Voyages to the East Indies, Volume I

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Introductory notes

Voyages to the East Indies was published in two volumes in the year 1700. It was written by Christopher Fryke and Christopher Schweitzer. Not much information is available about them. In the first volume Christopher Schweitzer wrote about the East-Indies and the Dutch administration of them from 1675 to 1683. Primary Reading Schweitzer, Christopher, Voyages to the East Indies, Volume 1, Asian Educational Services. Secondary Reading Fryke Christopher, Voyages to the East Indies,Volume 2, Asian Educational Services.


With Introduction and Notes by C. Ernest Fayle With 8 Half-Tone Plates CASSELL AND COMPANY LTD. LONDON, TORONTO, MELBOURNE & SYDNEY

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1. A RELATION OF A VOYAGE To and Through the EAST-INDIES, From the Year 1675 to 1683 By Christopher Schweitzer.


IT is about sixty years since some rich Merchants and others in Holland, as at Amsterdam, Enckhuisen, Rotterdam, Leyden, Delft, Hoorn, Middleburgh, and Flessinguen, having joyned Stocks, made up a Company, Rigg'd out some Ships, and Manning them with Officers and Seamen, sent them to the East-Indies. They have from time to time mightily increased their Strength there, and at length made themselves so powerful, as to wage War, not only against some Kings of Europe, as of England and Portugal; but to be able also to Curb several Kings and Emperors of the East-Indies. And hereby they are already become much more Wealthy than some Kings are, and grow every day greater and greater.

The rich Things which several Persons have brought with them out of the East-Indies, the great Booty which several opportunities offer to Men, the just and exact Pay of those [Page 172] who are employed in the Service of the Company, on the one side; the desire of seeing strange Countries, and the Customs and Manners of People, so far distant, on the other, induce many Men to undertake this Voyage: Besides that, there are many Strangers that come into Holland, who are drawn in by a sort of Kidnappers, to engage themselves in the Service of the Company, allured by the hopes of great Profit and Advantage.

These Buyers and Sellers of Men, are People that entice Strangers to their Houses, if they see they have but little Money, or are in perfect want, or if they come of themselves through Necessity, receive them, and provide 'em with Meat, Drink, and Cloaths plentifully, till the Ships are ready to go, and the People Embark; Then each Kidnapper brings his Men, sometimes Ten, Twenty, Thirty, to the East-India House, and there gets them listed. Some days after this, he receives for each Man, for his Pains and Charge, a Note of a 150 Guldens, and Two Months ready Pay, which the Soldier or Mariner, whatever he be, must Earn out. And the Note is not paid till it comes to be Due in Monthly Wages. An Account of what Pay is due to every one is sent every year out of the Indies to Holland, and may be seen upon the Books there. But if one of these Men happens to Die in the Voyage, the Kidnapper looses all his Charge; for in such a case, the Company doth not pay him his Note, because it was not workt out.

These Men, to Entice Strangers to go, make them believe strange Stories of the Indies, promise them vast Things, and are not ashamed to go so far as to put a Hammer into their Hands to knock the Diamonds out of the Rocks they shall meet with. Many of these poor Fellows Ruin themselves Body and Soul, by Marrying Indians, and running over from the Christians to some Heathenish King, when they have Habituated themselves to their Customs and Manners: Others meeting with untimely Deaths, amongst Drinking, or other ill Company, which often happens: Others committing what Costs them their Life by Sentence of some Court of Justice. And because these Men trapan that sort of People to go a Voyage that commonly proves their Destruction, they are generally call'd, Ziel-Verkopers or Kopers, that is Soul-Buyers or Sellers.

I for my own part was forced, for want of Money, to be some Weeks at one of these Jack-Call's Houses for Entertainment, paying a 170 Guldens, the two Month's ready [Page 173] Pay being reckon'd in; and I was accepted by the East-India Company on the 15th of November 1675. as a Volunteer, and was made Steward of the Ship call'd Asia: My Pay was 20 Guldens per Month of Dutch Money; and I was to serve them five years in the Indies.

Upon these Conditions, I, with several others, went off from Amsterdam in a little Smack to the Texel, on the first of December 1675. There the Fleet lay that was ordered to go to the East-Indies, which consisted of Five Ships, viz. the Asia Admiral,the Macassar Vice-Admiral, the Utrecht, the Cortgeene, the Tidor: We saw besides, a great many English and Dutch Men of War and Merchantmen, that staid for a good Wind.

The 2d of December, I Embarkt on Board the Asia, together with several others, engaged in the same Service.

The 5th, The Wind blew very strong at North-West, so that we were obliged to drop four Anchors at one time, of which each weigh'd 36 hundred Pound. The 13th Ditto, At Eleven a Clock at Night the Wind [Page 174] changed and blew very fair for us at S. E. upon which a Gun was fired from our Admiral, all the Ships in the Fleet being to be govern'd by it, and was a Signal that every one was to weigh Anchor, and make ready to Sail.

The 14th, early in the morning, sailed first the Admiral, with Flags and Pendants on the Mainmast; after him the Vice-Admiral, with a Flag on the Foremast; and then the Utrecht, with a Flag on his Mizen-mast, and then the other common Ships.

The 15th, An English Fisherman came to us, and gave us Information that there were 16 Frenchmen of War cruising near Calais, with two Privateers and two Fireships laying wait for our Fleet. We sent out immediately a Yatch for true Intelligence, which came back to us on the 16th, and brought us word, that the Enemy was making up to us. Then we fell back to the Rode of Duyns, and lay under the Cannon of that place, while we prepared our selves for Fight, and to Consult what we were to do: Upon this we had these following Orders agreed on.

I. That all Captains, Seamen, and Officers, should carefully observe what Signals and Commands were given by the Admiral, and Obey them punctually.

II. That as soon as the Enemy came in sight of us, we should draw into the Form of a Half-Moon.

III. That if we should happen to find a strange Ship fall'n in amongst our Fleet, we should give the other Ships notice of it by firing off three of our Demy-Cannon.

IV. In case a Ship should be ready to sink, it should give notice of it by hanging a Lanthorn on the Foremast, if it were night; or by hanging out a yellow Flag, if it were day.

V. Being the Admiral upon Pain of Death, must not yield himself, nor his Ship, into the Enemies Hand; the Vice-Admiral was (in case of a Fight) to be nigh, and second him.

VI. The Admiral was to put up two bright Lanthorns, and the other Ships but one, that they might distinguish and follow the Admiral.

VII. Upon all Occasions, the Officers and common Soldiers were to behave themselves briskly and [Page 175] honestly, and to observe very strictly, these and all other Articles relating to the Fleet, upon their Peril.

The 17th, We lay still, and a French Privateer came up the English Road, and passed by our Fleet, narrowly viewing it, and struck in to Sea again. On the 20th, We lost sight of England and France. The Sea that lies between them two is call'd the Channel, and is 96 miles long. After this we came into the Sea of Spain. The Water there looks extreamly blue by reason of its being so vastly deep.

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From the 23th of January to the 24th of February, nothing remarkable happen'd, except that the cold Weather had quite left us; And we saw the Fish sometimes driving one another to and fro, and particularly the flying Fish, about the bigness of a Herring, always in fear of being devoured. The longest Flights they could take was about a Musketshot, and then they were forced to light on the Water to wet their Wings again: By this Flight they escape indeed from their greatest Enemies, the Dolphins and the Porpoises; but then they often become the Prey of Sea-Birds, call'd Boobys: Here we saw Birds and Fishes flying together.

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The 4th in the morning, about 7 of the Clock, this Turk, batter'd as he was, came up to us again; his Design was to clap us on board, and to Storm us. We having a sufficient Force on Board, defended our selves so bravely, that the Enemy was obliged to run again at night with no small loss. On our side, we had Twelve kill'd and Twenty wounded, Soldiers and Seamen: The wounded were all cured. In the mean while, the Carpenters were employed in Repairing what Damage the Enemies Shot had done us, and stopping the Holes.

The 5th Ditto, Our Chaplain Preached a Thanks-giving Sermon for the Assistance God was pleased to give them, delivering them through his Mercy out of the Hands of those Cruel Tyrants: And after that, our Master and Admiral thank'd his People for the help they had given him with so much Gallantry; and ordered a Bottle of Sack for every Man.

From the 6th to the 24th of March, we had very blustering Winds, and a dreadful violent Storm, so that we often thought our selves at the very brink of Death. The 25th, While that Tempestuous Weather still lasted, the Mate and his Boy were catch'd together acting the abominable Sin of Sodomy: A Council was held upon it, and Sentence was given that they should be tied back to back, (which was done by the Boatswain), and tied in a Sack, and thrown alive into the Sea. As the Minister was doing his Duty towards these Malefactors, representing to them the hainousness of their Crime, and directing them to prepare for Death, the Boy, about 14 years of Age, [Page 178] wept bitterly; But the Mate, being an Italian, about 40 years old, shew'd himself mighty ready to Die, saying; 'Twas better he should be punish'd alone for his horrid Sin, then that the whole Ship should suffer for his sake.

On the 27th, it being very fine Weather, we found that the Storm had carried. us under the Equinoctial Line. Here it is extream unhealthy, and a certain Distemper seized most of our Men, which made them raving mad: In one day five Persons died, one of which was our Chaplain, the other four Soldiers. These Dead Men, were (according to the Custom of our Dutch Ships) sew'd, each Corps by it self, in a sheet, and after our usual Morning or Evening Prayer, (with a Psalm sung at the end of it) thrown into the Sea.

The 28th, we had no Wind: On this day, one of our Barbers, and two Seamen died; and two Soldiers, in their raving Fit, (caused by the intollerable Heat) leapt into the Sea; which two of our best Swimmers perceiving, leap'd in after them, and brought 'em into the Ship again: But one of 'em after all this, hang'd himself that very Night by his Bed-side. On the 29th, The other Soldier that had leapt in the Sea, died, having no regard to any good Advice that was given him, and could not be made to Pray. We had not a Breath of Wind this day, nor.

The 5th Ditto, it pleased God to deliver us from that fatal place by a favourable Wind at West and by-South. We had still a great many sick Men, and not enough in health to be able to Brace our Main-Sail, tho' the Mortality ceased; so we were forced to make shift with our small Sails. That day we caught with a Hook one of the great Fishes called Sharks, that rowl'd and toss'd about our Ship. We design'd to dress him, and refresh our selves with it; but when we cut it open, we found in the Belly of it our Serjeant that we had thrown over-board, not yet [Page 179] digested. The sight of this so turn'd our Stomachs, that none could find in their Heart to Eat of the Fish; so that we threw Man and Fish into the Sea again. It is observable, That these great Fish have always some small ones to go before 'em, that are called by the name of Pilot-Fishes, and swim in and out of the Shark's Mouth. And when a Shark is catch'd, they cleave to his Back like a Burr.

But I must not omit what happen'd to my self. As I fell Ill and was in a Swoun, he that look'd after the sick, took me for Dead, and fetch'd a new Shirt out of my Chest, and was putting it upon me; The Sail-maker too was a going to sew me up; and he handling me a little roughly, after all his pushing and tossing of me, I open'd my Eyes: Those that were about me were not a little startled; and said, it was high time for me to open 'em; for if I had winck'd but a little longer, over I had gone. Our chief Merchant gave me a Glass of Sack, which refreshed me very much.

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THE 23th of April, early in the morning, I went on Shore of Africa with our Admiral: From this place to Amsterdam they reckon usually 2000 miles. At this Cape we lay still nine days, and in that time provided our selves with Water, Wood, and other Necessaries. As to the Qualities of this Land, by what Observation I could [Page 181] make of it, I found it to be: First Fruitful; And for that Reason, our East-India Company hath caused some years ago, many very strong Places to be Built there by the Water-side, close under the Duyvel's-bergh, Lewen-bergh, and Tafel-bergh, well stored with Soldiers, and all things necessary, and are sufficiently provided against the Incursions of the Wild-Men; so that their Ships going to and from the Indies, may safely, and without any danger, put in there at any time, and take in Provisions, whether it be of Cattle, Water, Wood, or other Refreshments. And here are already a great many Boors that are come from Holland, and by reason of the great Priviledges that are granted them, have settled there, and have Tilled the Land and made it very fruitful, for a matter of 20 or 30 miles round about those Places. Secondly, Very populous: The Inhabitants are called wild Africans, or Hottentots. Their Colour is like that of the Egyptian Heathens, or as we call them corruptly, Gypsies. The Hair of their Head grows entangled in one another, like the Wool of a young Lamb; upon which they hang for Ornament all manner of Sea-shells. They are of a middle stature, and well proportioned, only that they have their Noses a little too flat and broad.

They wear no manner of Cloaths, only a Sheeps-skin or Calf-skin on their Shoulders, (and that's besmeared with Grease to make it soft and pliant) when it is a little Cold, or when it Rains. They wear the Tail of a Fox, or of a wild Dog hanging before their Privy-Parts. The Women among these Hottentots have a different Ornament from the Men, which is the Gutts of their Cattle fresh killed. These they wrap about their Legs, not minding the inconveniency it puts 'em to, which is such, that they can hardly go, and they leave 'em there till they are quite dry.

I had often-times been told, that these Women had naturally a little kind of a Flap growing over their Privities, like that of a Turkey-Cock's Bill, which I had a mind to see if it were true; but upon Examination, I found nothing of Truth in it. My Experience cost me only some Tobacco.

These People have a very strange Speech, and make such a disagreeable Noise with their Mouth, as other Nations cannot imitate; but a great many of them that live near to the Cape of Good Hope can speak some Dutch. They have no manner of Religion, Prayers, or Laws, only they Worship the Moon. The first time that they see it; they spend that whole Night in Dancing, Singing, and Bawling Ha, ha, ha, ha. They do not at all trouble themselves with Building or Planting: So that they have no constant abode, [Page 182] but move from place to place with their Children and Wives, where they can find Pasture for their Cattle. They Eat all sorts of Fruits and Roots that grow either above or under-ground. They make no difference, whether their Meat is kill'd, or dead with any Distemper, or whether it be Man's Flesh: Whatever it be, they throw it upon some Coals, leave it there a little while, and so Eat it.

They lie in small Hutts or Holes, every one with his Wife. If any of the Women have two Children at one Birth, they kill the weakest, that the other may have the Breasts to himself, and grow stronger and lustier. As soon as the Boys come to be about Twelve years of Age, they cut off his right Testicle, that he may be the fitter for Running.

They have some Kings amongst them, and a great many Captains, and have cruel Wars between one another. They shoot Darts, and are excellent at hitting a Mark with a Stone. The Women too will come in often and carry their Husband's Arms: If they take any of their Enemies, they kill 'em and eat 'em with great Joy and Satisfaction. And in the same manner they use the Europeans too, (who come often to Truck a little Tobacco or Bracelets, for a good parcel of Cows and Sheep) if they can get them into their Hutts. Thirdly, Rich. They have all manner of wild Beasts. For here are the furious Lions, which regard no Man, and when Hungry, fall upon Men and Beasts and Devour them. The Grinning Tygers. The vast Elephant for Bulk and Strength. The Angry Rhinoceros. The skipping and clambering Ape: Besides, Wild Dogs, Bears, Wolves, and wonderful fine Wild Asses, all in great numbers; As also Ostriches, which have indeed Feathers and Wings, but cannot Fly by reason of their bigness and weight. Their Eggs are hatch'd of themselves, and not (as some mis-informed Persons have given an account of it) by their continual looking after 'em. Sea-Cows, that lie in the fresh Rivers alL day, and at night come on Shore to feed: Their Flesh is better than that of Swine. Stag and Deer, Wild-Boars, Partridges, Peacocks, Geese, Wild-Ducks, and other sort of Poultry, too long to give an Account of, all which are here very plentiful.

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The 23th,.... While we lay there, some of the Inhabitants of Java came to visit us, and brought us all manner of Indian Fruits; such as King's Apples, Mellons, Figs, Citrons, Bananas, Sugar, Rice, and other-like things; all which Refreshments we had of them in exchange for old Iron and Tobacco. They came in little Boats, but oddly made, and very ill put together, but they sail very fast with 'em.

The 24th, Two of them were sent over to us out of Bantam, laden with Fruit from Java, Ducks, Goats, &c. This day we made some of our way with a good Wind, but towards the Evening we cast Anchor, the Wind being changed.

The 25th, in the morning, betwixt 9 and 10 a Clock, we saw at the right Hand of us, the Royal City Bantam; In the afternoon, about 4 a Clock, we came into the Road before Batavia: Our Cabin-Boy swimming very well, and having a mind to refresh himself in that Water, was unexpectedly catch'd and devour'd by a Crocodile.

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The 28th, 29th, and 30th, We had three days liberty to go up and down, in and out of the City; and here we much wondered to see the Chineses, (of which several live here upon the account of their great Trade) carry Meat and Drink to those that are Buried in the Church-yard, in Vessels of fine China, lamenting, and asking them, Why they Died, and what they wanted; and telling them, it was unkind not to let their Friends know of it; But the Dead there, as well as here, are very silent. This good Chear of theirs is generally carried off by the Dutch Soldiers and Seamen, who Feast themselves with it, when they have Game'd away their Money, or otherways spent it. Besides these Chineses, there are several other East-Indians, and other Heathens, that live at Batavia, and drive a great Trade there. They are all oblig'd to joyn together in the common Defence of the City, in case of Necessity; chiefly the Javans, the proper Inhabitants of this Island: They are very Tawny, and wear only a Girdle about their middle, of fine Linnen, or Silk: They are Circumcis'd as the Turks: Some of them Worship an Image with a Lion's Head, the Sun, and the Moon, &c.

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The Opium that they use to take always before they engage, had made 'em stark Mad; so that they kill'd the flower of our Officers, and 150 private Soldiers: And at last, the rest of us were forced to Flee and Swim for our Lives to get into our Ship.

The 17th, All our sick and wounded were put into a Ship, and sent to the Hospital in Batavia; And a Letter sent to the General, and the Council, to acquaint them, that we wanted a sresh Assistance and Recruits to go on in our Enterprize.

The 18th, We sent out a large Boat, with a Lieutenant, and Soldiers and some Seamen, to go ashore and view the place, and give us Intelligence; but the Enemy fell upon them, and slew every one of them, except one Seaman; who, On the 19th, came swimming to our Ship very quick, having the stream with him. He gave us an account, how they were fell upon by four Boats full of those Japarians, who killed all his Companions; and as for his own safety, he had made his way through 'em with a great lighted stick of Wood, that he snatcht up from under a Kettle, and with that kept them at such a distance who were half Naked, that he had room and time to throw himself into the Water to Swim for his Life, tho' they continually shot at him with their Arrows. Our Master order'd him immediately a Glass of Sack to refresh him, for he was sadly weaken'd, having been almost a day and a night in the Water.

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The 28th, A Ship came from Malacca to Batavia, which brought a great many Spiauters and Pellicans of a Purple Colour, as also a Casswari: This is a great Bird that has no Feathers on his Body, but Hair, like Hog's Bristles. It will Eat red-hot Coals, Tobacco-Pipes, Iron, and leaden Bullets; but doth not Digest any of 'em: It hath no Tongue, but makes a Noise as Shrill as that of a little Gosling. Of this Bird we shall take an occasion to tell you a very pleasant Story by and by.

The 30th, Came 32 Javans, with a Crocodile, 22 Foot long, which they had caught with a great Crook, and brought into the Fort to shew it to the General, who having taken a view of it, gave the Fellows that brought it 6 Rixdollars for their Pains: So they carried it away again.

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The 10th, They found out that the Casswari Birds (of which we have made mention above) that run all about the Fort, had swallowed all the Bullets, and dropt them here and there, as they wander'd about, whole and undigested.

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The 12th, I went into the City to a Chinese's House to drink a Glass of their Grass-Beer, which is made of Sugar, and is very pleasant. There I saw their manner of Eating: Seven of 'em, all Men, sat at a Table by themselves, for they will not trust themselves among the Europeans, nor will they let them see their Wives: Besides their Wives, they keep several Malleyers, that are fine Women, tho' of a tawny Complexion, and broad Noses, whom they Buy for their use. These Women have the liberty of shewing themselves abroad: Their Masters lie with them at their Pleasure; but besides these Women, they frequently keep Swine for the same purpose, and make the same use of 'em.

In the middle of the Table stood a very large China Dish, with a great many little ones in it, which were filled, some with Fish, and boil'd Rice instead of Bread; some with a sort of a Mess made of Citrons, which they call Arschhar; and others, with a pickl'd sort of Fruit like our Barberies, which they preserve in Juice of Citrons and Vinegar. Each Man had a Wooden thing in his Hand like a pair of Tonges, which they use instead of a Fork, to Eat their Meat with. After they had done Eating, they took every one a Whiff of Tobacco out of a Pipe (which they call Gur-Gur) the Bole whereof is so large, that it would contain half a Pint of Water.

At the time of their Meals, they did not forget their God, which was an Idol made of Wood, and stood very finely adorned upon a Table, with a Lamp burning by it. Him they served first with their best Fruits and Meats, and laid it all decently on a Board that stood by for that purpose. I was so intent upon observing them, that I never minded my Drink, tho' it was excellent, and continually expected to see that Devil Eat the Victuals that were set before him; but I found, I might have staid long enough, for he was so modest, he would not offer to touch them, so I came away: For I saw they did not like my standing so near their Door to observe 'em as I did, and they knew me to be a Dutchman.

What the Devil did with his Meat afterwards I cannot pretend to give you an account of. [Page 192] On the 13th, I went to visit the Rich Chinese. Any European that goes there, is treated very liberally with as much strong Drink as he pleases; which sort of Drink is Distill'd out of the Suri that comes off from the Coco-Trees, and they call it Arack. The Richest Chinese hath all the others under him; and as soon as he hangs out a red Flag, they are all obliged to appear immediately. He furnishes also all the Dutch Ships with a sufficient quantity of Arack, and Vinegar; of which he makes a Bill, which is abated out of their Contributions.

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THe 14th of August, Came two Javans to Batavia, and brought Twelve Bats as big as Geese for a Present to our General. They are reckon'd there a very delicate Food; and I was told, they were brought to the General's Table as a Rarity, and fit for a great Entertainment. They fly out at Night as ours do, and haunt the Coco-Trees, and there suck the Suri that lies in the Coco-Nuts, so long, till they tumble down, and so are easily taken up with one's Hand; in the Day they keep in the Woods and hollow Trees.

The 15th, A Javan that had eaten some Opium struck a Soldier that stood Sentinel with a half Pike upon the [Page 194] Bridge, between the City and the Fort, with a Poisoned Dart, and kill'd him.

The 20th, Some Javans brought a Dead Serpent 26 foot long, before our General's Lodgings. When the General had seen this dreadful Creature, he order'd it to be carried to his Physician Dr. Kleyer, who had it cut open by one John Otto Helwigh, a Saxon Doctor of Physick, (that came over with us as a Soldier) and had his Skin stuff'd up, and kept for a Show.

The 21th, Three Month's Pay was paid to all the Garrison, in Money, Silks, Stuffs, Linnen from China, Shirts, Shooes and Stockings; instead of Victuals here, we are allowed Board-Wages. The Pay is as followeth.

A Captain's, 80 or 100 Guldens per Month Salary; 10 Rixdollars, and 7 Cans of Wine, and two of Oil, Board-Wages.

A Lieutenant's, 50 Guldens per Month Salary; and 6 Rixdollars, Board-Wages.

An Ensign's, 36 Guldens per Month Salary; and 6 Rixdollars, Board-Wages.

A Serjeant's, 20 Guldens per Month Salary; and 4 Rixdollars, Board-Wages.

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A Serjeant's, 20 Guldens per Month Salary; and 4 Rixdollars, Board-Wages.

A Corporal's, 14 Guldens per Month Salary; and 4 Guldens, Board-Wages.

And a Private Soldier's, 10 Guldens per Month Salary; and 4 Guldens, and 40 pound of Rice, Board-Wages.

The 22th, The Utrecht that was come some days before from the Western-Coasts, and loaded with 400 Lasts of Pepper, was burnt in the Road of Batavia. The Cannon and Anchors were hall'd up again, by reason it was not very deep, and all the Men saved.

The 24th, Two Ships happily arrived before Batavia; the one from Siam, loaden with Spiauter; the other from Tarnate, loaden with Cloves, Nutmegs, and Mace. They brought us the News of a great deal of mischief that had happened in Amboina and Tarnate about 500 miles Eastward from Batavia, by the Earthquakes, that are very frequent there, and commonly every year.

Those that know the way of living here, need not much wonder why that Island should have such severe Misfortunes fall on it. The Spaniards heretofore found this Island, and seeing it abound so much in Spices, fortified it with Castles and Towers, and adorn'd it with Churches, Cloisters, and Schools: But they exercised an excessive Tyranny over the Inhabitants.

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From the 1st to the 30th of September, I did not stir out of the Fort, by reason of a terrible Head-Ach that seiz'd me, and such a terrible one, that it fetch'd all the Hair off my Head; nor was I able to bear the excessive heat of the Weather. I us'd no other Remedies but Bathing [...]nd Refreshing my self every night and morning (after Sun-rising and Sun-setting) in the Water that runs about the Fort, tho' that was very dangerous, by reason of the Crocodiles that are there.

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The 4th, about two at night, The Tide and Land-Wind turn'd for us again, which carried us as far as the Prince's Island, where we were to take in Wood and fresh Water.

The 5th, 6th, and 7th, I went ashore with five Soldiers, well provided with Arms, to defend those that cut the Wood, from the Tygers; and to shoot some Fowls, such as Peacocks and Ducks; for this Island being not much inhabited, does very much abound with all sorts of Fowl.

The 8th, at break of day, We weigh'd our Anchors, and pass'd that day through the Road of Sunda, and came about the evening into the Sea.

The Wind was S. E. and by S. our Course lay most toward the North. The 9th, We were divided into two Quarters, for the better regulating the Watch, that every one might know when to Watch, and when to enjoy his Humour. Till this time we had Water to Drink, and Rice enough, but boil'd only in Water.

The 10th, We had a very favourable Wind, And this day we came to an Allowance, which was, To each Person half a pound of boil'd Rice every day, half a Pint of distill'd Arack, and a Pint and a half of Water: Two Pound of Bisket a week, and half a Pint of Vinegar, and half that quantity of Lisbon Oil. Sundays and Thursdays three quarters of a pound of Flesh: On Tuesdays a Quartern [Page 198] and a half of Bacon; Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, Gray-Pease, which we Eat with Oil and Vinegar. The 22th, We had a smooth Gale of Wind at West: Our Course being Northward, we saw continual Lightning, and heard much Thunder: I was Amazed that it lasted so long, and I enquired of our Master, and of some of the oldest Seamen, what could be the reason of it. They told me, That it was dark in that Country of West-Kust six months together; that the Country afforded great store of Pepper, and some Gold was to be found in the Mountains of it. For that Reason, the Dutch, after a long War, had built there some Fortisications, and kept Soldiers there, which hold it to this day. That the Europeans cannot bear the Climate long, it being very unhealthy; and unless they are fetch'd away within three years time, they generally Die. To prevent which, they send fresh Men thither every year. That those that Die there are commonly taken away suddenly, as they are Eating or Drinking at Table. Their Food is Rice instead of Bread, Bufflars Flesh, Beef and Pork, and Fish in abundance: Their Drink is Suri that comes from the Coco's, and Sugar-Beer, 3 or 4 years old, which they keep under Ground.

The 23th, The Wind blew hard at West. We saw an infinite number of Fishes, called Springers; their length is generally about 6 or 7 foot, and about as much in thickness. Their Flesh is very firm; they Swim always against the Wind. When they Leap very high out of the Water (as [Page 199] they did then) the Seamen expect a very great Storm and Tempest. We catch'd several of 'em with a certain Instrument, which they call an Ellegaer, striking it into their Bodies.

The 7th, That we had pass'd the Line. Two Soldiers and [Page 200] three Seamen died out of our Ship that day, and were thrown, after Prayers, into the Sea: And we had about 20 sick.

The 8th, The Wind changed to the South; and we were directly to go Northward. The Boatswain's Mate catch'd a large Shark, in which they found four Boys, and some Bones of Men.

The 9th, We saw a little Vessel that made towards us; in the afternoon it came near to us, and we were big with the hopes of some News they brought, but they were all vain: For our Orlamen (as we call them that have been before in the Indies) spoke to them in the Malleyers, Amboineses, Cingulaish, Malabarish, and Maldavish Languages, but neither would do; and they answer'd us in a Language that none of us could tell what to make of; but they made us to understand by Signs, that they were in great want of Drink: Our Master had their Vessel boarded, and in it we found 24 Indians, with long Hair ty'd up on the left side of their Heads. They had with them 12 Muskets, some Gun-Powder, and Iron-Balls; pretty good store of Rice, Pepper, and dry'd Fish, but no Water. We supposed them to be some Indian Robbers come from the West-Kust, and drove thus far into the Sea by the late Storm. Our Master order'd them to be taken into our Ship, together with their Provisions, and we drew their Vessel along after us, ty'd with a strong Rope to our Ship. We allowed them Bread and Water, and we made them Pump the Water out of our Ship, and Swab it.

[Page 201]

The 21th, in the morning, at break of day, We chang'd our Course again, and went directly towards Land lying South-East of us, with the Wind at S. W. About 10 a Clock before Noon we saw the Ships that lay at Anchor upon the Road by the City of Columbo. In the mean while, the Wind veer'd four Points more to the W. and so much the fitter for us. About Noon, we felt a sandy ground at 40 Fathoms, but we kept Sounding still, till we were quite out of the deep, and in full sight of the Land. This day every one had plenty enough of boil'd Rice, and the Water Vessels were free to any body. We had suffer'd a great while Hunger and Thirst, notwithstanding that we had Course Diet enough, and above 40 Barrels of Dutch and Batavian Water. The Soldiers now begun to Equip themselves, to make a shew at their Landing, and dress'd themselves very sine with great Joy and Satisfaction. Their Arms, which till then had been kept up in the Gunner's Room, were delivered to 'em, to go out Arm'd, as is usual, to Shore.

[Page 202]

The 22th, I went to Board with an old Cingulaish Woman, because she could speak a little Dutch; and she got her living by keeping a House to entertain the Dutch, of which she had generally 20 or 30 in her House. I paid 15 s. a Month, and 40 pound of black Rice. We had every one his own Dish, served up with Flesh, Fish, Figs, and such like Diet, twice every day, at 8 a Clock in the morning, and 4 in the afternoon. Our House was only a Hut, made up of Boughs of Trees. And here I met with three of my old Acquaintance; who, On the 23th, took me Abroad to a very large Orchard, call'd Tang Salgato, where we drank some Sury fresh from the Coco-Trees. This was in the morning, and about noon we bespoke a hot sort of Liquor, called Massack, which is made in the following manner. They put into a Vessel 8 Quarts of Suri, and to that, one Quart of Arack or Brandy. All this boil'd together, and about 20 or 25 Eggs are broke into't, which gives it substance, and a good colour. Then they add to all this some Kings Sugar, (which they get from some certain Trees there) and some Nutmeg, and Mace: All this came to half a Rixdollar.

[Page 204]


THE Island Ceylon is about 200 Dutch miles in compass. It lies in the Indian Sea, not far from the Maldivian Islands, and the Wild Coasts of Cormandel and Malabar.

[Page 205]

Their chief Fortifications, are, the City and Castle of Columbo; eight Leagues Eastward of that lies the Fort Negombo; 20 miles further, the Fort Calpintin; again, 22 miles from thence, another call'd Aripen; and between those two, the Paerl-Bank, heretofore so famous: Six miles further, a very strong Fort on the Island of Manara, very fruitful, and seven miles in compass. This Island of Manara is divided from Ceylon by an Arm of Salt-Water, about a Cannon-shot wide. Jasnapaparnum, a fortified City, lies 22 miles distant from Manara, and is secured with Bastions, call'd by these Names, Pas-Piil, Pas-Beschatter, Pas-Elephant, and Punt de Pedre. Six and thirty miles farther, is the Fort called Trinconamale, built by the Dutch against the French. This Fort the French had taken Possession of; as also of the Bay, where Ships ride very safe, under the Command of Monsieur de la Haye, as Viceroy, till the Dutch drove them away again. There is another Fort call'd Battacolo 40 miles from that. Thence to Punt de Gala 30 miles. Thence to Alecan 11 miles. Thence to Galture 5 miles. Thence round back again to Columbo 6 miles.

The Description I have given here of these outward Fortifications, makes the Circuit of this Island to be in all 206 miles. The Inland Fortifications, are; Maluane, 6 Leagues from Columbo; Hanguelli or Gourwebell, 2 Leagues from Malvane; Sittawaca 4 miles farther; Ruenell also 4 Leagues farther; Saffrigan and Bibliogam, 8 Leagues from Ruenell: And 12 Leagues on this side of Columbo, you have Anguradotten and Caudingellen, lying upon two Rivers that run out of the King of Candi's Country, very rich in precious Stones.

[Page 206]

Their King dresseth himself as he pleases. His Cap is of Silk, wrought with Gold about a yard high, with a great Carbuncle before, and Rubies and Saphiires all round about it, and at the top a Bird of Paradise. His Shirt and Wastcoat is made of the finest Cotton, with Golden Buttons, and he wears a Garment of colour'd Silk, that goes 4 or 5 times round his middle, and hangs down to his Knees. His Stockings are fastned above his Knees with a string, whereon is fastned a silver Plate as large almost as a Trencher. His Shoes are only Leathern Soles with strings, one of which comes up between his Toes, and the other comes round his Foot, and ties the Sole fast to it: And all these strings are set out with Saphires and Rubies. He wears a Sword close under his right Arm, tied to a Silk Ribbon: It is very heavy, being in a massy Silver Scabbard; it is made like a Hanger, and about a yard long; the Handle is ordered with fine precious Stones. On his left side, between his Shirt and his Wastcoat, he wears a long Knife, besides his Sword, inlaid with Gold and Jewels, and by that a sharp Pen, (wherewith they write upon Leaves of Trees) in a Silver Sheath.

[Page 209]

Their Money they generally Bury in a Pot under the Hearth, or sometimes under the Devil's Tree, in the Field, where it is Sacred.

Their Victuals is Rice boyl'd instead of Bread, and what they Eat with it, is made of all kinds of Herbs, Roots, Fruit, dry'd or fresh Fish, which they Boil with a deal of green Pepper, or else with the Milk that comes from the Coco-Nuts. Every one takes his share of Rice upon a Fig-Leaf, (instead of a Plate) and takes his other Meat, and mixes it together with his Hand, and so Eats it.

They wash their Hands and Mouths very clean before and after Meals. They chaw Betel all day which they prepare after this manner. They take one or two of the Leaves, about as broad as one's Hand, they call them Bular: They grow all round about, against Fruit-Trees, as Ivy does. Then they take some very fine Chalk, made of small Musselshells burnt, and of it they scatter about as much as will lie on the top of a Knife over those Leaves, and then rowl them up, and put into the middle a fourth part of an Arck, which is a Fruit like a Nutmeg; and to this Composition they give the Name of Betel, which they keep continually in their Mouth: And this is to prevent the Scurvy. They Smoak Tobacco too, not out of Pipes, but wound up in a dry Leaf.

[Page 211]

These Malabars come originally from the Wild Coast of Malabar, lying by Manara, and from the Kingdoms of the great Samerin, Calicut, Cananor, and others.... [Page 212] Their Arms and their Legs are all adorned with Silver Rings, and their Ears, about a Span long, with Gold: Their Fingers and Toes too are all richly set out with several sorts of Rings, most of Silver and Gold.

[Page 214]


Giving an Account of the sundry sorts of Beasts, Fowls, &c. that are in Ceylon; a more particular one of the Elephants, concerning which, many things very wonderful are attested, upon the Author's own Experience. The manner of catching them, their peculiar Qualities, &c. Wild-Bufflars, Tygers, Bears, Jackalls, Bitsche-Vergunie, or the Devil of Negombo, very rare; Levers a lazy sort of Beast, Wandura or Apes. Wild Cats. And many other sorts of Beasts. Of Fowls, Parrots, Batts, &c. Crocodiles, will live 300 years. Different sorts of Serpents; of Pismires; Blood-Suckers; Sword-Fishes; Sharks; Sail-Fish; St. Peter's Fish; Sea-Swine; Sea-Devils; Tortoises. The manner of the Malabarians Fishing with their Netts.

I Come now to give a short Account of the Wild and Tame Beasts that are in this Island of Ceylon. Among the Wild ones, I will speak first of the Elephants. They are finer and more Docile than in other Countries. Therefore they catch a great many of 'em, which they make Tame, and fit for War, and send them to the Kingdoms of Persia, Surrat, the Great Mogul, and several other places; and the Dutch themselves make use of them in the Field.

I have been very curious in Searching into the Nature, Disposition, and Qualities of these Elephants; and for that purpose conversed much with those that Catch them, when they are young, and have my self help'd to catch 'em. I have found in them all a great deal of Cunning, and a good Memory, in which they seem to be almost Rational Creatures. They never forget a Master's kind Usage; but that of a rough and cruel one, they on the other side, never leave unrevenged. They never Couple together in the sight of Men, but first they search round about the Wilderness to see if no Body is there hidden in any Tree to spy 'em; and if they find any, woe be to them. The Male hath his Testicles inwards, and the Female gives Suck between her fore Legs.

[Page 215]

....They feed on Grass, Figs, Leaves, and Coco-Nuts, Rice, and other Fruits, and Bread if one gives it them. This they reach and hold faste with the end of their Trunk, and then thrust it into their Mouths. Before they Eat any Grass, they throw it and toss it about, to shake out the Pismires, by which they are mightily tormented sometimes.

[Page 216]

The East-Indian Kings and Merchants buy the Elephants by their height, which they measure to an Inch (as we do Horses here) from the Ground to the ridge of the Back. According to their height, they are worth 7, 8, 900 or 1000 Rixdollars. Sometimes they Buy them (when they are of an extraordinary vast Bulk) for shew. Otherwise they use 'em in War, and to draw the Baggage, and great Artillery. The Great Mogul hath frequently with him 4 or 500 in the Field; And we used them in all Expeditions: Each Company had an Elephant, as we shall tell more largely hereafter.

[Page 217]

The Flesh of Elephants is not fit to Eat, and their Hides are made no use of, by reason of their wanting Men to dress and prepare them. They are extream thick. The Flesh is Spungy, and Rotts in two or three days. The Hair that grows upon the Tail they hold very good against the Cramp, and as an approved Remedy they wear it made up in Rings on their Fingers.

There is great store of Bufflars in Ceylon, especially in and about Calpintin. They are about the bigness of a Podolian or Hungarian Ox, but stronger. Their Horns are about two yards long: They are of an ash-colour. In the day time they lie in the Water up to their Nose, and at night they come to Graze in the Meadows. Their Flesh is Eatable, when it hath lain 2 or 3 days in Salt; but very hot, and gives the Bloody-Flux to most People that Eat of it. They are very dangerous to go near, especially to the Europeans, and chiefly if they have any young ones by them.

Tygers are here also in abundance, and very pernicious to Man and Beast, and particularly to Stags and Deer. They are about the bigness of a large Ass, but something longer; they are spotted with yellowish and whitish spots, and in their Make exactly like a Cat. Their Flesh is white, and many People Eat of it. Bears are likewise found here in several Parts, and are dangerous Creatures: Yet they are not so much fear'd here, as the Wolves are in Germany.

Jackalls are of shape and bigness like a Fox, only a sharper Snout [Page 218] Wandura or Apes are here in abundance; they are black, excepting a whitish Ring about the hinder part of the Body, and a great gray Beard, which makes them look very much like some of the Old Cingulayans.

[Page 219]

Wild-Cats; there are of two sorts: One of which is as large as our common House-Cats, and live upon all sorts of Fowl. The other is as small as our Squirrels, and are called Suri-Cats; because they keep about the Coco-Trees, whence the Suri comes. Their Hair is of a grey colour; and they make a noise like a young Turkey.

Stags are bigger than the Stags in Holland.

Deer, are somewhat less, and full of white spots.

Wild-Goats are a little bigger than our Hares.

The Hares less than with us.

Wild-Boars here as in Africa.

....Goats are in good store here, and Swine, such as in Holland. One of the biggest and fattest in the Island Manara is not worth above a Rixdollar.

Now for the Wild-Fowl. There are Peacocks of the same colour as here; and besides those, there are many as white as Swans.

Wild-Cocks and Hens are about the bigness of ours.

Water-Fowl, Snipes, Stock-Doves, and others. Two sort of Herons, one of 'em bluish, the other half black. Geese and Ducks in great numbers.

[Page 220]

....Other Tame Fowl is there in such plenty, that one may Buy a Pullet for a Peny, and 40, 50, or 60 Eggs for the same price. Ducks that lay 200 or 300 Eggs after one another, without one days intermission, will cost but Two Pence or Two Pence half peny. Many keep Pigeons likewise, which come from Holland, which they Buy for 10 d. a pair.

Among the four-footed Animals, in the Rivers; There is the Crocodile which devours many Men that live near them, as they are Fishing, Washing, or Bathing themselves, if they do not take an especial Care: But I will in short describe something of the Nature of them. The Crocodile is not so very furious as some People imagine. He seeks his Prey alone; but when he is hungry, he Devours any living thing he can Eat, whether Man, Fish, Beast, Dogs, &c. shews himself commonly, and swims any part of the day at the top of the Water, like a piece of Timber. He sets open his Mouth for a certain Bird to pick his Teeth with his Bill, which is about the length of one's Finger. At night he comes upon Land to seek out for Meat. These Animals lay their Eggs upon the bare Sand, and leave the Sun to produce the young ones out of 'em, who as soon [Page 221] as they come out, are about half a yard long; The Egg it self is about twice as big as that of a Goose. They continually keep growing as long as they live, and come to be some 20, some 25, some 30 foot long: The Body is armed all over with a thick Scale: Their Teeth are exceeding sharp; and so much strength is in their Tail, that they'll kill any Fish or other Animal with a blow of it. Upon Land they can run faster than most Men; but in a short turning, a Man may have the Advantage of 'em, because they must take a great compass; and being so long and thick, without any bending in their Backs, they are forced to take a large turn, which affords a Man fair time to escape out of their reach.

[Page 222]

....I have seen many Scorpions here as big as a common Crab, but their Stings are not dangerous, and cause only a smarting for two days, and never prove mortal. There are three sorts of Pismires, red, black, and white. The first are the biggest, and rid the Houses of other Vermine, as Rats, Mice, and Serpents. The black keep in the Fields; if they touch a Man's Skin, they make it Smart for about half an hour. The white ones live amongst Houshold Goods; they Eat through Chests and Trunks, and damage Cloaths and Linnen very much.

Fleas are here in Shoals, so that Men could not have any rest, if they did not besmear all their Houses with Cow-Dung, to keep them away.

The Air is full of little Flies and Gnats; and in some places People cannot Eat for 'em, but are forced to stay till night when they are settled.

Blood-Suckers, or Leeches, are the worst Vermine on the Island: They are most towards the North between Candi and Columbo.

[Page 223]

....Amongst the Sea-Fish commonly catch'd here, I place the Sword-Fish; it is from 8 to 12 foot in length: It is called by that Name from a sort of Sword it hath upon his Nose, which is like a Saw, with about 50 Teeth about the bigness of one's Finger. The biggest of those Swords that I ever saw was an Ell long. The Flesh of this Fish is fit to Eat, but the younger the Fish is, the better. These Sword-Fishes are not of that sort which are so great Enemies to Whales, for they never come so far into the North, it being too Cold for them there: Besides, those that sight with the Whales have their Sword on their Back, and keep about Greenland and Ysland in vast numbers.

Sharks are right Sea-Wolves, and devour the Men they can catch, but they are often catch'd and devour'd themselves.

[Page 224]

Tortoises, are catch'd here of 200 pound weight. They lay their Eggs on the Sand, 200 at a time, and leave them to the Sun to hatch; they have no Shell, only are cover'd with a Tough Skin. When they come upon Land, the Indians turn them over on their Backs, from which they cannot rise again, having not the command of their Legs. When they have them thus, three or four Men carry them to Market, and there cut them out. The Shells of these very large ones are not useful, but the small ones are of great use for inlaid Work, Combs, &c.

Sea-Crabs, and Sea-Lobsters: These are here a Yard long, with large Claws; and the other round with a very hard Shell.

[Page 225]

Fresh River-Fish are these: The St. Pilang, a Fish with a broad Head, as smooth as an Eel, about a yard long, and two Spans about. The Bald-Head is a better sort of Fish, all Scaly like a Carp, excepting the Head; weighs generally 7 or 8 pound. A Fish called a Fool, because whoever Eats any thing of the Head, becomes stupid: Wherefore the Head is always thrown away, the rest is very good to Eat. The Pager is a black Fish, with a hard thick Head; its Body is round, with very sharp Finns. There is small Fish also in abundance, as we have here, such as Gudgeons, Craw-Fish, &c.

Gurnets are a small sort of Fish like the Craw-Fish, without a Shell, and have only a whitish Scale over their Body. They are most used in Angling, for a Bait to catch other Fish with.

[Page 226]


THE whole Year is divided into two Seasons only, call'd the good and the bad Season. Each of them consists of five Months; the other two are call'd the Dubious Months, being March and September, in which are the two Solstices, on the 12th Old Stile, or 22d New Stile, of each of those Months.

In the Month of March, the Rains begin to fall on that side on which Columbo is Situated, and continue most commonly to the Month of September; so that all the Rivers overflow the Countries in such a manner, that the People, Cattle and Wild-Beasts are surrounded on a sudden, and carried away by the Water-floods. Those that delight in Hunting, may find great quantities of Beasts forced up into the Mountains at that time.

[Page 227]

In this good Season (as they term it) Thunder and Lightning are very frequent, and to that degree, that many huge Trees are split and rent to pieces with it. The Sun doth not move far from this Place, wherefore little notice can be taken of the lengthning or shortning of the Days: Nor is it ever very cold here; only when the North Wind begins to blow in February, and which holds on for about four Months, one may bear a cotton Garment on. In this Season, the Fishermen have seldom the opportunity of Fishing, by reason of the roughness of the Sea. Whilst the good Season is on that side of Columbo, the other side towards Cormandel, Jafnapatnam, Manara, Batacolo, &c. have the bad with them, which is not a little strange, considering that they are not far from one another.

A very hard Storm fell upon us in the way, which so swelled the Waters about us, that we were forced to wade with our Cloaths tuck'd up, and we were not a little plagued with the Blood-suckers. We found the said Fort overgrown with Trees and Shrubs, and no Inhabitants within two Leagues of it; they were all retir'd up into the high Mountains, because those of Candi continually made Incursions upon that side of the Country, Spoiling, Burning and Destroying all they came near. The Hollanders had built this Fort some Years since; but having not made it strong enough, and provided it with necessaries sufficient, they were forc'd to leave it. It takes up about two Acres of Land; it hath four Bastions, a Parapet, and Pallisado's as high as a Pike, and as thick as a Man's middle.

[Page 228]

Our Magazine was stor'd with Salt, Rice, Bacon, Flesh, Brandy, Powder and Shot, all which we had from Anguratot, two Leagues distant from us; and the care of it was given to me. Our Water was fetch'd about a Pistolshot from the Fort. I was well enough pleas'd to be at Anguratot, because it was very strong, and well provided with Cannon. A very fine River runs before it, which comes from Saffrigam, and hath great store of good Fish, and Tortoises; and we had [Page 229] some thousands of Inhabitants about us, of whom we bought choice Fruits very cheap, and all other sorts of Victuals, as Fowls, Butter, Honey, &c. for a very small price. It is very pleasant living here for one that can speak the Cingulaish Language.

[Page 232]

The 12th, We went aboard in two small Vessels, and arriv'd the next day at Calpintin, where our Men were lodg'd in a Church which stands out of the Fortification, where Divine Service is done in Dutch, Portuguese, and Malabarish. This Fort was built here, and is carefully look'd after, because it is a considerable Pass for other Nations; and besides the Inhabitants drive no small Trade with the Moors, and others. A great Commodity there, is Areck, which is a Fruit that grows like the Nutmeg. Most of the Eastern Indians cannot live without it, being so us'd to it, that they are never well, but when they are chawing of it. The Soldiers here, which are 100 in number, keep Dogs, with which they go and Hunt Bufflers, Sheep, Stags. &c. upon which they live: For the Land affords nothing but what's Wild, some Fish and some Rice.

[Page 233]

The next morning early we set out. Our two Malabarian Guides went before us. At noon we came near to a Well, but found no Water there, which we began to want; but our want rather increased: Then we turn'd our selves to a River; where we thought to have satisfy'd our selves, and found the Water to be Salt. Our comfort was, that we were to come in the evening to a Well; but when we came to it, we found a Buffler fall'n in and drown'd, which made us all abstain from drinking, notwithstanding we were exceeding thirsty. Our Guide then took us half a mile farther, to a deep sandy Soil, where they told us we might have Water. There we were forc'd to make several holes in the Ground, 2 or 3 yards deep, to get at it; but we were happy still to have it upon any terms. In this place we lay all night, having set some Men to watch, and kindl'd some Fires to prevent the wild Beasts coming upon us.

The 20th, Early in the morning we march'd on thro' great Woods and Desert-places, where we saw and heard nothing but Elephants, Tygers, Bears, &c. there being no Man in all that part of the Country. We came in the forenoon to an Arm of a Salt-River that reach'd into the Land a great way; so that we were forc'd to wade over, after we had staid about three hours, till the ebb was at the lowest; and then too we were all forc'd to strip, and pack up all our Cloaths, Provisions, and Arms, and carry them on our Heads. We were almost half a quarter of an hour going over; and it was so deep, that some of the least of our Men, had much to do to keep the Water from running in at their mouths. Some that thought to be wiser than our Guides, went up to a place where they saw the Water run very rough, because it was not so deep there. It was but shallow indeed, but the stream was so strong there, that it threw 'em off out of their depth, and drown'd most of 'em. We being got over made haste on, for we were by this time in want of Water again, and the best allay of our thirst we could get, was our Bullets which we rowl'd about in our mouth to moisten them. At night we lay still at a place, whence those that would of necessity drink were forc'd to go about a mile for Water, and then dig for it too. After they had made [Page 234] each of them their hole, they drank their sill, and then laid down in it for coolness, and took a nap there. On the 22th, We march'd away again, and at night came by the Island Manara....This Island, as we mention'd before, hath seven miles compass: It is inhabited by several Malabars, and abounds in Flesh, Fowls, and fruitful Trees; and all the Water about it affords plenty of Fish. In short, it may be call'd an Earthly Paradise. The Fort is well provided, and is kept by near 100 Dutch Soldiers. Each Soldier keeps a Boy to clean his Arms and carry them for him, and a Woman to look after his Meat and serve him. Proportionably to this, the Officers live in very great State.

[Page 235]

Jafnapatan bears the Name of a small Kingdom, which the Dutch took by surprize from the Portugueses. Its Fort is well built, and strong; having four Bastions.... All the chief Officers lodge within the Fort with their Wives. The under Officers and Soldiers Wives live amongst the other Inhabitants in the Town, which is about a League in compass: But there are a great many Gardens in it, and many poor small Hutts; as also fair large Streets. There are two different Market-places in it; the one for Fish, the other is for all sorts of Commodities, as Silks, Linnen, Pearls, Gold, Silver, Spices, Salt, Butter, Allum, Tobacco, Rats and Mice, Herbs, all sorts of Colours; in short, all a Man can desire. Their current Money is made of Copper, and is either Shillings, Two-pences, Peny-pieces, Damagasties, Half-penies, and Farthings. One may buy 10 or 15 Figs for a Farthing, that are almost a span long; and sometimes 2 or 3 [Page 236] Pounds of Fish for the same price: So that a Man that goes to Market with 4 or 5 Farthings, may buy Provisions to serve a common Family two days for his Money.

[Page 237]

The 14th, Early in the morning, we march'd on foot to Jafnapatan. I was very dry in the march; and coming to a Malabarian Village, I slipp'd into a little Hutt to get me some milk to drink. I found an old Woman there with her Daughter: I desir'd a Pint of milk, and they gave it me, asking me a Damagas for it (which is two-pence;) I drunk it off, and having paid my money, went away to overtake the rest of my Company; and not thinking of any thing, I was immediately shot in the Leg with one Arrow, and with another [Page 238] in my Thigh. I pull'd them out, and look'd all about me, but could not perceive any body, nor whence they should come. However I thought to fright them, and cry'd out, O Nay, Dayoli, mettene Landes inguw[...]e; which signisies, Ye dogs, there are more Dutch a coming. But that was all the revenge I could have, for I durst not complain of it, because it was done by stealth, and contrary to our orders, that I stopt there. So I went out of the Village as fast as I could, and stopp'd my Wounds with an old rag, that I used to wrap the lock of my Fusil in, and overtook my Company, and went on to Jafnapatan in great pain. There our Post was; and I immediately went to my Countryman Lutz the Physician, who Cur'd me; but was forc'd to cut open my Wounds, because the Arrows were poison'd.

[Page 241]


The Oysters are laid in heaps on the Shore, and the Merchants come there to buy them. They are sold at the rate of eight hundred for a Rixdollar. The gain or loss of the Buyer depends on meer chance: For some may be find no Pearls in all they buy; others make vast advantage of their Bargain.

There hath been no Fishing here for these eight years. Some superstitiously think that the place is bewitched: Others give this for a reason (which I rather approve of) that the boisterousness of the Sea hath cover'd the Oysters with Sand, so that they cannot come at them.

[Page 243]

The 1st of October, We went; and after having crossed seven little Rivers, we came to Ruenel. This Fort heretofore belong'd to the Dutch, but was abandon'd by them, tho' themselves had built it. There we cross'd over, and having march'd a League further, we came to a large Plain, where we halted a while to rest and refresh our selves. By that time we had been there about half an hour, we saw and heard several small Parties of Cinguleses coming upon us from ev'ry side. Our chief Commander sent some Cingulayans to ask what they meant to do? They answer'd them, that the King of Candi had sent them to take the Presents we had brought.

[Page 245]

The 6th we came away, and toward the Evening entred into Columbo; where we found two great Ships lying in the Road come from Japan, with Copper, Gold, China and Saccapali which is a liquor of a faint smell, but very wholsome.

[Page 247]

....In the River that runs from Saffrigam (which was once a Dutch Fortification, but now left) one may find abundance of little Rubies, and sometimes a pretty large one; the very Sand of that River is almost of the same substance with the Stones, being of a Red and Blue Colour. We often used to go to bath in that River, and seek for precious Stones, but not when the Water was high, for fear of the Crocodiles; though it was not worth any Man's while, unless he could swim, and venture to dive in the deepest places for 'em; because it is there only that those of any considerable bigness are to be found.

There is a little rivulet that runs below this Fort, coming from between two high Hills, and discharges or empties it self into the River, in which are found Saphyrs, Emeralds, Topaz and Lazule-Stones: We have walk'd many a day in this Water for two or three Miles an end, to look for 'em. We had little Basket-nets which the Amboineses lent us; and we us'd to thrust the Nets into holes, and fetch'd out good and bad together, and shake out of the Net all the Sand and Gravel, and the Stones that were of any bigness remain'd. Those that had no Net made but but little on't. The Elephants us'd to be very troublesome to us, and we were forc'd often to go some Miles about to avoid them, and I for my part was always provided with a Gun against them; and for fear too of Tygers and Serpents.

[Page 248]

And first for the Rubies, they grow in a reddish, stony, sandy Ground, one Fathom or two deep, spreading themselves like Veins, and though the great Floods carry them away in the Rivers; they keep their Beauty and Colour as well under water as under ground, but if the water runs off of them, and leaves them ever so little exposed to the Sun, they turn as black as a Coal.

The Saphirs grow in a hard bluish ground, about a Fathom deep, and in veins too, and are washt likewise into the Rivers by the violent Rains and Flood. Some are as big as the top of one's Finger; So are Emeralds, Topazes, and Lazule-stones, these are as Red as Fire, and as Blue as the Skie. Another sort of stone is found here, call'd Cat's Eyes: These are so call'd from their colour, which is a changable Blue and White. Red, Blue, Yellow, Black, and White Chrystal is to be found every where, and is very troublesome to Men upon their March, when they go bare-foot, as all our Men did, but they find an Herb very common there, which they call Horse-foot, that cures them in two or three days time.

[Page 249]

The Tenth of March I went with two other Lutheran Gentlemen, (each of us having a Gun with us,) to the Hill, where we had not long since destroyed the two Pagods, to see what condition they were in. We found them ruin'd as we had left them, and poked again in the dark hole; But I believe we had routed the Devil the time before, for we could not make him roar any more, do what we could. At the bottom of the Hill I saw abundance of fine Cocks and Hens, and I bought some of the Hens and one Cock of an old Woman they belong'd to. She told me that the Cock I bought was consacrated for an Offering, while the Pagods stood, and therefore that I should not kill him, and that he would beat any Cock whatsoever. I laugh'd at the story, and yet was a little afraid because it was design'd for the Devil, and did not know but he might come and fetch him. However I ventur'd upon him, and paid as I did for my Hens, a Dutch peny for each of them. Being come to the Fort, I let him run there: In two or three days he fought and beat every Cock in the Fort that he could come nigh. Every Body wondred at the sierceness of this little Cock, and I began to think that what the old Woman had told me might be true. At last I made a trade of Cock-sighting, and I got all the Amboineses about me. They laid wagers among themselves, and I only won the Cocks that mine beat, which amounted to two or three and thirty. At last they ignorantly hit the Nail on the head, saying that the Devil was in him. Being to go to Columbo again, I took him with me, and thought he would have done as great feats there, but he was overmatched with a Cock that came from Tutucurini, that beat him lustily.

[Page 250]

The 3d of the same Month about 8 or 9 of the Clock at night, We felt a very violent Earthquake coming from the Northward, which shook our Block-house extreamly. All the Men that lay in the Guard Room were awaked out of their sleep, and thought it was an Alarm.

[Page 251]


I Spent all the Month of March in Hunting, and I liv'd altogether upon what Game I used to bring home with me. The first that appear'd were Bufflars, among which there was a Stag; they came directly to the place where one of our Company was (who was a Swede) and did not know what Creature it was. On the other side we heard several Elephants making towards us.

[Page 253]

In April it rain'd so violently, that we were almost overwhelm'd with Water. The Amboineses, who, as I told you before, liv'd in the Town, were forc'd to be taken into the Fort, with their Wives and Children; Men, and Beasts, both tame and wild, were drove up into the Mountains: And our Fort was very full of Serpents, Scorpions, and other venomous Creatures. We did what we could to keep them out, by making Fires at all the Gates and Posts where the Sentinels stood.

The Rains abated in May, and likewise the Floods; and that Month I saw nothing remarkable, but that the Elephants shew'd themselves in vast Numbers about our Fort. Most nights of this Month I went a Hunting with Cingulayan Sports-men, and with them I had always good Sport; and brought sometimes as much home as would serve the whole Garrison. An Indian used to go foremost, with a lighted Torch upon his Head, and a Stick in his Hand, to which some Shells are tyed loose; and he goes along shaking of 'em, making a continual rat'ling. As soon as any Bufflers, Harts, or Hares, &c. hear this, and see the Fire, they come towards it, and within shot of the fellow; then he that goes behind him shoots as many as he pleases of 'em. But the fellows sometimes are in danger of being run at by an Elephant, who now and then pursues them, and puts 'em to it very hard, notwithstanding their Fire, and the ratt'ling of their Shells.

[Page 254]

Two gray Old Men came to us in the Fort of Sittawack, dress'd after the Cingulayan manner. They told us that they came about 20 years since to Calpintin with an English Ship, and that they, with ten other Seamen, being sent on shore to this Island to fetch Provisions, Water, and Wood, they were trapann'd by some Candians, who sent them to Candi, where they had been kept Prisoners all that while every one of 'em.

[Page 255]

His Carriages are all over-laid with Gold and Silver, and inlaid with Rubies and Saphyrs. He told us that he had seen once a great Ruby that a Cingulaian Peasant had found, and carried home to use for a Whet-stone, and had whetted his Knives and Hatchets with it for some Years.

[Page 257]

The 6th of October, we went back to Couchin, and brought thither fifty Malabarian Prisoners with us, and a great deal of Onions, Pepper, Cardamunga, Rice, and Dry Fish. I acquainted the Commadore with what I had done, and brought with me, and he left all the Booty amongst us, except the Pepper, which he kept to himself.

Here we stay'd till the 20th of November, and found it much better living than in Ceylon.

[Page 261]

I will, now I am treating of Columbo, give you some Description of that City.... There is a broad Channel runs all round it, where one may see every day Crocodiles in abundance: It hath three Gates, one to the South-West, call'd Port de Gala; about a Musquet-shot off, on the side that goes to Galture, the Land about it is richly fill'd with Orchards and Gardens, full of fine Fruit-trees, which reach a mile or two: The other Gate is call'd the Delfsche Port, from the Bastion which is just by it, that bears that Name. This Gate is toward the City, and the way to it hath the Sea all along on one side, and a deep Ditch on the other, and a large Field call'd the Buffler's Plain, which they can lay all under Water when they please, by opening a Sluce. The third Gate, which is Northward, hath the Name of Water-Port; on the left side of that is the Water-Pass, guarded by many Cannon, that command all the Ships that lye in the Road. Within the Castle are many pretty Walks of Nut-trees, set in an uniform Order, but they bear no Fruit, only red and white Flowers: The Streets are pleasant walks themselves; having Trees on both sides, and before the Houses. The Castle contains about 40 Acres of Land. The Governor, all the Merchants, Officers, and Soldiers, have their Dwelling within it; and without the Walls, between them and the Sea, are the Huts, where near four thousand Slaves, belonging to the Company, lye at night. They are of different Nations, and are constantly kept at work: Their Huts are very little, made up with nothing but Straw and Leaves. There are Dutch-men to look over 'em, who are call'd Mucadons; each of these have 70, 80, 90, or 100 to oversee, and must give an account of 'em.

[Page 262]

It hath on the North the Road where the Ships lye; on the other side the River that is full of Crocodiles.

[Page 266]


The 23th, In the morning we came before the Town of Punt de Gala. The Serjeants, Corporals, and Soldiers that kept the Guard, were mov'd with Compassion; and, before we went any further, gave every one of us some old Garments to cover our Nakedness; After this we were brought before the Governor, who examin'd us all, to know who was to blame for this miscarriage. The Master was in all the fault we told him, but he had his Punishment already. The Governor order'd every one of us to have 12 Rixdollars paid us to equip our selves again, which was to be abated in our Accompts. Six of the Men that came from Columbo with me would not venture to Sea again; so they engag'd themselves a-new for three years, in the service of the Company; their Pay was augmented with two Guldens a month, and they were now to have twelve Guldens, whereas they used to have but ten. Orders were given to a Serjeant to take twelve men with him to go that very morning and see if they could recover any thing of our Shipwrack. I went thither my self in the afternoon, and saw a great many pieces of the Ship, and pieces of Chests a-shore: But I shrewdly suspected that they were broke by the Soldiers, and that they had bury'd the Goods under Ground.

The 14th, Some of the Men that were drown'd were drove upon the Land; the rest, I suppose, had feasted the Sharks, that are there in abundance. [Page 267] We had in our Ship, the Master, three Surgeons (one of which always read Prayers) some Officers, 12 Soldiers, 24 Seamen, all together made 56 men. The two other Ships had each of 'em 150. We had besides a great many Animals on Board, viz. Two Parrots, two Apes, two Cacadus of Amboina, (they are white Birds as big as Pigeons, with a tust on their Heads, and apter to learn to talk than the Parrots;) we had a Crocodile an Ell long, a Stag from Bengal: All these dyed in two months time, except the two Apes. We had likewise fifty Hogs from Bengal, and two or three dozen of Ducks for refreshment now and then. Our otherProvisions were 60 Barrels of Water, 6 Barrels of Salt Pork, 6 of other Flesh, 6 Barrels of Indian Brandy, and Rice enough. Our Ship was loaded at bottom with old broken pieces of Cannon instead of Ballast, then with Salt-Peter, then with 200 Lasts of Cinnamon and Pepper; and at top of all there were 250 great Bales of Silks and Linnen. We kept altogether without storms, or bad weather till the 28th of April.

[Page 268]

The 1st of May.... We lay there still seven days longer, and in that time took in fresh Water, Wood, Turnips, Herbs, Cabbage, Sheep, and Goats. Min Heer Rycloff van Goens, with all his Retinue, lodg'd all that while at the Governor's in the Fort. His Retinue was very magnificent; having several Gentlemen to wait on him, a Trumpeter, 12 Men for his Guard, all dress'd very fine in yellow, with silver Buttons, and red Breeches, and a great many Slaves from Bengal. I lay at a Dutch Countryman's House under the Devil's Hill; he was forc'd to keep several Hottentots, and great Dogs, to secure his Vinyards and other Grounds from the Wild Beasts.

[Page 270]

The 31st abundance of Sea-hogs came through our Fleet, Swimming against the Wind. Our Gunner shot one of them with an Elligar which is an Instrument that sticks in the Fish it hits: it hath a Leaden weight at the But-end, which makes that end sink, and with the other it turns up the Fish: As soon as that one was made to bleed, all the others made away. That which we catch'd was Seven Foot long, and half that in compass; It was perfect Bacon, and had a deal of warm Blood.

The 2d, 3d, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th we had much Rain, with which we filled our Water-Barrels; the Wind too being something boisterous, parted us: Our Vessel was just going to Founder, and began to gape in some places half a. Foot Wide. The Carpenters fell to Work, and were forced to bind up the Cracks and Chinks with Cords, Iron Bands, and Chains; and by our continual Pumping, we made shift to keep the Ship up.

On the 8th we were forced to take in all our Sails, and let our Ship Drive; two Waves struck into our Ship which would have certainly Sunk us, had not God's Mercy, together with our extream Diligence, happily freed us from the Danger.

We were at that time by our selves, without either Friend or Foe near us. Our Cook had for some Days not been able to Dress us any Victuals for the Tossing and Tumbling in our Ship, so that we were forced to Eat Bacon that came from Bengal Raw, and afterwards help the Digestion of it with Indian Brandy, of which we had good store.

[Page 272]

The 1st of September, when we came in sight of the Dutch Coasts. Two of our Company struck off the day before to go to Zeland.... On the 2d of September we came to Amsterdam.... The 3d I gave up my Accounts to the East-India Company.

This is a selection from the original text


animals, crocodiles, entertainment, famine, fish, fowl, linen, plenty, thirst, trade

Source text

Title: Voyages to the East Indies, Volume I

Author: Christopher Fryke, Christopher Schweitzer

Editor(s): C. Ernest Fayle

Publisher: D. Brown, S. Crouch, J. Knapton, R. Knaplock, J. Wyate, B. Took, S. Buckley

Publication date: 1929

Original compiled 1700

Original date(s) covered: c.1675-1683

Edition: Seafarers' Library Reprint

Place of publication: London

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at Internet Archive: Original compiled 1700 Original date(s) covered: c.1675-1683

Digital edition

Original author(s): Christopher Fryke, Christopher Schweitzer

Original editor(s): C. Ernest Fayle

Language: English


Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

Texts encoded by: Bonisha Bhattacharya, Shreya Bose, Lucy Corley, Kinshuk Das, Bedbyas Datta, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Sarbajit Mitra, Josh Monk, Reesoom Pal

Encoding checking by: Hannah Petrie, Gary Stringer, Charlotte Tupman

Genre: India > non-fiction prose > travel narratives and reports

For more information about the project, contact Dr Ayesha Mukherjee at the University of Exeter.