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.

[The number of Dutch there.] The number of Dutch now living there may be about Fifty or Sixty.  Some whereof are Ambassadors, some Prisoners of War, some Runaways, and Malefactors that have escaped the hand of Justice and got away from the Dutch Quarters.  To all whom are allotted respective allowances, but the Runaways have the least, the King not loving such, tho giving them entertainment.

[They follow their Vice of Drinking.] The Dutch here love Drink, and practise their proper Vice in this Countrey.  One who was a great Man in the Court, would sometimes come into the King’s Presence half disguised with Drink, which the King often past over; but once asked Him, Why do you thus disorder yourself, that when I send for you about my Business, you are not in a capacity to serve me?  He boldly replied, That as soon as his Mother took away her Milk from him, she supplied it with Wine, and ever since, saith he, I have used myself to it.  With this answer the King seemed to be pleased.  And indeed the rest of the white Men are generally of the same temper:  insomuch that the Chingulays have a saying, That Wine is as natural to white Men, as Milk to Children.

[The Chingulays prejudiced against the Dutch, and why.] All differences of Ranks and Qualities are disregarded among those Chingulay People that are under the Dutch.  Neither do the Dutch make any distinction between the Hondrews, and the low and Inferior Casts of Men:  and permit them to go in the same Habit, and sit upon Stools, as well as the best Hondrews; and the lower Ranks may eat and intermarry with the higher without any Punishment, or any Cognizance taken of it.  Which is a matter that the Chingulays in Cand’ Uda are much offended with the Dutch for; and makes them think, that they themselves are sprung from some mean Rank and Extract.  And this prejudiceth this People against them, that they have not such an Esteem for them.  For to a Chingulay his Rank and Honour is as dear as his life.  And thus much of the Dutch.

CHAP.  XIV.

Concerning the French:  With some Enquiries what should make the King detain white Men as he does.  And how the Christian Religion is maintained among the Christians there.

[The French come hither with a Fleet.] About the year MDCLXXII. or LXXIII, there came Fourteen Sail of great Ships from the King of France to settle a Trade here.  Monsieur De la Hay Admiral, put in with this Fleet, into the Port of Cottiar.  From whence he sent up Three men by way of Embassy to the King of Cande.  Whom he entertained very Nobly, and gave every one of them a Chain of Gold about their Necks, and a Sword all inlay’d with Silver, and a Gun.  And afterwards sent one of them down to the Admiral with his Answer.  Which encouraged him to send up others:  that is, an Ambassador and six more.  Who were to reside there till the return of the Fleet back again, being about to Sail to the Coast.

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