Richard Jobson (1623) The Golden Trade, pp. 61-82.
The discourse of their Maribuckes or religious men.
AND so by order, I am now come to speake of their Marybuckes or Bissareas, 1 which we in our language, may call religious Persons, or Priests of the country. The Mary-buckes are seperated from the common people, both in their habitations & course of lives, concerning whom I have with diligence observed, that in their whole proceeding they have a wonderous reference to the leviticall law, as it is in our holy Bible related; the principalls whereof they are not ignorant in, for they do report concerning Adam and Eve, whom they call Adama and Evahaha, talking of Noahs flood, and of Moses, with many other things our sacred History makes mention of: their houses or dwellings are seperated from the common people, having their Townes and lands set out in severall within themselves, wherein no common people have dwelling, except such as are their slaves, that worke and labour for them, which slaves they suffer to marry and cherish the race that comes of them, which race remaines to them, and their heires or posterity as perpetuall bond-men; they marry likewise in their owne tribe or kindred, taking no wives, but the daughters of Mary-buckes, and all the children they have, are nourished and bred up, unto the ceremonies of their fathers.
But for the number of their wives and women, they have the selfe course, that I described befor eamong the Kings, and temporall people, in the like manner amongst them, every man in his dignity, and precedence having more or lesse: wherein there is no severed towne but hath a principall, for better relation whereof, I will declare unto ou the towne and place, where there especiall, or, as I may say, high Priest doth dwell.
The Towne is called Setico, lying from the River some three miles: to this Towne I went, having occasion in following of our Trade, to lye with my boate so neere as I could come, my Guide or Conductor, was one of my blacke people I hired, called Fodee Careere, who in his profession was a Mary-bucke,2 and they are for our commodities to be hired, and will put their hand to any needfull occasion, like as any of the temporall sort would do.
This was the first of the Country, who ever I entertained and continued with mee, both up into the highest part I went, as likewise all the time I followed any trade in the River, with whom we doe agree by the moone, how much hee is to have, which agreement he receives when the moone is ended, in some commodity of ours which he desireth, the valuation whereof, amounts unto a poore summe: our continuance together, had bred such an affectionate league, betweene us, that we were united as people of one place, and in those courses of trade we followed, I did not onely aske and require his advise, but in most things allowed and followed the same: with that Mary-bucke, I had diverse and sundry communications, concerning their Religion, wherein many times he would wish, that I might once come to converse with their chiefe man, whom he called Fodee Bram, who would as he sayd give me full satisfaction, concerning their religious orders; and being now come to the Port of Setico, for so we called it, he was very importunate I sshould goe up to see the towne and visit this religious person, I received his direction, what Present it was fittest, I should carry him up, wherwith furnished, taking two of our men with me, one of them carrying a fowling peece on his necke, we came to the towne, but meeting of some of the dwellers b the way, they had told us tthat this Fodee Bram was very il, and dangerously sicke, whereat they seemed much to mourne.
Being entered the Towne, and come unto his house, I found without many people, demaunding of him what they were, he told me they were all as he was, Mary-buckes: for by their habite they are not to be discerned, being all clothed in one and the same manner, as the common people are: I was intreated to sit downe under their open shades, which are made by the better sort of people, on the out-side of their houses, to take the ayre in; and in the meane time my Alchade, for by that name my hired Mary-bucke was called, went into his house, and in my name presented my present, acquainting of him that I was the Captaine, and Commander of our people, whereupon he caused himselfe to be lifted up from his bed, or mat whereon he lay, sitting on the side whereof, supported and helde up by three of his wives, he sent out to have me brought unto him, and after our salutations past, he held me fast by the hand, giving me many thankes, for that great present he had received, bemoneing much his sicknesse hindered him, he could not accompany me, thereby to shew his respect unto me, during our conference he caused a dinner to be made ready: I did conceive him to be daungerously sicke, for his hand wherewith hee held me, did burne with that extremity, as the heat gave such offence, that I wisht very willingly I might be loosed; I tooke notice of those women who held him, and to every of them gave a pewter ring, which both from them, and him was thankefully received: dinner provided, he intreated me with my Company: to passe into another house adioyning, which after their Country manner was prepared, and we had hennes, and other provision brought in, amongst which one sort of sustenance I never saw before, nor after in the Country, which was compounded of their Country graine, made up in round cakes, resembling very much our English Ielly,3 and as our Alchard told me, was one of the principall dainties, esteemed amongst them; while I was at dinner, a messenger came from him, bringing word he was very sorry to heare I fed not, and likewise by him sent unto me a large hide, and an Elephants tooth of a good bignesse, as a gratuity for the present I had brought him, (wherein may be iudged what losse I received, when the valuation of what I delivered, and by him so much esteemed, did not cost here at home, according to our Merchants accompt, above the great summe of xviij d.): After I had eate my desire was to go see the Towne, and view their dwelling, he sent certaine people with mee, who brought me through their streetes or housing into the plaine fields, where I might throughly discerne the whole Scituation, I did heedfully regard it, for it did appeare the greatest Towne, or place, that I had seene, and the manner thereof in my opinion, was worthy the observation: The towne was built round, after the manner of a Circle, whereof the front of the houses, did not containe any great thicknesse, but as we may say, the breedth of a remarkable faire street, ioyning their houses or walles of their yards and barnes close together, the diameter whereof, that is from the North, to the South, or likewise from any one point to his opposite, we did conceive to be neere an English mile, within which Circute was much Cattle, especially store of Asses, whereby it may be coniectured, that they contrived their towne in that sort, to keep out the ravening beasts, and securing those Cattle they had about them, whereof at this place they had the greatest use, I meane of their Asses, as I will relate unto you, but first I must take leave of the high Priest: after I had satisfied my selfe in looking abroade, I returned unto him into his house, where I found him layd along, in extremity of paine, he seemed to labour much in his desire to have conference with me, saying he had earnestly wished to have had conference with me, saying he had earnestly wished to see me, that we might have spoken together, concerning our lawes, and something he spake, but what came from him, was very unperfect, which I imputed to the paine he endured, only I noted when he would have spoken of Adam and Eve, and Moses, & so I tooke notice of the names, in that manner hee might well perceive, we had knowledge of them, he seemed to take pleasure therein, but the conclusion with him, was to no purpose, nor worth rehersall: So that after he had made me eate by him, a dish of excellent creame drest with corne after their best fashion, & a solemne farewel past betwixt us, I left him. Notwithstanding before I proceed further, I will relate what I have gathered of their profession, and what they conceive of us. They do worship the same as we do, the true and only God, to whom they pray, and on his name they call in, in their language, expressed by the word Alle, inso much as if he see any thing which begets in him admiration, casting his eyes to the Heavens, hee cries Alle Alle; neither have they amongst them, any manner of image, or picture, or resemblance of any divine things but as far as we can perceive, such things are distastfull unto them: They doe acknowledge Mahomet, and are all circumcised, the manner of their circumcision, I refer to speak of in another place: their Sabbath or the seventh day is uppon the friday, and have distinctions, and proper names for seven dayes in their weeke, they reckon their age or times, by the raines, in saying hee hath lived so many raines, as we say so many yeares, howbeit, we doe never heare them call upon the name of Mahomet, neither have they amongst them any Churches, nor places they dedicate to holy uses, so farre as we can perceive, neither do we finde that they celebrate or solemnize their Sabboth day, for even on that day will they follow any Trade, they will have with us, and their owne occasions: without any intermission, they have certaine round houses built open, and are spacious, according to their fashions, wherein they teach their youth, the manner whereof is this: All the male children that proceedes from these Mary-buckes, are taught to write and reade, and in regard they have no paper amongst them, but what wee or others bring them in the way of Trade; and thereof is of esteeme, they have for their bookes a small smooth boord, fit to hold in their hands, on which the childrens lessons are written with a kinde of black incke they make, and the pen is in a manner of a pensill. The Character they use, being much like the Hebrewe, which in regard I understood not, I caused my Mary-bucke to write in paper, some part of their law, which I brought home with me, that some of our learned Schollers might peruse, if wee might by that meanes come to any better knowledge, then the small practise we have hetherto had, and by men of our capacities cannot so easily be attained, onely this much wee discerne, that the religion and law they teach, is not writ in the same tongue, they publickly speake, and moreover, that none of the temporall people, of what dignity soever, are traded up to write, or reade, or have any use of bookes or letters amongst them. And whether these open houses, they teach their children in, be places for their religious ceremonies, and for their publike meetings, in their holy exercises, because they are ever placed, neere the principall mans dwelling, and as it were ioyning unto him, wee cannot well resolve, butrather conceite the contrary, in regard they lie open, and are not swept, and kept with any manner of decency; and therefore do rather thinke they make use of the open fields, where under some spacious shady tree, they observe their meetings, some part of the manner whereof, as an eye witnesse, I will readily recite.
The place where we had houses built, and walled with straw for our owne uses, was seated by the River side, upon the top of the banke; and by the people of the Country, called Tababo Condo, the white-mans towne: some hundred paces within us, from the River, was a small towne of these religious people, wherein lived an ancient Mary-bucke, called Mahome, who could not be lesse in apparance then an hundred yeares of age, from whom we received much relation concerning the countrey above, and of the abundance of gold there, which himselfe had travelled and seene, as it is their profession to doe, and I shall have occasion foorthwith to shew you: This ancient Mahome, was ever a faithfull and loving neighbour unto us,4 howbeit in regard of his age, he did not teach the children, nor was not the eminentest man of the Towne, but one Hammet, who was not so truly a neighbour. The olde Mahome did diverse times lodge and entertain strangers, that came, especially of his owne profession, amongest which, there had laine one night at his house, a Mary-bucke, who in the morning, coming downe to the River side, close without our wall; having his slaves to follow him, who brought in his hand a great gourd, in the River he filled it full of faire water, and brought unto him, whereinto presently pulling forth all his privie members, hee put them, without any nicenesse of being seene what he did, and after hee had well washed them, hee made him to throw away the water; which done, and the gourd well washed or rinced, he brought him another, filled also with water, wherein he washed and rubbed his hands, and in the like manner it was throwne away, and a third brought, wherewith he washed and cleansed his face, all which performed, he making a kind of lowe reverence with his bodie,and laying his hand on his breast, his face directed toward the East, kneeled downe, and there mumbled or uttered foorth, after a decent manner, it should seeme, certaine prayers, wherein, after hee had continued for a space, kissing the ground, hee rose up, and turning himselfe about, with his face directed to the West, hee performed the like ceremony, which ended, after hee had stayed, and looked a while upon us, hee returned to his place of lodging.
One ceremony more of their Religion, I will relate, if you please to remember, where and how I left the chiefe Mary-bucke sicke and full of danger, it did manifest no lesse, for in the evening, the day after I came from him, he died, the report whereof, was immediately spread over the whole countrey, who from all parts came in, after that abundant manner, to solemnize his funerall, so many thousands of men and women gathered together, as in such a desart and scattered countrey might breed admiration, which I thinke was rather increased, in regard at that time he died, the moone was high, and gave her light, and they in whole troupes travelled, eyther the whole night, or most part of the same together; the place or port whereat my boat did ride, was a Passage or Ferry to the towne, from the whole countrey, on the further side, whereunto belonged a great Canoe, which I had hired, having likewise another of my owne, both which never stood still, but were used, night and day in passing the people, none of them came emptie, some brought beeves, others goates, and cockes and hennes, with rice, and all sort of graine the country yeelded, so as there came in a wonderfull deale of provision, my Mary-bucke entreated mee, to send something of sweet savour, to be cast upon his body, which the people much esteeme of; I sent some Spica Romana, and some Orras, which by his sonne was thankefully received: the manner of his buriall, was after this sort, hee was layed in a house, where a grave was digged, and a great pot of water set in the roome, and iust after the same manner, as the Irish doe use, with a wonderfull noyse of cries and lamentations, hee was layed into the ground; the people, especially the women, running about the house, and from place to place, with their armes spread, after a lunaticke fashion, seemd with great sorrow to bewaile his departure. They also assembled themselves, in the most convenient place, to receive the multitude, and nearest unto the grave, and sitting downe in a round ring, in the middle came foorth a Mary-bucke, who betwixt saying and singing, did rehearse as it were certaine verses, in the praise and remembrance of him departed, which it should seeme was done extempore; or provided for that assembly, because upon divers words or sentences he spake, the people would make such sodaine exultations, by clapping of their hands, and every one running in, to give and present unto him, some one or other manner of thing, might be thought acceptable, that one after another, every severall Mary-bucke would have his speech, wherein they onely went away with the gratifications, who had the pleasingest stile, or as we terme it, the most eloquente phrase, in setting forth the praises of him departed, in which the people were so much delighted; another ceremonie was, that every principall Mary-bucke and men of note amongst them, would take of the earth, which came forth of the place his grave was digged, and with the same water, which was in the pot, standing in the same roome, would moysten the said earth, and so for me therof a round ball, which they would carry away with them, and esteeme of as a great Relique: whereof my Alchade or Mary-bucke, because of those perfumes I sent, was admitted to have one, which he so highly esteemed, I could not at any rate purchase it from him, although I made him offers, of more then I meant to give.
This Assembly held, for the space of ten dayes, with a continuall recourse, of comming and going, but not altogether for the buriall of the dead; for after certayne dayes were spent in the celebrating of his Obsequies, then beganne a great solemnitie, for the establishing and investing of his eldest sonne in his place and dignitie: whereunto came agayne many gifts, and presents: amongst those that passed by me, I tooke notice of a great Ramme, which was carried betweene two, bound fast and layd uppon a hurdle. In the whole time I was in the Country, I never saw any Ramme, or Sheepe, but that which was brought very farre, his wooll might more properly be called haire, it was of that hardnesse: I did understand by my Mary-bucke, he was to be used, after some manner of sacrifice, and I understood likewise, that in their Priesthood, the sonne succeeded the father, & this course is held amongst their Religious orders, wherein they differ from the temporall governments.5
It followes, I should now deliver their poore opinion they hold6 concerning us and our profession: wherein, with humble reverence, I crave pardon, that my hand should in the least sort, be made an instrument, to shew or set downe, any thing opposite unto my Lord and Saviour, but by shewing the weaknes of naturall man, and the wisedome that remaines in rotten flesh, the glory of God more perfectly appeares, to the confirming and comforting of every true and perfect establisht Christian; when wee shew unto them we hounour and serve God above, and likewise his Sonne, who was sent upon the earth, and suffered death for us, who was called Iesus, by that name they doe not know him, but by the name of Nale, they speake of a great Prophet, who did many and great miracles, whereof they have amongst them diverse repetitions, and that his mothers name was Maria, and him they doe acknowledge, to be a wondrous good man, but to be Gods sonne, they say it is impossible, for say they God was never seene, and who can see God and live, much more, for God to have the knowledge of woman, in that kind that we should beleeve it, they do wonder at us; the rather they say, becauuse they see God loves us, better then them, in giving us such good things, they see we have and are able to bring unto them; and likewise they do admire our knowledge, being able to make such vessells, as can carry us through such great waters, and how we shoulde finde our way, more especially higher up in the River; when we talk of the Sea, whereof they are altogether ignorant, onely by the name, or word Fancassa, which signifieth great waters; thus like humaine creatures in darknesse they argue, being barred from that glorious light, which shines in the east, whereof though they have heard, they have not yet made use but no doubt when the fulnesse of time is come they shall; for amongst themselves a prophecy remaines, that they shall be subdued, and remaine subiect to a white people: And what know we, but that determinate time of God is at hand, and that it shall be his Almighty pleasure, to make our nation his instruments, whereof in my part I am strongly comforted in regard of the familiar conversation wee find amongst them, and the faire acceptance I received: in the upper parts I attained, where I had a people came downe unto me, who had never seene white men before, with whom we traded with a faire commerce, and some savor of a golden sequell: the relation whereof, will follow very speedily: onely it is necessary, I part not obruptly from my religious company, and to acquaint you that they have great bookes, all manuscripts of their Religion, and that we have seene, when companies of Mary-buckes have travelled by us, some of their people laden therewith, many of them being very great, and of a large volume, which travell of theirs, it is most necessary I acquaint you withall, in regard from thence proceedes, a great deale of intelligence we have, and I may not let passe one vertue of theirs, the narration whereof, may make their intelligence somewhat more respected, and in my poore opinion carry alongst a better esteeme.
It may please you to call to minde, when I left the Kings in the middle of their cups,7 I promised to shew you a soberer people, which are these Mary-bucks, betwixt whom and the temporal people, is a wonderfull difference, the rather in regard they live upon one and the same ground, the temperature of the day being the same, wherein the desires of those common people, is for Aqua-vitæ, and hot drinkes that they will many times pawne their armes, both their bowes and arrowes, and swords from their neckes for that hot liquor, yea many times their clothes from their backes, to satiat and glut their earnest desires, which seem to us never to be satisfied: Now to the contrary the Mary-bucke, will by no meanes take or touch on[e] droppe thereof, of what kind somever it be, tying himselfe strictly to no manner of drinke but water, and not onely himselfe, that is the men, or malekind, but likewise their wives and women, neither will or can at any time be drawne to tast or receive any iot of this our comfortable liquor, nay more, they will not suffer none of their children, not so much as the little infant, who in the place we lived at, through daily recourse one with another, were growne to such familiarity with us, that they would many times steale from their homes, and come and hang about us, these small ones we might not give any wine, no nor any maner of fruit as reasons, or sugar, or any sweete things, without great offence unto the parents, and if hee hapned they found it with them, they would take it away with great displeasure, and although themselves were never so sicke, and in those times we would perswade them, how comfortable it would be unto them, we could by no meanes prevaile, to gaine any manner of inclination towards it, for example, as I was travelling up the River in my boate, upon some occasions our people being in the water, and in the shallow, leading up our boate, a suddaine deepnesse, occasioned by a steepe banke, brought them beyond their recahes, and enforced them to shift for themselves by swimming: my Alchade or Mary-bucke, being one of them, who could reasonably use his armes, was notwithstanding taken in a whirle-poole, and in great danger of drowning, having beene twise at the bottome, but at the second rise, one of our men tooke hold upon him, and with helpe, we presently got him aboord, being almost spent, and his senses gone, we earnest to recover him, fearing the agony we saw him in, got rosa-solis8 to put in his mouth, the sent whereof, as it appeared, made him hold close his lippes, that we gave him none, but within a while he came perfectly to himselfe, and as it seemed retained the savor, so as he askt whether he had taken any or no: He was answered no: I had rather (sayth hee) have died, then any should have come within me, although I am verily perswaded, the very savor refresht, and did him good, wherein they have a great resemblance to the Rechabites, spoken of in the thirty five Chapter of the Prophet Ieremy, who kept zealously the Commaund of Ionadab their father, from whence these may be lineally discended, in regard it is sayd they proceeded from Hobab, the father in Law of Moses, and Moses wife is noted to be an Ethiopian: And this is the principall marke, we know these Mary-buckes by, that howsomever they cannot by their habite be discerned from the common people yet in offering them to tast, or drinke our foresayde liquors, they are presently to bee distinguished, which sobernesse of their, being an evident signe, that they are alwayes themselves: To which I adde, that as they do not love, wee should promise them any thing, but be sure of performance, so in any thing we can discerne, we receive no false reports, or untruthes from them, with which confidence, I goe forward with the relation of their trade, and travaile.
These Mary-buckes are a people, who dispose of themselves in generall, when they are in their able age to travaile, going in whole families together, and carrying along their bookes, and manuscripts, and their boyes or younger race with them, whom they teach and instruct in any place they rest, or repose themselves, for which the whole Country is open before them, to harbour and sit downe as night or necessity over-taketh them, alwayes disposing themselves to some Towne whereunto they are not overchargeable, but only to rest their bodies, in regard we see them alwayes carry provision for the belly with them, which we conceite is renewed, as they meete with some principall persons, or make their Rendevow in some eminent place, this wee are sure that there is not any of them passe us, but they will use the custome of the whole Country, which is to begge without any deniall, and although to us it is but a poore matter, in respect of the Trade we have, much more what we hope and looke for, to give unto them, or amongst a whole company, a quiet piece of paper, which cost three pence, yet to them is a rich reward, out of which they questionlesse doe rayse the greater part of sustenance to travell withall, and what else may be availeable unto them, making thereof, by writing in the paper their blessed Gregories, which they give and bestow as they finde occasion, and to confirme us herein, this wee note, that if wee have occasion to send any of the Countrey people, of any message or employment for us, after he hath agreed for his reward, he will looke to have a sheete or two of paper given him, which is to buy him sustenance, as hee passeth from towne to towne: so as you shall never meete with any of this profession, but in discourse they can speake of more Countries then their owne native places: one chiefe reason to encourage their travell, we have learned, which is, that they have free recourse through all places, so that howsoever the Kings and Countries are at warres, and up in armes, the one against the other, yet still the Mary-bucke is a priviledged person, and many follow his trade, or course of travelling, without any let or interruption of either side. Notwithstanding there is none of these Mary-buckes but goe armed, and are as compleatly furnished, as any of the other people, and have the manner of use and exercise of their weapons, in as ample manner as they have, whereunto I thinke they are rather invited, in regard of those wilde and ravening beasts, the countrey is stored withall, that upon any occasion, they may be able to defend themselves, and offend their offensive enemies. To particularize heerein I may tell you of those two ancients Mary-buckes, who were our neighbours, in the towne, where our housing stood, who both of them would relate unto us, of infinite store of gold, which they had seene the Countrey above to abound withall, wherein the more auntient man, whom wee found so loving a friend, would speake marvellous confidently, howbeit he would tell us, there were a dangerous people to passe, before wee came unto them, and that the River was so full of trees, we should not be able to get our boate along; and in token of feare, when I was to beginne my iourney upward, and came in the evening to take my leave of him; taking my right hand betwixt both his, hee uttered over it, diverse unknowne words, and ever and anone, would sparingly spatter, with his spettle upon it, after which laying his mouth close to my necke, over my right shoulder, hee would after the like manner performe there: which his superstitious zeale being assuredly done in love, I did not contemptuously refuse, because I was ignorant of any offence therein, but with a friendly curtesie parted with him, and my returne backe was to him as ioyfull; the other who was a more, or as I may say, most subtile fellow, promised to be my guide along, and to passe in the boate with mee, and thereby wrought upon my willingnes, to embrace his company, to the serving of his owne turne, and getting from me many such gifts and curtesies, as otherwise hee could never have attained, holding me in hand, hee would meet me at a Port above, but there deceived mee, to my further trouble, and at our returne prevented, his cause was feare of the people about, which (God be praised) fell out to the contrary, whereof forthwith it will fall right to tell you; onely I must first say something, concerning the great Towne of Setico, and of the trade they follow, with those same number of Ass, whereof before I told you.
The inhabitants heere, who are all Mary-buckes, are the only people, who follow a continuall trade from their owne houses downe to the King of Bursall, whose dwellings (as you may remember) is said to be by the Sea side; at which place, the Sea shoare doth naturally yeeld, great store of Salt, but it is a course and durty kinde, insomuch as the greatest part, which we have seene, and taken notic eof, doth rather looke like durt, or Sea-coale ashes, then resemble the Salt we have in use, or make our trade withall; to buy which they carry downe, as their chiefest commoditie, the slaves or people of the Countrey, whereof the King of Bursall doth make such profit, as it is supposed to be a principall of the revenew, wherewith he maintaines his greatnesse. This commoditie the people doe carry likewise farre up into the Country, for amongst themselves, we can perceive they make little use thereof, so as their travell is long and tedious: the returne they make, is not discerned to be any thing but gold, and a kinde of Nuts they call Cola, which is in great esteeme amongst them, the vertue whereof I shall hereafter tell you: and for that it may be here demanded, what becoms of the gold by them brought downe, I will shew you what by report is told us; These Mary-buckes doe hold an opinion, that after their death they shall appeare in another world, wherein this gold wil be of great esteem, and therefore strive to furnish themselves all they can therewith, which either in their life time, they secretly in the ground doe hide, or by their dearest friends cause to bee buried with them, esteeming themselves happiest, that can with greatest quantitie be furnished: another use they make, is, to buy from the Portingals, a sort of faire, long & square blew stones, which stones their women weare about their middle, to keepe them from bloudy issues, unto which they are generally subiect, the occasion rising from the men, as may well be supposed, if you but remember or call to your minde, after what sort they are discribed,9 and this is seene, by that esteeme the Portingalls make of that commoditie which brings (as I observed) so great a store and quantitie of gold amongst them; other use within themselves they have none, but that the women weare it hanging in their eares, in rings, and pendants, made up with little Arte, and as unhansome workmanship. These people of Setico were the most unwilling we should proceed in the search of the River, of any other, not onely telling us themselves of many dangers, but at all townes where we came, and amongst our familiars, had left their perswasions, if it could have prevailed to discourage us; or whether they did verely thinke, our boate could never have found passage, in regard it was never attempted by any such vessell before, as I incline unto, fearing we might be hinderers to the Trade, they had so long followed, and whereunto they were setled, being wel provided with such numbes of Asses, as beasts of burthen, to proceed and follow the same, so as from them, wee could get no comfortable intelligence, wherein reason leades the way, that every mans profit is nearest to himselfe; but as it shall please God, to encourage you the noble Governour and Company, to prepare and settle your selves, with a serious resolution, to follow the farther search of this rich expectation: These people of Setico, of all other are the likeliest, and dwell the most convenientest, to be brought to a more setled, and commodious trade, which will fall uppon them with a great deale less trouble, and infinite lesse travell, and withall be made especiall instruments of our good, whereunto as yet their grosse understandings cannot ascend, and ancient customes are harsh to be altred, howbeit these were the considerations that made me endevour to settle a league with the high Priest, and establish a perfect course of amitie betwixt us: which course of mine, I shall more boldly commend to your faire acceptance, when you shall see it grounded upon the experience of my whole travel and trade in the River, and after my discourse and conference with that great blacke Marchant Buckor Sano, concerning whom and all my proceedings above, I now am come to make a full relation.
1. As noted in part 1, Mary-bucke, marabout, Mohamettan hermits and holy men of Berber and north Africa. It should be further remarked that most of the countryside was still pagan at this time and well into the nineteenth century, when the Marabout attempted a forcible conversion of the local kingdoms (by "pagan" we mean here "not Muslim, Christian, or Jewish"). This is particularly important in regard of the later discussion of the Marabouts' trafficking in slaves.
2. Margin: This Fodee Kareere was my Alchade, and bought & sold for me.
3. I.e., flummery (of the original sort), not jello.
4. Margin: In any occasion of falling out betweene the people and us, this old man would come with his Assegy presently to ayde us.
5. The succession of the temporal government, we are told previously, runs through the line of brothers, then to the sons of the eldest brother. Further details are not given, although the room for intrigue and fighting must be immense in such a system.
6. "opinion they hold": "opinion they should" 1623, which has "my hand hold" two lines later; clearly the words have been switched.
7. On pages 58-60.
8. OED: "A cordial or liqueur originally made from or flavoured with the juice of the plant sundew, but subsequently composed of spirits (esp. brandy) with various essences or spices, sugar, etc." According to Mrs. Grieve, the juice of the sundew, Drosera rotundifolia, is "used with advantage in whooping-cough, exerting a peculiar action on the respiratory organs; useful in incipient phthisis, chronic bronchitis, asthma, etc.", hence its use here to treat someone who has nearly drowned.
9. On page 52.
James Eason welcomes comments and corrections on this page.