« ZurückWeiter »
On tlie 6th therefore, which was council-day, I ad- 1768. dressed a letter to the Governor and Council, setting
June. forth more particularly the condition of the ship; and Mond. 6. after requesting leare to repair her, I added, that I hoped they would allow me the use of such wharfs and store houses as should be neceflary. In the afternoon Tuesd.
7. of the next day, the fhebander, with Mr. Garrison, a merchant of the place, as interpreter, and another person, came to me. · After the first compliments, the shebander said, that he was sent by the Governor and Council for a letter which they had heard I had received when I was at Bonthain, acquainting me, that a design had been formed to cut off my ship, that the author of it, who had injured both me,and their nation in the person of the Governor of that place, might be punished. I readily acknowledged that I had received such information, but faid, that I had never told any body it was by letter. The shebander then asked me if I would take an oath that I had received no such letter, as he had been directed to demand? To which I answered, that I was surprized at the question, and desired, that if the Council had any such uncommon requisition to make of me, it might be in writing, and I would give such reply, as, upon mature consideration, I should think proper. I then desired to know what answer he liad been instructed to give to my letter, concerning the refitting of the ship; upon which he told me, that the Council had taken offence at my having used the word hope, and not written in the stile of request, which had been invariably adopted by all merchants upon the like occasion : I replied, that no offence was intended on my part, and that I had used the first words which occurred to me, as proper to express my meaning. Thus we parted, and I heard nothing more of them till the afternoon of the gth, when the shebander, and the same two gentlemen, came to me a second time. Thurs. 9. 'The Thebander said, that he was then commissioned from the Council, to require a writing under my hand, fignifying, that I believed the report of an intention formed at the island of Celebes to cut off my ship, was false and malicious, saying that he hoped I had a better opinion of the Dutch nation than to suppose them capable of suffering to execrable a fact to be perpetrated
under their Government. Mr. Garrison then read me June.
a certificate, which, by order of the Council, had been
up for me to sign : as, whatever was my opini-
After this, I waited in fruitless expectation till the 15th, when the same three gentlemen came to me the third time, and said they had been sent to tell me, that the Council had protested against my behaviour at Macassar, and my having refused to sign the certificate which had been required of me, was an insult upon them, and an act of injustice to their nation. I replied, that I was not conscious of having in any
instance acted contrary to the treaties subsisting between the two kingdoms unworthy of my chara&ter as an officer, honoured with a commission of his Britannic Majesty, or unsuitable to the trust reposed in me, though I did not think I had been used by the Governor of Macassar as the subject of a friend and ally ; defiring that if they had any thing to alledge against me, it might be reduced to writing, and laid before the King my Mafter, to whom alone I thought myself amenable. With this answer
they again departed, and the next day, having not yet Thurf. 16. received any answer to my letter, I wrote a second, directed like the first, in which I represented that the
Thip’s leaks were every day increasing, and urged, in 1768.
June. more pressing terms, my request, that she might be repaired, and that the use of wharfs and storehouses might be afforded me.
On the 18th the fhebander came again to me, and Saturd. 18. acquainted me, that the Council had given orders for the repair of the ship at Onrust, and, as there was no store-house empty, had appointed one of the Company's vessels to attend me, and take in my stores. I inquired whether there was not an answer to my letter in writing? To which he answered in the negative, adding, that it was not usual ; a message by him, or some other officer, having been always thought sufficient.
After this I was supplied, for my money, with every thing I could desire, from the Company's stores, without any farther difficulty.
A pilot was ordered to attend me, and on the 22d Wednes. 22. we anchored at Onrust, where having cleared the ship, and put her stores on board the Company's vessel, we found the bow-sprit and cap, as well as the main-yard, rotten, and altogether unserviceable, the sheathing every where eaten off by the worms, and the main planks of the ship's bottom so much damaged and decayed, that it was absolutely necessary to heave her down, before she could be sufficiently repaired to fail for Europe; but as other ships were already heaved down, and consequently the wharfs at this time pre-occupied, the
Sunday 24. carpenters could not begin their work till the 24th of July.
Under the hands of these people the ship continued till Tuesday the 16th of August. When they came to _Auguft. examine her bottom, they found it so bad that they
Tuesd, 16. were unanimously of opinion it should be shifted : this, however, I ftrenuously opposed; I knew she was an old Yhip, and I was afraid that if her bottom was opened it might be found still worse than it was thought, and poffibly so bad as that, like the Falmouth, she might be condemned ; I therefore desired that a good sheathing only might be put over all ; but the bawse, or malter carpenter, would not consent, except I would certify under my hand, that what should be done to the ship was not according to his judgment but my own,
which he said was necessary for his justification, if, after such repairs only as I thought fit to direct had been made, the thip should come short of her port. As I thought this a reasonable proposition, I readily complied; but as I was now become answerable for the fate of the ship, I had her carefully examined by my own Carpenter and his Mate, myself and officers always attending. The but-ends of the planks that joined to the stern were so open, that a man's hand might be thrust in between ; seven chain-plates were broken and decayed, the iron-work, in general, was in a very bad state : several of the knees were loose, and some of them were broken.
While I remained here, two ships belonging to our India Company put into this port, and we found, among other private Thips from India, one called the Dudly, from Bengal, which had proved so leaky that it was impossible to carry her back. Application had been made to the Governor and Council for leave to careen her, which had been granted ; but as the wharfs had been kept in continual use, she had been put off above four months. The Captain, not without reason, was apprehensive that he might be kept here till the worms had eaten through the bottom of his veffel, and knowing that I had received particular civilities from Admiral Houting, applied to me to intercede for him, which I was very happy to do with such success, that a wharf was immediately allotted her.. M. Houting is an old man, and an Admiral in the service of the States, with the rank of Commander in Chief of their marine, and the ships belonging to the Company in India. He received his first maritime knowledge on board an English man of war, speaks English and French extremely well, and does honour to the service both by his abilities and politeness : he was so obliging as to give me a general invitation to his table, in consequence of which I was often with him, and it is with pleasure that I take this opportunity of making a public ackpowledgment of the favours I received from him, and bearing this testimony to his public and private merits: he was indeed the only officer be
longing to the Company from whom I received
any civility, or with whom I had the least communication; for I found them, in general, a reserved and supercilious set of people. The Governor, although the servant of a republic, takes upon himself more state, in some particulars, than any sovereign prince in Europe. Whenever he goes abroad, he is attended by a party of horse guards, and two black men to go before his coach, in the manner of running footmen, each having a large cane in his hand, with which they not only clear the way, but severely chastise all who do not pay the homage that is expected from people of all ranks, as well those belonging to the country, as strangers. Almost every body in this place keeps a carriage, which is drawn by two horses, and driven by a man upon a box, like our chariots, but is open in front : whoeyer, in such a carriage, meets the Governor, either in the town or upon the road, is expected not only to draw it on one side, but to get out of it, and make a most respe&tful obeisance while his Excellency's coach goes by; nor must any carriage that follows him drive past on any account, but keep behind him, however prefsing be the necessity for haste. A very mortifying homage, of the same kind, is also exacted by the members of the Council, called Edele Heeren; for whoever meets them is obliged to stop his coach, and, though not to get out, to stand up in it, and make his reverence: these Edele Heeren are preceded by one black man with a stick, nor must any person presume to pass their carriage any more than that of the Governor. These ceremonies are generally complied with by the Captains of Indiamen, and other trading ships; but, having the honour to bear his Majesty's commission, I did not think myself at liberty to pay, to a Dutch Governor, any homage, which is not paid to my own sovereign ; it is, however, constantly required of the King's officers; and two or three days after I came hither, the landlord of the hotel where I lodged, told me, he had been ordered by the shebander to let me know, that my carriage, as well as others, must stop, if I should meet the Governor or any of the Council ; but I desired him to acquaint the fhebander that I could not consent to perform any such ceremony; and upon his intimating fomewhat about the black men with sticks, VOL. I.