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assembly, but a few principal men, among whom I had the honour to be one; but to my no small mortification, I heard deaan Mernaugha propose to send nine hundred, or a thousand people, under the command of deaan Trongha into Merfaughla, to join with deaan Crindo against deaan Woozington. This scheme was approved of, and unanimously agreed to; the manner and time were both appointed, which was not to be till some months after. When we broke up, deaan Trongha told me the whole assembly had confidence in me; as knowing it to be my interest to keep their secrets. But, says he, a more than ordinary care is absolutely necessary at this juncture ; for the common people abandon us to live under other lords, if our proceedings do not please them; though we aim at nothing but their own security and welfare. They have not, however, the sense to know it, and will be for ever throwing reflections on our conduct, and finding fault, though we lose our wives, families, and cattle, and run all hazards to protect them. It is natural for the refuse of the people to abuse their superiors; but yet governors ought nevertheless to study the good of their country, and defend those under their care from injuries and insults, without regarding such reflections; but then those things which we very well know beforehand, and they have not the sense to understand or judge of, ought never to be divulged.
I assured him of my fidelity, but told him that what I heard gave me no small uneasiness, since I was apprehensive that he would press me to go with him ; where my former master, Mevarrow, would very probably be, whose barbarous treatment I had too much experience of, not to dread the consequence of being again in his power He replied, that could never be : for they know (said he) that I am resolute, and that it would be dangerous for any man to provoke me so far, since it might prove the ruin of the whole army; for I am determined to protect you at the hazard of my own life, and revenge with the utmost severity any affront that shall be offered to you. I was not perfectly satisfied, but as I knew him to be a man of strict honour, I had all the reason imaginable to depend upon it. When I returned to my companions, they used their utmost endeavours to sift out of me the purport of their council; but I told them with a very careless air, that I stood at a distance, and did not observe one word that passed.
Deaan Trongha took his leave the next morning, acquainting the king, his nephew, that his owley had warned him in the night of some danger that attended his town from the enemy, in case he stayed much longer. As I was on this side the country, I desired to go and see Eglasse the Dutchman. The deaan assured me he would make it in his way home. Eg!asse was very much surprised when the children came running to him, and cried, “Arve verzahar!” that is, a white man is coming ; for he knew of no one in the country. One Efflep a negro of the West Indies, who was left ashore by pirates many years before, lived not far from him, and spoke nothing but English ; for being very deaf, he never learned the Madagascar language. He had two sons, however, born on the island of a native mother, who spoke both languages tolerably well. When I approached Eglasse, he pulled off his hat to me; but poor Robin was not in a condition to return the compliment. At first he spoke Dutch to me, but perceiving I did not understand him, he spoke a little broken English; and I had as little to say for myself in that, as the other. Thereupon I asked for an interpreter to speak English for me; which set deaan Trongha and the rest a laughing at first; but they pitied my hard lot afterwards, to have lived in a foreign country all the flower of my age. But James, Efflep's eldest son, carried on a conversation amongst us to the entire satisfaction of every one then present. Eglasse pressed me to live constantly with him; but I told him I would not leave deaan Trongha on any account whatever. For he was a man of great generosity and humanity; one, moreover, of great authority, and consequently able to protect me. I desired, however, that they would procure leave of him, to let me stay two or three days with them, which they did; and he as readily agreed to indulge me a whole week. I had heard but an indifferent character of Eglasse, with respect to his temper; he was rash and passionate, and would threaten the great men, not excepting the king himself, upon the slightest provocation, with what he would do as soon as the first ship arrived. This ill conduct of his rendered him distasteful to them; and for that reason I was cautious how I entered into too strict an amity with him. And it will soon appear, that my fears were justly grounded; for his continued indecent behaviour cost him his life at last.
Having now taken our farewell of deaan Trongha and his retinue, the pot was set on the fire by a slave named Toby, with a piece of salt beef, and potatoes dressed after the English manner.
In the mean time, Eglasse ordered James to relate to me the history of his arrival and adventures here; and this conducing to my purpose, which is to give such an account of the various customs and manners of this island as may be useful to traders and navigators, and pleasing to the curious, I shall only transcribe here what he then
“ At a place called Masseelege,” said he, “ on this island to the northward, there comes once a year a Moorish ship that brings silk-lambers, and many other things to trade with for slaves. At this place one Burgess, called captain Burgess, and Robert Arnold had a sloop; Burgess, indeed, commanded, for Arnold knew nothing of navigation; one was as rich as the other, and both were equally concerned in the vessel. With this sloop they used to come to Augustine-bay and other places on the island, in order to buy slaves and carry them to Masseelege against the moor's ship arrived. Eglasse sailed with them in this sloop. In one of their voyages to this place, Burgess and Arnold fell out to that degree, that the latter would stay no longer with Burgess; but prevailing on Eglasse to come on shore for his companion, he broug it all his effects with him, consisting of several bags of dollars, a great many guns, powder, shot, chests of clothes, beads, &c. amounting in the whole to a considerable value. In a word, every thing that is proper to trade with in these parts. He told Eglasse that in case he survived him he should have all his effects; but their design was only to stay till a ship arrived in which they could procure a passage to Europe. Whether they durst go to England or not I cannot absolutely say; though I had good reason to suspect that a great part of these riches were obtained by piracy. There were two black slaves, this Toby and another, who in the sequel of this story will be called Robin, who could speak good English. These swam ashore the same night that captain Burgess sailed away, and surrendered themselves to Arnold.
“ It happened a little before Rer Vovvern's death, (and which was, indeed, the occasion of it,) that this country was invaded by two enemies at the same time; and whilst the greater part of the lords and people were marched off in order to oppose the northern enemy, Woozington, who was a southern foe, came unawares upon us, having passed the great river without being in the least suspected, and a bold general of his, named Ry-Opheck, attacked the town and the king's house about midnight; Rer Vovvern himself was wounded in the thigh. Another party was likewise coming against us, whereupon every one was for flying to some shelter or other; as is not only customary, but indeed necessary in such cases. Arnold and Eglasse, however, having great riches, were resolved to defend them, and therefore armed themselves with guns, pistols, and cutlasses; but they no sooner appeared at their door than Arnold was shot dead on the spot. Eglasse was then glad to fly with his two slaves, Robin and Toby, for they never left him. The enemy plundered the house of what they saw convenient; which was all his wearing apparel, or any thing like it, even his beds for the ticking sake; the silver being black they knew not what it was, and therefore contented themselves with throw. ing it about. As to the cattle which they found in the pens they killed them all, for they had neither time nor strength enough to carry them off; nor were they able to defend themselves when once the country should make head against them. However, they took some captives and marched off in as great a hurry as they came, lest deaan Mundrosser, our present king's bro ther, who is very well beloved by his countrymen, and feared by his enemies, should fall upon them;
for we have not a greater man in war than he, deaan Trongha only excepted. Ry-Opheck's fears and haste were just and proper; for deaan Mundrosser mustered an army in a few hours after, and overtook them before they could pass the river. The sound of his shells added wings to their flight, insomuch that they left their captives behind them; and he brought most of our women and children again, so that our loss was inconsiderable : for as to our valuable goods, we (who were apprehensive of surprise, and well knew the manner of the country) had dug holes in the ground and buried them there, and they had no time to search after them. father Efflep, my brother, and I returned, we missed none of our effects, but very much concerned and surprised to find Arnold not only dead, but naked; but as to his dollars they lay neglected and scattered up and down; till some of our people, who were no strangers to their use and value, took up a great many and concealed them from Eglasse. We threatened some of them, however, and made them refund, complaining to deaan Mernaugha; but they were above half lost. Eglasse was so confounded, that he never returned till some messengers, who were sent out after him, met with him at last, and conducted him and his two slaves home. He lives handsomely enough still, though he lost so much, having a plantation of his own and three or four good milch cows; and he is able to join with my father to buy an ox notwithstanding it is a very dear time, a good one being worth now ten dollars. Our king, Rer Vovvern, died in six weeks after, more with grief than of his wounds. He was very well-beloved, being a good man and a gallant warrior; he was also