The season now approached in which navigation to the westward would be again practicable, which gave us all great pleasure; especially as putrid diseases had begun to make their appearance among us, and a putrid fever had carried off one of our people.
On the 7th of May, the resident gave me a long letter from the governor of Macassar, which was written in Dutch, and of which he gave me the best interpretation he was able; The general purport of it was, that he had heard a letter had been sent to me, charging him, in conjunction with the king of Bony, with a design to cut us off: That the letter was altogether false, exculpating himself with the roost solemn protestations, and requiring the letter to be delivered up, that the writer might be brought to such punishment as he deserved. It is scarcely necessary to say, that I did not deliver up the letter, because the writer would certainly have been punished with equal severity whether it was true or false; but I returned the governor a polite answer, in which I justified the measures I had taken, without imputing any evil design to him or his allies; and indeed there is the greatest reason to believe, that there was not sufficient ground for the charge contained in the letter, though it is not equally probable that the writer believed it to be false.
At day-break on Sunday the 22d of May, we sailed from this place, of which, and of the town of Macassar, and the adjacent country, I shall say but little, there being many accounts of the island of Celebes and its inhabitants already extant. The town is built upon a kind of point or neck of land, and is watered by a river or two, which either run through, or very near it. It seems to be large, and there is water for a ship to come within half cannon-shot of the walls: The country about it is level, and has a most beautiful appearance; it abounds with plantations, and groves of cocoa-nut trees, with a great number of houses interspersed, by which it appears to abound with people. At a distance inland, the country rises into hills of a great height, and becomes rude and mountainous. The town lies in latitude 5 deg. 10’ or 5 deg. 12’ S. and longitude, by account, 117 deg. 28’ E. of London.
Bonthain is a large bay, where ships may lie in perfect security during both the monsoons: The soundings are good and regular, and the bottom soft mud; nor is there any danger coming in, but a ledge of rocks which are above water, and are a good mark for anchoring. The highest land in sight here is called Bonthain hill, and when a ship is in the offing at the distance of two or three miles from the land, she should bring this hill north, or N. 1/2 W., and then run in with it and anchor. We lay right under it, at the distance of about a mile from the shore. In this bay there are several small towns; that which is called Bonthain lies in the north-east part of the bay, and here is the small pallisadoed fort that has been mentioned