Page images

honest part of it, but to trespass upon their friendly savages, and to borrow two large canoes or periagua's, on pretence of going out a-fishing, or for pleasure.

In these they came away the next morning; it seems they wanted no time to get themselves ready, for they had no baggage, neither clothes, or provisions, or any thing in the world, but what they had on them, and a few roots to eat, of which they used to make their bread.

They were in all three weeks absent, and in that time, unluckily for them, I had the occasion offered for my escape, as I mentioned in


other to get off from the island; leaving three of the most impudent, hardened, ungoverned, disagreeable villains behind me, that any man could desire to meet with,

poor Spaniards great grief and disappointment,

part, and

to the
you may be sure.

The only just thing the rogues did, waș, that when the Spaniards came on shore, they gave my letter to them, and gave them provisions, and other relief, as I had ordered them to do; also they gave them the long paper of directions, which I had left with them, containing the particular methods which I took for managing every part of my life there; the way how I baked my bread, bred up my tame goats, and planted my corn; how I cured my grapes, made my pots, and, in a word, every thing I did; all this being written down, they gave to the Spaniards, two of whom understood English well enough ; nor did they refuse to accommodate the Spaniards with any thing else, for they agreed very well for some time; they gave them an equal admission into the house, or cave, and they began to live very sociably; and the head


Spaniard, who had seen pretty much of my method; and Friday's father together, managed all their affairs, for, as for the Englisfsmen, they did nothing but ramble about the island, shoot parrots, and catch tortoises, and when they came home at night, the Spaniards provided their suppers for them.

The Spaniards would have been fatisfied with this, would the other but have left them alone; which, however, they could not find in their hearts to do long; but, like the dog in the manger, they would not eat themselves, and would not let others eat neither : the differences, nevertheless, were at first but trivial, and such as are not worth relating ; but at last it broke out into open war, and it began with all the rudeness and infolence that can be imagined, without reason, without provocation, contrary to nature, and indeed to common sense; and though, it is true, the first relation of it came from the Spaniards themselves, whom I may call the accusers, yet when I came to examine the fellows, they could not deny a word of it.

But before I come to the particulars of this part, I must supply a defect in my former relation; and this was, that I forgot to set down among the rest, that, just as we were weighing the anchor to fet fail, there happened a little quarrel on board our ship, which I was afraid once would turn to a second mutiny; nor was it appeafed till the captain, rousing up his

courage, and taking us all to his assistance, parted them by force, and making two of the most refractory fellows prisoners, he laid them in irons ; and as they had been active in the former disorders, and let fall some ugly dangerous words the second

time, he threatened to carry them in irons to England, and have them hanged there for mutiny, and running away with the ship.

This, it feems, though the captain did not intend to do, it frighted some other men in the ship; and fome of them had put it in the heads of the rest, that the captain only gave them good words for the prefent, till they should come to some English port; and that then they should be all put into a gaol, and tried for their lives.

The mate got intelligence of this, and acquainted us with it; upon which it was desired, that I, who still passed for a great man among them, should go down with the mate, and fatisfy the men, and tell them, that they might be assured, if they behaved well the rest of the voyage, all they had done for the time past should be pardoned. So I went, and after passing my honour's word to them, they appeared easy, and the more so, when I caused the two men, who were in irons, to be released and forgiven.

But this mutiny had brought us to an anchor for that night, the wind also falling calm ; next morning we found, that our two men who had been laid in irons, had stole each of them a musket, and some other weapons; what powder or shot they had, we knew not; and had taken the ship's pinnace, which was not yet haled up, and run away with her to their companions in roguery on shore.

As foon as we found this, I ordered the long-boat on hore, with twelve men and the mate, and away they went to seek the rogues; but they could neither find them, nor any of the rest; for they all fled into the woods, when they saw the boat coming on shore.


The mate was once resolved, in justice to their roguery, to have destroyed their plantations, burnt all their household-stuff and furniture, and left them to shift without it; but having no order, he let all alone, left every thing as they found it, and bringing the pinnace away, came on board without them.

These two men made their number five; but the other three villains were so much wickeder than these, that after they had been two or three days together, they turned their two new-comers out of doors to shift for themselves, and would have nothing to do with them; nor could they, for a good while, be persuaded to give them any food; as for the Spaniards, they were not yet come.

When the Spaniards came first on shore, the business began to go forward; the Spaniards would have persuaded the three English brutes to have taken in their two countrymen again, that, as they said, they might be all one family; but they would not hear of it: fo the two poor fellows lived by themselves, and finding nothing but industry and application would make them live comfortable, they pitched their tents on the north shore of the island, but a little more to the west, to be out of the danger of the favages, who always landed on the east parts of the island.

Here they built two huts, one to lodge in, and the other to lay up their magazines and stores in ; and the Spaniards having given them some corn for feed, and especially fome of the peas which I had left them, they dug and planted, and inclosed, after the pattern I had set for them all, and began to live pretty well; their first crop of corn was on the ground, and though it was but a little bit of land which


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

they had dug up at first, having had but a little time, yet it was enough to relieve them, and find them with bread or other catables ; and one of the fellows, being the cook’s mate of the ship, was very ready at making soup, puddings, and such other preparations, as thé rice and the milk, and such little flesh as they got, furnished him to do.

They were going on in a little thriving posture, when the three unnatural rogues, their own countrymen too, in mere humour, and to insult them, came and bullied them, and told them the island was theirs; that the governor, meaning me, had given them poffeffion of it, and nobody else had any right to it; and, damn them, they should build no houses upon their ground, unless they would pay them rent for them.

The two men thought they had jested at first; and asked them to come and fit down, and see what fine houses they were that they had built, and tell them what rent they demanded : and one of them merrily told them, if they were ground-landlords, he hoped if they built tenements upon the land, and made improvements, they would, according to the custom of all landlords, grant them a long lease; and bid them go fetch a scrivener to draw the writings. One of the three, damning and raging, told them, they should see they were not in jest; and going to a little place at a distance, where the honest men had made a fire to dress their victuals, he takes a fire-brand, and claps it to the outside of their hut, and very fairly set it on fire; and it would have been all burnt down in a few minutes, if one of the two had not run to the fellow, thrust him away, and trod the fire VOL. II. E


« PreviousContinue »