance, ask'd him if he had been out of the City? He was so terrified at his Looks, knowing also, that he had been commanded not to take that Liberty, that he was not able to answer: The King's Son who was present, smilingly ask'd him, why he did not speak? This recovered him a little from his Astonishment, so that he had the Courage to own he had; then the King with a more pleasing Aspect, desired to know of him, whether he had been to see his Moorzacks, or Tombs, he answered no; tho’ he had a great Desire of seeing them, because he had heard much Talk of them. So the Thing pass'd over without any farther Reprimand for this Time.
The next Day in the Afternoon, the King rid out on an Elephant in the Manner before described, ordering the Molotto to attend him, and went to visit the Moorzacks, or Monuments of his Ancestors, which are situated about three or four Miles from the City: The Magnificence and Beauty of these Tombs, are almost incredible, considering that it is in a Country of Barbarians that they are made; the Molotto was greatly surprized at their extraordinary Grandeur; the King took Notice of his Astonishment, and was not displeased at it, and enquiring of him how he liked them, the Molotto answered, he had never seen any Thing equal to them, in all his Life, and that he believed Strangers would travel from all Parts of the World to see them, did they but know such Things were there. The King then enquired of him concerning the Tombs of the white Men, and ask'd several Questions about the Ceremonies used in Funerals in all the Countries he had been in; the Molotto gave him the best Account he could, still extolling the Beauty of these Monuments above those of all the World. The King then enquired of him whether he knew how Gunpowder was made, he answered no; that it was made by the white Men, and that he was but little acquainted with their Ways. He answer'd in this Manner, knowing that if he should speak with Respect of white Men, it might do him some Prejudice, because of the Aversion he found they had towards them. Upon the whole, the King appeared pleased with the Conversation of this Day, and the Molotto fancied he should grow into Favour.
But two or three Days after, an Accident happened which put him again into a Fright, going out to walk as usual, he ventured as far as the Moorzacks, or Tombs, for he took a singular Pleasure in the Sight of them. It happened in the mean Time that they wanted him, he was not to be found in the King's House, or about the City; upon which, there were several Persons sent in Search of him different Ways, one of them found him among the Moorzacks, or Tombs, and brought him home, he was dismally frightened, when he understood the King's Displeasure; wherefore, as soon as he came into his Presence, he fell down upon his Face, as is practiced by those with whom he is displeased. The King ask'd him in an angry Tone where he had been? he answered at the Moorzacks, or Tombs; then the King enquired of those that had been sent in Search of him, whether it was true, they assured him they had found him there; upon hearing of which, he seemed to be immediately pacified, and said to him (Korah) which signifies properly to rise, but is never said, except when he forgives. Then the King ask'd him, if he would not attempt to run away, provided he should appoint him to live constantly among the Guards, who were maintained for watching those Monuments? he answered no; and that he should be pleased to pass the Remainder of his Days in so delightful a Place, without ever having a Wish for seeing his own Country again.
For this Time he was dismiss'd, but next Day being call'd up before the King, he was told that he must go to the Moorzacks, or Tombs, there to wait and do Duty as one of the Guards; there was a Bamzau or Priest sent along with him, who was to instruct him in his Duty there. On the Way as he went, the Bamzau or Priest told him, that he must live constantly among the Monuments, and that he would have Meat, Drink, and Lodging provided for him without any Trouble, that he must not take the Liberty of coming to the City, or going beyond the Bounds prescribed, which the Rest of the Guards whom they call Passaus would shew him; that he must be obliged to watch every second Night, to take Care that the Lamps which burnt in the Tombs were supplied with Oil, and never went out, and to keep the Tombs from any Filth or Nastiness.
When they arrived at the Place, the Bamzau or Priest commanded all the Passaus or Guards to be called together, acquainting them that the King had sent this Molotto amongst them to do the same Duty, and ordered one whom he called out from amongst the Rest, to return to the King with him, it being the King's Pleasure that the Molotto should supply his Place. This was readily obeyed, and they departed together.
The Passaus or Guards received him civilly enough, they immediately began Acquaintance with him, explaining to him all the Particulars of their Duty, and shewed him the Bounds with in which he was to confine himself; telling him if he pass'd those Limits, they must be obliged to kill him. This Order seemed a little too severe, but he fancied it was only said to terrify him, least he should take it into his Head to attempt an Escape; he flattered himself so for two Reasons, First, because of the Indulgence which had been shewn him when he ventured to exceed his Orders in going out of the City; and secondly he took Notice that the Bamzau or Priest spoke to the Passaus or Guards apart, which he fancied was instructing them to keep him in Ignorance as to the Truth of their Orders; they brought some boiled Rice and Oil cold, and told him he must watch that Night, because it was the Turn of the Person in whose Place he was come; in order to which, they brought him a Watch-Coat made of Hair, which they work very curiously with Needles, so that the whole Coat is of one entire Piece without a Seam; it hangs from the Shoulders down to the Ground, but has no Sleeves, so that it is more like a Cloak than a Coat.
The Sun being set, which is the Time they enter upon the Watch, every two Men began to fix their Pohalick, over against the Door of the Moorzack they were to watch; but to understand this Matter, it will be necessary to explain what a Pohalick is — A Pohalick is a Kind of a Tent, contrived to shelter them from the Inclemencies of the Weather, for the Nights are sometimes very cold there, especially if it rains; wherefore, they take four Poles of about eight Foot long, which, instead of fixing in the Ground, are plac'd in four Stone-Sockets, placed on Purpose, opposite to each Moorzack, for that Use, with Cross-Poles reaching from one to the other; but instead of Canvass they hang over it a Covering of Palmatu Leaves sewen together; the two oldest Standers have their Post opposite to the King's Moorzack, the Rest are posted according to their Seniority, for they are exact Observers of the Rules of Precedence; the youngest also in each Pohalick, fetches Wood for Fire, which is also absolutely necessary, as well to keep off the Musketoos which would be, otherwise, very troublesome, as to correct the Damps. As soon as the Sun rises, he also takes down the Pohalick, sweeps up the Ashes very clean, which remain of the Fire, and carries them away, that the Place may appear perfectly neat. It is his Duty also to go to the Bankoos (so they call the Steward of the Moorzacks) for the Provision of the Day, which he is afterwards to dress both for himself and his Comrade.
This Part of the Duty was not disagreeable to the Molotto, for having no Books to read, he would have grown melancholly for Want of something to divert his Time, had he been entirely idle; their Allowance of Provision was sufficient, and very good in its Kind. On Sundays and Tuesdays it was Flesh, either Beef, Mutton, or Goat, and Rice for Bread. On Wednesdays, Kaja (we have already told what that is) Mondays and Fridays, Fish and Plantanes. Thursdays and Saturdays Plantanes, Rice, and Oil. Their Fish was excellent in its Kind, but they usually dress'd it without taking out the Guts, and which they eat with it instead of Sauce, but the Molotto corrected this Part of their Cookery, and having gutted the Fish before he broiled it, he found his Comrades very well pleas'd, and they always managed it so after.
While he pass'd his Life here pleasantly enough, one Day the Accabo, or King, sent a Guard to fetch him to the City; he was extreamly frightened at this unexpected Turn, and enquired of those that conducted him, into the Meaning of it, but they could give him no Account of it, but hurried him along very quick; when they arriv'd at the City, they did not carry him before the Accabo, or King, as he expected, but conducted him strait to the Haulob, or Prison, where he had been before confined. He had not been there above two Hours when his old Friend Morasab came to make him a Visit, whose Opinion he ask'd concerning his Confinement, Morasab told him, he judged it to be for no other Reason, than because there had been a Schabew, or Ship, seen that Morning at a great Distance off the Coast, that there were Men on the Hills then watching of her, and others lying in Wait to surprize any that should attempt to come on Shore. While they were in Discourse, the Kasboo or Jaylor came in with some boiled Rice and Fish, and confirmed what Morasab had told him, and cheared him up by assuring him, that no Harm was intended him, that he was only confined to prevent his making his Escape. The Molotto knowing that every Thing he should say, would be told again the King, because any Person may speak to him with the utmost Freedom at any Time, except when he is sitting in Judgment, told the Kasboo, that he had given over all Thoughts of visiting his native Country more, having neither Wife nor Children; nor was he desirous of seeing any other Part of that Country, having taken a firm Resolution to obey the Orders very punctually of never going beyond the Limits of the Moorzacks; the Kasboo told him, that if he had any Value for his Life, it would be best for him to do so, for if he should at any Time be catch'd attempting any Escape, he would be served just as the white Men had been, the Molotto answered he should deserve it, since the King had been so gracious to him, not only to give him his Life, but to appoint him to live in a Place which he liked above any Thing he had ever seen.
All this Discourse was reported that Night to the King, the Consequence of which was, that he was sent for the next Morning; the first Question the King ask'd him was, whether that shabew or Ship which had appear'd in Sight, was the same in which he came? He answered, he could not tell, unless he was to see it, (but that could not be done now, for she was gone off without coming to an Anchor, or sending her Boat on Shore.) The King then ask'd him, whether he had a Desire to return back to the Moorzacks? He answered, it was what he longed for of all Things, and repeated the same Things concerning the Pleasure he took in that Place, which he had done before to the Kasboo; he found this tickled the King's Vanity, and put him into good Humour, wherefore, he commanded him to be conducted back, whither he arrived with a much lighter Heart than he left it, having the Satisfaction also of seeing his Comrades mighty well pleas'd at his safe Return amongst them.
Here he pass'd his Time without any Care, having every Thing provided for him, being at Leisure all the Day long to divert himself as he would, for except taking his Watch in his Turn, he had nothing to do, but to clean the Moorzacks every new Moon, both within and without, and to take Care that the Lamps around them should be supplied with Oil, and never go out.
He observ'd his Companions employed their Leisure Time all in some Work, most of them in making some little Curiosities, which the Towns-People used to walk out, and buy of them, and which enabled them to purchase Liquor and other Things they had an Inclination for; his Comrade in particular used to amuse himself with making Fishing-Nets, but these Nets are very different from those used in Europe, they are made of Sea-Grass, wove out into a certain Length, and the Fisherman before he uses them, fastens to them a certain Number of Hooks (for they are ignorant of the Art of contriving Nets to catch Fish without Hooks) his Comrade with a great Deal of Ease used to make one of these a Week, and he observing how he work'd them, did not doubt but he could do the same; therefore he begg'd of his Comrade to give him a little of his Sea-Grass, with which he began to make Trial, and succeeded so well, that in a few Days he finished a Net, which he truck'd away for a Quantity of Sea Grass.
He was now set up for a new Trade, and was so industrious in it, that he work'd his Nets with much more Curiosity than any of his Partners, and of Consequence had better Business; so that in a little Time he was able to purchase a Piece of Dungeree Linnen with his own Earnings, of which he made himself a Wastecoat after the English Fashion, and a Pair of long Drawers; but he had not worn them above a Day or two when the Bankoo, or Steward of the Moorzacks, commanded him to leave off the Wastecoat, that he might appear like the rest, who wore nothing but a Piece of any Stuff they could get, about their Wastes, to cover their Nakedness.
Upon the whole, he found he should have no great Occasion to provide for his Back, which occasioned his being less diligent in his Work; however, he purchased a Mohaz Covering to keep him warm in the Night, with the Bankoo's Permission, and happening to talk sometimes with his Comrades about Nets, and describing how they were made in Europe, the Bankoo asked him if he could make one in the same Manner? But finding he was not to lay out his Earnings to please himself, he answered, he could not; however, an Accident fell out soon after which brought him into great Favour.
As it was Part of his Duty to go to the Bankoo's generally in the Morning, for the Allowance of Provision for the Day for himself and Comrade, he observed, that tho’ their Allowance was sufficient in all other Respects, it was very short as to Salt. One Day, when they had Plantanes, Rice and Oil, he begg'd hard for a little more Salt, but the Bankoo told him it could not be done without defrauding some of the rest, for Salt is exceeding scarce amongst them, having no Way of making it, nor any Way of providing it but by searching among the Rocks, near the Sea Side, where they pick it up in Bits about the Bigness of a Nut, and sometimes larger; here Nature makes it by the continual beating of the Sea in one Place; but the Quantities they are able to procure this Way are very small; wherefore, finding himself disappointed, he happened to say, that if he was at Liberty he could make Salt as plenty in Magadoxa as it was in Europe. The Bankoo the same Day acquainted the Accabo with what he had said, so that the next Day he was sent for: He was no sooner arrived in the Presence of the Accabo but he immediately asked him if he could make Salt? He answered, he believed he could, (and the Truth on't was he had often seen it made.) At the same Time he described the Manner of making it. The Accabo immediately order'd him to go to Work, and to have what Assistance he requir'd; he did so, and was so industrious and successful in it, that in six Months Salt was as plenty amongst them as any where else.
The Accabo sent for him again, and inquired of him concerning Fishing-Nets, as they were used in Europe: He described them to him; upon which he asked him if he could make one of them? He had been asked the same Question before by the Bankoo, and denied that he had any Skill that Way; but considering with himself now that since he was likely to pass his whole Life amongst these People, it was his Business to gain their Favour all the Ways he could, he answered, he never had made any; however, if he (the Accabo) thought fit, he would try and do the best he could.
The Accabo seemed mightily pleased with his Willingness, and asked him if he should want any to assist him? He answered he should, and desired eight Persons to be employed in Spinning, and six in Knitting. These People were to follow his Directions, accordingly they fell to Work, and, in the Space of two Months, finished a Net eighty Fathom long.
When it was finished the Accabo himself had a Mind to see what Effect it would have beyond their own Nets; accordingly he went on board one of their Junks, attended by his Favourites, having with him also several of their most experienced Fishermen: They had the good Luck to take a good Number of Fish the first Hawl, among which were several Sorts they had never before seen, being such Fish as will not take the Hook, and such as always keep deep in the Water. The Accabo appeared highly contented with this Success, and ordered several more of them to be made, which could be done without him now that he had shewn them a Way, so that Fish soon became infinitely more plenty than ever it had been before.
The Molotto expected no less than to be rewarded with some extraordinary Recompence for the publick Services; the least Favour he thought could be granted him would be to give him the Liberty of a Freeman, and to let him live as an Inhabitant of the City, and to get his living amongst them, by any Sort of Industry he could; but he found himself greatly mistaken, for all his Reward consisted in being sent back to the Moorzacks, upon the same Foot he had been before.
It is true, he passed his Time here with a great deal of Tranquility, and began to reconcile himself to the Thoughts of remaining there his whole Life, he was convinced that nothing he could do to ingratiate himself, would procure him any Favour or Liberty; and an Accident fell out which gave him a terrible Notion of their Severity: One of the Passaus or Guards, on a Night when it was not his Turn to be upon the Watch, went privately into the City, contrary to Orders, and returned again before it was Day, but not so privately but he was seen by some Person, who went and discovered it to the Accabo; the Consequence of which was, that he was sent for under a Guard the next Morning, and, being brought into the King's Presence, was, without any more Ceremony, executed in the following Manner: He was obliged to kneel down, leaning his Head forwards, whilst the Executioner, with a heavy Bar of Timber, struck him on the lower part of his Head, and beat out his Brains.
This Example so terrified the poor Molotto, that in fifteen Years he was in that Place he never ventured beyond the Limits, except when he was sent for by the Accabo, or to attend a Burial, which he was obliged to do when any of the Passaus or Guards died, for they were not buried among the Moorzacks, no more than any of the other of the common People.
But it is Time that we describe this Place, which is not only the greatest Curiosity of this Country, but would pass for a Piece of Magnificence in those Nations where Arts and Sciences are known, and it is fit to be the more particular in it, as it may appear strange, that those People who are Barbarians in all other Respects, should observe so much Pomp and Decoration in their funeral Ceremonies.
This burying Place, which they call Hoynatz, is pleasantly situated in a beautiful Valley between two Hills, about two English Miles from the City of Magadoxa; there are in it twenty nine Moorzacks or Tombs, all which were first built by the Kings, at whose Expence the Passaus or Guards are kept, their being four to each Moorzack, who watch two and two by Turns, who take Care of the Lamps, which continually burn within, and keep every Thing clean to the greatest Nicety.
Tho’ these Moorzacks may be said properly all to belong to the King, yet several other Persons of the first Rank are buried in them, by the King's special Favour, for he sometimes gives a Moorzack to some Favourite, as a burying Place for his Family; notwithstanding which Gift, when any of the said Family dies, the King's Permission must be asked anew for burying him in the Moorzack, the Reason is, that it frequently happens that when a Person who has this Kind of Right to be buried in a Moorzack disobliges the King, he takes no Notice of it as long as the Party lives; but when he dies, he forbids him to be buried in the Moorzack, by way of Punishment.
This may shew what a Veneration they have for these Places, when they seem to think that all Happiness, as well as Honour, consisted in laying the Body after Death in one of these Moorzacks; and, indeed, it is one of the chief Pleasures of the King, as well as of the common People to visit these Places often, which they do with a Kind of religious Respect.
The largest Moorzack or Tomb of all is the King's own, no other Person being ever buried therein; it is eighty Foot square, built of black and white Marble mix'd, with a Kind of Cupola at Top, and over it a long Spire, the Inside, both Floor and Sides, is white Marble curiously polished, and the Cieling or Cupola painted green: There are in it forty five Boozes of Gold, standing on as many Pedestals of black Marble, of about four Foot high.
A Booze is a kind of round Pot with a Cover, about eight Inches deep, and five Diameter, in which are placed the Ashes of the Dead of those that are deposited there; I say the Ashes, because the Bodies are first burned.
There are also sixteen large Lamps of Gold, with nine Lights to each, four in a Corner, and one large one in the Middle, with two Lights; the large ones are never lighted but at Funerals, when they make a fine Shew, but that in the Middle burns constantly.
By the forty five Boozes, wherein are deposited the Ashes, it may be conjectured that as many of their Kings lie there, and so the Molotto was informed.
The second for Largeness belongs to the Coffues or Queens, (for, it must be observed, that the Males and Females are never buried in the same Moorzack:) It is built all of white Marble, and is fifty nine Foot square, the inside Wall exactly the same with the outside, but the Floor is of black and white Marble laid in Squares, much like what may be seen in Noblemens Houses in Europe. There are fifty six Boozes of Gold, standing on black Marble Pedestals; there are twelve large Lamps, each with seven Lights, three in each Corner, and one of Silver in the Middle, which burns constantly, as in the King's.
The third belongs to the Acobibs, or Princes; it is also built of white Marble; its Form is exactly round, being seventy nine Foot in Circumference; there are in it fifty three Boozes standing on black Marble Pedestals, with thirteen Lamps of Silver with seven Lights each; twelve of them are plac'd in a circular Form, and the thirteenth in the Middle, which burns constantly, the Cieling is painted green.
The fourth belongs to the Matotzes or Princesses; It is built of a greenish Marble, vein'd with black, being of a circular Form like that of the Acobibs or Princes, and much about the same in Circumference; the inside Wall is of white Marble; the Floor of various Colours, as black, white, and green; and the Cieling which is made in the Form of a Cupola, is yellow: It hath sixty four Boozes, standing on Pedestals of black and white Marble, and eight large Silver Lamps with seven Lights to each, placed in a circular Form, besides one in the middle which burns constantly.
The fifth belongs to the Poramzeps or Male Children of the Prince; it is built of a white Marble, with large black Veins in it, both the inside Wall and Floor being of a light grey Marble; it is thirty Foot square, having nineteen Boozes of Gold, and sixty of Silver, standing on Pedestals of the same Sort of Marble, with the outside Wall; there are in it eight large Silver Lamps, hanging two in each Corner, besides one in the middle which burns continually.
The sixth Moorzack belongs to the Squeenzibs or Female Children of the Prince; it is built of a curious red Marble, with Veins of white running thro’ it, and is twenty eight Foot square, the inside Wall and Floor being of white Marble; it has a hundred and nineteen Boozes of Silver standing on Pedestals of a blewish grey Marble; it has eight Silver Lamps disposed two in a Corner, besides one in the middle that burns continually.
All these here taken Notice of, belong to those of the King's own Blood, but as it may seem a little too tedious to be particular in the Description of them all, we shall only observe who the great Persons are, who are distinguished by having Moorzacks assigned to them alone, or to their Families.
First, There is one appointed for the burying Place of the Baamzan or chief Priest; one to the Baulumzu or Treasurer; one to the Jocybauthaux or chief Councellor; one to the Moorenzep or Head General; — one to the Caffa or Secretary; — one to the Paremzebs, which are a few People so called by Way of Title, and are their chief Nobility; — one to their Wives, whom they call Tepshoyes; — one to the Morepzus or Generals of the Elephants; — one to the Hammons or Governors of Towns; — one to the Hoyzepa or Head Teacher of the Elephants; — one to the Sancof or Head Doctor.
There is also one particularly kept for such as not being otherwise intitled to this Honour, shall perform some brave Action in the War — there is one belonging to the Zanshaw or Master of the King's Musick — One to the Divatzabowes or Concubines of the King — One to the Panpuzams or Male Children of the King's Concubines — One to the Parrasquas or Male Children of the High Priest — One to the Gauzets or Wives of the chief General — One to the Matotzas or Wives of the Governors of Towns — One to the Hoydenebs or Wives of the Treasurer — One to the Okenzegs or Wives of the chief Councellor.
But when I mention a Moorzack to belong to the Treasurer, or to the General, it must not be understood to be for the Use of him and his Heirs, but the next Person who succeeds in his Post is to be buried there, and his Heirs are no Ways intitled, unless they happen to succeed him in his Post.
These are all built of Marble of different Colours, some larger, and some less, some square, others quite round, some having a small Spire at Top, and others without; yet the Ornaments within are as rich in many of them, as in those belonging to the King or Prince — As for Example, in the Moorzack of the Baamzan or high Priest, of the Baumlozn or Treasurer, of the Morewzep or General, and of the Caffa or Secretary, the Boozes are all Gold; in others there are some of Gold and some of Silver, and considering what a great Number there are of them, these Monuments contain a vast Wealth.
When the King, Prince, or any other Person who is intitled to a Place in one of these Monuments dies, the Corps is immediately stripp'd naked, (let it be Man or Woman) after which, it is laid upon a Bier, and a thin Piece of Purple Silk being thrown over it, it is carried to be lain in State for some Days to a certain House, or Hall, built for that Purpose, a little Way without the City. — This Building consists of one large Room, sixty Foot in Length, and twenty six broad, being thirty Foot high, and flat at Top; the Stone is a curious white Marble, it is illuminated within with a great Number of Silver Lamps; in the middle stands a white Marble Table, supported by six Marble Pedestals about three Foot high, on which is laid the Body.
When they intend to remove it to the Hoynabs or burying Place, they exactly observe the Setting of the Sun; at which Time comes the chief Priest, attended by all those who have a Right to be buried in these Places (for no others must assist upon these Occasions) and drawing out a sharp Instrument, which they call a Mockdoo, and which serves the Use of a Knife, he opens the Body of the deceas'd, takes out the Heart, and delivers it into the Hands of the nearest Relation, who stands ready for that Purpose, at the Priest's right Hand; when this is done, the Body is carried to the lower End of the Hall, where a Fire is prepared in a Hole, five Foot deep in the Ground, and about as many broad; the Body is put into the said Fire, where it is consumed; then the Heart is again delivered into the Hands of the Priest, who places it in a little Stone-Pot, and puts it into the Fire, where it remains till it is dried to a Powder; then the Ashes of the Body being dried up, are put into the Booze, as is also the Heart; after which, they proceed to the Hoynatz, the nearest Relation carrying the Booze. When they arrive at the Moorzack, which upon this Occasion is all illuminated, the Booze is again delivered into the Hands of the Priest, who going into the Moorzack alone, shuts the Door after him, he remains a Quarter of an Hour, places the Booze upon the Pedestal prepared for it, and then returns, which makes an End of the whole Ceremony.
All this is done without a Word; nor is there any Sign of Sorrow or Lamentation amongst the Kindred, of the deceas'd, nor is it the Custom ever to speak of him, or name him at all after he is dead.
Thus we have given an Account of the Order and Ceremonies of their Funerals, and of the Magnificence of their Monuments, which make a most glorious Shew at a Distance, nor are they less beautiful when near, the Materials of which they are built being very fine, and their Scituation delightful.
But as to their Religion we can give but imperfect Accounts, for they scarce know what it is themselves; they never ask'd the Molotto one Word concerning his Religion, and when he enquired of theirs, they had very little to say about it, but told such an incoherent Story, that he could make neither Head nor Tail of it. There is a Mosque or Temple about half a Mile out of the City, of which they give a fabulous Account, as that it was built in one Night, but no Man could tell how, or by whom; but their general Opinion was, that it was built by Hios God of the Sea, and at certain Times they used to flock, and pay a Kind of Devotion there, but they could not tell why or wherefore. However by the best Observations our Molotto could make, it appear'd to him as if they had several Worships amongst them, for he took Notice that some paid their Devotions to a little Image, not unlike a Wolf, which they kept in their Houses, and which are so common, that the poorer Sort of People make them of Bits of Wood, of about four or five Inches long, and sell them about the Streets.
They bear no Sort of Hatred or Antipathy to Christians, as Christians, as we see the Turks and most of the Sects of Mahomet do; but the Truth on't is, they do not know what a Christian is, yet (as we observed before) they are bred up in a Notion that white Men are all a Kind of Monsters, and they hate and detest them, as we do Toads or other poisonous Creatures, not for their Religion, but their Colour. In Respect to one another they observe the Laws of Society very well, and perhaps there is less Fraud and fewer Acts of Injustice committed amongst them, than in any Christian Country we can name. So that our Molotto who was now in a Manner naturaliz'd amongst them, and whose Complexion was black enough not to appear odious and terrible to them, was as well used as the rest of the Passaus or Guards, or any other Person of equal Rank with him.
It is certain he once flattered himself with the Hopes of being placed in a better Condition of Life amongst them, or being set at full Liberty, by Way of Recompence, for his instructing them in some useful Things, which proved of publick Advantage to them, but he had long laid aside those vain Thoughts, for he found the Accabo had no Notion of Generosity, or Gratitude: He, therefore, with a Kind of Philosophy, seem'd to confine his Wishes to that melancholy quiet Life he was obliged to lead within the Limits of the Moorzacks, till an Accident fell out, which quite changed his Sentiments in this Respect, and which proves how natural the Love of Liberty is to Man.
It happened that the Hamman or Governor of the Town of Saeni, a Place about twenty Leagues to the Eastward of Magadoxa, in the same Kingdom of Zanguebar, having committed some Violences, by which he got the ill Will of the People, they rose against him, and kill'd him. This News was no sooner brought to Magadoxa, than the Accabo, tho’ he keeps no Army or Guards, except the Passaus to watch the Moorzacks, immediately rais'd a Body of two thousand Men, arm'd with Bows and Arrows, and march'd in Person at the Head of them, to suppress the Rebels. The second Days March, Advice was brought him that the Schabew or Ship had been seen near a little Town call'd Bandan, ten Leagues Eastward of Saeni, and thirty of Magadoxa: Upon which Intelligence, he forthwith commanded six Men to march back to the Moorzacks as expeditiously as they could, in order to fetch our Molotto, and with him to join the Army as soon as they could. They found him upon his Duty, and commanded him to march away immediately, with his Bow and Arrows, which were the Arms that belonged to him, as a Passau or Guard of the Moorzacks, so that he seem'd to march as a Soldier more than a Prisoner.
After two Days hard March they came up with the Army which had made a Halt, at some Distance from the Town of Saeni, and the Accabo having sent out a Detachment to lie in Ambuscade near the Town, they took some Prisoners, who being brought in, declared that all the Inhabitants had abandoned the Town upon the News of the King's Approach, and were fled away for Fear. At the same Time they gave such Instances of the Tyranny of the late Hamman or Governor, and of the Necessity they were under of doing as they did, that the King appeared satisfied with their Behaviour; and to lay aside all Resentment, ordered several of them to go and find out the Rest, and give them Notice, that they might return to their Habitations, for that all was pardon'd, and that he would send them a better Governor. And, as if all had been over, the next Day he began to move with his Army back towards Magadoxa, but marched extreamly slow; towards Night, they came near a great Wood, into which he commanded his whole Army to enter, in order to lie that Night; the next Morning he gave Orders that no Man upon Pain of Death should go out of the Wood.
In the mean Time the scattered Inhabitants of Saeni having heard the good News, were returning to their Habitations; but no sooner was it dark that Night, but the Accabo gave Orders for a March, and making all the Expedition they could, they silently enter'd the Town of Saeni before Morning, while the Inhabitants newly return'd were all asleep; however, they were alarm'd, and running into the Streets, the Accabo commanded his Men to fall upon them, who killed a great Number of them, whilst a great many favoured by the Darkness of the Night, had the good Luck to make their Escape; but of those that could not escape by Flight, there were only forty three made Prisoners, all the Rest being kill'd.
Our Molotto happen'd to fall into Discourse with one of these Prisoners, who lamenting the hard Fate, of his poor Townsmen, and giving him an Account of their Flight from the City, and their Return back, told him, that as they went near the Sea-side, about ten Leagues from thence, and a League or two from Bandon, they saw a Schabew or Ship, and so described him the Way to the Place where she lay; the Molotto perceiv'd it was directly East of the Place they were then at, viz. Saeni, he ask'd several Questions concerning the Size of the Ship, the Prisoner answer'd him to the best of his Understanding; and in his Manner of describing her, gave the Molotto to understand, that her Yards and Topmasts were down, which was a Sign she designed to lye there some Time; he then desired to know of him when he had seen her last, he answered him two Days before.
It immediately came into his Head that Providence had now given him the Means of making his Escape, and that in all Probability if he miss'd this, he never would have an Opportunity more; he knew that nothing could hinder him from making off by Night, and that in all Probability, he would be gone several Hours before he should be miss'd; so that he flattered himself, that those who should be sent in Pursuit of him would never overtake him, tho’ they should hit the right Way, and he thought it might very well happen they should be out there too.
All that Day he pass'd betwixt Hope and Fear, sometimes he was terrified at the dismal Apprehensions of losing his Way himself, or of the Ship's being sail'd off, in either of which Cases there was nothing for him but certain Destruction, for he could have no Chance of concealing himself in the Country as a Native might do. — On the other Side, he spirited himself up with an Assurance that the Ship could not be yet sail'd, having her Yards and Topmasts down but two Days before; and again, that he knew so well how the Place bore, that there could be no Danger of his losing his Way; so that that Day he did nothing but mark out the Way with his Eye, that he intended to go, at his first setting out.
As soon as all was silent that Night, and his Comrades (who were a Kind of Guards upon him) were all asleep, he ventured to set out, nor did he meet with any Frights or Interruptions at the Beginning, getting clear of the Army without being questioned, or so much as seen or heard of any; for as they knew nothing of military Discipline, they have no Centinels in the Night. He marched all Night with all his Might, for indeed it was for Life; in the Morning when the Day was clear, he saw a little Town about two Miles from him, he judg'd this to be the Town of Bandon, by the Description which the Prisoner gave him of it; he guessed now that he was near the Sea, and that it was nothing but the high Land before him, which hindered him from the Sight of it; he therefore set his best Foot forwards, to gain the Top of one of the Hills before him; when he reached the Top, he had a fair View of the Ocean, and looking stedfastly every Way, he fancied he saw something like a Ship Eastward, but it was so far off, it was scarce discernable, however, it revived his Heart, and he now thought himself safe; he also perceived a pretty large River, at some Distance below him, in the Valleys, which he must of Necessity pass, because it lay directly in his Way, but as he was expert at Swimming, this gave him no great Dread, therefore he made the best of his Way towards the said River; when he arrived at the Banks, he perceived it was so rapid, that he apprehended (he being a little weakened with the Fatigue of his Journey) the Current would be too strong for him, and carry him into the Sea; he thought therefore, there was no Way for him to get over, but to walk up further in the Country, to find a Place where the Course of the River was crooked, which always breaks the Rapidity of the Stream, and where he might cross with less Danger.
While he was considering on this Matter, he chanced to look about, and turning his Eyes upwards towards the Hill from whence he was newly descended, and which was now betwixt two and three Miles Distance from him, he saw six Men on the Top thereof; they seemed to stand still and look about them for a while, but suddenly they started forwards, and with great Precipitation made directly towards him; he could think no less than that they were some sent in Pursuit of him, and that their standing still at first, was to no other Purpose, than to try if they could see him, and that their discovering him, was the Occasion of their running so suddenly down the Hill afterwards. The Fear of the cruel Death he should suffer, in Case he should be taken, hinder'd all further Consideration, so that without any more examining them, he plunged himself into the River, the Current was very strong, however, he made Shift to stem it better than he expected; and when he got over near the other Side, Providence so order'd it, that he was forced into a Part of the River, where there was an eddy Water, which drove him upon the Bank, so that in about the Space of half an Hour or a little more, he landed safely on the other Side.
He was a little spent with his Swimming, when sitting down to take a little Breath, he saw a Sight which terrified him as much as an Army of Enemies at his Heels could have done; it was a monstruous Aligator lying near the Bank-side, it appeared like some prodigious Oak in the Water, and he has declared and given it under his Hand, that it seemed to him large enough to swallow an Ox. At the same Time he beheld his Pursuers, who were now arrived pretty near the opposite Bank, he started up, and wing'd with Fear, flew rather than run, and there being some shrubby low Wood near the River, he had Presence of Mind enough to make his Way through them, knowing that if the Monster should follow him, it could not pass that Way, because the Thickness of the Wood would hinder it, besides it must presently lose Sight of him, and indeed it is likely, that he owed his Escape to this lucky Thought; he run on with greater Swiftness than at his first setting out, (for his Fear had supplied him with new Spirits,) but not without often looking back, which gave him the Comfort of knowing that the Monster and his Pursuers were both out of Sight: When he had continued this Pace about two Hours, he came to a Valley betwixt two rising Grounds, which lay open to the Sea, where he was joyfully surprized with a full View of the Ship lying at an Anchor, not above a Mile from the Shore, he hastened immediately towards the Edge of the Water, and made a Signal to them, by waving his Cap over his Head, for he thought it to no Purpose to hollow r call because they were at too great a Distance to hear him. He continued this Action a considerable Time, and began to grow impatient and uneasy to the last Degree, because he saw them return no Signal in Answer to him, whereby he might understand that they saw him, or intended to succour him; but he was soon relieved from this Fright also, by the sudden Appearance of the Boat which was coming round the Point of Land very near him, she being employed for some Time in rowing along Shore, in order to discover if the Country was inhabited.
So great was his Joy at this Sight, and such was his Eagerness of speaking with them, knowing by their Dress they were Europeans, that he had not Patience to wait for their coming to him, but he ran hastily into the Water to meet them; when he waded up to the Neck, he set himself afloat and swam to the Boat, they proved to be Dutchmen; however, they took him in, and observing the extream Satisfaction and Joy which appeared in his Countenance, they were very desirous of knowing who he was, and whence he came, they spoke to him in Dutch, and tho’ he knew but little of that Language, yet he made a Shift to let them understand that he spoke English; there were two or three amongst them that understood our Language, and one of them spoke it very well; when he knew this, he gave them to understand in few Words that he was a Christian, that he had been a Prisoner or Slave in that Country for sixteen Years, that he had now made his Escape, and was pursued by six Barbarians who were once come in Sight of him.
As they had Arms in their Boat, they had a Mind to stay a-while and see whether these Barbarians would appear, for they had not beheld a human Creature since they had lain there, and were of Opinion that the Country was not inhabited, (tho’ the Ship had been seen from the Hills by the Natives) so they lay upon their Oars.
In about half an Hour five Men appear'd arm'd with Bows and Arrows, and running a great Pace, they came to the Water-side, and beheld the Boat, which was but a little Distance from them; the Dutchmen fired two Musquets, upon which they dispersed and fled hastily away, but a little while after two of them came back again, and throwing down their Bows and Arrows, upon the Shoreside, plung'd into the Sea, and seem'd to direct their Way towards the Boat; the Dutchmen were surpriz'd what they could mean, but however, as nothing was to be fear'd from two naked Men, they lay still to see what it would come to: In fine, the two Barbarians swam to the Boat, and speaking to the Molotto, begg'd to be taken in, and to go along with them, for that they should certainly be put to some cruel Death if they went back, for not having taken him and brought him back with them.
The Dutchmen were willing to receive them, knowing they would be worth Money to be sold for Slaves. When they got into the Boat, they gave an Account of losing one of their Company in swimming over the River, where they first had Sight of the Molotto, who was devoured by an Alligator, in all Probability the same the Molotto had seen, and that the other three would travel as far as they could from their own Country, in order to save their Lives; but for their Parts, they chose rather to put themselves on the Mercy of the white Men, than run the Hazard of being taken, or starved in passing thro’ Countries they did not know.
When he came on Board the Ship, he related to the Captain the whole Story of his Adventures, who finding he had been a Sea-faring Man, and that he understood Navigation pretty well, put him upon the Foot of an able Seaman.
They remain'd here about three Weeks, the Winds continuing contrary till then, in which Time they laid in Water and Wood, and diverted themselves with Fishing; after this they sail'd for Batavia in the East-Indies, where having unladed and taken in a Cargoe of India Goods, they sail'd home for Holland; the Molotto made two or three Voyages with them, but in the Year 1724, he being in Holland, and having a great Desire to see his old Captain, he embark'd on the 28th of March in Holland, and pass'd into England, he found out his Captain who was alive, and who being overjoy'd to see him, prov'd very generous to him, and prevail'd with him to give in Writing the Particulars of all his Adventures, from whose Copy the foregoing Narrative is faithfully taken.
As to the Molotto he return'd back to Holland, and sails still in the Service of the Dutch East-India Company, unless he is lately dead.
Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:07