Volume 39 of 55, by Various
The Philippine Islands, 1493–1898
Explorations by early navigators, descriptions of the islands and their peoples, their history and records of the catholic missions, as related in contemporaneous books and manuscripts, showing the political, economic, commercial and religious conditions of those islands from their earliest relations with European nations to the close of the nineteenth century,
Volume XXXIX, 1683–1690
Edited and annotated by Emma Helen Blair and James Alexander Robertson with historical introduction and additional notes by Edward Gaylord Bourne.
The present volume, which covers the period 1683–90, is mainly devoted to an account of the controversy between Archbishop Pardo and the religious orders on one side, and the secular government on the other—a conflict of which such events as the disputes between Salazar and Dasmariñas (1591) and Guerrero and Corcuera (1635–36) were but preliminary skirmishes. In this case the archbishop gains the ascendency, being reënforced by one of the governors.
Dampier’s account of his sojourn in the islands is here concluded from the preceding volume. He finds the Mindanaos friendly to the English, but distrustful of the Dutch and Spaniards. They are ingenious and clever in metal-work, and with very primitive tools and appliances make excellent utensils and ship-repairs; another industry of theirs is shipbuilding. The English ship remains about a week on the southern shore of Mindanao, to wait for favorable weather, and then proceeds to the Rio Grande of Mindanao, where it arrives July 18. The natives there are anxious to secure trade with the English merchants, and Dampier regrets that his companions did not resolve to give up freebooting for Spice-Island trade, especially as they were so well fitted, by experience and training, for establishing a trading-post, and had an excellent equipment for that purpose. The English officers maintain friendly intercourse with the natives, which enables them to see much of Malay life and customs. Some of the English sailors desert here, some are poisoned by the natives, and most of the crew become drunken and disaffected. The captain neglects to discipline them, and finally the crew sail away with their ship and leave him (January 14, 1687), with thirty-six of his men, at Mindanao. They halt at Guimarás Island to “scrub” their ship and lay in water; then (February 10) sail northward past Panay. At Mindoro they encounter some Indians, from whom they gain information as to the commerce of Manila, which they intend to attack and pillage. On February 23, the English begin their piratical acts in the Philippines by capturing a Spanish bark, near the coast of Luzón. After describing that island, he relates how some of the English sailors left at Mindanao find their way to Manila. The men on Dampier’s vessel, not finding the Chinese vessels that they expected to seize, decide to wait on the coast of Cambodia and Siam until the time when the Acapulco galleon is expected. Having cruised along the mainland until July 29, they direct their course to the Batanes Islands, north of Luzón, arriving there August 6; they trade with the natives, clean the ship, and lay in provisions, intending to go afterward to harry the Manila commerce. But a fierce storm arises (September 25), driving them about for a week, and disheartening the men; and finally (October 3) they sail from the northern end of Luzón past the eastern coast of that island and Leyte, until they reach Sarangani, where they halt to repair their ship. Departing thence November 2, they go to Australia, and Dampier soon afterward leaves the ship—spending the next four years in the Malasian Islands, and, after numerous and varied adventures, arriving in England in September, 1691.
Dampier in the Philippines
Of the Inhabitants, and Civil State of the Isle of Mindanao. The Mindanayans, Hilanoones, Sologues, and Alfoorees. Of the Mindanayans, properly so called; Their Manners and Habits. The Habits and Manners of their Women. A Comical Custom at Mindanao. Their Houses, their Diet, and Washings. The Languages spoken there, and Transactions with the Spaniards. Their fear of the Dutch, and seeming desire of the English. Their Handy-crafts, and peculiar sort of Smiths Bellows. Their Shipping, Commodities, and Trade. The Mindanao and Manila Tobacco. A sort of Leprosie there, and other Distempers. Their Marriages. The Sultan of Mindanao, his Poverty, Power, Family, &c. The Proes or Boats here. Raja Laut the General, Brother of the Sultan, and his Family. Their way of Fighting. Their Religion. Raja Laut’s Devotion. A Clock or Drum in their Mosques. Of their Circumcision, and the Solemnity then used. Of other their Religious Observations and Superstitions. Their abhorrence of Swines Flesh, &c.
This Island is not subject to one Prince, neither is the Language one and the same; but the People are much alike, in colour, strength, and stature. They are all or most of them of one Religion, which is Mahometanism, and their customs and manner of living are alike. The Mindanao People, more particularly so called, are the greatest Nation in the Island, and trading by Sea with other Nations, they are therefore the more civil. I shall say but little of the rest, being less known to me, but so much as hath come to my knowledge, take as follows. There are besides the Mindanayans, the Hilanoones, (as they call them) or the Mountaneers, the Sologues and Alfoores.1
The Hilanoones live in the Heart of the Country: They have little or no commerce by Sea, yet they have Proe’s that row with 12 or 14 Oars apiece. They enjoy the benefit of the Gold Mines; and with their Gold buy forreign Commodities of the Mindanao People. They have also plenty of Bees-Wax, which they exchange for other Commodities.
The Sologues inhabit the N.W. end of the Island.2 They are the least Nation of all; they Trade to Manila in Proes, and to some of the neighboring Islands, but have no Commerce with the Mindanao People.
The Alfoores are the same with the Mindanayans, and were formerly under the subjection of the Sultan of Mindanao, but were divided among the Sultan’s Children, and have of late had a Sultan of their own; but having by Marriage contracted an alliance with the Sultan of Mindanao, this has occasioned that Prince to claim them again as his Subjects; and he made War with them a little after we went away, as I afterwards understood.
The Mindanayans properly so called, are Men of mean statures; small Limbs, straight Bodies, and little Heads. Their Faces are oval, their Foreheads flat, with black small Eyes, short low Noses, pretty large Mouths; their Lips thin and red, their Teeth black, yet very sound, their Hair black and straight, the colour of their Skin tawney, but inclining to a brighter yellow than some other Indians, especially the Women. They have a Custom to wear their Thumb-nails very long, especially that on their left Thumb, for they do never cut it but scrape it often. They are indued with good natural Wits, are ingenious, nimble, and active, when they are minded; but generally very lazy and thievish, and will not work except forced by Hunger. This laziness is natural to most Indians; but these People’s lazinesz seems rather to proceed not so much from their natural Inclinations, as from the severity of their Prince of whom they stand in awe: For he dealing with them very arbitrarily, and taking from them what they get, this damps their Industry, so they never strive to have any thing but from Hand to Mouth. They are generally proud, and walk very stately. They are civil enough to Strangers, and will easily be acquainted with them, and entertain them with great freedom; but they are implacable to their Enemies, and very revengeful if they are injured, frequently poisoning secretly those that have affronted them.
They wear but few Cloaths their Heads are circled with a short turban, fringed or laced at both ends; it goes once about the Head, and is tied in a knot, the laced ends hanging down. They wear Frocks and Breeches, but no Stockings nor Shooes.
The Women are fairer than the Men; and their Hair is black and long; which they tie in a knot, that hangs back in their Poles. They are more round visaged than the Men, and generally well featured; only their Noses are very small, and so low between their Eyes, that in some of the Female Children the rising that should be between the Eyes is scarce discernable; neither is their any sensible rising in their Foreheads. At a distance they appear very well; but being nigh, these Impediments are very obvious. They have very small Limbs. They wear but two Garments; a Frock, and a sort of Petticoat; the Petticoat is only a piece of Cloth, sewed both ends together; but it is made two Foot too big for their Wastes, so that they may wear either end uppermost; that part that comes up to their Wastes, because it is so much too big, they gather it in their Hands, and twist it till it fits close to their Wastes, tucking in the twisted part between their Waste and the edge of the Petticoat, which keeps it close. The Frock fits loose about them, and reaches down a little below the Waste. The Sleeves are a great deal longer than their Arms, and so small at the end, that their Hands will scarce go through. Being on, the Sleeve fits in folds about the wrist, wherein they take great pride.
The better sort of People have their Garments made of long Cloth; but the ordinary sort wear Cloth made of Plantain-tree, which they call Saggen;3 by which name they call the Plantain. They have neither Stocking or Shooe, and the Women have very small Feet.
The Women are very desirous of the Company of Strangers, especially White Men; and doubtless would be very familiar, if the Custom of the Country did not debar them from that freedom, which seems coveted by them. Yet from the highest to the lowest they are allowed liberty to converse with, or treat strangers in the sight of their Husbands.
There is a kind of begging Custom at Mindanao, that I have not met elsewhere with in all my Travels; and which I believe is owing to the little Trade they have; which is thus: When Strangers arrive here, the Mindanao Men will come aboard, and invite them to their Houses, and inquire who has a Comrade, (which word I believe they have from the Spaniards) or a Pagally, and who has not. A Comrade is a familiar Male-friend; a Pagally4 is an innocent Platonick Friend of the other Sex. All Strangers are in a manner oblig’d to accept of this Acquaintance and Familiarity, which must be first purchased with a small Present, and afterwards confirmed with some Gift or other to continue the Acquaintance: and as often as the Stranger goes ashore, he is welcome to his Comrade or Pagally’s House, where he may be entertained for his Money, to Eat, Drink, or Sleep, and complimented, as often as he comes ashore, with Tobacco and Betel-Nut, which is all the Entertainment he must expect gratis. The richest Mens Wives are allow’d the freedom to converse with her Pagally in publick, and may give or receive Presents from him. Even the Sultans and the Generals Wives, who are always coopt up, will yet look out of their Cages when a Stranger passeth by, and demand of him if he wants a Pagally: and to invite him to their Friendship, will send a Present of Tobacco and Betel-nut to him by their Servants.
Probably the City named Mindanao which is mentioned here is Cotobato.
The chiefest City on this Island is called by the same Name of Mindanao. It is seated on the South side of the Island, in lat. 7 d. 20 m. N. on the banks of a small River, about two Mile from the Sea. The manner of building is somewhat strange: yet generally used in this Part of the East-Indies. Their House are all built on Posts, about 14, 16, 18, or 20 Foot high. These Posts are bigger or less, according to the intended magnificence of the Superstructure. They have but one Floor, but many Partitions or Rooms, and a Ladder or Stairs to go up out of the Streets. The Roof is large, and covered with Palmeto or Palm-leaves. So there is a clear passage like a Piazza (but a filthy one) under the House. Some of the poorer People that keep Ducks or Hens, have a fence made round the Posts of their Houses, with a Door to go in and out; and this Under-room serves for no other use. Some use this place for the common draught of their Houses, but building mostly close by the River in all parts of the Indies, they make the River ]receive all the filth of their House; and at the time of the Land-floods, all is washed very clean.
The Sultan’s House is much bigger than any of the rest. It stands on about 180 great Posts or Trees, a great deal higher than the common Building, with great broad Stairs made to go up. In the first Room he hath about 20 Iron Guns, all Saker and Minion, placed on Field-Carriages. The General, and other great Men have some Guns also in their Houses. About 20 paces from the Sultan’s House there is a small low House, built purposely for the Reception of Ambassadors or Merchant Strangers. This also stands on Posts, but the Floor is not raised above three or four Foot above the Ground, and is neatly Matted purposely for the Sultan and his Council to sit on; for they use no Chairs, but sit cross-legg’d like Taylors on the Floor.
The common Food at Mindanao is Rice, or Sago, and a small Fish or two. The better sort eat Buffalo, or Fowls ill drest, and abundance of Rice with it. They use no Spoons to eat their Rice, but every Man takes a handful out of the Platter, and by wetting his Hand in Water, that it may not stick to his Hand, squeezes it into a lump, as hard as possibly he can make it, and then crams it into his Mouth. They all strive to make these lumps as big as their Mouths can receive them; and seem to vie with each other, and glory in taking in the biggest lump; so that sometimes they almost choke themselves. They always wash after Meals, or if they touch any thing that is unclean; for which reason they spend abundance of Water in their Houses. This Water, with the washing of their Dishes, and what other filth they make, they pour down near their Fire-place: for their Chambers are not boarded, but floored with split Bamboes, like Lathe, so that the Water presently falls underneath their dwelling Rooms, where it breeds Maggots, and makes a prodigious stink. Besides this filthiness, the sick People ease themselves, and make Water in their Chambers; there being a small hole made purposely in the Floor, to let it drop through. But healthy sound People commonly ease themselves, and make Water in the River. For that reason you shall always see abundance of People, of both Sexes in the River, from Morning till Night; some easing themselves, others washing their bodies or Cloaths. If they come into the River purposely to wash their Cloaths, they strip and stand naked till they have done; then put them on, and march out again: both Men and Women take great delight in swimming, and washing themselves, being bred to it from their Infancy. I do believe it is very wholsom to wash Mornings and Evenings in these hot Countries, at least three or four Days in the Week: For I did use my self to it when I lived afterwards at Ben-cooly, and found it very refreshing and comfortable. It is very good for those that have Fluxes to wash and stand in the Rivers Mornings and Evenings. I speak it experimentally; for I was brought very low with that distemper at Achin; but by washing constantly Mornings and Evenings I found great benefit, and was quickly cured by it.
In the City of Mindanao they speak two Languages indifferently: their own Mindanao Language, and the Malaya; but in other parts or the Island they speak only their proper Language, having little Commerce abroad. They have Schools, and instruct the Children to Read and Write, and bring them up in the Mahometan Religion. Therefore many of the words, especially their Prayers, are in Arabick; and many of the words of civility the same as in Turkey; and especially when they meet in the Morning, or take leave of each other, they express themselves in that Language.
Many of the old People, both Men and Women, can speak Spanish, for the Spaniards were formerly settled among them, and had several Forts on this Island; and then they sent two Friers to the City, to convert the Sultan of Mindanao and his People. At that time these People began to learn Spanish, and the Spaniards incroached on them and endeavoured to bring them into subjection; and probably before this time had brought them all under their yoak, if they themselves had not been drawn off from this Island to Manila, to resist the Chinese, who threatened to invade them there. When the Spaniards were gone, the old Sultan of Mindanao, Father to the present, in whose time it was, razed and demolished their Forts, brought away their Guns, and sent away the Friers; and since that time will not suffer the Spaniards to settle on the Islands.
They are now most afraid of the Dutch, being sensible how they have inslaved many of the Neighboring Islands. For that Reason they have a long time desired the English to settle among them, and have offered them any convenient Place to build a Fort in, as the General himself told us; giving this Reason, that they do not find the English so incroaching as the Dutch or Spanish. The Dutch are no less jealous of their admitting the English, for they are sensible what detriment it would be to them if the English should settle here.
There are but few Tradesmen at the City of Mindanao. The chiefest Trades are Goldsmiths, Blacksmiths, and Carpenters. There are but two or three Goldsmiths; these will work in Gold or Silver, and make any thing that you desire: but they have no Shop furnished with Ware ready made for Sale. Here are several Blacksmiths who work very well, considering the Tools that they work with. Their Bellows are much different from ours. They are made of a wooden Cylinder, the Trunk of a Tree, about three Foot long, bored hollow like a Pump, and set upright on the ground, on which the Fire it self is made. Near the lower end there is a small hole, in the side of the Trunk next the Fire, made to receive a Pipe, through which the Wind is driven to the Fire by a great bunch of fine Feathers fastened to one end of the Stick, which closing up the inside of the Cylinder, drives the Air out of the Cylinder through the Pipe: Two of these Trunks or Cylinders are placed so nigh together, that a Man standing between them may work them both at once alternately, one with each Hand. They have neither Vice nor Anvil, but a great hard Stone or a piece of an old Gun, to hammer upon: yet they will perform their work making both common Utensils and Iron-works about Ships to admiration. They work altogether with Charcoal. Every Man almost is a Carpenter, for they can work with the Ax and Adds. Their Ax is but small, and so made that they can take it out of the Helve, and by turning it make an Adds of it. They have no Saws; but when they make Plank, they split the Tree in two, and make a Plank of each part, plaining it with the Ax and Adds. This requires much pains, and takes up a great deal of time; but they work cheap, and the goodness of the Plank thus hewed, which hath its grain preserv’d entire, makes amends for their cost and pains.
They build good and serviceable Ships or Barks for the Sea, some for Trade, others for Pleasure; and some Ships of War. Their trading Vessels they send chiefly to Manila. Thither they transport Bees-wax, which, I think, is the only Commodity, besides Gold that they vend there. The Inhabitants of the City of Mindanao get a great deal of Bees-wax themselves: but the greatest quantity they purchase is of the Mountaneers, from whom they also get the Gold which they send to Manila; and with these they buy their Calicoes, Muslins, and China Silk. They send sometimes their Barks to Borneo and other Islands; but what they transport thither, or import from thence, I know not. The Dutch come hither in Sloops from Ternate and Tidore, and buy Rice, Bees-wax, and Tobacco: for there is a great deal of Tobacco grown on this Island, more than in any Island or Country in the East-Indies, that I know of, Manila only excepted. It is an excellent sort of Tobacco; but these People have not the Art of managing this Trade to their best advantage, as the Spaniards have at Manila. I do believe the Seeds were first brought hither from Manila by the Spaniards, and even thither, in all probability, from America: the difference between the Mindanao and Manila Tobacco is, that the Mindanao Tobacco is of a darker colour; and the Leaf larger and grosser than the Manila Tobacco, being propagated or planted in a fatter Soil. The Manila Tobacco is of a bright yellow colour, of an indifferent size, not strong, but Pleasant to Smoak. The Spaniards at Manila are very curious about this Tobacco, having a peculiar way of making it up neatly in the Leaf. For they take two little Sticks, each about a Foot long, and flat, and placing the Stalks of the Tobacco Leaves in a row, 40 or 50 of them between the two Sticks, they bind them hard together, so that the Leaves hang dangling down. One of these bundles is sold for a Rial at Fort St. George: but you may have 10 or 12 pound of Tobacco at Mindanao for a Rial: and the Tobacco is as good, or rather better than the Manila Tobacco, but they have not that vent for it as the Spaniards have.
The Mindanao People are much troubled with a sort of Leprosie, the same as we observed at Guam. This Distemper runs with a dry Scurf all over their Bodies, and causeth great itching in those that have it, making them frequently scratch and scrub themselves, which raiseth the outer skin in small whitish flakes, like the scales of little Fish, when they are raised on end with a knife. This makes their skin extraordinary rough, and in some you shall see broad white spots in several parts of their Body. I judge such have had it, but are cured; for their skins were smooth, and I did not perceive them to scrub themselves: yet I have learnt from their own mouths that these spots were from this Distemper. Whether they use any means to cure themselves, or whether it goes away of it self, I know not: but I did not perceive that they made any great matter of it, for they did never refrain any Company for it; none of our People caught it of them, for we were afraid of it, and kept off. They are sometimes troubled with the Small Pox, but their ordinary Distempers are Fevers, Agues, Fluxes, with great pains, and gripings in their Guts. The Country affords a great many Drugs and Medicinal Herbs, whose Virtues are not unknown to some of them that pretend to cure the Sick.
The Mindanao Men have many Wives: but what Ceremonies are used when they Marry I know not. There is commonly a great Feast made by the Bridegroom to entertain his Friends, and the most part of the Night is spent in Mirth.
The Sultan is absolute in his Power over all his Subjects. He is but a poor Prince; for as I mentioned before, they have but little Trade, and therefore cannot be rich. If the Sultan understands that any Man has Money, if it be but 20 Dollars, which is a great matter among them, he will send to borrow so much Money, pretending urgent occasions for it; and they dare not deny him. Sometimes he will send to sell one thing or another that he hath to dispose of, to such whom he knows to have Money, and they must buy it, and give him his price; and if afterwards he hath occasion for the same thing, he must have it if he sends for it. He is but a little Man, between 50 or 60 Years old, and by relation very good natured, but over-ruled by those about him. He has a Queen, and keeps about 29 Women, or Wives more, in whose company he spends most of his time. He has one Daughter by his Sultaness or Queen, and a great many Sons and Daughters by the rest. These walk about the Streets, and would be always begging things of us; but it is reported that the young Princess is kept in a Room, and never stirs out, and that she did never see any Man but her Father and Raja Laut her Uncle, being then about Fourteen Years Old.
When the Sultan visits his Friends, he is carried in a small Couch on four Mens shoulders, with eight or ten armed Men to guard him; but he never goes far this way; for the Country is very Woody, and they have but little Paths, which render it the less commodious. When he takes his pleasure by Water, he carries some of his Wives along with him. The Proes that are built for this purpose, are large enough to entertain 50 or 60 Persons or more. The Hull is neatly built, with a round Head and Stern, and over the Hull there is a small slight House built with Bamboes; the sides are made up with split Bamboes, about four Foot high, with little Windows in them of the same, to open and shut at their pleasure. The roof is almost flat, neatly thatched with Palmeto Leaves. This House is divided into two or three small Partitions or Chambers, one particularly for himself. This is neatly Matted underneath, and round the sides; and there is a Carpet and Pillows for him to sleep on. The second Room is for his Women, much like the former. The third is for the Servants, who tend them with Tobacco and Betel-Nut; for they are always chewing or smoking. The fore and after-parts of the Vessel are for the Marriners to sit and Row. Besides this, they have Outlayers, such as those I described at Guam; only the Boats and Outlayers here are larger. These Boats are more round, like the Half-Moon almost; and the Bamboes or Outlayers that reach from the Boat are also crooked. Besides, the Boat is not flat on one side here, as at Guam; but hath a Belly and Outlayers on each side: and whereas at Guam there is a little Boat fasten’d to the Outlayers, that lies in the Water; the Beams or Bamboes here are fasten’d traverse-wise to the Outlayers on each side, and touch not the Water like Boats, but 1, 3 or 4 Foot above the Water, and serve for the Barge Men to sit and Row and paddle on; the inside of the Vessel, except only just afore and abaft, being taken up with the apartments for the Passengers. There run a-cross the Outlayers two tire of Beams for the Padlers to sit on, on each side the Vessel. The lower tire of these Beams is not above a Foot from the Water: so that upon any the least reeling of the Vessel, the Beams are dipt in the Water, and the Men that sit are wet up to their Waste: their Feet seldom escaping the Water. And thus as all our Vessels are Rowed from within, these are Paddled from without.
The Sultan hath a Brother called Raja Laut, a brave Man. He is the second Man in the Kingdom. All Strangers that come hither to Trade must make their Address to him, for all Sea Affairs belong to him. He Licenceth Strangers to Import or Export any Commodity, and ’tis by his Permission that the Natives themselves are suffered to Trade: Nay the very Fishermen must [t]ake a Permit from him: So that there is no Man can come into the River or go out but by his leave. He is two or three Years younger than the Sultan, and a little Man like him. He has eight Women, by some of whom he hath Issue. He hath only one Son, about twelve or fourteen Years old, who was Circumcised while we were there. His Eldest Son died a little before we came hither, for whom he was still in great heaviness. If he had lived a little longer he should have Married the young Princess, but whether this second Son must have her I know not, for I did never hear any Discourse about it. Raja Laut is a very sharp Man; he speaks and writes Spanish, which he learned in his Youth. He has by often conversing with Strangers, got a great sight into the Customs of other Nations, and by Spanish Books has some knowledge of Europe. He is General of the Mindanayans, and is accounted an expert Soldier and a very stout Man; and the Women in their Dances, Sing many Songs in his praise.
The Sultan of Mindanao sometimes makes War with his Neighbors the Mountaneers or Alfoores. Their Weapons are Swords, Lances and some Hand-Cressets. The Cresset6 is a small thing like a Baggonet, which they always wear in War or Peace, at Work or Play, from the greatest of them to the poorest, or the meanest Persons. They do never meet each other so as to have a pitcht Battle, but they build small Works or Forts of Timber, wherein they plant little Guns, and lie in sight of each other 2 or 3 Months, skirmishing every Day in small Parties, and sometimes surprizing a Brestwork; and whatever side is like to be worsted, if they have no probability to escape by flight, they sell their lives as dear as they can; for there is seldom any quarter given, but the Conqueror cuts and hacks his Enemies to pieces.
The Religion of these People is Mahometanism, Friday is their Sabbath; but I did never see any difference that they make between this Day and any other Day, only the Sultan himself goes then to the Mosque twice. Raja Laut never goes to the Mosque, but Prays at certain Hours, Eight or Ten times in a Day; where-ever he is, he is very punctual to his Canonical Hours, and if he be aboard will go ashore, on purpose to Pray. For no Business nor Company hinders him from this Duty. Whether he is at home or abroad, in a House or in the Field, he leaves all his Company, and goes about 100 Yards off, and there kneels down to his Devotion. He first kisses the Ground, then prays aloud, and divers times in his Prayers he kisses the Ground, and does the same when he leaves off. His Servants, and his Wives and Children talk and sing, or play how they please all the time, but himself is very serious. The meaner sort of People have little Devotion: I did never see any of them at their Prayers, or go into a Mosque.
In the Sultan’s Mosque there is a great Drum with but one Head called a Gong; which is instead of a Clock. This Gong is beaten at 12 a Clock, at 3, 6, and 9; a Man being appointed for that Service. He has a Stick as big as a Man’s Arm, with a great knob at the end, bigger than a Man’s Fist, made with Cotton, bound fast with small Cords: with this he strikes the Gong as hard as he can, about 20 strokes; beginning to strike leisurely the first 5 or 6 strokes; then he strikes faster, and at last strikes as fast as he can; and then he strikes again slower and slower so many strokes: thus he rises and falls three times, and then leaves off till three Hours after. This is done Night and Day.
They circumcise the Males at 11 or 12 Years of Age, or older; and many are circumcised at once. This Ceremony is performed with a great deal of Solemnity. There had been no Circumcision for some Years before our being here; and then there was one for Raja Laut’s Son. They chuse to have a general Circumcision when the Sultan, or General, or some other great Person hath a Son fit to be Circumcised; for with him a great many more are Circumcised. There is notice given about 8 or 10 Days before for all Men to appear in Arms, and great preparation is made against the solemn Day. In the Morning before the Boys are Circumcised, Presents are sent to the Father of the Child, that keeps the Feast; which, as I said before, is either the Sultan, or some great Person: and about 10 or 11 a Clock the Mahometan Priest does his Office. He takes hold of the fore-skin with two Sticks, and with a pair of Scissors snips it off. After this most of the Men, both in City and Country being in Arms before the House, begin to act as if they were ingaged with an Enemy, having such Arms as I described. Only one acts at a time, the rest make a great Ring of 2 or 300 Yards round about him. He that is to exercise comes into the Ring with a great shriek or two, and a horrid look; then he fetches two or three large stately strides, and falls to work. He holds his broad Sword in one Hand, and his Lance in the other, and traverses his Ground, leaping from one side of the Ring to the other; and in a menacing posture and look, bids defiance to the Enemy, whom his Fancy frames to him; for there is nothing but Air to oppose him. Then he stamps and shakes his Head, and grinning with his Teeth, makes many ruful Faces. Then he throws his Lance, and nimbly snatches out his Cresset, with which he hacks and hews the Air like a Mad-man, often shrieking. At last, being almost tired with motion, he flies to the middle of the Ring, where he seems to have his Enemy at his Mercy, and with two or three blows cuts on the Ground as if he was cutting off his Enemy’s Head. By this time he is all of a Sweat, and withdraws triumphantly out of the Ring, and presently another enters with the like shrieks and gesture. Thus they continue combating their imaginary Enemy all the rest of the Day: towards the conclusion of which the richest Men act, and at last the General, and then the Sultan concludes this Ceremony: He and the General with some other great Men, are in Armor, but the rest have none. After this the Sultan returns home, accompanied with abundance of People who wait on him there till they are dismist. But at the time when we were there, there was an after-game to be played; for the General’s Son being then Circumcised, the Sultan intended to give him a second visit in the Night, so they all waited to attend him thither. The General also provided to meet him in the best manner, and therefore desired Captain Swan with his Men to attend him. Accordingly Captain Swan ordered us to get our Guns, and wait at the General’s House till further Orders. So about 40 of us waited till Eight a Clock in the Evening. When the General with Captain Swan, and about 1000 Men, went to meet the Sultan, with abundance of Torches that made it as light as Day. The manner of the march was thus: First of all there was a Pageant, and upon it two dancing Women gorgeously apparelled, with Coronets on their Heads, full of glittering Spangles, and Pendants of the same, hanging down over their Breast and Shoulders. These are Women bred up purposely for dancing: Their Feet and Legs are but little imployed, except sometimes to turn round very gently; but their Hands, Arms, Head and Body are in continual motion, especially their Arms, which they turn and twist so strangely, that you would think them to be made without Bones. Besides the two dancing Women, there were two old Women in the Pageant, holding each a lighted Torch in their Hands, close by the two dancing Women, by which light the glittering Spangles appeared very gloriously. This Pageant was carried by six lusty Men: Then came six or seven Torches, lighting the General and Captain Swan, who marched side by side next, and we that attended Captain Swan followed close after, marching in order six and six abreast, with each Man his Gun on his Shoulder, and Torches on each side. After us came twelve of the General’s Men with old Spanish Match-locks, marching four in a row. After them about forty Lances, and behind them as many with great Swords, marching all in order. After them came abundance only with Cressets by their sides, who marched up close without any order. When we came near the Sultan’s House, the Sultan and his Men met us, and we wheel’d off to let them pass. The Sultan had three Pageants [that] went before him: In the first Pageant were four of his Sons, who were about 10 or 11 Years old. They had gotten abundance of small Stones, which they roguishly threw about on the People’s Heads. In the next were four young Maidens, nieces to the Sultan, being his Sisters Daughters; and in the 3d, there were three of the Sultan’s Children, not above six Years old. The Sultan himself followed next, being carried in his Couch, which was not like your Indian Palankins, but open, and very little and ordinary. A multitude of People came after, without any order: but as soon as he was past by, the General, and Captain Swan, and all our Men, closed in just behind the Sultan, and so all marched together to the General’s House. We came thither between 10 and 11 a Clock, where the biggest part of the Company were immediately dismist; but the Sultan and his Children, and his Nieces, and some other Persons of Quality, entred the General’s House. They were met at the Head of the Stairs by the General’s Women, who with a great deal of Respect conducted them into the House. Captain Swan, and we that were with him followed after. It was not long before the General caused his dancing Women to enter the Room, and divert the Company with that pastime. I had forgot to tell you that they have none but vocal Musick here, by what I could learn, except only a row of a kind of Bells without Clappers, 16 in number, and their weight increasing gradually from about three to ten pound weight. These were set in a row on a Table in the General’s House, where for seven or eight Days together before the Circumcision day, they were struck each with a little Stick, for the biggest part of the Day making a great noise, and they ceased that Morning. So these dancing Women sung themselves, and danced to their own Musick. After this the General’s Women, and the Sultan’s Sons, and his Nieces danced. Two of the Sultan’s Nieces were about 18 or 19 Years Old, the other two were three or four Years Younger. These Young Ladies were very richly drest, with loose garments of Silk, and small Coronets on their Heads. They were much fairer than any Women that I did ever see there, and very well featured; and their Noses, tho’ but small, yet higher than the other Womens, and very well proportioned. When the Ladies had very well diverted themselves and the Company with dancing, the General caused us to fire some Sky-rockets, that were made by his and Captain Swan’s Order, purposely for this Nights Solemnity; and after that the Sultan and his retinue went away with a few Attendants, and we all broke up, and thus ended this Days Solemnity: but the Boys being sore with their Amputation, went straddling for a fortnight after.
They are not, as I said before, very curious or strict in observing any Days, or Times of particular Devotions, except it be Ramdam [i.e., Ramadan] time, as we call it. The Ramdam time was then in August, as I take it, for it was shortly after our arrival here. In this time they Fast all Day and about seven a Clock in the Evening, they spend near an Hour in Prayer. Towards the latter end of their Prayer, they loudly invoke their Prophet, for about a quarter of an Hour, both old and young bawling out very strangely, as if they intended to fright him out of his sleepiness or neglect of them. After their Prayer is ended, they spend some time in Feasting before they take their repose. Thus they do every Day for a whole Month at least; for sometimes ’tis two or three Days longer before the Ramdam ends: For it begins at the New Moon, and lasts till they see the next New Moon, which sometimes in thick hazy Weather is not till three or four Days after the Change, as it happen’d while I was at Achin, where they continued the Ramdam till the New Moon’s appearance. The next Day after they have seen the New Moon, the Guns are all discharged about Noon, and then the time ends.
A main part of their Religion consists in washing often, to keep themselves from being defiled; or after they are defiled to cleanse themselves again. They also take great care to keep themselves from being polluted, by tasting or touching any thing that is accounted Unclean; therefore Swines Flesh is very abominable to them; nay, any one that hath either tasted of Swines flesh, or touched those Creatures, is not permitted to come into their Houses in many Days after, and there is nothing will scare them more than a Swine. Yet there are wild Hogs in the Islands, and those so plentiful, that they will come in troops out of the Woods in the Night into the very City, and come under their Houses, to romage up and down the Filth that they find there. The Natives therefore would even desire to lie in wait for the Hogs, to destroy them, which we did frequently, by shooting them and carrying them presently on board, but were prohibited their Houses afterwards.
And now I am on this Subject, I cannot omit a Story concerning the General. He once desired to have a pair of Shoes made after the English Fashion, tho’ he did very seldom wear any: So one [of] our Men made him a Pair, which the General liked very well. Afterwards some Body told him, That the Thread wherewith the Shoes were sowed, were pointed with Hogs-bristles. This put him into a great Passion; so he sent the Shoes to the Man that made them, and sent him withal more Leather to make another Pair, with Threads pointed with some other Hair, which was immediately done, and then he was well pleased.
Their coasting along the Isle of Mindanao, from a Bay on the East-side to another, at the S.E. end. Tornadoes and boisterous Weather. The S.E. Coast, and its Savannah and plenty of Deer. They coast along the South-side to the River of Mindanao City, and anchor there. The Sultan’s Brother and Son come aboard them, and invite them to settle there. Of the Feasibleness and probable Advantage of such a Settlement, from the neighboring Gold and Spice Islands. Of the best way to Mindanao by the South Sea and Terra Australis; and of an accidental Discovery there by Captain Davis, and a probability of a greater. The Capacity they were in to settle here. The Mindanayans measure their Ship. Captain Swan’s Present to the Sultan: his Reception of it, and Audience given to Captain Swan, with Raja Laut, the Sultans Brother’s Entertainment of him. The Contents of two English Letters shewn them by the Sultan of Mindanao. Of the Commodities, and the Punishments there. The General’s Caution how to demean themselves: at his Persuasion they lay up their Ships in the River. The Mindanaians Caresses. The great Rains and Floods at the City. The Mindanaians have Chinese Accomptants. How their Women dance. A Story of one John Thacker. Their Bark eaten up, and their Ship endangered by the Worm. Of the Worms here and elsewhere. Of Captain Swan. Raja Laut, the General’s Deceitfulness. Hunting wild Kine. The Prodigality of some of the English. Captain Swan treats with a Young Indian of a Spice-Island. A Hunting Voyage with the General. His punishing a Servant of his. Of his Wives and Women. A sort of strong Rice-drink. The General’s foul Dealing and Exactions. Captain Swan’s Uneasiness and indiscreet Management. His Men Mutiny. Of a Snake twisting about on their Necks. The main part of the Crew go away with the Ship, leaving Captain Swan and some of his Men: Several others poisoned there.
Having in the two last Chapters given some Account of the Natural, Civil, and Religious State of Mindanao, I shall now go on with the prosecution of our Affairs during our stay there.
’Twas in a Bay on the N. East-side of the Island that we came to an Anchor, as hath been said. We lay in this Bay but one Night, and part of the next Day. Yet there we got Speech with some of the Natives, who by signs made us to understand, that the City Mindanao was on the West-side of the Island. We endeavored to persuade one of them, to go with us to be our Pilot, but he would not: Therefore in the Afternoon we loosed from hence, steering again to the South East, having the Wind at S.W. When we came to the S.E. end of the Island Mindanao, we saw two small Islands7 about three Leagues distant from it. We might have passed between them and the main Island, as we learnt since, but not knowing them, nor what dangers we might encounter there, we chose rather to Sail to the Eastward of them. But meeting very strong Westerly Winds, we got nothing forward in many Days. In this time we first saw the Islands Meangis,8 which are about 16 Leagues distant from the Mindanao, bearing S.E. I shall have occasion to speak more of them hereafter.
The 4th Day of July we got into a deep Bay, four Leagues N.W. from the two small Islands before mentioned. But the Night before, in a violent Tornado, our Bark being unable to beat any longer, bore away, which put us in some pain for fear she was overset, as we had like to have been our selves. We anchored on the South West side of the Bay, in fifteen fathom Water, about a Cables length from the shore. Here we were forced to shelter our selves from the violence of the Weather, which was so boisterous with Rains, and Tornadoes, and a strong Westerly Wind, that we were very glad to find this place to Anchor in, being the only shelter on this side from the West Winds.
This Bay is not above two Mile wide at the Mouth, but farther in it is three Leagues wide, and seven fathom deep, running in N.N.W. There is a good depth of Water about four or five Leagues in, but Rocky foul Ground for about two Leagues in, from the Mouth on both sides of the Bay, except only in that place where we lay. About three Leagues in from the mouth, on the Eastern side, there are fair sandy Bays, and very good anchoring in four, five, and six fathom. The Land on the East side is high, Mountainous, and Woody, yet very well watered with small Brooks, and there is one River large enough for Canoes to enter. On the West side of the Bay, the Land is of a mean height with a large Savannah, bordering on the Sea, and stretching from the mouth of the Bay, a great way to the Westward.
This Savannah abounds with long Grass, and it is plentifully stock’d with Deer. The adjacent Woods are a covert for them in the heat of the Day: but Mornings and Evenings they feed in the open Plains, as thick as in our Parks in England. I never saw any where such plenty of wild Deer, tho’ I have met with them in several parts of America, both in the North and South Seas
The Deer live here pretty peaceably and unmolested, for there are no Inhabitants on that side of the Bay. We visited this Savannah every Morning, and killed as many Deer as we pleased, sometimes 16 or 18 in a Day; and we did eat nothing but Venison all the time we staid here.
We saw a great many Plantations by the sides of the Mountains, on the East side of the Bay, and we went to one of them, in hopes to learn of the Inhabitants whereabouts the City was, that we might not over-sail it in the Night; but they fled from us.
We lay here till the 12th Day before the Winds abated of their fury, and then we sailed from hence, directing our course to the Westward. In the Morning we had a Land Wind at North. At 11 a Clock the Sea breeze came at West, just in our Teeth, but it being fair Weather, we kept on our way, turning and taking the advantage of the Land breezes by Night, and the Sea breezes by Day.
Being now past the S.E. part of the Island, we coasted down on the South side, and we saw abundance of Canoas a fishing, and now and then a small Village. Neither were these Inhabitants afraid of us (as the former) but came aboard; yet we could not understand them, nor they us, but by signs: and when we mentioned the word Mindanao, they would point towards it.
The 18th Day of July we arrived before the River of Mindanao; the mouth of which lies in lat. 6 d. 22 m. N. and is laid in 231 d. 12 m. Longitude West, from the Lizard in England9. We anchored right against the River in 15 fathom Water, clear hard Sand; about 2 Miles from the shore, and 3 or 4 Miles from a small Island, that lay without us to the Southward. We fired 7 or 9 Guns, I remember not well which, and were answered again with 3 from the shore; for which we gave one again. Immediately after our coming to an Anchor Raja Laut, and one of the Sultan’s Sons came off in a Canoa, being rowed with 10 Oars, and demanded in
Spanish what we were? and from whence we came? Mr. Smith (he who was taken Prisoner at Leon in Mexico) answered in the same Language, that we were English, and that we had been a great while out of England. They told us that we were welcome, and asked us a great many questions about England; especially concerning our East India Merchants; and whether we were sent by them to settle a Factory here? Mr. Smith told them that we came hither only to buy Provision. They seemed a little discontented when they understood that we were not come to settle among them: for they had heard of our arrival on the East-side of the Island a great while before, and entertained hopes that we were sent purposely out of England hither to settle a Trade with them; which it would seem they are very desirous of. For Capt. Goodlud had been here not long before to treat with them about it; and when he went away told them (as they said) that in a short time they might expect an Ambassador from England, to make a full bargain with them.
Indeed upon mature thoughts, I should think we could not have done better, than to have complied with the desire they seemed to have of our settling here; and to have taken up our quarters among them. For as thereby we might better have consulted our own profit and satisfaction, than by the other loose roving way of life; so it might probably have proved of publick benefit to our Nation, and been a means of introducing an English Settlement and Trade, not only here, but through several of the Spice-Islands, which lie in its neighborhood.
For the Islands Meangis, which I mentioned in the beginning of this Chapter, lye within twenty Leagues of Mindanao. These are three small Islands that abound with Gold and Cloves, if I may credit my Author Prince Jeoly,10 who was born on one of them, and was at that time a Slave in the City of Mindanao. He might have been purchased by us of his Master for a small matter, as he was afte[r]wards by Mr. Moody, (who came hither to trade, and laded a Ship with Clove-Bark) and by transporting him home to his own Country, we might have gotten a Trade there. But of Prince Jeoly I shall speak more hereafter. These Islands are as yet probably unknown to the Dutch, who as I said before, indeavor to ingross all the Spice into their own Hands.
There was another opportunity offered us here of settling on another Spice-Island that was very well inhabited: for the Inhabitants fearing the Dutch, and understanding that the English were settling at Mindanao, their Sultan sent his Nephew to Mindanao while we were there to invite us thither: Captain Swan conferr’d with him about it divers times, and I do believe he had some Inclination to accept the offer; and I am sure most of the Men were for it: but this never came to a head, for want of a true understanding between Captain Swan and his Men, as may be declared hereafter.
Beside the benefit that might accrue from this Trade with Meangis, and other the Spice Islands, the Philippine Islands themselves, by a little care and industry, might have afforded us a very beneficial Trade, and all these Trades might have been managed from Mindanao, by settling there first. For that Island lyeth very convenient for Trading either to the Spice-Islands, or to the rest of the Philippine Islands: since as its Soil is much of the same nature with either of them, so it lies as it were in the Center of the Gold and Spice Trade in these parts; the Islands North of Mindanao abounding most in Gold, and those South of Meangis in Spice.
As the Island Mindanao lies very convenient for Trade, so considering its distance, the way thither may not be over-long and tiresome. The Course that I would choose should be to set out of England about the latter end of August, and to pass round Terra del Fuego, and so stretching over towards New Holland, coast it along that Shore till I came near to Mindanao; or first I would coast down near the American Shore, as far as I found convenient, and then direct my Course accordingly for the Island. By this I should avoid coming near any of the Dutch Settlements, and be sure to meet always with a constant brisk Easterly Trade Wind, after I was once past Terra del Fuego. Whereas in passing about the Cape of Good Hope, after you are shot over the East-Indian Ocean, and are come to the Islands, you must pass through the Streights of Malacca or Sundy, or else some other Streights East from Java, where you will be sure to meet with Country [i.e., contrary] -winds, go on which side of the Equator you please; and this would require ordinarily 7 or 8 Months for the Voyage, but the other I should hope to perform in 6 or 7 at most. In your return from thence also you must observe the same Rule as the Spaniards do in going from Manila to Acapulco;11 only as they run towards the North-Pole for variable Winds, so you must run to the Southward, till you meet with a Wind that will carry you over to Terra del Fuego. There are places enough to touch at for Refreshment, either going or coming. You may touch going thither on either side of Terra Patagonica, or, if you please, at the Gallapagoes Islands,12 where there is Refreshment enough; and returning you may probably touch somewhere on New Holland, and so make some profitable discovery in these Places without going out of your way. And to speak my Thoughts freely, I believe ’tis owing to the neglect of this easie way that all that vast Tract of Terra Australis which bounds the South Sea is yet undiscovered: those that cross that Sea seeming to design some Business on the Peruvian or Mexican Coast, and so leaving that at a distance. To confirm which, I shall add what Captain Davis13 told me lately, That after his departure from us at the Haven of Ria Lexa14 (as is mentioned in the 8th Chap.) he went after several Traverses, to the Gallapagoes and that standing thus Southward for Wind, to bring him about Terra del Fuego, in the Lat. of 27 South, about 500 Leagues from Copayapo,15 on the Coast of Chili, he saw a small sandy Island just by him; and that they saw to the Westward of it a long Tract of pretty high Land, tending away toward the North West out of sight. This might probably be the Coast of Terra Australis Incognita.
But to return to Mindanao; as to the capacity we were then in, of settling our selves at Mindanao, although we were not sent out of any such design of settling, yet we were as well provided, or better, considering all Circumstances, than if we had. For there was scarce any useful Trade, but some or other of us understood it. We had Sawyers, Carpenters, Joyners, Brickmakers, Bricklayers, Shoemakers, Taylors, &c. we only wanted a good Smith for great Work; which we might have had at Mindanao. We were very well provided with Iron, Lead, and all sorts of Tools, as Saws, Axes, Hammers, &c. We had powder and Shot enough, and very good small Arms. If we had designed to build a Fort, we could have spared 8 or 10 Guns out of our Ship, and Men enough to have managed it, and any Affair of Trade beside. We had also a great Advantage above raw Men that are sent out of England into these places, who proceed usually too cautiously, coldly and formally, to compass any considerable design, which Experience better teaches than any Rules whatsoever; besides the danger of their Lives in so great and sudden a change of Air: whereas we were all inured to hot Climates, hardened by many Fatigues, and, in general, daring Men, and such as would not be easily baffled. To add one thing more, our Men were almost tired, and began to desire a quietus est; and therefore they would gladly have seated themselves any where. We had a good Ship too, and enough of us (beside what might have been spared to manage our new Settlement) to bring the News with the Effects to the Owners in England: for Captain Swan had already 5000 l. in Gold, which he and his Merchants received for Goods sold mostly to Captain Harris16 and his Men: which if he had laid but part of it out in Spice, as probably he might have done, would have satisfy’d the Merchants to their Hearts content. So much by way of digression.
To proceed therefore with our first Reception at Mindanao, Raja Laut and his Nephew sat still in their Canoa, and would not come aboard us; because, as they said, they had no Orders for it from the Sultan. After about half an Hour’s Discourse, they took their leaves, first inviting Captain Swan ashore, and promising him to assist him in getting Provision; which they said at present was scarce, but in three or four Month’s time the Rice would be gathered in, and then he might have as much as he pleased: and that in the mean time he might secure his Ship in some convenient place, for fear of the Westerly winds, which they said would be very violent at the latter end of this Month, and all the next, as we found them.
We did not know the quality of these two Persons till after they were gone; else we should have fir’d some Guns at their Departure: When they were gone, a certain Officer under the Sultan came aboard and measured our Ship. A custom derived from the Chinese, who always measure the length and breadth, and the depth of the Hold of all Ships that come to load there; by which means they know how much each Ship will carry. But for what reason this Custom is used either by the Chinese, or Mindanao Men, I could never learn; unless the Mindanaians design by this means to improve their skill in Shipping, against they have a Trade.
Captain Swan, considering that the Season of the Year would oblige us to spend some time at this Island, thought it convenient to make what interest he could with the Sultan; who might afterwards either obstruct, or advance his designs. He therefore immediately provided a Present to send ashore to the Sultan, viz. 3 Yards of Scarlet Cloth, 3 Yards of broad Gold Lace, a Turkish Scimiter and a Pair of Pistols: and to Raja Laut he sent 3 Yards of Scarlet Cloth, and 3 Yards of Silver Lace. This Present was carried by Mr. Henry More in the Evening. He was first conducted to Raja Laut’s House; where he remained till report thereof was made to the Sultan, who immediately gave order for all things to be made ready to receive him.
About Nine a Clock at Night, a Messenger came from the Sultan to bring the Present away. Then Mr. More was conducted all the way with Torches and armed Men, till he came to the House where the Sultan was. The Sultan with eight or ten Men of his Council were seated on Carpets, waiting his coming. The Present that Mr. More brought was laid down before them, and was very kindly accepted by the Sultan, who caused Mr. More to sit down by them, and asked a great many questions of him. The discourse was in Spanish by an Interpreter. This Conference lasted about an Hour, and then he was dismist, and returned again to Raja Laut’s House. There was a Supper provided for him, and the Boats Crew; after which he returned aboard.
The next Day the Sultan sent for Capt. Swan: He immediately went ashore with a Flag flying in the Boats Head, and two Trumpets sounding all the way. When he came ashore, he was met at his Landing by two principal Officers, guarded along with Soldiers, and abundance of People gazing to see him. The Sultan waited for him in his Chamber of Audience, where Captain Swan was treated with Tobacco and Betel, which was all his Entertainment.
The Sultan sent for two English Letters for Captain Swan to read, purposely to let him know, that our East-India Merchants did design to settle here, and that they had already sent a Ship hither. One of these Letters was sent to the Sultan from England, by the East-India Merchants. The chiefest things contained in it, as I remember, for I saw it afterwards in the Secretaries Hand, who was very proud to shew it to us, was to desire some privileges, in order to the building of a Fort there. This Letter was written in a very fair Hand; and between each Line, there was a Gold Line drawn. The other Letter was left by Captain Goodlud, directed to any English Men who should happen to come thither. This related wholly to Trade, giving an account, at what rate he had agreed with them for Goods of the Island, and how European Goods should be sold to them; with an account of their Weight and Measures, and their difference from ours.
The rate agreed on for Mindanao Gold, was 14 Spanish Dollars, (which is a current Coin all over India) the English Ounce, and 18 Dollars the Mindanao Ounce. But for Bees-wax and Clove-bark, I do not remember the rate neither do I well remember the rates of Europe Commodities; but I think the rate of Iron was not above four Dollars a Hundred. Captain Goodlud’s Letter concluded thus, Trust none of them, for they are all Thieves, but Tace is Latin for a Candle. We understood afterwards that Captain Goodlud was robb’d of some Goods by one of the General’s Men, and that he that robb’d him was fled into the Mountains, and could not be found while Captain Goodlud was here. But the Fellow returning back to the City some time after our arrival here, Raja Laut brought him bound to Captain Swan, and told him what he had done, desiring him to punish him for it as he pleased; but Captain Swan excused himself; and said it did not belong to him, therefore he would have nothing to do with it. However, the General Raja Laut, would not pardon him, but punished him according to their own Custom, which I did never see but at this time.
He was stript stark naked in the Morning at Sunrising, and bound to a Post, so that he could not stir Hand nor Foot, but as he was mov’d; and was placed with his Face Eastward against the Sun. In the Afternoon they turned his Face toward the West, that the Sun might still be in his Face; and thus he stood all Day, parcht in the Sun (which shines here excessively hot) and tormented with the Moskitos or Gnats: After this the General would have kill’d him, if Captain Swan had consented to it. I did never see any put to Death; but I believe they are barbarous enough in it: The General told us himself that he put two Men to Death in a Town where some of us were with him; but I heard not the manner of it. Their common way of punishing is to strip them in this manner, and place them in the Sun; but sometimes they lay them flat on their Backs on the Sand, which is very hot; where they remain a whole Day in the scorching Sun, with the Moskito’s biting them all the time.
This action of the General in offering Captain Swan the punishment of the Thief, caus’d Captain Swan afterwards to make him the same offer of his Men, when any had offended the Mindanao Men: but the General left such Offenders to be punished by Captain Swan, as he thought convenient. So that for the least Offence Captain Swan punished his Men, and that in the sight of the Mindanaians; and I think sometimes only for revenge; as he did once punish his Chief Mate Mr. Teat, he that came Captain of the Bark to Mindanao. Indeed at that time Captain Swan had his Men as much under command as if he had been in a King’s Ship; and had he known how to use his Authority, he might have led them to any Settlement, and have brought them to assist him in any design he had pleased.
Captain Swan being dismist from the Sultan, with abundance of civility, after about two Hours Discourse with him, went thence to Raja Laut’s House. Raja Laut had then some difference with the Sultan, and therefore he was not present at the Sultan’s reception of our Captain, but waited his return, and treated him and all his Men with boiled Rice and Fowls. He then told Captain Swan again, and urged it to him, that it would be best to get his Ship into the River as soon as he could, because of the usual tempestuous Weather at this time of the Year; and that he should want no assistance to further him in any thing. He told him also, that as we must of necessity stay here some time, so our Men would often come ashore; and he therefore desired him to warn his Men to be careful to give no afront to the Natives; who, he said, were very revengeful. That their Customs being different from ours, he feared that Captain Swan’s Men might some time or other offend them, though ignorantly; that therefore he gave him this friendly warning, to prevent it: that his House should always be open to receive him or any of his Men, and that he knowing our Customs, would never be offended at any thing. After a great deal of such Discourse he dismist the Captain and his Company, who took their leave and came aboard.
Captain Swan having seen the two Letters, did not doubt but that the English did design to settle a Factory here: therefore he did not much scruple the honesty of these People, but immediately ordered us to get the Ship into the River. The River upon which the City of Mindanao stands is but small, and hath not above 10 or 11 Foot Water on the Bar at a Spring-tide: therefore we lightened our Ship, and the Spring coming on, we with much ado got her into the River, being assisted by 50 or 60 Mindanaian Fishermen, who liv’d at the Mouth of the River; Raja Laut himself being aboard our Ship to direct them. We carried her about a quarter of a Mile up, within the Mouth of the River, and there moored her, Head and Stern in a hole, where we always rode afloat. After this the Citizens of Mindanao came frequently aboard, to invite our Men to their Houses, and to offer us Pagallies. ’Twas a long time since any of us had received such Friendship, and therefore we were the more easily drawn to accept of their kindnesses; and in a very short time most of our Men got a Comrade or two, and as many Pagallies; especially such of us as had good Cloths, and store of Gold, as many had, who were of the number of those, that accompanied Captain Harris over the Isthmus of Darien, the rest of us being Poor enough. Nay, the very Poorest and Meanest of us could hardly pass the Streets, but we were even hal’d by Force into their Houses, to be treated by them; altho’ their Treats were but mean, viz. Tobacco, or Betel-Nut, or a little sweet spiced Water. Yet their seeming Sincerity, Simplicity, and the manner of bestowing these Gifts, made them very acceptable. When we came to their Houses, they would always be praising the English, as declaring that the English and Mindanaians were all one. This they exprest by putting their two Fore-fingers close together, and saying, that the English and Mindanaians were samo, samo,17 that is, all one. Then they would draw their Fore-fingers half a Foot asunder, and say the Dutch and they were Bugeto, which signifies so, that they were at such distance in point of Friendship: And for the Spaniards, they would make a greater Representation of distance than for the Dutch: Fearing these, but having felt, and smarted from the Spaniards, who had once almost brought them under.
Captain Swan did seldom go into any House at first, but into Raja Laut’s. There he dined commonly every day; and as many of his Men as were ashore, and had no Money to Entertain themselves, resorted thither about 12 a Clock, where they had Rice enough boiled and well drest, and some scraps of Fowls, or bits of Buffaloe, drest very nastily. Captain Swan was served a little better, and his two trumpeters sounded all the time that he was at Dinner. After Dinner Raja Laut would sit and Discourse with him most part of the Afternoon. It was now that Ramdam time, therefore the General excused himself, that he could not Entertain our Captain with Dances, and other Pastimes, as he intended to do when this solemn Time was past; besides, it was the very height of the wet Season, and therefore not so proper for Pastimes.
We had now very tempestuous Weather, and excessive Rains, which so swell’d the River, that it overflowed its Banks; so that we had much ado to keep our Ship safe: For every now and then we should have a great Tree come floating down the River, and sometimes lodge against our Bows, to the endangering the breaking our Cables, and either the driving us in, over the Banks, or carrying us out to Sea; both which would have been very dangerous to us, especially being without Ballast.
The City is about a Mile long (of no great breadth) winding with the Banks of the River on the Right Hand going up, tho’ it hath many Houses on the other side too. But at this time it seemed to stand as in a Pond, and there was no passing from one House to another but in Canoas. This tempestuous Rainy Weather happened the latter end of July, and lasted most part of August.
When the bad Weather was a little asswaged, Captain Swan hired a House to put our Sails and Goods in, while we careen’d our Ship. We had a great deal of Iron and Lead, which was brought ashore into this House. Of these Commodities Captain Swan sold to the Sultan or General, Eight or Ten Tuns, at the Rates agreed on by Captain Goodlud to be paid in Rice. The Mindanaians are no good Accomptants; therefore the Chinese that live here, do cast up their Accompts for them. After this Captain Swan bought Timber-trees of the General, and set some of our Men to Saw them into Planks, to Sheath the Ship’s bottom. He had two Whip-Saws on Board, which he brought out of England, and four or five Men that knew the use of them, for they had been Sawyers in Jamaica.
When the Ramdam time was over, and the dry time set in a little, the General, to oblige Captain Swan, entertained him every Night with Dances. The dancing Women that are purposely bred up to it, and make it their Trade, I have already described. But beside them, all the Women in general are much addicted to Dancing. They Dance 40 or 50 at once; and that standing all round in a Ring, joined Hand in Hand, and Singing and keeping time. But they never budge out of their places, nor make any motion till the Chorus is Sung; then all at once they throw out one Leg, and bawl out aloud; and sometimes they only Clap their Hands when the Chorus is Sung. Captain Swan, to retaliate the General’s Favours, sent for his Violins, and some that could Dance English Dances; wherewith the General was very well pleased. They commonly spent the biggest part of the Night in these sort of Pastimes.
Among the rest of our Men that did use to Dance thus before the General, there was one John Thacker, who was a Seaman bred, and could neither Write nor Read; but had formerly learnt to Dance in the Musick-Houses about Wapping: This Man came into the South Seas with Captain Harris, and getting with him a good quantity of Gold, and being a pretty good Husband of his Share, had still had some left, besides what he laid out in a very good Suit of Cloaths. The General supposed by his Garb and his Dancing, that he had been of noble Extraction; and to be satisfy’d of his Quality, asked of our Men, if he did not guess aright of him? The Man of whom the General asked this Question told him, he was much in the right; and that most of our Ship’s Company were of the like Extraction; especially all those that had fine Cloaths; and that they came aboard only to see the World, having Money enough to bear their expences where-ever they came; but that for the rest, those that had but mean Clothes, they were only common Seamen. After this, the General shew’d a great deal of Respect to all that had good Clothes, but especially to John Thacker, till Captain Swan came to know the Business, and marr’d all; undeceiving the General, and drubbing the Noble-Man: For he was so much incensed against John Thacker, that he could never indure him afterwards; tho’ the poor Fellow knew nothing of the Matter.
About the middle of November we began to work on our Ship’s bottom, which we found very much eaten with the Worm: For this is a horrid place for Worms. We did not know this till after we had been in the River a Month; and then we found our Canoas bottoms eaten like Honey-combs; our Bark, which was a single bottom, was eaten thro’; so that she could not swim. But our Ship was sheathed, and the Worm came no farther than the Hair between the sheathing Plank, and the main Plank. We did not mistrust the General’s Knavery till now: for when he came down to our Ship, and found us ripping off the sheathing Plank, and saw the firm bottom underneath, he shook his Head, and seemed to be discontented; saying he did never see a Ship with two bottoms before. We were told that in this place, where we now lay, a Dutch Ship was eaten up in two months time, and the General had all her Guns; and it is probable he did expect to have had Ours: Which I do believe was the main Reason that made him so forward in assisting us to get our Ship into the River, for when we went out again we had no Assistance from him. We had no Worms till we came to this place: For when we Careen’d at the Marias, the Worm had not touch’d us; nor at Guam, for there we scrubb’d; nor after we came to the Island Mindanao; for at the S.E. end of the Island we heel’d and scrubb’d also. The Mindanaians are so sensible of their destructive Insects, that whenever they come from Sea, they immediately hale their Ship into a dry Dock, and burn her bottom, and there let her lye dry till they are ready to get to Sea again. The Canoas or Proes they hale up dry, and never suffer them to be long in the Water. It is reported that those Worms which get into a Ships bottom in the salt Water, will die in the fresh Water; and that the fresh Water Worms will die in Salt Water: but in brackish Water both sorts will increase prodigiously. Now this place where we lay was sometimes brackish Water, yet commonly fresh; but what sort of Worm this was I know not. Some Men are of Opinion, that these Worms breed in the Plank; but I am perswaded they breed in the Sea: For I have seen Millions of them swimming in the Water, particularly in the Bay of Panama; for there Captain Davis, Captain Swan and my self, and most of our Men, did take notice of them divers times, which was the reason of our Cleaning so often while we were there: and these were the largest Worms that I did ever see. I have also seen them in Virginia, and in the Bay of Campeachy; in the latter of which places the Worms eat prodigiously. They are always in Bays, Creeks, Mouths of Rivers, and such places as are near the shore; being never found far out at Sea, that I could ever learn: yet a Ship will bring them lodg’d in its Plank for a great way.
Having thus ript off all our Worm-eaten Plank, and clapt on new, by the beginning of December 1686, our Ships bottom was sheathed and tallowed, and the 10th Day went over the Bar, and took aboard the Iron and Lead that we could not sell, and began to fill our Water, and fetch aboard Rice for our Voyage: But C. Swan remain’d ashore still, and was not yet determin’d when to sail, or whither. But I am well assured that he did never intend to Cruise about Manila, as his Crew designed; for I did once ask him, and he told me, That what he had already done of that kind he was forc’d to; but now being at Liberty, he would never more Engage in any such Design: For, said he, there is no Prince on Earth is able to wipe off the Stain of such Actions. What other Designs he had I know not, for he was commonly very Cross; yet he did never propose doing any thing else, but only ordered the Provision to be got Aboard in order to Sail; and I am confident if he had made a motion to go to any English Factory, most of his Men would have consented to it, tho’ probably some would have still opposed it. How ever, his Authority might soon have over-sway’d those that were Refractory; for it was very strange to see the Awe that these Men were in of him, for he punished the most stubborn and daring of his Men. Yet when we had brought the Ship out into the Road, they were not altogether so submissive, as while it lay in the River, tho’ even then it was that he punished Captain Teat.
I was at that time a Hunting with the General for Beef, which he had a long time promised us. But now I saw that there was no Credit to be given to his Word; for I was a Week out with him and saw but four Cows, which were so wild, that we did not get one. There were five or six more of our Company with me; these who were young Men, and had Dalilahs there, which made them fond of the Place, all agreed with the General to tell Captain Swan, that there were Beeves enough, only they were wild. But I told him the Truth, and advised him not to be too credulous of the General’s Promises. He seemed to be very angry, and stormed behind the General’s Back, but in his Presence was very mute, being a Man of small Courage.
It was about the 20th Day of December when we returned from Hunting, and the General designed to go again to another place to Hunt for Beef; but he stayed till after Christmas-day, because some of us designed to go with him; and Captain Swan had desired all his Men to be aboard that Day, that we might keep it solemnly together: And accordingly he sent aboard a Buffaloe the Day before, that we might have a good Dinner. So the 25th Day about 10 a Clock, Captain Swan came aboard, and all his Men who were ashore: For you must understand that near a third of our Men lived constantly ashore, with their Comrades and Pagallies, and some with Women servants, whom they hired of their Masters for Concubines. Some of our Men also had Houses, which they hired or bought, for Houses are very cheap, for five or six Dollars. For many of them having more Money than they knew what to do with, eased themselves here of the trouble of telling it, spending it very lavishly, their prodigality making the People impose upon them, to the making the rest of us pay the dearer for what we bought, and to the endangering the like impositions upon such Englishmen as may come here hereafter. For the Mindanaians knew how to get our Squires Gold from them (for we had no Silver,) and when our Men wanted Silver, they would change now and then an Ounce of Gold, and could get for it no more than 10 or 11 Dollars for a Mindanao Ounce, which they would not part with again under 18 Dollars. Yet this, and the great prices the Mindanaians set on their Goods, were not the only way to lessen their stocks; for their Pagallies and Comrades would often be begging somewhat of them, and our Men were generous enough, and would bestow half an Ounce of Gold at a time, in a Ring for their Pagallies, or in a Silver Wrist-band, or Hoop to come about their Arms, in hopes to get a Nights Lodging with them.
When we were all aboard on Christmas-day, Captain Swan and his two Merchants; I did expect that Captain Swan would have made some proposals, or have told us his designs; but he only dined and went ashore again, without speaking any thing of his Mind. Yet even then I do think that he was driving on a design, of going to one of the Spice Islands, to load with Spice; for the Young Man before mentioned, who I said was sent by his Unkle, the Sultan of a Spice Island near Ternate, to invite the English to their Island, came aboard at this time, and after some private Discourse with Captain Swan, they both went ashore together. This Young Man did not care that the Mindanaians should be privy to what he said. I have heard Captain Swan say that he offered to load his Ship with Spice, provided he would build a small Fort, and leave some Men to secure the Island from the Dutch; but I am since informed, that the Dutch have now got possession of the Island.
The next Day after Christmas the General went away again, and five or six Englishmen with him, of whom I was one, under pretence of going a hunting; and we all went together by Water in his Proe, together with his Women and Servants, to the hunting place. The General always carried his Wives and Children, his Money and Goods with him: so we all imbarked in the Morning, and arrived there before Night. I have already described the fashion of their Proes, and the Rooms made in them. We were entertained in the General’s Room or Cabbin. Our Voyage was not so far, but that we reached our Port before Night.
At this time one of the General’s Servants had offended, and was punished in this manner: He was bound fast flat on his Belly, on a Bamboe belonging to the Proe, which was so near the Water, that by the Vessel’s motion, it frequently delved under Water, and the Man along with it; and sometimes when hoisted up, he had scarce time to blow before he would be carried under Water again.
When we had rowed about two Leagues, we entered a pretty large deep River, and rowed up a League further, the Water salt all the way. There was a pretty large Village, the Houses built after the Country fashion. We landed at this place, where there was a House made ready immediately for us. The General and his Women lay at one end of the House, and we at the other end, and in the Evening all the Women in the Village danced before the General.
While he staid here, the General with his Men went out every Morning betimes, and did not return till four or five a Clock in the Afternoon, and he would often complement us, by telling us what good Trust and Confidence he had in us, saying that he left his Women and Goods under our Protection, and that he thought them as secure with us six, (for we had all our Arms with us) as if he had left 100 of his own Men to guard them. Yet for all this great Confidence, he always left one of his principal Men, for fear some of us should be too familiar with his Women.
They did never stir out of their own Room when the General was at Home, but as soon as he was gone out, they would presently come into our Room, and sit with us all Day, and ask a Thousand Questions of us concerning our English Women, and our Customs. You may imagine that before this time, some of us had attained so much of their Language as to understand them, and give them Answers to their Demands. I remember that one Day they asked how many Wives the King of England had? We told them but one, and that our English Laws did not allow of any more. They said it was a strange Custom, that a Man should be confined to one Woman; some of them said it was a very bad Law, but others again said it was a good Law; so there was a great Dispute among them about it. But one of the General’s Women said positively, That our Law was better than theirs, and made them all silent by the Reason which she gave for it. This was the War Queen, as we called her, for she did always Accompany the General whenever he was called out to Engage his Enemies, but the rest did not.
By this Familiarity among the Women, and by often discoursing [with] them, we came to be acquainted with their Customs and Priviledges. The General lies with his Wives by turns; but she by whom he had the first Son, has a double Portion of his Company: For when it comes to her turn, she has him two Nights, whereas the rest have him but one. She with whom he is to lye at Night, seems to have a particular Respect shewn her by the rest all the precedent Day; and for a Mark of distinction, wears a striped silk Handkerchief about her Neck, by which we knew who was Queen that Day.
We lay here about five or six Days, but did never in all that time see the least sign of any Beef, which was the Business we came about; neither were we suffered to go out with the General to see the wild Kine, but we wanted for nothing else: However, this did not please us, and we often importuned him to let go out among the Cattle. At last he told us, That he had provided a Jar of Rice-drink to be merry with us, and after that we should go with him.
This Rice-drink is made of Rice boiled and put into a Jar, where it remains a long time steeping in Water. I know not the manner of making it, but it is very strong pleasant Drink. The Evening when the General designed to be merry, he caused a Jar of this Drink to be brought into our Room, and he began to drink first himself, then afterwards his Men; so they took turns till they were all as drunk as Swine, before they suffered us to drink. After they had enough, then we drank, and they drank no more, for they will not drink after us. The General leapt about our Room a little while; but having his Load soon went to sleep.
The next Day we went out with the General into the Savannah, where we had near 100 Men making of a large Pen to drive the Cattle into. For that is the manner of their Hunting, having no Dogs. But I saw not above 8 or 10 Cows, and those as wild as Deer so that we got none this Day: yet the next Day some of his Men brought in 3 Heifers, which they kill’d in the Savannah. With these we returned aboard, they being all that we got there.
Captain Swan was much vext at the Generals Actions; for he promised to supply us with as much Beef as we should want, but now either could not, or would not make good his promise. Besides, he failed to perform his Promise in a bargain of Rice, that we were to have for the iron which he sold him, but he put us off still from time to time, and would not come to any Account. Neither were these all his Tricks; for a little before his Son was Circumcised, (of which I spake in the foregoing Chapter) he pretended a great streight for Money, to defray the Charges of that Day; and therefore desired Captain Swan to lend him about 20 Ounces of Gold; for he knew that Captain Swan had a considerable quantity of Gold in his possession, which the General thought was his own, but indeed [he] had none but what belonged to the Merchants. However he lent it the General, but when he came to an Account with Captain Swan, he told him, that it was usual at such solemn times to make Presents, and that he received it as a Gift. He also demanded Payment for the Victuals that our Captain and his Men did eat at his House. These things startled Captain Swan, yet how to help himself he knew not. But all this, with other inward troubles, lay hard on our Captain’s Spirits, and put him very much out of Humour; for his own Company also were pressing him every Day to be gone, because, now was the heighth of the Easterly Monsoon, the only Wind to carry us farther into the Indies.
About this time some of our Men, who were weary and tired with wandring, ran away into the Country and absconded, they being assisted, as was generally believed, by Raja Laut. There were others also, who fearing we should not go to an English Port, bought a Canoa, and designed to go in her to Borneo: For not long before a Mindanao Vessel came from thence, and brought a Letter directed to the chief of the English Factory at Mindanao. This Letter the General would have Captain Swan have opened, but he thought it might come from some of the East-India Merchants whose Affairs he would not intermeddle with, and therefore did not open it. I since met Captain Bowry18 at Achin, and telling him this Story, he said that he sent that Letter, supposing that the English were settled there at Mindanao, and by this Letter we also thought that there was an English Factory at Borneo: so here was a mistake on both sides. But this Canoa, wherewith some of them thought to go to Borneo, Captain Swan took from them, and threatned the Undertakers very hardly. However, this did not so far discourage them, for they secretly bought another; but their Designs taking Air, they were again frustrated by Captain Swan.
The whole Crew were at this time under a general Disaffection, and full of very different Projects; and all for want of Action. The main Division was between those that had Money and those that had none. There was a great Difference in the Humours of these; for they that had Money liv’d ashore, and did not care for leaving Mindanao; whilst those that were poor liv’d Aboard, and urg’d Capt. Swan to go to Sea. These began to be Unruly as well as Dissatisfy’d, and sent ashore the Merchants Iron to sell for Rack and Honey, to make Punch, wherewith they grew Drunk and Quarelsome: Which disorderly Actions deterr’d me from going Aboard; for I did ever abhor Drunkenness, which now our Men that were Aboard abandon’d themselves wholly to.
Yet these Disorders might have been crusht, if Capt. Swan had used his Authority to Suppress them: But he with his Merchants living always ashore, there was no Command; and therefore every Man did what he pleased and encouraged each other in his Villanies. Now Mr. Harthop, who was one of Captain Swan’s Merchants, did very much importune him to settle his Resolutions, and declare his Mind to his Men; which at last he consented to do. Therefore he gave warning to all his Men to come Aboard the 13th day of January, 1687.
We did all earnestly expect to hear what Captain Swan would propose, and therefore were very willing to go Aboard. But unluckily for him, two days before this Meeting was to be, Captain Swan sent Aboard his Gunner, to fetch something ashore out of his Cabbin. The Gunner rummaging to find what he was sent for, among other things took out the Captain’s Journal from America to the Island Guam, and laid [it] down by him. This Journal was taken up by one John Read, a Bristol man, whom I have mentioned in my 4th Chapter. He was a pretty Ingenious young Man, and of a very civil carriage and behaviour. He was also accounted a good Artist, and kept a Journal, and was now prompted by his curiosity, to peep into Captain Swan’s Journal, to see how it agreed with his own; a thing very usual among Seamen that keep Journals, when they have an opportunity, and especially young Men, who have no great experience. At the first opening of the Book, he lights on a place in which Captain Swan had inveighed bitterly against most of his Men, especially against another John Reed a Jamaica man. This was such stuff as he did not seek after: But hitting so pat on this subject, his curiosity led him to pry farther; and therefore while the Gunner was busie, he convey’d the Book away, to look over it at his leisure. The Gunner having dispatch’d his business, lock’d up the Cabbin-door, not missing the Book, and went ashore. Then John Reed shewed it to his Namesake, and to the rest that were aboard, who were by this time the biggest part of them ripe for mischief; only wanting some fair pretence to set themselves to work upon it. Therefore looking on what was written in this Journal to be matter sufficient for them to accomplish their Ends, Captain Teat, who as I said before, had been abused by Captain Swan, laid hold on this opportunity to be revenged for his Injuries, and aggravated the matter to the height; perswading the Men to turn out Captain Swan from being Commander, in hopes to have commanded the Ship himself. As for the Sea-men they were easily perswaded to anything; for they were quite tired with this long and tedious Voyage, and most of them despaired of ever getting home, and therefore did not care what they did, or whither they went. It was only want of being busied in some Action that made them so uneasie; therefore they consented to what Teat proposed, and immediately all that were aboard bound themselves by Oath to turn Captain Swan out, and to conceal this design from those that were ashore, until the Ship was under Sail; which would have been presently, if the Surgeon or his Mate had been aboard; but they were both ashore, and they thought it no Prudence to go to Sea without a Surgeon: Therefore the next Morning they sent ashore one John Cookworthy, to hasten off either the Surgeon or his Mate, by pretending that one of the Men in the Night broke his Leg by falling into the Hold. The Surgeon told him that he intended to come aboard the next Day with the Captain, and would not come before: but sent his Mate, Herman Coppinger.
This Man sometime before this, was sleeping at his Pegallies, and a Snake twisted himself about his Neck; but afterwards went away without hurting him. In this Country it is usual to have the Snakes come into the Houses, and into the Ships too; for we had several come aboard our Ship when we lay in the River. But to proceed, Herman Coppinger provided to go aboard; and the next day, being the time appointed for Captain Swan and all his Men to meet aboard, I went aboard with him, neither of us mistrusted what was designing by those aboard, till we came thither. Then we found it was only a trick to get the Surgeon off; for now, having obtained their Desires, the Canoa was sent ashore again immediately, to desire as many as they could meet to come aboard; but not to tell the Reason, lest Captain Swan should come to hear of it.
The 13th Day in the Morning they weighed, and fired a Gun: Capt. Swan immediately sent aboard Mr. Nelly, who was now his chief Mate, to see what the matter was: To him they told all their Grievances, and shewed him the Journal. He perswaded them to stay till the next day, for an Answer from Captain Swan and the Merchants. So they came to an Anchor again, and the next Morning Mr. Harthop came aboard: He perswaded them to be reconciled again, or at least to stay and get more Rice: But they were deaf to it, and weighed again while he was aboard. Yet at Mr. Harthop’s Perswasion they promised to stay till 2 a Clock in the Afternoon for Captain Swan, and the rest of the Men, if they would come aboard; but they suffered no Man to go ashore, except one William Williams that had a wooden Leg, and another that was a Sawyer.
If Capt. Swan had yet come aboard, he might have dash’d all their designs; but he neither came himself, as a Captain of any Prudence and Courage would have done, nor sent till the time was expired. So we left Captain Swan and about 36 Men ashore in the City, and 6 or 8 that run away; and about 16 we had buried there, the most of which died by Poison. The Natives are very expert at Poisoning, and do it upon small occasions: Nor did our Men want for giving Offence, through their general Rogueries, and sometimes by dallying too familiarly with their Women, even before their Faces. Some of their Poisons are slow and lingering; for we had some now aboard who were Poison’d there; but died not till some Months after.
They depart from the River of Mindanao. Of the time lost or gain’d in sailing round the World: With a Caution to Seamen, about the allowance they are to take for difference of the Suns declination. The South Coast of Mindanao. Chambongo Town an Harbour with its Neighbouring Keys. Green Turtle. Ruins of a Spanish Fort. The Westermost point of Mindanao. Two Proes of the Sologues laden from Manila. An Isle to the West of Sebo. Walking Canes. Isle of Batts, very large; and numerous Turtles and Manatee. A dangerous Shoal. They sail by Panay belonging to the Spaniards, and others of the Philippine Islands. Isle of Mindora. Two Barks taken. A further account of the Isle Luconia, and the City and Harbour of Manila. They go off Pulo Condore to lye there. The Shoals of Pracel, &c. Pulo Condore. The Tar-tree. The Mango. Grape-tree. The Wild or Bastard Nutmeg. Their Animals. Of the Migration of the Turtle from place to place. Of the Commodious Situation of Pulo Condore; its Water and its Cochinchinese Inhabitants. Of the Malayan Tongue. The Custom of prostituting their Women in these Countries, and in Guinea. The Idolatry here, at Tunquin, and among the Chinese Seamen, and of a Procession at Fort St. George. They refit their Ship. Two of them dye of Poyson they took at Mindanao. They take in Water, and a Pilot for the Bay of Siam. Puly Uby; and Point of Cambodia. Two Cambodian Vessels. Isles in the Bay of Siam. The tight Vessels and Seamen of the Kingdom of Champa. Storms. A Chinese Jonk from Palimbam in Sumatra. They come again to Pulo Condore. A bloody Fray with a Malayan Vessel. The Surgeon’s and the Author’s desires of leaving their Crew.
The 14th Day of January, 1687, at 3 of the Clock in the Afternoon we sailed from the River of Mindanao, designing to cruise before Manila.19
[During their stay at Mindanao the English first notice the change of time due to their having journeyed westward. There and in other places they find the people reckoning a full day ahead of themselves, due to the fact that the Portuguese had journeyed thither to the eastward. The computation at the Ladrones is the same as their own. “But how the reckoning was at Manila, and the rest of the Spanish Colonies in the Philippine Islands, I know not; whether they keep it as they brought it, or corrected it by the Accounts of the Natives, and of the Portuguese, Dutch and English, coming the contrary way from Europe.”]
We had the Wind at N.N.E. fair clear Weather, and a brisk Gale. We coasted to the Westward, on the South-side of the Island of Mindanao, keeping within 4 or 5 Leagues of the Shore. The Land from hence tends away W. by S. It is of a good height by the Sea, and very woody, and in the Country we saw high Hills.
The next Day we were abrest of Chambongo [i.e., Zamboanga]; a Town in this Island, and 30 Leagues from the River of Mindanao. Here is said to be a good Harbour, and a great Settlement, with plenty of Beef and Buffaloe. It is reported that the Spaniards were formerly fortified here also: There are two shoals lie off this place, 2 or 3 Leagues from the Shoar. From thence the Land is more low and even; yet there are some Hills in the Country.
About 6 Leagues before we came to the West-end of the Island Mindanao, we fell in with a great many small low Islands or Keys, and about two or three Leagues to the Southward of these Keys, there is a long Island stretching N.E. and S.W. about 12 Leagues.20 This Island is low by the Sea on the North-side, and has a Ridge of Hills in the middle, running from one end to the other. Between this Isle and the small Keys, there is a good large Channel: Among the Keys also there is a good depth of Water, and a violent Tide; but on what point of the Compass it flows, I know not, nor how much it riseth and falls.
The 17th Day we anchored on the East-side of all these Keys, in 8 fathom Water, clean Sand. Here are plenty of green Turtle, whose flesh is as sweet as any in the West Indies: but they are very shy. A little to the Westward of these Keys, on the Island Mindanao, we saw abundance of Coco-nut Trees: Therefore we sent our Canoa ashore, thinking to find Inhabitants, but found none, nor sign of any; but great Tracts of Hogs, and great Cattle; and close by the Sea there were Ruins of an old Fort. The Walls thereof were of a good heighth, built with Stone and Lime; and by the Workmanship seem’d to be Spanish. From this place the Land trends W.N.W. and it is of an indifferent heighth by the Sea. It runs on this point of the Compass 4 or 5 Leagues, and then the Land trends away N.N.W. 5 or 6 Leagues farther, making with many bluff Points.
We weigh’d again the 14th Day, and went thro’ between the Keys; but met such uncertain Tides, that we were forced to anchor again. The 22d day we got about the Westermost Point of all Mindanao, and stood to the Northward, plying under the Shore, and having the Wind at N.N.E. a fresh Gale. As we sailed along further, we found the Land to trend N.N.E. On this part of the Island the Land is high by the Sea, with full bluff Points, and very woody. There are some small Sandy Bays, which afford Streams of fresh Water.
Here we met with two Prows [i.e., praus] belonging to the Sologues, one of the Mindanaian Nations before mentioned. They came from Manila laden with Silks and Calicoes. We kept on this Western part of the Island steering Northerly, till we came abrest of some other of the Philippine Islands, that lay to the Northward of us; then steered away towards them; but still keeping on the West-side of them, and we had the Winds at N.N.E.
The 3d of February we anchored in a good Bay on the West side of the Island, in Lat. 9 d. 55 min. where we had 13 Fathom-water, good soft Oaze. This Island hath no Name that we could find in any Book, out lieth on the West side of the Island Sebo.21 It is about 8 or 10 Leagues long, mountainous and woody. At this place Captain Read, who was the same Captain Swan had so much railed against in his Journal, and was now made Captain in his room (as Captain Teat was made Master, and Mr. Henry More Quarter-Master) ordered the Carpenters to cut down our Quarter-Deck, to make the Ship snug, and the fitter for sailing. When that was done, we heeled her, scrubbed her Bottom, and tallowed it. Then we fill’d all our Water, for here is a delicate small run of Water.
The Land was pretty low in this Bay, the Mould black and fat, and the Trees of several Kinds, very thick and tall. In some places we found plenty of Canes,22 such as we use in England for Walking-Canes. These were short-jointed, not above two Foot and a half, or two Foot ten Inches the longest, and most of them not above two Foot. They run along on the Ground like a Vine; or taking hold of the Trees, they climb up to their very tops. They are 15 or 20 Fathom long, and much of a bigness from the Root, till within 5 or 6 Fathom of the end. They are of a pale green Colour, cloathed over with a Coat of short thick hairy Substance, of a dun Colour; but it comes off by only drawing the Cane through your Hand. We did cut many of them, and they proved very tough heavy Canes.
We saw no Houses, nor sign of Inhabitants; but while we lay here, there was a Canoa with 6 Men came into this Bay; but whither they were bound, or from whence they came, I know not. They were Indians, and we could not understand them.
In the middle of this Bay, about a Mile from the Shore, there is a small low woody Island, not above a Mile in Circumference; our Ship rode about a Mile from it. This Island was the Habitation of an incredible number of great Batts, with Bodies as big as Ducks, or large Fowl, and with vast Wings: For I saw at Mindanao one of this sort, and I judge that the Wings stretcht out in length, could not be less assunder than 7 or 8 Foot from tip to tip; for it was much more than any of us could fathom with our Arms extended to the utmost. The Wings are for Substance like those of other Batts, of a Dun or Mouse colour. The Skin or Leather of them hath Ribs running along it, and draws up in 3 or 4 Folds; and at the joints of those Ribs and the Extremities of the Wings, there are sharp and crooked Claws, by which they may hang on any thing. [A further description of the great bats and their habits follows.] At this Isle also we found plenty of Turtle and Manatee, but no Fish.
We stay’d here till the 10th of February, 1687, and then having compleated our Business, we sailed hence with the Wind at North. But going out we struck on a Rock, where we lay two Hours: It was very smooth Water, and the Tide of Flood, or else we should have lost our Ship. We struck off a great piece of our Rudder, which was all the damage that we received, but we more narrowly mist losing our Ships this time, than in any other in the whole Voyage. This is a very dangerous Shoal, because it does not break, unless probably it may appear in foul Weather. It lies about two mile to the Westward, without the small Batt Island. Here we found the Tide of Flood setting to the Southward, and the Ebb to the Northward.
After we were past this Shoal, we Coasted along by the rest of the Philippine Islands, keeping on the West-side of them. Some of them appeared to be very Mountainous dry Land. We saw many Fires in the Night as we passed by Panay, a great Island settled by Spaniards, and by the Fires up and down it seems to be well settled by them; for this is a Spanish Custom, whereby they give Notice of any Danger or the like from Sea; and ’tis probable they had seen our Ship the day before. This is an unfrequented Coast, and ’tis rare to have any Ship seen there. We touched not at Panay, nor any where else; tho’ we saw a great many small Islands to the Westward of us, and some Shoals, but none of them laid down in our Draughts.
The 18th Day of Feb. we anchored at the N.W. end of the Island Mindora, 23 in 10 Fathom-water, about 3 quarters of a Mile from the Shore. Mindora is a large Island; the middle of it lying in Lat. 13. about 40 Leagues long, stretching N.W. and S.E. It is High and Mountainous, and not very Woody. At this Place where we anchored the Land was neither very high nor low. There was a small Brook of Water, and the Land by the Sea was very Woody, and the Trees high and tall, but a League or two farther in, the Woods are very thin and small. Here we saw great tracks of Hogs and Beef, and we saw some of each, and hunted them; but they were wild, and we could kill none.
While we were here, there was a Canoa with 4 Indians came from Manila. They were very shy of us a while: but at last, hearing us speak Spanish, they came to us, and told us, that they were going to a Fryer that liv’d at an Indian Village towards the S.E. end of the Island. They told us also, that the Harbour of Manila is seldom or never without 20 or 30 Sail of Vessels, most Chinese, some Portugueze, and some few the Spaniards have of their own. They said, that when they had done their business with the Fryer they would return to Manila, and hoped to be back again at this place in 4 Days time. We told them, that we came for a Trade with the Spaniards at Manila, and should be glad if they would carry a Letter to some Merchant there, which they promised to do. But this was only a pretence of ours, to get out of them what intelligence we could as to their Shipping, Strength, and the like, under Colour of seeking a Trade; for our business was to pillage. Now if we had really designed to have Traded there, this was as fair an opportunity as Men could have desired: for these Men could have brought us to the Frier that they were going to, and a small Present to him would have engaged him to do any kindness in the way of Trade: for the Spanish Governors do not allow of it, and we must Trade by stealth.
The 21st Day we went from hence with the Wind at E.N.E. a small gale. The 23d Day in the Morning we were fair by the S.E. end of the Island Luconia, the Place that had been so long desired by us. We presently saw a Sail coming from the Northward, and making after her we took her in 2 Hours time. She was a Spanish Bark, that came from a place called Pangasanam, a small town on the N. end of Luconia, as they told us; probably the same with Pagassinay, which lies on a Bay at the N. W. side of the Island. She was bound to Manila but had no goods aboard; and therefore we turned her away.
The 23d. we took another Spanish Vessel that came from the same place of the other. She was laden with Rice and Cotton-Cloth, and bound for Manila also. These Goods were purposely for the Acapulco Ship: The Rice was for the Men to live on while they lay there, and in their return: and the Cotton-cloth was to make Sail. The Master of this Prize was Boatswain of the Acapulco Ship which escaped us at Guam, and was now at Manila. It was this Man that gave us the Relation of what Strength it had, how they were afraid of us there, and of the accident that happen’d to them, as is before mentioned in the 10th Chapter. We took these two Vessels within 7 or 8 Leagues of Manila.
Luconia I have spoken of already: but I shall now add this further account of it. It is a great Island, taking up between 6 and 7 degrees of Lat. in length, and its breadth near the middle is about 60 Leagues; but the ends are narrow. The North end lies in about 19 d. North Lat. and the S. end in about 12 d. 30 m. This great Island hath abundance of small Keys or Islands lying about it; especially at the North-end. The South-side fronts towards the rest of the Philippine Islands: Of these that are its nearest Neighbours, Mindora, lately mentioned, is the chief, and gives name to the Sea or Streight that parts it and the other Islands from Luconia: being called the Streights of Mindora.
The Body of the Island Luconia is composed of many spacious plain Savannahs, and large Mountains. The North-end seems to be more plain and even, I mean freer from Hills, than the South-end: but the Land is all along of a good heighth. It does not appear so flourishing and green as some of the other Islands in this Range; especially that of St. John, Mindanao, Batt Island, &c. yet in some places it is very Woody. Some of the Mountains of this Island afford Gold, and the Savannahs are well stockt with herds of Cattle, especially Buaffaloes[sic]. These Cattle are in great plenty all over the East-Indies; and therefore ’tis very probable that there were many of these here even before the Spaniards come hither. But now there are now also plenty of other Cattle, as I have been told, as Bullocks, Horses, Sheep, Goats, Hogs, &c. brought hither by the Spaniards.
It is pretty well inhabited with Indians, most of them, if not all, under the Spaniards, who now are masters of it. The Native Indians do live together in Towns; and they have Priests among them to instruct them in the Spanish Religion.
Manila the chief, or perhaps the only City, lies at the foot of a ridge of high Hills, facing upon a spacious Harbour near the S.W. point of the Island, in about the Lat. of 14 d. North. It is environ’d with a high strong Wall, and very well fortify’d with Forts and Breast-works. The Houses are large, strongly built, and covered with Pan-tile. The Streets are large and pretty regular; with a Parade in the midst, after the Spanish fashion. There are a great many fair Buildings, beside Churches and other Religious Houses; of which there are not a few.
The Harbour is so large, that some hundreds of Ships may ride here: and is never without many, both of their own and strangers. I have already given you an account of the two Ships going and coming between this place and Acapulco. Besides them, they have some small Vessels of their own; and they do not allow the Portuguese to trade here, but the Chinese are the chiefest Merchants, and they drive the greatest Trade; for they have commonly 20 or 30, or 40 Jonks in the Harbour at a time, and a great many Merchants constantly residing in the City, beside Shop-keepers, and Handy-crafts-men in abundance. Small Vessels run up near the Town, but the Acapulco. Ships and others of greater burthen, lye a League short of it, where there is a strong Fort also, and Store-houses to put Goods in.
I had the major part of this relation 2 or 3 years after this time, from Mr. Coppinger our Surgeon, for he made a Voyage hither from Porto Nova, a Town on the Coast of Coromandel; in a Portuguese Ship, as I think. Here he found 10 or 12 of Captain Swan’s men; some of those that we left at Mindanao. For after we came from thence, they brought a Proe there, by the Instigation of an Irish man, who went by the name of John Fitz-Gerald, a person that spoke Spanish very well; and so in this their Proe they came hither. They had been here but 18 months when Mr. Coppinger arrived here, and Mr. Fitz-Gerald had in this time gotten a Spanish Mustesa Woman to Wife, and a good Dowry with her. He then professed Physick and Surgery, and was highly esteemed among the Spaniards for his supposed knowledge in those Arts: for being always troubled with sore Shins while he was with us, he kept some Plaisters and Salves by him; and with these he set up upon his bare natural stock of knowledge, and his experience in Kibes. But then he had a very great stock of Confidence withal, to help out the other, and being an Irish Roman Catholick, and having the Spanish Language he had a great advantage of all his Consorts; and he alone lived well there of them all. We were not within sight of this Town, but I was shewn the Hills that over-looked it, and drew a draft of them as we lay off at Sea; which I have caused to be engraven among a few others that I took my self:....
[The season for successful operations near Manila having passed, the mutineers decide to go to some islands near the Cambodian shore to wait until about May, the time for the Acapulco galleon, choosing those islands as they were somewhat retired. The prisoners are set ashore on the island of Luzon, and that island is left February 26. On March 14 anchor is cast on Pulo (or Island) Condore, the largest and only inhabited one of those islands which lie in north latitude 8° 40’. A short description of the islands, their products, fauna, and inhabitants (who are Cochinchinese) and some of their customs follows. At this island the ship is careened and refitted. There also “2 of our Men died, who were poison’d at Mindanao, they told us of it when they found themselves poison’d, and had linger’d ever since. They were opened by our Doctor, according to their own Request before they died, and their Livers were black, light and dry, like pieces of Cork.” After filling the water-butts anchor is weighed (April 21) and the course taken to Pulo Ubi near Siam, reaching that island April 23. From that date until May 13 they cruise about the bay of Siam where they are becalmed. May 24 they anchor again at Pulo Condore, together with a Chinese vessel laden with pepper from Sumatra; from its men they learn that the “English were settled in the Island Sumatra, at a place called Sillabar; and the first knowledge we had that the English had any settlement on Sumatra was from these.”24 An attempt there to investigate a Malayan vessel ends fatally for a number of the English; for the Malays, thinking them to be pirates, set upon the boarding party, and kill a number of them. At that island also the surgeon, Herman Coppinger, attempts to escape, but is taken back to the ship. Dampier is only deterred from making the same attempt because he desires a more convenient opportunity. “For neither he nor I, when we were last on board at Mindanao, had any knowledge of the Plot that was laid to leave Captain Swan, and run away with the Ship; and being sufficiently weary of this mad Crew, we were willing to give them the slip at any place from whence we might hope to get a passage to an English Factory.”]
They leave Pulo Condore, designing for Manila, but are driven off from thence, and from the Isle of Prata, by the Winds, and brought upon the Coast of China. Isle of St. John, on the Coast of the Province of Canton; its Soil and Productions, China Hogs, &c. The Inhabitants; and of the Tartars forcing the Chinese to cut off their Hair. Their Habits, and the little Feet of their Women. China-ware China-roots, Tea, &c. A Village at St. John’s Island, and of their Husbandry of their Rice. A Story of a Chinese Pagoda, or Idol-Temple, and Image. Of the China Jonks, and their Rigging. They leave St. John’s and the Coast of China. A most outragious Storm. Corpus Sant, a Light, or Meteor appearing in Storms. The Piscadores, or Fishers Islands near Formosa: A Tartarian Garrison, and Chinese Town on one of these Islands. They anchor in the Harbour near the Tartars Garrison, and treat with the Governour. Of Amoy in the Province of Fokieu, and Macao a Chinese and Portuguese Town near Canton in China. The Habits of a Tartarian Officer and his Retinue. Their Presents, excellent Beef. Samciu, a sort of Chinese Arack, and Hocciu a kind of Chinese Mum, and the Jars it is bottled in. Of the Isle of Formosa, and the five Islands; to which they give the Names of Orange, Monmouth, Grafton, Bashee, and Goat-Islands, in general, the Bashee-Islands. A Digression concerning the different depths of the Sea near high or low Lands. The Soil, &c. as before. The Soil, Fruits and Animals of these Islands. The Inhabitants and their Cloathing. Rings of a yellow Metal like Gold. Their Houses built on remarkable Precipices. Their Boats and Employments. Their Food, of Goat Skins, Entrails, &c. Parcht Locusts. Bashee, or Sugar-cane Drink. Of their Language and Original, Launces and Buffaloe Coats. No Idols, nor civil Form of Government. A young Man buried alive by them; supposed to be for Theft. Their Wives and Children, and Husbandry. Their Manners, Entertainments, and Traffick. Of the Ships first Entercourse with these People, and Bartering with them. Their Course among the Islands; their stay there, and provision to depart. They are driven off by a violent Storm, and return. The Natives Kindness to 6 of them left behind. The Crew discouraged by those Storms, quit their design of Cruising off Manila for the Acapulco Ship; and ’tis resolved to fetch a Compass to Cape Comorin, and so for the Red-Sea.
[The first part of this chapter, as is seen by the above list of contents, relates to China and islands near the Chinese coast. Most of the second half of the chapter relates to the Bashee or Batanes Islands and is as follows.]
here [i.e., at the Piscador Islands near China] till the 29th Day [of July, 1687], and then sailed from hence with the Wind at S.W. and pretty fair Weather. We now directed our course for some Islands we had chosen to go to, that lye between Formosa and Luconia. They are laid down in our Plots without any name, only with a figure of 5, denoting the number of them. It was supposed by us, that these Islands had no Inhabitants, because they had not any name by our Hydrographers. Therefore we thought to lye there secure, and be pretty near the Island Luconia, which we did still intend to visit.
In going to them we sailed by the South West end of Formosa, leaving it on our Larboard-side. This is a large Island; the South-end is in Lat. 21 d. 20 m. and the North-end in 25 d. 10 m. North Lat. the Longitude of this Island is laid down 142 d. 5 m. to 143 d. 16 m. reckoning East from the Pike of Tenariffe, so that ’tis but narrow; and the Tropick of Cancer crosses it. It is a High and Woody Island, and was formerly well inhabited by the Chinese, and was then frequently visited by English Merchants, there being a very good Harbour to secure their Ships. But since the Tartars have conquered China, they have spoiled the Harbour, (as I have been informed) to hinder the Chinese that were then in Rebellion, from Fortifying themselves there; and ordered the Foreign Merchants to come and Trade on the Main.
The sixth day of August we arrived at the five Islands that we were bound to, and anchored on the East-side of the Northermost Island, in 15 Fathom, a Cable’s length from the Shore. Here, contrary to our Expectation, we found abundance of Inhabitants in sight; for there were 3 large Towns all within a League of the Sea; and another larger Town than any of the three, and the backside of a small Hill close by also, as we found afterwards. These Islands lie in Lat. 20 d. 20 m. North Lat. by my Observation, for I took it there, and I find their Longitude according to our Drafts, to be 141 d. 50 m. These Islands having no particular Names in the Drafts, some or other of us made use of the Seamens priviledge, to give them what Names we pleased. Three of the Islands were pretty large; the Westermost is the biggest. This the Dutchmen who were among us called the Prince of Orange’s Island, in honour of his present Majesty. It is about 7 or 8 Leagues long, and about two Leagues wide; and it lies almost N. and S. The other two great Islands are about 4 or 5 Leagues to the Eastward of this. The Northermost of them, where we first anchored, I called the Duke of Grafton’s Isle, as soon as we landed on it; having married my W[i]fe out of his Dutchess’s Family, and leaving her at Arlington-house, at my going Abroad. This Isle is about 4 Leagues long, and one League and a half wide, stretching North and South. The other great Island our Seamen called the Duke of Monmouth’s Island. This is about a League to the Southward of Grafton Isle. It is about 3 Leagues long, and a League wide, lying as the other. Between Monmouth and the South end of Orange Island, there are two small Islands of a roundish Form, lying East and West. The Eastermost Island of the two, our Men unanimously called Bashee Island,25 from a Liquor which we drank there plentifully every day, after we came to an Anchor at it. The other, which is the smallest of all, we called Goat Island, from the great number of Goats there; and to the Northward of them all, are two high Rocks.
Orange Island, which is the biggest of them all, is not Inhabited. It is high Land, flat and even on the top, with steep Cliffs against the Sea; for which Reason we could not go ashore there, as we did on all the rest.
[Some general remarks on high and low lands and anchorages nearby follow, in which the author states almost as an axiom that good anchorages are found near low lands, while high rocky lands have poor anchorages.]
But to return from this Digression, to speak of the rest of these Islands. Monmouth and Grafton Isles are very Hilly, with many of those steep inhabited Precipi[c]es on them, that I shall describe particularly. The two small Islands are flat and even; only the Bashee Island hath one steep scraggy Hill, but Goat Island is all flat and very even.
The Mold of these Islands in the Valley, is blackish in some places, but in most red. The Hills are very rocky: The Valleys are well watered with Brooks of fresh Water, which run into the Sea in many different places. The Soil is indifferent fruitful, especially in the Valleys; producing pretty great plenty of Trees (tho’ not very big) and thick Grass. The sides of the Mountains have also short Grass; and some of the Mountains have Mines within them, or the Natives told us, That the yellow Metal they shewed us, (as I shall speak more particularly) came from these Mountains; for when they held it up they would point towards them.
The fruit of the Islands are a few Plantains, Bonanoes, Pineapples, Pumkins, Sugar-canes, &c. and there might be more if the Natives would, for the Ground seems fertile enough. Here are great plenty of Potatoes, and Yames, which is the common Food for the Natives, for Bread-kind: For those few Plantains they have, are only used as Fruit.They have some Cotton growing here of the small Plants.
Here are plenty of Goats, and abundance of Hogs; but few Fowls, either wild or tame. For this I have always observed in my Travels, both in the East and West Indies, that in those Places where there is plenty of Grain, that is, of Rice in one, and Maiz in the other, there are also found great abundance of Fowls; but on the contrary, few Fowls in those Countries where the Inhabitants feed on Fruits and Roots only. The few wild Fowls that are here, are Parakites, and some other small Birds. Their tame Fowl are only a few Cocks and Hens.
Monmouth and Grafton Islands are very thick inhabited; and Bashee Island hath one Town on it. The Natives of these Islands are short squat People; they are generally round visaged, with low Foreheads, and thick Eye-brows; their Eyes of a hazle colour, and small, yet bigger than the Chinese; short low Noses, and their Lip and Mouths middle proportioned. Their Teeth are white; their Hair is black, and thick, and lank, which they wear but short; it will just cover their Ears, and so it is cut round very even. Their Skins are of a very dark copper colour.
They wear no Hat, Cap, nor Turban, nor any thing to keep off the Sun. The Men for the biggest part have only a small Clout to cover their Nakedness; some of them have Jackets made of Plantain-leaves, which were as rough as any Bear’s-skin: I never saw such rugged Things. The Women have a short Petticoat made of Cotton, which comes a little below their Knees. It is a thick sort of stubborn Cloth, which they make themselves of their Cotton. Both Men and Women do wear large Ear-rings, made of that yellow Metal before mentioned. Whether it were Gold or no I cannot positively say: I took it to be so; it was heavy, and of the colour of our paler Gold. I would fain have brought away some to have satisfied my Curiosity; but I had nothing where with to buy any. Captain Read bought two of these Rings with some Iron, of which the People are very greedy; and he would have bought more, thinking he was come to a very fair Market, but that the paleness of the Metal made him and the Crew distrust its being right Gold. For my part, I should have ventured on the purchase of some, but having no property in the Iron, of which we had great store on board, sent from England, by the Merchants along with Captain Swan, I durst not barter it away.
These Rings when first polished look very gloriously, but time makes them fade, and turn to a pale yellow. Then they make a soft Paste of red Earth, and smearing it over their Rings, they cast them into a quick Fire, where they remain till they be red hot; then they take them out and cool them in Water, and rub off the Paste; and they look again of a glorious Colour and Lustre.
These People make but small low Houses. The sides which are made of small Posts, watled with Boughs, are not above 4 foot and a half high: the Ridge-pole is about 7 or 8 foot high. They have a Fire-place at one end of their Houses, and Boards placed on the Ground to lye on. They inhabit together in small Villages built on the sides and tops of rocky Hills, 3 or 4 rows of Houses one above another, and on such steep Precipices, that they go up to the first Row with a wooden Ladder, and so with a Ladder still from every Story up to that above it, there being no way to ascend. The Plain on the first Precipice may be so wide, as to have room both for a Row of Houses that stand all along on the Edge or Brink of it, and a very narrow Street running along before their Doors, between the Row of Houses and the foot of the next Precipice; the Plain of which is in a manner level to the tops of the Houses below, and so for the rest. The common Ladder to each Row or Street comes up at a narrow Passage left purposely about the middle of it; and the Street being bounded with a Precipice also at each end, ’tis but drawing up the Ladder, if they be assaulted, and then there is no coming at them from below, but by climbing up as against a perpendicular Wall: And that they may not be assaulted from above, they take care to build on the side of such a Hill, whose backside hangs over the Sea, or is some high, steep, perpendicular Precipice, altogether inaccessible. These Precipices are natural; for the Rocks seem too hard to work on; nor is there any sign that Art hath been employed about them. On Bashee Island there is one such, and built upon, with its back next the Sea. Grafton and Monmouth Isles are very thick set with these Hills and Towns; and the Natives, whether for fear of Pirates, or Foreign Enemies, or Factions among their own Clans, care not for Building but in these Fastnesses; which I take to be the Reason that Orange Isle, though the largest, and as Fertile as any, yet being Level, and exposed, hath no Inhabitants. I never saw the like Precipices and Towns.
These Towns are pretty Ingenious also in building Boats. Their small Boats are much like our Deal Yalls, but not so big; and they are built with very narrow Plank, pinn’d with wooden Pins, and some Nails. They have also some pretty large Boats, which will carry 40 or 50 Men. These they Row with 12 or 14 Oars of a side. They are built much like the small ones, and they Row doubled Banked; that is, two Men setting on one Bench, but one Rowing on one side, the other on the other side of the Boat. They understand the use of Iron, and work it themselves. Their Bellows are like those at Mindanao.
The common Imployment for the Men is Fishing; but I did never see them catch much: Whether it is more plenty at other times of the Year I know not. The Women do manage their Plantations.
I did never see them kill any of their Goats or Hogs for themselves, yet they would beg the Panches of the Goats that they themselves did sell to us: And if any of our surly Seamen did heave them into the Sea, they would take them up again, and the Skins of the Goats also. They would not meddle with Hog-guts, if our Men threw away any beside what they made Chitterlings and Sausages of. The Goat-skins these People would carry ashore, and making a Fire they would singe oft all the Hair, and afterwards let the Skin lie and Pearch on the Coals, till they thought it eatable; and then they would knaw it, and tear it to pieces with their Teeth, and at last swallow it. The Paunches of the Goats would make them an excellent Dish; they drest it in this manner. They would turn out all the Chopt Grass and Crudities found in the Maw into their Pots, and set it over the Fire, and stir it about often: This would Smoak and Puff, and heave up as it was Boyling; wind breaking out of the Ferment, and making a very savory Stink. While this was doing, if they had any Fish, as commonly they had 2 or 3 small Fish, these they would make very clean (as hating nastiness belike) and cut the Flesh from the Bone, and then mince the Flesh as small as possibly they could, and when that in the Pot was well boiled, they would take it up, and strewing a little Salt into it, they would eat it, mixt with their raw minced Flesh. The Dung in the Maw would look like so much boil’d Herbs minc’d very small; and they took up their Mess with their Fingers, as the Moors do their Pilaw,26 using no Spoons.
They had another Dish made of a sort of Locusts, whose Bodies were about an Inch and an half long, and as thick as the top of one’s little Finger; with large thin Wings, and long and small Legs. At this time of the Year these Creatures came in great Swarms to devour their Potato-leaves, and other Herbs; and the Natives would go out with small Nets, and take a Quart at one sweep. When they had enough, they would carry them home, and Parch them over the Fire in an earthen Pan; and then their Wings and Legs would fall off, and their Heads and Backs would turn red like boil’d Shrimps, being before brownish. Their Bodies being full, would eat very moist, their Heads would crackle, in one’s Teeth. I did eat once of this Dish, and liked it well enough; but their other Dish my Stomach would not take.
Their common Drink is Water; as it is of all other Indians: Beside which they make a sort of Drink with the Juice of the Sugar-cane, which they boil, and put some small black sort of Berries among it. When it is well boiled, they put it into great Jars, and let it stand 3 or 4 days and work. Then it settles and becomes clear, and is presently fit to drink. This is an excellent Liquor, and very much like English Beer, both in Colour and Taste. It is very strong, and I do believe very wholesome: For our Men, who drunk briskly of it all day for several Weeks, were frequently drunk with it, and never sick after it. The Natives brought a vast deal of it every day to those aboard and ashore: For some of our Men were ashore at work on Bashee Island; which Island they gave that Name to from their drinking this Liquor there; that being the Name which the Natives call’d this Liquor by: and as they sold it to our Men very cheap, so they did not spare to drink it as freely. And indeed from the plenty of this Liquor, and their plentiful use of it, our Men call’d all these Islands, the Bashee Islands.
What Language these People do speak I know not: for it had no affinity in sound to the Chinese, which is spoke much through the Teeth; nor yet to the Malayan Language. They called the Metal that their Ear-rings were made of Bullawan, which is the Mindana word for Gold; therefore probably they may be related to the Philippine Indians; for that is the general Name for Gold among all those Indians. I could not learn from whence they have their Iron; but it is most likely they go in their great Boats to the North end of Luconia, and Trade with the Indians of that Island for it. Neither did I see any thing beside Iron, and pieces of Buffaloes Hides, which I could judge that they bought of Strangers: Their Cloaths were of their own Growth and Manufacture.
These Men had Wooden Lances, and a few Lances headed with Iron; which are all the Weapons that they have. Their Armour is a piece of Buffaloe-hide, shaped like our Carters Frocks, being without Sleeves, and sowed both sides together, with holes for the Head and the Arms to come forth. This Buff-Coat reaches down to their Knees: It is close about their Shoulders, but below it is 3 Foot wide, and as thick as a Board.
I could never perceive them to Worship any thing, neither had they any Idols; neither did they seem to observe any one day more than other. I could never perceive that one Man was of greater Power than another; but they seemed to be all equal; only every Man ruling his own House, and the Children Respecting and Honouring their Parents.
Yet ’tis probable that they have some Law, or Custom, by which they are govern’d; for while we lay here we saw a young Man buried alive in the Earth; and ’twas for Theft, as far as we could understand from them. There was a great deep hole dug, and abundance of People came to the Place to take their last Farewell of him: Among the rest, there was one Woman who made great Lamentation, and took off the condemn’d Person’s Ear-rings. We supposed her to be his Mother. After he had taken his leave of her and some others, he was put into the Pit, and covered over with Earth He did not struggle, but yielded very quietly to his Punishment; and they cramm’d the Earth close upon him, and stifled him. 
They have but one Wife, with whom they live and agree very well; and their Children live very obediently under them. The Boys go out a Fishing with their Fathers; and the Girls live at home with their Mothers: And when the Girls are grown pretty strong, they send them to their Plantations, to dig Yames and Potatoes; of which they bring home on their Heads every day enough to serve the whole Family; for they have no Rice nor Maize.
Their Plantations are in the Valleys, at a good distance from their Houses; where every Man has a certain spot of Land, which is properly his own. This he manageth himself for his own use; and provides enough, that he may not be beholding to his Neighbour.
Notwithstanding the seeming nastiness of their Dish of Goats Maw, they are in their Persons a very neat cleanly People, both Men and Women: And they are withal the quietest and civilest People that I did ever meet with. I could never perceive them to be angry with one another. I have admired to see 20 or 30 Boats aboard our Ship at a time, and yet no difference among them; but all civil and quiet, endeavouring to help each other on occasion; No noise nor appearance of distaste: and although sometimes cross Accidents would happen, which might have set other Men together by the Ears, yet they were not moved by them. Sometimes they will also drink freely, and warm themselves with their Drink; yet neither then could I ever perceive them out of Humour. They are not only thus civil among themselves, but very obliging and kind to Strangers; nor were their Children rude to us, as is usual. Indeed the Women, when we came to their Houses, would modestly beg any Rags, or small pieces of Cloth, to swaddle their young ones in, holding out their Children to us; and begging is usual among all these wild Nations. Yet neither did they beg so importunely as in other Places; nor did the Men ever beg any thing at all. Neither, except once at the first time we came to an Anchor (as I shall relate) did they steal any thing; but dealt justly, and with great sincerity with us; and made us very welcome to their Houses with Bashee drink. If they had none of this Liquor themselves, they would buy a Jar of Drink of their Neighbours, and sit down with us: for we could see them go and give a piece or two of their Gold for some Jars of Bashee. And indeed among Wild Indians, as these seem to be, I wonder’d to see buying and selling, which is not so usual; nor to converse so freely, as to go aboard Stranger’s Ships with so little caution: Yet their own small Trading may have brought them to this. At these entertainments they and their Family, Wife and Children drank out of small Callabashes; and when by themselves, they drink about from one to another; but when any of us came among them, they would always drink to one of us.
They have no sort of Coin; but they have small Crumbs of the Metal before described, which they bind up very safe in Plantain Leaves, or the like. This Metal they exchange for what they want, giving a small quantity of it, about 2 or 3 Grains, for a Jar of Drink, that would hold 5 or 6 Gallons. They have no Scales, but give it by guess. Thus much in general.
To proceed therefore with our Affairs, I have said before, that we anchored here the 6th day of August. While we were furling our Sails, there came near 100 Boats of the Natives aboard, with 3 or 4 Men in each; so that our Deck was full of Men. We were at first afraid of them, and therefore got up 20 or 30 small Arms on our Poop, and kept 3 or 4 Men as Centinels, with Guns in their Hands, ready to fire on them if they had offered to molest us. But they were pretty quiet, only they pickt up such old Iron that they found on our Deck, and they also took out our Pump-Bolts, and Linch-Pins out of the Carriages of our Guns, before we perceived them. At last, one of our Men perceived one of them very busie getting out one of our Linch Pins; and took hold of the fellow, who immediately bawl’d out, and all the rest presently leaped overboard, some into their Boats, others into the Sea; and they all made away for the Shore. But when we perceived their Fright, we made much of him that was in hold, who stood Trembling all the while; and at last we gave him a small piece of Iron, with which he immediately leapt overboard and swam to his Consorts; who hovered about our Ship to see the Issue. Then we beckned to them to come aboard again, being very loth to lose a Commerce with them. Some of the Boats came aboard again, and they were always very Honest and Civil afterward.
We presently after this sent a Canoa ashore, to see their manner of living, and what Provision they had: The Canao’s Crew were made very welcome with Bashee drink, and saw abundance of Hogs, some of which they bought, and returned aboard. After this the Natives brought aboard both Hogs and Goats to us in their own Boats; and every day we should have 15 or 20 Hogs and Goats in Boats aboard by our side. These we bought for a small matter; we could buy a good fat Goat for an old Iron Hoop, and a Hog of 70 or 80 pound weight for 2 or 3 pound of Iron. Their drink also they brought off in Jars, which we bought for old Nails, Spikes, and Leaden Bullets. Besides the fore-mentioned Commodities, they brought aboard great quantities of Yams and Potatoes; which we purchased for Nails, Spikes, or Bullets. It was one Man’s work to be all day cutting out Bars of Iron into small pieces with a cold Chisel: And these were for the great Purchases of Hogs and Goats, which they would not sell for Nails, as their Drinks and Roots. We never let them know what Store we have, that they may value it the more. Every Morning, as soon as it was light, they would thus come aboard with their Commodities; which we bought as we had occasion. We did commonly furnish our selves with as many Goats and Roots as served us all the day; and their Hogs we bought in large Quantities, as we thought convenient; for we salted them. Their Hogs were very sweet; but I never saw so many Meazled ones.
We filled all our Water at a curious Brook close by us in Grafton’s Isle, where we first anchored. We stayed there about three or four days, before we went to other Islands. We sailed to the Southward, passing on the East-side of Grafton Island, and then passed thro’ between that and Monmouth Island; but we found no Anchoring till we came to the North end of Monmouth Island, and there we stopt during one Tide. The Tide runs very strong here, and sometimes makes a short chopping Sea. Its course among these Islands is S. by E. and N. by W. The Flood sets to the North, and Ebb to the South, and it riseth and falleth 8 Foot.
When we went from hence, we coasted about 2 Leagues to the Southward, on the West side of Monmouth Island; and finding no Anchor-ground, we stood over to the Bashee Island, and came to an Anchor on the North East part of it, against a small sandy Bay, in 7 fathom clean hard Sand, and about a quarter of a Mile from the Shore. Here is a pretty wide Channel between these two Islands, and Anchoring all over it. The Depth of Water is 2, 14, and 16 Fathom.
We presently built a Tent ashore, to mend our Sails in, and stay’d all the rest of our time here, viz. from the 13th day of August till the 26th day of September. In which time we mended our Sails, and scrubb’d our Ships bottom very well; and every day some of us went to their Towns, and were kindly entertained by them. Their Boats also came aboard with their Merchandize to sell, and lay aboard all Day; and if we did not take it off their Hands one Day, they would bring the same again the next.
We had yet the Winds at S.W. and S.S.W. mostly fair Weather. In October we did expect the Winds to shift to the N.E. and therefore we provided to sail (as soon as the Eastern Monsoon was settled) to cruize off at Manila. Accordingly we provided a stock of Provision. We salted 70 or 80 good fat Hogs, and bought Yams and Potatoes good store to eat at Sea.
About the 24th day of September, the Winds shifted about to the East, and from thence to the N.E. fine fair Weather. The 25th it came at N. and began to grow fresh, and the Sky began to be clouded; and the Wind freshened on us.
At 12 a clock at night it blew a very fierce Storm. We were then riding with our best Bower27 a Head and though our Yards and Top-mast were down, yet we drove. This obliged us to let go our Sheet-Anchor, veering out a good scope of Cable, which stopt us till 10 or 11 a clock the next day. Then the Wind came on so fierce, that she drove again, with both Anchors a-head. The Wind was now at N. by W. and we kept driving till 3 or 4 a clock in the afternoon: and it was well for us that there were no Islands, Rocks, or Sands in our way, for if there had, we must have been driven upon them. We used our utmost endeavours to stop here, being loath to go to Sea, because we had six of our Men ashore, who could not get off now. At last we were driven off into deep Water, and then it was in vain to wait any longer: Therefore we hove in our Sheet Cable, and got up our Sheet Anchor, and cut away our best Bower, (for to have heav’d her up then would have gone near to have foundred us) and so put to Sea. We had very violent Weather the night ensuing, with very hard Rain, and we were forced to scud with our bare Poles till 3 a Clock in the morning. Then the Wind slacken’d, and we brought our Ship to, under a mizen, and lay with our Head to the Westward. The 27th day the Wind abated much, but it rained very hard all day, and the Night ensuing. The 28th day the Wind came about to the N.E. and it cleared up, and blew a hard Gale, but it stood not there, for it shifted about to the Eastward, thence to the S.E. then to the South, and at last settled at S.W. and then we had a moderate Gale and fair Weather.
It was the 29th day when the Wind came to the S.W. Then we made all the Sail we could for the Island again. The 30th day we had the Wind at West, and saw the Islands; but could not get in before night. Therefore we stood off to the Southward till two a Clock in the morning; then we tackt, and stood in all the morning, and about 12 a clock, the 1st day of October, we anchored again at the place from whence we were driven.
Then our six men were brought aboard by the Natives, to whom we gave 3 whole Bars of Iron, for their kindness and civility, which was an extraordinary to them. Mr. Robert Hall was one of the Men that was left ashore. I shall speak more of him hereafter. He and the rest of them told me, that after the Ship was out of sight, the Natives began to be more kind to them than they had been before, and persuaded them to cut their Hair short, as theirs was, offering to each of them if they would do it, a young Woman to Wife, and a small Hatchet, and other Iron Utensils, fit for a Planter, in Dowry; and withal shewed them a piece of Land for them to manage. They were courted thus by several of the Town where they then were: but they took up their head quarters at the House of him with whom they first went ashore. When the Ship appeared in sight again, then they importuned them for some Iron, which is the chief thing that they covet, even above their Ear-rings. We might have bought all their Ear-rings, or other Gold they had, with our Iron-bars, had we been assured of its goodness; and yet when it was touch’d and compar’d with other Gold, we could not discern any difference, tho’ it look’d so pale in the lump; but the seeing them polish it so often, was a new discouragement.
This last Storm put our Men quite out of heart: for although it was not altogether so fierce as that which we were in on the Coast of China, which was still fresh in Memory, yet it wrought more powerfully, and frighted them from their design of cruising before Manila, fearing another Storm there. Now every Man wisht himself at home, as they had done an hundred times before: But Captain Read, and Captain Teat the Master, persuaded them to go toward Cape Comorin, and then they would tell them more of their Minds, intending doubtless to cruize in the Red Sea; and they easily prevailed with the Crew.
The Eastern Monsoon was now at hand, and the best way had been to go through the Streights of Malacca; but Captain Teat said it was dangerous, by reason of many Islands and Shoals there, with which none of us were acquainted. Therefore he thought it best to go round on the East-side of all the Philippine Islands, and so keeping South toward the Spice Islands, to pass out into the East-Indian Ocean about the Island Timor.
This seemed to be a very tedious way about, and as dangerous altogether for Sholes; but not for meeting with English or Dutch Ships, which was their greatest Fear. I was well enough satisfied, knowing that the farther we went, the more Knowledge and Experience I should get, which was the main Thing that I regarded; and should also have the more variety of Places to attempt an Escape from them, being fully resolv’d to take the first opportunity of giving them the slip.
They depart from the Bashee Islands, and passing by some others, and the N. End of Luconia. St. John’s Isle, and other of the Philippines. They stop at the two Isles near Mindanao; where they re-fit their Ship, and make a Pump after the Spanish fashion. By the young Prince of the Spice Island they have News of Captain Swan, and his Men, left at Mindanao: The Author proposes to the Crew to return to him; but in vain; The Story of his Murder at Mindanao. The Clove-Islands. Ternate. Tidore, &c. The Island Celebes, and Dutch Town of Macasser. They coast along the East side of Celebes, and between it and other Islands and Sholes, with great difficulty. Shy Turtle. Vast Cockles. A wild Vine of great Virtue for Sores. Great Trees; one excessively big. Beacons instead of Buoys on the Sholes. A Spout: a Description of them, with a Story of one. Uncertain Tornadoes. Turtle. The Island Bouton, and its chief Town and Harbour Callasusung. The Inhabitants Visits given and receiv’d by the Sultan. His Device in the Flag of his Proe: His Guards, Habit, and Children. Their Commerce. Their different esteem (as they pretend) of the English and Dutch. Maritime Indians sell others for Slaves. Their Reception in the Town. A Boy with 4 rows of Teeth. Parakites. Crockadores, a sort of White Parrots. They pass among other inhabited Islands, Omba, Pentare, Timore, &c. Sholes. New Holland: laid down too much Northward. Its Soil, and Dragon-trees. The poor winking inhabitants: their Feathers, Habit, Food, Arms, &c. The way of fetching Fire out of Wood. The Inhabitants on the Islands. Their Habitations, Unfitness for Labour, &c. The great Tides here. They design for the Island Cocos, and Cape Comorin.
The third Day of October 1687, we sailed from these Islands, standing to the Southward; intending to sail through among the Spice Islands. We had fair Weather, and the Wind at West. We first steer’d S.S.W. and passed close by certain small Islands that lye just by the North-end of the Island Luconia.28 We left them all on the West of us, and past on the East-side of it, and the rest of the Philippine Islands, coasting to the Southward.
The N. East-end of the Island Luconia appears to be good Champion Land, of an indifferent heighth, plain and even for many Leagues; only it has some pretty high Hills standing upright by themselves in these Plains; but no ridges of Hills, or chains of Mountains joyning one to another. The Land on this side seems to be most Savannah, or Pasture: The S.E. part is more Mountainous and Woody.
Leaving the Island Luconia, and with it our Golden Projects, we sailed on to the Southward, passing on the East-side of the rest of the Philippine Islands. These appear to be more Mountainous, and less Woody, till we came in sight of the Island St. John; the first of that name I mentioned: the other I spake of on the Coast of China. This I have already described to be a very woody Island. Here the Wind coming Southerly, forced us to keep farther from the Islands.
The 14 day of October we came close by a small low woody Island, that lieth East from the S.E. end of Mindanao, distant from it about 20 Leagues. I do not find it set down in any Sea-Chart.
The 15th day we had the Wind at N.E. and we steered West for the Island Mindanao, and arrived at the S.E. end again in the 16th day. There we went in and anchored between two small Islands, which lie in about 5 d. 10 m. North Lat. I mentioned them when we first came on this Coast. Here we found a fine small Cove, on the N.W. end of the Easternmost Island [i.e., Sarangani], fit to careen in, or hale ashore; so we went in there, and presently unrigg’d our Ship, and provided to hale our Ship ashore, to clean her bottom. These Islands are about 3 or 4 Leagues from the Island Mindanao; they are about 4 or 5 Leagues in Circumference, and of a pretty good heighth. The Mold is black and deep; and there are two small Brooks of fresh Water.
They are both plentifully stored with great high Trees; therefore our Carpenters were sent ashore to cut down some of them for our use; for here they made a new Boltsprit, which we did set here also, our old one being very faulty. They made a new Fore-yard too, and a Fore-top-mast: And our Pumps being faulty, and not serviceable, they did cut a Tree to make a Pump. They first squared it, then sawed it in the middle, and then hollowed each side exactly. The two hollow sides were made big enough to contain a Pump-box in the midst of them both, when they were joined together; and it required their utmost Skill to close them exactly to the making a tight Cylinder for the Pump-box; being unaccustomed to such work. We learnt this way of Pump-making from the Spaniards; who make their Pumps that they use in their Ships in the South-Seas after this manner; and I am confident that there are no better Hand-pumps in the World than they have.
While we lay here, the young Prince that I mentioned in the 13th Chapter, came aboard. He understanding that we were bound farther to the Southward, desired us to transport him and his Men to his own Island. He shewed it to us in our Draft, and told us the Name of it; which we put down in our Draft, for it was not named there; but I quite forgot to put it into my Journal.
This Man told us, that not above six days before this, he saw Captain Swan, and several of his Men that we left there, and named the Names of some of them, who, he said, were all well, and that now they were at the City of Mindanao; but that they had all of them been out with Raja Laut, fighting under him in his Wars against his Enemies the Alfoores; and that most of them fought with undaunted Courage; for which they were highly honoured and esteemed, as well by the Sultan, as by the General Raja Laut; that now Capt. Swan intended to go with his Men to Fort St. George, and that in order thereto, he had proffered forty Ounces of Gold for a Ship; but the Owner and he were not yet agreed; and that he feared that the Sultan would not let him go away till the Wars were ended.
All this the Prince told us in the Malayan tongue, which many of us had learnt; and when he went away he promised to return to us again in 3 days time, and so long Captain Read promised to stay for him (for we had now almost finished our Business) and he seemed very glad of the opportunity of going with us.
After this I endeavoured to perswade our Men, to return with the Ship to the River of Mindanao, and offer their Service again to Captain Swan. I took an opportunity when they were filling of Water, there being then half the Ships Company ashore; and I found all these very willing to do it. I desired them to say nothing, till I had tried the Minds of the other half, which I intended to do the next day; it being their turn to fill Water then; But one of these Men, who seemed most forward to invite back Captain Swan, told Captain Read and Captain Teat of the Project, and they presently disswaded the Men from any such Designs. Yet fearing the worst, they made all possible haste to be gone.
I have since been informed, that Captain Swan and his Men stayed there a great while afterward; and that many of the Men got passage from thence in Dutch Sloops to Ternate, particularly Mr. Rofy, and Mr. Nelly. There they remained a great while, and at last got to Batavia (where the Dutch took their Journals from them) and so to Europe; and that some of Captain Swan’s Men died at Mindanao; of which number Mr. Harthrope, and Mr. Smith, Captain Swan’s Merchants were two. At last Captain Swan and his Surgeon going in a small Canoa aboard of a Dutch Ship then in the Road, in order to get Passage to Europe, were overset by the Natives at the Mouth of the River; who waited their coming purposely to do it, but unsuspected by them; where they both were kill’d in the Water. This was done by the General’s Order, as some think, to get his Gold, which he did immediately seize on. Others say, it was because the General’s House was burnt a little before, and Captain Swan was suspected to be the Author of it; and others say, That it was Captain Swan’s Threats occasioned his own Ruin; for he would often say passionately, that he had been abused by the General, and that he would have satisfaction for it; saying also, that now he was well acquainted with their Rivers, and knew how to come in at any time; that he also knew their manner of Fighting, and the Weakness of their Country; and therefore he would go away, and get a Band of Men to assist him, and returning thither again, he would spoil and take all that they had, and their Country too. When the General had been informed of these Discourses, he would say, What, is Captain Swan made of Iron, and able to resist a whole Kingdom? Or does he think that we are afraid of him, that he speaks thus? Yet did he never touch him, till now the Mindanayans kill’d him. It is very probable there might be somewhat of Truth in all this; for the Captain was passionate, and the General greedy of Gold. But whatever was the occasion, so he was killed, as several have assured me, and his Gold seized on, and all his Things; and his Journal also from England, as far as Cape Corrientes on the Coast of Mexico. This Journal was afterwards sent away from thence by Mr. Moody (who was there both a little before and a little after the Murder) and he sent it to England by Mr. Goddard, Chief Mate of the Defence.
But to our purpose: Seeing I could not persuade them to go to Captain Swan again, I had a great desire to have had the Prince’s Company: But Captain Read was afraid to let his fickle Crew lie long. That very day that the Prince had promised to return to us, which was November 2, 1687, we sailed hence, directing our course South-West, and having the Wind at N.W.
[The course of the ship after leaving Mindanao may be seen from the heading to this chapter. Of Australia (or New Holland, as it was then called) Dampier says: “New Holland is a very large tract of Land. It is not yet determined whether it is an Island or a main Continent; but I am certain that it joyns neither to Asia, Africa, nor America.”]
[From Australia (chap. xvii) the adventurers sail along until they reach Nicobar Island, where Dampier and two others receive permission to remain, together with four Malays and a Portuguese; and have various adventures with the natives of that island. Finally leaving there (chap. xviii), they go to Sumatra, where the small band is decimated by the death of one Malay and the Portuguese. The two Englishmen go to the English factory. Leaving the island, Dampier sets out as boatswain of an English ship for Nicobar, but returns to Achin. Thence he makes various voyages (in 1688 and 1689) in Eastern waters, and finally becomes gunner at the English factory at Bencouli (1690); but, that post proving uncongenial, he deserts and takes passage for England (January 2, 1691). The journey to the Dutch colony at the Cape of Good Hope (chap. xix—misnumbered xx) witnesses a slight engagement between the French, with whom hostilities have broken out, and the Dutch and English; and the mysterious death of many of the sailors on the English vessel, from the bad water, Dampier thinks. England is finally reached (chap. xx), and the author’s long voyage is over, September 16, 1691.] 
1 The Mindanayans are the Mindanaos or Maguindanaos, the Hilanoones are the Ilanos; the Sologues cannot well be identified. “Alfoores” is a corruption of the Portuguese “Alforas,” which is derived from the Arabic “al” and the preposition “fora” without. The term was applied by the Portuguese to all natives beyond their authority, and hence to the wild tribes of the interior. See Crawfurd’s Dictionary, p. 10.
2 Apparently referring, if one may trust to Dampier’s points of compass, to the region about Dapitan, as the Indians of that quarter were among the first subdued by the Spaniards in Mindanao.
3 The Tagálog word for “banana” is “saguing,” which is thus almost identical with the Mindanaon term as reported phonetically by Dampier.
4 Cf. Dyak pangan (“kinsman, comrade, or fellow”), also panggal (“pillow”), and panggan (“bedstead”); see Ling Roth’s Natives of Sarawak, ii, p. xxvii. See Porter’s Primer and Vocabulary of Moro Dialect (Washington, 1903) p. 65, where the Moro phrase for “sweetheart” is given as babay (“woman”) a magan pangaluman.
5 Corralat had two sons, Tiroley and Uadin, but they died young (see Retana’s edition of Combés’s Hist. Mindanao, col. 738, 739). The “sultan” mentioned by Dampier is probably the Curay who in 1701 fought a sort of duel with the sultan of Joló, in which both were killed. (Concepción, Hist. de Philipinas, viii, pp. 301, 302.)
6 Apparently referring to the weapon known as kris, which Dampier would liken to a bayonet.
7 Sarangani and Balut Islands; the large bay beyond is Sarangani.
8 The Meangis Islands are a group in the Malaysian Archipelago, in about latitude 5° North, ninety miles southeast of Mindanao. The chief island is Nanusa.
9 The Lizard Point, the southernmost point of England, located in Cornwall.
10 This native was taken to England finally by Dampier, he [50n]having obtained a half-interest in him, and was there exhibited. He died at Oxford. See Dampier’s Voyage, pp. 511, 513–517.
11 Dampier describes the Acapulco ships and their route as follows (chapter ix): “The Ships that Trade hither are only three, two that constantly go once a Year between this [i.e., Acapulco] and Manila and Luconia, one of the Philippine Islands, and one Ship more every Year to and from Lima. This from Lima commonly arrives a little before Christmas; she brings them Quick-silver, Cacao, and Pieces of Eight. Here she stays till the Manila Ships arrive, and then takes in a Cargo of Spices, Silks, Callicoes, and Muslins, and other East-India Commodities, for the use of Peru, and then returns to Lima. This is but a small Vessel of 20 Guns, but the two Manila Ships are each said to be above 1000 Tun. These make their Voyages alternately, so that one or other of them is always at the Manila’s. When either of them sets out from Acapulco, it is at the latter end of March, or the beginning of April; she always touches to refresh at Guam, one of the Ladrone Islands, in about 60 Days space after she sets out. There she stays but two or three Days, and then prosecutes her Voyage to Manila, where she commonly arrives some time in June. By that time the other is ready to sail from thence, laden with East-India Commodities. She stretcheth away to the North as far as 36, or sometimes into 40 degrees of North lat. before she gets a Wind to stand over to the American shoar. She falls in first with the Coast of California, and then Coasts along the shoar to [52n]the South again, and never misses a Wind to bring her away from thence quite to Acapulco. When she gets the length of Cape St. Lucas, which is the Southernmost point of California, she stretcheth over to Cape Corientes, which is in about the 20th degree of North lat. from thence she Coasts along till she comes to Sallagua, and there she sets ashoar Passengers that are bound to the City of Mexico. From thence she makes her best way, Coasting still along shoar, till she arrives at Acapulco, which is commonly about Christmas, never more than 8 or 10 days before or after. Upon the return of this Ship to Manila, the other which stayeth there till her arrival, takes her turn back to Acapulco. Sir John Narborough therefore was imposed on by the Spaniards, who told him that there were 8 Sail, or more, that used this Trade.”
12 The Galapagos (or “Islands of the Tortoise”) belong to the government of Ecuador, and are located seven hundred and thirty miles west of that country in the Pacific. They consist of six principal and seven smaller islands. The largest is Albemarle. They are all volcanic. Of them Dampier says (chapter v): “The Gallapagos Islands are a great Number of uninhabited Islands, lying under, and on both sides of the Equator. The Eastermost of them are about 110 Leagues from the Main. They are laid down in the Longitude of 181, reaching to the Westward as far as 176, therefore their Longitude from England Westward is about 68 degrees. But I believe our Hydrographers do not place them far enough to the Westward. The Spaniards who first discovered them, and in whose draught alone they are laid down, report them to be a great number, stretching North-West from the Line, as far as 5 degrees N. but we saw not above 14 or 15. They are some of them 7 or 8 leagues long and 3 or 4 broad. They are of a good heighth, most of them flat or even on the top; 4 or 5 of the Eastermost are rocky, barren and hilly, producing neither Tree, Herb, nor Grass, but a few Dildo-trees, except by the Sea side.”
13 Captain Davis was one of the Privateers with whom Dampier had sailed the Spanish Main. When Captains Davis and Swan parted company at Realejo, Dampier went with the latter in order to become acquainted with the northern part of Mexico, in whose waters Captain Swan designed to sail.
14 The town of Realejo or Realexo, a seaport town of Nicaragua situated on Realejo Bay of the Pacific Ocean, and twenty miles from the city of León, whose seaport it is.
15 The town of Copiapó or Porto Copiapó, a small seaport of Chili, in the province of Atacama, on Copiapó Bay.
16 Captain Harris was commander of one of the privateer ships sailing in Spanish-American waters. When Captains Swan and Davis parted company he accompanied the latter. See Dampier’s Voyage, p. 224.
17 Pigafetta in his relation of the first circumnavigation (VOL. XXXIV, p. 86) notes the word used by the inhabitants of the Moluccas for “one and the same thing” as “siama siama.”
18 A ship captain whom Dampier (see chapter xviii) met at Achin on the island of Sumatra. Dampier and two of his companions started for Nicobar with him, but rough weather forced them to abandon the voyage. He importuned Dampier to make a voyage with him to Persia, but the latter declined, preferring to go to Tonquin with Captain Welden.
19 Captain Philip Carteret, commander of the royal British sloop “Swallow,” in his account of his circumnavigation (1766–69) devotes his eighth chapter to “Some account of the Coast of Mindanao, and the Islands near it, in which several Mistakes of Dampier are corrected.” See this account in Collection of Voyages [80n](printed for Richard Phillips, London, 1809), iii, pp. 352–361.
20 Referring to the Basilan group, ten miles from the Mindanao coast; the largest island is Basilan, which has an area of four hundred and seventy-eight square miles, and there are forty-four dependent islands (fifty-seven, according to U. S. Gazetteer). (See Census of Philippines, i, p. 283.)
21 Probably the small island of Guimaras, which lies between Negros and Panay, and which is approximately as described by Dampier. Sebo is, of course, Cebú; but Dampier evidently means Negros Island. The bay was Igan.
22 Dampier here describes the bejuco, or rattan.
23 The name Mindoro is by some writers derived from mina de oro, as it was supposed to be rich in gold. In the document showing that the Spaniards took formal possession of it (for reference to which see our VOL. III, p. 105, note 32), it is called Luzon le menor (“Luzón the less;” cf. p. 74).
“This island was formerly called Mainit, and the Spaniards gave it the name of Mindoro, on account of a village called Minolo, which lay between Puerto de Galeras and the harbor of Ylog.” (Concepción, Hist. de Philipinas, viii, p. 8.)
24 From 1603 the English, as well as the Dutch, had a factory at Bantam for the purchase of pepper, which they maintained for eighty years. In 1683 the Dutch sent a considerable force from Batavia and expelled the English from Bantam; the latter, after being baffled at Achin, made a settlement at Bencoolen (1685), where they built Fort York. This site proved insalubrious, and in 1714 its successor, Fort Marlborough, was erected, away from the river. In 1824, Bencoolen and the factories dependent on it were given over to the Dutch, in exchange for Malacca and some factories in India. (Crawfurd’s Dict. Ind. Islands, p. 48). Sellebar was a village not far east from Bencoolen.
25 The Bashee or Bachi Islands form the northern cluster of the northern group of islands, called Batanes, which lie north of [97n]Luzón. They are the most northern of all the American possessions in the Orient, and are separated from Formosa by the strait of Bachi. The islands composing the cluster are Mabudis, Misanga, Siayan, Tanan, and Y’Ami (all inhabited), the last being the most northern. The Batanes are composed in all of ten named islands and forty unnamed islets and rocks, the southern cluster including Bachi Rocks; Batán, the central and most important island of the group; Déquez; Diamis Rocks; Diego; Ibayat (or Isbayat), the largest of these islands; Ibugos; North; and Sabtán. The name of Bachi is sometimes extended to the entire group, and it is probable that Dampier’s five islands, or at least some of them, were among the southern cluster; for Déquez Island is also called Goat; Ibayat, Orange; and Ibugos, Bachi. The group is separated on the south from the Babuyanes by the Balingtán Channel. The larger islands bear indications of a late volcanic origin; the smaller islands are generally low, and rest upon foundations of coral. In this group are a number of good harbors; but communication between the islands is difficult because of the strong currents in the channels and the scarcity of anchorages. The exports of the islands consist of lard, cocoanut oil, hogs, horses, goats, and some valuable woods. The soil is fertile, especially of Batán, and many vegetables are produced. Some of the products of the United States can be successfully raised. The chief industry is the raising of cattle, hogs, goats, and horses, the last being of superior quality and in demand. A catechism of the dialect spoken in the Batanes was published by a friar in 1834, an examination of which has led Dr. Pardo de Tavera to the conclusion that the aboriginal tongue differed considerably from the other Filipino dialects, as it contains the sound “tsch” and a nasal sound like the French “en.” It is probable, however, that the present population of the Batanes, as well as of the Babuyanes, is composed very largely of Ibánag from the Cagayán Valley (Luzón), introduced there as colonists by the Dominican friars. This population is Christian. The earlier population must have borne considerable resemblance to the natives of Formosa. See Gazetteer of Philippine Islands, and Census of the Philippines, i, pp. 264, 448.
26 Pillau or pilau, a Turkish dish consisting of boiled rice and mutton fat.
27 An anchor carried at the bow of a ship.
28 The Babuyanes Islands. Salazar relates (Hist. Sant. Rosario, pp. 361–369) in detail a raid made by an English pirate (August, 1685) on the islands of Babuyanes, Bari, and Camiguin, then in charge of Dominican missionaries. They plundered the village of Babuyanes and its church; and this raid caused the deaths of two of the missionaries.