AN Historical Relation Of the Island CEYLON, IN THE EAST-INDIES:
With an ACCOUNT of the Detaining in Captivity the AUTHOR and divers other Englishmen now Living there, and of the AUTHOR'S Miraculous ESCAPE.
Illustrated with Figures, and a Map of the ISLAND.
By ROBERT KNOX, a Captive there near Twenty Years.
Printed by Richard Chiswell, Printer to the ROYAL SOCIETY, at the Rose and Crown in St. Paul's Church-yard, 1681.
At the Court of Committees for the East-India Company the 10th of August, 1681.
We Esteem Captain Knox a Man of Truth and Integrity, and that his Relations and Accounts of the Island of Ceylon (which some of us have lately Perused in Manuscripts) are worthy of Credit, and therefore encouraged him to make the same Publick.
Robert Blackbourne, Secretary. By Order of the said Court.
August 8. 1681.
I Perused Capt. Knox's Description of the Isle of Ceylon, which seems to be Written with great Truth and Integrity; and the Subject being new, containing an Account of a People and Countrey little known to us; I conceive it may give great Satisfaction to the Curious, and may be well worth your Publishing.
The GOVERNOR, the DEPUTY GOVERNOR, and Four and Twenty Committees of the Honorable the EAST-INDIA Company, Viz.
Sir Josiah Child Baronet, Governor. Thomas Papilion Esq; Deputy.
The Right Honorable George Earl of Berkley, Sir Joseph Ashe Baronet, Sir Samuel Barnardiston Baronet, Mr. Christopher Boone, Mr. Thomas Canham, Colonel John Clerke, Mr. John Cudworth, John Dubois Esquire, Sir James Edwards Knight, and Alderman, Richard Hutchinson Esquire, Mr. Joseph Herne, Mr. William Hedges, Sir John Lawrence Knight, and Alderman, Mr. Nathaniel Letton, Sir John Moore Knight, and Alderman, Samuel Moyer Esquire, Mr. John Morden, Mr. John Paige, Edward Rudge Esquire, Mr. Jeremy Sambrooke, Mr. William Sedgwick, Robert Thomson Esquire, Samuel Thomson Esquire, James Ward Esquire.
What I formerly Presented you in Writing, having in pursuance of your Commands now somewhat dressd by the help of the Printer and Graver, I a second time humbly tender to you. 'Tis I confess at best too mean a Return for your great Kindness to me. Yet I hope you will not deny it a favourable Acceptance, since 'tis the whole Return I made from the Indies after Twenty years stay there; having brought home nothing else but
(who is also wholly at your Service and Command)
London 1st. of August, 1681.
How much of the present Knowledge of the Parts of the World is owing to late Discoveries, may be judged by comparing the Modern with the Ancient's Accounts thereof; though possibly many such Histories may have been written in former Ages, yet few have scaped the Injury of Time, so as to be handed safe to us. 'Twas many Ages possibly before Writing was known, then known to a few, and made use of by fewer, and fewest employed it to this purpose. Add to this, that such as were written, remain'd for the most part Imprison'd in the Cells of some Library or Study, accessible to a small number of Mankind, and regarded by a less, which after perished with the Place or the Decay of their own Substance. This we may judge from the loss of those many Writings mentioned by Pliny and other of the Ancients. And we had yet found fewer, if the Art of Printing, first Invented about 240 years since, had not secured most that lasted to that time. Since which, that Loss has been repaired by a vast number of new Accessions, which besides the Satisfaction they have given to Curious and Inquisitive Men by increasing their Knowledge, have excited many more to the like Attempts, not only of Making but of Publishing also their Discoveries. But I am not ignorant still; that as Discoveries have been this way preserved, so many others nave been lost, to the great Detriment of the Publick. It were very desirable therefore that the Causes of these and other Defects being known, some Remedies might be found to prevent the like Losses for the future. The principal Causes I conceive may be these;
First, The want of sufficient Instructions (to Seamen and Travellers,) to shew them what is pertinent and considerable, to be observ'd in their Voyages and Abodes, and how to make their Observations and keep Registers or Accounts of them.
Next, The want of some Publick Incouragement for such as shall perform such Instructions.
Thirdly, The want of fit Persons both to Promote and Disperse such Instructions to Persons fitted to engage, and careful to Collect Returns; and Compose them into Histories; by examining the Persons more at large upon those and other Particulars. And by separating what is pertinent from what is not so, and to be Rejected; who should have also wherewith to gratifie every one according to his Performances.
Fourthly, The want of some easie Way to have all such Printed: First singly, and afterwards divers of them together. It having been found that many small Tracts are lost after Printing, as well as many that are never Printed; upon which account we are much oblig'd to Mr. Haclute and Mr. Purchas, for preserving many such in their Works.
Fifthly, The want of taking care to Collect all such Relations of Voyages and Accounts of Countries as have been Published in other Languages; and Translating them either into English, or (which will be of more general use) into Latin, the learned Language of Europe. There being many such in other Countries hardly ever heard of in England.
The Difficulties of removing which Defects is not so great but that it might easily fall even within the compass of a private Ability to remove, if at least Publick Authority Would but Countenance the Design, how much less then would it be if the same would afford also some moderate Encouragement and Reward?
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, has not been wanting in preparing and dispersing Instructions to this end, and is ready still to promote it, if the Publick would allow a Recompence to the Undertakers. The desirableness and facility of this Undertaking may, I hope, in a short time produce the Expedients also. In the Interim all means should be used, to try what may be obtain'd from the Generosity of such as have had the Opportunities of knowing Foreign Countries.
There are but few who, though they know much, can yet be persuaded they know any thing worth Communicating, and because the things are common and well known to them, are apt to think them so to the rest of Mankind; This Prejudice has done much mischief in this particular as well as in many other, and must be first remov'd. There are others that are conscious enough of their own Knowledge, and yet either for want of Ability to write well, or of use to Compose, or of time to Study and Digest, or out of Modesty and fear to be in Print, or because they think they know not enough to make a Volume, or for not being prompted to, or earnestly solicited for it, neglect to do it; others delay to do it so long till they have forgotten what they intended. Such as these Importunity would prevail upon to disclose their knowledge, if fitting Persons were found to Discourse and ask them Questions, and to Compile the Answers into a History. Of this kind was lately produc'd in High Dutch a History of Greenland, by Dr. Fogelius of Hamborough, from the Information of Frederick Martin, who had made several Voyages to that Place, in the doing of which, he made use of the Instruction given by the Royal Society.
'Tis much to be wondred that we should to this Day want a good History of most of our West-Indian Plantations. Ligon has done well for the Barbadoes, and somewhat has been done for the Summer Islands, Virginia, &c. But how far are all these short even of the knowledge of these and other Places of the West-Indies, which may be obtain'd from divers knowing Planters now Residing in London? And how easie were it to obtain what is Defective from some Ingenious Persons now Resident upon the Places, if some way were found to gratifie them for their Performances? However till such be found, 'tis to be hoped that the kind Acceptance only the Publick shall give to this present Work, may excite several other Ingenuous, and knowing Men to follow this Generous Example of Captain Knox who though he could bring away nothing almost upon his Back or in his Purse, did yet Transport the whole Kingdom of Cande Uda in his Head, and by Writing and Publishing this his Knowledge, has freely given it to his Countrey, and to You Reader in, particular.
'Twas not I confess without the earnest Solicitations and Endeavours of my self, and some others of his Friends obtain'd from him, but this uneasiness of parting with it was not for want of Generosity and Freedom enough in Communicating whatever he knew or had observed, but from that usual Prejudice of Modesty, and too mean an Opinion of his own Knowledge and Abilities of doing any thing should be worthy the view of the Publick. And had he found leisure to Compose it, he could have filled a much greater Volume with useful and pertinent, as well as unusual and strange Observations. He could have inrich't it with a more particular Description of many of their curious Plants, Fruits, Birds, Fishes, Insects, Minerals, Stones; and told you many more of the Medicinal and other uses of them in Trades and Manufactures. He could have given you a compleat Dictionary of their Language, understanding and speaking it as well as his Mother Tongue. But his Occasions would not permit him to do more at present. Yet the Civil Usage this his First-born meets with among his Countreymen, may 'tis hoped oblige him to gratifie them with further Discoveries and Observations in his future Travels.
To conclude, He has in this History given you a tast of his Observations. In which most Readers, though of very differing Gusts, may find somewhat very pleasant to their Pallat. The Statesman, Divine, Physitian, Lawyet, Merchant, Mechanick, Husbandman, may select something for their Entertainment. The Philosopher and Historian much more. I believe at least all that love Truth will be pleas'd; for from that little Conversation I had with him I conceive him to be no ways prejudiced of byassed by Interest, affection, or hatred, fear or hopes, or the vain-glory of telling Strange Things, so as to make him swarve from the truth of Matter of Fact: And for his opportunity of being informed, any one may satisfie himself when he understands his almost 20 years Abode and Converse among them. His Skill in the Language and Customs of the People, his way of Employment in Travelling and Trading over all Parts of the Kingdom; add to this his Breeding till 19 years of Age under his Father a Captain for the East-India Company, and his own Natural and acquired parts; but above all his good Reputation, which may be judged from the Employment That Worshipful Company have now freely bestowed upon him, having made him Commander of the Tarquin Merchant, and intruded him to undertake a Voyage to Tarquin.
Read therefore the Book it self, and you will find your self taken Captive indeed, but used more kindly by the Author, than he himself was by the Natives.
After a general view of the Sea Coasts, he will lead you into the Country by the Watches, through the Thorney Gates, then Conduct you round upon the Mountains that Encompass and Fortifie the whole Kingdom, and by the way carry you to the top of Hommalet or Adam's Peak; from those he will descend with you, and shew you their chief Cities and Towns, and pass through them into the Countrey, and there acquaint you with their Husbandry, then entertain you with the Fruits, Flowers, Herbs, Roots, Plants and Trees, and by the way shelter you from Sun and Rain, with a Fan made of the Talipat-Leaf. Then shew you their Beasts, Birds, Fish, Serpents, Insects; and last of all, their Commodities. From hence he will carry you to Court, and shew you the King in the several Estates of his Life; and acquaint you with his way of Governing, Revenues, Treasures, Officers, Governors, Military Strength, Wars: and by the way entertain you with an account of the late Rebellion against him. After which he will bring you acquainted with the Inhabitants themselves, whence you may know their different Humours, Ranks and Qualities. Then you may visit their Temples such as they are, and see the Foppery of their Priests Religious Opinions and Practices both in their Worship and Festivals, and afterwards go home to their Houses and be acquainted with their Conversation and Entertainment, see their Housewifery, Furniture, Finery, and understand how they Breed and Dispose of their Children in Marriage; and in what Employments and Recreations they pass their time. Then you may acquaint your self with their Language, Learning, Laws, and if you please with their Magick & Jugling. And last of all with their Diseases, Sickness, Death, and manner of Burial. After which he will give you a full account of the Reason of his own Going to, and Detainment in the Island of Ceylon, and Kingdom of Conde-Uda. And of all his various Conditions, and the Accidents that befel him there during Nineteen years and an halfs abode among them. And by what ways and means at last he made his Escape and Returned safe into England in September last, 1680.
Aug. 1. 1681.
To the Right Worshipful Sir William Thomson Knight, Governor, Thomas Papillon Esquire; Deputy, and the 24 Committees of the Honorable EAST-INDIA Company hereunder Specified, Viz.
The Right Honorable George Earl of Berkley, The Right Honorable James Lord Chandois. Sir Matthew Andrews Knight, Sir John Bancks Baronet, Sir Samuel Barnardiston Baronet, Mr. Christopher Boone, John Bathurst Esquire, Sir Josia Child Baronet, Mr. Thomas Canham, Collonel John Clerk, Sir James Edwards Knight, Mr. Joseph Herne, Richard Hutchinson Esquire, James Hublon Esquire, Sir John Lethieullier Knight, Mr. Nathaniel Petton, Sir John Moor Knight, Samuel Moyer Esquire, Mr. John Morden, Mr. John Paige, Edward Rudge Esquire, Daniel Sheldon Esquire, Mr. Jeremy Sambrook, Robert Thomson Esquire.
Since my return home to my Native Countrey of England, after a long and Disconsolate Captivity, my Friends and Acquaintance in our Converse together have been Inquisitive into the State of that Land in which I was Captivated; whose Curiosity I indeavour to satisfie. But my Relations and Accounts of Things in those Parts were so strange and uncouth, and so different from those in these Western Nations, and withal my Discourses seeming so Delightful and Acceptable unto them, they very frequently called upon me to write what I knew of that Island of Ceilon, and to digest it into a Discourse, and make it more Publick; unto which motion I was not much unwilling, partly that I might comply with the Desires and Councels of my Friends, and chiefly that I might Publish and Declare the great Mercy of God to me, and Commemorate before all Men my singular Deliverance out of that Strange and Pagan Land, which as often as I think of or mention, I cannot but admire and adore the goodness of God towards me, there being in it so many notable Footsteps of his signal Providence.
I had then by me several Papers, which during my Voyage homeward from Bantam at leisure times I writ concerning the King and the Countrey, and concerning the English there, and of my Escape; which Papers I forthwith set my self to Peruse and draw into a Method, and to add what more might occur to my Thoughts of those Matters, which at length I have finished, contriving what I had to relate under four Heads. The first concerning the Countrey and Products of it. The second concerning the King and his Government. The third concerning the Inhabitants, and their Religion and Customs, and the last concerning our Surprize, Detainment and Escape; In all which I take leave to Declare, That I have writ nothing but either what I am assured of by my own personal Knowledge to be true, and wherein I have born a great and a sad share, or what I have received from the Inhabitants themselves of such things as are commonly known to be true among them. The Book, being thus perfected, it required no long Meditation unto whom to present it, it could be to none but your selves (my Honoured Masters) by whose Wisdom and Success the East-Indian Parts of the World are now near as well known, as the Countries next adjacent to us. So that by your means, not only the Wealth, but the Knowledge of those Indies is brought home to us. Unto your Favour and Patronage therefore (Right Worshipful) I humbly presume to recommend these Papers and the Author of them, who rejoyceth at this opportunity to acknowledge the Favours you have already conferred on him, and to profess that next unto God, on you depend his Future Hopes and Expectations; being
Your most obliged and most humble and devoted Servant to be Commanded,
Lond. 18th. March, 1680/81.
A General Description of the Island.
The Inland Parts of it hitherto unknown. The chief Places on the Sea-Coasts. The Names of the Provinces and Counties of the Inland Country. Which are divided from each other by Woods. The Countrey Hilly, but inriched with Rivers. The great River Mavelagonga described. Woody. Where most Populous and Healthful. The nature of the Vallies. The great Hill, Adams Peaky, described. The natural Strength of this Kingdom. The difference of the Seasons in this Country. What Parts have most Rain.
Concerning the chief Cities and Towns of this Island.
The most Eminent Cities are Five. Viz. Cande, Nellemby, Alloutneur. The Country of Bintan described. Badoulf. The Province of Ouvah. Digligy, the place of the King's Residence. Gauluda. Many ruines of Cities. Anarodgburro. The nature of the Northern Parts. The Port of Portaloon Affords Salt. Leawava Affords Salt in abundance, Described. Their Towns how built. Many ly in ruins and forsaken. and upon what occasion.
Of their Corn, with their manner of Husbandry.
The Products and Commodities of the Country. Corn of divers sorts. Rice. Growes in water. Their ingenuity in watering their Corn-lands. Why they do not always sow the best kind of Rice? They sow at different times, but reap together. Their artificial Pooles, Alligators harbor in them. They sow Corn on the mud. A sort of Rice that growes without water. The Seasons of Seed-time and Harvest. A particular description of their Husbandry. Their Plow. The convenience of these Plowes. Their First plowing. Their Banks, and use of them. Their Second plowing. How they prepare their Seed-Corn. And their Land after it is plowed. Their manner of Sowing. How they manure & order Young Corn. Their manner of reaping. They tread out their Corn with Cattel. The Ceremonies they use when the Corn is to be trodden. How they unhusk their Rice. Other sorts of Corn among them. Coracan, Tanna, Moung, Omb.
Of their Fruits and Trees.
Great Variety of Fruits and delicious. The best Fruits where ever they grow reserved for the Kings use. Betel-Nuts, The Trees, The Fruit, The Leaves, The Skins, and their use. The Wood. The Profit the Fruit yields. Jacks, another choyce Fruit. Jambo another. Other Fruits found in the Woods. Fruits common with other Parts of India. The Tallipot; the rare use of the Leaf. The Pith good to eat. The Kettule. Yields a delicious juice. The Skin bears strings as strong as Wyer. The Wood; its Nature and Use. The Cinnamon Tree. The Bark, The Wood, The Leaf, The Fruit. The Orula. The Fruit good for Physic and Dying. Water made of it will brighten rusty Iron, and serve instead of Ink. The Dounekaia. The Capita. Rattans. Their Fruit. Canes. The Betel tree. The Bo-gauhah or God-Tree.
Of their Plants, Herbs, Flowers.
Roots for Food, The manner of their growing. Boyling Herbs, Fruits for Sawce. European Herbs and Plants among them. Herbs for Medicine. Their Flowers, A Flower that serves instead of a Dyal, called Sindric-mal. Picha-mais, Hop-inals.
Of their Beasts Tame and Wild. Insects.
What Beasts the Country produceth. Deer no bigger than Hares. Other Creatures rare in their kind. The way how a wild Deer was catched for the King. Of their Elephants. The way of catching Elephants. Their understanding. Their Nature. The dammage they do. Serve the King for executing his Malefactors. Their Disease. The Sport they make. Ants of divers sorts. How one sort of them, called Coddias, came to sting so terribly. These Ants very mischievous. The curious Buildings of the Vaeos, another kind of them. The manner of their death. Bees of several kinds. Some build on Trees like Birds. The people eat the Bees, as well as their Honey. Leaches, that ly in the grass, and creep on Travaylers Legs. The Remedies they use against them. Apes and Monkeys of divers kinds. How they catch Wild Beasts. How they take the Wild Boar.
Of their Birds, Fish, Serpents, and Commodities.
Their Birds. Such as will be taught to speak. Such as are beautiful for Colour. A strange Bird. Water-Fowls resembling Ducks and Swans. Peacocks. The King keeps Fowl. Their Fish, How they catch them in Ponds, And how in Rivers. Fish kept and fed for the King's Pleasure. Serpents. The Pimberah of a prodigious bigness. The Polonga. The Noya. The Fable of the Noya ana Polonga. The Carowala. Gerendo. Hickanella. Democulo, a great Spider. Kobbera-guson, a Creature like an Aligator. Tolla-guion. The people eat Rats. Precoius Stones, Minerals, and other Commodities. The People discouraged from Industry by the Tyranny they are under.
Of the present King of Cande.
The Government of this Island. The King's Lineage. His Person, Meen and Habit. His Queen and Children. His Palace; Situation and Description of it: Strong Guards about his Court. Negro's Watch next his Person. Spies sent out a Nights. His Attendants. Handsome Women belong to his Kitchin. His Women. And the Privileges of the Towns, where they live. His State, when he walks in his Palace, or goes abroad. His reception of Ambassadors. His delight in them.
Concerning the Kings Manner, Vices, Recreation, Religion.
Spare in his Diet. After what manner he eats. Chast himself, and requires his Attendants to be so. He committed Incest, but such as was allowable. His Pride. How the People address to the King. They give him Divine Worship. Pleased with high Titles. An instance or two of the King's haughty Stomach. He slights the defection of one of his best Generals. He scorns to receive his own Revenues. The Dutch serve their ends upon his Pride by flattering him. The People give the way to the Kings foul Cloths. His natural Abilities, and deceitful temper. His wife saying concerning Run-awayes. He is naturally Cruel. The Dogs follow Prisoners to Execution. The Kings Prisoners; their Misery. He punisheth whole Generations for the sake of one. The sad condition of young Gentlemen that wait on his Person. His Pleasure-houses. Pastimes abroad. His Diversions at home. His Religion. He stands affected to the Christian Religion.
Of the King's Tyrannical Reign.
His Government Tyrannical. His Policy. He farms out his Countrey for Service. His Policy to secure himself against Assassinations and Rebellions. Another Point of his Policy. Another which is to find his People work to do. A Vast work undertaken and finished by the King, viz. Bringing Water divers Miles thro Rocks, Mountains and Valleys unto his Palace. The turning this Water did great injury to the People. But he little regards his Peoples Good. By craft at once both pleaseth and punisheth his People. In what Labours he employs his People, He Poisons his only Son. The extraordinary Lamentation at the Death of his Sister. His Craft and Cruelty shewn at once.
Of his Revenues and Treasure.
The King's Rents brought three times in a year. The first is accompanied with a great Festival. How the Nobles bring their Gifts, or Duties. Inferior Persons present their New-years Gifts. What Taxes and Rents the People pay. The accidental incoms of the Crown. The Profits that accrue to the King from Corn-Lands. Custom of Goods Imported formerly paid. His Treasuries. He has many Elephants. Great Treasures thrown into the River formerly. The Treasure he most valueth.
Of the King's great Officers, and the Governors of the Provinces.
The two Greatest Officers in the Land. The next Great Officers. None can put to Death but the King. Theso Dissauvas are Durante bene placito. Whom the King makes Dissauvas. And their Profits and Honours. Other benefits belonging to other Officers. They must always reside at Court. The Officers under them, viz. The Cour-lividani. The Cong-conna. The Courli-atchila. The Liannah. The Undia. The Monannuh. Some Towns exempt from the Dissauvas Officers. Other Officers yet. These Places obtained by Bribes. But remain only during pleasure. Country Courts. They may appeal. Appeals to the King. How the Great Officers Travel upon Public Business. Their Titles and signs of State. The misery that succeeds their Honour. The foolish ambition of the Men and Women of this Country.
Of the King's Strength and Wars.
The King's Military affairs. The natural strength of his Countrey. Watches and Thorn-gates. None to pass from the King's City without Pasports. His Soldiery. All men of Arms wait at Court. The Soldiers have Lands allotted them insted of Pay. To prevent the Soldiers from Plotting. The manner of sending them out on Expeditions. Requires all the Captains singly to send him intelligence of their affairs. When the War is finished they may not return without order. The condition of the Common Soldiers. He conceals his purpose when he sends out his Army. Great Exploits done, and but little Courage. They work chiefly by Stratagems. They understand the manner of Christian Armies. Seldom hazard a Battel. If they prove unsuccessful, how he punishes them.
A Relation of the Rebellion made against the King.
A Comet ushereth in the Rebellion. The Intent of the Conspirators. How the Rebellion began. The King flyes. They pursue him faintly. They go to the Prince and Proclaim him King. The carriage of the Prince. Upon the Prince's flight, the Rebels scatter and run. A great Man declares for the King. For the space of eight or ten days nothing but Killing one another to approve themselves good Subjects. The King Poysons his Son to prevent a Rebellion hereafter. His ingratitude. Another Comet, but without any bad Effects following it.
Concerning the Inhabitants of this Island.
The several Inhabitants of the Island. The Original of the Chingulays. Wild Men. Who pay an acknowledgement to the King. How they bespeak Arrows to be made them. They rob the Carriers. Hourly wild Men Trade with the People. Once made to serve the King in his War. Their Habit and Religion. A skirmish about their Bounds. Curious in their Arrows. How they preserve their Flesh. How they take Elephants. The Dowries they give. Their disposition. The Inhabitants of the Mountains differ from those of the Low-Lands. Their good opinion of Virtue, tho they practice it not. Superstitions. How they Travel. A brief character of them. The Women, their habit and nature.
Concerning their different Honours, Ranks, and Qualities.
How they distinguish themselves according to their Qualities. They never Marry beneath their rank. In case a Man lyes with a Woman of inferior rank. Their Noble men. How distinguished from others. The distinction by Caps. Of the Hondrews or Noble men two forts. An Honour like Unto Knighthood. Goldsmiths, Blacksmiths, Carpenters, and Painters. The Privilege and state of the Smiths. Craftsmen. Barbers. Potters. Washers. Jaggory-makers. The Poddah, Weavors, Basket-makers. Mat-makers. The lower ranks may not assume the habit or names of the higher. Slaves. Beggers. The reason the Beggers became so base and mean a People. They live well. Their Contest with the Weavors about dead Cows. Incest common among them. A Punishment, to deliver Noble women to these Beggers. Some of these Beggars keep Cattel and shoot Deer. Refuse Meat dressed in a Barbar's house, and why.
Of their Religion, Gods, Temples, Priests.
Their Religion is Idolatry. They worship Gods and Devils. And the God, that saves Souls. The Sun and Moon they seem to repute Deities. Some of their Temples of exquisite work. The form of their Temples. The shape of their Idols. They worship not the Idol, but whom it represents. The Revenues of the Temples, and the Honours thereof. They are dedicated to Gods. Private Chappels. The Priests. The first Order of them. The habit of these Priests. Their Privileges. What they are Prohibited. When any are religiously disposed, these Priests sent for in great Ceremony. None ever used violence towards them before this present King. The Second Order of Priests. The third Order. How they dedicate a Red Cock to the Devil. Their Oracle.
Concerning their Worship and Festivals.
The chief dayes of Worship. How they know what God or Devil hath made them sick; The Gods of their Fortunes, viz the Planets. What Worship they give Devils. Who eat the Sacrifices. Their Gods are local. The Subjection of this People to the Devil. Sometimes the Devil possesseth them. The Devils voice often heard. Their Sacrifice to the chief Devil. Their Festivals. Festivals to the honour of the Gods that govern this World. The Great Festival in June, with the manner of the Solemnity. The Feast in November. The Festival in honour of the God of the Soul. The high honour they have for this God.
Concerning their Religious Doctrines, Opinions and Practices.
As to their Religion they are very indifferent. If their Gods answer not their Desires, they curse them. They undervalue and revile their Gods. A Fellow gives out himself for a Prophet. His Success. The King fends for one of his Priests. Flyes to Columbo. Pretends himself to be a former Kings Son. Flyes from the Dutch. The King catches and quarters him. The Peoples high opinion still of this new God. Their Doctrines and Opinion. The highest points of their Devotion. Their Charity. The Privilege of the Moorish Beggars. Respect Christians, and why.
Concerning their Houses, Diet, Housewifery, Salutation, Apparel.
Their Houses mean. No Chimneys. The Houses of the better sort. Their Furniture. How they eat. How the great Men eat. Discouraged from nourishing Cattel. Cleanly in dressing their meat; Their manner of drinking and eating. Their manner of washing before and after meals. None must speak while the Rice is put into the Pot. Sawce made of Lemmon juice. Their sweet meats. A kind of Puddings. The Womens Housewifry. How they entertain Strangers, And Kindred. When they Visit. Their manner of Salutation. The Nobles in their best Apparel. The fashion of their hair. The Women dressed in their Bravery. How they dress their heads. They commonly borrow their fine Cloths.
Of their Lodging, Bedding, Whoredome, Marriages, Children.
Their Bed, and how they sleep a Nights. They rise often in the Night. Children taught to sing at going to bed. Young People ly at one anothers Houses. Nothing so common as Whoredome. They are guilty of the thing, but love not the Name. The man may kill whom he finds in bed with his Wife. The Womens craft to compass and conceal their Debauchery.They do treat their Friends with the use of their Wives or Daughters. The Mother for a small reward prostitutes her Daughter. Marriages. No Wooing The Bridegroom goes to the Brides house. How the bridegroom carries home his Bride. A Ceremony of Marriage. Man and Wife may part at pleasure. Men and Women change till they can please themselves. Women sometimes have two Husbands. Women unclean. Privileges of Men above Women. Privileges of Women. They often destroy New-born Infants, But seldom a First-born. Their Names. They are ambitious of high Titles.
Of their Employments and Recreations.
Their Trade. Work, not discreditable to the best Gentleman. How they geld their Cattle. How they make Glew. Their Manufactures. How they make Iron. How they make Butter. Shops in the City. Prices of Commodities. Or their Measures. Their Weights. Measures bigger than the Statute punishable; but less, not: And why. Of their Coin. Of their Play. A Play or a Sacrifice: For the filthiness of it forbid by the King. A cunning Stratagem of an Officer. Tricks and Feats of Activity. At leisure times they meet and discourse of Newes. Drunkenness abhorred. Their eating Betel-Leaves. How they make Lime.
Of their Lawes and Language.
Their Lawes. Lands descend. In case Corn receives dammage by a Neighbours Cattel. The loss of letting out Land to Till. The great Consideration for Corn borrowed. A Debt becomes double in two years. If the Debtor pay not his Debt, he is lyable to be a Slave for it. Divers other Lawes and Customes. For deciding Controversies. Swearing in the Temples, The manner of swearing in hot Oyl. How they exact. Fines. Of their Language. Titles given to Women according to their qualities. Titles given to Men. No difference between a Country-man and a Courtier for Language. Their Speech and manner of Address is courtly and becoming. Their Language in their Address to the King. Words of form and Civility. Full of Words and Complement. By whom they swear. Their way of railing and scurrility. Proverbs. Something of their Grammar. A Specimen of their Words. Their Numbering.
Concerning their Learning, Astronomy and Art Magick.
Of their Learning. Their Books and Arts. How they learn to write. How they make and write a Book. The Priests write Books of Bonna. The Kings Warrants how wrapped up. They write upon two sorts of Leaves. Their Skill in Astronomy. Their Almanacks. They pretend to know future things by the Stars. Their AEra. Their Years, Months, Weeks, Days, Hours. How they measure their Time. Their Magic. The Plenty of a Country destroyed by Magic. Their Charm to find out a Thief. The way to dissolve this Charm. Inscriptions upon Rocks.
Of their Sickness, Death and Burial.
The Diseases this Countrey is subject to. Every one a Physician to himself. To Purge: To Vomit. To heal Sores. To heal an Impostume. For an hurt in the Eye. To cure the Itch. The Candle for Lying-in Women. Goraca, a Fruit. Excellent at the Cure of Poyson. They easily heal the biting of Serpents by Herbs, And Charms. But not good at healing inward Distempers. They both bury and burn their Dead. They send for a Priest to pray for the Soul of the Departed. How they mourn for the Dead. The nature of the Women. How they bury. How they burn. How they bury those that dy of the Small Pox.
Of the reason of our going to Ceylon, and Detainment there.
The subject of this Fourth Part. The occasion of their coming to Ceylon. They were not jealous of the People being very Courteous. A Message pretended to the Captain from the King. The beginning of their Suspition. The Captain seized and seven more. The Long-boat men seized. The General's craft to get the Ship as well as the Men. The Captains Order to them on board the Ship. The Captains second Message to his Ship. The Ships Company refuse to bring up the Ship. The Captain orders the Ship to depart. The Lading of Cloath remained untouched. The probable reason of our Surprize. The number of those that were left on the Island. The Dissauva departs.
How we were carried up in the Country, and disposed of there, and of the Sickness, Sorrow and Death of the Captain.
They intend to attempt an Escape, but are prevented. Their Condition commiserated by the People. They are distributed into divers Towns. An Order comes from the King to bring them up into the Country. How they were treated on the way in the Woods. And in the Towns among the Inhabitants. They are brought near Cande, and there separated. The Captain and his Son and two more quartered together. Parted: How they fared: The Captain and his Son placed in Coos-swat. Monies scarce with them. But they had good Provisions without it. The Town where they were sickly. How they passed their time. Both fall Sick. Deep grief, seizes the Captain. Their Sickness continues. Their Boys' Disobedience adds to their trouble. His excessive Sorrow. His Discourse and Charge to his Son before his Death. His Death, and Burial. The Place where he lies. Upon the Captain's Death a Message sent from Court to his Son.
How I lived after my Father's Death, And of the Condition of the rest of the English: and how it fared with them. And of our Interview.
His chief Imployment is Reading: He looseth his Ague: How he met with an English Bible in that Country: Struck into a great Passion at the first sight of the Book: He casts with himself how to get it: Where the rest of the English were bestowed: Kept from one another a good while, but after permitted to see each other: No manner of Work laid upon them: They begin to pluck up their hearts: What course they took for Cloths: Their Fare: What Employment they afterwards followed: How the English domineered: What Satisfaction one of them received from a Potter. A scuffle between the English and Natives. The Author after a year sees his Countreymen. Their Conference and Entertainment. He consults with his Countreymen concerning a future livelihood. The difficulty he met with in having his Rice brought him undressed. He reasons with the People about his Allowance. Builds him an House. Follows Business and thrives. Some attempted running away, and were catched. Little encouragement for those that bring back Run-awayes.
Concerning some other Englishmen detained in that Countrey.
The Persia Merchant-men Captives before them. Plundred by the Natives. Brought up to the King. They hoped to have their liberty, but were mistaken. A ridiculous action of these Men. They had a mind to Beef and how they got it. A passage of their Courage. Two of this Company taken into Court. The One out of favour. His End. The other out of Favour. And his lamentable Death. The King sends special Order concerning their good Usage. Mr. Vassal's prudence upon his Receit of Letters. The King bids him read his Letters. The King pleased to hear of Englands Victory over Holland. Private discourse between the King and Vassal.
Concerning the means that were used for our Deliverance. And what happened to us in the Rebellion. And how we were setled afterwards.
Means made to the King for their Liberty, Upon which they all meet at the City. Word sent them from the Court, that they had their Liberty. All in general refuse the Kings Service. Commanded still to wait at the Palace. During which a Rebellion breaks out. They are in the midst of it, and in great danger. The Rebels take the English with them, designing to engage them on their side: But they resolve neither to meddle nor make. The day being turned, they fear the King; but he justifies them. They are driven to beg in the High-wayes. Sent into New Quarters, and their Pensions settled again. Fall to Trading and have more freedom than before.
A Continuation of the Author's particular Condition after the Rebellion.
At his new Quarters builds him another House. The People counsel him to Marry, which he seems to listen to. Here he lived two years. A Fort built near him by the Dutch; but afterwards taken by the King. He and three more removed out of that Countrey; and settled in a dismal place. A Comfortable Message brought hither from the King concerning them. Placed there to punish the People tor a Crime. Weary of this Place. By a piece of craft he gets down to his old Quarters. Began the world anew the third time. Plots to remove himself. Is encouraged to buy a piece of Land. The situation and condition of it. Buys it. Builds an House on it. Leaves Laggendenny. Settled at his new Purchase with three more living with him. Their freedom and Trade. His Family reduced to two.
A return to the rest of the English, with some further accounts of them. And some further Discourse of the Authors course of Life.
They confer together about the lawfulness of marrying with the Native women. He resolves upon a single life. What Employments they follow. The respect and credit they live in. A Chingulay punished for beating an English man. An English man preferred at Court. Some English serve the King in his Wars. Who now live miserably. He returns to speak of himself. Plots and consults about an Escape. A description of his House. He takes up a new Trade and thrives on it. His Allowance paid him out of the Kings Store-Houses.
How the Author had like to have been received into the Kings Service, and what Means he used to avoid it. He meditates and attempts an Escape but is often prevented.
He voluntarily forgoes his Pension. Summoned before the King. Informed that he is to be preferred at Court: But is resolved to refuse it. The answer he makes to the Great Man: Who sends him to another Great Officer: Stayts in that City expecting his Doom. Goes home, but is sent for again. Having escaped the Court-Service, falls to his former course of life: His Pedling forwarded his Escape. The most probable course to take was Northwards. He and his Companion get three days Journey Northwards; But return back again: Often attempt to fly this way, but still hindred. In those Parts is bad water, but they had an Antidote against it. They still improve in the knowledg of the Way. He meets with his Black Boy in these Parts, Who was to guide him to the Dutch: But disappointed. An extraordinary drought for three or four years together.
How the Author began his Escape, and got onward on his way about an hundred miles.
Their Last and Successful attempt. The Way they went. They design for Anarodgburro: Turn out of the way to avoyd the King's Officers: Forced to pass thro a Governours Yard. The Method they used to prevent his Suspition of them. Their danger by reason of the Wayes they were to pass. They still remain at the Governors to prevent suspition. An Accident that now created them great fear: But got fairly rid of it. Get away plausibly from the Governor. In their way, they meet with a River, which they found for their purpose. They come safely to Anarodgburro: This Place described. The People stand amazed at them. They are examined by the Governor of the Place. Provide things necessary for their Flight. They find it not safe to proceed further this way. Resolve to go back to the River they lately passed.
The Authors Progress in his Flight from Anarodgburro into the Woods, unto their arrival in the Malabars Country.
They depart back again towards the River, but first take their leave of the Governor here. They begin their Flight; Come to the River along which they resolve to go; Which they Travel along by till it grew dark. Now they fit themselves for their Journey. Meeting with an Elephant they took up for the second Night. The next morning they fall in among Towns before they are aware. The fright they are in lest they should be seen. Hide themselves in a hollow Tree. They get safely over this danger. In that Evening they Dress Meat and lay them down to sleep. The next morning they fear wild Men, which these Woods abound with. And they meet with many of their Tents. Very near once falling upon these People. What kind of Travelling they had. Some account of this River. Ruins. The Woods hereabouts. How they secured themselves anights against wild Beasts. They pass the River, that divides the King's Countrey from the Malabars. After four or five days Travel, they come among Inhabitants. But do what they can to avoid them. As yet undiscovered.
Being in the Malabar Territories how they encountred two Men, and what passed between them. And of their getting safe unto the Dutch Fort. And their Reception there; and at the Island Manaar, until their Embarking for Columbo.
They meet with two Malabars. To whom they relate their Condition. Who are courteous to them. But loath to Conduct them to the Hollander. In danger of Elephants. They overtake another Man, who tells them they were in the Dutch Dominions. They arrive at Arrepa Fort. The Author Travelled a Nights in these Woods without fear, and slept securely. Entertained very kindly by the Dutch. Sent to Manaar, Received there by the Captain of the Castle, Who intended they should Sail the next day to Jafnipatan to the Governor. They meet here with a Scotch and Irish Man. The People Flock to see them. They are ordered a longer stay. They Embark for Columbo.
Their Arrival at Columbo, and Entertainment there. Their Departure thence to Batavia. And from thence to Bantam; Whence they set Sail for England.
They are wondered at at Columbo, ordered to appear before the Governor. Treated by English there. They come into the Governor's presence. His State. Matters the Governor enquired of; Who desires him to go with him to Batavia. Cloths them, And sends them Money, and a Chirurgeon. The Author writes a Letter hence to the English he left behind him. The former Demands and Answers penned down in Portugueze by the Governor's Order. They Embark for Batavia. Their friendly Reception by the Governor there; Who furnishes them with Cloths and Money; And offers them passage in their Ships home. Come home from Bantam in the Caesar.
Concerning some other Nations, and chiefly Europeans, that now live in this Island; Portugueze, Dutch.
Malabars that Inhabit here. Their Territories. Their Prince. That People how governed. Their Commodities and Trade. Portugueze: Their Power and Interest in this Island formerly. The great Wars between the King and them forced him to send in for the Hollander. The King invites the Portugueze to live in his Countrey. Their Privileges. Their Generals. Constantine Sa. Who loses a Victory and Stabs himself. Lewis Tissera served as he intended to serve the King. Simon Caree, of a cruel Mind. Gaspar Figazi. Splits Men in the middle. His Policy. Gives the King a great Overthrow, loseth Columbo, and taken Prisoner. The Dutch. The occasion of their coming in. The King their implacable Enemy, and why. The Damage the King does them. The means they use to obtain Peace with him. How he took Bibligom Fort from them. Several of their Embassadors detained by the King. The first Embassador there detained since the Author's Remembrance. His Preferment, and Death. The next Ambassador dying there, his Body is sent down to Columbo in great State. The third Ambassador. Gets away by his Resolution. The fourth was of a milder Nature. The fifth brings a Lion to the King as a Present. The number or Dutch there. They follow their Vice of Drinking. The Chingulays prejudiced against the Dutch, and why.
Concerning the French. With some Enquiries what should make the King detain white men, as he does. And how the Christian Religion is maintained among the Christians there.
The French come hither with a Fleet. To whom the King sends Provisions, and helps them to build a Fort. The French Ambassador offends the King. He refuseth to wait longer for Audience. Which more dipleaseth him. Clapt in Chains. The rest of the French refuse to dwell with the Ambassador. The King useth means to reconcile them to their Ambassador. The Author acquaints the French Ambassador in London, with the Condition of these men. An Inquiry into the reason of this King's detaining Europeans. The Kings gentleness towards his White Soldiers. They watch at his Magazine. How craftily the King corrected their negligence. The Kings inclinations are towards White men. The Colour of White honoured in this Land. Their privilege above the Natives. The King loves to send for and talk with them. How they maintain Christianity among them. In some things they comply with the worship of the Heathen. An old Roman Catholick Priest used to eat of their Sacrifices. The King permitted the Portugueze to build a Church.
Besides divers Mispointings, and other Literal Mistakes of smaller moment, these are to be amended.
Page 1. Line 16. after Parts, strike out the Comma, p. 3. l. 25. for Oudi pallet read Oudi pollat, p. 7. l. 31, after they dele that, p. 12. l. 43. for Ponudecarse read Ponudecars, p. 13. after rowling dele it, p. 22. l. 38. for Out-yards read Ortyards, p. 25. l. 6. for tarrish read tartish, p. 27. l. 10. for sometimes read some, p. 29. l. 33. for Rodgerari read Rodgerah, p. 33. l. 15, 25, 29. for Radga in those three lines, read Raja., p. 35. l. 12. for a read at, Ibid. l. 51. for being none read none being, p. 39. l. 1. dele a, p. 47. l. 36. for Gurpungi read Oulpangi, Ibid. l. 43 for Dackini read Dackim, p. 50. l. 16. for Roterauts read Roterauls, Ibid. l. 17. after these read are, Ibid. l. 24. after them read to, p. 51. l. 2. after them a Semicolon, Ibid. Marg. l. 3. for others read these, Ibid. l. 18. for their read theirs, Ibid. l. 19. dele and Ibid. l. 49. for Courti-Atchila read Courli-atchila, p. 58. l. 30. after were read or were, p. 62. Marg. l. 1. for By read Pay, Ibid. l. 18 after shooting add him; Ibid. Marg. l. 14. for one read once, p. 69. l. 28. after lace dele the Comma, Ibid. l. 30. for Kirinerahs read Kinnerahs, p. 71. l. 3. after places add and, p. 73. 14. dele they say, Ibid. l. 42. for ward read reward, p. 74. l. 5. dele the Semicolon after Vehar, and place it after also, Ibid. l. 27. for hands read heads, p. 76. l. 23. for God read Gods, Ibid. l. 36. after know a Period, p. 80. l. 3. for him read them, p. 87. l. 27. after Hens a Semicolon, p. 88. l. 35. for stream read steam, p. 89. l. 7. for a read the, p. 101. l. 28. for Husband read Husbandman, p. 102. l. 23. after considerable a Comma, p. 103. Marg. l. 4. for benefit read manner, p. 105, l. 26. for so read To, p. 109. l. 1. read Heawoy com-coraund, To fight, as much as to say, To act the Soldier, p. 110. l. 29. after go add their Journey, p. 111. l. 9. for Friday read Iridah, p. 112. l. 52. after temple add in, p. 118. l. 41. after and add his, p. 128. l. 51. dele no, p. 132. l. 38. dele the Comma after Holstein, p. 134. l. 47. For Crock read crook, p. 138. l. 37. for ny read any, Ibid., l. 47. after they read had, p. 148. l. 52. for go read got, p. 151. l. 6. for here read have, p. 154. l. 27. for favors read feavors, p. 155. l. 4. dele the first [it] Ibid. l. 18. for he read we, p. 161. l. 43. for Diabac read Diabat. p. 168. l. 4. after before add us, Ibid. l. 7. after comparing add it, p. 176. l. 22. for the read great, p. 179. l. 21. for be read beg, Ibid. l. 34. dele what they keep, And instead of Cande uda thro-out the Book, read Conde uda.
AN Historical Relation OF ZEILON, (Alias Ceylon,) AN Island in the EAST-INDIES.
A general Description of the Island.
How this Island lyes with respect unto me Neighbouring Countries, I shall not speak at all, that being to be seen in our ordinary Sea-Cards, which describe those Parts; and but little concerning the Maritime parts of it, now under the Jurisdiction of the Dutch: my design being to relate such things onely that are new and unknown unto these Europaean Nations. It is the Inland Countrey therefore I chiefly intend to write of which is yet an hidden Land even to the Dutch themselves that inhabit upon the Island. For I have seen among them a fair large Map of this Place, the best I believe extant, yet very faulty: the ordinary Maps in use among us are much more so; I have procured a new one to be drawn, with as much truth and exactness as I could, and his Judgment will not be deemed altogether inconsiderable, who had for Twenty Years Travelled about the Iland, and knew almost every step of those Parts, especially, that most want describing.
I begin with the Sea-Coasts. Of all which the Hollander is Master: On the North end the chief places are Jafnipatan, and the Iland of Manaur. On the East side Trenkimalay, and Batticalow. To the South is the City of Point de Galle. On the West the City of Columbo, so called from a Tree the Natives call Ambo, (which bears the Mango-fruit) growing in that place; but this never bare fruit, but onely leaves, which in their Language is Cola> and thence they called the Tree Colambo: which the Christians in honour of Columbus turned to Columbo. It is the chief City on the Sea-coasts where the chief Governour hath his residence. On this side also is Negumba, and Colpentine. All these already mentioned are strong fortified places: There are besides many other smaller Forts and Fortifications. All which, with considerable Territories, to wit, all round bordering upon the Sea-coasts, belong to the Dutch Nation.
[A general division of the Inland Countrey.] I proceed to the Inland-Country, being that that is now under the King of Cande. It is convenient that we first understand, that this land is divided into greater or less shares or parts. The greater divisions give me leave to call Provinces, and the less Counties, as resembling ours in England, tho not altogether so big. On the North parts lyes the Province of Nourecalava, consisting of five lesser Divisions or Counties; the Province also of Hotcourly (signifying seven Counties:) it contains seven Counties. On the Eastward is Mautaly, containing three Counties. There are also lying on that side Tammanquod, Bintana, Vellas, Paunoa, these are single Counties. Ouvah also containing three Counties. In this Province are Two and thirty of the Kings Captains dwelling with their Soldiers. In the Midland within those already mentioned lye Wallaponahoy (it signifies Fifty holes or vales which describe the nature of it, being nothing but Hills and Valleys,) Poncipot, (signifying five hundred Souldiers.) Goddaponahoy, (signifying fifty pieces of dry Land;) Hevoihattay (signifying sixty Souldiers,) Cote-mul, Horsepot (four hundred Souldiers.) Tunponahoy (three fifties.) Oudanour (it signifies the Upper City,) where I lived last and had Land. Tattanour (the Lower City) in which stands the Royal and chief City, Cande. These two Counties I last named, have the pre-eminence of all the rest in the Land. They are most populous, and fruitful. The Inhabitants thereof are the chief and principal men: insomuch that it is a usual saying among them, that if they want a King, they may take any man, of either of these two Counties, from the Plow, and wash the dirt off him, and he by reason of his quality and descent is fit to be a King. And they have this peculiar Priviledge, That none may be their Governour, but one born in their own Country. These ly to the Westward that follow, Oudipollat, Dolusbaug, Hotteracourly, containing four Counties; Portaloon, Tuncourly, containing three Counties; Cuttiar. Which last, together with Batticalaw, and a part of Tuncourly, the Hollander took from the King during my being there. There are about ten or twelve more un-named, next bordering on the Coasts, which are under the Hollander. All these Provinces and Counties, excepting six, Tammanquod, Vellas, Paunoa, Hotteracourly, Hotcourly, and Neurecalava, ly upon Hills fruitful and dwell watered: and therefore they are called in one word Conde Uda, which signifies, On top of the Hills, and the King is styled, the King of Conde Uda.
[Each County divided by Woods.] All these Counties are divided each from other by great Woods. Which none may fell, being preserved for Fortifications. In most of them there are Watches kept constantly, but in troublesome times in all.
[The Country Hilly, but enriched with Rivers.] The Land is full of Hills, but exceedingly well watered, there being many pure and clear Rivers running through them. Which falling down about their Lands is a very great benefit for the Countrey in respect of their Rice, their chief Sustenance. These Rivers are generally very rocky, and so un-navigable. In them are great quantities of Fish, and the greater for want of Skill in the People to catch them. [The great River, Mavelagonga described.] The main River of all is called Mavelagonga; Which proceeds out of the Mountain called Adams Peak (of which afterwards:) it runs thro the whole Land Northward, and falls into the Sea at Trenkimalay. It may be an Arrows flight over in bredth, but not Navigable by reason of the many Rocks and great falls in it: Towards the Sea it is full of Aligators, but on the Mountains none at all.
It is so deep, that unless it be mighty dry weather, a man cannot wade over it, unless towards the head of it. They use little Canoues to pass over it: but there are no Bridges built over it, being so broad, and the Stream in time of Rains (which in this Countrey are very great) runs so high, that they cannot make them, neither if they could, would it be permitted; for the King careth not to make his Countrey easie to travel, but desires to keep it intricate. This River runs within a mile or less of the City of Cande. In some places of it, full of Rocks, in others clear for three or four miles.
There is another good large River running through Catemul, and falls into that before mentioned. There are divers others brave Rivers that water the Countrey, tho none Navigable for the cause above said.
[Woody.] The Land is generally covered with Woods, excepting the Kingdome of Ovuah, and the Counties of Oudipallet, and Dolusbaug, which are naturally somewhat clear of them.
[Where most populous and healthful.] It is most populous about the middle, least near about by the Sea; how it is with those Parts under the Hollander, I know not. The Northern parts are somewhat sickly by reason of bad water, the rest very healthful.
[The nature of the Valleys.] The Valleys between their Hills are many of them quagmires, and most of them full of brave Springs of pure water: Which watery Valleys are the best sort of Land for their Corn, as requiring much moisture, as shall be told in its place.
[The great Hill Adams Peak, described.] On the South side of Conde Uda is an Hill, supposed to be the highest on this Island, called in the Chingulay Language, Hamalell; but by the Portuguez and the Europaean Nations, Adams Peak. It is sharp like a Sugar-loaf, and on the Top a flat Stone with the print of a foot like a mans on it, but far bigger, being about two foot long. The people of this Land count it meritorious to go and worship this impression; and generally about their New Year, which is in March, they, Men, Women and Children, go up this vast and high Mountain to worship. The manner of which I shall write hereafter, when I come to describe their Religion. Out of this Mountain arise many fine Rivers, which run thro the Land, some to the Westward, some to the Southward, and the main River, viz. Mavelagonga before mentioned, to the Northward.
[The natural Strength of this Kingdom] This Kingdom of Conde Uda is strongly fortified by Nature. For which way soever you enter into it, you must ascend vast and high mountains, and descend little or nothing. The wayes are many, but are many, but very narrow, so that but one can go abreast. The Hills are covered with Wood and great Rocks, so that 'tis scarce possible to get up any where, but onely in the paths, in all which there are gates made of Thorns; the one at the bottom, the other at the top of the Hills, and two or three men always set to watch, who are to examine all that come and go, and see what they carry, that Letters may not be conveyed, nor Prisoners or other Slaves run away. These Watches, in case of opposition, are to call out to the Towns near, who are to assist them. They oftentimes have no Arms, for they are the people of the next Towns: but their Weapons to stop people are to charge them in the Kings Name; which disobeyed, is so Severely punished; that none dare resist. These Watches are but as Sentinels to give notice; for in case of War and Danger the King sends Commanders and Souldiers to ly here. But of this enough. These things being more proper to be related, when we come to discourse of the Policy and Strength of the Kingdom.
[The difference of the Seasons in this Country.] The one part of this Island differs very much from the other, both in respect of the Seasons and the Soyl. For when the Westwardly Winds blow, then it rains on the West side of the Island: and that is the season for them to till their grounds. And at the same time on the East side is very fair and dry weather, and the time of their Harvest. On the contrary, when the East Winds blow, it is Tilling time for those that inhabit the East Parts, and Harvest to those on the West. So that Harvest is here in one part or other all the Year long. These Rains and this dry weather do part themselves about the middle of the Land; as oftentimes I have seen, being on the one side of a Mountain called Cauragas hirg, rainy and wet weather, and as soon as I came on the other, dry, and so exceeding hot, that I could scarcely walk on the ground, being, as the manner there is, barefoot.
[What parts have most Rain.] It rains far more in the High-Lands of Conde Uda, then in the Low-Lands beneath the Hills. The North End of this Island is much subject to dry weather. I have known it for five or six Years together so dry, (having no Rains, and there is no other means of water but that; being but three Springs of running water, that I know, or ever heard of) that they could not plow nor sow, and scarcely could dig Wells deep enough to get water to drink, and when they got it, its tast was brackish. At which time in other Parts there wanted not Rain; Whither the Northern People were forced to come to buy food. Let thus much suffice to have spoken of the Countreys, Soyl and Nature of this Island in general. I will proceed to speak of the Cities and Towns of it, together with some other Remarkable Matters there-unto belonging.
Concerning the Chief Cities and Towns of this Island.
[The most Eminent Cities are Five.] In this Island are several Places, where, they say, formerly stood Cities; and still retain the Name, tho little or nothing of Building be now to be seen. But yet there are Five Cities now standing, which are the most Eminent, and where the King hath Palaces and Goods; yet even these, all of them, except that wherein his Person is, are ruined and fallen to decay.
[Candy.] The First is the City of Candy, so generally called by the Christians, probably from Conde, which in the Chingulays Language signifies Hills, for among them it is situated, but by the Inhabitants called Hingodagul-neure, as much as to say, the City of the Chingulay people, and Mauneur, signifying the Chief or Royal City. This is the Chief or Metropolitical City of the whole Island. It is placed in the midst of the Island in Tattanour, bravely situate for all conveniences, excellently well watered. The Kings Palace stands on the East corner of the City, as is customary in this Land for the Kings Palaces to stand. This City is three-square like a Triangle: but no artificial strength about it, unless on the South side, which is the easiest and openest way to it, they have long since cast up a Bank of Earth cross the Valley from one Hill to the other; which nevertheless is not so steep but that a man may easily go over it any where. It may be some twenty foot in height. In every Way to come to this City about two or three miles off from it are thorn-Gates and Watches to examine all that go and come: It is environed round with Hills. The great River coming down from Adams Peak runs within less than a mile of it on the West side. It has oftentimes been burnt by the Portuguez in their former Invasions of this Island, together with the Kings Palace and the Temples. Insomuch that the King has been fain to pay them a Tribute of three Elephants per annum. The King left this City about Twenty Years ago, and never since has come at it. So that it is now quite gone to decay.
[Nellemby] A second City is Nellemby-neur, lying in Oudipollat, South of Cande, some Twelve miles distance. Unto this the King retired, and here kept his Court, when he forsook Candy.
[Allout-neur] Thirdly, The City Allout-neur on the North East of Cande. Here this King was born, here also he keeps great store of Corn and Salt, &c. against time of War or Trouble. [The Country of Bintan described.] This is Situate in the Countrey of Bintan, which Land, I have never been at, but have taken a view of from the top of a Mountain, it seems to be smooth Land, and not much hilly; the great River runneth through the midst of it. It is all over covered with mighty Woods and abundance of Deer. But much subject to dry Weather and Sickness. In these Woods is a fort of Wild People Inhabiting, whom we shall speak of in their place.
[Badoula.] Fourthly, Badoula Eastward from Cande some two dayes Journey, the second City in this Land. The Portugals in time of War burnt it down to the ground. The Palace here is quite ruined; the Pagodas onely remain in good repair.
[The Province of Ouvah.] This City stands in the Kingdom or Province of Ouvah, which is a Countrey well watered, the Land not smooth, neither the Hills very high, wood very scarce, but what they plant about their Houses. But great plenty of Cattle, their Land void of wood being the more apt for grazing. If these Cattle be carried to any other Parts in this Island they will commonly dye, the reason whereof no man can tell, onely they conjecture it is occasioned by a kind of small Tree or Shrub, that grows in all Countreys but in Ouvah, the Touch or Scent of which may be Poyson to the Ouvah Cattel; though it is not so to other. The Tree hath a pretty Physical smell like an Apothecaries Shop, but no sort of Cattle will eat it. In this Cuontry grows the best Tobacco that is on this Land. Rice is more plenty here then most other things.
[Digligy, the place of the Kings constant Residence.] The fifth City Digligy-neur towards the East of Cande, lying in the Country of Hevahatt. Where the King ever since he was routed from Nellemby in the Rebellion Anno 1664. hath held his Court. The scituation of this place is very Rocky and Mountainous, the Lands Barren; So that hardly a worse place could be found out in the whole Island. Yet the King chose it, partly because it lyes about the middle of his Kingdom, but chiefly for his safety; having the great Mountain [Gauluda.] Gauluda behind his Palace, unto which he fled for Safety in the Rebellion, being not only high, but on the top of it lye three Towns, and Corn Fields, whence he may have necessary supplies: and it is so fenced with steep Cliffs, Rocks and Woods, that a few men here will be able to defend themselves against a great Army.
[Many Ruins of Cities.] There are besides these already mentioned, several other ruinous places that do still retain the name of Cities, where Kings have Reigned, tho now little Foot steps remaining of them. At the North end of this Kings Dominions is one of these Ruinous Cities, called [Anurodgburro.] Anurodgburro where they say Ninety Kings have Reigned, the Spirits of whom they hold now to be Saints in Glory, having merited it by making Pagoda's and Stone Pillars and Images to the honour of their Gods, whereof there are many yet remaining: which the Chingulayes count very meritorious to worship, and the next way to Heaven. Near by is a River, by which we came when we made our escape: all along which is abundance of hewed stones, some long for Pillars, some broad for paving. Over this River there have been three Stone Bridges built upon Stone Pillars, but now are fallen down; and the Countrey all desolate without Inhabitants. At this City of Anurodgburro is a Watch kept, beyond which are no more people that yield obedience to the King of Candy. This place is above Ninety miles to the Northward of the City of Candy. [The nature of the Northern Parts.] In these Northern Parts there are no Hills, nor but two or three Springs of running water, so that their Corn ripeneth with the help of Rain.
[The Port of Portaloon: It affords Salt.] There is a Port in the Countrey of Portaloon lying on the West side of this Island, whence part of the Kings Countrey is supplyed with Salt and Fish: where they have some small Trade with the Dutch, who have a Fort upon the Point, to prevent Boats from coming: But the Eastern Parts being too far, and Hilly, to drive Cattel thither for Salt, Gods Providence hath provided them a place on the East side nearer them, which in their Language they call [Leawava affords Salt in abundance.] Leawava. Where the Eastwardly Winds blowing, the Sea beats in, and in Westwardly Winds (being then fair weather there) it becomes Salt, and that in such abundance, that they have as much as they please to fetch. [Described.] This Place of Leawava is so contrived by the Providence of the Almighty Creator, that neither the Portuguez nor Dutch in all the time of their Wars could ever prevent this People from having the benefit of this Salt, which is the principal thing that they esteem in time of Trouble or War; and most of them do keep by them a store of Salt against such times. It is, as I have heard, environed with Hills on the Land side, and by Sea not convenient for Ships to ride; and very sickly, which they do impute to the power of a great God, who dwelleth near by in a Town they call Cotteragom, standing in the Road, to whom all that go to fetch Salt both small and great must give an Offering. The Name and Power of this God striketh such terror into the Chingulayes, that those who otherwise are Enemies to this King, and have served both Portuguez and Dutch against him, yet would never assist either to make Invasions this way.
[Their Towns how Built.] Having said thus much concerning the Cities and other Eminent places of this Kingdom, I will now add a little concerning their Towns. The best are those that do belong to their Idols, wherein stand their Dewals or Temples. They do not care to make Streets by building their Houses together in rowes, but each man lives by himself in his own Plantation, having an hedg it may be and a ditch round about him to keep out Cattel. Their Towns are always placed some distance from the High-ways, for they care not that their Towns should be a thorough-fair for all people, but onely for those that have business with them. They are not very big, in some may be Forty, in some Fifty houses, and in some above an Hundred: and in some again not above eight or ten.
[Many lye in Ruins, and forsaken; and upon what occasion.] And as I said before of their Cities, so I must of their Towns, That there are many of them here and there lie desolate, occasioned by their voluntary forsaking them, which they often do, in case many of them fall sick, and two or three die soon after one another: For this they conclude to happen from the hand of the Devil. Whereupon they all leave their Town and go to another, thinking thereby to avoid him: Thus relinquishing both their Houses and Lands too. Yet afterwards, when they think the Devil hath departed the place, some will sometimes come back and re-assume their Lands again.
Of their Corn, with their manner of Husbandry.
[The Products and Commodities of the Countrey.] Having discoursed hitherto of the Countrey, method will require that I proceed now to the Products of it; Viz. their Fruits, Plants, Beasts, Birds, and other Creatures, Minerals, Commodities, &c. whereof I must declare once for all, That I do not pretend to write an Exact and Perfect Treatise, my time and leisure not permitting me so to do; but only to give a Relation of some of the chief of these things, and as it were a tast of them, according as they that occur to my Memory while I am writing. I shall first begin with their Corn, as being the Staff of their Countrey.
[Corn of divers sorts.] They have divers sorts of Corn, tho all different from ours. And here I shall first speak of their Rice, the Choice and Flower of all their Corn, and then concerning the other inferior kinds among them.
[Rice.] Of Rice they have several sorts, and called by several names according to the different times of their ripening: However in tast little disagreeing from one another. Some will require seven Months before it come to maturity, called Mauvi; some six, Hauteal; others will ripen in five, Honorowal; others in four, Henit; and others in three, Aulfancol: The price of all these is one and the same. That which is soonest ripe, is most savoury to the tast; but yieldeth the least increase. It may be asked then, why any other sort of Rice is sown, but that which is longest a Ripening, seeing it brings in most Profit? In answer to this, you must know, [Grows in Water. Their Ingenuity in watering their Corn Lands.] That all these sorts of Rice do absolutely require Water to grow in, all the while they stand; so that the Inhabitants take great pains in procuring and saving water for their Grounds, and in making Conveyances of Water from their Rivers and Ponds into their Lands, which they are very ingenious in; also in levelling their Corn Lands, which must be as smooth as a Bowling-Green, that the Water may cover all over. Neither are their steep and Hilly Lands uncapable of being thus overflown with Water. For the doing of which they use this Art. They level these Hills into narrow Allies, some three; some eight foot wide one beneath another, according to the steepness of the Hills, working and digging them in that fashion that they lye smooth and flat, like so many Stairs up the Hills one above another. The Waters at the top of the Hills falling down wards are let into these Allies, and so successively by running out of one into another, water all; first the higher Lands, and then the lower. The highest Allies having such a quantity of Water as may suffice to cover them, the rest runs over unto the next, and that having its proportion, unto the next, and so by degrees it falls into all these hanging parcels of Ground. These Waters last sometimes a longer, and sometimes a shorter Season. [Why they do not alwayes sow the best kind of Rice.] Now the Rice they sow is according as they foresee their stock of Water will last. It will sometimes last them two or three, or four or five Months, more or less; the Rice therefore they chuse to cast into the Ground, is of that sort that may answer the duration of the Water. For all their Crop would be spoilt if the Water should fail them before their Corn grew ripe. If they foresee their Water will hold out long, then they sow the best and most profitable Rice, viz. that which is longest a ripening; but if it will not, they must be content to sow of the worser sorts; that is, those that are sooner ripe. Again, they are forced sometimes to sow this younger Rice, for the preventing the damage it might otherwise meet with, if it should stand longer. For their Fields are all in common, which after they have sown, they enclose till Harvest; But as soon as the Corn first sown becomes ripe, when the Owner has reaped it, it is lawful for him to break down his Fences, and let in his Cattle for grazing; which would prove a great mischief to that Corn that required to stand a Month or two longer. Therefore if they are constrained to sow later than the rest, either through want or sloth, or some other Impediment, yet they make use of that kind of Rice that will become ripe, equal with that first sown. [They sow at different times, but reap together.] And so they all observe one time of reaping to prevent their Corn being trampled down or eaten up by the Cattle. Thus they time their Corn to their Harvest; some sowing sooner, some later, but all reaping together, unless they be Fields that are enclosed by themselves; and peculiar to one Man.
[Their Artificial Pools.] Where there are no Springs or Rivers to furnish them with Water, as it is in the Northern Parts, where there are but two or three Springs, they supply this defect by saving of rain Water; which they do, by casting up great Banks in convenient places to stop and contain the Rains that fall, and so save it till they have occasion to let it out into their Fields: They are made rounding like a C or Half-Moon, every Town has one of these Ponds, which if they can but get filled with Water, they count their Corn is as good as in the Barn. It was no small work to the ancient Inhabitants to make all these Banks, of which there is a great number, being some two, some three Fathoms in height, and in length some above a Mile, some less, not all of a size. They are now grown over with great Trees, and so seem natural Hills. When they would use the Water, they cut a gap in one end of the Bank, and so draw the Water by little and little, as they have occasion for the watering their Corn. These Ponds in dry weather dry up quite. If they should dig these Ponds deep, it would not be so convenient for them. It would indeed contain the Water well, but would not so well nor in such Plenty empty out it self into their Grounds. [Aligators harbor in them.] In these Ponds are Aligators, which when the Water is dried up depart into the Woods, and down to the Rivers; and in the time of Rains come up again into the Ponds. They are but small, nor do use to catch People, nevertheless they stand in some fear of them. The Corn they sow in these Parts is of that sort that is soonest ripe, fearing lest their Waters should fail. As the Water dries out of these Ponds, they make use of them for Fields, treading the Mud with Buffeloes, and then [They sow Corn on the Mud.] sowing Rice thereon, and frequently casting up Water with Scoops on it. I have hitherto spoken of those Rices that require to grow in Water.
[A sort of Rice that grows Without Water.] There is yet another sort of Rice, which will ripen tho' it stand not alway in Water: and this sort of Corn serves for those places, where they cannot bring their Waters to overflow; this will grow with the Rains that fall; but is not esteemed equal with the others, and differs both in scent and taste from that which groweth in the watery Fields.
[The Seasons of Seed-time and Harvest] The ordinary Season of seed time, is in the Months of July and August, and their Harvest in or about February; but for Land that is well watered, they regard no Season; the Season is all the year long. When they Till their Grounds, or Reap their Corn, they do it by whole Towns generally, all helping each other for Attoms, as they call it; that is, that they may help them as much, or as many days again in their Fields, which accordingly they will do; They Plough only with a crooked piece of Wood, something like an Elbow, which roots up the Ground, as uneven as if it were done by Hogs, and then they overflow it with water.
[A particular description of their Husbandry.] But if any be so curious as to know more particularly how they order and prepare their Lands, and sow their Corn, take this account of it. But before we go to work, it will be convenient first to describe the Tools. [Their Plough.] To begin therefore with their Plough. I said before it was a crooked piece of Wood, it is but little bigger than a Man's Arm, one end whereof is to hold by, and the other to root up the Ground. In the hollow of this Plough is a piece of Wood fastned some three or four Inches thick, equal with the bredth of the Plough; and at the end of the Plough, is fixt an Iron Plate to keep the Wood from wearing. There is a Beam let in to that part of it that the Plough-man holds in his hand, to which they make their Buffaloes fast to drag it.
[The convenience of these Ploughs.] These Ploughs are proper for this Countrey, because they are lighter, and so may be the more easie for turning, the Fields being short, so that they could not turn with longer, and if heavier, they would sink and be unruly in the mud. These Ploughs bury not the grass as ours do, and there is no need they should. For their endeavour is only to root up the Ground, and so they overflow it with Water, and this rots the Grass.
[Their first Ploughing.] They Plough twice before they sow. But before they begin the first time, they let in Water upon their Land, to make it more soft and pliable for the Plough. After it is once Ploughed, they make up their [Their Banks, and use of them.] Banks. For if otherwise they should let it alone till after the second Ploughing, it would be mere Mud, and not hard enough to use for Banking. Now these Banks are greatly necessary, not only for Paths for the People to go upon through the Fields, who otherwise must go in the Mud, it may be knee deep; but chiefly to keep in and contain their Water, which by the help of these Banks they overflow their Grounds with. These Banks they make as smooth with the backside of their Houghs, as a Bricklayer can smooth a Wall with his Trowel. For in this they are very neat. These Banks are usually not above a Foot over.
[Their second Ploughing.] After the Land is thus Ploughed and the Banks finished, it is laid under water again for some time, till they go to Ploughing the second time. Now it is exceeding muddy, so that the trampling of the Cattel that draws the Plough, does as much good as the Plough; for the more muddy the better. Sometimes they use no Plough this second time, but only drive their Cattel over to make the Ground the muddier.
[How they prepare their Seed-Corn.] Their Lands being thus ordered, they still keep them overflowed with Water, that the Weeds and Grass may rot. Then they take their Corn and lay it a soak in Water a whole night, and the next day take it out, and lay it in a heap, and cover it with green leaves, and so let it lye some five or six days to make it grow. [And their Land after it is Ploughed.] Then they take and wet it again, and lay it in a heap covered over with leaves as before, and so it grows and shoots out with Blades and Roots. In the mean time while this is thus a growing, they prepare their Ground for sowing; which is thus: They have a Board about four foot long, which they drag over their Land by a yoke of Buffaloes, not flat ways, but upon the edge of it. The use of which is, that it jumbles the Earth and Weeds together, and also levels and makes the Grounds smooth and even, that so the Water (for the ground is all this while under water) may stand equal in all places. And wheresoever there is any little hummock standing out of the Water, which they may easily see by their eye, with the help of this Board they break and lay even. And so it stands overflown while their Seed is growing, and become fit to sow, which usually is eight days after they lay it in soak.
When the Seed is ready to sow, they drain out all the Water, and with little Boards of about a foot and a half long, fastned upon long Poles, they trim the Land over again, laying it very smooth, making small Furrows all along, that in case Rain or other Waters should come in, it might drain away; for more Water now would endanger rotting the Corn. [Their manner of sowing.] And then they sow their Corn, which they do with very exact evenness, strewing it with their hands, just as we strew Salt upon Meat.
[How they Manure and order their young Corn.] And thus it stands without any Water, till such time as the Corn be grown some three or four Inches above the Ground. There were certain gaps made in the Banks to let out the water, these are now stopped to keep it in. Which is not only to nourish the Corn, but to kill the weeds. For they keep their Fields as clean as a Garden without a weed. Then when the Corn is grown about a span high, the Women come and weed it, and pull it up where it grew too thick, and transplant it where it wants. And so it stands overflown till the Corn be ripe, when they let out the water again to make it dry for reaping. They never use any dung, but their manner of plowing and soaking of their Ground serves instead thereof.
[Their manner of Reaping.] At reaping they are excellent good, just after the English manner. The whole Town, as I said before, as they joyn together in Tilling, so in their Harvest also; For all fall in together in reaping one man's Field, and so to the next, until every mans Corn be down. And the Custome is, that every man, during the reaping of his Corn, finds all the rest with Victuals. The womens work is to gather up the Corn after the Reapers, and carry it all together.
[They tread out their Corn with Cattel.] They use not Threshing, but tread out their Corn with Cattel, which is a far quicker and easier way. They may tread out in a day forty or fifty Bushels at least with the help of half a dozen Cattel.
[The Ceremonies they use when the Corn is to be trodden.] When they are to tread their Corn they choose a convenient adjoyning place. Here they lay out a round piece Ground some twenty or five and twenty foot over. From which they cut away the upper Turf. Then certain Ceremonies are used. First, they adorn this place with ashes made into flowers and branches, and round circles. Then they take divers strange shells, and pieces of Iron, and some sorts of Wood, and a bunch of betel Nuts, (which are reserved for such purposes) and lay all these in the very middle of the Pit, and a large stone upon them. Then the women, whose proper work it is, bring each their burthen of reaped Corn upon their heads, and go round in the Pit three times, and then fling it down. And after this without any more ado, bring in the rest of the Corn as fast as they can. For this Labour, and that of weeding, the Women have a Fee due to them, which they call Warapol, that is as much Corn, as shall cover the Stone and the other Conjuration-Instruments at the bottom of the Pit.
They will frequently carry away their new reaped Corn into the Pit; and tread it out presently as soon as they have cut it down, to secure it from the Rains, which in some Parts are very great and often; and Barns they have none big enough, But in other places not so much given to Rains, they will sometimes set it up in a Cock, and let it stand some months.
[How they unhusk their Rice.] They unshale their Rice from its outward husk by beating it in a Mortar, or on the Ground more often; but some of these sorts of Rice must first be boyled in the husk, otherwise in beating it will break to powder. The which Rice, as it is accounted, so I by experience have found, to be the wholsomest; This they beat again the second time to take off a Bran from it; and after that it becomes white. And thus much concerning Rice-Corn.
[Other sorts of Corn among them.] Besides this, tho far inferior to it, there are divers other sorts of Corn, which serve the People for food in the absence of Rice, which will scarcely hold out with many of them above half the Year. [Coracan.] There is Coracan, which is a small seed like Mustard-seed, This they grind to meal or beat in a Mortar, and so make Cakes of it, baking it upon the Coals in a potsheard, or dress it otherwise. If they which are not used to it, eat it, it will gripe their Bellies; When they are minded to grind it, they have for their Mill two round stones, which they turn with their hands by the help of a stick: There are several sorts of this Corn. Some will ripen in three months, and some require four. If the Ground be good; it yields a great encrease; and grows both on the Hills and in the Plains. [Tanna.] There is another Corn called Tanna; It is much eaten in the Northern Parts, in Conde Uda but little sown. It is as small as the former, but yieldeth a far greater encrease. From one grain may spring up two, three, four or five stalks, according as the ground is, on each stalk one ear, that contains thousands of grains. I think it gives the greatest encrease of any one feed in the World. Each Husbandman sowes not above a Pottle at a Seeds-time. It growes up two foot, or two foot and an half from the ground. The way of gathering it when ripe, is, that the Women (whose office it is} go and crop off the ears with their hands, and bring them home in baskets. They onely take off the ears of Coracan also, but they being tough, are cut off with knives. This Tanna must be parched in a Pan, and then is beaten in a Mortar to unhusk it. It will boyl like Rice, but swell far more; the tast not bad but very dry, and accounted wholsome; the fashion flattish, the colour yellow and very lovely to the Eye. It ripens in four months, some sorts of it in three. There are also divers other sorts, which grow on dry Land (as the former) and ripen with the Rain. [Moung.] As Moung, a Corn somewhat like Vetches, growing in a Cod. [Omb.] Omb, a small seed, boyled and eaten as Rice. It has an operation pretty strange, which is, that when it is new it will make them that eat it like drunk, sick and spue; and this only when it is sown in some Grounds, for in all it will not have this effect: and being old, none will have it. Minere, a small seed. Boumas, we call them Garavances. Tolla, a seed used to make Oyl, with which they anoint themselves; and sometimes they will parch it and eat it with Jaggory, a kind of brown Sugar. And thus much of their Corn.
Of their Fruits, and Trees
[Great variety of Fruits, and delicious.] Of Fruits here are great plenty and variety, and far more might be if they did esteem or nourish them. Pleasant Fruits to eat ripe they care not at all to do, They look only after those that may fill the Belly, and satisfie their hunger when their Corn is spent, or to make it go the further. These onely they plant, the other Fruits of Pleasure plant themselves, the seeds of the ripe Fruits shedding and falling on the ground naturally spring up again. They have all Fruits that grow in India. Most sorts of these delicious Fruits they gather before they be ripe, and boyl them to make Carrees, to use the Portuguez word, that is somewhat to eat with and relish their Rice. [The best Fruits, where-ever they grow, reserved for the King.] But wheresoever there is any Fruit better than ordinary, the Ponudecarso, or Officers of the Countrey, will tie a string about the Tree in the Kings Name with three knots on the end thereof, and then, no man, not the Owner himself, dares presume under pain of some great punishment, if not death, to touch them. And when they are ripe, they are wrapped in white cloth, and carried to him who is Governour of that Countrey wherein they grow: and if they be without any defect or blemish, then being wrapped up again in white cloth, he presents them to the King. But the owner in whose Ground they grow is paid nothing at all for them: it is well if he be not compelled to carry them himself into the bargain unto the King, be it never so far. These are Reasons why the People regard not to plant more than just to keep them alive.
[Betel-Nuts.] But to specifie some of the chief of the Fruits in request among them, I begin with their Betel-Nuts, the Trees that bear them grow only on the South and West sides of this Island. They do not grow wild, they are only in their Towns, and there like unto Woods, without any inclosures to distinguish one mans Trees from anothers; but by marks of great Trees, Hummacks or Rocks each man knows his own. They plant them not, but the Nuts being ripe fall down in the grass and so grow up to [The Trees.] Trees. They are very streight and tall, few bigger than the calf of a mans Leg. [The Fruit.] The Nuts grow in bunches at the top, and being ripe look red and very lovely like a pleasing Fruit. When they gather them, they lay them in heaps until the shell be somewhat rotted, and then dry them in the Sun, and afterwards shell them with a sharp stick one and one at a time. These trees will yield some 500, some a 1000, some 1500 Nuts, and some but three or four hundred. They bear but once in the Year generally, but commonly there are green Nuts enough to eat all the Year long. [The Leaves.] The leaves of it are somewhat like those of a Coker-Nut Tree, they are five or six foot long, and have other lesser leaves growing out of the sides of them, like the feathers on each side of a quill. The Chingulays call the large leaves the boughs, and the leaves on the sides, the leaves. They fall off every Year, and the skin upon which they grow, with them. [The Skins, and their use.] These skins grow upon the body of the Tree, and the leaves grow out on them. They also clap about the buds or blossoms which bear the Nuts, and as the buds swell, so this skin-cover gives way to them, till at length it falls quite off with the great leaf on it. It is somewhat like unto Leather, and of great use unto the Countrey People. It serves them instead of Basons to eat their Rice in, and when they go a Journey to tie up their Provisions: For in these skins or leaves they can tie up any liquid substance as Oyl or water, doubling it in the middle, and rowling it in the two sides, almost like a purse. For bigness they are according to the Trees, some bigger, some less, ordinarily they are about two foot length, and a foot and an half in breadth. In this Countrey are no Inns to go to, and therefore their manner when they Travel is, to carry ready dressed what provisions they can, which they make up in these leaves. The Trees within have onely a kind of pith, and will split from one end to the other, the [The Wood.] Wood is hard and very strong; they use it for Laths for their Houses, and also for Rails for their Hedges, which are only stakes struck in the ground, and rails tyed along with rattans, or other withs growing in the Woods. [The profit the Fruit yields.] Money is not very plentiful in this Land, but by means of these Nuts, which is a great Commodity to carry to the Coasts of Cormandel, they furnish themselves with all things they want. The common price of Nuts, when there was a Trade, as there was when I came first on this Land, is 20000 for one Doller; but now they ly and grow, or rot on the ground under the Trees. Some of these Nuts do differ much from others in their operation, having this effect, that they will make people drunk and giddy-headed, and give them some stools, if they eat them green.