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The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1808) by Daniel Defoe

Part 10 out of 11

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would 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.

But by how much the greater weight the anxieties and perplexities of
those things were to our thoughts while we were at sea, by so much 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
long under it; but the Portuguese pilot came, and took it off his back,
and the hill disappeared, the ground before him shewing all smooth and
plain: and truly it was so; we 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 I 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, and a warehouse for our goods, which, by the
way, was much the same: it was a little house, or hut, with a large
house joining to it, all built with canes, and palisadoed round with
large canes, to keep out pilfering thieves, of which it seems there were
not a few in the country. However, the magistrates allowed us all a
little guard, and we had a soldier with a kind of halbert, or half-pike,
who stood sentinel at our door, to whom we allowed a pint of rice, and a
little 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 in this place had been over some time;
however, we found that there were three or four junks in the river, and
two Japanners, I mean ships from Japan, with goods which they had bought
in China, and were not gone away, having Japanese merchants on shore.

The first thing our old Portuguese pilot did for us was to bring 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. However, that was not our business. One
of these was a Frenchman, whom they called Father Simon; he was a jolly
well-conditioned man, very free in his conversation, not seeming so
serious and grave as the other two did, one of whom was a Portuguese,
and the other a Genoese: but Father Simon was courteous, easy in his
manner, and very agreeable company; 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, say some prayers
to the Virgin Mary and her Son, in a tongue which they understand not,
and to cross themselves, and the like; yet it must be confessed that
these religious, whom we call missionaries, have a firm belief that
these people should be saved, and that they are the instrument of it;
and, on this account, they undergo not only the fatigue of the voyage,
and hazards of living in such places, but oftentimes death itself, with
the most violent tortures, for the sake of this work: and it would be a
great want of charity in us, whatever opinion we have of the work
itself, and the manner of their doing it, if we should not have a good
opinion of their zeal, who undertake it with so many hazards, and who
have no prospect of the least temporal advantage to themselves.

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

But first I come to my friar or missionary: dining with him 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, and with a great many
persuasions, to consent. "Why, Father Simon," says my partner, "why
should you desire our company so much? You know we are heretics, and you
do not love us, nor can keep us company with any pleasure."--"O!" 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 won't be
troublesome to you," said he; "our religion does not divest us of good
manners; besides," said he, "we are all here like countrymen; and so we
are, compared to the place we are in; and if you are Hugonots, and I a
Catholic, we may be all Christians at last; at least," said he, "we are
all gentlemen, and we may converse so, without being uneasy to one
another." I liked that part of his discourse very well, and it began to
put me in mind of my priest that I had left in the Brasils; but this
Father Simon did not come up to his character by a great deal; for
though Father Simon had no appearance of a criminal levity in him
neither, yet he had not that fund of Christian zeal, strict piety, and
sincere affection to religion, that my other good ecclesiastic had, of
whom I have said so much.

But to leave him a little, though he never left us, nor soliciting us to
go with him, but we had something else before us at that time; 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; and once I was about to venture to sail for
the river of Kilam, and the city of Nanquin: 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; and
when I began sometimes to think of it, could not imagine by what method
it was to be done. 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 began to inquire 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
eleven ounces each. While we were dealing with him for our opium, it
came into my head that he might, perhaps, deal with us 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, and that was
this: he had bought a great quantity of goods of us when he had no
thoughts (or proposals made to him) of buying the ship, and that,
therefore, he had not money enough 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 this proposal; and so eager did my head still run
upon rambling, that I could not but begin to entertain a notion myself
of going with him, and so to sail from the Philippine islands away to
the South Seas; and 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, he said, 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, treacherous people; and then of the Spaniards at the
Philippines, more false, more cruel, more 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
the men, and know if they were willing to go to Japan; and, while I was
doing this, the young man whom, as I said, my nephew had left with me as
my companion for my travels, came to me 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 how I
pleased to order him; and if ever he came to England, and I was there,
and alive, he would render me a faithful account of his success, and it
should be as much mine as I pleased.

I was really loath to part with him; but considering the prospect of
advantage, which was really considerable, and that he was a young fellow
as likely to do well in it as any I knew, I inclined to let him go; but
first I told him, I would consult my partner, and give him an answer the
next day. My partner and I discoursed about it, and my partner made a
most generous offer: he told me, "You know it has been an unlucky ship,
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'll 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 do no 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, paid him his freight very punctually, sent him to the
Philippines, loaded him 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 cloves and other spice; and there
he was not only paid his freight very well, and at a very good price,
but being not willing to sell the ship then, the merchant furnished him
with goods on his own account; that for some money and some spices of
his own, which he brought with him, he went back to the Manillas, to the
Spaniards, where he sold his cargo very well. Here, having gotten a good
acquaintance at Manilla, he got his ship made a free ship; and the
governor of Manilla hired him to go to Acapulco in America, on the coast
of Mexico; and gave him a licence to land there, and 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, some how or other, to go to Jamaica with all his
treasure; and about eight years after came to England, exceeding rich;
of which I shall take notice in its place; in the mean time, I 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
of Cambodia. The truth was, they had done us a 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; and 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 to them,
which they said was due to them on board their respective ships; that is
to say, the Englishman nineteen months pay, and to the Dutchman seven;
and, over and above that, I gave each of them a small sum of money in
gold, which contented them very well: then I made the Englishman gunner
of 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 gotten about a
thousand leagues farther off from home, and perfectly 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 that place where we were, and then we might be able
to purchase all sorts of the manufactures of the country, and withal
might possibly find some Chinese junks or vessels from Nanquin, that
would be to be sold, and 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 journies into the country; first, we went ten days
journey to see the city of Nanquin, a city well worth seeing indeed:
they say it has a million of people in it; which, however, I do not
believe: it is regularly built, the streets all exactly straight, and
cross one another in direct lines, which gives the figure of it great

But when I came 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, I do not so much as think it worth naming, or worth my while to
write of, or any that shall come after me to read.

It is very observable, that we wonder at the grandeur, the riches, the
pomp, the ceremonies, the government, the manufactures, the commerce,
and the conduct of these people; not that they are to be wondered at,
or, indeed, in the least to be regarded; but because, having first a
notion of the barbarity of those countries, the rudeness and the
ignorance that prevail there, we do not expect to find any such things
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 their cities to ours, for wealth,
strength, gaiety of apparel, rich furniture, and an infinite variety?
What are their ports, supplied with a few junks and barks, to our
navigation, our merchants' fleets, our large and powerful navies? Our
city of London has more trade than all their mighty empire. One English,
or Dutch, or French man of war of eighty guns, would fight with and
destroy all the shipping of China. But the greatness of their wealth,
their trade, the power of their government, and strength of their
armies are 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; and this, indeed, is the advantage with
which all their greatness and power is represented to us: otherwise, it
is in itself nothing at all; for, as I have said of their ships, so it
may be said of their armies and troops; 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.
If they were to besiege a strong town in Flanders, or to fight a
disciplined army, one line of German cuirassiers, or of French cavalry,
would overthrow all the horse of China; 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 30,000 German or English foot, and 10,000
French horse, would fairly beat all the forces of China. And so of our
fortified towns, and of the art of our engineers, in assaulting and
defending towns; there is not a fortified town in China could hold out
one month against the batteries and attacks of an European army; and at
the same time, all the armies of China could never take such a town as
Dunkirk, provided it was not starved; no, not in ten years siege. They
have fire-arms, it is true, but they are awkward, clumsy, and uncertain
in going off; they have powder, but it is of no strength; they have
neither discipline in the field, exercise in their arms, skill to
attack, nor 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, riches, glory, magnificence, and trade of the
Chinese, because I saw and knew that they were a contemptible herd or
crowd of ignorant, sordid slaves, subjected to a government qualified
only to rule such a people; and, in a word, for I am now launched quite
beside my design, I say, in a word, were not its distance inconceivably
great from Muscovy, and were not the Muscovite empire almost as rude,
impotent, and ill-governed a crowd of slaves as they, the czar of
Muscovy might, with much ease, drive them all out of their country, and
conquer them in one campaign; and had the czar, who I since hear is a
growing prince, and begins to appear formidable in the world, fallen
this way, instead of attacking the warlike Swedes, in which attempt none
of the powers of Europe would have 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 imperfect and impotent, compared to the same things in
Europe. Also, in their knowledge, their learning, their skill in the
sciences; they have globes and spheres, and a smatch of the knowledge of
the mathematics; but when you come to inquire into their knowledge, how
short-sighted are the wisest of their students! They know nothing of the
motion of the heavenly bodies; and so grossly, absurdly ignorant, that
when the sun is eclipsed, they think it is a great dragon has assaulted
and run away with it; and they fall a-cluttering 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 this kind which I have made in all the
account I have given of my travels, so I shall make no more descriptions
of countries and people: it is none of my business, or any part of my
design; but giving an account of my own adventures, through a life of
infinite wanderings, and a long variety of changes, which, perhaps, few
have heard the like of, I shall say nothing of 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 the latitude of thirty degrees north of the line, for we were
returned from Nanquin; 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 to go; so I
referred him 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
with great homage from the people, who are sometimes greatly
impoverished by them, because all the countries they pass through are
obliged to furnish provisions for them, and all their attendants. That
which I particularly observed, as to our travelling with his baggage,
was this; 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 every thing we had after the
market-price of the country, and the mandarin's steward, or commissary
of the provisions, collected it duly from us; so that our travelling in
the retinue of the mandarin, though it was a very great kindness to us,
was not such a mighty favour in him, but was, indeed, a great advantage
to him, considering there were about thirty other people travelling in
the same manner besides us, under the protection of his retinue, or, as
we may call it, under his convoy. This, I say, was a great advantage to
him; for the country furnished all the provisions for nothing, and he
took all our money for them.

We were five-and-twenty days travelling to Pekin, through a country
infinitely populous, but miserably cultivated; the husbandry, economy,
and the way of living, all very miserable, though they boast so much of
the industry of the people: I say miserable; and so it is; if we, who
understand how to live, were to endure it, or to compare it with our
own; but not so to these poor wretches, who know no other. The pride of
these people is infinitely great, and exceeded by nothing but their
poverty, which adds to that which I call their misery. I must needs
think the naked savages of America live much more happy, because, as
they have nothing, so they desire nothing; whereas these are proud and
insolent, and, in the main, are mere beggars and drudges; their
ostentation is inexpressible, and is chiefly shewed in their clothes and
buildings, and in the keeping multitudes of servants or slaves, and,
which is to the last degree ridiculous, 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; for all their famed ingenuity is no more. My friend Father
Simon, and I, used to be very merry upon these occasions, to see the
beggarly pride of those people. For example, coming by the house of a
country-gentleman, as Father Simon called him, about ten leagues off
from the city of Nanquin, 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.

The habit of this greasy Don was very proper for a scaramouch, or
merry-andrew; being a dirty calico, with all the tawdry trappings of a
fool's coat, such as hanging sleeves, taffety, and cuts and slashes
almost on every side: it covered a rich taffety vest, as greasy as a
butcher, and which testified, that his honour must needs be a most
exquisite sloven.

His horse was a poor, lean, starved, hobbling creature, such as in
England might sell for about thirty or forty shillings; and he had 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; and we were told he was 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 his
repast; it was a kind of a garden, but he was easy to be seen; and we
were given to understand, that the more we looked on him, the better he
would be pleased.

He sat under a tree, something like the palmetto-tree, which effectually
shaded him over the head, and on the south side; but under the tree also
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 his meat being brought him by two women-slaves: he had two more,
whose office, I think, few gentlemen in Europe would accept of their
service in, viz. one 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, with the other; while the great fat brute
thought it below him to employ his own hands in any of those familiar
offices, which kings and monarchs would rather do than be troubled with
the clumsy fingers of their servants.

I took this time to think what pain men's pride puts them to, and how
troublesome a haughty temper, thus ill-managed, must be to a man of
common sense; and, leaving the poor wretch to please himself with our
looking at him, as if we admired his pomp, whereas we really pitied and
contemned him, we pursued our journey: only 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 said he had the honour to
taste of, and which was, I think, a dose that an English hound would
scarce have eaten, if it had been offered him, viz. a mess of boiled
rice, with a great piece of garlick 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 lump or piece of lean mutton boiled in it;
and this was his worship's repast, four or five servants more attending
at a distance. If he fed them meaner than he was fed himself, the spice
excepted, they must fare very coarsely indeed.

As for our mandarin with whom we travelled, he was respected like 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;
but this I observed, that there was not a horse in his retinue, but that
our carriers' pack-horses in England seem to me to look much better; but
they were so covered with equipage, mantles, trappings, and such-like
trumpery, that you cannot see whether they are fat or lean. In a word,
we could scarce see any thing but their feet and their heads.

I was now light-hearted, and all my trouble and perplexity that I had
given an account of being over, I had no anxious thoughts about me;
which made this journey much the pleasanter to me; nor had I any ill
accident attended me, only in the 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, to my great loss, as to the names of some places
which I touched at in this voyage.

At length we arrived at Pekin; I had nobody with me but the youth, whom
my nephew the captain 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 gave him his passage, that is to say, bore
his charges for his company; and to use him as an interpreter, for he
understood the language of the country, and spoke good French and a
little English; and, indeed, this old man was a most useful implement to
us every where; for we had not been above a week at Pekin, when he came
laughing: "Ah, Seignior Inglese," said he, "I have something to tell
you, will make your heart glad."--"My heart glad," said I; "what can
that be? I don't know any thing 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 sorrow;" sorry, he would have said. This
made me more inquisitive. "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 Muscovy and Polish
merchants in the city, and that they were 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 surprised with this news: a secret joy
spread itself over my whole soul, which I cannot describe, and never
felt before or since; and I had no power, for a good while, to speak a
word to the old man; but at last I turned to him: "How do you know
this?" said I: "are you sure it is true?"--"Yes," he said, "I met this
morning in the street an old acquaintance of mine, an Armenian, or one
you call a Grecian, who is among them; he came last from Astracan, and
was designing to go to Tonquin; where I formerly knew him, but has
altered his mind, and is now resolved to go back with the caravan to
Moscow, and so down the river of Wolga to Astracan."--"Well, Seignior,"
said 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 made a good voyage here, if he
could vest it in China silks, wrought and raw, such as might be worth
the carriage, he would be content to go to England, and then make his
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
part neither, if we had not rewarded him farther; for the service he had
done us was really worth all that, and more; for he had not only been a
pilot to us at sea, but he had been also like a broker for us on shore;
and his procuring for us the Japan merchant was some hundreds of pounds
in our pockets. So we consulted together about it; and, being willing to
gratify him, which was, indeed, 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
compute it, came to about one hundred and seventy-five pounds sterling
between us, and to bear his charges, both for himself and horse, except
only a horse to carry his goods.

Having settled this among ourselves, we called him to let him know what
we had resolved: I told him, he had complained of our being like to let
him go back alone, and I was now to tell him we were resolved he should
not go back at all: that as we had resolved to go to Europe with the
caravan, we resolved also 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
he had no pecune to carry him thither, nor to subsist himself when he
came thither. We told him, we believed it was so, and therefore we had
resolved to do something for him, that would 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 ashore (life and casualties
excepted), either in Muscovy or in England, which he would, 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 the whole world; and so, in short, we all prepared
ourselves for the 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 odd days before all
things were got together.

It was the beginning of February, our 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 he had left there; and
I, with a Chinese merchant, whom I had some knowledge of at Nanquin, and
who came to Pekin on his own affairs, went to Nanquin, where I bought
ninety pieces of fine damasks, with about two hundred pieces of other
very fine silks, of several sorts, some mixed with gold, and had all
these brought to Pekin against my partner's return: besides this, we
bought a very 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 camel-loads of nutmegs and cloves, loaded in all
eighteen camels for our share, besides those we rode upon; which, with
two or three spare horses, and two horses loaded with provisions, made
us, in short, 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 camels, and upward of a 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; but they are not altogether so dangerous as the Arabs,
nor so barbarous when they prevail.

The company consisted of people of several nations, such as Muscovites
chiefly; for there were about sixty of them who were 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 very good substance.

When we had travelled one day's journey, the guides, who were five in
number, called all the gentlemen and merchants, that is to say, all the
passengers, except the servants, to a great council, as they termed it.
At this great 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. And here they constituted the journey, as
they called it, viz. they named captains and officers to draw us all up
and give the 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
found needful upon the way, as shall be observed in its place.

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 tempered the
earth for the China ware; and, as I was going along, our Portuguese
pilot, who had always something or other to say to make us merry, came
sneering to me, and told me, he would shew the greatest rarity in all
the country; and that I should have this to say of China, after all the
ill humoured things 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
all with China ware. "Well," said I, "are not the materials of their
building the product 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 so in England; or, as it is called in our
country, porcelain."--"Well," said 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!" said 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 see 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 the 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 gally 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 with 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,
especially Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, &c. 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
ceilings, and, in a word, 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 lite rally to be called so;
and had I not been upon the journey, I could have staid some days to see
and examine the particulars of it. They told me there were fountains and
fish-ponds in the garden, all paved at the bottom and sides with the
same, and fine statues set up in rows on the walks, entirely formed of
the porcelain earth, and 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.--One told me, in particular, of a workman that made a
ship, with all its tackle, and masts, and sails, in earthenware, big
enough to carry fifty men. If he 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 story, which was, in short, asking pardon for
the word, 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: so I promised to be more
orderly; for, 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: 'tis about
four fathom 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; I say, I stood
still an hour to look at it, on every side, near and far off; I mean,
what was within my view; and the guide of our caravan, 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 off the
Tartars, which he happened not to understand as I meant it, and so took
it for a compliment; but the old pilot laughed: "O, Seignior Inglese,"
said 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 way: 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; or, will keep out none but Tartars. I
understand you, Seignior Inglese, I understand you," said he, joking;
"but Seignior Chinese understand you his own way."

"Well," said I, "Seignior, 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 they not 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,"
said he, "I know that." The Chinese wanted mightily to know what I said,
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 in a little time
afterwards; but when he knew what I had 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 staid.

After we had passed this mighty nothing, called a wall, something like
the Picts wall, so famous in Northumberland, and built by the Romans, we
began to find the country thinly inhabited, and the people rather
confined to live in fortified towns and cities, 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 how that the Chinese
empire could be conquered by such contemptible fellows; for they are a
mere herd or crowd of wild fellows, keeping no order, and understanding
no discipline, or manner of fight.

Their horses are poor, lean, starved creatures, taught nothing, and are
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 hunting of sheep! However, it may be called hunting
too; for the 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 by
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, I know not; but as soon as they
saw us, one of them blew a kind of horn very loud, but with a barbarous
sound that I had never heard before, and, by the way, never care to hear
again. We all supposed this was to call their friends about them; and so
it was; for in less than half a quarter of an hour, 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, in short, that we had nothing to
do but to charge them immediately, 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 up to them. They stood gazing at us,
like a mere crowd, drawn up in no order, nor shewing the face of any
order at all; but as soon as they saw us advance, they let fly their
arrows; which, however, missed us very happily: it seems they mistook
not 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, resolving 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 that vigour and bravery on this occasion, and yet with such
a 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
at their backs. Our brave commander, without asking any body to follow
him, galloped up close to them, and with his fusil knocked one of them
off his horse, killed the second with his pistol, and the third ran
away; and thus ended our fight; but we had this misfortune attending it,
viz. that all our mutton that we had in chase got away. We had not a man
killed or hurt; but, 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 was so frighted 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 great wild desert, which held us three days and nights
march; and we were obliged to carry our water with us in great leather
bottles, and to encamp all night, just as I have heard they do in the
deserts 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 part of
the Great Karakathy, or Grand Tartary; but that, however, it was
reckoned to China; 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 wilderness, which, I confess, was at the first view very
frightful to me, 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 what they should do, viz. to attack us, or
not attack us, we knew not; but when we were 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, only we found they assaulted us with five arrows
at their parting; one of 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 suppose they might shoot more arrows, which might fall short
of us; but we saw no more arrows, or Tartars, at that time.

We travelled near a month after this, the ways being not so good as at
first, though still in the dominions of the emperor of China; but lay,
for the most part, in villages, some of which were fortified, because of
the incursions of the Tartars. When we came to one of these towns, (it
was about two days and a half's journey before we were to come 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 of horses also, such as they are,
because so many caravans coming that way, they are very often wanted.
The person that I spoke to to get me a camel, would have gone and
fetched it 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 in company, and a Chinese, being
desirous, forsooth, of a little variety. When we came to this place, it
was a low marshy ground, walled round with a stone wall, piled up dry,
without mortar or earth among it, like a park, with a little guard of
Chinese soldiers at the doors. Having bought a camel, and agreed for the
price, I came away; and the Chinese man, 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 with me, and
where I was, for he laid me flat on the ground; but my never-failing old
pilot, the Portuguese (so Providence, unlooked for, directs deliverances
from dangers, which to us are unforeseen,) had a pistol in his pocket,
which I knew nothing of nor the Tartars neither; if they had, I suppose
they would not have attacked us; but 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, he
shot him into the head, and laid him dead on the spot; he then
immediately stepped up to him who had stopped us, as I said, and before
he could come forward again (for it was all done as it were in a moment)
made a blow at him with a scimitar, which he always wore, but, missing
the man, cut his horse into the side of his head, cut one of his ears
off by the root, and a great slice down the side of his face. The poor
beast, enraged with the wounds, 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, he runs to him, and seizing upon an ugly ill-favoured weapon
he had by his side, something like a pole-axe, but not a pole-axe
either, 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 falls to work with his tackle to charge his pistol again: but
as soon as the Tartar saw the pistol, whether he supposed it to be the
same or another, I know not; but away he scoured, and left my pilot, my
champion I called him afterwards, a complete victory.

By this time I was a little awake; for I thought, when I first began to
awake, 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: in a
word, a few minutes after, as sense returned, I felt pain, though I did
not know where; I clapped my hand to my head, and took it away bloody;
then I felt my head ache, and then, in another moment, memory returned,
and every thing was present to me again.

I jumped up upon my feet instantly, and got hold of my sword, but no
enemies in view. I found a Tartar lie dead, and his horse standing very
quietly by him; and looking farther, I saw my champion and 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 embraced me with a great deal of joy, being afraid before that I
had been killed; and seeing me bloody, 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, other than the place which
was hurt, and which 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: but that which was remarkable, when we came back to
the village, the man demanded to be paid for the camel; I disputed it,
and it was brought to a hearing before the Chinese judge of the place;
that is to say, in English, we went before a justice of the peace. Give
him his due, he acted with a great deal of prudence and impartiality;
and having heard both sides, he gravely asked the Chinese man that went
with me to buy the camel, whose servant he was? "I am no servant," said
he, "but went with the stranger."--"At whose request?" said the justice.
"At the stranger's request," said he. "Why then," said the justice, "you
were the stranger's servant for the time; and the camel being delivered
to his servant, it was delivered to him, and he must pay for it."

I confess the thing was so clear, that I had not a word to say; but
admiring to see such just reasoning upon the consequence, and so
accurate stating the case, I paid willingly for the camel, and sent for
another; but you may observe, _I sent_ for it; I did not go to fetch it
myself any more; I had had enough of that.

The city of Naum is a frontier of the Chinese empire: they call it
fortified, and so it is, as fortifications go there; for this I will
venture to affirm, that all the Tartars in Karakathy, which, I believe,
are some millions, could not batter down the walls with their bows and
arrows; but to call it strong, if it were attacked with cannon, would be
to make those who understand it laugh at you.

We wanted, as I have said, about 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 to 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 those 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
another thing.

It was early in the morning, when marching from a little well-situated
town, called Changu, we had a river to pass, where we were obliged to
ferry; and had the Tartars had any intelligence, then had been the time
to have attacked us, when, the caravan being over, the rear-guard was
behind: but they did not appear there.

About three hours after, when we were entered upon, a desert of about
fifteen or sixteen miles over, behold, by a cloud of dust they raised,
we saw an enemy was at hand; and they were at hand indeed, for they came
on upon the spur.

The Chinese, our guard on the front, who had talked so big the day
before, began to stagger, and the soldiers frequently looked behind
them; which is a certain sign in a soldier, that he is just ready to run
away. My old pilot was of my mind; and being near me, he called out:
"Seignior Inglese," said he, "those fellows must be encouraged, or they
will ruin us all; for if the Tartars come on, they will never stand
it."--"I am of your mind," said I: "but what course must be
done?"--"Done?" said he; "let fifty of our men advance, and flank them
on each wing, and encourage them, and they will fight like brave fellows
in brave company: but without it, they will every man turn his back."
Immediately I rode up to our leader, and told him, who was exactly of
our mind; and accordingly fifty of us marched to the right wing, and
fifty to the left, and the rest made a line of reserve; for so we
marched, leaving the last two hundred men to make another body to
themselves, and to guard the camels; only that, if need were, they
should send a hundred men to assist the last fifty.

In a word, the Tartars came on, and an innumerable company they were;
how many, we could not tell, but ten thousand we thought was the least.
A party of them came on first, and viewed our posture, traversing the
ground in the front of our line; and as we found them within gun-shot,
our leader ordered the two wings to advance swiftly, and give them a
_salvo_ on each wing with their shot, which was done; but they went off,
and I suppose went back to give an account of the reception they were
like to meet with; and, indeed, that salute clogged their stomachs; for
they immediately halted, stood awhile to consider of it, and, wheeling
off to the left, they gave over the design, and said no more to us for
that time; which was very agreeable to our circumstances, which were but
very indifferent for a battle with such a number.

Two days after this we came to the city of Naum, or Naunm. We thanked
the governor for his care for us, and collected to the value of one
hundred crowns, or thereabouts, which we gave to the soldiers sent to
guard us; and here we rested one day. This is a garrison indeed, and
there were nine hundred soldiers kept here; but the reason of it was,
that formerly the Muscovite frontiers lay nearer to them than they do
now, the Muscovites having abandoned that part of the country (which
lies from the city west, for about two hundred miles) as desolate and
unfit for use; and more especially, being so very remote, and so
difficult to send troops hither for its defence; for we had yet above
two thousand miles to Muscovy, properly so called.

After this we passed several great rivers, and two dreadful deserts, one
of which we were sixteen days passing over, and which, as I said, was to
be called No Man's Land; and on the 13th of April we came to the
frontiers of the Muscovite dominions. I think the first city, or town,
or fortress, whatever it might be called, that belonged to the czar of
Muscovy, was called Argun, being on the west side of the river Argun.

I could not but discover an infinite satisfaction; that I was now
arrived in, as I called it, a Christian country; or, at least, in a
country governed by Christians: for though the Muscovites do, in my
opinion, but just deserve the name of Christians (yet such they pretend
to be, and are very devout in their way:) it would certainly occur to
any man who travels the world as I have done, and who had any power of
reflection; I say, it would occur to him, to reflect, what a blessing it
is to be brought into the world where the name of God, and of a
Redeemer, is known, worshipped, and adored--and not where the people,
given up by Heaven to strong delusions, worship the devil, and prostrate
themselves to stocks and stones; worship monsters, elements,
horrible-shaped animals, and statues, or images of monsters. Not a town
or city we passed through but had their pagods, their idols, and their
temples; and ignorant people worshipping even the works of their
own hands!

Now we came where, at least, a face of the Christian worship appeared,
where the knee was bowed to Jesus; and whether ignorantly or not, yet
the Christian religion was owned, and the name of the true God was
called upon and adored; and it made the very recesses of my soul rejoice
to see it. I saluted the brave Scotch merchant I mentioned above, with
my first acknowledgment of this; and, taking him by the hand, I said to
him, "Blessed be God, we are once again come among Christians!" He
smiled, and answered, "Do not rejoice too soon, countryman; these
Muscovites are but an odd sort of Christians; and but for the name of
it, you may see very little of the substance for some months farther of
our journey."

"Well," said I, "but still it is better than paganism, and worshipping
of devils."--"Why, I'll tell you," said he; "except the Russian soldiers
in garrisons, and a few of the inhabitants of the cities upon the road,
all the rest of this country, for above a thousand miles farther, is
inhabited by the worst and most ignorant of pagans." And so indeed
we found it.

We were now launched into the greatest piece of solid earth, if I
understand any thing of the surface of the globe, that is to be found in
any part of the world: we had at least twelve hundred miles to the sea,
eastward; we had at least two thousand to the bottom of the Baltic sea,
westward; and almost three thousand miles, if we left that sea, and went
on west to the British and French channels; we had full five thousand
miles to the Indian or Persian sea, south; and about eight hundred miles
to the Frozen sea, north; nay, if some people may be believed, there
might be no sea north-east till we came round the pole, and consequently
into the north-west, and so had a continent of land into America, no
mortal knows where; though I could give some reasons why I believe that
to be a mistake too.

As we entered into the Muscovite dominions, a good while before we came
to any considerable town, we had nothing to observe there but this:
first, that all the rivers run to the east. As I understood by the
charts which some of our caravans had with them, it was plain that all
those rivers ran into the great river Yamour, or Gammour. This river, by
the natural course of it, must run into the east sea, or Chinese ocean.
The story they tell us, that the mouth of this river is choked up with
bulrushes of a monstrous growth, viz. three feet about, and twenty or
thirty feet high, I must be allowed to say I believe nothing of; but as
its navigation is of no use, because there is no trade that way, the
Tartars, to whom alone it belongs, dealing in nothing but cattle; so
nobody that ever I heard or, has been curious enough either to go down
to the mouth of it in boats, or to come up from the mouth of it in
ships; but this is certain, that this river running due east, in the
latitude of sixty degrees, carries a vast concourse of rivers along with
it, and finds an ocean to empty itself in that latitude; so we are sure
of sea there.

Some leagues to the north of this river there are several considerable
rivers, whose streams run as due north as the Yamour runs east; and
these are all found to join their waters with the great river Tartarus,
named so from the northernmost nations of the Mogul Tartars, who, the
Chinese say, were the first Tartars in the world; and who, as our
geographers allege, are the Gog and Magog mentioned in sacred story.

These rivers running all northward, as well as all the other rivers I am
yet to speak of, made it evident that the northern ocean bounds the land
also on that side; so that it does not seem rational in the least to
think that the land can extend itself to join with America on that side,
or that there is not a communication between the northern and the
eastern ocean; but of this I shall say no more; it was my observation at
that time, and therefore I take notice of it in this place. We now
advanced from the river Arguna by easy and moderate journies, and were
very visibly obliged to the care the czar of Muscovy has taken to have
cities and towns built in as many places as are possible to place them,
where his soldiers keep garrison, something, like the stationary
soldiers placed by the Romans in the remotest countries of their empire,
some of which I had read were particularly placed in Britain for the
security of commerce, and for the lodging of travellers; and thus it was
here; though wherever we came at these towns and stations the garrisons
and governor were Russians and professed mere pagans, sacrificing to
idols, and worshipping the sun, moon, and stars, or all the host of
heaven; and not only so, but were, of all the heathens and pagans that
ever I met with, the most barbarous, except only that they did not eat
man's flesh, as our savages of America did.

Some instances of this we met with in the country between Arguna, where
we enter the Muscovite dominions, and a city of Tartars and Russians
together, called Nertzinskay; in which space is a continued desert or
forest, which cost us twenty days to travel over it. In a village near
the last of those places, I had the curiosity to go and see their way of
living; which is most brutish and unsufferable: they had, I suppose, a
great sacrifice that day; for there stood out upon an old stump of a
tree, an idol made of wood, frightful as the devil; at least as any
thing we can think of to represent the devil that can be made. It had a
head certainly not so much as resembling any creature that the world
ever saw; ears as big as goats' horns, and as high; eyes as big as a
crown-piece; and a nose like a crooked ram's horn, and a mouth extended
four-cornered, like that of a lion, with horrible teeth, hooked like a
parrot's under bill. It was dressed up in the filthiest manner that you
can suppose; its upper garment was of sheep-skins, with the wool
outward; a great Tartar bonnet on the head, with two horns growing
through it: it was about eight feet high, yet had no feet or legs, or
any other proportion of parts.

This scarecrow was set up at the outside of the village; and when I came
near to it, there were sixteen or seventeen creatures, whether men or
women I could not tell, for they make no distinction by their habits,
either of body or head; these lay all flat on the ground, round this
formidable block of shapeless wood. I saw no motion among them any more
than if they had been logs of wood, like their idol; at first I really
thought they had been so; but when I came a little nearer, they started
up upon their feet, and raised a howling cry, as if it had been so many
deep-mouthed hounds, and walked away as if they were displeased at our
disturbing them. A little way off from this monster, and at the door of
a tent or hut, made all of sheep-skins and cow-skins, dried, stood three
butchers: I thought they were such; for when I came nearer to them, I
found they had long knives in their hands, and in the middle of the tent
appeared three sheep killed, and one young bullock, or steer. These, it
seems, were sacrifices to that senseless log of an idol; and these three
men priests belonging to it; and the seventeen prostrated wretches were
the people who brought the offering, and were making their prayers to
that stock.

I confess I was more moved at their stupidity, and this brutish worship
of a hobgoblin, than ever I was at any thing in my life: to see God's
most glorious and best creature, to whom be had granted so many
advantages, even by creation, above the rest of the works of his hands,
vested with a reasonable soul, and that soul adorned with faculties and
capacities adapted both to honour his Maker and be honoured by him; I
say, to see it sunk and degenerated to a degree so more than stupid, as
to prostrate itself to a frightful nothing, a mere imaginary object
dressed up by themselves, and made terrible to themselves by their own
contrivance, adorned only with clouts and rags; and that this should be
the effect of mere ignorance, wrought up into hellish devotion by the
devil himself; who, envying his Maker the homage and adoration of his
creatures, had deluded them into such gross, surfeiting, sordid, and
brutish things, as one would think should shock nature itself.

But what signified all the astonishment and reflection of thoughts? Thus
it was, and I saw it before my eyes; and there was no room to wonder at
it, or think it impossible. All my admiration turned to rage; and I rode
up to the image or monster, call it what you will, and with my sword cut
the bonnet that was on its head in two in the middle, so that it hung
down by one of the horns; and one of our men that was with me, took hold
of the sheep skin that covered it, and pulled at it, when, behold, a
most hideous outcry and howling ran through the village, and two or
three hundred people came about my ears, so that I was glad to scour for
it; for we saw some had bows and arrows; but I resolved from that moment
to visit them again.

Our caravan rested three nights at the town, which was about four miles
off, in order to provide some horses, which they wanted, several of the
horses having been lamed and jaded with the badness of the way, and our
long march over the last desert; so we had some leisure here to put my
design in execution. I communicated my project to the Scots merchant, of
Moscow, of whose courage I had had a sufficient testimony, as above. I
told him what I had seen, and with what indignation I had since thought
that human nature could be so degenerate. I told him, I was resolved,
if I could get but four or five men well armed to go with me, to go and
destroy that vile, abominable idol; to let them see, that it had no
power to help itself, and consequently could not be an object of
worship, or to be prayed to, much less help them that offered
sacrifices to it.

He laughed at me: said he, "Your zeal may be good; but what do you
propose to yourself by it?"--"Propose!" said I: "to vindicate the
honour of God, which is insulted by this devil-worship."--"But how will
it vindicate the honour of God," said he, "while the people will not be
able to know what you mean by it, unless you could speak to them too,
and tell them so? and then they will fight you too, I will assure you,
for they are desperate fellows, and that especially in defence of their
idolatry."--"Can we not," said I, "do it in the night, and then leave
them the reasons in writing, in their own language?"--"Writing!" said
he; "why, there is not in five nations of them one man that knows any
thing of a letter, or how to read a word in any language, or in their
own."--"Wretched ignorance!" said I to him: "however, I have a great
mind to do it; perhaps nature may draw inferences from it to them, to
let them see how brutish they are to worship such horrid things."--"Look
you, Sir," said he; "if your zeal prompts you to it so warmly, you must
do it; but in the next place, I would have you consider these wild
nations of people are subjected by force to the czar of Muscovy's
dominion; and if you do this, it is ten to one but they will come by
thousands to the governor of Nertzinskay, and complain, and demand
satisfaction; and if he cannot give them satisfaction, it is ten to one
but they revolt; and it will occasion a new war with all the Tartars in
the country."

This, I confess, put new thoughts into my head for a while; but I harped
upon the same string still; and all that day I was uneasy to put my
project in execution. Towards the evening the Scots merchant met me by
accident in our walk about the town, and desired to speak with me: "I
believe," said he, "I have put you off your good design; I have been a
little concerned about it since; for I abhor the idol and idolatry as
much as you can do."--"Truly," said I, "you have put it off a little, as
to the execution of it, but you have not put it all out of my thoughts;
and, I believe, I shall do it still before I quit this place, though I
were to be delivered up to them for satisfaction."--"No, no," said he,
"God forbid they should deliver you up to such a crew of monsters! they
shall not do that neither; that would be murdering you indeed."--"Why,"
said I, "how would they use me?"--"Use you!" said he: "I'll tell you how
they served a poor Russian, who affronted them in their worship just as
you did, and whom they took prisoner, after they had lamed him with an
arrow, that he could not run away: they took him and stripped him stark
naked, and set him upon the top of the idol monster, and stood all round
him, and shot as many arrows into him as would stick over his whole
body; and then they burnt him, and all the arrows sticking in him, as a
sacrifice to the idol."--"And was this the same idol:" said I.--"Yes,"
said he, "the very same."--"Well," said I, "I will tell you a story." So
I related the story of our men at Madagascar, and how they burnt and
sacked the village there, and killed man, woman, and child, for their
murdering one of our men, just as it is related before; and when I had
done, I added, that I thought we ought to do so to this village.

He listened very attentively to the story; but when I talked of doing so
to that village, said he, "You mistake very much; it was not this
village, it was almost a hundred miles from this place; but it was the
same idol, for they carry him about in procession all over the
country."--"Well," said I, "then that idol ought to be punished for it;
and it shall," said I, "if I live this night out."

In a word, finding me resolute, he liked the design, and told me, I
should not go alone, but he would go with me; but he would go first,
and bring a stout fellow, one of his countrymen, to go also with us;
"and one," said he, "as famous for his zeal as you can desire any one to
be against such devilish things as these." In a word, he brought me his
comrade a Scotsman, whom he called Captain Richardson; and I gave him a
full account of what I had seen, and also what I intended; and he told
me readily, he would go with me, if it cost him his life. So we agreed
to go, only we three. I had, indeed, proposed it to my partner, but he
declined it. He said, he was ready to assist me to the utmost, and upon
all occasions, for my defence; but that this was an adventure quite out
of his way: so, I say, we resolved upon our work, only we three, and my
man-servant, and to put it in execution that night about midnight, with
all the secresy imaginable.

However, upon second thoughts, we were willing to delay it till the next
night, because the caravan being to set forward in the morning, we
supposed the governor could not pretend to give them any satisfaction
upon us when we were out of his power. The Scots merchant, as steady in
his resolution to enterprise it as bold in executing, brought me a
Tartar's robe or gown of sheep-skins, and a bonnet, with a bow and
arrows, and had provided the same for himself and his countryman, that
the people, if they saw us, should not be able to determine who we were.

All the first night we spent in mixing up some combustible matter with
aqua-vitae, gunpowder, and such other materials as we could get; and,
having a good quantity of tar in a little pot, about an hour after night
we set out upon our expedition.

We came to the place about eleven o'clock at night, and found that the
people had not the least jealousy of danger attending their idol. The
night was cloudy; yet the moon gave us light enough to see that the idol
stood just in the same posture and place that it did before. The people
seemed to be all at their rest; only, that in the great hut, or tent as
we called it, where we saw the three priests, whom we mistook for
butchers, we saw a light, and going up close to the door, we heard
people talking, as if there were five or six of them; we concluded,
therefore, that if we set wildfire to the idol, these men would come out
immediately, and run up to the place to rescue it from the destruction
that we intended for it; and what to do with them we knew not. Once we
thought of carrying it away, and setting fire to it at a distance, but
when we came to handle it we found it too bulky for our carriage; so we
were at a loss again. The second Scotsman was for setting fire to the
tent or hut, and knocking the creatures that were there on the head,
when they came out; but I could not join with that; I was against
killing them, if it was possible to be avoided. "Well then," said the
Scots merchant, "I will tell you what we will do; we will try to make
them prisoners, tie their hands, and make them stand and see their idol

As it happened, we had twine or packthread enough about us, which we
used to tie our fire-works together with; so we resolved to attack these
people first, and with as little noise as we could. The first thing we
did, we knocked at the door, when one of the priests coming to it, we
immediately seized upon him, stopped his mouth, and tied his hands
behind him, and led him to the idol, where we gagged him that he might
not make a noise, tied his feet also together, and left him on
the ground.

Two of us then waited at the door, expecting that another would come out
to see what the matter was; but we waited so long till the third man
came back to us; and then nobody coming out, we knocked again gently,
and immediately out came two more, and we served them just in the same
manner, but were obliged to go all with them, and lay them down by the
idol some distance from one another; when going back we found two more
were come out to the door, and a third stood behind them within the
door. We seized the two, and immediately tied them, when the third
stepping back, and crying out, my Scots merchant went in after him, and
taking out a composition we had made, that would only smoke and stink,
he set fire to it, and threw it in among them: by that time the other
Scotsman and my man taking charge of the two men already bound, and tied
together also by the arm, led them away to the idol, and left them
there, to see if their idol would relieve them, making haste back to us.

When the furze we had thrown in had filled the hut with so much smoke
that they were almost suffocated, we then threw in a small leather bag
of another kind, which flamed like a candle, and following it in, we
found there were but four people left, who, it seems, were two men and
two women, and, as we supposed, had been about some of their diabolic
sacrifices. They appeared, in short, frighted to death, at least so as
to sit trembling and stupid, and not able to speak neither, for
the smoke.

In a word, we took them, bound them as we had the other, and all without
any noise, I should have said, we brought them out of the house, or hut,
first; for, indeed, we were not able to bear the smoke any; more than
they were. When we had done this, we carried them all together to the
idol: when we came there we fell to work with him; and first we daubed
him all over, and his robes also, with tar, and such other stuff as we
had, which was tallow mixed with brimstone; then we stopped his eyes,
and ears, and, mouth full of gunpowder; then we wrapped up a great piece
of wildfire in his bonnet; and then sticking all the combustibles we had
brought with us upon; him, we looked about to see if we could find any
thing else to help to burn him; when my Scotsman remembered that by the
tent, or hut, where the men were, there lay a heap of dry forage,
whether straw or rushes I do not remember: away he and the other
Scotsman ran, and fetched their arms full of that. When we had done
this, we took all our prisoners, and brought them, having untied their
feet and ungagged their mouths, and made them stand up, and set them
all before their monstrous idol, and then set fire to the whole.

We stayed by it a quarter of an hour, or thereabouts, til the powder in
the eyes, and mouth, and ears of the idol blew up, and, as we could
perceive, had split and deformed the shape of it; and, in a word, till
we saw it burnt into a mere block or log of wood; and then igniting the
dry forage to it, we found it would be soon quite consumed; so we began
to think of going away; but the Scotsman said, "No, we must not go, for
these poor deluded wretches will all throw themselves into the fire, and
burn themselves with the idol." So we resolved to stay till the forage
was burnt down too, and then we came away and left them.

In the morning we appeared among our fellow-travellers, exceeding busy
in getting ready for our journey; nor could any man suggest that we had
been any where but in our beds, as travellers might be supposed to be,
to fit themselves for the fatigues of that day's journey.

But it did not end so; for the next day came a great multitude of the
country people, not only of this village, but of a hundred more, for
aught I know, to the town-gates; and in a most outrageous manner
demanded satisfaction of the Russian governor, for the insulting their
priests, and burning their great Cham-Chi-Thaungu; such a hard name they
gave the monstrous creature they worshipped. The people of Nertzinskay
were at first in a great consternation; for they said the Tartars were
no less than thirty thousand, and that in a few days more they would be
one hundred thousand stronger.

The Russian governor sent out messengers to appease them, and gave them
all the good words imaginable. He assured them he knew nothing of it,
and that there had not a soul of his garrison been abroad; that it could
not be from any body there; and if they would let him know who it was,
he should be exemplarily punished. They returned haughtily, That all the
country reverenced the great Cham-Chi-Thaungu, who dwelt in the son,
and no mortal would have dared to offer violence to his image, but some
Christian miscreant; so they called them, it seems; and they therefore
denounced war against him, and all the Russians, who, they said, were
miscreants and Christians.

The governor, still patient, and unwilling to make a breach, or to have
any cause of war alleged to be given by him, the czar having straitly
charged him to treat the conquered country with gentleness and civility,
gave them still all the good words he could; at last he told them, there
was a caravan gone towards Russia that morning, and perhaps it was some
of them who had done them this injury; and that, if they would be
satisfied with that, he would send after them, to inquire into it. This
seemed to appease them a little; and accordingly the governor sent after
us, and gave us a particular account how the thing was, intimating
withal, that if any in our caravan had done it, they should make their
escape; but that whether they had done it or no, we should make all the
haste forward that was possible; and that in the meantime he would keep
them in play as long as he could.

This was very friendly in the governor. However, when it came to the
caravan, there was nobody knew any thing of the matter; and, as for us
that were guilty, we were the least of all suspected; none so much as
asked us the question; however, the captain of the caravan, for the
time, took the hint that the governor gave us, and we marched or
travelled two days and two nights without any considerable stop, and
then we lay at a village called Plothus; nor did we make any long stop
here, but hastened on towards Jarawena, another of the czar of Muscovy's
colonies, and where we expected we should be safe; but it is to be
observed, that here we began, for two or three days march, to enter upon
a vast nameless desert, of which I shall say more in its place; and
which if we had now been upon it, it is more than probable we had been
all destroyed. It was the second day's march from Plothus that by the
clouds of dust behind us at a great distance, some of our people began
to be sensible we were pursued; we had entered the desert, and had
passed by a great lake, called Schanks Osier, when we perceived a very
great body of horse appear on the other side of the lake to the north,
we travelling west. We observed they went away west, as we did; but had
supposed we should have taken that side of the lake, whereas we very
happily took the south side: and in two days more we saw them not, for
they, believing we were still before them, pushed on, till they came to
the river Udda: this is a very great river when it passes farther north,
but when we came to it, we found it narrow and fordable.

The third day they either found their mistake, or had intelligence of
us, and came pouring in upon us towards the dusk of the evening. We had,
to our great satisfaction, just pitched upon a place for our camp, which
was very convenient for the night; for as we were upon a desert, though
but at the beginning of it, that was above five hundred miles over, we
had no towns to lodge at, and, indeed, expected none but the city of
Jarawena, which we had yet two days march to; the desert, however, had
some few woods in it on this side, and little river, which ran all into
the great river Udda. It was in a narrow strait, between two small but
very thick woods, that we pitched our little camp for that night,
expecting to be attacked in the night.

Nobody knew but ourselves what we were pursued for; but as it was usual
for the Mogul Tartars to go about in troops in that desert, so the
caravans always fortify themselves every night against them, as against
armies of robbers; and it was therefore no new thing to be pursued.

But we had this night, of all the nights of our travels, a most
advantageous camp; for we lay between two woods, with a little rivulet
running just before our front; so that we could not be surrounded or
attacked any way, but in our front or rear: we took care also to make
our front as strong as we could, by placing our packs, with our camels
and horses, all in a line on the side of the river, and we felled some
trees in our rear.

In this posture we encamped for the night; but the enemy was upon us
before we had finished our situation: they did not come on us like
thieves, as we expected, but sent three messengers to us, to demand the
men to be delivered to them, that had abused their priests, and burnt
their god Cham-Chi-Thaungu, that they might burn them with fire; and,
upon this, they said, they would go away, and do us no farther harm,
otherwise they would burn us all with fire. Our men looked very blank at
this message, and began to stare at one another, to see who looked with
most guilt in their faces, but, _nobody_ was the word, nobody did it.
The leader of the caravan sent word, he was well assured it was not
done, by any of our camp; that we were peaceable merchants, travelling
on our business; that we had done no harm to them, or to any one else;
and therefore they must look farther for their enemies, who had injured
them, for we were not the people; so desired them not to disturb us;
for, if they did, we should defend ourselves.

They were far from being satisfied with this for an answer, and a great
crowd of them came down in the morning, by break of day, to our camp;
but, seeing us in such an advantageous situation, they durst come no
farther than the brook in our front, where they stood, and shewed us
such a number, as, indeed, terrified us very much; for those that spoke
least of them, spoke of ten thousand. Here they stood, and looked at us
awhile, and then setting up a great howl, they let fly a cloud of arrows
among us; but we were well enough fortified for that, for we were
sheltered under our baggage; and I do not remember that one man of
us was hurt.

Some time after this we saw them move a little to our right, and
expected them on the rear, when a cunning fellow, a Cossack, as they
call them, of Jarawena, in the pay of the Muscovites, calling to the
leader of the caravan, said to him, "I will send all these people away
to Sibeilka." This was a city four or five days journey at least to the
south, and rather behind us. So he takes his bow and arrows, and,
getting on horseback, he rides away from our rear directly, as it were,
back to Nertzinskay; after this, he takes a great circuit about, and
comes to the army of the Tartars, as if he had been sent express to tell
them a long story, that the people who had burnt their Cham-Chi-Thaungu
were gone to Sibeilka, with a caravan of miscreants, as he called them;
that is to say, Christians; and that they were resolved to burn the god
Seal Isarg, belonging to the Tonguses.

As this fellow was a mere Tartar, and perfectly spoke their language, he
counterfeited so well, that they all took it from him, and away they
drove, in a most violent hurry, to Sibeilka, which, it seems, was five
days journey to the south; and in less than three hours they were
entirely out of our sight, and we never heard any more of them, nor ever
knew whether they went to that other place called Sibeilka or no.

So we passed safely on to the city of Jarawena, where there was a
garrison of Muscovites; and there we rested five days, the caravan being
exceedingly fatigued with the last day's march, and with want of rest in
the night.

From this city we had a frightful desert, which held us three-and-twenty
days march. We furnished ourselves with some tents here, for the better
accommodating ourselves in the night; and the leader of the caravan
procured sixteen carriages, or waggons, of the country, for carrying our
water and provisions; and these carriages were our defence every night
round our little camp; so that had the Tartars appeared, unless they had
been very numerous indeed, they would not have been able to hurt us.

We may well be supposed to want rest again after this long journey; for
in this desert we saw neither house or tree, or scarce a bush: we saw,
indeed, abundance of the sable-hunters, as they called them. These are
all Tartars of the Mogul Tartary, of which this country is a part; and
they frequently attack small caravans; but we saw no numbers of them
together. I was curious to see the sable skins they catched; but I could
never speak with any of them; for they durst not come near us; neither
durst we straggle from our company to go near them.

After we had passed this desert, we came into a country pretty well
inhabited; that is to say, we found towns and castles settled by the
czar of Muscovy, with garrisons of stationary soldiers to protect the
caravans, and defend the country against the Tartars, who would
otherwise make it very dangerous travelling; and his czarish majesty has
given such strict orders for the well guarding the caravans and
merchants, that if there are any Tartars heard of in the country,
detachments of the garrison are always sent to see travellers safe from
station to station.

And thus the governor of Adinskoy, whom I had an opportunity to make a
visit to, by means of the Scots merchant, who was acquainted with him,
offered us a guard of fifty men, if we thought there was any danger, to
the next station.

I thought long before this, that as we came nearer to Europe we should
find the country better peopled, and the people more civilized; but I
found myself mistaken in both, for we had yet the nation of the Tonguses
to pass through; where we saw the same tokens of paganism and barbarity,
or worse, than before; only as they were conquered by the Muscovites,
and entirely reduced, they were not so dangerous; but for the rudeness
of manners, idolatry, and polytheism, no people in the world ever went
beyond them. They are clothed all in skins of beasts, and their houses
are built of the same. You know not a man from a woman, neither by the
ruggedness of their countenances, or their clothes; and in the winter,
when the ground is covered with snow, they live under ground, in houses
like vaults, which have cavities or caves going from one to another.

If the Tartars had their Cham-Chi-Thaungu for a whole village, or
country, these had idols in every hut and every cave; besides, they
worship the stars, the sun, the water, the snow; and, in a word, every
thing that they do not understand, and they understand but very little;
so that almost every element, every uncommon thing, sets them

But I am no more to describe people than countries, any farther than my
own story comes to be concerned in them. I met with nothing peculiar to
myself in all this country, which I reckon was, from the desert which I
spoke of last, at least four hundred miles, half of it being another
desert, which took us up twelve days severe travelling, without house,
tree, or bush; but we were obliged again to carry our own provisions, as
well water as bread. After we were out of this desert, and had travelled
two days, we came to Janezay, a Muscovite city or station, on the great
river Janezay. This river, they told us, parted Europe from Asia, though
our map-makers, as I am told, do not agree to it; however, it is
certainly the eastern boundary of the ancient Siberia, which now makes a
province only of the vast Muscovite empire, but is itself equal in
bigness to the whole empire of Germany.

And yet here I observed ignorance and paganism, still prevailed, except
in the Muscovite garrisons. All the country between the river Oby and
the river Janezay is as entirely pagan, and the people as barbarous, as
the remotest of the Tartars; nay, as any nation, for aught I know, in
Asia or America. I also found, which I observed to the Muscovite
governors, whom I had opportunity to converse with, that the pagans are
not much the wiser, or the nearer Christianity, for being under the
Muscovite government; which they acknowledged was true enough, but, they
said, it was none of their business; that if the czar expected to
convert his Siberian, or Tonguese, or Tartar subjects, it should be
done by sending clergymen among them, not soldiers; and they added, with
more sincerity than I expected, that they found it was not so much the
concern of their monarch to make the people Christians, as it was to
make them subjects.

From this river to the great river Oby, we crossed a wild uncultivated
country; I cannot say 'tis a barbarous soil; 'tis only barren of people,
and wants good management; otherwise it is in itself a most pleasant,
fruitful, and agreeable country. What inhabitants we found in it are all
pagans, except such as are sent among them from Russia; for this is the
country, I mean on both sides the river Oby, whither the Muscovite
criminals, that are not put to death, are banished, and from whence it
is next to impossible they should ever come away.

I have nothing material to say of my particular affairs, till I came to
Tobolski, the capital of Siberia, where I continued some time on the
following occasion:--

We had been now almost seven months on our journey, and winter began to
come on apace; whereupon my partner and I called a council about our
particular affairs, in which we found it proper, considering that we
were bound for England, and not for Moscow, to consider how to dispose
of ourselves. They told us of sledges and rein-deer to carry us over the
snow in the winter-time; and, indeed, they have such things, as it would
be incredible to relate the particulars of, by which means the Russians
travel more in the winter than they can in summer; because in these
sledges they are able to run night and day: the snow being frozen, is
one universal covering to nature, by which the hills, the vales, the
rivers, the lakes, are all smooth, and hard as a stone; and they run
upon the surface, without any regard to what is underneath.

But I had no occasion to push at a winter journey of this kind; I was
bound to England, not to Moscow, and my route lay two ways: either I
must go on as the caravan went, till I came to Jarislaw, and then go
off west for Narva, and the gulf of Finland, and so either by sea or
land to Dantzic, where I might possibly sell my China cargo to good
advantage; or I must leave the caravan at a little town on the Dwina,
from whence I had but six days by water to Archangel, and from thence
might be sure of shipping, either to England, Holland, or Hamburgh.

Now to go any of these journies in the winter would have been
preposterous; for as to Dantzic, the Baltic would be frozen up, and I
could not get passage; and to go by land in those countries, was far
less safe than among the Mogul Tartars; likewise to Archangel, in
October all the ships would be gone from thence, and even the merchants,
who dwell there in summer, retire south to Moscow in the winter, when
the ships are gone; so that I should have nothing but extremity of cold
to encounter, with a scarcity of provisions, and must lie there in an
empty town all the winter: so that, upon the whole, I thought it much my
better way to let the caravan go, and to make provision to winter where
I was, viz. at Tobolski, in Siberia, in the latitude of sixty degrees,
where I was sure of three things to wear out a cold winter with, viz.
plenty of provisions, such as the country afforded, a warm house, with
fuel enough, and excellent company; of all which I shall give a full
account in its place.

I was now in a quite different climate from my beloved island, where I
never felt cold, except when I had my ague; on the contrary, I had much
to do to bear my clothes on my back, and never made any fire but without
doors, for my necessity, in dressing my food, &c. Now I made me three
good vests, with large robes or gowns over them, to hang down to the
feet, and button close to the wrists, and all these lined with furs, to
make them sufficiently warm.

As to a warm house, I must confess, I greatly dislike our way in
England, of making fires in every room in the house, in open chimnies,
which, when the fire was out, always kept the air in the room cold as
the climate. But taking an apartment in a good house in the town, I
ordered a chimney to be built like a furnace, in the centre of six
several rooms, like a stove; the funnel to carry the smoke went up one
way, the door to come at the fire went in another, and all the rooms
were kept equally warm, but no fire seen; like as they heat the bagnios
in England.

By this means we had always the same climate in all the rooms, and an
equal heat was preserved; and how cold soever it was without, it was
always warm within; and yet we saw no fire, nor were ever incommoded
with any smoke.

The most wonderful thing of all was, that it should be possible to meet
with good company here, in a country so barbarous as that of the most
northerly part of Europe, near the Frozen ocean, and within but a very
few degrees of Nova Zembla.

But this being the country where the state criminals of Muscovy, as I
observed before, are all banished; this city was full of noblemen,
princes, gentlemen, colonels, and, in short, all degrees of the
nobility, gentry, soldiery, and courtiers of Muscovy. Here were the
famous prince Galilfken, or Galoffken, and his son; the old general
Robostisky, and several other persons of note, and some ladies.

By means of my Scots merchant, whom, nevertheless, I parted with here, I
made an acquaintance with several of these gentlemen, and some of them
of the first rank; and from these, in the long winter nights, in which I
staid here, I received several agreeable visits. It was talking one
night with a certain prince, one of the banished ministers of state
belonging to the czar of Muscovy, that my talk of my particular case
began. He had been telling me abundance of fine things, of the
greatness, the magnificence, and dominions, and the absolute power of
the emperor of the Russians. I interrupted him, and told him, I was a
greater and more powerful prince than ever the czar of Muscovy was,
though my dominions were not so large, or my people so many. The
Russian grandee looked a little surprised, and fixing his eyes steadily
upon me, began to wonder what I meant.

I told him his wonder would cease when I had explained myself. First, I
told him, I had the absolute disposal of the lives and fortunes of all
my subjects: that notwithstanding my absolute power, I had not one
person disaffected to my government or to my person, in all my
dominions. He shook his head at that, and said, there, indeed, I outdid
the czar of Muscovy. I told him, that all the lands in my kingdom were
my own, and all my subjects were not only my tenants, but tenants at
will; that they would all fight for me to the last drop; and that never
tyrant, for such I acknowledged myself to be, was ever so universally
beloved, and yet so horribly feared, by his subjects.

After amusing them with these riddles in government for awhile, I opened
the case, and told them the story at large of my living in the island,
and how I managed both myself and the people there that were under me,
just as I have since minuted it down. They were exceedingly taken with
the story, and especially the prince, who told me with a sigh, that the
true greatness of life was to be master of ourselves; that he would not
have changed such a state of life as mine, to have been czar of Muscovy,
and that he found more felicity in the retirement he seemed to be
banished to there, than ever he found in the highest authority he
enjoyed in the court of his master the czar: that the height of human
wisdom was to bring our tempers down to our circumstances, and to make a
calm within, under the weight of the greatest storm, without. When he
came first hither, he said, he used to tear the hair from his head, and
the clothes from his back, as others had done before him; but a little
time and consideration had made him look into himself, as well as round
himself, to things without: that he found the mind of man, if it was but
once brought to reflect upon the state of universal life, and how
little this world was concerned in its true felicity, was perfectly
capable of making a felicity for itself, fully satisfying to itself, and
suitable to its own best ends and desires, with but very little
assistance from the world; that air to breathe in, food to sustain life,
clothes for warmth, and liberty for exercise, in order to health,
completed, in his opinion, all that the world could do for us: and
though the greatness, the authority, the riches, and the pleasures,
which some enjoyed in the world, and which he had enjoyed his share of,
had much in them that was agreeable to us, yet he observed, that all
those things chiefly gratified the coarsest of our affections; such as
our ambition, our particular pride, our avarice, our vanity, and our
sensuality; all which were, indeed, the mere product of the worst part
of man, were in themselves crimes, and had in them the seeds of all
manner of crimes; but neither were related to, or concerned with, any of
those virtues that constituted us wise men, or of those graces which
distinguished us as Christians; that being now deprived of all the
fancied felicity which he enjoyed in the full exercise of all those
vices, he said, he was at leisure to look upon the dark side of them,
where he found all manner of deformity; and was now convinced, that
virtue only makes a man truly wise, rich, and great, and preserves him
in the way to a superior happiness in a future state; and in this, he
said, they were more happy in their banishment, than all their enemies
were, who had the full possession of all the wealth and power that they
(the banished) had left behind them.

"Nor, Sir," said he, "do I bring my mind to this politically, by the
necessity of my circumstances, which some call miserable; but if I know
any thing of myself, I would not go back, no not though my master, the
czar, should call me, and offer to reinstate me in all my former
grandeur; I say, I would no more go back to it, than I believe my soul,
when it shall be delivered from this prison of the body, and has had a
taste of the glorious state beyond life, would come back to the gaol of
flesh and blood it is now enclosed in, and leave Heaven to deal in the
dirt and grime of human affairs."

He spake this with so much warmth in his temper, so much earnestness and
motion of his spirits, which were apparent in his countenance, that it
was evident it was the true sense of his soul; and indeed there was no
room to doubt his sincerity.

I told him, I once thought myself a kind of a monarch in my old station,
of which I had given him an account, but that I thought he was not a
monarch only, but a great conqueror; for that he that has got a victory
over his own exorbitant desires, and has the absolute dominion over
himself, and whose reason entirely governs his will, is certainly
greater than he that conquers a city. "But, my lord," said I, "shall I
take the liberty to ask you a question?"--"With all my heart," said he.
"If the door of your liberty was opened," said I, "would not you take
hold of it to deliver yourself from this exile?"

"Hold," said he, "your question is subtle, and requires some serious
just distinctions to give it a sincere answer; and I'll give it you from
the bottom of my heart. Nothing that I know of in this world would move
me to deliver myself from the state of banishment, except these two:
first, the enjoyment of my relations; and secondly, a little warmer
climate. But I protest to you, that to go back to the pomp of the court,
the glory, the power, the hurry of a minister of state; the wealth, the
gaiety, and the pleasures, that is to say, follies of a courtier; if my
master should send me word this moment, that he restores me to all he
banished me from, I protest, if I know myself at all, I would not leave
this wilderness, these deserts, and these frozen lakes, for the palace
of Moscow."

"But, my lord," said I, "perhaps you not only are banished from the
pleasures of the court, and from the power, and authority, and wealth,
you enjoyed before, but you may be absent too from some of the
conveniencies of life; your estate, perhaps, confiscated, and your
effects plundered; and the supplies left you here may not be suitable to
the ordinary demands of life."

"Ay," said he, "that is, as you suppose me to be a lord, or a prince,
&c. So indeed I am; but you are now to consider me only as a man, a
human creature, not at all distinguished from another; and so I can
suffer no want, unless I should be visited with sickness and distempers.
However, to put the question out of dispute; you see our manner; we are
in this place five persons of rank; we live perfectly retired; as suited
to a state of banishment; we have something rescued from the shipwreck
of our fortunes, which keeps us from the mere necessity of hunting for
our food; but the poor soldiers who are here, without that help, live in
as much plenty as we. They go into the woods, and catch sables and
foxes; the labour of a month will maintain them a year; and as the way
of living is not expensive, so it is not hard to get sufficient to
ourselves: so that objection is out of doors."

I have no room to give a full account of the most agreeable conversation
I had with this truly great man; in all which he shewed, that his mind
was so inspired with a superior knowledge of things, so supported by
religion, as well as by a vast share of wisdom, that his contempt of the
world was really as much as he had expressed, and that he was always the
same to the last, as will appear in the story I am going to tell.

I had been here eight months, and a dark dreadful winter I thought it to
be. The cold was so intense, that I could not so much as look abroad
without being wrapt in furs, and a mask of fur before my face, or rather
a hood, with only a hole for breath, and two for sight. The little
daylight we had, as we reckoned, for three months, not above five hours
a day, or six at most; only that the snow lying on the ground
continually, and the weather being clear, it was never quite dark. Our
horses were kept (or rather starved) under ground; and as for our
servants, (for we hired servants here to look after our horses and
ourselves) we had every now and then their fingers and toes to thaw, and
take care of, lest they should mortify and fall off.

It is true, within doors we were warm, the houses being close, the walls
thick, the lights small, and the glass all double. Our food was chiefly
the flesh of deer, dried and cured in the season; good bread enough, but
baked as biscuits; dried fish of several sorts, and some flesh of
mutton, and of buffaloes, which is pretty good beef. All the stores of
provision for the winter are laid up in the summer, and well cured. Our
drink was water mixed with aqua vitae instead of brandy; and, for a
treat, mead instead of wine; which, however, they have excellent good.
The hunters, who ventured abroad all weathers, frequently brought us in
fresh venison, very fat and good; and sometimes bear's flesh, but we did
not much care for the last. We had a good stock of tea, with which we
treated our friends as above; and, in a word, we lived very cheerfully
and well, all things considered.

It was now March, and the days grown considerably longer, and the
weather at least tolerable; so other travellers began to prepare sledges
to carry them over the snow, and to get things ready to be going; but my
measures being fixed, as I have said, for Archangel, and not for Muscovy
or the Baltic, I made no motion, knowing very well, that the ships from
the south do not set out for that part of the world till May or June;
and that if I was there at the beginning of August, it would be as soon
as any ships would be ready to go away; and therefore, I say, I made no
haste to be gone, as others did; in a word, I saw a great many people,
nay, all the travellers, go away before me. It seems, every year they go
from thence to Moscow for trade; viz. to carry furs, and buy necessaries
with them, which they bring back to furnish their shops; also others
went on the same errand to Archangel; but then they also, being to come
back again above eight hundred miles, went all out before me.

In short, about the latter end of May I began to make all ready to pack
up; and as I was doing this, it occurred to me, that seeing all these
people were banished by the czar of Muscovy to Siberia, and yet, when
they came there, were at liberty to go whither they would; why did they
not then go away to any part of the world wherever they thought fit? and
I began to examine what should hinder them from making such an attempt.

But my wonder was over, when I entreated upon that subject with the
person I have mentioned, who answered me thus: "Consider, first," said
he, "the place where we are; and, secondly, the condition we are in;
especially," said he, "the generality of the people who are banished
hither. We are surrounded," said he, "with stronger things than bars and
bolts: on the north side is an unnavigable ocean, where ship never
sailed, and boat never swam; neither, if we had both, could we know
whither to go with them. Every other way," said he, "we have above a
thousand miles to pass through the czar's own dominions, and by ways
utterly impassable, except by the roads made by the government, and
through the towns garrisoned by its troops; so that we could neither
pass undiscovered by the road, or subsist any other way: so that it is
in vain to attempt it."

I was silenced indeed, at once, and found that they were in a prison,
every jot as secure as if they had been locked up in the castle of
Moscow; however, it came into my thoughts, that I might certainly be
made an instrument to procure the escape of this excellent person, and
that it was very easy for me to carry him away, there being no guard
over him in the country; and as I was not going to Moscow, but to
Archangel, and that I went in the nature of a caravan, by which I was
not obliged to lie in the stationary towns in the desert, but could
encamp every night where I would, might easily pass uninterrupted to
Archangel, where I could immediately secure him on board an English or
Dutch ship, and carry him off safe along with me; and as to his
subsistence, and other particulars, that should be my care, till he
should better supply himself.

He heard me very attentively, and looked earnestly on me all the while I
spoke; nay, I could see in his very face, that what I said put his
spirits into an exceeding ferment; his colour frequently changed, his
eyes looked red, and his heart fluttered, that it might be even
perceived in his countenance; nor could he immediately answer me when I
had done, and, as it were, expected what he would say to it; and after
he had paused a little, he embraced me, and said, "How unhappy are we!
unguided creatures as we are, that even our greatest acts of friendship
are made snares to us, and we are made tempters of one another! My dear
friend," said he, "your offer is so sincere, has such kindness in it, is
so disinterested in itself, and is so calculated for my advantage, that
I must have very little knowledge of the world, if I did not both wonder
at it, and acknowledge the obligation I have upon me to you for it: but
did you believe I was sincere in what I have so often said to you of my
contempt of the world? Did you believe I spoke my very soul to you, and
that I had really maintained that degree of felicity here, that had
placed me above all that the world could give me, or do for me? Did you
believe I was sincere, when I told you I would not go back, if I was
recalled even to be all that once I was in the court, and with the
favour of the czar my master? Did you believe me, my friend, to be an
honest man, or did you think me to be a boasting hypocrite?" Here he
stopped, as if he would hear what I would say; but, indeed, I soon after
perceived, that he stopped because his spirits were in motion: his heart
was full of struggles, and he could not go on. I was, I confess,
astonished at the thing, as well as at the man, and I used some
arguments with him to urge him to set himself free; that he ought to
look upon this as a door opened by Heaven for his deliverance, and a
summons by Providence, who has the care and good disposition of all
events, to do himself good, and to render himself useful in the world.

He had by this time recovered himself. "How do you know, Sir," said he,
warmly, "but that, instead of a summons from Heaven, it may be a feint
of another instrument, representing, in all the alluring colours to me,
the show of felicity as a deliverance, which may in itself be my snare,
and tend directly to my ruin? Here I am free from the temptation of
returning to my former miserable greatness; there I am not sure, but
that all the seeds of pride, ambition, avarice, and luxury, which I know
remain in my nature, may revive and take root, and, in a word, again
overwhelm me; and then the happy prisoner, whom you see now master of
his soul's liberty, shall be the miserable slave of his own senses, in
the full possession of all personal liberty. Dear Sir, let me remain in
this blessed confinement, banished from the crimes of life, rather than
purchase a show of freedom at the expense of the liberty of my reason,
and at the expense of the future happiness which now I have in my view,
but shall then, I fear, quickly lose sight of; for I am but flesh, a
man, a mere man, have passions and affections as likely to possess and
overthrow me as any man: O be not my friend and my tempter both

If I was surprised before, I was quite dumb now, and stood silent,
looking at him; and, indeed, admired what I saw. The struggle in his
soul was so great, that, though the weather was extremely cold, it put
him into a most violent sweat, and I found he wanted to give vent to his
mind; so I said a word or two, that I would leave him to consider of it,
and wait on him again; and then I withdrew to my own apartment.

About two hours after, I heard somebody at or near the door of the room,
and I was going to open the door; but he had opened it, and come in: "My
dear friend," said he, "you had almost overset me, but I am recovered:
do not take it ill that I do not close with your offer; I assure you, it
is not for want of a sense of the kindness of it in you; and I come to
make the most sincere acknowledgment of it to you; but, I hope, I have
got the victory over myself."

"My lord," said I, "I hope you are fully satisfied, that you did not
resist the call of Heaven."--"Sir," said he, "if it had been from
Heaven, the same power would have influenced me to accept it; but I
hope, and am fully satisfied, that it is from Heaven that I decline it;
and I have an infinite satisfaction in the parting, that you shall leave
me an honest man still, though not a free man."

I had nothing to do but to acquiesce, and make profession to him of my
having no end in it, but a sincere desire to serve him. He embraced me
very passionately, and assured me, he was sensible of that, and should
always acknowledge it: and with that he offered me a very fine present
of sables, too much indeed for me to accept from a man in his
circumstances; and I would have avoided them, but he would not
be refused.

The next morning I sent my servant to his lordship, with a small present
of tea, two pieces of China damask, and four little wedges of Japan
gold, which, did not all weigh above six ounces, or thereabouts; but
were far short of the value of his sables, which indeed, when I came to
England, I found worth near two hundred pounds. He accepted the tea, and
one piece of the damask, and one of the pieces of gold, which had a fine
stamp upon it, of the Japan coinage, which I found he took for the
rarity of it, but would not take any more; and sent word by my servant,
that he desired to speak with me.

When I came to him, he told me, I knew what had passed between us, and
hoped I would not move him any more in that affair; but that, since I
made such a generous offer to him, he asked me, if I had kindness enough
to offer the same to another person that he would name to me, in whom
he had a great share of concern. I told him, that I could not say I
inclined to do so much for any one but himself, for whom I had a
particular value, and should have been glad to have been the instrument
of his deliverance: however, if he would please to name the person to
me, I would give him my answer, and hoped he would not be displeased
with me, if he was with my answer. He told me, it was only his son, who,
though I had not seen, yet was in the same condition with himself, and
above two hundred miles from him, on the other side the Oby; but that,
if I consented, he would send for him.

I made no hesitation, but told him I would do it. I made some ceremony
in letting him understand that it was wholly on his account; and that
seeing I could not prevail on him, I would shew my respect to him by my
concern for his son: but these things are too tedious to repeat here. He
sent away the next day for his son, and in about twenty days he came
back with the messenger, bringing six or seven horses loaded with very
rich furs, and which, in the whole, amounted to a very great value.

His servants brought the horses into the town, but left the young lord
at a distance till night, when he came _incognito_ into our apartment,
and his father presented him to me; and, in short, we concerted there
the manner of our travelling, and every thing proper for the journey.

I had bought a considerable quantity of sables, black fox-skins, fine
ermines, and such other furs that are very rich; I say, I had bought
them in that city for exchange for some of the goods brought from China;
in particular, for the cloves and nutmegs, of which I sold the greatest
part here; and the rest afterwards at Archangel, for a much better price
than I could have done at Louden; and my partner, who was sensible of
the profit, and whose business, more particularly than mine, was
merchandise, was mightily pleased with our stay, on account of the
traffic we made here.

It was in the beginning of June when I left this remote place, a city,
I believe, little heard of in the world; and, indeed, it is so far out
of the road of commerce, that I know not how it should be much talked
of. We were now come to a very small caravan, being only thirty-two
horses and camels in all, and all of them passed for mine, though my new
guest was proprietor of eleven of them. It was most natural also, that I
should take more servants with me than I had before, and the young lord
passed for my steward; what great man I passed for myself I know not,
neither did it concern me to inquire. We had here the worst and the
largest desert to pass over that we met with in all the journey; indeed
I call it the worst, because the way was very deep in some places, and
very uneven in others; the best we had to say for it was, that we
thought we had no troops of Tartars and robbers to fear, and that they
never came on this side the river Oby, or at least but very seldom; but
we found it otherwise.

My young lord had with him a faithful Muscovite servant, or rather a
Siberian servant, who was perfectly acquainted with the country; and who
led us by private roads, that we avoided coming into the principal towns
and cities upon the great road, such as Tumen, Soloy Kamaskoy, and
several others; because the Muscovite garrisons, which are kept there,
are very curious and strict in their observation upon travellers, and
searching lest any of the banished persons of note should make their
escape that way into Muscovy; but by this means, as we were kept out of
the cities, so our whole journey was a desert, and we were obliged to
encamp and lie in our tents, when we might have had good accommodation
in the cities on the way: this the young lord was so sensible of, that
he would not allow us to lie abroad, when we came to several cities on
the way; but lay abroad himself, with his servant, in the woods, and met
us always at the appointed places.

We were just entered Europe, having passed the river Kama, which, in
these parts, is the boundary between Europe and Asia; and the first city
on the European side was called Soloy Kamaskoy, which is as much as to
say, the great city on the river Kama; and here we thought to have seen
some evident alteration in the people, their manners, their habit, their
religion, and their business; but we were mistaken; for as we had a vast
desert to pass, which, by relation, is near seven hundred miles long in
some places, but not above two hundred miles over where we passed it;
so, till we came past that horrible place, we found very little
difference between that country and the Mogul Tartary; the people mostly
Pagans, and little better than the savages of America; their houses and
towns full of idols, and their way of living wholly barbarous, except in
the cities as above, and the villages near them; where they are
Christians, as they call themselves, of the Greek church; but even these
have their religion mingled with so many relics of superstition, that it
is scarce to be known in some places from mere sorcery and witchcraft.

In passing this forest, I thought indeed we must, after all our dangers
were, in our imagination, escaped, as before, have been plundered and

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