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reason for these particulars. When they seat themselves to their meals, they take a bit of meat, and throw it over their heads, saying, “There's a bit for the spirit.” In the next place, they cut four little bits more and throw to the
sovereigns or rulers of the four quarters of the earth. This is the constant practice of such as have any regard to religious ceremonies, but there are too many who neglect it, as some in Europe, and look on saying grace at their meals, as an idle fashion. They dress their victuals much more agreeably than the other people ; for they always boil plantains or potatoes with their meat, and make good soup, and well thickened as they do in Europe.
They make curious earthenware, such as pots, dishes, and jugs, glazing them both within and without; and are very ingenious artificers in many other particulars. Though their ingenuity was superior, yet I could not perceive they ever formed themselves into regular kingdoms, or into large commonwealths, but herded together in towns; each town being a distinct and independ. ent republic, which too often produced quarrels and bloodshed, one little town standing in opposition to another. There being no general law or government which could settle their just claiins, or determine any unhappy dissensions between one town and another; till they in this part made Rer Trimmonongarevo their patron and protector, whilst others put their whole confidence in deaan Tokeoffu. There are more of them as I have heard, in other parts of the island, scattered up and down, who shift their habitations; which these were wont to do formerly.. 'Tis no easy matter to determine whether these are not the original natives, or first inhabitants of the land. I observed here, that difference in religion was looked upon as no crime, nor any offence to one another. Moreover, that they, like the others, have no priests.
Having now in great measure recovered my strength, I began to reflect on the misery of returning to my former slavery; and for that reason, after some conflict with myseif, I determined to run the risk of throwing myself at Rer Moume's feet, to beg his protection, be the consequence what it would ; death being preferable to perpetual slavery. Having imbibed this notion, I desired my landlord one morning to put me over the water in his canoe ; for I would willingly pay a visit to a friend on that side, it not being above two hours' walk to Rer Moume's town.
At my arrival I found him sitting under a kind of pent-house, with his wives round about him. I laid down, and licked his feet, then rising upon my knees, I lifted up my hands, and sued to him for mercy and protection from the ill treatment of my master Rer Vove; he having made the most abject slave of me, for only desiring a friend to beg of him to sell me (not to make a present of me) to my own countrymen; that I might see my dear parents once more, from whom I had been absent so many years. My master insisted that I was his slave, his prisoner of war, though I was there no otherwise than Will. was here, a poor unhappy creature wandering about till I could find an opportunity to get to my native country, and was no enemy of his, neither was I taken in arms. Should you deliver me up to him, he would doubtless kill me, and there will be an end of all my sorrows; but I live in hopes of finding mercy from you. I soon perceived that my mournful tale affected him; for the tears stood in his eyes, and some of the women actually wept. He bid me rise, and be assured that he would not deliver me up to Rer Vove. “Should
my kinsman (says he) want slaves to do his work (though I know the contrary) I will send him two or three in your stead. Be not afraid, I will both protect and provide for you.” Then turning to one of his consorts, “Here Ry Anzacker,” says he, “do you from henceforth be Robin's mother; and take care he wants for nothing. All i shall desire of you (said he to me) will be to look after my chest of arms, which are a hundred or more in number; and see that my flints and shot are all kept in order, and you shall have servants too to do the work." Then calling a slave, he gave him directions to build me a house “I am
next to my mother's within the palisade. In two days I was a housekeeper. Ry Anzacker proved very kind to me, and I never walked out without my gun in my hand like a freeman.
In a few days after several messengers came from Rer Vove to Rer Mounie. I was by when, in their lord's name, they demanded his white slave. Rer Moume examined them first, to know if what I had told was matter of fact; and when he found it was, sorry (said he) my kinsman is so rash and thoughtless a young man to act after this manner. Did any one ever see before a white man a slave to a black man's cook-slave; unless it was among the worst of brutes in that unpolished country Anterndroea ? It was a very unjust thing to force him from Feraignher; and when he was here, it would have been the part of a wise and honest man to have presented Robin to the English captain, and made a merit of taking care of him. In so doing he had done a generous action, and it would have reflected an honour on himself, and on us all. He should recollect the many benefits we have received from the English, and that we were insulted by all our neighbours, till they furnished us with arms. Here, take this woman-slave, and give her to him; she is able to do more service than Robin, in case he wants work from him. As for my part, I shall make no slave of him, I'll assure you; he may go when he will, and live where he will; even with Rer Vove, if he thinks proper; and does not care to live with me. However, I shall not consent to that, unless I am well satisfied of his being more courteously treated. Here, take the woman in his stead.” They came again the next day with the woman, and renewed their yesterday's demand; to which he gave an answer in direct terms, that they should not have me.
I was treated here in a most courteous manner by all the king's wives; but particularly by my mother, Ry Anzacker; they taking great delight in the many stories I told them of my misfortunes and adventures. I used requently to go with Rer Moume to a spacious lake which had islands in it, several miles round, called the Kereendea. This place was formerly drowned by the Mernee's breaking its banks. Rer Moume was always carried in a vehicle, not much unlike a sedan; and had a canoe large enough to hold twenty men, in which was a seat made on purpose for him, he not being able to sit, as other people did, upon the floor. Several other canoes of ten and five hands, and some small ones of two, used to accompany him. Our principal employments were fishing and fowling; in which the Virzimbers are very dexterous, making nets of various kinds, and also fishhooks for angling, which was Rer Moume's favourite diversion. His son, Rer Chulu, would often divert himself with killing alligators; and the weapon he generally used was a harpoon, with a head fixed on it, and a rope fastened to the steel and staff both. Being thus furnished with tackle, they paddle along the water towards the alligator, whom they generally espy at a distance; for they keep their noses above water, and appear like a floating cake of cowdung. When they come within ten or a dozen yards of him, he sinks to the bottom, and crawls a good way before he stops ; but his path is discovered by a bubble that rises up, and where it stands they strike; for they will lie flat on their bellies with their sides pressed out; where they hear a noise; so that they are often stabbed with the harpoon. Though should it light on their backs, or heads, it will make no more impression than it would on a rock. The Virzimbers make a net of ropes, with large meshes, and with these they sometimes take them; they also take them with snares, made of spring-sticks, which draw up a noose in a rope; these they place at the mouth of a rivulet, or smaú cana!. And by these methods I have known Rer Chulu and his company kill twenty or thirty alligators in a day.
Rer Moume made ine a present of three cows, which calved in four months. He asked me why I did not marry? I told him I could not well maintain a wife, and that at present I lived very well, and much better than I could with a woman to provide for. He said,
it was not looked upon as decent for a man to live single; and as for her maintenance, I'll not only put it in your power to do that, but recommend one to you likewise. So as I perceived he was serious, I was soon persuaded ; but with this proviso, that he should not compel the woman, but ask her consent, and leave it to her own choice; to which he readily agreed. So sending for one who was an attendant on my mother, he opened the case to her and told her she should be my wife if she thought fit; and bid her speak her mind freely; for he did not intend she should submit to it through any compulsion. But with an air of cheerfulness she said she approved of the motion. Upon this Ry Anzacker took her back again, to dress her up very fine with beads, and a new silk lamber, &c., and presented her to me. I desired that the prince would make a formal marriage of it, by taking hold of her hand first; and then asking us both, if we gave our mutual consent ? And then by giving her hand into mine: all which he readily gratihed me in, with abundance of affability and good nature, and was very merry; as the women were, likewise, according to custom on such occasions. The ladies attended us home, but not empty handed; for they gave us a large quantity of such kind of furniture as we principally wanted. The prince too gave me the day following a plantation with rice and potatoes, &c. growing upon it, and fit to dig. He gave me, moreover, a slave, a boy about sixteen years of age; and in a short time, he sent me with others to fetch away some cattle from a man, who, upon examination before him, had been found guilty of stealing several from his neighbours; for which facts he was fined twenty beeves. This was the first time I was ever sent on such an errand, though not the last; and people of the best rank are fond of this employment; for they never fail of a good present for their trouble. He gave me, likewise, a cow with her calf, and a young bull of three years old. Whenever I went on any such occasions afterwards, I never had less than one beast for my labour, and sometimes two; so that I grew rich and