A Continuation of a Voyage to New Holland/Chapter 2
A PARTICULAR DESCRIPTION OF THE ISLAND TIMOR.
The island Timor, as I have said in my Voyage round the World, is about seventy leagues long and fourteen or sixteen broad. It lies nearly north-east and south-west. The middle of it lies in about 9 degrees south latitude. It has no navigable rivers nor many harbours; but abundance of bays for ships to ride in at some seasons of the year. The shore is very bold, free from rocks, shoals or islands, excepting a few which are visible and therefore easily avoided. On the south side there is a shoal laid down in our charts about thirty leagues from the south-west end; I was fifteen or twenty leagues further to the east than that distance, but saw nothing of the shoal; neither could I find any harbour. It is a pretty even shore, with sandy bays and low land for about three or four miles up; and then it is mountainous. There is no anchoring but with half a league or a league at farthest from the shore; and the low land that bounds the sea has nothing but red mangroves, even from the foot of the mountains till you come within a hundred and fifty or two hundred paces of the sea; and then you have sandbanks clothed with a sort of pine; so that there is no getting water on this side because of the mangroves.
THE ISLAND ANABAO. FAULT OF THE CHARTS. THE CHANNEL BETWEEN TIMOR AND ANABAO.
At the south-west end of Timor is a pretty high island called Anabao. It is about ten or twelve leagues long and about four broad; near which the Dutch are settled. It lies so near Timor that it is laid down in our charts as part of that island; yet we found a narrow deep channel fit for any ships to pass between them. This channel is about ten leagues long and in some places not above a league wide. It runs north-east and south-west, so deep that there is no anchoring but very nigh the shore. There is but little tide; the flood setting north and the ebb to the southward. At the north-east end of this channel are two points of land not above a league asunder; one on the south side upon Timor, called Kupang; the other on the north side, upon the island Anabao. From this last point the land trends away northerly two or three leagues, opens to the sea, and then bends in again to the westward.
KUPANG BAY. FORT CONCORDIA.
Being past these points you open a bay of about eight leagues long and four wide. This bay trends in on the south side north-east by east from the south point before mentioned; making many small points or little coves. About a league to the east of the said south point the Dutch have a small stone fort, situated on a firm rock close by the sea: this fort they call Concordia. On the east side of the fort there is a small river of fresh water which has a broad boarded bridge over it, near to the entry into the fort. Beyond this river is a small sandy bay where the boats and barks land and convey their traffic in or out of the fort. About a hundred yards from the seaside, and as many from the fort, and forty yards from the bridge on the east side, the Company have a fine garden, surrounded with a good stone wall; in it is plenty of all sorts of salads, cabbages, roots for the kitchen; in some parts of it are fruit-trees, as jacas, pumplenose, oranges, sweet lemons, etc. And by the walls are coconut and toddy-trees in great plenty. Besides these they have musk and watermelons, pineapples, pomecitrons, pomegranates, and other sorts of fruits. Between this garden and the river there is a pen for black cattle, whereof they have plenty. Beyond the Company's ground the natives have their houses, in number about fifty or sixty. There are forty or fifty soldiers belonging to this fort, but I know not how many guns they have; for I had only opportunity to see one bastion, which had in it four guns. Within the walls there is a neat little church or chapel.
A PARTICULAR DESCRIPTION OF THE BAY.
Beyond Concordia the land runs about seven leagues to the bottom of the bay; then it is not above a league and a half from side to side, and the land trends away northerly to the north shore, then turns about again to the westward, making the south side of the bay. About three leagues and a half from the bottom of the bay on this side there is a small island about a musket-shot from the shore; and a reef of rocks that runs from it to the eastward about a mile. On the west side of the island is a channel of three fathom at low-water, of which depth it is also within, where ships may haul in and careen. West from this island the land rounds away in a bight or elbow, and at last ends in a low point of land which shoots forth a ledge of rocks a mile into the sea, which is dry at low water. Just against the low point of land and to the west of the ledge of rocks is another pretty high and rocky yet woody island, about half a mile from the low point; which island has a ledge of corally rocks running from it all along to the other small island, only leaving one channel between them. Many of these rocks are to be seen at low-water, and there seldom is water enough for a boat to go over them till quarter flood or more. Within this ledge there is two or three fathom water, and without it no less than ten or twelve fathom close to the rocks. A league without this last rocky island is another small low sandy island, about four miles from the low point, three leagues from the Dutch fort Concordia and three leagues and a half from the south-west point of the bay. Ships that come in this way must pass between this low isle and the low point, keeping near the isle.
THE ANCHORING-PLACE, CALLED BABAO.
In this bay there is any depth of water from thirty to three fathom, very good oazy holding ground. This affords the best shelter against all winds of any place about the island Timor. But from March to October, while either the southerly winds or only land and seabreezes hold, the Concordia side is best to ride in; but when the more violent northerly winds come then the best riding is between the two rocky islands in nineteen or twenty fathom. If you bring the westernmost island to bear south-west by west about a league distance, and the low point west by south; then the body of the sandy island will bear south-west half west, distance two leagues; and the ledges of rocks shooting from each make such a bar that no sea can come in. Then you have the land from west by south to east-north-east to defend you on that side: and other winds do not here blow violently. But if they did yet you are so land-locked that there can be no sea to hurt you. This anchoring-place is called Babao, about five leagues from Concordia. The greatest inconveniency in it is the multitude of worms. Here is fresh water enough to be had in the wet season; every little gulley discharging fresh water into the sea.
THE MALAYANS HERE KILL ALL THE EUROPEANS THEY CAN.
In the dry season you must search for it in standing ponds or gulleys, where the wild buffaloes, hogs, etc. resort every morning and evening to drink; where you may lie and shoot them, taking care that you go strong enough and well-armed against the natives upon all occasions. For though there are no inhabitants near this place yet the Malayans come in great companies when ships are here; and if they meet with any Europeans they kill them, of what nation soever they be, not excepting the Portuguese themselves. It is but two years since a Portuguese ship riding here had all the boat's crew cut off as they were watering; as I was informed by the Dutch. Here likewise is plenty of fish of several sorts, which may be caught with a seine; also tortoise and oysters.
From the north-east point of this bay, on the north side of the island, the land trends away north-north-east for four or five leagues; afterward north-east or more easterly; and when you are fourteen or fifteen leagues to the eastward of Babao you come up with a point that makes like Flamborough Head, if you are pretty nigh the land; but if at a distance from it on either side it appears like an island. This point is very remarkable, there being none other like it in all this island. When you are abreast of this point you will see another point about four leagues to the eastward; and when you are abreast of this latter point you will see a small island bearing east or east by north (according to your distance from the land) just rising out of the water: when you see it plain you will be abreast of a pretty deep sandy bay, which has a point in the middle that comes sloping from the mountains with a curious valley on each side: the sandy bay runs from one valley to the other. You may sail into this bay, and anchor a little to the eastward of the point in twenty fathom water, half a mile from the shore, soft oaze. Then you will be about two leagues from the west point of the bay, and about eight leagues from the small island before mentioned, which you can see pretty plain bearing east-north-east a little northwardly. Some other marks are set down in the foregoing chapter. In this sandy bay you will find fresh water in two or three places. At spring tides you will see many ripplings, like shoals; but they are only eddies caused by the two points of the bay.
We saw smokes all day up in the mountains, and fires by night, at certain places where we supposed the natives lived, but saw none of them.
The tides ran between the two points of the bay, very strong and uncertain: yet it did not rise and fall above nine foot upon a spring tide: but it made great ripplings and a roaring noise, whirling about like whirlpools. We had constantly eddy tides under the shore, made by the points on each side of the bay.
LAPHAO, A PORTUGUESE SETTLEMENT, DESCRIBED.
When you go hence to the eastward you may pass between the small island and Timor; and when you are five or six leagues to the eastward of the small island you will see a large valley to the eastward of you; then, running a little further, you may see houses on the bay: you may luff in, but anchor not till you go about the next point. Then you will see more houses where you may run in to twenty or thirty fathom, and anchor right against the houses, nearest the west end of them. This place is called Laphao. It is a Portuguese settlement, about sixteen leagues from the watering-bay.
There are in it about forty or fifty houses and one church. The houses are mean and low, the walls generally made of mud or wattled, and their sides made up with boards: they are all thatched with palm or palmetto leaves. The church also is very small: the east end of it is boarded up to the top; but the sides and the west end are only boarded three or four foot high; the rest is all open: there is a small altar in it, with two steps to go up to it, and an image or two; but all very mean. It is also thatched with palm or palmetto leaves. Each house has a yard belonging to it, fenced about with wild canes nine or ten foot high. There is a well in each yard, and a little bucket with a string to it to draw water withal. There is a trunk of a tree made hollow, placed in each well, to keep the earth from falling in. Round the yards there are many fruit-trees planted; as coconuts, tamarinds and toddy-trees.
They have a small hovel by the sea side where there are six small old iron guns standing on a decayed platform, in rotten carriages. Their vents are so big that when they are fired, the strength of the powder flying out there, they give but a small report like that of a musket. This is their court of guard; and here were a few armed men watching all the time we lay here.
The inhabitants of the town are chiefly a sort of Indians of a copper-colour, with black lank hair: they speak Portuguese and are of the Romish religion; but they take the liberty to eat flesh when they please. They value themselves on the account of their religion and descent from the Portuguese; and would be very angry if a man should say they are not Portuguese; yet I saw but three white men here, two of which were padres. There are also a few Chinese living here. It is a place of pretty good trade and strength, the best on this island, Porta Nova excepted. They have three or four small barks belonging to the place; with which they trade chiefly about the island with the natives for wax, gold, and sandalwood. Sometimes they go to Batavia and fetch European commodities, rice, etc.
The Chinese trade hither from Macao; and I was informed that about twenty sail of small vessels come from thence hither every year. They bring coarse rice, adulterated gold, tea, iron, and iron tools, porcelain, silks, etc. They take in exchange pure gold, as it is gathered in the mountains, beeswax, sandalwood, slaves, etc. Sometimes also here comes a ship from Goa. Ships that trade here began to come hither the latter end of March; and none stay here longer than the latter end of August. For should they be here while the north-north-west monsoon blows no cables nor anchors would hold them; but they would be driven ashore and dashed in pieces presently. But from March till September, while the south-south-east monsoon blows, ships ride here very secure; for then, though the wind often blows hard, yet it is offshore; so that there is very smooth water, and no fear of being driven ashore; and yet even then they moor with three cables; two towards the land, eastward and westward; and the third right off to seaward.
As this is the second place of traffic so it is in strength the second place the Portuguese have here, though not capable of resisting a hundred men: for the pirates that were at the Dutch fort came hither also; and after they had filled their water and cut firewood and refreshed themselves, they plundered the houses, set them on fire, and went away. Yet I was told that the Portuguese can draw together five or six hundred men in twenty-four hours time, all armed with hand-guns, swords and pistols; but powder and bullets are scarce and dear. The chief person they have on the island is named Antonio Henriquez; they call him usually by the title of Captain More or Maior. They say he is a white man, and that he was sent hither by the viceroy of Goa. I did not see him; for he lives, as I was informed, a great way from hence, at a place called Porta Nova, which is at the east end of the island, and by report is a good harbour; but they say that this Captain More goes frequently to wars in company with the Indians that are his neighbours and friends, against other Indians that are their enemies. The next man to him is Alexis Mendosa; he is a lieutenant, and lives six or seven miles from hence, and rules this part of the country. He is a little man of the Indian race, copper-coloured, with black lank hair. He speaks both the Indian and Portuguese languages; is a Roman Catholic, and seems to be a civil brisk man. There is another lieutenant at Laphao; who is also an Indian; speaks both his own and the Portuguese language very well; is old and infirm, but was very courteous to me.
They boast very much of their strength here, and say they are able at any time to drive the Dutch away from the island, had they permission from the king of Portugal so to do. But though they boast thus of their strength yet really they are very weak; for they have but a few small arms and but little powder: they have no fort, nor magazine of arms; nor does the viceroy of Goa send them any now: for though they pretend to be under the king of Portugal they are a sort of lawless people, and are under no government. It was not long since the viceroy of Goa sent a ship hither, and a land-officer to remain here: but Captain More put him in irons, and sent him aboard the ship again; telling the commander that he had no occasion for any officers; and that he could make better officers here than any that could be sent him from Goa: and I know not whether there has been any other ship sent from Goa since: so that they have no supplies from thence: yet they need not want arms and ammunition, seeing they trade to Batavia. However they have swords and lances as other Indians have; and though they are ambitious to be called Portuguese, and value themselves on their religion, yet most of the men and all the women that live here are Indians; and there are very few right Portuguese in any part of the island. However of those that call themselves Portuguese I was told there are some thousands; and I think their strength consists more in their numbers than in good arms or discipline.
The land from hence trends away east by north about 14 leagues, making many points and sandy bays, where vessels may anchor.
Fourteen leagues east from Laphao there is a small harbour called Ciccale by the Portuguese, and commended by them for an excellent port; but it is very small, has a narrow entrance, and lies open to northerly winds: though indeed there are two ledges of rocks, one shooting out from the west point and the other from the east point, which break off the sea; for the rocks are dry at low water. This place is about 60 leagues from the south-west end of the island.
THE HILLS, WATER, LOWLANDS, SOIL, WOODS, METALS, IN THE ISLAND TIMOR.
The whole of this island Timor is a very uneven rough country, full of hills and small valleys. In the middle of it there runs a chain of high mountains, almost from one end to the other. It is indifferently well watered (even in the dry times) with small brooks and springs, but no great rivers; the island being but narrow, and such a chain of mountains in the middle that no water can run far; but, as the springs break out on one side or other of the hills, they make their nearest course to the sea. In the wet season the valleys and low lands by the sea are overflown with water; and then the small drills that run into the sea are great rivers; and the gullies, which are dry for 3 or 4 months before, now discharge an impetuous torrent. The low land by the seaside is for the most part friable, loose, sandy soil; yet indifferently fertile and clothed with woods. The mountains are chequered with woods and some spots of savannahs: some of the hills are wholly covered with tall, flourishing trees; others but thinly; and these few trees that are on them, look very small, rusty and withered; and the spots of savannahs among them appear rocky and barren. Many of the mountains are rich in gold, copper, or both: the rains wash the gold out of mountains, which the natives pick up in the adjacent brooks, as the Spaniards do in America: how they get the copper I know not.
The trees that grow naturally here are of divers sorts; many of them wholly unknown to me; but such as I have seen in America or other places, and grow here likewise, are these, namely mangrove, white, red and black; maho, calabash, several sorts of the palm kind: the cotton-trees are not large, but tougher than those in America: here are also locust-trees of 2 or 3 sorts, bearing fruit, but not like those I have formerly seen; these bear a large white blossom, and yield much fruit but, it is not sweet.
Cana-fistula-trees are very common here; the tree is about the bigness of our ordinary apple-trees; their branches not thick, nor full of leaves. These and the before-mentioned blossom in October and November; the blossoms are much like our apple-tree blossoms, and about that bigness: at first they are red; but before they fall off, when spread abroad, they are white; so that these trees in their season appear extraordinarily pleasant, and yield a very fragrant smell. When the fruit is ripe it is round, and about the bigness of a man's thumb; of a dark brown colour, inclining to red, and about 2 foot or 2 foot and a half long. We found many of them under the trees, but they had no pulp in them. The partitions in the middle are much at the same distance with those brought to England, of the same substance, and such small flat seed in them: but whether they be the true cana-fistula or no I cannot tell, because I found no black pulp in them.
The calabashes here are very prickly: the trees grow tall and tapering; whereas in the West Indies they are low and spread much abroad.
Here are also wild tamarind-trees, not as large as the true; though much resembling them both in the bark and leaf.
WILD FIGTREES DESCRIBED.
Wild fig trees here are many, but not so large as those in America. The fruit grows not on the branches singly like those in America, but in strings and clusters, 40 or 50 in a cluster, about the body and great branches of the tree, from the very root up to the top. These figs are about the bigness of a crab-apple, of a greenish colour, and full of small white seeds; they smell pretty well, but have no juice or taste; they are ripe in November.
Here likewise grows sandalwood, and many more sorts of trees fit for any uses. The tallest among them resemble our pines; they are straight and clear-bodied, but not very thick; the inside is reddish near the heart and hard and ponderous.
TWO NEW SORTS OF PALMTREES DESCRIBED.
Of the palm kind there are 3 or 4 sorts; two of which kinds I have not seen anywhere but here. Both sorts are very large and tall. The first sort had trunks of about 7 or eight foot in circumference and about 80 or 90 foot high. These had branches at the top like coconut-trees, and their fruit like coconuts, but smaller: the nut was of an oval form, and about the bigness of a duck's egg: the shell black and very hard. It was almost full of kernel, having only a small empty space in the middle, but no water as coconuts have. The kernel is too hard to be eaten. The fruit somewhat resembles that in Brazil formerly mentioned. The husk or outside of the fruit was very yellow, soft and pulpy when ripe; and full of small fibres; and when it fell down from the trees would mash and smell unsavoury.
The other sort was as big and tall as the former; the body growing straight up without limbs, as all trees of the palm kind do: but, instead of a great many long green branches growing from the head of the tree, these had short branches about the bigness of a man's arm, and about a foot long; each of which spread itself into a great many small tough twigs, that hung full of fruit like so many ropes of onions. The fruit was as big as a large plum; and every tree had several bushels of fruit. The branches that bore this fruit sprouted out at about 50 or 60 foot height from the ground. The trunk of the tree was all of one bigness from the ground to that height; but from thence it went tapering smaller and smaller to the top, where it was no bigger than a man's leg, ending in a stump: and there was no green about the tree but the fruit; so that it appeared like a dead trunk.
Besides fruit trees here were many sorts of tall straight-bodied timber-trees; one sort of which was like pine. These grow plentifully all round the island by the seaside, but not far within land. It is hard wood, of a reddish colour, and very ponderous.
THE FRUITS OF THE ISLAND.
The fruits of this island are guavas, mangoes, jacas, coconuts, plantains, bananas, pineapples, citrons, pomegranates, oranges, lemons, limes, musk-melons, watermelons, pumpkins, etc. Many of these have been brought hither by the Dutch and Portuguese; and most of them are ripe in September and October. There were many other excellent fruits, but not now in season; as I was informed both by the Dutch and Portuguese.
Here I met with an herb which in the West Indies we call calalaloo. It grows wild here. I ate of it several times and found it as pleasant and wholesome as spinach. Here are also parsley, samphire, etc. Indian corn thrives very well here, and is the common food of the islanders; though the Portuguese and their friends sow some rice, but not half enough for their subsistence.
ITS LAND ANIMALS.
The land animals are buffaloes, beeves, horses, hogs, goats, sheep, monkeys, iguanas, lizards, snakes, scorpions, centumpees, etc. Beside the tame hogs and buffaloes, there are many wild all over the country, which any may freely kill. As for the beeves, horses, goats, and sheep, it is probable they were brought in by the Portuguese or Dutch; especially the beeves; for I saw none but at the Dutch fort Concordia.
We also saw monkeys and some snakes. One sort yellow, and as big as a man's arm, and about 4 foot long: another sort no bigger than the stem of a tobacco pipe, about 5 foot long, green all over his body, and with a flat red head as big as a man's thumb.
FOWLS. THE RINGING-BIRD.
The fowls are wild cocks and hens, eagles, hawks, crows, 2 sorts of pigeons, turtledoves, 3 or 4 sorts of parrots, parakeets, cockatoos, blackbirds; besides a multitude of smaller birds of divers colours, whose charming music makes the woods very pleasant. One sort of these pretty little birds my men called the ringing-bird; because it had 6 notes, and always repeated all his notes twice one after another; beginning high and shrill and ending low. This bird was about the bigness of a lark, having a small sharp black bill and blue wings; the head and breast were of a pale red, and there was a blue streak about its neck. Here are also sea- or waterfowls, as men-of-war-birds, boobies, fishing-hawks, herons, galdens, crab-catchers, etc. The tame fowl are cocks, hens, ducks, geese; the 2 last sorts I only saw at the Dutch fort, of the other sort there are not many but among the Portuguese: the woods abound with bees, which make much honey and wax.
ITS FISH. COCKLE MERCHANTS AND OYSTERS. COCKLES AS BIG AS A MAN'S HEAD.
The sea is very well stocked with fish of divers sorts, namely mullet, bass, bream, snook, mackerel, parracoots, garfish, ten-pounders, scuttle-fish, stingrays, whiprays, rasperages, cockle-merchants, or oyster-crackers, cavallies, conger-eels, rock-fish, dog-fish, etc. The rays are so plentiful that I never drew the seine but I caught some of them; which we salted and dried. I caught one whose tail was 13 foot long. The cockle-merchants are shaped like cavallies, and about their bigness. They feed on shellfish, having 2 very hard, thick, flat bones in their throat, with which they break in pieces the shells of the fish they swallow. We always find a great many shells in their maws, crushed in pieces. The shellfish are oysters of 3 sorts, namely long-oysters, common oysters, growing upon rocks in great abundance and very flat; and another sort of large oysters, fat and crooked; the shell of this not easily to be distinguished from a stone. Three or four of these roasted will suffice a man for one meal. Cockles, as big as a man's head; of which 2 or 3 are enough for a meal; they are very fat and sweet. Crawfish, shrimps, etc. Here are also many green-turtle, some alligators and grandpisces, etc.
ITS ORIGINAL NATIVES DESCRIBED.
The original natives of this island are Indians, they are of a middle stature, straight-bodied, slender-limbed, long-visaged; their hair black and lank; their skins very swarthy. They are very dexterous and nimble, but withal lazy in the high degree. They are said to be dull in everything but treachery and barbarity. Their houses are but low and mean, their clothing only a small cloth about their middle; but some of them for ornament have frontlets of mother-of-pearl, or thin pieces of silver or gold, made of an oval form of the breadth of a crown-piece, curiously notched round the edges; five of these placed one by another a little above the eyebrows making a sufficient guard and ornament for their forehead. They are so thin and placed on their foreheads so artificially that they seem reverted thereon: and indeed the pearl-oyster shells make a more splendid show than either silver or gold. Others of them have palmetto-caps made in divers forms.
As to their marriages they take as many wives as they can maintain; and sometimes they sell their children to purchase more wives. I enquired about their religion and was told they had none. Their common subsistence is by Indian corn, which every man plants for himself. They take but little pains to clear their land for in the dry time they set fire to the withered grass and shrubs, and that burns them out a plantation for the next wet season. What other grain they have beside Indian corn I know not. Their plantations are very mean; for they delight most in hunting; and here are wild buffaloes and hogs enough, though very shy because of their so frequent hunting.
They have a few boats and some fishermen. Their arms are lances, thick round short truncheons and targets; with these they hunt and kill their game and their enemies too; for this island is now divided into many kingdoms, and all of different languages; though in their customs and manner of living, as well as shape and colour, they seem to be of one stock.
THE PORTUGUESE AND DUTCH SETTLEMENTS.
The chiefest kingdoms are Kupang, Amabia, Lortribie, Pobumbie, Namquimal; the island also of Anamabao, or Anabao, is a kingdom. Each of these has a sultan who is supreme in his province and kingdom, and has under him several rajas and other inferior officers. The sultans for the most part are enemies to each other, which enmities are fomented and kept up by the Dutch, whose fort and factory is in the kingdom of Kupang; and therefore the bay near which they are settled, is commonly called Kupang Bay. They have only as much ground as they can keep within reach of their guns; yet this whole kingdom is at peace with them; and they freely trade together; as also with the islanders on Anabao, who are in amity as well with the natives of Kupang as with the Dutch residing there; but they are implacable enemies to those of Amabie, who are their next neighbours, and in amity with the Portuguese: as are also the kingdoms of Pobumbie, Namquimal and Lortribie. It is very probable that these 2 European settlements on this island are the greatest occasion of their continued wars. The Portuguese vaunt highly of their strength here and that they are able at pleasure to rout the Dutch, if they had authority so to do from the king of Portugal; and they have written to the viceroy of Goa about it: and though their request is not yet granted, yet (as they say) they live in expectation of it. These have no forts but depend on their alliance with the natives: and indeed they are already so mixed that it is hard to distinguish whether they are Portuguese or Indians. Their language is Portuguese; and the religion they have is Romish. They seem in words to acknowledge the king of Portugal for their sovereign; yet they will not accept of any officers sent by him. They speak indifferently the Malayan and their own native languages, as well as Portuguese; and the chiefest officers that I saw were of this sort; neither did I see above 3 or 4 white men among them; and of these 2 were priests. Of this mixed breed there are some thousands; of whom some have small arms of their own, and know how to use them. The chiefest person (as I before said) is called Captain More or Maior: he is a white man, sent hither by the viceroy of Goa, and seems to have great command here. I did not see him; for he seldom comes down. His residence is at a place called Porta Nova; which the people at Laphao told me was a great way off; but I could not get any more particular account. Some told me that he is most commonly in the mountains, with an army of Indians, to guard the passes between them and the Kupangayans, especially in the dry times. The next man to him is Alexis Mendosa: he is a right Indian, speaks very good Portuguese, and is of the Romish religion. He lives 5 or 6 miles from the sea, and is called the lieutenant. (This is he whom I called governor, when at Laphao.) He commands next to Captain More, and has under him another at this fort (at the seaside) if it may be so-called. He also is called lieutenant and is an Indian Portuguese.
Besides this mongrel breed of Indians and Portuguese here are also some Chinamen, merchants from Macao: they bring hither coarse rice, gold, tea, iron-work, porcelain, and silk both wrought and raw: they get in exchange pure gold as it is here gathered, beeswax, sandalwood, coir, etc. It is said there are about 20 small China vessels come hither every year from Macao; and commonly one vessel a year from Goa, which brings European commodities and calicos, muslins, etc. Here are likewise some small barks belonging to this place, that trade to Batavia, and bring from thence both European and Indian goods and rice. The vessels generally come here in March and stay till September.
The Dutch as I before said are settled in the kingdom of Kupang, where they have a small neat stone fort. It seems to be pretty strong; yet, as I was informed, had been taken by a French pirate about 2 years ago: the Dutch were used very barbarously, and ever since are very jealous of any strangers that come this way; which I myself experienced. These depend more on their own strength than on the natives their friends; having good guns, powder, and shot enough on all occasions, and soldiers sufficient to manage the business here, all well disciplined and in good order; which is a thing the Portuguese their neighbours are altogether destitute of, they having no European soldiers, few arms, less ammunition, and their fort consisting of no more than 6 bad guns planted against the sea, whose touch-holes (as was before observed) are so enlarged by time that a great part of the strength of the powder flies away there; and, having soldiers in pay, the natives on all occasions are hired; and their government now is so loose that they will admit of no more officers from Portugal or Goa. They have also little or no supply of arms or ammunition from thence, but buy it as often as they can of the Dutch, Chinese, etc., so that upon the whole it seems improbable that they should ever attempt to drive out the Dutch for fear of loosing themselves, notwithstanding their bosomed prowess and alliance with the natives: and indeed, as far as I could hear, they have business enough to keep their own present territories from the incursions of the Kupangayans; who are friends to the Dutch, and whom doubtless the Dutch have ways enough to preserve in their friendship; besides that they have an inveterate malice to their neighbours, insomuch that they kill all they meet, and bring away their heads in triumph. The great men of Kupang stick the heads of those they have killed on poles; and set them on the tops of their houses; and these they esteem above all their other riches. The inferior sort bring the heads of those they kill into houses made for that purpose; of which there was one at the Indian village near the fort Concordia, almost full of heads, as I was told. I know not what encouragement they have for their inhumanity.
THE MALAYAN LANGUAGE GENERALLY SPOKEN HERE.
The Dutch have always 2 sloops belonging to their fort; in these they go about the island and trade with the natives and, as far as I could learn, they trade indifferently with them all. For though the inland people are at war with each other, yet those by the seaside seem to be little concerned; and, generally speaking the Malayan language, are very sociable and easily induced to trade with those that speak that language; which the Dutch here always learn; besides, being well acquainted with the treachery of these people, they go well armed among them, and are very vigilant never to give them an opportunity to hurt them; and it is very probable that they supply them with such goods as the Portuguese cannot.
LORANTUCA ON THE ISLAND ENDE.
The Malayan language, as I have before said, is generally spoken amongst all the islands hereabouts. The greater the trade is the more this language is spoken: in some it is become their only language; in others it is but little spoken, and that by the seaside only. With this language the Mahomedan religion did spread itself, and was got hither before any European Christians came: but now, though the language is still used, the Mahomedan religion falls, wherever the Portuguese or Dutch are settled; unless they be very weak, as at Solor and Ende, where the chief language is Malayan, and the religion Mahomedanism; though the Dutch are settled at Solor, and the Portuguese at the east end of the island Ende, at a place called Lorantuca; which, as I was informed, is a large town, has a pretty strong fort and safe harbour. The chief man there (as at Timor) is called Captain More, and is as absolute as the other. These 2 principal men are enemies to each other; and by their letters and messages to Goa inveigh bitterly against each other; and are ready to do all the ill offices they can; yet neither of them much regards the viceroy of Goa, as I was informed.
Lorantuca is said to be more populous than any town on Timor; the island Ende affording greater plenty of all manner of fruit, and being much better supplied with all necessaries than Laphao; especially with sheep, goats, hogs, poultry, etc. But it is very dangerous getting into this harbour because of the violent tides between the islands Ende and Solor. In the middle channel between Timor and the range of islands to the northward of it, whereof Ende and Solor are 2, there runs a constant current all the year to the westward; though near either shore there are tides indeed; but the tide of flood, which sets west, running 8 or 9 hours, and the ebb not exceeding 3 or 4 hours, the tide in some places rises 9 or 10 foot on a spring.
THE SEASONS, WINDS, AND WEATHER AT TIMOR.
The seasons of the year here at Timor are much the same as in other places in south latitude. The fair weather begins in April or May and continues to October, then the tornadoes begin to come, but no violent bad weather till the middle of December. Then there are violent west or north-west winds, with rain, till towards the middle of February. In May the southerly winds set in and blow very strong on the north side of the island, but fair. There is great difference of winds on the 2 sides of the island: for the southerly winds are but very faint on the south side, and very hard on the north side; and the bad weather on the south side comes in very violent in October, which on the north side comes not till December. You have very good sea and land breezes, when the weather is fair; and may run indifferently to the east or west, as your business lies. We found from September to December the winds veering all round the compass gradually in 24 hours time; but such a constant western current that it is much harder getting to the east than west at or near spring tides: which I have more than once made trial of. For weighing from Babao at 6 o'clock in the morning on the 12 instant we kept plying under the shore till the 20th, meeting with such a western current that we gained very little. We had land and seabreezes; but so faint that we could hardly stem the current; and when it was calm between the breezes we drove a-stern faster than ever we sailed ahead.