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have done for us if we had been in their case, and they in our's; but that we took them up to serve them, not to plunder them; and that it would be a molt barbarous thing, to take that little from them which they had faved out of the fire, and then set them on shore, and leave them; that this would be first to save them from death, and then kill them ourselves; save them from drowning, and then abandon them to 1tarving; and therefore I would not let the leaft thing be taken from them: as to setting them on shore, I told them indeed, that was an exceeding difficulty to us, for that the ship was bound to the East-Indies ; and though we were driven out of our course to the westward a very great way, which perhaps was directed by heaven on purpose for their deliverance, yet it was impoffible for us wilfully to change our voyage on this particular account; nor could my nephew, the captain, answer it to the freighters, with whom he was under charter-party to pursue his voyage by the way of Brasil; and all I knew he could do for them was, to put ourselves in the way of meeting with other ships homewardbound from the West-Indies, and gei them passage, if possible, to England or France.
The first part of the proposal was so generous and kind, they could not but be very thankful for it; but they were in a great consternation, especially the passengers, at the notion of being carried away to the Last-Indies: they then intreated me, that seeing I was driven so far to the westward before I met with them, I would at least keep on the same course to the banks of Newfoundland, where it was poffible I might meet with some thip or floop that they might hire to carry them back to Canada, from whence they came.
I thought this was but a reasonable request on their part; and therefore I inclined to agree to it; for indeed I considered, that to carry this whole company to the East-Indies, would not only be an intolerable severity to the poor people, but would be ruining our whole voyage by devouring all our provisions; so I thought it no breach of charter-party, but what an unforeseen accident made absolutely necessary to us; and in which no one could say we were to blame; for the laws of God and nature would have forbid, that we should refuse to take up two boats full of people in such a distressed condition; and the nature of the thing as well respecting ourselves, as the poor people, obliged us to see them on fhore fomewhere or other, for their deliverance; so I consented that we would carry them to Newfoundland, if wind and weather would permit; and, if not, that I would carry
them to Martinico in the West-Indies. The wind continued fresh easterly, but the weather pretty good; and as it had blowed continually in the points between N. E. and S. E. a long time, we missed several opportunities of fending them to France ; for we met several ships bound to Europe, whereof two were French, from St. Christopher's; but they had been so long beating up against the wind, that they durst take in no passengers for fear of wanting provisions for the voyage, as well for themselves as for those they should take in; fo we were obliged to go on. It was about a week after this, that we made the Banks of Newfoundland, where, to shorten my story, we put all our French people on board a bark, which they hired at sea there, to put them on shore, and afterwards to carry them to
Trance, if they could get provisions to victual them, felves with : when, I say, all the French went on fhore, I should remember, that the young priest I spoke of, hearing we were bound to the East Indies, desired to go the voyage with us, and to be set on more on the coast of Coromandel : I readily agreed to that; for I wonderfully liked the man, and had very good reason, as will appear afterwards ; also four of the feamen entered themselves in our ship, and prored very useful fellows.
From hence we directed our course for the WestIndies, steering away S. and S. by E, for about 20 days together, sometimes little or no wind at all, when we met with another subject for our humanity to work upon, almost as deplorable as that before.
It was in the latitude of 27 degrees 5 minutes N. and the 19th day of March, 1684-5, when we espied a fail, our course S. E. and by S. We foon perceived it was a large vessel, and that she bore up to us; but could not at first know what to make of her, till, after coming a little nearer, we found she had lost her main-top-mast, fore-mast, and bowsprit; and presently she fires a gun as a signal of distress; the weather was pretty good, wind at N. N. W. a fresh gale, and we soon came to speak with her.
We found her a hip of Bristol bound home from Barbadoes, but had been blown out of the road at Barbadoes, a few days before she was ready to fail, by a terrible hurricane, while the captain and chief mate were both gone on shore; so that beside the terror of the storm, they were but in an indifferent case for good artists to bring the ship home; they had been already nine weeks at sea, and had met with another
terrible storm after the hurricane was over, which had blown them quite out of their knowledge to the westward, and in which they had lost their masts, as above; they told us, they expected to have seen the Bahama islands, but were then driven away again to the south-east by a strong gale of wind at N. N. W. the same that blew now, and having no fails to work the ship with, but a main-course, and a kind of square fail upon a jury fore-mast, which they had setup, they could not lie near the wind, but were en. deavouring to stand away for the Canaries.
But that which was worst of all, was, that they were almost starved for want of provisions, besides the fatigues they had undergone; their bread and flesh was quite gone, they had not an ounce left in the ship, and had had none for eleven days; the only relief they had, was, their water was not all fpent, and they had about half a barrel of flour left; they had sugar enough; some succades or sweet-meats they had at first, but they were devoured, and they had seven casks of rum.
There was a youth and his mother, and a maid-serFant, on board, who were going passengers, and thinking the ship was ready to fail, unhappily came on board the evening before the hurricane began; and, having no provisions of their own left, they were in a more deplorable condition than the rest; for the seamen, being reduced to such an extreme necessity themselves, had no compassion, we may
be fure, for the poor passengers; and they were indeed in a condition that their misery is very hard to describe.
I had perhaps not known this
my curiosity had not led me, the weather being fair, and the wind abated, to go on board the ship: the second mate, who upon this occasion commanded the ship, had been on board our ship; and he told me indeed, that they had three passengers in the great cabbin, that they were in a deplorable condition ; nay, says he, I believe they are dead, for I have heard nothing of them for above two days; and I was afraid to enquire after them, said he, for I had nothing to relieve them with.
We immediately applied ourselves to give them what relief we could spare; and indeed I had so far overruled things with my nephew, that I would have victualled them, though we had gone away to Verginia, or any part of the coast of America, to have supplied ourselves; but there was no necessity for that.
But now they were in a new danger ; for they were afraid of eating two much, even of that little we gave them; the mate or commander brought fix men with him in his boat; but these poor wretches looked like skeletons, and were so weak, they could hardly sit to their oars: the mate himself was very ill, and half-starved; for he declared he had reserved nothing from the men, and went share and share alike with them in every bit they eat.
I cautioned him to eat sparingly, but set meat before him immediately, and he had not eaten three mouthfuls before he began to be fick, and out of order; so he stopt awhile, and our surgeon mixed him up something with some broth, which he said would be to him both food and physick; and after