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The Further Adventures of Robinson Crusoe [Robinson Crusoe Part 2] by Daniel Defoe

Part 4 out of 5

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pursued them, they set up a most dreadful shriek, especially the
women; and two of them fell down, as if already dead, with the
fright.

My very soul shrunk within me, and my blood ran chill in my veins,
when I saw this; and, I believe, had the three English sailors that
pursued them come on, I had made our men kill them all; however, we
took some means to let the poor flying creatures know that we would
not hurt them; and immediately they came up to us, and kneeling
down, with their hands lifted up, made piteous lamentation to us to
save them, which we let them know we would: whereupon they crept
all together in a huddle close behind us, as for protection. I
left my men drawn up together, and, charging them to hurt nobody,
but, if possible, to get at some of our people, and see what devil
it was possessed them, and what they intended to do, and to command
them off; assuring them that if they stayed till daylight they
would have a hundred thousand men about their ears: I say I left
them, and went among those flying people, taking only two of our
men with me; and there was, indeed, a piteous spectacle among them.
Some of them had their feet terribly burned with trampling and
running through the fire; others their hands burned; one of the
women had fallen down in the fire, and was very much burned before
she could get out again; and two or three of the men had cuts in
their backs and thighs, from our men pursuing; and another was shot
through the body and died while I was there.

I would fain have learned what the occasion of all this was; but I
could not understand one word they said; though, by signs, I
perceived some of them knew not what was the occasion themselves.
I was so terrified in my thoughts at this outrageous attempt that I
could not stay there, but went back to my own men, and resolved to
go into the middle of the town, through the fire, or whatever might
be in the way, and put an end to it, cost what it would;
accordingly, as I came back to my men, I told them my resolution,
and commanded them to follow me, when, at the very moment, came
four of our men, with the boatswain at their head, roving over
heaps of bodies they had killed, all covered with blood and dust,
as if they wanted more people to massacre, when our men hallooed to
them as loud as they could halloo; and with much ado one of them
made them hear, so that they knew who we were, and came up to us.

As soon as the boatswain saw us, he set up a halloo like a shout of
triumph, for having, as he thought, more help come; and without
waiting to hear me, "Captain," says he, "noble captain! I am glad
you are come; we have not half done yet. Villainous hell-hound
dogs! I'll kill as many of them as poor Tom has hairs upon his
head: we have sworn to spare none of them; we'll root out the very
nation of them from the earth;" and thus he ran on, out of breath,
too, with action, and would not give us leave to speak a word. At
last, raising my voice that I might silence him a little,
"Barbarous dog!" said I, "what are you doing! I won't have one
creature touched more, upon pain of death; I charge you, upon your
life, to stop your hands, and stand still here, or you are a dead
man this minute."--"Why, sir," says he, "do you know what you do,
or what they have done? If you want a reason for what we have
done, come hither;" and with that he showed me the poor fellow
hanging, with his throat cut.

I confess I was urged then myself, and at another time would have
been forward enough; but I thought they had carried their rage too
far, and remembered Jacob's words to his sons Simeon and Levi:
"Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it
was cruel." But I had now a new task upon my hands; for when the
men I had carried with me saw the sight, as I had done, I had as
much to do to restrain them as I should have had with the others;
nay, my nephew himself fell in with them, and told me, in their
hearing, that he was only concerned for fear of the men being
overpowered; and as to the people, he thought not one of them ought
to live; for they had all glutted themselves with the murder of the
poor man, and that they ought to be used like murderers. Upon
these words, away ran eight of my men, with the boatswain and his
crew, to complete their bloody work; and I, seeing it quite out of
my power to restrain them, came away pensive and sad; for I could
not bear the sight, much less the horrible noise and cries of the
poor wretches that fell into their hands.

I got nobody to come back with me but the supercargo and two men,
and with these walked back to the boat. It was a very great piece
of folly in me, I confess, to venture back, as it were, alone; for
as it began now to be almost day, and the alarm had run over the
country, there stood about forty men armed with lances and boughs
at the little place where the twelve or thirteen houses stood,
mentioned before: but by accident I missed the place, and came
directly to the seaside, and by the time I got to the seaside it
was broad day: immediately I took the pinnace and went on board,
and sent her back to assist the men in what might happen. I
observed, about the time that I came to the boat-side, that the
fire was pretty well out, and the noise abated; but in about half-
an-hour after I got on board, I heard a volley of our men's
firearms, and saw a great smoke. This, as I understood afterwards,
was our men falling upon the men, who, as I said, stood at the few
houses on the way, of whom they killed sixteen or seventeen, and
set all the houses on fire, but did not meddle with the women or
children.

By the time the men got to the shore again with the pinnace our men
began to appear; they came dropping in, not in two bodies as they
went, but straggling here and there in such a manner, that a small
force of resolute men might have cut them all off. But the dread
of them was upon the whole country; and the men were surprised, and
so frightened, that I believe a hundred of them would have fled at
the sight of but five of our men. Nor in all this terrible action
was there a man that made any considerable defence: they were so
surprised between the terror of the fire and the sudden attack of
our men in the dark, that they knew not which way to turn
themselves; for if they fled one way they were met by one party, if
back again by another, so that they were everywhere knocked down;
nor did any of our men receive the least hurt, except one that
sprained his foot, and another that had one of his hands burned.

CHAPTER X--HE IS LEFT ON SHORE

I was very angry with my nephew, the captain, and indeed with all
the men, but with him in particular, as well for his acting so out
of his duty as a commander of the ship, and having the charge of
the voyage upon him, as in his prompting, rather than cooling, the
rage of his blind men in so bloody and cruel an enterprise. My
nephew answered me very respectfully, but told me that when he saw
the body of the poor seaman whom they had murdered in so cruel and
barbarous a manner, he was not master of himself, neither could he
govern his passion; he owned he should not have done so, as he was
commander of the ship; but as he was a man, and nature moved him,
he could not bear it. As for the rest of the men, they were not
subject to me at all, and they knew it well enough; so they took no
notice of my dislike. The next day we set sail, so we never heard
any more of it. Our men differed in the account of the number they
had killed; but according to the best of their accounts, put all
together, they killed or destroyed about one hundred and fifty
people, men, women, and children, and left not a house standing in
the town. As for the poor fellow Tom Jeffry, as he was quite dead
(for his throat was so cut that his head was half off), it would do
him no service to bring him away; so they only took him down from
the tree, where he was hanging by one hand.

However just our men thought this action, I was against them in it,
and I always, after that time, told them God would blast the
voyage; for I looked upon all the blood they shed that night to be
murder in them. For though it is true that they had killed Tom
Jeffry, yet Jeffry was the aggressor, had broken the truce, and had
ill-used a young woman of theirs, who came down to them innocently,
and on the faith of the public capitulation.

The boatswain defended this quarrel when we were afterwards on
board. He said it was true that we seemed to break the truce, but
really had not; and that the war was begun the night before by the
natives themselves, who had shot at us, and killed one of our men
without any just provocation; so that as we were in a capacity to
fight them now, we might also be in a capacity to do ourselves
justice upon them in an extraordinary manner; that though the poor
man had taken a little liberty with the girl, he ought not to have
been murdered, and that in such a villainous manner: and that they
did nothing but what was just and what the laws of God allowed to
be done to murderers. One would think this should have been enough
to have warned us against going on shore amongst the heathens and
barbarians; but it is impossible to make mankind wise but at their
own expense, and their experience seems to be always of most use to
them when it is dearest bought.

We were now bound to the Gulf of Persia, and from thence to the
coast of Coromandel, only to touch at Surat; but the chief of the
supercargo's design lay at the Bay of Bengal, where, if he missed
his business outward-bound, he was to go out to China, and return
to the coast as he came home. The first disaster that befell us
was in the Gulf of Persia, where five of our men, venturing on
shore on the Arabian side of the gulf, were surrounded by the
Arabians, and either all killed or carried away into slavery; the
rest of the boat's crew were not able to rescue them, and had but
just time to get off their boat. I began to upbraid them with the
just retribution of Heaven in this case; but the boatswain very
warmly told me, he thought I went further in my censures than I
could show any warrant for in Scripture; and referred to Luke xiii.
4, where our Saviour intimates that those men on whom the Tower of
Siloam fell were not sinners above all the Galileans; but that
which put me to silence in the case was, that not one of these five
men who were now lost were of those who went on shore to the
massacre of Madagascar, so I always called it, though our men could
not bear to hear the word MASSACRE with any patience.

But my frequent preaching to them on this subject had worse
consequences than I expected; and the boatswain, who had been the
head of the attempt, came up boldly to me one time, and told me he
found that I brought that affair continually upon the stage; that I
made unjust reflections upon it, and had used the men very ill on
that account, and himself in particular; that as I was but a
passenger, and had no command in the ship, or concern in the
voyage, they were not obliged to bear it; that they did not know
but I might have some ill-design in my head, and perhaps to call
them to an account for it when they came to England; and that,
therefore, unless I would resolve to have done with it, and also
not to concern myself any further with him, or any of his affairs,
he would leave the ship; for he did not think it safe to sail with
me among them.

I heard him patiently enough till he had done, and then told him
that I confessed I had all along opposed the massacre of
Madagascar, and that I had, on all occasions, spoken my mind freely
about it, though not more upon him than any of the rest; that as to
having no command in the ship, that was true; nor did I exercise
any authority, only took the liberty of speaking my mind in things
which publicly concerned us all; and what concern I had in the
voyage was none of his business; that I was a considerable owner in
the ship. In that claim I conceived I had a right to speak even
further than I had done, and would not be accountable to him or any
one else, and began to be a little warm with him. He made but
little reply to me at that time, and I thought the affair had been
over. We were at this time in the road at Bengal; and being
willing to see the place, I went on shore with the supercargo in
the ship's boat to divert myself; and towards evening was preparing
to go on board, when one of the men came to me, and told me he
would not have me trouble myself to come down to the boat, for they
had orders not to carry me on board any more. Any one may guess
what a surprise I was in at so insolent a message; and I asked the
man who bade him deliver that message to me? He told me the
coxswain.

I immediately found out the supercargo, and told him the story,
adding that I foresaw there would be a mutiny in the ship; and
entreated him to go immediately on board and acquaint the captain
of it. But I might have spared this intelligence, for before I had
spoken to him on shore the matter was effected on board. The
boatswain, the gunner, the carpenter, and all the inferior
officers, as soon as I was gone off in the boat, came up, and
desired to speak with the captain; and then the boatswain, making a
long harangue, and repeating all he had said to me, told the
captain that as I was now gone peaceably on shore, they were loath
to use any violence with me, which, if I had not gone on shore,
they would otherwise have done, to oblige me to have gone. They
therefore thought fit to tell him that as they shipped themselves
to serve in the ship under his command, they would perform it well
and faithfully; but if I would not quit the ship, or the captain
oblige me to quit it, they would all leave the ship, and sail no
further with him; and at that word ALL he turned his face towards
the main-mast, which was, it seems, a signal agreed on, when the
seamen, being got together there, cried out, "ONE AND ALL! ONE AND
ALL!"

My nephew, the captain, was a man of spirit, and of great presence
of mind; and though he was surprised, yet he told them calmly that
he would consider of the matter, but that he could do nothing in it
till he had spoken to me about it. He used some arguments with
them, to show them the unreasonableness and injustice of the thing,
but it was all in vain; they swore, and shook hands round before
his face, that they would all go on shore unless he would engage to
them not to suffer me to come any more on board the ship.

This was a hard article upon him, who knew his obligation to me,
and did not know how I might take it. So he began to talk smartly
to them; told them that I was a very considerable owner of the
ship, and that if ever they came to England again it would cost
them very dear; that the ship was mine, and that he could not put
me out of it; and that he would rather lose the ship, and the
voyage too, than disoblige me so much: so they might do as they
pleased. However, he would go on shore and talk with me, and
invited the boatswain to go with him, and perhaps they might
accommodate the matter with me. But they all rejected the
proposal, and said they would have nothing to do with me any more;
and if I came on board they would all go on shore. "Well," said
the captain, "if you are all of this mind, let me go on shore and
talk with him." So away he came to me with this account, a little
after the message had been brought to me from the coxswain.

I was very glad to see my nephew, I must confess; for I was not
without apprehensions that they would confine him by violence, set
sail, and run away with the ship; and then I had been stripped
naked in a remote country, having nothing to help myself; in short,
I had been in a worse case than when I was alone in the island.
But they had not come to that length, it seems, to my satisfaction;
and when my nephew told me what they had said to him, and how they
had sworn and shook hands that they would, one and all, leave the
ship if I was suffered to come on board, I told him he should not
be concerned at it at all, for I would stay on shore. I only
desired he would take care and send me all my necessary things on
shore, and leave me a sufficient sum of money, and I would find my
way to England as well as I could. This was a heavy piece of news
to my nephew, but there was no way to help it but to comply; so, in
short, he went on board the ship again, and satisfied the men that
his uncle had yielded to their importunity, and had sent for his
goods from on board the ship; so that the matter was over in a few
hours, the men returned to their duty, and I began to consider what
course I should steer.

I was now alone in a most remote part of the world, for I was near
three thousand leagues by sea farther off from England than I was
at my island; only, it is true, I might travel here by land over
the Great Mogul's country to Surat, might go from thence to Bassora
by sea, up the Gulf of Persia, and take the way of the caravans,
over the desert of Arabia, to Aleppo and Scanderoon; from thence by
sea again to Italy, and so overland into France. I had another way
before me, which was to wait for some English ships, which were
coming to Bengal from Achin, on the island of Sumatra, and get
passage on board them from England. But as I came hither without
any concern with the East Indian Company, so it would be difficult
to go from hence without their licence, unless with great favour of
the captains of the ships, or the company's factors: and to both I
was an utter stranger.

Here I had the mortification to see the ship set sail without me;
however, my nephew left me two servants, or rather one companion
and one servant; the first was clerk to the purser, whom he engaged
to go with me, and the other was his own servant. I then took a
good lodging in the house of an Englishwoman, where several
merchants lodged, some French, two Italians, or rather Jews, and
one Englishman. Here I stayed above nine months, considering what
course to take. I had some English goods with me of value, and a
considerable sum of money; my nephew furnishing me with a thousand
pieces of eight, and a letter of credit for more if I had occasion,
that I might not be straitened, whatever might happen. I quickly
disposed of my goods to advantage; and, as I originally intended, I
bought here some very good diamonds, which, of all other things,
were the most proper for me in my present circumstances, because I
could always carry my whole estate about me.

During my stay here many proposals were made for my return to
England, but none falling out to my mind, the English merchant who
lodged with me, and whom I had contracted an intimate acquaintance
with, came to me one morning, saying: "Countryman, I have a
project to communicate, which, as it suits with my thoughts, may,
for aught I know, suit with yours also, when you shall have
thoroughly considered it. Here we are posted, you by accident and
I by my own choice, in a part of the world very remote from our own
country; but it is in a country where, by us who understand trade
and business, a great deal of money is to be got. If you will put
one thousand pounds to my one thousand pounds, we will hire a ship
here, the first we can get to our minds. You shall be captain,
I'll be merchant, and we'll go a trading voyage to China; for what
should we stand still for? The whole world is in motion; why
should we be idle?"

I liked this proposal very well; and the more so because it seemed
to be expressed with so much goodwill. In my loose, unhinged
circumstances, I was the fitter to embrace a proposal for trade, or
indeed anything else. I might perhaps say with some truth, that if
trade was not my element, rambling was; and no proposal for seeing
any part of the world which I had never seen before could possibly
come amiss to me. It was, however, some time before we could get a
ship to our minds, and when we had got a vessel, it was not easy to
get English sailors--that is to say, so many as were necessary to
govern the voyage and manage the sailors which we should pick up
there. After some time we got a mate, a boatswain, and a gunner,
English; a Dutch carpenter, and three foremast men. With these we
found we could do well enough, having Indian seamen, such as they
were, to make up.

When all was ready we set sail for Achin, in the island of Sumatra,
and from thence to Siam, where we exchanged some of our wares for
opium and some arrack; the first a commodity which bears a great
price among the Chinese, and which at that time was much wanted
there. Then we went up to Saskan, were eight months out, and on
our return to Bengal I was very well satisfied with my adventure.
Our people in England often admire how officers, which the company
send into India, and the merchants which generally stay there, get
such very great estates as they do, and sometimes come home worth
sixty or seventy thousand pounds at a time; but it is little matter
for wonder, when we consider the innumerable ports and places where
they have a free commerce; indeed, at the ports where the English
ships come there is such great and constant demands for the growth
of all other countries, that there is a certain vent for the
returns, as well as a market abroad for the goods carried out.

I got so much money by my first adventure, and such an insight into
the method of getting more, that had I been twenty years younger, I
should have been tempted to have stayed here, and sought no farther
for making my fortune; but what was all this to a man upwards of
threescore, that was rich enough, and came abroad more in obedience
to a restless desire of seeing the world than a covetous desire of
gaining by it? A restless desire it really was, for when I was at
home I was restless to go abroad; and when I was abroad I was
restless to be at home. I say, what was this gain to me? I was
rich enough already, nor had I any uneasy desires about getting
more money; therefore the profit of the voyage to me was of no
great force for the prompting me forward to further undertakings.
Hence, I thought that by this voyage I had made no progress at all,
because I was come back, as I might call it, to the place from
whence I came, as to a home: whereas, my eye, like that which
Solomon speaks of, was never satisfied with seeing. I was come
into a part of the world which I was never in before, and that
part, in particular, which I heard much of, and was resolved to see
as much of it as I could: and then I thought I might say I had
seen all the world that was worth seeing.

But my fellow-traveller and I had different notions: I acknowledge
his were the more suited to the end of a merchant's life: who,
when he is abroad upon adventures, is wise to stick to that, as the
best thing for him, which he is likely to get the most money by.
On the other hand, mine was the notion of a mad, rambling boy, that
never cares to see a thing twice over. But this was not all: I
had a kind of impatience upon me to be nearer home, and yet an
unsettled resolution which way to go. In the interval of these
consultations, my friend, who was always upon the search for
business, proposed another voyage among the Spice Islands, to bring
home a loading of cloves from the Manillas, or thereabouts.

We were not long in preparing for this voyage; the chief difficulty
was in bringing me to come into it. However, at last, nothing else
offering, and as sitting still, to me especially, was the
unhappiest part of life, I resolved on this voyage too, which we
made very successfully, touching at Borneo and several other
islands, and came home in about five months, when we sold our
spices, with very great profit, to the Persian merchants, who
carried them away to the Gulf. My friend, when we made up this
account, smiled at me: "Well, now," said he, with a sort of
friendly rebuke on my indolent temper, "is not this better than
walking about here, like a man with nothing to do, and spending our
time in staring at the nonsense and ignorance of the Pagans?"--
"Why, truly," said I, "my friend, I think it is, and I begin to be
a convert to the principles of merchandising; but I must tell you,
by the way, you do not know what I am doing; for if I once conquer
my backwardness, and embark heartily, old as I am, I shall harass
you up and down the world till I tire you; for I shall pursue it so
eagerly, I shall never let you lie still."

CHAPTER XI--WARNED OF DANGER BY A COUNTRYMAN

A little while after this there came in a Dutch ship from Batavia;
she was a coaster, not an European trader, of about two hundred
tons burden; the men, as they pretended, having been so sickly that
the captain had not hands enough to go to sea with, so he lay by at
Bengal; and having, it seems, got money enough, or being willing,
for other reasons, to go for Europe, he gave public notice he would
sell his ship. This came to my ears before my new partner heard of
it, and I had a great mind to buy it; so I went to him and told him
of it. He considered a while, for he was no rash man neither; and
at last replied, "She is a little too big--however, we will have
her." Accordingly, we bought the ship, and agreeing with the
master, we paid for her, and took possession. When we had done so
we resolved to engage the men, if we could, to join with those we
had, for the pursuing our business; but, on a sudden, they having
received not their wages, but their share of the money, as we
afterwards learned, not one of them was to be found; we inquired
much about them, and at length were told that they were all gone
together by land to Agra, the great city of the Mogul's residence,
to proceed from thence to Surat, and then go by sea to the Gulf of
Persia.

Nothing had so much troubled me a good while as that I should miss
the opportunity of going with them; for such a ramble, I thought,
and in such company as would both have guarded and diverted me,
would have suited mightily with my great design; and I should have
both seen the world and gone homeward too. But I was much better
satisfied a few days after, when I came to know what sort of
fellows they were; for, in short, their history was, that this man
they called captain was the gunner only, not the commander; that
they had been a trading voyage, in which they had been attacked on
shore by some of the Malays, who had killed the captain and three
of his men; and that after the captain was killed, these men,
eleven in number, having resolved to run away with the ship,
brought her to Bengal, leaving the mate and five men more on shore.

Well, let them get the ship how they would, we came honestly by
her, as we thought, though we did not, I confess, examine into
things so exactly as we ought; for we never inquired anything of
the seamen, who would certainly have faltered in their account, and
contradicted one another. Somehow or other we should have had
reason to have suspected, them; but the man showed us a bill of
sale for the ship, to one Emanuel Clostershoven, or some such name,
for I suppose it was all a forgery, and called himself by that
name, and we could not contradict him: and withal, having no
suspicion of the thing, we went through with our bargain. We
picked up some more English sailors here after this, and some
Dutch, and now we resolved on a second voyage to the south-east for
cloves, &c.--that is to say, among the Philippine and Malacca
isles. In short, not to fill up this part of my story with trifles
when what is to come is so remarkable, I spent, from first to last,
six years in this country, trading from port to port, backward and
forward, and with very good success, and was now the last year with
my new partner, going in the ship above mentioned, on a voyage to
China, but designing first to go to Siam to buy rice.

In this voyage, being by contrary winds obliged to beat up and down
a great while in the Straits of Malacca and among the islands, we
were no sooner got clear of those difficult seas than we found our
ship had sprung a leak, but could not discover where it was. This
forced us to make some port; and my partner, who knew the country
better than I did, directed the captain to put into the river of
Cambodia; for I had made the English mate, one Mr. Thompson,
captain, not being willing to take the charge of the ship upon
myself. This river lies on the north side of the great bay or gulf
which goes up to Siam. While we were here, and going often on
shore for refreshment, there comes to me one day an Englishman, a
gunner's mate on board an English East India ship, then riding in
the same river. "Sir," says he, addressing me, "you are a stranger
to me, and I to you; but I have something to tell you that very
nearly concerns you. I am moved by the imminent danger you are in,
and, for aught I see, you have no knowledge of it."--"I know no
danger I am in," said I, "but that my ship is leaky, and I cannot
find it out; but I intend to lay her aground to-morrow, to see if I
can find it."--"But, sir," says he, "leaky or not leaky, you will
be wiser than to lay your ship on shore to-morrow when you hear
what I have to say to you. Do you know, sir," said he, "the town
of Cambodia lies about fifteen leagues up the river; and there are
two large English ships about five leagues on this side, and three
Dutch?"--"Well," said I, "and what is that to me?"--"Why, sir,"
said be, "is it for a man that is upon such adventures as you are
to come into a port, and not examine first what ships there are
there, and whether he is able to deal with them? I suppose you do
not think you are a match for them?" I could not conceive what he
meant; and I turned short upon him, and said: "I wish you would
explain yourself; I cannot imagine what reason I have to be afraid
of any of the company's ships, or Dutch ships. I am no interloper.
What can they have to say to me?"--"Well, sir," says he, with a
smile, "if you think yourself secure you must take your chance; but
take my advice, if you do not put to sea immediately, you will the
very next tide be attacked by five longboats full of men, and
perhaps if you are taken you will be hanged for a pirate, and the
particulars be examined afterwards. I thought, sir," added he, "I
should have met with a better reception than this for doing you a
piece of service of such importance."--"I can never be ungrateful,"
said I, "for any service, or to any man that offers me any
kindness; but it is past my comprehension what they should have
such a design upon me for: however, since you say there is no time
to be lost, and that there is some villainous design on hand
against me, I will go on board this minute, and put to sea
immediately, if my men can stop the leak; but, sir," said I, "shall
I go away ignorant of the cause of all this? Can you give me no
further light into it?"

"I can tell you but part of the story, sir," says he; "but I have a
Dutch seaman here with me, and I believe I could persuade him to
tell you the rest; but there is scarce time for it. But the short
of the story is this--the first part of which I suppose you know
well enough--that you were with this ship at Sumatra; that there
your captain was murdered by the Malays, with three of his men; and
that you, or some of those that were on board with you, ran away
with the ship, and are since turned pirates. This is the sum of
the story, and you will all be seized as pirates, I can assure you,
and executed with very little ceremony; for you know merchant ships
show but little law to pirates if they get them into their power."-
-"Now you speak plain English," said I, "and I thank you; and
though I know nothing that we have done like what you talk of, for
I am sure we came honestly and fairly by the ship; yet seeing such
a work is doing, as you say, and that you seem to mean honestly, I
will be upon my guard."--"Nay, sir," says he, "do not talk of being
upon your guard; the best defence is to be out of danger. If you
have any regard for your life and the lives of all your men, put to
sea without fail at high-water; and as you have a whole tide before
you, you will be gone too far out before they can come down; for
they will come away at high-water, and as they have twenty miles to
come, you will get near two hours of them by the difference of the
tide, not reckoning the length of the way: besides, as they are
only boats, and not ships, they will not venture to follow you far
out to sea, especially if it blows."--"Well," said I, "you have
been very kind in this: what shall I do to make you amends?"--
"Sir," says he, "you may not be willing to make me any amends,
because you may not be convinced of the truth of it. I will make
an offer to you: I have nineteen months' pay due to me on board
the ship -, which I came out of England in; and the Dutchman that
is with me has seven months' pay due to him. If you will make good
our pay to us we will go along with you; if you find nothing more
in it we will desire no more; but if we do convince you that we
have saved your lives, and the ship, and the lives of all the men
in her, we will leave the rest to you."

I consented to this readily, and went immediately on board, and the
two men with me. As soon as I came to the ship's side, my partner,
who was on board, came out on the quarter-deck, and called to me,
with a great deal of joy, "We have stopped the leak--we have
stopped the leak!"--"Say you so?" said I; "thank God; but weigh
anchor, then, immediately."--"Weigh!" says he; "what do you mean by
that? What is the matter?"--"Ask no questions," said I; "but set
all hands to work, and weigh without losing a minute." He was
surprised; however, he called the captain, and he immediately
ordered the anchor to be got up; and though the tide was not quite
down, yet a little land-breeze blowing, we stood out to sea. Then
I called him into the cabin, and told him the story; and we called
in the men, and they told us the rest of it; but as it took up a
great deal of time, before we had done a seaman comes to the cabin
door, and called out to us that the captain bade him tell us we
were chased by five sloops, or boats, full of men. "Very well,"
said I, "then it is apparent there is something in it." I then
ordered all our men to be called up, and told them there was a
design to seize the ship, and take us for pirates, and asked them
if they would stand by us, and by one another; the men answered
cheerfully, one and all, that they would live and die with us.
Then I asked the captain what way he thought best for us to manage
a fight with them; for resist them I was resolved we would, and
that to the last drop. He said readily, that the way was to keep
them off with our great shot as long as we could, and then to use
our small arms, to keep them from boarding us; but when neither of
these would do any longer, we would retire to our close quarters,
for perhaps they had not materials to break open our bulkheads, or
get in upon us.

The gunner had in the meantime orders to bring two guns, to bear
fore and aft, out of the steerage, to clear the deck, and load them
with musket-bullets, and small pieces of old iron, and what came
next to hand. Thus we made ready for fight; but all this while we
kept out to sea, with wind enough, and could see the boats at a
distance, being five large longboats, following us with all the
sail they could make.

Two of those boats (which by our glasses we could see were English)
outsailed the rest, were near two leagues ahead of them, and gained
upon us considerably, so that we found they would come up with us;
upon which we fired a gun without ball, to intimate that they
should bring to: and we put out a flag of truce, as a signal for
parley: but they came crowding after us till within shot, when we
took in our white flag, they having made no answer to it, and hung
out a red flag, and fired at them with a shot. Notwithstanding
this, they came on till they were near enough to call to them with
a speaking-trumpet, bidding them keep off at their peril.

It was all one; they crowded after us, and endeavoured to come
under our stern, so as to board us on our quarter; upon which,
seeing they were resolute for mischief, and depended upon the
strength that followed them, I ordered to bring the ship to, so
that they lay upon our broadside; when immediately we fired five
guns at them, one of which had been levelled so true as to carry
away the stern of the hindermost boat, and we then forced them to
take down their sail, and to run all to the head of the boat, to
keep her from sinking; so she lay by, and had enough of it; but
seeing the foremost boat crowd on after us, we made ready to fire
at her in particular. While this was doing one of the three boats
that followed made up to the boat which we had disabled, to relieve
her, and we could see her take out the men. We then called again
to the foremost boat, and offered a truce, to parley again, and to
know what her business was with us; but had no answer, only she
crowded close under our stern. Upon this, our gunner who was a
very dexterous fellow ran out his two case-guns, and fired again at
her, but the shot missing, the men in the boat shouted, waved their
caps, and came on. The gunner, getting quickly ready again, fired
among them a second time, one shot of which, though it missed the
boat itself, yet fell in among the men, and we could easily see did
a great deal of mischief among them. We now wore the ship again,
and brought our quarter to bear upon them, and firing three guns
more, we found the boat was almost split to pieces; in particular,
her rudder and a piece of her stern were shot quite away; so they
handed her sail immediately, and were in great disorder. To
complete their misfortune, our gunner let fly two guns at them
again; where he hit them we could not tell, but we found the boat
was sinking, and some of the men already in the water: upon this,
I immediately manned out our pinnace, with orders to pick up some
of the men if they could, and save them from drowning, and
immediately come on board ship with them, because we saw the rest
of the boats began to come up. Our men in the pinnace followed
their orders, and took up three men, one of whom was just drowning,
and it was a good while before we could recover him. As soon as
they were on board we crowded all the sail we could make, and stood
farther out to the sea; and we found that when the other boats came
up to the first, they gave over their chase.

Being thus delivered from a danger which, though I knew not the
reason of it, yet seemed to be much greater than I apprehended, I
resolved that we should change our course, and not let any one know
whither we were going; so we stood out to sea eastward, quite out
of the course of all European ships, whether they were bound to
China or anywhere else, within the commerce of the European
nations. When we were at sea we began to consult with the two
seamen, and inquire what the meaning of all this should be; and the
Dutchman confirmed the gunner's story about the false sale of the
ship and of the murder of the captain, and also how that he, this
Dutchman, and four more got into the woods, where they wandered
about a great while, till at length he made his escape, and swam
off to a Dutch ship, which was sailing near the shore in its way
from China.

He then told us that he went to Batavia, where two of the seamen
belonging to the ship arrived, having deserted the rest in their
travels, and gave an account that the fellow who had run away with
the ship, sold her at Bengal to a set of pirates, who were gone a-
cruising in her, and that they had already taken an English ship
and two Dutch ships very richly laden. This latter part we found
to concern us directly, though we knew it to be false; yet, as my
partner said, very justly, if we had fallen into their hands, and
they had had such a prepossession against us beforehand, it had
been in vain for us to have defended ourselves, or to hope for any
good quarter at their hands; especially considering that our
accusers had been our judges, and that we could have expected
nothing from them but what rage would have dictated, and an
ungoverned passion have executed. Therefore it was his opinion we
should go directly back to Bengal, from whence we came, without
putting in at any port whatever--because where we could give a good
account of ourselves, could prove where we were when the ship put
in, of whom we bought her, and the like; and what was more than all
the rest, if we were put upon the necessity of bringing it before
the proper judges, we should be sure to have some justice, and not
to be hanged first and judged afterwards.

I was some time of my partner's opinion; but after a little more
serious thinking, I told him I thought it was a very great hazard
for us to attempt returning to Bengal, for that we were on the
wrong side of the Straits of Malacca, and that if the alarm was
given, we should be sure to be waylaid on every side--that if we
should be taken, as it were, running away, we should even condemn
ourselves, and there would want no more evidence to destroy us. I
also asked the English sailor's opinion, who said he was of my
mind, and that we certainly should be taken. This danger a little
startled my partner and all the ship's company, and we immediately
resolved to go away to the coast of Tonquin, and so on to the coast
of China--and pursuing the first design as to trade, find some way
or other to dispose of the ship, and come back in some of the
vessels of the country such as we could get. This was approved of
as the best method for our security, and accordingly we steered
away NNE., keeping above fifty leagues off from the usual course to
the eastward. This, however, put us to some inconvenience: for,
first, the winds, when we came that distance from the shore, seemed
to be more steadily against us, blowing almost trade, as we call
it, from the E. and ENE., so that we were a long while upon our
voyage, and we were but ill provided with victuals for so long a
run; and what was still worse, there was some danger that those
English and Dutch ships whose boats pursued us, whereof some were
bound that way, might have got in before us, and if not, some other
ship bound to China might have information of us from them, and
pursue us with the same vigour.

I must confess I was now very uneasy, and thought myself, including
the late escape from the longboats, to have been in the most
dangerous condition that ever I was in through my past life; for
whatever ill circumstances I had been in, I was never pursued for a
thief before; nor had I ever done anything that merited the name of
dishonest or fraudulent, much less thievish. I had chiefly been my
own enemy, or, as I may rightly say, I had been nobody's enemy but
my own; but now I was woefully embarrassed: for though I was
perfectly innocent, I was in no condition to make that innocence
appear; and if I had been taken, it had been under a supposed guilt
of the worst kind. This made me very anxious to make an escape,
though which way to do it I knew not, or what port or place we
could go to. My partner endeavoured to encourage me by describing
the several ports of that coast, and told me he would put in on the
coast of Cochin China, or the bay of Tonquin, intending afterwards
to go to Macao, where a great many European families resided, and
particularly the missionary priests, who usually went thither in
order to their going forward to China.

Hither then we resolved to go; and, accordingly, though after a
tedious course, and very much straitened for provisions, we came
within sight of the coast very early in the morning; and upon
reflection on the past circumstances of danger we were in, we
resolved to put into a small river, which, however, had depth
enough of water for us, and to see if we could, either overland or
by the ship's pinnace, come to know what ships were in any port
thereabouts. This happy step was, indeed, our deliverance: for
though we did not immediately see any European ships in the bay of
Tonquin, yet the next morning there came into the bay two Dutch
ships; and a third without any colours spread out, but which we
believed to be a Dutchman, passed by at about two leagues'
distance, steering for the coast of China; and in the afternoon
went by two English ships steering the same course; and thus we
thought we saw ourselves beset with enemies both one way and the
other. The place we were in was wild and barbarous, the people
thieves by occupation; and though it is true we had not much to
seek of them, and, except getting a few provisions, cared not how
little we had to do with them, yet it was with much difficulty that
we kept ourselves from being insulted by them several ways. We
were in a small river of this country, within a few leagues of its
utmost limits northward; and by our boat we coasted north-east to
the point of land which opens the great bay of Tonquin; and it was
in this beating up along the shore that we discovered we were
surrounded with enemies. The people we were among were the most
barbarous of all the inhabitants of the coast; and among other
customs they have this one: that if any vessel has the misfortune
to be shipwrecked upon their coast, they make the men all prisoners
or slaves; and it was not long before we found a spice of their
kindness this way, on the occasion following.

I have observed above that our ship sprung a leak at sea, and that
we could not find it out; and it happened that, as I have said, it
was stopped unexpectedly, on the eve of our being pursued by the
Dutch and English ships in the bay of Siam; yet, as we did not find
the ship so perfectly tight and sound as we desired, we resolved
while we were at this place to lay her on shore, and clean her
bottom, and, if possible, to find out where the leaks were.
Accordingly, having lightened the ship, and brought all our guns
and other movables to one side, we tried to bring her down, that we
might come at her bottom; but, on second thoughts, we did not care
to lay her on dry ground, neither could we find out a proper place
for it.

CHAPTER XII--THE CARPENTER'S WHIMSICAL CONTRIVANCE

The inhabitants came wondering down the shore to look at us; and
seeing the ship lie down on one side in such a manner, and heeling
in towards the shore, and not seeing our men, who were at work on
her bottom with stages, and with their boats on the off-side, they
presently concluded that the ship was cast away, and lay fast on
the ground. On this supposition they came about us in two or three
hours' time with ten or twelve large boats, having some of them
eight, some ten men in a boat, intending, no doubt, to have come on
board and plundered the ship, and if they found us there, to have
carried us away for slaves.

When they came up to the ship, and began to row round her, they
discovered us all hard at work on the outside of the ship's bottom
and side, washing, and graving, and stopping, as every seafaring
man knows how. They stood for a while gazing at us, and we, who
were a little surprised, could not imagine what their design was;
but being willing to be sure, we took this opportunity to get some
of us into the ship, and others to hand down arms and ammunition to
those that were at work, to defend themselves with if there should
be occasion. And it was no more than need: for in less than a
quarter of an hour's consultation, they agreed, it seems, that the
ship was really a wreck, and that we were all at work endeavouring
to save her, or to save our lives by the help of our boats; and
when we handed our arms into the boat, they concluded, by that act,
that we were endeavouring to save some of our goods. Upon this,
they took it for granted we all belonged to them, and away they
came directly upon our men, as if it had been in a line-of-battle.

Our men, seeing so many of them, began to be frightened, for we lay
but in an ill posture to fight, and cried out to us to know what
they should do. I immediately called to the men that worked upon
the stages to slip them down, and get up the side into the ship,
and bade those in the boat to row round and come on board. The few
who were on board worked with all the strength and hands we had to
bring the ship to rights; however, neither the men upon the stages
nor those in the boats could do as they were ordered before the
Cochin Chinese were upon them, when two of their boats boarded our
longboat, and began to lay hold of the men as their prisoners.

The first man they laid hold of was an English seaman, a stout,
strong fellow, who having a musket in his hand, never offered to
fire it, but laid it down in the boat, like a fool, as I thought;
but he understood his business better than I could teach him, for
he grappled the Pagan, and dragged him by main force out of their
boat into ours, where, taking him by the ears, he beat his head so
against the boat's gunnel that the fellow died in his hands. In
the meantime, a Dutchman, who stood next, took up the musket, and
with the butt-end of it so laid about him, that he knocked down
five of them who attempted to enter the boat. But this was doing
little towards resisting thirty or forty men, who, fearless because
ignorant of their danger, began to throw themselves into the
longboat, where we had but five men in all to defend it; but the
following accident, which deserved our laughter, gave our men a
complete victory.

Our carpenter being prepared to grave the outside of the ship, as
well as to pay the seams where he had caulked her to stop the
leaks, had got two kettles just let down into the boat, one filled
with boiling pitch, and the other with rosin, tallow, and oil, and
such stuff as the shipwrights use for that work; and the man that
attended the carpenter had a great iron ladle in his hand, with
which he supplied the men that were at work with the hot stuff.
Two of the enemy's men entered the boat just where this fellow
stood in the foresheets; he immediately saluted them with a ladle
full of the stuff, boiling hot which so burned and scalded them,
being half-naked that they roared out like bulls, and, enraged with
the fire, leaped both into the sea. The carpenter saw it, and
cried out, "Well done, Jack! give them some more of it!" and
stepping forward himself, takes one of the mops, and dipping it in
the pitch-pot, he and his man threw it among them so plentifully
that, in short, of all the men in the three boats, there was not
one that escaped being scalded in a most frightful manner, and made
such a howling and crying that I never heard a worse noise.

I was never better pleased with a victory in my life; not only as
it was a perfect surprise to me, and that our danger was imminent
before, but as we got this victory without any bloodshed, except of
that man the seaman killed with his naked hands, and which I was
very much concerned at. Although it maybe a just thing, because
necessary (for there is no necessary wickedness in nature), yet I
thought it was a sad sort of life, when we must be always obliged
to be killing our fellow-creatures to preserve ourselves; and,
indeed, I think so still; and I would even now suffer a great deal
rather than I would take away the life even of the worst person
injuring me; and I believe all considering people, who know the
value of life, would be of my opinion, if they entered seriously
into the consideration of it.

All the while this was doing, my partner and I, who managed the
rest of the men on board, had with great dexterity brought the ship
almost to rights, and having got the guns into their places again,
the gunner called to me to bid our boat get out of the way, for he
would let fly among them. I called back again to him, and bid him
not offer to fire, for the carpenter would do the work without him;
but bid him heat another pitch-kettle, which our cook, who was on
broad, took care of. However, the enemy was so terrified with what
they had met with in their first attack, that they would not come
on again; and some of them who were farthest off, seeing the ship
swim, as it were, upright, began, as we suppose, to see their
mistake, and gave over the enterprise, finding it was not as they
expected. Thus we got clear of this merry fight; and having got
some rice and some roots and bread, with about sixteen hogs, on
board two days before, we resolved to stay here no longer, but go
forward, whatever came of it; for we made no doubt but we should be
surrounded the next day with rogues enough, perhaps more than our
pitch-kettle would dispose of for us. We therefore got all our
things on board the same evening, and the next morning were ready
to sail: in the meantime, lying at anchor at some distance from
the shore, we were not so much concerned, being now in a fighting
posture, as well as in a sailing posture, if any enemy had
presented. The next day, having finished our work within board,
and finding our ship was perfectly healed of all her leaks, we set
sail. We would have gone into the bay of Tonquin, for we wanted to
inform ourselves of what was to be known concerning the Dutch ships
that had been there; but we durst not stand in there, because we
had seen several ships go in, as we supposed, but a little before;
so we kept on NE. towards the island of Formosa, as much afraid of
being seen by a Dutch or English merchant ship as a Dutch or
English merchant ship in the Mediterranean is of an Algerine man-
of-war.

When we were thus got to sea, we kept on NE., as if we would go to
the Manillas or the Philippine Islands; and this we did that we
might not fall into the way of any of the European ships; and then
we steered north, till we came to the latitude of 22 degrees 30
seconds, by which means we made the island of Formosa directly,
where we came to an anchor, in order to get water and fresh
provisions, which the people there, who are very courteous in their
manners, supplied us with willingly, and dealt very fairly and
punctually with us in all their agreements and bargains. This is
what we did not find among other people, and may be owing to the
remains of Christianity which was once planted here by a Dutch
missionary of Protestants, and it is a testimony of what I have
often observed, viz. that the Christian religion always civilises
the people, and reforms their manners, where it is received,
whether it works saving effects upon them or no.

From thence we sailed still north, keeping the coast of China at an
equal distance, till we knew we were beyond all the ports of China
where our European ships usually come; being resolved, if possible,
not to fall into any of their hands, especially in this country,
where, as our circumstances were, we could not fail of being
entirely ruined. Being now come to the latitude of 30 degrees, we
resolved to put into the first trading port we should come at; and
standing in for the shore, a boat came of two leagues to us with an
old Portuguese pilot on board, who, knowing us to be an European
ship, came to offer his service, which, indeed, we were glad of and
took him on board; upon which, without asking us whither we would
go, he dismissed the boat he came in, and sent it back. I thought
it was now so much in our choice to make the old man carry us
whither we would, that I began to talk to him about carrying us to
the Gulf of Nankin, which is the most northern part of the coast of
China. The old man said he knew the Gulf of Nankin very well; but
smiling, asked us what we would do there? I told him we would sell
our cargo and purchase China wares, calicoes, raw silks, tea,
wrought silks, &c.; and so we would return by the same course we
came. He told us our best port would have been to put in at Macao,
where we could not have failed of a market for our opium to our
satisfaction, and might for our money have purchased all sorts of
China goods as cheap as we could at Nankin.

Not being able to put the old man out of his talk, of which he was
very opinionated or conceited, I told him we were gentlemen as well
as merchants, and that we had a mind to go and see the great city
of Pekin, and the famous court of the monarch of China. "Why,
then," says the old man, "you should go to Ningpo, where, by the
river which runs into the sea there, you may go up within five
leagues of the great canal. This canal is a navigable stream,
which goes through the heart of that vast empire of China, crosses
all the rivers, passes some considerable hills by the help of
sluices and gates, and goes up to the city of Pekin, being in
length near two hundred and seventy leagues."--"Well," said I,
"Seignior Portuguese, but that is not our business now; the great
question is, if you can carry us up to the city of Nankin, from
whence we can travel to Pekin afterwards?" He said he could do so
very well, and that there was a great Dutch ship gone up that way
just before. This gave me a little shock, for a Dutch ship was now
our terror, and we had much rather have met the devil, at least if
he had not come in too frightful a figure; and we depended upon it
that a Dutch ship would be our destruction, for we were in no
condition to fight them; all the ships they trade with into those
parts being of great burden, and of much greater force than we
were.

The old man found me a little confused, and under some concern when
he named a Dutch ship, and said to me, "Sir, you need be under no
apprehensions of the Dutch; I suppose they are not now at war with
your nation?"--"No," said I, "that's true; but I know not what
liberties men may take when they are out of the reach of the laws
of their own country."--"Why," says he, "you are no pirates; what
need you fear? They will not meddle with peaceable merchants,
sure." These words put me into the greatest disorder and confusion
imaginable; nor was it possible for me to conceal it so, but the
old man easily perceived it.

"Sir," says he, "I find you are in some disorder in your thoughts
at my talk: pray be pleased to go which way you think fit, and
depend upon it, I'll do you all the service I can." Upon this we
fell into further discourse, in which, to my alarm and amazement,
he spoke of the villainous doings of a certain pirate ship that had
long been the talk of mariners in those seas; no other, in a word,
than the very ship he was now on board of, and which we had so
unluckily purchased. I presently saw there was no help for it but
to tell him the plain truth, and explain all the danger and trouble
we had suffered through this misadventure, and, in particular, our
earnest wish to be speedily quit of the ship altogether; for which
reason we had resolved to carry her up to Nankin.

The old man was amazed at this relation, and told us we were in the
right to go away to the north; and that, if he might advise us, it
should be to sell the ship in China, which we might well do, and
buy, or build another in the country; adding that I should meet
with customers enough for the ship at Nankin, that a Chinese junk
would serve me very well to go back again, and that he would
procure me people both to buy one and sell the other. "Well, but,
seignior," said I, "as you say they know the ship so well, I may,
perhaps, if I follow your measures, be instrumental to bring some
honest, innocent men into a terrible broil; for wherever they find
the ship they will prove the guilt upon the men, by proving this
was the ship."--"Why," says the old man, "I'll find out a way to
prevent that; for as I know all those commanders you speak of very
well, and shall see them all as they pass by, I will be sure to set
them to rights in the thing, and let them know that they had been
so much in the wrong; that though the people who were on board at
first might run away with the ship, yet it was not true that they
had turned pirates; and that, in particular, these were not the men
that first went off with the ship, but innocently bought her for
their trade; and I am persuaded they will so far believe me as at
least to act more cautiously for the time to come."

In about thirteen days' sail we came to an anchor, at the south-
west point of the great Gulf of Nankin; where I learned by accident
that two Dutch ships were gone the length before me, and that I
should certainly fall into their hands. I consulted my partner
again in this exigency, and he was as much at a loss as I was. I
then asked the old pilot if there was no creek or harbour which I
might put into and pursue my business with the Chinese privately,
and be in no danger of the enemy. He told me if I would sail to
the southward about forty-two leagues, there was a little port
called Quinchang, where the fathers of the mission usually landed
from Macao, on their progress to teach the Christian religion to
the Chinese, and where no European ships ever put in; and if I
thought to put in there, I might consider what further course to
take when I was on shore. He confessed, he said, it was not a
place for merchants, except that at some certain times they had a
kind of a fair there, when the merchants from Japan came over
thither to buy Chinese merchandises. The name of the port I may
perhaps spell wrong, having lost this, together with the names of
many other places set down in a little pocket-book, which was
spoiled by the water by an accident; but this I remember, that the
Chinese merchants we corresponded with called it by a different
name from that which our Portuguese pilot gave it, who pronounced
it Quinchang. As we were unanimous in our resolution to go to this
place, we weighed the next day, having only gone twice on shore
where we were, to get fresh water; on both which occasions the
people of the country were very civil, and brought abundance of
provisions to sell to us; but nothing without money.

We did not come to the other port (the wind being contrary) for
five days; but it was very much to our satisfaction, and I was
thankful when I set my foot on shore, resolving, and my partner
too, that if it was possible to dispose of ourselves and effects
any other way, though not profitably, we would never more set foot
on board that unhappy vessel. Indeed, I must acknowledge, that of
all the circumstances of life that ever I had any experience of,
nothing makes mankind so completely miserable as that of being in
constant fear. Well does the Scripture say, "The fear of man
brings a snare"; it is a life of death, and the mind is so entirely
oppressed by it, that it is capable of no relief.

Nor did it fail of its usual operations upon the fancy, by
heightening every danger; representing the English and Dutch
captains to be men incapable of hearing reason, or of
distinguishing between honest men and rogues; or between a story
calculated for our own turn, made out of nothing, on purpose to
deceive, and a true, genuine account of our whole voyage, progress,
and design; for we might many ways have convinced any reasonable
creatures that we were not pirates; the goods we had on board, the
course we steered, our frankly showing ourselves, and entering into
such and such ports; and even our very manner, the force we had,
the number of men, the few arms, the little ammunition, short
provisions; all these would have served to convince any men that we
were no pirates. The opium and other goods we had on board would
make it appear the ship had been at Bengal. The Dutchmen, who, it
was said, had the names of all the men that were in the ship, might
easily see that we were a mixture of English, Portuguese, and
Indians, and but two Dutchmen on board. These, and many other
particular circumstances, might have made it evident to the
understanding of any commander, whose hands we might fall into,
that we were no pirates.

But fear, that blind, useless passion, worked another way, and
threw us into the vapours; it bewildered our understandings, and
set the imagination at work to form a thousand terrible things that
perhaps might never happen. We first supposed, as indeed everybody
had related to us, that the seamen on board the English and Dutch
ships, but especially the Dutch, were so enraged at the name of a
pirate, and especially at our beating off their boats and escaping,
that they would not give themselves leave to inquire whether we
were pirates or no, but would execute us off-hand, without giving
us any room for a defence. We reflected that there really was so
much apparent evidence before them, that they would scarce inquire
after any more; as, first, that the ship was certainly the same,
and that some of the seamen among them knew her, and had been on
board her; and, secondly, that when we had intelligence at the
river of Cambodia that they were coming down to examine us, we
fought their boats and fled. Therefore we made no doubt but they
were as fully satisfied of our being pirates as we were satisfied
of the contrary; and, as I often said, I know not but I should have
been apt to have taken those circumstances for evidence, if the
tables were turned, and my case was theirs; and have made no
scruple of cutting all the crew to pieces, without believing, or
perhaps considering, what they might have to offer in their
defence.

But let that be how it will, these were our apprehensions; and both
my partner and I scarce slept a night without dreaming of halters
and yard-arms; of fighting, and being taken; of killing, and being
killed: and one night I was in such a fury in my dream, fancying
the Dutchmen had boarded us, and I was knocking one of their seamen
down, that I struck my doubled fist against the side of the cabin I
lay in with such a force as wounded my hand grievously, broke my
knuckles, and cut and bruised the flesh, so that it awaked me out
of my sleep. Another apprehension I had was, the cruel usage we
might meet with from them if we fell into their hands; then the
story of Amboyna came into my head, and how the Dutch might perhaps
torture us, as they did our countrymen there, and make some of our
men, by extremity of torture, confess to crimes they never were
guilty of, or own themselves and all of us to be pirates, and so
they would put us to death with a formal appearance of justice; and
that they might be tempted to do this for the gain of our ship and
cargo, worth altogether four or five thousand pounds. We did not
consider that the captains of ships have no authority to act thus;
and if we had surrendered prisoners to them, they could not answer
the destroying us, or torturing us, but would be accountable for it
when they came to their country. However, if they were to act thus
with us, what advantage would it be to us that they should be
called to an account for it?--or if we were first to be murdered,
what satisfaction would it be to us to have them punished when they
came home?

I cannot refrain taking notice here what reflections I now had upon
the vast variety of my particular circumstances; how hard I thought
it that I, who had spent forty years in a life of continual
difficulties, and was at last come, as it were, to the port or
haven which all men drive at, viz. to have rest and plenty, should
be a volunteer in new sorrows by my own unhappy choice, and that I,
who had escaped so many dangers in my youth, should now come to be
hanged in my old age, and in so remote a place, for a crime which I
was not in the least inclined to, much less guilty of. After these
thoughts something of religion would come in; and I would be
considering that this seemed to me to be a disposition of immediate
Providence, and I ought to look upon it and submit to it as such.
For, although I was innocent as to men, I was far from being
innocent as to my Maker; and I ought to look in and examine what
other crimes in my life were most obvious to me, and for which
Providence might justly inflict this punishment as a retribution;
and thus I ought to submit to this, just as I would to a shipwreck,
if it had pleased God to have brought such a disaster upon me.

In its turn natural courage would sometimes take its place, and
then I would be talking myself up to vigorous resolutions; that I
would not be taken to be barbarously used by a parcel of merciless
wretches in cold blood; that it were much better to have fallen
into the hands of the savages, though I were sure they would feast
upon me when they had taken me, than those who would perhaps glut
their rage upon me by inhuman tortures and barbarities; that in the
case of the savages, I always resolved to die fighting to the last
gasp, and why should I not do so now? Whenever these thoughts
prevailed, I was sure to put myself into a kind of fever with the
agitation of a supposed fight; my blood would boil, and my eyes
sparkle, as if I was engaged, and I always resolved to take no
quarter at their hands; but even at last, if I could resist no
longer, I would blow up the ship and all that was in her, and leave
them but little booty to boast of.

CHAPTER XIII--ARRIVAL IN CHINA

The greater weight the anxieties and perplexities of these things
were to our thoughts while we were at sea, the greater was our
satisfaction when we saw ourselves on shore; and my partner told me
he dreamed that he had a very heavy load upon his back, which he
was to carry up a hill, and found that he was not able to stand
longer under it; but that the Portuguese pilot came and took it off
his back, and the hill disappeared, the ground before him appearing
all smooth and plain: and truly it was so; they were all like men
who had a load taken off their backs. For my part I had a weight
taken off from my heart that it was not able any longer to bear;
and as I said above we resolved to go no more to sea in that ship.
When we came on shore, the old pilot, who was now our friend, got
us a lodging, together with a warehouse for our goods; it was a
little hut, with a larger house adjoining to it, built and also
palisadoed round with canes, to keep out pilferers, of which there
were not a few in that country: however, the magistrates allowed
us a little guard, and we had a soldier with a kind of half-pike,
who stood sentinel at our door, to whom we allowed a pint of rice
and a piece of money about the value of three-pence per day, so
that our goods were kept very safe.

The fair or mart usually kept at this place had been over some
time; however, we found that there were three or four junks in the
river, and two ships from Japan, with goods which they had bought
in China, and were not gone away, having some Japanese merchants on
shore.

The first thing our old Portuguese pilot did for us was to get us
acquainted with three missionary Romish priests who were in the
town, and who had been there some time converting the people to
Christianity; but we thought they made but poor work of it, and
made them but sorry Christians when they had done. One of these
was a Frenchman, whom they called Father Simon; another was a
Portuguese; and a third a Genoese. Father Simon was courteous, and
very agreeable company; but the other two were more reserved,
seemed rigid and austere, and applied seriously to the work they
came about, viz. to talk with and insinuate themselves among the
inhabitants wherever they had opportunity. We often ate and drank
with those men; and though I must confess the conversion, as they
call it, of the Chinese to Christianity is so far from the true
conversion required to bring heathen people to the faith of Christ,
that it seems to amount to little more than letting them know the
name of Christ, and say some prayers to the Virgin Mary and her
Son, in a tongue which they understood not, and to cross
themselves, and the like; yet it must be confessed that the
religionists, whom we call missionaries, have a firm belief that
these people will be saved, and that they are the instruments of
it; and on this account they undergo not only the fatigue of the
voyage, and the hazards of living in such places, but oftentimes
death itself, and the most violent tortures, for the sake of this
work.

Father Simon was appointed, it seems, by order of the chief of the
mission, to go up to Pekin, and waited only for another priest, who
was ordered to come to him from Macao, to go along with him. We
scarce ever met together but he was inviting me to go that journey;
telling me how he would show me all the glorious things of that
mighty empire, and, among the rest, Pekin, the greatest city in the
world: "A city," said he, "that your London and our Paris put
together cannot be equal to." But as I looked on those things with
different eyes from other men, so I shall give my opinion of them
in a few words, when I come in the course of my travels to speak
more particularly of them.

Dining with Father Simon one day, and being very merry together, I
showed some little inclination to go with him; and he pressed me
and my partner very hard to consent. "Why, father," says my
partner, "should you desire our company so much? you know we are
heretics, and you do not love us, nor cannot keep us company with
any pleasure."--"Oh," says he, "you may perhaps be good Catholics
in time; my business here is to convert heathens, and who knows but
I may convert you too?"--"Very well, father," said I, "so you will
preach to us all the way?"--"I will not be troublesome to you,"
says he; "our religion does not divest us of good manners; besides,
we are here like countrymen; and so we are, compared to the place
we are in; and if you are Huguenots, and I a Catholic, we may all
be Christians at last; at least, we are all gentlemen, and we may
converse so, without being uneasy to one another." I liked this
part of his discourse very well, and it began to put me in mind of
my priest that I had left in the Brazils; but Father Simon did not
come up to his character by a great deal; for though this friar had
no appearance of a criminal levity in him, yet he had not that fund
of Christian zeal, strict piety, and sincere affection to religion
that my other good ecclesiastic had.

But to leave him a little, though he never left us, nor solicited
us to go with him; we had something else before us at first, for we
had all this while our ship and our merchandise to dispose of, and
we began to be very doubtful what we should do, for we were now in
a place of very little business. Once I was about to venture to
sail for the river of Kilam, and the city of Nankin; but Providence
seemed now more visibly, as I thought, than ever to concern itself
in our affairs; and I was encouraged, from this very time, to think
I should, one way or other, get out of this entangled circumstance,
and be brought home to my own country again, though I had not the
least view of the manner. Providence, I say, began here to clear
up our way a little; and the first thing that offered was, that our
old Portuguese pilot brought a Japan merchant to us, who inquired
what goods we had: and, in the first place, he bought all our
opium, and gave us a very good price for it, paying us in gold by
weight, some in small pieces of their own coin, and some in small
wedges, of about ten or twelves ounces each. While we were dealing
with him for our opium, it came into my head that he might perhaps
deal for the ship too, and I ordered the interpreter to propose it
to him. He shrunk up his shoulders at it when it was first
proposed to him; but in a few days after he came to me, with one of
the missionary priests for his interpreter, and told me he had a
proposal to make to me, which was this: he had bought a great
quantity of our goods, when he had no thoughts of proposals made to
him of buying the ship; and that, therefore, he had not money to
pay for the ship: but if I would let the same men who were in the
ship navigate her, he would hire the ship to go to Japan; and would
send them from thence to the Philippine Islands with another
loading, which he would pay the freight of before they went from
Japan: and that at their return he would buy the ship. I began to
listen to his proposal, and so eager did my head still run upon
rambling, that I could not but begin to entertain a notion of going
myself with him, and so to set sail from the Philippine Islands
away to the South Seas; accordingly, I asked the Japanese merchant
if he would not hire us to the Philippine Islands and discharge us
there. He said No, he could not do that, for then he could not
have the return of his cargo; but he would discharge us in Japan,
at the ship's return. Well, still I was for taking him at that
proposal, and going myself; but my partner, wiser than myself,
persuaded me from it, representing the dangers, as well of the seas
as of the Japanese, who are a false, cruel, and treacherous people;
likewise those of the Spaniards at the Philippines, more false,
cruel, and treacherous than they.

But to bring this long turn of our affairs to a conclusion; the
first thing we had to do was to consult with the captain of the
ship, and with his men, and know if they were willing to go to
Japan. While I was doing this, the young man whom my nephew had
left with me as my companion came up, and told me that he thought
that voyage promised very fair, and that there was a great prospect
of advantage, and he would be very glad if I undertook it; but that
if I would not, and would give him leave, he would go as a
merchant, or as I pleased to order him; that if ever he came to
England, and I was there and alive, he would render me a faithful
account of his success, which should be as much mine as I pleased.
I was loath to part with him; but considering the prospect of
advantage, which really was considerable, and that he was a young
fellow likely to do well in it, I inclined to let him go; but I
told him I would consult my partner, and give him an answer the
next day. I discoursed about it with my partner, who thereupon
made a most generous offer: "You know it has been an unlucky
ship," said he, "and we both resolve not to go to sea in it again;
if your steward" (so he called my man) "will venture the voyage, I
will leave my share of the vessel to him, and let him make the best
of it; and if we live to meet in England, and he meets with success
abroad, he shall account for one half of the profits of the ship's
freight to us; the other shall be his own."

If my partner, who was no way concerned with my young man, made him
such an offer, I could not do less than offer him the same; and all
the ship's company being willing to go with him, we made over half
the ship to him in property, and took a writing from him, obliging
him to account for the other, and away he went to Japan. The Japan
merchant proved a very punctual, honest man to him: protected him
at Japan, and got him a licence to come on shore, which the
Europeans in general have not lately obtained. He paid him his
freight very punctually; sent him to the Philippines loaded with
Japan and China wares, and a supercargo of their own, who,
trafficking with the Spaniards, brought back European goods again,
and a great quantity of spices; and there he was not only paid his
freight very well, and at a very good price, but not being willing
to sell the ship, then the merchant furnished him goods on his own
account; and with some money, and some spices of his own which he
brought with him, he went back to the Manillas, where he sold his
cargo very well. Here, having made a good acquaintance at Manilla,
he got his ship made a free ship, and the governor of Manilla hired
him to go to Acapulco, on the coast of America, and gave him a
licence to land there, and to travel to Mexico, and to pass in any
Spanish ship to Europe with all his men. He made the voyage to
Acapulco very happily, and there he sold his ship: and having
there also obtained allowance to travel by land to Porto Bello, he
found means to get to Jamaica, with all his treasure, and about
eight years after came to England exceeding rich.

But to return to our particular affairs, being now to part with the
ship and ship's company, it came before us, of course, to consider
what recompense we should give to the two men that gave us such
timely notice of the design against us in the river Cambodia. The
truth was, they had done us a very considerable service, and
deserved well at our hands; though, by the way, they were a couple
of rogues, too; for, as they believed the story of our being
pirates, and that we had really run away with the ship, they came
down to us, not only to betray the design that was formed against
us, but to go to sea with us as pirates. One of them confessed
afterwards that nothing else but the hopes of going a-roguing
brought him to do it: however, the service they did us was not the
less, and therefore, as I had promised to be grateful to them, I
first ordered the money to be paid them which they said was due to
them on board their respective ships: over and above that, I gave
each of them a small sum of money in gold, which contented them
very well. I then made the Englishman gunner in the ship, the
gunner being now made second mate and purser; the Dutchman I made
boatswain; so they were both very well pleased, and proved very
serviceable, being both able seamen, and very stout fellows.

We were now on shore in China; if I thought myself banished, and
remote from my own country at Bengal, where I had many ways to get
home for my money, what could I think of myself now, when I was
about a thousand leagues farther off from home, and destitute of
all manner of prospect of return? All we had for it was this:
that in about four months' time there was to be another fair at the
place where we were, and then we might be able to purchase various
manufactures of the country, and withal might possibly find some
Chinese junks from Tonquin for sail, that would carry us and our
goods whither we pleased. This I liked very well, and resolved to
wait; besides, as our particular persons were not obnoxious, so if
any English or Dutch ships came thither, perhaps we might have an
opportunity to load our goods, and get passage to some other place
in India nearer home. Upon these hopes we resolved to continue
here; but, to divert ourselves, we took two or three journeys into
the country.

First, we went ten days' journey to Nankin, a city well worth
seeing; they say it has a million of people in it: it is regularly
built, and the streets are all straight, and cross one another in
direct lines. But when I come to compare the miserable people of
these countries with ours, their fabrics, their manner of living,
their government, their religion, their wealth, and their glory, as
some call it, I must confess that I scarcely think it worth my
while to mention them here. We wonder at the grandeur, the riches,
the pomp, the ceremonies, the government, the manufactures, the
commerce, and conduct of these people; not that there is really any
matter for wonder, but because, having a true notion of the
barbarity of those countries, the rudeness and the ignorance that
prevail there, we do not expect to find any such thing so far off.
Otherwise, what are their buildings to the palaces and royal
buildings of Europe? What their trade to the universal commerce of
England, Holland, France, and Spain? What are their cities to
ours, for wealth, strength, gaiety of apparel, rich furniture, and
infinite variety? What are their ports, supplied with a few junks
and barks, to our navigation, our merchant fleets, our large and
powerful navies? Our city of London has more trade than half their
mighty empire: one English, Dutch, or French man-of-war of eighty
guns would be able to fight almost all the shipping belonging to
China: but the greatness of their wealth, their trade, the power
of their government, and the strength of their armies, may be a
little surprising to us, because, as I have said, considering them
as a barbarous nation of pagans, little better than savages, we did
not expect such things among them. But all the forces of their
empire, though they were to bring two millions of men into the
field together, would be able to do nothing but ruin the country
and starve themselves; a million of their foot could not stand
before one embattled body of our infantry, posted so as not to be
surrounded, though they were not to be one to twenty in number;
nay, I do not boast if I say that thirty thousand German or English
foot, and ten thousand horse, well managed, could defeat all the
forces of China. Nor is there a fortified town in China that could
hold out one month against the batteries and attacks of an European
army. They have firearms, it is true, but they are awkward and
uncertain in their going off; and their powder has but little
strength. Their armies are badly disciplined, and want skill to
attack, or temper to retreat; and therefore, I must confess, it
seemed strange to me, when I came home, and heard our people say
such fine things of the power, glory, magnificence, and trade of
the Chinese; because, as far as I saw, they appeared to be a
contemptible herd or crowd of ignorant, sordid slaves, subjected to
a government qualified only to rule such a people; and were not its
distance inconceivably, great from Muscovy, and that empire in a
manner as rude, impotent, and ill governed as they, the Czar of
Muscovy might with ease drive them all out of their country, and
conquer them in one campaign; and had the Czar (who is now a
growing prince) fallen this way, instead of attacking the warlike
Swedes, and equally improved himself in the art of war, as they say
he has done; and if none of the powers of Europe had envied or
interrupted him, he might by this time have been Emperor of China,
instead of being beaten by the King of Sweden at Narva, when the
latter was not one to six in number.

As their strength and their grandeur, so their navigation,
commerce, and husbandry are very imperfect, compared to the same
things in Europe; also, in their knowledge, their learning, and in
their skill in the sciences, they are either very awkward or
defective, though they have globes or spheres, and a smattering of
the mathematics, and think they know more than all the world
besides. But they know little of the motions of the heavenly
bodies; and so grossly and absurdly ignorant are their common
people, that when the sun is eclipsed, they think a great dragon
has assaulted it, and is going to run away with it; and they fall a
clattering with all the drums and kettles in the country, to fright
the monster away, just as we do to hive a swarm of bees!

As this is the only excursion of the kind which I have made in all
the accounts I have given of my travels, so I shall make no more
such. It is none of my business, nor any part of my design; but to
give an account of my own adventures through a life of inimitable
wanderings, and a long variety of changes, which, perhaps, few that
come after me will have heard the like of: I shall, therefore, say
very little of all the mighty places, desert countries, and
numerous people I have yet to pass through, more than relates to my
own story, and which my concern among them will make necessary.

I was now, as near as I can compute, in the heart of China, about
thirty degrees north of the line, for we were returned from Nankin.
I had indeed a mind to see the city of Pekin, which I had heard so
much of, and Father Simon importuned me daily to do it. At length
his time of going away being set, and the other missionary who was
to go with him being arrived from Macao, it was necessary that we
should resolve either to go or not; so I referred it to my partner,
and left it wholly to his choice, who at length resolved it in the
affirmative, and we prepared for our journey. We set out with very
good advantage as to finding the way; for we got leave to travel in
the retinue of one of their mandarins, a kind of viceroy or
principal magistrate in the province where they reside, and who
take great state upon them, travelling with great attendance, and
great homage from the people, who are sometimes greatly
impoverished by them, being obliged to furnish provisions for them
and all their attendants in their journeys. I particularly
observed in our travelling with his baggage, that though we
received sufficient provisions both for ourselves and our horses
from the country, as belonging to the mandarin, yet we were obliged
to pay for everything we had, after the market price of the
country, and the mandarin's steward collected it duly from us.
Thus our travelling in the retinue of the mandarin, though it was a
great act of kindness, was not such a mighty favour to us, but was
a great advantage to him, considering there were above thirty other
people travelled in the same manner besides us, under the
protection of his retinue; for the country furnished all the
provisions for nothing to him, and yet he took our money for them.

We were twenty-five days travelling to Pekin, through a country
exceeding populous, but I think badly cultivated; the husbandry,
the economy, and the way of living miserable, though they boast so
much of the industry of the people: I say miserable, if compared
with our own, but not so to these poor wretches, who know no other.
The pride of the poor people is infinitely great, and exceeded by
nothing but their poverty, in some parts, which adds to that which
I call their misery; and I must needs think the savages of America
live much more happy than the poorer sort of these, because as they
have nothing, so they desire nothing; whereas these are proud and
insolent and in the main are in many parts mere beggars and
drudges. Their ostentation is inexpressible; and, if they can,
they love to keep multitudes of servants or slaves, which is to the
last degree ridiculous, as well as their contempt of all the world
but themselves.

I must confess I travelled more pleasantly afterwards in the
deserts and vast wildernesses of Grand Tartary than here, and yet
the roads here are well paved and well kept, and very convenient
for travellers; but nothing was more awkward to me than to see such
a haughty, imperious, insolent people, in the midst of the grossest
simplicity and ignorance; and my friend Father Simon and I used to
be very merry upon these occasions, to see their beggarly pride.
For example, coming by the house of a country gentleman, as Father
Simon called him, about ten leagues off the city of Nankin, we had
first of all the honour to ride with the master of the house about
two miles; the state he rode in was a perfect Don Quixotism, being
a mixture of pomp and poverty. His habit was very proper for a
merry-andrew, being a dirty calico, with hanging sleeves, tassels,
and cuts and slashes almost on every side: it covered a taffety
vest, so greasy as to testify that his honour must be a most
exquisite sloven. His horse was a poor, starved, hobbling
creature, and two slaves followed him on foot to drive the poor
creature along; he had a whip in his hand, and he belaboured the
beast as fast about the head as his slaves did about the tail; and
thus he rode by us, with about ten or twelve servants, going from
the city to his country seat, about half a league before us. We
travelled on gently, but this figure of a gentleman rode away
before us; and as we stopped at a village about an hour to refresh
us, when we came by the country seat of this great man, we saw him
in a little place before his door, eating a repast. It was a kind
of garden, but he was easy to be seen; and we were given to
understand that the more we looked at him the better he would be
pleased. He sat under a tree, something like the palmetto, which
effectually shaded him over the head, and on the south side; but
under the tree was placed a large umbrella, which made that part
look well enough. He sat lolling back in a great elbow-chair,
being a heavy corpulent man, and had his meat brought him by two
women slaves. He had two more, one of whom fed the squire with a
spoon, and the other held the dish with one hand, and scraped off
what he let fall upon his worship's beard and taffety vest.

Leaving the poor wretch to please himself with our looking at him,
as if we admired his idle pomp, we pursued our journey. Father
Simon had the curiosity to stay to inform himself what dainties the
country justice had to feed on in all his state, which he had the
honour to taste of, and which was, I think, a mess of boiled rice,
with a great piece of garlic in it, and a little bag filled with
green pepper, and another plant which they have there, something
like our ginger, but smelling like musk, and tasting like mustard;
all this was put together, and a small piece of lean mutton boiled
in it, and this was his worship's repast. Four or five servants
more attended at a distance, who we supposed were to eat of the
same after their master. As for our mandarin with whom we
travelled, he was respected as a king, surrounded always with his
gentlemen, and attended in all his appearances with such pomp, that
I saw little of him but at a distance. I observed that there was
not a horse in his retinue but that our carrier's packhorses in
England seemed to me to look much better; though it was hard to
judge rightly, for they were so covered with equipage, mantles,
trappings, &c., that we could scarce see anything but their feet
and their heads as they went along.

I was now light-hearted, and all my late trouble and perplexity
being over, I had no anxious thoughts about me, which made this
journey the pleasanter to me; in which no ill accident attended me,
only in passing or fording a small river, my horse fell and made me
free of the country, as they call it--that is to say, threw me in.
The place was not deep, but it wetted me all over. I mention it
because it spoiled my pocket-book, wherein I had set down the names
of several people and places which I had occasion to remember, and
which not taking due care of, the leaves rotted, and the words were
never after to be read.

At length we arrived at Pekin. I had nobody with me but the youth
whom my nephew had given me to attend me as a servant and who
proved very trusty and diligent; and my partner had nobody with him
but one servant, who was a kinsman. As for the Portuguese pilot,
he being desirous to see the court, we bore his charges for his
company, and for our use of him as an interpreter, for he
understood the language of the country, and spoke good French and a
little English. Indeed, this old man was most useful to us
everywhere; for we had not been above a week at Pekin, when he came
laughing. "Ah, Seignior Inglese," says he, "I have something to
tell will make your heart glad."--"My heart glad," says I; "what
can that be? I don't know anything in this country can either give
me joy or grief to any great degree."--"Yes, yes," said the old
man, in broken English, "make you glad, me sorry."--"Why," said I,
"will it make you sorry?"--"Because," said he, "you have brought me
here twenty-five days' journey, and will leave me to go back alone;
and which way shall I get to my port afterwards, without a ship,
without a horse, without pecune?" so he called money, being his
broken Latin, of which he had abundance to make us merry with. In
short, he told us there was a great caravan of Muscovite and Polish
merchants in the city, preparing to set out on their journey by
land to Muscovy, within four or five weeks; and he was sure we
would take the opportunity to go with them, and leave him behind,
to go back alone.

I confess I was greatly surprised with this good news, and had
scarce power to speak to him for some time; but at last I said to
him, "How do you know this? are you sure it is true?"--"Yes," says
he; "I met this morning in the street an old acquaintance of mine,
an Armenian, who is among them. He came last from Astrakhan, and
was designed to go to Tonquin, where I formerly knew him, but has
altered his mind, and is now resolved to go with the caravan to
Moscow, and so down the river Volga to Astrakhan."--"Well,
Seignior," says I, "do not be uneasy about being left to go back
alone; if this be a method for my return to England, it shall be
your fault if you go back to Macao at all." We then went to
consult together what was to be done; and I asked my partner what
he thought of the pilot's news, and whether it would suit with his
affairs? He told me he would do just as I would; for he had
settled all his affairs so well at Bengal, and left his effects in
such good hands, that as we had made a good voyage, if he could
invest it in China silks, wrought and raw, he would be content to
go to England, and then make a voyage back to Bengal by the
Company's ships.

Having resolved upon this, we agreed that if our Portuguese pilot
would go with us, we would bear his charges to Moscow, or to
England, if he pleased; nor, indeed, were we to be esteemed over-
generous in that either, if we had not rewarded him further, the
service he had done us being really worth more than that; for he
had not only been a pilot to us at sea, but he had been like a
broker for us on shore; and his procuring for us a Japan merchant
was some hundreds of pounds in our pockets. So, being willing to
gratify him, which was but doing him justice, and very willing also
to have him with us besides, for he was a most necessary man on all
occasions, we agreed to give him a quantity of coined gold, which,
as I computed it, was worth one hundred and seventy-five pounds
sterling, between us, and to bear all his charges, both for himself
and horse, except only a horse to carry his goods. Having settled
this between ourselves, we called him to let him know what we had
resolved. I told him he had complained of our being willing to let
him go back alone, and I was now about to tell him we designed he
should not go back at all. That as we had resolved to go to Europe
with the caravan, we were very willing he should go with us; and
that we called him to know his mind. He shook his head and said it
was a long journey, and that he had no pecune to carry him thither,
or to subsist himself when he came there. We told him we believed
it was so, and therefore we had resolved to do something for him
that should let him see how sensible we were of the service he had
done us, and also how agreeable he was to us: and then I told him
what we had resolved to give him here, which he might lay out as we
would do our own; and that as for his charges, if he would go with
us we would set him safe on shore (life and casualties excepted),
either in Muscovy or England, as he would choose, at our own
charge, except only the carriage of his goods. He received the
proposal like a man transported, and told us he would go with us
over all the whole world; and so we all prepared for our journey.
However, as it was with us, so it was with the other merchants:
they had many things to do, and instead of being ready in five
weeks, it was four months and some days before all things were got
together.

CHAPTER XIV--ATTACKED BY TARTARS

It was the beginning of February, new style, when we set out from
Pekin. My partner and the old pilot had gone express back to the
port where we had first put in, to dispose of some goods which we
had left there; and I, with a Chinese merchant whom I had some
knowledge of at Nankin, and who came to Pekin on his own affairs,
went to Nankin, where I bought ninety pieces of fine damasks, with
about two hundred pieces of other very fine silk of several sorts,
some mixed with gold, and had all these brought to Pekin against my
partner's return. Besides this, we bought a large quantity of raw
silk, and some other goods, our cargo amounting, in these goods
only, to about three thousand five hundred pounds sterling; which,
together with tea and some fine calicoes, and three camels' loads
of nutmegs and cloves, loaded in all eighteen camels for our share,
besides those we rode upon; these, with two or three spare horses,
and two horses loaded with provisions, made together twenty-six
camels and horses in our retinue.

The company was very great, and, as near as I can remember, made
between three and four hundred horses, and upwards of one hundred
and twenty men, very well armed and provided for all events; for as
the Eastern caravans are subject to be attacked by the Arabs, so
are these by the Tartars. The company consisted of people of
several nations, but there were above sixty of them merchants or
inhabitants of Moscow, though of them some were Livonians; and to
our particular satisfaction, five of them were Scots, who appeared
also to be men of great experience in business, and of very good
substance.

When we had travelled one day's journey, the guides, who were five
in number, called all the passengers, except the servants, to a
great council, as they called it. At this council every one
deposited a certain quantity of money to a common stock, for the
necessary expense of buying forage on the way, where it was not
otherwise to be had, and for satisfying the guides, getting horses,
and the like. Here, too, they constituted the journey, as they
call it, viz. they named captains and officers to draw us all up,
and give the word of command, in case of an attack, and give every
one their turn of command; nor was this forming us into order any
more than what we afterwards found needful on the way.

The road all on this side of the country is very populous, and is
full of potters and earth-makers--that is to say, people, that
temper the earth for the China ware. As I was coming along, our
Portuguese pilot, who had always something or other to say to make
us merry, told me he would show me the greatest rarity in all the
country, and that I should have this to say of China, after all the
ill-humoured things that I had said of it, that I had seen one
thing which was not to be seen in all the world beside. I was very
importunate to know what it was; at last he told me it was a
gentleman's house built with China ware. "Well," says I, "are not
the materials of their buildings the products of their own country,
and so it is all China ware, is it not?"--"No, no," says he, "I
mean it is a house all made of China ware, such as you call it in
England, or as it is called in our country, porcelain."--"Well,"
says I, "such a thing may be; how big is it? Can we carry it in a
box upon a camel? If we can we will buy it."--"Upon a camel!" says
the old pilot, holding up both his hands; "why, there is a family
of thirty people lives in it."

I was then curious, indeed, to see it; and when I came to it, it
was nothing but this: it was a timber house, or a house built, as
we call it in England, with lath and plaster, but all this
plastering was really China ware--that is to say, it was plastered
with the earth that makes China ware. The outside, which the sun
shone hot upon, was glazed, and looked very well, perfectly white,
and painted with blue figures, as the large China ware in England
is painted, and hard as if it had been burnt. As to the inside,
all the walls, instead of wainscot, were lined with hardened and
painted tiles, like the little square tiles we call galley-tiles in
England, all made of the finest china, and the figures exceeding
fine indeed, with extraordinary variety of colours, mixed with
gold, many tiles making but one figure, but joined so artificially,
the mortar being made of the same earth, that it was very hard to
see where the tiles met. The floors of the rooms were of the same
composition, and as hard as the earthen floors we have in use in
several parts of England; as hard as stone, and smooth, but not
burnt and painted, except some smaller rooms, like closets, which
were all, as it were, paved with the same tile; the ceiling and all
the plastering work in the whole house were of the same earth; and,
after all, the roof was covered with tiles of the same, but of a
deep shining black. This was a China warehouse indeed, truly and
literally to be called so, and had I not been upon the journey, I
could have stayed some days to see and examine the particulars of
it. They told me there were fountains and fishponds in the garden,
all paved on the bottom and sides with the same; and fine statues
set up in rows on the walks, entirely formed of the porcelain
earth, burnt whole.

As this is one of the singularities of China, so they may be
allowed to excel in it; but I am very sure they excel in their
accounts of it; for they told me such incredible things of their
performance in crockery-ware, for such it is, that I care not to
relate, as knowing it could not be true. They told me, in
particular, of one workman that made a ship with all its tackle and
masts and sails in earthenware, big enough to carry fifty men. If
they had told me he launched it, and made a voyage to Japan in it,
I might have said something to it indeed; but as it was, I knew the
whole of the story, which was, in short, that the fellow lied: so
I smiled, and said nothing to it. This odd sight kept me two hours
behind the caravan, for which the leader of it for the day fined me
about the value of three shillings; and told me if it had been
three days' journey without the wall, as it was three days' within,
he must have fined me four times as much, and made me ask pardon
the next council-day. I promised to be more orderly; and, indeed,
I found afterwards the orders made for keeping all together were
absolutely necessary for our common safety.

In two days more we passed the great China wall, made for a
fortification against the Tartars: and a very great work it is,
going over hills and mountains in an endless track, where the rocks
are impassable, and the precipices such as no enemy could possibly
enter, or indeed climb up, or where, if they did, no wall could
hinder them. They tell us its length is near a thousand English
miles, but that the country is five hundred in a straight measured
line, which the wall bounds without measuring the windings and
turnings it takes; it is about four fathoms high, and as many thick
in some places.

I stood still an hour or thereabouts without trespassing on our
orders (for so long the caravan was in passing the gate), to look
at it on every side, near and far off; I mean what was within my
view: and the guide, who had been extolling it for the wonder of
the world, was mighty eager to hear my opinion of it. I told him
it was a most excellent thing to keep out the Tartars; which he
happened not to understand as I meant it and so took it for a
compliment; but the old pilot laughed! "Oh, Seignior Inglese,"
says he, "you speak in colours."--"In colours!" said I; "what do
you mean by that?"--"Why, you speak what looks white this way and
black that way--gay one way and dull another. You tell him it is a
good wall to keep out Tartars; you tell me by that it is good for
nothing but to keep out Tartars. I understand you, Seignior
Inglese, I understand you; but Seignior Chinese understood you his
own way."--"Well," says I, "do you think it would stand out an army
of our country people, with a good train of artillery; or our
engineers, with two companies of miners? Would not they batter it
down in ten days, that an army might enter in battalia; or blow it
up in the air, foundation and all, that there should be no sign of
it left?"--"Ay, ay," says he, "I know that." The Chinese wanted
mightily to know what I said to the pilot, and I gave him leave to
tell him a few days after, for we were then almost out of their
country, and he was to leave us a little time after this; but when
he knew what I said, he was dumb all the rest of the way, and we
heard no more of his fine story of the Chinese power and greatness
while he stayed.

After we passed this mighty nothing, called a wall, something like
the Picts' walls so famous in Northumberland, built by the Romans,
we began to find the country thinly inhabited, and the people
rather confined to live in fortified towns, as being subject to the
inroads and depredations of the Tartars, who rob in great armies,
and therefore are not to be resisted by the naked inhabitants of an
open country. And here I began to find the necessity of keeping
together in a caravan as we travelled, for we saw several troops of
Tartars roving about; but when I came to see them distinctly, I
wondered more that the Chinese empire could be conquered by such
contemptible fellows; for they are a mere horde of wild fellows,
keeping no order and understanding no discipline or manner of it.
Their horses are poor lean creatures, taught nothing, and fit for
nothing; and this we found the first day we saw them, which was
after we entered the wilder part of the country. Our leader for
the day gave leave for about sixteen of us to go a hunting as they
call it; and what was this but a hunting of sheep!--however, it may
be called hunting too, for these creatures are the wildest and
swiftest of foot that ever I saw of their kind! only they will not
run a great way, and you are sure of sport when you begin the
chase, for they appear generally thirty or forty in a flock, and,
like true sheep, always keep together when they fly.

In pursuit of this odd sort of game it was our hap to meet with
about forty Tartars: whether they were hunting mutton, as we were,
or whether they looked for another kind of prey, we know not; but
as soon as they saw us, one of them blew a hideous blast on a kind
of horn. This was to call their friends about them, and in less
than ten minutes a troop of forty or fifty more appeared, at about
a mile distance; but our work was over first, as it happened.

One of the Scots merchants of Moscow happened to be amongst us; and
as soon as he heard the horn, he told us that we had nothing to do
but to charge them without loss of time; and drawing us up in a
line, he asked if we were resolved. We told him we were ready to
follow him; so he rode directly towards them. They stood gazing at
us like a mere crowd, drawn up in no sort of order at all; but as
soon as they saw us advance, they let fly their arrows, which
missed us, very happily. Not that they mistook their aim, but
their distance; for their arrows all fell a little short of us, but
with so true an aim, that had we been about twenty yards nearer we
must have had several men wounded, if not killed.

Immediately we halted, and though it was at a great distance, we
fired, and sent them leaden bullets for wooden arrows, following
our shot full gallop, to fall in among them sword in hand--for so
our bold Scot that led us directed. He was, indeed, but a
merchant, but he behaved with such vigour and bravery on this
occasion, and yet with such cool courage too, that I never saw any
man in action fitter for command. As soon as we came up to them we
fired our pistols in their faces and then drew; but they fled in
the greatest confusion imaginable. The only stand any of them made
was on our right, where three of them stood, and, by signs, called
the rest to come back to them, having a kind of scimitar in their
hands, and their bows hanging to their backs. Our brave commander,
without asking anybody to follow him, gallops up close to them, and
with his fusee knocks one of them off his horse, killed the second
with his pistol, and the third ran away. Thus ended our fight; but
we had this misfortune attending it, that all our mutton we had in
chase got away. We had not a man killed or hurt; as for the
Tartars, there were about five of them killed--how many were
wounded we knew not; but this we knew, that the other party were so
frightened with the noise of our guns that they fled, and never
made any attempt upon us.

We were all this while in the Chinese dominions, and therefore the
Tartars were not so bold as afterwards; but in about five days we
entered a vast wild desert, which held us three days' and nights'
march; and we were obliged to carry our water with us in great
leathern bottles, and to encamp all night, just as I have heard
they do in the desert of Arabia. I asked our guides whose dominion
this was in, and they told me this was a kind of border that might
be called no man's land, being a part of Great Karakathy, or Grand
Tartary: that, however, it was all reckoned as belonging to China,
but that there was no care taken here to preserve it from the
inroads of thieves, and therefore it was reckoned the worst desert
in the whole march, though we were to go over some much larger.

In passing this frightful wilderness we saw, two or three times,
little parties of the Tartars, but they seemed to be upon their own
affairs, and to have no design upon us; and so, like the man who
met the devil, if they had nothing to say to us, we had nothing to
say to them: we let them go. Once, however, a party of them came
so near as to stand and gaze at us. Whether it was to consider if
they should attack us or not, we knew not; but when we had passed
at some distance by them, we made a rear-guard of forty men, and
stood ready for them, letting the caravan pass half a mile or
thereabouts before us. After a while they marched off, but they
saluted us with five arrows at their parting, which wounded a horse
so that it disabled him, and we left him the next day, poor
creature, in great need of a good farrier. We saw no more arrows
or Tartars that time.

We travelled near a month after this, the ways not being so good as
at first, though still in the dominions of the Emperor of China,
but lay for the most part in the villages, some of which were
fortified, because of the incursions of the Tartars. When we were
come to one of these towns (about two days and a half's journey
before we came to the city of Naum), I wanted to buy a camel, of
which there are plenty to be sold all the way upon that road, and
horses also, such as they are, because, so many caravans coming
that way, they are often wanted. The person that I spoke to to get
me a camel would have gone and fetched one for me; but I, like a
fool, must be officious, and go myself along with him; the place
was about two miles out of the village, where it seems they kept
the camels and horses feeding under a guard.

I walked it on foot, with my old pilot and a Chinese, being very
desirous of a little variety. When we came to the place it was a
low, marshy ground, walled round with stones, piled up dry, without
mortar or earth among them, like a park, with a little guard of
Chinese soldiers at the door. Having bought a camel, and agreed
for the price, I came away, and the Chinese that went with me led
the camel, when on a sudden came up five Tartars on horseback. Two
of them seized the fellow and took the camel from him, while the
other three stepped up to me and my old pilot, seeing us, as it
were, unarmed, for I had no weapon about me but my sword, which
could but ill defend me against three horsemen. The first that
came up stopped short upon my drawing my sword, for they are arrant
cowards; but a second, coming upon my left, gave me a blow on the
head, which I never felt till afterwards, and wondered, when I came
to myself, what was the matter, and where I was, for he laid me
flat on the ground; but my never-failing old pilot, the Portuguese,
had a pistol in his pocket, which I knew nothing of, nor the
Tartars either: if they had, I suppose they would not have
attacked us, for cowards are always boldest when there is no
danger. The old man seeing me down, with a bold heart stepped up
to the fellow that had struck me, and laying hold of his arm with
one hand, and pulling him down by main force a little towards him,
with the other shot him into the head, and laid him dead upon the
spot. He then immediately stepped up to him who had stopped us, as
I said, and before he could come forward again, made a blow at him
with a scimitar, which he always wore, but missing the man, struck
his horse in the side of his head, cut one of the ears off by the
root, and a great slice down by the side of his face. The poor
beast, enraged with the wound, was no more to be governed by his
rider, though the fellow sat well enough too, but away he flew, and
carried him quite out of the pilot's reach; and at some distance,
rising upon his hind legs, threw down the Tartar, and fell upon
him.

In this interval the poor Chinese came in who had lost the camel,
but he had no weapon; however, seeing the Tartar down, and his
horse fallen upon him, away he runs to him, and seizing upon an
ugly weapon he had by his side, something like a pole-axe, he
wrenched it from him, and made shift to knock his Tartarian brains
out with it. But my old man had the third Tartar to deal with
still; and seeing he did not fly, as he expected, nor come on to
fight him, as he apprehended, but stood stock still, the old man
stood still too, and fell to work with his tackle to charge his
pistol again: but as soon as the Tartar saw the pistol away he
scoured, and left my pilot, my champion I called him afterwards, a
complete victory.

By this time I was a little recovered. I thought, when I first
began to wake, that I had been in a sweet sleep; but, as I said
above, I wondered where I was, how I came upon the ground, and what
was the matter. A few moments after, as sense returned, I felt
pain, though I did not know where; so I clapped my hand to my head,
and took it away bloody; then I felt my head ache: and in a moment
memory returned, and everything was present to me again. I jumped
upon my feet instantly, and got hold of my sword, but no enemies
were in view: I found a Tartar lying dead, and his horse standing
very quietly by him; and, looking further, I saw my deliverer, who
had been to see what the Chinese had done, coming back with his
hanger in his hand. The old man, seeing me on my feet, came
running to me, and joyfully embraced me, being afraid before that I
had been killed. Seeing me bloody, he would see how I was hurt;
but it was not much, only what we call a broken head; neither did I
afterwards find any great inconvenience from the blow, for it was
well again in two or three days.

We made no great gain, however, by this victory, for we lost a
camel and gained a horse. I paid for the lost camel, and sent for
another; but I did not go to fetch it myself: I had had enough of
that.

The city of Naum, which we were approaching, is a frontier of the
Chinese empire, and is fortified in their fashion. We wanted, as I
have said, above two days' journey of this city when messengers
were sent express to every part of the road to tell all travellers
and caravans to halt till they had a guard sent for them; for that
an unusual body of Tartars, making ten thousand in all, had
appeared in the way, about thirty miles beyond the city.

This was very bad news to travellers: however, it was carefully
done of the governor, and we were very glad to hear we should have
a guard. Accordingly, two days after, we had two hundred soldiers
sent us from a garrison of the Chinese on our left, and three
hundred more from the city of Naum, and with these we advanced
boldly. The three hundred soldiers from Naum marched in our front,
the two hundred in our rear, and our men on each side of our
camels, with our baggage and the whole caravan in the centre; in
this order, and well prepared for battle, we thought ourselves a
match for the whole ten thousand Mogul Tartars, if they had
appeared; but the next day, when they did appear, it was quite

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