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the captain himself to make his observations. One among them knew the land, and said it was Port Dauphine; and that the king of that part of the island was an enemy to all white men, and treated all the Europeans in a most barbarous manner. The reason whereof, and a succint history of King Samuel, (for that was his name,) I shall have occasion to mention hereafter. This information put us into the utmost confusion and despair, and proved, indeed, our utter ruin. The man who made this report, spoke his real sentiments; for they were indeed, enemies to the French, and had murdered all they could find on the island, in revenge
for an affront some of that country had formerly given to King Samuel, but to no other white men; so that had we put in there, we had at least saved our lives, and some of our cargo; but our fate was fixed, and we were destined to be destroyed in the most tragical manner, and all our endeavours to save our lives served only to prolong our misery.
We durst not put into Port Dauphine, for fear of falling immediately into the hands of these revengeful and bloody murderers, as we then concluded them to be. We could not get to the northward, the wind being north-east; neither was there any harbour or port to the westward, but what was a week's sail, at least, to it. Besides the western shore is very steep.
Hereupon the captain resolved to steer along the western coast, and see if he could find a proper place to run her into, or put ashore with safety of our lives. At length we drew near the shore, but no place could be found; and our hold being now half full of water, the men went to the captain and asked him what he proposed to do, for the ship could swim no longer. He went into the round-house for a few minutes, and when he came out, he asked them if they approved of his running the ship on shore at all adventures; to which they all unanimously agreed, and cried out, "Anything to save our lives.” Now here was a sand which ran along for two leagues; we came within a quarter of a
mile of the shore, and let go an anchor first without the breakers, and then cut down our masts and rigging, and threw our guns and heaviest goods overboard, and tried all means to keep her up till we could get on shore. Having lost our long-boat and pinnace at Bengal, we had but one small boat left, for which reason we made a raft with some planks and yards.
At that time some of the natives were fishing, who, seeing us in distress, made a smoke to guide and invite us to shore; but we had entertained such a bad idea of them, that we could not tell presently how to determine, though we were informed these were another prince's dominions.
We finished the raft that night, and in the morning sent Mr. Pratt, our chief mate, and four men in the boat with a long rope for a warp, to fasten on the land. A great sea constantly runs here upon the rocks, and before they got to land their boat was staved in pieces; however, being pretty near it, by the help of some of the natives, who were negroes, they saved that part of the boat to which the rope was fastened. We had two English women on board, one of them would not venture on the raft, nor would the captain, but the other woman, and about forty or fifty of us did. i I stript off all my clothes, but took two purses of money and a silver cup, and tied them fast round my middle; we hauled by the rope towards the shore, but were no sooner among the breakers, than the first sea turned the raft topsy turvy, and washed us off; some swam to the rast again, but were soon washed off, and though the woman was drowning just by me, yet I could not save her. I sunk under every wave, and with great difficulty got on shore, as did every one else that were on the raft, but the woman. There was such a surf ran, and the sea broke so high, that we durst not venture out with the raft again ; which the captain perceiving, ordered the cable to be cut, and let the ship drive nearer the land, where she soon beat to pieces. The captain got on shore with his father's heart in his hand, which, according to his request, when dying, was put into a bottle in order to be brought to England, and buried at Dover
At length they all got on shore on pieces of the ship, planks, &c. two men only excepted, who were drowned, and the woman before-mentioned. The other woman escaped, though she was so full of water as well as some others, that we were obliged to roll and rub them well, to make them disgorge the water; we laid them also before a great fire made for that purpose, and in a little time they revived. We were, in all, above one hundred and sixty, including the Lascars.
The country began now to be alarmed, and we had already two or three hundred negroes flocking round us, picking up several pieces of silk and fine calicoes ; the muslin they had little or no regard for. Our goods were driven ashore in whole bales, for what with saltpetre and other things, we reckoned there might be three hundred tons left, after all that was thrown overboard at sundry times before.
One of the negroes brought an ox to us, and intimated, by signs, that we should kill him; but we made signs to them again to shoot him for us, we having no ammunition; when one of them perceived this, he lent us his gun ready charged, and with it one of our men shot the bullock dead on the spot.
It was extremely shocking to see the negroes cut the beast, skin, and flesh together, and sometimes the guts too, then toss them into the fire, or ashes, as it happened, and eat them half roasted. I shuddered for fear they should devour us in like manner, for they seemed to me to be a kind of cannibals, of whom I had heard very dreadful stories. Every thing, in short, appeared horrible to nature, and excited in us the most dismal apprehensions.
If I here discovered some greater concern than became a man, I hope my tender years, my little knowledge, and less experience, will plead in my behalf. This tragical scene made such a deep impression on me, that as often as it occurs to my mind, I start, an 1
am shocked with the frightful remembrance. observations are not so many, or so just and judicious as they should be, they must be considered as the reflections of a youth, and not of a man; for as I grew in years, it will appear I increased in knowledge and courage, was capable of making more solid remarks, and also of engaging in more bold and hazardous adventures.
While the negroes were busy in opening our bales and taking what they liked best, I observed several of them regarded the iron they found, much more than all those goods we looked upon as valuable, and took a great deal of pains to break all such pieces of timber as had iron in them. I broke open my chest and took out only one suit of clothes, leaving the rest to those who had most mind to them.
We remained thus two days and nights without coming to any final resolution, not knowing what to do. We were told Port Dauphine was but sixty miles from us, but the idea we had entertained of their being such a barbarous people, prevented our going thither ; but this debate was soon put an end to by the deaan (or as our English sailors call him king) of that part of the country.
For the next evening about nine o'clock,we heard a man call out “ Halloo,” at a great distance, like an Englishman, as he proved to be, who, being immediately answered, came nearer, and asked who we were... We told him the crew of an English East India ship, which proved so leaky, that we were obliged to rust her in here, as the first land we could make for the preservation of our lives. Hereupon he came to us, and at our request sat down with us by our fire, and told the captain that the king had sent him to inform us we had no reason to be under any fearful apprehensions, though we were in a strange country, and that he would come down himself the next day to pay us a visit. The captain desired him to give us what account he could of the country and the natives, and also to inform us how he came there. We all crowded about him, not so much out of a spirit of curiosity, as to be able by his relation, to form a better judgment of our happy or unhappy situation. The circumstances of his story were so very remarkable, and of so great importance to us, that I dare say I can repeat them almost in his own words, which were as follows:-
I am an "Englishman, born in the county of Middlesex; my parents, and every body who should have taken care of me, being dead, I went to sea very young: My first voyage was
the West Indies, but as I found little or no encouragement there, I resolved to take a trip to the East Indies, and in my passage thither, our ship was taken by a pirate, about a hundred leagues to the eastward of this island; they plundered her of all her rigging, ammunition, and provisions; they took me and nine more out of her, and then left the ship. During the time I was with them, they took several rich prizes, and since there was no possibility of avoiding it, I seemingly approved of all they did, and made one amongst them. Whenever we wanted refreshments, we resorted to this island, where we seldom failed of a supply. However, I soon grew weary of these piratical proceedings, and being at anchor in Mattatan Road, where the canoes came off as usual, to sell us rice, plantains, milk, and honey, &c., for our boat could not go ashore, such a great sea breaking upon the strand; I took this favourable opportunity to feign myself very sick and weak, and accordingly sent word to the captain (whose name I must not divulge, being sworn to the contrary,) of my ill state of health; and thereupon I entreated him to let me go on shore, in hope the land air might refresh me, to which request he readily consented. I dressed myself, and took with me as much gold and other valuable things as I could possibly put into my pockets; but entrusted no one with my secret resolution, since there was not a man on board who showed the least inclination to leave their dangerous and villainous engagements. I stepped into the canoe with all the satisfaction imaginable, thinking