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English sailors that pursued them come on, 1 had made our men kill them all; however, we took some ways to let/the poor flying creatures know that we would not hurt them; and im< mediately they came up to us, and kneeling down, with their hands lifted up, made piteous lamentation to us to save them, which we let them know we would; whereupon they crept all together in a huddle close behind us, as for protection. I left my men drawn up together, and charging them to hurt nobody, but, if possible, to get at some of our people, and see what devil it was possessed them, and what they intended to do, and to command them off; assuring them that if they staid till daylight, they would have a hundred thousand men about their ears; I say, I left them, and went among those flying people, taking only two of our men with me; and there was indeed a piteous spectacle among them; some of them had their feet terribly burned, with trampling and running through the fire; others their hands burned; one of the women had fallen down in the fire, and was very much burned before she could get out again; and two or three of the men had cuts in their backs and thighs, from our men pursuing; and another was shot through the body, and died while I was there.
I would fain hive learned what the occasion of all this was, but I could not understand one word they said; though, by signs, I perceived some of them knew not what was the occasion themselves. I was so terrified in my thoughts at this outrageous attempt, that I could not stay there, but went back to my own men, and resolved to go into the middle of the town, through the fire, or whatever might be in the way, and put an end to it, cost what it would; accordingly, as I came back to my men, I told them my resolution, and commanded them to follow me; when at the very moment came four of our men, with the boatswain at their head, roving over heaps of bodies they had killed, all covered with blood and dust, as if they wanted more people to massacre, when our men hallooed to them as loud as they could halloo; and with much ado one of them made them hear, so that they knew who we were, and came up to UH.
As soon as the boatswain saw us, he set up a halloo like a shout of triumph, for having, as he thought, more help come; and without waiting to hear me, " Captain," says he, " noble captain! I am glad you are come; we have not half done yet villanous hell-hound dogs! Fll kill as many of them as poor Tom has hairs upon his head: we have sworn to spare none of them; we'll root out the very nation of them from the earth:" and thus he ran on, out of breath too with action, and would not give us leave to speak a word.
At last, raising my voice, that I might silence him a little, "Barbarous dog!" said I, "what are you doing? I won't have one creature touched more, upon pain of death: I charge you, upon your life, to stop your hands, and stand still here, or you are a dead man this minute."—" Why, sir," says he, "do you know what you do, or what they have done? if you want a reason for what we have done, come hither ;" and with that he showed me the poor fellow hanging, with his throat cut.
I confess I was urged then myself, and at another time would have been forward enough ; but I thought they had carried their rage too far, and remembered Jacobs words to his sons Simeon and Levi—" Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce ; and their wrath, for it was cruel." But I had now a new task upon my hands; for when the men I carried with me saw the signt, as I had done, I had as much to do to restrain them as I should have had with the others; nay, my nephew himself fell in with them, and told me, in their hearing, that he was only concerned for fear of the men being overpowered; and as to the people, he thought not one of them ought to live; for they had all glutted themselves with the murder of the poor man, and that they ought to be used like murderers. Upon these words, away ran eight of my men, with the boatswain and his crew, to complete their bloody work; and I, seeing it quite out of my power to restrain them, came away pensive and sad; for I could not bear the sight, much less the horrible noise and cries of the poor wretches that fell into their hands.
I got nobody to come back with me but the supercargo and two men, abd with these walked back to the boat. It was a very great piece of folly in me, I confess, to venture back as it were alone; for as it began now to be almost day, and the alarm had run over the country, there stood about forty men, armed with lances and bows, at the little place where the twelve or thirteen houses stood, mentioned before; but by accident I missed the place, and came directly to the sea-side; and by the time I got to the sea-side it was broad day : immediately I took the pinnace and went on board, and sent her back to assist the men in what might happen.
I observed, about the time that I came to the boat-side, that the fire was pretty well out, and the noise abated; but in about half an hour after I got on board, I heard a volley of our men's fire-arms, and saw a great smoke: this, as I understood afterwards, was our men falling upon the men who, as I said, stood at the few houses on the way, of whom they killed sixteen or seventeen, and set all the houses on fire, but did not meddle with the women or children.
By the time the men got to the shore again with the pinnace, our men began to appear; they came dropping in, not in two bodies, as they went, but straggling here and there in such a manner, that a small force of resolute men might have cut them all off. But the dread of them was upon the whole country; and the men were surprised, and so frightened, that I believe a hundred of them would have fled at the sight of but five of our men; nor in all this terrible action was there a man that made any considerable defence; they were so surprised between the terror of the fire and the sudden attack of our men in the dark, that they knew not which way to turn themselves; for if they fled one way, they were met by one party, if back again, by another; so that they were every where knocked down: nor did any of our men receive the least hurt, except one that sprained his foot, and another that had one of his hands burned.
I was very angry with my nephew, the captain, and, indeed, with all the men, in my mind, but with him in particular, as well for his acting so out of his duty, as commander of the ship, and having the charge of the voyage upon him, as in his prompting, rather than cooling, the rage of his blind men, in so bloody and cruel an enterprise. My nephew answered me very respectfully, but told me that when he saw the body of the poor seaman whom they had murdered in so cruel and barbarous a manner, he was not master of himsdff, neither could he govern his passion; he owned he should not have done so, as he was commander of the ship; but as he was a man, and nature moved him, he could not bear it. As for the rest of the men, they were not subject to me at all, and they knew it well enough; so they took no notice of my dislike.
The next day we set sail; so we never heard any more of it. Our men differed in the account of the number they had killed; but according to the best of their accounts, put all together, they killed or destroyed about one hundred and fifty people, men, women, and children, and left not a house standing in the town. As for the poor fellow Tom Jeffry, as he was quite dead (for his throat was so cut that his head was half off), it would do him no service to bring him away; so they only took him down from the tree, where he was hanging by one hand.
However just our men thought this action, I was against them in it; and I always, after that time, told them God would blast the voyage; for I looked upon all the blood they shed that night to be murder in them; for though it is true that they had killed Tom Jeffry, yet Jeffry was the aggressor; had broken the truce, and had violated or debauched a young woman of theirs, who came down to them innocently, and on the faith of the public capitulation.
The boatswain defended this quarrel when we were afterwards on board. He said it was true that we seemed to break the truce, but really had not; and that the war was begun the night before by the natives themselves, who had shot at us, and kdled one of our men without any just provocation; so that as we were in a capacity to fight tnem now, we might also be in a capacity to do ourselves justice upon them in an extraordinary manner; that though the poor man had taken a little liberty with the wench, he ought not to have been murdered, and that in such avillanous manner; and that they did nothing but what was just, and what the laws of God allowed to be done to murderers.
One would think this should have been enough to have warned us against going on shore amongst heathens and barbarians; butf it is impossible to make mankind wise but at their own expense; and their experience seems to be always of most use to them when it is dearest bought.
We were now bound to the Gulf of Persia, and from thence to the coast of Coromandel, only to touch at Surat; but the chief of the supercargo's design lay at the Bay of Bengal; where if he missed his business outward-bound, he was to go up to China, and return to the coast as he came home.
The first disaster that befell us was in the Gulf of Persia, where five of our men, venturing on shore on the Arabian side of the gulf, were surrounded by the Arabians, and either all killed or carried away into slavery; the rest of the boat's crew were not able to rescue them, and had but just time to <?et off their boat. I began to upbraid them with the just retribution of Heaven in this case; but the boatswain very warmly told me, he thought I went farther in my censures than 1 could show any warrant for in Scripture; and referred to Luke xiii. 4., where our Savior intimates that those men on whom the tower of Siloam fell were not sinners above all the Galileans; but that which put me to silence in the case was, that not one of these live men who were now lost were of those who went on shore to the massacre of Madagascar; so I always called it, though our men could not bear to hear the word massacre with any patience.
But my frequent preaching to them on the subject had worse consequences than I expected; and the boatswain, who had been the head of the attempt, came up boldly to me one time, and told me he found that I brought that affair contin ually upon the stage; that I made unjust reflections upon it, and had used the men very ill on that account, and himself in particular; that as I was but a passenger, and had no command in the ship, or concern in the voyage, they were not obliged to bear it; that they did not know but I might have