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where I pleased, my curiosity led me to see if I knew any of the captives; and upon examination I met with Hempshire's widow and daughter, Toby, and Robin, and Sambo, my own man; I shook him by the hand, and told him I was a slave now as well as he. He said, I am sorry for it; for I had much rather have served you than any one else; and sure I am I shall never live so well again.
When the general had fully gratified his curiosity in inquiring after my affairs, I had likewise as strong an inclination to know who was my master, and was informed that he was dignified by the names of Rer Towlerpherangha and Rer Vove. It is a custom here for persons of distinction to have two names; and as the last is the most in use, I shall hereafter distinguish him by that only. He was grandson to Rer Trimmonongarevo, king of Saccalauvor; though called Yong-owl by the Europeans, and Morandavo from a river of that name. Rer Vove intrusted me to the care of one Guy, who was a considerable man, and a relation (though at some distance) of the king's. All the great families in this country ha
a general name of distinction, which they value themselves upon; as most of our European gentlemen do on their coat of arms.
We continued here two days, in hopes that deaan Woozington would in that time have penetrated through the country on that side, and have joined us; but we were informed that Rer Befaugher, by his good conduct, had blocked up some passages, and so well defended others, that he was glad to withdraw without effecting any thing to the purpose. On this news, our general retired to Murnumbo, pleasing himself with hopes that deaan Mernaugha would be foolish and hot enough to follow and fight him. Mernaugha, however, wisely chose to sit down for once contented with his present loss, rather than hazard all for the gratification of his revenge, which might be more justly deemed foolish pride and passion, than real valour. Rer Vove perceiving no more could be done when he had continued nere about seven or eight days, till the parties ordered out were returned, marched homeward, and instead of putting a guard over me, as he did over others, gave me a blunderbuss, and made me guardian general over several of my late country folks, giving me full commission to shoot the first who should attempt to run away.
I had several under my care, but more particularly Hempshire's widow, and three other women, who, as I attended them one evening into a private recess in a wood, told me, “it was a great mortification to them to be guarded by one who so lately fought for, and defended them; telling me, moreover, that it was no great difficulty for them to find means of making their escape, in case I was but willing.” “You are right,” said I, “and it is your interest, as you have families; besides, you may possibly be sold to some ships :" which was what I heartily wished for, as my interest was contrary to theirs. I told them, moreover, that “I would never have gone from Feraignher, if I had not been forced away, but since the good providence of God had thought fit thus to dispose of me, I would not oppose the divine will, nor act inconsistently with my own reason, for I was well assured of better provision here than in Feraignher, in its present unhappy state, especially as I had lost all the cattle I had, though my stock, indeed, was but small.” I assured them, however, that I would never mention what they had proposed, which they, being under fearful apprehensions, begged that I would never disclose the secret; neither did I, but looked a little more circumspectly after them than I did before.
Though our marches were but short, yet we soon arrived to the confines of Saccalauvor, where there were no inhabitants. It is a delightful country, and I saw a great variety of monkies, baboons, virjees, and wild swine, &c., in abundance, but very few, or none of Hattoy's cattle.
About three days afterwards we passed by divers towns, which belonged to Rer Mimebolambo, alias Moiang Andro; it being the selfsame country which
Rer Vovvern, late king of Feraignher, procured for him by treaty, of his uncle Rer Trimmonongarevo. In the towns and meadows there were abundance of humped cattle, and such as were much larger than any I had ever seen in the island before, but was informed these were kept near home for private use; that the prince and lords took care to have their principal stock of cattle a great way farther to the northward, and in such numbers, that they could not tell how many they had. Of the truth of which I was soon afterwards very fully convinced. Our forces now dwindled away apace, since numbers went daily home as they came near to the several towns to which they belonged, without taking any formal leave of the general, since they had no pay to take, or any to demand; for every one being conscious to himself that it is his interest to join with his neighbours in preventing an enemy from committing plunder, no one ever murmured at their generals for leading them forth to war, it being their own cause, and not the general's, in which they engage; for if they found their lords proved imperious and tyrannical, they would refuse to go with them, since they could easily remove and live under others. They fight for their own security and ease, and when they get any plunder from their enemies, they think themselves sufficiently rewarded.
Moherbo is the principal town, or rather city, and royal residence of the king, who is our general's grandfather, to whom, as in duty bound, we paid a visit before he went home. When we arrived within a mile or two, three messengers were despatched for form-sake, to give him notice of our approach, and to learn his royal pleasure, who made answer, " that if Rer Vove should come, he was very ready to receive him.” Hereupon he put his people in order, and appointed fifty men to stand in the front and discharge their guns ; and then fifty more to relieve them ; the shells all the time sounding. When we came within sight of the king, who was sitting with his courtiers and people round about him, we heard their shells sound and drums beat; this, their congratulatory music, was but a dull empty sound; in some measure, indeed, like their country tubs, which are made of a light tree hollowed very thin, and covered with a calf's skin that is dressed much like our parchment. Both ends are beaten at once, one with a stick, and the other with the hand
This king lives in a more splendid manner, and has a gayer retinue than I had ever seen before. He has twenty or thirty several houses, or rather a large court enclosed with palisades in the town; but as it was not large enough for the reception of so many people, he sat on this occasion without the town. Our first fifty men advanced like morris-dancers, and fired their guns very regularly one after another; and upon their retreat, the other fifty advanced. After this, the general stept forwards, and bending one knee, licked the king's. Several principal men bowed likewise their knees, but licked his feet. This ceremony over, a mat was spread at about four yards' distance, and the general with three or four of the chieftains sat down, and Guy was amongst them. As for my part, I stood behind my master with my blunderbuss.
This prince, Rer Trimmonongarevo, made, a I thought, a very odd and formidable figure, whether it was because I had heard many stories of some of his rash and barbarous proceedings, which had prejudiced me against him. His dress was very singular, and such as I had never seen before; his hair was plaited in ringlets, beginning at the crown of the head ; then another range of knots was bigger than the former, and so downwards, every lower circle was larger than the upper; on several of these knots of hair hung a large quantity of fine beads. Some part of his fore-headpiece of beads hung almost over his nose, among these were several gold ones. He had a very fine gold necklace about his neck; over his shoulders hung two strings of beads, and several of them gold, in much the same manner as our aldermen of London's chains; on each wrist about six manelers of silver, seeming large enongh to weigh nearly three dollars apiece, and four
rings of gold on his fingers. Nearly twenty strings of beads, closely set, were twisted round his legs; silk lamber hung over his shoulders, loose like a mantle, and another, as usual, twisted round his waste. He was an old prince, not less, by what I could understand, than fourscore years of age at least, yet of a robust and healthy constitution. His colour was rather tawny, like an Indian, than perfectly black; his eyes fierce, and his whole appearance formidable; or the singularity of his dress and character made me imagine so; he soon took notice of me, and asked Rer Vove if I was the white man he had taken prisoner ? and what was my name? He called to me,“ Robin, mehove a toee,” which is come hither. I then laid my blunderbuss down, and approached him with my hands lifted up and closed before me. As soon as I got to him I fell on my knees, and licked first one of his feet and then the other, as the common people did before me. He ordered me to sit by him, but not on his own mat neither. He asked several questions in relation to my first coming on this island, and informed me that he had a white man of his own; “ but he is an Englishman,” said he, “and whether you can speak that language, or not, I cannot say." I told him I was an Englishman myself. I began to cheer up, and have a little more courage upon this agreeable news; and was surprised that my master had not mentioned this circumstance before. I asked the king how long his white man had been with him ? and what his name was? “Six or seven years,” said he: “his name is Will." Upon this, he ordered a man to call him immediately, who brought word that Will was gone out of town, and would not be back in less than three or four days; só finding the king enter upon some new discourse with the general, I withdrew to my former post.
Soon after we went to a house which was ordered for our reception, where I was discharged from guarding his slaves; for he did that, as he told me afterwards, only to try my fidelity, since he knew very well, if I had not been honest, they would have all got away;