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Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 681 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11.
be incapable of returning, there appeared no possibility of their ever getting off the island; For they were at least six hundred leagues from Macao, which was their nearest port; and they were masters of no other vessel than the small Spanish bark, of about fifteen tun, which they seized at their first arrival, and which would not even hold a fourth part of their number:  And the chance of their being taken off the island by the casual arrival of any ship was altogether desperate; as perhaps no European ship had ever anchored here before, and it were madness to expect that like incidents should send another in an hundred ages to come:  So that their desponding thoughts could only suggest to them the melancholy prospect of spending the remainder of their days on this island, and bidding adieu for ever to their country, their friends, their families, and all their domestic endearments.

Nor was this the worst they had to fear:  For they had reason to expect, that the governor of Guam, when he should be informed of their situation, might send a force sufficient to overpower them, and to remove them to that island; and then, the most favourable treatment they could hope for would be to be detained prisoners for life; since, from the known policy and cruelty of the Spaniards in their distant settlements, it was rather to be expected, that the governor, if he once had them in his power, would make their want of commissions (all of them being on board the Centurion) a pretext for treating them, as pirates, and for depriving them of their lives with infamy.

In the midst of these gloomy reflections, Mr Anson had his share of disquietude; but he kept up his usual composure and steadiness:  And having soon projected a scheme for extricating himself and his men from their present anxious situation, he first communicated it to some of the most intelligent; and being satisfied that it was practicable, he then endeavoured to animate his people to a speedy and vigorous prosecution of it.  With this view he represented to them, how little foundation there was for their apprehensions of the Centurion’s being lost:  That he should have hoped, they had been all of them better acquainted with sea-affairs, than to give way to the impression of so chimerical a fright; and that he doubted not, if they would seriously consider what such a ship was capable of enduring, they would confess that there was not the least probability of her having perished:  That he was not without hopes that she might return in a few days; but if she did not, the worst that could be supposed was, that she was driven so far to the leeward of the island that she could not regain it, and that she would consequently be obliged to bear away for Macao on the coast of China:  That as it was necessary to be prepared against all events, he had, in this case, considered of a method of carrying them off the island, and joining their old ship the Centurion again at Macao:  That this method was to hale the Spanish bark on shore,

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