A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 12 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 760 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 12.
were gone, the officer and men were kept on board their boat, exposed to the burning heat of the sun, which was almost vertical at noon, and none of the country boats were suffered to come near enough to sell them any refreshment.  In the mean time, our people observed a great hurry and bustle on shore, and all the sloops and vessels that were proper for war were fitted out with the utmost expedition:  We should, however, I believe, have been an overmatch for their whole sea force, if all our people had been well.  In the mean time I intended to have gone and anchored close to the town; but now the boat was absent, our united strength was not sufficient to weigh the anchor though a small one.  After waiting five hours in the boat, the lieutenant was told that the governor had ordered two gentlemen to wait upon me with an answer to my letter.  Soon after he had returned, and made this report, the two gentlemen came on board, and we afterwards learned that one of them was an ensign of the garrison, named Le Cerf, and-the other Mr Douglas, a writer of the Dutch East India company:  They delivered me the governor’s letter, but it proved to be written in Dutch, a language which not a single person on board could understand:  The two gentlemen who brought it, however, both spoke French, and one of them interpreted the contents to me in that language.  The purport of it was, “that I should instantly depart from the port, without coming any nearer to the town; that I should not anchor on any part of the coast, or permit any of my people to land in any place that was under his jurisdiction.”  Before I made any reply to this letter, I shewed the gentlemen who brought it the number of my sick:  At the sight of so many unhappy wretches, who were dying of languor and disease, they seemed to be much affected; and I then urged again the pressing necessity I was under of procuring refreshment, to which they had been witnesses, the cruelty and injustice of refusing to supply me, which was not only contrary to treaty, as we were in a king’s ship, but to the laws of nature, as we were human beings:  They seemed to admit the force of this reasoning, but they had a short and final answer ready, “that they had absolute and indispensable orders from their masters, not to suffer any ship, of whatever nation, to stay at this port, and that these orders they must implicitly obey.”  To this I replied, that persons in our situation had nothing worse to fear than what they suffered, and that therefore, if they did not immediately allow me the liberty of the port, to purchase refreshments, and procure shelter, I would, as soon as the wind would permit, in defiance of all their menaces, and all their force, go and anchor close to the town; that if at last I should find myself unable to compel them to comply with requisitions, the reasonableness of which could not be controverted, I would run the ship a-ground under their walls, and, after selling our lives as dearly as we could, bring upon, them the
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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 12 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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