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An Historical Journal of the Transactions at Port

I saw the Raja pulling at an oar himself


soon as the Raja and his people were in their boat, they cut the rope which held them, and pulled from the ship with the utmost precipitation; many were killed in their boats, which (now that this affair had arrived at such length) became really necessary, to prevent their rallying and reboarding the ship; for after they got into their boats, many lances were thrown into the ship, which occasioned the fire of musquetry to be kept up something longer than it would have been. I saw the Raja pulling at an oar himself, and did every thing in my power to prevent his being shot: for as every person knew him by his dress, it was probable he might be particularly marked; I fear much he was wounded, perhaps mortally, notwithstanding my endeavours to save him, as he dropt his oar several times: during the short time, which I had been in his company, I was much pleased with him; there was a certain graceful ease and affability in his manner, which was highly prepossessing, and a degree of dignity, which bespoke him of superior rank: he appeared to be about forty-three or four years of age.

In this unlucky rencontre, we were so fortunate as not to have a man wounded, which was rather extraordinary, and I believe must have been owing to the panic occasioned by so sudden and unexpected an alarm.

Our boat returned from the shore just at the conclusion of this unlucky scuffle; which common prudence, or a disposition to benefit

by the advice that had been offered, might have prevented; for whatever may be the natural disposition of the inhabitants of these islands, they had shown nothing either unfriendly or suspicious to us; at the same time, to place implicit confidence in the friendly disposition of such people, I think, would be highly imprudent. A ship calling here for water should be ever on her guard, a precaution which was not in any one respect taken by the master of the ship, except upon my proposing, on the Raja's first visit, to have ten of my men placed with small arms upon the top of the round house abaft, from which situation they could command the whole deck: this proposal he agreed to, which was more than I expected; for it was no uncommon thing with him to reject any plan, however necessary, which his duty should have suggested, without the assistance of other opinions.

These observations I cannot help making; for they naturally arise from the distressing situation in which I found myself and officers who were placed under the direction of this most ignorant and disagreeable man. If he had felt himself qualified to have navigated a ship in the seas we had to pass through, his conduct would in all probability have been more unsufferable, if possible, than it was; but our assistance was absolutely necessary, otherwise I believe his vessel had never reached Batavia.

At eight o'clock in the evening we weighed from the road and put to sea; one unfortunate Javanese seaman was by accident left on shore, but he spoke a language which most of these people understand. I therefore hope it might be the means of saving his life, but as their rage, when once roused, does not quickly subside, I feared much for the safety of this innocent man: this unlucky affair prevented our being able to complete our water, or cut any wood; however, we had filled as much as would prevent our being distressed for some time, and the sailors had received many refreshments, of which they were much in need.

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