A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 13 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 794 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 13.

[Footnote 166:  Some remarks concerning the Cape of Good Hope are now given in the original.  They are omitted here, as being only supplementary to other accounts, and because we shall elsewhere have an opportunity of drawing the reader’s attention very fully to the subject.  The same thing may be said respecting some notices of St Helena, contained in this section.  Whatever is of value in either of these accounts, will be had recourse to on another occasion.—­E.]

On the morning of the 14th we weighed and stood out of the bay; and at five in the evening anchored under Penquin, or Robin Island:  We lay here all night, and as I could not sail in the morning for want of wind, I sent a boat to the island for a few trifling articles which we had forgot to take in at the Cape.  But as soon as the boat came near the shore, the Dutch hailed her, and warned the people not to land, at their peril, bringing down at the same time six men armed with muskets, who paraded upon the beach.  The officer who commanded the boat not thinking it worth while to risk the lives of the people on board for the sake of a few cabbages, which were all we wanted, returned to the ship.  At first we were at a loss to account for our repulse, but we afterwards recollected, that to this island the Dutch at the Cape banish such criminals as are not thought worthy of death, for a certain number of years, proportioned to the offence, and employ them as slaves in digging lime-stone, which, though scarce upon the continent, is in plenty here; and that a Danish ship, which by sickness had lost great part of her crew, and had been refused assistance at the Cape, came down to this island, and sending her boat ashore, secured the guard, and took on board as many of the criminals as she thought proper to navigate her home:  We concluded therefore that the Dutch, to prevent the rescue of their criminals in time to come, had given order to their people here to suffer no boat of any foreign nation to come ashore.

On the 25th, at three o’clock in the afternoon, we weighed, with a light breeze at S.E., and put to sea.  About an hour afterwards, we lost our master, Mr Robert Mollineux, a young man of good parts, but unhappily given up to intemperance, which brought on disorders that put an end to his life.

We proceeded in our voyage homeward without any remarkable incident; and in the morning of the 29th we crossed our first meridian, having circumnavigated the globe in the direction from east to west, and consequently lost a day, for which we made an allowance at Batavia.

At day-break on the first of May, we saw the island of Saint Helena; and at noon we anchored in the road before James’s fort.

We staid here till the 4th, to refresh, and Mr Banks improved the time in making the complete circuit of the island, and visiting the most remarkable places upon it.  At one o’clock in the afternoon of the 4th of May, we weighed and stood out of the road, in company with the Portland man-of-war, and twelve sail of Indiamen.

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