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The July 27, 1668 English edition.

The ISLE of PINES, OR A late Discovery of a fourth ISLAND near Terra Australis, Incognita BY Henry Cornelius Van Sloetten.

Wherein is contained.

A True Relation of certain English persons, who in Queen Elizabeths time, making a Voyage to the East Indies were cast away, and wracked near to the Coast of Terra Australis, Incognita, and all drowned, except one Man and four Women. And now lately Anno Dom. 1667. a Dutch Ship making a Voyage to the East Indies, driven by foul weather there, by chance have found their Posterity, (speaking good English) to amount (as they suppose) to ten or twelve thousand persons. The whole Relation (written, and left by the Man himself a little before his death, and delivered to the Dutch by his Grandchild) Is here annexed with the Longitude and Latitude of the Island, the scituation and felicity thereof, with other matter observable.

Licensed July 27. 1668.

LONDON, Printed for Allen Banks and Charles Harper next door to the three Squerrills in Fleet-street, over against St. Dunstans Church, 1668.

Two Letters concerning the Island of Pines to a Credible person in Covent Garden. (1) Amsterdam, June the 29th 1668.

IT is written by the last Post from Rochel, to a Merchant in this City, that there was a French ship arrived, the Master and Company of which reports, that about 2 or 300 Leagues Northwest from Cape Finis Terre, they fell in with an Island, where they went on shore, and found about 2000 English people without cloathes, only some small coverings about their middle, and that they related to them, that at their first coming to this Island (which was in Queen Elizabeths time) they were but five in number men and women, being cast on shore by distress or otherwise, and had there remained ever since, without having any correspondence with any other people, or any ship coming to them. This story seems very fabulous, yet the Letter is come to a known Merchant, and from a good hand in France, so that I thought fit to mention it, it may be that there may be some mistake in the number of the Leagues, as also of the exact point of the Compass, from Cape Finis Terre; I shall enquire more particularly about it. Some English here suppose it may be the Island of Brasile which have been so off sought for, Southwest from Ireland, if true, we shall hear further about it; Your friend and Brother, Abraham Keek.

Amsterdam, July the 6th, 1668.

IT is said that the ship that discovered the Island, of which I hinted to you in my Last, is departed from Rochel, on her way to Zealand, several persons here have writ thither to enquire for the said Vessel to know the truth of this business. I was promised a Copy of the Letter that came from France, advising the discovery of the Island abovesaid, but its not yet come to my hand; when it cometh, or any further news about this Island, I shall acquaint you with it,

Your Friend and Brother,

A. Keek.


Near to the Coast of Terra Australis Incognita, by Henry Cornelius Van Sloetten, in a Letter to a friend in London, declaring the truth of his Voyage to the East Indies. (2)


I Received your Letter of this second instant, wherein you desire me to give you a further account concerning the Land (3) of Pines, on which we were driven by distress of Weather, the last Summer, I also perused the Printed Book thereof you sent me, the Copy of which was surreptiously taken out of my hands, else should I have given you a more fuller account upon what accasion we came thither, how we were entertained, with some other circumstances {2} of note wherein that relation is defective. To satisfie therefore your desires, I shall briefly yet fully give you a particular account thereof, with a true Copy of the Relation itself; (4) desiring you to bear with my blunt Phrases, as being more a Seaman then a Scholler.

April the 26th 1667. We set sail from Amsterdam, intending for the East-Indies; our ship had to name the place from whence we came, the Amsterdam burthen 350. Tun, and having a fair gale of Wind, on the 27 of May following we had a sight of the high Peak of Tenriffe belonging to the Canaries, we (5) have touched at the Island Palma, but having endeavoured it twice, and finding the winds contrary, we steered on our couse by the Isles of Cape Verd, or Insule Capitis Viridis, where at St. James's we took in fresh water, with some few Goats, and Hens, wherewith that Island doth plentifully abound.

June the 14. we had a sight of Madagascar, or the Island of St. Laurence, an Island of 4000 miles in compass, and scituate under the Southern Tropick; thither we steered our course, and trafficked with the inhabitants for Knives, Beads, Glasses and the like, having in exchange thereof Cloves and Silver. Departing from thence, we were incountred with a violent storm, and the winds holding contrary, for the space of a fortnight, brought us back almost as far as the Isle Del Principe; during which time many of our men fell sick, and some dyed, but at the end of that time it pleased God the wind favoured us again, and we steered on our course merrily, for the space of ten days: when on a sudden we were encountered with such a violent storm, as if all the four winds together hand conspired for our destruction, so that the stoutest spirit of us all quailed, expecting every hour to be devoured by that merciless element of water, sixteen dayes together {3} did this storm continue, though not with such violence as at the first, the Weather being so dark all the while, and the Sea so rough, that we knew not in what place we were, at length all of a sudden the Wind ceased, and the Air cleared, the Clouds were all dispersed, and a very serene Sky followed, for which we gave hearty thanks to the Almighty, it being beyond our expectation that we should have escaped the violence of that storm.

At length one of our men mounting the Main-mast espyed fire, an evident sign of some Countrey near adjoyning, which presently after we apparently discovered, and steering our course more nigher, we saw several persons promiscuously running about the shore, as it were wondering and admiring at what they saw: Being now near to the Land, we manned out our long Boat with ten persons, who approaching the shore, asked them in our Dutch Tongue, Wat Eylant is dit? to which they returned this Answer in English, That they knew not what we said. One of our Company named Jeremiah Hanzen who understood English very well, hearing their words discourst to them in their own Language; so that in fine we were very kindly invited on shore, great numbers of them flocking about us, admiring at our Cloaths which we did wear, as we on the other side did to find in such a strange place, so many that could speak English, and yet go naked.

Four of our men returning back in the long Boat to our Ships company, could hardly make them believe the truth of what they had seen and heard, but when we had brought our ship into harbour, you would have blest your self to see how the naked Islanders flocked unto us, so wondering at our ship, as if it had been the greatest miracle of Nature in (6) whole World. {4}

We were very courteously entertained by them, presenting us with such food as that Countrey afforded, which indeed was not to be despised; we eat of the Flesh both of Beasts, and Fowls, which they had cleanly drest, though with no great curiosity, as wanting materials, wherewithal to do it; and for bread we had the inside or Kernel of a great Nut as big as an Apple, which was very wholesome, and sound for the body, and tasted to the Pallat very delicious.

Having refreshed our selves, they invited us to the Pallace of their Prince or chief Ruler, some two miles distant off from the place where we landed; which we found to be about the bigness of one of our ordinary village houses, it was supported with rough unhewn pieces of Timber, and covered very artificially with boughs, so that it would keep out the greatest showers of Rain, the sides thereof were adorned with several sorts of Flowers, which the fragrant fields there do yield in great variety. The Prince himself (whose name was William Pine the Grandchild of George Pine that was first (7) on shore in this Island) came to his Pallace door and saluted us very courteously, for though he had nothing of Majesty in him, yet had he a courteous noble and deboneyre spirit, wherewith your English Nation (especially those of the Gentry) are very much indued.

Scarce had he done saluting us when his Lady or Wife, came likewise forth of their House or Pallace, attended on by two Maid-servants, she was a woman of an exquisite beauty, and had on her head as it were a Chaplet of Flowers, which being intermixt with several variety of colours became her admirably. Her privities were hid with some pieces of old Garments, the Relicts of those Cloaths (I suppose) of them which first came hither, and yet being adorned with Flowers those very rags seemeth beautiful; and {5} indeed modesty so far prevaileth over all the Female Sex of that Island, that with grass and flowers interwoven and made strong by the peelings of young Elms (which grow there in great plenty) they do plant (8) together so many of them as serve to cover these parts which nature would have hidden.

We carried him as a present some few Knives, of which we thought they had great need, an Ax or Hatchet to fll Wood, which was very acceptable unto him, the Old one which was cast on shore at the first, and the only one that they ever had, being now so quite blunt and dulled, that it would not cut at all, some few other things we also gave him, which he very thankfully accepted, inviting us into his House or Pallace, and causing us to sit down with him, where we refreshed our selves again, with some more Countrey viands which were no other then such we tasted of before; Prince and peasant here faring alike, nor is there any different betwixt their drink, being only fresh sweet water, which the rivers yield them in great abundance.

After some little pause, our Companion (who could speak English) by our request desired to know of him something concerning their Original and how that people speaking the Language of such a remote Countrey should come to inhabit there, having not, as we could see, any ships or Boats amongst them the means to bring them thither, and which was more, altogether ignorant and meer strangers to ships, or shipping, the main thing conducible to that means, to which request of ours, the courteous Prince thus replyed.

Friends (for so your actions declare you to be, and shall by ours find no less) know that we are inhabitants of this Island of no great standing, my Grandfather being the first that ever set foot on this shore, whose native Countrey was {6} a place called England, far distant from this our Land, as he let us to understand; He came from that place upon the Waters, in a thing called a Ship, of which no question but you may have heard; several other persons were in his company, not intending to have come hither (as he said) but to a place called India, when tempestuous weather brought him and his company upon this Coast, where falling among the Rocks his ship split all in pieces; the whole company perishing in the Waters, saving only him and four women, which by means of a broken piece of that Ship, by Divine assistance got on Land.

What after passed (said he) during my Grandfathers life, I shall show you in a Relation thereof written by his own hand, which he delivered to my Father being his eldest Son, charging him to have a special care thereof, and assuring him that time would bring some people or other thither to whom he would have him to impart it, that the truth of our first planting here might not be quite lost, which his commands my Father dutifully obeyed; but no one coming, he at his death delivered the same with the like charge to me, and you being the first people, which (besides our selves) ever set footing in this Island, I shall therefore in obedience to my Grandfathers and Fathers commands, willingly impart the same unto you.

Then stepping into a kind of inner room, which as we conceived was his lodging Chamber, he brought forth two sheets of paper fairly written in English, (being the same Relation which you had Printed with you at London) and very distinctly read the same over unto us, which we hearkened unto with great delight and admiration, freely proffering us a Copy of the same, which we afterward took and brought away along with us (9); which Copy hereafter followeth. {7}

A Way to the East India's being lately discovered by Sea, to the South of Affrick by certain Portugals, far more safe and profitable then had been heretofore; certain English Merchants encouraged by the great advantages arising from the Eastern Commodities, to settle a Factory there for the advantage of Trade. (10) And having to that purpose obtained the Queens Royal Licence Anno Dam. 1569. II. or 12. Eliz. furnisht out for those parts four ships, my Master being sent as Factor to deal and Negotiate for them, and to settle there, took with him his whole Family, (that is to say) his Wife, and one son of about twelve years of age, and one Daughter of about fourteen years, two Maidservants, one Negro female slave, and my Self, who went under him as his Book-keeper, with this company on Monday the third of April next following, (having all necessaries for House keeping when we should come there, we Embarqued our selves in the good ship called the India Merchant, of about four hundred and fifty Tuns burthern, and having a good wind, we on the fourteenth day of May had sight of the Canaries, and not long after of the Isle of Cape Vert, or Verd, where taking in such things as were necessary for our Voyage, and some fresh Provisions, we stearing our course South, and a point East, about the first of August came within sight of the Island of St. Hellen, where we took in some fresh water, we then set our faces for the Cape of Good hope, where by Gods blessing after some sickness, whereof some of our company died, though none of our family; and hitherto we had met with none but calm weather, yet so it pleased God, when we were almost in sight of St. Laurence, an Island so called, one of the greatest in the world, as Marriners say, we were overtaken and dispersed by a great storm of Wind, which continued with such violence many {8} days, that losing all hope of safety, being out of our own knowledge, and whether we should fall on Flats or Rocks, uncertain in the nights, not having the least benefit of the light, we feared most, alwayes wishing for day, and then for Land, but it came too soon for our good; for about the first of October, our fears having made us forget how the time passed to a certainty; we about the break of day discerned Land (but what we knew not) the Land seemed high and Rockey, and the Sea continued still very stormy and tempestuous, insomuch as there seemed no hope of safety, but looked suddenly to perish. As we grew near Land, perceiving no safety in the ship, which we looked would suddenly be beat in pieces: The Captain, my Master, and some others got into the long Boat, thinking by that means to save their lives, and presently after all the Seamen cast themselves overboard, thinking to save their lives by swimming, onely my self, my Masters Daughters, (11) the two Maids, and the Negro were left on board, for we could not swim, but those that left us, might as well have tarried with us, for we saw them, or most of them perish, our selves now ready after to follow their fortune, but God was pleased to spare our lives, as it were by miracle, though to further sorrow; for when we came against the Rocks, our ship having endured two or three blows against the Rocks, (being now broken and quite foundred in the Waters, we having with much ado gotten our selves on the Bowspright, which being broken off, was driven by the Waves into a small Creek, wherein fell a little River, which being encompassed by the Rocks, was sheltered from the Wind, so that we had opportunity to land our selves, (though almost drowed) in all four persons, beside the Negro: when we were got upon the Rock, (12) we could perceive the miserable Wrack to our great terrour, I had in my {9} pocket a little Tinder-box and Steel, and Flint to strike fire at any time upon occasion, which served now to good Purpose, for its being so close, preserved the Tinder dry, with this, and the help of some old rotten Wood which we got together, we kindled a fire and dryed our selves, which done, I left my female company, and went to see, if I could find any of our Ships company, that were escaped, but could hear of none though I hooted and made all the noise I could; neither could I perceive the footsteps of any living Creature (save a few Birds, and other Fowls. At length it drawing towards the Evening, I went back to my company, who were very much troubled for want of me. I being now all their stay in this lost condition, we were at first affraid that the wild people of the Countrey might find us out, although we saw no footsteps of any not so much as a Path; the Woods round about being full of Briers and Brambles, we also stood in fear of wild Beasts, of such also we saw none, nor sign of any: But above all, and that we had greatest reason to fear, was to be starved to death for want of Food, but God had otherwise provided for us as you shall know hereafter; this done, we spent our time in getting some broken pieces of Boards, and Planks, and some of the Sails and Rigging on shore for shelter; I set up two or three Poles, and drew two or three of the Cords and Lines from Tree to Tree, over which throwing some Sail-clothes and having gotten Wood by us, and three or four Sea-gowns, which we had dryed, we took up our Lodging for that night altogether (the blackmoor being less sensible then the rest we made our Centry) we slept soundly that night, as having not slept in three or four nights before (our fears of what happened preventing us) neither could our hard lodging, fear, and danger hinder us we were so over watcht. {10}

On the morrow, being well refresht with sleep, the winde ceased, and the weather was very warm; we went down the Rocks on the sands at low water, where we found great part of our lading, either on shore or floating near it. I by the help of my company, dragged most of it on shore; what was too heavy for us (13) broke, and we unbound the Casks and Chests, and, taking out the goods, secured all; so that we wanted no clothes, nor any other provision necessary for Housekeeping, to furnish a better house than any we were like to have; but no victuals (the last (14) water having spoiled all) only one Cask of bisket, being lighter than the rest was dry; this served for bread a while, and we found on Land a sort of fowl about the bigness of a Swan, very heavie and fat, that by reason of their weight could not fly, of these we found little difficulty to kill, so that was our present food; we carried out of England certain Hens and Cocks to eat by the way, some of these when the ship was broken, by some means got to land, & bred exceedingly, so that in the future they were a great help unto us; we found also, by a little River, in the flags, store of eggs, of a sort of foul much like our Ducks, which were very good meat, so that we wanted nothing to keep us alive.

On the morrow, which was the third day, as soon as it was morning, seeing nothing to disturb us, I lookt out a convenient place to dwell in, that we might build us a Hut to shelter us from the weather, and from any other danger of annoyance, from wild beasts (if any should fin& us out; So closse by a large spring which rose out of a high hill over-looking the Sea, on the side of a wood, having a prospect towards the Sea) by the help of an Ax and some other implements (for we had all necessaries, the working of the Sea, having cast up most of our goods) I cut down all the straightest poles I could find, and which were enough {11} for my purpose, by the help of my company (necessity being our Master) I digged holes in the earth setting my poles at an equl distance, and nailing the broken boards of the Caskes, Chests, and Cabins, and such like to them, making my door to the Seaward, and having covered the top, with sailclothes strain'd, and naird, I in the space of a week had made a large Cabbin big enough to hold all our goods and our selves in it, I also placed our Hamocks for lodging, purposing (if it pleased God to send any Ship that way) we might be transported home, but it never came to pass, the place wherein we were (as I conceived) being much out of the way.

We having now lived in this manner full four months, and not so much as seeing or hearing of any wild people, or of any of our own company, more then our selves (they being found now by experience to be all drowned) and the place as we after found, being a large Island, and disjoyned, and out of sight of any other Land, was wholly uninhabited by any people, neither was there any hurtful beast to annoy us: But on the contrary the countrey so very pleasant, being always clothed with green, and full of pleasant fruits, and variety of birds, ever warm, and never colder then in England in September: So that this place (had it the culture, that skilful people might bestow on it) would prove a Paradise.

The Woods afforded us a sort of Nuts, as big as a large Apple, whose kernel being pleasant and dry, we made use of instead of bread, that fowl before mentioned, and a sort of water-fowl like Ducks, and their eggs, and a beast about the size of a Goat, and almost such a like creature, which brought two young ones at a time, and that twice a year, of which the Low Lands and Woods, were very full, being a very harmless creature and tame, so that we could easily {12} take and kill them: Fish, also, especially Shell-fish (which we could best come by) we had great store of, so that in effect as to Food we wanted nothing; and thus, and by such like helps, we continued six moneths, without any disturbance or want.

Idleness and Fulness of every thing begot in me a desire of enjoying the women, beginning now to grow more familiar, I had perswaded the two Maids to let me lie with them, which I did at first in private, but after, custom taking away shame (there being none but us) we did it more openly, as our Lusts gave us liberty; afterwards my Masters Daughter was content also to do as we did; the truth is, they were all handsome Women when they had Cloathes, and well shaped, feeding well. For we wanted no Food, and living idlely, and seeing us at Liberty to do our wills, without hope of ever returning home made us thus bold: One of the first of my Consorts with whom I first accompanied (the tallest and handsomest) proved presently with child, the second was my Masters Daughter, and the other also not long after fell into the same condition: none now remaining but my Negro, who seeing what we did, longed also for her share; one Night, I being asleep, my Negro, (with the consent of the others) got closse to me, thinking it being dark, to beguile me, but I awaking and feeling her, and perceiving who it was, yet willing to try the difference, satisfied my self with her, as well as with one of the rest: that night, although the first time, she proved also with child, so that in the year of our being here, all my women were with child by me, and they all coming at different seasons, were a great help to one another.

The first brought me a brave Boy, my Masters Daughter was the youngest, she brought me a Girl, so did the other {12 (15)} Maid, who being something fat sped worse at her labour: the Negro had no pain at all, (16) brought me a fine white Girl, so I had one Boy and three Girls, the women were soon well again, and the two first with child again before the two last were brought to bed, my custome being not to lie with any of them after they were with child, till the others were so likewise, and not with the black at all after she was with child, which commonly was at the first time I lay with her, which was in the night and not else, my stomach would not serve me, although she was one of the handsomest Blacks I had seen, and her children as comly as any of the rest; we had no clothes for them, and therefore when they had suckt, we laid them in Mosse to sleep, and took no further care of them, for we knew, when they were gone more would come, the Women never failng once a year at least, and none of the Children (for all the hardship we put them to) were ever sick; so that wanting now nothing but Cloathes, nor them much neither, other then for decency, the warmth of the Countrey and Custome supplying that Defect, we were now well satisfied with our condition, our Family beginning to grow large, there being nothing to hurt us, we many times lay abroad on Mossey Banks, under the shelter of some Trees, or such like (for having nothing else to do) I had made me several Arbors to sleep in with my Women in the heat of the day, in these I and my women passed the time away, they never being willing to be out of my company.

And having now no thought of ever returning home, as having resolved and sworn each to other, never to part or leave one another, or the place; having by my several wives, forty-seven Children, Boys and Girls, but most Girls, and growing up apace, we were all of us very fleshly, (17) the Country so well agreeing with us, that we never ailed any thing; {14} my Negro having had twelve, was the first that left bearing, so I never medled with her more: My Masters Daughter (by whom I had most children, being the youngest and handsomest) was most fond of me, and I of her. Thus we lived for sixteen years, till perceiving my eldest Boy to mind the ordinary work of Nature, by seeing what we did, I gave him a Mate, and so I did to all the rest, as fast as they grew up, and were capable: My Wives having left bearing, my children began to breed apace, so we were like to be a multitude; My first Wife brought me thirteen children, my second seven, my Masters Daughter fifteen, and the Negro twelve, in all forty seven.

After we had lived there twenty two years, my Negro died suddenly, but I could not perceive any thing that ailed her; most of my children being grown, as fast as we married them, I sent them and placed them over the River by themselves severally, because we would not perster one another; and now they being all grown up, and gone, and married after our manner (except (18) some two or three of the youngest) for (growing my self into years) I liked not the wanton annoyance of young company.

Thus having lived to the sixtieth year of my age, and the fortieth of my coming thither, at which time I sent for all of them to bring their children, and there were in number descended from me by these four Women, of my Children, Grand-children, and great Grand-children, five hundred sixty five of both sorts, I took off the Males of one Family, and married them to the Females of another, not letting any to marry their sisters, as we did formerly out of necessity, so blessing God for his Providence and goodness, I dismist them, I having taught some of my children to read formerly, for I had left still the Bible, I charged it should be read once a moneth at {15} a general meeting: At last one of my Wives died being sixty eight years of age, which I buried in a place, set out on purpose, and within a year after another, so I had none now left but my Masters Daughter, and we lived together twelve years longer, at length she died also, so I buried her also next the place where I purposed to be buried my self, and the tall Maid my first Wife next me on the other side, the Negro next without her, and the other Maid next my Masters Daughter. I had now nothing to mind, but the place whether I was to go, being very old, almost eighty years, I gave my Cabin and Furniture that was left to my eldest son after my decease, who had married my eldest Daughter by my beloved Wife, whom I made King and Governour of all the rest: I informed them of the Manners of Europe, and charged them to remember the Christian Religion, after the manner of them that spake the same Language, and to admit no other, if hereafter any should come and find them out.

And now once for all, I summoned them to come to me, that I might number them, which I did, and found the estimate to contain in or about the eightieth year of my age, and the fifty ninth of my coming there; in all, of all sorts, one thousand seven hundred eighty and nine. Thus praying God to multiply them, and send them the true light of the Gospel, I last of all dismist them: For, being now very old, and my sight decayed, I could not expect to live long. I gave this Narration (written with my own hand) to my eldest Son, who now lived with me, commanding him to keep it, and if any strangers should come hither by chance, to let them see it, and take a Copy of it if they would, that our name be not lost from off the earth. I gave this people (descended from me) the name of the ENGLISH PINES, George Pine being my {16} name, and my Masters Daughters name Sarah English, my two other Wives were Mary Sparkes, and Elizabeth Trevor, so their severall Descendants are called the ENGLISH, the SPARKS, and the TREVORS, and the PHILLS, from the Christian name of the Negro, which was Philippa, she having no surname: And the general name of the whole the ENGLIS HPINES ; whom God bless with the dew of Heaven, and the fat of the Earth, AMEN. (19)

After the reading and delivering unto us a Coppy of this Relation, (20) then proceeded he on in his discourse.

My Grandfather when he wrote this, was as you hear eighty yeares of age, there proceeding from his Loyns one thousand seven hundred eighty nine children, which he had by them four women aforesaid: My Father was his eldest son, and was named Henry, begotten of his wife Mary Sparkes, whom he apointed chief Governour and Ruler over the rest; and having given him a charge not to exercise tyranny over them, seeing they were his fellow brethren by (21) Fathers side (of which there could be no doubt made of double dealing therein) exhorting him to use justice and sincerity amongst them, and not to let Religion die with him, but to observe and keep those Precepts which he had taught them, he quietly surrendred up his soul, and was buried with great lamentation of all his children.

My father coming to rule, and the people growing more populous, made them to range further in the discovery of the Countrey, which they found answerable to their desires, full both of Fowls and Beasts, and those too not hurtful to mankinde, as if the Country (on which we were by providence cast without arms or other weapons to defend our selves, or offend others,) should by the same providence be so inhabited as not to have any need of such like weapons of destruction wherewith to preserve our lives. {17}

But as it is impossible, but that in multitudes disorders will grow, the stronger seeking to oppress the weaker; no tye of Religion being strong enough to chain up the depraved nature of mankinde, even so amongst them mischiefs began to rise, and they soon fell from those good orders prescribed to them by my Grandfather. The source from whence those mischiefs spring, was at first, I conceive, the neglect of hearing the Bible read, which according to my Grandfathers proscription) was once a moneth at a general meeting, but now many of them wandring far up into the Country, they quite neglected the coming to it, with all other means of Christian instruction, whereby the sence of sin being quite lost in them, they fell to whoredoms, incests, and adulteries; so that what my Grand-father was forced to do for necessity, they did for wantonness; nay not confining themselves within the bound of any modesty, but brother and sister lay openly together; those who would not yeild to their lewd embraces, were by force ravished, yea many times endangered of their lives. To redress those enormities, my father assembled all the Company near unto him, to whom he declared the wickedness of those their brethren; who all with one consent agreed that they should be severely punished; and so arming themselves with boughs, stones, and such like weapons, they marched against them, who having notice of their coming, and fearing their deserved punishment, some of them fled into woods, others passed over a great River, which runneth through the heart of our Countrey, hazarding drowning to escape punishment; But the grandest offender of them all was taken, whose name was John Phill, the second son of the Negro-woman that came with my Grandfather into this Island. He being proved guilty of divers ravishings & tyrannies committed by him, {18} was adjudged guilty of death, and accordingly was thrown down from a high Rock into the Sea, where he perished in the waters. Execution being done upon him, the rest were pardoned for what was past, which being notified abroad, they returned from those Desart and Obscure places, wherein they were hidden.

Now as Seed being cast into stinking Dung produceth good and wholesome Corn for the sustentation of mans life, so bad manners poduceth good and wholesome Laws for the preservation of Humane Society. Soon after my Father with the advice of some few others of his Counsel, ordained and set forth these Laws to be observed by them.

1. That whosoever should blaspheme or talk irreverently of the name of God should be put to death.

2. That who should be absent from the monethly assembly to hear the Bible read, without sufficient cause shown to the contrary, should for the first default be kept without any victuals or drink, for the space of four days, and if he offend therein again, then to suffer death.

3. That who should force or ravish any Maid or Woman should be burnt to death, the party so ravished putting fire to the wood that should burn him.

4. Whosoever shall commit adultery, for the first crime the Male shall lose his Privities, and the Woman have her right eye bored out, if after that she was again taken in the act, she should die without mercy.

5. That who so injured his Neighbor, by laming of his {19} Limbs, or taking any thing away which he possesseth, shall suffer in the same kind himself by loss of Limb; and for defrauding his Neighbor, to become servant to him, whilst he had made him double satisfaction.

6. That who should defame or speak evil of the Governour, or refuse to come before him upon summons, should receive a punishment by whipping with Rods, and afterwards be exploded from the society of all the rest of the inhabitants.

Having set forth these Laws, he chose four several persons under him to see them put in Execution, whereof one was of the Englishes, the Offspring of Sarah English; another of his own Tribe, the Sparks; a third of the Trevors, and the fourth of the Phills; appointing them every year at a certain time to appear before him, and give an account of what they had done in the prosecution of those Laws.

The Countrey being thus settled, my Father lived quiet and peaceable till he attained to the age of ninety and four years, when dying, I succeeded in his place, in which I have continued peaceably and quietly till this very present time.

He having ended his Speech, we gave him very heartily thanks for our information, assuring him we should not be wanting to him in anything which lay in our powers, wherewith we could pleasure him in what he should desire; and thereupon proferred to depart, but before our going away, he would needs engage us to see him, the next day, when was to be their great assembly or monethly meeting for the celebration of their Religious Exercises.

Accordingly the next day we came thither again, and were courteously entertained as before, In a short space there was gathered such a multitude of people together as made us to {20} admire; and first there was several Weddings celebrated, the manner whereof was thus. The Bridegroom and the Bride appeared before him who was their Priest or Reader of the Bible, together with the Parents of each party, or if any of their Parents were dead, then the next relation unto them, without whose consent as well as the parties to be married, the Priest will not joyn them together: but being satisfied in those particulars, after some short Oraizons, and joyning of hands together, he pronounces them to be man and wife: and with exhortations to them to live lovingly towards each other, and quietly towards their neighbors, he concludes with some prayers, and so dismisses them.

The Weddings being finished, all the people took their places to hear the Word read, the new married persons having the honor to be next unto the Priest that day, after he had read three or four Chapters he fell to expounding the most difficult places therein, the people being very attentive all that while, this exercise continued for two or three hours, which being done, with some few prayers he concluded, but all the rest of that day was by the people kept very strictly, abstaining from all manner of playing or pastimes, with which on other dayes they use to pass their time away, as having need of nothing but victuals, and that they have in such plenty as almost provided to their hands.

Their exercises of Religion being over, we returned again to our Ship, and the next day, taking with us two or three Fowling-pieces, leaving half our Company to guard the Ship, the rest of us resolved to go up higher into the Country for a further discovery: All the way as we passed the first morning, we saw abundance of little Cabbins or Huts of these inhabitants, made under Trees, and fashioned up with boughs, grass, {21} and such like stuffe to defend them from the Sun and Rain; and as we went along, they came out of them much wondering at our Attire, and standing aloof off from us as if they were afraid, but our companion that spake English, calling to them in their own Tongue, and giving them good words, they drew nigher, some of them freely proffering to go along with us, which we willingly accepted; but having passed some few miles, one of our company espying a Beast like unto a Goat (22) come gazing on him, he discharged his Peece, sending a brace of Bullets into his belly, which brought him dead upon the ground; these poor naked unarmed people hearing the noise of the Peece, and seeing the Beast (23) lie tumbling in his gore, without speaking any words betook them to their heels, running back again as fast as they could drive, nor could the perswasions of our Company, assuring them they should have no hurt, prevail any thing at all with them, so that we were forced to pass along without their company: all the way that we went we heard the delightful harmony of singing Birds, the ground very fertile in Trees, Grass, and such flowers, as grow by the production of Nature, without the help of Art; many and several sorts of Beasts we saw, who were not so much wild as in other Countries; whether it were as having enough to satiate themselves without ravening upon others, or that they never before saw the sight of man, nor heard the report of murdering Guns, I leave it to others to determine. Some Trees bearing wild Fruits we also saw, and of those some whereof we tasted, which were neither unwholesome nor distastful to the Pallate, and no question had but Nature here the benefit of Art added unto it, it would equal, if not exceed many of our Europian Countries; the Vallyes were every where intermixt with running streams, and no question but the earth {22} hath in it rich veins of Minerals, enough to satisfied the desires of the most covetous.

It was very strange to us, to see that in such a fertile Countrey which was as yet never inhabited, there should be notwithstanding such a free and clear passage to us, without the hinderance of Bushes, Thorns, and such like stuff, wherewith most Island of the like nature are pestered: the length of the Grass (which yet was very much intermixt with flowers) being the only impediment that we found.

Six dayes together did we thus travel, setting several marks in our way as we went for our better return, not knowing whether we should have the benefit of the Stars for our guidance in our going back, which we made use of in our passage: at last we came to the vast Ocean on the other side of the Island, and by our coasting it, conceive it to be of an oval form, only here and there shooting forth with some Promontories. I conceive it hath but few good Harbours belonging to it, the Rocks in most places making it inaccessible. The length of it may be about two hundred, and breadth one hundred miles, the whole in circumference about five hundred miles.

It lyeth about seventy six degrees of Longitude, and twenty of Latitude, being scituate under the third Climate, the longest day being about thirteen hours and fourty five minutes. The weather as in all Southern Countries, is far more hot than with us in Europe;, but what is by the Sun parched in the day, the night again refreshes with cool pearly dews. The Air is found to be very healthful by the long lives {23} of the present inhabitants, few dying there till such time as they come to good years of maturity, many of them arriving to the extremity of old age.

And now speaking concerning the length of their Lives, I think it will not be amisse in this place to speak something of their Burials, which they used to do thus.

When the party was dead, they stuck his Carkass all over with flowers, and after carried him to the place appointed for Burial, where setting him down, (the Priest having given some godly Exhortations concerning the frailty of life) then do they take stones (a heap being provided there for that purpose) and the nearest of the kin begins to lay the first stone upon him, afterwards the rest follows, they never leaving till they have covered the body deep in stones, so that no Beast can possibly come to him, and this shift were they forced to make, having no Spades or Shovels wherewith to dig them Graves; which want of their we espying, bestowed a Pick-ax and two Shovels upon them.

Here might I add their way of Christening Children, but that being little different from yours in ENGLAND, and taught them by GEOGE PINES at first which they have since continued, I shall therefore forbear to speak thereof.

After our return back from the discovery of the Countrey, the Wind not being fit for our purpose, and our men also willing thereto, we got all our cutting Instruments on Land, and {24} fell to hewing down of Trees, with which, in a little time, (many hands making light work) we built up a Pallace for this William Pines the Lord of that Countrey; which, though much inferiour to the houses of your Gentry in England. Yet to them which never had seen better, it appeared a very Lordly Place. This deed of ours was beyond expression acceptable unto him, loading us with thanks for so great a benefit, of which he said he should never be able to make a requital.

And now acquainting him, that upon the first opportunity we were resolved to leave the Island, as also how that we were near Neighbours to the Countrey of England, from whence his Ancestors came; he seemed upon the news to be much discontented that we would leave him, desiring, if it might stand with our commodity to continue still with him, but seeing he could not prevail, he invited us to dine with him the next day, which we promised to do, against which time he provided, very sumptuously (according to his estate) for us, and now was he attended after a more Royal manner then ever we saw him before, both for number of Servants, and multiplicity of Meat, on which we fed very heartily; but he having no other Beverage for us to drink, then water, we fetched from our Ship a Case of Brandy, presenting some of it to him to drink, but when he had tasted of it, he would by no means be perswaded to touch thereof again, preferring (as he said) his own Countrey Water before all such Liquors whatsoever.

After we had Dined, we were invited out into the Fields to behold their Country Dauncing, which they did with great agility of body; and though they had no other then only {25} Vocal Musick (several of them singing all that while) yet did they trip it very neatly, giving sufficient satisfaction to all that beheld them.

The next day we invited the Prince William Pines aboard our Ship, where was nothing wanting in what we could to entertain him, he had about a dozen of Servants to attend on him he much admired at the Tacklings of our Ship, but when we came to discharge a piece or two of Ordnance, it struck him into a wonder and amazement to behold the strange effects of Powder; he was very sparing in his Diet, neither could he, or any of his followers be induced to drink any thing but Water: We there presented him with several things, as much as we could spare, which we thought would any wayes conduce to their benefit, all which he very gratefully received, assuring us of his real love and good will, whensoever we should come thither again.

And now we intended the next day to take our leaves, the Wind standing fair, blowing with a gentle Gale South and by East, but as we were hoising of our Sails, and weighing Anchor; we were suddenly Allarm'd with a noise from the shore, the Prince, W. Pines imploring our assistance in an Insurrection which had happened amongst them, of which this was the cause.

Henry Phil, the chief Ruler of the Tribe or Family of the Phils, being the Off-spring of George Pines which he had by the Negro-woman; this man had ravished the Wife of one of the principal of the Family of the Trevors, which act being made known, the Trevors assembled themselves all together to bring the offender unto Justice; But he knowing his crime to be so great, as extended to the loss of life: sought to defend that {26} by force, which he had as unlawfully committed, whereupon the whole Island was in a great hurly burly, they being too great Potent Factions, the bandying of which against each other, threatened a general ruin to the whole State.

The Governour William Pines had interposed in the matter, but found his Authority too weak to repress such Disorders; for where the Hedge of Government is once broken down, the most vile bear the greatest rule, whereupon he desir'd our assistance, to which we readily condescended, and arming out twelve of us went on Shore, rather as to a surprize then fight, for what could nakednss do to encounter with Arms. Being conducted by him to the force of our Enemy, we first entered into parley, seeking to gain them rather by fair means then force, but that not prevailing, we were necessitated to use violence, for this Henry Phill being of an undaunted resolution, and having armed his fellows with Clubs and Stones, they sent such a Peal amongst us, as made us at the first to give back, which encouraged them to follow us on with great violence, but we discharging off three or four Guns, when they saw some of themselves wounded, and heard the terrible reports which they gave, they ran away with greater speed then they came. The Band of the Trevors who were joyned with us, hotly pursued them, and having taken their Captain, returned with great triumph to their Governour, who sitting in Judgment upon him, he was adjudged to death, and thrown off a steep Rock into the Sea, the only way they have of punishing any by death, except burning. (24)

And now at last we took our solemn leaves of the Governour, and departed from thence, having been there in all, the space of three weeks and two dayes, we took with us good store of the flesh of a Beast which they call there Reval, being {27} in tast different either from Beef or Swines-flesh, yet very delightful to the Pallate, and exceeding nutrimental. We took also with us alive, divers Fowls which they call Marde, about the bigness of a Pullet, and not different in taste, they are very swirl of flight, and yet so fearless of danger, that they will stand still till such time as you catch them: We had also sent us in by the Governour about two bushels of eggs, which as I conjecture were the Mards eggs, very lussious in taste, and strengthening to the body.

June 8. We had a sight of Cambaia, a part of the East Indies, but under the Government of the great Chain of Tartary; here our Vessel springing a leak, we were forced to put to shore, receiving much damage in some of our Commodities; we were forced to ply the Pump for eighteen hours together, which, had that miscarried, we had inevitably have perished; here we stai'd five dayes mending our Ship, and drying some of our Goods, and then hoising Sail, in four days time more we came to Calecute.

This Calecute is the chief Mart Town and Staple of all the Indian Traffique, it is very populous, and frequented by Merchants of all Nations. Here we unladed a great part of our Goods, and taking in others, which caused us to stay there a full Moneth, during which space, at leisure times I went abroad to take a survey of the City, which I found to be large and populous, lying for three miles together upon the Sea-shore. Here is a great many of those persons whom they call Brachmans, being their Priests or Teachers whom they much reverence. It is a custome here for the King to give to some of those Brachmain, the hanselling of his Nuptial Bed; for which cause, not the Kings, but the Kings sisters sons succeed in the Kingdom, as being more certainly known to be of the true Royal blood: And these sisters of his choose what Gentleman they {28} please, on whom to bestow their Virginities; and if they prove not in a certain time to be with child, they betake themselves to these Brachman Stalions, who never fail of doing their work.

The people are indifferently civil and ingenious, both men and women imitate a Majesty in their Train and Apparel, which they sweeten with Oyles and Perfumes: adorning themselves with Jewels and other Ornaments befitting each Rank and Quality of them.

They have many odd Customs amongst them which they observe very strictly; as first, not knowing their Wives after they have born them two children: Secondly, not accompanying them, if after five years cohabition they can raise no issue by them, but taking others in their rooms: Thirdly, never being rewarded for any Military exploit, unless they bring with them an enemies Head in their Hand, but that which is strangest, and indeed most barbarous, is that when any of their friends falls sick, they will rather chuse to kill him, then that he should be withered by sickness.

Thus you see there is little employment there for Doctors, when to be sick, is the next wan (25) for to be slain, or perhaps the people may be of the mind rather to kill themselves, then to let the Doctors do it.

Having dispatched our business, and fraighted again our Ship, we left Calecute, and put forth to Sea, and coasted along several of the Islands belonging to India, at Camboia I met with our old friend Mr. David Prire, who was overjoyed to see me, to whom I related our Discovery of the Island of Pines, in the same manner as I have related it to you; he was then but newly recovered of a Feaver, the Air of that place not being agreeable to him; here we took in good store of Aloes, and some other Commodities, and victualled our Ship for our return home. {29}

After four days sailing, we met with two Portugal Ships which came from Lisbon, one whereof had in a storm lost its Top-mast, and was forced in part to be towed by the other. We had no bad weather in eleven dayes space, but then a sudden storm of Wind did us much harm in our Tacklings, and swept away one of our Sailors off from the Fore Castle. November the sixth had like to have been a fatal day unto us, our Ship striking twice upon a Rock and at night was in danger of being fired by the negligence of a Boy, leaving a Candle carelessly in the Gun-room; the next day we were chased by a Pyrate of Argiere, but by the swiftness of our Sails we out ran him. December the first we came again to Madagascar, where we put in for a fresh recruit of Victuals and Water.

During our abode here, there hapned a very great Earthquake, which tumbled down many Houses; The people of themselves are very Unhospitable and Treacherous, hardly to be drawn to Traffique with any people; and now, this calamitie happening upon them, so enraged them against the Christians, imputing all such calamities to the cause of them, that they fell upon some Portugals and wounded them, and we seeing their mischievous Actions, with all the speed we could put forth to Sea again, and sailed to the Island of St. Hellens.

Here we stayed all the Christmas Holy-dayes, which was vere much celebrated by the Governour there under the King of Spain: Here we furnished our selves with all necessaries which we wanted; but upon our departure, our old acquaintance Mr. Petrus Ramazina, coming in a Skiff out of the Isle del Principe, or the Princes Island, retarded our going for the space of two dayes, for both my self and our Purser had Emergent business with him, he being concerned in those Affairs of which I wrote to you in April last: Indeed we cannot but acknowledge {30} his Courtesies unto us, of which you know he is never sparing. January the first, we again hoised Sail, having a fair and prosperous gail of Wind, we touched at the Canaries, but made no tarriance, desirous now to see our Native Countrey; but the Winds was very cross unto us for the space of a week, at last we were favoured with a gentle Gale, which brought us on merrily; though we were on a sudden stricken again into a dump; a Sailor from the main Mast discovering five Ships, which put us all in a great fear, we being Richly Laden, and not very well provided for Defence; but they bearing up to us, we found them to be Zealanders and our Friends; after many other passages concerning us not so much worthy of Note, we at last safele arrived at home, May 26. 1668.

Thus Sir, have I given you a brief, but true Relation of our Voyage, Which I was the more willing to do, to prevent false Copies which might be spread of this nature: As for the Island of Pines it self, which caused me to Write this Relation, I suppose it is a thing so strange as will hardly be credited by some, although perhaps knowing persons, especially considering our last age being so full of Discoveries, that this Place should lie Dormant for so long a space of time; Others I know, such Nullifidians as will believe nothing but what they see, applying that Proverb unto us, That Travelors may lye by authority. But Sir, in writing to you, I question not but to give Credence, you knowing my disposition so hateful to divulge Falsities; I shall request you to impart this my Relation to Mr. W.W. and Mr. P.L. remembring me very kindly unto them, not forgetting my old acquaintance Mr. J.P. and Mr. J.B. no more at present, but only my best respects to you and your second self, I rest

July 22. 1668.

Yours in the best of friendship, Henry Cornelius Van Sloetten.
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Title Annotation:The Isle of Pines, or, A late discovery of a fourth island near Terra Australis Incognita
Publication:Utopian Studies
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jan 1, 2006
Previous Article:Transcription of the July 22, 1668 title page.
Next Article:Post-script.

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