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a great friend to white men, but more especially to the English. I must not forget, however, to tell you here is another family you must be acquainted with too, and that is one Hempshire, a Guinea negro, who was formerly among the pirates, but has been settled here some considerable time. He has a very pretty woman to his wife, and also a daughter by her. Though the man is both blind and poor, yet Eglasse makes him many presents out of respect to his wife, as we imagine, for they are very intimate.”
Here Eglasse interrupted James, on hearing his own name and Mrs Hempshire's too often, as he thought, mentioned together, and suspected that James was telling me of their supposed amour ; so he broke off the discourse; though James said he was only expatiating on the christian-like manner in which he behaved to Hempshire and his family; but by this time dinner was ready. I found myself here a perfect negro in my way of eating, for I devoured my meat alone which made them laugh heartily; but what was a still greater mortification to me was, Hempshire, his wife and child came to pay me a visit; and Eglasse and he talked my adventures over in English, and it seemed like unintelligible jargon which I could not form my tongue to imitate ; insomuch that I was apprehensive that I should never be able to speak my mother-tongue again. A few days' conversation however among these people, gave me hopes of recollecting it in time. Efflep and his sons were near neighbours to Eglasse, where I was invited the next day, and entertained in a very handsome manner after the English fashion, and much bet. ter than at Eglasse's. We had not only a couple of capons boiled with rice, like a pilaw, but another dish of fried meat and boiled potatoes, served up on pewter plates, so that I began to fancy myself in a christian country. They also procured some toake for me, as Eglasse had done before; but it was scarce, there being no honey to be got.
This was made of sugar-canes, which were likewise scarce at this time, and the toake was much inferior to what we had to the southward ; it
was strong enough however to make us a little gay and lively:
As soon as the week was expired I was determined to stay no longer, notwithstanding they importuned me very much, assuring them I would procure leave to come again in a short time: nor would I accept of a guide, since I knew the way. When I came to the seaside I espied a sail as I thought, though it proved nothing but a large canoe returning from sea, where the men had been fishing. I waited till they reached the shore, who seeing me white, though naked, came up to me, and a great deal of conversation passed between us, they being very inquisitive after my uncommon ada ventures. I gave them all the satisfaction I could, and inquired if there were any likelihood of a ship's arrival. Before I took my leave they made me a present of as many fish as I could well carry with me. When I came home to my own house, I picked out four of the best, and went to wait on my mistresses, presenting them with two a piece. Deaan Trongha coming home soon after, was surprised to find fish there, and highly pleased that I was returned; but was so complaisant as not to suffer me to lick his feet. He had been all day in the plantations, pushing the work as forward as he could, that they might not want for provisions when they came back from the wars; for every body was busy and make ing preparations for it. He told me he had ordered one of his wives to make me a cap; such as we usually wore by way of distinction.
I did not like the proposal, but there was no opposing it. He gave out to his wives and people that their intention was to invade deaan Morrochemek, a petty king in the adjacent mountains ; this he did, for fear some of his people should desert and alarm the country of Merfaughla.
Upon my return home I found visiters in abundance, who flocked about me for the sake of my fish; but as it was a customary thing, and what I used to do myself, I could not take it amiss; so I shared them out as far as they would go.
I slept but this one night in peace and quietness; for next morning I was called up to attend the deaan, and carry his gun with me to the plantation. At that time he had no project of great importance in his head, but before noon a messenger came running in haste with the news, that an army of ten thousand Saccalauvors (our northern enemies) were at a town called Murnumbo, within ten or twelve hours' march of us. Deaan Trongha was too impatient to hear the whole story, before he ordered his slaves to leave their work and go home; the hoes and spades were thrown aside, and the lances taken in hand, every man running home and making preparation for a march. Messengers were sent to Rer Befaugher, and all the other neighbouring lords to give their friendly assistance. Some of the principal men of each town were directed to stay at home, with a sufficient force to defend their families and cattle, in case Woozington should be at hand as he was before, in order to take the towns by surprise, while the fighting men were all engaged another way. I went home under the plausible view of whetting my lances, but with a resolution of being out of sight, and, if possible, forgotten ; which succeeded to my wish, for they were soon on their march. When I was well assured that they were gone, I went in a violent hurry to the head lady's house, asking for my master; and being informed he was gone, I pretended to be in a confusion, and in all the haste imaginable to follow him ; but the women would not let me go; for they ordered the men, who were left as a guard, to stop me. At length, with much ado it may be supposed, I was prevailed on to stay, and sat down very contentedly amongst the women. Most of the town, nay, the very children were there ; or round about the house. Their clamour, prayers, and cries for their husbands, and idle tattle about the war, were troublesome enough; but not so bad as running the risk of either life or limb, in fighting the quarrel of a people, for whom I had no manner of concern.
At night I had several young female visiters, who supped with me on carravances, of which my mistress had made me a present. Our conversation was innocent and pleasant, though some of my gay readers may perhaps imagine otherwise.
But be that as it may can assure them (to the shame of christianity) there are more modest women in proportion to the number of people here than in England; even such as would sooner part with their lives than yield to a man's embraces, unless they were taken to wife according to the custom of the country; but such women as sailors find for their turn, are only slaves brought down to the sea-side and dressed with beads and silk lambers, with no other view than to allure their gallants and get from them what they can, and though the gain they make of their prostitution is their master's, yet most of them are generous enough to present them with part of the fine things they get from their cullies ; but were these sailors to go up into the country, they would not find it an easy matter to procure a mistress. The conversation, however, I had with my young visiters, gave me some melancholy reflections in bringing to my remembrance the pleasure I formerly enjoyed in the company of my dear wife, whose beauty and conversation were in my opinion far superior to any of these.
During the men's absence, we had little else to live on than tamarinds and ashes, a little milk only excepted; but in twelve days they returned, and were received with all the demonstrations of joy imaginable by the women. I went myself likewise with a good assurance to welcome them home. Deaan Trongha, indeed, rallied ine a little about it; but his wife in. genuously confessing, that she hindered me from following him, I heard no more of it.
The account they gave of their expedition was, that a general belonging to Rer Trimmonongarevo's army was at the place, but the messenger's fear augmented it to nearly double the number of men that in reality was in it, for there were not five thousand in all. Our people were so expeditious, that they secured a narrow pass, which the enemy designed to have taken; and after a small skirmish or two, Rer Mimebolambo withdrew to a plain and encamped, to whom Rer Mundrosser sent a messenger to demand the reason why he (more especially) marched an army into a country to destroy it, since his late king Rer Vovvern, had relieved and protected him, when he fled from his uncle Rer Trimmonongarevo, at his father's decease ; for Rer Mimebolambo's father was king of Morandavo, and this son of his was to have been his successor ; but there was a dispute between his uncle and him, several years, till Rer Vovvern, at last, brought about a reconciliation between them. Rer Mimebolambo replied in a few words, that those matters were made up, that his uncle was king and he was under his command, and therefore could not help it. We understood afterwards that deaan Woozington had appointed to meet him and failed, however he was unwilling to return home without doing somewhat, and attempted, for that reason, to make an incursion and carry off a booty of slaves and cattle, but was prevented. followed them at a distance, to conduct them safely into their own country, and then returned home.
But that part of the news, which was most agreeable to me, was that deaan Mernaugha and they had agreed to defer for this season their intended expedition with deaan Crindo against Merfaughla, for I always dreaded the thoughts of going into Anterndroea, not only lest a ship should arrive whilst I should be absent, which would be six or seven months, but for fear of seeing my old master deaan Mevarrow; but these fears, however, being dissipated for the present, I lent a helping hand with a good will enough, in the fortification of the town, with such stones as were here in great plenty. No one was exempted from work, the women and children assisted according to their strength, and we made a wall round the town, at least a yard thick and three yards high, with loop-holes to look through, or fire out at, as occasion offered. As we had no mortar the stones were only laid one upon another, and yet we were about two months before we finished it.