A New Voyage TO THE EAST-INDIES IN THE Years 1690 and 1691.

BEING A full Description of the Isles of Maldives, Cocos, Andamants, and the Isle of Ascention; and all the Forts and Gar­risons now in possession of the French, with an Account of the Customs, Man­ners, and Habits of the Indians.

By Monsieur Duquesne.

To which is added, A New Description of the Canary Islands, Cape Verd, Senegal and Gambia, &c.

Illustrated with Sculptures, together with a new Map of the Indies, and another of the Canaries. Done into English from the Paris Edition.

LONDON, Printed for Daniel Dring at the Harrow and Crown near St. Dunstan's Church in Fleetstreet, 1696.

THE Author's Preface.

IF I had taken the leasure to make a serious Reflection on the boldness of my design, I had not publisht this Ac­count of my Voyages; the raw Age in which I made them, had been a sufficient reason to discourage me from it, besides the consideration of the polite Age we live in. For tho' I have followed Truth with the greatest severity, yet these Re­lations want perhaps those other Advan­tages that are apt to recommend things of this nature to the Reader, such as Air and Stile in the writing of them, so much valued at present.

Yet however devoid of these Ornaments, I shall venture to present them to the Publick, after so ingenious an acknowledg­ment, in hopes the young Traveller will meet with a mild and easy censure of his first attempts, while he gives the Publick a most exact account of the particulars of Monsieur Duquesne's Voyage and Under­takings in the Indies, which has been so earnestly and impatiently expected; of his [Page] Engagements with the English and Dutch; with the Advantages he has gain'd of them; and his Conduct in bringing back a Squa­dron safe with which his Majesty entru­sted him, through a Voyage of six Thousand Leagues, through Storms and Tempests, and all the rage and power of the Enemy.

Perhaps the Reader will be pleas'd with the variety of the Subject with which I have furnisht this Relation, which can't but render it the more agreable and en­tertaining; as likewise with some Re­marks curious enough, concerning the va­rious Nations and Countries thro' which we past, and the horrible Tempest that sur­priz'd us in our return in the Latitude of Mascarin. I have writ all in the natural order in which they fell out, with exact­ness and fidelity, obliging my self to omit nothing of moment, and to relate no­thing of which I was not an Eye-wit­ness: So after acquainting the Reader before hand with some Repetitions, which by a frequent recurring of the same things were unavoidable, I have nothing more to desire for his satisfaction, or my own ad­vantage, but that the stile had been more polite and correct, there being nothing else wanting to compleat his satisfaction.

The Sea Coasts of Africa and the East Indies with the Islands thereof from the Canaries to Sumatra


An Account of the Squadron designed by France to the East-Indies.

THE Enemies of France having alarm'd all Europe for her De­struction, expected their Pro­jects would have equal suc­cess in these Parts of the World; that the Commerce she had establish'd in the Indies, would follow the Re­volution of Siam, and be intirely [Page 2] ruin'd, as being too much employ'd at home, in her own immediate De­fence; to be able to send any Forces to those distant Parts of the World: But the GOD of Armies having de­feated the Designs of so numerous and Confederated an Enemy, has so visibly extended his Holy protection to the sacred Person of his Majesty and his Dominions; that in spight of all their utmost Efforts, he has been the Agressor, and set on them first and their Factories in those Parts; a sufficient demonstration of the Glory and Strength of France. To this En­terprise the King appointed six Ships; which were the Bird, the Lyon, the Dragon, the Jolly, the Prosperus, and the Rock; the Three first of which were fitted at Brest, the rest in the Magazines of the East, at Port Lewis, where the Squadron Rendevouz'd; which being join'd the beginning of February, (90,) the Equipages were di­dributed in this manner.

Monsieur Duquesne, whom the Court had made Commandant, pitch'd upon the Jolly, mounted with Forty four Guns, Two hundred and Fifty Men. [Page 3] He had Messieurs the Commander of Portere for Second Captain, D' Anber­ville for Lieutenant, de Voutron, Fauche, and Baron, for Ensigns, with Ten Guard-Marines.

Monsieur le Chealier d' Aire Com­manded the Bird, of 42 Guns and Two hundred Men; Messieurs de la Neufville was his Second Captain, De la Villauclers, and Demons, his Lieutenants.

Monsieur Joyeuse went on Board the Prosperus of 44 Guns, and Two hun­dred and Thirty Men; he had Messieurs Granche, for Lieutenant, his Son and de la Perine for Ensigns.

Monsieur Hortin took the Rock, of 38 Guns, and 200 Men; Messieurs le Chevalier de de Bouchetier, and le Vasseur were his Lieutenants.

Monsieur de Chamoreau, Commanded the Lyon, which is a Frigat of 24 Guns, and a 180 Men; he had no other Officers then Monsieur de Presac his Lieutenant; Two Capuchins went aboard him, who was bound for Surate.

And Monsieur Quistly boarded the Dragon, which is another Frigat of 28 Guns, 280 Men; Monsieur de [Page 4] Chenelon was his Lieutenant. Two Companies of Foot with their Offiers, were over and above distributed a board these six Ships, and some Re­ligious, which the Papist Priest Ta­chard carried to the Indies; they came aboard us with a Secretary, and Three Mandarins of the late King of Siam.

The Squadron Sails.

THE Squadron thus Arm'd, had not been Ten Days before the Isle of Groge, when Orders came from Court to Sail immediately. So Fri­day the 24th of February (90,) Monsieur Duquesne coming aboard at Five in the Evening, weighed Anchor, after giving the parting Guns; we present­ly were under Sail, with the Wind at North, and a delicate Gale as could be wish'd, but it did not last long, coming about at Ten next Morning; so that we were obliged to put back again; but by the 27th we Sailed a­gain, [Page 5] the Wind being more favourable than at first.

We made such way, that we soon lost sight of Land, which we were not like to see again in a good while: The Wind contiued so favourable, that by the Tenth of March we doubled Cape Fenester: The Sea is commonly Boysterous in this Latitude, and the passage dangerous, and there's no bearing much Sail here.

The Sixth Day became remarkable, by an Accident that happen'd to us. The Gabier, who is one appointed to look to the Masts and Tackling, hang­ing on the Foremast Sail-yard, un­hapily fell into the Sea, which was then very boisterous; we did all we could to save him, threw out Ropes, hoisted out the Boat, but all in vain, for the Storm was so violent, that he sunk presently.

Great are the terrors of this Ele­ment, and there is nothing apter to make a Man serious, when he consi­ders there is but a Plank between him and Eternity.

The first discovery of Land, since we lost sight of it, Remarks on the Pike of Teneriffe.

WE Steer'd our Course for the Madera Islands, where with pleasure, we waited to take in some refreshments, tho' 'twas not above Nine Days that we had lost sight of Land. But the Currents which we met having carried us too far to the East, or rather to the great Foggs at Land, having hinder'd us from the sight of it; we left it to the Right, without perceiving it, till we had doubled it. The 9th we discovered the Isle of Savages, which was the first Land we made since we parted from Port-Lewis; 'tis scituated in 30 Degrees of the Northern Latitude, and Twenty Minutes Longitude. This is an uninhabited Island, very dangerous for the Steep Craggy Rocks that in­viron it for above a League; that [Page 7] scarce a Boat can go a Shoar; by this sight of Land we judged we were not far from the Canary Islands, which doubtless we should have come to sight of, the next Morning, if we had not been delay'd by a Calm, which happily lasted but a little while; for, in the Evening it began to blow a brisk Gale, so that by the Eleventh, at 7 a Clock in the Morning, we were with­in Thirteen Lagues of the Pike of Teneriffe.

By Noon we were near it, being in Twenty Eight Degrees, Thirty Six Minutes, North Latitude, and Three Hundred and Fifty Nine Degrees of Longitude. The Pike of Teneriffe is seen Forty Leagues off, and undoubt­edly may pass for one of the highest Mountains in the World. Some make it seven Leagues high, others Twelve. This proud Mountain wraps its head in the Clouds, which appears white, by reason of the Snow that covers it Winter and Summer, rising through the middle Region of the Air, which makes it so cold that none was ever able to mount it.

[Page 8] Behind this Mountain stands the Town of Canary, of which the Island bears the Name; which is very Fruit­ful, and abounds in Corn, and is fa­mous for the rich Wines it produces, which are carried to all Parts of the World. Three are besides Three o­ther Islands; the first, that of Gomer, of the same side with the Pike, and not above Six or Seven Leagues distant. The second is Palm Island, memorable for the Death of Forty Jesuits, who going to Brazill, to Preach the Faith of Jesus Christ, were there Martyr'd by the Calvinists, about a Hundred Years ago. This latter is opposite to the Pike of Teneriffe, and is about Twelve or Thirteen Leagues distant. We past between these two, having Palme Island on the Right, and the Pike of Teneriffe on the Left. And the last is the Isle of Fer, where Geo­graphers commonly place the first Meridian. These four Islands belong to Spain, so that we could not take a view of them, but at a distance, by reason of the War between us and it.

The different Opinions concerning the Trading Winds.

THe Wind which had hardly stir'd all day, began to blow fresh in the Evening, so that we cou'd easily perceive the Trading Winds, which are so useful for Sailing; they are call'd so by reason of their continuing three or four months without changing. These sort of Winds Blow always from the North East in the Southern parts, and from the South East in the Northern parts, which very much perplexes cu­rious people to find out the true rea­son of it. Some maintain, that the Trading Winds are no other then those which blow from the West, and the North with great violence, which passing over Europe to the East and South, rarify and grow weaker as they approach the warmer Cli­mates; on the contrary, in the Sou­thern [Page 10] parts, the Western and Southern Winds blowing with the same vio­lence towards Africa, are thence dri­ven towards the East and North, and abate by degrees as they approach the warmths of the Line, and quite cease when they reach it.

Others explain this matter after a different manner; they will have it, that the excessive heats of the Line draw these Winds from the Poles, where the Exhalations and Vapors, which are the matter of the Winds, being stronger and in greater abun­dance cause more violent and lasting ones, and that afterwards these Winds or Exhalations are drawn towards the Zone, and there abated by the exces­sive heat.

Behold the best Account I could meet with, to satisfy those who are curious in this matter; but whatever the Natural Cause of them may be, it may be truly said, they are the sweet­est Winds that blow.

The Squadron Anchors at the Island of Saintiague.

HEther we had reason to admire our happiness, and to hope we should soon arrive at Saintiague, where we were to stay some days; our only misery was a violent Fever which feiz'd our men, and of which fifty lay dangerously ill, tho' we had been but three weeks at sea. 'Twas then the R. R. F. F. the Jesuites, found an op­portunity to exercise their Zeal and Charity; they Confest the sick, gave them Instructions for dying well, and assisted them with their own pro­visions: It must be said, that from the first day they came aboard us, they had such care, by their Holy Example, to promote a good life a­mongst the Officers and seamen, that far from following the loose way of others, they thought themselves ob­liegd to behave themselves according [Page 12] to the utmost severity of the Christian Religion; they were willingly present at their Catechisms and Sermons on Sundays, and at Mass every morning, with prayers at the end for the King; in the evening we said our beads, and the Litany of the Blessed Virgin, making an Examen of Conscience on our knees with an Act of Contriction.

Great was the happiness and ad­vantages we had from the company of these Religious persons, but chiefly the sick; one of the Mandarins nam'd Pipit dy'd the 7th. day of his distem­per; the R. P. Fachard took parti­cular care of him, never leaving him till he had administerd extream Unction, and the Holy Eucharist to him. Of these three Envoys of the King of Siam, he converted two to the Catholick Religion, Baptizing them at Brest, and 'tis to be presum'd that the third would soon have yeilded too, to the Authority of his holy Life, as well as that of his Arguments.

All the funeral Honours due to a person of Quality, were paid to this deceas'd Mandarin: Four Gard Marines held the corners of the Pall, and after [Page 13] the usual prayers on the occasion, threw him into the Sea, with five Guns, fir'd at a distance one from another, which made it more sad and Sollemn; 'twas believ'd in the rest of the ships that 'twas an Ensign dy'd, so to honour him, and to testify to their Admiral their concern for him, they struck their sails, and lay by, rolling in his way sadly, as if there were none to govern them; as soon as the ship past by, they hoist their Sails again.

The next night, which was the 15th, we past the Tropick of Cancer, which our Pilots perceiv'd next day by the computation they made, we had made vast way in a little time, being but sixteen days since we left France; the winds and seas seem'd to conspire to prosper our Voyage, every thing succeeding to our wishes.

The 17th. in the Evening Mon­sieur Duquesne made the Cape, of which he gave notice to the rest by the signal of a Gun, and two fires, one on the Round-top of the Main-Mast, and the other on the Round-top of the Fore-mast, for fear we should run [Page 14] aground in the night, from which we could not be far, according to the Elevation taken at Noon: Next morn­ing by break of day we perceiv'd the Isle of May to the left, which we no sooner doubel'd, but we saw that of Saintiage, our Commandant per­ceiving no ships at anchor there, hoisted a white Flag and an Admiral Flame on the top of the Main-mast, and coming near, he sent in the Rock to sound; there appear'd at a great distance a Man on the top of a hill, who hoisted a flag six several times, in all probability to give the Inhabitants notice of the number of our ships. Saturday the 18th. of March, at two in the afternoon, we anchor'd half a League from the shoar.

A Description of the Isle and Town of Saintiague, Manners and Reli­gion of the Inhabitants.

THE Commandant Monsieur de Pouriere went a shoar by Mon­sieur Duquesnes orders, to complement the Governor, and to desire leave to take in fresh water, and to settle the teremony of the Salute; who easily agreed to what was desir'd, and not only so, but promis'd we should be furnisht with Beef and Mutton, tho' very scarce among themselves; but when it came to the ceremony of the Salute, this raw young Governor, who in all probality was ignorant of what was really our due, refused to answer Gun for Gun; but the Com­mandant provokt at it, told him; that the French expected other returns, and that seeing he stood so stiff upon't, they would not salute him at all: [Page 16] 'Twas then he perceiv'd he mistook his men, and so presently agreed to five Guns each,

He made a present of two dozen of sweet Oranges and some Chocolet to Monsieur de Pouriere, having neither wine nor sweet-meats tho' very com­mon here; who after he had receiv'd them, went to give our Commandant an account of what past, and to ac­quaint him he had been inform'd by the Governor, that two Dutch and one English ship parted thence but three days before, bound for the East-Indies, and that they expected two more suddainly: We lay at anchor till Tues­day evening, without perceiving any, whence we pursu'd our Voyage, not a little troubl'd to miss 'em, for they could hardly escape falling into our hands: Being now late, we omitted the Salute till next morning, which was Palm-Sunday; when after our Almoner had said Mass, we saluted them with five Guns, and they returned the same number.

Being curious to go a shoar, I got leave of the Commandant, and so went in company with F. Tachard, [Page 17] and an Officer, who carri'd a small Present from Monsieur Duquesne to the Governour; at our landing, we saw some Negro's that were quite naked, excepting a ragg about their wasts to cover their nakedness. There's a Chapel on the shoar dedi­cated to the Blessed Virgin, and a little further a Battery of four Iron Guns; we were forced to climb, 'till we came to a certain Bastion, on which were mounted six old Iron Guns, of which the biggest was a six pounder. This is the best fortify'd part of the Island, where the Portuguese keep a Garrison, but the Soldiers are fitter to be pitty'd than fear'd.

F. Tachard askt them news of the Governour; they shew'd him a Church where he was, into which we enterd, when he presently rose from his seat, and gave us a graceful salute, the Fa­ther after talking some time with him in Portuguese, went out; but I conti­nu'd some time observing the Ceremo­nies, and other things; after blessing the Palm branches, a Negro Priest said Mass, assisted by a Deacon.

[Page 18] They are more devout and solemn than we, but we were a little scanda­liz'd at the negress women half naked in the Church, who as they star'd at us, so we could not but stare at them; as likewise at the Governour's Guard, which was a wretched one; their Arms were a Pike and a Sword of an extraordinary length, with a pair of Beads about their necks.

In the midst of them stood the little Governor, of about twenty year old; a Native of Lisbon, pretty tall, but meanly clad, and of a poor meen and air.

This is a wretched Country, and fitter to starve than live in; they have their wine and bread from Lisbon, or from the Cunarys, the latter is 8 pence a pound, and the first half a Crown a Bottel, which holds no more than the Chopin of France; 'tis true the Negro's who are naturally fober, use little wine, or even so much as bread; living for the most part of dry cake well prest, which is made of the root of a tree call'd Macoc, the Juice of which is a subtil poison.

[Page 19] They are all Soldiers or Slaves, and so given to robbery, that its hard to escape them, if they meet one in a by place, they are very fond of knives, ribbon, needles, but chiefly of Biscuit, for which they readily give Oranges, Goiaves, Bannanes, and se­veral other fruits, they have large proportion'd bodies, short friz'd hair, little beard, and whither hunting or walking, they still carry bows and ar­rows about 'em.

No one will wonder at the sterillity of the Country, when he is told it has not rain'd there in four years time; which has made the ground so parcht and barren, that of 25000 inhabitants which it had, there dy'd 6000 in two years time of hunger, as one of their Priests told me, with whom I discours'd some time in Latin.

The Cloathing of the women is only a piece of white or blew cotton cloath, that covers them from the wast to the knee, the rest of their bo­dy is naked, going barefoot and bare­headed, only sometimes wearing an ordinary handkerchief round their heads, and for the most part gold [Page 20] Rings, or three wooden pins in their ears. These women have their pe­culiar beauties, as tall, proper, comely, and well proportioned bodies, and a certain great air, especially when they walk; they smoak much, and are scarce ever seen without a pipe.

I was to see the Town of Saintiague, about three Leagues from the place our ships lay at anchor; where I was told that he whom I took for Gover­nour, was only the Lieutenant; the Governor residing always at Saintiague. This is a little Town in a bottom, scituated by the sea side, thro' which a large River takes its course, descend­ing from the neighbouring Moun­tains which surround it; It has a mat­ter of three hundred houses; the best part of the Inhabitants are Portuguese, the rest Negro's, these last go naked, the former clad after their own Fa­shion, having all Beads about their necks.

There's a Bishop in this Twon, a Native of Lisbon, of the order of St. Frances; and two Convents, one of Men and the other of Women. There's a Fort raised at the end of the [Page 21] Town, mounted with two cast Guns, and at the foot of it eight, and three Iron Guns, mouthing towards the sea; hard by, is the Isle of Fougo, or the Fiery Island, where there's a very high mountain, whose top casts, fourth flames continually, with a thick smoak. This is all I could remark in the short stay I made here.

Saintiague is an Island of Cape Verde, belonging to the Portuguese, which is scituated in fourteen degrees, thirty six Minutes North Lat. and three hundred and fifty three degrees thirty Minutes Longitude. I have already said, that provisions were so scarce here, that we could have but one Bullock, which was divided amongst us all, and some sheep for the Commodant, but plenty of excellent Fish is caught here. We got some barrels of fresh water which was none of the best, and hard to come by, having it out of a dirty Cistern, which was a great distance from the sea. After we had fill'd our empty Casks with it, Monsieur Du­quesne weigh'd Anchor, and left Sain­tiague, Tuesday the 21st. at five a clock in the morning.

The passing of the Line in 358 Deg. of Long. and the burning Heats that are felt there.

WE made great way the first three or four days, but the winds begining to slack as we ap­proacht the heats of the Line, we did not sail so fast as before; being now Passion, or the Holy-week, Father Tachard would omit nothing of the holy Exercises practis'd at this time, we sung the Tenebra, we hear'd Ser­mons, and tho' at sea perform'd all the duties of Christians who have more conveniency.

Holy Friday the 24th. of March this Father, who often studdied the Courses and Position of the Stars, foretold us an Ecclipse of the Moon, which should happen at seven a clock in the evening, five Minutes past, and end exactly at ten, which accord­ingly [Page 23] did; it could not be seen in France, [...]r according to the Calculation, it was [...]o be at Paris at four a clock in the after­ [...]oon.

In the mean time we insensibly ap­ [...]roacht the Line, the passing of which [...] don't admire people should dread so much, we had nothing now but faint winds, very inconstant, and almost con­tinual Calms, caus'd by the excessive heats which are felt here, which would be unsupportable, if it were not for those suddain gusts that abate them, and cool the air from time to time; these suddain gusts, or rather rains, are commonly accompanied with cool winds that greatly comfort this scorch­ing passage, they rise and cease of a sud­dain, and then a burning calm succeeds

'Tis then that troops of Fish leap­ing above the water of all sides, in­vite the seamen to take them. I re­member one day when the sea was a little rough, I, with no little pleasure, beheld shoals of fish leaping above the water, and continuing so as long as their fins were wet, to avoid the pur­suit of the Bonites, a large fish, who is a great devourer of the rest; the [Page 24] others; as I said, are forc'd to quit their natural Element, and have much a do to save themselves by their often riseing above it, being often snapt by them in the air; so that its almost im­possible for them to escape the enemy, who incessantly pursues them in vast numbers. We took a great many of these Bonites, which resemble Shads, but are more savory and firm.

We were within five or six Degrees of the Line, and so had continual Calms, which were almost unsupport­able, and by which we suffer'd extream­ly; our Wine and Victuals were spoil'd, and our Vigor consum'd, and our Distemper encreast daily through the long and violent heats; the very air that should keep us alive, almost suffocated us, night and day the heat was so excessive, that the very Sealing­wax we had in our trunks melted. The rest of this Month past without any thing remarkable, save that it thunderd, with violent winds and rain, which forwarded us very much in our Voyage.

[Page 25] 'Twas not a little gastly, in the horrors of dark and tempestious nights, to see the Lightnings perform the office of the day; which gave us no other prospect, but that of a rising and a yawning Ocean, into which two of our Men fell.

The fifth of April our Carpenter being at the ships head, fell into the sea; but being a good swimmer, he kept himself above water till he got hold of a rope, and then cry'd out for help; one of the Seamen presently gave him his foot to take hold of, which breaking, he drew the other in with him, we gave 'em all the assist- we could, and with much ado saved them both at last.

The way we made this night, brought us considerably nearer the Line; which we long'd to pass, almost quite spent with the intollerable heats we had endur'd for fiefteen days time; only those rains which fell helpt to abate the rageing heats, and were a great relief to us; at length, after a great deal of them, accompanied with Thunder and Lightnings Sunday the ninth of April at ten a clock in the [Page 26] morning we past the Line, which we so impatiently long'd for.

Here the Mariners use an execrable custom of a mock Baptism, which is fitter to be condemned with the ut­most severity than describ'd.

How the sick recover'd after passing the Line. Monsieur Hortin, Captain of the Rock, dies.

TO the Southward of the Line we met with as long and frequent Calms as before; which for some days made us as earnestly wish to get at a distance from it, as we did before to pass it. There is nothing distresses a Voyage more than those Calms, while unable to go backward or forward, you are forced to remain whole days in the same place, scorching and broiling in the sun, and tumbling on great rolling waves and surges which are met here, notwithstanding the calm, so that one [Page 27] can scarce stand on the deck; but be­ing past the Line about a hunderd Leagues, our miseries began to abate, as the South-East winds began to blow, when we found our selves as in another Climate, and to breath a more tem­perate air: This change rejoyc'd us all, and was very happy for the sick, of whom two parts in three presently re­cover'd, besides our hopes of doubling the Cape of Good-hope encreast daily, by the vast way we made, which sometimes was no less than 55 Leagues in 24 hours, and had been more, if all our ships had sail'd alike, and one had not been forc'd to stay for the other, that we might not lose com­pany, so that we could not make the same use of the wind as a single ship would.

About this time Monsieur Duquesne was inform'd of Monsieur Hortin's sickness, who was Captain of the Rock, as he was a person of great ex­perience, and whom he had a great value for, he often visited him, and order'd the Surgeons of the Squadron to consult of his Distemper, who seem'd to have good hopes of him, but his [Page 28] age made him yield to the violence of it, which took him off the 22d. of April; all were very sensible of his death, which was presently known by the signal from the Rock, which all day had her two Flags half down, and her Fane quite down, the common Ceremonies with which the funeral of a Captain is honor'd, with eleven Guns when he is thrown into the Sea.

Our Commandant was not much put to it to chuse one in his place, who was fit to succeed him; for he presently chose Monsieur Pouriere, who accepted the employment, to the great regret of his own Crew, who were not a little troubled to part with him, who they lov'd so entirely for his many excellent Accomplish­ments.

Passage of the Tropick of Capricorn, and the Cape of Good-hope hap­pily doubled.

WE had calms for some days, and the winds were change­able, but this did not last long, for blowing fresher and fresher, we past the Tropick of Capricorn the 15th. at ten at night. In this traverse you're expos'd to a great many different Cli­mates; as we approach'd the Cape, we had delicate cool winds, which were not a little pleasant to us, after coming out of the scortching heats of the Line: These two contrary quali­ties acting on the same bodies, pro­duced violent effects, and thence our sickness at land had its original.

Hitherto we sail'd as happily as we could wish, nothing was more beauti­ful than the sea, which seem'd to join with the winds to Expedite our Voyage; [Page 30] the very water in the hold was not corrupted, and being as happy as could be expected in a voyage of this kind; in a little time we met with the west­ern winds, which were necessary to gain the Cape of Good-hope.

The third of May we had them, but they lasted but a little while, coming about to the North, which serving our purpose as well, we sailed sixty Leagues in 24 hours with them, which made us hope we should soon be at the place where we were to an­chor, which every one earnestly desir'd, so that our joy was excessive when we reach'd the heighth of the Cape. The judgment of our Pilots was confirm'd by the sight of the Vel­vet Channels, call'd so from a large Bird which is only seen there, be­cause half their plumage resembles Velvet spotted with Pearl. We saw two whales, with a great number of birds of different kinds, and all sorts of colours; the Calms delaid us there very much, and hindered our passing it, as did likewise the contrary winds.

[Page 31] But with the blessing of God over­coming these difficulties, Sunday the 28th. of May we doubled the Cape of Good-hope, with a northerly wind as good as we could wish. It's here our ships refit going to the Indies, and meet with plenty of provisions; but being in War with the Dutch, who are Masters of the Cape, we were depriv'd of this happiness; and so without so much as passing within sight of it, we continued our Voyage, resolving not to stop till we reacht Ami­ouam, vvhich is 800 Leagues farther.

The Bank of Needles, a most dan­gerous passage: And sight of the Isle of Madugascar: Which made us rejoice.

IT still blew so fair, that next day by seven a clock in the morning we arriv'd at the Bank of Needles, tho' it be fourty Leagues from the Cape; [Page 32] the Rock sounding, found ground at the first, of which she gave us notice by a gun, and hanging out a flag; our Commandant order'd Te Deum to be sung at the end of Mass, to thank GOD for it, after which we made it our business to get over it as soon as possible, the winds rising making that place more dangerous, which at last grew to a storm.

We could scarce bear as much sail as was sufficient to keep the ships head to the Waves, which while they roll'd, often enter'd into them; the Dragon lost the round top of her Main-Mast, which Monsieur Duquesne observing, he furl'd a sail, that she might not be left too far behind, which de­lay'd us a little, for else we had been clear of the Bank that very day. At four in the evening we saw the Needles Cape on our left, at about five or six Leagues distance, two sea wolfs, and a power of strange birds.

After having happily past this Bank, and the Cape of Good Hope, we were past the worst, and had little more to fear; we had no more to wish but to discover the Isle of Madagascar, which was ab­solutely [Page 33] necessary in our passage to Amiouam; fifteen days we impatiently waited for it, at which time Thursday the 15th. of Jure we made it, which greatly rejoic'd us all, and for which we sung Te Deum; for had we mist it, we should scarce have been able to have found a place to refit, or so much as know where we were.

We were not long before we saw the Lyon, who was sent upon the dis­covery; Monsieur Duquesne finding he was just on the Island, struck sail, and with the signal of a Gun gave no­tice to the other ships to follow him; so steering North, North East, the wind in our stern, we left Madagascar on the right to the East of us.

This is perhaps the greatest Island in the world; its scituated betwixt 12 and 22 Degrees of south Lat. its allow'd to be about 800 Leagues in compass, and 300 over; it has several Kings, each having a good part of it; they often make War on one another, and command a great many men, of whom some are so savage, that they care not for having any commerce [Page 34] with strangers, and often eat one another, and their neighbours when they can light on them.

The Squadron anchors at the Isle of Moelly.

WE had all along resolv'd to an­chor at Amiouam, but the re­port of some, who assur'd us that 'twas easier to be supply'd with water and wood at Moelly, which is but eight Leagues distant from it, made Mon­sieur Duquesne go thither first; that after having well refresht his Company and supply'd his wants, he might be in a condition when he came to Ami­ovam, to fight and chase the ships he hop'd to meet there, being the place where the English use to take in Supplies. This conduct proceeded from his great prudence and experience, and know­ledgein those parts; for you must know, that if you misse anchoring at Amiouam, [Page 35] 'tis impossible almost to regain it; and if we had gone thither at first, what a mortification it would have been to us, meeting shiping there, to see 'em weigh anchor immediately and be­gone, without our being able to follow them.

So that we could not take our mea­sures better, and earnestly desiring to arrive there, and the wind serving, the Pilots every day encourag'd us to hope for't. On the 20th. of June we had the happiness to descry it; and the Sentinel whom we had plac'd on the Top-gallant no sooner cry'd Land, but we hoist our Flag to give the wel­com news to the other ships who were behind, which caus'd a vast and uni­versal joy, especially amongst the Sick, who would needs come above-board to behold the Land where they hop't for recovery. Being now late we durst not come too nigh, so having lain By half the night, Wednesday the 21st. of June we came to an anchor before the Isle of Moelly, between nine and ten in the morning.

Monsieur Duquesne treats with the King of the Isle of Moelly for re­freshments, who furnishes him in a­bundance: Its Situation, Fertility Religion, and Manners of its In­habitants.

THe Commandant gave the Gun of Assurance, the common practice amongst strange Nations when War is not intended, and sent in a sloop with Monsieur Voutron and the Scrivain, to know if upon presenting the King, we might be furnish'd with Refreshments and other necessaries, they were receiv'd as well as could be immagin'd by these Savages, who seem'd very well pleas'd to exchange their Fruits and Cattel with us.

This great present consisted of two pieces of Indian cloath, and an old Musket, which the latter carried, who [Page 37] had been in the Country before, and spoke some Portuguese; he presented them to the King, who was then in a sweet and pleasant Valley, call'd the Queen's Creek, lying by the sea side, about 7 Leagues from where we anchord. If one may judge of his Condition, by his Brother and Sons, whom I have seen selling Hens for paper, it can be none of the greatest; this little Prince was charm'd with our Present, and signify'd to the Scrivain by an Indian Portuguese, who had liv'd some time in the Country, and was his Interpreter, and Intendant of his Affairs, that he thanked the Com­mandant, and that he would give Orders to his subjects to furnish us with whatever we had occasion, for our Money.

Upon which Monsieur Duquesne went a shoar that very day, to regu­late every thing, that there might be no disorder or difference on the land­ing; and orderd the Captains of the several ships, to command the seamen on pain of death to offer no violence to the Negro's. Next morning we debarkt our sick to the number of a­bout [Page 38] fifty, most ill of the Scurvy, for whom we made Tents by the Sea side; the Negro's came from all parts, with provisions, vix. Oxen, Cows, Kids, and almost all other kinds of provisions, which we had plenty every day, and at very easy rates.

Our Commandant finding he could at an easy rate refresh his men here after their vast fatiegues, allow'd them while they stai'd every day, as much fresh provisions morning and evening as they could eat, which were so plentiful and cheap, that a fat Ox cost but four Livers and a half, a Cow but a Crown, and Pullets, Kids, Eggs, Milk, and Fruits we had in ex­change for Knives, Paper, and bits of Linen.

Of all other, they were fondest of Knives and Linen: Being generally Magicians, they made use of the first to make characters, and with the last they cover'd their nakedness; and some of our men have bought an Ox for an old tatter'd Shirt.

They were no less careful to supply us aboard than a shoar, coming every day in their Pirogues, which are little [Page 39] Banows made of the hollow'd trunk of a Tree; bringing us Ananas, Ba­nanes, Cocos, Lemons, Oranges, and divers other excellent sorts of fruits, which we had in plenty, as well as of the other provisions while we lay at anchor.

Every meal seem'd a feast, and in­deed we had no less than four or five several sorts of meat at each, as much water as we would drink, besides our ration of wine at dinner and supper, instead of Aqua-vita, which we were forc'd to drink for two months; we had great plenty of Oranges, and scarce eat or drank any thing without them, so that our present happiness mads us forget all our past miseries, which lasted three whole months, without so much as sight of land, and having no more than was just necessary to keep us alive.

Moelly is an Island of Arabia, which may be about 30 Leagues in compass, scituated in 12 degrees of south Lat. and 63 Degrees 40 Minutes of Long. its very fertil through the frequent rains that fall, and hedg'd in with steep rocks; both its vallies and high [Page 40] mountains are cover'd with woods, in which fat Oxen are found, differing from those of France, by a bunch of fat on their backs like a wenn; as likewise Kidds, Poule, Pindades, Ring­doves, and a great deal of other game, and there would be excellent fowling if it were not for the inaccssible Moun­tains. The Orange and Lemon Trees are not its least glory, they stand so thick in some places, that one may smell them at a great distance, and distinguish them amongst crowds of other odorifirocous Trees, not inferiour even to them; there's scarce a sweet Orange to be found, but all of a de­licat tartness, except some of a smaller growth, that have neither the form nor size of a true natural Orange.

The Island produces besides, ex­cellent Rice and Mill, thrice as large as that of France, and were it more even and compact, would be very fit to live in. It seems to be but thinly peopl'd, for I saw but one Village, of about threescore or fourscore cot­tages, made and cover'd with branches of Palm, under which the Negro's lie; the entrance into them is so low, that [Page 41] one must creep to get into them; they sleep on Mats of rice straw, which they lay on the ground; one sees nothing here which does not ar­gue the miserable life these Savages lead.

Taking a view of this Village, I had the curiosity to enter into a wretched Hutt, built of stone and sand; which they told me was a Pagod, or Temple, in which these wretches wor­ship an Oxe's head, the forehead being inscrib'd with Arabick characters; they made him a grot in the wall, adorn'd with shell work, where they plac'd this reverend Divinity, and which they remov'd a little after we went in, whither 'twas they believ'd us unwor­thy to look on't, or that they observ'd we slighted it as much as it deserv'd: The middle of the Pagod was matted, and on the right side as you enter, there was a pole stuck in the ground forkt at one end, supporting some mother of pearl burnt; on the inside, which I suppose serv'd for a lamp; and a little lower of the same side, was a stair-case of 5 steps, leading to the place where the King sits.

[Page 42] To so many superstitions they joyn a great many of the Mahometan, so true it is that the Author of that infa­mous Religion, has sprea'd his follies at so great a distance. When we ar­riv'd, it was the time of their Ramadam, or Lent, during which they mayn't eat, drink, or smoak 'till the sun's set, and they are so exact in't, that no perswasions or threats can make 'em do otherwise.

These Negro's appear'd more Savage than they of Saintiague, ruder in their manner of living, but more plain in their dealing; they are large, and strong bodied, but very fearful; a Pistol shot will scare them so, that they'll run into the woods to hide, so much they fear fire Arms. They were long beards, and their hair cover­ing their shoulders; for 'tis to be ob­serv'd, that to the south of the Line, they all have them thus, and to the North, have short friz'd hair; they all go naked, having only a rag of Linen to cover their nakedness, and some wear beads about their necks without crosses, and holes in [Page 43] their Ears that your finger will go through.

I could never imagine that these Savages could be so jealous of their Wives, for they hid them in their Cottages as we past by, that we might not see them, judging our in­clinations I suppose by their own; we saw, some of their women who are not easily to be distinguished from their Men, but by their habit; which consists of a piece of Linen that crosses their Stomacks, and so falls down their breasts, with another which binds their Thghes behind and before like drawers: They are very wild, for when I but touch'd one of their ears, to observe three little pieces of wood she had in them, she skriekt out, and ran as if I intended to eat her.

Tho' Idolaters, yet they are very temperate and sober; and for the most part feed only on fish, fruits and Rice, and rarely eat any flesh, tho' they have plenty. Their best drink is Tarry, which is very refreshing, and much resembles the Cider made of pears in Britany, it costs them no more [Page 44] pains than the rest of their provisions, which the unmanur'd soil freely fur­nishes 'em with of its own accord. It is no more than cutting the bottom of the Palm trees, and placing Vessels beneath to receive it.

The Squadron parts from the road of Moelly, on the news we receiv'd that there were some ships of the Enemy at Amiouam.

WE had lain at anchor about Se­ven or Eight days, when we understood by a Negro, who spoke Portuguese, that there lay some ships at Amiouam. Tho' the information was uncertain, yet it gave us a great deal of joy, and the Commandant gave notice that we should make ready to sail in two days, so we made hast to take in all necessaries, and to sup­ply our selves with water, wood, and fresh provisions, to take down [Page 45] our Tents, and embark the sick, of whom we lost one at land, and three the day we landed, whom we cast in­to the sea, which with eleven we lost in crossing the Line, made in all fifteen since we left France.

This evening Monsieur Duquesne gave orders for sailing, and according­ly next day being Saturday the first of July, we left the road of Moelly at 5 in the morning, but were becalm'd al­most all that day, except a faint wind that blew sometimes, which serv'd us a little till six in the evening, when we came to an anchor again, for that night; next day we sail'd, and it blowing a fresh gale, about ten we doubled the Isle of Moelly, and by reason of the Tides we were fore'd to coast it near the Shoar.

We presently made all the sail we could that we might reach Amiouam as soon as possible, which was now in sight, the Rock still kept close to us, and in a little time the rest came up within 3 or 4 Leagues of us: and now we took down our hamocks, and made every thing ready for a fight, tho' we had no plain sight of any ship­ing, [Page 46] till we came near the road, when we perceived one lying at anchor near to land, and the smoak of two guns which were fir'd to warn the men aboard.

'Twas now Sun-set, and we had yet two Leagues before we could come up with her; all had orders to prepare, and we as usual, were posted on the quarter Deck, we had already hung out Dutch colours, and put a square Flag on the top of the Main­mast, making in with full sails to set upon her by day light.

An Engagement at Amiouam with an English ship richly laden, which was burnt with above three hunderd persons in her.

THis ship took a pleasure to see us coming in, believing us to be Dutch, and the rather, because Seven ships were to be sent this year [Page 47] from Holland to the East-Indies, but to rid them of their mistake, the Rock who had gain'd the wind of us, ap­proacht according to orders, with a design to anchor on her Buoy; we then took in our Flag, which very much surpriz'd them, who presently hall'd the Rock, and askt him whence he was bound, and the Captain an­swering in Dutch from Amsterdam, they seem'd mightily pleas'd; then he asking them again whence their ship was, answer'd, from London. The Captain was just ready to go aboard him, when the sloop which he had sent to get intelligence of us, and which he had order'd to go aboard the Admiral if they were Dutch, keeping close to the land side, for fear of being taken, came to give him notice that we were French; this unexpected news surpriz'd him very much, and immediately gave orders to charge the guns; which the Rock observing, presently came and anchord on his buoy, and straight powerd in his small shot, with a broad side into her, crying, Vive le Roy [...] Vive France.

[Page 48] The English much surpriz'd, re­turn'd us five guns, and going to tack about, the Rock at the second discharge splitting the Capstain, and wounded two and twenty of his men, upon which she cut away, and hoist sail with all the speed she could, which Monsieur Pouriere who was resolv'd to follow her close, no sooner observ'd but he cut his Cables too, and call'd to us to board her for that she was just sailing away.

Our Commandant knowing what he had to do, presently tackt, and got under the wind with her, who fir'd on us with both her broad sides, seeing herself oblig'd to pass between us and the Rock, who still kept the wind of her, and power'd his Musket shot into her, but we had no sooner suffer'd her to go a little a head of us, but we ply'd her with our great and small shot from both our ships, the English ship scarce firing at all, and thinking of nothing but of making her escape by the favour of the night.

But his endeavours were to no pur­pose, for we were resolv'd to ply him [Page 49] close all night; after the third dis­charge, the Commandant order'd us to cease firing, while a message was sent to him, that if he would not sur­render, he should be hang'd up, on the Main-yard; this threatening mes­sage, which might have frightend a­nother, gave him so little concern, that he answer'd it with as many great Guns as he could, at which we ad­mir'd at the undaunted courage and re­solution of the man, to stand it out at such a desperate rate, when there was no hopes of escapeng.

So we renew'd the fight, and were board and board with him, our Mainyards almost touching for a good while, 'twas now we gall'd him terribly with our great and small shot, and scarce one miss'd, when if we might judge according to appearance, he must needs have last half his Com­pany. Yet for all this he shew'd no sign of fear, or any thing like it; for we could not hear 'em so much as once cry for Quarter: But on the con­trary, receiving our shot without fir­ing, he lengthen'd out his Sprit-sail [Page 50] that he might come close to us, be­lieving we had a design to board him, at which time he long'd for nothing more, for if we had, he was resolv'd to blow us up, tho' at the expence of setting himself a fire, but happily the night coming on, was the cause the Commandant gave orders not to at­tempt it, so being contented for the present with what we had done, we stood aloof, and lay at some distance one from another, only the Rock would not quit her a moment, but continued still firing incessantly at her.

By this time the rest of the Squa­dron came up, who presently began to fire on the unhappy Englishman, and surrounded him of all sides, that the ship scarce knew which way to turn her head; the bullets fell like hail in­to her, and the night was now so dark that one could scarce discern any thing, which was the cause that our ships incommoded one another, notwith­standing our lanthors were all fill'd with lights.

The enemy having for some time receiv'd a great many shot from us, [Page 51] without making any return, and thought of nothing but meeting with a convenient opportunity to make their escape. When Monsieur Duquesne ob­serving 'twas in vain to wast povvder and shot, and that 'twas to no purpose to think of reducing him before day, sent an arm'd sloup with an Officer, commanding all the ships not to fire any more, but only keep a strict watch on her all night.

It might be now about eleven a clock, the action having lasted with­out intermission since eight, when the Commandant order'd us to repose our selves for a while; and the sloop going to the Rock with these orders; Mon­sieut de Pouriere, the Captain of it, sent us a young Malouin Seaman, who made his escape from aboard the ene­my by swiming, and had come aboard him, after his second discharge.

This man inform'd us, that the English Captain, after giving all his men a large bowl of Canary, exhorted them to fight it out to the last; tell­ing them at the same time too, that he was resolv'd to set fire to the ship before ever it should fall into our hands, [Page 52] if we prov'd to be French; which he but too well perform'd, as you'l see by what follows. The ships name was the Herbert▪ built for eighty Guns; carrying but 54; and two hunderd and fifty men, with about fourscore passengers, amongst whom was a rich English Bankrupt, who had fourscore thousand crowns in silver, having with him his wife and a daugh­ter, a great beauty about twenty years old, with two young sons, one of which was born under the Line.

He told us the Cargo of the ship consisted of Laces, and Brocard of gold, scarlet cloaths, Bevers, Iron, To­bacco, Canary wines, and a great deal of Money; ordered for commerce, and paying off the English soldiers in the service of the Company, who had receiv'd no pay in four years time, and that if taken would prove a vast rich Prize, which very much rejoyc'd us. But the desperate Captain took care that none should be the richer for't, or gain by what he lost.

So we gave over firing in good time, for besides that it signify'd nothing; we should a done our selves as much [Page 53] damage as the enemy; at length he made four or five shot at us, to waken our Squadron out of that profound steep it seem'd to have been in, and then lay still; and continuing so for some time, about two in the morning the wind blowing fresh, she made all the sail she could to escape the ap­proaching danger.

He thought the same happiness would have attended him now; which he had had at the Canary Islands, where its said he clear'd himself of three stout Algerines that surrounded him; but he soon found to the con­trary, for he was no sooner under sail, but we began to follow him, when seeing there was no possibillity of escap­ing, and that as soon as 'twas day, we should bear down upon him in a line, and sink him; Fir'd with rage and des­pair, he took the most cruel resoluti­on in the world; and without any more delay set fire to his ship, placing two chests of powder under the highest part of the stern, near the Mizzen Mast; making his escape himself thro' the Gunners room in his boat, in which they perceiv'd a light, but he endea­vour'd [Page 54] to hide it that they might not follow him.

This dreadful spectacle amaz'd us ex­ceedingly, and as eargerly as we endea­vour'd to attack her before, as hastily we attempted to avoid her now; our men lookt on't as belonging to themselves; and could not but censure the Cap­tain, for acting so cruel and inhumane a part, as not to save his Cargo, or perish with them himself. But this horrible proceeding quite ruin'd the opinion, we had before conceiv'd of his bravery.

Some of our men heard these miser­able people crying out like the damn'd, and runing up the bolt sprit in crowds, endeavouring to avoid the flames, which rag'd so violenty, but 'twas in vain. The ship continually burning for three hours, when at length the flames catching in the powder room, it blew up all at once; so that in less than half a quarter of an hour there was nothing to be seen of that rich ship, but dreadful conflagration.

Our single ship fir'd for her share no less than 200 and 80 guns, and we had five men kill'd and six wounded; [Page 55] I could not receive an exact account of what the rest suffer'd, but I am cer­tain we suffer'd most; after having re­pair'd▪ what damage we sustain'd, we steer'd our course North North East, and left Amiouam behind us, Monsieur de Pourier being unable to regain the Point was constrain'd to cut his cables.

We past the Line a second time in the 7th. Degree of Long▪ without feel­ing any extraordinary heat, one of our Seamen unhappily drown'd.

WE were to pass the Line again before we could arrive at Pontichery, tho' in doing of it, we felt no extraordinary heat, nor the other usual inconveniences, nor were so much as becalm'd; of the contrary, the wind encreasing still more and more since our departure, on Monday the tenth of July we repast it at ele­ven in the morning, in the 70th. Deg. of Longit. without so much as per­ceiving [Page 56] when we were under it, by reason of the Southern winds which blew so fresh, that the heat was less then that we often feel at Paris in sum­mer: Never was Voyage happier; sail­ing no less than three or four Leagues an hour, and the winds as good and constant as we could desire.

Sailing so succesfully, we could not miss arriving quickly in the heigth of the Maldives, which we left of the right, without so much as seeing them; tho' we had sent the Lyon on the 20th. to discover them they are seldon past unseen, but our Pilots according to their Card, and their calculation, told us they must be there, so we reckon'd we should soon be at the Isle of Ceylon, whither we were order'd to go, to see if there were any of the Ene­my's ships there, for besides that the Dutch, had several Collonies there, the English came thither every year for Nutmegs, Cinnamon, and Cloves, with which this Island greatly abounds.

The same day one of our Seamen was drown'd about six at night, when the rest of our men were at supper; all things seem'd to conspire to his [Page 57] loss, a slack wind in our stern, made the ship rowl very much, and instead of eating with his Comarades accord­ing to custom, he went on the Deck to kill a Kidd, were treading on the blood of the Kidd, he slipt, and fell into the sea, to which the rowling of the ship very much contributed; he was a pretty vvay off us before vve perceiv'd it, and so could give him no help by casting out ropes, the Mar­riners did all that they could, and Monsieur Duquesne order'd them to take dovvn the sails, and hoise the boat out, but 'tvvas too late; and we saw him perish, without our being able to give him the least assistance.

Next day, being the 22d. there hap­pen'd a pleasant, but an unlucky, mi­stake, presently after noon, the Seamen cry'd Land before us; and we immedi­ately believ'd that 'twas the Coast of Coromandal, or the Isle of Ceylon, we made the ordinary signal, and presently after discover'd eight Islands, near one ano­ther, which joyn'd to the view we had of land to the South, made Monsieur Duquesne say, that 'twas certainly the Maldives; the Pilots could not be of his [Page 58] opinion, and the reputation of their skill and judgment was concern'd, to differ from him: In the mean time after peru­sing the Cards and their Journals, they own'd their mistake, and agreed that the biggest sight of land, was the point of the Maldives, which is the most Northerly Island of all the rest which we found too true; and we attributed the cause of this mistake, to the strong Currents which they found had thrown us too much to the west, we presently tack't about, and lay by all night, for fear of being run aground by the tides.

Vicu of the Isle of Ceylon, famous for its Beauty, Riches, and the moun­tain of the Peke of Adam; a Dutch Pink with eight chests of Silver made Prize.

FRom break of day 'till Friday the 28th. we made all the sail we could, when Loyseau▪ who kept the [Page 59] head of the Squadron, made a signal of his discovering land, and after we had descry'd it our selves too on the edge of the Horrison, we hoisted our flag to give notice to the rest: 'Twas not long before we plainly perceiv'd the Isle of Ceylon, at which we very much rejoyc'd, having all along ex­pected to meet some of the Enemys ships there. I think I never saw a more pleasant Country, being very even and of a vast extent, and one of the most rich and fertill in the world; you see here a great number of tall Trees ever green; some forming lovely Arbours, others beautiful alleys, in the vast plaines which stretcht them­selves towards the sea side, besides a rich smell of Nutmegs and Cinnamon, charming and delicious beyond Ex­pression.

Of the three Mountains in this Island, there is one remarkable for its heigth and name, being the Peke of Adam, and by some believ'd that Adam and Eve were bury'd here, which is as great a certainty as that other opinion, they have here; that God in this Island establisht the terre­strical [Page 60] Paradice, which I leave to the more knowing to judge of.

This Isle is plac'd between 6 and 10 Deg. of North Lat. and 103 Deg. of Long. its form is round, and may be about 250 Leagues in compass, or better. The Dutch who are Masters of it, draw an immence revennue thence, for the Nutmegs, and Cin­namon, as well as the Pearl, which is fisht up here.

Coasting the Island we discoverd two sail a head of us, who seem'd to keep at a distance from the Island, but presently made to land when they saw us. Our Commandant impati­ent to know whence they were, thought to snap them by hoisting up English colours, and making all the sail he could; the Dragon as the swiftest sailer went to cut off their way, and when we were vvithin shot of them, vve fir'd a gun, as did the Dragon too, and the ball so scar'd em that instead of coming aboard as vve hop'd; they presently fled for refuge to a house by the sea side; a fevv hours after, the Sentinel vvho vvas on the top, cry'd a Sail; I can't easily describe the dif­ferent [Page 61] motions of joy it caus'd amongst us; some vvent up to the round-top, others to the fane, others vvho could not so easily do it, stood in the shrouds, and the rest made use of their Per­spectives to discover a vessel, which could not yet be seen but by her top, yet after an hours sailing, she was plainly disern'd, to be three Leagues off.

The Sun was already set, and we fear'd but one thing; which was, that she would sail off in the night and so escape us, by taking a contrary course, so that we scarce knew what to do, tho' we were sure she lay at anchor, our Commandant considerd of it, be­ing loath to do, as he had done before at Amiouam, where he shot a matter of eight hunderd shot at random in the night, when fifty would serve by day light, so he resolv'd to ly by her all night, without attempting any thing; by which means we shou'd con­firm her the more in her mistake of us.

So we anchord in 25 fathom water at seven a-clock, and next morning be­ing the 25th. weighed anchor again [Page 62] at 5 in the morning the wind blow­ing fresh quickly brought us to the sight of her, for which we were so much concern'd all night, least she should make her escape. We first heard Mass, after that we breakfasted, and then Monsieur Duqusne orderd to hoise up English colours; the Enemy mistak­ing their friends, answer'd us by hang­ing out Dutch colours, whithour stir­ing from where they lay, giving us all the time and opportunity we could wish for, to attack them, and now indeed it was in vain to attempt an escape, if they had known we were French.

This Vessel lay at Anchor in the road of Mevelle, under the shelter of a high ground, which hinder'd her having a sight of us the night before. The Rock whom we follow'd enter'd into the same road, and anchor'd by her side, which she had scarce done, but the Dutch underdanding what we were, endeavour'd to get ashoar in their sloop with their richest things; at the same time Monsieur de Pouriere man'd out his sloop▪ after our Com­mandant had return'd back again, un­willing that any should share the first [Page 63] advantage with him, which was very Considerable, else the enemy had not had time to go ashoar, and save what they did, and we had certainly taken 2 Women who cary'd off eight hun­dred Caupants of gold, to the vallue of above 10000 crowns in Pearls and Jevvels.

While these fled ashoar, we made a detatchment of six Gard Marins and several Musketeers to arm the sloop, and the boat, in which Monsieur Dauberville, our Lieutenant, was com­manded to board the Dutch man; I was chosen with one of my com­marades to accompany him, and the other four going in the boat, we went directly to the Pink while the men aboard her Smoaking their pipes veiw'd us with little or no Concern, but se­ven or eight, more affirighted than the rest, cry'd out to the Negros, who were not far off; to fetch them a shoar in their Perogues, vvhich they did; notwithstanding all our threats; the Dutch lept into it confusedly, but our men in the boat Coming up with them at the first fire so scar'd them, that [Page 64] they chose to Row back again to their ship, and there abide the utmost.

We were within pistol shot of the ship, when we saw one of the Sea­men busy at one of the Guns, upon which we in a manner gave our selves for lost, and Monsieur Duquesne had the same opinion of us; and had they been men of any resolution, nothing had been easier than to have destroy'd us, by levelling one gun at the boat, and another at the sloop.

'Twas now some time since our Squadron had hung out French co­lours, and the enemy-thinking all re­sistance vain; took down theirs, when we presently boarded them, without the least resistance, crying, Vive le Roy.

One would scarce believe with what earnestness and violence the Seamen pillage, when they enter a ship, break­ing open trunks and boxes, and rifling every thing, nay, they were so violent in plundring these Dutchmen, that some of them fell on the Captain, who was smoaking quietly with his Lieutenant, tearing the gold buttons out of the neck and sleeves of his shirt, and [Page 65] taking six Caupants of gold from him, which is a sort of long money of Japan, of the value of ten crowns a piece.

Monsieur D' Auberville having em­barqued all the Spoil he received from the Seamen that boarded her, sent back the Boat to our Commandant; who landed some men in it, soon e­nough to recover eight of those Ele­ven Chests of Silver, which the Ene­my had carried off in their sloop. Our men soon discover'd them, by a track of Rix Dollars that were scatter'd on the Sand, which lead them directly to the place where the Dutchmen had hid them; but our persuit being vigo­rous, they they had not time enongh to convey them to a Counter about 2 Leagues distant.

Some of the Seamen got no less than 3 or 400 Crowns in the plunder, for their share, and afterwards their thoughts run on nothing else but more prize and pillage. This was a new Pink, of about 70 Tun, and came from Batavia ballasted with Rice, to load Nutmegs and Cinnamon at Ceylon. We fetcht her out of the road of Me­velle, [Page 66] and brought her to an anchor hard by our Squadron; the prisoners we desperst amongst us, Monsieur Du­quesne took six of the chief of them, with the Captain and Lieutenant, whom he treated at his own Table, and omitted no part of Civillity, that might lessen the sense of their present loss and imprisonment.

Another small Dutch Vessel taken.

HAving chosen a Pilot, and some Seamen to conduct the Prize, we sail'd the last of July in the even­ing, and came to an anchor nearer Land, but sail'd again early next morn­ing, still on the watch for more Prize. We were very much delay'd here by a calm that lasted four days, and the slow sailing of the Prize, which could not keep us company; we took in some of our sails to stay for her, this made the Commandant resolve to send [Page 67] the Lyon with her to Pontecherry, where the Squadron was to call, while we cruis'd about the Island.

Being thus separated on the 6th. of August, we perceiv'd a ship a head of us, when we presently made all the sail we could to come up with her before she could gain the land, which she endeavour'd with all the speed she could; at a distance we believ'd her as big as the Rock, but after giving he chase for 2 hours, we found she was a small Vessel of thirty five Tuns; carrying Dutch colours, we fir'd one gun at her without ball, to make her strike, which she presently did, and lay by till we came up, seeing us hang out English Colours, but the Captain of this little Vessel was not a little surpriz'd, when he saw us take in the English Colours and hang out French, and took down his own, when we presently commanded him aboard; who answering he had neer a boat, we sent our sloop, who brought him, and 20 more Dutch prisoners aboard, whom we distributed amongst the se­veral ships.

[Page 68] This poor man lookt upon himself as lost▪ with his whole Family, and the first favour he desired of the Comman­dant was, to take pitty on his wife and six Children which he had, which was promiss'd him; when Monsieur Duquesne gave orders to bring his Chest aboard, which when 'twas searcht, there was found neither money nor mer­chandize of value in it, any more than in the Vessel, so he had leave given him to return with his wife, who was a Negress; but the com­mand of his ship was given to another, and a Pilot and other Seamen put aboard.

Six Dutch ships under the Fort of Negapatam, avoid being attackt by the advantage of a Sand bank.

AFter we had cruis'd for some time upon the Isle of Ceylon, we left it, and made towards the main Land; [Page 69] the 9th. of August we anchor'd within five leagues of the Negapatan, which is a Town on the coast of Coramandel, where the Dutch have a Fort, and a considerable Factory. Next day, hav­ing weigh'd anchor early in the morn­ing, we arriv'd there betimes, and every one being greedy of Action, we were overjoy'd to see six ships there, that seem'd to us of a considerable burthen.

The Fort discovering us, set up Dutch colours, and three of these ships, of which the greatest, as Admiral, hung them out on the Main mast top; we answer'd them presently with Eng­lish colours, which did not puzzle them a little to discover what we were; in the mean time we made in with full sail, ready and forward to engage.

But just as we thought to seize our prey two accidents happen'd that baukt us extreamly; the wind blowing from the land, and a Sand bank which vve discover'd, hinderd us from coming within shot of them; we past on still sounding, and were once in four fa­thom [Page 70] and an half, the ships mudding the water as they past.

These delays and these turnings, gave them time to discover what we were; so that the Admiral who an­chor'd at large, suspecting our tacking about so long, made close into the land, intending to run herself aground, if pursued, others follow'd her ex­ample, and two rang'd themselves un­der the Cannon of the Fort.

Monsieur Duquesne meeting with such difficulties, would undertake no­thing of his own head; but call'd a a Councel of War, in which it was resolv'd to run no riske, for besides that there was nothing to be done, we were in great danger of running a ground on the Bank, so we tackt, and stood to fea.

An hour after we discover'd three more, which we reckon'd would make us amends for our former loss, but as soon as we came nigher, we discover'd them to be Danes by their colours, and so had nothing to say to them; They lay at anchor before Trinqubart, five Leagues from Negapa­tan, where they have a Fort and Factory.

The Indian Princes take the Factories in their Dominions into their pro­tection, and defend them from the Insults of a stronger Enemy.

WE anchor'd two Leagues far­ther over, against a Factory that belongs to us, where there are only two French who have but four or five port-holes, with as many guns to defend them, which rather make a shew than a real strength; when they discover'd our Squadron they hung out a white flag, notwithstanding, that they had reason to believe us Dutch or English.

But in the Iudies, each Factory sets out their own National Colours be it in time of War or Peace, be they ne're so weak, or the approaching enemy ne're so strong: For if the English, for exam­ple▪ insult a French Factory, the Great Mogul, or another Prince, in whose [Page 72] Country the Factory is, resents it as done to himself, and oblieges himself to make amends for any damage re­ceiv'd.

A little after we hung out white colours, which very much surpriz'd our French, who did not know what to make of such a novelty, but when we added the Admiral flame on the main mast top, and considering the building of our ships when they came to an anchor, they no longer doubted, as they told us afterwards, but that it was Monsieur Duquesne's Squadron, which they had every day expect­ed, upon which they presently came to Complement him; our Sloop which was sent to them, met them half way, and brought them aboard, where we long'd for their Company; as well to learn News of them, as to meet with our Country-men, in so distant a part of the world, with whom we might happily entertain our selves, and be inform'd of what was necessary, we did them some honor, for going to the Councel Chamber, where Monsieur Duquesne expected them, they past through two double [Page 73] Lanes, lin'd with Soldiers and Seamen, who prest hard to see them, that they could scarce go along, they told us little news, and next day we parted for Pontecherry, where we with reason expected to hear more, and with more certainty.

The French Squadron arrives before Ponticheri, the chief Factory of our East-India Company; situated on the Coast of Coromandel.

THe Coast of Coromandel is very beautiful all along; the pleasant mixture of Meadows and Trees ever green, making a Charming prospect, you meet with mountains here and there, which intercept it, but are themselves a prospect no less pleasant: and some rising grounds, which you overlook and loose your sight in de­licious▪ fair, and wide extended [Page 74] plains; besides a number of beautiful habitations by the sea side, where you meet with another entertainment, which to me seem'd very diverting, which is a great number of Catimarons, in which the Negros of the Country go a fishing, they are made of two or three pieces of a Tree, bound togea­ther with Coco cords, with a Mat sail of a Triangular form, as they sit in them their breech touches the water, and yet they are not afraid to launch out ten or twelve Leagues in them; the sea is some times cover'd with these Catimarons, which sail so swiftly, tho' with nere so small a wind, that at a distance you would take them for birds skiming up and down on the surface of the waters.

We past by a Dutch factory, before which there lay only one bark, that was not worth the taking coasting a long, we at length arriv'd at Porta-Nova at eleaven in the morning, near which we saw four Pagods hard by one another, in which the Negros worship the Devil, we saw there three ships, of which the biggest carry'd a flag on the top of the Main-mast; these were [Page 75] worth the attacking, but whither they were willing to spare us the paines, or rather prevent their own danger, they hung out Danish colours, And nothing could impose upon us more, tho' we can't Vindicate our weakness in this matter, considering they lay at anchor before a Dutch factory, and knowing too, that the Danes had but three ships in the East-Indies, which we had just left at Frin­quebart; after having made a faint to discover them, we left them to con­tinue our course.

We had so little wind, that vve scarse expected to arrive the same day at Ponticherri, and being afterwards down-right becalm'd, we were oblig'd to anchor 2 Leagues short of the Cour­toir, which is a Fort belonging to Prince Gingi, a friend to the French Nation, being now within 2 Leagues, we took our own time, and next day being Saturday, the 12 of August, the wind blowing a little fresh, we sail'd, and at eight in the morning arriv'd at Pontecherri, where we found the Lyon and the Dutch Pink, who came thither but the day before.

[Page 76] We had scarce anchor'd within half a league of the land, when the greatest part of the Officers of the Fort came to wait upon the Commandant; the Fort saluted us with eleven guns, and we could return but nine, because the Deck was so incumber'd. Next day Monsieur Martin, Director general for the French East-India Company came aboard, where he was receiv'd with a salute of five guns, and nobly re­gal'd by Monsieur Duquesne, who de­liver'd him his Majesty's Letter, by which he enabled him, and a few days after perform'd the Ceremony of girt­ing him with a Sword by his side.

Our arrival here sprea'd a great and general joy, which appear'd even a­mongst the Negro's of the Country; who in their way exprest their satis­faction, and no doubt our own French had reason to rejoice, to see us come with a force sufficient to make the Indies tremble; and their joy was e­qual to the consternation of the enemy, who secretly dispatcht notice to all the Factories on the Coast, to be on their guard, against six French Priva­teers, the stoutest, and the best, that [Page 77] had yet been sent from Europe into those parts.

This allarum which the English and Dutch gave one another, did not a little encrease the glory and reputati­on of France; they were no more to be seen strutting in these parts, and hect­oring the Fort of Pontichery, threat­ning to burn the Director in't, as they had done but two months before our arrival, with I don't know what other Rodomontado's; of the contrary, let their strengrh be what they please to bluster it in these parts, they did not care for seeing us, or having any thing to do with us.

We began with debarking the eight chests of Silver we took out of the Dutch prize, and four Musketeers con­veyed the Captain and Lieutenant to the Fort till farther orders; our Com­mandant went a shoar at the same time, and was receiv'd with a salute of five guns. Monsieur Martin entertain'd him so nobly, with the other Officesr of the Squadron, that feasting and hunting was all our employment, while we lay at anchor here.

The Negros before we debarkt bring plenty of fresh provisions aboard. Mony of Ponticheri.

THe Negros constantly came a­board us with fresh provisions; as Piggs, Hares, Henns, Bananes, Lemons, Oranges, Chibbols, Reddishes, Giraumont, and several other sorts of pulse; which were not so cheap as we expected, for the Negros at the first sight of our six ships, knowing we should have need of all, presently rais'd their pri­zes, to that degree, that whereas before one might have bought thirty Henns for a crown, they now cost a Fanon a piece, which is six sols French.

The Fanon is a little piece of mixt gold, of the shape and size of a half pea, and no bigger; there is another of pure gold, call'd a pagod, of the value of a half a pistol, shapt like the Fanon, [Page 79] only bigger, and the figure of an Idol im­prest on one side; they have besides sil­ver Roupys of the value of half a crown; and for their small mony of Caches and Doudous of copper, there goes fourteen of these last to a Fanon, and two Caches to a Doudou.

The Negros found they were such gainers by us, that from morning 'till night you might see them fishing up and down in their Catimarons; and in­deed they furnisht us with the finest fish that ever I tasted, which they caught in such abundance, and with so much speed, that for three pence half penny we could buy as much as would satisfy eight persons.

Our Men fed on Mutton, Pigs, and a power of herbs, which they through into the pot; which with other pro­visions made very good fare, but the Rice, of which all our bread was made since we took the Dutch Pink, was not so agreable; especially to us who were so little us'd to it, besides the un­toward way of making it, for after washing it in salt water, they bakt it with a little salt, and we were often [Page 80] forc't to eat it mere dough and full of chaffe.

The Author's Reflections on the Sallys of his Youth, and the fatigues of his Voyage.

VOyages of this kind, teach youth a great deal of experience; and by the miseries they meet with, con­vince them of the folly of their ex­travagancies. I am sure this Voyage instructed me largely in the knowledge of my own, for which I need not now be beholding to the examples of others. I suffer'd all that's extream in hun­ger and thirst, and those Coroding miseries, gall'd me into more wis­dom, and fretted me into a sense, of my, and a better vallue for my Father's house, and a soberer course of life, which I so much slighted before; this I got, whatever I lost; but I went [Page 81] far and paid dear for't; if any price can be too dear for wisdom.

The Negros flock to the Sea side to see us land, others come to help us in their boats.

I Was one of the first that landed, tho' it be very difficult at Ponti­cheri, by reason the sea all along the coast rolls in mighty surges on the shoar, so that without a great deal of care, boats are apt to be lost in landing and thetefore anchor at some distance, and wait the Negros coming to take them a shoar in the Chelingues, which are flat bottom boats, the planks sow'd togeather with Coco cordes, being light and very high of the sides, they hu­mour the roling of the surges, which has no sooner cast them on the shoar, but the Negros leap out, striving who shall carry you out, first on his back.

[Page 82] I saw a great number of them at landing, of all sorts; some half nak­ed, others thinly clad in muslin shirts, and turbants on their heads, and se­veral with their bodies painted of divers colours; they saluted us in rais­ing the right hand to the top of the head, which is the most respectful way of saluting amongst them; you see the Caze's rais'd of each side, and a Magazine of the Companies, and behind it there's a stable, in which there were eight Persians horses, which the Officers rid when they went a hunting, and two Suret Oxen, which drew Monsieur Martin's Coach.

The Suret oxen are a rarity worth the seeing, being no less than ten or eleven foot high, and proportionably thick; they draw a cord of two inches thick through their nostrils for a bridle; tho' they appear very dull and heavy, yet they'll trot continually in the deep sand, and the roughest ways.

A few steps farther, as you go to­wards the Fort, is a sort of a street which leads to the Bazar, the place where the Market is kept; encom­past [Page 83] round with a parcell of paul­try shops, where the Negros sell to­bacco, pipes, sugar, colours, onions and others things of that kind.

A short Description of Pontichery, and the Garrison; of the Negros and Negresses.

POvichery, commonly cald Pontichery, is situated on the coast of Coro­mandel, depending on Prince G'ingi, in 12 Deg. Nor. Lat. and a 114 Deg. of Long; the French have within these two years built a Fort of four Towers, mounted with twenty four guns; nei­ther the walls nor situation seem'd strong to me, but the garrison, com­pos'd of a 150 French soldiers, are able to defend it against any at­tack.

Monsieur Martin and the chief Of­ficers are lodg'd in't, with the Capacins, who serve the Chappel which is built [Page 84] there. A great many of the Soldiers are settled there, and married to Por­tuguese Women, so that they scarce ever desire to return to France again, they have built themselves houses, in which they live very happily; and tho' that bread and wine is a little scarce, they have every thing else in great plenty.

They drink Punch, Rack, and Le­monade, to which they accustom them­selves very much; and if they trade ne'er so little, and are good husbands, they may lay up mony; so that 'tis not to be wonderd, that most of them having come hither for ill things done in France, they are not fond of return­ing thither, from this very hot and distant Country.

All the Inhabitants are black, and of a comely Stature, having long hair and beards; their cloathing is nothing but a white Cavage, with a turbant on their heads of the same colour, with gold pendants set, with pearls in their ears, the chief Mer­chants cover part of their bodies with a red or yellow scarfe, which they throw over their shoulders, and [Page 85] wear Baboaches, which are a sort of shoes, never going barefoot like the rest, and are follow'd by several Ser­vants, who carry their Parosals or Um­brellos.

The Women are generally little, and inclind to love; they are girded with a callico scarfe, one end of which crossing their shoulders, covers their breasts: they gather their hair about their heads, and knot it about their Ears, which are loaded with gold Rings.

They are as fond too of adorning their arms and legs with braceletts; and wear gold rings on their toes as well as their fingers, and add to these, odd bizzarre ornaments, another of making hols in their Nostrils, where they hang a ring of gold or any other mettle which is their greatest pride.

An ample Description of the different sects, manners and religions of the Inhabitants of Pontichery.

I Have yet spoke only of the best sort in general, of whom there are several different in this Town; as the Moors, the Faquiras, the Brames, the heathen Malebars and Christian Male­bars, the Talingars, the Marchois, and Barias.

They are as so many several Tribes, who never inter-marry, and whose Man­ners and Religions differ from the Mar­quoise and the Parias's the meanest and the basest, of them all; their Habitati­ons are seperated from the rest; they go barefoot, wearing only a bit of linnen just to cover their nakedness, the Mar­quoise follow fishing for the most part, and wear rush bonnets like miters, they make use of Chelingues, and Cati­marons, and eat any thing that's of­fer'd [Page 87] them. The Parias are shoemakers, and the most infamous of all, the nastiest in their way of living, and eat the bodies of dead creatures tho' they died of sickness, not sparing the rotton stinking gutts, and are very vile and miserable, but the Brames and the Faquers are those who are most esteem'd.

The Brames are the Gentlemen, and only they are permitted to wear silk strings in bandaliers, and three lines on their faces, two white, and one red in the midple; their heads are shav'd, except a tufft which they leave on the top, they wear Muslin turbants, and commonly shirts of the same, with a delicate Callico, to touch which is a crime that deserves punishment a­mongst them.

So that a French man one day ig­norantly touching one that belong'd to a Brame, who was bathing himself, they came to the Fort in crowds to complain of him to Monsieur Martin, and to demand him in order to have justice done on him, they pretended he was burnt, so they were obliged to hide him, and after often remonstrat­ing [Page 88] to them, that what he had done, was out of ignorance not disrespect, they were at last appeas'd; they eat nothing that has life, neither flesh nor fish, nor so much as eggs, living on rice, Milk, Roots, and the like. They won't be so much as seen eating, and are so jealous of their honor, that they think it a great disgrace to enter into the house of a mean person.

These Brames, as all the rest, have a great Veneration for cows, and will not on any account suffer them to be kild; being so useful to mankind by their work and labour; and when our men kill any, they are forc't to do it in private, for fear of provoking these Idolaters, who on the tenth of Jan. the first day of their year, celebrate a feast in honor of them.

On these days after feasting them­selves they lead all the cows and oxen into a lake, where they wash them by the sound of drums and the trumpets, and paint their foreheads and horns; after which they lead them to a pub­lick place, and each holding a nose­gay in his hand, they dance round casting water on them, and often [Page 89] prostrating themselves on the Ground the Brames direct these ceremonies; and glory in being the most zealous observers of these sort of superstitions. And are the instructors of others.

The name of their Idol is Ram, and when they salute any one with respect, they call him by that name. For they not only worship this sup­pos'd Divinity, but the rest of the Statues, which they believe serve him; they carry them about on sollemn days; some have eight and some four heads on a body, siting on a bird, that holds a serpent in his Beeck.

Others squatting on their tails like Monkies, have the head of an Elephant, and belly of a woman; they pray to them often, and are careful of washing their heads with Coco water, and rubing the rest of their bodies with oyl.

If you inquire into the reason of their sensless Superstitions and ridicu­lous follies they readily answer, that they received them from their Ancest­ors, in whose Example they Glory in, without the least desire of being better inform'd.

[Page 91] The Faquirs of Ponticheri, as at o­ther places, are persons of no certain body, who wander up and down doing pennance, and that little cloath­ing they weare is so wretchedly poor, they vow chastity, and voluntary po­verty, and when Alms is denied them, they wound themselves, to move com­passion.

As for the first Vow of Chastity, they have little pretence to it, and the very opinion the people have of their sanct­ity, is the occasion of the most loath­some obscenities in the Female Sex.

However these Faquirs impose pe­nances on themselves, which they in­violably observe as long as they live, viz. as to have both their arms always rais'd above their heads, one foot con­stantly lifted up, and a great many other painful postures, which they continue in to their deaths. I saw one with his head in an Iron cage, which he carri'd night and day on his shoul­ders, eating through the barrs; these wretches, as well as others, paint their bodies and faces of a great many dif­ferent colours, which makes them look dismally.

[Page 90] Tho' their superstitious Rites are for the most part the same, yet they wor­ship a great many several false Gods, as Trees, Rivers, the Sun and Moon, &c. In an Eclipse they meet by the sea side, crying out hideously to the noise of some instruments of brass, bathing themselves, and believing that as they wash themselves, they clear and brighten the eclips'd planet. They burn the bodies of the dead, and be­fore the French settled at Ponticheri, these men's wives in proof of their con­jugal love and fidelity, burnt them­selves alive with the corps of their de­ceas'd husbands; but we afterwards chang'd this custom amongst them, and indeed 'twas no very difficult mat­ter to perswade them to it, being ready enough to embrace an oppor­tunity of being releas'd.

When any one dies, they carry the Corps on a Beer, cover'd with Callico, and strow'd round with Bannany Leaves, to the Place where it is to be burnt; attended with a Mournful sound of Trumpets, their Relations meeting them by the way crying out, aloud Apa, which is as much as to say, Fa­ther; [Page 91] [...] [Page 90] [...] [Page 92] Jumping and beating their breasts with so much Violence, that they often faint away in the Ceremony, while the rest of his kindred stay be­hind to comfort his Children, &c.

When they are near the funeral pile, they set down the Beer, to change the situation of the body; placing the head where the feet were; after which, one of the company, who never ceast crying all the way, having washt his hands, lays three small quantities of Rice on the Funeral pile; and taking four little pieces of wood, and putting one on each hand, a third at his feet, and a fourth at his head: He after­wards makes three holes in a pot full of water, and sprinkles round the corps three times. When they pre­sently take it up, and carry it to the place where it is design'd to be burnt.

Then they lay it on the Funeral pile, the face to the wood, and the legs crost under the belly, and after covering it with straw and cows dung, which they spread over it very neatly, they set fire to it; blowing the Trum­pet till the Corps is quite consum'd; [Page 93] and the pots in which the water and Rice was carried, they beat to pow­der with sticks.

But if the Corps is to be interr'd, the grave is made with steps to go down, and a rising at the bottom, on which it is seated cross leg'd; the relations strew flowers and ashes on't, and then cover it with earth.

The Mallebar Christians have built a fine vaulted Church, in which the Missionaries of Ponticheri commonly officiate, and where the Jesuits say Mass; I have seen the Negros so de­vout, that it very much edify'd me to see their Zeal to be so solemn and pure.

Flesh is very little us'd amongst these people, particularly here; where they live wholly on rice and fish; they won't eat or drink after an European; much less tast of what he has drest, These Malabars may marry at the age of four or five, but then they are separ­ated again till eleven or twelve; when they are permitted to dwell to­gather.

While I was a shoar the marriage of a rich merchant, who serv'd the [Page 94] Company, was sollemm'zd, and after this manner; two Bambouss were plac'd at each corner of the Fort, encompass'd of the out side with fireworks; in the evening he came fourth, according to custom with his wife, in a rich Palan­quin, carried by twelve Negros, pre­ceded by two hundred Flamboys rank'd in very good order; their nearest Re­lations accompany'd them a horseback, and of all sides was continually heard the confus'd noise of Fifes, drums and Kettle-drums; ten or twelve dan­cers richly drest follow'd them, danc­ing from space to space to the sound of little bells; and when the married persons past before the Bambouss that were prepar'd, the fire works were lighted, which were so inter­mix'd with Petars and Musquets, that they made them entertaining enough.

This Solemnity having lasted a good part of the night, they regaild them­selves with Bethel, Chocolet, Bannanes, and made themselves drunk with Rack, which is stronger then Aquavitae, and very much in use amongst the Indi­ans, [Page 95] as is Bethel, a leaf very like the Ivy, which they eat, after spreading a little Lime on't, made red with ginger, lapt up in a piece of Raique resembling Musk; this is of an excellent tast and smell, and serves to redden the lips, and sweeten the breath.

The women, for the most part, all along the coast are hard favour'd, and go barefoot and bareheaded like the men, from whom 'tis difficult to di­stinguish them; only for a piece of cotton cloath which covers them from the navel to the knee; they wear their hair lank, very much oyl'd and greas'd, with holes in their ears, that an egg would almost pass throw; and black lank breasts, with nipples al­most as big as an Apple; they carry their children on their hips, their legs dangling on each side. I have seen of them that were not above four months old creeping on the sand on all four, and muddling like Ducks in the water.

They smoak perpetually, and with­out scruple indulge themselves in the vilest lusts, and so readily prostitute their Bodies on all occasions, that [Page 96] their lusts exceed all other qualificati­ons.

The French Spuadron sails, to fight fourteen Dutch and English ships that lay under the fort of Madras.

IN the mean time our Ships took in fresh water, and debark't what was to be left at Ponticheri; and a­mongst the rest four Brass Guns, of 18 pounders, to strengthen the Fort, the biggest of those it had before, being but Twelve; and while we were re­freshing our selves after our long fa­tigues, the Commandant understood by a Letter of Monsieur Martin's, that there were fourteen Dutch and English ships ac Madras, who expected us there, with a Resolution of fighting us.

He accordingly took the best mea­surs he cou'd, and prepared to fight them: Omitting nothing that might [Page 97] prove advantagious for the attacque: And thereupon he presently ordered us to turn that little vessel we had taken off of the Isle of Ceylon into a Fire ship, and to unring the Dutch Pink, which after Monsieur Poureire had taken her top mast, and plac't it in the room of his own which was split in the Action at Amjouam, we left her naked at Ponticheri; from whence we departed the 24th. of August at two in the af­ternoon, carrying the Captain and Lieutenant along with us prisoners.

In about an hours space, we saw Con­jumelle, a place situated by the sea side, the sweetest on all the coast; the Dutch having a Factory, hung out a flag there.

The wind blowing fresh in the evening, we took in some sail for fear of coming to Madras in the night; the passage from Ponticheri thither, not being above 20 Leagues: so sail­ing gently the rest of the night, we discover'd a ship a head of us, which hoist sail as soon as ever she saw us; we took it for granted she was a stout ship, sent out by the Enemy to observe us.

[Page 98] So we presently brought down our hamocks, having put all the chests in the hole, since our departure; so that in less than half an hour we were fit­ted for the fight, which we the more eagerly desir'd, because it was St. Lewis's day.

And now we perceived the ships, which seem'd to us to be rang'd in a line under the Cannon of Fort St. George; which is a strong and noble one, hanging out English colours; we had Mass said betimes, then took a short breakfast, and after hoisting the white Flag, and adorning the ships, and the round tops with Flower deluce't shields, we made all the sail we could, till we came over against St. Thomas's, a Town belonging to the Portugues, 2 Leagues from Madras, where formerly stood the noblest Fort of the Coun­try.

This place is remarkable for the Mar­tyrdome of St. Thomas the Apostle, who suffer'd here; his Sepulcher is this day to be seen on a rising ground hard by the Town; the shoar was cover'd with people, who came to be spectators of the action that was like to ensue.

Combat of Madras.

WE now perfectly discovered the number of the Enemy's ships, and their strength; I counted fourteen, of which only eleven carry'd Guns; that is, six Dutch, with their Admiral, which seem'd to carry 60 guns, with a flag on the main top mast; and five English, of which the Admiral, who was 60 guns too, had a flag also on the main top.

Monsieur Duquesne, observing the greatest of them anchord next to us, and that the rest lay between them and the Fort, hung out a flame of Orders, to command the several Captains aboard, to concert the manner of the attack, and to gain the wind.

'Tis indeed convenient, that the Lyon and the Dragon should coast it from St. Thomas's to gain the wind, and throw out a small anchor by the [Page 100] sides of the lesser ships, that the others follow'd by the Rock, the Flowrishing, and the Bird, should attack the rest; and that while we fir'd on the Dutch Admiral, which was our part, Mon­sieur d' Auberville should endeavour to approach it with his fire ship by the favour of the smoak. These orders given, each took his post immediately to execute them.

Never men more heartily desir'd to come to action than ours, and we had reason to expect an answerable succes, and by the manner of our falling on, our thoughts ran more on a certain Victory, than an uncertain fight. The Lyon and the Dragon who made all the sail they could, were presently within shot of the Fort, which began to fire upon them; yet notwithstand­ing they past by with little or no damage; and according to orders, came and anchor'd over against the ships they intended, and fir'd furiously upon them. It might now be about One in the afternoon, and we followed them so close, that the enemy had scarce answer'd them again, when we [Page 101] came up with the Dutch Admiral, and gave her a broad side.

'Tis not very common to see six such ships as ours attack eleven large ones, and to bear all their fire, and that of a strong fort too; the least of whose guns were twenty four and thirty six pounders, and indeed the fire was so terrible of both sides, that nothing was to be seen but fire, smoak and ball.

'Twas then that Monsieur d' Auber­ville disdaining danger, in the midst of that shower of Ball, attempted to fire the Dutch Admiral; who seeing a fire ship coming towards him, in vain endea­vour'd to avoid it; Monsieur d' Auber­ville shew'd great courage and con­duct in this undertaking; so having quickly fastned the fireship to the Ad­miral, with chains and graples, and set fire to it, he leapt into the boat, which return'd safe to his ship, in spight of all the fire of the ene­my.

All expected that this undertaking would have had the greatest succss, and that the Admiral could not escape being burnt; nay, the Dutch them­selves [Page 102] were of that opinion, for they presently quitted her, and got into 2 boats to make off. But unhappily the graples (being only made of hoopes) breaking, she fell off, and Drove a­shoar, consuming none but her self, which the Dutch observing, they with great joy return'd aboard again, from whence they fir'd as before: The fight still continu'd with great obstinacy, till 5 in the evening; when the Comman­dant gave orders to cease firing. We had not a man kill'd, except a Valet of a Mandarin, whose bowels were carried away with a Cannon ball; But we suffer'd more in our masts, which was partly the reason we quitted them so soon.

After the fight, we took and burnt an English ship in the face of the enemy.

HAving anchor'd about a quarter of a League distant, where we past the rest of the day in refitting; be­tween ten and eleven in the evening we had a false alarum in our Squadron, I don't know how; a sloop that in all probabillity knew not what had past, came directly to the Dragon; the seamen on the watch discovering her, fir'd at her which made her retire presently; how­ever this alarum'd the whole squadron, which immediately had orders to be in a readiness, and to keep a strickt Guard all night, for fear of a surpize, tho' the contrary winds, and the dis­position of the ememy was a sufficient security against it.

But in affairs of war one can't be too vigilant; for then, whatever harm [Page 104] happens, it cannot be imputed to folly or neglect, however this unaccount­able trifle of a sloop disturb'd us all, and depriv'd us of our rest that night.

Next morning we saw the ships lying nearer the Fort, and rang'd in a better line then they were before. We then perceiv'd our oversight in not boarding them to rights at first, by the much greater difficulty of at­tacking them a second time; they had now plac't themselves at such a distance from each other, that the Fort might fire at us, without hurting them; a piece of management they had neg­lected the day before.

Considering the difficulty of a se­cond attempt, and the uncertainty of succeeding, we resolv'd to pursue our course, tho' with an easy sail, that we might give them time to fol­us, if they thought they could make any thing of it, but there appear'd not the least disposition in them; on the contrary they fir'd several guns for joy that they had escapt us so cheap; but we understood afterwards that [Page 105] they buried some Officers, who were kill'd in this action.

However we still pursued our course under a slack sail, eying a vessel we discover'd at anchor two Leagues before us. The Bird, which kept a head of the Squadron approacht within shot of her, and sent in his sloop arm'd, with an Officer; who found nothing in her but such trifling things as the English had not time to take away, we left some men to sail her, but she prov'd so slow, that we chose rather to set her a fire than to be troubled with her, which he did, (after tak­ing out of her whatever might be of any use) not far from a Dutch Factory, nam'd Pailliacat, and in the sight of the enemy.

An English Vessel chast, and run aground.

WE afterwards lancht out into the Ocean, and by that means lost the sight of Masilipatam, where they make the finest painted Calico's in all the Indies, and the most vallu'd in Europe; after some days, having regain'd the Coast, the 30th of August, in the morning we perceiv'd a Vessel near the shoar without a Top-mast; tho' we made towards her with Dutch colours, yet she hung out none, and we observ'd that she had not so much as a flag staff, which made us believe she was a Moor, and Monsieur Duquesne being farther convinc't of it by her building presently tackt about, and stood away.

Next day, being the last of this month, we discover'd another about three in the afternoon, which present­ly [Page 107] hoisted sail, and fir'd several Guns at her departure, we presently made all the sail we could after her, and gave the chase signal to the Lyon, and the Dragon, who gaining the wind, got between her and the shoar, to prevent her runing her self a ground; the rest of us kept under the wind to inter­cept her course; but notwithstanding she being far a head of us, and mak­ing all the sail she could, ran herself aground at a place call'd Cangam, near a River which bears that name, be­fore we could come within shot of her.

It was now too late to attacque her, or so much as to perceive how she lay; in this uncertainty we anchor'd so, that she could not escape us with­out being seen, and in the Morning, Monsieur Duquesne sent Monsieur de la Neufville, second Captain of the Bird, to view her with all the sloops.

This little Squadron of arm'd sloops, as is necessary on such an Expediti­on, quickly reacht the place, where that change of waters is observ'd, which is caus'd in the sea by the over­flowing of this River; we now began [Page 108] to sound; by reason of a vast number of little rocks that lay under water here abouts, beyond which this ship had run her self aground; we went two fathom and a half water, with­out being able to come near her; so that we could not immagin, how 'twas possible for the Vessel to get so far in.

About a quarter of an hour after, we saw a topmast floating on the side of the ebb, with seven seamen cling­ing to it, who were half drown'd, and who by signs, of Crosses, desir'd us to save them; Monsieur de la Neuf­ville going towards them took them up in his boat, where they no sooner were, but the seamen fell a rifling these miserable people, for the money they had hid in the wast bands of their breeches. They were, Portuguese, who inform'd us, that 'twas an Eng­lish ship of 36 guns coming from Mas­silipatam, that from the time she was run aground, the Captain debarkt with 40000 Roupies in silver, which is 20000 crowns French, and her richest lading that could be best carried off: That the English, who were but [Page 109] fifteen, sav'd themselves a shoar, except two or three, whom we saw on the deck; adding also, that they themselves had made the same shift, in order or get a shoar, bnt the tide of ebb instead of landing them, carried them farther out to Sea.

We saw her struck at one end, and so we judg'd, there could not be above three foot water where she was; the vast surges that roll all along on this coast, went over her stern, so that in the condition she lay, there seem'd to be little likely hood of getting her off, but by pieces. They ask't the Portu­guess if the sloops could come at her without danger, they answer'd, that we must steer directly towards her Stern, But Monsieur de la Neufelle not judg­ing it so easy a matter, resolv'd to run no such hazards on the bare word of Strangers, in an enterprize, which in the opinion of every one, would have succeeded better than he expect­ed.

The Negros appear'd thick on the shoar, to see what we would do; both the English and they expected to see the ship pillag'd or burnt; but they were [Page 110] not a little pleas'd with their mistake, when they saw our sloops tacking and going off again, accompanied with great rains. We were afterwards in­form'd that there was aboard a great deal of Scarlet cloath, and Masslipa­tam Calico's, so that we lost a con­siderable booty.

Two English ships richly laden escape our Squadron, which anchors be­fore Balazor. Our Admiral hap­pily avoids being burnt.

THE calm hinder'd our departure this day, but the next being the 2d. of Sep. we sail'd with a fresh gale that just began to blow. The two fol­lowing days we discover'd another ship, and presently made what sail we could after her; sometimes, she made to­wards the land, as if she intended to run a shoat; then she would tack, and stand out to sea, as if she did not [Page 111] know what course to take. At last seeing the Lyon and the Dragon ready to come up with her, after some hours chase, she struck her topmast, which she would have hoisted again immedi­ately; the Dragon hanging out a white flag, fir'd a gun at her, which oblig'd her to ly by, till the Admiral came up.

She prov'd a Moorish ship, bound from the Maldive Islands, laden with Coris's, which are certain shells that pass for small mony at several places, as Bengale, Siam and Guinne. We sail'd together almost to Balazor, where we arriv'd later than we expected, by reason of the calms we met; however on the seventh we came in sight of it at 4 in the evening.

Two English Vessels which lay in the road as soon as ever they saw us at a distance, presently hoist sail; thinking it better to quit the place than to expect us, tho' they were secure enough; the Great Mogull on whom this Country is dependant, suffering no vessel to be attackt in 8 fathom water. They made towards the mouth of the Ganges, to anchor [Page 112] at a good distance from us; expecting as they said, a Convoy of twelve ships, because they were richly laden with Coupans and gold ingots from Japan; but we had the wind so scan­ty, that they could hardly fly, or we pursue, but we observ'd we were the better sailors, for when they came to an anchor, we were within two cables length of them.

The Commandant order'd three guns to be fir'd, to give the Director of the French Factory notice of our arrival, and sent his sloop to Balazor next day for fresh provisions, which did not return again in three days, being no less than seven Leagues by Land. Monsieur Pele the Direct­or, and several other Merchants came aboard, who brought two ships laden with provisions with them, which by reason of the wind, were oblieg'd to an­chor at two Leagues distance from us till it chang'd, but there appearing no like­ly hood of it, we went and joyn'd them.

He receiv'd us with a flag, and one of them saluted us with seven guns. The fresh provisions were distributed amongst the ships of the Squadron, of which we stood in great need, for [Page 113] we were half famisht. Monsieur Du­quesne writ to Monsieur Deslandes, Di­rector general, who commonly re­sides at Ougly, a Town situated on the bank of the Ganges, fifty Leagues from Balazor; to make ready two thousand sacks of Biscuit, with the Merchandize that was to be transported to France against the 15th. of December, when he expected to return.

The same day about two in the afternoon, we had the saddest alarum that cou'd happen aboard, a fire be­gan in the Lyons room through the neg­ligence of the Mate, but the Counter­master happening by good providence to be a sleep there, suddainly wak't and cry'd Fire, every one scar'd and ala­rum'd, run to draw water, and to wet linen cloaths to extinguish it; it had already reacht the cable room, but we follow'd it so close, and took such care, that it did little damage.

About three days before, and I know not for what reason, (which ought to make us admire and thank the Divine Providence the more) we remov'd the powder out of the Lyons hold, (which is put there in times of [Page 114] action,) and that very happily; for if it had continued there, the forecastle blowing up; we should have had but little time to have sav'd our selves in the sloop.

The Squadron leaves Balazor for Mergui, which we could not gain; is disperst by a storm, and suffers extreamly.

THE 13th. of September we part­ed from Balazor for Mergui, we had little wind that day, and a calm at night; so that after having several times weigh'd and cast anchor in vain, we were forc'd to make use of the Currents, and to drive with the tide when it serv'd us.

On the 18th. at night there hap­pen'd an Eclipse of the Moon, which lasted from seven, till thirty Minutes past nine, a third part was darkned; I believe neither this nor that I men­tioned [Page 115] before, were seen in France; for 'twas about two in the afternoon when we saw it there.

'Till this day we were still troubled with weighing and casting anchor continually: The 29th. in the even­ing this long calm chang'd into a vio­lent storm, that after loosing two an­chors we were oblieg'd to hoist sail tho' the wind was against us; the storm encreast so, that about midnight we thought we should a lost all our Masts.

In the morning we saw none of our ships but the Bird, the tempest hav­ing separated the rest. The Rende­vouzse was to be at Negraille, in case we could not make Mergui our port, for which, the wind was quite contrary, and so violently accompanied with hail, that we `struck our top sails three or four times a day; being fearful we should want water if this weather lasted, and tho' we had sup­plied our selves for six months at Ponticheri, we had so wasted it, that we had not enough for one month. Monsieur Duquesne began to manage it with care retrenching the Rice, which [Page 116] consum'd a great deal of it, and or­der'd Biscuit in its place, and stinted the whole Company to a pint a day.

I never was more sensible of the violence of thirst; the salt Victuals, and the Extream heats had almost parcht me up, once in the extremity of this suffering, I offer'd five Crowns for a pot of water, but cou'd find none that would accept of it, each labouring un­der the same evil, so that there was no remedy but patience, which is but a small relief to him that is stinted by nature.

At length the wind chang'd, and continued good for five or six days, in which we recover'd what we had lost of our way; But it becoming changeable again, we sail'd sometimes losing, sometimes gaining, without hopes of seeing Mergui so soon as we expected, which very much afflicted us.

The last of September in the morn­ing, we discover'd a sail a head of us, steering the same course; we made what hast we could to know what she was, and after three hours chase, we [Page 117] came within shot of her, who hung out a flag all red; we hung out ours, which they saluted by hoisting their topmast three times for want of guns. Monsieur Duquesne sent his sloop to bring the Captain aboard, who shew'd him a Pass-port sign'd by Monsieur Martin; he was accompanied by three old men like himself, clad in Muslin Shirts, and Turbants on their heads, and each a long beard, they were rich Moorish Merchants, bound from Mas­silipatam for Mergui: they had a flag all red by way of distinction, and to shew they were more than ordinany; for the common flag of the Moors, is no more than a cimiter crost with its scabard on a red ground. We regail'd them with wine, Tea, and sweetmeats, and after viewing exactly and admir­ing our ship, they departed without selling any of their goods, which they held at too dear a rate. Next day we lost sight of them.

The fifth of October, discovering another ship we steer'd towards her for some time, believing she was one of our Squadron, of whom as yet we had heard no news since we were se­parated [Page 118] at Balazor; but as she made off with all the sail she could, and that 'twould have carried us too far out of our way to have persu'd the Chase, we quitted her, to make our best advantage of the little wind we had; it never was so changeable, for if it favour'd us for a day, 'twas a calm again at night, or perhaps con­trary for four or five days after; in the mean time the water in the hold was very much diminisht, and our thirst encreast more and more with that little we drank of it at meals, and the vio­lent heats.

A wonderful shower of rain falls: We discover the Isle of the Anda­mants, a barbarous people.

GOD who never abandons his own in such extremities as there shew'd us in some measure the same favour he formerly did the Isra­lites [Page 119] in the wilderness; and by a large and unexpected shower of rain, which supplied us all with the means of quenching our violent thirst, that tor­mented us so much.

How eagerly did all endeavour to tast of this celestial Manna, every one, sought vessels and all other shifts to save as much as they could, and then with what greediness did they drink it, I am sure no Champaign wine ever drunk like it to me; we fill'd 27 barrels with this water, which refresht us very much in the midst of our distress, not so much as knowing where we were.

We continu'd a long time in this uncertainty, but having at last a good wind, we judg'd by the Latitude, that we were not far from the Andamants, nor by consequence from the Coco Islands, which are but ten Leagues thence; which was the reason we lay by every night, or five or six hours together, for fear of running upon them.

The 12th. of October before sun rise, we discover'd the Isles of the Anda­mants, which we left on the right, [Page 120] lying in 13 Deg. 40 Minutes North Lat. and a hundred and 16 Deg. forty nine Minutes Long. the Inhabitants are the most cruel and savage in the world, they neither trade nor corre­spond with any other whatsoever, not so much as suffer any to land upon their coast, and if by Chance they are so unhappy as to be driven upon't: these Barbarous savages immedi­ately kill them, and dress them for food.

The great straights that Monsieur Duquesne was in for want of water, makes him anchor at the great Isle of COCOS.

AN hour after discovering the Isles of the Andamants we saw those of the Coco's, which we endeavour'd to gain, that we might take in water at any rate: We had the wind almost quite against us, but in such extrea­mities [Page 121] as these, the utmost was to be try'd, for fear of missing them, and tho' they were in sight of us, yet we several times lost hopes of gaining them, in the mean time we tack'd so of­ten, that on Sunday the 15th. at 3 in the afternoon we anchor'd on a little Island which lay South-East and by South of us, bord'ring to the South East of all the rest, but plac'd wrong in the Carde. We observ'd it to lie in 14 Deg. N. L. of one side; at about two Leagues distance from it there is larger Islands, which lay to the East of us.

The Commandant sent the sloop arm'd a shoar, in case they should hin­der their landing; but none opposing it, they ransak't the whole Island with all the eagerness and nicey, as such violent thirst could inspire them with, without being able to discover spring or river, and consequently any Inhabitants; they past the night easy enough, by reason of the abun­dance of Cocos they met with, which supplied the defect of water, of which they brought us the boat full next day, and two Lizards of a prodigious [Page 122] length, with three Tortoises's, one of which was big enough two make two meals for the whole Crew; but as it was not that we wanted most, Mon­sieur Duquesne sent the sloop presently to the other Island, ordering the Officer if he met with water, to give notice of it by a signal of two fires.

The Bird which could not get so near the wind as we, lay at a Loofe, and therefore could not come at an anchor with us, till four in the after­noon, in the morning Chavilier Dair came aboard us, as well to know our necessities, as to inform us of his own; for he told us we wanted not only Water, but meat for his Table. Mon­sieur Duquesne reflecting on the miser­able condition the last Tempest had brought them too, the Dangers they had run, and those they shou'd be ex­pos'd too, in case they attempted to gain Merguy while the wind was con­trary: He resolved therefore, in case there was no Water in that great Island, to Steer his course directly to Negraille, it being a place design'd for our Rendezvouze, and winter Quar­ters, if we were not able to reach [Page 123] Merguy, or force the Siamoi's to enter­tain us.

About Two in the afternoon, we saw the sloop returning, and presently we hoist sail and met her, in order to take our measures, according to the news she brought us; which indeed was such, as could not be more Wel­com than in our present distress: Our Company was all on the Deck to see the sloop returning loaden, tho' yet uncertain with what, shouted for joy; they askt what she brought, and be­ing answer'd, Water, at that word im­mediately all our trouble were dis­pers'd, by this pleasing draught, of which we drunk unmeasurably; and then anchor'd with satisfaction near the great Isle, about a League from Land.


WE would not loose a moment of time in going a shour; where we loaded fifty tun of water and wood, tho' not without great toil, [Page 124] by reason of the landing, which is very troublesom at low water. The sloops being obliged to anchor at large, we were forc'd to go up to the Neck in the Water, to get a shoar; by reason of the vast number of small Rocks that inviron this Isle.

They who admire shell-work, may glut their fancy here; for the strand is cover'd or'e with the most beautiful shells that can be seen. The Island produces no pallatable fruit but Cocos, the vast plenty of which was very benificial to me, and some others, whose curiosity had oblig'd us to lie in a part of the Island where there is no sweet Water to be had; we kindled a great fire, and past the whole night by it, eating and drinking Cocos; not being able to sleep, by reason of the Maraingevins, that continually stung us; they are little flies, like those they call Cousins in France; But much more troublesom and pernicious, they appearing only in the night.

Every one will justly wonder, that the same fruit should yeild both heat and drink, yet such is the Coco; the tree is lofty, Crooked at the Foot [Page 125] like the Pinetree, its branches are ga­ther'd at top; the fruit is commonly as big as ones head, the bark being so exceeding thick, you cannot find the Coco till you have stript it, at the end there's a hole, which you no sooner touch with your knife but there spurts out a clear water, very sweet, and re­freshing; they are of a small size in this Island, but I remember at Moelly they were so large, that three of us could scarse deal with one of them: You must split the Coco to get at the Kernell, which is white and about the thickness of your finger, and tastes al­most like a hasel-nut; of all fruits this is perhaps the most useful; the Indians besides meat and drink, draw a certain oyl from it, into which the Water turns after it has stood sometime; they make bowls, and cups, of the shells and ropes, and Tow of the bark, to bind and caulk their boats with.

This Island is nothing near so steep as others I have seen, but then 'ts so wooded with high trees, that it is one impenetrable forest all over; be­sides a great many curious and un­known birds, we saw Lizards of 5 or [Page 126] 6 foot long, and as thick as a Mans leg; whose deep mouths were set with teeth as dangerous, as their claws are with talons, however they fled at the sight of us, and do no harm if not at­tackt; their flesh is wonderful white, and some of our men eat of it, and found it good.

It is stock'd with different sorts of Insects; amongst the rest there's one very little Annimal which seems to be all legs, very remarkable by their various colours, and a pretty shell on their backs. There's another creature of the shape of a serpent, which I have often heard cry distinctly in the trees; Tocquets, so being igno­rant of its other Qualities, we call'd it by that name, as none of us saw any Fal­low Deer while we were here, I believe the place is scarce fit for them, and much less for the habitations of men, for I believe it never was inhabited. 'Tis true, that in the Eastern part of the Isle, I observ'd two little hills, whose seeming fertility, together with the beautiful verdure of a Meadow at the bottom, inclin'd me to believe [Page 127] there might be some cattel feeding thereabouts, tho' I saw none,

We arriv'd here Tuesday the 17th. and departed Saturday the 21st. of Octtober at 8 in the morning for Ne­graile, or rather for Mergui, if the wind permitted, which blew very faint, so that 'twas the day following before we reach'd a certain Island that lies ten Leagues distant from the Cocos, and in 14 D. N. 50 Min. Lat. it has a chain of rocks that runs a matter of three Leagues out into the sea. Sail­ing pretty near it, we left it to the Southward of us.

Monsieur Duquesne quits his design of going to Merguy, by reason of the contrary winds; and anchors at the Negraille Islands, where he meets the rest of his Squa­dron.

HEre Monsieur Duquesne lost hopes of gaining Merguy, and without striving any longer to come near the wind, resolv'd to go to Ne­graille, whether we presently steer'd our course; the 24th. we discover'd the land of Pegu, and we anchor'd in ten fathom water, tho we were above 8 Leagues from it, sailing again next morning: About 4 in the afternoon we understood that there lay four ships at anchor between the great and the little Island of Negraille, which we made no doubt were our own. Who had stood in to that place.

[Page 129] So the Commandant having given them the signal of knowledge, in set­ing his Topgallant in the form as a banner, they answer'd him with the same signal, and sent their sloop to us, which could not get aboard us; so night coming on, together with the danger of the banks, that are very shallow in divers places, oblieg'd us to anchor again over against the Dia­mond, a little Island 3 Leagues from Negraille, which we left to the right when we came to an anchor.

This next day, being the 26th. we continued still at anchor waiting for the tide, when about eleven we saw a ship, which after having doubl'd the most northerly point of the great Isle, came and anchor'd within half a League of us; we commanded the Capt. aboard, who was a Portugues, bound from Madras, where he was an eye witness of the action we were engag'd in. He told us the news of the English Admirals having lost his nose by the bursting of a gun, and that the Dutch had no less then two hundred men kill'd, which are not stories like those the enemy publisht after our depar­ture [Page 128] [...] [Page 129] [...] [Page 130] from Madras, and spread over all the Indies; of the falsness of which I shall hereafter give you an account.

This evening three sloops having observ'd our ship, we enter'd by the favour of the tide, amongst the rest, where we anchor'd within musket shot of two lands; we debarkt five or six sick men on the little Island, and built two Tents for them on a lovely and spacious plain, that presents it self to our sight at landing. We lay 8 days there, feasting on Venison, and Wild­boar, and very large Tortoyses, which we took on the Isle of Diamonds, with which the whole Company feasted themselves twice a day, for all had free leave to go a shoar, not excepting the very prisoners.

The Squadron lying at anchor, Mon­sieur Duquesne orders five arm'd sloops to chase an English ship; who carry'd out to sea by the winds, were like to have been lost. The Death of Monsieur de la Villau­clers, Lieutenant of the Bird.

THat we might the better forget our past Misfortunes, Monsieur Duquesne, according to his usual good­ness, furnisht us with Fusees, powder and ball, to go and shoot some Fallow-Deer; of which there were large num­bers in this Island; our ship was al­ready on the bar, when news was brought, that an English ship was ar­riv'd at the point of the great Isle; none of the Squadron being in a con­dition to go out after her; he sent out five arm'd sloops, under the com­mand of Monsieur Neufeville; as soon [Page 132] as the English saw them, they made full sail; however they came within Mus­ket shot of them, and fir'd at one another; but the wind rising, and the enemy making off, Monsieur Neufe­ville was oblieg'd to tack about; the wind and Tide which still encreast, drove our sloops a matter of 7 or 8 Leagues out to sea, and in vain they endeavour'd by rowing to recover the land; four of which with much a doe return'd back, after they had been the sport of the winds, and suffer'd ex­treamly through hunger and thirst; having had no provisions with them.

They could give us no account of the fifth, which was Monsieur Neu­feville; I heard this sad news a shoar, which troubled me the more, because there was a Lieutenant my very good friend aboard; we gave them for lost, but it pleas'd God, almost by a mira­cle, to restore 'em safe, about two days after, in which there were 25 men, so spent with toil and hunger, that they excited our compassion.

About this time died Monsieur de la Villeau Clerk, Lieutenant of the [Page 133] Bird, dyed of a Fever: the greatest part of the Officers assisted at his Funeral, and we buried him in the plain with a discharge of seven great guns.

A Desceiption of the Islands of Ne­graille, and an account of what past while the Squadron lay at an­chor there.

NEgraille consists of two Islands about a Cannon shot distant from each other, and about 4 Leagues off from the Terra Firma of Pegu; one of which is three Leagues in compass, the other twelve; they are situated in 116. D. of Lon. and 15 D. N. Lat.

'Tis strange that so convenient and happy a place, should only be inha­bited by an innumerable number of wild beasts; as Tigers, Elephants, Wild Oxen, Staggs, and Wild-Boars, [Page 134] which live there undisturb'd in the midst of the greatest plenty; no other Island is so stor'd with game, or has better hunting; besides the beasts I have nam'd, which are seen in vast droves; there's plenty of Ring-doves, Wood-cocks, Teal, Parrots, and an endless number of strange birds of divers kinds.

The are Swans, Lizards, and Ser­pents of a great length, and a great number of Crocodils, call'd Caymans, who in the day time hide themselves in rivers, the better to surprize the beasts when they come to drink; this subtile creature fastning on the nose of the Wild Oxen, draws them in, and after drownding them eats them.

At the little Island where we took in Water and Wood, are seen two spacious and beautiful plains, cover'd with good feeding, in which the sight loses it self: Through the midst of it, a pleasant river takes its Course; whose Water is exceeding good, and easiy to be come at; there we bath'd our selves almost every hour in the day, under the thick shady trees, and in [Page 135] large and greedy draughts, quencht the violence of our raging thirst.

All this place is marshy, and in many places with salt water; yet in the woods there are places where they don't reach, and where there is sweet water always to be found; which the beasts drink of, who come thither in troops of a hunderd at a time, and feed quietly together; without fear of being disturb'd by the Huntsman.

One of my companions and I go­ing a hunting, we follow'd some Harts and Hinds very warmly, which carried us further into the wood than we were aware of; so that after two hours pursuit, being quite tir'd, and intending to return back again, 'twas more than we could do, to find our way, tho' we still flattered our selves with hopes; but after long trying in vain, we at last began to despair, and almost to give our selves for lost; be­ing already over-power'd with hun­ger thirst and weariness.

We past through a great many Thickets, the paths being only beaten by the wild beasts; the sight of whom diverted our melancholy wanderings [Page 136] in a desart Island, destitute of all Sub­sistance; expos'd to Tygers, Wild-Oxen and Serpents; in this sad con­dition, knowing not what to do, we adrest our selves to God; and took observations of the Sun; Steering our course by it. So after much labour and fatigue, and beating about from four in the morning to 4 in the even­ing, we at length discover'd the plain in which our Companions were en­camp'd; from whence we went to our tent, rejoycing that we were not oblieg'd to lie in the woods, that night.

These two Isles differ but little, save only this, that the greatest, nou­rishes a great many Tygers, and greater variety of strange creaturs then the less, where the conveniency of water, and the beautiful walks renders it very happy and proper for human habitation. The Hunters had so di­sturb'd these wild Inhabitants, that the Oxen, whose calves, they every day kill'd; became so furious, that the Femals ran at all they met.

A Captain of the Marines belonging to the Bird, being a hunting with 2 [Page 137] others, was set upon by one of these creaturs; she broke his leg, and tore out his bowels, while he was climb­ing up a tree to save himself; this spectacle so frighten'd his companions, that instead of shooting at her, they fled and left him expos'd to her fury; but however they went back after­wards and took him up half dead, bringing him to the Tent; whom we were oblieg'd to leave at Pontichery, his wounds and bruises, not permit­ting him to return to France.

The Squadron departs from Negraile for Balazor; hinder'd by calms; Monsieur Duquesne in vain en­deavours to supply himself with fresh provisions at Cheduba.

WHile we were taking in Water, and Wood, and other Ne­cessaries for our departure, we saw a [Page 138] Vessel anchoring half a League off from the Diamond; Monsieur Duquesne tak­ing notice of it, sent the Lyon after her; who found she was a Portuguese ketch, that came to take some Tortoises before she went to Pegu; the Dragon joyn'd her a little after, so these two Frigats lay cruising out till the twelfth of November, when we sail'd out from between the two Isles of Negraile, to be the readier to sail when the wind should present.

We had no sooner anchor'd again over against the Diamond, but Mon­sieur Duquesne sent for the Captain of the ketch aboard; he was a Genoese by nation, and 'twas from him we understood the enemy reported they had kill'd two hundred of us in the fight off Madras, and fourscore of our Officers, of whom were Mon­sieur Duquesne himself, and Father Tach­ard; whom we buried in the night at St. Thomas's; we were not a little sur­priz'd at this news, for what likeli­hood was there of Father Tachards being kil'd, who all the time of the fight was in the hold, and so could not be lost, unless the ship sunk; and [Page 139] how was it possible, for us to lose fourscore Officers out of thirty, which was the whole number we brought out of France.

However a report attended with such particulars, did not fail to gain belief every where; and they man­ag'd it so, that at Ponticheri it past for a certain, truth; and all along the coast, none knevv the contrary, but themselves; vvho vvere so far from be­lieving it, that they could not con­ceal that they were more afraid of us than ever; the best part of them re­moving with their best effects from Madras, for fear we should return and make a descent: And this did not look like the security, and triumph of Victors.

Yet this boasted Victory, serv'd till our return, to conceal the disgrace of having eleven large ships, under the protection of a Fort, insulted by a Squadron of six; I can't imagin what people will think of them, when they see Monsieur Duquesne reviv'd again, and the fourscore Officers rais'd from tht dead; and our whole Com­pany [Page 140] as Compleat as before, except­ing only four that were kil'd.

Tuesday the fourteenth of November, having taken about fourscore Tortoises, we sail'd for Balazor. That day a Seaman of Provence deserted us, who enrag'd, because he could not revenge himself for some hard usage he thought he had receiv'd from his Officers, re­main'd at the great Isle of Negraille; whither we had sent the sloop in the morning to look for our men that had been a hunting since the day before; without taking any other provision, but a little Rack and some Biscuit in his Pocket, a hatchet, and three great nails; in all probability to make a Catamaron with, in which by the favour of the tide, he might gain the Country of Pegu, which was but four Leagues distant.

Scarce had we lost sight of Negraile, but the little wind we had, turn'd into a downright calm; which lasted a long while, and was very Tiresom by rea­son of the violent heats, and a malig­nant Fever that began to spread amongst the Seamen; which we with reasnn attributed to the extraordinary [Page 141] fatigues they had gone through, and to the pestilential serenes of these Marshy Islands, which are damp, un­wholesome Vapors rising after Sun-set; and the whole Crew, that before en­joy'd so perfect a health, became ve­ry much infected; so that Monsieur Duquesne through a necessity of being supply'd with fresh provisions was oblieg'd to stop at Cheduba, an Island in the Kingdom of Racam, situated in 18 Deg. 23 Min. N. L. and 115 D. 34 M. L. where we say for a while, and sent three sloops ashoar.

As soon as ever these fearful Islanders perceiv'd them, they fled to the woods; there came a band of them afterwards to the sea side with Lances and Bows in their hands, making signs that we should not Land; notwith­standing which two of our men did, (and put them out of pain,) by letting them understand as well as they could the reason of it; but 'twas impossible to perswade these savages to supply us with any fresh provisions for our mony, or by the way of exchange, tho' they had plenty of Fowl and Cat­tel.

[Page 142] They are of a swarthy complection, and go naked; have very thick hair, and are taller than ordinary. 'Twas no small mortification to fail of being supplied with those Provisions and necessaries we expected to meet with here; our distemper encreasing daily, and having scarce fresh provisions enough to serve the sick, the number of whom by this time amounted to 60, and 'twas not long before I was one of them, but was so happy as to have but six fits of the Fever.

The Squadron anchors before Balazor, where we supplied our selves with fresh provisions, and took in Goods for France.

WHatever care we could take to mannage our fesh provisions, the number of the sick soon consum'd them; so we were forc'd to have re­course to Monsieur Duquesne, who [Page 143] at the instance of Father Tachar'd stinted himself of his own, to supply them, who else had perish'd through Want.

I can't hear omit the indefatigable pains this good Father took with them; he toil'd with the Almoner from morn­ing till night, visiting some, serving others, and administering the Sacra­ments to the dying, and performing the utmost that lay in his power. What the Commandant spar'd, prov'd but inconsiderable, when divided a­mongst fourscore sick persons, who yet were glad of it till they got to Balazor, to the sight of which we came the last of November in the morning; we sail'd four days along the coast, and the banks of the Ganges, which is one of the four principal Rivers of the World; and on the third of December, we came to an anchor within three Leagues and a half of the Land, where after firing three guns of notice, as the first time, the Commandant sent Mon­sieur Fauche to give notice of his ar­rival.

We presently prepar'd to set a shoar at the mouth of the River, those, who [Page 144] had the disease of the Country, and to get fresh provisions aboard for the rest of the sick; the number of whom was too great to let the English know of it, who had a Factory too at Balazor, and might make their advantages of it.

Monsieur Deslandes, Director gen­eral, arriv'd from Ougly. 2 days after; almost at the same time as the Mer­gui, an English built ship of 18 guns, with two others, that the French took from the Siamois, which were partly laden with Salt-peter, and some bales of goods, that were to be put aboard the Squadron; we unloaded 'em out of hand, and several other great Barks, who every day brought us the rest of the goods; while we were loading, Monsieur Deslandes continued a board us, whom the Commandant entertain'd very nobly, and honour'd him several times with the discharge of guns, as well from his own ship, as the rest, who complimented him thus in their Turns.

We were very ill furnisht with fresh provisions here; the beef and mutton was meer carrion, so that two of the Captains who were careful of the health of their men, threw, what fell to [Page 145] their share over-board; I never saw any flesh so red, or so likely to pro­cure a flux; however our Captain who did not much concern himself with such things, and the violence of hunger, made us digest them with rice, which was now our bread for four months.

This fare was none of the best, and I long'd to go to Balazor to mend my diet, but could not get leave, by reason that at our first landing there were some of the Seamen who got drunk with Aquavitae, and quarrell'd with the English, one of vvhom they kill'd with a knife, which was the oc­casion of hindring the others going a shoar, without so much as excepting some of us, who were not given to such kind of quarrels.

The two Mandarins being gone to Balazor, to Inquire out a convenient passage to their Country, understood that them was a Moorish ship bound suddainly for Mergui, they agreed pre­sently for their passage with the Cap­tain, and afterwards came to take their leave of Monsieur Duquesne, and Father Tachard, who was glad to be [Page 146] rid of the burthen; The Father who had them under his protection, and who was in honor oblieg'd to see them us'd respectfully, having receiv'd them from the hand of the late King of Siam; procur'd from Monsieur Duquesne a Compliment, to dismiss them with five guns.

We recommended to them the mi­erable state of the French who languisht in their prisons, and Monsieur Chamo­reau, Captain of the Lyon, besought them in particular, in the behalf of a Brother of his, who was actually a prisoner there, tho' to be plain with them, I believe their interest was very inconsiderable: And if I may believe the account a Jesuite gave me of them, 'twould be as much as they could do to keep their own feet out of the fet­ters, when they came home.

Father Duchast, whom a long Re­sidence in Siam, had render'd him knowing in the Maxims and policies of this Nation, arriv'd at Ougli, and came to salute Father Tachard, and to put into his hands a great quantity of provisions, which the Jesuits of this Town sent to those of Ponticheri; [Page 147] after he had put them aboard us, he he return'd very well pleas'd with his Voyage, and us too; for he was so civil as to let us have all the curious stuffs he had brought from Ougly at reason­able rates. Monsieur Vasseur, second Lieutenant of the Rock, dying next morning, we threw him into the sea, with 7 guns discharg'd for his Funeral.

The Squadron parts from Balazor to return to Ponticheri, we found a great number of Moors there, who fled for refuge to the French.

THe near approach of an ill Sea­son; but cheifly the earnest de­sire of Monsieur Duquesne, to return to France, made us hasten our departure; after having taken in fresh Water, and all other supplies necessary for our Voyage, we commanded our sick aboard, whom the land Air had perfectly recover'd. [Page 148] And on Saturday the 30th. of Decem­ber, we parted with Monsieur Deslandes for Pontichery, being follow'd by the Company's boat loaden with powder and ball for the Fort.

We took our course South East and by South, with a fresh gale, which soon turn'd into a calm; and lasted from the first, to the fifth of January, 1691. When it began to blow a fresh again; and on the tenth in the evening, we discover'd the land of Madras; at which the Commandant lay by, for fear of passing beyond it in the night, resolving to stop there the next day, if he discover'd any shiping, tho' the fright and consternation the enemy was in, gave us little ground to expect it; yet nevertheless we met one, whom the fort had no sooner warn'd of our arrival by six guns, but she fled; not believing it a sufficient protection.

We follow'd her with all the sail we could make, and at last came up with her, notwithstanding she had been so far a head of us; about four in the afternoon seeing the Lyon and the Dragon within shot of her, she run herself within a little bank at Sadras­patam, [Page 149] where her men presently went a shoar. But in vain had she sought for safety there, if the sea, which was very ruff, had not hinder'd us from boarding her; yet we earnestly de­sier'd it, being ready to run any riskque in the pillageing and burning of her, but Monsieur Duquesne judging otherwise of it, pursued his Voyage, and this evening came to an anchor some Leagues beyond Madras, from whence we departed next morning being the twelfth, and arriv'd at Pon­tichery at one in the afternoon; the Fort saluted us with nine Guns, and we answer'd them with as many: Father Tachand went a shoar pre­sently, taking with him what he had aboard, intending to make his residence there.

I could not immagine that the loss of his Reverence, could produce such different effects as it did; there were some who were very much afflicted at it▪ and a great many others, who of the contrary were very little con­cern'd: and most of the Seamen, who are little verst in the merits, and worth of Men, were as incensible of the loss [Page 150] of him, as if they had never enjoy'd the advantages of his company; how­ever he wanted not the civility of seven Guns at his departure.

The Publick is like to be oblieg'd to him for an account of his Voyage, which at parting he put into the hands of Monsieur Duquesne, to deliver it to the RR. FF. Jesuites, who were to see it printed, but it contains no return; I read nothing in it which I had not seen, and which I have not inserted in this; except a letter from one of their Fathers, who is at present in China; which contains a full account of the Revolution that happen'd at Siam, and this has very much enlarg'd his Relation.

Since our departure from Pontichery, they had planted on the shoar a new battery of eight Guns, 18 pounder each, being those we had brought from France; and we found above twenty thousand Negros there, who had fled thither for refuge, under the French Pavillion, to avoid the Troops of the Great Mogul; who had besieg'd Gingy, the Caputal of the Prince of that Name.

[Page 151] This is a very great Town, about fifteen Leagues up the land; the strongest, and the only one, able to resist the power of the Mogul; with whom this Prince has continual war: And whose Troops, tho' to the num­ber of fourscore thousand, where, as they told us, shamefully oblieg'd to quit the Siege, through the vigorus resistance of the Garison and the Town, where the Prince of Gingy commanded in person.

Two great Lords of the Country who where at Pontichery when we lay at anchor, had the curiosity to come and see our ship, accompanied with five and twenty servants, which they took out of above three hundred, that each of them had; we put all things in as good order as we could, and brought all our Company above Deck, the number of which they admir'd at; but the Sea incommoding them very much, and not being able to stand on the deck, they returned immediately; with a salute of 7 Guns and 7 vive le Roy's.

The Squadron leaves the Indies to return to France, passes the Line the third time, without any incon­veniencies, in the 170 D. of Long. The beginning of our Navigation is happy.

AFter we had taken some hogs­heads of water aboard, and some other provisions we wanted; the Commandant took leave of Monsieur Martin, who saluted him from the Fort with three discharges of eleven Guns. That day we gave the part­ing Gun; so on Wednesday the [...]4th: of January we sail'd by four in the morning to quit the Indies for this time; and return to France; the wind was very favourable to us, and soon carried us a considerable distance, from a land, which we wisht six thou­sand Leagues off us.

[Page 153] It seem'd to me as if this long Voyage we now entered on, would never be ended, and tho' we sailed ne're so swiftly, and I had made the Voyage already, yet I fancy'd we should never come to the end of it: however we made such way, that February the 24th. 3 in the afternoon we past the Line the third time, in 107 D. of Long. without any inconveniency of Calms or Heats. Such a happy be­ginning of a Voyage was no little com­fort to us, and the hopes 'twould continue so, sweeten'd our toil, and made the time more pleasant than before.

The 16th. We had the sun in our Zeinth, that is, darting his Beams perpendicularly on us, casting no sha­dow, but on the contrary an excessive heat, which we were forc'd to bear, without so much as one drop of Water to refresh us between meals; this heat diminisht insensibly as we depart­ed from the Sun, and enter'd into cooler climates; which however did not hin­der our experiencing great miseries and fatigues, and had we not been unaccustom'd to 'em, should scarce [Page 154] have been able to have undergone 'em.

The 25th. in the morning we past the Tropick of Capricorn, and met with Blustring winds in these Latitudes, which forwarded us very much on way; but afterwards became so out­rageous, that we cou'd more willing­ly have embrac'd the most tiresome calm.

A dreadfull tempest happens in the Heigth ofMascarin, which dis­perses the Squadron, and is in great danger of being lost.

BEing now the time of Carnevall, Monsieur Duquesne was obliged to give us Wine, instead of Rack, which we had drunk for four Months before, at this time every one is de­sirous to fare a little better than or­dinary, but in vain did we attempt it at sea, where good chear is general­ly [Page 155] scarce, but especially in such long Voyages as these; the Seamen danc'd Morning and Evening, and were ve­ry merry; which joyn'd with the fair wind we had, serv'd to lessen the time, which was more irksom to us, than any thing else.

The Wind already blew so strong, that we sail'd no less than 3 Leagues an hour; and encreasing on Tuesday the 1st. of March, obleig'd us to furl all our Sails, except the fore-mast; and the air was so thick and Cloudy, that we cou'd scarce descern from Ship to Ship, which prov'd but too Fatal an Omen, of that dreadful Tempest that ensu'd. Sure nothing cou'd be more Frightful and amazing, than to see the air condens'd, and our beloved Element representing a dismal scene of Death. The Winds spent their ut­most rage, and seem'd to groan be­neath their Burthen; while the yawn­ing seas torn with their fury, eagerly desir'd to make a prey of us: Yet still kept us in suspense, even in the Arms of Death; about Four in the af­ternoon, the foremast sheet was blown to rags, and the vast noise and Uni­versal [Page 156] rouling of the ship, fill'd us all with confusion and horror.

And now being about 3000 Leagues from Land, we saw ourselves exposed to the outragious Element; without sails, and distitute of all means that might tend to our safty. The vast prodigious waves no sooner rowl'd over our Decks, and fill'd our ship with water, but greater still return'd, and seem'd to sink us to the Bottom; so that sometimes we had scarce time to take breath, and hardly knew whether we were in the ship or the sea.

In this miserable condition and ap­proaching danger, every one plied the pump; and the short remainder of the day, we spent in fastening a sprit sail to the yard of the fore-mast sail, which we had no sooner done, but as an addition to our misery, a dismal shout was heard at the sight of one of our ships, which driven by the violence of the Storm, was just ready to run fowl of us, and split us both.

All that's horrible and amazing in death; presented it self to our view; [Page 157] himself at the last moment of life, knew not what course to take, or what he should do to avoid it▪ we unfurl'd our two sprit-sails, which were no sooner loose, but the winds blew them into a thousand Shatters however they serv'd to Clear us of the ship to which we so happily shew'd our lights▪ that hoisting her foremast sail she past by, without damage on either side.

In the midst of so many alarums and continual dangers, we past the rest of night in pumping, and rummaging the inside of the ship, which was so wet that there was not a dry place to be found in't to lie down: Rivers of Water ran continually over the deck; the Boxes, chests, and all the hamocks were thrown down, and nothing was to be seen throughout the whole Vessel but the perfect picture of a shipwrack, to which the winds and Seas seem'd to conspire; this night we had the the Jack Staff carried away by one single Wave.

We waited for day Break with more impatience than our Friends for our Return▪ as tho' 'twould alay the storm, [Page 158] or rescue us from danger; at last it came, but alas it only serv'd to give us a clearer sight of our Misery, so that Friday in the morning, the wind and the seas having abated nothing of their rage, but still encreasing; and finding our selves quite spent, we with horror beheld the Wild and al­most inevitable death that waited for us.

We had recourse to GOD as the only means left, and with tears in our Eyes, and terror in our Hearts, we implor'd his Infinite Goodness, by the suffrages of the Blessed Vir­gin, and St. Joseph; whom we pray'd to interpose their credit to obtain mercy for us. In the mean time we ply'd four pumps continually, and having discover'd two great Leaks, the one afore, the other aff't we were oblieg'd to make a well in the bottom of the keel, and to draw the water thence with Buckets and Pails to pre­vent sinking.

'Twas strange, that tho' watching and fasting had quite spent us; yet we shou'd gather strength out of our very weakness, and work and toil on, [Page 159] without so much as reflecting on our miserable condition; each of us thought of nothing but disputing his life, which he saw prest and attackt with a thou­sand dangers at once.

We continued thus toyling in our Misery, till four in the evening, when not knowing what farther course to take to save our selves, or to resist the violence of the storm, we a second time adrest our selves to GOD, vowing upon a deliverance to have a Service, or each his particular Mass said at St. Anns in Auray.

We crept up upon the Deck, and our Almoner on his knees, under the quarter deck, as did all the rest invok the aid and mercy of Heaven, in the name of two hundred and fifty Saints more, who poured out their Souls in the same devotion, implor­ing the mercy of GOD; never was a more moving Spectacle seen, and I then with horror read our ruin in the disparing looks of Monsieur Duquesne, who kneeling on his bed, and looking fixedly on the raging Seas, mounting high in the air, and threatning us with ruin, seem'd to tell us there was [Page 160] no more hopes left but in the immedi­ate Favour of Heaven: The Vow be­ing made, he let himself fall on his bed, saying his only hopes were in the Infinite mercy of GOD, and that 'twas invain to strive any longer.

This, I own threw me into the last despair, yet we were resolv'd to try once more what we could do; resolv­ing to save our selves, or perish; we try'd to hoist a second time our fore­mast sail, where we us'd care in tak­ing of the rise; each with fear and impatience waited the success of a course, that was either to save or ruin us; and at this very time we were quite consum'd with the labour of the merciless Sea.

A little after a Seaman, whom the Sea had swept out of the ship, was thrown in again by the Waves, and sav'd.

But GOD at last show'd us mercy, and pitty, and was pleas'd to put an end to all our Fatigues and sufferings; for unfurling the foremast sail, it re­sisted the wind; when full of joy and acknowledgement for so visible a pro­tection, we began to pursue our way; [Page 161] and in our turn, triumphing over those Waves that had so insulted us for two days together.

We ran thus the rest of the night, and next day, being Saturday, the wind began to alter about four in the morning; so that at break of day we saw our selves out of that danger, which continually threatned us for eight and forty hours together, without sleeping, or eating, or drinking, save a little Biscuit and Rack.

When we had stopt the two leakes as well as we could, we fell to settling all things in the inside of the ship, that were in confusion; for nothing cou'd be seen but Chests and Arms, &c. scatter'd up and down; fowls and beasts drown'd; in short, an Emblem of an universal Deluge: each now taking breath, began to provide for himself, some prest with hunger, be­gan to search for Victuals; but the kitchins being spoiled we could have none drest in three days time; and others almost dead for want of sleep, fell to drying their beds and cloaths in the Sun.

[Page 162] Never was the returning spring, after a long and Torrid winter, more greatful than the sight of the Sun to us, which compos'd the remainder of the storm, and hush't it quite asleep: This was a truly happy day to us; but seeing our selves all alone, we reckon'd we were preserv'd by Heaven, only to carry home the dismal news of the loss of the rest of the Squadron; we sail'd on, still continuing our way, and endeavouring to discover what was become of the rest of the ships, whose rendevouze was appointed at Martinico.

As we approach the Cape of Good Hope, we meet with contrary winds, with much fatiegue and sick­ness. Monsieur Duquesne finds part of the Squadron which he gave for lost.

THe begining of the month we sail'd with all success imaginable, during which time we often saw certain dark Birds with yellow Beaks, but towards the end, as we approacht the Cape of Good Hope, meeting with contrary winds we suffered great fatigues, which were very prejudicial to our men, and occasioned the Bloody Flux, and other Distempers; and the Cold increasing daily, was as great a Mor­tification to us now, as ever the heats had been before.

The Severity of the Climate had not been so tiresome, if our passage [Page 164] had been more speedy; but we scarcely had sailed above fourty or fifty Leagues, but the Wind chopt about, which forc'd us to ly by till it came fair again; and these delays were very uneasiy to us, by reason of the continual rains, and excessive rowlings of the ship.

The third of April, I remember amongst a number of other Misfor­tunes, we had Thunder, Lighting and contrary Winds, opprest us, all at once; which gave us all imaginable distur­bance, and the excessive roulling and tos­sing of the ship would not let us take one moments rest, or suffer us to stay a minute in a place, and sure nothing could be more irksom than our present condition was, especially the little hopes we had of a speedy deliverance.

The next day we received an un­expected comfort; for about Seven in the morning we perceiv'd, through the vast Fogs that arose, two ships a head of us, to whom we gave chace, though all alone, and had suffered so much in our Rigging; they immedi­ately made us the Signals of Acknow­ledgments, in furling the Fore-sail, and lashing the Fore-top-sail; to which we [Page 165] answer'd in the same manner, and had no sooner hoisted up a white flag, but they did so too: We quickly per­ceiv'd they were our own ships, and as soon as came near them, they seve­rally saluted us with five Guns a piece, and a Vive le Roy; the first was the Lion, whose Poop, as well as ours, was carried away; the second was the Dragon, who for eight days had been seperated from the rest: If we were glad at the sight of them, they were not less surpriz'd at our return, they believing us lost ever since they had seen a Top-mast floating on the Sea; they told us, that the Squadron had suffered extreamly, and that the Bird had been forced to heave her Boat and four Guns over board to save herself; and that the Flourishing and the Rock were nigh being lost, all the Goods in the first being spoiled, and the last having been obliged to pump continu­ally to save themselves.

We gave thanks to God for finding our selves on the Bank of Needles, which we happily passed, and the gentle Trading Winds succeed­ing, we sailed prosperously.

AS bad as this news was, we were glad to hear it, for we never expected to see or hear of one ano­ther more, and great wou'd have been our satisfaction in pursuing our Voyage together, if the South West Winds, which lasted eight days, had not obliged us to lie by; at last they chang'd, and having seen a little Bird, of the size of a Sparrow, we judg'd we were not far from Land.

Having sounded several times with­out finding ground, though according to the variation, and the Point of the Pilots, we shou'd have been on the Bank of Needles. The 7th. of April we saw a Whale, and several Birds, as Cormorants, and Velvet Channels, were [Page 167] sitting on the Water, which gave us to understand we were very near Land; so that next day being the eighth, the Dragon having found ground, hoisted a Flag to give us notice of it, we pre­sently huddled over a few pray­ers, according to custom, and sound­ing all along we found ground in a 100 fathom Water.

It was wonderful strange that in this place, where the Sea is always so boi­sterous and violent, it prov'd a dead Calm, followed by so gentle a Breeze, that we past this Bank of 24 Leagues in length, with our Top-gallant Sails only: Thus having doubled the Cape of Good Hope we took heart, and ho­ped for a prosperous Voyage hence forward, the Winds being now so favourable.

And indeed we made great way, for after having sailed 200 Leagues be­yond it, we began to breath in a tem­perate Air, and to have fair and clear Weather, constantly accompanied with the gentle Trading Winds; it seem'd as if God was now pleased to give us a little comfort, after so much mi­sery and Sufferings; and, to say truth, [Page 168] we extreamly stood in need of it, for the Vessel was not able to bear any more weather; our Men were very sickly, and grew so more and more, with what they had suffered in doub­ling the Cape; so that every day some of 'em died, either of the Flux, or of the Scurvey.

Yet still we had reason to believe our selves happy, the Cold abating by degrees, and warm weather succeed­ing, which was no small relief to those who were ill of the latter Distemper; the Sea was now no longer dangerous, but on the contrary all was calm and pleasant, as if we had made an In-land Voyage.

Our pleasant Navigation invites us to fish. A Description of an extraor­dinary Fish call'd a Requiem.

THis happiness, and the Diversi­ons we gave our selves of Gam­ing, Dancing and Reading, charm'd the fateigues of so long a Voyage; [Page 169] besides these, we often delighted our selves with Fishing, and in one calm day we caught numbers of Tons, Gold­fishes and Bounites, and a large Fish call'd a Requiem, by fastening a great piece of Bacon to the hook.

This monstrous Creature is between 15 and 16 foot long, and almost as big as a Man, it has no shell, but a skin thick and rough like Shagrin, with a Muzzle half round, distinct from the rest of the head; four fingers below, towards the Belly is plac'd the larger mouth, whose two Jaw bones have each three rows of Teeth, which are large and flat, yet very sharp, so that whenever he eats he is forc'd to throw himself on his back.

It seems as if Nature, wonderful in her productions, wou'd by that means suppress the devouring Appetite of this greedy Creature, which I have seen re­turn three times to the same Bait, tho' the hook had torn his Gills before.

This Monstrous creature does not shun Men, as other fish do, for he no sooner sees him in the water, but he follows him, and when he designs to quit the prey, he throws himself [Page 170] upon it, carrying away that part on which he fastens first; he is never seen but in a calm, following ships to catch whatever meat or rubbish the Seamen throw out.

Certain little Fishes of the size of a Sardine which Swims before, (free from the insults of this creature as devouring as it is) and serve him as a Pilot, for from thence it is they are called by that name; they are such faithful companions to him, that when he is taken with the hook, and drawing in, they lie on his back, and suffer themselves to be drawn in also.

I had forgot to mention how we found in the belly of one we took, a Knife and six pound of Bacon, which in all probability it got at the hook; I believe there is no creature in the World so hard liv'd, and difficult to kill.

I took notice of one thing, among several others on board our Ship, that was peculiarly amazing in this fish; which was this, that it being cut in peices, and each peice, sepera­ted from the heart, yet they all [Page 171] mov'd alike, which surprized us very much.

This fish has a sort of marrow in the head, that hardens against the Sun, and being powder'd, and taken in White-wine, is very good for the Chollick.

Monsieur Duquesne meets with two more Ships of his Squadron and sail together, in Order to anchor at the Isle of the Ascention.

WHile we enjoyed the innocent diversion of fishing, a more sollid entertainment diverted us for some time, the wind which we had directly in our Stern, made us dis­patch no less than 40 Leagues a day, sailing now as expeditiously since our departure from Pontichery, as we did unsuccesfully before.

[Page 172] The 25th. of April, the Dragon having given a signal about 3 in the afternoon, that she saw two ships, the Admiral ordered her to give chase to them; they seem'd to be Dutch bound for St. Helens, from whence we were not fat; but when we came up with them, we discovered they were the Bird and the Flourishing, which we had not seen in two Months be­fore. Our Squadron had now been all re-united, if the Rock, which they told us, was a head of us, had been in company; We made use of the Wind, which was very favourable to joyn her at the Isle of Ascentions, near which we should pass to take some Tortoise aboard.

We never had more need of going a shoar, for our Company was harrast and quite spent with our poor diet, and continual pumping night and day; for our refuge was nothing but a little Brandy at our meals, with Biscuit and stinking flesh, and this was but a small relief to the sick, who dy'd 3 or 4 at a time, and were pittyed in vain by others, in whose power it was not to help them.

[Page 172] You might see fifty at a time, some dried up with a Fevour, and others consum'd with the Bloody Flux, a third sort bloated and disfigured with the Country-disease, for we could not get one drop of good Wine, or a bit of fresh meat for them, since our fowl and Sheep, design'd for their use, perished in the Tempest, which surpriz'd us in the height of Mascarin.

You may imagine that the long continuance of such ill diet, began to be very loathsom to us; the Scurvy, and weakness of a continual Flux had brought me to nothing; but I was still preserv'd, and tho' I had the same distemper with the rest, yet not the same destiny; for I often saw my self surrounded with the sick, and dying, without the least fear of death, being fully perswaded I should recover when I went a shoar at the Isle of Ascention, which we all impatiently long'd for.

The Admiral, who without doubt, is one of the most expert in the Art of Navigation the King has, believed we were now drawing near it; and ac­cordingly, after having run some [Page 172] [...] [Page 172] [...] [Page 173] Leagues more on the eighth of May, at Two in the Afternoon it appeared to us.

We no sooner came near the shoar: But an infinite number of va­rious sorts of Birds, Inhabitants of this desert Island, came in flocks, as it were, to meet and receive us; they crouded so thick about us, that we killed them with half-pikes. Here we anchored in 30 fathom water, over against a great Sand-Creek, where the Tortoises go ashoar, which is at the foot of the Mountain of the Cross, so called, because of a Cross which the Portuguese have planted on the top, where all Ships that touch there, are obliged to leave a Letter in a Bottle, to inform them from whence, and where they are bound, as also the day they past by.

A Description of the Isle of Ascen­tion, and of the great Tortoises that are found there.

AS soon as we had cast Anchor, the Seamen began to fish, and catch vast numbers; next day I went ashoar, although it was very difficult landing, the Sloop being obliged to set us ashoar on a steep rock, where we were forced to creep on all four, with a great deal of trouble and dan­ger; several of our sick that were landed here, died presently, not hav­ing strength enough to bear the Air, and the difficulties of climbing the Cliffs.

There is no Water found in this uninhabited Island, nor any thing to be seen but parch'd barren Hills, and Vales without verdure; nay, not so much as a blade of Grass, or any Herb; so violent and piercing are the Rays of the Sun. It's situated in 7 d. 30 m. of S. L. and may be about [Page 175] five leagues in compass. At first it appeared full of Mountains and Crag­gy Rocks, cover'd with Birds dung, who make their Nests on the top of them; but in the West of the Island, two high Mountains rise, which are a little green, being better moistned by the frequent Dews, which causes the ground all about, to abound with the largest, and best tasted Pursloine that ever I met with.

As weak as I was, the desire I had to be cured of the Scurvy, in taking the Air at Land, which is the only remedy for this evil, made me run up and down this part of the Island; where I observ'd one thing that was very extraordinary: The Birds which stood thick on the Rocks, suffered us to come so near them, that we might take them with our hands, and I stooping to gather some Pursloine, several hovering round my head, came and pearcht on my Hat, of which I took four alive, and kill'd two more with my Cane.

The great numbers of these Birds, destroy the young Tortoises as soon as hatch'd, for they love their flesh so [Page 176] well, that they are continually pur­suing them; and before they leave the Egg, or are able to gain the Sea, or swim on the surface of the Water; they kill them with their Beaks; but after they are grown bigger, the light­ness of their shell makes them swim with more strength, and defends them from these Birds of Prey. Yet not­withstanding this vast destruction of them, their number is immense; the Tortoise being one of those Creatures, that multiply most. Nor will they ad­mire at it, who consider it as one of the largest fish, that has its Nutri­ment from this Element.

Its shape and colour being known by most people, I thought it unne­cessary to give you a particular de­scription of it here; I shall only say, that its head resembles that of an Eagle, and the Fins, which are about a foot and half long, are hid under their Shells: And for that reason, when the Requiems (a fish I have men­tioned before) meet with the Tortoises, they always seize upon that part first, and so kill them; their Shell being but thin, and uncapable of resisting [Page 177] so great a strength, as that of the Re­quiem: This Battle I have often seen my self, and so can the better attest the truth of it.

Some who have been ill inform'd, have said, that they make use of their Paws in fighting, as the Land Tor­toises do; but nothing is more false than this, they having nothing like a Paw, only a few Prickles at the end of their Fins, which they Crawl ashoar with, and dig holes in the ground to lay their Eggs in; which having done, they immediately return to Sea again, leaving them covered, to be hatch'd by the warmth of the Sun.

Great care and diligence must be used in the taking of them, for they are very quick-sighted, you must range your self in the night, in seve­ral places of the Creek, where they are known to come ashoar, and when you perceive them at a sufficient di­stance from the Water, run to 'em and throw 'em on their backs, and then 'tis impossible for 'em to rise again.

The Tortoises that are taken at the Isle of Ascention, are the biggest that ever I saw; there are some that weigh [Page 178] three or four hundred weight, suffici­ent to feed so many men at a time; the flesh is very wholsom and delicate, and the Eggs, which are exactly round, and are found in great quantities a­long the coast, are almost as big as an Hen's, but their shells are so thick, that if you throw them against the ground, they will rebound without breaking.

We leave the Isle of Ascention, and hap­pily pass the Line a fourth time by the 346th, Deg. of Long. and come to an Anchor at Martinico.

AFter having stay'd here three days, to refresh our selves with Pur­sloin and Fish, we left it on the 10th. at Four in the Afternoon, and the eleven Tortoises which we took on this Isle, were a great support to our sick; the goodness of God still favouring us with a fair wind, on the 22d. of May we past the Line a 4th. time, by the 346 Deg. of Long. and indeed we stood in need of an expeditious return, for we had no less than 60 on board who lay [Page 179] sick on their beds, and they who were on their legs were so spent, that they mov'd compassion: Amongst the first were Monsieur Baron, the Almoner, and the King's Secretary, all three af­flicted with the same Distemper, viz. the Scurvy, and dy'd within a few days of one another, notwithstanding all care imaginable was taken of them; on­ly Mr. Baron had the honour of seven Guns given him, being a Major Offi­cer; so that our ship by its shatter'd condition, and our own miseries, re­sembled those Hospitals, where one sick Person is no sooner dead, but a­nother takes his place.

In the mean time we made the best of our way towards Martinico, where Monsieur Duquesme had orders to touch at; and just as we expected to disco­ver it we met with a Squadron of 10 ships, the Admiral of which had her Flag on the main-top mast, which made us believe they were the Enemy; however superior they seem'd to us in strength, we presently prepar'd for a fight, brought down our Hamocks, and threw the Chests into the hold; at least making a shew of courage, [Page 180] tho' we desired nothing less than fight­ing, in the miserable condition we were in.

Each reason'd differently of the mat­ter, as he was more or less concern'd for his Life, his Goods, or his Liberty, which he now reckon'd in the utmost danger. Monsieur Duquesne, whom Glory and Interest had rendred more discerning than the rest, inferr'd that if this was an English Squadron sent to intercept our passed, France must be the sufferer, for we shou'd never be able to resist them.

But while this was considering on he resolv'd, that during the rest of the day we shou'd go as near the Wind (which we had of them) as possible, and that when night came on, we shou'd steer a false course to avoid them, which was the only way we cou'd take in the present exigency.

A Capuchin, a Passenger (who was our Almoner since the death of the former) gave the general Ab­solution above deck by order of the Commandant; after a succinct Exhor­tation in few words, put us in mind of that Courage and Bravery we had [Page 181] formerly shown on the like occasions; exhorted us as much as his fears wou'd permit him, to abate nothing of it in the present necessity, when our Lives and Liberties was both at stake.

This Discourse out of season, made me resolve on a certain thing I scru­pled to think of before, which hap­pily had no further consequence; for night had scarce conceal'd us from the Enemy, but immediately tacking about we made a false course; in the morn­ing we found our selves as secure as we cou'd wish, and in a few hours in sight of Martinico, where we came to An­chor over against St. Peter's Fort, Thursday the 7th. of June. There rod at Anchor in the Harbour four of the King's ships, Commanded by Mon­sieur le Chevalier de Arbouvill, who, as an inferiour Officer to our Com­mandant, struck his Flame, and salu­ted us with seven Guns, and we in return answer'd with the same num­ber.

We put the sick a shoar. The whole Squa­dron rejoins, and prepares to return immediately to France.

WE immediately debarkt the sick, and lodg'd them in an House for that purpose, upon the shoar near the River; who were furnished with Bread, Wine, fresh Meat, Oran­ges, Lemons, Bananes, Ananes, and all sorts of Refreshments; as were the rest of the Company, which with the plenty of Fish the Negroes brought on board, were sufficient to restore us to our former vigour.

We understood there, that the ten ships we met in our return, were Eng­lish, bound home from Barbadoes, whom the Squadron of Monsieur le Chevalier de Arbouville had oblig'd to raise the siege of Guadaloupa, with the loss of 500 of the Enemy, and a great many Cannon, having understood since by some French prisoners, who had made their escapes, that they were so much concern'd at the sight [Page 183] of us, that as soon as 'twas night they pre­sentlv tackt and stood a false course as well as we.

They told us also some news from France, and amongst other things, that of the death of Monsieur Segnelay, and of the worthy choice his Majesty had made of Monsieur de Poutchartraine to supply his place. The death of this Minister was the reason we met with no new orders at Martinico, as he promis'd our Commandant, nor the Flute loaden with Provisions which he was to send thither, which was the oc­casion of a greater scarcity there than we expected, Meal and fresh Provisions be­ing somewhat scarce at Martinico, eversince the War.

This Island is so well known in France, by the relations that have been made of it, and the Trade it maintains there, that I ought not to speak much of it, except some small matters I observ'd in the short stay I made there; but that which pleas'd me most was, the many fine Houses scitu­ated on the Mountains all about, whose Avenues, Allies and Arbours are compos'd of Jessamins, Orange and Lemon Trees, which are as common there, as Apple trees in Normandy.

The Women there wou'd be very a­greeable, but for the pale colour which is contracted by the Air of the Island, where the heats in my mind are too great [Page 184] for any, but the Natives to live, happily there.

Not being to make any long stay there, we began to Wood and Water, after we had clean'd our Ship and stopt the two leaks we had. At this time the Rock, whom we had not yet seen, came from an ad­jacent harbour where she had lain three days at Anchor before our arrival, and came to an anchor over against the Fort of St. Peter, driven by the Wind and Tide; she rang'd our side so close, that intending to pass betwixt us and the Flourishing, she struck against our head and broke the Beak, which so provoked Monsieur Du­quesne, that he resolv'd to have the head Pilot drawn under the keel, but he was discharg'd after three days lying in Irons.

The Squadron departs from Martinico for France, where they at last safely arrived. Death of Monsieur Questil­ly, Captain of the Dragon.

IT must be own'd that Idea's which the mind forms of a future happiness are sometimes wonderful, and delude the time till we arrive at it. I was restless till I came to Martinico, and when there, as un­easy [Page 185] till I reacht France, nor was it with­out reason, for whatever advantage we had by being there, there was none but desired to leave it, when he reflected on the number of those that died there daily.

The Standard, a ship of the Company's coming from the Indies with two others, named the Game and the Loure, brought a pestilential distemper thither from Bru­rill, which had not yet ceast; so that the most healthy and vigorous amongst us, upon the least excess, were carried off in 4 or 5 days at most, in spight of any remedies that could be used.

This mortality which might have very much lessened the Company, and rendred them so weak as to be scarce able to bring the Ship back again to France, made the Commandant resolve to hasten away; we took in Wine and new Biscuit, and after imbarking the sick, we sail'd the 2d. of July at nine in the morning, followed by Monsieur le [...]ehvaler de Arbouville, who was to Convoy two and twenty Mer­chants to Rochfort.

We were presently becalm'd, which hindred our coming within sight of the English Islands till the 8th. when making all the sail we could we left the convoy behind us the Merchants sailing very heavily.

[Page 186] By leaving Martinico we thought to have left the distemper that reign'd there, but it follw'd, us and did not take it's leave till it had swept away sixteen of our Men, in the first fifteen days after our departure. Monsieur de Questilly, Captain of the Dra­gon, struck to it, as well as others; to whom we gave the accustom'd honours, and the Commandant put Monsieur de Aubervill, our Lieutenant in his place.

In the mean time the Wind continuing good, we past the Tropick of Cancer on the 21st. and except a few days sailed very succesfully the rest of the month, and during those few we met with very rough Seas, fomented by violent Storms; but the very thought of approaching France made us easy, though we had reason enough to be otherwise; so nothing disturb'd us after­wards, seeing our selves near the end of so many fatiegues, and so long and hazard­ous a Voyage.

The 9th. of August the Rock hung out English Colours, to give us notice that she discover'd a sail which we saw behind us, making all the sail she could to us; we were willing to gratify her curiosity, furl'd our sails, and gave her time enough to come up with us, and after she was near enough to discover our strength, she stood away presently without daring to come any nearer. Monsieur Duquesne having hung out French colours, which [Page 187] she did too without taking them down, tho' we hung out English Colours again.

Next day the Lyon was dispatcht to discover Cape Finister, who believing she had sight of it, gave us the Signal; but her mistake was very great, and our joy short, for we did not discover it till next day; the Bird, who kept the head of the Squdron, having got a clear view of it, we gave God thanks by singing Te Deum, the Wind being at North East, and there­fore contrary, we came within Cannon shot of the Land, tacking till it chang'd, which it did that very evening, and carried us so happily for seven days together, that at last we arrived at the heighth of our Wishes, that is, within sight of France, and came all six to an Anchor under the Island of Groye, Saturday the eighteenth of August 1691, at Nine in the morning: Whence sailing again the 19th. we en­tered For Lewis full of joy for our hap­py return, thanking the Divine Pro­vidence who had preserved us through a thousand dangers in this long and painful Voyage, from which we parted from the Island Groye, the 27 of Feb. 1690.


THE VOYAGES OF THE Sieur Le MAIRE, TO THE CANARY--ISLANDS, Cape-Verde, Senegal, and Gambia.

Depar­ture from Paris.I Had been almost three Years em­ploy'd about the Hotell de Dieu of Paris, (that is, the Hospital of God) when I heard that Monsieur D'ancourt was ready to part for Cape-Verde, in Quality of Director-General of the Royal African Company; when I immediately resolv'd to accompany him, and he consented to it: and having agreed on Terms, the 14. of Jan. 1682. [Page 2] he presented me to the Gentlemen of the Company who confirm'd what we had settled.

After imploying a few days in settling my Affairs, and in taking leave of my Friends, we parted for Orleans; where we took boat for Nantes on the Loire: and tho' this Passage is commonly made in two or three days, yet we were seven or eight about it, and that not without Danger too.

The Wind was still contrary, and so violent, that the River was almost as boisterous as the Sea; the Rivers too overflow'd so, that we lost the Chan­nel; so that only discerning the tops of little Trees, all the rest being under Wa­ter, we found our selves sometimes fast on the Trunks, like Birds perching on Trees.

At last, however, we arriv'd at Nantes, and after ten days stay, we took Horse for Brest: what we saw of Britany as we past, was not very entertaining; tho' it's known, this Province is good and fruitful in many places; but all along as we past, we had a very unpleasant Prospect.

Being arriv'd at Brest the 4th. of Fe­bruary, we expected to Sail in a few [Page 3] Days; but the Ship was not ready, but ill careen'd, and had not half her Furni­ture; and we were to wait till she was new masted, and till she was fit to meet with stormy Weather, and the Enemy which we expected.

Two Months were spent in this Work; the Ship was call'd the St. Catherine, of four hundred Tun, carrying forty Guns; 'twas built at Flessingue, and design'd for a Cruiser; Captain Monsegue comman­ded it by orders of the Company.

Brest.The Port of Brest, where the Frigat lay, is the best we have in the Ocean; the greatst Ships ride there in Safety, and shelter'd from all Weather as in a Cham­ber; whence 'tis call'd by that Name. Ships may sail out of it at low Water as well as at high; for they always ride a-float. It's as straight at the Month as a River, and has two Half-Moons of each side, and on the right a strong Castle, old built, which defends the en­trance. This Port goes in a Spiral Line; it's a large half League long, and about two hundred Paces wide: it's situated between two Mountains, which cover it. All these Advantages it receives from Nature.

[Page 4] In this Port I saw the greatest and the beautifulest Ships in the World; amongst others, the Admiral, nam'd the Royal Sun; it has not so much gilding as the Royal Lewis of Toulon, but 'tis better built; longer, and a better Sailer. It carries 120 Guns, and the great Cabine is magni­ficent, richly gilt, and the Cieling is of the Design Monsieur le Poune: there are about fifteen more but of a lesser size; yet very proper, and beautifully built.

Besides these, there were about fifty more of 90, 80, 70, 60, and 50 Guns, without reckoning smaller Frigats of a lower Rate: next to the Royal Sun, are the Queen, the Crown, the Glorious, the Beautiful, the Good, the Thunderer, the the Lightning, the Diamond, &c. These vast Machines give just Wonder, and appear like floating Palaces.

Our Ship being compleatly equip'd, it sail'd out of the Chamber into the Road the 20th. of March; five of the Kings Ships were fitted out at the same time, of which four were to joyn those of Toulon, and the fifth to Convoy some Ships belonging to the East-India-Com­pany.

[Page 5] Wednesday the 9th of April 1682. I embark'd with four Sons of a Family which went with us: as Monsieur Dan­cort continu'd still at Brest, these Gen­tlemen and I diverted our selves a little with Hunting, believing we might as ea­sily go a-shore again as we came aboard: the Director's Cook who came aboard a­bout some business, made use of a little Skiff which was row'd by two Lads, which we us'd to go a-shore in; and were now got 2 Leagues on the Sea near Cameret, without minding which way he should get back: we were so earnest taking the Diversion of Hunting, that we did not care where we put a-shore, without minding the Danger we ran, in passing over craggy Rocks hanging over the Sea, into which I had like to fall two or three times. And after all this pains, we had the Disappointment to meet with no Game; we were forc'd to employ our selves in killing Larks, which prov'd afterwards more of use to us then we imagin'd then: tir'd therefore with this sort of Hunting, we past to a better Entertainment, and fell to a Hare-Pasty, which we brought with us, and a Glass of good Wine.

[Page 6] After we had spent our Provisions, we return'd to our little Boat, and were no sooner at Sea again, than a sudden Storm arose, in which I thought we should have perish'd every moment. One of our Gentlemen who was very much fa­tigu'd, had fall'n asleep as soon as ever he came into the Skiff, and was wa­ken'd by our Noise, and the tossing of the Boat; and when we were half way, tho' he was scarce throughly awake, he was so sensible of the Danger we were in, that he cry'd out, We were certainly lost if we did not return again.

Our little Rowers were almost spent, but not their Courage, who pretended to chear us, saying, There was no Dan­ger of the Boat, tho' she rowl'd so; and if the worst came to the worst, 'twas on­ly swimming for't: but they were mi­staken as to me; and besides, the Waves were so great and violent, that instead of landing us, they had dash'd us in pie­ces against the Rocks.

We follow'd the Counsel of our Com­panion, and turn'd back again, rowing with all our Might; and at last, with much ado, got a-shore, where we wait­ed for calmer Weather.

[Page 7] In the mean time, while we were en­joying our Safety a-shore, we heard a single Gun, and saw at the same time the Top-Sails loose, which is the usu­al Signal of Sailing: There were seve­ral Lighters near us, which might have carry'd us aboard; but we could not prevail with any of the Masters to whom they belong'd, to give us a Cast.

Thus we saw our Ship under Sail, the Admiral saluted with seven Guns, ma­king the best of her way, running be­fore the Wind, with all the Sail she could make; and I was not a little troubled to be left behind thus, and all my Things aboard.

We follow'd the sight of our Vessel, haling her as loud as ever we could baul, and discharging our Fuseels, but all in vain, the Vessel disappear'd; one of our Companions, who was but an ill Foot­man, took Cameret Road, believing he should find us there; and being in search of him, we spent a good part of the Night in looking after one ano­ther.

Many Misfortunes attended us on our way; for ever and anon, one was bogg'd in the Marshes, another would fall into [Page 8] a Ditch, each calling on the other for help, and all cursing the Chase: Hun­ger follow'd our other Miseries, when at last we got into an Inn, where every thing was proportionable to our short Purses; wretched Provision and Beds: however, all that we had was spent that Night, and we were forc'd to depart Fasting next Morning.

As we went again in search of our stray'd Companion, and coasting by the Sea, we perceiv'd Masts, which at first we took for high Trees which grew by the Sea, not so much as flattering our selves that we should ever see our Ship again, which we thought had been far enough off; but coming near, we found we had not lost our Passage, for she An­chor'd in Camaret Road, three Leagues from Brest.

Great was our Joy, and we had now no more to do but to find out our Com­panion, and go aboard: we endeavour'd by Signals to give notice of us to the Ship, but with no better Success than the Day before; so that the Sloap did not come to fetch us.

As we sought all imaginable ways to get out of our Troubles, we observ'd a [Page 9] Bark at Sea plying towards the Ship; I don't know how we came to fancy that he whom we sought might be in it; but we fancy'd right, and he was the first Man we perceiv'd from the Shore; so we made Signs to 'em at a distance, which he understood, and the Bark made to­wards us: but it being impossible to come near, by reason of the Rocks, 'twas our Business to get aboard as well as we could.

At last we did; and after a great deal of Rejoycing at our Meeting so happily again, we thought of nothing but taking our Rest: but this was not the time; for the Sea was so rough, that the Waves went over the Ship, and we were wet from Head to Foot. This, joyn'd with the excessive Cold, and the Danger we were in of being cast-away, which the Seamen themselves fear'd not a little, cast us into a fresh Concern, till after much Difficulty and Hazard we got aboard.

At our leisure we revolv'd all our past dangers, and presently fell to eating after hard Fasts; we remain'd some time in the Road, waiting for Monsieur Dancourt, who was still ashore at Brest. [Page 10] On Sunday, at Noon, April the 12th, 1682. he came Aboard, and immediate­ly we Sail'd.

When we were about three Leagues at Sea, we met the Ship Nam'd the Burning, which lay at Anchor, waiting the Tide to enter into the Bay of Brest; she was mounted with 80 Guns, and came from Havre, to take Monsieur de Prouily, Lieutenant-General, Aboard, who was afterwards to Sail to Algiers.

We Saluted him in the usual manner, with 7 Guns, and crying out three times Vive le Roy; he answer'd us with as many, against the usual custom of the King's Ships, who always return two Guns less; in all probability, he did it in complaisance to Monsieur the Intendant, who was then Aboard him, and who was Monsieur Dancourt's Friend.

After thanking him with three, we pursued our way with a North-East Wind, leaving the Cape to the West, Steering West-South-West, where we took the point of our departure, in 48 Degrees 20 Minutes of Southern Lati­tude, and in the 11th Degree of Longi­tude; but as I am not very expert in the Art of Navigation, I shall not oblige [Page 11] my self to be thus exact in these sort of Observations, but when it is indispen­sibly necessary.

Tuesday, the 21th of April, we per­ceiv'd two Ships to the East of us; by their Steering to get the Weather-gage of us, we judg'd them to be Privateers; we presently put our selves in a posture of defence, which prevented their ma­king any attempt upon us, believing there was little to be got by us but Ball.

Sunday the 26th, in the Morning, being in 32 Degrees, as many Minutes, of Northern Latitude, and in 4 Degrees 13 Minutes of Eastern Longitude, we saw Cape-Cantin, the Coast of Barbary, and the Kingdom of Morocco, from whence we were only six Leagues di­stant; if the Night had lasted we had lost our way, for we Sail'd to the West of the Maderas, which is above 140 Leagues thence.

Wednesday the 29th, we perceiv'd the Isle of Anecerotte, one of the seven Ca­nary Islands; which we left about ten Leagues to the South-East, where we met with a Calm, and excessive Heat.

[Page 12] Thursday, the 30th of April, we found our selves in 28 Degrees 30 Minutes of Southern Latitude, and 4 Minutes of Longitude, taking the first Meridian at the Isle de Fer, according to the Custom of our Nation; so that not being above ten Leagues distant to the North-East from the Great Canary, we tack'd on this Isle till Night, about a League off Land. We could not Anchor by reason of the little Wind that was stirring, and the darkness of the following Night; this oblig'd us to tack about to the East▪ and to keep out at Sea till Three a Clock in the Morning of the opposite side to the Land.

Great Ca­nary, the Capital of the seven Islands. Friday, the 1st of May, having tack'd to the West, in the Road of the Great Canary, about Nine and a half we An­chor'd in 24 Fathom, and found a Sand that was partly grey and partly red, mix'd with Coral; Its Situa­tion.the Town, with its situation stands on the South-West side, is a League and a half from the Road, and defended by a very ordinary Castle.

When they had given us notice from the top of this Castle, they set up the Pavillion of Spain, which we Saluted with five Guns; to which they return'd [Page 13] not a Gun, I suppose 'twas for want of Powder.

There is very good Anchoring in this place, if one don't come too near the Town, to which the Rocks, that lye under Water, render the approach very dangerous;Its Strength. it's defended by a Castle si­tuated on a Mountain, from being at­tack'd by Sea; it's Peopled by twelve thousand Islanders brave enough, and able to oppose any Invasion; our Ship Anchor'd in 18 Fathom Water before the Town.

Its bignessIt's about a League in compass; the Houses, for the most part, are well enough built, but low, not above two Story; they are all Terras'd a top, so that the Roofs not appearing, one would think they had been burnt. In the day time you scarce see a Man in the Streets.

Residence of the States and of the Par­liament.Thô the Bishop, the Governor, and the best sort, have their Residence at Teneriffe, yet in this Capitol is the Epis­copal Seat, the Tribunal of the Inqui­sition, and the Supream Council, which is the Parliament of the Seven Islands. There are four Monasteries in't, one of Dominicans, and one of Franciscans; the [Page 14] two other are Bernardines and Re­colets. Religious Houses.

The Cana­ry Islands formerly call'd For­tunate.These Islands, which were formerly call'd Fortunate, deserv'd the Name, if the goodness of the Air, and the rich­ness of the Soil, be consider'd; Their Happiness.they abound in Wheat, Barley, Honey, Cows, Sheep, Deer, and all the Necessaries of Life: The Wine of Malvesia is in such great plenty there, that the English, the French, the Spaniard, and Dutch, &c. furnish themselves thence every Year.

The Happiness of this Place, to be able to subsist independent of all other Countries, for the Necessaries of Life, made the Heathens formerly believe,Belief of the Hea­thens. that 'twas the Elizium Fields, design'd for the abode of Happy Souls after Death.

They are not so happy in their Water as in other things, but this they remedy by pouring it into Vessels of the figure of a Mortar, made of a very Porous sort of Stone, through which it filters it self, and afterwards becomes very good.

The Rich­ness of the Soil.Their Harvest is commonly in March or April; in several places they have two in one Year. The Soil is so exceed­ing Rich, that I saw a Cherry-Tree that [Page 15] had not been Grafted above six Weeks, bear Fruit, Flowers grow of themselves without any Care; and it abounds in Oranges and Cittrons to admiration.

The Great Canary, as well as Tene­riffe, and the Palme, continued Idola­ters some time after the Conquest made of them by the Spaniards in 1460. The Ancerotte, Fort-Avanture, the Gomer, and the Fer, first receiv'd Christianity; and the three others at last follow'd their Example. The Spaniards, resolving at last to reduce these Islands to their Obe­dience, sent a great number of the Inha­bitants Slaves into Spain; they who re­mained were Civiliz'd, and live after the manner of their Conquerors; and these, above all the other Inhabitants of the Canaries, are Civil to Strangers.

Monsieur Dancourt was very well re­ceiv'd there by the Governor of the Island, with whom he Din'd, conducted by the Consul of our Nation, Nam'd Remond, originally of Liege, and a very honest Man; he too Regal'd us very much, both with Wines and Fruits, and continued two days with him, in which he made exceeding much of me.

[Page 16] I was four times at the Convent of the Bernardines, the Provisor having given me leave at the request of the Abbess; there were some French Women there, of whom one was of Paris, who was my Interpreter; there being some Sick in the Convent, they were very much concern'd least I should take the In­fection.

The presence of a Physician, made them make use of the opportunity; and several of them pretended to be Sick who ail'd nothing, that they might have more liberty. They express'd a great deal of Civility to me, and loaded me with Bisket, and wet and dry Comfits, with Lemonade, Malvesia, and all man­ner of Fruit, which they sent me on Plates, and China Dishes, garnish'd with Roses, Violets, Orange-Flowers, Jessa­min-Flowers, and Tuberoses, without reckoning Nosegays; and I presented them too, which they civilly receiv'd.

Leaving this Holy Place, I found se­veral at the Consul's House who waited for me, to go see some Sick; particular­ly, some from a certain Civilian, who was reckon'd worth 50000 Crowns, whose Wife was ever and anon troubled [Page]

How their women are habited and how they carry their children on their backs

How the Negros dance in a round

[Page] [Page 17] with a Suffocation of the Matrix. The Doctor of the place manag'd her as for a Peripnewmony; by which, chiefly, I discover'd his Ignorance.

As they have no great confidence in their own Physicians, they are very glad when they can meet with one of France: The Lawyer did all he could to per­swade me to stay at the Great Canary, offering me his House, his Table, and many other Advantages; but I was re­solv'd not to break my Word with Mon­sieur Dancourt, so I thank'd the Spaniard for all his kindness, and order'd what I thought was most proper for his Wife, and such things as might be found in the Island, where they are very scarce.

He would have given me Money, which for the Honour of my Nation I refus'd; I thought to have return'd thither again next Morning, he having desir'd the Consul I might, saying he would gratify me in another way, see­ing I would not take Money; but I had not time, the Sloop coming to take me Aboard on Saturday Night.

I was almost Enchanted with this Island, and with much ado I parted from it; if ever I leave France again, it [Page 18] shall be to live in the Great Canary. But I can scarce prefer any thing to France it self for happiness; but before I leave this Island, I must not forget to tell you, That it's 30 Leagues in compass, and almost round.Extent of the Great Canary.

Saturday the 2d, towards Evening, the Wind blowing hard at North-North-East, we Sailed, and slacking again a­bout Three a Clock in the Morning, we Steer'd our Course in sight of the Pic, a high Mountain of the Island of Teneriffe, with a design to Anchor in the Road of Holy-Cross; our Pilots ob­serv'd in this Latitude, that the Needle varied to the North-East, three Degrees thirty Minutes.

Sunday the 3d, being to the farthest North of the Great Canary, with a scan­ty Wind at North-North-East, we had the Cape to the West all Night.

Monday the 4th, in the Morning, we arriv'd at Teneriffe, the richest of all the Canary Islands; in sight of Holy-Cross, a little Town on the East Point of the Island. One may Anchor there in 25 or 30 Fathom Water, however we did not Anchor at all, and remain'd ready to Sail again all day, waiting the Sloop that was sent ashore.

[Page 19] Thô the Governor of Holy-Cross per­mitted those who went in the Sloop to Land, yet he acquainted the Governor-Ge­neral (whose Residence is at Laguna, three Leagues from the Sea) that there was some French who desir'd to come ashore to be supply'd with Provisions: The An­swer was, To make them Prisoners if they did. Perhaps the reason was, That they were afraid we might have some Aboard that had the Plague, thinking we came from the Levant.

The Pic.The Pic is one of the highest Moun­tains in the World; they say one may see it 40 Leagues off at Sea. As for us, we saw it but 12 or 15, by reason of the Fog, which made it appear to us like a Cloud in the Point of a Diamond; it's always cover'd with Snow, thô it never Snows below, nor ever Freezes.

The Island of Tene­riffe.As for Teneriffe, it's reckon'd to be the highest Island in the Ocean, and the best Peopled for its bigness, containing 15000 Inhabitants; it's this which pro­duces that excellent Wine of Malvesia, which passes for the best in the World. This Wine is not known in these Islands, but since the Spaniards became Masters of it; for they first brought the Plant from [Page 20] Candia; and now they prefer this Wine to that of the Place from whence it de­rives its Original, and there comes a greater quantity from thence than from Candia.

The Situa­tion of the seven Ca­nary Islands.The Seven Canary Islands lye in a Line one by another, almost exactly from East to West; they are very Moun­tainous, but well Peopled, and very Fertile; the least is 60 Miles in com­pass.

Remark.As I had formerly heard speak of a wonderful Tree in the Isle of Fer, whose long and narrow Leaves are always green, and supply'd all its Inhabitants with Water, I was willing to inform my self about it; and I ask'd if it was so as I was inform'd; that there falls so great a Dew on this Tree, that dropping after­wards, as a clear Water into Stone Ba­sons, which they set a purpose to receive it; it supplies both all the Men and Beasts of the Island, Providence thus wonder­fully supplying the want of fresh Water. They told me 'twas a meer Fiction, yet some there were too, who said, there might be such a Tree in the Island, but that it did not yield such a quantity.

[Page 21] Tuesday the 5th, we continued our Course to the Southward, in 27 Degrees 40 Minutes of Southern Latitude, and in 360 Degrees of Eastern Longitude; about Six in the Evening, the South Point of the Great Canary lay East-North-East from us, about 7 Leagues off.

Wednesday the 6th, it blew so hard at East, that we were extreamly shatter'd in our Masts and Rigging, and the Main-Mast bow'd so, that we expected it would come by the Board; this Tem­pest ceas'd a quarter of an hour after, and we enjoy'd a Calm again.

Thursday the 7th, at Noon, being in 23 Degrees of Southern Latitude, and 28 Minutes of East Longitude, we pass'd the Tropick of Cancer.

Wednesday the 8th, we approach'd the Coast of Barbary, being, at Noon, in 20 Degrees 47 Minutes of South La­titude, the Wind blowing hard at East-North-East; and observing 'twas im­possible to gain Cape Blanc before Night, and that we were four Leagues from Land, being in 28 Fathom Water, we presently tack'd about, Steering East-South-East. And Saturday the 9th, about Eight a Clock in the Morning, we [Page 22] found our selves within a League of Land.

Cape Blanc.We rang'd the Coast as far as Cape Blanc, where we Anchor'd in 14 fathom Water to the North-West, about a League from the Point of the Cape; which is, according to our Elevation, in 20 Degrees 30 Minutes of South La­titude, and 359 Degrees 10 Minutes of West Latitude.

Why it's call'd Cape Blanc, or the Sea of Sand.When the Portuguese first discover'd this Cape, about the Year 1454. they call'd it Cape Blanc, for that being Sandy and Barren, they saw not the least Ver­dure; it's level like the Sea, whence they call'd it the Sea of Sand.

From Cape Cantin to this Cape, which comprehends 300 Leagues, one sees no­thing but a Sandy Plain, call'd by the Ancients the Desart of Lybia, and by the Arabians Zaara; it's Inhabited only by Wild Beasts, as Lyons, Tygers, Onces, Leopards, and such like Creatures.

These Desarts reach to Mount A [...]las on the North, and to the Country of the Negroes on the South; they are of so vast an extent from East to West, that they can't be pass'd on Horseback in fifty days. By this way, the Caravans of [Page 23] Fex pass to Tombut, Melly, Borneo, and the other Kingdoms of the Negroes.

When a Storm rises in these Desarts, the Sand Buries Men and Camels, and often the Stuffs, and filling up the Pits by the way, the Passengers Dye with Thirst; as there is no beaten Path there, they make use of the Compass as at Sea.

There's a sort of a Gulf in the very Point of Cape Blanc, which takes its Name from the Island which it forms, which is call'd Arguin; this Gulf advan­ces above 15 Leagues into the Land, for which reason we lose the sight of it in passing the Point.

The Portuguese had a Fort formerly in this Island, from whence they Traf­fick'd with the Azoaghes, Arabs, or Moors, who exchange with them Gold, Gum-Arabick, Ivory, and Ostridges Feathers, which are in great Plenty there, by reason of the great number of these Birds.Observa­tion on the Ostridges. 'Tis said of this Creature, that its Memory is so bad, that it for­gets where 'thas laid its Eggs, and often treads on them. I can't easily believe what I am told, that one of them will feed eight Men. They bring these Mer­chandizes [Page 24] to Hoden, which is four days Journey up Land, and where arrive the Carravans of Tombut, Gualata, and other places of Inward Lybia, and of the Negroes Country.

Manners and Reli­gion of the People.These People observe the Law of Ma­homet; don't stay long in a place, wan­dring from one place to another along the Desarts, according as they find Pasture for their Horses, Camels, Oxen, Sheep, and Goats; on the Milk of which they live. They are divided by Tribes and Families; they acknowledge no other King but him who surpasses the rest in Riches, and him they willingly Obey as their Captain.

How they Traffick.Their Traffick with the Negroes con­sists in Horses and Camels; they receive two, six, eight, ten Slaves, for one Horse, but for a Camel only two.

Fort of Arguin.The Fort of Arguin was taken by the Dutch from the Portuguese, and again taken from them in the War of 1672. by Monsieur Ducas, Captain of the Royal Company of Africa; he had but 120 Men to this Expedition, and lost but three of them. The Cowardise of the Dutch eas'd this Conquest very much, for nothing was more easie than to pre­vent [Page 25] it; we had but six Guns, of which, the biggest was but an Eight Pounder, nothing defended us; and, with all this, we wanted Water, it being impossible to Drink of that, of one single Well in the Island, which stinks.

Belongs at present to the French.This Fort remain'd to us by the Trea­ty of Nimeguen, as did all the other Pla­ces which the Company Occupies; notwithstanding this Treaty, the Dutch send several Ships thither every Year; which is a manifest infraction.

The Captain of our Ship Landed there with 30 Men, thinking to have met the Ship call'd the Town of Hambourgh, but it was Sail'd away, we found only one Bark in the Dock which was not finish'd, and which we burnt; and another little Vessel, in which were some Moors and Dutch, who abandoning it, Swam for't. 'Twas found Loaded with Tortoises, which were very welcom to our Men in the Sloop, whose Provisions were all spent; they are very large on this Coast, and very plentiful, one alone will feed 30 Men;Remarks on the Tortoises. they eat like Veal, and are Meat good enough; its Shell may be about 15 Foot round.

[Page 26] The Plenty of Cape-Blanc. Cape Blanc abounds in Fish, besides the common Fish, as Parguese, Vielles, Gold-Fish, Junny, and Sea-Dogs, and others, of whose Names I am ignorant; our Men catch'd some of them, and fed very happily on them for eight days, which we carried on this Coast. As far as the Mouth of the River of Senegal, there are some shatter'd Habitations of Moors, thô the Country be very Barren, and scarce any thing lives there but Fish.

1682. Saturday the 16th, we continued our Course to Goree, and past in sight of the River Senegal; of which I shall speak hereafter.

Cape-Verde. Tuesday the 19th, we discover'd Cape-Verde, being in 14 Degrees 45 Minutes of Southern Latitude North.

Its Disco­very.This Cape was thus Nam'd by the Portuguese, who discover'd it the same Year as Cape-Blanc. They Nam'd it Cape-Verde, because the great number of Trees they saw there, of which seve­ral are always green. It's high, and yields a pleasant Prospect; on the top are two round Mountains, which, from their resemblance, were call'd Breasts. It advances very far out into the Sea, [Page 27] and passes for the greatest in the Ocean,Its Ex­tent. after Cape De-Bon-Esperance; there is a great concourse of Tides there, which bear to the Southward.

Its Situa­tion.Its Situation is ill mark'd in the Card, which places it in 14 Degrees exact, whereas it's in 14 and a half. After doubling the first Point (for there are two) we see a little Island which is un­inhabited; it's Nam'd the Isle of Birds, by reason of the great numbers seen there at its first Discovery.

When we had pass'd this Island, we doubled the other Point to discover Goree, which lies behind the Cape, almost op­posite to the Breasts. The Coast runs inward to the North-West in a Creek, where is found the best Water of all this Latitude; which is a great relief to the Ships.

Goree.Being arriv'd at Goree, Wednesday the 20th of May 1682. and Anchoring in the Road, we Saluted the Port with se­ven Guns, which return'd the Salute, Gun for Gun; the first was with Ball, in Honour to Monsieur Dancourt; when he went into the Sloop, our Ship saluted him with five Guns, all the Ships in the Road did the same; and when he was [Page 28] Landed, the Fort saluted him with se­ven more.

Monsieur Dancourt finds the Affairs of the Com­pany in an ill State.After shewing the Letters of the Com­pany, who had made him Director, he took possession of his Employment; he found Affairs in a very ill posture, by the conduct of two Persons, each of them pretending to the chief Command. The one was a Frenchman, and Commandant of Goree for the Company; and the other their Agent-General along the Coast. But as this is none of my busi­ness, I shall meddle no farther.

The Isle of Goree.The Island of Goree, was called so by the Hollanders, because it resembled an Island of Zealand of the same Name. Its Extent.It's about a quarter of a League in com­pass, and runs long ways North and South, about a League from the Land; it has, to the South, a Rock slopeing of one side, and of the other is wash'd by the Sea. The whole Island, indeed, is surrounded almost by Rocks, which hin­ders the entrance into it, except a little Creek, by which Vessels may enter.

Discover'd by the Por­tuguese.As the Portugueses were the first who have made long Voyages on this Coast, 'twas first discover'd by them, as well as all the rest of Africa, to the Sea, Ocean, [Page 29] and Atlantick side; having fallen into the possession of the Dutch, they built a Fort on the weakest side of the Moun­tain, for the Defence of the Island, and of another wretched Fort, which was be­low, not able to defend it self.

Monsieur D'Estrees makes himself Master of it.Monsieur the Count d'Estrees, Vice-Admiral of France, in 1678. in the Month of November, seiz'd on this Fort, which the Governor render'd to him, without making any Defence; as they could not spare Men to Garison them, they were both raz'd. Messieurs of the Company, who Govern the Island at present, have a little re-establish'd that below, by Buildings, which serve them for Magazines, and by the raising an ordinary Wall on the Ruins of the Old Fort, only to avoid being insulted by the Negroes.

Monsieur Dancourt presently employ'd himself in promoting the Trade, visiting the Counters establish'd along the Coasts, and in giving Orders to the Commissa­ries; and afterwards, in seeking the Amity of the Negro Kings and Chiefs.

To this end, he began to visit the Country up and down for a matter of fourscore Leagues; that is, from the [Page 30] Mouth of the Senegal, to that of the River Gambia; which are the two Mouths of the River Niger. I accom­pany'd him in all his Journeys along the Coasts, when I inform'd my self of all that concerns the Country, of their Re­ligion, Manners, and Customs of the Africans of Cape-Verde.

We began the 6th of December with Senegal, whither we could not go by Sea, because of a North Wind that was just contrary to us; notwithstanding the Affairs of that place requiring the pre­sence of Monsieur Dancourt, because of the Death of the Governor, which hap­pen'd a little before, he resolv'd to go thither by Land, and to send the Fame, a Ship commanded by Captain D'Oyere, as well to carry Merchandise, as to bring back those which were exchang'd.

Observa­tion on the way.It's easie to pass from Senegal to Goree, but not to go thither; and this Ship ha­ving a contrary Wind, spent a Month in her passage, which was but 40 Leagues in a straight Line; but she was forc'd to Work and Tack, which made it 500. We gave her for lost, when we, at last, happily saw her arriv'd in the Road.

[Page 31] Our Journey by Land was not so te­dious, but that 'twas still more painful, for the Road furnishes Passengers with no sort of Necessaries; no, not so much as Carriage. And in the whole Town of Rufis, which is but three Leagues from hence, we could find but one Horse for Monsieur Dancourt, and six Asses; two of which carry'd our Provisions.

Thô 'twas now December, yet the heat was excessive, which was very pain­ful to us; and we Travell'd from Sun­rise to Sun-set, only stopping a little at Noon, when we rested a while under a Tree, to Eat of some little Provision we had brought with us. The great scarcity here­abouts.At Night we lay in some Town, where we found Ne­cessaries neither for our selves, nor Mill for our Beasts, thô it be the ordinary Food of the Negroes, who live often only on Roots for the want of Grain.

Our Hosts receiv'd us after their best manner, but their extream Poverty made their best but indifferent.Negroes Houses. Their Houses are made of Straw, as are those of their very Kings; thô in some places they are more commodious than in others. The first are about four foot Diameter, the Roof is a sort of Dome, the outside of [Page 32] which is Straw, and the inside Palms, the whole handsomly work'd; the Dome, or Roof, is supported by five or six Forks; the Wall is of Palm or Straw, neatly wove together.

They have neither Doors nor Win­dows to their Houses, only a little hole like the Mouth of an Oven, so that one must creep on all four to enter into them; though the heat must needs be excessive in such a place, yet they make fires in them, which are always accom­pany'd with a great Smoak. The Ne­groes love Smoak.This in­conveniency pleases them, for they love Smoak: Their Floor is Sand, into which you sometimes sink up to the mid Leg.

They have some Houses, the passage into which is so very little, that one would wonder how they could go in or out. I remember one day, a pretty tall Gentleman and I having lain in one of them, thô he crept like a Serpent, yet could not get out, and was forc'd to lye there, one half out and t'other half in, not able to stir backward or forward. I endeavour'd to help him, but to no purpose, not daring to cut the Wall, was forc'd to call for help. [Page] [Page]

Now the Negros beds are made

The Negros houses

[Page 33] Their Beds.Their Beds are yet less commodious than their Houses; they are made of a great many Sticks about two inches thick, set at two fingers distance one from the other, joyn'd together by a Rope almost like a Hurdle; thick twist­ed Sticks (as is all their Wood) fills be­twixt every two, and seem only plac'd to break one's sides. These Beds, as well as the Roofs of their Houses, are supported by Forks; and thus they lye on them without any more to do, only the better sort have a Mat, which serves them for a Quilt.

From what I have said, it's easie to conclude, That if this Country suffers not its Inhabitants to be happy by rea­son of its Barrenness,Their Sloth. they themselves too contribute to their Misery by their Sloth.

But to return to our Journey, which this digression has interrupted: After six days fatigue, we came to a Town call'd Bieure, Bieure. which stands at the Mouth of the River of Senegal. As there are as many Customs as Countries, we observ'd that in this, the Men concern themselves with nothing,The Wo­men only manage the Trade. 'tis the Women who ma­nage all the Traffick; who, under pre­tence [Page 34] of carrying the Merchandise, held a dishonest correspondence with our Seamen.

We left our Beasts in this place, and Monsieur Dancourt sent from thence to the Habitation, to send us a Vessel to carry us the other five Leagues, which yet remain'd,St. Lewis's Island. to the Island of St. Lewis; where we arriv'd two hours after Mid­night.

Its Situa­tion.This Island, situated in the middle of the River, five Leagues above the Mouth of it, is about a League in compass. Messieurs of the Company have their Magazines there, and a Commandant and Commissaries. It's thither the Ne­groes bring their Skins, Ivory, Slaves, and sometimes Ambergreese; as for Gum-Arabick, it's brought to us by the Moors, as I shall say hereafter.

Com­merce.They give in Exchange to the Negroes, Linnen, Cotton, Copper, Tin, Iron, Aqua-Vitae, and some Glass Trifles; the Profit deriv'd from this Commerce, is Eight Hundred for One. The Skins, and Ivory, and Gum, are carried to France; the Slaves are sent to the Ame­rican Islands, to make Sugar.

[Page 35] Traffick of Slaves.The best are bought for ten Pieces frank, and sold again for a hundred Crowns. For five or six Pots of Aqua-Vitae, one may have a good lusty Slave; so that they are bought cheaper than they are Transported, for their Trans­portation is very chargeable.

The River of Senegal.The River of Senegal is a branch of the Niger, coming out of this River about 600 Leagues above the Mouth of it, and runs through the Kingdom of Cantorsi, and thence divides it self into several bran­ches; of which, the chief are Gambia, and Riorgande; of the last of which, I am wholly ignorant.

The Senegal separates the Azoaghes, Moors or Bazanez, from the Blacks; so that of one side of the River are Moors, rather white than black; and of the other, Men perfectly black. Different Manners of the People.The first have no certain Abode, but wander from place to place, Camping where they find Pasture for their Cattel; whereas the se­cond, that is, the Negroes, are fix'd, and have their certain Towns and Ha­bitations.

The first are free, and acknowledge no Superior or Head, but whom they please; the last have Kings, who Ty­ranize [Page 36] over them, and make them Slaves. Their dif­ferent Ge­nius.The Moors are little, meagre, and of a bad mien, and a crafty subtile Genius; the Negroes, of the contrary, are tall, thick, and well proportion'd, but dull and stupid. The Country Inhabited by the Moors, is a sandy waste, wherein no green thing is to be seen; but that of the Negroes, is rich in Pasture and Mill, and abounds with Trees ever green, but scarce bear any Fruit that's fit to Eat.

Gum-Arabick.From these Moors we have the Gum-Arabick, they gather it in the Desarts of the Inward Lybia; it grows on the Trees as that that's gather'd from Cher­ry and Plumb-Trees; they come to sell it about a Month or six Weeks before the overflow of the Niger.

They give them in Exchange, Blue Cloth, Linnen of the same colour, and a little Iron; they'll come a matter of five or six hundred Leagues to sell a half Quintal of Gum, and some farther. They ride quite naked on their Camels, Horses, and Oxen, on which they often bring their Merchandise. The most considerable amongst them, wear a sort of a Cloak made of Furr Skins; the rest have [Page]

How the Mores ride on their Camells Horses and Oxen with their Merchandise.

[Page] [Page 37] only a wretched piece of a Skin that covers their nakedness.Food of the Moors. They all live on Milk, in which they dissolve some Gum.

'Tis the Custom, partly, to subsist them when they come to Traffick; and to this end, to buy their Oxen of them, but they must Slaughter 'um themselves, or they wont touch them, and they have some amongst them appointed for this Work. Yet, thô they abound them­selves in Cattel, they seldom eat of 'em, except when likely to dye of Distempers or Age.

They are great Cheats.'Tis an incredible trouble to Trade with them; for in all their Dealings they are either insolent or false. The Traffick being manag'd on the River, they can't play their Tricks so easily, for they Embark the Merchandise as they receive it from them. It's manag'd in the Months of May and June, thirty Leagues above the Factory.

Their Inso­lence.When all is over, they put a thousand affronts on you; when they catch a Frenchman, or any other White, they'll kill him to revenge a Quarrel of twenty Years past. About two Months ago, they took a Mariner that understood [Page 38] Arabick, whom one of the Captains of the Company had sent to Arguin, and demanded no less than fifty Slaves in Exchange for him.

They dread Fire-Arms.Never was Nation more false and per­fidious; they are very dextrous in the use of Fire-Arms, the effect of which they dread to that degree, that three Whites, one day, hinder'd 400 of them from seizing a Vessel with which these came to Traffick, a shot that fell amongst them having frightned them from the Execution of their design.

'Twas understood afterwards, that the greatest part of them were Moors of the side of Mount Atlas, who came to Depose Cheiratick, one of the most Powerful Negro Princes of these Coun­tries; and of which I shall speak hereafter. They retire into the Inland Parts as soon as ever the Niger begins to overflow.

The King­dom of Se­negal is very in­considera­ble.The Kingdom of Senegal was the chief of the Negroes Countries, and was formerly very considerable; at present 'tis not so, thô they have a King truly Brave, for, through want of Strength, he is become Tributary to another. Its Power extends along the Water-side,Its Ex­tent. the space of 40 Leagues, without reckoning [Page 39] some little Seigniories near, which are Tributary to it, and about ten or twelve Leagues up the Land.

Brac.This King is call'd Brac, which is a Name of Dignity: Absolute as he is, he he is exceeding miserable, often want­ing Mill to Eat. He is so delighted with Horses, that for the most part he'll content himself with a Pipe of Tabaco,Character of the King of Senegal. and a little Aqua-Vitae, to spare the Mill to his Horses; he uses them in Plunder­ing the weakest of his Neighbours, and driving away their Oxen, in which their Riches consist; and sometimes makes them Slaves, and sells them for Aqua-Vitae.

How he spares his Aqua-Vitae.When it grows low, he shuts up what is left in a Coffer, and gives the Key of it to one of his Favourites, whom he sends thirty Leagues off, on some tri­fling Message to his Wives, that he mayn't drink in the mean time; and so makes it last as long as he can.

How he Tyranizes over his Subjects.But whatever he does by his Neigh­bours, he makes his Subjects feel him, running up and down his own Country, remaining two days in one Town, three in another, obliging them to maintain himself and his whole Train, which is [Page 40] compos'd of about 200 subtile Fellows, refin'd by their Conversation with the Whites, from whom they only learn what's bad. When they have ruin'd the Villages, they make Slaves of whom they please on the least pretence.

The Trea­chery of his Sub­jects in selling one another.But if the Prince is Perfidious, his Subjects are no less, for they'll sell one another without regard to Proximity of Blood or Relation; so that the Father shall sell his Son, and the Son his Father and Mother, as it happens. When they have such a design on any Person, they will desire his help to carry their Mer­chandise to the Factory, and when they have them there they sell them private­ly, and deliver them when they don't understand the Language.

A particu­lar in­stance of this kind.Behold an Example of this kind, which happened some time ago, and confirms what I have said. One of these Barba­rians had form'd a design against his own Son to sell him, the Son perceiv'd it, but dissembled the matter; under­standing the French Tongue, while his Father was absent a little, he comes to the Magazine, declares he had a Slave, treats, and agrees for the Price, and de­livers him up. This pretended Slave [Page 41] was his Father, who, when he was going to be Iron'd, rages, and cries out, He was his own Son who offer'd to sell him; the other denies, and marches off.

But his guilt was not long a punish­ing; for returning home with his Goods, he meets a chief Lord, who stript him of all he had, made him a Slave, and sold him to the Factory.

Cheyra­tick.After the States of Brac, we meet those of Cheyratick; that is to say, the thrice great, the Emperor. On this last depend ten little Kings, and other little Sovereigns; his Empire extends it self of both sides of the River Senegal, Extent of his Em­pire. and contains near 300 Leagues of Coun­try. His Lands bear Dates and Mill; and yield good Pasture, in which great num­bers of Beasts are nourish'd. His People are call'd Foules, they are not black, nor so white as the Moors, but are of a mid­dle colour.

They are more Civiliz'd than the other Negroes, and receive strangers very kindly; and when any of our Ma­riners are ill us'd by their Captains, as it often happens, they run to Cheyratick for shelter, who receives them very kindly.

[Page 42] His Food.His ordinary Food is Mill, Beef, and Dates, and drinks Milk, and never any Wine or Aqua-Vitae▪ observing the Law of Mahomet more exactly than the other Negroes. He is able to bring 50000 Men into the Field, but for want of Provisions can't subsist there long.

The Coun­tries of the Fargotts and the Enguel­lands.Passing beyond the States of Cheyra­tick, you come to the Countries of the Faregotts and Enguelland, 3000 Leagues from our Habitation, we Traffick too with them; they differ in nothing from the Foules. As I did'nt go any high­er, my knowledge is bounded here, and I know nothing beyond it.

Concourse of the Ri­ver Sene­gal.After this River has roll'd from Can­torsi, and divers great Islands, it casts it self into the Sea by two openings, in 15 Degrees 32 Minutes of South Lati­tude. Between the Sea and the River, there is a sort of Dike, or Hill of Sand, which in the widest part is not above a little Cannon-shot; this obstacle occa­sions continuing its Course for six Leagues, before it rolls into the Sea, thô their Waters run even. But as at length this Dike is pierc'd in two places, three Leagues distant one from the other, through them, and it loses it self, at last, in [Page 43] the Sea; between which an Island is form'd.

At each of these Mouths, several Banks of Sand are gather'd, which the River drives down, and the Sea drives back, and makes a very dangerous pas­sage for Shipping. The continual mo­tion of the Sea finding a resistance from these Banks, causes it to rise to an incre­dible heighth, and strands or shatters the Ships to pieces; and then there is no escape for the Equipage, for if they Swim for't,Sort of Fish. the Requiems are sure to de­voure them; else this passage is not dan­gerous, but when the Tides are low, and not then when the Niger overflows.

Particu­lar of the overflow of the Niger.That which is singular in its Inunda­tions is, That they still force new Passa­ges through the Dike into the Sea; it's about twenty Years since, that it forc'd a passage over against that Island which is the Habitation of the French; they were oblig'd to remove up higher. This Mouth is stopt now, making its passage in other places; and they so fill one ano­ther up, that none ever remain but the two last.

Several European Nations Traded for­merly to this River; at present none but the French.

[Page 44] Having spoken several times of the Inundations of the Niger, it will be pro­per to observe when, and how this hap­pens; yet without insisting on Physical Causes, if happily they may be disco­ver'd by particular Circumstances. Be­hold such as have appear'd to me.

When, and how the overflow of the Ni­ger hap­pens.The Heats are excessive in the Torrid Zone, for it does not Rain there at all, or, at most, but very little, unless in the Months of July, August, and Sep­tember. To the South of the Equi­noctial Line, the Rains fall earlier, and in greater abundance, during that time, and are accompanied with raging Storms, and follow'd with so great a Calm, and such excessive Heats, that it's as much as one can do to fetch ones breath. Two or three hours after, the Tempest rallies, and so alternately during the three Months. This causes violent Distempers, Fevers, Cholorae-Morbus, Ulcers in the Legs, Worms of four or five Foot long in the extremities, and fre­quent Convulsions, follow'd by Paraly­ses and Death.

All that's said of the Causes of the In­undation of the River Nile, is well [Page 45] known of all, and therefore I shall not repeat it here. That of the Niger must have the same Cause, which I believe is, That the Sun in repassing the Line of Cancer, which in France makes the Summer Solstice, and here the Winter, amasses the Vapours,The Cause. which dissolve af­terwards in heavy and continual Rains; and, probably, cause these overflow­ings.

These Rains commence in Aethiopia, in April, continue May and June. Here 'tis about the 15th of July, they encrease for forty days, and decrease for as many. This Inundation, which enriches the Country, is not general, nor extends beyond the Neighbourhood of the River. At this time, the Bed of the River is not known; its Channel neither being deep enough to contain its Waters; nor ha­ving Current enough to sweep them in­to the Sea, they drown'd the Valleys and the lower Grounds, and cover all.

'Tis dangerous at these times to Sail on these Rivers, and chiefly on the River of Senegal, unless you understand the Channel very well; for when the Wa­ters come to retire, a Vessel may be left [Page 46] on an Eminence, or in a deep place, from whence it can't be drawn out.

It's about 15 Years since a thing hap­pen'd that confirms the truth of what I say:An at­tempt to Sail from Senegal to Gambia. Messieurs of the Company, willing to take the advantage of the Inundation, sent Barks to discover the Country, about the place of the separation of these Arms of the Niger; they were willing to try if it was practicable to pass from the River of Senegal to that of Gambia; the Trade of which, the English, who are Masters of the Mouth of it, hinder others from, by the means of a Fort which they have there. And as there it no attempting this Discovery but at this time, when, by the advantage of the Inundation, you pass over Rocks that are dry at other times, they Mann'd their Barks with 30 Men, who pass'd al­most 400 Leagues from our Habitation, but they encounter'd so many difficul­ties, that but five return'd; having once lost the Bed of the River, their Bark, amongst others, sat dry on some Trees, but happily, 'twas not far from the Chanel; so they made a shift to hale it into it again.

[Page 47] After Monsieur Dancourt had dis­patch'd in these Quarters, what he judg'd was most for the advantage of the Company, finding the Barhure, or Entrance, was free to pass, by reason of a gentle Easterly gale that blew then, he pass'd it in a Bark design'd for that use, which put us Aboard the Ship call'd the Fame, which waited for us in the Road, being willing to avoid the fa­tigue of a Land Journey.

1683.The 10th of June 1683. we weigh'd Anchor, and Sall'd for Goree; we Coast­ed it all along, and the prospect was very Charming, of long extended Groves of Trees ever green. After he had run along all the Coast, and given his Or­ders in all the Coutoirs, we return'd to our Course which we had held, and spent eight days in coming back. Mark what I have observ'd of these places in the little time I was there.

What Peo­ple they are who In­habit the Coast▪ from the Mouth of the Se­negal, as far as Gambia.The People who Inhabit the Coast, from the Mouth of the Senegal to the River of Gambia, are divided into three, namely, the Geloffes, the Sereres, and the Barbesins; they are Govern'd by se­veral little Kinglings, but very Absolute in their several Governments. The most [Page 48] considerable of them all, is the King of Amel, Sovereign of the Geloffes; the Name of Amel is not appropriated to him, 'tis a Name of Dignity. As all their Governments are much alike, (as are the People, and the Country) I shall by an Account of this one, give you an Account of all the rest.

The Ge­loffes.The Geloffes Inhabit from the Mouth of Senegal, going South, within six or seven Leagues of Cape-Verde; this makes from North to South 40 Leagues of Coast, and from East to West 100 up the Land.

The Sere­res.The Country of the Sereres has for its King him whom we Name Portu­gady, from a Town of that Name, which belongs to him. Jain is the Name of his Dignity, it includes ten or twelve Leagues of Coast, and almost 100 up the Country.

The Barbe­cins.The Kingdom of the Barbecins, other­wise of Jovialle, (for the same reason I alledg'd concerning that of Sereres) is Govern'd by a King whose Name I have forgot; he has no more Country than the precedent, with whom he is often at War.

[Page 49] Besides these three Nations, there is another, who are a sort of Portuguese; a Nation who name themselves so, be­cause they were formerly subject to them, and are descended from those who first inhabited this Coast, after the discovery of it. From the Negres­ses, whom they married, were born the Mulato's, from whom are descended a more swarthy Race: They may also be Fugitives too of Cape-Verd, or Cacheau, another Colony of this Nation, on one of the Branches of the River of Gambia, distant thence three days journey. As they have followed the Religion of their old Masters, they are partly Jews and partly Catholicks; they wear a Cope like our Chaunters. No one is greater than another, but at the same time they are false and malicious, having all the Vices of the Portugueses, without any of their Vertues.

Nature of the Soil.Almost all these Places are sandy and barren; the Heats are more violent there in January, than in July and Au­gust in France. It Rains there in the manner as I have said already, speaking of Senegal.

[Page 50] At what time they Cultivate their Grounds.The Country is Peopled, and abounds with Trees: They begin to Cultivate their Grounds at the end of June, and sow a little after the Rains; they gather in their Harvest in September; so that in three Months time they manure, sow, and reap. This shews the good nature of the Soil, and if better improv'd by the Inhabitants, who are very lazy, that it would produce Grain in abundance: I mean, their Mill.

How they Cultivate their Grounds.Their manner of Cultivating is plea­sant, they go four or five together in­to the Field, which they call Cougan, or Courgar, and with a sort of a round Shovel of Iron with a Wood head, they break up the Earth, which they cast be­fore them, not entring the Sword of the Ground above three or four Fingers deep, still with the Pipe in their Mouthes, and talking two Hours for one they work. And when the Ground is thus culti­vated, they sow it as they do Pease in France, without taking care to lay up any Grain;The little Care they take to live. and are so excessive care­less, that they don't gather half what's necessary for them, and then they live on a black insipid Root which they dry, and on another call'd Gernot, that tastes [Page 51] like a Hazel Nut: If their Harvest chances to fail, they die of hunger.

A Cheat of one of their Priests, or Mara­bouse.'Tis not above five Years since such a thing happen'd, seduc'd by the Pro­mises of a Marabou, the Name of their Priests. He was of those Azoages, or Arabs, of whom I have spoken: Under a pretence of Religion, he made him­self Master of the whole Country, from Chegratick to the Sereres; telling them he was raised up by Heaven to scourge the Tyranny of their Kings; he offer'd to prove his Mission by Miracles, and particularly by that of making their Grounds bring fourth more abundant­ly, and that without any Labour of theirs.

Their Laziness was sufficiently charm'd with such a Promise, they all side with this Impostor, particularly those of the Kingdom of Damel; It causes a Revolt. their King was depos'd, and their Neighbours plunder'd in this Revolt. They liv'd still in hopes of the Miracle, and past two Years expecting it, but to no pur­pose, so that they eat one another for want of Food, and were oblig'd to give themselves up for Slaves: Time at last disabus'd them, and they drove away [Page 52] the Tyrant and Impostor, and Damel was restor'd. They entertain no Mara­bouse ever since; and if they catch any, they make them Slaves.

Besides, they have white and black Beans very like French Beans, and Me­lons full of an insipid Water. They make use of Corn in making their Couscouse, as they call in Arabick; or Laguerre, in their own Language, which is their most common Food. The Fruit which we call Bananes, and in the Ca­naries, the Apple of Adam, is common amongst them; they rear Oxen, and Cows, and Goats; and he who has the largest Stock is the most esteemed of.In what their Riches con­sists. Their Beeves are no larger than a Calf of eight or nine Months in France. I believe the drought is the cause; for along the River of Senegal, they are as large as in Europe.

How many sorts of Palm-trees.There's great numbers of Palm-Trees, of which I have observed three sorts; one is like the Date-Tree; the second like that which you may have seen in France; and the third is a sort of La­tiner; as to that which bears the Coco, there's none of it here. [Page] [Page]

How the Negros gather the wine from the Palme trees

How they mount the Palme trees

How the Negros make incisions to get the Palme wine

How they are habited

[Page 53] How they get the Wine out of the Palm-trees.Through the Incisions which the Ne­groes make in the Palm-trees, there di­stils a Liquor of a Pearl Colour, which is call'd Palm-Wine; 'tis sweet and pleasant to drink the first day, but it will intoxicate; and afterwards it loses its sweetness, sowering every day more and more; tho' the older it is, it still the more affects the Head. One of these Trees may yield about three Pints of this Liquor. They com­monly regal Strangers with it, and the most considerable Persons are never without it: this same Tree produces a sort of little Coco's, from which they draw the Punick Oil, of the smell of Violets, of the taste of Olives, and the colour of Saffron. It enters into the Composition of Musselin Oil, and Alex­andrin Nicolas. These Trees pay Cu­stom to the Alzair, or Lord of the Town.

As the Palm is high and without Branches, and that it's necessary to make Incisions in two or three places below the leafy tuft,Their way of mount­ing them. (which is the glory of the Tree,) they climb up after this man­ner; they have a sort of a Hoop made of Brass, which may be ty'd or loosen'd [Page 54] as one will, into which they enter; they as 'twere sit upon't, and placing their Feet against the Tree, supported be­hind by this Hoop, as firmly as if they were on the Ground, they reach the top, make their Incisions, and fasten the Basses to receive the Liquor which di­stils; 'twould frighten one almost to see them so high, and supported by so slight a thing.

Of the se­veral sorts of Animals there.All along the Coast, there is a pro­digious variety of Animals, of which I don't pretend to describe all the several sorts, being little vers'd in this sort of Learning, I shall only speak of those I know, of which one may see a great number in Europe, by the care which divers Princes have taken to have them transported, as they are seen there in their natural wildness, before they are tam'd; what I am about to say of them, will perhaps give a more particular Idea of them.

The greatest numbers of these fierce Creatures are seen about Ponds and Pits which the Rains have fill'd;The Places where they are com­monly seen. Morning and Evening they come thither in droves, as do the tamer sorts: There you may see Elephants, Lions, Tigers, Leo­pards, [Page 55] Onces, Wolves, Tiger-Cats, Ci­vit-Cats, Foxes, wild Goats, &c.

Of the Ele­phant.That which is remark'd of the Ele­phant is, that he is not to be attack'd in a place where he may freely turn himself, else he throws all down with his Trunk, and treads them to death. I don't know at what time the Female brings forth her young, but she has often three at a time: He lives on Grass and Leaves, which he conveys to his Mouth with his trunk; they often pass the Night in Towns, and so little fear fre­quented Places, that instead of avoiding the Negroes Houses, they'll go directly to them, and toss them out of their way like Nutshels.

Of the Lion.The Lion seeks his Prey with Art, he never sets directly upon't, but fetches a compass, creeping along on the Ground; and when he is within reach leaps upon't; he is so mild and man­ageable when young, that we have had of them as tame and familiar as Dogs.

The Tiger.The Tiger is more fierce than the Li­on, and is much of the same heighth and length with the Greyhound, he sets indifferently on Men or Beasts; the [Page 56] Negroes kill a great many of them with their Zagaies and their Arrows to get their Skins, but tho' wounded near so much, they still defend themselves, and seldom fail of killing some before they fall.

The Leo­pard.The Leopard is fierce and active; un­less he meets a Man in a narrow place where he can't avoid him, he won't set upon him; but if does, he flies upon him, fastens his tallons in his Face, and tears away as much Flesh as they can grasp, and so kills him. He is a mor­tal Enemy of Dogs, and devours them where-ever he meets them.

The Once.The Once, which is said to be fiercer than the Tiger, is in my Opinion the same Species, or at least that which we call a Panther; his Skin is more beauti­ful than a Tiger's, tho' he is spotted alike.

The Tiger-Cat.The Tiger-Cat is so nam'd by reason of his white and black Spots. He is shap'd like our Cats, only four times as big; he is of a devouring nature, and eats Apes, Rats, and other Animals.

The Civit-Cat.The Civit-Cat has the Head and Snout of a Fox; he is large and spotted like the other, and very wild; every two days they take the Civit from him, [Page 57] which is a certain Muscosity, or clam­my Sweat which he has under his Tail in a hollow place.

I have seen no Rinoceros's, tho' there are some here.

Apes, how many sorts.There are several sorts of Apes, as the Munky, with a long tail, and the Baboon, who has none at all: I have not seen of this last sort; as for the first they abound every where: Of these there are three sorts, of which two are very low, and do little mischief. Thoughts of the Ne­groes.Of this little sort, there are some they call Weepers, having a lamentable sort of a cry. Of the other sort, there are some almost as big as Munkeys, not only their Hands and Feet resemble a Man's, but their very Actions; so that the Negroes say of them, that they can speak if they will, but that they won't for fear of be­ing forc'd to work. They know that we take delight in them, tho' they are so mischievous; which I believe gave occasion to the Negroes of Senegal, to bring us Rats in Cages; as if we took delight in none but mischievous Crea­tures, saying, that as our Humour re­rembled theirs, 'twas not much to be wonder'd that we lov'd them.

[Page 58] 'Tis incredible what waste they make when the Mill and other Grain which they live on is ripe;Their waste and cun­ning. they assemble 40 or 50 together, and then go to the Cougan; one of them stands Centry on a Tree out of the Field, and hearkens and looks about on all sides, while the others are gathering the Harvest; as soon as ever he perceives any one, he cries out as loud as ever he can, to give notice to the rest; who presently at the Signal, fly with their Prey, leaping from one Tree to another with strange Agility; the Female, which carries her young ones against her Belly, leaps too as the rest, and as if she carried no­thing.

Deer in abundance here.They eat a great deal of Veneson here, and Boars are common; but have no taste like ours, and their Flesh is white like Pork. The Wild-Goat, the Kid, and the Hare are found here in great store.

The Stag.I have seen none here like those in France; but some others, who have Horns like the Capriorn; on the Moun­tains in Swisserland, only they are strait.

[Page 59] Several sorts of Birds.A great many sorts of Birds are seen here, that are not known in Europe, of which a great many live only on Fish; among the rest, there is one nam'd the Great Throat, it's twice as big as a Swan, having a Beak of a Cubit long, and a Skin hanging below, that makes the Throat look like a Sack. It swallows whole Fishes as big as ordinary Carps. The Cormorants and the Vultures are the same as in Europe; of the last there are some as big as Eagles, that devour young Children when they can meet 'em alone.

I have seen strange Birds, and of such various Colours, as I am not able to describe:Nightin­gals. the Nightingals don't sing there so agreeably as in Europe.

I have already spoke of the Ostridge, of which some are of a prodigious size; those that fly are delicate Meat, and se­veral Parts of them are of several tastes; they are as thick as a Swan, their Fea­thers grey and black. The wild Geese are very good; but the Teal above all, are of incomparable relish. On the River Senegal the grey exceed the rest in goodness.

[Page 60] The Partridge perches on the Trees there like other Birds; as do the Hens which the Portuguese call Pintades: these Hens are speckled white and grey, having a little red Crest above the Ears; they are larger than ours; and I look upon them to be a sort of a Par­tridge.

Parrots.The Parrots there are of two sorts, the one little, and all green; the other bigger, have a grey Head, a yellow Bel­ly, green Wings, and the Back partly yellow, partly grey: these never talk, but the small ones have a sweet clear voice, & learn whatever they are taught.

Observati­on on the industrious Care of a little Bird.Of all these several sorts of Birds, I have seen none so industrious and care­ful, as a certain little one that builds his Nest in the Palm-tree after a singular manner, and by a marvellous instinct, secures it from the Serpents that creep up the Trees; they build at the very extre­mity of the slightest Branch, to which they fasten a Stalk of a Rush or Straw, the strongest they are able to carry, and about a Foot and a half long, and at the end which hangs down in the Air they build their Nests, leaving an Entrance at the top a little of one side: It looks like a [Page 61] Ball hanging in the Air. The Branch to which it is fastned is so weak, that it can bear nothing that would ap­proach to hurt it, and so they are out of fear.

The Sea is very Fishy all along the Coast, and almost all sorts are there; of which the most devouring have broad and long teeth, in two or three several rows;The abun­dance of Fish. those which they most commonly eat are Parquese, the Gold-Fish, Vieiles, Tunny, Mullet and Racoas, of the shape of a Salmon, Negers, Sales, Sardes, and a multitude of Sardines, that fill the Sea at certain times.

The Re­quiem.The Requiem, the Monster of the Sea, that's shap'd like a Sea-Dog, is in length from three or four Foot to eight: She parts with her Young alive, and has the Matrix like our Dogs, and the rest like a Fish: this is the most dangerous of all, and eats whatever comes in its way; it's dangerous swimming near the Place where they are, for there's no scaping.

Marsouin or Sea-Pig.The Mursouin, or Sea-Pig, is of the bigness of the Requiem, and good to eat; it won't meddle with a Man: It has Fat, but of an ill taste; its Ribs and En­trails [Page 62] are like those of a Hog, except that they have two Stomachs, the one at the end of the Osophage, the other ad­hering to one side, almost as big as the first; and to this last there is a little open­ing, which performs the Communication from one to the other: It's fill'd with little Cells, like those in the Wax be­fore the Honey is separated from it; the Duodenum, if I remember right, has its rise in this last; I had not time to examine it thorowly, because the Sea­men had quite mangled it.

The Whales.The Whales, as vast as they are in length and thickness, so that they are often as big as a Vessel of 26 tun, yet don't overset any Ships, as is common­ly reported of them, unless it be little Barks or Sloops.

Souffleur.The Souffleur almost like a Whale, but much less, casts Water like it, but threw one Passage only, which is above his Snout, whereas the other has two there.

Observati­on on a Fish.There is another, the Name of which I don't know, that has a Bone four Foot long in his upper Jaw, travers'd on the sides with others that are less, [Page 63] but very sharp, rang'd like the Steps of a Ladder within, which he uses to catch others withal.

Spronton.There is one which the Sea-men call Spronton, that has a great Bone in the same place that the precedent has, with this difference from the other, that it's strait, and sharp pointed; I believe it's the same with that which we call Na­ruval: The Naru­val. This Bone of which I speak, resembles the pretended Horn of the fansied Ʋnicorn: He can pierce a Ship with it, so as it shall take in Water, if it does not happen, that in drawing the Bone out again he breaks it; in which case he stops the Hole he has made.

The SuccerThe Succer, so call'd from his fasten­ing himself, as he is of the bigness of a Soal; when he fastens himself to the Helm he retards the Ship, but does not stop it, as is falsly reported of the Remora.

The Amphibies are not common on these Coasts, nor are the Crocadile, the Sea-Horse, the Sea-Calf, the Lemantine, or the Tortoise often seen here, unless at the Mouth of the River of Senegal and Gambia.

[Page 64] Croco­diles.In the Marshes and Ponds are found little Crocodiles of about five Foot, of which some are Venomous, and some not. There are some that are perfect Serpents; they retire thither where there are most Ants, because these lit­tle Creatures make them a sort of Forts, in raising from space to space little Hil­locks of Earth, of ten, fifteen, and twenty Foot high, hollow below like an Oven, and so dispos'd, that at a di­stance one would fansie them to be a Village.

The Cro­codiles of Gambia.In Gambia there are Crocodiles of thir­ty Foot long, and thick in proportion, so as that they'll swallow a Buck whole; they are very dangerous; their Tail is as long as all the rest of their Body; their Skin is so hard, that a Zagage will scarse pierce it. There are some of them that live on Fish, and o­thers that devour Men; and in order to surprize them, they'll keep them­selves at some distance in the places fre­quented, and when they get near those who swim, or are in Cannoos, or come near large Oxen swimming, they clasp them with their Tails, and eat them; they move only the upper Jaw, the [Page 65] lower not stirring; they do little mis­chief out of the Water; when the Ne­groes kill them they eat them; they leave their Eggs on the Land, and co­ver them with Sand; as soon as they are hatch'd they return into the Wa­ters, or the Woods.

Sea Horse.The Sea-Horse, such as is seen in the Niger, is as big as an Ass, and is shap'd like a Horse; his Skin is as hard, and without Hair; he lives on the Land as well as in the Water, out of which he does not go but to feed. He ruins the Mill and Rice, for he destroys ten times more than he eats; he is dangerous to the Negroes Canoos, which he is apt to overturn, yet without hurting the Men; he has two great Teeth that serve the same use that Ivory does.

Sea-Ox.The Sea-Ox, that lives on the Land as well as in the Water, resembles a Calf of six Months old.

Lamantin, a sort of Fish.There are more Lamantin's in the River of Senegal than in that of Gam­bia: he is like the Marsovin for Big­ness, for Flesh, and Fat. When he is out of the Water he makes use of his Fins instead of Feet. This is all the knowledge I could get of this kind. I [Page 66] now proceed to speak of the Manners and Genius of the Negroes.

Character of the Ne­groes.The Negroes are all well made, and proportinably tall: You see none lame nor crooked amongst them, unless by accident; they are stupid and without address, even in the least things; great Lyars, but greater Thieves; thievery is the only thing they are dextrous in, and are such Masters at it, that they'll steal from us before our Faces, without our perceiving them, drawing with one Foot to them, what they would be at, and taking it up behind.

Their de­ceit in Traffick.When any Mountaineers (for so they call those who live up Land) come to traffick with us, there is no sort of Cheat which the Negroes of the Coast don't put upon 'em; for under the pre­tence of helping them to carry their Goods, and serving them as Interpre­ters, they retain half from them of what we pay them, as though they had a real Interest in the Goods.

The severity with which their Kings punish those who steal in the Night, and such as are taken in the Fact, can't cure them of this Distemper, notwith­standing the greatness of it; which is [Page 67] no less than to be Slaves to those whom they have robb'd.They have no fear of Punish­ment.

Whoever's oblig'd to make use of the Negroes for Interpreters, are very un­happy, and expos'd to all their Knave­ry; they scarce interpret a word ho­nestly, and in the sence 'tis spoke,How Kna­vish they are. and always contrive it to our disadvantage; which often makes our Markets liti­gious.

They are trouble­some, in­temperate, and brutal.They are every way insupportable, but chiefly when they think themselves necessary in any Affair: their Intem­perance is excessive, still swallowing A­qua Vitae, for Palm-Wine is not plenti­ful enough amongst them to be always at hand. Their Drunkenness is accom­panied with a total depravation of Rea­son, and a furious Brutality.

Their Ig­norance.They don't know what belongs to Restitution, and have no shadow of Ci­vility: their Ignorance is so great as not to know that twice two makes four, or their Age, or the Day of the Week; for which they have no Names.

[Page 68] Their Maraboux, who have some lit­tle tincture of Arabick, write their Griz-Griz in that Tongue: I shall ex­plain this Word hereafter.

Their good Quality.These People have but one good Qua­lity, which is Hospitality; for they wont let a Stranger of their Nation pass without making him eat and drink, and that sometimes for several Days. Having a mighty value sor their Aqua-Vitae, when they would drink of it, they do it privately, and out of the sight of their Guest, that they mayn't be o­blig'd to give them share; they make the Mountaneers pay for their Hospita­lity towards them, by cheating them of the Aqua-Vitae they receive in ex­change for their Goods, and generally send them away with half what they brought.

Their Po­verty.They are all extreamly poor, having no other Riches but a few Oxen, the richest may have forty or fifty, or three or four Horses, with as many Slaves; but they are extraordinary, when they have any Bracelets of Gold, to the value perhaps of eleven or twelve Pi­stols each.

[Page 69] Their great love of Praise.Tho' they have neither Wit nor Sense, they love Praise to that degree, that they have a sort of People call'd Gui­riotz, who have nothing else to do but to perform this Piece of Service; the Guiriotz carry a sort of a Drum, of four or five Foot long, made of the trunk of a hollow'd Tree, which they beat with their Hands or with small Sticks; they have Timbrels too of the Morisco Fashion, which resemble our Ball Baskets, crost with little Strings, which they touch with one Hand, while they strike with the other.

Their In­struments.I observ'd they made use of another Instrument that is sufficiently harmo­nious, if they knew how to play on't; it sounds like a Harp, and consists of a Range of several Calebasses or Strings of different sizes, rank'd under stops, and dispos'd in a tuneable order, like those of the Harpsicord.

I have seen another of their Instru­ments that would be proper in the Chamber of a sick Person:Another Instrument It's a sort of a Lute, made of a piece of hollow'd Wood, cover'd with Leather, with two or three Strings of Hair. It's cover'd [Page 70] on the Stops with little Plates of Iron, and adorn'd with little Bells like a Tabor.

The Gui­riot's, whose Em­ployment is to sing Praises.The Guiriots tune these several Instru­ments to their own wretched Voices, and so sing the Panigericks of the most considerable Persons: Which common­ly run thus; that they are great Lords, Rich Powerful as the Whites, who are the chief Slaves of the King; and a great deal of this kind of stuff.

These are transported with these Praises, and recompense them largely; nay, they go so far as to strip them­selves of their very Cloaths to reward them for them, tho' ne'er so ground­less and extravagant. And indeed, when they don't reward these Fellows, they are for taking their Revenge,Their Re­venge if not re­warded. cry­ing them down again, and vilifying them up and down as much as they had extoll'd them before; which is look'd upon as the greatest Affront imaginable.

'Tis their highest Honour to have their Praises sung by the King's Guriot, and he is sure to be well rewarded for't, for they'll give him no less perhaps [Page] [Page]

How their Lords and conciderable persons are accouterd.

[Page 71] than two or three Bullocks; and, in a word, the best part of what they have.

These Guiriots employ themselves sometimes in singing our Praises too, but they find but little Encouragement for't; leaving the Negroes to enjoy and pay for this sort of Happiness: they praise us in these terms, that we are Great, Rich, and Lords of the Sea.

The Habit of the Blacks.The Habit of the Blacks is very plain, the Poor have only a Cotton Rag, about half a quarter of a Yard wide, to cover their Nakedness: It's fasten'd with a String that serves them for a Girdle; they let the two Ends of the Cloath hang down behind and before, which they reckon very Ho­nourable, and a great Ornament.

Habit of the most considera­ble.The Lords and considerable Persons are better habited, they have a Cotton Frock made like the Cordelier's Robes, with long and large Sleeves; they are not platted in the Neck, having only a hole for the Head to pass through, like the Shirts of the Europeans; they wear them of all Colours, some Blue, some Yellow, some Fillimot, &c.

[Page 72] Since these Jackets reach but half way down the Thigh, they wear withal a sort of Breeches of the same, which reach from the Waist to the Knee: these Breeches are so large, that they take up no less than five Ells of Lin­nen; they resemble a Womans Petti­coat that is gather'd at the bottom, and in which only two holes were left on the fides to put the Legs through; the largest are the most fashiona­ble.

They wear on their Heads a sort of Bonnets that are straight at the En­trance, but wide at the other End; al­most like the Cowls of the Capuchins of the Jacobins. The common Sort go bare-foot, but the People of Qua­lity wear Sandals made of a piece of Leather beneath, in the form of a Sole, and fastned at top with a thong, which tyes them to the Foot, like the Sandals of the Ancients.

Their Hair, though short, is very well platted; they set it out with Gris-Gris's of Silver, Leather, Coral, Cop­per, &c. They wear Rings at their Ears of Tin, Silver, and Copper; but they [Page 73] who are of the Race of Slaves, are not allow'd to wear their Hair.

How the Women and Maids are ha­bited.The Girls and Women are naked from the Waist upwards, unless the cold obliges them to wrap themselves up; they cover the other part of their Bo­dy with a Paigne; that is, a Cotton Cloth strip'd after their Fashion, and of the bigness of a little Towel that reaches down to the mid-leg: their Hair too is tressed and set out with Coral and other little Ornaments: their Coifs make a topping on their Heads of half a Foot high: the high­er they are, the more they are e­steem'd.

The Boyes and Girls go quite naked.The Girls and Boys go quite naked to the Age of eleven or twelve. The Women and Men adorn their Arms and Legs with Corral, and Bracelets of Gold, Silver, Tin, and Copper, accord­ing to their Ability.

The Cotton with which these People Cloath themselves, would be very plen­tiful amongst them, if they bestow'd that Pains, on't which they should; but they content themselves with what's just enough, and sometimes with less: the Women spin the Cotten, and the [Page 74] Men make the Cloth, which is not a­bove five Fingers breadth in the Piece, for want of necessary Utensils to make it wider; for otherwise they are as good Weavers as in France; but forced to join ten or twelve Pieces together, to have a Paigne of an Ell wide.

Their Food call'd San­glet and Coscouse.Mill is the ordinary Food of the Western Negroes; the Women who make it ready, make Sanglet or Coscouse of it: Which are their terms to signi­fie two sorts of Meats.

How the Women prepare the Sanglet.They begin at break of Day to make their Sanglets, for it requires full six Hours to make it; they go two or three together to prepare it, pound it in wooden Mortars that are high and deep, not having any Mills for that purpose: When Mill has quitted its Husk, they winnow it with Fans made of Palm-Leaves, to separate it from the Chaff: then they boil it with Milk, or Butter, or a Bouillon of Flesh, or dry'd Fish, or with Wa­ter.

[Page 75] How they make the Coscouse.The Coscouse, which is their best Vi­ctuals, is made too of Mill beaten very fine, which they fan as before; when it's clean, they put a little into a very narrow Bowl, and sprinkle a little Wa­ter on't; after which they knead and turn it, then sprinkle a little more Wa­ter, then knead it again, which they repeat till they have reduc'd this Mass into little Balls; afterwards they dry them, and then put them into an Ear­then Pot full of holes, on another in which they boil Meat season'd with Spice and Palm Oil: this Ragou is ve­ry fine well prepar'd, and the Sand well dress'd out, which is seldome done.

Their Pro­vision for the War.When they go to War, they carry a little Sack of a Foot long, and the thickness of one's Arm, full of Coscouse thus dress'd. As the Women dress it every day, they take no small Pains. And if the Wives of Europe were to take the same Care of their Husbands, they would think they were very hard­ly us'd.

Their Drink.They drink Palm-Wine, which is not very plentiful, and stinking Water of the Pits; and often of the Salt-Water [Page 76] of the Sea, where it has strain'd through; they drink Milk too when they have it.

As Ambition is a Vice or a Passion unknown to those People, they little mind the building of Cities, or Castles, or Houses of State and Grandeur; nor have they Materials for the doing of it, if they take the Pains: they live but in Villages, where the Houses are such as I have already describ'd, which dif­fer according to the Quality and Abili­ty of the Person. They who live near the Palm-trees inhabit in the best, tho' they too have neither Windows nor Doors.

They have several Houses.The House of a great Lord shall con­sist sometimes of thirty Pavillions, which they call Combettes, and some­times of forty or fifty: An ordinary Persons shan't have above two or three: the King's has above a hundred, tho' cover'd with Straw like t [...]e rest.

Those of Persons of Quality are en­clos'd with Palasades of Straw or Thorns,Houses of the Great. supported from space to space with States; the Combettes communi­cate all one within another, by ways dispos'd in the form of a Labyrinth: [Page 77] Round the House, according to the ca­pacity of the Owner, are seen beautiful Trees, but in another Order than Nature has plac'd them.

The House of King Damel.The Palace of King Damel exceeds all the rest; before you come to the Gate of the Palasades, which makes the first Inclosure, you see a spacious Field, where his Horses are manag'd, of which he has no great Number: Without, by the side of this Palasade, are the Ap­partments of the great Lords. From this Place you go into the Palace by a large Avery, it is adorn'd with a great number of Trees, which we call'd Cal­bassiers, because their Fruit resembles a Calbasse.

Persons who are employ'd nearest the King, have their Appartments by the side of this Avenue; and their near­ness to, or distance from the Combette Royal, shews their Degree. Each of their Appartments being also inclos'd with Palasades, you must pass a great many Courts before you come to the King's; few Persons daring go into his Appartment.

[Page 78] All his Wives have their distinct Lodgings,The Ap­partments of the Kings Wives. and each five or six Slaves to wait on them. The King may lie with which he pleases, without creating a Jealousie in any of them: there is one commonly whom he loves above all the the rest; and when ever he is weary of her, he sends her to some Village with her Slaves, and gives her suffici­ent Lands for her maintenance; to her succeeds another. Of thirty which he keeps one half are in the Country.

The Religi­on of the Negroes.The Negroes from this Coast to Gam­bia, observe the Law of Mahomet; but in the Parts towards Siera, Liona, and the Golden Coast, they have for the most part no Religion at all; or, at least, worship the first Thing they meet in a Morning. Formerly they were Idolaters, worshipping the Devil, to whom they sacrificed Bullocks; and tho' they eat Flesh, yet they believe a transmigration of Souls.

Their Pa­gan Opini­ons.And there are some of them who would not have certain Lizards kill'd, that run about their Houses, saying, It's the Soul of their Fathers or their [Page 79] Mothers, that come to make mer­ry with them; which they call Fol­gar.

From whom they derive their Re­ligion.They derive their Religion from the Arabian Azoughes, of whom I have al­ready told you, the ordinary People have very little, as having but small knowledge of it; the great ones are more Religious, having commonly a Moorish Maraboux to live with them, who have a great Ascendant over them:At what times they say their dayly Pray­ers. they say their Sala or Prayers three times a Day, Morning at Sun-rise, a­bout Noon, and in the Evening, some in the Afternoon; the ordinary Peo­ple pray little, nor do not trouble them­selves with the building of Mosques.

Mosques of the King and the great Ones.The King and the Grandees have Mosques; they are cover'd with Straw like their other Houses. They first stand a long while in them, looking to­wards the Sun-rising, then they ad­vance two steps forwards, muttering some words to themselves;Their Ex­ercises and Ceremo­nies in their Mosques. then pro­strate themselves all along on the Ground, with their Faces to the Earth; to raise themselves on their Knees, make a Circle round them on the Ground, [Page 78] [...] [Page 79] [...] [Page 80] and twice or thrice about their Heads: they afterwards kiss the Earth at seve­ral bowings, putting Sand on their Fore­heads with both their Hands; and re­peat the same Ceremony again for the space of half an Hour.

Their ridi­culous Prayers.One prays that he may have no Ene­mies, but such as he may be able to de­feat; that their Deity would do them no harm; another, that he would give them handsome Wives, and plenty of Mill, and so forth. Nothing being a­ble to divert them while they are at Prayers; nay, tho' they saw their very Houses a fire.

They be­lieve Pre­destinati­on.They believe Predestination, and when any Misery befals them, they say it comes from their God; so that if one Negro is kill'd by another, he says, that their God has kill'd him: Yet for all that, they seize the Homicide if they can, and cause him to be sold for a Slave.

Their Su­perstition.They are so Superstitious, that they imagine, the having a certain Spells a­bout them, they cannot be touch'd by any wild Beasts that approach them; and while they are thus defended by [Page 81] Inchantment, they believe nothing can cause their Death nor draw them into Misfortunes.

Their Gris-Gris, or Relicks.They have a certain Character, which they call Gris-Gris: they are Billets, the Characters of which are Arabick, in­termix'd with Necromantick Figures, which the Maraboux sell them. Some, as they imagine, preserve them from be­ing wounded, enable them to swim well, and procure them good suc­cess in Fishing; others to have a good many Wives and Children▪ to prevent their being made Captives; and for whatever they love or fear.

Their Con­fidence in them.They have so strong a Confidence in them, that there are some of them that would stand the shot of an Arrow without fear: they are [...]ir [...]ss'd with them, having them on all parts of their Bodies, that often a Zagaye will scarce enter them. The great Lords above all others, have their Vests and Bonnets cover'd with them, and are so loaded with them, that they are often forc'd to take Horse, as not being able to go a foot: they likewise put some of them on their Horses to make them the [Page 82] more lively, and hinder them from be­ing wounded.

How they are made.These Gris-Gris's are lapt up in Lin­nem, handsomly folded, and cover'd a­bove with red Leather neatly drest: there are some no above an Inch thick, work'd with the point of a Dia­mond; of which they make Necklaces, into which the Maraboux often put no­thing at all, as I have found upon open­ing of some our Slaves had: they have of them before and behind over-against their Stomachs, large ones, and about two Inches thick▪ they make some of them of a Horses Tail, or the Horns of a Deer, or a wild Bull, cover'd with red Cloth; they set two of these last on the forepart of their Caps: thus e­quipp'd they have a horrible Air, and exceeding fierce, and engage one ano­ther with the utmost Confidence in their Combats, but not in those with us, and against our Muskets; so that 'tis a saying amongst them, That there is no Gris-Gris against the Pouse; for they call the Musket so.

[Page 83] The Maraboux ruine them with these Gris-Gris's; for there are some of them that cost them three Slaves; others four or five Oxen, according to the Vertue they ascribe to them. The Opinion the Negroes have of these Gris-Gris, has made some of our ignorant French be­lieve there are a great many Conjurers amongst them; there are certain times when these pretended Sorcerers make a thousand Grimaces, singing and roar­ing: as they say, when the Devil beats them.

When they think any Person is in­sulted by the Devil, if it be a Woman, they put her into Men's Apparrel, with a Zagage in her Hands, and leads her singing with a dismal Voice; and by this Ceremony they believe they drive him away. I have often observ'd that these suppos'd Sorcerer [...] are mere Cheats; for when we take a Cudgel and beat the possess'd Person, we find it has the same Effect, and that the De­vil returns no more.

Ramadan, or Lent.During their Ramadan, which is the Lent of Mahomet, and which lasts the whole Month of September, they use the Ceremony of Circumcision, which [Page 84] they don't perform till the Child's ele­ven or twelve Year old: a Maraboux cuts the Foreskin, which the Person Cir­cumcis'd eats; who must not complain what-ever Pain he feels, whilst 'tis a cutting; nay, they often laugh while they are searing them with a red-hot Iron to stop the Blood.

Folgar, or their Feasts of Joy.As long as the Ramadan lasts they have their Folgar, or Feasts of Joy eve­ry Night; but, during the whole Day, they neither eat, nor drink, nor so much as smoak; nay, some of them won't even spit; but, when once the Sun is set, they make a vast noise with their Drums, and continue eating and drink­ing till Sun-rise.

Their In­clination to many Wives.Tho' according to the Alcoran 'tis not lawful to have above four Wives, yet they take as many as they can maintain. As soon as they meet with a young Woman they like, they de­mand her of her Father; if he Con­sents to it, they agree on the Price; her Quality or Beauty raises her va­lue. Her Dowry are so many Oxen, which turns to the Profit of the Fa­ther; which never exceeds five. This [Page 85] Agreement ended, they bed without any more Ceremony. If they give her for a Maid, they lay a white Cloth on the Bed in which they are to lie, on which, if Blood be found, she is al­low'd to have been a Virgin.

Ceremony on this oc­casion.Then they produce this Cloth pub­lickly in the Village, accompany'd with several Guiriot's, who sing the Praises of the Woman, and the Happi­ness of the Husband. But, if she proves otherwise than she was given for, the Father is oblig'd to take her again, if the Husband requires it, and to restore him his Oxen. But this rarely hap­pens; for by an unlawful knowledge before Marriage, they are assur'd what she is: But, if she is return'd again, she is not the more despis'd; for, tho' she be not a Wife for one, yet she may be a Concubine for another; so the Father still gets more and more by her: So by this accursed Gain, he might as innocently murder his Daughter. If afterwards the Husband grows weary of his Wife, he puts her away, and is quit of her, losing his Dowry: And she may part from him too, restoring her Oxen.

[Page 86] When the King would gratifie any great Lord, he gives him one of his Wives; but he can't turn her off, tho' the King may take her again when he pleases.

The Fune­rals of the Negroes.The Funerals of the Negroes are per­form'd with great State and Ceremo­ny. A Marabou washes the Corpse of the Dead, and adorns it with the finest Calicoe he had in his life. All the Re­lations and Neighbours come to be­wail him, and ask him a great many ridiculous Questions; If he was not well with them? What harm they did him? If he had not Riches enough? If he had not handsom Wives enough? and the like: And, seeing he makes no Answer, they depart, and make room for others, who repeat the same Que­stions, while the Guiriot's incessantly sing his Praises.

And because 'tis the Custom to make much of all those who come to com­pliment the Dead, they kill Oxen, and sell his Slaves, that they may have Aqua-Vitae to be merry withal. When the Assistants are well satisfied, they bury the Dead in the House where he [Page 87] died, of which they open the Dome. Afterwards, when the Corpse is in the Ground, the Mourners re-double their Cries, and four Persons making a Square, with four Callicoes which they hold, hide him so as he can't be seen.

The Marabou comes afterwards, and speaks some Words in the Ears of the Dead, and covers him with a Calico; and afterwards they put the Dome in its place; on which they hang some Clothes, white, red, or any other Co­lour they fansie. Hard by they set up a Pole, on which they hang the Bow, the Quiver, and the Zagages of the defunct. They set him a Pot of Cos­couse, and another of Water, which is his Provision for one Year; for they fansie he eats after he is dead.

In some Places they compass the House with Thorns, or a deep Ditch, to secure the Corpse from wild Beasts; who, notwithstanding, sometimes de­vour it. This being finish'd, the Mourn­ers still continue their Cries eight Days longer.

[Page 88] When it's a Boy that's dead, the Women and the Maids sing, and the Boys run with all their force one at another, with their naked Sabres in their Hands, clashing as they meet, and stri­king one another's Sabres; with a great many other Actions, that would be te­dious to mention.

Of their Artisans.The Negroes have few Artisans a­mongst them, the most common are Smiths, Weavers, and Potters; the first make Knives, Slaves Fetters, and Brace­lets of Gold, Silver, Copper, and Iron, and Ornaments for Knives and Sabres, and covers for Gris-Gris's, and the Handles of their Sabres. They have no Farriors, because they never shooe their Horses.

Their way at the Forge.When they are at the Forge, they are always two or three together, under the shadow of a tree, sitting on the side of the Forge, the Pipe in their Mouths. They use so little Fire at it, that you could searce boil an Egg over it; they light it with a Bellows made of two Skins, which they press to make it blow, and resembles a Bladder fill'd with Wind. Their Anvil is almost [Page 89] like the Stone which the Mower makes use of to sharpen his Scythe with; when they beat upon it, 'tis so sunk in the Sand at the third or fourth blow, that they must raise it again, which spends most of their time, to little purpose.

Their Kttchen Ʋtensils.Their Weavers are little employ'd, wearing but few Cloaths, as I have already said.

The Potters make but one sort of Pots; the greater of which serve for Kettles, and the lesser for Pipes; the bowl of which only is made of Clay, the shank of it being a little hollow Stick, fastned to the earthen Head.

They are generally idle, and spend most of their time in unnecssary Dis­course; and if Necessaries be wanting, they are not much concern'd, but rub on, unless they go and live on a Neigh­bour.

The management of the House gives the Wife very little trouble, except it be the eating part; for the Kitchen Furniture of the greatest Lords con­sists only of some Earthen Pots, a few Wooden Vessels, and Calkasses half [Page 88] [...] [Page 89] [...] [Page 90] broken, which they make use of instead of Cups.

How their Children are Nurs'd.Their Children, tho' young, don't incumber them much, for they leave them naked on the Sand, where they creep all day long: those who are ve­ry young indeed, they carry always on their Backs, with their Legs against their Sides, drawing their Feet before, and binding them behind with a Ca­lico Cloth, with which they gird them­selves withal.

Whatever they are a doing their lit­tle Ones are always ty'd up behind them, even when they are pounding their Mill; whence 'tis, that they have all great Bellies and flat Noses, for the Mother bowing and raising her Body as she beats, makes them strike their Noses against her Back; which the Children endeavouring to avoid (which notwithstanding they hardly can) hold­ing themselves back, they advance their Bellies: I believe this is the on­ly Reason that the Negroes are flat Nos'd.

[Page 91] They value Beauty as much as we, and particularly in the Eyes, Mouth, Lips, and Nose: Allowing for their blackness, there are Negresses as hand­som as any of our European Ladies. And are more witty than the Men, but ve­ry subtil, and smooth tongu'd. The Caresses of white Men please them wonderfully. But, in the mean time, these Dames being very Mercenary, they will not grant them Favours for nothing, although their Husbands con­sent to their Debaucheries.

But 'tis not so amongst one another; for if one lies with another's Wife, they will kill him if they can with their Sabres, or their Knives; or, if it be with their Concubines, they will have their Revenge.

How the Women dance and sing.The Women are always smoaking; they are very merry, and above all things love Dancing in the Evenings, and at the New Moons: They dance in a-round, clapping their Hands with­out stirring, except it be those in the middle, and sing the first thing that comes into their Mouth's, Sense or Non­sense. These last in dancing hold one [Page 92] Hand on their Heads, and the other be­hind, advancing the upper part of their Bodies, and clapping their Feet on the Earth: their Postures are lascivious and infamous, and chiefly when Boys dance with them; a Cablasse or a Kettle serves them for Musick; for some sort of Noise they must have.

The Exer­cises of the Men.The Men exercise themselves in Wrestling, and in approaching one ano­ther use ridiculous Postures; in holding out the Finger, the Fist, or the Foot at one another. On this Occasion there is always one who acts the Guiriot, and who makes some sort of Musick to en­courage them. Being naked, they hard­ly come to the Ground without being hurt. And when one receives a fall, the Guiriot extols him who gives it, encouraging him to more Victories o­ver his Adversary, who flees from him.

Their Fish­ing.The greatest part who live by the Water-side are Fishers; they train up their Children early to this Art; and make use of Canoo's;Their Ca­noo's. they are little Boats, made of the hollow Trunk of a Tree, and all of a piece; of which the [Page 93] largest may contain ten or twelve Men, being about 30 Foot long, and about a Foot and a half wide. These Canoo's both sail and row. When the Wind is high, and the Water rough, the Ca­noo often overturns, but they little mind it, for they are good swimmers, & it does not sink to the bottom, so they easily set it right again in the Water, and then get into it as if nothing had happen'd: But row in them with such speed, that the lightest of our Sloops can't overtake them.

Their way of Fishing.When they go a Fishing, commonly they don't go above two in a Canoo. They launch out as good as six Leagues into the Sea, and for the most part fish with a Line; but as there are great Fishes which won't bite at a Bait, they strike them with Irons pointed like the Head of an Arrow, or with long Sticks sharpned at the end, and of the length of a Halp-Pike, with a Cord fasten'd to it, with which they draw them to Land, after wounding them.

[Page 94] Their neg­lect to pre­serve their Fish.They dry the little Fish like Sardins, and they open the great ones, as they do Cod. As they don't salt them, they commonly stink before they dry; but 'tis then they reckon them most deli­cious, for they don't love fresh Fish. They sell it to those who live up land; and would from them make great ad­vantage of it, if they'd take the Pains of carrying it to the Towns; but the others being as lazy to fetch it, as they are to carry it, betwixt them both the Fish stinks, and becomes useless.

Their Markets.Besides their Trade with us, they keep particular Markets for themselves, but trivial, that I have admir'd to see them come six or seven Leagues with a little Cotton, some Callicoes, Beans, Gourds, Palm, Pallets, &c. Another time I saw a Man come six Leagues to bring a Bar of Iron half of a Foot long.

Not but that sometimes one meets there with Goods of greater value, as Rings of Gold, and Gold Ear-Rings, nam'd by them Dougaret, of the same Metal, but it's in so small a quantity, that in the whole Market you shan't [Page 95] find to the value of fifty Pistols. For­merly they dealt wholly by the way of exchanging one thing for another, but since their Commerce with the Eu­ropeans, instead of Money they Trade with Rastade, and little Glass Baubles, and Iron Bars. The best Things they bring us in these Markets, (which they keep at the end of some Town) is E­lephants Teeth, Bullocks Hides, and some Slaves, which they come to Goree to sell; and for which Messiears of the Company give them Iron, Aqua-Vitae, Rassade, &c. by which they make a considerable Gain.

Their Go­vernment Heredita­ry.The Government there is Heredita­ry and Monarchical, yet 'tis not the Sons of the King who succeed, but his Nephews, his Sisters Sons. This Cu­stom, which may seem a little odd, is grounded on this Reason, That 'tis not certain that the Children the Prince has by his Wives are really his; where­as it being undeniable, that the Chil­dren of his Sisters are certainly hers; and so it follows, that they are rather of the Blood Royal than his own.

[Page 96] When the Prince comes to the Throne, every Body strives to Congra­tulate him, because he has carried it from his Brothers; of whom there being commonly many, the Empire always becomes contested, and falls to him that has the greatest Force and the best Suc­cess.

How the King is approach'd.The King is approach'd with Diffi­culty and Reverence; and few are ad­mitted into the Heart of his Court. When any great Lord, tho' he be his Relation, would have Audience of him, he pulls off his Frock at his entrance into the Court, being quite naked from the Waist upwards; when he draws near the place where the King is, he throws himself on his Knees, afterwards bows his Head, and with his both Hands strews Sand on his Face and Head, then rises, and repeats the same Ceremony often at such a distance, till he comes within two steps of the King: Being there, he stops, and declares the Motives he had for demanding Audi­ence: His Compliment ended, which is made on the Knee, he rises without daring to look at the King, resting his [Page 97] Hands on his Knees, and from time to time sling Sand on his Forehead.

The Prince, who carries it very high to his Subjects, makes a shew as if he scarce heard him, and so diverts him­self with something else; yet, however, at last, he vouchsafes him a short An­swer, with excessive Gravity. And then the Suppliant rejoyns the Courtiers who are found there.

How Ab­solute and Respected he is.I don't believe there are any Kings in the World more Absolute, and more Respected than the Negroes, which pro­ceeds from their Severity; for on the least Offence of the Subject, an Order is sent to behead him; all his Goods are confifcated, and his whole Family enslaved. The middle sort are happier than the Great, being subject only to Captivity on these Occasions.

Who are well re­ceiv'd by the King.The Azoaghes, the Maraboux, and the French, have much more Liberty than the Negroes; and we a great deal more than these. When the Europeans ap­proach him, they salute him with Re­verence; and he presents them his Hand to lay it on theirs. At this time he ei­ther [Page 98] sits or lies after the Fashion of the Negroes, on a Bed, spread with a Quilt, cover'd with red Leather,How much he loves Presents. with a Pipe in his Mouth; he makes them sit down by him, and asks what they have brought along with them.

As we never have these Audiences but when we have some Favour to re­quest of him,What Pre­sents are brought him. or to complain of his Of­ficers, or of some Injuries offer'd the Whites, we never come without Pre­sents; which commonly consists in ten or twelve Pots of Aqua-Vitae, a little Sugar, some Garlick, five or six Ells of Linnen, and some bits of Coral.

Remark on the Recep­tion of En­voys.When an Envoy has any thing about him that pleases the King, as Coat, Stockings, Shooes, Sword, or Hat; he desires to try them, and then makes them his own; he did thus a little af­ter our arrival to an Envoy of Monsieur Dancourt; from whom he took a Bro­card Waistcoat, his Stockings, Hat, and Shooes; so that he had been forc'd to return naked, if by chance he had not carried other Cloaths with him, that were of a lesser value than the other.

[Page 99] While the Aqua-Vitae lasts, he is never sober; so that their's no expecting an Answer, till it's all out; when he is sober he dismisses the Envoy, giving him two or three Slaves,The Pre­sents of the King of the Ne­groes. which he sends to his Guards to take away at the first Vil­lage. Miserable are they who fall un­der their Hands at that time, for they never stand to chuse, but the first at hand serves the present Occasion.

Whatever Care one takes to supply ones self with Provisions when one comes to solicite any thing at this Court; yet you run the risk of star­ving; for the King demands them; and eats above one half himself; and in re­turn, he gives you a Kid, or a quarter of a Cammel, which is very ill Food, a little Coscouse, and some Palm-wine.

Remarks on the Inju­stice of the Negro Kings.While I was in this Country, a plea­sant thing happen'd; which shews the Power that Presents have over these Kings, and what little Regard they have to Justice: Two little Tributary Kings to Damel, were at strife concerning the Succession to a little poor Sovereignty; they were Brother and Son to the late [Page 100] Prince, and bottom'd their Pretensions on divers Reasons, too tedious, and too inconsiderable to be mention'd here. They propos'd to end their Difference by force, or the King's decision; the King having forbid the first, they were forc'd to stand to his Judg­ment.

On the Day appointed for giving Judgment in their Difference, the two Parties met in the great Place before the Court, accompanied with great Numbers, that seem'd to form two Bat­talions, about thirty Yards distant from one another; they were arm'd with Darts, Bows, Zagages, Javelins, and Mo­risco Knives; the King follow'd by six hundred Men, accoutred with their Gris-Gris's, appear'd mounted on a fine Bar­bary Horse, and so plac'd himself be­twixt the two Rivals.

Tho' they all spoke the same Lan­guage, yet they made use of Interpre­ters, who told the King again what they heard. The Son of the deceas'd ended his Discourse, in remonstrating to him, That seeing it had pleased GOD to bestow the Sovereignty in dispute on his Father, the Right of it now be­long'd [Page 101] to him, which he hop'd his Ma­jesty would confirm to him. The King having heard him attentively, said to him with an Air full of Gravity, GOD has given it you, and I give it you a­gain after him.

Such an Answer presently dispers'd the Party of the Uncle, who retir'd all alone. The Guiriot's with their In­struments and their Drums, celebrated the Praises of the Victorious, saying to him, You best deserv'd it, the King has done you Justice; for you are more Handsom, more Rich, and more Valiant than he.

While this poor Prince thought to enjoy his Happiness, he was surpris'd to see himself stripp'd next morning of this▪ Sovereignty, with which he was newly Invested; for his Uncle losing no time, made such a noble Present to the King, that he forgot that of his Ne­phew, and dispossess'd him in the Morn­ing of that which he had given him the Night before, Installing the other in his Place. This change of Fortune made the Guiriots change their Note, and now bestow'd all their Praises on him whom they despis'd before: Such [Page 102] is the Perfidiousness both of Prince and Subject.

What is the Conduct of the King when he goes a Pro­gress.To return to what concerns the King in particular; when he goes a Progress he has no need of Vivandiers, for he is provided for, by the several Villages, through which he passes. They serve him up sometimes 50 wooden Dishes of Causcouse, season'd after seve­ral ways; he receives those which agree with his Pallate, and gives the rest to his Attendants, who are frequently as hungry after Dinner as before; for you must know, they have all great Sto­machs.

The Ne­groes man­ner of eat­ing.They all eat very nastily, lying a­long on the Ground, taking it up by handfuls; making no use either of Napkins or Plates. No Body eats with the King but the Grand Marabou, or one of the most accomplish'd Lords, and very often he eats alone.

He will by no means suffer the Thou­babes (for so he calls us) to see him at Meals; I believe he conceals himself from us, as believing we eat better, and with more Decency than his Custom will allow; or rather, that he is a­sham'd [Page 103] of his Poverty. Amongst the meaner sort, all of a Family eat toge­ther: Their first Dish is Couscouse, and when they have done with that, they fall aboard the Flesh, which they tear in Pieces with their Fingers, making no use at all of their Knives; and after they have gnaw'd it, they put it into the Dish again for the next. They use only their Right-hand in eating; which is always at Noon and Night; for they reserve the Left-hand wholly for Labour, and on that account they esteem it an Indecency to eat with it.

The Officers of King Damel.The King has several Ministers of State under him, who assist him in the Government, and in the Exercise of Justice. Condy, who is a Tributary So­vereign, is after the manner of our Constable, and is General of his Forces, the Grand Geraff is the chief Justice throughout all the Dominions of King Damel; he goes the Circuits from time to time to execute Justice, and hear the Complaints of the People; and he generally does Justice out of hand, for he punishes a Thief with Slavery. It being a rarity for a Man of a mean [Page 104] Condition to be inflicted with the Pu­nishment of Death.

The King's Alzari Exercises the same Employ as the Geraff, but his Power is more limitted: He has under him Al­katies or Alkairs of great Villages, that are as particular Lords of them.

When a Negro is accus'd of any Crime, of which he can't easily be con­victed, in order to his Justification, they oblige him to lick a red-hot Iron three times: If it burns him, he is reputed guilty; if not, he and his Accuser leaves the Court, and the Process falls without Costs.

How and for what the Negro Kings make upon one ano­cher.The Negro Kings go to War with one another on every small Pretext. And when any such Occasion happens, the Condy assembles all the great Lords, and the rest of the Subjects; of which he composes his Cavalry and his Infantry. They seldom have a Body of above 12 or 1500 Men, so that their War is on­ly a sort of Skirmishing Excursion. In all the Kingdom of Damel you can scarce raise 200 Horse: The Men of Quality in the Army, especially the [Page 105] Horse, are loaded with Gris-Gris, as I have already observed; so that when they are once dismounted, they are not able to march four paces on foot.

The Arms of the Horse.Their Horse are arm'd with Zagayes, which is a sort of a Dart, long and large, with three or four Spears, bigger than those of Arrows, and have several small Hooks, that tears open the wound when they draw it. They can cast these Zagayes a great way, and go ve­ry rarely without them: Besides these they have a Cimeter, and a Morisco Knife, about half a Yard long, and two Inches wide: They guard the Blows with a round Buckler made of thick Leather; and tho' they are encumbred with so many Utensils, yet they have their Hands and Arms at liberty, and can fight smartly.

The Arms of the Foot.The Foot are arm'd with a Cime­ter, a Javelin, and a Quiver fill'd with fifty or sixty poison'd Arrows, that wound mortally, if they are not im­mediately seer'd with hot Irons.

[Page 106] The Teeth of their Iron-headed Ar­row produces another miserable ef­fect; for they can't be drawn back, without making the Wound more dan­gerous than before.

Their Bow is made of a Cane, re­sembling that which we call a Bamboo. That which they make use of for the String, is another sort of Wood, very curiously fitted up for that purpose. They are so dextrous in shooting out of Bows, that at fifty Yards distance they'll hit a Mark, the breadth of a Crown piece. They march without a­ny order of Discipline, even in the E­nemies Country. The Guiriot's excite them to Battel by the sound of their Instruments.

As soon as they are within shot, the Infantry discharge their Arrows, and the Horse cast their Javelins. This discharge is follow'd with blows of Zagayes. They spare their Enemies as much as possible, that they may make the more Slaves; from which their Per­sons of Quality are not exempted. And as they are naked and expert in the using their Bows, &c. their Wars are [Page 107] always very Bloody. They are very resolute, and had rather lose their Lives, that be guilty of the least Cowardice. The despight that is show'd to a Cow­ard amongst them, and the fear of lo­sing their Liberty, does very much aug­ment their Courage.

Their way making Peace.Their first shock being over, they often renew it again for two or three Days together; afterwards send a Ma­rabou of each side to treat of a Peace. When they have agreed on the Con­ditions, they swear upon the Alcoran, and by Mahomet, to the observing them; tho' they know very little of the one or the other. The Prisoners on either side receive no Benefit of the Treaty, but continue Slaves as if the War was eternal.

See here the best Account I cou'd give of these Countries, if I can dis­cover any Thing farther, before my return into Europe, I shall give you an exact Account thereof, in Compliance with the Desires of my Friends, who enjoyn'd me to communicate my Ob­servations to them. My little know­ledge [Page 108] of Writing, and my indifferent Style, will soon let them see, I am not capable of transmitting to them these Relations. All that they must attri­bute to me, is Fidelity and Truth in them, which I preferr before all the Romantick amusing Accounts in the World.


THE Bookseller's Advertisement TO THE READER.

A Particular Person that is very knowing, having travelled the Coasts of Africa, and seen the Author of this Voyage at Gozee, has sent me these fol­lowing Relations: I thought my self oblig'd to publish them, for the Benefit of the Publick, and affix them to this; withal, acquainting you, that they are not the Re­marks of the Sieur le Maire.

Relations of the Islands and adjacent Places of the Rivers of Bresalina, Gambia, Zamenee, St. Domingo, Geve, &c.

THE Kingdom of the Barbasines who are almost all Mahometan Negroes) is of small extent,The King­dom of the Barbasine. having not above six or seven Leagues of Coast: It joyns with that of the Joloffes, be­ginning at a Village called Jovalle, si­tuated on the Sea-Coasts, and inha­bited by some Mulatters and Portu­guese. There is another small Village which they call Coringua, which is nearer to Cape Verde, and a Dependant of Jo­valle, where commonly they drive the greatest Trade.

[Page 111] About six or seven Leagues higher you meet with the River Bresalma, The River Bresalma. whose Mouth is very large, but choak'd up with Sand-Beds, that nothing but Canoo's, Shalops, and little Barks can go into the River: The Trade of this Kingdom is very inconsiderable, the Country affording no valuable Commo­dities; yet the Portuguese buy Salt and Provisions here.

The River of Gam­bia.On the same Coast, two Leagues higher, is the River Gambia, which has two Channels for Vessels, one to the North, and another to the South, where Ships of four hundred Tun may easily enter. You must first sound the Pas­sage with a Sloop, for fear of striking upon the Sands: Being pass'd, you meet bending towards the North, the King­dom of Baria; The King­dom of Baria. whose King lives a quar­ter of a League from the Sea. The In­habitants are call'd Maudingues, and are for the most part Mahometans.

The Isle of Doggs.The Isle of Dogs, to which you may go dry-foot at low Water, is directly opposite, in the River. The French did formerly inhabit it, but they had their Throats cut by the Negroes. Since [Page 112] which it has been wholly deserted, be­ing of no Consequence.

The Flouppes Negroes, of whom I shall speak hereafter, are directly at the En­trance of the South-side.

Albroda.Six Leagues farther up the River to the North is the Town call'd Albroda, where, before the War, the French had an Establishment: But the English have one now, at a Village call'd Zeelfray, about a League higher on the same Shoar.

They have also a Regular Fort in the Island over against it; which is not above half a quarter of a League about, built on a gravelly Rock.

This Fort has above fifty Pieces of Cannon mounted, which are of no great use for want of Men to manage them: They are forc'd to fetch all their Wa­ter and Wood from the main Land. These are they who have the best share of all the Trade that is driven on this River; which chiefly consists in Negroe Slaves, Ivory, and Wax. It is Naviga­ble above two hundred Leagues.


THE River Zamenee is inhabited by several sorts of Negroes, those at its Mouth towards the North call themselves Floupes, a People extreamly Savage, with whom no Nation has any Commerce. They are all Pagans; ha­ving every one his God according to his particular Inclinations;Idolatry of the Ne­groes. one wor­ships a Bullocks Horn, another a Beast, or a Tree, to whom they offer Sa­crifice according to their own man­ner.

Their Habits.Their Dress is like those of Cape Verd, and the Inhabitants of the Ri­ver Gambia, which consists in a Piece [Page 114] of Cotton Cloth, striped after the man­ner of the Country, which barely co­vers their nakedness.

Have no Kings.They have no succession of Kings, the most Absolute and most Powerful a­mongst them Commands.

They understand Cultivation very well, and make very good Improve­ments of their Lands, which they sow with Mill and Rice.Their Riches. Their Riches con­sists in Bullocks, Cows, Goats; of which some of them have great quan­tities. They possess the Coast all along as far as the River Gambia, and about six Leagues into the Land. Their Towns are well Peopled, and about a quarter of a League distant one from another.

The Cruel­ties of the Negroes or Floup­pes.The Negroes or Filouppes that inha­bit the South Entrance of this River, are exceeding barbarous and cruel; for when they can catch any white Men they give 'em no quarter; and some say they eat them.

These are in possession of the Coun­try all along the Coast to a Town cal­led Boulol, which stands at the Mouth of the River of St. Domingo. This Coast is much better Peopled than that of [Page 115] Gambia: The Villages are about two Leagues distant one from another, and about half a League from the Sea.

About seven or eight Leagues far­ther, the ebbing and flowing of the Sea makes a little River, which leads to the Town of Jam, where the Por­tuguese make great Quantities of Wax, which they traffick with by Land to Gambia and Cacheaux.

The adjacent Countries are inhabited by Negroes who are call'd Bagnons; and these have a King that lives twelve or thirteen Leagues from the Sea.


The River of St. Do­mingo.THE River of St. Domingo runs from East to West, winding a matter of two hundred Leagues. 'Tis also inhabited by different sorts of Ne­groes, and by the Portuguese, who have several Towns there.

At the North Entrance of it there is small Fort belonging to the Portuguese, mounted with four Guns, and comman­ded by Serjeant and four Soldiers.

Four Leagues higher on the same Shoar, near the Village of Boulet, is the little River of Linguim, which runs a [Page 117] matter of nine or ten Leagues under Ground, and then loses it self. It is possest and cultivated by the Bagnon Ne­groes, who are all Idolaters, and very much dreaded by their Neighbours.

The Village of Quongain is directly at its Entrance, where abundance of Portuguese and Gourmets inhabit, who make great store of Wax there.

The River Boguinda.The River Boguinda is on the same Coast, about three Leagues higher than the Tide comes: It spreads it self twelve or fifteen Leagues into the Land, inha­bited by the same sort of People, who, as I have told you before, traffick al­together with Wax. 'Tis the ordinary Passage from Cacheau to Jam.

The Wood of Matte­formose.On the Entrance of the River of St. Domingo to the South, is a large Wood called Matteformose; and a Vil­lage inhabited by the Flouppes, much more civiliz'd than those I have men­tion'd before: With whom a Trade is maintain'd for Slaves and Provisions, but chiefly for great Quantities of Rice.

[Page 118] Going up the River about two Leagues, you meet with a small Rivo­let, which is not Navigable, but sepa­rates the Flouppes from the Papels.

The Papels Sacrifice.The Papels are Pagan Negroes, all Idolaters, as the former. They have a King who dwels five or six Leagues from them: When any considerable Person dies, they sacrifice Bullocks, Cows, Kids, and Capon to their Gods, which are for the most part one or more Trees, the Horn of an Ox, &c.

The Town of Ca­cheau.In the same Road, about four Leagues higher, you find the Town of Ca­cheau; now in the Hands of the Portu­guese, who have three Forts there; the chief of which may have about ten or twelve Guns, and the other two, three, or four each. A Captain-Major has the Government of it, who has a de­pendance on the Governor of Cape Verd, they are every Year recruited with thirty or forty Portnguese Soldi­ers, who are generally banish'd Crimi­nals; they supplying the Places of those who die for want of wholsome Diet, by necessity, or by an over addicting [Page 119] themselves to Women. 'Tis design'd them a Place of Exile, tho' they often find it happy enough. There may be about three hundred Inhabitants in the Town, who are for the most part Mul­lato's; the other may have Wives or Concubines.

There is in the Town a Receiver of the King's Customs; for the Ships that come to traffick there pay ten per Cent. for coming in and going out. There is a Grefferi or Writer, who holds the Place both of Publick Notary and She­riff: 'tis the Governor who administers Justice. There is a Parochial Church, a Curate, and a Visitator, who is in the Nature of the great Vicar of France; for he always makes Visitations on be­half the Bishop of St. James.

There is also a Convent of Capuchins, where there are seldom more than three or four Religious.

The Inhabitants of the Town have little Boats and Barks, in which they trade on the Rivers of Nonne, Pougues, Serlione, and to the Islands of the Beza­gots, [Page 120] where they have a great Com­merce with Wax, Slaves, and some small pieces of Ivory.

The Town of Farim.The Portuguese have yet another Town, a great way higher up the River, about one hundred and fifty Leagues from Cacheau, call'd Farim, pallasodo'd round; but the Inhabitants are not so numerous as at Cacheau; tho' the grea­test part of them, have Somer-Houses here, where their Gourmet's make Ca­lico's, and some small quantities of Wax. There is also a Curate, and a Captain-Major▪ who is dependant on the Town of Cacheau. The Negroes that inhabit the adjacent Countries are call'd Mau­dingues: All the Villages from Cacheau to Farim are Peopled by the Gour­mets of the Portuguese, who gather Cot­ton, &c.

The Three Islands.Going Southward out of the River of St. Domingo, you meet several Islands, the first is call'd the Three Islands, which effectively has that Figure. Possessed by the Gourmots or Negroes, who have freed themselves from the Slavery of the Portuguese; and most of them, tho' [Page 121] they are baptis'd, have renounc'd the Catholick Faith. They cultivate this Island, which produces great store of Cotton, of which they make their Cloth. They have Cannoo's to serve them in their Traffick with the Negroes ofthe Continent. The Place which they pass is call'd the Bott. They are very careful not to let any Vessels or Barks approach their Island.

The Isle of Bussi.Over-against it is the Island of Bussi, in Possession of the Papels, who have a King not very Absolute. The Sea is so shallow there, that one may pass to it without being up to the mid-leg.

Their Trea­chery.'Tis dangerous trading with them, till their ways are throughly known; for their strange mistrust, makes them believe there is no Sincerity in us. I know that several English and Dutch, have been there massacred for endea­vouring to trade with them. They a­bound in Provisions, as Oxen, Foul, Fish, Mill, &c. but they are of a very indifferent relish. Their Island is about ten Leagues in Circuit, and has two Ports, the one to the East, which is [Page 122] call'd Old Port; the other to the South, which call'd White-stone Harbour.

The Village of Caze­lut.Right over-against it, is the Village of Cazelut, and many small Islands, which are not inhabited. Very near it you find the Island of Bisseaux, about two Leagues distant. A Vessel of three hundred Tun may pass betwixt them both, if the Channel be well known. 'Tis about forty Leagues in compass; the Papel Negroes that inhabit it are al­most all Pagans. There are in this Island nine Kings; which one is supe­rior to the other eight; which proper­ly are no more than Deputy Gover­nors.

Their Cru­elty when any of their Kings die.When any of the King's die, they take care to strangle above thirty Per­sons, chiefly the young Girls, and those Slaves that have been the most faith­ful to the Deceas'd, whom they bury along with them. They put with him into his Tomb all his Riches, as his Gold, Silver, Amber Gris, Stuffs, &c.

[Page 123] When they chuse another 'tis after this manner;How they elect their Kings. they are only the Gearges that make Pretensions, which are, as I may say, the Dukes and Peers of France. They gather together in a Ring, in the middle of which is the Tomb of the deceas'd King, made of Reeds and very light Wood, which is sustain'd in the Air by several Negroes, who in dancing toss it up, and he on whom it falls, they chuse for their King in the room of the Deceas'd: they often sacrifice to their Gods, Bullocks, Capons, Kids, &c. There are several good Harbours in this I­sland, the best of which is call'd Port-Risseaux, where Ships of sixty Guns may ride at Anchor in safety. The King's Palace is within half a League of it: there is one Parish, and a Con­vent of Capuchins; several of the Por­tuguese are married to the Negresses of the Country.

There are several of those Heathens Sons have received Baptism, and em­brac'd the Catholick Doctrine. The King has his Guards, his Army, and se­veral [Page 124] Women of all Ages. He has a-about fifty Cannoo's of War man'd with about thirty Men each. For their Arms they have only a Cimiter hang­ing on their Shoulders by a short Belt. And are Cloath'd only with the Skin of a Kid, which hangs loose behind, and is fasten'd before betwixt their Legs, to hide their Nudities. They go to War agaiust the Biaffares, who inhabited the Continent, twice or thrice a Year.

Their Arms and Habit.The Portuguese formerly built a Fort there, mounted with eight Guns, to hin­der Strangers from coming to that Isle, that they might engross it all to them­selves: But the Negroes will not suffer it, for they are all Sticklers for the Li­berties of their Country, which occa­sions a welcome to all manner of Strangers, that come to traffick in their Ports, who may Negotiate in the I­sland with all imaginable Security, without dreading any Insult, if you offer none. When you arrive at their Ports, you are not suffer'd to land till the King has a sacrifis'd a Bul­lock; [Page 125] which done, you have liberty to disembark.

Just over-against the Port is an Island call'd Sortiere, full of Trees, where the Negroes make their grand Sacrifices eve­ry Year, in which the King him­self assists. Vessels anchor very safely there.


The River Geva.THE River of Geva winds it self about 70 Leagues into the Con­tinent, from North-East to South-West. All the Villages of either side (which are about a League from the Sea) are inhabited by the Biaffares. At the En­trance of the River, towards the North, is a Village call'd Gouffode, about a League from the Harbour: there it is where Bullocks and Poultry are to be sold; and they also traffick for some Slaves.

[Page 127] On the same River, abous five Leagues higher, is the Town of Geva; the greatest part is possessed by the Portu­guese and Gournets, which is encompass'd with Pallasadoes.

They have a Parish-Church, a Cu­rate, and a Captain who commands them, and is dependent on the Gover­nor of Cacheau: The adjacent Places are inhabited by the Negro Biaffares; most of the Portuguese have Barks in the Port, in which they trade to Serlienne, with a sort of Fruit call'd Cocters, which both in shape and taste resembles the Marous of India; they are both white and red, for which they drive a great trade, especially with the Biaffares and Mandingues. They also send their Barks to trade with the Bizagot Negroes on the River Nounne for Elephants Teeth, &c. Indigo in the Leaf, which they die their Cloaths with.

The Barks can go no higher than Goree; but their Cannoo's will go up several little Rivers of small note. Just over-against the Port you meet with [Page 128] several little Islands, especially that of Boulam; The Isle of Boulam. well stock'd with Trees, and about six Leagues in compass, lying just at the Entrance of the River Rio­grando, but not inhabited. The other Islands are so inconsiderable, I do not think it worth while to mention them. I shall say nothing of Cape-Verd, Sene­gal, or the Canary Islands, understanding that the Sieur le Maire, with the Assi­stance of Monsieur D' Ancourt has said more than I am capable of saying.


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