Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume X by Robert Kerr

Part 7 out of 10

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 1.3 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

resembles in shape and colour; but its flesh smells and tastes so strong
of muck that it is not eatable. The _pelican_ is almost as big as a
swan, being mostly white with brown tips to the wings, having a long
bill with a large cross joining the lower part of the bill, and hanging
down the throat like a bag or satchel of great size, into which it
receives oysters, cockles, conchs, and other shell-fish, which it is
unable to break, and retains them there till they open, when it throws
them out and picks out the meat. They are good food, but taste a little
fishy. Their feet are broad, and webbed like ducks, being water fowl,
yet they commonly roost on rocks or trees, and always sit with their
heads to the wind, varying their posture as that changes. They are heavy
birds and fly slowly, and always when sitting rest their long bills
upon their breasts. The _Guana_ is an amphibious animal, found both on
land and in the water. It is about three feet long, some more some less,
and is very ugly, having large sharp scales, black and green, from the
fore part of the head to the end of the tail. The mouth is furnished
with numerous large and sharp teeth, and it has four long claws on each
foot. They commonly breed in holes about the roots of old trees near the
water. When stewed with some spice, their flesh is very white and eats
well, making also good broth; but if not extraordinarily well boiled, it
is very dangerous meat, making men very sick and often occasioning

There are several kinds of _turtles_, or sea tortoises, but we account
the green turtle the best meat. When they want to lay their eggs, they
go on shore in some sandy bay, where they make a hole in the sand with
their fins, two feet and a half deep, in which one turtle will deposit
from eighty to ninety eggs, which they cover over with the sand, leaving
them to hatch by the heat of the sun. They lay in this manner two or
three times every year, and go immediately off to sea, leaving their
young when hatched to shift for themselves; which, as soon as they get
out of the eggs and from the sand, retire to the sea. The eggs are round
and white, as large as those of a duck, being covered with a thin tough
skin, but no shell. I have seen of the green turtle 200, 350, and even
400 pounds weight. The lean of this animal looks like beef, but the fat
is as green as grass, yet is very wholesome food. The _pearl-oyster_ is
much about the size of our common oyster, but thick and broad, and hangs
to the rocks by a long string or beard, like that of a muscle. The pearl
is found in its thickest part, and some have six or seven pearls. The
Spaniards often make voyages to this gulf of Nicoya and to California in
quest of pearls, employing Indian divers, who go down in seven or eight
fathoms, and bring up eight, ten, or twelve oysters at a time, which are
opened by other men on board. The meat of this oyster is very green and
fat, and eats tolerably well, boiled or stewed. The _great-oyster_ grows
to the rocks, not hanging from them by a beard. When opened, one part of
the meat is of a fine red colour like a cherry, and the rest a fine
white. I have often eat of this oyster, for want of better victuals; and
they are so large, that one of them cut in pieces and stewed is a
sufficient meal for five or six men. The _muscles_ here are so large
that one will suffice for a meal to two men, and they are tolerably good
when, stewed with pepper and vinegar.

We sailed from the Gulf of Nicoya on the 23d September, and were in lat.
13 deg. 7' N. on the 7th October, when we got sight of two high mountains,
commonly called the Volcanoes of Guatimala. That which is to the north
of the city is the highest, and affords a fine prospect from the sea;
and in the year 1534 threw out a torrent of water, which totally
overwhelmed the old city of St Jago de Guatimala, and occasioned the
building of a new city at the distance of thirty-five miles S.E. The
other mountain is really a volcano, which rages terribly in the rainy
season, from April to November, sometimes throwing out stones as big as
a house, and with such prodigious eruptions of flame, that one may see
to read a letter in a dark night at the distance of six miles. This is
to the south of Guatimala.

The 9th October we took a bark of eighty tons in ballast, but which had
a small quantity of provisions, which were very acceptable. This bark
was commanded by a Spaniard named Christian Martin, born in the
Canaries, but brought up in London, who had formerly been servant to
Captain Eaton, and came with him to the South Sea in quality of gunner;
but, falling out with the men, he ran away from them in the island of
Gorgonia, where he lay concealed for six days till the ship departed. He
then cut down two trees, which he drew to the water side, and bound
together with withes, fixed a mast, and made a sail of two shirts which
he had with him. Then filling a bag with oysters, he put off early in
the morning from Gorgonia, and got next day in the afternoon into the
river Bonaventura. He was here ill used by the Spaniards, who sent him
to Lima, where he was set at liberty. We were now sixty-four men and
boys, all in good health and spirits, and on the 23d November, captured
a small bark of sixty tons from California laden with plank, but having
also several parcels of pearls, that had been fished on that coast.
December 4th we came into the Bay of Nativity, or _Puerto Nauidad_, in
lat. 19 deg. 22' N. where we took a new ship of about sixty tons, laden with
ammunition and military stores for the Acapulco ship, for which we were
now in search, and for the sight of which our people longed as earnestly
as if there had been no difference between seeing and taking her;
neither was it long before they had their wish in one respect, but not
in the other. We took from our prize what ammunition was left; for, on
perceiving our design, the ship's company quitted her, having first
thrown overboard the best part of her cargo, and left the rest scattered
about in the utmost confusion.

Being off the volcano of Colima on the morning of the 6th December, we
descried a sail to which we gave chace, and soon came up with her, when
she proved to be the great Acapulco ship or Manilla galleon, which we
had so long wished to fall in with. As we were well provided, we gave
her a great many broadsides before she could get any of her guns cleared
for action, as she had not suspected us of being an enemy, and was not
at all prepared for us. Martin, who was still a prisoner on board our
ship, advised us to lay her aboard immediately, while the Spaniards were
all in confusion, as we might then easily succeed by boarding; but if we
gave them time to get out their great guns, they would certainly tear us
to pieces, and we should lose the opportunity of acquiring a prize worth
sixteen millions of dollars. Thus it accordingly happened; for the time
being wasted in disputing, between those of us that were for boarding,
and those of a different opinion, she got out one tier of guns, and then
proved too hard for us, so that we could not lie along side of her to do
her any damage. Our five pound shot, which was the biggest we had,
signified little against such a ship; but when any of her eighteen and
twenty-four pound shot struck our ship, which was much decayed, it drove
in a piece of plank of three or four feet. Being thus greatly damaged,
and having received a shot between wind and water in our powder room, by
which two feet of plank were driven in on each side of our stern, orders
were given to stand off from the enemy.

Our design being thus disappointed, all our men became much
discontented, and were for going home, seeing we could do no good in
these parts, either for ourselves or owners; our ship also being ready
to fall in pieces of herself, and having provisions only for three
months at short allowance. Captain Dampier requested that we would
consent to prolong our cruize for six weeks longer; after which he
promised to permit us to sail for India to some factory, where we might
all dispose of ourselves as we thought best for our advantage. To this
we all agreed, and we accordingly cruized along shore to the S.E. in
sight of land, passing the noted ports of Acapulco,_Puerto de los
Angelos_, Guatalco, and several others; when we proposed to seek out a
proper place in which to water our ships and bark, previous to our
intended voyage to the East Indies; and, after some consideration, the
Gulf of Amapalla or Fonseca was fixed upon for that purpose.

On the 5th January, 1705, we met with such vast quantities of fish, that
in half an hour we caught near three score _albicores_, from sixty to
ninety pounds weight each, besides vast quantities of other fish. The
_albicore_ is about four or five feet long, weight from 50 to 100 and
even 150 pounds. It has eleven fins on its back, one pretty large, a
second of middle size, and nine small yellow fins near the tail; one
large fin on each side near the gills; and one near the middle of the
belly. This is a very fleshy fish, having hardly any bones besides the
back bone, and is extraordinary good eating. It has prodigious strength,
while in the water, and preys mostly on flying fish, as do dolphins and
bonetoes. On the 6th of this month, a new revolution took place in our
affairs, as thirty of our men agreed to remain along with Captain
Dampier in the South Sea; but with what view or on what terms, we
others, who were not in the secret, never knew. Our company, who were
not of Dampier's party, consisted of thirty-three men; and,
notwithstanding this new arrangement, we all sailed to the Gulf of
Amapalla, where we anchored on the 26th January.

That same day, all the remaining provisions were equally divided between
the two companies by the agent for the owners, and we had four pieces of
cannon, with a proper proportion of small arms and ammunition, assigned
for us, for our defence during the voyage to India. Our next care was to
take in water, for which purpose we landed on the island of _Conchagua_;
and after some search, we found a large bottom behind the hills, in
which was a large plantain walk, and a large reservoir of rain water,
which came from the mountains. This was very inconvenient, as we were
forced to carry all our water over a high hill, which we could hardly
climb by ourselves; but there was no alternative, and we set to work to
cut down the bushes in our way, to make a clear path. After this, as the
hill was very steep on the land side towards the bottom whence we had to
fetch water, we cut steps in the hill with axes and shovels; and our
sail-maker made a hose or canvass pipe of ninety fathoms long, which
carried the water from the top of the hill down to our water cask at its
foot towards the sea. We then fell to work, each man having a six gallon
keg, in which the water was carried to the top of the hill, where it was
emptied into the hose. We were thus employed four days, in which time
we filled twenty-six tons, which we carried on board. The 31st January,
we all went to the plantain walk, where we cut down as many plantains as
we could carry, with which we returned on board our ship, meaning to set
sail next day.

This evening, two of the men who had agreed to remain with Captain
Dampier, left him and came over to us, so that our number was now
thirty-five, viz. thirty-four English, and a little negro boy we had
taken from the Spaniards. While we were employed in watering our bark,
the men on board the St George were busied in refitting that ship as
well as they could; the carpenter stopping up the shot-holes in the
powder-room with tallow and charcoal, not daring, as he said, to drive a
nail, for fear of making it worse. The four great guns, which usually
stood between decks, were put down into the hold, there being sixteen
besides, which was more than they now had men to manage, as there only
remained twenty-eight men and boys with Captain Dampier, who were mostly
landsmen, a very insignificant force indeed with which to make war on a
whole nation.


_Sequel of the Voyage of William Funnell, after his Separation from
Captain Dampier_.

We left the Gulf of Amapalla on the 1st February, 1705, where Captain
Dampier remained at anchor in the St George, having a fine gale of wind
at N.E. While in any of the harbours on the coast of Mexico, we were
seldom allowed any thing except flour, only that we used to go on shore,
and found on the rocks plenty of concks, oysters, muscles, and other
shell-fish, on which we made many a hearty meal. Being now bound, as we
hoped, for a land of plenty, we bore hunger and short commons with great
patience, of which we had much need, as our allowance was no more than
half a pound of coarse flour a day to each man, and two ounces of salt
meat every other day. Our vessel was a small bark of about seventy tons
with two masts, which we had taken from the Spaniards, which was so
eaten with worms while in the Gulf of Amapalla, that she already began
to grow very leaky. To add to our distress, we had no carpenter, neither
had we a doctor or any medicines, if any of us happened to fall sick,
and we had no boat to aid us if our vessel should fail. The carpenter,
doctor, and boat being all left with Captain Dampier. Yet, trusting to
God's providence, who had already delivered us out of so many dangers,
we proceeded on our voyage to India; and a bolder attempt was perhaps
never made by such a handful of men in so frail a bark, and nothing but
our anxious desire to revisit our native country could have supported us
under all the difficulties and dangers of this extensive voyage.

The prospect of our difficulties gave us spirit and resolution to
provide against them; and in a council, which we held on this occasion,
we determined on the course we were to pursue, and the allowance of
provisions during the course. We knew the wind we now had was merely a
land breeze, and that by running 100 leagues out to sea we should fall
in with the regular trade-wind, which blows always N.E. or E.N.E. our
first purpose was, therefore, to get into the latitude of 13 deg. N. which
is that of Guam, and then to bear away before the wind in that parallel.
This resolution was formed on the 2d February, all which day and most of
the ensuing night we had fine calm weather, and caught abundance of
_yellow-tails_, which swam about the vessel. This fish is about four
feet long, having twenty fins on its back; a middling one behind the
head, a large one on the middle of the back, and eighteen small ones
between that and the tail. It has a large fin on each side near the
gills, and thirteen under the belly, viz. a middling one under the
gills, a large one near the middle of the belly, which goes in with a
dent, and eleven small ones between that and the tail, which is yellow
and half-mooned. This fish has a very great head, with large eyes, and
is good eating, having no bones except the back-bone. It is all white,
except the tips of the fins and the tail, which, are yellow. These fish
were very acceptable to us, as we fed upon them for three days, saving
our other provisions. On the 3d February, five or six turtles came near
our bark, two of which we caught, which also served to save our scanty
store of provisions, which otherwise had not sufficed to keep us from

On the evening of the 3d February, having a brisk gale from the land at
N.E. we took our departure from _Mount St Miguel_ in the Gulf of
Amapalla, steering S.W. and S.S.W. till we were in the lat. of 10 deg. N.
when falling in with the tradewind, we set our course W.N.W. we then
made studding-sails to our main and main-top sails, which we hoisted
every morning at day-break, and hauling down at sun-set, as it commonly
blew so fresh in the night that we had usually to furl our top-sail; but
the wind commonly abated at sun-rise. During our whole voyage we
steadily adhered to the rule of diet we had laid down, the slenderness
of which may be judged of by the following particulars.

From the 3d of February to the end of that month, we fed entirely on
plantains, making two meals a day, and allowing two plantains to each
man for a meal. We had then recourse to our flour, of which half a pound
was allowed daily to each man, and two ounces every other day of salt
beef or pork; but the meat had been so long in salt, that it shrunk one
half when boiled, wherefore we concluded it was better to eat it raw,
which we did as long as it lasted. By the beginning of April that began
to fail, so that we were reduced to flour alone, which was sore spoiled,
being full of maggots, spiders, and other vermin, so that nothing but
the extremity of want could have induced us to eat it. It was surprising
to behold this strange alteration in the flour, which only a few days
before was white and fine, and was now in a manner all alive, the
maggots tumbling over each other in prodigious numbers. On strict
enquiry, these maggots seemed to proceed from the eggs of spiders
deposited among the flour, out of which the maggots were bred, and then
fed voraciously on the flour. Words can only faintly describe the
miseries of our situation, which was somewhat alleviated by work, and
our spirits were buoyed up by the hopes of accomplishing our long and
difficult voyage. Some occasional assistance we derived by now and then
catching a dolphin. At other times we saw many sea fowl, such as
boobies, noddies, and others, which would come and perch on some part of
our rigging, and happy was he that could catch one. In this manner we
spent ten weeks, at the end of which we were in a very melancholy
condition, and nothing but the hope of seeing land could possibly keep
us from despair.

The 10th of April, we observed the clouds to gather more than usual in
the horizon, which is a sure indication of land, as it is common between
the tropics to be foggy over the land, though perfectly clear at sea;
wherefore we kept an anxious look-out all this night, and early in the
morning of the 11th, we saw the island of _Magon_ W. ten leagues
distant. This is a high woody island, very plain, and green on the top.
When within a mile of this island, we lay to, and several fishing boats
came to us, bringing us fish, yams, eggs, potatoes, and other
provisions, to our great joy. The men in these boats were very tall and
large-limbed, of tawny complexions, with long black hair reaching to
their middles, and were all utterly stark naked, not even covering their
parts of shame. In exchange for what we had of these people we offered
them money, which they looked at and returned, making signs to give them
tobacco, which we did, and they seemed much pleased. We also gave them
some old shirts, which they tore in pieces and wrapped round their
heads. We would have given each a dram of brandy, but they were afraid
of it; only one man accepted a glass, which he drank off, but we thought
he would never have closed his mouth again, he seemed so astonished at
the heat it left in his mouth and stomach, that I believe he thought
himself on fire. He lay down and roared like a bull near half an hour,
when he fell asleep; and we being in haste, put him into his boat,
making signs to his companions to take care of him.

These islanders seemed a very civil people, yet we did not venture to
allow too many of them to come on board at once. When they first came
near us, they tied two sticks together in form of a cross, which they
held up, as we supposed, to signify to us that they had some knowledge
of Christianity; whereupon we shewed them a crucifix, we had taken from
the Spaniards, at the sight of which they all bowed their bodies, and
came on board. This island of Magon, as I reckoned, is in lat. 15 deg. N.
and we made its longitude by computation, 120 deg. 9' W. from _St Miguel_,
or 7029 English miles, allowing 58-1/2 miles to the degree of longitude
in this parallel.[210]

[Footnote 210: From the sequel, this island of Magon appears almost
certainly to have been one of the Ladrones, perhaps to the N.E. of Guam,
now named Rota. Point Candadillo, near San Miguel, the N.W. cape of the
Gulf of Amapalla, is in long. 87 deg. 58' W. and the Ladrones are in long.
216 deg. W. from Greenwich, so that the difference, or run across the
Pacific, is 128 deg. 2', which, at 58-1/2 miles, extend to 7590 miles,
besides the allowance for difference of latitude.--E.]

On mature deliberation, we resolved to proceed directly from this place
to New Guinea, without putting in at the island of Guam, which was in
sight. The weather continued fair, and the wind brisk and favourable,
till we came into the latitude of 4 deg. N. when we had a calm for seven
days, during which time we had no means of relieving our hunger, except
by taking large draughts of water, and then lying down to sleep. On the
3d May we had a fine gale, which continued till the 5th, and then died
quite away before we got sight of land; but about ten that night we were
all sensible of a very odoriferous smell, whence we concluded that we
were near land, on which we examined our charts, but found none laid
down. Next morning, however, we saw land at no great distance. This day
also we caught two bonetoes, which were most welcome, as they made a
hearty meal to our whole company. This fish is commonly about three feet
long and two in circumference, having a very sharp head, with a small
mouth, full eyes, and a semilunar tail. It is very fleshy, and makes
good broth. About noon we were in sight of three small islands, all low
land, but very green and pleasant, especially to us, who had been so
long of seeing any land. We had this day an observation of the sun, by
which we found our latitude to be 50' N. and as the eastermost of these
islands was four leagues S.E. of the ship, it must of consequence be in
lat. 0 deg. 42' N.[211]

[Footnote 211: The only islands in modern maps which agree with the
slight notice in the text, are Frevilla, or St David's Isle,, nearly in
lat. 1 deg. N. and long. 135 deg. E. from Greenwich: Yet it is singular that
Funnell should have passed through the numerous group of the Carolines
without seeing any of them.--E.]

As we were fearful of entering upon an unknown coast in the dark, we
stood off all night, which was well for us, as we found ourselves at
day-break next morning, 7th May, within a ship's length of a great reef
of rocks, which extended from one island to the other, and thinking to
have gone between the islands, we had nearly run upon this dangerous
ledge. Having a small breeze from shore we were fortunately able to
stand off, and went to the westermost island, because we saw many shoals
off the others. The rocks we were so near running upon were off the
northmost isle, which we named the Island of _Deceit_. On getting near
the westermost island which was the biggest of the three, forty or fifty
of their flying proas came off, in which there might be 450 men,
allowing ten to each proa, and we could also see multitudes of people on
the shore looking at us as we passed. The flying proas kept at a
distance from us, till we beckoned and made signs for them to come near,
and at length one came within a ship's length, in which were ten men
entirely naked, in the midst of whom was a grave old man of a pleasant
countenance, entirely naked like the rest, except that he had a
four-cornered cap on his head without a crown. By the respect shewn him
by all the rest in the boat, we judged this man to be a king or prince.
On their approach, they sung a song which continued near a quarter of an
hour, and had a very pretty tune. When this was done, they came almost
close to our vessel, and then sung another song, which was begun by the
old man, and followed by all the rest in the boat. At the end of which,
they put themselves in a posture of prayer, making many bows and cringes
towards us; and then one of the men in the boat, who had a very sore
leg, held it up to us, as if desiring us to cure it, whence we supposed
they had never seen white men before, and deemed us more than mortals.

After some time, we made signs to let them know we wanted victuals and
drink, when they shook their heads as if by way of denial. Seeing us
proceeding towards the island, one of the men in the boat blew a horn,
on which all the other boats made boldly towards us; and thinking they
meant to board us, we fired a junket over their heads to intimidate
them, at the noise of which they seemed much surprised and drew back,
menacing us at a distance with their paddles, and still following.
Seeing such multitudes on the shore, and finding we could have nothing
from them but by force, and besides not having anchors and cables on
which we could depend, or any boat in which to land, we concluded that
we could do no good here; and on examining our water, which was found
sufficient for eighteen days, at a quart each man daily, we resolved to
quit these islands, and trust to Providence for guiding us to some more
friendly place, where we might supply our wants. So we left these
islands, naming the westermost the Island of _Disappointment_, because
we made certain of procuring water here, but could not.

These three islands were all low, flat, and almost even with the water,
yet full of trees of various sorts, all very green and flourishing; and
doubtless, if we had possessed a boat, we must have found something
beneficial to ourselves, perhaps useful to our country, as we might also
at several other islands which we afterwards passed. The inhabitants of
most of these islands were a very large and strong-boned race of men,
having long black lank hair reaching to their middles, and were all
entirely naked, not so much as covering their parts of shame; and I
certainly never saw such, a parcel of stout-limbed men together in all
my life. These islands, therefore, are abundantly peopled, though they
were utterly averse from any communication with us, perhaps from a
notion that all whites are Spaniards; and yet it is not quite clear that
even the Spaniards have ever attempted to form a settlement at any of
these islands.

We left these islands with a fresh breeze at E. steering S.W. and
continually met with weeds and grass on our way, which made us believe
we were not far from land, yet we had no ground with 100 fathoms. Early
in the morning of the 9th May, we descried the coast of New Guinea, more
than eighteen or nineteen leagues distant. We now saw the necessity of
constructing a boat, with a few old boards and such other materials as
we had, though not quite suitable for the purpose; and though neither
strong nor handsome, it proved exceeding useful in the sequel. On the
9th we had very bad weather, the wind shifting to every point of the
compass. This part of New Guinea appeared very mountainous, black, and
rocky, without harbour, bay, or road, in which we might anchor in
safety. The mountains seemed so bleak and barren, and the vallies so
deep and narrow, that at first we conceived the country to be
uninhabited; neither did we afterwards see any inhabitants or signs of
any. That same day we passed two small islands, each about a league in
length, which were very low, and well clothed with small green trees. At
the same time we saw part of the great island of Gilolo, at the distance
of eight leagues, and held our course W.S.W.[212] intending to pass
through between that island and New Guinea, into the East Indian Sea.

[Footnote 212: The only way of explaining this part of the text, is by
supposing Funnel may have mistaken the island of Waygoo for a part of
New Guinea, and even the N.W. point of that island is at least sixty
leagues from the S.W. leg or peninsula of Gilolo, to which the direction
of his course certainly points.--E.]

We had very bad weather till the 11th of May, and the night being very
dark, we missed the common passage, and found ourselves among many
small islands; and as the wind was at E. we resolved to look out for
some passage among these islands to the south. After infinite difficulty
and much danger, we at length made our way through a strait, which we
named _St John's Straits_, after the name of our bark. At this time we
were boarded by a large Indian proa, on board of which was a freeman of
Amboina, whom we acquainted with our great want of victuals, having had
nothing for a great while to support us except a scanty allowance of
spoilt flour and water, and so very little of that as hardly sufficed to
keep us alive. He told us, if we would go to the island of _Manissa_,
which was then in sight, he would be our pilot, where he had no doubt we
might have enough of rice for our money to carry us to Batavia. We
accordingly proceeded for Manissa, passing by the island of _Keylan_,
which is small and high, but well inhabited, and clothed with many kinds
of trees. Its chief produce is rice, and a few cloves; and on this
island there is a Dutch corporal with six soldiers, whose only business
is to see all the clove trees cut down and destroyed. From thence we
proceeded to Manissa, where we arrived about midnight, and came to
anchor in a small bay at the N.W. end of the island, when our Dutch
pilot sent two men ashore with a letter to the governor, acquainting him
of our urgent wants.

Early of the 23d May, a Dutch corporal and two soldiers came on board,
and read to us a general order from the Dutch East-India Company, that
if any ships, except their own, came there to anchor, they were not to
be supplied with any thing whatever. We told him that extreme want of
provisions had constrained us to put in here, and that we should not
have touched any where before reaching Batavia, if we could possibly
have subsisted; wherefore we requested he would inform the governor of
our urgent wants. This he engaged to do, seeing us in a very weak
condition, and came back about four in the afternoon, saying that we
could have no provisions here, but might be supplied at Amboina. We were
forced therefore to leave this unfriendly place, and to attempt going to
Amboina, if the wind would serve. _Manissa_ is about fifteen miles from
S.E. to N.W. and about eight in breadth, in lat. 3 deg. 25' S. and about
twenty miles west from the island of _Bonou_. It is a remarkably high
island, and pretty well inhabited by Malays, as are all the Molucca
Islands. It is surrounded by shoals almost on every side, and some of
these stretch a league and a half from the shore, so that it is very
dangerous to come near, unless with very good charts, or with an
experienced pilot. It has several good springs of fresh water, and the
Dutch have a small fort with six guns on its S.W. side. It is governed
by a Dutch serjeant, having under him three corporals, a master gunner,
and twenty European soldiers; and produces vast plenty of rice and
cloves, both of which are sent to Amboina. The inhabitants are mostly
fishers, and catch such abundance of fish as not only supplies
themselves, but enables them also to carry a great deal to Amboina.

We stood to the S.W. having the wind at S.S.E. and blowing fresh, so
that we sailed under our courses, and were now much out of heart, not
expecting to reach Amboina, the S E. monsoon being now set in; which was
right against us. Almost in despair, we continued our course till we
were over against the island of _Bouro_, and then the wind veering to
the S.S.W. we stood away S.E. but finding a strong current setting to
leeward, we rather lost ground, and seeing no likelihood of getting to
Amboina, we, by general consent, shared among us all that was eatable on
board, each man's share being six pounds and three quarters of flour,
and five pounds of bran, every one resolving to use his share as
sparingly as possible. On the 25th, the wind veered to S.S.E. when we
tacked to S.W. and soon weathered the island of _Amblow_. This is a
small island of moderate height, in lat. 4 deg. 5' S. tolerably furnished
with trees, but not inhabited. On the 26th, we had a fine fresh gale at
S.E. when we tacked and stood away N.E. for the island of Amboina.
Continuing the same course all the 27th, we got sight of Amboina early
in the morning of the 28th, bearing due N. about six leagues distant. We
now stood directly for the island, and about noon came just off the
harbour, a joyful sight to us then, though we soon had cause to think it
the worst thing that had befallen us.

As we entered the harbour of Amboina, we met two Dutch ships coming out,
laden with cloves and bound for Batavia. The captain of one of these
came on board our bark, desiring to know whence we came and whither we
were bound, and required to have a journal of our voyage, promising to
return it when he again met us at Batavia. We gave him the best answers
we could to all his questions, and the agent of our owners gave him a
succinct relation of our voyage, which was of happy consequence to us,
as to that we afterwards owed our preservation as will appear in the
sequel. We stood into the harbour that night, and next morning, which,
according to our account, was Tuesday, but with the Dutch Wednesday, two
Dutch _orambies_, as they call the vessels used at that place, came on
board us, each of which was paddled by forty men. In these vessels came
the fiscal and several Dutch gentlemen, with eighty soldiers, who
immediately took possession of our bark. They also went below and sealed
up all our chests, after which the two orambies towed us farther into
the harbour, so that by noon we were up as high as the town of Amboina,
where they moored our bark in the ordinary anchorage.

We continued on board till the 31st, two days, not knowing how they
meant to dispose of us; in which time they would not supply us with any
victuals, though we offered a crown a pound for beef, pork, or bread. In
the evening of this day they took us all on shore, lodging us in two
rooms near the Stadt-house, our bark, with all our money and goods,
being taken from us, except what we happened to have about our persons,
and soon after our vessel and goods were sold by auction. We were fed
with bad meat, which our stomachs could ill digest, being very weak with
having been so long on short allowance, and if we desired to have better
we had to buy it with our own money. Several of us had fortunately some
money about us, and as long as that lasted we purchased provisions from
our keeper. For a Spanish dollar, which was worth five shillings and a
penny, he would only give us five Dutch _skellings_, or the value of
about two and six-pence; and even for this he gave us no more victuals
than we could have bought for five-pence, if we had been at liberty to
go into the town; so that, instead of five shillings for the Spanish
dollar, we in reality had only five-pence. During my leisure, I had many
opportunities of enquiring into the condition of Amboina, by which I was
enabled to draw up a pretty large account of the island and its
inhabitants, which I flatter myself will be acceptable to the public, as
the Dutch are careful to prevent any accounts of this place from being

This _island of Amboina_, so famous, or rather infamous, for the
cruelties and injustice formerly committed there by the Dutch upon the
English, is twelve leagues long from N. to S. being high and
mountainous, with intermediate vallies, which are very fertile, but the
hills are in a great measure barren. The soil of the vallies is black,
and affords salt-petre. The middle of the island is in lat. 3 deg. 40' S.
The original inhabitants of the island are Malays, who are of middle
stature and tawny complexions. The women are brighter than the men, and
have long black hair, reaching to the calves of their legs. They have
round faces, with small mouths, noses, and eyes. Their dress is a linen
or cotton waistcoat, reaching only below their breasts, and a cloth
round their waists, four yards long and a yard broad, which serves as a
petticoat, as the Dutch women only are permitted to wear petticoats;
neither are any of the men allowed to wear hats, except the king or
rajah. The natives are numerous, yet the Dutch possess the whole
sea-coast, and have here a strong castle, built of stone, mounted by
sixty pieces of cannon, besides several small forts in other parts of
the island. Near the castle is a small town of about 100 houses, of
stone, brick, or timber, inhabited by the Dutch. None of the houses
exceed one storey, as the place is subject to earthquakes, which would
endanger the houses if higher, and even low as they are they often fall.
While we were there we had a great earthquake for two days, which did
much mischief as the ground opened in several places, and swallowed up
several houses with their inhabitants. Several of their people were dug
out of the ruins, but most of them dead, and many others had their legs
and arms broken by the fall of the houses. Where we were, the ground
swelled up like a wave of the sea, but no damage was done.

This island is governed by a council of five, consisting of the
governor, the senior merchant, or _ober koop-man_, the Malay king, the
captain of the fort, and the fiscal, which last is the judge. There are
said to be on the island 350 Dutch soldiers, with 120 or 130 Dutch
freemen and petty officers, and about as many Chinese, who reside here
for the benefit of trade, though not allowed to participate in the spice
trade, which the Dutch reserve entirely to themselves. I thus estimate
that the Dutch are able to muster in this island about 550 fighting men,
including themselves and the Chinese; for they can count very little on
the Malays, who would gladly join any other nation against them. The
Malay women are said to be very loose, and not ashamed of having
intercourse with men. They are soon ripe, being often married at nine
years of age, and are said to have children by ten or eleven. All who
reside near the coast must live under the Dutch government, which is
very dissolute and tyrannical, and they are severely punished for even
small faults, being often reduced to slavery, and condemned to wear an
iron on their legs for life. Those dwelling near the coast under the
controul of the Dutch are a kind of Christians; but those in the
interior, among the hills, are Mahometans, and are always at war with
the Dutch. When these hill Malays take any prisoners, they never give
quarter; but, after detaining their prisoners a few days, without meat
or drink, they are produced in public, and have their breasts ripped
open, and their hearts taken out, all the Malays present making great
rejoicings. The heads of these slaughtered prisoners are then embalmed
with spice, and those who can shew the greatest number of Dutch heads
are held in highest honour. In retaliation, when the Dutch take any of
these hill Malays, they load them with irons, and after keeping them
some days in prison, they cut off their ears and noses, and after being
kept some time longer in prison, they are publicly racked to death.

When any of the Malays, living under the Dutch government, are found
guilty of thieving, their ears and noses are cut off, and a great iron
chain is fastened to their legs, in which condition they are made slaves
for life. While we were there, about 500 poor wretches were in this
condition, who were kept constantly employed, in sawing timber, cutting
stones for building, carrying burdens, or other work. They are let out
of prison at sunrise, the men being kept in one prison and the women in
another, and are kept hard at work till noon, when they return to prison
for an hour, being allowed for dinner a pint of coarse boiled rice for
each. They return again to work at one o'clock, and return to prison at
six in the evening, when they have a similar allowance for supper. Soon
afterwards they are locked up in their lodgings, where they lie on the
bare boards, having only a piece of wood for a pillow. Sometimes these
poor wretches make shift to escape, but are used with great severity if
again caught. One of the female slaves having escaped, and being
retaken, cut her own throat to avoid the severe punishment awaiting her,
when she was dragged out by the hair all round the town, and then hung
on a gibbet by the feet. Such as are in debt, and cannot satisfy their
creditors, are turned over by their creditors to the Dutch company, who
send them to work among their slaves, having the same allowance of
boiled rice with the rest, with two-pence a day towards paying their
debts; but they seldom get free till carried out dead.

Though the poor natives are thus harshly treated, the Dutch wink at the
faults of their countrymen, who are seldom punished for any crime,
unless it be for murder, as in any other case they get off for a small
sum of money, even for a great fault. The women slaves belonging to the
free Dutch burgesses have all reasonable indulgence, but are obliged to
find their own clothes and provisions, and pay an acknowledgement of
about a sixpence daily, in default of which they are severely used. If
they bring the daily tribute, they may whore or steal, and have no
questions asked, provided no complaint is made against them. The chief
products of this island are cloves, ginger, pepper, rattans, canes, and
a few nutmegs.

The clove-tree is rather slender, and is from twelve to thirty or even
forty feet high, having small branches, with tapering leaves about five
inches long and two broad, which smell strong of cloves, when rubbed
between the fingers. The cloves grow out at the tips of the branches,
ten, twelve, or fourteen in a cluster, being white at first, then green,
and lastly of a dark copper colour, in which state they are ripe and fit
for gathering. At this period, they spread cloths or sheets on the
ground round the bottom of the tree to a good distance, and shake the
tree, when all the ripe cloves fall down. This is repeated every six or
seven days for four or five times, till all the cloves have ripened and
are shaken off. The usual time of gathering is October and February,
those got in October, which is the end of their winter, being called
_winter cloves_, and are not accounted so strong and good as the others.
These are commonly preserved in small jars of about a quart each, of
which great quantities are sent to various parts of the world. Those
gathered in February are termed summer cloves, being better and stronger
than the others, as ripening in the best part of the summer; whereas the
former have not above a month of fair weather, all the rest of their
winter season, which is our summer, being rainy and cloudy, so that the
cloves want sun to ripen them. It is a common opinion, but extremely
erroneous, that cloves, nutmegs, and mace grow all on one tree. One
clove-tree commonly produces sixty, seventy, or eighty pounds of cloves
in one season; and every sixth year they are sure to have a double crop.

There are a vast number of clove-trees on this island, which are
carefully looked after, and a register of them is kept in the books of
the company, being all numbered once every year, and they are not
allowed to increase beyond a certain limited number, for fear of
lessening the price, all beyond being cut down. All these trees belong
to the Company, or the free burgesses, every burgess having only a fixed
number; and if any one is found to have more than his allowance, he is
severely fined, and all his trees forfeited to the company. Besides, the
burgesses are bound to deliver the whole produce of their trees to the
company at six-pence the pound. If any freeman or other is convicted of
having sold or conveyed cloves from the island, to the value of ten
pounds, his whole property is forfeited to the company, and he becomes a
slave for life. The inhabitants used formerly to cheat the Dutch in the
sale of their cloves, in the following manner. They hung up their cloves
in a large sheet by the four corners, and set a large tub of water
underneath, which the cloves, being of a very hot and dry nature, drew
up by degrees, and thus made a large addition to their weight. But the
Dutch are now too cunning for them, as they always try the cloves, by
giving them a small filip on the head with the forefinger: if thoroughly
ripe, and no deceit has been used, the head breaks off like a piece of
thin brittle glass; but if watered, the clove is tough, and will sooner
bend than break.

The _nutmeg-tree_ is much like the peach, and there are a few of these
in this island, but they grow mostly on the island of Banda, whence two
or three ship-loads are exported yearly. The fruit of this tree consists
of four parts. The first and outer rind is like that of a green walnut.
The second, which we call _mace_, is dry and thin. The third is a tough
thin shell, like that of a chesnut; and the fourth is the _nutmeg_,
being the kernel included in that shell.

There are said to be some gold-mines in the island of Amboina; and a
Malay once shewed me some of the ore, which, he said, came from these
mines: but he said, at the same time, that he would be severely punished
if the Dutch knew of his having any, as they wish, as much as possible,
to keep this from the knowledge of all other Europeans.

Once every year the Dutch have to send a large force from Amboina on the
following business, about the 20th of October. On this occasion the
governor is attended by about seventy-five _orambies_, or boats of the
country, some rowed by 100 paddles, some eighty, fifty, or forty paddles
each, and in each of which there are two Dutch soldiers. I reckon
therefore in this fleet 150 to 160 Dutch soldiers, and about 5250
Malays, allowing seventy to each _oramby_ on the average. These
seventy-five _orambies_ are divided into three squadrons. The
van-division of twenty _orambies_, is always commanded by a member of
the council, who carries a yellow flag. The rear-squadron consists also
of twenty _orambies_, and is commanded by the fiscal, having a red flag.
The rest form the centre-squadron, and attend the governor, who has a
serjeant and corporal, with twelve Dutch soldiers, for his body guard,
and carries a blue flag. The governor is also attended by the Malay king
and all their princes or chiefs, lest they should rebel in his absence.
In this order the fleet proceeds to visit and victual the eastern, or
Banda islands, especially those that produce cloves or nutmegs; and at
every island it goes to, it is joined by additional boats. This cruize
generally lasts for six weeks, during which they cut down and destroy
all the clove and nutmeg-trees they can find, except those which are
reserved for the use of the company. All or most of these islands would
produce cloves, but they will not suffer them, having enough at Amboina
alone to supply all Europe. On all of these islands the Dutch keep a few
soldiers, three, six, nine, or twelve, according to their size, whose
only business is to see the trees cut down, or at least to take care
that they do not increase; as they are very jealous lest the English or
French should serve them as they did the English at Amboina. During this
annual expedition, the governor levies tribute from all the petty kings
and chiefs of these islands, and commonly returns to Amboina at the end
of six weeks.

The island of Amboina produces beavers, hogs, and deer, besides other
animals. Among its birds are crocadores, cassawaries, birds of paradise,
and others. The _crocadore_, or _cockatoo_, is of various sizes, some as
large as a hen, and others no bigger than a pigeon, being all over
white, except a crest of feathers on the top of their head, which is
always either yellow or red. This bunch of feather usually lies flat, in
a dent, or hollow, on the crown of the head, unless when the bird is
frightened, when it is erected, and opens like a fan. The flesh and legs
of this bird are very black, and they smell very sweet. When they fly up
and down the woods, they cry _crocadore, crocadore_, or _cockatoo,
cockatoo_, whence their name. The _cassowary_ is as large as a Virginia
turkey, having a head nearly the same with the turkey, with a long stiff
bunch of hair on his breast, also like the turkey. His legs are almost
as thick as a man's wrist, having five great claws on each foot. The
back is high and round, both it and the pinions being covered with long
hair instead of feathers. The female of this bird lays an egg so large
that its shell will hold an English pint of fluid, having a thick shell,
spotted with green and white, and exactly like China-ware. I never
tasted the eggs of this bird, but its flesh is good eating, resembling
that of a turkey, but stronger.

The _birds of paradise_ are about the size of pigeons, and are never
seen here alive, neither is it known whence they come. I have seen
several of them at Amboina preserved in spice, in which state they are
sent as rarities to several parts of the world. These birds are said to
resort, in February and March, when the nutmegs are ripe, to Banda and
Amboina, where they feed on the outer rind of the nutmeg, after which
they fall to the ground, quite stupified, or as it were dead drunk, when
innumerable ants gather about them, and eat them up. There are here many
kinds of fish, but the most remarkable is the _sea-porcupine_, which is
about three feet long, and two and a half feet round, having large eyes,
two fins on the back, and a large fin on each side, near the gills. Its
body is all beset with sharp spines, or quills, like a porcupine, whence
its name is derived.

All round Amboina the bottom is sand, but the water is so deep that
there is no anchorage near its shores, except to leeward, or on the west
side, where a ship may anchor in forty fathoms, close to the shore in
the harbour. This harbour runs so deep into the island as almost to
divide it into two, which are joined by so narrow a neck of land that
the Malays often haul their canoes across. On the east side of the entry
into the harbour there is a small fort of six guns, close to which the
depth is twenty fathoms. About a league farther up is the usual
anchorage for ships, close under the guns of the great castle, which has
been called _Victoria_ ever since the massacre of the English at this
place. About two miles farther to the N.E. and within the harbour, is
the place where the English factory formerly stood; and near it is the
hole into which the English were said to have been thrown after the
massacre. Few of us who were now here but expected the same fate; and
some of the inhabitants did not scruple to say that our only protection
was our journal, which had been sent to Batavia by the Dutch ship we met
when going into the harbour; as by this it would soon be known all over
India that a part of Captain Dampier's crew had arrived at Aniboina,
which would cause us to be enquired after.

A little to the eastward of Amboina there are several other small
islands, the most noted of which are _Boangbessay_ and _Hinomsa_, only a
small distance east from Amboina. These two islands are moderately high,
and not above a third part so large as Amboina. They are both well
fortified, and produce store of cloves. The chief place for nutmegs is
the island of _Banda_, which also belongs to the Dutch, being in lat. 4 deg.
20' S. 28 leagues S.S.E. from Amboina. This island is said to have the
form of a man's leg and foot, and is well fortified. The governor of
Amboina is supreme over all the spice islands, even to _Ternate_ and
_Tidore_, which are also spice islands belonging to the Dutch, and are
about forty miles to the north of the equator. We were so troubled at
Amboina by musquitoes, a sort of gnats, that we had every night to put
ourselves into a bag before we could go to sleep, as otherwise these
insects bit us so intolerably that we could get no rest. Wherever they
bit, there commonly rose a red blister, almost as broad as a silver
penny, which itched so violently that many cannot forbear from
scratching, so as to cause inflammations that sometimes aid in the loss
of a limb. During our stay, we were allowed to walk in a paved yard
about sixty yards square; but were not permitted to go into the town,
that we might not learn their strength, or make any discoveries
prejudicial to them.

We remained at Amboina from the 31st of May to the 14th of September,
1705, when three of their sloops were ready to sail with cloves to
Batavia, in which twenty-five of our men were sent away to Batavia, ten
of us being left behind, who they said were to be sent in another
vessel, almost ready to sail. On the 27th September, a Malay man was
brought to the Stadt-house to be tried for his life, being accused by
his own wife of having murdered his slave. The slave had been dead six
months, when the wife falling out with her husband, she went to the
fiscal in the heat of her rage and revealed the murder, on which the
husband was thrown into prison, but it was generally believed that he
was wrongfully accused by his wife. During his trial the earthquake took
place, formerly mentioned, which made the court break up, fearful the
house might fall on their heads. At this time I observed that it is an
error to suppose that it is always calm during an earthquake; for we had
a fine fresh gale at S.S.W. both days on which the earthquake happened.
Next day the court sat about eleven o'clock, continuing the trial; and
while the wife was in her greatest violence in the accusation of her
husband, the earth shook again with much violence, which obliged the
court again to break up.

That same day, the 28th September, I and four more of our men were sent
off for Batavia in a Chinese sloop, the other five men being promised to
be sent after us in a short time, but we never heard of them afterwards.
We sailed westwards till we came to the island of Lancas, in lat. 5 deg. 27'
S. and by my estimation, 2 deg. 21', or 155 miles W. from Amboina. We then
steered W. by N. till we made two islands called the _Cabeses_, whence
we procured some hundred cocoa nuts. The eastermost island, to which we
sent our boat, is low and uninhabited, but has been planted full of
cocoa-nut trees by the Dutch, for the use of their vessels going between
the spice islands and Batavia, as it is a kind of miracle to see any
other ship in these parts except those belonging to the Dutch. Off this
island we met our own bark which had brought us from America to Amboina,
the Dutch having fitted her up with a main-mast and converted her into a
very good vessel. This island is in lat. 5 deg. 23' S. and nearly W. by N.
from the island of Lancas, about forty-five miles distant, and has a
shoal extending about two miles from the shore. To the S.W. of this is
the other island of _Cabeses_, a pretty high island, on which the Dutch
always keep a corporal and two soldiers, who go two or three times all
over the isle to see that no cloves are planted, and if they find any to
cut them down and burn them, lest any other nation might be able to
procure that commodity, in which case Amboina would become of little
value, as cloves are its only valuable product.

We next passed by the S. end of the island of _Bouton_, or _Booton_,
which is pretty large, and in the lat. of 5 deg. 45' S. We steered W. from
thence, between the islands _Celebes_ and _Zalayer_ or _Salayr_. The
S.W. leg or peninsula of Celebes is very high land. Celebes is composed
of very high land, very well inhabited, being a very large island,
extending through seven degrees of latitude. On the west side of its
southern end the Dutch have a factory named Macasser, where they have a
fortress of about seventy guns, and a garrison of 600 or 700 Dutch
soldiers. The chief product is rice, with which they supply most of
their eastern islands from hence. There are said to be gold-mines in
this island, of which the Dutch are not yet masters, as the inhabitants
are often at war with them, and have hitherto been able to keep them
from those parts of the island. Between the south end of Celebes and the
island of Salayr there are three small low islands, and the best channel
is through between the island next to Salayr, and another small isle to
the northward. This is called the _second_ passage, the first, third,
and fourth of these passages being very dangerous, so that ships
generally avoid them if possible. I would willingly give an account of
every island I have occasion to mention, but as that is not in my power,
I must rest satisfied with what I am able to say consistent with truth.

The island of _Zalayer_, or _Salayr_, is of moderate height, inhabited
by Malays, and planted all round with cocoa-trees, the natives being
obliged to send a considerable quantity of nuts and oil to the Dutch at
Macasser as tribute. We steered from hence W. by N. till we had passed a
dangerous shoal called the Porill, after which we stood to the S.W. and
saw in the night a small island just in our way, which we were unable to
weather, and therefore stood off till daylight, when we were to the S.
of that isle, when we tacked and stood again S.W. and soon after saw two
other small isles bearing from N. to N.W. For about two miles of our
course at this time, the sea was so transparent that we could plainly
discern the bottom, which was never less than five or more than six
fathoms, yet appeared only two to the eye. We passed over this shoal
about a league to the S. of these two small islands, this being the
narrowest part of the shoal, for it is five or six leagues in breadth
farther to the south; yet is it every where without danger, as it has
very uniform soundings, seldom over or under five or six fathoms. To the
north of these islands, however, it is very dangerous, being all over
foul rocky ground, and having in some places not more than four or five
feet water; it is proper, therefore, always to keep to the south of
these islands, where the passage is perfectly safe. Yet in the Dutch
charts, these dangers are laid down to the southward, which should have
been to the northwards, and they lay down the safe shoals to the
northward, whereas we now went to the southwards, as they always do.
The captain of our vessel had a chart on board, which shewed these
things exactly as I have now described, but which I compared with
several others, also on board, which I found quite different. I asked
our captain the reason of this, when he told me that all these shoals
and dangerous places were well known to the Hollanders, but they did not
wish they should be known by others, but rather that strangers might
lose their ships among these rocks and shoals, as we certainly had done,
if we had sailed according to these common charts.

We entered the harbour of Batavia on the 21st October, and sent
immediately on landing to join the rest of our men, who were still
detained in custody. We were soon afterwards visited by the first major,
who desired us to transmit to the general, through him, an account of
the losses we had sustained by our being taken prisoners at Amboina, and
we should receive compensation for our effects, loss of time, and
imprisonment. We each accordingly drew up accounts of our losses, which
we sent by the major to the governor, who sent us back word that we
should speedily have our freedom. On the 27th we were sent for to the
fort, where most of our money was returned; but we could have no
satisfaction for our goods, imprisonment, and loss of time, the
governor-general saying that he had given us all that had been sent to
him as ours by the governor of Amboina, and that we were now at liberty
to go where we pleased. As our vessel had been taken from us for the use
of the Dutch Company, we desired he would be pleased to find us some
ship for our return home, which he promised; with which arrangement we
were forced to be satisfied, and took lodgings in the city of Batavia,
till an opportunity might offer for our return to Europe. In the course
of seven weeks residence here, I made all the observations I could upon
this place and its inhabitants. I found the city in as good a condition
as could be wished, and the people seemed to be as prudent and as
industrious as any I had ever seen: But, as the descriptions already
published of this place are so exact as to render my observations
superfluous, I shall content myself with a very short description,
referring the curious reader to the large accounts that have been
published by Dutch, French, and English writers, but especially the

BATAVIA is the chief place belonging to the Hollanders in India, and
receives all the productions of India, Japan, and China. The Malays are
the original natives; but besides these and the Dutch, who are the
masters, it is inhabited by Portuguese, Chinese, Persians, and negroes.
The town is large and handsome, having seven churches, belonging to the
Dutch, Portuguese, Malays, and Chinese.[213] The town has many spacious
houses built in the European manner, and is walled and moated all round,
the ramparts being well provided with cannon. In the middle of the city
there is a spacious square, in which is the stadt-house, where all
public matters are transacted. This city is usually governed by a member
of the States-General of the United Netherlands, with the title of
Governor-General of India, all other governors of the possessions
belonging to the Dutch Company being subordinate to his authority. The
inhabitants are well pleased in the governor-general being often
changed, as all prisoners are released at the installation of a new one,
except those charged with murder. He has twelve counsellors to assist
him, who are called the _rads_, or lords of India, and are mostly such
as have formerly been governors in other places, as in Ceylon, Amboina,
Malacca, &c.

[Footnote 213: This seems to indicate that, of the seven _churches_,
some belong to the Dutch Calvinists and Portuguese Roman Catholics,
while others are Mahometan places of worship for the Malays, and idol
temples, or _pagodas_, frequented by the Chinese.--E]

The city is divided by many canals, over which there are bridges almost
at the end of every street, together with booms to lay across, that no
boats may go in or out after sunset. The chief product of the adjoining
country is pepper, of which the Dutch export great quantities every
year; and there are also some few diamonds and other precious stones.
The chief fruits here are plantains, bananas, oranges, lemons,
mangostans, and rumbostans. The _mangostan_ is about the size of a
golden rennet, quite round, and resembling a small pomegranate, the
outer rind being like that of the pomegranate, but of a darker colour,
but the inside of the rind of a fine red. The fruit lies within the
rind, commonly in four or five cloves, of a fine white, very soft and
juicy, within each clove having a small black stone or pip. The pulp is
very delicious, but the stone is very bitter, and is therefore thrown
away, after sucking the fruit The _rumbostan_ is about the size of a
walnut after the green outside peel is off, and is nearly of the shape
of a walnut, having a thick tough outer rind of a deep red colour, full
of red knobs, within which is a white jelly-like pulp, and within that
is a large stone. The pulp is very delicate, and never does any harm,
however much of it a man may eat, providing he swallow the stones; but
otherwise they are said to produce fevers.

This island of Java, on the north side of which Batavia is situated,
extends about ten degrees from east to west, or nearly 700 English
miles. The weather is here extremely regular, and the inhabitants know
how to use it to the best advantage. During the eastern monsoon, the
land-winds are at S.E. Sometimes more southerly; and the sea-winds blow
from the N.E. fine pleasant gales. This easterly monsoon is accounted
the good monsoon, being fine clear and fair weather, and begins in
April, ending in October. The other, or westerly, is called the bad
monsoon, consisting of blustering rainy weather, accompanied with much
thunder and lightning, especially in December, January, and February.
This bad monsoon begins in November and ends in March or the beginning
of April; during which the land-winds are W.S.W. or S.W. and the
sea-winds at N.W. and W.N.W.

The anchoring ground all along the north side of Java, from Madura to
Batavia, is a fine oozy bottom, free from rocks. The principal places on
this side of the island are Batavia, Bantam, Japara, Samarang, Surabon,
Taggal, Quale, and Rambang; all of which are possessed by the Dutch.
These settlements afford abundance of rice, with which the Dutch supply
all their out-factories near Java, and also produce excellent plank for
ship-building. The principal place for ship-building is _Rambang_, where
the free burgesses of Batavia usually go to build their small vessels,
as sloops and brigs. Ships of five, six, and seven hundred tons, often
load with timber at Rambang, Quale, Japara, and other places; and each
ship, after being fully laden, takes a great raft or float of the
largest timber, which she tows along with her to Batavia. Some of these
rafts are said to be thirty feet square, and draw twenty feet water.
There are commonly six ships employed in this timber trade, and they
usually make four voyages yearly in the good monsoon, for in the bad
they cannot do any thing. Ail this timber is for the most part landed on
the island of _Ormrust_, between four and five leagues from Batavia,
where there are about 200 ship-carpenters, who are constantly in full
employ, and here the Dutch careen their ships. This island is well
fortified, being, to use a sea phrase, all round a bed of guns.

We had notice on the 2d December, 1705, that all of us who wished to
return to England should immediately go on board the homeward-bound
Dutch East India fleet, which we did accordingly, and sailed next day.
This fleet consisted of twelve ships, as well provided in all respects
as any I had ever seen, and we made the voyage in good order. We arrived
at the Cape of Good Hope on the 3d February, 1706. The Dutch have here a
strong fortress, and about half a mile from this is a fine town of 150
houses, with a small church. The country in the neighbourhood is very
high, and the mountains are mostly barren, producing only a few shrubs;
but the country is full of lions, tigers, elephants, and other wild
beasts, which give great disturbance to the settlers, for which reason
the government gives a reward of fifty-two guilders for killing a lion,
equal to four pounds six and eight-pence, and twenty-four guilders, or
forty shillings, for killing a tiger. While we were there, a certain
Scotsman killed four lions, three tigers, and three wild elephants, for
all of which he got the rewards. The Dutch make here a great quantity of
an excellent wine, called Cape wine, which is sold by retail at
eight-pence a quart.

We sailed from the Cape the 24th of March, excellently provided with
every thing requisite for the voyage. We were now twenty-four sail,
having nine English and fifteen Dutch ships. On the 17th April we made
the island of Ascension, but did not touch there even for turtle,
although their season of laying, having been so well provided with fresh
provisions at the Cape that we had no occasion for more. On the 19th
there happened a great earthquake, when the ship seemed for some time as
if she run along the ground, on which we heaved the lead on both sides,
but had no ground at 200 fathoms. The whole fleet felt the shock at the
same time; so that for about ten minutes every ship was making signals
and firing guns. On the 14th June we saw four sail of French privateers,
which were waiting for us; but after looking at us for some time, and
observing the regular order in which we sailed, they did not think it
adviseable to make any attempt against us, and bore away. This shewed
the great advantage of the regular order observed by the Dutch in
sailing, in which on this occasion they were imitated by the English
ships in company.

On the 30th June we were in lat. 62 deg. 40' N. the highest north I was ever
in, and I could not help noticing the great difference in point of cold
here and in 60 deg. S. There we had continual showers of snow or hail, with
bitter cold weather; while here the weather was fair, and the cold
moderate. In the evening of the 3d July we saw the Faro Islands. On the
5th we met with eight Dutch men of war, which were cruizing on purpose
to convoy us safe home, accompanied by four victuallers and three of the
Company's privateers. On the 15th July we all arrived safely in the
Texel, and got on the 17th to Amsterdam. After this, I and the rest of
our company went to see several parts of Holland, and we arrived on the
26th August, 1706, in England, after many dangers by sea and land, being
only 18 of us out of 183. The news of our misfortunes reached home
before us, and every body was solicitous to have an account of our
adventures, especially while under the power of the Dutch at Amboina.
These importunities led me to believe that a faithful relation of our
voyage would be acceptable to the public, and I hope some of the
descriptions, observations, and discoveries contained in this small
performance may be found useful, and not altogether destitute of


_Brief Account of Stradling, Clipperton, and Dampier, after their
respective Separations, till their Returns to England._

The reader may remember that Captain Dampier, in the St George, left
_Captain Stradling_ in the Cinque-ports on the 19th of May, 1704, at
King's Island, in the Bay of Panama. The force under Captain Stradling
was too insignificant to maintain him long in the South Sea, for which
reason he went to the island of Juan Fernandez in search of shelter and
refreshments. They were in so forlorn a condition at this time, that
Alexander Selkirk[214] chose rather to remain by himself in that island,
than to run the hazard of returning to the South Sea in the
Cinque-ports. In this he shewed great judgment, as the Cinque-ports
actually foundered on the coast of _Barbacora_ (Barbacoas), and only
Captain Stradling, with six or seven of his men, were saved, and sent
prisoners to Lima. Captain Stradling was alive there at the time when
Woods Rogers came into the South Sea, but what became of him afterwards
is unknown.

[Footnote 214: This person, on whose simple adventures the romance of
Robinson Crusoe was soon afterwards founded, will be more particularly
mentioned in a subsequent chapter of this book.--E.]

The next person who left Captain Dampier was his mate, _Mr Clipperton_
of whom we shall have occasion to say much in a succeeding voyage round
the world. Clipperton was certainly a man of parts and resolution, and
probably would not have deserted from Captain Dampier, if he had not
thought that his commander was resolved to remain in his old crazy ship
in the South Sea till she foundered. Finding many of the crew of the
same opinion, he thought proper to leave him at the middle islands, as
already related, where it was plain to every one that the St George was
no longer fit for going to sea. Mr Clipperton set sail on the 2d
September, 1704, having twenty-one men, in a small bark of ten tons,
with two masts and two square sails, two swivels, two or three barrels
of powder, and some shot. With this inconsiderable force, he ventured
into Rio Leon, on the coast of Mexico, where he took two Spanish ships
riding at anchor. One of these was very old and worm-eaten, which he
immediately sunk. The other was new, and had goods on board to a
considerable value, and for her Captain Clipperton demanded a ransom of
10,000 dollars, by two of his prisoners whom he set on shore. The
prisoners spoke so handsomely of Clipperton that the governor resolved
to treat with him, and sent him word that he did not think his offer
unreasonable, but the owners were entirely ruined, and the town so poor
that it was impossible to comply with his terms; but if 4000 dollars
would content him, which was all they could raise, that sum should be
sent aboard, and the governor would rely on the honour of Captain
Clipperton for the release of the ship. Clipperton accepted this
proposal, but as his bark was in want of provisions and water, he sent
word to the governor, that every kind of provisions and drink were not
to be considered as within the capitulation. This was readily agreed to,
the money was sent on board, and as soon as the provisions were got out
of her, the ship was honourably restored.

Clipperton went thence to the Bay of Salinas, where his little vessel
was drawn on shore, and cleaned and effectually refitted, after which he
resolved in this cockle-shell to sail for the East Indies, which he
actually did, keeping in the latitude of 18 deg. N. and reached the
Philippine Islands in fifty-four days. While among these islands, a
Spanish priest came off to his bark in a canoe, and Clipperton detained
him till furnished with a supply of fresh provisions, and then set him
at liberty. His next scheme was to sail for the English settlement of
Pulo Condore, in lat 8 deg. 40' N. off the river of Cambadia, and actually
came there: But finding that the English had been massacred by their
Indian soldiers on the 3d March, 1705, for which reason no relief or
safety could be expected there, he bore away for Macao, a port belonging
to the Portuguese on the coast of China, where he and his people
separated, every one shifting for himself as well as they could. Some
went to Benjar,[215] in order to enter into the service of the English
East India Company, while others went to Goa to serve the Portuguese,
and some even entered into the service of the Great Mogul, being so bare
after so long a voyage, that any means of providing for themselves were
desirable. Clipperton returned to England in 1706, and afterwards made
another voyage round the world in the Success, of which an account will
be found in its proper place.

[Footnote 215: This is perhaps an error for Bombay; yet it may have been
Benjarmassin, on the southern coast of Borneo.--E.]

It is not easy to conceive a worse situation than that in which Captain
Dampier was left at the close of the year 1704, when Mr Funnell and his
people separated from him, being only able to retain twenty-eight of his
men, and even these were prevailed upon to stay, by representing that it
was easy to surprise some Spanish village, and that the fewer they were,
each would have the greater share in the plunder. After some
consultation, they resolved to attack Puna, a hamlet or village of
thirty houses and a small church, the inhabitants of which are well to
pass, and are under the command of a lieutenant. Dampier landed here in
a dark night, and, surprizing the inhabitants in their beds, got
possession of the place with very little trouble.

After plundering this town, they repaired to the island of _Lobos de la
Mar_, and took a small Spanish bark by the way, well furnished with
provisions. They now resolved to quit their own ship, and to endeavour
to sail for the East Indies in this small bark; and accordingly left the
St George at anchor under the island of Lobos, after taking every thing
valuable out of her. They then sailed across the Pacific Ocean to the
East Indies, and arrived at the Dutch settlements, where their bark was
seized, and they were turned adrift to shift for themselves as they best
might. Dampier returned naked to his owners, with a melancholy relation
of his unfortunate expedition, occasioned chiefly by his own strange
temper, being so self-sufficient and overbearing that few or none of his
officers could bear with him; and when once disputation gets in among
those who have the command, success is not to be expected. Even in this
distress, he was received as an eminent man, notwithstanding his
faillings, and was introduced to Queen Anne, having the honour to kiss
her hand, and to give her majesty some account of the dangers he had
undergone. The merchants were so sensible of his want of conduct, that
they resolved never to trust him any more with a command; and this, with
the poverty resulting from his late unlucky voyage, obliged him to make
the tour of the world once more as pilot to the Duke, commanded by
Captain Woods Rogers, the relation of which voyage forms the subject of
next Section.




It has been universally allowed by all competent judges, that there
never was a voyage of this nature so excellently adjusted or so well
provided in all respects, as the present, or in which the accidents that
usually happen in privateers were so effectually guarded against; owing
to the abilities of the gentlemen at Bristol, who both charged
themselves with the expence of fitting out this expedition, and took
care of every thing relating to its being properly fitted out. Their
first care was in the choice of proper officers, in which they were very
fortunate. Captain Woods Rogers, who had the chief command, being a
bold, active, and indefatigable officer, not too ready to give up his
opinion to others, and not apt to be flattered by other people giving up
theirs to him. He had been a great sufferer by the French; but his most
singular qualities, and which chiefly recommended him to the command of
this expedition, were a peculiar felicity in maintaining authority over
his seamen, and a wonderful readiness in devising expedients under the
most difficult circumstances.

[Footnote 216: A Cruizing Voyage round the World, &c. by Captain Woods
Rogers, 8vo. London, 1712. Voyage to the South Sea, and round the World,
&c. by Captain Edward Cooke, 2 vol. 8vo. London, 1712. Harris, I. 150.
Callender, III. 231.]

Captain Stephen Courtney, the second in command, was a gentleman of
birth, fortune, and amiable character, who had contributed considerably
to the expence of the voyage, and went in the expedition that he might
see how it was conducted, and either be able to prevent miscarriages, or
at least to make a faithful report of its incidents. Captain Thomas
Dover, the third in command, was a proprietor also. He was bred a
physician, and afterwards made a noise in the world by recommending the
use of crude mercury. He was a man of rough temper, and could not easily
agree with those about him, yet his morose disposition hindered him from
making any party to support him in his ill humours. Captain Cooke,
fourth in command, was second to Captain Courtney. The pilot in the
larger ship was Captain William Dampier, who was now to proceed for the
fourth time into the South Sea, where his name and exploits were well
known and terrible to the Spaniards. The adventurers were also extremely
careful in the choice of inferior officers, and even as far as possible
in procuring the best private men that could be found.

In the next place, the proprietors established rules for the proper
conduct of the voyage, which were digested in the following articles of
instruction, and signed by a committee of proprietors at Bristol, on the
14th July, 1708.

"For the better government and regulating the affairs of the present
voyage of the ships Duke and Duchess, we do hereby appoint and
constitute Captain Woods Rogers, Captain Thomas Dover, Captain William
Dampier, Mr Charlton Vanbrugh, Messrs Green, Fry, Charles Pope,
Glendall, Bullet, and Wasse, all of these officers on board the Duke,
to be the council on board that ship: We also appoint Captain Stephen
Courtney, Captain Edward Cooke, Messrs William Stratton, Bathe, John
Rogers, White, and the master, officers on board the Duchess, to be
council on board that ship, in case of the ships being separated from
each other. But, when in company, the whole officers of both ships above
named, are conjunctly to come on board either ship at the summons of
Captains Rogers, Dover, and Courtney, or any two of them, and to be the
council referred to in our general orders, to determine all matters and
things that may arise or be necessary for the general good daring the
whole voyage. In case of the death, sickness, or desertion of any of the
above officers in either ship, the rest who are of the council of that
ship shall convene on board their own ship, and chose another fit person
into that office and council."

"We farther require and direct, that all attempts, attacks, and designs
upon the enemy, either by sea or land, shall be first consulted and
debated, either in the particular council if separated, or in the
general council if together; and as the majority shall conclude how and
when to act or do, it shall be indispensably and cheerfully put in
execution, and without unnecessary delay. In case of any discontents,
differences, or misbehaviours among the officers and men, which may tend
to the disturbance of good order and government on board, either the men
or persons may appeal to the captain to have a hearing by a council, or
the captain shall call a council to have the matter heard and decided,
and may prefer or displace any man according to desert. All decisions
and judgments of the council shall be finally determined by the majority
of voices; and in case of an equality, Captain Dover is to have a double
voice as president, and we do accordingly order and appoint him
president of the council. All matters transacted in this council shall
be registered in a book by the clerk appointed for that purpose."

It was agreed between the owners and those employed in this voyage, that
all prizes were to be divided after the following rule. Two-third parts
of the clear profits were to belong to the owners, and one-third to the
officers, seamen, and landsmen, which last was to be distributed
according to the following proportions.

_If wholly on Shares_. _If part on Shares, and
part on Wages_.[217]
A captain, _Shares_ 24
Second captain, 20 _Wages_. _Shares_
First lieutenant, 16 L3 8
Second lieutenant, 10 2 10 5
Third lieutenant, 8 2 4
Master, 10 2 10 5
First mate, 6 2 3
Second mate, 4 1 15 2-1/2
Surgeon, 10 2 10 5
Surgeon's mate, 6 1 10 3
Owner's agent, 10 2 10 5
Pilot, 8 2 10 4
Carpenter, 6 2 3
Carpenter's mate, 4 1 10 2
Boatswain, 6 2 3
Boatswain's mate, 4 1 10 2
Gunner, 6 2 3
Gunner's mate, 3-1/2 1 10 1-3/4
Cooper, 5 1 10 2-1/2
Cooper's mate, 3-1/2 1 5 1-3/4
Midshipman, 4 1 10 2
_Shares_. _Wages_. _Shares_.

Quarter-master, 3 1 10 1-1/2
Sailors, 2-1/2 1 8 1-3/4
Land-men, 1-1/2 14 0-3/4

[Footnote 217: The wages were probably monthly, though not so

"We have two relations of this voyage, one by Captain Rogers, and the
other by Captain Cooke, both in the form of journals. On the present
occasion I shall chiefly follow that written by Captain Woods Rogers,
taking occasionally explanatory circumstances and descriptions from
Captain Cooke: But as they agree pretty well in their relations, I do
not think it necessary to break the thread of the discourse, but shall
proceed as near as may be in the words of Captain Rogers."--_Harris_.

Besides using as the ground-work of the present chapter, the narrative
drawn up by Harris from the publications of Captain Woods Rogers and
Edward Cooke, we have carefully employed both of these original works on
the present occasion; yet have not deemed it at all necessary or
adviseable to retain the minute and tedious nautical remarks, and have
chiefly attended to such interesting circumstances as had not been
sufficiently illustrated in the preceding chapters of this book.--E.


_Narrative of the Voyage, from England to the Island of Juan Fernandez_.

Our force on this voyage consisted of the Duke of 300 tons, carrying
thirty guns and 170 men, Captain Woods Rogers commander, with Captain
Thomas Dover as second captain, and three lieutenants; and the Duchess
of 270 tons, with twenty-six guns and 150 men, commanded by Captain
Stephen Courtney, having Captain Edward Cooke as second captain, and
three lieutenants. Both ships had commission from George Prince of
Denmark, husband to Queen Anne, and Lord High Admiral of England, to
cruize on the coasts of Peru and Mexico in the South Sea, against the
French and Spaniards, and to act jointly and separately.

On the 15th June, 1708, we went down to King-road, to fit our ships for
sea and the better to keep our men on board, where we continued till the
1st August, when we weighed anchor and towed down about five miles below
the Holmes. We made sail at one next morning, and got into Cork harbour
on the 5th August, where we remained till the 27th adjusting all things,
taking on board additional men provided there for us, and discharging
some we had brought from Bristol, who were found unfit for the voyage.
Our complement of men in both ships was now 333, of which above a third
were foreigners from most nations, several of her majesty's subjects we
had on board being tinkers, tailors, haymakers, pedlars, fiddlers, and
the like, with one negro and ten boys; yet we hoped to be well manned
with this motley crew, when they had got their sea-legs and had learnt
the use of arms. We had double the number of officers usual in
privateers, which was meant to prevent mutinies, so usual in long
voyages, and to secure a succession in case of deaths. Our holds were
so full of provisions, that our cables, and a great deal of our bread
and some water casks were between decks, and having 183 men in the Duke,
and 151 in the Duchess, we were obliged to send our sheet, cable, and
other new store cordage on shore at Cork, to make room for our men and
provisions, yet were so much crowded and lumbered that we could not have
engaged an enemy, without throwing much provisions and stores overboard.

Having agreed upon signals between our two ships, and appointed places
of rendezvous in case of separation, and how long to wait at each for
one another, we took sailing orders from the Hastings man of war on the
1st September, the better to keep company of her and a fleet bound to
the southward and westward. We sailed that day, and the next we and our
consort stood out from the fleet to chase a sail we saw to windward,
when we had the satisfaction to find that our ship sailed as well as any
in the fleet, not excepting the man of war, so that we hoped we should
find our heels, although so deeply laden. We found the chase to be a
small vessel coming from Baltimore to join the fleet. On the 4th,
Captain Paul of the Hastings proposed to Captain Courtney and me, after
he left the fleet, which would be soon, to cruise in company a few days
off Cape Finister, and obligingly supplied us with some scrubbers, iron
scrapers for the ships bottoms, a speaking-trumpet, and some other
things of which we were in want, and would not accept any thing in
return, as our voyage was to be so long, saying he hoped our owners
would restore the same articles for his ship on his return. That
evening, calling our crews on deck, we informed them whither we were
bound, and the objects of our expedition; that if any disputes or
mutinies had arisen, we might have sent home the refractory in the man
of war. Only one poor fellow was dissatisfied, who was to have been
tithing-man that year, and feared his wife might have to pay forty
shillings for his default; but seeing all around him pleased with the
hope of plunder, he too became easy, and drank as heartily as any one to
the success of the voyage.

We gave chase to a ship on the 10th September, about six in the morning,
which we came up with about three in the afternoon, when she shewed
Swedish colours. On examining the master, we found he had come round
Scotland and Ireland, and suspected he had contraband of war, as some of
the men, whom we found drunk, told us they had gunpowder and cables on
board; wherefore we resolved to examine her strictly, putting twelve of
our men on board, and taking the Swedish master and twelve of his men
aboard our ships. Next morning, having examined the men and searched the
ship, we found it difficult to prove her a legal prize, and, not willing
to lose time in carrying her into a port for farther examination, we let
her go without embezzlement. She was a frigate-built ship, of about 270
tons, and twenty-two guns, belonging to Stadt, near Hamburgh. The crew
of the Duke mutinied, headed by our boatswain and other three inferior
officers, alleging the Swede was a good prize, and had much contraband
goods on board, though we could find none: but being supported by my
officers, well armed, I at length pacified the men, after putting ten of
the mutineers in irons, and soundly whipping a sailor who had excited
the rest. This mutiny would not have been easily got the better of, but
for the number of our officers, whom we now found very useful in
bringing our crews under good discipline, a very difficult matter in
privateers, and without which it is utterly impossible to succeed in
distant and important enterprises. We sent home Giles Cash, our
boatswain, in irons, on board the Crown galley, with letters to our
owners, justifying our severity; and next morning I discharged our
prisoners from their irons, on their humble submission, and solemn
promise of dutiful behaviour in future.

On the 18th, between Fuertaventura and Grand Canary, we chased and took
a small Spanish ship, bound from Teneriff to Fuertaventura, having
several men and women passengers, and laden with a variety of goods.
Next day we bore away for Oratavia Roads, where, after much discussion,
we sold the vessel for 450 dollars, retaining all her goods. The 30th
September we put into the harbour of St Vincent, one of the Cape de Verd
islands, coming to anchor in ten fathoms within the rock. Seeing several
men on shore, though the island is not inhabited, Captain Cook went in
the pinnace, well armed, to see who they were, and found them some
Portuguese from St Antonio, come to catch turtles or sea-tortoises, who
told him we could have wood and water at this island, which is in lat.
16 deg. 55' N. long. 24 deg. 50' W. from Greenwich. It has great plenty of
Guinea fowl, with some hogs and goats; and we caught abundance of fish
in the road. In the woods there are great numbers of spiders as large as
walnuts, and their webs are very troublesome to get through, being very
numerous, and as strong as ordinary threads.

While here, new disturbances arose among the men, in relation to the
effects taken in the late prize; as we had here an opportunity of
purchasing various things, and every one wished to have the means of
purchasing. To put an end to all these heart-burnings, and to fix the
people in a resolution of doing their duty, we determined to settle this
affair by framing such articles as might inspire the seamen with courage
and constancy, and make them as willing to obey as the officers to
command, without giving our owners any cause of complaint. It cost us
some trouble to adjust these articles, but they effectually answered our
purpose, and all our people readily agreed to abide by them.

After staying two days here, in which we heeled our ships, and got wood
and water on board, our boat returned with limes and tobacco; but our
linguist, who had been sent ashore to procure refreshments, did not make
his appearance. Soon after there came a boat from that part of the
island where the governor resides, on board of which was the
deputy-governor, a negro, who brought limes, tobacco, oranges, fowls,
potatoes, hogs, bananas, musk-melons, watermelons, and brandy, all of
which we bought of him, paying in prize goods we had taken out of the
bark at the Canaries, and at a cheap rate; for they are a poor people,
and are ready to truck for any thing they want at any price, in such
payments as they can make. Being ready to sail, we called a council to
consider what was to be done in respect to the absence of our linguist,
who had promised the deputy-governor to wait for him at the water-side,
but had broke his word; and therefore, as his absence seemed to be
entirely his own fault, it was unanimously resolved that we ought to
leave him behind, rather than our two ships should wait for one man,
who had disobeyed orders. We were the more inclined to this, that others
might learn, by this example, to comply with their instructions when
sent ashore, and might come aboard again without delay, after completing
their business, and not flatter themselves that fair words and fine
excuses were to atone for breach of duty, to humour the fancies of
individuals, at the expence of delaying the voyage. This was certainly
but an indifferent place for our linguist to be left in; but he knew the
people and the language, and might easily get a passage home. We
persisted therefore in our resolution, and gave orders for sailing as
soon as possible, that we might not lose the proper season, and be
obliged to double Cape Horn at a wrong time of the year.

Captain Dampier and others in our ships, who had formerly put in at St
Jago, another of the Cape Verd islands, said that this island of St
Vincent, though not so much frequented, is preferable to St Jago for
outward-bound ships, as its road is much better, has better land, and is
more convenient for wood and water. The island is mountainous and
barren, its plainest part being over against the sandy bay where we
anchored. The wood growing upon it is short, and only fit for fuel. We
watered at a little stream that flows from a spring down the hill, and
is good fresh-water, the others in that neighbourhood being brackish. It
was formerly inhabited and had a governor, but is now only frequented by
the inhabitants of the other islands in the season for catching turtle,
these islanders being mostly negroes and mulattoes, and very poor. The
stock of wild goats on this island has been mostly destroyed by the
inhabitants of St Nicholas and St Antonio. The heat at this place was so
excessive to us, newly from Europe, that several of our men became sick,
and were blooded. There are a few wild asses; and some of our officers
wounded one, after a long chase, yet he held out, and tired them.

These islands are named from Cape Verd, on the coast of Africa, whence
they lie about 170 leagues to the west.[218] They are ten in number, of
which St Jago, St Nicholas, Bonavista, St Antonio, Brava, Mayo, and
Fuego are inhabited. _St Jago_ is much the largest and best, and is the
seat of the chief governor. Besides sugar and tobacco, this island
produces a small quantity of indigo, which, with goat-skins and some
other articles, are sent to Lisbon. The capital is named likewise St
Jago, and is the see of a bishop. There is another town, named _Ribera
grande_, said to consist of 500 houses, which has a good harbour. The
air of this island is rather unwholesome, and the soil is very unequal,
the vallies producing some corn and wine. The goats are fat and good
eating, the females usually producing three or four kids at a birth,
once in four months. _St Nicholas_ is the best peopled next after St
Jago. _Mayo_ has a great deal of salt, formed by the heat of the sun in
pits, or ponds, into which the sea-water is let from time to time, and
might furnish many thousand tons yearly, if there were vent for it. The
fine _Marroquin_ leather is made from the goat-skins brought from these

[Footnote 218: The difference of longitude between the cape and islands
is seven degrees W. or 140 marine leagues.--E.]

We sailed from St Vincent on the 8th October; and in our passage to the
coast of Brazil some new disputes arose among the men. After various
consultations, it was determined that one Page, second mate of the
Duchess, should be removed into the Duke, whence Mr Ballet was to remove
into the Duchess. Captain Cooke was sent to execute this order, which
Page refused to obey, but was brought away by force. Being accused of
mutiny, he requested leave to go to the head before entering on his
defence, which was permitted, when he jumped overboard, meaning to swim
to the Duchess, while both captains were absent; but he was brought back
and punished, which ended this dissension. The 18th November we anchored
before Isla Grande, on the coast of Brazil, in eleven fathoms. While
here new quarrels arose, and matters had like to have come to a great
height in the Duchess, when Captain Courtney put eight of the
ringleaders in irons, which frightened the rest, and probably prevented
an attempt to run away with the ship. On the 23d two men deserted from
the Duchess, but were so frightened in the night by tigers, as they
supposed, though only monkeys and baboons, that they took refuge in the
sea, and hallooed with all their might till they were fetched on board:
yet, on the 25th, two Irish landmen stole away into the woods; but both
were taken next day, and put in irons.

This island is remarkably high land, having a small cliff and a tip
standing up on one side, in the middle of the highest land, easily seen
in clear weather; and there is a small island without _Isla Grande_ to
the southward, rising in three little hummocks, the nearest hummock to
the great island being the smallest. There is also a singularly round
white rock on the larboard side, nearest Isla Grande, at the entrance
between it and the main going in. On the starboard-side of this entrance
there are several islands, and even the main land has much the
appearance of islands till well in. The best way is, when you have
opened the coves on the starboard-side going in, which are inhabited, to
get a pilot to carry you to the watering-cove on Isla Grande; otherwise
send a boat to the watering-cove, which lies round the inner and western
point of the island, and is near a league in the passage between small
islands, but room enough and bold. It is the second cove, under the
first high mount, round behind the first-seen point, after getting in
between, the two islands. This is the cove at which we watered; and we
sounded all the passage going in, having seldom less than ten fathoms.
There are other two very good coves, but we had not time to sound them.
The town is N.E. from this cove, about three leagues distant.

_Isla Grande_ is about nine leagues long, consisting of high land, as in
the main, and all near the water is thickly covered with wood. The
island abounds with monkeys and other wild beasts, and has plenty of
good timber for various uses as well as fuel, with excellent water; and
oranges, lemons, and guavas grow wild in the woods. From the town we
procured rum, sugar, and tobacco, and the last is sold very dear, though
not good for smoking, being too strong. We got also fowls and hogs, but
the latter were scarce and dear; likewise maize, or Indian corn,
bananas, plantains, guavas, lemons, oranges, and pine-apples are in
great plenty; but they have no bread except _cassada_, which they call
_faranada pan_, or bread of wood. Beef and mutton were cheap, but no
great quantity to be had. We had fine pleasant weather most of the time
we were here, but hot like an oven, as the sun was quite vertical. The
winds we did not much observe, as they were little and variable, but
commonly between the N. and E.

I had Neuhoff's account of Brazil on board, and from all the enquiry and
observation I could make, I found his description of the country, with
its animals and productions, to be just. I particularly enquired
respecting the monster called the _liboya_, or roebuck-serpent, thinking
it fabulous; but the Portuguese governor assured me that they are
sometimes found thirty feet long, and as big round as a barrel, being
able to swallow a roebuck at one morsel, whence it has its name; and he
told me that one of these enormous serpents had been killed near the
town, a short time before our arrival. The principal products of Brazil
are red wood, bearing the name of the country; sugar, gold, tobacco,
snuff, whale oil, and various kinds of drugs; and the Portuguese build
their best ships in this country. Brazil has now become very populous,
and the people take great delight in arms, especially about the gold
mines, to which people of all kinds resort in great numbers, especially
negroes and mulattoes. Only four years ago [in 1704] these people
endeavoured to make themselves independent, but have now submitted. Some
men of repute told me that the gold mines increase fast in
productiveness, and that the gold is got much easier in them than in any
other country.

The indigenous Brazilian women are very fruitful, and have easy labours,
on which occasion they retire into the woods, and bring forth alone, and
return home after washing themselves and their child; the husbands lying
a-bed for the first twenty-four hours, being treated as if they had
endured the pains of child-birth. The _Tapoyers_, who inhabit the inland
country to the west, are the most barbarous of the natives, being taller
and stronger than any of the other tribes, and indeed than most
Europeans. They wear, by way of ornament, little sticks thrust through
their cheeks and underlips, and are said to be cannibals, using poisoned
arrows and darts. They live chiefly by hunting and fishing, shifting
their habitations according to the seasons. Their kings, or chiefs, are
distinguished by a particular manner of shaving their crowns, and by
wearing their nails very long. Their priests are sorcerers, making the
people believe that the devils appear to them in the form of certain
insects, and they perform their diabolical worship in the night, when
the women make dismal howlings, in which consists their principal
devotion. They allow polygamy, yet punish adultery with death. When the
young women are marriageable, but not courted, their mothers carry them
to the chiefs, who deflower them, and this is deemed a great honour.
Some of these people were considerably civilized by the Dutch, while
they possessed a part of Brazil, and did them good service under the
conduct of their native chiefs.

Leaving Isla Grande on the 30th November, we continued our voyage far to
the south, where we endured great cold, owing to which, a third part of
both ships companies fell sick while passing round Cape Horn, for which
reason we bore away for the island of Juan Fernandez, which we had some
difficulty to find, owing to its being laid down differently in all the
charts. Even Captain Dampier was much at a loss, though he had been
there so often, and had as it were a map of the island in his head,
which exactly agreed with it when we came there. This ought to induce
sea-officers to prefer their own proper business to amusement, since,
with all this knowledge, we were forced to make the main land of Chili,
in order to find this island, and did not strike it at the last without
considerable difficulty.

We arrived at the island of _Juan Fernandez_ on the 1st February 1709,
and having a good observation the day before, when we found our lat. 34 deg.
10' S.[219] In the afternoon we hoisted out our pinnace, in which
Captain Dover set off to go on shore, though not less than four leagues
from the ship. As it grew dark, we observed a light on shore, which some
were of opinion was from our boat, but it was evidently too large for
that, and we hung up a light to direct our boat, firing our quarter-deck
gun, and showing lights in our mizen and fore shrouds, that our boat
might find us, as we had fallen to leeward of the island. Our boat came
aboard again about two in the morning, having turned back on seeing the
light ashore when within a league, and we were glad they had got off so
well, as it now began to blow. We were all convinced that the light
which we had seen was from the shore, and therefore prepared our ships
for an engagement, supposing it might proceed from some French ships at
anchor, which we must either fight or want water. All this stir and
apprehension, as we afterwards found, arose from one poor man, who
passed in our imaginations for a Spanish garrison, a body of Frenchmen,
or a crew of pirates, and it is incredible what strange notions some of
our people entertained about this light; yet it served to show their
tempers and spirits, and enabled us to guess how our men would behave,
in case there really were enemies on the island.

[Footnote 219: Juan Fernandez is in lat 33 deg. 40' S. long. 79 deg. W. Massa
Faera, in the same latitude, is in long. 80 deg. 50' W. from Greenwich.--E.]

While under these apprehensions, we stood to the back of the island in
order to fall in with the southerly wind, till we were past the island.
We then stood back for it again, and ran close aboard the land that
begins to form its N.E. side. The flaws came heavy off the land, and we
were forced to reef our top-sails when we opened the middle bay, where
we expected to have found our enemy, but saw all clear, and no ships
either there or in the other bay near the N.E. end. These are the only
bays in which ships can ride that come here for refreshments, the middle
one being the best. We now conjectured that there had been ships here,
but that they had gone away on seeing us. About noon of the 2d February,
we sent our yawl on shore, in which was Captain Dover, Mr Fry, and six
men, all armed; and in the mean time we and the Duchess kept turning in,
and such heavy squalls came off the land that we had to let fly our
top-sail sheets, keeping all hands to stand by our sails, lest the winds
should blow them away. These flaws proceed from the land, which is very
high in the middle of the island; but when they passed by, we had little
or no wind. As our yawl did not return, we sent the pinnace well armed,
to see what had occasioned the yawl to stay, being afraid there might be
a Spanish garrison on the island, who might have seized her and our men.

Even the pinnace delays returning, on which we put up a signal for her
to come back, when she soon came off with abundance of cray-fish,
bringing also a man cloathed in goat-skins, who seemed wilder than the
original owners of his apparel. His name was _Alexander Selkirk_, a
Scotsman, who had been left here by Captain Stradling in the
Cinque-ports, and had lived alone on the island for four years and four
months. Captain Dampier told me he had been master of the Cinque-ports,
and was the best man in that vessel; so I immediately agreed with him to
serve as a mate in the Duke. During his stay, he had seen several ships
pass by, but only two came to anchor at the island, which he found to be
Spaniards, and therefore retired from them, on which they fired at him,
but he escaped into the woods. Had they been French, he would have
surrendered to them; but chose rather to run the risk of dying alone on
the island than fall into the hands of the Spaniards, as he suspected
they would either put him to death, or make him a slave in their mines.
The Spaniards had landed before he knew what they were, and came so near
him that he had much ado to escape; for they not only shot at him, but
pursued him into the woods, where he climbed up a tree, at the foot of
which some of them made water, and killed several goats just by, yet
went away without discovering him.

He told us that he was born in Largo, in the county of Fife in Scotland,
and was bred a sailor from his youth. The reason of his being left here
was a difference with Captain Stradling; which, together with the ship
being leaky, made him at first rather willing to stay here than to
continue in the ship; and when at last he was inclined to have gone, the
captain would not receive him. He had been at the island before to wood
and water, when two of the men were left upon it for six months, the
ship being chased away by two French South-Sea ships; but the
Cinque-ports returned and took them off, at which time he was left. He
had with him his clothes and bedding, with a firelock and some powder
and bullets, some tobacco, a knife, a kettle, a bible, with some other
books, and his mathematical instruments. He diverted himself and
provided for his sustenance as well as he could; but had much ado to
bear up against melancholy for the first eight months, and was sore
distressed at being left alone in such a desolate place. He built
himself two huts of pimento trees, thatched with long grass, and lined
with goat-skins, killing goats as he needed them with his gun, so long
as his powder lasted, which was only about a pound at first. When that
was all spent, he procured fire by rubbing two sticks of pimento wood
together. He slept in his larger hut, and cooked his victuals in the
smaller, which was at some distance, and employed himself in reading,
praying, and singing psalms, so that he said he was a better Christian
during his solitude than he had ever been before, or than, as he was
afraid, he should ever be again.

At first he never ate but when constrained by hunger, partly from grief;
and partly for want of bread and salt. Neither did he then go to bed
till he could watch no longer, the pimento wood serving him both for
fire and candle, as it burned very clear, and refreshed him by its
fragrant smell. He might have had fish enough, but would not eat them
for want of salt, as they occasioned a looseness; except cray-fish,
which are as large as our lobsters, and are very good. These he
sometimes boiled, and at other times broiled, as he did his goat's
flesh, of which he made good broth, for they are not so rank as our
goats. Having kept an account, he said he had killed 500 goats while on
the island, besides having caught as many more, which he marked on the
ear and let them go. When his powder failed, he run down the goats by
speed of foot; for his mode of living, with continual exercise of
walking and running, cleared him of all gross humours, so that he could
run with wonderful swiftness through the woods, and up the hills and
rocks, as we experienced in catching goats for us. We had a bull-dog,
which we sent along with several of our nimblest runners to help him in
catching goats, but he outstript our dog and men, caught the goats, and
brought them to us on his back. On one occasion, his agility in pursuing
a goat had nearly cost him his life: as, while pursuing it with great
eagerness, he caught hold of it on the brink of a precipice, of which,
he was not aware, being concealed by bushes, so that he fell with the
goat down the precipice to a great depth, and was so bruised and stunned
by the fall, that he lay senseless, as he supposed, for twenty-four
hours, and when he recovered his senses found the goat dead under him.
He was then scarcely able to crawl to his hut, about a mile distant, and
could not stir out again for ten days.

He came at length to relish his meat well enough without bread and salt.
In the proper season he had plenty of good turnips, which had been sowed
there by Captain Dampier's men, and had now spread over several acres of
ground. He had also abundance of cabbage, from the cabbage-palms, and
seasoned his food with the fruit of the pimento, which is the same with
Jamaica pepper, and has a fine flavour. He found also a species of black
pepper, called _malageta_, which was good for expelling wind and curing
gripes. He soon wore out all his shoes and other clothes, by running in
the woods; and, being forced to shift without, his feet became so hard
that he ran about every where without inconvenience, and it was some
time after he came to us before he could wear shoes, as his feet swelled
when he first began again to wear them. After he had got the better of
his melancholy, he sometimes amused himself with carving his name on the
trees, together with the date of his being left there, and the time of
his solitary residence. At first he was much pestered with cats and
rats, which had bred there in great numbers from some of each species
which had got on shore from ships that had wooded and watered at the
island. The rats gnawed his feet and clothes when he was asleep, which
obliged him to cherish the cats, by feeding them with goats flesh, so
that many of them became so tame that they used to lie beside him in
hundreds, and soon delivered him from the rats. He also tamed some kids,
and for his diversion would at times sing and dance with them and his
cats: So that, by the favour of Providence and the vigour of his youth,
for he was now only thirty years of age, he came at length to conquer
all the inconveniences of his solitude, and to be quite easy in his

When his clothes were worn out, he made himself a coat and a cap of goat
skins, which he stitched together with thongs of the same, cut out with
his knife, using a nail by way of a needle or awl. When his knife was
worn out, he made others as well as he could of some old hoops that had
been left on the shore, which he beat out thin between two stones, and
grinded to an edge on a smooth stone. Having some linen cloth, he sewed
himself some shirts by means of a nail for a needle, stitching them with
worsted, which he pulled out on purpose from his old stockings, and he
had the last of his shirts on when we found him. At his first coming on
board, he had so much forgotten his language, for want of use, that we
could scarcely understand him, as he seemed to speak his words only by
halves. We offered him a dram, which he refused, not having drank any
thing but water all the time he had been on the island, and it was some
time before he could relish our provisions. He could give us no farther
account of the productions of the island than has been already, except
that there were some very good black plums, but hard to come at, as the
trees which bear them grow on high mountains and steep rocks. There are
many pimento trees, some of them being sixty feet high and two yards
round; and we saw cotton trees still higher, and near four fathoms round
the stems. The climate is excellent, and the trees and grass are quite
verdant the whole year. The winter lasts no longer than June and July,
and is not then severe, there being then only slight frosts and a little
hail, but sometimes very great rains. The heat of summer is equally
moderate, and there is not much thunder or tempestuous weather. He saw
no venomous, or savage creature on the island, nor any other beasts
besides goats, bred there from a few brought by Juan Fernandez, a
Spaniard, who settled there with a few families, till the continent of
Chili began to submit to the Spaniards when they removed to that country
as more profitable. This island, however, might maintain a good many
people, and is capable of being made so strong that they could not be
easily dislodged.

We got our smith's forge ashore on the 3d February, and set our coopers
to work to repair our water casks. They made a little tent also for me
on shore, to enjoy the benefit of the land air. The two ships also set
up tents for their sick, so that we had presently a kind of small town,
in which all who were able were busily employed. A few men supplied us
with excellent fish, in such abundance that they could take as many in a
few hours as would serve 200 men for a meal. There were some sea-fowl in
the bay, as large as geese, but they eat fishy. The governor, for so we
called Mr Selkirk, never failed to procure us two or three goats every
day for our sick men, by which, with the help of cabbages and other
vegetables, and the wholesome air, our men soon recovered from the
scurvy, and we found this island exceedingly agreeable, the weather
being neither too hot nor too cold. We spent our time till the 10th in
refitting our ships, taking wood on board, and laying in a stock of
water, that which we brought from England, St Vincents, and Isla Grande,
being spoilt by the badness of our casks. We also boiled up and refined
eighty gallons of oil of sea-lions, which we used in lamps to save
candles, and might have prepared several tons, if we had been provided
with vessels. The sailors sometimes used this oil to fry their fish, for
want of butter, and found it sufficiently agreeable. The men who worked
ashore in repairing our rigging, eat the young seals, which they
preferred to our ship's provisions, alleging that it was as good as
English lamb. We made all the haste we could to get every thing on
board, as we learnt at the Canaries that five stout French privateers
were coming in company into the South Sea.

This island of Juan Fernandez is about fifteen English miles in length
from E. to W. and five miles where broadest, but averaging little more
than two miles in breadth, and is mostly composed of high rugged land. I
know of nothing in its neighbourhood which may endanger a ship, except
what is distinctly visible. We anchored in the great bay, [La Baia or
Cumberland harbour] on the N.E. side, about a mile from the bottom of
the bay, our best bower being dropt in forty fathoms, and the stream
anchor carried in with the shore, where it was laid in about thirty
fathoms. We here had plenty of several sorts of fish, as silver-fish,
snappers, bonitoes, cavallos, pollocks, old wives, and cray-fish of
great size. The wind blows here generally off the shore, sometimes in
heavy squalls, but for the most part calm, and where we were moored the
water was very smooth, owing to the winding of the shore. Mr Selkirk
told us it had never blown towards the land above four hours, all the
time he had been there. It is all hills and vallies, and would doubtless
produce most plants usual in such climates, if manured and cultivated,
as the soil promises well in most parts, and already grows turnips and
some other roots, which I suppose were formerly sowed. It has plenty of
wood and water, and abundance of wild goats.

There are such numbers of great sea-lions and other seals of various
sorts, all having excellent furs, in every bay, that we could hardly
walk about along shore for them, as they lay about in flocks like sheep,
their young ones bleating for their dams like so many lambs. Some of
these sea-lions are as big in the body as an English ox, and they roar
like lions. They are covered with short hair of a light colour, which is
still lighter on the young ones. I suppose they live partly on fish and
partly on grass, for they come on shore by means of their fore paws,
dragging their hind parts after them, and bask themselves in the sun in
great numbers. They cut near a foot deep of fat, and we killed a good
many of them for the sake of their oil, which is of good quality, but
they are difficult to kill. Both sea-lions and seals were so numerous on
the shore, that we had to drive them away before we could land, and they
were so numerous as is hardly credible, making a most prodigious noise.

There are but few birds. One sort, called _pardelas_ by the Spaniards,
burrow in the ground like rabbits, and are said to be good eating. There
are also _humming-birds_, not much larger than bumble bees, their bills
no thicker than a pin, their legs proportional to their bodies, and
their minute feathers of most beautiful colours. These are seldom taken
or seen but in the evenings, when they fly about, and they flew
sometimes at night into our fire. There is here a sort of cabbage tree,
of the nature of a palm, producing small cabbages, but very sweet. The
tree is slender and straight, with circular knobs on the stem fourteen
inches above each other, and having no leaves except at the top. The
branches are about twelve feet long, and at about a foot and a half from
the body of the tree begin to shoot out leaves, which are four feet long
and an inch broad, and so regularly placed that the whole branch seems
one entire leaf. The cabbage, which grows out from the bottom of the
branches, is about a foot long and very white; and at the bottom of this
there grow clusters of berries, weighing five or six pounds, like
bunches of grapes, as red as cherries and larger than our black-heart
cherries, each having a large stone in the middle, and the pulp eats
like our haws. These cabbage trees abound about three miles into the
woods, the trunk being often eighty or ninety feet high, and is always
cut down to get the cabbages, which are good eating; but most of them
grow on the tops of the nearest mountains to the great bay.

We found here some Guinea pepper, and some silk cotton trees, besides
several others with the names of which I am not acquainted. Pimento is
the best timber, and the most plentiful at this side of the island, but
it is very apt to split till it is a little dried. We cut the longest
and cleanest to split for fire wood. In the nearest plain, we found
abundance of turnip greens, and water-cresses in the brooks, which
greatly refreshed our men, and quickly cured them of the scurvy. Mr
Selkirk said the turnips formed good roots in our summer months, which
are winter at this island; but this being autumn, they were all run up
to seed, so that we had no benefit of them excepting their green leaves
and shoots. The soil is a loose black earth, and the rocks are very
rotten, so that it is dangerous to climb the hills for cabbages without
great care. There are also many holes dug into the ground by a sort of
birds called _puffins_, which give way in walking, and endanger the
breaking or wrenching a limb. Mr Selkirk said he had seen snow and ice
here in July, the depth of the southern winter; but in September,
October, and November, the spring months, the climate is very pleasant,
and there are then abundance of excellent herbs, as purslein, parsley,
and sithes. We found also an herb, not unlike _feverfew_, which proved
very useful to our surgeons for fomentations. It has a most grateful
smell like balm, but stronger and more cordial, and grew in plenty near
the shore. We gathered many large bundles of it, which were dried in the
shade, and sent aboard for after-use, besides strewing the tents with it
fresh gathered every morning, which tended much to the recovery of our
sick, of whom, though numerous when we came here, only two died
belonging to the Duchess. We found the nights very cold, and the days
not near so warm as might have been expected in so low a latitude. It
hardly ever rains, instead of which there fall very heavy dews in the
night, which serve the purposes of rain, and the air is almost
perpetually serene.

The 13th February we held a consultation, in which we framed several
regulations for preserving secrecy, discipline, and strict honesty in
both vessels: and on the 17th we determined that two men from the Duke
should serve in the Duchess, and two of her men in the Duke, to see that
justice was reciprocally done by each ship's company to the other. The
28th we tried both pinnaces in the water under sail, having a gun fixed
in each, and every thing else requisite to render them very useful small


_Proceedings of the Expedition on the Western Coast of America_.

In the evening of the 13th March[220] we saw a sail, and the Duchess
being nearest soon took her. She was a small bark of sixteen tons from
Payta, bound to Cheripe for flour, having a small sum of money on board
to make the purchase, being commanded by a _Mestizo_, or one begotten
between a Spaniard and an Indian, having a crew of eight men, one a
Spaniard, another a negro, and all the rest Indians. On asking for news,
we were told, that all the French ships, being seven in number, had left
the South Sea six months before, and no more were to come there; adding,
that the Spaniards had such an aversion to them, that they had killed
many Frenchmen at Callao, the port of Lima, and quarrelled with them so
frequently that none of them were suffered to come ashore there for some
time before they sailed.

[Footnote 220: It is quite obvious that they had now left Juan
Fernandez, but this circumstance and its date are omitted by

After putting some men aboard the prize, we haled close upon a wind for
the isle of _Lobos_, and had we not been informed by our prisoners, had
endangered our ships by running too far within that isle, as there are
shoals between the island and the main, having a passage for boats only
in that direction to get into the road which is to leeward of these
islands in a sound between them. This sound is a mile long and half a
mile wide, and has from ten to twelve fathoms on good ground. The only
entrance for ships is to leeward of the islands. We went in with a small
weather tide, but I could never observe it to flow above three feet
while we were there. On the eastermost island there is a round hummock,
behind which is a small cove, very smooth, deep, and convenient enough
for careening a ship; we here hauled up and fitted our prize, which we
named the _Beginning_. The highest part of the island of Lobos, as seen
from the road, did not seem much higher than the top-mast head of a
large ship. The soil is a hungry white clayish earth, mixed with sand
and rocks; and there is no fresh water, nor any green thing to be seen
on either of the islands. They are frequented by many vultures or
carrion crows, and looked so like turkeys that one of our officers was
rejoiced at the sight, expecting to fare sumptuously, and would not wait
till the boat could put him ashore, but leapt into the water with his
gun, and let fly at a parcel of them; but, when he came to take up his
game, it stunk most abominably, and made us merry at his expence. The
other birds here are pelicans, penguins, boobies, gulls, and one
resembling teal, which nestle in holes under ground. Our men got great
numbers of these birds, which they said were good meat after being

We found abundance of bulrushes and empty jars, which the Spanish
fishers had left on shore; for all over this western coast of America,
they use earthen jars instead of casks, for containing oil, wine, and
all other liquids. There are here abundance of sea-lions and seals, the
latter being much larger than those we saw at Juan Fernandez, but their
fur not so fine. Our people killed several of these, on purpose to eat
their livers; but a Spaniard on board died suddenly after eating them,
and I forbade their use, and we learnt also from our prisoners that the
old seals are very unwholesome. The wind commonly blows here fresh from
the south, veering to the east, and coming over the land to where we
lay, brought with it a most noisome smell from the seals on shore, which
gave me a violent headach, and offended every one else extremely. We
found nothing so offensive at Juan Fernandez.

Our prisoners told as, that the widow of the late viceroy of Peru was
soon expected to embark in a Spanish man of war of thirty-six guns for
Acapulco, with her family and riches; on which voyage she would either
stop at Payta for refreshments, or pass in sight of that place, as is
customary. They said also that about eight months before, a ship had
passed Payta for Acapulco, loaded with flour and liquors, and having

Book of the day: