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thrown into my hands, by the unexpected driving of the ship on shore, was such a help as would have encouraged any creature in the world to have applied himself as I had done : Seignior, says the Spaniard, had we poor Spaniards been in your case, we should never have gotten half those things out of the fhip as you did: nay, says he, we should never have found means to have gotten a raft to carry them, or to have gotten a raft on fhore without boat or fail; and how much less should we have done, said he, if any of us had been alone! Well, I desired him to abate his compliment, and go on with the history of their coming on shore, where they landed : he told me, they unhappily landed at a place where there were people without provisions; whereas, had they had the common sense to have put off to sea again, and gone to another island a little farther, they had found provisions, though without people ; there being an island that way, as they had been told, where there were provisions, though no people; that is to say, that the Spaniards of Trinidad had frequently been there, and filled the island with goats and hogs at several times; where they have bred in such multitudes, and where turtle and sea fowls were in such plenty, that they could have been in no want of flesh, though they had found no bread; whereas here they were only sustained with a few roots and herbs, which they understood not, and which had no substance in them, and which the inhabitants gave them sparingly enough, and who could treat them no better, unless they would turn canibals, and eat men's flesh, which was the great dainty of the country.
They gave me an account how many ways they strove to civilize the favages they were with, and to teach them rational customs in the ordinary way of living ; but in vain : and how they retorted it upon them, as unjust, that they, who came thither for assistance and support, should attempt to set up for instructors of those that gave them bread; intimating, it seems, that none should set up for the instructors of others, but those who could live without them.
They gave me dismal accounts of the extremities they were driven to; how sometimes they were many days without
food at all; the island they were upon being inhabited by a sort of savages that lived more indolent, and, for that reason, were less supplied with the necessaries of life, than they had reafon to believe others were in the fame part of the . world ; and yet they found that these favages were less ravenous and voracious, than those who had better supplies of food.
Also they added, that they could not but fee with what demonstrations of wisdom and goodness, the governing Providence of God directs the event of things in the world ; which, they said, appeared in their circumstances; for if, pressed by the hardships they were under, and the barrenness of the country where they were, they had searched after a better place to live in, they had then been out of the way of the relief that happened to them by my means.
Then they gave me an account, how the savages, whom they lived among, expected them to go out with them into their wars; and it was true, that, as they had fire-arms with thein, had they not had the
difaster to lose their ammunition, they should not have been serviceable only to their friends, but have made themselves terrible both to friends and enemies; but being without powder and shot, and in a condition, that they could not in reason deny to go out with their landlords to their wars ; when they came in the field of battle, they were in a worse condition than the savages themselves; for they neither had bows nur arrows, nor could they use those the favages gave them ; so that they could do nothing but stand still, and be wounded with arrows, till they came up to the teeth of their enemy; and then, indeed, the three halberts they had were of use to them; and they would often drive a whole little army before them, with those halberts and sharpened sticks put into the muzzles of their muskets : but that for all this, they were sometimes surrounded with multitudes, and in great danger from their arrows; till at last they found the way to make themselves large targets of wood, which they covered with skins of wild beasts, whose names they knew not;
and these covered them from the arrows of the savages; that, notwithstanding these, they were fometimes in great danger, and were once five of them knocked down together, with the clubs of the savages, which was the time when one of them was taken prisoner, that is to say, the Spaniard whom I had relieved: That at first they thought he had been killed, but when afterwards they heard he was taken prisoner, they were under the greatest grief imaginable, and would willingly have all ventured their lives to have rescued him.
They told me, that when they were so knocked down, the rest of their company rescued them, and stood over them fighting, till they were come to themfelves, all but he who they thought had been dead; and then they made their way with their halberts and pieces, standing close together in a line, through a body of above a thousand savages, beating down all that came in their way, got the victory over their enemies, but to their great forrow, because it was with the loss of their friend; whom the other party, finding him alive, carried off with some others, as I gave an account in my former.
They described most affectionately, how they were surprised with joy at the return of their friend and companion in misery, who they thought had been devoured by wild beasts of the worst of kind, viz. by wild men; and, yet how more and more they were surprised with the account he gave them of his errand, and that there was a Christian in a place near, much more one that was able, and had humanity enough to contribute to their deliverance.
They describcd how they were astonished at the sight of the relief I sent them, and at the appearance of loaves of bread, things they had not seen since their coming to that miserable place; how often they crossed
crossed it, and blessed it as bread sent from Heaven ; and what a reviving cordial it was to their fpirits to taste it; as alfo, of the other things I had sent for their supply. And, after all, they would have told me something of the joy they were in at the fight of a boat and pilots to carry them away to the person and place, from whence all these new comforts came ; but they told me, it was impossible
to express it by words ; for their excessive joy driving them to unbecoming extravagancies, they had no way to describe them, but by telling me, that they bordered upon lunacy, having no way to give vent to their passion, suitable to the sense that was upon them; that in some it worked one way, and in some another; and that some of them, through a surprise of joy, would burst out into tears ; others be half mad, and others immediately faint. This difcourse extremely affected me, and called to my mind Friday's extacy, when he met his father, and the poor people's extacy, when I took them up at sea, after their ship was on fire; the mate of the ship's joy, when he found himself delivered in the place where he expected to perish; and my own joy, when after twenty-eight years captivity, I found a good ship ready to carry me to my own country: All these things made me more sensible of the relation of these poor men, and more affected with it.
Having thus given a view of the state of things, as I found them, I must relate the heads of what I did for these people, and the condition in which I left them. It was their opinion, and mine too, that they would be troubled no more with the savages; or that, if they were, they would be able to cut them off, if they were twice as many as before ; so that they had no concern about that. Then I entered into a serious discourse with the Spaniard, whom I called governor, about their stay in the island; for as I was not come to carry any of them off, so it would not be just to carry off some, and leave others, who perhaps would be unwilling to stay if their strength was diminished. Vol. II