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could do so very well, and there was a great Dutch ship gone up that way just before. This gave me a little shock ; a Dutch ship was now our terror, and we had much rather have met the devil, at least if he had not come in too frightful a figure : we depended upon it, that a Dutch ship would be our destruction, for we were in no condition to fight them; all the ships they trade with in those parts being of great burden, and of much greater force than we were.
The old man found me a little confused, and under fome concern, when he named a Dutch ship; and said to me, Sir, you need be under no apprehension of the Dutch, I suppose they are not now at war with your nation. No, said I, that's true; but I know · not what liberties men may take, when they are out of the reach of the laws of their country. Why, said he, you are no pirates, what need you fear ? They will not meddle with peaceable merchants, sure.
If I had any blood in my body that did not fly up into
my face at that word, it was hindered by some stop in the vessels appointed by nature to circulate it; for it put me into the greatest disorder and confusion imaginable ; nor was it possible for me to conceal it so, but that the old man easily perceived it.
Sir, said he, I find you are in fome disorder in your thoughts at my talk : pray be pleased to go which way you think fit; and depend upon it, I'll do you all the service I can. Why, Seignior, faid 1, it is true, I am a little unsettled in my resolution at this time, whither to go in particular; and I am something more so, for what you said about pirates ; I hope there are no pirates in these feas; we are but
in an ill condition to meet with them; for you see we have but a small force, and but very weakly manned.
0, Sir, said he, do not be concerned ; I do not know that there have been any pirates in these seas these fifteen years, except one, which was seen, as I hear, in the bay of Siam, about a month since; but you may be assured she is gone to the southward; nor was she a ship of any great force, or fit for the work: she was not built for a privateer, but was run away with by a reprobate crew that were on board, after the captain and some of his men had been murdered by the Malaccans, at or near the island of Sumatra.
What! said I, seeming to know nothing of the matter, did they murder the captain ? No, said he, I do not understand that they murdered him ; but, as they afterwards ran away with the ship, it is generally believed they betrayed him into the hands of the Malaccans, who did murder him; and, perhaps, they procured them to do it. Why then, said I, they deserved death, as much as if they had done it themselves. Nay, said the old man, they do deserve it; and they will certainly have it if they light upon any English or Dutch ship; for they have all agreed together, that if they meet that rogue, they will give him no quarter.
But, said I to him, you say the pirate is gone out of these feas; how can they meet with him then? Why, that is true, said he, they do say so; but he was, as I tell you, in the bay of Siam, in the river Cambodia, and was discovered there by some Dutchmen, who belonged to the ship, and who were left on shore
when they run away with her; and some English and Dutch traders being in the river, they were within a little of taking him. Nay, said he, if the foremost boats had been well seconded by the rest, they had certainly taken him ; but he, finding only two boats within reach of him, tacked about, and fired at these two, and disabled them before the others came up; and then fanding off to sea, the others were not able to follow him, and so he got away. But they have all so exact a description of the ship, that they will be sure to know him; and wherever they find him, they have vowed to give no quarter to either the captain or the seamen, but to hang them all up at the yard-arm.
What! said I, will they execute them right or wrong; hang them first, and judge them afterwards? 0, Sir! said the old pilot, there is no need to make a formal business of it with such rogues as those; let them tie them back to back, and set them a div. ing; it is no more than they rightly deserve.
I knew I had my old man fast aboard, and that he could do me no harm ; so I turned short upon him: Well, Seignior, said I, and this is the very reason why I would have you carry us to Nanquin, and not to put back to Macao, or to any other part of the country, where the English or Dutch ships came; for, be it known to you, Seignior, those captains of the English and Dutch ships, are a parcel of rash, proud, infolent fellows, that neither know what belongs to justice, or how to behave themfelves, as the laws of God and nature direct; but being proud of their offices, and not understanding their power, they would act the murderers to punish
robbers : ;
robbers; would take upon them to insult men falsely accused, and determine them guilty without due enquiry; and perhaps I may live to call fome of them to an account for it, where they may be taught how justice is to be executed ; and that no man ought to be treated as a criminal till fome evidence, may be had of the crime, and that he is the man.
With this I told him, that this was the very ship they had attacked; and gave him a full account of the skirmish we had with their boats, and how fool. ishly and coward-like they had behaved. I told him all the story of our buying the ship, and how the Dutchmen served us. I told him the reasons I had to believe that this story of killing the master by the Malaccans was not true; as also the running away with the ship; but that it was all a fiction of their own, to suggest that the men were turned pirates ; and they ought to have been sure it was so, before they had ventured to attack us by surprise, and oblige us to resist them; adding, that they would have the blood of those men, who were killed there, in our just defence, to answer for.
The old man was amazed at this relation; and told us, we were very much in the right to go away to the north ; and that if he might advise us, it should be to sell the ship in China, which we might very well do, and buy or build another in the country: and, said he, though you will not get so good a ship, yet you may get one able enough to carry you and all goods back again to Bengal, or any where else.
I told him I would take his advice, when I came to any port where I could find a ship for my turn, or get any customer to buy this. He replied, I should Vol. II, T
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meet with customers enough for the ship at Nanquin, and that a Chinese junk would serve me very well to go back again, and that he would procure me people both to buy one, and sell the other.
Well, but, Seignior, says I, as you say they know the ship so well, I may, perhaps, if I follow your measures, bę instrumental to bring some honest innocent men into a terrible broil, and, perhaps, be murdered in cold blood; for wherever they find the ship they will prove the guilt upon the men, by proving this was the ship; and so innocent men may probably be, overpowered and murdered. Why, said the old man, I'll find out a way to prevent that also; for as I know all those con:manders you speak of very well, and shall see them all as they pass by, I will be fure to set them to rights in the thing, and let them know that they had been so much in the wrong; that though the people who were on board at first might run away with the ship, yet it was not true that they had turned pirates; and that in particular those were not the men that first went off with the ship, but innocently bought her for their trade : and I am perfuaded they will so far believe me, as, at least, to act more cautiously for the time to come. Well, said I, and will you deliver one message to them from me ? Yes, I will, says he, if you will give it under your hand, in writing, that I may be able to prove it came from
you, and not out of my own head. I answered, that I would readily give it him under my hand. So I took a pen and ink, and paper, and wrote at large the story of affaulting me with the long-boats, &c. the pretended reason of it, and the unjust cruel design of it ; and concluded to the commanders, that they