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But they all rejected the proposal ; and said, they would have nothing to do with me any more, neither on board, or on shore; and if I came on board, they would go on shore. Well, said the captain, if
you are all of this mind, let me go on shore, and talk with him : so away he came to me with this account, a little after the message had been brought to me from the cockswain.
I was very glad to see my nephew, I must confefs ; for I was not without apprehensions that they would confine him by violence, set sail, and run away with the ship; and then I had been stript naked, in a remote country, and nothing to help myself : in short, I had been in a worse case than when I was all alone in the island.
But they had not come to that length, it seems, to my great satisfaction; and when my nephew told me what they had said to him, and how they had sworn, and shook hands, that they would one and all leave the ship, if I was suffered to come on board, I told him, he fould not be concerned at it at all, for I would stay on shore : I only desired he would take care and send me all my necessary things on shore, and leave me a sufficient sum of money, and I would find my way to England as well as I could.
This was a heavy piece of news to my nephew ; but there was no way to help it, but to comply with it. So in short, he went on board the ship again, and fatisfied the men, that his uncle had yielded to their importunity, and had sent for his goods from on board the ship. So the matter was over in a very few hours : the men returned to their duty, and I begun to consider what course I should steer.
I was now alone in the remotest part of the world, as I think I may call it ; for I was near three thoufand leagues, by sea, farther off from England than I was at my island ; only, it is true, I might travel here by land, over the Great Mogul's country to Surat, might go from thence to Bassora by sea, up the gulph of Perfa, and from thence might take the way of the caravans, over the deserts of Arabia to Aleppo and Scanderoon ; and from thence by sea again to Italy, and so over land into France; and this, put together, might be, at least, a full diameter of the globe ; but, if it were to be measured, I suppose it would appear to be a great deal more.
I had another way before me, which was to wait for some English ships, which were coming to Bengal, from Achin, on the island of Sumatra, and 'get palfage on board them for England : but as I came hither without any concern with the English EastIndia Company, so it would be difficult to go from hence without their licence, unless with great favour of the captains of the ships, or of the company's factors; and to both I was an utter stranger.
Here I had the particular pleasure, speaking by contrarieties, to see the ship fet fail without me; a treatment, I think, a man in my circumstances scarce ever met with, except from pirates running away with a ship, and setting those that would not agree with their villainy on shore: indeed, this was the next door to it, both ways. However, my nephew left me two servants, or rather, one companion, and one servant : the first was clerk to the purser, whom he engaged to go with me; and the other was his own servant. I took me also a good lodging in the house Vol. II. R
of an English woman, where several merchants lodged, fome French, two lialians, or rather Jews, and one Englishman. Here I was handsomely enough entertained ; and, that I might not be said to run rashly upon any thing, I stayed here above nine months, considering what course to take, and how to manage myself. I had some English goods with me of value, and a considerable sum of money ; my nephew furnishing me with a thousand pieces of eight, and a letter of credit for more, if I had occasion, that I might not be straitened, whatever might happen.
I quickly disposed of my goods, and to advan. tage too ; and, as I originally intended, I bought here fome very good diamonds, which, of all other things, was the most
circumstances, because I might always carry my whole estate about me.
After a long stay here, and many proposals made for my return to England, but none falling to my mind, the English merchant, who lodged with me, and with whom I had contracted an intimate aca quaintance, came to me one morning : Countryman, says he, I have a project to communicate to you, which, as it suits with my thoughts, may, for aught I know, suit with your's also, when you shall have thoroughly considered it.
Here we are posted, says he, you by accident, and I by my own choice, in a part of the world very re. mote from our own country ; but it is in a country where, by us who understand trade and business, a great deal of money is to be got:
put a thousand pounds to my thousand pounds, we will hire a ship here, the firit we can get to our minds,
you shall be captain, I'll be merchant, and we will go a trading voyage to China : for what should we stand still for ? The whole world is in motion, rolling round and round ; all the creatures of God, heavenly bodies, and earthly, are busy and dili. gent: why should we be idle? There are no drones, says he, living in the world but men : why should we be of that number?
I liked this proposal very well ; and the more, because it seemed to be expressed with so much good will, and in so friendly a manner.
I will not say, but that I might, by my loose and unhinged circumstances, be the fitter to embrace a proposal for trade, and, indeed, for any thing else ; or otherwise, trade was none of my element : however, I might, perhaps, say, with some truth, that if trade was not my element, rambling was ; and no proposal for seeing any part of the world, which I had never seen before, could possibly come amiss to
It was, however, some time before we could get a ship to our mind ; and when we got a vessel, it was not easy to get English failors; that is to say, so many as were necessary to govern the voyage, and manage the failors which we should pick up there. After some time we got a mate, a boatswain, and a gunner, English ; a Dutch carpenter, and three Portuguese, foremast men ; with these, we found we could do well enough, having Indian feamen, such as they are,
to make up:
There are so many travellers who have written the history of their voyages and travels this way, that it would be but very little diversion to any body, to
give a long account of the places we went to, and the people who inhabit there : those things I leave to others, and refer the reader to those journals and travels of Englishmen, many of which, I find, are published, and more promised every day. It is enough for me to tell you, that we made the voyage to Achin, in the island of Sumatra, first; and from thence to Siam, where we exchanged some of our wares for opium, and for some arrack; the first, a commodity which bears a great price among the Chinese, and which, at that time, was very much wanted there : in a word, we went up to Sufham ; made a very great voyage ; were eight months out; and returned to Bengal: and I was very well satisfied with my adventure. I observe, that our people in England, often admire how the officers, which the Company send into India, and the merchants which generally stay there, get such very good estates as they do, and sometimes come home worth fixty, seventy, and an hundred thousand pounds at a time.
But it is no wonder, or, at least, we shall see so much farther into it, when we consider the innumerable ports and places where they have a free commerce, that it will then be no wonder ; and much less will it be so, when we consider, that all those places and ports where the English ships come, there is so much, and such constant demand for the growth of all other countries, that there is a certain vent for the return, as well as a market abroad for the goods carried out.
In short, we made a very good voyage, and I got so much money by the first adventure, and such an