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Title: A New Voyage Round the World by a Course Never Sailed Before
Author: Defoe, Daniel, 1661?-1731
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A New Voyage Round the World by a Course Never Sailed Before" ***


BY A Course never sailed before.


A VOYAGE undertaken by some MERCHANTS, who afterwards proposed
the Setting up an _East-India_ Company in FLANDERS.


Printed for A. BETTESWORTH, at the _Red-Lyon_,
in _Pater-Noster-Row_; and W. MEARS, at the
_Lamb_, without _Temple-Bar_. M.DCC.XXV.


It has for some ages been thought so wonderful a thing to sail the tour
or circle of the globe, that when a man has done this mighty feat, he
presently thinks it deserves to be recorded like Sir Francis Drake's. So
soon as men have acted the sailor, they come ashore and write books of
their voyage, not only to make a great noise of what they have done
themselves, but pretending to show the way to others to come after them,
they set up for teachers and chart makers to posterity. Though most of
them have had this misfortune, that whatever success they have had in
the voyage, they have had very little in the relation; except it be to
tell us, that a seaman when he comes to the press, is pretty much out of
his element, and a very good sailor may make but a very indifferent

I do not in this, lessen the merit of those gentlemen who have made such
a long voyage as that round the globe; but I must be allowed to say, as
the way is now a common road, the reason of it thoroughly known, and the
occasion of it more frequent than in former times, so the world has done
wondering at it; we no more look upon it as a mighty thing, a strange
and never heard of undertaking; this cannot be now expected of us, the
thing is made familiar, every ordinary sailor is able to do it, if his
merchants are but qualified to furnish him for so long a voyage; and he
that can carry a ship to Lisbon, may with the same ease carry it round
the world.

Some tell us, it is enough to wonder at a thing nine days, one would
reasonably then conclude, that it is enough that sailing round the world
has been wondered at above a hundred years. I shall therefore let the
reader know, that it is not the rarity of going round the world that has
occasioned this publication, but if some incidents have happened in
such a voyage, as either have not happened to others, or as no other
people, though performing the same voyage have taken notice of, then
this account may be worth publishing, though the thing, viz. The Voyage
round the World, be in itself of no value.

It is to be observed, of the several navigators whose Voyages round the
World have been published, that few, if any of them, have diverted us
with that variety which a circle of that length must needs offer. We
have a very little account of their landings, their diversions, the
accidents which happened to them, or to others by their means; the
stories of their engagements, when they have had any scuffle either with
natives, or European enemies, are told superficially and by halves; the
storms and difficulties at sea or on shore, have nowhere a full
relation; and all the rest of their accounts are generally filled up
with directions for sailors coming that way, the bearings of the land,
the depth of the channels, entrances, and bars, at the several ports,
anchorage in the bays, and creeks, and the like things, useful indeed
for seamen going thither again, and how few are they? but not at all to
the purpose when we come expecting to find the history of the voyage.

Another sort of these writers have just given us their long journals,
tedious accounts of their log-work, how many leagues they sailed every
day; where they had the winds, when it blew hard, and when softly; what
latitude in every observation, what meridian distance, and what
variation of the compass. Such is the account of Sir John Narborough's
Voyage to the South Seas, adorned with I know not how many charts of the
famous Strait of Magellan, a place only now famous for showing the
ignorance of Sir John Narborough, and a great many wise gentlemen before
him, and for being a passage they had no need to have troubled
themselves with, and which nobody will ever go through anymore.

Such also are the Voyages of Captain John Wood, to Nova Zemla, at the
charge of the public, in King Charles the Second's time, and Martin
Frobisher to the North-West Passages, in Queen Elizabeth's time; all
which, are indeed full of their own journals, and the incidents of
sailing, but have little or nothing of story in them, for the use of
such readers who never intend to go to sea, and yet such readers may
desire to hear how it has fared with those that have, and how affairs
stand in those remote parts of the world.

For these reasons, when first I set out upon a cruising and trading
voyage to the East, and resolved to go anywhere, and everywhere that the
advantage of trade or the hopes of purchase should guide us, I also
resolved to take such exact notice of everything that past within my
reach, that I would be able, if I lived to come home, to give an account
of my voyage, differing from all that I had ever seen before, in the
nature of the observations, as well as the manner of relating them. And
as this is perfectly new in its form, so I cannot doubt but it will be
agreeable in the particulars, seeing either no voyage ever made before,
had such variety of incidents happening in it, so useful and so
diverting, or no person that sailed on those voyages, has thought fit to
publish them after this manner.

Having been fitted out in the river of Thames so lately as the year
1713, and on a design perhaps not very consistent with the measures
taking at that time for the putting an end to the war, I must be allowed
to own I was at first obliged to act not in my own name, but to put in a
French commander into the ship, for the reasons which follow, and which
those, who understand the manner of trade upon closing the late war, I
mean the trade with Spain, will easily allow to be just and well

During the late war between Great Britain and her confederates on one
side, and the united crowns of France and Spain on the other, we all
know the French had a free trade into the South Seas; a trade carried on
with the greatest advantage, and to the greatest degree, that any
particular commerce has been carried on in the world for many ages past;
insomuch, that we found the return of silver that came back to France by
those ships, was not only the enriching of the merchants of St. Malo,
Rochelle, and other ports in France, some of whom we saw get immense
estates in a few years, even to a million sterling a man; but it was
evident, the King of France himself was enabled, by the circulation of
so much bullion through his mints, to carry on that war with very great

It was just at the close of this war, when some merchants of London,
looking with envy on the success of that trade, and how the French,
notwithstanding the peace, would apparently carry it on, for some years
at least, to infinite advantage, began to consider whether it might not
be possible to come in for a portion of it with France, as they were
allied to Spain, and yet go abroad in the nature of a private cruiser.

To bring this to pass, it was thought proper, in the first place, to get
a share if possible, in a new design of an East India trade in Flanders,
just then intended to be set up by some British merchants, by the
assistance of an imperial charter, or at least under colour of it: and
so we might go to sea in a threefold capacity, to be made use of as
occasion might present, viz., when on the coast of New Spain we sought
to trade, we were Frenchmen, had a French captain, and a sufficient
number of French seamen, and Flemish or Walloon seamen, who spoke
French, so to appear on all proper occasions. When at sea we met with
any Spanish ship worth our while, we were English cruisers, had letters
of mart from England, had no account of the peace, and were fitted for
the attack. And when in the East Indies we had occasion to trade, either
at the English or Dutch settlements, we should have imperial colours,
and two Flemish merchants, at least in appearance, to transact
everything as we found occasion. However, this last part of our project
failed us, that affair not being fully ripe.

As this mysterious equipment may be liable to some exceptions, and
perhaps to some inquiries, I shall for the present conceal my name, and
that of the ship also. By inquiries, I mean inquiries of private persons
concerned; for, as to public inquiries, we have no uneasiness, having
acted nothing in contradiction to the rules and laws of our country; but
I say, as to private persons, it is thought fit to prevent their
inquiries, to which end, the captain, in whose name I write this, gives
me leave to make use of his name, and conceal my own.

The ship sailed from the river the 20th of December, 1713, and went
directly over to the coast of Flanders, lying at an anchor in Newport
Pitts, as they are called, where we took in our French Captain Jean
Michael Merlotte, who, with thirty-two French seamen, came on board us
in a large snow from Dunkirk, bringing with them one hundred and
twenty-two small ankers or rundlets of brandy, and some hampers and
casks of French wine in wickered bottles. While we were here, we lay
under English colours, with pendants flying, our ship being upwards of
five hundred ton, and had forty-six guns mounted, manned with three
hundred and fifty-six men; we took the more men on board, because we
resolved, as occasion should present, to fit ourselves with another
ship, which we did not question we should meet with in the South Seas.

We had also a third design in our voyage, though it may be esteemed an
accident to the rest, viz., we were resolved to make some attempts for
new discoveries, as opportunity offered; and we had two persons on board
who were exceeding well qualified for our direction in this part, all
which was derived from the following occasion.

The person who was principally concerned in the adventure was a man not
only of great wealth, but of great importance; he was particularly
addicted to what we call new discoveries, and it was indeed upon his
genius to such things, that the first thought of the voyage was founded.
This gentleman told me, that he had already sent one ship fully equipped
and furnished for a new attempt upon the North-West or North-East
passages, which had been so often in vain tried by former navigators;
and that he did not question the success, because he had directed them
by new measures, and to steer a course that was never attempted yet; and
his design in our voyage was to make like discoveries towards the South
pole; where, as he said, and gave us very good reasons for it, he did
not doubt but we might discover, even to the pole itself, and find out
new worlds and new seas, which had never been heard of before.

With these designs, this gentleman came into the other part of our
project, and contributed the more largely, and with the more freedom, to
the whole, upon that account; in particular, all the needful
preparations for such discoveries were made wholly at his expense, which
I take notice of here, as being most proper in the beginning of our
story, and that the reader may the less wonder at the particular way we
took to perform a voyage which might with much more ease have been done
by the usual and ordinary way.

We sailed from the coast of Flanders the 2nd of January, and, without
any extraordinary incident, made the coast of Galway, in Ireland, the
10th, where we stayed, and took in a very extraordinary store of
provisions, three times as much as usual, the beef being also well
pickled or double packed, that we might have a sufficient reserve for
the length of our voyage, resolving also to spare it as much as

We had a very rich cargo on board, consisting of all sorts of British
manufactures suitable for the Spanish trade in their West Indies; and,
as we aimed at nothing of trade till we came to the Spanish coast, we
sailed directly for the Canary Islands: having not fully resolved
whether we would make our voyage to the South Seas first, and so round
the globe by the East Indies, as has been the usual way, or whether we
would go first by the East Indies, and upon the discoveries we were
directed to, and then cross the great Pacific Ocean to the west coast of
America, as was at last resolved.

We made the Canaries, the 11th of February; and, coming to an anchor
there to take in some fresh water, we put out French colours, and sent
our boat on shore, with a French boatswain and all French seamen, to buy
what we wanted: they brought us on board five butts or pipes of wine,
and some provisions, and having filled our water, we set sail again the
13th. In this time we called a council among ourselves, by which way we
should go.

I confess I was for going by the Cape of Good Hope first, and so to the
East Indies: then, keeping to the south of Java, go away to the
Moluccas, where I made no doubt to make some purchase among the Dutch
Spice Islands, and so away to the Philippines; but the whole ship's
company, I mean of officers, were against me in this scheme, although I
told them plainly, that the discoveries which would be made in such a
voyage as that, were the principal reasons why our chief owner embarked
in the adventure, and that we ought to regard the end and design of our
voyage; that it would certainly in the conclusion amount to the same, as
to trade, as if we went the usual way, seeing the places we were to go
to were the same one way as the other, and it was only putting the
question which we should go to first; that all the navigators, on such
voyages as these, went by the South Seas first, which would be no honour
to us at all: but, if we went by the East Indies first, we should be the
first that ever went such a voyage, and that we might make many useful
discoveries and experiments in trying that course; that it would be
worth our while, not only to go that way, but to have all the world take
notice of it, and of us for it.

I used a great many arguments of the like nature, but they answered me
most effectually, with laying before me the difficulties of the voyage,
and the contrary methods of trade, which, in a word, made the going that
way impracticable: First, the difficulty of the voyage, over the vast
ocean called the Pacific Sea, or South Sea, which, if we kept a southern
latitude, and took the variable winds, as we should find them, as I
proposed to do, might very well be a voyage of six or eight months,
without any sight of land, or supply of provisions or water, which was
intolerable; that, as to trade, it was preposterous, and just setting
the voyage with the bottom upward; for as we were loaden with goods, and
had no money, our first business, they said, was to go to the South
Seas, where our goods were wanted, and would sell for money, and then to
the East Indies, where our money would be wanting, to buy other goods to
carry home, and not to go to the East Indies first, where our goods
would not sell, and where we could buy no other for want of money.

This was seemingly so strong a way of reasoning, that they were all
against me, as well French as English, and even the two agents for
discoveries submitted to it; and so we resolved to stand away from the
Canaries to the coast o Brazil, thence upon the eastern coast of South
America to Cape Horn, and then into the South Seas; and, if we met with
anything that was Spanish by the way, we resolved to make prize of it,
as in a time of war.

Accordingly, we made the coast of Brazil in twenty-six days, from the
Canary Islands, and went on shore at Cape St. Augustine, for fresh
water; afterwards we put into the bay of All Saints, got some fresh
provisions there, and about an hundred very good hogs, some of which we
killed and pickled, and carried the rest on board alive, having taken on
board a great quantity of roots and maize, or Indian corn, for their
food, which they thrived on very well.

It was the last of March when we came to the bay, and having stayed
there fourteen days, to furnish ourselves with all things we wanted, we
got intelligence there, that there were three ships at Buenos Ayres, in
the river Rio de la Plata, which were preparing to go for Europe, and
that they expected two Spanish men of war to be their convoy, because
of the Portuguese men of war which were in Brazil, to convoy the Brazil

Their having two Spanish men of war with them for their convoy, took
away a great deal from the joy we had entertained at the news of their
being there, and we began to think we should make little or nothing of
it; however, we resolved to see the utmost of it, and, particularly, if
our double appearance would not now stand us in some stead.

Accordingly, we went away for the river of Plata, and, as usual,
spreading French colours, we went boldly up to Buenos Ayres, and sent in
our boat, manned with Frenchmen, pretending to be homeward bound from
the South Seas, and in want of provisions.

The Spaniards received us with civility, and granted us such provisions
as we wanted; and here we found, to our great satisfaction, that there
was no such thing as any Spanish man of war there; but they said they
expected one, and the governor there for the King of Spain asked our
French officer if we would take one of their ships under our convoy?
Monsieur Merlotte answered him warily, that his ship was deep loaden,
and foul, and he could not undertake anything; but, if they would keep
him company, he would do them what service he could; but that also, as
they were a rich ship, they did not design to go directly to France, but
to Martinico, where they expected to meet with some French men of war to
convoy them home.

This answer was so well managed; though there was not one word of truth
in it, that one of the three ships, for the other two were not ready,
resolved to come away with us, and, in an evil hour for them, they did

To be brief, we took the innocent Spaniard into our convoy, and sailed
away to the northward with them, but were not far at sea before we let
them know what circumstances they were in, by the following method. We
were about half a league a head of them, when our captain bringing to,
and hauling up our courses, made a signal to the Spaniards for the
captain to come on board, which he very readily did; as soon as he was
on board, our captain let him know that he was our prisoner, and all his
men, and immediately manning their boat with thirty of our men, we sent
them on board their ship, to take possession of her, but ordered them
that they should behave civilly to the men on board, and plunder
nothing. For we made a promise to the Spanish captain, that his ship
should not be plundered, upon condition he would give us a just account
of his loading, and deliver peaceably to us what riches he had on board;
then we also agreed, that we would restore him his ship, which by the
way, we found was chiefly loaden with hides, things of no value to us,
and that the ship also was an old vessel, strong, but often doubled, and
therefore a very heavy sailer, and consequently not at all fit for our
purpose, though we greatly wanted a ship to take along with us, we
having, as I have said, both too many men, and being too full of goods.

The Spanish captain, though surprised with the stratagem that had
brought him thus into the hands of his enemies, and greatly enraged in
his mind at being circumvented, and trepanned out of his ship, yet
showed a great presence of mind under his misfortune; and, as I verily
believe, he would have fought us very bravely, if we had let him know
fairly what we were, so he did not at all appear dejected at his
disaster, but capitulated with us as if he had been taken sword in hand.
And one time, when Captain Merlotte and he could not agree, and the
Spanish captain was a little threatened, he grew warm; told the captain
that he might be ill used, being in his hands, but that he was not
afraid to suffer whatever his ill fortune had prepared for him, and he
would not, for fear of ill usage, yield to base conditions; that he was
a man of honour, and if he was so too, he demanded to be put on board
his own ship again, and he should see he knew how to behave himself.
Captain Merlotte smiled at that, and told him, he was not afraid to put
him on board his own ship, and fight for her again, and that, if he did
so, he was sure he could not escape him; the Spanish captain smiled too,
and told him he should see, if he did, that he knew the way to heaven
from the bottom of the sea as well as any other road, and that men of
courage were never at a loss to conquer their enemy one way or other;
intimating, that he would sink by his side rather than be taken, and
that he would take care to be but a very indifferent prize to him, if he
was conquered.

However, we came to better terms with him afterwards. In short, having
taken on board all the silver, which was about two hundred thousand
pieces of eight, and whatever else we met with that was valuable, among
the rest his ammunition, and six brass guns, we performed conditions,
and sent him into the Rio de la Plata again with his ship, to let the
other Spanish captains know what scouring they had escaped.

Though we got a good booty, we were disappointed of a ship; however, we
were not so sensible of that disappointment now, as we were afterwards:
for, as we depended upon going to the South Seas, we made no doubt of
meeting with vessels enough for our purpose. Of what followed, the
reader will soon be informed.

We had done our work here, and had neither any occasion or any desire to
lie any longer on this coast, where the climate was bad, and the weather
exceeding hot, and where our men began to be very uneasy, being crowded
together so close all in one ship; so we made the best of our way south.

We met with some stormy weather in these seas, and particularly a
north-west blast, which carried us for eleven days a great way off to
sea; but, as we had sea-room enough, and a stout strong-built ship under
us, perfectly well prepared, tight and firm, we made light of the storms
we met with, and soon came into our right way again; so that, about the
4th of May, we made land in the latitude of 45° 12', south.

We put in here for fresh water; and, finding nothing of the land marked
in our charts, we had no knowledge of the place, but, coming to an
anchor at about a league from the shore, our boat went in quest of a
good watering-place; in pursuit of this, they went up a creek about two
leagues more, where they found good water, and filled some casks, and so
came on board to make their report.

The next day we came into the creek's mouth, where we found six to eight
fathom water within a cable's length of the shore, and found fresh water
enough, but no people or cattle, though an excellent country for both.

Of this country I made many observations, suitable to the design and
desire of our ingenious employer and owner; and those observations are
one end of publishing this voyage. I shall mention only one observation
here, because I shall have occasion to speak of them hereafter more
largely. My observation here is as follows:--

     _An observation concerning the soil and climate of the continent
     of America, south of the river De la Plata; and how suitable to the
     genius, the constitution, and the manner of living of Englishmen,
     and consequently for an English colony._

     The particular spot which I observe upon, is that part of the
     continent of America which lies on the shore of the North Seas, as
     they are called, though erroneously, for they are more properly the
     East Seas, being extended along the east shores of South America.
     The land lies on the same east side of America, extended north and
     south from Coasta Deserta, in 42°, to Port St. Julian, in 49½°,
     being almost five hundred miles in length, full of very good
     harbours, and some navigable rivers. The land is a plain for several
     scores of miles within the shore, with several little rising hills,
     but nowhere mountainous or stony; well adapted for enclosing,
     feeding, and grazing of cattle; also for corn, all sorts of which
     would certainly not only grow, but thrive very well here, especially
     wheat, rye, pease, and barley, things which would soon be improved
     by Englishmen, to the making the country rich and populous, the
     raising great quantities of grain of all sorts, and cattle in
     proportion. The trade which I propose for the consumption of all the
     produce, and the place whither to be carried, I refer to speak of by
     itself, in the farther progress of this work.

I return now to the pursuit of our voyage. We put to sea again the 10th
of May, with fair weather and a fair wind; though a season of the year,
it is true, when we might have reason to expect some storms, being what
we might call the depth of their winter. However, the winds held
northerly, which, there, are to be esteemed the warm winds, and bringing
mild weather; and so they did, till we came into the latitude of 50°,
when we had strong winds and squally weather, with much snow and cold,
from the south-west and south-west by west, which, blowing very hard, we
put back to Port St. Julian, where we were not able to stir for some

We weighed again the 29th, and stood south again past the mouth of the
Straits of Magellan, a strait famous for many years, for being thought
to be the only passage out of the North Seas into the South Seas, and
therefore I say famous some ages; not only in the discovery of it by
Magellan, a Spanish captain, but of such significance, that, for many
years, it was counted a great exploit to pass this strait, and few have
ever done it of our nation, but that they have thought fit to tell the
world of it as an extraordinary business, fit to be made public as an
honour to their names. Nay, King Charles the Second thought it worth
while to send Sir John Narborough, on purpose to pass and take an exact
survey of this strait; and the map or plan of it has been published by
Sir John himself, at the public expense, as a useful thing.

Such a mighty and valuable thing also was the passing this strait, that
Sir Francis Drake's going through it gave birth to that famous old
wives' saying, viz., that Sir Francis Drake shot the gulf; a saying that
was current in England for many years after Sir Francis Drake was gone
his long journey of all; as if there had been but one gulf in the world,
and that passing it had been a wonder next to that of Hercules cleansing
the Augean stable.

Of this famous place I could not but observe, on this occasion, that, as
ignorance gave it its first fame and made it for so many ages the most
eminent part of the globe, as it was the only passage by which the whole
world could be surrounded, and that it was to every man's honour that
had passed it; so now it is come to the full end or period of its fame,
and will in all probability never have the honour to have any ship,
vessel, or boat, go through it more, while the world remains, unless,
which is very improbable, that part of the world should come to be fully

I know some are of opinion, that, before the full period of the earth's
existence, all the remotest and most barren parts of it shall be
peopled; but I see no ground for such a notion, but many reasons which
would make it appear to be impracticable, and indeed impossible; unless
it should please God to alter the situation of the globe as it respects
the sun, and place it in a direct, as it now moves in an oblique
position; or that a new species of mankind should be produced, who might
be as well qualified to live in the frozen zone as we are in the
temperate, and upon whom the extremity of cold could have no power. I
say, as there are several parts of the globe where this would be
impracticable, I shall say no more than this, that I think it is a
groundless suggestion.

But to return to our voyage; we passed by the mouth of this famous
Strait of Magellan, and those others which were passed through by Le
Maire the Dutch sailor afterwards; and keeping an offing of six or seven
leagues, went away south, till we came into the latitude of 58°, when we
would, as we had tried three days before, have stretched away
south-west, to have got into the South Seas, but a strong gale of wind
took us at west-north-west, and though we could, lying near to it,
stretch away to the southward, yet, as it over-blowed, we could make no
westward way; and though we had under us an excellent strong-built
vessel, that, we may say, valued not the waves, and made very good work
of it, yet we went away to leeward in spite of all we could do, and lost
ground apace. We held it out, however, the weather being clear, but
excessive cold, till we found ourselves in the latitude of 64°.

We called our council several times, to consider what we should do, for
we did but drive to leeward the longer we strove with it; the gale held
still on, and, to our apprehensions, it was set in; blowing like a kind
of monsoon, or trade-wind, though in those latitudes I know there is no
such thing properly called, as a trade-wind.

We tried, the wind abating, to beat up again to the north, and we did
so; but it was by running a great way to the east; and once, I believe,
we were in the longitude of St. Helena, though so far south, but it cost
us infinite labour, and near six weeks' time. At length we made the
coast, and arrived again at the Port of St. Julian the 20th of June,
which, by the way, is the depth of their winter.

Here we resolved to lay up for the winter, and not attempt to go so far
south again at that time of the year, but our eager desire of pursuing
our voyage prevailed, and we put out to sea again, having taken in fresh
provisions, such as are to be had there; that is to say, seals,
penguins, and such like, and with this recruit we put to sea, I say, a
second time.

We had this time worse luck than we had before; for, the wind setting in
at south-west, blew a storm, and drove us with such force away to sea
eastward, that we were never able to make any way to the southward at
all, but were carried away with a continued storm of wind, from the same
corner, or near it. Our pilot, or master, as we called him, finding
himself often obliged to go away before it, which kept us out long at
sea, and drove us far to the north-east, eastward, that he advised us to
stand away for the Cape of Good Hope; and accordingly we did so, and
arrived there the last day of July.

We were now disheartened indeed, and I began to revive my proposal of
going to the East Indies, as I at first proposed; and to answer the
objection which they then made against it, as being against the nature
of trade, and that we had nothing on board but European goods, which
were not fitted for the East Indies, where money only was suitable to
the market we were to make; I say, to answer this objection, I told them
I would engage that I would sell our whole cargo at the Philippine
Islands as well as on the coast of America; for that those islands being
Spanish, our disguise of being French would serve us as well at the
Philippines, as it would in New Spain; and with this particular
advantage, that we should sell here for four times the value we should
on the coast of Chili, or Peru; and that, when we had done, we could
load our ship again there, or in other places in the Indies, with such
goods as would come to a good market again in New Spain.

This I told them was indeed what had not been practised, nor at any
other time would it be practicable: for as it was not usual for any
ships to go from the East Indies to the Philippines, so neither was it
usual for any European ships to trade with freedom in the South Seas,
till, since the late war, when the French had the privilege; and I could
not but be amazed that the French had never gone this way, where they
might have made three or four voyages in one, and with much less hazard
of meeting with the English or Dutch cruisers; and have made twice the
profits which they made the other way, where they were frequently out
three or four years upon one return; whereas here they might make no
less than three returns, or perhaps four, in the same voyage and in much
less time.

They were now a little surprised, for in all our first debates we had
nothing of this matter brought in question; only they entertained a
notion that I was going upon strange projects to make discoveries,
search for the South pole, plant new colonies, and I know not how many
whims of their own, which were neither in my design, or in my
instructions. The person, therefore, who was our supercargo, and the
other captain, whose name I have not mentioned, together with the French
Captain, Merlotte, and the rest, who had all opposed me before, came
cheerfully into my proposal; only the supercargo told me, in the name of
the rest, that he began to be more sensible of the advantages of the
voyage I had proposed, than he was before; but that, as he was equally
intrusted with me in the government of the trading part, he begged I
would not take it ill, that he desired I would let him farther into that
particular, and explain myself, at least as far as I thought proper.

This was so just a request, and so easy for me to do, and, above all,
was made with so much good manners and courtesy, that I told him, if I
had been otherwise determined, the courteous and good-humoured way with
which he required it, would constrain me to it; but that, however, I was
very ready to do it, as he was intrusted with the cargo jointly with me,
and that it was a piece of justice to the owners, that whom they thought
fit to trust I should trust also; upon this I told him my scheme, which
was as follows:

First, I said, that, as the Philippine Islands received all their
European goods from Acapulco, in America, by the king of Spain's ships,
they were obliged to give what price was imposed upon them by the
merchants, who brought those goods by so many stages to Acapulco. For
example, the European goods, or suppose English goods in particular,
with which they were loaden, went first from England to Cadiz, from
Cadiz by the galleons to Porto Bello, from Porto Bello, to Panama, from
Panama to Acapulco; in all which places the merchants had their several
commissions and other profits upon the sale; besides the extravagant
charges of so many several ways of carriage, some by water, some by
land, and besides the king's customs in all those places; and that,
after all this, they were brought by sea from Acapulco to the Philippine
Islands, which was a prodigious voyage, and were then generally sold in
the Philippine Islands at three hundred per cent. advance.

That, in the room of all this, our cargo being well bought and well
sorted, would come to the Philippine Islands at once, without any
landing or re-landing, and without any of all the additions of charge to
the first cost, as those by the way of New Spain had upon them; so that,
if we were to sell them at the Philippine Islands a hundred per cent.
cheaper than the Spaniards usually sold, yet we should get abundantly
more than we could on the coast of Peru, though we had been allowed a
free trade there.

That there were but two objections to this advantage, and these were,
our liberty of trading, and whether the place would consume the quantity
of goods we had; and to this I had much to answer. First, that it was
well known at the Philippine Isles, that the kings of France and Spain
were united firmly together; that the king of Spain had allowed the king
of France's subjects a free trade in his American dominions, and
consequently, that it would not be denied there; but, on the other hand,
that, if it was denied by the governor, yet there would be room to find
out a trade with the inhabitants, and especially with the Chinese and
Japan merchants, who were always there, which trade the governor could
not prevent; and thus we could not fear a market for all our cargo, if
it was much greater than it was.

That as to the returns, we had the advantage either way: for, first, we
should be sure to receive a great part of the price of our goods in
Chinese or Japan gold and silver, or in pieces of eight; or, if we
thought fit to trade another way, we might take on board such a quantity
of China damasks, and other wrought silks, muslins and chintz, China
ware, and Japan ware; all which, would be immediately sold in America;
that we should carry a cargo of these goods to New Spain, infinitely to
our advantage, being the same cargo which the four great Acapulco ships
carry back with them every year: That when we had gone to the South Seas
with this cargo, of which we knew we should make a good market, we had
nothing to do but to come back, if we thought fit, to the East Indies
again, where we might load for England or Flanders such goods as we
thought proper; or, if we did not think fit to take so great a run, we
might go away to the south, and round by Cape Horn into the Atlantic
Ocean, and perfect those discoveries, which we made part of in the
beginning of our voyage.

This was so clear a scheme of trade, that he seemed surprised with it,
and fully satisfied in every part of it. But the captain then objected
against the length of the voyage to the South Seas from the Philippines,
and raised several scruples about the latitude which we should keep in
such a voyage; that we should not be able to carry any provisions which
we could take on board in those hot countries, that would keep for so
long a run, and several other difficulties; to all which I made answer,
that when we had sold our cargo at the Philippines, and found our
advantages there to answer our desires, I would not oppose our returning
from thence directly to England if they found it needful; or, if they
thought a farther adventure would not answer the risks we were to expect
in it, we would never have any dispute about that.

This satisfied them fully, and they went immediately with the news to
the men, as what they thought would please them wonderfully, seeing they
were mighty uneasy but two or three days before, about their being to go
back again to the south of America, and the latitude of 64°, where we
had not only been twice driven back, as if heaven had forbidden us to
pass that way, but had been driven so far to the south, that we had met
with a most severe cold, and which pinched our men exceedingly, who
being come, as we might say, a hot-weather voyage, were but ill
furnished for the state of the air usual in the latitudes of 64°.

But we had a harder task to go through than we expected, upon this
occasion; and it may stand here upon record, as a buoy or beacon to warn
officers and commanders of ships, supercargoes, and such as are trusted
in the conduct of the voyage, never to have any disputes among
themselves, (I say not among themselves), about the course they shall
take, or whither they shall go; for it never fails to come among the men
after them, and if the debate is but named on the outside of the great
cabin door, it becomes immediately a dispute among the officers upon the
quarter-deck, the lieutenants, mates, purser, &c.; from thence it gets
afore the mast, and into the cook room, and the whole ship is
immediately divided into factions and parties; every foremast man is a
captain, or a director to the captain; every boatswain, gunner,
carpenter, cockswain, nay, and even the cook, sets up for a leader of
the men; and if two of them join parties, it is ten to one but it comes
to a mutiny, and perhaps to one of the two last extremities of all
mutinies, viz., running away from the ship, or, what is worse, running
away with the ship.

Our case was exactly thus, and had issued accordingly, for aught I know,
if we had not been in a port where, we got immediate assistance, and
that by a more than ordinary vigour in the management too.

I have mentioned the first time when we called a council about our
voyage at the Canaries, and how it was carried against my opinion not to
go to the East Indies, but to go to the South Seas, about by Cape Horn.
As the debate of this was not at all concealed, the officers of the
ship, viz., the two lieutenants and two mates, the purser, and others,
came in, and went out, and not only heard all we said, but talked of it
at liberty on the quarter-deck, and where they pleased, till it went
among the whole ship's crew. It is true, there came nothing of all this
at that time, because almost all the votes being against my opinion, as
I have said already, the ship's company seemed to join in naturally with
it, and the men were so talked into the great prospects of gain to
themselves, by a voyage to the South Seas, that they looked upon me, who
ought to have had the chief direction in the business, to be nobody, and
to have only made a ridiculous proposal, tending to hurt them; and I
perceived clearly after this, that they looked upon me with an evil eye,
as one that was against their interest; nay, and treated me with a sort
of contempt too, as one that had no power to hurt them, but as one, that
if things were left to me, would carry them on a wildgoosechase they
knew not whither.

I took no notice of this at first, knowing that, in the process of
things, I should have opportunity enough to let them know I had power to
oblige them many ways; as also, that I had authority sufficient to
command the whole ship, and that the direction of the voyage was
principally in me, though I being willing to do everything in a friendly
way, had too easily, and, I may say, too weakly, put that to the vote,
which I had a right to have commanded their compliance with. The ill
consequences of which appeared not for some time, but broke out upon the
occasion of our new measures, as will presently appear.

As soon as we had determined our voyage among ourselves in the great
cabin, the supercargo and Captain Merlotte went out upon the
quarter-deck, and began to talk of it among the officers, midshipmen,
&c.; and, to give them their due, they talked of it very honestly; not
with any complaint of being over-ruled, or over-persuaded, but as a
measure that was fully agreed to among us in the great cabin.

The boatswain, a blunt, surly, bold fellow, as soon as he heard of it,
Very well, says he, so we are all come back into Captain Positive's
blind proposal (for so he called me); why this is the same that
everybody rejected at the Canaries; and now, because we are driven
hither by contrary winds, those winds must be a reason why we must
undertake a preposterous, ridiculous voyage, that never any sailor would
have proposed, and that man never went before. What, does the captain
think that we cannot find our way to the coast of America again, and
because we have met with cross winds, we must never meet with fair ones?
I warrant him, let us but go up the height of St. Helena, we will soon
reach the Rio de la Plata and Port St. Julian again, and get into the
South Seas too, as others have done before us.

The gunner took it from the boatswain, and he talks with one of the
midshipmen in the same dialect. For my part, says he, I shipped myself
for the South Seas when I first came aboard the ship, and in hopes of
good booty; and if we go thither, I know nothing can hinder us, wind and
weather permitting: but this is such a voyage as no man ever attempted
before; and whatever the captain proposes, can have nothing in it for
the men, but horrid fatigue, violent heats, sickness, and starving.

One of the mates takes it from him, and he says as openly, I wonder what
a plague the rest of the gentlemen mean; they were all against the
captain when he started this whimsical voyage before, and now they come
all into it of a sudden, without any consideration; and so the project
of one man must ruin the most promising voyage ever yet undertaken, and
be the death of above two hundred as stout fellows as ever were together
in one ship in this part of the world.

One of the midshipmen followed the mate, and said, We were all promised
that another ship should be gotten, either purchased or taken, and that
the first ship we took, should be manned and victualled out of this
ship, where we were double manned, and crowded together enough to bring
an infection among us, in such hot climates as we are going into; and
if we were in the South Seas, we should easily buy a ship, or take a
ship for our purpose, almost where we would; but in all this part of the
world there is no such thing as a ship fit for an Englishman to set his
foot in. We were promised, too, that when we got into such a ship, we
that entered as midshipmen should be preferred to offices, as we were
qualified, and as our merit should recommend us. What they are going to
do with us now, I cannot imagine, unless it be to turn us afore the
mast, when half the foremast men are dead, and thrown overboard.

The master, or pilot of the ship, heard all these things, and sent us
word into the great cabin of all that passed, and, in short, assured us,
that, if these things went a little farther, he was afraid they would
come up to a mutiny; that there was great danger of it already, and that
we ought to apply some immediate remedy to it, or else he thought it
would be too late. He told me the particulars also, and how the whole
weight of their resentment seemed to tend to quarrelling at my command,
as believing that this project of going to the East Indies was wholly
mine; and that the rest of the officers being a little influenced by the
accident of our being driven so far out of our way, were only biassed in
the rest by my opinion; and, as they were all against it before, would
have been so still, if it had not been for me; and he feared, if they
went on, they might enter into some fatal measures about me, and perhaps
resolve to set me on shore in some barren uninhabited land or other, to
give me my bellyful of new discoveries, as it seems some of them had
hinted, and the second mate in particular.

I was far from being insensible of the danger I was in, and indeed of
the danger the whole voyage, ship and all, was in; for I made no
question, but that, if their brutish rage led them to one villanous
action, they would soon go on to another; and the devil would take hold
of that handle to represent the danger of their being punished for it
when they came home; and so, as has been often the case, prompt them to
mutiny against all command, and run away with the ship.

However, I had presence of mind enough to enter into prompt measures for
our general safety, and to prevent the worse, in case of any attempt
upon me. First, I represented the case to the rest of the gentlemen and
asked if they would stand by me, and by the resolutions which we had
taken for the voyage; then I called into our assistance the chief mate,
who was a kinsman of one of our owners, a bold resolute gentleman, and a
purser, who we knew was faithful to us; as also the surgeon and the
carpenter. I engaged them all to give me first their opinions whether
they were convinced of the reasonableness of my scheme for the voyage I
had proposed; and that they might judge for themselves, laid it all
before them again, arguing every part of it so clearly to them, that
they were convinced entirely of its being the most rational prospect of
the voyage for us, of any we could go about.

When I had done this, I recommended it to them to expostulate with the
men, and if possible, to keep them in temper, and keep them to their
duty; but at the same time, to stand all ready, and upon a signal which
I gave them, to come all to the steerage, and defend the great cabin
door with all the other hands, whom they could be sure of; and in the
mean time to be very watchful over the motions of the men, and see what
they drove at.

At the same time I fortified myself with the French captain, and the
supercargo, and the other captain; and by the way, all the French
captain's men were true to him, and he true to us, to a man. We then
brought a sufficient store of ammunition and small arms into the great
cabin, and secured the steerage, as also the roundhouse, so that we
could not possibly be surprised.

There was nothing done that night, but the next morning I was informed,
that the gunner and second mate were in a close cabal together, and one
or two of the midshipmen, and that they had sworn to one another, not
that they would not go the voyage as was proposed, for that might have
ended in their running away, which I should not have been sorry for;
but, in short, their oath was, that the ship should not go the voyage;
by which I was presently to understand, that they had some measures to
take to prevent my design of the voyage to the Philippines, and that,
perhaps, this was to run away with the ship to Madagascar, which was not
far off.

I had, however, this apparent encouragement, that as the contrivance was
yet but two days' old, for it was but two days since they had any notice
of our intentions to go, they would be some days caballing and forming
an interest among the men, to make up a party strong enough to make any
attempt; and that, as I had a trusty set of men, who would be as
diligent the other way, they would be contriving every method to get the
men over to their opinion, so that at least it would be some time before
they could make their party up.

The affair was rightly conjectured, and the three men who had made
themselves the head of the mutineers, went on apace, and my men
increased too, as much as could be desired for the time; but the Friday
after, which was about five days from the first discovery, one of the
midshipmen came, and desired to speak with me, and begged it might not,
if possible, be known that he was with me. I asked him if he desired to
be alone; he said no, I might appoint whom I thought convenient that I
could trust, but that what he had to say was of the last importance to
all our lives, and that therefore, he hoped I would be very sure of
those in whom I confided.

Upon this, I told him, I would name the chief mate, the French captain,
and the supercargo, and in the mean time, I bade him not be too much
surprised, for that I had already some warning of the scheme which I
believed he had to tell me of, and that I was preparing all things to
disappoint it: that, however, I should not value his fidelity the less,
and that he might speak freely his mind before those men, for they were
all in the secret already, and he might be sure both of protection and

Accordingly, I bade him go out upon the quarter-deck, and walk there,
and that, when the chief mate went off into the roundhouse, he should go
down between decks as if he was going into his cabin to sleep, and that,
when he heard the chief mate call the cabin boy, a black of mine, whose
name was Spartivento, he should take that for a signal that the steerage
was clear, and he might come up, and should be let into the great cabin;
all which was so managed, and in so short a time, that he was with us in
the great cabin in a quarter of an hour after the first conference, and
none of the men perceived it.

Here he let me into the whole secret, and a wicked scheme it was; viz.,
that the second mate, the gunner, three midshipmen, the cockswain, and
about six-and-thirty of the men, had resolved to mutiny, and seize upon
all us who were in the new project, as they called it; and to confine us
first, then to set us on shore, either there where we were, or
somewhere else, and so carry the ship away to the South Seas, and then
to do as they found convenient; that is to say, in a word, to seize upon
me, the other captain, the French captain, the supercargo, the chief
mate, doctor, and carpenter, with some others, and run away with the

He told me, that they had not fully concluded on all their measures, nor
gained so many of the men as they intended; that they were to sound some
more of the men the next morning, and, as soon as they had made their
number up fifty, they were resolved to make the attempt, which they did
not question would be by Thursday, and this was Monday morning; and
that, if they were then ready, they would make the onset at changing the
watch the same evening. He added, that, as they were to go on shore the
next morning for fresh water, I should know the truth of it by this;
that the second mate would come to me, and tell me that they wanted more
water, and to know if I pleased the boats should go on shore, and that,
if I chose it, he would go with them, or any else whom I pleased to
appoint; and that, upon supposition that I would leave it to him, to
take those he thought fit to go with him, he would then take occasion to
choose the principal conspirators, that they might, when they were on
shore, conclude upon the measures they intended to pursue.

I had all that day (Monday) to order my preparations, and upon this
plain intelligence, I determined to lose no time, nor was it long before
I resolved what to do; for as their design was desperate, so I had
nothing but desperate remedies to provide. Having therefore settled my
measures, I called for the cockswain, and bade him man the pinnace, for
that I was to go on shore, and I appointed only the supercargo, and the
surgeon, and the French captain, to go with me.

There were no English ships in the road, but there were about five Dutch
vessels homeward-bound, waiting for more, and three outward-bound. As I
passed by one of the outward-bound East India ships, the French captain,
as we had agreed before, pretended to know the ship, and that the
commander was his old acquaintance, and asked me to give him leave to
visit him, and told me he was sure he would make us all welcome. I
seemed unwilling at first, telling him I intended to go on shore and
pay my respects to the governor, and, as was usual, to ask him leave to
buy some provisions, and that the governor would take it very ill if I
did not go. However, upon his alleging that we would not stay, and that
the Dutch captain, upon his going on board, would, he was sure, give us
a letter of recommendation to the governor, by which we should have
everything granted that we could desire, I consented to his importunity,
and we went on board.

Captain Merlotte, who spoke Dutch very well, hailed the ship, asked the
captain's name, and then asked if he was on board; they answered, Yes;
then he bade them tell him the captain of the English ship was come to
visit him; upon which, immediately their chief mate bade them man the
side, and stood at the side to receive us, and, before we could get up,
the Dutch captain came upon the quarter-deck, and with great civility
invited us into his cabin; and, while we were there, the chief mate, by
the captain's order, entertained the boat's crew with like civility.

When we were in the cabin, Captain Merlotte told the Dutch captain that
we came indeed to him in the form of a visit, but that our business was
of the greatest importance, and desired we might speak to him of it in
the hearing of none but such as he could trust. The captain told us with
the greatest open-heartedness imaginable, that though we were strangers
to him, yet we looked like honest men, and he would grant our request;
we should speak it in the hearing of none but those we could trust, for
there should be nobody by but ourselves.

We made him fully sensible that we knew how obliging that compliment
was, but begged he would admit any whom he thought worthy to be trusted
with a secret of the last importance. He then carried it as far the
other way, and told us, that then he must call in the whole ship's
company, for that there was not a man in the ship but he could trust his
life in his hands. However, upon the whole, he sent everybody out of the
cabin but us three and himself, and then desired we would speak our
minds freely.

Captain Merlotte, who spoke Dutch, began, but the Dutch captain
interrupted him, and asked if the English captain, meaning me, spoke
Dutch; he said no; upon which he asked Captain Merlotte if he spoke
English, and he said yes, upon which he let me know that he understood
English, and desired I would speak to him in English.

I was heartily glad of this, and began immediately with the story, for
we had time little enough, I told him that he was particularly happy in
having it in his power to say he could put his life in the hand of any
man, the meanest in his ship; that my men were unhappily the reverse of
his; and, then beginning at the first of the story, I gave him a full
account of the whole, as related above.

He was extremely affected with it, and asked me what he could do to
serve me, and assured me that he would not only do what in him lay, but
would engage all the ships in the road to do the like, and the governor
also on shore. I thanked him very sincerely, and told him what at
present was the circumstance I thought lay before me, was this, viz.,
that the chief conspirators would be on shore on the morrow, with one,
or perhaps two, of our boats, to fetch water and get some fresh
provisions, and I should be very glad to have them seized upon by
surprise, when they were on shore, and that then I thought I could
master the rest on board well enough.

Leave that to me, says he, I will give the governor notice this evening,
and as soon as they come on shore they shall be all seized; But, says
he, if you think they may incline to make any resistance, I will write a
line to the governor, and give it you now; then, when your men go on
shore, order two of the principal rogues to go and wait on the governor
with the letter from you, and when he receives it, he shall secure them
there; so they will be divided, and taken with the more ease.

In the mean time, added he, while this is doing on shore, I will come on
board your ship, with my long boat and pinnace, and as many men as you
please, to repay you the compliment of this visit, and assist you in
reducing the rest.

This was so kind, and so completely what I desired, that I could have
asked nothing more; and I accepted his visit in his barge, which I
thought would be enough, but was afraid that, if more came, our men
might be alarmed, and take arms before I was ready; so we agreed upon
that, and, if I desired more help, I should hang out a signal, viz., a
red ancient, on the mizen top.

All things being thus consulted, I returned on board, pretending to our
men that I had spent so much time on board the Dutch ship, that I could
not go on shore; and indeed some of my men were so drunk, that they
could scarce sit to their oars; and the coxswain was so very far gone,
that I took occasion to ask publicly, to leave him on board till the
next day, giving the Dutch captain also a hint that he was in the
conspiracy, and I should be glad to leave him on that account.

The next day, about nine o'clock, the second mate came to me, and told
me they wanted more water, and, if I pleased to order the boat on shore,
he would go if I thought fit, and see if he could get any fresh
provisions, the purser being indisposed.

I told him, yes, with all my heart; that the Dutch captain last night
had given me a letter to the governor, to desire we might be furnished
with whatever we had occasion for, and that I had thoughts of calling
for him to go on shore and deliver it, and that, perhaps, the governor
might make him some present in compliment to the English nation.

He seemed extremely pleased at this, and even elevated, and going out to
give orders about the boat, ordered the long-boat and the shallop, and
came in again, and asked me whom I pleased to have go along with him. I
answered, smilingly to him. Pick and choose then yourself, only leave
the pinnace's crew that went with me yesterday, because they must go on
board again to carry the Dutch captain a little present of English beer
that I am going to send him, and fetch aboard their drunken coxswain,
who was so intoxicated that we were fain to leave him behind us.

This was just what he wanted; and we found he chose all the chief rogues
of the conspiracy; such as the boatswain, the gunner, the midshipmen we
spoke of, and such of the foremast men as he had secured in his design;
and of the rest, we judged they were in the plot, because he took them
with him; and thus having the long-boat and the shallop, with about
six-and-thirty men with them, away they went to fill water.

When they came on shore, they had presently three Dutchmen, set by the
Dutch captain, unperceived by them, to be spies upon them, and to mark
exactly what they did; and at the same time found three boats of
Dutchmen at the watering-place, (for the captain had procured two boats
to go on shore from two other ships,) full of men also, having
acquainted them with the design. As soon as our boats came on shore, the
men appeared to be all very much engaged in something more than
ordinary, and, instead of separating, as it was expected they should,
they went all into one boat, and there they were mighty busily engaged
in discourse one with another.

The Dutch captain had given the charge of these things to a brisk bold
fellow, his mate, and he took the hints the captain gave him so well,
that nothing could have been better; for, finding the men thus in a kind
of a cabal, he takes four of his men with muskets on their shoulders,
like the governor's men, and goes with them to the Englishmen's boat,
and asks for their officer, the second mate, who, upon this, appears. He
tells them he comes from the governor, to know if they were Englishmen,
and what their business was on shore there: the mate answered, they came
from on board the English ship, that they were driven there by stress of
weather, and hoped they might have leave to fill water and buy
necessaries for their money.

He told them he supposed the governor would not refuse them when he knew
who they were, but that it was but good manners to ask leave: the
Englishman told him, that he had not yet filled any water or bought any
provisions, and that he had a letter to the governor from the captain,
which he supposed was to pay the usual civilities to him, and to give
him the civility of taking leave, as was expected.

The Dutchman answered, that was hael weel; that he might go and carry
it, if he pleased, then, and, if the governor gave them leave, all was
right and as it should be; but that the men could not be admitted to
come on shore till his return.

Upon this, away goes the second mate of our ship and three of the men
with him, whereof the gunner was one; for he had asked the Dutchman how
many he might carry with him, and he told him three or four: and those
he took you may be sure, were of the particular men whom he had a
confidence in, because of their conversing together by the way.

When they came to the governor, the mate sent in a message first, viz.,
that he was come from on board the English ship in the road, and that
he had a letter from the captain to his excellence.

The governor, who had notice given him of the business, sends out word,
that the gentlemen should send in the letter, and the governor would
give them an answer: in the mean time, there appeared a guard of
soldiers at the governor's house, and the four Englishmen were let into
the outer room, where the door was shut after them, and the soldiers
stood without the door, and more soldiers in another room between them
and the parlour which the governor sat in.

After some time, the mate was called in, and the governor told him that
he had read the letter which he brought, and asked him if he knew the
contents of it; he answered, No: the governor replied, he supposed not,
for, if he had, he would scarce have brought it; at the same time told
him, he was obliged to make him and all his men prisoners, at the
request of their own captain, for a conspiracy to raise a mutiny and run
away with the ship. Upon which, two great fat Dutchmen came up to him,
and bid him deliver his sword, which he did with some reluctance; for he
was a stout strong fellow; but he saw it all to no purpose to dispute or

At the same time, the three men without were made prisoners also by the
soldiers. When the governor had thus secured these men, he called them
in, and inquired the particulars of the case, and expostulated with them
very pathetically upon such a horrid, villanous design, and inquired of
them what the occasion could be; and, hearing all they had to say in
their defence, told them he could do nothing more in it till their
captain came on shore, which would be in a day or two, and that, in the
mean time, they must be content to remain in custody, which they did,
separated from one another. They were very civilly treated, but strictly
kept from speaking or sending any messages to one another, or to the

When this was accomplished, the governor sent six files of musketeers
down to the watering-place, with an order to secure all the Englishmen
in the two boats, which was done. They seemed inclined to make some
resistance at first, being all very well armed; but the seamen of the
three Dutch long-boats, joining themselves to the soldiers, and notice
being given the English seamen, that if they fired one gun, they should
have no quarter; and especially their two principal men, the chief mate
and the gunner, being absent, they submitted, and were all made
prisoners also.

When this was done, of which the Dutch captain had notice by a signal
from the shore, he came off in his shallop, with about sixteen seamen,
and five or six gentlemen and officers, to pay his visit to me. I
received him with all the appearance of ceremony imaginable, ordered an
elegant dinner to be prepared for him, and caused his men to be all
treated upon the deck, and made mighty preparations for the feast.

But in the middle of all this, Captain Merlotte, with all his Frenchmen,
being thirty-two, appeared in arms on the quarter-deck; the Dutch
captain's attendants stood to their arms on the main-deck, and I, with
the supercargo, the doctor, and the other captain, leaving the Dutch
captain and some men in the great cabin as a reserve, came to the
steerage door, cleared the steerage behind me, and stood there with a
cutlass in my hand, but said nothing; neither was there a word spoke
anywhere all the while.

In this juncture, the chief mate, the faithful midshipmen, the
carpenter, and the gunner's mate, with about twenty men whom they could
trust, went fore and aft between decks, and secured all the particular
men that we had the least suspicion of, being no less than thirty-five
more. These they secured, bringing them up into the steerage, where
their hands were tied behind them, and they were commanded not to speak
a word to one another upon pain of present death.

When this was done, the chief mate came to me to the steerage door, and
passing by, went forward with his men, entered the cook-room, and posted
himself at the cook-room door. There might be still about eighty men
upon the forecastle and midships upon the open decks; and there they
stood staring, and surprised at what was doing, but not being able to
guess in the least what was meant, what was the cause of it, or what was
intended to be done farther.

When I found all things ready, I moved forward a step or two, and
beckoning to the mate to command silence, I told the men that I was not
disposed to hurt any man, nor had I done what I now did, but by
necessity, and that I expected they should all submit; that, if any one
of them made the least resistance, he was a dead man; but that, if they
would be easy and quiet, I should give a very good account to them all,
of every part of the voyage, or scheme of a voyage, which I had laid,
and which had been so ill represented to them.

Then I caused my commissioner letter of mart to be read to them all, by
which it appeared that I was really chief commander of the ship, and had
a right to direct the voyage as I thought best; with a paper of written
instructions, signed by the owners and adventurers, and directed to me,
with another paper of instructions to all the officers, to be directed
by me in all things; which, indeed, was all news to them, for they did
not think I was the chief captain or commander of the ship and voyage.

When I had done this, I gave them a long and full account of the reasons
why I thought it best, as our present circumstances were stated, not to
go to the South Seas first, but to go away to the Philippine Islands,
and what great prospect of advantage to the owners there was, as well as
to the men; and that I wondered much that such measures were taken in
the ship as I heard there were; and that I was not, they might see,
unprovided of means to reduce every one of them to their duty by force,
and to punish those that were guilty, as they deserved, but that I
rather desired to win them with kindness; and that, therefore, I had
resolved, that if any of them had any reason to dislike the voyage, they
should be safely set on shore, and suffered to go to the second mate and
his comrades: and farther, I told them what circumstances they were in
and how effectually they were secured.

This astonished them, and surprised them exceedingly, and some of them
inquired more particularly into the circumstances of the said second
mate and his fellows: I told them they were safe enough, and should
remain so; for, as I could prove they had all a villanous design to run
away with the ship, and set me on shore, either here, or in a worse
place, I thought that only upon account of my own safety, such men were
not fit to go in the ship, being once capable to entertain such horrid
mischievous thoughts, or that could be guilty of such a villany; and
that, if any of them were of their minds, they were very welcome, if
they thought fit, to go to them.

At this offer, some bold rogues upon the forecastle, which I did not
discern, by reason of the number that stood there, cried out, _One and
all_, which was a cry, at the same time, of mutiny and rebellion, that
was certain, and in its kind very dangerous.

However, to let them see I was not to be daunted with it, I called out
to one of the men among them, whom I saw upon the forecastle; You Jones,
said I, tell me who they are, and come away from them, for I will make
an example of them, whoever they are. Will Jones slunk in among the
rest, and made me no answer, and immediately _One and all_ was cried
again, and a little huzza with it, and some of the men appeared to have
fire-arms with them. There was a great many of them, and I presently
foresaw, that, if I went to the extremity, I should spoil the voyage,
though I conquered them; so I bridled my passion with all my power, and
said calmly, Very well, gentlemen, let me know what you mean by _one and
all_? I offered any of you that did not like to go the voyage to quit
the ship; is that what you intend by _one and all_? If so, you are
welcome, and pray take care to do it immediately; as for what chests or
clothes you have in the ship, you shall have them all with you. Upon
this I made the chief mate, who was now come to me again, advance a
little with some more men, and get between the men upon the forecastle
and those who were upon the main deck; and, as if he had wanted room,
when he had gotten between them, he said to them, Stand aft a little,
gentlemen, and so crowded them towards me.

As they came nearer and nearer to where I stood, I had an opportunity to
speak to them singly, which I did calmly and smilingly.

Why, how now, Tom, says I, to one of them; what are you among the

Lord, sir, says Tom, not I, they are mad, I think; I have nothing to say
to them; I care not where I go, not I; I will go round the globe with
you, it's all one to me.

Well, Tom, says I, but what do you do among them then? come away into
the steerage, and show yourself an honest man.

So Tom comes in, and after him another, and then two more. Upon my
saying to Tom, What do you do among them? one of the fellows says to one
of the officers that stood at a little distance from me, What does the
captain mean by saying, among them? What, does he reckon us to be in the
plot? He is quite wrong, we are all ignorant, and surprised at it. He
immediately tells me this, and I was glad, you may be sure, to hear it,
and said aloud to the man that he spoke to, If they are honest men, and
would not appear in this villany, let them go down between decks, and
get out of the way, that they may have no share in the punishment, if
they have none in the crime. With all my heart, says one; God bless you,
captain, says another, and away they dropt one by one in at the steerage
door, and down between decks, every one in his hammock or cabin, till
there were not above five or six of them left.

By this time, our two boats appeared from the shore, being both manned
with Dutchmen, viz. the Dutch captain's mate and about twenty of his
men, all the water casks full, but not a man of mine with them, for they
were left on shore in safe custody.

I waited till they came on board, and then turning to the men on the
forecastle, I told them they should go on board the boats immediately,
as soon as the butts of water were hoisted in. They still said, _One and
all_, they were ready, desired they might go and fetch their clothes.

No, no, says I, not a man of you shall set your foot any more into the
ship; but go get you into the boat, and what is your own shall be given
you into the boat.

As I spoke this in an angry tone, and with a kind of passion, that
bespoke resentment to a high degree, they began to see they had no
opportunity to choose; and some of them slipt down the scuttle into the
cook-room. I had ordered the officer who was there, who was one of the
midshipmen, to wink at it, and let as many come down as offered it; and
the honest man did more than that, for he went to the scuttle himself,
and, as if he had whispered, so that I should not hear him, called them
one by one by their names, and argued with them; Prithee, Jack, says he
to one of them, do not you be distracted, and ruin yourself to gratify a
rash drunken humour; if you go into the boat you are undone; you will be
seized as soon as you come on shore, as the rest are, and will be sent
to England in irons, and there you will be infallibly hanged; why you
are certainly all mad.

Jack replies, he had no design to mutiny, but the second mate drew him
in, and he did not know what to do, he wished he had not meddled; he
knew he was undone; but now what could he do?

Do, says the midshipman, leave them for shame, and slip down here, and
I will see and get you off if I can.

Accordingly he pulled him down, and after him so many got out of sight
the same way, that there was not above seventeen or eighteen left upon
the forecastle.

I seemed to take no notice of that, till at last one of the men that was
left there, with his hat or cap in his hand, stepping just to the edge
of the forecastle, which was next to me, said, in a very respectful
manner, that I saw how many had slunk away and made their peace, or at
least obtained pardon, and that I might, perhaps, know that they who
were left were only such as had their duty there, being placed there of
course before the mutiny began, and that they had no hand in it, but
abhorred it with all their hearts, which he hoped I would consider, and
not join them with those that had offended, merely because they came
upon the forecastle, and mixed there with the men who had the watch.

I told him, if that was true, it would be in their favour, but I
expected he would prove it to my satisfaction before I accepted that for
an excuse. He told me, it might, perhaps, be hard to prove it, seeing
the boatswain and his mate, and the second mate, were gone, but the rest
of the ship's crew could all testify that they were a part of the men
whose watch it was, and that they were upon the forecastle by the
necessity of their duty, and no otherwise; and called several men who
were upon duty with them to witness it, who did confirm it.

Upon this, I found myself under a necessity, in justice to the men, to
approve it; but my own management was a bite upon myself in it; for,
though I did allow the midshipman to wink at their slipping away, as
before, yet I made no question but I should have some left to make
examples of; but as I could not go back from the promise of mercy which
I had allowed the midshipman to offer in my name, so I tricked myself by
their mistake into a necessity of pardoning them all, which was very far
from my design; but there was no remedy.

However, the men, when they were so happily escaped, desired the
midshipman, who had been instrumental to their deliverance, to assure
me, that as they were sensible that they had deserved very ill at my
hands, and that yet I had treated them thus kindly, they would not only
reveal to me all the particulars of the conspiracy, and the names of
those principally concerned in it, but that they would assure me they
would never more dispute any of my measures, but were very ready to do
their duty as seamen, to what part of the world soever I might think fit
to go, or which way I thought fit to carry them, whether outward or
homeward; and that they gave me the tender of their duty in this manner
with the utmost sincerity and with thankfulness, for my having forgiven
them that conduct which was the worst that a seamen could be guilty of.

I took this very kindly, and sent them word I did so, and that they
should see they had taken the wiser course; that I had an entire
confidence in their fidelity; and that they should never find I would
reproach them with, or use them the worse for, what had past.

I must confess, I was very glad of this submission of the men; for
though, by the measures I had taken, I was satisfied I should conquer
them, and that I was safe from their attempts; yet, carrying it on by
resentment, and doing justice upon the offenders, whatever advantage it
had one way, had this disadvantage in the consequence; viz., that it
would ruin the voyage, for at least half the men were in the plot.

Having thus conquered them by good usage, I thought my next work was to
inquire into the mistakes which had been the foundation of all this: so,
before I parted with the men who had returned to their duty, I told
them, that as I had freely forgiven what was past, so I would keep my
word, that I would never reproach them with it; but that I thought it
was necessary their judgments should be convinced how much they were
imposed upon, as well as their tempers be reduced by my kindness to
them. That I was of the opinion that they had been abused in the account
given them of what I had designed to do, and of the reasons I had to
give for doing it; and I would desire them to let me know afterwards,
whether they had been faithfully informed or not; and whether in their
own judgment, now when they were freed from the prepossessions they were
under, they could object anything against it or no.

This I did with respect to the other men whom I had made prisoners in
the steerage, whom I had the same design to be kind to as I had to
these; but upon whom I resolved to work this way, because, after all, I
might have this work to do over again, if I should meet with any
disappointment or miscarriage in the voyage; or especially, if we should
be put to any difficulties or distresses in the pursuing it.

In order to this I caused the voyage itself, and the reasons of it, the
nature of the trade I was to carry on by it, the pursuit of it to the
South Seas, and, in a word, everything just as we had argued and settled
it in the great cabin, to be put into writing and read to them.

The fellows, every one of them, declared they were fully satisfied in
the voyage itself, and that my reasons for it were perfectly good; and
that they had received a quite different account of it; as that I would
carry them into the island of the Moluccas, which was the most unhealthy
part of the East Indies; that I would go away to the south for new
discoveries; and that I would go away thence to the South Seas; which
was a voyage of such a length, that no ship could victual for; that it
was impossible to carry fresh water such a length; and, in a word, that
it was a voyage that would destroy us all.

It was the chief mate and the midshipman who took them all down the
scuttle, that brought me this account from them: so I made him take two
of those penitent mutineers with him, and go to the men in the steerage,
whom he had made prisoners at first, and see whether their delusions
were of the same kind, and what kind of temper they were in;
accordingly, he went to them directly, for this was not a business that
admitted giving them time to club and cabal together, and form other
societies or combinations which might have consequences fatal to us

When he came to them, he told them, the captain was willing to do all
the justice possible to his men, and to use them, on all occasions, with
equity and kindness; that I had ordered him to inquire calmly what it
was had moved them to these disorders, and what it was which they had
been made to believe was doing, that they could enter into measures so
destructive to themselves, and to those who had intrusted them all with
the ship and cargo; for that, in a voyage, every foremast-man, in his
degree, is trusted with the safety of the whole ship.

They answered it was the second mate; that they had never shown
themselves discontented, much less disorderly, in the ship; that they
had, on all occasions, done their duty through the whole voyage till
now; and that they had no ill design upon any one, much less had they
any design to destroy the voyage, or injure the captain; but that they
were all told by the second mate, that the captain had imposed upon
them, by proposing a mad voyage to the south pole, that would be the
death of them all, and that they were to lay aside the trading and
cruising voyages which they came out upon, and were now to spend the
whole voyage in new discoveries; by which the men could propose nothing
to themselves but hardships, and perhaps perishing with hunger and cold;
whereas, had they gone to the South Seas as was intended, they might all
have been made; and that the hazards, with that prospect, had some
consolation in them; whereas, in this project, there was nothing but
certain destruction.

The mate delivered them a copy of the scheme I had proposed, the reasons
of it, the trade I had designed, the return I was to make, and
everything, as I have already mentioned, and bade them take it and
consider of it.

As I was justly provoked to see how I had been abused and misrepresented
to the men, so they were astonished when they read my scheme, and saw
what mischiefs they had been led into, for they knew not what, and
without any reason or just consideration: and, after they had debated
things awhile among themselves, they desired the chief mate might come
to them again, which he did; then they told him, that as they had been
thus grossly abused, and drawn into mischiefs which they never designed,
by such plausible pretences, and by being told such a long story full of
lies, and to carry on an infernal project of the second mate's, they
hoped their being so much imposed upon would a little extenuate their
fault; that they were convinced the captain had proposed nothing but
what was very rational, and a voyage that might be very profitable to
the owners and to every individual; and they entirely threw themselves
upon the captain's mercy, and humbly begged pardon; that, if I pleased
to forgive them, they would endeavour to merit such forgiveness by their
future behaviour; and that, in the mean time, they submitted to what
punishment I pleased to lay upon them: and, particularly, that, as they
had forfeited, by their conspiracy, all the claims they had upon the
ship, and might justly have been turned on shore at the first land they
came to, they were willing to sign a discharge for all their wages due
to them, which was now near eight months a man, and to be considered for
the rest of the voyage as they deserved: that they would all take a
solemn oath of fidelity to me to do their duty, to go wherever I would
carry them, and to behave with the greatest submission and diligence, in
hopes to regain my favour by their future behaviour, and to show their
gratitude for the pardon I should grant them.

This was, indeed, just as I would have it, for I wanted nothing more
than to have something offered, which I might give them back again; for
I ever thought, and have found it by experience, to be the best way; and
men were always secured in their duty by a generous kindness, better
than by absolute dominion and severity: indeed, my opinion was justified
in all the measures I took with these men; for as I found they were
sufficiently humbled, and that I had brought them low enough, I let them
know that it was not their punishment but their amendment I desired;
that I scorned to make a prey of them, and take that forfeiture they had
offered, by putting the wages due to them for their labour in my pocket.
I then sent them word I was very glad to hear that they were sensible
how much they had been imposed upon; that, as it was not my design to
offer anything to them which they or any honest men ought to refuse, so
it was not my desire to make any advantages of their follies but what
might tend to bring them back to their duty; that, as I had no prospect
that was inconsistent with their safety and interest, so I scorned to
make an advantage of their submission; that as to their wages, though
they had forfeited them by their mutiny, yet God forbid I should convert
them to my own profit; and since forgiving their offence was in my
power, the crime being in one particular an offence against me, they
should never be able to say I made a gain of their submission, and, like
the Pope, should sell them my pardon; that, upon their solemnly engaging
to me never to offer the least disturbance of any kind in the ship for
the future, but to do their duty faithfully and cheerfully, I would
forget all that was passed; only this I expected, that two of them, who
were particularly guilty of threatening the life of Captain Merlotte,
should be punished as they deserved.

They could not deny but this was most just; and they did not so much as
offer to intercede for those two; but, when one of the two moved the
rest to petition for them, they answered they could not do it, for they
had received favour enough for themselves, and they could not desire
anything of the captain for their sakes, for they had all deserved
punishment as well as they.

In a word, the two men were brought upon deck, and soundly whipped and
pickled; and they all proved very honest ever after: and these, as I
said at first, were two-and-thirty in all.

All this while Captain Merlotte with his Frenchmen were in arms, and had
possession on the quarter-deck to the number of twenty-three stout men;
I had possession of the main-deck with eighteen men and the sixteen
Dutchmen, and my chief mate with the midshipman, had possession of the
cook-room and quarter-deck; the Dutch captain, our supercargo, the
surgeon, and the other captain, kept the great cabins with a guard of
twelve musketeers without the door, and about eight more within, besides
servants. Captain Merlotte's man also had a guard of eight men in the
roundhouse. I had now nothing to do but with my men who were on shore;
and of these, six were no way culpable, being men not embarked in the
design, but carried on shore by the chief mate, with a design to engage
them with him; so that, indeed, they fell into a punishment before they
fell into the crime, and what to do with these men was a nice point to

The first thing I did, was to dismiss my visitor, the Dutch captain,
whom I had a great deal of reason to think myself exceedingly obliged
to: and, first, I handsomely rewarded his men, to whom I gave four
pieces of eight a man; and having waited on the captain to the ship's
side, and seen him into his boat, I fired him twenty-one guns at his
going off; for which he fired twenty-five when he came on board his

The same afternoon I sent my pinnace on board him for my drunken
cockswain, and with the pinnace I sent the captain three dozen bottles
of English beer, and a quarter cask of Canary, which was the best
present I had to make him; and sent every one of his other seamen a
piece of eight per man; and, indeed, the assistance I had from the ship
deserved it; and to the mate, who acted so bravely with my men on
shore, I sent fifty pieces of eight.

The next day I went on shore to pay my respects to the governor, when I
had all the prisoners delivered up to me. Six men I caused to be
immediately set at liberty, as having been innocent, and brought all the
rest on board, tied hand and foot, as prisoners, and continued them so,
a great while afterward, as the reader will find. As for the second
mate, I tried him formally by a council of war, as I was empowered by my
commission to do, and sentenced him to be hanged at the yard-arm: and
though I suspended the execution from day to day, yet I kept him in
expectation of the halter every hour; which, to some, would have been as
grievous as the hanging itself.

Thus we conquered this desperate mutiny, all principally proceeding from
suffering the private disputes among ourselves, which ought to have been
the arcana of the whole voyage, and kept as secret as death itself could
have kept it, I mean so as not to come among the seamen afore the mast.

We lay here twelve days, during which time we took in fresh water as
much as we had casks for, and were able to stow. On the 13th day of
August, we weighed and stood away to the east, designing to make no land
any more till we came to Java Head, and the Straits of Sunda, for that
way we intended to sail; but the wind sprung up at E. and E. S. E., and
blew so fresh, that we were obliged, after two days' beating against it,
to bear away afore it, and run back to the Cape of Good Hope.

While we were here, there came in two Dutch East Indiamen more,
homeward-bound, to whom had happened a very odd accident.

They had been attacked by a large ship of forty-four guns, and a stout
sloop of eight guns; the Dutch ships resolving to assist one another,
stood up to the Frenchman, (for such it seems he was,) and fought him
very warmly. The engagement lasted six or seven hours; in which the
privateer had killed them some men; but in the heat of the fight, the
sloop received a shot, which brought her mainmast by the board; and this
caused the captain of the frigate to sheer off, fearing his sloop would
be taken; but the sloop's men took care of themselves, for, hauling a
little out of the fight, they got into their own boats, and a boat which
the frigate sent to their help, and abandoned the sloop; which the
Dutchmen perceiving, they manned out their boats, and sent and took the
sloop with all that was in her, and brought her away with them.

The Dutchmen came into the road at the Cape with this prize while our
ship was there the second time; and we saw them bringing the sloop in
tow, having no mast standing, but a little pole-mast set up for the
present, and her mizen, which was also disabled, and of little use to

I no sooner saw her, but it came into my thoughts, that, if she was
anything of a sea-boat, she would do our business to a tittle; and, as
we had always resolved to get another ship, but had been disappointed,
this would answer our end exactly; accordingly I went with my chief
mate, in our shallop, on board my old acquaintance the Dutch captain,
and inquiring there, was informed that it was a prize taken, and that in
all probability the captain that took her would be glad to part with
her; and the captain promised me to go on board the ship that brought
her in, and inquire about it, and let me know.

Accordingly, the next morning the captain sent me word I might have her;
that she carried eight guns, had good store of provisions on board, with
ammunition sufficient, and I might have her and all that was in her for
twelve hundred pieces of eight. In a word, I sent my chief mate back
with the same messenger and the money, giving him commission to pay for
her, and take possession of her, if he liked her; and the Dutch captain,
my friend, lent him twelve men to bring her off to us, which they did
the same day.

I was a little put to it for a mast for her, having not anything on
board we could spare that was fit for a main-mast; but resolving at last
to mast her not as a sloop, but as a brigantine, we made shift with what
pieces we had, and a spare foretop-mast, which one of the Dutch ships
helped me to; so we fitted her up very handsomely, made her carry twelve
guns, and put sixty men on board. One of the best things we found on
board her, were casks, which we greatly wanted, especially for
barrelling up beef and other provisions, which we found very difficult;
but our cooper eked them out with making some new ones out of her old

After staying here sixteen days more, we sailed again. Indeed, I thought
once we should never have gone away at all; for it is certain above
half the men in the ship had been made uneasy, and there remained still
some misunderstanding of my design, and a supposition of all the
frightful things the second mate had put in their heads; and, by his
means, the boatswain and gunner.

As these three had the principal management of the conspiracy, and that
I had pardoned all the rest, I had some thoughts of making an example of
these; I took care to let them know it, too, in a manner that they had
no room to think it was in jest, but I intended to have them all three
hanged; and I kept them above three weeks in suspense about it: however,
as I had no intention to put them to death, I thought it was a piece of
cruelty, something worse than death, to keep them continually in
expectation of it, and in a place too where they had but little more
than room to breathe.

So, having been seventeen days gone from the Cape, I resolved to relieve
them a little, and yet at the same time remove them out of the way of
doing me any capital injury, if they should have any such design still
in their heads. For this purpose, I caused them to be removed out of the
ship into brigantine, and there I permitted them to have a little more
liberty than they had on board the great ship; and where two of them
entered into another conspiracy, as wild and foolish as ever I heard of,
or as, perhaps, was ever heard of by any other; but of this I shall say
more in its place.

We were now to sail in company, and we went away from the Cape, the 3rd
of September, 1714. We found the brigantine was an excellent sea-boat,
and could bear the weather to a miracle, and no bad sailer; she kept
pace with us on all occasions, and in a storm we had at S. S. E., some
days after, she shifted as well as we did in the great ship, which made
us all well pleased with her.

This storm drove us away to the northward; and I once thought we should
have been driven back to the Cape again; which, if it had happened, I
believe we should never have gone on with the voyage; for the men began
to murmur again, and say we were bewitched; that we were beaten off
first from the south of America, that we could never get round there,
and now driven back from the south of Africa; so that, in short, it
looked as if fate had determined this voyage to be pursued no farther.
The wind continued, and blew exceeding hard: and, in short, we were
driven so far to the north, that we made the south point of the island
of Madagascar.

My pilot knew it to be Madagascar as soon as he had a clear view of the
land; and, having beaten so long against the sea to no purpose, and
being in want of many things, we resolved to put in; and accordingly
made for Port St. Augustine, on the west side of the island, where we
came to an anchor in eleven fathom water, and a very good road.

I could not be without a great many anxious thoughts upon our coming
into this island; for I knew very well that there was a gang of
desperate rogues here, especially on the northern coast, who had been
famous for their piracies; and I did not know but that they might be
either strong enough as pirates to take us, or rogues enough to entice a
great many of my men to run away; so I resolved neither to come near
enough the shore to be surprised, nor to suffer any of my men to go on
shore, such excepted as I could be very secure of.

But I was soon informed by a Dutchman, who came off to me with some of
the natives in a kind of canvass boat, that there were no Europeans
there but himself, and the pirates were on the north part of the island;
that they had no ship with them of any force, and that they would be
glad to be fetched off by any Christian ship; that they were not above
two hundred in number, their chief leaders, with the only ships of force
they had, being out a cruising on the coast of Arabia, and the Gulf of

After this, I went on shore myself with Captain Merlotte, and some of
the men whom I could trust; and we found it true as the Dutchman had
related. The Dutchman gave us a long history of his adventures, and how
he came to be left there by a ship he came in from Europe, which, he
running up into the country for sport with three more of his comrades,
went away without them, and left them among the natives, who, however,
used them extremely well; and that now he served them for an interpreter
and a broker, to bargain for them with the European ships for
provisions. Accordingly, he engaged to bring us what provisions we
pleased, and proposed such trinkets in return as he knew the natives
desired, and as were of value little enough to us; but he desired a
consideration for himself in money, which, though it was of no use to
him there, he said it might be hereafter; and, as his demand was but
twenty pieces of eight, we thought he very well deserved them.

Here we bought a great quantity of beef, which, having no casks to
spare, we salted, and then cured it in the sun, by the Dutchman's
direction, and it proved of excellent use to us through the whole
voyage; for we kept some of it till we came to England, but it was then
so hard, that a good hatchet would hardly cut it.

While we lay here, it came into my thoughts, that now was a good time to
execute justice upon my prisoners; so I called up the officers to a kind
of council of war, and proposed it to them in general terms, not letting
them know my mind as to the manner of it. They all agreed it was
necessary, and the second mate, boatswain, and gunner, had so much
intelligence of it from the men, that they prepared for death as much as
if I had signed a dead-warrant for their execution, and that they were
to be hanged at the yard-arm.

But, in the midst of those resolves, I told the council of officers, my
design was to the north part of the island, where a gang of pirates were
said to be settled, and that I was persuaded I might get a good ship
among them, and as many men as we desired, for that I was satisfied the
greatest part of them were so wearied of their present situation, that
they would be glad of an opportunity to come away, and especially such
as had, either by force, or rash, hasty resolutions, been, as it were,
surprised into that sort of life; that I had been informed they were
very far from being in such a formidable posture as they had been
represented to us in Europe, or anything near so numerous; but that, on
the contrary, we should find them poor, divided, in distress, and
willing to get away upon any terms they could.

Some of the officers of the ship differed from me in my opinion. They
had received such ideas of the figure those people made in Madagascar,
from the common report in England, that they had no notion of them, but
as of a little commonwealth of robbers; that they were immensely rich;
that Captain Avery was king of the Island; that they were eight thousand
men; that they had a good squadron of stout ships, and that they were
able to resist a whole fleet of men of war; having a harbour so well
fortified at the entrance into it, that there was no coming at them
without a good army for land-service, to assist in the enterprise.

I convinced them how impossible this was to be true, and told them all
the discourse I had with the Dutchman, at the place where I now was, who
had received a full account of the particulars from several of them who
had come down to St. Augustine's in little boats in order to make their
escape from their comrades, and to get passage for Europe; that he had
always assisted, and got them off, whenever any ship touched at that
port; and that they all agreed in their relation of their state and
condition, which was indeed miserable enough, saving that they wanted
not for victuals.

In a word, I soon brought them to enter into the reason of it, and to be
of my opinion; and, accordingly, I ordered to get ready, and in three
days' time weighed anchor, and stood away for the north of the island,
taking care not to communicate our debates and resolves to the men
before the mast, as had been done before, we having had enough of that

While we were thus coasting the island to the north, and in the channel
or sea between the island and the main of Africa, it came into my
thoughts, that I might now make use of my traitors to my advantage and
their own too, and that I might, if they were honest, gain my end, and
get a full intelligence of the people I had my eye upon; and, if they
were still traitors, they would desert and go over to the pirates, and I
should be well rid of them, without the necessity of bringing them to
the yard-arm; for I was very uneasy in my mind about hanging them, nor
could I ever have been brought to do it, I believe, whatever risk I had
run from their mutinous disposition.

I was now got in the latitude of fifteen degrees and a half south of the
line, and began to think of standing in for the shore; when I ordered
the second mate, who lay in irons in the brigantine, to be brought on
board the great ship, and to be called up into the great cabin. He came
in great concern, though he was of himself a very bold and resolute
fellow, yet, as he made no doubt that he was sent for to execution, he
appeared thoroughly softened, and quite another man than he was before.

When he was brought in, I caused him to be set down in a nook of the
cabin where he could not stir to offer any violence to me, had he been
so inclined, two large chests being just before him; and I ordered all
my people to withdraw, except Captain Merlotte and the supercargo; and
then, turning myself to the criminal, I told him, as he knew his
circumstances, I need not repeat them, and the fact for which he was
brought into that condition; that I had hitherto, from time to time,
delayed his execution, contrary to the opinion of the rest of the chief
officers, who in full council had unanimously condemned him; that a
sudden thought had come into my mind, which, if he knew how to merit
mercy, and to retrieve his circumstances by his future fidelity, might
once again put it into his power, not only to save his life, but to be
trusted in the ship again, if he inclined to be honest; that, however,
if he had no inclination to merit by his service, I would put it to his
choice, either to undertake with courage and fidelity what I had to
propose to him, in which case he might expect to be very well treated,
or, if not, I would pardon him as to the death he had reason to expect,
and he with his two fellow-criminals should be set on shore to go
whither they pleased.

He waited, without offering to speak a word, till I made a full stop,
and then asked me if I gave him leave to answer.

I told him he might say whatever he thought proper.

Then he asked if I gave him leave to speak freely, and would not take
offence at what he might say? I replied, he should speak as freely as if
he had never offended; and that, as I had given him his life, I now
would give him my word, nothing he could say should revoke the grant;
and that he should not only go freely on shore, (for I expected by his
words that he had made that choice) but I would give him the lives of
his two fellow-prisoners; and would give them arms and ammunition, and
anything else that was reasonable for them to ask, or necessary to their
subsisting on shore in such a country.

He told me then, that had it been any other part of the world than at
Madagascar, he would readily have chosen to have gone on shore; nay,
though the place had been really desolate and uninhabited; that he did
not object because my offer was not very generous and kind, and that it
would be always with regret that he should look back upon the mercy he
should have received, and how ill he had deserved it at my hands.

But that as it was at this place that I mentioned setting him at
liberty, he told me, that though he had been mutinous and disorderly,
for which he had acknowledged he had deserved to die, yet he hoped I
could not think so ill of him as to believe he could turn pirate; and
begged that, rather than entertain such hard thoughts of him, I would
execute the worst part of the sentence, and send him out of the world a
penitent and an honest man, which he should esteem far better than to
give him his life in a condition in which he could preserve it upon no
other terms than those of being the worst of villains. He added, that if
there was anything he could do to deserve so much mercy as I intended
him, he begged me that I would give him room to behave himself as became
him, and he would leave it wholly to me to use him as he should deserve,
even to the recalling the pardon that I had granted him.

I was extremely satisfied with what he said, and more particularly with
the manner of his speaking it; I told him I was glad to see that he had
a principle of so much honesty at the bottom of a part so unhappy as he
had acted; and I would be very far from prompting him to turn pirate,
and much more from forcing him to do so, and that I would, according to
his desire, put an opportunity into his hands to show himself a new man,
and, by his fidelity, to wipe out all that was past. And then, without
any more ceremony, I told him my whole design, which was, to send him,
and four or five more men with him, on shore among the pirates as spies,
to see what condition they were in, and to see whether there were any
apprehensions of violence from them, or whether they were in the mean
circumstances that I had reason to believe they were in; and, lastly,
whether they had any ship or vessel which might be bought of them, and
whether men might be had to increase our company; that is to say, such
men as, being penitent for their rogueries and tired with their
miseries, would be glad of the opportunity of turning honest men before
they were brought to it by distress and the gallows.

He embraced the offer with the greatest readiness, and gave me all the
assurances that I could desire of his fidelity. I then asked him whether
he thought his two fellow-prisoners might be trusted upon the same

In reply, he asked me if I would take it for a piece of sincerity, if,
after a trial, he should tell me his mind, and would not be displeased
if he declined speaking his thoughts till he had talked with them.

I told him he should be at liberty to give his farther answer after he
had proposed it to them; but I insisted upon his opinion first, because
it was only his opinion that I asked now; whereas, if he reported it to
them, then he had no more to do but to report their answer.

He then asked me if I would please to grant him one thing, that,
whatever his opinion should be, what he should say should be no
prejudice to them in their present condition.

I told him it was a reasonable caution in him, and I would assure him
that, whatever he said should not do them any prejudice; and, to
convince him of it, I gave him my word that I would not put them to
death on any account whatsoever, merely for his sake.

He bowed, and thanked me very heartily for that grant, which, he said,
obliged him to be the plainer with me on that head; and as, he said, he
would not deceive me in anything whatever, so he would not in this,
especially; and therefore told me it was his opinion, they would not
serve me faithfully; and he referred me to the experience I should find
of it; and added, that he would be so just to me in the beginning, as
that, while he begged to be merciful to them, yet for my own sake he
would also beg me not to trust them.

I took the hint, and said no more at that time, but ordered his irons to
be taken off, with direction for him to have leave to go to his former
cabin, and to have his chests and things restored to him; so that he was
at full liberty in the ship, though not in any office, or appointed to
any particular business.

A day or two after this we made land, which appeared to be the
north-west part of the island, in the latitude of 13° 30'; and now I
thought it was time to put our design into execution; for I knew very
well that it could not be a great way from this part of the island where
the pirates were to be heard of: so I ordered the boat on shore, with
about sixteen men, to make discoveries, and with them my new-restored

I gave him no instruction for anything extraordinary at this time, our
work now being only to find out where they were. The boat came on board
again at night, (for we had now stood in within two leagues of the
shore) and brought us an account, that there were no English or
Europeans on that part of the island, but that they were to be heard of
a great way farther; so we stood away to the north all the night, and
the next day, the wind being fair and the sea smooth, and by our
reckoning we went in that time about forty leagues.

The next evening, the same company went on shore again, and were shown
by some of the natives where the pirates inhabited; which, in short, was
about five or six and twenty miles farther north still, in a river very
commodious for shipping, where they had five or six European-built
ships, and two or three sloops, but they were all laid up, except two
sloops, with which they cruised sometimes a great distance off to the
north, as far as the Arabian Gulf. The mate returned with this
intelligence the same night; and by his direction we stood in as close
under the shore as we could conveniently, about six leagues farther
north; here we found a very good road under a little cape, which kept us
perfectly undiscovered; and in the morning, before day, my man went on
shore again with the boat, and keeping only four men with him, sent the
boat on board again, agreeing on a signal for us to send the boat for
him again when he should return.

There was a pretty high ledge of hills to the north of the place where
he landed, and which, running west, made the little cape, under the lee
of which our ship rode at anchor.

As soon as he came to the top of those hills, he plainly discovered the
creek or harbour where the pirates' ships lay, and where they had formed
their encampment on the shore. Our men took proper observations of the
situation of the place they were in, upon the hill, that they might not
fail to find their way back again, though it were in the night; and
that, by agreeing in the account they should give of themselves, they
might be all found in the same tale. They boldly went down the hill, and
came to the edge of the creek, the pirates' camp being on the other

Here they fired a gun, to raise a kind of alarm among them, and then,
hanging out a white cloth on the top of a pole, a signal of peace, they
hailed them in English, and asked them if they would send a boat and
fetch them over.

The pirates were surprised at the noise of the piece, and came running
to the shore with all speed; but they were much more surprised when they
heard themselves hailed in English. Upon the whole, they immediately
sent a boat to fetch them over, and received them with a great deal of

Our men pretended to be overjoyed at finding them there, told them a
long story, that they came on shore on the west side of the island,
where, not far off, there were two English ships; but that the natives
quarrelling with their men, upon some rudeness offered to their women,
and they being separated from their fellows, were obliged to fly; that
the natives had surrounded the rest, and, they believed, had killed them
all; that they wandered up to the top of the hill, intending to make
signals to their ship, to send them some help, when, seeing some ships,
and believing some Europeans were there, they came down to take some
shelter, and begged of them a boat to carry them round the cape to their
comrades, unless they would give them leave to stay with them, and do as
they did, which they were very willing to do.

This was all a made story; but, however, the tale told so well, that
they believed it thoroughly, and received our men very kindly, led them
up to their camp, and gave them some victuals.

Our men observed they had provisions enough, and very good, as well beef
as mutton, that is to say, of goats' flesh, which was excellent; also
pork and veal; and they were tolerable good cooks too; for they found
they had built several furnaces and boilers, which they had taken out of
their ships, and dressed a great quantity of meat at a time: but,
observing they had no liquor, the mate pulled a large bottle of good
cordial water out of his pocket, and gave it about as far as it would
go, and so did two others of the men, which their new landlords took
very kindly.

They spent good part of the first day in looking about them, seeing the
manner of the pirates' living there, and their strength, and soon
perceived that they were indeed in but a sorry condition every way,
except that they had live cattle and flesh meat sufficient. They had a
good platform of guns indeed, and a covered pallisadoe round where they
lodged their ammunition: but as for fortifications to the landward, they
had none, except a double pallisadoe round their camp, and a sort of a
bank thrown up within to fire from, and stand covered from the enemies'
lances, which was all they had to fear from the natives. They had no
bread but what they made of rice, and the store they had of that was
very small: they told our men, indeed, that they had two ships abroad,
which they expected back every day, with a quantity of rice, and what
else they could get, especially some arrack, which they were to trade
for with the Arabian merchants, or take it by force, which should first

Our men pretended to like their way of living mighty well and talked of
staying with them, if they would let them; and thus they passed their
first day of meeting.

Our men had two tents or huts given them to lodge in, and hammocks hung
in the huts very agreeably, being such, I suppose, as belonged to some
of their company who were dead, or were out upon adventure; here they
slept very securely, and in the morning walked about, as strangers might
be suffered to do, to look about them. But my new manager's eye was
chiefly here upon two things: first, to see if they had any shipping for
our purpose; and, secondly, to see if he could pitch upon one man, more
likely than the rest, to enter into some confidence with; and it was not
long before he found an opportunity for both. The manner was thus:

He was walking by himself, having ordered his other men to straggle
away, two and two, this way and that, as if they had not minded him,
though always to keep him in sight; I say, he walked by himself towards
that part of the creek where, as was said, three of their largest ships
lay by the walls, and when he came to the shore right against them, he
stood still, looking at them very earnestly.

While he was here, he observed a boat put off from one of them, with
four oars and one sitter only, whom they set on shore just by him, and
then put off again; the person whom they set on shore, was, it seems,
one who had been with our men the evening before, but, having some
particular office on board one of those ships, lay on board every night
with about ten or twelve men, just to watch and guard the ship, and so
came on shore in the morning, as is usual in men-of-war laid up.

As soon as he saw our man he knew him, and spoke very familiarly to him;
and seeing he was looking so earnestly at the ship, he asked him if he
would go on board; our man faintly declined it, as on purpose to be
asked again, and upon just as much farther pressing as was sufficient to
satisfy him that the gunner (for that was his office) was in earnest,
he yielded; so the gunner called back the boat, and they went on board.

Our man viewed the ship very particularly, and pretended to like
everything he saw; but, after some conversation, asked him this home
question, namely, Why they did not go to sea, and seek purchase, having
so many good ships at their command?

He shook his head, and told him very frankly, that they were in no
condition to undertake anything, for that they were a crew of
unresolved, divided rogues; that they were never two days of a mind;
that they had nobody to command, and therefore nobody to obey; that
several things had been offered, but nothing concluded; that, in short,
they thought of nothing but of shifting every one for himself as well as
he could.

My mate replied, he thought it had been quite otherwise, and that made
him tell them the night before that he had an inclination to stay with

I heard you say so, said the gunner, and it made me smile; I thought in
myself that you would be of another mind when ye knew us a little
better; for, in a word, said he, if our people should agree to lend you
a boat to go back to your ship, they would fall together by the ears
about who should go with you, for not a man of them that went with you
would ever come back again hither, if your captain would take them on
board, though the terms were, to be hanged when they came to England.

My mate knew that this was my opinion before; but he was really of
another mind himself, till he saw things and till he talked with the
gunner, and this put new thoughts in his head; so he entertained the
gunner with a scheme of his own, and told him, if it was so as he
related it, and that he had really a mind to come off from the gang, he
believed that he could put him in a way how to do it to his advantage,
and to take a set of his people with him, if he could pick out some of
them that might be depended upon.

The gunner replied, I can pick out a set of very brave fellows, good
seamen, and most of them such as, having been forced into the pirates'
ships, were dragged into that wicked life they had lived, not only
against their consciences, but by a mere necessity to save their lives,
and that they would be glad at any price to go off.

The mate then asked him, Pray, gunner, how many such men can you answer

Why, says he, after a short pause, I am sure I can answer for above a

Upon this my mate told him the circumstances we were in, the voyage we
were upon; that we were a letter of mart ship of such a force, but that
we were over-manned and double-stored, in hopes of getting a good ship
upon our cruise to man out of the other; that we had been disappointed,
and had only got the sloop or brigantine which we bought at the Cape;
that, if he could persuade the men to sell us one of their ships, we
would pay them for it in ready money, and perhaps entertain a hundred of
their men into the bargain.

The gunner told him he would propose it to them; and added, in positive
terms, that he knew it would be readily accepted, and that he should
take which of the three ships I pleased.

The mate then desired that he would lend him his shallop to go on board
our ship, to acquaint me with it, and bring back sufficient orders to

He told him, he would not only do that, but, before I could be ready to
go, he would propose it to the chief men that he had his eye upon, and
would have their consent, and that then he would go along with him on
board to make a bargain.

This was as well as our mate could expect; and the gunner had either so
much authority among them, or the men were so forward to shift their
station in the world, that the gunner came again to our mate in less
than two hours, with an order, signed by about sixteen of their
officers, empowering him to sell us the ship which the gunner was on
board of, and to allot so many guns, and such a proportion of ammunition
to her, as was sufficient, and to give the work of all their carpenters
for so many days as were necessary to repair her, calk, and grave her,
and put her in condition to go to sea.

She was a Spanish-built ship; where they had her the gunner said he did
not know; but she was a very strong, tight ship, and a pretty good

We made her carry two-and-thirty guns, though she had not been used to
carry above twenty-four.

The gunner being thus empowered to treat with my mate, came away in
their shallop, and brought the said gunner and two more of their
officers with him, and eight seamen. The gunner and I soon made a
bargain for the ship, which I bought for five thousand pieces of eight,
most of it in English goods such as they wanted; for they were many of
them almost naked of clothes, and, as for other things, they had scarce
a pair of stockings or shoes among them.

When our bargain was made, and the mate had related all the particulars
of the conference he had had with the gunner, we came to talk of the
people who were to go with us: the gunner told us that we might indeed
have good reason to suspect a gang of men who had made themselves
infamous all over the world by so many piracies and wicked actions; but,
if I would put so much confidence in him, he would assure me, that, as
he should have the power in his hands to pick and choose his men, so he
would answer body for body for the fidelity of all the men he should
choose; and that most, if not all of them, would be such as had been
taken by force out of other ships, or wheedled away when they were
drunk: and he added, there never was a ship load of such penitents went
to sea together as he would bring us.

When he said this, he began to entreat me that I would please to give
him the same post which he held in the ship, viz., of gunner, which I
promised him; and then he desired I would permit him to speak with me in
private; I was not at first very free to it, but he having consented to
let the mate and Captain Merlotte be present, I yielded.

When all the rest were withdrawn, he told me, that having been five
years in the pirates' service, as he might call it, and being obliged to
do as they did, I might be sure he had some small share in the purchase;
and however he had come into it against his will, yet, as he had been
obliged to go with them, he had made some advantage; and that, being
resolved to leave them, he had a good while ago packed up some of the
best of what he had got, to make his escape, and begged I would let him
deposit it with me as a security for his fidelity.

Upon this he ordered a chest to be taken out of the shallop, and brought
into my great cabin; and, besides this, gave me out of his pocket, a
bag, sealed up, the contents of which I shall speak of hereafter.

The shallop returned the next day, and I sent back the mate with my
long-boat and twenty-four men, to go and take possession of the ship;
and appointed my carpenter to go and see to the repairs that were
necessary to be done to her: and some days after, I sent Captain
Merlotte with the supercargo, in our sloop, to go and secure the
possession, and to cover the retreat of any of the men who might have a
mind to come away, and might be opposed by the rest; and this was done
at the request of the gunner who foresaw there might be some debate
about it.

They spent six weeks and some odd days in fitting out this ship,
occasioned by the want of a convenient place to lay her on shore in,
which they were obliged to make with a great deal of labour; however,
she was at last completely fitted up.

When she was equipped, they laid in a good store of provisions, though
not so well cured as to last a great while. One of the best things we
got a recruit of here was casks, which, as said before, we greatly
wanted, and which their coopers assisted us to trim, season, and fit up.

As to bread, we had no help from them; for they had none but what they
made of rice, and they had not sufficient store of that.

But we had more to do yet: for, when the ship was fitted up, and our men
had the possession of her, they were surprised one morning, on a sudden,
with a most horrible tumult among the pirates: and had not our
brigantine been at hand to secure the possession, I believe they had
taken the ship from our men again, and perhaps have come down with her
and their two sloops, and have attacked us. The case was this:

The gunner, who was a punctual fellow to his word, resolved that none of
the men should go in the ship but such as he had singled out; and they
were such as were generally taken out of merchant ships by force: but
when he came to talk to the men of who should go, and who should stay,
truly they would all go, to a man, there was not a man of them would
stay behind; and, in a word, they fell out about it to that degree that
they came to blows, and the gunner was forced to fly for it, with about
twenty-two men that stood to him, and six or seven were wounded in the
fray, whereof two died.

The gunner being thus driven to his shifts, made down to the shore to
his boat, but the rogues were too nimble for him, and had got to his
boat before him, and prepared to man her and two more, to go on board
and secure the ship.

In this distress, the gunner, who had taken sanctuary in the woods at
about a mile distance, but unhappily above the camp, so that the
platform of guns was between him and the ship, had no remedy but to send
one of his men, who swam very well, to take a compass round behind the
pirates' camp and come to the water-side below the camp and platform, so
to take the water and swim on board the ship, which lay near a league
below their said camp, and give our men notice of what had happened; to
warn them to suffer none of their men to come on board, unless the
gunner was with them; and if possible, to send a boat on shore to fetch
off the gunner and his men, who were following by the same way, and
would be at the same place, and make a signal to them to come for him.

Our men had scarce received this notice, when they saw a boat full of
men put off from the platform, and row down under shore towards them:
but as they resolved not to suffer them to come on board, they called to
them by a speaking-trumpet, and told them they might go back again, for
they should not come on board, nor any other boat, unless the gunner was
on board.

They rowed on for all that, when our men called to them again, and told
them, if they offered to put off, in order to come on board, or, in
short, to row down shore any farther than a little point which our men
named, and which was just ahead of them, they would fire at them. They
rowed on for all this, and even till they were past the point; which,
our men seeing, they immediately let fly a shot, but fired a little
ahead of them, so as not to hit the boat, and this brought them to a
stop; so they lay upon their oars awhile, as if they were considering
what to do, when our men perceived two boats more come off from the
platform, likewise full of men, and rowing after the first.

Upon this, they called again to the first boat with their
speaking-trumpet, and told them, if they did not all go immediately on
shore, they would sink the boat. They had no remedy, seeing our men
resolved, and that they lay open to the shot of the ship; so they went
on shore accordingly, and then our men fired at the empty boat, till
they split her in pieces, and made her useless to them.

Upon this firing, our brigantine, which lay about two leagues off in the
mouth of a little creek, on the south of that river, weighed
immediately, and stood away to the opening of the road where the ship
lay; and the tide of flood being still running in, they drove up towards
the ship, for her assistance, and came to an anchor about a cable's
length ahead of her, but within pistol-shot of the shore; at the same
time sending two-and-thirty of her men on board the great ship, to
reinforce the men on board, who were but sixteen in number.

Just at this time, the gunner and his twenty-one men, who heard the
firing, and had quickened their pace, though they had a great compass to
fetch through woods and untrod paths, and some luggage to carry too,
were come to the shore, and made the signal, which our men in the ship
observing, gave notice to the officer of the brigantine to fetch them on
board, which he did very safely. By the way, as the officer afterwards
told us, most of their luggage consisted in money, with which, it seems,
every man of them was very well furnished, having shared their wealth at
their first coming on shore: as for clothes, they had very few, and
those all in rags; and as for linen, they had scarce a shirt among them
all, or linen enough to have made a white flag for a truce, if they had
occasion for it: in short, a crew so rich and so ragged, were hardly
ever seen before.

The ship was now pretty well manned: for the brigantine carried the
gunner and his twenty-one men on board her; and the tide by this time
being spent, she immediately unmoored, and loosed her topsails, which,
as it happened, had been bent to the yards two days before; so with the
first of the ebb she weighed, and fell down about a league farther, by
which she was quite out of reach of the platform, and rid in the open
sea; and the brigantine did the same.

But by this means, they missed the occasion of the rest of the gunner's
men, who, having got together to the number of between seventy and
eighty, had followed him, and come down to the shore, and made the
signals, but were not understood by our ship, which put the poor men to
great difficulties; for they had broken away from the rest by force,
and had been pursued half a mile by the whole body, particularly at the
entrance into a very thick woody place, and were so hard put to it, that
they were obliged to make a desperate stand, and fire at their old
friends, which had exasperated them to the last degree. But, as the case
of these men was desperate, they took an effectual method for their own
security, of which I shall give a farther account presently.

The general body of the pirates were now up in arms, and the new ship
was, as it were, in open war with them, or at least they had declared
war against her: but as they had been disappointed in their attempt to
force her, and found they were not strong enough at sea to attack her,
they sent a flag of truce on board. Our men admitted them to come to the
ship's side; but as my mate, who now had the command, knew them to be a
gang of desperate rogues, that would attempt anything, though ever so
rash, he ordered that none of them should come on board the ship, except
the officer and two more, who gave an account that they were sent to
treat with us; so we called them the ambassadors.

When they came on board, they expostulated very warmly with my new
agent, the second mate, that our men came in the posture of friends, and
of friends too in distress, and had received favours from them, but had
abused the kindness which had been shown them; that they had bought a
ship of them, and had had leave and assistance to fit her up and furnish
her; but had not paid for her, or paid for what assistance and what
provisions had been given to them: and that now, to complete all, their
men had been partially and unfairly treated; and when a certain number
of men had been granted us, an inferior fellow, a gunner, was set to
call such and such men out, just whom he pleased, to go with us; whereas
the whole body ought to have had the appointing whom they would or would
not give leave to, to go in the ship: that, when they came in a
peaceable manner to have demanded justice, and to have treated amicably
of these things, our men had denied them admittance, had committed
hostilities against them, had fired at their men, and staved their boat,
and had afterward received their deserters on board, all contrary to the
rules of friendship. And in all these cases they demanded satisfaction.

Our new commander was a ready man enough, and he answered all their
complaints with a great deal of gravity and calmness. He told them, that
it was true we came to them as friends, and had received friendly usage
from them, which we had not in the least dishonoured; but that as
friends in distress, we had never pretended to be, and really were not;
for that we were neither in danger of anything, or in want of anything;
that as to provisions, we were strong enough if need were, to procure
ourselves provisions in any part of the island, and had been several
times supplied from the shore by the natives, for which we had always
fully satisfied the people who furnished us; and that we scorned to be
ungrateful for any favour we should have received, much less to abuse
it, or them for it.

That we had paid the full price of all the provisions we had received,
and for the work that had been done to the ship; that what we had
bargained for, as the price of the ship, had been paid, as far as the
agreement made it due, and that what remained, was ready to be paid as
soon as the ship was finished, which was our contract.

That as to the people who were willing to take service with us, and
enter themselves on board, it is true that the gunner and some other men
offered themselves to us, and we had accepted of them, and we thought it
was our part to accept or not to accept of such men as we thought fit.
As for what was among themselves, that we had nothing to do with: that,
if we had been publicly warned by them not to have entertained any of
their men, but with consent of the whole body, then indeed we should
have had reason to be cautious; otherwise, we were not in the least
concerned about it. That it is true, we refused to let their boats come
on board us, being assured that they came in a hostile manner, either to
take away the men by force, which had been entered in our service, or
perhaps even to seize the ship itself; and why else was the first boat
followed by two more, full of men, armed and prepared to attack us? That
we not only came in a friendly manner to them, but resolved to continue
in friendship with them, if they thought fit to use us as friends; but
that, considering what part of the world we were in, and what their
circumstances were, they must allow us to be upon our guard, and not put
ourselves in a condition to be used ill.

While he was talking thus with them in the cabin, he had ordered a can
of flip to be made, and given their men in the boat, and every one a
dram, but would not suffer them to come on board; however, one or two of
them got leave to get in at one of the ports, and got between decks
among our men; here they made terrible complaints of their condition,
and begged hard to be entertained in our service; they were full of
money, and gave twenty or thirty pieces of eight among our men, and by
this present prevailed on two men to speak to my mate, who appeared as
captain, to take the boat's crew on board.

The mate very gravely told the two ambassadors of it, and added, that,
seeing they were come with a flag of truce, he would not stop their men
without their consent, but the men being so earnest, he thought they
would do better not to oppose them. The ambassadors, as I call them,
opposed it, however, vehemently, and at last desired to go and talk with
the men, which was granted them readily.

When they came into their boat, their men told them plainly, that, one
and all, they would enter themselves with their countrymen; that they
had been forced already to turn pirates, and they thought they might
very justly turn honest men again by force, if they could not get leave
to do it peaceably; and that, in short, they would go on shore no more;
that, if the ambassadors desired it, they would set them on shore with
the boat, but as for themselves, they would go along with the new

When the ambassadors saw this, they had no more to do but to be
satisfied, and so were set on shore where they desired, and their men
stayed on board.

During this transaction, my mate had sent a full account to me of all
that had passed, and had desired me to come on board and give farther
directions in all that was to follow; so I took our supercargo and
Captain Merlotte along with me, and some more of our officers, and went
to them. It was my lot to come on board just when the aforesaid
ambassadors were talking with my mate, so I heard most of what they had
to say, and heard the answer my mate gave them, as above, which was
extremely to my satisfaction; nor did I interrupt him, or take upon me
any authority, though he would very submissively have had me shown
myself as captain, but I bade him go on, and sat down, as not concerned
in the affair at all.

After the ambassadors were gone, the first thing I did, was, in the
presence of all the company, and, having before had the opinion of those
I brought with me, to tell my second mate how well we were all satisfied
with his conduct, and to declare him captain of the ship that he was in;
only demanding his solemn oath, to be under orders of the great ship, as
admiral, and to carry on no separate interests from us; which he
thankfully accepted, and, to give him his due, as faithfully performed,
all the rest of our very long voyage, and through all our adventures.

It was upon my seeming intercession, that he gave consent to the boat's
crew, who brought the ambassadors, to remain in our service, and set
their statesmen on shore; and in the end, I told him that as far as
about one hundred and fifty, or two hundred men, he should entertain
whom he thought fit. Thus having settled all things in the ship to our
satisfaction, we went back to our great ship the next day.

I had not been many hours on board, till I was surprised with the firing
of three muskets from the shore; we wondered what could be the meaning
of it, knowing that it was an unusual thing in that place, where we knew
the natives of the country had no fire-arms; so we could not tell what
to make of it, and therefore took no notice, other than, as I say, to
wonder at it. About half-an-hour after, we heard three muskets more, and
still, not knowing anything of the matter, we made them no return to the
signal. Some time after three muskets were fired again, but still we
took no notice, for we knew nothing of what return was to be made to it.

When night come on, we observed two great fires upon two several hills,
on that part of the shore opposite to us, and after that, three rockets
were fired, such as they were, for they were badly constructed; I
suppose their gunner was ill provided for such things: but all signified
nothing; we would have made any return to them that had been to be
understood, but we knew nothing of any agreed signal; however, I
resolved that I would send a boat on shore, well manned, to learn, if
possible, what the meaning of all this was; and, accordingly, in the
morning, I sent our long-boat and shallop on shore, with two-and-thirty
men in them both, to get intelligence; ordering them, if possible, to
speak with somebody, before they went on shore, and know how things
stood; that then, if it was a party of the pirates, they should by no
means come near them, but parley at a distance, till they knew the
meaning of their behaviour.

As soon as my men came near the shore, they saw plainly that it was a
body of above a hundred of the pirates; but seeing them so strong, they
stood off, and would not come nearer, nor near enough to parley with
them; upon this, the men on shore got one of the islanders' canvass
boats, or rather boats made of skins, which are but sorry ones at best,
and put off, with two men to manage the sail, and one sitter, and two
paddles for oars and away they came towards us, carrying a flag of
truce, that is to say, an old white rag; how they came to save so much
linen among them all, was very hard to guess.

Our men could do no less than receive their ambassador, and a flag of
truce gave no shadow of apprehension, especially considering the figure
they made, and that the men on shore had no other boats to surprise or
attack us with; so they lay by upon their oars till they came up, when
they soon understood who they were, viz.--that they were the gunner's
selected men; that they came too late to have their signal perceived
from the other ship, which was gone out of sight of the place they were
directed to; that they had with great difficulty, and five days and
nights' marching, got through a woody and almost impassable country to
come at us; that they had fetched a circuit of near a hundred miles to
avoid being attacked by their comrades, and that they were pursued by
them with their whole body, and therefore they begged to be taken on
board; they added, if they should be overtaken by their comrades, they
should be all cut in pieces, for that they had broke away from them by
force, and moreover had been obliged, at the first of their pursuit, to
face about and fire among them, by which they had killed six or seven of
them, and wounded others, and that they had sworn they would give them
no quarter, if they could come fairly up with them.

Our men told them they must be contented to remain on shore, where they
were, for some time, for that they could do nothing till they had been
on board, and acquainted their captain with all the particulars; so they
came back immediately to me for orders.

As to me, I was a little uneasy at the thoughts of taking them on board;
I knew they were a gang of pirates at best, and what they might do I
knew not, but I sent them this message, that though all their tale might
be very good for aught I knew, yet that I must take so much time as to
send an express to the captain of the other ship, to be informed of the
truth of it; and that if he brought a satisfactory answer, I would send
for them all on board.

This was very uncomfortable news to them, for they expected to be
surrounded every hour by their comrades, from whom they were to look for
no mercy; however, seeing no remedy, they resolved to march about twenty
miles farther south, and lie by in a place near the sea, where we agreed
to send to them; concluding that their comrades not finding them near
the place where we lay, would not imagine they could be gone farther
that way. As they guessed, so it proved, for the pirates came to the
shore, where they saw tokens enough of their having been there, but
seeing they could not be found, concluded they were all gone on board
our ship.

The wind proving contrary, it was no less than four days before our boat
came back, so that the poor men were held in great suspense: but when
they returned, they brought the gunner with them who had selected those
men from all the rest for our new ship; and who, when he came, gave me a
long account of them, and what care he had taken to pick them out for
our service, delivering me also a letter from my new captain to the same
purpose: upon all which concurring circumstances, we concluded to take
them on board; so we sent our boats for them, which, at twice, brought
them all on board, and very stout young fellows they were.

When they had been on board some days and refreshed themselves, I
concluded to send all on board the new ship; but, upon advice, I
resolved to send sixty of my own men joined to forty of these, and keep
thirty-four of them on board my ship; for their number was just
seventy-four, which with the gunner and his twenty-one men, and the
sixteen men who came with the worthy ambassadors, and would not go on
shore again, made one hundred and twelve men; and, as we all thought,
were enough for us, though we took in between forty and fifty more

We were now ready to go to sea, and I caused the new ship and the
brigantine to come away from the place where they lay, and join us;
which they did, and then we unloaded part of our provisions and
ammunition; of which, as I observed at first, we had taken in double
quantity; and, having furnished the new ship with a proportion of all
things necessary, we prepared for our voyage.

I should here give a long account of a second infernal conspiracy, which
my two remaining prisoners had formed among the men, which was to betray
the new ship to the pirates; but it is too long a story to relate here;
nor did I make it public among the ship's company: but as it was only,
as it were, laid down in a scheme, and that they had no opportunity to
put it in practice, I thought it was better to make as little noise
about it as I could. So I ordered my new captain, for it was he who
discovered it to me, to punish them in their own way, and, without
taking notice of their new villanies, to set them on shore, and leave
them to take their fate with a set of rogues whom they had intended to
join with, and whose profession was likely, some time or other, to bring
them to the gallows. And thus I was rid of two incorrigible mutineers;
what became of them afterwards I never heard.

We were now a little fleet, viz., two large ships and a brigantine, well
manned, and furnished with all sorts of necessaries for any voyage or
any enterprise that was fit for men in our situation to undertake; and,
particularly, here I made a full design of the whole voyage, to be again
openly declared to the men, and had them asked, one by one, if they were
willing and resolved to undertake it, which they all very cheerfully
answered in the affirmative.

Here we had an opportunity to furnish ourselves with a plentiful stock
of excellent beef, which, as I said before, we cured with little or no
salt, by drying it in the sun; and, I believe, we laid in such a store,
that, in all our three vessels, we had near a hundred and fifty tons of
it; and it was of excellent use to us, and served us through the whole
voyage. There was little else to be had in this place that was fit to be
carried to sea; except that, as there was plenty of milk, some of our
men, who were more dexterous than others, made several large cheeses;
nor were they very far short of English cheese, only that we were but
indifferent dairy folks. Our men made some butter also, and salted it to
keep, but it grew rank and oily, and was of little use to us.

It was on the 15th of December that we left this place, a country
fruitful, populous, full of cattle, large and excellent good beef, and
very fat; and the land able to produce all manner of good things; but
the people wild, naked, black, barbarous, perfectly untractable, and
insensible of any state of life being better than their own.

We stood away towards the shore of Arabia, till we passed the line, and
came into the latitude of 18° north, and then stood away east, and
east-by-north, for the English factories of Surat, and the coast of
Malabar; not that we had any business there, or designed any, only that
we had a mind to take on board a quantity of rice, if we could come at
it; which at last, we effected by a Portuguese vessel, which we met with
at sea, bound to Goa, from the Gulf of Persia. We chased her, and
brought her too, indeed, as if we resolved to attack and take the ship;
but, finding a quantity of rice on board, which was what we wanted, with
a parcel of coffee, we took all the rice, but paid the supercargo, who
was a Persian or Armenian merchant, very honestly for the whole parcel,
his full price, and to his satisfaction; as for the coffee, we had no
occasion for it. We put in at several ports on the Indian coast for
fresh water and fresh provisions, but came near none of the factories,
because we had no mind to discover ourselves; for though we were to sail
through the very centre of the India trade, yet it was perfectly without
any business among them. We met indeed on this coast with some pearl
fishers, who had been in the mouth of the Arabian Gulf, and had a large
quantity of pearl on board. I would have traded with them for goods, but
they understood nothing but money, and I refused to part with it; upon
which the fellows gave our supercargo some scornful language, which
though he did not well understand what they said, yet he pretended to
take it as a great affront, and threatened to make prize of their barks,
and slaves of the men; upon which they grew very humble; and one of
them, a Malabar Indian, who spoke a little English, spoke for them, that
they would willingly trade with us for such goods as we had; whereupon I
produced three bales of English cloth, which I showed them, and said
they would be of good merchandise at Gombaroon in the Gulf, for that the
Persians made their long vests of such cloths.

In short, for this cloth, and some money, we bought a box of choice
pearls, which the chief of them had picked out from the rest for the
Portuguese merchants at Goa; and which, when I came to London, was
valued at two thousand two hundred pounds sterling.

We were near two months on our voyage from Madagascar to the coast of
India, and from thence to Ceylon, where we put in on the south-west part
of the island, to see what provisions we could get, and to take in a
large supply of water.

The people here we found willing to supply us with provisions; but
withal so sharp, imposing upon us their own rates for everything, and
withal, so false, that we were often provoked to treat them very rudely.
However, I gave strict orders that they should not be hurt upon any
occasion, at least till we had filled all our water-casks and taken in
what fresh provisions we could get, and especially rice, which we valued
very much. But they provoked us at last beyond all patience; for they
were such thieves when they were on board, and such treacherous rogues
when we were on shore, that there was no bearing with them; and two
accidents fell out upon this occasion which fully broke the peace
between us; one was on board, and the other on shore, and both happened
the same day.

The case on board was this. There came on board us a small boat, in
which were eleven men and three boys, to sell us roots, yams, mangoes,
and such other articles as was frequent for them to do every day; but
this boat having more goods of that kind than usual, they were longer
than ordinary in making their market. While they were thus chaffering on
board, one of them having wandered about the ship, and pretending to
admire everything he saw, and being gotten between decks, was taken
stealing a pair of shoes which belonged to one of the seamen. The fellow
being stopped for his theft, appeared angry, raised a hideous screaming
noise to alarm his fellows; and, at the same time, having stolen a long
pair of scissors, pulled them out, and stabbed the man who had laid hold
of him into the shoulder, and was going to repeat his blow, when the
poor fellow who had been wounded, having struck up his heels and fallen
upon him, had killed him if I had not called to take him off, and bring
the thief up to me.

Upon this order, they laid hold of the barbarian, and brought him up
with the shoes and the scissors that he had stolen, and as the fact was
plain, and needed no witnesses, I caused all the rest of them to be
brought up also; and, as well as we could, made them understand what he
had done.

They made pitiful signs of fear, lest they should all be punished for
his crime, and particularly when they saw the man whom he had wounded
brought in; then they expected nothing but death, and they made a sad
lamentation and howling, as if they were all to die immediately.

It was not without a great deal of difficulty that I found ways to
satisfy them, that nobody was to be punished but the man that had
committed the fact; and then I caused him to be brought to the gears,
with a halter about his neck, and be soundly whipped; and indeed, our
people did scourge him severely from head to foot; and, I believe, if I
had not run myself to put an end to it, they would have whipped him to

When this punishment was over, they put him into their boat, and let
them all go on shore. But no sooner were they on shore, but they raised
a terrible outcry in all the villages and towns near them, and they were
not a few, the country being very populous; and great numbers came down
to the shore, staring at us, and making confused ugly noises, and
abundance of arrows they shot at the ship, but we rode too far from the
shore for them to do us any hurt.

While this was doing, another fray happened on shore, where two of our
men, bargaining with an islander and his wife for some fowls, they took
their money and gave them part of the fowls, and pretended the woman
should go and fetch the rest. While the woman was gone, three or four
fellows came to the man who was left; when talking a while together, and
seeing our men were but two, they began to take hold of the fowls which
had been sold, and would take them away again; when one of our men
stepped up to the fellow who had taken them, and went to lay hold of
him, but he was too nimble for him, and ran away, and carried off the
fowls and the money too. The seamen were so enraged to be so served,
that they took up their pieces, for they had both fire-arms with them,
and fired immediately after him, and aimed their shot so well, that
though the fellow flew like the wind, he shot him through the head, and
he dropped down dead upon the spot.

The rest of them, though terribly frightened, yet, seeing our men were
but two, and the noise bringing twenty or thirty more immediately to
them, attacked our men with their lances, and bows and arrows; and in a
moment there was a pitched battle of two men only against twenty or
thirty, and their number increasing too.

In short, our men spent their shot freely among them as long as it
lasted, and killed six or seven, besides wounding ten or eleven more,
and this cooled their courage, and they seemed to give over the battle;
and our men, whose ammunition was almost spent, began to think of
retreating to their boat, which was near a mile off, for they were very
unhappily gotten from their boat so far up the country.

They made their retreat pretty well for about half the way, when, on a
sudden, they saw they were not pursued only, but surrounded, and that
some of their enemies were before them. This made them double their
pace, and, seeing no remedy, they resolved to break through those that
were before them, who were about eleven or twelve. Accordingly, as soon
as they came within pistol shot of them, one of our men having, for want
of shot, put almost a handful of gravel and small stones into his piece,
fired among them, and the gravel and stones scattering, wounded almost
all of them; for they being naked from the waist upwards, the least
grain of sand scratched and hurt them, and made them bleed if it only
entered the skin.

Being thus completely scared, and indeed more afraid than hurt, they all
ran away, except two, who were really wounded with the shot or stones,
and lay upon the ground. Our men let them lie, and made the best of
their way to their boat; where, at last, they got safe, but with a great
number of the people at their heels. Our men did not stay to fire from
the boat, but put off with all the speed they could, for fear of
poisoned arrows, and the country people poured so many of their arrows
into the boat after them, and aimed them also so truly, that two of our
men were hurt with them; but, whether they were poisoned or not, our
surgeons cured them both.

We had enough of Ceylon; and having no business to make such a kind of
war as this must have been, in which we might have lost but could get
nothing, we weighed, and stood away to the East. What became of the
fellow that was lashed we knew not; but, as he had but little flesh
left on his back, which was not mangled and torn with our whipping him,
and we supposed they were but indifferent surgeons, our people said the
fellow could not live; and the reason they gave for it was, because they
did not pickle him after it. Truly, they said, that they would not be so
kind to him as to pickle him: for though pickling, that is to say,
throwing salt and vinegar on the back after the whipping, is cruel
enough as to the pain it is to the patient, yet it is certainly the way
to prevent mortification, and causes it to heal again with more ease.

We stood over from Ceylon east-south-east cross the great Bay of Bengal,
leaving all the coast of Coromandel, and standing directly for Achen, on
the north point of the great island of Sumatra, and in the latitude of
6° 81' north.

Here we spread our French colours, and, coming to an anchor, suffered
none of our men to go on shore but Captain Merlotte and his Frenchmen;
and, having nothing to do there, or anywhere else in the Indian seas,
but to take in provisions and fresh water, we stayed but five days; in
which time we supplied ourselves with what the place would afford; and,
pretending to be bound for China, we went on to the south through the
straits of Malacca, between the island of Sumatra and the main or
isthmus of Malacca.

We had here a very difficult passage, though we took two pilots on board
at Achen, who pretended to know the straits perfectly well; twice we
were in very great danger of being lost, and once our Madagascar ship
was so entangled among rocks and currents, that we gave her up for lost,
and twice she struck upon the rocks, but she did but touch, and went

We went several times on shore among the Malayans, as well on the shore
of Malacca itself, as on the side of Sumatra. They are as fierce, cruel,
treacherous, and merciless a crew of human devils as any I have met with
on the face of the whole earth; and we had some skirmishes with them,
but not of any consequence. We made no stay anywhere in this strait but
just for fresh water, and what other fresh provisions we could get, such
as roots, greens, hogs, and fowls, of which they have plenty and a great
variety: but nothing to be had but for ready money; which our men took
so unkindly, and especially their offering two or three times to cheat
them, and once to murder them, that afterwards they made no scruple to
go on shore a hundred or more at a time, and plunder and burn what they
could not carry off; till at last we began to be such a terror to them,
that they fled from us wherever we came.

On the 5th of March we made the southernmost part of the Isthmus of
Malacca, and the island and straits of Sincapora, famous for its being
the great outlet into the Chinese sea, and lying in the latitude of 1°
15' north latitude.

We had good weather through these straits, which was very much to our
comfort; the different currents and number of little islands making it
otherwise very dangerous, especially to strangers. We got, by very good
luck, a Dutch pilot to carry us through this strait, who was a very
useful, skilful fellow, but withal so impertinent and inquisitive, that
we knew not what to say to him nor what to do with him; at last he grew
saucy and insolent, and told our chief mate that he did not know but we
might be pirates, or at least enemies to his countrymen the Dutch; and
if we would not tell him who we were and whither we were bound, he would
not pilot us any farther.

This I thought very insolent, to a degree beyond what was sufferable;
and bade the boatswain put a halter about the fellow's neck, and tell
him that, the moment he omitted to direct the steerage as a pilot, or
the moment the ship come to any misfortune, or struck upon any rock, he
should be hung up.

The boatswain, a rugged fellow, provided himself with a halter, and
coming up to the pilot, asked him what it was he wanted to be satisfied

The pilot said he desired to have a true account whither we were going.

Why, says the boatswain, we are agoing to the devil, and I shall send
you before to tell him we are coming; and with that he pulled the halter
out of his pocket and put it over his head, and taking the other end in
his hand, Come, says the boatswain, come along with me; do you think we
can't go through the strait of Sincapora without your help? I warrant
you, says he, we will do without you.

By this time it may be supposed the Dutchman was in a mortal fright, and
half choked too with being dragged by the throat with the halter, and,
full heartily he begged for his life: at length the boatswain, who had
pulled him along a good way, stopped and the Dutchman fell down on his
knees; but the boatswain said, he had the captain's orders to hang him,
and hang him he would, unless the captain recalled his orders; but that
he would stay so long, if anybody would go up to the captain and tell
him what the Dutchman said, and bring back an answer.

I had no design to hang the poor fellow, it is true, and the boatswain
knew that well enough. However, I was resolved to humble him
effectually, so I sent back two men to the boatswain, the first was to
tell the boatswain aloud that the captain was resolved to have the
fellow hanged, for having been so impudent to threaten to run the ship
aground; but then the second, who was to stay a little behind, was to
call out, as if he came since the first from me, and that I had been
prevailed with to pardon him, on his promises of better behaviour. This
was all acted to admiration; for the first messenger called aloud to the
boatswain, that the captain said he would have the Dutchman hanged for a
warning to all pilots, and to teach them not to insult men when they are
in difficulties, as the midwives do whores in labour, and will not
deliver them till they confess who is the father.

The boatswain had the end of the halter in his hand all the while; I
told you so, says he, before. Come, come along Mynheer, I shall quickly
do your work, and put you out of your pain; and then he dragged the poor
fellow along to the main-mast. By this time the second messenger came
in, and delivered his part of the errand, and so the poor Dutchman was
put out of his fright, and they gave him a dram to restore him a little,
and he did his business very honestly afterwards.

And now we were at liberty again, being in the open sea, which was what
we were very impatient for before. We made a long run over that part
which we call the sea of Borneo, and the upper part of the Indian
Arches, called so from its being full of islands, like the Archipelago
of the Levant. It was a long run, but, as we were to the north of the
islands, we had the more sea-room; so we steered east half a point, one
way or other, for the Manillas, or Philippine Islands, which was the
true design of our voyage; and, perhaps, we were the first ship that
ever came to those islands, freighted from Europe, since the Portuguese
lost their footing there.

We put in on the north coast of Borneo for fresh water, and were
civilly used by the inhabitants of the place, who brought us roots and
fruits of several kinds, and some goats, which we were glad of: we paid
them in trifles, such as knives, scissors, toys, and several sorts of
wrought iron, hatchets, hammers, glass-work, looking-glasses, and
drinking-glasses; and from hence we went away, as I said, for the
Philippine Islands.

We saw several islands in our way, but made no stop, except once for
water, and arrived at Manilla the 22nd of May, all our vessels in very
good condition, our men healthy, and our ships sound; having met with
very few contrary winds, and not one storm in the whole voyage from
Madagascar. We had now been seventeen months and two days on our voyage
from England.

When we arrived, we saluted the Spanish flag, and came to an anchor,
carrying French colours. Captain Merlotte, who now acted as commander,
sent his boat on shore the next day to the governor, with a respectful
letter in French; telling him that, having the King of France's
commission, and being come into those seas, he hoped that, for the
friendship which was between their most Christian and catholic
majesties, he should be allowed the freedom of commerce and the use of
the port; the like having been granted to his most Christian majesty's
subjects in all the ports of new Spain, as well in the southern as in
the northern seas.

The Spanish governor returned a very civil and obliging answer, and
immediately permitted us to buy what provisions we pleased for our
supply, or anything else for our use; but added, that, as for allowing
any exchange of merchandises, or giving leave for European goods to be
brought on shore there, he was not empowered to grant.

We made it appear as if this answer was satisfactory; and the next
morning Captain Merlotte sent his boat on shore with all French sailors
and a French midshipman, with a handsome present to the governor,
consisting of some bottles of French wines, some brandy, two pieces of
fine Holland, two pieces of English black baize, one piece of fine
French drugget, and five yards of scarlet woollen-cloth.

This was too considerable a present for a Spaniard to refuse; and yet
these were all European goods, which he seemed not to allow to come on
shore. The governor let the captain know that he accepted his present;
and the men who brought it were very handsomely entertained by the
governor's order, and had every one a small piece of gold; and the
officer who went at their head had five pieces of gold given him: what
coin it was I could not tell, but I think it was a Japan coin, and the
value something less than a pistole.

The next day the governor sent a gentleman with a large boat, and in it
a present to our captain, consisting of two cows, ten sheep, or goats,
for they were between both; a number of fowls of several sorts, and
twelve great boxes of sweetmeats and conserves; all of which were indeed
very acceptable; and invited the captain and any of his attendants on
shore, offering to send hostages on board for our safe return; and
concluding with his word of honour for our safety, and free going back
to our ships.

The captain received the present with very great respect, and indeed it
was a very noble present; for at the same time a boat was sent to both
the other ships with provisions and sweetmeats, in proportion to the
size of the vessels. Our captain caused the gentleman who came with this
present, to have a fine piece of crimson English cloth given him,
sufficient to make a waistcoat and breeches of their fashion, with a
very good hat, two pair of silk stockings, and two pair of gloves: and
all his people had a piece of drugget given them sufficient to make the
like suit of clothes; the persons who went to the other ship, and to the
brigantine, had presents in proportion.

This, in short, was neither more nor less than trading and bartering,
though, from supercilious punctilio, we had in a manner been denied it.

The next day the captain went on shore to visit the governor, and with
him several of our officers; and the captain of the Madagascar ship,
formerly my second mate, and the captain of the brigantine. I did not go
myself for that time, nor the supercargo, because, whatever might
happen, I would be reserved on board; besides, I did not care to appear
in this part of the business.

The captain went on shore like a captain, attended with his two
trumpeters, and the ship firing eleven guns at his going off. The
governor received him like himself, with prodigious state and formality;
sending five gentlemen and a guard of soldiers to receive him and his
men at their landing, and to conduct them to his palace.

When they came there they were entertained with the utmost profusion and
magnificence, after the Spanish manner; and they all had the honour to
dine with his excellence; that is to say, all the officers. At the same
time the men were entertained very handsomely in another house, and had
very good cheer; but it was observed that they had but very little wine,
except such as we had sent them, which the governor apologised for, by
saying his store, which he had yearly from New Spain, was nearly spent.
This deficiency we supplied the next day by sending him a quarter cask
of very good Canary, and half a hogshead of Madeira; which was a present
so acceptable, that, in short, after this, we might do just as we
pleased with him and all his men.

While they were thus conversing together after dinner, Captain Merlotte
was made to understand, that though the governor could not admit an open
avowed trade, yet that the merchants would not be forbid coming on board
our ship, and trading with us in such manner as we should be very well
satisfied with; after which, we should be at no hazard of getting the
goods we should sell put on shore; and we had an experiment of this made
in a few days, as follows:

When Captain Merlotte took his leave of the governor, he invited his
excellence to come on board our ship, with such of his attendants as he
pleased to bring with him, and in like manner offered hostages for his
return. The governor accepted the invitation, and with the same
generosity, said he would take his parole of honour given, as he was the
King of France's captain, and would come on board.

The governor did not come to the shore side with our people; but stood
in the window of the palace, and gave them the compliment of his hat and
leg at their going into their boats, and made a signal to the platform,
to fire eleven guns at their boats putting off.

These were unusual and unexpected honours to us, who, but for this
stratagem of the French commission, had been declared enemies. It was
suggested to me here, that I might with great ease surprise the whole
island, nay, all the islands, the governor putting such confidence in
us, that we might go on shore in the very fort unsuspected. But though
this was true, and that we did play them a trick at the Rio de la
Plata, I could not bear the thoughts of it here; besides, I had quite
another game to play, which would turn out more advantageous to us and
to our voyage, than an enterprise of so much treachery could be to
England, which also we might not be able to support from thence, before
the Spaniards might beat us out again from Acapulco, and then we might
pass our time ill enough.

Upon the whole, I resolved to keep every punctilio with the governor
very justly, and we found our account in it presently.

About three days afterwards we had notice that the governor would pay us
a visit, and we prepared to entertain his excellence with as much state
as possible. By the way, we had private notice that the governor would
bring with him some merchants, who, perhaps, might lay out some money,
and buy some of our cargo; nor was it without a secret intimation that
even the governor himself was concerned in the market that should be

Upon this intelligence, our supercargo caused several bales of English
and French goods to be brought up and opened, and laid so in the
steerage and upon the quarter-deck of the ship, that the governor and
his attendants should see them of course as they passed by.

When the boats came off from the shore, which we knew by their fort
firing eleven guns, our ship appeared as fine as we could make her,
having the French flag at the main-top, as admiral, and streamers and
pendants at the yard-arms, waste cloths out, and a very fine awning over
the quarter-deck. When his excellency entered the ship, we fired
one-and-twenty guns, the Madagascar ship fired the like number, and the
brigantine fifteen, having loaded her guns nimbly enough to fire twice.

As the governor's entertainment to us was more meat than liquor, so we
gave him more liquor than meat; for, as we had several sorts of very
good wines on board, we spared nothing to let him see he was very
welcome. After dinner we brought a large bowl of punch upon the table, a
liquor he was a stranger to: however, to do him justice, he drank very
moderately, and so did most of those that were with him. As to the men
that belonged to his retinue, I mean servants and attendants, and the
crews of the boats, we made some of them drunk enough.

While this was doing, two gentlemen of the governor's company took
occasion to leave the rest and walk about the ship; and, in so doing,
they seemed, as it were by chance, to cast their eyes upon our bales of
cloth and stuffs, baize, linen, silks, &c, and our supercargo and they
began to make bargains apace, for he found they had not only money
enough, but had abundance of other things which we were as willing to
take as money, and of which they had brought specimens with them; as
particularly spices, such as cloves and nutmegs; also China ware, tea,
japanned ware, wrought silks, raw silk, and the like.

However, our supercargo dealt with them at present for nothing but ready
money, and they paid all in gold: the price he made here, was to us
indeed extravagant, though to them moderate, seeing they had been used
to buy these goods from the Acapulco ships, which came in yearly, from
whom to be sure they bought them dear enough. They bought as many goods
at this time as they paid the value of fifteen thousand pieces of eight
for, but all in gold by weight.

As for carrying our goods on shore, the governor, being present, no
officer had anything to say to them; so they were carried on shore as
presents, made by us to the governor and his retinue.

The next day three Spanish merchants came on board us, early in the
morning, before it was light, and desired to see the supercargo. They
brought with them a box of diamonds and some pearl, and a great quantity
of gold, and to work they went with our cargo, and I thought once they
would have bought the whole ship's loading; but they contented
themselves to buy about the value of two-and-twenty thousand pieces of
eight, which did not cost, in England, one-sixth part of the money.

We had some difficulty about the diamonds, because we did not understand
the worth of them, but our supercargo ventured upon them at ten thousand
pieces of eight, and took the rest in gold. They desired to stay on
board till the next night, when, soon after it was dark, a small sloop
came on board and took in all their goods, and, as we were told, carried
them away to some other island.

The same day, and before these merchants were gone, came a large shallop
on board with a square sail, towing after her a great heavy boat, which
had a deck, but seemed to have been a large ship's long-boat, built
into a kind of yacht, but ill masted, and sailed heavily. In these two
boats they brought seven tons of cloves in mats, some chests of China
ware, some pieces of China silks, of several sorts, and a great sum of
money also.

In short, the merchants sold so cheap and bought so dear, that our
supercargo declared he would sell the whole cargo for goods, if they
would bring them, for, by his calculation, he had disposed of as many
goods as he received the value of one hundred thousand pieces of eight
for, all which, by his accounts, did not amount to, first cost, above
three thousand pounds sterling in England.

Our ship was now an open fair; for, two or three days after, came the
vessel back which went away in the night, and with them a Chinese junk,
and seven or eight Chinese or Japanners; strange, ugly, ill-looking
fellows they were, but brought a Spaniard to be their interpreter, and
they came to trade also, bringing with them seventy great chests of
China ware exceeding fine, twelve chests of China silks of several
sorts, and some lackered cabinets, very fine. We dealt with them for all
those, for our supercargo left nothing, he took everything they brought.
Our traders were more difficult to please than we: for as for baize and
druggets, and such goods, they would not meddle with them; but our fine
cloths and some bales of linen they bought very freely. So we unloaded
their vessel and put our goods on board. We took a good sum of money of
them besides; but whither they went we knew not, for they both came and
went in the night too, as the other did.

This trade held a good while, and we found that our customers came more
from other islands than from the island where the governor resided; the
reason of which, as we understood afterwards, was, because, as the
governor had not openly granted a freedom of commerce, but privately
winked at it, so they were not willing to carry it on openly before his
face, or, as we say, under his nose; whereas, in other islands, they
could convey their goods on shore with very little hazard, agreeing with
the custom-house officer for a small matter.

These boats came and went thus several times, till, in short, we had
disposed almost of the whole cargo; and now our men began to be
convinced that we had laid out our voyage very right, for never was
cargo better sold; and, as we resolved to pursue our voyage for New
Spain, we had taken in a cargo very proper to sell there, and so,
perhaps, to double the advantage we had already made.

In the mean time, all our hands were at work to store ourselves anew,
with such provisions as could be had here for so long a run as we knew
we were to have next; namely, over the vast Pacific Ocean, or South Sea,
a voyage where we might expect to see no land for four months, except we
touched at the Ladrones, as it might happen; and our greatest anxiety
was for want of water, which our whole ship could scarce be able to stow
sufficient for our use; and our want of casks was still as bad as the
want of water, for we really knew not what to put water in when we had

The Spaniards had helped us to some casks, but not many; those that they
could spare were but small, and at last we were obliged to make use of
about two hundred large earthen jars, which were of singular use to us.
We got a large quantity of good rice here, which we bought of a Chinese
merchant, who came in here with a large China vessel to trade, who
bought of us also several of our European goods.

Just as we were ready to sail, a boat came from the town of Manilla, and
brought a new merchant, who wanted more English goods, but we had but
few left; he brought with him thirty chests of calicoes, muslins,
wrought silks, some of them admirably fine indeed, with fifteen bales of
romals, and twelve tons of nutmegs. We sold him what goods we had left,
and gave him money for the rest, but had them at a price so cheap, as
was sufficient to let us know that it was always well worth while for
ships to trade from Europe to the East Indies; from whence they are sure
to make five or six of one. Had more of these merchants come on board,
we were resolved to have laid out all the gold and silver we had, which
was a very considerable quantity.

The last merchant who came on board us was a Spaniard; but I found that
he spoke very good French, and some English; that he had been in England
some years before, and understood English woollen manufactures very
well. He told me he had all his present goods from Acapulco, but that
they were then excessively dear. He had considerable dealings with the
Chinese, and some with the coast of Coromandel and Bengal, and kept a
vessel or two of his own to go to Bengal, which generally went twice in
a year.

I found be had great business with New Spain, and that he generally had
one of the Acapulco ships chiefly consigned to him; so that he was full
of all such goods as those ships generally carried away from the
Manillas, and, had we traded with him sooner, we should have had more
calicoes and muslins than we now had; however, we were exceedingly well
stored with goods of all sorts, suitable for a market in Peru, whither I
resolved to go.

We continued chaffering after this manner about nine weeks, during which
time we careened our ships, cleaned their bottoms, rummaged our gold,
and repacked some of our provisions; endeavouring, as much as possible,
to keep all our men as fully employed as we could, to preserve them in
health, and yet not to overwork them, considering the heat of the

Some time before we were ready to sail, I called all the warrant
officers together, and told them, that as we were come to a country
where abundance of small things were to be bought, and going to a
country where we might possibly have an opportunity to sell them again
to advantage, I would advance to every officer a hundred dollars, upon
account of their pay, that they might lay it out here, and dispose of it
again on the coast of New Spain to advantage. This was very acceptable
to them, and they acknowledged it; and here, besides this, by the
consent of all our superior officers, I gave a largess or bounty of five
dollars a man, to all our foremast men; most of which I believe they
laid out in arrack and sugar, to cheer them up in the rest of the
voyage, which they all knew would be long enough.

We went away from Manilla, in the island of Luconia, the 15th of August,
1714; and, sailing awhile to the southward, passed the Straits between
that island and Mindora, another of the Philippines, where we met with
little extraordinary, except extraordinary lightning and thunders, such
as we never heard or saw before, though, it seems, it is very familiar
in that climate; till, after sixteen days' sailing, we saw the isle of
Guam, one of the Ladrones, or Islands of Thieves, for so much the word
imports; here we came to an anchor, Sept. 3, under the lee of a steep
shore, on the north side of the isle of Guam; but, as we wanted no trade
here, we did not at first inquire after the chief port, or Spanish
governor, or anything of that kind; but we changed our situation the
next day, and went through the passage to the east side of the island,
and came to an anchor near the town.

The people came off, and brought us hogs and fowls, and several sorts of
roots and greens, articles which we were very glad of, and which we
bought the more of because we always found that such things were good to
keep the men from the scurvy, and even to cure them of it if they had
it. We took in fresh water here also, though it was with some
difficulty, the water lying half a mile from the shore.

When I parted from Manilla, and was getting through the Strait between
the island of Luconia and that of Mindora, I had some thoughts of
steering away north, to try what land we might meet with to the
north-east of the Philippines; and with intent to have endeavoured to
make up into the latitude of 50 or 60°, and have come about again to the
south, between the island of California and the mainland of America; in
which course, I did not question meeting with extraordinary new
discoveries, and, perhaps, such as the age might not expect to hear of,
relating to the northern world, and the possibility of a passage out of
those seas, either east or west, both which, I doubt not, would be
found, if they were searched after this way; and which, for aught I
know, remain undiscovered for want only of an attempt being made by
those seas, where it would be easy to find whether the Tartarian seas
are navigable or not; and whether Nova Zembla be an island or joined to
the main; whether the inlets of Hudson's Bay have any opening into the
West Sea; and whether the vast lakes, from whence the great river of
Canada is said to flow, have any communication this way or not.

But though these were valuable discoveries, yet, when I began to cast up
the account in a more serious manner, they appeared to have no relation
to, or coherence with, our intended voyage, or with the design of our
employers, which we were to consider in the first place, for though it
is true that we were encouraged to make all such kinds of useful
discoveries as might tend to the advantage of trade, and the improvement
of geographical knowledge and experience, yet it was all to be so
directed as to be subservient to the profits and advantages of a trading
and cruising voyage.

It is true that these northern discoveries might be infinitely great,
and most glorious to the British nation, by opening new sources of
wealth and commerce in general: yet, as I have said, it was evident that
they tended directly to destroy the voyage, either as to trading or to
cruising, and might perhaps end in our own destruction also. For
example, first of all, if adventuring into those northern seas, we
should, by our industry, make out the discovery, and find a passage,
either east or west, we must follow the discovery so as to venture quite
through, or else we could not be sure that it was really a discovery;
for these passages would not be like doubling Cape de Bon Esperance, on
the point of Africa, or going round Cape Horn, the southernmost point of
America, either of which were compassed in a few days, and then
immediately gave an opening into the Indian or Southern Oceans, where
good weather and certain refreshment were to be had.

Whereas, for the discovery in the north, after having passed the
northernmost land of Grand Tartary, in the latitude of 74 even to 80°,
and perhaps to the very north pole, there must be a run west, beyond the
most northerly point of Nova Zembla, and on again west-south-west, about
the North Kyn and North Cape, about six hundred leagues, before we could
come to have any relief of the climate; after that, one hundred and
sixty leagues more, and even to Shetland and the north of Scotland,
before we could meet with any relief of provisions, which, after the
length we must have run, from the latitude of 3½°, where we now were at
the Philippine Islands, to 74° north, being near five thousand miles,
would be impossible to be done, unless we were sure to victual, and
furnish ourselves again with provisions and water by the way, and that
in several places.

As to the other passage east, towards the continent of America, we had
this uncertainty also; namely, that it was not yet discovered whether
the land of California was an island or a continent, and if it should
prove the latter, so as that we should be obliged to come back to the
west, and not be able to find an opening between California and the land
of north America, so as to come away to the coast of Mexico, to
Acapulco, and so into the South Sea, and at the same time should not
find a passage through Hudson's Bay, &c., into the North Sea, and so to
Europe, we should not only spoil the voyage that way also, but should
infallibly perish by the severity of the season and want of provisions.

All these things argued against any attempt that way; whereas, on the
other hand, for southern discoveries, we had this particular
encouragement; that whatever disappointment we might meet with, in the
search after unknown countries, yet we were sure of an open sea behind
us; and that whenever we thought fit to run south beyond the tropic, we
should find innumerable islands where we might get water, and some sort
of provisions, or come back into a favourable climate, and have the
benefit of the trade winds, to carry us either backward or forward, as
the season should happen to guide us.

Last of all, we had this assurance, that, the dangers of the seas
excepted, we were sure of an outlet before us, if we went forward, or
behind us, if we were forced back; and, having a rich cargo, if we were
to do nothing but go home, we should be able to give our employers such
an account of ourselves, as that they would be very far from being
losers by the voyage; but that, if we reached safe the coast of New
Spain, and met with an open commerce there, as we expected, we should
perhaps make the most prosperous voyage that was ever made round the
globe before.

These considerations put an end to all my thoughts of going northward;
some of our secret council, (for, by the way, we consulted our foremast
men no more, but had a secret council among ourselves, the resolutions
of which we solemnly engaged not to disclose); some of these, I say,
were for steering the usual course, from the Philippines to New Spain,
viz., keeping in the latitudes of 11 or 13° north the line, and so
making directly for California; in which latitude they proposed that we
might, perhaps, by cruising thereabout, meet with the Manilla ships,
going from New Spain to Manilla, which we might take as prizes, and then
stand directly for the coast of Peru. But I opposed this, principally
because it would effectually overthrow all my meditated discoveries to
the southward; and, secondly, because I had observed, that, on the north
of the line, there are no islands to be met with, in all the long run of
near two thousand leagues, from Guam, one of the Ladrones, to the land
of California; and that we did not find we were able to subsist during
so long a run, especially for want of water; whereas, on the south of
the line, as well within the tropic as without, we were sure to meet
with islands innumerable, and that even all the way; so that we were
sure of frequent relief of fresh water, of plants, fowl, and fish, if
not of bread and flesh, almost all the way.

This was a main consideration to our men, and so we soon resolved to
take the southern course; yet, as I said, we stood away for the Ladrones
first. These are a cluster of islands, which lie in about 11 to 13°
north latitude, north-east from the Moluccas, or Spice Islands, and east
and by north from that part of the Philippines where we were, and at the
distance of about four hundred leagues, and all the ships which go or
come between the Philippines and New Spain touch at them, for the
convenience of provisions, water, &c.; those that go to Spain put in
there, in order to recruit and furnish for, and those that come from
Spain, to relieve themselves after so long a run as that of six thousand
miles, for so much it is at least from Guam to Acapulco; on these
accounts, and with these reasonings, we came to the isles of the

During our run between the Philippine and Ladrone islands, we lived
wholly upon our fresh provisions, of which we laid in a great stock at
Manilla, such as hogs, fowls, calves, and six or seven cows, all alive,
so that our English beef and pork, which lay well stored, was not
touched for a long time.

At the Ladrones we recruited, and particularly took on board, as well
alive as pickled up, near two hundred hogs, with a vast store of roots,
and such things as are their usual food in that country. We took in also
above three thousand cocoa-nuts and cabbages; yams, potatoes, and other
roots, for our own use; and, in particular, we got a large quantity of
maize, or Indian wheat, for bread, and some rice.

We stored ourselves likewise with oranges and lemons; and, buying a
great quantity of very good limes, we made three or four hogsheads of
lime-juice, which was a great relief to our men in the hot season, to
mix with their water; as for making punch, we had some arrack and some
sugar, but neither of them in such quantity as to have much punch made
afore the mast.

We were eighteen days on our passage from the Strait of Mindora to Guam,
and stayed six days at the latter, furnishing ourselves with
provisions, appearing all this while with French colours, and Captain
Merlotte as commander. However we made no great ceremony here with the
Spanish governor, as I have said already, only that Captain Merlotte,
after we had been here two days, sent a letter to him by a French
officer, who, showing his commission from the king of France, the
governor presently gave us product, as we call it, and leave to buy what
provisions we wanted.

In compliment for this civility, we sent the governor a small present of
fine scarlet camlet and two pieces of baize; and he made a very handsome
return, in such refreshments as he thought we most wanted.

There was another reason for our keeping in this latitude till we came
to the Ladrones; namely, that all the southern side of that part of the
way, between the Philippines and the Ladrones, is so full of islands,
that, unless we had been provided with very good pilots, it would have
been extremely hazardous; and, add to this, that, beyond these islands
south, is no passage; the land, which they call Nova Guinea, lying away
east and east-south-east, farther than has yet been discovered; so that
it is not yet known whether that country be an island or the continent.

Having for all these reasons gone to the Ladrones, and being
sufficiently satisfied in our reasons for going away from thence to the
southward, and having stored ourselves, as above, with whatever those
islands produced, we left the Ladrones the 10th day of September in the
evening, and stood away east-south-east, with the wind north-north-west,
a fresh gale; after this, I think it was about five days, when, having
stretched, by our account, about a hundred and fifty leagues, we steered
away more to the southward, our course south-east-by-south.

And now, if ever, I expected to do something by way of discovery. I knew
very well there were few, if any, had ever steered that course; or that,
if they had, they had given very little account of their travels. The
only persons who leave anything worth notice being Cornelius Vanschouten
and Francis Le Mare, who, though they sailed very much to the south, yet
say little to the purpose, as I shall presently show.

The sixteenth day after we parted from the Ladrones, being, by
observation, in the latitude of 17° south of the line, one of our men
cried, A sail! a sail! which put us into some fit of wonder, knowing
nothing of a ship of any bulk could be met with in those seas; but our
fit of wonder was soon turned to a fit of laughter, when one of our men
from the foretop, cried out, Land! which, indeed, was the case; and the
first sailor was sufficiently laughed at for his mistake, though, giving
him his due, it looked at first as like a sail as ever any land at a
distance could look.

Towards evening we made the land very plain, distance about seven
leagues south-by-east, and found that it was not an island, but a vast
tract of land, extended, as we had reason to believe, from the side of
Gilolo, and the Spice Islands, or that which we call Nova Guinea, and
never yet fully discovered. The land lying away from the west-north-west
to the south-east-by-south, still southerly.

I, that was for making all possible discovery, was willing, besides the
convenience of water, and perhaps fresh provisions, to put in here, and
see what kind of country it was; so I ordered the brigantine to stand in
for the shore. They sounded, but found no ground within half a league of
the shore; so they hoisted out their boat, and went close in with the
shore, where they found good anchor-hold in about thirty-six fathom, and
a large creek, or mouth of a river; here they found eleven to thirteen
fathom soft oozy sand, and the water half fresh at the mouth of the

Upon notice of this, we stood in, and came all to an anchor in the very
creek; and, sending our boats up the creek, found the water perfectly
fresh and very good upon the ebb, about a league up the river.

Among all the islands in this part of the world, that is to say, from
the Philippines eastward, of which there are an infinite number, we
never came near any but we found ourselves surrounded with canoes and a
variety of boats, bringing off to us cocoa-nuts, plantains, roots, and
greens, to traffic for such things as they could get; and that in such
numbers, we were tired with them, and sometimes alarmed, and obliged to
fire at them. But here, though we saw great numbers of people at a
distance from the shore, yet we saw not one boat or bark, nor anything
else upon the water.

We stayed two or three days taking in fresh water, but it was impossible
to restrain our men from going on shore, to see what sort of a country
it was; and I was very willing they should do so. Accordingly, two of
our boats, with about thirty men in both of them, went on shore on the
east side of the creek or harbour where our ship lay.

They found the country looked wild and savage; but, though they could
find no houses, or speak with the inhabitants, they saw their footsteps
and their seats where they had sat down under some trees; and after
wandering about a little, they saw people, both men and women, at a
distance; but they ran away from our men, at first sight, like
frightened deer; nor could they make any signal to them to be
understood; for when our men hallooed and called after them, they ran
again as if they had been bewitched.

Our men gathered a great variety of green stuff, though they knew not of
what kind, and brought it all on board, and we eat a great deal of it;
some we boiled and made broth of, and some of our men, who had the
scurvy, found it did them a great deal of good; for the herbs were of a
spicy kind, and had a most pleasant agreeable taste: but none of us
could tell what to call them, though we had several men on board who had
been among the Spice Islands before in Dutch ships.

We were very uneasy that we could get nothing here but a little grass
and potherbs, as our men called it, and the men importuned me to let
them have two boats, and go up the river as high as the tide would carry
them; this I consented to, being as willing to make the discovery as
they; so I ordered the captain of the Madagascar ship, who had, as I
have said, been formerly my second mate, to go along with them.

But in the morning, a little before the flood was made, I was called out
of my cabin to see an army, as they told me, coming to attack us. I
turned out hastily enough, as may be easily conjectured, and such an
army appeared as no ship was ever attacked with; for we spied three or
four hundred black creatures, come playing and tumbling down the stream
towards us, like so many porpoises in the water. I was not satisfied at
first that they were human creatures, but would have persuaded our men,
that they were sea-monsters, or fishes of some strange kind.

But they quickly undeceived us, for they came swimming about our ships,
staring and wondering and calling to one another, but said not one word
to us, at least, if they did, we could not understand them.

Some of them came very near our ships, and we made signs to them to
come on board, but they would not venture. We tossed one of them a rope,
and he took hold of it boldly; but as soon as we offered to pull, he let
go, and laughed at us; another of them did the like, and when he let go,
turned up his black buttocks, as in sport at us; the language of which,
in our country, we all knew, but whether it had the same meaning here,
we were at a loss to know.

However, this dumb manner of conversing with them we did not like,
neither was it to any purpose to us; and I was resolved, if possible, to
know something more of them than we could get thus; so I ordered out our
pinnace with six oars, and as many other men well armed, to row among
them; and, if possible, to take some of them and bring them on board.
They went off, but the six-oar pinnace, though a very nimble boat, could
not row so fast as they could swim; for, if pulling with all their
might, they came near one of them, immediately, like dog and duck, they
would dive, and come up again thirty or forty yards off; so that our men
did not know which way to row after them; however, at last getting among
the thickest of them, they got hold of two, and with some difficulty
dragged them in; but think of our surprise, to find they were not men,
but both young women. However, they were brought on board naked as they

When they came on board, I ordered they should have two pieces of linen
wrapped round their waists to cover them, which they seemed well pleased
with. We gave them also several strings of beads, and our men tied them
about their necks, and about their arms like bracelets, and they were
wonderfully delighted with their ornaments. Others of our men gave each
of them a pair of scissors, with needles and some thread, and threading
the needles, showed them how to sew with them; we also gave them food,
and each of them a dram of arrack, and made signs to know of them where
they lived; they pointed up to the river, but we could by no means
understand them.

When we had dressed them up thus with necklaces, and bracelets, and
linen, we brought them up upon the deck, and made them call to their
country folk, and let them see how well they were used, and the girls
beckoned them to come on board, but they would not venture.

However, as I thought the discovery we were to make, would be something
the easier on account of the usage of these two young women; for they
were not, as we guessed, above twenty or two-and-twenty years of age; we
resolved that the boat should go on, as we intended, up the river; and
that, as the two women pointed that way, we should carry them along with

Accordingly we sent two shallops, or large boats, which carried together
sixty men, all well armed. We gave them store of beads and knives and
scissors, and such baubles with them, with hatchets and nails, and
hooks, looking-glasses, and the like; and we built up the sides and
sterns of the boats, and covered them with boards, to keep off arrows
and darts, if they should find occasion, so that they looked like London
barges. In this posture, as soon as the tide or flood was made up, our
men went away, carrying a drum and a trumpet in each boat; and each boat
had also two patereroes, or small cannon, fixed on the gunnel near the

Thus furnished, they went off about eleven o'clock in the forenoon, and
to my very great uneasiness, I heard no more of them for four days. The
whole ship's company were indeed surprised at their stay, and the
captain of the sloop would fain have had me let him have sailed up the
river with the sloop, as far as the channel would serve; which really we
found was deep enough. Indeed, as I was unwilling to run any more risks,
I could not persuade myself, but that the force I had already sent was
sufficient to fight five thousand naked creatures, such as the natives
seemed to be, and therefore, I was very unwilling to send. However, I
consented at last to have our long-boat and two smaller boats manned
with fifty-four men more, very well armed, and covered from arrows and
darts as the other had been, to go up the river, upon their solemn
promise, and with express order, to return the next day, at farthest;
ordering them to fire guns as they went up the river, to give notice to
their fellows, if they could be heard, that they were coming; and that,
in the mean time, if I fired three guns they should immediately return.

They went away with the tide of flood, a little before noon, and went up
the river about five leagues, the tide running but slowly, and a strong
fresh of land-water that checked the current coming down; so that when
the tide was spent they came to an anchor. They found the river,
contrary to their expectation, continued both deep enough, and was wider
in breadth than where the ships were at anchor; and that it had another
mouth or outlet into the sea some leagues farther east, so that the land
to the east of us, where our men went on shore, was but an island, and
had not many inhabitants, if any; the people they had seen there having
possibly swam over the other arm or branch of the river, to observe our
ships the nearer. As our men found they could go no farther for want of
the tide, they resolved to come to an anchor; but, just as they were
sounding, to see what ground they had, and what depth, a small breeze at
north-east sprang up, by which they stemmed the current and reached up
about two leagues farther, when they hove over their grappling in five
fathom water, soft ground; so that all this way, and much farther, every
one of our ships might have gone up the channel, being as broad as the
Thames is about Vauxhall.

It must be observed, that all along this river they found the land,
after they came past the place where the other branch of the river broke
off, eastward, was full of inhabitants on both sides, who frequently
came down to the water-side in haste to look at our boats; but always
when our men called to them, as if they thought our men inquired after
their fellows, they pointed up the river, which was as much as to say,
they were gone farther that way.

However, our men not being able to go any farther against the tide, took
no notice of that; but, after a little while some of them, in one of the
smaller boats, rowed towards the shore, holding up a white flag to the
people in token of friendship; but it was all one, and would have been
all one for aught we knew, if they had held up a red flag, for they all
ran away, men, women, and children; nor could our men by any
persuasions, by gestures and signs of any kind, prevail on them to stay,
or hardly so much as to look at them.

The night coming on, our men knew not well what course to take; they saw
several of the Indians' dwellings and habitations, but they were all at
a distance from the river, occasioned, as our men supposed, by the
river's overflowing the flat grounds near its banks, so as to render
those lands not habitable.

Our men had a great inclination to have gone up to one of the towns they
saw, but he that commanded would not permit it; but told them, if they
could find a good landing-place, that they might all go on shore, except
a few to keep the boats, if they chose to venture; upon which the
smallest boat rowed up about a mile, and found a small river running
into the greater, and here they all resolved to land; but first they
fired two muskets, to give notice, if possible, to their comrades, that
they were at hand; however, they heard nothing of them.

What impression the noise of the two muskets made among the Indians they
could not tell, for they were all run away before.

They were no sooner on shore, but, considering they had not above two
hours day, and that the Indian villages were at least two miles off,
they called a council, and resolved not to march so far into a country
they knew so little of, and be left to come back in the dark; so they
went on board again, and waited till morning. However, they viewed the
country, found it was a fertile soil, and a great herbage on the ground;
there were few trees near the river; but farther up where the Indian
dwellings were, the little hills seemed to be covered with woods, but of
what kind they knew not.

In the morning, before break of day, some of our men fancied they heard
a gun fired up the river; upon which the officer ordered two muskets to
be fired again, as had been done the evening before; and in about a
quarter of an hour they were answered by the like firing, by which our
men knew that their comrades heard them; so, without pursuing their
intended landing, the tide being then running upwards, they weighed, and
set to their oars, having little or no wind, and that which they had
blowing down the stream.

After they had gone about a league, they heard a confused noise at a
great distance, which surprised them a little at first; but, as they
perceived it drew nearer and nearer, they waited awhile, when they
discovered first here and there some people, then more, and then about
two or three hundred men and women together, running, and every one
carrying something.

Where it was they were going to, or what it was they carried, our men
could not tell till they came nearer, when they found that they were all
loaded with provisions, cocoa-nuts, roots, cabbages, and a great variety
of things which the men knew little of; and all these were carrying
down to our ships, as we understood afterwards, in gratitude for our
kind usage of the two young women.

When these people saw our men and their three boats, they were at a full
stop, and once or twice they were ready to lay down all their loads, and
run for it; but ours made signs of peace, and held up a white flag to

Some of them, it seems, having, as we found, conversed with our men, had
a little more courage than the rest, and came to the shore side, and
looked at the boats. One of our men thought of a stratagem to make known
our desire of peace with them. Taking a string of beads and some toys,
he held them up at the end of the boat-hook staff, and showed them to
the Indians, pointing to them with his hand, and then pointing with the
other hand to what the Indians carried, and to his mouth, intimating
that we wanted such things to eat, and would give him the beads for

One of the Indians presently understood him, and threw himself into the
water, holding a bundle of plants, such as he had trussed up together,
upon his head, and swimming with the other hand, came so near the boat,
where our men held out the staff, as to reach the end of the staff, take
off the string of beads and toys, and hang his bunch of trash, for it
was not better, upon the hook, and then went back again, for he would
come no nearer.

When he was gotten on shore again, all his comrades came about him to
see what he had got; he hung the string of beads round his neck, and ran
dancing about with the other things in his hand, as if he had been mad.

What our men got was a trifle of less worth than a good bunch of carrots
in England, but yet it was useful, as it brought the people to converse
with us; for after this they brought us roots and fruits innumerable,
and began to be very well acquainted with us.

By that time our men had chaffered thus four or five times they first
heard, and in a little while after saw, their two great boats, with
their fellows, coming down the river, at about two miles' distance, with
their drums and trumpets, and making noise enough.

They had been, it seems, about three leagues higher up, where they had
been on shore among the Indians, and had set at liberty the two maidens,
for such they understood they were; who, letting their friends see how
fine they were dressed, and how well they were used, the Indians were
so exceedingly obliged, and showed themselves so grateful, that they
thought nothing too much for them, but brought out all the sorts of
provisions which their country produced, which, it seem, amounted to
nothing but fruits, such as plantains, cocoa-nuts, oranges and lemons,
and such things, and roots, which we could give no name to; but that
which was most for our use, was a very good sort of maize, or Indian
corn, which made us excellent bread.

They had, it seems, some hogs and some goats; but our men got only six
of the latter, which were at hand, and were very good. But that which
was most remarkable was, that whereas in all the islands within the
tropics the people are thievish, treacherous, fierce, and mischievous,
and are armed with lances, or darts, or bows and arrows; these appeared
to be a peaceable, quiet, inoffensive people; nor did our men see any
weapon among them except a long staff, which most of the men carried in
their hands, being made of a cane, about eight foot long, and an inch
and a half in diameter, much like a quarter-staff, with which they would
leap over small brooks of water with admirable dexterity.

The people were black, or rather of a tawny dark brown; their hair long,
but curling in very handsome ringlets: they went generally quite naked,
both men and women; except that in two places, our men said, they found
some of the women covered from the middle downward. They seemed to have
been strangers to the sea; nor did we find so much as any one boat among
them: nor did any of the inhabitants dwell near the sea; but cultivated
their lands very well, in their way; having abundance of greens and
fruits growing about their houses; and upon which we found they chiefly
lived. The climate seemed to be very hot, and yet the country very

These people, by all we could perceive, had never had any converse with
the rest of the world by sea; what they might have by land we know not;
but, as they lie quite out of the way of all commerce, so it might be
probable they never had seen a ship or boat, whether any European ship,
or so much as a periagua of the islands. We have mentioned their nearest
distance to the Ladrones, being at least four hundred leagues; and from
the Spice Islands, and the country of New Guinea, much more; but as to
the European shipping, I never heard of any that ever went that way,
nor do I believe any ever did.

I take the more notice of these people's not having conversed, as I say,
with the world, because of the innocence of their behaviour, their
peaceable disposition, and their way of living upon the fruits and
produce of the earth; also their cultivation, and the manner of their
habitations; no signs of rapine or violence appearing among them. Our
stay here was so little, that we could make no inquiry into their
religion, manner of government, and other customs; nor have I room to
crowd many of these things into this account. They went, indeed, as I
have said, naked, some of them stark naked, both men and women, but I
thought they differed in their countenances from all the wild people I
ever saw; that they had something singularly honest and sincere in their
faces, nor did we find anything of falsehood or treachery among them.

The gratitude they expressed for our kindly using the two young women I
have mentioned, was a token of generous principles; and our men told us,
that they would have given them whatever they could have asked, that was
in their power to bestow.

In a word, it was on their account they sent that little army of people
to us loaden with provisions, which our men met before the two shallops
came down. But all the provisions they had consisted chiefly in fruits
of the earth, cocoa-nuts, plantains, oranges, lemons, &c., and maize, or
Indian corn. We were not a sufficient time with them to inquire after
what traffick they had, or whether anything fit for us. They had several
fragrant plants, and some spices, particularly cinnamon, which we found,
but what else the country produced we knew not.

We came away from hence after seven days' stay, having observed little
of the country, more than that it seemed to be very pleasant, but very
hot; the woods were all flourishing and green and the soil rich, but
containing little that could be the subject of trade; but an excellent
place to be a baitland, or port of refreshment, in any voyage that might
afterwards be undertaken that way.

We set sail, I say, from hence in seven days, and, finding the coast lie
fairly on our starboard side, kept the land on board all the way,
distance about three leagues; and it held us thus, about a hundred and
twenty leagues due east, when on a sudden we lost sight of the land;
whether it broke off, or whether it only drew off farther south, we
could not tell.

We went on two or three days more, our course south-east, when we made
land again; but found it only to be two small islands, lying south and
by east, distance nine leagues. We stood on to them, and two of our
boats went on shore, but found nothing for our purpose; no inhabitants,
nor any living creatures, except sea fowls, and some large snakes;
neither was there any fresh water. So we called that land Cape Dismal.

The same evening we stood away full south, to see if we could find out
the continuance of the former land; but as we found no land, so a great
sea coming from the south we concluded we should find no land that way.
And, varying our course easterly, we ran with a fair fresh gale at
north-west and by west, for seven days more; in all which time, we saw
nothing but the open sea every way; and making an observation found we
had passed the southern tropic; and that we were in the latitude of 26°
13', after which we continued our course still southerly for several
days more, until we found, by another observation, that we were in 32°

This evening we made land over our starboard bow, distance six leagues,
and stood away south and by east: but the wind slackening we lay by in
the night; and in the morning found the land bearing east and by south,
distance one league and a half; a good shore, and on sounding, about
five-and-thirty fathom, stony ground. We now hoisted our boat out, and
sent it on shore for discoveries, to sound the depth of the water, and
see for a good harbour to put in at.

Our people went quite in with the shore, where they found several men
and women crowded together to look at us. When our men came close to the
land they hung out a white flag, but the wild people understood nothing
of the meaning of it, but stood looking and amazed, and we have great
reason to believe that they never had seen any ship or bark of any
nation before. We found on our landing, no boats or sails, or anything
they had to make use of on the water; but some days after we saw several
small canoes, with three or four men in each.

Our men not being able to speak a word for them to understand, or to
know what was said to them, the first thing they did, was to make signs
to them for something to eat; upon which three of them seemed to go
away, and coming again in a few minutes, brought with them several
bundles or bunches of roots, some plantains, and some green lemons, or
limes, and laid down all upon the coast. Our men took courage then to go
on shore, and, taking up what they brought, set up a stick, and upon the
end of it hung five bunches or strings of blue and white beads, and went
on board again.

Never was such joy among a wild people discovered, as these natives
showed, when they took the beads off the stick; they danced and capered,
and made a thousand antic gestures, and, inviting our men on shore, laid
their hands upon their breasts across, and then looked up, intimating a
solemn oath not to hurt us.

Our men made signs, by which they made them understand, that they would
come again next morning, and also that they should bring us more
eatables; accordingly, we sent three boats the next morning, and our men
carried knives, scissors, beads, looking-glasses, combs, and any toys
they had, not forgetting glass beads and glass ear-rings in abundance.

The Indians were very ready to meet us, and brought us fruits and herbs
as before; but three of them, who stood at a distance, held each of them
a creature exactly like a goat, but without horns or beard; and these
were brought to traffick with us.

We brought out our goods, and offered every one something; but the
variety was surprising to them who had never seen such things before.
But that which was most valuable of all our things, was a hatchet, which
one of their principal men took up and looked at it, felt the edge, and
laid it down; then took it up again, and wanted to know the use of it:
upon which one of our men took it, and stepping to a tree that stood
near, cut off a small bough of it at one blow. The man was surprised,
and ran to the tree with it, to see if he could do the same, and finding
he could, he laid it down, ran with all his might into the country, and
by-and-by returning, came with two men more with him, to show them this
wonderful thing, a hatchet.

But if they were surprised with the novelty of a hatchet, our men were
as much surprised to see hanging round the ears of both the men that he
brought with him, large flat pieces of pure gold. The thread which they
hung by was made of the hair of the goats, twisted very prettily
together and very strong.

Our men offering to handle them, to see if they were gold, one of the
men took off his two gold bobs, and offered them to our men for the
hatchet. Our men seemed to make much difficulty of it, as if the hatchet
was of much greater value than those trifles; upon which he, being as we
found, superior, made the other, who came with him, pull off his two
ear-jewels also; and so our unreasonable people took them all four,
being of pure gold, and weighing together some grains above two ounces,
in exchange for an old rusty hatchet. However unreasonable the price
was, the purchaser did not think it so; and so over-fond was he of the
hatchet, that as soon as he had it for his own, he ran to the tree, and
in a few minutes had so laid about him with the hatchet, that there was
not a twig left on it that was within his reach.

This exchange was a particular hint to me; and I presently directly my
chief mate, and Captain Merlotte, to go on shore the next day, and
acquaint themselves as much as they could with the natives, and, if
possible, to find out where they had this gold, and if any quantity was
to be found.

Captain Merlotte and my chief mate bestowed their time so well, and
obliged the natives so much, by the toys and trifles they gave them,
that they presently told them that the gold, which they called Aarah,
was picked up in the rivers that came down from a mountain which they
pointed to, a great way off. Our men prevailed with three of them, to go
with them to one of these rivers, and gave them beads and such things to
encourage them, but no hatchet; that was kept up at a high rate, and as
a rarity fit only for a king, or some great man who wore Aarah on his

In a word, they came to the river where they said they found this Aarah;
and the first thing our men observed there, was an Indian sitting on the
ground, and beating something upon a great stone, with another stone in
his hand for his hammer: they went to see what he was doing, and found
he had got a lump of gold from the sand, as big as a swan-shot, of no
regular shape, but full of corners, neither round nor square; and the
man was beating it flat as well as he could.

One of our men, who had a hatchet in his hand, made signs to him to let
him flatten it for him; and so turning the back part of the hatchet,
which served the purpose of a hammer, he beat the piece of gold flat in
an instant; and then turning it upon the edge, beat it that way until he
brought it to be round also.

This was so surprising to the man who had been beating, that he stood
looking on with all the tokens of joy and amazement; and, desiring to
see the hatchet, looked this way and that way, upon those of his
countrymen who came with us, as if asking them if ever they saw the

When our man had done, he made signs to know if he had any more Aarah;
the man said nothing, but went down to the brink of the river, and,
putting his hand into a hole, he brought out three little lumps of gold,
and a great many smaller, some of them about as big as a large pin's
head; all which he had laid up there, in the hollow of a stone. Our man
thought it was too much, to take all that for the hatchet; and therefore
pulled out some beads, and pieces of glass, and such toys; and, in
short, bought all this cargo of gold, which in the whole weighed near
five ounces, for about the value of two shillings.

Though these bargains were very agreeable to us, yet the discovery of
such a place, and of such a fund of treasure, in a part of the world,
which it is very probable, was never before seen by any European eyes,
nor so much as inquired after, was the greatest satisfaction imaginable
to me; knowing the adventurous temper of the gentleman who was our
principal employer. Upon this account, while my men busied themselves in
their daily search after gold, and in finding out the rivers from whence
it came, or rather where it was found, I employed myself to be fully
informed where this place was; whether it was an island or a continent;
and having found a tolerable good road for our ships to ride in, I
caused my two shallops, well manned, to run along the coast, both east
and west, to find which way it lay, and whether they could find any end
of it; as also to see what rivers, what people, and what provisions they
could meet with.

By my observation, I found that we were in the latitude of 27° 13' south
meridian; distance from the Ladrones about 16° east. While my shallops
were gone, I went on shore, and some of my men set up tents, as well for
the convenience of their traffick, as for their resting on shore all
night; keeping, however, a good guard, and having two of our ship's dogs
with them, who never failed giving them notice, whenever any of the
natives came near them; for what ailed the dogs I know not, but neither
of them could bear the sight of the Indians, and we had much to do to
keep them from flying at them.

While we rode here, we had the most violent storm of wind with rain, and
with great claps of thunder, that we had yet sustained since we came out
of England. It was our comfort that the wind came off shore, for it blew
at south, and shifting between the south, south-east, and south-west,
with such excessive gusts, and so furious, and withal, not only by
squalls and sudden flaws, but a settled terrible tempest, that had it
been from off sea, as it was off shore, we must have perished, there had
been no remedy, and even as it was, we rode in great danger. My
boatswain called out twice to me to cut my masts by the board,
protesting we should either bring our anchors home, or founder as we
rode; and indeed the sea broke over us many times in a terrible manner.
As I said before, we had an indifferent good road, and so we had, but
not a very good one, for the land was low; and on the east we lay a
little open. However, our ground-tackle was good, and our ship very
tight, and I told the boatswain I would rather slip the cable and go off
to sea than cut the masts. However, in about four hours' time more we
found the wind abate, though it blew very hard for three days after.

I was in great pain for my two shallops in this tempest, but they had
both the good luck to lie close under the shore; and one indeed had
hauled quite upon the land, where the men lay on shore under their sail,
so that they got no damage; and about three days after, one of them
returned, and brought me word they had been to the west, where they had
made very little discovery, as to the situation of the country, or
whether it was an island or a continent, but they had conversed with the
natives very often, and found several who had pieces of gold hanging,
some in their hair, some about their necks; and they made a shift to
bring as many with them as weighed, all put together, seventeen or
eighteen ounces, for which they had bartered toys and trifles, as we
did; but they found no rivers, where they could discover any gold in
the sands, as We had done, so that they believed it all came from the
side where we were.

But our other shallop had much better luck; she went away to the east,
and by the time she had gone about sixteen leagues she found the shore
break off a little, and soon after a little more, until at length they
came as it were to the land's end; when, the shore running due south,
they followed, according to their account, near thirteen leagues more.

In this interval they went several times on shore, entered three rivers,
indifferently large, and one of them very large at the mouth, but grew
narrow again in three or four leagues; but a deep channel, with
two-and-twenty to eight-and-twenty fathom water in it all the way, as
far as they went.

Here they went on shore and trafficked with the natives, whom they found
rude and unpolished, but a very mild inoffensive people; nor did they
find them anything thievish, much less treacherous, as in some countries
is the case. They had the good luck to find out the place where, as they
supposed, the king of the country resided; which was a kind of a city,
encompassed all round, the river making a kind of double horse-shoe. The
manner of their living is too long to describe; neither could our men
give any account of their government, or of the customs of the place;
but what they sought for was gold and provisions, and of those they got
pretty considerable quantities.

They found the Indians terribly surprised at the first sight of them;
but after some time they found means to let them know they desired a
truce, and to make them understand what they meant by it.

At length a truce being established, the king came, and with him near
three hundred men; and soon after the queen, with half as many women.
They were not stark naked, neither men nor women, but wearing a loose
piece of cloth about their middles; what it was made of we could not
imagine, for it was neither linen or woollen, cotton or silk; nor was it
woven, but twisted and braided by hand, as our women make bone lace with
bobbins. It seems it was the stalk of an herb, which this was made with;
and was so strong that I doubt not it would have made cables for our
ships, if we had wanted to make such an experiment.

When the king first came to our men they were a little shy of his
company, he had so many with him, and they began to retire; which the
king perceiving, he caused all his men to stop, and keep at a distance;
and advanced himself with about ten or twelve of his men, and no more.

When he was come quite up, our men, to show their breeding, pulled off
their hats, but that he did not understand, for his men had no hats on.
But the officer making a bow to him, he understood that presently, and
bowed again; at which all his men fell down flat upon their faces, as
flat to the ground as if they had been shot to death with a volley of
our shot; and they did not fall so quick but they were up again as
nimbly, and then down flat on the ground again; and this they did three
times, their king bowing himself to our men at the same time.

This ceremony being over, our men made signs to them that they wanted
victuals to eat, and something to drink: and pulled out several things,
to let the people see they would give something for what they might
bring them.

The king understood them presently, and turning to some of his men he
talked awhile to them; and our men observed, that while he spoke they
seemed to be terrified, as if he had been threatening them with death.
However, as soon as he had done, three of them went away, and our men
supposed they went to fetch something that the king would give them;
upon which, that they might be beforehand with them, our men presented
his majesty with two pair of bracelets of fine glass beads of several
colours, and put them upon his arms, which he took most kindly; and then
they gave him a knife, with a good plain ivory handle, and some other
odd things. Upon receiving these _noble_ presents, he sends away another
of his men, and a little after two more.

Our men observed that two of the men went a great way off toward the
hill, but the other man that he sent away first went to his queen, who,
with her retinue of tawny ladies, stood but a little way off, and soon
after her majesty came with four women only attending her.

The officer who commanded our men, finding he should have another kind
of compliment to pay the ladies, retired a little; and, being an
ingenious handy sort of a man, in less than half-an-hour, he and another
of his men made a nice garland, or rather a coronet, of sundry strings
of beads, and with glass bobs and pendants, all hanging about it, most
wonderful gay; and when the queen was come, he went up to the king, and
showing it to him, made signs that he would give it to the queen.

The king took it, and was so pleased with the present, that truly he
desired our officer to put it upon his own head, which he did; but, when
he had got it so placed, he let our men see he was king over his wife,
as well as over the rest of the country, and that he would wear it

Our men then pulled out a little pocket looking-glass, and, holding it
up, let his majesty see his own face, which we might reasonably suppose
he had never seen before, especially with a crown on his head too.
Before he saw his own face in the glass he was grave and majestic, and
carried it something like a king; but he was so delighted with the
novelty that he was quite beside himself, and jumped and capered and
danced about like a madman.

All this while our men saw nothing coming, but that all was given on
their side; whereupon they made signs again, that they wanted

The king then made signs, pointing to a hill a good way off, as if it
would come from thence very quickly; and then looked to see if his
people were coming, as if he was impatient till they came, as well as
our men.

During this time, one of our men observed that the queen had several
pieces of gold, as they thought them to be, hanging about her,
particularly in her hair, and large flat plates of gold upon the hinder
part of her head, something in the place of a roll, such as our women
wear; that her hair was wound about it in rolls, braided together very
curiously; and having informed our officer, he made signs to the king
for leave to give the queen something, which he consented to. So he went
to her majesty, making a bow as before; but this complaisance surprised
her, for, upon his bowing, on a sudden falls the queen and all her four
ladies flat on the ground, but were up again in a moment; and our people
wondered how they could throw themselves so flat on their faces, and not
hurt themselves; nor was it less to be wondered at, how they could so
suddenly jump up again, for they did not rise up gradually as we must
do, with the help of our hands and knees, if we were extended so flat on
our faces, but they, with a spring, whether with their hands or their
whole bodies, we knew not, sprang up at once, and were upon their feet

This compliment over, our officer stepped up to the queen, and tied
about her neck a most delicate necklace of pearl; that is to say, of
large handsome white glass beads, which might in England cost about
fourpence halfpenny, and to every one of her ladies he gave another of
smaller beads, differing in colour from those which he gave the queen.
Then he presented her majesty with a long string of glass beads, which,
being put over her head, reached down to her waist before, and joined in
a kind of tassel, with a little knot of blue riband, which she was also
extremely pleased with; and very fine she was.

The queen made, it seems, the first return; for, stepping to one of her
women, our men observed that her attendant took something out of her
hair, and then the queen let her tie her hair up again; after which her
majesty brought it and gave it to our officer, making signs to know if
it was acceptable. It was a piece of gold that weighed about two ounces
and a half; it had been beaten as flat as they knew how to beat it. But
the metal was of much more beauty to our men than the shape.

Our officer soon let the queen and people see that he accepted the
present, by laying it to his mouth and to his breast, which he found was
the way when they liked anything. In short, our officer went to work
again, and in a little while he made a little coronet for the queen, as
he had done before for the king, though less; and, without asking leave
of his majesty, went up to her and put it upon her head; and then gave
her a little looking-glass, as he had done to the king, that she might
view her face in it.

She was so surprised at the sight, that she knew not how to contain
herself; but, to show her gratitude, she pulled out another plate of
gold out of her own hair, and gave it to our officer; and, not content
with that, she sent one of her women to the crowd of females who first
attended her, and whether she stripped them of all the gold they had, or
only a part, she brought so many pieces, that, when together, they
weighed almost two pounds.

When she was thus dressed she stepped forward very nimbly and gracefully
towards the king, to show him what she had got; and, finding he was
dressed as fine as herself, they had work enough for near two hours to
look at one another, and admire their new ornaments.

Our men reported, that the king was a tall, well-shaped man, of a very
majestic deportment, only that when he laughed he showed his teeth too
much, which, however, were as white as ivory: as for the queen, saving
that her skin was of a tawny colour, she was a very pretty woman; very
tall, a sweet countenance, admirable features, and, in a word, a
complete handsome lady.

She was very oddly dressed; she was quite naked from her head to below
her breasts; her breasts were plump and round, not flaggy and hanging
down, as it generally is with the Indian women, some of whose breasts
hang as low as their bellies, but projecting as beautifully as if they
had been laced up with stays round her body; and below her breast she
had a broad piece of a skin of some curious creature, spotted like a
leopard, probably of some fine spotted deer. This was wrapped round her
very tight, like a body-girt to a horse; and under this she had a kind
of petticoat, as before described, hanging down to her ankles. As for
shoes or stockings, they were only such as nature had furnished. Her
hair was black, and, as supposed, very long, being wreathed up and
twisted in long locks about the plate of gold she wore; for when she
pulled off the plate above mentioned, it hung down her back and upon her
shoulders very gracefully; but it seems she did not think so, for, as
soon as she found it so fallen down, she caused one of her women to roll
it up, and tie it in a great knot which hung down in her neck, and did
not look so well as when it was loose.

While the king and the queen were conversing together about their fine
things, as above, our men went back to the boat, where they left the
purchase they had got, and furnished themselves with other things fit to
traffick with as they saw occasion; and they were not quite come up to
the king again, when they perceived that the men the king had sent up
into the country were returned, and that they brought with them a great
quantity of such provisions as they had, which chiefly consisted of
roots and maize, or Indian corn, and several fruits which we had never
seen before. Some of them resembled the large European figs, but were
not really figs; with some great jars of water, having herbs steeped in
it, and roots, that made it look as white as milk, and drank like milk
sweetened with sugar, but more delicious, and exceeding cool and
refreshing. They brought also a great quantity of oranges, but they
were neither sweet nor sour, and our men believed they were not ripe;
but when they were dressed after the manner of the country, which they
showed our men, and which was to roast them before the fire, they had an
admirable flavour, and our men brought a great many away to us, and when
we roasted them they exceeded anything of the kind I had ever tasted.

After our men had received what was brought, and shown that the whole
was very acceptable, the king made signs that he would be gone, but
would come again to them the next morning; and, pointing to the queen's
head, where the plate of gold had been that she had given to our men,
intimated that he would bring some of the same with him the next day.
But while he was making these signs, one of his other messengers came
back, and gave the king something into his hand wrapped up, which our
men could not see. As soon as the king had it, as if he had been proud
to show our men that he could make himself and his queen as fine as they
could make him, he undid the parcel, and decked out his queen with a
short thing like a robe, which reached from her neck down to the spotted
skin which she wore before, and so it covered her shoulders and breast.
It was made of an infinite number and variety of feathers, oddly, and
yet very curiously put together; and was spangled all over with little
drops or lumps of gold; some no bigger than a pin's head, which had
holes made through them, and were strung six or seven together, and so
tied on to the feathers; some as big as a large pea, hanging single,
some as big as a horse-bean, and beaten flat, and all hanging
promiscuously among the feathers, without any order or shape, which,
notwithstanding, were very beautiful in the whole, and made the thing
look rich and handsome enough.

As soon as he had thus equipped his queen, he put another upon himself,
which was larger, and had this particular in its shape, that it covered
his arms almost to his elbows, and was so made that it came round under
the arm, and being fastened there with a string, made a kind of sleeve.

As the king's robe, or whatever it may be called, was longer, for it
came down to his waist, so it had a great deal more gold about it, and
larger pieces than that the queen wore. When their majesties had thus
put on their robes, it may be guessed how glorious they looked, but
especially the queen, who being a most charming beautiful creature, as
said before, was much more so when glistening thus with gold. Our men
looked very narrowly to observe whether there were any diamonds or
pearls among their finery, but they could not perceive any.

The king and queen now withdrew for that evening, but their people did
not leave our men so, for they thronged about them; and some brought
them jars of the white liquor, some brought them roots, others fruits,
some one thing, some another; and our men gave every one of them some
small matter or other in proportion to what they brought. At last, there
came four particular tall lusty men, with bows and arrows; but before
they came close up to our men, they laid down their bows and arrows on
the ground, and came forward with all the tokens of friendship they were
able to make.

They had two youths with them, each of whom led a tame fawn of pretty
large growth, and when the men came up, they gave the two fawns to our
men; who, in return, gave each of them a knife, and some strings of
beads, and such toys as they had.

Our men observed, that all these men had little bits of gold, some of
one shape, and some of another, hanging at their ears; and when our men
came to be familiar, they asked them as well as they could, where they
found that stuff? and they made signs to the sand in the river, and then
pointed towards that part of the country where our ships lay, which
signified to our men that the gold was, most of it, where we lay, not
there where the king and queen resided. Nay, when our men pointed again
to the river where they were, and went and took up some of the sand, as
if they would look for gold in it, they made signs of laughing at it,
and that there was nothing to be found there, but that it lay all the
other way.

And yet two or three of the men, who, when the tide was out, went up the
bank of the river, two or three miles upon the sands, peeping and trying
the sands as they went, they found three or four little bits of pure
gold, though not bigger than pins heads; but no doubt farther up the
country they might have found more.

These four men seeing how fond our people were of the gold, made signs
they could fetch gold to them if they would give them such things as
they liked; and ours again told them they should have anything they
pleased; and, as earnest, gave them some pieces of iron and bits of
glass of small value, both which they were much delighted with.

Early in the morning their four customers came again, and brought
several men, who seemed to be servants, along with them, loaden with
refreshments, such as the white water, mentioned above, which they
brought in earthen pots, very hard, made so by the heat of the sun. They
brought also three small deer with them, and a kind of coney or rabbit,
but larger, which our men were very glad of. But that which was above
all the rest, they brought a good quantity of gold-dust, that is to say,
some in small lumps, some in bigger; and one of them had near a pound
weight wrapped up in a piece of coney-skin, which was all so very small
that it was like dust; which, as our men understood afterwards, was
reckoned little worth, because all the lumps had been picked out of it.

Our men, to be sure, were very willing to trade for this commodity, and
therefore they brought out great variety of things to truck with them,
making signs to them to pick out what they liked; but still keeping a
reserve for the king and queen, whom they expected. Above all they had
made a reserve for the king of some extraordinary hatchets, which they
had not yet suffered to be seen, with a hammer or two, and some
drinking-glasses, and the like, with some particular toys for the queen.

But they had variety enough left besides for the four men: who, in
short, bought so many trinkets and trifles, that our men not only got
all the gold they brought, but the very pieces of gold out of their
ears; in return for which our men gave them every one a pair of
ear-rings, to hang about their ears, with a fine drop; some of green
glass, some red, some blue; and they were wonderfully pleased with the
exchange, and went back, we may venture to say, much richer in opinion
than they came.

As soon as these people had done their market, and indeed a little
before, they perceived at a distance the king and queen coming with a
great retinue; so they made signs to our men that they must be gone, and
that they would not have the king know that they had been there.

I must confess, the relation of all this made me very much repent that
I had not happened to have put in there with the ships; though indeed,
as the road lay open to the east and south winds, it might have been
worse another way; I mean, when the storm blew. However, as it is, I
must report this part, from the account given us by my men.

When the king and queen came the second time, they were together, and
dressed up, as our men supposed, with the utmost magnificence, having
the fine feathered spangled things about their shoulders; and the king
had over all his habit, a fine spotted robe of deer skins, neatly joined
together; and which, as he managed it, covered him from head to foot;
and, in short, it was so very beautiful that he really looked like a
king with it.

When he came to our men, and the ceremony of their meeting was over, the
king, turning round, showed them, that he had brought them stores of
provisions; and indeed, so he had; for he had at least fifty men
attending him, loaden with roots, and oranges, and maize, and such
things; in short, he brought them above twenty thousand oranges; a great
parcel of that fruit like a fig, which I mentioned above, and other
fruits. After which another party followed, and brought twenty live
deer, and as many of their rabbits, dead; the latter are as big as our

As they came up, the king made signs to our men to take them; and our
officer making signs to thank his majesty, he ordered one of the queen's
attendants to give him one of the feathered robes, such an one as the
king himself had on; and made mighty fine with lumps and tassels of
gold, as the other. And a tawny lass advancing to him offered to put it
over his head, but he took it in his hand and put it on himself, and
looked as like a jack pudding in it, as any one could desire; for it
made no figure at all upon him, compared to what it did upon the

When they had received all this, they could not but make a suitable
return; and therefore our officer caused his reserve to be brought out;
and first he gave his majesty a dozen of very handsome drinking-glasses
of several sizes; with half a dozen of glass beakers, or cups, to the
queen, for the same use. Then he gave the king a little hanger, and a
belt to wear it by his side; and showed him how to buckle it on and take
it off, and how to draw it out, and put it in again.

This was such a present, and the king was so delighted with it, that
our officer said he believed the king did nothing but draw it and put it
up again, put it on and pull it off, for near two hours together.

Besides this he gave the king three hatchets, and showed him the uses of
them; also two large hammers, and a pair of very strong large shears,
particularly showing him, that with those hammers they might beat out
the gold lumps which they found in the rivers, and with the shears might
cut the edges round, or into what shape they pleased, when they were
beaten thin.

To the queen he gave six little knives, and a dozen small
looking-glasses for her ladies; six pairs of scissors, and a small box
full of large needles; then he gave her some coarse brown thread, and
showed her how to thread the needle, and sew anything together with the
thread; all which she admired exceedingly, and called her tawny maids of
honour about her, that they might learn also. And whilst they were
standing all together, our officer, to divert the king, sewed two of her
women one to another by the lap of their waistcoats, or what else it
might be called; and when they were a little surprised at it, and began,
as he thought, to be a little uneasy, he took the scissors, and at one
snap set them at liberty again, which passed for such an extraordinary
piece of dexterity, that the king would needs have two of them sewed
together again, on purpose to see it cut again. And then the king
desired he might have a needle and thread himself, and a pair of
scissors; then he would sew some things together, and cut them asunder
again several times, and laugh most heartily at the ingenuity of it.

Besides the above things, they gave her majesty a pair of ear-rings to
hang on her ears, the glass in them looking green like an emerald; a
ring of silver, with false stones in it, like a rose diamond ring, the
middle stone red like a ruby, which she went presently and gave to the
king; but our officer made signs that he had one that was bigger for the
king, and accordingly gave the king one much larger; and now they had
done giving presents, as they thought, when the king made a sign to the
queen, which she understood, and, calling one of her women, she brought
a small parcel, which the queen gave our officer into his hand, wherein
was about eleven pounds weight of gold-dust, but, as before, no lumps in

Our men having thus finished their traffick, and being about to come
away, they made signs to the king, that they would come again and bring
him more fine things; at which the king smiled, and pointing to the
gold, as if telling them he would have more of that for them when they
came again.

Our men had now their expectations fully answered; and, as I said, had
ended their traffick; and, taking leave of the king and all his retinue,
retired to their shallop, the king and queen going away to their city as
above. The wind blowing northerly, they were seven days before they got
down to us in the ship; during which time they had almost famished the
deer they had left, five of which they had kept to bring us alive, and
yet they went two or three times on shore to get food for them by the

We were all glad to see them again, and I had a great deal of reason to
be very well satisfied with the account of their traffick, though not
much with their discovery, for they were not able to give us the least
account whether the land was a continent or an island.

But let that be how it will, it is certainly a country yet unfrequented
by any of the Christian part of mankind, and perhaps, may ever be so,
and yet may be as rich as any other part of the world yet discovered.
The mountains in most of the islands, as well as of the mainland in
those parts, abounding in gold or silver, and, no question, as well
worth searching after as the coast of Guinea; where, though the quantity
they find is considerable, yet it is at this time sought after by so
many, and the negroes taught so well how to value it, that but a little
is brought away at a time, and so much given for it, that, computing the
charge of the voyage, is oftentimes more than it is worth.

But though it is true that what gold is found here is a great way off,
yet, I am persuaded such quantities are to be had, and the price given
for it so very trifling, that it would be well worth searching for.

I reckon, that, including the gold our shallop brought, and what we got
on shore where we lay, we brought away about twenty-four pounds weight
of gold; the expense of which we could not value at above ten or eleven
pounds in England, put it all together; and reckoning for all the
provisions we got there, which supplied us for twenty days after we came

For while our shallop was making her visit thus to the royal family,
&c., as is related, our men were not idle on shore, but, partly by trade
with the natives, and by washing the sands in the small rivers, we got
such a quantity of gold as well satisfied us for the stay we made.

We had been about eighteen days here when our shallop returned, and we
stayed a week more trafficking with the people; and I am persuaded, if
we had been in the mind to have settled there and stayed till now, we
should have been very welcome to the people. We saw neither horse or
cow, mule, ass, dog, or cat, or any of our European animals, excepting
that our men shot some wild ducks and widgeons, exactly the same which
we see in England, and very fat and good, but much easier to shoot than
in England, having never been acquainted with the flash and noise of
guns as ours have been; we also found a sort of partridges in the
country not much unlike our own, and a great many of the whistling
plover, the same with ours.

Though this month's stay was unexpected, yet we had no reason to think
our time ill spent. However, we did not think we ought to lie here too
long whatever we got; so we weighed and stood off to sea, steering still
south-east, keeping the shore of this golden country in sight, till our
men told us they found the land fall off to the south. Then we steered
away more southerly for six or eight days, not losing sight of, land all
the time, till by an observation we found we were in the latitude of 34°
30' south of the line, our meridian distance from the Ladrones 22° 30'
east, when a fresh gale of wind springing up at south and by east,
obliged us to haul close for that evening. At night it blew such a storm
that we were obliged to yield to the force of it, and go away afore it
to the north, or north-by-west, till we came to the point of that land
we passed before. Here, the land tending to the west, we ran in under
the lee of a steep shore, and came to an anchor in twenty-five fathoms
water, being the same country we were in before. Here we rode very safe
for five days, the wind continuing to blow very hard all the time from
the south-east.

My men would fain have had me gone ashore again and trafficked with the
people for more gold; but I, who was still in quest of further
discoveries, thought I knew enough of this place to tempt my friend the
merchant, whose favourite design was that of making new discoveries, to
another voyage there, and that was enough for me. So I declined going
on shore again, except that we sent our boats for a recruit of fresh
water; and our men, while they were filling it, shot a brace of deer, as
they were feeding by the side of a swamp or moist ground, and also some
wild ducks. Here we set up a great wooden cross, and wrote on it the
names of our ships and commanders, and the time that we came to an
anchor there.

But we were obliged to a farther discovery of this country than we
intended, by the following accident. We had unmoored early in the
morning, and by eight o'clock were under sail; by ten we had doubled the
point I mentioned above, and stood away south keeping the shore on
board, at the distance of about two leagues west.

The next day, the officer who had been with the shallop, showed us the
opening or mouth where he had put in, and where he had made his traffick
with the king of the country, as said before.

We went on still for two days, and still we found the land extending
itself south, till the third day in the morning, when we were a little
surprised to find ourselves, as it were, embayed, being in the bottom of
a deep gulf, and the land appearing right ahead, distance about three
leagues; the coast having turned away to the east and by south, very
high land and mountainous, and the tops of some of the hills covered
with snow.

Our second mate and the boatswain, upon this discovery, were for coming
about, and sent to me for orders to make signals to the other ship and
our brigantine, who were both ahead, to do the like; but I, who was
willing to acquaint myself as fully as I could with the coast of the
country, which I made no question I should have occasion to come to
again, said, No, no, I will see a little farther first. So I ran on,
having an easy gale at north-east and good weather, till I came within
about a league and a half of the shore, when I found, that in the very
bite or nook of the bay, there was a great inlet of water, which either
must be a passage or strait between the land we had been on shore upon;
which, in that case, must be a great island, or that it must be the
mouth of some extraordinary great river.

This was a discovery too great to be omitted, so I ordered the
brigantine to stand in with an easy sail, and see what account could be
had of the place; accordingly they stood in, and we followed about a
league, and then lay by, waiting their signals. I had particularly
ordered them to keep two boats ahead to sound the depth all the way, and
they did so; and how it happened we knew not, but on a sudden we heard
the sloop fire two guns first, and then one gun; the first was a signal
to us to bring to, and come no farther: the next was a signal of
distress. We immediately tacked to stand off, but found a strong current
setting directly into the bite, and there not being wind enough for us
to stem the current, we let go our anchors in twenty fathoms water.

Immediately we manned out all the boats we had, great and small, to go
and assist our brigantine, not knowing what distress she might be in;
and they found that she had driven up, as we were like to have done, too
far into the channel of a large river, the mouth of which, being very
broad, had several shoals in it: and though she had dropped her anchor
just upon notice, which the boats who were sounding gave her, yet she
tailed aground upon a sand-bank, and stuck fast; our men made no doubt
but she would be lost, and began to think of saving the provisions and
ammunition out of her. The two long boats accordingly began to lighten
her; and first they took in her guns, and let out all her casks of
water: then they began to take in her great shot and the heavy goods.
But by this time they found their mistake, for the current, which I
mentioned, was nothing but a strong tide of flood, which, the indraught
of the river being considerable, ran up with a very great force, and in
something less than an hour the brigantine floated again.

However, she had stuck so long upon the sand, and the force of the
current or tide had been so great, that she received considerable
damage; and had a great deal of water in her hold. I immediately ordered
out boats to row to the land, on both sides, to see if they could find a
good place to lay her on shore in; they obeyed the order, and found a
very convenient harbour in the mouth of a small river, which emptied
itself into the great river about two leagues within the foreland of it,
on the north side, as the river Medway runs into the Thames, within the
mouth of it, on the south, side, only this was not so far up.

Here they ran in the sloop immediately, and the next day we came thither
also; our boats having sounded the whole breadth, of the main river,
and found a very good channel, half a league broad, having from
seventeen to four-and-twenty fathoms water all the way, and very good

Here we found it absolutely necessary to take everything out of the
brigantine to search her bottom, for her lying on shore had strained her
seams, and broke one of her floor timbers; and having hands enough, our
men unloaded her in a very little time, and making a little dock for
her, mended all the damage in about ten days' time. But seeing her in so
good a condition, and the place so convenient, I resolved to have her
whole bottom new calked and cleaned, that we made her as tight as she
was when she first came off the stocks.

This I took for a good opportunity to careen and clean our other ships
too; for we had done little to them since we came from Madagascar. We
found our Madagascar ship much worm-eaten in her sheathing, which we
helped as well as we could by new nailing and by taking out some pieces
of her sheathing, and putting new ones in. But as to our great ship, she
was sheathed with lead, and had received no damage at all; only that she
was very foul, which we remedied by scraping and cleaning, and new
graving her quite over.

We were not all employed in this work, and therefore we had leisure to
make the best of our time for the main work of new discoveries. And now
I resolved to leave it no more to under officers, as I had done before,
viz., when I gave the command of the shallop that traded with the king
and queen, as above, to a midshipman, which I was very sorry for, though
the fellow did his business very well too; but, I say, I resolved not to
trust any one now but myself.

In the first place, I took the two shallops and went across the mouth of
the great river to the south shore, to see what kind of a country was to
be found there. For, as to the north side, where we were, we found it to
be much the same with that part where we had been before; with this
difference only, whereas, in the other place gold was to be had in
plenty, but here was none we could find; nor did we perceive that the
people had any.

I found the mouth of this river, or inlet, to be about four leagues over
where I crossed it, which was about three leagues and a half within the
inlet itself. But the weather being very calm, and the flood-tide
running sharp, we let our boat drive up, in our crossing, about two
leagues more; and we found the channel grew narrow so fast, that, where
we came to land, it was not full a league over; that about three leagues
farther we found it a mere river, not above as broad as the Thames at

We found it a steep shore, and, observing a little creek very convenient
for our purpose, we ran in our boats among some flags or rushes, and
laid them as soft and as safe as if they had been in a dock; we went all
on shore immediately, except two men in each boat left to guard our

We had for arms, every man a musket, a pistol, and a cutlass; and in
each boat we had six half pikes, to use as we might have occasion. We
had also every man a hatchet, hung in a little frog at his belt; and in
each boat a broad axe and a saw.

We were furnished with strings of beads, bits of glass, glass rings,
ear-rings, pearl necklaces, and suchlike jewellery ware innumerable;
besides knives, scissors, needles, pins, looking-glasses,
drinking-glasses, and toys in great plenty.

We were no sooner on shore but we found people in abundance; for there
were two or three, small towns within a little way of the shore; and I
suppose we might have the more people about us, because, as we
understood afterwards, they had seen us before, though we had not seen

We made signs to them, by putting our fingers to our mouths, and moving
our chaps as if we were eating, that we wanted provisions; and we hung
up a white flag for a truce. They presently understood the first signal,
but knew nothing of the last; and as to provisions, just as had been the
case before, they brought us out roots and fruits, such as they ate
themselves, but such as we had never seen before. Some of them, however,
were very sweet and good, and when we boiled them they tasted much like
an English parsnip; and we gave them strings of beads, pieces of glass,
and such things as we remarked they were fond of.

We found the people, as I observed of the other, very inoffensive and
sincere; not quarrelsome, nor treacherous, nor mischievous in the least.
And we took care not so much as to let them know the use or manner of
our fire-arms for a great while; neither was there one piece fired all
the time we were among the other people, where we had so much gold. If
there had, it had been very probable that they would have fled the
country, in spite of all the good usage we could have been able to have
shown them.

The people where we were now were not so rich in gold as those where we
were before, but we found them much better stored with provisions; for
besides deer, of which they had great plenty and variety, for they had
some of a sort which I had never seen before, and besides an infinite
number of those rabbits I have mentioned, which were as big as our
hares, and which do not burrow in the ground as our rabbits do, they had
also a kind of sheep, large, (like those of Peru, where they are used to
carry burdens), and very good. They have no wool nor horns, but are
rather hairy like a goat; nor should I call them sheep, but that their
flesh eats like mutton, and I knew not what else to call them. The
natives called them huttash; but what breed, or from what part of the
world, or whether peculiar to this division alone, I know not.

However, their flesh was very agreeable, and they were fat and good; and
as the Indians were mightily pleased with the price we paid them, and
the goods we paid them in, they brought us more of these huttashes than
we knew what to do with; and as I can calculate the rate, I suppose we
might have them for about eight-pence, or sometimes not above sixpence
cost each; for they would give us one very thankfully for a string or
two of small beads, and think themselves mighty well paid.

I found them so plentiful, and so easy to come at, that in short I sent
fifty of them alive, tied neck and heels, in one of the shallops back to
our ships, and ordered them to send their long-boats over for more; for
though it was so little a way over, we did not find they had any of them
on that side the river.

We did the Indians another piece of service, for, if they gave us meat,
we taught them to be cooks, for we showed them how to roast it upon a
stick or spit before the fire; whereas they ate all their meat before,
either stewed in earthen pots over the fire, with herbs, such as we did
not understand, or thrown on burning fuel of green wood, which always
made it taste and stink of the smoke most intolerably.

We had a great deal of opportunity now to converse with the people on
both sides the river; and we found them to be not only different
nations, but of different speech and different customs. These on the
south side, where I now was, seemed to be the best furnished with
provisions, and to live in the greatest plenty. But those on the north
side appeared better clothed, and a more civilized sort of people; and
of the two, seemed to have in their countenances something more

However, as they were near neighbours, for the river only parted them,
they were not very much unlike each other. That which seemed most
strange to me was, that we found they had little knowledge or
communication one with another. They had indeed some boats in the river,
but they were very small, and rather served to just waft them over, or
to fish in them, than for any other use; for we found none that could
carry above four men, and those very oddly made, partly as a canoe, by
hollowing a tree, and partly by skins of beasts, dried and stuck on in
such a manner that they would paddle along at a great rate with them.

For want of understanding their language I could come at no knowledge of
their religion or worship; nor did I see any idols among them, or any
adoration paid to the sun or moon. But yet, as a confirmation that all
nations, however barbarous, have some notion of a God, and some awe of a
superior power, I observed here, that, in making a bargain with one of
the principal men, (such I perceived him to be by the respect the rest
showed him), I say, being making a bargain with him, as well as could be
done between two people who understood not one word of what either said,
he had made signs to bring me twelve sheep the next morning, for some
things that I was to deliver him of mine. I am sure the goods were not
all of them of value sufficient to give me the least distrust; but when
I gave him the goods without the sheep, being, as I said, to trust him
till the next day, he called two men to him, and pointing to the goods
that I had put into his hands, he tells upon his fingers twelve, letting
them know, as I supposed, that he was to give me twelve sheep the next
day in return, and so far it appeared they were to be witnesses of the
agreement. He then placed his two hands, one upon each breast, with the
fingers turned up towards his face, and holding them thus he looked
towards heaven, with his face turned upward also, and with the utmost
gravity, seriousness, and solemnity in his countenance that ever I saw
in any man's face in my life, he moved his lips in the action of
speaking. When he had continued in this posture about a quarter of a
minute, he took the two men, and put them in the same attitude, and then
pointed to me, and next to himself; by which I understood, first, that
he solemnly swore to me that he would bring the sheep punctually and
faithfully to me, and then brought the two men to be bail or security
for the performance; that is to say, to oblige themselves to perform it
if he did not.

Doubtless those people who have any notion of a God must represent him
to themselves as something superior, and something that sees, and hears,
and knows what they say or do. Whether these people meant the sun, or
the moon, or the stars, or other visible object, or whatever else, I do
not pretend to determine, but it is certain they understood it to be
something to swear by; something that could bear witness of their
engagement, and that being called to witness it would resent their
breach of promise if they made it. As to those whose gods are monsters,
and hideous shapes, frightful images, and terrible figures, the motive
of their adoration being that of mere terror, they have certainly gross
ideas; but these people seem to act upon a more solid foundation, paying
their reverence in a manner much more rational, and to something which
it was much more reasonable to worship, as appeared in the solemnity of
their countenances, and their behaviour in making a solemn promise.

We found those people clothed, generally speaking, over their whole
bodies, their heads, arms, legs and feet excepted, but not so agreeably
as those we mentioned above; and we found that the clothing of these
were generally made of the skins of beasts, but very artfully put
together, so that though they had neither needle nor thread, yet they
had the same plant as I mentioned before, the stalk of which would so
strongly tie like a thread, that they peeled it off thicker or finer as
they had occasion, and made use of it abundance of ways to tie and
twist, and make their clothes with it, as well for their occasion as if
it had been woven in a loom.

We found several of these people had little bits of gold about them; but
when we made signs to them to know where they got it, and where it might
be had, they made signs to us, pointing to the country on the north side
of the river; so that we had, it seems, fallen upon the right gold
coast in our first coming. They pointed indeed likewise to some very
high mountains, which we saw at a great distance south-west, so that it
seems as if there was gold found that way also; but it appeared the
people here had not much of it for their share.

The men here had bows and arrows, and they used them so dexterously,
that a wild goose flying over our heads, one of the Indians shot it
quite through with an arrow. One of our men was so provoked to see them,
as it were, to outdo him, that, some time after, seeing a couple of
ducks flying fair for a mark, he presented his piece, and shot them both

I was very angry when I heard the gun; had I been there he had never got
leave to fire; however, when it was done, I was pleased well enough to
see the effect it had upon these poor innocent well-meaning people. At
first it frightened them to the last degree, and I may truly say it
frightened them out of their senses, for they that were near it started
so violently, that they fell down and lay speechless for some time;
those that were farther off ran away, as if it had been some new kind of
lightning and thunder, and came out of the earth instead of out of the
clouds; but when they saw the two creatures fall down dead from above,
and could see nothing that flew upward to kill them, they were perfectly
astonished, and laid their two hands on their breasts and looked up to
heaven, as if they were saying their prayers, in the most solemn manner

However, this accident gave them terrible ideas of us, and I was afraid
at first they would run all away from us through fear. I therefore used
them after it with all the kindness and tenderness imaginable, gave them
every day some trifle or other, which, though of no value to me, they
were exceedingly fond of; and we asked nothing of them in return but
provisions, of which they had great plenty, and gave us enough every day
to satisfy us. As for drink, they had none of the milky liquor which we
had in the other part of the country, but they had a root which they
steeped in water, and made it taste hot, as if pepper had been in it,
which made it so strong, that though it would not make our men drunk, it
was worse, for it made them nearly mad.

I was so pleased with these people that I came over to them every other
day, and some of our men lay on shore, under a sail pitched for a tent;
and they were so safe, that at last they kept no watch, for the poor
people neither thought any harm, nor did any; and we never gave them the
least occasion to apprehend anything from us, at least not till our man
fired the gun, and that only let them know we were able to hurt them,
without giving them the least suspicion that we intended it; on the
contrary, one of our men played an odd prank with a child, and fully
satisfied them that we would do them no harm. This man having seen one
of their children, a little laughing speechless creature, of about two
years old, the mother having gone from it a little way, on some
particular occasion, the fellow took it and led it home to the tent, and
kept it there all night.

The next morning, he dressed it up with beads and jewels wondrous fine,
a necklace about its neck, and bracelets of beads about its wrists, and
several strings of beads wrapped up and tied in its hair, having fed it
and laid it to sleep, and made much of it.

In this figure he carried it up in his arms to the Indian's hut where he
had found it, and where there had been a lamentable outcry for the child
all the night, the mother crying and raising her neighbours, and in a
most strange concern.

But when some of the women, her neighbours, saw the child brought back,
there was a contrary extreme of joy; and the mother of it being fetched,
she fell a-jumping and dancing to see her child, but also making so many
odd gestures, as that our men could not well know for awhile whether she
was pleased or not: the reason it seems was, she did not know whether to
hope or fear, for she did not know whether the man would give back her
child or take it away again.

But when the man who had the child in his arms had been told by signs
that this was the mother, he beckoned to have her come to him, and she
came, but trembling for fear. Then he took the child, and kissing it two
or three times, gave it her into her arms. But it is impossible to
express by words the agony the poor woman was in; she took the child,
and holding it in her arms fixed her eyes upon it without motion, or, as
it were, without life, for a good while; then she took it and embraced
it in the most passionate manner imaginable; when this was over, she
fell a-crying so vehemently till she sobbed; and all this while spoke
not one word. When the crying had given sufficient vent to her passion,
then she fell a-dancing and making a strange odd noise, that cannot be
described, and at last she left the child, and came back to the place
where our men were, and to the man that brought her child, and, as soon
as she came up to him, she fell flat on the ground, as I have described
above the queen and her women did, and up again immediately; and thus
she did three times, which it seems was her acknowledgment to him for
bringing it back.

The next day, for her gratitude did not end here, she came down to our
tent, and brought with her two sheep, with a great back-burden of roots
of the kind which I said the natives steep in the water, and several
fruits of the country, as much as two men who came with her could carry,
and these she gave all to the man who had brought back her child. Our
men were so moved at the affectionate carriage of this poor woman to her
infant, that they told me it brought tears from their eyes.

The man who received the present took the woman and dressed her up
almost as fine as he had done the child, and she went home like a kind
of a queen among them.

We observed while we stayed here that this was a most incomparable soil;
that the earth was a fat loamy mould; that the herbage was strong; that
the grass in some places was very flourishing and good, being as high as
our mid-thigh; and that the air was neither very hot, nor, as we
believed, very cold. We made an experiment of the fruitfulness of the
soil, for we took some white peas, and digging the ground up with a
spade, we sowed some, and before we went away we saw them come out of
the ground again, which was in about nine days.

We made signs to the people that they should let them grow, and that if
they gathered them they were good to eat; we also sowed some English
wheat, and let them know, as well as we could, what the use of them both
was. But I make no doubt but they have been better acquainted with, both
by this time, by an occasion which followed.

Our men were so fond of this place, and so pleased with the temper of
the people, the fruitfulness of the soil, and agreeableness of the
climate, that about twenty of them offered me, if I would give them my
word to come again, or send to them to relieve and supply them with
necessaries, they would go on shore and begin a colony, and live all
their days there. Nay, after this, their number came up to
three-and-thirty; or they offered, that, if I would give them the
sloop, and leave them a quantity of goods, especially of such toys as
they knew would oblige the people to use them well, they would stay at
all hazards, not doubting, as they told me, but they should come to
England again at last, with the sloop full of gold.

I was not very willing to encourage either of these proposals, because,
as I told them, I might perhaps find a place as fit to settle a colony
in before we came home, which was not at such an excessive distance from
England, so that it was scarce possible ever to relieve them. This
satisfied them pretty well, and they were content to give over the
project; and yet, at last, which was more preposterous than all the
rest, five of our men and a boy ran away from us and went on shore, and
what sort of life they led, or how they managed, we could not tell, for
they were too far off us to inquire after them again. They took a small
yawl with them, and it seems had furnished themselves privately with
some necessary things, especially, tools, a grindstone, a barrel of
powder, some peas, some wheat, and some barley; so that it seems they
are resolved to plant there. I confess I pitied them, and when I had
searched for them, and could not find them, I caused a letter to be
written to them, and fixed it upon a post at the place where our ship
careened; and another letter on the south side, to tell them that in
such a certain place I had left other necessaries for them, which I did,
made up in a large case of boards or planks, and covered with boards
like a shed.

Here I left them hammocks for lodging, all sorts of tools for building
them a house, spades, shovels, pickaxes, an axe, and two saws, with
clothes, shoes, stockings, hats, shirts, and, in a word, every thing
that I could think of for their use; and a large box of toys, beads,
&c., to invite the natives to trade with them.

One of our men, whom they had made privy to their design, but made him
promise not to reveal it until they were gone, had told them that he
would persuade me, if he could, to leave them a farther supply; and bade
them come to the place after the ships were gone, and that they should
find directions left for them on a piece of a board, or a letter from
him set up upon a post. Thus they were well furnished with all things
for immediate living.

I make no doubt but they came to find these things; and, since they had
a mind to make trial of a wild retired life, they might shift very well;
nor would they want anything but English women to raise a new nation of
English people, in a part of the world that belongs neither to Europe,
Asia, Africa, or America. I also left them every man another gun, a
cutlass, and a horn for powder; and I left two barrels of fine powder,
and two pigs of lead for shot, in another chest by itself.

I doubt not but the natives will bestow wives upon them, but what sort
of a posterity they will make, I cannot foresee, for I do not find by
inquiry that the fellows had any great store of knowledge or religion in
them, being all Madagascar men, as we called them, that is to say,
pirates and rogues; so that, for aught I know, there may be a generation
of English heathens in an age or two more; though I left them five
Bibles, and six or seven Prayer-books, and good books of several sorts,
that they might not want instruction, if they thought fit to make use of
it for themselves or their progeny.

It is true, that this is a country that is remote from us of any in the
yet discovered world, and consequently it would be suggested as
unprofitable to our commerce; but I have something to allege in its
defence, which will prove it to be infinitely more advantageous to
England than any of our East India trade can be, or that can be
pretended for it. The reason is plain in a few words; our East India
trade is all carried on, or most part of it, by an exportation of
bullion in specie, and a return of foreign manufactures or produce; and
most of these manufactures also, either trifling and unnecessary in
themselves, or such as are injurious to our own manufactures. The solid
goods brought from India, which may be said to be necessary to us, and
worth sending our money for, are but few; for example,

1. The returns which I reckon trifling and unnecessary, are such as
China ware, coffee, tea, Japan work, pictures, fans, screens, &c.

2. The returns that are injurious to our manufactures, or growth of our
own country, are printed calicoes, chintz, wrought silks, stuffs, of
herbs and barks, block-tin, sugar, cotton, arrack, copper, and indigo.

3. The necessary or useful things are, pepper, saltpetre, dying-woods
and dying-earths, drugs, lacs, such as shell-lac, stick-lac, &c.,
diamonds, some pearl, and raw-silk.

For all these we carry nothing or very little but money, the
innumerable nations of the Indies, China, &c., despising our
manufactures, and filling us with their own.

On the contrary, the people in the southern unknown countries, being
first of all very numerous, and living in a temperate climate, which
requires clothing, and having no manufactures, or materials for
manufactures, of their own, would consequently take off a very great
quantity of English woollen manufactures, especially when civilized by
our dwelling among them, and taught the manner of clothing themselves
for their ease and convenience; and, in return for these manufactures,
it is evident we should have gold in specie, and perhaps spices, the
best merchandise and return in the world.

I need say no more to excite adventurous heads to search out a country
by which such an improvement might be made, and which would be such an
increase of, or addition to, the wealth and commerce of our country.

Nor can it be objected here, that this nook of the country may not
easily be found by any one but by us, who have been there before, and
perhaps not by us again exactly; for, not to enter into our journal of
observations for their direction, I lay it down as a foundation, that
whoever sailing over the South Seas keeps a stated distance from the
tropic, to the latitude of 56 to 60°, and steers eastward towards the
Straits of Magellan, shall never fail to discover new worlds, new
nations, and new inexhaustible funds of wealth and commerce, such as
never were yet known to the merchants of Europe.

This is the true ocean called the South Sea; that part which we
corruptly call so can be so in no geographical account, or by any rule,
but by the mere imposition of custom, it being only originally called
so, because they that sailed to it were obliged to go round the
southernmost part of America to come into it; whereas it ought indeed to
be called the West Sea, as it lies on the west side of America, and
washes the western shore of that great continent for near eight thousand
miles in length; to wit, from 56° south of the line to 70° north, and
how much farther we know not; on this account I think it ought to be
called the American Ocean, rather than with such impropriety the South

But this part of the world where we were may rightly be called the South
Sea, by way of distinction, as it extends from India round the globe,
to India again, and lies all south of the line even, for aught we know,
to the very South Pole, and which, except some interposition of land,
whether islands or continent, really surrounds the South Pole.

We were now in the very centre or middle of this South Sea, being, as I
have said, in the latitude of 34° 20'; but having had such good success
in our inquiry or search after new continents, I resolved to steer to
the south and south-east, as far as till we should be interrupted by
land or ice, determining to search this unknown part of the globe as far
as nature would permit, that I might be able to give some account to my
employers, and some light to other people that might come that way,
whether by accident or by design.

We had spent six-and-twenty days in this place, as well in repairing our
brigantine and careening, as trimming our ship; we had not been so long,
but, that we did not resolve to careen our ships till we had spent ten
days about the brigantine, and then we found more work to do to the
sheathing of the Madagascar ship than we expected.

We stored ourselves here with fresh provisions and water, but got
nothing that we could properly call a store, except the flesh of about
thirty deer, which we dried in the sun, and which proved indifferently
good afterwards, but not extraordinary.

We sailed again the six-and-twentieth day after we came in, having a
fair wind at north and north-north-west, and a fresh gale which held us
five days without intermission; in which time, running away south and
south-south-east, we reached the former latitude, where we had been, and
meeting with nothing remarkable, we steered a little farther to the
eastward; but keeping a southerly course still, till we came into the
latitude of 41°, and then going due east, with the wind at north and by
west, we reckoned our meridian distance from the Ladrones, to be 50°

In all this run we saw no land, so we hauled two points more southerly,
and went on for six or seven days more; when one of our men on the round
top, cried Land! It was a clear fine morning, and the land he espied
being very high, it was found to be sixteen leagues distance; and the
wind slackening, we could not get in that night, so we lay by till
morning, when being fair with the land, we hoisted our boat to go and
sound the shore, as usual. The men rowed in close with the shore and
found a little cove, where there was good riding, but very deep water,
being no less than sixty fathoms within cable's length of the shore.

We went in, however, and after we were moored sent our boat on shore to
look for water, and what else the country afforded. Our men found water,
and a good sort of country, but saw no inhabitants; and, upon coasting a
little both ways on the shore, they found it to be an island, and
without people; but said that about three leagues off to the southward,
there seemed to be a Terra Firma, or continent of land, where it was
more likely we should make some discovery.

The next day we filled water again, and shot some ducks, and the day
after weighed and stood over for the main, as we thought it to be. Here,
using the same caution as we always had done, viz., of sounding the
coast, we found a bold shore and very good anchor hold, in
six-and-twenty to thirty fathoms.

When we came on shore, we found people, but of a quite different
condition from those we had met with before, being wild, furious, and
untractable; surprised at the sight of us, but not intimidated;
preparing for battle, not for trade; and no sooner were we on shore but
they saluted us with their bows and arrows. We made signals of truce to
them, but they did not understand us, and we knew not what to offer them
more but the muzzles of our muskets; for we were resolved to see what
sort of folks they were, either by fair means or foul.

The first time, therefore, that they shot at our men with their bows and
arrows, we returned the salute with our musket-ball, and kill two of
their foremost archers. We could easily perceive that the noise of our
pieces terrified them, and the two men being killed, they knew not how,
or with what, perfectly astonished them; so that they ran, as it were,
clean out of the country, that is to say, clean out of our reach, for we
could never set our eyes upon them after it. We coasted this place also,
according to our usual custom; and, to our great surprise, found it was
an island too, though a large one; and that the mainland lay still more
to the southward, about six leagues distance, so we resolved to look out
farther, and accordingly set sail the next day, and anchored under the
shore of this last land, which we were persuaded was really the main.

We went on shore here peaceably, for we neither saw any people, or the
appearance of any, but a charming pleasant valley, of about ten or
eleven miles long, and five or six miles broad; and then it was
surrounded with mountains, which reached the full length, running
parallel with the valley, and closing it in to the sea at both ends; so
that it was a natural park, having the sea on the north side, and the
mountains in a semicircle round all the rest of it. These hills were so
high, and the ways so untrod and so steep, that our men, who were
curious enough to have climbed up to the top of them, could find no way
that was practicable to get up, and after two or three attempts gave it

In this vale we found abundance of deer, and abundance of the same kind
of sheep which I mentioned lately. We killed as many of both as we had
occasion for; and, finding nothing here worth our staying any longer
for, except that we saw something like wild rice growing here, we
weighed after three days, and stood away still to the south.

We had not sailed above two days with little wind and an easy sail, when
we perceived this also was an island, though it must be a large one;
for, by our account, we sailed near a hundred and fifty miles along the
shore of it, and we found the south part a flat pleasant country enough;
and our men said they saw people upon it on the south side, but we went
not on shore there any more.

Steering due south from hence in quest of the mainland, we went on
eleven days more, and saw nothing significant, and, upon a fair
observation, I found we were in the latitude of 47° 8' south; then I
altered my course a little to the eastward, finding no land, and the
weather very cold, and going on with a fresh gale at south-south-west
for four days, we made land again; but it was now to the
east-north-east, so that we were gotten, as we may say, beyond it.

We fell in with this land in the evening, so that it was not perceived
till we were within half a league of it, which very much alarmed us, the
land being low; and having found our error, we brought to and stood off
and on till morning, when we saw the shore lie, as it were, under our
larboard bow, within a mile and a quarter distance, the land low, but
the sea deep and soft ground. We came to anchor immediately, and sent
our shallops to sound the shore, and the men found very good riding in a
little bay, under the shelter of two points of land, one of which made a
kind of hook, under which we lay secure from all winds that could blow,
in seventeen fathoms good ground. Here we had a good observation, and
found ourselves in the latitude of 50° 21'. Our next work was to find
water, and our boats going on shore, found plenty of good water and some
cattle, but told us they could give no account what the cattle were, or
what they were like. In searching the coast, we soon found this was an
island also, about eleven leagues in length, from north-west to
south-east, what breadth we could not tell. Our men also saw some signs
of inhabitants. The next day six men appeared at a distance, but would
take notice of no signals, and fled as soon as our men advanced. Our
people went up to the place were they lay, and found they had made a
fire of some dry wood; that they had laid there, as they suppose, all
night, though without covering. They found two pieces of old ragged
skins of deer, which looked as if worn out by some that had used them
for clothing, and one piece of a skin of some other creature, which had
been rolled up into a cap for the head; also a couple of arrows of about
four feet long, very thick, and made of a hard and heavy wood; so they
must have very large and strong bows to shoot such arrows, and
consequently must be men of an uncommon strength.

Our men wandered about the country three or four days, with less caution
than the nature of their situation required; for they were not among a
people of an innocent, inoffensive temper here, as before, but among a
wild, untractable nation, that perhaps had never seen creatures in their
own likeness before, and had no thought of themselves but of being
killed and destroyed, and consequently had no thought of those they had
seen but as of enemies, whom they must either destroy, if they were
able, or escape from them if they were not. However, we got no harm,
neither would the natives ever appear to accept any kindnesses from us.

We had no business here, after we found what sort of people they were
who inhabited this place; so, as soon as we had taken in fresh water,
and caught some fish, of which we found good store in the bay or harbour
where we rode, we prepared to be gone. Here we found the first oysters
that we saw anywhere in the South Seas; and, as our men found them but
the day before we were to sail, they made great entreaty to me to let
them stay one day to get a quantity on board, they being very
refreshing, as well as nourishing, to our men.

But I was more easily prevailed with to stay, when Captain Merlotte
brought me, out of one oyster that he happened to open, a true oriental
pearl, so large and so fine, that I sold it, since my return, for
three-and-fifty pounds.

After taking this oyster, I ordered all our boats out a dredging, and in
two days' time so great a quantity there was, that our men had taken
above fifty bushels, most of them very large. But we were surprised and
disappointed, when, at the opening all those oysters, we found not one
pearl, small or great, of any kind whatever, so we concluded that the
other was a lucky hit only, and that perhaps there might not be any more
of that kind in these seas.

While we were musing on the oddness of this accident, the boatswain of
the Madagascar ship, whose boat's crew had brought in the great oyster
in which the pearl was found, and who had been examining the matter,
came and told me that it was true that their boat had brought in the
oyster, and that it was before they went out a dredging in the offing,
but that their boat took these oysters on the west side of the island,
where they had been _shoring_, as they called it, that is to say,
coasting along the shore, to see if they could find anything worth their
labour, but that afterwards the boats went a dredging in the mouth of
the bay where we rode, and where, finding good store of oysters, they
had gone no farther.

Upon this intelligence we ordered all hands to dredging again, on the
west side of the island. This was in a narrow channel, between this
island and a little cluster of islands which we found together extended
west, the channel where our men fished might be about a league over, or
something better, and the water about five or seven fathoms deep.

They came home well tired and ill pleased, having taken nothing near so
many oysters, as before; but I was much better pleased, when, in opening
them, we found a hundred and fifty-eight pearls, of the most perfect
colour, and of extraordinary shape and size, besides double the number
of a less size, and irregular shape.

This quickened our diligence, and encouraged our men, for I promised
the men two pieces of eight to each man above his pay, if I got any
considerable quantity of pearl. Upon this they spread themselves among
the islands, and fished for a whole week, and I got such a quantity of
pearl as made it very well worth our while; and, besides that, I had
reason to believe the men, at least the officers who went with them,
concealed a considerable quantity among themselves; which, however, I
did not think fit to inquire very strictly after at that time.

Had we been nearer home, and not at so very great an expense, as three
ships, and so many men at victuals and wages, or had we been where we
might have left one of our vessels to fish, and have come to them again,
we would not have given it over while there had been an oyster left in
the sea, or, at least, that we could come at: but as things stood, I
resolved to give it over, and put to sea.

But when I was just giving orders, Captain Merlotte came to me, and told
me that all the officers in the three ships had joined together to make
an humble petition to me, which was, that I would give them one day to
fish for themselves; that the men had promised that, if I would consent,
they would work for them gratis; and likewise, if they gained anything
considerable, they would account for as much out of their wages as
should defray the ships' expense, victuals, and wages, for the day.

This was so small a request, that I readily consented to it, and told
them I would give them three days, provided they were willing to give
the men a largess, as I had done, in proportion to their gain. This they
agreed to, and to work they went; but whether it was that the fellows
worked with a better will, or that the officers gave them more liquor,
or that they found a new bank of oysters, which had not been found out
before, but so it was, that the officers got as many pearls, and some of
extraordinary size and beauty, as they afterwards sold, when they came
to Peru, for three thousand two hundred and seventeen pieces of eight.

When they had done this, I told them it was but right that, as they had
made so good a purchase for themselves by the labour of the men, the men
should have the consideration which I had proposed to them. But now I
would make another condition with them, that we would stay three days
more, and whatever was caught in these three days should be shared among
the men at the first port we came at, where they could be sold, that the
men who had now been out so long might have something to buy clothes and
liquors, without anticipating their wages; but then I made a condition
with the men too, viz., that whatever was taken they should deposit it
in my hands, and with the joint trust of three men of their own
choosing, one out of each ship, and that we would sell the pearl, and I
should divide the money among them equally, that so there might be no
quarrelling or discontent, and that none of them should play any part of
it away. These engagements they all came willingly into, and away they
went a dredging, relieving one another punctually, so that in the three
whole days every man worked an equal share of hours with the rest.

But the poor men had not so good luck for themselves as they had for
their officers. However, they got a considerable quantity, and some very
fine ones; among the rest they had two in the exact shape of a pear, and
very exactly matched; and these they would needs make me a present of,
because I had been so kind to them to make the proposal for them. I
would have paid for them two hundred pieces of eight, but one and all,
they would not be paid, and would certainly have been very much troubled
if I had not accepted of them. And yet the success of the men was not so
small but, joined with the two pieces of eight a man which I allowed
them on the ships' account, and the like allowance the officers made
them, and the produce of their own purchase, they divided afterwards
about fifteen pieces of eight a man, which was a great encouragement to

Thus we spent in the whole, near three weeks here, and called these the
Pearl Islands, though we had given no names to any of the places before.
We were the more surprised with this unexpected booty, because we all
thought it very unusual to find pearl of so excellent a kind in such a
latitude as that of 49 to 50°; but it seems there are riches yet unknown
in those parts of the world, where they have never been yet expected,
and I have been told, by those who pretend to give a reason for it, that
if there was any land directly under the poles, either south or north,
there would be found gold of a fineness more than double to any that was
ever yet found in the world: and this is the reason, they say, why the
magnetic influence directs to the poles, that being the centre of the
most pure metals, and why the needle touched with the loadstone or
magnet always points to the north or south pole. But I do not recommend
this, as a certainty, because it is evident no demonstration could ever
be arrived at, nor could any creature reach to that particular spot of
land under the pole, if such there should be, those lands being
surrounded with mountains of snow and frozen seas, which never thaw, and
are utterly impassable either for ships or men.

But to return to our voyage; having thus spent as I have said, three
weeks on this unexpected expedition, we set sail, and as I was almost
satisfied with the discoveries we had made, I was for bending my course
due east and so directly for the south part of America; but the winds
now blowing fresh from the north-west, and good weather, I took the
occasion as a favourable summons, to keep still on southing as well as
east till we came into the latitude of 56°, when our men, who had been
all along a warm weather voyage, began to be pinched very much with the
cold, and particularly complained that they had no clothes sufficient
for it.

But they were brought to be content by force; for the wind continuing at
north and north-north-west, and blowing very hard, we were obliged to
keep on our course farther south, indeed, than I ever intended, and one
of the men swore we should be driven to the south pole. Indeed, we
rather ran afore it than kept our course, and in this run we suffered
the extremest cold, though a northerly wind in those latitudes is the
warm wind, as a southerly is here; but it was attended with rain and
snow, and both freezing violently. At length one of our men cried out,
Land, and our men began to rejoice; but I was quite of a different
opinion, and my fears were but too just, for as soon as ever he cried
Land, and that I asked him in what quarter, and he answered due south,
which was almost right ahead, I gave orders to wear the ship, and put
her about immediately, not doubting but instead of land I should find it
a mountain of ice, and so it was; and it was happy for us that we had a
stout ship under us, for it blew a fret of wind. However, the ship came
very well about, though when she filled again, we found the ice not half
a league distance under our stern.

As I happened to be the headmost ship, I fired two guns to give notice
to our other vessels, for that was our signal to come about, but that
which was very uneasy to me, the weather was hazy, and they were both
out of sight; which was the first time that we lost one another in those
seas; however, being both to windward, and within hearing of my guns,
they took the warning, and came about with more leisure and less hazard
than I had done.

I stood away now to the eastward, firing guns continually, that they
might know which way to follow; and they answered me duly, to let me
know that they heard me.

It was our good fortune also, that it was day when we were so near
running into this danger. In the afternoon the wind abated, and the
weather cleared up; we then called a council, and resolved to go no
farther south, being then in the latitude of 67° south, which I suppose
is the farthest southern latitude that any European ship ever saw in
those seas.

That night it froze extremely hard, and the wind veering to the
south-west, it was the severest cold that ever I felt in my life; a
barrel or cask of water, which stood on the deck, froze entirely in one
night into one lump, and our cooper, knocking off the hoops from the
cask, took it to pieces, and the barrel of ice stood by itself, in the
true shape of the vessel it had been in. This wind was, however,
favourable to our deliverance, for we stood away now north-east and
north-east-by-north, making fresh way with a fair wind.

We made no more land till we came into the latitude of 62°, when we saw
some islands at a great distance, on both sides of us; we believed them
to be islands, because we saw many of them with large openings between.
But we were all so willing to get into a warmer climate, that we did not
incline to put in anywhere, till, having run thus fifteen days and the
wind still holding southerly, with small alteration and clear weather,
we could easily perceive the climate to change, and the weather grow
milder. And here taking an observation, I found we were in the latitude
of 50° 30', and that our meridian distance from the Ladrones west was
87°, being almost one semi-diameter of the globe, so that we could not
be far from the coast of America, which was my next design, and indeed
the chief design of the whole voyage.

On this expectation I changed my course a little, and went away
north-by-east, till by an observation I found myself in 47° 7', and then
standing away east for about eleven days more, we made the tops of the
Andes, the great mountains of Chili, in South America, to our great joy
and satisfaction, though at a very great distance.

We found our distance from the shore not less than twenty leagues, the
mountains being so very high; and our next business was to consider what
part of the Andes it must be, and to what port we should direct
ourselves first. Upon the whole, we found we were too much to the south
still, and resolved to make directly for the river or port of Valdivia,
or Baldivia, as it is sometimes called, in the latitude of 40°; so we
stood away to the north. The next day the pacific, quiet sea, as it is
termed, showed us a very frowning rough countenance, and proved the very
extreme of a contrary disposition; for it blew a storm of wind at
east-by-south, and drove us off the coast again, but it abated again for
a day or two; and then for six days together it blew excessive hard,
almost all at east, so that I found no possibility of getting into the
shore; and besides, I found that the winds came off that mountainous
country in squalls, and that the nearer we came to the hills the gusts
were the more violent. So I resolved to run for the island of Juan
Fernandez, to refresh ourselves there until the weather was settled; and
besides, we wanted fresh water very much.

The little that the wind stood southerly helped me in this run, and we
came in five days more, fair with the island, to our great joy, and
brought all our ships to an anchor as near the watering-place as is
usual, where we rode easy, though, the wind continued to blow very hard;
and being, I say, now about the middle of our voyage, I shall break off
my account here, as of the first part of my work, and begin again at our
departure from hence.

It is true, we had got over much the greater run, as to length of way;
but the most important part of our voyage was yet to come, and we had no
inconsiderable length to run neither, for as we purposed to sail north,
the height of Panama, in the latitude of 9° north, and back again by
Cape Horn, in the latitude of, perhaps, 60° south, and that we were now
in 40° south; those three added to the run, from Cape Horn home to
England made a prodigious length, as will be seen by this following
account, in which also the meridian distances are not all reckoned,
though those also are very great.

From Juan Fernandez to the Line                         30

From the Line to Panama                                  9

From Panama to Cape Horn, including the distance
we take in going round                                  60

From Cape Horn to the Line again in the North Seas      60

From the Line to England                                51
                                                       210 Deg.

N.B. There must be deducted from this account the distance from Lima to
Panama, because we did not go up to Panama, as we intended to do.

By this account we had almost 30° to run more than a diameter of the
globe, besides our distance west, where we then were, from the meridian
of England, whither we were to go; which, if exactly calculated, is
above 70°, take it from the island of Juan Fernandez.

But to return a little to our stay in this place, for that belongs to
this part of my account, and of which I must make a few short

It was scarce possible to restrain Englishmen, after so long beating the
sea, from going on shore when they came to such a place of refreshment
as this; nor indeed was it reasonable to restrain them, considering how
we all might be supposed to stand in need of refreshment, and
considering that here was no length of ground for the men to wander in,
no liquors to come at to distract them with their excess, and, which was
still more, no women to disorder or debauch them. We all knew their
chief exercise would be hunting goats for their subsistence, and we knew
also, that, however they wanted the benefit of fresh provision, they
must work hard to catch it before they could taste the sweet of it. Upon
these considerations, I say, our ships being well moored, and riding
safe, we restrained none of them, except a proper number to take care of
each ship; and those were taken out by lot, and then had their turn also
to go on shore some days afterwards, and in the mean time had both fresh
water and fresh meat sent them immediately, and that in sufficient
quantity to their satisfaction. As soon as we were on shore, and had
looked about us, we began first with getting some fresh water, for we
greatly wanted it. Then carrying a small cask of arrack on shore, I made
a quantity of it be put into a whole butt of water before I let our men
drink a drop; so correcting a little the chilness of the water, because
I knew they would drink an immoderate quantity, and endanger their
healths, and the effect answered my care; for, those who drank at the
spring where they took in the water, before I got this butt filled, and
before the arrack was put into it, fell into swoonings and faint sweats,
having gorged themselves too much with the cool water; and two or three
I thought would have died, but our surgeons took such care of them, that
they recovered.

While this was doing, others cut down branches of trees and built us two
large booths, and five or six smaller, and we made two tents with some
old sails; and thus we encamped, as if we had been to take up our
dwelling, and intended to people the island.

At the same time, others of our men began to look out for goats, for it
may be believed we all longed for a meal of fresh meat. They were a
little too hasty at their work at first, for firing among the first
goats they came at, when there were but a few men together, they
frighted all the creatures, and they ran all away into holes, and among
the rocks and places where we could not find them; so that for that day
they made little of it. However, sending for more firemen, they made a
shift to bring in seventeen goats the same day, whereof we sent five on
board the ships, and feasted with the rest on shore. But the next day
the men went to work in another manner, and with better conduct; for as
we had hands enough, and fire-arms enough, they spread themselves so
far, that they, as it were, surrounded the creatures; and so driving
them out of their fastnesses and retreats, they had no occasion to
shoot, for the goats could not get from them, and they took them
everywhere with their hands, except some of the old he-goats, which were
so surly, that they would stand at bay and rise at them, and would not
be taken; and these, as being old also, and as they thought, good for
nothing, they let go.

In short, so many of our men went on shore, and these divided
themselves into so many little parties, and plyed their work so hard,
and had such good luck, that I told them it looked as if they had made a
general massacre of the goats, rather than a hunting.

Our men also might be said not to refresh themselves, but to feast
themselves here with fresh provisions; for though we stayed but thirteen
days, yet we killed three hundred and seventy goats, and our men who
were on board were very merrily employed, most assuredly, for they might
be said to do very little but roast and stew, and broil and fry, from
morning to night. It was indeed an exceeding good supply to them, for
they had been extremely fatigued with the last part of their voyage, and
had tasted of no fresh provisions for six weeks before.

This made them hunt the goats with the more eagerness, and indeed, they
surrounded them so dexterously, and followed them so nimbly, that
notwithstanding the difficulties of the rocks, yet the goats could
hardly ever escape them. Here our men found also very good fish, and
some few tortoises, or turtles, as the seamen call them, but they valued
them not, when they had such plenty of venison; also they found some
very good herbs in the island, which they boiled with the goats' flesh,
and which made their broth very savoury and comfortable, and withal very
healing, and good against the scurvy, which in those climates Englishmen
are very subject to.

We were now come to the month of April, 1715, having spent almost eight
months in this trafficking wandering voyage from Manilla hither. And
whoever shall follow the same, or a like track, if ever such a thing
shall happen, will do well to make a year of it, and may find it very
well worth while.

I doubt not but there are many undiscovered parts of land to the west,
and to the south also, of the first shore, of which I mentioned, that we
stayed trafficking for little bits of gold. And though it is true that
such traffick, as I have given an account of, is very advantageous in
itself, and worth while to look for, especially after having had a good
market for an out-ward-bound European cargo, according to the pattern of
ours, at the Philippines, and which, by the way, they need not miss, I
say, as this trade for gold would be well worth while, so had we gone
the best way, and taken a course more to the south from Manilla, not
going away east to the Ladrones, we should certainly have fallen in with
a country, from the coast of New Guinea, where we might have found
plenty of spices, as well as of gold.

For why may we not be allowed to suppose that the country on the same
continent, and in the same latitude, should produce the same growth?
Especially considering them situated, as it may be called, in the
neighbourhood of one another.

Had we then proceeded this way, no question but we might have fixed on
some place for a settlement, either English or French, whence a
correspondence being established with Europe, either by Cape Horn east,
or the Cape De Bona Esperance west, as we had thought fit, they might
have found as great a production of the nutmegs and the cloves as at
Banda and Ternate, or have made those productions have been planted
there for the future, where no doubt they would grow and thrive as well
as they do now in the Moluccas.

But we spun out too much time for the business we did; and though we
might, as above, discover new places, and get very well too, yet we did
nothing in comparison of what we might be supposed to have done, had we
made the discovery more our business.

I cannot doubt, also, but that when we stood away south it was too late;
for had we stood into the latitude of 67° at first, as we did
afterwards, I have good reason to believe that those islands which we
call the Moluccas, and which lie so thick and for so great an extent, go
on yet farther, and it is scarce to be imagined that they break off just
with Gilloto.

This I call a mistake in me, namely, that I stood away east from the
Philippines to the Ladrones, before I had gone any length to the south.

But to come to the course set down in this work, namely, south-east and
by east from the Ladrones, the places I have taken notice of, as these
do not, in my opinion, appear to be inconsiderable and of no value, so
had we searched farther into them, I doubt not but there are greater
things to be discovered, and perhaps a much greater extent of land also.
For as I have but just, as it were, described the shell, having made no
search for the kernel, it is more than probable, that within the country
there might be greater discoveries made, of immense value too. For
even, as I observed several times, whenever we found any people who had
gold, and asked them, as well as by signs we could make them understand,
they always pointed to the rivers and the mountains which lay farther up
the country, and which we never made any discovery of, having little in
our view but the getting what little share of gold the poor people had
about them. Whereas had we taken possession of the place, and left a
number of men sufficient to support themselves, in making a farther
search, I cannot doubt but there must be a great deal of that of which
the inactive Indians had gotten but a little.

Nor had we one skilful man among us to view the face of the earth, and
see what treasure of choice vegetables might be there. We had indeed six
very good surgeons, and one of them, whom we took in among the
Madagascar men, was a man of great reading and judgment; but he
acknowledged he had no skill in botanics, having never made it his

But to say the truth, our doctors themselves (so we call the surgeons at
sea) were so taken up in their traffick for gold, that they had no
leisure to think of anything else. They did indeed pick up some shells,
and some strange figured skeletons of fishes and small beasts, and other
things, which they esteemed as rarities; but they never went a simpling,
as we call it, or to inquire what the earth brought forth that was rare,
and not to be found anywhere else.

I think, likewise, it is worth observing, how the people we met with,
where it is probable no ships, much less European ships, had ever been,
and where they had never conversed with enemies, or with nations
accustomed to steal and plunder; I say, the people who lived thus, had
no fire, no rage in their looks, no jealous fears of strangers doing
them harm, and consequently no desire to do harm to others. They had
bows and arrows indeed, but it was rather to kill the deer and fowls,
and to provide themselves with food, than to offend their enemies, for
they had none.

When, therefore, removing from thence, we came to other and different
nations, who were ravenous and mischievous, treacherous and fierce, we
concluded they had conversed with other nations, either by going to
them, or their vessels coming there. And to confirm me in this opinion,
I found these fierce false Indians had canoes and boats, some of one
kind, and some of another, by which perhaps, they conversed with the
islands or other nations near them, and that they also received ships
and vessels from other nations, by which they had several occasions to
be upon their guard, and learned the treacherous and cruel parts from
others which nature gave them no ideas of before.

As the natives of these places were tractable and courteous, so they
would be made easily subservient and assistant to any European nation
that would come to make settlements among them, especially if those
European nations treated them with humanity and courtesy; for I have
made it a general observation, concerning the natural disposition of all
the savage nations that ever I met with, that if they are once but
really obliged they will always be very faithful.

But it is our people, I mean the Europeans, who, by breaking faith with
them, teach them ingratitude, and inure them to treat their new comers
with breach of faith, and with cruelty and barbarity. If you once win
them by kindness, and doing them good, I mean at first, before they are
taught to be rogues by example, they will generally be honest, and be
kind also, to the uttermost of their power.

It is to be observed, that it has been the opinion of all the sailors
who have navigated those parts of the world, that farther south there
are great tracts of undiscovered land; and some have told us they have
seen them, and have called them by such and such name, as, particularly,
the Isles of Solomon, of which yet we can read of nobody that ever went
on shore on them, or that could give any account of them, except such as
are romantic, and not to be depended upon.

But what has been the reason why we have hitherto had nothing but
guesses made at those things, and that all that has been said of such
lands has been imperfect? The reason, if I may speak my opinion, has
been, because it is such a prodigious run from the coast of America to
the islands of the Ladrones, that the few people who have performed it
never durst venture to go out of the way of the trade-winds, lest they
should not be able to subsist for want of water and provisions; and this
is particularly the case in the voyage from the coast of America only.

Whereas, to go the way which I have marked out, had we seen a necessity,
and that there was no land to be found to the south of the tropic for a
supply of provisions and fresh water, it is evident we could have gone
back again, from one place to another, and have been constantly
supplied; and this makes it certain also, that it cannot be reasonably
undertaken by a ship going from the east, I mean the coast of America,
to the west; but, from the west, viz., the Spice Islands to America
west, it may be adventured with ease, as I have shown.

It is true, that William Cornelius Van Schouten and Francis le Maire,
who first found the passage into the South Sea by Cape Horn, and not to
pass the Straits of Magellan, I say, they did keep to the southward of
the tropic, and pass in part the same way I have here given an account
of, as by their journals, which I have by me at this time, is apparent.

And it is as true also, that they did meet with many islands and unknown
shores in those seas, where they got refreshment, especially fresh
water: perhaps some of the places were the same I have described in this
voyage, but why they never pursued that discovery, or marked those
islands and places they got refreshments at, so that others in quest of
business might have touched at them and have received the like benefit,
that I can give no account of.

I cannot help being of opinion, let our map makers place them where they
will, that those islands where we so successfully fished for oysters, or
rather for pearl, are the same which the ancient geographers have called
Solomon's Islands; and though they are so far south, the riches of them
may not be the less, nor are they more out of the way. On the contrary,
they lie directly in the track which our navigators would take, if they
thought fit, either to go or come between Europe and the East Indies,
seeing they that come about Cape Horn seldom go less south than the
latitude of 63 or 64°; and these islands, as I have said, lie in the
latitude of 40 to 48° south, and extend themselves near one hundred and
sixty leagues in breadth from north to south.

Without doubt those islands would make a very noble settlement, in order
to victual and relieve the European merchants in so long a run as they
have to make; and when this trade came to be more frequented, the
calling of those ships there would enrich the islands, as the English at
St. Helena are enriched by the refreshing which the East India ships
find that meet there.

But to return to our present situation at Juan Fernandez. The
refreshment which our men found here greatly encouraged and revived
them; and the broths and stewings which we made of the goats' flesh
which we killed there, than which nothing could be wholesomer, restored
all our sick men, so that we lost but two men in our whole passage from
the East Indies, and had lost but eight men in our whole voyage from
England, except I should reckon those five men and a boy to be lost
which run away from us in the country among the Indians, as I have
already related.

I should have added, that we careened and cleaned our ships here, and
put ourselves into a posture for whatever adventures might happen; for
as I resolved upon a trading voyage upon the coast of Chili and Peru,
and a cruising voyage also, as it might happen, so I resolved also to
put our ships into a condition for both, as occasion should present.

Our men were nimble at this work, especially having been so well
refreshed and heartened up by their extraordinary supply of fresh meats,
and the additions of good broths and soups which they fed on every day
in the island, and with which they were supplied without any manner of
limitation all the time they were at work.

This I say being their case, they got the Madagascar ship hauled down,
and her bottom washed and tallowed, and she was as clean as when she
first came off the stocks in five days' time: and she was rigged, and
all set to rights, and fit for sailing in two more.

The great ship was not so soon fitted, nor was I in so much haste, for I
had a design in my head which I had not yet communicated to anybody, and
that was to send the Madagascar ship a-cruising as soon as she was
fitted up; accordingly, I say, the fifth day she was ready, and I
managed it so that the captain of the Madagascar ship openly, before all
the men, made the motion, as if it had been his own project, and desired
I would let him go and try his fortune, as he called it.

I seemed unwilling at first, but he added to his importunity, that he
and all his crew were desirous, if they made any purchase, it should be
divided among all the crews in shares, according as they were shipped;
that if it was provisions, the captain should buy it at half price, for
the use of the whole, and the money to be shared.

Upon hearing his proposals, which were esteemed very just, and the men
all agreeing, I gave consent, and so he had my orders and instructions,
and leave to be out twelve days on his cruise, and away he went. His
ship was an excellent sailer, as has been said, and being now a very
clean vessel, I thought he might speak with any other, or get away from
her if he pleased; by the way, I ordered him to put out none but French

He cruised a week without seeing a sail, and stood in quite to the
Spanish shore in one place, but in that he was wrong. The eighth day,
giving over all expectations, he stood off again to sea, and the next
morning he spied a sail, which proved to be a large Spanish ship, and
that seemed to stand down directly upon him, which a little checked his
forwardness; however, he kept on his course, when the Spaniard seeing
him plainer than probably he had done at first, tacked, and crowding all
the sail he could carry, stood in for the shore.

The Spaniard was a good sailer, but our ship plainly gained upon her,
and in the evening came almost up with her; when he saw the land, though
at a great distance, he was loath to be seen chasing her from the shore;
however, he followed, and night coming on, the Spaniard changed his
course, thinking to get away, but as the moon was just rising, our men,
who resolved to keep her in sight, if possible, perceived her, and
stretched after her with all the canvass they could lay on.

This chase held till about midnight, when our ship coming up with her,
took her after a little dispute. They pretended, at first, to have
nothing on board but timber, which they were carrying, as they said, to
some port for the building of ships; but our men had the secret to make
the Spaniards confess their treasure, if they had any, so that after
some hard words with the Spanish commander, he confessed he had some
money on board, which, on our men's promise of good usage, he afterwards
very honestly delivered, and which might amount to about sixteen
thousand pieces of eight.

But he had what we were very glad of besides, viz., about two hundred
great jars of very good wheat flour, a large quantity of oil, and some
casks of sweetmeats, all which was to us very good prize.

But now our difficulty was, what we should do with the ship, and with
the Spaniards; and this was so real a difficulty that I began to wish he
had not taken her, lest her being suffered to go, she should alarm the
country, or if detained, discover us all.

It was not above one day beyond his orders that we had the pleasure of
seeing the captain of the Madagascar come into the road, with his prize
in tow, and the flour and oil was a very good booty to us; but upon
second and better thoughts, we brought the Spaniards to a fair treaty,
and, which was more difficult, brought all our men to consent to it. The
case was this. Knowing what I proposed to myself to do, namely, to trade
all the way up the Spanish coast, and to pass for French ships, I knew
the taking this Spanish ship would betray us all, unless I resolved to
sink the ship and murder all the men; so I came to a resolution of
talking with the Spanish captain, and making terms with him, which I
soon made him very glad to accept of.

First, I pretended to be angry with the captain of the Madagascar ship,
and ordered him to be put under confinement, for having made a prize of
his catholic majesty's subjects, we being subjects to the king of
France, who was in perfect peace with the king of Spain.

Then I told him that I would restore him his ship and all his money, and
as to his flour and oil, which the men had fallen greedily upon, having
a want of it, I would pay him the full value in money for it all, and
for any other loss he had sustained, only that I would oblige him to lie
in the road at the island where we were, till we returned from our
voyage to Lima, whither we were going to trade, for which lying I also
agreed to pay him demurrage for his ship, after the rate of eight
hundred pieces of eight per month, and if I returned not in four months,
he was to be at his liberty to go.

The captain, who thought himself a prisoner and undone, readily embraced
this offer; and so we secured his ship till our return, and there we
found him very honestly at an anchor, of which I shall give a farther
account in its place.

We were now, as I have said, much about the middle of our voyage, at
least as I had intended it; and having stored ourselves with every thing
the place afforded, we got ready to proceed, for we had, as it were,
dwelt here near a fortnight.

By this time the weather was good again, and we stood away to the
south-east for the port of Baldivia, as above, and reached to the
mouth, of the harbour in twelve days' sail.

I was now to change faces again, and Captain Merlotte appeared as
captain, all things being transacted in his name, and French captains
were put into the brigantine, and into the Madagascar ship also. The
first thing the captain did was to send a civil message to the Spanish
governor, to acquaint him, that being come into those seas as friends,
under his most Christian majesty's commission, and with the king of
Spain's permission, we desired to be treated as allies, and to be
allowed to take water and wood, and to buy such refreshments as we
wanted, for which we would pay ready money; also we carried French
colours, but took not the least notice of our intention to trade with

We received a very civil answer from the governor, viz., That being the
king of France's subjects, and that they were in alliance with us, we
were very welcome to wood and water, and any provision the place would
afford, and that our persons should be safe, and in perfect liberty to
go on shore; but that he could not allow any of our men to lie on shore,
it being express in his orders that he should not permit any nation not
actually in commission from the king of Spain to come on shore and stay
there, not even one night; and that this was done to prevent disorders.

We answered, that we were content with that order, seeing we did not
desire our men should go on shore to stay there, we not being able to
answer for any misbehaviour, which was frequent among seamen.

While we continued here, several Spaniards came on board and visited us,
and we often went on shore on the same pretence; but our supercargo, who
understood his business too well not to make use of the occasion,
presently let the Spaniards see that he had a great cargo of goods to
dispose of; they as freely took the hint, and let him know that they had
money enough to pay for whatever they bought; so they fell to work, and
they bought East India and China silks, Japan ware, China ware, spice,
and something of everything we had. We knew we should not sell all our
cargo here; nor any extraordinary quantity; but we knew, on the other
hand, that, what we did sell here, we should sell for 100_l._ per cent.
extraordinary, I mean more than we should sell for at Lima, or any other
ports on that side, and so we did; for here we sold a bottle of arrack
for four pieces of eight, a pound of cloves for five pieces of eight,
and a pound of nutmegs for six pieces of eight; and the like of other

They would gladly have purchased some European goods, and especially
English cloth and baize; but as we had indeed very few such things left,
so we were not willing they should see them, that they might not have
any suspicion of our being Englishmen, and English ships, which would
soon have put an end to all our commerce.

While we lay here trafficking with the Spaniards, I set some of my men
to work to converse among the native Chilians, or Indians, as we call
them, of the country, and several things they learned of them, according
to the instructions which I gave them; for example, first, I understood
by them that the country people, who do not live among the Spaniards,
have a mortal aversion to them; that it is rivetted in their minds by
tradition from father to son, ever since the wars which had formerly
been among them, and that though they did not now carry on those wars,
yet the animosity remained; and the pride and cruel haughty temper of
the Spaniards were such still to those of the country people who came
under their government, as make that aversion continually increase. They
let us know, that if any nation in the world would but come in and
assist them against the Spaniards, and support them in their rising
against them, they would soon rid their hands of the whole nation. This
was to the purpose exactly, as to what I wanted to know.

I then ordered particular inquiry to be made, whether the mountains of
Andes, which are indeed prodigious to look at, and so frightful for
their height, that it is not to be thought of without some horror, were
in any places passable? what country there was beyond them? and whether
any of their people had gone, over and knew the passages?

The Indians concurred with the Spaniards in this (for our men inquired
of both), that though the Andes were to be supposed, indeed, to be the
highest mountains in the world, and that, generally speaking, they were
impassable, yet that there had been passages found by the vales among
the mountains; where, with fetching several compasses and windings
partly on the hills, and partly in the valleys, men went with a great
deal of ease and safety quite through or over, call it as we will, to
the other, named the east side, and as often returned again.

Some of the more knowing Indians or Chilians went farther than this, and
when our men inquired after the manners, situation, and produce of the
country on the other side, they told them, that when they passed the
mountains from that part of the country, they went chiefly to fetch
cattle and kill deer, of which there were great numbers in that part of
the land; but that when they went from St. Jago they turned away north
some leagues, when they came to a town called St. Anthonio de los Vejos,
or, the town of St. Anthony and the Old Men; that there was a great
river at that city, from whence they found means to go down to the Rio
de la Plata, and so to the Buenos Ayres, and that they frequently
carried thither great sums of money in Chilian gold, and brought back
European goods from thence.

I had all I wanted now, and bade my men say no more to them on that
subject, and only to tell them, that they would come back and travel a
little that way to see the country. The people appeared very well
pleased with this intelligence, and answered, that if they would do so,
they should find some, as well Spaniards as Chilians, who would be
guides to them through the hills; also assuring them, that they would
find the hills very practicable, and the people as they went along very
ready to assist and furnish them with whatever they found they wanted,
especially if they come to know that they were not Spaniards, or that
they would protect them from the Spaniards, which would be the most
agreeable thing to them in the world; for it seems many of the nations
of the Chilians had been driven to live among the hills, and some even
beyond them, to avoid the cruelty and tyranny of the Spaniards,
especially in the beginning of their planting in that country.

The next inquiry I ordered them to make was, whether it was possible to
pass those hills with horses or mules, or any kind of carriages? and
they assured them, they might travel with mules, and even with horses
also, but rather with mules; but as to carriages, such as carts or
waggons, they allowed that was not practicable. They assured us, that
some of those ways through the hills were much frequented, and that
there were towns, or villages rather, of people to be found in the
valleys between the said hills; some of which villages were very large,
and the soil very rich and fruitful, bearing sufficient provisions for
the inhabitants, who were very numerous. They added, that the people
were not much inclined to live in towns as the Spaniards do, but that
they lived scattered up and down the country, as they were guided by the
goodness of the land; that they lived very secure and unguarded, never
offering any injury to one another, nor fearing injury from any but the

I caused these inquiries to be made with the utmost prudence and
caution, so that the Spaniards had not the least suspicion of our
design; and thus, having finished our traffick, and taken in water and
provisions, we sailed from Baldivia, having settled a little
correspondence there with two Spaniards, who were very faithful to us,
and with two Chilian Indians, whom we had in a particular manner
engaged, and whom, to make sure of, we took along with us; and having
spent about thirteen days here, and taken the value of about six
thousand pieces of eight in silver and gold, but most of it in gold, we
set sail.

Our next port was the Bay of the Conception; here, having two or three
men on board who were well acquainted with the coast, we ran boldly into
the bay, and came to an anchor in that which they call the Bite, or
little bay, under the island Quinquina; and from thence we sent our
boat, with French mariners to row, and a French cockswain, with a letter
to the Spanish governor, from Captain Merlotte. Our pretence was always
the same as before, that we had his most Christian majesty's commission,
&c., and that we desired liberty to wood and water, and to buy
provisions, having been a very long voyage, and the like.

Under these pretences, we lay here about ten days, and drove a very
considerable trade for such goods as we were sure they wanted; and
having taken about the value of eight thousand pieces of eight, we set
sail for the port or river that goes up to St. Jago, where we expected a
very good market, being distant from the Conception about sixty-five

St. Jago is the capital city of Chili, and stands twelve leagues within
the land; there are two ports, which are made use of to carry on the
traffic of this place, viz., R. de Ropocalmo, and port de Valparaiso. We
were bound to the last, as being the only port for ships of burden, and
where there is security from bad weather.

We found means here, without going up to the city of St. Jago, to have
merchants enough to come down to us; for this being a very rich city,
and full of money, we found all our valuable silks of China, our
atlases, China damasks, satins, &c., were very much valued, and very
much wanted, and no price was too high for us to ask for them. For, in a
word, the Spanish ladies, who, for pride, do not come behind any in the
world, whatever they do for beauty, were so eager for those fine things,
that almost any reasonable quantity might have been sold there; but the
truth is, we had an unreasonable quantity, and therefore, as we had
other markets to go to, we did not let them know what a great stock of
goods we had, but took care they had something of everything they
wanted. We likewise found our spices were an excellent commodity in
those parts, and sold for a great profit too, as indeed everything else
did, as is said above.

We found it very easy to sell here to the value of one hundred and
thirty thousand pieces of eight, in all sorts of China and East-India
goods; for still, though we had some of the English cargo loose, we let
none of it be seen. We took most of the money in gold uncoined, which is
got out of the mountains in great quantities, and of which we shall have
occasion to speak more hereafter.

Our next trading port was Coquimbo, a small town but a good port. Here
we went in without ceremony, and upon the same foot, of being French, we
were well received, traded underhand with the Spanish merchants, and got
letters to some other merchants at Guasco, a port in a little bay about
fifteen leagues north from Coquimbo.

From hence to the port of Copiapo, is twenty-five leagues. Here we found
a very good port, though no trading town or city; but the country being
well inhabited, we found means to acquaint some of the principal
Spaniards in the country of what we were, and (with which they were
pleased well enough) that they might trade with us for such things,
which it was easy to see they gave double price for to the merchants who
came from Lima, and other places. This brought them to us with so much
eagerness, that though they bought for their own use, not for sale, yet
they came furnished with orders, perhaps for two or three families
together, and being generally rich, would frequently lay out six hundred
or eight hundred pieces of eight a man; so that we had a most excellent
market here, and took above thirty thousand pieces of eight; that is to
say, the value of it, for they still paid all in gold.

Here we had opportunity to get a quantity of good flour, or wheat meal,
of very good European wheat, that is to say, of that sort of wheat; and
withal, had good biscuit baked on shore, so that now we got a large
recruit of bread, and our men began to make puddings, and lived very
comfortably. We likewise got good sugar at the ingenioes, or
sugar-mills, of which there were several here, and the farther north we
went their number increased, for we were now in the latitude of 28° 2'

We had but one port now of any consequence that we intended to touch at,
until we came to the main place we aimed at, which was Lima, and this
was about two-thirds of the way thither; I mean Porto Rica, or Arica,
which is in the latitude of 18° of thereabouts. The people were very shy
of us here, as having been much upon their guard for some years past,
for fear of buccaneers and English privateers: but when they understood
we were French, and our French captain sent two recommendations to them
from a merchant at St. Jago, they were then very well satisfied, and we
had full freedom of commerce here also.

From hence we came the height of Lima, the capital port, if not the
capital city, of Peru, lying in the latitude of 12° 30'. Had we made the
least pretence of trading here, we should, at least, have had soldiers
put on board our ships to have prevented it, and the people would have
been forbidden to trade with us upon pain of death. But Captain Merlotte
having brought letters to a principal merchant of Lima, he instructed
him how to manage himself at his first coming into that port; which was
to ride without the town of Callao, out of the command of the puntals or
castles there, and not to come any nearer, upon what occasion soever,
and then to leave the rest to him.

Upon this, the merchant applied himself to the governor for leave to go
on board the French ship at Callao; but the governor understood him, and
would not grant it by any means. The reason was, because there had been
such a general complaint by the merchants from Carthagena, Porto Bello,
and other places, of the great trade carried on here with French ships
from Europe, to the destruction of the merchants, and to the ruin of
the trade of the galleons, that the governor, or viceroy of Peru, had
forbid the French ships landing any goods.

Now, though this made our traffick impracticable at Lima itself, yet it
did by no means hinder the merchants trading with us under cover, &c.,
but especially when they came to understand that we were not loaden from
Europe with baize, long ells, druggets, broadcloth, serges, stuffs,
stockings, hats, and such like woollen manufactures of France, England,
&c.; but that our cargo was the same with that of the Manilla ships at
Acapulca, and that we were loaden with calicoes, muslins, fine-wrought
China silks, damasks, Japan wares, China wares, spices, &c., there was
then no withholding them: but they came on board us in the night with
canoes, and, staying all day, went on shore again in the night, carrying
their goods to different places, where they knew they could convey them
on shore without difficulty.

In this manner we traded publicly enough, not much unlike the manner of
our trade at the Manillas; and here we effectually cleared ourselves of
our whole cargo, as well English goods as Indian, to an immense sum.
Here our men, officers as well as seamen, sold their fine pearl,
particularly one large parcel, containing one hundred and seventy-three
very fine pearls, but of different sizes, which a priest bought, as we
are told, to dress up the image of the blessed Virgin Mary in one of
their churches.

In a word, we came to a balance here, for we sold everything that we had
the least intention to part with; the chief things we kept in reserve,
were some bales of English goods, also all the remainder of our beads
and bugles, toys, ironwork, knives, scissors, hatchets, needles, pins,
glass-ware, and such things as we knew the Spaniards did not regard, and
which might be useful in our farther designs, of which my head was yet
very full. Those, I say, we kept still.

Here, likewise, we sold our brigantine, which, though an excellent
sea-boat, as may well be supposed, considering the long voyage we had
made in her, was yet so worm-eaten in her bottom, that, unless we would
have new sheathed her, and perhaps shifted most of her planks too, which
would have taken up a great deal of time, she was by no means fit to
have gone any farther, at least not so long a run as we had now to make,
viz., round the whole southern part of America, and where we should
find no port to put in at, (I mean, where we should have been able to
have got anything done for the repair of a ship), until we had come home
to England.

It was proposed here to have gone to the governor or viceroy of Peru,
and have obtained his license or pass to have traversed the Isthmus of
America, from port St. Maria to the river of Darien. This we could
easily have obtained under the character that we then bore, viz., of
having the King of France's commission; and had we been really all
French, I believe I should have done it, but as we were so many
Englishmen, and as such were then at open war with Spain, I did not
think it a safe adventure, I mean not a rational adventure, especially
considering what a considerable treasure we had with us.

On the other hand, as we were now a strong body of able seamen, and had
two stout ships under us, we had no reason to apprehend either the toil
or the danger of a voyage round Cape Horn, after which we should be in a
very good condition to make the rest of our voyage to England. Whereas,
if we travelled over the Isthmus of America, we should be all like a
company of freebooters and buccaneers, loose and unshipped, and should
perhaps run some one way and some another, among the logwood cutters at
the bay of Campeachy, and other places, to get passage, some to Jamaica
and some to New England; and, which was worse than all, should be
exposed to a thousand dangers on account of the treasure we had with us,
perhaps even to that of murdering and robbing one another. And, as
Captain Merlotte said, who was really a Frenchman, it were much more
eligible for us, as French, or, if we had been such, to have gone up to
Acapulca, and there to sell our ships and get license to travel to
Mexico, and then to have got the viceroy's assiento to have come to
Europe in the galleons; but, as we were so many Englishmen, it was
impracticable; our seamen also being Protestants, such as seamen
generally are, and bold mad fellows, they would never have carried on a
disguise, both of their nation and of their religion, for so long a time
as it would have been necessary to do for such a journey and voyage.

But, besides all these difficulties, I had other projects in my head,
which made me against all the proposals of passing by land to the North
Sea; otherwise, had I resolved it, I should not have much concerned
myself about obtaining a license from the Spaniards, for, as we were a
sufficient number of men to have forced our way, we should not much have
stood upon their giving us leave, or not giving us leave, to go.

But, as I have said, my views lay another way, and my head had been long
working upon the discourse my men had had with the Spaniards at
Baldavia. I frequently talked with the two Chilian Indians whom I had on
board, and who spoke Spanish pretty well, and whom we had taught to
speak a little English.

I had taken care that they should have all the good usage imaginable on
board. I had given them each a very good suit of clothes made by our
tailor, but after their own manner, with each of them a baize cloak; and
had given them hats, shoes, stockings, and everything they desired, and
they were mighty well pleased, and I talked very freely with them about
the passage of the mountains, for that was now my grand design.

While I was coming up the Chilian shore, as you have heard, that is to
say, at St. Jago, at the Conception, at Arica, and even at Lima itself,
we inquired on all occasions into the situation of the country, the
manner of travelling, and what kind of country it was beyond the
mountains, and we found them all agreeing in the same story; and that
passing the mountains of Les Cordelieras, for so they call them in Peru,
though it was the same ridge of hills as we call the Andes, was no
strange thing. That there were not one or two, but a great many places
found out, where they passed as well with horses and mules as on foot,
and even some with carriages; and, in particular, they told us at Lima,
that from Potosi, and the towns thereabouts, there was a long valley,
which ran for one hundred and sixty leagues in length southward, and
south-east, and that it continued until the hills parting, it opened
into the main level country on the other side; and that there were
several rivers which began in that great valley, and which all of them
ran away to the south and south-east, and afterwards went away east, and
east-north-east, and so fell into the great Rio de la Plata, and emptied
themselves into the North Seas; and that merchants travelled to those
rivers, and then went down in boats as far as the town or the city of
the Ascension, and the Buenos Ayres.

This was very satisfying you may be sure, especially to hear them agree
in it, that the Andes were to be passed; though passing them hereabouts,
(where I knew the mainland from the west shore, where we now were, must
be at least one thousand five hundred miles broad), was no part of my
project; but I laid up all these things in my mind, and resolved to go
away to the south again, and act as I should see cause.

We were now got into a very hot climate, and, whatever was the cause, my
men began to grow very sickly, and that to such a degree that I was once
afraid we had got the plague among us; but our surgeons, who we all call
doctors at sea, assured me there was nothing of that among them, and yet
we buried seventeen men here, and had between twenty and thirty more
sick, and, as I thought, dangerously too.

In this extremity, for I was really very much concerned about it, one of
my doctors came to me, and told me he had been at the city (that is, at
Lima) to buy some drugs and medicines, to recruit his chest, and he had
fallen into company with an Irish Jesuit, who, he found, was an
extraordinary good physician, and that he had had some discourse with
him about our sick men, and he believed for a good word or two, he could
persuade him to come and visit them.

I was very loath to consent to it, and said to the surgeon, If he is an
Irishman, he speaks English, and he will presently perceive that we are
all Englishmen, and so we shall be betrayed; all our designs will be
blown up at once, and our farther measures be all broken; and therefore
I would not consent. This I did not speak from the fear of any hurt they
could have done me by force, for I had no reason to value that, being
able to have fought my way clear out of their seas, if I had been put to
it; but, as I had traded all the way by stratagem, and had many
considerable views still behind, I was unwilling to be disappointed by
the discovery of my schemes, or that the Spaniards should know upon what
a double foundation I acted, and how I was a French ally and merchant,
or an English enemy and privateer, just as I pleased, and as opportunity
should offer; in which case they would have been sure to have trepanned
me if possible, under pretence of the former, and have used me, if they
ever should get an advantage over me, as one of the latter.

This made me very cautious, and I had good reason for it too; and yet
the sickness and danger of my men pressed me very hard to have the
advice of a good physician, if it was possible, and especially to be
satisfied whether it was really the plague or no, for I was very uneasy
about that.

But my surgeon told me, that, as to my apprehension of discovery, he
would undertake to prevent it by this method. First, he said, he found
that the Irishman did not understand French at all, and so I had nothing
to do but to order, that, when he came on board, as little English
should be spoke in his hearing as possible; and this was not difficult,
for almost all our men had a little French at their tongue's end, by
having so many Frenchmen on board of them; others had the Levant jargon,
which they call Lingua Frank; so that, if they had but due caution, it
could not be suddenly perceived what countrymen they were.

Besides this, the surgeon ordered, that as soon as the Padre came on
board, he should be surrounded with French seamen only, some of whom
should be ordered to follow him from place to place, and chop in with
their nimble tongues, upon some occasion or other, so that he should
hear French spoken wherever he turned himself.

Upon this, which indeed appeared very easy to be done, I agreed to let
the doctor come on board, and accordingly the surgeon brought him the
next day, where Captain Merlotte received him in the cabin, and treated
him very handsomely, but nothing was spoken but French or Spanish; and
the surgeon, who had pretended himself to be an Irishman, acted as
interpreter between the doctor and us.

Here we told him the case of our men that were sick; some of them,
indeed, were French, and others that could speak French, were instructed
to speak to him as if they could speak no other tongue, and those the
surgeon interpreted; others, who were English, were called Irishmen, and
two or three were allowed to be English seamen picked up in the East
Indies, as we had seamen, we told him, of all nations.

The matter, in short, was so carried that the good man, for such I
really think he was, had no manner of suspicion; and, to do him justice,
he was an admirable physician, and did our men a great deal of good; for
all of them, excepting three, recovered under his hands, and those three
had recovered if they had not, like madmen, drank large quantities of
punch when they were almost well; and, by their intemperance, inflamed
their blood, and thereby thrown themselves back again into their fever,
and put themselves, as the Padre said of them, out of the reach of

We treated this man of art with a great deal of respect, made him some
very handsome presents, and particularly such as he could not come at in
the country where he was; besides which, I ordered he should have the
value of one hundred dollars in gold given him; but he, on the other
hand, thanking Captain Merlotte for his bounty, would have no money, but
he accepted a present of some linen, a few handkerchiefs, some nutmegs,
and a piece of black baize: most of which, however, he afterwards said,
he made presents of again in the city, among some of his acquaintance.

But he had a farther design in his head, which, on a future day, he
communicated in confidence to the surgeon I have mentioned, who
conversed with him, and by him to me, and which was to him, indeed, of
the highest importance. The case was this.

He took our surgeon on shore with him one day from the Madagascar ship,
where he had been with him to visit some of our sick men, and, drinking
a glass of wine with him, he told him he had a favour to ask of him, and
a thing to reveal to him in confidence, which was of the utmost
consequence to himself though of no great value to him, (the surgeon),
and, if he would promise the utmost secrecy to him, on his faith and
honour, he would put his life into his hands. For, seignior, said he, it
will be no other, nor would anything less than my life pay for it, if
you should discover it to any of the people here, or anywhere else on
this coast.

The surgeon was a very honest man, and carried indeed the index of it in
his face; and the Padre said afterwards, he inclined to put this
confidence in him because he thought he saw something of an honest man
in his very countenance. After so frank a beginning, the surgeon made no
scruple to tell him, that, seeing he inclined to treat him with such
confidence, and to put a trust of so great importance in him, he would
give him all the assurance in his power that he would be as faithful to
him as it was possible to be to himself, and that the secret should
never go out of his mouth to any one in the world, but to such and at
such time as he should consent to and direct. In short, he used so many
solemn protestations, that the Padre made no scruple to trust him with
the secret, which, indeed, was no less than putting his life into his
hands. The case was this.

He told him he had heard them talk of going to Ireland in their return,
and, as he had been thirty years out of his own country, in such a
remote part of the world, where it was never likely that he should ever
see it again, the notion he had entertained that this ship was going
thither, and might set him on shore there, that he might once more see
his native country, and his family and friends, had filled his mind with
such a surprising joy, that he could no longer contain himself; and
that, therefore, if he would procure leave of the captain that he might
come privately on board and take his passage home, he would willingly
pay whatever the captain should desire of him, but that it must be done
with the greatest secrecy imaginable, or else he was ruined; for that,
if he should be discovered and stopped, he should be confined in the
Jesuit's house there as long as he lived, without hope of redemption.

The surgeon told him the thing was easy to be done if he would give him
leave to acquaint one man in the ship with it, which was not Captain
Merlotte, but a certain Englishman, who was a considerable person in the
ship, without whom the captain did nothing, and who would be more secure
to trust, by far, than Captain Merlotte. The Padre told him, that,
without asking him for any reasons, since he had put his life and
liberty in his hands, he would trust him with the management of the
whole, in whatever way he chose to conduct it.

The surgeon accordingly brought him on board to me, and making a
confidence of the whole matter to me, I turned to the Padre, and told
him in English, giving him my hand, that I would be under all the
engagements and promises of secrecy that our surgeon had been in, for
his security and satisfaction; that he had merited too well of us to
wish him any ill, and, in short, that the whole ship should be engaged
for his security. That, as to his coming on board and bringing anything
off that belonged to him, he must take his own measures, and answer to
himself for the success; but that, after he was on board, we would sink
the ship under him, or blow her aloft in the air, before we would
deliver him up on any account whatever.

He was so pleased with my frank way of talking to him, that he told me
he would put his life into my hands with the same freedom as he had done
before with my surgeon; so we began to concert measures for his coming
on board with secrecy.

He told us there was no need of any proposals, for he would acquaint the
head of the house that he intended to go on board the French ship in the
road, and to go to St. Jago, where he had several times been in the same
manner; and that, as they had not the least suspicion of him, he was
very well satisfied that they would make no scruple of it.

But his mistake in this might have been his ruin; for though, had it
been a Spanish ship, they would not have mistrusted him, yet, when he
named the French ship in the road of Callao, they began to question him
very smartly about it. Upon which, he was obliged to tell them, that,
since they were doubtful of him, he would not go at all, telling them
withal, that it was hard to suspect him, who had been so faithful to his
vows, as to reside for near thirty years among them, when he might
frequently have made an escape from them, if he had been so disposed.
So, for three or four days, he made no appearance of going at all; but
having had private notice from me the evening before we sailed, he found
means to get out of their hands, came down to Callao on a mule in the
night, and our surgeon, lying ready with our boat about half a league
from the town, as by appointment, took him on board, with a negro, his
servant, and brought him safe to the ship; nor had we received him on
board half an hour, but, being unmoored and ready to sail, we put out to
sea, and carried him clear off.

He made his excuses to me that he was come away naked, according to his
profession; that he had purposed to have furnished himself with some
provisions for the voyage, but that the unexpected suspicions of the
head of their college, or house, had obliged him to come away in a
manner that would not admit of it; for that he might rather be said to
have made his escape than to have come fairly off.

I told him he was very welcome (and indeed so he was, for he had been
already more worth to us than ten times his passage came to), and that
he should be entered into immediate pay, as physician to both the ships,
which I was sure none of our surgeons would repine at, but rather be
glad of; and accordingly I immediately ordered him a cabin, with a very
good apartment adjoining to it, and appointed him to eat in my own mess
whenever he pleased, or by himself, on his particular days, when he
thought proper.

And now it was impossible to conceal from him that we were indeed an
English ship, and that I was the captain in chief, except, as has been
said, upon occasion of coming to any particular town of Spain. I let him
know I had a commission to make prize of the Spaniards, and appear their
open enemy, but that I had chosen to treat them as friends, in a way of
commerce, as he had seen. He admired much the moderation I had used, and
how I had avoided enriching myself with the spoil, as I might have done;
and he made me many compliments upon that head, which I excused hearing,
and begged him to forbear. I told him we were Christians, and as we had
made a very prosperous voyage, I was resolved not to do any honest man
the least injustice, if I could avoid it.

But I must observe here, that I did not enter immediately into all this
confidence with him neither, nor all at once; neither did I let him into
any part of it, but under the same solemn engagements of secrecy that he
had laid upon us, nor till I was come above eighty leagues south from

The first thing I took the freedom to speak to him upon was this.
Finding his habit a little offensive to our rude seamen, I took him into
the cabin the very next day after we came to sea, and told him that I
was obliged to mention to him what I knew he would soon perceive;
namely, that we were all Protestants, except three or four of the
Frenchmen, and I did not know how agreeable that might be to him. He
answered, he was not at all offended with that part; that it was none of
his business to inquire into any one's opinion any farther than they
gave him leave; that if it was his business to cure the souls of men on
shore, his business on board was to cure their bodies; and as for the
rest, he would exercise no other function than that of a physician on
board the ship without my leave.

I told him that was very obliging; but that for his own sake I had a
proposal to make him, which was, whether it would be disagreeable to
him to lay aside the habit of a religious, and put on that of a
gentleman, so to accommodate himself the more easily to the men on
board, who perhaps might be rude to him in his habit, seamen being not
always men of the most refined manners.

He thanked me very sincerely; told me that he had been in England as
well as in Ireland, and that he went dressed there as a gentleman, and
was ready to do so now, if I thought fit, to avoid giving any offence;
and added that he chose to do so. But then, smiling, said he was at a
great loss, for he had no clothes. I bade him take no care about that,
for I would furnish him; and immediately we dressed him up like an
Englishman, in a suit of very good clothes, which belonged to one of our
midshipmen who died. I gave him also a good wig and a sword, and he
presently appeared upon the quarter-deck like a grave physician, and was
called doctor.

From that minute, by whose contrivance we knew not, it went current
among the seamen that the Spanish doctor was an Englishman and a
protestant, and only had put on the other habit to disguise himself and
make his escape to us; and this was so universally believed that it held
to the last day of the whole voyage, for as soon as I knew it, I took
care that nobody should ever contradict it: and as for the doctor
himself, when he first heard of it, he said nothing could be more to his
satisfaction, and that he would take care to confirm the opinion of it
among all the men, as far as lay in his power.

However, the doctor earnestly desired we would be mindful, that as he
should never offer to go on shore, whatever port we came to afterwards,
none of the Spaniards might, by inquiry, hear upon any occasion of his
being on board our ship; but above all, that none of our men, the
officers especially, would ever come so much in reach of the Spaniards
on shore as to put it in their power to seize upon them by reprisal, and
so oblige us to deliver him up by way of exchange.

I went so far with him, and so did Captain Merlotte also, as to assure
him, that if the Spaniards should by any stratagem, or by force, get any
of our men, nay, though it were ourselves, into their hands, yet he
should, upon no conditions whatever be delivered up. And indeed for this
very reason we were very shy of going on shore at all; and as we had
really no business any where but just for water and fresh provisions,
which we had also taken in a very good store of at Lima, so we put in
nowhere at all on the coast of Peru, because there we might have been
more particularly liable to the impertinencies of the Spaniard's
inquiry; as to force, we were furnished not to be in the least
apprehensive of that.

Being thus, I say, resolved to have no more to do with the coast of
Peru, we stood off to sea, and the first land we made was a little
unfrequented island in the latitude of 17° 13', where our men went on
shore in the boats three or four times, to catch tortoises or turtles,
being the first we had met with since we came from the East Indies. And
here they took so many, and had such a prodigious quantity of eggs out
of them, that the whole company of both ships lived on them till within
four or five days of our coming to the island of Juan Fernandez, which
was our next port. Some of these tortoises were so large and so heavy
that no single man could turn them, and sometimes as much as four men
could carry to the boats.

We met with some bad weather after this, which blew us off to sea, the
wind blowing very hard at the south-east; but it was not so great a wind
as to endanger us, though we lost sight of one another more in this
storm than we had done in all our voyage. However, we were none of us in
any great concern for it now, because we had agreed before, that if we
should lose one another, we should make the best of our way to the
island of Juan Fernandez; and this we observed now so directly, that
both of us shaping our course for the island, as soon as the storm
abated, came in sight of one another long before we came thither, which
proved very agreeable to us all.

We were, including the time of the storm, two hundred and eighteen days
from Lima to the Island of Juan Fernandez, having most of the time cross
contrary winds, and more bad weather than is usual in those seas;
however, we were all in good condition, both ships and men.

Here we fell to the old trade of hunting of goats. And here our new
doctor set some of our men to simpling, that is to say, to gather some
physical herbs, which he let them see afterwards were very well worth
their while. Our surgeons assisted, and saw the plants, but had never
observed the same kind in England. They gave me the names of them, and
it is the only discovery in all my travels which I have not reserved so
carefully as to publish for the advantage of others, and which I regret
the omission of very much.

While we were here, an odd accident gave me some uneasiness, which,
however, did not come to much. Early in the grey of the morning, little
wind, and a smooth sea, a small frigate-built vessel, under Spanish
colours, pennant flying, appeared off at sea, at the opening of the
north-east point of the island. As soon as she came fair with the road,
she lay by, as if she came to look into the port only; and when she
perceived that we began to loose our sails to speak with her, she
stretched away to the northward, and then altering her course, stood
away north-east, using oars to assist her, and so she got away.

Nothing could be more evident to us than that she came to look at us,
nor could we imagine anything less; from whence we immediately concluded
that we were discovered, and that our taking away the doctor had given a
great alarm among the Spaniards, as we afterwards came to understand it
had done. But we came a little while afterwards to a better
understanding about the frigate.

I was so uneasy about it, that I resolved to speak with her if possible,
so I ordered the Madagascar ship, which of the two, was rather a better
sailer than our own, to stand in directly to the coast of Chili, and
then to ply to the northward, just in sight of the shore, till he came
into the latitude of 22°; and, if he saw nothing in all that run, then
to come down again directly into the latitude of the island of Juan
Fernandez, but keeping the distance of ten leagues off farther than
before, and to ply off and on in that latitude for five days; and then,
if he did not meet with me, to stand in for the island.

While he did this, I did the same at the distance of near fifty leagues
from the shore, being the distance which I thought the frigate kept in
as she stood away from me. We made our cruise both of us very
punctually; I found him in the station we agreed on, and we both stood
into the road again from whence we came.

We no sooner made the road, but we saw the frigate, as I called her,
with another ship at an anchor in the same road where she had seen us;
and it was easy to see that they were both of them in a great surprise
and hurry at our appearing, and that they were under sail in so very
little time as that we easily saw they had slipped their cables, or cut
away their anchors. They fired guns twice, which we found was a signal
for their boats, which were on shore, to come on board; and soon after
we saw three boats go off to them, though, as we understood afterwards,
they were obliged to leave sixteen or seventeen of their men behind
them, who, being among the rocks catching of goats, either did not hear
the signals, or could not come to their boats time enough.

When we saw them in this hurry, we thought it must be something
extraordinary, and bore down upon them, having the weather-gage.

They were ships of pretty good force, and full of men, and when they saw
we were resolved to speak with them, and that there was no getting away
from us, they made ready to engage; and putting themselves upon a-wind,
first stretching ahead to get the weather-gage of us, when they thought
they were pretty well, boldly tacked, and lay by for us, hoisting the
English ancient and union jack.

We had our French colours out till now; but being just, as we thought,
going to engage, I told Captain Merlotte I scorned to hide what nation I
was of when I came to fight for the honour of our country; and, besides,
as these people had spread English colours, I ought to let them know
what I was; that, if they were really English and friends, we might not
fight by mistake, and shed the innocent blood of our own countrymen; and
that, if they were rogues, and counterfeited their being English, we
should soon perceive it.

However, when they saw us put out English colours, they knew not what to
think of it, but lay by awhile to see what we would do. I was as much
puzzled as they, for, as I came nearer, I thought they seemed to be
English ships, as well by their bulk as by their way of working; and as
I came still nearer, I thought I could perceive so plainly by my glasses
that they were English seamen, that I made a signal to our other ship,
who had the van, and was just bearing down upon them, to bring to; and I
sent my boat to him to know his opinion. He sent me word, he did believe
them to be English; and the more, said he, because they could be no
other nation but English or French, and the latter he was sure they were
not; but, since we were the largest ships, and that they might as
plainly see us to be English as we could see them, he said he was for
fighting them, because they ought to have let us known who they were
first. However, as I had fired a gun to bring him too, he lay by a
little time till we spoke thus together.

While this was doing we could see one of their boats come off with six
oars and two men, a lieutenant and trumpeter it seems they were, sitting
in the stern, and one of them holding up a flag of truce; we let them
come forward, and when they came nearer, so that we could hail them with
a speaking trumpet, we asked them what countrymen they were? and they
answered Englishmen. Then we asked them whence their ship? Their answer
was, from London. At which we bade them come on board, which they did;
and we soon found that we were all countrymen and friends, and their
boat went immediately back to let them know it. We found afterwards that
they were mere privateers, fitted out from London also, but coming last
from Jamaica; and we let them know no other of ourselves, but declined
keeping company, telling them we were bound now upon traffick, and not
for purchase; that we had been at the East Indies, had made some prizes,
and were going back thither again. They told us they were come into the
South Seas for purchase, but that they had made little of it, having
heard there were three large French men-of-war in those seas, in the
Spanish service, which made them wish they had not come about; and that
they were still very doubtful what to do.

We assured them we had been the height of Lima, and that we had not
heard of any men-of-war, but that we had passed for such ourselves, and
perhaps were the ships they had heard of; for that we were three sail at
first, and had sometimes carried French colours.

This made them very glad, for it was certainly so that we had passed for
three French men-of-war, and they were so assured of it, that they went
afterwards boldly up the coast, and made several very good prizes. We
then found also that it was one of these ships that looked into the
road, as above, when we were here before, and seeing us then with French
colours, took us for the men-of-war they had heard of; and, they added,
that, when we came in upon them again, they gave themselves up for lost
men, but were resolved to have fought it out to the last, or rather to
have sunk by our side, or blown themselves up, than be taken.

I was not at all sorry that we had made this discovery before we
engaged; for the captains were two brave resolute fellows, and had two
very good ships under them, one of thirty-six guns, but able to have
carried forty-four; the other, which we called the frigate-built ship,
carried twenty-eight guns, and they were both full of men. Now, though
we should not have feared their force, yet my case differed from what it
did at first, for we had that on board that makes all men cowards, I
mean money, of which we had such a cargo as few British ships ever
brought out of those seas, and I was one of those that had now no
occasion to run needless hazards. So that, in short, I was as well
pleased without fighting as they could be; besides, I had other projects
now in my head, and those of no less consequence than of planting a new
world, and settling new kingdoms, to the honour and advantage of my
country; and many a time I wished heartily that all my rich cargo was
safe at London; that my merchants were sharing the silver and gold, and
the pearl among themselves; and, that I was but safe on shore, with a
thousand good families, upon the south of Chili, and about fifteen
hundred good soldiers, and arms for ten thousand more, of which by and
by, and, with the two ships I had now with me, I would not fear all the
power of the Spaniards; I mean, that they could bring against me in the
South Seas.

I had all these things, I say, in my head already, though nothing like
to what I had afterwards, when I saw farther into the matter myself;
however, these things made me very glad that I had no occasion to engage
those ships.

When we came thus to understand one another, we went all into the road
together, and I invited the captains of the two privateers on board me,
where I treated them with the best I had, though I had no great dainties
now, having been so long out of England. They invited me and Captain
Merlotte, and the captain of the Madagascar ship in return, and, indeed,
treated us very nobly.

After this, we exchanged some presents of refreshments, and,
particularly, they sent me a hogshead of rum, which, was very
acceptable; and I sent them in return a runlet of arrack, excusing
myself that I had no great store. I sent them also the quantity of one
hundred weight of nutmegs and cloves; but the most agreeable present I
sent them was twenty pieces of Madagascar dried beef, cured in the sun,
the like of which they had never seen or tasted before; and without
question, it is such an excellent way of curing beef, that if I were to
be at Madagascar again, I would take in a sufficient quantity of beef so
preserved to victual the whole ship for the voyage; and I leave it as a
direction to all English seamen that have occasion to use East-India

I bought afterwards six hogsheads of rum of these privateers, for I
found they were very well stored with liquors, whatever else they

We stayed here twelve or fourteen days, but took care, by agreement,
that our men should never go on shore the same days that their men went
on shore, or theirs when ours went, as well to avoid their caballing
together, as to avoid quarrelling, though the latter was the pretence.
We agreed, also, not to receive on board any of our ships respectively,
any of the crews belonging to the other; and this was their advantage,
for, if we would have given way to that, half their men would, for aught
I know, have come over to us.

While we lay here, one of them went a-cruising, finding the wind fair to
run in for the shore; and, in about five days, she came back with a
Spanish prize, laden with meal, cocoa, and a large quantity of biscuit,
ready baked; she was bound to Lima, from Baldivia, or some port nearer,
I do not remember exactly which. They had some gold on board, but not
much, and had bought their lading at St. Jago. As soon as we saw them
coming in with a prize in tow, we put out our French colours, and gave
notice to the privateers that it was for their advantage that we did so;
and so indeed it was, for it would presently have alarmed all the
country, if such a fleet of privateers had appeared on the coast. We
prevailed with them to give us their Spanish prisoners, and to allow us
to set them on shore, I having assured them I would not land them till I
came to Baldivia, nor suffer them to have the least correspondence with
anybody till they came thither; the said Spaniards also giving their
parole of honour not to give any account of their being taken till
fourteen days after they were on shore.

This being the farthest port south which the Spaniards are masters of in
Chili, or, indeed, on the whole continent of America, they could not
desire me to carry them any farther. They allowed us a quantity of meal
and cocoa out of their booty for the subsistence of the prisoners, and
I bought a larger quantity besides, there being more than they knew how
to stow, and they did not resolve to keep the Spanish ship which they
took; by this means I was doubly stocked with flour and bread, but, as
the first was very good, and well packed in casks and very good jars, it
received no injury.

We bought also some of their cocoa, and made chocolate, till our men
gorged themselves with it, and would have no more.

Having furnished ourselves here with goats' flesh, as usual, and taking
in water sufficient, we left Juan Fernandez, and saw the cruisers go out
the same tide, they steering north-north-east, and we south-south-east.
They saluted us at parting, and we bade them good-bye in the same

While we were now sailing for the coast of Chili, with fair wind and
pleasant weather, my Spanish doctor came to me and told me he had a
piece of news to acquaint me with, which, he said, he believed would
please me very well; and this was, that one of the Spanish prisoners was
a planter, as it is called in the West Indies, or a farmer, as we should
call it in England, of Villa Rica, a town built by the Spaniards, near
the foot of the Andes, above the town of Baldivia; and that he had
entered into discourse with him upon the situation of those hills, the
nature of the surface, the rivers, hollows, passages into them, &c.
Whether there were any valleys within the hills, of what extent, how
watered, what cattle, what people, how disposed, and the like; and, in
short, if there was any way of passing over the Andes, or hills above
mentioned; and he told me, in few words, that he found him to be a very
honest, frank, open sort of a person, who seemed to speak without
reserve, without the least jealousy or apprehension; and that he
believed I might have an ample discovery from him of all that I desired
to know.

I was very glad of this news; and, at my request, it was not many hours
before he brought the Spaniard into the great cabin to me, where I
treated him very civilly, and gave him opportunity several times to see
himself very well used; and, indeed, all the Spaniards in the ship were
very thankful for my bringing them out of the hands of the privateers,
and took all occasions to let us see it.

I said little the first time, but discoursed in general of America, of
the greatness and opulency of the Spaniards there, the infinite wealth
of the country, &c.; and I remember well, discoursing once of the great
riches of the Spaniards in America, the silver mines of Potosi, and
other places, he turned short upon me, smiling, and said, We Spaniards
are the worst nation in the world that such a treasure as this could
have belonged to; for if it had fallen into any other hands than ours,
they would have searched farther into it before now. I asked him what he
meant by that? and added, I thought they had searched it thoroughly
enough; for that I believed no other nation in the world could ever have
spread such vast dominions, and planted a country of such a prodigious
extent, they having not only kept possession of it, but maintained the
government also, and even inhabited it with only a few people.

Perhaps, seignior, says he, you think, notwithstanding that opinion of
yours, that we have many more people of our nation in New Spain than we
have. I do not know, said I, how many you may have; but, if I should
believe you have as many here as in Old Spain, it would be but a few in
comparison of the infinite extent of the King of Spain's dominions in
America. And then, replied he, I assure you, seignior, there is not one
Spaniard to a thousand acres of land, take one place with another,
throughout New Spain.

Very well, said I, then I think the riches and wealth of America is very
well searched, in comparison to the number of people you have to search
after it. No, says he, it is not, neither; for the greatest number of
our people live in that part where the wealth is not the greatest, and
where even the governor and viceroy, enjoying a plentiful and luxurious
life, they take no thought for the increase either of the king's
revenues, or the national wealth. This he spoke of the city of Mexico,
whose greatness, and the number of its inhabitants, he said, was a
disease to the rest of the body. And what, think you, seignior, said he,
that in that one city, where there is neither silver nor gold but what
is brought from the mountains of St. Clara, the mines at St. Augustine's
and Our Lady, some of which are a hundred leagues from it, and yet there
are more Spaniards in Mexico than in both those two prodigious empires
of Chili and Peru?

I seemed not to believe him; and, indeed, I did not believe him at
first, till he returned to me with a question. Pray, seignior capitain,
says he, how many Spaniards do you think there may be in this vast
country of Chili? I told him I could make no guess of the numbers; but,
without doubt, there were many thousands, intimating that I might
suppose, near a hundred thousand. At which he laughed heartily, and
assured me, that there were not above two thousand five hundred in the
whole kingdom, besides women and children, and some few soldiers, which
they looked upon as nothing to inhabitants, because they were not
settled anywhere.

I was indeed surprised, and began to name several large places, which, I
thought, had singly more Spaniards in them than what he talked of. He
presently ran over some of them, and, naming Baldivia first, as the most
southward, he asked me how many I thought were there? And I told him
about three hundred families. He smiled, and assured me there were not
above three or four-and-fifty families in the whole place, and about
twenty-five soldiers, although it was a fortification, and a frontier.
At Villa Rica, or the Rich Town, where he lived, he said there might be
about sixty families, and a lieutenant, with twenty soldiers. In a word,
we passed over the many places between and came to the capital, St.
Jago, where after I had supposed there were five thousand Spaniards, he
protested to me there were not above eight hundred, including the
viceroy's court, and including the families at Valparaiso, which is the
seaport, and excluding only the soldiers, which as he said, being the
capital of the whole kingdom, might be about two hundred, and excluding
the religious, who he added, laughing, signified nothing to the planting
a country, for they neither cultivated the land nor increased the

Our doctor, who was our interpreter, smiled at this, but merrily said,
that was very true, or ought to be so, intimating, that though the
priests do not cultivate the land, yet they might chance to increase the
people a little; but that was by the way. As to the number of
inhabitants at St. Jago, the doctor agreed with him, and said, he
believed he had said more than there were, rather than less.

As to the kingdom or empire of Peru, in which there are many
considerable cities and places of note, such as Lima, Quito, Cusco, la
Plata, and others, there are besides a great number of towns on the
seacoasts, such as Porto Arica, St. Miguel, Prayta, Guyaquil, Truxillo,
and many others.

He answered, that it was true that the city of Lima, with the town of
Callao, was much increased within a few years, and particularly of late,
by the settling of between three and four hundred French there, who came
by the King of Spain's license; but that, before the coming of those
gentlemen, at which he shook his head, the country was richer, though
the inhabitants were not so many; and that, take it as it was now, there
could not be reckoned above fifteen hundred families of Spaniards,
excluding the soldiers and the clergy, which, as above, he reckoned
nothing as to the planting of the country.

We came then to discourse of the silver mines at Potosi, and here he
supposed, as I did also, a very great number of people. But seignior,
says he, what people is it you are speaking of? There are many thousands
of servants, but few masters; there is a garrison of four hundred
soldiers always kept in arms and in good order, to secure the place, and
keep the negroes, and criminals who work in the mines, in subjection;
but that there were not besides five hundred Spaniards, that is to say,
men, in the whole place and its adjacents. So that, in short, he would
not allow above seven thousand Spaniards in the whole empire of Peru,
and two thousand five hundred in Chili; at the same time, allowing twice
as many as both these in the city of Mexico only.

After this discourse was over, I asked him what he inferred from it, as
to the wealth of the country not being discovered? He answered, It was
evident that it was for want of people that the wealth of the country
lay hid; that there was infinitely more lay uninquired after than had
yet been known; that there were several mountains in Peru equally rich
in silver with that of Potosi; and, as for Chili, says he, and the
country where we live, there is more gold at this time in the mountains
of the Andes, and more easy to come at, than in all the world besides.
Nay, says he, with some passion, there is more gold every year washed
down out of the Andes of Chili into the sea, and lost there, than all
the riches that go from New Spain to Europe in twenty years amount to.

This discourse fired my imagination you may be sure, and I renewed it
upon all occasions, taking more or less time every day to talk with this
Spaniard upon the subject of cultivation of the lands, improvement of
the country, and the like; always making such inquiries into the state
of the mountains of the Andes as best suited my purpose, but yet so as
not to give him the least intimation of my design.

One day, conversing with him again about the great riches of the
country, and of the mountains and rivers, as above, I asked him, that,
seeing the place was so rich, why were they not all princes, or as rich
as princes, who dwelt there? He shook his head, and said, it was a great
reproach upon them many ways; and, when I pressed him to explain
himself, he answered, it was occasioned by two things, namely, pride and
sloth. Seignior, says he, we have so much pride that we have no avarice,
and we do not covet enough to make us work for it. We walk about
sometimes, says he, on the banks of the streams that come down from the
mountains, and, if we see a bit of gold lie on the shore, it may be we
will vouchsafe to lay off our cloak, and step forward to take it up;
but, if we were sure to carry home as much as we could stand under, we
would not strip and go to work in the water to wash it out of the sand,
or take the pains to get it together; nor perhaps dishonour ourselves so
much as to be seen carrying a load, no, not for all the value of the
gold itself.

I laughed then, indeed, and told him he was disposed to jest with his
countrymen, or to speak ironically; meaning, that they did not take so
much pains as was required, to make them effectually rich, but that I
supposed he would not have me understand him as he spoke. He said I
might understand as favourably as I pleased, but I should find the fact
to be true if I would go up with him to Villa Rica, when I came to
Baldivia; and, with that, he made his compliment to me, and invited me
to his house.

I asked him with a _con licentia_, seignior, that is, with pardon for so
much freedom, that, if he lived in so rich a country, and where there
was so inexhaustible a treasure of gold, how came he to fall into this
state of captivity? and what made him venture himself upon the sea, to
fall into the hands of pirates?

He answered, that it was on the very foot of what he had been
complaining of; and that, having seen so much of the wealth of the
country he lived in, and having reproached himself with that very
indolence which he now blamed all his countrymen for, he had resolved in
conjunction with two of his neighbours, the Spaniards, and men of good
substance, to set to work in a place in the mountains where they had
found some gold, and had seen much washed down by the water, and to find
what might be done in a thorough search after the fund or mine of it,
which they were sure was not far off; and that he was going to Lima, and
from thence, if he could not be supplied, to Panama, to buy negroes for
the work, that they might carry it on with the better success.

This was a feeling discourse to me, and made such an impression on me,
that I secretly resolved that when I came to Baldivia, I would go up
with this sincere Spaniard, for so I thought him to be, and so I found
him, and would be an eyewitness to the discovery which I thought was
made to my hand, and which I found now I could make more effectual than
by all the attempts I was like to make by secondhand.

From this time I treated the Spaniard with more than ordinary courtesy,
and told him, if I was not captain of a great ship, and had a cargo upon
me of other gentleman's estates, he had said so much of those things,
that I should be tempted to give him a visit as he desired, and see
those wonderful mountains of the Andes.

He told me that if I would do him so much honour, I should not be
obliged to any long stay; that he would procure mules for me at
Baldivia, and that I should go not to his house only, but to the
mountain itself, and see all that I desired, and be back again in
fourteen days at the farthest. I shook my head, as if it could not be,
but he never left importuning me; and once or twice, as if I had been
afraid to venture myself with him, he told me he would send for his two
sons, and leave them in the ship, as hostages for my safety.

I was fully satisfied as to that point, but did not let him know my mind
yet; but every day we dwelt upon the same subject, and I travelled
through the mountains and valleys so duly in every day's discourse with
him, that when I afterwards came to the places we had talked of, it was
as if I had looked over them in a map before.

I asked him if the Andes were a mere wall of mountains, contiguous and
without intervals and spaces, like a fortification, or boundary to a
country? or whether they lay promiscuous, and distant from one another?
and whether there lay any way over them into the country beyond?

He smiled when I talked of going over them. He told me they were so
infinitely high, that no human creature could live upon the top; and
withal so steep and so frightful, that if there was even a pair of
stairs up on one side, and down on the other, no man would dare to mount
up, or venture down.

But that as for the notion of the hills being contiguous, like a wall
that had no gates, that was all fabulous; that there were several fair
entrances in among the mountains, and large pleasant and fruitful
valleys among the hills, with pleasant rivers, and numbers of
inhabitants, and cattle and provisions of all sorts; and that some of
the most delightful places to live in that were in the whole world were
among the valleys, in the very centre of the highest and most dreadful

Well, said I, seignior, but how do they go out of one valley into
another? and whither do they go at last? He answered me, those valleys
are always full of pleasant rivers and brooks, which fall from the
hills, and are formed generally into one principal stream to every vale:
and that as these must have their outlets on one side of the hills or on
the other, so, following the course of those streams, one is always sure
to find the way out of one valley into another, and at last out of the
whole into the open country; so that it was very frequent to pass from
one side to the other of the whole body of the mountains, and not go
much higher up hill or down hill, compared to the hills in other places.
It was true, he said, there was no abrupt visible parting in the
mountains, that should seem like a way cut through from the bottom to
the top, which would be indeed frightful; but that as they pass from
some of the valleys to others, there are ascents and descents, windings
and turnings, sloping up and sloping down, where we may stand on those
little ridges, and see the waters on one side run to the west, and on
the other side to the east.

I asked him what kind of a country was on the other side? and how long
time it would take up to go through from one side to the other? He told
me there were ways indeed that were more mountainous and uneasy, in
which men kept upon the sides or declivity of the hills; in which the
natives would go, and guide others to go, and so might pass the whole
ridge of the Andes in eight or nine days, but that those ways were
esteemed very dismal, lonely, and dangerous, because of wild beasts; but
that through the valleys, the way was easy and pleasant, and perfectly
safe, only farther about; and that those ways a man might be sixteen or
seventeen days going through.

I laid up all this in my heart, to make use of as I should have
occasion, but I acknowledged that it was surprising to me, as it was so
perfectly agreeing with the notion that I always entertained of those
mountains, of the riches of them, the facility of access to and from
them, and the easy passage from one side to another.

The next discourse I had with him upon this subject I began thus: Well,
seignior, said I, we are now come quite through the valleys and passages
of the Andes, and, methinks I see a vast open country before me on the
other side; pray tell me, have you ever been so far as to look into that
part of the world, and what kind of a country it is?

He answered gravely, that he had been far enough several times to look
at a distance into the vast country I spoke of; And such, indeed, it is,
said he; and, as we come upon the rising part of the hills we see a
great way, and a country without end; but, as to any descriptions of it,
I can say but little, added he, only this, that it is a very fruitful
country on that side next the hills; what it is farther, I know not.

I asked him if there were any considerable rivers in it, and which way
they generally run? He said it could not be but that from such a ridge
of mountains as the Andes there must be a great many rivers on that
side, as there were apparently on this; and that, as the country was
infinitely larger, and their course, in proportion, longer, it would
necessarily follow that those small rivers would run one into another,
and so form great navigable rivers, as was the case in the Rio de la
Plata, which originally sprung from the same hills, about the city La
Plata, in Peru, and swallowing up all the streams of less note, became,
by the mere length of its course, one of the greatest rivers in the
world. That, as he observed, most of those rivers ran rather
south-eastward than northward, he believed they ran away to the sea, a
great way farther to the south than the Rio de la Plata; but, as to what
part of the coast they might come to the sea in, that he knew nothing of

This account was so rational that nothing could be more, and was,
indeed, extremely satisfactory. It was also very remarkable that this
agreed exactly with the accounts before given me by the two Chilian
Indians, or natives, which I had on board, and with whom I still
continued to discourse, as occasion presented; but whom, at this time, I
removed into the Madagascar ship, to make-room for these Spanish

I observed the Spaniard was made very sensible, by my doctor, of the
obligation both he and his fellow-prisoners were under to me, in my
persuading the privateers to set them at liberty, and in undertaking to
carry them home to that part of Spain from whence they came; for, as
they had lost their cargo, their voyage seemed to be at an end. The
sense of the favour, I say, which I had done him, and was still doing
him, in the civil treatment which I gave him, made this gentleman, for
such he was in himself and in his disposition, whatever he was by
family, for that I knew nothing of, I say, it made him exceedingly
importunate with me, and with my doctor, who spoke Spanish perfectly
well, to go with him to Villa Rica.

I made him no promise, but talked at a distance. I told him, if he had
lived by the sea, and I could have sailed to his door in my ship, I
would have made him a visit. He returned, that he wished he could make
the river of Baldivia navigable for me, that I might bring my ship up to
his door; and, he would venture to say, that neither I, nor any of my
ship's company, should starve while we were with him. In the interval of
these discourses, I asked my doctor his opinion, whether he thought I
might trust this Spaniard, if I had a mind to go up and see the country
for a few days?

Seignior, says he, the Spaniards are, in some respects, the worst nation
under the sun; they are cruel, inexorable, uncharitable, voracious, and,
in several cases, treacherous; but, in two things, they are to be
depended upon beyond all the nations in the world; that is to say, when
they give their honour, to perform anything, and when they have a return
to make for any favour received. And here he entertained me with a long
story of a merchant of Carthagena, who, in a sloop, was shipwrecked at
sea, and was taken up by an English merchant on board a ship bound to
London from Barbadoes, or some other of our islands; that the English
merchant, meeting another English ship bound to Jamaica, put the
Spanish merchant on board him, paid him for his passage, and desired him
to set him on shore on the Spanish coast, as near to Carthagena as he
could. This Spanish merchant could never rest till he found means to
ship himself from Carthagena to the Havannah, in the galleons; from
thence to Cadiz in Old Spain; and from thence to London, to find out the
English merchant, and make him a present to the value of a thousand
pistoles for saving his life, and for his civility in returning him to
Jamaica, &c. Whether the story was true or not, his inference from it
was just, namely, that a Spaniard never forgot a kindness. But take it
withal, says the doctor, that I believe it is as much the effect of
their pride as of their virtue; for at the same time, said he, they
never forget an ill turn any more than they do a good one; and they
frequently entail their enmities on their families, and prosecute the
revenge from one generation to another, so that the heir has, with the
estate of his ancestors, all the family broils upon his hands as he
comes to his estate.

From all this he inferred that, as this Spaniard found himself so very
much obliged to me, I might depend upon it that he had so much pride in
him, that if he could pull down the Andes for me to go through, and I
wanted it, he would do it for me; and that nothing would be a greater
satisfaction to him, than to find some way or other how to requite me.

All these discourses shortened our voyage, and we arrived fair and
softly (for it was very good weather, and little wind) at Tucapel, or
the river Imperial, within ten leagues of Baldivia, that is to say, of
Cape Bonifacio, which is the north point of the entrance into the river
of Baldivia. And here I took one of the most unaccountable, and I must
needs acknowledge, unjustifiably resolutions, that ever any commander,
intrusted with a ship of such force, and a cargo of such consequence,
adventured upon before, and which I by no means recommend to any
commander of any ship to imitate; and this was, to venture up into the
country above a hundred and fifty miles from my ship, leaving the
success of the whole voyage, the estates of my employers, and the
richest ship and cargo that ever came out of those seas, to the care and
fidelity of two or three men. Such was the unsatisfied thirst of new
discoveries which I brought out of England with me, and which I
nourished, at all hazards, to the end of the voyage.

However, though I condemn myself in the main for the rashness of the
undertaking, yet let me do myself so much justice as to leave it on
record too, that I did not run this risk without all needful precautions
for the safety of the ship and cargo.

And first, I found out a safe place for the ships to ride, and this
neither in the river of Tucapel, nor in the river of Baldivia, but in an
opening or inlet of water, without a name, about a league to the south
of Tucapel, embayed and secured from almost all the winds that could
blow. Here the ships lay easy, with water enough, having about eleven
fathoms good holding ground, and about half a league from shore.

I left the supercargo and my mate, also a kinsman of my own, a true
sailor, who had been a midshipman, but was now a lieutenant; I say, to
those I left the command of both my ships, but with express orders not
to stir nor unmoor, upon any account whatever, unavoidable accidents
excepted, until my return, or until, if I should die, they should hear
of that event; no, though they were to stay there six months, for they
had provisions enough, and an excellent place for watering lay just by
them. And I made all the men swear to me that they would make no mutiny
or disorder, but obey my said kinsman in one ship, and the supercargo in
the other, in all things, except removing from that place; and that, if
they should command them to stir from thence, they would not so much as
touch a sail or a rope for the purpose.

When I made all these conditions, and told my men that the design I went
upon was for the good of their voyage, for the service of the owners,
and should, if it succeeded, be for all their advantages, I asked them
if they were all willing I should go? To which they all answered, that
they were very willing, and would take the same care of the ships, and
of all things belonging to them, as if I were on board. This encouraged
me greatly, and I now resolved nothing should hinder me.

Having thus concluded everything, then, and not till then, I told my
Spaniard that I had almost resolved to go along with him, at which he
appeared exceedingly pleased, and, indeed, in a surprise of joy. I
should have said, that, before I told him this, I had set all the rest
of the prisoners on shore, at their own request, just between the port
of Tucapel and the bay of the Conception, excepting two men, who, as he
told me, lived in the open country beyond Baldivia, and, as he observed,
were very glad to be set on shore with him, so to travel home, having
lost what little they had in the ship, and to whom he communicated
nothing of the discourse we had so frequently held, concerning the
affair of the mountains.

I also dismissed now the two Chilian Indians, but not without a very
good reward, not proportioned to their trouble and time only, but
proportioned to what I seemed to expect of them, and filled them still
with expectations that I would come again, and take a journey with them
into the mountains.

And now it became necessary that I should, use the utmost freedom with
my new friend, the Spaniard, being, as I told him, to put my life in his
hands, and the prosperity of my whole adventure, both ship and ship's

He told me he was sensible that I did put my life into his hands, and
that it was a very great token of my confidence in him, even such a one
that he, being a stranger to me, had no reason to expect; but he desired
me to consider that he was a Christian, not a savage; that he was one I
had laid the highest obligation upon, in voluntarily taking him out of
the hands of the freebooters, where he might have lost his life. And, in
the next place, he said, it was some recommendation that he was a
gentleman, and that I should find him to be a man of honour; and,
lastly, that it did not appear that he could make any advantage of me,
or that he could get anything by using me ill; and, if even that was no
argument, yet I should find, when I came to his house, that he was not
in a condition to want anything that might be gained, so much as to
procure it by such a piece of villany and treachery as to betray and
destroy the man who had saved his life, and brought him out of the hands
of the devil safe to his country and family, when he might have been
carried away God knows whither. But to conclude all, he desired me to
accept the offer he had made me at sea, viz., that he would send for his
two sons, and leave them on board the ship as hostages for my safety,
and desired they might be used on board no otherwise than I was used
with him in the country.

I was ashamed to accept such an offer as this, but he pressed it
earnestly, and importuned the doctor to move me to accept it, telling
him that he should not be easy if I did not; so that, in short, the
doctor advised me to agree to it, and, accordingly, he hired a messenger
and a mule, and sent away for his two sons to come to him; and such
expedition the messenger made, that in six days he returned with the two
sons and three servants, all on horseback. His two sons were very
pretty, well-behaved youths, who appeared to be gentlemen in their very
countenances; the eldest was about thirteen years old, and the other
about eleven. I treated them on board, as I had done their father, with
all possible respect; and, having entertained them two days, left orders
that they should be treated in the same manner when I was gone; and to
this I added aloud, that their father might hear it, that whenever they
had a mind to go away, they should let them go. But their father laid a
great many solemn charges upon them that they should not stir out of the
ship till I came back safe, and that I gave them leave, and he made them
promise they would not; and the young gentlemen kept their word so
punctually, that, when our supercargo, whom I left in command, offered
to let them go on shore several times, to divert them with shooting and
hunting, they would not stir out of the ship, and did not till I came
back again.

Having gone this length, and made everything ready for my adventure, we
set out, viz., Captain Merlotte, the Spanish doctor, the old mutineer
who had been my second mate, but who was now captain of the Madagascar
ship, and myself, with two midshipmen, whom he took as servants, but
whom I resolved to make the directors of the main enterprise. As to the
number, I found my Spaniard made no scruple of that, if it had been half
my ship's company.

We set out, some on horses and some on mules, as we could get them, but
the Spaniard and myself rode on two very good horses, being the same
that his two sons came on. We arrived at a noble country-seat, about a
league short of the town, where, at first, I thought we had been only to
put in for refreshment, but I soon found that it was really his
dwelling-house, and where his family and servants resided.

Here we were received like princes, and with as much ceremony as if he
had been a prince that entertained us. The major-domo, or steward of his
house, received us, took in our baggage, and ordered our servants to be
taken care of.

It is sufficient to say, that the Spaniard did all that pride and
ostentation was capable of inspiring him with, to entertain us; and the
truth is, he could not have lived in a country in the world more capable
of gratifying his pride; for here, without anything uncommon, he was
able to show more gold plate than many good families in our country have
of silver; and as for silver, it quite eclipsed the appearance, or
rather took away the very use of pewter, of which we did not see one
vessel, no not in the meanest part of his house. It is true, I believe,
the Spaniard had not a piece of plate, or of any household furniture,
which we did not see, except what belonged to the apartment of his wife;
and, it is to be observed, that the women never appeared, except at a
distance, and in the gardens, and then, being under veils, we could not
know the lady from her women, or the maids from the mistress.

We were lodged every one in separate apartments, very well furnished,
but two of them very nobly indeed, though all the materials for
furniture there must be at an excessive price. The way of lodging upon
quilts, and in beds made pavilion-wise, after the Spanish custom, I need
not describe; but it surprised me to see the rooms hung with very rich
tapestries, in a part of the world where they must cost so dear.

We had Chilian wine served us up in round gold cups, and water in large
silver decanters, that held, at least, five quarts apiece; these stood
in our chamber. Our chocolate was brought up in the same manner, in deep
cups, all of gold, and it was made in vessels all of silver.

It would be tiresome to the reader to particularise my account with the
relation of all the fine things our host had in his house, and I could
not be persuaded but that he had borrowed all the plate in the town to
furnish out his sideboard and table. But my doctor told me it was
nothing but what was very usual among them that were men of any
substance, as it was apparent he was; and that the silversmiths at St.
Jago supplied them generally with their plate ready wrought, in exchange
(with allowance for the quality) for the gold which they found in the
mountains, or in the brooks and streams which came from the mountains,
into which the hasty showers of winter rain frequently washed down
pretty large lumps, and others, which were smaller, they washed out of
the sands by the ordinary methods of washing of ore.

I was better satisfied in this particular when, the next day, talking to
our new landlord about the mountains, and the wealth of them, I asked
him if he could show me any of the gold which was usually washed out of
the hills by the rain, in the natural figure in which it was found? He
smiled, and told me he could show me a little, and immediately conducted
us into a kind of a closet, where he had a great variety of odd things
gathered up about the mountains and rivers, such as fine shells, stones
in the form of stars, heavy pieces of ore, and the like, and, after
this, he pulled out a great leather bag, which had, I believe, near
fifty pounds weight in it. Here, seignior, says he, here is some of the
dirt of the earth; and turning it out upon the table, it was easy to see
that it was all mixed with gold, though the pieces were of different
forms, and some scarce looking like gold at all, being so mixed with the
spar or with earth, that it did not appear so plain; but, in every bit
there was something of the clear gold to be seen, and, the smaller the
lumps, the purer the gold appeared.

I was surprised at the quantity, more than at the quality of the metal,
having, as I have said, seen the gold which the Indians found in the
countries I have described, which seemed to have little or no mixture.
But then I was to have considered, that what those Indians gathered was
farther from the hills which it came from, and that those rough,
irregular pieces would not drive so far in the water, but would lodge
themselves in the earth and sand of the rivers nearer home; and also,
that the Indians, not knowing how to separate the gold by fire from the
dross and mixture above, did not think those rough pieces worth their
taking up, whereas, the Spaniards here understood much better what they
were about.

But, to return to the closet. When he had shown us this leather pouch of
gold, he swept the ore to one side of the table, which had ledges round
it to keep it from running off, and took up another bag full of large
pieces of stone, great lumps of earth, and pieces of various shapes, all
of which had some gold in them, but not to be gotten out but by fire.
These, he told us, their servants bring home as they find them in the
mountains, lying loose here and there, when they go after their cattle.

But still, I asked him if they found no pieces of pure gold; upon this
he turned to a great old cabinet, full of pretty large drawers, and,
pulling out one drawer, he showed us a surprising number of pieces of
pure clean gold, some round, some long, some flat, some thick, all of
irregular shapes, and worked roundish at the ends with rolling along on
the sands; some of these weighed a quarter of an ounce, some more, and
some less; and, as I lifted the drawer, I thought there could be no less
than between twenty and thirty pounds weight of it.

Then he pulled out another drawer, which was almost full of the same
kind of metal, but as small as sand, the biggest not so big as pins
heads, and which might very properly be called gold dust.

After this sight, we were not to be surprised at anything he could show
us of the kind. I asked him how long such a treasure might be amassing
together in that country? He told me that was according to the pains
they might take in the search; that he had been twelve years here, and
had done little or nothing; but, had he had twenty negroes to have set
on work, as he might have had, he might have procured more than this in
one year. I asked him how much gold in weight he thought there might be
in all he had shown me? He told me, he could not tell; that they never
troubled themselves to weigh, but when the silversmith at St. Jago came
to bring home any vessel, or when the merchants from Lima came to
Baldivia with European goods, then they bought what they wanted of them.
That they were sensible they gave excessive prices for everything, even
ten or twenty for one; but as gold, he said, was the growth of that
country, and the other things, such as cloth, linen, fine silks, &c,
were the gold of Europe, they did not think much to give what was asked
for those things. In short, I found that the people in this country,
though they kept large plantations in their hands, had great numbers of
cattle, ingenios, as they call them, for making sugar, and land, under
management, for the maintenance of themselves and families, yet did not
wholly neglect the getting gold out of the mountains, where it was in
such plenty; and, therefore, it seems the town adjacent is called Villa
Rica, or the Rich Town, being seated, as it were, at the foot of the
mountains, and in the richest part of them.

After I had sufficiently admired the vast quantity of gold he had, he
made signs to the doctor that I should take any piece or any quantity
that I pleased; but thought I might take it as an affront to have him
offer me any particular small parcel. The doctor hinted to me, and I
bade him return him thanks; but to let him know that I would by no means
have any of that, but that I would be glad to take up a piece or two,
such as chance should present to me, in the mountains, that I might show
in my own country, and tell them that I took it up with my own hands. He
answered, he would go with me himself; and doubted not but to carry me
where I should fully satisfy my curiosity, if I would be content to
climb a little among the rocks.

I now began to see plainly that I had no manner of need to have taken
his sons for hostages for my safety, and would fain have sent for them
back again, but he would by no means give me leave; so I was obliged to
give that over. A day or two after, I desired he would give me leave to
send for one person more from the ships, who I had a great mind should
see the country with me, and to send for some few things that I should
want, and, withal, to satisfy my men that I was safe and well.

This he consented to; so I sent away one of the two midshipmen, whom I
called my servants, and with him two servants of the Spaniard, my
landlord, as I styled him, with four mules and two horses. I gave my
midshipman my orders and directions, under my hand, to my supercargo,
what to do, for I was resolved to be even with my Spaniard for all his
good usage of me. The midshipman and his two companions did not return
in less than ten days, for they came back pretty well laden, and were
obliged to come all the way on foot.

The whole of this time my landlord and I spent in surveying the country,
and viewing his plantation. As for the city of Villa Rica, it was not
the most proper to go there in public, and the doctor knew that as well
as the Spaniard, and, therefore, though we went several times
_incognito_, yet it was of no consequence to me, neither did I desire

One night I had a very strange fright here, and behaved myself very much
like a simpleton about it. The case was this. I waked in the middle of
the night, and, chancing to open my eyes, I saw a great light of fire,
which, to me, seemed as if the house, or some part of it, had been on
fire, I, as if I had been at Wapping or Rotherhithe, where people are
always terrified with such things, jumped out of bed, and called my
friend, Captain Merlotte, and cried out, Fire! fire! The first thing I
should have thought of on this occasion should have been, that the
Spaniards did not understand what the words fire! fire! meant; and that,
if I expected they should understand me, I should have cried Fuego,

However, Captain Merlotte got up, and my Madagascar captain, for we all
lay near one another, and, with the noise, they waked the whole house;
and my landlord, as he afterwards confessed, began to suspect some
mischief, his steward having come to his chamber door, and told him that
the strangers were up in arms; in which mistake we might have all had
our throats cut, and the poor Spaniard not to blame neither.

But our doctor coming hastily in to me, unriddled the whole matter,
which was this: that a volcano, or burning vent among the hills, being
pretty near the Spanish side of the country, as there are many of them
in the Andes, had flamed out that night, and gave such a terrible light
in the air as made us think the fire had at least been in the outhouses,
or in part of the house, and, accordingly, had put me in such a fright.

Upon this, having told me what it was, he ran away to the Spanish
servants, and told them what the meaning of it all was, and bade them go
and satisfy their master, which they did, and all was well again; but,
as for myself, I sat up almost all the night staring out from the window
at the eruption of fire upon the hills, for the like wonderful
appearance I had never seen before.

I sincerely begged my landlord's pardon for disturbing his house, and
asked him if those eruptions were frequent? He said no, they were not
frequent, for they were constant, either in one part of the hills or
another; and that in my passing the mountains I should see several of
them. I asked him if they were not alarmed with them? and if they were
not attended with earthquakes? He said, he believed that among the hills
themselves they might have some shakings of the earth, because sometimes
were found pieces of the rocks that had been broken off and fallen down;
and that it was among those that sometimes parts of stone were found
which had gold interspersed in them, as if they had been melted and run
together, of which he had shown me some; but that, as for earthquakes in
the country, he had never heard of any since he came thither, which had
been upwards of fifteen years, including three years that he dwelt at
St. Jago.

One day, being out on horseback with my landlord, we rode up close to
the mountains, and he showed me at a distance, an entrance as he called
it, into them, frightful enough, indeed, as shall be described in its
place. He then told me, that was the way he intended to carry me when he
should go to show me the highest hills in the world; but he turned
short, and, smiling, said it should not be yet; for, though he had
promised me a safe return, and left hostages for it, yet he had not
capitulated for time.

I told him he need not capitulate with me for time; for if I had not two
ships to stay my coming, and between three and four hundred men eating
me up all the while, I did not know whether I should ever go away again
or not, if he would give me house room. He told me as to that, he had
sent my men some provisions, so that they would not starve if I did not
go back for some days. This surprised me not a little, and I discovered
it in my countenance. Nay, seignior, says he, I have only sent them some
victuals to maintain my two hostages, for you know they must not want.
It was not good manners in me to ask what he had sent; but I understood,
as soon as my midshipman returned, that he had sent down sixteen cows or
runts, I know not what else to call them, but they were black cattle,
thirty hogs, thirteen large Peruvian sheep, as big as great calves, and
three casks of Chilian wine, with an assurance that they should have
more provisions when that was spent.

I was amazed at all this munificence of the Spaniard, and very glad I
was that I had sent my midshipman for the things I intended to present
him with, for I was as well able to requite him for a large present as
he was to make it, and had resolved it before I knew he had sent
anything to the ships; so that this exchanging of presents was but a
kind of generous barter or commerce; for as to gold, we had either of us
so much, that it was not at all equal in value to what we had to give on
both sides, as we were at present situated.

In short, my midshipman returned with the horses and servants, and when
he had brought what I had sent for into a place which I desired the
Spaniard to allow me to open my things in, I sent my doctor to desire
the Spaniard to let me speak with him.

I told him first, that he must give me his parole of honour not to take
amiss what I had to say to him; that it was the custom in our country,
at any time, to make presents to the ladies, with the knowledge and
consent of their husbands or parents, without any evil design, or
without giving any offence, but that I knew it was not so among the
Spaniards. That I had not had the honour yet either to see his lady or
his daughter, but that I had heard he had both; however, that if he
pleased to be the messenger of a trifle I had caused my man to bring,
and would present it for me, and not take it as an offence, he should
see beforehand what it was, and I would content myself with his
accepting it in their behalf.

He told me, smiling, he did not bring me thither to take any presents of
me. I had already done enough, in that I had given him his liberty,
which was the most valuable gift in the world: and, as to his wife, I
had already made her the best present I was able, having given her back
her husband. That it is true, it was not the custom of the Spaniards to
let their wives appear in any public entertainment of friends, but that
he had resolved to break through that custom; and that he had told his
wife what a friend I had been to her family, and that she should thank
me for it in person; and that then, what present I had designed for her,
since I would be a maker of presents, she should do herself the honour
to take it with her own hands, and he would be very far from mistaking
them, or taking it ill from his wife.

As this was the highest compliment he was able to make me, the more he
was obliging in the manner, for he returned in about two hours, leading
his wife into the room by the hand, and his daughter following.

I must confess I was surprised, for I did not expect to have seen such a
sight in America. The lady's dress, indeed, I cannot easily describe;
but she was really a charming woman, of about forty years of age, and
covered over with emeralds and diamonds; I mean as to her head. She was
veiled till she came into the room, but gave her veil to her woman when
her husband took her by the hand. Her daughter I took to be about
twelve years old, which the Spaniards count marriageable; she was
pretty, but not so handsome as her mother.

After the compliments on both sides, my landlord, as I now call him,
told her very handsomely what a benefactor I had been to her family, by
redeeming him from the hands of villains; and she, turning to me,
thanked me in the most obliging manner, and with a modest graceful way
of speech, such as I cannot describe, and which indeed I did not think
the Spaniards, who are said to be so haughty, had been acquainted with.

I then desired the doctor to tell the Spaniard, her husband, that I
requested his lady to accept a small present which my midshipman had
brought for her from the ship, and which I took in my hand, and the
Spaniard led his wife forward to take it; and I must needs say it was
not a mean present, besides its being of ten times the value in that
place as it would have been at London; and I was now very glad that, as
I mentioned above, I always reserved a small quantity of all goods
unsold, that I might have them to dispose of as occasion should offer.

First, I presented her with a very fine piece of Dutch Holland, worth in
London about seven shillings an ell, and thirty-six ells in length, and
worth in Chili, to be sure, fifteen pieces of eight per ell, at least;
or it was rather likely that all the kingdom of Chili had not such

Then I gave her two pieces of China damask, and two pieces of China
silks, called atlasses, flowered with gold; two pieces of fine muslin,
one flowered the other plain, and a piece of very fine chintz, or
printed calico; also a large parcel of spices, made up in elegant
papers, being about six pounds of nutmegs, and about twice as many

And lastly, to the young lady I gave one piece of damask, two pieces of
China taffity, and a piece of fine striped muslin.

After all this was delivered, and the ladies had received them, and
given them their women to hold, I pulled out a little box in which I had
two couple of large pearls, of that pearl which I mentioned we found at
the Pearl Islands, very well matched for ear-rings, and gave the lady
one pair, and the daughter the other; and now, I think, I had made a
present fit for an ambassador to carry to a prince.

The ladies made all possible acknowledgment, and we had the honour that
day to dine with them in public. My landlord, the Spaniard, told me I
had given them such a present as the viceroy of Mexico's lady would have
gone fifty leagues to have received.

But I had not done with my host; for after dinner, I took him into the
same room, and told him I hoped he did not think I had made all my
presents to the ladies, and had nothing left to show my respect to him;
and therefore, first, I presented him with three negro men, which I had
bought at Callao for my own use, but knew I could supply myself again,
at or in my way home, at a moderate price; in the next place, I gave him
three pieces of black Colchester baize, which, though they are coarse
ordinary things in England, that a footman would scarce wear, are a
habit for a prince in that country. I then gave him a piece of very fine
English serge, which was really very valuable in England, but much more
there, and another piece of crimson broadcloth, and six pieces of fine
silk druggets for his two sons; and thus I finished my presents. The
Spaniard stood still and looked on all the while I was laying out my
presents to him, as one in a transport, and said not one word till all
was over; but then he told me very gravely, that it was now time for him
to turn me out of his house: For seignior, says he, no man ought to
suffer himself to be obliged beyond his power of return, and I have no
possible way of making any return to you equal to such things as these.

It is true the present I had made him, if it was to be rated by the
value of things in the country where it then was, would have been valued
at six or seven hundred pounds sterling; but, to reckon them as they
cost me, did not altogether amount to above one hundred pounds, except
the three negroes, which, indeed, cost me at Lima one thousand two
hundred pieces of eight.

He was as sensible of the price of those negroes as I was of the
occasion he had of them, and of the work he had to do for them; and he
came to me about an hour after, and told me he had looked over all the
particulars of the noble presents which I had made them; and though the
value was too great for him to accept, or for any man to offer him, yet
since I had been at so much trouble to send for the things, and that I
thought him worthy such a bounty, he was come back to tell me that he
accepted thankfully all my presents, both to himself and to his wife
and daughter, except only the three negroes; and as they were bought in
the country, and were the particular traffick of the place, he could not
take them as a present, but would be equally obliged, and take it for as
much a favour if I would allow him to pay for them.

I smiled, and told him he and I would agree upon that; for he did not
yet know what favours I had to ask of him, and what expense I should put
him to; that I had a great design in my view, which I was to crave his
assistance in, and which I had not yet communicated to him, in which he
might perhaps find that he would pay dear enough for all the little
presents I had made him; and, in the meantime, to make himself easy as
to the three negro men, I gave him my word that he should pay for them,
only not yet.

He could have nothing to object against an offer of this kind, because
he could not guess what I meant, but gave me all the assurance of
service and assistance that lay in his power in anything that I might
have to do in that country.

But here, by the way, it ought to be understood, that all this was
carried on with a supposition that we acted under a commission from the
King of France; and though he knew many of us were English, and that I
was an Englishman in particular, yet as we had such a commission, and
produced it, we were Frenchmen in that sense to him, nor did he
entertain us under any other idea.

The sequel of this story will also make it sufficiently appear that I
did not make such presents as these in mere ostentation, or only upon
the compliment of a visit to a Spanish gentleman, any more than I would
leave my ship and a cargo of such value, in the manner I had done, to
make a tour into the country, if I had not had views sufficient to
justify such measures; and the consequence of those measures will be the
best apology for my conduct, with all who will impartially consider

We had now spent a fortnight, and something more, in ceremony and
civilities, and in now and then taking a little tour about the fields
and towards the mountains. However, even in this way of living I was not
so idle as I seemed to be, for I not only made due observations of all
the country which I saw, but informed myself sufficiently of the parts
which I did not see. I found the country not only fruitful in the soil,
but wonderfully temperate and agreeable in its climate. The air, though
hot, according to its proper latitude, yet that heat so moderated by the
cool breezes from the mountains, that it was rather equal to the plain
countries in other parts of the world in the latitude of 50° than to a
climate in 38 to 40°.

This gave the inhabitants the advantages, not only of pleasant and
agreeable living, but also of a particular fertility which hot climates
are not blessed with, especially as to corn, the most necessary of all
productions, such as wheat, I mean European wheat, or English wheat,
which grew here as well and as kindly as in England, which in Peru and
in the Isthmus of America will by no means thrive for want of moisture
and cold.

Here were also an excellent middling breed of black cattle, which the
natives fed under the shade of the mountains and on the banks of the
rivers till they came to be very fat. In a word, here were, or might be
produced, all the plants, fruits, and grain, of a temperate climate. At
the same time, the orange, lemon, citron, pomegranate, and figs, with a
moderate care would come to a very tolerable perfection in their
gardens, and even sugar canes in some places, though these last but
rarely, and not without great art in the cultivation, and chiefly in

I was assured, that farther southward, beyond Baldivia, and to the
latitude of 47 to 49°, the lands were esteemed richer than where we now
were, the grass more strengthening and nourishing for the cattle, and
that, consequently, the black cattle, horses, and hogs, were all of a
larger breed. But that, as the Spaniards had no settlement beyond
Baldivia to the south, so they did not find the natives so tractable as
where we then were; where, though the Spaniards were but few, and the
strength they had was but small, yet, as upon any occasion they had
always been assisted with forces sufficient from St. Jago, and, if need
were, even from Peru, so the natives had always been subdued, and had
found themselves obliged to submit; and that now they were entirely
reduced, and were, and had been for several years, very easy and quiet.
Besides, the plentiful harvest which they made of gold from the
mountains (which appeared to be the great allurement of the Spaniards),
had drawn them rather to settle here than farther southward, being
naturally addicted, as my new landlord confessed to me, to reap the
harvest which had the least labour and hazard attending it, and the most

Not but that, at the same time, he confessed that he believed and had
heard that there was as much gold to be found farther to the south, as
far as the mountains continued; but that, as I have said, the natives
were more troublesome there, and more dangerous, and that the king of
Spain did not allow troops sufficient to civilize and reduce them.

I asked him concerning the natives in the country where we were? He told
me they were the most quiet and inoffensive people, since the Spaniards
had reduced them by force, that could be desired; that they were not,
indeed, numerous or warlike, the warlike and obstinate part of them
having fled farther off to the south, as they were overpowered by the
Spaniards; that, for those who were left, they lived secure under the
protection of the Spanish governor; that they fed cattle and planted the
country, and sold the product of their lands chiefly to the Spaniards;
but that they did not covet to be rich, only to obtain clothes, arms,
powder and shot, which, however, they were suffered to have but
sparingly, and with good assurance of their fidelity. I asked him if
they were not treacherous and perfidious, and if it was not dangerous
trusting themselves among them in the mountains, and in the retired
places where they dwelt? He told me that it was quite the contrary; that
they were so honest, and so harmless, that he would at any time venture
to send his two sons into the mountains a-hunting, with each of them a
Chilian for his guide; and let them stay with the said natives two or
three nights and days at a time, and be in no uneasiness about them; and
that none of them were ever known to do any foul or treacherous thing by
the Spaniards, since he had been in that country.

Having thus finally informed myself of things, I began now to think it
was high time to have a sight of the particulars which I came to inquire
after, viz., the passages of the mountains, and the wonders that were to
be discovered on the other side; and, accordingly, I took my patron, the
Spaniard, by himself, and told him that as I was a traveller, and was
now in such a remote part of the world, he could not but think I should
be glad to see everything extraordinary that was to be seen, that I
might be able to give some account of the world when I came into
Europe, better and differing from what others had done who had been
there before me; and that I had a great mind, if he would give me his
assistance, to enter into the passages and valleys which he had told me
so much of in the mountains; and, if it was possible, which, indeed, I
had always thought it was not, to take a prospect of the world on the
other side.

He told me it was not a light piece of work, and perhaps the discoveries
might not answer my trouble, there being little to be seen but steep
precipices, inhospitable rocks, and impassable mountains, immuring us on
every side, innumerable rills and brooks of water falling from the
cliffs, making a barbarous and unpleasant sound, and that sound echoed
and reverberated from innumerable cavities among the rocks, and these
all pouring down into one middle stream, which we should always find on
one side or other of us as we went; and that sometimes we should be
obliged to pass those middle streams, as well as the rills and brooks on
the sides, without a bridge, and at the trouble of pulling off our

He told us that we should meet, indeed, with provisions enough, and with
an innocent, harmless people, who, according to their ability, would
entertain us very willingly; but that I, who was a stranger, would be
sorely put to it for lodging, especially for so many of us.

However, he said, as he had perhaps at first raised this curiosity in
me, by giving me a favourable account of the place, he would be very far
from discouraging me now; and that, if I resolved to go, he would not
only endeavour to make everything as pleasant to me as he could, but
that he and his major-domo would go along with me, and see us safe
through and safe home again; but desired me not to be in too much haste,
for that he must make some little preparation for the journey, which, as
he told us, might perhaps take us up fourteen or sixteen days forward,
and as much back again; not, he said, that it was necessary that we
should be so long going and coming, as that he supposed I would take
time to see everything which I might think worth seeing, and not be in
so much haste as if I was sent express. I told him he was very much in
the right; that I did not desire to make a thing which I had expected so
much pleasure in, be a toil to me more than needs must; and, above all,
that as I supposed I should not return into these parts very soon, I
would not take a cursory view of a place which I expected would be so
well worth seeing, and let it be known to all I should speak of it to,
that I wanted to see it again before I could give a full account of it.

Well, seignior, says he, we will not be in haste, or view it by halves;
for, if wild and uncouth places be a diversion to you, I promise myself
your curiosity shall be fully gratified; but as to extraordinary things,
rarities in nature, and surprising incidents, which foreigners expect, I
cannot say much to those. However, what think you, seignior, says he, if
we should take a tour a little way into the entrance of the hills which
I showed you the other day, and look upon the gate of this gulf? Perhaps
your curiosity may be satisfied with the first day's prospect, which I
assure you will be none of the most pleasant, and you may find yourself
sick of the enterprise.

I told him, no; I was so resolved upon the attempt, since he, who I was
satisfied would not deceive me, had represented it as so feasible, and
especially since he had offered to conduct me through it, that I would
not, for all the gold that was in the mountains, lay it aside. He shook
his head at that expression, and, smiling at the doctor, says he, This
gentleman little thinks that there is more gold in these mountains, nay,
even in this part where we are, than there is above ground in the whole
world. Partly understanding what he said, I answered, my meaning was to
let him see that nothing could divert me from the purpose of viewing the
place, unless he himself forbade me, which I hoped he would not; and
that, as for looking a little way into the passage, to try if the horror
of the place would put a check to my curiosity, I would not give him
that trouble, seeing, the more terrible and frightful, the more
difficult and impracticable it was, provided it could be mastered at
last, the more it would please me to attempt and overcome it.

Nay, nay, seignior, said he, pleasantly, there is nothing difficult or
impracticable in it, nor is it anything but what the country people, and
even some of our nation, perform every day; and that not only by
themselves, either for sport in pursuit of game, but even with droves of
cattle, which they go with from place to place, as to a market or a
fair; and, therefore, if the horror of the cliffs and precipices, the
noises of the volcanos, the fire, and such things as you may hear and
see above you, will not put a stop to your curiosity, I assure you, you
shall not meet with anything impassable or impracticable below, nor
anything but, with the assistance of God and the Blessed Virgin (and
then he crossed himself, and so we did all), we shall go cheerfully

Finding, therefore, that I was thus resolutely bent upon the enterprise,
but not in the least guessing at my design, he gave order to have
servants and mules provided, for mules are much fitter to travel among
the hills than horses; and, in four days he promised to be ready for a

I had nothing to do in all these four days but to walk abroad, and, as
we say, look about me; but I took this opportunity to give instructions
to my two midshipmen, who were called my servants, in what they were to

First, I charged them to make landmarks, bearings, and beacons, as we
might call them, upon the rocks above them, and at every turning in the
way below them, also at the reaches and windings of the rivers and
brooks, falls of water, and everything remarkable, and to keep each of
them separate and distinct journals of those things, not only to find
the way back again by the same steps, but that they might be able to
find that way afterwards by themselves, and without guides, which was
the foundation and true intent of all the rest of my undertaking; and,
as I knew these were both capable to do it, and had courage and fidelity
to undertake it, I had singled them out for the attempt, and had made
them fully acquainted with my whole scheme, and, consequently, they knew
the meaning and reason of my present discourse with them. They promised
not to fail to show me a plan of the hills, with the bearings of every
point, one with another, where every step was to be taken, and every
turning to the right hand or to the left, and such a journal, I believe,
was never seen before or since, but it is too long for this place. I
shall, however, take out the heads of it as I proceed, which may serve
as a general description of the place.

The evening of the fourth day, as he had appointed, my friend, the
Spaniard, let me know, that he was ready to set out, and accordingly we
began our cavalcade. My retinue consisted of six, as before, and we had
mules provided for us; my two midshipmen, as servants, had two mules
given them also for their baggage, the Spaniard had six also, viz., his
gentleman, or, as I called him before, his major-domo, on horseback,
that is to say, on muleback, with mules for his baggage, and four
servants on foot. Just before we set out, his gentleman brought each of
us a fuzee, and our two servants each a harquebuss, or short musket,
with cartouches, powder, and ball, together with a pouch and small shot,
such as we call swan-shot, for fowls or deer, as we saw occasion.

I was as well pleased with this circumstance as with any my landlord had
done, because I had not so entire a confidence in the native Chilians as
he had; but I saw plainly, some time after, that I was wrong, for
nothing could be more honest, quiet, and free from design, than those
people, except the poor honest people where we dressed up the king and
queen, as already mentioned.

We were late in the morning before we got out, having all this equipage
to furnish, and, travelling very gently, it was about two hours before
sunset when we came to the entrance of the mountains, where, to my
surprise, I found we were to go in upon a level, without any ascent, at
least that was considerable. We had, indeed, gone up upon a sharp
ascent, for near two miles, before we came to the place.

The entrance was agreeable enough, the passage being near half a mile
broad. On the left hand was a small river, whose channel was deep, but
the water shallow, there having been but little rain for some time; the
water ran very rapid, and, as my Spaniard told me, was sometimes
exceeding fierce. The entrance lay inclining a little south, and was so
straight, that we could see near a mile before us; but the prodigious
height of the hills on both sides, and before us, appearing one over
another, gave such a prospect of horror, that I confess it was frightful
at first to look on the stupendous altitude of the rocks; everything
above us looking one higher than another was amazing; and to see how in
some places they hung over the river, and over the passage, it created a
dread of being overwhelmed with them.

The rocks and precipices of the Andes, on our right hand, had here and
there vast cliffs and entrances, which looked as if they had been
different thoroughfares; but, when we came to look full into them, we
could see no passage at the farther end, and that they went off in
slopes, and with gulleys made by the water, which, in hasty rains, came
pouring down from the hills, and which, at a distance, made such noises
as it is impossible to conceive, unless by having seen and heard the
like before; for the water, falling from a height twenty times as high
as our own Monument, and, perhaps, much higher, and meeting in the
passage with many dashes and interruptions, it is impossible to describe
how the sound, crossing and interfering, mingled itself, and the several
noises sunk one into another, increasing the whole, as the many waters
joining increased the main stream.

We entered this passage about two miles the first night; after the first
length, which as I said, held about three quarters of a mile, we turned
away to the south, short on the right hand; the river leaving us, seemed
to come through a very narrow but deep hollow of the mountains, where
there was little more breadth at the bottom than the channel took up,
though the rocks inclined backward as they ascended, as placed in
several stages, though all horrid and irregular; and we could see
nothing but blackness and terror all the way. I was glad our passage did
not turn on that side, but wondered that we should leave the river, and
the more when I found, that in the way we went, having first mounted
gently a green pleasant slope, it declined again, and we saw a new
rivulet begin in the middle, and the water running south-east or
thereabouts. This discovery made me ask if the water went away into the
new world beyond the hills? My patron smiled, and said, No seignior, not
yet; we shall meet with the other river again very quickly; and so we
found it again the next morning.

When we came a little farther, we found the passage open, and we came to
a very pleasant plain, which declined a little gradually, widening to
the left, or east side; on the right side of this we saw another vast
opening like the first, which went in about half a mile, and then closed
up as the first had done, sloping up to the top of the hills, a most
astonishing inconceivable height.

My patron stopping here, and getting down, or alighting from his mule,
gave him to his man, and asking me to alight, told me this was the first
night's entertainment I was to meet with in the Andes, and hoped I was
prepared for it. I told him, that I might very well consent to accept of
such entertainment, in a journey of my own contriving, as he was content
to take up with, in compliment to me.

I looked round to see if there were any huts or cots of the
mountaineers thereabouts, but I perceived none; only I observed
something like a house, and it was really a house of some of the said
mountaineers, upon the top of a precipice as high from where we stood,
as the summit of the cupola of St. Paul's, and I saw some living
creatures, whether men or women I could not tell, looking from thence
down upon us. However, I understood afterwards that they had ways to
come at their dwelling, which were very easy and agreeable, and had
lanes and plains where they fed their cattle, and had everything growing
that they desired.

My patron, making a kind of an invitation to me to walk, took me up that
dark chasm, or opening, on the right hand, which I have just mentioned.
Here, sir, said he, if you will venture to walk a few steps, it is
likely we may show you some of the product of this country; but,
recollecting that night was approaching, he added, I see it is too dark;
perhaps it will be better to defer it till the morning. Accordingly, we
walked back towards the place where we had left our mules and servants,
and, when we came thither, there was a complete camp fixed, three very
handsome tents raised, and a bar set up at a distance, where the mules
were tied one to another to graze, and the servants and the baggage lay
together, with an open tent over them.

My patron led me into the first tent, and told me he was obliged to let
me know that I must make a shift with that lodging, the place not
affording any better.

Here we had quilts laid very commodiously for me and my three comrades,
and we lodged very comfortably; but, before we went to rest, we had the
third tent to go to, in which there was a very handsome table, covered
with a cold treat of roasted mutton and beef, very well dressed, some
potted or baked venison, with pickles, conserves, and fine sweetmeats of
various sorts.

Here we ate very freely, but he bade us depend upon it that we should
not fare so well the next night, and so it would be worse every night,
till we came to lie entirely at a mountaineer's; but he was better to us
than he pretended.

In the morning, we had our chocolate as regularly as we used to have it
in his own house, and we were soon ready to pursue our journey. We went
winding now from the south-east to the left, till our course looked east
by north, when we came again to have the river in view. But I should
have observed here, that my two midshipmen, and two of my patron's
servants, had, by his direction, been very early in the morning climbing
up the rocks in the opening on the right hand, and had come back again
about a quarter of an hour after we set out; when, missing my two men, I
inquired for them, and my patron said they were coming; for, it seems he
saw them at a distance, and so we halted for them.

When they were come almost up to us, he called to his men in Spanish, to
ask if they had had Una bon vejo? They answered, Poco, poco; and when
they came quite up, one of my midshipmen showed me three or four small
bits of clean perfect gold, which they had picked up in the hill or
gullet where the water trickled down from the rocks; and the Spaniard
told them that, had they had time, they should have found much more, the
water being quite down, and nobody having been there since the last hard
rain. One of the Spaniards had three small bits in his hand also. I said
nothing for the present, but charged my midshipmen to mark the place,
and so we went on.

We followed up the stream of this water for three days more, encamping
every night as before, in which time we passed by several such openings
into the rocks on either side. On the fourth day we had the prospect of
a very pleasant valley and river below us, on the north side, keeping
its course almost in the middle; the valley reaching near four miles in
length, and in some places near two miles broad.

This sight was perfectly surprising, because here we found the vale
fruitful, level, and inhabited, there being several small villages or
clusters of houses, such as the Chilians live in, which are low houses,
covered with a kind of sedge, and sheltered with little rows of thick
grown trees, but of what kind we knew not.

We saw no way through the valley, nor which way we were to go out, but
perceived it everywhere bounded with prodigious mountains, look to which
side of it we would. We kept still on the right, which was now the
south-east side of the river, and as we followed it up the stream, it
was still less than at first, and lessened every step we went, because
of the number of rills we left behind us; and here we encamped the fifth
time, and all this time the Spanish gentleman victualled us; then we
turned again to the right, where we had a new and beautiful prospect of
another valley, as broad as the other, but not above a mile in length.

After we had passed through this valley, my patron rode up to a poor
cottage of a Chilian Indian without any ceremony, and calling us all
about him, told us that there we would go to dinner. We saw a smoke
indeed _in_ the house, rather than coming _out_ of it; and the little
that did, smothered through a hole in the roof instead of a chimney.
However, to this house, as an inn, my patron had sent away his
major-domo and another servant; and there they were, as busy as two
professed cooks, boiling and stewing goats' flesh and fowls, making up
soups, broths, and other messes, which it seems they were used to
provide, and which, however homely the cottage was, we found very
savoury and good.

Immediately a loose tent was pitched, and we had our table set up, and
dinner served in; and afterwards, having reposed ourselves (as the
custom there is), we were ready to travel again.

I had leisure all this while to observe and wonder at the admirable
structure of this part of the country, which may serve, in my opinion,
for the eighth wonder of the world; that is to say, supposing there were
but seven before. We had in the middle of the day, indeed, a very hot
sun, and the reflection from the mountains made it still hotter; but the
height of the rocks on every side began to cast long shadows before
three o'clock, except where the openings looked towards the west; and as
soon as those shadows reached us, the cool breezes of the air came
naturally on, and made our way exceeding pleasant and refreshing.

The place we were in was green and flourishing, and the soil well
cultivated by the poor industrious Chilians, who lived here in perfect
solitude, and pleased with their liberty from the tyranny of the
Spaniards, who very seldom visited them, and never molested them, being
pretty much out of their way, except when they came for hunting and
diversion, and then they used the Chilians always civilly, because they
were obliged to them for their assistance in their diversions, the
Chilians of those valleys being very active, strong, and nimble fellows.

By this means most of them were furnished with fire-arms, powder, and
shot, and were very good marksmen; but, as to violence against any one,
they entertained no thought of that kind, as I could perceive, but were
content with their way of living, which was easy and free.

The tops of the mountains here, the valleys being so large, were much
plainer to be seen than where the passages were narrow, for there the
height was so great that we could see but little. Here, at several
distances (the rocks towering one over another), we might see smoke come
out of some, snow lying upon others, trees and bushes growing all
around; and goats, wild asses, and other creatures, which we could
hardly distinguish, running about in various parts of the country.

When we had passed through this second valley, I perceived we came to a
narrower passage, and something like the first; the entrance into it
indeed was smooth, and above a quarter of a mile broad, and it went
winding away to the north, and then again turned round to the
north-east, afterwards almost due-east, and then to the south-east, and
so to south-south-east; and this frightful narrow strait, with the
hanging rocks almost closing together on the top, whose height we could
neither see nor guess at, continued about three days' journey more, most
of the way ascending gently before us. As to the river, it was by this
time quite lost; but we might see, that on any occasion of rain, or of
the melting of the snow on the mountains, there was a hollow in the
middle of the valley through which the water made its way, and on either
hand, the sides of the hills were full of the like gulleys, made by the
violence of the rain, where, not the earth only, but the rocks
themselves, even the very stone, seemed to be worn and penetrated by the
continual fall of the water.

Here my patron showed me, that in the hollow which I mentioned in the
middle of this way, and at the bottom of those gulleys, or places worn
as above in the rocks, there were often found pieces of gold, and
sometimes, after a rain, very great quantities; and that there were few
of the little Chilian cottages which I had seen where they had not
sometimes a pound or two of gold dust and lumps of gold by them, and he
was mistaken, if I was willing to stay and make the experiment, if we
did not find some even then, in a very little search.

The Chilian mountaineer at whose house we stopped to dine had gone with
us, and he hearing my patron say thus, ran presently to the hollow
channel in the middle, where there was a kind of fail or break in it,
which the water, by falling perhaps two or three feet, had made a hollow
deeper than the rest, and which, though there was no water then running,
yet had water in it, perhaps the quantity of a barrel or two. Here, with
the help of two of the servants and a kind of scoop, he presently threw
out the water, with the sand, and whatever was at bottom among it, into
the ordinary watercourse; the water falling thus hard, every scoopful
upon the sand or earth that came out of the scoop before it, washed a
great deal of it away; and among that which remained, we might plainly
see little lumps of gold shining as big as grains of sand, and sometimes
one or two a little bigger.

This was demonstration enough to us. I took up some small grains of it,
about the quantity of half a quarter of an ounce, and left my midshipmen
to take up more, and they stayed indeed so long, that they could scarce
see their way to overtake us, and brought away about two ounces in all,
the Chilian and the servants freely giving them all they found.

When we had travelled about nine miles more in this winding frightful
narrow way, it began to grow towards night, and my patron talked of
taking up our quarters as we had before; but his gentleman put him in a
mind of a Chilian, one of their old servants, who lived in a turning
among the mountains, about half a mile out of our way, and where we
might be accommodated with a house, or place at least, for our cookery.
Very true, says our patron, we will go thither; and there, seignior,
says he, turning to me, you shall see an emblem of complete felicity,
even in the middle of this seat of horror; and you shall see a prince
greater, and more truly so, than King Philip, who is the greatest man in
the world.

Accordingly we went softly on, his gentleman having advanced before, and
in about half a mile we found a turning or opening on our left, where we
beheld a deep large valley, almost circular, and of about a mile
diameter, and abundance of houses or cottages interspersed all over it,
so that the whole valley looked like an inhabited village, and the
ground like a planted garden.

We who, as I said, had been for some miles ascending, were so high above
the valley, that it looked as the lowlands in England do below Box Hill
in Surrey; and I was going to ask how we should get down? but, as we
were come into a wider space than before, so we had more daylight; for
though the hollow way had rendered it near dusk before, now it was
almost clear day again.

Here we parted with the first Chilian that I mentioned, and I ordered
one of my midshipmen to give him a hat, and a piece of black baize,
enough to make him a cloak, which so obliged the man that he knew not
what way to testify his joy; but I knew what I was doing in this, and I
ordered my midshipman to do it that he might make his acquaintance with
him against another time, and it was not a gift ill bestowed, as will
appear in its place.

We were now obliged to quit our mules, who all took up their quarters at
the top of the hill, while we, by footings made in the rocks, descended,
as we might say, down a pair of stairs of half a mile long, but with
many plain places between, like foot-paces, for the ease of going and

Thus, winding and turning to avoid the declivity of the hill, we came
very safe to the bottom, where my patron's gentleman brought our new
landlord, that was to be, who came to pay his compliments to us.

He was dressed in a jerkin made of otter-skin, like a doublet, a pair of
long Spanish breeches, of leather dressed after the Spanish fashion,
green, and very soft, and which looked very well, but what the skin was,
I could not guess; he had over it a mantle of a kind of cotton, dyed in
two or three grave brown colours, and thrown about him like a Scotsman's
plaid; he had shoes of a particular make, tied on like sandals,
flat-heeled, no stockings, his breeches hanging down below the calf of
his leg, and his shoes lacing up above his ancles. He had on a cap of
the skin of some small beast like a racoon, with a bit of the tail
hanging out from the crown of his head backward, a long pole in his
hand, and a servant, as oddly dressed as himself, carried his gun; he
had neither spado nor dagger.

When our patron came up, the Chilian stepped forward and made him three
very low bows, and then they talked together, not in Spanish, but in a
kind of mountain jargon, some Spanish, and some Chilian, of which I
scarce understood one word. After a few words, I understood he said
something of a stranger come to see, and then, I supposed, added, the
passages of the mountains; then the Chilian came towards me, made me
three bows, and bade me welcome in Spanish. As soon as he had said
that, he turns to his barbarian, I mean his servant, for he was as ugly
a looked fellow as ever I saw, and taking his gun from him presented it
to me. My patron bade me take it, for he saw me at a loss what to do,
telling me that it was the greatest compliment that a Chilian could pay
to me; he would be very ill pleased and out of humour if it was not
accepted, and would think we did not want to be friendly with him.

As we had not given this Chilian any notice of our coming, more than a
quarter of an hour, we could not expect great matters of entertainment,
and, as we carried our provision with us, we did not stand in much need
of it; but we had no reason to complain.

This man's habitation was the same as the rest, low, and covered with a
sedge, or a kind of reed which we found grew very plentifully in the
valley where he lived; he had several pieces of ground round his
dwelling, enclosed with walls made very artificially with small stones
and no mortar; these enclosed grounds were planted with several kinds of
garden-stuff for his household, such as plantains, Spanish cabbages,
green cocoa, and other things of the growth of their own country, and
two of them with European wheat.

He had five or six apartments in his house, every one of them had a door
into the open air, and into one another, and two of them were very large
and decent, had long tables on one side, made after their own way, and
benches to sit to them, like our country people's long tables in
England, and mattresses like couches all along the other side, with
skins of several sorts of wild creatures laid on them to repose on in
the heat of the day, as is the usage among the Spaniards.

Our people set up their tents and beds abroad as before; but my patron
told me the Chilian would take it very ill if he and I did not take up
our lodging in his house, and we had two rooms provided, very
magnificent in their way.

The mattress we lay on had a large canopy over it, spread like the crown
of a tent, and covered with a large piece of cotton, white as milk, and
which came round every way like a curtain, so that if it had been in the
open field it would have been a complete covering. The bed, such as it
was, might be nearly as hard as a quilt, and the covering was of the
same cotton as the curtain-work, which, it seems, is the manufacture of
the Chilian women, and is made very dexterously; it looked wild, but
agreeably enough, and proper to the place, so I slept very comfortably
in it.

But, I must confess, I was surprised at the aspect of things in the
night here. It was, as I told you above, near night when we came to this
man's cottage (palace I should have called it), and, while we were
taking our repast, which was very good, it grew quite night.

We had wax candles brought in to accommodate us with light, which, it
seems, my patron's man had provided; and the place had so little
communication with the air by windows, that we saw nothing of what was
without doors.

After supper my patron turned to me and said, Come, seignior, prepare
yourself to take a walk. What! in the dark, said I, in such a country as
this? No, no, says he, it is never dark here, you are now come to the
country of everlasting day; what think you? is not this Elysium? I do
not understand you, answered I. But you will presently, says he, when I
shall show you that it is now lighter abroad than when we came in. Soon
after this some of the servants opened the door that went into the next
room, and the door of that room, which opened in the air, stood open,
from whence a light of fire shone into the outer room, and so farther
into ours. What are they burning there? said I to my patron. You will
see presently, says he, adding, I hope you will not be surprised, and
then he led me to the outer door.

But who can express the thoughts of a man's heart, coming on a sudden
into a place where the whole world seemed to be on fire! The valley was,
on one side, so exceeding bright the eye could scarce bear to look at
it; the sides of the mountains were shining like the fire itself; the
flame from the top of the mountain on the other side casting its light
directly upon them. From thence the reflection into other parts looked
red, and more terrible; for the first was white and clear, like the
light of the sun; but the other, being, as it were, a reflection of
light mixed with some darker cavities, represented the fire of a
furnace; and, in short, it might well be said here was no darkness; but
certainly, at the first view, it gives a traveller no other idea than
that of being at the very entrance into eternal horror.

All this while there was no fire, that is to say, no real flame to be
seen, only, that where the flame was it shone clearly into the valley;
but the vulcano, or vulcanoes, from whence the fire issued out (for it
seems there was no less than three of them, though at the distance of
some miles from one another), were on the south and east sides of the
valley, which was so much on that side where we were, that we could see
nothing but the light; neither on the other side could they see any
more, it seems, than just the top of the flame, not knowing anything of
the places from whence it issued out, which no mortal creature, no, not
of the Chilians themselves, were ever hardy enough to go near. Nor would
it be possible, if any should attempt it, the tops of the hills, for
many leagues about them, being covered with new mountains of ashes and
stones, which are daily cast out of the mouths of those volcanoes, by
which they grew every day higher than they were before, and which would
overwhelm, not only men, but whole armies of men, if they should venture
to come near them.

When first we came into the long narrow way I mentioned last, I
observed, as I thought, the wind blew very hard aloft among the hills,
and that it made a noise like thunder, which I thought nothing of, but
as a thing usual. But now, when I came to this terrible sight, and that
I heard the same thunder, and yet found the air calm and quiet, I soon
understood that it was a continued thunder, occasioned by the roaring of
the fire in the bowels of the mountains.

It must be some time, as may be supposed, before a traveller,
unacquainted with such things, could make them familiar to him; and
though the horror and surprise might abate, after proper reflections on
the nature and reason of them, yet I had a kind of astonishment upon me
for a great while; every different place to which I turned my eye
presented me with a new scene of horror. I was for some time frighted at
the fire being, as it were, over my head, for I could see nothing of it;
but that the air looked as if it were all on fire; and I could not
persuade myself but it would cast down the rocks and mountains on my
head; but I was laughed out of that notion by the company.

After a while, I asked them if these volcanoes did not cast out a kind
of liquid fire, as I had seen an account of on the eruptions at
Mount-Ætna, which cast out, as we are told, a prodigious stream of fire,
and run several leagues into the sea?

Upon my putting this question to my patron, he asked the Chilian how
long ago it was since such a stream, calling it by a name of their own,
ran fire? He answered, it ran now, and if we were disposed to walk but
three furlongs we should see it.

He said little to me, but asked me if I cared to walk a little way by
this kind of light? I told him it was a surprising place we were in, but
I supposed he would lead me into no danger.

He said he would assure me he would lead me into no danger; that these
things were very familiar to them, but that I might depend there was no
hazard, and that the flames which gave all this light were six or seven
miles off, and some of them more.

We walked along the plain of the valley about half a mile, when another
great valley opened to the right, and gave us a more dreadful prospect
than any we had seen before; for at the farther end of this second
valley, but at the distance of three miles from where we stood, we saw a
livid stream of fire come running down the sides of the mountain for
near three quarters of a mile in length, running like melted metal into
a mould, until, I supposed, as it came nearer the bottom, it cooled and
separated, and so went out of itself.

Beyond this, over the summit of a prodigious mountain, we could see the
tops of the clear flame of a volcano, a dreadful one, no doubt, could we
have seen it all; and from the mouth of which it was supposed this
stream of fire came, though the Chilian assured us that the fire itself
was eight leagues off, and that the liquid fire which we saw came out of
the side of the mountain, and was two leagues from the great volcano
itself, running like liquid metal out of a furnace.

They told me there was a great deal of melted gold ran down with the
other inflamed earth in that stream, and that much of the metal was
afterwards found there; but this I was to take upon trust.

The sight, as will easily be supposed, was best at a distance, and,
indeed, I had enough of it. As for my two midshipmen, they were almost
frightened out of all their resolutions of going any farther in this
horrible place; and when we stopped they came mighty seriously to me,
and begged, for God's sake, not to venture any farther upon the faith of
these Spaniards, for that they would certainly carry us all into some
mischief or other, and betray us.

I bade them be easy, for I saw nothing in it all that looked like
treachery; that it was true, indeed, it was a terrible place to look on,
but it seemed to be no more than what was natural and familiar there,
and we should be soon out of it.

They told me very seriously that they believed it was the mouth of hell,
and that, in short, they were not able to bear it, and entreated me to
go back. I told them I could not think of that, but if they could not
endure it, I would give consent that they should go back in the morning.
However, we went for the present to the Chilian's house again, where we
got a plentiful draught of Chilian wine, for my patron had taken care to
have a good quantity of it with us; and in the morning my two
midshipmen, who got very drunk over night, had courage enough to venture
forward again; for the light of the sun put quite another face upon
things, and nothing of the fire was then to be seen, only the smoke.

All our company lodged in the tents here, but myself and my patron, the
Spaniard, who lodged within the Chilian's house, as I have said.

This Chilian was a great man among the natives, and all the valley I
spoke of, which lay round his dwelling, was called his own. He lived in
a perfect state of tranquility, neither enjoying or coveting anything
but what was necessary, and wanting nothing that was so. He had gold
merely for the trouble of picking it up, for it was found in all the
little gulleys and rills of water which, as I have said, came down from
the mountains on every side; yet I did not find that he troubled himself
to lay up any great quantity, more than served to go to Villa Rica and
buy what he wanted for himself and family.

He had, it seems, a wife and some daughters, but no sons; these lived in
a separate house, about a furlong from that where he lived, and were
kept there as a family by themselves, and if he had any sons they would
have lived with him.

He did not offer to go with us any part of our way, as the other had
done, but, having entertained us with great civility, took his leave. I
caused one of my midshipmen to make him a present, when we came away, of
a piece of black baize, enough to make him a cloak, as I did the other,
and a piece of blue English serge, enough to make him a jerkin and
breeches, which he accepted as a great bounty.

We set out again, though not very early in the morning, having, as I
said, sat up late, and drank freely over night, and we found, that
after we had been gone to sleep it had rained very hard, and though the
rain was over before we went out, yet the falling of the water from the
hills made such a confused noise, and was echoed so backward and forward
from all sides, that it was like a strange mixture of distant thunder,
and though we knew the causes, yet it could not but be surprising to us
for awhile.

However, we set forward, the way under foot being pretty good; and first
he went up the steps again by which we had come down, our last host
waiting on us thither, and there I gave him back his gun, for he would
not take it before.

In this valley, which was the pleasantest by day and the most dismal by
night that ever I saw, I observed abundance of goats, as well tame in
the enclosures, as wild upon the rocks; and we found afterwards, that
the last were perfectly wild, and to be had, like those at Juan
Fernandez, by any one who could catch them. My patron sent off two of
his men, just as a huntsman casts off his hounds, to go and catch goats,
and they brought us in three, which they shot in less than half an hour,
and these we carried with us for our evening supply; for we made no
dinner this day, having fed heartily in the morning about nine, and had
chocolate two hours before that.

We travelled now along the narrow winding passage, which I mentioned
before, for about four hours, until I found, that though we had ascended
but gently, yet that, as we had done so for almost twenty miles
together, we were got up to a frightful height, and I began to expect
some very difficult descent on the other side; but we were made easy
about two o'clock, when the way not only declined again to the east, but
grew wider, though with frequent turnings and windings about, so that we
could seldom see above half a mile before us.

We went on thus pretty much on a level, now rising, now falling; but
still I found that we were a very great height from our first entrance,
and, as to the running of the water, I found that it flowed neither east
nor west, but ran all down the little turnings that we frequently met
with on the north side of our way, which my patron told me fell all into
the great valley where we saw the fire, and so passed off by a general
channel north-west, until it found its way out into the open country of
Chili, and so to the South Seas.

We were now come to another night's lodging, which we were obliged to
take up with on the green grass, as we did the first night; but, by the
help of our proveditor-general, my patron, we fared very well, our
goat's flesh being reduced into so many sorts of venison, that none of
us could distinguish it from the best venison we ever tasted.

Here we slept without any of the frightful things we saw the night
before, except that we might see the light of the fire in the air at a
great distance, like a great city in flames, but that gave us no
disturbance at all.

In the morning our two hunters shot a deer, or rather a young fawn,
before we were awake, and this was the first we met with in this part of
our travel, and thus we were provided for dinner even before
breakfast-time; as for our breakfast, it was always a Spanish one, that
is to say, about a pint of chocolate.

We set out very merrily in the morning, and we that were Englishmen
could not refrain smiling at one another, to think how we passed through
a country where the gold lay in every ditch, as we might call it, and
never troubled ourselves so much as to stoop to take it up; so certain
is it, that it is easy to be placed in a station of life where that very
gold, the heaping up of which is elsewhere made the main business of
man's living in the world, would be of no value, and not worth taking
off from the ground; nay, not of signification enough to make a present
of, for that was the case here.

Two or three yards of Colchester baize, a coarse rug-like manufacture,
worth in London about 15½_d._ per yard, was here a present for a man of
quality, when, for a handful of gold dust, the same person would scarce
say, Thank you; or, perhaps, would think himself not kindly treated to
have it offered him.

We travelled this day pretty smartly, having rested at noon about two
hours, as before, and, by my calculation, went about twenty-two English
miles in all. About five o'clock in the afternoon, we came into a broad,
plain open place, where, though it was not properly a valley, yet we
found it lay very level for a good way together, our way lying almost
east-south-east. After we had marched so about two miles, I found the
way go evidently down hill, and, in half a mile more, to our singular
satisfaction we found the water from the mountains ran plainly
eastward, and, consequently, to the North Sea.

We saw at a distance several huts or houses of the mountaineer
inhabitants, but went near none of them, but kept on our way, going down
two or three pretty steep places, not at all dangerous, though something

We encamped again the next night as before, and still our good caterer
had plenty of food for us; but I observed that the next morning, when we
set forward, our tents were left standing, the baggage mules tied
together to graze, and our company lessened by all my patron's servants,
which, when I inquired about, he told me he hoped we should have good
quarters quickly without them.

I did not understand him for the present, but it unriddled itself soon
after; for, though we travelled four days more in that narrow way, yet
he always found us lodging at the cottages of the mountaineers.

The sixth day we went all day up hill; at last, on a sudden, the way
turned short east, and opened into a vast wide country, boundless to the
eye every way, and delivered us entirely from the mountains of the
Andes, in which we had wandered so long.

Any one may guess what an agreeable surprise this was to us, to whom it
was the main end of our travels. We made no question that this was the
open country extending to the North, or Atlantic Ocean; but how far it
was thither, or what inhabitants it was possessed by, what travelling,
what provisions to be found by the way, what rivers to pass, and whether
any navigable or not, this our patron himself could not tell us one word
of, owning frankly to us, that he had never been one step farther than
the place where we then stood, and that he had been there only once, to
satisfy his curiosity, as I did now.

I told him, that if I had lived where he did, and had servants and
provisions at command as he had, it would have been impossible for me to
have restrained my curiosity so far as not to have searched through that
whole country to the sea-side long ago. I also told him it seemed to be
a pleasant and fruitful soil, and, no doubt, was capable of cultivations
and improvements; and, if it had been only to have possessed such a
country in his Catholic majesty's name, it must have been worth while to
undertake the discovery for the honour of Spain; and that there could
be no room to question but his Catholic majesty would have honoured the
man who should have undertaken such a thing with some particular mark of
his favour, which might be of consequence to him and his family.

He answered me, as to that, the Spaniards seemed already to have more
dominions in America than they could keep, and much more than they were
able to reap the benefit of, and still more infinitely than they could
improve, and especially in those parts called South America.

And he, moreover, told me, that it was next to a miracle they could keep
possession of the place we were in; and, were not the natives so utterly
destitute of support from any other part of the world, as not to be able
to have either arms or ammunition put into their hands, it would be
impossible, since I might easily see they were men that wanted not
strength of body or courage; and it was evident they did not want
numbers, seeing they were already ten thousand natives to one Spaniard,
taking the whole country from one end to the other.

Thus you see, seignior, added he, how far we are from improvement in
that part of the country which we possess, and many more, which you may
be sure are among these vast mountains, and which we never discovered,
seeing all these valleys and passages among the mountains, where gold is
to be had in such quantities, and with so much ease, that every poor
Chilian gathers it up with his hands, and may have as much as he
pleases, are all left open, naked, and unregarded, in the possession of
the wild mountaineers, who are heathens and savages; and the Spaniards,
you see, are so few, and those few so indolent, so slothful, and so
satisfied with the gold they get of the Chilians for things of small
value in trade, that all this vast treasure lies unregarded by them.
Nay, continued he, is it not very strange to observe, that, when for our
diversion we come into the hills, and among these places where you see
the gold is so easily found, we come, as we call it, a-hunting, and
divert ourselves more with shooting wild parrots, or a fawn or two, for
which also we ride and run, and make our servants weary themselves more
than they would in searching for the gold among the gulleys and holes
that the water makes in the rocks, and more than would suffice to find
fifty, nay, one hundred times the value in gold! To what purpose, then,
should we seek the possession of more countries, who are already
possessed of more land than we can improve, and of more wealth than we
know what to do with? Perceiving me very attentive, he went on thus:

Were these mountains valued in Europe according to the riches to be
found in them, the viceroy would obtain orders from the king to have
strong forts erected at the entrance in, and at the coming out of them,
as well on the side of Chili, as here, and strong garrisons maintained
in them, to prevent foreign nations landing, either on our side in
Chili, or on this side in the North Seas, and taking the possession from
us. He would then order thirty thousand slaves, negroes or Chilians, to
be constantly employed, not only in picking up what gold might be found
in the channels of the water, which might easily be formed into proper
receivers, so as that if any gold washed from the rocks it should soon
be found, and be so secured, as that none of it would escape; also
others, with miners and engineers, might search into the very rocks
themselves, and would no doubt find out such mines of gold, or other
secret stores of it in those mountains, as would be sufficient to enrich
the world.

While we omit such things as these, seignior, says he, what signifies
Spain making new acquisitions, or the people of Spain seeking new
countries? This vast tract of land you see here, and some hundreds of
miles every way which your eye cannot reach to, is a fruitful, pleasant,
and agreeable part of the creation, but perfectly uncultivated, and most
of it uninhabited; and any nation in Europe that thinks fit to settle in
it are free to do so, for anything we are able to do to prevent them.

But, seignior, says I, does not his Catholic majesty claim a title to
the possession of it? and have the Spaniards no governor over it? nor
any ports or towns, settlements, or colonies in it, as is the case here
in Chili? Seignior, replied he, the king of Spain is lord of all
America, as well that which he possesses as that which he possesses not,
that right being given him by the Pope, in the right of his being a
Christian prince, making new discoveries for propagating the Christian
faith among infidels; how far that may pass for a title among the
European powers I know not. I have heard that it has always passed for a
maxim in Europe, that no country which is not planted by any prince or
people can be said to belong to them; and, indeed, I cannot say but it
seems to be rational, that no prince should pretend to any title to a
country where he does not think fit to plant and to keep possession.
For, if he leaves the country unpossessed, he leaves it free for any
other nation to come and possess; and this is the reason why the former
kings of Spain did not dispute that right of the French to the colonies
of the Mississipi and Canada, or the right of the English to the Caribee
islands, or to their colonies of Virginia and New England.

In like manner, from the Buenos Ayres, in the Rio de la Plata, which
lies that way (pointing north-east), to the Fretum Magellanicum, which
lies that way (pointing south-east), which comprehends a vast number of
leagues, is called by us Coasta Deserta, being unpossessed by Spain, and
disregarded of all our nation; neither is there one Spaniard in it.
Nevertheless, you see how fruitful, how pleasant, and how agreeable a
climate it is; how apt for planting and peopling it seems to be, and,
above all, what a place of wealth here would be behind them, sufficient,
and more than enough, both for them and us; for we should have no reason
to offer them any disturbance, neither should we be in any condition to
do it, the passages of the mountains being but few and difficult, as you
have seen, and our numbers not sufficient to do anything more than to
block them up, to keep such people from breaking in upon our settlements
on the coast of the South Seas.

I asked him if these notions of his were common among those of his
country who were settled in Chili and Peru? or whether they were his own
private opinions only? I told him I believed the latter, because I found
he acted in all his affairs upon generous principles, and was for
propagating the good of mankind; but, that I questioned whether their
governor of Old Spain, or the sub-governor and viceroy of New Spain,
acted upon those notions; and, since he had mentioned the Buenos Ayres
and the Rio de la Plata, I should take that as an example, seeing the
Spaniards would never suffer any nation to set foot in that great river,
where so many countries might have been discovered, and colonies
planted; though, at the same time, they had not possessed, or fully
discovered those places themselves.

He answered me, smiling; Seignior, says he, you have given the reason
for this yourself, in that very part which you think is a reason against
it. We have a colony at Buenos Ayres, and at the city of Ascension,
higher up in the Rio de la Plata, and we are not willing to let any
other nation settle there, because we would not let them see how weak we
are, and what a vast extent of land we possess there with a few men; and
this for two reasons:

First, We are possessed of the country, and daily increasing there, and
may in time extend ourselves farther. The great rivers Parana and
Paraguay being yet left for us to plant in, and we are not willing to
put ourselves out of a capacity of planting farther, and therefore we
keep the possession.

Secondly, We have a communication from thence with Peru. The great river
la Plata rises at the city of that name, and out of the mountain Potosi,
in Peru, and a great trade is carried on by that river, and it would be
dangerous to let foreigners into the secret of that trade, which they
might entirely cut off, especially when they should find how small a
number of Spaniards are planted there to preserve it, seeing there are
not six hundred Spaniards in all that vast country, which, by the course
of that river, is more than one thousand six hundred miles in length.

I confess, said I, these are just grounds for your keeping the
possession of that river. They are so, said he, and the more because of
so powerful a colony as the Portuguese have in the Brazils, which bound
immediately upon it, and who are always encroaching upon it from the
land side, and would gladly have a passage up the Rio Parana to the back
of their colony.

But here, seignior, says he, the case differs; for we neither take nor
keep possession here, neither have we one Spaniard, as I said, in the
whole country now before you, and therefore we call this country Coasta
Deserta. Not that it is a desert, as that name is generally taken to
signify, a barren, sandy, dry country; on the contrary, the infinite
prodigious increase of the European black cattle which were brought by
the Spaniards to the Buenos Ayres, and suffered to run loose, is a
sufficient testimony of the fruitfulness and richness of the soil, their
numbers being such, that they kill above twenty thousand in a year for
nothing but the hides, which they carry away to Spain, leaving the
flesh, though fat and wholesome, to perish on the ground, or be devoured
by birds of prey.

And the number is so great, notwithstanding all they destroy, that they
are found to wander sometimes in droves of many thousands together over
all the vast country between the Rio de la Plata, the city of Ascension,
and the frontier of Peru, and even down into this country which you see
before us, and up to the very foot of these mountains.

Well, said I, and is it not a great pity that all this part of the
country, and in such a climate as this is, should lie uncultivated, or
uninhabited rather? for I understand there are not any great numbers of
people to be found among them.

It is true, added he, there are some notions prevailing of people being
spread about in this country, but, as the terror of our people, the
Spaniards, drove them at first from the seacoast towards these
mountains, so the greatest part of them continue on this side still, for
towards the coast it is very rare that they find any people.

I would have inquired of him about rivers and navigable streams which
might be in this country, but he told me frankly that he could give me
no account of those; only thus, that if any of the rivers went away
towards the north, they certainly run all into the great Rio de la
Plata; but that if they went east, or southerly, they must go directly
to the coast, which was ordinarily called, as he said, La Costa Deserta,
or, as by some, the coast of Patagonia. That, as to the magnitude of
those rivers he could say little, but it was reasonable to suppose there
must be some very considerable rivers, and whose streams must needs be
capable of navigation, seeing abundance of water must continually flow
from the mountains where we then were, and its being at least four
hundred miles from the sea-side, those small streams must necessarily
join together, and form large rivers in the plain country.

I had enough in this discourse fully to satisfy all my curiosity, and
sufficiently to heighten my desire of making the farther discoveries
which I had in my thoughts.

We pitched our little camp here, and sat down to our repast; for I found
that though we were to go back to lodge, yet my patron had taken care we
should be furnished sufficiently for dinner, and have a good house to
eat it in, that is to say, a tent as before.

The place where we stood, though we had come down hill for a great way,
yet seemed very high from the ordinary surface of the country, and gave
us therefore an exceeding fine prospect of it, the country declining
gradually for near ten miles; and we thought, as well as the distance of
the place would allow us, we saw a great river, but, as I learned
afterwards, it was rather a great lake than a river, which was supplied
by the smaller rivers, or rivulets, from the mountains, which met there
as in a great receptacle of waters, and out of this lake they all issued
again in one river, of which I shall have occasion to give a farther
account hereafter.

While we were at dinner, I ordered my midshipmen to take their
observations of every distant object, and to look at everything with
their glasses, which they did, and told me of this lake; but my patron
could give no account of it, having never been, as he said before, one
step farther that way than where we were.

However, my men showed me plainly that it was a great lake, and that
there went a large river from it towards the east-south-east, and this
was enough for me, for that way lay all the schemes I had laid.

I took this opportunity to ask my midshipmen, first, if they had taken
such observations in their passage of the mountains as that they were
sure they could find their way through to this place again without
guides? And they assured me they could.

Then I put it to them whether they thought it might not be practicable
to travel over that vast level country to the North Seas? and to make a
sufficient discovery of the country, so as that hereafter Englishmen
coming to the coast on the side of those seas, might penetrate to these
golden mountains, and reap the benefit of the treasure without going a
prodigious length above Cape Horn and the Terra del Fuego, which was
always attended with innumerable dangers, and without breaking through
the kingdom of Chili and the Spaniards' settlements, which, perhaps, we
might soon be at peace with, and so be shut out that way by our own

One of my men began to speak of the difficulties of such an attempt, the
want of provisions, and other dangers which we should be exposed to on
the way; but the other, a bold, brisk fellow, told me he made no
question but it might be easily done, and especially because all the
rivers they should meet with would, of course, run along with us, so
that we should be sure to have the tide with us, as he called it; and,
at last, he added, that he would be content to be one of those men who
should undertake it, provided he should be assured that the ships in the
mean time would not go away, and pretend that they could not be found.

I told him, we would talk farther about it; that I had such a thought in
my head, and a strong inclination to undertake it myself, but that I
could not answer it to leave the ships, which depended so much upon my
care of the voyage.

After some talk of the reasonableness of such an undertaking, and the
methods of performing it, my second midshipman began to come into it,
and to think it was practicable enough, and added, that though he used
some cautions in his first hearing proposals, yet, if he undertook that
enterprise, I should find that he would do as much of his duty in it as
another man; and so he did at last, as will appear in its proper place.

We were, by this time, preparing to be satisfied with our journey, and
my patron coming to me and asking if I was for returning, I told him I
could not say how many days it would be before I should say I had enough
of that prospect, but that I would return when he pleased, only I had
one question to ask him, which was, whether the mountains were as full
of gold on this side as they were on the side of Chili?

As to that, seignior, says he, the best way to be certain is to make a
trial, that you may be sure we do not speak without proof; so he called
his gentleman, and another servant that was with him, and desired me to
call my two midshipmen, and, speaking something to his own servants
first, in the language of the country, as I supposed, he turned to me,
and said, Come, let us sit down and rest ourselves, while they go
together, and see what they can do.

Accordingly, they went away, and, as my men told me afterwards, they
searched in the small streams of water which they found running, and in
some larger gulleys or channels, where they found little or no water
running, but where, upon hasty rains, great shoots of water had been
used to run, and where water stood still in the holes and falls, as I
have described once before on the like occasion.

They had not been gone above an hour, when I plainly heard my two
Englishmen halloo, which I could easily distinguish from the voices of
any other nation, and immediately I ran out of the tent, Captain
Merlotte followed, and then I saw one of my midshipmen running towards
us, so we went to meet him, and, what with hallooing and running, he
could hardly speak; but, recovering his breath, said, he came to desire
me to come to them, if I would behold a sight which I never saw in my

I was eager enough to go, so I went with him, and left Captain Merlotte
to go back to the tent to my patron, the Spaniard, and the Spanish
doctor, who had not so much share in the curiosity; he did so, and they
followed soon after.

When we came to the place, we saw such a wonder as indeed I never saw
before, for there they were sitting down round a little puddle, or hole,
as I might call it, of water, where, in the time of rain, the water
running hastily from a piece of the rock, about two foot higher than the
rest, had made a pit under it with the fall, like the tail of a mill,
only much less.

Here they took up the sand or gravel with their hands, and every handful
brought up with it such a quantity of gold as was surprising; for there
they sat picking it out, just as the boys in London, who go with a broom
and a hat, pick out old iron, nails, and pins from the channels, and it
lay as thick.

I stood and looked at them awhile, and it must be confessed, it was a
pleasant sight enough; but, reflecting immediately that there was no end
of this, and that we were only upon the enquiry, Come away, said I,
laughing to my men, and do not stand picking up of trash there all day;
do you know how far we have to go to our lodgings?

I can make no guess what quantity might have been found here in places
which had, for hundreds of years, washed gold from the hills, and,
perhaps, never had a man come to pick any of it up before; but I was
soon satisfied that here was enough, even to make all the world say they
had enough; and so I called off my people, and came away.

It seems, the quantity of gold which is thus washed down is not small,
since my men, inquiring afterwards among the Chilians, heard them talk
of the great lake of water which I mentioned just now that we saw at a
distance, which they call the Golden Lake, and where was, as they said,
prodigious quantities of it; not that our men supposed any gold was
there in mines, or in the ordinary soil, but that the waters from the
hills, running with very rapid currents at certain times in the rainy
seasons, and after the melting of the snows, had carried the gold so far
as that lake; and, as it has been so, perhaps, from the days of the
general deluge, no people ever applying themselves to gather the least
grain of it up again, it might well be increased to such a quantity as
might entitle that water to the name of the Golden Lake, and all the
little streams and sluices of water that run into it deserved the name
of Golden Rivers, as much as that of the Golden Lake.

But my present business was to know only if the gold was here, but not
to trouble myself to pick it up; my views lay another way, and my end
was fully answered, so I came back to my patron, and brought all my men
with me.

You live in a golden country, seignior, says I; my men are stark mad to
see so much gold, and nobody to take it.

Should the world know what treasure you have here, I would not answer
for it that they should not flock hither in armies, and drive you all
away. They need not do that, seignior, says he, for here is enough for
them, and for us too.

We now packed up, and began our return; but it was not without regret
that I turned my back upon this pleasant country, the most agreeable
place of its kind that ever I was at in all my life, or ever shall be in
again, a country rich, pleasant, fruitful, wholesome, and capable of
everything for the life of man that the heart could entertain a wish

But my present work was to return; so we mounted our mules, and had, in
the meantime, the pleasure of contemplating what we had seen, and
applying ourselves to such farther measures as we had concerted among
us. In about four hours we returned to our camp, as I called it, and, by
the way, we found, to our no little pain, that though we had come down
hill easily and insensibly to the opening for some miles, yet we had a
hard pull uphill to go back again.

However, we reached to our tents in good time, and made our first
encampment with pleasure enough, for we were very weary with the fatigue
of a hard day's journey.

The next day we reached our good Chilian's mansion-house, or palace,
for such it might be called, considering the place, and considering the
entertainment; for now he had some time to provide for us, knowing we
would come back again.

He met us with three mules, and two servants, about a mile before we
came to the descent going down to his house, of which I took notice
before, and this he did to guide us a way round to his house without
going down those uneasy steps; so we came on our mules to his door, that
is to say, on his mules, for he would have my patron, the Spaniard, to
whom I observed he showed an extraordinary respect, and Captain Merlotte
and myself, mount his fresh mules to carry us to his house.

When we came thither, I observed he wanted the assistance of my patron's
servants for his cookery; for, though he had provided abundance of food,
he owned he knew not how to prepare it to our liking, so they assisted
him, and one of my midshipmen pretending to cook too, made them roast a
piece of venison, and a piece of kid, or young goat, admirable well, and
putting no garlick or onions into the sauce, but their own juices, with
a little wine, it pleased the Spaniard so well, that my man passed for
an extraordinary cook, and had the favour asked of him to dress some
more after the same manner, when we came back to the Spaniard's house.

We had here several sorts of wildfowl, which the Chilian had shot while
we were gone, but I knew none of them by any of the kinds we have in
England, except some teal. However, they were very good.

The day was agreeable and pleasant, but the night dreadful, as before,
being all fire and flame again, and though we understood both what it
was, and where, yet I could not make it familiar to me, for my life. The
Chilian persuaded us to stay all the next day, and did his endeavour to
divert us as much as possible; my two midshipmen went out with him
a-hunting, as he called it, that is, a-shooting; but, though he was a
man of fifty years of age, he would have killed ten of them at his
sport, running up the hills, and leaping from rock to rock like a boy of
seventeen. At his gun he was so sure a marksman, that he seldom missed
anything he shot at, whether running, flying, or sitting.

They brought home with them several fowls, two fawns, and a full-grown
deer, and we had nothing but boiling, stewing, and broiling, all that
evening. In the afternoon we walked out to view the hills, and to see
the stupendous precipices which surrounded us. As for looking for gold,
we saw the places where there was enough to be had, but that was become
now so familiar to us, that we troubled not ourselves about it, as a
business not worth our while; but the two midshipmen, I think, got about
the quantity of five or six ounces apiece, while we were chatting or
reposing in the Chilian's house.

Here it was that I entered into a confidence with my patron, the
Spaniard, concerning my grand design. I told him, in the first place,
that my view of the open country beyond these hills, and the particular
account he had given me of it also, had raised a curiosity in me that I
could scarce withstand; and that I had thereupon formed a design, which,
if he would farther me with his assistance, I had a very great mind to
put in practice, and that, though I was to hazard perishing in the

He told me very readily, nothing should be wanting on his part to give
me any assistance he could, either by himself or any of his servants;
but, smiling, and with abundance of good humour, Seignior, says he, I
believe I guess at the design you speak of; you are fired now with a
desire to traverse this great country to the Coasta Deserta and the
North Seas; that is a very great undertaking, and you will be well
advised before you undertake it.

True, Seignior, said I, you have guessed my design, and, were it not
that I have two ships under my care, and some cargo of value on board, I
would bring my whole ship's company on shore, and make the adventure,
and, perhaps, we might be strong enough to defend ourselves against
whatever might happen by the way.

As to that, seignior, says he, you would be in no danger that would
require so many men; for you will find but few inhabitants anywhere, and
those not in numbers sufficient to give you any trouble; fifty men would
be as many as you would either want or desire, and, perhaps, as you
would find provisions for; and, for fifty men, we might be able to carry
provisions with us to keep them from distress. But, if you will accept
of my advice, as well as assistance, seignior, says he, choose a
faithful strong fellow out of your ship on whom you can depend, and give
him fifty men with him, or thereabouts, and such instructions as you
may find needful, as to the place on the coast where you would have them
fix their stay, and let them take the first hazards of the adventure;
and, as you are going round by sea, you will, if success follows, meet
them on the shore, and if the account they give of their journey
encourage you, you may come afterwards yourself up to these very
mountains, and take a farther view; in which case, he added, with a
solemn protestation, cost me what it will, I will come and meet you one
hundred miles beyond the hills, with supplies of provisions and mules
for your assistance.

This was such wholesome and friendly advice, and he offered it so
sincerely, that though it was very little differing from my own design,
yet I would not be seen so to lessen his prudence in the measures of his
friendship in advising it, as to say that I had resolved to do so; but
making all possible acknowledgment to him for his kind offers, I told
him I would take his advice, and act just according to the measures he
had prescribed; and, at the same time I assured him, that if I found a
convenient port to settle and fortify in, I would not fail to come again
from France (for we passed always as acting from France, whatever nation
we were of) to relieve and supply them; and that, if ever I returned
safe, I would not fail to correspond with him, by the passages of the
mountains, and make a better acknowledgment for his kindness than I had
been able to do yet.

He was going to break off the discourse upon the occasion of the
Chilian's returning, who was just come in from his hunting, telling me,
he would talk farther of it by the way; but I told him I could not quite
dismiss the subject, because I must bespeak him to make some mention of
it to the Chilian, that he might, on his account, be an assistant to our
men, as we saw he was capable of being, in their passing by those
difficult ways, and for their supply of provisions, &c. Trouble not
yourself with that, seignior, said he, for when your men come, the care
shall be mine; I will come myself as far as this wealthy Chilian's, and
procure them all the assistance this place can afford them, and do
anything that offers to forward them in the undertaking.

This was so generous, and so extraordinary, that I had nothing to say
more, but to please myself with the apparent success of my attempt, and
acknowledge the happiness of having an opportunity to oblige so
generous, spirited, and grateful a person.

I would, however, have made some farther acknowledgment to our Chilian
benefactor, but I had nothing left, except a couple of hats, and three
pair of English stockings, one pair silk and the other two worsted, and
those I gave him, and made him a great many acknowledgments for the
favours he had shown us, and the next morning came away.

We made little stay anywhere else in our return; but, making much such
stages back as we did forward, we came the fourteenth day to our
patron's house, having made the passage through in something less than
sixteen days, and the like back in fifteen days, including our stay at
the Chilian's, one day.

The length of the way, according to the best of my calculations, I
reckoned to be about one hundred and seventy-five English miles, taking
it with all its windings and turnings, which were not a few, but which
had this conveniency with them, that they gave a more easy and agreeable
passage, and made the English proverb abundantly good, namely, that the
farthest way about is the nearest way home.

The civilities I received after this from my generous Spaniard were
agreeable to the rest of his usage of me; but we, that had so great a
charge upon us at the sea-side, could not spare long time in those
ceremonies, any more than I do now for relating them.

It is enough to mention, that he would not be excused, at parting, from
going back with us quite to the ships, and when I would have excused it,
he said, Nay, seignior, give me leave to go and fetch my hostages. In
short, there was no resisting him, so we went all together, after
staying two days more at his house, and came all safe to our ships,
having been gone forty-six days from them.

We found the ship in very good condition, all safe on board, and well,
except that the men seemed to have contracted something of the scurvy,
which our Spanish doctor, however, soon recovered them from.

Here we found the two Spanish youths, our patron's hostages, very well
also, and very well pleased with their entertainment; one of our
lieutenants had been teaching them navigation, and something of the
mathematics, and they made very good improvement in those studies,
considering the time they had been there; and the Spaniard, their
father, was so pleased with it, that not having gold enough to offer the
lieutenant, as an acknowledgment for his teaching them, he gave him a
very good ring from his finger, having a fine large emerald in it of
some value, and made him a long Spanish compliment for having nothing of
greater consequence to offer him.

We now made preparations for sailing, and our men, in my absence, had
laid in a very considerable supply of provisions, particularly excellent
pork, and tolerable good beef, with a great number of goats and hogs
alive, as many as we could stow.

But I had now my principal undertaking to manage, I mean that of sending
out my little army for discovery, and, having communicated my design to
the supercargo, and the person whom I intrusted with him in the command
of the ships, they unanimously approved of the scheme. My next business
was to resolve upon whom to confer the command of the expedition; and
this, by general consent, fell upon the lieutenant of the Madagascar
ship, who had taught the young Spaniards navigation, and this the
rather, because he was naturally a bold enterprising man, and also an
excellent geographer; indeed, he was a general artist, and a man
faithful and vigilant in whatever he undertook, nor was it a little
consideration with me, that he was so agreeable to the Spaniard and his
sons, of whose aid we knew he would stand in so much need.

When I had communicated to him the design, and he had both approved of
the undertaking itself, and accepted the command, we constituted him
captain, and the two midshipmen we made lieutenants for the expedition,
promising each of them 500_l._ if they performed it. As for the captain,
we came to a good agreement with him for his reward; for I engaged to
give him a thousand pounds in gold as soon as we met, if the journey was
performed effectually.

We then laid open the design to the men, and left it to every one's
choice to go, or not to go, as they pleased; but, instead of wanting men
to go volunteers, we were fain to decide it by lot among some of them,
they were all so eager to undertake it.

Then I gave them articles and conditions, which they who ventured should
engage themselves to comply with, and particularly, that they should
not mutiny, upon pain of being shot to death when we met, or upon the
spot, if the captain thought it necessary; that they should not straggle
from their company, nor be tempted by the view of picking up gold to
stay behind, when the company beat to march; that all the gold they
found in the way should be common, should be put together in a bulk
every night, and be divided faithfully and equally at the end of the
journey, allowing only five shares to each ship, to be divided as I
should direct. Besides which, upon condition that every man behaved
himself faithfully and quietly, and did his duty, I promised, that
besides the gold he might get by the way, I would give to all one
hundred pounds each at our meeting; and, if any man was sick, or maimed
by the way, the rest were to engage not to forsake and leave him on any
account whatsoever, death only excepted. And if any man died, except by
any violence from the rest, his share of the gold which was gotten
should be faithfully kept for his family, if he had any; but his reward
of one hundred pounds, which was not due, because he did not live to
demand it, should be divided among the rest; so that by this agreement,
the undertaking was not so dear to me as I had expected, for the pay of
the men amounted to no more than the sum following, viz.--

To the lieutenant, now made captain               £1000

To the midshipmen, now made lieutenants, each
  500_l._                                          1000

To fifty men, each 100_l._                         5000

To the surgeon 200_l._, and his servant
100_l._, over and above their 100_l._
as being part of the fifty men                      300

Having pitched upon the men, I landed them, and made them encamp on
shore; but, first of all, I made them every one make wills or letters of
attorney, or other dispositions, of their effects to such persons as
they thought fit, with an account under their hands, endorsed on the
back of the said wills, &c., intimating what chests or cases or other
things they had on board, and what was in them, and what pay was due to
them; and those chests, &c., were sealed up before their faces with my
seal, and writings signed by me, the contents unknown. Thus they were
secure that all they had left in the ships, and all that was due to
them, should be punctually and carefully kept and delivered as it was
designed and directed by themselves, and this was greatly to their

As to the reward of one hundred pounds a man, and the articles about
keeping together, obeying orders, gathering up gold, and the like, I did
not read to them till they were all on shore, and till I was ready to
leave them; because, if the rest of the men had heard it, I should have
kept nobody with me to have sailed the ships.

There was as stout a company of bold, young brisk fellows of them, as
ever went upon any expedition, fifty-three in number; among them a
surgeon and his mate, very skilful and honest men both of them, a
trumpeter and a drummer, three ship-carpenters, a cook, who was also a
butcher by trade, and a barber, two shoemakers who had been soldiers
among the pirates, a smith, and a tailor of the same, so that they
wanted no mechanics, whatever might happen to them.

Give the fellows their due, they took but little baggage with them; but,
however, what they had, I took care, with the assistance of my patron,
the Spaniard, should be as much carried for them as possible.

I provided them three large tents made of a cotton stuff, which I bought
in the country, and which we made up on board, which tents were large
enough to cover them all, in case of rain or heat; but as for beds or
bedding, they had only seven hammocks, in case any man was sick; for the
rest, they were to shift as well as they could; the season was hot, and
the climate good. Their way lay in the latitude of 40 to 50°, and they
set out in the latter end of the month of October, which, on that side
of the line, is the same as our April; so that the covering was more to
keep them from the heat than the cold.

It was needful, in order to their defence, to furnish them with arms and
ammunition; so I gave to every man a musket or fuzee, a pistol, and a
sword, with cartouches and a good stock of ammunition, powder and shot,
with three small barrels of fine powder for store, and lead in
proportion; and these things were, indeed, the heaviest part of their
baggage, excepting the carpenters' tools and the surgeon's box of

As for the carrying all these things, they might easily furnish
themselves with mules or horses for carriage, while they had money to
pay for them, and you may judge how that could be wanting, by what has
been said of the country.

We gave them, however, a good large pack of European goods, to make
agreeable presents where they received favours; such as black baize,
pieces of say, serge, calamanco, drugget, hats and stockings; not
forgetting another pack of hatchets, knives, scissors, beads, toys, and
such things, to please the natives of the plain country, if they should
meet with any.

They desired a few hand granadoes, and we gave them about a dozen; but,
as they were heavy, it would have been very troublesome to have carried

The Spaniard stayed till all this was done, and till the men were ready
to march, and then told us privately, that it would not be proper for
him to march along with them, or to appear openly to countenance the
enterprise; that my two lieutenants knew the way perfectly well; and
that he would go before to his own house, and they should hear of him by
the way.

All the mules and horses which he had lent us to bring us back he left
with them to carry their baggage, and our new captain had bought six
more privately in the country.

The last instructions I gave to our men were, that they should make the
best of their way over the country beyond the mountains; that they
should take the exact distances of places, and keep a journal of their
march, set up crosses and marks at all proper stations; and that they
should steer their course as near as they could between the latitude of
40°, where they would enter the country, and the latitude of 45° south,
so that they would go an east-south-east course most of the way, and
that wherever they made the shore they should seek for a creek or port
where the ships might come to an anchor, and look out night and day for
the ships; the signals also were agreed on, and they had two dozen of
rockets to throw up if they discovered us at sea; they had all necessary
instruments for observation also, and perspective glasses, pocket
compasses, &c., and thus they set out, October 24th, 1715.

We stayed five days after they began their march, by agreement, that if
any opposition should be offered them in the country, or any umbrage
taken at their design, so that it could not be executed, we might have
notice. But as the Spaniards in the country, who are the most supinely
negligent people in the world, had not the least shadow of intelligence,
and took them only to be French seamen belonging to the two French ships
(such we past for) who had lain there so long, they knew nothing when
they went away, much less whither; but, no question, they believed that
they were all gone aboard again.

We stayed three days longer than we appointed, and hearing nothing amiss
from them, we were satisfied that all was right with them; so we put to
sea, standing off to the west, till we were out of sight of the shore,
and then we stood away due south, with a fresh gale at
north-west-by-west, and fair weather, though the wind chopped about soon
after, and we had calms and hot weather that did us no good, but made
our men sick and lazy.

The supposed journey of our travellers, their march, and the adventures
they should meet with by the way, were, indeed, sufficient diversion,
and employed us all with discourse, as well in the great cabin and
roundhouse as afore the mast, and wagers were very rife among us, who
should come first to the shore of Patagonia, for so we called it.

As for the place, neither they nor we could make any guess at what part
of the country they should make the sea; but, as for us, we resolved to
make the port St. Julian our first place to put in at, which is in the
latitude of 50° 5' and that then, as wind and weather would permit, we
would keep the coast as near as we could, till we came to Punta de St.
Helena, where we would ride for some time, and, if possible, till we
heard of them.

We had but a cross voyage to the mouth of the Straits of Magellan,
having contrary winds, as I have said, and sometimes bad weather; so
that it was the 13th of December when we made an observation, and found
ourselves in the latitude of 52° 30', which is just the height of Cape
Victoria, at the mouth of the passage.

Some of our officers were very much for passing the Straits, and not
going about by Cape Horn; but the uncertainty of the winds in the
passage, the danger of the currents, &c., made it by no means
advisable, so we resolved to keep good sea-room.

The 25th of December, we found ourselves in the latitude of 62° 30', and
being Christmas-day, I feasted the men, and drank the health of our
travellers. Our course was south-east-by-south, the wind south-west;
then we changed our course, and went east for eight days, and having
changed our course, stood away, without observation, east-north-east,
and in two days more, made the land, on the east of the Strait de la
Mare, so that we were obliged to stand away east-south-east to take more
sea-room, when the wind veering to the south-by-east, a fresh gale, we
stood boldly away due north, and running large, soon found that we were
entered into the North Sea on Twelfth Day; for joy of which, and to
celebrate the day, I gave every mess a piece of English beef, and a
piece of Chilian pork, and made a great bowl of punch afore the mast, as
well as in the great cabin, which made our men very cheerful, and
instead of a twelfth cake, I gave the cook order to make every mess a
good plum-pudding, which pleased them all as well.

But while we were at our liquor and merry, the wind came about to the
north-east and blew very hard, threatening us with a storm, and as the
shore lay on our leeward quarter, we were not without apprehensions of
being driven on some dangerous places, where we could have no shelter; I
immediately therefore altered my course, and ran away east all night, to
have as much sea-room as possible.

The next day the wind abated, and hauling away to the east, we stood
northward again, and then north-west in three days more, and we made
land, which appeared to be the head island of Port St. Julian, on the
north side of the port, where we ran in, and about an hour before sunset
came to an anchor in eleven fathom good holding ground, latitude 49°

We wanted fresh water, otherwise we would not have made any stay here,
for we knew we were a little too far to the south; however, we were
obliged to fill fresh water here for three days together, the
watering-place being a good way up the river, and the swell of the sea
running very high.

During this interval, Captain Merlotte and I went on shore with about
thirty men, and marched up the country near twenty miles, getting up to
the top of the hills, where we made fires, and at the farthest hill we
encamped all night, and threw up five rockets, which was our signal; but
we saw nothing to answer it, nor any sign either of English people or
natives in all the country.

We saw a noble champaign country, the plains all smooth, and covered
with grass like Salisbury Plain; very little wood to be seen anywhere,
insomuch that we could not get any thing but grass to make a smoke with,
which was another of our signals.

We shot some fowls here, and five or six hares; the hares are as large
as an English fox, and burrow in the earth like a rabbit. The fowls we
shot were duck and mallard, teal and widgeon, the same as in England in
shape and size, only the colour generally grey, with white in the
breast, and green heads; the flesh the same as ours, and very good.

We saw wild geese and wild swans, but shot none; we saw also guinacoes,
or Peruvian sheep, as big as small mules, but could not get at them; for
as soon as we stepped toward them, they would call to one another, to
give notice of us, and then troop altogether and be gone.

This is an excellent country for feeding and breeding of sheep and
horses, the grass being short, but very sweet and good on the plains,
and very long and rich near the fresh rivers, and were it cultivated and
stocked with cattle, would without doubt produce excellent kinds of all
sorts of cattle; nor could it fail producing excellent corn, as well
wheat as barley and oats; and as for peas, they grow wild all over the
country, and nourish an infinite number of birds resembling pigeons,
which fly in flights so great, that they seem in the air like clouds at
a great distance.

As for the soil, that of the hills is gravel, and some stony; but that
of the plains is a light black mould, and in some places a rich loam,
and some marl, all of which are tokens of fruitfulness, such as indeed
never fail.

The 14th of January (the weather being hot, and days long, for this was
their July), we weighed and stood northerly along the shore, the coast
running from Port St. Julian north-north-east, until we arrived at the
famous islands called Penguin Islands; and here we came to an anchor
again, in the same round bay which Sir John Narborough called Port
Desire, it being the 17th of January.

Here we found a post or cross, erected by Sir John Narborough, with a
plate of copper nailed to it, and an inscription, signifying that he had
taken possession of that country in the name of Charles the Second.

Our men raised a shout for joy that they were in their own king's
dominions, or as they said, in their own country; and indeed, excepting
that it was not inhabited by Englishmen, and cultivated, planted, and
enclosed after the English manner, I never saw a country so much like

Here we victualled our ships with a new kind of food, for we loaded
ourselves with seals, of which here are an infinite number, and which we
salted and ate, and our men liked them wonderfully for awhile, but they
soon began to grow weary of them; also the penguins are a very wholesome
diet, and very pleasant, especially when a little salted; and as for
salt, we could have loaded our ships with it, being very good and white,
made by the sun, and found in standing ponds of salt water, near the

The penguins are so easily killed, and are found in such vast multitudes
on that island (which for that reason is so called), that our men loaded
the long-boat with them twice in one day, and we reckoned there were no
less than seven thousand in the boat each time.

Here we travelled up into the country in search of our men, and made our
signals, but had no answer to them, nor heard any intelligence of them.
We saw some people here at a distance, scattering about; but they were
but few, nor would they be brought by any means to converse with us, or
come near us.

We spread ourselves over the country far and wide; and here we shot
hares and wild-fowl again in abundance, the country being much the same
as before, but something more bushy, and here and there a few trees, but
they were a great way off. There is a large river which empties itself
into this bay.

Finding no news here of our men, I ordered the Madagascar ship to weigh
and stand farther north, keeping as near the shore as he might with
safety, and causing his men to look out for the signals, which, if they
discovered, they should give us notice by firing three guns.

They sailed the height of Cape Blanco, where the land falling back,
makes a deep bay, and the sea receives into it a great river at several
mouths, some of them twenty leagues from the other, all farther north.
Here they stood into the bay until they made the land again; for at the
first opening of the bay they could not see the bottom of it, the land
lying very low.

The captain was doubtful what he should do upon the appearance of so
large a bay, and was loath to stand farther in, lest the land, pushing
out into the sea again afterwards, and a gale springing up from the
seaward, they might be shut into a bay where they had no knowledge of
the ground; and upon this caution, they resolved among themselves to
come to an anchor for that evening, and to put farther out to sea the
next morning.

Accordingly the next morning he weighed and stood off to sea; but the
weather being very fine, and the little wind that blew being
south-west-by-south, he ventured to stand in for the shore, where he
found two or three small creeks, and one large river; and sending in his
shallop to sound, and find out a good place to ride in, upon their
making the signal to him that they had found such a place, he stood in,
and came to an anchor in eleven fathom good ground, half a league from
the shore, and well defended from the northerly and easterly winds,
which were the winds we had any reason to fear.

Having thus brought his ship to an anchor, he sent his shallop along the
shore to give me an account of it, and desire me to come up to him,
which accordingly we did; and here we resolved to ride for some time, in
hopes to hear from our little army.

We went on shore, some or other of us, every day, and especially when
five of our men, going on shore on the north side of the river, had shot
three Peruvian sheep and a black wild bull; for after that they ranged
the country far and near to find more, but could never come within shot
of them, except three bulls and a cow, which they killed after a long
and tedious chase.

We lay here till the 16th of February, without any news of our
travellers, as I called them. All the hopes we had was, that five of our
men asking my leave to travel, swore to me they would go quite up to the
Andes but they would find them; nay, they would go to the Spanish
gentleman himself, if they did not hear of them; and obliged me to stay
twenty days for them, and no longer. This I readily promised, and
giving them everything they asked, and two Peruvian sheep to carry their
ammunition, with two dozen of rockets for signals, a speaking trumpet,
and a good perspective glass, away they went; and from them we had yet
heard no news, so that was our present hope.

They travelled, as they afterwards gave an account, one hundred and
twenty miles up the country, till they were at last forced to resolve to
kill one of their guinacoes, or sheep, to satisfy their hunger, which
was a great grief to them, for their luggage was heavy to carry; but, I
say, they only resolved on it, for just as they were going to do it, one
of them roused a deer with a fawn, and, by great good luck shot them
both; for, having killed the doe, the fawn stood still by her till he
had loaded his piece again, and shot that also.

This supplied them for four or five days plentifully, and the last day
one of my men being by the bank of the river (for they kept as near the
river as they could, in hopes to hear of them that way), saw something
black come driving down the stream; he could not reach it, but calling
one of his fellows, their curiosity was such, that the other, being a
good swimmer, stripped and put off to it, and, when he came to it, he
found it was a man's hat; this made them conclude their fellows were not
far off, and that they were coming by water.

Upon this, they made to the first rising ground they could come at, and
there they encamped, and at night fired some rockets, and after the
third rocket was fired, they, to their great joy, saw two rockets rise
up from the westward, and soon after that a third; and in two days more
they all joyfully met.

We had been here, as I have said, impatiently expecting them a great
while; but, at last, the man at the main-top, who was ordered to look
out, called aloud to us below, that he saw a flash of fire; and
immediately, the men looking to landward, they saw two rockets rise up
in the air at a great distance, which we answered by firing three
rockets again, and they returned by one rocket, to signify that they saw
our men's signal.

This was a joyful exchange of distant language to both sides; but I was
not there, for, being impatient, I had put out and sailed about ten
leagues farther; but our ship fired three guns to give me notice, which,
however, we heard not, and yet we knew they fired too; for, it being in
the night, our men, who were very attentive with their eyes, as well as
ears, saw plainly the three flashes of the guns, though they could not
hear the report, the wind being contrary.

This was such certain intelligence to me, and I was so impatient to know
how things went, that, having also a small gale of wind, I weighed
immediately, and stood back again to our other ship; it was not,
however, till the second day after we weighed that we came up to them,
having little or no wind all the first day; the next day in the morning
they spied us, and fired the three guns again, being the signal that
they had got news of our friends.

Nothing could be more to my satisfaction than to hear that they had got
news, and it was as much to their satisfaction as to ours to be sure, I
mean our little army; for if any disaster had happened to us, they had
been in a very odd condition; and though they might have found means to
subsist, yet they would have been out of all hope of ever returning to
their own country.

Upon the signal I stood into the bay, and came to an anchor at about a
league to the northward of our other ship, and as far from the shore,
and, as it were, in the mouth of the river, waiting for another signal
from our men, by which, we might judge which side of the river to go
ashore at, and might take some proper measures to come at them.

About five o'clock in the evening, our eyes being all up in the air, and
towards the hills, for the appointed signals, beheld, to our great
surprise, a canoe come rowing to us out of the mouth of the river.
Immediately we went to work with our perspective glasses; one said it
was one thing, and one said it was another, until I fetched a large
telescope out of the cabin, and with that I could easily see they were
my own men, and it was to our inexpressible satisfaction that they soon
after came directly on board.

It might very well take up another volume to give a farther account of
the particulars of their journey, or, rather, their journey and voyage.

How they got through the hills, and were entertained by the generous
Spaniard, and afterwards by the wealthy Chilian; how the men, greedy for
gold, were hardly brought away from the mountains; and how, once, they
had much ado to persuade them not to rob the honest Chilian who had
used them so well, till my lieutenant, then their captain, by a
stratagem, seized on their weapons, and threatened to speak to the
Spaniard to raise the Chilians in the mountains, and have all their
throats cut; and yet even this did not suffice, till the two midshipmen,
then their lieutenants, assured them that at the first opening of the
hills, and in the rivers beyond, they would have plenty of gold; and one
of the midshipmen told them, that if he did not see them have so much
gold that they would not stoop to take up any more, they should have all
his share to be divided among them, and should leave him behind in the
first desolate place they could find.

How this appeased them till they came to the outer edge of the
mountains, where I had been, and where my patron, the Spaniard, left
them, having supplied them with sixteen mules to carry their baggage,
and some guinacoes, or sheep of Peru, which would carry burdens, and
afterwards be good to eat also.

Also, how here they mutinied again, and would not be drawn away, being
insatiable in their thirst after gold, till about twenty, more
reasonable than the rest, were content to move forward; and, after some
time, the rest followed, though not till they were assured that the
picking up of gold continued all along the river, which began at the
bottom of the mountains, and that it was likely to continue a great way

How they worked their way down these streams, with still an insatiable
avarice and thirst after the gold, to the lake called the Golden Lake,
and how here they were astonished at the quantity they found; how, after
this, they had great difficulty to furnish themselves with provisions,
and greater still in carrying it along with them until they found more.

I say, all these accounts might suffice to make another volume as large
as this. How, at the farther end of the lake, they found that it
evacuated itself into a large river, which, running away with a strong
current to the south-south-east, and afterwards to the south-by-east,
encouraged them to build canoes, in which they embarked, and which river
brought them down to the very bay where we found them; but that they met
with many difficulties, sank and staved their canoes several times, by
which they lost some of their baggage, and, in one disaster, lost a
great parcel of their gold, to their great surprise and mortification.
How at one place, they split two of their canoes, where they could find
no timber to build new ones, and the many hardships they were put to
before they got other canoes. But I shall give a brief account of it
all, and bring it into as narrow a compass as I can.

They set out, as I have said, with mules and horses to carry their
baggage, and the Spaniard gave them a servant with them for a guide,
who, carrying them by-ways, and unfrequented, so that they might give no
alarm at the town of Villa Rica, or anywhere else, they came to the
mouth of the entrance into the mountains, and there they pitched their

N.B.--The lieutenant who kept their journal, giving an account of this,
merrily, in his sea language, expresses it thus: "Being all come safe
into the opening, that is, in the entrance of the mountains, and being
there free from the observation of the country, we called it our first
port, so we brought to, and came to an anchor."

Here the generous Spaniard, who at his own request was gone before, sent
his gentleman and one of his sons to them, and sent them plenty of
provisions, as also caused their mules to be changed for others that
were fresh, and had not been fatigued with any of the other part of the

These things being done, the Spaniard's gentleman caused them to decamp,
and march two days farther into the mountains, and then they encamped
again, where the Spaniard himself came _incognito_ to them, and, with
the utmost kindness and generosity, was their guide himself, and their
purveyor also, though two or three times the fellows were so rude, so
ungovernable and unbounded in their hunting after gold, that the
Spaniard was almost frighted at them, and told the captain of it. Nor,
indeed, was it altogether without cause, for the dogs were so
ungrateful, that they robbed two of the houses of the Chilians, and took
what gold they had, which was not much, indeed, but it hazarded so much
the alarming the country, and raising all the mountaineers upon them,
that the Spaniard was upon the point of flying from them, in spite of
all their fire-arms and courage.

But the captain begged him to stay one night more, and promised to have
the fellows punished, and satisfaction to be made; and so he brought all
his men together and talked to them, and inquired who it was? but never
was such a piece of work in the world. When the new captain came to
talk of who did it, and of punishment, they cried, they all did it, and
they did not value all the Spaniards or Indians in the country; they
would have all the gold in the whole mountains, ay, that they would, and
swore to it; and, if the Spaniard offered to speak a word to them, they
would chop his head off, and put a stop to his farther jawing.

However, a little reasoning with them brought some of the men to their
senses; and the captain, who was a man of sense and of a smooth tongue,
managed so well, that he brought about twenty-two of the men, and the
two lieutenants and surgeons, to declare for his opinion, and that they
would act better for the future; and, with these, he stepped in between
the other fellows, and separated about eighteen of them from their arms,
for they had run scattering among the rocks to hunt for gold, and, when
they were called to this parley, had not their weapons with them. By
this stratagem, he seized eleven of the thieves, and made them
prisoners; and then he told the rest, in so many words, that if they
would not comply to keep order, and obey the rules they were at first
sworn to, and had promised, he would force them to it, for he would
deliver them, bound hand and foot, to the Spaniards, and they should do
the poor Chilians justice upon them; for that, in short, he would not
have the rest murdered for them; upon this, he ordered his men to draw
up, to show them he would be as good as his word, when, after some
consideration, they submitted.

But the Spaniard had taken a wiser course than this, or, perhaps, they
had been all murdered; for he ran to the two Chilian houses which the
rogues had plundered, and where, in short, there was a kind of tumult
about it, and, with good words, promising to give them as much gold as
they lost, and the price of some other things that were taken away, he
appeased the people; and so our men were not ruined, as they would
certainly have been if the mountaineers had taken the alarm.

After this, they grew a little more governable; but, in short, the sight
of the gold, and the easy getting it (for they picked it up in abundance
of places), I say, the sight of the gold made them stark mad. For now
they were not, as they were before, trafficking for the owners and for
the voyage; but as I had promised the gold they got should be their
own, and that they were now working for themselves, there was no
getting them to go on, but, in short, they would dwell here; and this
was as fatal a humour as the other.

But to bring this part of the voyage to an end, after eight days they
came to the hospitable wealthy Chilian's house, whom I mentioned before;
and here, as the Spaniard had contrived it, they found all kind of
needful stores for provisions laid up, as it were, on purpose; and, in a
word, here they were not fed only, but feasted.

Here, again, the captain discovered a cursed conspiracy, which, had it
taken effect, would, besides the baseness of the fact, have ended in
their total destruction; in short, they had resolved to rob this
Chilian, who was so kind to them; but, as I said, one of the lieutenants
discovered and detected this villanous contrivance, and quashed it, so
as never to let the Spaniard know of it.

But, I say, to end this part, they were one-and-twenty days in this
traverse, for they could not go on so easy and so fast, now they were a
little army, as we did, who were but six or seven; at length they came
to the view of the open country, and, being all encamped at the edge of
a descent, the generous Spaniard (and his three servants) took his
leave, wishing them a good journey, and so went back, having, the day
before, brought them some deer, five or six cows, and some sheep, for
their subsisting at their entrance into, and travel through, the plain

And now they began to descend towards the plain, but they met with more
difficulty here than they expected; for, as I observed that the way for
some miles went with an ascent towards the farthest part of the hill;
that continued ascent had, by degrees, brought them to a very great, and
in some places, impassable descent; so that, however my guide found his
way down, when I was through, it was not easy for them to do it, who
were so many in number, and encumbered with mules and horses, and with
their baggage, so that they knew not what to do; and, if they had not
known that our ships were gone away, there had been some odds but, like
the Israelites of old, they would have murmured against their leader,
and have all gone back to Egypt. In a word, they were at their wits'
end, and knew not what course to take for two or three days, trying and
essaying to get down here and there, and then frightened with
precipices and rocks, and climbing up to get back again. The whole of
the matter was, that they had missed a narrow way, where they should
have turned off to the south-east, the marks which our men had made
before having not been so regular and exact just there, as in other
parts of the way, or some other turning being so very like the same,
that they took one for the other; and thus, going straight forward too
far before they turned, they came to an opening indeed, and saw the
plain country under them, as they had done before, but the descent was
not so practicable.

After they had puzzled themselves here, as I said, two or three days,
one of the lieutenants, and a man with him, seeing a hut or house of a
Chilian at some distance, rode away towards it; but passing into a
valley that lay between, he met with a river which he could by no means
get over with the mules, so he came back again in despair. The captain
then resolved to send back to the honest rich Chilian, who had
entertained them so well, for a guide, or to desire him to give them
such directions as they might not mistake.

But as the person sent back was one of those who had taken the journal
which I mentioned, and was therefore greatly vexed at missing his way in
such a manner, so he had his eyes in every corner, and pulled out his
pocket-book at every turning, to see how the marks of the places agreed;
and at last, the very next morning after he set out, he spied the
turning where they should all have gone in, to have come to the place
which they were at before; this being so remarkable a discovery, he came
back again directly, without going on to the Chilian's house, which was
two days' journey farther.

Our men were revived with this discovery, and all agreed to march back;
so, having lost about six days in this false step, they got into the
right way, and, in four more, came to the descent were I had been

Here the hill was still very high, and the passage down was steep and
difficult enough; but still it was practicable, and our men could see
the marks of cattle having passed there, as if they had gone in drifts
or droves; also it was apparent, that, by some help and labour of hands,
the way might be led winding and turning on the slope of the hill, so as
to make it much easier to get down than it was now.

It cost them no small labour, however, to get down, chiefly because of
the mules, which very often fell down with their loads; and our men
said, they believed they could with much more ease have mounted up from
the east side to the top than they came from the west side to the

They encamped one night on the declivity of the hill, but got up early,
and were at the bottom and on the plain ground by noon. As soon as they
came there they encamped and refreshed themselves, that is to say, went
to dinner; but it being very hot there, the cool breezes of the
mountains having now left them, they were more inclined to sleep than to
eat; so the captain ordered the tent to be set up, and they made the
whole day of it, calling a council in the morning to consider what
course they should steer, and how they should go on.

Here they came to this resolution, that they should send two men a
considerable way up the hill again, to take the strictest observation
they could of the plain with the largest glasses they had, and to mark
which way the nearest river or water was to be seen; and they should
direct their course first to the water, and that, if the course of it
lay south, or any way to the east of the south, they would follow on the
bank of it, and, as soon as it was large enough to carry them, they
would make them some canoes or shallops, or what they could do with the
most ease, to carry them on by water; also, they directed them to
observe if they could see any cattle feeding at a distance, or the like.

The messengers returned, and brought word that all the way to the east,
and so on to south-east, they could discover nothing of water, but that
they had seen a great lake, or lough of water, at a great distance,
which looked like a sea, and lay from them to the northward of the east,
about two points; adding, that they did not know but it might afterwards
empty itself to the eastward, and it was their opinion to make the best
of their way thither.

Accordingly, the next morning, the whole body decamped, and marched
east-north-east, very cheerfully, but found the way much longer than
they expected; for though from the mountains the country seemed to lie
flat and plain, yet, when they came to measure it by their feet, they
found a great many little hills; little, I say, compared to the great
mountains, but great to them who were to travel over them in the heat,
and with but very indifferent support as to provisions; so that, in a
word, the captain very prudently ordered that they should travel only
three hours in the morning and three in the evening, and encamp in the
heat of the day, to refresh themselves as well as they could.

The best thing they met with in that part of the country was, that they
had plenty of water, for though they were not yet come to any large,
considerable river, yet every low piece of ground had a small rill of
water in it; and the springs coming out from the rising grounds on the
sides of the mountains being innumerable, made many such small brooks.

It cost them six days' travel, with two days' resting between, to
advance to that river of water, which, from the height of the mountains,
seemed to be but a little way off. They could not march, by their
computation, above ten or twelve miles a day, and rest every third day
too, for their luggage was heavy, and their mules but few; also some of
their mules became tired and jaded by their long march, or fell lame,
and were good for nothing.

Besides all this, the days which I call days of rest were really not so
to them, for those intervals were employed to range about and hunt for
food; and it was for want of that, more than for want of rest, that they
halted every third day.

In this exercise they did, however, meet with such success, that they
made shift to kill one sort of creature or another every day, sufficient
to keep them from famishing; sometimes they met with some deer, other
times with the guinacoes, or Peruvian sheep, and sometimes with fowls of
several kinds, so that they did pretty well for food. At length, viz.,
the seventh day, they came to a river, which was at first small, but
having received another small river or two from the northern part of the
country, it began to seem large enough for their purpose; and, as it ran
east-south-east, they concluded it would run into the lake, and that
they might fleet down this river, if they could make anything to carry

But their first discouragement was, the country was all open, with very
little wood, and no trees, or very few to be found large enough to make
canoes, or boats of any sort; but the skill of their carpenters, of
which they had four, soon conquered this difficulty; for, coming to a
low swampy ground on the side of the river, they found a tree something
like a beech, very firm good sort of wood, and yet soft enough to yield
to their tools; and they went to work with this, and at first made them
some rafts, which they thought might carry them along till the river was

While this was doing, which took up two or three days, the men straggled
up and down; some with their guns to shoot fowls, some with contrivances
to catch fish, some one thing, some another; when, on a sudden, one of
their fishermen, not in the river, but in a little brook, which
afterwards ran into the river, found a little bit of shining stuff among
the sand or earth, in the bank, and cried, he had found a piece of gold.
Now, it seems, all was not gold that glistened, for the lump had no gold
in it, whatever it was; but the word being given out at first, it
immediately set all our men a-rummaging the shores of every little rill
of water they came at, to see if there was any gold; and they had not
looked long till they found several little grains, very small and fine,
not only in this brook, but in several others; so they spent their time
more cheerfully, because they made some advantage.

All this while they saw no people, nor any signals of any; except once,
on the other side of the river, at a great distance, they saw about
thirty together, but whether men or women, or how many of each, they
could not tell, nor would they come any nearer, only stood and gazed at
our people at a distance.

They were now ready to quit their camp and embark, intending to lay all
their baggage on the rafts, with three or four sick men, and so the rest
to march by the river side, and as many as could, to ride upon the
mules; when on a sudden, all their navigation was put to a stop, and
their new vessels, such as they were, suffered a wreck.

The case was thus:--They had observed a great many black clouds to hang
over the tops of the mountains, and some of them even below the tops,
and they did believe it rained among the hills, but, in the plain where
they lay, and all about them, it was fair, and the weather fine.

But, in the night, the carpenters and their assistants, who had set up a
little tent near the river side, were alarmed with a great roaring
noise, as they thought, in the river, though at a distance upwards;
presently after, they found the water begin to come into their tent,
when, running out, they found the river was swelling over its banks,
and all the low grounds on both sides of them.

To their great satisfaction, it was just break of day, so that they
could see enough to make their way from the water, and the land very
happily rising a little to the south of the river, they immediately fled
thither. Two of them had so much presence of mind with them, as to pick
up their working-tools, at least some of them, and carry off, and the
water rising gradually, the other two carpenters ventured back to save
the rest, but they were put to some difficulty to get back again with
them; in a word, the water rose to such a height that it carried away
their tent, and everything that was in it, and which was worse, their
rafts (for they had almost finished four large ones) were lifted off
from the place where they were framed, which was a kind of a dry dock,
and dashed all to pieces, and the timber, such as it was, all carried
away. The smaller brooks also swelled in proportion to the large river;
so that, in a word, our men lay as it were, surrounded with water, and
began to be in a terrible consternation; for, though they lay in a hard
dry piece of ground, too high for the land-flood to reach them, yet, had
the rains continued in the mountains, they might have lain there till
they had been obliged to eat one another, and so there had been an end
of our new discovery.

But the weather cleared up among the hills the next day, which heartened
them up again; and as the flood rose so soon, so the current being
furiously rapid, the waters ran off again as easily as they came on, and
in two days the water was all gone again. But our little float was
shipwrecked, as I have said, and the carpenters finding how dangerous
such great unwieldy rafts would be, resolved to set to it, and build one
large float with sides to it, like a punt or ferry-boat. They worked so
hard at this, ten of the men always working with them to help, that in
five days they had her finished; the only thing they wanted was pitch
and tar, to make her upper work keep out the water, and so they made a
shift to fetch a juice out of some of the wood they had cut, by help of
fire, that answered the end tolerably well.

But that which made this disappointment less afflicting was, that our
men hunting about the small streams where this water had come down so
furiously, found that there was more gold, and the more for the late
flood. This made them run straggling up the streams, and, as the
captain said, he thought once they would run quite back to the mountains

But this was his ignorance too; for after awhile, and the nearer they
came to the rising of the hills the quantity abated; for where the
streams were so furious, the water washed it all away, and carried it
down with it, so that by the end of five days, the men found but little,
and began to come back again.

But then they discovered that, though there was less in the higher part
of the rivers, there was more farther down, and they found it so well
worth while, that they went looking along for gold all the way towards
the lake, and left their fellows and the boat to come after.

At last, when nothing else would do, hunger called them off, and so once
more all the company were got together again; and now they began to load
the float, indeed it might be called a luggage-boat; however, it
answered very well, and was a great relief to our men; but when they
came to load it, they found it would not carry near so much as they had
to put in it. Besides that, they would be all obliged to march on foot
by shore, which had this particular inconvenience in it, that whenever
they came to any small river or brook which ran into the other, as was
very often the case, they would be forced to march up a great way to get
over it, or unload the great float to make a ferry-boat of it to waft
them over.

Upon this they were resolved, that the first place they came at where
timber was to be had for building, they would go to work again and make
two or three more floats, not so big as the other, that so they might
embark themselves, their baggage, and their provisions too, all
together, and take the full benefit of the river, where it would afford
them help; and not some sail on the water, and some go on foot upon the
land, which would be very fatiguing.

Therefore, as soon as they found timber, as I have said, and a
convenient place, they went all hands to work to build more floats or
boats, and, while this was doing, all the spare men spent their time and
pains in searching about for gold in the brooks and small streams, as
well those they had been at before as others, and that after they had,
as it were, plundered them at the first discovery; for, as they had
found some gold after the hasty rain, they were loath to give it over,
though they had been assured there was more to be found in the lake,
where they were yet to come, than in the brooks.

All this while their making the floats went slowly on; for the men
thought it a great hardship to keep chopping of blocks, as they called
it, while their fellows were picking up gold, though they knew they were
to have their share of what they found, as much as if they had been all
the while with them; but it seems there is a kind of satisfaction in the
work of picking up gold, besides the mere gain.

However, at length the gold failing, they began to think of their more
immediate work, which was, going forward; and the carpenters having made
three more floats, like flat-bottomed barges, which they brought to be
able to carry their baggage and themselves too, if they thought fit,
they began to embark and fall down the river; but they grew sick of
their navigation in a very few days, for before they got to the lake,
which was but three days' going, they ran several times on ground, and
were obliged to lighten their floats to get them off again, then load
again, and lighten again, and so off and on, till they were so tired of
them that they would much rather have carried all their baggage, and
have travelled by land; and, at last, they were forced to cast off two
of them, and put all their baggage on board the other two, which, at
best, though large, were but poor crazy things.

At length they came in sight of their beloved lake, and the next day
they entered into the open part, or sea of it, which they found was very
large, and in some places very deep.

Their floats, or by what other name they might be called, were by no
means fit to carry them upon this inland sea; for if the water had been
agitated by the least gust of wind, it would presently have washed over
them, and have spoiled, if not sunk, their baggage; so they had no way
to steer or guide them whenever they came into deep water, where they
could not reach the ground with their poles.

This obliged them, as soon as they came into the open lake, to keep
close under one shore, that is to say, to the right hand, where the land
falling away to the south and the south-by-east, seemed to carry them
still forward on their way; the other side widening to the north, made
the lake seem there to be really a sea, for they could not look over
it, unless they went on shore and got upon some rising ground.

Here, at first, they found the shore steep too, and a great depth of
water close to land, which made them very uneasy; for, if the least gale
of wind had disturbed the water, especially blowing from off the lake,
they would have been shipwrecked close to the shore. However, after they
had gone for two days along the side, by the help of towing and setting
as well as they could, they came to a flatter shore and a fair strand,
to their great joy and satisfaction.

But, if the shore proved to their satisfaction for its safety, it was
much more so on another account; for they had not been long here before
they found the sands or shore infinitely rich in gold, beyond all that
they had seen, or thought of seeing before. They had no sooner made the
discovery, than they resolved to possess themselves of a treasure that
was to enrich them all for ever; accordingly, they went to work with
such an avaricious spirit, that they seemed to be as if they were
plundering an enemy's camp, and that there was an army at hand to drive
them from the place; and, as it proved, they were in the right to do so;
for, in this gust of their greedy appetite, they considered not where
they were, and upon what tender and ticklish terms their navigation

They had, indeed, drawn their two floats to the shore as well as they
could, and with pieces of wood like piles, stuck in on every side,
brought them to ride easy, but had not taken the least thought about
change of weather, though they knew they had neither anchor or cable,
nor so much as a rope large enough to fasten them with on the shore.

But they were taught more wit, to their cost, in two or three days; for,
the very second night they felt a little unusual rising of the water, as
they thought, though without any wind; and the next morning they found
the water of the lake was swelled about two feet perpendicular, and that
their floats, by that means, lay a great way farther from the shore than
they did at first, and the water still increasing.

This made them imagine there was a tide in the lake, and that after a
little time it would abate again, but they soon found their mistake; for
after some time, they perceived the water, which was perfectly fine and
clear before, grew by degrees of a paler colour, thick and whitish, till
at last it was quite white and muddy, as is usual in land floods; and
as it still continued rising, so they continued thrusting in their
floats farther and farther towards the shore, till they had, in short,
lost all the fine golden sands they were at work upon before, and found
the lake overflowed the land so far beyond them, that, in short, they
seemed to be in the middle of the lake, for they could scarce see to the
end of the water, even on that very side where, but a few hours before,
their floats were fast on the sands.

It may be easily judged that this put them into great consternation, and
they might well conclude that they should be all drowned and lost; for
they were now, as it were, in the middle of the sea upon two open floats
or rafts, fenced nowhere from the least surge or swell of the water,
except by a kind of waste board, about two feet high, built up on the
sides, without any calking or pitching, or anything to keep out the

They had neither mast or sail, anchor or cable, head or stern, no bows
to fence off the waves, or rudder to steer any course, or oars to give
any motion to their floats, whose bottoms were flat like a punt, so that
they were obliged to thrust them along with such poles as they had, some
of which were about eight or ten feet long, which gained them a little
way, though very slowly.

All the remedy they had in this case was, to set on with their poles
towards the shore, and to observe, by their pocket compasses, which way
it lay; and this they laboured hard at, lest they should be lost in the
night, and not know which way to go.

Their carpenters, in the mean time, with some spare boards which they
had, or rather made, raised their sides as well as they could, to keep
off the wash of the sea, if any wind should rise so as to make the water
rough; and thus they fenced against every danger as well as they could,
though, all put together, they were but in a very sorry condition.

Now they had time to reflect upon their voracious fury, in ranging the
shore to pick up gold, without considering where and in what condition
they were, and without looking out on shore for a place of safety: nay,
they might now have reflected on the madness of venturing out into a
lake or inland sea of that vast extent, in such pitiful bottoms as they
had under them. Their business, doubtless, had been to have stopped
within the mouth of the river, and found a convenient place to land
their goods and secure their lives; and when they had pitched their camp
upon any safe high ground, where they might be sure they could neither
be overflowed nor surrounded with water, they might have searched the
shores of the lake as far as they thought fit; but thus to launch into
an unknown water, and in such a condition, as to their vessels, as is
described above, was most unaccountably rash and inconsiderate.

Never were a crew of fifty men, all able and experienced sailors, so
embarked, nor drawn into such a snare; for they were surrounded with
water for three or four miles in breadth on the nearest shore, and this
all on a sudden, the country lying low and flat for such a breadth, all
which appeared dry land and green, like the fields, the day before; and,
without question, the men were sufficiently surprised.

Now they would have given all the gold they had got, which was very
considerable too, to have been on shore on the wildest and most barren
part of the country, and would have trusted to their own diligence to
get food; but here, besides the imminent danger of drowning, they might
also be in danger of starving; for had their floats grounded but upon
any little hillock, they might have stuck there till they had starved
and perished for hunger. Then they were in the utmost anxiety too for
fear of wetting their powder, which, if it had happened, they could
never have made serviceable again, and without it, they could not have
killed anything for food, if they had got to the shore.

They had, in this exigence, some comforts, however, which might a little
uphold their spirits; and without which, indeed, their condition must
have been deplorable and desperate.

1. It was hot weather, so that as they had no shelter against the cold,
if it had come, they had no cold to afflict them; but they rather wanted
awnings to keep off the sun, than houses to keep off the cold.

2. The water of the lake was fresh and good; even when it looked white
and thick, yet it was very sweet, wholesome, and good tasted; had it
been salt water, and they thus in the middle of it, they must have
perished with thirst.

3. They being now floating over the drowned lands only, the water was
not very deep, so that they could reach ground, and set along their
rafts with their poles, and this, to be sure, they failed not to do with
the utmost diligence.

They had also the satisfaction to observe, though it was not without
toiling in an inexpressible manner, that they gained upon the shore, and
that there was a high land before them, which they were making for,
though very slowly, and at a distance they hoped to overcome.

But soon after, they had another discouragement, namely, that they saw
the day declining, and night coming on apace, and, in short, that it was
impossible they could reach the high land, which they saw by daylight,
nor did they know what to do or how to go on in the night.

At length two bold fellows offered themselves to strip and go off,
either to wade or swim to the shore, which they had daylight to do,
being, as they judged, about three miles, though they found it above
four, and from thence to find means to make a fire or light to guide
them to the shore in the dark.

This was, indeed, a desperate attempt, but the two fellows being good
swimmers, and willing to venture, it was not impracticable. They had
light linen drawers on, with pockets, and open at the knees, and their
shirts; each of them took a little bottle with some gunpowder, close
stopped, with other materials for kindling fire; weapons they had none,
but each man a knife and a hatchet fastened round his waist in a little
belt, and a light pole in his hands to help him when he waded, which it
was expected they must do part of the way. They had no provisions with
them, but a bottle with some good brandy in their pockets above

When they went off, it was supposed the water to be about four feet to
five feet deep, so they chose to swim rather than wade, and it was very
seldom much deeper; they had often opportunity to stand on the firm
ground to rest themselves.

In this posture they went on directly towards the land, and after they
had, by swimming and wading together, advanced about a mile, they found
the water grew shallower, which was a signal to them that they should
reach the hard ground in a little time; so they walked cheerfully on in
about three feet water, for near a mile more.

Their companions on board the rafts soon lost sight of them, for they
being in white, and the water white too, and the light declining, they
could not see them at a mile distance.

After this they found the ground falling lower, so that they had deeper
water for half a mile more all the way; after which, they came to a flat
ground again, for near two miles more, and at length to the dry land, to
their great satisfaction, though it was then quite night.

They had been near an hour in the dark, that is to say, with only a
dusky light, and began to be greatly at a loss, not being able to see
the compass. They had made shift to get over the half mile of deeper
water pretty well; for, though it was too deep for the two men to wade,
as above, yet they could reach the bottom with their poles, and, at that
time, they happened to feel a little breeze of wind fair in their way,
which not only refreshed them, but gave them a kind of a jog on their
way towards the shore.

At length, to their great joy, they saw a light; and it was the more to
their joy, because they saw it just before them, or, as the seamen call
it, right ahead; by which they had the satisfaction to know they had not
varied their course in the dark. It seems their two men had landed upon
a fair rising ground, where they found some low bushes and trees, and
where they had good hard dry standing; and they soon found means to pick
out a few withered dry sticks, with which they made a blaze for the
present, having struck fire with the tools they were furnished with, as
mentioned above.

By the light of this blaze, they gave the first notice to their comrades
that they were landed; and they in return, as was agreed as before,
fired two guns as a signal that they saw it, and were all safe.

By the light of this fire, the two men also gave themselves so much
light as to find more dry wood; and, afterwards, their fire was so
strong and good, that they made the green wood burn as well as the dry.

Their companions on the floats were now come into the shoal water, in
which, as I said, these men waded, but, as their floats did not draw
above a foot or eighteen inches water at most, they went on still; but,
at length, being within about half a mile of the hillock where the two
men were, they found the water so shallow that their floats would not
swim. Upon this, more of the men went overboard with poles in their
hands, sounding, as we call it, for a deeper water, and, with long
paddling about, they found the ground fall off a little in one place, by
which they got their floats about a quarter of a mile farther; but then
the water was shallow again, not above a foot of water: so, in a word,
they were fain to be content, and, running fast aground, they
immediately began, though dark, and themselves very much fatigued, to
unload their floats and carry all on shore on their backs.

The first thing they took care to land, was their ammunition, their
gunpowder and arms, not forgetting the ammunition de bouche, as the
French call it, I mean their victuals; and, with great joy, got to their
comrades. Then they fetched their proper materials for their tent, and
set it up, and having refreshed themselves, they went all to sleep, as
they said, without so much as a sentinel placed for their guard; for, as
they saw no inhabitants, so they feared no enemies; and, it may be
supposed, they were weary enough to make them want rest, even in the
extremest manner.

In the morning they had time enough to reflect upon the madness of such
rash adventures. Their floats, indeed, remained as they had left them,
and the water was ebbed away from them for more than two miles, that is
to say, almost to the deep half mile mentioned above; but they heard a
surprising noise and roaring of the water on the lake itself, the body
of which was now above seven miles from them.

They could not imagine what this roaring should mean, for they felt no
wind, nor could they perceive any clouds at a distance that looked as if
they brought any squalls of wind with them, as they are often observed
to do; but, when they came nearer the water, they found it had a kind of
a swell, and that there was certainly some more violent motion at the
farther distance; and, in a little while, looking behind them towards
the shore where their comrades were, they found the water began to
spread over the flat ground again; upon which, they hastened back, but
having a good way to go, they were obliged to wade knee deep before they
reached to the hillock where their tent stood.

They had not been many hours on shore before they found the wind began
to rise, and the roaring, which before they heard at a distance, grew
louder and nearer, till at length the floats were lifted up, and driven
on shore by the wind, which increased to a storm, and the water swelled
and grew rough; and, as they were upon the lee shore, the floats were
soon broken in pieces, and went some one way and some another.

In the evening it overcast and grew cloudy, and, about midnight, they
had their share of a violent rain, which yet, they could see was more
violent towards the mountains of the Andes, and towards the course of
the river which they came down in the floats.

The consequence of this was, that the third day, the waters of the lake
swelled again to a frightful height; that is to say, it would have been
frightful to them if they had been up in it, for they supposed it rose
about two fathoms perpendicularly, and the wind continuing fresh, the
water was all a white foam of froth; so that, had they been favoured
with even a good large boat under them, she would scarce have lived

Their tent was a sufficient shelter from the rain, and, as they were on
dry land, and too high to be reached by any inundation, they had no
concern upon them about their safety, but took this for sufficient
notice, not to come up the lake again in haste, unless they were better
provided with boats to ride out a storm.

Our men began now to think they had taken their leave of the golden
lake, and yet they knew not how to think of leaving it so soon. They
were now fourteen or fifteen leagues from the shore where they had found
so much gold, nor did they know the way to it by land; and as for going
by water, that they were unprovided for several ways; besides, the
waters kept up to a considerable height, and the winds blew fresh for
six or eight days, without intermission.

All these obstructions joined together, put them upon considering of
pursuing their march by land, in which, however, they resolved to coast
the lake as near as they could to the eastward, till, if possible, they
should find that the waters had some outlet, that is to say, that the
lake emptied itself by some river towards the sea, as they concluded it
certainly must.

They had not yet seen any inhabitants, or any sign of them, at least,
not near them; they saw, or fancied they saw, some on the other side of
the river, but, as none came within reach of them, it is doubtful
whether they really saw them or not.

Before they decamped for a march, it was needful to get some provisions,
if possible, and this made them the more desirous of finding out some
conversible creatures, but it was in vain. They killed a wild cow and a
deer, and this was all they could get for some time; and with this they
set forward, taking their course east, and rather northerly, in order to
come into the same latitude they set out in, at their first embarking on
the river.

After they had marched thus for about three days, keeping the lake on
the north side of them, and always in view, at length, on the third day,
in the evening, coming to a little hill, which gave them the prospect of
the country for some length north-east, they saw plainly a river issuing
out of the lake, and running first east, then bending to the south; it
was also easy to perceive that this river, was at that time, much
broader than its usual course, for that they could see a great many
trees, which probably grew on the banks of the river, standing as it
were, in the middle of the water, the banks being overflowed both ways
very considerably.

But, as they mounted the hill which they stood on, to greater height,
they discovered farther north, at a distance of five or six miles,
according to their account, a much larger river, which looked, compared
to the first, rather like a sea than a river, which likewise issued out
of the lake, and ran east-by-south towards the sea; which river they
supposed to be in the same manner swelled with a land-water to a
prodigious degree.

This prospect brought them to a more serious consultation as to the
measures they should take to proceed on their journey; and as they could
easily see there was little or no use to be made of the rivers for their
travelling, while they were thus above the ordinary banks, so that they
could not know the proper channels, and also that the currents were
exceeding swift, so they resolved to stock themselves with provisions,
if possible, and continue their journey by land.

To this purpose they first made it their business to catch some more
guinacoes, or large sheep, which they knew would not only feed them, but
also carry their luggage, which was still heavy and very troublesome to
them, and yet absolutely necessary too. But all their endeavour was in
vain, for though they saw several, and found that the country was pretty
full of them, and some they killed, yet they could not take one alive by
any means they could contrive.

Among other creatures they shot for food were a few wild cows and
bulls, and especially on the north side of the river, where they found
great plenty.

But the most surprising thing to them that they had yet met with, was
still to come. They had descended from the hill where they at first
discovered the smaller river, and where they had set up their tent,
resolving to march on the lower grounds as near the river as they could,
so as to be out of danger of the water, that they might find, if
possible, some way over, to come at the great river, which they judged
to be the stream most proper for their business.

Here they found a rich pleasant country, level and fruitful, not so low
as to be exposed to the overflowing of the river, and not so high as to
be dry and barren; several little brooks and streams of water rising on
the side of the hill they came from, ran winding this way and that, as
if to find out the river, and near the river were some woods of very
large trees.

The men, not forgetting the main chance, fell to washing and searching
the sand and gravel in these brooks for gold; but the harvest of gold
seemed to be over, for here they found none.

They had also an occasion to discover, that till the land-waters were
abated, there was no stirring for them, no not so much as to cross the
first river; nor if they did, could they find in their hearts to
venture, not knowing but the waters might still rise higher, and that
the two rivers might swell into one, and so they should be swallowed up,
or if not, they might be surrounded in some island, where they should
perish for want of provisions; so they resolved to fetch their baggage
from the hill as well as they could, and encamp in those pleasant
plains, as near the river as they could, till the water should abate.

While they stayed here, they were so far from having hopes that the
waters would abate, that it rained violently for almost three days and
nights together; and one of those rainy mornings, looking out at their
tent-door (for they could not stir abroad for the rain), they were
surprised, when looking towards the river, which was just below them,
they saw a prodigious number of black creatures in the water, and
swimming towards the shore where they were.

They first imagined they were porpoises, or sea-hogs, but could not
suggest anything of that kind at such a distance from the sea, when one
of the men looking at them through the glass, cried out they were all
black cattle, and that he could perceive their horns and heads; upon
this, others looking with their glasses also, said the same; immediately
every man ran to his gun, and, notwithstanding it rained hard, away they
marched down to the river's side with all the speed they could make.

By that time they reached the river bank, their wonder increased, for
they found it was a vast multitude of black cattle, who, finding the
waters rise between the two rivers, and, by a natural sagacity,
apprehensive of being swept away with the flood, had one and all took
the waters, and were swimming over to this side for safety.

It may very well be imagined, the fellows, though they wanted a few such
guests as these, yet were terrified with their multitude, and began to
consider what course to take when the creatures should come to land, for
there was a great number of them. Upon the whole, after a short
consultation, for the creatures came on apace, they resolved to get into
a low ground, where they perceived they directed their course, and in
which there were a great many trees, and that they would all get up into
the trees, and so lie ready to shoot among them as they landed.

Accordingly they did so, excepting five of them, who, by cutting down
some large boughs of a tree, had got into a little thicket close to the
water, and which they so fortified with the boughs of the trees, that
they thought themselves secure within; and there they posted themselves,
resolving to wait the coming of the cattle, and take their hazard.

When the creatures came to land, it was wonderful to observe how they
lowed and roared, as it were to bid one another welcome on shore; and
spreading themselves upon the neighbouring plain, immediately lay down,
and rolling and stretching themselves, gave our people notice, that, in
short, they had swam a great way and were very much tired.

Our fellows soon laid about them, and the five who had fixed themselves
in the thicket had the fairest opportunity, for they killed eleven or
twelve of them as soon as they set their foot on shore, and lamed as

And now they had a trial of skill, for as they killed as many as they
knew what to do with, and had their choice of beef, if they killed a
bull they let him lie, as having no use for him, but chose the cows, as
what they thought was only fit for eating.

But, I say, now they had a trial of skill, namely, to see if they could
maim some of the bulls so as not to kill them, and might bring them to
carry their luggage. This was a kind of a fruitless attempt, as we
afterwards told them, to make a baggage-horse of a wild bull.

However, they brought it so far to pass, that, having wounded several
young bulls very much, after they had run roaring about with the hurt,
they lay down and bled so, as that it was likely they would bleed to
death, as several of them really did; but the surgeon observing two of
them to be low enough that he might go to them, and do what he would
with them, he soon stopped the bleeding, and in a word, healed the
wounds. All the while they were under cure he caused grass and boughs of
trees to be brought to them for food, and in four or five days the
creatures were very well; then he caused them to be hampered with ropes,
and tied together, so that they could neither fight with their heads, or
run away with their heels; and having thus brought them to a place just
by their tent, he caused them to be kept so hungry, and almost starved,
that, when meat was carried them, they were so tame and thankful, that
at last, they would eat out of his hand, and stretch out their heads for
it, and when they were let a little looser, would follow him about for a
handful of grass, like a dog for a bone.

When he had brought them thus to hand, he, by degrees, loaded them, and
taught them to carry; and if they were unruly, as they were at first, he
would load them with more than they could well carry, and make them
stand under that load two or three hours, and then come himself and
bring them meat, and take the load off; and thus in a few days they knew
him so well, that they would let him do anything with them.

When our people came to decamp, they tied them both together, with such
ropes as they had, and made them carry a very great weight. They tried
the same experiment with two more, but they failed; one died, and the
other proved untractable, sullen, and outrageous.

The men had now lain here twelve days, having plenty of provision, in
which time, the weather proving fair, the land waters ran off, and the
rivers came to their old channels, clear and calm. The men would gladly
have gone back to the sands and flat shore of the lake, or to some other
part, to look for gold; but that was impracticable now, so they marched
on, and in about two days they found the first river seemed to turn so
much to the south, that they thought it would carry them too far out of
their way, for their orders were to keep about the latitude of 40 to 50°
as is said before, so they resolved to get over the first river as soon
as they could; they had not gone far, but they found the river so
shallow, that they easily forded it, bulls and all, and, being safely
landed, they travelled across the country to the great river, which they
found also very low, though not like to be forded as the other was.

Now they thought they were in the way of their business, and here they
resolved to see if a tree or two might be found, big enough to make a
large canoe to carry them down this river, which, as it seemed large, so
the current seemed to be less rapid and furious, the channel being deep
and full.

They had not searched long but they found three trees that they thought
large enough, and they immediately went to work with them, felled and
shaped them, and, in four days' time they had three handsome canoes, one
larger than the rest, and able to carry in all fifteen or sixteen men;
but these were not enough, so they were forced to look out farther, for
two trees more, and this took them up more time. However, in about a
week, they launched them all; as for days, they had lost their account
of time, so that, as they had sometimes no rule to distinguish one day
from another, so at last they quite forgot the days, and knew not a
Sunday from a working-day any longer.

While these canoes were making, the men, according to the old trade,
fell to rummaging the shores of this river, as they had done the other,
for gold, nor did they wholly lose their labour, for, in several places,
they found some; and here it was that a certain number of them, taking
one of the canoes that were first made, took a voyage of their own
heads, not only without command, but against command; and, having made a
little mast and sail to it, went up towards the lake, resolving to go
quite into the lake to find another golden shore, or gold coast, as they
called it.

To give a particular account of this wild undertaking, would be too
long, nor would the rogues give much account of it themselves; only, in
short, that they found a sand pretty rich in gold, worked upon it five
days indefatigably, and got a sufficient quantity, had they brought it
back, to have tempted the rest to have gone all away to the same place.
But, at the end of five days, some were for returning and others for
staying longer, till the majority prevailed to come back, representing
to the rest, that their friends would be gone, and they should be left
to starve in that wild country, and should never get home; so they all
got into the canoe again, but quarrelled when they were in, and that to
such an unreasonable height, that, in short, they fought, overset the
boat, lost all their gold and their arms, except three muskets which
were lashed under their thouts, or benches of the canoe, spoiled their
ammunition and provisions, and drowned one of their company, so they
came home to the rest mortified, wet, and almost famished.

This was a balk to them, and put a damp to their new projects; and yet
six of the same men were so bold afterwards as to demand to be
dismissed, and a canoe given them, and they would go back they said to
the golden lake, where, they did not doubt, they should load the canoe
with gold; and, if they found when they came back we were gone, they
would find their way back through the mountains, and go to the rich
Spaniard, who, they did not doubt, would get them license to go back to
Europe with the galleons, and perhaps, they said, they might be in
England before us.

But the captain quelled this mutiny, though there were four or five more
came into it. By showing them the agreement they had made with me, their
commander, the obligation they were under, and the madness of their
other proposal, he prevailed with them to go forward with the rest, and
pursue the voyage, which he now represented to be very easy, being as it
were, all the way downhill, that is to say, with the stream, for they
all knew the river they were in must go to the sea, and that in or near
the latitude which they knew the ship had appointed to wait for them.

However, to soften them a little, and in some measure to please them, he
promised, that if they met with any success in the search after gold in
the river they were in, as he did not question but they should, he would
consent to any reasonable stop that they should propose, not exceeding
five days in a place, and the places to be not less than five leagues
off from one another.

Upon these terms they consented, and all embarked and came away, though
extremely mortified for the loss of one of their companions, who was a
brave stout fellow, very well beloved by all the company, but there was
no remedy; so they came on in five canoes, and with a good stock of
provisions, such as it was, viz., good fresh beef cured in the sun, and
fifteen Peruvian sheep alive; for, when they got into the country
between the two rivers, they found it easy to catch those creatures, who
before that would not come near them.

And now they came down the river apace, till they came to another golden
shore, where, finding some quantity of gold, they claimed their
captain's promise, and, accordingly, they went all on shore to work, and
pretty good success they had, picking up from among the sands a
considerable quantity of gold, and, having stayed four of the five days,
they found that they had cleared the place, which was not of a long
extent, and so they cheerfully came on.

They proceeded now for eleven days together very willingly, but then
found the channel of the river divided itself, and one went away to the
left, and the other to the right. They could not judge which was the
best to take; but not questioning but that they would meet again soon,
they took the southernmost channel, as being most direct in their
latitude; and thus they coursed for three or four days more, when they
were obliged to put into the mouth of a little river that fell into the
other, and made a good harbour for their little fleet.

Here, I say, they were obliged to put in for want of provisions, for
they had eaten up all their guinacoes, and their two tame bulls too, the
last of which they soon repented, as will be shown presently.

After they had been a-hunting, and shot a couple of deer and a cow, with
a kind of hare, as large as an English fox, they set forward again very
merry, and the more, because they had another little piece of a gold
coast, where, for two days, they had very good luck again; but judge how
they were surprised, and in what a consternation they were, when, coming
farther down the same river, they heard a terrible noise in the river,
as of a mighty cataract, or waterfall, which increased as they came
forward, till it grew so loud that they could not hear themselves
speak, much less hear one another.

As they approached, it was the more frightful; so at length, lest they
should be hurried into it before they were aware, they went all on
shore, doing all by signs and dumb postures, for it was impossible to
hear any sound but that of the cataract.

Though the noise was so great, it was near six miles to the place from
whence it came, which, when they perceived, some of them went back to
bring on the boats, and so brought them as near the place as they durst,
and ran them on shore into a little hollow part of the bank, just large
enough to hold them. When they had thus secured the boats, they went to
view the waterfall; but how were they astonished, when they found that
there were no less than five waterfalls, at the distance of about two
miles from each other, some more, some less, and that the water fell
from a prodigious height; so that it was impossible for any boat to
launch down the cataract without being dashed in pieces.

The men now saw there was no remedy but that they must lose the benefit
of their five canoes, which had been so comfortable to them, and by
which they had come above four hundred miles in a little time, with
safety and pleasure.

These cataracts made the river perfectly useless to them for above
twenty miles, and it was impossible to drag their canoes that length
over land; so, in short, they unloaded them, and, for their own
satisfaction, they turned one, the biggest of them, adrift, and let it
go to the first cataract, placing themselves so beyond that they might
see it come down, which they did, and had the vexation of seeing it
dashed all to pieces on the rocks below.

As there was no remedy, they plainly saw they must leave their boats
behind them. And now, as I have said, they had time to repent killing
their two tamed bulls, who would have done them good service; but it was
too late to look back upon what was done and over so many days before.
They had now no means left them, if they would go forward, but to take
their baggage upon their shoulders and travel on foot. The only help
they had was, that they had got five guinacoes left, which, though they
were hungry, and would fain have eaten, yet, as they had carried at
least five hundred weight of their luggage, they chose to fast and walk
rather than feast and work; so they went on as well as they could till
they got past these falls, which, though not above twenty miles, cost
them five days' labour; at the end of which, they encamped again to
refresh themselves, and consider of what was next to be done. They were
thus long upon this short journey for many reasons.

1. Because they were obliged to employ the best part of two days in
hunting for their food, in which time, five of them swimming over the
river to shoot at some black cattle, extremely fatigued themselves in
pursuing them, but did, however, shoot five cows and bulls; but then it
was at such a distance, that it was more pains to drag the flesh along
to the river's side than it was worth, only that they were indeed
hunger-starved, and must have it.

2. They found still some little quantity of gold in the water, that is
to say, below the falls, where the water, by falling with great force,
had made a pit or hole of a vast depth, and had thrown up a shoal again,
at perhaps a little distance, where they took up some gold whenever the
water was low enough to come at it.

3. The weight of their baggage made them travel heavy, and seldom above
five or six miles a day.

Being now come to the open river, they thought of building more floats;
but they were discouraged from this consideration by not knowing but in
a few days' march there might be more waterfalls, and then all their
labour would be lost; so they took up their tent and began to travel

But here, as they kept the river close on board, as the seamen call it,
they were at a full stop, by the coming in of another river from the
south-west, which, when it joined the river they were along by, was
above a quarter of a mile broad, and how to get over it they knew not.

They sent two men up the additional river some length, and they brought
word that it was indeed narrower by much, but nowhere fordable, but deep
and rapid.

At the same time they sent two more nimble fellows down the coast of the
great river, to see if there were any more waterfalls, who brought them
word that there were none for upwards of sixty miles.

While they lay here, at the point of the influx, expecting the return of
their scouts, they used what diligence they could in getting provisions;
and among the rest, they killed three cows and a bull on the other side
of the largest river; but not knowing how to bring them over, they at
last concluded to go, as many as could swim, which was the better half
of them, and sit down by it, and roast and broil upon the spot as much
as they could eat, and then bring with them, as much as they could for
their companions.

For this purpose they got boughs of trees, and bound them together, then
wrapped the meat in the hides, and laid it on the wood, and made a
number of little contrivances to convey it, so that no part of the meat
was lost. What they got on their own side of the river they made better
shift with.

On the return of their scouts they found there was no remedy but to
build some new vessels, of one kind or other, to take in their baggage
and provision, which they made after the manner of their first floats;
for they found no trees large enough to make canoes; when, therefore,
they had made one great float, they resolved to make two small boats,
like yawls or skiffs, with which they might tow their large float or
barge; and as this they might do with small timbers, so they found means
to line them within and without with the bulls' hides, and that so
dexterously joined, and lapped and rolled one over another, that no
water came through, or but very little.

With these two boats they ferried over the small rivers with ease, each
boat carrying six men, besides two to row; and when they were over the
small rivers, the two boats served to tow their great punt or barge
close by the shore.

The greatest difficulty was for tow-lines to draw the boats by, and
those they supplied by twisting a strong tough kind of flag or rush,
which they found in the river, of which, with much application and
labour, they made a kind of rope-yarn, and then twisting it again, made
it very strong.

This was the voiture with which they conveyed themselves quite down to
the sea, and one of these boats it was that we spied, as above, coming
to us in the bay.

They had yet above four hundred and fifty miles to the sea, nor could
they at any time tell or guess how far off it might be. They went on
more or less every day, but it was but slowly, and not without great
labour, both of rowing and towing. Their provisions also cost them much
pains, for they were obliged first to hunt and kill it, and then bring
it to the camp, which, however, was always close to the river's side.

After they had travelled thus some time, following the course of the
river, they came to a place, where, on a sudden, they could see no
farther bank of the river, but it looked all water, like the sea. This
they could not account for; so, the next day, they rowed towards it with
one of their little boats, when they were surprised to find that it was
the northern branch of the river, which they had seen go off before they
came at the waterfalls, which river being now increased with many other
great waters, was now so great, that the mouth of it might be said to be
four or five miles over, and rather received the river they were on,
than ran into that; but, after this, it contracted itself again, though
still it was to be supposed near a mile and a half over.

They were far from being pleased at this conjunction of the waters,
because the great water being thus joined, they found the stream or
current more violent, and the water, upon the least stirring of the
wind, more turbulent than it was before, and as their great float drew
but little water, and swam flat upon the surface, she was ready to
founder upon every occasion. This obliged them almost every night to
seek for some little cove or creek to run her into, as into a harbour,
to preserve her; for, when the wind blew from shore, they had enough to
do to keep her from driving off from the river, and, when there was but
little wind, yet it made a rippling or chopping of the waves, that they
had much difficulty to keep them from filling her.

All the country on the side of this river was a little higher ground
than ordinary, which was its security from land-floods, and their
security too; for sometimes the river was seen to rise, and that so much
as to overflow a great extent of land on the other side. Hence, perhaps,
the other side might be esteemed the most fruitful, and perhaps might be
the better land, if it had but half the art and industry of an European
nation to assist the natural fertility of the soil, by keeping the water
in its bounds, banking and fencing the meadows from the inundations and
freshes, which were frequently sent down from the Andes and from the
country adjoining.

But, as it now was, those lower lands lay great part of the year under
water; whether it was the better or worse for the soil, that no judgment
can be made of, till some people come to settle there to whom it may be
worth while to make experiments of that kind.

This part of the country they were now in resembled, as they hinted, the
county of Dorsetshire and the downs about Salisbury, only not lying so
high from the surface of the water, and the soil being a good fruitful
dark mould, not a chalky solid rock, as in the country about Salisbury,
and some other parts.

Here they found a greater quantity of deer than they had seen in all
their journey, which they often had the good luck to kill for their
supply of food, the creatures not being so shy and wild as they had
found farther within the country.

It may be noted here, and it is very observable, that in all this
journey I could not learn that they saw either wolf or fox, bear or
lion, or, indeed, any other ravenous creature, which they had the least
reason to be shy or afraid of, or which, indeed, were frightful to the
deer; and this, perhaps, may be the reason why the number of the latter
animals is so great, which, as I have said, is greater there than at
other places.

After they had feasted themselves here for some days, they resolved to
begin their new kind of navigation, and to see what they could make of
it; but they went very heavily along, and every now and then, as I have
said, the water was too rough for them, and they were fain to put into
harbour, and sometimes lie there two or three days. However, they plyed
their time as well as they could, and sometimes the current setting over
to their side, and running strong by the shore, they would go at a great
rate, insomuch that one time they said they went about thirty miles in a
day, having, besides the current, a little gale of wind right astern.

They reckoned that they went near two hundred miles in this manner, for
they made the best of it; and at the end of these two hundred miles, it
was, by their reckoning, that our five men who travelled into the
country so far, found them, when they saw the hat swimming down the
stream; which hat, it seems, one of them let fall overboard in the

They had, I say, travelled thus far with great difficulty, the river
being so large; but, as they observed it growing larger and larger the
farther they went, so, they said, they did not doubt, but that, in a
little more, they should come to the sea.

They also observed, that now, as they found the waters larger and the
rivers wider, they killed more fowls than formerly, and, particularly,
more of the duck-foot kind, though they could not perceive any
sea-fowls, or such as they had been used to. They saw a great many wild
swans, and some geese, as also duck, mallard, and teal; and these, I
say, increased as they drew nearer the sea.

They could give very little account of the fish which the rivers
produced, though they sometimes catched a few in the smaller river; but,
as they had neither fishing-hook or nets, which was the only omission in
my fitting them out, they had no opportunity to furnish themselves.

They had, likewise, no salt, neither was it possible to furnish them
with any, so they cured their meat in the sun, and seasoned it with that
excellent sauce called hunger.

The account they gave of discovering our five men was thus. They had
been, for two days, pretty successful in their navigation, as I have
described it, but were obliged to stop, and put in at the mouth of a
little river, which made them a good harbour. The reason of their stay
was, they had no victuals, so by consent they all went a-hunting, and,
at night, having shot two guinacoes and a deer, they went to supper
together in their great tent; and, having fed heartily on such good
provisions, they began to be merry, and the captain and officers, having
a little store left, though not much, they pulled out their bottles, and
drank every one a dram to their good voyage, and to the merry meeting of
their ships, and gave every man the same.

But their mirth was increased beyond expressing, when two of the men,
who were without the tent door, cried out, it lightened. One said he saw
the flash, he was sure, and the other said, he thought he saw it too;
but, as it happened, their backs were towards the east, so that they did
not see the occasion.

This lightning was certainly the first flash of one of our five men's
rockets, or the breaking of it, and the stars that were at the end of
it, up in the air.

When the captain heard the men say it lightened, he jumped from his
seat, and called aloud to them to tell which way; but they foolishly
replied, to the north-west, which was the way their faces were when they
saw it; but the word was no sooner spoken but the two fellows fell
a-hallooing and roaring, as if they were distracted, and said they saw
a rocket rise up in the air to the eastward.

So nimble were the men at this word, that they were all out of the tent
in a moment, and saw the last flash of the rocket with the stars, which,
spreading themselves in the air, shone with the usual bright light that
it is known those fireworks give.

This made them all set up a shout of joy, as if they imagined their
fellows, who were yet many miles from them, should hear them; but the
captain and officers, who knew what they were to do on this occasion,
ran to their baggage, and took out their own rockets, and other
materials, and prepared to answer the signal.

They were on a low ground, but, at less than a mile distant, the land
went ascending up to a round crown or knoll, pretty high; away they ran
thither, and set up a frame in an instant. But, as they were making
these preparations, behold, to confirm their news, they saw a third
rocket rise up in the air, in the same place as before.

It was near an hour from the first flash, as they called it, before they
could get all things ready; but then they fired two rockets from the
adjoining hill, soon after one another, and, after that, at about ten
minutes' distance of time, a third, which was just as by agreement, and
was perfectly understood, the rockets performing extremely well.

Upon this they saw another single rocket rise up, which was to let them
know that their former was seen and understood.

This was, you will conclude, a very joyful night, and the next morning
they went all hands to work at the boats, getting out of the creek
early, and made the best of their way. However, with all they could do,
they could not go above twelve miles that day, for the current setting
over to the other shore, had left them, and in some places, they would
rather have an eddy stream against them, and this discouraged them a
little, but, depending that they were near their port, and that their
friends were not far off, they were very cheerful. At night they looked
out again for rockets, the sight of which failed not to rejoice their
hearts again, and with this addition, that it appeared their friends
were not above four or five miles off; they answered the rockets
punctually, and proceeding early the next day, they met in the morning
joyfully enough, as has been said.

We were overjoyed at meeting, as may be easily conceived; but, to see
the pitiful boat, or periagua, they came on board in, a little surprised
us; for, indeed, it was a wonder they should be able to make it swim
under them, especially when they came out into the open sea.

As soon as we had the boat in reach, we hauled it up into the ship for a
relic, and, taking two of the men with us, we manned out all our ship's
boats to go and fetch the rest, for they were, as these men told us,
about seventeen miles up the river still, and could not come any
farther, their boats being not able to bring them along, and the river
growing very broad and dangerous. The eldest of my midshipmen came in
this first boat, but the captain and the other stayed with the men, who
were very unruly, and frequently quarrelling and wrangling about their
wealth, which, indeed, was very considerable; but they were above twice
as far up the river as the men told us, having halted after the boat
left them.

When our boats came to them, and took them in, I ordered they should be
set on shore, and their tents put up there, till I had settled matters a
little with them, having had an account how mutinous and fractious they
had been; and I made them all stay there till I had fully adjusted
everything with them about their treasure, which, indeed, was so much,
that they scarce knew how to govern themselves under the thought of it.

Here I proposed conditions to them at first, that all the gold should be
shared before they went on board, and that it should be put on board the
ship, as goods for every man's single account; that I would give them
bills of lading for it; and I offered to swear to them to deliver it
into every man's possession, separately, at the first port we should
come to an anchor at in England or France; and that, at that said port,
they should every man have the 100_l._ I had promised them, as above,
for the undertaking this journey, delivered to them in gold dust, to
that amount, and that they, alone, should have full liberty to go on
shore with it, and go whither they would, no man whatever but themselves
being allowed to set foot on shore in the same place, distress excepted.
This they insisted on, because they had done some things, they said,
which, if I would, I might bring some of them to the gallows. However, I
promised to forgive them, and to inquire no more after it.

In a word, there had been a scuffle among them, in which one of their
canoes was overset, as was said, and one of their number drowned, at the
same time when they lost a great part of their gold; and some were
thought to have done it maliciously too.

But, as I had no occasion to trouble them on that score, not having been
upon the spot when it was done, so, having made this capitulation with
them, I performed it punctually, and set them all on shore, with their
wealth, in the river of Garonne, in France; their own gold, their
100_l._'s worth reward for their journey, their wages, and their share
of pearl, and other advantages, made them very rich; for their cargo,
when cast up on shore, amounted to about 400_l._ a man. How they
disposed of themselves, or their money, I never gave myself the trouble
to inquire, and if I had, it is none of my business to give an account
of it here.

We dismissed also near fourscore more of our men afterwards, in a little
creek, which was at their own request; for most of them having been of
the Madagascar men, and, by consequence, pirates, they were willing to
be easy, and I was as willing to make them so, and therefore cleared
with as many of them as desired it. But I return to our ship.

Having thus made a long capitulation with our travellers, I took them
all on board, and had leisure enough to have a long narration from them
of their voyage; and from which account, I take the liberty to recommend
that part of America as the best and most advantageous part of the whole
globe for an English colony, the climate, the soil, and, above all, the
easy communication with the mountains of Chili, recommending it beyond
any place that I ever saw or read of, as I shall farther make appear by

We had nothing now to do, but to make the best of our way for England;
and setting sail from the mouth of the river Camerones, so the Spaniards
call it, the 18th of January, in which we had a more difficult and
unpleasant voyage than in any other part of our way, chiefly because,
being a rich ship, and not knowing how affairs stood in Europe, I kept
to the northward as far as the banks of Newfoundland, steering thence to
the coast of Galicia, where we touched as above; after which, we went
through the Channel, and arrived safe in Dunkirk road the 12th of April;
and from thence gave private notice of our good fortune to our merchants
and owners; two of whom came over to us, and received at our hands such
a treasure as gave them reason to be very well satisfied with their
engagement. But, to my great grief, my particular friend, the merchant
who put us upon this adventure, and who was the principal means of our
making the discoveries that have been here mentioned and described, was
dead before our return; which, if it had not happened, this new scheme
of a trade round the world had, perhaps, not been made public till it
had been put in practice by a set of merchants designed to be concerned
in it from the New Austrian Netherlands.


*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A New Voyage Round the World by a Course Never Sailed Before" ***

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