An Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon in the East Indies eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 438 pages of information about An Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon in the East Indies.

In this manner we four lived together some two years very lovingly and contentedly, not an ill word passing between us.  We used to take turns in keeping at home, while the rest went forth about their Business.  For our house stood alone and no Neighbour near it.  Therefore we always left one within.  The rest of the English men lived round about us, some four or five miles distant, some more.  So that we were, as it were, within reach one of another; which made us like our present Situation the more.

[Their freedom and Trade.] Thus we lived upon the Mountains, being round about us beset with watches, most of our People being now married:  so that now all talk and suspition of our running away was laid aside.  Neither indeed was it scarce possible.  The effect of which was, that now we could walk from one to the other, or where we would upon the Mountains, no man molesting or disturbing us in the least.  So that we began to go about a Pedling, and Trading in the Country farther towards the Northward, carrying our Caps about to sell.

[His Family reduced to two.] By this time two of our Company seeing but little hopes of Liberty, thought it too hard a task thus to lead a single life, and married.  Which when they had done according to the former agreement departed from us.  So that our Company was now reduced to two, viz. my Self and Stephen Rutland; whose inclination and resolution was as stedfast as mine against Marriage.  And we parted not to the last, but came away together.

CHAP.  VII.

A return to the rest of the English, with some further accounts of them.  And some further discourse of the Authors course of life.

[Confer together about the lawfulness of Marrying with the Native Women.] Let us now make a Visit to the rest of our Country-men, and see how they do.  They reckoning themselves in for their Lives, in order to their future settlement, were generally disposed to Marry.  Concerning which we have had many and sundry disputes among ourselves; as particularly concerning the lawfulness of matching with Heathens and Idolaters, and whether the Chingulays Marriages were any better than living in Whoredome:  there being no Christian Priests to join them together, and it being allowed by their Laws to change their Wives and take others as often as they pleased.  But these cases we solved for our own advantage after this manner, That we were but Flesh and Blood, and that it is said, It is better to Marry than to burn, and that as far as we could see, we were cut off from all Marriages any where else, even for our Life time, and therefore that we must marry with these or with none at all.  And when the People in Scripture were forbidden to take Wives of Strangers, it was then when they might intermarry with their own People, and so no necessity lay upon them.  And that when they could not, there are examples in the Old Testament upon Record, that they took Wives of the Daughters of the Lands, wherein they dwelt.  These reasons being urged, there was none among us, that could object ought against them, especially if those that were minded to marry Women here, did take them for their Wives during their lives, as some of them say, they do:  and most of the Women they marry are such as do profess themselves to be Christians.

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An Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon in the East Indies from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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