A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 783 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11.
on board this Dutch bark were the first Christians seen by Roggewein for the space of ten months, or since leaving the coast of Brazil.  Continuing their course for the island of Bootan, in hopes of meeting with refreshments, of which they were now in extreme want, they arrived there in lat 4 deg.  S.[6] and sailed along its coast for a whole day, in hopes of finding the strait for which they sought, and at length found they were eight leagues to leeward of it, and the monsoon now blew too strong to be able to bear up for the intended port.  They had now no hopes of being able to find any port for refreshments till they should arrive at the island of Java; as, wherever they might attempt to land, they well knew that their ships would be confiscated, in consequence of the invariable maxims of the East-India Company.  All men therefore, but especially the sick and feeble, cast an anxious look on the fertile island now left behind them, presaging the melancholy effects which must necessarily attend so pernicious a measure.

[Footnote 6:  The northern end of Bootan is in lat. 4 deg. 40’ S.]

The situation of the island of Bootan is remarkably advantageous, being in from 4 deg. to 6 deg. of S. latitude, and nearly equal in size to the island of Bouro.  It is extremely fertile, especially in rice, and has abundance of cattle and fish.  It would also produce plenty both of clove and nutmeg trees, if they were permitted to grow.  The king of the island has a very strong fort, on which the Dutch standard is displayed, though there is no Dutch garrison; the company contenting itself with sending deputies yearly to see the spice trees destroyed, in consideration of which the king receives a considerable sum yearly from the company.  This nation is the most faithful of all the inhabitants of the Indian islands to the India company, having not only assisted them in expelling the Portuguese, but also against the inhabitants of the Moluccas, whenever they have attempted to revolt; by which means the company has acquired the whole trade of this part of the world.  In consideration of this, the inhabitants of Bootan enjoy many privileges that are denied to all other Indians:  As, for instance, they are allowed to come into any of the Dutch forts armed, which is never allowed even to the natives of the countries in which the forts are situated.  Some time before this voyage, the king of Bootan sent his eldest son ambassador to the governor-general of Batavia, where he was received with every mark of honour and distinction.  It would not have been easy to have known this prince for an Indian, had he not worn a triple-rowed turban, richly adorned with gold and precious stones, as the rest of his dress was entirely European, and he wore a sword instead of a cutlass, which no Indian had done before.  His train was numerous and splendid, all dressed in the Indian manner:  Twelve of them were armed with cuirasses and bucklers, carrying each

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